THE PRAYSE OF the French Pockes.




















































































































































































































































































IT is the complaint of an ancient Writer;

Nulla tam modeſta fœlicitas eſt, que maligni-

tatis dentes vitare poβit: There was neuer

any felicitie, whether moderately ſeaſoned,

or compleat in perfection, ſo happy, that could auoid

the griping teeth of enuy and backbiting. Out of

which naturall in-bred malice, men doe not ſticke to

defame and deſcredit the moſt noble and illuſtrious

diſeaſe of the French Pockes, and to wrong thoſe that

be the worthy ſubiect in whom they reſide: inſo-

much that the very mention of them is ſo noyſome

and offenſiue, and doth ſo much ouercome their ſto-

mackes, as the naming of the things which are the

purgings of the belly, and are within the ward and

bayliweeke of the girdle. Whereas the name of the

Pockes is of ſo reuerend eſtimation, and ſoundeth ſo

pleaſingly in the eares of them that are not paſſio-

nate, that euen Diana her ſelfe whom the Paynims

adored for their Goddeſſe of Chaſtitie and honeſtie,

tooke her name from them; whom the Latines call

Bubones, the French Bubes, and the Spaniſh Buvas; ſo

is ſhee called Bubaſtis. Yea, the famous Starre Bootes,

which guides Charles his waine, admits the ſyllables

into his name, and is called Bubulco. And why then

ſhould men heare on earth think ſkorne of this name,                      ||



which is well brooked by ſtars of the firſt magnitude,

and Goddeſſes of the faireſt beauty? But becauſe De-

riuations doe many times driue words out of faſhion, &

a notation of names is of all the Artificial Arguments

in Logicke one of the weakeſt, leſt, by ſeeking to lift

the Paſty by one end, we marre all; let vs faſten vpon

ſomething more materiall, and from the originall of

the word, come to the beginning of the thing.

       Amongſt thoſe rich treaſures, which Chriſtopher

Columbus brought home into Spaine, after his diſco-

uery of the Indies, one of the chiefeſt was the Pockes;

For in his Fleet (amongſt other fraught) were waſted

ouer certaine Indian women, with whoſe happy con-

uerſation the Caſtilians came home plentifully furni-

ſhed with this holy contagion. Holy I call it, becauſe

the cure of it is that, which they call lignum ſanctum,

or Guaiacum; Holy, for the place where it is healed,

which is the Hoſpitall, called by the French, Maiſon-

Dieu; and holy, becauſe they are great helps to make

them that haue them, Saints. For, whoſoeuer ſhall be-

hold the outward mortification of a pocky compa-

nion, the delicacie of the tone of his voyce; his pale

and meagre face; his wan colour; and his whole bo-

dy broken and diſioynted, that a man may ſhake all

his bones together in his skin; and laſtly, ſhall ſee him

wholy made a very picture and painted table of Re-

pentance; he may ſee ſufficient tokens (at leaſt wiſe)

of apparant holineſſe: for you neuer ſee fat panches,

and plumpt cheekes, and idle fellowes euer admitted

into the ſchoole of repentance; nor into the Stewes

the workehouſe of Courtizans; nor in the Hoſpitall

and Lazer-houſe of the Pock-rotten aduenturers.

     Among the three Capitall enemies which with fire                     ||



and ſword doe aſſaile the ſoule, the greateſt of them,

which is the fleſh, is wholly ſubdued by the Pocks: be-

cauſe by them it is made vnable to exerciſe any vn-

lawfull act. Is there any thing in the world that doth

more open the gates to holineſſe, then to take away

the occaſions of ſinning? and what is there that hath

more efficacie to withdraw a man or a woman from

occaſions of euill, then this holy Leproſie? for if a wo-

man know that a man hath the Pocks, ſhe flyes from

him as a ragged ſheep from a bramble-buſh. Againe,

what greater token of holines can there be in a man,

then to haue a ſenſe and feeling of his ſinnes? Now

who is hee that doth ſuffer greater griefe and paines

for his ſinnes, then he that hath the Pocks? Who are

more franke and more bountifull in gifts then ſuch

men? for a Pock-maſter was neuer accounted a pild

paltry fellow. For as when wee ſee a Black-moore

croſſe the ſtreet, wee ſay, ſpeaking by the contrary,

There goes Iohn Blanco: or when wee ſee a common

woman, we likewiſe ſay; there goes a good one: ſo we

call this holy infection, the peeling diſeaſe, vnderſtan-

ding that ſuch a one will part with his very skinne.

