Thomas Dekker.

The guls hornbook : and The belman of London in two parts online

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Made in Great Britain

at The Temple Press Letchworth


J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd,

Aldine House Bedford St. London

First Published in this Edition t^oj

Reprinted 1922, 1916, igzS, 1 931, 193^



Bringing CO light die moft notorious

viljanies that are now pracflifed

in theK I N G D OM E.

Profitablefor Gentlemen, Lawyers,Mcrchants,Cirizens,Farmcr?

Miftertot Houlholdsi^nd all fories ot rcruin:S;CO maike^
aad ddighttuli for all men to Rcidc,

Lege^ VerUge^ ReUge

Printed at Lo'ndonfor Nathaniel BvTTBa. i tf o 8,










7^ /^Library



To all Guls In generally nvealth and Liberty,

Whom can I choose (my most worthy Maecan-
asses) to be Patrons to this labour of mine fitter
then yourselves ? Your hands are ever open,
your purses never shut. So that you stand not
in the Common Ranck of Dry-Jisted Patrons^
(who give nothing) for you give all. Schollers,
therefore, are as much beholden to you, as
Vintners, Players, and Punks are. Those
three trades gaine by you more then Usurers do
by thirty in the hundred : You spend the wines
of the one, you make suppers for the other, and
change your Gold into White money with the
third. Who is more liberall then you ? who
(but only Cittizens) are more free ? Blame me
not therefore, if I pick you out from the bunch
of Booke-takersy to consecrate these fruits of my
braine (which shall never die) onely to you. I
know that most of you (O admirable Guls !)
can neither write nor reade. A Horne-booke
have I invented, because I would have you well
schooled. Pozvles is your fValke ; but this your
Guide : if it lead you right, thanke me : if astray,
men will beare with your errors, because you are
Guls. Fare-well. T. D.


The foure elbowes (for any one that will weare it) is
d th^ put to making, in defiance of the seven wise
critics rnaisters : for I have smelt out of the musty
sheetes of an old Almanacke, that (at one time
or other) even he that jets upon the neatest and
sprucest leather, even he that talkes all Adage
and Apothegme^ even he that w^ill not have a
wrinckle in his new Sattein suit, though his mind
be uglier then his face, and his face so ill-
favouredly made, that he lookes at all times as if
a tooth-drawer were fumbling about his gommes
with a / thousand lame Heteroclites more, that
cozen the world with a guilt spur and a ruffled
boote ; will be all glad to fit themselves in Will
Sommer his wardrobe, and be driven (like a
Flemish Hoy in foule weather) to slip into our
Schoole, and take out a lesson. Tush, Calum
pet'imus stultitid, all that are chosen Constables
for their wit go not to heaven.

A fig therefore for the new-found Colledge
of Criticks. You Courtiers, that do nothing
but sing the gamuth - are of complemental
courtesie, and at the rustical behaviour of our
Countrie Muse, will screw forth worse faces
then those which God and the Painter has
bestowed upon you, I defie your perfumd scorne :
and vow to poyson your Muske cats, if their
civet excrement doe but once play with my nose.
You ordinary Guiles, that through a poore and
silly ambition to be thought you inherit the
revenues of extraordinary wit, will spend your
shallow censure upon the most elaborate Poeme
80 lavishly, that all the painted table-men about
you, take you to be heires apparant to rich


Midas, that had more skill in alch'imy then The
Kelly with the Phylosophers stone; (for all author's
that he could lay his fingers on, turned into P?" ^*J.^^
beaten gold) dry Tobacco with my leaves (you g.^
good dry brained polypragmonists^ till your pipe
offices smoake with your pittifuUy stinking girds
shot out against me. I conjure you (as you
come of the right goose-caps) staine not your
hose ; but when at a new play you take up the
twelve-penny roome next the stage ; (because
the Lords and you may seeme to be haile
fellow wel-met) there draw forth this booke,
read alowd, laugh alowd, and play the Anttckesy
that all the garlike mouthd stinkards may cry
out, Aiuay iv'ith the fool. As for thee, Zoilus,
goe hang thy selfe : and for thee Momus, chew
nothing but hemlock, and spit nothing but the
sirrup of Aloes upon my papers, till thy very
rotten lungs come forth for anger. I am Snake-
proof: and, though, with Hanniball, you bring
whole hogs-heads of vinegar-railings, it is im-
possible for you to quench or come over my
Alpine-resolution : I will saile boldly and des-
perately alongst the shore of the He of Guls ;
and in defiance of those terrible blockhouses,
their loggerheads, make a true discovery of their
wild (yet habitable) Country.

