or, The MODE, 1661

About the text Dedication Title page and notes Tyrannus Footnotes

Facsimile of Evelyn's own copy of the only published edition,
issued by the Luttrell Society, Oxford, 1951, and edited by J.L.
Nevinson. Evelyn's hand-written alterations have been ignored and
the text is as it was published.

'I never saw another copy of this curious Tract,' wrote James
Bindley on the fly-leaf of Evelyn's own, annotated, copy. He had
purchased the book in an eighteenth-century saleroom following
one of the Evelyn family's periodic clearances of their library.
If it was rare then it is almost non-existent now.

Concerned with contemporary fashion and the English addiction
to French styles, the tract is hardly typical of Evelyn's main
interests. He refers to it in the Diary, 'I ... now presented my
little trifle of Sumptuary Laws intitld Tyrannus,' five years
later noting that the King had taken to 'wearing clothes in 'the
Eastern fashion of Vest ... resolving never to alter it, & to
leave the French mode, which had hitherto obtained to our great
expense & reproch.' He speculated that this might have had
something to do with Tyrannus, 'I do not impute the change which
soone happn'd to this discourse, but it was an identitie, that I
could not but take notice of.'

To a modern reader Tyrannus is probably the most abstruse of
all Evelyn's works. In his opening note 'To Him that Reades'
Evelyn says he had written a series of essays which he had
planned to publish. The volume never appeared but now that the
subject-matter of Tyrannus was 'not unseasonable' he had decided
to issue this piece on its own. Evelyn was clearly modelling
himself on the essayist Michel de Montaigne. Indeed, this
composition not only emulates Montaigne's style but Evelyn freely
borrowed, with varying accuracy, from at least three of
Montaigne's own essays.

Packed with allusions to, and quotes from, works now little-
known, it is almost completely incomprehensible without
considerable annotation. This is precisely its value for it is a
consummate example of an educated seventeenth-century virtuoso
displaying his knowledge and wit in terms which his cronies might
appreciate. In his edition Nevinson noted that Evelyn had almost
certainly taken some of his quotations from the 1553 edition of
de Baif's De re vestiaria but did not appreciate that Evelyn had
almost certainly used Erasmus' Adages as well.

Some of Evelyn's wit remains coherent - the reference to the
'fine silken thing' spied in Westminster Hall is particularly
vivid. The details of changes in fashion are outlined by Nevinson
in his introduction but as the facsimile edition is almost as
rare as the original it is probably worth discussing them in
brief here. Nevinson describes the pantaloon breeches worn by
Edmund Verney at Charles II's coronation as opening to a
circumference of 1.37 metres (4ft 6in) at each knee and being
trimmed with 228 metres (250 yards) of ribbon. This gives some
idea of what the 'fine silken thing' might have looked like. It
was worn with a doublet, edged with short skirts. By 1666 a more
tightly fitting brocaded long vest, which Evelyn (but no one
else) called 'Persian', had become popular and replaced the

The central point at issue was the belief that an individual
style of dress was an essential part of national identity and
confidence. The feeling that copying French fashion was wrong was
enhanced by the customary hostility towards France, enhanced by
fears of Catholicism. Incomprehensibly naive though this may seem
there was a genuine fear that any French influence might lead to
an encroachment on England. There was a certain amount of
insecurity about France, a feeling satirised by Evelyn in A
Character of England two years before. By recommending a national
style Evelyn was dealing in a practical way with what he had
perceived as a boorish indifference to common courtesy and style,
but had seen giving way initially to French influence filling the
vacuum after the Restoration. Some moves towards a legislative
restriction on imported goods were made in Parliament in 1667 but
never reached fruition.

Although Evelyn never issued his second edition - indeed he may
never have given it much thought; the jottings on his copy might
have been the product of an idle weekend - he did return to the
subject after 1685. In that year his eldest daughter Mary died.
She had composed all or part of a burlesque on contemporary
manners called Mundus Muliebris. This contained various
references to fashion and Evelyn decided to publish it in 1690
with a preface by himself.

