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Title: The Best of the World's Classics,  Restricted to prose. Volume III (of X) - Great Britain and Ireland I
Author: Various
Language: English
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       [Illustration: MILTON, BACON, CHAUCER, and SHAKESPEARE.]

                               THE BEST

                               _of the_

                           WORLD'S CLASSICS

                         RESTRICTED TO PROSE

                          HENRY CABOT LODGE


                          FRANCIS W. HALSEY

                          _Associate Editor_

                With an Introduction, Biographical and
                       Explanatory Notes, etc.

                            IN TEN VOLUMES

                               Vol. III

                     GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND--I

                       FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

                         NEW YORK AND LONDON

                         COPYRIGHT, 1909, BY

                       FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY

       *       *       *       *       *

The Best of the World's Classics





       *       *       *       *       *



      RICHARD DE BURY--(Born in 1281, died in 1345.)

      In Praise of Books.
      (From the "Philobiblon")

      SIR JOHN MANDEVILLE--(Reputed author.)

I     The Route from England to Constantinople.
      (From the "Travels")

II    At the Court of the Great Chan.
      (From the "Travels")

      JOHN WYCLIF--(Born about 1324, died in 1384.)

      The Baptism of Christ.
      (Being a translation from the Gospel of Mark)

      GEOFFREY CHAUCER--(Born about 1340, died in 1400.)

      Of Acquiring and Using Riches.
      (One of the prose "Canterbury Tales")

      WILLIAM CAXTON--(Born about 1422, died in 1491.)

      Of True Nobility and Chivalry.
      (From the "Game and Playe of Chesse." Translated by Caxton from
          the French original)

      SIR THOMAS MALORY--(Born about 1430, died after 1470.)

      Of the Finding of a Sword for Arthur. (From the "Morte d'Arthur")

      SIR THOMAS MORE--(Born in 1478, died in 1535.)

      Life in Utopia.
      (From the "Utopia")

      JOHN KNOX--(Born in 1505, died in 1572.)

      An Interview with Mary Queen of Scots.
      (From the "History of the Reformation in Scotland")

      ROGER ASCHAM--(Born in 1515, died in 1568.)

      Of Gentle Methods in Teaching.
      (From the "Schoolmaster")

      JOHN FOXE--(Born in 1516, died in 1587.)

      The Death of Anne Boleyn.
      (From the "Book of Martyrs")

      SIR WALTER RALEIGH--(Born in 1552, died in 1618.)

      The Mutability of Human Affairs.
      (From the Preface to the "History of the World")

      FRANCIS BACON--(Born in 1561, died in 1626.)

I     Of Travel.
      (From the "Essays")

II    Of Riches.
      (From the "Essays")

III   Of Youth and Age.
      (From the "Essays")

IV    Of Revenge.
      (From the "Essays")

V     Of Marriage and Single Life.
      (From the "Essays")

VI    Of Envy.
      (From the "Essays")

VII   Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature.
      (From the "Essays")

VIII  Of Studies.
      (From the "Essays")

IX    Of Regiment of Health.
      (From the "Essays")

      WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE--(Born in 1564, died in 1616.)

I     Brutus to His Countrymen.
      (From "Julius Cæsar")

II    Shylock in Defense of His Race.
      (From the "Merchant of Venice")

III   Hamlet to the Players.
      (From "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark")

      BEN JONSON--(Born in 1573, died in 1637.)

      Shakespeare and Other Wits.
      (From "Timber; or, Discoveries Made Upon Men and Matter")

      IZAAK WALTON--(Born in 1593, died in 1683.)

I     The Antiquity of Angling.
      (From Part I, Chapter IV, of "The Compleat Angler")

II    Of the Trout.
      (From Part I, Chapter IV, of "The Compleat Angler")

III   The Death of George Herbert.
      (From the "Lives")

      JAMES HOWELL--(Born in 1595, died in 1666.)

I     The Bucentaur Ceremony in Venice.
      (From the "Familiar Letters")

II    The City of Rome in 1621.
      (From the "Familiar Letters")

      SIR THOMAS BROWNE--(Born in 1605, died in 1682.)

I     Of Charity in Judgments.
      (From the "Religio Medici")

II    Nothing Strictly Immortal.
      (From Chapter V of "Urn Burial")

      JOHN MILTON--(Born in 1608, died in 1674.)

I     Of His Own Literary Ambition.
      (From "The Reason of Church Government")

II    A Complete Education Defined.
      (From the "Tractate on Education")

III   On Reading in His Youth.
      (From the "Apology for Smectymnus")

IV    In Defense of Books.
      (From the "Areopagitica")

V     A Noble and Puissant Nation.
      (From the "Areopagitica")

VI    Of Fugitive and Cloistered Virtue.
      (From the "Areopagitica")

      LORD CLARENDON--(Born in 1608, died in 1674.)

      Of Charles I.
      (From the "History of the Rebellion")

      THOMAS FULLER--(Born in 1608, died in 1661.)

      Qualities of the Good Schoolmaster.
      (From "The Holy and Profane State")

      JEREMY TAYLOR--(Baptized in 1613, died in 1667.)

      The Benefits of Adversity.
      (From the "Rules and Exercises of Holy Dying")

      ABRAHAM COWLEY--(Born in 1618, died in 1667.)

I     Of Obscurity.
      (From the "Essays")

II    Of Procrastination.
      (From the "Essays")

      GEORGE FOX--(Born in 1624, died in 1691.)

      An Interview with Oliver Cromwell.
      (From the "Journal")

      JOHN BUNYAN--(Baptized in 1628, died in 1668.)

I     A Dream of the Celestial City.
      (From "The Pilgrim's Progress")

II    The Death of Valiant-for-truth and of Stand-fast.
      (From "The Pilgrim's Progress")

III   Ancient Vanity Fair.
      (From "The Pilgrim's Progress")

      JOHN DRYDEN--(Born in 1631, died in 1700.)

      Of Elizabethan Dramatists.
      (From the "Essay on Dramatic Poetry")

      SAMUEL PEPYS--(Born in 1633, died in 1703.)

I     Of Various Doings of Mr. and Mrs. Pepys.
      (From the "Diary")

II    England Without Cromwell.
      (From the "Diary")

      GILBERT BURNET--(Born in 1643, died in 1715.)

      Charles II.
      (From the "History of Our Own Times")

      DANIEL DEFOE--(Born in 1661, died in 1731.)

I     The Shipwreck of Crusoe.
      (From "The Life and Surprizing Adventures
          of Robinson Crusoe")

II    The Rescue of Man Friday.
      (From "The Life and Surprizing Adventures
          of Robinson Crusoe")

III   In the Time of the Great Plague.
      (From the "History of the Great Plague")

      JONATHAN SWIFT--(Born in 1667, died in 1745.)

I     On Pretense in Philosophers.
      (From "Gulliver's Travels")

II    On the Hospitality of the Vulgar.
      (From No. 1 of _The Tatler_)

III   The Art of Lying in Politics.
      (From _The Examiner_)

IV    A Meditation upon a Broomstick

V     Gulliver Among the Giants.
      (From "Gulliver's Travels")

      JOSEPH ADDISON--(Born in 1672, died in 1719.)

I     In Westminster Abbey.
      (From No. 26 of _The Spectator_)

II    Will Honeycomb and His Marriage.
      (From Nos. 105 and 530 of _The Spectator_)

III   Pride of Birth.
      (From No. 137 of _The Guardian_)

IV    Sir Roger and His Home.
      (From Nos. 2 and 106 of _The Spectator_)

       *       *       *       *       *




     Born in 1281, died in 1345; the son of Sir Richard
     Aungerville, his own name being taken from his birthplace,
     Bury St. Edmonds; educated at Oxford, and became a
     Benedictine monk; tutor to Edward III; dean of Wells
     Cathedral in 1333; bishop of Durham the same year; high
     chancellor of England in 1334; founded a library at Oxford;
     his "Philobiblon" first printed at Cologne in 1473.


The desirable treasure of wisdom and knowledge, which all men covet
from the impulse of nature, infinitely surpasses all the riches of the
world; in comparison with which, precious stones are vile, silver is
clay, and purified gold grains of sand; in the splendor of which, the
sun and moon grow dim to the sight; in the admirable sweetness of
which, honey and manna are bitter to the taste. The value of wisdom
decreaseth not with time; it hath an ever-flourishing virtue that
cleanseth its possession from every venom. O celestial gift of divine
liberality, descending from the Father of light to raise up the
rational soul even to heaven; thou art the celestial alimony of
intellect, of which whosoever eateth shall yet hunger, and whoso
drinketh shall yet thirst; a harmony rejoicing the soul of the
sorrowful, and never in any way discomposing the hearer. Thou art the
moderator and the rule of morals, operating according to which none
err. By thee kings reign, and lawgivers decree justly. Through thee,
rusticity of nature being cast off, wits and tongues being polished,
and the thorns of vice utterly eradicated, the summit of honor is
reached and they become fathers of their country and companions of
princes, who, without thee, might have forged their lances into spades
and plowshares, or perhaps have fed swine with the prodigal son.

Where, then, most potent, most longed-for treasure, art thou
concealed? and where shall the thirsty soul find thee? Undoubtedly,
indeed, thou hast placed thy desirable tabernacle in books, where the
Most High, the Light of light, the Book of Life, hath established
thee. There then all who ask receive, all who seek find thee, to those
who knock thou openest quickly. In books Cherubim expand their wings,
that the soul of the student may ascend and look around from pole to
pole, from the rising to the setting sun, from the north and from the
south. In them the Most High, Incomprehensible God himself is
contained and worshiped. In them the nature of celestial, terrestrial,
and infernal beings is laid open. In them the laws by which every
polity is governed are decreed, the offices of the celestial hierarchy
are distinguished, and tyrannies of such demons are described as the
ideas of Plato never surpassed, and the chair of Crito never

In books we find the dead as it were living: in books we foresee
things to come; in books warlike affairs are methodized; the rights of
peace proceed from books. All things are corrupted and decay with
time. Satan never ceases to devour those whom he generates, insomuch
that the glory of the world would be lost in oblivion, if God had not
provided mortals with a remedy in books. Alexander, the ruler of the
world; Julius[2] the invader of the world and the city, the first who
in unity of person assumed the empire in arms and arts; the faithful
Fabricius,[3] the rigid Cato, would at this day have been without a
memorial if the aid of books had failed them. Towers are razed to the
earth, cities overthrown, triumphal arches moldered to dust; nor can
the king or pope be found, upon whom the privilege of a lasting name
can be conferred more easily than by books. A book made renders
succession to the author; for as long as the book exists, the author,
remaining immortal, can not perish; as Ptolemy witnesseth; in the
prolog of his Almagest,[4] he (he says) is not dead, who gave life to

What learned scribe, therefore, who draws out things new and old from
an infinite treasury of books, will limit their price by any other
thing whatsoever of another kind? Truth, overcoming all things, which
ranks above kings, wine, and women, to honor which above friends
obtains the benefit of sanctity, which is the way that deviates not,
and the life without end, to which the holy Boethius attributes a
threefold existence in the mind, in the voice, and in writing, appears
to abide most usefully and fructify most productively of advantage in
books. For the truth of the voice perishes with the sound. Truth,
latent in the mind, is hidden wisdom and invisible treasure; but the
truth which illuminates books, desires to manifest itself to every
disciplinable sense, to the sight when read, to the hearing when
heard; it, moreover, in a manner commends itself to the touch, when
submitting to be transcribed, collated, corrected, and preserved.
Truth confined to the mind, tho it may be the possession of a noble
soul, while it wants a companion and is not judged of, either by the
sight or the hearing, appears to be inconsistent with pleasure. But
the truth of the voice is open to the hearing only, and latent to the
sight (which shows as many differences of things fixt upon by a most
subtle motion), beginning and ending as it were simultaneously. But
the truth written in a book being not fluctuating, but permanent,
shows itself openly to the sight passing through the spiritual ways of
the eyes, as the porches and halls of common sense and imagination; it
enters the chamber of intellect, reposes itself upon the couch of
memory, and there congenerates the eternal truth of the mind.

Lastly, let us consider how great a commodity of doctrine exists in
books, how easily, how secretly, how safely they expose the nakedness
of human ignorance without putting it to shame. These are the masters
that instruct us without rods and ferulas, without hard words and
anger, without clothes or money. If you approach them, they are not
asleep; if investigating you interrogate them, they conceal nothing;
if you mistake them, they never grumble, if you are ignorant, they can
not laugh at you.


[Footnote 1: From the "Philobiblon," a treatise on books, translated
from the original Latin into English in 1852 by John Englis. The Latin
text and a new translation by Andrew J. West were printed by the
Grolier Club of New York in 1887.]

[Footnote 2: The reference is to Julius Cæsar.]

[Footnote 3: The Roman Consul, general and ambassador to Pyrrhus in
280, who was noted for inflexible honesty.]

[Footnote 4: The best-known work of Ptolemy of Alexandria, astronomer
and mathematician, who lived in the first half of the second century.]


     Reputed author of a book of "Travels" of the fourteenth
     century, a compilation intended as a guide to pilgrims in
     the Holy Land, and based upon works by William of Boldensele
     (1336) and Friar Odoric of Pordenone (1330).



He that will pass over the sea and come to land, to go to the city of
Jerusalem, he may wend many ways, both on sea and land, after the
country that he cometh from; for many of them come to one end. But
trow not that I will tell you all the towns, and cities and castles
that men shall go by; for then should I make too long a tale; but all
only some countries and most principal steads that men shall go
through to go the right way.

First, if a man come from the west side of the world, as England,
Ireland, Wales, Scotland, or Norway, he may, if that he will, go
through Almayne and through the kingdom of Hungary, that marches to
the land of Polayne, and to the land of Pannonia,[6] and so to

And the King of Hungary is a great lord and a mighty, and holds great
lordships and much land in his hand. For he holds the kingdom of
Hungary, Sclavonia, and of Comania a great part, and of Bulgaria that
men call the land of Bougiers, and of the realm of Russia a great
part, whereof he has made a duchy, that lasts unto the land of
Nyfland,[7] and marches to Prussia. And men go through the land of
this lord, through a city that is called Cypron,[8] and by the castle
of Neasburghe, and by the evil town, that sit toward the end of
Hungary. And there pass men the river Danube. This river of Danube is
a full great river, and it goeth into Almayne, under the hills of
Lombardy, and it receives into him forty other rivers, and it runs
through Hungary and through Greece and through Thrace, and it enters
into the sea, toward the east so rudely and so sharply, that the water
of the sea is fresh and holds its sweetness twenty mile within the

And after, go men to Belgrade, and enter into the land of Bourgiers;
and there pass men a bridge of stone that is upon the river of
Marrok.[9] And men pass through the land of Pyncemartz and come to
Greece to the city of Nye, and to the city of Fynepape,[10] and after
to the city of Dadrenoble,[11] and after to Constantinople, that was
wont to be called Bezanzon.[12] And there dwells commonly the Emperor
of Greece. And there is the most fair church and the most noble of all
the world; and it is of Saint Sophie. And before that church is the
image of Justinian the emperor, covered with gold, and he sits upon a
horse crowned. And he was wont to hold a round apple of gold in his
hand; but it is fallen out thereof. And men say there, that it is a
token that the emperor has lost a great part of his lands and of his
lordships; for he was wont to be Emperor of Roumania and of Greece, of
all Asia the less, and of the land of Syria, of the land of Judea in
the which is Jerusalem, and of the land of Egypt, of Persia, and of
Arabia. But he has lost all but Greece; and that land he holds all
only. And men would many times put the apple into the image's hand
again, but it will not hold it. This apple betokens the lordship that
he had over all the world, that is round. And the other hand he lifts
up against the East, in token to menace the misdoers. This image
stands upon a pillar of marble at Constantinople.



The men of Tartary have let make another city that is called Caydon.
And it has twelve gates, and between the two gates there is always a
great mile; so that the two cities, that is to say, the old and the
new, have in circuit more than twenty mile.

In this city is the court of the great Chan in a full great palace and
the most passing fair in all the world, of the which the walls be in
circuit more than two mile. And within the walls it is full of other
palaces. And in the garden of the great palace there is a great hill,
upon the which there is another palace; and it is the most fair and
the most rich that any man may devise. And all about the palace and
the hill be many trees bearing many diverse fruits. And all about the
hill be ditches great and deep, and beside them be great fish ponds on
that one part and on that other. And there is a full fair bridge to
pass over the ditches. And in these vivaries be so many wild geese and
ganders and wild ducks and swans and herons that it is without number.
And all about these ditches and vivaries is the great garden full of
wild beasts. So that when the great Chan will have any disport on
that, to take any of the wild beasts or of the fowls, he will let
chase them and take them at the windows without going out of his

This palace, where his court is, is both great and passing fair. And
within the palace, in the hall, there be twenty-four pillars of fine
gold. And all the walls be covered within of red skins of beasts that
men call panthers, that be fair beasts and well smelling; so that for
the sweet odor of those skins no evil air may enter into the palace.
Those skins be as red as blood, and they shine so bright against the
sun, that scarcely no man may behold them. And many folk worship these
beasts, when they meet them first at morning, for their great virtue
and for the good smell that they have. And those skins they prize more
than tho they were plate of fine gold.

And in the midst of this palace is the reservoir for the great Chan,
that is all wrought of gold and of precious stones and great pearls.
And at four corners of the reservoir be four serpents of gold. And all
about there is made large nets of silk and gold and great pearls
hanging all about the reservoir. And under the reservoir be conduits
of beverage that they drink in the emperor's court. And beside the
conduits be many vessels of gold, by the which they that be of
household drink at the conduit.

And the hall of the palace is full nobly arrayed, and full
marvellously attired on all parts in all things that men apparel with
any hall. And first, at the chief of the hall is the emperor's throne,
full high, where he sits at the meat. And that is of fine precious
stones, bordered all about with pure gold and precious stones, and
great pearls. And the steps that he goes up to the table be of
precious stones mingled with gold.

And at the left side of the emperor's seat is the seat of his first
wife, one degree lower than the emperor; and it is of jasper, bordered
with gold and precious stones. And the seat of his second wife is also
another seat more lower than his first wife; and it is also of jasper,
bordered with gold, as that other is. And the seat of the third wife
is also more low, by a degree, than the second wife. For he has always
three wives with him, where that ever he be.

And after his wives, on the same side, sit the ladies of his lineage
yet lower, after that they be of estate. And all those that be married
have a counterfeit made like a man's foot upon their heads, a cubit
long, all wrought with great pearls, fine and orient, and above made
with peacocks' feathers and of other shining feathers; and that stands
upon their heads like a crest, in token that they be under man's foot
and under subjection of man. And they that be unmarried have none


[Footnote 5: From the "Travels," the earliest extant book written in
English. In this specimen the spelling has been in part modernized.
First printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1429. "Mandeville" has been called
the "Father of English Prose."]

[Footnote 6: An old name for Hungary.]

[Footnote 7: Now known as Livonia, one of the Baltic provinces of

[Footnote 8: Now Oedenburg, a city of Hungary.]

[Footnote 9: The Morava, one of the chief rivers of Servia.]

[Footnote 10: Philippolis.]

[Footnote 11: Adrianople.]

[Footnote 12: An old form of the word Byzantium, a town founded by
Megariaus in the seventh century B.C. When Constantine founded the
city to which he gave his own name, Byzantium, lying east of it, was
included within the city limits.]

[Footnote 13: From the "Travels."]

[Footnote 14: The quaint words in which "Mandeville" concludes his
book are these: "And I, John Mandeville, knight, above said (altho I
be unworthy), that departed from our countries and passed the sea, the
year of grace a thousand three hundred and twenty-two, that have
passed many lands and many isles and countries, and searched many full
strange places, and have been in many a full good honorable company,
and at many a fair deed of arms (albeit that I did none myself, for
mine unable insuffisance), now I am come home, in spite of myself, to
rest, for gouts arthritic that me distrain, that define the end of my
labor; against my will (God knows)."]


     Born about 1324, died in 1384; "The Morning Star of the
     Reformation"; educated at Oxford; rector in Lincolnshire and
     Buckinghamshire; Royal ambassador to papal nuncios at Bruges
     in 1374; in sermons attacked the Church of Rome; five papal
     bulls, authorizing his imprisonment, signed against him;
     threw off allegiance to the Church and wrote fearlessly
     against papal claims; died of paralysis; his bones in 1428
     exhumed and burnt and his ashes cast into the river Swift by
     order of the synod of Constance; his translation of the
     Bible from the Vulgate, completed about 1382 was the first
     complete translation ever made.


1. The bigynnynge of the gospel of Jhesu Crist, the sone of God.

2. As it is writun in Ysaie, the prophete, Lo! I send myn angel bifore
thi face, that schal make thi weye redy before thee.

3. The voyce of oon cryinge in desert. Make ye redy the weye of the
Lord, make ye his pathis rihtful.

4. Jhon was in desert baptisynge, and prechinge the baptym of
penaunce, into remiscioun of synnes.

5. And alle men of Jerusalem wenten out to him, and al the cuntree of
Judee; and weren baptisid of him in the flood of Jordan, knowlechinge
her synnes.

6. And John was clothid with heeris of camelis, and a girdil of skyn
abowte his leendis; and he eet locusts, and hony of the wode, and
prechide, seyinge:

7. A strengere than I schal come aftir me, of whom I knelinge am not
worthi for to vndo, _or vnbynde_, the thwong of his schoon.

8. I have baptisid you in water; forsothe he shal baptise you in the
Holy Goost.

9. And it is don in thoo dayes, Jhesus came fro Nazareth of Galilee,
and was baptisid of Joon in Jordan.

10. And anoon he styinge vp of the water, sayth heuenes openyd, and
the Holy Goost cummynge doun as a culuere, and dwellynge in hym.

11. And a voys is maad fro heuenes, thou art my sone loued, in thee I
haue plesid.

12. And anon the Spirit puttide hym in to desert.

13. And he was in desert fourty dayes and fourty nightis, and was
temptid of Sathanas, and was with beestis and angelis mynstriden to

14. Forsothe aftir that Joon was taken, Jhesus came in to Galilee,
prechinge the gospel of the kyngdam of God,

15. And seiynge, For tyme is fulfillid, and the kyngdam of God shal
come niy; forthinke yee, _or do yee penaunce_, and bileue yee to the

16. And he passynge bisidis the see of Galilee, say Symont, and
Andrew, his brother, sendynge nettis into the see; sothely thei weren

17. And Jhesus seide to hem, Come yee after me; I shal make you to be
maad fishers of men.

18. And anoon the nettis forsaken, thei sueden hym.

19. And he gon forth thennes a litil, say James of Zebede, and Joon,
his brother, and hem in the boot makynge nettis.

20. And anoon he clepide him; and Zebede, her fadir, left in the boot
with hirid seruantis, their sueden hym.

21. And thei wenten forth in to Cafarnaum, and anoon in the sabotis he
gon yn into the synagoge, taughte them.

22. And thei wondreden on his techynge; sothely he was techynge hem,
as hauynge power, and not as scribis.

23. And in the synagoge of hem was a man in an vnclene spirit, and he

24. Seyinge, What to vs and to thee, thou Jhesu of Nazareth? haste
thou cummen bifore the tyme for to destroie vs? Y woot thot thou art
the holy of God.

25. And Jhesus thretenyde to hym, seyinge, Wexe dowmb, and go out of
the man.

26. And the vnclene goost debrekynge hym, and cryinge with grete vois,
wente awey fro hym.

27. And alle men wondriden, so that thei soughten togidre among hem,
seyinge, What is this thinge? what is this newe techyng? for in power
he comaundith to vnclene spirits, and thei obeyen to hym.

28. And the tale, or _tything_, of hym wente forth anoon in to al the
cuntree of Galilee.


[Footnote 15: Part of Chapter I of the Gospel of St. Mark, as
translated by Wyclif. It will be noted that Wyclif's orthography is
irregular, the same word being often spelled differently on the same
page. This selection is printed in the original as a specimen of the
English of Wyclif's time.]


     Born about 1340, died in 1400; son of a London vintner;
     taken prisoner in Brittany in 1359 while serving with the
     king's army; sent to Italy on a royal embassy in 1374 and
     again in 1378; besides the "Canterbury Tales," wrote many
     books; a large number once attributed to him are now
     considered spurious.


When Prudence had heard her husband avaunt himself of his riches and
of his money, disparaging the power of his adversaries, she spake and
said in this wise: Certes, dear sir, I grant you that ye are rich and
mighty, and that riches are good to 'em that have well obtained 'em,
and that well can use 'em; for, just as the body of a man may not live
without soul, no more may it live without temporal goods, and by
riches may a man get him great friends; and therefore saith Pamphilus:
If a neatherd's daughter be rich, she may chose of a thousand men
which she will take to her husband; for of a thousand men one will not
forsake her nor refuse her. And this Pamphilus saith also: If thou be
right happy, that is to say, if thou be right rich, thou shalt find a
great number of fellows and friends; and if thy fortune change, that
thou wax poor, farewell friendship and fellowship, for thou shalt be
all alone without any company, except it be the company of poor folk.
And yet saith this Pamphilus, moreover, that they that are bond and
thrall of linage should be made worthy and noble by riches.

And just as by riches there come many goods, so by poverty come there
many harms and evils; and therefore says Cassiodore,[17] poverty the
mother of ruin, that is to say, the mother of overthrowing or falling
down; and therefore saith Piers Alphonse: One of the greatest
adversities of the world is when a free man by kind, or of birth, is
constrained by poverty to eat the alms of his enemy. And the same
saith Innocent in one of his books; he saith that sorrowful and
mishappy is the condition of a poor beggar, for if he asks not his
meat he dieth of hunger, and if he ask he dieth for shame; and dire
necessity constraineth him to ask; and therefore saith Solomon: That
better it is to die than for to have such poverty; and, as the same
Solomon saith: Better it is to die of bitter death, than for to live
in such wise.

By these reasons that I have said unto you, and by many other reasons
that I could say, I grant you that riches are good to 'em that well
obtained them, and to him that well uses riches; and therefore will I
shew you how ye should behave you in gathering of your riches, and in
what manner ye should use 'em. First, ye should get 'em without great
desire, by good leisure, patiently, and not over hastily, for a man
that is too desiring to get riches abandoneth him first to theft and
to all other evils; and therefore saith Solomon: He that hasteth him
too busily to wax rich, he shall be not innocent: he saith also, that
the riches that hastily cometh to a man soon lightly goeth and passeth
from a man, but that riches that cometh little and little waxeth alway
and multiplieth. And, sir, ye should get riches by your wit and by
your travail, unto your profit, and that without wrong or harm doing
to any other person; for the law saith: There maketh no man himself
rich, if he do harm to another wight; that is to say, that Nature
defendeth and forbiddeth by right, that no man make himself rich unto
the harm of another person.

And Tullius[18] saith: That no sorrow, no dread of death, nothing that
may fall unto a man, is so much against nature as a man to increase
his owyn profit to harm of another man. And though the great men and
the mighty men get riches more lightly than thou, yet shalt thou not
be idle nor slow to do thy profit, for thou shalt in all wise flee
idleness; for Solomon saith: That idleness teacheth a man to do many
evils; and the same Solomon saith: That he that travaileth and busieth
himself to till his land, shall eat bread, but he that is idle, and
casteth him to no business nor occupation, shall fall into poverty,
and die for hunger. And he that is idle and slow can never find
convenient time for to do his profit; for there is a versifier who
saith, that the idle man excuseth him in winter because of the great
cold, and in summer then by reason of the heat.

For these causes, saith Cato, waketh and inclineth you not over much
to sleep, for over much rest nourisheth and causeth many vices; and
therefore saith St. Jerome: Do some good deeds, that the devil, which
is our enemy, find you not unoccupied, for the devil he taketh not
lightly unto his working such as he findeth occupied in good works.

Then thus in getting riches ye must flee idleness; and afterward ye
should use the riches which ye have got by your wit and by your
travail, in such manner, that men hold you not too scarce, nor too
sparing, nor fool-large, that is to say, over large a spender; for
right as men blame an avaricious man because of his scarcity and
niggardliness, in the same wise he is to blame that spendeth over
largely; and therefore saith Cato: Use (saith he) the riches that thou
hast obtained in such manner, that men have no matter nor cause to
call thee neither wretch nor miser, for it is a great shame to a man
to have a poor heart and a rich purse; he saith also: The goods that
thou hast obtained, use 'em by measure, that is to say, spend
measurably, for they that foolishly waste and squander the goods that
they have, when they have no more proper of 'eir own, that they
prepare to take the goods of another man. I say, then, that ye should
flee avarice, using your riches in such manner, that men say not that
your riches are buried, but that ye have 'em in your might and in your
wielding; for a wise man reproveth the avaricious man, and saith thus
in two verse: Whereto and why burieth a man his goods by his great
avarice, and knoweth well that needs must he die, for death is the
end of every man as in this present life.

And for what cause or reason joineth he him, or knitteth he him so
fast unto his goods, that all his wits will not dissever him or depart
him from his goods, and knoweth well, or ought to know, that when he
is dead he shall nothing bear with him out of this world? And
therefore saith St. Augustine, that the avaricious man is likened unto
hell, that the more it swalloweth the more desire it hath to swallow
and devour. And as well as ye would eschew to be called an avaricious
man or a chinch, as well should ye keep you and govern you in such
wise, that men call you not fool-large; therefore, saith Tullius: The
goods of thine house should not be hid nor kept so close, but that
they might be opened by pity and debonnairety, that is to say, to give
'em part that have great need; but the goods should not be so open to
be every man's goods.


[Footnote 16: One of the only two "Canterbury Tales" that were written
in prose, its title being "The Tale of Melibæus." The spelling here
has been partly modernized.]

[Footnote 17: Statesman and historian; born about 464 A.D.; an
administrative officer under Odoacer Theodoric, whose works were
published in 1679.]

[Footnote 18: Cicero.]


     Born about 1422, died in 1491; the first English printer;
     began to translate the "Histories de Troye" in 1469 and
     issued the work in 1474, either at Cologne or Bruges;
     translated and had printed in 1475 "The Game and Playe of
     Chesse," the second printed English book; set up a press in
     Westminster, London, in 1476, where he continued to print
     books until his death.


The knight ought to be made all armed upon an apt horse, in such wise
that he have an helmet on his head, and a spear in his right hand, and
covered with his shield; a sword and a mace on his left side; clad
with an hauberk and plates before his breast; leg harness on his legs;
spurs on his heels; on his hands his gauntlets. His horse well broken
and taught, and apt to battle, and covered with his arms. When the
knights be made they be bayned or bathed. That is the sign that they
should lead a new life and new manners; also they wake all the night
in prayers and orisons unto God that he will give them grace that they
may get that thing that they may not get by nature. The king or prince
girdeth about them a sword, in sign that they should abide and keep
him of whom they take their dispences and dignity.

Also a knight ought to be wise, liberal, true, strong, and full of
mercy and pity, and keeper of the people, and of the law, and right as
chivalry passeth other in virtue, in dignity, in honor, and in
reverence, right so ought he to surmount all other in virtue; for
honor is nothing else but to do reverence to another person for the
good and virtuous disposition that is in him. A noble knight ought to
be wise and proved before he be made knight; it behoveth him that he
had long time used the war and arms; that he may be expert and wise
for to govern others. For since a knight is captain of a battle, the
life of them that shall be under him lieth in his hand, and therefore
behooveth him to be wise and well advised. For sometimes art, craft
and engine is more worth than strength of hardiness of a man that is
not proved in arms, for otherwhile it happeneth that when the prince
of the battle relies on and trusteth in his hardiness and strength,
and will not use wisdom and engine for to run upon his enemies, he is
vanquished and his people slain. Therefore saith the philosopher that
no man should choose young people to be captains and governors,
forasmuch as there is no certainty in their wisdom. Alexander of
Macedon vanquished and conquered Egypt, Judæa, Chaldee, Africa, and
Assyria unto the marches of Bragmans more by the counsel of old men
than by the strength of the young men.

The very true love of the common weal and profit now-a-days is seldom
found. Where shalt thou find a man in these days that will expose
himself for the worship and honor of his friend or for the common
weal. Seldom or never shall he be found. Also the knights should be
large and liberal, for when a knight hath regard unto his singular
profit by his covetousness, he despoileth his people. For when the
soldiers see that they put them in peril, and their master will not
pay them their wages liberally, but intendeth to his own proper gain
and profit, then, when the enemies come, they turn soon their backs
and flee oftentimes. And thus it happeneth by him that intendeth more
to get money than victory, that his avarice is ofttimes cause of his

Then let every knight take heed to be liberal, in such wise that he
ween not nor suppose that his scarcity be to him a great winning or
gain. And for this cause he be the less loved of his people, and that
his adversary withdraw to him them by large giving. For ofttime battle
is advanced more for getting of silver than by the force and strength
of men. For men see all day that such things as may not be achieved by
force of nature be gotten and achieved by force of money. And
forsomuch it behooveth to see well to that when the time of battle
cometh, that he borrow not, nor make no curtailment. For no man may be
rich that leaveth his own, hoping to get and take of others. Then
alway all their gain, and winning ought to be common among them except
their arms. For in like wise as the victory is common, so should the
despoil and booty be common unto them. And therefore David, that
gentle knight in the first book of Kings in the last chapter, made a
law: that he that abode behind by malady or sickness in the tents
should have as much part of the booty as he that had been in the
battle. And for the love of this law he was made afterward king of

Alexander of Macedon came in a time like a simple knight unto the
court of Porus, king of Ind, for to espy the estate of the king and
of the knights of the court. And the king received him right
worshipfully and demanded many things of Alexander and of his
constancy and strength, nothing weening that he had been Alexander,
but Antigone, one of his knights. And after he had him to dinner; and
when they had served Alexander in vessel of gold and silver with
diverse meats, after that he had eaten such as pleased him, he voided
the meat and took the vessel and held it to himself and put it in his
bosom or sleeves. Whereof he was accused unto the king. After dinner
then the king called him and demanded wherefore he had taken his
vessel, and he answered: Sir King, my lord, I pray thee to understand
and take heed thyself and also thy knights. I have heard much of thy
great highness, and that thou art more mighty and puissant in chivalry
and in dispences than is Alexander, and therefore I am come to thee, a
poor knight, which am named Antigone, for to serve thee. Then it is
the custom in the court of Alexander that what thing a knight is
served with, all is his, meat and vessel and cup. And therefore I had
supposed that this custom had been kept in thy court, for thou art
richer than he. When the knights heard this, anon they left Porus, and
went to serve Alexander, and thus he drew to him the hearts of them by
gifts, which afterward slew Porus that was king of Ind, and they made
Alexander king thereof. Therefore remember, knight, alway that with a
closed and shut purse thou shalt never have victory. Ovid saith that
he that taketh gifts, he is glad therewith, for they win with gifts
the hearts of the gods and of men.


[Footnote 19: From the "Game and Playe of Chesse," translated by
Caxton from the French original.]


     Born about 1430, died after 1470; compiler and translator of
     the "Morte d'Arthur" from French prose romances which had
     been built up on earlier poems dealing with the life and
     death of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table; the
     "Morte d'Arthur" printed by Caxton in 1485.


And so Merlin and he departed, and as they rode King Arthur said, "I
have no sword." "No matter," said Merlin; "hereby is a sword that
shall be yours and I may." So they rode till they came to a lake,
which was a fair water and a broad; and in the midst of the lake King
Arthur was aware of an arm clothed in white samite, that held a fair
sword in the hand. "Lo," said Merlin unto the King, "yonder is the
sword that I spake of."

With that they saw a damsel going upon the lake. "What damsel is
that?" said the King. "That is the Lady of the Lake," said Merlin;
"and within that lake is a reach, and therein is as fair a place as
any is on earth, and richly beseen; and this damsel will come to you
anon, and then speak fair to her that she will give you that sword."
Therewith came the damsel to King Arthur, and saluted him, and he her
again. "Damsel," said the King, "what sword is that which the arm
holdeth yonder above the water? I would it were mine, for I have no
sword." "Sir King," said the damsel of the lake, "that sword is mine,
and if ye will give me a gift when I ask it you, ye shall have it."
"By my faith," said King Arthur, "I will give you any gift that you
will ask or desire." "Well," said the damsel, "go ye into yonder
barge, and row yourself unto the sword, and take it and the scabbard
with you; and I will ask my gift when I see my time."

So King Arthur and Merlin alighted, tied their horses to two trees,
and so they went into the barge. And when they came to the sword that
the hand held, King Arthur took it up by the handles, and took it with
him; and the arm and the hand went under the water, and so came to the
land and rode forth.

Then King Arthur saw a rich pavilion. "What signifieth yonder
pavilion?" "That is the knight's pavilion that ye fought with
last--Sir Pellinore; but he is out; for he is not there: he hath had
to do with a knight of yours, that hight Eglame, and they have
foughten together a great while, but at the last Eglame fled, and else
he had been dead; and Sir Pellinore hath chased him to Carlion, and we
shall anon meet with him in the highway." "It is well said," quoth
King Arthur; "now have I a sword, and now will I wage battle with him
and be avenged on him." "Sir, ye shall not do so," said Merlin: "for
the knight is weary of fighting and chasing; so that ye shall have no
worship to have a do with him. Also he will not lightly be matched of
one knight living: and therefore my counsel is, that yet let him pass;
for he shall do you good service in short time, and his sons after his
days. Also ye shall see that day in short space, that ye shall be
right glad to give him your sister to wife." "When I see him," said
King Arthur, "I will do as ye advise me."

