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itket: marry, when silver comes in, remember to pay treble their fare, and it will make your founder-catchers to send more thanks after you, when you do not draw, than when you f for they know, it will be their own another ăy. Before the play begins, fall to cards: you may win or lose (as fencers do in a prize) and leat one another by confederacy, yet share the money when you meet at supper: notwithstanding, to gull the ragamuffins that stand aloof gaping at you, throw the cards (having first torn four or five of them) round about the stage, just upon the third sound, as though you had lost: it skills not if the four knaves lie on their backs, and outface the audience; there's none such fools as dare take exceptions at them, because, ere the play go off, better knaves than they will fall into the company. Now, sir, if the writer be a fellow that hath tither epigrammed you, or hath had a flirt at your mistress, or hath brought either your feather, or your red beard, or your little legs, etc., on the stage, you shall disgrace him worse than by tossing him in a blanket, or giving him the bastinado in a tavern, if, in the middle of his play (be it pastoral or comedy, moral or tragedy), you rise with a screwed and discontented face from your stool to be gone: no matter whether the scenes be good or no; the better they are the worse do you distaste them: and, being on your feet, sneak not away like a Coward, but salute all your gentle acquaintance, that are spread either on the rushes, or on stools about you, and draw what troop you can from the stage after you: the mimics are beholden to you, for allowing them elbow room: their poet cries, perhaps, “a pox go with you,” o Care not for that, there's no music without tS. Marry, if either the company, or indisposition of the weather bind you to sit it out, my Counsel is then that you turn plain ape, take up a rush, and tickle the earnest ears of your sellow gallants, to make other fools fall a-laughing: mew at passionate speeches, blare at merry, find fault with the music, whew at the children's action, whistle at the songs: and above all, curse the sharers, that whereas the same day you had bestowed forty shillings on an embroidered felt and feather (Scotchfashion) for your mistress in the court, or your Punk in the city, within two hours after, you encounter with the very same block” on the

'i.e. for the play to begin "style of hat

stage, when the haberdasher swore to you the impression was extant but that morning.

To conclude, hoard up the finest play-scraps you can get, upon which your lean wit may most savourly feed, for want of other stuff, when the Arcadian and Euphuised gentlewomen have their tongues sharpened to set upon you: that quality (next to your shuttlecock) is the only furniture to a courtier that's but a new beginner, and is but in his A B C of compliment. The next places that are filled, after the playhouses be emptied, are (or ought to be) taverns: into a tavern then let us next march, where the brains of one hogshead must be beaten out to make up another.



Whosoever desires to be a man of good reckoning in the city, and (like your French lord) to have as many tables furnished as lackeys (who, when they keep least, keep none), whether he be a young quat' of the first year's revenue, or some austere and sullen-faced steward, who (in despite of a great beard, a satin suit, and a chain of gold wrapped in cypress) proclaims himself to any (but to those to whom his lord owes money) for a rank coxcomb, or whether he be a country gentleman, that brings his wife up to learn the fashion, see the tombs at Westminster, the lions in the Tower, or to take physic; or else is some young farmer, who many times makes his wife (in the country) believe he hath suits in law, because he will come up to his lechery: be he of what stamp he will that hath money in his purse, and a good conscience to spend it, my counsel is that he take his continual diet at a tavern, which (out of question) is the only rendez-vous of boon company; and the drawers” the most nimble, the most bold, and most sudden proclaimers of your largest bounty.

Having therefore thrust yourself into a case most in fashion (how coarse soever the stuff be, 'tis no matter so it hold fashion), your office is (if you mean to do your judgment right) to inquire out those taverns which are best customed, whose masters are oftenest drunk (for that confirms their taste, and that they choose wholesome wines), and such as stand furthest from the counters; where, landing yourself * suit

