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Title: Character Writings of the 17th Century
Author: Various
Language: English
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THOMAS HARMAN'S "Caveat for Cursitors"
  A Ruffler

BEN JONSON'S "Every Man out of his Humour" and "Cynthia's Revels"
  A Traveller
  The True Critic.
  The Character of the Persons in "Every Man out of his Humour"


  A Good Woman
  A Very Woman
  Her Next Part
  A Dissembler
  A Courtier
  A Golden Ass
  A Flatterer
  An Ignorant Glory-Hunter
  A Timist
  An Amorist
  An Affected Traveller
  A Wise Man
  A Noble Spirit
  An Old Man
  A Country Gentleman
  A Fine Gentleman
  An Elder Brother
  A Braggadocio Welshman
  A Pedant
  A Serving-Man
  An Host
  An Ostler
  The True Character of a Dunce
  A Good Wife
  A Melancholy Man
  A Sailor
  A Soldier
  A Tailor
  A Puritan
  A Mere Common Lawyer
  A Mere Scholar
  A Tinker
  An Apparitor
  An Almanac-Maker
  A Hypocrite
  A Chambermaid
  A Precisian
  An Inns of Court Man
  A Mere Fellow of a House
  A Worthy Commander in the Wars
  A Vainglorious Coward in Command
  A Pirate
  An Ordinary Fence
  A Puny Clerk
  A Footman
  A Noble and Retired Housekeeper
  An Intruder into Favour
  A Fair and Happy Milkmaid
  An Arrant Horse-Courser
  A Roaring Boy
  A Drunken Dutchman resident in England
  A Phantastique: An Improvident Young Gallant
  A Button-Maker of Amsterdam
  A Distaster of the Time
  A Mere Fellow of a House
  A Mere Pettifogger
  An Ingrosser of Corn
  A Devilish Usurer
  A Waterman
  A Reverend Judge
  A Virtuous Widow
  An Ordinary Widow
  A Quack-Salver
  A Canting Rogue
  A French Cook
  A Sexton
  A Jesuit
  An Excellent Actor
  A Franklin
  A Rhymer
  A Covetous Man
  The Proud Man
  A Prison
  A Prisoner
  A Creditor
  A Sergeant
  His Yeoman
  A Common Cruel Jailer
  What a Character is
  The Character of a Happy Life
  An Essay on Valour


  A Domestic Chaplain
  The Witless Gallant


 I.  _Virtues_--
  Character of the Wise Man
  Of an Honest Man
  Of the Faithful Man
  Of the Humble Man
  Of a Valiant Man
  Of a Patient Man
  Of the True Friend
  Of the Truly Noble
  Of the Good Magistrate
  Of the Penitent
  The Happy Man

 II. _Vices_--
  Character of the Hypocrite
  Of the Busybody
  Of the Superstitious
  Of the Profane
  Of the Malcontent
  Of the Inconstant
  Of the Flatterer
  Of the Slothful
  Of the Covetous
  Of the Vainglorious
  Of the Presumptuous
  Of the Distrustful
  Of the Ambitious
  Of the Unthrift
  Of the Envious




  A Child
  A Young Raw Preacher
  A Grave Divine
  A Mere Dull Physician
  An Alderman
  A Discontented Man
  An Antiquary
  A Younger Brother
  A Mere Formal Man
  A Church-Papist
  A Self-Conceited Man
  A Too Idly Reserved Man
  A Tavern
  A Shark
  A Carrier
  A Young Man
  An Old College Butler
  An Upstart Country Knight
  An Idle Gallant
  A Constable
  A Downright Scholar
  A Plain Country Fellow
  A Player
  A Detractor
  A Young Gentleman of the University
  A Weak Man
  A Tobacco-Seller
  A Pot Poet
  A Plausible Man
  A Bowl-Alley
  The World's Wise Man
  A Surgeon
  A Contemplative Man
  A She Precise Hypocrite
  A Sceptic in Religion
  An Attorney
  A Partial Man
  A Trumpeter
  A Vulgar-Spirited Man
  A Plodding Student
  Paul's Walk
  A Cook
  A Bold Forward Man
  A Baker
  A Pretender to Learning
  A Herald
  The Common Singing-Men in Cathedral Churches
  A Shopkeeper
  A Blunt Man
  A Handsome Hostess
  A Critic
  A Sergeant or Catchpole
  A University Dun
  A Staid Man
  A Modest Man
  A Mere Empty Wit
  A Drunkard
  A Prison
  A Serving-Man
  An Insolent Man
  A Mere Complimental Man
  A Poor Fiddler
  A Meddling Man
  A Good Old Man
  A Flatterer
  A High-Spirited Man
  A Mere Gull Citizen
  A Lascivious Man
  A Rash Man
  An Affected Man
  A Profane Man
  A Coward
  A Sordid Rich Man
  A Mere Great Man
  A Poor Man
  An Ordinary Honest Man
  A Suspicious or Jealous Man



  A Worthy King
  An Unworthy King
  A Worthy Queen
  A Worthy Prince
  An Unworthy Prince
  A Worthy Privy Councillor
  An Unworthy Councillor
  A Nobleman
  An Unnoble Man
  A Worthy Bishop
  An Unworthy Bishop
  A Worthy Judge
  An Unworthy Judge
  A Worthy Knight
  An Unworthy Knight
  A Worthy Gentleman
  An Unworthy Gentleman
  A Worthy Lawyer
  An Unworthy Lawyer
  A Worthy Soldier
  An Untrained Soldier
  A Worthy Physician
  An Unworthy Physician
  A Worthy Merchant
  An Unworthy Merchant
  A Good Man
  An Atheist or Most Bad Man
  A Wise Man
  A Fool
  An Honest Man.
  A Knave
  An Usurer
  A Beggar
  A Virgin
  A Wanton Woman
  A Quiet Woman
  An Unquiet Woman
  A Good Wife
  An Effeminate Fool
  A Parasite
  A Drunkard
  A Coward
  An Honest Poor Man
  A Just Man
  A Repentant Sinner
  A Reprobate
  An Old Man
  A Young Man
  A Holy Man


  A Character of a Prisoner

  A Scold
  A Good Wife

  A Player

  A Corranto-Coiner

  On the University Carrier


  The Term


  The Horse

  T. Ford's Character of Pamphlets

  The Character of a Country Committee-Man, with the Earmark of a
  The Character of a Diurnal-Maker
  The Character of a London Diurnal



  The Valiant Man



  Degenerate Noble, or One that is Proud of his Birth
  A Huffing Courtier
  A Court Beggar
  A Bumpkin or Country
  An Antiquary
  A Proud Man
  A Small Poet
  A Philosopher
  A Melancholy Man
  A Curious Man
  A Herald
  A Virtuoso
  An Intelligencer
  A Quibbler
  A Time-Server
  A Prater
  A Disputant
  A Projector
  A Complimenter
  A Cheat
  A Tedious Man
  A Pretender
  A Newsmonger
  A Modern Critic
  A Busy Man
  A Pedant
  A Hunter
  An Affected Man
  A Medicine-Taker
  The Miser
  A Swearer
  The Luxurious
  An Ungrateful Man
  A Squire of Dames
  An Hypocrite
  An Opinionater
  A Choleric Man
  A Superstitious Man
  A Droll
  The Obstinate Man
  A Zealot
  The Overdoer
  The Rash Man
  The Affected or Formal
  A Flatterer
  A Prodigal
  The Inconstant
  A Glutton
  A Ribald
  A Modern Politician
  A Modern Statesman
  A Duke of Bucks
  A Fantastic
  An Haranguer
  A Ranter
  An Amorist
  An Astrologer
  A Lawyer
  An Epigrammatist
  A Fanatic
  A Proselyte
  A Clown
  A Wooer
  An Impudent Man
  An Imitator
  A Sot
  A Juggler
  A Romance-Writer
  A Libeller
  A Factious Member
  A Play-Writer
  A Mountebank
  A Wittol
  A Litigious Man
  A Humourist
  A Leader of a Faction
  A Debauched Man
  The Seditious Man
  The Rude Man
  A Rabble
  A Knight of the Post
  An Undeserving Favourite
  A Malicious Man
  A Knave


Character of the Happy Warrior




_Character writing, as a distinct form of Literature, had its origin
more than two thousand years ago in the [Greek: aethichoi
Chadaaedes]---Ethic Characters--of Tyrtamus of Lesbos, a disciple of
Plato, who gave him for his eloquence the name of Divine
Speaker--Theophrastus. Aristotle left him his library and all his MSS.,
and named him his successor in the schools of the Lyceum. Nicomachus,
the son of Aristotle, was among his pupils. He followed in the steps of
Aristotle. Diogenes Laertius ascribed to Theophrastus two hundred and
twenty books. He founded, by a History of Plants, the science of Botany;
and he is now best known by the little contribution to Moral Philosophy,
in which he gave twenty-eight short chapters to concise description of
twenty-eight differing qualities in men. The description in each chapter
was not of a man, but of a quality. The method of Theophrastus, as
Casaubon said, was between the philosophical and the poetical. He
described a quality, but he described it by personification, and his aim
was the amending of men's manners. The twenty-eight chapters that have
come down to us are probably no more than a fragment of a larger work.
They describe vices, and not all of them. Another part, now lost, may
have described the virtues. In a short proem the writer speaks of
himself as ninety-nine years old. Probably those two nines were only a
poetical suggestion of long experience from which these pictures of the
constituents of human life and action had been drawn. He had wondered,
he said, before he thought of writing such a book, at the diversities of
manners among Greeks all born under one sky and trained alike. For many
years he had considered and compared the ways of men; he had lived to be
ninety-nine. Our children may be the better for a knowledge of our ways
of daily life, that they may grow into the best. Observe and see whether
I describe them rightly. I will begin, he says, with Dissimulation. I
will first define the vice, and then describe the quality and manners of
the man who dissembles. After that I will endeavour to describe also the
other qualities of mind, each in its kind. Then follow the Characters of
these twenty-eight qualities: Dissimulation, Adulation, Garrulity,
Rusticity, Blandishment, Senselessness, Loquacity, Newsmongering,
Impudence, Sordid Parsimony, Impurity, Ill-timed Approach, Inept
Sedulity, Stupidity, Contumacy, Superstition, Querulousness, Distrust,
Dirtiness, Tediousness, Sordid or Frivolous Desire for Praise,
Illiberality, Ostentation, Pride, Timidity, Oligarchy, or the vehement
desire for honour, without greed for money, Insolence, and Evil
Speaking. One of these Characters may serve as an example of their
method, and show their place in the ancestry of Characters as they were
written in England in the Seventeenth Century._


You may define Stupidity as a slowness of mind in word or deed. But the
Stupid Man is one who, sitting at his counters, and having made all his
calculations and worked out his sum, asks one who sits by him how much
it comes to. When any one has a suit against him, and he has come to the
day when the cause must be decided, he forgets it and walks out into his
field. Often also when he sits to see a play, the rest go out and he is
left, fallen asleep in the theatre. The same man, having eaten too much,
will go out in the night to relieve himself, and fall over the
neighbour's dog, who bites him. The same man, having hidden away what he
has received, is always searching for it, and never finds it. And when
it is announced to him that one of his intimate friends is dead, and he
is asked to the funeral, then, with a face set to sadness and tears, he
says, "Good luck to it!" When he receives money owing to him he calls in
witnesses, and in midwinter he scolds his man for not having gathered
cucumbers. To train his boys for wrestling he makes them race till they
are tired. Cooking his own lentils in the field, he throws salt twice
into the pot and makes them uneatable. When it rains he says, "How sweet
I find this water of the stars." And when some one asks, "How many have
passed the gates of death?" [proverbial phrase for a great number]
answers, "As many, I hope, as will be enough for you and me."

_The first and the best sequence of "Characters" in English Literature
is the series of sketches of the Pilgrims in the Prologue to Chaucer's
"Canterbury Tales" The Characters are so varied as to unite in
representing the whole character of English life in Chaucer's day; and
they are, written upon one plan, each with suggestion of the outward
body and its dress as well as of the mind within. But Chaucer owed
nothing to Theophrastus. In his Character Writing he drew all from
nature with his own good wit. La Bruyère in France translated the
characters of Theophrastus, and his own writing of Characters in the
seventeenth century followed a fashion that had its origin in admiration
of the wit of those Greek Ethical Characters. La Bruyère was born in
1639 and died in 1696. Our Joseph Hall, whose "Characters of Vices and
Virtues" were written in 1608, and translated into French twenty years
before La Bruyère was born, said, in his Preface to them, "I have done
as I could, following that ancient Master of Morality who thought this
the fittest task for the ninety-ninth year of his age, and the
profitablest Monument that he could leave for a farewell to his

There was some aim at short and witty sketches of character in
descriptions of the ingenuity of horse-coursers and coney-catchers who
used quick wit for beguiling the unwary in those bright days of
Elizabeth, when the very tailors and cooks worked fantasies in silk and
velvet, sugar and paste. Thomas Harman, whose grandfather had been Clerk
of the Crown under Henry VII., and who himself inherited estates in
Kent, became greatly interested in the vagrant beggars who came to his
door. He made a study of them, came to London to publish his book, and
lodged at Whitefriars, within the Cloister, for convenience of nearness
to them, and more thorough knowledge of their ways. He first published
his book in 1567 as A Caveat or Warning for Common Cursitors, vulgarly
called Vagabonds--"A Caveat or Warening for common cursetors, Vulgarely
called Vagabones, set forth by Thomas Harman, Esquiere, for the utilite
and proffyt of his naturall Cuntrey" and he dedicated it to Elizabeth,
Countess of Shrewsbury. It contained twenty-four character sketches,
gave the names of the chief tramps then living in England, and a
vocabulary of their cant words. This is Harman's first character_:--


The Ruffler, because he is first in degree of this odious order, and is
so called in a statute made for the punishment of Vagabonds in the
twenty-seventh year of King Henry VIII, late of most famous memory, he
shall be first placed as the worthiest of this unruly rabblement. And he
is so called when he goeth first abroad. Either he hath served in the
wars, or else he hath been a serving-man, and weary of well-doing,
shaking off all pain, doth choose him this idle life; and wretchedly
wanders about the most shires of this realm, and with stout audacity
demandeth, where he thinketh he may be bold, and circumspect enough
where he seeth cause, to ask charity ruefully and lamentably, that it
would make a flinty heart to relent and pity his miserable estate, how
he hath been maimed and bruised in the wars. Peradventure one will show
you some outward wound which he got at some drunken fray, either halting
of some privy wound festered with a filthy fiery flankard [brand]. For
be well assured that the hardiest soldiers be either slain or maimed,
either and [or if] they escape all hazards and return home again, if
they be without relief of their friends they will surely desperately rob
and steal, and either shortly be hanged or miserably die in prison. For
they be so much ashamed and disdain to beg or ask charity, that rather
they will as desperately fight for to live and maintain themselves, as
manfully and valiantly they ventured themselves in the Prince's quarrel.
Now these Rufflers, the outcasts of serving-men, when begging or craving
fails them, they pick and pilfer from other inferior beggars that they
meet by the way, as rogues, palliards, morts, and doxes. Yea, if they
meet with a woman alone riding to the market, either old man or boy,
that he kneweth well will not resist, such they fetch and spoil. These
Rufflers, after a year or two at the farthest, become upright men [lusty
vagrants who beg and take only money, who rob hen roosts, filch from
stalls or pockets, and have dens of their own for drinking and receipt
of stolen goods], unless they be prevented by twined hemp.

I had of late years an old man to my tenant who customably a great time
went twice in the week to London, either with fruit or with peascods,
when time served therefor. And as he was coming homeward, on Blackheath,
at the end thereof next to Shooter's Hill, he overtook two Rufflers, the
one mannerly waiting on the other, as one had been the master and the
other his man or servant, carrying his master's cloak. This old man was
very glad that he might have their company over the hill, because that
day he had made a good market. For he had seven shillings in his purse
and an old angel, which this poor man had thought had not been in his
purse; for he willed his wife overnight to take out the same angel and
lay it up until his coming home again, and he verily thought his wife
had so done, which indeed forgot to do it. Thus, after salutations had,
this Master Ruffler entered into communication with this simple old man,
who, riding softly beside them, communed of many matters. Thus feeding
this old man with pleasant talk until they were on the top of the hill,
where these Rufflers might well behold the coast about them clear,
quickly steps unto this poor man and taketh hold of his horse bridle and
leadeth him into the wood, and demandeth of him what and how much money
he had in his purse. "Now, by my troth," quoth this old man, "you are a
merry gentleman! I know you mean not to take anything from me, but
rather to give me some, if I should ask it of you."

By and by [immediately] this servant thief casteth the cloak that he
carried on his arm about this poor man's face that he should not mark or
view them, with sharp words to deliver quickly that he had, and to
confess truly what was in his purse. This poor man then all abashed
yielded, and confessed that he had seven shillings in his purse; and the
truth is, he knew of no more. This old angel was fallen out of a little
purse into the bottom of a great purse. Now this seven shillings in
white money they quickly found, thinking indeed that there had been no
more; yet farther groping and searching, found this old angel. And with
great admiration this gentleman thief began to bless him, saying--

"Good Lord, what a world is this! How may," quoth he, "a man believe or
trust in the same? See you not," quoth he, "this old knave told me that
he had but seven shillings, and here is more by an angel! What an old
knave and a false knave have we here!" quoth this Ruffler. "Our Lord
have mercy on us, will this world never be better?" and therewith went
their way and left the old man in the wood, doing him no more harm.

But sorrowfully sighing this old man, returning home, declared his
misadventure with all the words and circumstances above showed. Whereat
for the time was great laughing, and this poor man, for his losses,
among his loving neighbours well considered in the end.

_Such character-painting simply came of the keen interest in life that
was at the same time developing an energetic drama. But at the end of
Elizabeth's reign a writing of brief witty characters appears to have
come into fashion as one of the many forms of ingenuity that pleased
society, and might be distantly related to the Euphuism of the day.

Ben Jonson's "Cynthia's Revels," first acted in 1600, two or three years
before the end of Elizabeth's reign, has little character sketches set
into the text. Here are two of them_:--


One so made out of the mixture of shreds and forms that himself is truly
deformed. He walks most commonly with a clove or pick-tooth in his
mouth, he is the very mint of compliment, all his behaviours are
printed, his face is another volume of essays, and his beard is an
Aristarchus. He speaks all cream skimmed, and more affected than a dozen
waiting-women. He is his own promoter in every place. The wife of the
ordinary gives him his diet to maintain her table in discourse; which,
indeed, is a mere tyranny over her other guests, for he will usurp all
the talk; ten constables are not so tedious. He is no great shifter;
once a year his apparel is ready to revolt. He doth use much to
arbitrate quarrels, and fights himself, exceeding well, out at a window.
He will lie cheaper than any beggar, and louder than most clocks; for
which he is right properly accommodated to the whetstone, his page. The
other gallant is his zany, and doth most of these tricks after him;
sweats to imitate him in everything to a hair, except a beard, which is
not yet extant. He doth learn to make strange sauces, to eat anchovies,
maccaroni, bovoli, fagioli, and caviare, because he loves them; speaks
as he speaks, looks, walks, goes so in clothes and fashion: is in all as
if he were moulded of him. Marry, before they met, he had other very
pretty sufficiencies, which yet he retains some light impression of; as
frequenting a dancing-school, and grievously torturing strangers with
inquisition after his grace in his galliard. He buys a fresh
acquaintance at any rate. His eyes and his raiment confer much together
as he goes in the street. He treads nicely, like the fellow that walks
upon ropes, especially the first Sunday of his silk stockings; and when
he is most neat and new, you shall strip him with commendations.


A creature of a most perfect and divine temper: one in whom the humours
and elements are peaceably met, without emulation of precedency. He is
neither too fantastically melancholy, too slowly phlegmatic, too lightly
sanguine, nor too rashly choleric; but in all so composed and ordered,
as it is clear Nature went about some full work, she did more than make
a man when she made him. His discourse is like his behaviour, uncommon,
but not unpleasing; he is prodigal of neither. He strives rather to be
that which men call judicious, than to be thought so; and is so truly
learned, that he affects not to show it. He will think and speak his
thought both freely; but as distant from depraving another man's merit,
as proclaiming his own. For his valour, 'tis such that he dares as
little to offer any injury as receive one. In sum, he hath a most
ingenuous and sweet spirit, a sharp and seasoned wit, a straight
judgment and a strong mind. Fortune could never break him, nor make him
less. He counts it his pleasure to despise pleasures, and is more
delighted with good deeds than goods. It is a competency to him that he
can be virtuous. He doth neither covet nor fear; he hath too much reason
to do either; and that commends all things to him.

_The play that preceded "Cynthia's Revels" was "Every Man Out of his
Humour." It was first printed in 1600, and Ben Jonson amused himself by
adding to its list of Dramatis Personae this piece of Character


_Asper_. He is of an ingenious and free spirit, eager and constant in
reproof, without fear controlling the world's abuses. One whom no
servile hope of gain, or frosty apprehension of danger, can make to be a
parasite, either to time, place, or opinion.

_Macilente_. A man well parted, a sufficient scholar, and travelled;
who, wanting that place in the world's account which he thinks his merit
capable of, falls into such an envious apoplexy, with which his judgment
is so dazzled and distasted, that he grows violently impatient of any
opposite happiness in another.

_Puntarvolo_. A vainglorious knight, over-Englishing his travels, and
wholly consecrated to singularity; the very Jacob's staff of compliment;
a sir that hath lived to see the revolution of time in most of his
apparel. Of presence good enough, but so palpably affected to his own
praise, that for want of flatterers he commends himself, to the floutage
of his own family. He deals upon returns, and strange performances,
resolving, in despite of public derision, to stick to his own particular
fashion, phrase, and gesture.

_Carlo Buffone_. A public, scurrilous, and profane jester, that more
swift than Circe, with absurd similes, will transform any person into
deformity. A good feast-hound or banquet-beagle, that will scent you out
a supper some three miles off, and swear to his patrons, damn him! he
came in oars, when he was but wafted over in a sculler. A slave that
hath an extraordinary gift in pleasing his palate, and will swill up
more sack at a sitting than would make all the guard a posset. His
religion is railing, and his discourse ribaldry. They stand highest in
his respect whom he studies most to reproach.

_Fastidious Brisk_. A neat, spruce, affecting courtier, one that wears
clothes well, and in fashion; practiseth by his glass how to salute;
speaks good remnants, notwithstanding the base viol and tobacco; swears
tersely, and with variety; cares not what lady's favour he belies, or
great man's familiarity; a good property to perfume the boot of a coach.
He will borrow another man's horse to praise, and backs him as his own.
Or, for a need, on foot can post himself into credit with his merchant,
only with the jingle of his spur, and the jerk of his wand.

_Deliro_. A good doting citizen, who, it is thought, might be of the
common-council for his wealth; a fellow sincerely besotted on his own
wife, and so wrapt with a conceit of her perfections, that he simply
holds himself unworthy of her. And, in that hoodwinked humour, lives
more like a suitor than a husband; standing in as true dread of her
displeasure, as when he first made love to her. He doth sacrifice
twopence in juniper to her every morning before she rises, and wakes her
with villainous out-of-tune music, which she out of her contempt (though
not out of her judgment) is sure to dislike.

_Fallace_. Deliro's wife, and idol; a proud mincing peat, and as
perverse as he is officious. She dotes as perfectly upon the courtier,
as her husband doth on her, and only wants the face to be dishonest.

_Saviolina_. A court-lady, whose weightiest praise is a light wit,
admired by herself, and one more, her servant Brisk.

_Sordido_. A wretched hobnailed chuff, whose recreation is reading of
almanacks; and felicity, foul weather. One that never prayed but for a
lean dearth, and ever wept in a fat harvest.

_Fungoso_. The son of Sordido, and a student; one that has revelled in
his time, and follows the fashion afar off, like a spy. He makes it the
whole bent of his endeavours to wring sufficient means from his wretched
father, to put him in the courtiers' cut; at which he earnestly aims,
but so unluckily, that he still lights short a suit.

_Sogliardo_. An essential clown, brother to Sordido, yet so enamoured of
the name of a gentleman, that he will have it though he buys it. He
comes up every term to learn to take tobacco, and see new motions. He is
in his kingdom when he can get himself into company where he may be well
laughed at.

_Shift_. A threadbare shark; one that never was a soldier, yet lives
upon lendings. His profession is skeldring and odling, his bank Paul's,
and his warehouse Picthatch. Takes up single testons upon oath, till
doomsday. Falls under executions of three shillings, and enters into
five-groat bonds. He waylays the reports of services, and cons them
without book, damning himself he came new from them, when all the while
he was taking the diet in the bawdy-house, or lay pawned in his chamber
for rent and victuals. He is of that admirable and happy memory, that he
will salute one for an old acquaintance that he never saw in his life
before. He usurps upon cheats, quarrels, and robberies, which he never
did, only to get him a name. His chief exercises are, taking the whiff,
squiring a cockatrice, and making privy searches for imparters.

_Clove_ and _Orange_. An inseparable case of coxcombs, city born; the
Gemini, or twins of foppery; that, like a pair of wooden foils, are fit
for nothing but to be practised upon. Being well flattered they'll lend
money, and repent when they have done. Their glory is to invite players,
and make suppers. And in company of better rank, to avoid the suspect of
insufficiency, will enforce their ignorance most desperately, to set
upon the understanding of anything. Orange is the most humorous of the
two, whose small portion of juice being squeezed out, Clove serves to
stick him with commendations.

_Cordatus_. The author's friend; a man inly acquainted with the scope
and drift of his plot; of a discreet and understanding judgment; and has
the place of a moderator.

_Mitis_. Is a person of no action, and therefore we have reason to
afford him no character.

_Of this kind are the



                    SIR THOMAS OVERBURY,

which were not published until_ 1614, _the year after their writer's
death, at the age of thirty-two; but they may have been written earlier
than the "Characters of Virtues and Vices"--ethical characters--written
by Joseph Hall, which were first published in_ 1609.

_Sir Thomas Overbury died poisoned in the Tower on the_ 15_th of
September_ 1613. _On the_ 5_th of January_ 1606, _by desire of James the
First, the young Earl of Essex, aged fourteen, had been married to the
Lady Frances Howard, aged thirteen, the younger daughter of the Earl of
Suffolk. Ben Jonson's "Masque of Hymen" was produced at Court in
celebration of that union. The young Robert Devereux, third Earl of
Essex, had good qualities too solid for the taste of a frivolous girl;
and when, after travel abroad, the husband of eighteen claimed the wife
of seventeen, he found her happy in flirtation with the King's
favourite, Sir Robert Carr. Though compelled to live with her husband,
she repelled all his advances, and after three years of this repugnance
tried for a divorce. The King's Scotch favourite, Carr, had been made,
in March 1611, an English peer, as Viscount Rochester, when the age of
the young Countess of Essex was nineteen. He was the man highest in King
James's favour. If the divorce sought by the Countess early in 1613 were
obtained for her, it was understood that Carr would marry her, and that
support of the divorce would be a way to future benefit through his good
offices. Thus she obtained the support of her father and uncle, the
Earls of Suffolk and Northampton. The King's influence went with the
wishes of the favourite. The trial, in 1613, ending in a decree of
nullity of marriage, was a four months' scandal in the land. Among the
familiar friends of Robert Carr, Lord Rochester, was Sir Thomas
Overbury, born in Warwickshire in 1581, and knighted by King James in
1608. He strongly opposed the policy of a divorce obtained on false
pretences followed by his patron's marriage to the divorced wife. The
grounds of his opposition may have been part private, part political.
His opposition was determined, and if he offered himself as witness
before the Commission, he probably knew enough about the lady's secret
practisings to give such evidence as would frustrate her designs. It was
thought desirable, therefore, to get Overbury out of the way. The King
offered him a post abroad. He was unwilling to accept it, and at last
was driven to an explicit refusal. The King was angry, and caused his
Council to commit Sir Thomas Overbury to the Tower for contempt of His
Majesty's commands. He was to be seen by no one, and to have no servant
with him. Sir William Wood, the Lieutenant of the Tower, was superseded,
and Sir Gervase Helwys was put in his place with secret understandings,
of which the design may only have been to prevent Sir Thomas Overbury
from saying anything that could come to the ears of the world until the
divorce was granted. But Lady Essex wished Sir Thomas Overbury to be
more effectually silenced. She had tried and failed to get him
assassinated. Now she resolved to get him poisoned. She obtained the
employment of a creature of her own, named Weston, as his immediate
keeper. Weston falsely professed to Lady Essex that he had administered
the poison she had given him, and that the result had been not death but
loss of health. There is much uncertainty about the evidence of detail
and of the privity of others in the designs of Lady Essex, who seems at
last to have completed her work by the agency of an apothecary's
assistant. He gave the fatal dose in an injection, by which Overbury was
killed ten days before the Commission gave judgment in favour of the
divorce. At Christmas the favourite married the divorced wife, having
been created Earl of Somerset, that as his wife she might be Countess
still. In the following year, 1614, Sir Thomas Overbury's "Characters"
were published, together with his Character in verse of A Wife, who was
described as "A Wife, now a Widow." This had been published a little
earlier in the same year separately, without any added "Characters."
When the Characters appeared they were described as "Many Witty
Characters and conceited Newes written by himselfe and other learned
Gentlemen his Friends." The twenty-one Characters in that edition were,
therefore, not all from one hand. Their popularity is indicated by the
fact that in the next year, 1615, they reached a sixth edition. Three
more editions were published in 1616. This was because interest in the
book had been heightened by the Great Oyer of Poisoning, the trial in
May 1616 of the Earl and Countess of Somerset for Overbury's murder, of
which both were found guilty, though the Countess took all guilt upon
herself. Then followed a tenth edition in 1618, an eleventh in 1622, a
twelfth in 1627, a thirteenth in 1628, a fourteenth in 1630, a fifteenth
in 1632, a sixteenth in 1638; and then a pause, the seventeenth being in
1664, two years before the fire of London. By this time the original set
of twenty-one Characters had been considerably increased, "with
additions of New Characters and many other Witty Conceits never before
Printed;" so that Overbury's Characters, which had from the first
included a few pieces written by his friends, became a name for the most
popular miscellany of pieces of Character Writing current in the
Seventeenth Century, and shows how wit was exercised in this way by
half-a-dozen or more of the mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease. These
are the pieces thus at last made current as_




       *       *       *       *       *


A Good Woman is a comfort, like a man. She lacks of him nothing but
heat. Thence is her sweetness of disposition, which meets his stoutness
more pleasingly; so wool meets iron easier than iron, and turns
resisting into embracing. Her greatest learning is religion, and her
thoughts are on her own sex, or on men, without casting the difference.
Dishonesty never comes nearer than her ears, and then wonder stops it
out, and saves virtue the labour. She leaves the neat youth telling his
luscious tales, and puts back the serving-man's putting forward with a
frown: yet her kindness is free enough to be seen, for it hath no guilt
about it; and her mirth is clear, that you may look through it into
virtue, but not beyond. She hath not behaviour at a certain, but makes
it to her occasion. She hath so much knowledge as to love it; and if she
have it not at home, she will fetch it, for this sometimes in a pleasant
discontent she dares chide her sex, though she use it never the worse.
She is much within, and frames outward things to her mind, not her mind
to them. She wears good clothes, but never better; for she finds no
degree beyond decency. She hath a content of her own, and so seeks not
an husband, but finds him. She is indeed most, but not much of
description, for she is direct and one, and hath not the variety of ill.
Now she is given fresh and alive to a husband, and she doth nothing more
than love him, for she takes him to that purpose. So his good becomes
the business of her actions, and she doth herself kindness upon him.
After his, her chiefest virtue is a good husband. For she is he.


A Very Woman is a dough-baked man, or a She meant well towards man, but
fell two bows short, strength and understanding. Her virtue is the
hedge, modesty, that keeps a man from climbing over into her faults. She
simpers as if she had no teeth but lips; and she divides her eyes, and
keeps half for herself, and gives the other to her neat youth. Being set
down, she casts her face into a platform, which dureth the meal, and is
taken away with the voider. Her draught reacheth to good manners, not to
thirst, and it is a part of their mystery not to profess hunger; but
nature takes her in private and stretcheth her upon meat. She is
marriageable and fourteen at once, and after she doth not live but
tarry. She reads over her face every morning, and sometimes blots out
pale and writes red. She thinks she is fair, though many times her
opinion goes alone, and she loves her glass and the knight of the sun
for lying. She is hid away all but her face, and that's hanged about
with toys and devices, like the sign of a tavern, to draw strangers. If
she show more she prevents desire, and by too free giving leaves no
gift. She may escape from the serving-man, but not from the chambermaid.
Her philosophy is a seeming neglect of those that be too good for her.
She's a younger brother for her portion, but not for her portion for
wit--that comes from her in treble, which is still too big for it; yet
her vanity seldom matcheth her with one of her own degree, for then she
will beget another creature a beggar, and commonly, if she marry better
she marries worse. She gets much by the simplicity of her suitor, and
for a jest laughs at him without one. Thus she dresses a husband for
herself, and after takes him for his patience, and the land adjoining,
ye may see it, in a serving-man's fresh napery, and his leg steps into
an unknown stocking. I need not speak of his garters, the tassel shows
itself. If she love, she loves not the man, but the best of him. She is
Salomon's cruel creature, and a man's walking consumption; every caudle
she gives him is a purge. Her chief commendation is, she brings a man to


Her lightness gets her to swim at top of the table, where her wry little
finger bewrays carving; her neighbours at the latter end know they are
welcome, and for that purpose she quencheth her thirst. She travels to
and among, and so becomes a woman of good entertainment, for all the
folly in the country comes in clean linen to visit her; she breaks to
them her grief in sugar cakes, and receives from their mouths in
exchange many stories that conclude to no purpose. Her eldest son is
like her howsoever, and that dispraiseth him best; her utmost drift is
to turn him fool, which commonly she obtains at the years of discretion.
She takes a journey sometimes to her niece's house, but never thinks
beyond London. Her devotion is good clothes--they carry her to church,
express their stuff and fashion, and are silent if she be more devout;
she lifts up a certain number of eyes instead of prayers, and takes the
sermon, and measures out a nap by it, just as long. She sends religion
afore to sixty, where she never overtakes it, or drives it before her
again. Her most necessary instruments are a waiting gentlewoman and a
chambermaid; she wears her gentlewoman still, but most often leaves the
other in her chamber window. She hath a little kennel in her lap, and
she smells the sweeter for it. The utmost reach of her providence is the
fatness of a capon, and her greatest envy is the next gentlewoman's
better gown. Her most commendable skill is to make her husband's fustian
bear her velvet. This she doth many times over, and then is delivered to
old age and a chair, where everybody leaves her.


Is an essence needing a double definition, for he is not that he
appears. Unto the eye he is pleasing, unto the ear he is harsh, but unto
the understanding intricate and full of windings; he is the _prima
materia_, and his intents give him form; he dyeth his means and his
meaning into two colours; he baits craft with humility, and his
countenance is the picture of the present disposition. He wins not by
battery but undermining, and his rack is smoothing. He allures, is not
allured by his affections, for they are the breakers of his observation.
He knows passion only by sufferance, and resisteth by obeying. He makes
his time an accountant to his memory, and of the humours of men weaves a
net for occasion; the inquisitor must look through his judgment, for to
the eye only he is not visible.


To all men's thinking, is a man, and to most men the finest; all things
else are defined by the understanding, but this by the senses; but his
surest mark is, that he is to be found only about princes. He smells,
and putteth away much of his judgment about the situation of his
clothes. He knows no man that is not generally known. His wit, like the
marigold, openeth with the sun, and therefore he riseth not before ten
of the clock. He puts more confidence in his words than meaning, and
more in his pronunciation than his words. Occasion is his Cupid, and he
hath but one receipt of making love. He follows nothing but inconstancy,
admires nothing but beauty, honours nothing but fortune: Loves nothing.
The sustenance of his discourse is news, and his censure, like a shot,
depends upon the charging. He is not, if he be out of court, but
fish-like breathes destruction if out of his element. Neither his motion
or aspect are regular, but he moves by the upper spheres, and is the
reflection of higher substances.

If you find him not here, you shall in Paul's, with a pick-tooth in his
hat, cape-cloak, and a long stocking.


Is a young thing, whose father went to the devil; he is followed like a
salt bitch, and limbed by him that gets up first; his disposition is
cut, and knaves rend him like tenter-hooks; he is as blind as his
mother, and swallows flatterers for friends. He is high in his own
imagination, but that imagination is as a stone that is raised by
violence, descends naturally. When he goes, he looks who looks; if he
find not good store of vailers, he comes home stiff and sere, until he
be new oiled and watered by his husbandmen. Wheresoever he eats he hath
an officer to warn men not to talk out of his element, and his own is
exceeding sensible, because it is sensual; but he cannot exchange a
piece of reason, though he can a piece of gold. He is not plucked, for
his feathers are his beauty, and more than his beauty, they are his
discretion, his countenance, his all. He is now at an end, for he hath
had the wolf of vainglory, which he fed until himself became the food.


Is the shadow of a fool. He is a good woodman, for he singleth out none
but the wealthy. His carriage is ever of the colour of his patient; and
for his sake he will halt or wear a wry neck. He dispraiseth nothing but
poverty and small drink, and praiseth his Grace of making water. He
selleth himself with reckoning his great friends, and teacheth the
present how to win his praises by reciting the other gifts; he is ready
for all employments, but especially before dinner, for his courage and
his stomach go together. He will play any upon his countenance, and
where he cannot be admitted for a counsellor he will serve as a fool. He
frequents the Court of Wards and Ordinaries, and fits these guests of
_Togae viriles_ with wives or worse. He entereth young men into
aquaintance with debt-books. In a word, he is the impression of the last
term, and will be so until the coming of a new term or termer.


Is an _insectum_ animal, for he is the maggot of opinion; his behaviour
is another thing from himself, and is glued and but set on. He
entertains men with repetitions, and returns them their own words. He is
ignorant of nothing, no not of those things where ignorance is the
lesser shame. He gets the names of good wits, and utters them for his
companions. He confesseth vices that he is guiltless of, if they be in
fashion; and dares not salute a man in old clothes, or out of fashion.
There is not a public assembly without him, and he will take any pains
for an acquaintance there. In any show he will be one, though he be but
a whiffler or a torch-bearer, and bears down strangers with the story of
his actions. He handles nothing that is not rare, and defends his
wardrobe, diet, and all customs, with intituling their beginnings from
princes, great soldiers, and strange nations. He dare speak more than he
understands, and adventures his words without the relief of any seconds.
He relates battles and skirmishes as from an eyewitness, when his eyes
thievishly beguiled a ballad of them. In a word, to make sure of
admiration, he will not let himself understand himself, but hopes fame
and opinion will be the readers of his riddles.


Is a noun adjective of the present tense. He hath no more of a
conscience than fear, and his religion is not his but the prince's. He
reverenceth a courtier's servant's servant; is first his own slave, and
then whosesoever looketh big. When he gives he curseth, and when he
sells he worships. He reads the statutes in his chamber, and wears the
Bible in the streets; he never praiseth any, but before themselves or
friends; and mislikes no great man's actions during his life. His New
Year's gifts are ready at Allhallowmas, and the suit he meant to
meditate before them. He pleaseth the children of great men, and
promiseth to adopt them, and his courtesy extends itself even to the
stable. He strains to talk wisely, and his modesty would serve a bride.
He is gravity from the head to the foot, but not from the head to the
heart. You may find what place he affecteth, for he creeps as near it as
may be, and as passionately courts it; if at any time his hopes be
affected, he swelleth with them, and they burst out too good for the
vessel. In a word, he danceth to the tune of Fortune, and studies for
nothing but to keep time.


Is a man blasted or planet-stricken, and is the dog that leads blind
Cupid; when he is at the best his fashion exceeds the worth of his
weight. He is never without verses and musk confects, and sighs to the
hazard of his buttons. His eyes are all white, either to wear the livery
of his mistress' complexion or to keep Cupid from hitting the black. He
fights with passion, and loseth much of his blood by his weapon; dreams,
thence his paleness. His arms are carelessly used, as if their best use
was nothing but embracements. He is untrussed, unbuttoned, and
ungartered, not out of carelessness, but care; his farthest end being
but going to bed. Sometimes he wraps his petition in neatness, but he
goeth not alone; for then he makes some other quality moralise his
affection, and his trimness is the grace of that grace. Her favour lifts
him up as the sun moisture; when she disfavours, unable to hold that
happiness, it falls down in tears. His fingers are his orators, and he
expresseth much of himself upon some instrument. He answers not, or not
to the purpose, and no marvel, for he is not at home. He scotcheth time
with dancing with his mistress, taking up of her glove, and wearing her
feather; he is confined to her colour, and dares not pass out of the
circuit of her memory. His imagination is a fool, and it goeth in a pied
coat of red and white. Shortly, he is translated out of a man into
folly; his imagination is the glass of lust, and himself the traitor to
his own discretion.


Is a speaking fashion; he hath taken pains to be ridiculous, and hath
seen more than he hath perceived. His attire speaks French or Italian,
and his gait cries, Behold me. He censures all things by countenances
and shrugs, and speaks his own language with shame and lisping; he will
choke rather than confess beer good drink, and his pick-tooth is a main
part of his behaviour. He chooseth rather to be counted a spy than not a
politician, and maintains his reputation by naming great men familiarly.
He chooseth rather to tell lies than not wonders, and talks with men
singly; his discourse sounds big, but means nothing; and his boy is
bound to admire him howsoever. He comes still from great personages, but
goes with mean. He takes occasion to show jewels given him in regard of
his virtue, that were bought in St. Martin's; and not long after having
with a mountebank's method pronounced them worth thousands, impawneth
them for a few shillings. Upon festival days he goes to court, and
salutes without resaluting; at night in an ordinary he canvasseth the
business in hand, and seems as conversant with all intents and plots as
if he begot them. His extraordinary account of men is, first to tell
them the ends of all matters of consequence, and then to borrow money of
them; he offers courtesies to show them, rather than himself, humble. He
disdains all things above his reach, and preferreth all countries before
his own. He imputeth his want and poverty to the ignorance of the time,
not his own unworthiness; and concludes his discourse with half a
period, or a word, and leaves the rest to imagination. In a word, his
religion is fashion, and both body and soul are governed by fame; he
loves most voices above truth.


Is the truth of the true definition of man, that is, a reasonable
creature. His disposition alters; he alters not. He hides himself with
the attire of the vulgar; and in indifferent things is content to be
governed by them. He looks according to nature; so goes his behaviour.
His mind enjoys a continual smoothness; so cometh it that his
consideration is always at home. He endures the faults of all men
silently, except his friends, and to them he is the mirror of their
actions; by this means, his peace cometh not from fortune, but himself.
He is cunning in men, not to surprise, but keep his own, and beats off
their ill-affected humours no otherwise than if they were flies. He
chooseth not friends by the Subsidy-book, and is not luxurious after
acquaintance. He maintains the strength of his body, not by delicates
but temperance; and his mind, by giving it pre-eminence over his body.
He understands things, not by their form, but qualities; and his
comparisons intend not to excuse but to provoke him higher. He is not
subject to casualties, for fortune hath nothing to do with the mind,
except those drowned in the body; but he hath divided his soul from the
case of his soul, whose weakness he assists no otherwise than
commiseratively--not that it is his, but that it is. He is thus, and
will be thus; and lives subject neither to time nor his frailties, the
servant of virtue, and by virtue the friend of the highest.


Hath surveyed and fortified his disposition, and converts all occurrents
into experience, between which experience and his reason there is
marriage; the issue are his actions. He circuits his intents, and seeth
the end before he shoot. Men are the instruments of his art, and there
is no man without his use. Occasion incites him, none enticeth him; and
he moves by affection, not for affection. He loves glory, scorns shame,
and governeth and obeyeth with one countenance, for it comes from one
consideration. He calls not the variety of the world chances, for his
meditation hath travelled over them, and his eye, mounted upon his
understanding, seeth them as things underneath. He covers not his body
with delicacies, nor excuseth these delicacies by his body, but teacheth
it, since it is not able to defend its own imbecility, to show or
suffer. He licenseth not his weakness to wear fate, but knowing reason
to be no idle gift of nature, he is the steersman of his own destiny.
Truth is the goddess, and he takes pains to get her, not to look like
her. He knows the condition of the world, that he must act one thing
like another, and then another. To these he carries his desires, and not
his desires him, and sticks not fast by the way (for that contentment is
repentance), but knowing the circle of all courses, of all intents, of
all things, to have but one centre or period, without all distraction,
he hasteth thither and ends there, as his true and natural element. He
doth not contemn Fortune, but not confess her. He is no gamester of the
world (which only complain and praise her), but being only sensible of
the honesty of actions, contemns a particular profit as the excrement of
scum. Unto the society of men he is a sun, whose clearness directs their
steps in a regular motion. When he is more particular, he is the wise
man's friend, the example of the indifferent, the medicine of the
vicious. Thus time goeth not from him, but with him; and he feels age
more by the strength of his soul than the weakness of his body. Thus
feels he no pain, but esteems all such things as friends that desire to
file off his fetters, and help him out of prison.


Is a thing that hath been a man in his days. Old men are to be known
blindfolded, for their talk is as terrible as their resemblance. They
praise their own times as vehemently as if they would sell them. They
become wrinkled with frowning and facing youth; they admire their old
customs, even to the eating of red herring and going wetshod. They cast
the thumb under the girdle, gravity; and because they can hardly smell
at all their posies are under their girdles. They count it an ornament
of speech to close the period with a cough; and it is venerable (they
say) to spend time in wiping their drivelled beards. Their discourse is
unanswerable, by reason of their obstinacy; their speech is much, though
little to the purpose. Truths and lies pass with an unequal affirmation;
for their memories several are won into one receptacle, and so they come
out with one sense. They teach their servants their duties with as much
scorn and tyranny as some people teach their dogs to fetch. Their envy
is one of their diseases. They put off and on their clothes with that
certainty, as if they knew their heads would not direct them, and
therefore custom should. They take a pride in halting and going stiffly,
and therefore their staves are carved and tipped; they trust their
attire with much of their gravity; and they dare not go without a gown
in summer. Their hats are brushed, to draw men's eyes off from their
faces; but of all, their pomanders are worn to most purpose, for their
putrified breath ought not to want either a smell to defend or a dog
to excuse.


Is a thing, out of whose corruption the generation of a Justice of Peace
is produced. He speaks statutes and husbandry well enough to make his
neighbours think him a wise man; he is well skilled in arithmetic or
rates, and hath eloquence enough to save twopence. His conversation
amongst his tenants is desperate, but amongst his equals full of doubt.
His travel is seldom farther than the next market town, and his
inquisition is about the price of corn. When he travelleth he will go
ten miles out of the way to a cousin's house of his to save charges; he
rewards the servant by taking him by the hand when he departs. Nothing
under a subpoena can draw him to London; and when he is there he sticks
fast upon every object, casts his eyes away upon gazing, and becomes the
prey of every cutpurse. When he comes home, those wonders serve him for
his holiday talk. If he go to court it is in yellow stockings; and if it
be in winter, in a slight taffety cloak, and pumps and pantofles. He is
chained that woos the usher for his coming into the presence, where he
becomes troublesome with the ill-managing of his rapier, and the wearing
of his girdle of one fashion, and the hangers of another. By this time
he hath learned to kiss his hand, and make a leg both together, and the
names of lords and councillors. He hath thus much toward entertainment
and courtesy, but of the last he makes more use, for, by the recital of
my lord, he conjures his poor countrymen. But this is not his element;
he must home again, being like a dor, that ends his flight in
a dunghill.


Is the cinnamon tree, whose bark is more worth than his body. He hath
read the book of good manners, and by this time each of his limbs may
read it. He alloweth of no judge but the eye: painting, bolstering, and
bombasting are his orators. By these also he proves his industry, for he
hath purchased legs, hair, beauty, and straightness, more than nature
left him. He unlocks maidenheads with his language, and speaks Euphues,
not so gracefully as heartily. His discourse makes not his behaviour;
but he buys it at court, as countrymen their clothes in Birchin Lane. He
is somewhat like the salamander, and lives in the flame of love, which
pains he expresseth comically. And nothing grieves him so much as the
want of a poet to make an issue in his love. Yet he sighs sweetly and
speaks lamentably, for his breath is perfumed and his words are wind. He
is best in season at Christmas, for the boar's head and reveller come
together. His hopes are laden in his quality; and, lest fiddlers should
take him unprovided, he wears pumps in his pocket; and, lest he should
take fiddlers unprovided, he whistles his own galliard. He is a calendar
of ten years, and marriage rusts him. Afterwards he maintains himself an
implement of household, by carving and ushering. For all this, he is
judicial only in tailors and barbers; but his opinion is ever ready, and
ever idle. If you will know more of his acts, the broker's shop is the
witness of his valour, where lies wounded, dead rent, and out of
fashion, many a spruce suit, overthrown by his fantasticness.


Is a creature born to the best advantage of things without him; that
hath the start at the beginning, but loiters it away before the ending.
He looks like his land, as heavily and dirtily, as stubbornly. He dares
do anything but fight, and fears nothing but his father's life, and
minority. The first thing he makes known is his estate, and the
loadstone that draws him is the upper end of the table. He wooeth by a
particular, and his strongest argument is all about the jointure. His
observation is all about the fashion, and he commends partlets for a
rare device. He speaks no language, but smells of dogs or hawks, and his
ambition flies justice-height. He loves to be commended; and he will go
into the kitchen but he'll have it. He loves glory, but is so lazy as he
is content with flattery. He speaks most of the precedency of age, and
protests fortune the greatest virtue. He summoneth the old servants, and
tells what strange acts he will do when he reigns. He verily believes
housekeepers the best commonwealths-men, and therefore studies baking,
brewing, greasing, and such, as the limbs of goodness. He judgeth it no
small sign of wisdom to talk much; his tongue therefore goes continually
his errand, but never speeds. If his understanding were not honester
than his will, no man should keep good conceit by him, for he thinks it
no theft to sell all he can to opinion. His pedigree and his father's
seal-ring are the stilts of his crazed disposition. He had rather keep
company with the dregs of men than not to be the best man. His
insinuation is the inviting of men to his house; and he thinks it a
great modesty to comprehend his cheer under a piece of mutton and a
rabbit. If he by this time be not known, he will go home again, for he
can no more abide to have himself concealed than his land. Yet he is (as
you see) good for nothing, except to make a stallion to maintain
the race.


Is the oyster that the pearl is in, for a man may be picked out of him.
He hath the abilities of the mind in _potentia_, and _actu_ nothing but
boldness. His clothes are in fashion before his body, and he accounts
boldness the chiefest virtue. Above all men he loves an herald, and
speaks pedigrees naturally. He accounts none well descended that call
him not cousin, and prefers Owen Glendower before any of the Nine
Worthies. The first note of his familiarity is the confession of his
valour, and so he prevents quarrels. He voucheth Welsh a pure and
unconquered language, and courts ladies with the story of their
chronicle. To conclude, he is precious in his own conceit, and upon St.
David's Day without comparison.


He treads in a rule, and one hand scans verses, and the other holds his
sceptre. He dares not think a thought that the nominative case governs
not the verb; and he never had meaning in his life, for he travelled
only for words. His ambition is criticism, and his example Tully. He
values phrases, and elects them by the sound, and the eight parts of
speech are his servants. To be brief, he is a Heteroclite, for he wants
the plural number, having only the single quality of words.


Is a creature, which, though he be not drunk, yet is not his own man. He
tells without asking who owns him, by the superscription of his livery.
His life is for ease and leisure, much about gentleman-like. His wealth
enough to suffice nature, and sufficient to make him happy, if he were
sure of it, for he hath little, and wants nothing; he values himself
higher or lower as his master is. He hates or loves the men as his
master doth the master. He is commonly proud of his master's horses or
his Christmas; he sleeps when he is sleepy, is of his religion, only the
clock of his stomach is set to go an hour after his. He seldom breaks
his own clothes. He never drinks but double, for he must be pledged; nor
commonly without some short sentence nothing to the purpose, and seldom
abstains till he comes to a thirst. His discretion is to be careful for
his master's credit, and his sufficiency to marshal dishes at a table,
and to carve well; his neatness consists much in his hair and outward
linen; his courting language, visible coarse jests; and against his
matter fail, he is always ready furnished with a song. His inheritance
is the chambermaid, but often purchaseth his master's daughter, by
reason of opportunity, or for want of a better, he always cuckolds
himself, and never marries but his own widow. His master being appeased,
he becomes a retainer, and entails himself and his posterity upon his
heir-males for ever.


Is the kernel of a sign; or the sign is the shell, and mine host is the
snail. He consists of double beer and fellowship, and his vices are the
bawds of his thirst. He entertains humbly, and gives his guests power,
as well of himself as house. He answers all men's expectations to his
power, save in the reckoning; and hath gotten the trick of greatness, to
lay all mislikes upon his servants. His wife is the common seed of his
dove-house; and to be a good guest is a warrant for her liberty. He
traffics for guests by men-friends' friends' friends, and is sensible
only of his purse. In a word, he is none of his own; for he neither
eats, drinks, or thinks, but at other men's charges and appointments.


Is a thing that scrubbeth unreasonably his horse, reasonably himself. He
consists of travellers, though he be none himself. His highest ambition
is to be host, and the invention of his sign is his greatest wit, for
the expressing whereof he sends away the painters for want of
understanding. He hath certain charms for a horse mouth, that he should
not eat his hay; and behind your back he will cozen your horse to his
face. His curry-comb is one of his best parts, for he expresseth much by
the jingling; and his mane-comb is a spinner's card turned out of
service. He puffs and blows over your horse, to the hazard of a double
jug, and leaves much of the dressing to the proverb of _muli mutuo
scabient_, one horse rubs another. He comes to him that calls loudest,
not first; he takes a broken head patiently, but the knave he feels it
not; utmost honesty is good fellowship, and he speaks northern, what
countryman soever. He hath a pension of ale from the next smith and
saddler for intelligence; he loves to see you ride, and hold your
stirrup in expectation.


He hath a soul drowned in a lump of flesh, or is a piece of earth that
Prometheus put not half his proportion of fire into. A thing that hath
neither edge of desire nor feeling of affection in it; the most
dangerous creature for confirming an atheist, who would swear his soul
were nothing but the bare temperature of his body. He sleeps as he goes,
and his thoughts seldom reach an inch further than his eyes. The most
part of the faculties of his soul lie fallow, or are like the restive
jades that no spur can drive forward towards the pursuit of any worthy
designs. One of the most unprofitable of God's creatures, being as he is
a thing put clean beside the right use; made fit for the cart and the
flail, and by mischance entangled amongst books and papers. A man cannot
tell possibly what he is now good for, save to move up and down and fill
room, or to serve as _animatum instrumentum_, for others to work withal
in base employments, or to be foil for better wits, or to serve (as they
say monsters do) to set out the variety of nature, and ornament of the
universe. He is mere nothing of himself, neither eats, nor drinks, nor
goes, nor spits, but by imitation, for all which he hath set forms and
fashions, which he never varies, but sticks to with the like plodding
constancy that a mill-horse follows his trace. But the Muses and the
Graces are his hard mistresses; though he daily invocate them, though he
sacrifice hecatombs, they still look asquint. You shall note him
(besides his dull eye, and lowering head, and a certain clammy benumbed
pace) by a fair displayed beard, a night-cap, and a gown, whose very
wrinkles proclaim him the true genius of familiarity. But of all others,
his discourse and compositions best speak him, both of them are much of
one stuff and fashion. He speaks just what his books or last company
said unto him, without varying one whit, and very seldom understands
himself. You may know by his discourse where he was last; for what he
heard or read yesterday, he now dischargeth his memory or note-book
of--not his understanding, for it never came there. What he hath he
flings abroad at all adventures, without accommodating it to time,
place, or persons, or occasions. He commonly loseth himself in his tale,
and flutters up and down windless without recovery, and whatsoever next
presents itself, his heavy conceit seizeth upon, and goeth along with,
however heterogeneal to his matter in hand. His jests are either old
fled proverbs, or lean-starved hackney apophthegms, or poor verbal
quips, outworn by serving-men, tapsters, and milkmaids, even laid aside
by balladers. He assents to all men that bring any shadow of reason, and
you may make him when he speaks most dogmatically even with one breath,
to aver poor contradictions. His compositions differ only _terminorum
positione_ from dreams; nothing but rude heaps of immaterial,
incoherent, drossy, rubbishy stuff, promiscuously thrust up together;
enough to infuse dulness and barrenness in conceit into him that is so
prodigal of his ears as to give the hearing; enough to make a man's
memory ache with suffering such dirty stuff cast into it. As unwelcome
to any true conceit, as sluttish morsels or wallowish potions to a nice
stomach, which whiles he empties himself, it sticks in his teeth, nor
can he be delivered without sweat, and sighs, and hems, and coughs
enough to shake his grandam's teeth out of her head. He spits, and
scratches, and spawls, and turns like sick men from one elbow to
another, and deserves as much pity during his torture as men in fits of
tertian fevers, or self-lashing penitentiaries. In a word, rip him quite
asunder, and examine every shred of him, you shall find of him to be
just nothing but the subject of nothing; the object of contempt; yet
such as he is you must take him, for there is no hope he should ever
become better.


Is a man's best movable, a scion incorporate with the stock, bringing
sweet fruit; one that to her husband is more than a friend, less than
trouble; an equal with him in the yoke. Calamities and troubles she
shares alike, nothing pleaseth her that doth not him. She is relative in
all, and he without her but half himself. She is his absent hands, eyes,
ears, and mouth; his present and absent all. She frames her nature unto
his howsoever; the hyacinth follows not the sun more willingly.
Stubbornness and obstinacy are herbs that grow not in her garden. She
leaves tattling to the gossips of the town, and is more seen than heard.
Her household is her charge; her care to that makes her seldom
non-resident. Her pride is but to be cleanly, and her thrift not to be
prodigal. By her discretion she hath children not wantons; a husband
without her is a misery to man's apparel: none but she hath an aged
husband, to whom she is both a staff and a chair. To conclude, she is
both wise and religious, which makes her all this.


Is a strayer from the drove: one that Nature made a sociable, because
she made him man, and a crazed disposition hath altered. Unpleasing to
all, as all to him; straggling thoughts are his content, they make him
dream waking, there's his pleasure. His imagination is never idle, it
keeps his mind in a continual motion, as the poise the clock: he winds
up his thoughts often, and as often unwinds them; Penelope's web thrives
faster. He'll seldom be found without the shade of some grove, in whose
bottom a river dwells. He carries a cloud in his face, never fair
weather; his outside is framed to his inside, in that he keeps a
decorum, both unseemly. Speak to him; he hears with his eyes, ears
follow his mind, and that's not at leisure. He thinks business, but
never does any; he is all contemplation, no action. He hews and fashions
his thoughts, as if he meant them to some purpose, but they prove
unprofitable, as a piece of wrought timber to no use. His spirits and
the sun are enemies: the sun bright and warm, his humour black and cold;
variety of foolish apparitions people his head, they suffer him not to
breathe according to the necessities of nature, which makes him sup up a
draught of as much air at once as would serve at thrice. He denies
nature her due in sleep, and nothing pleaseth him long, but that which
pleaseth his own fantasies; they are the consuming evils, and evil
consumptions that consume him alive. Lastly, he is a man only in show;
but comes short of the better part, a whole reasonable soul, which is
man's chief pre-eminence and sole mark from creatures sensible.


Is a pitched piece of reason caulked and tackled, and only studied to
dispute with tempests. He is part of his own provision, for he lives
ever pickled. A fore-wind is the substance of his creed, and fresh water
the burden of his prayers. He is naturally ambitious, for he is ever
climbing; out of which as naturally he fears, for he is ever flying.
Time and he are everywhere ever contending who shall arrive first; he is
well-winded, for he tires the day, and outruns darkness. His life is
like a hawk's, the best part mewed; and if he live till three coats, is
a master. He sees God's wonders in the deep, but so as rather they
appear his playfellows than stirrers of his zeal. Nothing but hunger and
hard rocks can convert him, and then but his upper deck neither; for his
hold neither fears nor hopes, his sleeps are but reprievals of his
dangers, and when he wakes 'tis but next stage to dying. His wisdom is
the coldest part about him, for it ever points to the north, and it lies
lowest, which makes his valour every tide overflow it. In a storm it is
disputable whether the noise be more his or the elements, and which will
first leave scolding; on which side of the ship he may be saved best,
whether his faith be starboard faith or larboard, or the helm at that
time not all his hope of heaven. His keel is the emblem of his
conscience, till it be split he never repents, then no farther than the
land allows him, and his language is a new confusion, and all his
thoughts new nations. His body and his ship are both one burden, nor is
it known who stows most wine or rolls most; only the ship is guided, he
has no stern. A barnacle and he are bred together, both of one nature,
and it is feared one reason. Upon any but a wooden horse he cannot ride,
and if the wind blow against him he dare not. He swerves up to his seat
as to a sail-yard, and cannot sit unless he bear a flagstaff. If ever he
be broken to the saddle, it is but a voyage still, for he mistakes the
bridle for a bowline, and is ever turning his horse-tail. He can pray,
but it is by rote, not faith, and when he would he dares not, for his
brackish belief hath made that ominous. A rock or a quicksand plucks him
before he be ripe, else he is gathered to his friends at Wapping.


Is the husbandman of valour; his sword is his plough, which honour and
_aqua vita_, two fiery-metalled jades, are ever drawing. A younger
brother best becomes arms, an elder the thanks for them. Every heat
makes him a harvest, and discontents abroad are his sowers. He is
actively his prince's, but passively his anger's servant. He is often a
desirer of learning, which once arrived at, proves his strongest armour.
He is a lover at all points, and a true defender of the faith of women.
More wealth than makes him seem a handsome foe, lightly he covets not,
less is below him. He never truly wants but in much having, for then his
ease and lechery afflict him. The word peace, though in prayer, makes
him start, and God he best considers by His power. Hunger and cold rank
in the same file with him, and hold him to a man; his honour else, and
the desire of doing things beyond him, would blow him greater than the
sons of Anak. His religion is, commonly, as his cause is, doubtful, and
that the best devotion keeps best quarter. He seldom sees grey hairs,
some none at all, for where the sword fails, there the flesh gives fire.
In charity he goes beyond the clergy, for he loves his greatest enemy
best, much drinking. He seems a full student, for he is a great desirer
of controversies; he argues sharply, and carries his conclusion in his
scabbard. In the first refining of mankind this was the gold, his
actions are his amel. His alloy (for else you cannot work him perfectly)
continual duties, heavy and weary marches, lodgings as full of need as
cold diseases. No time to argue, but to execute. Line him with these,
and link him to his squadrons, and he appears a most rich chain
for princes.


Is a creature made up of threads that were pared off from Adam, when he
was rough cast; the end of his being differeth from that of others, and
is not to serve God, but to cover sin. Other men's pride is the best
patron, and their negligence a main passage to his profit. He is a thing
of more than ordinary judgment: for by virtue of that he buyeth land,
buildeth houses, and raiseth the set roof of his cross-legged fortune.
His actions are strong encounters, and for their notoriousness always
upon record. It is neither Amadis de Gaul, nor the Knight of the Sun,
that is able to resist them. A ten-groat fee setteth them on foot, and a
brace of officers bringeth them to execution. He handleth the Spanish
pike to the hazard of many poor Egyptian vermin; and in show of his
valour, scorneth a greater gauntlet than will cover the top of his
middle finger. Of all weapons he most affecteth the long bill; and this
he will manage to the great prejudice of a customer's estate. His
spirit, notwithstanding, is not so much as to make you think him man;
like a true mongrel, he neither bites nor barks but when your back is
towards him. His heart is a lump of congealed snow: Prometheus was
asleep while it was making. He differeth altogether from God; for with
him the best pieces are still marked out for damnation, and, without
hope of recovery, shall be cast down into hell. He is partly an
alchemist; for he extracteth his own apparel out of other men's clothes;
and when occasion serveth, making a broker's shop his alembic, can turn
your silks into gold, and having furnished his necessities, after a
month or two, if he be urged unto it, reduce them again to their proper
subsistence. He is in part likewise an arithmetician, cunning enough for
multiplication and addition, but cannot abide subtraction: _summa
totalis_ is the language of his Canaan, and _usque ad ultimum
quadrantem_ the period of all his charity. For any skill in geometry I
dare not commend him, for he could never yet find out the dimensions of
his own conscience; notwithstanding he hath many bottoms, it seemeth
this is always bottomless. And so with a _libera nos a malo_ I leave
you, promising to amend whatsoever is amiss at his next setting.


Is a diseased piece of apocalypse: bind him to the Bible, and he
corrupts the whole text. 'Ignorance and fat feed are his founders; his
nurses, railing, rabies, and round breeches. His life is but a borrowed
blast of wind: for between two religions, as between two doors, he is
ever whistling. Truly, whose child he is is yet unknown; for, willingly,
his faith allows no father: only thus far his pedigree is found, Bragger
and he flourished about a time first. His fiery zeal keeps him
continually costive, which withers him into his own translation; and
till he eat a schoolman he is hide-bound. He ever prays against
non-residents, but is himself the greatest discontinuer, for he never
keeps near his text. Anything that the law allows, but marriage and
March beer, he murmurs at; what it disallows and holds dangerous, makes
him a discipline. Where the gate stands open, he is ever seeking a
stile; and where his learning ought to climb, he creeps through. Give
him advice, you run into traditions; and urge a modest course, he cries
out counsel. His greatest care is to contemn obedience; his last care to
serve God handsomely and cleanly. He is now become so cross a kind of
teaching, that should the Church enjoin clean shirts, he were lousy.
More sense than single prayers is not his; nor more in those than still
the same petitions: from which he either fears a learned faith, or
doubts God understands not at first hearing. Show him a ring, he runs
back like a bear; and hates square dealing as allied to caps. A pair of
organs blow him out of the parish, and are the only glyster-pipes to
cool him. Where the meat is best, there he confutes most, for his
arguing is but the efficacy of his eating: good bits he holds breed good
positions, and the Pope he best concludes against in plum-broth. He is
often drunk, but not as we are, temporally; nor can his sleep then cure
him, for the fumes of his ambition make his very soul reel, and that
small beer that should allay him (silence) keeps him more surfeited, and
makes his heat break out in private houses. Women and lawyers are his
best disciples; the one, next fruit, longs for forbidden doctrine, the
other to maintain forbidden titles, both which he sows amongst them.
Honest he dare not be, for that loves order; yet, if he can be brought
to ceremony and made but master of it, he is converted.


Is the best shadow to make a discreet one show the fairer. He is a
_materia prima_ informed by reports, actuated by statutes, and hath his
motion by the favourable intelligence of the Court. His law is always
furnished with a commission to arraign his conscience; but, upon
judgment given, he usually sets it at large. He thinks no language worth
knowing but his Barragouin: only for that point he hath been a long time
at wars with Priscian for a northern province. He imagines that by sure
excellency his profession only is learning, and that it is a profanation
of the Temple to his Themis dedicated, if any of the liberal arts be
there admitted to offer strange incense to her. For, indeed, he is all
for money. Seven or eight years squires him out, some of his nation less
standing; and ever since the night of his call, he forgot much what he
was at dinner. The next morning his man (in _actu_ or _potentia_) enjoys
his pickadels. His laundress is then shrewdly troubled in fitting him a
ruff, his perpetual badge. His love-letters of the last year of his
gentlemanship are stuffed with discontinuances, remitters, and uncore
priests; but, now being enabled to speak in proper person, he talks of a
French hood instead of a jointure, wags his law, and joins issue. Then
he begins to stick his letters in his ground chamber-window, that so the
superscription may make his squireship transparent. His heraldry gives
him place before the minister, because the Law was before the Gospel.
Next term he walks his hoopsleeve gown to the hall; there it proclaims
him. He feeds fat in the reading, and till it chance to his turn,
dislikes no house order so much as that the month is so contracted to a
fortnight. Amongst his country neighbours he arrogates as much honour
for being reader of an Inn of Chancery, as if it had been of his own
house; for they, poor souls, take law and conscience, Court and
Chancery, for all one. He learned to frame his case from putting riddles
and imitating Merlin's prophecies, and to set all the Cross Row together
by the ears; yet his whole law is not able to decide Lucan's one old
controversy betwixt Tau and Sigma. He accounts no man of his cap and
coat idle, but who trots not the circuit. He affects no life or quality
for itself, but for gain; and that, at least, to the stating him in a
Justice of Peace-ship, which is the first quickening soul superadded to
the elementary and inanimate form of his new tide. His terms are his
wife's vacations; yet she then may usurp divers Court-days, and has her
returns in _mensem_ for writs of entry--often shorter. His vacations are
her termers; but in assize time (the circuit being long) he may have a
trial at home against him by _nisi prius_. No way to heaven, he thinks,
so wise as through Westminster Hall; and his clerks commonly through it
visit both heaven and hell. Yet then he oft forgets his journey's end,
although he look on the Star-Chamber. Neither is he wholly destitute of
the arts. Grammar he has enough to make termination of those words which
his authority hath endenizoned rhetoric-some; but so little that it is
thought a concealment. Logic, enough to wrangle. Arithmetic, enough for
the ordinals of his year-books and number-rolls; but he goes not to
multiplication, there is a statute against it. So much geometry, that he
can advise in a _perambulatione fadenda_, or a _rationalibus divisis_.
In astronomy and astrology he is so far seen, that by the Dominical
letter he knows the holy-days, and finds by calculation that Michaelmas
term will be long and dirty. Marry, he knows so much in music that he
affects only the most and cunningest discords; rarely a perfect concord,
especially song, except _in fine_. His skill in perspective endeavours
much to deceive the eye of the law, and gives many false colours. He is
specially practised in necromancy (such a kind as is out of the Statute
of Primo), by raising many dead questions. What sufficiency he hath in
criticism, the foul copies of his special pleas will tell you. Many of
the same coat, which are much to be honoured, partake of divers of his
indifferent qualities; but so that discretion, virtue, and sometimes
other good learning, concurring and distinguishing ornaments to them,
make them as foils to set their work on.


A mere scholar is an intelligible ass, or a silly fellow in black that
speaks sentences more familiarly than sense. The antiquity of his
University is his creed, and the excellency of his college (though but
for a match at football) an article of his faith. He speaks Latin better
than his mother-tongue, and is a stranger in no part of the world but
his own country. He does usually tell great stories of himself to small
purpose, for they are commonly ridiculous, be they true or false. His
ambition is that he either is or shall be a graduate; but if ever he get
a fellowship, he has then no fellow. In spite of all logic he dares
swear and maintain it, that a cuckold and a town's-man are _termini
convertibles_, though his mother's husband be an alderman. He was never
begotten (as it seems) without much wrangling, for his whole life is
spent in _pro et contra_. His tongue goes always before his wit, like
gentleman-usher, but somewhat faster. That he be a complete gallant in
all points, _cap-à-pie_, witness his horsemanship and the wearing of his
weapons. He is commonly long-winded, able to speak more with ease than
any man can endure to hear with patience. University jests are his
universal discourse, and his news the demeanour of the proctors. His
phrase, the apparel of his mind, is made of divers shreds, like a
cushion, and when it goes plainest it hath a rash outside and fustian
linings. The current of his speech is closed with an _ergo_; and,
whatever be the question, the truth is on his side. It is a wrong to his
reputation to be ignorant of anything; and yet he knows not that he
knows nothing. He gives directions for husbandry, from Virgil's
"Georgics;" for cattle, from his "Bucolics;" for warlike stratagems,
from his "Æneids" or Caesar's "Commentaries." He orders all things and
thrives in none; skilful in all trades and thrives in none. He is led
more by his ears than his understanding, taking the sound of words for
their true sense, and does therefore confidently believe that Erra Pater
was the father of heretics, Radulphus Agricola a substantial farmer, and
will not stick to aver that Systemo's Logic doth excel Keckerman's. His
ill-luck is not so much in being a fool, as in being put to such pains
to express it to the world, for what in others is natural, in him (with
much ado) is artificial. His poverty is his happiness, for it makes some
men believe that he is none of fortune's favourites. That learning which
he hath was in non age put in backward like a glyster, and it's now like
ware mislaid in a pedlar's pack; a has it, but knows not where it is. In
a word, his is the index of a man and the title-page of a scholar, or a
puritan in morality--much in profession, nothing in practice.


Is a movable, for he hath no abiding-place; by his motion he gathers
heat, thence his choleric nature. He seems to be very devout, for his
life is a continual pilgrimage, and sometimes in humility goes barefoot,
thereon making necessity a virtue. His house is as ancient as Tubal
Cain's, and so is a renegade by antiquity: yet he proves himself a
gallant, for he carries all his wealth upon his back; or a philosopher,
for he bears all his substance about him. From his art was music first
invented, and therefore he is always furnished with a song, to which his
hammer keeping tune, proves that he was the first founder for the
kettledrum. Note, that where the best ale is, there stands his music
most upon crochets. The companion of his travels is some foul sun-burnt
quean, that, since the terrible statute, recanted gipseyism and is
turned pedlaress. So marches he all over England with his bag and
baggage. His conversation is unreprovable, for he is ever mending. He
observes truly the statutes, and therefore he can rather steal than beg,
in which he is unremovably constant in spite of whip or imprisonment;
and so a strong enemy to idleness, that in mending one hole he had
rather make three than want work, and when he hath done, he throws the
wallet of his faults behind him. He embraceth naturally ancient custom,
conversing in open fields and lowly cottages. If he visit cities or
towns, 'tis but to deal upon the imperfections of our weaker vessels.
His tongue is very voluble, which with canting proves him a linguist. He
is entertained in every place, but enters no further than the door, to
avoid suspicion. Some will take him to be a coward, but believe it, he
is a lad of metal; his valour is commonly three or four yards long,
fastened to a pike in the end for flying off. He is provident, for he
will fight but with one at once, and then also he had rather submit than
be counted obstinate. To conclude, if he escape Tyburn and Banbury, he
dies a beggar.


Is a chick of the egg abuse, hatched by the warmth of authority; he is a
bird of rapine, and begins to prey and feather together. He croaks like
a raven against the death of rich men, and so gets a legacy
unbequeathed. His happiness is in the multitude of children, for their
increase is his wealth, and to that end he himself yearly adds one. He
is a cunning hunter, uncoupling his intelligencing hounds under hedges,
in thickets and cornfields, who follow the chase to city suburbs, where
often his game is at covert; his quiver hangs by his side stuffed with
silver arrows, which he shoots against church-gates and private men's
doors, to the hazard of their purses and credit. There went but a pair
of shears between him and the pursuivant of hell, for they both delight
in sin, grow richer by it, and are by justice appointed to punish it;
only the devil is more cunning, for he picks a living out of others'
gains. His living lieth in his eye, which (like spirits) he sends
through chinks and keyholes to survey the places of darkness; for which
purpose he studieth the optics, but can discover no colour but black,
for the pure white of chastity dazzleth his eyes. He is a Catholic, for
he is everywhere; and with a politic, for he transforms himself into all
shapes. He travels on foot to avoid idleness, and loves the Church
entirely, because it is the place of his edification. He accounts not
all sins mortal, for fornication with him is a venial sin, and to take
bribes a matter of charity; he is collector for burnings and losses at
sea, and in casting account readily subtracts the lesser from the
greater sum. Thus lives he in a golden age, till death by a process
summons him to appear.


Is the worst part of an astronomer; a certain compact of figures,
characters, and ciphers, out of which he scores the fortune of a year,
not so profitably as doubtfully. He is tenant by custom to the planets,
of whom he holds the twelve houses by lease parol; to them he pays
yearly rent, his study and time, yet lets them out again with all his
heart for 40s. per annum. His life is merely contemplative; for his
practice, 'tis worth nothing, at least not worthy of credit, and if by
chance he purchase any, he loseth it again at the year's end, for time
brings truth to light. Ptolemy and Tycho Brahe are his patrons, whose
volumes he understands not but admires, and the rather because they are
strangers, and so easier to be credited than controlled. His life is
upright, for he is always looking upward, yet dares believe nothing
above _primum mobile_, for 'tis out of the reach of his Jacob's staff.
His charity extends no further than to mountebanks and sow-gelders, to
whom he bequeaths the seasons of the year to kill or torture by. The
verses of his book have a worse pace than ever had Rochester hackney;
for his prose, 'tis dappled with ink-horn terms, and may serve for an
almanac; but for his judging at the uncertainty of weather, any old
shepherd shall make a dunce of him. He would be thought the devil's
intelligencer for stolen goods, if ever he steal out of that quality. As
a fly turns to a maggot, so the corruption of the cunning man is the
generation of an empiric; his works fly forth in small volumes, yet not
all, for many ride post to chandlers and tobacco shops in folio. To be
brief, he falls three degrees short of his promises, yet is he the key
to unlock terms and law days, a dumb mercury to point out highways, and
a bailiff of all marts and fairs in England. The rest of him you shall
know next year, for what he will be then he himself knows not.


Is a gilded pill, composed of two virtuous ingredients, natural
dishonesty and artificial dissimulation. Simple fruit, plant, or drug he
is none, but a deformed mixture bred betwixt evil nature and false art
by a monstrous generation, and may well be put into the reckoning of
those creatures that God never made. In Church or commonwealth (for in
both these this mongrel weed will shoot) it is hard to say whether he be
physic or a disease, for he is both in divers respects.

As he is gilt with an outside of seeming purity, or as he offereth
himself to you to be taken down in a cup or taste of golden zeal and
simplicity, you may call him physic. Nay, and never let potion give
patient good stool if, being truly tasted and relished, he be not as
loathsome to the stomach of any honest man.

He is also physic in being as commodious for use as he is odious in
taste, if the body of the company into which he is taken can make true
use of him. For the malice of his nature makes him so
informer-like-dangerous, in taking advantage of anything done or said,
yea, even to the ruin of his makers, if he may have benefit, that such a
creature in a society makes men as careful of their speeches and actions
as the sight of a known cut-purse in a throng makes them watchful over
their purses and pockets. He is also in this respect profitable physic,
that his conversation being once truly tasted and discovered, the
hateful foulness of it will make those that are not fully like him to
purge all such diseases as are rank in him out of their own lives, as
the sight of some citizens on horseback make a judicious man amend his
own faults in horsemanship. If one of these uses can be made of him, let
him not long offend the stomach of your company; your best way is to
spue him out. That he is a disease in the body where he liveth were as
strange a thing to doubt as whether there be knavery in horse-coursers.
For if among sheep, the rot; amongst dogs, the mange; amongst horses,
the glanders; amongst men and women, the Northern itch and the French
ache, be diseases, an hypocrite cannot but be the like in all States and
societies that breed him. If he be a clergy hypocrite, then all manner
of vice is for the most part so proper to him as he will grudge any man
the practice of it but himself; like that grave burgess, who being
desired to lend his clothes to represent a part in a comedy, answered:
No, by his leave, he would have nobody play the fool in his clothes but
himself. Hence are his so austere reprehensions of drinking healths,
lascivious talk, usury, and unconscionable dealing; whenas himself,
hating the profane mixture of malt and water, will, by his good will,
let nothing come within him but the purity of the grape, when he can get
it of another's cost. But this must not be done neither without a
preface of seeming soothness, turning up the eyes, moving the head,
laying hand on the breast, and protesting that he would not do it but to
strengthen his body, being even consumed with dissembled zeal, and
tedious and thankless babbling to God and his auditors. And for the
other vices, do but venture the making yourself private with him or
trusting of him, and if you come off without a savour of the air which
his soul is infected with you have great fortune. The fardel of all this
ware that is in him you shall commonly see carried upon the back of
these two beasts that live within him, Ignorance and Imperiousness, and
they may well serve to carry other vices, for of themselves they are
insupportable. His Ignorance acquits him of all science, human or
divine, and of all language but his mother's; holding nothing pure,
holy, or sincere but the senseless recollections of his own crazed
brain, the zealous fumes of his inflamed spirit, and the endless labours
of his eternal tongue, the motions whereof, when matter and words fail
(as they often do), must be patched up to accomplish his four hours in a
day at the least with long and fervent hums. Anything else, either for
language or matter, he cannot abide, but thus censureth: Latin, the
language of the beast; Greek, the tongue wherein the heathen poets wrote
their fictions; Hebrew, the speech of the Jews that crucified Christ;
controversies do not edify; logic and philosophy are the subtilties of
Satan to deceive the simple; human stories profane, and not savouring of
the Spirit; in a word, all decent and sensible form of speech and
persuasion (though in his own tongue) vain ostentation. And all this is
the burden of his Ignorance, saving that sometimes idleness will put in
also to bear a part of the baggage. His other beast, Imperiousness, is
yet more proudly laden; it carrieth a burden that no cords of authority,
spiritual nor temporal, should bind if it might have the full swing. No
Pilate, no prince should command him, nay, he will command them, and at
his pleasure censure them if they will not suffer their ears to be
fettered with the long chains of his tedious collations, their purses to
be emptied with the inundations of his unsatiable humour, and their
judgments to be blinded with the muffler of his zealous ignorance; for
this doth he familiarly insult over his maintainer that breeds him, his
patron that feeds him, and in time over all them that will suffer him to
set a foot within their doors or put a finger in their purses. All this
and much more is in him; that abhorring degrees and universities as
reliques of superstition, hath leapt from a shop-board or a cloak-bag to
a desk or pulpit; and that, like a sea-god in a pageant, hath the rotten
laths of his culpable life and palpable ignorance covered over with the
painted-cloth of a pure gown and a night-cap, and with a false trumpet
of feigned zeal draweth after him some poor nymphs and madmen that
delight more to resort to dark caves and secret places than to open and
public assemblies. The lay-hypocrite is to the other a champion,
disciple, and subject, and will not acknowledge the tithe of the
subjection to any mitre, no, not to any sceptre, that he will do to the
hook and crook of his zeal-blind shepherd. No Jesuits demand more blind
and absolute obedience from their vassals, no magistrates of the canting
society more slavish subjection from the members of that travelling
State, than the clerk hypocrites expect from these lay pulpits. Nay,
they must not only be obeyed, fed, and defended, but admired too; and
that their lay-followers do sincerely, as a shirtless fellow with a
cudgel under his arm doth a face-wringing ballad-singer, a water-bearer
on the floor of a playhouse, a wide-mouthed poet that speaks nothing but
blathers and bombast. Otherwise, for life and profession, nature and
art, inward and outward, they agree in all; like canters and gypsies,
they are all zeal no knowledge, all purity no humanity, all simplicity
no honesty, and if you never trust them they will never deceive you.


