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of a sudden ?* Thy protection is gone, whosoever thou art, that adventurest hither, for thou art out of thy wayes. These are not the wayes of the Lord, and much lesse upon his Sabbath, when thou shouldest be amongst his people, and doing his worke, where his angels waite for thee, his owne presence expects thee.
f" ' How then shouldest thou possibly escape when thou wilt offer thy heart naked unto these fiery darts of Satan? How canst thou thinke to be delivered from that flame into thy soule; that fire in the infernall lake, that river of brimstone that shall never be consumed nor quenched, when thou wilt desperately cast thyselfe headlong into the middest thereof? How can it be but that such must needs bring fagots and firebrands to set in the gates of our Hierusalem?'
"The fourth of them is Mr. Robert Bolton, a reverend learned minister of our church, now living; who writes thus of stage playes. J 'Lastly, let those examine themselves at this marke, who offer themselves to these sinfull occasions, breeders of many strange and fearfull mischiefes, I meane prophane and obscene playes. Pardon me, beloved, I cannot passe by these abominable spectacles without particular indignation. For I have ever esteemed them (since I had any understanding in the wayes of God) the grand empoysoners of grace, ingenuousnesse, and all manly resolution; greater plagues and infections to your soules, then the contagious pestilence to your bodies; the inexpiable staine and dishonor to this famous city; the noysome wormes that canker and blast the generous and noble buds of this land; and doe, by a slie and bewitching insinuation, so empoyson all seeds of vertue, and so weaken and emasculate all the operations of the soule, with a prophane, if not an unnatural dissoluteness,$ that whereas they are planted in these worthy houses of law, to be fitted and enabled for great and honourable actions for the publike good, and the continuance of the glory * " Such are from under God's protection." f " They canuot think to escape." j "A Discourse of True Happinesse, pp. 73,74." § " Let innes-of-court gentlemen observe this."
and happinesseofthiskingdome, they licentiously dissolve into wicked vanities and pleasures; and all hope of ever doing good either unto God, the church, their country, or owne soules, melteth as the winter ice, and floweth away as unprofitable waters. These infamous spectacles are condemned by all kinde of sound learning, both divine and humane. Distinctions devised for their upholding and defence may give some shallow and weake contentment to partiall and sensuall affections possest with prejudice; but how shall they be able to satisfie a conscience sensible of all appearance of evill? How can they preserve the inclinablenesse of our corrupt nature from the infection of these schooles of lewdnesse, and sinckes of all sinne, as (toomit divines, councels, fathers, moralists, because the point is not directly incident) even a politician,* calls them. Alas, are not our wretched corruptions raging and fiery enough, being left to themselves, dispersed at their naturall liberty; but they must be united at these accursed theatres, as in a hollow glasse, to set on fire the whole body of our naturall viciousnesse at once, and to enrage it further with lust, fiercenesse, and effeminatenesse, beyond the compasse of nature ? f Doth any man think it possible that the power of saving grace, or the pure spirit of God, can reside in his heart, that willingly and with full consent feeds his inward concupiscence with such variety of sinfull vanities and lewd occasions, which the Lord himselfe hath pronounced to be an abomination % unto him? How can any man, that ever felt in his heart the love or feare of so dredfull a Majesty as the Lord of heaven and earth, endure to be present, especially with delight and contentment, at oathes, blasphemies, obscenities, and the abusing sometimes of the most precious things in the booke of God (whereat we should tremble), to most base and scurrill
* "Theatra definire possumus, tnrpitudinis vitiorumq. omnium sentinam ac scbolam.—Bodin, De Bepub. lib. 6, cap. 1."
'f "Marke this, O play-haunters, and then judge yourselves.