1 pimple, young fellow * waiters

and your followers, your first compliment shall be to grow most inwardly acquainted with the drawers, to learn their names, as Jack, and Will, and Tom, to dive into their inclinations, as whether this fellow useth to the fencing school, this to the dancing school; whether that young conjurer (in hogsheads) at midnight keeps a gelding now and then to visit his cockatrice, or whether he love dogs, or be addicted to any other eminent and citizen-like quality: and protest yourself to be extremely in love, and that you spend much money in a year, upon any one of those exercises which you perceive is followed by them. The use which you shall make of this familiarity is this: if you want money five or six days together, you may still pay the reckoning with this most gentlemanlike language, “Boy, fetch me money from the bar,” and keep yourself most providently from a hungry melancholy in your chamber. Besides, you shall be sure (if there be but one faucet that can betray neat wine to the bar) to have that arraigned before you, sooner than a better and worthier person. The first question you are to make (after the discharging of your pocket of tobacco and pipes, and the household stuff thereto belonging) shall be for an inventory of the kitchen: for it were more than most tailor-like, and to be suspected you were in league with some kitchen-wench, to descend yourself, to offend your stomach with the sight of the larder, and happily' to grease your accoutrements. Having therefore received this bill, you shall (like a captain putting up dear pays) have many salads stand on your table, as it were for blanks to the other more serviceable dishes: and according to the time of the year, vary your fare, as capon is a stirring meat sometime, oysters are a swelling meat sometimes, trout a tickling meat sometimes, green goose and woodcock a delicate meat sometimes, especially in a tavern, where you shall sit in as great state as a church-warden amongst his poor parishioners, at Pentecost or Christmas. For your drink, let not your physician confine you to any one particular liquor: for as it is requisite that a gentleman should not always be plodding in one art, but rather be a general scholar (that is, to have a lick at all sorts of learning, and away) so 'tis not fitting a man should trouble his head with sucking at one grape, but that he may be able (now there is a general peace) to drink any stranger drunk in

* haply, perchance

his own element of drink, or more properly in his own mist language. Your discourse at the table must be such as that which you utter at your ordinary: your behaviour the same, but somewhat more careless: for where your expense is great, let your modesty be less: and, though you should be mad in a tavern, the largeness of the items will bear with your incivility: you may, without prick to your conscience, set the want of your wit against the superfluity and sauciness of their reckonings. If you desire not to be haunted with fiddlers (who by the statute have as much liberty as rogues to travel into any place, having the passport of the house about them) bring then no women along with you: but if you love the company of all the drawers, never sup without your cockatrice: for, having her there, you shall be sure of most officious attendance. Inquire what gallants sup in the next room, and if they be any of your acquaintance, do not you (after the city fashion) send them in a pottle of wine, and your name, sweetened in two pitiful papers of sugar, with some filthy apology crammed into the mouth of a drawer; but rather keep a boy in fee, who underhand shall proclaim you in every room, what a gallant fellow you are, how much you spend yearly in taverns, what a great gamester, what custom you bring to the house, in what witty discourse you maintain a table, what gentlewomen or citizens' wives you can with a wet finger' have at any time to sup with you, and such like. By which encomiastics of his, they that know you shall admire you, and think themselves to be brought into a paradise but to be meanly in your acquaintance; and if any of your endeared friends be in the house, and beat the same ivy bush’ that yourself does, you may join companies and be drunk together most publicly. But in such a deluge of drink, take heed that no man counterfeit himself drunk, to free his purse from the danger of the shot: * 'tis a usual thing now among gentlemen; it had wont be the quality of cockneys: I would advise you to leave so much brains in your head as to prevent this. When the terrible reckoning (like an indictment) bids you hold up your hand, and that you must answer it at the bar, you must not abate one penny in any particular, no, though they reckon cheese to you, when you have neither eaten any, nor could ever abide it, raw or toasted: but cast your eye only upon * score, bill

easily * tavern sign

the totalis," and no further; for to traverse the bill would betray you to be acquainted with the rates of the market, nay more, it would make the vintners believe you were pater familias, and kept a house; which, I assure you, is not now in fashion. If you fall to dice after supper, let the drawers be as familiar with you as your barber, and venture their silver amongst you; no matter where they had it: you are to cherish the unthriftiness of such young tame pigeons, if you be a right gentleman: for when two are yoked together by the purse strings, and draw the chariot of Madam Prodigality, when one faints in the way and slips his horns, let the other rejoice and laugh at him. At your departure forth the house, to kiss mine hostess over the bar, or to accept of the courtesy of the cellar when 'tis offered you by the drawers, and you must know that kindness never creeps upon them, but when they see you almost cleft to the shoulders, or to bid any of the vintners good night, is as commendable, as for a barber after trimming to lave your face with sweet water. To conclude, count it an honour, either to invite or be invited to any rifling:” for commonly, though you find much satin there, yet you shall likewise find many citizens' sons, and heirs, and younger brothers there, who smell out such feasts more greedily than tailors hunt upon Sundays after weddings. And let any hook draw you either to a fencer's supper, or to a player's that acts such a part for a wager; for by this means you shall get experience, by being guilty to their abominable shaving.



