Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters
by John Earle
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[29] The chapel of the Virgin Mary, in the cathedral church of Gloucester, was founded by Richard Stanley, abbot, in 1457, and finished by William Farley, a monk of the monastery, in 1472. Sir Robert Atkyns gives the following description of the vault here alluded to. "The whispering place is very remarkable; it is a long alley, from one side of the choir to the other, built circular, that it might not darken the great east window of the choir. When a person whispers at one end of the alley, his voice is heard distinctly at the other end, though the passage be open in the middle, having large spaces for doors and windows on the east side. It may be imputed to the close cement of the wall, which makes it as one entire stone, and so conveys the voice, as a long piece of timber does convey the least stroak to the other end. Others assign it to the repercussion of the voice from accidental angles." Atkyns' Ancient and Present State of Glostershire. Lond. 1712, folio, page 128. See also Fuller's Worthies, in Gloucestershire, page 351.

[30] Then in a piece of gold, &c. first edit.



He is now out of nature's protection, though not yet able to guide himself; but left loose to the world and fortune, from which the weakness of his childhood preserved him; and now his strength exposes him. He is, indeed, just of age to be miserable, yet in his own conceit first begins to be happy; and he is happier in this imagination, and his misery not felt is less. He sees yet but the outside of the world and men, and conceives them, according to their appearing, glister, and out of this ignorance believes them. He pursues all vanities for happiness, and [31][enjoys them best in this fancy.] His reason serves, not to curb but understand his appetite, and prosecute the motions thereof with a more eager earnestness. Himself is his own temptation, and needs not Satan, and the world will come hereafter. He leaves repentance for grey hairs, and performs it in being covetous. He is mingled with the vices of the age as the fashion and custom, with which he longs to be acquainted, and sins to better his understanding. He conceives his youth as the season of his lust, and the hour wherein he ought to be bad; and because he would not lose his time, spends it. He distastes religion as a sad thing, and is six years elder for a thought of heaven. He scorns and fears, and yet hopes for old age, but dare not imagine it with wrinkles. He loves and hates with the same inflammation, and when the heat is over is cool alike to friends and enemies. His friendship is seldom so stedfast, but that lust, drink, or anger may overturn it. He offers you his blood to-day in kindness, and is ready to take yours to-morrow. He does seldom any thing which he wishes not to do again, and is only wise after a misfortune. He suffers much for his knowledge, and a great deal of folly it is makes him a wise man. He is free from many vices, by being not grown to the performance, and is only more virtuous out of weakness. Every action is his danger, and every man his ambush. He is a ship without pilot or tackling, and only good fortune may steer him. If he scape this age, he has scaped a tempest, and may live to be a man.


[31] Whilst he has not yet got them, enjoys them, First edit.



Is none of the worst students in the house, for he keeps the set hours at his book more duly than any. His authority is great over men's good names, which he charges many times with shrewd aspersions, which they hardly wipe off without payment. [His box and counters prove him to be a man of reckoning, yet] he is stricter in his accounts than a usurer, and delivers not a farthing without writing. He doubles the pains of Gollobelgicus,[32] for his books go out once a quarter, and they are much in the same nature, brief notes and sums of affairs, and are out of request as soon. His comings in are like a taylor's, from the shreds of bread, [the] chippings and remnants of a broken crust; excepting his vails from the barrel, which poor folks buy for their hogs but drink themselves. He divides an halfpenny loaf with more subtlety than Keckerman,[33] and sub-divides the a primo ortum so nicely, that a stomach of great capacity can hardly apprehend it. He is a very sober man, considering his manifold temptations of drink and strangers; and if he be overseen, 'tis within his own liberties, and no man ought to take exception. He is never so well pleased with his place as when a gentleman is beholden to him for shewing him the buttery, whom he greets with a cup of single beer and sliced manchet,[34] and tells him it is the fashion of the college. He domineers over freshmen when they first come to the hatch, and puzzles them with strange language of cues and cees, and some broken Latin which he has learnt at his bin. His faculties extraordinary is the warming of a pair of cards, and telling out a dozen of counters for post and pair, and no man is more methodical in these businesses. Thus he spends his age till the tap of it is run out, and then a fresh one is set abroach.


[32] Gallo-Belgicus was erroneously supposed, by the ingenious Mr. Reed, to be the "first news-paper published in England;" we are, however, assured by the author of the "Life of Ruddiman," that it has no title to so honourable a distinction. Gallo-Belgicus appears to have been rather an Annual Register, or History of its own Times, than a news-paper. It was written in Latin, and entitled. "MERCURIJ GALLO-BELGICI: sive, rerum in Gallia, et Belgio potissimum: Hispania quoque, Italia, Anglia, Germania, Polonia. Vicinisque locis ab anno 1588, ad Martium anni 1594, gestarum, NUNCIJ." The first volume was printed in 8vo. at Cologne, 1598; from which year, to about 1605, it was published annually; and from thence to the time of its conclusion, which is uncertain, it appeared in half-yearly volumes. Chalmers' Life of Ruddiman, 1794. The great request in which newspapers were held at the publication of the present work, may be gathered from Burton, who, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, complains that "if any read now-a-days, it is a play-book, or a pamphlet of newes."

[33] Bartholomew Keckerman was born at Dantzick, in Prussia, 1571, and educated under Fabricius. Being eminently distinguished for his abilities and application, he was, in 1597, requested, by the senate of Dantzick, to take upon him the management of their academy; an honour he then declined, but accepted, on a second application, in 1601. Here he proposed to instruct his pupils in the complete science of philosophy in the short space of three years, and, for that purpose, drew up a great number of books upon logic, rhetoric, ethics, politics, physics, metaphysics, geography, astronomy, &c. &c. till, as it is said, literally worn out with scholastic drudgery, he died at the early age of 38.

[34] Of bread made of wheat we have sundrie sorts dailie brought to the table, whereof the first and most excellent is the mainchet, which we commonlie call white bread. Harrison, Description of England prefixed to Holinshed, chap. 6.



[Is a holiday clown, and differs only in the stuff of his clothes, not the stuff of himself,][35] for he bare the king's sword before he had arms to wield it; yet being once laid o'er the shoulder with a knighthood, he finds the herald his friend. His father was a man of good stock, though but a tanner or usurer; he purchased the land, and his son the title. He has doffed off the name of a [36][country fellow,] but the look not so easy, and his face still bears a relish of churne-milk. He is guarded with more gold lace than all the gentlemen of the country, yet his body makes his clothes still out of fashion. His house-keeping is seen much in the distinct families of dogs, and serving-men attendant on their kennels, and the deepness of their throats is the depth of his discourse. A hawk he esteems the true burden of nobility,[37] and is exceeding ambitious to seem delighted in the sport, and have his fist gloved with his jesses.[38] A justice of peace he is to domineer in his parish, and do his neighbour wrong with more right.[39] He will be drunk with his hunters for company, and stain his gentility with droppings of ale. He is fearful of being sheriff of the shire by instinct, and dreads the assize-week as much as the prisoner. In sum, he's but a clod of his own earth, or his land is the dunghill and he the cock that crows over it: and commonly his race is quickly run, and his children's children, though they escape hanging, return to the place from whence they came.


[35] His honour was somewhat preposterous, for he bare, &c. first edit.

[36] Clown, first edit.

[37] The art of hawking has been so frequently and so fully explained, that it would be superfluous, if not arrogant, to trace its progress, or delineate its history, in this place. In the earliest periods it appears to have been exclusively practised by the nobility; and, indeed, the great expense at which the amusement was supported, seems to have been a sufficient reason for deterring persons of more moderate income, and of inferior rank, from indulging in the pursuit. In the Sports and Pastimes of Mr. Strutt, a variety of instances are given of the importance attached to the office of falconer, and of the immense value of, and high estimation the birds themselves were held in from the commencement of the Norman government, down to the reign of James I. in which sir Thomas Monson gave 1000l. for a cast of hawks, which consisted of only two.

The great increase of wealth, and the consequent equalization of property in this country, about the reign of Elizabeth, induced many of inferior birth to practise the amusements of their superiors, which they did without regard to expense, or indeed propriety. Sir Thomas Elyot, in his Governour (1580), complains that the falkons of his day consumed so much poultry, that, in a few years, he feared there would be a great scarcity of it. "I speake not this," says he, "in disprayse of the faukons, but of them which keepeth them lyke cockneyes." A reproof, there can be no doubt, applicable to the character in the text.

