« AnteriorContinuar »
though not of delicate features; and that hath towers of Tournay and Terouenne, and had rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect. the Emperor and all the nobility of Flanders, Neither is it almost seen,' that very beautiful Holland, and Brabant as mercenary attendants persons are otherwise of great virtue; as if on his full-sailed fortune, I, Jack Wilton, (a nature were rather busy not to err, than in gentleman at least,) was a certain kind of labour to produce excellency. And therefore an appendix or page, belonging or appertainthey prove accomplished, but not of great ing in or unto the confines of the English court; spirit; and study rather behaviour than virtue. where what my credit was, a number of my But this holds not always: for Augustus Cæsar, creditors that I cozened can testify: Cælum Titus Vespasianus, Philip le Bel of France, petimus stultitia, which of us all is not a sinner? Edward the Fourth of England, Alcibiades of Be it known to as many as will pay money Athens, Ismael the Sophy of Persia, were all enough to peruse my story, that I followed the high and great spirits; and yet the most beau- court or the camp, or the camp and the court. tiful men of their times. In beauty, that of There did I (Soft, let me drink before I go any favour is more than that of colour; and that further !) reign sole king of the cans and black of decent and gracious motion more than that jacks, prince of the pygmies, county palatine of of favour. That is the best part of beauty, clean straw and provant, and, to conclude, which a picture cannot express; no nor the first lord high regent of rashers of the coals and red sight of the life. There is no excellent beauty herring cobs. Paulo majora canamus. Well, to that hath not some strangeness in the propor- the purpose. What stratagemical acts and montion. A man cannot tell whether Apelles or uments do you think an ingenious infant of my Albert Durer were the more trifler; whereof years might enact? You will say, it were sufficient the one would make a personage by geometrical if he slur a die, pawn his master to the utmost proportions; the other, by taking the best parts penny, and minister the oath of the pantofle artiout of divers faces, to make one excellent. ficially. These are signs of good education, I Such personages, I think, would please nobody must confess, and arguments of In grace and virbut the painter that made them. Not but I tue to proceed. Oh, but Aliquid latet quod non think a painter may make a better face than patet, there's a further path I must trace: ever was; but he must do it by a kind of fe- examples confirm; list, lordings, to my prolicity (as a musician that maketh an excellent ceedings. Whosoever is acquainted with the air in music), and not by rule. A man shall state of a camp understands that in it be many see faces, that if you examine them part by quarters, and yet not so many as on London part, you shall find never a good; and yet bridge. In those quarters are many companies: altogether do well. If it be true that the prin- Much company, much knavery, as true as that cipal part of beauty is in decent motion, cer- old adage, “Much courtesy, much subtilty.” tainly it is no marvel though persons in years Those companies, like a great deal of corn, seem many times more amiable; pulchrorum do yield some chaff; the corn are cormorants, autumnus pulcher; ? for no youth can be comely the chaff are good fellows, which are quickly but by pardon, and considering the youth as to blown to nothing with bearing a light heart in a make up the comeliness. Beauty is as summer light purse. Amongst this chaff was I winnowfruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot ing my wits to live merrily, and by my troth so
and for the most part it makes a dissolute I did: the prince could but command men youth, and an age a little out of countenance; spend their blood in his service, I could make but yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh them spend all the money they had for my virtues shine, and vices blush.
pleasure. But poverty in the end parts friends;
though I was prince of their purses, and exacted THOMAS NASHE (1567-1601) of my unthrift subjects as much liquid alle
giance as any kaiser in the world could do, yet THE UNFORTUNATE TRAVELLER
where it is not to be had the king must lose his
right: want cannot be withstood, men can do About that time that the terror of the world
no more than they can do: what remained then, and fever quartan of the French, Henry the Eight
but the fox's case must help, when the lion's (the only true subject of chronicles), advanced
skin is out at the elbows? his standard against the two hundred and fifty
There was a lord in the camp, let him be 1 it is scarcely ever seen
2 Beautiful persons
a Lord of Misrule if you will, for he kept a have a beautiful autumn.
plain alehouse without welt or guard of any
ivy bush, and sold cider and cheese by pint and by pound to all that came, (at the very name of cider I can but sigh, there is so much of it in Rhenish wine nowadays). Well, Tendit ad sidera virtus, there's great virtue belongs (I can tell you) to a cup of cider, and very good men have sold it, and at sea it is Aqua cælestis; but that's neither here nor there, if it had no other patron but this peer of quart pots to authorise it, it were sufficient. This great lord, this worthy lord, this noble lord, thought no scorn (Lord, have mercy upon us !) to have his great velvet breeches larded with the droppings of this dainty liquor, and yet he was an old servitor, a cavalier of an ancient house, as might appear by the arms of his ancestors, drawn very amiably in chalk on the inside of his tent door.
