An emblem for the text

or, pieces of the world
discovered in Essays
and Characters

John Earle

I. A Child

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

II. A Young Raw Preacher

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

III. A Grave Divine

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

IV. A Meer Dull Physician

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

V. An Alderman

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

VI. A Dicscontented Man

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

VII. An Antiquary

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

VIII. A Younger Brother

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

IX. A Meer Formal Man

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

X. A Church-Papist

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

XI. A Self-Conceited Man

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

XII. A Too Idly Reserved Man

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

XIII. A Tavern

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

XIV. A Shark

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

XV. A Carrier

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

XVI. A Young Man

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

XVII. An Old College Butler

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

XVIII. An Upstart Country Knight

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

XIX. An Idle Gallant

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

XX. A Constable

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

XXI. A Down-right Scholar

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

XXII. A Plain Country Fellow

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

XXIII. A Player

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

XXIV. A Detractor

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

XXV. A Young Gentleman of the University

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

XXVI. A Weak Man

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

XXVII. A Tobacco-seller

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

XVIII. A Pot-poet

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

XXIX. A Plausible Man

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

XXX. A Bowl-alley

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

XXXI. The World’s Wise Man

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

XXXII. A Surgeon

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

XXXIII. A Contemplative Man

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

XXXIV. A She Precise Hypocrite

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

XXXV. A Sceptic in Religion

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

XXXVI. An Attorney

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

XXXVII. A Partial Man

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

XXXVIII. A Trumpeter

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

XXXIX. A Vulgar-spirited Man

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

XL. A Plodding Student

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

XLI. Paul’s Walk

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

XLII. A Cook

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

XLIII. A Bold Forward Man

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

XLIV. A Baker

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

XLV. A Pretender to Learning

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

XLVI. A Herald

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

XLVII. The Common Singing-men
in Cathedral Churches

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

XLVIII. A Shopkeeper

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

XLIX. A Blunt Man

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

L. A Handsome Hostess

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

LI. A Critic

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

LII. A Sergeant, or Catch-pole

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

LIII. A University Dun

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

LIV. A Staid Man

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

LV. A Modest Man

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

LVI. A Meer Empty Wit

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

LVII. A Drunkard

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

LVIII. A Prison

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

LIX. A Serving Man

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

LX. An Insolent Man

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

LXI. Acquaintance

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

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

LXII. A Mere Complimental Man

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

LXIII. A Poor Fiddler

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

LXIV. A Meddling Man

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

LXV. A Good Old Man

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

LXVI. A Flatterer

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

LXVII. A High-spirited Man

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

LXVIII. A Mere Gull Citizen

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

LXIX. A Lascivious Man

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

LXX. A Rash Man

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

LXXI. An Affected Man

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

LXXII. A Profane Man

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

LXIII. A Coward

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

LXXIV. A Sordid Rich Man

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

LXXV. A Mere Great Man

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

LXXVI. A Poor Man

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

LXXVII. An Ordinary Honest Man

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

LXXVIII. A Suspicious or Jealous Man

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