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very choleric fellow, and had taken his opportunity of cursing and swearing at me when he thought I could not hear him; for I had several times given him the strappado on that account, as I did not fail to repeat it, for these his pious soliloquies, when I got him on ship-board.

" I must not omit the names of several beauties in Wapping, which were hcard every now and then, in the midst of a long sigh that accompanied them; as, Dear Vate! Pretty Mrs. Peggy! When shall I see my Sue again. This betrayed several amours which had been concealed until that time, and furnished us with a great deal of mirth in our return to England.

When this confusion of voices was pretty well over, though I was afraid to offer at speaking, as fearing I should not be heard, I proposed a visit to the Dutch cabin, which lay about a mile further up in the country. My crew were extremely rejoiced to find they had again recovered their hearing; though every man urtered his voice with the same apprehensions that I had done,

Et timidè verba intcrmissa retentat.

Ovid. Met. lib. 1. ver. 747.

And try'd his tongue, his silence softly broke.


At about half a mile's distance from our cabin, we heard the groanings of a bear, which at first startled us; but upon inquiry we were informed by some of our company that he was dead, and now lay in salt, having been killed upon that very spot about a fortnight before, in the time of the frost. Not far from the same place we were likewise entertained with some posthumous snarls and barkings of a fox.

"We at length arrived at the little Dutch settlement; and, upon entering the room, found it filled with sighs that smelt of brandy, and several other unsavoury sounds, that were altogether inarticulate. My valet, who was an Irishman, fell into so great a rage at what he heard, that he drew his sword; but not knowing where to lay the blame, he put it up again. We were stunned with these confused noises, but did not hear a single word until about half an hour after; which I ascribed to the harsh and obdurate sounds of that language, which wanted more time than ours to melt, and become audible.

• After having here met with a very hearty welcome, we went to the cabin of the French, who, to make amends for their three weeks silence, were talking and disputing with greater rapidity and confusion than I cver heard in an assembly even of that nation. Their language, as I found, upon the first giving of the weather, fell asunder and dissolved. I was here convinced of an error into which I had before fallen; for I fancied, that for the freezing of the sound, it was necessary for it to be wrapped up, and, as it were, preserved in breath ; but I found my mistake when I heard the sound of a kit playing a minuet over our heads. I asked the occasion of it; upon which one of the company told me, it would play there above a week longer, if the thaw continued : For, says he, finding ourselves bereft of speech, we prevailed upon one of the company, who had his musical instrument about him, to play to us from morning to night; all which time we employed in dancing, in order to dissipato our chagrin, & tuer le lemps.'

Here sir John gives very good philosophical reasons why the kit could not be heard during the frost; but,


as they are something prolix, I pass them over in si- . lence, and shall only observe, that the bonourable author seems, by his quotations, to have been well versed in the antient poets; which perhaps raised his fancy above the ordinary pitch of historians, and very much contributed to the embellishment of his writings.



No. 256.

The Proceedings of the Court of Honour, held in

Sheer-lane, on Monday the twentieth of November, 1710, before Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq. Censor of Great Britain.

Peter Plum, of London, merchant, was indicted by the honourable Mr. Thomas Gules, of Gule-hall in the county of Salop, for that the said Peter Plum did, in Lombard-street, London, between the hours of two and three in the afternoon, meet the said Mr. Thomas Gules, and, after a short salutation, put on his hat, value five-pence, while the honourable Mr. Gules stood bare-headed for the space of two seconds, It was further urged against the criminal, that, during his discourse with the prosecutor, he feloniously stole the wall of him, having clapped his back against it in such a manner that it was impossible for Mr. Gules to recover it again at his taking leave of him. The prosecutor alleged, that he was the cadet of a very antient family; and that, according to the principles of all the younger brothers of the said family, he had never sullied himself with business, but bad chosen


rather to starve like a man of honour, than do any thing beneath his quality. He produced several witnesses, that he had never employed himself beyond the twisting of a whip, or the making of a pair of nutcrackers ; in which he only worked for his diversion, in order to make a present now and then to his friends. The prisoner being asked what he could say for himself, cast several reflections upon the honourable Mr. Gules; as, that he was not worth a groat; that nobody in the city would trust him for a halfpenny; that he owed him money, which he had promised to pay him several times, but never kept his word : and in short, that he was an idle beggarly fellow, and of no use to the public. This sort of language was very severely reprimanded by the Censor, who told the criminal that he spoke in contempt of the court, and that he should be proceeded against for contumacy, if he did not change his style. The prisoner therefore desired to be heard by his counsel, who urged in his defence that he put on his hat through ignorance, and took the wall by accident. They likewise produced several witnesses, that he made several motions with his hat in his hand, which are generally understood as an invitation to the person we talk with to be covered; and that the gentleman not taking the hint, he was forced to put on his hat, as being troubled with a cold, There was likewis: an Irishman who deposed that he had heard him cough three-and-twenty times that morning. And as for the wall, it was alleged that he had taken it inadvertently, to save himself from a shower of rain which was then falling. The Censor, having consulted the men of honour, who sat at his right hand on the bench, found they were all of opinion that the defence made by the prisoner’s. counsel did rather aggravate than extenuate his crime; that the motions and intimations of that hat were a token of superiority in conversation, and therefore not to be used by the criminal to a man of the prosecutor's quality, who was likewise vested with a double title to the wall at the time of their conversation, both as it was the upper hand, and as it was a shelter from the weather. The evidence being very full and clear, the jury, without going out of court, declared their opinion unanimously by the mouth of their foreman, that the prosecutor was bound in honour to make the sun shine through the criminal, or, as they afterwards explained themselves, to whip him through the lungs.

The Censor knitting his brows into a frown, and looking very sternly upon the jury, after a little pause, gave

them to know, that this court was erected for the finding out of penalties suitable to offences, and to restrain the outrages of private justice; and that he expected they should moderate their verdict. The jury therefore retired, and being willing to comply with the advices of the Censor, after an hour's consultation, declared their opinion as follows :

Ĉ That in consideration this was Peter Plum's first offence, and that there did not appear any malice prepense in it, as also that he lived in good reputation among his neighbours, and that his taking the wall was only. se defendendo, the prosecutor should let him escape with life, and content himself with the slitting of his nose, and the cutting off both his ears.' Mr. Bickerstaff, smiling upon the court, told them that he thought the punishment, even under its present mitigation, too severe; and that such penalties might be of ill consequence in a trading nation. He therefore pronounced sentence against the criminal in the 9


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