Thomas Dekker.

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

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But I have not left you yet. Before you
come downe againe, I would desire you to draw
your knife, and grave your name (or, for want
of a name, the marke, which you clap on your
sheep) in great Characters upon the leades, by a
number of your brethren (both Citizens ana
country Gentlemen) and so you shall be sure to
have your name lye in a coffin of lead, when
yourselfe shall be wrapt in a winding-sheete :
and indeed the top of Powles conteins more
names than Sto'wes Chronicle. These lofty
tricks being plaid, and you (thanks to your
feete) being safely arived at the staires foote




Sir Philip agalne, your next worthy worke is, to repaire to
Sidney's j^iy lord Chancellors Tomb (and, if you can but
cpi 2.p reasonably spel) bestow some time upon the read-
ing of Sir Phillip Sydney s briefe Epitaph ; in the
campasse of an houre you may make shift to
stumble it out. The great dyal is, your last
monument : there bestow / some halfe of the
threescore minutes, to observe the sawciness of
the Jaikes that are above the man in the moone
there ; the strangenesse of the motion will quit
your labour. Besides, you may heere have fit
occasion to discover your watch, by taking it
forth, and setting the wheeles to the time of
Powles, which, I assure you, goes truer by five
notes then S. Sepulchers Chimes. The benefit
that wil arise from hence is this, that you publish
your charge in maintaining a gilded clocke ; and
withall the world shall know that you are a
time-pleaser. By this I imagine you have
walkt your belly ful, and thereupon being weary,
or (which rather I beleeve) being most Gentle-
manlike hungry, it is fit that I brought you into
the Duke ; so (because he followes the fashion
of great men, in keeping no house, and that
therefore you must go seeke your dinner) suffer
me to take you by the hand, and lead you into
an Ordinary.



How a yong Gallant should behave himselfe in
an Ordinary.

First, having diligently enquired out an Ordinary The
ot the largest reckoning, whither most of your gallant
Courtly Gallants do resort, let it be your use to ^"^ ^^^
vepaire thither some halfe houre after eleven ; ^"^^^
for then you shall find most of your fashion-
mongers planted in the roome waiting for meate.
Ride thither upon your galloway-nag, or your
Spanish Jennet, a swift ambling pace, in your
hose, and doublet (gilt rapier and poniard be-
stowd in their places) and your French Lackey
carrying your cloake, and running before you ;
or rather in a coach, for that will both hide you
from the basiliske-eyes of your creditors, and
outrun a whole kenneli of bitter-mouthed

Being arrived in«the roome, salute not any but
those of your acquaintance : walke up and downe
by the rest as scornfully and as carelesly as a
Gentleman-Usher : Select some friend (having
first throwne off your cloake) to walke up and
downe the room with you, let him be suited if
you can, worse by farre then your selfe, he will
be a foyle to you: and this will be a meanes to
publish your clothes better than Powles, a
Tennis-court, or a Playhouse : discourse as lowd
as you can, no matter to what purpose if you but
make a noise, and laugh in fashion, and have a


The con- good sower face to promise quarrelling, you shall

^"^S^-^ ^ ^^^ much observed.
so ler -^^ y^^ ^g ^ souldier, talke how often you have
beene in action : as the Port'wgale voyage, Cales
voiage, the I/and voiage, besides some eight or
nine imploiments in Ireland, and the Low
Countries : then you may discourse how honour-
ably your Grave used you ; observe that you
cal Grave Maurice, your Grave : How often
you have drunk with Count such a one, and
such a Count on your knees to your Graves
health : and let it bee your vertue to give place
neither to S. Kynock, nor to any Dutchman what-
soever in the seventeene provinces, for that
Souldiers complement of drinking. And if you
perceive that the untravelld company about you
take this downe well, ply them with more such
stufFe, as how you have interpreted betweene the
French King and a great Lord of Barbary,
when they have been drinking healthes together,
and that will be an excellent occasion to publish
your languages, if you have them : if not, get
some fragments of French, or smal parcels of
Italian, to fling about the table : but beware how
you speake any Latine there : your Ordinary most
commonly hath no more to do with Latine then
a desperate towne of Garison hath.

