« Prev The Profane Feast Next »



Our Erasmus most elegantly proposes all the Furniture of this Feast; the Discourses and Behaviour of the Entertainer and the Guests, &c. Water and a Bason before Dinner. The Stoics, the Epicureans; the Form of the Grace at Table. It is good Wine that pleases four Senses. Why Bacchus is the Poets God; why he is painted a Boy. Mutton very wholsome. That a Man does not live by Bread and Wine only. Sleep makes some Persons fat. Venison is dear. Concerning Deers, Hares, and Geese: They of old defended the Capitol at Rome. Of Cocks, Capons and Fishes. Here is discoursed of by the by, Fasting. Of the Choice of Meats. Some Persons Superstition in that Matter. The Cruelty of those Persons that require these Things of those Persons they are hurtful to; when the eating of Fish is neither necessary, nor commanded by Christ. The eating of Fish is condemned by Physicians. The chief Luxury of old Time consisted in Fishes. We should always live a sober Life. What Number of Guests there should be at an Entertainment. The Bill of Fare of the second Course. The Magnificence of the French. The ancient Law of Feasts. Either drink, or begone. A Variation of Phrases. Thanksgiving after Meat.


Au. O, my Christian, God bless you.

Ch. It is very well that you are come. I am glad you're come. I congratulate myself that you are come. I believe it has not struck five yet.

Boy. Yes, it is a good While past five. It is not far from six. It is almost six. You'll hear it strike six presently.

Au. It is no great Matter whether I come before five or after five, as long as I am not come after Supper; for that is a miserable Thing, to come after a Feast is over. What's all this great Preparation for? What means all this Provision? What, do you think I'm a Wolf? Do you take me for a Wolf? Do you think I'm a Vulture?

Ch. Not a Vulture, nor yet do I think you a Grashopper, to live upon Dew. Here is nothing of Extravagancy, I always lov'd Neatness, and abhor Slovenliness. I am for being neither luxurious nor niggardly. We had better leave than lack. If I dress'd but one Dish of Peas, and the Soot should chance to fall in the Pot and spoil it, what should we have to eat then? Nor does every Body love one Thing; therefore I love a moderate Variety.

Au. An't you afraid of the sumptuary Laws?

Ch. Nay, I most commonly offend on the contrary Side. There is no need of the Fannian Law at our House. The Slenderness of my Income teaches me Frugality sufficiently.

Au. This is contrary to our Agreement. You promised me quite otherwise.

Ch. Well, Mr. Fool, you don't stand to your Agreement. For it was agreed upon that you should bring nothing but merry Tales. But let us have done with these Matters, and wash, and sit down to Supper. Soho, Boy, bring a little Water and a Bason; hang a Towel over your Shoulder, pour out some Water. What do you loiter for? Wash, Austin.

Au. Do you wash first.

Ch. Pray excuse me. I had rather eat my Supper with unwashen Hands this twelve Months.

Au. O ridiculous! 'Tis not he that is the most honourable, but he that is the dirtiest that should wash first; then do you wash as the dirtiest.

Ch. You are too complaisant. You are more complaisant than enough; than is fitting. But to what Purpose is all this Ceremony? Let us leave these trifling Ceremonies to Women, they are quite kick'd out of the Court already, although they came from thence at first. Wash three or four at a Time. Don't let us spend the Time in these Delays. I won't place any Body, let every one take what Place he likes best. He that loves to sit by the Fire, will sit best here. He that can't bear the Light let him take this Corner. He that loves to look about him, let him sit here. Come, here has been Delays enough. Sit down. I am at Home, I'll take my Supper standing, or walking about, which I like best. Why don't you sit down, Supper will be spoiled.

Au. Now let us enjoy ourselves, and eat heartily. Now let us be Epicures. We have nothing to do with Superciliousness. Farewell Care, let all Ill-will and Detraction be banished. Let us be merry, pleasant, and facetious.

Ch. Austin, pray who are those Stoics and Epicures?

Au. The Stoics are a certain melancholy, rigid, parcimonious Sect of Philosophers, who make the Summum bonum of Mankind, to consist in a certain, I can't tell what, honestum. The Epicures are the Reverse of these, and they make the Felicity of a Man to consist in Pleasure.

Ch. Pray what Sect are you of, a Stoic or an Epicure?

Au. I recommend Zeno's Rules; but I follow Epicurus's Practice.

Ch. Austin, what you speak in Jest, a great many do in Earnest, and are only Philosophers by their Cloaks and Beards.

Au. Nay, indeed they out-live the Asots in Luxury.

Ch. Dromo, come hither. Do your Office, say Grace.

Boy. "May he that feeds all Things by his Bounty, command his Blessing upon what is or shall be set upon this Table. Amen."

Ch. Set the Victuals on the Table. Why do we delay to eat up this Capon? Why are we afraid to carve this Cock?

Au. I'll be Hercules, and slay this Beast. Which had you rather have, a Wing or a Leg?

Ch. Which you will, I don't matter which.

Au. In this Sort of Fowls the Wing is look'd upon the best; in other Fowls the Leg is commonly esteemed the greater dainty Bit.

Ch. I put you to a great Deal of Trouble. You take a great Deal of Trouble upon you, upon my Account. You help every Body else, and eat nothing yourself. I'll help you to this Wing; but upon this Condition, that you shall give me Half of it back.

Au. Say you so, that is serving yourself and not me; keep it for yourself. I am not so bashful as to want any Body to help me.

Ch. You do very well.

Au. Do you carve for a Wolf? Have you invited a Vulture?

Ch. You fast. You don't eat.

Au. I eat more than any Body.

Ch. Nay, rather, you lye more than any Body. Pray be as free as if you were at your own House.

Au. I take myself to be there. I do so. I am resolv'd so to do. I design to do so.

Ch. How does this Wine please you? Does this Wine please your Palate?

Au. Indeed it pleases me very well. Indeed it pleases mightily. It pleases me well enough. It pleases me very well.

Ch. Which had you rather have, Red or White?

It is no Matter what Colour it is.

Au. Indeed I like both alike. It is no Matter what Colour 'tis, so the Taste be pleasing. I don't much mind how the Wine pleases the Eye, so it do but please the Palate. I an't much mov'd at the Sight of it, if the Taste be but grateful. It is no great Matter what Colour it is of, or what Colour it has, if it does but taste well. I don't desire to please my Eyes if I can but please my Taste. If it do but please the Palate, I don't regard the Colour, if it be well relish'd.

Ch. I believe so: But there are some Persons that are mighty deeply read in Table Philosophy, who deny that the Wine can be good, unless it pleases four Senses: The Eye, with its Colour; the Nose, with its Smell; the Palate, with its Taste; the Ears, by its Fame and Name.

Au. O ridiculous! What signifies Fame to Drink?

Ch. As much as many that have a good Palate mightily approve of Lovain Wine, when they believe it to be Bern Wine.

Au. It may be, they had spoiled their Palate by much Drinking.

