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will find the body to be only a senseless unsavoury carcass. By all which it is manifest that the outward dress must needs be the soul. To this system of religion were tagged several subaltern doctrines, which were entertained with great vogue; as particularly the faculties of the mind were deduced by the learned among them in this manner: broidery was sheer wit, gold fringe was agreeable conversation, gold lace was repartee, a huge long periwig was humour, and a coat full of powder1 was very good raillery. All which required abundance of finesse and delicatesse to manage with advantage, as well as a strict observance after time and fashions.


I have with much pains and reading collected out of ancient authors this short summary of a body of philosophy and divinity which seems to have been composed by a vein and race of thinking very different from any other systems, either ancient or modern. And it was not merely to entertain or satisfy the reader's curiosity, but rather to give him light into several circumstances of the following story, that, knowing the state of dispositions and opinions in an age so remote, he may better comprehend those great events which were the issue of them. I advise, therefore, the courteous reader to peruse with a world of application, again and again, whatever I have written upon this matter. And so leaving these broken ends, I carefully gather up the chief thread of my story, and proceed.

These opinions, therefore, were so universal, as well as the practices of them, among the refined part of court and town, that our three brother adventurers, as their circumstances then stood, were strangely at a loss. For, on the one side, the three ladies they addressed themselves to (whom we have named already) were ever at the very top of the fashion, and abhorred all that were below it but the breadth of a hair. On the other side, their father's will was very precise, and it was the main precept in it, with the greatest penalties annexed, not to add to or diminish from their coats one thread without a positive command in the will. Now the coats their father had left them were, it is true, of very good cloth, and besides, so neatly sewn you would swear they were all of a piece, but, at the same time, very plain, with little or no ornament; and it happened that before they were a month in

1 Men of fashion powdered their hair.

no ap

town great shoulder-knots1 came up. Straight all the world was shoulder-knots; proaching the ladies' ruelles without the quota of shoulder-knots. "That fellow," cries one, "has no soul where is his shoulder-knot?" Our three brethren soon discovered their want by sad experience, meeting in their walks with forty mortifications and indignities. If they went to the play-house, the doorkeeper showed them into the twelve-penny gallery. If they called a boat, says a waterman, “I am first sculler."4 If they stepped into the "Rose" to take a bottle," the drawer would cry, "Friend, we sell 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 shoulder-knot. What should they do? What temper should they find? Obedience was absolutely necessary, and yet shoulder-knots appeared extremely requisite. After much thought, one of the brothers, who happened to be more book-learned than the other two, said he had found an expedient. "It is true," said he, "there is nothing here in this will, totidem verbis, making mention of shoulder-knots, but I dare conjecture we may find them inclusive, or totidem syllabis." This distinction was immediately approved by all; and so they fell again to examine the will. But their evil star 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 hopes; for though we cannot find them totidem verbis nor totidem syllabis, I dare engage we shall make them out tertio modo or totidem literis." 9 This discovery was also highly commended, upon which they fell once more to the scrutiny, and soon 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

1 knots of gold or silver lace 2 morning receptions Good seats cost two shillings and a half. 4 Scullers were unfashionable; fashion demanded a 'pair of oars. of wine in exactly those words 7 in those very syllables in a third way in those very letters

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was in, proved by a very good argument that K was a modern illegitimate letter, unknown to the learned ages, nor anywhere to be found in ancient manuscripts. "It is true," said he, "the word Calendae had in Q. V. C.1 been sometimes writ with a K, but erroneously, for in the best copies it is ever spelled with a and by consequence it was a gross mistake in our language to spell 'knot with a K," Upon but that from henceforward he would take care it should be writ with a C. this all further difficulty vanished; shoulderknots were made clearly out to be jure paterno, and our three gentlemen swaggered with as large and as flaunting ones as the best.

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 scandalous as a the women.

and as ill received among

What should our three knights
do in this momentous affair? They had
sufficiently strained a point already in the
affair of shoulder-knots. Upon recourse to the
will, nothing appeared there but altum silen-
tium.3 That of the shoulder-knots was a
loose, flying, circumstantial point, but this
of gold lace seemed too considerable an al-
It did ali-
teration without better warrant.
quo modo essentiae adhaerere, and therefore
required a positive precept. But about this
time it fell out that the learned brother afore-
said had read "Aristotelis Dialectica," and
especially that wonderful piece de Interpre-
tatione, which has the faculty of teaching its
readers to find out a meaning in everything
but itself, like commentators on the Revela-
tions, who proceed prophets without under-
standing a syllable of the text.

said he, "you are to be informed that of wills,
duo sunt genera, nuncupatory and scriptory,