She is her mistress's she secretary, and keeps the box of her teeth, her
hair, and her painting very private. Her industry is upstairs and
downstairs, like a drawer; and by her dry hand you may know she is a
sore starcher. If she lie at her master's bed's feet, she is quit of the
green sickness for ever, for she hath terrible dreams when she's awake,
as if she were troubled with the nightmare. She hath a good liking to
dwell in the country, but she holds London the goodliest forest in
England to shelter a great belly. She reads Greene's works over and
over, but is so carried away with the "Mirror of Knighthood," she is
many times resolved to run out of her self and become a lady-errant. The
pedant of the house, though he promise her marriage, cannot grow further
inward with her; she hath paid for her credulity often, and now grows
weary. She likes the form of our marriage very well, in that a woman is
not tied to answer to any articles concerning questions of virginity.
Her mind, her body, and clothes are parcels loosely tacked together, and
for want of good utterance she perpetually laughs out her meaning. Her
mistress and she help to make away time to the idlest purpose that can
be, either for love or money. In brief, these chambermaids are like
lotteries: you may draw twenty ere one worth anything.


To speak no otherwise of this varnished rottenness than in truth and
verity he is, I must define him to be a demure creature, full of oral
sanctity and mental impiety; a fair object to the eye, but stark naught
for the understanding, or else a violent thing much given to
contradiction. He will be sure to be in opposition with the Papist,
though it be sometimes accompanied with an absurdity, like the islanders
near adjoining unto China, who salute by putting off their shoes,
because the men of China do it by their hats. If at any time he fast, it
is upon Sunday, and he is sure to feast upon Friday. He can better
afford you ten lies than one oath, and dare commit any sin gilded with a
pretence of sanctity. He will not stick to commit fornication or
adultery so it be done in the fear of God and for the propagation of the
godly, and can find in his heart to lie with any whore save the whore of
Babylon. To steal he holds it lawful, so it be from the wicked and
Egyptians. He had rather see Antichrist than a picture in the church
window, and chooseth sooner to be half hanged than see a leg at the name
of Jesus or one stand at the Creed. He conceives his prayer in the
kitchen rather than in the church, and is of so good discourse that he
dares challenge the Almighty to talk with him extempore. He thinks every
organist is in the state of damnation, and had rather hear one of Robert
Wisdom's psalms than the best hymn a cherubim can sing. He will not
break wind without an apology or asking forgiveness, nor kiss a
gentlewoman for fear of lusting after her. He hath nicknamed all the
prophets and apostles with his sons, and begets nothing but virtues for
daughters. Finally, he is so sure of his salvation, that he will not
change places in heaven with the Virgin Mary, without boot.


He is distinguished from a scholar by a pair of silk stockings and a
beaver hat, which makes him condemn a scholar as much as a scholar doth
a schoolmaster. By that he hath heard one mooting and seen two plays, he
thinks as basely of the university as a young sophister doth of the
grammar-school. He talks of the university with that state as if he were
her chancellor; finds fault with alterations and the fall of discipline
with an "It was not so when I was a student," although that was within
this half year. He will talk ends of Latin, though it be false, with as
great confidence as ever Cicero could pronounce an oration, though his
best authors for it be taverns and ordinaries. He is as far behind a
courtier in his fashion as a scholar is behind him, and the best grace
in his behaviour is to forget his acquaintance.

He laughs at every man whose band fits not well, or that hath not a fair
shoe-tie, and he is ashamed to be seen in any man's company that wears
not his clothes well. His very essence he placeth in his outside, and
his chiefest prayer is, that his revenues may hold out for taffety
cloaks in the summer and velvet in the winter. To his acquaintance he
offers two quarts of wine for one he gives. You shall never see him
melancholy but when he wants a new suit or fears a sergeant, at which
times he only betakes himself to Ploydon. By that he hath read
Littleton, he can call Solon, Lycurgus, and Justinian fools, and dares
compare his law to a lord chief-justice's.


He is one whose hopes commonly exceed his fortunes and whose mind soars
above his purse. If he hath read Tacitus Guicciardine or Gallo-Belgicus,
he condemns the late Lord-Treasurer for all the state policy he had, and
laughs to think what a fool he could make of Solomon if he were now
alive. He never wears new clothes but against a commencement or a good
time, and is commonly a degree behind the fashion. He hath sworn to see
London once a year, though all his business be to see a play, walk a
turn in Paul's, and observe the fashion. He thinks it a discredit to be
out of debt, which he never likely clears without resignation money. He
will not leave his part he hath in the privilege over young gentlemen in
going bare to him, for the empire of Germany. He prays as heartily for a
sealing as a cormorant doth for a dear year, yet commonly he spends that
revenue before he receives it.

At meals he sits in as great state over his penny commons as ever
Vitellius did at his greatest banquet, and takes great delight in
comparing his fare to my Lord Mayor's.

If he be a leader of a faction, he thinks himself greater than ever
Caesar was or the Turk at this day is. And he had rather lose an
inheritance than an office when he stands for it.

If he be to travel, he is longer furnishing himself for a five miles'
journey than a ship is rigging for a seven years' voyage. He is never
more troubled than when he has to maintain talk with a gentlewoman,
wherein he commits more absurdities than a clown in eating of an egg.

He thinks himself as fine when he is in a clean band and a new pair of
shoes, as any courtier doth when he is first in a new fashion.

Lastly, he is one that respects no man in the university, and is
respected by no man out of it.


Is one that accounts learning the nourishment of military virtue, and
lays that as his first foundation. He never bloodies his sword but in
heat of battle, and had rather save one of his own soldiers than kill
ten of his enemies. He accounts it an idle, vainglorious, and suspected
bounty to be full of good words; his rewarding, therefore, of the
deserver arrives so timely, that his liberality can never be said to be
gouty-handed. He holds it next his creed that no coward can be an honest
man, and dare die in it. He doth not think, his body yields a more
spreading shadow after a victory than before; and when he looks upon his
enemy's dead body 'tis a kind of noble heaviness--no insultation. He is
so honourably merciful to women in surprisal, that only that makes him
an excellent courtier. He knows the hazard of battles, not the pomp of
ceremonies, are soldiers' best theatres, and strives to gain reputation,
not by the multitude but by the greatness of his actions. He is the
first in giving the charge and the last in retiring his foot. Equal toil
he endures with the common soldier; from his examples they all take
fire, as one torch lights many. He understands in war there is no mean
to err twice, the first and last fault being sufficient to ruin an army:
faults, therefore, he pardons none; they that are precedents of disorder
or mutiny repair it by being examples of his justice. Besiege him never
so strictly, so long as the air is not cut from him, his heart faints
not. He hath learned as well to make use of a victory as to get it, and
pursuing his enemies like a whirlwind, carries all before him; being
assured if ever a man will benefit himself upon his foe, then is the
time when they have lost force, wisdom, courage, and reputation. The
goodness of his cause is the special motive to his valour; never is he
known to slight the weakest enemy that comes armed against him in the
band of justice. Hasty and overmuch heat he accounts the step-dame to
all great actions that will not suffer them to drive; if he cannot
overcome his enemy by force, he does it by time. If ever he shake hands
with war, he can die more calmly than most courtiers, for his continual
dangers have been, as it were, so many meditations of death. He thinks
not out of his own calling when he accounts life a continual warfare,
and his prayers then best become him when armed _cap-à-fie_. He utters
them like the great Hebrew general, on horseback. He casts a smiling
contempt upon calumny; it meets him as if glass should encounter
adamant. He thinks war is never to be given o'er, but on one of these
three conditions: an assured peace, absolute victory, or an honest
death. Lastly, when peace folds him up, his silver head should lean near
the golden sceptre and die in his prince's bosom.


Is one that hath bought his place, or come to it by some nobleman's
letter. He loves alive dead pays, yet wishes they may rather happen in
his company by the scurvy than by a battle. View him at a muster, and he
goes with such a nose as if his body were the wheelbarrow that carried
his judgment rumbling to drill his soldiers. No man can worse design
between pride and noble courtesy. He that salutes him not, so far as a
pistol carries level, gives him the disgust or affront, choose you
whether. He trains by the book, and reckons so many postures of the pike
and musket as if he were counting at noddy. When he comes at first upon
a camisado, he looks, like the four winds in painting, as if he would
blow away the enemy; but at the very first onset suffers fear and
trembling to dress themselves in his face apparently. He scorns any man
should take place before him, yet at the entering of a breach he hath
been so humble-minded as to let his lieutenant lead his troops for him.
He is so sure armed for taking hurt that he seldom does any; and while
he is putting on his arms, he is thinking what sum he can make to
satisfy his ransom. He will rail openly against all the great commanders
of the adverse party, yet in his own conscience allows them for better
men. Such is the nature of his fear that, contrary to all other filthy
qualities, it makes him think better of another man than himself. The
first part of him that is set a running is his eye-sight; when that is
once struck with terror all the costive physic in the world cannot stay
him. If ever he do anything beyond his own heart 'tis for a knighthood,
and he is the first kneels for it without bidding.


Truly defined, is a bold traitor, for he fortifies a castle against the
king. Give him sea-room in never so small a vessel, and like a witch in
a sieve, you would think he were going to make merry with the devil. Of
all callings his is the most desperate, for he will not leave off his
thieving, though he be in a narrow prison, and look every day, by
tempest or fight, for execution. He is one plague the devil hath added
to make the sea more terrible than a storm, and his heart is so hardened
in that rugged element that he cannot repent, though he view his grave
before him continually open. He hath so little of his own that the house
he sleeps in is stolen: all the necessities of life he filches but one;
he cannot steal a sound sleep for his troubled conscience. He is very
gentle to those under him, yet his rule is the horriblest tyranny in the
world, for he gives licence to all rape, murder, and cruelty in his own
example. What he gets is small use to him, only lives by it somewhat the
longer to do a little more service to his belly, for he throws away his
treasure upon the shore in riot, as if he cast it into the sea. He is a
cruel hawk that flies at all but his own kind; and as a whale never
comes ashore but when she is wounded, so he very seldom but for his
necessities. He is the merchant's book that serves only to reckon up his
losses, a perpetual plague to noble traffic, the hurricane of the sea,
and the earthquake of the exchange. Yet for all this give him but his
pardon and forgive him restitution, he may live to know the inside of a
church, and die on this side Wapping.


Is a fellow that, beside shaving of cudgels, hath a good insight into
the world, for he hath long been beaten to it. Flesh and blood he is
like other men, but surely nature meant him stockfish. His and a
dancing-school are inseparable adjuncts, and are bound, though both
stink of sweat most abominable, neither shall complain of annoyance.
Three large bavins set up his trade, with a bench, which, in the
vacation of the afternoon, he used for his day-bed. When he comes on the
stage at his prize he makes a leg seven several ways, and scrambles for
money, as if he had been born at the Bath in Somersetshire. At his
challenge he shows his metal, for, contrary to all rules of physic, he
dares bleed, though it be in the dog-days. He teaches devilish play in
his school, but when he fights himself he doth it in the fear of a good
Christian; he compounds quarrels among his scholars, and when he hath
brought the business to a good upshot he makes the reckoning. His wounds
are seldom above skin deep; for an inward bruise lamb-stones and
sweetbreads are his only spermaceti, which he eats at night next his
heart fasting. Strange schoolmasters they are that every day set a man
as far backward as he went forward, and throwing him into a strange
posture, teach him to thresh satisfaction out of injury. One sign of a
good nature is that he is still open-breasted to his friends; for his
foil and his doublet wear not out above two buttons, and resolute he is,
for he so much scorns to take blows that he never wears cuffs; and he
lives better contented with a little than other men, for if he have two
eyes in his head he thinks nature hath overdone him. The Lord Mayor's
triumph makes him a man, for that's his best time to flourish. Lastly,
these fencers are such things that care not if all the world were
ignorant of more letters than only to read their patent.


He is taken from grammar-school half coddled, and can hardly shake off
his dreams of breeching in a twelvemonth. He is a farmer's son, and his
father's utmost ambition is to make him an attorney. He doth itch
towards a poet, and greases his breeches extremely with feeding without
a napkin. He studies false dice to cheat costermongers. He eats
gingerbread at a playhouse, and is so saucy that he ventures fairly for
a broken pate at the banqueting-house, and hath it. He would never come
to have any wit but for a long vacation, for that makes him bethink him
how he shall shift another day. He prays hotly against fasting, and so
he may sup well on Friday nights, he cares not though his master be a
puritan. He practices to make the words in his declaration spread as a
sewer doth the dishes of a niggard's table; a clerk of a swooping dash
is as commendable as a Flanders horse of a large tail. Though you be
never so much delayed you must not call his master knave, that makes him
go beyond himself, and write a challenge in court hand, for it may be
his own another day These are some certain of his liberal faculties; but
in the term time his clog is a buckram bag. Lastly, which is great pity,
he never comes to his full growth, with bearing on his shoulder the
sinful burden of his master at several courts in Westminster.


Let him be never so well made, yet his legs are not matches, for he is
still setting the best foot forward. He will never be a staid man, for
he has had a running head of his own ever since his childhood. His
mother, which out of question was a light-heeled wench, knew it, yet let
him run his race thinking age would reclaim him from his wild courses.
He is very long-winded, and without doubt but that he hates naturally to
serve on horseback, he had proved an excellent trumpet. He has one
happiness above all the rest of the serving-men, for when he most
overreaches his master he is best thought of. He lives more by his own
heat than the warmth of clothes, and the waiting-woman hath the greatest
fancy to him when he is in his close trouses. Guards he wears none,
which makes him live more upright than any cross-gartered
gentleman-usher. 'Tis impossible to draw his picture to the life,
because a man must take it as he's running, only this, horses are
usually let blood on St. Steven's Day. On St. Patrick's he takes rest,
and is drenched for all the year after.


Is one whose bounty is limited by reason, not ostentation; and to make
it last he deals it discreetly, as we sow the furrow, not by the sack,
but by the handful. His word and his meaning never shake hands and part,
but always go together. He can survey good and love it, and loves to do
it himself for its own sake, not for thanks. He knows there is no such
misery as to outlive good name, nor no such folly as to put it in
practice. His mind is so secure that thunder rocks him asleep, which
breaks other men's slumbers; nobility lightens in his eyes, and in his
face and gesture is painted the god of hospitality. His great houses
bear in their front more durance than state, unless this add the greater
state to them, that they promise to outlast much of our new fantastical
buildings. His heart never grows old, no more than his memory, whether
at his book or on horseback. He passeth his time in such noble exercise,
a man cannot say any time is lost by him; nor hath he only years to
approve he hath lived till he be old, but virtues. His thoughts have a
high aim, though their dwelling be in the vale of an humble heart,
whence, as by an engine (that raises water to fall that it may rise the
higher), he is heightened in his humility. The adamant serves not for
all seas, but this doth; for he hath, as it were, put a gird about the
whole world and found all her quicksands. He hath this hand over
fortune, that her injuries, how violent or sudden soever, they do not
daunt him; for whether his time call him to live or die, he can do both
nobly; if to fall, his descent is breast to breast with virtue; and even
then, like the sun near his set, he shows unto the world his clearest


Is one that builds his reputation on others' infamy, for slander is most
commonly his morning prayer. His passions are guided by pride and
followed by injustice. An inflexible anger against some poor tutor he
falsely calls a courageous constancy, and thinks the best part of
gravity to consist in a ruffled forehead. He is the most slavishly
submissive, though envious to those that are in better place than
himself; and knows the art of words so well that (for shrouding
dishonesty under a fair pretext) he seems to preserve mud in crystal.
Like a man of a kind nature, he is the first good to himself, in the
next file to his French tailor, that gives him all his perfection; for
indeed, like an estridge, or bird of paradise, his feathers are more
worth than his body. If ever he do good deed (which is very seldom) his
own mouth is the chronicle of it, lest it should die forgotten. His
whole body goes all upon screws, and his face is the vice that moves
them. If his patron be given to music, he opens his chops and sings, or
with a wry neck falls to tuning his instrument; if that fail, he takes
the height of his lord with a hawking pole. He follows the man's
fortune, not the man, seeking thereby to increase his own. He pretends
he is most undeservedly envied, and cries out, remembering the game,
chess, that a pawn before a king is most played on. Debts he owns none
but shrewd turns, and those he pays ere he be sued. He is a flattering
glass to conceal age and wrinkles. He is mountain's monkey that,
climbing a tree and skipping from bough to bough, gives you back his
face; but come once to the top, he holds his nose up into the wind and
shows you his tail. Yet all this gay glitter shows on him as if the sun
shone in a puddle, for he is a small wine that will not last; and when
he is falling, he goes of himself faster than misery can drive him.


Is a country wench, that is so far from making herself beautiful by art,
that one look of hers is able to put all face physic out of countenance.
She knows a fair look is but a dumb orator to commend virtue, therefore
minds it not. All her excellences stand in her so silently, as if they
had stolen upon her without her knowledge. The lining of her apparel
(which is herself) is far better than outsides of tissue; for though she
be not arrayed in the spoil of the silk-worm, she is decked in
innocency, a far better wearing. She doth not, with lying long a-bed,
spoil both her complexion and conditions; Nature hath taught her too
immoderate sleep is rust to the soul; she rises therefore with
chanticleer, her dame's cock, and at night makes lamb her curfew. In
milking a cow and straining the teats through her fingers, it seems that
so sweet a milk-press makes the milk the whiter or sweeter; for never
came almond glove or aromatic ointment off her palm to taint it. The
golden ears of corn fall and kiss her feet when she reaps them, as if
they wished to be bound and led prisoners by the same hand that felled
them. Her breath is her own, which scents all the year long of June,
like a new made haycock. She makes her hand hard with labour, and her
heart soft with pity; and when winter's evenings fall early (sitting at
her merry wheel) she sings a defiance to the giddy wheel of fortune. She
doth all things with so sweet a grace, it seems ignorance will not
suffer her to do ill, because her mind is to do well. She bestows her
year's wages at next fair; and, in choosing her garments, counts no
bravery in the world like decency. The garden and beehive are all her
physic and chirurgery, and she lives the longer for it. She dares go
alone and unfold sheep in the night, and fears no manner of ill because
she means none; yet, to say truth, she is never alone, for she is still
accompanied with old songs, honest thoughts, and prayers, but short
ones; yet they have their efficacy, in that they are not palled with
ensuing idle cogitations. Lastly, her dreams are so chaste that she dare
tell them: only a Friday's dream is all her superstition; that she
conceals for fear of anger. Thus lives she, and all her care is that she
may die in the spring-time, to have store of flowers stuck upon her


Hath the trick to blow up horse-flesh, as the butcher doth veal, which
shall wash out again in twice riding betwixt Waltham and London. The
trade of spur-making had decayed long since, but for this ungodly
tireman. He is cursed all over the four ancient highways of England;
none but the blind men that sell switches in the road are beholding to
him. His stable is filled with so many diseases, one would think most
part about Smithfield was an hospital for horses, or a slaughter-house
of the common hunt. Let him furnish you with a hackney, it is as much as
if the King's warrant overtook you within ten miles to stay your
journey. And though a man cannot say he cozens you directly, yet any
hostler within ten miles, should he be brought upon his book-oath, will
affirm he hath laid a bait for you. Resolve when you first stretch
yourself in the stirrups, you are put as it were upon some usurer that
will never bear with you past his day. He were good to make one that had
the colic alight often, and, if example will cause him, make urine; let
him only for that say, Grammercy horse. For his sale of horses, he hath
false covers for all manner of diseases, only comes short of one thing
(which he despairs not utterly to bring to perfection), to make a horse
go on a wooden leg and two crutches. For powdering his ears with
quicksilver, and giving him suppositories of live eels, he is expert.
All the while you are cheapening, he fears you will not bite; but he
laughs in his sleeve when he hath cozened you in earnest. Frenchmen are
his best chapmen; he keeps amblers for them on purpose, and knows he can
deceive them very easily. He is so constant to his trade that, while he
is awake, he tries any man he talks with, and when he is asleep he
dreams very fearfully of the paving of Smithfield, for he knows it would
founder his occupation.


His life is a mere counterfeit patent, which, nevertheless, makes many a
country justice tremble. Don Quixote's water-mills are still Scotch
bagpipes to him. He sends challenges by word of mouth, for he protests
(as he is a gentleman and a brother of the sword) he can neither write
nor read. He hath run through divers parcels of land, and great houses,
beside both the counters. If any private quarrel happen among our great
courtiers, he proclaims the business--that's the word, the business--as
if the united force of the Romish Catholics were making up for Germany.
He cheats young gulls that are newly come to town; and when the keeper
of the ordinary blames him for it he answers him in his own profession,
that a woodcock must be plucked ere he be dressed. He is a supervisor to
brothels, and in them is a more unlawful reformer of vice than prentices
on Shrove-Tuesday. He loves his friend as a counsellor at law loves the
velvet breeches he was first made barrister in, he will be sure to wear
him threadbare ere he forsake him. He sleeps with a tobacco-pipe in his
mouth; and his first prayer in the morning is he may remember whom he
fell out with over night. Soldier he is none, for he cannot distinguish
between onion-seed and gunpowder; if he have worn it in his hollow tooth
for the toothache and so come to the knowledge of it, that is all. The
tenure by which he holds his means is an estate at will, and that's
borrowing. Landlords have but four quarter-days, but he three hundred
and odd. He keeps very good company, yet is a man of no reckoning; and
when he goes not drunk to bed he is very sick next morning. He commonly
dies like Anacreon, with a grape in his throat; or Hercules, with fire
in his marrow. And I have heard of some that have escaped hanging begged
for anatomies, only to deter man from taking tobacco.


Is but a quarter-master with his wife. He stinks of butter as if he were
anointed all over for the itch. Let him come over never so lean, and
plant him but one month near the brew-houses in St Catherine's, and he
will be puffed up to your hand like a bloat herring. Of all places of
pleasure he loves a common garden, and with the swine of the parish had
need be ringed for rooting. Next to these he affects lotteries
naturally, and bequeaths the best prize in his will aforehand; when his
hopes fall he's blank. They swarm in great tenements like flies; six
households will live in a garret. He was wont, only to make us fools, to
buy the fox skin for threepence, and sell the tail for a shilling. Now
his new trade of brewing strong waters makes a number of madmen. He
loves a Welshman extremely for his diet and orthography; that is, for
plurality of consonants, and cheese. Like a horse, he is only guided by
the mouth; when he's drunk you may thrust your hand into him like an
eel's-skin, and strip him, his inside outwards. He hoards up fair gold,
and pretends 'tis to seethe in his wife's broth for consumption; and
loves the memory of King Henry the Eighth, most especially for his old
sovereigns. He says we are unwise to lament the decay of timber in
England; for all manner of buildings or fortification whatsoever, he
desires no other thing in the world than barrels and hop-poles. To
conclude, the only two plagues he trembles at is small beer and the
Spanish Inquisition.


There is a confederacy between him and his clothes, to be made a puppy:
view him well and you will say his gentry sits as ill upon him as if he
had bought it with his penny. He hath more places to send money to than
the devil hath to send his spirits; and to furnish each mistress would
make him run besides his wits, if he had any to lose. He accounts
bashfulness the wickedest thing in the world, and therefore studies
impudence. If all men were of his mind all honesty would be out of
fashion. He withers his clothes on a stage, as a saleman is forced to do
his suits in Birchin Lane; and when the play is done, if you mark his
rising, 'tis with a kind of walking epilogue between the two candles, to
know if his suit may pass for current. He studies by the discretion of
his barber, to frizzle like a baboon; three such would keep three the
nimblest barbers in the town from ever having leisure to wear
net-garters, for when they have to do with him, they have many irons in
the fire. He is travelled, but to little purpose; only went over for a
squirt and came back again, yet never the more mended in his conditions,
because he carried himself along with him. A scholar he pretends
himself, and says he hath sweat for it, but the truth is he knows
Cornelius far better than Tacitus. His ordinary sports are cock-fights,
but the most frequent, horse-races, from whence he comes home
dry-foundered. Thus when his purse hath cast her calf he goes down into
the country, where he is brought to milk and white cheese like
the Switzers.


Is one that is fled over for his conscience, and left his wife and
children upon the parish. For his knowledge he is merely a Horn-book
without a Christ-cross before it; and his zeal consists much in hanging
his Bible in a Dutch button. He cozens men in the purity of his clothes;
and 'twas his only joy when he was on this side, to be in prison. He
cries out, 'tis impossible for any man to be damned that lives in his
religion, and his equivocation is true--as long as a man lives in it, he
cannot; but if he die in it, there's the question. Of all feasts in the
year he accounts St. George's feast the profanest, because of St.
George's cross, yet sometimes he doth sacrifice to his own belly,
provided that he put off the wake of his own nativity or wedding till
Good Friday. If there be a great feast in the town, though most of the
wicked (as he calls them) be there, he will be sure to be a guest, and
to out-eat six of the fattest burghers. He thinks, though he may not
pray with a Jew, he may eat with a Jew. He winks when he prays, and
thinks he knows the way so now to heaven, that he can find it blindfold.
Latin he accounts the language of the beast with seven heads; and when
he speaks of his own country, cries, he is fled out of Babel. Lastly,
his devotion is obstinacy; the only solace of his heart, contradiction;
and his main end, hypocrisy.


Is a winter grasshopper all the year long that looks back upon harvest
with a lean pair of cheeks, never sets forward to meet it; his malice
sucks up the greatest part of his own venom, and therewith impoisoneth
himself: and this sickness rises rather of self-opinion or over-great
expedition; so in the conceit of his own over-worthiness, like a
coistrel he strives to fill himself with wind, and flies against it. Any
man's advancement is the most capital offence that can be to his malice,
yet this envy, like Phalaris' bull, makes that a torment first for
himself he prepared for others. He is a day-bed for the devil to slumber
on. His blood is of a yellowish colour, like those that have been bitten
by vipers, and his gall flows as thick in him as oil in a poisoned
stomach. He infects all society, as thunder sours wine: war or peace,
dearth or plenty, makes him equally discontented. And where he finds no
cause to tax the State, he descends to rail against the rate of
salt-butter. His wishes are whirlwinds, which breathed forth return into
himself, and make him a most giddy and tottering vessel. When he is
awake, and goes abroad, he doth but walk in his sleep, for his
visitation is directed to none, his business is nothing. He is often
dumb-mad, and goes fettered in his own entrails. Religion is commonly
his pretence of discontent, though he can be of all religions, therefore
truly of none. Thus by naturalising himself some would think him a very
dangerous fellow to the State; but he is not greatly to be feared, for
this dejection of his is only like a rogue that goes on his knees and
elbows in the mire to further his cogging.


Examines all men's carriage but his own, and is so kind-natured to
himself, he finds fault with all men's but his own. He wears his apparel
much after the fashion; his means will not suffer him to come too nigh.
They afford him mock-velvet or satinisco, but not without the college's
next lease's acquaintance. His inside is of the self-same fashion, not
rich; but as it reflects from the glass of self-liking, there Croesus is
Irus to him. He is a pedant in show, though his title be tutor, and his
pupils in a broader phrase are schoolboys. On these he spends the false
gallop of his tongue, and with senseless discourse tows them alone, not
out of ignorance. He shows them the rind, conceals the sap; by this
means he keeps them the longer, himself the better. He hath learnt to
cough and spit and blow his nose at every period, to recover his memory,
and studies chiefly to set his eyes and beard to a new form of learning.
His religion lies in wait for the inclination of his patron, neither
ebbs nor flows, but just standing water, between Protestant and Puritan.
His dreams are of plurality of benefices and non-residency, and when he
rises acts a long grace to his looking-glass. Against he comes to be
some great man's chaplain he hath a habit of boldness, though a very
coward. He speaks swords, fights ergos. His peace on foot is a measure,
on horseback a gallop, for his legs are his own, though horse and spurs
are borrowed. He hath less use than possession of books. He is not so
proud but he will call the meanest author by his name; nor so unskilled
in the heraldry of a study but he knows each man's place. So ends that
fellowship and begins another.


Is one of Samson's foxes; he sets men together by the ears, more
shamefully than pillories, and in a long vacation his sport is to go a
fishing with the penal statutes. He cannot err before judgment, and then
you see it, only writs of error are the tariers that keep his client
undoing somewhat the longer. He is a vestryman in his parish, and easily
sets his neighbour at variance with the vicar, when his wicked counsel
on both sides is like weapons put into men's hands by a fencer, whereby
they get blows, he money. His honesty and learning bring him to
Under-Shrieveship, which, having thrice run through, he does not fear
the Lieutenant of the Shire; nay more, he fears not God. Cowardice holds
him a good commonwealth's-man; his pen is the plough and parchment the
soil whence he reaps both coin and curses. He is an earthquake that
willingly will let no ground lie in quiet. Broken titles makes him
whole; to have half in the country break their bonds were the only
liberty of conscience. He would wish, though he be a Brownist, no
neighbour of his should pay his tithes duly, if such suits held
continual plea at Westminster. He cannot away with the reverend service
in our Church, because it ends with the peace of God. He loves blows
extremely, and hath his chirurgeon's bill of rates, from head to foot,
incense the fury; he would not give away his yearly beatings for a good
piece of money. He makes his will in form of a law-case, full of
quiddits, that his friends after his death (if for nothing else, yet)
for the vexation of the law, may have cause to remember him. And if he
thought the ghost of men did walk again (as they report in the time of
Popery), sure he would hide some single money in Westminster Hall that
his spirit might haunt there. Only with this I will pitch him over the
bar and leave him: that his fingers itch after a bribe ever since his
first practising of court-hand.


There is no vermin in the land like him: he slanders both heaven and
earth with pretended dearths when there is no cause of scarcity. He
hoarding in a dear year, is like Erysicthon's bowels in Ovid: _Quodque
urbibus esset, quodque satis poterat populo, non sufficit uni_. He prays
daily for more inclosures, and knows no reason in his religion why we
should call our forefathers' days the time of ignorance, but only
because they sold wheat for twelve pence a bushel. He wishes that
Dantzig were at the Moluccas, and had rather be certain of some foreign
invasion than of the setting up of the steelyard. When his barns and
garners are full, if it be a time of dearth, he will buy half a bushel
in the market to serve his household, and winnows his corn in the night,
lest, as the chaff thrown upon the water showed plenty in Egypt, so his
carried by the wind should proclaim his abundance. No painting pleases
him so well as Pharaoh's dream of the seven lean kine that ate up the
fat ones, that he has in his parlour, which he will describe to you like
a motion, and his comment ends with a smothered prayer for a like
scarcity. He cannot away with tobacco, for he is persuaded (and not much
amiss), that 'tis a sparer of bread-corn, which he could find in his
heart to transport without license; but, weighing the penalty, he grows
mealy-mouthed, and dares not. Sweet smells he cannot abide; wishes that
the pure air were generally corrupted; nay, that the spring had lost her
fragrancy for ever, or we our superfluous sense of smelling (as he terms
it), that his corn might not be found musty. The poor he accounts the
Justices' intelligencers, and cannot abide them. He complains of our
negligence of discovering new parts of the world, only to rid them from
our climate. His son, by a certain kind of instinct, he binds prentice
to a tailor, who, all the term of his indenture, hath a dear year in his
belly, and ravens bread exceedingly. When he comes to be a freeman, if
it be a dearth, he marries him to a baker's daughter.


Is sowed as cummin or hempseed, with curses, and he thinks he thrives
the better. He is far better read in the penal statutes than in the
Bible, and his evil angel persuades him he shall sooner be saved by
them. He can be no man's friend, for all men he hath most interest in he
undoes. And a double dealer he is certainly, for by his good will he
ever takes the forfeit. He puts his money to the unnatural act of
generation, and his scrivener is the supervisor bawd to it. Good deeds
he loves none, but sealed and delivered; nor doth he wish anything to
thrive in the country but beehives, for they make him wax rich. He hates
all but law-Latin, yet thinks he might be drawn to love a scholar, could
he reduce the year to a shorter compass, that his use money might come
in the faster. He seems to be the son of a jailor, for all his estate is
in most heavy and cruel bonds. He doth not give, but sell, days of
payment, and those at the rate of a man's undoing. He doth only fear the
Day of Judgment should fall sooner than the payment of some great sum of
money due to him. He removes his lodging when a subsidy comes; and if he
be found out, and pay it, he grumbles treason: but 'tis in such a
deformed silence as witches raise their spirits in. Gravity he pretends
in all things but in his private vice, for he will not in a hundred
pound take one light sixpence. And it seems he was at Tilbury Camp, for
you must not tell him of a Spaniard. He is a man of no conscience, for
(like the Jakes-farmer that swooned with going into Bucklersbury) he
falls into a cold sweat if he but look into the Chancery; thinks, in his
religion, we are in the right for everything, if that were abolished. He
hides his money as if he thought to find it again at the last day, and
then begin's old trade with it. His clothes plead prescription, and
whether they or his body are more rotten is a question. Yet, should he
live to be hanged in them, this good they would do him: the very hangman
would pity his case. The table he keeps is able to starve twenty tall
men. His servants have not their living, but their dying from him, and
that's of hunger. A spare diet he commends in all men but himself. He
comes to cathedrals only for love of the singing-boys, because they look
hungry. He likes our religion best because 'tis best cheap, yet would
fain allow of purgatory, cause 'twas of his trade, and brought in so
much money. His heart goes with the same snaphance his purse doth: 'tis
seldom open to any man. Friendship he accounts but a word without any
signification; nay, he loves all the world so little, that an it were
possible he would make himself his own executor. For certain, he is made
administrator to his own good name while he is in perfect memory, for
that dies long before him; but he is so far from being at the charge of
a funeral for it, that he lets it stink above-ground. In conclusion, for
neighbourhood you were better dwell by a contentious lawyer. And for his
death, 'tis either surfeit, the pox, or despair; for seldom such as he
die of God's making, as honest men should do.


Is one that hath learnt to speak well of himself, for always he names
himself "the first man." If he had betaken himself to some richer trade,
he could not have choosed but done well; for in this, though a mean one,
he is still plying it, and putting himself forward. He is evermore
telling strange news, most commonly lies. If he be a sculler, ask him if
he be married: he'll equivocate, and swear he's a single man. Little
trust is to be given to him, for he thinks that day he does best when he
fetches most men over. His daily labour teaches him the art of
dissembling, for, like a fellow that rides to the pillory, he goes not
that way he looks. He keeps such a bawling at Westminster, that, if the
lawyers were not acquainted with it, an order would be taken with him.
When he is upon the water he is fair company; when he comes ashore he
mutinies, and, contrary to all other trades, is most surly to gentlemen
when they tender payment. The playhouses only keep him sober, and, as it
doth many other gallants, make him an afternoon's man. London Bridge is
the most terrible eyesore to him that can be. And, to conclude, nothing
but a great press makes him fly from the river, nor anything but a great
frost can teach him any good manners.


Is one that desires to have his greatness only measured by his goodness.
His care is to appear such to the people as he would have them be, and
to be himself such as he appears; for virtue cannot seem one thing and
be another. He knows that the hill of greatness yields a most delightful
prospect; but, withal, that it is most subject to lightning and thunder,
and that the people, as in ancient tragedies, sit and censure the
actions of those in authority. He squares his own, therefore, that they
may far be above their pity. He wishes fewer laws, so they were better
observed; and for those are mulctuary, he understands their institution
not to be like briers or springs, to catch everything they lay hold of,
but, like sea-marks on our dangerous Goodwin, to avoid the shipwreck of
innocent passengers. He hates to wrong any man: neither hope nor despair
of preferment can draw him to such an exigent. He thinks himself most
honourably seated when he gives mercy the upper hand. He rather strives
to purchase good name than land; and of all rich stuffs forbidden by the
statute, loathes to have his followers wear their clothes cut out of
bribes and extortions. If his Prince call him to higher place, there he
delivers his mind plainly and freely, knowing for truth there is no
place wherein dissembling ought to have less credit than in a prince's
council. Thus honour keeps peace with him to the grave, and doth not (as
with many) there forsake him, and go back with the heralds; but fairly
sits over him, and broods out of his memory many right excellent


Is the palm-tree, that thrives not after the supplanting of her husband.
For her children's sake she first marries; for she married that she
might have children; and for their sakes she marries no more. She is
like the purest gold, only employed for princes' medals: she never
receives but one man's impression. The largest jointure moves her not,
titles of honour cannot sway her. To change her name were (she thinks)
to commit a sin should make her ashamed of her husband's calling. She
thinks she hath travelled all the world in one man; the rest of her
time, therefore, she directs to heaven. Her main superstition is, she
thinks her husband's ghost would walk, should she not perform his will.
She would do it were there no Prerogative Court. She gives much to pious
uses, without any hope to merit by them; and as one diamond fashions
another, so is she wrought into works of charity, with the dust or ashes
of her husband. She lives to see herself full of time; being so
necessary for earth, God calls her not to heaven till she be very aged,
and even then, though her natural strength fail her, she stands like an
ancient pyramid, which, the less it grows to man's eye, the nearer it
reaches to heaven. This latter chastity of hers is more grave and
reverend than that ere she was married, for in it is neither hope, nor
longing, nor fear, nor jealousy. She ought to be a mirror for our
youngest dames to dress themselves by, when she is fullest of wrinkles.
No calamity can now come near her, for in suffering the loss of her
husband she accounts all the rest trifles. She hath laid his dead body
in the worthiest monument that can be: she hath buried it in her one
heart. To conclude, she is a relic, that, without any superstition in
the world, though she will not be kissed, yet may be reverenced.


Is like the herald's hearse-cloth; she serves to many funerals, with a
very little altering the colour. The end of her husband begins in tears,
and the end of her tears begins in a husband. She uses to cunning women
to know how many husbands she shall have, and never marries without the
consent of six midwives. Her chiefest pride is in the multitude of her
suitors, and by them she gains; for one serves to draw on another, and
with one at last she shoots out another, as boys do pellets in eldern
guns. She commends to them a single life, as horse-coursers do their
jades, to put them away. Her fancy is to one of the biggest of the
Guard, but knighthood makes her draw in in a weaker bow. Her servants or
kinsfolk are the trumpeters that summon any to his combat. By them she
gains much credit, but loseth it again in the old proverb, _Fama est
mendax_. If she live to be thrice married, she seldom fails to cozen her
second husband's creditors. A churchman she dare not venture upon, for
she hath heard widows complain of dilapidations; nor a soldier, though
he have candle-rents in the city, for his estate may be subject to fire;
very seldom a lawyer, without he shows his exceeding great practice, and
can make her case the better; but a knight with the old rent may do
much, for a great coming in is all in all with a widow, ever provided
that most part of her plate and jewels (before the wedding) be concealed
with her scrivener. Thus, like a too-ripe apple, she falls off herself;
but he that hath her is lord but of a filthy purchase, for the title is
cracked. Lastly, while she is a widow, observe her, she is no morning
woman; the evening, a good fire and sack may make her listen to a
husband, and if ever she be made sure, 'tis upon a full stomach
to bedward.


Is a mountebank of a larger bill than a tailor: if he can but come by
names enough of diseases to stuff it with, 'tis all the skill he studies
for. He took his first beginning from a cunning woman, and stole this
black art from her, while he made her sea-coal fire. All the diseases
ever sin brought upon man doth he pretend to be a curer of, when the
truth is, his main cunning is corn-cutting. A great plague makes him,
what with railing against such as leave their cures for fear of
infection, and in friendly breaking cake-bread with the fishwives at
funerals. He utters a most abominable deal of carduus water, and the
conduits cry out, All the learned doctors may cast their caps at him. He
parts stakes witn some apothecary in the suburbs, at whose house he
lies; and though he be never so familiar with his wife, the apothecary
dares not (for the richest horn in his shop) displease him. All the
midwives in the town are his intelligencers; but nurses and young
merchants' wives that would fain conceive with child, these are his
idolaters. He is a more unjust bone-setter than a dice-maker. He hath
put out more eyes than the small-pox; more deaf than the cataracts of
Nilus; lamed more than the gout; shrunk more sinews than one that makes
bowstrings, and killed more idly than tobacco. A magistrate that had
any-way so noble a spirit as but to love a good horse well, would not
suffer him to be a farrier. His discourse is vomit, and his ignorance
the strongest purgation in the world. To one that would be speedily
cured, he hath more delays and doubles than a hare or a lawsuit. He
seeks to set us at variance with nature, and rather than he shall want
diseases, he'll beget them. His especial practice (as I said before) is
upon women; labours to make their minds sick, ere their bodies feel it,
and then there's work for the dog-leech. He pretends the cure of madmen;
and sure he gets most by them, for no man in his perfect wit would
meddle with him. Lastly, he is such a juggler with urinals, so
dangerously unskilful, that if ever the city will have recourse to him
for diseases that need purgation, let them employ him in scouring


'Tis not unlikely but he was begot by some intelligencer under a hedge,
for his mind is wholly given to travel. He is not troubled with making
of jointures; he can divorce himself without the fee of a proctor, nor
fears he the cruelty of overseers of his will. He leaves his children
all the world to cant in, and all the people to their fathers. His
language is a constant tongue; the northern speech differs from the
south, Welsh from the Cornish; but canting is general, nor ever could be
altered by conquest of the Saxon, Dane, or Norman. He will not beg out
of his limit though he starve, nor break his oath, if he swear by his
Solomon, though you hang him; and he pays his custom as truly to his
grand rogue as tribute is paid to the great Turk. The March sun breeds
agues in others, but he adores it like the Indians, for then begins his
progress after a hard winter. Ostlers cannot endure him, for he is of
the infantry, and serves best on foot. He offends not the statute
against the excess of apparel, for he will go naked, and counts it a
voluntary penance. Forty of them lie together in a barn, yet are never
sued upon the Statute of Inmates. If he were learned no man could make a
better description of England, for he hath travelled it over and over.
Lastly, he brags that his great houses are repaired to his hands when
churches go to ruin, and those are prisons.


He learnt his trade in a town of garrison near famished, where he
practised to make a little go far. Some derive it from more antiquity,
and say, Adam, when he picked salads, was of his occupation. He doth not
feed the belly, but the palate; and though his command lie in the
kitchen, which is but an inferior place, yet shall you find him a very
saucy companion. Ever since the wars in Naples, he hath so minced the
ancient and bountiful allowance as if his nation should keep a perpetual
diet. The serving-men call him the last relic of popery, that makes men
fast against their conscience. He can be truly said to be no man's
fellow but his master's, for the rest of the servants are starved by
him. He is the prime cause why noblemen build their houses so great, for
the smallness of their kitchen makes the house the bigger; and the lord
calls him his alchemist, that can extract gold out of herbs, mushrooms,
or anything. That which he dresses we may rather call a drinking than a
meal, yet he is so full of variety that he brags, and truly, that he
gives you but a taste of what he can do. He dares not for his life come
among the butchers, for sure they would quarter and bake him after the
English fashion, he's such an enemy to beef and mutton. To conclude, he
were only fit to make, a funeral feast, where men should eat their
victuals in mourning.


Is an ill-wilier to human nature. Of all proverbs he cannot endure to
hear that which says, We ought to live by the quick, not by the dead. He
could willingly all his lifetime be confined to the churchyard; at
least, within five foot on't, for at every church stile commonly there's
an alehouse, where, let him be found never so idle-pated, he is still a
grave drunkard. He breaks his fast heartiest while he is making a grave,
and says the opening of the ground makes him hungry. Though one would
take him to be a sloven, yet he loves clean linen extremely, and for
that reason takes an order that fine Holland sheets be not made
worms'-meat. Like a nation called the Cusani, he weeps when any are born
and laughs when they die; the reason, he gets by burials not
christenings. He will hold an argument in a tavern over sack till the
dial and himself be both at a stand; he never observes any time but
sermon-time, and there he sleeps by the hour-glass. The ropemaker pays
him a pension, and he pays tribute to the physician; for the physician
makes work for the sexton, as the ropemaker for the hangman. Lastly, he
wishes the dog-days would last all year long; and a great plague is his
year of jubilee.


Is a larger spoon for a traitor to feed with the devil than any other
order; unclasp him, and he's a grey wolf with a golden star in the
forehead; so superstitiously he follows the pope that he forsakes Christ
in not giving Caesar his due. His vows seem heavenly, but in meddling
with state business he seems to mix heaven and earth together. His best
elements are confession and penance: by the first he finds out men's
inclinations, and by the latter heaps wealth to his seminary. He sprang
from Ignatius Loyola, a Spanish soldier; and though he were found out
long since the invention of the cannon, 'tis thought he hath not done
less mischief. He is a half-key to open princes' cabinets and pry in
their councils; and where the pope's excommunication thunders, he holds
it no more sin the decrowning of kings than our Puritans do the
suppression of bishops. His order is full of irregularity and
disobedience, ambitious above all measure; for of late days, in Portugal
and the Indies, he rejected the name of Jesuit, and would be called
disciple. In Rome and other countries that give him freedom, he wears a
mask upon his heart; in England he shifts it, and puts it upon his face.
No place in our climate holds him so securely as a lady's chamber; the
modesty of the pursuivant hath only forborne the bed, and so missed him.
There is no disease in Christendom that may so properly be called the
King's evil. To conclude, would you know him beyond sea? In his seminary
he's a fox, but in the inquisition a lion rampant.


Whatsoever is commendable to the grave orator is most exquisitely
perfect in him, for by a full and significant action of body he charms
our attention. Sit in a full theatre and you will think you see so many
lines drawn from the circumference of so many ears, while the actor is
the centre. He doth not strive to make nature monstrous; she is often
seen in the same scene with him, but neither on stilts nor crutches; and
for his voice, 'tis not lower than the prompter, nor louder than the
foil or target. By his action he fortifies moral precepts with examples,
for what we see him personate we think truly done before us: a man of a
deep thought might apprehend the ghost of our ancient heroes walked
again, and take him at several times for many of them. He is much
affected to painting, and 'tis a question whether that make him an
excellent player, or his playing an exquisite painter. He adds grace to
the poet's labours, for what in the poet is but ditty, in him is both
ditty and music. He entertains us in the best leisure of our life--that
is, between meals; the most unfit time for study or bodily exercise. The
flight of hawks and chase of wild beasts, either of them are delights
noble; but some think this sport of men the worthier, despite all
calumny. All men have been of his occupation; and indeed, what he doth
feignedly, that do others essentially. This day one plays a monarch, the
next a private person; here one acts a tyrant, on the morrow an exile; a
parasite this man tonight, tomorrow a precisian; and so of divers
others. I observe, of all men living, a worthy actor in one kind is the
strongest motive of affection that can be; for, when he dies, we cannot
be persuaded any man can do his parts like him. But, to conclude, I
value a worthy actor by the corruption of some few of the quality as I
would do gold in the ore--I should not mind the dross, but the purity of
the metal.


His outside is an ancient yeoman of England, though his inside may give
arms with the best gentleman and never see the herald. There is no truer
servant in the house than himself. Though he be master, he says not to
his servants, "Go to field," but "Let us go;" and with his own eye doth
both fatten his flock and set forward all manner of husbandry. He is
taught by nature to be contented with a little; his own fold yields him
both food and raiment; he is pleased with any nourishment God sends,
whilst curious gluttony ransacks, as it were, Noah's ark for food only
to feed the riot of one meal. He is never known to go to law;
understanding, to be law-bound among men is to be hide-bound among his
beasts; they thrive not under it, and that such men sleep as unquietly
as if their pillows were stuffed with lawyers' penknives. When he builds
no poor tenant's cottage hinders his prospect: they are indeed his
almshouses, though there be painted on them no such superscription. He
never sits up late but when he hunts the badger, the vowed foe of his
lambs; nor uses he any cruelty but when he hunts the hare; nor subtilty
but when he setteth snares for the snipe or pitfalls for the blackbird;
nor oppression but when, in the month of July, he goes to the next river
and shears his sheep. He allows of honest pastime, and thinks not the
bones of the dead anything bruised or the worse for it though the
country lasses dance in the churchyard after evensong. Rock Monday and
the wake in summer, Shrovings, the wakeful catches on Christmas Eve, the
hockey or seed-cake, these he yearly keeps, yet holds them no relics of
popery. He is not so inquisitive after news derived from the privy
closet, when the finding an eyry of hawks in his own ground, or the
foaling of a colt come of a good strain, are tidings more pleasant, more
profitable. He is lord paramount within himself, though he hold by never
so mean a tenure, and dies the more contentedly, though he leave his
heir young, in regard he leaves him not liable to a covetous garden.
Lastly, to end him, he cares not when his end comes; he needs not fear
his audit, for his quietus is in heaven.


Is a fellow whose face is hatched all over with impudence, and should he
be hanged or pilloried, 'tis armed for it. He is a juggler with words,
yet practises the art of most uncleanly conveyance. He doth boggle very
often, and because himself winks at it, thinks 'tis not perceived. The
main thing that ever he did was the tune he sang to. There is nothing in
the earth so pitiful--no, not an ape-carrier; he is not worth thinking
of, and, therefore, I must leave him as nature left him--a dunghill not
well laid together.


This man would love, honour, and adore God if there were an _I_ more in
his name. He hath coffined up his soul in his chests before his body: he
could wish he were in Midas his taking for hunger, on condition he had
his chemical quality. At the grant of a new subsidy he would gladly hang
himself, were it not for the charge of buying a rope, and begins to take
money upon use when he hears of a privy seal. His morning prayer is to
overlook his bags, whose every parcel begets his adoration. Then to his
studies, which are how to cozen this tenant, beggar that widow, or to
undo some orphan. Then his bonds are viewed, the well-known days of
payment conned by heart; and if he ever pray, it is some one may break
his day that the beloved forfeiture may be obtained. His use is doubled,
and no one sixpence begot or born but presently, by an untimely thrift,
it is getting more. His chimney must not be acquainted with fire for
fear of mischance; but if extremity of cold pinch him, he gets him heat
with looking on, and sometime removing his aged wood-pile, which he
means to leave to many descents, till it hath outlived all the woods of
that country. He never spends candle but at Christmas (when he has them
for New Year's gifts), in hope that his servants will break glasses for
want of light, which they double pay for in their wages. His actions are
guilty of more crimes than any other men's, thoughts; and he conceives
no sin which he dare not act save only lust, from which he abstains for
fear he should be charged with keeping bastards. Once a year he feasts,
the relics of which meal shall serve him the next quarter. In his talk
he rails against eating of breakfasts, drinking betwixt meals, and
swears he is impoverished with paying of tithes. He had rather have the
frame of the fall than the price of corn. If he chance to travel he
curses his fortune that his place binds him to ride, and his faithful
cloak-bag is sure to take care for his provision. His nights are as
troublesome as his days; every rat awakes him out of his unquiet sleeps.
If he have a daughter to marry, he wishes he were in Hungary, or might
follow the custom of that country, that all her portion might be a
wedding-gown. If he fall sick, he had rather die a thousand deaths than
pay for any physic; and if he might have his choice, he would not go to
heaven but on condition he may put money to use there. In fine, he lives
a drudge, dies a wretch that leaves a heap of pelf, which so many
careful hands had scraped together, to haste after him to hell, and by
the way it lodges in a lawyer's purse.


Is one in whom pride is a quality that condemns every one besides his
master, who, when he wears new clothes, thinks himself wronged if they
be not observed, imitated, and his discretion in the choice of his
fashion and stuff applauded. When he vouchsafes to bless the air with
his presence, he goes as near the wall as his satin suit will give him
leave, and every passenger he views under the eyebrows, to observe
whether he vails his bonnet low enough, which he returns with an
imperious nod. He never salutes first, but his farewell is perpetual. In
his attire he is effeminate; every hair knows his own station, which if
it chance to lose it is checked in again with his pocket-comb. He had
rather have the whole commonwealth out of order than the least member of
his muchato, and chooses rather to lose his patrimony than to have his
band ruffled. At a feast, if he be not placed in the highest seat, he
eats nothing howsoever; he drinks to no man, talks with no man for fear
of familiarity. He professeth to keep his stomach for the pheasant or
the quail, and when they come he can eat little; he hath been so cloyed
with them that year, although they be the first he saw. In his discourse
he talks of none but privy councillors, and is as prone to belie their
acquaintance as he is a lady's favours. If he have but twelve pence in
his purse, he will give it for the best room in a playhouse. He goes to
sermons only to show his gay clothes, and if on other inferior days he
chance to meet his friend, he is sorry he sees him not in his best suit.


It should be Christ's Hospital, for most of your wealthy citizens are
good benefactors to it; and yet it can hardly be so, because so few in
it are kept upon alms. Charity's house and this are built many miles
asunder. One thing notwithstanding is here praiseworthy, for men in this
persecution cannot choose but prove good Christians, in that they are a
kind of martyrs, and suffer for the truth. And yet it is so cursed a
piece of land that the son is ashamed to be his father's heir in it. It
is an infected pest-house all the year long; the plague-sores of the law
are the diseases here hotly reigning. The surgeons are atomies and
pettifoggers, who kill more than they cure. Lord have mercy upon us, may
well stand over these doors, for debt is a most dangerous and catching
city pestilence. Some take this place for the walks in Moorfields (by
reason the madmen are so near), but the crosses here and there are not
alike. No, it is not half so sweet an air. For it is the dunghill of the
law, upon which are thrown the ruins of gentry, and the nasty heaps of
voluntary decayed bankrupts, by which means it comes to be a perfect
medal of the iron age, since nothing but jingling of keys, rattling of
shackles, bolts, and grates are here to be heard. It is the horse of
Troy, in whose womb are shut up all the mad Greeks that were men of
action. The _nullum vacuum_ (unless in prisoners' bellies) is here truly
to be proved. One excellent effect is wrought by the place itself, for
the arrantest coward breathing, being posted hither, comes in three days
to an admirable stomach. Does any man desire to learn music; every man
here sings "Lachrymse" at first sight, and is hardly out. He runs
division upon every note, and yet (to their commendations be it spoken)
none of them for all that division do trouble the Church. They are no
Anabaptists; if you ask under what horizon this climate lies, the
Bermudas and it are both under one and the same height. And whereas some
suppose that this island like that is haunted with devils, it is not so.
For those devils so talked of and feared are none else but hoggish
jailors. Hither you need not sail, for it is a ship of itself; the
master's side is the upper deck. They in the common jail lie under
hatches, and help to ballast it. Intricate cases are the tacklings,
executions the anchors, capiases the cables, chancery bills the huge
sails, a long term the mast, law the helm, a judge the pilot, a counsel
the purser, an attorney the boatswain, his Setting clerk the swabber,
bonds the waves, outlawries gust, the verdict of juries rough wind,
extents the knocks that split all in pieces. Or if it be not a ship, yet
this and a ship differ not much in the building; the one is moving
misery, the other a standing. The first is seated on a spring, the
second on piles. Either this place is an emblem of a bawdy house, or a
bawdy house of it; for nothing is to be seen in any room but scurvy beds
and bare walls. But (not so much to dishonour it) it is an university of
poor scholars, in which three arts are chiefly studied: to pray, to
curse, and to write letters.


Is one that hath been a monied man, and is still a very close fellow;
whosoever is of his acquaintance, let them make much of him, for they
shall find him as fast a friend as any in England: he is a sure man, and
you know where to find him. The corruption of a bankrupt is commonly the
generation of this creature. He dwells on the back side of the world, or
in the suburbs of society, and lives in a tenement which he is sure none
will go about to take over his head. To a man that walks abroad, he is
one of the antipodes, that goes on the top of the world, and this under
it. At his first coming in, he is a piece of new coin, all sharking old
prisoners lie sucking at his purse. An old man and he are much alike,
neither of them both go far. They are still angry and peevish, and they
sleep little. He was born at the fall of Babel, the confusion of
languages is only in his mouth. All the vacations he speaks as good
English as any man in England, but in term times he breaks out of that
hopping one-legged pace into a racking trot of issues, bills,
replications, rejoinders, demures, querelles, subpoenas, &c., able to
fright a simple country fellow, and make him believe he conjures.
Whatsoever his complexion was before, it turns in this place to choler
or deep melancholy, so that he needs every hour to take physic to loose
his body; for that, like his estate, is very foul and corrupt, and
extremely hard bound. The taking of an execution off his stomach give
him five or six stools, and leaves his body very soluble. The
withdrawing of an action is a vomit. He is no sound man, and yet an
utter barrister, nay, a sergeant of the case, will feed heartily upon
him; he is very good picking meat for a lawyer. The barber-surgeons may,
if they will, beg him for an anatomy after he hath suffered an
execution. An excellent lecture may be made upon his body; for he is a
kind of dead carcase--creditors, lawyers, and jailors devour it:
creditors peck out his eyes with his own tears; lawyers flay off his own
skin, and lap him in parchment; and jailors are the Promethean vultures
that gnaw his very heart. He is a bond-slave to the law, and, albeit he
were a shopkeeper in London, yet he cannot with safe conscience write
himself a freeman. His religion is of five or six colours: this day he
prays that God would turn the hearts of his creditors, and to-morrow he
curseth the time that ever he saw them. His apparel is daubed commonly
with statute lace, the suit itself of durance, and the hose full of long
pains. He hath many other lasting suits which he himself is never able
to wear out, for they wear out him. The zodiac of his life is like that
of the sun, marry not half so glorious. It begins in Aries and ends in
Pisces. Both head and feet are, all the year long, in troublesome and
laborious motions, and Westminster Hall is his sphere. He lives between
the two tropics Cancer and Capricorn, and by that means is in double
danger of crabbed creditors for his purse, and horns for his head, if
his wife's heels be light. If he be a gentleman, he alters his arms so
soon as he comes in. Few here carry fields or argent, but whatsoever
they bear before, here they give only sables. Whiles he lies by it, he
is travelling over the Alps, and the hearts of his creditors are the
snows that lie unmelted in the middle of summer. He is an almanac out of
date; none of his days speak of fair weather. Of all the files of men,
he marcheth in the last, and comes limping, for he is shot, and is no
man of this world. He hath lost his way, and being benighted, strayed
into a wood full of wolves, and nothing so hard as to get away without
being devoured. He that walks from six to six in Paul's goes still but a
quoit's cast before this man.


Is a fellow that torments men for their good conditions. He is one of
Deucalion's sons, begotten of a stone. The marble images in the Temple
Church that lie cross-legged do much resemble him, saving that this is a
little more cross. He wears a forfeited bond under that part of his
girdle where his thumb sticks, with as much pride as a Welshman does a
leek on St. David's Day, and quarrels more and longer about it. He is a
catchpole's morning's draught, for the news that such a gallant has come
yesternight to town, draws out of him both muscadel and money too. He
says the Lord's Prayer backwards, or, to speak better of him, he hath a
Paternoster by himself, and that particle, Forgive us our debts, as we
forgive others, &c., he either quite leaves out, or else leaps over it.
It is a dangerous rub in the alley of his conscience. He is the
bloodhound of the law, and hunts counter, very swiftly and with great
judgment. He hath a quick scent to smell out his game, and a good deep
mouth to pursue it, yet never opens till he bites, and bites not till he
kills, or at least draws blood, and then he pincheth most doggedly. He
is a lawyer's mule, and the only beast upon which he ambles so often to
Westminster. And a lawyer is his God Almighty, in him only he trusts. To
him he flies in all his troubles; from him he seeks succour. To him he
prays, that he may by his means overcome his enemies. Him does he
worship both in the temple and abroad, and hopes by him and good angels
to prosper in all his actions. A scrivener is his farrier, and helps to
recover all his diseased and maimed obligations. Every term he sets up a
tenters in Westminster Hall, upon which he racks and stretches gentlemen
like English broadcloth, beyond the staple of the wool, till the threads
crack, and that causeth them with the least wet to shrink, and presently
to wear bars. Marry, he handles a citizen (at least if himself be one)
like a piece of Spanish cloth, gives him only a twitch, and strains him
not too hard, knowing how apt he is to break of himself, and then he can
cut nothing out of him but threads. To the one he comes like Tamburlain,
with his black and bloody flag; but to the other his white one hangs
out, and, upon the parley, rather than fail, he takes ten groats in the
pound for his ransom, and so lets him march away with bag and baggage.
From the beginning of Hilary to the end of Michaelmas his purse is full
of quicksilver, and that sets him running from sunrise to sunset up
Fleet Street, and so to the Chancery, from thence to Westminster, then
back to one court, after that to another. Then to an attorney, then to a
councillor, and in every of these places he melts some of his fat (his
money). In the vacation he goes to grass, and gets up his flesh again,
which he baits as you heard. If he were to be hanged unless he could be
saved by his book, he cannot for his heart call for a psalm of mercy. He
is a law-trap baited with parchment and wax. The fearful mice he catches
are debtors, with whom scratching attorneys, like cats, play a good
while, and then mouse them. The bally is an insatiable creditor, but
man worse.


Was once taken, when he bare office in his parish, for an honest man.
The spawn of a decayed shopkeeper begets this fry; out of that dunghill
is this serpent's egg hatched. It is a devil made sometime out of one of
the twelve companies, and does but study the part and rehearse it on
earth, to be perfect when he comes to act it in hell; that is his stage.
The hangman and he are twins; only the hangman is the elder brother, and
he dying without issue, as commonly he does, for none but a ropemaker's
widow will marry him, this then inherits. His habit is a long gown, made
at first to cover his knavery, but that growing too monstrous, he now
goes in buff; his conscience and that being both cut out of one hide,
and are of one toughness. The Counter-gate is his kennel, the whole city
his Paris gardens; the misery of a poor man, but especially a bad liver,
is the offals on which he feeds. The devil calls him his white son; he
is so like him that he is the worse for it, and he takes after his
father, for the one torments bodies as fast as the other tortures souls.
Money is the crust he leaps at; cry, "a duck! a duck!" and he plunges
not so eagerly as at this. The dog's chaps water to fetch nothing else;
he hath his name for the same quality. For sergeant is _quasi See
argent_, look you, rogue, here is money. He goes muffled like a thief,
and carries still the marks of one; for he steals upon man cowardly,
plucks him by the throat, makes him stand, and fleeces him. In this they
differ, the thief is more valiant and more honest. His walks in term
times are up Fleet Street, at the end of the term up Holborn, and so to
Tyburn; the gallows are his purlieus, in which the hangman and he are
quarter rangers--the one turns off, and the other cuts down. All the
vacation he lies imbogued behind the lattice of some blind drunken,
bawdy ale-house, and if he spy his prey, out he leaps like a freebooter,
and rifles, or like a ban-dog worries. No officer to the city keeps his
oath so uprightly; he never is forsworn, for he swears to be true varlet
to the city, and he continues so to his dying day. Mace, which is so
comfortable to the stomach in all kind of meats, turns in his hand to
mortal poison. This raven pecks not out men's eyes as others do; all his
spite is at their shoulders, and you were better to have the nightmare
ride you than this incubus. When any of the furies of hell die, this
Cacodeemon hath the reversion of his place. The city is (by the custom)
to feed him with good meat, as they send dead horses to their hounds,
only to keep them both in good heart, for not only those curs at the
doghouse, but these within the walls, are to serve in their paces in
their several huntings. He is a citizen's birdlime, and where he
holds he hangs.


Is the hanger that a sergeant wears by his side; it is a false die of
the same ball but not the same cut, for it runs somewhat higher and does
more mischief. It is a tumbler to drive in the conies. He is yet but a
bungler, and knows not how to cut up a man without tearing, but by a
pattern. One term fleshes him, or a Fleet Street breakfast. The devil is
but his father-in-law, and yet for the love he bears him will leave him
as much as if he were his own child. And for that cause (instead of
prayers) he does every morning at the Counter-gate ask him blessing, and
thrives the better in his actions all the day after. This is the hook
that hangs under water to choke the fish, and his sergeant is the quill
above water, which pops down so soon as ever the bait is swallowed. It
is indeed an otter, and the more terrible destroyer of the two. This
counter-rat hath a tail as long as his fellows, but his teeth are more
sharp and he more hungry, because he does but snap, and hath not his
full half-share of the booty. The eye of this wolf is as quick in his
head as a cutpurse's in a throng, and as nimble is he at his business as
an hangman at an execution. His office is as the dogs do worry the sheep
first, or drive him to the shambles; the butcher that cuts his throat
steps out afterwards, and that's his sergeant. His living lies within
the city, but his conscience lies bed-rid in one of the holes of a
counter. This eel is bred too out of the mud of a bankrupt, and dies
commonly with his guts ripped up, or else a sudden stab sends him of his
last errand. He will very greedily take a cut with a sword, and suck
more silver out of the wound than his surgeon shall. His beginning is
detestable, his courses desperate, and his end damnable.


Is a creature mistaken in the making, for he should be a tiger; but the
shape being thought too terrible, it is covered, and he wears the vizor
of a man, yet retains the qualities of his former fierceness,
currishness, and ravening. Of that red earth of which man was fashioned
this piece was the basest, of the rubbish which was left and thrown by
came this jailor; his descent is then more ancient, but more ignoble,
for he comes of the race of those angels that fell with Lucifer from
heaven, whither he never (or very hardly) returns. Of all his bunches of
keys not one hath wards to open that door, for this jailor's soul stands
not upon those two pillars that support heaven (justice and mercy), it
rather sits upon those two footstools of hell, wrong and cruelty. He is
a judge's slave, and a prisoner's his. In this they differ; he is a
voluntary one, the other compelled. He is the hangman of the law with a
lame hand, and if the law gave him all his limbs perfect he would strike
those on whom he is glad to fawn. In fighting against a debtor he is a
creditor's second, but observes not the laws of the _duello_; his play
is foul, and on all base advantages. His conscience and his shackles
hang up together, and are made very near of the same metal, saving that
the one is harder than the other and hath one property above iron, for
that never melts. He distils money out of the poor men's tears, and
grows fat by their curses. No man coming to the practical part of hell
can discharge it better, because here he does nothing but study the
theory of it. His house is the picture of hell in little, and the
original of the letters patent of his office stands exemplified there. A
chamber of lousy beds is better worth to him than the best acre of
corn-land in England. Two things are hard to him (nay, almost
impossible), viz., to save all his prisoners that none ever escape, and
to be saved himself. His ears are stopped to the cries of others, and
God's to his; and good reason, for lay the life of a man in one scale
and his fees on the other, he will lose the first to find the second. He
must look for no mercy if he desires justice to be done to him, for he
shows none; and I think he cares the less, because he knows heaven hath
no need of such tenants--the doors there want no porters, for they stand
ever open. If it were possible for all creatures in the world to sleep
every night, he only and a tyrant cannot. That blessing is taken from
them, and this curse comes in the stead, to be ever in fear and ever
hated: what estate can be worse?


If I must speak the schoolmaster's language, I will confess that
character comes of this infinitive mood, [Greek: charassen], which
signifies to engrave, or make a deep impression. And for that cause a
letter (as A, B) is called a character: those elements which we learn
first, leaving a strong seal in our memories.

Character is also taken for an Egyptian hieroglyphic, for an impress or
short emblem; in little comprehending much.

To square out a character by our English level, it is a picture (real or
personal) quaintly drawn in various colours, all of them heightened by
one shadowing.

It is a quick and soft touch of many strings, all shutting up in one
musical close; it is wit's descant on any plain song.


BY SIR H. W.[1]

   How happy is he born or taught
   That serveth not another's will;
   Whose armour is his honest thought,
   And silly truth his highest skill!

   Whose passions not his masters are,
   Whose soul is still prepared for death;
   Untied unto the world with care
   Of princely love or vulgar breath.

   Who hath his life from rumours freed,
   Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
   Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
   Nor ruin make accusers great.

   Who envieth none whom chance doth raise
   Or vice, who never understood
   How deepest wounds are given with praise;
   Not rules of State, but rules of good.

   Who God doth late and early pray
   More of His grace than gifts to lend;
   Who entertains the harmless day
   With a well-chosen book or friend.

   This man is free from servile bands,
   Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
   Lord of himself, though not of lands,
   And having nothing he hath all.


I am of opinion that nothing is so potent either to procure or merit
love as valour, and I am glad I am so, for thereby I shall do myself
much ease, because valour never needs much wit to maintain it. To speak
of it in itself, it is a quality which he that hath shall have least
need of; so the best league between princes is a mutual fear of each
other. It teacheth a man to value his reputation as his life, and
chiefly to hold the lie insufferable, though being alone he finds no
hurt it doth him. It leaves itself to other's censures; for he that
brags of his own, dissuades others from believing it. It feareth a sword
no more than an ague. It always makes good the owner; for though he be
generally held a fool, he shall seldom hear so much by word of mouth,
and that enlargeth him more than any spectacles, for it makes a little
fellow to be called a tall man. It yields the wall to none but a woman,
whose weakness is her prerogative; or a man seconded with a woman, as an
usher which always goes before his betters. It makes a man become the
witness of his own words, to stand to whatever he hath said, and
thinketh it a reproach to commit his reviling unto the law. It
furnisheth youth with action, and age with discourse, and both by
futures; for a man must never boast himself in the present tense. And to
come nearer home, nothing draws a woman like to it, for valour towards
men is an emblem of an ability towards women, a good quality signifies a
better. Nothing is more behoveful for that sex, for from it they receive
protection, and we free from the danger of it; nothing makes a shorter
cut to obtaining, for a man of arms is always void of ceremony, which is
the wall that stands betwixt Pyramus and Thisbe, that is, man and woman,
for there is no pride in women but that which rebounds from our own
baseness, as cowards grow valiant upon those that are more cowards, so
that only by our pale asking we teach them to deny. And by our
shamefacedness we put them in mind to be modest, whereas indeed, it is
cunning rhetoric to persuade the hearers that they are that already
which we would have them to be. This kind of bashfulness is far from men
of valour, and especially from soldiers, for such are ever men without
doubt forward and confident, losing no time lest they should lose
opportunity, which is the best factor for a lover. And because they know
women are given to dissemble, they will never believe them when they
deny. Whilom before this age of wit and wearing black broke in upon us,
there was no way known to win a lady but by tilting, tourneying, and
riding through forests, in which time these slender striplings with
little legs were held but of strength enough to marry their widows. And
even in our days there can be given no reason of the inundation of
serving-men upon their mistresses, but only that usually they carry
their mistresses' weapons and his valour. To be counted handsome, just,
learned, or well-favoured, all this carries no danger with it, but it is
to be admitted to the title of valiant acts, at least the venturing of
his mortality, and all women take delight to hold him safe in their arms
who hath escaped thither through many dangers. To speak at once, man
hath a privilege in valour; in clothes and good faces we but imitate
women, and many of that sex will not think much, as far as an answer
goes, to dissemble wit too. So then these neat youths, these women in
men's apparel, are too near a woman to be beloved of her, they be both
of a trade; but he of grim aspect, and such a one a glass dares take,
and she will desire him for newness and variety. A scar in a man's face
is the same that a mole in a woman's, is a jewel set in white to make it
seem more white, for a scar in a man is a mark of honour and no blemish,
for 'tis a scar and a blemish in a soldier to be without one. Now, as
for all things else which are to procure love, as a good face, wit
clothes, or a good body, each of them, I confess, may work somewhat for
want of a better, that is, if valour be not their rival. A good face
avails nothing if it be in a coward that is bashful, the utmost of it is
to be kissed, which rather increaseth than quencheth appetite. He that
sends her gifts sends her word also that he is a man of small gifts
otherwise, for wooing by signs and tokens employs the author dumb; and
if Ovid, who writ the law of love, were alive (as he is extant), he
would allow it as good a diversity that gifts should be sent as
gratuities, not as bribes. Wit getteth rather promise than love. Wit is
not to be seen, and no woman takes advice of any in her loving but of
her own eyes and her waiting-woman's; nay, which is worse, wit is not to
be felt, and so no good bedfellow. Wit applied to a woman makes her
dissolve her simpering and discover her teeth with laughter, and this is
surely a purge of love, for the beginning of love is a kind of foolish
melancholy. As for the man that makes his tailor his means, and hopes to
inveigle his love with such a coloured suit, surely the same deeply
hazards the loss of her favour upon every change of his clothes. So
likewise for the other that courts her silently with a good body, let me
certify him, that his clothes depend upon the comeliness of his body,
and so both upon opinion. She that hath been seduced by apparel let me
give her to wit, that men always put off their clothes before they go to
bed. And let her that hath been enamoured of her servant's body
understand, that if she saw him in a skin of cloth, that is, in a suit
made of the pattern of his body, she would see slender cause to love him
ever after. There is no clothes sit so well in a woman's eye as a suit
of steel, though not of the fashion, and no man so soon surpriseth a
woman's affections as he that is the subject of all whispering, and hath
always twenty stories of his own deeds depending upon him. Mistake me
not; I understand not by valour one that never fights but when he is
backed with drink or anger, or hissed on with beholders, nor one that is
desperate, nor one that takes away a serving-man's weapons when
perchance it cost him his quarter's wages, nor yet one that wears a
privy coat of defence and therein is confident, for then such as made
bucklers would be counted the Catilines of the commonwealth. I intend
one of an even resolution grounded upon reason, which is always even,
having his power restrained by the law of not doing wrong. But now I
remember I am for valour, and therefore must be a man of few words.



_were published four years earlier than Overbury's, but Overbury's were
posthumous, and in actual time of writing there can have been no very
material difference. Hall's age was thirty-four when he first published
his Characters. He was born on the 1st July 1574, at Ashby de la Zouch,
in Leicestershire. His father was governor of this town under the Earl
of Huntingdon, when he was President of the North. His mother, Winifred,
was a devout Puritan, and he was from infancy intended for the Church.
In 1589, at the age of fifteen, Joseph Hall was sent to Emmanuel
College, Cambridge, where he was maintained at the cost of an uncle. He
passed all his degrees with applause, obtained a Fellowship of his
college in 1595, and proceeded to M.A. in 1596, and having already
obtained credit at Cambridge as an English poet, he published in 1597
"Virgidemiarum, Sixe Bookes, First Three Books of Toothlesse Satyrs,
Poetical, Academical, Moral, followed in the next year by Three last
Bookes of Byting Satyres." Of these Satires he said in their Prologue--_

   "I first adventure, with foolhardy might,
   To tread the steps of perilous despite.
   I first adventure, follow me who list,
   And be the second English satirist."

_He could only have meant by this to claim that he was the first in
England to write Satires in the manner of the Latins. He would not
bend, he said, to Lady or to Patron--_

   "Rather had I, albe in careless rhymes,
   Check the misordered world and lawless times."

_Some of these Satires were, of course, of the nature of Characters, and
I quote two or three in passing._


   A gentle squire would gladly entertain
   Into his house some trencher-chaplain;
   Some willing man that might instruct his sons,
   And that would stand to good conditions.
   First, that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
   Whilst his young master lieth o'er his head.
   Secondly, that he do, on no default,
   Ever presume to sit above the salt.
   Third, that he never change his trencher twice.
   Fourth, that he use all common courtesies;
   Sit bare at meals, and one half rise and wait.
   Last, that he never his young master beat
   But he must ask his mother to define
   How many jerks she would his breech should line.
   All these observed, he could contented be,
   To give five marks and winter livery.


   Seest thou how gaily my young master goes,
   Vaunting himself upon his rising toes;
   And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side;
   And picks his glutted teeth since late noon-tide?
   'Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he dined to-day?
   In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humfray.
   Many good welcomes, and much gratis cheer,
   Keeps he for every straggling cavalier.
   An open house, haunted with great resort;
   Long service mixed with musical disport.
   Many fair younker with a feathered crest,
   Chooses much rather be his shot-free guest,
   To fare so freely with so little cost,
   Than stake his twelve-pence to a meaner host.
   Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say
   He touched no meat of all this live-long day.
   For sure methought, yet that was but a guess,
   His eyes seem sunk for very hollowness,
   But could he have (as I did it mistake)
   So little in his purse, so much upon his back?
   So nothing in his maw? yet seemeth by his belt,
   That his gaunt gut not too much stuffing felt.
   Seest thou how side it hangs beneath his hip?
   Hunger and heavy iron makes girdles slip.
   Yet for all that, how stiffly struts he by,
   All trappéd in the new-found bravery.
   The nuns of new-won Cales his bonnet lent,
   In lieu of their so kind a conquerment.
   What needed he fetch that from farthest Spain,
   His grandam could have lent with lesser pain?
   Tho' he perhaps ne'er passed the English shore,
   Yet fain would counted be a conqueror.
   His hair, French-like, stares on his frightened head,
   One lock amazon-like dishevelléd,
   As if he meant to wear a native cord,
   If chance his fates should him that bane afford.
   All British bare upon the bristled skin,
   Close notchéd is his beard both lip and chin;
   His linen collar labyrinthian set,
   Whose thousand double turnings never met:
   His sleeves half hid with elbow pinionings,
   As if he meant to fly with linen wings.
   But when I look, and cast mine eyes below,
   What monster meets mine eyes in human show?
   So slender waist with such an abbot's loin,
   Did never sober nature sure conjoin.
   Lik'st a strawn scare-crow in the new-sown field,
   Reared on some stick, the tender corn to shield.
   Or if that semblance suit not every dale,
   Like a broad shake-fork with a slender steel
   Despiséd nature suit them once aright,
   Their body to their coat, both now misdight.
   Their body to their clothes might shapen be,
   That nil their clothés shape to their body.
   Meanwhile I wonder at so proud a back,
   Whilst, the empty guts loud rumbling for long lack,
   The belly envieth the back's bright glee,
   And murmurs at such inequality.
   The back appears unto the partial eyne,
   The plaintive belly pleads they bribed been;
   And he, for want of better advocate,
   Doth to the ear his injury relate.
   The back, insulting o'er the belly's need,
   Says, thou thyself, I others' eyes must feed.
   The maw, the guts, all inward parts complain
   The back's great pride, and their own secret pain.
   Ye witless gallants, I beshrew your hearts,
   That sets such discord 'twixt agreeing parts,
   Which never can be set at onement more,
   Until the maw's wide mouth be stopped with store.

_Joseph Hall obtained in 1601 the living of Halsted in Suffolk, and
married in 1603. In an autobiographical sketch of "Some Specialities in
the Life of Joseph Hall," he thus tells us himself the manner of his

"Being now, therefore, settled in that sweet and civil country of
Suffolk, near to St. Edmundsbury, my first work was to build up my
house, which was extremely ruinous; which done, the uncouth solitariness
of my life, and the extreme incommodity of that single housekeeping,
drew my thoughts, after two years, to condescend to the necessity of a
married estate, which God no less strangely provided for me; for,
walking from the church on Monday in the Whitsun-week, with a grave and
reverend minister, Mr. Grandidge, I saw a comely and modest gentlewoman
standing at the door of that house where we were invited to a wedding
dinner, and inquiring of that worthy friend whether he knew her. Yes
(quoth he), I know her well, and have bespoken her for your wife. When I
farther demanded an account of that answer, he told me she was the
daughter of a gentleman whom he much respected, Mr. George Winniff, of
Bretenham; that out of an opinion had of the fitness of that match for
me, he had already treated with her father about it, whom he found very
apt to entertain it, advising me not to neglect the opportunity, and not
concealing the just praises of modesty, piety, good disposition, and
other virtues that were lodged in that seemly presence. I listened to
the motion as sent from God, and at last, upon due prosecution, happily
prevailed, enjoying the comfortable society of that meet help for the
space of forty-nine years."

_In 1605 Joseph Hall published at Frankfort in Latin a witty satire on
the weak side of the world, which had been written several years
earlier, entitled "Mundus Alter et Idem." Of this book I have given a
description in the volume of "Ideal Commonwealths," which forms one of
the series of the "Universal Library." Hall had obtained reputation as a
divine, by publishing two centuries of religious "Meditations," which
united wit with piety. Prince Henry, having sought an opportunity of
hearing him preach, made Hall his chaplain, and the Earl of Norwich gave
him the living of Waltham in Essex. At the same time, 1608, a
translation of Hall's Latin Satire, printed twice abroad, was published
in London as "The Discovery of a New World;" he himself published also
two volumes of Epistles, and this book of "Characters." There was a long
career before him as a leader among churchmen fallen upon troubled days.
He became Bishop of Exeter and was translated to Norwich. He was
committed to the Tower, released, and ejected from his see, and after
ten years of retirement, living upon narrow means at the village of
Higham near Norwich, he died in the Commonwealth time at the age of
eighty-two, on the 8th of September 1656. He took a conspicuous part in
the controversy of 1641 about the bishops, but twenty years before that
date a collection of his earlier works had formed a substantial folio of
more than eleven hundred pages. His "Characters of Virtues and Vices,"
written in early manhood, follow next in our collection._





Reader,--The divines of the old heathens were their moral philosophers.
These received the acts of an inbred law, in the Sinai of nature, and
delivered them with many expositions to the multitude. These were the
overseers of manners, correctors of vices, directors of lives, doctors
of virtue, which yet taught their people the body of their natural
divinity, not after one manner: while some spent themselves in deep
discourses of human felicity and the way to it in common, others thought
it best to apply the general precepts of goodness or decency to
particular conditions and persons. A third sort in a mean course betwixt
the two other, and compounded of them both, bestowed their time in
drawing out the true lineaments of every virtue and vice, so lively,
that who saw the medals might know the face; which art they
significantly termed Charactery. Their papers were so many tables, their
writings so many speaking pictures, or living images, whereby the ruder
multitude might even by their sense learn to know virtue and discern
what to detest. I am deceived if any course could be more likely to
prevail, for herein the gross conceit is led on with pleasure, and
informed while it feels nothing but delight; and if pictures have been
accounted the books of idiots, behold here the benefit of an image
without the offence. It is no shame for us to learn wit of heathens,
neither is it material in whose school we take out a good lesson. Yea,
it is more shame not to follow their good than not to lead them better.
As one, therefore, that in worthy examples hold imitation better than
invention, I have trod in their paths, but with an higher and wider
step, and out of their tablets have drawn these larger portraitures of
both sorts. More might be said, I deny not, of every virtue, of every
vice; I desired not to say all but enough. If thou do but read or like
these I have spent good hours ill; but if thou shalt hence abjure those
vices, which before thou thoughtest not ill-favoured, or fall in love
with any of these goodly faces of virtue, or shalt hence find where thou
hast any little touch of these evils, to clear thyself, or where any
defect in these graces to supply it, neither of us shall need to repent
of our labour.




Virtue is not loved enough, because she is not seen; and vice loseth
much detestation, because her ugliness is secret. Certainly, my lords,
there are so many beauties, and so many graces in the face of goodness,
that no eye can possibly see it without affection, without ravishment;
and the visage of evil is so monstrous through loathsome deformities,
that if her lovers were not ignorant they would be mad with disdain and
astonishment. What need we more than to discover these two to the world?
This work shall save the labour of exhorting and dissuasion. I have here
done it as I could, following that ancient master of morality, who
thought this the fittest task for the ninety and ninth year of his age,
and the profitablest monument that he could leave for a farewell visit
to his Grecians. Lo here then virtue and vice stripped naked to the open
view, and despoiled, one of her rags the other of her ornaments, and
nothing left them but bare presence to plead for affection: see now
whether shall find more suitors. And if still the vain minds of lewd men
shall dote upon their old mistress, it will appear to be, not because
she is not foul, but for that they are blind and bewitched. And first
behold the goodly features of wisdom, an amiable virtue, and worthy to
lead this stage; which as she extends herself to all the following
graces, so amongst the rest is for her largeness most conspicuous.


