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CCXI. SOCIABLE LETTERS, WRITTEN BY THE Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and
Excellent PRINCESS, THE LADY MARCHIONESS OF NEWCASTLE.
LONDON Printed by WILLIAM WILSON, Anno Doom. M. DC. LXIV.
TO THE LADY MARCHIONESS OF NEWCASTLE, On her Book of EPISTLES.
when all Epistlers you have read, and seek,
Who writ in Latin, English, French, or Greek,
Such Woeful things, as they are only fit
To stop Mustard-pots, to this Lady's Wit,
Nay, were they all Alive, I Swear, I think
They'd Burn their Books, and Throw away their Ink,
Make Pick-Tooths of their Pens, and for their Paper,
Only to light Tobacco, and each Taper;
Y'have Spoiled Commerce, Intelligencers, Trade,
None now dares write a Letter, so Afraid
To be thought Fools, and is the Carriers Curse,
To find his Empty Budget, and Lank Purse,
Nay the Post-house's Ruined, and will Complain,
From their Vast Gettings now they have no Gain;
All now by Word of Mouth, and what is spoken,
Or Gilded Nutmegs, or each Tavern-token,
Nicked Sticks for Merchants, Why would you Undo
Your self at once thus, and the whole World too?
After my Hearty Commendations, This,
The Style of States-men still Applauded is;
Your Flames of Wit, this Age may think a Sin,
A Proclamation then may call it in.
W. NEVVCASTLE.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE LORD MARQUESS OF NEWCASTLE.
MY LORD,
IT may be said to me, as one said to a Lady, Work Lady, Work, let writing
Books alone, For surely Wiser Women ne'er writ one; But your Lordship never bid
me to Work, nor leave Writing, except when you would persuade me to spare so
much time from my Study as to take the Air for my Health; the truth is, My
Lord, I cannot Work, I mean such Works as Ladies use to pass their Time
withal, and if I could, the Materials of such Works would cost more than the
Work would be worth, besides all the Time and Pains bestowed upon it. You may
ask me, what Works I mean; I answer, Needle-works, Spinning-works,
Preserving-works, as also Baking, and Cooking-works, as making Cakes, Pies,
Puddings, and the like, all which I am Ignorant of; and as I am Ignorant in
these Employments, so I am Ignorant in Gaming, Dancing, and Revelling; But yet,
I must ask you leave to say, that I am not a Dunce in all Employments, for I
Understand the Keeping of Sheep, and Ordering of a Grange, indifferently well,
although I do not Busy my self much with it, by reason my Scribbling takes away
the most part of my Time. Perchance some may say, that if my Understanding be
most of Sheep, and a Grange, it is a Beastly Understanding; My answer is, I
wish Men were as Harmless as most Beasts are, then surely the World would be
more Quiet and Happy than it is, for then there would not be such Pride,
Vanity, Ambition, Covetousness, Faction, Treachery, and Treason, as is now;
Indeed one might very well say in his Prayers to God, O Lord God, I beseech
thee of thy Infinite Mercy, make Man so, and order his Mind, Thoughts,
Passions, and Appetites, like Beasts, that they may be Temperate, Sociable,
Laborious, Patient, Prudent, Provident, Brotherly-loving, and Neighbourly-kind,
all which Beasts are, but most Men not. But leaving most Men to Beasts, I
return to your Lordship, who is one of the Best of men, whom God hath filled
with Heroic Fortitude, Noble Generosity, Poetical Wit, Moral Honesty, Natural
Love, Neighbourly-kindness, Great Patience, Loyal Duty, and Celestial Piety,
and I pray God as Zealously and Earnestly to Bless you with Perfect Health and
Long Life, as becomes
Your Lordships Honest Wife and Humble Servant M. Newcastle.
TO ALL PROFESSORS OF Learning and Art.
Most Famously Learned,
I Wish I could Write so Wisely, Wittily, Eloquently, and Methodically, as
might be Worthy of your Perusal; but if any of your Noble Profession should
Humble themselves so Low as to Read my Works, or part of them, I pray Consider
my Sex and Breeding, and they will fully Excuse those Faults which must
Unavoidably be found in my Works. But although I have no Learning, yet give me
leave to Admire it, and to wish I were one of your Society, for certainly, were
I Empress of the World, I would Advance those that have most Learning and
Wit, by which I believe the Earth would rather be an Heaven, since both Men
and Government would be as Celestial, for I am Confident that Wisdom, and for
the most part Virtue, is Inherent in those that are Masters of Learning, and
Endued with Wit; And to this sort of Persons I do Offer my Works, although to
be Condemned on the Altar of their Censure, and rest Satisfied with the Honour
that they thought them Worthy to be Judged. Thus, whether my Works Live or
Dye, I am Devoted to be
Your Servant M. N.
THE PREFACE.
Noble Readers,
I Hope you will not make the Mistake of a Word a Crime in my Wit, as some
former Readers have done, for in my Poems they found Fault that the Number was
not Just, nor every Line Matched with a Perfect Rime; But I can answer for that
Book, that there be but some such Errors in it, and those as it were by Chance;
besides, in some Languages, as Latin and Greek, which are accounted the Chief,
they regard not Rimes in their Poems, but only an Exact number of Feet and
Measures; however Rimes and Numbers are only as the Garments, and not as the
Body of Wit; but I have been more Exact in my other Book called Natural
Descriptions, wherein most Verses are Just both for Number and Rimes. As for my
Work, The VVorld's Olio, they may say some Words are not Exactly Placed,
which I confess to be very likely, and not only in that, but in all the rest of
my Works there may be such Errors, for I was not Bred in an University, or a
Free-School, to Learn the Art of Words; neither do I take it for a
Disparagement of my Works, to have the Forms, Terms, Words, Numbers, or Rymes
found Fault with, so they do not find Fault with the Variety of the Subjects,
or the Sense and Reason, Wit, and Fancy, for I leave the Formal, or VVorditive
part to Fools, and the Material or Sensitive part to Wise men. Concerning my
Philosophical Opinions, some did say, they were too Obscure, and not Plain
Enough for their Understanding; I must confess, I writ that Book at first at
the same time when I wrote my Poems, but to my Reason it was as Plain as I
could write it, and if some Readers could not Understand it, I am not Nature to
give them Wit and Understanding; yet have I since not only Over-viewed, and
Reformed that Book, but made a great Addition to it, so that I believe, I have
now so clearly Declared my Sense and Meaning therein, that those which
Understand it not must not only be Irrational, but Insensible Creatures. As for
my Book of Plays, some find Fault they are not made up Exactly, nor the Scenes
placed Justly, as also I have not in some Plays caused all the Actors to be of
an Acquaintance, but this same Fault they find, I have Expressed in one of the
Epistles before that Book, which they fling back upon my Work. As for my
Orations, I have heard, that some do Censure me for speaking too Freely, and
Patronizing Vice too much, but I would have them not to be too Rash in Judging,
but to Consider, first, whether there be a sufficient Reason that may move them
to give such a Censure, for truly I am as much an Enemy to Vice, as I am a
Friend to Virtue, do Persecute Vice with as perfect an Hatred, as I do Pursue
Virtue, with an Entire, and Pure Love, which is Sufficiently Known to those
that Know me; and therefore, it is not out of Love to Vice that I Plead for it,
but only to Exercise my Fancy, for surely the Wisest, and Eloquentest Orators,
have not been Ashamed to Defend Vices upon such Accounts, and why may not I do
the like? for my Orations for the most part are Declamations, wherein I speak
Pro and Con, and Determine nothing; and as for that Part which contains several
Pleadings, it is Fit and Lawful that both Parties should bring in their
Arguments as well as they can, to make their Cases Good; but I matter not their
Censure, for it would be an Endless Trouble to me, to Answer every ones Foolish
Exception; an Horse of a Noble Spirit Slights the Bawling of a Petty Cur, and
so do I. As for the Present Book of Letters, I know not as yet what Aspersion
they will lay upon it, but I fear they'll say, they are not written in a
Modestyle, that is, in a Complementing, and Romancical way, with High Words,
and Mystical Expressions, as most of our Modern Letter-writers use to do; But,
Noble Readers, I do not intend to Present you here with Long Complements in
Short Letters, but with Short Descriptions in Long Letters; the truth is, they
are rather Scenes than Letters, for I have Endeavoured under the Cover of
Letters to Express the Humours of Mankind, and the Actions of Man's Life by the
Correspondence of two Ladies, living at some Short Distance from each other,
which make it not only their Chief Delight and Pastime, but their Tie in
Friendship, to Discourse by Letters, as they would do if they were Personally
together, so that these Letters are an Imitation of a Personal Visitation and
Conversation, which I think is Better (I am sure more Profitable) than those
Conversations that are an Imitation of Romancical Letters, which are but Empty
Words, and Vain Complements. But the Reason why I have set them forth in the
Form of Letters, and not of Plays, is, first, that I have put forth Twenty
Plays already, which number I thought to be Sufficient, next, I saw that
Variety of Forms did Please the Readers best, and that lastly they would be
more taken with the Brevity of Letters, than the Formality of Scenes, and whole
Plays, whose Parts and Plots cannot be Understood till the whole Play be Read
over, whereas a Short Letter will give a Full Satisfaction of what they Read.
And thus I thought this to be the Best Way or Form to put this Work into, which
if you Approve of, I have my Reward.
UPON HER EXCELLENCY THE AUTHORESS.
THis Lady only to her self she VVrites,
And all her Letters to her self Indites;
For in her self so many Creatures be,
Like many Commonwealths, yet all Agree.
Man's Head's a World, where Thoughts are Born and Bred,
And Reason's Emperor in every Head;
But in all Heads doth not a Caesar Reign,
A Wise Augustus hath not every Brain,
And Reason in some Brains from Rule's put out
By Mad, Rebellious Thoughts, and Factious Rout;
And Great Disorder in such Brains will be,
Not any Thought with Reason will Agree;
But in her Brain doth Reason Govern well,
Not any Thought against Reason doth Rebel,
But doth Obey what Reason doth Command,
When 'tis his Will, doth Travel Sea and Land,
As some do Travel out to Kingdoms far,
And Guided are by Observation's Star,
They bring Intelligence from every State,
Their Peace, their Wars, their Factions, and their Hate,
And into every City Travel free,
Relate their Customs, Trafficks, Policy,
Observe each Magistrate, their Formal Face,
And what Authority they bear, or Place,
Whether they Covetously do Extort,
Or are Ambitious, giving Bribes at Court,
To Raise to Places, or to Hide their Crime,
For thus Men do to Wealth and Office Clime;
And some into the Churches go to see
Who Kneels in Prayer, or comes for Company,
Who Courts his Mistress as his only Saint,
Implores her Favour, and makes his Complaint
Be Known, Or who doth turn her eyes about,
To show her Face, or seek a Lover out;
And some to Balls, and Masks, and Plays do go,
And some do Crowd to see a Pagan Show,
And some within Kings Courts do get a Place,
Observe the Grandeur, and the Courtly Grace,
The Ceremony and Splendour of a Court,
Their Plays, Balls, Masks, and every several Sport,
And all their Amorous Courtships which they make,
And how the Ladies do each Courtship take,
The Antic Postures of the Younger Race,
Their Mimic Gestures, and Affected Pace,
Their Amorous Smiles, and Glancing Wanton Eyes,
All which do Noble Souls Hate and Despise;
And some amongst the Privy-Counsel get,
Where round a Table Prince and Nobles sit,
Hear what they say, Observe their Cross Debates,
And mark which speaks through Faction, or which Hates
Some Lord that is in Favour more than he,
For in States Matters seldom they Agree.
And thus Her Thoughts, the Creatures of her Mind,
Do Travel through the World amongst Mankind,
And then Return, and to the Mind do bring
All the Relations of each several thing;
And Observation Guides them back again
To Reason, their Great King, that's in the Brain:
Then Contemplation calls the Senses straight,
Which Ready are, and Diligently Wait,
Commanding Two these Letters for to Write,
Touch in the Hand, as also the Eye-sight,
These Two the Soul's Clerks are, which do Inscribe,
And Write all Truly down, having no Bribe.
TO THE CENSORIOUS READER.
REader, you'll think, perchance, my Wit in Fault,
Like Meat that's too much Brin'd, and Oversalt,
But better Poets far than I have been,
Have written Sharper, and with Greater Spleen,
Yet they have much been Praised for writing so,
And on Advancing Stigues of Fame do go;
But my Poor Writings they no Malice know,
Nor on a Crabbed Nature did they Grow;
I to Particulars give no Abuse,
My Wit Indites for Profitable Use,
That Men may see their Follies, and their Crimes,
Their Errors, Vanities, and Idle Times,
Not that I think they do not Know them well,
But lest they should Forget, Im' Bold to tell,
For to Remember them, like those that Ride,
Not thinking, on their Way, may chance to Slide,
Or Fall into a Ditch, so I for Fear
Bid them take Heed, Beware, and have a Care,
For there are Stumps of Trees, or a Deep Pit,
Or Dangerous Passages where Thieves do sit
And Wait, or Ravenous Beasts do lye for Prey,
Or such a Lane where's Foul and Dirty Way,
And so of VVaters, and each Dangerous place:
But I write not to any mans Disgrace;
Then Censure not my Satyr-wit for Crime,
Nor putting this Epistle into Rime.
SOCIABLE LETTERS.
I.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased to desire, that, since we cannot converse Personally, we
should converse by Letters, so as if we were speaking to each other,
discoursing our Opinions, discovering our Designs, asking and giving each other
Advice, also telling the several Accidents, and several Employments of our
home-affairs, and what visits we receive, or entertainments we make, and whom
we visit, and how we are entertained, what discourses we have in our
gossiping-meetings, and what reports we hear of public affairs, and of
particular Persons, and the like; so that our Letters may present our personal
meetings and associatings. Truly, Madam, I take so much delight in your wise,
witty, and virtuous Conversation, as I could not pass my life more pleasing and
delightfully; wherefore I am never better pleased, than when I am reading your
Letters, and when I am writing Letters to you; for my mind and thoughts are all
that while in your Company: the truth is, my mind and thoughts live always
with you, although my person is at distance from you; insomuch, as, if Souls
die not as Bodies do, my Soul will attend you when my Body lies in the grave;
and when we are both dead, we may hope to have a Conversation of Souls, where
yours and mine will be doubly united, first in Life, and then in Death, in
which I shall eternally be,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and humble Servant.
II.
MADAM,
THe Lady C. E. ought not to be reproved for grieving for the loss of her
Beauty, for Beauty is the Light of our Sex, which is Eclipsed in Middle age,
and Benighted in Old age, wherein our Sex sits in Melancholy Darkness, and the
remembrance of Beauty past, is as a displeasing Dream. The truth is, a young
beautiful face is a Friend, when as an old withered face is an Enemy, the one
causes Love, the other Aversion: yet I am not of Mrs. U. R.'s. humour, which
had rather dye before her Beauty, than that her Beauty should die before her:
for I had rather live with wrinkles, than die with youth; and had rather my
face clothed with Time's sad mourning, than with Death's white hue; and surely
it were better to follow the shadow of Beauty, than that Beauty should go with
the Corps to the Grave; and I believe that Mrs. V. R. would do, as the tale is
of a woman, that did wish, and pray she might die before her Husband, but when
Death came, she entreated him to spare her, and take her Husband; so that she
would rather live without him, than die for him. But leaving this sad discourse
of Age, Wrinkles, Ruin and Death, I rest,
Madam, Your very faithful Friend, and Servant.
III.
MADAM,
I Do not wonder, there are great factions between the three families C. Y. O.
by reason they have no business, or employment to busy their heads about, and
their servants followers have as little to do, which makes them censure,
backbite, and envy each other; for Idleness and Poverty are the creators of
Faction, and Pride and Ambition the disturbers of Peace. Wherefore Idleness
should be banished out of every family, which will also be a means to be rid of
Poverty, for Industry is the way to thrive: Besides, when men have something to
do, they will have the less time to talk; for many words from discontented
persons increase hate, and make dissentions: the truth is, words for the most
part make more discord than union, and more enemies than friends; wherefore
Silence is more commendable than much Speaking, for the liberty of the tongue
doth rather express men's follies, than make known their wit; neither do many
words argue much Judgement; but as the old Saying is, The greatest talkers are
the least actors, they being more apt to speak spitefully, than to act
mischievously; another Saying is, That musing men rather study to do evil, than
contemplate on good; But I am not of that opinion, for if men would think more,
and speak less, the world of mankind would be more honest and wiser than they
are, for Thoughts beget Consideration, Consideration begets Judgement,
Judgement begets Discretion, Discretion begets Temperance, and Temperance
begets Peace in the Mind, and Health in the Body, for when men want Temperance,
they are subject to Insatiable Appetites, unruly Passions, and wandering
Desires, which causes Covetousness and Ambition, and these cause Envy and Hate,
which makes Faction and Strife, which Strife I leave to Busy Natures, Restless
Minds, Vain Humours, and Idle Fools, and rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
IV.
MADAM,
THe other day was here the Lady I. O. to see me, and her three Daughters,
which are called the three Graces, the one is Black, the other Brown, the third
White, all three different coloured beauties; also they are of different
features, statures and shapes, yet all three so equally handsome, that neither
Judgment nor Reason can prefer one before another: Also their behaviours are
different; the one is Majestic, the other Gay and Aerie, the third Meek and
Bashful; yet all three graceful, sweet and becoming: Also their Wits are
different; the one Propounds well, the other Argues well, the third Resolves
well; all which make a harmony in discourse. These three Ladies are resolved
never to marry, which makes many sad Lovers; but whilst they were here, in
comes the Lord S. C. and discoursing with them, at last he asks them, whether
they were seriously resolved never to marry? they answered, they were resolved
never to marry: But, Ladies, said he, Consider, Time wears out Youth, and fades
Beauty, and then you will not be the three young fair Graces; You say true, my
Lord, answered one of them, but when we leave to be the young fair Graces, we
shall then be the old wise Sibyls. By this answer you may perceive, that when
our Sex cannot pretend to be Fair, they will pretend to be Wise; but it matters
not what we pretend to, if we be really Virtuous, which I wish all our Sex may
be, and rest,
Madam, Your very faithful Friend and Servant.
V.
MADAM,
IN my opinion the marriage between Sir A. G. and Mrs. I. S. is no ways
agreeable, wherefore not probable to be blessed with a happy union, though she
is likelier to be the happier of the two; for 'tis better to have an old doting
fool, than a wanton young filly; but he will be very unhappy through Jealousy,
what with his Dotage, and her Freedom, which will be like fire and oil, to set
his mind on a flame, and burn out the lamp of his life: Truly, I did wonder,
when I heard they were married, knowing her nature and his humour, for she
loves young masculine Company, and he loves only young female Companion; so
that he cannot enjoy her to himself, unless she barr her self from all other
men for his sake, which I believe she will not do, for she will not bury her
Beauty, nor put her Wit to silence for the sake of her Husband; for, if I be
not mistaken, she will love a young Servant better than an old Husband; nay, if
her Husband were young, she would prefer variety of Servants, before a single
Husband, insomuch, that if she had been made, when there was but One man, as
Adam, she would have done like her Grand mother Eve, as to have been courted by
the Devil, and would betray her Husband for the Devil's sake, rather than want
a Lover. But leaving the discourse of Jealousy, Age, Courtship, and Devils, I
rest,
Madam, Your very faithful Fr. S.
VI.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you sent me word, that Sir F. O. was retired to write his
own Life, for he says, he knows no reason, but he may write his own life as
well as Guzman; and since you desire my opinion of his intended work, I can
only say, that his Life for any thing I know to the contrary, hath been as
evil as Guzman's, but whether his Wit be as good as Guzman's, I know not, yet
I doubt the worst, and to write an Evil life without Wit, will be but a
dull and tedious Story, indeed so tedious and dull, as I believe none will take
the pains to read it, unless he himself read of himself: but it is to be hoped,
that he will be tired of himself, and so desist from his self Story. And if he
do write his own Life, it will be as a masking Dolphin, or such like thing,
where the outside is painted past-board or canvas, and the inside stuffed with
shreds of paper, or dirty rags, scraped from dunghills: and if he set his
Picture before, as a Frontispiece to his Book, it will be like an ill-favour'd
masking Vizard. But if he have any Friends, surely they will persuade him to
employ his time about something else; but some are so unhappy, as they have
nothing to employ Time with; they can waste Time, but not employ Time; and as
they waste Time, so Time wastes them. There's a saying, That men are born to
live, and live to dye; but I think some are only born to dye, and not to live;
for they make small use of life, and life makes small use of them; so that in
effect they were ready for the Grave, as soon as they came forth from the Womb.
Wherefore if Sir F. O. go forward with his work, he will dig his Grave through
the story of his Life, and his Soul-less Wit will be buried therein. But
leaving his dead Wit to his paper Coffin, and his unprofitable Labours to his
black mourning Ink, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
VII.
MADAM,
I Am sorry to hear, Wit is so little known and understood, that Sir W. T.
should be thought Mad, because he hath more Wit than other men; indeed Wit
should always converse with Wit, and Fools with Fools; for Wit and Fools can
never agree, they understand not one another; Wit flies beyond a Fools conceit
or understanding, for Wit is like an Eagle, it hath a strong wing, and flies
high and far, and when it doth descend, it knocks a Fool on the head, as an
Eagle doth a Dotril, or a Woodcock, or such like Birds; and surely the world
was never so filled with Fools, as it is in this age, nor hath there been
greater Errors, or grosser Follies committed than there hath been in this age:
It is not an age like Augustus Caesar's, when Wisdom reigned, and Wit
flourished, which was the cause of Plenty Peace throughout the whole world: but
in this age Debauchery is taken for Wit, and Faction for Wisdom, Treachery for
Policy, and drunken Quarrels for Valour: Indeed the world is so foolishly
Wicked, basely Foolish, that they are happiest who can withdraw themselves most
from it: But when I say the world, I mean the world of Men, or rather the
Bodies of Men, for there doth not seem to be many Rational Souls amongst them,
they are Soul-less men, Bodies of men that have only Senses and Appetites, or
Sensual Appetites. But you say, every Particular complains of the world, as I
do in this Letter, yet None helps to mend it. Let me tell you, Madam, it is not
in the power of every Particular, nor in a number, But the Chiefest persons
must mend the world; viz. they that govern the world, or else the world will be
out at the heels. But in some ages the world is more tattered and torn, than in
other ages; and in some ages the world is patched and pieced, but seldom new
and suitable; and it is oftener in a Fools-coat than in a Grave Cassock.
Wherefore leaving the motley, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
VIII.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased to invite me unto a Ball, to divert my Melancholy Thoughts,
but they are not capable of your Charity, for they are in too deep a Melancholy
to be diverted; like as bodies that are starved, and almost dying for hunger,
so weak as they cannot feed, at least, that want strength to nourish or digest,
having not life enough to re-inkindle the vital fire, which want of food hath
near put out. Thus, Madam, I do not refuse your Charity, but I am not capable
to receive it; Besides, my very outward appearance would rather be an
Obstruction to your Mirth, than any Addition to your Pleasures, and for me, it
would be very improper; for a grieved heart, weeping eyes, sad countenance, and
black mourning garments, will not be suitable with dancing legs; In truth, my
leaden Spirits have soder'd up my Joints so stiff, that they will not move so
agilly, as is required in Dancing; I am fitter to sit upon a Grave, than to
tread measures on a Carpet; and there is such an Antipathy in my mind to light
Aires, that they would sooner stop my Ears as Discord, than enter into my
Hearing as Harmony; indeed my Senses are as closed or shut from the world, and
my Mind is benighted in Sorrow, insomuch as I have not one lighted thought,
they are all put out with the memory of my Loss. Thus, Madam, Memory hath made
an Oblivion; but though it hath buried for the present the worldly Joys of my
Life, yet it hath not buried my grateful Thanks for your Favours, for which I
am,
Madam, Your most humble S.
IX.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter I perceive that the Lady N. P. is an actor in some
State-design, or at least would be thought so, for our Sex in this age, is
ambitious to be State-Ladies, that they may be thought to be Wise Women; but
let us do what we can, we shall prove our selves Fools, for Wisdom is an enemy
to our Sex, or rather our Sex is an enemy to Wisdom. 'Tis true, we are full of
Designs and Plots, and ready to side into Factions; but Plotting, Designing,
Factions, belong nothing to Wisdom, for Wisdom never intermeddles therein or
therewith, but renounces them; it is only cheating Craft and Subtilty that are
the managers thereof: and for deceiving Craft, Women are well practised
therein, and most of them may be accounted Politicians; for no question but
Women may, can, and oftentimes do make wars, especially Civil wars; witness our
late Civil war, wherein Women were great, although not good actors; for though
Women cannot fight with warring arms themselves, yet they can easily inflame
men's minds against the Governors and Governments, unto which Men are too apt
even without the persuasion of Women, as to make innovation through envy and
emulation, in hopes of advancement in Title, Fortune and Power, of which Women
are as ambitious as Men; but I wish for the honour of our Sex, that Women could
as easily make peace as war, though it is easier to do evil than good, for
every fool can make an uproar, and a tumultuous disorder, such as the wisest
can hardly settle into order again. But Women in State-affairs can do as they
do with themselves, they can, and do often make themselves sick, but when they
are sick, not well again: So they can disorder a State, as they do their
Bodies, but neither can give Peace to the one, nor Health to the other; but
their restless Minds, and unsatiable Appetites, do many times bring Ruin to the
one, and Death to the other; for Temperance and Quietness are strangers to our
Sex. But leaving the Lady N. P. to her petty Designs, and weak Plots, I rest,
Madam, Your very faithful Fr. and S.
X.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you were pleased to tell me for news, that C. V. was newly
made a Lord; truly he deserves it, and if his Title were to be measured, it
would be far short of his Merit, but it is a greater honour to have more Merit
than Title, than to have more Title than Merit. Indeed Title ought to be but as
a Sign; as the King's Arms or Picture to a Shop of a rich Merchandise; so Title
should be but to have it known there is a worthy Person, who is full of Noble
Qualities, Moral Virtues, Sweet Graces, Divine Influences, Learned Sciences,
Wise Counsels, and the like, which ought to be commerced and trafficked within
the world, for their own and others good, benefit and pleasure; for the riches
of the Mind must do as other riches, which is to disperse about, not to lie
unprofitably hid, and horded up from all use; but they ought to be as Staple
Commodities, and not as Trifles of Vanity, which wear out, or are laid by, as
men's humours change, and are more for fashion than benefit. But some men seem
to be richer than they are, and some to be poorer than they are; they that seem
richer than they are, lay all in their outward Shops, and those that seem
poorer than they are, lay all in their inward Ware-houses: Those that lay all
in their outward Shops are vain-glorious Persons, those that lay all in their
inward Ware-houses are magnanimous Persons; But women's Minds or Souls are like
Shops of small-wares, wherein some have pretty toys, but nothing of any great
value. I imagine you will chide me for this opinion, and I should deserve to be
chidden, if all Women were like to you; but you are but one, and I speak of
Women, not of One woman; and thus I am neither injurious to You, nor partial to
our Sex; but I wish with all my heart, our whole Sex were like you, so I might
hope to be one of your Copies, and though you are an example not to be
patterned, yet I will endeavour to imitate you as much as I can, by which I may
be so much the more worthy to be
Your Ladyships Humble Servant.
XI.
MADAM,
I Hear the Lady B. A. and the lady C. D. are gone to be Courtiers, but I
believe they will neither agree with the Court, nor the Court with them; for
the one hath been bred fitter for a Nunnery than a Court, and the other bred to
good housewifery, fitter for the Country than a Court; the truth is, Sparing is
unnatural for a Courtier, and Praying is not usual for a Courtier, yet those
Ladies that are Beautiful are made Saints there, and the men are their Devouts,
which offer them Vows, Prayers, Praises, and sometimes Thanksgiving, and many
times they are Penitents; but when the Ladies Beauties decay, the men become
Apostates. Thus you may see many of our Sex are made Saints, though they be
Sinners, but they are Sainted for theit Beauty, not for their Piety, for their
outward Form, not for their inward Grace: Indeed they are worldly Saints, and
the Court is their Heaven, and Nature their Goddess, which indues them with
attractive Graces; to which I leave them, and rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
XII.
MADAM,
I Hear the Lady D. C. makes Politic feasts and entertainments, feasting the
Courtiers, and entertaining them with dancing and carding, to whom she doth
Politically lose her money, and causes her husband to lend them money out of a
Policy, and 'tis likely she will Politically ruin her husband; for I believe she
is more Politic with her husband than with the Courtiers, and they more
Politic with her than her husband. But many wives will persuade their husbands
to invite company, pretending some Designs, whenas their chief Design is, to
have Company; and they will be very free and frolic with their guests, making
their husbands believe they are so only to compass, or bring their Designs to
pass; so as they make their husbands Pimps to Cuckold themselves, who think
their wives wise women, both in their Counsels and Actions: Such, and the like
inventions and excuses wives have to be in company; and it is to be observed,
that those wives that love freedom and company, will be so very kind to their
husbands when they bring home company, or are with such company as they like,
that not only strangers, but their husbands think them for that time the best
wives in the world; whenas being all alone, to their husbands, the Furies are
no more turbulent, nor worse natured than they; But in much company all is as
their husbands please, whether to dance or play; upon which kind words and
humble behaviour, their husbands are so ravished with joy, as then it is what
their wives please; nay, they entreat their vvives to please themselves, and
approve of all they say or do. Other vvives, to get, or be in company, will
insinuatingly flatter, and persuade their husbands, that they are the wisest,
or wittiest men in the world, and that there is none that knows how to
entertain company but they; that for their own parts they hate much company, as
nothing so tedious and troublesome, and only take delight to see their
husbands entertain guests, and love to hear them discourse with strangers,
their wit and behaviour being so far above others; and to encourage their
husbands, or to flatter them the more, they will repeat their Discourses when
they are alone together, as how well such or such a question was resolved, or
how wittily such or such a one was answered, and the like; whereupon the
husband often invites company, only for his wife to hear his supreme Wit, wise
Sentences, and to see his grave Entertainments, whenas his wife laughs in her
mind to hear what a Fool, and to see what a formal Coxcomb, and how
self-conceited he is. Thus most husbands are either deluded with Politic
wives, or forced to obey, or humour their Turbulent and Peevish wives, or
deceived by their Insinuating and Flattering wives, to betray themselves. But
fearing I should divulge too much of the nature of our Sex, I stop here, and
rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. S.
