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No. 607, the Bacon and the Corn, and shall make Oath in this Friday,
'Here ye, Sir Philip de Somervile, Lord of Whíchenovre, 15, 1714.
mayntener and gyver of this Baconne: That I, A. sithe I Wedded B. my Wife, and sithe I hadd hyr in my kepying, and at my Wylle, by a Year and a Day after our Marriage, I wold not have chaunged for none other; farer ne fowler; richer, ne pourer; ne for none other descended of greater Lynage; slepying ne waking, at noo tyme. And if the seyd B. were sole and I sole I would take her to be my Wyfe before all the Wymen of the Worlde, of what condiciones soever they bei
good or evylle, as help me God ond his Seyntes, and this Flesh and all Fleshes.'
And his Neighbours shall make Oath, that they trust verily he hath said truly. And if it be found by his Neighbours before named that he be a Freeman, there shall be delivered to him half a Quarter of Wheat and a Cheese; and if he be a Villain, he shall have half a Quarter of Rye without Cheese. And then shall Knight leye the Lord of Rudlow be called for, to carry all these Things tofore rehearsed; and the said Corn shall be laid on one Horse and the Bacon above it, and he to whom the Bacon appertaineth shall ascend upon his Horse, and shall take the Cheese before him if he have a Horse. And if he have none, the Lord of Whíchenovre shall cause him to have one Horse and Saddle, to such time as he be passed his Lordship: and so shall they depart the Manor of Whíchenovre with the Corn and the Bacon, tofore him that hath won it, with Trumpets, Tabourets, and other manner of Minstrelsie. And all the Free Tenants of Whíchenovre shall Conduct him to be passed the Lordship of Whichenovre. And then shall they all return; except him, to whom appertaineth to make the Carriage and Journey without the County of Stafford, at the Costs of his Lord of Whichenovre,
No. 608. Monday, October 18. Monday,
October -Perjuria ridet amantum-Ovid.
18, 1714. Mr. SPECTATOR, CCORDING to my Promise, I herewith transmit to
you a List of several Persons, who from time to time demanded the Flitch of Bacon, of Sir Philip de Somer vile and his Descendants; as it is preserved in an ancient Manuscript, under the Title of The Register of Whicher povre Hall, and of the Bacon Flitch there maintained.
In the Beginning of this Record is recited the Law or Institution in Form, as it is already printed in your last Papers To which are added two By-Laws, as a Comment upon
the General Law, the Substance whereof is, That the Wife shall take the same Oath as the Husband, mutatis mutandis; and that the Judges shall, as they think meet, interrogate or cross-examine the Witnesses. After this proceeds the Register in Manner following,
Aubry de Falstaff, Son of Sir John Falstaff, Ktor with Dame Maude his Wife, were the first that demanded the Bacon, he having bribed twain of his Father's Com panions to swear falsely in his Behoof, whereby he gained the Flitch: But he and his said Wife falling immediately into a Dispute how the said Bacon should be dressed, it was by Order of the Judges taken from him, and hung up again in the Hall.
Alison, the Wife of Stephen Freckle, brought her said Husband along with her, and set forth the good conditions and Behaviour of her Consort, adding withall, that she doubted not but he was ready to attest the like of her, his Wife, whereupon he, the said Stephen, shaking his Head, she turned short upon him, and gave him a Box on the Ear.
Philip de Waverland, having laid his Hand upon the Book, when the Clause, Were I sole and she sole, was rehearsed, found a secret Compunction rising in his Mind, and stole it off again.
Richard de Loveless, who was a Courtier, and a very well bred Man, being observed to hesitate at the Words, after our Marriage, was thereupon required to explain
No. 608. himself. He replied, by talking very largely of his Monday, exact Complaisance while he was a Lover; and alledg'd, October
that he had not in the least disobliged his Wife for a 18, 1714.
Year and a Day before Marriage, which he hoped was the same Thing
Rejected. Joceline Jolly, Esq., making it appear by unquestion able Testimony, That he and his wife had preserved full and entire Affection for the Space of the first Month, commonly called the Honey Money, he had, in Consideration thereof, one Rasher bestowed upon him,
After this, says the Record, many Years passed over before any Demandant appeared at whichenovre-Hall; insomuch that one would have thought that the whole Country were turned Jews, so little was their Affection to the Flitch of Bacon,
The next Couple enrolled had like to have carried it, if one of the Witnesses had not deposed, That dining on a Sunday with the Demandant, whose Wife had sate below the Squire's Lady at Church, she the said Wife dropped some Expressions, as if she thought her Husband deserved to be knighted; to which he returned a passionate Pish! The Judges taking the Premises into con sideration, declared the aforesaid Behaviour to imply an unwarrantable Ambition in the Wife, and Anger in the Husband,
It is recorded as a sufficient Disqualification of a certain Wife, that speaking of her Husband, she said, God forgive him.