There is nothing that he desires not to know, but most and first
himself, and not so much his own strength as his weaknesses; neither is
his knowledge reduced to discourse, but practice. He is a skilful
logician, not by nature so much as use; his working mind doth nothing
all his time but make syllogisms and draw out conclusions; everything
that he sees and hears serves for one of the premisses; with these he
cares first to inform himself, then to direct others. Both his eyes are
never at once from home, but one keeps house while the other roves
abroad for intelligence. In material and weighty points he abides not
his mind suspended in uncertainties, but hates doubting where he may,
where he should be resolute: and first he makes sure work for his soul,
accounting it no safety to be unsettled in the foreknowledge of his
small estate. The best is first regarded; and vain is that regard which
endeth not in security. Every care hath his just order; neither is there
any one either neglected or misplaced. He is seldom ever seen with
credulity; for, knowing the falseness of the world, he hath learned to
trust himself always, others so far as he may not be damaged by their
disappointment. He seeks his quietness in secrecy, and is wont both to
hide himself in retiredness, and his tongue in himself. He loves to be
guessed at, not known; and to see the world unseen; and when he is
forced into the light, shows by his actions that his obscurity was
neither from affectation nor weakness. His purposes are neither so
variable as may argue inconstancy, nor obstinately unchangeable, but
framed according to his after-wits, or the strength of new occasions. He
is both an apt scholar and an excellent master; for both everything he
sees informs him, and his mind, enriched with plentiful observation, can
give the best precepts. His free discourse runs back to the ages past,
and recovers events out of memory, and then preventeth time in flying
forward to future things; and comparing one with the other, can give a
verdict well near prophetical, wherein his conjectures are better than
another's judgments. His passions are so many good servants, which stand
in a diligent attendance ready to be commanded by reason, by religion;
and if at any time forgetting their duty, they be miscarried to rebel,
he can first conceal their mutiny, then suppress it. In all his just and
worthy designs he is never at a loss, but hath so projected all his
courses that a second begins where the first failed, and fetcheth
strength from that which succeeded not. There be wrongs which he will
not see, neither doth he always look that way which he meaneth, nor take
notice of his secret smarts, when they come from great ones. In good
turns he loves not to owe more than he must; in evil, to owe and not
pay. Just censures he deserves not, for he lives without the compass of
an adversary; unjust he contemneth, and had rather suffer false infamy
to die alone than lay hands upon it in an open violence. He confineth
himself in the circle of his own affairs, and lists not to thrust his
finger into a needless fire. He stands like a centre unmoved, while the
circumference of his estate is drawn above, beneath, about him. Finally,
his wit hath cost him much, and he can both keep, and value, and employ
it. He is his own lawyer, the treasury of knowledge, the oracle of
counsel; blind in no man's cause, best sighted in his own.


He looks not to what he might do, but what he should. Justice is his
first guide, the second law of his actions is expedience. He had rather
complain than offend, and hates sin more for the indignity of it than
the danger. His simple uprightness works in him that confidence which
ofttimes wrongs him, and gives advantage to the subtle, when he rather
pities their faithlessness than repents of his credulity. He hath but
one heart, and that lies open to sight; and were it not for discretion,
he never thinks aught whereof he would avoid a witness. His word is his
parchment, and his yea his oath, which he will not violate for fear or
for loss. The mishaps of following events may cause him to blame his
providence, can never cause him to eat his promise: neither saith he,
This I saw not; but, This I said. When he is made his friend's executor,
he defrays debts, pays legacies, and scorneth to gain by orphans, or to
ransack graves, and therefore will be true to a dead friend, because he
sees him not. All his dealings are square and above the board; he
bewrays the fault of what he sells, and restores the overseen gain of a
false reckoning. He esteems a bribe venomous, though it come gilded over
with the colour of gratuity. His cheeks are never stained with the
blushes of recantation, neither doth his tongue falter to make good a
lie with the secret glosses of double or reserved senses, and when his
name is traduced his innocency bears him out with courage: then, lo, he
goes on the plain way of truth, and will either triumph in his integrity
or suffer with it. His conscience overrules his providence; so as in all
things good or ill, he respects the nature of the actions, not the
sequel. If he see what he must do, let God see what shall follow. He
never loadeth himself with burdens above his strength, beyond his will;
and once bound, what he can he will do, neither doth he will but what he
can do. His ear is the sanctuary of his absent friend's name, of his
present friend's secret; neither of them can miscarry in his trust. He
remembers the wrongs of his youth, and repays them with that usury which
he himself would not take. He would rather want than borrow, and beg
than not to pay: his fair conditions are without dissembling, and he
loves actions above words. Finally, he hates falsehood worse than death:
he is a faithful client of truth, no man's enemy, and it is a question
whether more another man's friend or his own; and if there were no
heaven, yet he would be virtuous.


His eyes have no other objects but absent and invisible, which they see
so clearly as that to them sense is blind. That which is present they
see not; if I may not rather say, that what is past or future is present
to them. Herein he exceeds all others, that to him nothing is
impossible, nothing difficult, whether to bear or undertake. He walks
every day with his Maker, and talks with Him familiarly, and lives ever
in heaven, and sees all earthly things beneath him. When he goes in to
converse with God, he wears not his own clothes, but takes them still
out of the rich wardrobe of his Redeemer, and then dares boldly press in
and challenge a blessing. The celestial spirits do not scorn his
company; yea, his service. He deals in these worldly affairs as a
stranger, and hath his heart ever at home. Without a written warrant he
dare do nothing, and with it anything. His war is perpetual, without
truce, without intermission, and his victory certain; he meets with the
infernal powers, and tramples them under feet. The shield that he ever
bears before him can neither be missed nor pierced; if his hand be
wounded, yet his heart is safe. He is often tripped, seldom foiled, and,
if sometimes foiled, never vanquished. He hath white hands, and a clean
soul fit to lodge God in, all the rooms whereof are set apart for His
holiness. Iniquity hath oft called at the door and craved entertainment,
but with a repulse; or, if sin of force will be his tenant, his Lord he
cannot. His faults are few, and those he hath God will not see. He is
allied so high, that he dare call God father, his Saviour brother,
heaven his patrimony, and thinks it no presumption to trust to the
attendance of angels. His understanding is enlightened with the beams of
divine truth. God hath acquainted him with His will; and what he knows
he dare confess: there is not more love in his heart than liberty in his
tongue. If torments stand betwixt him and Christ, if death, he contemns
them; and if his own parents lie in his way to God, his holy
carelessness makes them his footsteps. His experiments have drawn forth
rules of confidence, which he dares oppose against all the fears of
distrust; wherein he thinks it safe to charge God with what he hath
done, with what he hath promised. Examples are his proofs, and instances
his demonstrations. What hath God given which he cannot give? What have
others suffered which he may not be enabled to endure? Is he threatened
banishment? there he sees the dear Evangelist in Patmos. Cutting in
pieces? he sees Esai under the saw. Drowning? he sees Jonah diving into
the living gulf? Burning? he sees the three children in the hot walk of
the furnace. Devouring? he sees Daniel in the sealed den amidst his
terrible companions. Stoning? he sees the first martyr under his heap of
many gravestones. Heading? lo, there the Baptist's neck bleeding in
Herodias' platter. He emulates their pain, their strength, their glory.
He wearies not himself with cares; for he knows he lives not of his own
cost, not idly omitting means, but not using them with diffidence. In
the midst of ill rumours and amazements his countenance changeth not;
for he knows both whom he hath trusted, and whither death can lead him.
He is not so sure he shall die as that he shall be restored, and
outfaceth his death with resurrection. Finally, he is rich in works,
busy in obedience, cheerful and unmoved in expectation, better with
evils, in common opinion miserable, but in true judgment more than
a man.


He is a friendly enemy to himself; for, though he be not out of his own
favour, no man sets so low a value of his worth as himself--not out of
ignorance or carelessness, but of a voluntary and meek dejectedness. He
admires everything in another, while the same or better in himself he
thinks not unworthily contemned. His eyes are full of his own wants, and
others' perfections. He loves rather to give than take honour; not in a
fashion of complimental courtesy, but in simplicity of his judgment.
Neither doth he fret at those on whom he forceth precedence, as one that
hoped their modesty would have refused; but holds his mind unfeignedly
below his place, and is ready to go lower (if need be) without
discontent. When he hath his due, he magnifieth courtesy, and disclaims
his deserts. He can be more ashamed of honour than grieved with
contempt; because he thinks that causeless, this deserved. His face, his
carriage, his habit, savour of lowliness without affectation, and yet he
is much under that he seemeth. His words are few and soft, never either
peremptory or censorious; because he thinks both each man more wise, and
none more faulty than himself. And, when he approacheth to the throne of
God, he is so taken up with the Divine greatness that, in his own eyes,
he is either vile or nothing. Places of public charge are fain to sue to
him, and hail him out of his chosen obscurity; which he holds ofif, not
cunningly, to cause importunity, but sincerely, in the conscience of his
defects. He frequenteth not the stages of common resorts, and then alone
thinks himself in his natural element when he is shrouded within his own
walls. He is ever jealous over himself, and still suspecteth that which
others applaud. There is no better object of beneficence; for what he
receives he ascribes merely to the bounty of the giver, nothing to
merit. He emulates no man in anything but goodness, and that with more
desire than hope to overtake. No man is so contented with his little,
and so patient under miseries; because he knows the greatest evils are
below his sins, and the least favours above his deservings. He walks
ever in awe, and dare not but subject every word and action to an high
and just censure. He is a lowly valley, sweetly planted and well
watered; the proud man's earth, whereon he trampleth; but secretly full
of wealthy mines, more worth than he that walks over them; a rich stone
set in lead; and, lastly, a true temple of God built with a low roof.


He undertakes without rashness, and performs without fear; he seeks not
for dangers, but, when they find him, he bears them over with courage,
with success. He hath ofttimes looked death in the face, and passed by
it with a smile; and when he sees he must yield, doth at once welcome
and contemn it. He forecasts the worst of all events, and encounters
them before they come in a secret and mental war. And if the suddenness
of an unexpected evil have surprised his thoughts, and infected his
cheeks with paleness, he hath no sooner digested it in his conceit than
he gathers up himself, and insults over mischief. He is the master of
himself, and subdues his passions to reason, and by this inward victory
works his own peace. He is afraid of nothing but the displeasure of the
Highest, and runs away from nothing but sin: he looks not on his hands,
but his cause; not how strong he is, but how innocent: and, where
goodness is his warrant, he may be over-mastered; he cannot be foiled.
The sword is to him the last of all trials, which he draws forth still
as defendant, not as challenger, with a willing kind of unwillingness:
no man can better manage it, with more safety, with more favour; he had
rather have his blood seen than his back, and disdains life upon base
conditions. No man is more mild to a relenting or vanquished adversary,
or more hates to set his foot on a carcase. He had rather smother an
injury than revenge himself of the impotent, and I know not whether he
more detests cowardliness or cruelty. He talks little, and brags less;
and loves rather the silent language of the hand, to be seen than heard.
He lies ever close within himself, armed with wise resolution, and will
not be discovered but by death or danger. He is neither prodigal of
blood to misspend it idly, nor niggardly to grudge it, when either God
calls for it, or his country; neither is he more liberal of his own life
than of others. His power is limited by his will, and he holds it the
noblest revenge, that he might hurt and doth not. He commands without
tyranny and imperiousness, obeys without servility, and changes not his
mind with his estate. The height of his spirits overlooks all
casualties, and his boldness proceeds neither from ignorance nor
senselessness; but first he values evils, and then despises them. He is
so balanced with wisdom that he floats steadily in the midst of all
tempests. Deliberate in his purposes, firm in resolution, bold in
enterprising, unwearied in achieving, and howsoever happy in success;
and if ever he be overcome, his heart yields last.


The patient man is made of a metal, not so hard as flexible: his
shoulders are large, fit for a load of injuries; which he bears not out
of baseness and cowardliness, because he dare not revenge, but out of
Christian fortitude, because he may not: he has so conquered himself
that wrongs cannot conquer him; and herein alone finds that victory
consists in yielding. He is above nature, while he seems below himself.
The vilest creature knows how to turn again; but to command himself not
to resist being urged is more than heroical. His constructions are ever
full of charity and favour; either this wrong was not done, or not with
intent of wrong; or if that, upon mis-information; or if none of these,
rashness (though a fault) shall serve for an excuse. Himself craves the
offender's pardon before his confession; and a slight answer contents
where the offended desires to forgive. He is God's best witness; and
when he stands before the bar for truth his tongue is calmly free, his
forehead firm, and he with erect and settled countenance hears his just
sentence, and rejoices in it. The jailors that attend him are to him his
pages of honour; his dungeon, the lower part of the vault of heaven; his
rack or wheel, the stairs of his ascent to glory: he challenges his
executioners, and encounters the fiercest pains with strength of
resolution; and while he suffers the beholders pity him, the tormentors
complain of weariness, and both of them wonder. No anguish can master
him, whether by violence or by lingering. He accounts expectation no
punishment, and can abide to have his hopes adjourned till a new day.
Good laws serve for his protection, not for his revenge; and his own
power, to avoid indignities, not to return them. His hopes are so strong
that they can insult over the greatest discouragements; and his
apprehensions so deep that, when he hath once fastened, he sooner
leaveth his life than his hold. Neither time nor perverseness can make
him cast off his charitable endeavours and despair of prevailing; but in
spite of all crosses and all denials, he redoubleth his beneficial
offers of love. He trieth the sea after many shipwrecks, and beats still
at that door which he never saw opened. Contrariety of events doth but
exercise, not dismay him; and when crosses afflict him, he sees a divine
hand invisibly striking with these sensible scourges, against which he
dares not rebel nor murmur. Hence all things befall him alike; and he
goes with the same mind to the shambles and to the fold. His recreations
are calm and gentle, and not more full of relaxation than void of fury.
This man only can turn necessity into virtue, and put evil to good use.
He is the surest friend, the latest and easiest enemy, the greatest
conqueror, and so much more happy than others, by how much he could
abide to be more miserable.


His affections are both united and divided; united to him he loveth,
divided betwixt another and himself; and his one heart is so parted,
that whilst he has some his friend hath all. His choice is led by
virtue, or by the best of virtues, religion; not by gain, not by
pleasure; yet not without respect of equal condition, of disposition not
unlike; which, once made, admits of no change, except he whom he loveth
be changed quite from himself; nor that suddenly, but after long
expectation. Extremity doth but fasten him, whilst he, like a
well-wrought vault, lies the stronger, by how much more weight he bears.
When necessity calls him to it, he can be a servant to his equal, with
the same will wherewith he can command his inferior; and though he rise
to honour, forgets not his familiarity, nor suffers inequality of estate
to work strangeness of countenance; on the other side, he lifts up his
friend to advancement with a willing hand, without envy, without
dissimulation. When his mate is dead, he accounts himself but half
alive; then his love, not dissolved by death, derives itself to those
orphans which never knew the price of their father; they become the
heirs of his affection, and the burden of his cares. He embraces a free
community of all things, save those which either honesty reserves
proper, or nature; and hates to enjoy that which would do his friend
more good. His charity serves to cloak noted infirmities, not by
untruth, not by flattery, but by discreet secrecy; neither is he more
favourable in concealment, than round in his private reprehensions; and
when another's simple fidelity shows itself in his reproof, he loves his
monitor so much the more, by how much more he smarteth. His bosom is his
friend's closet, where he may safely lay up his complaints, his doubts,
his cares; and look how he leaves, so he finds them; save for some
addition of seasonable counsel for redress. If some unhappy suggestion
shall either disjoint his affection or break it, it soon knits again,
and grows the stronger by that stress. He is so sensible of another's
injuries, that when his friend is stricken he cries out and equally
smarteth untouched, as one affected not with sympathy, but with a real
feeling of pain: and in what mischief may be prevented, he interposeth
his aid, and offers to redeem his friend with himself. No hour can be
unseasonable, no business difficult, nor pain grievous in condition of
his ease: and what either he doth or suffers, he neither cares nor
desires to have known, lest he should seem to look for thanks. If he can
therefore steal the performance of a good office unseen, the conscience
of his faithfulness herein is so much sweeter as it is more secret. In
favours done, his memory is frail; in benefits received, eternal: he
scorneth either to regard recompense or not to offer it. He is the
comfort of miseries, the guide of difficulties, the joy of life, the
treasure of earth, and no other than a good angel clothed in flesh.


He stands not upon what he borrowed of his ancestors, but thinks he must
work out his own honour: and if he cannot reach the virtue of them that
gave him outward glory by inheritance, he is more abashed of his
impotency than transported with a great name. Greatness doth not make
him scornful and imperious, but rather like the fixed stars; the higher
he is, the less he desires to seem. Neither cares he so much for pomp
and frothy ostentation as for the solid truth of nobleness. Courtesy and
sweet affability can be no more severed from him than life from his
soul; not out of a base and servile popularity, and desire of ambitious
insinuation, but of a native gentleness of disposition, and true value
of himself. His hand is open and bounteous, yet not so as that he should
rather respect his glory than his estate; wherein his wisdom can
distinguish betwixt parasites and friends, betwixt changing of favours
and expending them. He scorneth to make his height a privilege of
looseness, but accounts his titles vain if he be inferior to others in
goodness: and thinks he should be more strict the more eminent he is,
because he is more observed, and now his offences are become more
exemplar. There is no virtue that he holds unfit for ornament, for use;
nor any vice which he condemns not as sordid, and a fit companion of
baseness; and whereof he doth not more hate the blemish, than affect the
pleasure. He so studies as one that knows ignorance can neither purchase
honour nor wield it; and that knowledge must both guide and grace, him.
His exercises are from his childhood ingenious, manly, decent, and such
as tend still to wit, valour, activity: and if (as seldom) he descend to
disports of chance, his games shall never make him either pale with fear
or hot with desire of gain. He doth not so use his followers, as if he
thought they were made for nothing but his servitude, whose felicity
were only to be commanded and please: wearing them to the back, and then
either finding or framing excuses to discard them empty; but upon all
opportunities lets them feel the sweetness of their own serviceableness
and his bounty. Silence in officious service is the best oratory to
plead for his respect: all diligence is but lent to him, none lost. His
wealth stands in receiving, his honour in giving. He cares not either
how many hold of his goodness, or to how few he is beholden: and if he
have cast away favours, he hates either to upbraid them to his enemy, or
to challenge restitution. None can be more pitiful to the distressed, or
more prone to succour; and then most where is least means to solicit,
least possibility of requital. He is equally addressed to war and peace;
and knows not more how to command others, than how to be his country's
servant in both. He is more careful to give true honour to his Maker
than to receive civil honour from men. He knows that this service is
free and noble, and ever loaded with sincere glory; and how vain it is
to hunt after applause from the world till he be sure of Him that
mouldeth all hearts, and poureth contempt on princes; and shortly, so
demeans himself as one that accounts the body of nobility to consist in
blood, the soul in the eminence of virtue.


He is the faithful deputy of his Maker, whose obedience is the rule
whereby he ruleth. His breast is the ocean, whereinto all the cares of
private men empty themselves; which, as he receives without complaint
and overflowing, so he sends them forth again by a wise conveyance in
the streams of justice. His doors, his ears, are ever open to suitors;
and not who comes first speeds well, but whose cause is best. His
nights, his meals, are short and interrupted; all which he bears well,
because he knows himself made for a public servant of peace and justice.
He sits quietly at the stern, and commands one to the topsail, another
to the main, a third to the plummet, a fourth to the anchor, as he sees
the needs of their course and weather requires; and doth no less by his
tongue than all the mariners with their hands. On the bench he is
another from himself at home; now all private respects of blood,
alliance, amity are forgotten; and if his own son come under trial he
knows him not. Pity, which in all others is wont to be the best praise
of humanity and the fruit of Christian love, is by him thrown over the
bar for corruption. As for Favour, the false advocate of the gracious,
he allows him not to appear in the court; there only causes are heard
speak, not persons. Eloquence is then only not dis-couraged when she
serves for a client of truth. Mere narrations are allowed in this
oratory, not proems, not excursions, not glosses. Truth must strip
herself and come in naked to his bar, without false bodies or colours,
without disguises. A bribe in his closet, or a letter on the bench, or
the whispering and winks of a great neighbour, are answered with an
angry and courageous repulse. Displeasure, Revenge, Recompense stand on
both sides the bench, but he scorns to turn his eye towards them,
looking only right forward at Equity, which stands full before him. His
sentence is ever deliberate and guided with ripe wisdom, yet his hand is
slower than his tongue; but when he is urged by occasion either to doom
or execution, he shows how much he hateth merciful injustice. Neither
can his resolution or act be reversed with partial importunity. His
forehead is rugged and severe, able to discountenance villainy, yet his
words are more awful than his brow, and his hand than his words. I know
not whether he be more feared or loved, both affections are so sweetly
contempered in all hearts. The good fear him lovingly, the middle sort
love him fearfully, and only the wicked man fears him slavishly without
love. He hates to pay private wrongs with the advantage of his office;
and if ever he be partial, it is to his enemy. He is not more sage in
his gown than valorous in arms, and increaseth in the rigour of
discipline as the times in danger. His sword hath neither rusted for
want of use, nor surfeiteth of blood; but after many threats is
unsheathed, as the dreadful instrument of divine revenge. He is the
guard of good laws, the refuge of innocence, the comet of the guilty,
the paymaster of good deserts, the champion of justice, the patron of
peace, the tutor of the Church, the father of his country, and as it
were another God upon earth.


He has a wounded heart and a sad face, yet not so much for fear as for
unkindness. The wrong of his sin troubles him more than the danger. None
but he is the better for his sorrow; neither is any passion more hurtful
to others than this is gainful to him: the more he seeks to hide his
grief, the less it will be hid; every man may read it not only in his
eyes, but in his bones. Whilst he is in charity with all others, he is
so fallen out with himself that none but God can reconcile him. He hath
sued himself in all courts, accuseth, arraigneth, sentenceth, punisheth
himself impartially, and sooner may find mercy at any hand than at his
own. He only hath pulled off the fair visor of sin; so as that which
appears not but masked unto others, is seen of him barefaced, and
bewrays that fearful ugliness, which none can conceive but he that hath
viewed it. He hath looked into the depth of the bottomless pit, and hath
seen his own offence tormented in others, and the same brands shaken at
him. He hath seen the change of faces in that cool one, as a tempter, as
a tormentor; and hath heard the noise of a conscience, and is so
frightened with all these, that he can never have rest till he have run
out of himself to God, in whose face at first he find rigour, but
afterwards sweetness in his bosom; he bleeds first from the hand that
heals him. The law of God hath made work for mercy, which he hath no
sooner apprehended than he forgets his wounds, and looks carelessly upon
all these terrors of guiltiness. When he casts his eye back upon
himself, he wonders where he was and how he came there; and grants that
if there were not some witchcraft in sin, he could not have been so
sottishly graceless. And now, in the issue, Satan finds (not without
indignation and repentance) that he hath done him a good turn in
tempting him: for he had never been so good if he had not sinned; he had
never fought with such courage, if he had not seen his blood and been
ashamed of his folly. Now he is seen and felt in the front of the
spiritual battle; and can teach others how to fight, and encourage them
in fighting. His heart was never more taken up with the pleasure of sin,
than now with care of avoiding it: the very sight of that cup, wherein
such a fulsome portion was brought him, turns his stomach: the first
offers of sin make him tremble more now than he did before at the
judgments of his sin; neither dares he so much as look towards Sodom.
All the powers and craft of hell cannot fetch him in for a customer to
evil; his infirmity may yield once, his resolution never. There is none
of his senses or parts, which he hath not within covenants for their
good behaviour, which they cannot ever break with impunity. The wrongs
of his sin he repays to men with recompense, as hating it should be said
he owes anything to his offence; to God (what in him lies) with sighs,
tears, vows, and endeavours of amendment. No heart is more waxen to the
impressions of forgiveness, neither are his hands more open to receive
than to give pardon. All the injuries which are offered to him are
swallowed up in his wrongs to his Maker and Redeemer; neither can he
call for the arrearages of his farthings, when he looks upon the
millions forgiven him: he feels not what he suffers from men, when he
thinks of what he hath done and should have suffered. He is a thankful
herald of the mercies of his God; which if all the world hear not from
his mouth it is no fault of his. Neither did he so burn with the evil
fires or concupiscence as now with the holy flames of zeal to that glory
which he hath blemished; and his eyes are as full of moisture as his
heart of heat. The gates of heaven are not so knocked at by any suitor,
whether for frequency or importunity. You shall find his cheeks
furrowed, his knees hard, his lips sealed up, save when he must accuse
himself or glorify God, his eyes humbly dejected, and sometimes you
shall take him breaking of a sigh in the midst, as one that would steal
an humiliation unknown, and would be offended with any part that should
not keep his counsel. When he finds his soul oppressed with the heavy
guilt of a sin, he gives it vent through his mouth into the ear of his
spiritual physician, from whom he receives cordials answerable to his
complaint. He is a severe exactor of discipline: first upon himself, on
whom he imposes more than one Lent; then upon others, as one that vowed
to be revenged on sin wheresoever he finds it; and though but one hath
offended him, yet his detestation is universal. He is his own taskmaster
for devotion; and if Christianity have any work more difficult or
perilous than other, that he enjoins himself, and resolves contentment
even in miscarriage. It is no marvel if the acquaintance of his wilder
times know him not, for he is quite another from himself; and if his
mind could have had any intermission of dwelling within his breast, it
could not have known this was the lodging. Nothing but an outside is the
same it was, and that altered more with regeneration than with age. None
but he can relish the promises of the gospel, which he finds so sweet
that he complains not, his thirst after them is unsatiable; and now that
he hath found his Saviour, he hugs Him so fast and holds Him so dear
that he feels not when his life is fetched away from him for his
martyrdom. The latter part of his life is so led as if he desired to
unlive his youth, and his last testament is full of restitutions and
legacies of piety. In sum, he hath so lived and died as that Satan hath
no such match, sin hath no such enemy, God hath no such servant as he.


That hath learned to read himself more than all books, and hath so taken
out this lesson that he can never forget it; that knows the world, and
cares not for it; that, after many traverses of thoughts, is grown to
know what he may trust to, and stands now equally armed for all events;
that hath got the mastery at home, so as he can cross his will without a
mutiny, and so please it that he makes it not a wanton; that in earthly
things wishes no more than nature, in spiritual is ever graciously
ambitious; that for his condition stands on his own feet, not needing to
lean upon the great, and can so frame his thoughts to his estate that
when he hath least he cannot want, because he is as free from desire as
superfluity; that hath seasonably broken the headstrong restiness of
prosperity, and can now manage it at pleasure; upon whom all smaller
crosses light as hailstones upon a roof; and for the greater calamities,
he can take them as tributes of life and tokens of love; and if his ship
be tossed, yet he is sure his anchor is fast. If all the world were his,
he could be no other than he is, no whit gladder of himself, no whit
higher in his carriage, because he knows contentment lies not in the
things he hath, but in the mind that values them. The powers of his
resolution can either multiply or subtract at pleasure. He can make his
cottage a manor or a palace when he lists, and his home-close a large
dominion, his stained cloth arras, his earth plate, and can see state in
the attendance of one servant, as one that hath learned a man's
greatness or baseness is in himself; and in this he may even contest
with the proud, that he thinks his own the best. Or if he must be
outwardly great, he can but turn the other end of the glass, and make
his stately manor a low and straight cottage, and in all his costly
furniture he can see not richness but use; he can see dross in the best
metal and earth through the best clothes, and in all his troupe he can
see himself his own servant. He lives quietly at home out of the noise
of the world, and loves to enjoy himself always, and sometimes his
friend, and hath as full scope to his thought as to his eyes. He walks
ever even in the midway betwixt hopes and fears, resolved to fear
nothing but God, to hope for nothing but what which he must have. He
hath a wise and virtuous mind in a serviceable body, which that better
part affects as a present servant and a future companion, so cherishing
his flesh as one that would scorn to be all flesh. He hath no enemies;
not for that all love him, but because he knows to make a gain of
malice. He is not so engaged to any earthly thing that they two cannot
part on even terms; there is neither laughter in their meeting, nor in
their shaking of hands tears. He keeps ever the best company, the God of
Spirits and the spirits of that God, whom he entertains continually in
an awful familiarity, not being hindered either with too much light or
with none at all. His conscience and his hand are friends, and (what
devil soever tempt him) will not fall out. That divine part goes ever
uprightly and freely, not stooping under the burden of a willing sin,
not fettered with the gyves of unjust scruples. He would not, if he
could, run away from himself or from God; not caring from whom he lies
hid, so he may look these two in the face. Censures and applauses are
passengers to him, not guests; his ear is their thoroughfare, not their
harbour; he hath learned to fetch both his counsel and his sentence from
his own breast. He doth not lay weight upon his own shoulders, as one
that loves to torment himself with the honour of much employment; but as
he makes work his game, so doth he not list to make himself work. His
strife is ever to redeem and not to spend time. It is his trade to do
good, and to think of it his recreation. He hath hands enough for
himself and others, which are ever stretched forth for beneficence, not
for need. He walks cheerfully in the way that God hath chalked, and
never wishes it more wide or more smooth. Those very temptations whereby
he is foiled strengthen him; he comes forth crowned and triumphing out
of the spiritual battles, and those scars that he hath make him
beautiful. His soul is every day dilated to receive that God, in whom he
is; and hath attained to love himself for God, and God for His own sake.
His eyes stick so fast in heaven that no earthly object can remove them;
yea, his whole self is there before his time, and sees with Stephen, and
hears with Paul, and enjoys with Lazarus, the glory that he shall have,
and takes possession beforehand of his room amongst the saints; and
these heavenly contentments have so taken him up that now he looks down
displeasedly upon the earth as the region of his sorrow and banishment,
yet joying more in hope than troubled with the sense of evils. He holds
it no great matter to live, and his greatest business to die; and is so
well acquainted with his last guest that he fears no unkindness from
him: neither makes he any other of dying than of walking home when he is
abroad, or of going to bed when he is weary of the day. He is well
provided for both worlds, and is sure of peace here, of glory hereafter;
and therefore hath a light heart and a cheerful face. All his
fellow-creatures rejoice to serve him; his betters, the angels, love to
observe him; God Himself takes pleasure to converse with him, and hath
sainted him before his death, and in his death crowned him.




I have showed you many fair virtues: I speak not for them; if their
sight cannot command affection let them lose it. They shall please yet
better after you have troubled your eyes a little with the view of
deformities; and by how much more they please, so much more odious and
like themselves shall these deformities appear. This light contraries
give to each other in the midst of their enmity, that one makes the
other seem more good or ill. Perhaps in some of these (which thing I do
at once fear and hate) my style shall seem to some less grave, more
satirical: if you find me, not without cause, jealous, let it please you
to impute it to the nature of those vices which will not be otherwise
handled. The fashions of some evils are, besides the odiousness,
ridiculous, which to repeat is to seem bitterly merry. I abhor to make
sport with wickedness, and forbid any laughter here but of disdain.
Hypocrisy shall lead this ring worthily, I think, because both she
cometh nearest to virtue and is the worst of vices.


An hypocrite is the worst kind of player, by so much as he acts the
better part, which hath always two faces, ofttimes two hearts; that can
compose his forehead to sadness and gravity, while he bids his heart be
wanton and careless within, and in the meantime laughs within himself to
think how smoothly he hath cozened the beholder. In whose silent face
are written the characters of religion, which his tongue and gestures
pronounce but his hands recant. That hath a clean face and garment with
a foul soul, whose mouth belies his heart, and his fingers belie his
mouth. Walking early up into the city, he turns into the great church,
and salutes one of the pillars on one knee, worshipping that God which
at home he cares not for, while his eye is fixed on some window, on some
passenger, and his heart knows not whither his lips go. He rises, and
looking about with admiration, complains on our frozen charity, commends
the ancient. At church he will ever sit where he may be seen best, and
in the midst of the sermon pulls out his tables in haste, as if he
feared to lose that note; when he writes either his forgotten errand or
nothing. Then he turns his Bible with a noise to seek an omitted
quotation, and folds the leaf as if he had found it, and asks aloud the
name of the preacher, and repeats it, whom he publicly salutes, thanks,
praises, invites, entertains with tedious good counsel, with good
discourse, if it had come from an honester mouth. He can command tears
when he speaks of his youth, indeed because it is past, not because it
was sinful; himself is now better, but the times are worse. All other
sins he reckons up with detestation, while he loves and hides his
darling in his bosom. All his speech returns to himself, and every
occurrence draws in a story to his own praise. When he should give, he
looks about him and says, "Who sees me?" No alms, no prayers, fall from
him without a witness, belike lest God should deny that He hath received
them; and when he hath done (lest the world should not know it) his own
mouth is his trumpet to proclaim it. With the superfluity of his usury
he builds an hospital, and harbours them whom his extortion hath
spoiled; so while he makes many beggars he keeps some. He turneth all
gnats into camels, and cares not to undo the world for a circumstance.
Flesh on a Friday is more abomination to him than his neighbour's bed:
he more abhors not to uncover at the name of Jesus than to swear by the
name of God. When a rhymer reads his poem to him he begs a copy, and
persuades the press there is nothing that he dislikes in presence that
in absence he censures not. He comes to the sick-bed of his stepmother,
and weeps when he secretly fears her recovery. He greets his friend in
the street with so clear a countenance, so fast a closure, that the
other thinks he reads his heart in his face, and shakes hands with an
indefinite invitation of "When will you come?" and when his back is
turned, joys that he is so well rid of a guest; yet if that guest visit
him unfeared, he counterfeits a smiling welcome, and excuses his cheer,
when closely he frowns on his wife for too much. He shows well, and says
well, and himself is the worst thing he hath. In brief, he is the
stranger's saint, the neighbour's disease, the blot of goodness, a
rotten stick in a dark night, a poppy in a corn-field, an ill-tempered
candle with a great snuff that in going out smells ill; and an angel
abroad, a devil at home, and worse when an angel than when a devil.


His estate is too narrow for his mind, and therefore he is fain to make
himself room in others' affairs, yet ever in pretence of love. No news
can stir but by his door, neither can he know that which he must not
tell. What every man ventures in Guiana voyage, and what they gained, he
knows to a hair. Whether Holland will have peace he knows, and on what
conditions, and with what success, is familiar to him ere it be
concluded. No post can pass him without a question, and rather than he
will lose the news, he rides back with him to apprise him of tidings;
and then to the next man he meets he supplies the wants of his hasty
intelligence and makes up a perfect tale, wherewith he so haunteth the
patient auditor, that after many excuses he is fain to endure rather the
censure of his manners in running away than the tediousness of an
impertinent discourse. His speech is oft broken off with a succession of
long parentheses, which he ever vows to fill up ere the conclusion, and
perhaps would effect it if the other's ear were as umveariable as his
tongue. If he see but two men talk and read a letter in the street, he
runs to them and asks if he may not be partner of that secret relation;
and if they deny it, he offers to tell, since he may not hear, wonders,
and then falls upon the report of the Scottish mine, or of the great
fish taken up at Lynne, or of the freezing of the Thames, and after many
thanks and admissions is hardly entreated silence. He undertakes as much
as he performs little; this man will thrust himself forward to be the
guide of the way he knows not, and calls at his neighbour's window and
asks why his servants are not at work. The market hath no commodity
which he prizeth not, and which the next table shall not hear recited.
His tongue, like the tail of Samson's foxes, carries firebrands, and is
enough to set the whole field of the world on a flame. Himself begins
table-talk of his neighbour at another's board, to whom he bears the
first news, and adjures him to conceal the reporter, whose choleric
answer he returns to his first host enlarged with a second edition; so
as it uses to be done in the sight of unwilling mastiffs, he claps each
on the side apart, and provokes them to an eager conflict. There can no
act pass without his comment, which is ever far-fetched, rash,
suspicious, dilatory. His ears are long and his eyes quick, but most of
all to imperfections, which as he easily sees, so he increases with
intermeddling. He harbours another man's servant, and amidst his
entertainment asks what fare is usual at home, what hours are kept, what
talk passeth their meals, what his master's disposition is, what his
government, what his guests? and when he hath by curious inquiries
extracted all the juice and spirit of hoped intelligence, turns him off
whence he came, and works on anew. He hates constancy as an earthen
dulness, unfit for men of spirit, and loves to change his work and his
place: neither yet can he be so soon weary of any place as every place
is weary of him, for as he sets himself on work, so others pay him with
hatred; and look how many masters he hath, so many enemies: neither is
it possible that any should not hate him but who know him not. So then
he labours without thanks, talks without credit, lives without love,
dies without tears, without pity, save that some say it was pity he died
no sooner.


Superstition is godless religion, devout impiety. The superstitious is
fond in observation, servile in fear; he worships God but as he lists;
he gives God what He asks not more than He asks, and all but what he
should give; and makes more sins than the Ten Commandments. This man
dares not stir forth till his breast be crossed and his face sprinkled:
if but an hare cross him the way, he returns; or if his journey began
unawares on the dismal day, or if he stumble at the threshold. If he see
a snake unkilled, he fears a mischief; if the salt fall towards him, he
looks pale and red, and is not quiet till one of the waiters have poured
wine on his lap; and when he sneezeth, thinks them not his friends that
uncover not. In the morning he listens whether the crow crieth even or
odd, and by that token presages of the weather. If he hear but a raven
croak from the next roof he makes his will, or if a bittern fly over his
head by night; but if his troubled fancy shall second his thoughts with
the dream of a fair garden, or green rushes, or the salutation of a dead
friend, he takes leave of the world and says he cannot live. He will
never set to sea but on a Sunday, neither ever goes without an _Erra
Pater_ in his pocket. Saint Paul's Day and Saint Swithin's with the
Twelve are his oracles, which he dares believe against the almanack.
When he lies sick on his deathbed no sin troubles him so much as that he
did once eat flesh on a Friday; no repentance can expiate that, the rest
need none. There is no dream of his without an interpretation, without a
prediction; and if the event answer not his exposition, he expounds it
according to the event. Every dark grove and pictured wall strikes him
with an awful but carnal devotion. Old wives and stars are his
counsellors, his night-spell is his guard, and charms his physicians. He
wears Paracelsian characters for the toothache, and a little hallowed
wax is his antidote for all evils. This man is strangely credulous, and
calls impossible things miraculous. If he hear that some sacred block
speaks, moves, weeps, smiles, his bare feet carry him thither with an
offering; and if a danger miss him in the way, his saint hath the
thanks. Some ways he will not go, and some he dares not; either there
are bugs, or he feigneth them; every lantern is a ghost, and every noise
is of chains. He knows not why, but his custom is to go a little about,
and to leave the cross still on the right hand. One event is enough to
make a rule; out of these he concludes fashions proper to himself; and
nothing can turn him out of his own course. If he have done his task he
is safe, it matters not with what affection. Finally, if God would let
him be the carver of his own obedience, He could not have a better
subject; as he is, He cannot have a worse.


The superstitious hath too many gods; the profane man hath none at all,
unless perhaps himself be his own deity, and the world his heaven. To
matter of religion his heart is a piece of dead flesh, without feeling
of love, of fear, of care, or of pain from the deaf strokes of a
revenging conscience. Custom of sin hath wrought this senselessness,
which now hath so long entertained that it pleads prescription and knows
not to be altered. This is no sudden evil; we are born sinful, but have
made ourselves profane; through many degrees we climb to this height of
impiety. At first he sinned and cared not, now he sinneth and knoweth
not. Appetite is his lord, and reason his servant, and religion his
drudge. Sense is the rule of his belief; and if piety may be an
advantage, he can at once counterfeit and deride it. When aught
succeedeth to him he sacrifices to his net, and thanks either his
fortune or his wit; and will rather make a false God than acknowledge
the truth; if contrary, he cried out of destiny, and blames him to whom
he will not be beholden. His conscience would fain speak with him, but
he will not hear it; sets the day, but he disappoints it; and when it
cries loud for audience, he drowns the noise with good fellowship. He
never names God but in his oaths; never thinks of Him but in extremity;
and then he knows not how to think of Him, because he begins but then.
He quarrels for the hard conditions of his pleasure for his future
damnation, and from himself lays all the fault upon his Maker; and from
His decree fetcheth excuses of his wickedness. The inevitable necessity
of God's counsel makes him desperately careless; so with good food he
poisons himself. Goodness is his minstrel; neither is any mirth so
cordial to him, as his sport with God's fools. Every virtue hath his
slander, and his jest to laugh it out of fashion; every vice his colour.
His usualest theme is the boast of his young sins, which he can still
joy in, though he cannot commit; and (if it may be) his speech makes him
worse than he is. He cannot think of death with patience, without
terror, which he therefore fears worse than hell, because this he is
sure of, the other he but doubts of. He comes to church as to the
theatre, saving that not so willingly, for company, for custom, for
recreation, perhaps for sleep, or to feed his eyes or his ears; as for
his soul, he cares no more than if he had none. He loves none but
himself, and that not enough to seek his true good; neither cares he on
whom he treads that he may rise. His life is full of license, and his
practice of outrage. He is hated of God as much as he hateth goodness;
and differs little from a devil, but that he hath a body.


He is neither well full nor fasting; and though he abound with
complaints, yet nothing dislikes him but the present; for what he
condemned while it was, once past he magnifies, and strives to recall it
out of the jaws of time. What he hath he seeth not, his eyes are so
taken up with what he wants; and what he sees he cares not for, because
he cares so much for that which is not. When his friend carves him the
best morsel, he murmurs that it is an happy feast wherein each one may
cut for himself. When a present is sent him he asks, Is this all? and,
What, no better? and so accepts it, as if he would have his friend know
how much he is bound to him for vouchsafing to receive it. It is hard to
entertain him with a proportionable gift. If nothing, he cries out of
unthankfulness; if little, that he is basely regarded; if much, he
exclaims of flattery, and expectation of a large requital. Every
blessing hath somewhat to disparage and distaste it; children bring
cares, single life is wild and solitary, eminency is envious,
retiredness obscure, fasting painful, satiety unwieldy, religion nicely
severe, liberty is lawless, wealth burdensome, mediocrity contemptible.
Everything faulteth, either in too much or too little. This man is ever
headstrong and self-willed, neither is he always tied to esteem or
pronounce according to reason; some things he must dislike he knows not
wherefore, but he likes them not; and otherwhere, rather than not
censure, he will accuse a man of virtue. Everything he meddleth with he
either findeth imperfect or maketh so; neither is there anything that
soundeth so harsh in his ear as the commendation of another; whereto yet
perhaps he fashionably and coldly assenteth, but with such an
after-clause of exception as doth more than mar his former allowance;
and if he list not to give a verbal disgrace, yet he shakes his head and
smiles, as if his silence should say, I could and will not. And when
himself is praised without excess, he complains that such imperfect
kindness hath not done him right. If but an unseasonable shower cross
his recreation, he is ready to fall out with heaven, and thinks he is
wronged if God will not take his times when to rain, when to shine. He
is a slave to envy, and loseth flesh with fretting--not so much at his
own infelicity as at others' good; neither hath he leisure to joy in his
own blessings whilst another prospereth. Fain would he see some
mutinies, but dares not raise them; and suffers his lawless tongue to
walk through the dangerous paths of conceited alterations; but so, as in
good manners he had rather thrust every man before him when it comes to
acting. Nothing but fear keeps him from conspiracies, and no man is more
cruel when he is not manacled with danger. He speaks nothing but satires
and libels, and lodgeth no guests in his heart but rebels. The
inconstant and he agree well in their felicity, which both place in
change; but herein they differ--the inconstant man affects that which
will be, the malcontent commonly that which was. Finally, he is a
querulous cur, whom no horse can pass by without barking at; yea, in the
deep silence of night the very moonshine openeth his clamorous mouth. He
is the wheel of a well-couched firework, that flies out on all sides,
not without scorching itself. Every ear is long ago weary of him, and he
is now almost weary of himself. Give him but a little respite, and he
will die alone, of no other death than other's welfare.


The inconstant man treads upon a moving earth and keeps no pace. His
proceedings are ever heady and peremptory, for he hath not the patience
to consult with reason, but determines merely upon fancy. No man is so
hot in the pursuit of what he liketh, no man sooner wearies. He is fiery
in his passions, which yet are not more violent than momentary; it is a
wonder if his love or hatred last so many days as a wonder. His heart is
the inn of all good motions, wherein, if they lodge for a night, it is
well; by morning they are gone, and take no leave; and if they come that
way again they are entertained as guests, not as friends. At first, like
another Ecebolius, he loved simple truth; thence, diverting his eyes, he
fell in love with idolatry. Those heathenish shrines had never any more
doting and besotted client; and now of late he is leapt from Rome to
Munster, and is grown to giddy Anabaptism. What he will be next as yet
he knoweth not; but ere he hath wintered his opinion it will be
manifest. He is good to make an enemy of, ill for a friend; because, as
there is no trust in his affection, so no rancour in his displeasure.
The multitude of his changed purposes brings with it forgetfulness, and
not of others more than of himself. He says, swears, renounces, because
what he promised he meant not long enough to make an impression. Herein
alone he is good for a commonwealth, that he sets many on work with
building, ruining, altering, and makes more business than time itself;
neither is he a greater enemy to thrift than to idleness. Propriety is
to him enough cause of dislike; each thing pleases him better that is
not his own. Even in the best things long continuance is a just quarrel;
manna itself grows tedious with age, and novelty is the highest style of
commendation to the meanest offers; neither doth he in books and
fashions ask, How good? but, How new? Variety carries him away with
delight, and no uniform pleasure can be without an irksome fulness. He
is so transformable into all opinions, manners, qualities, that he seems
rather made immediately of the first matter than of well-tempered
elements; and therefore is in possibility anything or everything,
nothing in present substance. Finally, he is servile in imitation, waxy
to persuasions, witty to wrong himself, a guest in his own house, an ape
of others, and, in a word, anything rather than himself.


Flattery is nothing but false friendship, fawning hypocrisy, dishonest
civility, base merchandise of words, a plausible discord of the heart
and lips. The flatterer is blear-eyed to ill, and cannot see vices; and
his tongue walks ever in one track of unjust praises, and can no more
tell how to discommend than to speak true. His speeches are full of
wondering interjections, and all his titles are superlative, and both of
them seldom ever but in presence. His base mind is well matched with a
mercenary tongue, which is a willing slave to another man's ear; neither
regardeth he how true, but how pleasing. His art is nothing but
delightful cozenage, whose rules are smoothing and guarded with perjury;
whose scope is to make men fools in teaching them to overvalue
themselves, and to tickle his friends to death. This man is a porter of
all good tales, and mends them in the carriage; one of Fame's best
friends and his own, that helps to furnish her with those rumours that
may advantage himself. Conscience hath no greater adversary, for when
she is about to play her just part of accusation, he stops her mouth
with good terms, and well-near strangleth her with shifts. Like that
subtle fish, he turns himself into the colour of every stone for a
booty. In himself he is nothing but what pleaseth his great one, whose
virtues he cannot more extol than imitate his imperfections, that he may
think his worst graceful. Let him say it is hot, he wipes his forehead
and unbraceth himself; if cold, he shivers and calls for a warmer
garment. When he walks with his friend he swears to him that no man else
is looked at, no man talked of, and that whomsoever he vouchsafes to
look on and nod to is graced enough; that he knows not his own worth,
lest he should be too happy; and when he tells what others say in his
praise, he interrupts himself modestly and dares not speak the rest; so
his concealment is more insinuating than his speech. He hangs upon the
lips which he admireth, as if they could let fall nothing but oracles,
and finds occasion to cite some approved sentence under the name he
honoureth; and when aught is nobly spoken, both his hands are little
enough to bless him. Sometimes even in absence he extolleth his patron,
where he may presume of safe conveyance to his ears; and in presence so
whispereth his commendation to a common friend, that it may not be
unheard where he meant it. He hath salves for every sore, to hide them,
not to heal them; complexion for every face; sin hath not any more
artificial broker or more impudent bawd. There is no vice that hath not
from him his colour, his allurement; and his best service is either to
further guiltiness or smother it. If he grant evil things inexpedient or
crimes errors, he hath yielded much; either thy estate gives privilege
of liberty or thy youth; or if neither, what if it be ill? yet it is
pleasant. Honesty to him is nice singularity, repentance superstitious
melancholy, gravity dulness, and all virtue an innocent conceit of the
base-minded. In short, he is the moth of liberal men's coats, the earwig
of the mighty, the bane of courts, a friend and a slave to the trencher,
and good for nothing but to be a factor for the devil.


He is a religious man, and wears the time in his cloister, and, as the
cloak of his doing nothing, pleads contemplation; yet is he no whit the
leaner for his thoughts, no whit learneder. He takes no less care how to
spend time than others how to gain by the expense; and when business
importunes him, is more troubled to forethink what he must do, than
another to effect it. Summer is out of his favour for nothing but long
days that make no haste to their even. He loves still to have the sun
witness of his rising, and lies long, more for lothness to dress him
than will to sleep; and after some streaking and yawning, calls for
dinner unwashed, which having digested with a sleep in his chair, he
walks forth to the bench in the market-place, and looks for companions.
Whomsoever he meets he stays with idle questions, and lingering
discourse; how the days are lengthened, how kindly the weather is, how
false the clock, how forward the spring, and ends ever with, What shall
we do? It pleases him no less to hinder others than not to work himself.
When all the people are gone from church, he is left sleeping in his
seat alone. He enters bonds, and forfeits them by forgetting the day;
and asks his neighbour when his own field was fallowed, whether the next
piece of ground belong not to himself. His care is either none or too
late. When winter is come, after some sharp visitations, he looks on his
pile of wood, and asks how much was cropped the last spring. Necessity
drives him to every action, and what he cannot avoid he will yet defer.
Every change troubles him, although to the better, and his dulness
counterfeits a kind of contentment. When he is warned on a jury, he had
rather pay the mulct than appear. All but that which Nature will not
permit he doth by a deputy, and counts it troublesome to do nothing, but
to do anything yet more. He is witty in nothing but framing excuses to
sit still, which if the occasion yield not he coineth with ease. There
is no work that is not either dangerous or thankless, and whereof he
foresees not the inconvenience and gainlessness before he enters; which
if it be verified in event, his next idleness hath found a reason to
patronize it. He had rather freeze than fetch wood, and chooses rather
to steal than work; to beg than take pains to steal, and in many things
to want than beg. He is so loth to leave his neighbour's fire, that he
is fain to walk home in the dark; and if he be not looked to, wears out
the night in the chimney-corner, or if not that, lies down in his
clothes, to save two labours. He eats and prays himself asleep, and
dreams of no other torment but work. This man is a standing pool, and
cannot choose but gather corruption. He is descried amongst a thousand
neighbours by a dry and nasty hand, that still savours of the sheet, a
beard uncut, unkempt, an eye and ear yellow with their excretions, a
coat shaken on, ragged, unbrushed, by linen and face striving whether
shall excel in uncleanness. For body, he hath a swollen leg, a dusky and
swinish eye, a blown cheek, a drawling tongue, an heavy foot, and is
nothing but a colder earth moulded with standing water. To conclude, is
a man in nothing but in speech and shape.


He is a servant to himself, yea, to his servant; and doth base homage to
that which should be the worst drudge. A lifeless piece of earth is his
master, yea his god, which he shrines in his coffer, and to which he
sacrifices his heart. Every face of his coin is a new image, which he
adores with the highest veneration; yet takes upon him to be protector
of that he worshippeth, which he fears to keep and abhors to lose, not
daring to trust either any other god or his own. Like a true chemist, he
turns everything into silver, both what he should eat, and what he
should wear; and that he keeps to look on, not to use. When he returns
from his field, he asks, not without much rage, what became of the loose
crust in his cupboard, and who hath rioted among his leeks. He never
eats good meal but on his neighbour's trencher, and there he makes
amends to his complaining stomach for his former and future fasts. He
bids his neighbours to dinner, and when they have done, sends in a
trencher for the shot. Once in a year, perhaps, he gives himself leave
to feast, and for the time thinks no man more lavish; wherein he lists
not to fetch his dishes from far, nor will be beholden to the shambles;
his own provision shall furnish his board with an insensible cost, and
when his guests are parted, talks how much every man devoured, and how
many cups were emptied, and feeds his family with the mouldy remnants a
month after. If his servant break but an earthen dish for want of light,
he abates it out of his quarter's wages. He chips his bread, and sends
it back to exchange for staler. He lets money, and sells time for a
price, and will not be importuned either to prevent or defer his day;
and in the meantime looks for secret gratuities, besides the main
interest, which he sells and returns into the stock. He breeds of money
to the third generation, neither hath it sooner any being, than he sets
it to beget more. In all things he affects secrecy and propriety; he
grudgeth his neighbour the water of his well, and next to stealing he
hates borrowing. In his short and unquiet sleeps he dreams of thieves,
and runs to the door and names more men than he hath. The least sheaf he
ever culls out for tithe, and to rob God holds it the best pastime, the
clearest gain. This man cries out above others of the prodigality of our
times, and tells of the thrift of our forefathers: how that great prince
thought himself royally attired, when he bestowed thirteen shillings and
fourpence on half a suit. How one wedding gown served our grandmothers
till they exchanged it for a winding-sheet; and praises plainness, not
for less sin, but for less cost. For himself, he is still known by his
forefather's coat, which he means with his blessing to bequeath to the
many descents of his heirs. He neither would be poor, nor be accounted
rich. No man complains so much of want, to avoid a subsidy; no man is so
importunate in begging, so cruel in exaction; and when he most complains
of want, he fears that which he complains to have. No way is indirect to
wealth, whether of fraud or violence. Gain is his godliness, which if
conscience go about to prejudice, and grow troublesome by exclaiming
against, he is condemned for a common barretor. Like another Ahab, he is
sick of the next field, and thinks he is ill-seated, while he dwells by
neighbours. Shortly, his neighbours do not much more hate him, than he
himself. He cares not (for no great advantage) to lose his friend, pine
his body, damn his soul; and would despatch himself when corn falls, but
that he is loth to cast away money on a cord.


All his humour rises up into the froth of ostentation, which if it once
settle falls down into a narrow room. If the excess be in the
understanding part, all his wit is in print; the press hath left his
head empty, yea, not only what he had, but what he could borrow without
leave. If his glory be in his devotion, he gives not an alms but on
record; and if he have once done well, God hears of it often, for upon
every unkindness he is ready to upbraid Him with merits. Over and above
his own discharge, he hath some satisfactions to spare for the common
treasure. He can fulfil the law with ease, and earn God with
superfluity. If he hath bestowed but a little sum in the glazing,
paving, parieting of God's house, you shall find it in the church
window. Or if a more gallant humour possess him, he wears all his land
on his back, and walking high, looks over his left shoulder, to see if
the point of his rapier follow him with a grace. He is proud of another
man's horse, and well mounted, thinks every man wrongs him that looks
not at him. A bare head in the street doth him more good than a meal's
meat. He swears big at an ordinary, and talks of the court with a sharp
accent; neither vouchsafes to name any not honourable, nor those without
some term of familiarity, and likes well to see the hearer look upon him
amazedly, as if he said, How happy is this man that is so great with
great ones! Under pretence of seeking for a scroll of news, he draws out
an handful of letters endorsed with his own style to the height, and
half reading every title, passes over the latter part with a murmur, not
without signifying what lord sent this, what great lady the other, and
for what suits; the last paper (as it happens) is his news from his
honourable friend in the French court. In the midst of dinner, his
lackey comes sweating in with a sealed note from his creditor, who now
threatens a speedy arrest, and whispers the ill news in his master's
ear, when he aloud names a counsellor of state, and professes to know
the employment. The same messenger he calls with an imperious nod, and
after expostulation, where he hath left his fellows, in his ear, sends
him for some new spur-leathers or stockings by this time footed; and
when he is gone half the room, recalls him, and sayeth aloud, It is no
matter, let the greater bag alone till I come. And yet again calling him
closer, whispers (so that all the table may hear), that if his crimson
suit be ready against the day, the rest need no haste. He picks his
teeth when his stomach is empty, and calls for pheasants at a common
inn. You shall find him prizing the richest jewels and fairest horses,
when his purse yields not money enough for earnest. He thrusts himself
into the press before some great ladies, and loves to be seen near the
head of a great train. His talk is how many mourners he furnished with
gowns at his father's funeral, how many messes, how rich his coat is,
and how ancient, how great his alliance; what challenges he hath made
and answered; what exploits he did at Calais or Newport; and when he
hath commended others' buildings, furnitures, suits, compares them with
his own. When he hath undertaken to be the broker for some rich diamond,
he wears it, and pulling off his glove to stroke up his hair, thinks no
eye should have any other object. Entertaining his friend, he chides his
cook for no better cheer, and names the dishes he meant and wants. To
conclude, he is ever on the stage, and acts still a glorious part
abroad, when no man carries a baser heart, no man is more sordid and
careless at home. He is a Spanish soldier on an Italian theatre, a
bladder full of wind, a skinful of words, a fool's wonder and a wise
man's fool.


Presumption is nothing but hope out of his wits, an high house upon weak
pillars. The presumptuous man loves to attempt great things, only
because they are hard and rare. His actions are bold and venturous, and
more full of hazard than use. He hoisteth sail in a tempest, and sayeth
never any of his ancestors were drowned. He goes into an infected house,
and says the plague dares not seize on noble blood. He runs on high
battlements, gallops down steep hills, rides over narrow bridges, walks
on weak ice, and never thinks, What if I fall? but, What if I run over
and fall not? He is a confident alchemist, and braggeth that the womb of
his furnace hath conceived a burden that will do all the world good;
which yet he desires secretly borne, for fear of his own bondage. In the
meantime his glass breaks, yet he upon better luting lays wagers of the
success, and promiseth wedges beforehand to his friend. He saith, I will
sin, and be sorry, and escape; either God will not see, or not be angry,
or not punish it, or remit the measure. If I do well, He is just to
reward; if ill, He is merciful to forgive. Thus his praises wrong God no
less than his offence, and hurt himself no less than they wrong God. Any
pattern is enough to encourage him. Show him the way where any foot hath
trod, he dare follow, although he see no steps returning; what if a
thousand have attempted, and miscarried, if but one hath prevailed it
sufficeth. He suggests to himself false hopes of never too late, as if
he could command either time or repentance, and dare defer the
expectation of mercy, till betwixt the bridge and the water. Give him
but where to set his foot, and he will remove the earth. He foreknows
the mutations of states, the events of war, the temper of the seasons;
either his old prophecy tells it him, or his stars. Yea, he is no
stranger to the records of God's secret counsel, but he turns them over,
and copies them out at pleasure. I know not whether in all his
enterprises he show less fear or wisdom; no man promises himself more,
no man more believes himself. I will go and sell, and return and
purchase, and spend and leave my sons such estates: all which, if it
succeed, he thanks himself; if not, he blames not himself. His purposes
are measured, not by his ability, but his will; and his actions by his
purposes. Lastly, he is ever credulous in assent, rash in undertaking,
peremptory in resolving, witless in proceeding, and in his ending
miserable, which is never other than either the laughter of the wise or
the pity of fools.


The distrustful man hath his heart in his eyes or in his hand; nothing
is sure to him but what he sees, what he handles. He is either very
simple or very false, and therefore believes not others, because he
knows how little himself is worthy of belief. In spiritual things,
either God must leave a pawn with him or seek some other creditor. All
absent things and unusual have no other but a conditional entertainment;
they are strange, if true. If he see two neighbours whisper in his
presence, he bids them speak out, and charges them to say no more than
they can justify. When he hath committed a message to his servant, he
sends a second after him to listen how it is delivered. He is his own
secretary, and of his own counsel for what he hath, for what he
purposeth. And when he tells over his bags, looks through the keyhole to
see if he have any hidden witness, and asks aloud, Who is there? when no
man hears him. He borrows money when he needs not, for fear lest others
should borrow of him. He is ever timorous and cowardly, and asks every
man's errand at the door ere he opens. After his first sleep he starts
up and asks if the furthest gate were barred, and out of a fearful sweat
calls up his servant and bolts the door after him, and then studies
whether it were better to lie still and believe, or rise and see.
Neither is his heart fuller of fears than his head of strange projects
and far-fetched constructions. What means the state, think you, in such
an action, and whither tends this course? Learn of me (if you know not)
the ways of deep policies are secret, and full of unknown windings; that
is their act, this will be their issue: so casting beyond the moon, he
makes wise and just proceedings suspected. In all his predictions and
imaginations he ever lights upon the worst; not what is most likely will
fall out, but what is most ill. There is nothing that he takes not with
the left hand; no text which his gloss corrupts not. Words, oaths,
parchments, seals, are but broken reeds; these shall never deceive him,
he loves no payments but real. If but one in an age have miscarried by a
rare casualty, he misdoubts the same event. If but a tile fallen from an
high roof have brained a passenger, or the breaking of a coach-wheel
have endangered the burden, he swears he will keep home, or take him to
his horse. He dares not come to church for fear of the crowd, nor spare
the Sabbath's labour for fear of the want, nor come near the Parliament
house, because it should have been blown up. What might have been
affects him as much as what will be. Argue, vow, protest, swear, he
hears thee, and believes himself. He is a sceptic, and dare hardly give
credit to his senses, which he hath often arraigned of false
intelligence. He so lives, as if he thought all the world were thieves,
and were not sure whether himself were one. He is uncharitable in his
censures, unquiet in his fears, bad enough always, but in his own
opinion much worse than he is.


Ambition is a proud covetousness, a dry thirst of honour, the longing
disease of reason, an aspiring and gallant madness. The ambitious climbs
up high and perilous stairs, and never cares how to come down; the
desire of rising hath swallowed up his fear of a fall. Having once
cleaved like a burr to some great man's coat, he resolves not to be
shaken off with any small indignities, and, finding his hold thoroughly
fast, casts how to insinuate yet nearer. And therefore he is busy and
servile in his endeavours to please, and all his officious respects turn
home to himself. He can be at once a slave to command, an intelligencer
to inform, a parasite to soothe and flatter, a champion to defend, an
executioner to revenge anything for an advantage of favour. He hath
projected a plot to rise, and woe be to the friend that stands in his
way. He still haunteth the court, and his unquiet spirit haunteth him,
which, having fetched him from the secure peace of his country rest,
sets him new and impossible tasks, and, after many disappointments,
encourages him to try the same sea in spite of his shipwrecks, and
promise better success. A small hope gives him heart against great
difficulties, and draws on new expense, new servility, persuading him
like foolish boys to shoot away a second shaft, that he may find the
first. He yieldeth, and now secure of the issue, applauds himself in
that honour, which he still affecteth, still misseth; and, for the last
of all trials, will rather bribe for a troublesome preferment than
return void of a title. But now, when he finds himself desperately
crossed, and at once spoiled both of advancement and hope, both of
fruition and possibility, all his desire is turned into rage, his thirst
is now only of revenge, his tongue sounds of nothing but detraction and
slander. Now the place he fought for is base, his rival unworthy, his
adversary injurious, officers corrupt, court infectious; and how well is
he that may be his own man, his own master, that may live safely in a
mean distance, at pleasure, free from starving, free from burning? But
if his designs speed well, ere he be warm in that feat, his mind is
possessed of an higher. What he hath is but a degree to what he would
have. Now he scorneth what he formerly aspired to. His success doth not
give him so much contentment as provocation; neither can he be at rest
so long as he hath one, either to overlook, or to match, or to emulate
him. When his country friend comes to visit him, he carries him up to
the awful presence, and now in his sight, crowding nearer to the chair
of state, desires to be looked on, desires to be spoken to by the
greatest, and studies how to offer an occasion, lest he should seem
unknown, unregarded; and if any gesture of the least grace fall happily
upon him, he looks back upon his friend, lest he should carelessly let
it pass, without a note; and what he wanteth in sense he supplies in
history. His disposition is never but shamefully unthankful, for unless
he have all he hath nothing. It must be a large draught, whereof he will
not say that those few drops do not slake but inflame him. So still he
thinks himself the worse for small favours. His wit so contrives the
likely plots of his promotion, as if he would steal it away without
God's knowledge, besides His will. Neither doth he ever look up, and
consult in his forecasts with the supreme Moderator of all things, as
one that thinks honour is ruled by fortune, and that heaven meddleth not
with the disposing of these earthly lots; and therefore it is just with
that wise God to defeat his fairest hopes, and to bring him to a loss in
the hottest of his chase, and to cause honour to fly away so much the
faster, by how much it is more eagerly pursued. Finally, he is an
importunate suitor, a corrupt client, a violent undertaker, a smooth
factor, but untrusty, a restless master of his own, a bladder puffed up
with the wind of hope and self-love. He is in the common body as a mole
in the earth, ever unquietly casting; and, in one word, is nothing but a
confused heap of envy, pride, covetousness.


He ranges beyond his pale, and lives without compass. His expense is
measured, not by ability, but will. His pleasures are immoderate, and
not honest. A wanton eye, a liquorish tongue, a gamesome hand, have
impoverished him. The vulgar sort call him bountiful, and applaud him
when he spends; and recompense him with wishes when he gives, with pity
when he wants. Neither can it be denied that he raught true liberality,
but overwent it. No man could have lived more laudably, if, when he was
at the best, he had stayed there. While he is present, none of the
wealthier guests may pay aught to the shot without much vehemence,
without danger of unkindness. Use hath made it unpleasant to him not to
spend. He is in all things more ambitious of the title of good
fellowship than of wisdom. When he looks into the wealthy chest of his
father, his conceit suggests that it cannot be emptied; and while he
takes out some deal every day, he perceives not any diminution; and when
the heap is sensibly abated, yet still flatters himself with enough. One
hand cozens the other, and the belly deceives both. He doth not so much
bestow benefits as scatter them. True merit doth not carry them, but
smoothness of adulation. His senses are too much his guides and his
purveyors, and appetite is his steward. He is an impotent servant to his
lusts, and knows not to govern either his mind or his purse.
Improvidence is ever the companion of unthriftiness. This man cannot
look beyond the present, and neither thinks nor cares what shall be,
much less suspects what may be; and while he lavishes out his substance
in superfluities, thinks he only knows what the world is worth, and that
others overprize it. He feels poverty before he sees it, never complains
till he be pinched with wants; never spares till the bottom, when it is
too late either to spend or recover. He is every man's friend save his
own, and then wrongs himself most when he courteth himself with most
kindness. He vies time with the slothful, and it is a hard match whether
chases away good hours to worse purpose, the one by doing nothing, or
the other by idle pastime. He hath so dilated himself with the beams of
prosperity that he lies open to all dangers, and cannot gather up
himself, on just warning, to avoid a mischief. He were good for an
almoner, ill for a steward. Finally, he is the living tomb of his
forefathers, of his posterity; and when he hath swallowed both, is more
empty than before he devoured them.


He feeds on others' evils, and hath no disease but his neighbour's
welfare. Whatsoever God do for him, he cannot be happy with company; and
if he were put to choose whether he would rather have equals in a common
felicity, or superiors in misery, he would demur upon the election. His
eye casts out too much, and never returns home, but to make comparisons
with another's good. He is an ill prizer of foreign commodity; worse of
his own, for that he rates too high, this under value. You shall have
him ever inquiring into the estates of his equals and betters, wherein
he is not more desirous to hear all than loth to hear anything over
good; and if just report relate aught better than he would, he redoubles
the question, as being hard to believe what he likes not, and hopes yet,
if that be averred again to his grief, that there is somewhat concealed
in the relation, which, if it were known, would argue the commended
party miserable, and blemish him with secret shame. He is ready to
quarrel with God, because the next field is fairer grown, and angrily
calculates his cost, and time, and tillage. Whom he dares not openly
backbite, nor wound with a direct censure, he strikes smoothly with an
over cold praise; and when he sees that he must either maliciously
impugn the just praise of another (which were unsafe), or approve it by
assent, he yieldeth; but shows withal that his means were such, both by
nature and education, that he could not, without much neglect, be less
commendable. So his happiness shall be made the colour of detraction.
When an wholesome law is propounded, he crosseth it either by open or
close opposition, not for any incommodity or inexpedience, but because
it proceeded from any mouth besides his own. And it must be a cause
rarely plausible that will not admit some probable contradiction. When
his equal should rise to honour, he strives against it unseen, and
rather with much cost suborneth great adversaries; and when he sees his
resistance vain, he can give an hollow gratulation in presence, but in
secret disparages that advancement. Either the man is unfit for the
place, or the place for the man; or if fit, yet less gainful, or more
common than opinion; whereto he adds that himself might have had the
same dignity upon better terms, and refused it. He is witty in devising
suggestions to bring his rival out of love into suspicion. If he be
courteous, he is seditiously popular; if bountiful, he binds over his
clients to a faction; if successful in war, he is dangerous in peace; if
wealthy, he lays up for a day; if powerful, nothing wants but
opportunity of rebellion. His submission is ambitious hypocrisy; his
religion, politic insinuation; no action is safe from a jealous
construction. When he receives a good report of him whom he emulates, he
saith, "Fame is partial, and is wont to blanche mischiefs;" and pleaseth
himself with hope to find it worse; and if ill-will have dispersed any
more spiteful narration, he lays hold on that, against all witnesses,
and broacheth that rumour for truest because worst; and when he sees him
perfectly miserable, he can at once pity him, and rejoice. What himself
cannot do, others shall not; he hath gained well if he have hindered the
success of what he would have done, and could not. He conceals his best
skill, not so as it may not be known that he knows it, but so as it may
not be learned, because he would have the world miss him. He attained to
a foreign medicine by the secret legacy of a dying empiric, whereof he
will leave no heir lest the praise shall be divided. Finally, he is an
enemy to God's favours, if they fall beside himself; the best nurse of
ill-fame, a man of the worst diet, for he consumes himself, and delights
in pining; a thorn-hedge covered with nettles, a peevish interpreter of
good things, and no other than a lean and pale carcase quickened with
a fiend.

       *       *       *       *       *


_The younger, a lawyer of Lincoln's Inn, published in 1615 "Satyrical
Essayes, Characters, and others, or accurate and quick Descriptions
fitted to the life of their Subjects." He had published two years before
a play called "Cinthia's Revenge, or Maenander's Extasie," which
Langbaine described as one of the longest he had ever read, and the most
tedious. Somebody seems to have attacked him and his Characters. A
second edition, in 1631, was entitled "New Essays and Characters, with a
new Satyre in defence of the Common Law, and Lawyers: mixt with Reproofe
against their enemy Ignoramus."_


_Is the next of our Character writers. His "Microcosmography, or a Piece
of the World discovered, in Essays and Characters" was first printed in
1628. John Earle was born in the city of York, at the beginning of the
seventeenth century, probably in the year 1601. His father, who was
Registrar of the Archbishop's Court, sent him to Oxford in 1619, and he
was said to be eighteen years old when he matriculated, that year, as a
commoner at Christchurch. He graduated as Master of Arts in 1624. He was
a Fellow of Merton, and wrote in his younger days several occasional
poems that won credit before he published anonymously, still as an
Oxford man, when he was about twenty-seven years old, his famous
Characters. But he remembered York when adding to their title that they
were "newly composed for the northern part of this Kingdom." This first
edition contained fifty-four characters, which precede the others in the
following collection. In the next year, 1629, the book reached a fifth
edition, printed for Robert Allot, in which the number of the characters
was increased to seventy-six. Two more characters--a Herald, and a
Suspicious or Jealous Man--were added in the sixth edition, which was
printed for Allot in 1633. The seventh edition was printed for Andrew
Coolie in 1638, the eighth in 1650. Other editions followed in 1669,
1676, 1732, and at Salisbury in 1786. In 1811 the little book was edited
carefully by Dr. Philip Bliss, and it was edited again by Professor
Edward Arber in 1868, in his valuable series of English Reprints.

John Earle, after the production of his "Microcosmography," wrote in
April 1630 a short poem upon the death of William, third Earl of
Pembroke, son of Sidney's sister. The third Earl's younger brother
Philip succeeded as fourth Earl, and was Chancellor of the University of
Oxford. He was then, or thereafter became, Earle's patron, and made him
his chaplain. About the same time, in 1631, Earle acted as proctor of
the University. In 1639 the Earl of Pembroke presented John Earle to the
living of Bishopston in Wiltshire, as successor to Chillingworth.
Pembroke being Lord Chamberlain was entitled also to a residence at
Court for his chaplain, and thus Earle was brought under the immediate
notice of Charles I., who appointed him to be his own chaplain, and made
him tutor to Prince Charles in 1641, when Dr. Brian Duppa, the preceding
tutor, had been made Bishop of Salisbury. In 1642 Earle proceeded to the
degree of D.D. In 1643 he was elected Chancellor of the Cathedral at
Salisbury, but he was presently deprived by the Parliament of that
office, and of his living at Bishopston. He then lived in retirement
abroad, made a translation into Latin of Hooker's "Ecclesiastical
Polity" which his servants negligently used, after his death, as waste
paper, and of the "Eikon Basilike" which was published in 1649. After
the Restoration, Dr. Earle was made Dean of Westminster; then, in 1662,
Bishop of Worcester. He was translated to Salisbury in 1663, died in
November 1665, and was buried near the altar in Merton College Church.

Earle was a man so gentle and liberal, that while Clarendon described
him as "among the few excellent men who never had and never could have
an enemy," Baxter wrote in the margin of a kindly letter from him, "O,
that they were all such!" and Calamy described him as "a man that could
do good against evil, forgive much out of a charitable heart." The
Parliament, even just before depriving him as a malignant, had put him
to the trouble of declining its nomination as one of the Westminster
Assembly of Divines. As a Bishop in the early days of Charles the Second
he did all he could to oppose the persecuting spirit of the first
Conventicle Act and of the Five Mile Act.

Dr. Philip Bliss, who died in 1857, after a life marked by many services
to English Literature, chose Bishop Earle's "Characters" for one of his
earlier studies, published in 1811, when his own age was twenty-four.
His book[2] included an account of Bishop Earle himself, a list of his
writings, publication for the first time of some of his early verses,
his correspondence with Baxter, and a Chronological List of Books of
Characters from 1567 to 1700, which was the first contribution to a
study of this feature in our Seventeenth Century Literature. Bliss took
his text of Earle from the edition of 1732, collated with the first
impression in 1628. As the Characters which now follow are given with
Bliss's text and notes, I add what the editor himself says of his
method. The variations of the 1732 text from the first impressions in
1628 are thus distinguished: "Those words or passages which have been
added since the first edition are contained between brackets_ [and
printed in the common type]; _those which have received some alteration
are printed in italic; and the passages, as they stand in the first
edition, are always given in a note."_





Is a man in a small letter, yet the best copy of Adam before he tasted
of Eve or the apple; and he is happy whose small practice in the world
can only write this character. He is nature's fresh picture newly drawn
in oil, which time, and much handling, dims and defaces. His soul is yet
a white paper[3] unscribbled with observations of the world, wherewith,
at length, it becomes a blurred note-book. He is purely happy, because
he knows no evil, nor hath made means by sin to be acquainted with
misery. He arrives not at the mischief of being wise, nor endures evils
to come, by foreseeing them. He kisses and loves all, and, when the
smart of the rod is past, smiles on his beater. Nature and his parents
alike dandle him, and tice him on with a bait of sugar to a draught of
wormwood. He plays yet, like a young prentice the first day, and is not
come to his task of melancholy. [4][All the language he speaks yet is
tears, and they serve him well enough to express his necessity.] His
hardest labour is his tongue, as if he were loath to use so deceitful an
organ; and he is best company with it when he can but prattle. We laugh
at his foolish sports, but his game is our earnest; and his drums,
rattles, and hobby-horses, but the emblems and mocking of man's
business. His father hath writ him as his own little story, wherein he
reads those days of his life that he cannot remember, and sighs to see
what innocence he hath out-lived. The elder he grows, he is a stair
lower from God; and, like his first father, much worse in his
breeches.[5] He is the Christian's example, and the old man's relapse;
the one imitates his pureness, and the other falls into his simplicity.
Could he put off his body with his little coat, he had got eternity
without a burden, and exchanged but one heaven for another.


Is a bird not yet fledged, that hath hopped out of his nest to be
chirping on a hedge, and will be straggling abroad at what peril soever.
His backwardness in the university hath set him thus forward; for had he
not truanted there, he had not been so hasty a divine. His small
standing, and time, hath made him a proficient only in boldness, out of
which, and his table-book, he is furnished for a preacher. His
collections of study are the notes of sermons, which, taken up at St.
Mary's,[6] he utters in the country: and if he write brachigraphy,[7]
his stock is so much the better. His writing is more than his reading,
for he reads only what he gets without book. Thus accomplished he comes
down to his friends, and his first salutation is grace and peace out of
the pulpit. His prayer is conceited, and no man remembers his college
more at large,[8] The pace of his sermon is a full career, and he runs
wildly over hill and dale, till the clock stop him. The labour of it is
chiefly in his lungs; and the only thing he has made _in_[9] it himself,
is the faces. He takes on against the pope without mercy, and has a jest
still in lavender for Bellarmine: yet he preaches heresy, if it comes in
his way, though with a mind, I must needs say, very orthodox. His action
is all passion, and his speech interjections. He has an excellent
faculty in bemoaning the people, and spits with a very good grace. [His
stile is compounded of twenty several men's, only his body imitates some
one extraordinary.] He will not draw his handkercher out of his place,
nor blow his nose without discretion. His commendation is, that he never
looks upon book; and indeed he was never used to it. He preaches but
once a year, though twice on Sunday; for the stuff is still the same,
only the dressing a little altered: he has more tricks with a sermon,
than a tailor with an old cloak, to turn it, and piece it, and at last
quite disguise it with a new preface. If he have waded farther in his
profession, and would show reading of his own, his authors are postils,
and his school-divinity a catechism. His fashion and demure habit gets
him in with some town-precisian, and makes him a guest on Friday nights.
You shall know him by his narrow velvet cape, and serge facing; and his
ruff, next his hair the shortest thing about him. The companion of his
walk is some zealous tradesman, whom he astonishes with strange points,
which they both understand alike. His friends and much painfulness may
prefer him to thirty pounds a year, and this means to a chambermaid;
with whom we leave him now in the bonds of wedlock:--next Sunday you
shall have him again.


Is one that knows the burthen of his calling, and hath studied to make
his shoulders sufficient; for which he hath not been hasty to launch
forth of his port, the university, but expected the ballast of learning,
and the wind of opportunity. Divinity is not the beginning but the end
of his studies; to which he takes the ordinary stair, and makes the arts
his way. He counts it not profaneness to be polished with human reading,
or to smooth his way by Aristotle to school-divinity. He has sounded
both religions, and anchored in the best, and is a protestant out of
judgment, not faction; not because his country, but his reason is on
this side. The ministry is his choice, not refuge, and yet the pulpit
not his itch, but fear. His discourse is substance, not all rhetoric,
and he utters more things than words. His speech is not helped with
inforced action, but the matter acts itself. He shoots all his
meditations at one butt; and beats upon his text, not the cushion;
making his hearers, not the pulpit, groan. In citing of popish errors,
he cuts them with arguments, not cudgels them with barren invectives;
and labours more to shew the truth of his cause than the spleen. His
sermon is limited by the method, not the hourglass; and his devotion
goes along with him out of the pulpit. He comes not up thrice a week,
because he would not be idle; nor talks three hours together, because he
would not talk nothing: but his tongue preaches at fit times, and his
conversation is the every day's exercise. In matters of ceremony, he is
not ceremonious, but thinks he owes that reverence to the Church to bow
his judgment to it, and make more conscience of schism, than a surplice.
He esteems the Church hierarchy as the Church's glory, and however we
jar with Rome, would not have our confusion distinguish us. In
simoniacal purchases he thinks his soul goes in the bargain, and is
loath to come by promotion so dear: yet his worth at length advances
him, and the price of his own merit buys him a living. He is no base
grater of his tithes, and will not wrangle for the odd egg. The lawyer
is the only man he hinders, by whom he is spited for taking up quarrels.
He is a main pillar of our church, though not yet dean or canon, and his
life our religion's best apology. His death is the last sermon, where,
in the pulpit of his bed, he instructs men to die by his example.[10]


His practice is some business at bedsides, and his speculation an
urinal: he is distinguished from an empiric, by a round velvet cap and
doctor's gown, yet no man takes degrees more superfluously, for he is
doctor howsoever. He is sworn to Galen and Hippocrates, as university
men to their statutes, though they never saw them; and his discourse is
all aphorisms, though his reading be only Alexis of Piedmont,[11] or the
Regiment of Health.[12] The best cure he has done is upon his own purse,
which from a lean sickliness he hath made lusty, and in flesh. His
learning consists much in reckoning up the hard names of diseases, and
the superscriptions of gallipots in his apothecary's shop, which are
ranked in his shelves and the doctor's memory. He is, indeed, only
languaged in diseases, and speaks Greek many times when he knows not. If
he have been but a bystander at some desperate recovery, he is slandered
with it though he be guiltless; and this breeds his reputation, and that
his practice, for his skill is merely opinion. Of all odours he likes
best the smell of urine, and holds Vespasian's[13] rule, that no gain is
unsavory. If you send this once to him you must resolve to be sick
howsoever, for he will never leave examining your water, till he has
shaked it into disease:[l4] then follows a writ to his drugger in a
strange tongue, which he understands, though he cannot construe. If he
see you himself, his presence is the worst visitation: for if he cannot
heal your sickness, he will be sure to help it. He translates his
apothecary's shop into your chamber, and the very windows and benches
must take physic. He tells you your malady in Greek, though it be but a
cold, or head-ache; which by good endeavour and diligence he may bring
to some moment indeed. His most unfaithful act is, that he leaves a man
gasping, and his pretence is, death and he have a quarrel and must not
meet; but his fear is, lest the carcase should bleed.[15] Anatomies, and
other spectacles of mortality, have hardened him, and he is no more
struck with a funeral than a grave-maker. Noblemen use him for a
director of their stomach, and the ladies for wantonness,[16] especially
if he be a proper man. If he be single, he is in league with his
she-apothecary; and because it is the physician, the husband is patient.
If he have leisure to be idle (that is to study), he has a smatch at
alchemy, and is sick of the philosopher's stone; a disease uncurable,
but by an abundant phlebotomy of the purse. His two main opposites are a
mountebank and a good woman, and he never shews his learning so much as
in an invective against them and their boxes. In conclusion, he is a
sucking consumption, and a very brother to the worms, for they are both
ingendered out of man's corruption.


