Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

P2.3.

Vol.I.

Pa.263

F. Bel Scrap

And it happened, that, before they were a month in town, great shoulder-knots came up * : Straight all the world wore shoulder-knots ; no approaching thc ladies ruelles, without the quota of foula der-knots. That fellow, cries one, has no foul ; where is his poulder-knot? Our three brethren foon discovered their want by fad experience,

Jeting in their walks with forty mortifications nd indignities. If they went to the playhouse, e door-keeper shewed them into the twelve

any gallery. If they called a boat, says a waterman, I am firf sculler. If they stepped to the Rose to take a bottle, the drawer would cry, Friend, we fell no ale. If they went to visit a lady, a footman met them at the door, with Pray Send up your message. In this unhappy case they went immediately to consult their father's will; read it over and over, but not a word of the Aboulder-knot. What should they do? What temper should they find ? Obedience was abfolutely necessary, and yet shoulder-knots appeared extremely requisite. After much thought, one of the brothers, who happened to be more booklearned than the other two, said, he had found an expedient. It is true, faid he, there is nothing here in this will, totidem verbis to making mention of shoulder-knots : But I dare conjecture, we may find them inclusive, or totidem fyllabis. This diftinction was immediately approved by all , and so they fell again to examine. But their evil ftar had so directed the matter, that the first syllable was not to be found in the whole writing. Upon which disappointment, he who found the former evasion, took heart, and said, Brothers, there is yet hope ; for though we cannot find them totidem verbis, nor totidem syllabis, I dare engage we fhall make them out tertio modo, or totidem literis. This discovery was also highly commended : Upon which they fell once more to the scrutiny, and picked out S, H, O, U, L, D, E, R, when the same planet, enemy to their repose, had wonderfully contrived that a K was not to be found. Here was a weighty difficulty ! But the distinguishing brother, for whom we shall 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 ancient manuscripts. " "Tis true” (faid he) “ the word Calenda hath « in Q. V. C. * been sometimes written with “ K, but erroneously; for in the best copies it “ has been ever spelt with a C. And, by confe

of * By this is understood the first introducing of pageantry, and unnecessary ornaments in the church, such as were neither for convenience nor edification; as a froulder-karot, in which there is neither symmetry nor use.

† When the Papists cannot find any thing wliich they want in fcripture, they go to oral tradition. Thus Peter is introduced

disatisfied quence,

I

dissatisfied with the tedious way of looking for all the letters of any word, which he has occasion for in the will; when neither the constituent fyllables, nor much less the whole word, were there in terminis. W. Woiton.

* Quibusdam veteribus codicibus : Some antient manuscripts.

quence, it was a grofs mistake in our language “ to spell knot with a K; but that from hence" forward he would take care it should be writ“ ten with a C.” Upon this all farther difficulty vanished ; shoulder-knots were made clearly out to be jure paterns; and our three gentlemen fwaggered with as large and as flaunting ones as the beft.

But as human happiness is of a very short duration, so in those days were human fashions, upon which it entirely depends. Shoulder-knots had their time ; and we must now imagine them in their decline : For a certain lord came just 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 *. Whoever durst peep abroad without his complement of gold-lace, was as fcandalous as a and as ill received among the women. What should our three knights do in this momentous affair? They had sufficiently strained a point already, in the affair of shoulderknots. Upon recourse to the will, nothing appeared there but altum filentium. That of the froulder-knots was a loose, flying, circumstantial point ; but this of gold-lace seemed too confiderable an alteration without better warrant: It did aliquo modo essentie adhærere, and therefore reVOL. I.

Z

quired

[ocr errors]

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.

quired a positive precept. But about this time it fell out, that the learned brother aforesaid had read Aristotelis dialectica; and especially that wonderful piece, de interpretatione, which has the faculty of teaching its readers to find out a meaning in every thing but itself; like commentators on the Revelations, who proceed prophets without understanding a fyllable of the text. Brothers, said he, you are to be informed, that of wills duo sunt genera, nuncupatory * and fcriptory. That in the firiptory will here before us, there is no precept or mention about gold-lace, conceditur : but, fi idem affirinetur de nuncupatoria, negatur. For, brothers, if you remember, we heard a fellow say, when we were boys, that he heard my father's man saj, that he heard my father say, that he would advise his foris 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, said the third. And so, 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 sort of flame-coloured fattin † for linings ;

and

* By this is meant tradition, allowed to have equal authority with the scripture, or rather greater.

+ This is purgatory, whereof he speaks more particularly hereafter ; but here, only to shew 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 bro«,

thers

« AnteriorContinuar »