Thomas Dekker.

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be our companions ? What though a prating
Constable, or a red nosd beadle say to one of us,
Sirra Goodman Rogue, if I served you well, I
should see you whipped through the towne ?
Alas ! Alas ! Silly Animals ! if all men should
have that which they deserve, we should doe
nothing but play the Executioners and tormenters
one of another.

A number of taylors would be damned for
keeping a Hell under their shop bord : all the
brokers would make their Wils at Tiborne, if
the searching for stolne goods which they have
Received, should like a Plague but once come
amongst them, yea if all were served in their
right kinde, Tivo parts of the land should be
whipped at Bridewell for lechery, and Three
parts (at least) be set i'th stocks for Drunken-



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 89

nes. The life of a Begger is the life of a Close of
souldier : he suffers hunger, & cold in winter, the ora-
and heate and thirst in Sommer : he goes lowsie, ^^°" ^^
hee goes lame, hees not regarded, hees not re- up^of the
warded : here onely shines his glorie ; The company
whole Kingdome is but his Walke, a, whole Cittie
is but his parish. In every mans kitchin is his
meate drest, in every mans seller lyes his beare,
and the best mens pursses keepe a penny for him
to spend.

Since then the profession is ancient (as hav-
ing been from the beginning) and so generall,
that all sorts of people make it their last Refuge :
Since a number of Artificers maintaine their
houses / by it. Since we and many a thousand
more live merrily with it ; let us my brave
Tawny-faces, not give up our patched cloakes,
nor change our coppies, but as we came beggers
out of our mothers bellies, so resolve and set up
your staves upon this, to returne like beggers
into the bowels of the earth. Dixi.

Scarce was the word Dixi belch'd out of his
rotten Aly lunges, but all the Bench-whistlers
from one end to the other, gave a ringing
Plaudite to the Epilogue of his speech, in signe
of approbation : whereupon they rose up as
confusedly as they sate downe, and having payd
so farre as their purses would stretch for what
they had devoured, making Oes in chalke for
the rest when they met there next, And every
man with his Mort beeing assigned to their
quarter, which order given, at what following
Fayres to shake hands, and what Alebush to
tipple, with Items likewise given where to



90 THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

The strike downe Geese, where to steale hennes, and
author {^q^-^ ^^^at hedges to fetch sheetes, that may
and his .u J . J

Laformant ^^'"^'^ ^^ pawnes, away they departed,

Turba Gravis Pad, plaudaque, inimica Ou'teti.

No sooner were their backes turned, but I
that all this while had stood in a corner (Uke a
watching candle) to see all their villanies, ap-
peared in my likenes ; and finding the Coast to
be perfectly cleere ; none remayning in the
house but the Hostesse to these Guests, her did
I summon to a second parley. The spirit of her
owne malt walkt in her braine-pan, so that
what with the sweetnesse of gaines which she
had gotten by her merchant ventures, and v/hat
with the fumes of drinke, which (like a lusty
gale to a wind mill,) set her tongue in going, I
found her apt for talke, and taking holde of
this opportunitie, after some intreaty to discover
to me what these Upright-men, Ruflers and the
rest were, with their severall qualities and
manners of life. Thus she began.

jin JJpright-man.

You shall understand then (quoth she) that
the chiefest of these that were my Tablemen to
day, are called Upright-men, whose picture I
will draw to the life before you. An Upright-
man is a sturdy big bonde knave, that never/
walkes but (like a Commander^ with a short
troncheon in his hand, which hee cals his
Filchman, At Markets, Fayres & other meet-



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 91

ings his voice amongst Beggers is of the same An up-
sound that a Constables is of, it is not to be con- right man
trold. He is free of all the shiers in England, ^^^ ^^^
but never stayes in any place long ; the reason ^
is, his profession is to be idle, which being
looked into, he knowes is punisiiable, and
therefore to avoid the whip, he wanders. If
hee come to a Farmers doore, the almes hee
begs is neither meate nor drinke, but onely
money : if any thing else be offered to him, he
takes it with disdaine and laies it under a hedge
for any that come next, but in revenge of this,
if hee spy any geese, hennes, ducks, or such
like walking spirits haunting the house ; with
them he conjures about midnight ; using them
the next morning like traytors, either behedding
them or quartering them in pieces : for which
purpose, this band of Upright-men seldome
march without five or six in a company, so that
country people rather give them mony for feare
then out of any devotion. After this bloudy
massacre of the poore innocent pullen, the
Actors in their bloudy tragedy repaire to their
Stalling kennes, and those are tipling houses,
which will lend money upon any stolne goods,
and unto which none but such guests as these
resort : there the spits go round, and the Cannes
walke up and downe, there have they their
Morts and their Dopyes^ with whome (after
they have Boivsed profoundly) they lye (in stead
of fetherbeds) uppon litters of cleane strawe,
to increase the Generation of Rogues and
Beggers : For these Upright-men stand so much
uppon their reputation, that they scorne any