I « Deut. xxii. 5."
jests? Certainly, every childe of God is of a most noble and heroicke spirit, and therefore is most impatient of hearing any wrong, indignity, or dishonour, offered to the word, name, or glory of his Almighty Father, &c. Thus this grave reverend divine in proofe of my assumption."*
Archbishop Laud and the Star-Chamber certainly dealt harshly with poor Prynne, who, however, was singularly unfortunate, or very bold, in choosing the moment for publishing his book. It came out just at the time that Henrietta Maria, the queen of Charles I., was rehearsing a part, which she afterwards acted, in a play with her maids of honour. Hence every abusive term was held to be directed against her Majesty, and Prynne's offence deemed little short of high treason. In Sir Henry Ellis's interesting collection there is a letter of the time written by Mr. Pory to Sir Thomas Puckering, which contains the following court news :—
"That which the Queen's Majesty, some of her ladies, and all her maides of honour are now practising upon, is a pastorall penned by Mr. Walter Montague, wherein her Majesty is pleased to acte a parte, as well for her recreation as for the exercise of her English. Ben Jonson (who I thought had bene dead) hath written a play against next terme, called the Magnetick Lady." And in another letter in the same collection, from Mr. Gresley to Sir Thomas Puckering, Prynne's case is thus stated: "Mr. Prynne, an Utter Barrister of Lincoln's lime, is brought into the High Commission Court and Star-Chamber, for publishing a booke (a little before the Queene's acting of her play) of the Unlawfulness of Plaies, wherein, in the table of his booke, and his brief additions thereunto, he hath these words, ' Women actors notorious
w s,' * * * which wordes it is thought by some
will cost him his eares, or heavily punisht and deepely fined."—Original Letters, illustrative of English History, vol. vi. p. 270 and p. 280.
• Prynne's Histrio-Mastix, Lond. 1663, part i. p. 358, e».
Prynne's writings did indeed cost him his ears, and something more; but the punishments so barbarously heaped upon him, and Burton and Bastwick, became burning coals on the head of Laud, and contributed more than any other single circumstance to the execution of that prelate, and the march of the revolution which brought his royal master also to the scaffold.
LXXXVII. THE TRIPARTITE EMPIRE.
Jean Paul Richter said, that the French had the dominion of the land, the English of the sea, and the Germans of the air.
LXXXVIII. AS RICH AS A JEW.
"we are apt to say in a proverbial way, 'as rich as a Jew ;' but the Jews, take them in general, are not a rich people. There have been always some few among them that were immensely wealthy, and it was from the observation of these that the observation arose."—Pegge.
The learned antiquary is probably mistaken in his explanation; for had the reason been the one which he assigns, namely, the great wealth of a few, it would have been far more natural to say " as rich as a lord," or, "as rich as a duke." The truth seems to be, that as the Jews long monopolised the trades of bill-broker, moneychanger, &c., the vulgar, dazzled by the large quantity of specie possessed by such persons, by a very natural mistake confounded capital with income; and because a Jew usurer had more ready money than the first nobleman in the land, they imagined him to be more opulent; though the money constituted the whole capital of the former, and only a part of the revenue of the latter.
LXXXIX. SISTER LANGUAGES.
We do not recollect where we met with the following antithesis, but it seems just as well as elegant:—
"Ce sont deux scaurs que la langue Italicnne et I'Espagnole; celle-ci est la prude, et l'autre la coquette."
XC. OLD BARBERS.
A DIALOGUE IN 1583.
The Speakers are Theodorus and Amphilogus.
Theod.—What say you of the barbers and trimmers of men? are they so neate, and so fine fellowes as they are said to be?
Amph.il.—There are no finer fellowes under the sunne, nor experter in their noble science of barbing than they be; and therefore, in the fulness of their overflowing knowledge, (oh I ingenious heads, and worthie to' be dignified with the diademe of follie and vain curiositie!) they have invented such strange fashions and monstrous manners of cuttings, trimmings, shavings, and washings, that you would wonder to see. They have one maner of cut called the French cut, another the Spanish cut; one the Dutch cut, another the Italian; one the newe cut, another the old; one the bravado fashion, another of the meane fashion; one a gentleman's cut, another the common cut; one cut of the court, another of the country; with infinite the like vanities, which I overpasse. They have also other kinds of cuts innumerable; and therefore when you come to be trimed they will aske you whether you will be cut to looke terrible to your enemie, or amiable to your freend; grime and sterne in countenance, or pleasant and demure (for they have divers kinds of cuts for all these purposes, or else they lie). Then when they have done all their feats, it is a world to consider how their mowchatowes must be preserved and laid out, from one