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Of Winter Post by :packrat Category :Essays Author :Thomas Dekker Date :October 2011 Read :2479

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Of Winter

Winter, the sworne enemie to summer, the friend to none but colliers and woodmongers: the frostbitten churl that hangs his nose still over the fire: the dog that bites fruits, and the devil that cuts down trees, the unconscionable binder up of vintners' faggots, and the only consumer of burnt sack and sugar: This cousin to Death, father to sickness, and brother to old age, shall not show his hoary bald-pate in this climate of ours (according to our usual computation) upon the twelfth day of December, at the first entering of the sun into the first minute of the sign Capricorn, when the said Sun shall be at his greatest south declination from the equinoctial line, and so forth, with much more such stuff than any mere Englishman can understand--no, my countrymen, never beat the bush so long to find out Winter, where he lies, like a beggar shivering with cold, but take these from me as certain and most infallible rules, know when Winter plums are ripe and ready to be gathered.

When Charity blows her nails and is ready to starve, yet not so much as a watchman will lend her a flap of his frieze gown to keep her warm: when tradesmen shut up shops, by reason their frozen-hearted creditors go about to nip them with beggary: when the price of sea-coal riseth, and the price of men's labour falleth: when every chimney casts out smoke, but scarce any door opens to cast so much as a maribone to a dog to gnaw; when beasts die for want of fodder in the field, and men are ready to famish for want of food in the city; when the first word that a wench speaks at your coming into the room in a morning is, "Prithee send for some faggots," and the best comfort a sawyer beats you withal is to say, "What will you give me?"; when gluttons blow their pottage to cool them; and Prentices blow their nails to heat them; and lastly when the Thames is covered over with ice and men's hearts caked over and crusted with cruelty: Then mayest thou or any man be bold to swear it is winter.


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Thomas Dekker's essay: Of Winter

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