The compleat gentleman fashioning him absolute in the most necessary & commendable qualities concerning minde or bodie that may be required in a noble gentleman. By Henry Peacham, Mr. of Arts sometime of Trinity Coll: in Cambridge.
Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643?, Delaram, Francis, 1589 or 90-1627, engraver.

CAP. 15.

Of Reputation, and Carriage in generall.

THere is no one thing that setteth a fairer stampe vp∣on Nobilitie then euenesse of Carriage and care of our Reputation, without which our most gracefull gifts are dead and dull, as the Diamond without his foile: for hereupon as one the frontispice of a magnificent Pal∣lace, are fixed the eies of all passengers, and hereby the heigth of our Iudgements (euen our selues) is taken; ac∣cording to that of the wiseman,*By gate, laughter, and apparrell, a man is knowne what he is. Wherefore I call it the crowne of good parts, and loadstone of regard. The principall meanes to preserue it is Temperance and that Moderation of the minde, wherewith as a bridle wee curbe and breake our ranke and vnruly Passions, keeping as the Caspian Sea, our selues euer at one heigth without ebbe or refluxe. And albeit true it is that Galen saith, we are commonly beholden for the disposition of our minds, to the Temperature of our bodies, yet much ly∣eth in our power to keepe that fount from empoisoning, by taking heede to our selues; and as good Cardinall Poole once said, to correct the malignitie of our Starres with a second birth. For certainly vnder grace it is the Page  186 roote of our Reputation and honest Fame; without the which, as one saith, we are dead long before we are buryed..

For Moderation of the minde and affections, which is the Ground of all Honestie, I must giue you that prime receipt the kingly Prophet doth to a yong man, teaching him wherewith to cleanse his way, that is; by keeping, saith he (oh Lord) thy Statutes,* meaning the feare of God in generall, without which (hee euer first striking at the head) our Iudgements are depraued, and left to our selues we are not able to giue any thing his true esteeme and value. Therefore first to be truly Honest is to bee truly Religious, for if the feare of men be a great motiue to keepe our selues within compasse, much more will the Feare of God, recall vs from our lusts and intemperance. Hereby the minde getteth the dominion and vpperhand, wisely gouerning that goodly kingdome Nature hath allotted her. And if it was sometime said of Fabiu, Citiùs Solē è sua sphara diuelli, quam Fabium ab honestate potuisse, how heedfully ought a Christian who carrieth the lan∣terne in his hand, looke to his feete, when an Heathen could goe so directly in the darke, onely by the glimpse of Nature and without stumbling?

Moreouer since the Ciuill end of our life is, v in Ho∣nore cum dignitate vvamus, you shall withall finde good Learning and the Artes to conferre a great helpe and fur∣therance hereunto, being a polisher of inbred rudenesse and our informitie, and a curer of many diseases our minds are subiect vnto: for we learne not to begge to ourselues admiration from other, or boastingly to lay to view so rich and pretious furniture of our minds, but that we may be vsefull to others, but first to our selues; least (as some pretious receipt) while we keepe that in a boxe which can cure another; our selues lie lame and dis∣eased.

The first vse then hereof (I meane your learning) as an Antidote against the Common plague of our times, Page  187 let it confirme and perswade you, that as your vnderstan∣ding is by it ennobled with the richest dowrie in the world, so hereby learne to know your owne worth and value, and in choice of your companions, to entertaine those who are Religious and Learned: for as I said here∣tofore, Conuerse of old was the mother of skill and all vertuous endeauours, so say I now, of all vice and basees if regard be not had. Therefore hold friendship and ac∣quaintance with few, and those I could wish your betters, at the least of your owne ranke, but endeare your selfe to none; gaudbis minùs, minies dolebis. The best Natures I know delight in popularitie, and are pliable to company∣keeping, but many times buy their acquaintance at ouer deare a rate, by being drawne either into base Actions and Places of which they are ashamed for euer after; or to needlesse expence by laying out or lending to impor∣tunate base and shamelesse companions, gaining losse of their monies, time, sorrow and griefe of friends, disre∣pute of the better sort, and lastly contempt of the vilest among the Common vulgar.