Ch. No, before they had drank one Drop. But I have a Mind to hear your Opinion, who are a Man of great Skill in these Matters.

Au. Our Countrymen prefer White before Red, because the Red is a little more upon the Acid, and the White a smaller Wine; but that is the milder, and in my Opinion the more wholsome.

Ch. We have a pale red Wine, and a yellow Wine, and a purple Colour Wine. This is new Wine, this Year's Wine. This is two Years old, if any Body is for an old Wine. We have some four Years old, but it is grown flat and dead with Age. The Strength is gone with Age.

Au. Why, you're as rich as Lucullus.

Ch. Soho, Boy, where are you a loitering? You give us no Attendance; don't you see we have no Wine here? What if a Fire should happen now? How should we put it out? Give every one a full Glass. Austin, What's the matter that you are not merry? What makes you sit so Melancholy? What's the Matter with you, that you an't chearful? You are either troubled at something, or you're making Verses. You play the Crysippus now, you want a Melissa to feed you.

Au. What Story is this you are telling me of?

Ch. Crysippus is reported to have been so intent upon his logical Subtilties, that he would have been starved at Table, unless his Maid Melissa had put the Meat into his Mouth.

Au. He did not deserve to have his Life sav'd; but if Silence is an Offence to you, and you love a noisy Feast, you have gotten that will make one.

Ch. I remember I have. That's very well minded: We must drink more freely, we ought to drink more largely, more Wine and less Water.

You have hit on the Matter.

Au. You have hit the Nail on the Head. You are in the Right. You have hit the Mark. For,

Foecundi calices quem non fecere disertum?

Ch. That is very learnedly spoken, Austin, and so indeed is all that comes from you; but since we are fallen into a Discourse concerning Wine, since we have happen'd to make mention of Wine, I have a mind to ask you, for what Reason the Ancients, who will have Bacchus the Inventor of Wine, call him the God of the Poets? What has that drunken God to do with Poets, who are the Votaries of the Virgin Muses?

Au. By Bacchus, this is a Question fit to be put over a Bottle. But I see very well, what your Question drives at.

Ch. What, prithee?

Au. You very cunningly put a Question about Wine, by a French Trick, which I believe you learn'd at Paris, that you may save your Wine by that Means. Ah, go your Way, I see you're a Sophister; you have made a good Proficiency in that School.

Ch. Well, I take all your Jokes; I'll return the like to you, when Opportunity shall offer. But to the Matter in Hand.

Au. I'll go on, but I'll drink first, for it is absurd to dispute about a tippling Question with a dry Throat. Here's to you Christian. Half this Cup to you.

Ch. I thank you kindly. God bless it to you, much good may it do you.

Au. Now I'm ready, at your Service. I'll do it as well as I can after my Manner. That they have given a Boy's Face to Bacchus, has this Mystery in it; that Wine being drank, takes away Cares and Vexations from our Minds, and adds a Sort of a Chearfulness to them. And for this Reason, it adds a Sort of Youthfulness even to old Men, in that it makes them more chearful, and of a better Complexion. The same thing Horace in many Places, and particularly testifies in these Verses:

      Ad mare cum veni, generosum et lene requiro,
      Quod curas abigat, quod cum spe divite manet.
      In venas, animumque meum, quod verba ministret.
      Quod me Lucanoe juvenem commendet amicæ.

For that they have assign'd the Poets to this Deity, I believe by it they design'd to intimate this, that Wine both stirs up Wit and administers Eloquence; which two Things are very fit for Poets. Whence it comes to pass, that your Water Drinkers make poor Verses. For Bacchus is of a fiery Constitution naturally, but he is made more temperate, being united with the Nymphs. Have you been answer'd to your Satisfaction?

Ch. I never heard any Thing more to the Purpose from a Poet. You deserve to drink out of a Cup set with Jewels. Boy, take away this Dish, and set on another.

Au. You have got a very clownish Boy.

Ch. He is the unluckiest Knave in the World.

Au. Why don't you teach him better Manners?

Ch. He is too old to learn. It is a hard matter to mend the Manners of an old Sinner. An old Dog won't be easily brought to wear the Collar. He's well enough for me. Like Master like Man.

* * * * *

If I knew what you lik'd, I would help you.

Au. I would cut you a Slice, if I knew what would please you. I would help you, if I knew your Palate. I would help you, if I knew what you lik'd best. If I knew the Disposition of your Palate, I would be your Carver. Indeed my Palate is like my Judgment.

Ch. You have a very nice Palate. No Body has a nicer Palate than you have. I don't think you come behind him of whose exquisite Skill the Satyrist says,

Ostrea callebat primo deprendere morsu, Et semel aspecti dicebat littus echini.

Au. And you, my Christian, that I may return the Compliment, seem to have been Scholar to Epicurus, or brought up in the Catian School. For what's more delicate or nice than your Palate?

Ch. If I understood Oratory so well as I do Cookery, I'd challenge Cicero himself.

Au. Indeed if I must be without one, I had rather want Oratory than Cookery.

Ch. I am entirely of your Mind, you judge gravely, wisely, and truly. For what is the Prattle of Orators good for, but to tickle idle Ears with a vain Pleasure? But Cookery feeds and repairs the Palate, the Belly, and the whole Man, let him be as big as he will. Cicero says, Concedat laurea lingæ; but both of them must give place to Cookery. I never very well liked those Stoicks, who referring all things to their (I can't tell what) honestum, thought we ought to have no regard to our Persons and our Palates. Aristippus was wiser than Diogenes beyond Expression in my Opinion.

Au. I despise the Stoicks with all their Fasts. But I praise and approve Epicurus more than that Cynic Diogenes, who lived upon raw Herbs and Water; and therefore I don't wonder that Alexander, that fortunate King, had rather be Alexander than Diogenes.

Ch. Nor indeed would I myself, who am but an ordinary Man, change my Philosophy for Diogenes's; and I believe your Catius would refuse to do it too. The Philosophers of our Time are wiser, who are content to dispute like Stoicks, but in living out-do even Epicurus himself. And yet for all that, I look upon Philosophy to be one of the most excellent Things in Nature, if used moderately. I don't approve of philosophising too much, for it is a very jejune, barren, and melancholy Thing. When I fall into any Calamity or Sickness, then I betake myself to Philosophy, as to a Physician; but when I am well again, I bid it farewell.

Au. I like your Method. You do philosophize very well. Your humble Servant, Mr. Philosopher; not of the Stoick School, but the Kitchen.

Ch. What is the Matter with you, Erasmus, that you are so melancholy? What makes you look so frowningly? What makes you so silent? Are you angry with me because I have entertained you with such a slender Supper?

Er. Nay, I am angry with you that you have put your self to so much Charge upon my Account. Austin laid a strict Charge upon you that you would provide nothing extraordinary upon his Account. I believe you have a Mind we should never come to see you again; for they give such a Supper as this that intended to make but one. What sort of Guests did you expect? You seem to have provided not for Friends, but for Princes. Do you think we are Gluttons? This is not to entertain one with a Supper, but victualling one for three Days together.