He is venerable in his gown, more in his beard, wherewith he sets not
forth so much his own, as the face of a city. You must look on him as
one of the town gates, and consider him not as a body, but a
corporation. His eminency above others hath made him a man of worship,
for he had never been preferred, but that he was worth thousands. He
over-sees the commonwealth, as his shop, and it is an argument of his
policy, that he has thriven by his craft. He is a rigorous magistrate in
his ward; yet his scale of justice is suspected, lest it be like the
balances in his warehouse. A ponderous man he is, and substantial, for
his weight is commonly extraordinary, and in his preferment nothing
rises so much as his belly. His head is of no great depth, yet well
furnished; and when it is in conjunction with his brethren, may bring
forth a city apophthegm, or some such sage matter. He is one that will
not hastily run into error, for he treads with great deliberation, and
his judgment consists much as his pace. His discourse is commonly the
annals of his mayoralty, and what good government there was in the days
of his gold chain, though the door posts were the only things that
suffered reformation. He seems most sincerely religious, especially on
solemn days; for he comes often to church to make a shew, [and is a part
of the quire hangings.] He is the highest star of his profession, and an
example to his trade, what in time they may come to. He makes very much
of his authority, but more of his satin doublet, which, though of good
years, bears its age very well, and looks fresh every Sunday: but his
scarlet gown is a monument, and lasts from generation to generation.


Is one that is fallen out with the world, and will be revenged on
himself. Fortune has denied him in something, and he now takes pet, and
will be miserable in spite. The root of his disease is a self-humouring
pride, and an accustomed tenderness not to be crossed in his fancy; and
the occasion commonly of one of these three, a hard father, a peevish
wench, or his ambition thwarted. He considered not the nature of the
world till he felt it, and all blows fall on him heavier, because they
light not first on his expectation. He has now foregone all but his
pride, and is yet vain-glorious in the ostentation of his melancholy.
His composure of himself is a studied carelessness, with his arms
across, and a neglected hanging of his head and cloak; and he is as
great an enemy to a hat-band, as fortune. He quarrels at the time and
up-starts, and sighs at the neglect of men of parts, that is, such as
himself. His life is a perpetual satire, and he is still girding the
age's vanity, when this very anger shews he too much esteems it. He is
much displeased to see men merry, and wonders what they can find to
laugh at. He never draws his own lips higher than a smile, and frowns
wrinkle him before forty. He at last falls into that deadly melancholy
to be a bitter hater of men, and is the most apt companion for any
mischief. He is the spark that kindles the commonwealth, and the bellows
himself to blow it: and if he turn any thing, it is commonly one of
these, either friar, traitor, or mad-man.


He is a man strangely thrifty of time past, and an enemy indeed to his
maw, whence he fetches out many things when they are now all rotten and
stinking. He is one that hath that unnatural disease to be enamoured of
old age and wrinkles, and loves all things (as Dutchmen do cheese), the
better for being mouldy and worm-eaten. He is of our religion, because
we say it is most antient; and yet a broken statue would almost make him
an idolater. A great admirer he is of the rust of old monuments, and
reads only those characters, where time hath eaten out the letters. He
will go you forty miles to see a saint's well or a ruined abbey; an
there be but a cross or stone foot-stool in the way, he'll be
considering it so long, till he forget his journey. His estate consists
much in shekels, and Roman coins; and he hath more pictures of Cæsar,
than James or Elizabeth. Beggars cozen him with musty things which they
have raked from dung-hills, and he preserves their rags for precious
relics. He loves no library, but where there are more spiders' volumes
than authors', and looks with great admiration on the antique work of
cobwebs. Printed books he contemns, as a novelty of this latter age, but
a manuscript he pores on everlastingly, especially if the cover be all
moth-eaten, and the dust make a parenthesis between every syllable. He
would give all the books in his study (which are rarities all), for one
of the old Roman binding, or six-lines of Tully in his own hand. His
chamber is hung commonly with strange beasts' skins, and is a kind of
charnel-house of bones extraordinary; and his discourse upon them, if
you will hear him, shall last longer. His very attire is that which is
the eldest out of fashion, [[17] _and you may pick a criticism out of
his breeches_.] He never looks upon himself till he is grey-haired, and
then he is pleased with his own antiquity. His grave does not fright
him, for he has been used to sepulchres, and he likes death the better,
because it gathers him to his fathers.


His elder brother was the Esau, that came out first and left him like
Jacob at his heels. His father has done with him as Pharaoh to the
children of Israel, that would have them make brick and give them no
straw, so he tasks him to be a gentleman, and leaves him nothing to
maintain it. The pride of his house has undone him, which the elder's
knighthood must sustain, and his beggary that knighthood. His birth and
bringing up will not suffer him to descend to the means to get wealth;
but he stands at the mercy of the world, and which is worse, of his
brother. He is something better than the serving-men; yet they more
saucy with him than he bold with the master, who beholds him with a
countenance of stern awe, and checks him oftener than his liveries. His
brother's old suits and he are much alike in request, and cast off now
and then one to the other. Nature hath furnished him with a little more
wit upon compassion, for it is like to be his best revenue. If his
annuity stretch so far, he is sent to the university, and with great
heart-burning takes upon him the ministry, as a profession he is
condemned to by his ill fortune. Others take a more crooked path yet,
the king's high-way; where at length their vizard is plucked off, and
they strike fair for Tyburn: but their brother's pride, not love, gets
them a pardon. His last refuge is the Low-countries,[18] where rags and
lice are no scandal, where he lives a poor gentleman of a company, and
dies without a shirt. The only thing that may better his fortunes is an
art he has to make a gentlewoman, wherewith he baits now and then some
rich widow that is hungry after his blood. He is commonly discontented
and desperate, and the form of his exclamation is, _that churl my
brother_. He loves not his country for this unnatural custom, and would
have long since revolted to the Spaniard, but for Kent[19] only, which
he holds in admiration.


Is somewhat more than the shape of a man, for he has his length,
breadth, and colour. When you have seen his outside, you have looked
through him, and need employ your discovery no farther. His reason is
merely example, and his action is not guided by his understanding, but
he sees other men do thus, and he follows them. He is a negative, for we
cannot call him a wise man, but not a fool; nor an honest man, but not a
knave; nor a protestant, but not a papist. The chief burden of his brain
is the carriage of his body and the setting of his face in a good frame;
which he performs the better, because he is not disjointed with other
meditations. His religion is a good quiet subject, and he prays as he
swears, in the phrase of the land. He is a fair guest, and a fair
inviter, and can excuse his good cheer in the accustomed apology. He has
some faculty in the mangling of a rabbit, and the distribution of his
morsel to a neighbour's trencher. He apprehends a jest by seeing men
smile, and laughs orderly himself, when it comes to his turn. His
businesses with his friends are to visit them, and whilst the business
is no more, he can perform this well enough. His discourse is the news
that he hath gathered in his walk, and for other matters his discretion
is, that he will only what he can, that is, say nothing. His life is
like one that runs to the church-walk,[20] to take a turn or two, and so
passes. He hath staid in the world to fill a number; and when he is
gone, there wants one, and there's an end.


Is one that parts his religion betwixt his conscience and his purse, and
comes to church not to serve God but the king. The face of the law makes
him wear the mask of the gospel, which he uses not as a means to save
his soul, but charges. He loves Popery well, but is loth to lose by it;
and though he be something scared with the bulls of Rome, yet they are
far off, and he is struck with more terror at the apparitor. Once a
month he presents himself at the church, to keep off the church-warden,
and brings in his body to save his bail. He kneels with the
congregation, but prays by himself, and asks God forgiveness for coming
thither. If he be forced to stay out a sermon, he pulls his hat over his
eyes, and frowns out the hour; and when he comes home, thinks to make
amends for this fault by abusing the preacher. His main policy is to
shift off the communion, for which he is never unfurnished of a quarrel,
and will be sure to be out of charity at Easter; and indeed he lies not,
for he has a quarrel to the sacrament. He would make a bad martyr and
good traveller, for his conscience is so large he could never wander out
of it; and in Constantinople would be circumcised with a reservation.
His wife is more zealous and therefore more costly, and he bates her in
tires what she stands him in religion. But we leave him hatching plots
against the state, and expecting Spinola.[21]


Is one that knows himself so well, that he does not know himself. Two
excellent well-dones have undone him, and he is guilty of it that first
commended him to madness. He is now become his own book, which he pores
on continually, yet like a truant reader skips over the harsh places,
and surveys only that which is pleasant. In the speculation of his own
good parts, his eyes, like a drunkard's, see all double, and his fancy,
like an old man's spectacles, make a great letter in a small print. He
imagines every place where he comes his theatre, and not a look stirring
but his spectator; and conceives men's thoughts to be very idle, that
is, [only] busy about him. His walk is still in the fashion of a march,
and like his opinion unaccompanied, with his eyes most fixed upon his
own person, or on others with reflection to himself. If he have done any
thing that has passed with applause, he is always re-acting it alone,
and conceits the extasy his hearers were in at every period. His
discourse is all positions and definitive decrees, with _thus it must
be_ and _thus it is_, and he will not humble his authority to prove it.
His tenet is always singular and aloof from the vulgar as he can, from
which you must not hope to wrest him. He has an excellent humour for an
heretic, and in these days made the first Arminian. He prefers Ramus
before Aristotle, and Paracelsus before Galen,[22] [_and whosoever with
most paradox is commended._] He much pities the world that has no more
insight in his parts, when he is too well discovered even to this very
thought. A flatterer is a dunce to him, for he can tell him nothing but
what he knows before: and yet he loves him too, because he is like
himself. Men are merciful to him, and let him alone, for if he be once
driven from his humour, he is like two inward friends fallen out: his
own bitter enemy and discontent presently makes a murder. In sum, he is
a bladder blown up with wind, which the least flaw crushes to nothing.


Is one that is a fool with discretion, or a strange piece of politician,
that manages the state of himself. His actions are his privy-council,
wherein no man must partake beside. He speaks under rule and
prescription, and dare not show his teeth without Machiavel. He
converses with his neighbours as he would in Spain, and fears an
inquisitive man as much as the inquisition. He suspects all questions
for examinations, and thinks you would pick something out of him, and
avoids you. His breast is like a gentlewoman's closet, which locks up
every toy or trifle, or some bragging mountebank that makes every
stinking thing a secret. He delivers you common matters with great
conjuration of silence, and whispers you in the ear acts of parliament.
You may as soon wrest a tooth from him as a paper, and whatsoever he
reads is letters. He dares not talk of great men for fear of bad
comments, and _he knows not how his words may be misapplied_. Ask his
opinion, and he tells you his doubt; and he never hears any thing more
astonishedly than what he knows before. His words are like the cards at
primivist,[23] where 6 is 18, and 7, 21; for they never signify what
they sound; but if he tell you he will do a thing, it is as much as if
he swore he would not. He is one, indeed, that takes all men to be
craftier than they are, and puts himself to a great deal of affliction
to hinder their plots and designs, where they mean freely. He has been
long a riddle himself, but at last finds OEdipuses; for his over-acted
dissimulation discovers him, and men do with him as they would with
Hebrew letters, spell him backwards and read him.


Is a degree, or (if you will,) a pair of stairs above an ale-house,
where men are drunk with more credit and apology. If the vintner's
nose[24] be at door, it is a sign sufficient, but the absence of this is
supplied by the ivy-bush: the rooms are ill breathed like the drinkers
that have been washed well over night, and are smelt-to fasting next
morning; not furnished with beds apt to be defiled, but more necessary
implements, stools, table, and a chamber-pot. It is a broacher of more
news than hogsheads, and more jests than news, which are sucked up here
by some spungy brain, and from thence squeezed into a comedy. Men come
here to make merry, but indeed make a noise, and this musick above is
answered with the clinking below. The drawers are the civilest people in
it, men of good bringing up, and howsoever we esteem of them, none can
boast more justly of their high calling. 'Tis the best theatre of
natures, where they are truly acted, not played, and the business as in
the rest of the world up and down, to wit, from the bottom of the cellar
to the great chamber. A melancholy man would find here matter to work
upon, to see heads as brittle as glasses, and often broken; men come
hither to quarrel, and come hither to be made friends: and if Plutarch
will lend me his simile, it is even Telephus's sword that makes wounds
and cures them. It is the common consumption of the afternoon, and the
murderer or maker-away of a rainy day. It is the torrid zone that
scorches _the_[25] face, and tobacco the gun-powder that blows it up.
Much harm would be done, if the charitable vintner had not water ready
for these flames. A house of sin you may call it, but not a house of
darkness, for the candles are never out; and it is like those countries
far in the North, where it is as clear at mid-night as at mid-day. After
a long sitting, it becomes like a street in a dashing shower, where the
spouts are flushing above, and the conduits running below, while the
Jordans like swelling rivers overflow their banks. To give you the total
reckoning of it; it is the busy man's recreation, the idle man's
business, the melancholy man's sanctuary, the stranger's welcome, the
inns-of-court man's entertainment, the scholar's kindness, and the
citizen's courtesy. It is the study of sparkling wits, and a cup of
canary[26] their book, whence we leave them.


Is one whom all other means have failed, and he now lives of himself. He
is some needy cashiered fellow, whom the world hath oft flung off, yet
still clasps again, and is like one a drowning, fastens upon any thing
that is next at hand. Amongst other of his shipwrecks he has happily
lost shame, and this want supplies him. No man puts his brain to more
use than he, for his life is a daily invention, and each meal a new
stratagem. He has an excellent memory for his acquaintance, though there
passed but _how do you_ betwixt them seven years ago, it shall suffice
for an embrace, and that for money. He offers you a pottle of sack out
of joy to see you, and in requital of his courtesy you can do no less
than pay for it. He is fumbling with his purse-strings, as a school-boy
with his points, when he is going to be whipped, 'till the master, weary
with long stay, forgives him. When the reckoning is paid, he says, It
must not be so, yet is straight pacified, and cries, What remedy? His
borrowings are like subsidies, each man a shilling or two, as he can
well dispend; which they lend him, not with a hope to be repaid, but
that he will come no more. He holds a strange tyranny over men, for he
is their debtor, and they fear him as a creditor. He is proud of any
employment, though it be but to carry commendations, which he will be
sure to deliver at eleven of the clock[27]. They in courtesy bid him
stay, and he in manners cannot deny them. If he find but a good look to
assure his welcome, he becomes their half-boarder, and haunts the
threshold so long 'till he forces good nature to the necessity of a
quarrel. Publick invitations he will not wrong with his absence, and is
the best witness of the sheriff's hospitality[28]. Men shun him at
length as they would do an infection, and he is never crossed in his way
if there be but a lane to escape him. He has done with the age as his
clothes to him, hung on as long as he could, and at last drops off.


Is his own hackney-man; for he lets himself out to travel as well as his
horses. He is the ordinary embassador between friend and friend, the
father and the son, and brings rich presents to the one, but never
returns any back again. He is no unlettered man, though in show simple;
for questionless, he has much in his budget, which he can utter too in
fit time and place. He is [like] the vault in[29] Gloster church, that
conveys whispers at a distance, for he takes the sound out of your mouth
at York, and makes it be heard as far as London. He is the young
student's joy and expectation, and the most accepted guest, to whom they
lend a willing hand to discharge him of his burden. His first greeting
is commonly, _Your friends are well; [and to prove it[30]]_ in a piece
of gold delivers their blessing. You would think him a churlish blunt
fellow, but they find in him many tokens of humanity. He is a great
afflicter of the high-ways, and beats them out of measure; which injury
is sometimes revenged by the purse-taker, and then the voyage
miscarries. No man domineers more in his inn, nor calls his host
unreverently with more presumption, and this arrogance proceeds out of
the strength of his horses. He forgets not his load where he takes his
ease, for he is drunk commonly before he goes to bed. He is like the
prodigal child, still packing away and still returning again. But
let him pass.


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 steadfast, 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.


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
Gallobelgicus[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 _à prima 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 showing 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 learned at his bin. His
faculties extraordinary are 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.


[_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 [_country fellow_,[36]] but
the look not so easy, and his face still bears a relish of churn-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 scape hanging, return to the place from whence they came.


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 then 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 linen, 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 tailor, 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 shews 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 is merely ratable accordingly, fifty or an hundred
pounds as his suit is. His main ambition is to get a knighthood, 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 clothes grow stale
together, and he is buried commonly ere he dies, in the gaol or
the country.


Is a viceroy 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
environed 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 unsecured 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 compliment, 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 savoury, 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 clothes, 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-balance
those glisterers, as far as a solid substance does a feather, or gold,


Is one that manures his ground well, but lets himself lie 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 talons none of the
shortest, only he eats not grass, because he loves not salads. 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 loop-holes
that let out smoke, 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 fastener on a piece of beef, and you may hope to stave
the guard off sooner. His religion is a part of his copyhold, which he
takes from his landlord, 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 clothes, 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 clothes; 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 banns, 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 privilege 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.


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 solecism, that is all he carries away. He looks on
all things with a prepared sourness, 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 authentic, 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 freshman 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 untie[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 critic 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, afterwards 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.


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 aweary 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 counsel. 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.


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 smoke.[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 smoke.


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 spigot. 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 sixpence 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 rhyme, 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 can too full, spills upon the
bench. He leaves twenty shillings on the score, which my hostess loses.


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 exceedingly 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.


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 entreaties for a good cast. The
betters are the factious noise of the alley, or the gamesters bedesmen
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 falsehood 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 completeness, and he has travelled for the purpose. His deepest
endearment 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.


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 merely 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
ere they come there, rather than the French shall get his custom.


Is a scholar in this great university the world; and the same his book
and study. He cloisters 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 play-fellows. 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 employ it, and
is above those ends that make man wicked. He has learnt all that 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 herself 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 linen. 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 than
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 Delilah; 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 Turk's. 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 shows the fruits of it in
talking. She is more fiery against the maypole than her husband, and
thinks she might do a Phineas' act to break the pate of the fiddler. She
is an everlasting argument, but I am weary of her.


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 everything, 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 with the commonweal 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] recalls 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.


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 hoarded pence purchased an office. Two desks and a
quire of paper set him up, where he now sits in state for all comers. 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 landlord, 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 doomsday he is secure; for he hopes
he has a trick to reverse judgment.


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, shows 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 puffed up. His face is as brazen as
his trumpet, and (which is worse) as a fiddler'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.


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 clothes 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 show 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, shows, 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
achieve 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 nightcap, 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 logic, 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 book-binder's, a setting or gluing
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 apophthegms, which serve him for wit, and seldom
breaks any jest but which belonged 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 antic 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 and tavern; and men have still some oaths left to swear
here. 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 traffic 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.


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. Choleric
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 spite of
his master, and curses in the very dialect of his calling. His labour is
mere 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 fabrics 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 pitiless 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 tactics, 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.


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 nonplussed, 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 anything 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 lie musty in their old clothes and colleges.


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.


Is one that would make all others more fools than himself, for though he
knew nothing, he would not have the world 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 mere 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 sour 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 construe, 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 anything 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.


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 hot
a by-channel or bastard escapes him; yea he does with them like some
shameless quean, 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
pennyworths 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 miscall 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, 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 bass, 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.


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 comers. He is an arrogant
commender of his own things; for whatsoever he shows 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 truly 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 customer's,
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 unpolished, not out of ignorance so much as humour. He is a great
enemy to the fine gentleman, and these things of compliment, 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 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 crookened 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.


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 anything. 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 com-prised in writing Latin. He tastes
styles 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.


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 creditors' hawk,
wherewith they seize upon flying birds, and fetch them again in his
talons. 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 clockmaker. The common way to run from him is through him, which
is often attempted and atchieved, [[75]_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.


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 scholars loitering, 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,[76] and he is one much wrought with good
beer and rhetoric. He is a man of most unfortunate voyages, and no
gallant walks the streets to less purpose.


Is a man: one that has taken order with himself, and sets a rule to
those lawlessnesses 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 business, 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 expense 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 captains' 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 tailor:
active in the world without disquiet, and careful without misery; yet
neither engulfed 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 of 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 complimentary;
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.


Is a far finer man than he knows of, one that shews better to all men
than himself, and so much the better to all men, as less to himself;[77]
for no quality sets a man off like this, and commends him more against
his will: and he can put up any injury sooner than this (as he calls it)
your irony. You shall hear him confute his commenders, and giving
reasons how much they are mistaken, and is angry almost if they do not
believe him. Nothing threatens him so much as great expectation, which
he thinks more prejudicial than your under-opinion, because it is easier
to make that false, than this true. He is one that sneaks from a good
action, as one that had pilfered, and dare not justify it; and is more
blushingly reprehended in this, than others in sin: that counts all
publick declarings of himself, but so many penances before the people;
and the more you applaud him the more you abash him, and he recovers not
his face a month after. One that is easy to like any thing of another
man's, and thinks all he knows not of him better than that he knows. He
excuses that to you, which another would impute; and if you pardon him,
is satisfied. One that stands in no opinion because it is his own, but
suspects it rather, because it is his own, and is confuted and thanks
you. He sees nothing more willingly than his errors, and it is his error
sometimes to be too soon persuaded. He is content to be auditor where he
only can speak, and content to go away and think himself instructed. No
man is so weak that he is ashamed to learn of, and is less ashamed to
confess it; and he finds many times even in the dust, what others
overlook and lose. Every man's presence is a kind of bridle to him, to
stop the roving of his tongue and passions: and even impudent men look
for this reverence from him, and distaste that in him which they suffer
in themselves, as one in whom vice is ill-favoured and shews more
scurvily than another. An unclean jest shall shame him more than a
bastard another man, and he that got it shall censure him among the
rest. He is coward to nothing more than an ill tongue, and whosoever
dare lie on him hath power over him; and if you take him by his look, he
is guilty. The main ambition of his life is not to be discredited; and
for other things, his desires are more limited than his fortunes, which
he thinks preferment though never so mean, and that he is to do
something to deserve this. He is too tender to venture on great places,
and would not hurt a dignity to help himself: If he do, it was the
violence of his friends constrained him, how hardly soever he obtain it
he was harder persuaded to seek it.


Is like one that spends on the stock without any revenues coming in, and
will shortly be no wit at all; for learning is the fuel to the fire of
wit, which, if it wants this feeding, eats out itself. A good conceit or
two bates of such a man, and makes a sensible weakening in him; and his
brain recovers it not a year after. The rest of him are bubbles and
flashes, darted out on a sudden, which, if you take them while they are
warm, may be laughed at; if they are cool, are nothing. He speaks best
on the present apprehension, for meditation stupefies him, and the more
he is in travail, the less he brings forth. His things come off then, as
in a nauseateing stomach, where there is nothing to cast up, strains and
convulsions, and some astonishing bombast, which men only, till they
understand, are scared with. A verse or some such work he may sometimes
get up to, but seldom above the stature of an epigram, and that with
some relief out of Martial, which is the ordinary companion of his
pocket, and he reads him as he were inspired. Such men are commonly the
trifling things of the world, good to make merry the company, and whom
only men have to do withal when they have nothing to do, and none are
less their friends than who are most their company. Here they vent
themselves over a cup somewhat more lastingly; all their words go for
jests, and all their jests for nothing. They are nimble in the fancy of
some ridiculous thing, and reasonable good in the expression. Nothing
stops a jest when it's coming, neither friends, nor danger, but it must
out howsoever, though their blood come out after, and then they
emphatically rail, and are emphatically beaten, and commonly are men
reasonable familiar to this. Briefly they are such whose life is but to
laugh and be laughed at; and only wits in jest and fools in earnest.


Is one that will be a man to-morrow morning, but is now what you will
make him, for he is in the power of the next man, and if a friend the
better. One that hath let go himself from the hold and stay of reason,
and lies open to the mercy of all temptations. No lust but finds him
disarmed and fenceless, and with the least assault enters. If any
mischief escape him, it was not his fault, for he was laid as fair for
it as he could. Every man sees him, as Cham saw his father the first of
this sin, an uncovered man, and though his garment be on, uncovered; the
secretest parts of his soul lying in the nakedest manner visible: all
his passions come out now, all his vanities, and those shamefuller
humours which discretion clothes. His body becomes at last like a miry
way, where the spirits are beclogged and cannot pass: all his members
are out of office, and his heels do but trip up one another. He is a
blind man with eyes, and a cripple with legs on. All the use he has of
this vessel himself, is to hold thus much; for his drinking is but a
scooping in of so many quarts, which are filled out into his body, and
that filled out again into the room, which is commonly as drunk as he.
Tobacco serves to air him after a washing, and is his only breath and
breathing while. He is the greatest enemy to himself, and the next to
his friend, and then most in the act of his kindness, for his kindness
is but trying a mastery, who shall sink down first: and men come from
him as a battle, wounded and bound up. Nothing takes a man off more from
his credit, and business, and makes him more recklessly careless what
becomes of all. Indeed he dares not enter on a serious thought, or if he
do, it is such melancholy that it sends him to be drunk again.


Is the grave of the living,[78] where they are shut up from the world
and their friends; and the worms that gnaw upon them their own thoughts
and the jailor. A house of meagre looks and ill smells, for lice, drink,
and tobacco are the compound. Plato's court was expressed from this
fancy; and the persons are much about the same parity that is there. You
may ask, as Menippus in Lucian, which is Nireus, which Thersites, which
the beggar, which the knight;--for they are all suited in the same form
of a kind of nasty poverty. Only to be out at elbows is in fashion here,
and a great indecorum not to be thread-bare. Every man shews here like
so many wrecks upon the sea, here the ribs of a thousand pound, here the
relicks of so many manors, a doublet without buttons; and 'tis a
spectacle of more pity than executions are. The company one with the
other is but a vying of complaints, and the causes they have to rail on
fortune and fool themselves, and there is a great deal of good
fellowship in this. They are commonly, next their creditors, most bitter
against the lawyers, as men that have had a great stroke in assisting
them hither. Mirth here is stupidity or hardheartedness, yet they feign
it sometimes to slip melancholy, and keep off themselves from
themselves, and the torment of thinking what they have been. Men huddle
up their life here as a thing of no use, and wear it out like an old
suit, the faster the better; and he that deceives the time best, best
spends it. It is the place where new comers are most welcomed, and, next
them, ill news, as that which extends their fellowship in misery, and
leaves few to insult:--and they breath their discontents more securely
here, and have their tongues at more liberty than abroad. Men see here
much sin and much calamity; and where the last does not mortify, the
other hardens; as those that are worse here, are desperately worse, and
those from whom the horror of sin is taken off and the punishment
familiar: and commonly a hard thought passes on all that come from this
school; which though it teach much wisdom, it is too late, and with
danger: and it is better be a fool than come here to learn it.


Is one of the makings up of a gentleman as well as his clothes, and
somewhat in the same nature, for he is cast behind his master as
fashionably as his sword and cloak are, and he is but _in querpo_[79]
without him. His properness[80] qualifies him, and of that a good leg;
for his head he has little use but to keep it bare. A good dull wit best
suits with him to comprehend commonsense and a trencher; for any greater
store of brain it makes him but tumultuous, and seldom thrives with him.
He follows his master's steps, as well in conditions as the street: if
he wench or drink, he comes him in an under kind, and thinks it a part
of his duty to be like him. He is indeed wholly his master's; of his
faction,--of his cut,--of his pleasures:--he is handsome for his credit,
and drunk for his credit, and if he have power in the cellar, commands
the parish. He is one that keeps the best company, and is none of it;
for he knows all the gentlemen his master knows, and picks from thence
some hawking and horse-race terms,[81] which he swaggers with in the
ale-house, where he is only called master. His mirth is evil jests with
the wenches, and, behind the door, evil earnest. The best work he does
is his marrying, for it makes an honest woman, and if he follows in it
his master's direction, it is commonly the best service he does him.


Is a fellow newly great and newly proud; one that hath put himself into
another face upon his preferment, for his own was not bred to it; one
whom fortune hath shot up to some office or authority, and he shoots up
his neck to his fortune, and will not bate you an inch of either. His
very countenance and gesture bespeak how much he is, and if you
understand him not, he tells you, and concludes every period with his
place, which you must and shall know. He is one that looks on all men as
if he were angry, but especially on those of his acquaintance, whom he
beats off with a surlier distance, as men apt to mistake him, because
they have known him: and for this cause he knows not you 'till you have
told him your name, which he thinks he has heard, but forgot, and with
much ado seems to recover. If you have any thing to use him in, you are
his vassal for that time, and must give him the patience of any injury,
which he does only to shew what he may do. He snaps you up bitterly,
because he will be offended, and tells you, you are saucy and
troublesome, and sometimes takes your money in this language. His very
courtesies are intolerable, they are done with such an arrogance and
imputation; and he is the only man you may hate after a good turn, and
not be ungrateful; and men reckon it among their calamities to be
beholden unto him. No vice draws with it a more general hostility, and
makes men readier to search into his faults, and of them, his beginning;
and no tale so unlikely but is willingly heard of him and believed. And
commonly such men are of no merit at all, but make out in pride what
they want in worth, and fence themselves with a stately kind of
behaviour from that contempt which would pursue them. They are men whose
preferment does us a great deal of wrong, and when they are down, we may
laugh at them without breach of good-nature.


Is the first draught of a friend, whom we must lay down oft thus, as the
foul copy, before we can write him perfect and true: for from hence, as
from a probation, men take a degree in our respect, till at last they
wholly possess us: for acquaintance is the hoard, and friendship the
pair chosen out of it; by which at last we begin to impropriate and
inclose to ourselves what before lay in common with others. And commonly
where it grows not up to this, it falls as low as may be; and no poorer
relation than old acquaintance, of whom we only ask how they do for
fashion's sake, and care not. The ordinary use of acquaintance is but
somewhat a more boldness of society, a sharing of talk, news, drink,
mirth together; but sorrow is the right of a friend, as a thing nearer
our heart, and to be delivered with it. Nothing easier than to create
acquaintance, the mere being in company once does it; whereas
friendship, like children, is engendered by a more inward mixture and
coupling together; when we are acquainted not with their virtues only,
but their faults, their passions, their fears, their shame.--and are
bold on both sides to make their discovery. And as it is in the love of
the body, which is then at the height and full when it has power and
admittance into the hidden and worst parts of it; so it is in friendship
with the mind, when those _verenda_ of the soul, and those things which
we dare not shew the world, are bare and detected one to another.

Some men are familiar with all, and those commonly friends to none; for
friendship is a sullener thing, is a contractor and taker up of our
affections to some few, and suffers them not loosely to be scattered on
all men. The poorest tie of acquaintance is that of place and country,
which are shifted as the place, and missed but while the fancy of that
continues. These are only then gladdest of other, when they meet in some
foreign region, where the encompassing of strangers unites them closer,
till at last they get new, and throw off one another. Men of parts and
eminency, as their acquaintance is more sought for, so they are
generally more staunch of it, not out of pride only, but fear to let too
many in too near them: for it is with men as with pictures, the best
show better afar off and at distance, and the closer you come to them
the coarser they are. The best judgment of a man is taken from his
acquaintance, for friends and enemies are both partial; whereas these
see him truest because calmest, and are no way so engaged to lie for
him. And men that grow strange after acquaintance seldom piece together
again, as those that have tasted meat and dislike it, out of a mutual
experience disrelishing one another.


Is one to be held off still at the same distance you are now; for you
shall have him but thus, and if you enter on him farther you lose him.
Methinks Virgil well expresses him in those well-behaved ghosts that
Æneas met with, that were friends to talk with, and men to look on, but
if he grasped them, but air.[82] He is one that lies kindly to you, and
for good fashion's sake, and 'tis discourtesy in you to believe him. His
words are so many fine phrases set together, which serve equally for all
men, and are equally to no purpose. Each fresh encounter with a man puts
him to the same part again, and he goes over to you what he said to him
was last with him: he kisses your hands as he kissed his before, and is
your servant to be commanded, but you shall intreat of him nothing. His
proffers are universal and general, with exceptions against all
particulars. He will do any thing for you, but if you urge him to this,
he cannot, or to that, he is engaged; but he will do any thing. Promises
he accounts but a kind of mannerly words, and in the expectation of your
manners not to exact them: if you do, he wonders at your ill breeding,
that cannot distinguish betwixt what is spoken and what is meant. No man
gives better satisfaction at the first, and comes off more with the
elegy of a kind gentleman, till you know him better, and then you know
him for nothing. And commonly those most rail at him, that have before
most commended him. The best is, he cozens you in a fair manner, and
abuses you with great respect.


Is a man and a fiddle out of case, and he in worse case than his fiddle.
One that rubs two sticks together (as the Indians strike fire), and rubs
a poor living out of it; partly from this, and partly from your charity,
which is more in the hearing than giving him, for he sells nothing
dearer than to be gone. He is just so many strings above a beggar,
though he have but two; and yet he begs too, only not in the downright
'for God's sake,' but with a shrugging 'God bless you,' and his face is
more pined than the blind man's. Hunger is the greatest pain he takes,
except a broken head sometimes, and the labouring John Dory.[83]
Otherwise his life is so many fits of mirth, and 'tis some mirth to see
him. A good feast shall draw him five miles by the nose, and you shall
track him again by the scent. His other pilgrimages are fairs and good
houses, where his devotion is great to the Christmas; and no man loves
good times better. He is in league with the tapsters for the worshipful
of the inn, whom he torments next morning with his art, and has their
names more perfect than their men. A new song is better to him than a
new jacket, especially if bawdy, which he calls merry; and hates
naturally the puritan, as an enemy to this mirth. A country wedding and
Whitsun-ale are the two main places he domineers in, where he goes for a
musician, and overlooks the bag-pipe. The rest of him is drunk, and in
the stocks.


Is one that has nothing to do with his business, and yet no man busier
than he, and his business is most in his face. He is one thrusts himself
violently into all employments, unsent for, unfeed, and many times
unthanked; and his part in it is only an eager bustling, that rather
keeps ado than does any thing. He will take you aside, and question you
of your affair, and listen with both ears, and look earnestly, and then
it is nothing so much yours as his. He snatches what you are doing out
of your hands, and cries "give it me," and does it worse, and lays an
engagement upon you too, and you must thank him for this pains. He lays
you down an hundred wild plots, all impossible things, which you must be
ruled by perforce, and he delivers them with a serious and counselling
forehead; and there is a great deal more wisdom in this forehead than
his head. He will woo for you, solicit for you, and woo you to suffer
him; and scarce any thing done, wherein his letter, or his journey, or
at least himself is not seen: if he have no task in it else, he will
rail yet on some side, and is often beaten when he need not. Such men
never thoroughly weigh any business, but are forward only to shew their
zeal, when many times this forwardness spoils it, and then they cry they
have done what they can, that is, as much hurt. Wise men still deprecate
these men's kindnesses, and are beholden to them rather to let them
alone; as being one trouble more in all business, and which a man shall
be hardest rid of.


Is the best antiquity, and which we may with least vanity admire. One
whom time hath been thus long a working, and like winter fruit, ripened
when others are shaken down. He hath taken out as many lessons of the
world as days, and learnt the best thing in it; the vanity of it. He
looks over his former life as a danger well past, and would not hazard
himself to begin again. His lust was long broken before his body, yet he
is glad this temptation is broke too, and that he is fortified from it
by this weakness. The next door of death sads him not, but he expects it
calmly as his turn in nature; and fears more his recoiling back to
childishness than dust. All men look on him as a common father, and on
old age, for his sake, as a reverent thing. His very presence and face
puts vice out of countenance, and makes it an indecorum in a vicious
man. He practises his experience on youth without the harshness of
reproof, and in his counsel is good company. He has some old stories
still of his own seeing to confirm what he says, and makes them better
in the telling; yet is not troublesome neither with the same tale again,
but remembers with them how oft he has told them. His old sayings and
morals seem proper to his beard; and the poetry of Cato does well out of
his mouth, and he speaks it as if he were the author. He is not apt to
put the boy on a younger man, nor the fool on a boy, but can distinguish
gravity from a sour look; and the less testy he is, the more regarded.
You must pardon him if he like his own times better than these, because
those things are follies to him now that were wisdom then; yet he makes
us of that opinion too when we see him, and conjecture those times by so
good a relic. He is a man capable of a dearness with the youngest men,
yet he not youthfuller for them, but they older for him; and no man
credits more his acquaintance. He goes away at last too soon whensoever,
with all men's sorrow but his own; and his memory is fresh, when it is
twice as old.


Is the picture of a friend, and as pictures flatter many times, so he
oft shews fairer than the true substance: his look, conversation,
company, and all the outwardness of friendship more pleasing by odds,
for a true friend dare take the liberty to be sometimes offensive,
whereas he is a great deal more cowardly, and will not let the least
hold go, for fear of losing you. Your mere sour look affrights him, and
makes him doubt his cashiering. And this is one sure mark of him, that
he is never first angry, but ready though upon his own wrong to make
satisfaction. Therefore he is never yoked with a poor man, or any that
stands on the lower ground, but whose fortunes may tempt his pains to
deceive him. Him he learns first, and learns well, and grows perfecter
in his humours than himself, and by this door enters upon his soul, of
which he is able at last to take the very print and mark, and fashion
his own by it, like a false key to open all your secrets. All his
affections jump[84] even with yours; he is before-hand with your
thoughts, and able to suggest them unto you. He will commend to you
first what he knows you like, and has always some absurd story or other
of your enemy, and then wonders how your two opinions should jump in
that man. He will ask your counsel sometimes as a man of deep judgment,
and has a secret of purpose to disclose to you, and, whatsoever you say,
is persuaded. He listens to your words with great attention, and
sometimes will object that you may confute him, and then protests he
never heard so much before. A piece of wit bursts him with an
overflowing laughter, and he remembers it for you to all companies, and
laughs again in the telling. He is one never chides you but for your
virtues, as, _you are too good, too honest, too religious_, when his
chiding may seem but the earnester commendation, and yet would fain
chide you out of them too; for your vice is the thing he has use of, and
wherein you may best use him; and he is never more active than in the
worst diligences. Thus, at last, he possesses you from yourself, and
then expects but his hire to betray you: and it is a happiness not to
discover him; for as long as you are happy, you shall not.


Is one that looks like a proud man, but is not: you may forgive him his
looks for his worth's sake, for they are only too proud to be base. One
whom no rate can buy off from the least piece of his freedom, and make
him digest an unworthy thought an hour. He cannot crouch to a great man
to possess him, nor fall low to the earth to rebound never so high
again. He stands taller on his own bottom, than others on the advantage
ground of fortune, as having solidly that honour of which title is but
the pomp. He does homage to no man for his great style's sake, but is
strictly just in the exaction of respect again, and will not bate you a
compliment. He is more sensible of a neglect than an undoing, and scorns
no man so much as his surly threatener. A man quickly fired, and quickly
laid down with satisfaction, but remits any injury sooner than words:
only to himself he is irreconcileable, whom he never forgives a
disgrace, but is still stabbing himself with the thought of it, and no
disease that he dies of sooner. He is one had rather perish than be
beholden for his life, and strives more to quit with his friend than his
enemy. Fortune may kill him but not deject him, nor make him fall into
an humbler key than before, but he is now loftier than ever in his own
defence; you shall hear him talk still after thousands, and he becomes
it better than those that have it. One that is above the world and its
drudgery, and cannot pull down his thoughts to the pelting businesses of
life. He would sooner accept the gallows than a mean trade, or anything
that might disparage the height of man in him, and yet thinks no death
comparably base to hanging neither. One that will do nothing upon
command, though he would do it otherwise; and if ever he do evil, it is
when he is dared to it. He is one that if fortune equal his worth puts a
lustre in all preferment; but if otherwise he be too much crossed, turns
desperately melancholy, and scorns mankind.


Is one much about the same model and pitch of brain that the clown is,
only of somewhat a more polite and finical ignorance, and as sillily
scorns him as he is sillily admired by him. The quality of the city hath
afforded him some better dress of clothes and language, which he uses to
the best advantage, and is so much the more ridiculous. His chief
education is the visits of his shop, where if courtiers and fine ladies
resort, he is infected with so much more eloquence, and if he catch one
word extraordinary, wears it forever. You shall hear him mince a
compliment sometimes that was never made for him; and no man pays dearer
for good words,--for he is oft paid with them. He is suited rather fine
than in the fashion, and has still something to distinguish him from a
gentleman, though his doublet cost more; especially on Sundays,
bridegroom-like, where he carries the state of a very solemn man, and
keeps his pew as his shop; and it is a great part of his devotion to
feast the minister. But his chiefest guest is a customer, which is the
greatest relation he acknowledges, especially if you be an honest
gentleman, that is trust him to cozen you enough. His friendships are a
kind of gossiping friendships, and those commonly within the circle of
his trade, wherein he is careful principally to avoid two things, that
is poor men and suretyships. He is a man will spend his sixpence with a
great deal of imputation,[85] and no man makes more of a pint of wine
than he. He is one bears a pretty kind of foolish love to scholars, and
to Cambridge especially for Sturbridge[86] fair's sake; and of these all
are truants to him that are not preachers, and of these the loudest the
best; and he is much ravished with the noise of a rolling tongue. He
loves to hear discourses out of his element, and the less he understands
the better pleased, which he expresses in a smile and some fond
protestation. One that does nothing without his chuck,[87] that is his
wife, with whom he is billing still in conspiracy, and the wantoner she
is, the more power she has over him; and she never stoops so low after
him, but is the only woman goes better of a widow than a maid. In the
education of his child no man fearfuller, and the danger he fears is a
harsh school-master, to whom he is alledging still the weakness of the
boy, and pays a fine extraordinary for his mercy. The first whipping
rids him to the university, and from thence rids him again for fear of
starving, and the best he makes of him is some gull in plush. He is one
loves to hear the famous acts of citizens, whereof the gilding of the
cross[88] he counts the glory of this age, and the four[89] prentices of
London above all the nine[90] worthies. He intitles himself to all the
merits of his company, whether schools, hospitals, or exhibitions, in
which he is joint benefactor, though four hundred years ago, and
upbraids them far more than those that gave them: yet with all this
folly he has wit enough to get wealth, and in that a sufficienter man
than he that is wiser.


Is the servant he says of many mistresses, but all are but his lust, to
which only he is faithful, and none besides, and spends his best blood
and spirits in the service. His soul is the bawd to his body, and those
that assist him in this nature the nearest to it. No man abuses more the
name of love, or those whom he applies this name to; for his love is
like his stomach to feed on what he loves, and the end of it to surfeit
and loath, till a fresh appetite rekindle him; and it kindles on any
sooner than who deserve best of him. There is a great deal of malignity
in this vice, for it loves still to spoil the best things, and a virgin
sometimes rather than beauty, because the undoing here is greater, and
consequently his glory. No man laughs more at his sin than he, or is so
extremely tickled with the remembrance of it; and he is more violence to
a modest ear than to her he defloured. An unclean jest enters deep into
him, and whatsoever you speak he will draw to lust, and his wit is never
so good as here. His unchastest part is his tongue, for that commits
always what he must act seldomer; and that commits with all what he acts
with few; for he is his own worst reporter, and men believe as bad of
him, and yet do not believe him. Nothing harder to his persuasion than a
chaste man; and makes a scoffing miracle at it, if you tell him of a
maid. And from this mistrust it is that such men fear marriage, or at
least marry such as are of bodies to be trusted, to whom only they sell
that lust which they buy of others, and make their wife a revenue to
their mistress. They are men not easily reformed, because they are so
little ill-persuaded of their illness, and have such pleas from man and
nature. Besides it is a jeering and flouting vice, and apt to put jests
on the reprover. Their disease only converts them, and that only when it
kills them.


Is a man too quick for himself; one whose actions put a leg still before
his judgement, and out-run it. Every hot fancy or passion is the signal
that sets him forward, and his reason comes still in the rear. One that
has brain enough, but not patience to digest a business, and stay the
leisure of a second thought. All deliberation is to him a kind of sloth
and freezing of action, and it shall burn him rather than take cold. He
is always resolved at first thinking, and the ground he goes upon is,
_hap what may_. Thus he enters not, but throws himself violently upon
all things, and for the most part is as violently upon all off again;
and as an obstinate _"I will"_ was the preface to his undertaking, so
his conclusion is commonly _"I would I had not;"_ for such men seldom do
anything that they are not forced to take in pieces again, and are so
much farther off from doing it, as they have done already. His friends
are with him as his physician, sought to only in his sickness and
extremity, and to help him out of that mire he has plunged himself into;
for in the suddenness of his passions he would hear nothing, and now his
ill success has allayed him he hears too late. He is a man still swayed
with the first reports, and no man more in the power of a pick-thank
than he. He is one will fight first, and then expostulate, condemn
first, and then examine. He loses his friend in a fit of quarrelling,
and in a fit of kindness undoes himself; and then curses the occasion
drew this mischief upon him, and cries God mercy for it, and curses
again. His repentance is merely a rage against himself, and he does
something in itself to be repented again. He is a man whom fortune must
go against much to make him happy, for had he been suffered his own way,
he had been undone.


Is an extraordinary man in ordinary things. One that would go a strain
beyond himself, and is taken in it. A man that overdoes all things with
great solemnity of circumstance; and whereas with more negligence he
might pass better, makes himself with a great deal of endeavour
ridiculous. The fancy of some odd quaintnesses have put him clean beside
his nature; he cannot be that he would, and hath lost what he was. He is
one must be point-blank in every trifle, as if his credit and opinion
hung upon it; the very space of his arms in an embrace studied before
and premeditated, and the figure of his countenance of a fortnight's
contriving; he will not curse you without-book and extempore, but in
some choice way, and perhaps as some great man curses. Every action of
his cries,--"_Do ye mark me?_" and men do mark him how absurd he is: for
affectation is the most betraying humour, and nothing that puzzles a man
less to find out than this. All the actions of his life are like so many
things bodged in without any natural cadence or connection at all. You
shall track him all through like a school-boy's theme, one piece from
one author and this from another, and join all in this general, that
they are none of his own. You shall observe his mouth not made for that
tone, nor his face for that simper; and it is his luck that his finest
things most misbecome him. If he affect the gentleman as the humour most
commonly lies that way, not the least punctilio of a fine man, but he is
strict in to a hair, even to their very negligences, which he cons as
rules. He will not carry a knife with him to wound reputation, and pay
double a reckoning, rather than ignobly question it: and he is full of
this--ignobly--and nobly--and genteely; and this mere fear to trespass
against the genteel way puts him out most of all. It is a humour runs
through many things besides, but is an ill-favoured ostentation in all,
and thrives not:--and the best use of such men is, they are good parts
in a play.


Is one that denies God as far as the law gives him leave; that is, only
does not say so in downright terms, for so far he may go. A man that
does the greatest sins calmly, and as the ordinary actions of life, and
as calmly discourses of it again. He will tell you his business is to
break such a commandment, and the breaking of the commandment shall
tempt him to it. His words are but so many vomitings cast up to the
loathsomeness of the hearers, only those of his company[91] loath it
not. He will take upon him with oaths to pelt some tenderer man out of
his company, and makes good sport at his conquest over the puritan fool.
The Scripture supplies him for jests, and he reads it on purpose to be
thus merry: he will prove you his sin out of the Bible, and then ask if
you will not take that authority. He never sees the church but of
purpose to sleep in it, or when some silly man preaches, with whom he
means to make sport, and is most jocund in the church. One that
nick-names clergymen with all the terms of reproach, as "_rat,
black-coat_" and the like; which he will be sure to keep up, and never
calls them by other: that sings psalms when he is drunk, and cries "_God
mercy_" in mockery, for he must do it. He is one seems to dare God in
all his actions, but indeed would out-dare the opinion of Him, which
would else turn him desperate; for atheism is the refuge of such
sinners, whose repentance would be only to hang themselves.


Is the man that is commonly most fierce against the coward, and
labouring to take off this suspicion from himself; for the opinion of
valour is a good protection to those that dare not use it. No man is
valianter than he is in civil company, and where he thinks no danger may
come on it, and is the readiest man to fall upon a drawer and those that
must not strike again: wonderful exceptious and cholerick where he sees
men are loth to give him occasion, and you cannot pacify him better than
by quarrelling with him. The hotter you grow, the more temperate man is
he; he protests he always honoured you, and the more you rail upon him,
the more he honours you, and you threaten him at last into a very honest
quiet man. The sight of a sword wounds him more sensibly than the
stroke, for before that come he is dead already. Every man is his master
that dare beat him, and every man dares that knows him. And he that dare
do this is the only man can do much with him; for his friend he cares
not for, as a man that carries no such terror as his enemy, which for
this cause only is more potent with him of the two: and men fall out
with him of purpose to get courtesies from him, and be bribed again to a
reconcilement. A man in whom no secret can be bound up, for the
apprehension of each danger loosens him, and makes him bewray both the
room and it. He is a Christian merely for fear of hell-fire; and if any
religion could fright him more, would be of that.


Is a beggar of a fair estate, of whose wealth we may say as of other
men's unthriftiness, that it has brought him to this: when he had
nothing he lived in another kind of fashion. He is a man whom men hate
in his own behalf for using himself thus, and yet, being upon himself,
it is but justice, for he deserves it. Every accession of a fresh heap
bates him so much of his allowance, and brings him a degree nearer
starving. His body had been long since desperate, but for the reparation
of other men's tables, where he hoards meats in his belly for a month,
to maintain him in hunger so long. His clothes were never young in our
memory; you might make long epochas from them, and put them into the
almanack with the dear year[92] and the great frost,[93] and he is known
by them longer than his face. He is one never gave alms in his life, and
yet is as charitable to his neighbour as himself. He will redeem a penny
with his reputation, and lose all his friends to boot; and his reason
is, he will not be undone. He never pays anything but with strictness of
law, for fear of which only he steals not. He loves to pay short a
shilling or two in a great sum, and is glad to gain that when he can no
more. He never sees friend but in a journey to save the charges of an
inn, and then only is not sick; and his friends never see him but to
abuse him. He is a fellow indeed of a kind of frantic thrift, and one of
the strangest things that wealth can work.


Is so much heraldry without honour, himself less real than his title.
His virtue is, that he was his father's son, and all the expectation of
him to beget another. A man that lives merely to preserve another's
memory, and let us know who died so many years ago. One of just as much
use as his images, only he differs in this, that he can speak himself,
and save the fellow of Westminster[94] a labour: and he remembers
nothing better than what was out of his life. His grandfathers and their
acts are his discourse, and he tells them with more glory than they did
them; and it is well they did enough, or else he had wanted matter. His
other studies are his sports and those vices that are fit for great men.
Every vanity of his has his officer, and is a serious employment for his
servants. He talks loud, and uncleanly, and scurvily as a part of state,
and they hear him with reverence. All good qualities are below him, and
especially learning, except some parcels of the chronicle and the
writing of his name, which he learns to write not to be read. He is
merely of his servants' faction, and their instrument for their friends
and enemies, and is always least thanked for his own courtesies. They
that fool him most do most with him, and he little thinks how many laugh
at him bare-head. No man is kept in ignorance more of himself and men,
for he hears naught but flattery; and what is fit to be spoken, truth,
with so much preface that it loses itself. Thus he lives till his tomb
be made ready, and is then a grave statue to posterity.


Is the most impotent man, though neither blind nor lame, as wanting the
more necessary limbs of life, without which limbs are a burden. A man
unfenced and unsheltered from the gusts of the world, which blow all in
upon him, like an unroofed house; and the bitterest thing he suffers is
his neighbours. All men put on to him a kind of churlisher fashion, and
even more plausible natures are churlish to him, as who are nothing
advantaged by his opinion. Men fall out with him before-hand to prevent
friendship, and his friends too to prevent engagements, or if they own
him 'tis in private and a by-room, and on condition not to know them
before company. All vice put together is not half so scandalous, nor
sets off our acquaintance farther; and even those that are not friends
for ends do not love any dearness with such men. The least courtesies
are upbraided to him, and himself thanked for none, but his best
services suspected as handsome sharking and tricks to get money. And we
shall observe it in knaves themselves, that your beggarliest knaves are
the greatest, or thought so at least, for those that have wit to thrive
by it have art not to seem so. Now a poor man has not vizard enough to
mask his vices, nor ornament enough to set forth his virtues, but both
are naked and unhandsome; and though no man is necessitated to more ill,
yet no man's ill is less excused, but it is thought a kind of impudence
in him to be vicious, and a presumption above his fortune. His good
parts lie dead upon his hands, for want of matter to employ them, and at
the best are not commended but pitied, as virtues ill placed, and we may
say of him, "Tis an honest man, but tis pity;" and yet those that call
him so will trust a knave before him. He is a man that has the truest
speculation of the world, because all men shew to him in their plainest
and worst, as a man they have no plot on, by appearing good to; whereas
rich men are entertained with a more holiday behaviour, and see only the
best we can dissemble. He is the only he that tries the true strength of
wisdom, what it can do of itself without the help of fortune; that with
a great deal of virtue conquers extremities; and with a great deal more;
his own impatience, and obtains of himself not to hate men.


Is one whom it concerns to be called honest, for if he were not this, he
were nothing: and yet he is not this neither, but a good dull vicious
fellow, that complies well with the debauchments of the time, and is fit
for it. One that has no good part in him to offend his company, or make
him to be suspected a proud fellow; but is sociably a dunce, and
sociably a drinker. That does it fair and above-board without legermain,
and neither sharks for a cup or a reckoning: that is kind over his beer,
and protests he loves you, and begins to you again, and loves you again.
One that quarrels with no man, but for not pledging him, but takes all
absurdities and commits as many, and is no tell-tale next morning,
though he remember it. One that will fight for his friend if he hear him
abused, and his friend commonly is he that is most likely, and he lifts
up many a jug in his defence. He rails against none but censurers,
against whom he thinks he rails lawfully, and censurers are all those
that are better than himself. These good properties qualify him for
honesty enough, and raise him high in the ale-house commendation, who,
if he had any other good quality, would be named by that. But now for
refuge he is an honest man, and hereafter a sot: only those that commend
him think him not so, and those that commend him are honest fellows.


Is one that watches himself a mischief, and keeps a lear eye still, for
fear it should escape him. A man that sees a great deal more in every
thing than is to be seen, and yet he thinks he sees nothing: his own eye
stands in his light. He is a fellow commonly guilty of some weaknesses,
which he might conceal if he were careless:--now his over-diligence to
hide them makes men pry the more. Howsoever he imagines you have found
him, and it shall go hard but you must abuse him whether you will or no.
Not a word can be spoke but nips him somewhere; not a jest thrown out
but he will make it hit him. You shall have him go fretting out of
company, with some twenty quarrels to every man, stung and galled, and
no man knows less the occasion than they that have given it. To laugh
before him is a dangerous matter, for it cannot be at any thing but at
him, and to whisper in his company plain conspiracy. He bids you speak
out, and he will answer you, when you thought not of him. He
expostulates with you in passion, why you should abuse him, and explains
to your ignorance wherein, and gives you very good reason at last to
laugh at him hereafter. He is one still accusing others when they are
not guilty, and defending himself when he is not accused: and no man is
undone more with apologies, wherein he is so elaborately excessive, that
none will believe him; and he is never thought worse of, than when he
has given satisfaction. Such men can never have friends, because they
cannot trust so far; and this humour hath this infection with it, it
makes all men to them suspicious. In conclusion, they are men always in
offence and vexation with themselves and their neighbours, wronging
others in thinking they would wrong them, and themselves most of all in
thinking they deserve it.


_Published in 1615 "Characters upon Essays, Moral and Divine" and in
1616 a set of Characters called "The Good and the Bad." He was of a good
Essex family, second son of William Breton of Redcross Street, in the
parish of St. Giles without Cripplegate. His father was well-to-do, and
died in January 1559 (new style) when Nicholas was a boy. His mother
took for second husband George Gascoigne the poet. Only a chance note in
a diary informs us that Nicholas Breton was once of Oriel College,
Oxford. In 1577, when his stepfather Gascoigne died, Breton was living
in London, and he then published the first of his many books. He married
Ann Sutton in the church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, on the 14th of
January 1593 (new style), had a son Henry, born in 1603, a son Edward in
1606, and a daughter Matilda in 1607, who died in her nineteenth year.
He was from 1577 onward an active writer both of prose and verse, and a
poet of real mark in the days of Elizabeth and James the First, though
it was left to Dr. A. B. Grosart to be, in 1875-79, the first editor of
his collected works in an edition limited to a hundred copies. The date
of Breton's last publication, "Fantastics," is 1626, but of the time of
his death there is no record, Nicholas Breton's "Characters upon
Essaies" published in 1615, were entitled in full "Characters upon
Essaies Morall and Divine, written for those good spirits that will take
them 'in good part, and make use of them to good purpose." In
recognition of the kinship between Bacon's Essays and Character
writings, they were dedicated_

    To the Honourable, and my much worthy honoured,
truly learned, and Judicious Knight, SIR FRANCIS BACON,
        his Maties. Attorney General,
    _Increase of honour, health, and eternal happiness_.

Worthy knight, I have read of many essays and a kind of charactering of
them, by such, as when I looked unto the form or nature of their writing
I have been of the conceit that they were but imitators of your breaking
the ice to their inventions, which, how short they fall of your worth, I
had rather think than speak, though truth need not blush at her blame.
Now, for myself, unworthy to touch near the rock of those diamonds, or
to speak in their praise, who so far exceed the power of my capacity,
vouchsafe me leave yet, I beseech you, among those apes that would
counterfeit the actions of men, to play the like part with learning, and
as a monkey that would make a face like a man and cannot, so to write
like a scholar and am not; and thus not daring to adventure the print
under your patronage, without your favourable allowance in the devoted
service of my bounden duty, I leave these poor travails of my spirit to
the perusing of your pleasing leisure, with the further fruits of my
humble affection, to the happy employment of your honourable
pleasure.--At your service in all humbleness,


_Breton prefixed also this address_--


Read what you list, and understand what you can. Characters are not
every man's construction, though they be writ in our mother tongue; and
what I have written, being of no other nature, if they fit not your
humour they may please a better. I make no comparison, because I know
you not, but if you will vouchsafe to look into them, it may be you may
find something in them; their natures are diverse, as you may see, if
your eyes be open, and if you can make use of them to good purpose, your
wits may prove the better. In brief, fearing the fool will be put upon
me for being too busy with matters too far above my understanding, I
will leave my imperfection to pardon or correction, and my labour to
their liking that will not think ill of a well-meaning, and so
rest,--Your well-willing friend,






Wisdom is a working grace in the souls of the elect, by whom the spirit
is made capable of those secrets that neither nature nor reason is able
to comprehend; who, by a powerful virtue she hath from the Divine
Essence, worketh in all things according to the will of the Almighty,
and, being before beginning, shall exceed time in an eternal proceeding.
She is a light in the intellectual part, by which reason is led to
direct the senses in their due course, and nature is preserved from
subjecting herself to imperfection. In the Creation she was of counsel
with the Trinity in the pleasing of the Deity; in the Redemption the
inventor of mercy for the preservation of the elect; and in the
Glorification the treasurer of life for the reward of the faithful, who,
having committed to her care the carriage of the whole motion, finding
the disposition of earth in all the children of her womb, by such a
measure as she finds fitting their quality, she gives them either the
grace of nature or the glory of reason. While being the mother of the
graces, she gives them that holy instruction that, in the knowledge of
the highest love, through the paths of virtue, makes a passage to
heaven. Learning hath from her that knowledge without the which all
knowledge is mere ignorance, while only in the grace of truth is seen
the glory of understanding. Knowledge hath from her that learning
whereby she is taught the direction of her love in the way of life.
Understanding hath from her that knowledge that keeps conceit always in
the spirit's comfort; and judgment from understanding, that rule of
justice that by the even weight of impartiality shows the hand of Heaven
in the heart of humanity. In the heavens she keeps the angels in their
orders, teacheth them the natures of their offices, and employs them in
the service of their Creator. In the firmament she walks among the
stars, sets and keeps them in their places, courses, and operations, at
her pleasure. She eclipseth the light, and in a moment leaves not a
cloud in the sky. In her thunders and lightnings she shows the terror of
the Highest wrath, and in her temperate calms, the patience of His
mercy. In her frosty winters she shows the weakness of nature, and in
her sunny springs the recovery of her health. In the lovers of this
world lives no part of her pureness, but with her beloved she makes a
heaven upon earth. In the king she shows grace, in his council her care,
and in his state her strength. In the soldier she shows virtue the
truest valour; in the lawyer, truth the honour of his plea; in the
merchant, conscience the wealth of his soul; and in the churchman,
charity the true fruit of his devotion. She lives in the world but not
the world's love, for the world's unworthiness is not capable of her
worth. She receiveth Mammon as a gift from his Maker, and makes him
serve her use to His glory. She gives honour, grace in bounty, and
manageth wit by the care of discretion. She shows the necessity of
difference, and wherein is the happiness of unity. She puts her labour
to providence, her hope to patience, her life to her love, and her love
to her Lord; with whom, as chief secretary of His secrets, she writes
His will to the world, and as high steward of His courts she keeps
account of all His tenants. In sum, so great is her grace in the heavens
as gives her glory above the earth, and so infinite are her excellencies
in all the course of her action; and so glorious are the notes of her
incomprehensible nature, that I will thus only conclude, far short of
her commendation:--She is God's love, and His angels' light, His
servants' grace, and His beloved's glory.


Learning is the life of reason and the light of nature, where time,
order, and measure square out the true course of knowledge; where
discretion in the temper of passion brings experience to the best fruit
of affection; while both the Theory and Practice labour in the life of
judgment, till the perfection of art show the honour of understanding.
She is the key of knowledge that unlocketh the cabinet of conceit,
wherein are laid up the labours of virtue for the use of the scholars of
wisdom; where every gracious spirit may find matter enough worthy of the
record of the best memory. She is the nurse of nature, with that milk of
reason that would make a child of grace never lie from the dug. She is
the schoolmistress of wit and the gentle governor of will, when the
delight of understanding gives the comfort of study. She is unpleasing
to none that knows her, and unprofitable to none that loves her. She
fears not to wet her feet, to wade through the waters of comfort, but
comes not near the seas of iniquity, where folly drowns affection in the
delight of vanity. She opens her treasures to the travellers in virtue,
but keeps them close from the eyes of idleness. She makes the king
gracious and his council judicious, his clergy devout and his kingdom
prosperous. She gives honour to virtue, grace to honour, reward to
labour, and love to truth. She is the messenger of wisdom to the minds
of the virtuous, and the way to honour in the spirits of the gracious.
She is the storehouse of understanding, where the affection of grace
cannot want instruction of goodness, while, in the rules of her
directions, reason is never out of square. She is the exercise of wit in
the application of knowledge, and the preserver of the understanding in
the practice of memory. In brief, she makes age honourable and youth
admirable, the virtuous wise and the wise gracious. Her libraries are
infinite, her lessons without number, her instruction without
comparison, and her scholars without equality. In brief, finding it a
labyrinth to go through the grounds of her praise, let this suffice,
that in all ages she hath been and ever will be the darling of wisdom,
the delight of wit, the study of virtue, and the stay of knowledge.


Knowledge is a collection of understanding gathered in the grounds of
learning by the instruction of wisdom. She is the exercise of memory in
the actions of the mind, and the employer of the senses in the will of
the spirit: she is the notary of time and the trier of truth, and the
labour of the spirit in the love of virtue: she is the pleasure of wit
and the paradise of reason, where conceit gathereth the sweet of
understanding. She is the king's counsellor and the council's grace,
youth's guard and age's glory. It is free from doubts and fears no
danger, while the care of Providence cuts off the cause of repentance.
She is the enemy of idleness and the maintainer of labour in the care of
credit and pleasure of profit: she needs no advice in the resolution of
action, while experience in observation finds perfection infallible. It
clears errors and cannot be deceived, corrects impurity and will not be
corrupted. She hath a wide ear and a close mouth, a pure eye and a
perfect heart. It is begotten by grace, bred by virtue, brought up by
learning, and maintained by love. She converseth with the best
capacities and communicates with the soundest judgments, dwells with the
divinest natures and loves the most patient dispositions. Her hope is a
kind of assurance, her faith a continual expectation, her love an
apprehension of joy, and her life the light of eternity. Her labours are
infinite, her ways are unsearchable, her graces incomparable, and her
excellencies inexplicable; and therefore, being so little acquainted
with her worth as makes me blush at my unworthiness to speak in the
least of her praise, I will only leave her advancement to virtue, her
honour to wisdom, her grace to truth, and to eternity her glory.


Practice is the motion of the spirit, where the senses are all set to
work in their natures, where, in the fittest employment of time, reason
maketh the best use of understanding. She is the continuance of
knowledge in the ease of memory, and the honour of resolution in the
effect of judgment. She plants the spring and reaps the harvest, makes
labour sweet and patience comfortable. She hath a foot on the earth but
an eye at heaven, where the prayer of faith finds the felicity of the
soul. In the fruit of charity she shows the nature of devotion, and in
the mercy of justice the glory of government. She gives time honour in
the fruit of action, and reason grace in the application of knowledge.
She takes the height of the sun, walks about the world, sounds the depth
of the sea, and makes her passage through the waters. She is ready for
all occasions, attendeth all persons, works with all instruments, and
finisheth all actions. She takes invention for her teacher, makes time
her servant, method her direction, and place her habitation. She hath a
wakeful eye and a working brain, which fits the members of the body to
the service of the spirit. She is the physician's agent and the
apothecary's benefactor, the chirurgeon's wealth and the patient's
patience. She brings time to labour and care to contentment, learning to
knowledge and virtue to honour: in idleness she hath no pleasure, nor
acquaintance with ignorance, but in industry is her delight and in
understanding her grace. She hath a passage through all the
predicaments, she hath a hand in all the arts, a property in all
professions, and a quality in all conditions. In brief, so many are the
varieties of the manners of her proceedings as makes me fearful to
follow her too far in observation, lest being never able to come near
the height of her commendation, I be enforced as I am to leave her
wholly to admiration.


Patience is a kind of heavenly tenure, whereby the soul is held in
possession, and a sweet temper in the spirit, which restraineth nature
from exceeding reason in passion. Her hand keeps time in his right
course, and her eye passeth into the depth of understanding. She
attendeth wisdom in all her works, and proportioneth time to the
necessity of matter. She is the poison of sorrow in the hope of comfort,
and the paradise of conceit in the joy of peace. Her tongue speaks
seldom but to purpose, and her foot goeth slowly but surely. She is the
imitator of the Incomprehensible in His passage to perfection, and a
servant of His will in the map of His workmanship: in confusion she hath
no operation, while she only aireth her conceit with the consideration
of experience. She travels far and is never weary, and gives over no
work but to better a beginning. She makes the king merciful and the
subject loyal, honour gracious and wisdom glorious. She pacifieth wrath
and puts off revenge, and in the humility of charity shows the nature of
grace. She is beloved of the highest and embraced of the wisest,
honoured with the worthiest and graced with the best. She makes
imprisonment liberty when the mind goeth through the world, and in
sickness finds health where death is the way to life. She is an enemy to
passion, and knows no purgatory; thinks fortune a fiction, and builds
only upon providence. She is the sick man's salve and the whole man's
preserver, the wise man's staff and the good man's guide. In sum, not to
wade too far in her worthiness, lest I be drowned in the depth of
wonder, I will thus end in her endless honour:--She is the grace of
Christ and the virtue of Christianity, the praise of goodness and the
preserver of the world.


Love is the life of Nature and the joy of reason in the spirit of grace;
where virtue drawing affection, the concord of sense makes an union
inseparable in the divine apprehension of the joy of election. It is a
ravishment of the soul in the delight of the spirit, which, being
carried above itself into inexplicable comfort, feels that heavenly
sickness that is better than the world's health, when the wisest of men
in the swounding delight of his sacred inspiration could thus utter the
sweetness of his passion, "My soul is sick of love." It is a healthful
sickness in the soul, a pleasing passion in the heart, a contentive
labour in the mind, and a peaceful trouble of the senses. It alters
natures in contrarieties, when difficulty is made easy; pain made a
pleasure; poverty, riches; and imprisonment, liberty; for the content of
conceit, which regards not to be an abject, in being subject but to an
object. It rejoiceth in truth, and knows no inconstancy: it is free from
jealousy, and feareth no fortune: it breaks the rule of arithmetic by
confounding of number, where the conjunction of thoughts makes one mind
in two bodies, where neither figure nor cipher can make division of
union. It sympathises with life, and participates with light, when the
eye of the mind sees the joy of the heart. It is a predominant power
which endures no equality, and yet communicates with reason in the rules
of concord: it breeds safety in a king and peace in a kingdom, nation's
unity, and Nature's gladness. It sings in labour, in the joy of hope;
and makes a paradise in reward of desert. It pleads but mercy in the
justice of the Almighty, and but mutual amity in the nature of humanity.
In sum, having no eagle's eye to look upon the sun, and fearing to look
too high, for fear of a chip in mine eye, I will in these few words
speak in praise of this peerless virtue:--Love is the grace of Nature
and the glory of reason, the blessing of God and the comfort of
the world.


Peace is a calm in conceit, where the senses take pleasure in the rest
of the spirit. It is Nature's holiday after reason's labour, and
wisdom's music in the concords of the mind. It is a blessing of grace, a
bounty of mercy, a proof of love, and a preserver of life. It holds no
arguments, knows no quarrels, is an enemy to sedition, and a continuance
of amity. It is the root of plenty, the tree of pleasure, the fruit of
love, and the sweetness of life. It is like the still night, where all
things are at rest, and the quiet sleep, where dreams are not
troublesome; or the resolved point, in the perfection of knowledge,
where no cares nor doubts make controversies in opinion. It needs no
watch where is no fear of enemy, nor solicitor of causes where
agreements are concluded. It is the intent of law and the fruit of
justice, the end of war and the beginning of wealth. It is a grace in a
court, and a glory in a kingdom, a blessing in a family, and a happiness
in a commonwealth. It fills the rich man's coffers, and feeds the poor
man's labour. It is the wise man's study, and the good man's joy: who
love it are gracious, who make it are blessed, who keep it are happy,
and who break it are miserable. It hath no dwelling with idolatry, nor
friendship with falsehood; for her life is in truth, and in her all is
Amen. But lest in the justice of peace I may rather be reproved for my
ignorance of her work than thought worthy to speak in her praise, with
this only conclusion in the commendation of peace I will draw to an end
and hold my peace:--It was a message of joy at the birth of Christ, a
song of joy at the embracement of Christ, an assurance of joy at the
death of Christ, and shall be the fulness of joy at the coming
of Christ.


War is a scourge of the wrath of God, which by famine, fire, or sword
humbleth the spirits of the repentant, trieth the patience of the
faithful, and hardeneth the hearts of the ungodly. It is the misery of
time and the terror of Nature, the dispeopling of the earth and the ruin
of her beauty. Her life is action, her food blood, her honour valour,
and her joy conquest. She is valour's exercise and honour's adventure,
reason's trouble and peace's enemy: she is the stout man's love and the
weak man's fear, the poor man's toil and the rich man's plague: she is
the armourer's benefactor and the chirurgeon's agent, the coward's ague
and the desperate's overthrow. She is the wish of envy, the plague of
them that wish her, the shipwreck of life, and the agent for death. The
best of her is, that she is the seasoner of the body and the manager of
the mind for the enduring of labour in the resolution of action. She
thunders in the air, rips up the earth, cuts through the seas, and
consumes with the fire: she is indeed the invention of malice, the work
of mischief, the music of hell, and the dance of the devil. She makes
the end of youth untimely and of age wretched, the city's sack and the
country's beggary: she is the captain's pride and the captive's sorrow,
the throat of blood and the grave of flesh. She is the woe of the world,
the punishment of sin, the passage of danger, and the messenger of
destruction. She is the wise man's warning and the fool's payment, the
godly man's grief and the wicked man's game. In sum, so many are her
wounds, so mortal her cures, so dangerous her course, and so devilish
her devices, that I will wade no further in her rivers of blood, but
only thus conclude in her description:--She is God's curse and man's
misery, hell's practice and earth's hell.


Valour is a 'virtue in the spirit which keeps the flesh in subjection,
resolves without fear, and travails without fainting: she vows no
villainy nor breaks her fidelity: she is patient in captivity and
pitiful in conquest. Her gain is honour and desert her mean, fortune her
scorn and folly her hate; wisdom is her guide and conquest her grace,
clemency her praise and humility her glory: she is youth's ornament and
age's honour, nature's blessing and virtue's love. Her life is
resolution and her love victory, her triumph truth, and her fame virtue.
Her arms are from antiquity and her coat full of honour, where the title
of grace hath her heraldry from heaven. She makes a walk of war and a
sport of danger, an ease of labour and a jest of death: she makes famine
but abstinence, want but a patience, sickness but a purge, and death a
puff. She is the maintainer of war, the general of an army, the terror
of an enemy, and the glory of a camp. She is the nobleness of the mind
and the strength of the body, the life of hope and the death of fear.
With a handful of men she overthrows a multitude, and with a sudden
amazement she discomfits a camp. She is the revenge of wrong and the
defence of right, religion's champion and virtue's choice. In brief, let
this suffice in her commendation:--She strengthened David and conquered
Goliath, she overthrows her enemies and conquers herself.


Resolution is the honour of valour, in the quarrel of virtue, for the
defence of right and redress of wrong. She beats the march, pitcheth the
battle, plants the ordnance, and maintains the fight. Her ear is stopped
for dissuasions, her eye aims only at honour, her hand takes the sword
of valour, and her heart thinks of nothing but victory. She gives the
charge, makes the stand, assaults the fort, and enters the breach. She
breaks the pikes, faceth the shot, damps the soldier, and defeats the
army. She loseth no time, slips no occasion, dreads no danger, and cares
for no force. She is valour's life and virtue's love, justice's honour
and mercy's glory. She beats down castles, fires ships, wades through
the sea, and walks through the world. She makes wisdom her guide and
will her servant, reason her companion and honour her mistress. She is a
blessing in Nature and a beauty in reason, a grace in invention and a
glory in action. She studies no plots when her platform is set down, and
defers no time when her hour is prefixed. She stands upon no helps when
she knows her own force, and in the execution of her will she is a rock
irremovable. She is the king's will without contradiction, and the
judge's doom without exception, the scholar's profession without
alteration, and the soldier's honour without comparison. In sum, so many
are the grounds of her grace and the just causes of her commendation,
that, leaving her worth to the description of better wits, I will in
these few words conclude my conceit of her:--She is the stoutness of the
heart and the strength of the mind, a gift of God and the glory of
the world.


Honour is a title or grace given by the spirit of virtue to the desert
of valour in the defence of truth; it is wronged in baseness and abused
in unworthiness, and endangered in wantonness and lost in wickedness. It
nourisheth art and crowneth wit, graceth learning and glorifieth wisdom;
in the heraldry of heaven it hath the richest coat, being in nature
allied unto all the houses of grace, which in the heaven of heavens
attend the King of kings. Her escutcheon is a heart, in which in the
shield of faith she bears on the anchor of hope the helmet of salvation:
she quarters with wisdom in the resolution of valour, and in the line of
charity she is the house of justice. Her supporters are time and
patience, her mantle truth, and her crest Christ treading upon the globe
of the world, her impress _Corona mea Christus_. In brief, finding her
state so high that I am not able to climb unto the praise of her
perfection, I will leave her royalty to the register of most princely
spirits, and in my humble heart thus only deliver my opinion of
her:--She is virtue's due and grace's gift, valour's wealth and
reason's joy.


Truth is the glory of time and the daughter of eternity, a title of the
highest grace, and a note of a divine nature. She is the life of
religion, the light of love, the grace of wit, and the crown of wisdom:
she is the beauty of valour, the brightness of honour, the blessing of
reason, and the joy of faith. Her truth is pure gold, her time is right
precious, her word is most gracious, and her will is most glorious. Her
essence is in God and her dwelling with His servants, her will in His
wisdom and her work to His glory. She is honoured in love and graced in
constancy, in patience admired and in charity beloved. She is the
angel's worship, the virgin's fame, the saint's bliss, and the martyr's
crown: she is the king's greatness and his counsel's goodness, his
subject's peace and his kingdom's praise: she is the life of learning
and the light of law, the honour of trade and the grace of labour. She
hath a pure eye, a plain hand, a piercing wit, and a perfect heart. She
is wisdom's walk in the way of holiness, and takes up her rest but in
the resolution of goodness. Her tongue never trips, her heart never
faints, her hand never fails, and her faith never fears. Her church is
without schism, her city without fraud, her court without vanity, and
her kingdom without villainy. In sum, so infinite is her excellence in
the construction of all sense, that I will thus only conclude in the
wonder of her worth:--She is the nature of perfection in the perfection
of Nature, where God in Christ shows the glory of Christianity.


Time is a continual motion, which from the highest Mover hath his
operation in all the subjects of Nature, according to their quality or
disposition. He is in proportion like a circle, wherein he walketh with
an even passage to the point of his prefixed place. He attendeth none,
and yet is a servant to all; he is best employed by wisdom, and most
abused by folly. He carrieth both the sword and the sceptre, for the use
both of justice and mercy. He is present in all inventions, and cannot
be spared from action. He is the treasury of graces in the memory of the
wise, and brings them forth to the world upon necessity of their use. He
openeth the windows of heaven to give light unto the earth, and spreads
the cloak of the night to cover the rest of labour. He closeth the eye
of Nature and waketh the spirit of reason; he travelleth through the
mind, and is visible but to the eye of understanding. He is swifter than
the wind, and yet is still as a stone; precious in his right use, but
perilous in the contrary. He is soon found of the careful soul, and
quickly missed in the want of his comfort: he is soon lost in the lack
of employment, and not to be recovered without a world of endeavour. He
is the true man's peace and the thief's perdition, the good man's
blessing and the wicked man's curse. He is known to be, but his being
unknown, but only in his being in a being above knowledge. He is a
riddle not to be read but in the circumstance of description, his name
better known than his nature, and he that maketh best use of him hath
the best understanding of him. He is like the study of the philosopher's
stone, where a man may see wonders and yet short of his expectation. He
is at the invention of war, arms the soldier, maintains the quarrel, and
makes the peace. He is the courtier's playfellow and the soldier's
schoolmaster, the lawyer's gain and the merchant's hope. His life is
motion and his love action, his honour patience and his glory
perfection. He masketh modesty and blusheth virginity, honoureth
humility and graceth charity. In sum, finding it a world to walk through
the wonder of his worth, I will thus briefly deliver what I find truly
of him:--He is the agent of the living and the register of the dead, the
direction of God and a great work-master in the world.


Death is an ordinance of God for the subjecting of the world, which is
limited to his time for the correction of pride: in his substance he is
nothing, being but only ii deprivation, and in his true description a
name without a nature. He is seen but in a picture, heard but in a tale,
feared but in a passion, and felt but in a pinch. He is a terror but to
the wicked, and a scarecrow but to the foolish; but to the wise a way of
comfort, and to the godly the gate to life. He is the ease of pain and
the end of sorrow, the liberty of the imprisoned and the joy of the
faithful; it is both the wound of sin and the wages of sin, the sinner's
fear and the sinner's doom. He is the sexton's agent and the hangman's
revenue, the rich man's dirge and the mourner's merry-day. He is a
course of time but uncertain till he come, and welcome but to such as
are weary of their lives. It is a message from the physician when the
patient is past cure, and if the writ be well made, it is a
_supersedeas_ for all diseases. It is the heaven's stroke and the
earth's steward, the follower of sickness and the forerunner to hell In
sum, having no pleasure to ponder too much of the power of it, I will
thus conclude my opinion of it:--It is a sting of sin and the terror of
the wicked, the crown of the godly, the stair of vengeance, and a
stratagem of the devil.


Faith is the hand of the soul which layeth hold of the promises of
Christ in the mercy of the Almighty. She hath a bright eye and a holy
ear, a clear heart and sure foot: she is the strength of hope, the trust
of truth, the honour of amity, and the joy of love. She is rare among
the sons of men and hardly found among the daughters of women; but among
the sons of God she is a conveyance of their inheritance, and among the
daughters of grace she is the assurance of their portions. Her dwelling
is in the Church of God, her conversation with the saints of God, her
delight with the beloved of God, and her life is in the love of God. She
knows no falsehood, distrusts no truth, breaks no promise, and coins no
excuse; but as bright as the sun, as swift as the wind, as sure as the
rock, and as pure as the gold, she looks toward heaven but lives in the
world, in the souls of the elect to the glory of election. She was
wounded in Paradise by a dart of the devil, and healed of her hurt by
the death of Christ Jesus. She is the poor man's credit and the rich
man's praise, the wise man's care and the good man's cognisance. In sum,
finding her worth in words hardly to be expressed, I will in these few
words only deliver my opinion of her:--She is God's blessing and man's
bliss, reason's comfort and virtue's glory.


Fear is a fruit of sin, which drove the first father of our flesh from
the presence of God, and hath bred an imperfection in a number of the
worse part of his posterity. It is the disgrace of nature, the foil of
reason, the maim of wit, and the slur of understanding. It is the palsy
of the spirit where the soul wanteth faith, and the badge of a coward
that cannot abide the sight of a sword. It is weakness in nature and a
wound in patience, the death of hope and the entrance into despair. It
is children's awe and fools' amazement, a worm in conscience and a curse
to wickedness. In brief, it makes the coward stagger, the liar stammer,
the thief stumble, and the traitor start. It is a blot in arms, a blur
in honour, the shame of a soldier, and the defeat of an army.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Breton's next little prose book, published in the following year,
1616--year of the death of Shakespeare--was a set of Characters, "The
Good and the Bad," without suggestion that they were built upon the
lines of Bacon's Essays. Bacon's Essays first appeared as a set of ten
in 1597, became a set of forty in the revised edition of 1612, and of
fifty-eight in the edition of 1625, published a year before their
author's death. In their sententious brevity Bacon's Essays have, of
course, a style more nearly allied to the English Character Writing of
the Seventeenth Century than to the Sixteenth Century Essays of
Montaigne, which were altogether different in style, matter, and aim.
This, for example, was Bacon's first Essay in the 1597 edition:--_


Studies serve for pastimes, for ornaments, for abilities; their chief
use for pastimes is in privateness and retiring, for ornaments in
discourse, and for ability in judgment; for expert men can execute, but
learned men are more fit to judge and censure. To spend too much time in
them is sloth; to use them too much for ornament is affectation; to make
judgment wholly by their rules is the humour of a scholar; they perfect
nature, and are themselves perfected by experience; crafty men contemn
them, wise men use them, simple men admire them; for they teach not
their own use, but that there is a wisdom without them and above them
won by observation. Read not to contradict nor to believe, but to weigh
and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and
some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some are to be read only in
parts, others to be read but curiously, and some few to be read wholly
with diligence and attention. Reading maketh a full man, conference a
ready, and writing an exact man; therefore, if a man write little, he
had need of a great memory; if he confer little, he had need of a
present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning to
seem to know that he doth not know. Histories make men wise; poets
witty; the mathematics subtile; natural philosophy deep; moral grave;
logic and rhetoric able to contend.