Sound an Allarum therefore (O thou my
couragious Muse) and, like a Dutch cryer, make
proclamation with thy Drum : the effect of
thine O-yes being. That if any man, woman or
child, be he Lord, be he Lowne, be he Courtier,
be he Carter, of ye Innes of Court, or Innes of
Citty, that, hating from the bottome of his heart


The all good manners and generous education, is
audience really in love, or rather doates on that excellent
moned country Lady, Innocent Simplicity^ being the first,
fairest, and chiefest Chamber-maide that our
great grandame Eve entertained into service : Or
if any person aforesaid, longing to make a voyage
in the ship of Fooles, would venture all the wit
that his mother left him, to live in the country
of Guls, cockneys^ and coxcombs ; to the intent
that, haunting theaters, he may sit there, like a
popinjay, onely to learne play-speeches, which
afterward may furnish ye necessity of his bare
knowledge, to maintaine table talke, or else,
heating tavernes, desires to take the Bacchanalian
degrees, and to write himselfe in arte bibendi
magister ; that at ordinaries would sit like Bias,
and in the streets walk like a braggart, that on
foote longs to goe like a French Lacquey, and
on horsebacke rides like an English Tailor, or
that from seven yeares and upward, till his dying
day, has a monethes mind to have the Guls
Horneboohe by hearte ; by which in time he may
be promoted to serve any Lord in Europe, as his
crafty foole, or his bawdy Jester, yea and to be
so deere to his Lordship, as for the excellency
of his fooling, to be admitted both to ride in
Coach with him, and to lie at his very feete on
a truckle-bed. Let all such (and I hope the
world has not left her olde fashions, but there
are ten thousand such) repaire hither. Never
knocke, (you that strive to be Ninny-hammer)
but with your feete spurne open the doore, and
enter into our Schoole : you shall not neede to
buy bookes, no, scorne to distinguish a B from a


battle doore ; onely looke that your eares be The
long enough to reach our Rudiments, and you sciences
are made for ever. It is by heart that I would . ^^^^^^
have you to con my lessons, and therefore be jdiotism
sure to have most devouring stomaches. Nor be
you terrified with an opinion, that our rules be
hard and indigestible, or that you shall never be
good Graduates in these rare sciences of Bar-
barlsme, and Idiotisme. O fie, uppon any man
that carries that ungodly minde ! Tush, tush ;
Tarleton^ Kemp^ nor Singer, nor all the litter of
Fooles that now come drawling behinde them,
never played the clownes more naturally then
the arrantest Sot of you all shall if hee will but
boyle my Instructions in his braine-pan.

And lest I my selfe like somQ pedantical Vicar
stammering out a most false and crackt latine
oration to maister Mayor of the towne and his
brethren, should cough and hem in my deliveries ;
by which meanes you (my Auditors) should be
in danger to depart more like woodcockes then
when you came to me : O thou venerable father
of antient (and therefore hoary) customes, Syl-
vanus, I invoke thy assistance ; thou that first
taughtest Carters to weare hob-nailes, and Lobs
to play Christmas gambols, and to shew the
most beastly horse-trickes : O do thou, or (if
thou art not at leasure) let thy Mountibancke,
goat-footed Fauni, inspire me with the know-
ledge of all those silly and ridiculous fashions,
which the old dunsticall world woare even out
at elbowes ; draw for me the pictures of the
most simple fellowes then living, that by their
patterns 1 may paint the like. Awake thou


Appeal to noblest drunkerd Bacchus, thou must likewise
Bacchus g^-^j^^ to me (if at least thou canst for reeling),
teach me (you soveraigne skinker) how to take
the Germans upsy freeze, the Danish Roivsa,
the Switzers stoap of Rhenish, the Italians
Parmizanf, the Englishmans healthes, his hoopes,
cans, halfecans, Gloves, Frolicks and flapdragons,
together with the most notorious qualities of the
truest tosspots, as when to cast, when to quarrell,
when to fight, and where to sleepe : hide not a
drop of thy moist mystery from me, (thou
plumpest swil-bowle) but (like an honest red-
nosed wine-bibber) lay open all thy secrets, and
ye mystical Hieroglyphich of Rashers a' th*
coales, Modicums and shooing-hornes, and why
they were invented, for what occupations, and
when to be used. Thirdly (because I will have
more then two strings to my bow) Comus, thou
Clarke of Gluttonies kitchen, doe thou also bid
me proface, and let me not rise from table, till I
am perfect in all the generall rules of Epicures
and Cormorants. Fatten thou my braines, that
I may feede others, and teach them both how to
squat downe to their meat, and how to munch
so like Loobies, that the wisest Solon in the
world, shall not be able to take them for any
other. If there be any strength in thee, thou
beggerly Monarche of India?is, and setter-up of
rotten-lungd chimneysweepers, (Tobacco) I beg
it at thy smoaky hands : make me thine adopted
heire, that, inheriting the vertues of thy whiffes,
I may / distribute them amongst all nations, and
make the phantastick Englishmen (above the
rest) more cunning in the distinction of thy