Then King Arthur looked upon the sword and liked it passing well.
"Whether liketh you better," said Merlin, "the sword or the scabbard?"
"Me liketh better the sword," said King Arthur. "Ye are more unwise,"
said Merlin; "for the scabbard is worth ten of the sword: for while ye
have the scabbard upon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so
sore wounded--therefore keep well the scabbard alway with you." So
they rode on to Carlion.


[Footnote 20: From the "Morte d'Arthur."]


     Born in 1478, died in 1535; met Erasmus in London in 1497;
     after 1503 devoted himself mainly to politics; entered
     Parliament in 1504; ambassador to Flanders in 1515;
     published "Utopia" in 1516; privy counsellor to Henry VIII
     in 1518; present with the King at the Field of the Cloth of
     Gold in 1520; speaker of the House of Commons in 1523;
     defended the papacy against Luther; succeeded Wolsey as
     chancellor in 1529; refused in 1534 to take the oath of
     adherence to the act vesting the succession in the issue of
     Anne Boleyn and committed to the Tower, indicted for high
     treason and executed July 6th, 1535.


There are fifty-four cities in the island, all large and well built,
the manners, customs, and laws of which are the same, and they are all
contrived as near in the same manner as the ground on which they stand
will allow. The nearest lie at least twenty-four miles' distance from
one another, and the most remote are not so far distant but that a man
can go on foot in one day from it to that which lies next it. Every
city sends three of their wisest senators once a year to Amaurot, to
consult about their common concerns; for that is the chief town of the
island, being situated near the center of it, so that it is the most
convenient place for their assemblies. The jurisdiction of every city
extends at least twenty miles; and where the towns lie wider, they
have much more ground. No town desires to enlarge its bounds, for the
people consider themselves rather as tenants than landlords.

They have built, over all the country, farmhouses for husbandmen;
which are well contrived, and furnished with all things necessary for
country labor. Inhabitants are sent, by turns, from the cities to
dwell in them; no country family has fewer than forty men and women in
it, besides two slaves. There is a master and a mistress set over
every family, and over thirty families there is a magistrate. Every
year twenty of this family come back to the town after they have
stayed two years in the country, and in their room there are other
twenty sent from the town, that they may learn country work from those
that have been already one year in the country, as they must teach
those that come to them the next from the town. By this means such as
dwell in those country farms are never ignorant of agriculture, and so
commit no errors which might otherwise be fatal and bring them under a
scarcity of corn. But tho there is every year such a shifting of the
husbandmen, to prevent any man being forced against his will to follow
that hard course of life too long, yet many among them take such
pleasure in it that they desire leave to continue in it many years.

These husbandmen till the ground, breed cattle, hew wood and convey it
to the towns either by land or water, as is most convenient. They
breed an infinite multitude of chickens in a very curious manner: for
the hens do not sit and hatch them, but a vast number of eggs are laid
in a gentle and equal heat in order to be hatched; and they are no
sooner out of the shell, and able to stir about, but they seem to
consider those that feed them as their mothers, and follow them as
other chickens do the hen that hatched them. They breed very few
horses, but those they have are full of mettle, and are kept only for
exercising their youth in the art of sitting and riding them; for they
do not put them to any work, either of plowing or carriage, in which
they employ oxen. For tho their horses are stronger, yet they find
oxen can hold out longer; and as they are not subject to so many
diseases, so they are kept upon a less charge and with less trouble.
And even when they are so worn out that they are no more fit for
labor, they are good meat at last. They sow no corn but that which is
to be their bread: for they drink either wine, cider, or perry, and
often water, sometimes boiled with honey or licorice, with which they
abound; and tho they know exactly how much corn will serve every town
and all that tract of country which belongs to it, yet they sow much
more, and breed more cattle, than are necessary for their consumption,
and they give that overplus of which they make no use to their

When they want anything in the country which it does not produce, they
fetch that from the town, without carrying anything in exchange for
it. And the magistrates of the town take care to see it given them;
for they meet generally in the town once a month, upon a festival day.
When the time of harvest comes, the magistrates in the country send
to those in the towns, and let them know how many hands they will need
for reaping the harvest; and the number they call for being sent to
them, they commonly dispatch it all in one day.

He that knows one of their towns knows them all--they are so like one
another, except where the situation makes some difference. I shall
therefore describe one of them, and none is so proper as Amaurot; for
as none is more eminent (all the rest yielding in precedence to this,
because it is the seat of their supreme council), so there was none of
them better known to me, I having lived five years all together in it.

It lies upon the side of a hill, or rather a rising ground. Its figure
is almost square: for from the one side of it, which shoots up almost
to the top of the hill, it runs down, in a descent for two miles, to
the river Anider; but it is a little broader the other way that runs
along by the bank of that river. The Anider rises about eighty miles
above Amaurot, in a small spring at first. But other brooks falling
into it, of which two are more considerable than the rest, as it runs
by Amaurot it is grown half a mile broad; but it still grows larger
and larger, till after sixty miles' course below it, it is lost in the
ocean. Between the town and the sea, and for some miles above the
town, it ebbs and flows every six hours with a strong current. The
tide comes up about thirty miles so full that there is nothing but
salt water in the river, the fresh water being driven back with its
force; and above that, for some miles, the water is brackish; but a
little higher, as it runs by the town, it is quite fresh; and when
the tide ebbs, it continues fresh all along to the sea. There is a
bridge cast over the river, not of timber, but of fair stone,
consisting of many stately arches; it lies at that part of the town
which is farthest from the sea, so that the ships, without any
hindrance, lie all along the side of the town.

There is likewise another river that runs by it, which, tho it is not
great, yet it runs pleasantly, for it rises out of the same hill on
which the town stands, and so runs down through it and falls into the
Anider. The inhabitants have fortified the fountain-head of this
river, which springs a little without the towns; that so, if they
should happen to be besieged, the enemy might not be able to stop or
divert the course of the water, nor poison it; from thence it is
carried in earthen pipes to the lower streets. And for those places of
the town to which the water of that small river can not be conveyed,
they have great cisterns for receiving the rain-water, which supplies
the want of the other.

The town is compassed with a high and thick wall, in which there are
many towers and forts; there is also a broad and deep dry ditch, set
thick with thorns, cast round three sides of the town, and the river
is instead of a ditch on the fourth side. The streets are very
convenient for all carriage, and are well sheltered from the winds.
Their buildings are good, and are so uniform that a whole side of a
street looks like one house. The streets are twenty feet broad. There
lie gardens behind all their houses; these are large, but inclosed
with buildings, that on all hands face the streets, so that every
house has both a door to the street and a back door to the garden.
Their doors have all two leaves, which, as they are easily opened, so
they shut of their own accord; and there being no property among them,
every man may freely enter into any house whatsoever. At every ten
years' end they shift their houses by lots. They cultivate their
gardens with great care, so that they have both vines, fruits, herbs,
and flowers in them; and all is so well ordered and so finely kept
that I never saw gardens anywhere that were both so fruitful and so
beautiful as theirs. And this humor of ordering their gardens so well
is not only kept up by the pleasure they find in it, but also by an
emulation between the inhabitants of the several streets, who vie with
each other. And there is, indeed, nothing belonging to the whole town
that is both more useful and more pleasant. So that he who founded the
town seems to have taken care of nothing more than of their gardens;
for they say the whole scheme of the town was designed at first by
Utopus, but he left all that belonged to the ornament and improvement
of it to be added by those that should come after him, that being too
much for one man to bring to perfection.

Their records, that contain the history of their town and state, are
preserved with an exact care, and run backward seventeen hundred and
sixty years. From these it appears that their houses were at first low
and mean, like cottages, made of any sort of timber, and were built
with mud walls and thatched with straw. But now their houses are three
stories high; the fronts of them are faced either with stone,
plastering, or brick, and between the facings of their walls they
throw in their rubbish. Their roofs are flat; and on them they lay a
sort of plaster, which costs very little, and yet is so tempered that
it is not apt to take fire, and yet resists the weather more than
lead. They have great quantities of glass among them, with which they
glaze their windows; they use also in their windows a thin linen
cloth, that is so oiled or gummed that it both keeps out the wind and
gives free admission to the light.


[Footnote 21: The "Utopia" was written originally in Latin. It derived
its name from an imaginary island, the seat of an ideal state. Ralph
Robinson made a translation into English in 1551. Another translation
was made by Bishop Burnet in 1633.]


     Born in 1505, died in 1572; early influenced by George
     Wishart, a Lutheran refugee who had found an asylum in
     Scotland; a royal chaplain in 1550; assisted in the revision
     of the Prayer-book; fled to the Continent after the
     accession of Mary Tudor and visited Calvin; preached for a
     time at Frankfort and afterward traveled and preached in
     Scotland; occupied himself with the organization of the
     Presbyterian Church, having frequent dramatic encounters
     with Mary, Queen of Scots, whose sympathies were Catholic.


The queen, in a vehement fume, began to cry out that never prince was
handled as she was. "I have," said she, "borne with you in all your
rigorous manner of speaking, both against myself and against my
uncles; yea, I have sought your favors by all possible means. I
offered unto you presence and audience, whensoever it pleased you to
admonish me, and yet I cannot be quit of you. I avow to God I shall be
anes [once] revenged." And with these words scarcely could Marnock,
her secret chamber-boy, get napkins to hold her eyes dry for the
tears; and the owling, besides womanly weeping, stayed her speech.

The said John did patiently abide all the first fume, and at
opportunity answered: "True it is, Madam, your Grace and I have been
at diverse controversies, into the which I never perceived your Grace
to be offended at me. But when it shall please God to deliver you from
that bondage of darkness and error, in the which ye have been
nourished, for the lack of true doctrine, your majesty will find the
liberty of my tongue nothing offensive. Without the preaching-place,
Madam, I think few have occasion to be offended at me, and there,
Madam, I am not master of myself, but man [must] obey Him who commands
me to speak plain, and to flatter no flesh upon the face of the

"But what have ye to do," said she, "with my marriage?"

"If it please your majesty," said he, "patiently to hear me, I shall
shew the truth in plain words. I grant your Grace offered me more than
ever I required; but my answer was then, as it is now, that God hath
not sent me to await upon the courts of princesses, nor upon the
chambers of ladies; but I am sent to preach the evangel of Jesus
Christ to such as please to hear it; and it hath two parts--repentance
and faith. And now, Madam, in preaching repentance, of necessity it
is, that the sins of men be so noted, that they may know wherein they
offend; but so it is, that the most part of your nobility are so
addicted to your affections, that neither God, His word, nor yet their
commonwealth, are rightly regarded. And therefore, it becomes me so
to speak that they may know their duty."

"What have ye to do," said she, "with my marriage? Or what are ye
within this commonwealth?"

"A subject born within the same," said he, "Madam. And, albeit I
neither be earl, lord, nor baron within it, yet has God made me--how
abject that ever I be in your eyes--a profitable member within the
same. Yea, Madam, to me it appertains no less to forewarn of such
things as may hurt it, if I foresee them, than it does to any of the
nobility; for both my vocation and conscience craves plainness of me.
And therefore, Madam, to yourself I say that which I speak in public
place: whensoever that the nobility of this realm shall consent that
ye be subject to an unfaithful husband, they do as much as in them
lieth to renounce Christ, to banish His truth from them, to betray the
freedom of this realm, and perchance shall in the end do small comfort
to yourself."

At these words, owling was heard, and tears might have been seen in
greater abundance than the matter required. John Erskine of Dun--a man
of meek and gentle spirit--stood beside, and entreated what he could
to mitigate her anger, and gave unto her many pleasing words of her
beauty, of her excellence, and how that all the princes of Europe
would be glad to seek her favors. But all that was to cast oil in the
flaming fire. The said John stood still, without any alteration of
countenance, for a long season, while that the queen gave place to her
inordinate passion, and in the end he said: "Madam, in God's presence
I speak: I never delighted in the weeping of any of God's creatures;
yea, I can scarcely well abide the tears of my own boys, whom my own
hand corrects, much less can I rejoice in your majesty's weeping. But,
seeing that I have offered unto you no just occasion to be offended,
but have spoken the truth, as my vocation craves, I may sustain,
albeit unwillingly, your majesty's tears, rather than hurt my
conscience, or betray my commonwealth."

Herewith was the queen more offended, and commanded the said John to
pass forth of the cabinet, and to abide further of her pleasure in the
chamber. The Laird of Dun tarried, and Lord John of Coldingham came
into the cabinet, and so they both remained with her near the space of
an hour. The said John stood in the chamber, as one whom men had never
seen--so were all effrayed--except that the Lord Ochiltree bare him
company; and therefore began he to forge talking of the ladies, who
were there sitting in all their gorgeous apparel, which espied, he
merrily said: "O fair ladies, how pleasant were this life of yours if
it should ever abide, and then in the end that we might pass to heaven
with all this gay gear! But fie upon that knave Death, that will come
whether we will nor not! And when he has laid on his arrest, the foul
worms will be busy with this flesh, be it never so tender; and the
silly soul, I fear, shall be so feeble, that it can neither carry with
it gold, garnishing, targeting, pearl, nor precious stones." And by
such means procured he the company of women; and so passed the time
till that the Laird of Dun willed him to depart to his house.


[Footnote 22: From the "History of the Reformation in Scotland." The
spelling has been modernized. After the arrival of Mary in Scotland in
1561, Knox had several interviews with her, followed by an open
rupture with her party in the government of Scotland, and by his
retirement into comparative privacy. Burton, the historian of
Scotland, believes that the dialog here given took place in French,
rather than in the language in which Knox reports it. Mary's habitual
speech was French and Knox knew the language well.]


     Born in 1515, died in 1568; educated at Cambridge, where he
     taught Greek; became a tutor to Princess Elizabeth,
     afterward to the Queen, in 1548; served as Latin Secretary
     to Queens Mary and Elizabeth, 1563-68; his work, "The
     Schoolmaster," published in 1570.


Yet some will say that children, of nature, love pastime, and mislike
learning; because, in their kind, the one is easy and pleasant, the
other hard and wearisome. Which is an opinion not so true as some men
ween. For the matter lieth not so much in the disposition of them that
be young, as in the order and manner of bringing up by them that be
old; nor yet in the difference of learning and pastime. For, beat a
child if he dance not well, and cherish him tho he learn not well, you
shall have him unwilling to go to dance, and glad to go to his book;
knock him always when he draweth his shaft ill, and favor him again
tho he fault at his book, you shall have him very loth to be in the
field, and very willing to be in the school. Yea, I say more, and not
of myself, but by the judgment of those from whom few wise men will
gladly dissent; that if ever the nature of man be given at any time,
more than other, to receive goodness, it is in innocency of young
years, before that experience of evil have taken root in him. For the
pure clean wit of a sweet young babe is like the newest wax, most
able to receive the best and fairest printing; and like a new bright
silver dish never occupied, to receive and keep clean any good thing
that is put into it.

And thus, will in children, wisely wrought withal, may easily be won
to be very well willing to learn. And wit in children, by nature,
namely memory, the only key and keeper of all learning, is readiest to
receive and surest to keep any manner of thing that is learned in
youth. This, lewd and learned, by common experience know to be most
true. For we remember nothing so well when we be old as those things
which we learned when we were young. And this is not strange, but
common in all nature's works. "Every man seeth (as I said before) new
wax is best for printing, new clay fittest for working, new-shorn wool
aptest for soon and surest dyeing, new fresh flesh for good and
durable salting." And this similitude is not rude, nor borrowed of the
larder-house, but out of his school-house, of whom the wisest of
England need not be ashamed to learn. "Young grafts grow not only
soonest, but also fairest, and bring always forth the best and
sweetest fruit; young whelps learn easily to carry; young popinjays
learn quickly to speak." And so, to be short, if in all other things,
tho they lack reason, sense, and life, the similitude of youth is
fittest to all goodness, surely nature in mankind is most beneficial
and effectual in their behalf.

Therefore, if to the goodness of nature be joined the wisdom of the
teacher, in leading young wits into a right and plain way of
learning; surely children kept up in God's fear, and governed by His
grace, may most easily be brought well to serve God and their country,
both by virtue and wisdom.

But if will and wit, by farther age, be once allured from innocency,
delighted in vain sights, filled with foul talk, crooked with
wilfulness, hardened with stubbornness, and let loose to disobedience;
surely it is hard with gentleness, but impossible with severe cruelty,
to call them back to good frame again. For where the one perchance may
bend it, the other shall surely break it: and so, instead of some
hope, leave an assured desperation, and shameless contempt of all
goodness; the furthest point in all mischief, as Xenophon doth most
truly and most wittily mark.

Therefore, to love or to hate, to like or to contemn, to ply this way
or that way to good or to bad, ye shall have as ye use a child in his

And one example whether love or fear doth work more in a child for
virtue and learning, I will gladly report; which may be heard with
some pleasure, and followed with more profit.

Before I went into Germany, I came to Broadgate in Leicestershire, to
take my leave of that noble lady, Jane Grey, to whom I was exceeding
much beholding. Her parents, the duke and duchess, with all the
household, gentlemen and gentlewomen, were hunting in the park. I
found her in her chamber, reading Phædo Platonis in Greek, and that
with as much delight as some gentlemen would read a merry tale in
Boccace. After salutation and duty done, with some other talk, I
asked her why she would leese [lose] such pastime in the park? Smiling
she answered me: "I wisse, all their sport in the park is but a shadow
to that pleasure that I find in Plato. Alas! good folk, they never
felt what true pleasure meant." "And how came you, madame," quoth I,
"to this deep knowledge of pleasure? and what did chiefly allure you
unto it, seeing not many women, but very few men, have attained
thereunto?" "I will tell you," quoth she, "and tell you a truth, which
perchance ye will marvel at. One of the greatest benefits that ever
God gave me, is, that He sent me so sharp and severe parents, and so
gentle a schoolmaster. For when I am in presence either of father or
mother, whether I speak, keep silence, sit, stand, or go, eat, drink,
be merry, or sad, be sewing, playing, dancing, or doing anything else,
I must do it, as it were, in such weight, measure, and number, even so
perfectly, as God made the world; or else I am so sharply taunted, so
cruelly threatened, yea, presently, sometimes with pinches, nibs, and
bobs, and other ways which I will not name, for the honor I bear them,
so without measure misordered, that I think myself in hell, till time
come that I must go to Mr. Elmer; who teacheth me so gently, so
pleasantly, with such fair allurements to learning, that I think all
the time nothing whiles I am with him. And when I am called from him,
I fall on weeping, because whatsoever I do else but learning, is full
of grief, trouble, fear, and whole misliking unto me. And thus my book
hath been so much my pleasure, and bringeth daily to me more pleasure
and more, that in respect of it, all other pleasures, in very deed,
be but trifles and troubles unto me."

I remember this talk gladly, both because it is so worthy of memory,
and because also it was the last talk that ever I had, and the last
time that ever I saw that noble and worthy lady.


[Footnote 23: From "The Schoolmaster."]


     Born in 1516, died in 1587; educated at Oxford; became in
     1584 tutor to the children of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey;
     in order to escape persecution as a Protestant, fled to the
     Continent at the accession of Mary Tudor; returned to
     England in 1559, becoming in 1563 prebendary in Salisbury
     Cathedral; his "Book of Martyrs" first published in 1563.


In certain records thus we find, that the king, being in his justs at
Greenwich, suddenly, with a few persons, departed to Westminster; and
the next day after, Queen Anne, his wife, was had to the Tower, with
the Lord Rochford, her brother, and certain other, and the nineteenth
day after, was beheaded. The words of this worthy and Christian lady,
at her death, were these: "Good Christian people, I am come hither to
die; for, according to the law, and by the law, I am judged to death,
and therefore I will speak nothing against it. I am come hither to
accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that whereof I am accused, and
condemned to die; but I pray God save the king, and send him long to
reign over you, for a gentler or a more merciful prince was there
never; and to me he was a very good, a gentle, and a sovereign lord.
And if any person will meddle of my cause, I require them to judge
the best. And thus I take my leave of the world, and of you all; and I
heartily desire you all to pray for me. The Lord have mercy on me; to
God I recommend my soul." And so she kneeled down, saying, "To Christ
I commend my soul; Jesus, receive my soul," repeating the same divers
times, till at length the stroke was given, and her head was stricken

And this was the end of that godly lady and queen. Godly I call her,
for sundry respects, whatsoever the cause was, or quarrel objected
against her. First, her last words, spoken at her death, declared no
less her sincere faith and trust in Christ than did her quiet modesty
utter forth the goodness of the cause and matter, whatsoever it was.
Besides that, to such as wisely can judge upon cases occurrent, this
also may seem to give a great clearing unto her, that the king, the
third day after, was married in his whites unto another. Certain this
was, that for the rare and singular gifts of her mind, so well
instructed, and given toward God, with such a fervent desire unto the
truth, and setting forth of sincere religion, joined with like
gentleness, modesty, and pity toward all men, there have not many such
queens before her borne the crown of England. Principally, this one
commendation she left behind her, that, during her life, the religion
of Christ most happily flourished, and had a right prosperous course.

Many things might be written more of the manifold virtues, and the
quiet moderation of her mild nature; how lowly she would bear, not
only to be admonished, but also of her own accord would require her
chaplains plainly and freely to tell whatsoever they saw in her
amiss. Also, how bountiful she was to the poor, passing not only the
poor example of other queens, but also the revenues almost of her
estate: insomuch that the alms which she gave in three-quarters of a
year, in distribution, is summed to the number of fourteen or fifteen
thousand pounds; besides the great piece of money which her Grace
intended to impart into four sundry quarters of the realm, as for a
stock, there to be employed to the behoof of poor artificers and
occupiers. Again, what a zealous defender she was of Christ's gospel
all the world doth know, and her acts do and will declare to the
world's end. Amongst which other her acts, this is one, that she
placed Master Hugh Latimer in the bishopric of Worcester, and also
preferred Dr. Sharton to his bishopric, being then accounted a good
man. Furthermore, what a true faith she bore unto the Lord, this one
example may stand for many: for that, when King Henry was with her at
Woodstock,[25] and there being afraid of an old blind prophecy, for
the which neither he nor other kings before him durst hunt in the said
park of Woodstock, nor enter into the town of Oxford, at last, through
the Christian and faithful counsel of that queen, he was so armed
against all infidelity, that both he hunted in the aforesaid park, and
also entered into the town of Oxford, and had no harm. But because
touching the memorable virtues of this worthy queen, partly we have
said something before, partly because more also is promised to be
declared of her virtuous life (the Lord so permitting), by other who
then were about her, I will cease in this matter further to proceed.


[Footnote 24: From the "Book of Martyrs."]

[Footnote 25: At Woodstock was one of the residences of Henry VIII and
earlier kings. The Black Prince was born there and Elizabeth was there
imprisoned by Queen Mary. After the battle of Blenheim, the place was
given in perpetuity to Marlborough, and his famous residence Blenheim
erected there. It is about eight miles from Oxford.]


     Born in 1552, died in 1618; educated at Oxford; commanded an
     English Company in Ireland in 1580; a favorite of Queen
     Elizabeth; obtained a charter to colonize Virginia in 1584,
     and sent out several expeditions, none of which founded
     permanent settlements; introduced tobacco into Europe, and
     the potato into Ireland; took an active part against the
     Armada in 1588; explored the Oronoko in 1595; charged with
     having plotted to place Arabella Stuart on the throne in
     1603, and sent to the Tower, where he wrote his "History of
     the World"; sailed again for the Oronoko in 1616; and on his
     return, the expedition having failed, condemned and


If we truly examine the difference of both conditions--to wit, of the
rich and mighty, whom we call fortunate, and of the poor and opprest,
whom we count wretched--we shall find the happiness of the one, and
the miserable estate of the other, so tied by God to the very instant,
and both so subject to interchange (witness the sudden downfall of the
greatest princes, and the speedy uprising of the meanest persons), as
the one hath nothing so certain whereof to boast, nor the other so
uncertain whereof to bewail itself.

For there is no man so assured of his honor, of his riches, health, or
life but that he may be deprived of either, or all, the very next hour
or day to come. _Quid vesper vehat, incertum est_; what the evening
will bring with it is uncertain.

And yet ye can not tell, saith St. James, what shall be to-morrow.
To-day he is set up, and to-morrow he shall not be found, for he is
turned into dust, and his purpose perisheth. And altho the air which
compasseth adversity be very obscure, yet therein we better discern
God than in that shining light which environeth worldly glory; through
which, for the clearness thereof, there is no vanity which escapeth
our sight. And let adversity seem what it will--to happy men,
ridiculous, who make themselves merry at other men's misfortunes; and
to those under the cross, grievous--yet this is true, that for all
that is past, to the very instant, the portions remaining are equal to
either. For, be it that we have lived many years (according to
Solomon), "and in them all we have rejoiced"; or be it that we have
measured the same length of days, and therein have evermore sorrowed;
yet, looking back from our present being, we find both the one and the
other--to wit, the joy and the wo--sailed out of sight; and death,
which doth pursue us and hold us in chase from our infancy, hath
gathered it. _Quicquid ætatis retro est, mors tenet_; whatsoever of
our age is past, death holds it.

So as, whosoever he be to whom fortune hath been a servant, and the
time a friend, let him but take the account of his memory (for we have
no other keeper of our pleasures past), and truly examine what it hath
reserved, either of beauty and youth, or foregone delights; what it
hath saved, that it might last, of his dearest affections, or of
whatever else the amorous springtime gave his thoughts of contentment,
then invaluable, and he shall find that all the art which his elder
years have can draw no other vapor out of these dissolutions than
heavy, secret, and sad sighs. He shall find nothing remaining but
those sorrows which grow up after our fast-springing youth, overtake
it when it is at a stand, and overtop it utterly when it begins to
wither; insomuch as, looking back from the very instant time, and from
our now being, the poor, diseased, and captive creature hath as little
sense of all his former miseries and pains as he that is most blest,
in common opinion, hath of his forepast pleasures and delights. For
whatsoever is cast behind us is just nothing; and what is to come,
deceitful hope hath it. _Omniæ quæ eventura sunt in incerto jacent._
Only those few black swans I must except who, having had the grace to
value worldly vanities at no more than their own price, do, by
retaining the comfortable memory of a well-acted life, behold death
without dread, and the grave without fear, and embrace both as
necessary guides to endless glory....

If we seek a reason of the succession and continuance of boundless
ambition in mortal men, we may add, that the kings and princes of the
world have always laid before them the actions, but not the ends of
those great ones which preceded them. They are always transported with
the glory of the one, but they never mind the misery of the other,
till they find the experience in themselves. They neglect the advice
of God while they enjoy life, or hope it, but they follow the counsel
of death upon his first approach. It is he that puts into man all the
wisdom of the world without speaking a word, which God, with all the
words of His law, promises, or threats, doth not infuse. Death, which
hateth and destroyeth man, is believed; God, which hath made him and
loves him, is always deferred. "I have considered," saith Solomon,
"all the works that are under the sun, and, behold, all is vanity and
vexation of spirit"; but who believes it, till death tells it us? It
was death, which, opening the conscience of Charles V. made him enjoin
his son Philip to restore Navarre, and King Francis I. of France to
command that justice should be done upon the murderers of the
Protestants in Merindol and Cabrieres, which till then he neglected.

It is therefore death alone that can suddenly make man to know
himself. He tells the proud and insolent that they are but abjects,
and humbles them at the instant, makes them cry, complain, and repent,
yea, even to hate their forepassed happiness. He takes the account of
the rich, and proves him a beggar, a naked beggar, which hath interest
in nothing but in the gravel that fills his mouth. He holds a glass
before the eyes of the most beautiful, and makes them see therein
their deformity and rottenness, and they acknowledge it.

O eloquent, just, and mighty Death! whom none could advise, thou hast
persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all the
world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and
despised; thou hast drawn together all the far-stretched greatness,
all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over
with these two narrow words, _Hic jacet_!


[Footnote 26: From the preface to the "History of the World."]


     Born in 1561, died in 1626; commonly styled "Lord" Bacon,
     but incorrectly, his title being Baron Verulam and Viscount
     St. Albans; educated at Cambridge; entered Parliament in
     1584; solicitor-general in 1607; privy counsellor in 1616;
     lord keeper in 1617; lord chancellor in 1618; tried for
     bribery, condemned, fined and removed from office in 1621;
     one of the chief founders of modern inductive science;
     author of "Advancement of Learning" (1605), the "Novum
     Organum" (1620), "Essays" (1597-1625), a "History of Henry
     VII" (1622) and other works.



Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education, in the elder, a
part of experience. He that traveleth into a country before he hath
some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.
That young men travel under some tutor, or grave servant, I allow
well; so that he be such a one that hath the language, and hath been
in the country before; whereby he may be able to tell them what things
are worthy to be seen in the country where they go; what acquaintances
they are to seek; what exercises or discipline the place yieldeth. For
else young men shall go hooded, and look abroad little. It is a
strange thing, that in sea voyages, where there is nothing to be seen
but sky and sea, men should make diaries; but in land-travel, wherein
so much is to be observed, for the most part they omit it; as if
chance were fitter to be registered than observation. Let diaries
therefore be brought in use. The things to be seen and observed are:
the courts of princes, specially when they give audience to
ambassadors; the courts of justice, while they sit and hear causes;
and so of consistories ecclesiastic; the churches and monasteries,
with the monuments which are therein extant; the walls and
fortifications of cities and towns, and so the havens and harbors;
antiquities and ruins; libraries, colleges, disputations, and
lectures, where any are; shipping and navies; houses and gardens of
state and pleasure, near great cities; armories; arsenals; magazines;
exchanges; burses; warehouses; exercises of horsemanship, fencing,
training of soldiers, and the like; comedies, such whereunto the
better sort of persons do resort; treasuries of jewels and robes;
cabinets and rarities; and, to conclude, whatsoever is memorable in
the places where they go. After all which the tutors or servants ought
to make diligent study. As for triumphs, masks, feasts, weddings,
funerals, capital executions, and such shows, men need not to be put
in mind of them; yet are they not to be neglected.

If you will have a young man to put his travel into a little room, and
in short time to gather much, this you must do. First, as was said, he
must have some entrance into the language before he goeth. Then he
must have such a servant or tutor as knoweth the country, as was
likewise said. Let him carry with him also some card or book
describing the country where he traveleth; which will be a good key to
his inquiry. Let him keep also a diary. Let him not stay long in one
city or town; more or less as the place deserveth, but not long; nay,
when he stayeth in one city or town, let him change his lodging from
one end and part of the town to another; which is a great adamant of
acquaintance. Let him sequester himself from the company of his
countrymen, and diet in such places where there is good company of the
nation where he traveleth. Let him, upon his removes from one place to
another, procure recommendation to some person of quality residing in
the place whither he removeth; that he may use his favor in those
things he desireth to see or know. Thus he may abridge his travel with
much profit.

As for the acquaintance which is to be sought in travel; that which is
most of all profitable is acquaintance with the secretaries and
employed men of ambassadors: for so in traveling in one country he
shall suck the experience of many. Let him also see and visit eminent
persons in all kinds, which are of great name abroad; that he may be
able to tell how the life agreeth with the fame. For quarrels, they
are with care and discretion to be avoided. They are commonly for
mistresses, healths, place, and words. And let a man beware how he
keepeth company with choleric and quarrelsome persons; for they will
engage him into their own quarrels. When a traveler returneth home,
let him not leave the countries where he hath traveled altogether
behind him; but maintain a correspondence by letters with those of his
acquaintance which are of most worth. And let his travel appear rather
in his discourse than in his apparel or gesture; and in his discourse
let him be rather advised in his answers, than forwards to tell
stories; and let it appear that he doth not change his country
manners for those of foreign parts; but only prick in some flowers of
that he hath learned abroad into the customs of his own country.



I cannot call riches better than the baggage of virtue. The Roman word
is better, _impedimenta_. For as the baggage is to an army, so is
riches to virtue. It cannot be spared nor left behind, but it
hindereth the march; yea, and the care of it sometimes loseth or
disturbeth the victory. Of great riches there is no real use, except
it be in the distribution; the rest is but conceit. So saith Solomon,
"Where much is, there are many to consume it; and what hath the owner
but the sight of it with his eyes?" The personal fruition in any man
cannot reach to feel great riches: there is a custody of them; or a
power of dole and donative of them; or a fame of them; but no solid
use to the owner. Do you not see what feigned prices are set upon
little stones and rarities? and what works of ostentation are
undertaken, because there might seem to be some use of great riches?
But then you will say, they may be of use to buy men out of dangers or
troubles. As Solomon saith, "Riches are as a stronghold, in the
imagination of the rich man."

But this is excellently exprest, that it is in imagination, and not
always in fact. For certainly great riches have sold more men than
they have bought out. Seek not proud riches, but such as thou mayest
get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly.
Yet have no abstract or friarly contempt of them. But distinguish as
Cicero saith well of Rabirius Posthumus, _In studio rei amplificandæ
apparebat, non avaritiæ prædam, sed instrumentum bonitari quæri_.[28]
Harken also to Solomon, and beware of hasty gathering of riches: _Qui
festinat ad divitias, non erit insons_.[29] The poets feign, that when
Plutus (which is Riches) is sent from Jupiter, he limps and goes
slowly; but when he is sent from Pluto, he runs and is swift of foot.
Meaning that riches gotten by good means and just labor pace slowly;
but when they come by the death of others (as by the course of
inheritance, testaments, and the like), they come tumbling upon a man.
But it might be applied likewise to Pluto, taking him for the devil.
For when riches come from the devil (as by fraud and oppression and
unjust means), they come upon speed.

The ways to enrich are many, and most of them foul. Parsimony is one
of the best, and yet is not innocent; for it withholdeth men from
works of liberality and charity. The improvement of the ground is the
most natural obtaining of riches; for it is our great mother's
blessing, the earth's; but it is slow. And yet where men of great
wealth do stoop to husbandry, it multiplieth riches exceedingly. I
knew a nobleman in England, that had the greatest audits of any man in
my time; a great grazier, a great sheep-master, a great timber man, a
great collier, a great corn-master, a great lead-man, and so of iron,
and a number of the like points of husbandry. So as the earth seemed a
sea to him, in respect of the perpetual importation. It was truly
observed by one, that himself came very hardly to a little riches, and
very easily to great riches. For when a man's stock is come to that,
that he can expect the prime of markets, and overcome those bargains
which for their greatness are few men's money, and be partner in the
industries of younger men, he cannot but increase mainly.

The gains of ordinary trades and vocations are honest; and furthered
by two things chiefly: by diligence, and by a good name for good and
fair dealing. But the gains of bargains are of a more doubtful nature;
when men shall wait upon others' necessity, broke by servants and
instruments to draw them on, put off others cunningly that would be
better chapmen, and the like practises, which are crafty and naught.
As for the chopping of bargains, when a man buys not to hold but to
sell over again, that commonly grindeth double, both upon the seller
and upon the buyer. Sharings do greatly enrich, if the hands be well
chosen that are trusted. Usury is the certainest means of gain, tho
one of the worst; as that whereby a man doth eat his bread in _sudore
vultus alieni_;[30] and besides, doth plough upon Sundays. But yet
certain tho it be, it hath flaws; for that the scriveners and brokers
do value unsound men to serve their own turn. The fortune in being the
first in an invention or in a privilege doth cause sometimes a
wonderful overgrowth in riches; as it was with the first sugar man in
the Canaries.[31] Therefore if a man can play the true logician, to
have as well judgment as invention, he may do great matters;
especially if the times be fit.

He that resteth upon gains certain shall hardly grow to great riches;
and he that puts all upon adventures doth oftentimes break and come to
poverty: it is good therefore to guard adventures with certainties,
that may uphold losses. Monopolies, and co-emption of wares for
re-sale, where they are not restrained, are great means to enrich;
especially if the party have intelligence what things are like to come
into request, and so store himself beforehand. Riches gotten by
service, tho it be of the best rise, yet when they are gotten by
flattery, feeding humors, and other servile conditions, they may be
placed amongst the worst. As for fishing for testaments and
executorships (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, _testamenta et orbos
tamquam indagine capi_,[32]) it is yet worse; by how much men submit
themselves to meaner persons than in service. Believe not much them
that seem to despise riches; for they despise them that despair of
them; and none worse when they come to them. Be not penny-wise; riches
have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves, sometimes they
must be set flying to bring in more. Men leave their riches either to
their kindred, or to the public; and moderate portions prosper best in
both. A great estate left to an heir, is as a lure to all the birds of
prey round about to seize on him, if he be not the better established
in years and judgment. Likewise glorious gifts and foundations are
like sacrifices without salt; and but the painted sepulchers of alms,
which soon will putrefy and corrupt inwardly. Therefore measure not
thine advancements by quantity, but frame them by measure: and defer
not charities till death; for, certainly, if a man weigh it rightly,
he that doth so is rather liberal of another man's than of his own.



A man that is young in years may be old in hours, if he have lost no
time. But that happeneth rarely. Generally, youth is like the first
cogitations, not so wise as the second. For there is a youth in
thoughts, as well as in ages. And yet the invention of young men is
more lively than that of old; and imaginations stream into their minds
better, and as it were more divinely. Natures that have much heat and
great and violent desires and perturbations are not ripe for action
till they have passed the meridian of their years; as it was with
Julius Cæsar and Septimius Severus. Of the latter of whom it is said,
_Juventutem egit erroribus, imo furoribus, plenam_.[33] And yet he was
the ablest emperor, almost, of all the list. But reposed natures may
do well in youth. As it is seen in Augustus Cæsar, Cosmus Duke of
Florence, Gaston de Foix, and others. On the other side, heat and
vivacity in age is an excellent composition for business.

