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of themselves, not natural women but artificial women, not women of fleshe and blood, but rather puppits or maumets, consysting of ragges. and cloutes compact together, Soe farr hath this cancker of pride eaten into the bodie of the common-wealth, that every poore yeoman his daughter, every husbandman his daughter, and every cottager his daughter, will not spare to flaunt it out, in such gounes, petticoats, and kirtles, as these. And notwithstanding, that their parents owe a brase of hundred poundes more than they are worthe, yet will they have it, quo jure qua injuria, either by hooke or by crooke, by right or by wrong, as they say: wherby it cometh to passe, that one can scarsly knowe, who is a noble woman, who is an honourable or worshipful woman, from them of the meaner sorte. * * * The women also there have dublettes and jerkins, as men have here, buttoned up the breast, and made with winges, weltes and pinions on the shoulderpointes, as manne's apparell is for alle the worlde.”
The sin of incontinence is next reprehended, and the punishment inflicted in different countries is detailed. Death is recommended as the most appropriate punishment, or branding on the face if a more lenient course were preferred. The gluttony and drunkenness of the people of Ailgna, with examples of divine judgment, are duly recorded. The following passage is written with considerable force.
“A man once dronke with wine, or strong drinke, rather resembleth a brute beaste than a Christian man: for do not his eyes beginne to stare, and to bee red, fierie, and bleared, blubbering forthe seas of teares : Doeth he not frothe and fome at the mouth like a bore? Doeth not his tongue faulter and stammer in his mouthe? Doeth not his hedde seem as heavie as a milstone, he not beeying able to beare it up? Are not his wittes and spirites as it were drowned. Is not his understanding altogether decaied. Doe not his handes and all his bodie evibrate, quaver, and shake, as it were with a quotidian fever ? Besides these, it castest him into a dropsie or pluresie nothyng so sore: it enfeebleth the senewes, it weakeneth the natural strength, it corrupteth the bloode, it dissolveth the whole man, at the length, and finally maketh him forgetfull of hymself altogether, so that what he doeth being dronke, he remembreth not beeing sober. The dronkard in his dronkennesse killeth his freend, revileth his lover, discloseth secretes, and regardeth no man; he either expelleth all feare of God out of his minde, all love of his freendes and kinsfolkes, all remembrance of honestie, civilitie, and humanitie : so that I will not feare to call dronkerdes beastes and no men, and much worse than beastes, for beastes never excede in any such kinde of excesse or superfluitie, but alwaie modum adhibent appetitui. They measure their appetites by the rule of necessitie, whiche, would God, we woulde doe.'
. Under the head of “ Covetousnesse in Ailgna” are detailed the racking of landlords, the inclosing of commons, the fleecing of lawyers, and the frauds of merchantmen. The taking of in
terest for money and imprisonment for debt are condemned. Scriveners are called “ the devil's agents;" and an usurer, we are told, is “ worse than a Jew—than Judas—than Hell-than death-than the devil.” Profane swearing and neglect of keeping holy the sabbath are next denounced, and the Papists are introduced for the purpose of being pointed out to abhorrence and extermination. The zeal of our reforming Puritan, as might be expected, burns with added fury as he approaches the subject of “ Stage plays and enterludes with their wickednesse,” and a formidable battalia of authorities is marshalled to encounter the “harlotry players.” It must have cost our author some pains to have strung together so many vituperative epithets as he has accumulated in the following extract.
“ Then, saying that playes were first invented by the devill, practised by the heathen Gentiles, and dedicate to their false idols, gods, and goddesses: as the house stage, and apparell to Venus ; the music to Apollo; the pennyng to Minerva and the Muses; the action and pronunciation to Mercurie and the rest; it is more than manifest, that they are no fitt exercises for Christian men to followe. But if there were no evill in them, save this, namely, that the argumentes of tragedyes are, anger, wrathe, immunitie, crueltie, injurie, inceste, murther, and suche like: the persons or actors are gods, goddesses, furies, fiends, hagges, kynges, queens, or potentates. Of commedies, the matter and grounde is, love, bawdrie, cozenage, flatterie, adulterie. The persons or agents, queanes, bawdes, scullions, knaves, curtezans, letcherous olde men, amorous young men, with such like of infinite varietie. If I say there were nothing els but this, it were sufficient to withdraw a good Christian from the usyng of them. For so often as they goe to those houses where players frequent, they go to Venus' palace and Sathan's sinagogue, to worshippe devills and betraye Christ Jesus.
