The Furred Law-cats are most terrible and dreadful monsters, they devour little children, and trample over marble stones. Pray tell me, noble topers, do they not deserve to have their snouts slit? The hair of their hides doesn’t lie outward, but inwards, and every mother’s son of ’em for his device wears a gaping pouch, but not all in the same manner; for some wear it tied to their neck scarfwise, others upon the breech, some on the paunch, others on the side, and all for a cause, with reason and mystery. They have claws so very strong, long, and sharp that nothing can get from ’em that is once fast between their clutches. Sometimes they cover their heads with mortar-like caps, at other times with mortified caparisons.
As we entered their den, said a common mumper, to whom we had given half a teston, Worshipful culprits, God send you a good deliverance! Examine well, said he, the countenance of these stout props and pillars of this catch-coin law and iniquity; and pray observe, that if you still live but six olympiads, and the age of two dogs more, you’ll see these Furred Law-cats lords of all Europe, and in peaceful possession of all the estates and dominions belonging to it; unless, by divine providence, what’s got over the devil’s back is spent under his belly, or the goods which they unjustly get perish with their prodigal heirs. Take this from an honest beggar.
Among ’em reigns the sixth essence; by the means of which they gripe all, devour all, conskite all, burn all, draw all, hang all, quarter all, behead all, murder all, imprison all, waste all, and ruin all, without the least notice of right or wrong; for among them vice is called virtue; wickedness, piety; treason, loyalty; robbery, justice. Plunder is their motto, and when acted by them is approved by all men, except the heretics; and all this they do because they dare; their authority is sovereign and irrefragable. For a sign of the truth of what I tell you, you’ll find that there the mangers are above the racks. Remember hereafter that a fool told you this; and if ever plague, famine, war, fire, earthquakes, inundations, or other judgments befall the world, do not attribute ’em to the aspects and conjunctions of the malevolent planets; to the abuses of the court of Romania, or the tyranny of secular kings and princes; to the impostures of the false zealots of the cowl, heretical bigots, false prophets, and broachers of sects; to the villainy of griping usurers, clippers, and coiners; or to the ignorance, impudence, and imprudence of physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries; nor to the lewdness of adulteresses and destroyers of by-blows; but charge them all, wholly and solely, to the inexpressible, incredible, and inestimable wickedness and ruin which is continually hatched, brewed, and practised in the den or shop of those Furred Law-cats. Yet ’tis no more known in the world than the cabala of the Jews, the more’s the pity; and therefore ’tis