The Text
Fortunately Evelyn's copy eventually found its way to the
Bodleian Library in Oxford. It was appended to some early
editions of the Diary but in 1951 it was reproduced in facsimile
form by J.L. Nevinson for the Luttrell Society. Rebinding had
resulted in the cropping of pages so that some of Evelyn's notes
are no longer legible. However, the text is complete and it is
this which is reproduced here. Evelyn's annotations were intended
for a second edition which never appeared so they have been set
aside for this version. It has not been possible to provide
references for all of Evelyn's allusions and sources but those
given show the extensive range of material drawn on for the


To Him that Reades.

If that be true which Demosthenes1 said, that Constancy is the
summe of all perfection, and that what is really good springs
from integrall causes; all that aspire to this Vertue should
embrace whatever may contribute to it. I have in this gentle
Satyr prepared you something to smile, something to frown at; if
the Ballance fall even I am satisfyed. Shall I tell you
ingenuously? I have sometime (for Relaxation Sake) indulg'd
myself the liberty of a Prævaricator, and amongst other
impertinencies, to passe away the time, collected certain Essayes
together, of which I once intended a Volume. This, amongst the
rest, lay upmost; and if I now put it into your hands, 'tis
because I think it not unseasonable. I will not reproch the
French for their fruitful invention, or any thing that is
commendable, but 'tis well known, who those Gavaches2 are, which
would impose upon all the World beside; and I have frequently
wonder'd that a Nation so well conceited of themselves as I take
our Country-men to be, should so generally submit to the Mode of
another, of whom they speake with so little kindnesse. That the
Monsieurs have univerally gotten the Ascendant over other parts
of Europe, is imputable to their late Conquests; but that only
their greatest vanity should domineer over this Us, speaks us
strangely tame. For my own part, though I love the French well
(and have many reasons for it) yet I would be glad to pay my
respects in any thing rather than my Clothes, because I conceive
it so great a diminution to our Native Country, and to the
discretion of it. His Majesty speaks French, not so much to
gratify the Nation, as because he has Title to it: For though
Lewis the XIIII. be the French King, CHARLES the II. is King of
France; and I shall not despair to see the day when he shall give
his Vassalls there the Edict for their Apparel, and not suffer
his Subjects here to receive the Law from them. If this give
offence, I can commute, and upon some other occasion say as much
to their advantage: in the interim, my pardon will be my zeal and
my loyalty; but if you think it wiser to need none, then to ask
it, I embrace the sentence, but beg time to practise it;
especially when I presume thus upon your patience, who professe
my self to be so much

Your humble Servant



Or the
M O D E:

Nec affectatæ sordes, nec exquisitæ munditiæ.
Jerome, Epistulae XXII.29

L O N D O N,

Printed for G. Bedel, and T. Collins, at the
Middle Temple Gate, and J. Crook at the
Ship in St. Pauls Church-yard. 1661.

Note on the title-page quotation: J.L. Nevinson stated that the
quotation, unattributed by Evelyn, came from Cicero's De
Officiis, but did not offer an exact reference. Its sentiment is
certainly reflected in De Officiis I.30 (see the Loeb, p.132),
munditia est non odiosa neque exquisita nimis, tantum quae fugiat
agrestem et inhumanam neglegentiam,
translated by Walter Miller
as 'not too punctilious or exquisite, but just enough to avoid
boorish and ill-bred slovenliness'.

The actual Latin phrase which E uses appears in Jerome, Letter
to Eustochium XXII.29 (see the Loeb, p. 120) where in complete
form it reads Nec affectatae sordes nec exquisitae munditiae
conveniunt Christianis
, 'neither affected tattiness nor
extravagant dress suit a Christian.' E had used these letters for
his opening epistle to The Golden Book of St John Chrysostom (see
above) though the phrase may have appeared quoted elsewhere.