XIII.
MADAM,
MOst of Mrs. L. A's. discourse is of her self, indeed every one is apt to
speak of himself, as being full of self-love, which makes most tongues
discourse of a self-theme; but her theme is, to tell how good a Wife she will
make when she is married, although the proof will be after she is married, if
she can get a Husband; for I believe she wants one, and desires one, because
she talks so much of a Husband, and promises so well for a Husband. Truly, it
is to be observed, that all Maids love to talk of Husbands, all VVidows of
Suitors, and all VVives of Lovers: for men may marry, nay do often marry, yet
not for Love, but for Interest, as for Posterity, or the like; and Suitors may
woo, yet not for Love, but Interest, as for Wealth, or the like; But when
Amorous Lovers plead, it is for no other design, but to lie with the Woman
they make their address to; and married VVives are more apt to yield than Maids
or VVidows, having a cloak to cover their shame or reproach, and a husband to
father their children; and they are more fond of amorous Courtships than Maids
or VVidows, because they are more barred, as being bound in Wedlock's-bonds:
besides, it requires more secrecy and difficulty, both which Women love. But
when Maids, Widows, and Wives, talk of Husbands, Suitors and Lovers, they are so
delighted with the Discourse, as you may perceive, not only by their Speech,
being then quicker, and their Wit sharper, and Words fluenter, but also by
their Looks, their Eyes being livelier, their Countenances pleasanter, and
their Behaviour gayer or wantoner, than in any other Discourse, especially if
it be upon particular Persons, such as they fancy, or think they fancy them.
But as for Mrs. L. A. who discourses so much of a Husband, I do verily believe,
she will make a very good Wife, not that she says so, but that she hath been
bred strictly and retiredly, and is of a sober, and stayed Nature, not apt to
run into Extravagancies, nor to desire variety of Company, but is Huswifly and
Thrifty, and of an humble and obedient Behaviour, and not only Attentive to
good Advices, but Tractable and practive to them; all which makes her deserve a
good Husband, and I wish her one with all my heart; but she must take her
fortune, whether none or any, bad or good; but many a good Bachelor makes an
ill Husband, and many a wild deboyst Bachelor makes a good Husband; and as
for VVidowers, many men that were good Husbands to their first VVives, are ill
Husbands to their second, or third, or fourth, or to some good, and to some
bad; and some that have been ill and unkind Husbands to their first Wives, are
very good, fond Husbands to their second: the like for Maids, Wives and Widows;
so as none can make a wise choice in hap-hazard; for hap-hazard, as chance,
bars out VVisdom's prudence, it blindfolds Wisdom, having no insight into
Chance; so as a Fool blinded with Ignorance, may choose in the Lottery of
Husbands and VVives, as well as the Wisest, being blinded with the inconstancy
of Mankind. But leaving Mrs. L. A. to the Lottery, and her Matrimonial
Contemplations and Discourses, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XIV.
MADAM,
I Am of your opinion, that Philosophers Poets certainly should be the wisest
men, for they having so deep an insight, as to pierce even into the Secrets of
Nature, it should be easy for them to have an insight into the Designs,
Counsels, and Actions of Men, to foresee the Effects of Things; for they that
can Judge of Hidden and Invisible Causes, and find out their Effects, may
easily Judge of Visible Actions or Businesses amongst Mankind; and there is no
man that can be Wise, that hath not a deep piercing insight, and a clear
fore-sight to conceive and fore-see, what is, and what may probably be; for
'tis not History that makes men Wise, nor Law, nor Logic, nor to be Learned in
all the Sciences, but to have a Natural Ingenuity, as to conceive Rationally,
to judge Solidly, to understand Perfectly, to perceive Readily, to distinguish
Clearly, to compare Rightly, to search Narrowly, to examine Strictly, to
observe Generally, to consider Seriously, of all that hath been, is, or is not,
or what may be, or cannot be; In all which, Natural Philosophers and Poets are
the most Ingenious men; But of this sort of men the world hath not many, indeed
so sew, as the rest of mankind doth not understand them, for they think them
rather Fools than Wise men; for though Wise men know Fools, yet Fools know not
Wise men, nay Fools do not know Fools, but Wise men know Wise men; for how
should a Fool know a Fool, when he knows not Himself? But if any fault be in
Natural Poets and Philosophers, 'tis that they are so delighted with
Transcendency, as they will not Descend to consider, or regard the Actions and
Designs of Men, no, not the outward and ordinary works of Nature; they are of
Nature's privy Counsel, wherefore they scorn to be in Temporal or Human
Counsels of Men; they are Natural States-men, and will not be Temporal
States-men, neither they will attend Temporal Princes, being Nature's Chief
Courtiers; and when they chance to observe the Actions and Courses of other
men, they view them with a despising smile, to see their gross Errors,
ridiculous Follies, painful Pleasures, foolish Vices and unprofitable Labours:
also Natural Philosophers and Poets are not only the Wisest, but the Happiest
men; not only in pleasing themselves with their vast Knowledge, supreme Wits,
subtle Conceptions, delightful Imaginations, and curious Fancies, having all
the Delights of the Mind, and Pleasures of Thoughts, but in that they can
Conquer their Unruly Passions, Unsatiable Appetites, and order their Minds
according to their Fortunes; they are Happy in any Condition, having their
Happiness always with them, and in them, not without them, when other men's
Happiness lies always without, and their Unhappiness within them, their Minds
are always like troubled Waters, and every cross Accident is apt to make a
Storm, when Poets and Philosophers Minds are like the fixed Stars, having only
a twinkling motion; or rather like the Sun, which keeps a constant Course, and
never alters, but yet moves swiftly about the world, and views every corner,
and peirces into the very bowels of the Earth, and their Sun-like Mind is the
Light of their Thoughts; like as the rest of the Planets receive light from the
Sun, so the Thoughts from the Mind; and as the Sun hath Heat and Light, so hath
the Mind Reason and Knowledge; and as the Sun inlivens several Creatures, so
their Mind conceives several Causes and Effects, and creates several Fancies;
and as the Sun shows the World, and the World of Creatures, so the Mind finds
and shows the Truth of Things. But leaving them to true Knowledge, Wisdom, Wit
and Happiness, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
XV.
MADAM,
YEsterday was the Lord N. W. to visit me, where amongst other Discourses we
talked of the Lady T. M. not sooner was her name mentioned, but he seemed to be
rapt up into the third Heaven, and from thence to descend to declare her
Praises; and to repeat his Expressions, they were so extraordinary, as they
will not easily go out of my Memory, so as you shall have them word for word.
First, he said, She was a Lady fit to be the Empress of the whole world, for
though Fortune had not given her a Temporal Imperial Crown, Dignity and Title,
as neither by Inheritance, Victory, nor Choice, nor had not advanced her to a
Temporal Imperial Power, nor placed her on a Temporal Imperial Throne, nor held
she a Temporal Imperial Sceptre, yet she was Crowned at her Birth the Empress
of her Sex; for though Fortune had not Crowned her Body, yet Nature had Crowned
her Soul with a Celestial Crown, made of Poetical Flame, instead of Earthly
Gold that Crown's the Body; and instead of Diamonds, Pearls, and other precious
Stones set in Golden Crowns, her Celestial Crown was set with Understanding,
Judgement and Wit, also with clear Distinguishings, oriental Similizings, and
sparkling Fancies, a Crown more glorious than Ariadne's Crown of Stars; and
though she was not advanced on a Temporal Imperial Throne, yet she was set
higher, as on a Throne of Applause; and though she possessed not a Temporal
Imperial Power, nor held a Temporal Imperial Sceptre, yet she had a powerful
Persuasion and the tongue of Eloquence; and though she was not adorned with
Imperial Robes, yet she was adorned with Natural Beauty; and though she had not
a Temporal and Imperial Guard, yet she was guarded with Virtue; and though she
was not attended, waited and served with and by Temporal and Imperial
Courtiers, yet she was attended, waited on, and served by and with the sweet
Graces, and her Maids of Honour were the Muses, and Fame's house was her
Magnificent Palace. Thus was she Royally Born, and Divinely Anointed or Endued,
and Celestially Crowned, and may Reign in the memory of every Age and Nation to
the world's end; and not only Reign, but Reign Happily, Gloriously, and
Famously. But when he had said what I have related, I could not choose but
smile, to hear such Poetical commendations of a Woman, doubting none of our Sex
was worthy of such high, and far-fetch'd Praises; he asked me why I smiled? I
told him, I smiled to observe how the Passion of Love had bribed his Tongue; he
said, he was not guilty of partial Bribes, but Justice had commanded his Tongue
to speak the Truth: I told him, I was glad to find, at least to hear, that
there was Justice in Men, and Merit in Women, as the one to Praise, the other
to be Praise-worthy; but I prayed him to give me leave, or to pardon me, if I
told him, that his Speech showed, or expressed him not a Temporal and Imperial
Courtier, as to praise one Lady to another, and to give so many Praises to an
absent Lady, as to leave no Praises for the present Lady: He prayed me to
pardon him that Error, and that hereafter he would always Praise that Lady he
was present with. But, Madam, those Praises given the Lady T. M. had I been apt
to Envy, it had turned me all into Vinegar, or dissolved me into Vitriol; but
being unspotted, and free from that speckled Vice, I am heightened with joy to
hear any of our Sex so Celestial, as to deserve a Celestial Praise: And leaving
you to the same Joy, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XVI.
MADAM,
I Hope I have given the Lady D. A. no cause to believe I am not her Friend;
for though she hath been of Ps. and I of Ks. side, yet I know no reason why
that should make a difference betwixt us, as to make us Enemies, no more than
cases of Conscience in Religion, for one may be my very good Friend, and yet
not of my opinion, every one's Conscience in Religion is betwixt God and
themselves, and it belongs to none other. 'Tis true, I should be glad my Friend
were of my opinion, or if I thought my Friend's opinion were better than mine,
I would be of the same; but it should be no breach of Friendship, if our
opinions were different, since God is only to be the Judge: And as for the
matter of Governments, we Women understand them not, yet if we did, we are
excluded from intermedling therewith, and almost from being subject thereto; we
are not tied, nor bound to State or Crown; we are free, not Sworn to
Allegiance, nor do we take the Oath of Supremacy; we are not made Citizens of
the Commonwealth, we hold no Offices, nor bear we any Authority therein; we are
accounted neither Useful in Peace, nor Serviceable in War; and if we be not
Citizens in the Commonwealth, I know no reason we should be Subjects to the
Commonwealth: And the truth is, we are no Subjects, unless it be to our
Husbands, and not always to them, for sometimes we usurp their Authority, or
else by flattery we get their good wills to govern; but if Nature had not
befriended us with Beauty, and other good Graces, to help us to insinuate our
selves into men's Affections, we should have been more enslaved than any other
of Natur's Creatures she hath made; but Nature be thanked, she hath been so
bountiful to us, as we oftener enslave men, than men enslave us; they seem to
govern the world, but we really govern the world, in that we govern men: for
what man is he, that is not governed by a woman more or less? None, unless some
dull Stoic, or an old miserable Usurer, or a cold, old, withered Bachelor, or
a half-starved Hermit, and such like persons, which are but here and there one;
And not only Wives and Mistresses have prevalent power with Men, but Mothers,
Daughters, Sisters, Aunts, Cousins, nay, Maid-Servants have many times a
persuasive power with their Masters, and a Land-lady with her Lodger, or a
she-Hostess with her he-Guest; yet men will not believe this, and 'tis the
better for us, for by that we govern as it were by an insensible power, so as
men perceive not how they are Led, Guided, and Ruled by the Feminine Sex. But
howsoever, Madam, the disturbance in this Country hath made no breach of
Friendship betwixt us, for though there hath been a Civil War in the Kingdom,
and a general War amongst the Men, yet there hath been none amongst the Women,
they have not fought pitched battles; and if they had, there hath been no
particular quarrel betwixt her and me, for her Ladyship is the same in my
affection, as if the Kingdom had been in a calm Peace; in which Friendship I
shall always remain hers, as also,
Your Ladyships most Humble and Devoted S.
XVII.
MADAM,
THe pure Lady, or Lady Puritan, is so godly, as to follow all those Ministers
she thinks are called and chosen by the Holy Spirit, to preach the Word of God,
whereas those Ministers preach more their own words, than God's, for they
interpret the Scripture to their own Sense, or rather to their Factious Humours
and Designs, and after their Sermons, their female Flocks gossip Scripture,
visiting each other to confer Notes, and make repetitions of the Sermons, as
also to explain and expound them; for first the Minister expounds the
Scripture, and then the Women-hearers expound the Sermon; so that there are
expoundings upon expoundings, and preaching upon preaching, insomuch as they
make such a medley or hash of the Scripture, as certainly the right and Truth is
so hidden and obscured, that none can find it; and surely the Holy Spirit, whom
they talk so much of, knows not what they mean or preach, being so much and
such Non-sense in their Sermons, as God himself cannot turn to Sense; but
howsoever, it works on some to a good effect, and causes as much Devotion
amongst many, as if they preached Learnedly, Eloquently, and interpreted
Rightly, and to the true sense meaning; for many sorrowful penitent tears are
shed, but whether they be bottled up in Heaven, I know not: certainly Mary
Magdalen could not Weep faster for the time, or fetch deeper Sighs, or stronger
Groans for her Sins, than they do, which shows that they have been grievous
Sinners; but whether their Sins were of the same kind as hers were, I cannot
tell, and I think they would not confess, for Confession they account Popish.
But truly, and verily, the Lady Puritan who hath been to visit me this
afternoon, hath so tired me with her preaching Discourse, as I think I shall
not recover my weary Spirits and deafened Ears, this two days, unless a quiet
sleep cure me; nay, she hath so filled my head with words, as I doubt it will
hinder my silent Repose; howsoever I'll try: and so taking my leave as going to
bed, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
XVIII.
MADAM,
I Observe there is an emulation between the Lord V. A. and the Lord G. V. for
Worth and Merit, striving which shall excel each other in Virtue, Noble
Qualities, Practicable Arts, Learned Sciences, Witty Poetry, and the like; as
for Justice, Temperance, Valour, Fortitude, Generosity, Gratitude, Fidelity and
Loyalty, as also, for Courtesy, Civility, and Obligements; for wise Forecasts,
prudent Managements, industrious Ingenuities, noble Commands, and honest and
conformable Obedience; likewise for graceful Behaviours, and handsome
Demeanours; also, for Fencing, Riding, Vaulting, Wrestling, and the like; for
proper and fit Sciences for Noble Persons to be learned and known, as
Fortification, Navigation, Astronomy, Cosmography, Architecture, Music, and
History; and for Wit, as Scenes, Songs, Poems, and the like: and this Emulation
makes them Admire, Love, Respect, and Praise each other, and watch all
opportunities to Oblige each other, thinking and esteeming it a Happiness so to
do; for the effects of Emulation are quite different from the effects of Envy,
for Envy is full of Dispraise and Detraction, either covertly or openly, and
watches all opportunities to do Mischief, and to obscure the Beauty of Virtue,
and the grace and becoming demeanours of Virtuosoes; whereas Emulation rejoices
when Virtue is visibly Seen, and justly Praised, and Virtuosoes highly
Commended: indeed, Emulation dwells with the Worthiest Persons, Envy with the
Basest. But, Madam, 'tis a wonder in an age so basely Bad, there should be two
persons so nobly Good; when most men spend their time so idly Vain, that they
should spend their time so ingeniously Prudent; when Vice is advanced, and
Virtue disgraced, that they should should Shun that advancement, and embrace
Virtue; when Treason is Rewarded and Loyalty Punished, that they should loyally
Suffer, and not basely Betray; when Flattery is heard, and Truth rejected, that
they should choose to be Silent, or Speak what they think. They covet not
Office, Authority and Wealth, nor do they ambitiously strive to Command, but
when they are employed, they do not grow proud with their Authority and Place,
nor richer by taking Bribes; nor do they partially Favour their Friends, nor
are they Unjust to their Foes; they use no Malice nor Favour, but are Upright
and Just; and in their Commands in War, or Governments in Peace, although they
are carefully Strict, they are not Imperious nor Cruel; but, in short, they
endeavour to serve their King Loyally, their Country Faithfully, and every
particular Man Generously, if it lie in their power. But leaving these two
Nobles to their Glorious Emulatings, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. S.
XIX.
MADAM,
AS the Emulation between the Lord V. A. and the Lord G. V. was Commendable,
and worthy of great Praise, so the Envy between the Lord P. R. and the Lord M.
A. is Discommendable, and worthy to be Condemned; for they strive not to
imitate equally, or surpass each other for Worth and Merit, for Courtesy and
Civility, for Valour and Generosity, for Learning and Poetry; but strive to
imitate equally, or surpass each other in Expenses and Bravery, for Show and
Vain glory, for Offices and Honour, for Vice and Vanity, as which shall make
more luxurious Feasts, delicious Banquets, masking Scenes, dancing Balls, gay
Shows, as brave Clothes, gilded Coaches, laced Liveries, many Pages, Lackeys,
hackny Horses, and handsome Mistresses; also they strive for Court Preferments,
each would have All Offices and Honours, although, perchance, neither could
well discharge any One Place or Office Wisely, if Honestly, nor be worthy the
Least Title they are ambitious of; also they strive to be out-Flattered, which
Flatterers they maintain at great charge, and to compass their each
out-stripping, or out-reaching Designs, they will crouch Basely, flatter
Grossly, bribe Liberally, wait Diligently, watch Carefully, and attend
Patiently; But I foresee their Fate, which is, they will die despised Beggars,
for if they get their Designs, they will be Losers, for the Bribes they give
for them, and their Presents and Entertainments, are more than their Designs
are worth, and more than they shall gain by them, if gotten; but if their
Designs fail them, they will be double losers, besides the expense of their gay
Vanities; so what with out-braving, out-bribing, and out-spending each other,
they will both be soon out of their Estates; for if they spend upon their
Stocks, or Credits, or both, they will have nothing left to spend, and when
they are both Poor, Envy may chance to make them Friends, as it doth now, being
Rich, Enemies; for though Envy is a following Enemy to Wealth and Prosperity,
yet 'tis a Friend to Poverty, and for the most dwells with Poverty; to which
I'll leave these two Envious Persons, and rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
XX.
MADAM,
I Remember you told me, that formerly you thought Time troublesome, and every
Place wearisome; as in the Spring, you would wish for Summer, when Summer came,
you would wish for Autumn, and in the Autumn you would wish for Winter, a cold
wish; nay every Day, every Hour, every Minute, you thought Tedious and Long.
Indeed Time runs so fast upon Youth, as it doth oppress Youth, which makes
Youth desire to cast it by; and though the Motion of Time is swift, yet the
Desire of Youth is swifter, and the Motions of Thoughts are as far beyond the
Motions of Time, as the Motion of Time is beyond the Motion of Nature's
Architecture; so as Youth through it's Sharp, Greedy, Hungry Appetite, devours
Time, like as a Cormorant doth Fish; for as he never stays to chew, but
swallows down whole Fishes, so Youth swallows, as it were, whole Days, Weeks,
Months, Years, until they surfeit with Practice, or are fully satisfied with
Experience: The same reason makes Youth weary of every Place or Company, for
they are not satisfied, because they have not had enough variety of Knowledge,
they know not the right use of Time, the unprofitable use of Vanity, the
restless motions of Variety, nor know they the Deceits, Abuses, and Treacheries
of their own Kind, as Mankind, neither do they know their own Natures and
Dispositions, they know not what to Choose, nor what to Leave, what to Seek,
nor what to Shun; neither have they felt the heavy burdens of Cares, nor
oppressions of Sorrows for Losses and Crosses; they have not been pinched with
Necessity, nor pained with long Sicknesses, nor stung with Remorse; they have
not been terrified with bloody Wars, nor forsaken of Natural Friends, nor
betrayed by feigned Friendships; they have not been robbed of all their
Maintenance, nor been banished their Country. Thus being tenderly Young, they
are Oppressed with the quick repetitions of Time, and their Senses being Sharp,
and their Appetites Hungry, they greedily Devour Time, though in the end Time
devours them, the Meat, the Eater; also the desire of Knowledge makes every
Place and Company wearisome, for Youth takes delight in that which is New, they
being New themselves, for Youth is like Garments new made, and being new
themselves, they Sympathetically delight and love new things, as new Clothes,
new Houses, new Vanities, new Sports, new Countries, new Companies, new Lovers,
new Friends, and any thing that is new to them, insomuch as they would rather
have a new Enemy, than an old Friend; and thus will Youth do, until Time turns
its back, whereupon are written all the Follies of Youth, which Follies they
could not see to read whilst Time was before them, for while Times face is
towards them, they only see their childish desires, which are all written upon
Times breast. But, Madam, I believe, that Time, as troublesome as it hath seemed
to you, you would be glad now of its stay; but Time doth as all Courting
Amorosoes do, they run to embrace Youth, though they tire Youth with their
troublesome kindness, but when the gloss of Youth is past, they leave off their
Amours, nay, they hate those they made love to, and strive to get away from
them as fast as they can, and as far off: Just so doth Time, it makes love to
all, and then forsakes all it hath made love to. But, Madam, it hath but newly
turned its head from you, but it will turn its whole body; at first it will
seem to pace slowly from you, but it will mend its pace, and at last run from
you, yet let it not run without your repining, or grieving for its neglects,
for no persuasion will make it stay. But, Madam, you will be happier in Times
neglects, than in its embraces, and will make more advantage from Times
heels than from its head, for Times head is filled with Vanity, and on Times
heels is Experience; yet although Time runs from you, Wisdom will stay with
you, for Wisdom is the Son of Time, and became Wise by his Fathers Follies,
which are written upon his Fathers back; for Wisdom waits always behind his
Father, and neither Wisdom the Son, nor Time the Father, do meet face to face;
and you will find more happiness in Wisdom's Company than in Times Courtships,
for Wisdom's Conversation is Comfortable and Pleasing, it speaks with the
Tongue of an Orator, the Wit of a Poet, and the Advice of a Friend; then who
would be troubled with the fantastical Humours, apish Actions, flattering
Speeches, and subtle Deceits of Time? But lest this Letter should be as tedious
to you as formerly Time was, I'll stop here, and rest,
Madam,
Your Ladyships faithful Fr. and S.
XXI.
MADAM,
I Am sorry that Mrs. P. L. hath had so great a loss at cards, as the grief of
the loss caused her to weep; But Gamesters are like Merchant-adventurers, and
for the most part have the same fate, as to die Bankrupts, for more are
impoverished by their losses, than enriched by their gettings; but gaming was
never so much practised by our Feminine Sex, as it is in this age, and by their
losses, (I know not for their skill) they seem Masculine gamesters, and I
believe they quarrel as much in their play, only they fight not Duels, unless
with their Tongues. But I observe that cards is one of the chief pastimes of
our Sex, and their greatest delight, for few or none of our Sex loves or
delights in Poetry, unless a Copy of Verses made in their praise, wherein for
the most part is more Flattery than Wit; neither doth our Sex delight or
understand Philosophy, for as for Natural Philosophy they study no more of
Nature's works than their Faces, and their greatest ingenuity is, to make them
Fairer than Nature did; and for Moral Philosophy, they think that too tedious
to learn, and too rigid to practise; yet I make no question but they have heard
of Temperance, though few are acquainted with it, and Prudence they scorn to
accompany, they despise her as a mean, plain Huswife, and Fortitude can get no
entrance, for strong Fears keep her out; as for Justice, I think our Sex doth
only resemble the Emblem or Moral, as Justice is blinded with a band to keep
out Partiality, so our Sex is blinded with Ignorance, which keeps out
Knowledge; and though our Sex holds no Sword in their hands to cut off
Offences, yet they hold as sharp a Weapon in their mouths, to cut off good
Fame, and will make more Offences, than the Sword of Justice is able to cut
off; and as for the Balance of Justice, which is Judgement, they never use it,
for they seldom Weigh any thing; and for Faith, Hope, and Charity, they seem to
have no more Faith than to believe their own Praises, and their only Hope is
for pre-eminence of Beauty or Title, for Place or Wealth, and for Vanities; and
as for Charity, they spend so much upon themselves, as they have nothing left
for the Poor; and they are so far from governing their Passions and Appetites,
as their Passions and Appetites govern and rule the whole course of their
Lives; neither doth our Sex take much delight in true History, for naturally
our Sex is too lazy to look back into past Times, neither have they the
piercing foresight to see into Future times, they only regard the Present;
neither doth our Sex take much pleasure in harmonious Music, only in Violins
to tread a measure; the truth is, the chief study of our Sex is Romances,
wherein reading, they fall in love with the feigned Heroes and Carpet-Knights,
with whom their Thoughts secretly commit Adultery, and in their Conversation
and manner, or forms or phrases of Speech, they imitate the Romancy-Ladies: And
our Sexes chief Pastime is Gaming of all kinds or sorts, but most Cards,
whereby they lose more money than get reputation; indeed Carding is their Work,
for they make it rather a Labour with long and tiresome Sitting, careful
Playing, and painful Vexing and Fretting, than a Pleasure and Recreation; and
our Sexes chief Exercise is Dancing, not alone, amongst themselves, for that
they hate, but in masculine Company, and this they love so well, as to dance
themselves into a fiery heat, if not a Fever; and their only delight is in
Love and Courtships, and their only pleasure Luxury, insomuch as they are for
the most part Eating, whether Sitting, Walking, or Dancing. But leaving our Sex
to their Banquets, Courtships, Dancing and Gaming, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. S.
XXII.
MADAM,
YOu said in your last Letter, that Sir G. A. doth so brag of his own gallant
Actions, as he saves his neighbour the labour to report them; I am sorry to
hear gallant men should brag of their own Actions, for their bragging takes off
the gloss of their Courage; for as Time takes off Youth or fresh Colour off
Beauty, so Self-praise takes off the Esteem and Honour of Merit: But as some
will boast of their own Worth, so others will boast of their own Baseness, as
what subtle Cheats they have practised, or whom they have Betrayed, or how
ingenious they were in telling Lies, or how many Robberies they have committed;
as also of their Disobedience, Disloyalty, and the like; others will boast of
their Debaucheries, as how often they have had the French Disease, how many
Women they have Debauched, how much they can Drink before they are Drunk, and
how long they can sit a Drinking, what Monies they have Won or Lost at Play,
how Vain and Expensive they are, or have been, and many the like, which I
wonder at, that men should Glory and take a Pride in that which is Base or
Foolish: But this argues some men to have mean Souls and foolish Brains, full
of idle Discourses, wanting Judgement and Wit; also unprofitable Lives, and
when they Die there is a good riddance, for they were but as Rubbish in the
World, which Death, like as an honest painful Labourer, takes up like as
Dunghills, and throws them into the Grave, and buries them in Oblivion, not
being worthy of a monument of Remembrance, in which Grave I leave those that
are Dead, and those that Live I wish may be Reformed to more Purity; so I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXIII.
MADAM,
IT is not strange that the Lady L. T. and the Lady A. M. should fall out, so,
as to be Enemies, although they were such fond Friends, as not to be pleased in
each others absence, but Friendship that is made out of fond Humours, seldom
lasts long, especially when they live and board together; for first, Fondness
wears away with Use and Acquaintance, next, being borded together, Faults or
Neglects are committed, and Exceptions taken; Self-love of the one person will
be served first, and Self-love of the other person will not suffer it; besides,
many cross Humours, and sometimes little Envies, will appear betwixt equal
Persons that live together, especially Women, and the sooner, if either or both
have Husbands or Lovers; for Women will be sooner jealous of their Husbands or
Lovers for their She-friends, than Men will be of their Wives or Mistresses for
their He-friends: but Household Friends for the most part are Home-lovers, that
is, the He-friend makes love to the Wife, or the She-friend is Courted by the
Husband; and if they be both married, 'tis likely they Cuckold each other; and
thus, for Example, these Ladies are become Enemies through Jealousy, for
though the Lady L. T. professed to love her Friend the Lady A. M. dearly well,
yet it seems, she will not have her to Share with her of her Husbands Love or
Courtship, although Sir T. O. the Lady L. Ts. Husband, could be no less than a
Servant to his Wives dear Friend; Besides, it is a temptation to an Husband, to
see two She-friends Embrace, and Kiss, and Sport, and Play, which makes the
Husband to desire to do the like, not with his Wife, but his VVives Friend,
for temptation is from that which men are not accustomed to, or to do as they
see others do; but 'tis likely, when the jealous Humour of the Lady L. T. is
over, they will be Friends again, till the jealous Humour return again. Thus
they may be Friends and Enemies all their Life time, and perchance take a
pleasure in being so, for Women for the most part take delight to make
Friendships, and then to fall out, and be Friends again, and so to and fro,
which is as much Pastime and Recreation to them, as going abroad and staying at
home. But I wish all Friends were as constant Friends as your Ladyship and I,
who are inseparably united, for as long as I live I shall be,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
XXIV.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter I perceive the Gallants of the Time, I mean Gallants for
Youth and Bravery, for Vice and Vanity, for Expense and Prodigality, for
foolish Quarrels, and rash Duels, these Gallants, it seems, condemn Age as
unfit for State-affairs, as neither to Govern, Command, Direct, nor Advise; but
certainly those States or Kingdoms that have young Governors and Counsellers,
shall have more Combustions and Disorders committed by their Ignorance and
Follies, than the most experienced Age can Rectify: indeed such Kingdoms and
States are rather governed by Chance than Wisdom. 'Tis true, Fools have Good
Fortune sometimes, but not so often as Bad, which shows they neither have a
Politic Vlysses, nor a Counselling Nestor, for though Young men may Fight as
Achilles, yet they can neither Counsel as Nestor, nor Speak as Ulysses; not but
that some Old men may be Fools, but it is against Nature for Young men to be
Wise, wherefore they are fitter to Obey than to Command, and to be Advised,
than to give Counsel, for it is a wonder whenas young Counsellers keep Peace,
or young Generals be Conquerours; and it makes them more Famous, because not
Usual, especially when Fortune favours them, as she doth many times their Rash
Adventures, or haughty and Ambitious Enterprises; for good Fortune makes Youth
appear more Glorious than Age; but Fortune many times favours Youth, as she
favours Fools, for a time, and in the end leaves them to their own Ruin; but
where Fortune hath little or nothing to do, as in wise Counsels, there their
Ignorance and Follies, Passions and Partialities, Factions and Emulations
appear, especially in the success of their Counsels; wherefore Young men may
better and more safely be trusted with an Army than a City, for 'tis more safe
to leave them to Fortune, than to trust them with Prudence; for Young men can
tell better how to make Wars, than to keep Peace, being easier to Lead an Army,
than to Rule a Kingdom, to Fight a Battle, than to Order a Commonwealth, to
Distribute Spoils, than to Do Justice, for Fortune hath more power in Victory
than Right. 'Tis true, sometimes there's such a Concurrence and Conjunction in
Affairs of State, as also in Armies, as the Wisest or Valiantest men cannot
make better, nor Fools nor Cowards worse, which is the cause that many times
Wise or Valiant men, or both, may be thought Fools and Cowards, and Fools and
Cowards Wise or Valiant men; and many times Fools are too hard for Wise men, by
reason there be numbers of Fools for few Wise men, nay, numbers of Fools for
One Wise man, which Wise man may be buried in the Rubbish of Fools; but if a
Wise man be not overpowered, he treads down their Follies and Triumphs in Peace
and Prosperity: But Aged men most commonly are assisted and attended by Mercury
and Pallas, and Young men by Mars and Venus. The truth is, 'tis against Sense
and Reason, that Young men can be so Wise, or proper for Affairs of a
Commonwealth, either to Command, Govern, or Counsel, as Aged men, who have had
long Experience, and great Observations, by Seeing, Hearing, and Knowing much,
so as there is nothing New, or Unacquainted to them, neither in Varieties,
Changes, nor Chances; for Nature, Fortune, and Time, is their long
Acquaintance, by which they know the Appetites, Passions, Humours,
Dispositions, Manners, and Actions of Men, with their Defects, Errors and
Imperfections; also the Revolutions of Time, the Casualties of Chance, the
Change of Fortune, and the Natural Course, Causes, and Effects of several
Things in the World, all which makes Aged men Wise, and want of such
Experience and Observation, makes Young men Fools in comparison of Aged men;
for Young men can have but a Relative, and not an Experienced Knowledge, nor
can they have very much by Relation or Reading, having not time enough for
Instruction Learning; whereas Aged men have Read, Heard, Seen, Conversed and
Acted in and of several Ages, Societies, Nations, Men, and Business; also in
several Places of several Subjects, and several Matters, to several Men, at
several Times: But Young men are so Conceited, and Opinionative of themselves,
as they think, they neither want Wit, Judgement, Understanding, nor Knowledge,
and that Ancient men rather Dote than Know; but though Young men cannot be Wise
in Nature, unless by Inspiration, yet those are nearest to Wisdom that have
been Bred up, Instructed, and Educated by Wise Age, and so much Better and more
Knowing they are than others which have been Bred, Instructed, and Educated by
Young Pedants or Governors, as the first shall be as Old men, although but
Young, and the others shall be as Boys when they are Young Men, and Young Men
when they are Old, or rather Boys all their life time, although they should
live long; so that one may say, Happy is Youth that lives with Age: But leaving
as well Aged as Young men, to Knowledge and Ignorance, Wisdom and Folly,
Prudence and Fortune, I rest,
Madam, Your very faithful Friend and Servant.
