« AnteriorContinuar »
Varias inducere plumas;
Atrum definit in piscem.
For these had fibes tails; yet upon occafion could out-fly any bird in the air. Peter put thefe bulls upon feveral employs. Sometimes he would fet them a roaring to fright naughty boys *, and make them quiet. Sometimes he would fend them out upon errands of great importance; where it is wonderful to recount, and perhaps the cautious reader may think much to believe it; an appetitus fenfibilis deriving itself through the whole family, from their noble ancestors, guardians of the golden fleece: They continued fo extremely fond of gold, that if Peter fent them abroad, though it were only upon a compliment, they would roar, and fpit, and belch, and pifs, and fart, and fnivel out fire, and keep a perpetual coil, till you flung them a bit of gold; but then, pulveris exigui jactu, they would grow calm and quiet as lambs. In short, whether by fecret connivance, or encouragement from their mafter, or out of their own liquorifh affection to gold, or both; it is certain they were no better than a fort of sturdy, fwaggering beggars; and, where they could not prevail to get an alms, would make women mifcarry, and children fall into fits who to this very day ufually call sprights and hobgoblins by the name of bull-beggars. They grew at last so very trouble
* That is, Kings who incurred his displeasure.
troublesome to the neighbourhood, that fome gentlemen of the north-west got a parcel of right English bull-dogs, and baited them fo terribly, that they felt it ever after.
I must needs mention one more of Lord 'Peter's projects, which was very extraordinary, and difcovered 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 à certain fum of money; which when the poor caitiff had made all shifts to scrape up, and fend, his Lordship would return a piece of paper in this form *
O. all mayors, fheriffs, jailors, conftables, bailiffs, hangmen, &c. Whereas we are "informed, that A. B. remains in the hands of 66 you, or fome of you, under the fentence of "death; we will and command you, upon fight "hereof, to let the faid prifoner depart to his "own habitation, whether he stands condemned "for murder, fodomy, rape, facrilege, inceft, "treason, blafphemy, &c. for which this fhall "be your fufficient warrant. And if you fail "thereof, G-d d-mn you and yours to all "eternity. And so we bid you heartily farewell. Your most humble
*This is a copy of a general pardon, figned Servus fervorum. Ibid. Abfolution in articula mortis, and the tax camera apoftolice, are jefted upon in Emperor Peter's letter. W. Wotton.
The wretches trufting to this, loft their lives and money too.
I defire of those whom the learned among pofterity will appoint for commentators upon this elaborate treatife, that they will proceed with great caution upon certain dark points, wherein all who are not vere adepti, may be in danger to form rash and hafty conclufions; efpecially in fome mysterious paragraphs, where certain arcana are joined for brevity's fake, which in the operation must be divided. And I am certain, that future fons of art will return.large thanks to my memory, for fo grateful, so useful an innuendo.
It will be no difficult part to perfuade the reader, that fo many worthy discoveries met with great fuccefs in the world; though I may juftly affure him, that I have related much the fmallest number; my defign having been only to fingle out fuch as will be of moft benefit for public imitation, or which beft ferved to give fome idea of the reach and wit of the inventor. And therefore it need not be wondered, if by this time Lord Peter was become exceeding rich. But, alas! he had kept his brain fo long and fo violently upon the rack, that at last it book itself, and began to turn round for a little eafe. In fhort, what with pride, projects, and knavery, poor Peter was grown diftracted, and conceived the ftrangeft imaginations in the world. In the height of his fits, as it is ufual with thofe who run mad out of pride, he would call himfelf God
God Almighty, and fometimes monarch of the univerfe. 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 guife, whoever went to take him by the hand in the way of falutation, Peter, with much grace, like a well-educated spaniel, would prefent them with his foot §; and if they refused his civility, then he would raise it as high as their chops, and give them a damned kick on the mouth; which hath ever fince been called a falute. Whoever walked by without paying him their compliments, having a wonderful strong breath, he would blow their hats off into the dirt. Mean time his affairs at home went upfide down, and his two brothers had a wretched time; where his firft boutade || was, to kick both their wives
*The Pope is not only allowed to be the vicar of Christ, but by feveral divines is called God upon earth, and other blafphemous titles are given him.
+ The triple crown,
The keys of the church.- -The church is here taken for the gate of heaven; for the keys of heaven are affumed by the Pope in confequence of what our Lord faid to Peter, I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Hawkef.
Ibid. The Pope's univerfal monarchy, and his triple crown, and fisher's ring. W. Wotton.
§ Neither does his arrogant way of requiring men to kiss his flipper fcape reflection. W. Wotton.
This word properly fignifies a fudden jerk, or lafh of an horfe, when you do not expect it.
wives one morning out of doors *, and his own too; and in their ftead, gave orders to pick up the first three ftrollers could be met with in the ftreets. A while after he nailed up the cellardoor; and would not allow his brothers a drop of drink to their victuals +. Dining one day at an alderman's in the city, Peter obferved him expatiating, after the manner of his brethren, in the praises of his firloin of beef. Beef, faid the faid magiftrate, is the king of meat: Beef comprehends in it the quinteffence of partridge, and quail, and venison, and pheasant, and plum-pudding, and cuftard. 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 firloin, to his brown loaf. Bread, fays he, dear brothers, is the staff of life; in which bread is contained, inclufive, the quinteffence of beef, mutton, veal, venison, partridge, plum-pudding, and cuftard: And to render all complete, there is intermingled a due quantity of water, whofe crudities are also corrected by yeast or barm, through which means it becomes a wholesome fermented liquor, diffused through the mafs of the bread. Upon the strength of these conclufions, next day at dinner, was the brown loaf served up, in all the formality of a city-feaft. Come, brothers, faid . Peter, fall to, and spare not; here is excellent good
*The celibacy of the Romish clergy is ftruck at in Peter's beating his own and brothers wives out of doors. W. Wotton.
The Pope's refufing the cup to the laity, perfuading them that the blood is contained in the bread, and that the bread is the real and entire body of Christ.