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might have escaped, if the vanity of appearing would have suffered them to walk in the dark. But farther; if we examine the conduct of these boasted lights, it will prove yet a great deal worse than their fortune. It is true, I have broke my nose against this post, because fortune * either forgot, or did not think it convenient, to twitch me by the elbow, and give me notice to avoid it. But, let not this encourage either the present age, or posterity, to trust their noses into the keeping of their eyes, which may prove the fairest way of losing them for good and all. For, O ye eyes, ye blind guides ; miserable guardians are ye of our frail noses; ye, I say, who fasten upon the first precipice in view, and then tow our wretched willing bodies after you, to the very brink of destruction : but, alas! that brink is rotten, our feet slip, and we tumble down prone into a gulf, without one hospitable shrub in the way to break the fall ; a fall, to which not any nose of mortal make is equal, except that of the giant Laurcalco, 1 who was lord of the silver bridge. Most properly therefore, O eyes, and with great justice, may you be compared to those foolish lights, which conduct men through dirt and darkness, till they fall into a deep pit or a noisome bog.
This I have produced, as a scantling of Jack's great eloquence, and the force of his reasoning upon such abstruse matters.
He was, besides, a person of great design and improvement in affairs of devotion, having introduced a new deity, who has since met with a vast number of worshippers ; by some called Babel, by
* Providence. Ed. ),
4 Vide Don Quixote.
others, Chaos; who had an ancient temple of Gothic structure upon Salisbury plain, famous for its shrine, and celebration by pilgrims.
When he had some roguish trick to play, he would down with his knees, up with his eyes, and fall to prayers, though in the midst of the kennel. Then it was, that those who understood his pranks would be sure to get far enough out of his way; and whenever curiosity attracted strangers to laugh, or to listen, he would, of a sudden, with one hand, out with his gear, and piss full in their eyes, and with the other, all bespatter them with mud.
In winter he went always loose and unbuttoned, † and clad as thin as possible, to let in the ambient heat; I and in summer lapped himself close and thick to keep it out.
In all revolutions of government, ş he would make his court for the office of hangman general : and in the exercise of that dignity, wherein he was very dexterous, would make use of no other vizard, || than a long prayer.
He had a tongue so musculous and subtile, that he could twist it up into his nose, and deliver a strange kind of speech from thence. I He was also the first in these kingdoms, who began to improve the Spanish accomplishment of braying; and having large ears, perpetually exposed and erected, he carried his art to such perfection, that it was a point of great difficulty to distinguish, either by the view or the sound, between the original and the copy.
* The villanies and cruelties, committed by enthusiasts and fanatics among us, were all performed under the disguise of religion and long prayers.
* The tanatics' feigned sanctity; but real roguery. BENTLEY. + They affected differences in habit and behaviour. † The fanatics opposing reasonable customs. BENTLEY.
They are severe persecutors, and all in a form of cant and devotion.
|| Cromwell and his confederates went, as they called it, to seek the Lord, when they resolved to murder the king.
Their cant and affected tones. BENTLEY.
He was troubled with a disease, reverse to that called the stinging of the tarantula ; and would run dog-mad at the noise of music, † especially a pair of bag-pipes. I But he would cure himself again, by taking two or three turns in Westminster-hall, or Billingsgate, or in a boarding-school, or the Royal-Exchange, or a state coffee-house.
He was a person that feared no colours, but mortally hated all, and, upon that account, bore a cruel aversion against painters ; § insomuch, that, in his paroxysms, as he walked the streets, he would have his pockets loaden with stones to pelt at the signs.
Having, from this manner of living, frequent occasion to wash himself, he would often leap over head and ears into water, || though it were in the midst of the winter, but was always observed to come out again much dirtier, if possible, than he went in.
He was the first that ever found out the secret of contriving a soporiferous medicine to be con
+ This is to expose our dissenters' aversion against instrumental music in churches. W. Wotton.
1 Organs. BENTLEY.
§ They quarrel at the most innocent decency and ornament, and defaced the statues and paintings in all the churches in England.
|| Baptism of adults by plunging.
veyed in at the ears ; * it was a compound of sulphur and balm of Gilead, with a little pilgrim's slave.
He wore a large plaster of artificial caustics on his stomach, with the fervour of which he could set himself a groaning, like the famous board upon application of a red-hot iron.
He would stand in the turning of a street, and, calling to those who passed by, would cry to one, Worthy Sir, do me the honour of a good slap in the chaps. † To another, Honest friend, pray
favour me with a handsome kick on the arse : Madam, shall I entreat a small box on the ear from your ladyship’s fair hands ? Noble captain, lend a reasonable thwack, for the love of God, with that cane of yours over these poor shoulders.
And when he bad, by such earnest solicitations, made a shift to procure a basting sufficient to swell up his fancy and his sides, he would return home extremely comforted, and full of terrible accounts of what he had undergone for the public good. Observe this stroke (said he, showing his bare shoulders) a plaguy janizary gave it me this very morning at seven o'clock, as, with much ado, I was driving off the great Turk. Neighbours, mind, this broken head deserves a plaster; had poor Jack been tender of his noddle, you would have seen the pope and the French king, long before this time of day, among your wives and your
* Fanatic preaching, composed either of hell and damnation, or a fulsome description of the joys of heaven ; both in such a dirty, nauseous style, as to be well resembled to pilgrim's salve.
+ The fanatics have always had a way of affecting to run into persecution, and count vast merit upon every little hardship they suffer.
warehouses. Dear Christians, the great mogul was come as far as Whitechapel, and you may thank these poor sides, that he hath not (God bless us) already swallowed up man, woman, and child.
It was highly worth observing the singular effects of that aversion, * or antipathy, which Jack and his brother Peter seemed, even to an affectation, to bear against each other. Peter had lately done some rogueries, that forced him to abscond; and he seldom ventured to stir out before night, for fear of bailiffs. Their lodgings were at the two most distant parts of the town from each other; and, whenever their occasions or humours called them abroad, they would make choice of the oddest unlikely times, and most uncouth rounds, they could invent, that they might be sure to avoid one another : yet, after all this, it was their perpetual fortune to meet. The reason of which is easy enough to apprehend; for, the phrensy and the spleen of both having the same foundation, we may look upon them as two pair of compasses, equally extended, and the fixed foot of each remaining in the same centre; which, though moving contrary ways at first, will be sure to encounter somewhere or other in the circumference. Besides, it was among
* The papists and fanatics, though they appear the most averse against each other, yet bear a near resemblance in many things, as hath been observed by learned men.
Ibid. The agreement of our dissenters and the papists, in that which bishop Stillingfleet called the fanaticism of the church of Rome, is ludicrously described, for several pages together, by Jack's likeness to Peter, and their being often mistaken for each other, and their frequent meeting when they least intended it. W. Wotton.