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Moryson was a student of Peter House, Cambridge, towards the end of the 16th century. In the year 1589, when he was twenty-three years old, he was appointed one of the travelling fellows. He seems to have spent nearly two years in pursuing such studies as would qualify him the better to travel, and in visiting his friends; and in May, 1591, he left England ; in the same month, 1595, he returned to his native country, This journey had given him a strong desire again to visit foreign countries, and, especially, Jerusalem and Constantinople. We shall introduce him to our readers at this time.
“ Being of this mind when I returned into England, it happened that my brother Henry was then beginning that voyage, having to that purpose put out some four hundred pounds, to be repaid twelve hundred pounds, upon his return from those two cities, and to lose it if he died in the journey. I say, he had thus put out the most part of his small estate, which, in England, is no better with gentlemen's younger sons, nor so good as with bastards in other places, as well for the English law most unmeasurably favouring elder brothers, as (let me boldly say it) for the ignorant pride of fathers, whọ to advance their eldest sons, drive the rest to desperate courses, and make them unable to live, or to spend any money in getting understanding and experience, so as they being in wants, and yet more miserable by their gentry and plentiful education, must needs rush into all vices ; for all wise men confess, that nothing is more contrary to goodness than poverty. My brother being partner with other gentlemen in this fortune, thought this putting out of money to be an honest means of gaining, at least, the charges of his journey, and the rather, because it had not then been in England, that any man had gone this long journey by land, nor any like it, excepting only Master John Wrath, whom I name for honour, and more especially he thought this gain most honest and just; if this journey were compared with other base adventures for gain, which, long before this time, and were then in use. And I confess, that his resolution did not, at the first sight, dislike me. For I remembered, that this manner of gain had of old been in use among the inhabitants of the Low Countries, and sea coasts of Germany, (and so it is yet in use with them.) I remembered, that no mean Lords, and Lords' sons, and gentlemen in our court, had, in like sort, put out money upon a horserace, or speedy course of a horse, under themselves, yea, upon a journey on foot. I considered, that those kinds of gaining only required strength of body, whereas, this and the like required also vigour of mind, yea, that they often weakened the body, but this, and the like, always bettered the mind. I pass over infinite examples of the former customs, and will only add, that Earls, Lords, gentlemen, and all sorts of men, have used, time out of mind, to put out money to be repaid, with advantage, upon the birth of their next child, which kind of gain can no way be compared with the adventures of long journies; yea, I will boldly say, it is a base gain, where a man is hired to that dalliance with his wife, and to kill a man, so he may get a boy, as if he were to be encouraged to a game of Olympus.”
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He, however, changed his mind, “observing," he says, " that these kind of adventures were grown very frequent, whereof some were indecent, some ridiculous, and that they were, in great part, undertaken by bankerouts, and men of base condition.” He, therefore, only gave 1001. to receive 3001. at his return among his brethren and friends; and 1001. to five friends, on condition they should have it if he died, or, after three years, should give him 1501. if he returned. By the great expenses of this journey, however, his brother's death, and his own sickness, the 3501, he received, on his return, and the 1001. he and his brother carried with them, did not defray what they spent, which amounted to 5001. From this journey he returned, in July 1597. In the summer of 1598, he travelled through part of England, Scotland, and Ireland. In 1600, he went to this last country, as secretary to Lord Mountjoy, who was appointed Lord Deputy, by Queen Elizabeth. Of the person, apparel, diet, manners, &c. of his patron, he gives a very particular account, of which the following are specimens, and extracts :-“When his parents wished to have his picture drawn, in his childhood, he desired, that it might be with a trowel in his hand, and this motto, ad re-edificandum antiquam domum :" the family estate having been much reduced by his father's obstinate addiction to the study and practice of alchemy."