If you be a Courtier, discourse of the obtain-
ing of Suits : of your mistresses favours, etc.
Make inquiry, if any gentleman at boord have
any suit, to get which he would use ye good
means of a great mans Interest with the King :
and withall (if you have not so much grace left
in you as to blush) that you are (thankes to your


starres) in mightie credit, though in your ov/ne of a
conscience you know, and are guilty to your courtier
selfe, that you dare not (but onely upon the f'^ofv
priviledges of hansome clothes) presume to peepe
into the presence. Demand if there be any
Gentleman (whom any there is acquainted with)
that is troubled with two offices ; or any Vicar
with two Church-livings ; which will politickly
insinuate, that your inquiry after them is because
you have good meanes to obtaine them ; yea and
rather then your tongue should not be heard in
the roome, but that you should sit (like / an
Asse) with your finger in your mouth, and
speake nothing : discourse how often this Lady
hath sent her Coach for you ; and how often
you have sweat in the Tennis-court with that
great Lord: for indeede the sweting together in
Fraunce (I mean the society of Tennis) is a
great argument of most deere affection, even
between noblemen and Pesants.

If you be a Poet, and come into the Ordinary
(though it can be no great glory to be an
ordinary Poet) order yourselfe thus. Observe
no man, doff not cap to that Gentleman to day
at dinner, to whom, not two nights since, you
were beholden for a supper ; but, after a turne
or two in the roome, take occasion (pulling out
your gloves) to have some Epigram^ or Satyre^
or Sonnet fastned in one of them, that may (as
it were vomittingly to you) offer it selfe to the
Gentlemen : they will presently desire it : but,
without much conjuration from them, and a
pretty kind of counterfet loathnes in yourselfe,
do not read it ; and though it be none of your


How to owne, sweare you made it. Mary, if you
earn a chaunce to get into your hands any witty thing
dinner q£ another mans, that is somewhat better, I
would councell you then, if demand bee made
who composed it, you may say : faith, a learned
Gentleman, a very worthy friend. And this
seeming to lay it on another man will be counted
either modestie in you, or a signe that you are
not ambitious of praise, or else that you dare
not take it upon you, for feare of the sharpnesse
it carries with it. Besides, it will adde much
to your fame to let your tongue walke faster
then your teeth, though you be never so hungry,
and, rather then you should sit like a dumb
Coxcomb, to repeat by heart either some verses
of your owne, or of any other mans, stretching
even very good lines upon the rack of the
censure : though it be against all law, honestie,
or conscience, it may chaunce save you the
price of your Ordinary, and beget you other
Suppliments. Mary, I would further intreat our
Poet to be in league with the Mistresse of the
Ordinary, because from her (upon condition that
he will but ryme knights and yong gentlemen to
her house, and maintaine the table in good fool-
ing) he may easily make up his mouth at her
cost. Gratis.

Thus much for particular men. But in
generall let all that are in Ordinary-pay, march
after the sound of these directions. Before /
the meate come smoaking to the board, our
Gallant must draw out his Tobacco-box, the
ladell for the cold snufFe into the nosthrill, the
tongs and prining-Iron : All which artillery may


be of gold or silver (if he can reach to the price Hew to
of it), it will bee a reasonable useful pawne at all behave at
times, when the current of his money falles out table
to run low. And heere you must observe to
know in what state Tobacco is in towne, better
then the Merchants, and to discourse of the
Apottecaries where it is to be sold and to be
able to speake of their wines, as readily as the
Apottecary himselfe reading the barbarous hand
of a Doctor : then let him shew his severall
tricks in taking it, As the Whiffe^ the Ring^ etc.
For these are complements that gaine Gentle-
men no mean respect and for which indeede
they are more worthily noted, I ensure you,
then for any skill that they have in learning.

When you are set downe to dinner, you must
eate as impudently as can be (for thats most
Gentlemanlike) when your Knight is upon his
stewed mutton, be presently, though you be but
a capten, in the bosom^e of your goose : and
when your Justice of peace is knuckle-deep in
goose, you may, without disparagement to your
bloud, though you have a Lady to your mother,
fall very manfully to your woodcocks.

You may rise in dinner-time to aske for a
close-stoole, protesting to all the gentlemen that
it costs you a hundred pounds a yeare in phy-
sicke, besides the Annual pension which your
wife allowes her Doctor: and (if you please)
you may (as your great French Lord doth)
invite some speciall friend of yours, from the
table, to hold discourse with you as you sit in
that withdrawing-chamber : from whence being
returned againe to the board, you shall sharpen


A severe the wits of all the eating Gallants about you,
critic ^jj(j jQg them great pleasure, to aske what
Pamphlets or poems a man might think fittest
to wipe his taile with (mary, this talke will be
somewhat fowle if you carry not a strong per-
fume about you) and, in propounding this
question, you may abuse the workes of any
man ; deprave his writings that you cannot
equall, and purchase to your selfe in time the
terrible name of a severe Criticke ; nay, and be
one of the Colledge, if youle be liberall inough :
and (when your turn comes) pay for their