Ch. You will be ill-humour'd. Dispute about that Matter to-Morrow; pray be good humour'd to-Day. We'll talk about the Charge to-Morrow; I have no Mind to hear any Thing but what is merry at this time.

Au. Christian, whether had you rather have, Beef or Mutton?

Ch. I like Beef best, but I think Mutton is the most wholsome. It is the Disposition of Mankind to be most desirous of those Things that are the most hurtful.

Au. The French are wonderful Admirers of Pork.

Ch. The French love that most that costs least.

Au. I am a Jew in this one Thing, there is nothing I hate so much as Swine's Flesh.

Ch. Nor without Reason, for what is more unwholsome? In this I am not of the French Man's but of the Jew's Mind.

Er. But I love both Mutton and Pork, but for a different Reason; for I eat freely of Mutton, because I love it; but Hogs Flesh I don't touch, by Reason of Love, that I may not give Offence.

Ch. You are a clever Man, Erasmus, and a very merry one too. Indeed I am apt to admire from whence it comes to pass that there is such a great Diversity in Mens Palates, for if I may make use of this Verse of Horace,

      Tres mihi convivæ propè dissentire videntur,
      Poscentes vario multùm diversa palato.

Er. Although as the Comedian says, So many Men, so many Minds, and every Man has his own Way; yet no Body can make me believe, there is more Variety in Mens Dispositions, than there is in their Palates: So that you can scarce find two that love the same Things. I have seen a great many, that can't bear so much as the Smell of Butter and Cheese: Some loath Flesh; one will not eat roast Meat, and another won't eat boil'd. There are many that prefer Water before Wine. And more than this, which you'll hardly believe; I have seen a Man who would neither eat Bread, nor drink Wine.

Ch. What did that poor Man live on?

Er. There was nothing else but what he could eat; Meat, Fish, Herbs and Fruit.

Ch. Would you have me believe you?

Er. Yes, if you will.

Ch. I will believe you; but upon this Condition, that you shall believe me when I tell a Lye.

Er. Well, I will do it, so that you lye modestly.

Ch. As if any Thing could be more impudent than your Lye.

Er. What would your Confidence say, if I should shew you the Man?

Ch. He must needs be a starveling Fellow, a meer Shadow.

Er. You'd say he was a Champion.

Ch. Nay, rather a Polyphemus.

Er. I wonder this should seem so strange to you, when there are a great many that eat dry'd Fish instead of Bread: And some that the Roots of Herbs serve for the same Use that Bread does us.

Ch. I believe you; lye on.

Er. I remember, I saw a Man when I was in Italy, that grew fat with Sleep, without the Assistance either of Meat or Drink.

Ch. Fie for Shame; I can't forbear making Use of that Expression of the Satyrist,

Tunc immensa cavi spirant mendacia folles.

Thou poeticisest. You play the Part of a Poet. I am loath to give you the Lye.

Er. I am the greatest Lyar in the World, if Pliny, an Author of undoubted Credit, has not written, that a Bear in fourteen Days Time will grow wonderfully fat with nothing but Sleep: And that he will sleep so sound, that you can scarce wake him, by wounding him: Nay, to make you admire the more, I will add what Theophrastus writes, that during that Time, if the Flesh of the Bear be boil'd, and kept some Time, it will come to Life again.

Ch. I am afraid that Parmeno in Terence will hardly be able to comprehend these Things. I believe it readily. I would help you to some Venison, if I were well enough accomplished.

Er. Where have you any Hunting now? How came you by Venison?

Ch. Midas, the most generous spirited Man living, and a very good Friend of mine, sent it me for a Present; but so, that I oftentimes buy it for less.

Er. How so?

Ch. Because I am obliged to give more to his Servants, than I could buy it for in the Market.

Er. Who obliges you to that?

Ch. The most violent Tyrant in the World.

Er. Who is he?

Ch. Custom.

Er. Indeed, that Tyrant does frequently impose the most unjust Laws upon Mankind.

Ch. The same Tyrant hunted this Stag, but the Day before Yesterday. What did you do, who used to be a very great Lover of that Sport?

Au. Indeed I have left off that Sport, and now I hunt after nothing but Learning.

Ch. In my Opinion, Learning is fleeter than any Stag.

Au. But I hunt chiefly with two Dogs, that is to say, with Love and Industry: For Love affords a great Deal of Eagerness to learn, and as the most elegant Poet says,

——Labor improbus omnia vincit.

Ch. Austin, you admonish after a friendly Manner, as you use to do; and therefore, I won't give over, nor rest, nor tire, till I attain.

Au. Venison is now in the Prime. Pliny tells us a very admirable Story concerning this Animal.

Ch. What is it, I pray you?

Au. That as often as they prick up their Ears, they are very quick of Hearing; but on the contrary, when they let them down, they are deaf.

Ch. That very often happens to myself; for if I happen to hear a Word spoken of receiving Guineas, there is no Body quicker of Hearing than I; for then with Pamphilus in Terence, I prick up my Ears; but when there is any Mention made of paying them away, I let them down, and am presently hard of Hearing.

Au. Well, I commend you; you do as you should do.

Ch. Would you have some of the Leg of this Hare?

Au. Take it yourself.

Ch. Or had you rather have some of the Back?

Au. This Creature has nothing good but its Flank and hind Legs.

Ch. Did you ever see a white Hare?

Au. Oftentimes. Pliny writes, that on the Alps there are white
Hares; and that it is believed in the Winter Time they feed upon Snow:
Whether it be true or no, let Pliny see to that: For if Snow makes a
Hare's Skin white, it must make his Stomach white too.

Ch. I don't know but it may be true.

Au. I have something for you that is stranger than that; but it may be you have heard of it. The same Man testifies that there is the same Nature in all of them; that is, of Males and Females, and that the Females do as commonly breed without the Use of the Male, as with it. And many Persons assert the same, and especially your skilful Hunters.

Ch. You say right; but if you please, let us try these Rabbets, for they are fat and tender. I would help that pretty Lady if I sat nigher to her. Austin, pray take Care of that Lady that sits by you, for you know how to please the fair Sex.

Au. I know what you mean, you Joker.

Ch. Do you love Goose?

Au. Ay, I love 'em mightily, and I an't very nice. I don't know what's the Matter, but this Goose don't please me; I never saw any Thing dryer in all my Life; it is dryer than a Pumice-Stone, or Furius's Mother in Law, upon whom Catullus breaks so many Jests. I believe it is made of Wood; And in Troth I believe 'tis an old Soldier, that has worn itself out with being upon the Guard. They say a Goose is the most wakeful Creature living. In Truth, if I am not out in my Guess, this Goose was one of them, who when the Watch and their Dogs were fast asleep, in old Time defended the Roman Capitol.

Ch. As I hope to live I believe it was, for I believe it liv'd in that Age.

Au. And this Hen was either half starv'd, or else was in love, or was jealous; for this Sort of Creatures are much troubled with that Distemper. This Capon fatten'd much better; see what Cares will do. If we were to geld our Theodoricus, he would grow fat much the sooner.

