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A Poor Fiddler Post by :BILLY Category :Essays Author :John Earle Date :September 2011 Read :4265

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A Poor Fiddler

Is a man and a fiddle out of case, and he in worse case than his fiddle. One that rubs two sticks together (as the Indians strike fire), and rubs a poor living out of it; partly from this, and partly from your charity, which is more in the hearing than giving him, for he sells nothing dearer than to be gone. He is just so many strings above a beggar, though he have but two; and yet he begs too, only not in the downright 'for God's sake,' but with a shrugging 'God bless you,' and his face is more pined than the blind man's. Hunger is the greatest pain he takes, except a broken head sometimes, and the labouring John Dory.(1) Otherwise his life is so many fits of mirth, and tis some mirth to see him. A good feast shall draw him five miles by the nose, and you shall track him again by the scent. His other pilgrimages are fairs and good houses, where his devotion is great to the Christmas; and no man loves good times better. He is in league with the tapsters for the worshipful of the inn, whom, he torments next morning with his art, and has their names more perfect than their men. A new song is better to him than a new jacket, especially if bawdy, which he calls merry; and hates naturally the puritan, as an enemy to this mirth. A country wedding and Whitson-ale are the two main places he domineers in, where he goes for a musician, and overlooks the bag-pipe. The rest of him is drunk, and in the stocks.


(1) Probably the name of some difficult tune.

(The end)
John Earle's essay: Poor Fiddler

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