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racy canary, and can relish a cup of right claret ; and so passeth the time away : what is your great overseer's * name?
Mr. N. Dr. Harding. What goodness lodgeth in his corpse ?
Mr. P. Little or none, he is worse than yours; for he never comes , to visit his parish, but, horse-leech like, he sucks them; he loves preying better than praying, and forces his parish to humility, by oppressing them; he was a main projector for two shillings and nine-pence in the pound, and looks like a piece of reesed bacon, ever since the plot failed; he is tormented with the yellow jaundice, and a wanton wife, which, like two incarnate devils, will force him to believe a hell before he comes thither.
Mr. N. It is no great matter; it is but just that he, that torments others, should taste the same sauce himself.
Mr. P. I will tell you what his custom is, when he comes amongst us; he neither prays, nor preaches; the one I think he will not, the other I fear he cannot perform.
Mr. N. Oh strange! how came he then by such livings?
Mr. P. Easily enough, for it is money that makes the parson's horse to go now a-days t, for they may say to parsons, as it hath been of old said of books, quanti emisti hunc ?
Mr. N. I will assure you, I am afraid he is discontented at our church government, as well as many other great parsons; for they force and strictly enjoin their curates to read all divine service, which they never do themselves.
Mr. P. It is a strange world, that they should flourish and flow in wealth for doing nothing, and the poor curates, that do all, can get nothing;
I will tell you truly, he has not given his parish a sermon these three quarters of a year.
Mr. N. I wonder how they can answer the canon, which enjoins them to preach once a month.
Mr. P. Pish, what do you talk to them of the canons; they, who can make new ones, think they may slight the old ones ; their canons are like those laws which caught fies, but could not hold hornets or great bees; they are the curates, who are set to be cannoniers: these endure the heat of the day, of this once or twice a-day preaching; alas! they say, as the priests did once to Judas, “What is that to us ? See you to that.'
Mr. N. You speak truth, and I will maintain it, that our doctor differs not much from the weathercock on the church steeple; for as it is placed highest, says nothing, is sounding brass, or some such metal, and turns as the wind; so he rules all the parish, seldom preaches, is void of charity, and turns in his courses every time? for sometimes he is all for ceremony, sometimes indifferent, sometimes against them ; he hath made a terrible combustion, where and how to place the Lord's table; it stood in the church, anon it must be advanced into the quire ; then it must be east and west, and presently after north and south, covered, uncovered, railed, without rails, of this fashion, of that, of this wood, of another; nay, he himself, who was the first that altered it, hath now, witbin this month or two, altered his opinion, and placed it again in the body of the church : oh fine weathercock!
+ These certai nly were sad days, when the word of God was set to sale.
Mr. P. Oh lamentable ! that curates should be shadows to such empty shells; but our great doctor is of another strain ; he care's not much, I think, whether there was any table or communion at all, so that he may receive his tithes; it is not so much to him whether it be an altar, or a table, so that he can get the gold that comes from it; he is so taken with covetousness, that, so he may get money, what cares he for either preaching or praying? I tell you, he threatened a poor widow, to put her into the court; because (as he was told) she had thirteen
eggs in a nest, and yet gave him but one for tithe. Mr. N. Well, our master is as full of law, as yours can be of covetousness; he threatened one of his parishioners for sneezing in prayertime, because he hindered his devotion ; nay, he made one jaunt it up a foot into the arches* fourscore miles, because he desired to receive the communion in his seat; nay, I protest, that the parishioners, when they bear he is going away, do usually make him some feast, but it is for joy, that they shall be rid of him till next summer.
Mr. P. What is yours a good able scholar?
Mr. N. Yes, he is a scholar good enough, but he preaches Christ out of contention.
Mr. P. That is something yet, but, alas! our parson is as bad as one of Saunderson's doctors; for he was made doctor † in Scotland, wheu our King was there: I will warrant you, that he knows not whether St. Ambrose was a Greek or a Latin father.
Mr. N. Oh miserable!