It is likewise remarkable, that a Couple were rejected upon the Deposition of one of their Neighbours, that the Lady had once told her Husband, that it was her Duty to obey; to which he replied, Oh! my Dear, you are never in the Wrong
The violent Passion of one Lady for her Lap-Dog; the turning away of the old House-Maid by another; a Tavern-Bill torn by the Wife, and a Taylor's by the Husband; a Quarrel about the Kissing Crust; spoiling of Dioners, and coming in late of Nights; are so many several Articles which occasioned the Reprobation of
some Scores of Demandants, whose Names are recorded No. 608. in the aforesaid Register.
Monday, Without enumerating other particular Persons, I shall , October
18, 1714. content my self with observing, that the Sentence pronounced against one Gervase Poacher is, that he might have had Bacon to his Eggs, if he had not heretofore scolded his Wife when they were over boiled, And the Deposition against Dorothy Dolittle runs in these Words ; That she had so far usurped the Dominion of the Coal-fire, (the Stirring whereof her Husband claimed to himself) that by her good Will she never would suffer the Poker out of her Hand,
I find but two Couples, in this first Century, that were successful: The first, was a Sea-Captain and his Wife, who, since the Day of their Marriage, had not seen one another till the Day of the Claim. The second, was an honest Pair in the Neighbourhood: The Husband was a Man of plain good Sense, and a peaceable Temper; the Woman was dumb.'
Wednesday, October 20.
-Farrago libelli -Juv.
Paper, and have therefore chosen a Day to steal into the SPECTATOR, when I take it for granted you will not have many spare Minutes for Speculations of your own As I was the other Day walking with an honest Country Gentleman, he very often was expressing his Astonishment to see the Town so mightily crowded with Doctors of Divinity . Upon which I told him, He was very much mistaken if he took all those Gentlemen he saw in Scarfs to be Persons of that Dignity, for, that a young Divine, after his first Degree in the University, usually comes hither only to show himself; and on that Occasion is apt to think he is but half equipp'd with a Gown and Cassock for his publick Appearance, if he hath not the additional Ornament of a Scarf of the first Magnitude to intitle him to the Appellation of Doctor from his Landlady
No. 609. and the Boy at Child's. Now since I know that this Wednes. Piece of Garniture is looked upon as a Mark of Vanity or day,
Affectation, as it is made use of among some of the little October 20, 1714. spruce Adventurers of the Town, I should be glad if you
would give it a Place among those Extravagances you have justly exposed in several of your Papers; being very well assured that the main Body of the Clergy, both in the Country and the Universities, who are almost to a Man untainted with it, would be very well pleased to see this venerable Foppery well exposed. When my Patron did me the Honour to take me into his Family (for I must own my self of this Order), he was pleased to say he took me as a Friend and Companion; and whether he looked upon the Scarf, like the Lace and Shoulder-knot of a Footman, as a Badge of Servitude and Dependance, I do not know, but he was so kind as to leave my wearing of it to my own Discretion; and not having any just Title to it from my Degrees, I am content to be without the Ornament. The Privileges of our Nobility to keep a certain Number of Chaplains are undisputed, though perhaps not one in ten of those reverend Gentlemen have any Relation to the Noble Families their Scarfs belong to the Right generally of creating all Chaplains except the Domestick, where there is one, being nothing more than the Perquisite of a Steward's Place, who, if he happens to out-live any considerable Number of his noble Masters, shall probably, at one and the same Time, have fifty Chaplains, all in their proper Accoutrements, of his own Creation though perhaps there hath been neither Grace nor Prayer said in the Family since the Intro duction of the first Coronet.
I am, &c. Mr. SPECTATOR I wish you would write a Philosophical Paper about Natural Antipathies, with a Word or two concerning the Strength of Imagination. I can give you a List, upon the first Notice, of a Rational China Cup, of an Egg that walks upon two Legs, and a Quart-Pot that sings like a Nightingale. There is in my Neighbourhood a very pretty prattling Shoulder of Veal, that squawls out at the Sight