Th. I an't a Cock.

Au. I confess you are not Gallus Cybeles, nor a Dunghil-Cock; but it may be you are Gallus Gallaceus.

Ch. What Word is that?

Au. I leave that Word to be unriddled by you: I am Sphinx, and you shall be Oedipus.

Ch. Austin, tell me truly, have you had no Conversation with French Men, have you had no Affinity with them? Had you nothing to do with them?

Au. None at all, indeed.

Ch. Then you are so much the worse.

Au. But perhaps I have had to do with French Women.

Ch. Will you have any of this Goose's Liver? This was look'd upon as a great Delicacy by the Ancients.

Au. I will refuse nothing that comes from your Hand.

Ch. You must not expect Roman Dainties.

Au. What are they?

Ch. Thistles, Cockles, Tortoises, Conger-Eels, Mushrooms, Truffles, etc.

Au. I had rather have a Turnip than any of them. You are liberal and bountiful, Christian.

Ch. No Body touches these Partridges nor the Pigeons, to-Morrow is a Fast-Day appointed by the Church; prepare against that Hunger; Ballast your Ship against the impending Storm. War is a coming, furnish your Belly with Provision.

Au. I wish you had kept that Word in, we should have risen from Supper more merrily. You torment us before the Time.

Ch. Why so?

Au. Because I hate Fish worse than I do a Snake.

Ch. You are not alone.

Au. Who brought in this troublesome Custom?

Ch. Who order'd you to take Aloes, Wormwood and Scammony in Physick?

Au. But these Things are given to Folks that are sick.

Ch. So these Things are given to them that are too well. It is better sometimes to be sick, than to be too well.

Au. In my Opinion the Jews themselves did not labour under such a Burden. Indeed I could easily refrain from Eels and Swines Flesh, if I might fill my Belly with Capons and Partridges.

Ch. In a great many Circumstances it is not the Thing, but the Mind that distinguishes us from Jews; they held their Hands from certain Meats, as from unclean Things, that would pollute the Mind; but we, understanding that to the Pure, all Things are pure, yet take away Food from the wanton Flesh, as we do Hay from a pamper'd Horse, that it may be more ready to hearken to the Spirit. We sometimes chastise the immoderate Use of pleasant Things, by the Pain of Abstinence.

Au. I hear you; but by the same Argument, Circumcision of the Flesh may be defended; for that moderates the Itch of Coition, and brings Pain. If all hated Fish as bad as I do, I would scarce put a Parricide to so much Torture.

Ch. Some Palates are better pleas'd with Fish than Flesh.

Au. Then they like those Things that please their Gluttony, but don't make for their Health.

Ch. I have heard of some of the Æsops and Apitius's, that have look'd upon Fish as the greatest Delicacy.

Au. How then do Dainties agree with Punishment?

Ch. Every Body han't Lampreys, Scares, and Sturgeons.

Au. Then it is only the poor Folks that are tormented, with whom it is bad enough, if they were permitted to eat Flesh; and it often happens, that when they may eat Flesh for the Church, they can't for their Purse.

Ch. Indeed, a very hard Injunction!

Au. And if the Prohibition of Flesh be turned to delicious Living to the Rich; and if the Poor can't eat Flesh many Times, when otherwise they might, nor can't eat Fish, because they are commonly the dearer; to whom does the Injunction do good?

Ch. To all; for poor Folks may eat Cockles or Frogs, or may gnaw upon Onions or Leeks. The middle Sort of People will make some Abatement in their usual Provision; and though the Rich do make it an Occasion of living deliciously, they ought to impute that to their Gluttony, and not blame the Constitution of the Church.

Au. You have said very well; but for all that, to require Abstinence from Flesh of poor Folks, who feed their Families by the Sweat of their Brows, and live a great Way from Rivers and Lakes, is the same Thing as to command a Famine, or rather a Bulimia. And if we believe Homer, it is the miserablest Death in the World to be starv'd to Death.

Ch. So it seem'd to blind Homer; but with Christians, he is not miserable that dies well.

Au. Let that be so; yet it is a very hard Thing to require any Body to die.

Ch. The Popes don't prohibit the eating of Flesh with that Design, to kill Men, but that they may be moderately afflicted if they have transgress'd; or that taking away their pleasant Food, their Bodies may be less fierce against the Spirit.

Au. The moderate Use of Flesh would effect that.

Ch. But in so great a Variety of Bodies certain Bounds of Flesh can't be prescrib'd, a Kind of Food may.

Au. There are Fishes that yield much Aliment, and there are Sorts of Flesh that yield but little.

Ch. But in general Flesh is most nourishing.

Au. Pray tell me, if you were to go a Journey any whither, would you chuse a lively Horse that was a little wanton, or a diseased Horse, who would often stumble and throw his Rider?

Ch. What do you mean by that?

Au. Because Fish-eating, by its corrupt Humours, renders the Body liable to a great many Diseases, that it can't subserve the Spirit as it should do.

Ch. To what Diseases?

Au. Gouts, Fevers, Leprosies, the King's-Evil.

Ch. How do you know?

Au. I believe Physicians. I had rather do so than try the Experiment.

Ch. Perhaps that happens to a few.

Au. Indeed I believe to a great many; besides, in as much as the Mind acts by the material Organs of the Body, which are affected with good or bad Humours, the Instruments being vitiated, it can't exert its Power as it would.

Ch. I know Doctors do very much find Fault with the eating of Fish; but our Ancestors thought otherwise, and it is our Duty to obey them.

Au. It was a Piece of Religion formerly not to break the Sabbath; but for all that, it was more eligible to save a Man on the Sabbath-Day.

Ch. Every one consults his own Health.

Au. If we will obey St. Paul, Let no Body mind his own Things, but every one the Things of another.

Ch. How come we by this new Divine at our Table? Whence comes this new upstart Master of ours?

Au. Because I don't like Fishes.

Ch. What, then won't you abstain from Flesh?

Au. I do abstain, but grumblingly, and to my great Detriment too.

Ch. Charity suffers all Things.

Au. It is true; but then the same requires but little. If it suffers all Things, why won't it suffer us to eat those Meats the Gospel has given us a Liberty to eat? Why do those Persons, from whom Christ has so often required the Love of himself, suffer so many Bodies of Men to be endanger'd by capital Diseases, and their Souls to be in Danger of eternal Damnation, because of a Thing neither forbidden by Christ, nor necessary in itself?

Ch. When Necessity requires it, the Force of a human Constitution ceases, and the Will of the Lawgiver ceases.

Au. But the Offence of the Weak does not cease. The Scruple of a tender Conscience does not cease. And lastly, it is uncertain with what Limits that Necessity shall be bounded; shall it be when the Fish-eater shall be a giving up the Ghost? It is too late to give Flesh to a Man when he is dying; or shall it be when his Body becomes all feverish? The Choice of Meats is not of so much Consequence.