Ronvle Trinidadoy Leafe, and Pudding, then the and to
whitest toothd Black amoore in all Jsia. After tobacco
thy pipe, shal ten thousands be taught to daunce,
if thou wilt but discover to me the sweetnesse of
thy snufFes, with the manner of spawling, slaver-
ing, spetting and driveling in all places, and
before all persons. Oh what songs will I
charme out, in praise of those valiantly-strong-
stinking breaths, which are easily purchased at
thy hands, if I can but get thee to traveil through
my nose. All the fob's in the fairest Ladies
mouth, that ever kist Lord, shall not fright me
from thy browne presence : for thou art humble,
and from the Courts of Princes hast vouchsafed
to be acquainted with penny galleries, and (like
a good-fellow) to be drunke for company, with
Water-men, Carmen and Colliers ; whereas
before, and so still, Knights and wise Gentlemen
were, & are thy companions. Last of all, thou
Lady of Clownes and Carters, Schoolmistres of
fooles and wiseacres, thou homely (but harme-
lesse) Rusticity, Oh breath thy dull and dunsti-
call spirit into our ganders quill ; crowne me
thy Poet, not with a garland of Bayes (Oh no !
the number of those that steale laivret is too
monstrous already) but swaddle thou my browes
with those unhansome boughes, which, (like
Autumns rotten haire), hang dangling over thy
dusty eye-lids. Helpe me (thou midwife of
unmannerlinesse) to be delivered of this Embryon
that lies tumbling in my braine : direct me in
this hard and dangerous voyage, that being
safely arrived on the desired shore, I may build
up Altars to thy Unmatcheable Rudeness ; the


Tailors excellency whereof I know will be so great,
and cooks that Grout-no-ivles and Moames will in swarmes
fly buzzing about thee. So Herculean a labour
is this, that I undertake, that I am enforced to
bawl out for all your succours, to the intent I
may aptly furnish this feast of Fooles, unto which
I solemnely invite all the world ; for at it shall
sit not only those whom Fortune favours, but
even those whose wits are naturally their owne.
Yet because your artificiall fooles beare away the
bell, all our best workmanship (at this time)
shall be spent to fashion such a Creature.


The old world, & the new weighed together : the

Tailors of those times, and these compared :

the apparell, and dyet of our first fathers.

Good cloathes are the embroidred trappings of
pride, and good cheere the very eringo-roote of
gluttony : so that fine backes, and fat bellyes
are Coach-horses to two of the seven deadly
sins : In the bootes of which Coach, Lechery
and Sloth sit like the waiting-maide. In a most
desperate state therefore doe Taylors, and
Cookes stand, by meanes of their offices : for
both those trades are Apple-squires to that
couple of sinnes. The one invents more
fantasticke fashions, then Fraunce bath worne
since her first stone was laid ; the other more
lickerish epicurean dishes, then were ever servd
up to Gallonius table. Did man, (thinke you)


come wrangling into the world, about ro better Adam
matters, then all his lifetime to make privy a-"" Eve ;
searches in Burchin lane for Whalebone doublets,„n4.
or for pies of Nightingale tongues in Heliogahalus
his kitchin ? No, no, the first suit of apparell,
that ever mortall man put on, came neither from
the Mercers shop, nor the Merchants ware-
house : Adams bill would have beene taken then,
sooner then a Knights bond now ; yet was hee
great in no bodies bookes for satten, and velvets :
the silk-wormes had something else to do in
those dayes, then to set up loomes, and be free
of the weavers : his breeches were not so much
worth as King Stephens, that cost but a poore
noble : for Adams holyday hose and doublet
were of no better stuffe then plaine fig-leaves,
and E'ves best gowne of the same peece : there
went but a paire of sheeres betweene them. An
Antiquary in this towne, has yet some of the
powder of those leaves dr^^ed to shew. Taylors
then were none of the twelve Companies : their
Hall, that now is larger then some Dorps
among the Netherlands^ was then no bigger then
a Dutch Butchers shop : they durst not strike
downe their customers with large bills : Adam
cared not an apple-paring for all their lousy hems.
There was then neither the Spanish slop, nor the
Skippers galligaskin : the Sivitzers blistred Cod-
piece, nor the Danish sleeve sagging / down like
a Welch wallet, the Italians close strosser, nor
the French standing coller : your trebble-
quadruple Dcedalian ruffes, nor your stifFenecked
rebatoes, (that have more arches for pride to
row under, then can stand under five London


Diet of Bridges) durst not then set themselves out in

the Satur- pj-i^i- . f-Qj. ^j^g patent for starch could by no

^ meanes be signed. Fashions then was counted a

disease, and horses died of it : But now (thankes

to folly) it is held the onely rare phisicke, and

the purest golden Asses live upon it.