Young men are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution
than for counsel; and fitter for new projects than for settled
business. For the experience of age, in things that fall within the
compass of it, directeth them; but in new things, abuseth them. The
errors of young men are the ruin of business; but the errors of aged
men amount but to this, that more might have been done, or sooner.
Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than
they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly to the end, without
consideration of the means and degrees; pursue some few principles
which they have chanced upon absurdly; care not to innovate, which
draws unknown inconveniences; use extreme remedies at first; and that
which doubleth all errors will not acknowledge or retract them; like
an unready horse, that will neither stop nor turn. Men of age object
too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and
seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves
with a mediocrity.

Certainly it is good to compound employments of both; for that will be
good for the present, because the virtues of either age may correct
the defects of both; and good for succession, that young men may be
learners, while men in age are actors; and, lastly, good for extern
accidents, because authority followeth old men, and favor and
popularity youth. But for the moral part, perhaps youth will have the
preeminence, as age hath for the politic. A certain rabbin, upon the
text, _Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream
dreams_, inferreth that young men are admitted nearer to God than old,
because vision is a clearer revelation than a dream. And certainly,
the more a man drinketh of the world, the more it intoxicateth; and
age doth profit rather in the powers of understanding, than in the
virtues of the will and affections. There be some have an over-early
ripeness in their years, which fadeth betimes. These are, first, such
as have brittle wits, the edge whereof is soon turned; such as was
Hermogenes[34] the rhetorician, whose books are exceeding subtle; who
afterwards waxed stupid.

A second sort is of those that have some natural dispositions which
find better grace in youth than in age; such as is a fluent and
luxuriant speech; which becomes youth well, but not age: so Tully
saith of Hortensius,[35] _Idem manebat, neque idem decebat_. The
third is of such as take too high a strain at the first, and are
magnanimous more than tract of years can uphold. As was Scipio
Africanus, of whom Livy saith[36] in effect, _Ultima primis cedebant_.



Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs
to, the more ought law to weed it out. For as for the first wrong, it
doth but offend the law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law
out of office. Certainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with
his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a
prince's part to pardon. And Solomon, I am sure, saith, _It is the
glory of a man to pass by an offense._ That which is past is gone, and
irrevocable; and wise men have enough to do with things present and to
come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labor in past
matters. There is no man doth a wrong for the wrong's sake; but
thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or honor, or the
like. Therefore why should I be angry with a man for loving himself
better than me? And if any man should do wrong merely out of
ill-nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or brier, which prick
and scratch, because they can do no other.

The most tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is
no law to remedy; but then let a man take heed the revenge be such as
there is no law to punish; else a man's enemy is still beforehand, and
it is two for one. Some, when they take revenge, are desirous the
party should know whence it cometh. This is the more generous. For the
delight seemeth to be not so much in doing the hurt as in making the
party repent. But base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that
flieth in the dark. Cosmus,[37] Duke of Florence, had a desperate
saying against perfidious or neglecting friends, as if those wrongs
were unpardonable: _You shall read_ (saith he) _that we are commanded
to forgive our enemies; but you never read that we are commanded to
forgive our friends._ But yet the spirit of Job was in a better tune:
_Shall we_ (saith he) _take good at God's hands, and not be content to
take evil also?_ And so of friends in a proportion. This is certain,
that a man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which
otherwise would heal and do well. Public revenges are for the most
part fortunate; as that for the death of Cæsar; for the death of
Pertinax;[38] for the death of Henry the Third of France;[39] and many
more. But in private revenges it is not so. Nay rather, vindictive
persons live the life of witches; who, as they are mischievous, so end
they infortunate.



He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for
they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or
mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the
public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which both
in affection and means have married and endowed the public. Yet it
were great reason that those that have children should have greatest
care of future times; unto which they know they must transmit their
dearest pledges. Some there are, who tho they lead a single life, yet
their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times
impertinences. Nay, there are some other that account wife and
children but as bills of charges. Nay more, there are some foolish
rich covetous men, that take a pride in having no children, because
they may be thought so much the richer. For perhaps they have heard
some talk, _Such an one is a great rich, man_, and another except to
it, _Yea, but he hath a great charge of children_; as if it were an
abatement to his riches.

But the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, especially in
certain self-pleasing and humorous minds, which are so sensible of
every restraint, as they will go near to think their girdles and
garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried men are best friends, best
masters, best servants; but not always best subjects; for they are
light to run away; and almost all fugitives are of that condition. A
single life doth well with churchmen; for charity will hardly water
the ground where it must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for
judges and magistrates; for if they be facile and corrupt, you shall
have a servant five times worse than a wife. For soldiers, I find the
generals commonly in their hortatives put men in mind of their wives
and children; and I think the despising of marriage among the Turks
maketh the vulgar soldier more base.

Certainly wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity; and
single men, tho they may be many times more charitable, because their
means are less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are more cruel
and hard-hearted (good to make severe inquisitors), because their
tenderness is not so oft called upon.

Grave natures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are commonly
loving husbands, as was said of Ulysses,[40] _vetulam suam prætulit
immortalitati_. Chaste women are often proud and froward, as presuming
upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds both of
chastity and obedience in the wife, if she think her husband wise;
which she will never do if she find him jealous. Wives are young men's
mistresses; companions for middle age; and old men's nurses. So as a
man may have a quarrel to marry when he will. But yet he was reputed
one of the wise men, that made answer to the question, when a man
should marry--_A young man not yet, an elder man not at all._ It is
often seen that bad husbands have very good wives; whether it be that
it raiseth the price of their husband's kindness when it comes; or
that the wives take a pride in their patience. But this never fails,
if the bad husbands were of their own choosing, against their friends'
consent; for then they will be sure to make good their own folly.



There be none of the affections which have been noted to fascinate or
bewitch, but love and envy. They both have vehement wishes; they frame
themselves readily into imaginations and suggestions; and they come
easily into the eye, especially upon the presence of the objects;
which are the points that conduce to fascination, if any such thing
there be. We see likewise the Scripture calleth envy an evil eye; and
the astrologers call the evil influences of the stars evil aspects; so
that still there seemeth to be acknowledged, in the act of envy, an
ejaculation or irradiation of the eye. Nay some have been so curious
as to note that the times when the stroke or percussion of an envious
eye doth most hurt are when the party envied is beheld in glory or
triumph; for that sets an edge upon envy: and besides, at such times
the spirits of the person envied do come forth most into the outward
parts, and so meet the blow.

But leaving these curiosities (tho not unworthy to be thought on in
fit place), we will handle, what persons are apt to envy others; what
persons are most subject to be envied themselves; and what is the
difference between public and private envy.

A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envieth virtue in others.
For men's minds will either feed upon their own good or upon others'
evil; and who wanteth the one will prey upon the other; and whoso is
out of hope to attain to another's virtue, will seek to come at even
hand by depressing another's fortune.

A man that is busy and inquisitive is commonly envious. For to know
much of other men's matters cannot be because all that ado may concern
his own estate; therefore it must needs be that he taketh a kind of
play-pleasure in looking upon the fortunes of others. Neither can he
that mindeth but his own business find much matter for envy. For envy
is a gadding passion, and walketh the streets, and doth not keep home:
_Non est curiosus, guin idem sit malevolus._[41]

Men of noble birth are noted to be envious towards new men when they
rise. For the distance is altered; and it is like a deceit of the eye,
that when others come on they think themselves go back.

Deformed persons, and eunuchs, and old men, and bastards, are envious.
For he that can not possibly mend his own case will do what he can to
impair another's; except these defects light upon a very brave and
heroical nature, which thinketh to make his natural wants part of his
honor; in that it should be said, that an eunuch, or a lame man, did
such great matters; affecting the honor of a miracle; as it was in
Narses[42] the eunuch, and Agesilaus[43] and Tamberlanes,[44] that
were lame men.

The same is the case of men that rise after calamities and
misfortunes. For they are as men fallen out with the times; and think
other men's harms a redemption of their own sufferings.

They that desire to excel in too many matters, out of levity and
vainglory, are ever envious. For they can not want work; it being
impossible but many in some one of those things should surpass them.
Which was the character of Adrian[45] the Emperor; that mortally
envied poets and painters and artificers, in works wherein he had a
vein to excel.

Lastly, near kinsfolks, and fellows in office, and those that have
been bred together, are more apt to envy their equals when they are
raised. For it doth upbraid unto them their own fortunes, and pointeth
at them, and cometh oftener into their remembrance, and incurreth
likewise more into the note of others; and envy ever redoubleth from
speech and fame. Cain's envy was the more vile and malignant towards
his brother Abel, because when his sacrifice was better accepted there
was no body to look on. Thus much for those that are apt to envy.

Concerning those that are more or less subject to envy: First, persons
of eminent virtue, when they are advanced, are less envied. For their
fortune seemeth but due unto them; and no man envieth the payment of a
debt, but rewards and liberality rather. Again, envy is ever joined
with the comparing of a man's self; and where there is no comparison,
no envy; and therefore kings are not envied but by kings. Nevertheless
it is to be noted that unworthy persons are most envied at their first
coming in, and afterwards overcome it better; whereas contrariwise,
persons of worth and merit are most envied when their fortune
continueth long. For by that time, tho their virtue be the same, yet
it hath not the same luster; for fresh men grow up that darken it.

Persons of noble blood are less envied in their rising. For it seemeth
but right done to their birth. Besides, there seemeth not much added
to their fortune; and envy is as the sunbeams, that beat hotter upon a
bank or steep rising ground, than up a flat. And for the same reason
those that are advanced by degrees are less envied than those that are
advanced suddenly and _per saltum_ [at a bound].

Those that have joined with their honor great travels, cares, or
perils, are less subject to envy. For men think that they earn their
honors hardly, and pity them sometimes; and pity ever healeth envy.
Wherefore you shall observe that the more deep and sober sort of
politic persons, in their greatness, are ever bemoaning themselves,
what a life they lead; chanting a _quanta patimur_. Not that they feel
it so, but only to abate the edge of envy. But this is to be
understood of business that is laid upon men, and not such as they
call unto themselves. For nothing increaseth envy more than an
unnecessary and ambitious engrossing of business. And nothing doth
extinguish envy more than for a great person to preserve all other
inferior officers in their full rights and preeminences of their
places. For by that means there be so many screens between him and

Above all, those are most subject to envy, which carry the greatness
of their fortunes in an insolent and proud manner; being never well
but while they are showing how great they are, either by outward pomp,
or by triumphing over all opposition or competition; whereas wise men
will rather do sacrifice to envy, in suffering themselves sometimes of
purpose to be crossed and overborne in things that do not much concern
them. Notwithstanding, so much is true, that the carriage of greatness
in a plain and open manner (so it be without arrogancy and vain glory)
doth draw less envy than if it be in a more crafty and cunning
fashion. For in that course a man doth but disavow fortune; and
seemeth to be conscious of his own want in worth; and doth but teach
others to envy him.

Lastly, to conclude this part; as we said in the beginning that the
act of envy had somewhat in it of witchcraft, so there is no other
cure of envy but the cure of witchcraft; and that is, to remove the
_lot_ (as they call it) and to lay it upon another. For which
purpose, the wiser sort of great persons bring in ever upon the stage
somebody upon whom to derive the envy that would come upon themselves;
sometimes upon ministers and servants; sometimes upon colleagues and
associates; and the like; and for that turn there are never wanting
some persons of violent and undertaking nature, who, so they may have
power and business, will take it at any cost.

Now, to speak of public envy. There is yet some good in public envy,
whereas in private there is none. For public envy is as an ostracism,
that eclipseth men when they grow too great. And therefore it is a
bridle also to great ones, to keep them within bounds.

This envy, being in the Latin word _invidia_, goeth in the modern
languages by the name of _discontentment_; of which we shall speak in
handling sedition. It is a disease in a state like to infection. For
as infection spreadeth upon that which is sound, and tainteth it; so
when envy is gotten once into a state, it traduceth even the best
actions thereof, and turneth them into an ill odor. And therefore
there is little won by intermingling of plausible actions. For that
doth argue but a weakness and fear of envy, which hurteth so much the
more, as it is likewise usual in infections; which if you fear them,
you call them upon you.

This public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon principal officers or
ministers, rather than upon kings and estates themselves. But this is
a sure rule, that if the envy upon the minister be great, when the
cause of it in him is small; or if the envy be general in a manner
upon all the ministers of an estate; then the envy (tho hidden) is
truly upon the state itself. And so much of public envy or
discontentment, and the difference thereof from private envy, which
was handled in the first place.

We will add this in general, touching the affection of envy; that of
all other affections it is the most importune and continual. For of
other affections there is occasion given but now and then; and
therefore it was well said, _Invidia festos dies non agit_:[46] a for
it is ever working upon some or other. And it is also noted that love
and envy do make a man pine, which other affections do not, because
they are not so continual. It is also the vilest affection, and the
most depraved; for which cause it is the proper attribute of the
devil, who is called _the envious man, that soweth tares amongst the
wheat by night_; as it always cometh to pass, that envy worketh
subtilly, and in the dark; and to the prejudice of good things, such
as is the wheat.



I take goodness in this sense, the affecting of the weal of men, which
is that the Grecians call _philanthropia_; and the word _humanity_ (as
it is used) is a little too light to express it. Goodness I call the
habit, and goodness of nature the inclination. This of all virtues and
dignities of the mind is the greatest; being the character of the
Deity: and without it man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing; no
better than a kind of vermin. Goodness answers to the theological
virtue charity, and admits no excess, but error. The desire of power
in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess
caused man to fall: but in charity there is no excess; neither can
angel or man come in danger by it. The inclination to goodness is
imprinted deeply in the nature of man; insomuch that if it issue not
towards men, it will take unto other living creatures; as it is seen
in the Turks, a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts, and
give alms to dogs and birds; insomuch as Busbechius[47] reporteth, a
Christian boy in Constantinople had like to have been stoned for
gagging in a waggishness a long-billed fowl. Errors indeed in this
virtue of goodness or charity may be committed. The Italians have an
ungracious proverb, _Tanto buon che val niente_.[48] And one of the
doctors of Italy, Nicholas Machiavel,[49] had the confidence to put in
writing, almost in plain terms, _That the Christian faith had given up
good men in prey to those that are tyrannical and unjust_. Which he
spake, because indeed there was never law or sect or opinion did so
much, magnify goodness as the Christian religion doth.

Therefore, to avoid the scandal and the danger both, it is good to
take knowledge of the errors of an habit so excellent. Seek the good
of other men, but be not in bondage to their faces or fancies; for
that is but facility or softness; which taketh an honest mind
prisoner. Neither give thou Æsop's cock a gem, who would be better
pleased and happier if he had had a barley-corn. The example of God
teacheth the lesson truly: _He sendeth his rain and maketh his sun to
shine upon the just and unjust_; but He doth not rain wealth, nor
shine honor and virtues, upon men equally. Common benefits are to be
communicate with all; but peculiar benefits with choice. And beware
how in making the portraiture thou breakest the pattern. For divinity
maketh the love of ourselves the pattern; the love of our neighbors
but the portraiture. _Sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor, and
follow me_: but sell not all thou hast, except thou come and follow
me; that is, except thou have a vocation wherein thou mayest do as
much good with little means as with great; for otherwise in feeding
the streams thou driest the fountain.

Neither is there only a habit of goodness, directed by right reason;
but there is in some men, even in nature, a disposition towards it; as
on the other side there is a natural malignity. For there be that in
their nature do not affect the good of others. The lighter sort of
malignity turneth but to a crossness, or frowardness, or aptness to
oppose, or difficilness, or the like; but the deeper sort to envy and
mere mischief. Such men in other men's calamities are, as it were, in
season, and are ever on the loading part: not so good as the dogs that
licked Lazarus' sores; but like flies that are still buzzing upon
anything that is raw; _misanthropi_ [haters of men], that make it
their practise to bring men to the bough, and yet have never a tree
for the purpose in their gardens, as Timon[50] had. Such dispositions
are the very errors of human nature; and yet they are the fittest
timber to make great politics of; like to knee timber, that is good
for ships, that are ordained to be tossed; but not for building
houses, that shall stand firm. The parts and signs of goodness are
many. If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is
a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from
other lands, but a continent that joins to them. If he be
compassionate towards the afflictions of others, it shows that his
heart is like the noble tree that is wounded itself when it gives the
balm. If he easily pardons and remits offenses, it shows that his mind
is planted above injuries; so that he cannot be shot. If he be
thankful for small benefits, it shows that he weighs men's minds, and
not their trash. But above all, if he have St. Paul's perfection, that
he would wish to be an _anathema_ from Christ for the salvation of his
brethren, it shows much of a divine nature, and a kind of conformity
with Christ Himself.



Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief
use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament is in
discourse; and for ability is in the judgment and disposition of
business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of
particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and
marshaling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend
too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament,
is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor
of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience:
for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need proyning,[51]
by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at
large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn
studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach
not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them,
won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe
and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; 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 books are to be read
only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to
be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may
be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would
be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books;
else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things.
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an
exact man.

And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory;
if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read
little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth
not. Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtile;
natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to
contend. _Abeunt studia in mores._[52] Nay, there is no stond or
impediment in the wit but may be wrought out by fit studies; like as
diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good
for the stone and reins; shooting for the lungs and breast; gentle
walking for the stomach; riding for the head; and the like. So if a
man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in
demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must
begin again. If his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences,
let him study the Schoolmen; for they are _cymini sectores_ [splitters
of hairs]. If he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one
thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers'
cases. So every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.



There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic: a man's own
observation, what he finds good of, and what he finds hurt of, is the
best physic to preserve health. But it is a safer conclusion to say,
_This agreeth not well with me, therefore I will not continue it_;
than this, _I find no offense of this, therefore I may use it._ For
strength of nature in youth passeth over many excesses, which are
owing a man till his age. Discern of the coming on of years, and think
not to do the same things still; for age will not be defied. Beware of
sudden change in any great point of diet, and if necessity inforce it,
fit the rest to it. For it is a secret in nature and state, that it is
safer to change many things than one. Examine thy customs of diet,
sleep, exercise, apparel, and the like; and try, in any thing thou
shalt judge hurtful, to discontinue it by little and little; but so,
as if thou dost find any inconvenience by the change, thou come back
to it again: for it is hard to distinguish that which is generally
held good and wholesome, from that which is good particularly, and fit
for thine own body.

To be free-minded and cheerfully disposed at hours of meat and of
sleep and of exercise, is one of the best precepts of long lasting. As
for the passions and studies of the mind; avoid envy; anxious fears,
anger fretting inwards; subtle and knotty inquisitions; joys and
exhilarations in excess; sadness not communicated. Entertain hopes;
mirth rather than joy; variety of delights, rather than surfeit of
them; wonder and admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that
fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories,
fables, and contemplations of nature. If you fly physic in health
altogether, it will be too strange for your body when you shall need
it. If you make it too familiar, it will work no extraordinary effect
when sickness cometh. I commend rather some diet for certain seasons,
than frequent use of physic, except it be grown into a custom. For
those diets alter the body more, and trouble it less.

Despise no new accident in your body, but ask opinion of it. In
sickness, respect health principally; and in health, action. For those
that put their bodies to endure in health, may in most sicknesses,
which are not very sharp, be cured only with diet and tendering.
Celsus[53] could never have spoken it as a physician, had he not been
a wise man withal, when he giveth it for one of the great precepts of
health and lasting, that a man do vary and interchange contraries, but
with an inclination to the more benign extreme: use fasting and full
eating, but rather full eating; watching and sleep, but rather sleep;
sitting and exercise, but rather exercise; and the like. So shall
nature be cherished, and yet taught masteries. Physicians are some of
them so pleasing and conformable to the humor of the patient, as they
press not the true cure of the disease; and some other are so regular
in proceeding according to art for the disease, as they respect not
sufficiently the condition of the patient. Take one of a middle
temper; or if it may not be found in one man, combine two of either
sort; and forget not to call as well the best acquainted with your
body, as the best reputed of for his faculty.


[Footnote 27: The selections here given from Bacon are all from the

[Footnote 28: Cicero's meaning is that Rabirius was not prompted by
avarice so much as by a desire to obtain the means whereby he could do

[Footnote 29: This has commonly been translated as "He that maketh
haste to become rich shall not remain innocent."]

[Footnote 30: The meaning is in the sweat of another man's brow rather
than one's own.]

[Footnote 31: Sugar is one of the chief products of the Canary
Islands. These islands are supposed to be identical with those known
to the ancients as the Fortunate Islands.]

[Footnote 32: The remark of Tacitus means that Seneca took profitable
places of trust in such numbers that it was as if he had gathered them
in with a net.]

[Footnote 33: The meaning is that Severus passed his youth, not only
in errors, but that his youth was so full of them as to have been
almost one of madness.]

[Footnote 34: Hermogenes, a native of Tarsus, lived in the second
century A.D.]

[Footnote 35: Hortensius was a Roman orator of Cicero's time and an
early rival of his. The remark here quoted from Tully (Cicero) means
that Hortensius continued a line of action until it was not becoming.]

[Footnote 36: Livy's remark means that Scipio in old age was not equal
to himself in his youth in the things he performed.]

[Footnote 37: Now written Cosmo, or Cosimo. He became duke in 1537.]

[Footnote 38: Pertinax, the Roman emperor, was murdered by the
Pretorian Guards in 193 A.D. The guards were put to death by order of
Septimius Severus, his successor.]

[Footnote 39: Henry was murdered by a monk named Clement, who was put
to death for the crime.]

[Footnote 40: This refers to the refusal of Ulysses to wed a goddess,
preferring his own wife, who was no longer young.]

[Footnote 41: The meaning is that no man is possest by curiosity
unless some malevolence inspires him.]

[Footnote 42: Narses was the associate of Belisarius in command of the
Roman army in Italy in 538-539, and greatly distinguished himself as
the sole commander in later years.]

[Footnote 43: Agesilaus was a famous king of Sparta.]

[Footnote 44: Now commonly written Tamerlane, which stands for Timour
the Lame, Timour being his real name.]

[Footnote 45: Adrian, now commonly called Hadrian, emperor of Rome,
was born in 76, and died in 138.]

[Footnote 46: This saying has been translated "Envy keeps no

[Footnote 47: Busbechius, scholar and diplomat of Flanders, was born
in 1522 and died in 1592.]

[Footnote 48: The meaning is that one may be so good as to be good for

[Footnote 49: Machiavelli, the famous author of "The Prince."]

[Footnote 50: The reference is to Timon of Athens, a real person, who
is the subject of one of Shakespeare's plays.]

[Footnote 51: An early form of the word pruning, which once had a
wider meaning than now.]

[Footnote 52: The meaning is that manners are deeply influenced by
one's studies.]

[Footnote 53: Aulus Celsus, a Roman writer on medicine, who lived in
the first half of the first century A.D.]


     Born in 1564; died in 1616; married Anne Hathaway in 1582;
     went to London and became an actor in 1587; began to revise,
     or write, plays in 1589; bought "New Place" at Stratford in
     1597; retired from the theater in 1610; his plays first
     collected in the Folio of 1623.



_Brutus._ Be patient till the last.

Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause, and be silent,
that you may hear; believe me for mine honor, and have respect to mine
honor, that you may believe; censure me in your wisdom, and awake your
senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this
assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love
to Cæsar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus
rose against Cæsar, this is my answer: Not that I lov'd Cæsar less,
but that I lov'd Rome more. Had you rather Cæsar were living and die
all slaves, than that Cæsar were dead, to live all freemen? As Cæsar
lov'd me, I weep for him; as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it; as he
was valiant, I honor him; but as he was ambitious, I slew him. There
is tears for his love; joy for his fortune; honor for his valor; and
death for his ambition. Who is here so base that would be a bondman?
If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would
not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so
vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I
offended. I pause for reply.

_All._ None, Brutus, none.

_Brutus._ Then none have I offended. I have done no more to Cæsar than
you shall do to Brutus. The question of his death is enroll'd in the
Capitol; his glory not extenuated, wherein he was worthy, nor his
offenses enforc'd, for which he suffered death.

     --_Enter Antony (and others), with Cæsar's body._

Here comes his body, mourn'd by Mark Antony; who, tho he had no hand
in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the
commonwealth; as which of you shall not? With this I depart, that, as
I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for
myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.



_Shylock._ There I have another bad match. A bankrupt, a prodigal, who
dare scarce show his head on the Rialto; a beggar, that was us'd to
come so smug upon the mart; let him look to his bond. He was wont to
call me usurer; let him look to his bond. He was wont to lend money
for a Christian courtesy; let him look to his bond.

_Salarino._ Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his
flesh. What's that good for?

_Shylock._ To bait fish withal. If it will feed nothing else, it will
feed my revenge. He hath disgrac'd me, and hind'red me half a million;
laugh'd at my losses, mock'd at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted
my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his
reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt
with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the
same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a
Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do
we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us,
shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble
you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility?
Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will
execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.



_Hamlet._ Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you,
trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of your players
do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the
air too much with your hand, thus, but use all gently; for in the very
torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, the whirlwind of passion, you
must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it
offends me to the soul to see a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a
passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the
groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but
inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I could have such a fellow whipp'd
for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.

_First Player._ I warrant your honor.

_Hamlet._ Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your
tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this
special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For
anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both
at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to
nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the
very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this
overdone, or come tardy off, tho it make the unskilful laugh, can not
but make the judicious grieve; the censure of the which one must, in
your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theater of others. O, there be
players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that
highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of
Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted
and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made
men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.

_First Player._ I hope we have reform'd that indifferently with us,

_Hamlet._ O, reform it altogether. And let those that play your clowns
speak no more than is set down for them; for there be of them that
will themselves laugh to set on some quantity of barren spectators to
laugh too tho in the mean time some necessary question of the play be
then to be considered. That's villainous, and shows a most pitiful
ambition in the Fool that uses it. Go, make you ready.

                                                  [_Exeunt Players._


[Footnote 54: From "Julius Cæsar," Act III, Sc. ii.]

[Footnote 55: From "The Merchant of Venice." Act III, Sc. ii.]

[Footnote 56: From "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," Act III, Sc. ii.]


     Born in 1573; died in 1637; became a player in 1597; his
     first play, "Everyman in His Humor," performed at the Globe
     Theater in 1598, Shakespeare taking one of the parts; went
     to France in 1613 as tutor to a son of Raleigh; visited
     Drummond of Hawthornden in 1618; his library, one of the
     finest in England, burned about 1621; his works first
     collected in 1616; buried in Poet's Corner, Westminster,


I remember the players that have often mentioned it as an honor to
Shakespeare, that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never
blotted out a line. My answer hath been, "Would he had blotted a
thousand," which they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told
posterity this, but for their ignorance who chose that circumstance to
commend their friend by wherein he most faulted; and to justify mine
own candor, for I loved the man, and do honor his memory on this side
idolatry as much as any. He was, indeed, honest, and of an open and
free nature; had an excellent phantasy, brave notions, and gentle
expressions, wherein he flowed with that facility, that sometimes it
was necessary he should be stopt. _Sufflaminandus erat_, as Augustus
said of Haterius. His wit was in his own power: would the rule of it
had been so too. Many times he fell into those things which could not
escape laughter, as when he said in the person of Cæsar, one speaking
to him, "Cæsar, thou dost me wrong." He replied, "Cæsar did never
wrong but with just cause"; and such like, which were ridiculous. But
he redeemed his vices with his virtues. There was ever more in him to
be praised than to be pardoned.

In the difference of wits I have observed there are many notes; and it
is a little maistry to know them, to discern what every nature, every
disposition will bear; for before we sow our land we should plough it.
There are no fewer forms of minds than of bodies amongst us. The
variety is incredible, and therefore we must search. Some are fit to
make divines, some poets, some lawyers, some physicians, some to be
sent to the plow, and trades.

There is no doctrine will do good where nature is wanting. Some wits
are swelling and high; others low and still; some hot and fiery;
others cold and dull; one must have a bridle, the other a spur. There
be some that are forward and bold; and these will do every little
thing easily. I mean that is hard by and next them, which they will
utter unretarded without any shame-facedness. These never perform
much, but quickly. They are what they are on the sudden; they show
presently like grain that, scattered on the top the ground, shoots up,
but takes no root; has a yellow blade, but the ear empty. They are
wits of good promise at first, but there is an _ingenistitium_; they
stand still at sixteen, they get no higher. You have others that labor
only to ostentation; and are ever more busy about the colors and
surface of a work than in the matter and foundation, for that is hid,
the other is seen.

Others that in composition are nothing but what is rough and broken.
_Quæ per salebras, altaque saxa cadunt._ And if it would come gently,
they trouble it of purpose. They would not have it run without rubs,
as if that style were more strong and manly that struck the ear with a
kind of unevenness. These men err not by chance, but knowingly and
willingly; they are like men that affect a fashion by themselves; have
some singularity in a ruff, cloak, or hatband; or their beards
specially cut to provoke beholders, and set a mark upon themselves.
They would be reprehended while they are looked on. And this vice, one
that is authority with the rest, loving, delivers over to them to be
imitated; so that ofttimes the faults which he fell into, the others
seek for. This is the danger, when vice becomes a precedent.

Others there are that have no composition at all; but a kind of tuning
and riming fall in what they write. It runs and slides, and only makes
a sound. Women's poets they are called, as you have women's tailors.

    "They write a verse as smooth, as soft as cream,
    In which there is no torrent, nor scarce stream."

You may sound these wits and find the depth of them with your middle
finger. They are cream-bowl, or but puddle-deep.

Some that turn over all books, and are equally searching in all
papers; that write out of what they presently find or meet, without
choice. By which means it happens that what they have discredited and
impugned in one week, they have before or after extolled the same in
another. Such are all the essayists, even their master Montaigne.
These, in all they write, confess still what books they have read
last, and therein their own folly so much that they bring it to the
stake raw and undigested; not that the place did need it neither, but
that they thought themselves furnished and would vent it....

It cannot but come to pass that these men who commonly seek to do more
than enough may sometimes happen on something that is good and great;
but very seldom: and when it comes it doth not recompense the rest of
their ill. For their jests, and their sentences (which they only and
ambitiously seek for) stick out and are more eminent because all is
sordid and vile about them; as lights are more discerned in a thick
darkness than a faint shadow. Now, because they speak all they can
(however unfitly), they are thought to have the greater copy; where
the learned use ever election and a mean, they look back to what they
intended at first, and make all an even and proportioned body. The
true artificer will not run away from Nature as he were afraid of her,
or depart from life and the likeness of truth, but speak to the
capacity of his hearers. And tho his language differ from the vulgar
somewhat, it shall not fly from all humanity, with the Tamerlanes and
Tamer-chams of the late age, which had nothing in them but the
scenical strutting and furious vociferation to warrant them to the
ignorant gapers. He knows it is his only art so to carry it as none
but artificers perceive it. In the meantime, perhaps, he is called
barren, dull, lean, a poor writer or by what contumelious word can
come in their cheeks, by these men who, without labor, judgment,
knowledge, or almost sense, are received or preferred before him. He
gratulates them and their fortune. Another age, or juster men, will
acknowledge the virtues of his studies, his wisdom in dividing, his
subtlety in arguing, with what strength he doth inspire his readers,
with what sweetness he strokes them; in inveighing, what sharpness; in
jest, what urbanity he uses; how he doth reign in men's affections;
how invade and break in upon them, and makes their minds like the
thing he writes. Then in his elocution to behold what word is proper,
which hath ornaments, which height, what is beautifully translated,
where figures are fit, which gentle, which strong, to show the
composition manly; and how he hath avoided faint, obscure, obscene,
sordid, humble, improper, or effeminate phrase; which is not only
praised of the most, but commended (which is worse), especially for
that it is naught.


[Footnote 57: From "Timber; or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter."]


     Born in 1593, died in 1683; an ironmonger in London in 1618;
     his home in Fleet Street in 1624, and from 1628 to 1644 in
     Chancery Lane, where he had Dr. John Donne, whose life he
     wrote, for friend and neighbor; living at Clerkenwell in
     1653, when he published "The Compleat Angler"; after the
     Restoration lived at Winchester and Salisbury; wrote lives
     of Donne, Wotton, Hooker, Herbert and Sanderson.



_Piscator_--O sir, doubt not that angling is an art: is it not an art
to deceive a trout with an artificial fly? a trout that is more
sharp-sighted than any hawk you have named, and more watchful and
timorous than your high-mettled merlin is bold; and yet I doubt not to
catch a brace or two to-morrow for a friend's breakfast. Doubt not,
therefore, sir, but that angling is an art, and an art worth your
learning. The question is rather, whether you be capable of learning
it? for angling is somewhat like poetry--men are to be born so: I
mean, with inclinations to it, tho both may be heightened by discourse
and practise; but he that hopes to be a good angler must not only
bring an inquiring, searching, observing wit, but he must bring a
large measure of hope and patience, and a love and propensity to the
art itself; but having once got and practised it, then doubt not but
angling will prove to be so pleasant that it will prove to be like
virtue, a reward to itself.

_Venator_--Sir, I am now become so full of expectation, that I long
much to have you proceed, and in the order you propose.

_Piscator_--Then first, for the antiquity of angling, of which I shall
not say much, but only this: some say it is as ancient as Deucalion's
flood,[59] others, that Belus,[60] who was the first inventor of godly
and virtuous recreations, was the first inventor of angling; and some
others say--for former times have had their disquisitions about the
antiquity of it--that Seth, one of the sons of Adam, taught it to his
sons, and that by them it was derived to posterity; others say that he
left it engraven on those pillars which he erected, and trusted to
preserve the knowledge of the mathematics, music, and the rest of that
precious knowledge and those useful arts, which by God's appointment
or allowance and his noble industry were thereby preserved from
perishing in Noah's flood.

These, sir, have been the opinions of several men that have possibly
endeavored to make angling more ancient than is needful, or may well
be warranted; but for my part, I shall content myself in telling you
that angling is much more ancient than the Incarnation of our Savior:
for in the prophet Amos, mention is made of fish-hooks; and in the
book of Job, which was long before the days of Amos--for that book is
said to be writ by Moses--mention is made also of fish-hooks, which
must imply anglers in those times.

But, my worthy friend, as I would rather prove myself a gentleman by
being learned and humble, valiant and inoffensive, virtuous and
communicable, than by any fond ostentation of riches; or, wanting
those virtues myself, boast that these were in my ancestors (and yet I
grant that where a noble and ancient descent and such merit meet in
any man, it is a double dignification of that person);--so if this
antiquity of angling, which for my part I have not forced, shall, like
an ancient family, be either an honor or an ornament to this virtuous
art which I profess to love and practise, I shall be the gladder that
I made an accidental mention of the antiquity of it, of which I shall
say no more, but proceed to that just commendation which I think it

And for that, I shall tell you that in ancient times a debate hath
arisen, and it remains yet unresolved: whether the happiness of man in
this world doth consist more in contemplation or action?

Concerning which, some have endeavored to maintain their opinion of
the first, by saying that the nearer we mortals come to God by way of
imitation, the more happy we are. And they say that God enjoys himself
only by a contemplation of his own infiniteness, eternity, power, and
goodness, and the like. And upon this ground, many cloisteral men of
great learning and devotion prefer contemplation before action. And
many of the fathers seem to approve this opinion, as may appear in
their commentaries upon the words of our Savior to Martha (Luke x: 41,

And on the contrary, there want not men of equal authority and credit,
that prefer action to be the more excellent; as namely, experiments in
physic, and the application of it, both for the ease and prolongation
of man's life; by which each man is enabled to act and do good to
others, either to serve his country or do good to particular persons.
And they say also that action is doctrinal, and teaches both art and
virtue, and is a maintainer of human society; and for these, and other
like reasons, to be preferred before contemplation.

Concerning which two opinions, I shall forbear to add a third by
declaring my own; and rest myself contented in telling you, my very
worthy friend, that both these meet together, and do most properly
belong to the most honest, ingenious, quiet, and harmless art of

And first I shall tell you what some have observed, and I have found
it to be a real truth--that the very sitting by the river's side is
not only the quietest and fittest place for contemplation, but will
invite an angler to it; and this seems to be maintained by the learned
Peter Du Moulin, who in his discourse on the fulfilling of prophecies,
observes that when God intended to reveal any future events or high
notions to His prophets, He then carried them either to the deserts or
the sea-shore, that having so separated them from amidst the press of
people and business, and the cares of the world, He might settle their
mind in a quiet repose, and there make them fit for revelation.



The trout is a fish highly valued both in this and foreign nations; he
may be justly said, as the old poet said of wine, and we English say
of venison, to be a generous fish: a fish that is so like the buck
that he also has his seasons; for it is observed, that he comes in and
goes out of season with the stag and buck. Gesner says his name is of
German offspring, and says he is a fish that feeds clean and purely,
in the swiftest streams, and on the hardest gravel; and that he may
justly contend with all fresh-water fish, as the mullet may with all
sea-fish, for precedency and daintiness of taste, and that being in
right season, the most dainty palates have allowed precedency to him.

