Page images

By the Word Black, all the Horses that are Black are devised; By the Word White, are 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 whateber 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

Catlyne Serjeant, Moy semble alʼ contrary, The Plaintiff shall not have the Pyed Horses by Intendment; for, if by the Mevise of Black and White Horses, not only Black and White Horses, but Horses of any Colour, between these two Extremes, may pass, then not only Pyed and Grey Horses, but also Red or Bay Horses would pass likewise, which would be absurd, and against Reason. And this is another strong Argu

ment in Law, Nihil, quod est contra rationem, est licitum; for Reason is the Life of the Law, nay, the Common Law is nothing but Reason; which is to be understood of artificial Perfection and Reason gotten by long Study and not of Man's natural Reason; for nemo nascitur Artifex, and Legal reason est summa ratio; and therefore if all the Reason that is dispersed into so many different Heads, were united into one, he could not make such a Law as the Law of England; because by many Successions of Ages it has been fixed and refixed by grave and learned Men; so that the old Rule may be verified in it, Neminem oportet esse legibus sapientiorem.

As therefore pyed Horses do not come within the Intendment of the Bequest, so neither do they within the Letter of the Words.

A pyed Horse is not a white Horse, neither is a pyed a black Horse; how then can pyed Horses come under the Words of black and white Horses?

Besides, where Custom hath adapted a certain determinate Name to any one thing, in all Devises, Feofments, and Grants, that certain

Name shall be made use of, and no uncertain circumlocutory Descriptions shall be allowed; for Certainty is the Father of Right, and the Mother of Justice.

Le reste del Argument jeo ne pouvois oyer, car jeo fui disturb en mon place.

Le Court fuit longement en doubt' de c'est Matter; et apres grand deliberation eu,

Judgment fuit donne pour le Pl. nisi causa.

Motion in Arrest of Judgment, that the pyed Horses were Mares; and thereupon an Inspection was prayed.

Et sur ceo le Court advisare vult.




The Original of the following extraordinary Treatise consisted of two large volumes in folio; which might justly be entitled, The Importance of a Man to Himself: but, as it can be of very little to any body besides, I have contented myself to give only this short Abstract of it, as a taste of the true spirit of Memoir-Writers.

In the name of the Lord, Amen. I, P. P. by the Grace of God, Clerk of this Parish, writeth this history.

* It was impossible but that such a history as Burnet's, which these memoirs are intended to ridicule, relating recent events, so near the time of their transaction, should be variously represented by the violent parties that have agitated and disgraced this country; though these parties arise from the very nature of our free government. Accordingly this prelate's History of his own Time was as much vilified and depreciated by the tories as praised and magnified by the whigs. As he related the actions of a persecutor and a benefactor, he was accused of partiality, injustice, malignity, flattery, and falsehood. Bevil Higgens, and Lord Lansdown, and others, wrote remarks on him; as did the great Lord Peterborough, whose animadversions, as his amanuensis, a Mr. Holloway, assured me, were very severe; they were never published. As Burnet was much trusted and consulted by King William, and had a great share in bringing about the revolution, his narrations, it must be owned, have a strong tincture of self-importance and egotism. These two qualities are chiefly exposed in these memoirs. Hume and Dalrymple have taken occasion to censure him. After all, he was a man of great abilities, of much openness and frank

Ever since I arrived at the age of discretion, I had a call to take upon me the function of a parishclerk; and to that end it seemed unto me meet and profitable to associate myself with the parish-clerks of this land; such I mean as were right worthy in their calling, men of a clear and sweet voice, and of becoming gravity.

Now it came to pass, that I was born in the year of our Lord Anno Domini 1655, the year wherein our worthy benefactor, Esquire Bret, did add one bell to the ring of this parish. So that it hath been wittily said, "That one and the same day did give to this our church, two rare gifts, its great bell and its clerk."*

Even when I was at school, my mistress did

ness of nature, of much courtesy and benevolence, indefatigable in his studies, and in performing constantly the duties of his station. His character is finely drawn by the Marquis of Halifax ; one paragraph of which is too remarkable to be omitted: "His indifference for preferment, his contempt not only of splendor, but of all unnecessary plenty; his degrading himself to the lowest and most painful duties of his calling; are such unprelatical qualities, that let him be never so orthodox in other things, in these he must be a dissenter." Few persons or prelates would have had the boldness and honesty to write such a remonstrance to Charles II. on his dissolute life and manners, as did Burnet in the year 1680. We may easily guess what the sycophants of that profligate court, and their profligate master, said and thought of the piety and freedom of this letter. Warton.

* There is certainly great humour in this narrative. Burnet's political principles were in direct opposition to those of Pope; and his learning and eloquence are such, that we may say, pointed as Pope's weapon is, in the energetic language of Johnson, "The shaft fell harmless, as the dart of Priam from the shield of Achilles." Bowles.

« PreviousContinue »