     All other aches and paines haue ſome enemy that

may deſtroy them; or by a bill ut of the Apotheca-

ries ſhop, like a writ of Remoue, they may be diſlod-

ged; but the Pocks haue made their peace with all

drugs and confections. There is not found among all

the Phials and Gally-pots any Simple or Syrop ſo

powerful, that can diſturbe the Pocks out of their poſ-

ſeſſion: whence it is plaine, that it is wrongfully and

abuſiuely called an infirmitie: for the word infirmitie

argueth and importeth want of firmeneſſe; whereas

the Pockes are ſo farre from not being firme, that to                        ||



him that hath once caught them, they continue ſo

firme, ſo ſtable, and ſo well ſetled; that they neuer

forſake him, but accompany him to his graue; and I

thinke, into Purgatory to, becauſe no lenitiues, or pur-

gations, can eyther aſſwage their paine, or driue them

out; ſurely ſo good a thing neuer goes to Hell.

     They that ſet out the worth and greatneſſe of that

excellent Poet Homer, aſcribe it much to his honour,

that hee drew his beginning from many Cities and

Ilands, as Smyrna, Rhodos, Colophon, and the like: how

much greater is the honour of this ſpreading Gan-

gren the Pocks, which deriues his deſcent not from

Ilands and Cities, but from great Kingdomes and

Prouinces. Some call it the Neopolitane diſeaſe, others

the French euill; ſome the ſcab of Spaine, others the In-

dian Sarampion or tetter, and Ring-worme; others that

ſpeake with ſome reuerence & reſpect to theſe Lady-

miſtreſſes, they feare to vſurpe their proper name;

they doe not ſay plainly to a man, You are a Pockie-

Knaue, but rather Vous auez, ſir ye are pepper’d; and

indeed ſuch is the dignitie and greatneſſe of this ma-

lander, that they ſpeake of it, after the ſtile of Kings,

and Dukes, and Grands, in the plurall number. For

whereas we commonly call blaines and ſores in the

ſingular number, the ſcurfe, or the ſcab, or the Winche-

ſter-gooſe, theſe are all ſaluted in the plurall number,

the Pocks, as if they ſhold ſtile themſelues, nos bubones,

& puſtule Gallicane. And well doth this ſtile agree vn-

to them, becauſe they deale royally and nobly with

their attendants: for whereas in Princes Courts, they

that are ſuitors, do not ſee an end of their pretenſions

in many years, & when all comes to all, they ſeldome

reape the fift part of what they ſued for: theſe nobles                       ||



doe ſoone diſpatch all that negotiate with them, or

plead at their barres, wonderfully well prouided for.

     Now let not any man obiect as an inconuenient,

that the Pocks doe peele all thoſe that are of their fra-

ternitie and liuery, and make them as bald as an egge:

for if we conſider it, they doe vnto them therein no

ſmall benefit: For looke what proportion the leaues

beare to the tree, feathers to a bird, the ſame haue the

hayres and the buſh-naturall to a man, that is, they

are giuen both for an ornament and a defence; for a

couering and for comlineſſe.

     And ſeeing that Nature doth doe trees a fauor, in

making them to ſhedde their leaues, and Fowles to

moulter their feathers, that ſo ſhee may dight them

and cloath them yearly with new; ſhe doth not deale

ſo with men, but leaues them to themſelues, to effect

it by their owne induſtry and prouidence, wherunto

when they are diſpoſed to moulter, & to doe off their

perriwigs or perruques, the Pocks in this caſe is Na-

tures agent, which doth maintaine her ſelfe with that

which is moſt delicate in that ſubiect, ſuch as are the

thin locks of the head, the daintineſſe of the eye-lids

and the eye-browes, the venerable beards, & the moſt

valiant muſtaches: for neuer any timerous and white-

liuered cowards haue the Pocks, but the moſt foole-

hardy aduenturers are admitted into this Corpo-


     It is a rule infallible, that men are vſually ſuch as

are thoſe with whom they conuerſe. And who are

they (I pray you) that are moſt hanted with the Pocks

but noble Lords, Caualiers, and men of high paren-

tage? The plow-ſwaine or day-labourer neuer knew

that there was any ſuch thing in the world as the                              ||



Pocks; ſuch is their miſerable ignorance: nor yet the

Porters or Carre-men are greatly troubled with this

luggage in their owne perſons; neither doe they euer

deſcend ſo low as to chare-maids & tankard-bearers.