And before I go further in my discourse, let me tell you, that you are
to observe, that as there be some barren does that are good in summer,
so there be some barren trouts that are good in winter; but there are
not many that are so, for usually they be in their perfection in the
month of May, and decline with the buck. Now you are to take notice,
that in several countries, as in Germany and in other parts, compared
to ours, fish differ much in their bigness and shape, and other ways,
and so do trouts: It is well known that in Lake Leman, the lake of
Geneva, there are trouts taken of three cubits long, as is affirmed by
Gesner, a writer of good credit; and Mercator says, the trouts that
are taken in the lake of Geneva are a great part of the merchandise of
that famous city. And you are further to know, that there be certain
waters, that breed trouts remarkable both for their number and
smallness. I know a little brook in Kent that breeds them to a number
incredible, and you may take them twenty or forty in an hour, but none
greater than about the size of a gudgeon: there are also in divers
rivers, especially that relate to or be near to the sea, as
Winchester, or the Thames about Windsor, a little trout called samlet,
or skegger trout (in both which places I have caught twenty or forty
at a standing), that will bite as fast and as freely as minnows; these
be by some taken to be young salmon; but in those waters they never
grow to be bigger than a herring.

There is also in Kent, near to Canterbury, a trout called there a
Fordidge trout, a trout that bears the name of the town where it is
usually caught, that is accounted the rarest of fish; many of them
near the bigness of a salmon, but known by their different color; and
in their best season they cut very white; and none of these have been
known to be caught with an angle, unless it were one that was caught
by Sir George Hastings, an excellent angler, and now with God: and he
hath told me, he thought _that_ trout bit not for hunger but
wantonness; and it is rather to be believed, because both he, then,
and many others before him, have been curious to search into their
bellies, what the food was by which they lived, and have found out
nothing by which they might satisfy their curiosity.

Concerning which you are to take notice, that it is reported by good
authors, that grasshoppers, and some fish, have no mouths, but are
nourished and take breath by the porousness of their gills, man knows
not how: and this may be believed, if we consider that when the raven
hath hatched her eggs, she takes no further care, but leaves her young
ones to the care of the God of nature, who is said, in the Psalms, "to
feed the young ravens that call upon Him." And they be kept alive and
fed by dew, or worms that breed in their nests, or some other ways
that we mortals know not; and this may be believed of the Fordidge
trout, which, as it is said of the stork (Jerem. viii: 7), that "he
knows his season," so he knows his times, I think almost his day of
coming into the river out of the sea, where he lives, and, it is like,
feeds nine months of the year, and fasts three in the river of
Fordidge. And you are to note that those townsmen are very punctual in
observing the time of beginning to fish for them, and boast much that
their river affords a trout that exceeds all others. And just so does
Sussex boast of several fish; as namely, a Shelsey cockle, a
Chichester lobster, an Arundel mullet, and an Amerly trout.

And now for some confirmation of the Fordidge trout: you are to know
that this trout is thought to eat nothing in the fresh water; and it
may be better believed, because it is well known, that swallows and
bats and wagtails, which are called half-year birds, and not seen to
fly in England for six months in the year, but about Michaelmas leave
us for a better climate than this; yet some of them that have been
left behind their fellows, have been found many thousands at a time,
in hollow trees, or clay caves; where they have been observed to live
and sleep out the whole winter without meat; and so Albertus observes,
that there is one kind of frog that hath her mouth naturally shut up
about the end of August, and that she lives so all the winter; and tho
it be strange to some, yet it is known to too many among us to be

And so much for these Fordidge trouts, which never afford an angler
sport, but either live their time of being in the fresh water by their
meat formerly got in the sea (not unlike the swallow or frog), or by
the virtue of the fresh water only; or, as the birds of Paradise and
the chameleon are said to live, by the sun and the air.

There is also in Northumberland a trout called a bull trout, of a much
greater length and bigness than any in the southern parts. And there
are, in many rivers that relate to the sea, salmon trouts, as much
different from others, both in shape and in their spots, as we see
sheep in some countries differ one from another in their shape and
bigness, and in the fineness of their wool. And certainly, as some
pastures breed larger sheep, so do some rivers, by reason of the
ground over which they run, breed larger trouts.

Now the next thing that I will commend to your consideration is, that
the trout is of a more sudden growth than other fish. Concerning
which, you are also to take notice, that he lives not so long as the
perch and divers other fishes do, as Sir Francis Bacon hath observed
in his "History of Life and Death."[62]

And now you are to take notice, that he is not like the crocodile,
which if he lives never so long, yet always thrives till his death.
And you are to know, that he will about, especially before, the time
of his spawning, get almost miraculously through weirs and flood-gates
against the streams; even through such high and swift places as is
almost incredible. Next, that the trout usually spawns about October
or November, but in some rivers a little sooner or later; which is the
more observable, because most other fish spawn in the spring or
summer, when the sun hath warmed both the earth and the water, and
made it fit for generation. And you are to note, that he continues
many months out of season; for it may be observed of the trout, that
he is like the buck or the ox, that he will not be fat in many months,
tho he go in the very same pasture that horses do, which will be fat
in one month; and so you may observe, that most other fishes recover
strength, and grow sooner far and in season, than the trout doth.

And next you are to note, that till the sun gets to such a height as
to warm the earth and the water, the trout is sick and lean, and
lousy, and unwholesome; for you shall in winter find him to have a big
head, and then to be lank, and thin, and lean; at which time many of
them have sticking on them sugs, or trout-lice, which is a kind of
worm, in shape like a clove or pin, with a big head, and sticks close
to him and sucks his moisture; those I think the trout breeds himself,
and never thrives till he frees himself from them, which is when warm
weather comes; and then, as he grows stronger, he gets from the dead,
still water, into the sharp streams, and the gravel, and there tubs
off these worms or lice; and then as he grows stronger, so he gets him
into swifter and swifter streams, and there lies at the watch for any
fly or minnow that comes near to him; and he especially loves the
May-fly, which is bred of the cod-worm or caddis; and these make the
trout bold and lusty, and he is usually fatter and better meat at the
end of that month (May) than at any time of the year.



At the time of Mr. Duncon's leaving Mr. Herbert--which was about three
weeks before his death--his old and dear friend Mr. Woodnot came from
London to Bemerton, and never left him till he had seen him draw his
last breath, and closed his eyes on his death-bed. In this time of his
decay, he was often visited and prayed for by all the clergy that
lived near to him, especially by his friends the Bishop and Prebends
of the Cathedral Church in Salisbury; but by none more devoutly than
his wife, his three nieces--then a part of his family--and Mr.
Woodnot, who were the sad witnesses of his daily decay; to whom he
would often speak to this purpose:

"I now look back upon the pleasures of my life past, and see the
content I have taken in beauty, in wit, in music, and pleasant
conversation, are now all past by me like a dream, or as a shadow that
returns not, and are now all become dead to me, or I to them; and I
see, that as my father and generation hath done before me, so I also
shall now suddenly (with Job) make my bed also in the dark; and I
praise God I am prepared for it; and I praise Him that I am not to
learn patience now I stand in such need of it; and that I have
practised mortification, and endeavored to die daily, that I might not
die eternally; and my hope is, that I shall shortly leave this valley
of tears, and be free from all fevers and pain; and, which will be a
more happy condition, I shall be free from sin, and all the
temptations and anxieties that attend it: and this being past, I shall
dwell in the New Jerusalem; dwell there with men made perfect; dwell
where these eyes shall see my Master and Savior Jesus; and with Him
see my dear mother, and all my relations and friends. But I must die,
or not come to that happy place. And this is my content, that I am
going daily towards it: and that every day which I have lived, hath
taken a part of my appointed time from me; and that I shall live the
less time, for having lived this and the day past."

These, and the like expressions, which he uttered often, may be said
to be his enjoyment of Heaven before he enjoyed it. The Sunday before
his death, he rose suddenly from his bed or couch, called for one of
his instruments, took it into his hand and said,

    My God, my God,
    My music shall find Thee,
      And every string
    Shall have His attribute to sing.

and having tuned it, he played and sung:

      The Sundays of man's life,
    Threaded together on time's string,
    Make bracelets to adorn the wife
    Of the eternal glorious King:
    On Sundays Heaven's door stands ope;
    Blessings are plentiful and rife,
      More plentiful than hope.

Thus he sung on earth such hymns and anthems, as the angels, and he,
and Mr. Farrer, now sing in heaven. Thus he continued meditating, and
praying, and rejoicing, till the day of his death; and on that day
said to Mr. Woodnot, "My dear friend, I am sorry I have nothing to
present to my merciful God but sin and misery; but the first is
pardoned, and a few hours will now put a period to the latter; for I
shall suddenly go hence, and be no more seen." Upon which expression
Mr. Woodnot took occasion to remember him of the reedifying Layton
Church, and his many acts of mercy. To which he made answer, saying,
"They be good works, if they be sprinkled with the blood of Christ,
and not otherwise."

After this discourse he became more restless, and his soul seemed to
be weary of her earthly tabernacle; and this uneasiness became so
visible, that his wife, his three nieces, and Mr. Woodnot, stood
constantly about his bed, beholding him with sorrow, and an
unwillingness to lose the sight of him, whom they could not hope to
see much longer. As they stood thus beholding him, his wife observed
him breathe faintly, and with much trouble, and observed him to fall
into a sudden agony; which so surprized her, that she fell into a
sudden passion, and required of him to know how he did. To which his
answer was, "that he had passed a conflict with his last enemy, and
had overcome him by the merits of his Master Jesus." After which
answer, he looked up, and saw his wife and nieces weeping to an
extremity, and charged them, if they loved him to withdraw into the
next room, and there pray every one alone for him; for nothing but
their lamentations could make his death uncomfortable. To which
request their sighs and tears would not suffer them to make any reply;
but they yielded him a sad obedience, leaving only with him Mr.
Woodnot and Mr. Bostock.

Immediately after they had left him, he said to Mr. Bostock, "Pray,
Sir, open that door, then look into that cabinet, in which you may
easily find my last will, and give it into my hand"; which being done,
Mr. Herbert delivered it into the hand of Mr. Woodnot, and said, "My
old friend, I here deliver you my last will, in which you will find
that I have made you my sole executor for the good of my wife and
nieces; and I desire you to show kindness to them, as they shall need
it; I do not desire you to be just; for I know you will be so for your
own sake: but I charge you, by the religion of our friendship, to be
careful of them." And having obtained Mr. Woodnot's promise to be so,
he said, "I am now ready to die." After which words, he said, "Lord,
forsake me not now my strength faileth me: but grant me mercy for the
merits of my Jesus. And now, Lord--Lord, now receive my soul." And
with those words he breathed forth his divine soul, without any
apparent disturbance, Mr. Woodnot and Mr. Bostock attending his last
breath, and closing his eyes.


[Footnote 58: From Part I, Chap. I of "The Compleat Angler."]

[Footnote 59: Deucalion was a legendary king of Phythia in Thessaly.
According to the legend, a deluge having been sent by Zeus, Deucalion,
by advice of his father, built a wooden chest in which he and his wife
were saved, landing after nine days on Mt. Parnassus. By them the
human race, destroyed in the deluge, was renewed.]

[Footnote 60: A mythological person, son of Poseidon.]

[Footnote 61: From Chapter IV of "The Compleat Angler."]

[Footnote 62: The "Historia Vitæ et Mortis," published in 1623.]

[Footnote 63: Author of "The Temple; Sacred Poems and Private
Ejaculations," published in 1633, the year of Herbert's death.]


     Born in 1595, died in 1666; best known as author of the
     "Letters" (1645-1655); edited a French and English
     dictionary; and compiled a polyglot dictionary.



These wishes come to you from Venice, a place where there is nothing
wanting that heart can wish; renowned Venice, the admired'st city in
the world, a city that all Europe is bound unto, for she is her
greatest rampart against that huge eastern tyrant, the Turk, by sea;
else, I believe, he had overrun all Christendom by this time. Against
him this city hath performed notable exploits, and not only against
him, but divers others: she hath restored emperors to their thrones,
and popes to their chairs, and with her galleys often preserved St.
Peter's bark from sinking: for which, by way of reward, one of his
successors espoused her to the sea, which marriage is solemnly renewed
every year in solemn procession by the Doge and all the Clarissimos,
and a gold ring cast into the sea out of the great galeasse, called
the Bucentoro,[65] wherein the first ceremony was performed by the
pope himself, above three hundred years since, and they say it is the
self-same vessel still, tho often put upon the careen and trimmed.
This made me think of that famous ship at Athens; nay, I fell upon an
abstracted notion in philosophy, and a speculation touching the body
of men, which being in perpetual flux, and a kind of succession of
decays, and consequently requiring, ever and anon, a restoration of
what it loseth of the virtue of the former aliment, and what was
converted after the third concoction into a blood and fleshy
substance, which, as in all other sublunary bodies that have internal
principles of heat, useth to transpire, breathe out, and waste away
through invisible pores, by exercise, motion, and sleep, to make room
still for a supply of new nurriture: I fell, I say, to consider
whether our bodies may be said to be of like condition with this
Bucentoro, which, tho it be reputed still the same vessel, yet I
believe there's not a foot of that timber remaining which it had upon
the first dock, having been, as they tell me, so often planked and
ribbed, caulked and pieced.

In like manner, our bodies may be said to be daily repaired by new
sustenance, which begets new blood, and consequently new spirits, new
humors, and, I may say, new flesh; the old, by continual deperdition
and insensible perspirations, evaporating still out of us, and giving
way to fresh; so that I make a question whether, by reason of these
perpetual reparations and accretions, the body of man may be said to
be the same numerical body in his old age that he had in his manhood,
or the same in his manhood that he had in his youth, the same in his
youth that he carried about with him in his childhood, or the same in
his childhood which he wore first in the womb. I make a doubt whether
I had the same identical, individually numerical body, when I carried
a calf-leather satchel to school in Hereford, as when I wore a
lambskin hood in Oxford; or whether I have the same mass of blood in
my veins, and the same flesh, now in Venice, which I carried about me
three years since, up and down London streets, having, in lieu of beer
and ale, drunk wine all this while, and fed upon different viands.
Now, the stomach is like a crucible, for it hath a chemical kind of
virtue to transmute one body into another, to transsubstantiate fish
and fruits into flesh within and about us; but tho it be questionable
whether I wear the same flesh which is fluxible, I am sure my hair is
not the same, for you may remember I went flaxen-haired out of
England, but you shall find me returned with a very dark brown, which
I impute not only to the heat and air of those hot countries I have
eat my bread in, but to the quality and difference of food: you will
say that hair is but an excrementitious thing, and makes not to this
purpose; moreover, methinks I hear thee say that this may be true only
in the blood and spirits, or such fluid parts, not in the solid and
heterogeneal parts.

But I will press no further at this time this philosophical notion,
which the sight of Bucentoro infused into me, for it hath already made
me exceed the bounds of a letter, and, I fear me, to trespass too much
upon your patience; I leave the further disquisition of this point to
your own contemplations, who are a far riper philosopher than I, and
have waded deeper into and drunk more of Aristotle's well. But to
conclude, tho it be doubtful whether I carry about me the same body or
no in all points that I had in England, I am well assured I bear still
the same mind, and therein I verify the old verse:

    "Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt."
      "The air, but not the mind, they change,
      Who in outlandish countries range."

For, what alterations soever happen in this microcosm, in this little
world, this small bulk and body of mine, you may be confident that
nothing shall alter my affections, specially towards you, but that I
will persevere still the same--the very same.



I am now come to Rome, and Rome, they say, is every man's country; she
is called _Communis Patria_, for every one that is within the compass
of the Latin Church finds himself here, as it were, at home, and in
his mother's house, in regard of interest in religion, which is the
cause that for one native there be five strangers that sojourn in this
city; and without any distinction or mark of strangeness, they come to
preferments and offices, both in church and state, according to merit,
which is more valued and sought after here than anywhere.

But whereas I expected to have found Rome elevated upon seven hills, I
meet her rather spreading upon a flat, having humbled herself, since
she was made a Christian, and descended from those hills to Campus
Martius; with Trastevere and the suburbs of Saint Peter, she hath yet
in compass about fourteen miles, which is far short of that vast
circuit she had in Claudius his time; for Vopiscus[67] writes she was
then of fifty miles' circumference, and she had five hundred thousand
free citizens in a famous cense that was made, which, allowing but six
to every family in women, children, and servants, came to three
millions of souls; but she is now a wilderness in comparison of that

The pope is grown to be a great temporal prince of late years, for the
state of the church extends above three hundred miles in length, and
two hundred miles in breadth; it contains Ferrara, Bologna, Romagnia,
the Marquisate of Ancona, Umbria, Sabina, Perugia, with a part of
Tuscany, the patrimony, Rome herself, and Latium. In these there are
above fifty bishoprics; the pope hath also the duchy of Spoleto, and
the exarchate of Ravenna; he hath the town of Benevento in the kingdom
of Naples, and the country of Venissa, called Avignon, in France. He
hath title also good enough to Naples itself; but, rather than offend
his champion, the king of Spain, he is contented with a white mule,
and purse of pistoles about the neck, which he receives every year for
a heriot or homage, or what you will call it; he pretends also to be
Lord-paramount of Sicily, Urbia, Parma, and Masseran; of Norway,
Ireland, and England, since King John did prostrate our crown at
Pandulfo his legate's feet.[68]

The state of the apostolic see here in Italy lieth 'twixt two seas,
the Adriatic and the Tyrrhene, and it runs through the midst of Italy,
which makes the pope powerful to do good or harm, and more capable
than any other to be an umpire or an enemy. His authority being mixed
'twixt temporal and spiritual, disperseth itself into so many members,
that a young man may grow old here before he can well understand the
form of government.

The consistory of cardinals meet but once a week, and once a week they
solemnly wait all upon the pope. I am told there are now in
Christendom but sixty-eight cardinals, whereof there are six cardinal
bishops, fifty-one cardinal priests, and eleven cardinal deacons. The
cardinal bishops attend and sit near the pope, when he celebrates any
festival; the cardinal priests assist him at mass; and the cardinal
deacons attire him. A cardinal is bade by a short breve or writ from
the pope in these words: "_Creamus te socium regibus, superiorem
ducibus, et fratrem nostrum._"[69] If a cardinal bishop should be
questioned for any offense, there must be twenty-four witnesses
produced against him. The Bishop of Ostia hath most privilege of any
other, for he consecrates and installs the pope, and goes always next
to him. All these cardinals have the repute of princes, and besides
other incomes, they have the annats of benefices to support their

For point of power, the pope is able to put 50,000 men in the field,
in case of necessity, besides his naval strength in galleys. We read
how Paul III sent Charles III twelve thousand foot and five hundred
horse. Pius V sent a greater aid to Charles IX; and for riches,
besides the temporal dominions he hath in all the countries before
named, the datany or dispatching of bulls, the triennial subsidies,
annats, and other ecclesiastical rights, mount to an unknown sum; and
it is a common saying here, that as long as the pope can finger a pen,
he can want no pence. Pius V, notwithstanding his expenses in
buildings, left four millions in the Castle of Saint Angelo in less
than five years; more, I believe, than this Gregory XV will, for he
hath many nephews; and better is it to be the pope's nephew, than to
be a favorite to any prince in Christendom.

Touching the temporal government of Rome, and oppidan affairs, there
is a pretor and some choice citizens, which sit in the Capitol. Among
other pieces of policy, there is a synagog of Jews permitted here--as
in other places of Italy--under the pope's nose, but they go with a
mark of distinction in their hats; they are tolerated for advantage of
commerce, wherein the Jews are wonderful dexterous--tho most of them
be only brokers and Lombardeers; and they are held to be here as the
cynic held women to be--_malum necessarium_....

Present Rome may be said to be but a monument of Rome past, when she
was in that flourish that St. Austin desired to see her in. She who
tamed the world, tamed herself at last, and falling under her own
weight, fell to be a prey to time; yet there is a providence seems to
have a care of her still; for tho her air be not so good, nor her
circumjacent soil so kindly as it was, yet she hath wherewith to keep
life and soul together still, by her ecclesiastical courts, which is
the sole cause of her peopling now; so that it may be said, when the
pope came to be her head, she was reduced to her first principles; for
as a shepherd was founder, so a shepherd is still governor and


[Footnote 64: From the "Familiar Letters," the date of this letter
being "Venice, 25th June, 1621."]

[Footnote 65: Now written Bucentaur, the state ship of the Venetian
republic. The ceremony of "espousing the sea" dates from the twelfth
century. The last of the Bucentaur ships of Venice was destroyed by
Napoleon in 1798. It was the third that had been built for Venice.]

[Footnote 66: From the "Familiar Letters."]

[Footnote 67: The historian who lived early in the fourth century

[Footnote 68: King John, in 1213, had made peace with the Pope (who
had deposed him) by consenting to hold his kingdom in fief for the
Pope and to pay to him an annual tribute of 1,000 marks.]

[Footnote 69: These words mean "We create thee companion to kings,
superior to dukes, and our brother."]


     Born in 1605, died in 1682; educated at Oxford, Padua and
     Leyden; in 1633 made Doctor of Medicine; settled at Norwich
     in 1637; knighted in 1671; his "Religio Medici" published in
     1643; author of several other works.



Now for that other virtue of charity, without which faith is a mere
notion and of no existence, I have ever endeavored to nourish the
merciful disposition and humane inclination I borrowed from my
parents, and regulate it to the written and prescribed laws of
charity: and if I hold the true anatomy of myself, I am delineated and
naturally framed to such a piece of virtue; for I am of a constitution
so general that it consorts and sympathizeth with all things: I have
no antipathy, or rather idiosyncrasy, in diet, humor, air, anything. I
wonder not at the French for their dishes of frogs, snails, and
toadstools; nor at the Jews for locusts and grasshoppers; but being
amongst them, make them my common viands, and I find they agree with
my stomach as well as theirs. I could digest a salad gathered in a
churchyard as well as in a garden. I cannot start at the presence of a
serpent, scorpion, lizard, or salamander: at the sight of a toad or
viper I find in me no desire to take up a stone to destroy them. I
feel not in myself those common antipathies that I can discover in
others; those national repugnances do not touch me, nor do I behold
with prejudice the French, Italian, Spaniard, or Dutch; but where I
find their actions in balance with my countrymen's, I honor, love, and
embrace them in the same degree.

I was born in the eighth climate, but seem for to be framed and
constellated unto all: I am no plant that will not prosper out of a
garden; all places, all airs, make unto me one country; I am in
England, everywhere, and under any meridian; I have been shipwrecked,
yet am not enemy with the sea or winds; I can study, play or sleep in
a tempest. In brief, I am averse from nothing: my conscience would
give me the lie if I should absolutely detest or hate any essence but
the devil; or so at least abhor anything but that we might come to
composition. If there be any among those common objects of hatred I do
contemn and laugh at, it is that great enemy of reason, virtue, and
religion--the multitude: that numerous piece of monstrosity which,
taken asunder, seem men and the reasonable creatures of God, but
confused together, make but one great beast and a monstrosity more
prodigious than Hydra: it is no breach of charity to call these fools;
it is the style all holy writers have afforded them, set down by
Solomon in canonical Scripture, and a point of our faith to believe
so. Neither in the name of multitude do I only include the base and
minor sort of people: there is a rabble even amongst the gentry, a
sort of plebeian heads, whose fancy moves with the same wheel as
these; men in the same level with mechanics, tho their fortunes do
somewhat gild their infirmities, and their purses compound for their



Darkness and light divide the course of time, and oblivion shares with
memory a great part even of our living beings; we slightly remember
our felicities, and the smartest strokes of affliction leave but short
smart upon us. Sense endureth no extremities, and sorrows destroy us
or themselves. To weep into stones are fables. Afflictions induce
callosities; miseries are slippery, or fall like snow upon us, which
notwithstanding is no unhappy stupidity. To be ignorant of evils to
come, and forgetful of evils past, is a merciful provision in nature,
whereby we digest the mixture of our few and evil days, and, our
delivered senses not relapsing into cutting remembrances, our sorrows
are not kept raw by the edge of repetitions.

A great part of antiquity contented their hopes of subsistency with a
transmigration of their souls--a good way to continue their memories,
while having the advantage of plural successions, they could not but
act something remarkable in such variety of beings, and enjoying the
fame of their passed selves, make accumulation of glory unto their
last durations. Others, rather than be lost in the uncomfortable night
of nothing, were content to recede into the common being, and make one
particle of the public soul all things, which was no more than to
return into their unknown and divine original again. Egyptian
ingenuity was more unsatisfied, contriving their bodies in sweet
consistencies, to attend the return of their souls. But all was
vanity, feeding the wind, and folly. The Egyptian mummies, which
Cambyses[72] or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth. Mummy is
become merchandise, Mizraim cures wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for

In vain do individuals hope for immortality, or any patent from
oblivion, in preservations below the moon; men have been deceived even
in their flatteries, above the sun, and studied conceits to perpetuate
their names in heaven. The various cosmography of that part hath
already varied the names contrived constellations; Nimrod is lost in
Orion, and Osiris in the Dog-star. While we look for incorruption in
the heavens, we find they are like the earth--durable in their main
bodies, alterable in their parts; whereof, beside comets and new
stars, perspective begin to tell tales, and the spots that wander
about the sun, with Phaeton's favor, would make clear conviction.

There is nothing strictly immortal but immortality. Whatever hath no
beginning, may be confident of no end--which is the peculiar of that
necessary essence that can not destroy itself--and the highest strain
of omnipotency, to be so powerfully constituted as not to suffer even
from power of itself; all others have a dependent being and within the
reach of destruction. But the sufficiency of Christian immortality
frustrates all earthly glory, and the quality of either states after
death, makes a folly of posthumous memory. God, who can only destroy
our souls, and hath assured our resurrection, either of our bodies or
names, hath directly promised no duration. Wherein there is so much of
chance, that the boldest expectants have found unhappy frustration;
and to hold long subsistences, seems but a scape in oblivion. But man
is a noble animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave,
solemnizing nativities and deaths with equal luster, nor omitting
ceremonies of bravery in the infamy of nature.

Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sum within us. A
small fire sufficeth for life, great flames seemed too little after
death, while men vainly affected precious pyres, and to burn like
Sardanapalus; but wisdom of funeral laws found the folly of prodigal
blazes, and reduced undoing fires unto the rule of sober obsequies,
wherein few could be so mean as not to provide wood, pitch, a mourner,
and an urn.

Five languages secured not the epitaph of Gordianus.[73] The man of
God lives longer without a tomb than any by one, invisibly interred by
angels, and adjudged to obscurity, tho not without some marks
directing human discovery. Enoch and Elias, without either tomb or
burial, in an anomalous state of being, are the great examples of
perpetuity, in their long and living memory, in strict account being
still on this side death, and having a late part yet to act upon this
stage of earth. If in the decretory term of the world we shall not all
die but be changed, according to received translation, the last day
will make but few graves; at least quick resurrections will anticipate
lasting sepultures. Some graves will be opened before they be quite
closed, and Lazarus be no wonder. When many that feared to die, shall
groan that they can die but once, the dismal state is the second and
living death, when life puts despair on the damned; when men shall
wish the coverings of mountains, not of monuments, and annihilations
shall be courted.

While some have studied monuments, others have studiously declined
them, and some have been so vainly boisterous, that they durst not
acknowledge their graves; wherein Alaric seems most subtle, who had a
river turned to hide his bones at the bottom. Even Sylla, that thought
himself safe in his urn, could not prevent revenging tongues, and
stones thrown at his monument. Happy are they whom privacy makes
innocent, who deal so with men in this world, that they are not afraid
to meet them in the next; who, when they die, make no commotion among
the dead, and are not touched with that poetical taunt of Isaiah.

Pyramids, arches, obelisks, were but the irregularities of vainglory,
and wild enormities of ancient magnanimity. But the most magnanimous
resolution rests in the Christian religion, which trampleth upon
pride, and sits on the neck of ambition, humbly pursuing that
infallible perpetuity, unto which all others must diminish their
diameters, and be poorly seen in angles of contingency.

Pious spirits who passed their days in raptures of futurity, made
little more of this world, than the world that was before it, while
they lay obscure in the chaos of pre-ordination, and night of their
fore-beings. And if any have been so happy as truly to understand
Christian annihilation, ecstasies, exolution, liquefaction,
transformation, the kiss of the spouse, gustation of God, and
ingression into the divine shadow, they have already had an handsome
anticipation of heaven; the glory of the world is surely over, and the
earth is ashes unto them.

To subsist in lasting monuments, to live in their productions, to
exist in their names and predicament of chimeras, was large
satisfaction unto old expectations, and made one part of their
elysiums. But all this is nothing in the metaphysicks of true belief.
To live indeed, is to be again ourselves, which being not only a hope,
but an evidence in noble believers, 'tis all one to lie in St.
Innocent's churchyard, as in the sands of Egypt. Ready to be anything,
in the ecstasy of being ever, and as content with six foot as the
moles of Hadrianus.[74]


[Footnote 70: From the "Religio Medici."]

[Footnote 71: From Chapter V of "Urn Burial; or, a Discourse of the
Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk."]

[Footnote 72: Cambyses III, king of Persia who conquered Egypt in 525

[Footnote 73: A Roman emperor whose epitaph was cut in Greek, Latin,
Hebrew, Egyptian and Arabic.]

[Footnote 74: Now the Castle of St. Angelo in Rome.]


     Born in 1608, died in 1674; visited Italy in 1638; began his
     poetical writings in 1640; Latin Secretary to the
     Commonwealth in 1649; became totally blind in 1652; spared
     at the Restoration under the Indemnity Act; published
     "Paradise Lost" in 1667.



After I had, from my first years, by the ceaseless diligence and care
of my father (whom God recompense!), been exercised to the tongues,
and some sciences, as my age would suffer, by sundry masters and
teachers, both at home and at the schools, it was found that whether
aught was imposed me by them that had the overlooking, or betaken to
of my own choice in English, or other tongue, prosing or versing, but
chiefly the latter, the style, by certain vital signs it had, was
likely to live. But much latelier, in the private academies of Italy,
whither I was favored to resort, perceiving that some trifles which I
had in memory, composed at under twenty or thereabout--for the manner
is, that every one must give some proof of his wit and reading
there--met with acceptance above what was looked for; and other things
which I had shifted, in scarcity of books and conveniences, to patch
up among them, were received with written encomiums, which the
Italian is not forward to bestow on men of this side the Alps, I began
thus far to assent both to them and divers of my friends here at home;
and not less to an inward prompting, which now grew daily upon me,
that by labor and intent study, which I take to be my portion in this
life, joined to the strong propensity of nature, I might perhaps leave
something so written, to after-times, as they should not willingly let
it die.

These thoughts at once possest me, and these other, that if I were
certain to write as men buy leases, for three lives and downward,
there ought no regard be sooner had than to God's glory, by the honor
and instruction of my country. For which cause, and not only for that
I knew it would be hard to arrive at the second rank among the Latins,
I applied myself to that resolution which Ariosto followed against the
persuasions of Bembo,[76] to fix all the industry and art I could
unite to the adorning of my native tongue; not to make verbal
curiosities the end--that were a toilsome vanity; but to be an
interpreter, and relater of the best and sagest things among mine own
citizens throughout this island, in the mother dialect. That what the
greatest and choicest wits of Athens, Rome, or modern Italy, and those
Hebrews of old did for their country, I, in my proportion, with this
over and above, of being a Christian, might do for mine; not caring
to be once named abroad, tho perhaps I could attain to that, but
content with these British islands as my world; whose fortune hath
hitherto been, that if the Athenians, as some say, made their small
deeds great and renowned by their eloquent writers, England hath had
her noble achievements made small by the unskilful handling of monks
and mechanics.

Time serves not now, and perhaps I might seem too profuse, to give any
certain account of what the mind at home, in the spacious circuits of
her musing, hath liberty to propose to herself, tho of highest hope
and hardest attempting. Whether that epic form, whereof the two poems
of Homer, and those other two of Virgil and Tasso are a diffuse, and
the book of Job a brief, model; or whether the rules of Aristotle
herein are strictly to be kept, or nature to be followed, which in
them that know art, and use judgment, is no transgression, but an
enriching of art. And, lastly, what king or knight before the Conquest
might be chosen, in whom to lay the pattern of a Christian hero. And
as Tasso gave to a prince of Italy his choice, whether he would
command him to write of Godfrey's[77] expedition against the infidels,
or Belisarius against the Goths, or Charlemagne against the Lombards;
if to the instinct of nature and the emboldening of art aught may be
trusted, and that there be nothing adverse in our climate, or the fate
of this age, it haply would be no rashness, from an equal diligence
and inclination, to present the like offer in our own ancient
stories. Or whether those dramatic constitutions, wherein Sophocles
and Euripides reign, shall be found more doctrinal and exemplary to a

The Scripture also affords us a fine pastoral drama in the Song of
Solomon, consisting of two persons, and a double chorus, as Origen[78]
rightly judges; and the Apocalypse of St. John is the majestic image
of a high and stately tragedy, shutting up and intermingling her
solemn scenes and acts with a seven-fold chorus of hallelujahs and
harping symphonies. And this my opinion, the grave authority of
Paræus, commenting that book, is sufficient to confirm. Or if occasion
shall lead, to imitate those magnific odes and hymns, wherein Pindarus
and Callimachus are in most things worthy, some others in their frame
judicious, in their matter most, and end faulty. But those frequent
songs throughout the law and prophets, beyond all these, not in their
divine argument alone, but in the very critical art of composition,
may be easily made appear, over all the kinds of lyric poesy, to be

These abilities, wheresoever they be found, are the inspired gift of
God, rarely bestowed, but yet to some--tho most abuse--in every
nation: and are of power, besides of the office of a pulpit, to
inbreed and cherish in a great people the seeds of virtue and public
civility; to allay the perturbations of the mind, and set the
affections in right tune; to celebrate in glorious and lofty hymns the
throne and equipage of God's almightiness, and what he suffers to be
wrought with high providence in his church; to sing victorious agonies
of martyrs and saints, the deeds and triumphs of just and pious
nations, doing valiantly through faith against the enemies of Christ;
to deplore the general relapses of kingdoms and states from justice
and God's true worship.

Lastly, whatsoever in religion is holy and sublime, in virtue amiable
or grave, whatsoever hath passion or admiration in all the changes of
that which is called fortune from without, or the wily subtleties and
refluxes of man's thoughts from within; all these things, with a solid
and treatable smoothness, to paint out and describe; teaching over the
whole book of sanctity and virtue, through all the instances of
example, with such delight to those, especially of soft and delicious
temper, who will not so much as look upon Truth herself, unless they
see her elegantly drest, that whereas the paths of honesty and good
life appear now rugged and difficult, tho they be indeed easy and
pleasant, they would then appear to all men both easy and pleasant,
tho they were rugged and difficult indeed.



And seeing every nation affords not experience and tradition enough
for all kind of learning, therefore we are chiefly taught the
languages of those people who have at any time been most industrious
after wisdom; so that language is but the instrument conveying to us
things useful to be known. And tho a linguist should pride himself to
have all the tongues that Babel cleft the world into, yet, if he have
not studied the solid things in them, as well as the words and
lexicons, he were nothing so much to be esteemed a learned man, as any
yeoman or tradesman competently wise in his mother dialect only. Hence
appear the many mistakes which have made learning generally so
unpleasing and so unsuccessful: first, we do amiss to spend seven or
eight years merely in scraping together so much miserable Latin and
Greek, as might be learned otherwise easily and delightfully in one

And that which casts our proficiency therein so much behind, is our
time lost partly in too oft idle vacancies given both to schools and
universities; partly in a preposterous exaction, forcing the empty
wits of children to compose themes, verses, and orations, which are
the acts of ripest judgment, and the final work of a head filled by
long reading and observing, with elegant maxims and copious invention.
These are not matters to be wrung from poor striplings, like blood
out of the nose, or the plucking of untimely fruit; besides the ill
habit which they get of wretched barbarizing against the Latin and
Greek idiom, with their untutored Anglicisms, odious to be read, yet
not to be avoided without a well-continued and judicious conversing
among pure authors digested, which they scarce taste: whereas, if
after some preparatory grounds of speech by their certain forms got
into memory, they were led to the praxis thereof in some chosen short
book lessoned thoroughly to them, they might then forthwith proceed to
learn the substance of good things and arts in due order, which would
bring the whole language quickly into their power. This I take to be
the most rational and most profitable way of learning languages, and
whereby we may best hope to give account to God of our youth spent

And for the usual method of teaching arts, I deem it to be an old
error of universities, not yet well recovered from the scholastic
grossness of barbarous ages, that instead of beginning with arts most
easy--and those be such as are most obvious to the sense--they present
their young unmatriculated novices at first coming with the most
intellective abstractions of logic and metaphysics, so that they
having but newly left those grammatic flats and shallows where they
stuck unreasonably to learn a few words with lamentable construction,
and now on the sudden transported under another climate, to be tossed
and turmoiled with their unballasted wits in fathomless and unquiet
deeps of controversy, do for the most part grow into hatred and
contempt of learning, mocked and deluded all this while with ragged
notions and babblements, while they expected worthy and delightful
knowledge; till poverty or youthful years call them importunately
their several ways, and hasten them, with the sway of friends, either
to an ambitious and mercenary, or ignorantly zealous divinity; some
allured to the trade of law, grounding their purposes, not on the
prudent and heavenly contemplation of justice and equity, which was
never taught them, but on the promising and pleasing thoughts of
litigious terms, fat contentions, and flowing fees; others betake them
to state affairs, with souls so unprincipled in virtue and true
generous breeding, that flattery and courtshifts, and tyrannous
aphorisms, appear to them the highest points of wisdom; instilling
their barren hearts with a conscientious slavery; if, as I rather
think, it be not feigned. Others, lastly, of a more delicious and airy
spirit, retire themselves, knowing no better, to the enjoyments of
ease and luxury, living out their days in feasts and jollity; which,
indeed, is the wisest and the safest course of all these, unless they
were with more integrity undertaken. And these are the errors, and
these are the fruits of misspending our prime youth at schools and
universities as we do, either in learning mere words, or such things
chiefly as were better unlearned.

