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-as he went forth into the unknown world to fight and conquer. Full of hope, health, and youth, what could mortal wish for more? And yet Marlowe was hoping for much more. With boundless ambition he was—who can doubt it ?—seeking Fame if not Fortune, deeming all things possible for him who seeks. Seventeen years old! More money in his pocket than he had ever had before, and life all before him. Happy youth!
Kit would certainly have had company, and not unlikely one or more fellow-scholars from the King's School. If he rode the whole way to London he would have paid about three shillings or so for the use of his steed, but it is more than probable that he only rode as far as Gravesend, and then, according to the usual custom, would take the ferry on to complete what in those days was a long and arduous undertaking. Gravesend would probably be the termination of the young traveller's second day's journey, the first night from Canterbury having been spent in one of the many towns or villages on the way.
Good accommodation was obtainable at many of the numerous inns which Gravesend contained. Fynes Moryson, the famous traveller, passing through the. town not long after Marlowe would have visited it, says, with respect to foreigners landing there, •The World affoords not such Innes as England hath, either for good and cheape entertainment after the Guests owne pleasure, or for humble attendance on passengers; yea, even in very poore villages. ...
For as soone as a passenger comes to an Inne, the servants run to him, and one takes his horse and walkes him til he be cold, then rubs and gives him meate, yet I must say that they are not much to be trusted in this last point, without the eye of the Master or his servant to oversee them. Another servant gives the passenger his private chamber, and kindles his fire, the third pulls off his bootes, and makes them cleane. Then the Host or Hostesse visits him, and if he will eate with the Host, or at a common table with others, his meale will cost him sixe pence, or in some places but foure pence. ... It is the custome and no way disgraceful to set up part of supper for his breakfast. In the evening or in the morning after breakfast (for the common sort use not to dine, but ride from breakfast to suppertime, yet coming early to the Inne for better resting of their Horses) he shall have a reckoning in writing, and if it seeme unreasonable, the Host will satisfie him either for the due price, or by abating part, especially if the servant deceive him any way, which one of experience will soone find. . . . If Gentlemen will in such sorte joyne together to eate at one table, the expenses will be much diminished. Lastly, a Man cannot more freely command at home in his owne House, then hee may doe in his Inne, and at parting if he give some few pence to the Chamberlin and Ostler, they wish him a happy journey.' 43
Doubtless Kit knew by instruction or report most of what Moryson refers to, and it is to be expected
that parental admonitions had equally well prepared him for such casualities as the above experienced traveller cautions his readers against. In all Innes, but especially in suspected places, let him bolte or locke the doore of his chamber ; let him take heed of his chamber fellowes, and alwayes have his sword by his side or by his bedside ; let him lay his purse under his pillow, but always foulded with his garters, or something hee first useth in the morning, lest hee forget to put it up before hee goe out of his chamber. And to the end hee may leave nothing behind him in his Innes, let the visiting of his chamber and gathering his things together be the last thing he doth, before hee put his foote into the stirrup.' 44
Having survived all the dangers thus far, our youthful traveller would be able next day to take a passage to London by water, for in those days at every tide, 'a man may pass for ye valew of two pence in ye common barge, and in a tiltbote for vi.d,' the distance being about twenty miles. 45
Arrived in London, by whatever means he may have made use of, the lad would doubtless seek out and present himself to the wealthy and influential Mr. Anthony Marlowe, who could not well refuse shelter and a gracious reception to a clever young kinsman, bound for the University. Some few days would probably be spent in making an inspection of the most prominent sights of the mighty metropolis
-The Fair Queen of the West,' as her poets loved to style her-and then, ho, for Cambridge!
CAMBRIDGE : YOUTH
The facilities for travelling between London and Cambridge were greater than between the metropolis and any other town in the kingdom : this advantage being due to the enterprise of one man. Thomas Hobson, supposed to have been a native of Buntingford, Herts, was born about 1544. Whilst yet a lad he had to drive a team of horses for his father, and when he arrived at manhood he started a team on his own account. His father left him a nice little property including, besides copyhold lands in Grantchester, a wagon and eight horses and their harness and other belongings. By means of this, and by industry and thrift, Hobson amassed an independency and, notwithstanding the fact that he had a large family, became one of the richest men in Cambridge. He was farmer, maltster, inn-keeper, and carrier, the last-named occupation directing his attention to the profitable idea of letting horses on hire.
Being a man that saw where there might good profit arise, though duller men overlooked it,' and
observing that the scholars of Cambridge rid hard,' he contrived to get together a large stable of horses,