XXV.
MADAM,
THe Lady P. R. was to visit the Lady S. I. and other Ladies with her, whose
Conversation and Discourse was according to their Female Capacities and
Understandings, and when they were all gone, the Lady S. Is. Husband asked his
Wife, why she did not Talk as the rest of the Ladies did, especially the Lady
P. R. so Loud and Impertinently? She answered, she had neither the Humour,
Breath, Voice, nor Wit, to Speak so Long, so Loud, and so Much of nothing: He
said, her Answer liked him well, for he would not have his Wife so Bold, so
Rude, and so Talking a Fool. Thus, Madam, we may perceive how Discourse in
Conversation is Judged of, and for the most part Condemned by the Hearers, when
perchance the Ladies imagine that they are Applauded and Commended for their
Wit and Confident Behaviour; for Self-love thinks all is well Said or Done,
that it self Speaks or Acts, so that Self-love doth always Approve it self,
and Dispraise others. But leaving Self-love to Self-admiration, and that
Admiration to others Condemnation, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. S.
XXVI.
MADAM,
WE have no News here, unless to hear that the Lady C. R. did beat her
Husband, and because she would have Witness enough, she beat him in a Public
Assembly, nay, being a woman of none of the least Sizes, but one of the
largest, and having Anger added to her Strength, she did beat him Soundly, and
it is said, that he did not resist her, but endured Patiently; whether he did
it out of fear to show his own VVeakness, being not able to Encounter her, or
out of a Noble Nature, not to Strike a Woman, I know not; yet I believe the
best: and surely, if he doth not, or cannot tame her Spirits, or bind her
Hands, or for Love will not leave her, if she beat him Often, he will have but
a Sore life. Indeed I was sorry when I heard of it, not only for the sake of
our Sex, but because she and he are persons of Dignity, it belonging rather to
mean-born and bred Women to do such unnatural Actions; for certainly, for a
Wife to strike her Husband, is as much, if not more, as for a Child to strike
his Father; besides, it is a breach of Matrimonial Government, not to Obey all
their Husbands Commands; but those Women that Strike or Cuckold their Husbands,
are Matrimonial Traitors, for which they ought to be highly punished; as for
Blows, they ought to be banished from their Husbands Bed, House, Family, and
for Adultery, they ought to suffer Death, and their Executioner ought to be
their Husband. 'Tis true, Passion will cause great Indiscretion, Women are
subject to Violent Passions, which makes or causes them so often to err in
Words and Actions, which, when their Passion is over, they are sorry for; but
unruly Passions are only a cause of uncivil Words and rude Actions, whereas
Adultery is caused by unruly Appetites; wherefore Women should be Instructed
and Taught more Industriously, Carefully, and Prudently, to Temper their
Passions, and Govern their Appetites, than Men, because there comes more
Dishonour from their unruly Passions and Appetites, than from Men's; but for the
most part Women are not Educated as they should be, I mean those of Quality,
for their Education is only to Dance, Sing, and Fiddle, to write Complemental
Letters, to read Romances, to speak some Language that is not their Native,
which Education, is an Education of the Body, and not of the Mind, and shows
that their Parents take more care of their Feet than their Head, more of their
Words than their Reason, more of their Music than their Virtue, more of their
Beauty than their Honesty, which methinks is strange, as that their Friends and
Parents should take more Care, and be at greater Charge to Adorn their Bodies,
than to Endue their Minds, to teach their Bodies Arts, and not to Instruct
their Minds with Understanding; for this Education is more for outward Show,
than inward Worth, it makes the Body a Courtier, and the Mind a Clown, and
oftentimes it makes their Body a Baud, and their Mind a Courtesan, for though
the Body procures Lovers, yet it is the Mind that is the Adulteress, for if the
Mind were Honest and Pure, they would never be guilty of that Crime; wherefore
those Women are best bred, whose Minds are civilest, as being well Taught and
Governed, for the Mind will be Wild and Barbarous, unless it be Enclosed with
Study, Instructed by Learning, and Governed by Knowledge and Understanding, for
then the Inhabitants of the Mind will live Peaceably, Happily, Honestly and
Honourably, by which they will Rule and Govern their associate Appetites with
Ease and Regularity, and their Words, as their Household Servants, will be
employed Profitably. But leaving the Lady C. R. and her Husband to Passion and
Patience, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXVII.
MADAM,
YEsterday I employed my time in reading History, and I find in my self an
Envy, or rather an Emulation towards Men, for their Courage, Prudence, Wit,
and Eloquence, as not to Fear Death, to Rule Commonwealths, and to Speak in a
Friend's behalf, or to Pacify a Friend's Grief, to Plead for his own Right, or
to Defend his own Cause by the Eloquence of Speech; yet this is not in all Men,
for some men have Courage and no Wit, and some have Wit and no Conduct, and
some have neither Wit, Courage, nor Conduct; but mistake me not, for I do not
Envy or Emulate a Stubborn Obstinacy, nor a Desperate Rashness, nor an
Inslaving Policy, nor Fine Words and Choice Phrases; but to Fight Valiantly,
to Suffer Patiently, to Govern Justly, and to Speak Rationally, Movingly,
Timely and Properly, as to the purpose, all which I fear Women are not Capable
of, and the Despair thereof makes me Envy or Emulate Men. But though I love
Justice Best, and trust to Valour Most, yet I Admire Eloquence, and would
choose Wit for my Pastime. Indeed Natural Orators that can speak on a Sudden
and Extempore upon any Subject, are Nature's Musicians, moving the Passions to
Harmony, making Concords out of Discords, Playing on the Soul with Delight. And
of all the Men I read of, I Emulate Iulius Caesar most, because he was a man
that had all these Excellencies, as Courage, Prudence, Wit and Eloquence, in
great Perfection, insomuch as when I read of Iulius Caesar, I cannot but wish
that Nature and Fate had made me such a one as he was; and sometimes I have
that Courage, as to think I should not be afraid of his Destiny, so I might
have as great a Fame. But these wishes discover my Aspiring Desires, and all
those Desires are but Vain that cannot be Attained to; yet although I cannot
attain to Iulius Caesar's Fame, it suffices me, to have attained to your
Favour, and to the Honour to subscribe my self,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXVIII.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you were pleased to Condemn me for Admiring Words, so
much, as to prefer Eloquence before all other Music; but pray, Madam, mistake
me not, for I do not Admire the Words, but the Sense, Reason, and Wit, that is
Expressed, and made Known by Words; neither do I Admire Formal Orators, that
speak Premeditated Orations, but Natural Orators, that can speak on a Sudden
upon any Subject, whose Words are as Sweet and Melting as Manna from Heaven,
and their Wit as Spreading and Refreshing as the Serene Air, whose
Understanding is as Clear as the Sun, giving Light of Truth to all their
Hearers, who in case of Persuasion, speak Sweetly, in case of Reproof,
Seasonably, and in all cases, Effectually. And, Madam, if you do Consider well,
you cannot choose but Admire, and Wonder at the Power of Eloquence, for there is
a strange hidden Mystery in Eloquence, it hath a Magical Power over mankind,
for it Charms the Senses, and Enchants the Mind, and is of such a Commanding
Power, as it Forces the Will to Command the Actions of the Body and Soul, to
Do, or to Suffer, beyond their Natural Abilities, and makes the Souls of men
the Tongue's Slaves; for such is the power of an Eloquent Speech, as it Binds
the Judgement, Blindfolds the Understanding, and Deludes the Reason; also it
Softens the Obdurate Hearts, and causes Dry Eyes to Weep, and Dries Wet Eyes
from Tears; also it Refines the Drossy Humours, Polishes the Rough Passions,
Bridles the Unruly Appetites, Reforms the Rude Manners, and Calms the Troubled
Minds; it can Civilize the Life by Virtue, and Inspire the Soul with Devotion.
On the other side, it can Enrage the Thoughts to Madness, and Cause the Soul to
Despair. The truth is, it can make Men like Gods or Devils, as having a Power
beyond Nature, Custom and Force, for many times the Tongue hath been too Strong
for the Sword, and often carried away the Victory; also it hath been too Subtle
for the Laws, as to Banish Right, and to Condemn Truth; and too hard for the
Natures of Men, making their Passions its Prisoners: and since Eloquence hath
such Power over Arms, and Laws, and Men, as to make Peace or War, to Compose or
Dissolve Commonwealths, to Dispose of Souls and Bodies of Mankind; wherefore
those men that are endued with such Eloquence, and overflowing Wit, are both to
be Feared and Loved, to be highly Advanced or utterly Banished; for those whose
Eloquent Wit out-runs their Honesty, are to be Punished, but those that employ
their Eloquent Wit, and Elegant Graces, to the service of the Commonwealth, are
to be Esteemed, Respected, and Relied upon, as Pillars of the Commonwealth. But
to conclude, Wit makes a Ladder of Words, to climb to Fame's high Tower, and
the Tongue carries men further than their Feet, and builds them a Statelier,
and more Lasting Palace than their Hands, and their Wit, more than their
Wealth, doth Adorn it. But now, leaving Words and Wit, I rely upon Love and
Friendship, and rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXIX.
MADAM,
I Heard by your last, that the Lady S. P. was to visit you, where, amongst her
other Discourses, she spoke of me, and was pleased to Censure and Condemn, as
to Censure the Cause, and Condemn the Manner of my Life, saying, that I did
either Retire out of a Fantastic Humour, or otherwise I was Constrained, in not
having the Liberty, that usually other VVives have, to go Abroad, and receive
what Visitors they please: But if she did but know the sweet Pleasures, and
harmless Delights I have by this Retirement, she would not have said what she
did; and to answer to what she said, This course of Life is by my own voluntary
Choice, for I have liberty to do any Thing, or to go any Where, or to keep any
Company that Discretion doth Allow, and Honour Approve of; and though I may err
in my Discretion, yet not in cases of Honour, for had I not only Liberty, but
were Persuaded or Enticed by all the World's Allurements, or were Threatened
with Death, to Do, or Act any thing against Honour, or to do any Thing or Act,
Honour did not Approve of, I would not Do it, nay, I would Die first: But in
that which is called Honour, are many Ingrediencies, as Justice, Chastity,
Truth, Trust, Gratitude, Constancy, and many the like. Next I answer, That it
is not out of a Fantastic Humour, that I live so much Retired, which is to
keep my House more than go Abroad, but out of Self-love, and not out of
Self-opinion, and it is Just and Natural for any one to Love himself:
Wherefore, for my Pleasure and Delight, my Ease and Peace, I live a Retired
Life, a Home Life, free from the Entanglements, confused Clamours, and rumbling
Noise of the World, for I by this Retirement live in a calm Silence, wherein I
have my Contemplations free from Disturbance, and my Mind lives in Peace, and
my Thoughts in Pleasure, they Sport and Play, they are not Vexed with Cares nor
worldly Desires, they are not Covetous of worldly Wealth, nor Ambitious of
empty Titles; they are not to be caught with the Baits of Sensual Pleasures,
or rather I may say, Sensual Follies, for they Draw my Senses to them, and run
not out to the Senses; they have no quarrelling Disputes amongst them; they
live Friendly and Sociably together; their only Delight is in their own
Pastimes and harmless Recreations; and though I do not go Personally to Masks,
Balls, and Plays, yet my Thoughts entertain my Mind with such Pleasures, for
some of my Thoughts make Plays, and others Act those Plays on the Stage of
Imagination, where my Mind sits as a Spectator, Thus my Mind is entertained
both with Poets and Players, and takes as much Delight as Augustus Caesar did
to have his Maecenas, the Patron of Poets, sit and hear Virgil and Horace read
their Works unto them; so my Mind takes Delight in its dear Maecenas, which is
Contemplation, and to have its Poetical Thoughts, although not like Virgil or
Horace, yet such as they are, it is pleased to have them Repeat their Poems,
and other Works which they make; and those my Mind likes best, it sends them
forth to the Senses to write them down, and then to send them out to the
public view of the World; and many times the Senses send in Objects to the
Mind, who straight commands his Poetical Thoughts to take them for Plots of
Plays, or causes the Grave Philosophical Thoughts to Discourse of them, or his
Oratorical Thoughts to practice their Eloquence on them, or his Critical
Thoughts to Dispute and Argue with them, which done, all their several
Discourses, Disputes, Arguments, Poems, Plays, and the like, made on those
Objects, are sent back to the Senses to write them down, so that the Mind and
the Thoughts employ the Senses, and the Senses employ the Mind and Thoughts,
and thus I take as much Pleasure within my self, if not more, as the Lady S. P.
doth without her self; indeed none enjoys truly himself, but those that live
to themselves, as I do, and it is better to be a Self-lover in a Retired Life,
than a Self-seeker in a Wandering Humour, like a Vagabond, for they go from
Place to Place, from one Company to another, and never are at rest in their
Minds nor Bodies; and how should it be otherwise? for they lose themselves in
Company, and keeping much Company, they know not where to find themselves, for
as for their Dwelling-place, they are sure to miss of themselves there; but
indeed they have no constant Dwelling, for going much Abroad, they dwell Every
where, and yet to speak Metaphorically, No where. But every ones Delights are
different, for the Lady S. P. delights her self with Others, and I delight my
self with my Self; Some delight in Troubles, I delight in Ease, and certainly
much Company and Conversation cannot choose but be Troublesome; for in much
Company are many Exceptions, much Envy, much Suspicion, much Detraction, much
Faction, much Noise, and much Non-sense, and it is impossible, at least
improbable, for any particular Person to please all the several Companies they
come into, or are visited by, if the Resort be many, by reason every one hath
as different Humours as Faces, wherein some will be Displeased, if others
should be Pleased, and most commonly they are so far from pleasing All, as None
is Pleased; for if any particular Person should Praise Every one, it would be
thought Flattery, if he should Praise None, it would be conceived to be Envy,
if he should Praise but Some, it would be judged to be Partiality; the like for
Discourse; if one should Address his Discourse to any One, or to Some more than
to Others, it would be taken as a Disrespect, if Generally, to the whole
Company, it would be accounted Pride, as taking ones self to be the only
Singular Person that must have a General Audience; neither can any one Person
fit his Discourse to every one's Humour, Fancy, Capacity, Understanding,
Knowledge or Delight, nay, most commonly, whatsoever is Spoken, is Interpreted
to the worst Sense, at least, Contradicted, and when they are parted, their
Words or Discourse is Repeated to their Disadvantage, and Commented on, and
Interpreted to an evil Sense; and if they say Nothing, or but Little, they are
accounted Ill-natured, or thought Fools, and yet they love not to hear any one
speak but themselves, every one desires to be heard, yet takes it ill not to be
spoken to; also if particular Persons make an Entertainment, if they invite not
those they have no acquaintance with, as well as those of their Acquaintance,
if they are within the distance of coming to the Entertainment, they take it
for an Affront, but if they should leave out any Acquaintance, it is a Breach
for ever, and they become their Enemies: also if particular Persons be
accoustred Bravely, they are Envied, if they be attired in plain, mean
Garments, they are Despised; and if any Woman be more Beautiful than commonly
the rest are, if she appears to the World, she shall be sure to have more
Female Detractors and Slanderers, to ruin her Reputation, than any Monarch hath
Soldiers to fight an Enemy, if any Woman be Ill-favoured, it is mentioned as a
Reproach, although it be Nature's fault, and not hers, and if she be
indifferently Handsome, they speak of her as Regardless; if she be in Years,
they will say, she is fitter for the Grave than Company, if Young, fitter for a
School than Conversation, if of middle Years, their Tongues are the
Fore-runners of her Decay; if she have Wealth, and no Titles, she is like Meat,
all Fat and no Blood, and if great Title with small Wealth, they say, she is
like a Pudding without Fat, and if she hath both Wealth and Title, they Shun
her as the Plague, they Hate to see her, as Owls hate the Light, and if she
hath neither Wealth nor Title, they Scorn her Company, and will not cast an eye
towards her; and thus the Generality is to every Particular: wherefore it is
impossible for any Particular either to Please the Humours, or Avoid the
Slanders or Reproaches of the Generality, for every One is against Another;
indeed, every One is against All, and All against every One, and yet through
the itch of Talk, Luxury, Wantonness and Vanity, they will Associate into
Companies, or rather I may say, Gather into Companies, and Frequent each others
Houses, whereas those that endeavour to be truly Happy, will not be Troubled
with such Follies, nor Disturbed with such Toys: But I am not so Retired, as
to bar my self from the Company of my good Friends, or such as are free from
Exception, as not to Translate harmless and simple Words, to an evil Sense or
Meaning, or such as are so Noble, as not to Dispraise, or Detract from such
Persons as they are pleased to take the pains to Visit, or from such as will
not take it for a Neglect, if I do not punctually return their Visit, or
perhaps not Visit them at any time, but will Excuse or Pardon my Lazy Humour,
and not account it a Disrespect, as truly it is none, for I do Honour and
Admire all Civil, Worthy, and Honourable Persons, and would be ready at all
times Honestly to Serve them. But this Retired Life is so Pleasing to me, as I
would not change it for all the Pleasures of the Public World, nay, not to be
Mistress of the World, for I should not desire to be Mistress of that which is
too Big to be Commanded, too Self-willed to be Ruled, too Factious to be
Governed, too Turbulent to live in Peace, and Wars would Fright, at least
Grieve me, that mankind should be so Ill-natur'd and Cruel to Destroy each
other. To conclude, I am more Happy in my Home-retirement, than I believe the
Lady S. P. is in her Public Frequentments, having a Noble and Kind Husband,
who is Witty and Wise Company, a Peaceable and Quiet Mind, and Recreative
Thoughts, that take harmless Liberty; and all this I have declared to you, that
you may let the Lady S. P. know that my Retirement from the public Concourse
and Army of the World, and Regiments of Acquaintance, is neither through
Constraint, nor Fantastic Humour, but through a Love to Peace, Ease, and
Pleasure, all which you Enjoy; which is the fulfilling of your Ladyships
faithful Friend and Servant's Happiness.
XXX.
MADAM,
YEsterday, being not in the Humour of Writing, I took Plutarch's Lives, or as
some call them, Plutarch's Lies, but Lives or Lies, or a mixture of both, I
read part of the day in that Book, and it was my chance to read the Life of
Pericles the Athenian, in which Story he is Commended for his Gravity,
Government, and Wisdom; this Pericles I did much Admire all the time I read of
him, until I did read where it was mentioned of his marrying Aspasia, a famous
Courtesan, and then I did not think him so Wise a man as I did before, in that
he could not rule his Passion better, but to marry a Whore; neither doth
Gravity and Wantonness suit well together, for to my imagination a Grave
Cuckold doth appear most Ridiculous: And although she was Constant to him, yet
the Lewdness of her former Life could not but be a great Blemish to him, as to
marry the Dregs and Leavings of other men; But it seemed that she had an
Attractive Power, especially on such as they call Wise men, as Statesmen,
Philosophers, and Governors, and all this Power lay in her Tongue, which was a
Bawd for the other end; nay, so well (it is said) she could Speak, that not
only such men as forementioned did come to hear her, and to learn to speak
Eloquently by her, but many also brought their Wives to hear her, which in my
opinion was Dangerous, lest they might learn her Vice with her Rhetoric; but
it seems the Graecians were not like the Italians concerning their Wives,
although they were like them concerning their Courtesans; but honest Women take
not so much care to Speak well, as to Do that which is Virtuous. And so leaving
Aspasia and Pericles in Plutarch's History, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXXI.
MADAM,
I Cannot wonder if I hear that men which are Advanced to Power and Authority
should be Dispraised, because it's usual; but rather I should wonder, if I
should hear such men Praised or Applauded, although their Lives and Actions
were Blameless, nay Wise and Honest; for I have observed, that if any man have
more Wealth, Merit, Power, or Wit, than his Neighbour, he is sure to be
privately Hated, and publicly Railed or Exclaimed against, and to show their
Hate and Dispraise is against his Merit, Wealth, Power, Wit, or the like, if
this man fall from those Favours either of Fortune or Nature, he is not only
Pitied, but dearly Beloved, and highly Praised; and this Ill and Inconstant
Nature and Humour is so frequent in all Ages and Nations, as it may very easily
be believed, that it was Created in the Essence of mankind, insomuch, that had
Men been created before the Angels Fell, they would have Envied their Glory,
and Accused God of Partiality, in making such difference between Men and
Angels, but whenas those Angels were cast from Heaven to Hell for their
Wickedness, they would Censure God for being too Severe in their Punishment;
Yet, Madam, mistake me not, to believe all men are so Envious and Ill-natur'd,
but some; for surely though many Angels fell through Spiritual Pride, Envy, and
Ambition, yet many remained in Heaven, as Pure as when first Created; and so
likewise many Men by the Mercy of God are bred to Virtue, and blessed with
Piety, to which I leave them, and rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXXII.
MADAM,
SIr, D. D. and his Lady had invited a great many of their Friends to a
Feasting Dinner, and being Set, they fell to Eating, and soon after to Talking,
for Talking accompanies Eating and Drinking, especially at a Feast; but amongst
other Discourses, they were speaking of Marriage, Husbands and Wives, where Sir
D. D. said somewhat that his Wife had great reason to take Unkindly, knowing
her Virtue had deserved more loving Expressions from him, especially in an open
Assembly, which Unkindness forced Tears through her Eyes, but they were
becoming Tears, for they did not cause the Feature in her Face to be Distorted,
for she appeared in her Countenance Sweet and Amiable, as if there had been no
Discontent in her Mind, neither did she show any Discontent in her Words or
Behaviour, for she neither Complained, nor Railed at her Husband, nor Quarrelled
with him, nor rose from the Table in a Passion, to the Disturbance of the
Company, as most Women would have done, and often do, when they are Displeased
or Angered, but she wiped the Tears from her Eyes, and Addressed her self, as she
did before, to Entertain her Friends Civilly and Courteously, and when they had
all Dined, and the Cloth taken away, she asked pardon of her Friends for her
Tears, saying her Tears had made their meeting appear rather as a funeral
Condoling, than a merry Feasting: But truly, said she, I could not help it, for
they would not be restrained do what I could, for some words my Husband spoke
caused a Storm of Grief in my mind, which raised up Billows of Tears that
overflowed my Eyes, yet, said she, the Dearest and Loving'st Friends will both
Take and Give Cause of Exception sometimes, for not any Man or Woman is so
Perfect as not to Err; and thus her Discretion did not suffer her Passion to
Disturb her Guests, and her good Nature did Excuse her Husband's Folly, and her
Love did Forgive his Disrespect to her; But the Lady C. C. did not behave her
self so, for her Husband Sir G. C. and she had invited many of their Friends to
a Feasting Dinner, and she, as the Mistress, to order all affairs belonging to
a Wife, took upon her to order the Feast, and being a Mode-Lady, would have a
Mode-Feast; but the Cook knowing his Master loved roast Beef, sent in a Chine of
roast Beef to the Table, and when her Guests were all Set, and beginning to Eat,
she spied the Chine of Beef, whereat she was very angry, to have, as she
thought, her Feast disgraced with an old English fashion, and not only an Old,
but a Country fashion, to have Beef served to their Table; wherefore she, to
show her self a Courtier, rather than a Country-Lady, commanded one of the
waiters to take the Beef from the Table, Sir G. C. her Husband desired not to
have it taken away, for said he, I love Beef better than any other Meat, but
she to express she had a Ladies Nice Stomach, or rather a Nice Lady's Stomach,
said, the Beef was fulsome to her Eyes, and made her Stomach sick to see it, her
Husband bad her to look upon some of the other meat, and to give him leave to
eat of what he liked; but she would not agree to that, for, said she, the very
Smell was Offensive to her, and therefore she would have it taken away, he said
it should not be taken away, until he had eaten as much as he would; but in
fine, their words Multiplied, and gathered together in an outrageous Tumult,
raised their voices into an Uproar, and then from Words they went to Blows,
flinging whatsoever came next to hand at one another head; their Guests being
in danger to be Hurt, rose from the Table, and Sir G. C. and his Lady rose
also, and went to Cuffs, but their Friends did soon part them, and the Lady
went Crying into her Chamber, and was Sick, because she had not her Will, at
least Feigned her self Sick; As for their Guests, they were rather invited to
Fast than to Feast, as it fell out, for all the fine Quelquechose was spoiled,
and overthrown in the hurly burly, but the Beef was so Substantial and Solid,
as it strongly kept its place, on which the Guests might have Fed; but Fright,
Noise and Disorder, had taken away their Appetite to Eating. Thus, Madam, I
have related these Feasts and Entertainings, to let you know the different
Humours and Behaviours of these two Ladies, the one having cause to be Angry,
did Patiently and Discreetly pass over her Injury, appearing Celestial, the
other out of a vain Humour, fell into a raging Passion, the truth is, she
showed her self a Fool, and behaved her self as Mad. But leaving the Angelic
Lady to be a Pattern to her Sex, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. S.
XXXIII.
MADAM,
I Do not wonder, that the Lord C. R. should delight in Effeminate Pastimes, as
Dancing, Fiddling, Visiting, Junketing, Attiring, and the like, because he is
an Effeminate Man, fitter to Dance with a Lady, than to Fight with an Enemy;
nor do I wonder that the Lord N. W. practises Riding, Fencing, Vaulting,
Shooting, Hunting, Fortifying, Navigating, and the like, because he is an
Heroic Man, fitter to Conquer a Nation, than to Dance a Galliard or Courant;
nor I do not wonder that the Lord A. M. Drinks, Whores, Games, and the like,
because he is a Debauched Man, apter to Quarrel than to Fight; neither do I
wonder that the Lord L. V. Studies, Reads, Writes, Travels, Inquires and
Searches for Right and Truth, because he is a Wise Man; nor I do not wonder at
the Lord F. O. that loves Amorous Courtships, because he is an Idle Man; nor I
do not wonder at the Lord C. H. that Prays to God, Sends to the Sick, and
Relieves the Poor, because he is a Good Man; nor do I wonder at the Lord W. I.
who Extorts, Exacts, and Deceives, because he is a Wicked Man; neither do I
wonder at the Lord C. C. who Visits the Meritorious, Applauds the Worthy,
Assists the Industrious, and the like, because he is a Generous Person; nor I
do not wonder at the Lord G. R. that he Speaks false with his Tongue,
Dissembles in his Countenance, Betrays in his Actions, because he is a Base
Man. Thus, Madam, we may divide Mankind into eight parts, or rather into four;
for those four, as the Effeminate, Idle, Wicked, and Base, are but the Slime
and Dung of Mankind, and only the Heroic, Wise, Good, and Generous, are the
Soul and Body of Mankind; the first are neither good for Citizens, Magistrates,
nor Commanders, but rather fit to be set in the fore-fronts of Battles to be
Destroyed, or to fill up Breaches, being but Rubbish; but then you will say,
this were the way to Destroy most Men in the World, the truth is, if it were
not for such Men and Ravenous Beasts, the World would be rather a Heaven than a
World. But leaving them and Beasts, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXXIV.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased to Express to me in your last Letter, that you have been in
the Country to see the Lady M. L. who seems Melancholy since she was married,
which is a sign she is not pleased with the Condition of her Life; I believe
one of the causes of her Melancholy is; that she is in the Country, wherein is
little Resort, especially of courting Gallants, for most Women love Variety of
Company, and much Company, even married Wives as well as Maids, neither do all
Widows shun Company; As for Maids, they have an excuse to get them Husbands,
and Widows are at liberty to make a second, third, or fourth Choice, when their
Husbands are dead, but Wives have no excuse for the Company of Courting
Servants, and merry Meetings, but only the Spleen, which nothing can cure but
Company and Jollity, to divert Melancholy, and to remove the Splenetic
Obstructions and Crude Vapours, for which Dancing, Feasting, Gaming, and the
like, is the best Cure, Probatum est; Whereas the lone Company of a Husband is
so far from working any Cure, as it is many times the Cause of the Disease; But
if her Melancholy proceed from want of Variety of Company, I pity both her
Husband and Attendants, for most commonly a Peevish Frowardness doth attend
that Melancholy, they will Quarrel with every Thing, and not be Pleased with
Any, take Exceptions at every Word, complain of being Sick, but know not where
their Pains are, even as Weary of Themselves, which makes their Husbands many
times Weary of Them, and to Divert the Grief of their Wives Troubles, they
Solace with their Wives Maids, who are more Pleasant Company, being not
troubled with the Spleen, as not having a Husband, nay, when they do Marry,
their minds are so employed about getting a Livelihood, as they have not time
to think of their Splenes, besides, they are forced to Labour and Work for
their Living, which keeps them from such Obstructions or Disease, and the
Spleen is a Disease which is only amongst the Noble and Rich, whose Wealth
makes them Idle, and their Idleness begets an appetite to Variety of Diets,
Clothes, and Company, whereas Poor, Laborious People know not such Disease. But
leaving this Theme, give me leave to welcome you out of the Country, and to
acquaint you, that I will shortly Personally wait upon you, as is the duty of,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXXV.