Ch. What would you have prescrib'd then?

Au. I can tell well enough, if I might be allow'd to be a Dictator in Ecclesiastical Affairs.

Ch. What do you mean by that?

Au. If I were Pope I would exhort all Persons to a perpetual Sobriety of Life, but especially before an holy-Day; and moreover, I would give every one leave to eat what he would, for the Health of his Body, so he did it moderately, and with Thanksgiving; and I would endeavour that what was abated of these Observations should be made up in the Study of true Piety.

Ch. That in my Opinion is of so great Weight, that we ought to make you Pope.

Au. For all your laughing, this Neck could bear a triple Crown.

Ch. But in the mean Time take Care that these Things be not enter'd down in the Sorbon at Paris.

Au. Nay, rather let what is said be written in Wine, as it is fit those Things should that are said over our Cups; but we have had Divinity enough for a Feast We are at Supper, not at the Sorbon.

Ch. Why mayn't that be call'd Sorbon where we sup plentifully?

Au. Well, let us sup then, and not dispute, lest the Sorbon be called after us from Sorbis, and not from Sorbendo.


Ch. Well, come my kind Guests, I pray you that you would take this little Supper in good Part, though it be but a slender one. Be merry and good humour'd, though the Supper be but mean and slender. I, relying upon your Familiarity, made bold to invite you; and I will assure you, your Company and Presence is not only very grateful to me, but very pleasant.

Gu. We do assure you, good Christian, that we esteem your Supper to have been very pretty and noble; and we have nothing to find Fault with, but that you make Excuses for it, for that it was very magnificent; for indeed I look upon the Entertainment to be splendid to the greatest degree, that in the first Place consisted of Courses agreeable to Nature, and was season'd with Mirth, Laughter, Jokes and Witticisms, none of which have been wanting in our Entertainment. But here is something comes into my Mind, as to the Number of the Guests, which Varro writes, should not be fewer than three, nor more than nine. For the Graces, who are the Presidents of Humanity and Benevolence, are three; and the Muses, that are the Guides of commendable Studies, are nine; and I see here we have ten Guests besides the Virgins.

Au. Nothing could happen more agreeably; we are in that something wiser than Varro, for we have gotten here three pretty Maids for the three Graces; and as it is not to be thought that Apollo is ever absent from the Chorus of the Muses, we have very much à propos added the tenth Guest.

Ch. You have spoken very much like a Poet. If I had a Laurel here I would crown you with it, and you should be Poet Laureat.

Au. If I were crown'd with Mallows, I should be Poet Maleat; I do not arrogate that Honour to myself. This is an Honour that I don't deserve.

———Haud equidem tali me dignor honore.

Ch. Will you, every one of you, do as much for me as I will do for you?

Gu. Ay, that we will with all our Hearts.

Ch. Then let every one drink off his Cup round as I do. Here's to you first, Midas.

Mi. I thank you heartily. I pledge you heartily; for which the Vulgar says Præstolor. Indeed I won't refuse. I won't refuse any Thing for your Sake.

Ch. Now do you drink to the rest.

Mi. Erasmus, Half this Cup to you.

Er. I pray it may do you good. May it do you good. Much good may it do you. Proficiat is an out of the Way Word.

Ch. Why does the Cup stand still? Why does it not go about? Is our Wine gone? Where are your Eyes, you Rascal? Run quickly, fetch two Quarts of the same Wine.

Boy. Erasmus, your humble Servant, there is one wants to speak with you at the Door.

Er. Who is it?

Boy. He says he is one Mr. More's, Man, his Master is come out of Britain, and he desires you would make him a Visit, because he sets out for Germany to-Morrow by Break of Day.

Er. Christian, gather the Reckoning, for I must be going.

Ch. The Reckoning, most learned Erasmus, of this Supper, I will discharge that. You have no Need to put your Hand in your Pocket. I thank you that you honour'd me with your Company; but I am sorry you are called away before the Comedy is ended.

Er. Have I any Thing more to do but to bid you Farewell and be merry?

Ch. Farewell, we can't take it amiss, because you don't leave a Shoulder of Mutton for a Sheep's-Head, but go from Friends to a better Friend.

Er. And I in like Manner return you my Thanks, that you have been so kind as to invite me to this most pleasant Entertainment. My very good Friends, fare ye well. Drink heartily, and live merrily.

Ch. Soho, Dromo. You, all of you, have sitten still a good While. Does any Body please to have any Thing else?

Gu. Nothing at all. We have eat very plentifully.

Ch. Then take away these Things, and set on the Desert. Change the Trenchers and the Plates. Take up my Knife that is fallen down. Pour some Wine over the Pears. Here are some early ripe Mulberries that grew in my own Garden.

Gu. They will be the better for being of your own Growth.

Ch. Here are some wheaten Plumbs: See, here are Damascens, a rare Sight with us: See, here are mellow Apples; and here is a new Sort of an Apple, the Stock of which I set with my own Hands; and Chestnuts, and all Kinds of Delicacies, which our Gardens produce plentifully.

Au. But here are no Flowers.

Ch. They are French Entertainments, who love that Sort of Splendor most that costs least; but that is not my Humour.

Au. 'Tis not only among Frenchmen that you will find those that love what is of little Cost.

Ch. But hark you, Austin, do you think to come off so? What, won't you pledge me when I drink to you? You ought to have taken off Half the Cup of him that drank to you.

Au. He excused me for that a great While ago. He discharg'd me of that Obligation.

Ch. Pray who gave him that Power? The Pope himself can hardly dispense with this Obligation. You know the ancient Law of Drinking, Either drink or go your Way.

Au. He that an Oath is made to has Power to suspend it, and especially he, whose Concern it was to have it kept.

Ch. But it is the Duty of all Guests to observe Laws inviolably.

Au. Well, come on, since this is the German Custom, I'll drink what is left. But what Business have you with me?

Ch. You must pay for all. Why do you look pale? Don't be afraid, you may do it very easily, do as you have often done, that by some Elegancy we may rise from Table more learned; nor are you ignorant that the Ancients over the second Course used to dispute of some more diverting Subjects. Come on then, by what, and after how many Ways may this Sentence be vary'd, Indignum auditu?

* * * * *

It is not worth hearing. The Form.

Au. You have very fitly made Use of the latter Supine. It is not worth hearing. It is unworthy to be heard. It is not worthy to be heard. It is so light it ought not to be heard. It is scarce worth While to relate. It is not of such Value as to be heard. It is too silly to be heard. It is not worth While to tell it.

Ch. How many Ways may this Sentence be turn'd, Magno mihi constat?

* * * * *

The Ratio of varying this Sentence.

Magno mihi constat.

Au. By these Words, impendo, insumo, impertio, constat, as: I have taken Pains much in teaching you. I have taken much Pains in that Matter. I have not spent less Money than I have Care upon that Matter. I have not spent a little Money, but much Time, and very much Labour, and some Study. I have spent much Study. This Thing has cost me many a Night's Sleep, much Sweat, much Endeavour, very much Labour, a great Expence, a great Deal of Money. It has cost me more than you believe. My Wife stands me in less than my Horse.

