網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Now G-d damn all folios, quartoes, octavoes, and duodecimoes ungrateful varlets that you are, who have so long taken up my house without paying for your lodging ! Are you not the beggarly brood of fumbling journeymen; born in garrets among lice and cobwebs, nursed up on gray pease, bullock's liver, and porters ale : Was not the first light you saw, the farthing candle I paid for Did you not come before your time into dirty sheets of brown paper ?–And have I not clothed you in double royal, lodged you handsomely on decent shelves, laced your backs with gold, equipped you with splendid titles, and sent you into the world with the names of persons of quality Must I be always plagued with you? Why flutter ye your leaves and flap your covers at me? Damn ye all, ye wolves in sheep's clothing; rags ye were, and to rags ye shall return. Why hold you forth your texts to me, ye paltry sermons 2—Why cry ye, at every word to me, ye bawdy poems –To my shop at Tunbridge ye shall go, by G–, and thence be drawn like the rest of your predecessors, bit by bit, to the passage-bouse ; for in this present emotion of my bowels, how do I compassionate those, who have great need, and nothing to wipe their breech with :

Having said this, and at the same time recollecting that his own was yet unwiped, he abated of his fury, and with great gravity applied to that function the unfinished sheets of the conduct of the earl of Nottingham.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Out of an extraordinary desire of lucre, went into 'Change alley, and was converted from the Christian religion by certain eminent Jews: and how he was circumcised and initiated into their mysteries.

AVARICE (as sir Richard, in the third page of his Essays, has elegantly observed) is an inordinate impulse of the soul, toward the amassing or heaping together a superfluity of wealth, without the least regard of applying it to its proper uses. And how the mind of man is possessed with this vice, may be seen every day both in the city and suburbs thereof. It has been always esteemed by Plato, Puffendorf, and Socrates, as the darling vice of old age : but now our young men are turned usurers and stockjobbers; and, instead of iusting after the real wives and daughters of our rich citizens, they covet nothing but their money and estates. Strange change of vice when the concupiscence of youth is converted into the covetousness of age, and those appetites are now become venal, which should be venereal.

In the first place, let us show you how many of the ancient worthies and heroes of antiquity, have been undone and ruined by this deadly sin of avarice. I shall take the liberty to begin with Brutus, that noble Roman. Does not Ætian inform us, that he received fifty broad pieces for the assassination of that renowned emperor Julius Caesar, who fell a sacrifice to the Jews, as sir Edmund Bury Godfrey did to the papists : Did not Themistocles let the Goths and Vandals into Carthage for a sum of money, where they barbarously put out the other eye of the famous Hannibal? as Herodotus has it in his ninth book upon the Roman medals. Even the great Cato (as the late Mr. Addison has very well observed) though otherwise a gentleman of good sense, was not unsullied by this pecuniary contagion; for he sold Athens to Artaxerxes Longimanus for a hundred rix-dollars, which in our money will amount to two talents and thirty sestertii, according to Mr. Demoivre's calculation. See Hesiod in his seventh chapter of Feasts and Festivals. Actuated by the same diabolical spirit of gain, Sylla the Roman consul shot Alcibiades the senator with a pistol, and robbed him of several bank bills and 'chequer notes to an immense value; for which he came to an untimely end, and was denied christian burial. Hence comes the proverb incidat in Syllam. To come near to our own times, and give you one modern instance, though well known and often quoted by historians, viz. Echard, Dionysius Halicarnasseus, Virgil, Horace, and others. 'Tis that, I mean, of the famous Godfrey of Bulloigne, one of the great heroes of the holy war, who robbed Cleopatra queen of of Fgypt of a diamond necklace, earrings, and a Tompion's gold watch (which was given her by Mark Anthony) all these things were found in Godfrey's breeches pocket, when he was killed at the siege of Damascus. Who then can wonder, after so many great and illustrious examples, that Mr. Edmund Cuill the stationer should renounce the Christian religion for the mammon of unrighteousness, and barter his precious faith for the filthy prospect of lucre in the present fluctuation of stocks 2 It having been observed to Mr. Curll by some of his ingenious authors (who I fear are not overcharged with any religion) what immense sums the Jews had got by bubbles *, &c. he immediately turned his mind from the business, in which he was educated, but thrived little, and resolved to quit his shop for 'Change alley. Whereupon falling into company with the Jews at their club at the sign of the Cross in Cornhill, they began to tamper with him upon the most important points of the Christian faith, which he for some time zealously, and like a good Christian obstinately defended. They promised him Paradise, and many other advantages hereafter, but he artfully insinuated, that he was more inclinable to listen to present gain. They took the hint, and promised him, that immediately upon his conversion to their persuasion he should become as rich as a Jew. * Bubble was a name given to all the extravagant projects, for which subscriptions were raised, and negotiated at vast premiums in 'Change alley, in the year 1720. A name, which alluded to their production by the ferment of the South sea, and not to their splendour, emptiness, and inutility: for it did not become a name of reproach in this case, till time completed the metaThey made use likewise of several other arguments; to wit, That the wisest man that ever was, and inasmuch the richest, beyond all peradventure was a Jew, videlice!, Solomon. That David, the man after God's own heart, was a Jew also. And most of the children of Israel are suspected for holding the same doctrine. This Mr. Curll at first strenuously denied, for indeed he thought them Roman catholicks, and so far was he from giving way to their temptations, that to convince them of his christianity he called for a pork griskin. They now promised, if he would poison his wife, and give up his griskin, that he should marry the rich Ben Meymon's only daughter. This made some impression on him. They then talked to him in the Hebrew tongue, which he not understanding, it was observed, had very great weight with him. They now, perceiving that his godliness was only gain, desisted from all other arguments, and attacked him on his weak side, namely that of avarice. Upon which John Mendez offered him an eighth of an advantageous bargain for the Apostles creed, which he readily and wickedly renounced. He then sold the Nine-and-thirty Articles for a bull “; but insisted hard upon black-puddings, being a great lover thereof.

phor, and the bubble broke. Z 3 They

* Bulls and bears. He who sells that of which he is not possessed is proverbially said “to sell the skin before he has caught “ the bear.” It was the practice of stock-jobbers in the year 1720, to enter into contract for transferring S. S. stock at a future time for a certain price ; but he who contracted to sell had

Joshua

« 上一頁繼續 »