Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/124

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86
THE ELIZABETHAN PEOPLE

don they filch themselves privily; but how? Not in the heart of the city will they presume at first dash to hang out their rat banners, but in the skirts and outshifts steal out a sign over a cobbler's stall, like aqua-vitae sellers and stocking menders.

"Many poor people they win to believe in them, who have not a barreled herring or a piece of poor John that looks ill on it, but they will bring the water he was steeped in unto them in an urinal, and crave their judgment whether he be rotten, or merchant and chapmanable or no. The bruit of their cumming thus travelling from ale-house to ale-house, at last is transported into the great hilts of one or other country serving-man's sword to some good tavern or ordinary; where it is no sooner arrived than it is greedily snatched up by some dapper Monsieur Diego, who lives by telling news, and false dice, and it may be hath a pretty insight into the cards also, together with a little skill in his Jacob's staff, and his compass: being able at all times to discover a new passage to Virginia.

"This needy gallant with the qualities aforesaid, straight trudgeth to some nobleman's to dinner, and there enlargeth the rumour of this new physician, comments upon every glass and viol that he hath, railed on our Galenists and calls