Thomas Dekker.

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

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Trees pay custome with their fruite, the Oxe
bestowes upon thee his labour, the sheepe his
wooll. Dost thou call for Musicke \ No
Prince in the worlde keepes more skilfull
musitions : the birds are thy consort, and the
winde instruments they play upon, yeeld ten
thousand tunes. Art thou addicted to studie ;
Heaven is thy Library ; the Sunne, Moone, and
starresarethy bookes and teach thee Astronomie :
By observing them, thou makest Almanacks to
thy selfe, that serve for all seasons. That great
Volume is thine Ephemerides, out of which thou
maist calculate the predictions of times to follow ;
yea in the very cloudes are written lessons of
Divinity for thee, to instruct thee in wisdome :
the turning over their leaves, teach thee the
variations of seasons, and how to dispose thy
businesse for all weathers. If the practise of
Phisiche delight thee, what Aphorismes j can all
the Doctours in the worlde set downe more
certaine ? what rules for good diet can they



74 THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

The town draw oat more singular : what medicines for
V. the health can they compound more restorative r
country ^jj^f vertues can al their Extracted Quintessenses
instill into our bodies more soveraine, than those
which the earth of her owne bountie bestowes
for our preservation, and whose working powers
are daily experimented in beastes for our
example : O vou Plants of the tield, and vou
FictL'ers of the Garden ! (Natures Apothecaries,
and Earths Chirurgions ! ) vour stalkes are slender,
yet you your selves are the cheefest pillars that
uphold mans life : what clearenesse doth the
sight receive onely in beholding you ? what
comfort does the Sence of Smelling finde onelv
in your Savors ? and how many that have had
halfe their bodies in their graves, have beene
brought backe againe onely by your sacred
Juices ? Who therefore would not consume
his youth in company of these creatures, that
have power in them to keepe off old age longer
than ii would ; or when old age doth come, are
able to give it the livelihood and vigour ot
youth ? Who would not rather sit at the foote
of a hill tending a llocke of sheepe then at the
healme of Authority, controuling the stubborne
and unruly multitude I Better it is in the
solitarie woods, and in the wilde fields to be a
man amongst Beastes than in the midest of a
peopled Citie, to bee a Btast among men. In
the homely village art thou more safe, than in a
fortified castle : the stinges of Envy^ nor the
bullets of Treason, are never shot through those
thin walles : Sound healrhes are drunke out of
the wholesome wodden dish, when the cup of



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 75

gt)id boylcs over with poyson. I'hc Countrie The

cottage is neither battred downe by tlie cannon anther

in time of warre, nor pcstred with chimorous ^"ters the

suites in time ot peace. I'he Fall of Cedars ^

that tumble from tlie lops of kingdomes, tlie

Ruine of Great Houses^ that bury Fmnilyes in

their overtlirowe, and t!ie noyse of Shtpivracksy

that beget even shrikes in the heart of Cittics,

never send their terrors thither : that place stantls

as safe from the shock of such violent stormcs,

as the Bay tree does from ligiitniiig.

The admiration ot these Benvtics made mee so
enamoured, and so really in love with the in-
heritor of them that the llames of my affection
(were in their burning) onely carried thither.
So that in stead of paved streetes, I trod the
unbeaten pathes of the / fieldes, the rankes of
trees, were to mee as great buildings, Lambs and
skip])ing Kiddes were as my mery companions,
the cleare fountaine, as my cups ot wine, rootes
and hearbes as the table of an Ordinary, the
dialogues ot birtles as the Sccanes of a play, and
the open emptie medowes, as the proud and
populous Cittie. Thus did I wish to live, thus
to die. And having wandred long (like a
TimoTi'tst) hating Men because they dishonoured
their Creatioriy at lengtli Fortune lead mee by
the hand into a place, so curiously built by
Nature, as if it had bin the pallace where shce
j)urposed none should lie but her selfe : It was
a Grove set thicke with tr


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