I shall detain you now no longer in the demonstration of what we
should do, but straight conduct you to a hillside, while I will point
you out the right path of a virtuous and noble education; laborious,
indeed, at the first ascent, but else so smooth, so green, so full of
goodly prospect and melodious sounds on every side, that the harp of
Orpheus was not more charming. I doubt not but ye shall have more ado
to drive our dullest and laziest youth, our stocks and stubs, from the
infinite desire of such a happy nurture, than we have now to hale and
drag our choicest and hopefulest wits to that asinine feast of sow
thistles and brambles which is commonly set before them, as all the
food and entertainment of their tenderest and most docile age.

I call, therefore, a complete and generous education, that which fits
a man to perform justly, skilfully, and magnanimously, all the
offices, both private and public, of peace and war.



He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter in
laudable things ought himself to be a true poem; that is, a
composition and pattern of the best and honorablest things; not
presuming to sing high praises of heroic men, or famous cities, unless
he have in himself the experience and the practise of all that which
is praiseworthy. These reasonings, together with a certain niceness of
nature, an honest haughtiness, and self-esteem either of what I was,
or what I might be (which let envy call pride), and lastly that
modesty, whereof, tho not in the title-page, yet here I may be excused
to make some beseeming profession; all these uniting the supply of
their natural aid together kept me still above those low descents of
mind, beneath which he must deject and plunge himself, that can agree
to salable and unlawful prostitutions.

Next (for hear me out now, readers), that I may tell ye whither my
younger feet wandered; I betook me among those lofty fables and
romances, which recount in solemn cantos the deeds of knighthood
founded by our victorious kings, and from hence had in renown over all
Christendom. There I read it in the oath of every knight, that he
should defend to the expense of his best blood, or of his life, if it
so befell him, the honor and chastity of virgin or matron; from whence
even then I learned what a noble virtue chastity sure must be, to the
defense of which so many worthies, by such a dear adventure of
themselves, had sworn. And if I found in the story afterward, any of
them, by word or deed, breaking that oath, I judged it the same fault
of the poet, as that which is attributed to Homer, to have written
indecent things of the gods. Only this my mind gave me, that every
free and gentle spirit, without that oath, ought to be born a knight,
nor needed to expect the gilt spur, or the laying of a sword upon his
shoulder to stir him up both by his counsel and his arms, to secure
and protect the weakness of any attempted chastity. So that even these
books, which to many others have been the fuel of wantonness and loose
living, I can not think how, unless by divine indulgence, proved to
me so many incitements, as you have heard to the love and stedfast
observation of that virtue which abhors the society of bordelloes.



I deny not, but that it is of greatest concernment in the Church and
Commonwealth, to have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves as
well as men; and thereafter to confine, imprison, and do sharpest
justice on them as malefactors. For books are not absolutely dead
things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as
that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a
vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that
bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as
those fabulous dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance
to spring up armed men. And yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be
used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book. Who kills a man
kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good
book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the
eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the
precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on
purpose to a life beyond life. 'Tis true, no age can restore a life,
whereof perhaps there is no great loss; and revolutions of ages do not
oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole
nations fare the worse.

We should be wary therefore what persecution we raise against the
living labors of public men, how we spill that seasoned life of man,
preserved and stored up in books; since we see a kind of homicide may
be thus committed, sometimes a martyrdom, and if it extend to the
whole impression, a kind of massacre; whereof the execution ends not
in the slaying of an elemental life, but strikes at that ethereal and
fifth essence, the breath of reason itself, slays an immortality
rather than a life. But lest I should be condemned of introducing
license, while I oppose licensing, I refuse not the pains to be so
much historical, as will serve to show what hath been done by ancient
and famous commonwealths against this disorder, till the very time
that this project of licensing crept out of the inquisition, was
catched up by our prelates and hath caught some of our presbyters.

In Athens, where books and wits were ever busier than in any other
part of Greece, I find but only two sorts of writings which the
magistrate cared to take notice of; those either blasphemous and
atheistical, or libelous. Thus the books of Protagoras were by the
judges of Areopagus commanded to be burnt, and himself banished the
territory for a discourse begun with his confessing not to know
"whether there were gods, or whether not." And against defaming, it
was agreed that none should be traduced by name, as was the manner of
Vetus Comoedia, whereby we may guess how they censured libeling.
And this course was quick enough, as Cicero writes, to quell both the
desperate wits of other atheists, and the open way of defaming, as the
event showed. Of other sects and opinions, tho tending to
voluptuousness, and the denying of Divine Providence, they took no

Therefore we do not read that either Epicurus, or that libertine
school of Cyrene, or what the Cynic impudence uttered, was ever
questioned by the laws. Neither is it recorded that the writings of
those old comedians were supprest tho the acting of them were forbid;
and that Plato commended the reading of Aristophanes, the loosest of
them all, to his royal scholar Dionysius, is commonly known, and may
be excused, if holy Chrysostom, as is reported, nightly studied so
much the same author and had the art to cleanse a scurrilous vehemence
into the style of a rousing sermon.

That other leading city of Greece, Lacedemon, considering that
Lycurgus, their lawgiver, was so addicted to elegant learning, as to
have been the first that brought out of Ionia the scattered works of
Homer, and sent the poet Thales from Crete to prepare and mollify the
Spartan surliness with his smooth songs and odes, the better to plant
among them law end civility, it is to be wondered how useless and
unbookish they were, minding nought but the feats of war. There needed
no licensing of books among them, for they disliked all but their own
laconic apothegms, and took a slight occasion to chase Archilochus out
of their city, perhaps for composing in a higher strain than their own
soldierly ballads and roundels could reach to. Or if it were for his
broad verses, they were not therein so cautious, but were as dissolute
in their promiscuous conversing; whence Euripides affirms in
"Andromache," that their women were all unchaste. Thus much may give
us light after what sort of books were prohibited among the Greeks.

The Romans also for many ages trained up only to a military roughness,
resembling most the Lacedæmonian guise, knew of learning little but
what their twelve tables, and the Pontific College with their augurs
and flamens taught them in religion and law, so unacquainted with
other learning, that when Carneades and Critolaus, with the Stoic
Diogenes, coming ambassadors to Rome, took thereby occasion to give
the city a taste of their philosophy, they were suspected for seducers
by no less a man than Cato the Censor, who moved it in the Senate to
dismiss them speedily, and to banish all such Attic babblers out of
Italy. But Scipio and others of the noblest senators withstood him and
his old Sabine austerity; honored and admired the men; and the censor
himself at last, in his old age, fell to the study of that whereof
before he was so scrupulous. And yet at the same time, Nævius and
Plautus, the first Latin comedians, had filled the city with all the
borrowed scenes of Menander and Philemon. Then began to be considered
there also what was to be done to libelous books and authors; for
Nævius was quickly cast into prison for his unbridled pen, and
released by the tribunes upon his recantation; we read also that
libels were burnt, and the makers punished by Augustus. The like
severity, no doubt, was used, if aught were impiously written against
their esteemed gods. Except in these two points, how the world went in
books, the magistrate kept no reckoning.



Lords and Commons of England, consider what nation it is whereof ye
are, and whereof ye are the governors: a nation not slow and dull, but
of a quick, ingenious and piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle and
sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point, the highest
that human capacity can soar to. Therefore the studies of Learning in
her deepest sciences have been so ancient and so eminent among us,
that writers of good antiquity and ablest judgment have been persuaded
that even the school of Pythagoras and the Persian wisdom took
beginning from the old philosophy of this island. And that wise and
civil Roman, Julius Agricola, who governed once here for Cæsar,
preferred the natural wits of Britain before the labored studies of
the French. Nor is it for nothing that the grave and frugal
Transylvanian sends out yearly from as far as the mountainous borders
of Russia, and beyond the Hercynian wilderness, not their youth, but
their staid men, to learn our language and our theologic arts.

Yet that which is above all this, the favor and the love of Heaven we
have great argument to think in a peculiar manner propitious and
propending toward us. Why else was this nation chosen before any
other, that out of her, as out of Sion, should be proclaimed and
sounded forth the first tidings and trumpet of Reformation to all
Europe? And had it not been the obstinate perverseness of our prelates
against the divine and admirable spirit of Wycliff, to suppress him as
a schismatic and innovator, perhaps neither the Bohemian Huss and
Jerome, no nor the name of Luther or of Calvin, had been ever known:
the glory of reforming all our neighbors had been completely ours. But
now, as our obdurate clergy have with violence demeaned the matter, we
are become hitherto the latest and backwardest scholars, of whom God
offered to have made us the teachers. Now once again by all
concurrence of signs, and by the general instinct of holy and devout
men, as they daily and solemnly express their thoughts, God is
decreeing to begin some new and great period in His Church, even to
the reforming of Reformation itself: what does He then but reveal
Himself to His servants, and as His manner is, first to His
Englishmen? I say, as His manner is, first to us, tho we mark not the
method of His counsels, and are unworthy.

Behold now this vast city: a city of refuge, the mansion house of
liberty, encompassed and surrounded with His protection; the shop of
war hath not there more anvils and hammers waking, to fashion out the
plates and instruments of armed Justice in defense of beleaguered
Truth, than there be pens and heads there, sitting by their studious
lamps, musing, searching, revolving new notions and ideas wherewith to
present, as with their homage and their fealty, the approaching
Reformation: others as fast reading, trying all things, assenting to
the force of reason and convincement. What could a man require more
from a nation so pliant and so prone to seek after knowledge? What
wants there to such a towardly and pregnant soil, but wise and
faithful laborers, to make a knowing people, a nation of prophets, of
sages, and of worthies? We reckon more than five months yet to
harvest; there need not be five weeks; had we but eyes to lift up, the
fields are white already.

Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much
arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but
knowledge in the making. Under these fantastic terrors of sect and
schism, we wrong the earnest and zealous thirst after knowledge and
understanding which God hath stirred up in this city. What some lament
of, we rather should rejoice at, should rather praise this pious
forwardness among men, to reassume the ill-reputed care of their
religion into their own hands again. A little generous prudence, a
little forbearance of one another, and some grain of charity might win
all these diligences to join, and unite in one general and brotherly
search after Truth; could we but forego this prelatical tradition of
crowding free consciences and Christian liberties into canons and
precepts of men. I doubt not, if some great and worthy stranger should
come among us, wise to discern the mold and temper of a people, and
how to govern it, observing the high hopes and aims, the diligent
alacrity of our extended thoughts and reasonings in the pursuance of
truth and freedom, but that he would cry out as Pyrrhus did, admiring
the Roman docility and courage: If such were my Epirots, I would not
despair the greatest design that could be attempted, to make a church
or kingdom happy.

Yet these are the men cried out against for schismatics and sectaries;
as if, while the temple of the Lord was building, some cutting, some
squaring the marble, others hewing the cedars, there should be a sort
of irrational men who could not consider there must be many schisms
and many dissections made in the quarry and in the timber, ere the
house of God can be built. And when every stone is laid artfully
together, it can not be united into a continuity, it can but be
contiguous in this world; neither can every piece of the building be
of one form; nay rather the perfection consists in this, that, out of
many moderate varieties and brotherly dissimilitudes that are not
vastly disproportional, arises the goodly and the graceful symmetry
that commends the whole pile and structure.

Let us therefore be more considerate builders, more wise in spiritual
architecture, when great reformation is expected. For now the time
seems come, wherein Moses the great prophet may sit in heaven
rejoicing to see that memorable and glorious wish of his fulfilled,
when not only our seventy elders, but all the Lord's people, are
become prophets. No marvel then tho some men, and some good men too
perhaps, but young in goodness, as Joshua then was, envy them. They
fret, and out of their own weakness are in agony, lest these divisions
and subdivisions will undo us. The adversary again applauds, and waits
the hour: When they have branched themselves out, saith he, small
enough into parties and partitions, then will be our time. Fool! he
sees not the firm root out of which we all grow, tho into branches:
nor will beware until he see our small divided maniples cutting
through at every angle of his ill-united and unwieldy brigade. And
that we are to hope better of all these supposed sects and schisms,
and that we shall not need that solicitude, honest perhaps tho
over-timorous of them that vex in this behalf, but shall laugh in the
end at those malicious applauders of our differences, I have these
reasons to persuade me....

Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself
like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks.
Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling
her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam: purging and unsealing her
long-abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while
the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that
love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in
their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.

What should ye do then? should ye suppress all this flowery crop of
knowledge and new light sprung up and yet springing daily in this
city? should ye set an oligarchy of twenty engrossers over it, to
bring a famine upon our minds again, when we shall know nothing but
what is measured to us by their bushel? Believe it, Lords and Commons,
they who counsel ye to such a suppressing do as good as bid ye
suppress yourselves; and I will soon show how. If it be desired to
know the immediate cause of all this free writing and free speaking,
there can not be assigned a truer than your own mild and free and
humane government. It is the liberty, Lords and Commons, which your
own valorous and happy counsels have purchased us, liberty which is
the nurse of all great wits; this is that which hath rarefied and
enlightened our spirits like the influence of heaven; this is that
which hath enfranchised, enlarged and lifted up our apprehensions
degrees above themselves.

Ye can not make us now less capable, less knowing, less eagerly
pursuing of the truth, unless ye first make yourselves, that made us
so, less the lovers, less the founders of our true liberty. We can
grow ignorant again, brutish, formal and slavish, as ye found us; but
you then must first become that which ye can not be, oppressive,
arbitrary and tyrannous, as they were from whom ye have freed us. That
our hearts are now more capacious, our thoughts more erected to the
search and expectation of greatest and exactest things, is the issue
of your own virtue propagated in us; ye can not suppress that, unless
ye reinforce an abrogated and merciless law, that fathers may dispatch
at will their own children. And who shall then stick closest to ye,
and excite others? not he who takes up arms for coat and conduct, and
his four nobles of Danegelt. Altho I dispraise not the defense of
just immunities, yet love my peace better, if that were all. Give me
the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to
conscience, above all liberties.



I can not praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and
unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks
out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not
without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the
world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial,
and trial is by what is contrary. That virtue therefore which is but a
youngling in the contemplation of evil, and knows not the utmost that
vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank virtue,
not a pure; her whiteness is but an excremental whiteness. Which was
the reason why our sage and serious poet Spenser, whom I dare be known
to think a better teacher than Scotus or Aquinas, describing true
temperance under the person of Guion, brings him in with his palmer
through the cave of Mammon, and the bower of earthly bliss, that he
might see and know, and yet abstain. Since therefore the knowledge and
survey of vice is in this world so necessary to the constituting of
human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth,
how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions
of sin and falsity than by reading all manner of tractates and hearing
all manner of reason? And this is the benefit which may be had of
books promiscuously read.

But of the harm that may result hence three kinds are usually
reckoned. First, is feared the infection that may spread; but then all
human learning and controversy in religious points must remove out of
the world, yea the Bible itself; for that ofttimes relates blasphemy
not nicely, it describes the carnal sense of wicked men not
unelegantly, it brings in holiest men passionately murmuring against
Providence through all the arguments of Epicurus: in other great
disputes it answers dubiously and darkly to the common reader. And ask
a Talmudist what ails the modesty of his marginal Keri, that Moses and
all the prophets can not persuade him to pronounce the textual Chetiv.
For these causes we all know the Bible itself put by the Papist into
the first rank of prohibited books. The ancientest fathers must be
next removed, as Clement of Alexandria, and that Eusebian book of
Evangelic preparation, transmitting our ears through a hoard of
heathenish obscenities to receive the Gospel. Who finds not that
Irenæus, Epiphanius, Jerome, and others discover more heresies than
they well confute, and that oft for heresy which is the truer opinion?

Nor boots it to say for these, and all the heathen writers of greatest
infection, if it must be thought so, with whom is bound up the life of
human learning, that they writ in an unknown tongue, so long as we
are sure those languages are known as well to the worst of men, who
are both most able, and most diligent to instil the poison they suck,
first into the courts of princes, acquainting them with the choicest
delights, and criticisms of sin. As perhaps did that Petronius whom
Nero called his Arbiter, the master of his revels; and the notorious
ribald of Arezzo,[84] dreaded and yet dear to the Italian courtiers. I
name not him for posterity's sake, whom Henry VIII named in merriment
his vicar of hell. By which compendious way all the contagion that
foreign books can infuse will find a passage to the people far easier
and shorter than an Indian voyage, tho it could be sailed either by
the north of Cataio eastward, or of Canada westward, while our Spanish
licensing gags the English press never so severely.

But on the other side that infection which is from books of
controversy in religion is more doubtful and dangerous to the learned
than to the ignorant; and yet those books must be permitted untouched
by the licenser. It will be hard to instance where any ignorant man
hath been ever seduced by papistical book in English, unless it were
commended and expounded to him by some of that clergy: and indeed all
such tractates, whether false or true, are as the prophecy of Isaiah
was to the eunuch, not to be understood without a guide.


[Footnote 75: From "The Reason of Church Government."]

[Footnote 76: Bembo, cardinal and man of letters, was born in Venice
in 1470 and died in 1547. He wrote poems and other works, and was the
friend of the first men of culture in his age. Several popes honored
him, and he had the intimate friendship of Lucretia Borgia.]

[Footnote 77: Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade, died
in Jerusalem in 1100, a year after he had defeated the Sultan of Egypt
at Ascalon.]

[Footnote 78: Chief among the Greek fathers of the church, born about
185 A.D. and the author of many books.]

[Footnote 79: From the "Tractate on Education."]

[Footnote 80: From the "Apology for Smectymnus."]

[Footnote 81: From the "Areopagitica."]

[Footnote 82: From the "Areopagitica."]

[Footnote 83: From the "Areopagitica."]

[Footnote 84: A reference to Pietro Aretino, born in 1492, died in
1557, a notoriously indecent writer and adventurer. Henry VIII once
sent him 300 crowns.]


     Born in 1608, died in 1674; entered Parliament In 1640;
     chancellor of the Exchequer in 1643; chief adviser of
     Charles the First during the Civil War; lord chancellor
     1660-67; impeached and banished; his "History of the
     Rebellion" published in 1702-04.


But it will not be unnecessary to add a short character of his person,
that posterity may know the inestimable loss which the nation then
underwent, in being deprived of a prince whose example would have had
a greater influence upon the manners and piety of the nation, than the
most strict laws can have. To speak first of his private
qualifications as a man, before the mention of his princely and royal
virtues; he was, if ever any, the most worthy of the title of an
honest man; so great a lover of justice, that no temptation could
dispose him to a wrongful action, except it was so disguised to him
that he believed it to be just. He had a tenderness and compassion of
nature which restrained him from ever doing a hard-hearted thing; and,
therefore, he was so apt to grant pardon to malefactors, that the
judges of the land represented to him the damage and insecurity to the
public that flowed from such his indulgence. And then he restrained
himself from pardoning either murders or highway robberies, and
quickly discerned the fruits of his severity by a wonderful
reformation of those enormities. He was very punctual and regular in
his devotions; he was never known to enter upon his recreations or
sports, tho never so early in the morning, before he had been at
public prayers; so that on hunting-days his chaplains were bound to a
very early attendance. He was likewise very strict in observing the
hours of his private cabinet devotions, and was so severe an exacter
of gravity and reverence in all mention of religion, that he could
never endure any light or profane word, with what sharpness of wit
soever it was covered; and tho he was well pleased and delighted with
reading verses made upon any occasion, no man durst bring before him
anything that was profane or unclean. That kind of wit had never any
countenance then. He was so great an example of conjugal affection,
that they who did not imitate him in that particular, durst not brag
of their liberty; and he did not only permit, but direct his bishops
to prosecute those scandalous vices, in the ecclesiastical courts,
against persons of eminence, and near relation to his service.

His kingly virtues had some mixture and allay that hindered them from
shining in full luster, and from producing those fruits they should
have been attended with. He was not in his nature very bountiful, tho
he gave very much. This appeared more after the Duke of Buckingham's
death,[86] after which those showers fell very rarely; and he paused
too long in giving, which made those to whom he gave less sensible of
the benefit. He kept state to the full, which made his court very
orderly, no man presuming to be seen in a place where he had no
pretence to be. He saw and observed men long before he received them
about his person; and did not love strangers, nor very confident men.
He was a patient hearer of causes, which he frequently accustomed
himself to at the council board, and judged very well, and was
dexterous in the mediating part; so that he often put an end to causes
by persuasion, which the stubbornness of men's humors made dilatory in
courts of justice.

He was very fearless in his person; but, in his riper years, not very
enterprising. He had an excellent understanding, but was not confident
enough of it; which made him oftentimes change his own opinion for a
worse, and follow the advice of men that did not judge so well as
himself. This made him more irresolute than the conjuncture of his
affairs would admit; if he had been of a rougher and more imperious
nature, he would have found more respect and duty. And his not
applying some severe cures to approaching evils proceeded from the
lenity of his nature, and the tenderness of his conscience, which, in
all cases of blood, made him choose the softer way, and not hearken to
severe counsels, how reasonable soever urged. This only restrained him
from pursuing his advantage.

As he excelled in all other virtues, so in temperance he was so strict
that he abhorred all debauchery to that degree, that, at a great
festival solemnity, where he once was, when very many of the nobility
of the English and Scots were entertained, being told by one who
withdrew from thence, what vast drafts of wine they drank, and "that
there was one earl who had drunk most of the rest down, and was not
himself moved or altered," the king said "that he deserved to be
hanged"; and that earl coming shortly after into the room where his
majesty was, in some gaiety, to shew how unhurt he was from that
battle, the king sent some one to bid him withdraw from his majesty's
presence; nor did he in some days after appear before him.

So many miraculous circumstances contributed to his ruin, that men
might well think that heaven and earth conspired it. Tho he was, from
the first declension of his power, so much betrayed by his own
servants, that there were very few who remained faithful to him, yet
that treachery proceeded not always from any treasonable purpose to do
him any harm, but from particular and personal animosities against
other men. And afterward, the terror all men were under of the
parliament, and the guilt they were conscious of themselves, made them
watch all opportunities to make themselves gracious to those who could
do them good; and so they became spies upon their master, and from one
piece of knavery were hardened and confirmed to undertake another,
till at last they had no hope of preservation but by the destruction
of their master.

And after all this, when a man might reasonably believe that less than
a universal defection of three nations could not have reduced a great
king to so ugly a fate, it is most certain that, in that very hour,
when he was thus wickedly murdered in the sight of the sun, he had as
great a share in the hearts and affections of his subjects in general,
was as much beloved, esteemed and longed for by the people in general
of the three nations, as any of his predecessors had ever been. To
conclude, he was the worthiest gentleman, the best master, the best
friend, the best husband, the best father, and the best Christian that
the age in which he lived produced. And if he were not the greatest
king, if, he were without some parts and qualities which have made
some kings great and happy, no other prince was ever unhappy who was
possest of half his virtues and endowments, and so much, without any
kind of vice.


[Footnote 85: From the "History of the Rebellion."]

[Footnote 86: George Villiers, first Duke of Buckingham, the chief
minister of Charles, was assassinated by John Felton in 1628.]


     Born in 1608, died in 1661; educated at Cambridge; Joined
     King Charles I at Oxford in 1643; after the Restoration
     chaplain to Charles II; published "The Holy State and the
     Profane State" in 1642, and "Worthies of England" in 1662.


There is scarce any profession in the commonwealth more necessary,
which is so slightly performed. The reasons whereof I conceive to be
these: First, young scholars make this calling their refuge; yea,
perchance, before they have taken any degree in the university,
commence schoolmasters in the country, as if nothing else were
required to set up this profession but only a rod and a ferula.
Secondly, others who are able, use it only as a passage to better
preferment to patch the rents in their present fortune, till they can
provide a new one, and betake themselves to some more gainful calling.
Thirdly, they are disheartened from doing their best with the
miserable reward which in some places they receive, being masters to
their children and slaves to their parents. Fourthly, being grown
rich, they grow negligent, and scorn to touch the school but by the
proxy of the usher. But see how well our schoolmaster behaves himself.

His genius inclines him with delight to his profession. Some men had
as well be school-boys as schoolmasters, to be tied to the school, as
Cooper's Dictionary[88] and Scapula's Lexicon are chained to the desk
therein; and tho great scholars, and skilful in other arts, are
bunglers in this. But God, of his goodness, hath fitted several men
for several callings, that the necessity of church and state, in all
conditions, may be provided for. So that he who beholds the fabric
thereof, may say, God hewed out the stone, and appointed it to lie in
this very place, for it would fit none other so well, and here it doth
most excellent. And thus God moldeth some for a schoolmaster's life,
undertaking it with desire and delight, and discharging it with
dexterity and happy success.

He studieth his scholars' natures as carefully as they their books;
and ranks their dispositions into several forms. And tho it may seem
difficult for him in a great school to descend to all particulars, yet
experienced schoolmasters may quickly make a grammar of boys' natures,
and reduce them all--saving some few exceptions--to these general

1. Those that are ingenious and industrious. The conjunction of two
such planets in a youth presage much good unto him. To such a lad a
frown may be a whipping, and a whipping a death; yea, where their
master whips them once, shame whips them all the week after. Such
natures he useth with all gentleness.

2. Those that are ingenious and idle. These think with the hare in
the fable, that running with snails--so they count the rest of their
schoolfellows--they shall come soon enough to the post, tho sleeping a
good while before their starting. O! a good rod would finely take them

3. Those that are dull and diligent. Wines, the stronger they be, the
more lees they have when they are new. Many boys are muddy-headed till
they be clarified with age, and such afterward prove the best. Bristol
diamonds are both bright, and squared, and pointed by nature, and yet
are soft and worthless; whereas Orient ones in India are rough and
rugged naturally. Hard, rugged, and dull natures of youth acquit
themselves afterward the jewels of the country, and therefore their
dulness at first is to be borne with, if they be diligent. That
schoolmaster deserves to be beaten himself who beats nature in a boy
for a fault. And I question whether all the whipping in the world can
make their parts which are naturally sluggish rise one minute before
the hour nature hath appointed.

4. Those that are invincibly dull, and negligent also. Correction may
reform the latter, not amend the former. All the whetting in the world
can never set a razor's edge on that which hath no steel in it. Such
boys he consigneth over to other professions. Shipwrights and
boat-makers will choose those crooked pieces of timber which other
carpenters refuse. Those may make excellent merchants and mechanics
who will not serve for scholars.

He is able, diligent, and methodical in his teaching; not leading them
rather in a circle than forward. He minces his precepts for children
to swallow, hanging clogs on the nimbleness of his own soul, that his
scholars may go along with him.

He is and will be known to be an absolute monarch in his school. If
cockering mothers proffer him money to purchase their sons an
exemption from his rod--to live, as it were, in a peculiar, out of
their master's jurisdiction--with disdain he refuseth it, and scorns
the late custom in some places of commuting whipping into money, and
ransoming boys from the rod at a set price. If he hath a stubborn
youth, correction-proof, he debaseth not his authority by contesting
with him, but fairly, if he can, puts him away before his obstinacy
hath infected others.

He is moderate in inflicting deserved correction. Many a schoolmaster
better answereth the name _paidotribes_ than _paidagogos_, rather
tearing his scholars' flesh with whipping than giving them good
education. No wonder if his scholars hate the Muses, being presented
unto them in the shapes of fiends and furies.


[Footnote 87: From "The Holy and Profane State."]

[Footnote 88: Cooper's "Latin Dictionary" was first published in 1565
and was long a standard school-book in England. It received the
special patronage of Queen Elizabeth. Cooper was made Bishop of
Winchester in 1584.]


     Baptized in 1618, died in 1667; son of a barber; educated at
     Cambridge; chaplain to Charles I during the Civil War; after
     the Restoration made Bishop of Down and Connor, and a member
     of the Irish Privy Council; his "Holy Living" published in
     1650, and "Holy Dying" in 1651.


No man is more miserable than he that hath no adversity--that man is
not tried whether he be good or bad: and God never crowns those
virtues which are only faculties and dispositions; but every act of
virtue is an ingredient into reward. And we see many children fairly
planted, whose parts of nature were never drest by art, nor called
from the furrows of their first possibilities by discipline and
institution, and they dwell forever in ignorance, and converse with
beasts; and yet if they had been drest and exercised, might have stood
at the chairs of princes, or spoken parables amongst the rulers of
cities. Our virtues are but in the seed when the grace of God comes
upon us first; but this grace must be thrown into broken furrows, and
must twice feel the cold and twice feel the heat, and be softened with
storms and showers, and then it will arise into fruitfulness and
harvests. And what is there in the world to distinguish virtues from
dishonors, or the valor of Cæsar from the softness of the Egyptian
eunuchs, or that can make anything rewardable but the labor and the
danger, the pain and the difficulty? Virtue could not be anything but
sensuality if it were the entertainment of our senses and fond
desires; and Apicius had been the noblest of all the Romans, if
feeding and great appetite and despising the severities of temperance
had been the work and proper employment of a wise man. But otherwise
do fathers and otherwise do mothers handle their children. These
soften them with kisses and imperfect noises, with the pap and
breast-milk of soft endearments; they rescue them from tutors and
snatch them from discipline; they desire to keep them fat and warm,
and their feet dry, and their bellies full: and then the children
govern, and cry, and prove fools and troublesome, so long as the
feminine republic does endure.

But fathers--because they design to have their children wise and
valiant, apt for counsel or for arms--send them to severe governments,
and tie them to study, to hard labor, and afflictive contingencies.
They rejoice when the bold boy strikes a lion with his hunting-spear,
and shrinks not when the beast comes to affright his early courage.
Softness is for slaves and beasts, for minstrels and useless persons,
for such who can not ascend higher than the state of a fair ox or a
servant entertained for vainer offices; but the man that designs his
son for nobler employments--to honors and to triumphs, to consular
dignities and presidencies of councils--loves to see him pale with
study or panting with labor, hardened with suffrance or eminent by
dangers. And so God dresses us for heaven: he loves to see us
struggling with a disease, and resisting the devil, and contesting
against the weaknesses of nature, and against hope to believe in
hope--resigning ourselves to God's will, praying Him to choose for us,
and dying in all things but faith and its blest consequents; _ut ad
officium cum periculo sinus prompti_--and the danger and the
resistance shall endear the office. For so have I known the boisterous
north wind pass through the yielding air, which opened its bosom, and
appeased its violence by entertaining it with easy compliance in all
the region of its reception; but when the same breath of heaven hath
been checked with the stiffness of a tower, or the united strength of
a wood, it grew mighty and dwelt there, and made the highest branches
stoop and make a smooth path for it on the top of all its glories.


[Footnote 89: From the "Rules and Exercises of Holy Dying."]


     Born in 1618, died in 1667; son of a stationer; educated at
     Cambridge and Oxford; identified himself with the Royalists;
     fled with the Queen to France in 1646; returned to England
     in 1656, settled afterward at Chertsey; highly esteemed in
     his own day as a poet; his works first collected in 1668.



What a brave privilege is it to be free from all contentions, from all
envying or being envied, from receiving and from paying all kind of
ceremonies! It is, in my mind, a very delightful pastime for two good
and agreeable friends to travel up and down together, in places where
they are by nobody known, nor know anybody. It was the ease of Æneas
and his Achates, when they walked invisibly about the fields and
streets of Carthage. Venus herself

    A veil of thickened air around them cast,
    That none might know, or see them, as they passed.

VIRG.1 _Æn._

The common story of Demosthenes's confession, that he had taken great
pleasure in hearing of a tanker-woman say, as he passed: "This is that
Demosthenes," is wonderfully ridiculous from so solid an orator. I
myself have often met with that temptation to vanity, if it were any;
but am so far from finding it any pleasure, that it only makes me run
faster from the place, till I get, as it were, out of sight-shot.
Democritus[91] relates, and in such a manner as if he gloried in the
good fortune and commodity of it, that, when he came to Athens, nobody
there did so much as take notice of him; and Epicurus lived there very
well, that is, lay hid many years in his gardens, so famous since that
time, with his friend Metrodorus: after whose death, making, in one of
his letters, a kind commemoration of the happiness which they two had
enjoyed together, he adds at last that he thought it no disparagement
to those great felicities of their life, that, in the midst of the
most talked-of and talking country in the world, they had lived so
long, not only without fame, but almost without being heard of; and
yet, within a very few years afterward, there were no two names of men
more known or more generally celebrated.

If we engage into a large acquaintance and various familiarities, we
set open our gates to the invaders of most of our time; we expose our
life to a quotidian ague of frigid impertinences, which would make a
wise man tremble to think of. Now, as for being known much by sight,
and pointed at, I can not comprehend the honor that lies in that;
whatsoever it be, every mountebank has it more than the best doctor,
and the hangman more than the lord chief-justice of a city. Every
creature has it, both of nature and art, if it be anyways

It was as often said: "This is that Bucephalus,"[92] or, "This is that
Incitatus,"[93] when they were led prancing through the streets, as,
"This is that Alexander," or, "This is that Domitian"; and truly, for
the latter, I take Incitatus to have been a much more honorable beast
than his master, and more deserving the consulship than he the empire.

I love and commend a true good fame, because it is the shadow of
virtue: not that it doth any good to the body which it accompanies,
but it is an efficacious shadow, and like that of St. Peter, cures the
diseases of others. The best kind of glory, no doubt, is that which is
reflected from honesty, such as was the glory of Cato and Aristides;
but it was harmful to them both, and is seldom beneficial to any man
whilst he lives; what it is to him after his death, I can not say,
because I love not philosophy merely notional and conjectural, and no
man who has made the experiment has been so kind as to come back to
inform us. Upon the whole matter, I account a person who has a
moderate mind and fortune, and lives in the conversation of two or
three agreeable friends, with little commerce in the world besides,
who is esteemed well enough by his few neighbors that know him, and is
truly irreproachable by anybody; and so, after a healthful quiet life,
before the great inconveniences of old age, goes more silently out of
it than he came in--for I would not have him so much as cry in the
exit: this innocent deceiver of the world, as Horace calls him, this
_muta persona_, I take to have been more happy in his part than the
greatest actors that fill the stage with show and noise; nay, even
than Augustus himself, who asked, with his last breath, whether he had
not played his farce very well.



I am glad that you approve and applaud my design of withdrawing myself
from all tumult and business of the world, and consecrating the little
rest of my time to those studies to which nature had so motherly
inclined me, and from which fortune, like a step-mother, has so long
detained me. But, nevertheless, you say (which _but_ is _ærugo mera_,
a rust which spoils the good metal it grows upon)--but you say you
would advise me not to precipitate that resolution, but to stay a
while longer with patience and complaisance, till I had gotten such an
estate as might accord me--according to the saying of that person,
whom you and I love very much, and would believe as soon as another
man--_cum dignitate otium_. This were excellent advice to Joshua, who
could bid the sun stay too. But there's no fooling with life, when it
is once turned beyond forty: the seeking for a fortune then is but a
desperate after-game; 'tis a hundred to one if a man fling two sixes,
and recover all; especially if his hand be no luckier than mine.

There is some help for all the defects of fortune; for if a man can
not attain to the length of his wishes, he may have his remedy by
cutting of them shorter. Epicurus writes a letter to Idomeneus--who
was then a very powerful, wealthy, and, it seems, a bountiful
person--to recommend to him, who had made so many rich, one Pythocles,
a friend of his, whom he desired might be made a rich man too; "but I
entreat you that you would not do it just the same way as you have
done to many less deserving persons; but in the most gentlemanly
manner of obliging him, which is, not to add anything to his estate,
but to take something from his desires."

The sum of this is, that for the certain hopes of some conveniences,
we ought not to defer the execution of a work that is necessary;
especially when the use of those things which we would stay for may
otherwise be supplied, but the loss of time never recovered; nay,
farther yet, tho we were sure to obtain all that we had a mind to, tho
we were sure of getting never so much by continuing the game, yet when
the light of life is so near going out, and ought to be so precious,
_le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle_, the play is not worth the expense
of the candle; after having been long tossed in a tempest, if our
masts be standing, and we have still sail and tackling enough to carry
us to our port, it is no matter for the want of streamers and


[Footnote 90: From the "Essays."]

[Footnote 91: Democritus was born about 460 B.C.and died about 857.
He was often known as "The Laughing Philosopher."]

[Footnote 92: The famous horse ridden by Alexander the Great.]

[Footnote 93: A horse ridden by the Roman Emperor Domitian.]

[Footnote 94: From the "Essays."]


     Born in 1624, died in 1691; founder of the Society of
     Friends; son of a weaver, apprenticed to a shoemaker; became
     an itinerant lay preacher at the age of 25, completing the
     organization of the Society of Friends in 1669; made
     missionary journeys to Scotland, Ireland, and West Indies,
     Holland and North America (1671-72); frequently imprisoned
     for infraction of the laws against Conventicles.