MADAM,
SIr W. Cs. Wife you know hath a Conversable and Ingenious Wit, yet not being
very handsome, her Husband hath got him a Mistress, who is very beautiful and
handsome, but yet she is a Fool; a Friend of his asked him why he chose a Fool
for his Mistress? he said, he did not Court her for her Wit, but for her
Beauty; for, said he, now I have a Mistress for Delight, and a Wife for
Conversation, I have a Mistress to Look on, and Admire, and a Wife to Listen to
and Discourse with, and both to Embrace at my Pleasure; but, said his Friend,
if your Wife should come to know you have a Mistress, you will not take much
Pleasure in her Conversation, unless you account mourning Complaints of, or to
you, Exclamations and Curses against you, cross Speeches, opposite Actions, and
hideous Noise, to be Conversable and Delightful; for the truth is, said he,
your Wife's words will be so Salt, Sharp, and Bitter, as they will Corrode your
Mind, Leaven your Thoughts, and make your Life Unpleasant. My Wife, said Sir W.
C. shall not know I have a Mistress; his Friend replied, your often Absence
will Betray you, or else some other will tell her, for Adultery is like Murder,
it seldom escapes finding out; and since that time Sir W. Cs. Lady hath heard
of her Husbands Mistress, but she seems not to be Angry at it, but talks of it
with great Patience, saying, that if her Husband takes Pleasure in Variety, he
will be more delighted with her Wit, than with his Mistress's Beauty, and will
sooner be tired with gazing on One Object, than in hearing Divers Discourses
and Diversions of Wit, Sense, Reason, Judgement, Fancy, and Speech; Besides,
said she, Wit attracts the Mind more to Love, than Beauty to Admiration, and
if my Husband Loves me Best, said she, I am well content he should Admire her
Beauty Most, as also to Embrace her as much as he pleases, for I am so
Delighted, and Wedded to my own Wit, that I regard not my Husbands Amours nor
Embracings, for Wit is Spiritual and not Corporeal, it lives with the Mind,
and not with the Body, being not subject to the gross Senses, for though Wit,
said she, may be made known by Words and Actions, yet those are but the
Pictures of Wit's Works, not Wit it self, for that cannot be Drawn, it is
beyond all Draughts; and so much Difference, said she, is between my Husband's
Mistress and his Wife, as a Picture and an invisible Spirit, which Spirit can
both Help and Hurt, Delight and Terrify, Damn and Glorify; But howsoever,
said she, my Wit shall not be my Husbands Evil Spirit, neither to Reproach
him, nor to Disgrace, Reprove, Delude, or Anger him, but it shall be always
ready to Defend, Commend, Inform, Delight, and if it could, to Reform him; but
I believe, said she, that is past the power of my Wit, for it is a hard matter
to Restrain Nature from Liberty, especially of the Appetites, for the Passions
of the Mind are more easily Governed, than the Appetites of the Body, for they
are Sensual and Brutal, wherefore Time is a better Reformer of the Appetites
than Reason. But, Madam, this is to let you know the Lady W. Cs. Wit,
Discretion, and Temper, which is more than most of our Sex hath; and so leaving
her to her Wit, and her Husband to Reformation, and his Mistress's Beauty to
Time, I rest,
Madam, Your most faithful Friend and Servant.
XXXVI.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased in your last Letter to express, how Mr. P. C. is persecuted
by another man's Whore, which is not usual, for though many men are Persecuted
by their own Whores, both in Body, Mind, Course of Life, and Estate, Diseasing
the One, Vexing the Other, Opposing the Third, and Spending the Fourth, yet not
usually by any other man's, but their own, at least believing them to be only
theirs; but I believe Mr. P. C. will not easily clear himself from her, for
Courtesans are often assisted by the Powerful, insomuch as in any Law-sute or
petitioning Request, they shall be heard, and their Suit granted, although
against all Law or Right; Such Power and Favour hath Concupiscence, as to
corrupt Magistrates, bribe Judges, fee Lawyers, flatter Courtiers, and the
truth is, entice, allure, and persuade most of Mankind; but although there be
in all Ages and Nations, Courtesans, and Men liable to be Tempted, yet men have
not been frequently tempted, persuaded, or allured to Marry Courtesans, unless
in this Age, wherein Courtesans are so Prevalent and Fortunate, as they do not
only get themselves Husbands, when Beauty and Lovers begin to leave them, but
marry more Richly and Honourably for Dignities, than Honest, Chaste Widows, or
Pure and Innocent Virgins, which is apt to make Honest and Chaste Women to
doubt, their Honesty and Chastity is not blessed with such good Fortune as
Dishonesty is, insomuch as those that are not Honest, merely, and for no other
end, than for Honestie's sake, may be Corrupted through hopes of good Fortune;
but where Virtue takes a thorough Possession, it never leaves the Habitation; yet
many that have been Base, Wicked, and of Beastly Lives, may be Reformed, so as
to become very Honest, Worthy, and Pure, and such Reclaimed Persons ought to be
Esteemed and Respected, for I am not of Mrs. F. Rs. Humour, who Hates a
Reformado. But some Men are of that Humour, as they Hate Honest, Chaste Women,
not only out of a Despair of their Enjoyments, but that they love the Company
and Conversation of Wanton and Free Women, insomuch that a Courtesan shall
have a greater and stronger Power to Cause and Persuade Men to do Actions not
only to the Ruin of their Estates and Families, but to the Ruin of their
Honours and Reputation, nay, to make them Unnatural, Extravagant or Base, than
an Honest Chaste Wife hath to Persuade her Husband to keep his Estate, Honour,
or Honesty; for many a Worthy and Honourable Person hath Degenerated from his
Birth and Breeding, from his Natural Courage and Generosity, from his Loyalty
and Duty, from his Natural Affection and Sacred Vows, from his Honour and
Reputation, through the Persuasion of VVhores; nay, many Men love a Whore so
much more than an Honest and Chaste Woman, as many make better Husbands, and
are more Fond and Kinder to their Wives if they be Libertines, than if they
were Honest and True to their Marriage-Bed; But leaving such men to their own
Heads, and their VVives to their Neighbours Beds, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXXVII.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased to tell me in your last Letter, that there was a great and
earnest Dispute between O. G. and C. O. in Divinity, as to prove many things
which are easier to be Believed than Proved; for though Proof makes Knowledge,
yet Belief doth not make Proof; for though many thousands of men Believe alike
one Thing or Things a thousand years, yet neither the number of Men, nor of
Years, doth prove it to be true, it only proves that so many Men did believe it
for so many Years; for though there be many things in Nature that may be
Conceived, and Demonstrated to Reason, at least, to have a Probability in
Reason, but cannot be Demonstrated to the Senses, yet the Conceptions do
oftener deceive, not only the Reason, but the Senses, than the Senses do the
Reason or Conception, for though the Senses may, and are oftentimes Mistaken
and Deluded, yet they are the most certain and surest Guides and Informers we
have; But Divinity is above all Sense and Reason, as also all Demonstrations,
wherefore Faith is required in all Religions, for what cannot be Conceived or
Apprehended, must be Believed, and if the chief Pillar of Religion is Faith,
Men should Believe more, and Dispute less, for Disputations do argue Weakness
of Faith, nay, they make a Strong Faith Faint, for all Disputes in Divinity are
Enemies to Faith, and are apt through Contradictions and Different Opinions, to
Destroy Religion, making the Thoughts and Mind Atheistical, and the Words
Sophistical, Men spending more time in Disputing than Praying, rather striving
to Express their Wit than to Increase their Knowledge, for Divine Mysteries
are beyond all Natural Capacity, and the School-men have rather taught Men
Contradictions than Truth, and Church-men rather Division than Union. But all
Disputes and Arguments in Divinity are only fit for Church-men, whose
Profession is to be Teachers and Instructors in the Divine Laws, and not for
Lay-men, unless they intend to be Church-men: for as all National Laws have
Judges, Sergeants, Barresters, Attorneys, and the like, to Perform and Execute
the Common and Civil Laws, that have been Prudently Enacted for the Good and
Benefit of the Bodily Life and Commonwealth; so there are Bishops, Deans,
Deacons, Parish-Priests and Curats, to Perform and Execute the Divine Laws,
which have been Spiritually Enacted for the Salvation of men's Souls; and as
Lawyers are Informers of the National Laws, and Pleaders of Causes, so
Ministers are Informers of the Divine Laws, and Teachers of good Life, and all
Spiritual Causes should be Decided by the Bishops, as all National or Human
Causes by the Judges, otherwise there would be a Confusion both in Church and
State; wherefore those that are not of that Profession, ought not to meddle
therewith, or Dispute thereof, but to Submit to that which our Fore-fathers
thought fit to Enact, Order, and Dispose, for the good of their Successors, and
Succedent Times; And so leaving O. G. and C. O. to agree if they can, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
XXXVIII.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased to desire, that one of my Servants should inquire for Sir N.
G. and give him a Letter, or to leave the Letter at his Lodgings. Madam, I must
tell you what I hear, which is, that he may be Enquired for, but before he can
be Found, or his Lodgings Known, he will be gone out of the Town; not that he
obscures his Lodging, but that he Stays not any where, for he is like a
Shadow, or a Ghost, when you think it is so near as to speak to it, it straight
appears afar off, or Vanishes away; and he is not only in this City, but in
every Town, for he rides from Town to Town, as Birds fly from Tree to Tree,
and his only business is for Divertisement for Health, so that his Life is as
if it rid Post; but let him ride from Death as far as he can, and do what he
can to Shun it, yet Death will Meet him at his Journeys end, and there Arrest
him, and Imprison his Body in a Grave, for Time hath laid an Action of Battery
against him, and hath now threescore and fifteen years Summoned him to Appear,
but as yet he keeps out of Sight, and will as long as he can, as we may
perceive by his riding, and short stay in every place he comes to. Indeed
Nature hath been his Friend, and seems to be so still, and as long as she
Protects him, Death cannot get him; nay, she hath Favoured him more than many
of his Neighbours, or Acquaintance, for he never stays so long in one place,
as to make a Neighbourhood, but hath Acquaintance in every place; neither doth
he tronble any Acquaintance with long Visits, but only as to ask how they do,
and so farewell; he doth not stay to examine the long Welfare of his old
Acquaintance, nor to make tedious Complements with new Acquaintance, nor stays
to inquire for those Acquaintance he sees not, but he will make new
Acquaintance at first sight; and this Advantage he hath by riding to several
places, if it be any, that he hears more News than any other man, for he meets
News in every Town, which his Memory like a Portmanteau carries with him, and as
in every Town he takes up some News, so in every Town he leaves some; But such
a Posting Life, were I a Man, would be Wearisome to me, for it would soon Tire
my Life, or Rid me out of the World, at least to my thinking, although to him
it is a Sport and Pleasure, or else he would not do so, since he is not
Constrained thereto. Wherefore, as for your Letter, it must either be sent back
to you again, or else it must lie here as a Watch to Take him, for it is
impossible it should Overtake him, nor can any one tell where to find him,
except those that are in the same place he is, which soon changes to Is not, so
as one may say, he Is, and Is not, he is like a Jugglers Ball, 'tis here, 'tis
gone; but he is no Juggler himself, for I hear he is a very Worthy Person, and
his Honest and Harmless Endeavour to Prolong his Life, shows him a Wise man;
and so leaving him and your Letter to meet, though I know not when, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XXXIX.
MADAM,
I May give the Lady F. L. Joy of her second Marriage, for I hear she is
Married again; but I fear it will be applied to her, what is said of another
Lady, who Married first very well for Title and Wealth, her Husband being in
Years, but she very Poor, and amongst much Company it was told, she seemed to
be a Crafty, Witty Woman, that she could get such an Husband; no, said one man,
it was not the Wit or Craft of the Lady, that got her such a Husband, but the
Folly of the Man that Married such a Wife; and after he Died and left her very
Rich, she married a Young man that had no Estate, and then they said, that it
seemed her second Husband was a Wise Man, that he could get so Rich a Wife;
no, said the former Man, it was not the Wisdom of the Man, but the Folly of the
Woman, that caused that Match; so she was even with her first Husband in Folly,
for he played the Fool to Marry her, and she played the Fool to Marry her
second Husband. Thus most of the World of mankind is mistaken, for what they
Attribute to some men's Wit, is other men's Folly, but for Marriages, the truth
is, that Folly makes more Marriages than Prudence; as for Example, Mr. A. B.
hath Married a Common Courtesan, if she had been Particular, it had been more
Excusable; but all men are not so foolish, for I hear that Sir W. S. will
rather endure the Persecution of his own Courtesan, than Marry her. But leaving
the Lady F. L. to her new Husband, and Mr. A. B. to his new Wife, and Sir W. S.
to his pursuing Whore, I rest,
Madam, Your most faithful Friend and Servant.
XL.
MADAM,
I Have observed, that in time of Peace most men study the School-men and
Fathers, and in times of War they study Martial-men and Poets, or rather
Practise what former Martial-men have Taught, and Repeat what former Poets have
Written, for when they are in Garrisons, or have any spare time from Fighting,
as Assaulting, or Defending, they will choose to read Homer, Virgil, and Lucian,
rather than St. Ambrose, St. Hierome, St. Augustin, St. Chrysostome, or the
like, or rather than they will read Books of Controversies, as Scotus, Thomas
Aquinas, and others, they will read Caesar's Commentaries; the truth is, though
School-men and Books of Controversies do not Fight Combats, yet they make
Quarrels and Disputations, so that there are More, Oftener, and Continual Wars
in Schools than in the Field, only that their Weapons they use in Schools, are
not so deadly as those that are used in the Field, for there is great
difference between Tongues and Swords, Words and Blows; The truth is, Scholars
and Women quarrel much alike, as after the same manner, wherein is more Noise
than Danger, and more Spite than Mischief; but yet different Opinions in
Religion and Laws in a Commonwealth, cause Cruel Civil Wars, making Factions
and Parties, with Disputations and Arguments, and nothing will decide the
Quarrel but Blood and Death, nor end the War, but Destruction of the Whole, or
Conquering Victory of the one Party over the other, whereof the late Wars in
this Country are a woeful Example, all being brought to Confusion with Preaching
and Pleading, on the one side Preachers and Pleaders became Soldiers, on the
other side, Soldiers became Preachers and Pleaders, so that the Word and the
Sword made great Troubles, and grievous Calamities in these Nations, and though
there hath been much Blood Shed, many Lives Lost, Men Banished, and Families
Ruined, yet there are Divisions still; But leaving War and Strife, and Praying
for Peace and Quiet, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XLI.
MADAM,
'TIs now become a fashion for men to brag of their Fortunes or Estates, to get
Credit, as to Borrow, or run on the Score, for they think if Trades-men believe
they are able to Pay, they will be willing to Trust, and if they can get Trust,
they'll spend as long as their Credit will last, and when they ow Most, they
bear up Highest, for Tradesmen for fear of Losing what they have Trusted or
Lent, will Trust or Lend more in hope to be paid All at last, so as they fling
the Handle after the Hatchet; and whereas at first the Borrowers are Humble to
get Credit, at last the Creditors become Humble Petitioners for their Own, and
Wait for an Answer with their Caps in their hands, and the Borrower, like a
proud Favourite, will hardly be Seen or Spoken to, nay, when he vouchsafes them
his Presence and Answer, he gives them Words for Pay, and Promises more than
he is able to Perform, and sometimes they have Frowns and Checks, for being so
Presumptuous to Come before they were Sent for, or so Bold to Ask for what was
justly Owing them; But certainly Creditors deserve good Words for their good
Deeds, though they can get no Money for their Wares. But in these needy times
Tradesmen must venture to Trust, or else they will hardly put off their
Commodities, for where one pays ready Money, five, nay twenty, run on the
Score; the reason is, there is not so much Money in Specie, not in all Europe,
nay, in the World, as to pay readily for all that is Bought, for there are
more Commodities than Money, I may say, more Paper than Money, for Paper and
Parchment pays more than Money; a little Money sprinkled amongst many Bills and
Bonds, keeps up Commerce and Trading throughout the World, more than Exchange
of Commodities doth. But those live most at Ease that Borrow not, and those
that Lend not have the most Friends, for there's an old Saying, Lend your Money,
and Lose your Friend; the truth is, a man shall sooner lose a Friend with a
Debt, than get a Friend by a Gift. But leaving Debts and Gifts to the Poor and
the Rich, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XLII.
MADAM,
I Am sorry Sir F.O. hath Undervalued himself so much below is Birth and
Wealth, as to Marry his Kitchin-maid, but it was a sign he had an Hungry
Appetite, or that he lived a Solitary Life, Seeing no better Company, or
Conversed not with Women of Quality; or else he hath been too Privately Kind,
and was loath to have it Publicly Known; or he hath tried her Virtue, and so
Married her for Chastity, though many Women will Deny some, and Grant to
others; or else he Married her for Beauty, or Wit, or both, although the
Inferior or meaner sort of People, especially Women, are oftener owners of
Beauty than Wit, and if they have some Wit, it is only Sharp Replies, which
are a kind of a Scolding; and I have heard that the Way or Manner of Courtship
amongst the Inferior sort of People in E. is Scolding, they Scold themselves
into Matrimony, or at least, make Love in a rough, rude Style; But perchance
Sir F. O. Married his Kitchin-maid in hopes she would make a Nimble and
Obedient Wife, which he might fear one of Equal Birth would not be; Indeed he
hath chosen one out of the humblest Offices, or Household Employments, for the
Kitchen for the most part is the lowest Room in a House; Yet I write not this
as believing he may not be Happy in his Choice, for 'tis likely the Match may
be more Happy than Honourable, and if he thinks it no Disgrace, or cares not
for Disgrace, all is well, for it only concerns himself, as having no Parents
living to Grieve or Anger, nor no former Children to Suffer by. But though her
Office and Birth were both Dripping or Basting, yet his Dignity and Wealth hath
made her a gay Lady; and so leaving him to his dish of Brewess, I rest,
Madam,
Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XLIII.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased to desire me to send you my opinion of Mrs. R. Es. Wit, truly
I cannot judge of her Wit until I have a longer Acquaintance with her, for
there are many several Degrees, and divers Sorts of Wit, as from a Pint to a
Tun, or Teirce, or Pipe of Wit, all which may be drawn Dry, and their Brains
be as Empty Barrels; and some have Rivers, or Seas of Wit, which sometimes Ebb
and some Flow, wherein some have Double Tides; and others have Springs of Wit,
which issue out into small Streams, but make great Floods, by reason they
constantly Flow without Intermission. But there are not many Seas, nor Rivers,
nor Floods, nor Springs of Wit, for there are more Bottels than Springs, and
more Barrels than Seas of Wit. As for Spring Wit, it is Fresh, Sweet, Calm,
Smooth, Pure, Bright and Clear, whereas Sea Wit is Salt, Sad, Fomy, Rough,
Boisterous, Unsteady, sometimes Dangerous. And as there are several Degrees of
Wit for Quantity, and Sorts of Wit for Quality, so there are Several Weights of
Wit, for Salt Wit is Heavy and Searching, it Presses to the Centre, and Peirces
to the Quick, and opens the Obstructions of the World of Mankind, like as
Mineral VVaters do the Spleen, or the like parts of the Body, whereas Fresh
Spring Wit is Light and Airy, Running with a Smooth and Quick Motion,
Refreshing the World of Mankind, Bathing the Soul, Cleansing the Thoughts, and
Quenching the Drought of Time, which is Overheated with Running; but least my
Pen should become Dry with Writing, having not Wit enough to Moisten it, I'll
take my leave, and rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
XLIV.
MADAM,
AS it was formerly the Fashion, or Custom of those that received Visits, if
they were Weary of their Visitors, to look in their Watches, or to Gape, or
Yawn; so now it is to have always, or for the most part, Pen, Ink, and Paper
lying upon the Table in their Chamber, for an Excuse they are writing Letters;
as for the first, it is Rude, and the last for the most part is False;
wherefore methinks it would be an Honester and Nobler Custom to speak the
Truth, as to say, they Desire not to be Visited, at such Times as they would
not have Company, or from such Persons as they Care not for, or to tell them
truly, that they cannot Entertain them, having some Occasions which require
their Attendance or Employment, or that they are not Well, and Company would be
Troublesome to them; But to receive their Visits, and then not Entertain them
Handsomely, Civilly, Courteously, but Dissemblingly, Carelessly or
Disrespectfully, is neither fit for Persons of Quality to do to any Company, if
they will think them worthy to receive a Visit of them; neither fit for Persons
of Quality to suffer from any Person; But the Visited and Visitors do not
always know how to Behave themselves, for Noble Births may have Mean Breeding,
for some are Nobly Born and Meanly Bred, and some are Humbly Born and Nobly
Bred, and some are Nobly Born and Nobly Bred, but those are Few, and some are
neither Well Born nor Well Bred, and those are Many, but very Few are Bred so
Exactly, as to know Punctually how to Behave themselves to every particular
Person, and in every several Company, much less in every Action of their Life,
which are almost Innumerous, and as Different. Wherefore those are most to be
Commended, that can go through the Course of their Life with fewest Errors; a
Busy Nature is apt to commit Most, and they that meddle least in the Affairs
of the World, and are most sparing of Speech, commit Fewest. 'Tis true, every
living man commits some, but thos^ are Happy that can Reckon their Errors,
that they are not past Account. But if I write my Letter longer, I shall add
one Error more to those many that are past, although I am sure you will pardon
those wherewith I have offended you, as believing they were not willingly, but
ignorantly committed by,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XLV.
MADAM,
SInce I writ to you that Letter of the first of the last Month, I have several
times Conversed with Mrs. R. E. and I find her Wit runs in Parts, like as
Music, where there must be several Parties to Play or Sing several Parts; she
is not a whole Consort her self, neither can she Play the grounds of Wit, but
yet she can make a shift to fill up a Note; and it is to be observed, that Wit
in several Persons runs on several Subjects, but few have general Wits, as to
Play Musically upon every Subject, especially without making a Fault, for I
have known some, on some particular Subjects, will be wonderful Witty, and on
others mere Dunces and Idiots. And for parts of Wit, some have Gossiping Wit,
as Midwife and Nurse Wit, also Wafer and Hippocras Wit, Ale and Cake Wit, as in
Christening, Churching, Lying in, and other Gossipings; Others have Bridal Wit,
Game-some Wit, also Gaming Wit, Tavern-Wit, Brothel-VVit, and some have
Court-VVit, which is a Jeering, Scoffing Wit, but all these are but Scums or
Dregs of Wit, only Scum-VVit swims on the top, which soon boils over, and
Dreg-VVit lies at the bottom, and is hardly stirred without much motion to
raise it up. Thus several sorts of Wit run about amongst Mankind, and Mrs. E.
Rs. Wit is a Platonic Wit, as loving Friendships, and the conversation of
Souls, but take her from the Platonic, and she is gone, both from Wit and
Understanding, or those are gone from her; and so leaving her to her
single-Self, and her Wit to her Platonick-Lover, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XLVI.
MADAM,
I Have observed, that in all Combustions and Wars, those get more Favour and
Profit that enter into them Latest, for those that are at the Beginning, for
the most part, are Losers, either in Lives, or Estates, or both, and are least
Favoured by those they Fight or Adventure for, nay most commonly they are
Disfavour'd; wherefore, if Honour and Honesty would give leave, were I a Man, I
would not enter until the last course, for that is Sweetest, like a Banquet;
But because Honour and Honesty would Exclame against me, for preferring Profit
and Promotion before Them, therefore a Man ought to do his Endeavour in a Just
Cause, for Honour and Honestie's sake, although he were sure to lose his
Liberty, Estate or Life. But leaving War, Loss, Disfavour and Preferment to
Worthy Persons, and Unjust States and Princes, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XLVII.
MADAM,
THE other day the Lady S. M. was to Visit me, and I gave her Joy, she said she
should have Joy indeed if it were a Son, I said, I bid her Joy of her Marriage,
for I had not seen her since she was a Wife, and had been Married, which was
some four Weeks ago, wherefore I did not know she was with Child; but she
rasping wind out of her Stomach, as Childing-VVomen usually do, making Sickly
Faces to express a Sickly Stomach, and fetching her Breath short, and bearing
out her Body, drawing her Neck downward, and standing in a weak and faint
Posture, as great bellied VVives do, bearing a heavy Burden in them, told me
she had been with Child a fortnight, though by her behaviour one would not have
thought she had above a VVeek to go, or to reckon; But she is so pleased with
the Belief she is with Child (for I think she cannot perfectly Know her self,
at most it is but breeding Child) as she Makes or Believes her self Bigger than
she Appears, and says, she Longs for every Meat that is Difficult to be gotten,
and Eats and Drinks from Morning till Night, with very little intermission, and
sometimes in the Night; whereupon I told her, if she did so, I believed she
would be bigger Bellied and greater Bodied, whether she were with Child or not;
besides Eating so much would make her Sick, if she were not with Child; she
answered, that Women with Child might Eat Any thing, and as Much as they would
or could, and it would do them no Harm. But I have observed, that generally
Women take more Pleasure when they are with Child, than when they are not with
Child, not only in Eating more, and Feeding more Luxuriously, but taking a
Pride in their great Bellies, although it be a Natural Effect of a Natural
Cause; for like as Women take a greater Pride in their Beauty, than Pleasure
or Content in their Virtue, so they take more Pride in Being with Child, than
in Having a Child, for when they are brought to Bed, and up from their Lying
in, they seem nothing so well Pleased, nor so Proud, as when they were great
with Child; and to prove they are Prouder, and take more Pleasure in Being with
Child, and in Lying in, than in Having a Child, is their Care, Pains, and Cost,
in Getting, Making, and Buying Fine and Costly Childbed-Linnen,
Swadling-Cloths, Mantles, and the like; as also fine Beds, Cradles, Baskets,
and other Furniture for their Chambers, as Hangings, Cabinets, Plates,
Artificial Flowers, Looking-glasses, Screens, and many such like things of
great Cost and Charge, besides their Banquets of Sweet-meats and other Junkets,
as Cakes, Wafers, Biscuits, Jellies, and the like, as also such strong Drinks,
as methinks the very Smell should put a Childbed-Wife into a Fever, as
Hippocras and Burnt-Wine, with Hot Spices, Mulled Sack, Strong and
High-colour'd Ale, well Spiced, and Stuffd with Tosts of Cake, and the like,
all which is more chargeable than to bring up a Child when it is Born; nay,
they will rather want Portions for their Children, when they are grown to be
Men or Women, or want sufficiency of Means to pay for their Learning and
Education, than want these Extravagancies of Luxury and Vanity at their Birth;
and their Children being Christ'ned, are like some Brides and Bridegrooms, that
are so Fine on their Wedding-day, as they are forced to go in Rags all their
lives after, which methinks is very strange, that for the Vanity and Show of
one day, they will spend so much as to be Beggars all their lives after; But as
I said, this Proves that Women take a greater Pride and Pleasure in Being with
Child, than in Having Children well Bred, and well-Bestow'd or Maintained, when
grown to Years; and that which makes me wonder more, is, that Wise Men will
suffer their Foolish Wives to be so Foolishly and Imprudently Expensive,
wherefore such men are worthy to be Impoverished, that will suffer their wives
to be so Vain, for it shows them to be better Husbands than Fathers, Kinder to
their VVives than Careful of their Children, also it shows them Fonder Husbands
than Loving Children, because they Ruin their Fore-fathers Posterity, by
Impoverishing their own Succession, and that only to Please their Wives
Humours, and to Expend for their Wives Vanities. But leaving the Lady S. M. to
her Breeding Pride or Pride of Breeding, to her Sick Pleasure or Pleasurable
Sickness, to her Luxurious Feeding, and Vain Providing, and wishing her a good
Gossiping, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XLVIII.
MADAM,
IT requires Experience, Skill, and Practice, for Men, Civilly, yet Courtly, to
Entertain and Accompany Women in Visiting, or the like; they must sit within a
Respectful Distance, with their Hats off, and Begin a Discourse, but let the
Woman Follow it, which they will do until they are out of Breath; also they
must not Interrupt them in their Talk, but let them Speak as Much, or as Long
as they will, or rather Can, for our Will to Talk is beyond our Power, but
though we want not Words, yet we want Understanding and Knowledge to Talk
Perpetually; Neither must Men Contradict Women, although they should Talk
Nonsense, which oftentimes they do, but must seem to Applaud and Approve, with
gentle Nods and Bows, all they say; also they must View their Faces with
Admiring Eyes, although they were Ill-favour'd, but those that are Beautiful,
their Eyes must be Fixed on them, or else seem to be Dazzled; likewise they must
seem to Start at their Calls, and Run with an affrighted hast, to Obey their
Commands. Such, and many the like Ceremonies and Fooleries there are of this
kind from Men to Women, but these are rather from Strangers than Domestic
Acquaintance. Wherefore setting aside antic Follies, yet a Civil Respect and
Regard is due to the Female Sex from the Masculine, even from the Greatest to
the Meanest; and so leaving Men to their Constrained Civilities and Feigned
Admirations, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XLIX.
