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virtucus and hopeful wits, I wish the best and happiest things, that friends in absence wish one to another.
'As for the common approbation or dislike of that place, as now it is, that I should esteem or disesteem myself, or any other, the more for that, too simple and too credulous is the Confuter, if he think to obtain with me, or any right discerner. That suburb sink, as this rude scavenger calls it, wherein I dwell shall be in my account a more honourable place than his university; which, as in the time of her better health, and mine own younger judgment, I never greatly admired, so now much less. But he follows me to the city, still usurping and forging beyond his book notice, which only he affirms to have had; "and where my morning haunts are, he wisses not." It is wonder that, being so rare an alchymist of slander, he could not extract that, as well as the university vomit, and the suburb sink, which his art could distil so cunningly; but because his lembec fails him, to give him and envy' the more vexation I will tell him.
1 The Latin invidia = odium.
HIS DAILY LIFE.
Those morning haunts are where they should be, at home; not sleeping, or concocting the surfeits of an irregular feast, but up and stirring, in winter often ere the sound of any bell awake men to labour, or to devotion; in summer as oft with the bird that first rouses, or not much tardier, to read good authors, or cause them to be read, till the attention be weary, or memory have its full fraught: then, with useful and generous labours preserving the body's health and hardiness to render lightsome, clear, and not lumpish obedience to the mind, to the cause of religion, and our country's liberty, when it shall require firm hearts in sound bodies to stand and cover their stations, rather than to see the ruin of our protestation, and the enforcement of a slavish life.
'These are the morning practices: proceed now to the afternoon; "in playhouses," he says, "and the bordelloes." Your intelligence, unfaithful spy of Canaan? In the Animadversions, saith he, I find the mention of old cloaks, false beards, nightwalkers, and salt lotion; therefore, the animadverter haunts playhouses and bordelloes; for if he did not, how could he speak of such gear? Now,
that he may know what it is to be a child, and yet to meddle with edged tools, I turn his antistrophon upon his own head: the Confuter knows that these things are the furniture of such places, therefore, by the same reason, the Confuter hath been traced there.
But since there is such necessity to the hearsay of a tire,2 a periwig, or a vizard, that plays must have been seen, what difficulty was there in that? when in the colleges so many of the young divines, and those in next aptitude to divinity,3 have been seen so often upon the stage, writhing and unboning their clergy limbs to all the antic and dishonest gestures of Trinculoes, buffoons, and bawds; prostituting the shame of that ministry, which either they had, or were nigh having, to the eyes of courtiers and court ladies, with their grooms and mademoiselles. There, while they acted and overacted, among other young scholars, I was a spectator; they thought themselves gallant men, and I thought them fools; they made sport, and I
1 The hearing of, knowing about.
2 A head-dress.
laughed; they mispronounced, and I misliked; and, to make up the Atticism,' they were out, and I hissed. Judge now whether so many good textmen were not sufficient to instruct me of false beards and vizards, without more expositors; and how can this Confuter take the face to object to me the seeing of that which his reverend prelates allow, and incite their young disciples to act? For if it be unlawful2 to sit and behold a mercenary comedian personating that which is least unseemly for a hireling to do, how much more blameful is it to endure the sight of as vile things acted by persons either entered, or presently to enter, into the ministry; and how much more foul and ignominious for them to be actors!
'But because, as well by this upbraiding as by other suspicious glancings in his book, he would seem privily to point me out to his readers, as one whose custom of life were not honest, but licentious, I shall entreat to be borne with, though I digress; and in a way not often trod, acquaint ye
He is here imitating a passage in Demosthenes' speech against Æschines.
* He does not say it is, but only makes use of the à fortiori argument.
with the sum of my thoughts in this matter, through the course of my years and studies: although I am not ignorant how hazardous it will be to do this under the nose of the envious, as it were in skirmish to change the compact order, and instead of outward actions, to bring inmost thoughts into front. And I must tell ye, readers, that by this sort of men I have been already bitten at; yet shall they not for me know how slightly they are esteemed, unless they have so much learning as to read what in Greek aπapоkaλía' is, which, together with envy, is the common disease of those who censure books that are not for their reading. With me it fares now, as with him whose outward garment hath been injured and ill-bedighted; for having no other shift, what help but to turn the inside outwards, especially if the lining be of the same, or, as it is sometimes, much better? So if my name and outward demeanour be not evident enough to defend me, I must make trial if the discovery of my inmost thoughts can: wherein of two purposes, both honest and both sincere, the one perhaps I shall not miss; although I fail to
1 Ignorance of what is beautiful, polite, and refined.