A worthy king is a figure of God, in the nature of government. He is the
chief of men and the Church's champion, Nature's honour and earth's
majesty: is the director of law and the strength of the same, the sword
of justice and the sceptre of mercy, the glass of grace and the eye of
honour, the terror of treason and the life of loyalty. His command is
general and his power absolute, his frown a death and his favour a life:
his charge is his subjects, his care their safety, his pleasure their
peace, and his joy their love. He is not to be paralleled, because he is
without equality, and the prerogative of his crown must not be
contradicted. He is the Lord's anointed, and therefore must not be
touched, and the head of a public body, and therefore must be preserved.
He is a scourge of sin and a blessing of grace, God's vicegerent over
His people, and under Him supreme governor. His safety must be his
council's care, his health his subjects' prayer, his pleasure his peers'
comfort, and his content his kingdom's gladness. His presence must be
reverenced, his person attended, his court adorned, and his state
maintained. His bosom must not be searched, his will not disobeyed, his
wants not unsupplied, nor his place unregarded. In sum, he is more than
a man, though not a god, and next under God to be honoured above man.


An unworthy king is the usurper of power, where tyranny in authority
loseth the glory of majesty, while the fear of terror frighteneth love
from obedience; for when the lion plays with the wolf, the lamb dies
with the ewe. He is a messenger of wrath to be the scourge of sin, or
the trial of patience in the hearts of the religious. He is a warrant of
woe in the execution of his fury, and in his best temper a doubt of
grace. He is a dispeopler of his kingdom and a prey to his enemies, an
undelightful friend and a tormentor of himself. He knows no God, but
makes an idol of Nature, and useth reason but to the ruin of sense. His
care is but his will, his pleasure but his ease, his exercise but sin,
and his delight but inhuman. His heaven is his pleasure, and his gold is
his god. His presence is terrible, his countenance horrible, his words
uncomfortable, and his actions intolerable. In sum, he is the foil of a
crown, the disgrace of a court, the trouble of a council, and the plague
of a kingdom.


A worthy queen is the figure of a king who, under God in His grace, hath
a great power over His people. She is the chief of women, the beauty of
her court, and the grace of her sex in the royalty of her spirit. She is
like the moon, that giveth light among the stars, and, but unto the sun,
gives none place in her brightness. She is the pure diamond upon the
king's finger, and the orient pearl unprizeable in his eye, the joy of
the court in the comfort of the king, and the wealth of the kingdom in
the fruit of her love. She is reason's honour in nature's grace, and
wisdom's love in virtue's beauty. In sum, she is the handmaid of God,
and the king's second self, and in his grace, the beauty of a kingdom.


A worthy prince is the hope of a kingdom, the richest jewel in a king's
crown, and the fairest flower in the queen's garden. He is the joy of
nature in the hope of honour, and the love of wisdom in the life of
worthiness. In the secret carriage of his heart's intention, till his
designs come to action, he is a dumb show to the world's imagination. In
his wisdom he startles the spirits of expectation in his valour, he
subjects the hearts of ambition in his virtue, he wins the love of the
noblest, and in his bounty binds the service of the most sufficient. He
is the crystal glass, where nature may see her comfort, and the book of
reason, where virtue may read her honour. He is the morning star that
hath light from the sun, and the blessed fruit of the tree of earth's
paradise. He is the study of the wise in the state of honour, and is the
subject of learning, the history of admiration. In sum, he is the note
of wisdom, the aim of honour, and in the honour of virtue the hope of
a kingdom.


An unworthy prince is the fear of a kingdom. When will and power carry
pride in impatience, in the close carriage of ambitious intention, he is
like a fearful dream to a troubled spirit. In his passionate humours he
frighteneth the hearts of the prudent, in the delight of vanities he
loseth the love of the wise, and in the misery of avarice is served only
with the needy. He is like a little mist before the rising of the sun,
which, the more it grows, the less good it doth. He is the king's grief
and the queen's sorrow, the court's trouble and the kingdom's curse. In
sum, he is the seed of unhappiness, the fruit of ungodliness, the taste
of bitterness, and the digestion of heaviness.


A worthy privy councillor is the pillar of a realm, in whose wisdom and
care, under God and the king, stands the safety of a kingdom. He is the
watch-tower to give warning of the enemy, and a hand of provision for
the preservation of the state. He is an oracle in the king's ear, and a
sword in the king's hand; an even weight in the balance of justice, and
a light of grace in the love of truth. He is an eye of care in the
course of law, a heart of love in his service to his sovereign, a mind
of honour in the order of his service, and a brain of invention for the
good of the commonwealth. His place is powerful while his service is
faithful, and his honour due in the desert of his employment. In sum, he
is as a fixed planet among the stars of the firmament, which through the
clouds in the air shows the nature of his light.


An unworthy councillor is the hurt of a king and the danger of a state,
when the weakness of judgment may commit an error, or the lack of care
may give way to unhappiness. He is a wicked charm in the king's ear, a
sword of terror in the advice of tyranny. His power is perilous in the
partiality of will, and his heart full of hollowness in the protestation
of love. Hypocrisy is the cover of his counterfeit religion, and
traitorous invention is the agent of his ambition. He is the cloud of
darkness that threateneth foul weather; and if it grow to a storm, it is
fearful where it falls. He is an enemy to God in the hate of grace, and
worthy of death in disloyalty to his sovereign. In sum, he is an unfit
person for the place of a councillor and an unworthy subject to look a
king in the face.


A nobleman is a mark of honour, where the eye of wisdom in the
observation of desert sees the fruit of grace. He is the orient pearl
that reason polisheth for the beauty of nature, and the diamond spark
where divine grace gives virtue honour. He is the notebook of moral
discipline, where the conceit of care may find the true courtier. He is
the nurse of hospitality, the relief of necessity, the love of charity,
and the life of bounty. He is learning's grace and valour's fame,
wisdom's fruit and kindness' love. He is the true falcon that feeds on
no carrion, the true horse that will be no hackney, the true dolphin
that fears not the whale, and the true man of God that fears not the
devil. In sum, he is the darling of nature in reason's philosophy, the
loadstar of light in love's astronomy, the ravishing sweet in the music
of honour, and the golden number in grace's arithmetic.


An unnoble man is the grief of reason, when the title of honour is put
upon the subject of disgrace; when either the imperfection of wit or the
folly of will shows an unfitness in nature for the virtue of
advancement. He is the eye of baseness and spirit of grossness, and in
the demean of rudeness the scorn of nobleness. He is a suspicion of a
right generation in the nature of his disposition, and a miserable
plague to a feminine patience. Wisdom knows him not, learning bred him
not, virtue loves him not, and honour fits him not. Prodigality or
avarice are the notes of his inclination, and folly or mischief are the
fruits of his invention. In sum, he is the shame of his name, the
disgrace of his place, the blot of his title, and the ruin of his house.


A worthy bishop is an ambassador from God unto man, in the midst of war
to make a treaty of peace; who with a general pardon upon confession of
sin, upon the fruit of repentance gives assurance of comfort. He brings
tidings from heaven of happiness to the world, where the patience of
mercy calls nature to grace. He is the silver trumpet in the music of
love, where faith hath a life that never fails the beloved. He is the
director of life in the laws of God, and the chirurgeon of the soul in
lancing the sores of sin; the terror of the reprobate in pronouncing
their damnation, and the joy of the faithful in the assurance of their
salvation. In sum, he is in the nature of grace, worthy of honour; and
in the message of life, worthy of love; a continual agent betwixt God
and man, in the preaching of His Word and prayer for His people.


An unworthy bishop is the disgrace of learning, when the want of reading
or the abuse of understanding, in the speech of error may beget
idolatry. He is God's enemy, in the hurt of His people, and his own woe
in abuse of the Word of God. He is the shadow of a candle that gives no
light, or, if it be any, it is but to lead into darkness. The sheep are
unhappy that live in his fold, when they shall either starve or feed on
ill ground. He breeds a war in the wits of his audience when his life is
contrary to the nature of his instruction. He lives in a room where he
troubles a world, and in the shadow of a saint is little better than a
devil. He makes religion a cloak of sin, and with counterfeit humility
covereth incomparable pride. He robs the rich to relieve the poor, and
makes fools of the wise with the imagination of his worth. He is all for
the Church but nothing for God, and for the ease of nature loseth the
joy of reason. In sum, he is the picture of hypocrisy, the spirit of
heresy, a wound in the Church, and a woe in the world.


A judge is a doom, whose breath is mortal upon the breach of law, where
criminal offences must be cut off from a commonwealth. He is a sword of
justice in the hand of a king, and an eye of wisdom in the walk of a
kingdom. His study is a square for the keeping of proportion betwixt
command and obedience, that the king may keep his crown on his head, and
the subject his head on his shoulders. He is feared but of the foolish,
and cursed but of the wicked; but of the wise honoured, and of the
gracious beloved. He is a surveyor of rights and revenger of wrongs, and
in the judgment of truth the honour of justice. In sum, his word is law,
his power grace, his labour peace, and his desert honour.


An unworthy judge is the grief of justice in the error of judgment, when
through ignorance or will the death of innocency lies upon the breath of
opinion. He is the disgrace of law in the desert of knowledge, and the
plague of power in the misery of oppression. He is more moral than
divine in the nature of policy, and more judicious than just in the
carriage of his conceit. His charity is cold when partiality is
resolved; when the doom of life lies on the verdict of a jury, with a
stern look he frighteth an offender and gives little comfort to a poor
man's cause. The golden weight overweighs his grace, when angels play
the devils in the hearts of his people. In sum, where Christ is preached
he hath no place in His Church; and in this kingdom out of doubt God
will not suffer any such devil to bear sway.


A worthy knight is a spirit of proof in the advancement of virtue, by
the desert of honour, in the eye of majesty. In the field he gives
courage to his soldiers, in the court grace to his followers, in the
city reputation to his person, and in the country honour to his house.
His sword and his horse make his way to his house, and his armour of
best proof is an undaunted spirit. The music of his delight is the
trumpet and the drum, and the paradise of his eye is an army defeated;
the relief of the oppressed makes his conquest honourable, and the
pardon of the submissive makes him famous in mercy. He is in nature mild
and in spirit stout, in reason judicious, and in all honourable. In sum,
he is a yeoman's commander and a gentleman's superior, a nobleman's
companion and a prince's worthy favourite.


An unworthy knight is the defect of nature in the title of honour, when
to maintain valour his spurs have no rowels nor his sword a point. His
apparel is of proof, that may wear like his armour, or like an old
ensign that hath his honour in rags. It may be he is the tailor's
trouble in fitting an ill shape, or a mercer's wonder in wearing of
silk. In the court he stands for a cipher, and among ladies like an owl
among birds. He is worshipped only for his wealth, and if he be of the
first head, he shall be valued by his wit, when, if his pride go beyond
his purse, his title will be a trouble to him. In sum, he is the child
of folly and the man of Gotham, the blind man of pride and the fool of
imagination. But in the court of honour are no such apes, and I hope
that this kingdom will breed no such asses.


A worthy gentleman is a branch of the tree of honour, whose fruits are
the actions of virtue, as pleasing to the eye of judgment as tasteful to
the spirit of understanding. Whatsoever he doeth it is not forced,
except it be evil, which either through ignorance unwillingly, or
through compulsion unwillingly, he falls upon. He is in nature kind, in
demeanour courteous, in allegiance loyal, and in religion zealous; in
service faithful, and in reward bountiful. He is made of no baggage
stuff, nor for the wearing of base people; but it is woven by the spirit
of wisdom to adorn the court of honour. His apparel is more comely than
costly, and his diet more wholesome than excessive; his exercise more
healthful than painful, and his study more for knowledge than pride; his
love not wanton nor common, his gifts not niggardly nor prodigal, and
his carriage neither apish nor sullen. In sum, he is an approver of his
pedigree by the nobleness of his passage, and in the course of his life
an example to his posterity.


An unworthy gentleman is the scoff of wit and the scorn of honour, where
more wealth than wit is worshipped of simplicity; who spends more in
idleness than would maintain thrift, or hides more in misery than might
purchase honour; whose delights are vanities and whose pleasures
fopperies, whose studies fables and whose exercise worse than follies.
His conversation is base, and his conference ridiculous; his affections
ungracious, and his actions ignominious; his apparel out of fashion, and
his diet out of order; his carriage out of square, and his company out
of request. In sum, he is like a mongrel dog with a velvet collar, a
cart-horse with a golden saddle, a buzzard kite with a falcon's bells,
or a baboon with a pied jerkin.


A worthy lawyer is the student of knowledge how to bring controversies
into a conclusion of peace, and out of ignorance to gain understanding.
He divides time into uses, and cases into constructions. He lays open
obscurities, and is praised for the speech of truth; and in the court of
conscience pleads much _in forma pauperis_, for small fees. He is a mean
for the preservation of titles and the holding of possessions, and a
great instrument of peace in the judgment of impartiality. He is the
client's hope in his case's pleading, and his heart's comfort in a happy
issue. He is the finder out of tricks in the craft of ill conscience,
and the joy of the distressed in the relief of justice. In sum, he is a
maker of peace among spirits of contention, and a continuer of quiet in
the execution of the law.


An unlearned and unworthily called a lawyer, is the figure of a
foot-post, who carries letters but knows not what is in them, only can
read the superscriptions to direct them to their right owners. So
trudgeth this simple clerk, that can scarce read a case when it is
written, with his handful of papers from one court to another, and from
one counsellor's chamber to another, when by his good payment for his
pains he will be so saucy as to call himself a solicitor. But what a
taking are poor clients in when this too much trusted cunning companion,
better read in Piers Plowman than in Plowden, and in the play of
"Richard the Third" than in the pleas of Edward the Fourth, persuades
them all is sure when he is sure of all! and in what a misery are the
poor men when upon a _Nihil dicit_, because indeed this poor fellow
_Nihil potest dicere_, they are in danger of an execution before they
know wherefore they are condemned. But I wish all such more wicked than
witty unlearned in the law and abusers of the same, to look a little
better into their consciences, and to leave their crafty courses, lest
when the law indeed lays them open, instead of carrying papers in their
hands, they wear not papers on their heads; and instead of giving ear to
their client's causes or rather eyes into their purses, they have never
an ear left to hear withal, nor good eye to see withal, or at least
honest face to look out withal; but as the grasshoppers of Egypt, be
counted the caterpillars of England, and not the fox that stole the
goose, but the great fox that stole the farm from the gander.


A worthy soldier is the child of valour, who was born for the service of
necessity, and to bear the ensign of honour in the actions of worth. He
is the dyer of the earth with blood, and the ruin of the erections of
pride. He is the watch of wit, the advantage of time, and the
executioner of wrath upon the wilful offender. He disputes questions
with the point of a sword, and prefers death to indignities. He is a
lion to ambition, and a lamb to submission; he hath hope fast by the
hand, and treads upon the head of fear. He is the king's champion, and
the kingdom's guard; peace's preserver, and rebellion's terror. He makes
the horse trample at the sound of a trumpet, and leads on to a battle as
if he were going to a breakfast. He knows not the nature of cowardice,
for his rest is set up upon resolution; his strongest fortification is
his mind, which beats off the assaults of idle humours, and his life is
the passage of danger, where an undaunted spirit stoops to no fortune.
With his arms he wins his arms, and by his desert in the field his
honour in the court. In sum, in the truest manhood he is the true man,
and in the creation of honour a most worthy creature.


An untrained soldier is like a young hound, that when he first falls to
hunt, he knows not how to lay his nose to the earth; who, having his
name but in a book, and marched twice about a market-place, when he
comes to a piece of service knows not how to bestow himself. He marches
as if he were at plough, carries his pike like a pike-staff, and his
sword before him for fear of losing from his side. If he be a shot, he
will be rather ready to say a grace over his piece, and so to discharge
his hands of it, than to learn how to discharge it with a grace. He puts
on his armour over his ears, like a waistcoat, and wears his morion like
a nightcap. When he is quartered in the field, he looks for his bed, and
when he sees his provant, he is ready to cry for his victuals; and ere
he know well where he is, wish heartily he were at home again, with his
head hanging down as if his heart were in his hose. He will sleep till a
drum or a deadly bullet awake him; and so carry himself in all companies
that, till martial discipline have seasoned his understanding, he is
like a cipher among figures, an owl among birds, a wise man among fools,
and a shadow among men.


A worthy physician is the enemy of sickness, in purging nature from
corruption. His action is most in feeling of pulses, and his discourses
chiefly of the natures of diseases. He is a great searcher out of
simples, and accordingly makes his composition. He persuades abstinence
and patience for the benefit of health, while purging and bleeding are
the chief courses of his counsel. The apothecary and the chirurgeon are
his two chief attendants, with whom conferring upon time, he grows
temperate in his cures. Surfeits and wantonness are great agents for his
employment, when by the secret of his skill out of others' weakness he
gathers his own strength. In sum, he is a necessary member for an
unnecessary malady, to find a disease and to cure the diseased.


An unlearned and so unworthy physician is a kind of horse-leech, whose
cure is most in drawing of blood, and a desperate purge, either to cure
or kill, as it hits. His discourse is most of the cures that he hath
done, and them afar of; and not a receipt under a hundred pounds, though
it be not worth three halfpence. Upon the market-day he is much haunted
with urinals, where if he find anything (though he know nothing), yet he
will say somewhat, which if it hit to some purpose, with a few fustian
words he will seem a piece of strange stuff. He is never without old
merry tales and stale jests to make old folks laugh, and comfits or
plums in his pocket to please little children; yea, and he will be
talking of complexions, though he know nothing of their dispositions;
and if his medicine do a feat, he is a made man among fools; but being
wholly unlearned, and ofttimes unhonest, let me thus briefly describe
him:--He is a plain kind of mountebank and a true quack-salver, a danger
for the sick to deal withal, and a dizzard in the world to talk withal.


A worthy merchant is the heir of adventure, whose hopes hang much upon
wind. Upon a wooden horse he rides through the world, and in a merry
gale he makes a path through the seas. He is a discoverer of countries,
and a finder out of commodities, resolute in his attempts, and royal in
his expenses. He is the life of traffic and the maintainer of trade, the
sailor's master and the soldier's friend. He is the exercise of the
exchange, the honour of credit, the observation of time, and the
understanding of thrift. His study is number, his care his accounts, his
comfort his conscience, and his wealth his good name. He fears not
Scylla, and sails close by Charybdis, and having beaten out a storm,
rides at rest in a harbour. By his sea-gain he makes his land purchase,
and by the knowledge of trade finds the key of treasure. Out of his
travels he makes his discourses, and from his eye observations brings
the models of architectures. He plants the earth with foreign fruits,
and knows at home what is good abroad. He is neat in apparel, modest in
demeanour, dainty in diet, and civil in his carriage. In sum, he is the
pillar of a city, the enricher of a country, the furnisher of a court,
and the worthy servant of a king.


An unworthy merchant is a kind of pedlar, who (with the help of a
broker) gets more by his wit than by his honesty. He doth sometime use
to give out money to gamesters, be paid in post, upon a hand at dice.
Sometime he gains more by baubles than better stuffs, and rather than
fail will adventure a false oath for a fraudulent gain. He deals with no
wholesale, but all his honesty is at one word; as for wares and weights,
he knows how to hold the balance, and for his conscience he is not
ignorant what to do with it. His travel is most by land, for he fears to
be too busy with the water, and whatever his ware may be, he will be
sure of his money. The most of his wealth is in a pack of trifles, and
for his honesty I dare not pass my word for him. If he be rich, it is
ten to one of his pride; and if he be poor, he breaks without his fast.
In sum, he is the disgrace of a merchant, the dishonour of a city, the
discredit of his parish, and the dislike of all.


A good man is an image of God, lord over all His creatures, and created
only for His service. He is made capable of reason to know the
properties of nature, and by the inspiration of grace to know things
supernatural. He hath a face always to look upward, and a soul that
gives life to all the senses. He lives in the world as a stranger, while
heaven is the home of his spirit. His life is but the labour of sense,
and his death the way to his rest. His study is the Word of truth, and
his delight is in the law of love. His provision is but to serve
necessity, and his care the exercise of charity. He is more conversant
with the divine prophets than the world's profits, and makes the joy of
his soul in the tidings of his salvation. He is wise in the best wit,
and wealthy in the richest treasure. His hope is but the comfort of
mercy, and his fear but the hurt of sin. Pride is the hate of his soul,
and patience the worker of his peace. His guide is the wisdom of grace,
and his travel but to the Heavenly Jerusalem. In sum, he is the elect of
God, the blessing of grace, the seed of love, and the fruit of life.


An atheist is a figure of desperation, who dare do anything even to his
soul's damnation. He is in nature a dog, in wit an ass, in passion a
bedlam, and in action a devil. He makes sin a jest, grace a humour,
truth a fable, and peace a cowardice. His horse is his pride, his sword
is his castle, his apparel his riches, and his punk his paradise. He
makes robbery his purchase, lechery his solace, mirth his exercise, and
drunkenness his glory. He is the danger of society, the love of vanity,
the hate of charity, and the shame of humanity. He is God's enemy, his
parents' grief, his country's plague, and his own confusion. He spoils
that is necessary and spends that is needless. He spits at the gracious
and spurns the godly. The tavern is his palace and his belly is his god;
a whore is his mistress and the devil is his master. Oaths are his
graces, wounds his badges, shifts are his practices, and beggary his
payments. He knows not God, nor thinks of heaven, but walks through the
world as a devil towards hell. Virtue knows him not, honesty finds him
not, wisdom loves him not, and honour regards him not. He is but the
cutler's friend and the chirurgeon's agent, the thief's companion and
the hangman's benefactor. He was begotten untimely and born unhappily,
lives ungraciously and dies unchristianly. He is of no religion nor good
fashion; hardly good complexion, and most vile in condition. In sum, he
is a monster among men, a Jew among Christians, a fool among wise men,
and a devil among saints.


A wise man is a clock that never strikes but at his home, or rather like
a dial that, being set right with the sun, keeps his true course in his
compass. So the heart of a wise man, set in the course of virtue by the
spirit of grace, runs the course of life in the compass of eternal
comfort. He measureth time and tempereth nature, employeth reason and
commandeth sense. He hath a deaf ear to the charmer, a close mouth to
the slanderer, an open hand to charity, and an humble mind to piety.
Observation and experience are his reason's labours, and patience with
conscience are the lines of his love's measure; contemplation and
meditation are his spirit's exercise, and God and His Word are the joy
of his soul. He knows not the pride of prosperity nor the misery of
adversity, but takes the one as the day, the other as the night. He
knows no fortune, but builds all upon providence, and through the hope
of faith hath a fair aim at heaven. His words are weighed with judgment,
and his actions are the examples of honour. He is fit for the seat of
authority, and deserves the reverence of subjection. He is precious in
the counsel of a king, and mighty in the sway of a kingdom. In sum, he
is God's servant and the world's master, a stranger upon earth, and a
citizen in heaven.


A fool is the abortive of wit, where nature had more power than reason
in bringing forth the fruit of imperfection. His actions are most in
extremes, and the scope of his brain is but ignorance. Only nature hath
taught him to feed, and use to labour without knowledge. He is a kind of
a shadow of a better substance, or like the vision of a dream that
yields nothing awake. He is commonly known by one or two special names,
derived from their qualities, as from wilful Will-fool, and Hodge from
hodge-podge; all meats are alike, all are one to a fool. His exercises
are commonly divided into four parts, eating and drinking, sleeping and
laughing; four things are his chief loves, a bauble and a bell, a
coxcomb and a pied-coat. He was begotten in unhappiness, born to no
goodness, lives but in beastliness, and dies but in forgetfulness. In
sum, he is the shame of nature, the trouble of wit, the charge of
charity, and the loss of liberality.


An honest man is like a plain coat, which, without welt or guard,
keepeth the body from wind and weather, and being well made, fits him
best that wears it; and where the stuff is more regarded than the
fashion, there is not much ado in the putting of it on. So the mind of
an honest man, without trick or compliments, keeps the credit of a good
conscience from the scandal of the world and the worm of iniquity,
which, being wrought by the workman of heaven, fits him best that wears
it to his service; and where virtue is more esteemed than vanity, it is
put on and worn with that ease that shows the excellency of the workman.
His study is virtue, his word truth, his life the passage of patience,
and his death the rest of his spirit. His travail is a pilgrimage, his
way is plainness, his pleasure peace, and his delight is love. His care
is his conscience, his wealth is his credit, his charge is his chanty,
and his content is his kingdom. In sum, he is a diamond among jewels, a
phrenix among birds, an unicorn among beasts, and a saint among men.


A knave is the scum of wit and the scorn of reason, the hate of wisdom
and the dishonour of humanity. He is the danger of society and the hurt
of amity, the infection of youth and the corruption of age. He is a
traitor to affiance and abuse to employment, and a rule of villainy in a
plot of mischief. He hath a cat's eye and a bear's paw, a siren's tongue
and a serpent's sting. His words are lies, his oaths perjuries, his
studies subtilties, and his practices villainies; his wealth is his wit,
his honour is his wealth, his glory is his gain, and his god is his
gold. He is no man's friend and his own enemy; cursed on earth and
banished from heaven. He was begotten ungraciously, born untimely, lives
dishonestly, and dies shamefully. His heart is a puddle of poison, his
tongue a sting of iniquity, his brain a distiller of deceit, and his
conscience a compass of hell. In sum, he is a dog in disposition, a fox
in wit, a wolf in his prey, and a devil in his pride.


An usurer is a figure of misery, who hath made himself a slave to his
money. His eye is closed from pity, and his hand from charity; his ear
from compassion, and his heart from piety. While he lives he is the hate
of a Christian, and when he dies he goes with horror to hell. His study
is sparing, and his care is getting; his fear is wanting, and his death
is losing. His diet is either fasting or poor fare, his clothing the
hangman's wardrobe, his house the receptacle of thievery, and his music
the clinking of his money. He is a kind of cancer that with the teeth of
interest eats the hearts of the poor, and a venomous fly that sucks out
the blood of any flesh that he lights on. In sum, he is a servant of
dross, a slave to misery, an agent for hell, and a devil in the world.


A beggar is the child of idleness, whose life is a resolution of ease.
His travail is most in the highways, and his rendezvous is commonly in
an ale-house. His study is to counterfeit impotency, and his practice to
cozen simplicity of charity. The juice of the malt is the liquor of his
life, and at bed and at board a louse is his companion. He fears no such
enemy as a constable, and being acquainted with the stocks, must visit
them as he goes by them. He is a drone that feeds upon the labours of
the bee, and unhappily begotten that is born for no goodness. His staff
and his scrip are his walking furniture, and what he lacks in meat he
will have out in drink. He is a kind of caterpillar that spoils much
good fruit, and an unprofitable creature to live in a commonwealth. He
is seldom handsome and often noisome, always troublesome and never
welcome. He prays for all and preys upon all; begins with blessing but
ends often with cursing. If he have a licence he shows it with a grace,
but if he have none he is submissive to the ground. Sometime he is a
thief, but always a rogue, and in the nature of his profession the shame
of humanity. In sum, he is commonly begot in a bush, born in a barn,
lives in a highway, and dies in a ditch.


A virgin is the beauty of nature, where the spirit gracious makes the
creature glorious. She is the love of virtue, the honour of reason, the
grace of youth, and the comfort of age. Her study is holiness, her
exercise goodness, her grace humility, and her love is charity. Her
countenance is modesty, her speech is truth, her wealth grace, and her
fame constancy. Her virtue continence, her labour patience, her diet
abstinence, and her care conscience. Her conversation heavenly, her
meditations angel-like, her prayers devout, and her hopes divine: her
parents' joy, her kindred's honour, her country's fame, and her own
felicity. She is the blessed of the highest, the praise of the
worthiest, the love of the noblest, and the nearest to the best. She is
of creatures the rarest, of women the chiefest, of nature the purest,
and of wisdom the choicest. Her life is a pilgrimage, her death but a
passage, her description a wonder, and her name an honour. In sum, she
is the daughter of glory, the mother of grace, the sister of love, and
the beloved of life.


A wanton woman is the figure of imperfection; in nature an ape, in
quality a wagtail, in countenance a witch, and in condition a kind of
devil. Her beck is a net, her word a charm, her look an illusion, and
her company a confusion. Her life is the play of idleness, her diet the
excess of dainties, her love the change of vanities, and her exercise
the invention of follies. Her pleasures are fancies, her studies
fashions, her delight colours, and her wealth her clothes. Her care is
to deceive, her comfort her company, her house is vanity, and her bed is
ruin. Her discourses are fables, her vows dissimulations, her conceits
subtleties, and her contents varieties. She would she knows not what,
and spends she cares not what, she spoils she sees not what, and doth
she thinks not what. She is youth's plague and age's purgatory, time's
abuse and reason's trouble. In sum, she is a spice of madness, a spark
of mischief, a touch of poison, and a fear of destruction.


A quiet woman is like a still wind, which neither chills the body nor
blows dust in the face. Her patience is a virtue that wins the heart of
love, and her wisdom makes her will well worthy regard. She fears God
and flieth sin, showeth kindness and loveth peace. Her tongue is tied to
discretion, and her heart is the harbour of goodness. She is a comfort
of calamity and in prosperity a companion, a physician in sickness and a
musician in help. Her ways are the walk toward heaven, and her guide is
the grace of the Almighty. She is her husband's down-bed, where his
heart lies at rest, and her children's glass in the notes of her grace;
her servants' honour in the keeping of her house, and her neighbours'
example in the notes of a good nature. She scorns fortune and loves
virtue, and out of thrift gathereth charity. She is a turtle in her
love, a lamb in her meekness, a saint in her heart, and an angel in her
soul. In sum, she is a jewel unprizeable and a joy unspeakable, a
comfort in nature incomparable, and a wife in the world unmatchable.


An unquiet woman is the misery of man, whose demeanour is not to be
described but in extremities. Her voice is the screeching of an owl, her
eye the poison of a cockatrice, her hand the claw of a crocodile, and
her heart a cabinet of horror. She is the grief of nature, the wound of
wit, the trouble of reason, and the abuse of time. Her pride is
unsupportable, her anger unquenchable, her will unsatiable, and her
malice unmatchable. She fears no colours, she cares for no counsel, she
spares no persons, nor respects any time. Her command is _must_, her
reason _will_, her resolution _shall_, and her satisfaction _so_. She
looks at no law and thinks of no lord, admits no command and keeps no
good order. She is a cross but not of Christ, and a word but not of
grace; a creature but not of wisdom, and a servant but not of God. In
sum, she is the seed of trouble, the fruit of travail, the taste of
bitterness, and the digestion of death.


A good wife is a world of wealth, where just cause of content makes a
kingdom in conceit. She is the eye of wariness, the tongue of silence,
the hand of labour, and the heart of love; a companion of kindness, a
mistress of passion, an exercise of patience, and an example of
experience. She is the kitchen physician, the chamber comfort, the
hall's care, and the parlour's grace. She is the dairy's neatness, the
brew-house's wholesomeness, the garner's provision and the garden's
plantation. Her voice is music, her countenance meekness, her mind
virtuous, and her soul gracious. She is her husband's jewel, her
children's joy, her neighbour's love, and her servant's honour. She is
poverty's prayer and charity's praise, religion's love and devotion's
zeal. She is a care of necessity and a course of thrift, a book of
housewifery and a mirror of modesty. In sum, she is God's blessing and
man's happiness, earth's honour and heaven's creature.


An effeminate fool is the figure of a baby. He loves nothing but gay, to
look in a glass, to keep among wenches, and to play with trifles; to
feed on sweetmeats and to be danced in laps, to be embraced in arms, and
to be kissed on the cheek; to talk idly, to look demurely, to go nicely,
and to laugh continually; to be his mistress' servant, and her maid's
master, his father's love and his mother's none-child; to play on a
fiddle and sing a love-song; to wear sweet gloves and look on fine
things; to make purposes and write verses, devise riddles and tell lies;
to follow plays and study dances, to hear news and buy trifles; to sigh
for love and weep for kindness, and mourn for company and be sick for
fashion; to ride in a coach and gallop a hackney, to watch all night and
sleep out the morning; to lie on a bed and take tobacco, and to send his
page of an idle message to his mistress; to go upon gigs, to have his
ruffs set in print, to pick his teeth, and play with a puppet. In sum,
he is a man-child and a woman's man, a gaze of folly, and
wisdom's grief.


A parasite is the image of iniquity, who for the gain of dross is
devoted to all villainy. He is a kind of thief in committing of
burglary, when he breaks into houses with his tongue and picks pockets
with his flattery. His face is brazen that he cannot blush, and his
hands are limed to catch hold what he can light on. His tongue is a bell
(but not of the church, except it be the devil's) to call his parish to
his service. He is sometimes a pander to carry messages of ill meetings,
and perhaps hath some eloquence to persuade sweetness in sin. He is like
a dog at a door while the devils dance in the chamber, or like a spider
in the house-top that lives on the poison below. He is the hate of
honesty and the abuse of beauty, the spoil of youth and the misery of
age. In sum, he is a danger in a court, a cheater in a city, a jester in
the country, and a jackanapes in all.


A drunkard is a known adjective, for he cannot stand alone by himself;
yet in his greatest weakness a great trier of strength, whether health
or sickness will have the upper hand in a surfeit. He is a spectacle of
deformity and a shame of humanity, a view of sin and a grief of nature.
He is the annoyance of modesty and the trouble of civility, the spoil of
wealth and the spite of reason. He is only the brewer's agent and the
alehouse benefactor, the beggar's companion and the constable's trouble.
He is his wife's woe, his children's sorrow, his neighbours' scoff, and
his own shame. In sum, he is a tub of swill, a spirit of sleep, a
picture of a beast, and a monster of a man.


A coward is the child of fear. He was begotten in cold blood, when
Nature had much ado to make up a creature like a man. His life is a kind
of sickness, which breeds a kind of palsy in the joints, and his death
the terror of his conscience, with the extreme weakness of his faith. He
loves peace as his life, for he fears a sword in his soul. If he cut his
finger he looketh presently for the sign, and if his head ache he is
ready to make his will. A report of a cannon strikes him flat on his
face, and a clap of thunder makes him a strange metamorphosis. Rather
than he will fight he will be beaten, and if his legs will help him he
will put his arms to no trouble. He makes love commonly with his purse,
and brags most of his maidenhead. He will not marry but into a quiet
family, and not too fair a wife, to avoid quarrels. If his wife frown
upon him he sighs, and if she give him an unkind word he weeps. He loves
not the horns of a bull nor the paws of a bear, and if a dog bark he
will not come near the house. If he be rich he is afraid of thieves, and
if he be poor he will be slave to a beggar. In sum, he is the shame of
manhood, the disgrace of nature, the scorn of reason, and the hate
of honour.


An honest poor man is the proof of misery, where patience is put to the
trial of her strength to endure grief without passion, in starving with
concealed necessity, or standing in the adventures of charity. If he be
married, want rings in his ears and woe watereth his eyes. If single, he
droppeth with the shame of beggary, or dies with the passion of penury.
Of the rich he is shunned like infection, and of the poor learns but a
heart-breaking profession. His bed is the earth and the heaven is his
canopy, the sun is his summer's comfort and the moon is his winter
candle. His sighs are the notes of his music, and his song is like the
swan before her death. His study, his patience; and his exercise,
prayer: his diet the herbs of the earth, and his drink the water of the
river. His travel is the walk of the woful and his horse Bayard of ten
toes: his apparel but the clothing of nakedness, and his wealth but the
hope of heaven. He is a stranger in the world, for no man craves his
acquaintance; and his funeral is without ceremony, when there is no
mourning for the miss of him: yet may he be in the state of election and
in the life of love, and more rich in grace than the greatest of the
world. In sum, he is the grief of Nature, the sorrow of reason, the pity
of wisdom, and the charge of charity.


A just man is the child of truth, begotten by virtue and kindness; when
Nature in the temper of the spirit made even the balance of
indifference. His eye is clear from blindness and his hand from bribery,
his will from wilfulness and his heart from wickedness; his word and
deed are all one; his life shows the nature of his love, his care is the
charge of his conscience, and his comfort the assurance of his
salvation. In the seat of justice he is the grace of the law, and in the
judgment of right the honour of reason. He fears not the power of
authority to equal justice with mercy, and joys but in the judgment of
grace, to see the execution of justice. His judgment is worthy of
honour, and his wisdom is gracious in truth. His honour is famous in
virtue, and his virtue is precious in example. In sum, he is a spirit of
understanding, a brain of knowledge, a heart of wisdom, and a soul of


A repentant sinner is the child of grace, who, being born for service of
God, makes no reckoning of the mastership of the world, yet doth he
glorify God in the beholding of His creatures, and in giving praise to
His holy name in the admiration of His workmanship. He is much of the
nature of an angel who, being sent into the world but to do the will of
his Master, is ever longing to be at home with his fellows. He desires
nothing but that is necessary, and delighteth in nothing that is
transitory; but contemplates more than he can conceive, and meditates
only upon the word of the Almighty. His senses are the tirers of his
spirit, while in the course of nature his soul can find no rest. He
shakes off the rags of sin, and is clothed with the robe of virtue. He
puts off Adam, and puts on Christ. His heart is the anvil of truth,
where the brain of his wisdom beats the thoughts of his mind till they
be fit for the service of his Maker. His labour is the travail of love,
by the rule of grace to find the highway to heaven. His fear is greater
than his love of the world, and his love is greater than his fear of
God. In sum, he is in the election of love, in the books of life, an
angel incarnate and a blessed creature.


A reprobate is the child of sin who, being born for the service of the
devil, cares not what villainy he does in the world. His wit is always
in a maze, for his courses are ever out of order; and while his will
stands for his wisdom, the best that falls out of him is a fool. He
betrays the trust of the simple, and sucks out the blood of the
innocent. His breath is the fume of blasphemy, and his tongue the
firebrand of hell His desires are the destruction of the virtuous, and
his delights are the traps to damnation. He bathes in the blood of
murder, and sups up the broth of iniquity. He frighteth the eyes of the
godly, and disturbeth the hearts of the religious. He marreth the wits
of the wise, and is hateful to the souls of the gracious. In sum, he is
an inhuman creature, a fearful companion, a man-monster, and a devil


An old man is the declaration of time in the defect of Nature, and the
imperfection of sense in the use of reason. He is in the observation of
Time, a calendar of experience; but in the power of action, he is a
blank among lots. He is the subject of weakness, the agent of sickness,
the displeasure of life, and the forerunner of death. He is twice a
child and half a man, a living picture, and a dying creature. He is a
blown bladder that is only stuffed with wind, and a withered tree that
hath lost the sap of the root, or an old lute with strings all broken,
or a ruined castle that is ready to fall. He is the eyesore of youth and
the jest of love, and in the fulness of infirmity the mirror of misery.
Yet in the honour of wisdom he may be gracious in gravity, and in the
government of justice deserve the honour of reverence. Yea, his word may
be notes for the use of reason, and his actions examples for the
imitation of discretion. In sum, in whatsoever estate he is but as the
snuff of a candle, that pink it ever so long it will out at last.


A young man is the spring of time, when nature in her pride shows her
beauty to the world. He is the delight of the eye and the study of the
mind, the labour of instruction and the pupil of reason. His wit is in
making or marring, his wealth in gaining or losing, his honour in
advancing or declining, and his life in abridging or increasing. He is a
bloom that either is blasted in the bud or grows to a good fruit, or a
bird that dies in the nest or lives to make use of her wings. He is a
colt that must have a bridle ere he be well managed, and a falcon that
must be well maned or he will never be reclaimed. He is the darling of
nature and the charge of reason, the exercise of patience and the hope
of charity. His exercise is either study or action, and his study either
knowledge or pleasure. His disposition gives a great note of his
generation, and yet his breeding may either better or worse him, though
to wish a blackamoor white be the loss of labour, and what is bred in
the bone will never out of the flesh. In sum, till experience have
seasoned his understanding, he is rather a child than a man, a prey of
flattery or a praise of providence, in the way of grace to prove a
saint, or in the way of sin to grow a devil.


A holy man is the chiefest creature in the workmanship of the world. He
is the highest in the election of love, and the nearest to the image of
the human nature of his Maker. He is served of all the creatures in the
earth, and created but for the service of his Creator. He is capable of
the course of nature, and by the rule of observation finds the art of
reason. His senses are but servants to his spirit, which is guided by a
power above himself. His time is only known to the eye of the Almighty,
and what he is in his most greatness is as nothing but in His mercy. He
makes law by the direction of life, and lives but in the mercy of love.
He treads upon the face of the earth till in the same substance he be
trod upon, though his soul that gave life to his senses live in heaven
till the resurrection of his flesh. He hath an eye to look upward
towards grace, while labour is only the punishment of sin. His faith is
the hand of his soul, which layeth hold on the promise of mercy. His
patience is the tenure of the possession of his soul, his charity the
rule of his life, and his hope the anchor of his salvation. His study is
the state of obedience, and his exercise the continuance of prayer; his
life but a passage to a better, and his death the rest of his labours.
His heart is a watch to his eye, his wit a door to his mouth, his soul a
guard to his spirit, and his limbs are but labourers for his body. In
sum, he is ravished with divine love, hateful to the nature of sin,
troubled with the vanities of the world, and longing for his joy but
in heaven.


_After "The Good and the Bad" published in 1616, came, in 1618, "Essays
and Characters of a Prison and Prisoners, by G. M. of Grayes Inn, Gent."
G.M. signed his name in full--Geffray Minshul--after the Dedication to
his uncle, Mr. Matthew Mainwaring of Nantwich, Cheshire, and he dates
from the King's Bench Prison. Philip Bliss found record in a History of
Nantwich of a monument there in St. Mary's Church, erected by Geoffrey
Minshull of Stoke, Esq., to the memory of his ancestors. He quotes also
from Geoffrey Minshull's Characters the folloiuing passage from the
Dedication, and the Character of a Prisoner._


"Since my coming into this prison, what with the strangeness of the
place and strictness of my liberty, I am so transported that I could not
follow that study wherein I took great delight and chief pleasure, and
to spend my time idly would but add more discontentments to my troubled
breast, and being in this chaos of discontentments, fantasies must
arise, which will bring forth the fruits of an idle brain, for _e malis
minimum_. It is far better to give some account of time, though to
little purpose, than none at all. To which end I gathered a handful of
essays, and few characters of such things as by my own experience I
could say _Probatum est:_ not that thereby I should either please the
reader, or show exquisiteness of invention, or curious style; seeing
what I write of is but the child of sorrow, bred by discontentments and
nourished up with misfortunes, to whose help melancholy Saturn gave his
judgment, the night-bird her invention, and the ominous raven brought a
quill taken from his own wing, dipped in the ink of misery, as chief
aiders in this architect of sorrow."


A prisoner is an impatient patient, lingering under the rough hands of a
cruel physician: his creditor having cast his water knows his disease,
and hath power to cure him, but takes more pleasure to kill him. He is
like Tantalus, who hath freedom running by his door, yet cannot enjoy
the least benefit thereof. His greatest grief is that his credit was so
good and now no better. His land is drawn within the compass of a
sheep's skin, and his own hand the fornication that bars him of
entrance: he is fortune's tossing-ball, an object that would make mirth
melancholy: to his friends an abject, and a subject of nine days' wonder
in every barber's shop, and a mouthful of pity (that he had no better
fortune) to midwives and talkative gossips; and all the content that
this transitory life can give him seems but to flout him, in respect the
restraint of liberty bars the true use. To his familiars he is like a
plague, whom they dare scarce come nigh for fear of infection; he is a
monument ruined by those which raised him, he spends the day with a _hei
mihi! væ miserum!_ and the night with a _nullis est medicabilis herbis._


_In 1626--year of the death of Francis Bacon--appeared "Cures for the
Itch; Characters, Epigrams, Epitaphs by H. P." with the motto "Scalpat
qui Tangitur." H. P. was read by Philip Bliss into Henry Parrot, who
published a collection of epigrams in 1613, as "Laquei Ridiculosi, or
Springes for Woodcocks." The Characters in this little volume are of a
Ballad Maker, a Tapster, a Drunkard, a Rectified Young Man, a Young
Novice's New Younger Wife, a Common Fiddler, a Broker, a Jovial Good
Fellow, a Humourist, a Malapert Young Upstart, a Scold, a Good Wife, and
a Self-Conceited Parcel-Witted Old Dotard._


Is a much more heard of, than least desired to be seen or known,
she-kind of serpent; the venomed sting of whose poisonous tongue, worse
than the biting of a scorpion, proves more infectious far than can be
cured. She's of all other creatures most untameablest, and covets more
the last word in scolding than doth a combater the last stroke for
victory. She loudest lifts it standing at her door, bidding, with
exclamation, flat defiance to any one says black's her eye. She dares
appear before any justice, nor is least daunted with the sight of
constable, nor at worst threatenings of a cucking-stool. There's nothing
mads or moves her more to outrage than but the very naming of a wisp, or
if you sing or whistle when she is scolding. If any in the interim
chance to come within her reach, twenty to one she scratcheth him by the
face; or do but offer to hold her hands, she'll presently begin to cry
out murder. There's nothing pacifies her but a cup of sack, which taking
in full measure of digestion, she presently forgets all wrongs that's
done her, and thereupon falls straight a-weeping. Do but entreat her
with fair words, or flatter her, she then confesseth all her
imperfections, and lays the guilt upon her maid. Her manner is to talk
much in her sleep, what wrongs she hath endured of that rogue her
husband, whose hap may be in time to die a martyr; and so I leave them.


Is a world of happiness, that brings with it a kingdom in conceit, and
makes a perfect adjunct in society; she's such a comfort as exceeds
content, and proves so precious as cannot be paralleled, yea more
inestimable than may be valued. She's any good man's better second self,
the very mirror of true constant modesty, the careful housewife of
frugality, and dearest object of man's heart's felicity. She commands
with mildness, rules with discretion, lives in repute, and ordereth all
things that are good or necessary. She's her husband's solace, her
house's ornament, her children's succour, and her servant's comfort.
She's (to be brief) the eye of wariness, the tongue of silence, the hand
of labour, and the heart of love. Her voice is music, her countenance
meekness, her mind virtuous, and her soul gracious. She's a blessing
given from God to man, a sweet companion in his affliction, and
joint-copartner upon all occasions. She's (to conclude) earth's chiefest
paragon, and will be, when she dies, heaven's dearest creature.

             *         *         *         *         *

_In_ 1629_ appeared sixteen pieces in fifty-six pages entitled
"Micrologia, Characters or Essayes, of Persons, Trades, and Places,
offered to the City and Country, by R. M." There was an "R. M." who
wrote from the coast of Guiana in November 1817 "Newes of Sir W.
Raleigh. With the true Description of Guiana: as also relation of the
excellent Government, and much hope of the prosperity of the Voyage.
Sent from a gentleman of his Fleet (R. M.) to a most especiall Friend of
his in London. From the River of Caliana on the Coast of Guiana,
Novemb._ 17, 1617," _published in 1618. The Characters of Persons and
Trades in "Micrologia" are: a Fantastic Tailor, a Player, a Shoemaker, a
Ropemaker, a Smith, a Tobacconist, a Cunning Woman, a Cobbler, a
Tooth-drawer, a Tinker, a Fiddler, a Cunning Horse-Courser; and of
Places, Bethlem, Ludgate, Bridewell, Newgate.

This is R. M.'s character of a Player--_


Is a volume of various conceits or epitome of time, who by his
representation and appearance makes things long past seem present. He is
much like the counters in arithmetic, and may stand one while for a
king, another while a beggar, many times as a mute or cipher. Sometimes
he represents that which in his life he scarce practises--to be an
honest man. To the point, he oft personates a rover, and therein conies
nearest to himself. If his action prefigure passion, he raves, rages,
and protests much by his painted heavens, and seems in the height of
this fit ready to pull Jove out of the garret where perchance he lies
leaning on his elbows, or is employed to make squibs and crackers to
grace the play. His audience are oftentimes judicious, but his chief
admirers are commonly young wanton chambermaids, who are so taken with
his posture and gay clothes, they never come to be their own women
after. He exasperates men's enormities in public view, and tells them
their faults on the stage, not as being sorry for them, but rather
wishes still he might find more occasions to work on. He is the general
corrupter of spirits yet untainted, inducing them by gradation to much
lascivious depravity. He is a perspicuity of vanity in variety, and
suggests youth to perpetrate such vices as otherwise they had haply
ne'er heard of. He is (for the most part) a notable hypocrite, seeming
what he is not, and is indeed what he seems not. And if he lose one of
his fellow strolls, in the summer he turns king of the gipsies; if not,
some great man's protection is a sufficient warrant for his
peregrination, and a means to procure him the town-hall, where he may
long exercise his qualities with clown-claps of great admiration, in a
tone suitable to the large ears of his illiterate auditory. He is one
seldom takes care for old age, because ill diet and disorder, together
with a consumption or some worse disease taken up in his full career,
have only chalked out his catastrophe but to a colon; and he scarcely
survives to his natural period of days.

           *         *          *          *          *

_In_ 1631 _"Whimzies, or, A new Cast of Characters" inscribed to Sir
Alexander Radcliffe by one who signed his dedication Clitus
Alexandrinus, gave twenty-four Characters, of which this of the maker of
a Courant or news sheet is one:--_


Is a state newsmonger; and his own genius is his intelligencer. His mint
goes weekly, and he coins money by it. Howsoever, the more intelligent
merchants do jeer him, the vulgar do admire him, holding his novels
oracular; and these are usually sent for tokens or intermissive
courtesies betwixt city and country. He holds most constantly one form
or method of discourse. He retains some military words of art, which he
shoots at random; no matter where they hit they cannot wound any. He
ever leaves some passages doubtful, as if they were some more intimate
secrecies of state, closing his sentence abruptly with--_hereafter you
shall hear more._ Which words, I conceive, he only useth as baits, to
make the appetite of the reader more eager in his next week's pursuit
fora more satisfying labour. Some general-erring relations he picks up,
as crumbs or fragments, from a frequented ordinary; of which shreds he
shapes a coat to fit any credulous fool that will wear it. You shall
never observe him make any reply in places of public concourse; he
ingenuously acknowledges himself to be more bounden to the happiness of
a retentive memory, than either ability of tongue or pregnancy of
conceit. He carries his table-book still about with him, but dares not
pull it out publicly. Yet no sooner is the table drawn than he turns
notary, by which means he recovers the charge of his ordinary. Paul's is
his walk in winter, Moorfields in summer, where the whole discipline,
designs, projects, and exploits of the States, Netherlands, Poland,
Switzer, Crimchan and all, are within the compass of one quadrangle walk
most judiciously and punctually discovered. But long he must not walk,
lest he make his news-press stand. Thanks to his good invention, he can
collect much out of a very little; no matter though more experienced
judgments disprove him, he is anonymous, and that will secure him. To
make his reports more credible or (which he and his stationer only aims
at) more vendible, in the relation of every occurrence he renders you
the day of the month; and to approve himself a scholar, he annexeth
these Latin parcels, or parcel-gilt sentences, _veteri stylo, novo
stylo_. Palisados, parapets, counter-scarps, forts, fortresses,
rampiers, bulwarks, are his usual dialect. He writes as if he would do
some mischief, yet the charge of his shot is but paper. He will
sometimes start in his sleep, as one affrighted with visions, which I
can impute to no other cause but to the terrible skirmishes which he
discoursed of in the daytime. He has now tied himself apprentice to the
trade of minting, and must weekly perform his task, or (beside the loss
which accrues to himself) he disappoints a number of no small fools,
whose discourse, discipline, and discretion is drilled from his
state-service. These you shall know by their Monday's mornings question,
a little before exchange time: Stationer, have you any news? Which they
no sooner purchase than peruse; and, early by next morning (lest their
country friend should be deprived of the benefit of so rich a prize),
they freely vent the substance of it, with some illustrations, if their
understanding can furnish them that way. He would make you believe that
he were known to some foreign intelligence, but I hold him the wisest
man that hath the least faith to believe him. For his relations he
stands resolute, whether they become approved or evinced for untruths;
which if they be, he has contracted with his face never to blush for the
matter. He holds especial concurrence with two philosophical sects,
though he be ignorant of the tenets of either: in the collection of his
observations he is peripatetical, for he walks circularly; in the
digestion of his relations he is stoical, and sits regularly. He has an
alphabetical table of all the chief commanders, generals, leaders,
provincial towns, rivers, ports, creeks, with other fitting materials to
furnish his imaginary building. Whisperings, mutterings, and bare
suppositions are sufficient grounds for the authority of his relations.
It is strange to see with what greediness this airy chameleon, being all
lungs and wind, will swallow a receipt of news, as if it were physical;
yea, with what frontless insinuation he will screw himself into the
acquaintance of some knowing intelligencers, who, trying the cask by his
hollow sound, do familiarly gull him. I am of opinion, were all his
voluminous centuries of fabulous relations compiled, they would vie in
number with the Iliads of many fore-running ages. You shall many times
find in his gazettas, pasquils, and corrantos miserable distractions:
here a city taken by force long before it be besieged; there a country
laid waste before ever the enemy entered. He many times tortures his
readers with impertinencies, yet are these the tolerablest passages
throughout all his discourse. He is the very landscape of our age. He is
all air; his ear always open to all reports, which, how incredible
soever, must pass for current and find vent, purposely to get him
current money and delude the vulgar. Yet our best comfort is, his
chimeras live not long; a week is the longest in the city, and after
their arrival, little longer in the country, which past they melt like
butter, or match a pipe, and so burn. But indeed, most commonly it is
the height of their ambition to aspire to the employment of stopping
mustard-pots, or wrapping up pepper, powder, staves-aker, &c., which
done, they expire. Now for his habit, Wapping and Long Lane will give
him his character. He honours nothing with a more endeared observance,
nor hugs ought with more intimacy, than antiquity, which he expresseth
even in his clothes. I have known some love fish best that smelled of
the pannier; and the like humour reigns in him, for he loves that
apparel best that has a taste of the broker. Some have held him for a
scholar, but trust me such are in a palpable error, for he never yet
understood so much Latin as to construe _Gallo-Belgicus_. For his
library (his own continuations excepted), it consists of very few or no
books. He holds himself highly engaged to his invention if it can
purchase him victuals; for authors, he never converseth with them,
unless they walk in Paul's. For his discourse it is ordinary, yet he
will make you a terrible repetition of desperate commanders, unheard-of
exploits, intermixing withal his own personal service. But this is not
in all companies, for his experience hath sufficiently informed him in
this principle--that as nothing works more on the simple than things
strange and incredibly rare, so nothing discovers his weakness more
among the knowing and judicious than to insist, by way of discourse, on
reports above conceit. Amongst these, therefore, he is as mute as a
fish. But now imagine his lamp (if he be worth one) to be nearly burnt
out, his inventing genius wearied and footsore with ranging over so many
unknown regions, and himself wasted with the fruitless expense of much
paper, resigning his place of weekly collections to another, whom, in
hope of some little share, he has to his stationer recommended, while he
lives either poorly respected or dies miserably suspended. The rest I
end with his own close:--Next week you shall hear more.

_The other characters in "Whimzies" were an Almanac-maker, a
Ballad-monger, a Decoy, an Exchange-man, a Forester, a Gamester, an
Hospital-man, a Jailer, a Keeper, a Launderer, a Metal-man, a Neater, an
Ostler, a Postmaster, a Quest-man, a Ruffian, a Sailor, a Traveller, an
Under-Sheriff, a Wine-Soaker, a Xantippean, a Jealous Neighbour, a
Zealous Brother. The collection was enlarged by addition under separate
title-page of "A Cater-Character, thrown out of a box by an Experienced
Gamester"-which gave Characters of an Apparitor, a Painter, a Pedlar,
and a Piper. The author added also some lines "upon the Birthday of his
sonne Iohn," beginning--

   "God blesse thee, Iohn,
     And make thee such an one
   That I may joy
     In calling thee my son.

   Thou art my ninth,
     And by it I divine
   That thou shalt live
     To love the Muses Nine."_


_when he was at college, ventured down among the Character-writers in
his two pieces on the University Carrier. Thomas Hobson had been for
sixty years carrier between Cambridge and the Bull Inn, Bishopsgate
Street, London. He was a very well-known Cambridge character. Steele, in
No. 509 of the "Spectator" ascribed to him the origin of the proverbial
phrase, Hobson's Choice. "Being a man of great ability and invention,
and one that saw where there might good profit arise, though the duller
men overlooked it, this ingenious man was the first in this island who
let out hackney-horses.'" [That is a mistake, but never mind.] "He lived
in Cambridge; and, observing that the scholars rid hard, his manner was
to keep a large stable of horses, with boots, bridles, and whips, to
furnish the gentlemen at once, without going from college to college to
borrow. I say, Mr. Hobson kept a stable of forty good cattle, always
ready and fit for travelling; but, when a man came for a horse, he was
led into the stable, where there was great choice; but he obliged him to
take the horse which stood next the stable door; so that every customer
was alike well served according to his chance, and every horse ridden
with the same justice--from whence it became a proverb, when what ought
to be your election was forced upon you, to say 'Hobson's Choice!'"

In the spring of 1630 the Plague in Cambridge caused colleges to be
closed, and among other precautions against spread of infection, Hobson
the Carrier was forbidden to go to and fro between Cambridge and London.
At the end of the year, after six or seven, months of forced inaction,
Hobson sickened; and he died on the first of January, at the age of
eighty-six, leaving his family amply provided for, and money for the
maintenance of the town conduit. At the Bull Inn in London there used to
be a portrait of him with a money-bag under his arm.

Character-writing being in fashion many a character of the University
Carrier was written, no doubt, by Cambridge men after Hobson's death at
the beginning of the year_ 1631 _(new style). And these were Milton's.
Their unlikeness to other work of his lies in their likeness to a form
of literature which was but fashion of the day, and having travelled out
of sight of its old starting-point and forgotten where its true goal
lay, had gone astray, and often by idolatry of wit sinned
against wisdom._


_Who sickened in the time of his Vacancy, being forbid to go to London
by reason of the Plague._

   Here lies old Hobson. Death hath broke his girt,
   And here, alas, hath laid him in the dirt;
   Or else, the ways being foul, twenty to one
   He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
   'Twas such a shifter that, if truth were known,
   Death was half glad when he had got him down;
   For he had any time this ten years full
   Dodged with him betwixt Cambridge and _The Bull_,
   And surely Death could never have prevailed
   Had not his weekly course of carriage failed:
   But lately, finding him so long at home,
   And thinking now his journey's end was come,
   And that he had ta'en up his latest inn,
   In the kind office of a chamberlin
   Showed him his room where he must lodge that night,
   Pulled off his boots, and took away the light.
   If any ask for him, it shall be said,
   "Hobson has supped, and's newly gone to bed."


   Here lieth one that did most truly prove
   That he could never die while he could move;
   So hung his destiny, never to rot
   While he might still jog on and keep his trot;
   Made of sphere-metal, never to decay
   Until his revolution was at stay.
   Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
   'Gainst old truth) motion numbered out his time;
   And, like an engine moved with wheel and weight,
   His principles being ceased, he ended straight.
   Rest, that gives all men life, gave him his death,
   And too much breathing put him out of breath;
   Nor were it contradiction to affirm
   Too long vacation hastened on his term.
   Merely to drive the time away he sickened,
   Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quickened.
   "Nay," quoth he, on his swooning-bed outstretched,
   "If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetched,
   But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers,
   For one carrier put down to make six bearers."
   Ease was his chief disease; and, to judge right,
   He died for heaviness that his cart went light.
   His leisure told him that his time was come,
   And lack of load made his life burdensome,
   That even to his last breath (there be that say't)
   As he were pressed to death, he cried. "More weight!"
   But, had his doings lasted as they were,
   He had been an immortal carrier.
   Obedient to the moon he spent his date
   In course reciprocal, and had his fate
   Linked to the mutual flowing of the seas;
   Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase.
   His letters are delivered all and gone,
   Only remains the superscription.

_How very sure we should all be that Milton did not write these pieces,
if he had not given them a place among his published works! Returning to
the crowd of Character-writers we find in 1631, the year of Milton's
writing upon Hobson,_


_author of "Pictures Loquentes, or Pictures drawn forth in Characters.
With a Poeme of a Maid" The poem of a Maid was, of course, suggested by
the fact that Sir Thomas Overbury's Characters had joined to them the
poem of a Wife. There was a second edition in 1635. Saltonstall's
Characters were the World, an Old Man, a Woman, a Widow, a True Lover, a
Country Bride, a Ploughman, a Melancholy Man, a Young Heir, a Scholar in
the University, a Lawyers Clerk, a Townsman in Oxford, an Usurer, a
Wandering Rogue, a Waterman, a Shepherd, a Jealous Man, a Chamberlain, a
Maid, a Bailey, a Country Fair, a Country Ale-house, a Horse Race, a
Farmer's Daughter, a Keeper, a Gentleman's House in the Country; to
which he added in the second edition, a Fine Dame, a Country Dame, a
Gardener, a Captain, a Poor Village, a Merry Man, a Scrivener, the Term,
a Mower, a Happy Man, an Arrant Knave, and an Old Waiting Gentlewoman.
This is one of his Characters as quoted by Philip Bliss in the Appendix
to his edition of Earle_--


Is a time when Justice keeps open court for all comers, while her sister
Equity strives to mitigate the rigour of her positive sentence. It is
called the term, because it does end and terminate business, or else
because it is the _Terminus ad quem_, that is, the end of the
countryman's journey, who comes up to the term, and with his hobnail
shoes grinds the faces of the poor stones, and so returns again. It is
the soul of the year, and makes it quick, which before was dead.
Innkeepers gape for it as earnestly as shell-fish do for salt water
after a low ebb. It sends forth new books into the world, and
replenishes Paul's Walk with fresh company, where _Quid novi_? is their
first salutation, and the weekly news their chief discourse. The taverns
are painted against the term, and many a cause is argued there and tried
at that bar, where you are adjudged to pay the costs and charges, and so
dismissed with "welcome, gentlemen." Now the city puts her best side
outward, and a new play at the Blackfriars is attended on with coaches.
It keeps watermen from sinking, and helps them with many a fare voyage
to Westminster. Tour choice beauties come up to it only to see and be
seen, and to learn the newest fashion, and for some other recreations.
Now many that have been long sick and crazy begins to stir and walk
abroad, especially if some young prodigals come to town, who bring more
money than wit. Lastly, the term is the joy of the city, a dear friend
to countrymen, and is never more welcome than after a long vacation.

_We have also, in 1632, "London and Country Carbonadoed and Quartered
into Several Characters" by Donald Lupton; in 1633, the "Character of a
Gentleman" appended to Brathwaif's "English Gentleman;" in 1634, "A
strange Metamorphosis of Man, transformed into a Wilderness, Deciphered
in Characters" of which this is a specimen_:--


Is a creature made, as it were, in wax. When Nature first framed him,
she took a secret complacence in her work. He is even her masterpiece in
irrational things, borrowing somewhat of all things to set him forth.
For example, his slick bay coat he took from the chestnut; his neck from
the rainbow, which perhaps make him rain so well. His mane belike he
took from Pegasus, making him a hobby to make this a complete jennet,
which mane he wears so curled, much after the women's fashions
now-a-days;--this I am sure of, howsoever, it becomes them, [and] it
sets forth our jennet well. His legs he borrowed of the hart, with his
swiftness, which makes him a true courser indeed. The stars in his
forehead he fetched from heaven, which will not be much missed, there
being so many. The little head he hath, broad breast, fat buttock, and
thick tail are properly his own, for he knew not where to get him
better. If you tell him of the horns he wants to make him most complete,
he scorns the motion, and sets them at his heel. He is well shod,
especially in the upper leather, for as for his soles, they are much at
reparation, and often fain to be removed. Nature seems to have spent an
apprenticeship of years to make you such a one, for it is full seven
years ere he comes to this perfection, and be fit for the saddle: for
then (as we), it seems to come to the years of discretion, when he will
show a kind of rational judgment with him, and if you set an expert
rider on his back, you shall see how sensible they will talk together,
as master and scholar. When he shall be no sooner mounted and planted in
the seat, with the reins in one hand, a switch in the other, and
speaking with his spurs in the horse's flanks, a language he well
understands, but he shall prance, curvet, and dance the canaries half an
hour together in compass of a bushel, and yet still, as he thinks, get
some ground, shaking the goodly plume on his head with a comely pride.
This will our Bucephalus do in the lists: but when he comes abroad into
the fields, he will play the country gentleman as truly, as before the
knight in tournament. If the game be up once, and the hounds in chase,
you shall see how he will prick up his ears straight, and tickle at the
sport as much as his rider shall, and laugh so loud, that if there be
many of them, they will even drown the rural harmony of the dogs. When
he travels, of all inns he loves best the sign of the silver bell,
because likely there he fares best, especially if he come the first and
get the prize. He carries his ears upright, nor seldom ever lets them
fall till they be cropped off, and after that, as in despite, will never
wear them more. His tail is so essential to him, that if he lose it once
he is no longer a horse, but ever styled a curtali. To conclude, he is a
blade of Vulcan's forging, made for Mars of the best metal, and the post
of Fame to carry her tidings through the world, who, if he knew his own
strength, would shrewdly put for the monarchy of our wilderness.

     *       *       *       *       *

_Then there-were separate Characters, as "of a Projector" (1642); "of an
Oxford Incendiary" (1645); and in 1664, "A New Anatomic, or Character of
a Christian or Roundhead, expressing his Description, Excellenrie,
Happiness, and Innocencie. Wherein may appear how far this blind World
is mistaken in their unjust Censures of him." Several Characters were
included in Lord North's "Forest of Varieties" published in 1645.
Fourteen Characters, some of individual persons, were in the "Characters
and Elegies, by Sir Francis Wortley, Knight and Baronet" published in
1646. The author was son of Sir Richard Wortley of Wortley in Yorkshire.
He was a good royalist, was taken prisoner in the civil wars, and wrote
his Characters in the Tower. They were these:--The Character of his Roy
all Majestie; the Character of the Queene's Majestie; the Hopeful
Prince; a true Character of the illustrious James, Duke of York; the
Character of a Noble General; a true English Protestant; an Antinomian,
or Anabaptistical Independent; a Jesuit; the true Character of a
Northern Lady, as she is Wife, Mother, and Sister; the Politique Neuter;
the Citie Paragon; a Sharking Committee-man; Britannicus his Pedigree
--afatall Prediction of his end; and last, the Phoenix of the Court.

In 1646, T. F., who is named by interlineation on his title-page among
the King's Pamphlets, T. Ford, servant to Mr. Sam. Man, produced the
"Times Anatomized, in several Characters." These were: A Good King,
Rebellion, an Honest Subject, an Hypocritical Convert of the Times, a
Soldier of Fortune, a Discontented Person, an Ambitious Man, the Vulgar,
Error, Truth, a Self-seeker, Pamphlets, an Envious Man, True Valour,
Time, a Neuter, a Turn-Coat, a Moderate Man, a Corrupt Committee-man, a
Sectary, War, Peace, a Drunkard, a Novice, Preacher, a Scandalous
Preacher, a Grave Divine, a Self-Conceited Man, Religion, Death. This is
T. Ford's Character of Pamphlets--_


Are the weekly almanacs, showing what weather is in the state, which,
like the doves of Aleppo, carry news to every part of the kingdom. They
are the silent traitors that affront majesty, and abuse all authority,
under the colour of an imprimatur. Ubiquitary flies that have of late so
blistered the ears of all men, that they cannot endure the solid truth.
The echoes, whereby what is done in part of the kingdom, is heard all
over. They are like the mushrooms, sprung up in a night, and dead in a
day; and such is the greediness of men's natures (in these Athenian
days) of new, that they will rather feign than want it.

_So the tide ran on. In_ 1647 _there was "The Character of an Agitator,"
and also John Cleveland's Character of a London Diurnal._


_The Cavalier poet, born at Loitghborough in Leicestershire in_ 1613,
_son of an usher in a free school there, was sent to Milton's College,
Christ's, at Cambridge in_ 1627, _when he was fifteen years old. Milton
had gone to Christ's two years before, but at the age of seventeen.
Cleveland left Christ's College in_ 1631, _when he took his B.A. degree,
and went to St. John's, of which he was elected a Fellow in March_ 1634.
_He proceeded M.A. in_ 1634, _and studied afterwards both law and
physics, living for nine years at Cambridge. John Cleveland was ejected
from his position as Fellow and Tutor by the Parliamentary visitors in
February_ 1645 _(new style), and was sent to Newark as judge advocate
under Sir Richard Willis, the Governor. After the surrender at Newark,
Cleveland depended upon friendship of cavaliers who gave him hospitality
for his witty companionship, and the good scholarship that made him
valuable as a tutor to their sons, Cleveland, who lives among our poets,
wrote in the first days of his trouble these three prose Characters:--_


A committee-man by his name should be one that is possessed, there is
number enough in it to make an epithet for legion. He is _persona in
concreto_ (to borrow the solecism of a modern statesman). You may
translate it by the Red Bull phrase, and speak as properly, Enter seven
devils _solus_. It is a well-trussed title that contains both the number
and the beast; for a committee-man is a noun of multitude, he must be
spelled with figures, like Antichrist wrapped in a pair-royal of sixes.
Thus the name is as monstrous as the man, a complex notion of the same
lineage with accumulative treason. For his office it is the Heptarchy,
or England's fritters; it is the broken meat of a crumbling prince, only
the royalty is greater; for it is here, as in the miracle of loaves, the
voider exceeds the bill of fare. The Pope and he ring the changes; here
is the plurality of crowns to one head, join them together and there is
a harmony in discord. The triple-headed turnkey of heaven with the
triple-headed porter of hell. A committee-man is the relics of regal
government, but, like holy relics, he outbulks the substance whereof he
is a remnant. There is a score of kings in a committee, as in the relics
of the cross there is the number of twenty. This is the giant with the
hundred hands that wields the sceptre; the tyrannical bead-roll by which
the kingdom prays backward, and at every curse drops a committee-man.
Let Charles be waived whose condescending clemency aggravates the
defection, and make Nero the question, better a Nero than a committee.
There is less execution by a single bullet than by case-shot.

Now a committee-man is a parti-coloured officer. He must be drawn like
Janus with cross and pile in his countenance, as he relates to the
soldiers or faces about to his fleecing the country. Look upon him
martially, and he is a justice of war, one that hath bound his Dalton up
in buff, and will needs be of the Quorum to the best commanders. He is
one of Mars his lay-elders; he shares in the government, though a
Nonconformist to his bleeding rubric. He is the like sectary in arms, as
the Platonic is in love, keeps a fluttering in discourse, but proves a
haggard in the action. He is not of the soldiers and yet of his flock.
It is an emblem of the golden age (and such indeed he makes it to him)
when so tame a pigeon may converse with vultures. Methinks a committee
hanging about a governor, and bandileers dangling about a furred
alderman, have an anagram resemblance. There is no syntax between a cap
of maintenance and a helmet. Who ever knew an enemy routed by a grand
jury and a _Billa vera?_ It is a left-handed garrison where their
authority perches; but the more preposterous the more in fashion, the
right hand fights while the left rules the reins. The truth is, the
soldier and the gentleman are like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, one
fights at all adventures to purchase the other the government of the
island. A committee-man properly should be the governor's mattress to
fit his truckle, and to new string him with sinews of war; for his chief
use is to raise assessments in the neighbouring wapentake.

The country people being like an Irish cow that will not give down her
milk unless she see her calf before her, hence it is he is the
garrison's dry nurse; he chews their contribution before he feeds them,
so the poor soldiers live like Trochilus by picking the teeth of this
sacred crocodile.

So much for his warlike or ammunition face, which is so preter-natural
that it is rather a vizard than a face; Mars in him hath but a blinking
aspect, his face of arms is like his coat, _partie per pale_, soldier
and gentleman much of a scantling.

Now enter his taxing and deglubing face, a squeezing look like that of
Vespasianus, as if he were bleeding over a close stool.

Take him thus and he is in the inquisition of the purse an authentic
gypsy, that nips your bong with a canting ordinance; not a murdered
fortune in all the country but bleeds at the touch of this malefactor.
He is the spleen of the body politic that swells itself to the
consumption of the whole. At first, indeed, he ferreted for the
parliament, but since he hath got off his cope he set up for himself. He
lives upon the sins of the people, and that is a good standing dish too.
He verifies the axiom, _lisdem nutritur ex quibus componitur_; his diet
is suitable to his constitution. I have wondered often why the plundered
countrymen should repair to him for succour, certainly it is under the
same notion, as one whose pockets are picked goes to Moll Cutpurse, as
the predominant in that faculty.

He outdives a Dutchman, gets a noble of him that was never worth
sixpence; for the poorest do not escape, but Dutch-like he will be
draining even in the driest ground. He aliens a delinquent's estate with
as little remorse as his other holiness gives away an heretic's kingdom,
and for the truth of the delinquency, both chapmen have as little share
of infallibility. Lye is the grand salad of arbitrary government,
executor to the star-chamber and the high commission; for those courts
are not extinct, they survive in him like dollars changed into single
money. To speak the truth, he is the universal tribunal; for since these
times all causes fall to his cognisance, as in a great infection all
diseases turn oft to the plague. It concerns our masters the parliament
to look about them; if he proceedeth at this rate the jack may come to
swallow the pike, as the interest often eats out the principal. As his
commands are great, so he looks for a reverence accordingly. He is
punctual in exacting your hat, and to say right his due, but by the same
title as the upper garment is the vails of the executioner. There was a
time when such cattle would hardly have been taken upon suspicion for
men in office, unless the old proverb were renewed, that the beggars
make a free company, and those their wardens. You may see what it is to
hang together. Look upon them severally, and you cannot but fumble for
some threads of charity. But oh, they are termagants in conjunction!
like fiddlers who are rogues when they go single, and joined in consort,
gentlemen musicianers. I care not much if I untwist my committee-man,
and so give him the receipt of this grand Catholicon.

Take a state martyr, one that for his good behaviour hath paid the
excise of his ears, so suffered captivity by the land-piracy of
ship-money; next a primitive freeholder, one that hates the king because
he is a gentleman transgressing the Magna Charta of delving Adam. Add to
these a mortified bankrupt that helps out his false weights with some
scruples of conscience, and with his peremptory scales can doom his
prince with a _mene tekel_. These with a new blue-stockinged justice,
lately made of a good basket-hilted yeoman, with a short-handed clerk
tacked to the rear of him to carry the knapsack of his understanding,
together with two or three equivocal sirs whose religion, like their
gentility, is the extract of their acres; being therefore spiritual
because they are earthly; not forgetting the man of the law, whose
corruption gives the Hogan to the sincere Juncto. These are the simples
of this precious compound; a kind of Dutch hotch-potch, the Hogan Mogan

The Committee-man hath a sideman, or rather a setter, hight a
Sequestrator, of whom you may say, as of the great Sultan's horse, where
he treads the grass grows no more. He is the State's cormorant, one that
fishes for the public but feeds himself; the misery is he fishes without
the cormorant's property, a rope to strengthen the gullet and to make
him disgorge. A sequestrator! He is the devil's nut-hook, the sign with
him is always in the clutches. There are more monsters retain to him
than to all the limbs in anatomy. It is strange physicians do not apply
him to the soles of the feet in a desperate fever, he draws far beyond
pigeons. I hope some mountebank will slice him and make the experiment.
He is a tooth-drawer once removed; here is the difference, one applauds
the grinder the other the grist. Never till now could I verify the
poet's description, that the ravenous harpy had a human visage. Death
himself cannot quit scores with him; like the demoniac in the gospel, he
lives among tombs, nor is all the holy water shed by widows and orphans
a sufficient exorcism to dispossess him. Thus the cat sucks your breath
and the fiend your blood; nor can the brotherhood of witchfinders, so
sagely instituted with all their terror, wean the familiars.

But once more to single out my embossed committee-man; his fate (for I
know you would fain see an end of him) is either a whipping audit, when
he is wrung in the withers by a committee of examinations, and so the
sponge weeps out the moisture which he had soaked before; or else he
meets his passing peal in the clamorous mutiny of a gut-foundered
garrison, for the hedge-sparrow will be feeding the cuckoo till he
mistake his commons and bites off her head. Whatever it is, it is within
his desert, for what is observed of some creatures that at the same time
they trade in productions three stories high, suckling the first, big
with the second, and clicketing for the third: a committee-man is the
counterpoint, his mischief is superfoetation, a certain scale of
destruction, for he ruins the father, beggars the son, and strangles the
hope of all posterity.


A diurnal-maker is the sub-almoner of history, Queen Mab's register, one
whom, by the same figure that a north country pedlar is a merchantman,
you may style an author. It is like overreach of language, when every
thin tinder-cloaked quack must be called a doctor; when a clumsy cobbler
usurps the attribute of our English peers, and is vamped a translator.
List him a writer and you smother Geoffrey in swabber-slops; the very
name of dabbler oversets him; he is swallowed up in the phrase, like Sir
S.L. [Samuel Luke] in a great saddle, nothing to be seen but the giddy
feather in his crown. They call him a Mercury, but he becomes the
epithet like the little negro mounted upon an elephant, just such
another blot rampant. He has not stuffings sufficient for the reproach
of a scribbler, but it hangs about him like an old wife's skin when the
flesh hath forsaken her, lank and loose. He defames a good title as well
as most of our modern noblemen; those wens of greatness, the body
politic's most peccant humours blistered into lords. He hath so
raw-boned a being that however you render him he rubs it out and makes
rags of the expression. The silly countryman who, seeing an ape in a
scarlet coat, blessed his young worship, and gave his landlord joy of
the hopes of his house, did not slander his complement with worse
application than he that names this shred an historian. To call him an
historian is to knight a mandrake; 'tis to view him through a
perspective, and by that gross hyperbole to give the reputation of an
engineer to a maker of mousetraps. Such an historian would hardly pass
muster with a Scotch stationer in a sieveful of ballads and godly books.
He would not serve for the breast-plate of a begging Grecian. The most
cramped compendium that the age hath seen since all learning hath been
almost torn into ends, outstrips him by the head. I have heard of
puppets that could prattle in a play, but never saw of their writings
before. There goes a report of the Holland women that together with
their children they are delivered of a Sooterkin, not unlike to a rat,
which some imagine to be the offspring of the stoves. I know not what
_Ignis fatuus_ adulterates the press, but it seems much after that
fashion, else how could this vermin think to be a twin to a legitimate
writer; when those weekly fragments shall pass for history, let the poor
man's box be entitled the exchequer, and the alms-basket a magazine. Not
a worm that gnaws on the dull scalp of voluminous Holinshed, but at
every meal devoured more chronicle than his tribe amounts to. A marginal
note of W. P. would serve for a winding-sheet for that man's works, like
thick-skinned fruits are all rind, fit for nothing but the author's
fate, to be pared in a pillory.

The cook who served up the dwarf in a pie (to continue the frolic) might
have lapped up such an historian as this in the bill of fare. He is the
first tincture and rudiment of a writer, dipped as yet in the
preparative blue, like an almanac well-willer. He is the cadet of a
pamphleteer, the pedee of a romancer; he is the embryo of a history
slinked before maturity. How should he record the issues of time who is
himself an abortive? I will not say but that he may pass for an
historian in Garbier's academy; he is much of the size of those
knotgrass professors. What a pitiful seminary was there projected; yet
suitable enough to the present universities, those dry nurses which the
providence of the age has so fully reformed that they are turned
reformadoes. But that's no matter, the meaner the better. It is a maxim
observable in these days, that the only way to win the game is to play
petty Johns. Of this number is the esquire of the quill, for he hath the
grudging of history and some yawnings accordingly. Writing is a disease
in him and holds like a quotidian, so 'tis his infirmity that makes him
an author, as Mahomet was beholding to the falling sickness to vouch him
a prophet. That nice artificer who filed a chain so thin and light that
a flea could trail it (as if he had worked shorthand, and taught his
tools to cypher), did but contrive an emblem for this skipjack and his
slight productions.

Methinks the Turk should licence diurnals because he prohibits learning
and books. A library of diurnals is a wardrobe of frippery; 'tis a just
idea of a Limbo of the infants. I saw one once that could write with his
toes, by the same token I could have wished he had worn his copies for
socks; 'tis he without doubt from whom the diurnals derive their
pedigree, and they have a birthright accordingly, being shuffled out at
the bed's feet of history. To what infinite numbers an historian would
multiply should he crumble into elves of this profession? To supply this
smallness they are fain to join forces, so they are not singly but as
the custom is in a croaking committee. They tug at the pen like slaves
at the oar, a whole bank together; they write in the posture that the
Swedes gave fire in, over one another's heads. It is said there is more
of them go to a suit of clothes than to a _Britannicus;_ in this
polygamy the clothes breed and cannot determine whose issue is
lawfully begotten.

And here I think it were not amiss to take a particular how he is
accoutred, and so do by him as he in his Siquis for the wall-eyed mare,
or the crop flea-bitten, give you the marks of the beast. I begin with
his head, which is ever in clouts, as if the nightcap should make
affidavit that the brain was pregnant. To what purpose doth the _Pia
Mater_ lie in so dully in her white formalities; sure she hath had hard
labour, for the brows have squeezed for it, as you may perceive by his
buttered bon-grace that film of a demicastor; 'tis so thin and unctuous
that the sunbeams mistake it for a vapour, and are like to cap him; so
it is right heliotrope, it creaks in the shine and flaps in the shade;
whatever it be I wish it were able to call in his ears. There's no
proportion between that head and appurtenances; those of all lungs are
no more fit for that small noddle of the circumcision than brass bosses
for a Geneva Bible. In what a puzzling neutrality is the poor soul that
moves betwixt two such ponderous biases? His collar is edged with a
piece of peeping linen, by which he means a band; 'tis the forlorn of
his shirt crawling out of his neck; indeed it were time that his shirt
were jogging, for it has served an apprenticeship, and (as apprentices
use) it hath learned its trade too, to which effect 'tis marching to the
papermill, and the next week sets up for itself in the shape of a
pamphlet. His gloves are the shavings of his hands, for he casts his
skin like a cancelled parchment. The itch represents the broken seals.
His boots are the legacies of two black jacks, and till he pawned the
silver that the jacks were tipped with it was a pretty mode of
boot-hose-tops. For the rest of his habit he is a perfect seaman, a kind
of tarpaulin, he being hanged about with his coarse composition, those
pole-davie papers.

But I must draw to an end, for every character is an anatomy lecture,
and it fares with me in this of the diurnal-maker, as with him that
reads on a begged malefactor, my subject smells before I have gone
through with him; for a parting blow then. The word historian imports a
sage and solemn author, one that curls his brow with a sullen gravity,
like a bull-necked Presbyter since the army hath got him off his
jurisdiction, who, Presbyter like, sweeps his breast with a reverend
beard, full of native moss-troopers; not such a squirting scribe as this
that's troubled with the rickets, and makes pennyworths of history. The
college-treasury that never had in bank above a Harry-groat, shut up
there in a melancholy solitude, like one that is kept to keep
possession, had as good evidence to show for his title as he for an
historian; so, if he will needs be an historian, he is not cited in the
sterling acceptation, but after the rate of bluecaps' reckoning, an
historian Scot. Now a Scotchman's tongue runs high fullams. There is a
cheat in his idiom, for the sense ebbs from the bold expression, like
the citizen's gallon, which the drawer interprets but half a pint. In
sum, a diurnal-maker is the anti-mark of an historian, he differs from
him as a drill from a man, or (if you had rather have it in the saints'
gibberish) as a hinter doth from a holder-forth.