“And whereas, you saie there are goode examples to be learned in them : truely so there are: if you will learne falsehood: if you will learne cozenage: if you will learne to deceive: if you will learne to play the hipocrite : to cogge, to lye and falsifie: if you will learne to jest, laugh, and fleere, to grinne, to nodd, and mowe: if you will learne to play the dice, to sweare, teare, and blaspheme both heaven and earth : if you will learne to become ****** uncleane, and to diverginate maides, to deflowre honest wives : if you will learne to murther, slaie, kill, picke, steale, robbe, and rove: if you will learne to rebell against princes, to commit treasons, to consume treasures, to practise idlenesse, to sing and talke of love and venerie: if you will learne to deride, scoffe, mocke, and flowte, to flatter and smooth: if you will learne to plaie the rake, the glutton, drunkard, or incestuous person: if you will learne to become proude, hautie, and arrogant : and finally, if you will learne to contemne God and all his lawes, to care neither for Heaven nor Hell, and to commit all kinde of sinne and mischiefe, you neede to goe to no other schoole, for all these
good examples maie you see painted before your eyes in enterludes and plaies.”
The Abbot has recently introduced “ the Lord of Misrule”. into polished society. His portrait by the crabbed Puritan does not differ essentially from that given by the great Novelist.
“ Firste, all the wilde heades of the parishe, conventyng together, chuse them a graund capetaine (of all mischeef) whom they innoble with the title of my Lord of Misserule, and him they croune with great solemnitie, and adopt for their kyng. This kyng anointed, choseth forth twentie, fortie, three-score, or a hundred lustie guttes like to hymself, to waite uppon his lordely majestie, and to guard his noble persone. Then every one of these his menne, he investeth with his liveries, of greene, yellow, or some other light wanton colour. And as though that were not (baudie) gaudie enough, I should saie, they bedecke themselves with scarffes, ribons, and laces hanged all over wyth golde rynges, precious stones, and other jewelles : this doen, they tye about either legge twentie or fourtie belles, with riche handkercheefes in their hands, and sometimes laied acrosse over their shoulders and neckes, borrowed for the moste parte of their pretie Mopsies and loovyng Bessies, for bussyng them in the darcke. Thus all thinges sette in order, then have they their hobbie-horses, dragons and other antiques, together with their baudie pipers, and thunderyng drommers, to strike up the Deville's daunce withall: then marche these heathen companie towardes the churche and churcheyarde, their pipers pipyng, their drommers thunderyng, their stumpes dauncyng, their belles jynglyng, their handkercheefes swyngyng about theire heades like madmen, their hobbie-horses and other monsters skirmishyng amongest the throng; and in this sorte they goe to the churche (though the minister bee at praier or preachyng) dauncyng and swingyng their handkercheefes over their heades, in the church, like devilles incarnate, with suche a confused noise, that no manne can heare his own voice. Then the foolishe people, they looke, they stare, they laugh, they fleere, and mounte upon formes and pewes, to see these goodly pageauntes, solemnized in this sorte. Then after this, aboute the churche they goe againe and againe, and so forthe into the churchyarde, where they have commonly their sommer haules, their bowers, arbours, and banquettyng houses set up, wherein they feaste, banquet, and daunce all that daie, and (peradventure) all that night too. And thus these terrestrial furies spend the sabbaoth daie.”
In spite of the imputed wickednesses of “ Mai-games in Ailgna,” we shall venture to regret the disuse of those freshening out-of-door festivities—those periodical overflowings of healthful mirth, which swept away the accumulating cares and forms that narrowed and dulled the gentle current of social feeling, and left it to pursue its kindly course, “ making sweet musick with its amourous banks."
" The maner of Maie-games in Ailgna.