After / dinner, every man as his busines
leades him : some to dice, some to drabs, some
to playes, some to take up friends in the Court,
some to take up money in the Citty, some to
lende testers in Powles, others to borrow
crownes upon the Exchange : and ttus, as the
people is sayd to bee a beast of many heads (yet
all those heads like Hydraes) ever growing, as
various in their homes as wondrous in their
budding and branching, so, in an Ordinary, you
shall find the variety of a whole kingdome in a
few Apes of the kingdome.

You must not sweare in your dicing : for that
Argues a violent impatience to depart from your
money, and in time will betray a mans neede.
Take heede of it. No ! whether you be at
Primero, or Hazard, you shall sit as patiently
(though you lose a whole halfe-yeares exhibi-
tion) as a disarmd Gentleman does when hees
in the unmerciful fingers of Serjeants. Mary, I
will allow you to sweat privatly, and teare six


or seven score paire of cards, be the damnation Various
of some dozen or twenty baile of dice, and for- kinds of
sweare play a thousand times in an houre, but ordinary
not sweare. Dice your selfe into your shirt :
and, if you have a beard that your frind wil lend
but an angell upon, shave it off, and pawne that,
rather then to goe home blinde to your lodging.
Further, it is to be remembred, He that is a
great Gamester may be trusted for a quarters
board at all times, and apparell provided, if
neede be.

At your twelvepennny Ordinary, you may
give any Justice of peace, or yong Knight (if he
sit but one degree towards the Equinoctial! of
the Salt-seller) leave to pay for the wine : and
hee shall not refuse it, though it be a weeke
before the receiving of his quarters rent, which
is a time albeit of good hope, yet of present

There is another Ordinary, to which your
London Usurer, your stale Batchilor, and your
thrifty Atturney do resort : the price three
pence : the roomes as full of company as a Jaile,
and indeed divided into severall wards, like the
beds of an Hospital. The complement betweene
these is not much, their words few : for the
belly hath no eares : every mans eie heere k
upon the other mans trencher, to note whether
his fellow lurch him, or no : if they chaunce to
discourse, it is of nothing but of Statutes, Bonds,
I Recognizances, Fines, Recoveries, Audits, Rents,
Subsidies, Surties, In closures. Liveries, Indite-
ments, Outlaries, FeoJ^ments, Judgments, Commis-
sions, Bankerouts, Amercements, and of such


What he horrible matter, that when a Liftenant dines
fh^^K ^f ^"^^^^ ^^^ punck in the next roome, he
ordinary "^^^^^7 ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ conjuring. I can find nothing
at this Ordinary worthy the sitting downe for :
therefore the cloth shall be taken away, and
those that are thought good enough to be guests
heere, sh^Ii be too base to bee waiters at your
Grand Ordinary ; at which your Gallant tastes
these commodities. He shall fare wel, enjoy
good company, receive all the newes ere the
post can deliver his packet, be perfect where the
best bawdy-houses stand, proclaime his good
clothes, know this man to drinke well, that to
feed grosly, the other to swaggar roughly : he
shall, if hee be minded to travell, put out money
upon his returne, and have hands enough to
receive it upon any termes of repaiment ; And
no question, if he be poore, he shall now and
then light upon some Gu/I or other, whom he
may skelder (after the gentile fashion) of
mony : By this time the parings of Fruit and
Cheese are in the voyder, Cards and dice lie
stinking in the fire, the guests are all up, the
guilt rapiers ready to be hangd, the French
Lackquey, and Irish Footeboy, shrugging at
the doores, with their masters hobby-horses, to
ride to the new play : thats the Randevous :
thither they are gallopt in post. Let us take a
paire of Cares, and now lustily after them.



How a Gallant should behave himself in
a Play-house.