Mr. P. Nay, he holds Greek for heathenish, and Hebrew for Jewish languages, and Latin, he says, is the language of Rome, and su holds ignorance best in these; he scarce knows the difference be. twixt annus 1 and Annasıl, and betwixt anus ** or anastt: I have heard him read opa. tenebr. for opera tenebrarum, because thəy were cut a little short, and said the printers deserved to be punished for curtailing Latin: I heard him also decline senex for an old man, genitivo senecis ill, and was confident that he was right too.
Mr. N. Oh! such doctors had need to pray, that popery may come in again, for then it was well when the priest could read Latin, whether it was right or wrong.
Mr. P. And yet he is loaden with no less than a good parsonage, a great vicarage, two prebendships, and another place worth fourscore pounds by the year; it is impossible sure for him to preach, for telling
Mr. N. Any of those places would suffice you, or myself, but, alas ! Wishes and Woulders, you know how the proverb runs ; these optative moods are meerly poor and beggarly.
Mr. P. I deal plainly with you, I was offered a place in the city of London, but the name of it frightened me; it was at St. Peter's-poor gø, and, I thought, I had enough of poverty already, and so I refused it.
Mr. N. Just so was I offered to serve a cure more north by far than
# A year.
- The Archishop's court. + Without doing a proper and regular cxercise before the university, for his degree.
1. The father of Caiaphas the High Priest. * An old woman. ++ A duck or drake. All Instead of senis. di In Broadstreet,
this is, but the name of it startled me, and turned aside all resolution towards it; for it was at a place called Sterveling in Cumberland,
Mr P. Nay. I will tell you more, Master Needham; I thought to have gone up to London, had not our doctor's curale there, one Master Hand-little, told me plainly, that most curates in London lived upon citizens trenchers; and, were not that they were pitiful and charitable to them, there was no possibility of subsistance; and that, of late, it went harder with them, than before; for ever'since the parsons have so enhanced their revenurs, the citizens have mainly withdrawn their purses, so that now the curate must live upon his set pittance, or else starve.
Mr. N. Well, Master Poorest, I do not intend to stay longer in the country, for I will wait here in town upon hopes a while.
Mr. P. Do as you please, but you will find the old proverb true, London lick penny.
Mr. N. I am resolved upon it, though I go to the three-penny ordinary; my reason is, I do hear say, that there are great store of clarks places about London, that are good allowances for scholars, some worth two hundred pounds and upwards per annum; I know some of the parish clarks are worth seven or eight thousand pounds; oh their fee's come in sleeping or waking; what think you of the plot?
· Mr. P. I marry, such places are worth the whilc, but how should one catch them ?
Mr. N. I will assure you, it is a shame, that such mechanicks should live in such state as they do; many of them are as greedy of funerals, as vultures of dead carcases; and they are most of them in än ill name, for exacting must grossly in their fees; hence it is that some of them rule the whole parish, and parson, and all; you shall sce them, upon festival-days, as well cloathed as the chiefest citizens; their fingers as full of rings of gold, as an old ale-wife, that has bué ried four or five husbands; and their necks set as big with a curious ruff, as any the proudest Dons in Spain; oh what pure rich nightcaps they wear, and good beavers! besides all this, they can have their meetings usually in taverns of three or four pounds a sitting, when poor curates must not look into a red lettice, under fear of a general
Mr. P. Oh strange! I think it was well if cuiates could turn parish clarks; if it be as you say, it is the better course by far.
Mr. N. Come, come, I tell you, we are bound to look out for ourselves, and I know no more safer' course than this, for most of the clarks have trades to live upon beside; but I hope their charter will fail, and then others may come into their places.
Mr. P. What say you, Master Needham, how strong are you, will you go and shew me that pretty banqueting-house for curates, I mean the three-penny ordinary, for I can go no higher
?, Mr. N. I, , with all my heart, for I am almost at the same ebb; but let us hope better; things will not always ride in this rack.
Mr. P. Sir, I conceive plainly, that we curates are but as the stalking-horses to the clarks, for they get wealth by our labours.