But you muſt ſeeke for them amongſt the luſty gal-

lants, and gay Ladyes that ruffle it in ſilkes, and out-

ward brauery. And therefore may it pleaſe thee to

be adueriſed, gentle Reader, whoſoeuer thou be

that ſtandeſt vpon complement, that whenſoeuer

thou ſhalt ſalute ſuch a Lady or Caualier in the ſtreet,

by vailing thy bonnet, know, that by that obeyſance

thou doſt homage to two Grandes and great perſo-

nages at once, one to the party principall that is ob-

uious to thy eye, the other to the Pocks which he car-

rieth about him.

     How doth the world dote vpon Aſtrologers and

Stare-gazers, that can foretell and diuine of things to

come, whether they be the writers of the Greeke Me-

nologies and Calenders of the Monthly variation of

dayes; or Prognoſtications of the Changes of the

Moone: or dayes Almanackes for the alteration of

the weather? Whereas there is no Aſtrologer more

weather-wiſe then a Pock-maſter, or whoſe predicti-

ons are more certaine? for, if there be any change of

weather or ſeaſon approching, preſently the intrin-

ſecall accidents that cleaue to his bones and ſinewes,

do giue him a perfect notice of it, in that hee feeleth

any ache in euery commiſſure of his ioynts, and his

bones doe euen rattle in his skinne.

     Adde hereunto, that men thus affected (or infected

rather) haue this great priuiledge aboue other men,

that although they be in vaſſallage, & ſlaues by con-

dition, yet are they obſerued & reſpected as abſolute                       ||



Lords; and are ſerued of euery body, whereas they

ſerue none but God, whom by the Pocks they are

brought to remember. And ſee, I pray you, to what

a Lordlineſſe they are aduanced, in that not onely

their perſons are in a manner ſacred, and may not be

approched but at a certaine diſtance; but whatſoeuer

is about them and belongs to their neceſſary vſe can-

not ſafely be touched of any man, as if they were

ſome holy Reliques: for no man dares to lye in their

bed, or to weare their cloaths, or to drinke in their

cup, or to ſit in their chaires; men willingly with-

drawing themſelues from theſe things, as from veſſels

conſecrated to this great Idoll of the Buboſitie.

     Howbeit, it is not greatly to be maruailed at; that

the Pocks haue attained to ſo high a pitch and prero-

gatiue of excellency, conſidering that the ſame act

and operation, and the ſame inſtruments which Na-

ture imployeth to produce a man, which is the no-

bleſt of her creatures; the ſame are alſo the genera-

ture cauſes of the Pocks; I meane, the great and ho-

nourable Pocks: for thoſe other puſhes and infla-

mations that ariſe in the body, of cold, or from an

ouer-heated and exulcerated liuer, are not properly

Pocks, but Pouts and Pimples. So then, this reaſon

being conſidered, the Pocks may very iuſtly take ſtate

vpon them, and ſtand vpon puntillos of honour, and

out-braue a man to his face, and ſay, that they are

iſſued from as good Parents as hee. And ſurely it

ſeemes no leſſe; for as they that are Nobly borne, the

better to ſhew their greatneſſe and to maintaine their

ſtate, they liue retiredly in the inmoſt and remoteſt

roomes of their houſes: ſo do the Pocks, out of the ſame

rule and reaſon of State, keepe reſidence in the very                        ||



bones and the marrow of him that hath them; which

is the reaſon alſo why for their birth and honourable

ranke, they finde place & entertainment in Loues Court,

into which nothing is admitted, but what ſauoureth

either of greatneſſe or of goodneſſe, as braue, reſolute

and determinate men; gallant and faire women; free

diſcourſe; wanton witty Poems, and plenty of great

Pocks. And laſtly, what greater token can there be of

a Noble Nature, then to ſhew thankfulneſſe to thoſe

that haue ſuffered any thing for their ſakes, or done

ought to procure their good? in which kinde of re-

tribution the Pocks are no way deficient. For where-

as the noſe in the purchaſe of the Pocks doth ſuffer a

kinde of leſion and hurt by the arroſion of its griſtle;

to make it ample amends and ſatisfaction; the Pocks

do make the noſe the trumpet, or horne-pipe of their

owne payſes; whoſe gracefull tone varied Chroma-

tically vpon the muſicks and halfe-notes of ſnuffing

and ſnorting, is much like the vntamed voyce and

braying of Silenus his Hobby-horſe.

     Now if there be any man ſo ill an huſband, that a-

mongſt other things of his owne getting and acquiſi-

tion hath not beene ſo happy, as to become owner of

the Pocks; let him blame himſelfe for an vnthrift, that

hath miſſpent his time; and ſay, that hee is without

them, becauſe they are not within him: or with the

Spaniard, that he wants them, becaue hee is not worthy

of them.


                       Yo no las padezco,

                     Porque no las merezco.


           Carneſtoliendas de Caſtilla. Noche tercera.