1 certain old Mss. 2 by paternal authority
3 absolute silence it belonged in a manner to the
essential meaning 5 Aristotle's treatise on reason-
6 set up as, undertake to be 7 there are two
8 oral 9 written

that in the scriptory will here before us there
is no precept or mention about gold lace,
conceditur, but si idem affirmetur de nuncu-
patorio negatur.2 For, brothers, if you re-
member, we heard a fellow say when we were
boys that he heard my father's man say
that he heard my father say that he would
advise his sons to get gold lace on their coats
as soon as ever they could procure money to
buy it." "That is very true," cries the other.
"I remember it perfectly well," said the third.
And so, without more ado, they got the largest
fine as lords.
gold lace in the parish, and walked about as


A while after, there came up all in fashion a
pretty sort of flame-coloured satin for linings,
and the mercer brought a pattern of it im-
mediately to our three gentlemen.
please your worships," said he, "my Lord
C and Sir J. W. had linings out of this
very piece last night; it takes wonderfully,
and I shall not have a remnant left enough to
make my wife a pin-cushion by to-morrow
Upon this they fell
morning at ten o'clock."

again to rummage the will, because the
present case also required a positive precept,
the lining being held by orthodox writers to
be of the essence of the coat. After long
search they could fix upon nothing to the
matter in hand, except a short advice in their
father's will to take care of fire and put
out their candles before they went to sleep.
This, though a good deal for the purpose,
and helping very far towards self-conviction,
yet not seeming wholly of force to establish
a command, and being resolved to avoid
further scruple, as well as future occasion for
scandal, says he that was the scholar, "I
remember to have read in wills of a codicil an-
nexed, which is indeed a part of the will, and
what it contains hath equal authority with
the rest. Now I have been considering of
this same will here before us, and I cannot
reckon it to be complete for want of such a
codicil. I will therefore fasten one in its
proper place very dexterously. I have had
it by me some time; it was written by a dog-
keeper of my grandfather's, and talks a great
deal, as good luck would have it, of this very
flame-coloured satin." The project was im-
mediately approved by the other two;
old parchment scroll was tagged on according


1 it is admitted 2 but if the same is affirmed of a nuncupatory will, we deny it.

to art, in the form of a codicil annexed, and the satin bought and worn.

Next winter a player, hired for the purpose by the Corporation of Fringemakers, acted his part in a new comedy, all covered with silver fringe, and according to the laudable custom gave rise to that fashion. Upon which the brothers, consulting their father's will, to their great astonishment found these words: "Item, I charge and command my said three sons to wear no sort of silver fringe upon or about their said coats," etc., with a penalty in case of disobedience too long here to insert. However, after some pause, the brother so often mentioned for his erudition, who was well skilled in criticism, had found in a certain author, which he said should be nameless, that the same word which in the will is called fringe does also signify a broom-stick, and doubtless ought to have the same interpretation in this paragraph. This another of the brothers disliked, because of that epithet silver, which could not, he humbly conceived, in propriety of speech be reasonably applied to a broom-stick; but it was replied upon him that this epithet was understood in a mythological and allegorical sense. However, he objected again why their father should forbid them to wear a broom-stick on their coats, a caution that seemed unnatural and impertinent; upon which he was taken up short, as one that spoke irreverently of a mystery which doubtless was very useful and significant, but ought not to be over-curiously pried into or nicely reasoned upon. And in short, their father's authority being now considerably sunk, this expedient was allowed to serve as a lawful dispensation for wearing their full proportion of silver fringe.

A while after was revived an old fashion, long antiquated, of embroidery with Indian figures of men, women, and children. Here they had no occasion to examine the will. They remembered but too well how their father had always abhorred this fashion; that he made several paragraphs on purpose, importing his utter detestation of it and bestowing his everlasting curse to his sons whenever they should wear it. For all this, in a few days they appeared higher in the fashion than anybody else in the town. But they solved the matter by saying that these figures were not at all the same with those that were formerly worn and were meant in the will; besides, they did not wear them in that sense,

as forbidden by their father, but as they were a commendable custom, and of great use to the public. That these rigorous clauses in the will did therefore require some allowance and a favourable interpretation, and ought to be understood cum grano salis.1

But fashions perpetually altering in that age, the scholastic brother grew weary of searching further evasions and solving everlasting contradictions. Resolved, therefore, at all hazards to comply with the modes of the world, they concerted matters together, and agreed unanimously to lock up their father's will in a strong-box, brought out of Greece or Italy (I have forgot which), and trouble themselves no farther to examine it, but only refer to its authority whenever they thought fit. In consequence whereof, a while after it grew a general mode to wear an infinite number of points,2 most of them tagged with silver; upon which the scholar pronounced ex cathedra3 that points were absolutely jure paterno, as they might very well remember, It is true, indeed, the fashion prescribed somewhat more than were directly named in the will; however, that they, as heirs-general of their father, had power to make and add certain clauses for public emolument, though not deducible todidem verbis from the letter of the will, or else multa absurda sequerentur. This was understood for canonical, and therefore on the following Sunday they came to church all covered with points.