[38] A term in hawking, signifying the short straps of leather which are fastened to the hawk's legs, by which she is held on the fist, or joined to the leash. They were sometimes made of silk, as appears from [P] The Boke of hawkynge, huntynge, and fysshynge, with all the propertyes and medecynes that are necessarye to be kepte: "Hawkes haue aboute theyr legges gesses made of lether most comonly, some of sylke, which shuld be no lenger but that the knottes of them shulde appere in the myddes of the lefte hande," &c. Juliana Barnes. edit. 4to. "Imprynted at London in Pouls chyrchyarde by me Hery Tab." sig. C. ii.

[39] This authority of his is that club which keeps them under as his dogs hereafter. First edit.



Is one that was born and shaped for his cloaths; and, if Adam had not fallen, had lived to no purpose. He gratulates therefore the first sin, and fig-leaves that were an occasion of [his] bravery. His first care is his dress, the next his body, and in the uniting of these two lies his soul and its faculties. He observes London trulier than the terms, and his business is the street, the stage, the court, and those places where a proper man is best shown. If he be qualified in gaming extraordinary, he is so much the more genteel and compleat, and he learns the best oaths for the purpose. These are a great part of his discourse, and he is as curious in their newness as the fashion. His other talk is ladies and such pretty things, or some jest at a play. His pick-tooth bears a great part in his discourse, so does his body, the upper parts whereof are as starched as his linnen, and perchance use the same laundress. He has learned to ruffle his face from his boot, and takes great delight in his walk to hear his spurs gingle. Though his life pass somewhat slidingly, yet he seems very careful of the time, for he is still drawing his watch out of his pocket, and spends part of his hours in numbering them. He is one never serious but with his taylor, when he is in conspiracy for the next device. He is furnished with his jests, as some wanderer with sermons, some three for all congregations, one especially against the scholar, a man to him much ridiculous, whom he knows by no other definition, but a silly fellow in black. He is a kind of walking mercer's shop, and shows you one stuff to-day and another to-morrow; an ornament to the room he comes in as the fair bed and hangings be; and it is meerly ratable accordingly, fifty or a hundred pounds as his suit is. His main ambition is to get a knight-hood, and then an old lady, which if he be happy in, he fills the stage and a coach so much longer: Otherwise, himself and his cloaths grow stale together, and he is buried commonly ere he dies in the gaol, or the country.



Is a vice-roy in the street, and no man stands more upon't that he is the king's officer. His jurisdiction extends to the next stocks, where he has commission for the heels only, and sets the rest of the body at liberty. He is a scarecrow to that ale-house, where he drinks not his morning draught, and apprehends a drunkard for not standing in the king's name. Beggars fear him more than the justice, and as much as the whip-stock, whom he delivers over to his subordinate magistrates, the bridewell-man, and the beadle. He is a great stickler in the tumults of double jugs, and ventures his head by his place, which is broke many times to keep whole the peace. He is never so much in his majesty as in his night-watch, where he sits in his chair of state, a shop-stall, and invironed with a guard of halberts, examines all passengers. He is a very careful man in his office, but if he stay up after midnight you shall take him napping.



Is one that has much learning in the ore, unwrought and untried, which time and experience fashions and refines. He is good metal in the inside, though rough and unscoured without, and therefore hated of the courtier, that is quite contrary. The time has got a vein of making him ridiculous, and men laugh at him by tradition, and no unlucky absurdity but is put upon his profession, and done like a scholar. But his fault is only this, that his mind is [somewhat] too much taken up with his mind, and his thoughts not loaden with any carriage besides. He has not put on the quaint garb of the age, which is now a man's [Imprimis and all the Item.[40]] He has not humbled his meditations to the industry of complement, nor afflicted his brain in an elaborate leg. His body is not set upon nice pins, to be turning and flexible for every motion, but his scrape is homely and his nod worse. He cannot kiss his hand and cry, madam, nor talk idle enough to bear her company. His smacking of a gentlewoman is somewhat too savory, and he mistakes her nose for her lips. A very woodcock would puzzle him in carving, and he wants the logick of a capon. He has not the glib faculty of sliding over a tale, but his words come squeamishly out of his mouth, and the laughter commonly before the jest. He names this word college too often, and his discourse beats too much on the university. The perplexity of mannerliness will not let him feed, and he is sharp set at an argument when he should cut his meat. He is discarded for a gamester at all games but one and thirty,[41] and at tables he reaches not beyond doublets. His fingers are not long and drawn out to handle a fiddle, but his fist clunched with the habit of disputing. He ascends a horse somewhat sinisterly, though not on the left side, and they both go jogging in grief together. He is exceedingly censured by the inns-of-court men, for that heinous vice being out of fashion. He cannot speak to a dog in his own dialect, and understands Greek better than the language of a falconer. He has been used to a dark room, and dark cloathes, and his eyes dazzle at a sattin suit. The hermitage of his study, has made him somewhat uncouth in the world, and men make him worse by staring on him. Thus is he [silly and] ridiculous, and it continues with him for some quarter of a year out of the university. But practise him a little in men, and brush him over with good company, and he shall out-ballance those glisterers, as far as a solid substance does a feather, or gold, gold-lace.


[40] Now become a man's total, first edit.

[41] Of the game called one and thirty, I am unable to find any mention in Mr. Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, nor is it alluded to in any of the old plays or tracts I have yet met with. A very satisfactory account of tables may be read in the interesting and valuable publication just noticed.



Is one that manures his ground well, but lets himself lye fallow and untilled. He has reason enough to do his business, and not enough to be idle or melancholy. He seems to have the punishment of Nebuchadnezzar, for his conversation is among beasts, and his tallons none of the shortest, only he eats not grass, because he loves not sallets. His hand guides the plough, and the plough his thoughts, and his ditch and land-mark is the very mound of his meditations. He expostulates with his oxen very understandingly, and speaks gee, and ree, better than English. His mind is not much distracted with objects, but if a good fat cow come in his way, he stands dumb and astonished, and though his haste be never so great, will fix here half an hour's contemplation. His habitation is some poor thatched roof, distinguished from his barn by the loopholes that let out smoak, which the rain had long since washed through, but for the double ceiling of bacon on the inside, which has hung there from his grandsire's time, and is yet to make rashers for posterity. His dinner is his other work, for he sweats at it as much as at his labour; he is a terrible fastner on a piece of beef, and you may hope to stave the guard off sooner. His religion is a part of his copy-hold, which he takes from his land-lord, and refers it wholly to his discretion: Yet if he give him leave he is a good Christian to his power, (that is,) comes to church in his best cloaths, and sits there with his neighbours, where he is capable only of two prayers, for rain, and fair weather. He apprehends God's blessings only in a good year, or a fat pasture, and never praises him but on good ground. Sunday he esteems a day to make merry in, and thinks a bag-pipe as essential to it as evening-prayer, where he walks very solemnly after service, with his hands coupled behind him, and censures the dancing of his parish. [His compliment with his neighbour is a good thump on the back, and his salutation commonly some blunt curse.] He thinks nothing to be vices, but pride and ill husbandry, from which he will gravely dissuade the youth, and has some thrifty hob-nail proverbs to clout his discourse. He is a niggard all the week, except only market-day, where, if his corn sell well, he thinks he may be drunk with a good conscience. His feet never stink so unbecomingly as when he trots after a lawyer in Westminster-hall, and even cleaves the ground with hard scraping in beseeching his worship to take his money. He is sensible of no calamity but the burning a stack of corn or the overflowing of a meadow, and thinks Noah's flood the greatest plague that ever was, not because it drowned the world, but spoiled the grass. For death he is never troubled, and if he get in but his harvest before, let it come when it will, he cares not.



He knows the right use of the world, wherein he comes to play a part and so away. His life is not idle, for it is all action, and no man need be more wary in his doings, for the eyes of all men are upon him. His profession has in it a kind of contradiction, for none is more disliked, and yet none more applauded; and he has the misfortune of some scholar, too much wit makes him a fool. He is like our painting gentlewomen, seldom in his own face, seldomer in his cloaths; and he pleases, the better he counterfeits, except only when he is disguised with straw for gold lace. He does not only personate on the stage, but sometimes in the street, for he is masked still in the habit of a gentleman. His parts find him oaths and good words, which he keeps for his use and discourse, and makes shew with them of a fashionable companion. He is tragical on the stage, but rampant in the tiring-house,[42] and swears oaths there which he never conned. The waiting women spectators are over-ears in love with him, and ladies send for him to act in their chambers. Your inns-of-court men were undone but for him, he is their chief guest and employment, and the sole business that makes them afternoon's-men. The poet only is his tyrant, and he is bound to make his friend's friend drunk at his charge. Shrove-Tuesday he fears as much as the bauds, and Lent[43] is more damage to him than the butcher. He was never so much discredited as in one act, and that was of parliament, which gives hostlers priviledge before him, for which he abhors it more than a corrupt judge. But to give him his due, one well-furnished actor has enough in him for five common gentlemen, and, if he have a good body, [for six, and] for resolution he shall challenge any Cato, for it has been his practice to die bravely.