92 THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

What the Mort or Dopye should be scene to walke with
ruffler ^j^g^j-j . ^^^ indeede what neede they care for
them, when he may commaund any Dopye to
leave another man and to lye with him ; the
other not daring to murmure against it. An
Upright-man will seldome complaine of want,
for whatsoever any one of his profession doth
steale, he may challenge a share of it, yea and
may command any inferiour Roague to fetch in
booty to serve his tourne. These cary the
shapes of soldiers, and can talke of the Loiv
Countries, though they never were beyond
Dover, f

A Ruffler,

The next in degree to him is cald a Ruffler :
the Ruffler and ye Upright man are so like in
conditions, that you would sweare them brothers :
they walke with cudgels alike ; they professe
Armes alike, though they be both out at elbows,
and will sweare they lost their linimes in their
Countries quarell, when either they are lame by
diseases, or have bin mangled in some drunken
quarrell : These commonly are fellowes that
have stood aloofe in the warres and whilst others
fought, they tooke their heeles and ran away from
their Captaine, or else they have bin Servin^men,
whom for their behaviour, no man would trust
with a livery ; if they cannot spend their daies
to their mindes by their owne begging or robbing
of country people that come late from Markets
(for upon those they most usually exercise their
trade) then doe they compell the inferiour sub-



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 93

jects of their Common tuealth, (as Rogues, An angl-
Palliardsj Marts, Dopies Sec.) to pay tribute ing Auto-
unto them. A Rujjler after a yeare or two, ^y^us
takes state uppon, and becomes an Upright-man^
(but not an konest man.)

An Angler.

An Angler is a lymb of an Upright -man., as
bceing derived from him : their apparell in
which they walke is commonly frieze Jerkins
and gaily slops : in the day time, they Beg from
house to house, not so much for reliefe, as to
spy what lyes fit tor their nets, which in the
night following they fish for. The Rod they
angle with is a staffe of five or six foote in
length, in which within one inch of the top is a
little hole beared quite thorough, into which
hole they put an yron hooke, and with the same
doe they angle at windowes about midnight ;
the draught they pluck up bceing apparell,
shcetes, coverlets, or whatsoever their iron
hookes can lay hold of : which prize when they
have gotten, they do not presently make sale of
it, but after foure or five daies, or according as
they suspect inquirie will be made after it, doe
they bring such goodes to a Broker, (traded up
for the purpose) who lends upon them halfe / so
much money as they be worth, which notwith-
standing serves the Angler a while for spending
money, & enriches him that buyes it for a long
time after.



94 THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

A Roague,

The A Rogue is knowne to all men by his name,
shifts of but not to all men by his conditions ; no puri-
the frater_ ^^^^ ^^^ discemble more than he, for he will
roffues speake in a lamentable tune and crawle along the
streetes, (supporting his body by a staffe) as if
there were not life enough in him to put strength
into his legs : his head shall be bound about
with lynnen, loathsome to behold ; and as filthy
in colour, as the complexion of his face ; his
apparell is all tattered, his bosome naked, and
most commonly no shirt on : not that they are
driven to this misery by meere want, but that if
they had better clothes given them, they would
rather sell them to some of their owne fraternity
then weare them, and wander up and downe in
that piteous manner, onely to move people to
compassion, and to be relieved with money,
which being gotten, at night is spent as merrily
and as lewdly, as in the day it was won by
counterfeit villany. Another sect there be of
these, and they are called Sturdy Rogues : these
walke from country to country under cullor of
travelling to their friends or to finde out some
kinseman, or else to deliver a letter to one
gentleman or other, whose name he will have
fairely endorsed on paper folded up for that
purpose, and hansomely seald : others use this
shift to carry a Certificate or pasport about them,
with the hand and seale of some Justice to it,
giving notice how he hath beene whipped for a
vagabond, according to the lawes of the Realme^
8c that he is now to returne to such a place



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 95

where he was borne, or dwelt last, by a certaine The
day limitted, which is sure to be set downe long curtals
enough ; for all these writings are but counter- and the
fet, they having amongst them (of their owne ^L^gg
Ranch,) that can write and read, who are their
secretaries in this businesse. These fellowes
have fingers as nymble as the Upright-man, and
have their wenches, and meeting places ; where
whatsoever they get, they spend, and whatsoever
they spend is to satisfie their lust ; some of this
broode are called Curtals, because they / weare
short cloakes : their company is dangerous, their
lives detestable, and their ends miserable.