As for the diet of that Saturnian age, it was
like their attire, homely : A sallad, and a mess
of leeke porridge, was a dinner for a far greater
man than ever the Turke was : Potato-pies, and
Custards, stood like the sinful suburbs of
Cookery, and had not a wall (so much as a
handfuU hie) built rownd about them. There
were no daggers then, nor no Chayres. Crookes
his ordinary, in those parsimonious dayes, had
not a Capons-leg to throw at a dog. Oh golden
world, the suspicious Venedan carved not his
meate with a silver pitch-forke, neither did the
sweet-toothd Englishman shift a dozen of
trenchers at one meale. Piers Ploughman layd
the cloth, and Simplicity brought in the voyder.
How wonderfully is the world altered ? and no
marvell, for it has lyein sicke almost five thousand
yeares : So that it is no more like the old Theater
du munde, than old Paris garden is like the Kings
garden at Paris.

What an excellent workeman therefore were
he, that could cast the Globe of it into a new
mould : And not to make it look like MulUneux
his Globe, with a round face sleekt and washt
over with whites of egges ; but to have it in
PlariOy as it was at first, with all the ancient
circles, lines, paralels, and figures, representing
indeede, all the wrinckles, crackes, crevises and


flawes that (like the Mole on Hattens cheek, The
being os amoris,) stuck upon it at the first "Su^^^ry
creation, and made it looke most lovely ; but
now those furrowes are filled up with Cerise,
and Vermilion ; yet all will not doe, it appeares
more ugly. Come, come, it would be but a bald
world, but that it weares a periwig. The body
of it is fowle (like a birding-peece) by being too
much heated : the breath of it stinks like the
mouthes of Chambermaides by feeding on so
many sweat meats. And, though to purge it
wil be a sorer labour then the clensing / of
Augeaes stable, or the scowring of Moorditch :
yet. Ilk ego, qui quondam ; I am the Pasquille
madcap, that will doo't.

Draw neere therefore, all you that love to
walke upon single and simple soules, and that
wish to keepe company with none but Innocents,
and the sonnes of civill Citizens, out with your
tables, and naile your eares (as it were to
the pillary) to the musique of our instructions :
nor let the title Guilery, fright you from schoole :
for marke what an excellent ladder you are to
clime by. How many worthy, and men of
famous memory (for their learning of all offices,
from the scavenger and so upward) have
flourished in London of ye ancient familie of the
IViseacres, being now no better esteemed than
fooles and yonger brothers ? This geare must
be lookt into, lest in time (O lamentable time,
when that houre-glasse is turned up) a rich mans
Sonne shall no sooner peepe out of the shell of
his minority, but he shall straightwaies be begd
for a concealement, or set upon (as it were, by



The free-booters) and tane in his owne purse-nets by
forfhe ^"^"^^^^ ^^^ cony-catchers. To drive which
gyll pestilent infection from the heart, heeres a
medicine more potent, and more precious, then
was ever that mingle-mangle of drugs which
Mitkr'idates boyld together. Feare not to tast
it : a cawdle will not goe downe halfe so smoothly
as this will : you neede not call the honest name
of it in question, for Antiquity puts off his cap,
and makes a bare oration in praise of the vertues
of it : the Receipt hath beene subscribed unto,
by all those that have had to doe with Simples^
with this moth-eaten Motto^ Probatum est :
your Diacatho/icon aureum, that with gun-powder
brings threaten [ing]s to blow up all diseases
that come in his way, and smels worse then
Assafatida in respect of this. You therefore
whose bodyes, either overflowing with the corrupt
humours of this ages phantasticknesse, or else
being burnt up with the inflammation of upstart
fashions, would faine be purgd : and to shew
that you truly loath this polluted and mangy-
fisted world, turne Timonists, not caring either
for men or their maners. Doe you pledge me,
spare not to take a deepe draught of our homely
councel. The cup is full, and so large, that I
boldly drinke a health unto all commers. /



How a young Gallant shall not onely keepe his

clothes (which many of them can hardly doe

for Brokers) but also save the charges

of taking physicke ; with other rules

for the morning, the praise of

Sleepe, and of going naked.