[42] The room where the performers dress, previous to coming on the stage.

[43] This passage affords a proof of what has been doubted, namely, that the theatres were not permitted to be open during Lent, in the reign of James I. The restriction was waved in the next reign, as we find from the Puritanical Prynne:—"There are none so much addicted to stage-playes, but when they goe unto places where they cannot have them, or when, as they are suppressed by publike authority, (as in times of pestilence, and in Lent, till now of late,) can well subsist without them," &c. Histrio-Mastix, 4to. Lond. 1633. page 384.



Is one of a more cunning and active envy, wherewith he gnaws not foolishly himself, but throws it abroad and would have it blister others. He is commonly some weak parted fellow, and worse minded, yet is strangely ambitious to match others, not by mounting their worth, but bringing them down with his tongue to his own poorness. He is indeed like the red dragon that pursued the woman, for when he cannot over-reach another, he opens his mouth and throws a flood after to drown him. You cannot anger him worse than to do well, and he hates you more bitterly for this, than if you had cheated him of his patrimony with your own discredit. He is always slighting the general opinion, and wondering why such and such men should be applauded. Commend a good divine, he cries postilling; a philologer, pedantry; a poet, rhiming; a school-man, dull wrangling; a sharp conceit, boyishness; an honest man, plausibility. He comes to publick things not to learn, but to catch, and if there be but one soloecism, that is all he carries away. He looks on all things with a prepared sowerness, and is still furnished with a pish beforehand, or some musty proverb that disrelishes all things whatsoever. If fear of the company make him second a commendation, it is like a law-writ, always with a clause of exception, or to smooth his way to some greater scandal. He will grant you something, and bate more; and this bating shall in conclusion take away all he granted. His speech concludes still with an Oh! but,—and I could wish one thing amended; and this one thing shall be enough to deface all his former commendations. He will be very inward with a man to fish some bad out of him, and make his slanders hereafter more authentick, when it is said a friend reported it. He will inveigle you to naughtiness to get your good name into his clutches; he will be your pandar to have you on the hip for a whore-master, and make you drunk to shew you reeling. He passes the more plausibly because all men have a smatch of his humour, and it is thought freeness which is malice. If he can say nothing of a man, he will seem to speak riddles, as if he could tell strange stories if he would; and when he has racked his invention to the utmost, he ends;—but I wish him well, and therefore must hold my peace. He is always listening and enquiring after men, and suffers not a cloak to pass by him unexamined. In brief, he is one that has lost all good himself, and is loth to find it in another.



Is one that comes there to wear a gown, and to say hereafter, he has been at the university. His father sent him thither because he heard there were the best fencing and dancing-schools; from these he has his education, from his tutor the over-sight. The first element of his knowledge is to be shewn the colleges, and initiated in a tavern by the way, which hereafter he will learn of himself. The two marks of his seniority, is the bare velvet of his gown, and his proficiency at tennis, where when he can once play a set, he is a fresh man no more. His study has commonly handsome shelves, his books neat silk strings, which he shews to his father's man, and is loth to unty[44] or take down for fear of misplacing. Upon foul days for recreation he retires thither, and looks over the pretty book his tutor reads to him, which is commonly some short history, or a piece of Euphormio; for which his tutor gives him money to spend next day. His main loytering is at the library, where he studies arms and books of honour, and turns a gentleman critick in pedigrees. Of all things he endures not to be mistaken for a scholar, and hates a black suit though it be made of sattin. His companion is ordinarily some stale fellow, that has been notorious for an ingle to gold hatbands,[45] whom he admires at first, afterward scorns. If he have spirit or wit he may light of better company, and may learn some flashes of wit, which may do him knight's service in the country hereafter. But he is now gone to the inns-of-court, where he studies to forget what he learned before, his acquaintance and the fashion.


[44] It may not be known to those who are not accustomed to meet with old books in their original bindings, or of seeing public libraries of antiquity, that the volumes were formerly placed on the shelves with the leaves, not the back, in front; and that the two sides of the binding were joined together with neat silk or other strings, and, in some instances, where the books were of greater value and curiosity than common, even fastened with gold or silver chains.

[45] A hanger-on to noblemen, who are distinguished at the university by gold tassels to their caps; or in the language of the present day, a tuft-hunter.



Is a child at man's estate, one whom nature huddled up in haste, and left his best part unfinished. The rest of him is grown to be a man, only his brain stays behind. He is one that has not improved his first rudiments, nor attained any proficiency by his stay in the world: but we may speak of him yet as when he was in the bud, a good harmless nature, a well meaning mind[46] [and no more.] It is his misery that he now wants a tutor, and is too old to have one. He is two steps above a fool, and a great many more below a wise man; yet the fool is oft given him, and by those whom he esteems most. Some tokens of him are,—he loves men better upon relation than experience, for he is exceedingly enamoured of strangers, and none quicklier a weary of his friend. He charges you at first meeting with all his secrets, and on better acquaintance grows more reserved. Indeed he is one that mistakes much his abusers for friends, and his friends for enemies, and he apprehends your hate in nothing so much as in good council. One that is flexible with any thing but reason, and then only perverse. [A servant to every tale and flatterer, and whom the last man still works over.] A great affecter of wits and such prettinesses; and his company is costly to him, for he seldom has it but invited. His friendship commonly is begun in a supper, and lost in lending money. The tavern is a dangerous place to him, for to drink and be drunk is with him all one, and his brain is sooner quenched than his thirst. He is drawn into naughtiness with company, but suffers alone, and the bastard commonly laid to his charge. One that will be patiently abused, and take exception a month after when he understands it, and then be abused again into a reconcilement; and you cannot endear him more than by cozening him, and it is a temptation to those that would not. One discoverable in all silliness to all men but himself, and you may take any man's knowledge of him better than his own. He will promise the same thing to twenty, and rather than deny one break with all. One that has no power over himself, over his business, over his friends, but a prey and pity to all; and if his fortunes once sink, men quickly cry, Alas!—and forget him.


[46] If he could order his intentions, first edit.



Is the only man that finds good in it which others brag of but do not; for it is meat, drink, and clothes to him. No man opens his ware with greater seriousness, or challenges your judgment more in the approbation. His shop is the rendezvous of spitting, where men dialogue with their noses, and their communication is smoak.[47] It is the place only where Spain is commended and preferred before England itself. He should be well experienced in the world, for he has daily trial of men's nostrils, and none is better acquainted with humours. He is the piecing commonly of some other trade, which is bawd to his tobacco, and that to his wife, which is the flame that follows this smoak.


[47] Minshew calls a tobacconist fumi-vendulus, a smoak-seller.



Is the dregs of wit, yet mingled with good drink may have some relish. His inspirations are more real than others, for they do but feign a God, but he has his by him. His verse runs like the tap, and his invention as the barrel, ebbs and flows at the mercy of the spiggot. In thin drink he aspires not above a ballad, but a cup of sack inflames him, and sets his muse and nose a-fire together. The press is his mint, and stamps him now and then a six-pence or two in reward of the baser coin his pamphlet. His works would scarce sell for three half-pence, though they are given oft for three shillings, but for the pretty title that allures the country gentleman; for which the printer maintains him in ale a fortnight. His verses are like his clothes miserable centoes[48] and patches, yet their pace is not altogether so hobbling as an almanack's. The death of a great man or the burning[49] of a house furnish him with an argument, and the nine muses are out strait in mourning gowns, and Melpomene cries fire! fire! [His other poems are but briefs in rhime, and like the poor Greeks collections to redeem from captivity.] He is a man now much employed in commendations of our navy, and a bitter inveigher against the Spaniard. His frequentest works go out in single sheets, and are chanted from market to market to a vile tune and a worse throat; whilst the poor country wench melts like her butter to hear them. And these are the stories of some men of Tyburn, or a strange monster out of Germany;[50] or, sitting in a bawdy-house, he writes God's judgments. He drops away at last in some obscure painted cloth, to which himself made the verses,[51] and his life, like a cann too full, spills upon the bench. He leaves twenty shillings on the score, which my hostess loses.


[48] Cento, a composition formed by joining scraps from other authors. Johnson. Camden, in his Remains, uses it in the same sense. "It is quilted, as it were, out of shreds of divers poets, such as scholars call a cento."

[49] Firing, first edit.

[50] In the hope of discovering some account of the strange monster alluded to, I have looked through one of the largest and most curious collections of tracts, relating to the marvellous, perhaps in existence. That bequeathed to the Bodleian, by Robert Burton, the author of the Anatomy of Melancholy. Hitherto my researches have been unattended with success, as I have found only two tracts of this description relating to Germany, both of which are in prose, and neither giving any account of a monster.