A wilJe Rogue,

The Tame Rogue begets a IViide Rogue ; and
this is a spirit that cares not in what circle he
rises, nor into the company of what Divels hee
falles : In his swadling clouts is he marked to be
a villaine, and in his breeding is instructed to
be so : the mother of him (who was delivered of
her burden under a hedge) either travelling with
him at her back, or else leading him in her hand,
and will rather endure to see his braynes beaten
out, than to have him taken from her, to be put
to an honest course of life. So envious they are
and so much doe they scorne any profession but
their owne : they have bin Rogues themselves,
and disdaine that their children should be other-
wise. These Wilde Rogues (like wilde geese)
keepe in flocks, and all the day loyter in the
fields, if the weather bee warme, and at Brick-
kils, or else disperse themselves in cold weather



96 THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

Horse- to rich mens doores, and at night have their
stealers meetings in Barnes or other out places, where
(twenty or more in a company) they ingender
male and female, every one catching her whom
he doth best fancy : the stronger and more
sturdy, keeping the weaker in subjection : their
language is bawdy talke, damned oathes, and
plots where to filch the next morning, which
they performe betim.es : rising as earely as the Sun,
& in joyning their punckes to looke out for cheates,
to make their meeting at night the merrier.

A Pr'tgger of Prancers,

A P rigger of Prancers is a horse-stealer, for to
Prig, signifies in the Canting language to steale,
and Prancer signifies a horse. These walke (in
frieze or lether Jerkins) with a wand in their
hands, watching in what pasture any horses fit for
their turne, and those within three or foure nights
after are conveyd away at the least 60 miles
from the place : if they meete the Oivners in
their ground, they have shifts to avoide his sus-
pition by feigning they have lost their way to
such a towne. These / Hackney men that let
out horses will request service at gentlemen's
houses, their skill being to keep a Gelding well,
and if they get entertainment, they stand to their
word, for they kcepe the Gelding so well, that
his Maister shall never finde fault with any
disease he hath, unlesse it be that he had the
dizzines in his head, which made him reele out
of his stable to bee sold forty miles off at a fayre.
These have their female spyes that Survey



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 97

medowes and Closes, and long onely for horse- The
flesh. tricks of

the
A Palltard. paUiard

A Pa/Iiard comes next into my minde, and he
likewise is cal'd a Clapperdugeon : his upper
garment is an olde cloake made of as many pieces
patch'd together, as there be villanies in him :
this PaUiard never goes without a Mort at his
heeles whom he calles his wife : Being either in
the streete of a citty or in a country village, they
divide themselves and beg almes at severall doores,
but whatsoever is gotten (be it bread, cheese,
malt, or wooll) they sell it to some Rogue or
other, and with ye money are merry at a
Bonvs'ing Ken, A PaUiard carryes about him
(for feare of the worst) a Certificate (under a
ministers hand with the parishes name, which shall
be sure to stand farre enough) where this Mort
and he were marryed, when all is but forged :
many Irishmen are of this lowsie Regiment^ and
some Welchmen : And the better either to draw
pitty from men, as also to give cullor to their
lame wandring ; with Spereivort or Arsenick
will they in one night poyson their leg be it
never so sound, and raise a blister, which at
their pleasure they can take off againe.



A Prater.

A Prater is a brother of as damned a broode as
the rest : his office is to travell with a long
wallet at his backe, and a blacke box at his

G



98 THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

Collec- girdle, wherein is a pattent to beg for some
tors for Hospital! or Spittle house ; Many of which
hospitals pattents (especially if they be in paper or parch-
ment without the Great Seale) are counterfeit.
And those that are not so, serve the Bearers of
them but / as instruments to play the Knaves
by : for though they get never so much, the
poore creatures for whome they beg receive little
of it : they lye soaking with a Dopye in a typling
house, whilst the spittle wretches are ready to
starve for sustenance at home : let country
women returning from Markets if they be alone,
& in a dangerous place, take heede of these
Proctors, for they have the Art to unhorse them,
and a conscience to send them packing without
any peny in their purses.