Antichus Epiphanes, King of Asia, for his popularity and delight in company,* was sir-named the Mad: and likewise for the same Appius Claudius was depriued of his Office, and fearing beside shame the hatred of the Senate, counterfeiting blindnesse, for euer after kept himselfe at home. We reade also of a certaine King of the Gothes, who making his Souldiers his drinking com∣panions,* was for his free and kind heart at the last drow∣ned by them in a Tub of Ale.

Nor mistake me that I swerue so much on this side, that I would deny a Prince or Gentleman the benefit of discourse and conuerse with the meanest: for Maiestie and greatnesse cannot alwaies stand so bent, but that it must haue the remission and relaxation sometime to des∣cend from the Court to the Cottage, which cannot choose but giue it the better tast and rellish. Adrian the Empe∣rour Page  188 would most curteously conferre with the meanest,* detesting those his high minded Courtiers, who vnder a colour of preseruing his Estate and Honour, enuied him this sweetnesse of humilitie and priuacie.*Vespasian in like manner was woont not onely to salute the chiefe Se∣nators of Rome, but euen priuate men, inuiting them ma∣ny times to dine and suppe with him, himselfe againe go∣ing vnto their houses.*Philopoemen was so curteous and went so plaine, his Hostesse in Megra tooke him for a sruing-man. And certainly this Affabilitie and Curtesie in Greatnesse, draweth our eyes like flowers in the Spring, to behold, and with admiration to loue it where∣soeuer we finde it.

There is no better signe (saith one) in the world of a good and vertuous disposition,* then when a Prince or Gentleman maketh choice of learned and vertuous men for his companions; for presently he is imagined to bee such an one as those to whom he ioyneth himselfe: yea saith Aristotle, it is a kinde of vertuous exercise to bee conuersant with good and vnderstanding men.

Whom then you shall entertaine into the closet of your brest, first sound their Religion; then looke into their Liues and Carriage, how they haue beene reckoned of others. Lastly, to their Qualitie how or wherein they may be vsefull vnto you, whether by aduice and Counsell, direction, helpe in your studies, or seruiceable∣nesse in your exercise and recreations.

There is nothing more miserable them to want the Coun∣sell of a friend, and an admonishr in time of neede:* Which hath beene and is daily the bane of many of our yong Gentlemen, euen to the vtter ruine of themselues and their posteritie for euer.* Who when like Alciates fig∣tree vpon the high and innacessible Rocke, they are out of reach and cannot be come vnto by men who would dresse and preserue them; espied a farre off are onely preyed vpon and haunted by Vultures and Dawes; and Page  189 while one addeth fewell to the fire of his expence, for the which he is like to pay twentie for two, at twentie and one; another sootheth him in play (knowing the best fishing is in troubled waters) another tēdreth him a match of light stuffe: all at once preying for themselues, these greene things of sixteene or eighteene are quite deuou∣red before they were ripe.

Wherefore I must next commend vnto you Frugality,*the Mother of vertues, a vertue which holdeth her owne, layeth out profitably, auoideth idle Expences, Super∣fluity, lauish bestowing or giuing, borrowing, building, and the like: yet when reason requireth can be royally bountifull, a vertue as requisite in a Noble or Gentle∣man, as the care of his whole Estate, and preseruation of his name and posterity; yet as greatly wanting in ma∣ny, as they come short of the reputation and entire E∣states of their forefathers, who account thrift the obiect of the plow or shoppe, too base and vnworthy their con∣suleration, while they impose their faire Estates and most important businesse, vpon a cheating Steward, or craftie Bailiffe, who in few yeares (like the young Cuc∣kow) are ready to deuoure their feeder; and themselues like sleepie Pilots, hauing no eye to the compasse, or sounding their Estates, are runne on ground ere they be aware.

First then assoone as you shall be able, looke into your Estate, labouring not onely to conserue it entire, but to augment it either by a wise forethought, Marriage, or by some other thriftie meanes: and thinke the more yee are laden with abundance, the more neede (like a vine) ye haue neede of props and your soundest friends to ad∣uise you. Neither doe I imagine you will be so rash as to giue no care to good counsell, to your ruine, as Caesar did, when hee refused a booke of a poore scholler, wherein the intended plot against him was discoue∣red.