1. A most true Relation of a very dreadfull Earthquake, with the lamentable Effectes thereof, which began upon the 8. of December 1612. and yet continueth most fearefull in Munster in Germanie. Reade and Tremble. Translated out of Dutch, by Charles Demetrius, Publike Notarie in London, and printed at Rotterdame, in Holland, at the Signe of the White Gray-hound. (Date cut off. Twenty-six pages, 4to. with a woodcut.)

2. Miraculous Newes from the Cittie of Holt, in the Lordship of Munster, in Germany, the twentieth of September last past, 1616. where there were plainly beheld three dead bodyes rise out of their Graues admonishing the people of Iudgements to come. Faithfully translated (&c. &c.) London, Printed for Iohn Barnes, dwelling in Hosie Lane neere Smithfield, 1616. (4to. twenty pages, wood-cut.)

[51] It was customary to work or paint proverbs, moral sentences, or scraps of verse on old tapestry hangings, which were called painted cloths. Several allusions to this practice may be found in the works of our early English dramatists. See Reed's Shakspeare, viii. 103



Is one that would fain run an even path in the world, and jut against no man. His endeavour is not to offend, and his aim the general opinion. His conversation is a kind of continued compliment, and his life a practice of manners. The relation he bears to others, a kind of fashionable respect, not friendship but friendliness, which is equal to all and general, and his kindnesses seldom exceed courtesies. He loves not deeper mutualities, because he would not take sides, nor hazard himself on displeasures, which he principally avoids. At your first acquaintance with him he is exceeding kind and friendly, and at your twentieth meeting after but friendly still. He has an excellent command over his patience and tongue, especially the last, which he accommodates always to the times and persons, and speaks seldom what is sincere, but what is civil. He is one that uses all companies, drinks all healths, and is reasonable cool in all religions. [He considers who are friends to the company, and speaks well where he is sure to hear of it again.] He can listen to a foolish discourse with an applausive attention, and conceal his laughter at nonsense. Silly men much honour and esteem him, because by his fair reasoning with them as with men of understanding, he puts them into an erroneous opinion of themselves, and makes them forwarder hereafter to their own discovery. He is one rather well[52] thought on than beloved, and that love he has is more of whole companies together than any one in particular. Men gratify him notwithstanding with a good report, and whatever vices he has besides, yet having no enemies, he is sure to be an honest fellow.


[52] Better, first edit.



Is the place where there are three things thrown away beside bowls, to wit, time, money, and curses, and the last ten for one. The best sport in it is the gamesters, and he enjoys it that looks on and bets not. It is the school of wrangling, and worse than the schools, for men will cavil here for a hair's breadth, and make a stir where a straw would end the controversy. No antick screws men's bodies into such strange flexures, and you would think them here senseless, to speak sense to their bowl, and put their trust in intreaties for a good cast. The betters are the factious noise of the alley, or the gamesters beadsmen that pray for them. They are somewhat like those that are cheated by great men, for they lose their money and must say nothing. It is the best discovery of humours, especially in the losers, where you have fine variety of impatience, whilst some fret, some rail, some swear, and others more ridiculously comfort themselves with philosophy. To give you the moral of it; it is the emblem of the world, or the world's ambition: where most are short, or over, or wide or wrong-biassed, and some few justle in to the mistress fortune. And it is here as in the court, where the nearest are most spited, and all blows aimed at the toucher.



Is an able and sufficient wicked man: It is a proof of his sufficiency that he is not called wicked, but wise. A man wholly determined in himself and his own ends, and his instruments herein any thing that will do it. His friends are a part of his engines, and as they serve to his works, used or laid by: Indeed he knows not this thing of friend, but if he give you the name, it is a sign he has a plot on you. Never more active in his businesses, than when they are mixed with some harm to others; and it is his best play in this game to strike off and lie in the place: Successful commonly in these undertakings, because he passes smoothly those rubs which others stumble at, as conscience and the like; and gratulates himself much in this advantage. Oaths and falshood he counts the nearest way, and loves not by any means to go about. He has many fine quips at this folly of plain dealing, but his "tush!" is greatest at religion; yet he uses this too, and virtue and good words, but is less dangerously a devil than a saint. He ascribes all honesty to an unpractisedness in the world, and conscience a thing merely for children. He scorns all that are so silly to trust[53] him, and only not scorns his enemy, especially if as bad as himself: he fears him as a man well armed and provided, but sets boldly on good natures, as the most vanquishable. One that seriously admires those worst princes, as Sforza, Borgia, and Richard the third; and calls matters of deep villany things of difficulty. To whom murders are but resolute acts, and treason a business of great consequence. One whom two or three countries make up to this compleatness, and he has travelled for the purpose. His deepest indearment is a communication of mischief, and then only you have him fast. His conclusion is commonly one of these two, either a great man, or hanged.


[53] Hate, first edit.



Is one that has some business about this building or little house of man, whereof nature is as it were the tiler, and he the plaisterer. It is ofter out of reparations than an old parsonage, and then he is set on work to patch it again. He deals most with broken commodities, as a broken head or a mangled face, and his gains are very ill got, for he lives by the hurts of the commonwealth. He differs from a physician as a sore does from a disease, or the sick from those that are not whole, the one distempers you within, the other blisters you without. He complains of the decay of valour in these days, and sighs for that slashing age of sword and buckler; and thinks the law against duels was made meerly to wound his vocation. He had been long since undone if the charity of the stews had not relieved him, from whom he has his tribute as duly as the pope; or a wind-fall sometimes from a tavern, if a quart pot hit right. The rareness of his custom makes him pitiless when it comes, and he holds a patient longer than our [spiritual] courts a cause. He tells you what danger you had been in if he had staid but a minute longer, and though it be but a pricked finger, he makes of it much matter. He is a reasonable cleanly man, considering the scabs he has to deal with, and your finest ladies are now and then beholden to him for their best dressings. He curses old gentlewomen and their charity that makes his trade their alms; but his envy is never stirred so much as when gentlemen go over to fight upon Calais sands,[54] whom he wishes drowned e'er they come there, rather than the French shall get his custom.


[54] Calais sands were chosen by English duellists to decide their quarrels on, as being out of the jurisdiction of the law. This custom is noticed in an Epigram written about the period in which this book first appeared.

"When boasting Bembus challeng'd is to fight, He seemes at first a very Diuell in sight:

Till more aduizde, will not defile [his] hands, Vnlesse you meete him vpon Callice sands."

The Mastive or Young Whelpe of the olde Dog. Epigrams and Satyrs. 4to. Lond. (Printed, as Warton supposes, about 1600.)

A passage in The Beau's Duel: or a Soldier for the Ladies, a comedy, by Mrs. Centlivre, 4to. 1707, proves, that it existed so late as at that day. "Your only way is to send him word you'll meet him on Calais sands; duelling is unsafe in England for men of estates," &c. See also other instances in Dodsley's Old Plays, edit. 1780. vii. 218.—xii. 412.



Is a scholar in this great university the world; and the same his book and study. He cloysters not his meditations in the narrow darkness of a room, but sends them abroad with his eyes, and his brain travels with his feet. He looks upon man from a high tower, and sees him trulier at this distance in his infirmities and poorness. He scorns to mix himself in men's actions, as he would to act upon a stage; but sits aloft on the scaffold a censuring spectator. [He will not lose his time by being busy, or make so poor a use of the world as to hug and embrace it.] Nature admits him as a partaker of her sports, and asks his approbation as it were of her own works and variety. He comes not in company, because he would not be solitary, but finds discourse enough with himself, and his own thoughts are his excellent playfellows. He looks not upon a thing as a yawning stranger at novelties, but his search is more mysterious and inward, and he spells heaven out of earth. He knits his observations together, and makes a ladder of them all to climb to God. He is free from vice, because he has no occasion to imploy it, and is above those ends that make man wicked. He has learnt all can here be taught him, and comes now to heaven to see more.