The learned brother so often mentioned was reckoned the best scholar in all that or the next street to it; insomuch, as having run something behindhand with the world, he obtained the favour from a certain lord to receive him into his house and to teach his children. A while after the lord died, and he, by long practice upon his father's will, found the way of contriving a deed of conveyance of that house to himself and his heirs; upon which he took possession, turned the young squires out, and received his brothers in their stead.

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It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town,1 or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin-doors, crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, and importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their helpless infants: who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbadoes.3

I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is, in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional grievance; and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these children sound, useful members of the commonwealth, would deserve so well of the public, as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.

But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the children of professed beggars; it is of a much greater extent, and shall take in the whole number of infants at a certain age, who are born of parents in effect as little able to support them as those who demand our charity in the streets.

As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in their computation. It is true, a child, just born, may be supported by its mother's milk for a solar year, with little other nourishment; at most, not above the value of two shillings, which the mother may certainly get, or the value in

1 Dublin 2 passer-by 3 Many poor persons sold themselves to go as servants to the Barbadoes and other English colonies. 4 in reality

scraps, by her lawful occupation of begging;
and it is exactly at one year old that I pro-
pose to provide for them in such a manner, as,
instead of being a charge upon their parents
or the parish, or wanting food and raiment for
the rest of their lives, they shall, on the con-
trary, contribute to the feeding, and partly to
the clothing, of many thousands.




The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders; from which number I subtract thirty thousand couple, who are able to maintain their own children, (although I apprehend there cannot be so many, under the present distresses of the kingdom); but this being granted, there will remain a hundred and seventy thousand breeders. I again subtract fifty thousand, for those women who miscarry, or whose children die by accident or disease within the year. There only remain a hundred and twenty thousand children of poor parents annually born. The question therefore is, How this number shall be reared and under the present situation of affairs, is provided for? which, as I have already said, utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; we neither build houses (I mean in the country), nor cultivate land: they can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing, till they arrive at six years old, except where they are of towardly parts;1 although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier; during which time they can, however, be properly looked upon only as have been informed by a probationers; as principal gentleman in the county of Cavan, who protested to me, that he never knew above one or two instances under the age of six, even in a part of the kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that art.


I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve years old is no saleable commodity; and even when they come to this age they will not yield above three pounds or three pounds and half-a-crown at most, on the exchange; which cannot turn to account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge


precocious ability 2 Poor parents often sold their children as bond-servants.

of nutriment and rags having been at least four times that value.

I shall now, therefore, humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in fricasee or a ragout.

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration, that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed.

That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and, seasoned with a little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

I have reckoned, upon a medium, that a child just born will weigh twelve pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, will increase to twenty-eight pounds.

I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.

I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar's child (in which list I reckon all cottagers, labourers, and four-fifths of the farmers) to be about two shillings per annum, rags included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat, when he has only some particular friend, or his own family, to dine with him. Thus the squire will learn to be a good landlord, and grow popular among his tenants; the mother will have eight shillings net profit, and be fit for work till she produces another child.

Those who are more thrifty (as I must con

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NO. 95. NOVEMBER 17, 1709 Interea dulces pendent circum oscula nati, Casta pudicitiam servat domus.2 - VIRG. Georg. ii. 523.

There are several persons who have many pleasures and entertainments in their possession, which they do not enjoy. It is, therefore, a kind and good office to acquaint them with their own happiness, and turn their attention to such instances of their good fortune as they are apt to overlook. Persons in the married state often want such a monitor; and pine away their days, by looking upon the same condition in anguish and murmur, which carries with it in the opinion of others a complication of all the pleasures of life, and a retreat from its inquietudes.

I am led into this thought by a visit I made an old friend, who was formerly my schoolfellow. He came to town last week with his family for the winter, and yesterday morning sent me word his wife expected me to dinner.

am, as it were, at home at that house, and every member of it knows me for their wellwisher. I cannot indeed express the pleasure it is, to be met by the children with so much joy as I am when I go thither. The boys and girls strive who shall come first, when they think it is I that am knocking at the door; and that child which loses the race to

1 skilfully 2 Meanwhile his sweet children hang upon his kisses and his chaste home is the abode of virtue. 3 mixture

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