After Captain Drury had lodged me at the Mermaid, over against the
Mews at Charing Cross, he went to give the Protector an account of me.
When he came to me again, he told me the Protector required that I
should promise not to take up a carnal sword or weapon against him or
the government, as it then was; and that I should write it in what
words I saw good, and set my hand to it. I said little in reply to
Captain Drury, but the next morning I was moved of the Lord to write a
paper to the Protector, by the name of Oliver Cromwell, wherein I did,
in the presence of the Lord God, declare that I did deny the wearing
or drawing of a "carnal sword, or any other outward weapon, against
him or any man; and that I was sent of God to stand a witness against
all violence, and against the works of darkness, and to turn people
from darkness to light; to bring them from the occasion of war and
fighting to the peaceable Gospel, and from being evil-doers, which the
magistrates' sword should be a terror to." When I had written what the
Lord had given me to write, I set my name to it, and gave it to
Captain Drury to hand to Oliver Cromwell, which he did. After some
time, Captain Drury brought me before the Protector himself at
Whitehall. It was in a morning, before he was drest; and one Harvey,
who had come a little among friends, but was disobedient, waited upon

When I came in, I was moved to say: "Peace be in this house"; and I
exhorted him to keep in the fear of God, that he might receive wisdom
from Him; that by it he might be ordered, and with it might order all
things under his hand unto God's glory. I spoke much to him of truth;
and a great deal of discourse I had with him about religion, wherein
he carried himself very moderately. But he said we quarreled with the
priests, whom he called ministers. I told him, "I did not quarrel with
them, they quarreled with me and my friends. But, said I, if we own
the prophets, Christ, and the apostles, we can not hold up such
teachers, prophets, and shepherds, as the prophets, Christ, and the
apostles declared against; but we must declare against them by the
same power and spirit." Then I shewed him that the prophets, Christ,
and the apostles, declared freely, and declared against them that did
not declare freely; such as preached for filthy lucre, divined for
money, and preached for hire, and were covetous and greedy, like the
dumb dogs that could never have enough; and that they who have the
same spirit that Christ, and the prophets, and the apostles had, could
not but declare against all such now, as they did then. As I spoke, he
several times said it was very good, and it was truth. I told him:
"That all Christendom, so called, had the Scriptures, but they wanted
the power and spirit that those had who gave forth the Scriptures, and
that was the reason they were not in fellowship with the Son, nor with
the Father, nor with the Scriptures, nor one with another."

Many more words I had with him, but people coming in, I drew a little
back. As I was turning, he catched me by the hand, and with tears in
his eyes said: "Come again to my house, for if thou and I were but an
hour of a day together, we should be nearer one to the other"; adding,
that he wished me no more ill than he did to his own soul. I told him,
if he did, he wronged his own soul, and admonished him to harken to
God's voice, that he might stand in His counsel, and obey it; and if
he did so, that would keep him from hardness of heart; but if he did
not hear God's voice, his heart would be hardened. He said it was
true. Then I went out; and when Captain Drury came out after me, he
told me the lord Protector said I was at liberty, and might go whither
I would. Then I was brought into a great hall, where the Protector's
gentlemen were to dine. I asked them what they brought me thither for.
They said it was by the Protector's order, that I might dine with
them. I bid them let the Protector know I would not eat of his bread,
nor drink of his drink. When he heard this, he said: "Now I see there
is a people risen that I can not win, either with gifts, honors,
offices, or places; but all other sects and people I can." It was told
him again, "That we had forsook our own, and were not like to look for
such things from him."[96]


[Footnote 95: From the "Journal."]

[Footnote 96: Just before Cromwell's death, Fox had another interview
with him of which he wrote: "The same day, taking boat, I went down
(_up_) to Kingston, and from thence to Hampton Court, to speak with
the Protector about the sufferings of friends. I met him riding into
Hampton Court Park; and before I came to him, as he rode at the head
of his life-guard, I saw and felt a waft (_whiff_) of death go forth
against him; and when I came to him he looked like a dead man. After I
had laid the sufferings of friends before him, and had warned him
according as I was moved to speak to him, he bade me come to his
house. So I returned to Kingston, and the next day went up to Hampton
Court to speak further with him. But when I came, Harvey, who was one
that waited on him, told me the doctors were not willing that I should
speak with him. So I passed away, and never saw him more."

Carlyle in his "Life and Letters of Cromwell," quoting this passage,
says: "His life, if thou knew it, has not been a merry thing for this
man, now or heretofore! I fancy he has been looking this long while to
give it up, whenever the Commander-in-chief required. To quit his
laborious sentry-post; honorably lay up his arms, and be gone to his
rest--all eternity to rest in, George! Was thy own life merry, for
example, in the hollow of the tree; clad permanently in leather? And
does kingly purple, and governing refractory worlds instead of
stitching coarse shoes, make it merrier? The waft of death is not
against him, I think--perhaps, against thee, and me, and others, O
George, when the Nell Gwynne defender and two centuries of
all-victorious cant have come in upon us!"]


     Baptized in 1628, died in 1688; son of a tinker, adopting
     his father's trade; served two years in the Civil Wars;
     joined a Non-Conformist body at Bedford about 1645, becoming
     a traveling preacher in the midland counties; arrested in
     1660 under statutes against Non-Conformists and spent
     several years in jail, where he wrote part of his "Pilgrim's
     Progress," published in 1678-1684; on being released from
     prison was licensed to preach and remained pastor at Bedford
     until he died.



Now I saw in my dream that by this time the pilgrims were got over the
Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air
was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they
solaced them there for the season. Yea, here they heard continually
the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the
earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country
the sun shineth night and day; wherefore it was beyond the Valley of
the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair;
neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle.
Here they were within sight of the city they were going to; also here
met them some of the inhabitants thereof: for in this land the
shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of
Heaven. In this land, also, the contract between the bride and
bridegroom was renewed; yea, here, "as the bridegroom rejoiceth over
the bride, so did their God rejoice over them." Here they had no want
of corn and wine; for in this place they met abundance of what they
had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from
out of the city, loud voices, saying: "Say ye to the daughter of Zion,
behold thy salvation cometh! Behold, his reward is with him!" Here all
the inhabitants of the country called them "the holy people, the
redeemed of the Lord, sought out," etc.

Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in
parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and
drawing nearer to the city yet, they had a more perfect view thereof:
it was built of pearls and precious stones, also the streets thereof
were paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the
city, and the reflection of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with
desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease:
wherefore here they lay by it a while, crying out, because of their
pangs: "If you see my Beloved, tell him that I am sick of love."

But being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their
sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer,
where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, and their gates opened
into the highway. Now, as they came up to these places, behold the
gardener stood in the way, to whom the pilgrims said: Whose goodly
vineyards and gardens are these? He answered: They are the King's, and
are planted here for his own delight, and also for the solace of
pilgrims: so the gardener had them into the vineyards and bid them
refresh themselves with dainties; he also shewed them there the King's
walks and arbors, where he delighted to be; and here they tarried and

Now, I beheld in my dream that they talked more in their sleep at this
time than ever they did in all their journey; and being in a muse
thereabout, the gardener said even to me: Wherefore musest thou at the
matter? It is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards
to go down so sweetly, as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to

So I saw that when they awoke, they addrest themselves to go up to the
city. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the city--for the
city was pure gold--was so extremely glorious, that they could not as
yet with open face behold it, but through an instrument made for that
purpose. So I saw that, as they went on, there met them two men in
raiment that shone like gold; also their faces shone as the light.

These men asked the pilgrims whence they came; and they told them.
They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and
dangers, what comforts and pleasures, they had met with in their way;
and they told them. Then said the men that met them: You have but two
difficulties more to meet with, and then you are in the city.

Christian and his companion then asked the men to go along with them;
so they told them that they would. But, said they, you must obtain it
by your own faith. So I saw in my dream that they went on together
till they came in sight of the gate....

Then I saw in my dream that Christian was in a muse a while. To whom,
also, Hopeful added these words: Be of good cheer; Jesus Christ maketh
thee whole: and with that Christian brake out with a loud voice--Oh! I
see him again; and he tells me: "When thou passest through the waters,
I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow
thee." Then they both took courage, and the enemy was after that as
still as a stone, until they were gone over. Christian, therefore,
presently found ground to stand upon, and so it followed that the rest
of the river was but shallow; but thus they got over. Now, upon the
bank of the river on the other side, they saw the two shining men
again, who there waited for them; wherefore, being come out of the
river, they saluted them, saying "We are ministering spirits, sent for
to minister to those that shall be heirs of salvation." Thus they went
along toward the gate. Now you must note that the city stood upon a
mighty hill; but the pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because
they had these two men to lead them up by the arms; they had likewise
left their mortal garments behind them in the river; for tho they went
in with them, they came out without them. They therefore went up here
with much agility and speed, tho the foundation upon which the city
was framed was higher than the clouds.



It was noised abroad that Mr _Valiant-for-truth_ was taken with a
Summons by the same Post as the other, and had this for a Token that
the Summons was true, That his Pitcher was broken at the Fountain.
When he understood it, he called for his Friends, and told them of it.
Then said he, I am going to my Fathers, and tho with great difficulty
I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the Trouble I have
been at to arrive where I am. My Sword I give to him that shall
succeed me in my Pilgrimage, and my Courage and Skill to him that can
get it. My Marks and Scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me
that I have fought his Battles who now will be my Rewarder. When the
day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the
River-side, into which as he went he said, Death, where is thy Sting?
And as he went down deeper he said, Grave, where is thy Victory? So he
passed over, and all the Trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

Then there came forth a Summons for Mr _Stand-fast_ (This Mr
_Stand-fast_ was he that the rest of the Pilgrims found upon his Knees
in the Inchanted Ground), for the Post brought it him open in his
hands. The contents whereof were, _that he must prepare for a Change
of Life, for his Master was not willing that he should be so far from
him any longer_. At this Mr _Stand-fast_ was put into a muse. Nay,
said the Messenger, you need not doubt of the truth of my Message, for
here is a Token of the Truth thereof, _Thy Wheel is broken at the
Cistern_. Then he called to him Mr _Great-heart_ who was their Guide,
and said unto him, Sir, altho it was not my hap to be much in your
good Company in the days of my Pilgrimage, yet since the time I knew
you, you have been profitable to me. When I came from home, I left
behind me a Wife and five small Children, let me entreat you at your
return (for I know that you will go and return to your Master's house,
in hopes that you yet be a Conductor to more of the holy Pilgrims),
that you send to my Family, and let them be acquainted with all that
hath and shall happen unto me. Tell them moreover of my happy Arrival
to this place, and of the present late blessed condition that I am in.
Tell them also of _Christian_ and _Christiana_ his Wife, and how she
and her Children came after her Husband. Tell them also of what a
happy end she made and whither she is gone. I have little or nothing
to send to my Family, except it be Prayers and Tears for them; of
which it will suffice if thou acquaint them, if peradventure they may

When Mr _Stand-fast_ had thus set things in order, and the time being
come for him to haste him away, he also went down to the River. Now
there was a great Calm at that time in the River; wherefore Mr
_Stand-fast_, when he was about half-way in, he stood awhile, and
talked to his Companions that had waited upon him thither. And he

This River has been a Terror to many, yea, the thoughts of it also
have often frighted me. But now methinks I stand easy, my Foot is fixt
upon that upon which the Feet of the Priests that bare the Ark of the
Covenant stood while _Israel_ went over this _Jordan_. The Waters
indeed are to the Palate bitter and to the Stomach cold, yet the
thoughts of what I am going to and of the Conduct that waits for me on
the other side doth lie as a glowing Coal at my Heart.

I see myself now at the end of my Journey, my toilsome days are ended.
I am going now to see that Head that was crowned with Thorns, and that
Face that was spit upon for me.

I have formerly lived by Hear-say and Faith, but now I go where I
shall live by sight, and shall be with Him in whose Company I delight

I have loved to hear my Lord spoken of, and wherever I have seen the
print of His Shoe in the Earth, there I have coveted to set my Foot

His name has been to me as a Civet-box, yea, sweeter than all
Perfumes. His Voice to me has been most sweet, and his Countenance I
have more desired than they that have most desired the Light of the
Sun. His Word I did use to gather for my Food and for Antidotes
against my Faintings. He has held me, and I have kept me from mine
iniquities, yea, my Steps hath He strengthened in His Way.

Now while he was thus in Discourse, his Countenance changed, his
strong man bowed under him, and after he had said, _Take me, for I
come unto Thee_, he ceased to be seen of them.

But glorious it was to see how the open Region was filled with Horses
and Chariots, with Trumpeters and Pipers, with Singers and Players on
Stringed Instruments, to welcome the Pilgrims as they went up, and
followed one another in at the beautiful Gate of the City.



Then I saw in my Dream, that when they were got out of the Wilderness,
they presently saw a Town before them, and the name of that Town is
_Vanity_; and at the Town there is a Fair kept, called _Vanity Fair_:
it is kept all the year long; it beareth the name of _Vanity Fair_,
because the Town where 'tis kept is _lighter than Vanity_; and also
because all that is there sold, or that cometh thither, is _Vanity_.
As is the saying of the wise, _All that cometh is Vanity_.

This Fair is no new erected business, but a thing of ancient standing;
I will shew you the original of it.

Almost five thousand years agone, there were Pilgrims walking to the
Celestial City, as these two honest persons are; and _Beelzebub_,
_Apollyon_, and _Legion_, with their Companions, perceiving by the
path that the Pilgrims made, that their way to the city lay through
this Town of _Vanity_, they contrived here to set up a Fair; a Fair
wherein should be sold of _all sorts of Vanity_, and that it should
last all the year long: therefore at this Fair are all such
Merchandise sold, as Houses, Lands, Trades, Places, Honors,
Preferments, Titles, Countries, Kingdoms, Lusts, Pleasures, and
Delights of all sorts, as Whores, Bawds, Wives, Husbands, Children,
Masters, Servants, Lives, Blood, Bodies, Souls, Silver, Gold, Pearls,
Precious Stones, and what not....

Now, as I said, the way to the Celestial City lies just through this
Town where this lusty Fair is kept; and he that will go to the City,
and yet not go through this Town, must needs _go out of the World_.
The Prince of Princes himself, when here, went through this Town to
his own Country, and that upon a _Fair-day_ too; yea, and as I think,
it was _Beelzebub_, the chief Lord of this Fair, that invited him to
buy of his Vanities: yea, would have made him Lord of the Fair, would
he but have done him reverence as he went through the Town. Yea,
because he was such a person of honor, _Beelzebub_ had him from Street
to Street, and shewed him all the Kingdoms of the World in a little
time, that he might (if possible) allure that Blessed One to cheapen
and buy some of his Vanities. But he had no mind to the Merchandise,
and therefore left the Town, without laying out so much as one
Farthing upon these Vanities. This Fair therefore is an ancient thing,
of long standing, and a very great Fair....

The Pilgrims being patient, and not rendering railing for railing, but
contrarywise blessing, and giving good words for bad, and kindness
for injuries done, some men in the Fair that were more observing, and
less prejudiced than the rest, began to check and blame the baser sort
for their continual abuses done by them to the men; they therefore in
angry manner let fly at them again, counting them as bad as the men in
the Cage, and telling them that they seemed confederates, and should
be made partakers of their misfortunes. The other replied, that for
ought they could see, the men were quiet, and sober, and intended
nobody any harm; and that there were many that traded in their Fair
that were more worthy to be put into the Cage, yea, and Pillory too,
than were the men that they had abused. Thus, after divers words had
passed on both sides (the men behaving themselves all the while very
wisely and soberly before them), they fell to some blows among
themselves, and did harm one to another. Then were these two poor men
brought before their examiners again, and there charged as being
guilty of the late hubbub that had been in the Fair. So they beat them
pitifully and hanged irons upon them, and led them in chaines up and
down the Fair, for an example and a terror to others, lest any should
further speak in their behalf, or join themselves unto them. But
_Christian_ and _Faithful_ behaved themselves yet more wisely, and
received the ignominy and shame that was cast upon them, with so much
meekness and patience, that it won to their side (tho but few in
comparison of the rest) several of the men in the Fair. This put the
other party yet into a greater rage, insomuch that they concluded the
death of these two men. Wherefore they threatened, that the Cage nor
irons should serve their turn, but that they should die, for the abuse
they had done, and for deluding the men of the Fair.

    Behold Vanity Fair; the Pilgrims there
      Are chained and stoned beside;
    Even so it was, our Lord past here,
      And on Mount Calvary died.

Then were they remanded to the Cage again, until further order should
be taken with them. So they put them in, and made their feet fast in
the Stocks.

Here also they called again to mind what they had heard from their
faithful friend _Evangelist_, and were the more confirmed in their way
and sufferings, by what he told them would happen to them. They also
now comforted each other, that whose lot it was to suffer, even he
should have the best on't; therefore each man secretly wished that he
might have that preferment: but committing themselves to the Allwise
dispose of Him that ruleth all things, with much content they abode in
the condition in which they were, until they should be otherwise
disposed of.

Then a convenient time being appointed, they brought them forth to
their Tryal, in order to their condemnation. When the time was come,
they were brought before their enemies, and arraigned. The Judge's
name was Lord _Hate-good_. Their Indictment was one and the same in
substance, tho somewhat varying in form, the contents whereof was

_That they were enemies to and disturbers of their Trade; that they
had made Commotions and Divisions in the Town, and had won a party to
their own most dangerous Opinions in contempt of the Law of their

    Now _Faithful_ play the Man, speak for thy God:
    Fear not the wickeds' malice, nor their rod:
    Speak boldly man, the Truth is on thy side;
    Die for it, and to Life in triumph ride.

Then _Faithful_ began to answer, that he had only set himself against
that which had set itself against Him that is higher than the highest.
And said he, as for Disturbance, I make none, being myself a man of
Peace; the Party that were won to us, were won by beholding our Truth
and Innocence, and they are only turned from the worse to the better.
And as to the King you talk of, since he is _Beelzebub_, the enemy of
our Lord, I defy him and all his Angels.

Then Proclamation was made, that they that had aught to say for their
Lord the King against the Prisoner at the Bar, should forthwith appear
and give in their evidence. So there came in three witnesses, to wit,
_Envy_, _Superstition_, and _Pickthank_. They were then asked if they
knew the Prisoner at the Bar; and what they had to say for their Lord
the King against him.

Then stood forth _Envy_, and said to this effect: My Lord, I have
known this man a long time, and will attest upon my Oath before this
honorable Bench, that he is--

_Judge._ Hold! Give him life Oath.

So they sware him.

Then he said, My Lord, this man, notwithstanding his plausible name,
is one of the vilest men in our Country. He neither regardeth Prince
nor People, Law nor Custom; but doth all that he can to possess all
men with certain of his disloyal notions, which he in the general
calls Principles of Faith and Holiness. And in particular, I heard him
once myself affirm _That Christianity and the Customs of our Town of
Vanity were diametrically opposite, and could not be reconciled_. By
which saying, my Lord, he doth at once not only condemn all our
laudable doings, but us in the doing of them.

_Judge._ Then did the Judge say to him, Hast thou any more to say?

_Envy._ My Lord, I could say much more, only I would not be tedious to
the Court. Yet if need be, when the other Gentlemen have given in
their Evidence, rather than anything shall be wanting that will
despatch him, I will enlarge my Testimony against him.

So he was bid stand by. Then they called _Superstition_, and bid him
look upon the Prisoner. They also asked, what he could say for their
Lord the King against him. Then they sware him; so he began:

_Super._ My Lord, I have no great acquaintance with this man, nor do I
desire to have further knowledge of him; however, this I know, that he
is a very pestilent fellow, from some discourse that the other day I
had with him in this Town; for then talking with him, I heard him say,
That our Religion was naught, and such by which a man could by no
means please God. Which sayings of his, my Lord, your Lordship very
well knows, what necessarily thence will follow, to wit, That we still
do worship in vain, are yet in our sins, and finally shall be damned;
and this is that which I have to say.

Then was _Pickthank_ sworn, and bid say what he knew, in behalf of
their Lord the King, against the prisoner at the Bar.

_Pick._ My Lord, and you, Gentlemen all, This fellow I have known of a
long time, and have heard him speak things that ought not to be spoke;
for he hath railed on our noble Prince _Beelzebub_, and hath spoken
contemptibly of his honorable Friends, whose names are the Lord _Old
Man_, the Lord _Carnal Delight_, the Lord _Luxurious_, the Lord
_Desire of Vain Glory_, my old Lord _Lechery_, Sir _Having Greedy_,
with all the rest of our Nobility; and he hath said moreover, That if
all men were of his mind, if possible, there is not one of these
Noblemen should have any longer a being in this Town; besides, he hath
not been afraid to rail on you, my Lord, who are now appointed to be
his Judge, calling you an ungodly villain, with many other suchlike
vilifying terms, with which he hath bespattered most of the Gentry of
our Town.

When this _Pickthank_ had told his tale, the Judge directed his speech
to the Prisoner at the Bar, saying, Thou Runagate, Heretick, and
Traitor, hast thou heard what these honest Gentlemen have witnessed
against thee?

_Faith._ May I speak a few words in my own defense?

_Judge._ Sirrah, sirrah, thou deservest to live no longer, but to be
slain immediately upon the place; yet that all men may see our
gentleness towards thee, let us see what thou hast to say.

_Faith._ 1. I say then, in answer to what Mr _Envy_ hath spoken, I
never said ought but this, _That what Rule or Laws or Custom or
People, were flat against the Word of God, are diametrically opposite
to Christianity_. If I have said amiss in this, convince me of my
error, and I am ready here before you to make my recantation.

2. As to the second, to wit, Mr _Superstition_, and his charge against
me, I said only this, _That in the worship of God there is required a
Divine Faith; but there can be no Divine Faith without a Divine
Revelation of the will of God; therefore whatever is thrust into the
Worship of God that is not agreeable to a Divine Revelation, cannot be
done but by an human faith, which faith will not profit to Eternal

3. As to what Mr _Pickthank_ hath said, I say (avoiding terms, as that
I am said to rail, and the like) that the Prince of this Town, with
all the rabblement his attendants, by this Gentleman named, are more
fit for a being in Hell, than in this Town and Country: _and so, the
Lord have mercy upon me_....

Then went the Jury out, whose names were, Mr _Blind-Man_, Mr
_No-good_, Mr _Malice_, Mr _Love-lust_, Mr _Live-loose_, Mr _Heady_,
Mr _High-mind_, Mr _Enmity_, Mr _Lyar_, Mr _Cruelty_, Mr _Hate-light_,
and Mr _Implacable_; who every one gave in his private Verdict against
him among themselves, and afterwards unanimously concluded to bring
him in guilty before the Judge. And first among themselves, Mr
_Blind-man_ the Foreman, said, _I see clearly that this man is an
Heretick_. Then said Mr _No-good_, _Away with such a fellow from the
earth_. _Ay_, said Mr _Malice_, _for I hate the very looks of him_.
Then said Mr _Love-lust_, _I could never endure him_. _Nor I_, said Mr
_Live-loose_, _for he would always be condemning my way_. _Hang him,
hang him_, said Mr _Heady_. _A sorry Scrub_, said Mr _High-mind_. _My
heart riseth against him_, said Mr _Enmity_. _He is a rogue_, said Mr
_Lyar_. _Hanging is too good for him_, said Mr _Cruelty_. _Let us
dispatch him out of the way_, said Mr _Hate-light_. Then said Mr
_Implacable_, _Might I have all the world given me, I could not be
reconciled to him; therefore let us forthwith bring him in guilty of
death_. And so they did; therefore he was presently condemned to be
had from the place where he was, to the place from whence he came, and
there to be put to the most cruel death that could be invented.

They therefore brought him out, to do with him according to their Law;
and first they Scourged him, then they Buffeted him, then they Lanced
his flesh with Knives; after that they Stoned him with stones, then
pricked him with their Swords; and last of all they burned him to
ashes at the Stake. Thus came _Faithful_ to his end.

    Brave _Faithful_, bravely done in Word and Deed;
    Judge, Witnesses, and Jury have instead
    Of overcoming thee, but shewn their Rage:
    When thou art dead, thou'lt live from Age to Age.


[Footnote 97: From "The Pilgrim's Progress."]

[Footnote 98: From "The Pilgrim's Progress."]

[Footnote 99: From "The Pilgrim's Progress."]


     Born in 1631, died in 1700; educated at Cambridge;
     originally a Parliamentarian, but vent over to the
     Royalists; made poet-laureate in 1670; converted to
     Catholicism in 1686; his life written by Samuel Johnson; his
     works collected in 1808 in eighteen volumes by Sir Walter


To begin, then, with Shakespeare. He was the man who, of all modern,
and perhaps ancient poets, had the largest and most comprehensive
soul. All the images of nature were still present to him, and he drew
them not laboriously, but luckily. When he describes anything, you
more than see it--you feel it too. Those who accused him to have
wanted learning, give him the greater commendation. He was naturally
learned; he needed not the spectacles of books to read nature; he
looked inwards, and found her there. I cannot say he is everywhere
alike; were he so, I should do him injury to compare him with the
greatest of mankind. He is many times flat, insipid; his comic wit
degenerating into clenches, his serious swelling into bombast. But he
is always great when some great occasion is presented to him; no man
can say he ever had a fit subject for his wit, and did not then raise
himself as high above the rest of poets.

    Quantum lenta solent inter viburna cupressi.

The consideration of this made Mr. Hales of Eton[101] say, that there
was no subject of which any poet ever writ, but he would produce it
much better done in Shakespeare; and however others are now generally
preferred before him, yet the age wherein he lived, which had
contemporaries with him Fletcher and Jonson, never equalled them to
him in their esteem. And in the last king's court, when Ben's
reputation was at highest, Sir John Suckling, and with him the greater
part of the courtiers, set our Shakespeare far above him....

Beaumont and Fletcher, of whom I am next to speak, had with the
advantage of Shakespeare's wit, which was their precedent, great
natural gifts, improved by study; Beaumont especially, being so
accurate a judge of plays, that Ben Jonson, while he lived, submitted
all his writings to his censure, and 'tis thought, used his judgment
in correcting, if not contriving, all his plots. What value he had for
him, appears by the verses he writ to him, and therefore I need speak
no farther of it. The first play that brought Fletcher and him in
esteem was their "Philaster"; for before that they had written two or
three very unsuccessfully: as the like is reported of Ben Jonson,
before he writ "Every Man in his Humor." Their plots were generally
more regular than Shakespeare's, especially those which were made
before Beaumont's death; and they understood and imitated the
conversation of gentlemen much better; whose wild debaucheries, and
quickness of wit in repartees, no poet before them could paint as
they have done. Humor, which Ben Jonson derived from particular
persons, they made it not their business to describe; they represented
all the passions very lively, but above all, love. I am apt to believe
the English language in them arrived to its highest perfection: what
words have since been taken in, are rather superfluous than
ornamental. Their plays are now the most pleasant and frequent
entertainments of the stage; two of theirs being acted through the
year, for one of Shakespeare's or Jonson's: the reason is, because
there is a certain gaiety in their comedies, and pathos in their more
serious plays, which suits generally with all men's humors.
Shakespeare's language is likewise a little obsolete, and Ben Jonson's
wit comes short of theirs.

As for Jonson, to whose character I am now arrived, if we look upon
him while he was himself--for his last plays were but his dotages--I
think him the most learned and judicious writer which any theater ever
had. He was a most severe judge of himself, as well as others. One can
not say he wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it. In his
works you find little to retrench or alter. Wit, and language, and
humor also in some measure, we had before him; but something of art
was wanting to the drama, till he came. He managed his strength to
more advantage than any who preceded him. You seldom find him making
love in any of his scenes, or endeavoring to move the passions; his
genius was too sullen and saturnine to do it gracefully, especially
when he knew he came after those who had performed both to such a
height. Humor was his proper sphere; and in that he delighted most to
represent mechanic people. He was deeply conversant in the ancients,
both Greek and Latin, and he borrowed boldly from them; there is
scarce a poet or historian among the Roman authors of those times whom
he has not translated in "Sejanus" and "Catiline." But he has done his
robberies so openly that one may see he fears not to be taxed by any
law. He invades authors like a monarch; and what would be theft in
other poets, is only victory in him. With the spoils of these writers
he so represents old Rome to us, in its rites, ceremonies, and
customs, that if one of their poets had written either of his
tragedies, we had seen less of it than in him.

If there was any fault in his language, 'twas that he weaved it too
closely and laboriously, in his comedies especially: perhaps, too, he
did a little too much Romanize our tongue, leaving the words which he
translated almost as much Latin as he found them; wherein, tho he
learnedly followed their language, he did not enough comply with the
idiom of ours. If I would compare him with Shakespeare, I must
acknowledge him the more correct poet, but Shakespeare the greater
wit. Shakespeare was the Homer, or father of our dramatic poets:
Jonson was the Virgil, the pattern of elaborate writing: I admire him,
but I love Shakespeare. To conclude of him: as he has given us the
most correct plays, so, in the precepts which he has laid down in his
"Discoveries," we have as many and profitable rules for perfecting the
stage, as any wherewith the French can furnish us.


[Footnote 100: From the "Essay on Dramatic Poetry."]

[Footnote 101: John Hales, "the ever-memorable" canon of Windsor and
author of "Golden Remains," born in 1584, died in 1656.]


     Born in 1633, died in 1703; son of a London tailor, educated
     at Cambridge; a clerk in the Admiralty in 1660, becoming
     finally Secretary; conducted the entire administration
     during the great plague, when he alone remained in London;
     assisted in checking the great fire in 1666; elected to
     Parliament in 1678; President of the Royal Society in
     1684-86; gave his library of three thousand volumes to one
     of the colleges at Cambridge; his "Diary," first published
     in 1825, was written in cipher, without intent of



_August 18, 1660._--Towards Westminster by water. I landed my wife at
Whitefriars with £5 to buy her a petticoat, and my father persuaded
her to buy a most fine cloth, of 26_s._ a yard, and a rich lace, that
the petticoat will come to £5; but she doing it very innocently, I
could not be angry. Captain Ferrers took me and Creed to the Cockpit
play, the first that I have had time to see since my coming from sea,
_The Loyall Subject_, where one Kinaston, a boy, acted the Duke's
sister, but made the loveliest lady that ever I saw in my life. After
the play done, we went to drink, and, by Captain Ferrers' means,
Kinaston, and another that acted Archas the General, came and drank
with us.

19. (Lord's Day.)--This morning Sir W. Batten, Pen, and myself, went
to church to the churchwardens, to demand a pew, which at present
could not be given us; but we are resolved to have one built. So we
staid, and heard Mr. Mills, a very good minister. Home to dinner,
where my wife had on her new petticoat that she bought yesterday,
which indeed is a very fine cloth and a line lace; but that being of a
light color, and the lace all silver, it makes no great show.

_March 2, 1667._--After dinner, with my wife, to the King's house to
see _The Maiden Queene_, a new play of Dryden's mightily commended for
the regularity of it, and the strain and wit; and, the truth is, there
is a comical part done by Nell Gwynne, which is Florimell, that I
never can hope ever to see the like done again, by man or woman. The
King and Duke of York were at the play. But so great performance of a
comical part was never, I believe, in the world before as Nell do this
both as a mad girl, then most and best of all, when she comes in like
a young gallant; and hath the motions and carriage of a spark the most
that ever I saw any man have. It makes me, I confess, admire her.

_October 5._--To the King's house; and there, going in, met with
Knipp, and she took us up into the tireing-rooms: and to the woman's
shift, where Nell was dressing herself, and was all unready, and is
very pretty, prettier than I thought. And into the scene-room, and
there sat down, and she gave us fruit: and here I read the questions
to Knipp, while she answered me, through all her part of _Flora
Figarys_, which was acted to-day. But, Lord! to see how they were
both painted would make a man mad, and did make me loath them; and
what base company of men comes among them, and how lewdly they talk!
and how poor the men are in clothes, and yet what a show they make on
the stage by candle-light, is very observable. But to see how Nell
cursed for having so few people in the pit, was pretty; the other
house carrying away all the people at the new play, and is said,
now-a-days, to have generally most company, as being better players.
By and by into the pit, and there saw the play, which is pretty good.

_December 28._--To the King's house, and there saw _The Mad Couple_,
which is but an ordinary play; but only Nell's and Hart's mad parts
are most excellent done, but especially hers: which makes it a miracle
to me to think how ill she do any serious part, as, the other day,
just like a fool or changeling; and in a mad part do beyond imitation
almost. It pleased us mightily to see the natural affection of a poor
woman, the mother of one of the children, brought on the stage; the
child crying, she by force got upon the stage, and took up her child,
and carried it away off of the stage from Hart. Many fine faces here

_February 27, 1667-8._--With my wife to the King's house, to see _The
Virgin Martyr_, the first time it hath been acted a great while: and
it is mighty pleasant; not that the play is worth much, but it is
finely acted by Beck Marshall. But that which did please me beyond
anything in the whole world was the wind-musick when the angel comes
down, which is so sweet that it ravished me, and indeed, in a word,
did wrap up my soul so that it made me really sick, just as I have
formerly been when in love with my wife; that neither then, nor all
the evening going home, and at home, I was able to think of anything,
but remained all night transported, so as I could not believe that
ever any musick hath that real command over the soul of a man as this
did upon me: and makes me resolve to practise wind-musick, and to make
my wife do the like.

_May 26, 1667._--My wife and I to church, where several strangers of
good condition come to our pew. After dinner, I by water alone to
Westminster to the parish church, and there did entertain myself with
my perspective glass up and down the church, by which I had the great
pleasure of seeing and gazing at a great many very fine women; and
what with that, and sleeping, I passed away the time till sermon was
done. I away to my boat, and up with it as far as Barne Elmes, reading
of Mr. Evelyn's late new book against Solitude, in which I do not find
much excess of good matter, tho it be pretty for a bye discourse.

_August 18._--To Cree Church, to see it how it is: but I find no
alteration there, as they there was, for my Lord Mayor and Aldermen to
come to sermon, as they do every Sunday, as they did formerly to
Paul's. There dined with me Mr. Turner and his daughter Betty. Betty
is grown a fine young lady as to carriage and discourse. We had a good
haunch of venison, powdered and boiled, and a good dinner. I walked
towards Whitehall, but, being wearied, turned into St. Dunstan's
Church, where I heard an able sermon of the minister of the place;
and stood by a pretty, modest maid, whom I did labor to take by the
hand; but she would not, but got further and further from me; and, at
last, I could perceive her to take pins out of her pocket to prick me
if I should touch her again--which, seeing, I did forbear, and was
glad I did spy her design. And then I fell to gaze upon another pretty
maid, in a pew close to me, and she on me; and I did go about to take
her by the hand, which she suffered a little and then withdrew. So the
sermon ended.

_May 11, 1667._--My wife being drest this day in fair hair did make me
so mad, that I spoke not one word to her, tho I was ready to burst
with anger. After that, Creed and I into the Park, and walked, a most
pleasant evening, and so took coach, and took up my wife, and in my
way home discovered my trouble to my wife for her white locks,
swearing several times, which I pray God forgive me for, and bending
my fist that I would not endure it. She, poor wretch, was surprised
with it, and made me no answer all the way home; but there we parted,
and I to the office late, and then home, and without supper to bed,

12. (Lord's Day.)--Up and to my chamber, to settle some accounts
there, and by and by down comes my wife to me in her night-gown, and
we begun calmly, that, upon having money to lace her gown for second
mourning, she would promise to wear white locks no more in my sight,
which I, like a severe fool, thinking not enough, begun to except
against, and made her fly out to very high terms and cry, and in her
heat, told me of keeping company with Mrs. Knipp, saying, that if I
would promise never to see her more--of whom she hath more reason to
suspect than I had heretofore of Pembleton--she would never wear white
locks more. This vexed me, but I restrained myself from saying
anything, but do think never to see this woman--at least, to have her
here more--and so all very good friends as ever. My wife and I
bethought ourselves to go to a French house to dinner, and so inquired
out Monsieur Robins, my perriwigg-maker, who keeps an ordinary, and in
an ugly street in Covent Garden, did find him at the door, and so we
in; and in a moment almost had the table covered, and clean glasses,
and all in the French manner, and a mess of potage first, and then a
piece of boeuf-a-la-mode, all exceeding well seasoned, and to our
great liking; at least it would have been anywhere else but in this
bad street, and in a perriwigg-maker's house; but to see the pleasant
and ready attendance that we had, and all things so desirous to
please, and ingenious in the people, did take me mightily. Our dinner
cost us 6_s._

_November 30, 1668._--My wife, after dinner, went the first time
abroad in her coach, calling on Roger Pepys, and visiting Mrs. Creed,
and my cosen Turner. Thus ended this month with very good content, but
most expenseful to my purse on things of pleasure, having furnished my
wife's closet and the best chamber, and a coach and horses, that ever
I knew in the world; and I am put into the greatest condition of
outward state that ever I was in, or hoped ever to be, or desired.

_December 2._--Abroad with my wife, the first time that ever I rode in
my own coach, which do make my heart rejoice, and praise God and pray
Him to bless it to me and continue it. So she and I to the King's
playhouse, and there saw _The Usurper_; a pretty good play, in all but
what is designed to resemble Cromwell and Hugh Peters, which is mighty
silly. The play done, we to Whitehall; where my wife staid while I up
to the Duchesse's and Queene's side, to speak with the Duke of York:
and here saw all the ladies, and heard the silly discourse of the
King, with his people about him.

_April 11, 1669._--Thence to the Park, my wife and I; and here Sir W.
Coventry did first see me and my wife in a coach of our own; and so
did also this night the Duke of York, who did eye my wife mightily.
But I begin to doubt that my being so much seen in my own coach at
this time may be observed to my prejudice; but I must venture it now.



_July 12, 1667._--Up betimes and to my chamber, there doing business,
and by and by comes Greeting and begun a new month with him, and now
to learn to set anything from the notes upon the flageolet, but Lord!
to see how like a fool he goes about to give direction would make a
man mad. I then out and by coach to White Hall and to the Treasury
chamber, where did a little business, and thence to the Exchequer to
Burges, about Tangier business, and so back again stepping into the
Hall a little, and then homeward by coach, and he with me to the
Excise Office, there to do a little business also, in the way he
telling me that undoubtedly the peace is concluded; for he did stand
where he did hear part of the discourse at the Council table, and
there did hear the King argue for it.