Is one in whom good women suffer, and have their truth misinterpreted by her folly. She is one, she knows not what her self if you ask her, but she is indeed one that has taken a toy at the fashion of religion, and is enamoured of the new fangle. She is a nonconformist in a close stomacher and ruff of Geneva print,[55] and her purity consists much in her linnen. She has heard of the rag of Rome, and thinks it a very sluttish religion, and rails at the whore of Babylon for a very naughty woman. She has left her virginity as a relick of popery, and marries in her tribe without a ring. Her devotion at the church is much in the turning up of her eye; and turning down the leaf in her book, when she hears named chapter and verse. When she comes home, she commends the sermon for the scripture, and two hours. She loves preaching better then praying, and of preachers, lecturers; and thinks the week day's exercise far more edifying than the Sunday's. Her oftest gossipings are sabbath-day's journeys, where, (though an enemy to superstition,) she will go in pilgrimage five mile to a silenced minister, when there is a better sermon in her own parish. She doubts of the virgin Mary's salvation, and dares not saint her, but knows her own place in heaven as perfectly as the pew she has a key to. She is so taken up with faith she has no room for charity, and understands no good works but what are wrought on the sampler. She accounts nothing vices but superstition and an oath, and thinks adultery a less sin than to swear by my truly. She rails at other women by the names of Jezebel and Dalilah; and calls her own daughters Rebecca and Abigail, and not Ann but Hannah. She suffers them not to learn on the virginals,[56] because of their affinity with organs, but is reconciled to the bells for the chimes sake, since they were reformed to the tune of a psalm. She overflows so with the bible, that she spills it upon every occasion, and will not cudgel her maids without scripture. It is a question whether she is more troubled with the Devil, or the Devil with her: She is always challenging and daring him, and her weapon [[57]is the Practice of Piety.] Nothing angers her so much as that women cannot preach, and in this point only thinks the Brownist erroneous; but what she cannot at the church she does at the table, where she prattles more than any against sense and Antichrist, 'till a capon's wing silence her. She expounds the priests of Baal, reading ministers, and thinks the salvation of that parish as desperate as the Turks. She is a main derider to her capacity of those that are not her preachers, and censures all sermons but bad ones. If her husband be a tradesman, she helps him to customers, howsoever to good cheer, and they are a most faithful couple at these meetings, for they never fail. Her conscience is like others lust, never satisfied, and you might better answer Scotus than her scruples. She is one that thinks she performs all her duties to God in hearing, and shews the fruits of it in talking. She is more fiery against the may-pole than her husband, and thinks she might do a Phineas' act to break the pate of the fidler. She is an everlasting argument, but I am weary of her.


[55] Strict devotees were, I believe, noted for the smallness and precision of their ruffs, which were termed in print from the exactness of the folds. So in Mynshul's Essays, 4to. 1618. "I vndertooke a warre when I adventured to speake in print, (not in print as Puritan's ruffes are set.)" The term of Geneva print probably arose from the minuteness of the type used at Geneva. In the Merry Devil of Edmonton, a comedy, 4to. 1608, is an expression which goes some way to prove the correctness of this supposition:—"I see by thy eyes thou hast bin reading little Geneua print;"—and, that small ruffs were worn by the puritanical set, an instance appears in Mayne's City Match, a comedy, 4to. 1658.

——"O miracle! Out of your little ruffe, Dorcas, and in the fashion! Dost thou hope to be saved?"

From these three extracts it is, I think, clear that a ruff of Geneva print meant a small, closely-folded ruff, which was the distinction of a non-conformist.

[56] A virginal, says Mr. Malone, was strung like a spinnet, and shaped like a piano-forte: the mode of playing on this instrument was therefore similar to that of the organ.

[57] Weapons are spells no less potent than different, as being the sage sentences of some of her own sectaries. First edit.



Is one that hangs in the balance with all sorts of opinions, whereof not one but stirs him and none sways him. A man guiltier of credulity than he is taken to be; for it is out of his belief of every thing, that he fully believes nothing. Each religion scares him from its contrary: none persuades him to itself. He would be wholly a Christian, but that he is something of an atheist, and wholly an atheist, but that he is partly a Christian; and a perfect heretic, but that there are so many to distract him. He finds reason in all opinions, truth in none: indeed the least reason perplexes him, and the best will not satisfy him. He is at most a confused and wild Christian, not specialized by any form, but capable of all. He uses the land's religion, because it is next him, yet he sees not why he may not take the other, but he chuses this, not as better, but because there is not a pin to choose. He finds doubts and scruples better than resolves them, and is always too hard for himself. His learning is too much for his brain, and his judgment too little for his learning, and his over-opinion of both, spoils all. Pity it was his mischance of being a scholar; for it does only distract and irregulate him, and the world by him. He hammers much in general upon our opinion's uncertainty, and the possibility of erring makes him not venture on what is true. He is troubled at this naturalness of religion to countries, that protestantism should be born so in England and popery abroad, and that fortune and the stars should so much share in it. He likes not this connection of the common-weal and divinity, and fears it may be an arch-practice of state. In our differences with Rome he is strangely unfixed, and a new man every new day, as his last discourse-book's meditations transport him. He could like the gray hairs of popery, did not some dotages there stagger him: he would come to us sooner, but our new name affrights him. He is taken with their miracles, but doubts an imposture; he conceives of our doctrine better, but it seems too empty and naked. He cannot drive into his fancy the circumscription of truth to our corner, and is as hardly persuaded to think their old legends true. He approves well of our faith, and more of their works, and is sometimes much affected at the zeal of Amsterdam. His conscience interposes itself betwixt duellers, and whilst it would part both, is by both wounded. He will sometimes propend much to us upon the reading a good writer, and at Bellarmine[58] recoils as far back again; and the fathers justle him from one side to another. Now Socinus[59] and Vorstius[60] afresh torture him, and he agrees with none worse than himself. He puts his foot into heresies tenderly, as a cat in the water, and pulls it out again, and still something unanswered delays him; yet he bears away some parcel of each, and you may sooner pick all religions out of him than one. He cannot think so many wise men should be in error, nor so many honest men out of the way, and his wonder is double when he sees these oppose one another. He hates authority as the tyrant of reason, and you cannot anger him worse than with a father's dixit, and yet that many are not persuaded with reason, shall authorise his doubt. In sum, his whole life is a question, and his salvation a greater, which death only concludes, and then he is resolved.


[58] Robert Bellarmin, an Italian Jesuit, was born at Monte Pulciano, a town in Tuscany, in the year 1542, and in 1560 entered himself among the Jesuits. In 1599 he was honoured with a cardinal's hat, and in 1602 was presented with the arch-bishopric of Capua: this, however, he resigned in 1605, when pope Paul V. desired to have him near himself. He was employed in the affairs of the court of Rome till 1621, when, leaving the Vatican, he retired to a house belonging to his order, and died September 17, in the same year.

Bellarmin was one of the best controversial writers of his time; few authors have done greater honour to their profession or opinions, and certain it is that none have ever more ably defended the cause of the Romish church, or contended in favour of the pope with greater advantage. As a proof of Bellarmin's abilities, there was scarcely a divine of any eminence among the protestants who did not attack him: Bayle aptly says, "they made his name resound every where, ut littus Styla, Styla, omne sonaret."

[59] Faustus Socinus is so well known as the founder of the sect which goes under his name, that a few words will be sufficient. He was born in 1539, at Sienna, and imbibed his opinions from the instruction of his uncle, who always had a high opinion of, and confidence in, the abilities of his nephew, to whom he bequeathed all his papers. After living several years in the world, principally at the court of Francis de Medicis, Socinus, in 1577, went into Germany, and began to propagate the principles of his uncle, to which, it is said, he made great additions and alterations of his own. In the support of his opinions, he suffered considerable hardships, and received the greatest insults and persecutions; to avoid which, he retired to a place near Cracow, in Poland, where he died in 1504, at the age of sixty-five.

[60] Conrade Vorstius, a learned divine, who was peculiarly detested by the Calvinists, and who had even the honour to be attacked by king James the first, of England, was born in 1569. Being compelled, through the interposition of James's ambassador, to quit Leiden, where he had attained the divinity-chair, and several other preferments, he retired to Toningen, where he died in 1622, with the strongest tokens of piety and resignation.



His antient beginning was a blue coat, since a livery, and his hatching under a lawyer; whence, though but pen-feathered, he hath now nested for himself, and with his boarded pence purchased an office. Two desks and a quire of paper set him up, where he now sits in state for all corners. We can call him no great author, yet he writes very much and with the infamy of the court is maintained in his libels.[61] He has some smatch of a scholar, and yet uses Latin very hardly; and lest it should accuse him, cuts it off in the midst, and will not let it speak out. He is, contrary to great men, maintained by his followers, that is, his poor country clients, that worship him more than their landlords, and be they never such churls, he looks for their courtesy. He first racks them soundly himself, and then delivers them to the lawyer for execution. His looks are very solicitous, importing much haste and dispatch, he is never without his hands full of business, that is—of paper. His skin becomes at last as dry as his parchment, and his face as intricate as the most winding cause. He talks statutes as fiercely as if he had mooted[62] seven years in the inns of court, when all his skill is stuck in his girdle, or in his office-window. Strife and wrangling have made him rich, and he is thankful to his benefactor, and nourishes it. If he live in a country village, he makes all his neighbours good subjects; for there shall be nothing done but what there is law for. His business gives him not leave to think of his conscience, and when the time, or term of his life is going out, for dooms-day he is secure; for he hopes he has a trick to reverse judgment.