Ch. But what is the meaning, Austin, that you put sometimes an Ablative, and sometimes a Genitive Case to the Verb constat?

Au. You have stated a very useful and very copious Question. But that I may not be troublesome to the Company by my too much Talk, I will dispatch it in a few Words. But I desire to hear every Man's Opinion, that I may not be troublesome to any Man, as I have said.

Ch. But why may not the Damsels desire the same?

Au. Indeed they do nothing else but hear. I'll attempt it with Grammatica's Assistance. "You know that Verbs of buying and selling, and some others, are of a like Signification, to which these Genitives are put alone, without Substantives, tanti, quanti, pluris, minoris, tantidem, quantivis, quanticunque: But in Case Substantives be not added, which, if they happen to be put, they are both turned into the Ablative Case; so that if a certain Price be set down, you put it in the Ablative Case; if by an Adjective put substantively, you put it in the Ablative Case, unless you had rather make Use of an Adverb."

Ch. What are those Verbs that you speak of?

Au. "They are commonly emo, mereor; redimo, (that is a Thing either taken or lost) vendo, venundo; revendo, (that is, I sell again that which was sold to me) veneo, (that is, I am sold) whose Prater Tense is venivi, or venii, the Supine venum; hence comes venalis; and from that, i.e. vendo, comes vendibilis; mereo, for inservio et stipendium facio, i.e. to serve under (as a Soldier). Comparo, that is, to buy, or commit. Computo, I change, I exchange with. Cambire is wholly barbarous in this Sense. Æstimo, to tax. Indico, for I estimate, rate. Liceor, liceris; licitor, licitaris, to cheapen, to bid. Distrahor, i.e. I am carried about to be sold. Metior, for I estimate or rate. Constat, for it is bought. Conducere, to let to hire. Fænero, I put to Interest. Fæneror, I take at Interest (to Usury.) Paciscor, pactus sum pango, pepigi, i.e. I make a Bargain."

Ch. Give an Example.

* * * * *

Of selling and buying.

The Forms.

Au. How much do you lett that Field for by the Year. We will answer. For twenty French Pounds. Whoo! You lett it too dear. Nay, I have lett it for more before now. But I would not give so much for it. If you hire it for less I'll be hang'd. Nay, your Neighbour Chremes offer'd me a Field, and asks for it—How much? Just as much as you ask for yours. But it is much better. That's a Lye. I do as they use to do who cheapen a Thing. Do you keep it yourself at that Price. What, do you cheapen, ask the Price, when you won't buy any Thing. Whatsoever you shall lett it me for shall be paid you very honestly.

Of Selling and Buying.

Another Example.

How much do you sell that Conger Eel for?

Syra. For five Pence. That's too much, you nasty Jade. Nay, 'tis too little, no Body will sell you for less. Upon my Life it cost me as much within a Trifle. You Witch, you tell a Lie, that you may sell it for twice or three Times as much as it cost you. Ay, I'll sell it for a hundred Times as much if I can, but I can't find such Fools. What if I should ask the Price of yourself? What do you value yourself at? According as I like the Person. What do you prize yourself at? What Price do you set upon yourself? Tell me, what Price do you rate yourself at? Ten Shillings. Whoo, so much? O strange! Do you value me at less? Time was when I have had as much for one Night. I believe you may, but I believe you an't now worth so much as a Fish by a great Deal. Go hang yourself, you Pimp. I value you as little as you do me. He that shall give a Farthing for you buys you too dear. But I'll be sold for more, or I won't be sold at all. If you would be sold at a great Rate you must get you a Mask, for those Wrinkles in your Forehead won't let you be sold for much. He that won't give so much for me shan't have me. I would not give a Straw for you. I cost more.

A third Example.

I have been at an Auction to-Day. Say you so? I bid Money for a Share in the Customs. But how much? Ten Thousand Pound. Whoo! what, so much? There were those that bid a great Deal more; very few that offer'd less. Well, and who had the Place at last? Chremes, your Wife's great Friend. But guess what it was sold for. Ten. Nay, fifteen. O good God! I would not give Half so much for him and all his Family together. But he would give twice as much for your Wife. "Do you take Notice, that in all these, wheresoever there is a Substantive of the Price, that is put in the Ablative Case; but that the rest are either put in the Genitive Case, or are changed into Adverbs. You have never heard a Comparative without a Substantive, except in these two, pluris, and minoris. There are some other Verbs, of which we have spoken, that are not very much unlike these, sum, facio, habeo, duco, æstimo, pendo, which signify (in a Manner) the same Thing; likewise fio, and they are for the most Part join'd with these Genitives, multi, parvi, magni, pluris, plurimi, minoris, minimi, maximi, tanti, quanti, flocci, pili, nihili, nauci, hujus, and any other like them." Ch. Give Examples.

Of valuing. The Form.

Au. Do you know how much I have always valu'd you? You will always be made of such Account by Men as you make Account of Virtue. Gold is valued at a great Rate now a-Days, Learning is valued at a very little, or just nothing at all. I value Gold less than you think for. I don't value your Threats of a Rush. I make a very little Account of your Promises. I don't value you of a Hair. If Wisdom were but valued at so great a Rate as Money, no Body would want Gold. With us, Gold without Wisdom is esteem'd to be of more Worth than Wisdom without Gold. I esteem you at a greater Rate, because you are learned. You will be the less esteem'd on here because you don't know how to lye. Here are a great many that will persuade you that Black is White. I set the greater Value upon you because you love Learning. So much as you have, so much you shall be esteem'd by all Men; so much as you have, so much you shall be accounted of every where. It is no Matter what you are accounted, but what you are. I value my Christian above any Man else in the World. "There are some other Verbs found with these Genitives and Ablatives, which in their own Nature don't signify buying, or anything like it." Peter bought a Kiss of the Maid for a Shilling. Much good may it do him. I would not kiss at that Rate. How much do you play for? What did you pay for Supper? We read of some that have spent Six hundred Sesterces for a Supper. But the French often sup for a Half-penny. What Price does Faustus teach for? A very small Matter. But for more than Delius. For how much then? For nineteen Guineas. I won't learn to lye at so dear a Rate. Phædria in Terence lost both his Substance and himself. But I would not love at that Rate. Some Persons pay a great Price for sleeping. Demosthenes had more for holding his Tongue than others had for speaking. I pray you to take it in good Part. "There is another Sort of Verbs, that require an Accusative Case, with a Genitive or Ablative, which are, accuso, i.e. I object a Crime, or culpo, also one that's absent; Incuso, i.e. I blame without Judgment; arguo, I reprehend, insimulo, i.e. I throw in a Suspicion of a Fault. Postulo, i.e. I require you to answer at Law, accerso, I impeach, damno, I condemn, I pronounce him to be in Fault. Admoneo, I admonish."

Ch. For Example Sake?

Forms of Accusing.