Among other things that the spirits of the seamen were down, and the
forces of our enemies are grown too great and many for us, and he
would not have his subjects overprest, for he knew an Englishman would
do as much as any man upon hopeful terms; but where he sees he is
overprest, he despairs soon as any other; and besides that, they have
already such a load of dejection upon them, that they will not be in
temper a good while again. He heard my Lord Chancellor say to the
King, "Sir," says he, "the whole world do complain publickly of
treachery, that things have been managed falsely by some of his great
ministers." "Sir," says he, "I am for your Majesty's falling into a
speedy enquiry into the truth of it, and, where you meet with it,
punish it. But, at the same time, consider what you have to do, and
make use of your time for having a peace; for more money will not be
given without much trouble, nor is it, I fear, to be had of the
people, nor will a little do it to put us into condition of doing our
business." But Sir H. Cholmly tells me he (the Chancellor) did say the
other day at his table, "Treachery," says he; "I could wish we could
prove there was anything of that in it; for that would imply some wit
and thoughtfulness; but we are ruined merely by folly and neglect."
And so Sir H. Cholmly tell me they did all argue for peace and so he
do believe that the King hath agreed to the three points Mr. Coventry
brought over, which I have mentioned before, and is gone with them

While we were at the Excise Office talking with Mr. Ball, it was
computed that the Parliament had given the King for this war only,
besides all prizes, and besides the £200,000 which he was to spend of
his own revenue to guard the sea, above £5,000,000 and odd £100,000;
which is a most prodigious sum. Sir H. Cholmly, as a true English
gentleman, do decry the King's expenses of his Privy-purse, which in
King James's time did not rise to above £5,000 a year, and in King
Charles's to £10,000, do now cost us above £100,000 besides the great
charge of the Monarchy, as the Duke of York £100,000 of it, and other
limbs of the Royal family, and the guards, which, for his part, says
he, "I would have all disbanded, for the King is not the better by
them, and would be as safe without them; for we have had no rebellions
to make him fear anything." But contrarily, he is now raising of a
land army, which this Parliament and Kingdom will never bear, besides,
the commanders they put over them are such as will never be able to
raise or command them; but the design is, and the Duke of York he
says, is hot for it, to have a land army, and so to make the
government like that of France, but our princes have not brains, or at
least care and forecast enough to do that.

It is strange how he and everybody now-a-days do reflect upon
Oliver,[104] and commend him, what brave things he did, and made all
the neighbor princes fear him; while here a prince, come in with all
the love and prayers and good liking of his people, who have given
greater signs of his loyalty and willingness to serve him with their
estates than ever was done by any other people, hath lost all so soon,
that it is a miracle what way a man could devise to lose so much in so
little time.

Thence he set me down at my Lord Crew's and away, and I up to my Lord,
where Sir Thomas Crew was, and by and by comes Mr. Cæsar, who teaches
my Lady's page upon the lute, and here Mr. Cæsar did play some very
fine things indeed, to my great liking. Here was my Lord Hitchingbroke
also, newly come from Hitchingbroke, where all well, but methinks I
knowing in what case he stands for money by his demands to me and the
report Mr. Moore gives of the management of the family, make me, God
forgive me! to contemn him, tho I do really honor and pity them, tho
they deserve it not that have so good an estate and will live beyond
it. To dinner, and very good discourse with my Lord. And after dinner,
Sir Thomas Crew and I alone, and he tells me how I am mightily in
esteem with the Parliament; there being harangues made in the House to
the Speaker, of Mr. Pepy's readiness and civility to shew them
everything, which I am this time very glad of.


[Footnote 102: From the "Diary."]

[Footnote 103: From the "Diary."]

[Footnote 104: Oliver Cromwell had died in 1658, nine years before the
date of Pepy's paragraph.]


     Born in 1643, died in 1715; accompanied William III from
     Holland to England as chaplain in 1688; made Bishop of
     Salisbury in 1689; his "History of Our Own Times" published
     after his death in 1723-34, having been edited by his son;
     other works published in his lifetime.


Thus lived and died King Charles II. He was the greatest instance in
history of the various revolutions of which any one man seemed
capable. He was bred up the first twelve years of his life with the
splendor that became the heir of so great a crown. After that, he
passed through eighteen years of great inequalities: unhappy in the
war, in the loss of his father, and of the crown of England. Scotland
did not only receive him, tho upon terms hard of digestion, but made
an attempt upon England for him, tho a feeble one. He lost the battle
of Worcester with too much indifference. And then he shewed more care
of his person than became one who had so much at stake. He wandered
about England for ten weeks after that, hiding from place to place.
But, under all the apprehensions he had then upon him, he shewed a
temper so careless, and so much turned to levity, that he was then
diverting himself with little household sports, in as unconcerned a
manner as if he had made no loss, and had been in no danger at all. He
got at last out of England. But he had been obliged to so many who had
been faithful to him, and careful of him, that he seemed afterwards to
resolve to make an equal return to them all; and finding it not easy
to reward them all as they deserved, he forgot them all alike. Most
princes seem to have this pretty deep in them, and to think that they
ought not to remember past services, but that their acceptance of them
is a full reward. He, of all in our age, exerted this piece of
prerogative in the amplest manner; for he never seemed to charge his
memory, or to trouble his thoughts, with the sense of any of the
services that had been done him.

While he was abroad at Paris, Cologne, or Brussels, he never seemed to
lay anything to heart. He pursued all his diversions and irregular
pleasures in a free career, and seemed to be as serene under the loss
of a crown as the greatest philosopher could have been. Nor did he
willingly hearken to any of those projects with which he often
complained that his chancellor persecuted him. That in which he seemed
most concerned was, to find money for supporting his expense. And it
was often said, that if Cromwell would have compounded the matter, and
have given him a good round pension, that he might have been induced
to resign his title to him. During his exile, he delivered himself so
entirely to his pleasures, that he became incapable of application. He
spent little of his time in reading or study, and yet less in
thinking. And in the state his affairs were then in, he accustomed
himself to say to every person, and upon all occasions, that which he
thought would please most; so that words or promises went very easily
from him. And he had so ill an opinion of mankind, that he thought,
the great art of living and governing was, to manage all things and
all persons with a depth of craft and dissimulation. And in that few
men in the world could put on the appearances of sincerity better than
he could; under which so much artifice was usually hid, that in
conclusion he could deceive none, for all were become mistrustful of

He had great vices, but scarce any virtues to correct them. He had in
him some vices that were less hurtful, which corrected his more
hurtful ones. He was, during the active part of life, given up to
sloth and lewdness to such a degree, that he hated business, and could
not bear the engaging in anything that gave him much trouble, or put
him under any constraint. And tho he desired to become absolute, and
to overturn both our religion and our laws, yet he would neither run
the risk, nor give himself the trouble, which so great a design
required. He had an appearance of gentleness in his outward
deportment; but he seemed to have no bowels nor tenderness in his
nature, and in the end of his life he became cruel. He was apt to
forgive all crimes, even blood itself, yet he never forgave anything
that was done against himself, after his first and general act of
indemnity, which was to be reckoned as done rather upon maxims of
state than inclinations of mercy. He delivered himself up to a most
enormous course of vice, without any sort of restraint, even from the
consideration of the nearest relations. The most studied extravagances
that way seemed, to the very last, to be much delighted in and pursued
by him. He had the art of making all people grow fond of him at first,
by a softness in his whole way of conversation, as he was certainly
the best-bred man of the age. But when it appeared how little could be
built on his promise, they were cured of the fondness that he was apt
to raise in them. When he saw young men of quality, who had something
more than ordinary in them, he drew them about him, and set himself to
corrupt them both in religion and morality; in which he proved so
unhappily successful, that he left England much changed at his death
from what he had found it at his restoration.

He loved to talk over all the stories of his life to every new man
that came about him. His stay in Scotland, and the share he had in the
war of Paris, in carrying messages from one side to the other, were
his common topics. He went over these in a very graceful manner, but
so often and so copiously, that all those who had been long accustomed
to them grew weary of them; and when he entered on those stories, they
usually withdrew: so that he often began them in a full audience, and
before he had done, there were not above four or five persons left
about him: which drew a severe jest from Wilmot, Earl of
Rochester.[106] He said he wondered to see a man have so good a
memory as to repeat the same story without losing the least
circumstance; and yet not remember that he had told it to the same
persons the very day before. This made him fond of strangers, for they
harkened to all his oft-repeated stories, and went away as in a
rapture at such an uncommon condescension of a king.

His person and temper, his vices as well as his fortunes, resemble the
character that we have given us of Tiberius so much, that it were easy
to draw the parallel between them. Tiberius's banishment, and his
coming afterward to reign, makes the comparison in that respect come
pretty near. His hating of business, and his love of pleasures; his
raising of favorites, and trusting them entirely; and his pulling them
down, and hating them excessively; his art of covering deep designs,
particularly of revenge, with an appearance of softness, brings them
so near a likeness, that I did not wonder much to observe the
resemblance of their faces and persons. At Rome, I saw one of the last
statues made for Tiberius, after he had lost his teeth. But, bating
the alteration which that made, it was so like King Charles, that
Prince Borghese and Signior Dominico, to whom it belonged, did agree
with me in thinking that it looked like a statute made for him.

Few things ever went near his heart. The Duke of Gloucester's death
seemed to touch him much. But those who knew him best, thought it was
because he had lost him by whom only he could have balanced the
surviving brother, whom he hated, and yet embroiled all his affairs to
preserve the succession to him....

No part of his character looked wickeder, as well as meaner, than that
he, all the while that he was professing to be of the Church of
England, expressing both zeal and affection to it, was yet secretly
reconciled to the Church of Rome; thus mocking God, and deceiving the
world with so gross a prevarication. And his not having the honesty or
courage to own it at the last; his not shewing any sign of the least
remorse for his ill-led life, or any tenderness either for his
subjects in general, or for the queen and his servants; and his
recommending only his mistresses and their children to his brother's
care, would have been a strange conclusion to any other's life, but
was well enough suited to all the other parts of his.


[Footnote 105: From the "History of Our Own Times."]

[Footnote 106: The profligate earl, of whom the best-known anecdote is
that he once pinned to the door of the King's chamber the following

    "Here lies our Sovereign Lord the King,
      Whose word no man relies on:
    He never said a foolish thing,
      And never did a wise one."

It is recorded of the King that, when he saw these lines he remarked
that they were quite true, inasmuch as his words were his own and his
acts were those of his ministers.]


     Born in 1661, died in 1731; his father a butcher in London;
     served in the army in 1688; traveled on the Continent; wrote
     pamphlets in favor of William III; arrested and placed in
     the pillory for an attack on Dissenters in 1703; engaged in
     political intrigues and wrote many articles and pamphlets;
     "Robinson Crusoe" published in 1719, "Moll Flanders" in
     1722, "The Journal of the Plague" in 1722.



Nothing can describe the confusion of thought which I felt when I sunk
into the water; for tho I swam very well, yet I could not deliver
myself from the waves so as to draw my breath; till that wave having
driven me or rather carried me a vast way on toward the shore, and
having spent itself, went back, and left me upon the land almost dry,
but half dead with the water I took in. I had so much presence of mind
as well as breath left, that seeing myself nearer the mainland than I
expected, I got upon my feet, and endeavored to make on toward the
land as I could, before another wave should return and take me up
again; but I soon found it was impossible to avoid it; for I saw the
sea coming after me as high as a great hill, and as furious as an
enemy which I had no means or strength to contend with: my business
was to hold my breath, and raise myself upon the water, if I could;
and so by swimming to preserve my breathing, and pilot myself toward
the shore if possible; my greatest concern now being that the wave, as
it would carry me a great way toward the shore when it came on, might
not carry me back again with it when it gave back toward the sea.

The wave that came upon me again buried me at once twenty or thirty
feet deep in its own body; and I could feel myself carried with a
mighty force and swiftness toward the shore, a very great way; but I
held my breath, and assisted myself to swim still forward with all my
might. I was ready to burst with holding my breath, when, as I felt
myself rising up, so to my immediate relief I found my head and hands
shoot out above the surface of the water; and tho it was not two
seconds of time that I could keep myself so, yet it relieved me
greatly, gave me breath and new courage. I was covered again with
water a good while, but not so long but I held it out; and finding the
water had spent itself, and began to return, I struck forward against
the return of the waves, and felt ground again with my feet. I stood
still a few moments to recover breath, and till the water went from
me, and then took to my heels and ran with what strength I had farther
toward the shore. But neither would this deliver me from the fury of
the sea, which came pouring in after me again; and twice more I was
lifted up by the waves and carried forward as before, the shore being
very flat.

The last time of these two had well-nigh been fatal to me; for the sea
having hurried me along as before, landed me, or rather dashed me
against a piece of rock, and that with such force that it left me
senseless, and indeed helpless as to my own deliverance; for the blow
taking my side and breast, beat the breath as it were quite out of my
body, and had it returned again immediately I must have been strangled
in the water; but I recovered a little before the return of the waves,
and seeing I should again be covered with the water, I resolved to
hold fast by a piece of the rock, and so to hold my breath if possible
till the wave went back. Now, as the waves were not so high as the
first, being nearer land, I held my hold till the wave abated, and
then fetched another run, which brought me so near the shore that the
next wave, tho it went over me, yet did not so swallow me up as to
carry me away; and the next run I took, I got to the mainland, where
to my great comfort I clambered up the cliffs of the shore, and sat me
down upon the grass, free from danger and quite out of the reach of
the water.

I was now landed, and safe on shore; and began to look up and thank
God that my life was saved, in a case wherein there were, some minutes
before, scarce any room to hope. I believe it is impossible to
express, to the life, what the ecstasies and transports of the soul
are when it is so saved, as I may say, out of the grave: and I did not
wonder now at the custom, viz., that when a malefactor who has the
halter about his neck is tied up, and just going to be turned off, and
has a reprieve brought to him--I say I do not wonder that they bring
a surgeon with it, to let him blood that very moment they tell him of
it; that the surprize may not drive the animal spirits from the heart
and overwhelm him.

    "For sudden joys, like griefs, confound at first."

I walked about the shore, lifting up my hands, and my whole being, as
I may say, wrapt up in the contemplation of my deliverance; making a
thousand gestures and motions which I can not describe; reflecting
upon my comrades that were drowned, and that there should not be one
soul saved but myself; for as for them, I never saw them afterward, or
any sign of them, except three of the hats, one cap, and two shoes
that were not fellows.



About a year and a half after I entertained these notions (and by long
musing had, as it were, resolved them all into nothing, for want of an
occasion to put them in execution), I was surprized one morning early
by seeing no less than five canoes all on shore together on my side
the island, and the people who belonged to them all landed and out of
my sight. The number of them broke all my measures; for seeing so
many, and knowing that they always came four or six, or sometimes
more, in a boat, I could not tell what to think of it, or how to take
my measures to attack twenty or thirty men single-handed; so lay still
in my castle, perplexed and discomforted. However, I put myself into
all the same postures for an attack that I had formerly provided, and
was just ready for action, if anything had presented. Having waited a
good while, listening to hear if they made any noise, at length, being
very impatient, I set my guns at the foot of my ladder, and clambered
up to the top of the hill, by my two stages, as usual; standing so,
however, that my head did not appear above the hill, so that they
could not perceive me by any means. Here I observed, by the help of my
perspective glass, that they were no less than thirty in number; that
they had a fire kindled, and that they had meat drest. How they had
cooked it, I knew not, or what it was; but they were all dancing, in I
know not how many barbarous gestures and figures, their own way, round
the fire.

While I was thus looking on them, I perceived, by my perspective, two
miserable wretches dragged from the boats, where, it seems, they were
laid by, and were now brought out for the slaughter. I perceived one
of them immediately fall; being knocked down, I suppose with a club or
wooden sword, for that was their way; and two or three others were at
work immediately, cutting him open for their cookery, while the other
victim was left standing by himself, till they should be ready for
him. In that very moment, this poor wretch, seeing himself a little at
liberty, and unbound, Nature inspired him with hopes of life and he
started away from them, and ran with incredible swiftness along the
sands, directly toward me; I mean toward that part of the coast where
my habitation was. I was dreadfully frightened, that I must
acknowledge, when I perceived him run my way; and especially when, as
I thought, I saw him pursued by the whole body; and now I expected
that part of my dream was coming to pass, and that he would certainly
take shelter in my grove; but I could not depend, by any means, upon
my dream, that the other savages would not pursue him thither, and
find him there. However, I kept my station, and my spirits began to
recover when I found that there was not above three men that followed
him; and still more was encouraged, when I found that he outstript
them exceedingly in running, and gained ground on them; so that, if he
could but hold it for half an hour, I saw easily he would fairly get
away from them all.

There was, between them and my castle, the creek, which I mentioned
often in the first part of my story, where I landed my cargoes out of
the ship; and this I saw plainly he must necessarily swim over, or the
poor wretch would be taken there; but when the savage escaping came
thither, he made nothing of it, tho the tide was then up; but,
plunging in, swam through in about thirty strokes, or thereabouts,
landed and ran with exceeding strength and swiftness. When the three
persons came to the creek I found that two of them could swim, but the
third could not, and that, standing on the other side, he looked at
the others, but went no farther, and soon after went softly back
again; which, as it happened, was very well for him in the end. I
observed that the two who swam were yet more than twice as long
swimming over the creek than the fellow was that fled from them. It
came very warmly upon my thoughts, and indeed irresistibly, that now
was the time to get me a servant, and perhaps a companion or
assistant; and that I was plainly called by Providence to save this
poor creature's life. I immediately ran down the ladder with all
possible expedition, fetched my two guns, for they were both at the
foot of the ladder, as I observed before, and getting up again with
the same haste to the top of the hill, I crost toward the sea; and
having a very short cut, and all down hill, clap'd myself in the way
between the pursuers and the pursued, hallooing aloud to him that
fled, who, looking back, was at first perhaps as much frightened at me
as at them; but I beckoned with my hand to him to come back; and, in
the mean time, I slowly advanced toward the two that followed; then
rushing at once upon the foremost, I knocked him down with the stock
of my piece.

I was loath to fire, because I would not have the rest hear; tho at
that distance it would not have been easily heard, and being out of
sight of the smoke, too, they would not have known what to make of it.
Having knocked this fellow down, the other who pursued him stopt, as
if he had been frightened, and I advanced toward him; but as I came
nearer, I perceived presently he had a bow and arrow, and was fitting
it to shoot at me; so I was then obliged to shoot at him first, which
I did, and killed him at the first shot. The poor savage who fled,
but had stopt, tho he saw both his enemies fallen and killed, as he
thought, yet was so frightened with the fire and noise of my piece
that he stood stock still, and neither came forward nor went backward,
tho he seemed rather inclined still to fly than to come on. I hallooed
again to him, and made signs to come forward, which he easily
understood, and came a little way; then stopt again, and then a little
farther, and stopt again; and I could then perceive that he stood
trembling, as if he had been taken prisoner, and had just been to be
killed, as his two enemies were. I beckoned to him again to come to
me, and gave him all the signs of encouragement that I could think of;
and he came nearer and nearer, kneeling down every ten or twelve
steps, in token of acknowledgment for saving his life. I smiled at
him, and looked pleasantly, and beckoned to him to come still nearer;
at length, he came close to me; and then he kneeled down again, kissed
the ground, and laid his head upon the ground, and, taking me by the
foot, set my foot upon his head; this, it seems, was in token of
swearing to be my slave forever. I took him up, and made much of him,
and encouraged him all I could.

But there was more work to do yet; for I perceived the savage whom I
had knocked down was not killed, but stunned with the blow, and began
to come to himself. So I pointed to him, and showed him the savage,
that he was not dead; upon this he spoke some words to me, and tho I
could not understand them, yet I thought they were pleasant to hear;
for they were the first sound of a man's voice that I had heard, my
own excepted, for above twenty-five years. But there was no time for
such reflections now; the savage who was knocked down recovered
himself so far as to sit up upon the ground, and I perceived that my
savage began to be afraid; but when I saw that, I presented my other
piece at the man, as if I would shoot him; upon this my savage, for so
I call him now, made a motion to me to lend him my sword, which hung
naked in a belt by my side, which I did. He no sooner had it, but he
runs to his enemy, and at one blow cut off his head as cleverly, no
executioner in Germany could have done it sooner or better; which I
thought very strange for one who, I had reason to believe, never saw a
sword in his life before, except their own wooden swords: however, it
seems, as learned afterwards, they make their wooden swords so sharp,
so heavy, and the wood is so hard, that they will even cut off heads
with them, ay, and arms, and that at one blow too. When he had done
this, he comes laughing to me in sign of triumph, and brought me the
sword again, and with abundance of gestures which I did not
understand, laid it down, with the head of the savage that he had
killed just before me. But that which astonished him most, was to know
how I killed the other Indian so far off; so pointing to him, he made
signs to me to let him go to him; and I bade him go, as well as I
could. When he came to him, he stood like one amazed, looking at him,
turning him first on one side, then on the other; looked at the wound
the bullet had made, which it seems was just in his breast; where it
had made a hole, and no great quantity of blood had followed; but he
had bled inwardly, for he was quite dead.

Upon this he made signs to me that he should bury them with sand, that
they might not be seen by the rest, if they followed; and so I made
signs to him again to do so. He fell to work; and in an instant he had
scraped a hole in the sand with his hands, big enough to bury the
first in, and then dragged him into it, and covered him; and did so by
the other also; I believe he had buried them both in a quarter of an
hour. Then calling him away, I carried him, not to my castle, but
quite away to my cave, on the farther part of the island; so I did not
let my dream come to pass in that part, that he came into my grove for
shelter. Here I gave him bread and a bunch of raisins to eat, and a
draft of water, which I found he was indeed in great distress for from
his running; and having refreshed him, I made signs for him to go and
lie down to sleep, showing him a place where I had laid some rice
straw, and a blanket upon it, which I used to sleep upon myself
sometimes; so the poor creature lay down, and went to sleep.



A blazing star or comet appeared for several months before the plague,
as there did the year after, another, a little before the fire; the
old women, and the phlegmatic hypochondriac part of the other sex,
whom I could almost call the old women too, remarked, especially
afterward, tho not till both those judgments were over, that those two
comets passed directly over the city, and that so very near the houses
that it was plain they imported something peculiar to the city alone.
That the comet before the pestilence was of a faint, dull, languid
color, and its motion very heavy, solemn, and slow; but that the comet
before the fire was bright and sparkling, or as others said, flaming,
and its motion swift and furious; and that accordingly one foretold a
heavy judgment, slow but severe, terrible, and frightful, as was the
plague. But the other foretold a stroke, sudden, swift, and fiery, as
was the conflagration; nay, so particular some people were, that as
they looked upon that comet preceding the fire they fancied that they
not only saw it pass swiftly and fiercely, and could perceive the
motion with their eye, but they even heard it--that it made a rushing
mighty noise, fierce and terrible, tho at a distance and but just

The shutting up of houses was at first counted a very cruel and
unchristian method, and the poor people so confined made bitter
lamentations; complaints of the severity of it were also daily brought
to my lord mayor, of houses causelessly and some maliciously shut up;
I can not say, but upon inquiry, many that complained so loudly were
found in a condition to be continued; and others again, inspection
being made upon the sick person and the sickness not appearing
infectious, or if uncertain, yet on his being content to be carried to
the pest-house, was released.

As I went along Houndsditch one morning about eight o'clock there was
a great noise; it is true indeed that there was not much crowd,
because the people were not free to gather together, or to stay
together when they were there, nor did I stay long there; but the
outcry was loud enough to prompt my curiosity, and I called to one who
looked out of a window, and asked what was the matter.

A watchman, it seems, had been employed to keep his post at the door
of a house which was infected, or said to be infected, and was shut
up; he had been there all night for two nights together, as he told
his story, and the day watchman had been there one day, and was now
come to relieve him; all this while no noise had been heard in the
house, no light had been seen, they called for nothing, sent him on no
errands, which used to be the chief business of the watchman, neither
had they given him any disturbance, as he said from Monday afternoon,
when he heard a great crying and screaming in the house, which as he
supposed was occasioned by some of the family dying just at that
time. It seems the night before, the dead-cart, as it was called, had
been stopt there, and a servant-maid had been brought down to the door
dead, and the buriers or bearers, as they were called, put her into
the cart, wrapt only in a green rug, and carried her away.

The watchman had knocked at the door, it seems, when he heard that
noise and crying as above, and nobody answered a great while; but at
last one looked out and said with an angry quick tone, and yet a kind
of crying voice, or a voice of one that was crying, "What d'ye want,
that you make such a knocking?" He answered, "I am the watchman; how
do you do? What is the matter?" The person answered, "What is that to
you? Stop the dead-cart," This, it seems, was about one o'clock; soon
after, as the fellow said, he stopt the dead-cart, and then knocked
again, but nobody answered; he continued knocking, and the bellman
called out several times, "Bring out your dead"; but nobody answered,
till the man that drove the cart, being called to other houses, would
stay no longer, and drove away.

The watchman knew not what to make of all this, so he let them alone
till the morning man, or day watchman, as they called him, came to
relieve him. Giving him an account of the particulars, they knocked at
the door a great while, but nobody answered, and they observed that
the window or casement at which the person looked out who had answered
before, continued open, being up two pair of stairs.

Upon this the two men, to satisfy their curiosity, got a long ladder,
and one of them went up to the window and looked into the room, where
he saw a woman lying dead upon the floor in a dismal manner, having no
clothes on but her shift; but tho he called aloud, and putting in his
long staff, knocked hard on the floor, yet nobody stirred or answered;
neither could he hear any noise in the house.

He came down upon this and acquainted his fellow, who went up also,
and finding it just so, they resolved to acquaint either the lord
mayor or some other magistrate of it, but did not offer to go in at
the window. The magistrate, it seems, upon the information of the two
men ordered the house to be broken open, a constable and other persons
being appointed to be present, that nothing might be plundered; and
accordingly it was so done, when nobody was found in the house but
that young woman, who having been infected and past recovery, the rest
had left her to die by herself, and every one gone, having found some
way to delude the watchman and to get open the door, or get out at
some back door, or over the tops of the houses, so that he knew
nothing of it; and as to those cries and shrieks which he heard, it
was supposed they were the passionate cries of the family at this
bitter parting, which to be sure it was to them all, this being the
sister to the mistress of the family. The man of the house, his wife,
several children and servants, being all gone and fled; whether sick
or sound, that I could never learn, nor indeed did I make much inquiry
after it....

This [38,195 deaths in about a month] was a prodigious number of
itself; but if I should add the reasons which I have to believe that
this account was deficient, and how deficient it was, you would with
me make no scruple to believe that there died above 10,000 a week for
all those weeks, and a proportion for several weeks both before and
after. The confusion among the people, especially within the city, at
that time was inexpressible; the terror was so great at last that the
courage of the people appointed to carry away the dead began to fail
them; nay, several of them died, altho they had the distemper before,
and were recovered; and some of them had dropt down when they had been
carrying the bodies even at the pitside, and just ready to throw them
in; and this confusion was greater in the city, because they had
flattered themselves with hopes of escaping, and thought the
bitterness of death was past. One cart, they told us, going up to
Shoreditch, was forsaken by the drivers, or being left to one man to
drive, he died in the street; and the horses, going on, overthrew the
cart and left the bodies, some thrown here, some there, is a dismal
manner. Another cart was, it seems, found in the great pit in Finsbury
Fields, the driver being dead, or having been gone and abandoned it;
and the horses running too near it, the cart fell in and drew the
horses in also. It was suggested that the driver was thrown in with it
and that the cart fell upon him, by reason his whip was seen to be in
the pit among the bodies; but that, I suppose, could not be certain.


[Footnote 107: From "The Life and Surprizing Adventures of Robinson

[Footnote 108: From "The Life and Surprizing Adventures of Robinson

[Footnote 109: From the "History of the Great Plague in London." The
year of the plague was 1665.]


     Born in 1667, died in 1745; educated at Trinity College,
     Dublin; became secretary to Sir William Temple in 1688; held
     small livings in Ireland in 1700 and other years; lived
     mostly in London from 1701 to 1710, when he abandoned the
     Whigs and became a Tory; appointed by Queen Anne dean of St.
     Patrick's, Dublin, in 1713; intimate with Bolingbroke,
     Addison, Steele and Pope; published "Gulliver's Travels" in
     1726; his mind clouded in later years, and in 1741 he was
     put under restraint.



I was received very kindly by the warden, and went for many days to
the academy. Every room hath in it one or more projectors, and I
believe I could not be in fewer than five hundred rooms.

The first man I saw was of a meager aspect, with sooty hands and face,
his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His
clothes, shirt, and skin were all of the same color. He had been eight
years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which
were to be put into phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm
the air in raw inclement summers. He told me he did not doubt in eight
years more that he should be able to supply the governor's gardens
with sunshine at a reasonable rate; but he complained that his stock
was low, and entreated me to give him something as an encouragement
to ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear season for
cucumbers. I made him a small present, for my lord had furnished me
with money on purpose, because he knew their practise of begging from
all who go to see them.

I saw another at work to calcine ice into gunpowder, who likewise
shewed me a treatise he had written concerning the malleability of
fire, which he intended to publish.

There was a most ingenious architect, who had contrived a new method
for building houses, by beginning at the roof, and working downwards
to the foundation; which he justified to me by the like practise of
those two prudent insects, the bee and the spider.

There was an astronomer who had undertaken to place a sun-dial upon
the great weather-cock on the town-house, by adjusting the annual and
diurnal motions of the earth and sun, so as to answer and coincide
with all accidental turning of the winds.

We crossed a walk to the other part of the academy, where, as I have
already said, the projectors in speculative learning resided.

The first professor I saw was in a very large room, with forty pupils
about him. After salutation, observing me to look earnestly upon a
frame which took up the greatest part of both the length and breadth
of the room, he said, perhaps I might wonder to see him employed in a
project for improving speculative knowledge by practical and
mechanical operations. But the world would soon be sensible of its
usefulness, and he flattered himself that a more noble, exalted
thought never sprang in any other man's head. Every one knew how
laborious the usual method is of attaining to arts and sciences;
whereas by his contrivance, the most ignorant person, at a reasonable
charge, and with a little bodily labor, may write books in philosophy,
poetry, politics, law, mathematics, and theology, without the least
assistance from genius or study. He then led me to the frame, about
the sides whereof all his pupils stood in ranks. It was twenty feet
square, placed in the middle of the room. The superficies was composed
of several bits of wood, about the bigness of a die, but some larger
than others. They were all linked together by slender wires. These
bits of wood were covered on every square with paper pasted on them;
and on these papers were written all the words of their language in
their several moods, tenses, and declensions, but without any order.
The professor then desired me to observe, for he was going to set his
engine at work. The pupils, at his command, took each of them hold of
an iron handle, whereof there were forty fixt round the edges of the
frame, and giving them a sudden turn, the whole disposition of the
words was entirely changed. He then commanded six-and-thirty of the
lads to read the several lines softly as they appeared upon the frame;
and where they found three or four words together that might make part
of a sentence, they dictated to the four remaining boys, who were
scribes. This work was repeated three or four times, and at every turn
the engine was so contrived that the words shifted into new places as
the square bits of wood moved upside down. Six hours a day the young
students were employed in this labor; and the professor shewed me
several volumes in large folio, already collected of broken sentences,
which he intended to piece together, and out of those rich materials
give the world a complete body of all arts and sciences.

We next went to the school of languages, where three professors sat in
consultation upon improving that of their own country.

The first project was to shorten discourse by cutting polysyllables
into one, and leaving out verbs and participles; because, in reality,
all things imaginable are but nouns. The other was a scheme for
entirely abolishing all words whatsoever; and this was urged as a
great advantage in point of health as well as brevity; for, it is
plain that every word we speak is in some degree a diminution of our
lungs by corrosion, and consequently contributes to the shortening of
our lives. An expedient was therefore offered, that since words are
only names for things, it would be more convenient for all men to
carry about them such things as were necessary to express the
particular business they are to discourse on. And this invention would
certainly have taken place, to the great ease as well as health of the
subject, if the women, in conjunction with the vulgar and illiterate,
had not threatened to raise a rebellion, unless they might be allowed
the liberty to speak with their tongues, after the manner of their
forefathers; such constant irreconcilable enemies to science are the
common people.

Another great advantage proposed by this invention was, that it would
serve as a universal language to be understood in all civilized
nations, whose goods and utensils are generally of the same kind, or
nearly resembling, so that their uses might easily be comprehended.
And thus ambassadors would be qualified to treat with foreign princes
or ministers of state, to whose tongues they were utter strangers.

I was at the mathematical school, where the master taught his pupils
after a method scarce imaginable to us in Europe. The proposition and
demonstration were fairly written on a thin wafer, with ink composed
of a cephalic tincture. This the student was to swallow upon a fasting
stomach, and for three days following eat nothing but bread and water.
As the wafer digested, the tincture mounted to his brain, bearing the
proposition along with it. But the success hath not hitherto been
answerable, partly by some error in the quantum or composition, and
partly by the perverseness of lads, to whom this bolus is so nauseous
that they generally steal aside, and discharge it upward before it can
operate; neither have they been yet persuaded to use so long an
abstinence as the prescription requires.

In the school of political projectors I was but ill entertained, the
professors appearing in my judgment wholly out of their senses, which
is a scene that never fails to make me melancholy. These unhappy
people were proposing schemes for persuading monarchs to choose
favorites upon the score of their wisdom, capacity and virtue; of
teaching ministers to consult the public good; of rewarding merit,
great abilities, and eminent services; of instructing princes to know
their true interest, by placing it on the same foundation with that
of their people; of choosing for employments persons qualified to
exercise them; with many other wild impossible chimeras that never
entered before into the heart of man to conceive, and confirmed in me
the old observation, that there is nothing so extravagant and
irrational which some philosophers have not maintained for truth.



Those inferior duties of life which the French call _les petites
morales_, or the smaller morals, are with us distinguished by the name
of good manners or breeding. This I look upon, in the general notion
of it, to be a sort of artificial good sense, adapted to the meanest
capacities, and introduced to make mankind easy in their commerce with
each other. Low and little understandings, without some rules of this
kind, would be perpetually wandering into a thousand indecencies and
irregularities in behavior; and in their ordinary conversation, fall
into the same boisterous familiarities that one observeth amongst them
when a debauch hath quite taken away the use of their reason. In other
instances, it is odd to consider, that for want of common discretion,
the very end of good breeding is wholly perverted; and civility,
intended to make us easy, is employed in laying chains and fetters
upon us, in debarring us of our wishes, and in crossing our most
reasonable desires and inclinations.

This abuse reigneth chiefly in the country, as I found to my vexation,
when I was last there, in a visit I made to a neighbor about two miles
from my cousin. As soon as I entered the parlor, they put me into the
great chair that stood close by a huge fire, and kept me there by
force until I was almost stifled. Then a boy came in great hurry to
pull off my boots, which I in vain opposed, urging that I must return
soon after dinner. In the meantime, the good lady whispered her eldest
daughter, and slipt a key into her hand. The girl returned instantly
with a beer-glass half full of _aqua mirabilis_ and syrup of
gillyflowers. I took as much as I had a mind for; but madam vowed I
should drink it off--for she was sure it would do me good, after
coming out of the cold air--and I was forced to obey; which absolutely
took away my stomach. When dinner came in, I had a mind to sit at a
distance from the fire; but they told me it was as much as my life was
worth, and set me with my back just against it. Altho my appetite was
quite gone, I resolved to force down as much as I could; and desired
the leg of a pullet. "Indeed, Mr. Bickerstaff," says the lady, "you
must eat a wing to oblige me"; and so put a couple upon my plate. I
was persecuted at this rate during the whole meal. As often as I
called for small beer, the master tipped the wink, and the servant
brought me a brimmer of October. Some time after dinner, I ordered my
cousin's man, who came with me, to get ready the horses, but it was
resolved I should not stir that night; and when I seemed pretty much
bent upon going, they ordered the stable door to be locked; and the
children hid my cloak and boots. The next question was, what I would
have for supper, I said I never ate anything at night; but was at
last, in my own defense, obliged to name the first thing that came
into my head. After three hours spent chiefly in apologies for my
entertainment, insinuating to me, "that this was the worst time of the
year for provisions; that they were at a great distance from any
market; that they were afraid I should be starved; and that they knew
they kept me to my loss," the lady went and left me to her
husband--for they took special care I should never be alone. As soon
as her back was turned, the little misses ran backward and forward
every moment; and constantly as they came in or went out, made a
courtesy directly at me, which in good manners I was forced to return
with a bow, and, "Your humble servant, pretty miss." Exactly at eight
the mother came up, and discovered by the redness of her face that
supper was not far off.

It was twice as large as the dinner, and my persecution doubled in
proportion. I desired at my usual hour to go to my repose, and was
conducted to my chamber by the gentleman, his lady, and the whole
train of children. They importuned me to drink something before I went
to bed; and upon my refusing, at last left a bottle of stingo, as they
called it, for fear I should wake and be thirsty in the night. I was
forced in the morning to rise and dress myself in the dark, because
they would not suffer my kinsman's servant to disturb me at the hour I
desired to be called. I was now resolved to break through all measures
to get away; and after sitting down to a monstrous breakfast of cold
beef, mutton, neats'-tongues, venison-pasty, and stale beer, took
leave of the family. But the gentleman would needs see me part of my
way, and carry me a short-cut through his own grounds, which he told
me would save half a mile's riding. This last piece of civility had
like to have cost me dear, being once or twice in danger of my neck,
by leaping over his ditches, and at last forced to alight in the dirt;
when my horse, having slipt his bridle, ran away and took us up more
than an hour to recover him again. It is evident that none of the
absurdities I met with in this visit proceeded from an ill intention,
but from a wrong judgment of complaisance, and a misapplication in the
rules of it.



