Short Stories
All Titles

In Association with Amazon.com

Home > Authors Index > Browse all available works of John Earle > Text of Alderman

An essay by John Earle

An Alderman

Title:     An Alderman
Author: John Earle [More Titles by Earle]

He is venerable in his gown, more in his beard, wherewith he sets not forth so much his own, as the face of a city. You must look on him as one of the town gates, and consider him not as a body, but a corporation. His eminency above others hath made him a man of worship, for he had never been preferred, but that he was worth thousands. He over-sees the commonwealth, as his shop, and it is an argument of his policy, that he has thriven by his craft. He is a rigorous magistrate in his ward; yet his scale of justice is suspected, lest it be like the balances in his warehouse. A ponderous man he is, and substantial, for his weight is commonly extraordinary, and in his preferment nothing rises so much as his belly. His head is of no great depth, yet well furnished; and when it is in conjunction with his brethren, may bring forth a city apophthegm, or some such sage matter. He is one that will not hastily run into error, for he treads with great deliberation, and his judgment consists much in his pace. His discourse is commonly the annals of his mayoralty, and what good government there was in the days of his gold chain, though the door posts were the only things that suffered reformation. He seems most sincerely religious, especially on solemn days; for he comes often to church to make a shew, [and is a part of the quire hangings.] He is the highest stair of his profession, and an example to his trade, what in time they may come to. He makes very much of his authority, but more of his sattin doublet, which, though of good years, bears its age very well, and looks fresh every Sunday: but his scarlet gown is a monument, and lasts from generation to generation.

[The end]
John Earle's essay: Alderman