MADAM,
I Do not wonder that C. R. will not trust E. D. in any business of great
Concernment, although an Able man to manage great Affairs, by reason he hath
been False, although he seems now Faithful and True; but Wise men are as
Jealous of those men that have been Dishonest in the matter of Trust, as of
those women that have been Dishonest in the matter of Love; for though they may
be true Converts, yet those that are Wary will fear they do but Dissemble, for
those that are Evil do not so Easily nor Suddenly turn to Good, as those that
are Good are Apt to turn to Evil, for though Repentance doth cast forth the
flowing part of Evil, yet many times there are Dregs, which lie lurking in the
Mind or Soul, which in time, with the help of Opportunity and Advancement, may
Increase again into their former Evil Condition; and Wise men know that there
is less Danger in trusting an Honest Fool than a Subtle Knave; the truth is, it
is pity that Honesty and Ingenuity or Ability should not Inhabit together,
for, for the most part they live asunder, as Ability and Ingenuity with
Dishonesty, which Empowers and Enables such men to do the greater Mischiefs,
for Subtle Wit and great Knavery take delight to do what is Worst, and
Fortune many times favours them Best, and the Actors Glory most in their
Wicked Deeds; But leaving C. R. to his Wisdom, and E. D. to Truth or
Dissembling, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
L.
MADAM,
I Cannot wonder that Mrs. F. G. is so desirous of a Husband, for I observe,
that all Unmarried Women, both Maids and VVidows, are the like, insomuch that
there are more Customers that go to Hymen's Markets, which are Churches,
Plays, Balls, Masks, Marriages, c. than there are Husbands to be Sold, and all
Prices are bidden there, as Beauty, Birth, Breeding, Wit and Virtue, though
Virtue is a Coin whereof is not much; but Husbands are so scarce, especially
Good ones, as they are at such great Rates, that an indifferent Price will not
Purchase any one, wherefore those that will Buy them, must be so Rich as to be
able to bestow an extraordinary Price of Beauty, Birth, Breeding, Wit or
Virtue, and yet much ado to Purchase any one, nay, some cannot be had without
all those joined into One; But Venus's Markets, which are also Public
Meetings, (for all Markets are Public) are so well stored of all sorts and
degrees of Titles, Professions, Ages, and the like, as they are as Cheap as
stinking Makrel, and all Coins are current there, but Virtue, wherefore that is
never offered; 'tis true, the Markets of Hymen and Venus are in one and the
same City or Place, yet Hymen and Venus Sell apart, like as several Graziers
bring their Beasts to one Market or Fair; I call them several Markets, to make
a Distinction of which belongs to Hymen, and which to Venus; but for better
Distinction's sake, I will put them into Shops apart, or into as many Pews in
one Church, or Compare them to several Scenes in one Mask, several Acts in one
Play, for as many Stalls or Shops there are in one Market, and several
Magistrates in one City, so many Shops hath Hymen and Venus in one Market; but
the Cheapest that are to be sold out of Hymen's Shops, are young Novices; and
although there is much scarcity in Hymen's Shops, yet the Price of Gold or such
Riches, if they be offered, buys any man that is there to be sold, which are
Batchelours and Widowers, for there's no Married man in Hymen's Shops, unless
unknown that they were bought before, and once Discovered, they are Punished,
for Married men can neither be Bought nor Sold by Hymen or his Customers, until
they be Widowers; but in Venus Shops there be as many, if not more, Married men
than Batchelours or Widowers; but both in Hymen's and Venus's Shops there are
of all sorts, Better and Worse, as Mean Persons and others of Quality, Handsome
and not Handsome, Old and Young, and of middle Years; And as for Women, few are
Sold in Shops, for they are the Buyers, and Married Women are the best
Customers Venus hath; though Married Women go to the Public Market, which are
Public Meetings, as Fine as they can be Dressed, and to the Public View, out of
pretence to meet there, and speak with such of their Friends that are Hymen's
Customers, as also to help those Friends to Choose and Bargain for a Husband,
or to keep them Company, yet when they go to Venus's Shops they go Covered with
their Veils, or rather Follies, for fear they should be known of their Husbands
that lye there to be sold, for though they go Uncovered to Hymen's Shops, as
with their Friends, to Assist them, yet to Venus's Shops they go alone. Thus
Married and Unmarried take some occasion to be at the Market, and thus there is
more Trade, Traffic and Commerce, in this Market than in any other; But such
Persons as will live Single and Chaste, never come there, unless some few; and
this sort of Persons for the most part live in Diana's Court, which are
Cloisters or Monasteries; also some few Married Wives that live Retired, do not
Frequent this Market, but if they do, they never come into any of the Shops,
but stand in the midst of the Market-place, that it may be known they Buy
nothing there; But Madam, I will leave this Discourse, for though I am one of
Hymen's Subjects, being a Married Wife, yet I am none of Venus's Customers,
but,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LI.
MADAM,
YEsterday Mrs. P. I. was to Visit me, who prayed me to present her Humble
Service to you, but since you saw her she is become an Alt'red Woman, as being
a Sanctified Soul, a Spiritual Sister, she hath left Curling her Hair, Black
Patches are become Abominable to her, Laced Shoes and Galoshoes are Steps to
Pride, to go Bare-neck'd she accounts worse than Adultery; Fans, Ribbons,
Pendants, Neckcloths, and the like, are the Temptations of Satan, and the
Signs of Damnation; and she is not only Transformed in her Dress, but her Garb
and Speech, and all her Discourse, insomuch as you would not know her if you
saw her, unless you were informed who she was; She Speaks of nothing but Heaven
and Purification, and after some Discourse, she asked me, what Posture I
thought was the best to be used in Prayer? I said, I thought no Posture was
more becoming, nor did fit Devotion better, than Kneeling, for that Posture did
in a manner Acknowledge from Whence we came, and to What we shall return, for
the Scripture says, from Earth we came, and to Earth we shall return; then she
spoke of Prayers, for she is all for Extemporary Prayers, I told her, that the
more Words we used in Prayer, the Worse they were Accepted, for I thought a
Silent Adoration was better Accepted of God, than a Self-conceited Babbling;
Then she asked me, if I thought one might not be Refined, by Tempering their
Passions and Appetites, or by Banishing the Worst of them from the Soul and
Body, to that Degree, as to be a Deity, or so Divine, as to be above the Nature
of Man; I said no, for put the case Men could turn Brass or Iron, or such gross
Metals, into Gold, and Refine that Gold into its height of Purity, yet it would
be but a Metal still; so likewise the most Refined Man would be but Human
still, he would be still a Man, and not a God; nay, take the Best of Godly Men,
such as have been Refined by Grace, Prayer and Fasting, to a degree of Saints,
yet they were but Human and Men still, so long as the Body and Soul were joined
together, but when they were Separated, what the Soul would be, whether a God,
a Devil, a Spirit, or Nothing, I could not tell; with that she Lifted up her
Eyes, and Departed from me, Believing I was one of the Wicked and Reprobate,
not capable of a Saving Grace, so as I believe she will not come near me again,
lest her Purity should be Defiled in my Company, I believe the next news we
shall hear of her, will be, that she is become a Preaching Sister; I know not
what Oratory the Spirit will Inspire her with, otherwise I believe she will
make no Eloquent Sermons, but I think those of her Calling do defy Eloquence,
for the more Non-sense they Deliver, the more they are Admired by their Godly
Fraternity. But leaving her to her Self-denying, I return to Acknowledge my
self,
Madam, Your very faithful Friend and Servant.
LII.
MADAM,
I Do not wonder that there are Pimps or Bawds, for Base Vices and Wicked
Baseness are too Frequent in this Age, to be Wondered at, and certainly the
like is in every Age, for the Composition of Mankind is not so Pure, but there
are both Scum and Dregs, the which are for the most part the Inferior sort of
People, but which I wonder at, is, that the Lord P. B. should be a Pimp, and
the Lady B. B. a Bawd, Persons of such Quality, where it was more likely that
some Inferior Persons should Pimp and Bawd for Them, that they should be so
Low, as to Pimp and Bawd for Others; But perchance some can tell, that they do
make use of such Inferior Persons for their Own turn, as they are for the turn
of Others; howsoever the Actions of this Lord and Lady show, that their Births
were better than their Breeding, or that Fortune hath Favoured them more with
Titles, than Nature hath Endued them with Noble Dispositions; and thus having
more Honour from Fortune than Nature, more Antiquity by Birth than Virtue by
Breeding, 'tis the Cause that the Practice of their Lives is not answerable to
the Degree of their Dignities; but for the most part such Base Actions are
produced either out of Extreme Poverty, or Covetousness of Presents, or
Ambition of Preferments, for Bauding and Pimping is seldom done Gratis; But
those that are truly Noble, that is, have Noble Souls and Honourable Natures,
can never be Forced, Persuaded, or Enticed to do a Base Action, insomuch as
they will rather choose to do a more Wicked Action (as we hold it) which is not
mixed with Baseness, as Heroically to Kill themselves, than Basely Betray
Chastity, and Beastly Procure Wanton Amours, for where Honour and Virtue takes
a thorough Possession, they never leave their Habitation, no more than my
Friendship with your Ladyship, for I am, and will ever be,
Madam, Your Ladyships faithful Friend, and humble Servant.
LIII.
MADAM,
MRs. W. S. doth not Approve of Sir C. R. she absolutely Refuses him for a
Husband, she says he is Effeminate, and she Hates an Effeminate Man, as Nature
Abhors Vacuity; she says, she had rather have a Debauched Man for a Husband,
by reason Debauchery had some Courage, although the worst part of Courage, for
it durst Encounter Fevers, Gouts, Stone, Pox, and many the like Diseases, not
but that Effeminacy and Debauchery are sometimes joined in one Person, but not
commonly; but, she says, she will never Marry, unless she may have a Valiant,
Wise man, such a man that will not Rashly or Foolishly Quarrel, but Warily and
Resolutely Fight, that doth not only measure his Sword, but his Quarrel, by
the Length and Breadth of Honour, a man that is not outwardly Formal, but
inwardly Rational, that weighs not his Words by the Number, but by the Sense,
whose Actions are Levelled by the Rule of Honesty and Prudence; such a Man she
will have for a Husband. The Lady P. E. hearing her, said, she could help her
to an Husband that had the Reputation of Valour and Wisdom, but he was Severe;
Mrs. W. S. said, she had rather a Severe Wise man, than a Facil Fool; but said
the Lady P. E. if you have this man, he will keep you strictly to a Wife's
Obedience; she said, she was Content, were he never so Severe, nay, did his
Severity extend to the Verge of Cruelty, for she had rather be Beaten by a Wise
man, than Kissed by a Fool; But leaving her at this time without a Husband's
Kisses or Blows, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LIV.
MADAM,
THE other day the Lady D. C. and the Lady G. B. came to Visit me, and being
both met together, as Visitants, they fell into a Discourse of History, and so
of former Times, and Persons of both Sexes, at last they fell into a Discourse
of Married Wives, giving their Opinions of Good and Bad Wives that had lived in
former Ages, and the Lady D. C. said, that Lucretia was the Best Wife that ever
History mentioned, in that she Killed her self to save her Husbands Honour,
being a Dishonour for a Husband to have an Abused, as a Ravished Wife, for
though her Husband was not a Cuckold through her free Consent, yet was he a
Cuckold through her Enforcement, which was a Dishonour in the second Degree;
The Lady G. B. said, that though she did believe Lucretia was a very Chaste
Woman, and a Virtuous and Loving Wife, yet whether she Killed her self to save
her Husbands Honour of her Own, she could not Judge, unless she had the Effect
of a God, to know the Minds and Thoughts of human Creatures, for perchance
Lucretia might know, or verily believe, that when her Husband should come to
know the dishonourable Abuse that was done unto her, he would have Killed her
himself, not so much through a Jealous mistrust of her, but for the Dishonour
or Disgrace of the Abuse, and if so, then the Cause of Lucretia's Killing her
self, was as much through Prudence Wisdom as through Virtue, for in Killing her
self she gained an Immortal Fame, for Dying by her Own hand she seemed
Innocent, whereas, had she Dyed by her Husband's hand or command, the World
being Censorious, would have thought her a Criminal; wherefore, since Lucretia
must Dye, she chose the best way, to Dye by her own voluntary Act, but had
Lucretia been Unmarried, said she, and had been so Abused, she had been a Fool
to have Killed her self, before she had endeavoured to have Killed her Abuser,
for it would be more Justice to have Killed the Murderer of her Honour, than to
have Murdered her Innocent Self, only the Revenge ought in Honour to have been
Executed in some Public Place and Assembly, and then the Private Abuse
Declared, if it had not been Known already: But these two Ladies arguing
whether Lucretia Killed her self for her Husband's Honour of for her Own, at
last grew so Earnest in their Discourse, as they fell to Quarrel with each
other, in such a Fury they were, as they were ready to Beat one another, nay, I
was afraid they would have Killed each other, and for fear of that Mischief, I
was forced to be a Defender of both, standing between them, and making Orations
to the one and then to the other; at last I entreated them to Temper their
Passions, and to Allay their Anger; and give me leave Ladies, said I, to ask
you what Lucretia was to either of you? was she of your Acquaintance or
Kindred, or Friend, or Neighbour, or Nation? and if she was none of these, as
it was very probable she was not, Living and Dying in an Age so long before
this, nay, so long, as the Truth might Rationally be questioned, if not of the
Person, yet of the Manner of the Action, for perchance the clear Truth was
never Recorded, Falsehood having been written in Histories of much later Times
than that of Lucretia; therefore Allay your Passions, for why should you two
Ladies fall out, and become Enemies for Lucretia's sake, whom you never knew or
heard of, but as in an old Wife's Tale, which is an old History. But howsoever,
Good Ladies, said I, leave Lucretia to live and dye in History, and be you two
Friends in present Life, Abuse not your selves with Rage, concerning Tarquin's
Abusing Lucretia with Lust. Thus talking to them, at last I calmed their
Passions, and made them Friends again, but making Peace between them, I spent
more Breath and Spirits, than the Peace of two Foolish, at least, Choleric
Ladies was worth, for although there is an old Saying, Happy is the
Peace-maker, yet I am happy I am quit at this present of their Company, and
that I can subscribe my self,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LV.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased in your last Letter to tell me, that you had been in the
Country, and that you did almost Envy the Peasants for living so Merrily; it is
a sign, Madam, they live Happily, for Mirth seldom dwells with Troubles and
Discontents, neither doth Riches nor Grandeur live so Easily, as that
Unconcerned Freedom that is in Low and Mean Fortunes and Persons, for the
Ceremony of Grandeur is Constrained and bound with Forms and Rules, and a great
Estate and high Fortune is not so easily managed as a Less, a Little is easily
ordered, where Much doth require Time, Care, Wisdom and Study as
Considerations; but Poor, Mean Peasants that live by their Labour, are for the
most part Happier and Pleasanter than great Rich Persons, that live in Luxury
and Idleness, for Idle Time is Tedious, and Luxury is Unwholesome, whereas Labour
is Healthful and Recreative, and surely Country Huswives take more Pleasure in
Milking their Cows, making their Butter and Cheese, and feeding their Poultry,
than great Ladies do in Painting, Curling, and Adorning themselves, also they
have more Quiet Peaceable Minds and Thoughts, for they never, or seldom, look
in a Glass to view their Faces, they regard not their Complexions, nor observe
their Decays, they Defy Time's Ruins of their Beauties, they are not Peevish
and Froward if they look not as Well one day as another, a Pimple or Spot in
their Skin Tortures not their Minds, they fear not the Sun's Heat, but Out-face
the Sun's Power, they break not their Sleeps to think of Fashions, but Work
Hard to Sleep Soundly, they lie not in Sweats to clear their Complexions, but
rise to Sweat to get them Food, their Appetites are not Queazie with Surfeits,
but Sharp'ned with Fasting, they relish with more Savour their Ordinary Course
Fare, than those who are Pampered do their Delicious Rarities; and for their
Mirth and Pastimes, they take more Delight and true Pleasure, and are more
Inwardly Pleased and Outwardly Merry at their Wakes, than the great Ladies at
their Balls, and though they Dance not with such Art and Measure, yet they
Dance with more Pleasure and Delight, they cast not Envious, Spiteful Eyes at
each other, but meet Friendly and Lovingly. But great Ladies at Public
Meetings take not such true Pleasures, for their Envy at each others Beauty and
Bravery Disturbs their Pastimes, and Obstructs their Mirth, they rather grow
Peevish and Froward through Envy, than Loving and Kind through Society, so that
whereas the Country Peasants meet with such Kind Hearts and Unconcerned
Freedom as they Unite in Friendly Jollity, and Depart with Neighbourly Love,
the Greater sort of Persons meet with Constrained Ceremony, Converse with
Formality, and for the most part Depart with Enmity; and this is not only
amongst Women, but amongst Men, for there is amongst the Better sort a greater
Strife for Bravery than for Courtesy, for Place than Friendship, and in their
Societies there is more Vain-glory than Pleasure, more Pride than Mirth, and
more Vanity than true Content; yet in one thing the Better Sort of Men, as the
Nobles and Gentry, are to be Commended, which is, that though they are oftener
Drunken and more Debauched than Peasants, having more Means to maintain their
Debaucheries, yet at such times as at great Assemblies, they keep themselves
more Sober and Temperate than Peasants do, which are for the most part Drunk at
their Departing; But to Judge between the Peasantry and Nobles for Happiness, I
believe where there's One Noble that is truly Happy, there are a Hundred
Peasants; not that there be More Peasants than Nobles, but that they are More
Happy, number for number, as having not the Envy, Ambition, Pride, Vain-glory,
to Cross, Trouble, Vex them, as Nobles have; when I say Nobles, I mean those
that have been Ennobled by Time as well as Title, as the Gentry. But, Madam, I
am not a fit Judge for the several Sorts or Degrees, or Courses of Lives, or
Actions of Mankind, as to Judge which is Happiest, for Happiness lives not in
Outward Show or Concourse, but Inwardly in the Mind, and the Minds of Men are
too Obscure to be Known, and too Various and Inconstant to Fix a Belief in
them, and since we cannot Know our Selves, how should we know Others? Besides,
Pleasure and true Delight lives in every ones own Delectation; but let me tell
you, my Delectation is, to prove my self,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
LVI.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you writ how much the Lord N. O. doth Admire Mrs. B. U.
and what Addresses he makes to her, for he being in Years hath seen much of the
World, and many and Different Beauties, and hath Conversed with many and
Different Wits, and hath found and observed many and Different Humours, and
hath made many and Different Courtships to many and Different Women: yet I have
observed that men in Years would seem Lovers and Admirers, but are not; and
Young men are Lovers and Admirers, and would not seem so; Men in Years Praise
all the Young Women they meet withal, but think not of them when they are out
of their Companies, but Young men Praise some Particulars, and when Absent, are
more Fond and Deeper in Love than when they are personally Present; and it is
to be observed, that the chiefest Employment of the most part of Men is to make
Love, not that they are Really in Love, but Feignedly make themselves so, and
Amorous Courtships are the most general Actions in the World, and the most
general Employments of the Thoughts in men's Minds; and the same is also amongst
Women; so that most of mankind are Amorous Lovers, for Love is the Subject of
their Thoughts, Courtly Addresses the Action of their Time, the Chief Business
of their Lives; but if it were a Noble Love, it were Commendable, for then
their Time, Industry, and Actions of their Lives would be Employed in Acts of
Charity, Friendship, Humanity, Magnificence, Generosity, and the like, but
being Amorous Lovers, their Time is Idly Wasted in Adorning, Fashioning,
Flattering, Protesting and Forswearing; besides, Amorous Lovers are Inconstant,
Prodigal, Fantastical, and the like. But leaving them to their Complemental
Addresses, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LVII.
MADAM,
HEre is no News, only I read a Gazet that speaks of a Courtesan, which hath
been the Ruin of many Gentlemen's and Noble Men's Estates, by presenting her
with Rich Gifts, and maintaining her in Bravery, and 'tis likely she hath
Ruined their Bodies, if not their Souls, as she hath done their Estates; yet it
is to be hoped, that all is not Truth that is Printed in a Gazet, for it is to
be observed, that Gazets are fuller of Lies than Truths, which makes some
Histories that are lately Printed and Published, to have so many Falsehoods in
them, being for the most part Compiled and Formed out of Gazets; But if this
part of the Gazet be true, as concerning the Courtesan, it shows that she hath
a Superior Art of Allurements, not only to ensnare one or two, but many,
which Art hath a Magic Power to Transform Rational Men to Beastly Adulterers,
Simple Asses, and Prodigal Fools; for certainly it cannot be merely Beauty
alone that can have such Power, for mere Beauty takes oftener the Eye than the
Heart, it hath more Admirers than Doting Lovers, and the greatest Gift Beauty
hath given, are Praises, which Praises last not Long, by reason Beauty soon
Decays; But when Beauty is attended with Insinuating Arts, as Behaviour of
Person, Pleasant Speech, and Harmonious Voice, as also the Arts of Music,
Dancing, Dressing, and the like, it becomes Victorious, and makes its Triumphs
in many Hearts, like as in many Nations; But many times those Arts are
Victorious without Beauty, whereas Beauty is seldom or never Victorious without
them; Indeed Women Skilful in these Arts are like Jugglers, which Deceive Sense
and Reason, making an Appearance of that which is not Really so; and thus most
of our Sex Juggle with Men, they Delude them with Artificial Shows and
Insinuating Flattery, and 'tis their chief Study and Endeavour so to do; But
few Arrive to that Artificial Perfection, as the Courtesan mentioned in the
Gazet; wherefore it would be well if Wives had more of that Art to keep their
Husband's Affections, or at least to keep them from seeking after Variety; and
for Courtesans to have less, that they might not Draw and Entice Husbands from
their Honest Wives, nor Bachelors and Widowers from lawful Marriage: But for
the most part Courtesans with their Arts Usurp the Wives Rights and Maids
hopes; and so leaving the famous Courtesan to her Lovers, and her Lovers to
their Ruins, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LVIII.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you sent me word, you were not of my Opinion, that all men
ought to wear their Swords at all Times, and in all Places and Companies, for
you say it is not fit that Drunkards, or Mad-men, or Lovers, should wear
Swords; for Drunkards will use their Swords to the hurt of Others, by reason
they are Quarrelsome and Abusive; and Mad-men will use their Swords to the hurt
of Themselves, either through a Frantic Despair or Conceit; and Lovers will
Affright their Mistresses with them. Madam, you have forgotten two or three
Words added thereto, for I said, that all Gallant Gentlemen ought to wear
Swords, at all Times, and in all Places and Companies; but Drunkards and
Mad-men, though they may be Gentlemen, yet they cannot be said Gallant men
whilst they are Mad or Drunken, because they want their Reason to Distinguish,
for the Gallantry of the Mind or Soul is Valour, Generosity, Humanity, Justice,
Fidelity, and the like, all which cannot be, at least, not in force in
Irrational Creatures, which Mad-men and Drunkards are for that time. And for
Lovers, it is very Requisite they should wear Swords to guard their Mistresses,
for she is but a Foolish Mistress that will be afraid of her Safety; But a
Gallant man wears his Sword for his Honour, King, and Country; as for his
Country, it includes Piety, Friendship, and Natural Affection; for his King, it
includes Fidelity and Loyalty; for his Honour, it includes Truth, Right, Love,
Generosity and Humanity. In truth, Generosity and Humanity is like the Sun and
the Air, for Humanity doth like the Air spread equally to all, it enters every
where, and fills up all Vacuities; and Generosity like the Sun, shines every
where, and on every Creature, although not at one Time, yet in such a Compass
of Time as it hath strength and motion to extend it self; also his Benefits are
General, he Disputes not Who or What deserves his Light or Heat, but knows his
Light and Heat is Beneficial to all Creatures, which if they Abuse to Evil
Uses, it is none of his Fault. Thus Generosity shines in the Air of Humanity,
and Fortitude is like Heaven, which no Enemy can Enter, it Defends and Guards
the Distressed; and Valour is the Sword of Justice, to Cut off Offenders, and
the Sword of Valour is a sharp mettled Blade, that Gallant Gentlemen should
always wear about them, and have Skill to Manage it, and Judgment and
Discretion to know When, and on Whom to Use it. But, Madam, lest the mentioning
of a Sword should Fright you, I'll leave it, and rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LIX.
MADAM,
AS for the Lady P. Y. who, you say, spends most of her Time in Prayer, I can
hardly believe God can be Pleased with so many Words, for what shall we need to
Speak so many Words to God, who knows our Thoughts, Minds and Souls better than
we our selves? Christ did not teach us Long Prayers, but a Short One, nay if it
were lawful for Men to Similize God to his Creatures, (which I think it is not)
God might be Tired with Long and Tedious Petitions or often Repetitions; but,
Madam, Good Deeds are Better than Good Words, in so much, as One Good Deed is
better than a Thousand Good Words, As for Example, One Act of Upright Justice,
or Pure Charity, is better than a Book full of Prayers, a Temperate Life is
better many times than a Praying Life; for we may be Intemperate even in our
Prayers, as to be Superstitious or Idolatrous; Indeed every Good Deed is a
Prayer, for we do Good for Gods sake, as being pleasing to him, for a Chaste,
Honest, Just, Charitable, Temperate Life is a Devout Life, and Worldly labour
is Devout, as to be Honestly Industrious to Get, and Prudent to Thrive, that
one may have where with all to Give; for there is no Poor Beggar, but had
rather a Penny than a Blessing, for they will tell you, that they shall Starve
with Dieu vous assist, but be Relieved with a Denar. Wherefore the Lady P. Y.
with her much Fasting and long Praying will Starve her Self, and Waste her Life
out before the Natural Time, which will be a Kind of Self-murder, and we hold
Self-murder the Greatest Sin, although it should be done in a Pious Form or
Manner; but to Help a Friend in Distress is Better and more Acceptable, than to
Pray for a Friend in Distress, to Relieve a Beggar in Want, is better than to
Pray for him, to Attend the Sick is better than to Pray for the Sick; But you
will say, both do Well, I say it is Well Said, and Well when it is Done, but
the One must not Hinder the Other, wherefore we ought not to Leave the World to
Pray, but to Live in the World to Act, as to Act to Good Uses, and 'tis not
enough to Give for the Poor, but to see that the Poor be not Cousen'd of their
Gifts, wherefore they ought to Distribute their Gifts Themselves, and to be
Industrious to Know and to Find out those that do Truly and not Feignedly Want,
neither must their Gifts make the Poor Idle, but set the Idle Poor awork, and
as for those that cannot Work or Help themselves, as the Old, Sick, Decrepit,
and Children, they must be Maintained by those that have Means and Strength and
Health to Attend them; But perchance if the Lady P. Y. heard me, she would say,
I were one of those that did Speak more Good Words, than Act Good Deeds, or
that I neither Spent my Time in Praying nor Pious Acting; Indeed I cannot, as
the Proud Pharisee, Brag and Boast of my Good Deeds, but with the Poor
Publican, I must say, Lord have Mercy on me, a miserable Sinner, yet I must say
thus much Truth of my Self, that I never had Much to Give; for before the
VVarrs of this Country I was too Young to be Rich, or to have Means in my Own
Power of Disposing, and since the VVarrs all my Friends being so Ruined, and my
Husband Banished from his Native Country, and Dispossessed of his Inherited
Estate, I have been in a Condition rather to Receive, than to Give: Yet I have
not done much of either, for truly I am as Glad not to Receive, as Sorry not to
Give, for Obligation is as great a Burden to me, as not be Able to Oblige is an
Unhappiness, not that I account it so great an Unhappiness to be in such a
Condition, as to be fit to Receive, but to Receive in such a Condition, as not
to be Able to return the Obligation, for the Truth is, I had rather Suffer for
Want, than Take to be Relieved; But I thank God, I have not had many of those
Burdens of Obligations, some few I have had, but those were from my near
Relative Friends, not from Strangers, which is a Double, nay, a Treble
Blessing; but my Condition is fitter for Prayer, as having not sufficient Means
to do Good Works, my Husband being Robbed of all his Estate, than the Lady P.
Is. who hath Saved all she can lay Claim to; Wherefore leaving her to her
Prayers of Thanksgiving, and I to Prayers of Petitioning, I rest,
Madam, Your very faithful Friend and Servant.
LX.
MADAM,
I Am sorry to hear there is such a Difference betwixt the Lady F. O. and her
Husband, as they are upon Parting, I wish their Humours and Dispositions were
more Agreeable, and their Froward Passions less Violent; I cannot Condemn
Either, nor Excuse Both, for if they Anger each Other, they have Both cause to
be Angry, and are Both to be Blamed for so Doing, and so Both together they
ought to be Condemned, but Each apart to be Excused: But Marriage is a very
Unhappy Life when Sympathy Joins not the Married Couple, for otherwise it were
better to be Barred up within the Gates of a Monastery, than to be Bound in the
Bonds of Matrimony; but whenas Sympathy Joins Souls and Bodies in Marriage,
then those Bonds are like Diamond-Chains to Adorn, not to Enslave them, and
Heroic Honour and Chastity are the two Thrones whereon a Married Couple is
Placed, Heroic Honour is the Throne of the Husband, and Chastity the Throne of
the Wife, on which Love Crowns their Lives with Peace, and Inrobes or Inclothes
them with Happiness, which Happiness you Enjoy, which is also the Joy,
Madam, Of Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXI.
