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The directors of our public companies were in such dreadful apprehensions, that one would have thought a parliamentary inquiry was at hand: yet so great was their presence of mind, that all the Thursday morning was taken up in private transfers, which by malicious people was thought to be done with design to conceal their effects.
I forbear mentioning the private confessions of particular ladies to their husbands; for as their children were born in wedlock, and of consequence are legitimate, it would be an invidious task to record them as bastards; and particularly after their several husbands have so charitably forgiven them.
The evening and night through the whole town were spent in devotions both public and private; the churches for this one day were so crowded by the nobility and gentry, that thousands of common people were seen praying in the public streets. In short, one would have thought the whole town had been really and seriously religious. But what was very remarkable, all the different persuasions kept by themselves, for as each thought the other would be damned, not one would join prayer with the other.
At length Friday came, and the people covered all the streets; expecting, watching and praying. But as the day wore away, their fears first began to abate, then lessened every hour, at night they were almost extinct, till the total darkness, that hitherto used to terrify, now comforted every freethinker and atheist. Great numbers went together to the taverns, bespoke suppers, and broke up whole hogsheads for joy. The subject of all wit and conversation was to ridicule the prophecy, and rally each other. All the quality and gentry were perfectly ashamed, nay, some utterly disowned that they had manifested any signs of religion.
But the next day even the common people, as well as their betters, appeared in their usual state of indifference. They drank, they whored, they swore, they lied, they cheated, they quarrelled, they murdered. In short, the world went on in the old channel.
I need not give any instances of what will so easily be credited; but I cannot omit relating, that Mr. Woolston advertised in that very Saturday's Evening Post a new treatise against the miracles of our Saviour; and that the few, who had given up their pensions the day before, solicited to have them continued: which, as they had not been thrown up upon any ministerial point, I! am informed was readily granted.
A SPECIMEN OF SCRIBLERUS'S REPORTS. *
STRADLING versus STILES.
Le report del case argue en le commen banke devant tout les justices de le mesme banke, en le quart. an du raygue de roy Jaques, entre Matthew Stradling, plant. & Peter Stiles, def. en un action propter certos equos coloratos, Anglicè, pero horfts, post. per le dit Matthew vers le dit Peter.
Le recitel SR John Swale, of Swale-Hall, in Swale del case. Dale fast by the Kiver Swale, kt. made his Last Will and Testament : in which, among other Bequests, was this, viz. Out of the kind love and respect that I bear unto my much honoured and good friend Mr. Matthew Stradling, gent. I do bequeath unto the said Matthew. Stradling, gent. all my black and white horses. The Teststor had lie black holes fir whitz hozles and fir pyed horres.
The Debate therefore was, WWhether or no the
Le point. faid Matthew Stradling should have the faid pyed horses by virtue of the laid Bequests.
Pour le pl.
Atkins apprentice pour le pl. moy femble, que le pl. recoveza.
And first of all it seemeth expedient to confider what is the nature of horses, and also what is the nature of colours; and so the argument will consequently divide itself in a two
William Fortescue, Esq., who, in 1736, was made a baron of the exchequer, appears to have been among Mr. Pope's most familiar and esteemed friends. He was, though a lawyer, a man of much wit and fancy. The whimsical case of the pied horses, penned in ridicule of the old musty Reports, was the joint composition, of this gentleman and Mr. Pope. He died Dec. 16, 1749, being then Master of the Rolls. N.
fold way, that is to fay, the formal part, and substantial part. Horses are the substantial part, of thing bequeathed: black and white the formal or descriptive part.
Horse, in a phyfical fenfe, doth import a certain quadrupede or four-footed animal, which, by the apt and regular disposition of certain proper and convenient parts, is adapted, fitted, and constituted for the use and need of man. Pea, lo neceffary and conducive was this animal conceived to be to the behoof of the commonweal, that lundzy and divers acts of parliament have fom time to time been made in favour of horses.
1st Edw. VI. Makes the transporting of horses out of the kingdom, no less a penalty than the forfeiture of 407.
2d and 3d Edward VI. Takes Hom horse-stealers the benefit of their clergy.
And the Statutes of the 27th and 32d of Hen. VIII. condescend lo faz as to take care of their very breed: These ouz wife ancellors prudently foreseeing, that they could not bettez take care of their own poffzzity, than by also taking care of that of their hozles.
And of lo great efteem are horses in the eye of the common law, that when a knight of the Bath committeth any great and enozmous crime, his punishment is to have his spurs chopt off with a cleaver, being, as mafter Bracton well observeth, unworthy to ride on a horse.
Littleton, Sect. 315. saith, If tenants in common make lease referving for rent a horse, they shall have but one aflize, becaufe, saith the book, the lain will not suffer a horse to be severed. Another argument of what high estimation the lawmaketh of a hozle.
But as the great diffezence seemeth not to be lo much touching the fubftantial part, horses, let us proceed to the formal or defcriptive part, viz. Mhat horles they are that come within this Bequest,
Colours are commonly of various kinds and different sorts; of which white and black are the two extremes, and, consequently, comprehend within them all other colours whatsoever.
By a bequest therefo re of black and white horses, gray or pyed horses may well pass; for when two extremes, or remotest ends of any thing are Devised, the law, by common intendment, will intend whatsoever is contained between them to be devised too.
But the present case is still stronger, coming not only within the intendment, but also the very letter of the words.
Be the word black, all the horses that are black are devised; by the word white, age devised those that are white; and by the same words with the conjunction copulative and, between them, the horses that are black and white, that is to say pyed, are devised also.
Whatever is black and white is pyed, and whatever is pyed is black and white: ergo, black and white is pyed: and, vice versa, pyed is black and white.
If therefore black and white horses are devised, pyed horses shall pass by such devise, but black and white. horses are devised; ergo, the pl. shall have the pyed horses.
Pour le defend.
Catlyne Sezjeant; mapsembleal' contrary, the plaintiff shall not have the pyed horses by intendment; for if by the devise o f black and white horses, not only black and white horses, but horses of any colour between these two extżemes map pass, then not only pyed and gray horses, but also red or bay horses would pass likewise, which would be absurd and against reason. And this is another stzong a¿gument in law, Nihil, quod est contra rationem, est licitum : fo reason is the life of the law, and the common law is nothing but reason; which is to be understood of artificial perfection and reason gotten by long study, and not of