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been, to trim up the vegetable beaux : Observe how sparkish a periwig adorns the head of a beech, and what a fine doublet of white fattin is worn by the birch. To conclude from all, what is man himfelf but a micro-coat * ; or rather a complete suit of cloaths, with all its trimmings ? As to his body, there can be no dispute. But examine even the acquirements of his mind, you will find them all contribute in their order towards furnishing out an exact dress. To instance no more ; is not religion a cloak; honesty a pair of shoes, worn out in the dirt; felf-love a furtout ; vanity a shirt ; and conscience a pair of breeches, which, though a cover for lewdness as well as nastiness, is easily slipt down for the service of both ?
Thefe poftulata being admitted, it will follow in due course of reasoning, that those beings, which the world calls improperly suits of cloaths, are in reality the most refined species of animals or, to proceed higher, that they are rational creatures, or men. For is it not manifest, that they live, and move, and talk, and perform all other offices of human life? Are not beauty and wit, and mein, and breeding, their infeparable properties ?. In short, we fee nothing but them, hear nothing but them. Is it not they who walk the streets, fill up parliament, coffeeplay-bawdy houses? It is true indeed, that these animals, which are vulgarly called suits of
* Alluding to the word microcosm, or a little world, as man hath been called by philosophers.
cloaths, or dresses, do, according to certain compositions, receive different appellations. If one of them be trimmed up with a gold chain, and a red gown, and a white rod, and a great horse, it is called a Lord Mayor ; if certain ermins and furs be placed in a certain position, we style them a Judge ; and so, an apt conjunction of lawn and black fattin, we intitle a Bishop.
Others of these professors, though agreeing in the main fystem, were yet more refined upon certain branches of it; and held, that man was an animal compounded of two dresses, the natural and the celestial suit ; which were the body and the foul; that the soul was the outward, and the body the inward cloathing; that the latter was ex traduce, but the former of daily creation and circumfufion. This last they proved by fcripture ; because in them we live, and move, and have our being : As likewise by philofophy; because they are are all in all, and all in every part. Besides, faid they, separate these two, and you will find the body to be only a senseless unfavoury carcafe.. By all which it is manifest, that the outward. dress must needs be the soul.
To this fyftem of religion were tagged several subaltern doctrines * which were entertained
* The first part of the tale, is the history of Peter. Thereby Popery is exposed. Every body knows, the Papists have made great additions to Christianity ; that indeed is the great exception which the Church of England makes against them: Accordingly, Feter begins his pranks with adding a shoulder-knot to his coat. W. Wotton.
with great vogue; as, particularly, the faculties of the mind were deduced by the learned among them in this manner. Embroidery was sheer wit gold fringe was agreeable conversation ; gold lace was repartee ; a huge long periwig was humour ; and a coat full of powder was very good raillery : All which required abundance of finefle and delicatesse to manage with advantage, as well as a strict observance after times and fashions.
I have, with much pains and reading, collected out of antient authors, this short summary of a body of philofophy and divinity ; which seems to have been composed by a vein and race of thinking, very different from any other systems, either ancient or modern. And it was not merely to entertain or satisfy the reader's curiosity, but rather to give him light into several circumstances of the following story; that, knowing the state of difpofitions and opinions in an age so remote, he may better comprehend those great events which were the issue of them. I advise therefore
The actions of Peter, are the actions of a man intoxicated with pride, power, rage, tyranny, and self-conceit. There passions are placed in the most ridiculous light : and the effects of them produce to us the tenets and doctrines of papal Rome, such as purgatory, penance, images, indulgences, auricular confession, transubstantiation, and those dreadful monsters the pontifical bulls, which, according to this ludicrous author, derived their original from the famous bulls of Colchis, described by Ovid.
Terribiles vultus, præfixaque cornua ferro ;
the courteous reader, to perufe, with a world of application, again and again, whatever I have written upon this matter. And leaving these broken ends, I carefully gather up the chief thread of my story, and proceed.
These opinions therefore were so universal, as well as the practices of them, among the refined part of court and town, that our three brotheradventurers, as their circumítances then stood, were ftrangely at a loss. For, on the one side, the three ladies they addressed themselves to, whom we have named already, were ever at the very top of the fashion, and abhorred all that were below it but the breadth of a hair. On the other fide, their father's will was very precise; and it was the main precept in it, with the greatest penalties annexed, not to add to, or diminish from their coats, one thread, without a positive command in the will. Now, the coats their father had left them, were, it is true, of very good cloth; and, besides, fo neatly fown, you would swear they were all of a piece ; but at the same time very plain, and with little or no ornament *
* His description of the cloth of which the coat was made, has a farther meaning than the words may seem to import : " The coats, their father had left them, were of very good “ ciuth ; and, besides, fo neatly fown, you would swear they
were all of a piece; but, at the same time, very plain, with « little or no ornament." This the distinguishing character of the Christian religion. Christiana religia absoluta et fimplex, was Ammianus Marcellinus's description of it, who was himself a Heathen. TV. Wotton.