MADAM,
I Am sorry to hear you have lost so Good a Servant as E. L. was, for she was
Faithful, Trusty, Loving, Humble, Obedient, Industrious, Thrifty, and Quiet,
Harmlesly Merry and Free, yet full of Respect and Duty, which Few Servants are
in this Age, for most are Idle, Cousening, Wastful, Crafty, Bold, Rude,
Murmuring, Factious and Treacherous, and what not that is Evil? But truly,
Madam, the Fault ought to be laid on the Masters and Mistresses, who either
give their Servants ill Examples by their Evil or Idle Life, or through a
Creduluos Trust, which is a Temptation to a Poor Servant, and it is a part of
our Prayer, Lead us not into Temptation; or through a Neglect of Governing, for
there is an old true Saying, The Masters Eye makes the Horse Fat; or through a
Timorous Fear of Commanding, for many Masters are Afraid to Command a
Peremptory Servant, being more in Awe of the Servant than the Servant of the
Master; or through much Clemency, giving their Servants their Wills so much as
they neglect their Duties; or through their Prodigality, when to Enrich their
Servants they make themselves Poor, so as the Servant becomes Greater than the
Master, which makes them so Proud, that they Slight their Commands and Neglect
their Services, Forgetting who Advanced them, and are apt to Rebel against
them, just like the Devils, when they were Angels, who perceiving they were so
Glorious Creatures, Rebelled against their Creator, and would be as God
himself; Just so are Poor Servants when their Master gives them fine Clothes to
Adorn them, or Money to Enrich them, or Offices to Advance them, they straight
would be their Masters, nay, they will Envy their Master if they see him have
any thing Better than they. This I have Known by Experience, but They will not
Know it, until they become to be like Devils, that is, in a miserable
Condition, which they deserve for their Ingratitude; but a Good Servant is a
Treasure, says Solomon; and so I think is a Good Master to a Servant, if the
Servant have Wit to perceive it, But a Good Master is to know How to Command,
When to Command, and What to Command; also When to Bestow, What to Bestow, How
much to Bestow on a Good Servant; also to fit Servants to Employments, and
Employments to Servants; also to know How and When to Restrain them, and when
to give them Liberty; also to observe, which of his Servants be fit to be Ruled
with Austerity or Severity, and which with Clemency, and to Reward and Punish
them Properly, Timely and Justly; Likewise when to make them Work, and when to
let them Play or Sport; as also when to Keep them at a Distance, and when to
Associate Himself with them; And truly, I should sooner choose to Associate my
Self with the Company of my Servants, had they good Breeding, or were Capable
to Learn and Imitate what did belong to good Behaviour, than with Strangers,
for Good Servants are Friends as well as Servants, nay, Servants are a Guard to
their Masters, for Good Faithful Servants will Dye for the Safeguard of their
Masters Life, and they will endure any Torments rather than Betray their
Masters; and it is the Duty of Servants so to Do, for Servants ow almost as
much Duty to their Masters, as Children to their Parents, or Subjects to their
Natural Prince, for Servants are not only Governed, but Instructed, Fed, and
Maintained; and what greater Crime is there, than to be a Traitor to their
Governor, Tutor, and Nourisher of their Life? And every Master, the Meanest
that is, is a Father and a King in his own Family, Wherefore to my Reason they
are very unwise that will go out of their own Dominions, and leaving their own
Obedient Subjects, which are their Servants, Travel into other Kingdoms, which
are other Families, wherein they have neither Power nor Obedience, leaving
their own Servants without Rule or Guide, for when a Master is from Home, his
Family is like a Body without a Head, like as a King should Travel into Foreign
Countries, and leave his Subjects and Kingdom and State-Affairs at Random, or
to a Deputy, 'tis likely his Subjects would Rebel against him through Dislike
to the Deputy, as Scorning to be Ruled or Governed by a Fellow-Subject, or else
the Deputy will get away their Love from their Prince, and then will strive to
thrust the Right Owner out; The same is with a Master and his Servants;
wherefore a Wise, Loving Master will keep Home, and go no oftener Abroad than
Occasion requires, but will Entertain himself with his own Family, and his
Family will Entertain him with Sports and Pastimes, like as Subjects do their
Princes, and whenas a Servant doth Rebel, although the Master hath not Power
to Banish him the Country or Kingdom, as Princes have, yet hath he Power to
turn him out of his Service, and Banish him from his House, if his Fault do
deserve it; but some may think it strange, that there are as few Masters that
know how to Govern their Families Wisely, as there are Kings that know how to
Rule their Kingdoms Wisely; but that is no wonder, for first, where there is
One King of a Kingdom, there are Thousands Masters of Families, and a King is
the Master of all those Families, insomuch as a King hath more Masters to
Govern and Rule, than the Richest Master of his Kingdom hath Servants; but if
Servants were as they should be, Masters would not only Thrive by the Trusty
Labours of their Servants, and Servants by the Wealth of their Master, but
Masters and Servants would live Easily, by the Diligence of the One, and the
Prudence of the Other; also they would live Delightfully, by their Sports and
Pastimes, where the Master would sit as a Kingly Spectator, whilst his Servants
were Pleasant Actors, in all which both Masters and Servants would be very
Happy, so as this World would seem an Earthly Paradise. But, Madam, if I write
any more, I shall go near to make you a Servant to your Servant, in a Laborious
reading her Long Letter, but it was your Command in your last Letter, that I
should write you Long Letters, and I believe in this I have Fully Obeyed you,
which is my Desire to all your Commands, to let you Know that there is none
more Truly and Faithfully
Your Ladyships Servant than I.
LXII.
MADAM,
MRs. C. R. is very much troubled in her Mind with Doubts and Fears, since she
hath heard that the Lady S. P. did Publicly and Privately Praise her, for, she
says, she is afraid the Lady S. P. hath observed some Error in her Behaviour,
or hath heard her Speak Foolishly, or hath found out some Decays of Beauty in
her Face, or some Deformities in her Shape, or some of the Masculine Sex have
Dispraised her Beauty, Wit, Person, Behaviour, or the like, otherwise, says
she, she is Confident she would never have Praised her, for, says she, it is
so Unusual for one Woman to Praise another, as it seems Unnatural; wherefore
she doth not Delight to be Praised by her own Sex, and since that time she
received your last Letter, she will sit in a Silent Musing Posture, Considering
and Examining her self, as Searching to find out what Faults she hath, or what
Crimes she is Guilty of, that the Lady S. P. should Praise her, and so Peevish
and Froward she is for it, as I believe she will never be Quiet, or at Rest and
Peace in her Mind, until she hear that the Lady S. P. hath Spoken Spitefully of
her, or hath Dispraised her some ways or other. The Truth is, she doth Confess
as much, for she says, She shall never think her Self Handsome, Conversable,
nor Virtuous, but Ill-favoured, Foolish, Base, or Wicked, unless she be
Dispraised by her own Sex, wherefore if you Hear, as certainly you cannot choose
unless you will stop your Ears, any Female Discommendations concerning Mrs. C.
R. Pray send her Word of them, by which you will Infinitely Oblige her, and in
the mean time I shall Endeavour to Pacify her Thoughts, and Settle her Mind in
Peace and Quiet, Resting
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXIII.
MADAM,
I Have observed, there are amongst Mankind as often Mode Phrases in Speech, as
Mode Fashions in Clothes and Behaviour, and so Moded they are, as their
Discourse is as much Decked with those Phrases as their Clothes with several
Coloured Ribbands, or Hats with Feathers, or Bodies with Affected motions, and
whosoever doth Discourse out of the Mode, is as much Despised, as if their
Clothes or Behaviours were out of Fashion, they are accounted Fools or Ill-bred
Persons; indeed most Men and Women in this Age, in most Nations in Europe are
nothing but Mode, as mode-Minds, mode-Bodyes, mode-Appetites, mode-Behaviours,
mode-Cloaths, mode-Pastimes or Vices, mode-Speeches and Conversations, which is
strange to have Minds according to the Mode, as to have a mode-Judgment, for
all will give their Judgments and Opinions according to the Mode, and they Love
and Hate according to the Mode, they are Courageous or Cowardly according to
the Mode, Approve or Dislike according to the Mode, nay, their VVits are
according to the Mode, as to Raillery, Clinch, Buffonly Jest, and the like, for
Better Wit is not usually the Mode, as being always out of Fashion amongst
mode-Gallants, but True and Good Wit lives with the Seniors of the Time, such
as Regard not the Mode, but Choose or Prefer what is Best, and not what is Most
in Fashion, unless that which is Best be in Fashion, which is very seldom if
ever Known, for that which is Best or Good, is not General, especially Wit, for
the Right True and Best Wit keeps to Particulars, as being Understood by
Particulars; Some Mothers have oftner Wit in their Mouths than in their Brains,
that is, they Speak the Wit of Others, but have none of their Own. But Grave,
Experienced and Wise men give their Judgment or Opinion, not according to the
Mode or Fashion, but according to Probability, Sense and Reason; neither do
they say, such or such a Thing Will or Shall be, or Is so, Why? because it is
the General Opinion, but they say, such or such a Thing May be, or 'tis Likely
Will be, or Is so, Why? because there is a Probability or Reason for it:
Neither do the Just and Wise Hate or Love, Approve or Dislike, because it is
the Mode, as to Hate what is not Generally Loved, or Love what is not Generally
Hated, or to Despise what is Generally Disliked, or Admire what is Generally
Commended, but they Hate what is Really Bad, Wicked or Base, and not what is
Thought so; and Love what is really Good, Virtuous and Worthy, not for the
general Opinion, but for the Truth, and they Admire and Commend, Despise or
Scorn, Dislike or Disapprove that which is Despisable or Discomnendable or
Scornable, and so the like; neither are they Courageous or Cowardly according
to the Mode, but they are Valiant or Cautious according to the Cause or
Quarrel; they do not Fight out of or in a Bravado, but for Honour, or in
Honour's Quarrel; nor do they Pass by Injury, or Cover an Anger or Affront with
a Raillery or Jest, but because the Person that did the Injury, or gave the
Affront, was either Drunk, Mad, or a Base, Inferior Person, fitter for his
Man's Quarrel, than for his Own; and for Wise men, they Speak not with
Mode-Phrases, but such Words as are most Plain to be Understood, and the Best
to Deliver or Declare Sense and Reason, and their Behaviours are those which
are Most Manly and Least Apish, Fantastical or Constrained; and their Clothes
are such as are most Useful, Easy and Becoming; neither do their Appetites
Relish Mode-Meats or Sauces, because they have the Mode Haut Goust, but they
Relish Best what is most Pleasing or Savoury to their Taste; and so for Drinks
Compounded, as Chocolata, Limmonada, and the like, they will not Drink them
because of the Mode; neither do they Affect Mode-Songs or Sounds, because they
are in Fashion to be Sung or Played, but because they are Well-Set Tunes, or
Well-Compos'd Music, or Witty Songs, and Well Sung by Good Voices, or Well
Plaid on Instruments; neither do they follow Mode-Vices or Vanities for
Fashion, but for Pleasure, or their own Humour or Fancy; nor do they use those
Exercises that are in Mode, but those they like Best. Thus a Wise Man Follows
not the Mode, but his own Humour, for if it be the Mode to Play at Tennis, or
Paille-maille, or the like, if he like better to Ride or Fence, he will let
alone the mode-Exercises and Use his Own; if it be the mode-Pastime to Play at
Cards or Dice, if he like better to Write or Read, he will leave the
mode-Pastime and Follow his Own; and if it be the mode-Custom to Dine and Sup,
and Meet at Ordinaries or Taverns, if he like better to Sup and Dine at Home
alone, he will not go to Ordinaries or Taverns; if it be the Mode to make
General Courtships; if he Like, or is better pleased with a Particular
Mistress, he will not follow the Mode; neither will he Ride Post because it is
the Mode, but because his Affairs Require it; neither will he Journey from
Place to Place to no Purpose, because it is the Mode, but will Wisely Sit
still or Rest at his own Home, because it is Easy, Peaceable, Quiet, and
Prudent, as not so Chargeable. But leaving the Modists to their mode-Clothes,
Oaths, Phrases, Courtships, Behaviours, Garbs and Motions, to their mode-Meats,
Drinks, Pastimes, Exercises, Pleasures, Vanities and Vices; to their
mode-Songs, Tunes, Dances, Fiddles and Voices; to their mode-Judgements,
Opinions and Wits; to their mode-Quarrels and Friendships, to their Mode-Lying
and Dissembling, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXIV.
MADAM,
'TIs usual for Men to Brag, only some Brag more Obscurely or Neatly, and some
more Grossly than others; and it is Natural for Women to Brag; but all Bragging
proceeds from Self-Love, to Covet the World's good Opinion, Esteem and Respect,
for through fear of Obscurity Men Divulge their own Worth, Wealth, Birth,
Qualities, Abilities, Favours and Graces, and those Actions they believe are
Worthy of Praise: but for the most part all Brags are heightened by the help of
Self-partiality or Self-opinion beyond the Truth; so that Brags are like
Romances, the Ground is True, but the Elevation False; indeed a Brag is nearer
a Lie than a Truth, for to speak pure Truth is not so much a Brag as a
Vain-glory, at least, a Vanity, which most of Mankind Delight in, although the
Speaker is more Delighted than the Hearer, for few or none Delight to Hear a
Self-praiser, unless it be those that have near Relations, as Parents,
Children, Brothers, Sisters, Husbands and Wives, whose Affections are Delighted
with their Friends Perfections and Good Fortunes, but Strangers and Visiting
Acquaintance Dislike that Vain Truth, and are soon Tyred with such a Relation,
nay, have an Aversion to the Sound of a Bragging Tongue, not their Own Tongues,
for no Discourse Pleases them Better, than to Discourse of Themselves, but the
Tongues of Others, which beget rather Envy and Malice in the Hearers, than Love
and Admiration. But leaving this Natural Defect and Vain Effect, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXV.
MADAM,
I Do not wonder that the several Cities and Towns in N. do Dislike their
Governors and Government, by reason the Commons strive to Out-brave the Nobles
in their Building, Garnishing, Furnishing, Adorning and Flourishing in Gold and
Bravery, for even the Mechanics in this City, and I believe in the rest, are
Suffered to have their Coaches, Lackeys, Pages, Waiting-maides, and to wear
Rich and Glorious Garments, Fashioning themselves in all things like the
Nobles, which causes Envy in the Nobility, and Pride in the Commonalty, the
One, to see their Inferiors Out-shine them, the Other, that they can Equal or
Out-brave their Betters; This Pride and Envy causes Murmur, and Murmur causes
Faction, which may in time make an Alteration in the State and Government, for
when the Commons once get so High as to Justle the Nobility, a thousand to one
but the Nobles Fall, and with them Royalty, by reason they are the Pillars of
Royalty, or Royal Government; Wherefore the Commons should be kept like Cattle
in Enclosed Grounds, and whenever any did Break out of their Bounds, they
should be Impounded, that is, the Commons should be kept Strictly, not to
Exceed their Rank or Degree in Show and Bravery, but to Live according to their
Qualities, not according to their Wealth; and those that will be so
Presumptuous, should be Imprisoned and Fined great Sums for that Presumption,
this would keep the Commons in Awe, and the Nobles in Power to uphold Royal
Government, which is certainly the Best and Happiest Government, as being most
United, by which the People becomes most Civil, for Democracy is more Wild and
Barbarous than Monarchy; But this is fitter for Monarchs to Consider, than for
Women to Speak of, and therefore leaving the One to the Other, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXVI.
MADAM,
I Was so Surprised with the Lady A. Ns. Letter, as I was Astonished, it being
such a Bitter and Angry Letter; but she had Reason to be Angry, because I had
committed a very great Fault by a Mistake, for I one day sitting a Musing with
my own Thoughts, was Considering and Pondering upon the natures of Mankind, and
Wondering with my Self, why Nature should make all Men some ways or other
Defective, either in Body, or Mind, or both, for a Proof I Chose out One whom I
thought the freest from Imperfections, either in Mind, or Body, which was the
Lady A. N. and I took Pen and Paper, and Writ down all the Defects I could
Think or had Observed in her, and upon an other all the Excellencies she was
Endued with, by Nature, Heaven, and Education, which last Pleased me so Well,
as I was resolved to send her a Copy in a Letter; but when I was to send her
the Letter, both the Papers lying upon my Table together, I mistook the right
Paper that was in her Praise, and sent that which was in her Dispraise, never
reading it when I sent it, and when she did Receive it, it seemed she was in as
much Amaze, as I at her Answer, but afterwards she fell into a very Angry
Passion, and in that Passion Writ me an Answer, which I opened with great Joy,
thinking she had been very well pleased with my former Letter, but when I did
read it, and had found out the mistake in sending the wrong Letter, I was as if
I had been Thunder-stricken, my Blood flushing so violently into my Face, as to
my thinking my Eyes flashed out fire like Lightning, and after that there fell
such a Shower of Tears, as I am confident there were more Tears shed than
Letters Written, where I wished that every Letter might have been buried in the
watery Womb or Tomb of every Tear, but it was in Vain, they being too fast
fixed to be Drowned, for they were fixed in her Memory, and so in Mine, but yet
my Tears may wash out my Fault, and my Love will ask her Pardon in the Humblest
and Sorrowfull'st words as I can Speak; Wherefore pray Madam, make my Peace if
you can, go to her and speak for me, and let her Know how it was, (for I dare
not Write to her again,) and so in my stead Beg my Pardon, for I dare swear by
Heaven, as I would have it guard my Innocence, prove the Truth, and save my
Soul, I am not guilty of a Crime to her, for I was free from Malice or Envy, or
any Evil Design, when I writ it, and not only free from any Evil to her, but
I was full of Love and Admiration of her, and I hope she will Pardon me, since
I only writ it as a Philosopher, and not as an Enemy, and since there is none
that lives but hath some Faults or Defects, though she hath the Least and Fewer
than any other of Natures Creatures, and it is some Praise to have the Least;
but since we are all Guilty in one kind or other, pray her to Pardon my
Mistake, and Philosophical Contemplation of her, and so hoping a Good Success
of your Petition in my Behalf, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXVII.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased in your last Letter to Ask my Opinion, Judgement, and Advice
of that which you Spoke of when I last Saw you; truly, when any one asks my
Opinion of Causes or Effects, or my Judgment of Affairs, or of any thing
concerning the Actions of the World, as their Successes to Good or Bad, or
Desires my Advice of any Concernment to Particulars, let me tell you, as first,
for Causes and Effects, my Reason Studies, and Observation Watches, to find out
the Cause by the Effects, or to Foresee the Effects by the Causes; and as for
the Success of several Affairs and Actions in the World, I put all the
Probabilities in one Scale, and all the Impossibilities, or at least
Unlikelyhoods, in another, and Weigh them both, and which soever Scale Weighs
Downward, I give my Judgement; and as for Advice to Particulars, I Examine their
Means, Abilities, Strength, Power, Right, Truth, and Justice, according to all
which I give my Advice, for I Search the Bottom, Stirring up the very Dregs, or
Fathoming the Depth; like as Sailers cast their Line and Plummet to Fathom the
Sea, for fear of Quick-sands, Shelves, or the like, and then Draw up their Line
to see the Depth, or at least take Notice how much the Line sinks down; so do I
concerning my Opinion, Judgement, or Advice; but you must Pardon me if I give
not my Judgment or Opinion in a Public Letter, concerning Public Affairs, in
which I ought not to meddle, being a Woman; neither ought those of the
Masculine Sex to give their Opinions, or Judgments, or Advices Publicly,
unless they were Desired and Required so to do, as also not Impertinently,
Busily, or Intrudingly, to Meddle, or Censure, or Speak of that which they have
nothing to do, or at least, where they cannot Help or Mend. But pray believe, I
am not so Vain as to think I can Reason, Judge, or Advise Wisely, no, I only
Endeavour, or at least, Desire so to do; and since you have not mentioned under
your hand-writing, that which you would have me give my Opinion, Judgment, or
Advice of, I will not give it under my hand, but leave it till such time as we
Meet, for Friends may Talk as freely as Think, fearing no Treathery, and so I
rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
LXVIII.
MADAM,
I Am Sorry that Sir C. A. is Killed, and as Sorry that V. A. hath Killed him,
for by Report they were both Worthy and Right Honourable Persons, which causes
me to wonder how such two Persons could Fall out, for surely they were such men
as would be as Unwilling to Give an Offence as to Take an Affront, and if the
Offence was Unwillingly given, as by Chance, they being men of Honour and
Merit, would not be Grieved, at least, not Angry at or for it: but many times a
Third man will make a Quarrel betwixt Two others, and leave them to Fight it
out. You may say, that sometimes Quarrels cannot be Avoided, although they be
betwixt two Noble Persons, as for Example, two Dukes, about the Pre-eminence of
Place, none knowing which of them had the First Place, and neither Yielding,
must needs Fight to Decide it; but such Cases are not often put to the Trial,
or ought not to be, for Heralds are for that purpose Judges. But these two
Noble Persons which you mentioned in your last Letter, whatsoever their Quarrel
was, the one is Killed, the other Banished; and now to speak of such Quarrels
as generally cause Duels between Private Persons, they are either about Words,
or Women, or Hawks, or Dogs, or Whores, or about Cards or Dice, or such
Frivolous, Idle, or Base Causes; I do not say All Quarrels, but Most, for some
are more Honourable, but of all Sorts or Causes of Quarrels, Drunken Quarrels
are the most Senseless; As for the Manner or Fashion of Fighting, Duels in my
opinion are not Proper, for in this Age in most Nations they Fight Private
Duels, somewhat after the manner of a Public Battle, as three against three,
or at least two against two, also they Fight with Pistols and Swords, with
their Doublets on, which serves instead of an Armour, and for the most part a
Horse-back; first, they shoot off their Pistols at each other, and then they
come to the Sword, if they be not shot Dead before their time comes to Fight,
for Shooting is not a direct Fighting, because they must stand at some Distance
to take Aim, which in my opinion appears Cowardly, to Pelt at each other, as if
they were Afraid to come near each other; besides, a Child may have so much
Skill Courage as to shoot off a Pistol, and may chance to Kill a Man, but a
Child cannot tell how to use a Sword, or manage a Horse; also a Peasant or such
mean bred Persons, can shoot off Pistols, or Carbines, or Muskets, but they
have no skill to use a Sword, nor know not how to manage an Horse, unless a
Cart-Horse, that better in a Cart than when astride: 'Tis true, Peasants or
Common Soldiers will fight with Force and Fury like as Beasts, and Kill their
Enemy with mere Strength, but not with pure Valour, for they fight as in an
Uproar, and will knock one another down with their Staves, or But-ends of their
Muskets, which is more a Club or Clown-fighting; and if they have Swords, they
fight with the Pummel, not with the Point, for they know not how to use it,
neither is it fit they should, wherefore the Gentlemen are too Strong for them,
for the Gentleman's point of his Sword hath the Advantage of the Clown's Club;
and the only Grief to Gallant, Valiant Gentlemen in the day of Battle or Duel,
is, the fear they should be Killed with a Bullet, against which they can show
no Active Valour or Well-bred Skill. The last Observation concerning fighting
Duels in this Age, is, in choosing of Seconds, and the right Use of Seconds in
all Ages that I have heard of, unless these Later, is, to be Overseers,
Witnesses and Judges, wherefore they ought to be Upright, Honest, Judicious,
and Skilful men, and Worthy, and Honourable Persons, for they are to Judge
whether their Quarrel requires Blood, and may not be passed over without
Dishonour; also they are to see that each man may be Equally Armed, and that
there be no Untimely Advantages taken of each other; also they are to Help or
Assist them when they are Wounded, as to Bind up their Wounds, and they are to
witness to the World how they Fought; But in this Age, the Seconds are so far
from being Judges, Overseers, Witnesses, or Helpful Friends, as they become
Duellers themselves, Fighting for Company, not for Injury or Wrong done to each
other, and for Fashions sake, which is an Unjust, Irrational, Inhuman, and
Wicked Fashion or Practice; neither is it Manly or Noble, but Base and Beastly,
as to Fight without Reason or Injury; wherefore Pistols and Fighting Seconds
ought not to be. But, Madam, if any should read this Letter besides your self,
I should be found fault with, it being not Fit, nor Proper for a Woman to
Discourse or Write of Duels or VVars, nor of Horses or Swords, or the like,
but pray, if you hear any say so, tell him, that I have a greater Privilege
than other Women in this Discourse, for my Husband hath been a General of an
Army of 30000 men, and hath fought Battles; also he is Master of those two
Arts, the Use of the Sword, and the Manage of the Horse, as there is not any
man, nor hath never been, so well Known, Skilful, and Practised, as he, so that
he is the best Horseman and Swordman in the World; also two of my three
Brothers were Soldiers, or Commanders in War, and well Experienced in that
Profession, and my Father was a Swordman, who was Banished for a time, for
Killing a Gentleman in a Duel of Honour. Thus have I been Born, Bred, Lived,
and Married, all with Sword-men, and to my greater Honour, all Valiant men; and
so leaving this Discourse, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
LXIX.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased to desire my Opinion of the Lord Bs. Works; truly it seems
by his Writings, that he was Learned, Eloquent, Witty, and Wise, fit for
State-Counsel and Advice, to Plead Causes, Decide Controversies, and the like,
and his Works or Writings have been very Propagating and Manuring other men's
Brains; the truth is, his Works have proved like as some sorts of Meats, which
through Time, or mixture of some Flatuous, or Humid Substance, Corrupt, and
Breed Magots or Worms; so his Writings have produced several other Books. The
same have Homer's Works, although they were of another Sort than his. But you
may say, I write more of the Transmigration than of the first Formation or
Principle, more of the Effects than the Cause; I confess my Pen hath Wandered
from your Question, and Asks your Pardon for my Transgression, and with all
Passionate Love, wherefore I subscribe my self,
Madam, Your Ladyships most Humble and faithful Servant.
LXX.
MADAM,
TO give you an Account, as you desire, of Mrs. H. O. who, you say, is Reported
to be such a Wit; all I can say, is, that I do not perceive a Superfluity; her
Tongue in my Hearing ran as other Women's usually doth, but a Friend of her's,
who lives in the same House she doth, did tell me, that to some men she doth
Railly and Sport with Words, for all her Discourse, or most part of it, is to
Men, and to some she doth repeat several Places and Speeches out of Romances,
and several Speeches and Parts of Plays, or Passionate Speeches, and if it be
concerning Love, then she turns up the black of her Eyes and Whines, and lifts
up her Hands after the French Mode; also she is ready and quick in giving Sharp
Replies, for which she is highly Applauded by the Court-Gallants which gather
about her, and whatsoever she says, they Cry out, I faith that is well said,
and then Laugh and Railly with her; then she is Gay and Merry in Sportive
Harmless Abuses, and Dances Much, although not Well, but speaks French like a
Native; then she is very Learned in the Male and Female words, as the Learned
term them, to wit, the Gendres of Words. As for Court-Servants she hath had
Many, but now she is wholly Engrossed by One. This is as much as I have Heard
of her, and more than I would have Repeated, had it not been to You, And thus
leaving her and her Wit, I rest,
Madam, Your very Loving Friend and Servant.
LXXI.
MADAM,
THe five Ladies which you Desire to have a Relation of, I cannot of my own
Knowledge give you an Account of, for I have but little Acquaintance with them,
but I can tell you what Report says; As for the Eldest, 'tis said, she wants
not Experience, though her Experience comes more through Misfortune than Time,
for she is not Old; also that she hath a good Judgment, but makes no Good Use
of it, for she is oftner Ruled by others Persuasion than her own Judgement;
neither doth she want Wit, but can Speak Well, and Promise Fair, though her
Deeds and Words be not Answerable, nor her Performance to her Promises, for
she will Speak better than Do, and Promise more than Perform; she is very Civil
and Humble to all Persons, to gain their Applause, but she makes no Difference
between the Noblest and Meanest, the Worthy and Unworthy, the Honest and
False, but rather of the Two she Naturally Affects those that are Meanest,
either for Birth, Breeding, or Merit, but to some Particulars she is very
Partial, even so Partial as to do Unjust Actions for their Sakes or by their
Persuasions. Her Confidents are such as have been False, but she believes they
are so Honest now, as only fit for Trust, although in all her Affairs she hath
had Ill Success, for all her most Secret Intentions are made Known before they
have been put into Action; but Time may make her Wiser. As for the Second
Lady, she seems at the first Acquaintance to be of a very Good and Generous
Nature, but some time Discovers her to be rather of an Easy, Facil, than a
Pure, Good or Generous Nature, a Foolish Kindness, and a Childish Liberality,
that with Flattery is Ruled, Governed and Persuaded, she Loves and Gives but
knows not Why, nor Wherefore; also she is Amorous, and at this time so in Love,
as it is Reported she will Marry a Person, that is so Mean, and far below her
in Birth, as the Marriage will not only Disgrace the Family from whence she
Sprung, but her Posterity that may live after her; neither hath her Beloved
Person nor Parts, Wealth nor Fame. Concerning the Third Lady, she is Proud and
Ambitious, and seems rather Obstinate than Facil, and if her Fortune were but
Answerable to her Birth, she in my Opinion would Deceive the Belief of many in
Doing those things that might be Worthy a Person of her Quality and Dignity.
The Fourth Lady is Simple, God know's, most of her Time is Employed in Dancing
and Eating, and in Foolish, Childish Sports and Pastimes; She is as Inconstant
as her Sex can be; she is also Amorous, and would have Love-Servants, if she
were not afraid of those that have some Power and Authority over her, which
Restrain her, but 'tis believed she will break thorough all Restraints. As for
her Estate, she only thinks of the Present, but never Considers the Future,
which makes her Necessitated, as she will in time be a Beggar. The Fifth Ladies
Time is only spent in Giving and Receiving Visits, in Balling, Dancing, and the
like, but I hear nothing else of her. Thus, Madam, have I written what is
Reported by those that are well Acquainted, as also by their Domestics and
Followers, not that I inquire into the Humours, Natures or Affairs of those
Persons I have no Relation to, but I cannot but hear of many Actions and
Persons and Passages in the World, unless I should stop my Hearing; but in this
Letter I have done only my Duty, in telling you what I Hear of what you Desire
to Know, and as long as I live, I shall be Obedient to all your Commands, and
Industrious to Satisfy all your Desires, and Rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXII.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased the last time you writ, to send me a Poem of your own making
or Composing, and to desire my Opinion of it, which Opinion, were you not such
a Friend as not to be Exceptious, I would not Declare, for though I will not
Dissemble, as to speak against my Conscience, yet I may Conceal or Bury my
Thoughts, Opinion, or Judgment in Silence; but I know your Humour is, that I
should Speak or Write freely my Thoughts, and according to your Desires, give
me leave to tell you, the Poem is good in that kind, but I do not like such
kind of Poems, which are only Complements and Gratulations put into Verses, in
which Poems is seldom much Wit or Fancy, only Flattery, Rime, and Number;
wherefore give me leave to Persuade you to alter the Subject of your Poem, and
to take such a Subject as hath Ground and Room for Wit and Fancy to move on;
also you desire my Opinion of G. Us. Poems, I cannot Praise them, because the
Wit Expressions are Stolen out of several Excellent Poets, only he turns their
Fancies and Expressions to other Subjects, so as he only Varies other men's
Wits, but Produces none of his Own, and such Writers may rather be named
Translators than Authors; Indeed, most Writings now a days, not only Verse,
but Prose, are but Variations, and not Creations. But leaving Witstealers, I
return to your Poem, which is not Theft, but an Ill-chosen Subject, which I
desire you to Alter. Thus Professing, as also Declaring my Friendship, in
giving a Free and Plain Judgment, I rest,
Madam, Your most faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXIII.