He and no other was the man I chose out to damn with a lewd moneyless device; for coming to him on a day, as he was counting his barrels and setting the price in chalk on the head of them, I did my duty very devoutly, and told his ale-y honour I had matters of some secrecy to impart unto him, if it pleased him to grant me private audience. "With me, young Wilton?” quod he; “marry, and shalt! Bring us a pint of cider of a fresh tap into the Three Cups here; wash the pot.” So into a back room he led me, where after he had spit on his finger, and picked off two or three moats of his old motheaten velvet cap, and sponged and wrung all the rheumatic drivel from his ill-favoured goat's beard, he bade me declare my mind, and thereupon he drank to me on the same. I with long circumstance, alias, a cunning shift of the seventeens, and discoursed unto him what entire affection I had borne him time out of mind, partly for the high descent and lineage from whence he sprung, and partly for the tender
care and provident respect he had of poor soldiers, that, whereas the vastity of that place (which afforded them no indifferent supply of drink or of victuals) might humble them to some extremity, and so weaken their hands, he vouchsafed in his own person to be a victualler to the camp (a rare example of magnificence and honourable courtesy), and diligently provided that without far travel every man might for his money have cider and cheese his belly full; nor did he sell his cheese by the wey only, or his cider by the great, but abased himself with his own hands to take a shoemaker's knife (a homely instrument for such a high personage to touch) and cut it out equally, like a true justiciary, in little pennyworths that
So it would do a man good for to look upon.
likewise of his cider, the poor man might have
chief leaders, sat in counsel: there, amongst sundry serious matters that were debated, and intelligences from the enemy given up, it was privily informed (No villains to these privy informers !) that you, even you that I now speak to, had — (O would I had no tongue to tell the rest; by this drink, it grieves me so I am not able to repeat it !)” Now was my drunken lord ready to hang himself for the end of the full point, and over my neck he throws himself very lubberly, and entreated me, as I was a proper young gentleman and ever looked for pleasure at his hands, soon to rid him out of this hell of suspense, and resolve him of the rest: then fell he on his knees, wrung his hands, and I think on my conscience, wept out all the cider that he had drunk in a week before: to move me to have pity on him, he rose and put his rusty ring on my finger, gave
me his greasy purse with that single money that “Oh (quoth he), I am bought and sold for was in it, promised to make me his heir, and a doing my country such good service as I have thousand more favours, if I would expire the done. They are afraid of me, because my misery of his unspeakable tormenting un- good deeds have brought me into such esticertainty. I, being by nature inclined to mation with the commonalty. I see, I see,
it Mercie (for indeed I knew two or three good is not for the lamb to live with the wolf.” wenches of that name), bade him harden his “The world is well amended (thought I) ears, and not make his eyes abortive before with your cidership; such another forty years' their time, and he should have the inside of nap together as Epimenides had, would make my breast turned outward, hear such a tale as you a perfect wise man.” “Answer me (quoth would tempt the utmost strength of life to he), my wise young Wilton, is it true that I attend it and not die in the midst of it. “Why am thus underhand dead and buried by these (quoth I) myself that am but a poor childish bad tongues?" well-willer of yours, with the very thought that “Nay (quoth I), you shall pardon me, for a man of your desert and state by a number of I have spoken too much already; no definitive peasants and varlets should be so injuriously sentence of death shall march out of my wellabused in hugger mugger, have wept. The meaning lips; they have but lately sucked milk, wheel under our city bridge carries not so much and shall they so suddenly change their food water over the city, as my brain hath welled and seek after blood?” forth gushing streams of sorrow. My eyes have “Oh, but (quoth he) a man's friend is his been drunk, outrageously drunk, with giving friend; fill the other pint, tapster: what said but ordinary intercourse through their sea- the King? did he believe it when he heard it? circled islands to my distilling dreariment. I pray thee say; I swear by my nobility, none What shall I say? that which malice hath said in the world shall ever be made privy that I is the mere overthrow and murder of your received any light of this matter by thee." days. Change not your colour, none can slander "That firm affiance (quoth I) had I in you bea clear conscience to itself; receive all your fore, or else I would never have gone so far over fraught of misfortune in at once.
