In the Middle Ages the matter was of national concern, for the disgrace said to have befallen the inhabitants of one or other of the small towns mentioned became "a scandal to their unoffending country." When the story spread, as it did, nearly all over Europe, foreigners did not particularize, but offensively alluded to all Englishmen as caudati, or tailed.
My brother mused upon this revery, and, in a few days, published an extract from some scoundrel's travels in Gombroon, according to which the Gombroonians had not yet emerged from this early condition of apedom. They, it seems, were still homines caudati. Overwhelming to me and stunning was the ignominy of this horrible discovery.
Indeed, it is said that fish tails were hung to their habits as they went through the city and that in consequence the people of the diocese of Rochester were ever after born with tails, and were thus known as caudati or caudiferi, while upon the Continent this beastly appellation was even till our fathers' time applied to all English people.