[61] His style is very constant, for it keeps still the former aforesaid; and yet it seems he is much troubled in it, for he is always humbly complaining—your poor orator. First edit.

[62] To moote a terme vsed in the innes of the court; it is the handling of a case, as in the Vniuersitie their disputations, &c. So Minshew, who supposes it to be derived from the French, mot, verbum, quasi verba facere, aut sermonem de aliqua re habere. Mootmen are those who, having studied seven or eight years, are qualified to practise, and appear to answer to our term of barristers.



Is the opposite extreme to a defamer, for the one speaks ill falsely, and the other well, and both slander the truth. He is one that is still weighing men in the scale of comparisons, and puts his affections in the one balance and that sways. His friend always shall do best, and you shall rarely hear good of his enemy. He considers first the man and then the thing, and restrains all merit to what they deserve of him. Commendations he esteems not the debt of worth, but the requital of kindness; and if you ask his reason, shews his interest, and tells you how much he is beholden to that man. He is one that ties his judgment to the wheel of fortune, and they determine giddily both alike. He prefers England before other countries because he was born there, and Oxford before other universities, because he was brought up there, and the best scholar there is one of his own college, and the best scholar there is one of his friends. He is a great favourer of great persons, and his argument is still that which should be antecedent; as,—he is in high place, therefore virtuous;—he is preferred, therefore worthy. Never ask his opinion, for you shall hear but his faction, and he is indifferent in nothing but conscience. Men esteem him for this a zealous affectionate, but they mistake him many times, for he does it but to be esteemed so. Of all men he is worst to write an history, for he will praise a Sejanus or Tiberius, and for some petty respect of his all posterity shall be cozened.



Is the elephant with the great trunk, for he eats nothing but what comes through this way. His profession is not so worthy as to occasion insolence, and yet no man so much puft up. His face is as brazen as his trumpet, and (which is worse,) as a fidler's, from whom he differeth only in this, that his impudence is dearer. The sea of drink and much wind make a storm perpetually in his cheeks, and his look is like his noise, blustering and tempestuous. He was whilom the sound of war, but now of peace; yet as terrible as ever, for wheresoever he comes they are sure to pay for it. He is the common attendant of glittering folks, whether in the court or stage, where he is always the prologue's prologue.[63] He is somewhat in the nature of a hogshead, shrillest when he is empty; when his belly is full he is quiet enough. No man proves life more to be a blast, or himself a bubble, and he is like a counterfeit bankrupt, thrives best when he is blown up.


[63] The prologue to our ancient dramas was ushered in by trumpets. "Present not yourselfe on the stage (especially at a new play) untill the quaking prologue hath (by rubbing) got cullor into his cheekes, and is ready to giue the trumpets their cue that hee's vpon point to enter." Decker's Gul's Hornbook, 1609. p. 30.

"Doe you not know that I am the Prologue? Do you not see this long blacke veluet cloke vpon my backe? Haue you not sounded thrice?" Heywood's Foure Prentises of London. 4to. 1615.



Is one of the herd of the world. One that follows merely the common cry, and makes it louder by one. A man that loves none but who are publickly affected, and he will not be wiser than the rest of the town. That never owns a friend after an ill name, or some general imputation, though he knows it most unworthy. That opposes to reason, "thus men say;" and "thus most do;" and "thus the world goes;" and thinks this enough to poise the other. That worships men in place, and those only; and thinks all a great man speaks oracles. Much taken with my lord's jest, and repeats you it all to a syllable. One that justifies nothing out of fashion, nor any opinion out of the applauded way. That thinks certainly all Spaniards and Jesuits very villains, and is still cursing the pope and Spinola. One that thinks the gravest cassock the best scholar; and the best cloaths the finest man. That is taken only with broad and obscene wit, and hisses any thing too deep for him. That cries, Chaucer for his money above all our English poets, because the voice has gone so, and he has read none. That is much ravished with such a nobleman's courtesy, and would venture his life for him, because he put off his hat. One that is foremost still to kiss the king's hand, and cries, "God bless his majesty!" loudest. That rails on all men condemned and out of favour, and the first that says "away with the traitors!"—yet struck with much ruth at executions, and for pity to see a man die, could kill the hangman. That comes to London to see it, and the pretty things in it, and, the chief cause of his journey, the bears. That measures the happiness of the kingdom by the cheapness of corn, and conceives no harm of state, but ill trading. Within this compass too, come those that are too much wedged into the world, and have no lifting thoughts above those things; that call to thrive, to do well; and preferment only the grace of God. That aim all studies at this mark, and shew you poor scholars as an example to take heed by. That think the prison and want a judgment for some sin, and never like well hereafter of a jail-bird. That know no other content but wealth, bravery, and the town-pleasures; that think all else but idle speculation, and the philosophers madmen. In short, men that are carried away with all outwardnesses, shews, appearances, the stream, the people; for there is no man of worth but has a piece of singularity, and scorns something.



Is a kind of alchymist or persecutor of nature, that would change the dull lead of his brain into finer metal, with success many times as unprosperous, or at least not quitting the cost, to wit, of his own oil and candles. He has a strange forced appetite to learning, and to atchieve it brings nothing but patience and a body. His study is not great but continual, and consists much in the sitting up till after midnight in a rug-gown and a night-cap, to the vanquishing perhaps of some six lines; yet what he has, he has perfect, for he reads it so long to understand it, till he gets it without book. He may with much industry make a breach into logick, and arrive at some ability in an argument; but for politer studies he dare not skirmish with them, and for poetry accounts it impregnable. His invention is no more than the finding out of his papers, and his few gleanings there; and his disposition of them is as just as the bookbinders, a setting or glewing of them together. He is a great discomforter of young students, by telling them what travel it has cost him, and how often his brain turned at philosophy, and makes others fear studying as a cause of duncery. He is a man much given to apothegms, which serve him for wit, and seldom breaks any jest but which belongs to some Lacedemonian or Roman in Lycosthenes. He is like a dull carrier's horse, that will go a whole week together, but never out of a foot pace; and he that sets forth on the Saturday shall overtake him.



Is the land's epitome, or you may call it the lesser isle of Great Britain. It is more than this, the whole world's map, which you may here discern in its perfectest motion, justling and turning. It is a heap of stones and men, with a vast confusion of languages; and were the steeple not sanctified, nothing liker Babel. The noise in it is like that of bees, a strange humming or buzz mixed of walking tongues and feet: it is a kind of still roar or loud whisper. It is the great exchange of all discourse, and no business whatsoever but is here stirring and a-foot. It is the synod of all pates politick, jointed and laid together in most serious posture, and they are not half so busy at the parliament. It is the antick of tails to tails, and backs to backs, and for vizards you need go no farther than faces. It is the market of young lecturers, whom you may cheapen here at all rates and sizes. It is the general mint of all famous lies, which are here like the legends of popery, first coined and stamped in the church. All inventions are emptied here, and not few pockets. The best sign of a temple in it is, that it is the thieves sanctuary, which rob more safely in the crowd than a wilderness, whilst every searcher is a bush to hide them. It is the other expence of the day, after plays, tavern, and a bawdy-house; and men have still some oaths left to swear here. It is the ear's brothel, and satisfies their lust and itch. The visitants are all men without exceptions, but the principal inhabitants and possessors are stale knights and captains[65] out of service; men of long rapiers and breeches, which after all turn merchants here and traffick for news. Some make it a preface to their dinner, and travel for a stomach; but thriftier men make it their ordinary, and board here very cheap.[66] Of all such places it is least haunted with hobgoblins, for if a ghost would walk more, he could not.


[64] St. Paul's cathedral was, during the reigns of Elizabeth and James, a sort of exchange and public parade, where business was transacted between merchants, and where the fashionables of the day exhibited themselves. The reader will find several allusions to this custom in the variorum edition of Shakspeare, K. Henry IV. part 2. Osborne, in his Traditional Memoires on the Reigns of Elizabeth and James, 12mo. 1658, says, "It was the fashion of those times (James I.) and did so continue till these, (the interregnum,) for the principal gentry, lords, courtiers, and men of all professions, not merely mechanicks, to meet in St. Paul's church by eleven, and walk in the middle isle till twelve, and after dinner from three to six; during which time some discoursed of business, others of news." Weever complains of the practice, and says, "it could be wished that walking in the middle isle of Paules might be forborne in the time of diuine seruice." Ancient Funeral Monuments, 1631, page 373.

[65] In the Dramatis Personae to Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, Bobadil is styled a Paul's man; and Falstaff tells us that he bought Bardolph in Paul's. King Henry IV. Part 2.