the shoes, to pluck you out of the mire. . Not to “It is buzzed in the King's head that you are make many words, (since you will needs know,) a secret friend to the enemy, and under pre- the King says flatly, you are a miser and a tence of getting a license to furnish the camp snudge, and he never hoped better of you." with cider and such like provant, you have “Nay, then (quoth he) questionless some furnished the enemy, and in empty barrels planet that loves not cider hath conspired sent letters of discovery and corn innumerable.” against me.” “Moreover, which is worse,
I might well have left here, for by this time the King hath vowed to give Terouenne one his white liver had mixed itself with the white hot breakfast only with the bungs that he will of his eye, and both were turned upwards, as pluck out of your barrels. I cannot stay at if they had offered themselves a fair white for this time to report each circumstance that death to shoot at. The truth was, I was very passed, but the only counsel that my long loth mine host and I should part with dry lips: cherished kind inclination can possibly conwherefore the best means that I could imagine trive, is now in your old days to be liberal: to wake him out of his trance, was to cry loud such victuals or provision as you have, presently in his ear, “Ho, host, what's to pay? will no distribute it frankly amongst poor soldiers; I man look to the reckoning here?" And in would let them burst their bellies with cider plain verity it took expected effect, for with and bathe in it, before I would run into my the noise he started and bustled, like a man prince's ill opinion for a whole sea of it. If that had been scared with fire out of his sleep, greedy hunters and hungry tale-tellers pursue and ran hastily to his tapster, and all to be- you, it is for a little pelf that you have; cast it laboured him about the ears, for letting gentle- behind you, neglect it, let them have it, lest men call so long and not look in to them. it breed a farther inconvenience.
Credit my Presently he remembered himself, and had like advice, you shall find it prophetical: and thus to fall into his memento again, but that I met have I discharged the part of a poor friend.” him half ways and asked his lordship what he With some few like phrases of ceremony, meant to slip his neck out of the collar so sud- “Your Honour's poor suppliant," and so forth, denly, and, being revived, strike his tapster so and “Farewell, my good youth, I thank thee hastily.
and will remember thee,” we parted.
But the next day I think we had a dole of and, like a haggler, is glad to utter it again by
, in scuppets, in helmets; retailing.
live, he should be marvellously well pleased : (which is now but the stage's suburbs): no, as for wars, he was weary of them; yet as long those boxes, by the iniquity of custom, conas his Highness ventured his own person, he spiracy of waiting women and gentlemen ushwould not finch a foot, but make his withered ers, that there sweat together, and the covetousbody a buckler to bear off any blow advanced ness of sharers, are contemptibly thrust into against him.
the rear, and much new satin is there damned, The King, marvelling at this alteration of by being smothered to death in darkness. But his cider merchant (for so he often pleasantly on the very rushes where the comedy is to termed him), with a little farther talk bolted dance, yea, and under the state of Cambises out the whole complotment. Then was I himself must our feathered estridge," like a piece pitifully whipped for my holiday lie, though of ordnance, be planted, valiantly (because imthey made themselves merry with it many a pudently) beating down the mewes and hisses winter's evening after.
of the opposed rascality.
For do but cast up a reckoning, what large THOMAS DEKKER (15702-1641 ?) comings-in are pursed up by sitting on the
stage. First a conspicuous eminence is got; THE GULL'S HORNBOOK
by which means, the best and most essential
parts of a gallant (good clothes, a proportionCHAPTER VI
able leg, white hand, the Persian lock, and a How A GALLANT SHOULD BEHAVE HIMSELF tolerable beard) are perfectly revealed. A PLAY-HOUSE
By sitting on the stage, you have a signed The theatre is your poets' royal exchange,
patent to engross the whole commodity of cenupon which their muses (that are now turned
sure; may lawfully presume to be a girder;
and stand at the helm to steer the passage of to merchants) meeting, barter away that light commodity of words for a lighter ware than
scenes; yet no man shall once offer to hinder words, plaudities, and the breath of the great
you from obtaining the title of an insolent, beast; which (like the threatenings of two
overweening coxcomb. cowards) vanish all into air. Players and their
By sitting on the stage, you may (without factors
, who put away the stuff, and make the travelling for it) at the very next door ask whose best of it they possibly can (as indeed 'tis their
play it is: and, by that quest of inquiry, the parts so to do), your gallant, your courtier,
law warrants you to avoid much mistaking: if and your captain, had wont to be the soundest
you know not the author, you may rail against paymasters; and I think are still the surest
him: and peradventure so behave yourself, chapmen; and these, by means that their heads
that you may enforce the author to know you. are well stocked, deal upon this comical freight by the gross: when your groundling, and gal- 1 a resident of one of the inns of court lery-commoner buys his sport by the penny, keepers canopy
By sitting on the stage, if you be a knight, full, your apparel is quite eaten up, the fashion you may happily get you a mistress: if a mere lost, and the proportion of your body in more Fleet-street gentleman, a wife: but assure danger to be devoured than if it were served yourself, by continual residence, you are the up in the counter amongst the poultry: avoid first and principal man in election to begin that as you would the bastome.' It shall crown the number of We Three.?
