|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|From The Guls Horne Booke|
|By Thomas Dekker (c. 15701632)|
How a Gallant Should Behave Himself in Powles Walk 1
NOW for your venturing into the Walke: be circumspect and wary what piller you come in at, and take heed in any case (as you love the reputation of your honour) that you avoide the serving-mans dogg; but bend your course directly in the middle line, that the whole body of the Church may appear to be yours; where, in view of all, you may publish your suit in what manner you affect most, either with the slide of your cloake from the one shoulder, and then you must (as twere in anger) suddenly snatch at the middle of the inside (if it be taffata at the least) and so by the meanes your costly lining is betrayed, or else by the pretty advantage of complement. But one note by the way do I especially wooe you to, the neglect of which makes many of our gallants cheape and ordinary; that you by no means be seen above fowre turnes, but in the fifth make your selfe away, either in some of the Sempsters shops, the new Tobacco-office, or amongst the Bookesellers, where, if you cannot reade, exercise your smoke, and inquire who has writ against this divine weede, &c. For this withdrawing yourselfe a little will much benefite your suit, which else by too long walking would be stale to the whole spectators: but howsoever, if Powles Jacks be up with their elbowes, and quarrelling to strike eleven, as soone as ever the clock has parted them and ended the fray with his hammer, let not the Dukes gallery conteyne you any longer, but passe away apace in open view. In which departure, if by chance you either encounter, or aloofe off throw your inquisitive eye upon any knight or squire, being your familiar, salute him not by his name of Sir such a one, or so, but call him Ned or Jack, &c. This will set off your estimation with great men: and if (tho there bee a dozen companies betweene you, tis the better) hee call aloud to you (for thats most gentile), to know where he shall find you at two a clock, tell him at such an Ordinary, or such; and bee sure to name those that are deerest; and whither none but your gallants resort. After dinner you may appeare againe, having translated yourselfe out of your English cloth cloak, into a light Turky-grogram (if you have that happiness of shifting) and then be seene (for a turn or two) to correct your teeth with some quill or silver instrument, and to cleanse your gummes with a wrought handkercher: It skilles not whether you dinde or no (thats best knowne to your stomach) or in what place you dinde, though it were with cheese (of your owne mothers making, in your chamber or study)
. Suck this humour up especially. Put off to none, unlesse his hatband be of a newer fashion than yours, and three degrees quainter; but for him that wears a trebled cipres about his hatte (though he were an Aldermans sonne), never move to him; for hees suspected to be worse than a gull and not worth the putting off to, that cannot observe the time of his hatband, nor know what fashioned block is most kin to his head: for in my opinion, ye braine that cannot choose his felt well (being the head ornament) must needes powre folly into all the rest of the members, and be an absolute confirmed foule in Summâ Totali
. The great dyal is your last monument; these bestow some half 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 will 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-server. By this I imagine you have walkt your bellyful, and thereupon being weary, or (which rather I believe) being most gentlemanlike hungry, it is fit that I brought you in to the Duke; so (because he follows 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.
DO but consider what an excellent thing sleep is; it is so inestimable a jewel that if a tyrant would give his crown for an hours slumber, it cannot be bought; yea, so greatly are we indebted to this kinsman of death, that we owe the better tributary half of our life to him; and there is good cause why we should do so; for sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. Who complains of want, of wounds, of cares, of great mens oppressions, of captivity, whilst he sleepeth? Beggars in their beds take as much pleasure as kings. Can we therefore surfeit on this delicate ambrosia? Can we drink too much of that, whereof to taste too little tumbles us into a churchyard; and to use it but indifferently throws us into Bedlam? No, no. Look upon Endymion, the moons minion, who slept threescore and fifteen years, and was not a hair the worse for it. Can lying abed till noon then, being not the threescore and fifteenth thousand part of his nap, be hurtful?
|Note 1. The middle aisle of St. Pauls in London was the fashionable walk. [back]|