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upon all extraordinary dilatations of that member as protrusions of zeal, or fpiritual excrefcences, were fure to honour every head they fat upon, as if they had been marks of grace; but especially that of the preacher, whofe ears were ufually of the prime magnitude; which, upon that account, he was very frequent and exact in expofing with all advantages to the people; in his rhetorical paroxyfms, turning fometimes to hold forth the one, and fometimes to hold forth the other. From which cuftom, the whole operation of preaching is to this very day, among their profeffors, styled by the phrafe of holding forth.

Such was the progrefs of the faints for advancing the fize of that member; and it is thought, the fuccefs would have been every way anfwerable, if, in process of time, a cruel king had not arofe, who raised a bloody perfecution against all ears above a certain ftandard *. Upon which, fome were glad to hide their flourishing sprouts in a black border; others crept wholly under a periwig; fome were flit, others cropped, and a great number fliced off to the ftumps. But of this more hereafter in my general history of ears; which I defign very speedily to bestow upon the public.

From this brief furvey of the falling state of ears in the laft age, and the fmall care had to advance their ancient growth in the prefent, it is manifeft,

* This was K. Charles II. who, at his restoration, turned out all the diffenting teachers that would not conform.

manifeft, how little reafon we can have to rely upon a hold fo fhort, fo weak, and fo flippery; and that whoever defires to catch mankind faft, muft have recourfe to fome other methods. Now, he that will examine human nature with circumspection enough, may discover feveral handles, whereof the fix * fenfes afford one a-piece, befide a great number that are fcrewed to the paffions, and fome few rivetted to the intellect. Among thefe laft, curiofity is one, and, of all others, affords the firmeft grafp; curiofity, that fpur_in the fide, that bridle in the mouth, that ring in the nofe, of a lazy and impatient, and a grunting reader. By this handle it is, that an author fhould feize upon his readers; which as foon as he hath once compaffed, all resistance and struggling are in vain; and they become his prifoners as clofe as he pleafes, till wearinefs or dulnefs force him to let go his grip.

And therefore I, the author of this miraculous treatise, having hitherto, beyond expectation, maintained, by the aforefaid handle, a firm hold upon my gentle readers; it is with great reluctance, that I am at length compelled to remit my grafp; leaving them in the perufal of what remains to that natural ofcitancy inherent in the tribe. I can only affure thee, courteous reader, for both our comforts, that my concern is altogether equal to thine, for my unhappinefs in lofing, or mislaying among my papers, the remain


*Including Scaliger's.

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Aing part of these memoirs; which confifted of accidents, turns, and adventures, both new, agreeable, and furprifing; and therefore calculated, in all due points, to the delicate taste of this our noble age. But, alas! with my utmoft endeavours, I have been able only to retain a few of the heads. Under which, there was a full account, how Peter got a protection out of the King's-bench; and of a reconcilement between Jack and him, upon a design they had in a certain rainy night to trepan brother Martin into a fpunging-house, and there strip him to the skin *: How Martin, with much ado, fhewed them both a fair pair of heels; how a new warrant came out against Peter; upon which, how Jack left him in the lurch, ftole his protection, and made ufe of it himself. How Jack's tatters came into fashion in court and city; how he got upon a great horfe†, and eat custard ‡. But the particulars


* In the reign of K. James II. the Prefbyterians, by the King's invitation, joined with the Papifts, against the church of England, and addreffed him for repeal of the penal laws and teft. The King, by his difpenfing power, gave liberty of confcience, which both Papists and Prefbyterians made use of. But, upon the Revolution, the Papifts being down of course, the Presbyterians freely continued their affemblies, by virtue of K. James's indulgence, before they had a toleration by law. This, I believe, the author means by Jack's stealing Peter's protection, and making use of it himself.

Sir Humphrey Edwyn, a Prefbyterian, was fome years ago Lord Mayor of London, and had the infolence to go in his formalities to a conventicle, with the enfigns of his office.

Custard is a famous dish at a Lord Mayor's feast.

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