Page  190Marcus Cao, who was so victorious in warre, so prudent in peace, so eloquent in the oratorie, learned in the lawes, neglected not thereby his estate, but loo∣ked, as Livi saith of him, euen into his husbandry him∣selfe: and Plutarch writeth of Philopoemen,* a great and famous commander, that notwithstanding his great af∣faires and employments, hee would euery morning bee stirring by breake of day, and eyther to dressing of his vines, digging or following his plough: and Cicero to heighthen the Honor of king Diostars reporteth thus of him,*in Deiotaro sunt regia virtutes, quod i Casar, igno∣rare non arbitror, sed pr••cipè singularis & admiran∣da frugalias. And the Romanes had a lawe that hee who could not looke into his owne estate,* and imploy his land to the best, should forfeite the same, and be held for a foole or a mad man all his life after. A∣ristids, albeir he was an excellent man otherwise,* yet herein he was so carelesse that at his death he neither loft portion for his daughters, nor so much as would carry him to the ground, and defray the charge of his fune∣rall.

Be thriftie also in your apparrell and clothing, least you incurre the censure of the most graue and wisest cen∣sor, Cui magna corporis cultus cura, 〈◊〉 magna virtutis intu∣ria: and Henry the fourth, last king of France of eternall memory, would oftentimes merily say, By the outside onely, he could found the depth of a Courtier: saying, Who had least in them made the fairest shew without, inviting respect with gold lace and great feathers, which will not be wonne with toyes. Neyther on the contrary, be so basely parsunonious or frugall, as is written of one of the kings of France, in whose accounts in the Eschequer are yet remaining. Item so much for red Sat∣ten to sleeue the kings old Doublet: Item a halfe∣penny for liquor for his bootes, and so foorth. Or to bee knowne by a hat or doublet tenne or twenty yeares; then Page  191 with some miserable vsurer curse the maker for the slightnesse of his felt or sluffe, murmuring it will not last to see the Reuolution of the First Moouer. But vsing that moderate and middle garbe, which shall rather les∣sen then make you bigger then you are; which hth been, and is yet obserued by our greatest Princes, who in outside goe many times inferiour to their groomes and pages. That glory and champion of Christendome, Charles the fift, would goe (except in times of warre) as plaine as any ordinary gentleman,* commonly in blacke or sadde stuffe, without lace or any other extraordinary cost; onely his Order of the golden Fleece about his necke in a ribband: and was so naturally frugall, not out of parsimonie (being the most bountifull minded Prince that euer liued) that as Guicciardin reporteth of him, if any one of his points had chanced to breake, he would tye it of a knot and make it serue againe. And I haue many times seene his Excellence the Prince of Orange that now is, in the field, in his habite as plaine as any country gentleman, wearing commonly a suite of haire-coloured slight stuffe of silke, a plaine gray cloake and hat, with a greene feather, his hatband onely exceeding rich. And Ambrose Spinla Generall for the Archduke, when he lay in Weasell at the taking of it in, one would haue taken, but for an ordinary merchant in a plaine suite of black. And the plainnes of the Late Duke of Nor∣folke* derogated nothing from his Esteeme. So that you see what a pitifull Ambition it is, to striue to bee first in a fashion, and a poore pride to seeke your esteeme and regard, from wormes, Shells, and Tailors; and buy the gaze of the staring multitude at a thousand, or fifteene hundred pounds, which would apparrell the Duke and his whole rande Consiglio of Venice. But if to do your Prince Honour, at a tilting, employed in embassage, comming in of some great stranger, or you are to giue entertainment to Princes or Noble personages at your Page  192 house, as did Cosmo de Medici,* or haply ye command in the warres, spare not to be braue with the brauest. Phi∣lopoemen caused his souldiours to beespare in Apparrell and Diet (saith Plutarch,)* and to come honourably ar∣med into the field: wherefore hee commanded in gold∣smiths shoppes to breake in peeces pots of gold and sil∣uer, and to be imployed in the siluering of bittes, guil∣ding of Armours, inlaying of Saddles, &c.*For the sump∣tuos cost vpon warlike furniture, doth encourage and make great a noble heart: but inother sights it carryeth away mens minds to a womanish vanitie, and melting the courage of the mind, (as Homer saith it did Achills, when his mother laid new Armes and weapons at his feete.) The Spaniard when he is in the field, is glorious in his cassocke, and af∣fecteth the wearing of the richest iewels; the French huge feathers, Scarlet, and gold lace: the English, his armes rich, and a good sword: the Italians pride is in his Nea∣politan Courser: the Germanes and low Dutch to be daw∣bed with gold and pearle, wherein (say they) there is no losse except they be lost. But herein I giue no prescrip∣on.