——You'd not doe Like your penurious father, who was wont To walke his dinner out in Paules.

Mayne's City Match, 1658.



The kitchen is his hell, and he the devil in it, where his meat and he fry together. His revenues are showered down from the fat of the land, and he interlards his own grease among to help the drippings. Cholerick he is not by nature so much as his art, and it is a shrewd temptation that the chopping-knife is so near. His weapons, ofter offensive, are a mess of hot broth and scalding water, and woe be to him that comes in his way. In the kitchen he will domineer and rule the roast in spight of his master, and curses in the very dialect of his calling. His labour is meer blustering and fury, and his speech like that of sailors in a storm, a thousand businesses at once; yet, in all this tumult, he does not love combustion, but will be the first man that shall go and quench it. He is never a good christian till a hissing pot of ale has slacked him, like water cast on a firebrand, and for that time he is tame and dispossessed. His cunning is not small in architecture, for he builds strange fabricks in paste, towers and castles, which are offered to the assault of valiant teeth, and like Darius' palace in one banquet demolished. He is a pittiless murderer of innocents, and he mangles poor fowls with unheard-of tortures; and it is thought the martyrs persecutions were devised from hence: sure we are, St. Lawrence's gridiron came out of his kitchen. His best faculty is at the dresser, where he seems to have great skill in the tacticks, ranging his dishes in order military, and placing with great discretion in the fore-front meats more strong and hardy, and the more cold and cowardly in the rear; as quaking tarts and quivering custards, and such milk-sop dishes, which scape many times the fury of the encounter. But now the second course is gone up and he down in the cellar, where he drinks and sleeps till four o'clock[67] in the afternoon, and then returns again to his regiment.


[67] The time of supper was about five o'clock. See note at page 39.



Is a lusty fellow in a crowd, that is beholden more to his elbow than his legs, for he does not go, but thrusts well. He is a good shuffler in the world, wherein he is so oft putting forth, that at length he puts on. He can do some things, but dare do much more, and is like a desperate soldier, who will assault any thing where he is sure not to enter. He is not so well opinioned of himself, as industrious to make others, and thinks no vice so prejudicial as blushing. He is still citing for himself, that a candle should not be hid under a bushel; and for his part he will be sure not to hide his, though his candle be but a snuff or rush-candle. Those few good parts he has, he is no niggard in displaying, and is like some needy flaunting goldsmith, nothing in the inner room, but all on the cupboard. If he be a scholar, he has commonly stepped into the pulpit before a degree, yet into that too before he deserved it. He never defers St. Mary's beyond his regency, and his next sermon is at Paul's cross,[68] [and that printed.] He loves publick things alive; and for any solemn entertainment he will find a mouth, find a speech who will. He is greedy of great acquaintance and many, and thinks it no small advancement to rise to be known. [He is one that has all the great names at court at his fingers ends, and their lodgings; and with a saucy, "my lord," will salute the best of them.] His talk at the table is like Benjamin's mess, five times to his part, and no argument shuts him out for a quarreller. Of all disgraces he endures not to be non-plussed, and had rather fly for sanctuary to nonsense which few descry, than to nothing which all. His boldness is beholden to other men's modesty, which rescues him many times from a baffle; yet his face is good armour, and he is dashed out of any thing sooner than countenance. Grosser conceits are puzzled in him for a rare man; and wiser men though they know him [yet] take him [in] for their pleasure, or as they would do a sculler for being next at hand. Thus preferment at last stumbles on him, because he is still in the way. His companions that flouted him before, now envy him, when they see him come ready for scarlet, whilst themselves lye musty in their old clothes and colleges.


[68] Paul's cross stood in the church-yard of that cathedral, on the north side, towards the east end. It was used for the preaching of sermons to the populace; and Holinshed mentions two instances of public penance being performed here; in 1534 by some of the adherents of Elizabeth Barton, well known as the holy maid of Kent, and in 1536 by sir Thomas Newman, a priest, who "bare a faggot at Paules crosse for singing masse with good ale."



No man verifies the proverb more, that it is an alms-deed to punish him; for his penalty is a dole,[69] and does the beggars as much good as their dinner. He abhors, therefore, works of charity, and thinks his bread cast away when it is given to the poor. He loves not justice neither, for the weigh-scale's sake, and hates the clerk of the market as his executioner; yet he finds mercy in his offences, and his basket only is sent to prison.[70] Marry a pillory is his deadly enemy, and he never hears well after.


[69] Dole originally signified the portion of alms that was given away at the door of a nobleman. Steevens, note to Shakspeare. Sir John Hawkins affirms that the benefaction distributed at Lambeth palace gate, is to this day called the dole.

[70] That is, the contents of his basket, if discovered to be of light weight, are distributed to the needy prisoners.



Is one that would make all others more fools than himself, for though he know nothing, he would not have the would know so much. He conceits nothing in learning but the opinion, which he seeks to purchase without it, though he might with less labour cure his ignorance than hide it. He is indeed a kind of scholar-mountebank, and his art our delusion. He is tricked out in all the accoutrements of learning, and at the first encounter none passes better. He is oftener in his study than at his book, and you cannot pleasure him better than to deprehend him: yet he hears you not till the third knock, and then comes out very angry as interrupted. You find him in his slippers[71] and a pen in his ear, in which formality he was asleep. His table is spread wide with some classick folio, which is as constant to it as the carpet, and hath laid open in the same page this half year. His candle is always a longer sitter up than himself, and the boast[72] of his window at midnight. He walks much alone in the posture of meditation, and has a book still before his face in the fields. His pocket is seldom without a Greek testament or Hebrew bible, which he opens only in the church, and that when some stander-by looks over. He has sentences for company, some scatterings of Seneca and Tacitus, which are good upon all occasions. If he reads any thing in the morning, it comes up all at dinner; and as long as that lasts, the discourse is his. He is a great plagiary of tavern wit, and comes to sermons only that he may talk of Austin. His parcels are the meer scrapings from company, yet he complains at parting what time he has lost. He is wondrously capricious to seem a judgment, and listens with a sower attention to what he understands not. He talks much of Scaliger, and Casaubon, and the Jesuits, and prefers some unheard-of Dutch name before them all. He has verses to bring in upon these and these hints, and it shall go hard but he will wind in his opportunity. He is critical in a language he cannot conster, and speaks seldom under Arminius in divinity. His business and retirement and caller away is his study, and he protests no delight to it comparable. He is a great nomenclator of authors, which he has read in general in the catalogue, and in particular in the title, and goes seldom so far as the dedication. He never talks of any thing but learning, and learns all from talking. Three encounters with the same men pump him, and then he only puts in or gravely says nothing. He has taken pains to be an ass, though not to be a scholar, and is at length discovered and laughed at.


[71] Study, first edit.

[72] The first edition reads post, and, I think, preferably.



Is the spawn or indeed but the resultancy of nobility, and to the making of him went not a generation but a genealogy. His trade is honour, and he sells it and gives arms himself, though he be no gentleman. His bribes are like those of a corrupt judge, for they are the prices of blood. He seems very rich in discourse, for he tells you of whole fields of gold and silver, or, and argent, worth much in French but in English nothing. He is a great diver in the streams or issues of gentry, and not a by-channel or bastard escapes him; yea he does with them like some shameless queen, fathers more children on them than ever they begot. His traffick is a kind of pedlary-ware, scutchions, and pennons, and little daggers and lions, such as children esteem and gentlemen; but his penny-worths are rampant, for you may buy three whole brawns cheaper than three boar's heads of him painted. He was sometimes the terrible coat of Mars, but is now for more merciful battles in the tilt-yard, where whosoever is victorious, the spoils are his. He is an art in England but in Wales nature, where they are born with heraldry in their mouths, and each name is a pedigree.



Are a bad society, and yet a company of good fellows, that roar deep in the quire, deeper in the tavern. They are the eight parts of speech which go to the syntaxis of service, and are distinguished by their noises much like bells, for they make not a concert but a peal. Their pastime or recreation is prayers, their exercise drinking, yet herein so religiously addicted that they serve God oftest when they are drunk. Their humanity is a leg to the residencer, their learning a chapter, for they learn it commonly before they read it; yet the old Hebrew names are little beholden to them, for they mis-call them worse than one another. Though they never expound the scripture, they handle it much, and pollute the gospel with two things, their conversation and their thumbs. Upon worky-days, they behave themselves at prayers as at their pots, for they swallow them down in an instant. Their gowns are laced commonly with streamings of ale, the superfluities of a cup or throat above measure. Their skill in melody makes them the better companions abroad, and their anthems abler to sing catches. Long lived for the most part they are not, especially the base, they overflow their bank so oft to drown the organs. Briefly, if they escape arresting, they die constantly in God's service; and to take their death with more patience, they have wine and cakes at their funeral, and now they keep[73] the church a great deal better, and help to fill it with their bones as before with their noise.