« His apparel, in court or cities, was commonly of white or black taffeties, or satins, and he wore two, yea, sometimes three pair of silk stockings, with black silk grogram cloaks, guarded, and ruffs of comely depth and thickness, (never wearing any falling band,) black beaver hat, with plain black band, a taffety quilted waistcoat, in summer, a scarlet waistcoat, and, sometimes, both in winter. But, in the country, and especially keeping the field, in Ireland, (yea, sometimes, in the cities) he wore jerkins and round hose, (for he never wore other fashion than round) with laced panes, of russet cloth, and cloak of the same cloth, lined with velvet, aud white beaver hạt, with plain bands; and, besides his ordinary stockings of silk, he wore, under boots, another pair of woollen, or worsted, with a pair of high linen boot hose, yea, three waistcoats, in cold weather, and a thick ruff, besides a russet scarf about his neck, thrice folded, under it.” (Part II. p. 46.)
Before he went to Ireland, his usual breakfast was panada and broth, but, during the war, he contented himself with a dry crust of bread, and, in the spring time, with butter and sage, with a cup of stale beer, and sometimes, in winter, sugar and nutmegs mixed with it. At dinner and supper, he had the choicest and most nourishing meats, and the best wines. He took tobacco abundantly; and to this practice our author ascribes his good health, while among the bogs of Ireland, and the relief of the violent head-aches which regularly attacked him, like an ague, for
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many years, every three months. “He delighted in study, in gardens, an house richly furnished, and delectable for rooms of retreat, in riding on a pad, to take the air, in playing at showl-board, or at cards, in reading play-books, for recreation, and especially in fishing and fish-ponds, seldom using any other exercise, and using these rightly as pastimes, only for a short and convenient time, and with great variety of change from one to the other." His chief delight was in the study of divinity, and more especially in reading the Fathers and Schoolmen : some chapters of the Bible were each nigbt read to him, and he never omitted prayers at morning and night. We imagine a Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, at the beginning of the 19th century, bears very little resemblance, in any respect, to the portraiture drawn of the one at the beginning of the 17th century. In 1603, Lord Mountjoy returned to England along with the famous Tyrone : James I. created him Earl of Devonshire, but he did not long enjoy this dignity, dying in the year 1606. In 1613, our author was again induced to visit Ireland, by the entreaty of his brother, Sir Richard Moryson, Vice President of Munster ; but it does not appear how long he remained there. Of the particulars of his future life, or of the time and circumstances of his death, we have no information. ,
In the address to the reader, after giving a short account of the nature and contents of his book, he adds, that he wrote it swiftly, yet slowly: "Swiftly, in that my pen was ready and nothing curious, as may appear by the matter and style: slowly, in respect to the long time past since I viewed these dominions, and since I took the work in hand. So as that the work may not, unfitly, be compared to a nosegay of flowers, hastily snatched in many gardens, and with much leisure, and yet carelessly and negligently bound together. The snatching is excused by the haste necessary to travellers, desiring to see much in short time. And the negligent binding, in true judgment, needs no excuse, being like rich embroidery laid upon a frieze jerkin.” He uses, as an excuse for the delay in publishing his work, his connexions with Lord Mountjoy; and his intention to annex to it a history of the several countries he had visited. This intention, however, after three years' labour, he abandoned, not wishing, to use his own words, “ to make his gate bigger than his city,” which would have been the case, had he published these histories along with his travels, “in the bulk to which he found them to swell.",
“ And for the rest of the years, I wrote at leisure, giving (like a free and unbired workman) much time to pleasure, to necessary affairs, and to divers and long distractions. If you consider this, and, withal, remember, that the work is first written in Latin, then translated into English, and that in divers copies, no man being able, in the first copy, to put so large a work in good fashion : and if you will please, also, to take knowledge from me, that, to save expenses, I wrote the greatest part with my own hand, and almost all the rest with the slow pen of my servant, then I hope the loss of time shall not be imputed unto me. Again, for the work in general, I profess not to write it for any curious wits, who can endure nothing but extractions and quintessences ; nor yet to great statesmen, of whose reading, I confess, it is unworthy; but only unto the inexperienced, who still desire to view foreign kingdoms, and these may, the rather, by this direction, make better use of what they see, hear, and read, than myself did. If active men never read it, I shall wish them no less good suçcess in their affairs. If contemplative men shall read it, at leisure, making choice of the subjects fitting their humours, by the table of contents, and casting away the book when they are weary of reading, perhaps they may find some delight; only, in case of distaste, I pray them remember, to and for whom it was written. To conclude, if you be as well affected to me, as I am to you, howsoever I deserve no thanks, no doubt I shall be free from blame."