In E's projected second edition of Tyrannus the quotation was
to be transferred to the end of the tract, and replaced on the
title page with a quotation from Gratius Falsicus' Cynægeticon
which draws attention to the fleeting nature of styles and how
people, having accustomed themselves to one fashion, are liable
to have nothing to do with it at the drop of a hat:

______________ sed lubricus errat
Mos, et ab expertis festinant usibus omnes.


Or the
M O D E:

'Twas a witty expression of Malvezzi3; i vestimenti negli Animali
sono molto sicuri segni della loro natura, negli Huomini del lor
Garments (sayes he) in animals are infallible signes of
their nature; in Men, of their Understanding. Though I would not
judge of the Monk by the Hood he wears; or celebrate the humour
of Julian's4 Court, where the Philosophic-Mantle made all his
Officers appear like so many Conjurors; 'tis worth the observing
yet, that the People of Rome left off the Toga, an Antient and
Noble Garment, with their power, and that the Vicissitude of
their Habite, was little better than a Presage of that of their
Fortune. For the Military Saga differencing them little from
their Slaves, was no small indication of the declining of their
Courage, which shortly follow'd. And I am of opinion that when
once we shall see the Venetian Senat quit the gravity of their
Vests, the State it self will not long subsist, without some
considerable alteration.

'Tis not a triviall Remark (which I have some where met with)
that when a Nation is able to impose and give laws to the habit
of another (as the late Tartars in China) it has (like that of
Language) prov'd a Fore-runner of the spreading of their
Conquests there; because, as it has something of Magisterial; so
it gives them a boldnesse, and an Assurance, which easily
introduces them without being taken notice of for Strangers where
they come; so as by degrees they insinuate themselves into all
those Places where the Mode is taken up, and so much in credit. I
am of Opinion, that the Swisse had not been now a Nation, but for
the keeping to their prodigious Breeches; and as it was
Politickly dissembl'd of Francis the First5, to flatter this
blunt People with the Toy, which for a while he wore, and the
Ladies afterward made their Pin-cushions of; so was it again as
wise to abandon that Brutish Shape, for a Habit more convenient
and Decent.

Nor do I impute it so much to the Levity in that Protean
Nation, to Metamorphose themselves so oft', as many are Prone to
censure; because it is plainly their Interest, and they thrive by
it; besides the pleasure of seeing all the World follow them, and
to be fond of it.

Believe it, La Mode de France, is one of the best Returnes
which they make, and feeds as many bellies, as it clothes Backs;
or else we should not hear of such Armies, and Swarmes of them,
as this one City alone maintains, who hang in the Ears, embrace
the Necks and elegant Wasts of our fair Ladies, in the likeness
of Pendants, Collers, Fans and Peticoats, and the rest of those
pretty impediments, without which Heaven and Earth could not

It may be thought, I confesse, some mark of Verticity6 that
these things are alwayes in fluctuation; but is ast constant as
the Tide, and no more a fault then in the Moon; especially, since
(like hers) the change is profitable, and a Characteristic of
their fertil Genius, which is to be busie, Mercurial, and
Universal, and like good Prismes, both to multiply and change the
Species to a degree so taking, and so gainfull.

But, be it thus excusable in the French to alter, and impose
the Mode on others, for the reasons deduc'd; 'tis no less a
weakness, and a shame in the rest of the World, who have no
Dependency on them, to admit them, at least to that degree of
Levity as to turn into all their shapes without discrimination;
so as when the freak takes our Mounsieurs to appear like so many
Farces or Jack-Puddings7 on the Stage, all the World should
alter shape, and play the Pantomim's with them.

