« PreviousContinue »
Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret,
for they will throw them down as fast as you lay them.—The Cnstom of sitting at Arm's Length from the Table, is an inbred Distance derived from their Ancestors, whose gouty Legs to their Tables would not susser Men to come nearer; but in these more modern and shapeable Times quite unnecessary.
That these were the prudent and even necessary Customs of their Saxon or Danijb Ancestors, or both, is very evident; and that they were delivered down to their Posterity in the Channel I have mentioned, seems very probable; for nothing but the Force of first, or second Nature, which goes its own Way, in Defiance of Fashion or Ridicule, could continue Customs, now so apparently unnecessary, troublesome, and indelicate.
Nothing since the Conquest of this Island by the Duke of Normandy, commonly called WILLIAM the Conqueror, has happened to this Village in particular; in general he, and, for his fake, his Ancestors, seem to have been great Favourites here, as well as all over England. The famous Clameur de HA-RO is a Proof of it; for, though now fallen among Carters and Ploughmen, and by them converted into a Language, like Pedlar's French, HA, HO, HAYT, HO, &t. to their Horses, it was at first an Invocation, by all Ranks of Men, upon Duke ROLLO, under any Difficulties, even
by Carters themselves, when their Waggons were set in bad Roads; RO being a current and established Abbreviation of the Duke's Name. The Invocation was [p] HARO as aide, man Prince! The latter Part of which has been here, (Uiacos intra muros peccatur et extra) as well as elsewhere, profaned, by a very false Interpretation, to some little Curses and Imprecations; it being almost a general Belief among the Vulgar, that when Men speak French, or any Outlandijh Lingua, they swear, or talk Bawdy.
The Corfeiv Bell is not rung here, because there is not one in the Steeple that has voice enough to be heard throughout the Parish; but the Order and Custom is observed by all the better Sort; the Poor, by a Fatality that runs through their whole Oeconomy, are the only People\hat burn Fire and Candle after eight o'Ciock at Night; by "which Mismanagement they waste a Penny to earn an Half-penny, if they work; but too often their Farthing Candle serves only to make Darkness visible for much worse
Purposes. For this Reason I have often thought,
that if Authority would order the Corfew Bell to be rung, or a Bell-man to go round every Parish, at eight at Night, throughout the Kingdom, (instead of disturbing us in our Beds at twelve or one in the Morning) with a Veto ejse tale Luminis commercium^ Put out your Lights, at every Man's Door, who does not pay Scot and Lot, it would be belter for
the Poor, for their Neighbours, and for the Commonwealth.
The present State of this Parish differs nothing from the ancient in Point of Fruitfulnefs. The People by Intermarriages, and ether ways, have passed through so many Combinations, that they all sit down under the common Denomination of EngUJh. They are Christians, as appears most evidently from the Parish Register; and all of them, when they do not stay at Home, go to the fame Place of Worship; except one , who retaining some Tenets of his Britijl) Paganism, pays his Devotions under an Oak, or a Walnut-Tree, with a modern Druid, every Sabbath-Day.—There have been but two Houses erected of late Years j the one seemingly contrived by Elit a Jew-Christian Family settled here; for it is built without a Stair* cafe, upon the Jeivijh Model of climbing^ not walking up, to Bed. The other I know not by whom; but it is upon a very inhospitable Plan (quite contrary to the Tempers of the late Inhabitants) for the Chimnies are so placed, it is difficult to get in at the Door.—The prevailing Taste runs much upon building Temples to Cloachina, and Menageries for WildBoars; Structures in themselves beautiful, but at the Expence of that noble Roman Way, the Via Icenarum that leads through the Parish, which they narrow and obumbrate.—The Morals of the People are like the Morals of other Men, of the fame Rank j not the worse perhaps for the Advice of their Parson, of whom they seem to entertain a tolerably good
. Opinion Opinion. The Parson [y] has begot himself Children, made himself Gardens and Orchards, and planted Trees in them of all Kinds. He hath made himself Pools of Water, to water therewith the Trees j and he has had Possession of great Cattle above all that were in WHEATFIELD before him.
Valeat Res Ludicra.——
 This Passage alludes to the Rector's numerous Family of nine Children—To his Love for Gardens and Plantations—To his making some small Pieces of Water, and to his very accidental Breeding and Feeding a large Bullock, that, after Sale, was made a Shew of.