Skip to content
Switch branches/tags
Go to file
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
8368 lines (7644 sloc) 523 KB
LONDON Printed for J. Martin and J. Allestry at the Bell in St. Paul's
Church-Yard 1655.
I Dedicate this Book to Fortune, for I believe she is a powerful Princess;
for whatsoever she favours, the World admires, whether it be worthy of
admiration, or no; and whatsoever she frowns on, the World runs from, as from
a Plaguy Infection, and not only shunns, but exclaims against it, although it
be Virtue herself; and that which is most to be lamented, is, that the
strictest Votaresses to Virtue turn Reprobates, become Infidels, and with false
and superstious Devotion worship the Golden Fortune; and Flatterers, which are
the Priests, offer false Praises thereunto.
Wherefore if Fortune please, with her helping hand, she may place my Book in
Fames high Tower, where every Word, like a Cymball, shall make a Tinkling
Noise; and the whole Volume, like a Cannon Bullet, shall Echo from Side to
Side of Fames large Brazen Walls, and make so loud a Report, that all the World
shall hear it.
But if not favoured, then my Book must dye,
And in the Grave of Dark Oblivion lye:
My Lord,
THE Reason why I have not dedicated any of my particular Books to your
Lordship, is, that when I have writ all I mean to print, I intend, if I live,
to Dedicate the whole sum of my Works unto you, and not by Parcels: for
indeed you are my Wits Patron; not that I lay the Defects, that may be found,
to your charge, for upon my Conscience all the Faults are mine own; but if
there be any Wit, or any thing worthy of Commendations, they are the Crumms I
gathered from your Discourse, which hath fed my Fancy; and though I do not
write the same way you write, yet it is like Nature which works upon Eternal
matter, mixing, cutting, and carving it out into several Forms and Figures; for
had not Nature Matter to work upon, She would become Useless; so that Eternal
Matter makes Nature work, but Nature makes not Eternal Matter. Thus she is but
as a labouring servant; and as in Eternal Matter there lives Spirit and Motion,
which is Life and Knowledge, so in your Discourse lives Sense and Reason, in
your Wit, Delight and Pleasure; in your Mind, Honour and Honesty; in your
Actions, Valour and Prudence; in your Prosperity, Generosity and Humility; in
your Misfortunes, Patience and Magnanimity; in your Friendship, Truth and
Constancy; to your King and Country, Fidelity and Loialty; to your Neighbours,
Affability and Kindness; to your Enemies, Pardon and Pity.
But, My Lord, I must do as the Painter did, which was to draw Agamemnon in
that posture, as he stood to view his Daughter offerr'd as a Sacrifice; who
when he came to Pencil out his Countenance wherein Sorrow sate so lively, he
was forced to draw a Veil over his Face, his Grief being too great for his Art
to imitate: So I, when I come to describe your worth by my Pen I find your
Merit so far beyond all expression, that I am forced to leave off Writing, only
subscribing my self, as I am,
Your Lordships honest Wife and humble Servant Margaret Newcastle.
An Epistle that was writ before the death of the noble Sir Charls Cavendish,
my most noble Brother-in-law.
Noble Sir,
ALthough I'm absented from your person, yet not from your Favours, they are
too great, and certainly not to be worn out either by distance of Time or
Place; and you are so excellent and Divine an Architecture, that your
Generosity never missed the true Measure of Misery, and may our payment of
Prayers be justly returned you, in Blessings from Heaven; and as your Bounty
runs a Race with Necessity, so may your Merit win the Bell of Fame; which Bell
I wish may sound in every Ear, and as long as there be Ears to hear,
So that your Name may live still in Report,
When that your Soul is gone to Heavens Court.
Sir, Your humble and dutiful Servant Margaret Newcastle.
An Epistle to the Reader.
THIS Book, most of it was written five years since, and was locked up in a
Trunk as if it had been buried in a Grave, but, when I came out of England, I
gave it a Resurruction; and after a view, I judged it not so well done but that
a little more care might have placed the words so, as the Language might have
run smoother, which would have given the Sense a greater Lustre; but I being of
a lazy disposition, did choose to let it go into the World with its Defects,
rather than take the pains to refine it; besides, to me it seemed as if I had
built a House, and not liking the Form after it was built, must be forced to
take it in pieces and rebuild it again, to make it of that fashion I would have
it, or be contented as it was; which considering with my self, I found it would
be as great a charge of Time and Pains, as if I should build a New one on an
other Ground; besides, there is more Pleasure and Delight in making than in
mending; and I verily believe my Neighbours, which are my Readers, would have
found fault with it if I had done it as I could, and they could but dispraise
it as it is; but I am so well armed with carclesness, that their several
Censures can never enter to vex me with Wounds of Discontent; Howsoever, I have
my delight in Writing and having it printed; and if any take a Delight to read
it, I will not thank them for it; for if any thing please therein, they are to
thank me for so much pleasure; and if it be nought, I had rather they had left
it unread: But those that do not like my Book, which is my House, I pray them
to pass by, for I have not any entertainment fit for their Palats.