I now come to your diet,* wherein be not onely fru∣gall for the sauing of your purse, but moderate in regard of your health, which is empaired by nothing more then excesse in eating and drinking (let me also adde Tobacco taking.) Many dishes breede many diseases, dulleth the mind and vnderstanding, and not onely shorten, but take away life. We reade of Augustus that he was neuer cu∣rious in his dit, but content with ordinary and com∣mon viandes. And Cato the Censor, sayling into Spaine, dranke of no other drinke then the rowers or slaues of his owne galley.* And Timotheus Duke of Athens was wont to say, (whō Plato invited home to him to supper,) they found thēselues neuer distempered. Contrary to our Feastmakers, who suppose the glory of entertainment, and giuing the best welcome to consist in needelesse su∣perfluities Page  193 and profuse waste of the good Creatures,* as Scylla made a banquet that lasted many dayes, where there was such excessiue abundance, that infinite plenty of victualls were throwne into the Riuer, and excellent wine aboue forty yeares old spilt and made no account of; but by surfetting and banquetting,* at last he gat a most miserable disease and dyed full of lice.

And Casar in regard of his Lybian triumph,* at one banquet filled two and twenty thousand roomes with ghests, and gaue to euery Citizen in Rome ten bushels of wheate, and as many pounds of oyle, and besides three hundred pence in mony.

We reade of one Smyndirides, who was so much gi∣uen to feasting, and his ease, that hee saw not the Sunne rising nor setting in twenty yeares; and the Sybarites for∣bad all Smiths and knocking in the streetes, and what thing soeuer that made any noise, to bee within the City walls, that they might eate and sleepe: whereupon they banished cocks out of the city,* and invented the vse of chamberpots, and bad women a yeare before to their feasts, that they might haue leisure enough to make themselues fine and braue with gold and Iewels.

Aboue all,* learne betimes to auoide excessiue drin∣king, then which there is no one vice more common and reigning, and ill beseeming a Gentleman, which if growne to an habit, is hardly left; remembring that hereby you become not fit for any thing, hauing your reason de∣graded, your body distempered, your soule hazarded, your esteeme and reputation abased, while you sit ta∣king your vnwholesome healthes,—vt iam vertigine te∣ctum Ambulet, & geminis exsurgat mensa lucernis.*

—Vntill the house about doth turne,
And on the board two candles seeme to burne.

By the Leuiticall law, who had a glutton or a drun∣kard to their Sonne, they were to bring him before the Elders of the City, and see him stoned to death. And in Page  194Spain at this day they haue a law that the word of him that hath beene convicted of drunkennesse, shall not bee taken in any testimony. Within these fiftie or threescore yeares it was a rare thing with vs in England, to see a Drunken man, our Nation carrying the name of the most sober and temperate of any other in the world.* But since we had to doe in the quarrell of the Netherlands, about the time of Sir Iohn Norrice his first being there, the custome of drinking and pledging healthes was brought ouer into England: wherein let the Dutch bee their owne Iudges, it we equall them not; yea I thinke rather excell them.