Methinks a French Taylor with his Ell8 in his hand, looks like
the enchantress Circes over the Companions of Ulysses, and
changes them into as many formes: One while we are made so loose
in our clothes, as if we had alwayes need of the Close-stool,9
and by and by, appear like so many Malefactors sew'd up in sacks,
as of old they were wont to treat a Parricide, with a Dog, an
Ape, and a Serpent:10 Now must our Breeches do homage to the
Roses of our Shoes, and be the next Term so short, as if we had
all been Ambassadors to the King of Ammon.

Dimidiasque Nates Gallica palla tegit.
Now we are all twist, and the long Pedo has been taken at
distance for a pair of Tongs; and anon all Buttock. One Gallant
go's so pinch'd in the Wast, as if he were prepar'd for the
Question of the Fiery-plate in Turky; and another's so loose in
the middle, as if he would turn Insect, or drop in two; now the
shorter Wast and Skirts in Pye-crust11 is the Mode; then the
Wide-hose, or (which is more shamefull) like Nero's Lacernata
Amica, the Man in Coats again; Monstrum geminum, de viro
fœmina, mox de fœmina vir.
So as one that should judge by the
appearance, would take us all to be of Kin to the fellow that
begs without Armes, or some great Mens Fools. Me thinks we should
make water sitting, and since we deny our Sex, learn to handle
the distaffe too; Hercules did so when he courted Omphale, and
those who sacrific'd to Ceres put on the petty-coat with much
confidence; For a Man cannot say now, as when Lucian scoff'd at
Cinicus, Quid tu tandem barbam quidem habes et comam, tunicam
non habes?
On the Reverse, All Men now wear coats, and no Beards.12
O Prodigious Folly!

Fœdius hoc aliquid quandoque audebis amictu.
And I am even astonish'd at the scandal of it.
What shall I then say of this madness! or what rather shall I
not say? Uterque habitus mutandi malus, alter adversus naturam,
alter contra salutem,
the one of them is so much against Nature,
the other against Health: both Præposterous, both in extreams; so
as what Seneca spake of Silk in his dayes, may with equal
reason be apply'd to these clothes of ours, if Clothes it be
lawfull to name them, in quibus nihil est quo defendi aut corpus,
aut pudor possit,
since there is in them neither covering for our
bodies, nor for our shame?

It was a fine silken thing which I spied walking th'other day
through Westminster-Hall, that had as much Ribbon on him as would
have plundered six shops, and set up twenty Country Pedlers; all
his body was dres't like a May-pole, or a Tom-a Bedlam's13 Cap. A
Fregat newly rigg'd kept not half such a clatter in a storme,
as this Puppets Streamers did when the Wind was in his Shroud's;
the Motion was Wonderfull to behold, and the Colours were Red,
Orange, and Blew, of well gum'd Sattin, which argu'd a happy
fancy: but so was our Gallant overcharg'd, Indutumne an onustum
hominem, habere vestem, an bajulare,
that whether he were clad
with this garment, or (as a Porter) only carried it, was not to
be resolv'd.

I do assure you that I knew a French Woman (who is famous for
Her Dexterity and invention) protest, that the English did so
torment Her for the Mode, still doubting that She brought them
not over the newest edition of it, that She us'd monethly to
devise us new Fancies of her own Head, which were never worn in
France, to pacifie her Customers. But this was in the days of Old
Noll, that signal Vertumnus, when the State it self was as
seldome above the age of a Moon without a new face, as the Ladies
her faithful Devota's. But I have done with Instances; and whilst
I seem to reprove this excess in Men, am so far from disobliging
the bright Sex, that it is from hence (Fair Ladies) may justly be
deriv'd, the esteem which I make of your discretion in this
point, because, what you now wear is so decent, and so becoming:
Nor am I of so Morose and so particular a humour, that, with
Seleucus, I would allow of no Ornaments, or significant
changes; for my part, I love Variety, and when I declaim against
the ascititious and unnatural, I am Advocate for what is
gracefull and put on with reason: But there is a mediocrity in
all things, and though Garments be Superficials, and extrinsecal
to us, they are yet of such notable presage that if (as Solomon)
a Wise Man may be known by his gate, a Fantastick may be no less
by his garb and Apparel.

