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the bankrupt, the felon, and all that owed any money, and for fear of arrests or justices' warrants had, like so many snails, kept their houses over their heads all the day before, began now to creep out of their shells, and to stalk up and down the streets as uprightly, and with as proud a gait as if they meant to knock against the stars with the crowns of their heads.

The damask-coated citizen, that sat in his shop both forenoon and afternoon, and looked more sourly on his poor neighbours than if he had drunk a quart of vinegar at a draught, sneaks out of his own doors and slips into a tavern, where either alone, or with some other that battles their money together, they so ply themselves with penny pots, which (like small-shot) go off, pouring into their fat paunches, that at length they have not an eye to see withal, nor a good leg to stand upon. In which pickle if any of them happen to be jostled down by a post (that in spite of them will take the wall) and so reels them into the kennel, who takes them up or leads them home? who has them to bed, and with a pillow smooths this stealing so of good liquor, but that brazen-face Candle-light? Nay more, he entices their very prentices to make their desperate sallies out and quick retires in (contrary to the oath of their indentures which are seven years a-swearing) only for their pints, and away.

Tush, this is nothing! young shopkeepers that have but newly ventured upon the pikes of marriage, who are every hour shewing their wares to their customers, plying their business harder all day than Vulcan does his anvil, and seem better husbands than fiddlers that scrape for a poor living both day and night, yet even these if they can but get Candle-light to sit up all night with them in any house of reckoning (that's to say in a tavern) they fall roundly to play the London prize, and that's at three several weapons, drinking, dancing, and dicing; their wives lying all that time in their beds sighing like widows, which is lamentable: the giddy-brained husbands wasting the portions they had with them, which lost once, they are (like maiden-heads) never recoverable. Or which is worse, this going a-bat-fowling a-nights being noted by some wise young man or other that knows how to handle such cases, the bush is beaten for them at home, whilst they catch the bird abroad. But what bird is it? the woodcock.

Never did any city pocket up such wrong at the hands of one over whom she is so jealous and so tender, that in winter nights if he be but missing and hide himself in the dark, I know not how many beadles are sent up and down the streets to cry him: yet you see, there is more cause she should send out to curse him. For what villanies are not abroad so long as Candle-light is stirring? The serving-man dare then walk with his wench: the private punk (otherwise called one that boards in London) who like a pigeon sits billing all day within doors and fears to step over the threshold, does then walk the round till midnight, after she hath been swaggering amongst pottle-pots and vintners' boys. Nay, the sober perpetuana-suited puritan, that dares not (so much as by moonlight) come near the suburb-shadow of a house where they set stewed prunes before you, raps as boldly at the hatch, when he knows Candle-light is within, as if he were a new chosen constable. When all doors are locked up, when no eyes are open, when birds sit silent in bushes, and beasts lie sleeping under hedges, when no creature can be smelt to be up but they that may be smelt every night a street's length ere you come at them, even then doth this ignis fatuus (Candle-light) walk like a fire-drake into sundry corners. If you will not believe this, shoot but your eye through the iron grates into the cellars of vintners, there you shall see him hold his neck in a gin, made of a cleft hoop-stick, to throttle him from telling tales, whilst they most abominably jumble together all the papistical drinks that are brought from beyond-sea: the poor wines are racked and made to confess any thing: the Spanish and the French meeting both in the bottom of the cellar, conspire together in their cups, to lay the Englishman (if he ever come into their company) under the board. To be short, such strange mad music do they play upon their sack-butts, that if Candle-light being overcome with the steam of new sweet wines, when they are at work, should not tell them 'tis time to go to bed, they would make all the hogsheads that use to come to the house to dance the canaries till they reel again. When the grape-mongers and he are parted, he walks up and down the streets squireing old midwives to any house (very secretly) where any bastards are to be brought into the. world. From them (about the hour when spirits walk and cats go a-gossiping) he visits the watch, where creeping into

the beadle's cothouse (which stands between his legs, that are lapped about with pieces of rug, as if he had new struck off shackles) and seeing the watchmen to nod at him, he hides himself presently (knowing the token) under the flap of a gown, and teaches them (by instinct) how to steal naps into their heads, because he sees all their cloaks have not one good nap them: and upon upon his warrant snort they so loud, that to those night-walkers (whose wits are up so late) it serves as a watch-word to keep out of the reach of their brown bills: by which means they never come to answer the matter before master constable, and the bench upon which his men (that should watch) do sit: so that the counters are cheated of prisoners, to the great damage of those that should have their morning's draught out of the garnish.

O Candle-light, Candle-light! to how many costly sackpossets, and rear-banquets hast thou been invited by prentices and kitchen-maidens? When the bell-man for anger to spite [spy?] such a purloiner of so many citizens' goods, hath bounced at the door like a madman; at which (as if Robin Good-fellow had been conjured up amongst them) the wenches have fallen into the hands of the green-sickness, and the young fellows into cold agues, with very fear lest their master (like old Jeronimo and Isabella his wife after him) starting out of his naked bed should come down with a weapon in his hand and this in his mouth: "What out-cries pull us from our naked bed? Who calls? &c." as the players can tell you. O Candlelight, how hast thou stunk then, when they have popped thee out of their company; how hast thou taken it in snuff, when thou hast been smelt out, especially the master of the house exclaiming, that by day that deed of darkness had not been. One veney more with thee, and then I have done.

How many lips have been worn out with kissing at the street door or in the entry, in a winking blind evening? How many odd matches and uneven marriages have been made there between young prentices and their masters' daughters, whilst thou (O Candle-light) hast stood watching at the stair's head, that none could come stealing down by thee, but they must be seen?

It appears by these articles put in against thee, that thou art partly a bawd to diverse loose sins, and partly a cozener. For if any in the city have bad wares lying dead upon their

hands, thou art better than aqua vitae to fetch life into them, and to send them packing. Thou shalt therefore be taken out of thy proud chariot, and be carted. Yet first will we see what workmanship and what stuff it is made of, to the intent that if it be not dangerous for a city to keep any relic belonging to such a crooked saint, it may be hung up as a monument to shew with what dishonour thou wert driven out of so noble a lodging, to deface whose buildings thou hast been so envious, that when thou hast been left alone by any thing that would take fire, thou hast burnt to the ground many of her goodliest houses.

Candle-light's coach is made all of horn, shaven as thin as changelings are. It is drawn (with ease) by two rats: the coachman is a chandler, who so sweats with yerking them, that he drops tallow, and that feeds them as provender: yet are the lashes that he gives the squeaking vermin more deadly to them than all the ratsbane in Bucklersbury. Painfulness and Study are his two lackeys and run by him: Darkness, Conspiracy, Opportunity, Stratagems and Fear, are his attendants: he's sued unto by diggers in mines, gravers, scholars, mariners, nurses, drunkards, unthrifts and shrode husbands: he destroys that which feeds him, and therefore Ingratitude comes behind all this, driving them before her.

Thomas DekkER, The Seuen Deadly Sinnes of London 1606

§ 4. Temptations



Such wanton, wild and usual slips
As are companions noted and most known
To youth and liberty.

As gaming, my lord?

Hamlet, II. i. 22-26

Polonius. Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,


A. Drink

Its effects. (a) Falstaff's opinion

A good sherris-sack hath a two-fold operation in it. It ascends me into the brain; dries me there all the foolish and dull and crudy vapours which environ it; makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive, full of nimble fiery and delectable shapes; which, deliver'd o'er to the voice, the tongue, which is the

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