After the sound of pottle-pots is out of your ears, and that the spirit of wine and tobacco walks in your brain, the tavern door being shut upon your back, cast about to pass through the widest and goodliest streets in the city. And if your means cannot reach to the keeping of a boy, hire one of the drawers, to be as a lanthorne unto your feet, and to light you home: and, still " as you approach near any nightwalker that is up as late as yourself curse and swear (like one that speaks High Dutch) in a * always

lofty voice, because your men have used you so like a rascal in not waiting upon you, and vow the next morning to pull their blue cases' over their ears, though, if your chamber were well searched, you give only sixpence a week to some old woman to make your bed, and that she is all the serving-creatures you give wages to. If you smell a watch (and that you may easily do, for commonly they eat onions to keep them in sleeping, which they account a medicine against cold) or, if you come within danger of their brown bills, let him that is your candlestick, and holds up your torch from dropping (for to march after a link is shoemaker-like), let Ignis Fatuus, I say, being within the reach of the constable's staff, ask aloud, “Sir Giles,” or “Sir Abram, will you turn this way, or down that street?” It skills not, though there be none dubbed in your bunch; the watch will wink at you, only for the love they bear to arms and knighthood: marry, if the sentinel and his court of guard stand strictly upon his martial law and cry “Stand,” commanding you to give the word, and to show reason why your ghost walks so late, do it in some jest (for that will show you have a desperate wit, and perhaps make him and his halberdiers afraid to lay foul hands upon you) or, if you read a mittimus’ in the constable's book, counterfeit to be a Frenchman, a Dutchman, or any other nation whose country is in peace with your own; and you may pass the pikes: for being not able to understand you, they cannot by the customs of the city take your examination, and so by consequence they have nothing to say to you. All the way as you pass (especially being approached near some of the gates) talk of none but lords, and such ladies with whom you have played at primero, or danced in the presence the very same day. It is a chance to lock up the lips of an inquisitive bell-man: and being arrived at your lodging door, which I would counsel you to choose in some rich citizen's house, salute at parting no man but by the name of Sir (as though you had supped with knights) albeit you had none in your company but your Perinado, or your ingle.” Happily it will be blown abroad, that you and your shoal of gallants swum through such an ocean of wine, that you danced so much money out at heels, and that in wild fowl there flew away thus much: and I assure you, to have the bill of your reckoning lost of purpose, * chum

summa totalis, total *raffling

1 coats * a warrant for arrest

so that it may be published, will make you to be held in dear estimation: only the danger is, if you owe money, and that your revealing gets your creditors by the ears; for then look to have a peal of ordnance thundering at your chamber door the next morning. But if either your tailor, mercer, haberdasher, silkman, cutter, linen draper, or sempster, stand like a guard of Switzers about your lodging, watching your uprising, or, if they miss of that, your down lying in one of the counters, you have no means to avoid the galling of their small shot, than by sending out a light-horseman to call your apothecary to your aid, who, encountering this desperate band of your creditors, only with two or three glasses in his hand, as though that day you purged, is able to drive them all to their holes like so many foxes: for the name of taking physic is a sufficient quietus est to any endangered gentleman, and gives an acquittance (for the time) to them all, though the twelve companies stand with their hoods to attend your coming forth and their officers with them. I could now fetch you about noon (the hour which I prescribed you before to rise at) out of your chamber, and carry you with me into Paul's Churchyard; where planting yourself in a stationer's shop, many instructions are to be given you, what books to call for, how to censure of new books, how to mew at the old, how to look in your tables and inquire for such and such Greek, French, Italian, or Spanish authors, whose names you have there, but whom your mother for pity would not give you so much wit as to understand. From thence you should blow yourself into the tobaccoordinary, where you are likewise to spend your judgment (like a quack-salver) upon that mystical wonder, to be able to discourse whether your cane" or your pudding” be sweetest, and which pipe has the best bore, and which burns black, which breaks in the burning, etc. Or, if you itch to step into the barber's, a whole dictionary cannot afford more words to set down notes what dialogues you are to maintain whilst you are doctor of the chair there. After your shaving, I could breathe you in a fenceschool, and out of that cudgel you into a dancing school, in both which I could weary you, by showing you more tricks than are in five galleries, or fifteen prizes. And, to close up the stomach of this feast, I could make cock

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I remember the players have often mentioned it as an honour 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 candour, for I loved the man, and do honour 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 stopped. “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, could not escape laughter, as when he said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him, “Caesar, thou dost me wrong.” He replied, “Caesar 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.