There is a certain honestas in observatione decori, which if
men could once light on, would be of Infinite more Reputation to
us than this slavish defference of ours to other Nations; and
when his Majesty shall fix a standard at Court, there will need
no Sumptuary Lawes to represse and reforme the Lux which Men so
much condemn in our Apparrel.

Mountaine tells us, that at the Death of King Francis, one
years mourning for him in Cloth, made Silk to be so despis'd that
had any Man appear'd in it for a long time after, he was taken
for a Pedant or a Mountebank: __ ne vestis serica viros

Doubtless would the great Persons of England but owne their
Nation, and assert themselves as they ought to do, by making
choice of some Virile and comely Fashion, which should incline to
neither extream, and be constant to it, 'twould prove of infinite
more reputation to us then now that there is nothing fixt, and
the Liberty so exorbitant.

We deride the Spainiard for his odd shape, not for his
Constancy to it: Let it be considered that those who seldom
change the Mode of their Country, have as seldom alter'd their
affections to the Prince: Laws are in credit as they are Antient;
and the very alteration of Elements, Weather and Dyet, are full
of Perill; 'tis that renders us Weak, Old, Sick, and at last
destroyes us: So as 'twas not without advice that the Lawes of
Plato did descend to the care even of habits in that his perfect
Idea, allowing it only to Curtesans and Comedians to vary
Dresses, since 'twas but a kind of Hippocrisie to be every day in
a new Shape and Mascarad.

Quomodo præcepta Dei custodietis (sayes Tertullian) lineamenta
corporis non custodientes?
How can we expect that men should
keep the Commandments of God, or of the King, that preserve not
the Lineaments of their Bodies? Thus he to the Gallants of his
time; and though he do's somewhere as ingeniously apologize for
the Pallium (which the proselytes had then newly reassum'd) by
instances deduc'd from the common Vicissitudes of Nature and of
the World, yet he proves its Antiquity from the Old Lydians,
and Noble Pelasgi, and from the Decency and Simplicity of the
Garb; so as what was then said by way of Sarcasme to the new
Christians, a Toga ad pallium, may now (with more just reproch)
be applied to the old, ab Equis ad Asinos.

For my part I professe that I delight in a cheerfull Gaiety,
affect and Cultivate Variety: The Universe it self were not
beautifull to me without it, but, as that is in constant and
Uniforme Succession in the natural, where Men do not disturb it;
so would I have it also in the Artificial.

If the Kings of Mexico chang'd four times a day, it was but
an upper Vest, which they were us'd to honour some Meritorious
Servant with. Let Men change their Habits as oft as they please,
so the change be for the better. I would have a Summer Habit and
a Winter; for the Spring, and for the Autumne. Something I would
indulge to Youth, something to Age, and Humour, Sed quænam illac
avis est, quae huc cum tunicis advenit?
What have we to do
with these Forreign Butterflies? In Gods name let the change be
our Own, not borrow'd of others; for why should I dance after a
Monsieur's Flajolet only, that have a set of English Viols for
my Consort? We need no French inventions, or for the Stage, or
for the Back; we have better Materials for clothes; They, better
Taylors. Strange! that Men should come to value themselves from a
sort of Wretches, of which Nine go but to the making of one Man.
I hope to see the day when all this shall be reform'd, and when
all the World shall receive the Standard from our most
Illustrious Prince, and from his Grandees, and make Prognosticks
even from those little Accidents and all that is extrinsical to
them, that there is a glorious, a steady, and a Wise Director
within, and that it shall be as presumptuous for any forreign
Nation to impose upon our Court, as it is indeed, ridiculous it
should, and its greatest diminution.