Tricongius and the old Romanes had lawes and statutes concerning the Art of drinking,* which it seemes, are re∣uiued, and by our drunkards obserued to an haire. It be∣ing enacted, that he who after his drinks faltered not in his speech, vomited not, nyther reeled, if he dranke off his cups cleanly, seek not his wind in his draughs, spit not, left nothing in the pot, nor spilt any vpon the ground, he had the prize, & was accounted the brauest man. If they were contented herewith, it were well, but they daily inuet new and dam∣nable kinds of carrowing (as that in North-holland and Frizeland (though among the baser sort) of vpsi Moni∣kedam, which is, after you haue drunke out the drinke to your friend or companion, you must breake the glasse full vpon his face, and if you misse, you must drinke a∣gaine,) whence proceede quarrelling,* reiling, and ma∣ny times execrable murthers, as Alexander was slain in his drunkennesse; and Domitius, Nero's father slew Libe∣rius out right, because he would not pledge him a whole carrowse, and hence arise most quarrells among our gal∣lant drunkards: vnto whom if you reade a lecture of sobrietie, and how in former ages their forefathers dranke water, they sweare water is the frogges drinke, and ordained onely for the driuing of milles, and carry∣ing of boates.

Page  195Neither desire I, you should be so abstemious, as not to remember a friend with an hearty draught,* since wine was created to make the heart merry, for what is the life of man if it want wine? Moderately taken it preserueth health, comforteth and disperseth the naturall heate o∣uer all the whole body, allayes cholericke humours, ex∣pelling the same with the sweate, &c. tempereth Me∣lancholly. And as one saith,* hath in it selfe 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, a drawing vertue to procure friendship.

At your meate to be liberall and freely merry, is very healthy and comely, and many times the stranger or guest will take more content in the chearelinesse of your countenance, then in your meate. Augustus the Empe∣rour had alwayes his mirth greater then his feasts. And Suctonius saith of Titus, Vespasians Sonne, he had euer his table furnished with mirth and good company. And the old Lord Treasurer of England, Lord William Burgh∣ley, how emploied soeuer in State affaires, at his table hee would lay all businesse by, and bee heartily mer∣ry.

Charles the Great vsed at his meates to haue some History read, whereof hee would afterwards discourse. And Francis the first, King of France, would commonly dispute of History, Cosmography, Poetry.* His Maiesty our Soueraigne, altogether in points and profound questions of Diuinity. When I was in Virocht, and liued at the ta∣ble of that Honourable Gentleman, Sir Iohn Ogle, Lord Gouernour, whither resorted many great Schollers and Captaines, English, Scottish, French, and Dutch, it had beene enough to haue made a Scholler or Souldier, to haue obserued the seuerall disputations and discourses among many strangers, one while of sundry formes of battailes, sometime of Fortification, of fireworkes, History, Antiquities, Heraldrie, pronunciation of Lan∣guages, &c. that his table seemed many times a little A∣cademic.

Page  196In your discourse be free and affable,* giuing enter∣tainment in a sweete and liberall manner, and with a cheerefull courtesie, seasoning your talke at the table a∣mong graue and serious discourses, with conceipts of wit and pleasant inuention, as ingenious Epigrammes, Emblemes, Anagrammes, merry tales, wittie questions and answers, Mistakings, as a melancholy Gentleman sitting one day at a table, where I was, started vp vpon the suddaine, and meaning to say, I must goe buy a dagger, by transposition of the letters, said: Sir, I must goe dye a begger.

A plaine country man being called at an Assize to bee a witnesse about a piece of land that was in controuersie,* the Iudge calling, said vnto him, Sirrha, how call you that water that runnes on the South-side of this close? My Lord (quoth the fellow) our water comes without calling.

A poore souldier with his musket and rest in Breda, came one day in,* and set him downe at the nether end of the Prince of Orange his table, as he was at dinner (whi∣t••r none might bee priuiledged vnder the degree of a Gentleman at the least to come:) the Gentleman-vsher of the Prince demanded of him, if hee were a Gentle∣man: yes quoth the Souldier, my father was a Gold∣smith of Andwarpe: but what can you doe in your fa∣thers trade, (quoth he) I can set stones in mortar, for he was a bricklaier,* and helped Masons in their workes.

