Gervase Markham

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Gervase (or Jervis) Markham (c. 1568 – 3 February 1637) was an English poet and writer. He was best known for his work The English Huswife, Containing the Inward and Outward Virtues Which Ought to Be in a Complete Woman, first published at London in 1615.


  • Now for the inward qualities of the minde; albeit some writers reduce them to twelve heads, which indeed whosoever enjoyeth, cannot chuse but be very compleat in much perfection, yet I must draw them into many more branches. The first, and most especial whereof is, that a skilful angler ought to be a general scoller, and seen in all the Liberal Sciences, as a Grammarian to know how either to write or discourse of his art in true and fitting terms, either without affectation or rudeness. He should have sweetness of speech, to perswade and entice others to delight in an exercise so much laudable. He should have strength of arguments to defend and maintain his profession, against envy or slander.
    He should have knowledge in the Sun, Moon, and Stars, that by their aspects he may guesse the seasonableness or unseasonableness of the weather, the breeding of storms, and from what coasts the winds are ever delivered. He should be a good knower of countries, and well used to High-wayes, that by taking the readiest paths to every Lake, Brook and River, his Journies may be more certain and less wearisome. He should have knowledge in proportions of all sorts, whether Circular, Square, or Diametrical, that when he shall be questioned of his diurnal progresses, he may give a Geographical description of the angles and channels of Rivers, how they fall from their heads, and what compasses they fetch in their several windings. He must also have the perfect art of numbring, that in the sounding of Lakes or Rivers, he may know how many foot or inches each severally containeth; and by adding, subtracting or multiplying the same, he may yield the reason of every River's swift or slow current. He should not be unskilful in Musick, that whensoever either melancholy, heaviness of his thoughts, or the perturbations of his own fancies, stirreth up sadness in him, he may remove the same with some godly Hymn or Anthem, of which David gives him ample examples.