MADAM,
I Was reading to day some several Satyrs of several Famous Poets, wherein I
find, that they Praise Themselves, and Dispraise all Others, which expresses a
great Self-dotage, and a very Ill Nature; besides, they seem more Covetous than
Generous, to desire All the Praise, and to give their Neighbour not Any; In
truth, Writers should never speak of themselves, but in Praefatory Epistles,
or in a History of their own Lives, wherein they may freely declare their own
Acts and Opinions. But, Madam, I wish that all Writers would use their Pens as
your Noble Lord and Husband orders his Discourse in Speech, to speak the Best
of all men, and to Bury their Faults in Silence, which would make Virtue an
Emulation, and Faults such a Novelty, as men would be Ashamed to Commit them,
whereas declaring Former Faults, causes Precedent Faults no Strangers, nay, it
causes Precedent Faults to be more Confident and Active; But, Madam, you are
so Innocent and Harmless, as you are not acquainted with the Faults of others,
for which I am,
Madam, Your most humble Servant, and faithful Friend.
LXXIV.
MADAM,
YEsterday a Consort of Learning and Wit came to Visit me, but they became at
last to be a Discord; This Consort was Natural Philosophers, Theological
Scholars, and Poets, and their Discourse was their Music, the Philosophers
were the Bass, the Theologers the Tenor, and the Poets the Treble, all which
made an Harmony wherein was Variety and Delight, but the Poets that love Change
of Place, Company, and Pastime, went away, and left the Philosophers and
Theologers, who began a Serious Discourse, which was Dull and somewhat Tedious,
for it was concerning the Soul, as also the Immortality of the Soul; some of
the Theologers said, the Souls of Men were part of the Spirit of God, others,
the Souls of men were the Breath of God, others, they were a Light proceeding
from God, and all these Concluded that the Souls were an Immaterial or
Incorporeal Form, but the Natural Philosophers said, that Men's Souls or any
such Soul was an Essence, which was the Purest Matter, or Quintessence In and
Of Nature, but the Theologers would not allow that Opinion, and said, the
Natural Philosophers were Atheists, whereupon the Natural Philosophers said,
that the Theologers were Ignorant, and full of Fallacy and Sophistry, for said
they, How can No Matter have a Form or a Being? and if Souls are the Spirit of
God, they cannot possibly be Evil, and if they be the Breath of God, they
cannot be Corruptible, if so, then the Souls of Men cannot be subject to Sin,
and if not subject to Sin, in Justice they were not subject to Punishment, and
if the Souls of all Men were produced from God, as the Beams of Light from the
Sun, although the Beams might be Obscured with Dark Clouds or Gross Vapours,
yet they did not Lose any of their Purity or Propriety, nay, though the Sun
Beams were Capable to Lose their Purity or Propriety, yet the Beams proceeding
from God could not, for whatsoever Proceeds Immediately from God, can neither
be Alterable nor Impure; at last the Theologers and Philosophers became so
Violent and Loud, as I did fear they would have Fought, if they had had any
other Wounding Weapons than their Tongues, but Heaven be praised, they had no
Killing Swords, and so they did no harm to each other, but after the Violence
of their Dispute was past, I ventured to speak, saying, Noble Gentlemen, you
have Discoursed more Learnedly than Knowingly, and more Vainly than Wisely, for
Solomon says, that not any thing is thoroughly Known, and that all is Vanity
under the Sun, as well that which hath been, as what is, and shall be, and yet
his Wisdom proceeded from Gods particular Gift; wherefore leave the Foolish
Custom of Disputing, and bring in a Devout Custom of Praying, leaving your
Souls to Gods disposing, without troubling them with Idle Arguments; and
hearing me talk Simply, they laughed at my Innocence, and in their Mirth became
Good Friends and Sociable Companions, and after some time they took their
leave, and left me to relate their Discourse in a Letter to your Ladyship. So
leaving your Ladyship to your own Contemplations, I remain,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and humble Servant.
LXXV.
MADAM,
IT is seldom known that a Perfect and Famous Poet or Philosopher was ever very
Cruel, David and Solomon were the most Bloody, but they were Kings, and it
seems Reason of State was too forcible for Good Nature, and there is no Rule
but hath some Exception. But had I Children I would endeavour with all the
Rational Arguments Witty Discourses I were Capable of, to persuade them to
delight in Poetry and Philosophy, that they might be Civil, Generous, and Just,
which would be a Greater and more Lasting Honour to them than Wealth or Titles;
besides the Pleasure of Thoughts and Tranquillity of Mind would be a Heaven
upon Earth, all which Silent Contemplation brings them unto, for Contemplation
brings Consideration, Consideration brings Judgment, Judgment brings Reason,
Reason brings Truth, Truth brings Peace; also Consideration brings Conception,
Conception brings Fancy, Fancy brings Wit, and Wit brings Delight. But you will
say, Nature hath not made all Mankind Capable of Good Instruction, 'tis true,
but give me leave to say, that I believe there are more Faults in Educators
than in Nature; but, Madam, I have no Children, therefore no Tutoress, and if I
had Children, 'tis likely I should have done as most Parents do, which is, to
Breed them up in Vanity and not in Virtue; but, Madam, you have Children, which
I am confident will be Sweetly Disposed, like your Self, for you Breed them
Gently, rather with Reason than with Rods, wherein you do Wisely and Kindly,
and I wish all Parents and Tutors may take an Example from you, who are a Lady
of such Perfection, as I account my Self Honoured to be,
Madam, Your Humble and Devoted Servant.
LXXVI.
MADAM,
SInce I last writ to you, I have been to hear Mrs. P. N. Preach, for now she
is, as I did believe she would be, viz. a Preaching Sister, There were a great
many Holy Sisters and Holy Brethren met together, where many took their turns
to Preach, for as they are for Liberty of Conscience, so they are for Liberty
of Preaching, but there were more Sermons than Learning, and more Words than
Reason, Mrs. P. N. began, but her Sermon I do not well remember, and after she
had Sighed and VVinded out her Devotion, a Holy Brother stood up and Preached
thus, as I shall briefly relate to you.
DEarly beloved Brethren and Sisters, We are gathered together in the Lord with
Purity of Spirit to Preach his Word amongst us, We are the Chosen and Elect
Children of the Lord who have Glorified Spirits and Sanctified Souls, we have
the Spirit of God in us, which Inspires us to Pray and to Preach, as also to
Call upon his Name and to Remember him of his Promise to Unite and Gather us
together into his New Jerusalem, separating us from Reprobates, that we may not
be Defiled with their Presence, for you Dear Brethren Know by the Spirit, that
they are not the Children of the Lord but Sathans Children, they are the
Children of Darkness, we the Children of Light, we are Glorified and Sanctified
by Supernatural Grace, we are a Peculiar People, and the Holy Prophets of the
Lord, to Fore-see, Fore-tell and Declare his Will and Pleasure, also we are to
Encourage and Comfort the Saints in Afflictions and Times of Tribulation and
Consolation, and to Help them to Present their Sanctified Sighs, Tears and
Groans unto the Lord; but the Spirit moves me to Pray and to leave off
Preaching, wherefore let us Pray unto the Lord.
So after the Holy Brother had done his Prayer, Mr. N. N. who was there, pulled
off his Peruick, and put on a Night-Cap, wherein he appeared so like a Holy
Brother as they took him for one of their Sect, and he Preached this following
Sermon.
DEarly beloved Brethren, We are here met in a Congregation together, some to
Teach, others to Learn; but neither the Teaching nor Learning can be any other
way but Natural and according to Human Capacity, for we cannot be Celestial
whilst we are Terrestrial, neither can we be Glorified whilst we are Mortal and
subject to Death, nor yet can we arrive to the Purity of Saints or Angels,
whilst we are subject to Natural Imperfections both in Body and Mind, but there
are some Men that Believe they are, or at least may be so Pure in Spirit by
Saving Grace, as to be Sanctified, and to be so much filled with the Holy Ghost
as to have Spiritual Visions, and ordinarily to have Conversation with God,
believing God to be a Common Companion to their Idle Imaginations. But this
Opinion proceeds from an Extraordinary Self-Love, Self-Pride, and
Self-Ambition, as to believe they are the only fit Companions for God himself,
and that not any of God's Creatures are or were Worthy to be Favoured, but
They, much less to be made of Gods Privy Counsel, as they believe they are, as
to Know his Will and Pleasure, his Decrees and Destinies, which indeed are not
to be Known, for the Creator is too Mighty for a Creature to Comprehend him,
Wherefore let us Humbly Pray to What we cannot Conceive.
But before he had quite Ended his Sermon, the Holy flock began to Bustle, and
at last Went quite out of the Room, so that he might have Prayed by Himself,
had not I and two or three Ladies more that were of my Company, Stayed, and
when he had done his short Prayer, He told me and the other Ladies, that he had
Done that which the Great Counsel of State could not Do, for he had by one
short Discourse Dispersed a Company of Sectaries without Noise or Disturbance,
but at last we dispersed our selves to our own Houses, although Mr. N. N. would
have given us a Ball after a Sermon, but I was so tyred with the One, as I was
not fit for the Other, for we were from Morning till Evening to hear them
Preach; yet as Tyred and Weary as I am I could not choose but Repeat these two
of their shortest Sermons which I heard, and so I subscribe my self,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXVII.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased to desire me to Read the Romance of A. as also, the Romance
of C. which I have obeyed in reading the Romance of A; but as yet I have not
read any part of C. and to give you an Account of my Perusal, I think there is
more Love than Reason in it, and more Wit than Truth or Probability of Truth;
and certainly it is deplorable, that so much Wit and Eloquence should be wasted
on Amorous Love, as also to bring all Scholastical, as Theological, Physical,
Logistical and the like Arguments, Disputes and Discourses, into the Theme of
Amorous Love, which Love is between Appetite or Desire and Fruition of
Different Sexes of Men and Women; but I perceive that Romance-Writers endeavour
to make all their Romance-Readers believe that the Gods, Nature, Fates,
Destinies and Fortune do employ or busy themselves only in the affairs of
Amorous Lovers, which is a very low Employment or Concern. Also I perceive that
Romance-Lovers are very Rheumatic, for if all the Tears Romances express
Lovers to shed, were Gathered or United, it would cause a second Deluge of the
World; it seems Amorous Love is Composed more of Water than Fire, and more of
Desire than Fruition. But leaving Amorous Lovers to more Folly than Discretion,
to Lose more Time than to Gain Love, and wishing them Sound Lungs for Sighs,
and Moist Eyes for Tears, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXVIII.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you expressed that you had Presented C. with a Book of Gs.
Writing, I wonder you would Present that Book to C. by reason that he is a
Gallant for Pleasure, and not a Stoic for Study; also you expressed you sent
one to D. the Student, let me tell you, Madam, I dare swear he will never read
it Half out, not for the Bigness of the Volume, but for the Newness of the
Style and Age, for most Students despise all New Works, and only delight in Old
Worm-eaten Records; the truth is, few Books are read Throughout the First Age,
it is well if at the Fourth Age the End be arrived at, especially in the same
Nation where the Author is a Native, for as our Saviour says, A man is not
Esteemed of in his Own Country, and yet in another place he says, A man is
Known by his Works; wherefore the best way for a man that would have his
Writings Known and Esteemed of in his Life time, is to send them to Travel into
Foreign Nations, for at Home they will find but little Applause, no not
Romances, which the World Dotes on, for Distance of Place is next to Distance
of Time, at least resembles it. But if any will present their Works to Persons
of their Own Nation, they must present them to such as are Known to Delight in
such Subjects their Books treat of, and then perchance they may read a leaf or
two, and by that Censure all the Book; But fearing you should Censure me for
writing so Long a Letter, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXIX.
MADAM,
I Was yesterday presented with a Book Translated out of French into English,
wherein I find the Author of the Book Condemns those that set their Images
before their Books, or that suffer their Friends to give their Opinions of
their Books in Epistles, or that do write many, or some, or few Epistles before
their Books, whereas himself writes so Long an Epistle, in finding Fault with
Others, and civilly Applauding Himself, in not having his Picture or his
Friends Applauses, as that Epistle or Preface is as Long, if not More, than
many Short Epistles, and as Vain-glorious as Many Friends Praises. But I am so
far from that Noble Persons Opinion or Modesty, that I wish, whereas I have One
Friend to Praise my Works, although Partially, I had a Thousand, or rather Ten
thousand Millions, nay, that their number were Infinite, that the Issue of my
Brain, Fame, and Name, might live to Eternity if it were possible; neither do I
think or believe it a Sin to Wish it, by reason it proceeds from Pure
Self-love, which is the Root or Foundation of the Love of God and all Moral
Virtues, I do not mean Corrupted Self-love, but as I said, Pure Self-love, by
which God and Nature did Make, and doth Order the whole World, or Infinite
Matter. But, Madam, give me leave to say, that this Age doth Corrupt all Wit
and Wisdom with Sophistry, and because they cannot write Beyond the Ancients,
they will endeavour to Disgrace them, although most Writers Steal from them.
But for this French Author, setting aside his Epistle, his Book is full of Wit
and Reason, as it is rendered by the Translator, and wishing all Writers could
fill their Books with Wit and Reason, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXX.
MADAM,
BY Relation, Reading, and Observation, I find that every Age is not alike for
Humour, Judgement and Wit, although alike for Kind, Life and Death; for some
Ages are so Heroic, as all their Thoughts are of War, and all their Actions
Fighting; in other Ages all their Thoughts are Considering, and their Actions
Experiments; in other Ages all their Thoughts are Superstitious, and their
Actions Sermons; in other Ages all their Thoughts are Amorous, and their
Actions Adulteries; and so in many other things, as Humours, Passions,
Appetites, Customs, as also in Diets, Accoutrements, Behaviour, Discourse, and
the like; all which I have seriously Considered, what should be the Cause that
men being of One and the same Kind, viz. Mankind, should Differ so much in
several Ages in the Course of their Life; But I cannot find any more Reason for
it, than for several Diseases in several Ages, as for Example, a Disease,
namely, the Sweating Disease, that was Predominant in England, and after in
Germany, and many other Diseases which are Predominant in One Age and not in
Another, which certainly is produced from an Influence from the Planets. But
this is to be observed, that Evils may proceed from the Planets, but what is
Good both for Body and Mind proceeds from a Higher, Celestial Power. And as for
this Age we live in now, 'tis Prodigal to their Enemies, and Ungrateful to
their Friends; but, Madam, though this Age be so Infected in the Generality,
yet some Particulars escape this Infection, for You and I are as Constant in
Friendship as the Light to the Sun, which is the Happiness of
Madam, Your Humble Servant.
LXXXI.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you desired me to write some Letters of Complement, as
also some Panegyrics, but I must entreat you to Excuse me, for my Style in
Writing is too Plain and Simple for such Courtly Works; besides, give me leave
to inform you, that I am a Servant to Truth and not to Flattery; although I
confess, I rather Lose than Gain in my Mistress's Service, for she is Poor and
Naked, and hath not those means to Advance her Servants as Flattery hath, who
gives Plenty of Words, and is Prodigal of Praise, and is Clothed in a
Flourishing Style, Embroidered with Oratory; but my Mistress, Truth, hath no
need of such Adornings, neither doth she give many Words, and seldom any
Praise, so as her Servants have not any thing to live on or by, but mere
Honesty, which rather Starves than Feeds any Creature; yet howsoever, I being
bred in her Service from my Youth, will never Quit her till Death takes me
away; and if I can Serve you by Serving her, Command me, and I shall Honestly
Obey you, and so rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
LXXXII.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you Condemn me for living a Country Life, saying, I Bury
my self whilst I Live, and you wonder, that knowing I love Glory, I should live
so Solitary a Life as I do; I confess, Madam, both the Manner of my Life and my
Ambitious Nature, If a Solitary Life be not to Live in a Metrapolitan City,
spread broad with Vanity, and almost smothered with Crowds of Creditors for
Debts; and as I Confess my Solitude, so I Confess my Glory, which is to Despise
such Vanities, as will be rather a Reproach to my Life, than a Fame to after
Ages, and I should Weep my self into Water, if I could have no other Fame than
Rich Coaches, Lackeys, and what State and Ceremony could produce, for my
Ambition flies higher, as to Worth and Merit, not State and Vanity; I would be
Known to the World by my Wit, not by my Folly, and I would have my Actions so
Wise and Just, as I might neither be Ashamed nor Afrai'd to Hear of my self.
But, Madam, as you Condemn My Life, so I Condemn Yours, for the Nobles that
live in a Metrapolitan City, live but as Citizens, and Citizens that live in
the Country, live like Noble men, with less Expenses and more Liberty, having
large Extension of Lands, and not Imprisoned in One House, and their
Recreations are more Various and Noble, neither do they spend their Time in
Idle Visiting, but Prudent Overseeing; In short, Madam, there is so much
Difference in either sort of Life, as the One is like Heaven, full of Peace and
Blessedness, the Other full of Trouble and Vice; and so living in the sweet Air
of Content, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXXIII.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you Chid me for Loving too Earnestly, saying, Extreme Love
did Consume my Body and Torment my Mind, and that whosoever Love to a High
Degree are Fools; If so, I Confess, Madam, I am as much a Fool as ever Nature
made, for where I set my Love, it is Fixed like Eternity, and is as Full as
Infinite; My Love is not Fixed Suddenly, for it takes Experience and
Consideration to help to Place it, both which have been my Guides and Directors
to Love you, which makes me Love you Much, and shall make me Love you Long, if
Souls Die not, and so I shall always, and in all occasions be,
Madam, Your Constant Friend and Humble Servant.
LXXXIV.
MADAM,
NOw we be both Returned into our Native Country, let us Meet to Rejoice
together, for though our Husbands have Lost much, yet the Broken parts of their
Estates they have Recovered by the Just Laws of this Kingdom, will afford us
some Recreation, Pastime, and Harmless Sports. As for the Place of our Meeting,
If I may Advise, it shall be N. whose Owner is M. N. a Person that hath Lost
the Most of any Subject, yet he is the Best Contented, and so the Happiest, for
he never Troubles himself for any Worldly Wealth, especially when he cannot
tell Honestly which way to Repair his Estate; And though he be Wisely Prudent,
yet he is not Basely Miserable, as to be Miserably Sparing, but will Entertain
us Civilly, Friendly, Generously, Pleasantly, Delightfully. So expecting when
you will appoint the Time, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
LXXXVI.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you did friendly Chide me for my Passionate Anger, and for
some Words I did speak in that Angry Passion, I Confess my Error, but yet you
must Know that my Passion proceeded from Extreme Natural and Honest Love, as to
be Angry in Mind, and Bitter and Sharp in Words, to and of those, I know by
Experience and Practice to be Envious, Spiteful, Malicious, and Ungrateful to
those I do and ought dearly to Love, and this made me Speak that which
Discretion perchance did not Allow or Approve of, although Honesty could not
Forbid it; but had it been in my Own particular Cause or Person, I should
neither have been Angry nor Bitter, neither in Thoughts nor Words, for I can
easily pass over all Hate or Anger, either in Words or Actions to my Self, so
they be neither Contumelious, nor Impairably Dishonourable, the First can
proceed from none but my Superiors, the Other from none but Bestial Ruffians;
As for my Superiors, I count none my Superiors, but those that Surpass me in
Virue, Grace, Wisdom, and Excellency of Mind, except my Natural Parents; and
as for Rude Ruffians, I am of such Quality, as not to Keep such Company, nor to
be Unattended by Servants that Wait upon me, or near my Call. But I Confess my
Indiscretion, for Violent Passion doth neither gain Justice, Right, nor Truth,
of Malice, Wrong, and Falsehood, Yet I am obliged to you for your Love, for you
have showed more True Friendship in your Reproof, than Feigned Friends do in
their Flattery, for which I am,
Madam, Your Faithful and most Humble Servant.
LXXXVI.
MADAM,
I Have Read Rs. Book, which you were pleased to send me, and it is written
Learnedly, Eloquently, Wittily, and Christianly, for all which the Author is to
be Applauded and Admired, concerning the Truth, Method, and Ingenuity of the
Work, and had he been a Divine by Order and Profession, the Subject of his
Book, which is, concerning the Scripture, had been most Applaudable, but being
a Lay-man and not a Consecrated Church-man, the Scripture was not a fit Theme
for his Pen to work upon, at least not in my Opinion, for although I Keep
strictly to the Church of England, yet I think it not fit for a Lay-man to
busy his Pen concerning the Scripture; for it belongs only to Church-men, to
Study, Interpret, Expound, Teach and Preach the Scripture, and its an
Usurpation for Lay-men to meddle in Church-mens Profession, unless it be
granted that a Lay-man have more Wit, Reason, Learning and Inspiration than
all the Church-men have. But truly, Madam, the Book is an Excellent Book in
that Kind, Only give me leave to tell you, that to Defend Scripture is partly
to express Faults in Scripture; and to Dispute upon the Obscurities in
Scripture is to Puzzle the Truth in Scripture. But leaving Scripture to the
Church-men, and the Author to Fame, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXXVII.
MADAM,
I Am Sorry Mrs. D. is so Despairingly Melancholy as not to be Comforted, and I
am the more Sorry that the Ground of her Despair is the Bible and Ignorant
Interpreters, such as rather Confound the Clear Expressions therein, than Clear
the Dark and Mystical. But many Pious persons have fallen into the same
Distemper, through want of Deep Capacities, Clear Understandings, and Sound
Judgments, to Interpret the Scripture, or to Conceive the Spiritual
Inspections and Elevations of the Purity of Christian Religion, and all the
several Opinions therein. The Church of England is the Purest, but yet it hath
suffered the Scripture to be Read too Commonly, which hath caused much
Disturbance, not only to Particular Persons, but in the Church it self, and
hath lost much of the Dignity belonging to Church-men, nay, it hath so
Discomposed the Church-Government, as it is a wonder it should settle in its
Centre again. But the Church-men say, they give Lay-men Leave for to Read the
Scripture, but not to Interpret it, but the Leave of the First gives Leave to
the Latter. But, Madam, these Causes are not for our Sex to Discourse of,
wherefore we will rather Pray for our Afflicted Friend Mrs. D. and so taking my
leave of you, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
LXXXVIII.
MADAM,
I Do not Wonder that the War in E. against O. hath no Better Success, since
there are such Petty Commanders and Mean Governors, and I Fear the Warring
designs of G. will have no Better fortune, because the Generals, which are to
Command in Chief, are not much Better than those that are to be Commanded,
neither for Skill, Conduct, Fame, Title, Friends, Wealth nor Power, in all
which a General ought to Surpass those he Commands, for they may be Good
Soldiers for a Troop, Regiment or Brigade, which are not Skilful or Fit for a
General, for to be a Good General, doth not only require Skill and Courage, but
Wise Conduct, and Wisdom is not found in every Soldiers brain; besides, a
General must be a man of Note, for an Inferior Person will hardly be Obeyed,
for if he be not a man of Fame, Title, Worth and Merit, every Under Commander
will think himself as Good and fit to be a General as he, and will scorn to be
Commanded by his Equal; Wherefore Superiors are only fit to be Commanders and
Governors: Besides, a General or Governor must be full of Generosity, free
from Covetousness, which Generosity seldom Cohabit's with Poverty or Inferior
Persons; also they must be Just; both to Punish and Reward, Resolute to execute
the one, and Forward to perform the other. But Officers, Governors and
Commanders are for the most part chosen by the means of Bribes, Faction or
Favour, and not for Fitness, Worth and Merit, which Causes so many Disorders,
Complaints and Rebellions, for few Nations live long in Peace, and most part of
the World, at least all Europe is at this time filled with bloody War, and most
Nations are forced to War with each other to Keep their Natives from Civil
Dissentions. But War is not a Subject proper for our Sex to discourse of,
although in the Ruins of War we suffer Equally with Men; Wherefore leaving
this Discourse of War I Conclude with Peace, for I am,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and humble Servant.
LXXXIX.
MADAM,
I Am Sorry to hear Mrs. C. L. is married to one She Dislikes so much, as to
profess she cannot Love her Husband, and to Complain of her Parents, for
forcing her with Threats of Curses to that Match, but it is to be hoped, that
Love will both begin and increase by Acquaintance and Society, and his Kindness
to her, for he is reported to be a very Honest Good-natured man, and then she
will give her Parents Thanks, for it is to be observed, that Hot Amorous Lovers
when they are Married, their Affections grow Cooler, and at last so Cold as to
Dye Insensible, so as the Marriage-bed proves the Grave of Love, I mean of fond
Amorous Love, for certainly Amorous Lovers have Poetical Imaginations of each
other, and Fancy each other not only Beyond what they are, but what is not in
Nature to be, but such Matrimonial Acquaintance proves their Love was built on
Fancy, and not on Reality, they Married Mortal Creatures, not Gods or
Goddesses, nor such Worthy or Constant Damsels as Romances feign, so as their
Love Vanishes as Poetical Airy Castles, or Enchanted Towers, and not any Love
Remains, but if there doth, it is but as a Thatched Cottage, a Plain, Homely
Love, whereas they that Marry Discreetly, and not Fondly, their Love is like
Poor Beginners, who have Nothing or very Little to live on, but being Honest
and Industrious, get something, and being Prudent and Thrifty, in time become
Rich, nay, many times so Rich, as to Build stately Palaces, and have Respect
and Honour from all that know them; so in those Marriages where Discretion
joins hands, Honesty begets Love, and thrifty Temperance makes Constancy, which
builds Happiness and Peace for their Lives to live in, and all that Know or
Hear of them, Honour and Respect them for their Worth and Merit, for their
Wisdom and True Love. But as Time joins Honest minds and Temperate persons
with Love, so Time separates Vain Imaginations and Amorous persons with
Dislike, and sometimes with Hate; and so leaving C. L. to Time, Reality,
Temperance, Discretion, and Honesty, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
XC.
MADAM,
I Am sorry the Plague is much in the City you are in, as I hear, and fear your
Stay will Endanger your Life, for the Plague is so Spreading and Penetrating a
Disease, as it is a Malignant Contagion, and Dilates it self throughout a City,
nay, many times, from City to City, all over a Kingdom, and enters into every
Particular House, and doth Arrest almost every Particular Person with Death, at
least, lays grievous Sores upon them; Indeed Great Plagues are Death's
Harvest, where he Reaps down Lives like Ears of Corn; wherefore, Madam, let me
persuade you to Remove, for certainly Life is so Precious, as it ought not to
be Ventured, where there is no Honour to be Gained in the Hazard, for Death
seems Terrible, I am sure it doth to Me, there is nothing I Dread more than
Death, I do not mean the Strokes of Death, nor the Pains, but the Oblivion in
Death, I fear not Death's Dart so much as Death's Dungeon, for I could
willingly part with my Present Life, to have it Redoubled in after Memory, and
would willingly Die in my Self, so I might Live in my Friends; Such a Life have
I with you, and you with me, our Persons being at a Distance, we live to each
other no otherwise than if we were Dead, for Absence is a Present Death, as
Memory is a Future Life; and so many Friends as Remember me, so many Lives I
have, indeed so many Brains as Remember me, so many Lives I have, whether they
be Friends or Foes, only in my Friends Brains I am Better Entertained; And
this is the Reason I Retire so much from the Sight of the World, for the Love
of Life and Fear of Death: for since Nature hath made our Bodily Lives so
short, that if we should Live the full Period, it were but like a Flash of
Lightning, that Continues not, and for the most part leaves black Oblivion
behind it; and since Nature Rules the Bodily Life, and we cannot live Always,
nor the Bounds of Nature be Enlarged, I am industrious to Gain so much of
Nature's Favour, as to enable me to do some Work, wherein I may leave my Idea,
or Live in an Idea, or my Idea may Live in Many Brains, for then I shall Live
as Nature Lives amongst her Creatures, which only Lives in her Works, and is
not otherwise Known but by her Works, we cannot say, she lives Personally
amongst her Works, but Spiritually within her Works; and naturally I am so
Ambitious, as I am restless to Live, as Nature doth, in all Ages, and in every
Brain, but though I cannot hope to do so, yet it shall be no Neglect in me; And
as I desire to Live in every Age, and in every Brain, so I desire to Live in
every Heart, especially in your Ladyships, wherein I believe I do already, and
wish I may live Long. Wherefore for my own sake, as well as yours, let me
entreat you to Remove out of that Plaguy City, for if you Die, all those
Friends you Leave, or Think of, or Remember, partly Die with you, nay, some
perchance for Ever, if they were Personally Dead before, and only Live in your
Memory; Wherefore, as you are a Noble Lady, have a Care of your Friends, and go
out of that City as Soon as you can, in which you will Oblige all those you
Favour, or that Love you, amongst which there is none more Truly, Faithfully,
and Fervently, your Friend and Servant, than,
Madam, I, M. N.
XCI.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you say, that the Lady G. P. carried a Letter she received
from Mrs. O. B. from Company to Company to Jest at, because it was not Indicted
after the Courtly Phrase, but after the Old manner and way, beginning thus,
After my hearty Commendation, hoping you are in good Health, as I am at the
writing hereof; this is to let you understand, c. But I know not why any body
should Jest at it, for 'tis Friendly to send their Commendations, and to wish
them Good Health, and certainly Friendly and Kind Expressions are to be
Preferred before Courtly Complements, the First sounds like Real Truth, the
Other may be demonstrated to be Feigning, for all Complements Exceed the Truth;
'Tis true, the Style of Letters alters and changes as the Fashion of Clothes
doth, but Fashions are not always changed for more Commodious or Becoming, but
for the sake of Variety, for an Old Fashion may be more Useful and Graceful
than a Modern Fashion: But I believe the Lady G. P. carried Mrs. O. B s. Letter
about with her for a Pretence to visit Company, like as Gossips do Cakes and
other Junkets to their Neighbours, the Junkets increasing the Company, and the
Company the Junkets, so the Lady G. P. out of a Luxury to Talk and Company,
like as other Gossips out of a Luxury to Talking and Eating, carried the
Letter, to show her several Acquaintance Sport, to get other Acquaintance, and
if she had not had that Letter, 'tis likely she would have found some other
Pretence rather than have stayed at Home. Indeed, one may say, that in this Age
there is a malignant Contagion of Gossiping, for not only one Woman Infects
another, but the Women Infect the Men, and then one Man Infects another, nay,
it Spreads so much, as it takes hold even on Young Children, so strong and
Infectious is this Malignity; but if any will Avoid it, they must every Morning
Anoint the Soles of their Feet with the Oil of Slackness, and Bath every Limb
in a Bath of Rest, then they must put into their Ears some Drops of Quiet, to
Strengthen the Brain against Vaporous Noise, and Stop their Ears with a little
Wool of Deafness, to keep out the Wind of Idle Discourse, also they must Wash
their Eyes with the Water of Obscurity, lest the glaring light of Vanity should
Weaken them, and they must take some Electuary of Contemplation, which is very
Soverain to Comfort the Spirits, and they must drink Cooling Julips of
Discretion, which are good against the Fever of Company, and if they take some
Jelly of Restraint, they will find it to be an Excellent Remedy against this
Malignity, only they must take great care lest they be too Relax to
Persuasion, but rather so Restringent as to be Obstinate from entering into a
Concourse; for there is nothing more Dangerous in all Malignant Diseases, than
Throngs or Crowds of People; and this is the best Preparative against the
Plague of Gossiping. But for fear with writing too Long a Letter I should fall
into that Disease, I take my leave, and rest,
Madam, Your very faithful Friend and Servant.