I am prevailed on, through the importunity of friends, to interrupt
the scheme I had begun in my last paper, by an essay upon the Art of
Political Lying. We are told the devil is the father of lies, and was
a liar from the beginning; so that, beyond contradiction, the
invention is old: and, which is more, his first essay of it was
purely political, employed in undermining the authority of his prince,
and seducing a third part of the subjects from their obedience: for
which he was driven down from heaven, where (as Milton expresses it)
he had been viceroy of a great western province; and forced to
exercise his talent in inferior regions among other fallen spirits,
poor or deluded men, whom he still daily tempts to his own sin, and
will ever do so, till he be chained in the bottomless pit.

But altho the devil be the father of lies, he seems, like other great
inventors, to have lost much of his reputation, by the continual
improvements that have been made upon him.

Who first reduced lying into an art, and adapted it to politics, is
not so clear from history, altho I have made some diligent inquiries.
I shall therefore consider it only according to the modern system, as
it has been cultivated these twenty years past in the southern part of
our own island.

The poets tell us, that after the giants were overthrown by the gods,
the earth in revenge produced her last offspring', which was Fame. And
the fable is thus interpreted: that when tumults and seditions are
quieted, rumors and false reports are plentifully spread through a
nation. So that, by this account, lying is the last relief of a
routed, earth-born, rebellious party in a state. But here the Moderns
have made great additions, applying this art to the gaining of power
and preserving it, as well as revenging themselves after they have
lost it; as the same instruments are made use of by animals to feed
themselves when they are hungry, and to bite those that tread upon

But the same genealogy can not always be admitted for political lying;
I shall therefore desire to refine upon it, by adding some
circumstances of its birth and parents. A political lie is sometimes
born out of a discarded statesman's head, and thence delivered to be
nursed and dandled by the rabble. Sometimes it is produced a monster,
and licked into shape; at other times it comes into the world
completely formed, and is spoiled in the licking. It is often born an
infant in the regular way, and requires time to mature it; and often
it sees the light in its full growth, but dwindles away by degrees.
Sometimes it is of noble birth; and sometimes the spawn of a
stockjobber. Here it screams aloud at the opening of the womb; and
there it is delivered with a whisper. I know a lie that now disturbs
half the kingdom with its noise, which, altho too proud and great at
present to own its parents, I can remember its whisperhood. To
conclude the nativity of this monster; when it comes into the world
without a sting, it is stillborn; and whenever it loses its sting, it

No wonder if an infant so miraculous in its birth should be destined
for great adventures; and accordingly we see it hath been the guardian
spirit of a prevailing party for almost twenty years. It can conquer
kingdoms without fighting, and sometimes with the loss of a battle. It
gives and resumes employments; can sink a mountain to a molehill, and
raise a molehill to a mountain; hath presided for many years at
committees of elections; can wash a blackamoor white; make a saint of
an atheist, and a patriot of a profligate; can furnish foreign
ministers with intelligence and raise or let fall the credit of the
nation. This goddess flies with a huge looking-glass in her hands, to
dazzle the crowd, and make them see, according as she turns it, their
ruin in their interest, and their interest in their ruin. In this
glass you will behold your best friends, clad in coats powdered with
fleurs-de-lis, and triple crowns; their girdles hung round with
chains, and beads, and wooden shoes; and your worst enemies adorned
with the ensigns of liberty, property, indulgence, moderation, and a
cornucopia in their hands. Her large wings, like those of a flying
fish, are of no use but while they are moist; she therefore dips them
in mud, and soaring aloft scatters it in the eyes of the multitude,
flying with great swiftness; but at every turn is forced to stoop in
dirty ways for new supplies.

I have been sometimes thinking, if a man had the art of the second
sight for seeing lies, as they have in Scotland for seeing spirits,
how admirably he might entertain himself in this town by observing the
different shapes, sizes, and colors of those swarms of lies which buzz
about the heads of some people, like flies about a horses' ears in
summer; or those legions hovering every afternoon in Exchange alley,
enough to darken the air; or over a club of discontented grandees, and
thence sent down in cargoes to be scattered at elections.



This single stick, which you now behold ingloriously lying in that
neglected corner, I once knew in a flourishing state in a forest. It
was full of sap, full of leaves, and full of boughs; but now in vain
does the busy art of man pretend to vie with nature, by tying that
withered bundle of twigs to its sapless trunk; it is now at best but
the reverse of what it was, a tree turned upside down, the branches on
the earth, and the root in the air; it is now handled by every dirty
wench, condemned to do her drudgery, and, by a capricious kind of
fate, destined to make other things clean, and be nasty itself; at
length, worn to the stumps in the service of the maids, it is either
thrown out-of-doors, or condemned to the last use of kindling a fire.
When I beheld this I sighed, and said within myself, "Surely mortal
man is a broomstick!" Nature sent him into the world strong and lusty,
in a thriving condition, wearing his own hair on his head, the proper
branches of this reasoning vegetable, till the ax of intemperance has
lopped off his green boughs, and left him a withered trunk; he then
flies to art, and puts on a periwig, valuing himself upon an unnatural
bundle of hairs, all covered with powder, that never grew on his head;
but now should this our broomstick pretend to enter the scene, proud
of those birchen spoils it never bore, and all covered with dust,
through the sweepings of the finest lady's chamber, we should be apt
to ridicule and despise its vanity. Partial judges that we are of our
own excellences, and other men's defaults!

But a broomstick, perhaps you will say, is an emblem of a tree
standing on its head; and pray what is a man but a topsy-turvy
creature, his animal faculties perpetually mounted on his rational,
his head where his heels should be, groveling on the earth? And yet,
with all his faults, he sets up to be a universal reformer and
corrector of abuses, a remover of grievances; rakes into every slut's
corner of nature, bringing hidden corruptions to the light; and raises
a mighty dust where there was none before, sharing deeply all the
while in the very same pollutions he pretends to sweep away. His last
days are spent in slavery to women, and generally the least deserving;
till, worn to the stumps, like his brother besom, he is either kicked
out-of-doors, or made use of to kindle flames for others to warm
themselves by.



My mistress had a daughter of nine years old, a child of towardly
parts for her age, very dexterous at her needle, and skilful in
dressing her baby. Her mother and she contrived to fit up the baby's
cradle for me against night; the cradle was put into a small drawer of
a cabinet, and the drawer placed upon a hanging shelf for fear of the
rats. This was my bed all the time I stayed with those people; tho
made more convenient by degrees, as I began to learn their language
and make my wants known. This young girl was so handy, that after I
had once or twice pulled off my clothes before her, she was able to
dress and undress me; tho I never gave her that trouble when she would
let me do either myself. She made me seven shirts, and some other
linen, of as fine cloth as could be got, which indeed was coarser than
sackcloth; and these she constantly washed for me with her own hands.
She was likewise my schoolmistress, to teach me the language: when I
pointed to anything, she told me the name of it in her own tongue; so
that in a few days I was able to call for whatever I had a mind to.
She was very good-natured, and not above forty feet high, being
little for her age. She gave me the name of Grildrig, which the family
took up, and afterwards the whole kingdom. The word imports what the
Latins call _homunculus_, the Italians _homunceletino_, and the
English _mannikin_. To her I chiefly owe my preservation in that
country; we never parted while I was there: I called her my
_Glumdalclitch_, or little nurse; and should be guilty of great
ingratitude if I omitted this honorable mention of her care and
affection toward me, which I heartily wish it lay in my power to
requite as she deserves, instead of being the innocent but unhappy
instrument of her disgrace, as I have too much reason to fear.

It now began to be known and talked of in the neighborhood that my
master had found a strange animal in the field, about the bigness of a
_splacnuck_, but exactly shaped in every part like a human creature,
which it likewise imitated in all its actions: seemed to speak in a
little language of its own, had already learned several words of
theirs, went erect upon two legs, was tame and gentle, would come when
it was called, do whatever it was bid, had the finest limbs in the
world, and a complexion fairer than a nobleman's daughter of three
years old.

Another farmer who lived hard by, and was a particular friend of my
master, came on a visit on purpose to inquire into the truth of this
story. I was immediately produced and placed upon a table, where I
walked as I was commanded, drew my hanger, put it up again, made my
reverence to my master's guest, asked him in his own language how he
did, and told him he was welcome--just as my little nurse had
instructed me. This man who was old and dim-sighted, put on his
spectacles to behold me better; at which I could not forbear laughing
very heartily, for his eyes appeared like the full moon shining into a
chamber at two windows. Our people, who discovered the cause of my
mirth, bore me company in laughing; at which the old fellow was fool
enough to be angry and out of countenance. He had the character of a
great miser; and to my misfortune, he well deserved it, by the cursed
advice he gave my master to show me as a sight upon a market-day in
the next town, which was half an hour's riding, about two-and-twenty
miles from our house. I guessed there was some mischief contriving
when I observed my master and his friend whispering long together,
sometimes pointing at me; and my fears made me fancy that I overheard
and understood some of their words.

But the next morning Glumdalclitch, my little nurse, told me the whole
matter, which she had cunningly picked out from her mother. The poor
girl laid me on her bosom, and fell a-weeping with shame and grief.
She apprehended some mischief would happen to me from rude vulgar
folks, who might squeeze me to death, or break one of my limbs by
taking me in their hands. She had also observed how modest I was in my
nature, how nicely I regarded my honor, and what an indignity I should
conceive it to be exposed for money as a public spectacle to the
meanest of the people. She said her papa and mama had promised that
Grildrig should be hers; but now she found they meant to serve her as
they did last year, when they pretended to give her a lamb, and yet,
as soon as it was fat, sold it to a butcher. For my own part, I may
truly affirm that I was less concerned than my nurse. I had a strong
hope, which never left me, that I should one day recover my liberty:
and as to the ignominy of being carried about for a monster, I
considered myself to be a perfect stranger in the country, and that
such a misfortune could never be charged upon me as a reproach if ever
I should return to England, since the King of Great Britain himself,
in my condition, must have undergone the same distress.

My master, pursuant to the advice of his friend, carried me in a box
the next market-day to the neighboring town, and took along with him
his little daughter, my nurse, upon a pillion behind him. The box was
close on every side, with a little door for me to go in and out, and a
few gimlet-holes to let in air. The girl had been so careful as to put
the quilt of her baby's bed into it for me to lie down on. However, I
was terribly shaken and discomposed in this journey, tho it were but
of half an hour; for the horse went about forty feet at every step,
and trotted so high that the agitation was equal to the rising and
falling of a ship in a great storm, but much more frequent. Our
journey was somewhat farther than from London to St. Alban's. My
master alighted at an inn which he used to frequent; and after
consulting a while with the innkeeper, and making some necessary
preparations, he hired the "grultrud," or crier, to give notice
through the town of a strange creature to be seen at the sign of the
Green Eagle, not so big as a splacnuck (an animal in that country
very finely shaped, about six feet long), and in every part of the
body resembling a human creature--could speak several words, and
perform a hundred diverting tricks.

I was placed upon a table in the largest room of the inn, which might
be near three hundred feet square. My little nurse stood on a low
stool close to the table, to take care of me and direct what I should
do. My master, to avoid a crowd, would suffer only thirty people at a
time to see me. I walked about on the table as the girl commanded; she
asked me questions as far as she knew my understanding of the language
reached, and I answered them as loud as I could. I turned about
several times to the company, paid my humble respects, said "they were
welcome," and used some other speeches I had been taught. I took up a
thimble filled with liquor, which Glumdalclitch had given me for a
cup, and drank their health. I drew out my hanger, and flourished with
it after the manner of fencers in England. My nurse gave me a part of
a straw, which I exercised as a pike, having learned the art in my
youth. I was that day shown to twelve sets of company, and as often
forced to act over again the same fopperies, till I was half dead with
weariness and vexation; for those who had seen me made such wonderful
reports that the people were ready to break down the doors to come in.
My master, for his own interest, would not suffer any one to touch me
except my nurse; and to prevent danger, benches were set round the
table at such a distance as to put me out of everybody's teach.
However, an unlucky schoolboy aimed a hazel-nut directly at my head,
which very narrowly missed me; otherwise it came with so much violence
that it would have infallibly knocked out my brains, for it was almost
as large as a small pumpion: but I had the satisfaction to see the
young rogue well beaten and turned out of the room....

My master's design was to show me in all the towns by the way; and to
step out of the road, for fifty or a hundred miles, to any village or
person of quality's house where he might expect custom. We made easy
journeys, of not above seven or eight score miles a day; for
Glumdalclitch, on purpose to spare me, complained she was tired with
the trotting of the horse. She often took me out of my box, at my own
desire, to give me air and show me the country; but always held me
fast by a leading-string. We passed over five or six rivers, many
degrees broader and deeper than the Nile or the Ganges; and there was
hardly a rivulet so small as the Thames at London Bridge. We were ten
weeks in our journey, and I was shown in eighteen large towns, besides
many villages and private families.


[Footnote 110: From the description of the Academy of Lagade in
"Gulliver's Travels."]

[Footnote 111: From No. 1 of "The Tatler."]

[Footnote 112: From "The Examiner."]

[Footnote 113: This essay is a satire on the writings of Robert

[Footnote 114: From "Gulliver's Travels." At this point in the story
Gulliver, shipwrecked in the country of Brobdingnag, had by the farmer
who found him been given as a plaything to his little daughter
Glumdalclitch, who, altho only nine years old, was forty feet tall.]


     Born in 1672, died in 1719; educated at Oxford, where he
     wrote a Latin poem which brought him a pension of three
     hundred pounds; traveled on the Continent in 1699-1703;
     Under-secretary of State in 1706; Secretary to the Lord
     Lieutenant of Ireland in 1709; Secretary for Ireland in
     1715; Secretary of State in 1717; married the Countess of
     Warwick in 1716; for his periodical _The Spectator_,
     published daily from March 1st, 1711, to December 6th, 1712,
     wrote 274 papers; including the Sir Roger de Coverley
     papers; author of many other writings, among which "Cato: A
     Tragedy" is notable.



When I am in a serious humor, I very often walk by myself in
Westminster Abbey; where the gloominess of the place, and the use to
which it is applied, with the solemnity of the building, and the
condition of the people who lie in it, are apt to fill the mind with a
kind of melancholy, or rather thoughtfulness, that is not
disagreeable. I yesterday passed a whole afternoon in the churchyard,
the cloisters, and the church, amusing myself with the tombstones and
inscriptions that I met with in those several regions of the dead.
Most of them recorded nothing else of the buried person, but that he
was born upon one day, and died upon another: the whole history of his
life being comprehended in those two circumstances, that are common
to all mankind. I could not but look upon these registers of
existence, whether of brass or marble, as a kind of satire upon the
departed persons, who had left no other memorial of them, but that
they were born and that they died. They put one in mind of several
persons mentioned in the battles of heroic poems, who have sounding
names given them, for no other reason but that they may be killed, and
are celebrated for nothing but being knocked on the head.

    Glaucumque, Medontaque, Thersilochumque.


The life of these men is finely described in Holy Writ by "the path of
an arrow," which is immediately closed up and lost.

Upon my going into the church, I entertained myself with the digging
of a grave; and saw, in every shovelful of it that was thrown up, the
fragment of a bone or skull intermixt with a kind of fresh moldering
earth that some time or other had a place in the composition of a
human body. Upon this I began to consider with myself, what
innumerable multitudes of people lay confused together under the
pavement of that ancient cathedral; how men and women, friends and
enemies, priests and soldiers, monks and prebendaries, were crumbled
amongst one another, and blended together in the same common mass; how
beauty, strength and youth, with old age, weakness, and deformity, lay
undistinguished in the same promiscuous heap of matter.

And having thus surveyed this great magazine of mortality, as it were
in the lump, I examined it more particularly by the accounts which I
found on several of the monuments which are raised in every quarter of
that ancient fabric. Some of them were covered with such extravagant
epitaphs, that, if it were possible for the dead person to be
acquainted with them, he would blush at the praises which his friends
have bestowed upon him. There are others so excessively modest, that
they deliver the character of the person departed in Greek or Hebrew,
and by that means are not understood once in a twelvemonth. In the
poetical quarter, I found there were poets who had no monuments, and
monuments which had no poets. I observed, indeed, that the present war
had filled the church with many of these uninhabited monuments, which
had been erected to the memory of persons whose bodies were perhaps
buried in the plains of Blenheim, or in the bosom of the ocean.

I could not but be very much delighted with several modern epitaphs,
which are written with great elegance of expression and justness of
thought, and therefore do honor to the living as well as to the dead.
As a foreigner is very apt to conceive an idea of the ignorance or
politeness of a nation from the turn of their public monuments and
inscriptions, they should be submitted to the perusal of men of
learning and genius before they are put in execution. Sir Cloudesley
Shovel's monument has very often given me great offense; instead of
the brave, rough English Admiral, which was the distinguishing
character of that plain, gallant man, he is represented on his tomb by
the figure of a beau, drest in a long periwig, and reposing himself
upon velvet cushions under a canopy of state. The inscription is
answerable to the monument; for instead of celebrating the many
remarkable actions he had performed in the service of his country, it
acquaints us only with the manner of his death, in which it was
impossible for him to reap any honor. The Dutch, whom we are apt to
despise for want of genius, show an infinitely greater taste of
antiquity and politeness in their buildings and works of this nature,
than what we meet with in those of our own country. The monuments of
their admirals, which have been erected at the public expense,
represent them like themselves; and are adorned with rostral crowns
and naval ornaments, with beautiful festoons of seaweed, shells, and

But to return to our subject. I have left the repository of our
English kings for the contemplation of another day, when I shall find
my mind disposed for so serious an amusement. I know that
entertainments of this nature are apt to raise dark and dismal
thoughts in timorous minds and gloomy imaginations: but for my own
part, tho I am always serious, I do not know what it is to be
melancholy; and can therefore take a view of nature in her deep and
solemn scenes, with the same pleasure as in her most gay and
delightful ones. By this means, I can improve myself with those
objects which others consider with terror. When I look upon the tombs
of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the
epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I
meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with
compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider
the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow; when I
see kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits
placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their
contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the
little competitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the
several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six
hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us
be contemporaries, and make our appearance together.



My friend Will Honeycomb values himself very much upon what he calls
the knowledge of mankind, which has cost him many disasters in his
youth; for Will reckons every misfortune that he has met with among
the women, and every encounter among the men, as parts of his
education, and fancies he should never have been the man he is, had he
not broke windows, knocked down constables, disturbed honest people
with his midnight serenades, and beat up Phryne'e quarters, when he
was a young fellow. The engaging in adventures of this nature, Will
calls the studying of mankind, and terms this knowledge of the town,
the knowledge of the world. Will ingenuously confesses, that for half
his life his head ached every morning with reading of men over night;
and at present comforts himself under sundry infirmities with the
reflection that without them he could not have been acquainted with
the gallantries of the age. This Will looks upon as the learning of a
gentleman, and regards all other kinds of science as the
accomplishments of one whom he calls a scholar, a bookish man, or a

For these reasons Will shines in a mixed company, where he has the
discretion not to go out of his depth, and has often a certain way of
making his real ignorance appear a seeming one. Our club, however, has
frequently caught him tripping, at which times they never spare him.
For as Will often insults us with the knowledge of the town, we
sometimes take our revenge upon him by our knowledge of books.

He was last week producing two or three letters which he writ in his
youth to a coquette lady. The raillery of them was natural, and well
enough for a mere man of the town; but very unluckily, several of the
words were wrong spelt. Will laughed this off at first as well as he
could; but finding himself pushed on all sides, and especially by the
Templar, he told us with a little passion that he never liked pedantry
in spelling, and that he spelt like a gentleman and not like a
scholar: upon this Will had recourse to his old topic of showing the
narrow-spiritedness, the pride and ignorance, of pedants; which he
carried so far, that, upon my retiring to my lodgings, I could not
forbear throwing together such reflections as occurred to me upon
that subject.

A man who has been brought up among books, and is able to talk of
nothing else, is a very indifferent companion, and what we call a
pedant. But, methinks, we should enlarge the title, and give it to
every one that does not know how to think out of his profession and
particular way of life.

What is a greater pedant than a mere man of the town? Bar him the
play-houses, a catalog of the reigning beauties, and an account of a
few fashionable distempers that have befallen him, and you strike him
dumb. How many a pretty gentleman's knowledge lies all within the
verge of the court! He will tell you the names of the principal
favorites, repeat the shrewd sayings of a man of quality, whisper an
intrigue that is not yet blown upon by common fame; or, if the sphere
of his observation is a little larger than ordinary, will perhaps
enter into all the incidents, turns, and revolutions in a game of
ombre. When he has gone thus far, he has shown you the whole circle of
his accomplishments, his parts are drained, and he is disabled from
any further conversation. What are these but rank pedants? and yet
these are the men who value themselves most on their exemption from
the pedantry of colleges.

I might here mention the military pedant, who always talks in a camp,
and is storming towns, making lodgments, and fighting battles from one
end of the year to the other. Everything he speaks smells of
gunpowder: if you take away his artillery from him, he has not a word
to say for himself. I might likewise mention the law pedant, that is
perpetually putting eases, repeating the transactions of Westminster
Hall, wrangling with you upon the most indifferent circumstances of
life, and not to be convinced of the distance of a place, or of the
most trivial point in conversation, but by dint of argument. The state
pedant is wrapt up in news, and lost in politics. If you mention
either of the kings of Spain or Poland, he talks very notably; but if
you go out of the Gazette, you drop him. In short, a mere courtier, a
mere soldier, a mere scholar, a mere anything, is an insipid pedantic
character, and equally ridiculous.

Of all the species of pedants which I have mentioned, the book pedant
is much the most supportable: he has at least an exercised
understanding, and a head which is full tho confused, so that a man
who converses with him may often receive from him hints of things that
are worth knowing, and what he may possibly turn to his own advantage,
tho they are of little use to the owner. The worst kind of pedants
among learned men are such as are naturally endowed with a very small
share of common sense, and have read a great number of books without
taste or distinction....

My friend Will Honeycomb, who was so unmercifully witty upon the
women, in a couple of letters which I lately communicated to the
public, has given the ladies ample satisfaction by marrying a farmer's
daughter; a piece of news which came to our club by the last post. The
Templar is very positive that he has married a dairymaid; but Will, in
his letter to me on this occasion, sets the best face upon the matter
that he can, and gives a more tolerable account of his spouse. I must
confess I suspected something more than ordinary, when upon opening
the letter I found that Will was fallen off from his former gaiety,
having changed Dear Spec, which was his usual salute at the beginning
of the letter, into "_My worthy friend_," and subscribed himself at
the latter end of it, at full length, William Honeycomb. In short, the
gay, the loud, the vain Will Honeycomb, who had made love to every
great fortune that has appeared in town for above thirty years
together, and boasted of favors from ladies whom he had never seen, is
at length wedded to a plain country girl.

His letter gives us the picture of a converted rake. The sober
character of the husband is dashed with the man of the town, and
enlivened with those little cant phrases which have made my friend
Will often thought very pretty company. But let us hear what he says
for himself.


     I question not but you, and the rest of my acquaintance,
     wonder that I, who have lived in the smoke and gallantries
     of the town for thirty years together, should all on a
     sudden grow fond of a country life. Had not my dog of a
     steward run away as he did, without making up his accounts,
     I had still been immersed in sin and sea-coal. But since my
     late forced visit to my estate, I am so pleased with it,
     that I am resolved to live and die upon it. I am every day
     abroad among my acres, and can scarce forbear filling my
     letter with breezes, shades, flowers, meadows, and purling
     streams. The simplicity of manners which I have heard you so
     often speak of, and which appears here in perfection, charms
     me wonderfully. As an instance of it, I must acquaint you,
     and by your means the whole club, that I have lately married
     one of my tenants' daughters. She is born of honest parents,
     and tho she has no portion she has a great deal of virtue.
     The natural sweetness and innocence of her behavior, the
     freshness of her complexion, the unaffected turn of her
     shape and person, shot me through and through every time I
     saw her, and did more execution upon me in grogram than the
     greatest beauty in town or court had ever done in brocade.
     In short, she is such a one as promises me a good heir to my
     estate; and if by her means I can not leave to my children
     what are falsely called the gifts of birth, high titles and
     alliances, I hope to convey to them the more real and
     valuable gifts of birth, strong bodies and healthy
     constitutions. As for your fine women, I need not tell thee
     that I know them. I have had my share in their graces, but
     no more of that. It shall be my business hereafter to live
     the life of an honest man, and to act as becomes the master
     of a family. I question not but I shall draw upon me the
     raillery of the town, and be treated to the tune of "_The
     Marriage-hater match'd_"; but I am prepared for it. I have
     been as witty upon others in my time. To tell thee truly, I
     saw such a tribe of fashionable young fluttering coxcombs
     shot up, that I did not think my post of an _homme de
     ruelle_ any longer tenable. I felt a certain stiffness in my
     limbs, which entirely destroyed that jauntiness of air I
     was once master of. Besides, for I may now confess my age to
     thee, I have been eight and forty above these twelve years.
     Since my retirement into the country will make a vacancy in
     the club, I could wish you would fill up my place with my
     friend Tom Dapperwit. He has an infinite deal of fire, and
     knows the town. For my own part, as I have said before, I
     shall endeavor to live hereafter suitable to a man in my
     station, as a prudent head of a family, a good husband, a
     careful father (when it shall so happen), and as

Your most sincere friend and humble servant,




Horace, Juvenal, Boileau, and indeed the greatest writers in almost
every age, have exposed with all the strength of wit and good sense,
the vanity of a man's valuing himself upon his ancestors, and
endeavored to show that true nobility consists in virtue, not in
birth. With submission, however, to so many great authorities, I think
they have pushed this matter a little too far. We ought in gratitude
to honor the posterity of those who have raised either the interest or
reputation of their country, and by whose labors we ourselves are more
happy, wise, or virtuous than we should have been without them.
Besides, naturally speaking, a man bids fairer for greatness of soul,
who is the descendant of worthy ancestors, and has good blood in his
veins, than one who is come of an ignoble and obscure parentage. For
these reasons, I think a man of merit, who is derived from an
illustrious line, is very justly to be regarded more than a man of
equal merit who has no claim to hereditary honors. Nay, I think those
who are indifferent in themselves, and have nothing else to
distinguish them but the virtues of their forefathers, are to be
looked upon with a degree of veneration even upon that account, and to
be more respected than the common run of men who are of low and vulgar

After having thus ascribed due honors to birth and parentage, I must,
however, take notice of those who arrogate to themselves more honors
than are due to them upon this account. The first are such who are not
enough sensible that vice and ignorance taint the blood, and that an
unworthy behavior degrades and disennobles a man in the eyes of the
world, as much as birth and family aggrandize and exalt him.

The second are those who believe a _new_ man of an elevated merit is
not more to be honored than an insignificant and worthless man who is
descended from a long line of patriots and heroes; or, in other words,
behold with contempt a person who is such a man as the first founder
of their family was, upon whose reputation they value themselves.

But I shall chiefly apply myself to those whose quality sits uppermost
in all their discourses and behavior. An empty man of a great family
is a creature that is scarce conversible. You read his ancestry in
his smile, in his air, in his eyebrow. He has, indeed, nothing but his
nobility to give employment to his thoughts. Rank and precedency are
the important points which he is always discussing within himself. A
gentleman of this turn began a speech in one of King Charles's
parliaments: "Sir, I had the honor to be born at a time"--upon which a
rough, honest gentleman took him up short, "I would fain know what
that gentleman means: is there any one in this house that has _not_
had the honor to be born as well as himself?" The good sense which
reigns in our nation has pretty well destroyed this starched behavior
among men who have seen the world, and know that every gentleman will
be treated upon a foot of equality. But there are many who have had
their education among women, dependents or flatterers, that lose all
the respect which would otherwise be paid them by being too assiduous
in procuring it.

My Lord Froth has been so educated in punctilio, that he governs
himself by a ceremonial in all the ordinary occurrences of life. He
measures out his bow to the degree of the person he converses with. I
have seen him in every inclination of the body, from a familiar nod to
the low stoop in the salutation-sign. I remember five of us, who were
acquainted with one another, met together one morning at his lodgings,
when a wag of the company was saying, it would be worth while to
observe how he would distinguish us at his first entrance.
Accordingly, he no sooner came into the room, but, casting his eye
about, "My lord such a one (says he) your most humble servant.--Sir
Richard, your humble servant.--Your servant, Mr. Ironside.--Mr.
Ducker, how do you do?--Hah! Frank, are you there?"

There is nothing more easy than to discover a man whose head is full
of his family. Weak minds that have imbibed a strong tincture of the
nursery, younger brothers that have been brought up to nothing,
superannuated retainers to a great house, have generally their
thoughts taken up with little else.

I had some years ago an aunt of my own, by name Mrs. Martha Ironside,
who would never marry beneath herself, and is supposed to have died a
maid in fourscorth year of her age. She was the chronicle of our
family, and passed away the greatest part of the last forty years of
her life in recounting the antiquity, marriages, exploits, and
alliances of the Ironsides. Mrs. Martha conversed generally with a
knot of old virgins, who were likewise of good families, and had been
very cruel all the beginning of the last century. They were every one
of them as proud as Lucifer, but said their prayers twice a day, and
in all other respects were the best women in the world. If they saw a
fine petticoat at church, they immediately took to pieces the pedigree
of her that wore it, and would lift up their eyes to heaven at the
confidence of the saucy minx, when they found she was an honest
tradesman's daughter. It is impossible to describe the pious
indignation that would rise in them at the sight of a man who lived
plentifully on an estate of his own getting. They were transported
with zeal beyond measure, if they heard of a young woman's matching
into a great family upon account only of her beauty, her merit, or
her money. In short, there was not a female within ten miles of them
that was in possession of a gold watch, a pearl necklace, or a piece
of Mechlin lace, but they examined her title to it.

My aunt Martha used to chide me very frequently for not sufficiently
valuing myself. She would not eat a bit all dinner-time, if at an
invitation she found she had been seated below herself; and would
frown upon me for an hour together, if she saw me give place to any
man under a baronet. As I was once talking to her of a wealthy citizen
whom she had refused in her youth, she declared to me with great
warmth, that she preferred a man of quality in his shirt to the
richest man upon the change in a coach and six. She pretended that our
family was nearly related by the mother's side to half a dozen peers;
but as none of them knew anything of the matter, we always kept it as
a secret among ourselves. A little before her death, she was reciting
to me the history of my forefathers; but dwelling a little longer than
ordinary upon the actions of Sir Gilbert Ironside, who had a horse
shot under him at Edgehill fight, I gave an unfortunate _pish_! and
asked, "What was all this to me?" upon which she retired to her closet
and fell a-scribbling for three hours together; in which time, as I
afterwards found, she struck me out of her will, and left all that she
had to my sister Margaret, a wheedling baggage, that used to be asking
questions about her great-grandfather from morning to night. She now
lies buried among the family of the Ironsides, with a stone over her,
acquainting the reader that she died at the age of eighty years, a
spinster, and that she was descended of the ancient family of the
Ironsides; after which follows the genealogy drawn up by her own hand.



The first of our society is a gentleman of Worcestershire, of ancient
descent, a baronet, his name Sir Roger de Coverley. His
great-grandfather was inventor of that famous country-dance which is
called after him. All who know that shire are very well acquainted
with the parts and merits of Sir Roger. He is a gentleman that is very
singular in his behavior; but his singularities proceed from his good
sense, and are contradictions to the manners of the world only as he
thinks the world is in the wrong. However, this humor creates him no
enemies, for he does nothing with sourness or obstinacy; and his being
unconfined to modes and forms makes him but the readier and more
capable to please and oblige all who know him. When he is in town he
lives in Soho Square. It is said, he keeps himself a bachelor, by
reason he was crossed in love by a perverse beautiful widow of the
next county to him. Before this disappointment, Sir Roger was what you
call a fine gentleman; had often supped with my Lord Rochester and Sir
George Etherege, fought a duel upon his first coming to town, and
kicked Bully Dawson in a public coffee-house, for calling him
youngster. But, being ill used by the above-mentioned widow, he was
very serious for a year and a half; and tho, his temper being
naturally jovial, he at last got over it, he grew careless of himself
and never drest afterward. He continues to wear a coat and doublet of
the same cut that were in fashion at the time of his repulse, which,
in his merry humors he tells us, has been in and out twelve times
since he first wore it. He is now in his fifty-sixth year, cheerful,
gay, and hearty; keeps a good house both in town and country; a great
lover of mankind; but there is such a mirthful east in his behavior
that he is rather beloved than esteemed. His tenants grow rich, his
servants look satisfied, all the young women profess love to him, and
the young men are glad of his company; when he comes into a house, he
calls the servants by their names, and talks all the way up-stairs to
a visit. I must not omit that Sir Roger is a justice of the _quorum_;
that he fills the chair at a quarter-session with great abilities, and
three months ago gained universal applause by explaining a passage in
the Game Act.

Having often received an invitation from my friend Sir Roger de
Coverley to pass away a month with him in the country, I last week
accompanied him thither, and am settled with him for some time at his
country-house, where I intend to form several of my ensuing
speculations. Sir Roger, who is very well acquainted with my humor,
lets me rise and go to bed when I please; dine at his own table or in
my chamber as I think fit; sit still and say nothing without bidding
me be merry. When the gentlemen of the country come to see him, he
only shows me at a distance: as I have been walking in his fields, I
have observed them stealing a sight of me over an hedge, and have
heard the knight desiring them not to let me see them, for that I
hated to be stared at.

I am the more at ease in Sir Roger's family, because it consists of
sober and staid persons: for, as the knight is the best master in the
world, he seldom changes his servants; and, as he is beloved by all
about him, his servants never care for leaving him; by this means his
domestics are all in years, and grown old with their master. You would
take his valet-de-chambre for his brother; his butler is gray-headed;
his groom is one of the gravest men that I have ever seen; and his
coachman has the looks of a privy-councillor. You see the goodness of
the master even in the old house-dog, and in a gray pad that is kept
in the stable with great care and tenderness, out of regard to his
past services, tho he has been useless for several years.

I could not but observe with a great deal of pleasure the joy that
appeared in the countenance of these ancient domestics upon my
friend's arrival at his country-seat. Some of them could not refrain
from tears at the sight of their old master; every one of them prest
forward to do something for him, and seemed discouraged if they were
not employed. At the same time the good old knight, with a mixture of
the father and the master of the family, tempered the inquiries after
his own affairs with several kind questions relating to themselves.
This humanity and good-nature engages everybody to him, so that, when
he is pleasant upon any of them, all his family are in good humor, and
none so much as the person whom he diverts himself with: on the
contrary, if he coughs, or betrays any infirmity of old age, it is
easy for a stander-by to observe a secret concern in the looks of all
his servants.

My worthy friend has put me under the particular care of his butler,
who is a very prudent man, and, as well as the rest of his fellow
servants, wonderfully desirous of pleasing me, because they have often
heard their master talk of me as of his particular friend.

My chief companion, when Sir Roger is diverting himself in the woods
or the fields, is a very venerable man who is ever with Sir Roger, and
has lived at his house in the nature of a chaplain above thirty years.
This gentleman is a person of good sense and some learning, of a very
regular life and obliging conversation: he heartily loves Sir Roger,
and knows that he is very much in the old knight's esteem, so that he
lives in the family rather as a relation than a dependent.

I have observed in several of my papers, that my friend Sir Roger,
amidst all his good qualities, is something of a humorist; and that
his virtues, as well as imperfections, are, as it were, tinged by a
certain extravagance, which makes them particularly his, and
distinguishes them from those of other men. This cast of mind, as it
is generally very innocent in itself, so it renders his conversation
highly agreeable, and more delightful than the same degree of sense
and virtue would appear in their common or ordinary colors. As I was
walking with him last night, he asked me how I liked the good man whom
I have just now mentioned; and, without staying for my answer, told me
that he was afraid of being insulted with Latin and Greek at his own
table; for which reason he desired a particular friend of his at the
university to find him out a clergyman rather of plain sense than much
learning, of a good aspect, a clear voice, a sociable temper, and if
possible a man that understood a little about backgammon. "My friend,"
says Sir Roger, "found me out this gentleman, who, besides the
endowments required of him, is, they tell me, a good scholar, tho he
does not show it. I have given him the parsonage of the parish; and,
because I know his value, have settled upon him a good annuity for
life. If he outlives me, he shall find that he was higher in my esteem
than perhaps he thinks he is. He has now been with me thirty years;
and, tho he does not know I have taken notice of it, has never in all
that time asked anything of me for himself, tho he is every day
soliciting me for something in behalf of one or other of my tenants,
his parishioners."


[Footnote 115: From "The Spectator," No. 26.]

[Footnote 116: From Nos. 105 and 530 of "The Spectator."]

[Footnote 117: From No. 137 of "The Guardian."]

[Footnote 118: From Nos. 2 and 106 of "The Spectator." It has been
conjectured that the world owes to Steele rather than to Addison the
original conception of the character of Sir Roger, altho its
development was due more largely to Addison.]


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