A diurnal is a puny chronicle, scarce pin-feathered with the wings of
time. It is a history in sippets: the English Iliads in a nutshell: the
apocryphal Parliament's book of Maccabees in single sheets. It would
tire a Welshman to reckon up how many aps 'tis removed from an annal;
for it is of that extract, only of the younger house, like a shrimp to a
lobster. The original sinner in this kind was Dutch, Gallo-Belgicus the
protoplast, and the modern Mercuries but Hans-en-kelders. The Countess
of Zealand was brought to bed of an almanac, as many children as days in
the year. It may be the legislative lady is of that lineage, so she
spawns the diurnals, and they at Westminster take them in adoption by
the names of _Scoticus_, _Civicus_, _Britannicus_. In the frontispiece
of the old Beldam diurnal, like the contents of the chapter, sitteth the
House of Commons judging the twelve tribes of Israel. You may call them
the kingdom's anatomy before the weekly calendar; for such is a diurnal,
the day of the month with what weather in the commonwealth. It is taken
for the pulse of the body politic, and the empiric divines of the
assembly, those spiritual dragooners, thumb it accordingly. Indeed it is
a pretty synopsis, and those grave rabbis (though in the point of
Divinity) trade in no larger authors. The country-carrier, when he buys
it for the vicar, miscalls it the urinal; yet properly enough, for it
casts the water of the state ever since it staled blood. It differs from
an Aulicus, as the devil and his exorcist, or as a black witch doth from
a white one, whose office is to unravel her enchantments.

It begins usually with an Ordinance, which is a law still born, dropped
before quickened by the royal assent. 'Tis one of the parliament's
bye-blows, acts only being legitimate, and hath no more sire than a
Spanish jennet that is begotten by the wind.

Thus their militia, like its patron Mars, is the issue only of the
mother, without the concourse of royal Jupiter: yet law it is, if they
vote it, in defiance to their fundamentals; like the old sexton, who
swore his clock went true, whatever the sun said to the contrary.

The next ingredient of a diurnal is plots, horrible plots, which with
wonderful sagacity it hunts dry-Coot, while they are yet in their
causes, before _materia prima_ can put on her smock. How many such fits
of the mother have troubled the kingdom; and for all Sir W.E. [William
Earle] looks like a man-midwife, not yet delivered of so much as a
cushion? But actors must have properties; and since the stages were
voted down the only playhouse is at Westminster.

Suitable to their plots are their informers, skippers, and tailors,
spaniels both for the land and water. Good conscionable intelligence!
For however Pym's bill may inflame the reckoning, the honest vermin have
not so much for lying as the public faith.

Thus a zealous botcher in Moorfields, while he was contriving some
quirpocut of Church-Government, by the help of his outlying ears and the
Otacousticon of the spirit, discovered such a plot, that Selden intends
to combat antiquity, and maintain it was a tailor's goose that preserved
the capital.

I wonder my Lord of Canterbury is not once more all to be traitored, for
dealing with the lions to settle the Commission of Array in the Tower.
It would do well to cramp the articles dormant, besides the opportunity
of reforming these beasts of the prerogative, and changing their
profaner names of Harry and Charles into Nehemiah and Eleazar.

Suppose a corn-cutter being to give little Isaac a cast of his office
should fall to paring his brows (mistaking the one end for the other,
because he branches at both), this would be a plot, and the next diurnal
would furnish you with this scale of votes:--

_Resolved_ upon the question, That this act of the corn-cutter was an
absolute invasion of the city's charter in the representative
forehead of Isaac.

_Resolved_, That the evil counsellors about the corn-cutter are popishly
affected and enemies to the State.

_Resolved_, That there be a public thanksgiving for the great
deliverance of Isaac's brow-antlers; and a solemn covenant drawn up to
defy the corn-cutter and all his works.

Thus the Quixotes of this age fight with the windmills of their own
heads, quell monsters of their own creation, make plots, and then
discover them; as who fitter to unkennel the fox than the terrier that
is part of him?

In the third place march their adventures; the Roundheads' legends, the
rebels' romance; stories of a larger size than the ears of their sect,
able to strangle the belief of a Solifidian.

I'll present them in their order. And first as a whiffler before the
show enter Stamford, one that trod the stage with the first, traversed
the ground, made a leg and exit. The country people took him for one
that by order of the Houses was to dance a morrice through the west of
England. Well, he's a nimble gentleman; set him upon Banks his horse in
a saddle rampant, and it is a great question which part of the Centaur
shows better tricks.

There was a vote passing to translate him with all his equipage into
monumental gingerbread; but it was crossed by the female committee
alleging that the valour of his image would bite their children by
the tongues.

This cubit and half of commander, by the help of a diurnal, routed his
enemies fifty miles off. It's strange you'll say, and yet 'tis generally
believed he would as soon do it at that distance as nearer hand. Sure it
was his sword for which the weapon-salve was invented; that so wounding
and healing (like loving correlates) might both work at the same
removes. But the squib is run to the end of the rope: room for the
prodigy of valour. Madam Atropos in breeches, Waller's knight-errantry;
and because every mountebank must have his zany, throw him in Hazelrig
to set off his story. These two, like Bel and the Dragon, are always
worshipped in the same chapter; they hunt in couples, what one doth at
the head, the other scores up at the heels.

Thus they kill a man over and over, as Hopkins and Sternhold murder the
psalms with another of the same; one chimes all in, and then the other
strikes up as the saints-bell.

I wonder for how many lives my Lord Hopton took the lease of his body.

First Stamford slew him, then Waller outkilled that half a bar; and yet
it is thought the sullen corpse would scarce bleed were both these
manslayers never so near it.

The same goes of a Dutch headsman, that he would do his office with so
much ease and dexterity, that the head after execution should stand upon
the shoulders. Pray God Sir William be not probationer for the place;
for as if he had the like knack too, most of those whom the diurnal hath
slain for him, to us poor mortals seem untouched.

Thus these artificers of death can kill the man without wounding the
body, like lightning, that melts the sword and never singes
the scabbard.

This is the William whose lady is the conqueror; this is the city's
champion and the diurnal's delight; he that cuckolds the general in his
commission; for he stalks with Essex, and shoots under his belly,
because his Excellency himself is not charged there: yet in all this
triumph there is a whip and bell; translate but the scene to Roundway
Down, there Hazelrig's lobsters turned crabs and crawled backwards,
there poor Sir William ran to his lady for an use of consolation.

But the diurnal is weary of the arm of flesh, and now begins an hosanna
to Cromwell; one that hath beat up his drums clean through the Old
Testament; you may learn the genealogy of our Saviour by the names in
his regiment; the muster-master uses no other list but the first chapter
of Matthew.

With what face can they object to the king the bringing in of
foreigners, when themselves entertain such an army of Hebrews? This
Cromwell is never so valorous as when he is making speeches for the
association, which nevertheless he doth somewhat ominously with his neck
awry, holding up his ear as if he expected Mahomet's pigeon to come and
prompt him. He should be a bird of prey too by his bloody beak; his nose
is able to try a young eagle, whether she be lawfully begotten. But all
is not gold that glitters. What we wonder at in the rest of them is
natural to him to kill without bloodshed, for the most of his trophies
are in a church window, when a looking-glass would show him more
superstition. He is so perfect a hater of images that he hath defaced
God's in his own countenance. If he deals with men, 'tis when he takes
them napping in an old monument; then down goes dust and ashes, and the
stoutest cavalier is no better. O brave Oliver! Time's voider, subsizer
to the worms, in whom death, who formerly devoured our ancestors, now
chews the cud. He said grace once as if he would have fallen aboard with
the Marquis of Newcastle; nay, and the diurnal gave you his bill of
fare; but it proved a running banquet, as appears by the story. Believe
him as he whistles to his Cambridge team of committee-men, and he doth
wonders. But holy men, like the holy language, must be read backwards.
They rifle colleges to promote learning, and pull down churches for
edification. But sacrilege is entailed upon him. There must be a
Cromwell for cathedrals as well as abbeys; a secure sin, whose offence
carries its pardon in its mouth; for how shall he be hanged for
church-robbery, that gives himself the benefit of the clergy?

But for all Cromwell's nose wears the dominical letter, compared to
Manchester he is but like the vigils to an holy-day. This, this is the
man of God, so sanctified a thunderbolt, that Burroughs (in a
proportionable blasphemy to his Lord of Hosts) would style him the
archangel giving battle to the devil.

Indeed, as the angels each of them makes a several species, so every one
of his soldiers makes a distinct church. Had these beasts been to enter
into the ark it would have puzzled Noah to have sorted them into pairs.
If ever there were a rope of sand it was so many sects twisted into an

They agree in nothing but that they are all Adamites in understanding.
It is a sign of a coward to wink and fight, yet all their valour
proceeds from their ignorance.

But I wonder whence their general's purity proceeds; it is not by
traduction; if he was begotten a saint it was by equivocal generation,
for the devil in the father is turned monk in the son, so his godliness
is of the same parentage with good laws, both extracted out of bad
manners, and would he alter the Scripture as he hath attempted the
creed, he might vary the text and say to corruption, Thou art my Father.

This is he that put out one of the kingdom's eyes by clouding our mother
university; and (if this Scotch mist farther prevail) he will extinguish
the other. He hath the like quarrel to both, because both are strung
with the same optic nerve, knowing loyalty.

Barbarous rebel! who will be revenged upon all learning, because his
treason is beyond the mercy of the book.

The diurnal as yet hath not talked much of his victories, but there is
the more behind, for the knight must always beat the giant,
that's resolved.

If anything fall out amiss which cannot be smothered, the diurnal hath a
help at maw. It is but putting to sea and taking a Danish fleet, or
brewing it with some success out of Ireland, and then it goes
down merrily.

There are more puppets that move by the wire of a diurnal, as Brereton
and Cell, two of Mars his petty-toes, such snivelling cowards that it is
a favour to call them so. Was Brereton to fight with his teeth (as in
all other things he resembles the beast) he would have odds of any man
at the weapon. Oh, he's a terrible slaughterman at a Thanksgiving
dinner. Had he been cannibal to have eaten those that he vanquished, his
gut would have made him valiant.

The greatest wonder is at Fairfax, how he comes to be a babe of grace,
certainly it is not in his personal, but (as the State-sophies
distinguish) in his politic capacity; degenerate _ab extra_ by the zeal
of the house he sat in, as chickens are hatched at Grand Cairo by the
adoption of an oven.

There is the woodmonger too, a feeble crutch to a declining cause, a new
branch of the old oak of reformation.

And now I speak of reformation, _vous avez_, Fox the tinker, the
liveliest emblem of it that may be; for what did this parliament ever go
about to reform, but, tinkerwise, in mending one hole they made three?

But I have not ink enough to cure all the tetters and ring-worms of the

I will close up all thus. The victories of the rebels are like the
magical combat of Apuleius, who thinking he had slain three of his
enemies, found them at last but a triumvirate of bladders. Such, and so
empty are the triumphs of a diurnal, but so many impostumated fancies,
so many bladders of their own blowing.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The "Surfeit to A.B.C." in 1656, was a look of Characters. "Naps upon
Parnassus'" in 1658 contained Characters of a Temporizer and an
Antiquary. In the same year appeared "Satyrical Characters and Handsome
Descriptions, in Letters." In 1659 there was a third edition of a satire
on the English, published as "A Character of England, as it was lately
presented in a Letter to a Nobleman of France" replied to in that year
by "A Character of France." These suggested the production in 1659 of "A
Perfect Description of the People and Country of Scotland" and, also in
1659, "A Brief Character of the Low Countries under the States, being
Three Weeks' Observation of the Vices and Virtues of the Inhabitants."
This was written by Owen Feltham, and added to several editions of his
"Resolves." In 1660 appeared "The Character of Italy" and "The Character
of Spain;" in 1661, "Essays and Characters by L. G.;" in 1662-63, "The
Assembly-Man" a Character that had been written by Sir John Birkenhead
in 1647. Then came, in 1665, Richard Flecknoe, to whom Dryden ascribed
sovereignty as one who

   "In prose and verse was owned without dispute,
   Through all the realms of Nonsense absolute."

As he was equally ready in all forms of writing that his neighbours
followed he, of course, wrote Characters. They were "Fifty-five
Enigmatical Characters, all very exactly drawn to the Life, from several
Persons, Humours, Dispositions. Pleasant and full of Delight. By R. F.,
Esq." The Duke of Newcastle admired, and wrote, in lines prefixed to
the book--_

   "Flecknoe, thy characters are so full of wit
   And fancy, as each word is throng'd with it.
   Each line's a volume, and who reads would swear
   Whole libraries were in each character.
   Nor arrows in a quiver stuck, nor yet
   Lights in the starry skies are thicker set,
   Nor quills upon the armed porcupine,
   Than wit and fancy in this work of thine."

_This is one of Flecknoe's Characters:--_


He is only a man; your coward and rash being but tame and savage beasts.
His courage is still the same, and drink cannot make him more valiant,
nor danger less. His valour is enough to leaven whole armies; he is an
army himself, worth an army of other men. His sword is not always out
like children's daggers, but he is always last in beginning quarrels,
though first in ending them. He holds honour, though delicate as
crystal, yet not so slight and brittle to be broke and cracked with
every touch; therefore, though most wary of it, is not querulous nor
punctilious. He is never troubled with passion, as knowing no degree
beyond clear courage; and is always valiant, but never furious. He is
the more gentle in the chamber, more fierce he's in the field, holding
boast (the coward's valour), and cruelty (the beast's), unworthy a
valiant man. He is only coward in this, that he dares not do an
unhandsome action. In fine, he can only be overcome by discourtesy, and
has but one defect--he cannot talk much--to recompense which he does
the more.

_In 1673 there was published "The Character of a Coffee House, with the
symptoms of a Town Wit;" and in the same year, "Essays of Love and
Marriage ... with some Characters and other Passages of Wit;" in 1675,
"The Character of a Fanatick. By a Person of Quality;" a set of eleven
Characters appeared in 1675; "A Whip for a Jockey, or a Character of an
Horse-Courser," in 1677; "Four for a Penny, or Poor Robin's Character of
an unconscionable Pawnbroker and Ear-mark of an oppressing Tally-man,
with a friendly description of a Bum-bailey, and his merciless setting
cur or Follower," appeared in 1678; and in the same year the Duke of
Buckingham's "Character of an Ugly Woman." In 1681 appeared the
"Character of a Disbanded Courtier," and in 1684 Oldham's "Character of
a certain ugly old P----." In 1686 followed "Twelve ingenious
Characters, or pleasant Descriptions of the Properties of sundry Persons
and Things." Sir William Coventry's "Character of a Trimmer," published
in 1689, had been written before 1659, when it had been answered by a
"Character of a Tory," not printed at the time, but included (1721) in
the works of George Villiers, second Duke of Buckingham. In 1689
appeared "Characters addressed to Ladies of Age," and also "The
Ceremony-Monger his Character, in Six Chapters, by E. Hickeringill,
Rector of All Saints, Colchester." Ohe! Enough, enough!_


_Author of "Hudibras," who died in 1680, also exercised his wit in
Character writing. When Butler's "Remains" were published in two volumes
in 1759 by R. Thyer, Keeper of the Public Library of Manchester, 460
pages of the second volume, (all the volume except forty or fifty pages
of "Thoughts on Various Subjects,") was occupied by a collection of 120
Characters that he had written. I close this volume of "Character
Writings of the Seventeenth Century" with as many of Samuel Butler's
Characters as the book has room for,--none are wittier--space being left
for one Character by a poet of our own century, Wordsworth's "Character
of the Happy Warrior" to bring us to a happy close._




Is like a turnip, there is nothing good of him but that which is
underground; or rhubarb, a contemptible shrub that springs from a noble
root. He has no more title to the worth and virtue of his ancestors than
the worms that were engendered in their dead bodies, and yet he believes
he has enough to exempt himself and his posterity from all things of
that nature for ever. This makes him glory in the antiquity of his
family, as if his nobility were the better the further off it is, in
time as well as desert, from that of his predecessors. He believes the
honour that was left him as well as the estate is sufficient to support
his quality without troubling himself to purchase any more of his own;
and he meddles us little with the management of the one as the other,
but trusts both to the government of his servants, by whom he is equally
cheated in both. He supposes the empty title of honour sufficient to
serve his turn, though he has spent the substance and reality of it,
like the fellow that sold his ass but would not part with the shadow of
it; or Apicius, that sold his house, and kept only the balcony to see
and be seen in. And because he is privileged from being arrested for his
debts, supposes he has the same freedom from all obligations he owes
humanity and his country, because he is not punishable for his ignorance
and want of honour, no more than poverty or unskilfulness is in other
professions, which the law supposes to be punishment enough to itself.
He is like a fanatic, that contents himself with the mere title of a
saint, and makes that his privilege to act all manner of wickedness; or
the ruins of a noble structure, of which there is nothing left but the
foundation, and that obscured and buried under the rubbish of the
superstructure. The living honour of his ancestors is long ago departed,
dead and gone, and his is but the ghost and shadow of it, that haunts
the house with horror and disquiet where once it lived. His nobility is
truly descended from the glory of his forefathers, and may be rightly
said to fall to him, for it will never rise again to the height it was
in them by his means, and he succeeds them as candles do the office of
the sun. The confidence of nobility has rendered him ignoble, as the
opinion of wealth makes some men poor, and as those that are born to
estates neglect industry and have no business but to spend, so he being
born to honour believes he is no further concerned than to consume and
waste it. He is but a copy, and so ill done that there is no line of the
original in him but the sin only. He is like a word that by ill-custom
and mistake has utterly lost the sense of that from which it was
derived, and now signifies quite contrary; for the glory of noble
ancestors will not permit the good or bad of their posterity to be
obscure. He values himself only upon his title, which being only verbal
gives him a wrong account of his natural capacity, for the same words
signify more or less, according as they are applied to things, as
ordinary and extraordinary do at court; and sometimes the greater sound
has the less sense, as in accounts, though four be more than three, yet
a third in proportion is more than a fourth.


Is a cipher, that has no value himself but from the place he stands in.
All his happiness consists in the opinion he believes others have of it.
This is his faith, but as it is heretical and erroneous, though he
suffer much tribulation for it, he continues obstinate, and not to be
convinced. He flutters up and down like a butterfly in a garden, and
while he is pruning of his peruke takes occasion to contemplate his legs
and the symmetry of his breeches. He is part of the furniture of the
rooms, and serves for a walking picture, a moving piece of arras. His
business is only to be seen, and he performs it with admirable industry,
placing himself always in the best light, looking wonderfully politic,
and cautious whom he mixes withal. His occupation is to show his
clothes, and if they could but walk themselves they would save him the
labour and do his work as well as himself. His immunity from varlets is
his freehold, and he were a lost man without it. His clothes are but his
tailor's livery, which he gives him, for 'tis ten to one he never pays
for them. He is very careful to discover the lining of his coat, that
you may not suspect any want of integrity or flaw in him from the skin
outwards. His tailor is his creator, and makes him of nothing; and
though he lives by faith in him, he is perpetually committing iniquities
against him. His soul dwells in the outside of him, like that of a
hollow tree, and if you do but peel the bark off him he deceases
immediately. His carriage of himself is the wearing of his clothes, and,
like the cinnamon tree, his bark is better than his body. His looking
big is rather a tumour than greatness. He is an idol that has just so
much value as other men give him that believe in him, but none of his
own. He makes his ignorance pass for reserve, and, like a hunting-nag,
leaps over what he cannot get through. He has just so much of politics
as hostlers in the university have Latin. He is as humble as a Jesuit to
his superior, but repays himself again in insolence over those that are
below him, and with a generous scorn despises those that can neither do
him good nor hurt. He adores those that may do him good, though he knows
they never will, and despises those that would not hurt him if they
could. The court is his church, and he believes as that believes, and
cries up and down everything as he finds it pass there. It is a great
comfort to him to think that some who do not know him may perhaps take
him for a lord, and while that thought lasts he looks bigger than usual
and forgets his acquaintance, and that's the reason why he will
sometimes know you and sometimes not. Nothing but want of money or
credit puts him in mind that he is mortal, but then he trusts Providence
that somebody will trust him, and in expectation of that hopes for a
better life, and that his debts will never rise up in judgment against
him. To get in debt is to labour in his vocation, but to pay is to
forfeit his protection, for what's that worth to one that owes nothing?
His employment being only to wear his clothes, the whole account of his
life and actions is recorded in shopkeepers' books, that are his
faithful historiographers to their own posterity; and he believes he
loses so much reputation as he pays off his debts, and that no man wears
his clothes in fashion that pays for them, for nothing is further from
the mode. He believes that he that runs in debt is beforehand with those
that trust him, and only those that pay are behind. His brains are
turned giddy, like one that walks on the top of a house, and that's the
reason it is so troublesome to him to look downwards. He is a kind of
spectrum, and his clothes are the shape he takes to appear and walk in,
and when he puts them off he vanishes. He runs as busily out of one room
into another as a great practiser does in Westminster Hall from one
court to another. When he accosts a lady he puts both ends of his
microcosm in motion, by making legs at one end and combing his peruke at
the other. His garniture is the sauce to his clothes, and he walks in
his portcannons like one that stalks in long grass. Every motion of him
cries "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, quoth the preacher." He rides
himself like a well-managed horse, reins in his neck, and walks
_terra-terra_. He carries his elbows backward, as if he were pinioned
like a trussed-up fowl, and moves as stiff as if he was upon the spit.
His legs are stuck in his great voluminous breeches like the whistles in
a bagpipe, those abundant breeches in which his nether parts are not
clothed but packed up. His hat has been long in a consumption of the
fashion, and is now almost worn to nothing; if it do not recover quickly
it will grow too little for a head of garlic. He wears garniture on the
toes of his shoes to justify his pretensions to the gout, or such other
malady that for the time being is most in fashion or request. When he
salutes a friend he pulls off his hat, as women do their vizard-masks.
His ribbons are of the true complexion of his mind, a kind of painted
cloud or gaudy rainbow, that has no colour of itself but what it borrows
from reflection. He is as tender of his clothes as a coward is of his
flesh, and as loth to have them disordered. His bravery is all his
happiness, and, like Atlas, he carries his heaven on his back. He is
like the golden fleece, a fine outside on a sheep's back. He is a
monster or an Indian creature, that is good for nothing in the world but
to be seen. He puts himself up into a sedan, like a fiddle in a case,
and is taken out again for the ladies to play upon, who, when they have
done with him, let down his treble-string till they are in the humour
again. His cook and _valet de chambre_ conspire to dress dinner and him
so punctually together that the one may not be ready before the other.
As peacocks and ostriches have the gaudiest and finest feathers, yet
cannot fly, so all his bravery is to flutter only. The beggars call him
"my lord," and he takes them at their words and pays them for it. If you
praise him, he is so true and faithful to the mode that he never fails
to make you a present of himself, and will not be refused, though you
know not what to do with him when you have him.


Waits at Court, as a dog does under a table, to catch what falls, or
force it from his fellows if he can. When a man is in a fair way to be
hanged that is richly worth it, or has hanged himself, he puts in to be
his heir and succeed him, and pretends as much merit as another, as no
doubt he has great reason to do if all things were rightly considered.
He thinks it vain to deserve well of his Prince as long as he can do his
business more easily by begging, for the same idle laziness possesses
him that does the rest of his fraternity, that had rather take an alms
than work for their livings, and therefore he accounts merit a more
uncertain and tedious way of rising, and sometimes dangerous. He values
himself and his place not upon the honour or allowances of it, but the
convenient opportunity of begging, as King Clause's courtiers do when
they have obtained of the superior powers a good station where three
ways meet to exercise the function in. The more ignorant, foolish, and
undeserving he is, provided he be but impudent enough, which all such
seldom fail to be, the better he thrives in his calling, as others in
the same way gain more by their sores and broken limbs than those that
are sound and in health. He always undervalues what he gains, because he
comes easily by it; and, how rich soever he proves, is resolved never to
be satisfied, as being, like a Friar Minor, bound by his order to be
always a beggar. He is, like King Agrippa, almost a Christian; for
though he never begs anything of God, yet he does very much of his
vicegerent the King, that is next Him. He spends lavishly what he gets,
because it costs him so little pains to get more, but pays nothing; for
if he should, his privilege would be of no use at all to him, and he
does not care to part with anything of his right. He finds it his best
way to be always craving, because he lights many times upon things that
are disposed of or not beggable; but if one hit, it pays for twenty that
miscarry; even as those virtuosos of his profession at large ask as well
of those that give them nothing as those few that, out of charity, give
them something. When he has passed almost all offices, as other beggars
do from constable to constable, and after meets with a stop, it does but
encourage him to be more industrious in watching the next opportunity,
to repair the charge he has been at to no purpose. He has his
emissaries, that are always hunting out for discoveries, and when they
bring him in anything that he judges too heavy far his own interest to
carry, he takes in others to join with him (like blind men and cripples
that beg in consort), and if they prosper they share, and give the
jackal some small snip for his pains in questing; that is, if he has any
further use of him; otherwise he leaves him, like virtue, to reward
himself; and because he deserves well, which he does by no means approve
of, gives him, that which he believes to be the fittest recompense of
all merit, just nothing. He believes that the King's restoration being
upon his birthday, he is bound to observe it all the days of his life,
and grant, as some other kings have done upon the same occasion,
whatever is demanded of him, though it were the one-half of his kingdom.


Is a clown of rank and degree. He is the growth of his own land, a kind
of Autocthonus, like the Athenians that sprang out of their own ground,
or barnacles that grow upon trees in Scotland. His homely education has
rendered him a native only of his own soil and a foreigner to all other
places, from which he differs in language, manner of living, and
behaviour, which are as rugged as the coat of a colt that has been bred
upon a common. The custom of being the best man in his own territories
has made him the worst everywhere else. He assumes the upper end of the
table at an ale-house as his birthright, receives the homage of his
company, which are always subordinate, and dispenses ale and
communication like a self-conforming teacher in a conventicle. The chief
points he treats on are the memoirs of his dogs and horses, which he
repeats as often as a holder-forth that has but two sermons, to which if
he adds the history of his hawks and fishing he is very painful and
laborious. He does his endeavour to appear a droll, but his wit being,
like his estate, within the compass of a hedge, is so profound and
obscure to a stranger that it requires a commentary, and is not to be
understood without a perfect knowledge of all circumstances of persons
and the particular idiom of the place. He has no ambition to appear a
person of civil prudence or understanding more than in putting off a
lame, infirm jade for sound wind and limb, to which purpose he brings
his squirehood and groom to vouch, and, rather than fail, will outswear
an affidavit-man. The top of his entertainment is horrible strong beer,
which he pours into his guests (as the Dutch did water into our
merchants when they tortured them at Amboyna) till they confess they can
drink no more, and then he triumphs over them as subdued and vanquished,
no less by the strength of his brain than his drink. When he salutes a
man he lays violent hands upon him, and grips and shakes him like a fit
of an ague; and when he accosts a lady he stamps with his foot, like a
French fencer, and makes a lunge at her, in which he always misses his
aim, too high or too low, and hits her on the nose or chin. He is never
without some rough-handed flatterer, that rubs him, like a horse, with a
curry-comb till he kicks and grunts with the pleasure of it. He has old
family stories and jests, that fell to him with the estate, and have
been left from heir to heir time out of mind. With these he entertains
all comers over and over, and has added some of his own times, which he
intends to transmit over to posterity. He has but one way of making all
men welcome that come to his house, and that is by making himself and
them drunk; while his servants take the same course with theirs, which
he approves of as good and faithful service, and the rather because, if
he has occasion to tell a strange, improbable story, they may be in a
readiness to vouch with the more impudence, and make it a case of
conscience to lie as well as drink for his credit. All the heroical
glory he aspires to is but to be reputed a most potent and victorious
stealer of deer and beater-up of parks, to which purpose he has compiled
commentaries of his own great actions that treat of his dreadful
adventures in the night, of giving battle in the dark, discomfiting of
keepers, horsing the deer on his own back, and making off with equal
resolution and success.


Is one that has his being in this age, but his life and conversation is
in the days of old. He despises the present age as an innovation and
slights the future, but has a great value for that which is past and
gone, like the madman that fell in love with Cleopatra. He is an old
frippery-philosopher, that has so strange a natural affection to
worm-eaten speculation that it is apparent he has a worm in his skull.
He honours his forefathers and foremothers, but condemns his parents as
too modern and no better than upstarts. He neglects himself because he
was born in his own time and so far off antiquity, which he so much
admires, and repines, like a younger brother, because he came so late
into the world. He spends the one-half of his time in collecting old
insignificant trifles, and the other in showing them, which he takes
singular delight in, because the oftener he does it the farther they are
from being new to him. All his curiosities take place of one another
according to their seniority, and he values them not by their abilities,
but their standing. He has a great veneration for words that are
stricken in years, and are grown so aged that they have outlived their
employments. These he uses with a respect agreeable to their antiquity
and the good services they have done. He throws away his time in
inquiring after that which is past and gone so many ages since, like one
that shoots away an arrow to find out another that was lost before. He
fetches things out of dust and ruins, like the fable of the chemical
plant raised out of its own ashes. He values one old invention, that is
lost and never to be recovered, before all the new ones in the world,
though never so useful. The whole business of his life is the same with
his that shows the tombs at Westminster, only the one does it for his
pleasure, and the other for money. As every man has but one father, but
two grandfathers and a world of ancestors, so he has a proportional
value for things that are ancient, and the farther off the greater.

He is a great time-server, but it is of time out of mind to which he
conforms exactly, but is wholly retired from the present. His days were
spent and gone long before he came into the world, and since his only
business is to collect what he can out of the ruins of them. He has so
strong a natural affection to anything that is old, that he may truly
say to dust and worms, "You are my father;" and to rottenness, "Thou art
my mother." He has no providence nor foresight, for all his
contemplations look backward upon the days of old; and his brains are
turned with them, as if he walked backwards. He had rather interpret one
obscure word in any old senseless discourse than be author of the most
ingenious new one, and, with Scaliger, would sell the Empire of Germany
(if it were in his power) for an old song. He devours an old manuscript
with greater relish than worms and moths do, and, though there be
nothing in it, values it above anything printed, which he accounts but a
novelty. When he happens to cure a small botch in an old author, he is
as proud of it as if he had got the philosopher's stone and could cure
all the diseases of mankind. He values things wrongfully upon their
antiquity, forgetting that the most modern are really the most ancient
of all things in the world, like those that reckon their pounds before
their shillings and pence of which they are made up. He esteems no
customs but such as have outlived themselves and are long since out of
use, as the Catholics allow of no saints but such as are dead, and the
fanatics, in opposition, of none but the living.


Is a fool in fermentation, that swells and boils over like a
porridge-pot. He sets out his feathers like an owl, to swell and seem
bigger than he is. He is troubled with a tumour and inflammation of
self-conceit, that renders every part of him stiff and uneasy. He has
given himself sympathetic love-powder, that works upon him to dotage and
has transformed him into his own mistress. He is his own gallant, and
makes most passionate addresses to his own dear perfections. He commits
idolatry to himself, and worships his own image; though there is no soul
living of his Church but himself, yet he believes as the Church
believes, and maintains his faith with the obstinacy of a fanatic. He is
his own favourite, and advances himself not only above his merit, but
all mankind; is both Damon and Pythias to his own dear self, and values
his crony above his soul. He gives place to no man but himself, and that
with very great distance to all others, whom he esteems not worthy to
approach him. He believes whatsoever he has receives a value in being
his, as a horse in a nobleman's stable will bear a greater price than in
a common market. He is so proud that he is as hard to be acquainted with
himself as with others, for he is very apt to forget who he is, and
knows himself only superficially; therefore he treats himself civilly as
a stranger with ceremony and compliment, but admits of no privacy. He
strives to look bigger than himself as well as others, and is no better
than his own parasite and flatterer. A little flood will make a shallow
torrent swell above its banks, and rage and foam and yield a roaring
noise, while a deep, silent stream glides quietly on. So a
vain-glorious, insolent, proud man swells with a little frail
prosperity, grows big and loud, and overflows his bounds, and when he
sinks, leaves mud and dirt behind him. His carriage is as glorious and
haughty as if he were advanced upon men's shoulders or tumbled over
their heads like knipperdolling. He fancies himself a Colosse, and so he
is, for his head holds no proportion to his body, and his foundation is
lesser than his upper storeys. We can naturally take no view of
ourselves unless we look downwards, to teach us how humble admirers we
ought to be of our own values. The slighter and less solid his materials
are the more room they take up and make him swell the bigger, as
feathers and cotton will stuff cushions better than things of more close
and solid parts.


Is one that would fain make himself that which Nature never meant him,
like a fanatic that inspires himself with his own whimsies. He sets up
haberdasher of small poetry, with a very small stock and no credit. He
believes it is invention enough to find out other men's wit, and
whatsoever he lights upon, either in books or company, he makes bold
with as his own. This he puts together so untowardly, that you may
perceive his own wit has the rickets by the swelling disproportion of
the joints. Imitation is the whole sum of him, and his vein is but an
itch that he has catched of others, and his flame like that of charcoals
that were burnt before. But as he wants judgment to understand what is
best, he naturally takes the worst, as being most agreeable to his own
talent. You may know his wit not to be natural, 'tis so unquiet and
troublesome in him; for as those that have money but seldom are always
shaking their pockets when they have it, so does he when he thinks he
has got something that will make him appear. He is a perpetual talker,
and you may know by the freedom of his discourse that he came lightly by
it, as thieves spend freely what they get. He measures other men's wit
by their modesty, and his own by his confidence. He makes nothing of
writing plays, because he has not wit enough to understand the
difficulty. This makes him venture to talk and scribble, as chouses do
to play with cunning gamesters until they are cheated and laughed at. He
is always talking of wit, as those that have bad voices are always
singing out of tune, and those that cannot play delight to fumble on
instruments. He grows the unwiser by other men's harms, for the worse
others write, he finds the more encouragement to do so too. His
greediness of praise is so eager that he swallows anything that comes in
the likeness of it, how notorious and palpable soever, and is as
shot-free against anything that may lessen his good opinion of himself.
This renders him incurable, like diseases that grow insensible.

If you dislike him, it is at your own peril; he is sure to put in a
caveat beforehand against your understanding, and, like a malefactor in
wit, is always furnished with exceptions against his judges. This puts
him upon perpetual apologies, excuses, and defences, but still by way of
defiance, in a kind of whiffling strain, without regard of any man that
stands in the way of his pageant. Where he thinks he may do it safely,
he will confidently own other men's writings; and where he fears the
truth may be discovered, he will, by feeble denials and feigned
insinuations, give men occasion to suppose it.

If he understands Latin or Greek he ranks himself among the learned,
despises the ignorant, talks criticisms out of Scaliger, and repeats
Martial's bawdy epigrams, and sets up his rest wholly upon pedantry. But
if he be not so well qualified, he cries down all learning as pedantic,
disclaims study, and professes to write with as great facility as if his
Muse was sliding down Parnassus. Whatsoever he hears well said he seizes
upon by poetical license, and one way makes it his own; that is, by
ill-repeating of it. This he believes to be no more theft than it is to
take that which others throw away. By this means his writings are, like
a tailor's cushion of mosaic work, made up of several scraps sewed
together. He calls a slovenly, nasty description great Nature, and dull
flatness strange easiness. He writes down all that comes in his head,
and makes no choice, because he has nothing to do it with that is
judgment. He is always repealing the old laws of comedy, and, like the
Long Parliament, making ordinances in their stead, although they are
perpetually thrown out of coffee-houses and come to nothing. He is like
an Italian thief, that never robs but he murders, to prevent discovery;
so sure is he to cry down the man from whom he purloins, that his petty
larceny of wit may pass unsuspected. He is but a copier at best, and
will never arrive to practise by the life; for bar him the imitation of
something he has read, and he has no image in his thoughts. Observation
and fancy, the matter and form of just wit, are above his philosophy. He
appears so over-concerned in all men's wits as if they were but
disparagements of his own, and cries down all they do as if they were
encroachments upon him. He takes jests from the owners and breaks them,
as justices do false weights and pots that want measure. When he meets
with anything that is very good he changes it into small money, like
three groats for a shilling, to serve several occasions. He disclaims
study, pretends to take things in motion, and to shoot flying, which
appears to be very true by his often missing of his mark. His wit is
much troubled with obstructions, and he has fits as painful as those of
the spleen. He fancies himself a dainty, spruce shepherd, with a flock
and a fine silken shepherdess, that follow his pipe as rats did the
conjurers in Germany.

As for epithets, he always avoids those that are near akin to the sense.
Such matches are unlawful, and not fit to be made by a Christian poet,
and therefore all his care is to choose out such as will serve, like a
wooden leg, to piece out a maimed verse that wants a foot or two; and if
they will but rhyme now and then into the bargain, or run upon a letter,
it is a work of supererogation.

For similitudes, he likes the hardest and most obscure best; for as
ladies wear black patches to make their complexions seem fairer than
they are, so when an illustration is more obscure than the sense that
went before it, it must of necessity make it appear clearer than it did,
for contraries are best set off with contraries.

He has found out a way to save the expense of much wit and sense; for he
will make less than some have prodigally laid out upon five or six words
serve forty or fifty lines. This is a thrifty invention, and very easy,
and, if it were commonly known, would much increase the trade of wit and
maintain a multitude of small poets in constant employment. He has found
out a new sort of poetical Georgics, a trick of sowing wit like
clover-grass on barren subjects which would yield nothing before. This
is very useful for the times, wherein, some men say, there is no room
left for new invention. He will take three grains of wit like the
elixir, and projecting it upon the iron age, turn it immediately into
gold. All the business of mankind has presently vanished; the whole
world has kept holiday; there have been no men but heroes and poets, no
women but nymphs and shepherdesses; trees have borne fritters, and
rivers flowed plum-porridge.

We read that Virgil used to make fifty or sixty verses in a morning, and
afterwards reduce them to ten. This was an unthrifty vanity, and argues
him as well ignorant in the husbandry of his own poetry as Seneca says
he was in that of a farm; for, in plain English, it was no better than
bringing a noble to nine-pence. And as such courses brought the prodigal
son to eat with hogs, so they did him to feed with horses, which were
not much better company, and may teach us to avoid doing the like. For
certainly it is more noble to take four or five grains of sense, and,
like a gold-beater, hammer them into so many leaves as will fill a whole
book, than to write nothing but epitomes, which many wise men believe
will be the bane and calamity of learning. When he writes he commonly
steers the sense of his lines by the rhyme that is at the end of them,
as butchers do calves by the tail. For when he has made one line, which
is easy enough, and has found out some sturdy hard word that will but
rhyme, he will hammer the sense upon it, like a piece of hot iron upon
an anvil, into what form he pleases.

There is no art in the world so rich in terms as poetry; a whole
dictionary is scarce able to contain them, for there is hardly a pond, a
sheep-walk, or a gravel-pit in all Greece but the ancient name of it is
become a term of art in poetry. By this means small poets have such a
stock of able hard words lying by them, as dryads, hamadryads, Aonides,
fauni, nymphae, sylvani, &c., that signify nothing at all, and such a
world of pedantic terms of the same kind, as may serve to furnish all
the new inventions and thorough reformations that can happen between
this and Plato's great year.

When he writes he never proposes any scope or purpose to himself, but
gives his genius all freedom; for as he that rides abroad for his
pleasure can hardly be out of his way, so he that writes for his
pleasure can seldom be beside his subject. It is an ungrateful thing to
a noble wit to be confined to anything. To what purpose did the ancients
feign Pegasus to have wings if he must be confined to the road and
stages like a pack-horse, or be forced to be obedient to hedges and
ditches? Therefore he has no respect to decorum and propriety of
circumstance, for the regard of persons, times, and places is a
restraint too servile to be imposed upon poetical license, like him that
made Plato confess Juvenal to be a philosopher, or Persius, that calls
the Athenians Quirites.

For metaphors, he uses to choose the hardest and most far-set that he
can light upon. These are the jewels of eloquence, and therefore the
harder they are the more precious they must be.

He'll take a scant piece of coarse sense and stretch it on the
tenterhooks of half-a-score rhymes, until it crack that you may see
through it and it rattle like a drumhead. When you see his verses hanged
up in tobacco-shops, you may say, in defiance of the proverb, "that the
weakest does not always go to the wall;" for 'tis well known the lines
are strong enough, and in that sense may justly take the wall of any
that have been written in our language. He seldom makes a conscience of
his rhymes, but will often take the liberty to make "preach" rhyme with
"cheat," "vote" with "rogue," and "committee-man" with "hang."

He'll make one word of as many joints as the tin-pudding that a juggler
pulls out of his throat and chops in again. What think you of
_glud-fum-flam-hasta-minantes?_ Some of the old Latin poets bragged that
their verses were tougher than brass and harder than marble; what would
they have done if they had seen these? Verily they would have had more
reason to wish themselves an hundred throats than they then had to
pronounce them.

There are some that drive a trade in writing in praise of other writers
(like rooks, that bet on gamesters' hands), not at all to celebrate the
learned author's merits, as they would show but their own wits, of which
he is but the subject. The lechery of this vanity has spawned more
writers than the civil law. For those whose modesty must not endure to
hear their own praises spoken may yet publish of themselves the most
notorious vapours imaginable. For if the privilege of love be
allowed--_Dicere quiz puduit, scribere jussit amor_--why should it not
be so in self-love too? For if it be wisdom to conceal our
imperfections, what is it to discover our virtues? It is not likely that
Nature gave men great parts upon such terms as the fairies used to give
money, to pinch and leave them if they speak of it. They say--Praise is
but the shadow of virtue, and sure that virtue is very foolish that is
afraid of its own shadow.

When he writes anagrams he uses to lay the outsides of his verses even
(like a bricklayer) by a line of rhyme and acrostic, and fill the middle
with rubbish. In this he imitates Ben Jonson, but in nothing else.

There was one that lined a hatcase with a paper of Benlowes' poetry;
Prynne bought it by chance and put a new demi-castor into it. The first
time he wore it he felt only a singing in his head, which within two
days turned to a vertigo. He was let blood in the ear by one of the
State physicians, and recovered; but before he went abroad he wrote a
poem of rocks and seas, in a style so proper and natural that it was
hard to determine which was ruggeder.

There is no feat of activity nor gambol of wit that ever was performed
by man, from him that vaults on Pegasus to him that tumbles through the
hoop of an anagram, but Benlowes has got the mastery in it, whether it
be high-rope wit or low-rope wit. He has all sorts of echoes, rebuses,
chronograms, &c., besides carwitchets, clenches, and quibbles. As for
altars and pyramids in poetry, he has outdone all men that way; for he
has made a gridiron and a frying-pan in verse, that, beside the likeness
in shape, the very tone and sound of the words did perfectly represent
the noise that is made by those utensils, such as the old poet called
_sartago loquendi_. When he was a captain he made all the furniture of
his horse, from the bit to the crupper, in beaten poetry, every verse
being fitted to the proportion of the thing, with a moral allusion of
the sense to the thing; as the bridle of moderation, the saddle of
content, and the crupper of constancy; so that the same thing was both
epigram and emblem, even as a mule is both horse and ass.

Some critics are of opinion that poets ought to apply themselves to the
imitation of Nature, and make a conscience of digressing from her; but
he is none of these. The ancient magicians could charm down the moon and
force rivers back to their springs by the power of poetry only, and the
moderns will undertake to turn the inside of the earth outward (like a
juggler's pocket) and shake the chaos out of it, make Nature show tricks
like an ape, and the stars run on errands; but still it is by dint of
poetry. And if poets can do such noble feats, they were unwise to
descend to mean and vulgar. For where the rarest and most common things
are of a price (as they are all one to poets), it argues disease in
judgment not to choose the most curious. Hence some infer that the
account they give of things deserves no regard, because they never
receive anything as they find it into their compositions, unless it
agree both with the measure of their own fancies and the measure of
their lines, which can very seldom happen. And therefore, when they give
a character of any thing or person, it does commonly bear no more
proportion to the subject than the fishes and ships in a map do to the
scale. But let such know that poets as well as kings ought rather to
consider what is fit for them to give than others to receive; that they
are fain to have regard to the exchange of language, and write high or
low according as that runs. For in this age, when the smallest poet
seldom goes below more the most, it were a shame for a greater and more
noble poet not to outthrow that cut a bar.

There was a tobacco-man that wrapped Spanish tobacco in a paper of
verses which Benlowes had written against the Pope, which, by a natural
antipathy that his wit has to anything that's Catholic, spoiled the
tobacco, for it presently turned mundungus. This author will take an
English word, and, like the Frenchman that swallowed water and spit it
out wine, with a little heaving and straining would turn it immediately
into Latin, as _plunderat ilie domos, mille hocopokiana_, and a
thousand such.

There was a young practitioner in poetry that found there was no good to
be done without a mistress; for he that writes of love before he hath
tried it doth but travel by the map, and he that makes love without a
dame does like a gamester that plays for nothing. He thought it
convenient, therefore, first to furnish himself with a name for his
mistress beforehand, that he might not be to seek when his merit or good
fortune should bestow her upon him; for every poet is his mistress's
godfather, and gives her a new name, like a nun that takes orders. He
was very curious to fit himself with a handsome word of a tunable sound,
but could light upon none that some poet or other had not made use of
before. He was therefore forced to fall to coining, and was several
months before he could light on one that pleased him perfectly. But
after he had overcome that difficulty he found a greater remaining, to
get a lady to own him. He accosted some of all sorts, and gave them to
understand, both in prose and verse, how incomparably happy it was in
his power to make his mistress, but could never convert any of them. At
length he was fain to make his laundress supply that place as a proxy
until his good fortune or somebody of better quality would be more kind
to him, which after a while he neither hoped nor cared for; for how mean
soever her condition was before, when he had once pretended to her she
was sure to be a nymph and a goddess. For what greater honour can a
woman be capable of than to be translated into precious stones and
stars? No herald in the world can go higher. Besides, he found no man
can use that freedom of hyperbole in the character of a person commonly
known (as great ladies are) which we can in describing one so obscure
and unknown that nobody can disprove him. For he that writes but one
sonnet upon any of the public persons shall be sure to have his reader
at every third word cry out, "What an ass is this to call Spanish paper
and ceruse lilies and roses, or claps influences; to say the Graces are
her waiting-women, when they are known to be no better than her bawds;
that day breaks from her eyes when she looks asquint; or that her breath
perfumes the Arabian winds when she puffs tobacco!"

It is no mean art to improve a language, and find out words that are not
only removed from common use, but rich in consonants, the nerves and
sinews of speech; to raise a soft and feeble language like ours to the
pitch of High-Dutch, as he did that writ--

  "Arts rattling foreskins shrilling bagpipes quell."

This is not only the most elegant but most politic way of writing that a
poet can use, for I know no defence like it to preserve a poem from the
torture of those that lisp and stammer. He that wants teeth may as well
venture upon a piece of tough horny brawn as such a line, for he will
look like an ass eating thistles.

He never begins a work without an invocation of his Muse; for it is not
fit that she should appear in public to show her skill before she is
entreated, as gentlewomen do not use to sing until they are applied to
and often desired.

I shall not need to say anything of the excellence of poetry, since it
has been already performed by many excellent persons, among whom some
have lately undertaken to prove that the civil government cannot
possibly subsist without it, which, for my part, I believe to be true in
a poetical sense, and more probable to be received of it than those
strange feats of building walls and making trees dance which antiquity
ascribes to verse. And though philosophers are of a contrary opinion and
will not allow poets fit to live in a commonwealth, their partiality is
plainer than their reasons, for they have no other way to pretend to
this prerogative themselves, as they do, but by removing poets whom they
know to have a fairer title; and this they do so unjustly that Plato,
who first banished poets his republic, forgot that that very
commonwealth was poetical. I shall say nothing to them, but only desire
the world to consider how happily it is like to be governed by those
that are at so perpetual a civil war among themselves, that if we should
submit ourselves to their own resolution of this question, and be
content to allow them only fit to rule if they could but conclude it so
themselves, they would never agree upon it. Meanwhile there is no less
certainty and agreement in poetry than the mathematics, for they all
submit to the same rules without dispute or controversy. But whosoever
shall please to look into the records of antiquity shall find their
title so unquestioned that the greatest princes in the whole world have
been glad to derive their pedigrees, and their power too, from poets.
Alexander the Great had no wiser a way to secure that Empire to himself
by right which he had gotten by force than by declaring himself the son
of Jupiter; and who was Jupiter but the son of a poet? So Caesar and all
Rome was transported with joy when a poet made Jupiter his colleague in
the Empire; and when Jupiter governed, what did the poets that
governed Jupiter?


Seats himself as spectator and critic on the great theatre of the world,
and gives sentence on the plots, language, and action of whatsoever he
sees represented, according to his own fancy. He will pretend to know
what is done behind the scene, but so seldom is in the right that he
discovers nothing more than his own mistakes. When his profession was in
credit in the world, and money was to be gotten by it, it divided itself
into multitudes of sects, that maintained themselves and their opinions
by fierce and hot contests with one another; but since the trade decayed
and would not turn to account, they all fell of themselves, and now the
world is so unconcerned in their controversies, that three Reformado
sects joined in one, like Epicuro-Gassendo-Charltoniana, will not serve
to maintain one pedant. He makes his hypotheses himself, as a tailor
does a doublet without measure; no matter whether they fit Nature, he
can make Nature fit them, and, whether they are too straight or wide,
pinch or stuff out the body accordingly. He judges of the works of
Nature just as the rabble do of State affairs; they see things done, and
every man according to his capacity guesses at the reasons of them, but
knowing nothing of the arcana or secret movements of either, they seldom
or never are in the right. Howsoever, they please themselves and some
others with their fancies, and the farther they are off truth, the more
confident they are they are near it, as those that are out of their way
believe the farther they have gone they are the nearer their journey's
end, when they are farthest of all from it. He is confident of
immaterial substances, and his reasons are very pertinent; that is,
substantial as he thinks, and immaterial as others do. Heretofore his
beard was the badge of his profession, and the length of that in all his
polemics was ever accounted the length of his weapon; but when the trade
fell, that fell too. In Lucius's time they were commonly called
beard-wearers, for all the strength of their wits lay in their beards,
as Samson's did in his locks; but since the world began to see the
vanity of that hare-brained cheat, they left it off to save
their credit.


Is one that keeps the worst company in the world; that is, his own; and
though he be always falling out and quarrelling with himself, yet he has
not power to endure any other conversation. His head is haunted, like a
house, with evil spirits and apparitions, that terrify and fright him
out of himself, till he stands empty and forsaken. His sleeps and his
wakings are so much the same that he knows not how to distinguish them,
and many times when he dreams he believes he is broad awake and sees
visions. The fumes and vapours that rise from his spleen and
hypochondrias have so smutched and sullied his brain (like a room that
smokes) that his understanding is blear-eyed and has no right perception
of anything. His soul lives in his body, like a mole in the earth that
labours in the dark, and casts up doubts and scruples of his own
imaginations, to make that rugged and uneasy that was plain and open
before. His brain is so cracked that he fancies himself to be glass, and
is afraid that everything he comes near should break him in pieces.
Whatsoever makes an impression in his imagination works itself in like a
screw, and the more he turns and winds it the deeper it sticks, till it
is never to be got out again. The temper of his brain, being earthy,
cold, and dry, is apt to breed worms, that sink so deep into it no
medicine in art or nature is able to reach them. He leads his life as
one leads a dog in a slip that will not follow, but is dragged along
until he is almost hanged, as he has it often under consideration to
treat himself in convenient time and place, if he can but catch himself
alone. After a long and mortal feud between his inward and his outward
man, they at length agree to meet without seconds and decide the
quarrel, in which the one drops and the other slinks out of the way and
makes his escape into some foreign world, from whence it is never after
heard of. He converses with nothing so much as his own imagination,
which, being apt to misrepresent things to him, makes him believe that
it is something else than it is, and that he holds intelligence with
spirits that reveal whatsoever he fancies to him, as the ancient rude
people that first heard their own voices repeated by echoes in the woods
concluded it must proceed from some invisible inhabitants of those
solitary places, which they after believed to be gods, and called them
sylvans, fauns, and dryads. He makes the infirmity of his temper pass
for revelations, as Mahomet did by his falling sickness, and inspires
himself with the wind of his own hypochondrias. He laments, like
Heraclitus, the maudlin philosopher, at other men's mirth, and takes
pleasure in nothing but his own unsober sadness. His mind is full of
thoughts, but they are all empty, like a nest of boxes. He sleeps
little, but dreams much, and soundest when he is waking. He sees visions
farther off than a second-sighted man in Scotland, and dreams upon a
hard point with admirable judgment. He is just so much worse than a
madman as he is below him in degree of frenzy, for among madmen the most
mad govern all the rest, and receive a natural obedience from their


Is a native of all countries and an alien at home. He flies from the
place where he was hatched, like a wild goose, and prefers all others
before it. He has no quarrel to it but because he was born in it, and,
like a bastard, he is ashamed of his mother, because she is of him. He
is a merchant that makes voyages into foreign nations to drive a trade
in wisdom and politics, and it is not for his credit to have it thought
he has made an ill return, which must be if he should allow of any of
the growth of his own country. This makes him quack and blow up himself
with admiration of foreign parts and a generous contempt of home, that
all men may admire at least the means he has had of improvement and
deplore their own defects. His observations are like a sieve, that lets
the finer flour pass and retains only the bran of things, for his whole
return of wisdom proves to be but affectation, a perishable commodity,
which he will never be able to put off. He believes all men's wits are
at a stand that stay at home, and only those advanced that travel, as if
change of pasture did make great politicians as well as fat calves. He
pities the little knowledge of truth which those have that have not seen
the world abroad, forgetting that at the same time he tells us how
little credit is to be given to his own relations and those of others
that speak and write of their travels. He has worn his own language to
rags, and patched it up with scraps and ends of foreign. This serves him
for wit; for when he meets with any of his foreign acquaintances, all
they smatter passes for wit, and they applaud one another accordingly.
He believes this raggedness of his discourse a great demonstration of
the improvement of his knowledge, as Inns-of-Court men intimate their
proficiency in the law by the tatters of their gowns. All the wit he
brought home with him is like foreign coin, of a baser alloy than our
own, and so will not pass here without great loss. All noble creatures
that are famous in any one country degenerate by being transplanted, and
those of mean value only improve. If it hold with men, he falls among
the number of the latter, and his improvements are little to his credit.
All he can say for himself is, his mind was sick of a consumption, and
change of air has cured him; for all his other improvements have only
been to eat in ... and talk with those he did not understand, to hold
intelligence with all _Gazettes_, and from the sight of statesmen in the
street unriddle the intrigues of all their Councils, to make a wondrous
progress into knowledge by riding with a messenger, and advance in
politics by mounting of a mule, run through all sorts of learning in a
waggon, and sound all depths of arts in a felucca, ride post into the
secrets of all states, and grow acquainted with their close designs in
inns and hostelries; for certainly there is great virtue in highways and
hedges to make an able man, and a good prospect cannot but let him see
far into things.


Values things not by their use or worth, but scarcity. He is very tender
and scrupulous of his humour, as fanatics are of their consciences, and
both for the most part in trifles. He cares not how unuseful anything
be, so it be but unuseful and rare. He collects all the curiosities he
can light upon in art or nature, not to inform his own judgment, but to
catch the admiration of others, which he believes he has a right to
because the rarities are his own. That which other men neglect he
believes they oversee, and stores up trifles as rare discoveries, at
least of his own wit and sagacity. He admires subtleties above all
things, because the more subtle they are the nearer they are to nothing,
and values no art but that which is spun so thin that it is of no use at
all. He had rather have an iron chain hung about the neck of a flea than
an alderman's of gold, and Homer's Iliads in a nutshell than Alexander's
cabinet. He had rather have the twelve apostles on a cherry-stone than
those on St. Peter's portico, and would willingly sell Christ again for
that numerical piece of coin that Judas took for Him. His perpetual
dotage upon curiosities at length renders him one of them, and he shows
himself as none of the meanest of his rarities. He so much affects
singularity that, rather than follow the fashion that is used by the
rest of the world, he will wear dissenting clothes with odd fantastic
devices to distinguish himself from others, like marks set upon cattle.
He cares not what pains he throws away upon the meanest trifle so it be
but strange, while some pity and others laugh at his ill-employed
industry. He is one of those that valued Epictetus's lamp above the
excellent book he wrote by it. If he be a book-man, he spends all his
time and study upon things that are never to be known. The philosopher's
stone and universal medicine cannot possibly miss him, though he is sure
to do them. He is wonderfully taken with abstruse knowledge, and had
rather handle truth with a pair of tongs wrapped up in mysteries and
hieroglyphics than touch it with his hands or see it plainly
demonstrated to his senses.


Calls himself a king because he has power and authority to hang, draw,
and quarter arms. For assuming a jurisdiction over the distributive
justice of titles of honour, as far as words extend, he gives himself as
great a latitude that way as other magistrates use to do where they have
authority and would enlarge it as far as they can. 'Tis true he can make
no lords nor knights of himself, but as many squires and gentlemen as he
pleases, and adopt them into what family they have a mind. His dominions
abound with all sorts of cattle, fish, and fowl, and all manner of
manufactures, besides whole fields of gold and silver, which he
magnificently bestows upon his followers or sells as cheap as lands in
Jamaica. The language they use is barbarous, as being but a dialect of
pedlar's French or the Egyptian, though of a loftier sound, and in the
propriety affecting brevity, as the other does verbosity. His business
is like that of all the schools, to make plain things hard with
perplexed methods and insignificant terms, and then appear learned in
making them plain again. He professes arms not for use, but ornament
only, and yet makes the basest things in the world, as dogs' turds and
women's spindles, weapons of good and worshipful bearings. He is wiser
than the fellow that sold his ass, but kept the shadow for his own use;
for he sells only the shadow (that is, the picture) and keeps the ass
himself. He makes pedigrees as apothecaries do medicines when they put
in one ingredient for another that they have not by them; by this means
he often makes incestuous matches, and causes the son to many the
mother. His chief province is at funerals, where he commands in chief,
marshals the _tristitiae irritamenta_, and, like a gentleman-sower to
the worms, serves up the feast with all punctual formality. He will join
as many shields together as would make a Roman _testudo_ or Macedonian
phalanx, to fortify the nobility of a new-made lord that will pay for
the impressing of them and allow him coat and conduct money. He is a
kind of a necromancer, and can raise the dead out of their graves to
make them marry and beget those they never heard of in their lifetime.
His coat is, like the King of Spain's dominions, all skirts, and hangs
as loose about him; and his neck is the waist, like the picture of
Nobody with his breeches fastened to his collar. He will sell the head
or a single joint of a beast or fowl as dear as the whole body, like a
pig's head in Bartholomew Fair, and after put off the rest to his
customers at the same rate. His arms, being utterly out of use in war
since guns came up, have been translated to dishes and cups, as the
ancients used their precious stones, according to the poet, _Gemmas ad
pocula transfert a gladiis, &c._; and since are like to decay every day
more and more, for since he gave citizens coats-of-arms, gentlemen have
made bold to take their letters of mark by way of reprisal. The hangman
has a receipt to mar all his work in a moment, for by nailing the wrong
end of a scutcheon upwards upon a gibbet all the honour and gentility
extinguishes of itself, like a candle that's held with the flame
downwards. Other arms are made for the spilling of blood, but his only
purify and cleanse it like scurvy-grass; for a small dose taken by his
prescription will refine that which is as base and gross as bull's blood
(which the Athenians used to poison withal) to any degree of purity.


Is a well-willer to the mathematics; he pursues knowledge rather out of
humour than ingenuity, and endeavours rather to seem than to be. He has
nothing of nature but an inclination, which he strives to improve with
industry; but as no art can make a fountain run higher than its own
head, so nothing can raise him above the elevation of his own pole. He
seldom converses but with men of his own tendency, and wheresoever he
comes treats with all men as such; for as country gentlemen use to talk
of their dogs to those that hate hunting because they love it
themselves, so will he of his arts and sciences to those that neither
know nor care to know anything of them. His industry were admirable if
it did not attempt the greatest difficulties with the feeblest means;
for he commonly slights anything that is plain and easy, how useful and
ingenious soever, and bends all his forces against the hardest and most
improbable, though to no purpose if attained to; for neither knowing how
to measure his own abilities nor the weight of what he attempts, he
spends his little strength in vain and grows only weaker by it; and as
men use to blind horses that draw in a mill, his ignorance of himself
and his undertakings makes him believe he has advanced when he is no
nearer to his end than when he set out first. The bravery of
difficulties does so dazzle his eyes that he prosecutes them with as
little success as the tailor did his amours to Queen Elizabeth. He
differs from a pedant as things do from words, for he uses the same
affectation in his operations and experiments as the other does in
language. He is a haberdasher of small arts and sciences, and deals in
as many several operations as a baby artificer does in engines. He will
serve well enough for an index to tell what is handled in the world, but
no further. He is wonderfully delighted with rarities, and they continue
still so to him though he has shown them a thousand times, for every new
admirer that gapes upon them sets him a-gaping too. Next these he loves
strange natural histories; and as those that read romances, though they
know them to be fictions, are as much affected as if they were true, so
is he, and will make hard shift to tempt himself to believe them first
to be possible, and then he's sure to believe them to be true,
forgetting that belief upon belief is false heraldry. He keeps a
catalogue of the names of all famous men in any profession, whom he
often takes occasion to mention as his very good friends and old
acquaintances. Nothing is more pedantic than to seem too much concerned
about wit or knowledge, to talk much of it, and appear too critical in
it. All he can possibly arrive to is but like the monkeys dancing on the
rope, to make men wonder how 'tis possible for art to put nature so much
out of her play.

His learning is like those letters on a coach, where, many being writ
together, no one appears plain. When the King happens to be at the
university and degrees run like wine in conduits at public triumphs, he
is sure to have his share; and though he be as free to choose his
learning as his faculty, yet, like St. Austin's soul, _Creando
infunditur, infundendo creatur_. Nero was the first emperor of his
calling, though it be not much for his credit. He is like an elephant
that, though he cannot swim, yet of all creatures most delights to walk
along a river's side; and as, in law, things that appear not and things
that are not are all one, so he had rather not be than not appear. The
top of his ambition is to have his picture graved in brass and published
upon walls, if he has no work of his own to face with it. His want of
judgment inclines him naturally to the most extravagant undertakings,
like that of making old dogs young, telling how many persons there are
in a room by knocking at a door, stopping up of words in bottles, &c. He
is like his books, that contain much knowledge, but know nothing
themselves. He is but an index of things and words, that can direct
where they are to be spoken with, but no farther. He appears a great man
among the ignorant, and, like a figure in arithmetic, is so much the
more as it stands before ciphers that are nothing of themselves. He
calls himself an antisocordist, a name unknown to former ages, but
spawned by the pedantry of the present. He delights most in attempting
things beyond his reach, and the greater distance he shoots at, the
farther he is sure to be off his mark. He shows his parts as drawers do
a room at a tavern, to entertain them at the expense of their time and
patience. He inverts the moral of that fable of him that caressed his
dog for fawning and leaping up upon him and beat his ass for doing the
same thing, for it is all one to him whether he be applauded by an ass
or a wiser creature, so he be but applauded.


Would give a penny for any statesman's thought at any time. He travels
abroad to guess what princes are designing by seeing them at church or
dinner, and will undertake to unriddle a government at first sight, and
tell what plots she goes with, male or female; and discover, like a
mountebank, only by seeing the public face of affairs, what private
marks there are in the most secret parts of the body politic. He is so
ready at reasons of State, that he has them, like a lesson, by rote; but
as charlatans make diseases fit their medicines, and not their medicines
diseases, so he makes all public affairs conform to his own established
reason of State, and not his reason, though the case alter ever so much,
comply with them. He thinks to obtain a great insight into State affairs
by observing only the outside pretences and appearances of things, which
are seldom or never true, and may be resolved several ways, all equally
probable; and therefore his penetrations into these matters are like the
penetrations of cold into natural bodies, without any sense of itself or
the thing it works upon. For all his discoveries in the end amount only
to entries and equipages, addresses, audiences, and visits, with other
such politic speculations as the rabble in the streets is wont to
entertain itself withal. Nevertheless he is very cautious not to omit
his cipher, though he writes nothing but what every one does or may
safely know, for otherwise it would appear to be no secret. He
endeavours to reduce all his politics into maxims, as being most easily
portable for a travelling head, though, as they are for the most part of
slight matters, they are but like spirits drawn out of water, insipid
and good for nothing. His letters are a kind of bills of exchange, in
which he draws news and politics upon all his correspondents, who place
it to account, and draw it back again upon him; and though it be false,
neither cheats the other, for it passes between both for good and
sufficient pay. If he drives an inland trade, he is factor to certain
remote country virtuosos, who, finding themselves unsatisfied with the
brevity of the _Gazette_, desire to have exceedings of news besides
their ordinary commons. To furnish those, he frequents clubs and
coffee-houses, the markets of news, where he engrosses all he can light
upon; and if that do not prove sufficient, he is forced to add a lie or
two of his own making, which does him double service; for it does not
only supply his occasions for the present, but furnishes him with matter
to fill up gaps in the next letter with retracting what he wrote before,
and in the meantime has served for as good news as the best; and when
the novelty is over it is no matter what becomes of it, for he is better
paid for it than if it were true.


Is a juggler of words, that shows tricks with them, to make them appear
what they were not meant for and serve two senses at once, like one that
plays on two Jew's trumps. He is a fencer of language, that falsifies
his blow and hits where he did not aim. He has a foolish sleight of wit
that catches at words only and lets the sense go, like the young thief
in the farce that took a purse, but gave the owner his money back again.
He is so well versed in all cases of quibble, that he knows when there
will be a blot upon a word as soon as it is out. He packs his quibbles
like a stock of cards; let him but shuffle, and cut where you will, he
will be sure to have it. He dances on a rope of sand, does the
somersault, strappado, and half-strappado with words, plays at all
manner of games with clinches, carwickets, and quibbles, and talks
under-leg. His wit is left-handed, and therefore what others mean for
right he apprehends quite contrary. All his conceptions are produced by
equivocal generation, which makes them justly esteemed but maggots. He
rings the changes upon words, and is so expert that he can tell at first
sight how many variations any number of words will bear. He talks with a
trillo, and gives his words a double relish. He had rather have them
bear two senses in vain and impertinently than one to the purpose, and
never speaks without a leer-sense. He talks nothing but equivocation and
mental reservation, and mightily affects to give a word a double stroke,
like a tennis-ball against two walls at one blow, to defeat the
expectation of his antagonist. He commonly slurs every fourth or fifth
word, and seldom fails to throw doublets. There are two sorts of
quibbling, the one with words and the other with sense, like the
rhetorician's _figurae dictionis et figurae sententiae_--the first is
already cried down, and the other as yet prevails, and is the only
elegance of our modern poets, which easy judges call easiness; but
having nothing in it but easiness, and being never used by any lasting
wit, will in wiser times fall to nothing of itself.


Wears his religion, reason, and understanding always in the mode, and
endeavours as far as he can to be one of the first in the fashion, let
it change as oft as it can. He makes it his business, like a politic
epicure, to entertain his opinion, faith, and judgment with nothing but
what he finds to be most in season, and is as careful to make his
understanding ready according to the present humour of affairs as the
gentleman was that used every morning to put on his clothes by the
weather-glass. He has the same reverend esteem of the modern age as an
antiquary has for venerable antiquity, and, like a glass, receives
readily any present object, but takes no notice of that which is past or
to come. He is always ready to become anything as the times shall please
to dispose of him, but is really nothing of himself; for he that sails
before every wind can be bound for no port. He accounts it blasphemy to
speak against anything in present vogue, how vain or ridiculous soever,
and arch-heresy to approve of anything, though ever so good and wise,
that is laid by; and therefore casts his judgment and understanding upon
occasion, as bucks do their horns, when the season arrives to breed new
against the next, to be cast again. He is very zealous to show himself,
upon all occasions, a true member of the Church for the time being, that
has not the least scruple in his conscience against the doctrine or
discipline of it, as it stands at present, or shall do hereafter,
unsight unseen; for he is resolved to be always for the truth, which he
believes is never so plainly demonstrated as in that character that says
it is great and prevails, and in that sense only fit to be adhered to by
a prudent man, who will never be kinder to Truth than she is to him; for
suffering is a very evil effect, and not like to proceed from a good
cause. He is a man of a right public spirit, for he resigns himself
wholly to the will and pleasure of the times, and, like a zealous
implicit patriot, believes as the State believes, though he neither
knows nor cares to know what that is.


Is a common nuisance, and as great a grievance to those that come near
him as a pewterer is to his neighbours. His discourse is like the
braying of a mortar, the more impertinent the more voluble and loud, as
a pestle makes more noise when it is rung on the sides of a mortar than
when it stamps downright and hits upon the business. A dog that opens
upon a wrong scent will do it oftener than one that never opens but upon
a right. He is as long-winded as a ventiduct that fills as fast as it
empties, or a trade-wind that blows one way for half-a-year together,
and another as long, as if it drew in its breath for six months, and
blew it out again for six more. He has no mercy on any man's ears or
patience that he can get within his sphere of activity, but tortures
him, as they correct boys in Scotland, by stretching their lugs without
remorse. He is like an earwig; when he gets within a man's ear he is not
easily to be got out again. He will stretch a story as unmercifully as
he does the ears of those he tells it to, and draw it out in length like
a breast of mutton at the Hercules pillars, or a piece of cloth set on
the tenters, till it is quite spoiled and good for nothing. If he be an
orator that speaks _distincté et ornaté_, though not _apté_, he delivers
his circumstances with the same mature deliberation that one that drinks
with a gusto swallows his wine, as if he were loth to part with it
sooner than he must of necessity; or a gamester that pulls the cards
that are dealt him one by one, to enjoy the pleasure more distinctly of
seeing what game he has in his hand. He takes so much pleasure to hear
himself speak, that he does not perceive with what uneasiness other men
endure him, though they express it ever so plainly; for he is so
diverted with his own entertainment of himself, that he is not at
leisure to take notice of any else. He is a siren to himself, and has no
way to escape shipwreck but by having his mouth stopped instead of his
ears. He plays with his tongue as a cat does with her tail, and is
transported with the delight he gives himself of his own making. He
understands no happiness like that of having an opportunity to show his
abilities in public, and will venture to break his neck to show the
activity of his eloquence; for the tongue is not only the worst part of
a bad servant, but of an ill master that does not know how to govern it;
for then it is like Guzman's wife, very headstrong and not sure of foot.


Is a holder of arguments, and wagers too, when he cannot make them good.
He takes naturally to controversy, like fishes in India that are said to
have worms in their heads and swim always against the stream. The
greatest mastery of his art consists in turning and winding the state of
the question, by which means he can easily defeat whatsoever has been
said by his adversary, though excellently to the purpose, like a bowler
that knocks away the jack when he sees another man's bowl lie nearer to
it than his own. Another of his faculties is with a multitude of words
to render what he says so difficult to be recollected that his adversary
may not easily know what he means, and consequently not understand what
to answer, to which he secretly reserves an advantage to reply by
interpreting what he said before otherwise than he at first intended it,
according as he finds it serve his purpose to evade whatsoever shall be
objected. Next to this, to pretend not to understand, or misinterpret
what his antagonist says, though plain enough, only to divert him from
the purpose, and to take occasion from his exposition of what he said to
start new cavils on the bye and run quite away from the question; but
when he finds himself pressed home and beaten from all his guards, to
amuse the foe with some senseless distinction, like a falsified blow
that never hits where 'tis aimed, but while it is minded makes way for
some other trick that may pass. But that which renders him invincible is
abundance of confidence and words, which are his offensive and defensive
arms; for a brazen face is a natural helmet or beaver, and he that has
store of words needs not surrender for want of ammunition. No matter for
reason and sense, that go for no more in disputations than the justice
of a cause does in war, which is understood but by few and commonly
regarded by none. For the custom of disputants is not so much to destroy
one another's reason as to cavil at the manner of expressing it, right
or wrong; for they believe _Dolus an virtus_, &c., ought to be allowed
in controversy as war, and he that gets the victory on any terms
whatsoever deserves it and gets it honourably. He and his opponent are
like two false lute-strings that will never stand in tune to one
another, or like two tennis-players whose greatest skill consists in
avoiding one another's strokes.


Is by interpretation a man of forecast. He is an artist of plots,
designs, and expedients to find out money, as others hide it, where
nobody would look for it. He is a great rectifier of the abuses of all
trades and mysteries, yet has but one remedy for all diseases; that is,
by getting a patent to share with them, by virtue of which they become
authorised, and consequently cease to be cheats. He is a great promoter
of the public good, and makes it his care and study to contrive
expedients that the nation may not be ill served with false rags,
arbitrary puppet-plays, and insufficient monsters, of all which he
endeavours to get the superintendency. He will undertake to render
treasonable pedlars, that carry intelligence between rebels and
fanatics, true subjects and well-affected to the Government for
half-a-crown a quarter, which he takes for giving them license to do so
securely and uncontrolled. He gets as much by those projects that
miscarry as by those that hold (as lawyers are paid as well for undoing
as preserving of men); for when he has drawn in adventurers to purchase
shares of the profit, the sooner it is stopped the better it proves for
him; for, his own business being done, he is the sooner rid of theirs.
He is very expert at gauging the understandings of those he deals with,
and has his engines always ready with mere air to blow all their money
out of their pockets into his own, as vintners do wine out of one vessel
into another. He is very amorous of his country, and prefers the public
good before his own advantage, until he has joined them both together in
some monopoly, and then he thinks he has done his part, and may be
allowed to look after his own affairs in the second place. The chiefest
and most useful part of his talent consists in quacking and lying, which
he calls answering of objections and convincing the ignorant. Without
this he can do nothing; for as it is the common practice of most
knaveries, so it is the surest and best fitted to the vulgar capacities
of the world; and though it render him more ridiculous to some few, it
always prevails upon the greater part.


Is one that endeavours to make himself appear a very fine man in
persuading another that he is so, and by offering those civilities which
he does not intend to part with, believes he adds to his own reputation
and obliges another for nothing. He is very free in making presents of
his services, because he is certain he cannot possibly receive in return
less than they are worth. He differs very much from all other critics in
punctilios of honour; for he esteems himself very uncivilly dealt with
if his vows and protestations pass for anything but mere lies and
vanities. When he gives his word, he believes it is no longer his, and
therefore holds it very unreasonable to give it and keep it too. He
divides his services among so many that there comes but little or
nothing to any one man's share, and therefore they are very willing to
let him take it back again. He makes over himself in truth to every man,
but still it is to his own uses to secure his title against all other
claims and cheat his creditors. He is very generous of his promises, but
still it is without lawful consideration, and so they go for nothing. He
extols a man to his face, like those that write in praise of an author
to show his own wit, not his whom they undertake to commend. He has
certain set forms and routines of speech, which he can say over while he
thinks on anything else, as a Catholic does his prayers, and therefore
never means what he says. His words flow easily from him, but so shallow
that they will bear no weight at all. All his offers of endearment are
but like terms of course, that carry their own answers along with them,
and therefore pass for nothing between those that understand them, and
deceive those only that believe in them. He professes most kindness
commonly to those he least cares for, like an host that bids a man
welcome when he is going away. He had rather be every man's menial
servant than any one man's friend; for servants gain by their masters,
and men often lose by their friends.


Is a freeman of all trades, and all trades of his. Fraud and treachery
are his calling, though his profession be the strictest integrity and
truth. He spins nets, like a spider, out of his own entrails, to entrap
the simple and unwary that light in his way, whom he devours and feeds
upon. All the greater sort of cheats, being allowed by authority, have
lost their names (as judges, when they are called to the Bench, are no
more styled lawyers) and left the title to the meaner only and the
unallowed. The common ignorance of mankind is his province, which he
orders to the best advantage. He is but a tame highwayman, that does the
same things by stratagem and design which the other does by force, makes
men deliver their understandings first, and after their purses. Oaths
and lies are his tools that he works with, and he gets his living by the
drudgery of his conscience. He endeavours to cheat the devil by
mortgaging his soul so many times over and over to him, forgetting that
he has damnations, as priests have absolutions of all prices. He is a
kind of a just judgment, sent into this world to punish the confidence
and curiosity of ignorance, that out of a natural inclination to error
will tempt its own punishment and help to abuse itself. He can put on as
many shapes as the devil that set him on work, is one that fishes in
muddy understandings, and will tickle a trout in his own element till he
has him in his clutches, and after in his dish or the market. He runs
down none but those which he is certain are _fera natura_, mere natural
animals, that belong to him that can catch them. He can do no feats
without the co-operating assistance of the chouse, whose credulity
commonly meets the impostor half-way, otherwise nothing is done; for all
the craft is not in the catching (as the proverb says), but the better
half at least in being catched. He is one that, like a bond without
fraud, covin, and further delay, is void and of none effect, otherwise
does stand and remain in full power, force, and virtue. He trusts the
credulous with what hopes they please at a very easy rate, upon their
own security, until he has drawn them far enough in, and then makes them
pay for all at once. The first thing he gets from him is a good opinion,
and afterwards anything he pleases; for after he has drawn from his
guards he deals with him like a surgeon, and ties his arm before he lets
him blood.


Talks to no end, as well as to no purpose; for he would never come at it
willingly. His discourse is like the road-miles in the north, the
filthier and dirtier the longer; and he delights to dwell the longer
upon them to make good the old proverb that says they are good for the
dweller, but ill for the traveller. He sets a tale upon the rack, and
stretches until it becomes lame and out of joint. Hippocrates says art
is long; but he is so for want of art. He has a vein of dulness, that
runs through all he says or does; for nothing can be tedious that is not
dull and insipid. Digressions and repetitions, like bag and baggage,
retard his march and put him to perpetual halts. He makes his approaches
to a business by oblique lines, as if he meant to besiege it, and
fetches a wide compass about to keep others from discovering what his
design is. He is like one that travels in a dirty deep road, that moves
slowly; and, when he is at a stop, goes back again, and loses more time
in picking of his way than in going it. How troublesome and uneasy
soever he is to others, he pleases himself so well that he does not at
all perceive it; for though home be homely, it is more delightful than
finer things abroad; and he that is used to a thing and knows no better
believes that other men, to whom it appears otherwise, have the same
sense of it that he has; as melancholy persons that fancy themselves to
be glass believe that all others think them so too; and therefore that
which is tedious to others is not so to him, otherwise he would avoid
it; for it does not so often proceed from a natural defect as
affectation and desire to give others that pleasure which they find
themselves, though it always falls out quite contrary. He that converses
with him is like one that travels with a companion that rides a lame
jade; he must either endure to go his pace or stay for him; for though
he understands long before what he would be at better than he does
himself, he must have patience and stay for him, until, with much ado to
little purpose, he at length comes to him; for he believes himself
injured if he should bate a jot of his own diversion.


Is easily acquainted with all knowledges, but never intimate with any;
he remembers he has seen them somewhere before, but cannot possibly call
to mind where. He will call an art by its name, and claim acquaintance
with it at first sight. He knew it perfectly, as the Platonics say, in
the other world, but has had the unhappiness to discontinue his
acquaintance ever since his occasions called him into this. He claps on
all the sail he can possibly make, though his vessel be empty and apt to
overset. He is of a true philosophical temper, contented with a little,
desires no more knowledge than will satisfy nature, and cares not what
his wants are so he can but keep them from the eyes of the world. His
parts are unlimited; for as no man knows his abilities, so he does his
endeavour that as few should his defects. He wears himself in opposition
to the mode, for his lining is much coarser than his outside; and as
others line their serge with silk, he lines his silk with serge. All his
care is employed to appear not to be; for things that are not and things
that appear not are not only the same in law, but in all other affairs
of the world. It should seem that the most impudent face is the best;
for he that does the shamefulest thing most unconcerned is said to set a
good face upon it; for the truth is, the face is but the outside of the
mind, but all the craft is to know how 'tis lined. Howsoever, he fancies
himself as able as any man, but not being in a capacity to try the
experiment, the hint-keeper of Gresham College is the only competent
judge to decide the controversy. He may, for anything he knows, have as
good a title to his pretences as another man; for judgment being not
past in the case (which shall never be by his means), his title still
stands fair. All he can possibly attain to is but to be another thing
than nature meant him, though a much worse. He makes that good that
Pliny says of children, _Qui celerius fari cepere, tardius ingredi
incipiunt_. The apter he is to smatter, the slower he is in making any
advance in his pretences. He trusts words before he is thoroughly
acquainted with them, and they commonly show him a trick before he is
aware; and he shows at the same time his ignorance to the learned and
his learning to the ignorant.


Is a retailer of rumour that takes up upon trust and sells as cheap as
he buys. He deals in a perishable commodity that will not keep; for if
it be not fresh it lies upon his hands and will yield nothing. True or
false is all one to him; for novelty being the grace of both, a truth
grows stale as soon as a lie; and as a slight suit will last as well as
a better while the fashion holds, a lie serves as well as truth till new
ones come up. He is little concerned whether it be good or bad, for that
does not make it more or less news; and, if there be any difference, he
loves the bad best, because it is said to come soonest; for he would
willingly bear his share in any public calamity to have the pleasure of
hearing and telling it. He is deeply read in diurnals, and can give as
good an account of Rowland Pepin, if need be, as another man. He tells
news, as men do money, with his fingers; for he assures them it comes
from very good hands. The whole business of his life is, like that of a
spaniel, to fetch and carry news, and when he does it well he is clapped
on the back and fed for it; for he does not take to it altogether, like
a gentleman, for his pleasure, but when he lights on a considerable
parcel of news, he knows where to put it off for a dinner, and quarter
himself upon it until he has eaten it out; and by this means he drives a
trade, by retrieving the first news to truck it for the first meat in
season, and, like the old Roman luxury, ransacks all seas and lands to
please his palate; for he imports his narratives from all parts within
the geography of a diurnal, and eats as well upon the Russ and Polander
as the English and Dutch. By this means his belly is provided for, and
nothing lies upon his hands but his back, which takes other courses to
maintain itself by weft and stray silver spoons, straggling hoods and
scarfs, pimping, and sets at _L'Ombre_.


