THE ANATOMY Of Et caetera.

Or the unfolding of that dan­gerous Oath in the close of the Sixth Canon.

As it was contrived by the Bishops and some of the Clergie, in their late Oath Ex Officio, cunningly obliging the Consci­ences of his Majesties Subjects to observe and obey whatsoever errours they would impose.

Condemned and dissected in a passionate Conference be­twixt the two zealous Brothers Roger and Ralph, pen­ned at the first injunction of the new Canons, and now publisht since their abolishment.

By an Oxfordshire Gentleman.

London printed. 1641.

TWo of the zealous Tribe being inspired, as they tearmed it, and having a greater parcell of the spirit than at other times, after a great deal of chat, now concerning this thing, and now again concerning that thing, at last drew themselves as far as the New Canons, where they read, but yet you must not thinke that it was without rubbes, and jarres, but comming to the Sixth Canon that ended with Et caetera, at the very sight of which he swelled as much as Goliah with his weavers beam, and thus began to break forth in these or the like tearmes.


I that have behaved my selfe so well, that now I am in sincerity elected a Zealous Brother, I that having my worth seen am for it rewarded with twenty Nobles per annum, besides what I collect eve­ry year from our Female Charity, considering with my selfe what a vile and indiscreet thing these new Oathes and Canons are, I am even wrapt besides my selfe, and with this very word, or letter, or syllable, or whatsoever it is, I must and will dissect it.


Why brother Roger? Are thou of so shal­low capacity as thou makest thy selfe to be? Have patience pray, and rather finde fault with the Prin­ter than with the thing printed, or rather with him which set the Printer on worke than with the Printer [Page 2]himselfe, these times are corrupted, for why? corrupt men have ruled us here in this Land.

Here could Roger hold no longer, but like to a Bear-dog, he yawnes, and barkes, and bawles, saying.


In sincerity brother Ralph, thou doest not know what an urging this is to me, see what a vile mishapen monster it is, this Et caetera God blesse us! is a Limbe of the Devill, or as they please to con­strue it, according to their wooden headed wit, That brand which is upon the buttocke of the Beast, the Dragons tail tied up together in an Antichristian knot, it is nothing else but a nest of young Apocry­phaes, nay, I thinke that the divinest inspiration can never unfold and set out to open view this Impe of Hell, this Caterpiller, this Toad, or what not.

Now whilest Roger is in his mad way dividing the Text, Ralph begins to winke, to spit, to streak his beard, and expound, speaking to Roger.


My pious and most zealous Brother, hear­ken with fear and reverence to what I shall now say, not of my selfe, but by divine revelation. This is a very nice point, being clouded much with the sophi­sticall fallacies of the quondam-learned, I never read on't but it caused me to faste twice at the least, inso­much that now I have had so much by revelation that I have found this Et caetera to be one of the idola­trous litter.

But Roger now is all fire, all envy, all malice, Goliah when he vanted himselfe against the Israelites had not halfe those proud postures which now Roger had.


I say to thee (said Roger) Et caetera thou ly­est, I say again, I will confute thee, what art thou better than a curled locke of Antichrist, thou art that very rubbish which was sent from the confusion of Babel, for before I have done with you I will make it plain to the whole world, that the best of Langua­ges are confounded in this Beast Et caetera. Besides, all you which are my Brethren, hearken, and take di­ligent notice of this which I shall say here, They say that men must swear by this Antichristian rubbish; take heed, take heed I pray, for I professe ingeniously in good sooth, and in very good deed, that it is dan­gerous to swear by Et caetera; for take this from me, whosoever sweares by Et caetera, sweares more Oathes at once, than ever came barkes from triple-headed Cerberus: Do you not see how the old cunning Ser­pent hath hid himselfe in folds here, and here in an Et caetera you may perceive him: O thou accurst Et caetera! thou prodigious Antichristian Bastard, now do I know what meant those portentous bloudy Oi­sters which were seen the other day: O Alestre! thou ancient writer of Almanacks, how didst thou misse to name this Et caetera, that ill borne Bastard in thy propheticke Almanack: but here see and won­der, this Et caetera is that ill portentous vault where that infernall Powder-plot lay a great while at an­chor, and surely Brother, I thinke it not amisse, and if you will be ruled by me, to keep another fifth day of November: nay, here is not all yet, Et caetera look to your selfe, I protest I will have another bout at [Page 4]wastiers with thee, and so have at thee; thy name is as ominous as a blazing Star at three of the clocke in the afternoon, or as a Schreech-owle hovering about the house in day-time, nay my expressions fail me to paint thee out in thy colours. The Trojan Nag was never so gorg'd with mischiefe, as this ominous, ill-conditioned Et caetera, Og and Schon those two great Commissaries and enemies to the Lords anointed ne­ver deserved halfe that ill which this il-shapen slave Et caetera hath done. And now I finde my selfe almost tired in following this light-footed mischiefe, and now my Babes of Grace, my greatest desire is that you would be cautious how you swear by Et caetera, for you have already heard how dangerous and damn­able Et caetera is, for indeed now to unfold the truth of all, if it were pulled out at length, it is just like unto a York shire way-bit, longer by far than a mile.

But now he is inspired, he sweareth, now truly, in truth, in sincerity, and in very good deed; in words at length, and not in figures, that this Et caetera did more trouble his conscience than ever the fall of one of his dearest Sisters ever did. But now you must note, that he dranke, which he takes off all, because he was afraid to leave Et caetera in the bottom of the cup: his Brother Ralph pledg'd him, and marke how it sell out, he sweares by the Sacke he drinkes, he will prove a catylier, or worse to the Synod, if worse might be.

Thus they dranke on, not offering to part,
Till they had sworne out the eleventh quart,
Whilest all that heard and saw them, joyntly say,
They and their Tribe are all, Et caetera.
[Page 5]

Well, these two Zealous Brothers had dranke so long to­gether that they played the beasts, like a couple of drunken rogues, &c. and then they must needs quarrell, and make themselves, and Religion in them to be scoffed egregiously, and indeed it is an ancient proverbe, When theeves fall out, true men come by their goods.

It chanced that Roger gave Ralph some words in his drinke, which did not very well please him, which made Ralph break out beyond the bounds of modesty, and told him that he was a dissembling knave, and that he could prove him so, for said Ralph, Is it not the part of a knave to carry another mans wife so far as Banbury in Oxford shire, and there to live with her, and keep her as your owne wife? fie, fie, for shame.

Nay, said Roger, hic-up, if you go to that, hic-up, you are as arrant a knave, hic-up, as my selfe, for do you remember, you Slave you, how you wisht your wife in the Low Countries, to say, that you were her brother, because she was fair, and that it might be said that you imitated Abraham, when he was a good man, whereas thou art a stinking Rogue.

Thus they brawled, and scolded, and scolded, and brawled, till they fell asleep, in which pickle I left them.


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