A Quire Byrd.

Your Quire Birdes are such as have sung in such
cages as Ne'-jjgate or a country Gaole, and having
their bells given them to fly, they seeke presently
to build their nests under some honest mans
roofe, not with intent to bring him in any profit,
but onely to put themselves into money or apparell
(though it be by filching) and then they take
their flight.

An Ahraham-man.

Of all the mad rascalls (that are of this wing)
the Ahraham-man is the most phantastick :
The fellow (quoth this old Lady of the Lake
unto me) that sat halfe naked (at table to day)



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 99

from the girdle upward, is the best Abraham- Poor
man that ever came to my house and the notablest Tom's a-
villaine : he sweares he hath bin in bedlam, and ^°^^
will talke frantickly of purpose ; you see pinnes
stuck in sundry places of his naked Hesh, especi-
ally in his armes, which paine hee gladly puts
himselfe to (beeing indeede no torment at all,
his skin is either so dead, with some fowle
disease, or so hardned with weather,) onely to
make you beleeve he is out of his wits : he calls
himselfe by the name of Poore Tom^ and com-
ming neere any body, cryes out, Pooi-e Tom is a
cold. Of these Abraham-men, some be exceed-
ing mery, and doe nothing but sing songs,
fashioned out of their owne braines, some will
dance, others will doe nothing but either laugh
or weepe, others are dogged and so sullen both
in looke and speech, that spying but small
company in a house, they boldly and bluntly
enter, compelling the servants through feare to
give them what they demaund, which is / com-
monly bacon, or some thing that will yeelde
ready mony. The Upright-man, and the Rogue
are not terribler enemies to poultry ware, than
Poore Tom is ; neither does any man shift cleane
lynnen oftener than he does his wenches.

A Whtpjach.

Then is there another sort of nymble fingred
knaves, and they are called Whipjacks : who
talke of nothing but fights at Sea, piracies,
drownings and shipwracks, travelling both in the
shape and names of Mariners, with a counter-



loo THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

Travel- feit Licence to beg from towne to towne, which
lers' tales licence they call a Gybe^ and the Seales to it,
lacks '^^^^^^' Their cullor of wandring from Shire
to shire, (especially along the Sea-coasts) is to
harken after their ship that was overthrowne, or
for the merchandize stolne out of her, but the
end of their land-voiages is to rob Boothes at
fayres, which they call Heaving of the Booth.
These Whip jacks will talke of the Indies, and of
all countries that lye under heaven, but are
indeede no more than fresh water Soldiers.

A counterfet Cranhe,

Baser in habit, and more vile in condition
than the Whipjack, is the Counterfet cranke : who
in all kind of weather, going halfe naked,
staring wildly with his eyes, and appearing
distracted by his lookes, complayning onely
that he is troubled with the falling sicknes :
Albeit you give them cloathes they wil weare
none, but rather with those rags which they
have hanging about them should be made loth-
some by myre, or their naked bosome and Armes
to appeare full of bruises, and to be bloudy with
falling, therby to kyndle in men the greater
compassion : to cause that foaming in their
mouthes, which is fearefuU to behold by the
standers by, they have this trick, privily to
convey a peece of white soape into one corner
of their Jawes, which causeth that froth to come
boyling forth. These Crankes have likewise
there meetings, and there wenches at com-
mand.



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON loi

A j Dummerar,

Equall to the Cranck in dissembling is the ^
Dummerar, for as the other takes upon him to v^eddin^
have the falling sicknesse, so this counterfets
Dumbnes ; but let him be whipped well and his
tongue (which he doubles in his mouth, and so
makes a horrid and strange noise in stead of
speech) will walke as fast, as his handes doe
when hee comes where any booty is.

A Jack-man and a Patr'tco.

