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had not been regularly matriculated in one of the Academies or Societies, and a due Examination hai and taken, by the proper Officers, of the Talents ar Abilities of the several Pupils and Students, that evei one should have his proper Post assigned him, ar not presume to exceed the Commission given him 1 his respective Superiors and Directors. And here, avoid Confusion, I should propose that the whole Bo< should be divided into three general Ranks, Classe or Degrees, which was the ancient Establishing: even in the earliest Time, as I could clearly make a pear from the History of all Ages, though by ti Negligence or Presumption of late Pretenders, this n cellary Subordination has been greatly neglected, the apparent Prejudice of our Society. Of this yi have a faint Resemblance in the academical Degre( which may help to give us an Idea of the genei Plan.
In our Academy.
> answering to.
In the University.
2. Junior Sophs.
3. Senior Sophs.
Inceptors. or Bachelors.
III. . Masters, Doctors. or Professor!
The Risors are a very ancient, numerous, and u ful Body of Men, mentioned under different Nan in the Histories and Languages of all Nations. Hor mentions them under thi > very Name of Risors. 1 fores inter Satyrofque dicaces. And Ridcntes; Ridem dicere verum ghiid vetat? As their Business is nothi but to smile, laugh, or grin upon proper Occasio very few and slender Talents are required of them
frist Forehead, and a flexible Set of Muscles are susficient Qualifications for one of those Gentlemen to bek gin with. These being assisted and improved by a regular and natural Education, thrbugh the Nursery, the Still-room, the Dancing-school, the Dog-kennels and the Stable, (I mean Only a Country Education, where no better Improvements of that kind can be had) will make an able and usesul Risor. I call this a natural Education, because it is following and Improving the; Original Bias and Inclinations of unprejudiced Natures m which the great Secret of a proper Education is known to consist. Injudicious Parents are too apt & call in the' Assistance of Book-learned Pedants, under the Notion 6f Tutors, Masters, and Governors, who* are for putting their young Pupils Into such Methods as are apt to injure their Eyes and their Health, puzzle their Heads; check their Appetites, crarnp their Genius, and prejudice their Understandings, by Lectures of Pedantry, Enthusiasm, and Superstition; whereas if they were left td themselves, their Inclinations to run in their proper Channel, as directed by the infallible Light of Nature, they would (generally speaking) fall naturally into this Train of Lise and Action. Horace, who is univerfally allowed to be a goodvJudge of Nature, is Intirely of this Opinion,' and tells you, that this is the Tendency and Course of Nature, unrestrained by Discipline, and unprejudiced by Education. Imberhis juvehis, tandem clstode remoto. (Ay, ay, observe those Words, Ctstode remoto, there lies the Pinch of the whole Affair; if it were not for those impertinent Pedants, Nature would have fair play,) Gattdet tquis canibusque (J aprici gramine campi : Would delight in Horses and Dogs, and the Diversions of the Coun. Vol. I. C . try, try, in the most extensive Sense and Meaning of thr Word. Ic would not indeed be amise, if, without injuring their Health and prejudicing their Minds, they could be taught to read, and write, and spell tole* rably, it might be of use to themselves, and give some Credit to their Order; but it is so far from being absolutely necessary, that I know several who make a good Figure among them, and yet can do neither.. The being able to laugh properly,. by the Direction of their Superiors, depends upon no great Acquirements or Improvements of Understanding; for it is beyond all question, that the first Founders of Mankind couldlaugh besore they could write or read.. Risibility,. or the Faculty of Laughing, is so essential to a reasonable Creature, that it enters into a Definition. of aMan, and is convertible with it; it is the first visible Symptom of Sense and Reason in Infants, and is the proper. Medium by which Philosophers have thought sit to prove it in their ordinary Systems of Logic" :. Omne risibile est rationale is as certain and well-known a Maxim, as that two and two make four. To this I suppose you will object,. upon the Authority of our Friend Horace, that something more should be expected from a simple Risor than mere Laughing, because he has joined Risores Satyrojque dicaces together y and, in another Passage, he supposes that the Ridens (or Riser, which is all one) may be able to speak truth, and consequently talk Sense when he asks the. Question; Ridentem. dicere verum quid vetat? As to> the first Objection, it is obvious, at first Sight, that the Epithet dicaces is intirely appropriated to Satyros^ and has nothing to do with Risores; and this is the concurring Judgment of the best Critics, and Com
mentato.rs %. mentators: As for the latter, it answers itself. When the Poet asks the Question,What hinders a Risor from speaking Truth, or talking Sense? the very Terms of the Question imply a strong Negation, i. e. nothing hinders him. And theresore, if he does neither, it is intirely his own Fault, no body will hinder him from doing it if he can; and theresore, if he does not, it is purely owing to his Want of Inclination, or Ability, or both.
The Gentlemen of this Class mould be forbid, under severe Penalties, to attempt any thing beyond their proper Sphere, or indeed within it, unless in Aid of their proper Superiors, who are to be considered as their commanding Officers: As for instance, if a Querist, or Paralogician, mould take it in his Head to act ofsensively, and begin an Attack upon any Person, or Cause, which, for Want of Skill, or Ability, he should not be able to maintain, then, in such a Case, the Rifors, some of whom are always to attend and support such Superiors, should, upon a proper Signal, burst out all at once into a loud Laugh, which seldom fails to confound and disconcert the most cunning Adverfary, and, like springing a Mine, supplies, by Stratagem, the Want of proper Strength and good Conduct: For the Risers are to be considered as the private Men of the Corps, who are to obey the Word of Command, and attempt nothing without it; or, like Cyphers, which, though nothing vA all in themselves, yet, by a proper Assortment with People of Figure, are known to make out very well, and turn to a good Account.
If any Gentleman of this Class should, by striking ©ut into the World, and keeping the best Company, ~j C 2 be be so happy as to arrive at such a Competency of Front and Humour, as to be able to enliven Converfation with a Dash of Pleafantry and Banter, should be witty enough to ward off a serious Argument, or a pinching Question, with a Joke or a Pun, he shall, upon proper Testimonials of his Proficiency, be admitted into a higher Class, called the DERISORS, Jokers, •Banterers, or merry Fellows, answering to the Degree of 'Junior Sophs in the University. These art allowed not only to laugh at Religion, but to be witty to the best of their Abilities, upon Parsons Priestcrast,- Creeds, and Creed-makers, &c. or any other Topic that may divert and encourage our Friends, or expose and consound our Enemies, and this lo be always accompanied with proper Motions and Expressions of Railery and Humour, such as a .contemptuous Cock of the Nose, Leer of the Eye, Contraction of the Nether-lip, and Elevation of the .Chin, such as we frequently observe among the young .Orators in the Coffee-houses near the Inns of Courts and the polite End of the Town. ; 1st aster due Tryal in this Class, it appears that any of them are capable of further Improvement, and discover a good Degree of Fire and Spirit, they shall .then be admitted into the highest Rank or Degree of Rifors, called the IRRISORS, answering to the Degree of Senior Sophs; and shall be allowed not only to laugh and be witty, but to insult upon proper Occasions; especially when they have to do with modest peaceable People, who are in no Danger of returning the Compliment in their own Way. They ^nay then fasely and reasonably bully and hector, lay Winers, call Fool, or Puppy, .or Son. of a Whore,