« AnteriorContinuar »
: Or hold, now my hand is in, I will help you.
At which word, in inuch ceremony, with fork and knife he carves out two good slices of a loaf, and presents each on a plate to his brothers. The elder of the two, not suddenly entering into Lord Peter's conceit, began with very civil language to examine the mystery My Lord, said he, I doubt, with great submission, there may be some mistake. What! says Peter, you are pleasant : Come then, let us hear this jest your head is so big with. None in the world, my Lord; but, unless I am very much deceived, your Lordship was pleased a while ago to let fall a word about mutton, and I would be glad to see it with all my heart. How ! faid Peter, appearing in great surprise, I do not comprehend this at all. Upon which, the younger interposing to set the business aright; My Lord, faid he, my brother I suppose is hungry, and longs for the mutton your Lordship hath promised us to dinner. Pray, said Peter, take me along with you. .
Either you are both mad, or disposed to be merrier than I approve of. If you there do not like your piece, I will carve you another ; though I should take that to be the choice bit of the whole poulder. What then, my Lord, replied the first, it seems this is a foulder af mutton all this while. Pray, Sir, says Peter, eat your victuals, and leave off your impertinence, if you
* Transubstantiation. Peter turns his bread into mutton, and, according to the Popish doctrine of concomitauts, his wine too, which in his way he calls palming bis damned crusts upon the brea thers for mutton. W. Wotton.
please; for I am not disposed to relish it at present. But the other could not forbear, being over-provoked at the affected seriousness of Peter's countenance. By G, my Lord, faid he, I can only Say, that, to my eyes, and fingers, and teeth, and nose, it seems to be nothing but a crust of bread. Upon which the fecond put in his word : I never faw a piece of mutton in my life fo nearly resembling a frice from a twelve-penny loaf. Look ye, Gentlemen, cries Peter in a rage, to convince you
what a couple of blind, positive, ignorant, wilful puppies you are, I will use but this pluin argument; By GM, it is true, good, natural mutton, as any in Leadenhall-market; and G- confound sou both eternally, if you offer to believe otherwise. Such a thundering proof as this left no further room for objection. The two unbelievers began to gather and pocket up their mistakes as hastily as they could. Why, truly, said the first, upon more mature confideration - Ay, says the other, interrupting him, now I have thought better on the thing, your Lordsvip seems to have a great deal of reason. Very well, faid Peter. Here, boy, fill me a beer-glass of claret : Here's to you both with all my heart. The two brethren, much delighted to see hiin so readily appeased, returned their inost humble thanks, and said, they would be glad to pledge his Lordfhip. That you fivall, faid Peter. I am not a person to refuse you any thing that is reasonable. Wine, moderately taken, is a cordial. Here is a glass a-piece for you ; it is true natural juice from the grape, none of your damned
vintners brewings. Having spoke thus, he presented to each of them another large dry crust, bidding them drink it off, and not be bashful; for it would do them no hurt. The two brothers, after having performed the usual office in such delicate conjunctures, of staring a sufficient period at Lord Peter, and each other; and finding how matters were like to go, resolved not to enter on a new dispute, but let him
the point as he pleased : For he was now got into one of his mad fits; and to argue or expoftulate further, would only ferve to render him a hundred times more untractable.
• I have chosen to relate this worthy matter in all its circumstances, because it gave a principal occafion to that great and famous rupture *, which happened about the same time among these brethren, and was never afterwards made up. But of that I shall treat at large in another section.
However, it is certain, that Lord Peter, even in his lucid intervals, was very lewdly given in his common conversation, extreme wilful and positive ; and would at any time rather death, than allow himself once to be in an error. Befides, he had an abominable faculty of telling huge palpable lyes upon all occasions; and not only swearing to the truth, but curling the whole company to hell, if they pretended to make the least scruple of believing him. One time he swore he had a cow at home, which gave as much milk
argue to the
* By this rupture is meant the Reformation.
at a meal as would fill three thousand churches; and, what was yet more extraordinary, would never turn four *. Another time he was telling of an old fign-post + that belonged to his father, with nails and timber enough in it to build fix. teen large men of war. Talking one day of Chinese waggons, which were made so light as to fail over mountains : 2-ds, faid Peter, where's the wonder of that? By GM, I saw a large boufe of lime and stone travel over sea and land, granting that it stopped sometimes to bait, above two thoufand German leagues . And that which was the good of it, he would swear desperately all the while, that he never told a lye in his life ; and every word, By G- Gentlemen, I tell you nothing but the truth; and the di broil them eternally that will not believe me.
In short, Peter grew fo fcandalous, that all the neighbourhood began in plain words to say, he
* The ridiculous multiplying of the virgin Mary's milk amongst the Papills, under the allegory of a cow which gave as much milk at a mcalas would fill three thousand churches. W. Wation.
† By tiis ga-post is meant the cross of our blessed Saviour;and if wil wood that is shewn for parts of it, was collected, the quantits would sufficiently juitify this farcasm. Hawkes.
# The chapel of Loretio. He falls bere only upon the ridiculous inventions of Popery. The church of Rome intended by these things to gull filly superititious people, and rook them of their money. The world had been too long in slavery ; but our ancestors gloriously redeemned as from that yoke. The church of Rome therefore ought to be exposed; and he deserves well of mankind, that does expose it. W. Votton.
Ibid. 'The chapel of Loretto, which travelled from the Holy Land' to Italy.
was no better than a knave. And his two brothers, long weary of his ill usage, resolved at last to leave him; but first they humbly desired a copy of their father's will, which had now lain by neglected time out of mind. Instead of granting this request, he called them damned fons of whores, rogues, traitors, and the rest of the vile names he could muster up. However, while he was abroad one day upon his projects, the two youngsters watched their opportunity, made a shift to come at the will, and took a copia vera ; by which they presently saw how grossly they had been abused ; their father having left them equal heirs, and strictly commanded, that whatever they got should lie in common among them all. Pursuant to which, their next enterprise was, to break open the cellar-door, and get a little good drink to spirit and comfort their hearts t. In copying the will, they had met another precept against whoring, divorce, and separate maintenance : Upon which their next work was, to discard their concubines, and send for their wives t. Whilst all this was in agitation, there enters a solicitor from Newgate, defiring Lord Peter would please to procure a pardon for a thief that was to be hanged to-morrow. But the two brothers told him, he was a ,coxcomb, to seek pardons from a fellow who deferved to be hanged much better than his VOL. I. Cc
* Translated the scriptures into the vulgar tongues.