Au. Scipio is accused of courting the Populace. Thou who art the most impudent, accusest me of Impudence. Lepidus is accused of Bribery. You are accus'd of a capital Crime. If you shall slily insinuate a Man to be guilty of Covetousness, you shall hear that which is worse again. Put him in Mind of his former Fortune. Men are put in Mind of their Condition, by that very Word. Put Lepidus in Mind of his Promise. "There are many that admit of a double Accusative Case. I teach thee Letters. He entreats you to pardon him. I will unteach thee those Manners."

"Here I must put you in Mind of that Matter, that in these the Passives also obtain a second Accusative Case. The others will have a Genitive." You are taught Letters by me. They accuse me of Theft. I am accused of Theft. Thou accusest me of Sacrilege. I am accused of Sacrilege. I know you are not satisfied yet. I know you are not satisfied in Mind. For when will so great a Glutton of Elegancies be satisfy'd? But I must have Regard to the Company, who are not all equally diverted with these Matters. After Supper, as we walk, we will finish what is behind, unless you shall rather chuse to have it omitted.

Ch. Let it be as you say. Let us return Thanks to divine Bounty and afterwards we'll take a little Walk.

Mi. You say very well, for nothing can be more pleasant, nor wholsome than this Evening Air.

Ch. Peter, come hither, and take the Things away in Order, one after the other, and fill the Glasses with Wine.

Pe. Do you bid me return Thanks?

Ch. Aye, do.

Pe. Had you rather it should be done in Greek, or in Latin.

Ch. Both Ways.

Pe. Gratias agimus tibi, pater coelestis, qui tua ineffabili potentia condidisti omnia, tua inscrutabili sapientia gubernas universa, tua inexhausta bonitate cuncta pascis ac vegetas: largire filiis tuis, ut aliquando tecum bibant in regno tuo nectar illud immortalitatis, quod promisisti ac praeparasti vere diligentibus te, per Iesum Christum. Amen.

We thank thee, heavenly Father, who by thy unspeakable Power, hast created all Things, and by thy inexhaustible Wisdom governest all Things, and by thy inexhaustible Goodness feedest and nourishest all Things: Grant to thy Children, that they may in due Time drink with thee in thy Kingdom, that Nectar of Immortality; which thou hast promis'd and prepar'd for those that truly love thee, through Jesus Christ, Amen.

Ch. Say in Greek too, that the rest mayn't understand what thou sayest.

Pe. [Greek: Heucharistoumen soi, pater ouranie, ho tê arrêtô sou dunamei ktisas ta panta, ho tê anexereunêtô sou sophia kubernôn hapaxapanta, ho tê anexantlêtô sou chrêstotêti hekasta trephomenos te kai auxanon. Charizou tois yiois sou to meta sou pote piein to tês athanasias nektar, ho upechou kai êtoimasas tois alêthôs agapôsi se, dia Iêsou Christou, tou yiou sou, tou kyriou hêmôn, tou meta sou zôntos kai basileuontos en henotêti tou pneumatos hagiou, eis tous aiônas. Amên.]

Ch. My most welcome Guests, I give you Thanks that you have honour'd my little Entertainment with your Company. I intreat you to accept it kindly.

Gu. And we would not only have, but return our Thanks to you. Don't let us be over ceremonious in thanking, but rather let us rise from Table, and walk out a little.

Au. Let us take these Virgins along with us, so our Walk will be more pleasant.

Ch. You propose very well. We'll not want Flowers, if the Place we walk in don't afford any. Had you rather take a Turn in our Garden, in a poetical Manner, or walk out abroad by the River-Side.

Au. Indeed, your Gardens are very pleasant, but keep that Pleasure for Morning Walks. When the Sun is towards setting, Rivers afford wonderful pleasant Prospects.

Ch. Austin, do you walk foremost as a Poet should do, and I'll walk by your Side.

Au. O good God, what a jolly Company we have, what a Retinue have I! Christian, I can't utter the Pleasure I take, I seem to be some Nobleman.

Ch. Now be as good as your Word. Perform the Task you have taken upon you.

Au. What is it you'd have me speak of chiefly?

Ch. I us'd formerly to admire many Things in Pollio's Orations; but chiefly this, that he us'd so easily, so frequently and beautifully to turn a Sentence, which seemed not only a great Piece of Wit, but of great Use.

Au. You were much in the Right on't, Christian, to admire that in Pollio. For he seems, in this Matter, to have had a certain divine Faculty, which I believe, was peculiar to him, by a certain Dexterity of Art, and by much Use of Speaking, Reading and Writing, rather than by any Rules or Instructions.

Ch. But I would fain have some Rule for it, if there be any to be given.

Au. You say very well; and since I see you are very desirous of it, I'll endeavour it as much as I can: And I will give those Rules, as well as I can, which I have taken Notice of in Pollio's Orations.

Ch. Do, I should be very glad to hear 'em.

Au. I am ready to do it.

* * * * *


A short Rule concerning this Copia, it teaches how to vary a Sentence pleasantly, copiously, easily, frequently, and elegantly; by short Rules given, and by a Praxis upon these Rules, in an elegant Turning of one Phrase.

In the first Place, it is to be set forth in pure and choice Latin Words; which to do is no mean Piece of Art: For there are a great many, who do, I don't know after what Manner, affect the Copia and Variation of Phrase, when they don't know how to express it once right. It is not enough for them to have babbled once, but they must render the Babble much more babbling, by first one, and then by another turning of it; as if they were resolv'd to try the Experiment, how barbarously they were able to speak: And therefore, they heap together, certain simple synonymous Words, that are so contrary one to the other, that they may admire themselves how they do agree together. For what is more absurd, than that a ragged old Fellow, that has not a Coat to his Back, but what is so ragged that he may be ashamed to put it on, should every now and then change his Rags, as though he design'd to shew his Beggary by Way of Ostentation: And those Affectators of Variety seem equally ridiculous, who, when they have spoken barbarously once, repeat the same Thing much more barbarously; and then over and over again much more unlearnedly. This is not to abound with Sentences, but Solæcisms: Therefore, in the first Place, as I have said, the Thing is to be express'd in apt and chosen Words. 2. And then we must use Variety of Words, if there are any to be found, that will express the same Thing; and there are a great many. 3. And where proper Words are wanting, then we must use borrow'd Words, so the Way of borrowing them be modest. 4. Where there is a Scarcity of Words, you must have Recourse to Passives, to express what you have said by Actives; which will afford as many Ways of Variation, as there were in the Actives. 5. And after that, if you please, you may turn them again by verbal Nouns and Participles. 6. And last of all, when we have chang'd Adverbs into Nouns, and Nouns sometimes into one Part of Speech, and sometimes into another; then we may speak by contraries. 7. We may either change affirmative Sentences into negative, or the contrary. 8. Or, at least, what we have spoken indicatively, we may speak interrogatively. Now for Example Sake, let us take this Sentence.

_Literæ tuæ magnopere me delectârunt.

Your Letters have delighted me very much._


Epistle, little Epistles, Writings, Sheets, Letters.