Y'ou have heard all this while nothing but the In praise
Prologue^ and seene no more but a dumbe shew : of sleep
Our i)etus Comad'ta steps out now. The fittest
stage upon which you (that study to be an Actor
there) are first to present your selfe is (in my
approved judgment) the softest and largest
Downe-bed : from whence (if you will but take
sound councell of your pillow) you shall never
rise, till you heare it ring noone at least. Sleep,
in the name of Morpheus^ your bellyfull, or ,-
(rather) sleepe till you heare your belly grombles
and waxeth empty. Care not for those coor.^e
painted cloath rimes, made by ye University of
Salerne, that come over you, with

Sit brevis, aut nullus, tibi somnus merldianus.
Short let thy sleepe at noone be,
Or rather let it none be.

Sweete candied councell, but theres rats-bane
under it : trust never a Bachiler of Art of them
all, for he speakes your health faire, but to steale
away the maidenhead of it: Salerne stands in
the luxurious country oi Naples, and who knowes
not that the Neapolitan, will (like Derick the


The evils hangman) embrace you with one arme, and rip
of physic yQ^j. gm-g ^j^.j^ j.j^g other ? theres not a haire in
his mustachoo, but if he kisse you, will stabbe
you through the cheekes like a ponyard : the
slave, to be avenged on his enemy, will drink off
a pint of poison himselfe so that he may be sure
to have the other pledge him but halfe so much.
And it may be, that upon some secret grudge to
worke the generall destruction of all mankinde,
those verses were composed. Phisisians^ I know
(and none else) tooke up the bucklers in their
defence, railing bitterly upon that venerable and
princely custom of long-lying-abed: Yet, now I
remember me, I cannot blame them ; for / they
which want sleepe (which is mans natural! rest)
become either mere Naturals, or else fall into
the Doctors hands, and so consequently into the
Lords : whereas he that snorts profoundly scornes
to let Hippocrates himselfe stand tooting on his
Urinall, and thereby saves that charges of a
groates worth of Physicke : And happy is that
man that saves it ; for phisick is Non minus
'venejica, quam henejica, it hath an ounce of gall
in it, for every dram of hony. Ten Tyburnes
cannot turne men over ye perch so fast as one of
these brewers of purgations : the very nerves of
their practice being nothing but Ars Homicidiorum,
an Art to make poore soules kick up their heeles.
In so much, that even their sicke grunting
patients stand in more danger of M. Doctor and
his drugs, then of all the Cannon shots which
the desperate disease it selfe can discharge
against them. Send them packing therefore,
to walke like Italian Moimtebankes. beate not


your braines to understand their parcell-Greeke, Benefits
parcell-Latine gibrish : let not all their sophisti- of sleep
call buzzing into your eares, nor their Satyricall
canvassing of feather-beds and tossing men out
of their warme blanckets, awake you till the
houre that heere is prescribed.

For doe but consider what an excellent thing
sleepe is : It is so inestimable a Jewel, that, if a
Tyrant would give his crowne for an houres
slumber, it cannot be bought : of so beautifull a
shape is it, that though a man lye with an
Empresse, his heart cannot be at quiet, till he
leaves her embracements to be at rest with the
other : yea, so greatly indebted are we to this
kinseman of death, that we owe the better
tributary, halfe of our life to him : and thers good
cause why we should do so : for sleepe is that
golden chaine that ties health and our bodies to-
gether. Who complains of want ? of woundes ?
of cares ? of great mens oppressions, of captivity ?
whilest he sleepeth ? Beg^ers in their beds take
as much pleasure as Kings : can we therefore
surfet on this delicate Ambrosia ? can we drink
too much of that whereof to tast too little tumbles
us into a church-yard, and to use it but indiffer-
ently, throwes us into Bedlam ? No, no, looke
uppon EndymioTiy the Moones Minion, who slept
threescore and fifteene yeares, and was not a
haire the worse for it. Can lying abedde till
noone then (being not the threescore and fifteenth
thousand part of his nap) be hurtfull ?

Besides, by the opinion of all Phylosophers
and Physitians, it is not good to trust the aire
with our bodies / till the Sun with his flame-


The coloured wings, hath fand away the mistie smoke
healthful q£ ^.^^ morning, and refind that thicke tobacco-
rise ^^^'^^^ which the rheumaticke night throwes
abroad of purpose to put out the eye of the
Element : which worke questionlesse cannot be
perfectly finished, till the sunnes Car-horses
stand prancing on the very top of highest noon :

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