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The king concludes with pronouncing the use of tobacco," a custom loathsome to the ful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and, in the black, stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.”
It is impossible to give a better idea of the manners of the community, than by consulting authors who treat on morals; at every page a picture presents itself drawn from the life, and coming from the pencil of the Reformer; no rational doubts can be entertained of the correctness of the portrait. I am now obliged to an anonymous work, published by Edward Blount in 1620, under the title of “ Observations and Discourses,", for a sketch of the Traveller of that period, which will afford equal entertainment and information.
appears most in some that return from travelling, who, being incapable of other proficiency, by their observations of governments, of nations, situation of countries, dispositions of people, their policy and the like, these things not understanding, or not knowing how to apply, which to the bettering of our judgement and manners is the right use of all we find, either in reading or travel, they, in their stead, bring home only fashions of behaviour, and such outward appearances that a man must guess they have travelled (for there is no other way) by a leg, or a piccadill, or a new cloak, or a mangled suit, or words all
compliment and no sense, or mincing of their own language, or making new and absurd derivations, such as yet the world never heard of, or in every period of their discourse to say something of Paris and Orleans, Blois and Tours, and then conclude that the river of Loire is the most navigable of the world; or to talk of their mistresses, and protest that the French damoiselle is the most courtly, most complete, and for exquisiteness in behaviour and fashion may be a pattern to all the ladies of Europe ; and from hence they will take occasion to fall into a digression of their loves, and to tell what hazards they have past with the wife of such a merchant, or the daughter of such a governor, or mistress of such a prince.
“ All which fashions, observations, and wonders, be collected with being a few months in France. And thence being wafted over, the first man they meet is sure to know (if this half year in France hath not made them to forget their English tongue) the dangerousness of their passage; how near shipwreck they were; and talk as learnedly and seriously of navigation, only by the experience they have gotten in this double passage in a little bark, to and fro, as the best captain can do that hath been three times in the East Indies. But all these things before rehearsed, and divers more of the same kind, are not only their first month or half year's imitation and discourse upon their return, but continue to their dying day.
" At London, being arrived, they are sure to make their first appearance with their last suit; there practise their compliment and courtesies upon all their acquaintance, make three or four forced faces. Thence, upon their curtoe, with a page and two lacquies, all in a livery, go to the tavern, find fault with all the wine, and yet be drunk; in which disguise they post to their sisters, or aunts, or grandmother, where they will be admired for their absurdities; and almost made madder by their praises. These be affected Monsieurs : but they that pass the mountains, and leave all this levity behind them, what do they observe? How do they return (I mean, still, affected travellers)? of the two the worse, and the more absurd, because the more grave. For a light fool is always more sufferable than a serious.
“ The forced gravity of these so set them forth, as any man may discover them with half an eye; especially having the dependencies of an Italian suit, Spanish hat, Milan sword, nods, instead of legs, a few shrugs as if some vermin were making a progress from one shoulder to another, and the like.-- This for their outside: but their discourse makes them every where ridiculous. The name of English gelding frights them; and thence they take occasion to fall into the commendation of a mule, or an ass.
“A pasty of venison makes them sweat, and then swear that the only delicacies be mushrooms,
or caveare, or snails. A toast in beer or ale drives them into madness; and so to declaim against the absurd and ignorant customs of their own country, and thereupon digress into the commendation of drinking their wine refreshed with ice or snow. So that those things which in other countries be used for necessity, they, in their own will, continue to shew their singularity. It were not hard in this discourse to point out the men; and it were a good deed to give you their names, that they may be publicly known; lest some, ignorant of their manners, be by their outside misled to admire them." The custom of keeping women had by no
decreased when Heywood wrote his ΓΥΝΑΙΚΕΙΟΝ. . « For concubines we need not travel so far as the Turk's Seraglio; since but few king's palaces are without them. And for such as we call sweethearts, friends, or good-wenches, should we but search noblemen's diaries, gentlemen's summer lodges, or citizens' garden-houses, and travel no farther, we should, no question, find plenty sufficient."
Of all our vicious customs in the reign of James I. none seems to have been carried to a greater extent than that of deviating from the truth. “ There is a proverb frequent amongst us,” says Heywood, “ Oportet mendacem esse memorem :-it behoves a liar to have a good memory. Neither is the sentence more common,
than is the practice in these corrupt days: insomuch that one, ingeniously, speaking of the generality of it, thus said, or to the like effect : “Young men have learnt to lie by practice, and old men claim it by authority ; gallants lie often to their mistresses; nay, even women's aprons are stringed with cxcuses. Most of our tradesmen use it in their bargaining; and some of our lawyers in their pleading. The soldier can agree with the thing itself, but quarrels at the name of the word. It hath been admitted into aldermen's closets, and sometimes into statesmen's studies. The traveller makes the modestest use of it, for it hath been his admittance to many a good meal.”
The restlessness and inanity proceeding from want of serious and necessary employment has ever compelled the opulent portion of the citizens of this metropolis to have recourse to a variety of methods of killing time. Some of those are, at least, inoffensive ; and one in particular, — that of visiting. The overrighteous, however, condemn visiting; and have condemned it probably long before the age now under notice. An anonymous author, whose labours appeared in 1620, has left us a long discourse on the subject; from which we discover, that, though visiting has ever been considered a feminine weakness, the force of example had produced a strong taste for it in the males. Our moralist declares, “ It is a wonder