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

Le Court fuit longement en doubl' 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.

MEMOIRS OF P.P.:

CLERK OF THIS PARISH.

ADVERTISEMENT.

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 bimself: 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 memoirwriters. IN the name of the Lord, Amen. I, P. P. by the

grace of God, clerk of this parish, writeth this history.

Ever since I arrived at the age of discretion, I had a call to take upon me the function of a parish-clerk; 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 6 our church two rare gifts, its great bell and its “ clerk.”

a Intended as a ridicule or Bishop Burnet's History of his own Times.

Even when I was at school, my mistress did ever extol me above the rest of the youth, in that I had a laudable voice. And it was furthermore observed, that I took a kindly affection unto that black letter in which our Bibles are printed. Yea, often did I exercise myself in singing godly ballads, such as, The Lady and Death, The Children in the Wood, and Chevy Chace; and not, like other children, in lewd and trivial ditties. Moreover, while I was a boy, I always adventured to lead the psalm next after Master William Harris, my predecessor, who it must be confessed to the glory of God) was à most excellent parish-clerk in that his day.

Yet be it acknowledged, that at the age of fixteen I became a company-keeper, being led into idle conversation by my extraordinary love to ringing ; insomuch, that in a short time I was acquainted with every set of bells in the whole country: neither could I be prevailed upon to absent myself from wakes, being called thereunto by the harmony of the steeple. While I was in these societies, I gave myself up to unspiritual pastimes, such as wrestling, dancing, and cudgel-playing ; so that I often returned to my father's house with a broken pate. I had my head broken at Milton by Thomas Wyat, as we played a bout or two for an hat that was edged with silver galloon. But in the year following I broke the head of Henry Stubbs, and obtained a hat not inferior to the former. At Yelverton I encountered George Cummins, weaver, and behold my head was broken a second time!. At the wake at Waybrook I engaged William Simkins, tanner, when lo ! thus was my head broken a third time, and much blood trickled therefrom. But I administered to my comfort, saying within myself, “ What man is there, howsoever dex“ trous in any craft, who is for aye on his guard ?" A week after I had a base-born child laid unto me; for in the days of my youth I was looked upon as a follower of venereal fantasies : thus was I led into sin by the comeliness of Susanna Smith, who first tempted me, and then put me to shame ; for indeed she was a maiden of a seducing eye, and pleasant feature. I humbled myself before the justice, I acknowledged my crime to our curate ; and to do away mine offences, and make her some atonement, was joined to her in holy wedlock on the sabbath-day following.

How often do those things which seem unto us misfortunes, redound to our advantage ! For the minister (who had long looked on Susanna as the most lovely of his parishioners) liked so well of my demeanour, that he recommended me to the honour of being his clerk, which was then become vacant by the decease of good Master William Harris.

Here ends the first chapter ; after which follow fifty or sixty pages of his amours in general, and that particular one with Susanna his present wife ; but I proceed to chapter the ninth.

No sooner was I elected into mine office, but I layed aside the powdered gallantries of my youth, and became a new man. I considered myself as in some wise of ecclesiastical dignity, since by wearing a band, which is no small part of the ornament of our clergy, I might not unworthily be deemed, as it were, a shred of the linen vestment of Aaron.

Thou may'st conceive, O reader, with what concern I perceived the eyes of the congregation fixed upon me, when I first took my place at the feet of the priest. When I raised the psalm, how did my voice quiver for fear! And when I arrayed the shoulders of the minister with the surplice, how did my joints tremble under me! I said within myself, “Remember, Paul, thou standest before men of high " worship, the wise Mr. Justice Freeman, the grave 6. Mr. Justice Tonson, the good Lady Jones, and the " two virtuous gentlewomen her daughters, nay the

VOL. V,

P

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