A gentleman-like monster, bred … by affectation; and fed by folly

From Ben Jonson’s Every Man in his Humour (3.4)

Cob. Nay, I have my rheum*, and I can be angry as well as another,
sir.

Cash. Thy rheum, Cob! thy humor, thy humor—thou mistak’st.

Cob. Humor! mack**, I think it be so indeed; what is that humor?
some rare thing, I warrant.

Cash. Marry I’ll tell thee, Cob: it is a gentleman-like monster,
bred, in the special gallantry of our time, by affectation; and fed
by folly.

Cob. How! must it be fed?

Cash. Oh ay, humor is nothing if it be not fed: didst thou never
hear that? it’s a common phrase, ‘feed my humor’.***

* ‘rheum’ a synonym for ‘humor’ that had fallen out of fashion
** ‘mack’ – minced oath for ‘mass’
*** ‘feed my humor’ – cater to my disposition, a fashionable affectation.

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