Lampridius tells us that Alexander14 was in this point so nice,
that he would have all his Subjects distinguish'd by their Habit;
ne servi ingenuis miscerentur. How many times have I saluted
the fine Man for the Master, and stood with my hat off to the gay
Feather, when I found the Bird to be all this while but a Daw?
arripitur persona, manet res;15 A Lyons Skin will not cover an
Asses Ears.

Servants had always among the Romans a peculiar Habit, till the
Common-Wealth grew dissolute, sayes Tacitus: And for my
particular, I am so great a Friend to this order, that I could be
contented all degrees of Men whatever, had some Badge to
distinguish them by. Thus, all Mechanicks should be known by
their Cognizance, all Gown-Men, and all the Military. How would
this conduce to publick Frugality, Peace, Humility! and, if to
any Emulation, to that only of exceeding one another in Vertue
and Obedience: For it is Prodigious only to consider the
impolitick Wast which this promiscuous Bravery draws along with
it: That no lesse then two Millions of Treasure (as I am
inform'd) has in so short a time been lost in Gold and Silver
Lace; and that to feed this sole exorbitance, the Goldsmiths
should give so considerable a rate for Bullion above the Mint, to
imploy it in this trifling Fabric, which is plainly consum'd,
worn out, and never returnes again, so as in a few Years to
endanger an Universal Penurie.

Let us suppose that the finest Cloth of Wooll, and which may be
made thin, light, and glossie for Summer; Thick, and more
substantial for the Winter, and inferiour to no covering under
Heaven, were more in use and esteem: Or, that there were a
general prohibition, that persons beneath such a degree, should
wear either Silk, foreign Stuffs, or Cloth, with a reasonable
Tassa impos'd by the Magistrate upon the price of our own
manifacture amongst us; How would this bring down the rates of
those exotick impertinences, how many thousand hands imploy! how
glorious be to our Prince, when he should behold all his Subjects
clad with the Production of his own Country, and the People
Universally inrich'd, whilst the Species that we now consume in
Lace, or export for forreign Silkes, and more unserviceable
Stuffs, would by this means be all sav'd, and the whole Nation
knit as one to the heart of their Soveraign, as to a Provident
and Indulgent Father! If Riches, and Plenty, with the Love and
prosperity of a People, be the glory of a Prince, and the Nerves
of a State: if all other considerations be noyse and empty
shadows ministring only to Lux, and the Vanity of a few Young
insignificant Triflers, whose brains are as Transparent as their
Clothes; what are those Arts which a Prince should cultivate, but
by exorcising these Apparitions and Fantosme's of a Court and
Country, to procure the establishment of what is Material and
most perfective of those solid blessings. With what facility this
is effected, our illustrous CHARLES will one day shew his
contemporary Monarchs, by provision of such Sumptuary and other
wholsome Lawes for the Publick, and making such a Collection of
Vertuous persons to dispense them, that as his Court shall become
the universal Idea for the rest of the Princes to reform by, so
shall his People and the whole Nation become the envy of the
World for their felicity.

Were I the Censor for regulation of this excess, I should
recommend the Best and most commodious Habit; and Calculate for
the several Meridians and Degrees of the Wearer. There may be
much said (I confess) concerning custom, and opinion, which
render all things supportable; but we in this Nation can plead
neither of these for our Fantastical and often changes: the very
frequency of altering the Mode, contradicts the Custome of being
addicted to One, and so we are constant, only by being
inconstant, which is allowable in the weaker, becomes not the
Viriler Sex; 'twas yet not ill observ'd of Sr. Philip Sidney16
that Ladies, though they were Naturally affraid of a Sword, were
yet soonest in love with the men of Iron, whose shape is the most
unalterable of all the Metals, and the noblest emblem of

Behold we one of our Silken Camelions and aery Gallants
making his addresses to his Mistress, and you would sometimes
think yourself in the country of the Amazons, for it is not
possible to say which is the more woman of the two Coated
Sardanapaulus's.17 But how may we remedy this? shall we descend
to some particulars?