The theater is your Poets Royal Exchange, The
upon which their Muses, (yt are now turnd to poets'
Merchants,) meeting, barter away that light ^ojal
commodity of words for a lighter ware then pijans-c
words, Plaudltes, and the breath of the great
Beast; v/hich (like the threatnings of two
Cowards) vanish all into air. Platers and their
Factors, who put away the stufFe, and make the
best of it they possibly can (as indeed tis their
parts so to doe) your / Gallant, your Courtier,
and your Capten had wont to be the soundest
paymaisters ; and I thinke are still the surest
chapmen : and these, by meanes that their heades
are well stockt, deale upon this comical freight
by the grosse : when your Groundling, and
gallery-Commoner buyes his sport by the penny,
and, like a Hagier, is glad to utter it againe by

Sithence then the place is so free in entertain-
ment, allowing a stoole as well to the Farmers
Sonne as to your Templer : that your Stinkard
has the selfe-same libertie to be there in his
Tobacco-Fumes, which your sweet Courtier
hath : and that your Car-man and Tinker
claime as strong a voice in their suffrage, and sit
to give judgment on the plaies life and death, as
well as theprowdest Momus among the tribe [^sj


The gull of Critlck : It is fit that bee, whom the most
must sit tailors bils do make roome for, when he comes,
on the should not be basely (like a vyoll) casd up in a

Whether therefore the gatherers of the pub-
lique or private Play-house stand to receive the
afternoones rent, let our Gallant (having paid
it) presently advance himselfe up to the Throne
of the Stage. I meane not into the Lords
roome (which is now but the Stages Suburbs) :
No, those boxes, by the iniquity of custome,
conspiracy of waiting-women and Gentlemen-
Ushers, that there sweat together, and the
covetousnes of Sharers, are contemptibly thrust
into the reare, and much new Satten is there
dambd, by being smothred to death in darknesse.
But on the very Rushes where the Comedy is
to daunce, yea, and under the state of Cambises
himselfe must our fethered Estridge, like a piece
of Ordnance, be planted valiantly (because im-
pudently) beating downe the mewes and hisses
of the opposed rascality.

For do but cast up a reckoning, what large
cummings-in are pursd up by sitting on the
Stage. First a conspicuous Eminence is gotten ;
by which meanes, the best and most essenciall
parts of a Gallant (good cloathes, a proportion-
able legge, white hand, the Persian lock, and a
tollerable beard) are perfectly revealed.

Bv sitting on the stage, you have a signd
patent to engrosse the whole commodity of
Censure ; may lawfully presume to be a Girder ;
and stand at the helme to steere the passage of
scenes ; yet / no man shall once offer to hinder


you from obtaining the title of an insolent, over- Advan-
weening Coxcombe. tages of

By sitting on the stage, you may (without ^/^^"\^ °"
travelHng for it) at the very next doore aske
whose play it is : and, by that Quest of Inquiry,
the law warrants you to avoid much mistaking :
if you know not ye author, you may raile against
him : and peradventure so behave your selfe,
that you may enforce the Author to know

By sitting on the stage, if you be a Knight,
you may happily get you a Mistress : if a mere
Fleet-street Gentleman, a wife : but assure your-
selfe, by continuall residence, you are the first
and principall man in election to begin the
number of We three.

By spreading your body on the stage, and by
being a Justice in examining of plaies, you shall
put your selfe into such true scanical authority,
that some Poet shall not dare to present his
Muse rudely upon your eyes, without having
first unmaskt her, rifled her, and discovered all
her bare and most mysticall parts before you at
a taverne, when you most knightly shal, for his
paines, pay for both their suppers.

By sitting on the stage, you may (with small
cost) purchase the deere acquaintance of the
boys : have a good stoole for sixpence : at any
time know what particular part any of the infants
present : get your match lighted, examine the
play-suits lace, and perhaps win wagers upon
laying 'tis copper, &c. And to conclude,
whether you be a foole or a Justice of peace, a
Cuckold, or a Capten, a Lord-Mayors sonne, or



The time a dawcocke, a knave, or an under- Sherife ; of
to go -vvhat stamp soever you be, currant, or counterfet,

^^°^a e ^^^ Stage, like time, will bring you to most
perfect light and lay you open : neither are you
to be hunted from thence, though the Scarecrows
in the yard hoot at you, hisse at you, spit at
you, yea, throw durt even in your teeth : 'tis
most Gentlemanlike patience to endure all this,
and to laugh at the silly Animals : but if the
Rabble, with a full throat, crie, away with the
foole, you were worse then a madman to tarry
by it : for the Gentleman, and the foole should
never sit on the Stage together.