Is a corrector of the press gratis; and as he does it for nothing, so it
is to no purpose. He fancies himself clerk of Stationers' Hall, and
nothing must pass current that is not entered by him. He is very severe
in his supposed office, and cries, "Woe to ye scribes!" right or wrong.
He supposes all writers to be malefactors without clergy that claim the
privilege of their books, and will not allow it where the law of the
land and common justice does. He censures in gross, and condemns all
without examining particulars. If they will not confess and accuse
themselves, he will rack them until they do. He is a committee-man in
the commonwealth of letters, and as great a tyrant, so is not bound to
proceed but by his own rules, which he will not endure to be disputed.
He has been an apocryphal scribbler himself; but his writings wanting
authority, he grew discontent and turned apostate, and thence becomes so
severe to those of his own profession. He never commends anything but in
opposition to something else that he would undervalue, and commonly
sides with the weakest, which is generous anywhere but in judging. He is
worse than an _index expurgatorius_; for he blots out all, and when he
cannot find a fault, makes one. He demurs to all writers, and when he is
overruled, will run into contempt. He is always bringing writs of error,
like a pettifogger, and reversing of judgments, though the case be never
so plain. He is a mountebank that is always quacking of the infirm and
diseased parts of books, to show his skill, but has nothing at all to do
with the sound. He is a very ungentle reader, for he reads sentence on
all authors that have the unhappiness to come before him; and therefore
pedants, that stand in fear of him, always appeal from him beforehand,
by the name of Momus and Zoilus, complain sorely of his extra-judicial
proceedings, and protest against him as corrupt, and his judgment void
and of none effect, and put themselves in the protection of some
powerful patron, who, like a knight-errant, is to encounter with the
magician and free them from his enchantments.


Is one that seems to labour in every man's calling but his own, and,
like Robin Goodfellow, does any man's drudgery that will let him. He is
like an ape, that loves to do whatsoever he sees others do, and is
always as busy as a child at play. He is a great undertaker, and
commonly as great an underperformer. His face is like a lawyer's buckram
rag, that has always business in it, and as he trots about his head
travels as fast as his feet. He covets his neighbour's business, and his
own is to meddle, not do. He is very lavish of his advice, and gives it
freely, because it is worth nothing, and he knows not what to do with it
himself. He is a common-barreter for his pleasure, that takes no money,
but pettifogs gratis. He is very inquisitive after every man's
occasions, and charges himself with them like a public notary. He is a
great overseer of State affairs, and can judge as well of them before he
understands the reasons as afterwards. He is excellent at preventing
inconveniences and finding out remedies when 'tis too late; for, like
prophecies, they are never heard of till it is to no purpose. He is a
great reformer, always contriving of expedients, and will press them
with as much earnestness as if himself and every man he meets had power
to impose them on the nation. He is always giving aim to State affairs,
and believes by screwing of his body he can make them shoot which way he
pleases. He inquires into every man's history, and makes his own
commentaries upon it as he pleases to fancy it. He wonderfully affects
to seem full of employments, and borrows men's business only to put on
and appear in, and then returns it back again, only a little worse. He
frequents all public places, and, like a pillar in the old Exchange, is
hung with all men's business, both public and private, and his own is
only to expose them. He dreads nothing so much as to be thought at
leisure, though he is never otherwise; for though he be always doing, he
never does anything.


Is a dwarf scholar, that never outgrows the mode and fashion of the
school where he should have been taught. He wears his little learning,
unmade-up, puts it on before it was half finished, without pressing or
smoothing. He studies and uses words with the greatest respect possible,
merely for their own sakes, like an honest man, without any regard of
interest, as they are useful and serviceable to things, and among those
he is kindest to strangers (like a civil gentleman) that are far from
their own country and most unknown. He collects old sayings and ends of
verses, as antiquaries do old coins, and is as glad to produce them upon
all occasions. He has sentences ready lying by him for all purposes,
though to no one, and talks of authors as familiarly as his
fellow-collegiates. He will challenge acquaintance with those he never
saw before, and pretend to intimate knowledge of those he has only heard
of. He is well stored with terms of art, but does not know how to use
them, like a country-fellow that carries his gloves in his hands, not
his hands in his gloves. He handles arts and sciences like those that
can play a little upon an instrument, but do not know whether it be in
tune or not. He converses by the book, and does not talk, but quote. If
he can but screw in something that an ancient writer said, he believes
it to be much better than if he had something of himself to the purpose.
His brain is not able to concoct what it takes in, and therefore brings
things up as they were swallowed, that is, crude and undigested, in
whole sentences, not assimilated sense, which he rather affects; for his
want of judgment, like want of health, renders his appetite
preposterous. He pumps for affected and far-set expressions, and they
always prove as far from the purpose. He admires canting above sense. He
is worse than one that is utterly ignorant, as a cock that sees a little
fights worse than one that is stark blind. He speaks in a different
dialect from other men, and much affects forced expressions, forgetting
that hard words, as well as evil ones, corrupt good manners. He can do
nothing, like a conjurer, out of the circle of his arts, nor in it
without canting and ... If he professes physic, he gives his patients
sound, hard words for their money, as cheap as he can afford; for they
cost him money, and study too, before he came by them, and he has reason
to make as much of them as he can.


Is an auxiliary hound that assists one nation of beasts to subdue and
overrun another. He makes mortal war with the fox for committing acts of
hostility against his poultry. He is very solicitous to have his dogs
well descended of worshipful families, and understands their pedigree as
learnedly as if he were a herald, and is as careful to match them
according to their rank and qualities as High-Germans are of their own
progenies. He is both cook and physician to his hounds, understands the
constitutions of their bodies, and what to administer in any infirmity
or disease, acute or chronic, that can befall them. Nor is he less
skilful in physiognomy, and from the aspects of their faces, shape of
their snouts, falling of their ears and lips, and make of their barrels
will give a shrewd guess at their inclinations, parts, and abilities,
and what parents they are lineally descended from; and by the tones of
their voices and statures of their persons easily discover what country
they are natives of. He believes no music in the world is comparable to
a chorus of their voices, and that when they are well matched they will
hunt their parts as true at first scent as the best singers of catches
that ever opened in a tavern; that they understand the scale as well as
the best scholar that ever learned to compose by the mathematics; and
that when he winds his horn to them 'tis the very same thing with a
cornet in a quire; that they will run down the hare with a fugue, and a
double do-sol-re-dog hunt a thorough-base to them all the while; that
when they are at a loss they do but rest, and then they know by turns
who are to continue a dialogue between two or three of them, of which he
is commonly one himself. He takes very great pains in his way, but calls
it game and sport because it is to no purpose; and he is willing to make
as much of it as he can, and not be thought to bestow so much labour and
pains about nothing. Let the hare take which way she will, she seldom
fails to lead him at long-running to the alehouse, where he meets with
an after-game of delight in making up a narrative how every dog behaved
himself, which is never done without long dispute, every man inclining
to favour his friend as far as he can; and if there be anything
remarkable to his thinking in it, he preserves it to please himself and,
as he believes, all people else with, during his natural life, and after
leaves it to his heirs male entailed upon the family, with his
bugle-horn and seal-ring.


Carries himself like his dish (as the proverb says), very uprightly,
without spilling one drop of his humour. He is an orator and
rhetorician, that delights in flowers and ornaments of his own devising
to please himself and others that laugh at him. He is of a leaden, dull
temper, that stands stiff, as it is bent, to all crooked lines, but
never to the right. When he thinks to appear most graceful, he adorns
himself most ill-favouredly, like an Indian that wears jewels in his
lips and nostrils. His words and gestures are all as stiff as buckram,
and he talks as if his lips were turned up as well as his beard. All his
motions are regular, as if he went by clockwork, and he goes very true
to the nick as he is set. He has certain favourite words and
expressions, which he makes very much of, as he has reason to do, for
they serve him upon all occasions and are never out of the way when he
has use of them, as they have leisure enough to do, for nobody else has
any occasion for them but himself. All his affectations are forced and
stolen from others; and though they become some particular persons where
they grow naturally, as a flower does on its stalk, he thinks they will
do so by him when they are pulled and dead. He puts words and language
out of its ordinary pace and breaks it to his own fancy, which makes it
go so uneasy in a shuffle, which it has not been used to. He delivers
himself in a forced way, like one that sings with a feigned voice beyond
his natural compass. He loves the sound of words better than the sense,
and will rather venture to incur nonsense than leave out a word that he
has a kindness for. If he be a statesman, the slighter and meaner his
employments are the bigger he looks, as an ounce of tin swells and looks
bigger than an ounce of gold; and his affectations of gravity are the
most desperate of all, as the aphorism says--Madness of study and
consideration are harder to be cured than those of lighter and more
fantastic humour.


Has a sickly mind and believes the infirmity is in his body, like one
that draws the wrong tooth and fancies his pain in the wrong place. The
less he understands the reason of physic the stronger faith he has in
it, as it commonly fares in all other affairs of the world. His disease
is only in his judgment, which makes him believe a doctor can fetch it
out of his stomach or his belly, and fright those worms out of his guts
that are bred in his brain. He believes a doctor is a kind of conjurer
that can do strange things, and he is as willing to have him think so;
for by that means he does not only get his money, but finds himself in
some possibility by complying with that fancy to do him good for it,
which he could never expect to do any other way; for, like those that
have been cured by drinking their own water, his own imagination is a
better medicine than any the doctor knows how to prescribe, even as the
weapon-salve cures a wound by being applied to that which made it. He is
no sooner well but any story or lie of a new famous doctor or strange
cure puts him into a relapse, and he falls sick of a medicine instead of
a disease, and catches physic like him that fell into a looseness at the
sight of a purge. He never knows when he is well or sick, but is always
tampering with his health till he has spoiled it, like a foolish
musician that breaks his strings with striving to put them in tune; for
Nature, which is physic, understands better how to do her own work than
those that take it from her at second hand. Hippocrates says, _Ars
longa, vita brevis_, and it is the truest of all his aphorisms--

   "For he that's given much to the long art
   Does not prolong his life, but cut it short."


Is like the sea, that is said to be richer than the land, but is not
able to make any use of it at all, and only keeps it from those that
know how to enjoy it if they had it. The devil understood his business
very well when he made choice of Judas's avarice to betray Christ, for
no other vice would have undertaken it; and it is to be feared that his
Vicars now on earth, by the tenderness they have to the bag, do not use
Him much better than His steward did then. He gathers wealth to no
purpose but to satisfy his avarice, that has no end, and afflicts
himself to possess that which he is, of all men, the most incapable of
ever obtaining. His treasure is in his hands in the same condition as if
it were buried uncier ground and watched by an evil spirit. His desires
are like the bottomless pit which he is destined to, for the one is as
soon filled as the other. He shuts up his money in close custody, and
that which has power to open all locks is not able to set itself at
liberty. If he ever lets it out it is upon good bail and mainprize, to
render itself prisoner again whensoever it shall be summoned. He loves
wealth as an eunuch does women, whom he has no possibility of enjoying,
or one that is bewitched with an impotency or taken with the falling
sickness. His greedy appetite to riches is but a kind of dog-hunger,
that never digests what it devours, but still the greedier and more
eager it crams itself becomes more meagre. He finds that ink and
parchment preserves money better than an iron chest and parsimony, like
the memories of men that lie dead and buried when they are committed to
brass and marble, but revive and flourish when they are trusted to
authentic writings and increase by being used. If he had lived among the
Jews in the wilderness he would have been one of their chief reformers,
and have worshipped anything that is cast in gold, though a sillier
creature than a calf. St. John in the Revelations describes the New
Jerusalem to be built all of gold and silver and precious stones, for
the saints commonly take so much delight in those creatures that nothing
else could prevail with them ever to come thither; and as those times
are called the Golden Age in which there was no gold at all in use, so
men are reputed godly and rich that make no use at all of their religion
or wealth. All that he has gotten together with perpetual pains and
industry is not wealth, but a collection, which he intends to keep by
him more for his own diversion than any other use, and he that made
ducks and drakes with his money enjoyed it every way as much. He makes
no conscience of anything but parting with his money, which is no better
than a separation of soul and body to him, and he believes it to be as
bad as self-murder if he should do it wilfully; for the price of the
weapon with which a man is killed is always esteemed a very considerable
circumstance, and next to not having the fear of God before his eyes. He
loves the bowels of the earth broiled on the coals above any other
cookery in the world. He is a slave condemned to the mines. He laughs at
the golden mean as ridiculous, and believes there is no such thing in
the world; for how can there be a mean of that of which no man ever had
enough? He loves the world so well that he would willingly lose himself
to save anything by it. His riches are like a dunghill, that renders the
ground unprofitable that it lies upon, and is good for nothing until it
be spread and scattered abroad.


Is one that sells the devil the best pennyworth that he meets with
anywhere, and, like the Indians that part with gold for glass beads, he
damns his soul for the slightest trifles imaginable. He betroths himself
oftener to the devil in one day than Mecaenas did in a week to his wife,
that he was married a thousand times to. His discourse is inlaid with
oaths as the gallows is with nails, to fortify it against the assaults
of those whose friends have made it their deathbed. He takes a
preposterous course to be believed and persuade you to credit what he
says, by saying that which at the best he does not mean; for all the
excuse he has for his voluntary damning of himself is, that he means
nothing by it. He is as much mistaken in what he does intend really, for
that which he takes for the ornament of his language renders it the most
odious and abominable. His custom of swearing takes away the sense of
his saying. His oaths are but a dissolute formality of speech and the
worst kind of affectation. He is a Knight-Baronet of the Post, or
gentleman blasphemer, that swears for his pleasure only; a lay-affidavit
man, _in voto_ only and not in orders. He learned to swear, as magpies
do to speak, by hearing others. He talks nothing but bell, book, and
candle, and delivers himself over to Satan oftener than a Presbyterian
classis would do. He plays with the devil for sport only, and stakes his
soul to nothing. He overcharges his oaths till they break and hurt
himself only. He discharges them as fast as a gun that will shoot nine
times with one loading. He is the devil's votary, and fails not to
commend himself into his tuition upon all occasions. He outswears an
exorcist, and outlies the legend. His oaths are of a wider bore and
louder report than those of an ordinary perjurer, but yet they do not
half the execution. Sometimes he resolves to leave it, but not too
suddenly, lest it should prove unwholesome and injurious to his health,
but by degrees as he took it up. Swearing should appear to be the
greatest of sins, for though the Scripture says, "God sees no sin in His
children," it does not say He hears none.


Places all enjoyment in spending, as a covetous man does in getting, and
both are treated at a witch's feast, where nothing feeds but only the
imagination, and like two madmen, that believe themselves to be the same
prince, laugh at one another. He values his pleasures as they do honour,
by the difficulty and dearness of the purchase, not the worth of the
thing; and the more he pays the better he believes he ought to be
pleased, as women are fondest of those children which they have groaned
most for. His tongue is like a great practiser's in law, for as the one
will not stir, so the other will not taste without a great fee. He never
reckons what a thing costs by what it is worth, but what it is worth by
what it costs. All his senses are like corrupt judges, that will
understand nothing until they are thoroughly informed and satisfied with
a convincing bribe. He relishes no meat but by the rate, and a high
price is like sauce to it, that gives it a high taste and renders it
savoury to his palate. He believes there is nothing dear, nor ought to
be so, that does not cost much, and that the dearest bought is always
the cheapest. He tastes all wines by the smallness of the bottles and
the greatness of the price, and when he is over-reckoned takes it as an
extraordinary value set upon him, as Dutchmen always reckon by the
dignity of the person, not the charge of the entertainment he receives,
put his quality and titles into the bill of fare, and make him pay for
feeding upon his own honour and right-worship, which he brought along
with him. He debauches his gluttony with an unnatural appetite to things
never intended for food, like preposterous venery or the unnatural
mixtures of beasts of several kinds. He is as curious of his pleasures
as an antiquary of his rarities, and cares for none but such as are very
choice and difficult to be gotten, disdains anything that is common,
unless it be his women, which he esteems a common good, and therefore
the more communicative the better. All his vices are, like children that
have been nicely bred, a great charge to him, and it costs him dear to
maintain them like themselves, according to their birth and breeding;
but he, like a tender parent, had rather suffer want himself than they
should, for he considers a man's vices are his own flesh and blood, and
though they are but by-blows, he is bound to provide for them, out of
natural affection, as well as if they were lawfully begotten.


Is like dust in the highway, that flies in the face of those that raise
it. He that is ungrateful is all things that are amiss. He is like the
devil, that seeks the destruction of those most of all that do him the
best service, or an unhealthful sinner that receives pleasure and
returns nothing but diseases. He receives obligations from all that he
can, but they presently become void and of none effect, for good offices
fare with him like death, from which there is no return. His ill-nature
is like an ill stomach, that turns its nourishment into bad humours. He
should be a man of very great civilities, for he receives all that he
can, but never parts with any. He is like a barren soil; plant what you
will on him, it will never grow, nor anything but thorns and thistles,
that came in with the curse. His mother died in child-bed of him, for he
is descended of the generation of vipers in which the dam always eats
off the sire's head, and the young ones their way through her belly. He
is like a horse in a pasture, that eats up the grass and dungs it in
requital. He puts the benefits he receives from others and his own
faults together in that end of the sack which he carries behind his
back. His ill-nature, like a contagious disease, infects others that are
of themselves good, who, observing his ingratitude, become less inclined
to do good than otherwise they would be; and as the sweetest wine, if
ill-preserved, becomes the sourest vinegar, so the greatest endearments
with him turn to the bitterest injuries. He has an admirable art of
forgetfulness, and no sooner receives a kindness but he owns it by
prescription and claims from time out of mind. All his acknowledgments
appear before his ends are served, but never after, and, like Occasion,
grow very thick before but bare behind. He is like a river, that runs
away from the spring that feeds it and undermines the banks that support
it; or like vice and sin, that destroy those that are most addicted to
it; or the hangman, that breaks the necks of those whom he gets his
living by, and whips those that find him employment, and brands his
masters that set him on work. He pleads the Act of Oblivion for all the
good deeds that are done him, and pardons himself for the evil returns
he makes. He never looks backward (like a right statesman), and things
that are past are all one with him as if they had never been; and as
witches, they say, hurt those only from whom they can get something and
have a hank upon, he no sooner receives a benefit but he converts it to
the injury of that person who conferred it on him. It fares with persons
as with families, that think better of themselves the farther they are
off their first raisers.


Deals with his mistress as the devil does with a witch, is content to be
her servant for a time, that she may be his slave for ever. He is
esquire to a knight-errant, donzel to the damsels, and gentleman usher
daily waiter on the ladies, that rubs out his time in making legs and
love to them. He is a gamester who throws at all ladies that are set
him, but is always out, and never wins but when he throws at the
candlestick, that is, for nothing; a general lover, that addresses unto
all but never gains any, as universals produce nothing. He never appears
so gallant a man as when he is in the head of a body of ladies and leads
them up with admirable skill and conduct. He is a eunuch-bashaw, that
has charge of the women and governs all their public affairs, because he
is not able to do them any considerable private services. One of his
prime qualifications is to convey their persons in and out of coaches,
as tenderly as a cook sets his custards in an oven and draws them out
again, without the least discomposure or offence to their inward or
outward woman; that is, their persons and dresses. The greatest care he
uses in his conversation with ladies is to order his peruke
methodically, and keep off his hat with equal respect both to it and
their ladyships, that neither may have cause to take any just offence,
but continue him in their good graces. When he squires a lady he takes
her by the handle of her person, the elbow, and steers it with all
possible caution, lest his own foot should, upon a tack, for want of due
circumspection, unhappily fall foul on the long train she carries at her
stern. This makes him walk upon his toes and tread as lightly as if he
were leading her a dance. He never tries any experiment solitary with
her, but always in consort, and then he acts the woman's part and she
the man's, talks loud and laughs, while he sits demurely silent, and
simpers or bows, and cries, "Anon, Madam, excellently good!" &c. &c. He
is a kind of hermaphrodite, for his body is of one sex and his mind of
another, which makes him take no delight in the conversation or actions
of men, because they do so by his, but apply himself to women, to whom
the sympathy and likeness of his own temper and wit naturally inclines
him, where he finds an agreeable reception for want of a better; for
they, like our Indian planters, value their wealth by the number of
their slaves. All his business in the morning is to dress himself, and
in the afternoon to show his workmanship to the ladies, who after
serious consideration approve or disallow of his judgment and abilities
accordingly, and he as freely delivers his opinion of theirs. The glass
is the only author he studies, by which his actions and gestures are all
put on like his clothes, and by that he practices how to deliver what he
has prepared to say to the dames, after he has laid a train to bring
it in.


Is a saint that goes by clockwork, a machine made by the devil's
geometry, which he winds and nicks to go as he pleases. He is the
devil's finger-watch, that never goes true, but too fast or too slow as
he sets him. His religion goes with wires, and he serves the devil for
an idol to seduce the simple to worship and believe in him. He puts down
the true saint with his copper-lace devotion, as ladies that use art
paint fairer than the life. He is a great bustler in reformation, which
is always most proper to his talent, especially if it be tumultuous; for
pockets are nowhere so easily and safely picked as in jostling crowds.
And as change and alterations are most agreeable to those who are tied
to nothing, he appears more zealous and violent for the cause than such
as are retarded by conscience or consideration. His religion is a
mummery, and his Gospel-walkings nothing but dancing a masquerade. He
never wears his own person, but assumes a shape, as his master, the
devil, does when he appears. He wears counterfeit hands (as the Italian
pickpocket did), which are fastened to his breast as if he held them up
to heaven, while his natural fingers are in his neighbour's pocket. The
whole scope of all his actions appears to be directed, like an archer's
arrow, at heaven, while the clout he aims at sticks in the earth. The
devil baits his hook with him when he fishes in troubled waters. He
turns up his eyes to heaven like birds that have no upper lid. He is a
weathercock upon the steeple of the church, that turns with every wind
that blows from any point of the compass. He sets his words and actions
like a printer's letters, and he that will understand him must read him
backwards. He is much more to be suspected than one that is no
professor, as a stone of any colour is easier counterfeited than a
diamond that is of none. The inside of him tends quite cross to the
outside, like a spring that runs upward within the earth and down
without. He is an operator for the soul, and corrects other men's sins
with greater of his own, as the Jews were punished for their idolatry by
greater idolaters than themselves. He is a spiritual highwayman that
robs on the road to heaven. His professions and his actions agree like a
sweet voice and a stinking breath.


Is his own confidant, that maintains more opinions than he is able to
support. They are all bastards commonly and unlawfully begotten, but
being his own, he had rather, out of natural affection, take any pains,
or beg, than they should want a subsistence. The eagerness and violence
he uses to defend them argues they are weak, for if they were true they
would not need it. How false soever they are to him, he is true to them;
and as all extraordinary affections of love or friendship are usually
upon the meanest accounts, he is resolved never to forsake them, how
ridiculous soever they render themselves and him to the world. He is a
kind of a knight-errant that is bound by his order to defend the weak
and distressed, and deliver enchanted paradoxes, that are bewitched and
held by magicians and conjurers in invisible castles. He affects to have
his opinions as unlike other men's as he can, no matter whether better
or worse, like those that wear fantastic clothes of their own devising.
No force of argument can prevail upon him; for, like a madman, the
strength of two men in their wits is not able to hold him down. His
obstinacy grows out of his ignorance, for probability has so many ways
that whosoever understands them will not be confident of any one. He
holds his opinions as men do their lands, and though his tenure be
litigious, he will spend all he has to maintain it. He does not so much
as know what opinion means, which, always supposing uncertainty, is not
capable of confidence. The more implicit his obstinacy is, the more
stubborn it renders him; for implicit faith is always more pertinacious
than that which can give an account of itself; and as cowards that are
well backed will appear boldest, he that believes as the Church believes
is more violent, though he knows not what it is, than he that can give a
reason for his faith. And as men in the dark endeavour to tread firmer
than when they are in the light, the darkness of his understanding makes
him careful to stand fast wheresoever he happens, though it be out
of his way.


Is one that stands for madman, and has as many voices as another. If he
miss he has very hard dealing; for if he can but come to a fair polling
of his fits against his intervals, he is sure to carry it. No doubt it
would be a singular advantage to him; for, as his present condition
stands, he has more full moons in a week than a lunatic has in a year.
His passion is like tinder, soon set on fire and as soon out again. The
smallest occasion imaginable puts him in his fit, and then he has no
respect of persons, strikes up the heels of stools and chairs, tears
cards limbmeal without regard of age, sex, or quality, and breaks the
bones of dice, and makes them a dreadful example to deter others from
daring to take part against him. He is guilty but of misprision of
madness, and if the worst come to the worst, can but forfeit estate and
suffer perpetual liberty to say what he pleases. 'Tis true he is but a
candidate of Bedlam, and is not yet admitted fellow, but has the license
of the College to practise, and in time will not fail to come in
according to his seniority. He has his grace for madman, and has done
his exercises, and nothing but his good manners can put him by his
degree. He is, like a foul chimney, easily set on fire, and then he
vapours and flashes as if he would burn the house, but is presently put
out with a greater huff, and the mere noise of a pistol reduces him to a
quiet and peaceable temper. His temper is, like that of a meteor, an
imperfect mixture, that sparkles and flashes until it has spent itself.
All his parts are irascible, and his gall is too big for his liver. His
spleen makes others laugh at him, and as soon as his anger is over with
others he begins to be angry with himself and sorry. He is sick of a
preposterous ague, and has his hot fit always before his cold. The more
violent his passion is the sooner it is out, like a running knot, that
strains hardest, but is easiest loosed. He is never very passionate but
for trifles, and is always most temperate where he has least cause, like
a nettle that stings worst when it is touched with soft and gentle
fingers, but when it is bruised with rugged, hardened hands returns no
harm at all.


Is more zealous in his false, mistaken piety than others are in the
truth; for he that is in an error has farther to go than one that is in
the right way, and therefore is concerned to bestir himself and make the
more speed. The practice of his religion is, like the Schoolmen's
speculations, full of niceties and tricks, that take up his whole time
and do him more hurt than good. His devotions are labours, not
exercises, and he breaks the Sabbath in taking too much pains to keep
it. He makes a conscience of so many trifles and niceties, that he has
not leisure to consider things that are serious and of real weight. His
religion is too full of fears and jealousies to be true and faithful,
and too solicitous and unquiet to continue in the right, if it were so.
And as those that are bunglers and unskilful in any art take more pains
to do nothing, because they are in a wrong way, than those that are
ready and expert to do the excellentest things, so the errors and
mistakes of his religion engage him in perpetual troubles and anxieties,
without any possibility of improvement until he unlearn all and begin
again upon a new account. He talks much of the justice and merits of his
cause, and yet gets so many advocates that it is plain he does not
believe himself; but having pleaded not guilty, he is concerned to
defend himself as well as he can, while those that confess and put
themselves upon the mercy of the Court have no more to do. His religion
is too full of curiosities to be sound and useful, and is fitter for a
hypocrite than a saint; for curiosities are only for show and of no use
at all. His conscience resides more in his stomach than his heart, and
howsoever he keeps the commandments, he never fails to keep a very pious
diet, and will rather starve than eat erroneously or taste anything that
is not perfectly orthodox and apostolical; and if living and eating are
inseparable, he is in the right, and lives because he eats according to
the truly ancient primitive Catholic faith in the purest times.


Plays his part of wit readily at first sight, and sometimes better than
with practice. He is excellent at voluntary and prelude, but has no
skill in composition. He will run divisions upon any ground very
dexterously, but now and then mistakes a flat for a sharp. He has a
great deal of wit, but it is not at his own disposing, nor can he
command it when he pleases unless it be in the humour. His fancy is
counterchanged between jest and earnest, and the earnest lies always in
the jest, and the jest in the earnest. He treats of all matters and
persons by way of exercitation, without respect of things, time, place,
or occasion, and assumes the liberty of a free-born Englishman, as if he
were called to the long robe with long ears. He imposes a hard task upon
himself as well as those he converses with, and more than either can
bear without a convenient stock of confidence. His whole life is nothing
but a merrymaking, and his business the same with a fiddler's, to play
to all companies where he comes, and take what they please to give him
either of applause or dislike; for he can do little without some
applauders, who by showing him ground make him outdo his own expectation
many times, and theirs too; for they that laugh on his side and cry him
up give credit to his confidence, and sometimes contribute more than
half the wit by making it better than he meant. He is impregnable to all
assaults but that of a greater impudence, which, being stick-free, puts
him, like a rough fencer, out of his play, and after passes upon him at
pleasure, for when he is once routed he never rallies again. He takes a
view of a man as a skilful commander does of a town he would besiege, to
discover the weakest places where he may make his approaches with the
least danger and most advantages, and when he finds himself mistaken,
draws off his forces with admirable caution and consideration; for his
business being only wit, he thinks there is very little of that shown in
exposing himself to any inconvenience.


Does not hold opinions, but they hold him; for when he is once possessed
with an error, 'tis, like the devil, not to be cast out but with great
difficulty. Whatsoever he lays hold on, like a drowning man, he never
loses, though it do but help to sink him the sooner. His ignorance is
abrupt and inaccessible, impregnable both by art and nature, and will
hold out to the last though it has nothing but rubbish to defend. It is
as dark as pitch, and sticks as fast to anything it lays hold on. His
skull is so thick that it is proof against any reason, and never cracks
but on the wrong side, just opposite to that against which the
impression is made, which surgeons say does happen very frequently. The
slighter and more inconsistent his opinions are the faster he holds
them, otherwise they would fall asunder of themselves; for opinions that
are false ought to be held with more strictness and assurance than those
that are true, otherwise they will be apt to betray their owners before
they are aware. If he takes to religion, he has faith enough to save a
hundred wiser men than himself, if it were right; but it is too much to
be good; and though he deny supererogation and utterly disclaim any
overplus of merits, yet he allows superabundant belief, and if the
violence of faith will carry the kingdom of heaven, he stands fair for
it. He delights most of all to differ in things indifferent; no matter
how frivolous they are, they are weighty enough in proportion to his
weak judgment, and he will rather suffer self-martyrdom than part with
the least scruple of his freehold, for it is impossible to dye his dark
ignorance into a lighter colour. He is resolved to understand no man's
reason but his own, because he finds no man can understand his but
himself. His wits are like a sack which, the French proverb says, is
tied faster before it is full than when it is; and his opinions are like
plants that grow upon rocks, that stick fast though they have no
rooting. His understanding is hardened like Pharaoh's heart, and is
proof against all sorts of judgments whatsoever.


Is a hot-headed brother that has his understanding blocked up on both
sides, like a fore-horse's eyes, that he sees only straight-forwards and
never looks about him, which makes him run on according as he is driven
with his own caprice. He starts and stops (as a horse does) at a post
only because he does not know what it is, and thinks to run away from
the spur while he carries it with him. He is very violent, as all things
that tend downward naturally are; for it is impossible to improve or
raise him above his own level. He runs swiftly before any wind, like a
ship that has neither freight nor ballast, and is as apt to overset.
When his zeal takes fire it cracks and flies about like a squib until
the idle stuff is spent, and then it goes out of itself. He is always
troubled with small scruples, which his conscience catches like the
itch, and the rubbing of these is both his pleasure and his pain. But
for things of greater moment he is unconcerned, as cattle in the
summer-time are more pestered with flies that vex their sores than
creatures more considerable, and dust and motes are apter to stick in
blear-eyes than things of greater weight. His charity begins and ends at
home, for it never goes farther nor stirs abroad. David was eaten up
with the zeal of God's house; but his zeal, quite contrary, eats up
God's house; and as the words seem to intimate that David fed and
maintained the priests, so he makes the priests feed and maintain him;
and hence his zeal is never so vehement as when it concurs with his
interest; for, as he styles himself a professor, it fares with him, as
with men of other professions, to live by his calling and get as much as
he can by it. He is very severe to other men's sins that his own may
pass unsuspected, as those that were engaged in the conspiracy against
Nero were most cruel to their own confederates; or as one says--

  "Compounds for sins he is inclined to
  By damning those he has no mind to."


Always throws beyond the jack and is gone a mile. He is no more able to
contain himself than a bowl is when he is commanded to rub with the
greatest power and vehemence imaginable, and nothing lights in his way.
He is a conjurer that cannot keep within the compass of his circle,
though he were sure the devil would fetch him away for the least
transgression. He always overstocks his ground and starves instead of
feeding, destroys whatsoever he has an extraordinary care for, and, like
an ape, hugs the whelp he loves most to death. All his designs are
greater than the life, and he laughs to think how Nature has mistaken
her match, and given him so much odds that he can easily outrun her. He
allows of no merit but that which is superabundant. All his actions are
superfoetations, that either become monsters or twins; that is, too
much, or the same again; for he is but a supernumerary and does nothing
but for want of a better. He is a civil Catholic, that holds nothing
more steadfastly than supererogation in all that he undertakes, for he
undertakes nothing but what he overdoes. He is insatiable in all his
actions and, like a covetous person, never knows when he has done
enough until he has spoiled all by doing too much. He is his own
antagonist, and is never satisfied until he has outdone himself as well
as that which he proposed, for he loves to be better than his word
(though it always falls out worse) and deceive the world the wrong way.
He believes the mean to be but a mean thing, and therefore always runs
into extremities as the more excellent, great, and transcendent. He
delights to exceed in all his attempts, for he finds that a goose that
has three legs is more remarkable than a hundred that have but two
apiece, and has a greater number of followers; and that all monsters are
more visited and applied to than other creatures that Nature has made
perfect in their kind. He believes he can never bestow too much pains
upon anything; for his industry is his own and costs him nothing; and if
it miscarry he loses nothing, for he has as much as it was worth. He is
like a foolish musician that sets his instrument so high that he breaks
his strings for want of understanding the right pitch of it, or an
archer that breaks his with overbending; and all he does is forced, like
one that sings above the reach of his voice.


Has a fever in his brain, and therefore is rightly said to be
hot-headed. His reason and his actions run downhill, borne headlong by
his unstaid will. He has not patience to consider, and perhaps it would
not be the better for him if he had; for he is so possessed with the
first apprehension of anything, that whatsoever comes after loses the
race and is prejudged. All his actions, like sins, lead him perpetually
to repentance, and from thence to the place from whence they came, to
make more work for repentance; for though he be corrected never so
often, he is never amended, nor will his haste give him time to call to
mind where it made him stumble before; for he is always upon full speed,
and the quickness of his motions takes away and dazzles the eyes of his
understanding. All his designs are like diseases, with which he is taken
suddenly before he is aware, and whatsoever he does is extempore,
without premeditation; for he believes a sudden life to be the best of
all, as some do a sudden death. He pursues things as men do an enemy
upon a retreat, until he is drawn into an ambush for want of heed and
circumspection. He falls upon things as they lie in his way, as if he
stumbled at them, or his foot slipped and cast him upon them; for he is
commonly foiled and comes off with bruises. He engages in business as
men do in duels, the sooner the better, that, if any evil come of it,
they may not be found to have slept upon it, or consulted with an
effeminate pillow in point of honour and courage. He strikes when he is
hot himself, not when the iron is so which he designs to work upon. His
tongue has no retentive faculty, but is always running like a fool's
drivel. He cannot keep it within compass, but it will be always upon the
ramble and playing of tricks upon a frolic, fancying of passes upon
religion, State, and the persons of those that are in present authority,
no matter how, to whom, or where; for his discretion is always out of
the way when he has occasion to make use of it.


Is a piece of clockwork, that moves only as it is wound up and set, and
not like a voluntary agent. He is a mathematical body, nothing but
_punctum, linea, et superficies_, and perfectly abstract from matter. He
walks as stiffly and uprightly as a dog that is taught to go on his
hinder legs, and carries his hands as the other does his fore-feet. He is
very ceremonious and full of respect to himself, for no man uses those
formalities that does not expect the same from others. All his actions
and words are set down in so exact a method that an indifferent
accountant may cast him up to a halfpenny-farthing. He does everything
by rule, as if it were in a course of Lessius's diet, and did not eat,
but take a dose of meat and drink; and not walk, but proceed; not go,
but march. He draws up himself with admirable conduct in a very regular
and well-ordered body. All his business and affairs are junctures and
transactions, and when he speaks with a man he gives him audience. He
does not carry but marshal himself, and no one member of his body
politic takes place of another without due right of precedence. He does
all things by rules of proportion, and never gives himself the freedom
to manage his gloves or his watch in an irregular and arbitrary way, but
is always ready to render an account of his demeanour to the most strict
and severe disquisition. He sets his face as if it were cast in plaster,
and never admits of any commotion in his countenance, nor so much as the
innovation of a smile without serious and mature deliberation, but
preserves his looks in a judicial way, according as they have always
been established.


Is a dog that fawns when he bites. He hangs bells in a man's ears, as a
carman does by his horse while he lays a heavy load upon his back. His
insinuations are like strong wine, that pleases a man's palate till it
has got within him, and then deprives him of his reason and overthrows
him. His business is to render a man a stranger to himself, and get
between him and home, and then he carries him whither he pleases. He is
a spirit that inveighs away a man from himself, undertakes great matters
for him, and after sells him for a slave. He makes division not only
between a man and his friends, but between a man and himself, raises a
faction within him, and after takes part with the strongest side and
ruins both. He steals him away from himself (as the fairies are said to
do children in the cradle), and after changes him for a fool. He
whistles to him, as a carter does to his horse while he whips out his
eyes and makes him draw what he pleases. He finds out his humour and
feeds it, till it will come to hand, and then he leads him whither he
pleases. He tickles him, as they do trouts, until he lays hold on him,
and then devours and feeds upon him. He tickles his ears with a straw,
and while he is pleased with scratching it, picks his pocket, as the
cutpurse served Bartl. Cokes. He embraces him and hugs him in his arms,
and lifts him above ground, as wrestlers do, to throw him down again and
fall upon him. He possesses him with his own praises like an evil
spirit, that makes him swell and appear stronger than he was, talk what
he does not understand, and do things that he knows nothing of when he
comes to himself. He gives good words as doctors are said to give physic
when they are paid for it, and lawyers advice when they are fee'd
beforehand. He is a poisoned perfume that infects the brain and murders
those it pleases. He undermines a man, and blows him up with his own
praises to throw him down. He commends a man out of design, that he may
be presented with him and have him for his pains, according to the mode.


Is a pocket with a hole in the bottom. His purse has got a dysentery and
lost its retentive faculty. He delights, like a fat overgrown man, to
see himself fall away and grow less. He does not spend his money, but
void it, and, like those that have the stone, is in pain till he is rid
of it. He is very loose and incontinent of his coin, and lets it fly,
like Jupiter, in a shower. He is very hospitable, and keeps open pockets
for all comers. All his silver turns to mercury, and runs through him as
if he had taken it for the _miserere_ or fluxed himself. The history of
his life begins with keeping of whores, and ends with keeping of hogs;
and as he fed high at first, so he does at last, for acorns are very
high food. He swallows land and houses like an earthquake, eats a whole
dining-room at a meal, and devours his kitchen at a breakfast. He wears
the furniture of his house on his back, and a whole feather-bed in his
hat, drinks down his plate, and eats his dishes up. He is not clothed,
but hung. He'll fancy dancers cattle, and present his lady with messuage
and tenement. He sets his horses at inn and inn, and throws himself out
of his coach at come the caster. He should be a good husband, for he has
made more of his estate in one year than his ancestors did in twenty. He
dusts his estate as they do a stand of ale in the north. His money in
his pocket (like hunted venison) will not keep; if it be not spent
presently it grows stale, and is thrown away. He possesses his estate as
the devil did the herd of swine, and is running it into the sea as fast
as he can. He has shot it with a zampatan, and it will presently fall
all to dust. He has brought his acres into a consumption, and they are
strangely fallen away; nothing but skin and bones left of a whole manor.
He will shortly have all his estate in his hands; for, like bias, he may
carry it about him. He lays up nothing but debts and diseases, and at
length himself in a prison. When he has spent all upon his pleasures,
and has nothing left for sustenance, he espouses a hostess dowager, and
resolves to lick himself whole again out of ale, and make it pay him
back all the charges it has put him to.


Has a vagabond soul without any settled place of abode, like the
wandering Jew. His head is unfixed, out of order, and utterly
unserviceable upon any occasion. He is very apt to be taken with
anything, but nothing can hold him, for he presently breaks loose and
gives it the slip. His head is troubled with a palsy, which renders it
perpetually wavering and incapable of rest. His head is like an
hour-glass; that part that is uppermost always runs out until it is
turned, and then runs out again. His opinions are too violent to last,
for, like other things of the same kind in Nature, they quickly spend
themselves and fall to nothing. All his opinions are like wefts and
strays that are apt to straggle from their owners and belong to the lord
of the manor where they are taken up. His soul has no retentive faculty,
but suffers everything to run from him as fast as he receives it. His
whole life is like a preposterous ague in which he has his hot fit
always before his cold one, and is never in a constant temper. His
principles and resolves are but a kind of movables, which he will not
endure to be fastened to any freehold, but left loose to be conveyed
away at pleasure as occasion shall please to dispose of him. His soul
dwells, like a Tartar, in a hoord, without any settled habitation, but
is always removing and dislodging from place to place. He changes his
head oftener than a deer, and when his imaginations are stiff and at
their full growth, he casts them off to breed new ones, only to cast off
again the next season. All his purposes are built on air, the
chamelion's diet, and have the same operation to make him change colour
with every object he comes near. He pulls off his judgment as commonly
as his hat to every one he meets with. His word and his deed are all
one, for when he has given his word he has done, and never goes farther.
His judgment, being unsound, has the same operation upon him that a
disease has upon a sick man, that makes him find some ease in turning
from side to side, and still the last is the most uneasy.


Eats his children, as the poets say Saturn did, and carries his felicity
and all his concernments in his paunch. If he had lived when all the
members of the body rebelled against the stomach there had been no
possibility of accommodation. His entrails are like the sarcophagus,
that devours dead bodies in a small space, or the Indian zampatan, that
consumes flesh in a moment. He is a great dish made on purpose to carry
meat. He eats out his own head, and his horses' too; he knows no grace
but grace before meat, nor mortification but in fasting. If the body be
the tabernacle of the soul, he lives in a sutler's hut. He celebrates
mass, or rather mess, to the idol in his belly, and, like a papist, eats
his adoration. A third course is the third heaven to him, and he is
ravished into it. A feast is a good conscience to him, and he is
troubled in mind when he misses of it. His teeth are very industrious in
their calling, and his chops like a Bridewell perpetually hatcheling. He
depraves his appetite with _haut-gousts_, as old fornicators do their
lechery into fulsomeness and stinks. He licks himself into the shape of
a bear, as those beasts are said to do their whelps. He new forms
himself in his own belly, and becomes another thing than God and Nature
meant him. His belly takes place of the rest of his members, and walks
before in state. He eats out that which eats all things else--time--and
is very curious to have all things in season at his meals but his hours,
which are commonly at midnight, and so late that he prays too late for
his daily bread, unless he mean his natural daily bread. He is admirably
learned in the doctrines of meats and sauces, and deserves the chair in
_juris-prudentia_; that is, in the skill of pottages. At length he eats
his life out of house and home and becomes a treat for worms, sells his
clothes to feed his gluttony, and eats himself naked, as the first of
his family, Adam, did.


Is the devil's hypocrite, that endeavours to make himself appear worse
than he is. His evil words and bad manners strive which shall most
corrupt one another, and it is hard to say which has the advantage. He
vents his lechery at the mouth, as some fishes are said to engender. He
is an unclean beast that chews the cud, for after he has satisfied his
lust he brings it up again into his mouth to a second enjoyment, and
plays an after-game of lechery with his tongue much worse than that
which the _Cunnilingi_ used among the old Romans. He strips Nature stark
naked, and clothes her in the most fantastic and ridiculous fashion a
wild imagination can invent. He is worse and more nasty than a dog, for
in his broad descriptions of others' obscene actions he does but lick up
the vomit of another man's surfeits. He tells tales out of a
vaulting-school. A lewd, bawdy tale does more hurt and gives a worse
example than the thing of which it was told, for the act extends but to
few, and if it be concealed goes no farther; but the report of it is
unlimited, and may be conveyed to all people and all times to come. He
exposes that with his tongue which Nature gave women modesty, and brute
beasts tails, to cover. He mistakes ribaldry for wit, though nothing is
more unlike; and believes himself to be the finer man the filthier he
talks, as if he were above civility as fanatics are above ordinances,
and held nothing more shameful than to be ashamed of anything. He talks
nothing but Aretine's pictures, as plain as the Scotch dialect, which is
esteemed to be the most copious and elegant of the kind. He improves and
husbands his sins to the best advantage, and makes one vice find
employment for another; for what he acts loosely in private he talks as
loosely of in public, and finds as much pleasure in the one as the
other. He endeavours to purchase himself a reputation by pretending to
that which the best men abominate and the worst value not, like one that
clips and washes false coin and ventures his neck for that which will
yield him nothing.


Makes new discoveries in politics, but they are, like those that
Columbus made of the New World, very rich, but barbarous. He endeavours
to restore mankind to the original condition it fell from, by forgetting
to discern between good and evil, and reduces all prudence back again to
its first author, the serpent, that taught Adam wisdom; for he was
really his tutor, and not Samboscor, as the Rabbins write. He finds the
world has been mistaken in all ages, and that religion and morality are
but vulgar errors that pass among the ignorant, and are but mere words
to the wise. He despises all learning as a pedantic little thing, and
believes books to be the business of children and not of men. He wonders
how the distinction of virtue and vice came into the world's head, and
believes them to be more ridiculous than any foppery of the schools. He
holds it his duty to betray any man that shall take him for so much a
fool as one fit to be trusted. He steadfastly believes that all men are
born in the state of war, and that the civil life is but a cessation,
and no peace nor accommodation; and though all open acts of hostility
are forborne by consent, the enmity continues, and all advantages by
treachery or breach of faith are very lawful; that there is no
difference between virtue and fraud among friends as well as enemies,
nor anything unjust that a man can do without damage to his own safety
or interest; that oaths are but springes to catch woodcocks withal, and
bind none but those that are too weak and feeble to break them when they
become ever so small an impediment to their advantages; that conscience
is the effect of ignorance, and the same with that foolish fear which
some men apprehend when they are in the dark and alone; that honour is
but the word which a prince gives a man to pass his guards withal and
save him from being stopped by law and justice, the sentinels of
governments, when he has not wit nor credit enough to pass of himself;
that to show respect to worth in any person is to appear a stranger to
it, and not so familiarly acquainted with it as those are who use no
ceremony, because it is no new thing to them, as it would appear if they
should take notice of it; that the easiest way to purchase a reputation
of wisdom and knowledge is to slight and undervalue it, as the readiest
way to buy cheap is to bring down the price; for the world will be apt
to believe a man well provided with any necessary or useful commodity
which he sets a small value upon; that to oblige a friend is but a kind
of casting him in prison, after the old Roman way or modern Chinese,
that chains the keeper and prisoner together; for he that binds another
man to himself binds himself as much to him and lays a restraint upon
both. For as men commonly never forgive those that forgive them, and
always hate those that purchase their estates (though they pay dear and
more than any man else would give), so they never willingly endure those
that have laid any engagement upon them, or at what rate soever
purchased the least part of their freedom; and as partners for the most
part cheat or suspect one another, so no man deals fairly with another
that goes the least share in his freedom.

To propose any measure to wealth or power is to be ignorant of the
nature of both, for as no man can ever have too much of either, so it is
impossible to determine what is enough; and he that limits his desires
by proposing to himself the enjoyment of any other pleasure but that of
gaining more shows he has but a dull inclination that will not hold out
to his journey's end. And therefore he believes that a courtier deserves
to be begged himself that is ever satisfied with begging; for fruition
without desire is but a dull entertainment, and that pleasure only real
and substantial that provokes and improves the appetite and increases in
the enjoyment; and all the greatest masters in the several arts of
thriving concur unanimously that the plain downright pleasure of gaining
is greater and deserves to be preferred far before all the various
delights of spending which the curiosity, wit, or luxury of mankind in
all ages could ever find out.

He believes there is no way of thriving so easy and certain as to grow
rich by defrauding the public; for public thieveries are more safe and
less prosecuted than private, like robberies committed between sun and
sun, which the county pays and no one is greatly concerned in; and as
the monster of many heads has less wit in them all than any one
reasonable person, so the monster of many purses is easier cheated than
any one indifferent, crafty fool. For all the difficulty lies in being
trusted, and when he has obtained that, the business does itself; and if
he should happen to be questioned and called to an account, a pardon is
as cheap as a paymaster's fee, not above fourteenpence in the pound.

He thinks that when a man comes to wealth or preferment, and is to put
on a new person, his first business is to put off all his old
friendships and acquaintances, as things below him and no way consistent
with his present condition, especially such as may have occasion to make
use of him or have reason to expect any civil returns from him; for
requiting of obligations received in a man's necessity is the same thing
with paying of debts contracted in his minority when he was under age,
for which he is not accountable by the laws of the land. These he is to
forget as fast as he can, and by little neglects remove them to that
distance that they may at length by his example learn to forget him, for
men who travel together in company when their occasions lie several ways
ought to take leave and part. It is a hard matter for a man that comes
to preferment not to forget himself, and therefore he may very well be
allowed to take the freedom to forget others; for advancement, like the
conversion of a sinner, gives a man new values of things and persons, so
different from those he had before that that which was wont to be most
dear to him does commonly after become the most disagreeable; and as it
is accounted noble to forget and pass over little injuries, so it is to
forget little friendships, that are no better than injuries when they
become disparagements, and can only be importune and troublesome instead
of being useful, as they were before. All Acts of Oblivion have, of late
times, been found to extend rather to loyal and faithful services done
than rebellion and treasons committed. For benefits are like flowers,
sweet only and fresh when they are newly gathered, but stink when they
grow stale and wither; and he only is ungrateful who makes returns of
obligations, for he does it merely to free himself from owing so much as
thanks. Fair words are all the civility and humanity that one man owes
to another, for they are obliging enough of themselves, and need not the
assistance of deeds to make them good; for he that does not believe them
has already received too much, and he that does ought to expect no more.
And therefore promises ought to oblige those only to whom they are made,
not those who make them; for he that expects a man should bind himself
is worse than a thief, who does that service for him after he has robbed
him on the highway. Promises are but words, and words air, which no man
can claim a propriety in, but is equally free to all and incapable of
being confined; and if it were not, yet he who pays debts which he can
possibly avoid does but part with his money for nothing, and pays more
for the mere reputation of honesty and conscience than it is worth.

He prefers the way of applying to the vices and humours of great persons
before all other methods of getting into favour; for he that can be
admitted into these offices of privacy and trust seldom fails to arrive
at greater, and with greater ease and certainty than those who take the
dull way of plain fidelity and merit. For vices, like beasts, are fond
of none but those that feed them, and where they once prevail all other
considerations go for nothing. They are his own flesh and blood, born
and bred out of him, and he has a stronger natural affection for them
than all other relations whatsoever; and he that has an interest in
these has a greater power over him than all other obligations in the
world; for though they are but his imperfections and infirmities, he is
the more tender of them, as a lame member or diseased limb is more
carefully cherished than all the rest that are sound and in perfect
vigour. All offices of this kind are the greatest endearments, being
real flatteries enforced by deeds and actions, and therefore far more
prevalent than those that are performed but by words and fawning, though
very great advantages are daily obtained that way; and therefore he
esteems flattery as the next most sure and successful way of improving
his interests. For flattery is but a kind of civil idolatry, that makes
images to itself of virtue, worth, and honour in some person that is
utterly void of all, and then falls down and worships them; and the more
dull and absurd these applications are, the better they are always
received; for men delight more to be presented with those things they
want than such as they have no need nor use of. And though they condemn
the realities of those honours and renowns that are falsely imputed to
them, they are wonderfully affected with their false pretences; for
dreams work more upon men's passions than any waking thoughts of the
same kind, and many, out of an ignorant superstition, give more credit
to them than the most rational of all their vigilant conjectures, how
false soever they prove in the event. No wonder, then, if those who
apply to men's fancies and humours have a stronger influence upon them
than those that seek to prevail upon their reason and understandings,
especially in things so delightful to them as their own praises, no
matter how false and apparently incredible; for great persons may wear
counterfeit jewels of any carat with more confidence and security from
being discovered than those of meaner quality, in whose hands the
greatness of their value (if they were true) is more apt to render them
suspected. A flatterer is like Mahomet's pigeon, that picks his food out
of his master's ear, who is willing to have it believed that he whispers
oracles into it, and accordingly sets a high esteem upon the service he
does him, though the impostor only designs his own utilities; for men
are for the most part better pleased with other men's opinions, though
false, of their happiness than their own experiences, and find more
pleasure in the dullest flattery of others than all the vast
imaginations they can have of themselves, as no man is apt to be tickled
with his own fingers; because the applauses of others are more agreeable
to those high conceits they have of themselves, which they are glad to
find confirmed, and are the only music that sets them a-dancing, like
those that are bitten with a tarantula.

He accounts it an argument of great discretion, and as great temper, to
take no notice of affronts and indignities put upon him by great
persons; for he that is insensible of injuries of this nature can
receive none, and if he lose no confidence by them, can lose nothing
else; for it is greater to be above injuries than either to do or
revenge them, and he that will be deterred by those discouragements from
prosecuting his designs will never obtain what he proposes to himself.
When a man is once known to be able to endure insolences easier than
others can impose them, they will raise the siege and leave him as
impregnable; and therefore he resolves never to omit the least
opportunity of pressing his affairs, for fear of being baffled and
affronted; for if he can at any rate render himself master of his
purposes, he would not wish an easier nor a cheaper way, as he knows how
to repay himself and make others receive those insolences of him for
good and current payment which he was glad to take before, and he
esteems it no mean glory to show his temper of such a compass as is able
to reach from the highest arrogance to the meanest and most dejected
submissions. A man that has endured all sorts of affronts may be
allowed, like an apprentice that has served out his time, to set up for
himself and put them off upon others; and if the most common and
approved way of growing rich is to gain by the ruin and loss of those
who are in necessity, why should not a man be allowed as well to make
himself appear great by debasing those that are below him? For insolence
is no inconsiderable way of improving greatness and authority in the
opinion of the world. If all men are born equally fit to govern, as some
late philosophers affirm, he only has the advantage of all others who
has the best opinion of his own abilities, how mean soever they really
are; and, therefore, he steadfastly believes that pride is the only
great, wise, and happy virtue that a man is capable of, and the most
compendious and easy way to felicity; for he that is able to persuade
himself impregnably that he is some great and excellent person, how far
short soever he falls of it, finds more delight in that dream than if he
were really so; and the less he is of what he fancies himself to be the
better he is pleased, as men covet those things that are forbidden and
denied them more greedily than those that are in their power to obtain;
and he that can enjoy all the best rewards of worth and merit without
the pains and trouble that attend it has a better bargain than he who
pays as much for it as it is worth. This he performs by an obstinate,
implicit believing as well as he can of himself, and as meanly of all
other men, for he holds it a kind of self-preservation to maintain a
good estimation of himself; and as no man is bound to love his neighbour
better than himself, so he ought not to think better of him than he does
of himself, and he that will not afford himself a very high esteem will
never spare another man any at all. He who has made so absolute a
conquest over himself (which philosophers say is the greatest of all
victories) as to be received for a prince within himself, is greater and
more arbitrary within his own dominions than he that depends upon the
uncertain loves or fears of other men without him; and since the opinion
of the world is vain and for the most part false, he believes it is not
to be attempted but by ways as false and vain as itself, and therefore
to appear and seem is much better and wiser than really to be whatsoever
is well esteemed in the general value of the world Next pride, he
believes ambition to be the only generous and heroical virtue in the
world that mankind is capable of; for, as Nature gave man an erect
figure to raise him above the grovelling condition of his
fellow-creatures the beasts, so he that endeavours to improve that and
raise himself higher seems best to comply with the design and intention
of Nature. Though the stature of man is confined to a certain height,
yet his mind is unlimited, and capable of growing up to heaven; and as
those who endeavour to arrive at that perfection are adored and
reverenced by all, so he that endeavours to advance himself as high as
possibly he can in this world comes nearest to the condition of those
holy and divine aspirers. All the purest parts of Nature always tend
upwards, and the more dull and heavy downwards; so in the little world
the noblest faculties of man, his reason and understanding, that give
him a prerogative above all other earthly creatures, mount upwards; and
therefore he who takes that course, and still aspires in all his
undertakings and designs, does but conform to that which Nature
dictates. Are not the reason and the will, the two commanding faculties
of the soul, still striving which shall be uppermost? Men honour none
but those that are above them, contest with equals, and disdain
inferiors. The first thing that God gave man was dominion over the rest
of his inferior creatures; but he that can extend that over man improves
his talent to the best advantage. How are angels distinguished but by
dominions, powers, thrones, and principalities? Then he who still
aspires to purchase those comes nearest to the nature of those heavenly
ministers, and in all probability is most like to go to heaven, no
matter what destruction he makes in his way, if he does but attain his
end; for nothing is a crime that is too great to be punished; and when
it is once arrived at that perfection, the most horrid actions in the
world become the most admired and renowned. Birds that build highest are
most safe; and he that can advance himself above the envy or reach of
his inferiors is secure against the malice and assaults of fortune. All
religions have ever been persecuted in their primitive ages, when they
were weak and impotent, but when they propagated and grew great, have
been received with reverence and adoration by those who otherwise had
proved their cruellest enemies; and those that afterwards opposed them
have suffered as severely as those that first professed them. So thieves
that rob in small parties and break houses, when they are taken, are
hanged; but when they multiply and grow up into armies and are able to
take towns, the same things are called heroic actions, and acknowledged
for such by all the world. Courts of justice, for the most part, commit
greater crimes than they punish, and do those that sue in them more
injuries than they can possibly receive from one another; and yet they
are venerable, and must not be told so, because they have authority and
power to justify what they do, and the law (that is, whatsoever they
please to call so) ready to give judgment for them. Who knows when a
physician cures or kills? And yet he is equally rewarded for both, and
the profession esteemed never the less worshipful; and therefore he
accounts it a ridiculous vanity in any man to consider whether he does
right or wrong in anything he attempts, since the success is only able
to determine and satisfy the opinion of the world which is the one and
which the other. As for those characters and marks of distinction which
religion, law, and morality fix upon both, they are only significant and
valid when their authority is able to command obedience and submission;
but when the greatness, numbers, or interest of those who are concerned
outgrows that, they change their natures, and that which was injury
before becomes justice, and justice injury. It is with crimes as with
inventions in the mechanics, that will frequently hold true to all
purposes of the design while they are tried in little, but when the
experiment is made in great prove false in all particulars to what is
promised in the model: so iniquities and vices may be punished and
corrected, like children, while they are little and impotent, but when
they are great and sturdy they become incorrigible and proof against all
the power of justice and authority.

Among all his virtues there is none which he sets so high an esteem upon
as impudence, which he finds more useful and necessary than a vizard is
to a highwayman; for he that has but a competent stock of this natural
endowment has an interest in any man he pleases, and is able to manage
it with greater advantages than those who have all the real pretences
imaginable, but want that dexterous way of soliciting by which, if the
worst fall out, he is sure to lose nothing if he does not win. He that
is impudent is shot-free, and if he be ever so much overpowered can
receive no hurt, for his forehead is impenetrable, and of so excellent a
temper that nothing is able to touch it, but turns edge and is blunted.
His face holds no correspondence with his mind, and therefore whatsoever
inward sense or conviction he feels, there is no outward appearance of
it in his looks to give evidence against him; and in any difficulty that
can befall him, impudence is the most infallible expedient to fetch him
off, that is always ready, like his angel guardian, to relieve and
rescue him in his greatest extremities; and no outward impression, nor
inward neither, though his own conscience take part against him, is able
to beat him from his guards. Though innocence and a good conscience be
said to be a brazen wall, a brazen confidence is more impregnable and
longer able to hold out; for it is a greater affliction to an innocent
man to be suspected than it is to one that is guilty and impudent to be
openly convicted of an apparent crime. And in all the affairs of
mankind, a brisk confidence, though utterly void of sense, is able to go
through matters of difficulty with greater ease than all the strength of
reason less boldly enforced, as the Turks are said by a small, slight
handling of their bows to make an arrow without a head pierce deeper
into hard bodies than guns of greater force are able to do a bullet of
steel; and though it be but a cheat and imposture, that has neither
truth nor reason to support it, yet it thrives better in the world than
things of greater solidity, as thorns and thistles flourish on barren
grounds where nobler plants would starve. And he that can improve his
barren parts by this excellent and most compendious method deserves much
better, in his judgment, than those who endeavour to do the same thing
by the more studious and difficult way of downright industry and
drudging. For impudence does not only supply all defects, but gives them
a greater grace than if they had needed no art, as all other ornaments
are commonly nothing else but the remedies or disguises of
imperfections; and therefore he thinks him very weak that is unprovided
of this excellent and most useful quality, without which the best
natural or acquired parts are of no more use than the Guanches' darts,
which, the virtuosos say, are headed with butter hardened in the sun. It
serves him to innumerable purposes to press on and understand no
repulse, how smart or harsh soever, for he that can fail nearest the
wind has much the advantage of all others; and such is the weakness or
vanity of some men, that they will grant that to obstinate importunity
which they would never have done upon all the most just reasons and
considerations imaginable, as those that watch witches will make them
confess that which they would never have done upon any other account.

He believes a man's words and his meaning should never agree together;
for he that says what he thinks lays himself open to be expounded by the
most ignorant, and he who does not make his words rather serve to
conceal than discover the sense of his heart deserves to have it pulled
out, like a traitor's, and shown publicly to the rabble; for as a king,
they say, cannot reign without dissembling, so private men, without
that, cannot govern themselves with any prudence or discretion
imaginable. This is the only politic magic that has power to make a man
walk invisible, give him access into all men's privacies, and keep all
others out of his, which is as great an odds as it is to discover what
cards those he plays with have in their hands, and permit them to know
nothing of his; and, therefore, he never speaks his own sense, but that
which he finds comes nearest to the meaning of those he converses with,
as birds are drawn into nets by pipes that counterfeit their own voices.
By this means he possesses men, like the devil, by getting within them
before they are aware, turns them out of themselves, and either betrays
or renders them ridiculous, as he finds it most agreeable either to his
humour or his occasions.

As for religion, he believes a wise man ought to possess it only that he
may not be observed to have freed himself from the obligations of it,
and so teach others by his example to take the same freedom. For he who
is at liberty has a great advantage over all those whom he has to deal
with, as all hypocrites find by perpetual experience that one of the
best uses that can be made of it is to take measure of men's
understandings and abilities by it, according as they are more or less
serious in it. For he thinks that no man ought to be much concerned in
it but hypocrites and such as make it their calling and profession, who,
though they do not live by their faith, like the righteous, do that
which is nearest to it, get their living by it; and that those only take
the surest course who make their best advantages of it in this world and
trust to Providence for the next, to which purpose he believes it is
most properly to be relied upon by all men.

He admires good nature as only good to those who have it not, and laughs
at friendship as a ridiculous foppery, which all wise men easily
outgrow; for the more a man loves another the less he loves himself. All
regards and civil applications should, like true devotion, look upwards
and address to those that are above us, and from whom we may in
probability expect either good or evil; but to apply to those that are
our equals, or such as cannot benefit or hurt us, is a far more
irrational idolatry than worshipping of images or beasts. All the good
that can proceed from friendship is but this, that it puts men in a way
to betray one another. The best parents, who are commonly the worst men,
have naturally a tender kindness for their children only because they
believe they are a part of themselves, which shows that self-love is the
original of all others, and the foundation of that great law of Nature,
self-preservation; for no man ever destroyed himself wilfully that had
not first left off to love himself. Therefore a man's self is the proper
object of his love, which is never so well employed as when it is kept
within its own confines, and not suffered to straggle. Every man is just
so much a slave as he is concerned in the will, inclinations, or
fortunes of another, or has anything of himself out of his own power to
dispose of; and therefore he is resolved never to trust any man with
that kindness which he takes up of himself, unless he has such security
as is most certain to yield him double interest; for he that does
otherwise is but a Jew and a Turk to himself, which is much worse than
to be so to all the world beside. Friends are only friends to those who
have no need of them, and when they have, become no longer friends; like
the leaves of trees, that clothe the woods in the heat of summer, when
they have no need of warmth, but leave them naked when cold weather
comes; and since there are so few that prove otherwise, it is not wisdom
to rely on any.

He is of opinion that no men are so fit to be employed and trusted as
fools or knaves; for the first understand no right, the others regard
none; and whensoever there falls out an occasion that may prove of great
importance if the infamy and danger of the dishonesty be not too
apparent, they are the only persons that are fit for the undertaking.
They are both equally greedy of employment; the one out of an itch to be
thought able, and the other honest enough, to be trusted, as by use and
practice they sometimes prove. For the general business of the world
lies, for the most part, in routines and forms, of which there are none
so exact observers as those who understand nothing else to divert them,
as carters use to blind their fore-horses on both sides that they may
see only forward, and so keep the road the better, and men that aim at a
mark use to shut one eye that they may see the surer with the other. If
fools are not notorious, they have far more persons to deal with of
their own elevation (who understand one another better) than they have
of those that are above them, which renders them fitter for many
businesses than wiser men, and they believe themselves to be so for all.
For no man ever thought himself a fool that was one, so confident does
their ignorance naturally render them, and confidence is no contemptible
qualification in the management of human affairs; and as blind men have
secret artifices and tricks to supply that defect and find out their
ways, which those who have their eyes and are but hoodwinked are utterly
unable to do, so fools have always little crafts and frauds in all their
transactions which wiser men would never have thought upon, and by those
they frequently arrive at very great wealth, and as great success in all
their undertakings. For all fools are but feeble and impotent knaves,
that have as strong and vehement inclinations to all sorts of dishonesty
as the most notorious of those engineers, but want abilities to put them
in practice; and as they are always found to be the most obstinate and
intractable people to be prevailed upon by reason or conscience, so they
are as easy to submit to their superiors--that is, knaves--by whom they
are always observed to be governed, as all corporations are wont to
choose their magistrates out of their own members. As for knaves, they
are commonly true enough to their own interests, and while they gain by
their employments, will be careful not to disserve those who can turn
them out when they please, what tricks soever they put upon others; and
therefore such men prove more useful to them in their designs of gain
and profit than those whose consciences and reason will not permit them
to take that latitude.

And since buffoonery is, and has always been, so delightful to great
persons, he holds him very improvident that is to seek in a quality so
inducing that he cannot at least serve for want of a better, especially
since it is so easy that the greatest part of the difficulty lies in
confidence; and he that can but stand fair and give aim to those that
are gamesters does not always lose his labour, but many times becomes
well esteemed for his generous and bold demeanour, and a lucky repartee
hit upon by chance may be the making of a man. This is the only modern
way of running at tilt, with which great persons are so delighted to see
men encounter one another and break jests, as they did lances
heretofore; and he that has the best beaver to his helmet has the
greatest advantage; and as the former passed upon the account of valour,
so does the latter on the score of wit, though neither, perhaps, have
any great reason for their pretences, especially the latter, that
depends much upon confidence, which is commonly a great support to wit,
and therefore believed to be its betters, that ought to take place of
it, as all men are greater than their dependents; so pleasant it is to
see men lessen one another and strive who shall show himself the most
ill-natured and ill-mannered. As in cuffing all blows are aimed at the
face, so it fares in these rencounters, where he that wears the toughest
leather on his visage comes off with victory though he has ever so much
the disadvantage upon all other accounts. For a buffoon is like a mad
dog that has a worm in his tongue, which makes him bite at all that
light in his way; and as he can do nothing alone, but must have somebody
to set him that he may throw at, he that performs that office with the
greatest freedom and is contented to be laughed at to give his patron
pleasure cannot but be understood to have done very good service, and
consequently deserves to be well rewarded, as a mountebank's pudding,
that is content to be cut and slashed and burnt and poisoned, without
which his master can show no tricks, deserves to have a considerable
share in his gains.

As for the meanness of these ways, which some may think too base to be
employed to so excellent an end, that imports nothing; for what dislike
soever the world conceives against any man's undertakings, if they do
but succeed and prosper, it will easily recant its error and applaud
what it condemned before; and therefore all wise men have ever justly
esteemed it a great virtue to disdain the false values it commonly sets
upon all things and which itself is so apt to retract. For as those who
go uphill use to stoop and bow their bodies forward, and sometimes creep
upon their hands, and those that descend to go upright, so the lower a
man stoops and submits in these endearing offices, the more sure and
certain he is to rise; and the more upright he carries himself in other
matters, the more like, in probability, to be ruined. And this he
believes to be a wiser course for any man to take than to trouble
himself with the knowledge of arts or arms; for the one does but bring a
man an unnecessary trouble, and the other as unnecessary danger; and the
shortest and more easy way to attain to both is to despise all other men
and believe as steadfastly in himself as he can--a better and more
certain course than that of merit.

What he gains wickedly he spends as vainly, for he holds it the greatest
happiness that a man is capable of to deny himself nothing that his
desires can propose to him, but rather to improve his enjoyments by
glorying in his vices; for, glory being one end of almost all the
business of this world, he who omits that in the enjoyment of himself
and his pleasures loses the greatest part of his delight; and therefore
the felicity which he supposes other men apprehend that he receives in
the relish of his luxuries is more delightful to him than the
fruition itself.


Owns his election from free grace in opposition to merits or any
foresight of good works; for he is chosen not for his abilities or
fitness for his employment, but, like a _tales_ in a jury, for happening
to be near in court. If there were any other consideration in it (which
is a hard question to the wise), it was only because he was held able
enough to be a counsellor-extraordinary for the indifference and
negligence of his understanding, and consequent probability of doing no
hurt, if no good; for why should not such prove the safest physicians to
the body politic as well as they do to the natural? Or else some near
friend or friend's friend helped him to the place, that engaged for his
honesty and good behaviour in it. Howsoever, he is able to sit still and
look wise according to his best skill and cunning, and, though he
understand no reason, serve for one that does, and be most steadfastly
of that opinion that is most like to prevail. If he be a great person,
he is chosen, as aldermen are in the city, for being rich enough, and
fines to be taken in as those do to be left out; and money being the
measure of all things, it is sufficient to justify all his other talents
and render them, like itself, good and current. As for wisdom and
judgment, with those other out-of-fashioned qualifications which have
been so highly esteemed heretofore, they have not been found to be so
useful in this age, since it has invented scantlings for politics that
will move with the strength of a child and yet carry matters of very
great weight; and that raillery and fooling is proved by frequent
experiments to be the more easy and certain way; for, as the Germans
heretofore were observed to be wisest when they were drunk and knew not
how to dissemble, so are our modern statesmen when they are mad and use
no reserved cunning in their consultations; and as the Church of Rome
and that of the Turks esteem ignorant persons the most devout, there
seems no reason why this age, that seems to incline to the opinions of
them both, should not as well believe them to be the most prudent and
judicious; for heavenly wisdom does, by the confession of men, far
exceed all the subtlety and prudence of this world. The heathen priests
of old never delivered oracles but when they were drunk and mad or
distracted, and who knows why our modern oracles may not as well use the
same method in all their proceedings? Howsoever, he is as ably qualified
to govern as that sort of opinion that is said to govern all the world,
and is perpetually false and foolish; and if his opinions are always so,
they have the fairer title to their pretensions. He is sworn to advise
no further than his skill and cunning will enable him, and the less he
has of either the sooner he despatches his business, and despatch is no
mean virtue in a statesman.


Is one that has studied the whole body of vice. His parts are
disproportionate to the whole, and, like a monster, he has more of some
and less of others than he should have. He has pulled down all that
fabric that Nature raised in him, and built himself up again after a
model of his own. He has dammed up all those lights that Nature made
into the noblest prospects of the world, and opened other little blind
loopholes backward by turning day into night and night into day. His
appetite to his pleasures is diseased and crazy, like the pica in a
woman that longs to eat that which was never made for food, or a girl in
the green sickness that eats chalk and mortar. Perpetual surfeits of
pleasure have filled his mind with bad and vicious humours (as well as
his body with a nursery of diseases), which makes him affect new and
extravagant ways as being sick and tired with the old. Continual wine,
women, and music put false values upon things which by custom become
habitual, and debauch his understanding so that he retains no right
notion nor sense of things; and as the same dose of the same physic has
no operation on those that are much used to it, so his pleasures require
a larger proportion of excess and variety to render him sensible of
them. He rises, eats, and goes to bed by the Julian account, long after
all others that go by the new style, and keeps the same hours with owls
and the antipodes. He is a great observer of the Tartars' customs, and
never eats till the great Cham, having dined, makes proclamation that
all the world may go to dinner. He does not dwell in his house, but
haunts it like an evil spirit that walks all night to disturb the
family, and never appears by day. He lives perpetually benighted, runs
out of his life, and loses his time, as men do their ways, in the dark;
and as blind men are led by their dogs, so is he governed by some mean
servant or other that relates to his pleasures. He is as inconstant as
the moon which he lives under; and although he does nothing but advise
with his pillow all day, he is as great a stranger to himself as he is
to the rest of the world. His mind entertains all things very freely
that come and go, but, like guests and strangers, they are not welcome
if they stay long. This lays him open to all cheats, quacks, and
impostors, who apply to every particular humour while it lasts, and
afterwards vanish. Thus, with St. Paul, though in a different sense, he
dies daily, and only lives in the night. He deforms Nature while he
intends to adorn her, like Indians that hang jewels in their lips and
noses. His ears are perpetually drilled with a fiddlestick. He endures
pleasures with less patience than other men do their pains.


Is one that wears his feather on the inside of his head. His brain is
like quicksilver, apt to receive any impression but retain none. His
mind is made of changeable stuff, that alters colour with every motion
towards the light. He is a cormorant that has but one gut, devours
everything greedily, but it runs through him immediately. He does not
know so much as what he would be, and yet would be everything he knows.
He is like a paper-lantern, that turns with the smoke of a candle. He
wears his clothes as the ancient laws of the land have provided,
according to his quality, that he may be known what he is by them; and
it is as easy to decipher him by his habit as a pudding. He is rigged
with ribbon, and his garniture is his tackle; all the rest of him is
hull. He is sure to be the earliest in the fashion, and lays out for it
like the first peas and cherries. He is as proud of leading a fashion as
others are of a faction, and glories as much to be in the head of a mode
as a soldier does to be in the head of an army. He is admirably skilful
in the mathematics of clothes, and can tell, at the first view, whether
they have the right symmetry. He alters his gait with the times, and has
not a motion of his body that (like a dottrel) he does not borrow from
somebody else. He exercises his limbs like a pike and musket, and all
his postures are practised. Take him altogether, and he is nothing but a
translation, word for word, out of French, an image cast in
plaster-of-Paris, and a puppet sent over for others to dress themselves
by. He speaks French as pedants do Latin, to show his breeding, and most
naturally where he is least understood. All his non-naturals, on which
his health and diseases depend, are _stile nuovo_, French is his holiday
language, that he wears for his pleasure and ornament, and uses English
only for his business and necessary occasions. He is like a Scotchman;
though he is born a subject of his own nation, he carries a French
faction within him.

He is never quiet, but sits as the wind is said to do when it is most in
motion. His head is as full of maggots as a pastoral poet's flock. He
was begotten, like one of Pliny's Portuguese horses, by the wind. The
truth is, he ought not to have been reared; for, being calved in the
increase of the moon, his head is troubled with a ----

_N.B._--The last word not legible.


Is one that is so delighted with the sweet sound of his own tongue, that
William Prynne will sooner lend an ear than he to anything else. His
measure of talk is till his wind is spent, and then he is not silenced,
but becalmed. His ears have catched the itch of his tongue, and though
he scratch them, like a beast with his hoof, he finds a pleasure in it.
A silenced minister has more mercy on the Government in a secure
conventicle than he has on the company that he is in. He shakes a man by
the ear, as a dog does a pig, and never loses his hold till he has tired
himself as well as his patient. He does not talk to a man, but attacks
him, and whomsoever he can get into his hands he lays violent language
on. If he can he will run a man up against a wall and hold him at a bay
by the buttons, which he handles as bad as he does his person or the
business he treats upon. When he finds him begin to sink he holds him by
the clothes, and feels him as a butcher does a calf before he kills him.
He is a walking pillory, and crucifies more ears than a dozen standing
ones. He will hold any argument rather than his tongue, and maintain
both sides at his own charge; for he will tell you what you will say,
though perhaps he does not intend to give you leave. He lugs men by the
ears, as they correct children in Scotland, and will make them tingle
while he talks with them, as some say they will do when a man is talked
of in his absence. When he talks to a man he comes up close to him, and,
like an old soldier, lets fly in his face, or claps the bore of his
pistol to his ear and whispers aloud, that he may be sure not to miss
his mark. His tongue is always in motion, though very seldom to the
purpose, like a barber's scissors, which are always snipping, as well
when they do not cut as when they do. His tongue is like a
bagpipe-drone, that has no stop, but makes a continual ugly noise, as
long as he can squeeze any wind out of himself. He never leaves a man
until he has run him down, and then he winds a death over him. A
sow-gelder's horn is not so terrible to dogs and cats as he is to all
that know him. His way of argument is to talk all and hear no
contradiction. First he gives his antagonist the length of his wind, and
then, let him make his approaches if he can, he is sure to be beforehand
with him. Of all dissolute diseases the running of the tongue is the
worst, and the hardest to be cured. If he happen at any time to be at a
stand, and any man else begins to speak, he presently drowns him with
his noise, as a water-dog makes a duck dive; for when you think he has
done he falls on and lets fly again, like a gun that will discharge nine
times with one loading. He is a rattlesnake, that with his noise gives
men warning to avoid him, otherwise he will make them wish they had. He
is, like a bell, good for nothing but to make a noise. He is like common
fame, that speaks most and knows least, Lord Brooks, or a wild goose
always cackling when he is upon the wing. His tongue is like any kind of
carriage, the less weight it bears the faster and easier it goes. He is
so full of words that they run over and are thrown away to no purpose,
and so empty of things or sense that his dryness has made his leaks so
wide whatsoever is put in him runs out immediately. He is so long in
delivering himself that those that hear him desire to be delivered too
or despatched out of their pain. He makes his discourse the longer with
often repeating to be short, and talking much of in fine, never means to
come near it.


Is a fanatic Hector that has found out, by a very strange way of new
light, how to transform all the devils into angels of light; for he
believes all religion consists in looseness, and that sin and vice is
the whole duty of man. He puts off the old man, but puts it on again
upon the new one, and makes his pagan vices serve to preserve his
Christian virtues from wearing out, for if he should use his piety and
devotion always it would hold out but a little while. He is loth that
iniquity and vice should be thrown away as long as there may be good use
for it; for if that which is wickedly gotten may be disposed to pious
uses, why should not wickedness itself as well? He believes himself
shot-free against all the attempts of the devil, the world, and the
flesh, and therefore is not afraid to attack them in their own quarters
and encounter them at their own weapons. For as strong bodies may freely
venture to do and suffer that, without any hurt to themselves, which
would destroy those that are feeble, so a saint that is strong in grace
may boldly engage himself in those great sins and iniquities that would
easily damn a weak brother, and yet come off never the worse. He
believes deeds of darkness to be only those sins that are committed in
private, not those that are acted openly and owned. He is but a
hypocrite turned the wrong side outward; for, as the one wears his vices
within and the other without, so when they are counterchanged the ranter
becomes a hypocrite, and the hypocrite an able ranter. His church is the
devil's chapel, for it agrees exactly both in doctrine and discipline
with the best reformed bawdy-houses. He is a monster produced by the
madness of this latter age; but if it had been his fate to have been
whelped in old Rome he had passed for a prodigy, and been received among
raining of stones and the speaking of bulls, and would have put a stop
to all public affairs until he had been expiated. Nero clothed
Christians in the skins of wild beasts, but he wraps wild beasts in the
skins of Christians.


Is an artificer or maker of love, a sworn servant to all ladies, like an
officer in a corporation. Though no one in particular will own any title
to him, yet he never fails upon all occasions to offer his services, and
they as seldom to turn it back again untouched. He commits nothing with
them but himself to their good graces; and they recommend him back again
to his own, where he finds so kind a reception that he wonders how he
does fail of it everywhere else. His passion is as easily set on fire as
a fart, and as soon out again. He is charged and primed with love-powder
like a gun, and the least sparkle of an eye gives fire to him and off he
goes, but seldom or never hits the mark. He has commonplaces, and
precedents of repartees, and letters for all occasions, and falls as
readily into his method of making love as a parson does into his form of
matrimony. He converses, as angels are said to do, by intuition, and
expresses himself by sighs most significantly. He follows his visits as
men do their business, and is very industrious in waiting on the ladies
where his affairs lie; among which those of greatest concernment are
questions and commands, purposes, and other such received forms of wit
and conversation, in which he is so deeply studied that in all questions
and doubts that arise he is appealed to, and very learnedly declares
which was the most true and primitive way of proceeding in the purest
times. For these virtues he never fails of his summons to all balls,
where he manages the country-dances with singular judgment, and is
frequently an assistant at _l'ombre_; and these are all the uses they
make of his parts, beside the sport they give themselves in laughing at
him, which he takes for singular favours and interprets to his own
advantage, though it never goes further; for, all his employments being
public, he is never admitted to any private services, and they despise
him as not woman's meat; for he applies to too many to be trusted by any
one, as bastards by having many fathers have none at all. He goes often
mounted in a coach as a convoy to guard the ladies, to take the dust in
Hyde Park, where by his prudent management of the glass windows he
secures them from beggars, and returns fraught with China-oranges and
ballads. Thus he is but a gentleman-usher-general, and his business is
to carry one lady's services to another, and bring back the other's
in exchange.


Is one that expounds upon the planets and teaches to construe the
accidents by the due joining of stars in construction. He talks with
them by dumb signs, and can tell what they mean by their twinkling and
squinting upon one another as well as they themselves. He is a spy upon
the stars, and can tell what they are doing by the company they keep and
the houses they frequent. They have no power to do anything alone until
so many meet as will make a quorum. He is clerk of the committee to
them, and draws up all their orders that concern either public or
private affairs. He keeps all their accounts for them, and sums them up,
not by debtor, but creditor alone--a more compendious way. They do ill
to make them have so much authority over the earth, which perhaps has as
much as any one of them but the sun, and as much right to sit and vote
in their councils as any other. But because there are but seven Electors
of the German Empire, they will allow of no more to dispose of all
other, and most foolishly and unnaturally dispossess their own parent of
its inheritance rather than acknowledge a defect in their own rules.
These rules are all they have to show for their title, and yet not one
of them can tell whether those they had them from came honestly by them.
Virgil's description of fame, that reaches from earth to the stars, _tam
ficti pravique tenax_, to carry lies and knavery, will serve astrologers
without any sensible variation. He is a fortune-seller, a retailer of
destiny, and petty chapman to the planets. He casts nativities as
gamesters do false dice, and by slurring and palming sextile, quartile,
and trine, like _six, quatre, trois_, can throw what chance he pleases.
He sets a figure as cheats do a main at hazard, and gulls throw away
their money at it. He fetches the grounds of his art so far off, as well
from reason as the stars, that, like a traveller, he is allowed to lie
by authority; and as beggars that have no money themselves believe all
others have, and beg of those that have as little as themselves, so the
ignorant rabble believe in him though he has no more reason for what he
professes than they.