XCII.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you were pleased to tell me, that Sir A. M. was to Visit
you, and hearing that the Lady B. V. was come to See you, he started from the
Place he sate, and went away as in Hast, in my Opinion it was Strange he should
do so, since he professes to Love her so much, as the Extremity makes him
Unhappy, for though some may Run away through Fear, yet not for Love, for
whatsoever is Loved or Beloved, is Sought after, what men are Afraid of, they
Fly from, and what they Love, they Fly to; so that Love Pursues, and Hate or
Fear is as it were Pursued; but perchance he is a Despairing Lover, and Despair
is beyond all other Passions; besides, Despair proceeds from Fear, for Fear is
the Father that begets Despair; or perchance he was afraid that his Presence in
her Company might Injure her Reputation, being Known to be her Lover; or he
might fear his Presence might Displease her, and Lovers had rather Grieve
Themselves, than Injure or Anger their Beloved; or else he was afraid that the
Sight of her would Increase his Torments, or Tormenting Love: But howsoever,
certainly Fear was the cause of his sudden Departure, and 'tis to be feared,
that his Love is mixed with an Unlawful Desire, that he was afraid to See her
whom he had no Hopes to Enjoy. But leaving Sr. A. M. to Despair, and her to her
Chaste Virtue, I rest,
Madam, Your very faithful Friend and Servant.
XCIII.
MADAM,
YOu were pleased in your last Letter to express to me the Reason of the Lady
D. S s. and the Lady E. Ks. Melancholy, which was for Want of Children; I can
not Blame the Lady D. S. by reason her Husband is the Last of his Family unless
he have Children, but the Lady E. Ks. Husband being a Widower when he Married
her, and having Sons to Inherit his Estate, and to Keep up his Family, I Know
no Reason why she should be troubled for having no Children, for though it be
the part of every Good Wife to desire Children to Keep alive the Memory of
their Husbands Name and Family by Posterity, yet a Woman hath no such Reason to
desire Children for her Own Sake, for first her Name is Lost as to her
Particular, in her Marrying, for she quits her Own, and is Named as her
Husband; also her Family, for neither Name nor Estate goes to her Family
according to the Laws and Customs of this Country; Also she Hazards her Life
by Bringing them into the World, and hath the greatest share of Trouble in
Bringing them up; neither can Women assure themselves of Comfort or Happiness
by them, when they are grown to be Men, for their Name only lives in Sons, who
Continue the Line of Succession, whereas Daughters are but Branches which by
Marriage are Broken off from the Root from whence they Sprang, Ingrafted into
the Stock of an other Family, so that Daughters are to be accounted but as
Moveable Goods or Furnitures that wear out; and though sometimes they carry the
Lands with them, for want of Heir-males, yet the Name is not Kept nor the Line
Continued with them, for these are buried in the Grave of the Males, for the
Line, Name and Life of a Family ends with the Male issue; But many times
Married Women desire Children, as Maids do Husbands, more for Honour than for
Comfort or Happiness, thinking it a Disgrace to live Old Maids, and so likewise
to be Barren, for in the Jews time it was some Disgrace to be Barren, so that
for the most part Maids and Wives desire Husbands and Children upon any
Condition, rather than to live Maids or Barren: But I am not of their minds,
for I think a Bad Husband is far worse than No Husband, and to have Unnatural
Children is more Unhappy than to have No Children, and where One Husband proves
Good, as Loving and Prudent, a Thousand prove Bad, as Cross and Spendthrifts,
and where One Child proves Good, as Dutiful and Wise, a Thousand prove
Disobedient and Fools, as to do Actions both to the Dishonour and Ruin of
their Families. Besides, I have observed, that Breeding Women, especially
those that have been married some time, and have had No Children, are in their
Behaviour like New-married VVives, whose Actions of Behaviour and Speech are so
Formal and Constrained, and so Different from their Natural way, as it is
Ridiculous; for New Married Wives will so Bridle their Behaviour with
Constraint, or Hang down their Heads so Simply, not so much out of True
modesty, as a Forced Shamefulness; and to their Husbands they are so Coyly
Amorous, or so Amorously Fond and so Troublesome Kind, as it would make the
Spectators Sick, like Fulsome Meat to the Stomach; and if New-married Men were
Wise men, it might make them Ill Husbands, at least to Dislike a Married Life,
because they cannot Leave their Fond or Amorous VVives so Readily or Easily as
a Mistress; but in Truth that Humour doth not last Long, for after a month or
two they are like Surfeited Bodies, that like any Meat Better than what they
were so Fond of, so that in time they think their Husbands Worse Company than
any other men. Also Women at the Breeding of their First Children make so many
Sick Faces, although oftentimes the Sickness is only in their Faces, not but
that some are Really Sick, but not every Breeding Women; Likewise they have
such Feigned Coughs, and fetch their Breath Short, with such Feigning Laziness,
and so many Unnecessary Complaints, as it would VVeary the most Patient Husband
to hear or see them: besides, they are so Expensive in their Longings and
Perpetual Eating of several Costly Meats, as it would Undo a man that hath but
an Indifferent Estate; but to add to their Charge, if they have not what they
Please for Child-bed Linen, Mantels, and a Lying-in Bed, with Suitable
Furniture for their Lying-Chamber, they will be so Fretful and Discontented,
as it will endanger their Miscarrying; Again to redouble the Charge, there must
be Gossiping, not only with Costly Banquets at the Christening and Churching,
but they have Gossiping all the time of their Lying-in, for then there is a
more set or formal Gossiping than at other ordinary times. But I fear, that if
this Letter come to the view of our Sex besides your self, they will throw more
Spiteful or Angry Words out of their mouths against me, than the Unbeleeving
Jews did hard Stones out of their hands at Saint Stephan; but the best is, they
cannot Kill me with their Reproaches, I speak but the Truth of what I have
observed amongst many of our Sex; Wherefore, Pray Madam, help to Defend me, as
being my Friend, and I yours, for I shall Continue as long as I live,
Madam, Your Ladyship's most Faithful and Humble Servant.
XCIV.
MADAM,
IT is to be observed, that Absence Cools Affections, and Presence Heats them,
and Long Presence Burns them up, like as the Sun the Creatures of the Earth,
which are Cold in his Absence, Warmed with his Presence, and Burnt with his
Continuance; But some Affections live always, as at the Poles, Frozen, and as
in a Twy-light, wherein they can never be Seen Perfectly, and the Natures of
such men for the most part are like Bears, Dull and Ravenous, which shows, that
Bears are of Cold Constitutions, living always in the Coldest Climates, for
Cold Congeals the Spirits, Thickens the Skin, Stupefies the Senses, but
Sharpen's the Hungry Appetite; and Different Extremes for the most part meet in
Like Effects, for Extreme Heat Exhales or Exhausts the Spirits, Dimm's or
Weakens the Senses, Hardens the Skin, and Quickens the Appetite of Drought, and
Burning and Freezing is Equally Painful, and the Pains are somewhat Alike, as
both Piercing and Pricking, as if Cold and Heat were Sharply pointed; but a Hot
Love is better than a Cold one, although a Cold Love is likelier to last
Longer, like those that live in Hot Countries, who are not half so Long-Lived
as those that live in Cold, the reason is, that the Spirits Exhaling out of the
Body, carry out Life with them, whereas the Spirits being only Congealed,
Remain still within the Body, and Life keeps in, and lives with them, for
Spirits are Life. But leaving Hot and Cold Love, which is Luke-warm, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XCV.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you were pleased to let me know, how Bravely the Lady F.
O. lives, both for Rich Clothing, Costly Houshold-furniture, and Great
Equipage; truly, for those that have a sufficient Estate to Maintain it, and a
Noble Title to Countenance it, 'tis very Commendable and Honourable to live in
Grandeur, otherwise it is Prodigal, Vain, Base, and Foolish: Prodigal, to live
Beyond their Means or Wealth; Vain, to make a Fluttering show with the Wast of
their Estate; Base, to Usurp the Grandeur of Noble and Princely Titles; and
Foolish, to make Enemies through Envy to their Vanity, to Triumph on them in
their Poverty, which Poverty must of Necessity follow their Unnecessary Wast,
if they have not a Staple-stock, so that they of Necessity must Break and
become Bankrupts, in which Condition they will be Despised, and so much the
more as they were Envied for their Vain Bravery, and Hated for their Base
Usurped Grandeur, the more they are Scorned in their Poverty, and Laughed at in
their Misery. Indeed, it is a Ridiculous Sight to see any live Above their
Wealth or Dignity; 'tis like mercenary Stage-players, that Act the parts of
Princes, but none of the Spectators give them the Respect and Honour due to
Great Princes, knowing they are but Poor Players and Mean Persons; but true
Noble Persons indeed, as they will not Quit any thing that belongs to their
Dignities, so they will not Usurp any thing that belongs not to their Titles,
and when such Persons chance to fall into Misery, yet they fall not into Scorn,
but Pity and Compassion will wait upon them, or meet them with Respect; but in
all Conditions, Degrees, and Dignities, it is better to Live Wisely than
Bravely, and to Live Wisely, is, to Spend Moderately, to Live Plentifully,
Easily, Peaceably, Pleasantly, and so Happily; to Spend Moderately, is, to keep
within the Bounds of their Estate, not to go beyond the Limits of their Comings
in; to Live Plentifully, is, to spend nothing Vainly, nor to spare nothing
Useful, or Proper for their Quality; to Live Peaceably, is, to live Privately,
free from troublesome Company, as Idle Visitors, and Trencher-Guests, who
Censure every Word or Act to the Worst Intent and Sense, and Slander every one
that is Better than themselves; to Live Easily, is, to have their Family in
Order and Obedience, and all their Affairs to be done Methodically; to Live
Pleasantly, is, to have such Delights as the Estate will Afford them, and such
Pastimes as are Agreeable to their Humours, and the Company of Sociable and
Conversable Friends; also to Banish all Perturbed Passions, and Extravagant
Appetites, all which is to Live Wisely, as your Ladyship doth; But whether the
Lady F. O. Live Wisely, I will leave to your Ladyships Judgment, who dwells
Near her, and I at a Greater Distance, although not from your Ladyship, for my
Thoughts and Affections are always with you, so as you are Attended and
Waited on by the Soul of,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and humble Servant.
XCVI.
MADAM,
I Wonder that Sir F. E. should turn his Back to his Enemy, as you say you
heard he did, when heretofore he Out-faced his Enemies; wherefore, surely he
either thought those Enemies he Turned from, their Cause to be Juster, or he
had some Burden upon his Conscience that was Unrepented of, and knowing in
himself, he was not fit to Die at that present, endeavoured to Preserve his
Life by a Flight; or else he thought he might do some Greater Service if he
Preserved his Life, whereas in that Fight he should Die Unprofitably; or else
it was a Panick Fear, that may seize sometimes on Men of Great Courage,
although True, Sober, Valiant Men are Seldom, if Ever, Seized with that Fear,
by reason they never Venture their Lives but for Honour, and Honour forbids a
Masker'd Flight, though not a Noble Retreat, for it is as Commendable to make a
Wise and Honourable Retreat, as to Fight a Just Quarrel. But I have observed,
that as some are Wise, Honest, and Valiant, or rather Courageous by Fits, so
some are Courageous and Cowardly in several Causes or Cases; as for Example,
Some have Courage to venture Hanging for Robbing or Stealing, yet are afraid of
a Cudgel, to Fight although but at Cuffs; others have Courage to Betray a
Friend, but dare not Assist or Conceal a Persecuted Friend, others have Courage
to Commit Treason, yet dare not Fight an Enemy, and many the like; also some
are very Courageous in a Passion, and mere Cowards when their Passion is over;
also Fear makes some Stout and Courageous, and others Cowards, and so doth
Drink, and the like; also Covetousness of Wealth makes more Courageous than any
Thing or Cause else, for an Army of Soldiers, if they know they shall be
Enriched by the Victory, will Fight without all Fear, nay, so as to Die Every
man; but Propose to them Honour, or their Countries Safety, or their Kings
Right, and they for the most part will Run away, unless they be sure to be
Hanged for it, and then perchance they may Fight for Life, rather than Run away
to be sure to Die, for by Staying there is some Hopes, whereas by Running away
there is none; but if they fear not to be Caught, they Fly. But the Commanders
that Fight more for Honour than Spoil, most commonly Stick to the Fight,
fearing a Disgrace more than Death, and loving Fame more than Life. But the
truth is, that generally there are more Cowards than Valiant Men, and more that
have Courage to be Knaves, than to be Honest Men, for it requires both Wisdom
and Valour to be Truly Honest, and Uprightly Just, but few have that Noble and
Prudent Breeding, as to Know what is Truly Just, Honest and Valiant, insomuch
as many Commit Errors and Crimes, and so are Disgraced, merely through
Ignorance, whereas did they Know and rightly Understand the Grounds or
Principles of Honesty and Honour, they would not hazard Infamy; But there are
more that have not Breeding according to their Natures, than Natures according
to their Breeding, for alas, the World wants Good Instructors, which is the
cause of the Follies, Errors, Faults, and Crimes in Men and their Actions. But
leaving the Generality, I am sorry for the Disgrace of Sir F. E. although it
may be hoped, he may Recover himself out of this Reproach, by some Eminent,
Honourable, and Valiant Action, which will be a Grave to Bury this Disgrace,
for there are ways and means for men to Recover a Lost Honour, but none for
Women, for if once they Lose their Honour, it is Lost for Ever without
Redemption, wherefore every one is to regard their own Actions. But lest I
should Commit an Error or Fault, in tyring you with so Long a Letter, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XCVII.
MADAM,
THe Lady G. R. and the Lady A. N. in a Visiting meeting, fell into a Discourse
of Great Princes and Noble Persons, where the Lady G. R. said, that Great
Princes and Noble Persons should or ought to have a Grandeur in their
Behaviours, Habits, Discourses, Attendance, Life and Renown, as to their
Persons, Garments, Speech, Ceremony, Actions and Fame, according to their
Titles, Births and Fortunes; Nay, said the Lady A. N. not according to Fortune,
for Misfortune or Ill Fortune Knocks Grandeur down, and makes it lye as Dead,
also Age doth Lessen it: The Lady G. R. said, that True Grandeur did ride in
Triumph upon Misfortunes back, for though Ill Fortune might Degrade Noble
Persons of Wealth, and Poverty Degrade them of Ceremony, yet the Right Grandeur
of True Noble Persons would appear through Rags, and their Low Condition like
as the Sun, which though it could not shine Clear and Bright through Thick,
Black Clouds, yet it made Day in that Hemisphere it moved in, for a Dark Day is
not Night; so, although Ill Fortune may Darken the Grandeur of Noble Persons,
yet it cannot Benight it; and as for Age, said she, it is so far from Lessening
Grandeur as it gives it Addition, for true Noble and Heroic Persons, their
very Shadows do appear with a Majestic Grandeur, and their Fame sounds with a
Solemn Renown, both to beget Respect, Reverence and Honour in the Eyes, Ears
and Minds of all persons, in despite of Fortune or Time, for Grandeur, said
she, lives both in the Ashes and Fame of Noble, Worthy, and Gallant Persons.
But leaving their Discourse together with their Visit, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
XCVIII.
MADAM,
I Received your Letter, which is Written in so Eloquent a Style, expressing
such High Praises, that, were I apt to be Self-conceited, I should have become
so Proud upon reading it, as I should have Denied my self, thinking my self not
to be the Same I am; nay, so far I was already to this Pride and Self-denial,
that I had a Better Opinion of my self, whilst I was Reading your Letter than
Usually I have; But with returning thoughts I found my self the Same I am, and
that your Praise did proceed merely from your Civil Respect and Great
Affection, and not from any Merit in me to Deserve it. Wherefore my Obligations
are so much the More, as I do Less merit them, which Obligations shall always
be acknowledged by,
Madam, Your most Humble and Faithful Servant.
XCIX.
MADAM,
I Hear there are many Noble Lords with their Ladies gone into F. which shows
that in this Age there are many Kind Husbands, for usually when Husbands
Travel, they leave their Wives behind, at least, think them to be a Trouble on
their Journies, and counting their Trouble to be more, than the Pleasure of
their Companies, they are left at Home. But I believe, this Mode-Travelling is
only in this, and not in other Nations, for our Countrymen make Kinder
Husbands than men of other Nations. But since our Wars some are Necessitated
and Forced to Travel into Foreign Countries, being Banished out of their Native
Country, and the Wives of Banished men are forced to Travel to and from their
Husbands, to seek for Means and Subsistence, to Maintain or Relieve their
Necessitated lives, wanting Meat to feed on, and Clothes to cover them; Yet be
there not so many in this Banished Condition for Number as for Worth, for they
are most persons of great Qualities or Dignities, and had great Estates, living
formerly in great Splendour and Plenty, and now in low Despised Poverty and cold
Charity, which makes their Conditions or Fortunes so much the more Sad and
Lamentable, only their Souls and Spirits are not according to their Fortunes,
for their noble Souls and Heroic Spirits yield not to Fortunes Slavery, but
they as Conquerors ride Triumphing on proud Fortun's back, spurring her sides
with Scorn, for though Fortune may Starve or Enslave their Bodies, yet she
cannot Conquer their Minds. But in this Age there are more Women that Travel
for Fashions sake, than out of Want, more that Travel for Breeding than for
Bread, for Company than for Necessity, they spend more in Unnecessary Travels
to see strange Nations and Men, than others can get, that Travel to their own
Native Country and near Relations, for these Travel not for Observation but
Subsistence, they make not their Journies Frolics of Mirth, but Weeping
Departures, their Minds Swim in Troubled Tears, and are Blown with Sighs in
their Bodily Barks, whilst they are Swimming on the dangerous Sea in Barks or
Ships of Wood blown by blustering Winds; they venture not life for Sport and
Fashion, but for Love and Charity; Indeed whereas other Women, either for
Observation or Fashion, may with their Fathers, Husbands or Sons Travel all the
World over, those Women must for necessity Travel as they can, having no
Choice; And so leaving our Sex either at home or abroad in their own Native or
Foreign Countries, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and Servant.
C.
MADAM,
I Wonder at that which your Letter did Mention, that Sir C. K. should not Help
his Friend, Sir O. R. in Distress, wherefore the Distress of O. R. doth prove,
that Sir C. K. was never a True Friend to him, but only a Seeming, as a
Professing not an Acting Friend, for though Love lives in the Heart, yet the
part of True Friendship Dwells or is only made Known by the Action; But I have
observed, that there's more that are Unkind to their Friends, even their
Natural Friends, than Revengeful to their Enemies, and though both are Bad,
yet the not doing Good or Timely Service to a Friend, is Worse than to do Hurt
to an Enemy; for Preservation may Constrain them to the One, at least it is but
quid for quo, as to Revenge an Injury, but nothing but a Treacherous Nature can
make or Hinder them from doing a Service for a Friend, if they be able thereto;
for it is Inhuman not to do a Timely Courtesy to a Stranger, nay, to an Enemy
in Distress, for a Noble Person will not take Advantage of his Enemy, but
rather Help him in Distress, although he takes Revenge when he is in an able
Condition to Help himself. But not to Help a Friend in Distress, is a Nature
worse than Devils, for sure one Devil will Assist another, if it be but for
Acquaintance: But there are many sorts of Friends, if I may call them so, for
some Friendships are Made in Adversity, which are for the most part Broken in
Prosperity, either through Envy or Pride; and some Friendships are Made in
Prosperity, and are Lost in Adversity, either by Scorn or Fear; some
Friendships are Made by Mirth, which are for the most part Lost in Mourning,
either for the Shunning of Melancholy or Sad Objects, or for the Love to Mirth,
or for the Desire of Forgetfulness; some Friendships are Made by Luxury, which
are Broken in Sickness; some Friendships are Made in Dangers, as to help each
other, which are Lost in Security, and some are Made in Security, which are
Lost in Danger, for to avoid the Dangers of each other; some Friendships are
Made in Amours, and are Lost by Satiety; some Friendships are Made by Faction
and Combination, and are Broken by Separation, and many the like Friendships,
which are Made and Broken; but True, Undissolving Friendships are made by
Faith, Love, Trust, Gratitude, Fortitude, and Honour, for they are always
Valiant for their Friends Safety, Industrious in their Friends Necessity,
Careful for their Friends Security, Secret in their Friends Trust, Faithful in
their Friends Service, Dispatchful in their Friends Affairs, Pleading in their
Friends Suits, Speaking in their Friends Behalf, Fighting in their Friends
Quarrels, Dying in their Friends Causes, nay, ready to endure Torments for
their Friends Ease, or Troubles for their Friends Peace, and there can be no
Bar between True Friends, from Doing or Endeavouring Good for and to each
others Good; Such a Friendship, Madam, is betwixt You and Me, and True Friends
have an Undoubted Belief of each others Love and Fidelity, wherefore it is but
civil Ceremony to tell you, I am,
Madam, Your faithful Friend and humble Servant.
CI.
MADAM,
IN your last Letter you mentioned that Sir S. P. had lost 500 l. at Tennis,
and 2000. at Cards and Dice, and was now Resolved to Play no more at those
Games, but at Chess; (though Fox and Geese were a better Game for him in my
Opinion) for although he may Lose as great Sums at Chess, yet not so Quickly as
at Dice, Cards, or Tennis, for the Game at Chess takes time to Consider before
he parts from his money, besides, it requires a Good Judgment, which Sir S. P.
did not prove to have by his former Adventures, wherein he had such Losses;
Indeed, Wise men will Venture as little on Fortune as they can, by reason she
never gives Assurance, and is too Inconstant to be Trusted without Bonds or
Engagements of Friends or Lands, but I know none she hath, for she never keeps
Friendship with any One, nor Dwells Constantly in any Place, so as she can
neither be Sued, Arrested, nor Imprisoned; wherefore Prudent men will not Trust
her, unless upon Necessity; But, certainly it is through a Covetous Humour,
that causes men to Venture so much at Play; like as greedy Merchants, that will
Venture their Whole Stock upon the Uncertain Winds, and Raging, Rough Seas, in
hope of a Rich Return; and I fear Sir S. P. hath Lost his Stock in the
Adventure, as many Merchants do, and so will become a Bankrupt. But to prove
Gaming is out of Covetousness, and not for Pastime or Exercise, is, that Tennis
is too Violent a Motion for Wholesome Exercise, for those that Play much at
Tennis, impair their Health and Strength, by Wasting their Vital Spirits
through much Sweating, and Weaken their Nerves by Overstraining them; neither
can Tennis be a Pastime, for it is too Laborious for Pastime, which is only a
Recreation, and there can be no Recreation in Sweaty Labour, for it is laid as
a Curse upon men, that they shall Live by the Sweat of their Brows, but those
that Lose, shall Want, and become Poor by the Sweat of their Brows; wherefore
Recreation which is Pleasure and Delight, Lives in Ease and Plenty; And thus it
is through a Covetous Humour, that men Play at Cards and Dice, and not for
Pastime nor Exercise, for as Tennis hath too Much Motion for Exercise, so
Playing at Cards and Dice hath too Little, insomuch that when Gamesters rise
from Play, their Limbs are Stiff, Numb, and Insensible, for want of Use, the
truth is, they fall asleep through Laziness, having no Employment; Neither can
I perceive it to be a Recreation, by reason Cards and Chess require more Study
than Arithmetic, or Logic, or any other Science that sets the Brain awork,
and there is as little Recreation in the Labour of the Mind, as in the Labour
of the Body, in the Labour of the Thoughts, as in the Labour of the Limbs;
besides, their Stakes are Attended and Watched with as many Fears as Hopes, and
both are Troubles of the Mind, for Hopes are built on Doubts; and for the
Increase of their Wealth, Gamesters are like Chimists, that Seek the
Philosophers Stone, in which Search they all become Bankrupts, Losing more Gold
than they Get, in so much that when they Dye, they leave no Wealth behind them,
only their Folly, which they leave at their Death, for Death will not be
troubled therewith; But of Worldly Riches they are as Poor as Lazarus, yet
whether they shall Lye in Abrahams bosom, I Know not. And as Gamesters are
like Lazarus for the matter of Poverty, so Drunkards are like Dives for the
matter of Drought, they are always Dry, for much Strong Liquor causes Heat,
and Heat causes Drought, so as they Drink themselves Dry, and many times in a
Fevorish Distemper desire a Drop of Water to Cool their Parched Tongues, having
Scalding Heat within them, so that their Wine, or Fever which Wine causes,
proves to their Bodies as Hell-fire, and a furious Madness in their Minds; only
there is this Difference, that in Hell-fire, its said, the Body never Decays
or Dies, but in the Fire of Wine the Body doth Wast by degrees, or is suddenly
Burnt up in Feavours, and so Dies; Also Drunkards have the Fate of Gamesters
and Chemists, which is to be Poor, for as Chemists are Impoverished by a
Wasting Fire, so Drunkards are Impoverished by Inflaming Wine; also Drunkards
are Guilty of Covetousness, not so much of Wealth as of Drink, but they are as
Insatiable for Drink as the others for Gold; and Whoremasters may come amongst
them for Covetousness and Poverty, for should they neither Covet Gold nor
Drink, yet they Covet other Men's Wives, Daughters, Sisters, Aunts, Nieces and
Maid-Servants, and Impoverish their Estates, either by presenting the Coy with
Gifts, as Bribes to Tempt them, or Maintain them for their Use; also they are
as Short-lived as Drunkards, or as Diseased, as full of Aches, Pains and
Weakness. Thus some Toss away their Estates Lives with a Ball, others Throw
away their Estates and Lives with a Dice, some Shuffle away their Estates and
Lives with a pack of Cards, others Spue out their Estates and Lives with Wine,
others Kiss away their Estates and Lives with Mistresses, and so with the Pot
and the Rot, the Ball, the Card and the Dice, men Busy the whole Time of their
Life, or rather Waste the whole Time of their Life, together with their Life;
And not in any one of these Actions is Honour, nor, as I can perceive,
Pleasure; for their can be no Pleasure in Fear of Losing, nor in Sick-spuing,
nor in Painful Rotting, nor is there any Honour in these Actions, for it is
not Honourable to beat a Ball, but to beat an Enemy, nor to deal out Cards, but
to lead out Soldiers, neither is it Honourable to be Dead-drunk in a Tavern,
but to be Wounded in the Field of War, for a Drunken Quarrel is not an
Honourable Fight, the Fury in a Tavern is not the Valour in a Field; to be
Enclosed in a Mistresses soft Arms is not to lye on the hard Ground open to
all the Injuries of the Elements; neither shall men get an Eternal Fame, for
Drinking, Gaming and Whoring, but they sooner may get an Eternal Infamy,
although most are so Happy as to Dye in Oblivion, wherein let them rest; But if
I Write my Letter much Longer, it may become as Troublesome as a Drunken
Quarrelling, or Wrangling Gamester, or an Impatient Adulterer, or an
Impertinent Woman, of which last you may think me to be Guilty by this Letter,
wherein are more Words than Wit, more Truth than Reason, Wherefore I'll Write
no more, only give me leave to subscribe my self,
Madam, Your very faithful Friend and Servant.
CII.
MADAM,
I Was to Visit the Lady C. H. at her Country-House, but the House is too Good
and Fine an House for the Situation, for the Air all about is Thick and Foggy,
the Ground Deep and Miry in some places, and Mountainous and Rocky in others,
also it is so Cold, as no Fruits will Ripen or Increase there; The truth is,
she lives as if it were at the Poles, yet she is Merry and Gay, which shows
that a Sun-shining Mind is not Dulled with Cloudy Days, no more than a Cloudy
Mind, or Sad and Melancholy Humour is pleased with Sun-shining days, but that
every Place is Pleasant to a Cheerful Mind and Lively Thoughts, which makes the
Life Happy, for True Happiness Lives Within the Mind or Soul, not Without it,
and whosoever build their Happiness Without it, shall Miss it when they Seek
it, nay, those Buildings are like Airy Castles, which Vanish to nothing, or
rather like Unwholesome, or Ill Vapor; or as a Snuff of a Candle, that goes out,
and leaves an Ill Savour behind it; so those that place their Happiness
Without them, as on the Opinion of Men, or the Vanities of the World, shall
have nothing but Loss, Trouble, and Vexation, instead of Peace, Rest, and
Content; And the Difference betwixt a Wise man and a Fool is, that a Wise man
carries his Happiness still Within him, and a Fool is always Seeking it
Without him, seldom or never Meets it, the other never Seeks it, for he
always hath it; a Wise man doth like an Expert Chemist, that can Extract
Cordials out of Poison, but a Fool Converts Cordials into Poison by wrong
Application; But leaving the Fool to his Sick Mind, and Erroneous Practice, and
the Wise man to his Healthful Mind and Experienced Prudence, I rest,
Madam, Your faithful Fr. and S.
CIII.
MADAM,
SInce it is your Pleasure we should Write to each other, as if we were
Personally Coversing, as Discoursing of what we Think, Say, or Act, and of the
several Employments of our Time, I must tell you, I was Invited to be a Gossip,
to Name the Lady B. Rs. Child, of which she Lies in, and at the Christening
there were many Ladies and Gentlewomen, and being most Married Women, as is
U