For Epigrammes, Pasquine will afford you the best and quickest I know. You shall haue them all bound in two volumes. I remember hee tells vs once vpon a Sunday morning, Pasquine had a sowle shirt put on, and being as∣ked the cause,*Pasquine made answer, because my Laun∣dresse is become a Countesse.

You shall haue a taste of some of my Anagram such as they are.

    Page  197
  • Vpon the Prince.
  • ô Clarus.
  • Charles Prince of Wales.
  • All Fraunce cries, ô helpe vs.

Of the Queene of Bohemia and Princesse Palatine of the Rhene, my gracious Ladie,

  • Has Artes beata velit.

Being requested by a Noble and Religious Ladie, who was sister to the old Lord, De la Ware, to try what her name would afford, it gaue me this:

  • Entua Iesû.

And vpon the name of a braue and beautifull Ladie, wife to Sr. Robert Mordaunt, sonne and heire to Sr. Le Straunge Mordaunt Knight and Barronet in the Country of Norfolke:

  • Amie Mordaunt.
  • Tumore Dianam.
  • Tumore Dianam.
  • Minerua, domat.
  • Me induat amor.
  • Nuda, ó te miram.
  • Vi tandem amor.

Vpon the name of a faire Gentlewoman this in I∣talian:

  • Ela nuda Diana.

Vpon a sweete and modest young Gentlewoman, Mistris

  • Tuame amaris

Page  198To comfort my selfe liuing in a Towne, where I found not a Scholler to conuerse withall, nor the kindest respect as I thought: I gaue this my Poesie, the same backward and forward


Of M. Doctor Hall Deane of Worcester, this, added to the body of a Glorie, wherein was written Iehouah in Hebrew, resembling the Deitie.

  • All his Hope.

Of a vertuous and faire Gentlewoman at the request of my friend who bar her good will:

  • Barres in Fancy.
  • And this,
  • Theodsia Dixon.
  • O Dea, dixit Honos.

Of my good friend M. Doct. Dowland, in regard hee had slipt many opportunities in aduancing his fortunes, and a rare Lutnist as any of our Nation, beside one of our greatest Masters of Musicke for composing: I gaue him an Embleme with this;

  • Annos Iudendo hausi.

There were at one time in Rome very wittie and vn∣happy libels cast forth vpon the whole Cōsistory of Car∣dinals in the nature of Emblemes. I remember Cardinal Farnesi had for his part a storke deuouring a frogge, with this, Mordeo non mordetes. Bellarmine a Tiger fast chained to a post, in a scroule proceeding from the beasts mouth in Italian: Da mi mia libertà, vederete chi io Sono: that is, giue me my Libertie, you shall see what I am, meaning perhaps he would be no longer, &c. And those were ve∣ry knauish that were throwne vp and downe the Court Page  199 of France, the Escotcheon or Armes of the partie on the one side of a pastboard, and some ingenious deuice on the other; as one had the Armes of the house of di Medici of Florence, on the one side, on the other an inkhorne with the mouth turned downward, with this tart Pasquil: Elle faut d'encre: and so of the whole Court.

Emblemes and Impresa's if ingeniously conceipted, are of daintie deuice and much esteeme. The Inuention of the Italian herein is very singular, neither doe our English wits come much behind them, but rather equall them e∣uery way. The best that I haue seene, haue beene the de∣uises of Titings, whereof many are reserued in the pri∣uate Gallery at White Hall, of Sr. Phillip Sidnie's, the Earle of Cumberland, Sr. Henry Leigh, the late Earle of Essex, with many others, most of which I once collected with intent to publish them, but the charge disswaded me.

But aboue all, in your talke and discourse haue a care euer to speake the truth, remembring there is nothing that can more preiudice your esteeme then to be lauish∣tongued in speaking that which is false, and disgracefully of others in their absence. The Persians and Indians had a law, that whosoeuer had beene thrice conuicted of spea∣king vntruth, should vpon paine of death neuer speake word all his life after. Cato would suffer no man to bee praised or dispraised,* but vsed alwaies such discourse as was profitable to the hearers; for as one saith, Dictria minuum Maiestatem. Iestes and scoffes doe lessen Mai∣stie and greatnesse, and should be farre from great per∣sonages, and men of wisedome.