Is a retailer of justice that uses false lights, false weights, and
false measures. He measures right and wrong by his retaining fee, and,
like a French duellist, engages on that side that first bespeaks him,
though it be against his own brother; not because it is right, but
merely upon a punctilio of profit, which is better than honour to him,
because riches will buy nobility, and nobility nothing, as having no
intrinsic value. He sells his opinion, and engages to maintain the title
against all that claim under him, but no further. He puts it off upon
his word, which he believes himself not bound to make good, because when
he has parted with his right to it, it is no longer his. He keeps no
justice for his own use, as being a commodity of his own growth, which
he never buys, but only sells to others; and as no man goes worse shod
than the shoemaker, so no man is more out of justice than he that gets
his living by it. He draws bills as children do lots at a lottery, and
is paid as much for blanks as prizes. He undoes a man with the same
privilege as a doctor kills him, and is paid as well for it as if he
preserved him, in which he is very impartial, but in nothing else. He
believes it no fault in himself to err in judgment, because that part of
the law belongs to the judge and not to him. His best opinions and his
worst are all of a price, like good wine and bad in a tavern, in which
he does not deal so fairly as those who, if they know what you are
willing to bestow, can tell how to fit you accordingly. When his law
lies upon his hands he will afford a good pennyworth, and rather
pettifog and turn common barreter than be out of employment. His opinion
is one thing while it is his own and another when it is paid for; for,
the property being altered, the case alters also. When his counsel is
not for his client's turn he will never take it back again, though it be
never the worse, nor allow him anything for it, yet will sell the same
over and over again to as many as come to him for it. His pride
increases with his practice, and the fuller of business he is, like a
sack, the bigger he looks. He crowds to the Bar like a pig through a
hedge, and his gown is fortified with flankers about the shoulders to
guard his ears from being galled with elbows. He draws his bills more
extravagant and unconscionable than a tailor; for if you cut off
two-thirds in the beginning, middle, or end, that which is left will be
more reasonable and nearer to sense than the whole, and yet he is paid
for all; for when he draws up a business, like a captain that makes
false musters, he produces as many loose and idle words as he can
possibly come by until he has received for them, and then turns them off
and retains only those that are to the purpose. This he calls drawing of
breviates. All that appears of his studies is, in short, time converted
into waste-paper, tailor's measures, and heads for children's drums. He
appears very violent against the other side, and rails to please his
client as they do children, "Give me a blow and I'll strike him, ah,
naughty!" &c. This makes him seem very zealous for the good of his
client, and though the cause go against him he loses no credit by it,
especially if he fall foul on the counsel of the other side, which goes
for no more among them than it does with those virtuous persons that
quarrel and fight in the streets to pick the pockets of those that look
on. He hangs men's estates and fortunes on the slightest curiosities and
feeblest niceties imaginable, and undoes them like the story of breaking
a horse's back with a feather or sinking a ship with a single drop of
water, as if right and wrong were only notional and had no relation at
all to practice (which always requires more solid foundations), or
reason and truth did wholly consist in the right spelling of letters,
whenas the subtler things are the nearer they are to nothing, so the
subtler words and notions are the nearer they are to nonsense. He
overruns Latin and French with greater barbarism than the Goths did
Italy and France, and makes as mad a confusion of language by mixing
both with English. Nor does he use English much better, for he clogs it
so with words that the sense becomes as thick as puddle, and is utterly
lost to those that have not the trick of skipping over where it is
impertinent. He has but one termination for all Latin words, and that's
a dash. He is very just to the first syllables of words, but always
bobtails the last, in which the sense most of all consists, like a cheat
that does a man all right at the first that he may put a trick upon him
in the end. He is an apprentice to the law without a master, is his own
pupil, and has no tutor but himself, that is a fool. He will screw and
wrest law as unmercifully as a tumbler does his body to lick up money
with his tongue. He is a Swiss that professes mercenary arms, will fight
for him that gives him best pay, and, like an Italian bravo, will fall
foul on any man's reputation that he receives a retaining fee against.
If he could but maintain his opinions as well as they do him, he were a
very just and righteous man; but when he has made his most of it, he
leaves it, like his client, to shift for itself. He fetches money out of
his throat like a juggler; and as the rabble in the country value
gentlemen by their housekeeping and their eating, so is he supposed to
have so much law as he has kept commons, and the abler to deal with
clients by how much the more he has devoured of Inns-of-Court mutton;
and it matters not whether he keep his study so he has but kept commons.
He never ends a suit, but prunes it that it may grow the faster and
yield a greater increase of strife. The wisdom of the law is to admit of
all the petty, mean, real injustices in the world, to avoid imaginary
possible great ones that may perhaps fall out. His client finds the
Scripture fulfilled in him, that it is better to part with a coat too
than go to law for a cloak; for, as the best laws are made of the worst
manners, even so are the best lawyers of the worst men. He hums about
Westminster Hall, and returns home with his pockets like a bee with his
thighs laden; and that which Horace says of an ant, _Ore trahit
quodcunque potest, atque addit acervo_, is true of him, for he gathers
all his heap with the labour of his mouth rather than his brain and
hands. He values himself, as a carman does his horse, by the money he
gets, and looks down upon all that gain less as scoundrels. The law is
like that double-formed, ill-begotten monster that was kept in an
intricate labyrinth and fed with men's flesh, for it devours all that
come within the mazes of it and have not a clue to find the way out
again. He has as little kindness for the Statute Law as Catholics have
for the Scripture, but adores the Common Law as they do tradition, and
both for the very same reason; for the Statute Law being certain,
written and designed to reform and prevent corruptions and abuses in the
affairs of the world (as the Scriptures are in matters of religion), he
finds it many times a great obstruction to the advantage and profit of
his practice; whereas the Common Law, being unwritten, or written in an
unknown language which very few understand but himself, is the more
pliable and easy to serve all his purposes, being utterly exposed to
what interpretation and construction his interest and occasions shall at
any time incline him to give it; and differs only from arbitrary power
in this, that the one gives no account of itself at all, and the other
such a one as is perhaps worse than none, that is implicit and not to be
understood, or subject to what constructions he pleases to put
upon it:--

   Great critics in a _noverint universi_
   Know all men by these presents how to curse ye;
   Pedants of said and foresaid, and both Frenches,
   Pedlars, and pokie, may those rev'rend benches
   Y' aspire to be the stocks, and may ye be
   No more call'd to the Bar, but pillory;
   Thither in triumph may ye backward ride
   To have your ears most justly crucified,
   And cut so close until there be not leather
   Enough to stick a pen in left of either;
   Then will your consciences, your ears, and wit
   Be like indentures tripartite cut fit.
   May your horns multiply and grow as great
   As that which does blow grace before your meat;
   May varlets be your barbers now, and do
   The same to you they have been done unto;
   That's law and gospel too; may it prove true,
   Then they shall do pump-justice upon you;
   And when y' are shaved and powder'd you shall fall,
   Thrown o'er the Bar, as they did o'er the wall,
   Never to rise again, unless it be
   To hold your hands up for your roguery;
   And when you do so may they be no less
   Sear'd by the hangman than your consciences.
   May your gowns swarm until you can determine
   The strife no more between yourselves and vermin
   Than you have done between your clients' purses;
   Now kneel and take the last and worst of curses--
     May you be honest when it is too late;
     That is, undone the only way you hate.


Is a poet of small wares, whose Muse is short-winded and quickly out of
breath. She flies like a goose, that is no sooner upon the wing but down
again. He was originally one of those authors that used to write upon
white walls, from whence his works, being collected and put together,
pass in the world like single money among those that deal in small
matters. His wit is like fire in a flint, that is nothing while it is
in, and nothing again as soon as it is out. He treats of all things and
persons that come in his way, but like one that draws in little, much
less than the life:--

   His bus'ness is t' inveigh and flatter,
   Like parcel parasite and satyr.

He is a kind of vagabond writer, that is never out of his way, for
nothing is beside the purpose with him that proposes none at all. His
works are like a running banquet, that have much variety but little of a
sort, for he deals in nothing but scraps and parcels, like a tailor's
broker. He does not write, but set his mark upon things, and gives no
account in words at length, but only in figures. All his wit reaches but
to four lines or six at the most; and if he ever venture farther it
tires immediately, like a post-horse, that will go no farther than his
wonted stages. Nothing agrees so naturally with his fancy as bawdry,
which he dispenses in small pittances to continue his reader still in an
appetite for more.


St. Paul was thought by Festus to be mad with too much learning, but the
fanatics of our times are mad with too little. He chooses himself one of
the elect, and packs a committee of his own party to judge the twelve
tribes of Israel. The apostles in the primitive Church worked miracles
to confirm and propagate their doctrine, but he thinks to confirm his by
working at his trade. He assumes a privilege to impress what text of
Scripture he pleases for his own use, and leaves those that make against
him for the use of the wicked. His religion, that tends only to faction
and sedition, is neither fit for peace nor war, but times of a condition
between both, like the sails of a ship that will not endure a storm and
are of no use at all in a calm. He believes it has enough of the
primitive Christian if it be but persecuted as that was, no matter for
the piety or doctrine of it, as if there were nothing required to prove
the truth of a religion but the punishment of the professors of it, like
the old mathematicians that were never believed to be profoundly knowing
in their profession until they had run through all punishments and just
escaped the fork. He is all for suffering for religion, but nothing for
acting; for he accounts good works no better than encroachments upon the
merits of free believing, and a good life the most troublesome and
unthrifty way to heaven. He canonises himself a saint in his own
lifetime, as the more sure and certain way, and less troublesome to
others. He outgrows ordinances, as an apprentice that has served out his
time does his indentures, and being a freeman, supposes himself at
liberty to set up what religion he pleases. He calls his own supposed
abilities gifts, and disposes of himself like a foundation designed to
pious uses, although, like others of the same kind, they are always
diverted to other purposes. He owes all his gifts to his ignorance, as
beggars do the alms they receive to their poverty. They are such as the
fairies are said to drop in men's shoes, and when they are discovered to
give them over and confer no more; for when his gifts are discovered
they vanish and come to nothing. He is but a puppet saint that moves he
knows not how, and his ignorance is the dull, leaden weight that puts
all his parts in motion. His outward man is a saint and his inward man a
reprobate, for he carries his vices in his heart and his religion in
his face.


A priest stole him out of the cradle, like the fairies, and left a fool
and changeling in his place. He new dyes his religion, and commonly into
a sadder and darker colour than it was before. He gives his opinion the
somersault and turns the wrong side of it outwards. He does not mend his
manners, but botch them with patches of another stuff and colour. Change
of religion, being for the most part used by those who understand not
why one religion is better than another, is like changing of money two
sixpences for a shilling; both are of equal value, but the change is for
convenience or humour. There is nothing more difficult than a change of
religion for the better, for as all alterations in judgment are derived
from a precedent confessed error, that error is more probably like to
produce another than anything of so different a nature as truth. He
imposes upon himself in believing the infirmity of his nature to be the
strength of his judgment, and thinks he changes his religion when he
changes himself, and turns as naturally from one thing to another as a
maggot does to a fly. He is a kind of freebooty and plunder, or one head
of cattle driven by the priests of one religion out of the quarters of
another, and they value him above two of their own; for, beside the
glory of the exploit, they have a better title to him (as he that is
conquered is more in the power of him that subdued him than he that was
born his subject), and they expect a freer submission from one that
takes quarter than from those that were under command before. His
weakness or ignorance, or both, are commonly the chief causes of his
conversion; for if he be a man of a profession that has no hopes to
thrive upon the account of mere merit, he has no way so easy and certain
as to betake himself to some forbidden church, where, for the common
cause's sake, he finds so much brotherly love and kindness, that they
will rather employ him than one of another persuasion though more
skilful, and he gains by turning and winding his religion as tradesmen
do by their stocks. The priest has commonly the very same design upon
him, for he that is not able to go to the charges of his conversion may
live free enough from being attacked by any side. He was troubled with a
vertigo in his conscience, and nothing but change of religion, like
change of air, could cure him. He is like a sick man that can neither
lie still in his bed nor turn himself but as he is helped by others. He
is like a revolter in an army; and as men of honour and commanders
seldom prove such, but common soldiers, men of mean condition,
frequently to mend their fortunes, so in religion clergymen who are
commanders seldom prevail upon one another, and when they do, the
proselyte is usually one who had no reputation among his own party
before, and after a little trial finds as little among those to whom
he revolts.


Is a centaur, a mixture of man and beast, like a monster engendered by
unnatural copulation, a crab engrafted on an apple. He was neither made
by art nor nature, but in spite of both, by evil custom.. His perpetual
conversation with beasts has rendered him one of them, and he is among
men but a naturalised brute. He appears by his language, genius, and
behaviour to be an alien to mankind, a foreigner to humanity, and of so
opposite a genius that 'tis easier to make a Spaniard a Frenchman than
to reduce him to civility. He disdains every man that he does not fear,
and only respects him that has done him hurt or can do it. He is like
Nebuchadnezzar after he had been a month at grass, but will never return
to be a man again as he did, if he might, for he despises all manner of
lives but his own, unless it be his horse's, to whom he is but _valet de
chambre_. He never shows himself humane or kind in anything but when he
pimps to his cow or makes a match for his mare; in all things else he is
surly and rugged, and does not love to be pleased himself, which makes
him hate those that do him any good. He is a stoic to all passions but
fear, envy, and malice, and hates to do any good though it cost him
nothing. He abhors a gentleman because he is most unlike himself, and
repines as much at his manner of living as if he maintained him. He
murmurs at him as the saints do at the wicked, as if he kept his right
from him, for he makes his clownery a sect and damns all that are not of
his Church. He manures the earth like a dunghill, but lets himself lie
fallow, for no improvement will do good upon him. Cain was the first of
his family, and he does his endeavour not to degenerate from the
original churlishness of his ancestor. He that was fetched from the
plough to be made dictator had not half his pride and insolence, nor
Caligula's horse that was made consul. All the worst names that are
given to men are borrowed from him, as villain, deboise, peasant, &c. He
wears his clothes like a hide, and shifts them no oftener than a beast
does his hair. He is a beast that Gesner never thought of.


Stands candidate for cuckold, and if he miss of it, it is none of his
fault, for his merit is sufficiently known. He is commonly no lover, but
able to pass for a most desperate one where he finds it is like to prove
of considerable advantage to him, and therefore has passions lying by
him of all sizes proportionable to all women's fortunes, and can be
indifferent, melancholy, or stark-mad according as their estates give
him occasion; and when he finds it is to no purpose, can presently come
to himself again and try another. He prosecutes his suit against his
mistress as clients do a suit in law, and does nothing without the
advice of his learned counsel, omits no advantage for want of
soliciting, and, when he gets her consent, overthrows her. He endeavours
to match his estate, rather than himself, to the best advantage, and if
his mistress's fortune and his do but come to an agreement, their
persons are easily satisfied, the match is soon made up, and a cross
marriage between all four is presently concluded. He is not much
concerned in his lady's virtues, for if the opinion of the Stoics be
true, that the virtuous are always rich, there is no doubt but she that
is rich must be virtuous. He never goes without a list in his pocket of
all the widows and virgins about the town, with particulars of their
jointures, portions, and inheritances, that if one miss he may not be
without a reserve; for he esteems Cupid very improvident if he has not
more than two strings to his bow. When he wants a better introduction he
begins his addresses to the chambermaid, like one that sues the tenant
to eject the landlord, and according as he thrives there makes his
approaches to the mistress. He can tell readily what the difference is
between jointure with tuition of infant, land, and money of any value,
and what the odds is to a penny between them all, either to take or
leave. He does not so much go a-wooing as put in his claim, as if all
men of fortune had a fair title to all women of the same quality, and
therefore are said to demand them in marriage. But if he be a wooer of
fortune, that designs to raise himself by it, he makes wooing his
vocation, deals with all matchmakers, that are his setters, is very
painful in his calling, and if his business succeed, steals her away and
commits matrimony with a felonious intent. He has a great desire to
beget money on the body of a woman, and as for other issue is very
indifferent, and cares not how old she be so she be not past


Is one whose want of money and want of wit have engaged him beyond his
abilities. The little knowledge he has of himself, being suitable to the
little he has in his profession, has made him believe himself fit for
it. This double ignorance has made him set a value upon himself, as he
that wants a great deal appears in a better condition than he that wants
a little. This renders him confident and fit for any undertaking, and
sometimes (such is the concurrent ignorance of the world) he prospers in
it, but oftener miscarries and becomes ridiculous; yet this advantage he
has, that as nothing can make him see his error, so nothing can
discourage him that way, for he is fortified with his ignorance, as
barren and rocky places are by their situation, and he will rather
believe that all men want judgment than himself. For, as no man is
pleased that has an ill opinion of himself, Nature, that finds out
remedies herself, and his own ease, render him insensible of his
defects. From hence he grows impudent; for, as men judge by comparison,
he knows as little what it is to be defective as what it is to be
excellent. Nothing renders men modest but a just knowledge how to
compare themselves with others; and where that is wanting impudence
supplies the place of it, for there is no vacuum in the minds of men,
and commonly, like other things in Nature, they swell more with
rarefaction than condensation. The more men know of the world, the worse
opinion they have of it; and the more they understand of truth, they are
better acquainted with the difficulties of it, and consequently are the
less confident in their assertions, especially in matters of
probability, which commonly is squint-eyed and looks nine ways at once.
It is the office of a just judge to hear both parties, and he that
considers but the one side of things can never make a just judgment,
though he may by chance a true one. Impudence is the bastard of
ignorance, not only unlawfully but incestuously begotten by a man upon
his own understanding, and laid by himself at his own door, a monster of
unnatural production; for shame is as much the propriety of human
nature, though overseen by the philosophers, and perhaps more than
reason, laughing, or looking asquint, by which they distinguish man from
beasts; and the less men have of it the nearer they approach to the
nature of brutes. Modesty is but a noble jealousy of honour, and
impudence the prostitution of it; for he whose face is proof against
infamy must be as little sensible of glory. His forehead, like a
voluntary cuckold's, is by his horns made proof against a blush. Nature
made man barefaced, and civil custom has preserved him so; but he that's
impudent does wear a vizard more ugly and deformed than highway thieves
disguise themselves with. Shame is the tender moral conscience of good
men. When there is a crack in the skull, Nature herself, with a tough
horny callous repairs the breach; so a flawed intellect is with a brawny
callous face supplied. The face is the dial of the mind; and where they
do not go together, 'tis a sign that one or both are out of order. He
that is impudent is like a merchant that trades upon his credit without
a stock, and if his debts were known would break immediately. The inside
of his head is like the outside, and his peruke as naturally of his own
growth as his wit. He passes in the world like a piece of counterfeit
coin, looks well enough until he is rubbed and worn with use, and then
his copper complexion begins to appear, and nobody will take him but by


Is a counterfeit stone, and the larger and fairer he appears the more
apt he is to be discovered; whilst small ones, that pretend to no great
value, pass unsuspected. He is made like a man in arras-hangings, after
some great master's design, though far short of the original. He is like
a spectrum or walking spirit, that assumes the shape of some particular
person and appears in the likeness of something that he is not because
he has no shape of his own to put on. He has a kind of monkey and baboon
wit, that takes after some man's way whom he endeavours to imitate, but
does it worse than those things that are naturally his own; for he does
not learn, but take his pattern out, as a girl does her sampler. His
whole life is nothing but a kind of education, and he is always learning
to be something that he is not nor ever will be. For Nature is free, and
will not be forced out of her way, nor compelled to do anything against
her own will and inclination. He is but a retainer to wit and a follower
of his master, whose badge he wears everywhere, and therefore his way is
called servile imitation. His fancy is like the innocent lady's, who, by
looking on the picture of a Moor that hung in her chamber, conceived a
child of the same complexion; for all his conceptions are produced by
the pictures of other men's imaginations, and by their features betray
whose bastards they are. His Muse is not inspired, but infected with
another man's fancy; and he catches his wit, like the itch, of somebody
else that had it before, and when he writes he does but scratch himself.
His head is, like his hat, fashioned upon a block and wrought in a shape
of another man's invention. He melts down his wit and casts it in a
mould; and as metals melted and cast are not so firm and solid as those
that are wrought with the hammer, so those compositions that are founded
and run in other men's moulds are always more brittle and loose than
those that are forged in a man's own brain. He binds himself apprentice
to a trade which he has no stock to set up with, if he should serve out
his time and live to be made free. He runs a-whoring after another man's
inventions, for he has none of his own to tempt him to an incontinent
thought, and begets a kind of mongrel breed that never comes to good.


Has found out a way to renew not only his youth, but his childhood, by
being stewed, like old Aeson, in liquor; much better than the virtuoso's
way of making old dogs young again, for he is a child again at second
hand, never the worse for the wearing, but as purely fresh, simple, and
weak as he was at first. He has stupefied his senses by living in a
moist climate, according to the poet, _Boeotum in crasso jurares aëre
natum_. He measures his time by glasses of wine, as the ancients did by
water-glasses; and as Hermes Trismegistus is said to have kept the first
account of hours by the pissing of a beast dedicated to Serapis, he
revives that custom in his own practice, and observes it punctually in
passing his time. He is like a statue placed in a moist air; all the
lineaments of humanity are mouldered away, and there is nothing left of
him but a rude lump of the shape of a man, and no one part entire. He
has drowned himself in a butt of wine, as the Duke of Clarence was
served by his brother. He has washed down his soul and pissed it out,
and lives now only by the spirit of wine or brandy, or by an extract
drawn off his stomach. He has swallowed his humanity and drunk himself
into a beast, as if he had pledged Madam Circe and done her right. He is
drowned in a glass like a fly, beyond the cure of crumbs of bread or the
sunbeams. He is like a springtide; when he is drunk to his
high-water-mark he swells and looks big, runs against the stream, and
overflows everything that stands in his way; but when the drink within
him is at an ebb, he shrinks within his banks and falls so low and
shallow that cattle may pass over him. He governs all his actions by the
drink within him, as a Quaker does by the light within him; has a
different humour for every nick his drink rises to, like the degrees of
the weather-glass; and proceeds from ribaldry and bawdry to politics,
religion, and quarrelling, until it is at the top, and then it is the
dog-days with him; from whence he falls down again until his liquor is
at the bottom, and then he lies quiet and is frozen up.


Is an artificial magician, that with his fingers casts a mist before the
eyes of the rabble and makes his balls walk invisible which way he
pleases. He does his feats behind a table, like a Presbyterian in a
conventicle, but with much more dexterity and cleanliness, and therefore
all sorts of people are better pleased with him. Most professions and
mysteries derive the practice of all their faculties from him, but use
them with less ingenuity and candour; for the more he deceives those he
has to do with the better he deals with them; while those that imitate
him in a lawful calling are far more dishonest, for the more they impose
the more they abuse. All his cheats are primitive, and therefore more
innocent and of greater purity than those that are by tradition from
hand to hand derived to them; for he conveys money out of one man's
pocket into another's with much more sincerity and ingenuity than those
that do it in a legal way, and for a less considerable, though more
conscientious, reward. He will fetch money out of his own throat with a
great deal more of delight and satisfaction to those that pay him for it
than any haranguer whatsoever, and make it chuck in his throat better
than a lawyer that has talked himself hoarse, and swallowed so many fees
that he is almost choked. He will spit fire and blow smoke out of his
mouth with less harm and inconvenience to the Government than a
seditious holder-forth, and yet all these disown and scorn him, even as
men that are grown great and rich despise the meanness of their
originals. He calls upon "Presto begone," and the Babylonian's tooth, to
amuse and divert the rabble from looking too narrowly into his tricks;
while a zealous hypocrite, that calls heaven and earth to witness his,
turns up the eye and shakes the head at his idolatry and profanation. He
goes the circuit to all country fairs, where he meets with good
strolling practice, and comes up to Bartholomew Fair as his Michaelmas
term; after which he removes to some great thoroughfare, where he hangs
out himself in effigy, like a Dutch malefactor, that all those that pass
by may for their money have a trial of his skill. He endeavours to plant
himself as near as he can to some puppet-play, monster, or mountebank,
as the most convenient situation; and when trading grows scant they join
all their forces together and make up one grand show, and admit the
cutpurse and balladsinger to trade under them, as orange-women do at a


Pulls down old histories to build them up finer again, after a new model
of his own designing. He takes away all the lights of truth in history
to make it the fitter tutoress of life; for Truth herself has little or
nothing to do in the affairs of the world, although all matters of the
greatest weight and moment are pretended and done in her name, like a
weak princess that has only the title, and falsehood all the power. He
observes one very fit decorum in dating his histories in the days of old
and putting all his own inventions upon ancient times; for when the
world was younger, it might perhaps love and fight, and do generous
things at the rate he describes them; but since it is grown old, all
these heroic feats are laid by and utterly given over, nor ever like to
come in fashion again; and therefore all his images of those virtues
signify no more than the statues upon dead men's tombs, that will never
make them live again. He is like one of Homer's gods, that sets men
together by the ears and fetches them off again how he pleases; brings
armies into the field like Janello's leaden soldiers; leads up both
sides himself, and gives the victory to which he pleases, according as
he finds it fit the design of his story; makes love and lovers too,
brings them acquainted, and appoints meetings when and where he pleases,
and at the same time betrays them in the height of all their felicity to
miserable captivity, or some other horrid calamity; for which he makes
them rail at the gods and curse their own innocent stars when he only
has done them all the injury; makes men villains, compels them to act
all barbarous inhumanities by his own directions, and after inflicts the
cruellest punishments upon them for it. He makes all his knights fight
in fortifications, and storm one another's armour before they can come
to encounter body for body, and always matches them so equally one with
another that it is a whole page before they can guess which is likely to
have the better; and he that has it is so mangled that it had been
better for them both to have parted fair at first; but when they
encounter with those that are no knights, though ever so well armed and
mounted, ten to one goes for nothing. As for the ladies, they are every
one the most beautiful in the whole world, and that's the reason why no
one of them, nor all together with all their charms, have power to tempt
away any knight from another. He differs from a just historian as a
joiner does from a carpenter; the one does things plainly and
substantially for use, and the other carves and polishes merely for show
and ornament.


Is a certain classic author that handles his subject-matter very
ruggedly, and endeavours with his own evil words to corrupt another
man's good manners. All his works treat but of two things, his own
malice and another man's faults, both which he describes in very proper
and pertinent language. He is not much concerned whether what he writes
be true or false; that's nothing to his purpose, which aims only at
filthy and bitter, and therefore his language is, like pictures of the
devil, the fouler the better. He robs a man of his good name, not for
any good it will do him (for he dares not own it), but merely, as a
jackdaw steals money, for his pleasure. His malice has the same success
with other men's charity, to be rewarded in private; for all he gets is
but his own private satisfaction and the testimony of an evil
conscience; for which, if it be discovered, he suffers the worst kind of
martyrdom and is paid with condign punishment, so that at the best he
has but his labour for his pains. He deals with a man as the Spanish
Inquisition does with heretics, clothes him in a coat painted with
hellish shapes of fiends, and so shows him to the rabble to render him
the more odious. He exposes his wit like a bastard, for the next comer
to take up and put out to nurse, which it seldom fails of, so ready is
every man to contribute to the infamy of another. He is like the devil,
that sows tares in the dark, and while a man sleeps plants weeds among
his corn. When he ventures to fall foul on the Government or any great
persons, if he has not a special care to keep himself, like a conjurer,
safe in his circle, he raises a spirit that falls foul on himself and
carries him to limbo, where his neck is clapped up in the hole, out of
which it is never released until he has paid his ears down on the nail
for fees. He is in a worse condition than a schoolboy, for when he is
discovered he is whipped for his exercise, whether it be well or ill
done; so that he takes a wrong course to show his wit, when his best way
to do so is to conceal it; otherwise he shows his folly instead of his
wit, and pays dear for the mistake.


Is sent out laden with the wisdom and politics of the place he serves
for, and has his own freight and custom free. He is trusted like a
factor to trade for a society, but endeavours to turn all the public to
his own private advantages. He has no instructions but his pleasure, and
therefore strives to have his privileges as large. He is very wise in
his politic capacity as having a full share in the House and an implicit
right to every man's reason, though he has none of his own, which makes
him appear so simple out of it. He believes all reason of State consists
in faction, as all wisdom in haranguing, of which he is so fond that he
had rather the nation should perish than continue ignorant of his great
abilities that way; though he that observes his gestures, words, and
delivery will find them so perfectly agreeable to the rules of the House
that he cannot but conclude he learnt his oratory the very same way that
jackdaws and parrots practise by; for he coughs and spits and blows his
nose with that discreet and prudent caution that you would think he had
buried his talent in a handkerchief, and were now pulling it out to
dispose of it to a better advantage. He stands and presumes so much upon
the privileges of the House, as if every member were a tribune of the
people and had as absolute power as they had in Rome, according to the
lately established fundamental custom and practice of their quartered
predecessors of unhappy memory. He endeavours to show his wisdom in
nothing more than in appearing very much unsatisfied with the present
manage of State affairs, although he knows nothing of the reasons. So
much the better, for the thing is the more difficult, and argues his
judgment and insight the greater; for any man can judge that understands
the reasons of what he does, but very few know how to judge mechanically
without understanding why or wherefore. It is sufficient to assure him
that the public money has been diverted from the proper uses it was
raised for because he has had no share of it himself, and the government
ill managed because he has no hand in it, which, truly, is a very great
grievance to the people, that understand, by himself and his party, that
are their representatives, and ought to understand for them how able he
is for it. He fathers all his own passions and concerns, like bastards,
on the people, because, being entrusted by them without articles or
conditions, they are bound to acknowledge whatsoever he does as their
own act and deed.


Of our times is like a fanatic, that has no wit in ordinary easy things,
and yet attempts the hardest task of brains in the whole world, only
because, whether his play or work please or displease, he is certain to
come off better than he deserves, and find some of his own latitude to
applaud him, which he could never expect any other way, and is as sure
to lose no reputation, because he has none to venture:--

  Like gaming rooks, that never stick
   To play for hundreds upon tick,
   'Cause, if they chance to lose at play,
   They've not one halfpenny to pay;
   And, if they win a hundred pound,
   Gain, if for sixpence they compound.

Nothing encourages him more in his undertaking than his ignorance, for
he has not wit enough to understand so much as the difficulty of what he
attempts; therefore he runs on boldly like a foolhardy wit, and Fortune,
that favours fools and the bold, sometimes takes notice of him for his
double capacity, and receives him into her good graces. He has one
motive more, and that is the concurrent ignorant judgment of the present
age, in which his sottish fopperies pass with applause, like Oliver
Cromwell's oratory among fanatics of his own canting inclination. He
finds it easier to write in rhyme than prose, for the world being
over-charged with romances, he finds his plots, passions, and repartees
ready made to his hand, and if he can but turn them into rhyme the
thievery is disguised, and they pass for his own wit and invention
without question, like a stolen cloak made into a coat or dyed into
another colour. Besides this, he makes no conscience of stealing
anything that lights in his way, and borrows the advice of so many to
correct, enlarge, and amend what he has ill-favouredly patched together,
that it becomes like a thing drawn by counsel, and none of his own
performance, or the son of a whore that has no one certain father. He
has very great reason to prefer verse before prose in his compositions;
for rhyme is like lace, that serves excellently well to hide the piecing
and coarseness of a bad stuff, contributes mightily to the bulk, and
makes the less serve by the many impertinences it commonly requires to
make way for it, for very few are endowed with abilities to bring it in
on its own account. This he finds to be good husbandry and a kind of
necessary thrift, for they that have but a little ought to make as much
of it as they can. His prologue, which is commonly none of his own, is
always better than his play, like a piece of cloth that's fine in the
beginning and coarse afterwards; though it has but one topic, and that's
the same that is used by malefactors, when they are to be tried, to
except against as many of the jury as they can.


Is an epidemic physician, a doctor-errant, that keeps himself up by
being, like a top, in motion, for if he should settle he would fall to
nothing immediately. He is a pedlar of medicines, a petty chapman of
cures, and tinker empirical to the body of man. He strolls about to
markets and fairs, where he mounts on the top of his shop, that is his
bank, and publishes his medicines as universal as himself; for
everything is for all diseases, as himself is of all places--that is to
say, of none. His business is to show tricks and impudence. As for the
cure of diseases, it concerns those that have them, not him, further
than to get their money. His pudding is his setter that lodges the
rabble for him, and then slips him, who opens with a deep mouth, and has
an ill day if he does not run down some. He baits his patient's body
with his medicines, as a rat-catcher does a room, and either poisons the
disease or him. As soon as he has got all the money and spent all the
credit the rabble could spare him, he then removes to fresh quarters
where he is less known and better trusted. If but one in twenty of his
medicines hit by chance, when nature works the cure, it saves the credit
of all the rest, that either do no good or hurt; for whosoever recovers
in his hands, he does the work under God; but if he die, God does it
under him: his time was come, and there's an end. A velvet jerkin is his
prime qualification, by which he is distinguished from his pudding, as
he is with his cap from him. This is the usher of his school, that draws
the rabble together, and then he draws their teeth. He administers
physic with a farce, and gives his patients a preparative of dancing on
the rope, to stir the humours and prepare them for evacuation. His fool
serves for his foil, and sets him off as well as his bragging and lying.
The first thing he vents is his own praise, and then his medicines
wrapped up in several papers and lies. He mounts his bank as a vaulter
does his wooden horse, and then shows tricks for his patients, as apes
do for the King of Spain. He casts the nativity of urinals, and tries
diseases, like a witch, by water. He bails the place with a jig, draws
the rabble together, and then throws his hook among them. He pretends to
universal medicines; that is, such as, when all men are sick together,
will cure them all, but till then no one in particular.


Is a person of great complaisance, and very civil to all that have
occasion to make use of his wife. He married a wife as a common proxy
for the service of all those that are willing to come in for their
shares; he engrossed her first by wholesale, and since puts her off by
retail; he professes a form of matrimony, but utterly denies the power
thereof. They that tell tales are very unjust, for, having not put in
their claims before marriage, they are bound for ever after to hold
their tongues. The reason why citizens are commonly wittols is, because
men that drive a trade and are dealers in the world seldom provide
anything for their own uses which they will not very willingly put off
again for considerable profit. He believes it to be but a vulgar error
and no such disparagement as the world commonly imagines to be a
cuckold; for man, being the epitomy and representation of all creatures,
cannot be said to be perfect while he wants that badge and character
which so many several species wear both for their defence and ornament.
He takes the only wise and sure course that his wife should do him no
injury; for, having his own free consent, it is not in her power that
way to do him any wrong at all. His wife is, like Eve in Paradise,
married to all mankind, and yet is unsatisfied that there are no more
worlds, as Alexander the Great was. She is a person of public capacity,
and rather than not serve her country would suffer an army to march over
her, as Sir Rice ap Thomas did. Her husband and she give and take equal
liberty, which preserves a perfect peace and good understanding between
both, while those that are concerned in one another's love and honour
are never quiet, but always caterwauling. He differs from a jealous man
as a valiant man does from a coward, that trembles at a danger which the
other scorns and despises. He is of a true philosophical temper, and
suffers what he knows not how to avoid with a more than stoical
resolution. He is one of those the poet speaks of:--

   "Qui ferre incommoda vitæ,
   Nec jactare jugum, vita didicere magistra."

He is as much pleased to see many men approve his choice of his wife and
has as great a kindness for them, as opiniasters have for all those whom
they find to agree with themselves in judgment and approve the abilities
of their understandings.


Goes to law as men do to bad houses, to spend his money and satisfy his
concupiscence of wrangling. He is a constant customer to the old
reverend gentlewoman Law, and believes her to be very honest, though she
picks his pockets and puts a thousand tricks and gulleries upon him. He
has a strange kindness for an action of the case, but a most passionate
loyalty for the King's writ. A well-drawn bill and answer will draw him
all the world over, and a breviate as far as the Line. He enters the
lists at Westminster like an old tiller, runs his course in law, and
breaks an oath or two instead of a lance; and if he can but unhorse the
defendant and get the sentence of the judges on his side, he marches off
in triumph. He prefers a cry of lawyers at the Bar before any pack of
the best-mouthed dogs in all the North. He has commonly once a term a
trial of skill with some other professor of the noble science of
contention at the several weapons of bill and answer, forgery, perjury,
subornation, champarty, affidavit, common barretry, maintenance, &c.,
and though he come off with the worst, he does not greatlv care so he
can but have another bout for it. He fights with bags of money as they
did heretofore with sand-bags, and he that has the heaviest has the
advantage and knocks down the other, right or wrong and he suffers the
penalties of the law for having no more money to show in the case. He is
a client by his order and votary of the long robe, and though he were
sure the devil invented it to hide his cloven feet, he has the greater
reverence for it; for, as evil manners produce good laws, the worse the
inventor was the better the thing may be. He keeps as many Knights of
the Post to swear for him, as the King does poor knights at Windsor to
pray for him. When he is defendant and like to be worsted in a suit, he
puts in a cross bill and becomes plaintiff; for the plainant is eldest
hand, and has not only that advantage, but is understood to be the
better friend to the Court, and is considered for it accordingly.


Is a peculiar fantastic that has a wonderful natural affection to some
particular kind of folly, to which he applies himself and in time
becomes eminent. 'Tis commonly some outlying whimsy of Bedlam, that,
being tame and unhurtful, is suffered to go at liberty. The more serious
he is the more ridiculous he becomes, and at the same time pleases
himself in earnest and others in jest. He knows no mean, for that is
inconsistent with all humour, which is never found but in some extreme
or other. Whatsoever he takes to he is very full of, and believes every
man else to be so too, as if his own taste were the same in every man's
palate. If he be a virtuoso, he applies himself with so much earnestness
to what he undertakes that he puts his reason out of joint and strains
his judgment; and there is hardly anything in the world so slight or
serious that some one or other has not squandered away his brains and
time and fortune upon to no other purpose but to be ridiculous. He is
exempted from a dark room and a doctor, because there is no danger in
his frenzy; otherwise he has as good a title to fresh straw as another.
Humour is but a crookedness of the mind, a disproportioned swelling of
the brain, that draws the nourishment from the other parts to stuff an
ugly and deformed crup-shoulder. If it have the luck to meet with many
of its own temper, instead of being ridiculous it becomes a church, and
from jest grows to earnest.


Sets the psalm, and all his party sing after him. He is like a figure in
arithmetic; the more ciphers he stands before the more his value amounts
to. He is a great haranguer, talks himself into authority, and, like a
parrot, climbs with his beak. He appears brave in the head of his party,
but braver in his own; for vainglory leads him, as he does them, and
both, many times out of the King's highway, over hedges and ditches, to
find out by-ways and shorter cuts, which generally prove the farthest
about, but never the nearest home again. He is so passionate a lover of
the Liberty of the People that his fondness turns to jealousy. He
interprets every trifle in the worst sense, to the prejudice of her
honesty, and is so full of caprices and scruples that, if he had his
will, he would have her shut up and never suffered to go abroad again,
if not made away, for her incontinence. All his politics are speculative
and for the most part impracticable, full of curious niceties, that tend
only to prevent future imaginary inconveniences with greater real and
present. He is very superstitious of having the formalities and
punctilios of law held sacred, that, while they are performing, those
that would destroy the very being of it may have time to do their
business or escape. He bends all his forces against those that are above
him, and, like a free-born English mastiff, plays always at the head. He
gathers his party as fanatics do a church, and admits all his admirers
how weak and slight soever; for he believes it is argument of wisdom
enough in them to admire, or, as he has it, to understand him. When he
has led his faction into any inconvenience they all run into his mouth,
as young snakes do into the old ones, and he defends them with his
oratory as well as he is able; for all his confidence depends upon his
tongue more than his brain or heart, and if that fail the others
surrender immediately; for though David says it is a two-edged sword, a
wooden dagger is a better weapon to fight with. His judgment is like a
nice balance that will turn with the twentieth part of a grain, but a
little using renders it false, and it is not so good for use as one that
will not stir without a greater weight.


Saves the devil a labour and leads himself into temptation, being loth
to lose his good favour in giving him any trouble where he can do the
business himself without his assistance, which he very prudently
reserves for matters of greater concernment. He governs himself in an
arbitrary way, and is absolute, without being confined to anything but
his own will and pleasure, which he makes his law. His life is all
recreation, and his diversions nothing but turning from one vice, that
he is weary of, to entertain himself with another that is fresh. He
lives above the state of his body as well as his fortune, and runs out
of his health and money as if he had made a match and betted on the
race, or bid the devil take the hindmost. He is an amphibious animal,
that lives in two elements, wet and dry, and never comes out of the
first but, like a sea-calf, to sleep on the shore. His language is very
suitable to his conversation, and he talks as loosely as he lives.
Ribaldry and profanation are his doctrine and use, and what he professes
publicly he practises very carefully in his life and conversation; not
like those clergymen that, to save the souls of other men, condemn
themselves out of their own mouths. His whole life is nothing but a
perpetual lordship of misrule and a constant ramble day and night as
long as it lasts, which is not according to the course of nature, but
its own course; for he cuts off the latter end of it, like a pruned
vine, that it may bear the more wine although it be the shorter. As for
that which is left, he is as lavish of it as he is of everything else;
for he sleeps all day and sits up all night, that he may not see how it
passes, until, like one that travels in a litter and sleeps, he is at
his journey's end before he is aware; for he is spirited away by his
vices and clapped under hatches, where he never knows whither he is
going until he is at the end of his voyage.


Is a civil mutineer, and as all mutinies for the most part are for pay,
if it were not for that he would never trouble himself with it. His
business is to kindle and blow up discontents against the Government,
that, when they are inflamed, he may have the fairer opportunity to rob
and plunder, while those that are concerned are employed in quenching
it. He endeavours to raise tumults and, if he can, civil war--a remedy
which no man that means well to his country can endure to think on
though the disease were never so desperate. He is a State mountebank,
whose business is to persuade the people that they are not well in
health, that he may get their money to make them worse. If he be a
preacher, he has the advantage of all others of his tribe, for he has a
way to vent sedition by wholesale; and as the foulest purposes have most
need of the fairest pretences, so when sedition is masked under the veil
of piety, religion, conscience, and holy duty, it propagates wonderfully
among the rabble, and he vents more in an hour from the pulpit than
others by news and politics can do in a week. Next him, writers and
libellers are most pernicious, for though the contagion they disperse
spreads slower and with less force than preaching, yet it lasts longer,
and in time extends to more, and with less danger to the author, who is
not easily discovered if he use any care to conceal himself. And
therefore, as we see stinging-flies vex and provoke cattle most
immediately before storms, so multitudes of those kinds of vermin do
always appear to stir up the people before the beginning of all
troublesome times, and nobody knows who they are or from whence they
came, but only that they were printed the present year that they may not
lose the advantage of being known to be new. Some do it only out of
humour and envy, or desire to see those that are above them pulled down
and others raised in their places, as if they held it a kind of freedom
to change their governors, though they continue in the same condition
themselves still, only they are a little better pleased with it in
observing the dangers greatness is exposed to. He delights in nothing so
much as civil commotions, and, like a porpoise, always plays before a
storm. Paper and tinder are both made of the same material, rags, but he
converts them both into the same again and makes his paper tinder.


Is an Ostro-Goth or Northern Hun, that, wheresoever he comes, invades
and all the world does overrun, without distinction of age, sex, or
quality. He has no regard to anything but his own humour, and that, he
expects, should pass everywhere without asking leave or being asked
wherefore, as if he had a safe-conduct for his rudeness. He rolls up
himself like a hedgehog in his prickles, and is as intractable to all
that come near him. He is an ill-designed piece, built after the rustic
order, and all his parts look too big for their height. He is so
ill-contrived that that which should be the top in all regular
structures--_i.e._, confidence--is his foundation. He has neither
doctrine nor discipline in him, like a fanatic Church, but is guided by
the very same spirit that dipped the herd of swine in the sea. He was
not bred, but reared; not brought up to hand, but suffered to run wild
and take after his kind, as other people of the pasture do. He takes
that freedom in all places, as if he were not at liberty, but had broken
loose and expected to be tied up again. He does not eat, but feed, and
when he drinks goes to water. The old Romans beat the barbarous part of
the world into civility, but if he had lived in those times he had been
invincible to all attempts of that nature, and harder to be subdued and
governed than a province. He eats his bread, according to the curse,
with the sweat of his brow, and takes as much pains at a meal as if he
earned it; puffs and blows like a horse that eats provender, and crams
his throat like a screwed gun with a bullet bigger than the bore. His
tongue runs perpetually over everything that comes in its way, without
regard of what, where, or to whom, and nothing but a greater rudeness
than his own can stand before it; and he uses it to as slovenly purposes
as a dog does that licks his sores and the dirt off his feet. He is the
best instance of the truth of Pythagoras's doctrine, for his soul passed
through all sorts of brute beasts before it came to him, and still
retains something of the nature of every one.


Is a congregation or assembly of the States-general sent from their
several and respective shops, stalls, and garrets. They are full of
controversy, and every one of a several judgment concerning the business
under present consideration, whether it be mountebank, show, hanging, or
ballad-singer. They meet, like Democritus's atoms, _in vacuo_, and by a
fortuitous jostling together produce the greatest and most savage beast
in the whole world; for though the members of it may have something of
human nature while they are asunder, when they are put together they
have none at all, as a multitude of several sounds make one great noise
unlike all the rest, in which no one particular is distinguished. They
are a great dunghill where all sorts of dirty and nasty humours meet,
stink, and ferment, for all the parts are in a perpetual tumult. 'Tis no
wonder they make strange Churches, for they take naturally to any
imposture, and have a great antipathy to truth and order as being
contrary to their original confusion. They are a herd of swine possessed
with a dry devil that run after hanging instead of drowning. Once a
month they go on pilgrimage to the gallows, to visit the sepulchres of
their ancestors, as the Turks do once a week. When they come there they
sing psalms, quarrel, and return full of satisfaction and narrative.
When they break loose they are like a public ruin, in which the highest
parts lie undermost, and make the noblest fabrics heaps of rubbish. They
are like the sea, that's stirred into a tumult with every blast of wind
that blows upon it, till it become a watery Apennine, and heap mountain
billows upon one another, as once the giants did in the war with heaven.
A crowd is their proper element, in which they make their way with their
shoulders as pigs creep through hedges. Nothing in the world delights
them so much as the ruin of great persons or any calamity in which they
have no share, though they get nothing by it. They love nothing but
themselves in the likeness of one another, and, like sheep, run all that
way the first goes, especially if it be against their governors, whom
they have a natural disaffection to.


Is a retailer of oaths, a deposition-monger, an evidence-maker, that
lives by the labour of his conscience. He takes money to kiss the
Gospel, as Judas did Christ when he betrayed Him. As a good conscience
is a continual feast, so an ill one is with him his daily food. He plies
at a court of justice, as porters do at a market, and his business is to
bear witness, as they do burdens for any man that will pay them for it.
He will swear his ears through an inch-board, and wears them merely by
favour of the Court; for, being _amicus curiae_, they are willing to let
him keep the pillory out of possession, though he has forfeited his
right never so often; for when he is once outed of his ears he is past
his labour, and can do the commonwealth of practisers no more service.
He is false weight in the balance of justice, and, as a lawyer's tongue
is the tongue of the balance that inclines either way according as the
weight of the bribe inclines it, so does his. He lays one hand on the
Book, and the other is in the plaintiff's or defendant's pocket. He
feeds upon his conscience, as a monkey eats his tail. He kisses the Book
to show he renounces and takes his leave of it. Many a parting kiss has
he given the Gospel. He pollutes it with his lips oftener than a
hypocrite. He is a sworn officer of every court and a great practiser,
is admitted within the Bar, and makes good what the rest of the counsel
say. The attorney and solicitor fee and instruct him in the case, and he
ventures as far for his client as any man to be laid by the ears. He
speaks more to the point than any other, yet gives false ground to his
brethren of the jury, that they seldom come near the jack. His oaths are
so brittle that not one in twenty of them will hold the taking, but fly
as soon as they are out. He is worse than an ill conscience, for that
bears true witness, but his is always false; and though his own
conscience be said to be a thousand witnesses, he will outswear and
outface them all. He believes it no sin to bear false witness for his
neighbour that pays him for it, because it is not forbidden, but only to
bear false witness against his neighbour.


Is a piece of base metal with the King's stamp upon it, a fog raised by
the sun to obscure his own brightness. He came to preferment by unworthy
offices, like one that rises with his bum forwards, which the rabble
hold to be fortunate. He got up to preferment on the wrong side, and
sits as untoward in it. He is raised rather above himself than others,
or as base metals are by the test of lead, while gold and silver
continue still unmoved. He is raised and swells, like a pimple, to be an
eyesore and deform the place he holds. He is borne like a cloud on the
air of the Prince's favour, and keeps his light from the rest of his
people. He rises, like the light end of a balance, for want of weight,
or as dust and feathers do, for being light. He gets into the Prince's
favour by wounding it. He is a true person of honour, for he does but
act it at the best; a lord made only to justify all the lords of
May-poles, morrice-dances, and misrule; a thing that does not live, but
lie in state before he's dead, such as the heralds dight at funerals.
His Prince gives him honour out of his own stock, and estate out of his
revenue, and lessens himself in both:--

   "He is like fern, that vile unuseful weed,
   That springs equivocally, without seed."

He was not made for honour, nor it for him, which makes it sit so
unfavouredly upon him. The fore-part of himself and the hinder-part of
his coach publish his distinction; as French lords, that have _haute
justice_--that is, may hang and draw--distinguish their qualities by the
pillars of their gallows. He got his honour easily, by chance, without
the hard, laborious way of merit, which makes him so prodigally lavish
of it. He brings down the price of honour, as the value of anything
falls in mean hands. He looks upon all men in the state of knighthood
and plain gentility as most deplorable, and wonders how he could endure
himself when he was but of that rank. The greatest part of his honour
consists in his well-sounding title, which he therefore makes choice of,
though he has none to the place, but only a patent to go by the name of
it. This appears at the end of his coach in the shape of a coronet,
which his footmen set their bums against, to the great disparagement of
the wooden representative. The people take him for a general grievance,
a kind of public pressure or innovation, and would willingly give a
subsidy to be redressed of him. He is a strict observer of men's
addresses to him, and takes a mathematical account whether they stoop
and bow in just proportion to the weight of his greatness and allow full
measure to their legs and cringes accordingly. He never uses courtship
but in his own defence, that others may use the same to him, and, like a
true Christian, does as he would be done unto. He is intimate with no
man but his pimp and his surgeon, with whom he keeps no state, but
communicates all the states of his body. He is raised, like the market
or a tax, to the grievance and curse of the people. He that knew the
inventory of him would wonder what slight ingredients go to the making
up of a great person; howsoever, he is turned up trump, and so commands
better cards than himself while the game lasts. He has much of honour
according to the original sense of it, which among the ancients, Gellius
says, signified injury. His prosperity was greater than his brain could
bear, and he is drunk with it; and if he should take a nap as long as
Epimenides or the Seven Sleepers he would never be sober again. He took
his degree and went forth lord by mandamus, without performing exercises
of merit. His honour's but an immunity from worth, and his nobility a
dispensation for doing things ignoble. He expects that men's hats should
fly off before him like a storm, and not presume to stand in the way of
his prospect, which is always over their heads. All the advantage he has
is but to go before or sit before, in which his nether parts take place
of his upper, that continue still, in comparison, but commoners. He is
like an open summer-house, that has no furniture but bare seats. All he
has to show for his honour is his patent, which will not be in season
until the third or fourth generation, if it lasts so long. His very
creation supposes him nothing before, and as tailors rose by the fall of
Adam, and came in, like thorns and thistles, with the curse, so did he
by the frailty of his master. His very face is his gentleman-usher, that
walks before him in state, and cries "Give way!" He is as stiff as if he
had been dipped in petrifying water and turned into his own statue. He
is always taking the name of his honour in vain, and will rather damn it
like a knighthood of the post than want occasion to pawn it for every
idle trifle, perhaps for more than it is worth, or any man will give to
redeem it; and in this he deals uprightly, though perhaps in
nothing else.


Has a strange natural inclination to all ill intents and purposes. He
bears nothing so resolutely as ill-will, which he takes naturally to, as
some do to gaming, and will rather hate for nothing than sit out. He
believes the devil is not so bad as he should be, and therefore
endeavours to make him worse by drawing him into his own party offensive
and defensive; and if he would but be ruled by him, does not doubt but
to make him understand his business much better than he does. He lays
nothing to heart but malice, which is so far from doing him hurt that it
is the only cordial that preserves him. Let him use a man never so
civilly to his face, he is sure to hate him behind his back. He has no
memory for any good that is done him; but evil, whether it be done him
or not, never leaves him, as things of the same kind always keep
together. Love and hatred, though contrary passions, meet in him as a
third and unite, for he loves nothing but to hate, and hates nothing but
to love. All the truths in the world are not able to produce so much
hatred as he is able to supply. He is a common enemy to the world, for
being born to the hatred of it, Nature, that provides for everything she
brings forth, has furnished him with a competence suitable to his
occasions, for all men together cannot hate him so much as he does them
one by one. He loses no occasion of offence, but very thriftily lays it
up and endeavours to improve it to the best advantage. He makes issues
in his skin to vent his ill-humours, and is sensible of no pleasure so
much as the itching of his sores. He hates death for nothing so much as
because he fears it will take him away before he has paid all the
ill-will he owes, and deprive him of all those precious feuds he has
been scraping together all his lifetime. He is troubled to think what a
disparagement it will be to him to die before those that will be glad to
hear he is gone, and desires very charitably they might come to an
agreement like good friends and go hand-in-hand out of the world
together. He loves his neighbour as well as he does himself, and is
willing to endure any misery so they may but take part with him, and
undergo any mischief rather than they should want it. He is ready to
spend his blood and lay down his life for theirs that would not do half
so much for him, and rather than fail would give the devil suck, and his
soul into the bargain, if he would but make him his plenipotentiary to
determine all differences between himself and others. He contracts
enmities, as others do friendships, out of likenesses, sympathies, and
instincts; and when he lights upon one of his own temper, as contraries
produce the same effects, they perform all the offices of friendship,
have the same thoughts, affections, and desires of one another's
destruction, and please themselves as heartily, and perhaps as securely,
in hating one another as others do in loving. He seeks out enemies to
avoid falling out with himself, for his temper is like that of a
flourishing kingdom; if it have not a foreign enemy it will fall into a
civil war and turn its arms upon itself, and so does but hate in his own
defence. His malice is all sorts of gain to him, for as men take
pleasure in pursuing, entrapping, and destroying all sorts of beasts and
fowl, and call it sport, so would he do men, and if he had equal power
would never be at a loss, nor give over his game without his prey; and
in this he does nothing but justice, for as men take delight to destroy
beasts, he, being a beast, does but do as he is done by in endeavouring
to destroy men. The philosopher said, "Man to man is a god and a wolf;"
but he, being incapable of the first, does his endeavour to make as much
of the last as he can, and shows himself as excellent in his kind as it
is in his power to do.


Is like a tooth-drawer, that maintains his own teeth in constant eating
by pulling out those of other men. He is an ill moral philosopher, of
villainous principles, and as bad practice. His tenets are to hold what
he can get, right or wrong. His tongue and his heart are always at
variance, and fall out like rogues in the street, to pick somebody's
pocket. They never agree but, like Herod and Pilate, to do mischief. His
conscience never stands in his light when the devil holds a candle to
him, for he has stretched it so thin that it is transparent. He is an
engineer of treachery, fraud, and perfidiousness, and knows how to
manage matters of great weight with very little force by the advantage
of his trepanning screws. He is very skilful in all the mechanics of
cheat, the mathematical magic of imposture, and will outdo the
expectation of the most credulous to their own admiration and undoing.
He is an excellent founder, and will melt down a leaden fool and cast
him into what form he pleases. He is like a pike in a pond, that lives
by rapine, and will sometimes venture on one of his own kind, and devour
a knave as big as himself. He will swallow a fool a great deal bigger
than himself, and, if he can but get his head within his jaws, will
carry the rest of him hanging out at his mouth, until by degrees he has
digested him all. He has a hundred tricks to slip his neck out of the
pillory without leaving his ears behind. As for the gallows, he never
ventures to show his tricks upon the high-rope for fear of breaking his
neck. He seldom commits any villainy but in a legal way, and makes the
law bear him out in that for which it hangs others. He always robs under
the wizard of law, and picks pockets with tricks in equity. By his means
the law makes more knaves than it hangs, and, like the Inns-of-Court,
protects offenders against itself. He gets within the law and disarms
it. His hardest labour is to wriggle himself into trust, which if he can
but compass his business is done, for fraud and treachery follow as
easily as a thread does a needle. He grows rich by the ruin of his
neighbours, like grass in the streets in a great sickness. He shelters
himself under the covert of the law, like a thief in a hemp-plot, and
makes that secure him which was intended for his destruction.



_Wrote "The Character of the Happy Warrior" in 1806. It was suggested by
the death of Nelson at Trafalgar on the 21st of October 1805. Wordsworth
did not connect the poem with the name of Nelson because there was a
stain upon his public life, in his relations with Lady Hamilton, that
clouded the ideal. The poet said that in writing he thought much of his
true-hearted sailor-brother who, as Captain of an Indiaman, had been
drowned in the wreck of his ship off the Bill of Portland on the 5th of
February 1805, his body not being found until the 20th of March_.


   Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he
   That every man in arms should wish to he?
   --It is the generous spirit, who, when brought
   Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought
   Upon the plan that pleased his boyish thought:
   Whose high endeavours are an inward light
   That makes the path before him always bright:
   Who, with a natural instinct to discern
   What knowledge can perform, is diligent to learn;
   Abides by this resolve, and stops not there,
   But makes his moral being his prime care;
   Who, doomed to go in company with Pain,
   And Fear, and Bloodshed--miserable train!--
   Turns his necessity to glorious gain;
   In face of these doth exercise a power
   Which is our human nature's highest dower;
   Controls them and subdues, transmutes, bereaves
   Of their bad influence, and their good receives:
   By objects, which might force the soul to abate
   Her feeling, rendered more compassionate;
   Is placable--because occasions rise
   So often that demand such sacrifice;
   More skilful in self-knowledge, even more pure,
   As tempted more; more able to endure
   As more exposed to suffering and distress;
   Thence, also, more alive to tenderness.
   --'Tis he whose law is reason; who depends
   Upon that law as on the best of friends;
   Whence, in a state where men are tempted still
   To evil for a guard against worse ill,
   And what in quality or act is best
   Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
   He labours good on good to fix, and owes
   To virtue every triumph that he knows:
   --Who, if he rise to station of command,
   Rises by open means; and there will stand
   On honourable terms, or else retire,
   And in himself possess his own desire;
   Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
   Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim;
   And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
   For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state;
   Whom they must follow; on whose head must fall,
   Like showers of manna, if they come at all:
   Whose flowers shed round him in the common strife,
   Or mild concerns of ordinary life,
   A constant influence, a peculiar grace;
   But who, if he be called upon to face
   Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined
   Great issues, good or bad for human kind,
   Is happy as a Lover; and attired
   With sudden brightness, like a Man inspired;
   And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the law
   In calmness made, and sees what he foresaw;
   Or if an unexpected call succeed,
   Come when it will, is equal to the need:
   --He who, though thus endued as with a sense
   And faculty for storm and turbulence,
   Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans
   To home-felt pleasures and to gentle scenes;
   Sweet images! which, wheresoe'er he be,
   Are at his heart; and such fidelity
   It is his darling passion to approve;
   More brave for this, that he hath much to love:--
   'Tis finally, the man who, lifted high,
   Conspicuous object in a Nation's eye,
   Or left unthought of in obscurity,--
   Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
   Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not--
   Plays, in the many games of life, that one
   Where what he most doth value must be won:
   Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
   Nor thought of tender happiness betray;
   Who, not content that former worth stand fast,
   Looks forward, persevering to the last,
   From well to better, daily self-surpassed:
   Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
   For ever, and to noble deeds give birth,
   Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame,
   And leave a dead unprofitable name--
   Finds comfort in himself and in his cause;
   And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
   His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause:
   This is the happy Warrior; this is He
   That every Man in arms should wish to be.

[Footnote 1:
Henry Wootton.]

[Footnote 2:
"Microcosmography; or, a Piece of the World discovered; in Essays and
Characters. By John Earle, D.D. of Christchurch and Merton College,
Oxford and Bishop of Salisbury. A new edition, to which are add Notes
and Appendix by Philip Bliss, Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford."]

[Footnote 3:
So Washbourne, in his _Divine Poems_, 12mo, 1654:--

   "--ere 'tis accustom'd unto sin,
   _The mind white paper_ is, and will admit
   of any lesson you will write in it."--P. 26.

Shakspeare, of a child, says--

   "--the hand of time
   Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume."--_K. John, II_ I.]

[Footnote 4:
This, and every other passage throughout the volume, [included between
brackets,] does not appear in the first edition of 1628.]

[Footnote 5:
Adam did not, to use the words of the old Geneva Bible, "make himself
breeches," till he knew sin: the meaning of the passage in the text is
merely that, as a child advances in age, he commonly proceeds in the
knowledge and commission of vice and immorality.]

[Footnote 6:
St. Mary's church was originally built by king Alfred, and annexed to
the University of Oxford, for the use of the scholars, when St. Giles's
and St. Peter's (which were till then appropriated to them,) had been
ruined by the violence of the Danes. It was totally rebuilt during the
reign of Henry VII., who gave forty oaks towards the materials; and is,
in this day, the place of worship in which the public sermons are
preached before the members of the university.]

[Footnote 7:
_Brachigraphy_, or short-hand-writing, appears to have been much studied
in our author's time, and was probably esteemed a fashionable
accomplishment. It was first introduced into this country by Peter
Bales, who, in 1590, published The _Writing Schoolmaster_, a treatise
consisting of three parts, the first "of Brachygraphie, that is, to
write as fast as a man speaketh treatably, writing but one letter for a
word;" the second, of Orthography; and the third of Calligraphy.
Imprinted at London, by T. Orwin, &c., 1590, 4to. A second edition,
"with sundry new additions," appeared in 1597, 12mo, Imprinted at
London, by George Shawe, &c. Holinshed gives the following description
of one of Bales' performances:--"The tenth of August (1575.) a rare
peece of worke, and almost incredible, was brought to passe by an
Englishman borne in the citie of London, named Peter Bales, who by his
industrie and practise of his pen, contriued and writ within the
compasse of a penie, in Latine, the Lord's praier, the creed, the ten
commandements, a praier to God, a praier for the queene, his posie, his
name, the daie of the moneth, the yeare of our Lord, and the reigne of
the queene. And on the seuenteenthe of August next following, at Hampton
court, he presented the same to the queen's maiestie, in the head of a
ring of gold, couered with a christall; and presented therewith an
excellent spectacle by him deuised, for the easier reading thereof:
wherewith hir maiestie read all that was written therein with great
admiration, and commended the same to the lords of the councell, and the
ambassadors, and did weare the same manie times vpon hir
finger."--_Holinshed's Chronicle_, page 1262, b. edit, folio,
Lond. 1587.]

[Footnote 8:
It is customary in all sermons delivered before the University, to use
an introductory prayer for the founder of, and principal benefactors to,
the preacher's individual college, as well as for the officers and
members of the university in general. This, however, would appear very
ridiculous when "_he comes down to his friends_" or, in other words,
preaches before a country congregation.]

[Footnote 9:
_of_, first edit. 1628.]

[Footnote 10:
I cannot forbear to close this admirable character with the beautiful
description of a _"poure Persons," riche of holy thought and werk_,
given by the father of English poetry:--

   Benigne he was, and wonder diligent,
   And in adversité ful patient:
   And swiche he was yprevéd often sithes.
   Ful loth were him to cursen for his tithes,
   But rather wolde he yeven out of doute,
   Unto his pouré parishens aboute,
   Of his offring, and eke of his substance.
   He coude in litel thing have suffisance.
   Wide was his parish, and houses fer asonder,
   But he ne left nought for no rain ne thonder,
   In sikenesse and in mischief to visite
   The ferrest in his parish, moche and lite,
   Upon his fete, and in his hand a staf.
     *     *     *     *
   And though he holy were, and vertuous,
   He was to sinful men not dispitous,
   Ne of his speché dangerous ne digne,
   But in his teching discrete and benigne.
   To drawen folk to heven, with fairenesse,
   By good ensample, was his besinesse.
     *     *     *     *
   He waited after no pompe ne reverence,
   Ne makéd him no spicéd conscience,
   But Cristés lore, and his apostles twelve,
   He taught, but first he folwed it himselve.
     _Chaucer, Prol. to Cant. Tales_, v. 485.

We may surely conclude with a line from the same poem,
     "A better preest I trowe that nowher non is."]

[Footnote 11:
_The secretes of the reverende maister Alexis of Piemovnt, containyng
excellente remedies against diuers diseases, &c._, appear to have been a
very favourite study either with the physicians, or their patients,
about this period.

They were originally written in Italian, and were translated into
English by William Warde, of which editions were printed at London, in
1558, 1562, 1595, and 1615. In 1603, a _fourth_ edition of a Latin
version appeared at Basil; and from Ward's dedication to "the lorde
Russell, erle of Bedford," it seems that the French and Dutch were not
without so great a treasure in their own languages. A specimen of the
importance of this publication may be given in the title of the first
secret. "The maner and secrete to conserue a man's youth, and to holde
back olde age, to maintaine a man always in helth and strength, as in
the fayrest floure of his yeres."]

[Footnote 12:
_The Regiment of Helthe_, by Thomas Paynell, is another
volume of the same description, and was printed by Thomas Berthelette, in
1541. 410.]

[Footnote 13:
_Vespasian_, tenth emperor of Rome, imposed a tax upon urine, and when
his son Titus remonstrated with him on the meanness of the act,
"Pecuniam," says Suetonius, "ex prima pensione admovit ad nares,
suscitans _num odore offenderetur?_ et illo negante, atqui, inquit, e
lotio est."]

[Footnote 14:
"Vpon the market-day he is much haunted with vrinals, where, if he finde
any thing, (though he knowe nothing,) yet hee will say some-what, which
if it hit to some purpose, with a fewe fustian words, hee will seeme a
piece of strange stuffe." Character of an unworthy physician. "_The Good
and the Badde_" by Nicholas Breton. 4to. 1618.]

[Footnote 15:
That the murdered body bleeds at the approach of the murderer, was, in
our author's time, a commonly received opinion. Holinshed affirms that
the corpse of Henry the Sixth bled as it was carrying for interment; and
Sir Kenelm Digby so firmly believed in the truth of the report, that he
has endeavoured to explain the reason. It is remarked by Mr. Steevens,
in a note to _Shakspeare_, that the opinion seems to be derived from the
ancient Swedes, or Northern nations, from whom we descend; as they
practised this method of trial in all dubious cases.]

[Footnote 16:

   "Faith, doctor, it is well, thy study is to please
   The female sex, and how their corp'ral griefes to ease."

Goddard's "_Mastif Whelp._" _Satires_. 4to. Without date. Sat.

[Footnote 17:
In the first edition it stands thus:--"_and his hat is as antient as the
tower of Babel._"]

[Footnote 18:
The Low-countries appear to have afforded ample room for ridicule at all
times. In "_A brief Character of the Low-countries under the States,
being Three Weeks Observation of the Vices and Virtues of the
Inhabitants_," written by Owen Feltham, and printed Lond. 1659, 12mo, we
find them epitomized as a general sea-land--the great bog of Europe--an
universal quagmire--in short, a green cheese in pickle. The sailors (in
which denomination the author appears to include all the natives) he
describes as being able to "drink, rail, swear, niggle, steal, and be
_lowsie_ alike." P. 40.]

[Footnote 19:
_Gavelkind_, or the practice of dividing lands equally among all the
male children of the deceased, was (according to Spelman) adopted by the
Saxons, from Germany, and is noticed by Tacitus in his description of
that nation. _Gloss. Archaiol._, folio, Lond. 1664. Harrison, in _The
Description of England_, prefixed to Holinshed's _Chronicle_ (vol. i.
page 180), says, "Gauell kind is all the male children equallie to
inherit, and is continued to this daie in _Kent_, where it is onelie to
my knowledge reteined, and no where else in England." And Lambarde, in
his _Customes of Kent_ (_Perambulation_, 410, 1596, page 538), thus
notices it:--"The custom of Grauelkynde is generall, and spreadeth
itselfe throughout the whole shyre, into all landes subiect by auncient
tenure vnto the same, such places onely excepted, where it is altered by
acte of parleament."]

[Footnote 20:
_Minster-walk_, 1st edit.]

[Footnote 21:
_Ambrose Spinola_ was one of the most celebrated and excellent
commanders that Spain ever possessed: he was born, in 1569, of a noble
family, and distinguished himself through life in being opposed to
Prince Maurice of Nassau, the greatest general of his age, by whom he
was ever regarded with admiration and respect. He died in 1630, owing to
a disadvantage sustained by his troops at the siege of Cassel, which was
to be entirely attributed to the imprudent orders he received from
Spain, and which that government compelled him to obey. This disaster
broke his heart; and he died with the exclamation of "_they have robbed
me of my honour_;" an idea he was unable to survive. It is probable
that, at the time this character was composed, many of the disaffected
in England were in expectation of an attack to be made on this country
by the Spaniards, under the command of Spinola.]

[Footnote 22:
_and Lipsius his hopping stile before either Tully or Quintilian._ First

[Footnote 23:
_Primivist_ and primero were, in all probability, the same game,
although Minshew, in his Dictionary, calls them "_two_ games at cardes."
The latter he explains, "primum et primum visum, that is, first and
first seene, because hee that can shew such an order of cardes, first
winnes the game." The coincidence between Mr. Strutt's description of
the former and the passage in the text, shows that there could be little
or no difference between the value of the cards in these games, or in
the manner of playing them. "Each player had four cards dealt to him,
one by one, the _seven_ was the highest card, in point of number, that
he could avail himself of, _which counted for twenty-one_, the _six
counted for sixteen_, the five for fifteen, and the ace for the same,"
&c. (_Sports and Pastimes_, 247.) The honourable Daines Harrington
conceived that Primero was introduced by Philip the Second, or some of
his suite, whilst in England. Shakspeare proves that it was played in
the royal circle.

-----"I left him (Henry VIII.) at _Primero_
With the duke of Suffolk."--_Henry VIII._

So Decker: "Talke of none but lords and such ladies with whom you have
plaid at _Primero_."--_Gul's Horne-booke_, 1609. 37.

Among the Marquis of Worcester's celebrated "_Century of Inventions,_"
12mo, 1663, is one "so contrived without suspicion, that playing at
Primero at cards, one may, without clogging his memory, keep reckoning
of all sixes, sevens, and aces, which he hath discarded."--No. 87.]

[Footnote 24:
"Enquire out those tauernes which are best customd, whose maisters are
oftenest drunk, for that confirmes their taste, and that they choose
wholesome wines."--Decker's _Gul's Horne-booke_, 1609.]

[Footnote 25:
_his_, 1st edit.]

[Footnote 26:
The editor of the edition in 1732, has altered _canary_ to "_sherry_,"
for what reason I am at a loss to discover, and have consequently
restored the reading of the first edition. Venner gives the following
description of this favourite liquor. "Canarie-wine, which beareth the
name of the islands from whence it is brought, is of some termed a
sacke, with this adjunct, sweete; but yet very improperly, for it
differeth not only from sacke in sweetness and pleasantness of taste,
but also in colour and consistence, for it is not so white in colour as
sack, nor so thin in substance; wherefore it is more nutritive than
sack, and less penetrative."--_Via recta ad Vitam longam_, 4to, 1622. In
Howell's time, Canary wine was much adulterated. "I think," says he, in
one of his Letters, "there is more Canary brought into England than to
all the world besides; I think also, there is a hundred times more drunk
under the name of Canary wine, than there is brought in; for Sherries
and Malagas, well mingled, pass for Canaries in most taverns. When Sacks
and Canaries," he continues, "were brought in first amongst us, they
were used to be drunk in aqua vitae measures, and 'twas held fit only
for those to drink who were used to carry their _legs in their hands,
their eyes upon their noses_, and an _almanack in their bones;_ but now
they go down every one's throat, both young and old, like
milk."--Howell, _Letter to the lord Cliff_, dated Oct. 7, 1634.]

[Footnote 27:
We learn from Harrison's _Description of England_, prefixed to
Holinshed, that _eleven o'clock_ was the usual time for dinner during
the reign of Elizabeth. "With vs the nobilitie, gentrie, and students,
doo ordinarilie go to dinner at _eleuen before noone_, and to supper at
fiue, or between fiue and six at afternoone" (vol. i. page 171, edit.
1587). The alteration in manners at this time is rather singularly
evinced, from a passage immediately following the above quotation, where
we find that _merchants_ and _husbandmen_ dined and supped at a _later
hour than the nobility_.]

[Footnote 28:
Alluding to the public dinners given by the sheriff at particular
seasons of the year. So in _The Widow_, a comedy, 4to, 1652.

   "And as at a _sheriff's table_, O blest custome!
   A poor indebted gentleman may dine,
   Feed well, and without fear, and depart so."]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 30:
_Then in apiece of gold, &c._, 1st edit._]

[Footnote 31:
_Whilst he has not yet got them, enjoys them_, 1st edit.]

[Footnote 32:
_Gallo-Belgicus_ was erroneously supposed, by the ingenious Mr. Reed, to
be the "first newspaper, 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 newspaper.
It was written in Latin, and entituled, "MERCURSS 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."]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 35:
_His honour was somewhat preposterous, for he bare_, &c., first edit.]

[Footnote 36:
_Clown_, first edit.]

[Footnote 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 £1000 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 falcons 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.]

[Footnote 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 _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. 410, "_Imprynted at London
in Pouls chyrchyarde by me Hery Tab_." Sig. C. ii.]

[Footnote 39:
_This authority of his is that club which keeps them under as his dogs
hereafter_, first edit.]

[Footnote 40:
_Now become a man's total_, first edit.]

[Footnote 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.]

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

[Footnote 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 waived 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,]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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

[Footnote 46:
_If he could order his intentions_, first edit.]

[Footnote 47:
Minshew calls a tobacconist _fumi-vendulus_, a _smoak-seller_.]

[Footnote 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_."]

[Footnote 49:
_Firing_, first edit.]

[Footnote 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 Graves
admonishing the people of Judgements to come. Faithfully translated (&c.
&c.) London, Printed for John Barnes, dwelling in Hosie Lane neere
Smithfield, 1616_. (4to, twenty pages, woodcut.)]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 52:
_Beller_, first edit.]

[Footnote 53:
_Hale_, first edit.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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
aduentured 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 Geneva 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_ means a _small, closely-folded ruff,_ which was the distinction
of a nonconformist.]

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

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

[Footnote 58:
Robert Bellarmine, 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.

Bellarmine 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 Bellarmine'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."]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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 Leyden, 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 62:
"To _moote_, a term 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.]

[Footnote 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.]

[Footnote 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 Elisabeth 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 _Paul's_ might be
forborne in the time of diuine service." _Ancient Funeral Monuments_,
1631, page 373.]

[Footnote 65:
In the _Dramatis Personal_ 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 _Pauls_. _King Henry IV_., part 2.]

[Footnote 66:
                 ----"You'd not doe
   Like your penurious father, who was wont
   _To walk his dinner out in Paules._"

          --Mayne's _City Match_, 1658.]

[Footnote 67:
The time of supper was about five o'clock.]

[Footnote 68:
Paul's cross stood in the churchyard 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_."]

[Footnote 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_.]

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

[Footnote 71:
_Study_, first edit.]

[Footnote 72:
The first edition reads _post_, and, I think, preferably.]

[Footnote 73:
_Keep for attend_.]

[Footnote 74:
_Squeazy_, niggardly.]

[Footnote 75:
_And the clubs out of charity knock him down,_ first

[Footnote 76:
That is, _runs you up a long score_.]

[Footnote 77:
This, as well as many other passages in this work, has been appropriated
by John Dunton, the celebrated bookseller, as his own. See his character
of Mr. Samuel Hool, in _Dunton's Life and Errors_, 8vo, 1705, p. 337.]

[Footnote 78:
"A prison is a grave to bury men alive, and a place wherein a man for
halfe a yeares experience may learne more law than he can at Westminster
for an hundred pound."--Mynshul's _Essays and Characters of a
Prison_, 4to, 1618.]

[Footnote 79:
_In querpo_ is a corruption from the Spanish word _cuerpo_. "_En cuerpo,
a man without a cloak_."--Pineda's Dictionary, 1740. The present
signification evidently is, that a gentleman without his serving-man, or
attendant, is but half dressed:--he possesses only in part the
appearance of a man of fashion. "_To walk in cuerpo, is to go without a
cloak."--Glossographia Anglicana Nova_, 8vo, 1719.]

[Footnote 80:
_Proper_ was frequently used by old writers for comely, or handsome.
Shakspeare has several instances of it:

   "I do mistake my person all this while:
   Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
   Myself to be a marvellous _proper_ man."

--_K. Richard III_. Act I. Sc. 2, &c.]

[Footnote 81:
"Why you know an'a man have not skill in the _hawking and hunting_
languages now-a-days, I'll not give a rush for him."--_Master Stephen.
Every Man in his Humour_.]

[Footnote 82:
   "Ter conatus ibi collo dare brachia circum:
   Ter frustra conprensa manus effugit imago,
   Par levibus ventis, volucrique simillima somno."
             --_Virgil_, Æn. vi. _v_. 700.]

[Footnote 83:
Probably the name of some difficult tune.]

[Footnote 84:
Jump here signifies to coincide. The old play of Soliman and Perseda
uses it in the same sense:

   "Wert thou my friend, thy mind would _jump_ with mine."

So in _Pierce Penilesse his Supplication to the Divele_:--"Not two
of them _jump_ in one tale," p. 29.]

[Footnote 85:
_Imputation_ here must be used for _consequence_; of which I am,
however, unable to produce any other instance.]

[Footnote 86:
_Sturtridge fair_ was the great mart for business, and resort for
pleasure, in Bishop Earle's day. It is alluded to in Randolph's
_Conceited Pedlar_, 410, 1630:--

   "I am a pedlar, and I sell my ware
   This braue Saint Bartholmew or _Sturtridge faire_."

Edward Ward, the author of _The London Spy_, gives a whimsical
account of a journey to Sturbridge, in the second volume of his works.]

[Footnote 87:
This silly term of endearment appears to be derived from _chick_ or
_my chicken_, Shakspeare uses it in _Macbeth_, Act iii.
Scene 2:--

   "Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest _chuck_."]

[Footnote 88:
The great cross in West Cheap was originally erected in 1290, by Edward
I., in commemoration of the death of Queen Ellinor, whose body rested at
that place, on its journey from Herdeby, in Lincolnshire, to Westminster,
for interment. It was rebuilt in 1441, and again in 1484. In 1584 the
images and ornaments were destroyed by the populace; and in 1599 the top
of the cross was taken down, the timber being rotted within the lead, and
fears being entertained as to its safety. By order of Queen Elizabeth, and
her privy council, it was repaired in 1600, when, says Stow, "a cross of
timber was framed, set up, covered with lead, _and gilded_," &c.
Stow's _Survey of London_, by Strype, book iii. p. 35. Edit, folio.
Lond. 1720.]

[Footnote 89:
This must allude to the play written by Heywood with the following title:
_The Foure Prentises of London.  With the Conquest of Jerusalem. As it
hath bene diuerse times acted at the Red Bull, by the Queenes Maiesties
Servants_. 410, Lond. 1615. In this drama, the four prentises are
Godfrey, Grey, Charles, and Eustace, sons to the _old Earle of
Bullen_, who, having lost his territories, by assisting William the
Conqueror in his descent upon England, is compelled to live like a private
citizen in London, and binds his sons to a mercer, a goldsmith, a
haberdasher, and a grocer. The _four prentises_, however, prefer the
life of a soldier to that of a tradesman, and, quitting the service of
their masters, follow Robert of Normandy to the holy land, where they
perform the most astonishing feats of valour, and finally accomplish the
_conquest of Jerusalem_. The whole play abounds in bombast and
impossibilities, and, as a composition, is unworthy of notice or

[Footnote 90:
_The History of the Nine Worthies of the World; three whereof were
Gentiles; I. Hector, son of Priamus, king of Troy. 2. Alexander the
Great, king of Macedon, and conqueror of the world. 3. Julius Caesar,
first emperor of Rome. There Jews. 4. Joshua, captain general and leader
of Israel into Canaan. 5. David, king of Israel. 6. Judas Maccabeus, a
'valiant Jewish commander against the tyranny of Antiochus. Three
Christians. 7. Arthur, king of Britain, who courageously defended his
country against the Saxons. 8. Charles the Great, king of France and
emperor of Germany. 9. Godfrey of Bullen, king of Jerusalem. Being an
account of their glorious lives, worthy actions, renowned victories, and
deaths._ 12mo. No date.]

[Footnote 91:
Those of the same habits with himself; his associates.]

[Footnote 92:
The _dear year_ here, I believe, alluded to, was in 1574, and is thus
described by that faithful and valuable historian Holinshed:--"This
yeare, about Lammas, wheat was sold at London for three shillings the
bushell: but shortlie after, it was raised to foure shillings, fiue
shillings, six shillings, and, before Christmas, to a noble, and seuen
shillings; which so continued long after. Beefe was sold for twentie
pence, and two and twentie pence the stone; and all other flesh and
white meats at an excessiue price; all kind of salt fish verie deare, as
fine herrings two pence, &c.; yet great plentie of fresh fish, and oft
times the same verie cheape. Pease at foure shillings the bushell;
ote-meale at foure shillings eight pence; baie salt at three shillings
the bushell, &c. All this dearth notwithstanding (thanks be given to
God), there was no want of anie thing to them that wanted not monie."
--Holinshed, _Chronicle_, vol. in., p. 1259, a. edit, folio, 1587.]

[Footnote 93:
On the 21st of December 1564 began a frost, referred to by Fleming in
his Index to _Holinshed_, as the "_frost called the great frost_," which
lasted till the 3rd of January 1565. It was so severe that the Thames
was frozen over, and the passage on it, from London Bridge to
Westminster, as easy as and more frequented than that on dry land.]

[Footnote 94:
The person who exhibits Westminster Abbey.]

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