[73] Keep for attend.



His shop is his well stuft book, and himself the title-page of it, or index. He utters much to all men, though he sells but to a few, and intreats for his own necessities, by asking others what they lack. No man speaks more and no more, for his words are like his wares, twenty of one sort, and he goes over them alike to all commers. He is an arrogant commender of his own things; for whatsoever he shews you is the best in the town, though the worst in his shop. His conscience was a thing that would have laid upon his hands, and he was forced to put it off, and makes great use of honesty to profess upon. He tells you lies by rote, and not minding, as the phrase to sell in, and the language he spent most of his years to learn. He never speaks so truely as when he says he would use you as his brother; for he would abuse his brother, and in his shop thinks it lawful. His religion is much in the nature of his customers, and indeed the pander to it: and by a mis-interpreted sense of scripture makes a gain of his godliness. He is your slave while you pay him ready money, but if he once befriend you, your tyrant, and you had better deserve his hate than his trust.



Is one whose wit is better pointed than his behaviour, and that coarse and impolished, not out of ignorance so much as humour. He is a great enemy to the fine gentleman, and these things of complement, and hates ceremony in conversation, as the Puritan in religion. He distinguishes not betwixt fair and double dealing, and suspects all smoothness for the dress of knavery. He starts at the encounter of a salutation as an assault, and beseeches you in choler to forbear your courtesy. He loves not any thing in discourse that comes before the purpose, and is always suspicious of a preface. Himself falls rudely still on his matter without any circumstance, except he use an old proverb for an introduction. He swears old out-of-date innocent oaths, as, by the mass! by our lady! and such like, and though there be lords present, he cries, my masters! He is exceedingly in love with his humour, which makes him always profess and proclaim it, and you must take what he says patiently, because he is a plain man. His nature is his excuse still, and other men's tyrant; for he must speak his mind, and that is his worst, and craves your pardon most injuriously for not pardoning you. His jests best become him, because they come from him rudely and unaffected; and he has the luck commonly to have them famous. He is one that will do more than he will speak, and yet speak more than he will hear; for though he love to touch others, he is touchy himself, and seldom to his own abuses replies but with his fists. He is as squeazy[74] of his commendations, as his courtesy, and his good word is like an eulogy in a satire. He is generally better favoured than he favours, as being commonly well expounded in his bitterness, and no man speaks treason more securely. He chides great men with most boldness, and is counted for it an honest fellow. He is grumbling much in the behalf of the commonwealth, and is in prison oft for it with credit. He is generally honest, but more generally thought so, and his downrightness credits him, as a man not well bended and crookned to the times. In conclusion, he is not easily bad, in whom this quality is nature, but the counterfeit is most dangerous, since he is disguised in a humour, that professes not to disguise.


[74] Squeazy, niggardly.



Is the fairer commendation of an inn, above the fair sign, or fair lodgings. She is the loadstone that attracts men of iron, gallants and roarers, where they cleave sometimes long, and are not easily got off. Her lips are your welcome, and your entertainment her company, which is put into the reckoning too, and is the dearest parcel in it. No citizen's wife is demurer than she at the first greeting, nor draws in her mouth with a chaster simper; but you may be more familiar without distaste, and she does not startle at bawdry. She is the confusion of a pottle of sack more than would have been spent elsewhere, and her little jugs are accepted to have her kiss excuse them. She may be an honest woman, but is not believed so in her parish, and no man is a greater infidel in it than her husband.



Is one that has spelled over a great many books, and his observation is the orthography. He is the surgeon of old authors, and heals the wounds of dust and ignorance. He converses much in fragments and desunt multa's, and if he piece it up with two lines he is more proud of that book than the author. He runs over all sciences to peruse their syntaxis, and thinks all learning comprised in writing Latin. He tastes stiles as some discreeter palates do wine; and tells you which is genuine, which sophisticate and bastard. His own phrase is a miscellany of old words, deceased long before the Caesars, and entombed by Varro, and the modernest man he follows is Plautus. He writes omneis at length, and quidquid, and his gerund is most inconformable. He is a troublesome vexer of the dead, which after so long sparing must rise up to the judgment of his castigations. He is one that makes all books sell dearer, whilst he swells them into folios with his comments.[75]


[75] On this passage, I fear, the present volume will be a sufficient commentary.



Is one of God's judgments; and which our roarers do only conceive terrible. He is the properest shape wherein they fancy Satan; for he is at most but an arrester, and hell a dungeon. He is the creditor's hawk, wherewith they seize upon flying birds, and fetch them again in his tallons. He is the period of young gentlemen, or their full stop, for when he meets with them they can go no farther. His ambush is a shop-stall, or close lane, and his assault is cowardly at your back. He respites you in no place but a tavern, where he sells his minutes dearer than a clock-maker. The common way to run from him is through him, which is often attempted and atchieved,[76] [and no man is more beaten out of charity.] He is one makes the street more dangerous than the highways, and men go better provided in their walks than their journey. He is the first handsel of the young rapiers of the templers; and they are as proud of his repulse as an Hungarian of killing a Turk. He is a moveable prison, and his hands two manacles hard to be filed off. He is an occasioner of disloyal thoughts in the commonwealth, for he makes men hate the king's name worse than the devil's.


[76] And the clubs out of charity knock him down, first edit.



Is a gentleman's follower cheaply purchased, for his own money has hired him. He is an inferior creditor of some ten shillings downwards, contracted for horse-hire, or perchance for drink, too weak to be put in suit, and he arrests your modesty. He is now very expensive of his time, for he will wait upon your stairs a whole afternoon, and dance attendance with more patience than a gentleman-usher. He is a sore beleaguerer of chambers, and assaults them sometimes with furious knocks; yet finds strong resistance commonly, and is kept out. He is a great complainer of scholar's loytering, for he is sure never to find them within, and yet he is the chief cause many times that makes them study. He grumbles at the ingratitude of men that shun him for his kindness, but indeed it is his own fault, for he is too great an upbraider. No man puts them more to their brain than he; and by shifting him off they learn to shift in the world. Some chuse their rooms on purpose to avoid his surprisals, and think the best commodity in them his prospect. He is like a rejected acquaintance, hunts those that care not for his company, and he knows it well enough, and yet will not keep away. The sole place to supple him is the buttery, where he takes grievous use upon your name,[77] and he is one much wrought with good beer and rhetorick. He is a man of most unfortunate voyages, and no gallant walks the streets to less purpose.


[77] That is, runs you up a long score.



Is a man: one that has taken order with himself, and sets a rule to those lawlesnesses within him: whose life is distinct and in method, and his actions, as it were, cast up before; not loosed into the world's vanities, but gathered up and contracted in his station: not scattered into many pieces of businesses, but that one course he takes, goes through with. A man firm and standing in his purposes, not heaved off with each wind and passion: that squares his expence to his coffers, and makes the total first, and then the items. One that thinks what he does, and does what he says, and foresees what he may do before he purposes. One whose "if I can" is more than another's assurance; and his doubtful tale before some men's protestations:—that is confident of nothing in futurity, yet his conjectures oft true prophecies:—that makes a pause still betwixt his ear and belief, and is not too hasty to say after others. One whose tongue is strung up like a clock till the time, and then strikes, and says much when he talks little:—that can see the truth betwixt two wranglers, and sees them agree even in that they fall out upon:—that speaks no rebellion in a bravery, or talks big from the spirit of sack. A man cool and temperate in his passions, not easily betrayed by his choler:—that vies not oath with oath, nor heat with heat, but replies calmly to an angry man, and is too hard for him too:—that can come fairly off from captain's companies, and neither drink nor quarrel. One whom no ill hunting sends home discontented, and makes him swear at his dogs and family. One not hasty to pursue the new fashion, nor yet affectedly true to his old round breeches; but gravely handsome, and to his place, which suits him better than his taylor: active in the world without disquiet, and careful without misery; yet neither ingulphed in his pleasures, nor a seeker of business, but has his hour for both. A man that seldom laughs violently, but his mirth is a cheerful look: of a composed and settled countenance, not set, nor much alterable with sadness or joy. He affects nothing so wholly, that he must be a miserable man when he loses it; but fore-thinks what will come hereafter, and spares fortune his thanks and curses. One that loves his credit, not this word reputation; yet can save both without a duel. Whose entertainments to greater men are respectful, not complementary; and to his friends plain, not rude. A good husband, father, master; that is, without doting, pampering, familiarity. A man well poised in all humours, in whom nature shewed most geometry, and he has not spoiled the work. A man of more wisdom than wittiness, and brain than fancy; and abler to any thing than to make verses.

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