The volume consists of three parts: the first part is occupied with his travels; the second with an account of the wars against Tyrone, in Ireland ; and the third, with discourses on the use and profit of travelling; precepts for travellers; opinions of old writers ; proverbs that he observed in foreign parts ; fit means to travel; sepulchres, monuments, and buildings in general; and the geographical description, situation, fertility, traffic, diet, and apparel of Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Italy, Turkey, France, England, Scotland, and Ireland, the countries through which he travelled. To the third book there are added chapters on the governments of Germany, Bohemia, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, their revenues, army, navy, courts of law, &c.; and these topics, as well as that of religion, arts, sciences, manners, language, literature, &c., he seems to have intended to treat of, as relating to the other countries, but this, he informs us, was not as yet fully finished. The first part, which relates to his travels, is chiefly occupied with a description of the places he visited, which description, whenever they presented antiquities, as in the case of Rome, Florence, Constantinople, and Jerusalem, is very full and circumstantial : as these cities are little altered, in these respects, and are better known from the accounts of modern travellers, we shall merely glean from this part such particulars as may be interesting to our readers. We shall omit all notice of the wars, in Ireland, which occupy the second part; our principal and longest extracts shall be from the third part.
We cannot read three pages before we meet with a decided
proof of a fact, to which we have already alluded : that London, two centuries ago, followed the improvements of the continental cities. At Hamburgh, he thinks it worthy of remark, that water is brought into the city, by means of pipes; and, at Lubeck, he notices the same circumstance, adding, "itís the more notable, because it was the first of that kind, which since hath been dispersed to London, and other places.” Contrast London at present, with any of the continental cities, her supply of water, her gas-lights, her sewers, her footpaths, her M'Adamized streets; whereas, in none of them has much been done, for convenience or comfort, since our author visited them. Even in the beginning of the 17th century, English beer seems to have been highly prized on the continent; for our author, after mentioning the beer of Targ, which, he says, is much esteemed through al Misen, whereof they sell such quantity abroad, as ten water mills, besides wind mills, scarcely serve the town for this parpose ; and informing us, that there were 300 brewers at Delf, adds, that the beer of the latter place, for the goodness, is called Delf's English : “but, howsoever they had brewers and the very water out of England, they could never make their beer so much esteemed as the English, which, indeed, is much bettered by the carriage over sea to these parts." His description of the Elector's stables, at Dresden, we shall extract.
“The Elector's stable is by much the fairest that ever I saw, which I will briefly describe. In the first court there is a horse-bath, into which they may bring as much or little water as, they list;' and it hath 22 pillars, in each whereof, divers arms of the Duke are graven, according to the divers families whose arms he gives. The same court serves for a tilting-yard, and all exercises of horsemanship; and there is also the horse-leach's shop, so well furnished, as if it belonged to a rich apothecary. The building of the stable is four square, but the side towards the Duke's palace is all taken up with two gates, and a little court yard, which takes up half this side, and round about the same are little cupboards peculiar to the horsemen, in which they dispose all the furniture fit for riding. The other three sides of the quadrangle contained some 136 choice and rare horses, having only two other gates leading into the city's market-place, opposite to those gates towards the court. These horses are all of foreign countries, for there is another stable for Dutch horses, and among these chief horses, one named Michael Schatz (that is, Michael the Treasure) was said to be of wonderful swiftness; before each horse's nose was a glass window, with a curtain of green cloth, to be drawn at pleasure; each horse was covered with a red mantle, the rack was of iron, the manger of copper ; at the buttock of each horse was à pillar of wood which had a brazen shield, where, by the turning of a pipe, he was watered; and in this pillar was a cupboard to lay up the horse's comb and like necessaries; and above the back of each horse hung his bridle and saddle, so as the horses might, as it were, in a moment be