Excerpt from “The Praise and Vertue of a Jayle and Jaylers”
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Source: From “The Praise and Vertue of a Jayle and Jaylers.” All the Workes of Iohn Taylor The Water Poet. London, 1630. STC 23725. Sigs. 2M1v-2M2r. Print. Single-volume facscimile rpt. of 4 vols. London: Scolar, 1973. 2.-35. Print. In this section of the poem, Taylor lists and describes all the prisons of London. Our copy text is the photofacsimile of the Cambridge copy of STC 23725. We have collated it against the Huntington Library copy available on EEBO.
[Sig. 2M1v] In London and within a mile, I weene,
There are of Iayles or Priſons full eighteene,
And ſixty Whipping-poſts, and Stocks and Cages,
Where ſin with ſhame and ſorrow hath due wages.
For though the a Tower be a Caſtle Royall,
Yet ther’s a Priſon in’t for men diſloyall:
Though for defence a Campe may there be fitted,
Yet for offence, men thither are committed.
It is a houſe of fame, and there is in’t
A Palace for a Prince, a Royall Mint, (Bowes,
b Great Ordnance, Powder, Shot, Match, Bils and
Shafts, ſwords, pikes, lãces, ſhouels, mattocks, crows,
Bright armor, muskers, ready ſtill, I say,
To arme one hundred thouſand in a day.
And laſt, it is a priſon vnto thoſe
That doe their Soueraigne or his lawes oppoſe.
c The Gatehouſe for a priſon was ordain’d,
When in this land the third king Edward reign’d:
Good lodging roomes, and diet it affoords,
But I had rather lye at home on boords.
Since Richards reigne the firſt, d the Fleet hath beene
A Priſon, as vpon records is ſeene:
For lodgings and for bowling, there’s large ſpace,
But yet I haue no ſtomacke to the place.
e Old Newgate I perceiue a theeuiſh den,
But yet ther’s lodging for good honeſt men.
When ſecond Henry here the Scepter ſwaid,
Then the foundation of that gate was laid.
But ſixty ſix yeeres ere our Sauiours birth,
By Lud was f Ludgate founded from the earth;
No Iayle for theeues, though ſome perhaps as bad,
That breake in policie, may there be had.
The g Counter in the Powltry is ſo old,
That it in Hiſtory is not enrold.
And h Woodſtreet Counters age we may deriue,
Since Anno fifteene hundred fifty fiue.
[Sig. 2M2r] For me the one’s too old, and one’s too new,
And as they bake, a Gods name let them brew.
a Bridewell vnto my memory comes next;
Where idleneſſe and lechery is vext:
This is a royall houſe, of ſtate and port, (Court.
Which the eighth King Henry built, and there kept
King Edward ſomewhat ere his timeleſſe fall,
Gaue it away to be an Hoſpitall:
Which vſe the City puts it well vnto,
And many pious deeds they there doe doo:
But yet for Vagabonds and Runnagates,
For Whores, and idle knaues, and ſuchlike mates,
’Tis little better than a Iayle to thoſe, (blowes.
Where they chop chalke, for meat and drinke and
In this houſe thoſe that ’gainſt their wils doe dwell,
Loue well a Bride (perhaps) but not Bridewell.
b Fiue Iayles or Priſons are in Southwarke plac’d,
The Counter (once S.Margrets Church defac’d)
The Marſhaſsea, the Kings Bench, and White Lyon,
Where ſome like Tantalvs, or like Ixion,
The pinching paine of hunger daily feele,
Turn’d vp and downe with fickle fortunes wheele:
And ſome doe willingly make there abode,
Becauſe they cannot liue ſo well abroad. (be,
Then ther’s the Clinke, where handſome lodgings
And much good may it doe them all, for me.
Croſſe but the Thames vnto S. Katherins then,
There is another c hole or den for men.
Another in d Eaſt-Smithfield little better,
Will ſerue to hold a theefe or paltry debter.
e Then neere three Cranes a Iayle for Hereticks,
For Brownists, Familists, and Schiſmaticks.
f Lord Wentworths Iayle within White Chappell ſtands,
And Finsbury, God bleſſe me from their hands.
- EEBO-TCP (Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership). [The Text Creation Partnership offers searchable diplomatic transcriptions of many EEBO items.] Web.
- STC. Abbreviation for A Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland and of English books Printed Abroad, 1475–1640. Comp. by A.W. Pollard and G.R. Redgrave. 2nd. ed. rev. and enl. 3 vols. Begun by W.A. Jackson and F.S. Ferguson; completed by Katharine F. Pantzer. London: Bibliographical Society, 1976–1991. Print.
The Praise and Vertue of a Jayle and Jaylers.All the Workes of Iohn Taylor The Water Poet. London, 1630. STC 23725. Sigs. 2M1v–2M2r. Print. Single-volume facscimile rpt. of 4 vols. London: Scolar, 1973. 2.–35. Print.
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