After a wonderful Manner, wonderfully, in a greater, or great Manner, in a wonderful Manner, above Measure, very much, not indifferently (not a little) mightily, highly, very greatly.


My Mind, my Breast, my Eyes, my Heart, Christian.


They have affected, recreated, exhilarated with Pleasure, have been a Pleasure, have delighted, have bath'd me with Pleasure; have been very sweet, very pleasant, &c.

Now you have Matter, it is your Business to put it together: Let us try.

Ch. Thy Letters have very greatly delighted me. Thy Epistle has wonderfully chear'd me.

Au. Turn the Active into a Passive, then it will look with another Face. As, It can't be said how much I have been chear'd by thy Writings.

Also by other Verbs effecting the same Thing.

I have received an incredible Pleasure from thy Writings. I have receiv'd very much Pleasure from your Highness's Letter. Your Writings have brought me not an indifferent Joy. Your Writings have overwhelmed me all over with Joy. "But here you can't turn these into Passives, only in the last, perfusus gaudio, as is commonly said, Pleasure was taken by me, Joy was brought, is not so commonly used, or you must not use so frequently."

By Affido.

Thy Letter hath affected me with a singular Pleasure.

Change it into a Passive.

I am affected with an incredible Pleasure by thy Letter. Thy little
Epistle has brought not a little Joy.

By Sum and Nouns Adjectives.

Thy Letters have been most pleasant to me many Ways. That Epistle of thine was, indeed, as acceptable, as any Thing in the World.

By Nouns Substantives.

Thy Letter was to us an unspeakable Pleasure. Your Letter was an incredible Pleasure to us.

Change it into a Negative.

Thy Letter was no small Joy. Nothing in Life could happen more delightful than thy Letters. "Although I have sometimes already made Use of this Way, which is not to be pass'd over negligently. For when we would use multum, plurimum, to signify, singulariter, we do it by a contrary Verb." As, Henry loves you mightily: He loves you with no common Love. Wine pleases me very much: It pleases me not a little. He is a Man of a singular Wit: A Man of no ordinary Wit. He is a Man of admirable Learning: He is a Man not of contemptible Learning. Thomas was born in the highest Place of his Family: Not in the lowest Place. Austin was a most eloquent Man: He was not ineloquent. Carneades the Orator was noble: Not an ignoble, not an obscure Man. "And the like, which are very frequently used." But the Mention of a Thing so plain is enough: Nor are you ignorant, that we make Use of a two-fold Manner of Speech, of this Kind: For Modesty Sake, especially, if we speak of our selves; also for Amplification Sake. For we use rightly and elegantly, not ungrateful, for very grateful; not vulgarly for singularly.

For Modesty Sake.

I have by my Letters gain'd some Reputation of Learning. I have always made it my Business not to have the last Place in the Glory of Learning. The Examples of Amplification are mention'd before: Now let us return to our own. Nothing ever fell out to me more gratefully, acceptably, than thy Letter. Nothing ever was a greater Pleasure than your Letter. I never took so much Pleasure in any Thing, as in thy most loving Letters. "After this Manner all the before-mention'd Sentences may be vary'd by an Interrogation." What in Life could be more pleasant than thy Letters? What has happened to me more sweet, than thy Letter? What has ever delighted me like your last Letter? And after this Manner you may vary almost any Sentence.

Ch. What shall we do now?

Au. We will now turn the whole Sentence a little more at large, that we may express one Sentence, by a Circumlocution of many Words.

Ch. Give Examples.

Au. "That which was sometimes express'd by the Noun incredibile, and then again, by the Adverb incredibiliter, we will change the Sentence in some Words." I can't express how much I was delighted with your Letters. It is very hard for me to write, and you to believe how much Pleasure your Letter was to me. I am wholly unable to express how I rejoic'd at your Letter. "And so in infinitum: Again, after another Manner. For hitherto we have varied the Sentences by Negations and Interrogations, and in the last Place by Infinitives. Now we will vary by Substantives or Conditionals, after this Manner." Let me die if any Thing ever was more desired and more pleasant than thy Letters. Let me perish if any Thing ever was more desired, and more pleasant than thy Letter. As God shall judge me, nothing in my whole Life ever happen'd more pleasant than thy Letters. "And also a great many more you may contrive after this Manner."

Ch. What is to be done now?

Au. Now we must proceed to Translations, Similitudes and Examples.

There is a Translation in these.

I have received your Letters, which were sweet as Honey. Your Writings seem to be nothing but meer Delight. Your Letters are a meer Pleasure; and a great many of the like Kinds. "But Care is to be taken not to make Use of harder Translations; such as this that follows,

Jupiter hybernas canâ nive conspuit Alpes.

such as this is." The Suppers of thy Writings have refreshed me with most delicious Banquets.

A Comparison by Simile.

Thy Writings have been sweeter than either Ambrosia or Nectar. Thy Letters have been sweeter to me than any Honey. Your kind Letter has excell'd even Liquorish, Locusts, and Attic Honey, and Sugar; nay, even the Nectar and Ambrosia of the Gods. "And here, whatsoever is ennobled with Sweetness, may be brought into the Comparison."

From Examples.

I will never be induc'd to believe, that Hero receiv'd the Letters of her Leander, either with greater Pleasure, or more Kisses, than I received yours. I can scarce believe that Scipio, for the Overthrow of Carthage, or Paulus Æmylius, for the taking of Perseus, ever triumphed more magnificently than I did, when the Post-man gave me your most charming Letter. "There are a thousand Things of this Nature, that may be found in Poets and Historians. Likewise Similitudes are borrow'd from Natural Philosophy; the Nature of a great many of which, it is necessary to keep in Memory. Now if you please, we will try in another Sentence."

I will never forget you while I live.

I will always remember you, as long as I live. Forgetfulness of you, shall never seize me as long as I live. I will leave off to live, before I will to remember you.

By Comparisons.

If the Body can get rid of its Shadow, then this Mind of mine may forget you. The River Lethe itself shall never be able to wash away your Memory.

"Besides, by an Impossibility, or after the Manner of Poets by contraries.

      Dum juga montis aper, fluvios dum piscis amabit.
      Ante leves ergo pastentur in athere cervi.

which is no hard Matter to invent." But lest I should seem tedious, at the present let these suffice: At another Time, if you please, we will talk more copiously of this Matter.

Ch. I thought, Austin, you had been quite exhausted by this Time. But thou hast shewn me a new Treasure beyond what I expected, which if you shall pursue, I perceive you'll sooner want Time than Words.

Au. If I can perform this with my little Learning, and indifferent Genius, what do you think Cicero himself could do, who is storied to have vy'd with Roscius the Player? But the Sun is going to leave us; and the Dew rises; it is best to imitate the Birds, to go Home, and hide ourselves in Bed. Therefore, sweet Christian, farewell till to Morrow.

Ch. Fare you well likewise, most learned Austin.

« Prev The Profane Feast Next »
VIEWNAME is workSection