Mary, let this observation go hand in hand
with the rest : or rather, like a country-serving-
man, some five yards before them. Present /
not your selfe on the Stage (especially at a new
play) untill the quaking prologue hath (by rub-
bing) got culor into his cheekes, and is ready to
give the trumpets their Cue, that hees upon point
to enter : for then it is time, as though you were
one of the properties, or that you dropt out of
ye Hangings, to creepe from behind the Arras,
with your Tripos or three-footed stoole in one
hand, and a teston mounted betweene a forefinger
and a thumbe in the other : for if you should
bestow your person upon the vulgar, when the
belly of the house is but halfe full, your apparell
is quite eaten up, the fashion lost, and the pro-
portion of your body in more danger to be de-
voured then if it were served up in the Counter
amongst the Powltry : avoid that as you would
the Bastome. It shall crowne you with rich
commendation, tt) laugh alowd in the middest of


the most serious and saddest scene of the terri- Advan-

blest Tragedy : and to let that clapper (your ^S^s of

tongue) be tost so high, that all the house may „f!fl?„^^
. ^ / . T J • Tr • 1 -^ nuisance

rmg or it : your L-ords use it ; your Knights

are Apes to the Lords, and do so too : your
Inne-a-court-man is Zany to the Knights, and
(mary very scurvily) comes likewise limping
after it : bee thou a beagle to them all, and
never lin snuffing, till you have scented them :
for by talking and laughing (like a Plough-man
in a Morris) you heap Pe/ion upon Ossa, glory
upon glory : As first, all the eyes in the galleries
will leave walking after the Players, and onely
follow you : the simplest dolt in the house
snatches up your name, and when he meetes you
in the streetes, or that you fall into his hands in
the middle of a Watch, his word shall be taken
for you : heele cry Hees such a gallant^ and you
passe. Secondly, you publish your temperance
to the world, in that you seeme not to resort
thither to taste vaine pleasures with a hungrie
appetite : but onely as a Gentleman to spend a
foolish houre or two, because you can doe
nothing else : Thirdly, you mightily disrelish
the Audience, and disgrace the Author : marry,
you take up (though it be at the worst hand) a
strong opinion of your owne judgement, and in-
force the Poet to take pity of your weakenesse,
and, by some dedicated sonnet, to bring you into
a better paradice, onely to stop your mouth.

If you can (either for love or money) pro-
vide your selfe a lodging by the water-side :
for, above the convenience it brings to / shun
Shoulder-clapping, and to ship aU'ay your Cock-


How to atrice betimes in the morning, it addes a kind of
treat state unto you, to be carried from thence to the
water- gtaires of your Play-house : hate a Sculler
(remember that) worse then to be acquainted
with one o' th' Scullery. No, your Oares are
your onely Sea-crabs, boord them, and take
heed you never go twice together with one
paire : often shifting is a great credit to Gentle-
men ; and that dividing of your fare wil make
the poore watersnaks be ready to pul you in
peeces to enjoy your custome: No matter
whether upon landing, you have money or no :
you may swim in twentie of their boates over
the river upon Ticket : marry, when silver comes
in, remember to pay treble their fare, and it will
make your Flounder-catchers to send more
thankes after you, when you doe not draw, then
when you doe ; for they know. It will be their
owne another daie.

Before the Play begins, fall to cardes : you
may win or loose (as Fencers doe in a prize) and
beate one another by confederacie, yet share the
money when you meete at supper : notwith-
standing, to gul the Raggamuffins that stand
aloofe gaping at you, throw the cards (having
first torne foure or five of them) round about the
Stage, just upon the third sound, as though you
had lost : it skils not if the foure knaves ly on
their backs, and outface the Audience ; theres
none such fooles as dare take exceptions at
them, because, ere the play go off, better knaves
than they will fall into the company.

Now sir, if the writer be a fellow that hath
either epigrammed you, or hath had a flirt at your


mistris, or hath brought either your feather, or How to
your red beard, or your little legs &c. on the be re-
stage, you shall disgrace him worse then by^^^S^don
tossing him in a blancket, or giving him the ^^i?.^^
bastinado in a Taverne, if, in the middle of his
play, (bee it Pastoral or Comedy, Morall or
Tragedie) you rise with a screwd and discon-
tented face from your stoole to be gone : no
matter whether the Scenes be good or no ; the
better they are the worse do you distast them :
and, beeing on your feet, sneake not away like
a coward, but salute all your gentle acquaintance,
that are spred either on the rushes, or on stooles
about you, and draw what troope you can from
the stage after you : the Mimic ks are beholden
to you, for allowing them / elbow roome : their
Poet cries, perhaps, a pox go with you, but care
not for that, theres no musick without frets.

Mary, if either the company, or indisposition

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Online LibraryThomas DekkerThe guls hornbook : and The belman of London in two parts → online text (page 3 of 18)