One, though he be excellent and the chief, is not to be imitated alone; for never no imitator ever grew up to his author; likeness is always on this side truth. Yet there happened in my time one noble speaker who was full of gravity in his speaking ; his language, where he could spare or pass by a jest, was nobly censorious.

* on our fellow-countryman, Shakespeare * Lord Verulam (Francis Bacon)


Noman ever spake more neatly, more pressly,'

most weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered. No member of his speech but consisted of his own graces. His hearers could not cough, or look aside from him, without loss. He commanded where he spoke, and had his judges angry and pleased at his devotion. No man had their affections more in his power. The fear of every man that heard him was lest he should make an end.


A good man will avoid the spot of any sin. The very aspersion is grievous, which makes him choose his way in his life as he would in his journey. The ill man rides through all onfidently; he is coated and booted for it. The ostener he offends, the more openly, and the fouler, the fitter in fashion. His modesty, like ariding-coat, the more it is worn is the less ared for. It is good enough for the dirt still, and the ways he travels in. An innocent man needs no eloquence, his innocence is instead of it, else I had never come off so many times from these precipices, whither men's malice hath pursued me. It is true I have been accused to the lords, to the king, and by great ones, but it happened my accusers had not thought of the accusation with themselves, and so were driven, for want of crimes, to use invention, which was found slander, or too late (being entered so far) to seek starting-holes for their fashness, which were not given them. And then they may think what accusation that was like to prove, when they that were the engineers feared to be the authors. Nor were they content to feign things against me, but to urge things, feigned by the ignorant, against my profession, which though, from their hired and mercenary impudence, I might have passed by as granted to a nation of barkers that let out their tongues to lick others’ sores; yet I durst not leave myself undefended, having a pair of ears unskilful to hear lies, or have those things said of me which I could truly prove of them. They objected making of verses to me, when I could object to most of them, their not being abletoread them, but as worthy of scorn. Nay, they would offer to urge mine own writings against me, but by pieces (which was an excellent way of malice), as if any man's context might not seem dangerous and offensive, if that which was knit to what went before were de

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frauded of his beginning; or that things by
themselves uttered might not seem subject to
calumny, which read entire would appear most
free. At last they upbraided my poverty: I
confess she is my domestic; sober of diet,
simple of habit, frugal, painful, a good coun-
seller to me, that keeps me from cruelty, pride,
or other more delicate impertinences, which are
the nurse-children of riches. Butlet them look
over all the great and monstrous wickednesses,
they shall never find those in poor families.
They are the issue of the wealthy giants and the
mighty hunters, whereas no great work, or
worthy of praise or memory, but came out of
poor cradles. It was the ancient poverty that
founded commonweals, built cities, invented
arts, made wholesome laws, armed men against
vices, rewarded them with their own virtues,
and preserved the honour and state of nations,
till they betrayed themselves to riches.


For a man to write well, there are required three necessaries – to read the best authors, observe the best speakers, and much exercise of his own style. In style, to consider what ought to be written, and after what manner, he must first think and excogitate his matter, then choose his words, and examine the weight of either. Then take care, in placing and ranking both matter and words, that the composition be comely; and to do this with diligence and often. No matter how slow the style be at first, so it be laboured and accurate; seek the best, and be not glad of the forward conceits, or first words, that offer themselves to us; but judge of what we invent, and order what we approve. Repeat often what we have formerly written; which beside that it helps the conse. quence, and makes the juncture better, it quickens the heat of imagination, that often cools in the time of setting down, and gives it new strength, as if it grew lustier by the going back. As we see in the contention of leaping, they jump farthest that fetch their race largest; or as in throwing a dart or javelin, we force back our arms to make our loose the stronger. Yet if we have a fair gale of wind, I forbid not the steering out of our sail, so the favour of the gale deceive us not. For all that we invent doth please us in the conception of birth, else we would never set it down. But the safest is to return to our judgment, and handle over

'on style and the best manner of writing

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