Ajax - AN ANATOMY OF THE METAMORPHO-SED AJAX.

AN ANATOMY OF THE METAMORPHO-SED AJAX.

WHEREIN BY A

Tripartite Method, is plainly, openly, and demon-
stratively declared, explained, and eliquidated,
by Pen, Plot, and Precept, how unsavoury
Places may be made sweet, noisome
Places made wholesome, filthy
Places made cleanly.

PUBLISHED FOR
THE COMMON BENEFIT OF BUILDERS, HOUSEKEEPERS,
AND HOUSEOWNERS.

BY T. C.

TRAVELLER, APPRENTICE IN POETRY, PRACTISER IN MUSIC,
PROFESSOR OF PAINTING;
THE MOTHER, DAUGHTER, AND HANDMAID OF ALL MUSES,
ARTS, AND SCIENCES.

Invide quid mordes? Pictoribus atque Poetis,
Quidlibet audendi semper fuit aequa potestas.
<1 >

At London:

IMPRINTED BY RICHARD FIELD,
DWELLING IN THE BLACKFRIARS.

1596.


 

TO M. E. S. ESQUIRE.

SIR, My master having expressly commanded me to finish a strange discourse that he had written to you, called the Metamorphosis of AJAX, by setting certain pictures thereto; there came unto my mind a tale I had heard, perhaps more merry than mannerly, how a plain or rather pleasant servingman, waiting on his master at the Pope's court, happened to be present one day when the gentleman, after long attendance and great means, had obtained the favour to kiss his Holiness' foot. The man seeing what his master did, first stole out of the chamber, and then ran out of the house hiding himself for a pretty space: the gentleman hearing of it, pitied his man's simplicity (who perhaps was crafty knave enough for all that), and asked why he went away? Alas! sir, said he, when I saw that a man of your worth and worship, in so public a place, might kiss but his toe, I doubted they would have made me have kissed him in some homelier place; and so I might have been shamed for ever.

If that servingman had cause to run out of the house, methinks I may seem to have more reason to run out of my wits, to have so strange a task appointed me: for when the very face and head, or title of the book, seemed so foul and unsavoury, what might I think the feet or tail thereof were like to prove? Wherefore, I would gladly have shunned so base an office; but having my master's example, joined to his commandment, I took heart to me: and first, I read over the discourse, to see what was promised therein on my behalf (viz. certain pictures). But I assure you, in the reading of it, whether it were the well-handling of the matter, or my partial opinion (a fault that I am seldom charged withal), my mind was altered; and I compared the homely title of it unto an illfavoured vizor, such as I have or footpad, seen in stage plays, when they dance Machachinas, which covers as sweet a face sometimes as any is in the company.<2> And even presently therewithal, as if I had been inspired with the spirit of AJAX, methought I durst have adventured with my pen and pencil upon any thing. For as the saying is,

Painters and poets, claim by old enrolment,
A charter, to dare all, without controlment.

Wherefore, by the privilege of this charter (as also by a patent I have of serving two apprenticeships), I will go somewhat beyond the bare words of my commission, and yet not swerve much from the charge that is laid upon me. For, sir, I would you knew it, though I never troubled the schools at Oxford with any disputes or degrees, yet I carried there a good scholar's books after him; and I trust I got some quaint phrases among them; as namely, instead of praying the cobbler to set two patches on my shoes, I could have said, Set me two semicircles upon my suppeditals: with much other eloquence beyond the common intelligence. And yet, notwithstanding all these great vaunts, I will not take upon me, that I am able to say so much of the Metamorphosis,the etymology, and the reformation of Don AJAX' house, as my master hath said; or to defend the words, illustrate the matter, and dilate of the form, as he hath done; for who can stand against such an army of emperors, kings, magistrates, prophets, poets, all-hallows, and all profanes, even from the Bible to the Bable, as are by him brought for enobling of his arguments? Yet for anatomizing as it were of the shape and body thereof, because he hath handled that point (in M. Plat's opinion) <3> somewhat too briefly for common understandings, I must here a little better open it: for, as the old saying is, bonum quo communius eo melius<4">4>, and the old verse is,

Scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter
Goodness is best, when it is common shown:
Knowledge were vain, if knowledge were not known.