I would choose the loose Riding Coat, which is now the Mode,
and the Hose which his Majesty often wears; or some fashion not
so pinching as to need a Shooing-horn with the Dons, nor so
exorbitant as the Pantaloons, which are a kind of Hermaphrodite
and of neither Sex: and if at any time I fancy'd them wider, or
more open at the knees for the Summer, it should be with a
mediocrity, and not to set in plaits as if I were supported with
a pair of Ionic pillars, or the gatherings of my Grannams18 loose
Gown. I would neither have my Dublet or my Skirts so short as if
I were one of Sir John Mandivils Dobys19, whose eyes and mouthes
are in their shoulders and breasts; nor again so long, as to act
Francatripe in the Farce20. I would not conceal the shape of a
goodly leg under a Hoop and Canopy, because some bow-legg'd
Monsieur would disguise his deformity to the reproch of Nature.
Are our Knees, like Esops Pots, affraid of meeting, because of
the same frail Metal? I am neither fond of the round Shoe, nor of
the long, but for that which best fits my foot, and is most
easie; and had rather have my Last21. a little too wide, then to
make it a Case for my Almanack, which I will sooner wear in my
pocket then in my shoes. Slender feet are for the Queens of
China, and for those who delight to be awak'd by the Corn-cutter.
I like the Noble Buskin for the Legs, and the Boucle better than
the formal Rose; and had rather see a glittering stone to hasp it
there, than the long cross hilted knots now worn; because 'tis
more glorious, and like that Manucodiata22 which Queen Elizabeth
tyed there at an Audience of a Moscovite Embassadour (who had
stuck one in his Hat), shews a kind of contempt of Riches.

The Wisest and most Healthy of the Antients went continually
bare-headed; so Massinissa, Cæsar, so Hannibal us'd to go; But
when I must be cover'd, I infinitely prefer the Buchingamo or
Montero lately reform'd, before any other whatever, because it
is most manly, useful and steady. I have heard say that when a
Turk would execrate one that displeases him, he wishes him as
unstable as a Christians Hat; and in effect 'tis observ'd that no
man can so plant it on another mans head but the Owner do's
immediately alter it, nor is it ever certain: All that can be
reply'd in its behalf, is, that it Shades the Face: but so would
a Tuft of Feathers in the Montero, which is light and serviceable
when the sun is hot; and at other times Ornamental.

I would neither have my Band so Voluminous as a Frokins
Nightraile, nor yet so strait and scanty as a Negro's coller;
in Short, I wish any thing might supply it that were not made of
Hemp: and for that piece of Wainscot which supports it about our
necks, if it be too high, the man looks as if he were impall'd;
if too low, as if the Dublet were borrow'd; at least I wish that
part were defended with something less rigid than Past-bord; and
if the Cravet did still succeed it, there would be no misse of
the other. To cover all with two words: I like the Stately and
easy Vest within Doors, and the Cloak without.

In summe, I affect whatever is comely, and of use, and to that
I would be constant, choosing nothing that should be Capricious,
nothing that were singular, and therefore have made this
Collection out of all; for seeing we are oblig'd to none, we
injure none, and since there is so much variety, our choice is
the Freer. Mode is a Tyrant, and we may cast of his Government
without impeachment to our Loyalty: But if we will rather expect
(and which I most Approve of) the injunction of our Superiours
for this Regulation also, we shall do wisely, and best avoid the
censure. Those who follow'd the great Alexander indeed held their
necks awry, because he most inclin'd it to one side; and when
his Father Philip23 wore a fillet about his forehead for a wound
which he had receiv'd, all the Court came abroad with the like
till the cure was compleat: But we have a Prince whose shape is
elegant and perfect to admiration; so as I know not whither there
was ever upon the Throne, a Personage who had lesse need of Art
to render him more graceful, and whose Mine24 makes all things to
become him, and therefore certainly (of all the Princes of
Europe) the most fit to give the Standard now to the Mode we next
expect, and that not only to his own Nation, but to all the World

F I N I S.


