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to see what multitudes there be of all sorts that make this their only business, and in a manner spend their whole time in compliment; as' if they were born to no other end, bred to no other purpose, had nothing else to do, than to be a kind of living walking ghosts, to haunt and
persecute others with unnecessary observation.” Of their further excesses in this
he adds, “ Some go abroad, and God knows the visited be not beholden to them. For if these giddy goers be forced to give a reason for their wheeling up and down the streets, their answer is, they know not else how to pass their time. And how tedious it is, for a man that accounts his hours, to be subject to these vacancies, and apply himself to lose a day with such time-passers ; who neither come for business, nor out of true friendship, but only to spend the day ; as if one had nothing else to do, but to supply their idle time! How hard a task this is, those that be haunted with these spirits do so sensibly feel, that I am loth to enlarge their torture; but only advise them to let those know, who make a profession to pass
their time with the loss of mine, that as their visitations be unprofitable to themselves, so they be tedious and búrthensome unto me. And if that serve not the turn against their untimely visits, then bolt my door, or hide myself; which shift I have known many put to, for want of other defence.
And, besides, when these spirits walk abroad, it is rather to shew themselves, than to see any; which, for the most part, is never in the morning (and especially on Sundays, because it is the best day in the week); all that while they be building themselves, and viewing their own proportions ; feeding, instead of a breakfast, upon how brave they shall appear in the afternoon; and then they go to the most public and most received places of entertainment, which be sundry, and therefore they stay not long in a place; but after they have asked
how you do, and told some old or fabulous news, laughed twice or thrice in your face, and censured those they know you love not (when, peradventure, the next place they go to, is to them — where they will be as courteous to you); spoke a few words of fashions and alterations; whispered some lascivious motion that shall be practised the next day; fallen into discourse of liberty, and how it agrees with bumanity for women to have servants besides their husbands; made legs and postures of the last edition ; with three or four new and diminutive oaths and protestations of their service and observance; they then retire to their coach, and so prepare for another company; and continue in this vocation till the beginning of the next day (that is, till past midnight), and so home: when, betimes in the morning, the decorum is-if it be a lady visitor, to send her gentleman usher, to see if all those
be well that she saw in perfect health but the night before.”
Another custom of the citizens is mentioned by the author of “ Horæ Subsecivæ," which is that of the better classes invariably retiring into the country during the summer months ; he through the necessity they found of changing the air, as that of the “ city is so far from good, that it is neither tolerable nor indifferent.”
Wilson, who wrote a life of James I. has this passage, in speaking of the earl of Northumberland: “ The stout old earl, when he was got loose (he had been imprisoned), hearing that the great favourite Buckingham was drawn about with a coach and six horses (which was wondered at then as a novelty, and imputed to him as a mastering pride) thought if Buckingham had six, he might very well have eight in his coach ; with which he rode through the city of London to Bath, to the vulgar talk and admiration; and, recovering his health there, he lived long after at Petworth, in Sussex ;. bating this over-topping humour, which shewed it rather an affected fit than a distemper. Nor did this addition of two horses by Buckingham grow higher than a little murmur. For in the late queen's time (Elizabeth) there were no coaches, and the first had but two horses; the rest crept in by de: grees, as men at first venture to sea. And every new thing the people disaffect, they stumble at's
sometimes at the action for the
which rises like a little cloud, but soon vanishes.
“ So after, when Buckingham came to be carried in a chair upon men's shoulders, the clamour and noise of it was so extravagant, that the people would rail on him in the streets, loathing that men should be brought to as servile a condition as horses; so irksome is every little new impression that breaks an old custom, and rubs and grates against the public humour: but when time had made those chairs common, every loose. pimp or minion used them; so that that which gave at first so much scandal was the means to convey those privately to such places, where they might give much more. Just like long hair, at one time decried as abominable-another time approved of as beautiful. So various are the fancies of the times.”
Many little traits of character and customs are to be collected from Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson's Memoirs of her husband. When Sir Allan Apsley, her father, was lieutenant of the Tower, he had Sir Walter Raleigh and Mr. Ruthin in custody. Those gentlemen having amused their weary hours by experiments in chemistry, through the benevolent assistance of Lady Apsley, she soon became an adept in the preparation of simples, and more important medicines, which she administered to the other prisoners, to the best of her judgment, and added
such attendance and food as she conceived necessary for their situation. Miss Apsley, being the first daughter of her parents, received particular attention from them. She read well at four
and at seven had no less than eight tutors; who were employed to teach her languages, musick, dancing, writing, and needlework. Such then, it may be inferred, was the practice in educating females of some importance in life during the reign of James I.
After the marriage of this young lady with Mr. Hutchinson, and his decease, she described him to their children as possessing such skill in fencing as became a gentleman; as being extremely fond of musick; “ often diverting himself with a viol, on which he played masterly;" having, besides, an excellent ear, and much judgment in the science. He was a good marksman with the guns or match-locks then in use, and equally expert in archery; and, to conclude the list of his accomplishments, he was an amateur in paintings and engravings, and had a cabinet of curiosities, the articles of which pleased him in proportion to the ingenuity of their contrivance and the excellence of their execution. Beyond these circumstances of a general nature, it will not be necessary to proceed with the character of Colonel Hutchinson; as my object is only to ascertain the customs prevailing at different periods.