The Tract of Fitz-Stephens.13

The Tract of Fitz-Stephens.

Demeanour, their good Apparel, their Table, and their Discourse. *

*Or, for their Table Talk.

Of their Chastity, and the Matrons.

The Matrons of the City may be parallell'd with the Sabine Women.

Of their Schools.

In London three famous Schools are kept at three principal Churches, St. Paul's, the Holy Trinity, and St. Martin's; which they retain by Privilege and ancient Dignity: Yet, for the most part, by Favour of some Persons, or some Teachers, who are known and famed for their Philosophy, there are other Schools there upon Good Will and Sufferance. Upon the Holidays, the Masters with their Scholars celebrate Assemblies at the festival Churches. The Scholars dispute there, for Exercise Sake: Some use Demonstrations, others topical and probable Arguments; some practise Enthimems, others do better use perfect Sylogisms; some exercise themselves in Dispute for Ostentation, which is practised among such as strive together forVictory; others dispute for Truth, which is the Grace of Perfection. The Sophisters, which are Dissemblers, turn Verbalists, and are magnified when they overflow in Speech and abundance of Words; some also are entrapped with deceitful Arguments. Sometime certain Orators, with rhetorical Orations, speak handsomely to persuade, being careful to observe the Precepts of Art, who omit no Matter contingent. The Boys of divers Schools wrangle together in verifying, or canvase the Principles of Grammar, or dispute the Rules of the preterperfect and future Tenses. Some there are that in Epigrams, Rhimes, and Verses, use that trivial Way of Abuse. These do freely quip their Fellows, suppressing their Names, with a Fescennine and railing Liberty: These cast out most abusive Jests: and with Socratical witty Expressions, they touch the Vices of their Fellows, or perhaps of their Superiors, or fall upon them with a satyrical Bitterness, and with bolder Reproaches than is fit. The Hearers prepared for Laughter, make themselves merry in the mean Time.

How the Affairs of the City are disposed.

The several Craftsmen, the several Sellers of Wares, and Workmen for Hire, all are distinguished every Morning by themselves, in their Places as well as Trades. Besides, there is in London upon the River's Bank a publick Place of Cookery, among the Wines to be sold in the Ships, and in the Wine Cellars. There every Day ye may call for any Dish of Meat, roast, fryed, or sodden; Fish both small and great; ordinary Flesh for the poorer Sort, and more dainty for the Rich, as Venison and Fowl. If Friends come upon a sudden, wearied with Travel, to a Citizen's House, and they be loth to wait for curious Preparations and Dressings of fresh Meat; le the Servants give them Water to wash, and Bread to stay their Stomach, and in the mean Time, they run to the Water Side, where all Things that can be desired are at Hand, Whatsoever Multitude of Soldiers, or other Stangers, enter into the City at any Hour of the Day or Night, or else are about to depart; they may turn in, bate here, and refresh themselves to their Content, and so avoid long fasting, and not go away without their Dinner. If any desire to fit their dainty Tooth, they take a Goose; they need not to long for the Fowl of Africa, no, nor the rare Godwit of Iönia. This is the publick Cookery, and very convenient for the State of a City, and belongs to it. Hence it is, we read in Plato's Gorgias, that next to the Physician's Art is the Trade of Cooks, the Image and Flattery of the fourth Part of a City.

Of Smethfield.

Without one of the Gates is a certain Field, plain [or smooth] both in Name and Situation. Every Friday, except some greater Festival come in the Way, there is a brave Sight of gallant Horses to be sold: Many come out of the City to buy or look on, to wit, Earls, Barons, Knights, Citizens, all resorting thither. It is a pleasant Sight there to behold the Nags, well fleshed, slick and shining, delightfully walking, and their Feet on either Side up and down together by turns; or else trotting Horses, which are more convenient for Men that bear Arms; these, although they set a little harder, go away readily, and lift up and set down together the contrary Feet on either Side. Here are also young Colts of a good Breed, that have not been well accustomed to the Bridle; these fling about, and by mounting bravely, shew their Mettle. Here are principal Horses, strong and well limbed. Here also are Brest Horses, * [fit to be joined by Couples,] very fair and handsome, and sleek about the Ears, carrying their Necks aloft, being well flesh'd, and round about the Buttocks.

Smethfield. as it were Smoothfield.

*Perhaps Race Horses.

The Buyers at first look at their soft and slow Pace, and after cause them to put on with more Speed, and behold them in their Gallop. When these Coursers are ready to run their Race, and perhaps some others, which in their Kind are both good for Carriage, and strong for Travel*: The People give a Shout, and the common Hackneys are commanded to go aside. They that ride are Boys; three together, and sometimes two, make Matches among themselves, being expert in governing their Horses, which they rule with Curb Bridles, labouring by all Means that one get not the Race from the other. And the very Beasts, in like Manner, after their Fashion, are eager for the Race, while their Joints tremble, and impatient of Delay, endure not standing still in a Place. When the Token is given, they stretch out their Limbs, and run with all Activity and Speed; the Riders spurring them on, for the Love of Praise, or Hope of Victory; exciting them with Whips and Cries. You would think every thing were in Motion with Heraclitus; and Zeno's Opinion to be false, saying, that nothing moves from Place to Place. In another Part stand the Country People with Cattle, and Commodities of the Field, large Swine, and Kine with their Udders strutting out, fair Bodied Oxen, and the woolly Flock. There are also Cart Horses, fit for the Dray, or the Plough, or the Chariot: And some Mares big with Foal; together with others that have their wanton Colts following them close at their Side.


Concerning the Shipping and Merchandize.

To this City Merchants bring in Wares by Ships from every Nation under Heaven. The Arabian send his Gold, the Sabean his Frankincense and Spices, the Scythian Arms; Oyl of Palms from the plentiful Wood: Babylon her fat Soil, and Nylus his precious Stones: The Seres send Purple Garments; they of Norway and Russia, Trouts, Furs, and Sables; and the French their Wines.

Its Antiquity and Government.

According to the Report of Chronicles, it is more ancient than the City of Rome: For both