“ The order of them is thus : Against Maie, Whitsondaie, or some other tyme of the yeare, every parish, towne, and village, assemble themselves together, bothe men, women, and children, olde and yong, even all indifferently: and either goyng all together, or devidyng themselves into companies, they goe some to the woodes and groves, some to the hilles and mountaines, some to one place, some to another, where they spende all the nighte in pleasant pastymes, and in the mornyng they returne, bringyng with them birch-bowes, and braunches of trees, to deck their assemblies withall: and no marvaile, for there is a great lord present amongst them, as superintendent and lorde over their pastymes and sportes: namely, Sathan Prince of Hell: but their cheefest jewell they bryng from thence is their Maiepole, whiche they bryng home with greate veneration, as thus. They have twentie or fourtie yoke of oxen, every oxe having a sweet nosegaie of flowers, placed on the tippe of his hornes, and these oxen drawe home this Maie-pole, (this stinckyng idoll rather) whiche is covered all over with flowers, and hearbes bounde rounde aboute with strynges, from the top to the bottome, and sometyme painted with variable colours, with twoo or three hundred men, women, and children, followyng it, with greate devotion. And this being reared up, with handkercheefes and flagges streamyng on the toppe, they strawe the grounde aboute, binde greene boughes aboute it, sett up sommer haules, bowers, and arbours hard by it. And then fall they to banquet and feast, to leape and daunce aboute it, as the heathen people did, at the dedication of their idolles, whereof this is a perfect patterne, or rather the thyng itself.”
Church-ales, wakes, and feasts, are treated with as little remorse as Mai-games. « The horrible vice of pestiferous dauncing" is denounced as an incentive to lust; though the dancing recorded in the Scriptures is a stumbling-block, which he is puzzled to remove : he, however, compromises the question, by admitting the lawfulness of the sport when not used for the idle purpose of recreation, and when one sex only is permitted to join in it. Music, we are told, “ allureth the auditorie to effeminacie, pusillanimitie, and lothsomness of life, much like unto honey.”. Cards, dice, tennis, bear-baiting, and cock-fighting, are successively interdicted. Hawking and hunting share the same fate.“ Esau was a great hunter, but a reprobate; Ismaell a greate hunter, but a miscreant ; Nemrode a greate hunter, but yet a reprobate and a vessell of wrath.” The profanation of the Sabbath by markets, fairs, and sports, is duly commented on. The concluding charge is, the “ Readyng of wicked bookes :" the author laments the disuse into which that excellent work, Fox's Book of Martyrs, has fallen, and the preference given to “ prophane schedules, hethnical pamphlets of toyes and bableries, invented and excogitat by Belzebub, written by Lucifer, licenced by Pluto, printed by Cerberus, and set abroach to sale by the infernal furies themselves, to the poisoning of the whole world.”.."
The work concludes with describing the signs of the approaching dissolution of the world, and, earnest admonitions to the people to repent.'. .
The Second Part of the Anatomie of Abuses, like almost all continuations, is greatly inferior in spirit and freshness to the preceding part. After having reaped a plentiful harvest of abuses, the author sallies forth again to glean the refuse of iniquity, and to collect every straggling peccadillo. The work is dedicated, like the former one, to the Earl of Arundel, and the increased and increasing wickedness of the age is assigned as the reason for the author's taking the field again. An address to the reader apologizes for the author's and the printer's errors, and a supplicatory and an adulatory address, by J. F. and J. S. are added. Theodorus and Amphilogus succeed Spudeus and Philoponus, and Ailgna is transformed into Dnalgne, with its capital Nodnol. A dissertation on the situation and state of England introduces a string of invectives against the “ bloodthirsty papists,” and the machinations of “ that man of sinne, that first-borne of Satan, that Italian Antichrist,” the Pope. Hyperbolical encomiums are lavished on " a noble Queene, a chaste maide and pure virgin.” “ Princes,” we are told, “ are to be obeyed in everie thing not contrarie to the lawe of God and goode conscience.” * * * There is no power but of God. If the prince be a godly prince, then is he sent as a great blessing from God, and if he be a tyrant, then is be raised of God for a scourge to the people for their sins. And therefore, whether the prince be the one or the other, he is to be obeid as before.” The litigious spirit of the people, and the folly and wickedness of going to law, are expatiated upon, and the “ cheverell consciences of the lawyers” are not overlooked. The discussion of the state of education introduces the abuses in the Universities by the admission of the rich to the exclusion of the poor. The professional knaveries of the merchant, the draper, the goldsmith, the vintner, the butcher, the tanner, the shoemaker, the broker, the chandler, and the farmer, are
of this the acasional kn the buto the fart The dis cuniversities The profile vinterhandler, he deasily supening
receives his due modicum of abuse, and the unfortunate knights of the thimble are declared responsible for the vanities to which they administer gratification. The abomination of ruffs, we are told, is become more intolerable than ever, and starching-houses have been erected for their use, “consecrate to Beelzebub and Cerberus, arch-divels of greate ruffes, * * wherein they tricke up these cart-wheeles of the divel's charet of pride.” The description of his trusty ally, the barber, is the most amusing passage in the Second Part.