1. Demosthenes (c. 384-322 BC), Athenian orator and statesman.
The anecdote is recounted by Montaigne in his essay Of the
Inconstancie of our Actions (II.1). This is likely to be where E
found it. It comes from Demosthenes' oration On the fallen at
Chaeronea later referred to by Horace in his Epistles I.1.98-9.
2. E presumably means 'gavage', a force-feeder (OED).
3. Virgilio, Marquis of Malvezzi (1599-1654), Spanish
statesman and writer on Tacitus. E possessed his Opere Historiche
e Politiche in an edition published c.1650 and bound for him (Lot
961, various press-marks).
4. The imperial court of the Roman emperor Julian II, the
Apostate (360-3).
5. Francis I (1515-47) of France.
6. A tendency to turn (OED).
7. A buffoon or clown (OED).
8. Measuring-rod (OED).
9. Chamber-pot in a box or stool (OED).
10. Referred to in Juvenal, Satires VIII.214. Juvenal omits
the dog but the official Roman law including all three is
mentioned in Justinian's Digest XLVIII.9.9.
11. 'Pye' is an obsolete word for coat: the phrase effectively
means 'outer garment'.
12. II Samuel X.4 'Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and
shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their
garments in the middle, even to their buttocks and sent them
13. Mentally-backward person or lunatic of a type associated
with the Hospital of St. Mary, Bethlehem in London. See, for
example, John Aubrey's Life of Sir Thomas More, 'It happened one
time that a Tom of Bedlam came up to him, and had a Mind to have
throwne him from the battlements ...' (ed. O.L. Dick, 1958, 213).
14. Presumably Seleucus Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's
generals. The reference (from Diodorus Siculus, Historia XII)
comes from Montaigne's essay on sumptuary laws.
15. Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, III.58, correctly et eripitur
persona, manet res 'the mask ripped off, the reality remains'
though the meaning is not affected. Montaigne quotes Lucretius
twice only, including this line (Essay I.19, see Screech, p. 87).
16. Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86), soldier, statesman and poet
(DNB). The observation does not occur in Sidney's poetical works.
17. Luxuriously effeminate (OED).
18. Grandmother. Both E's natural grandmothers died before he
was born so he is probably referring to Mrs Jane Newton (1575-
1650), his maternal step-grandmother with whom he spent most of
his childhood despite her remarriage following his grandfather's
death. She had presumably continued to wear Elizabethan dress.
19. This is a dhobi, or Indian washerman, described by Sir
John Mandeville (d. 1372) who compiled a travelogue of journeys
in the Middle East and India (OED and DNB).
20. E could be referring to a performance which he had seen in
Paris between 1646 and 1651. But the first post-Restoration
report of a foreign company playing in London is by Pepys for 30
August 1661 (around the time E will have been composing this
tract) , when he saw a French farce which he thought 'ill done'
(see the Latham and Matthews edition for that date). There is no
indication that E saw them at this time though he will surely
have heard about them; the character may or may not have been in
their repertoire. On 16 December 1661 E did watch a 'French
comedy', nine days after presenting this tract to the King (de
Beer, III, 306).
21. Foot-shaped tool on which a shoe is made up.
22. Bird-of-paradise plume. Note that Waldstein inter alia
observed a bird of paradise in Elizabeth I's bedroom at Windsor
in 1603 (The Diary of Baron Waldstein, ed., by G.W. Groos,
London, 1981, 141 and note).
23. Philip II of Macedon (ruled 359-336 BC). The anecdote is
24. Mien, bearing or manner (OED).
25. E's hand-written note at the end: 'Note that this was
publish'd 2 years before the Vest, Cravatt, Gartar & bouckles
came to be the fashion, & therfor might haply give occasion to
the change tht ensued in those very particulars.' See also K. 18
October 1666
(de Beer, III, 465).

Modified for HTML by Anthony Sallis April 05, 1999

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