Mr. N. Are you advised of that? You would say so indeed, should you but see some of their bills, so much for burials, so much for the knell, so much for the grave; for the corpse more, if coffined ; more yet, if in such a church-yard; more than that, if in the church; higher yet, if it be in the chancel; beyond all these, if buried with torches, and sermon, and mourning with attendance; but it is put upon the highest strain, if it be a stranger. Besides, for marriages by banes, or by license, for making the certificate; so for churchings, and divers other
ways, and nothing to the curate all this while. Mr. P. Well, I conceive it more than ever I did ; but now let us leave off discourse, and fall to our commons. What a pretty modicum I have here? Sure this ordinary-keeper has been some, cook or scullion in a college: how dextrously the fellow plays the logician, in dividing the meat? It is an excellent place sure, to learn abstinence by ; I promise you, I will visit this house, as my stock holds out.
It is just one degree above dining with Duke Humphry, it is as good as a preservative against surfeits,
Mr. N. Un, good brother, it is as fine a refreshment as may be; I hold it wonderous good, for here a man shall be sure to rise from his meat, as many others use to sit down to it, with a stomach.
Mr. P. I will tell you one thing, which I had almost forgotten, I was offered the other day to go a voyage to the East-Indies, to be preacher in a ship.
Mr. N. Excellent well, oh refuse it nt; it is far beyond living a-shore, for ten pounds per annum; I know you will find brave worthy merchants, you cannot want, if you undertake it.
Mr. P. I promise you, I had determined to have gone in one of his Majesty's ships, upon our narrow seas; but, if the voyage be so good, I will away (God willing) next spring.
Mr. N. I will tell you what I intend, if I miss of hopes this way here, to sollicit to be a preacher to a regiment of soldiers, if there be any service this next summer; for we cannot be lower than now we are; I would have given you, Master Poorest, one pint of wine, but ultra posse non est esse*, as you know.
Mr. P. I am as willing to have done the like to yourself, not having seen you so long since, but my purse denies ability.
Mr. N. I must be gone at one of the clock, to meet with a gentleman of the inns of 'court; well, good brother, God bless us both, and send us better times, and a happy meeting. Farewel.
Or, no one can go beyond his ability.
OF THE FAMOUS
Shewing its excellent government, wherein the inhabitants live in great
prosperity, health, and happiness; the king obeyed, the nobles honoured, and all good men respected ; vice punished, and virtuc rewarded. An example to other nations.
In a Dialogue between a Scholar and a Traveller.
(From a Quarto, containing fifteen pages, printed at London for Francis Constable,
To the high and honourable Court of Parliament.* Whereas I am confident, that this honourable court will lay the corner
stone of the world's happiness, before the final recess thereof, I have adventured to cast in my widow's mite into the treasury; not as an instructer, or coun
unsellor, to this honourable assembly, but have delivered my conceptions in a fiction, as a more mannerly way, having for my pattern Sir Thomas Moore, and Sir Francis Bacon, once Lord Chancellor of England ; and humbly desire that this honourable assembly will be pleased to make use of any thing therein contained, if it may stand with their pleasures, and to laugh at the rest, as a solace to my mind, being inclined to do good to the publick. So humbly craving leave, that I may take my leave. I rest, this twentyfifth of October, 1641.
Traveller. WELL VELL met, Sir, your habit professes scholarship; Are you a
graduate ? Scholar. Yes, Sir, I am a Master of Arts.
• This was the parliament which met at Westminster on the third of November, 1610, and having chosen Mr. Lenthall their speaker, fell immediately upon their grievances, as ship-money, innovations in religion, &c. to accuse Mr. Secretary Windebank, of being a great promoter of Popery; to vote Archbishop Laud a traitor, and the author of all the troubles in Scotland; to impeach the Lord Strafford of high treason, and to declare the Lord Keeper Finch to be a traitor. And instead of driving out the Scots, who had invaded England, with a power, ful army, and offered to put themselves uoder the protection of the French king, suffered them to remain in a body, in the North of England, advanced them three hundred thousand pounds, and obliged the king to disband his army, and to leave himself and kingdom to the mercy of those rebels. Hence we may gather the intention of this little treatise, which, composed by way of novel, was designed to intimate a new model of government therein specified, as the properest means to reconcile the destructive breach, that then was beginning to appear bet ween the king and his parliament.