you with rich commendation to laugh aloud By spreading your body on the stage, and in the midst of the most serious and saddest by being a justice in examining of plays, you scene of the terriblest tragedy: and to let that shall put yourself into such true scenical au- clapper (your tongue) be tossed so high, that thority, that some poet shall not dare to present all the house may ring of it: your lords use it; his muse rudely upon your eyes, without hav- your knights are apes to the lords, and do so ing first unmasked her, rifled her, and dis- too: your in-a-court-man is zany? to the knights, covered all her bare and most mystical parts and (marry very scurvily) comes likewise limpbefore you at a tavern, when you most knightlying after it: be thou a beagle to them all, and shall, for his pains, pay for both their sup- never lin: snuffing, till you have scented them: pers.
for by talking and laughing like a ploughman By sitting on the stage, you may (with small in a morris) you heap Pelion upon Ossa, glory cost) purchase the dear acquaintance of the upon glory: as first, all the eyes in the galleries boys: have a good stool for sixpence: at any will leave walking after the players, and only time know what particular part any of the in- follow you: the simplest dolt in the house fants present: get your match lighted, examine snatches up your name, and when he meets the play-suits' lace, and perhaps win wagers you in the streets, or that you fall into his upon laying 'tis copper, etc. And to conclude, hands in the middle of a watch, his word shall whether you be a fool or a justice of peace, a be taken for you: he'll cry “He's such a galcuckold, or a captain, a lord-mayor's son, or lant,” and you pass. Secondly, you publish a dawcock, a knave, or an under-sheriff; of your temperance to the world, in that you seem what stamp soever you be, current, or counter- not to resort thither to taste vain pleasures feit, the stage, like time, will bring you to most with a hungry appetite: but only as a gentleperfect light and lay you open: neither are you man to spend a foolish hour or two, because to be hunted from thence, though the scare- you can do nothing else: thirdly, you mightily crows in the yard hoot at you, hiss at you, spit disrelish the audience, and disgrace the author: at you, yea, throw dirt even in your teeth: 'tis marry, you take up (though it be at the worst most gentlemanlike patience to endure all this, hand) a strong opinion of your own judgment, and to laugh at the silly animals: but if the and enforce the poet to take pity of your weakrabble, with a full throat, cry, “Away with the ness, and, by some dedicated sonnet, to bring fool,” you were worse than a madman to tarry you into a better paradise, only to stop your by it: for the gentleman and the fool should mouth. never sit on the stage together.
If you can (either for love or money), provide Marry, let this observation go hand in hand yourself a lodging by the water side: for, with the rest: or rather, like a country serv- above the convenience it brings to shun shouling-man, some five yards before them. Pre
der-clapping, and to ship away your cockasent not yourself on the stage (especially at a trice betimes in the morning, it adds a kind of new play) until the quaking prologue hath (by state unto you, to be carried from thence to the rubbing) got colour into his cheeks, and is stairs of your play-house: hate a sculler (reready to give the trumpets their cue, that he's member that) worse than to be acquainted upon point to enter: for then it is time, as with one o'th' scullery. No, your oars are though you were one of the properties, or that your only sea-crabs, board them, and take heed you dropped out of the hangings, to creep from you never go twice together with one pair: behind the arras, with your tripos or three- often shifting is a great credit to gentlemen; footed stool in one hand, and a teston mounted and that dividing of your fare will make the between a forefinger and a thumb in the other: poor watersnakes be ready to pull you in pieces for if you should bestow your person upon the to enjoy your custom: no matter whether upon vulgar, when the belly of the house is but half landing, you have money or no: you may swim
in twenty of their boats over the river upon 1 haply, by chance ? A jest that still survives, a picture of two fools or asses with this inscription.
*by a constable