And because no common wealth can stand
without some Learning in it. Therefore are
there some in this Schoole of Beggers, that
practise writing and Reading, and those are
called Jackmen : yea the Jackman is so cunning
sometimes that he can speake Latine : which
learning of his, lifts him up to advancement, for
by that means he becomes Clarke of their Hall,
and his office is to make counterfet licences,
v/hich are called Gybes, to which hee puts seales,
and those are termed Jarkes. This Jackman
(for his knowledge) is hayle fellow well met with
a Patrico, who amongst Beggers is their priest ;
every hedge beeing his parish, every wandring
harlot and Rogue his parishioners, the service he
sayes, is onely the marrying of couples, which
he does in a wood under a tree, or in the open
field, and the solemnity of it, is thus. The
parties to be wedded, find out a dead horse, or
any other beast, and standing one on the one
side and the other on the other, the Patrico bids



102 THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

The them to live together till death them part, and so

begging shaking hands, the wedding dinner is kept at the

and^oack^- °^^^ Ale-house they stumble into, where the

man musick is nothing but knocking with kannes, and

their dances none but drunken Braivks,

An Irish Toyk,

In this Forrest of Wilde-men^ the safest Toyles
to pitch is the Irish Toyle, which is a net so
strongly and cunningly woven together, that
they who goe a hunting with it catch the
Common / wealth, and connycatch the subjects :
For an Iris/j Toyk is a sturdy vagabond, who
scorning to take paines that may make him
sweat, stalkes onely up and downe the country
with a wallet at his backe, in which he caries
laces, pinnes, points, and such like, and under
cullor of selling such wares, both passeth too
and fro quietly, and so commits many villanies as
it were by warrant.

A Swigman,

Like unto him in conditions is a Sivig-man or
Pedler, carving a pack behinde him in stead of a
wallet : their trades are all one, saving that the
Swigman is somewhat better in behaviour,
though little differing in honesty. They both
stand in feare of the Upright-man and are
forced oftentimes to pay him toale out of their
packes.



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 103

A Ktnchyn Co,

The last Ranhe of these Runnagates is filled up Youthful
with Ktnchyn Goes ; and they are little boyes thieves of
whose parents (having beene beggers) are dead, "°"^
or else such as have run away from their
maisters, and in stead of a trade to live by,
follow this kinde of life to be lowsie by. These
Kinchins^ the first thing they doe is to learne how
to Cant, and the onely thing they practise is to
creepe in at windowes, or Celler doores.

Thus have I opened unto you halfe the nest
of this generation of Vipers, now will I dis-
cover the other halfe, wherein sits a broode of
Serpents as daungerous and as lothsome as these.
Of which the Tong-ones and the Least, are
called K'lnching Marts, and those are girles of
a yeare or two old, which the Morts (their
mothers) carry at their backes in their Elates
(which in the Canting Tongue are Sheetes) :
if they have no children of their owne, they will
steale them from others, and by some meane
disfigure them, that by their parents they shall
never be knowne. The second bird of this
fether is a Dell, and that is a young wench, ripe
for the Act of generation, but as yet not spoyled
of her maidenhead : these Dells are reserved as
dishes for the Upright-men^ for none but they
must have the first tast of / them ; and after the
Upright-men have deflowred them, (which
commonly is when they are very yong) then are
they free for any of the brother-hood, and are
called Dells no more but Dopers. Of these
Dells, some are termed IVilde Dells, and those



104 THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON

The are such as are borne and begotten under a
female hedge : the other are yong wenches that either
the com- ^^ death of parents, the villanie of Executors,
munity of or the crueltie of maisters and mistresses fall
beggars into this infamous and damnable course of life.
When they have gotten the title of Dopies,
then are they common for any, and walke for
the most part with their betters (who are a
degree above them) called Morts, but wherso-
ever an Upright-man is in presence, the Doxye
is onely at his command : These Doxyes will
for good victuals or a small peice of money,
prostitute there bodies to servingmen if they can
get into any convenient corner about their maisters
houses, & to ploughmen in barnes, haylofts or
stables : they are common pick-pockets, familiars
(with the baser sorts of cut-purses,) and often-
times secret murtherers of those infants which are
begotten of their bodies. These Dopyes have
one especial badge to be knowne by, for most of
them goe working of laces, and shirt stringes,
or such like stuffe, only to give colour to their
idle wandring.

Of Morts there be two kindes, that is to say,
A ivalh'ing Mort and an Autem-mort : the IValk-
tng-Mort is of more antiquitie than a Dopye, and
therefore of more knaverie : they both are
unmarried, but the Doxy professes herselfe to bee
a maide, (if it come to examination) and the
Walking Mort says shee is a widow, whose
husband dyed either in the Portugall voyage^
was slaine in Ireland^ or the Loiv Countries, or
came to his end by some other misfortune,
leaving her so many small infants on her hand



THE BEL-MAN OF LONDON 105

in debt, whome not being able by her honest The
labour to maintaine she is compelled to begge. walking


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