<5> Wherefore now, seriously and in good sadness, to instruct you and all gentlemen of worship, how to reform all unsavoury places of your houses, whether they be caused by privies or sinks, or such like (for the annoyance coming all of like causes, the remedies need not be much unlike), this shall you do.

<6>"In the privy that annoys you, first cause a cistern, containing a barrel or upward, to be placed either behind the seat, or in any place in either in the room or above it, from whence the water may, by a small pipe of lead of an inch, be conveyed under the seat in the hinder part thereof (but quite out of sight); to which pipe you must have a cock or a washer, to yield water with some pretty strength when you would let it in.

<7> "Next make a vessel of an oval form, as broad at the bottom as at the tap; two feet deep, one foot broad, sixteen inches long; place this very close to your seat, like the pot of a close-stool; let the oval incline to the right hand.

<8>"This vessel may be brick, stone, or lead; but whatsoever it is, it should have a current of three inches to the back part of it (where a sluice of brass must stand); the bottom and sides all smooth, and drest with pitch, rosin, and wax; which will keep it from tainting with the urine.<9>

<10>"In the lowest part of this vessel, which will be on the right hand, you must fasten the sluice or washer of brass, with solder or cement; the concavity or hollow thereof, must be two inches and a half.

<11>"To the washer's stopple must be a stem of iron, as big as a curtain rod; strong, and even, and perpendicular, with a strong screw at the tap of it; to which you must have a hollow key with a worm fit to that screw.

<12>"This screw must, when the sluice is down, appear through the plank not above a straw's breadth on the right hand; and being duly placed, it will stand about three or four inches wide of the midst of the back of your seat.

<13>"Item, That children and busy folk disorder it not, or open the sluice with putting in their hands without a key, you should have a little button or scallop shell, to bind it down with a vice pin, so as without the key it will not be opened.

"These things thus placed, all about your vessel and elsewhere, must be passing close plastered with good lime and hair, that no air come up from the vault, <14> but only at your sluice, which stands close stopped; and ever it must be left, after it is voided, half a foot deep in clean water.

"If water be plenty, the oftener it is used and opened, the sweeter; but if it be scant, once a day is enough, for a need, though twenty persons should use it.

"If the water will not run to your cistern, you may with a force of twenty shillings, and a pipe of eighteen pence the yard, force it from the lowest part of your house to the the highest. <15>

But now behold the Anatomy. This is Don AJAX' house of the new fashion, all in sunder; that a workman may see what he hath to do.

{Illustration 5 The parts of AJAX}

Here are the parts set down, with a rate of the prices; that a builder may guess what he hath to pay.

 

 

s.

d.

A. the cistern; stone or brick. Price

6

8

b, d, e the pipe that comes from the cistern, with a stopple to the washer.

3

6

c a waste pipe

1

0

f, g the stem of the great stopple, with a key to it

1

6

h the form of the upper brim of the vessel or stoolpot

 

 

m the stoolpot, of stone

8

0

n the great brass sluice, to which is three inches current to send it down a gallop into the Jax<16>

10

0

i the seat, with a peak devant for elbowroom.

 

 

The whole charge thirty shillings and eight pence: yet a mason of my master's was offered thirty pounds for the like. Memorandum. The scale is about half an inch to a foot.


 

Here is the same, all put together; that the workman may see if it be well.

{Illustration 6 The whole of AJAX}

A the cistern.

b the little washer.

c the waste pipe.

D the seat board.

e the pipe that comes from the cistern.

f the screw.

g the scallop shell, to cover it when it is shut down.

H the stool pot.

i the stopple.

k the current.

1 the sluice.

m, N the vault into which it falls: always remember that the chamberlain at noon and at night empty it, and leave it half a foot deep in fair water.

And this being well done, and orderly kept, your worst privy may be as sweet as your best chamber.

But to conclude all this in a few words, it is but a standing close-stool easily emptied. And by the like reason (other forms and proportions observed) all other places of your house may be kept sweet.

Your worships' to command.
T. C.
Traveller.

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