The Preface to the Reader.
IT cannot be expected I should write so wisely or wittily as Men, being of the
Effeminate Sex, whose Brains Nature hath mixed with the coldest and softest
Elements; and to give my Reason why we cannot be so wise as Men, I take leave
and ask Pardon of my own Sex, and present my Reasons to the Judgement of Truth;
but I believe all of my own Sex will be against me out of partiality to
themselves, and all Men will seem to be against me, out of a Complement to
Women, or at least for quiet and ease sake, who know Women's Tongues are like
Stings of Bees; and what man would endure our effeminate Monarchy to swarm
about their ears? for certainly he would be stung to death; so I shall be
condemned of all sides, but Truth, who helps to defend me. True it is, our Sex
make great complaints, that men from their first Creation usurped a Supremacy
to themselves, although we were made equal by Nature, which Tyrannical
Government they have kept ever since, so that we could never come to be free,
but rather more and more enslaved, using us either like Children, Fools, or
Subjects, that is, to flatter or threaten us, to allure or force us to obey,
and will not let us divide the World equally with them, as to Govern and
Command, to direct and Dispose as they do; which Slavery hath so dejected our
spirits, as we are become so stupid, that Beasts are but a Degree below us, and
Men use us but a Degree above Beasts; whereas in Nature we have as clear an
understanding as Men, if we were bredin Schools to mature our Brains, and to
manure our Understandings, that we might bring forth the Fruits of Knowledge.
But to speak truth, Men have great Reason not to let us in to their
Governments, for there is great difference betwixt the Masculine Brain and the
Feminine, the Masculine Strength and the Feminine; For could we choose out of
the World two of the ablest Brain and strongest Body of each Sex, there would
be great difference in the Understanding and Strength; for Nature hath made
Mans Body more able to endure Labour, and Mans Brain more clear to understand
and contrive than Woman's; and as great a difference there is between them, as
there is between the longest and strongest Willow, compared to the strongest an
largest Oak; though they are both Trees, yet the Willow is but a yielding
Vegetable, not fit nor proper to build Houses and Ships, as the Oak, whose
strength can grapple with the greatest Winds, and plough the Furrows in the
Deep; it is true, the Willows may make fine Arbours and Bowers, winding and
twisting its wreathy stalks about, to make a Shadow to eclips the Light; or as
a light Shield to keep off the sharp Arrows of the Sun, which cannot wound
deep, because they fly far before they touch the Earth; or Men and Women may be
compared to the Black-Birds, where the Hen can never sing with so strong and
loud a Voice, nor so clear and perfect Notes as the Cock; her Breast is not
made with that strength to strain so high; even so Women can never have so
strong Judgment nor clear Understanding nor so perfect Rhetoric, to speak
Orations with that Eloquence, as to Persuade so Forcibly, to Command so
Powerfully, to Entice so Subtly, and to Insinuate so Gently and Softly into
the Souls of men; Or they may be compared to the Sun and Moon, according to the
description in the Holy Writ, which saith, God made two great Lights, the one
to Rule the Day, the other the Night. So Man is made to Govern Common Wealths,
and Women their private Families. And we find by experience, that the Sun is
more Dry, Hot, Active, and Powerful every way than the Moon; besides, the Sun
is of a more strong and ruddier Complexion than the Moon; for we find she is
Pale and Wan, Cold, Moist and Slow in all her operations; and if it be as
philosophers hold, that the Moon hath no Light but what it borrows from the
Sun, so Women have no strength nor light of Understanding, but what is given
them from Men; this is the Reason why we are not Mathematicians,
Arithmeticians, Logicians, Geometricians, Cosmographers, and the like; This is
the Reason we are not Witty Poets, Eloquent Orators, Subtle Schoolmen,
Substracting Chimists, Rare Musicians, Curious Limners; This is the reason we
are not Navigators, Architectures, Exact Surveyors, Inventive Artisans; This is
the reason why we are not Skilful Soldiers, Politic Statists, Dispatchfull
Secretaries, or Conquering Caeasars; but our Governments would be weak, had we
not Masculine spirits and Counsellors to advise us; and for our Strength, we
should make but feeble Mariners to tug and pull up great Ropes and weighty
Sails in blustering Storms, if there were no other Pilots that the Effeminate
Sex; neither would there be such Commerce of Nations as there, is, nor would
there be so much Gold and Silver and other Minerals fetched out of the Bowels
of the Earth if there were none but Effeminate hands to use the Pick-axe and
Spade; nor so many Cities built, if there were none but Women Labourers to cut
out great Quarrs of Stone, to hew down great timber Trees, and to draw up such
Materials and Engines thereunto belonging; neither would there be such Bars of
Iron, if none but Women were to Melt and Hammer them out, whose weak spirits
would suffocate and so faint with the heat, and their small Arms would sooner
break than lift up such a weight, and beat out a Life, in striving to beat out
a Wedge; neither would there be such Steeples and Pyramids, as there have been
in this World, if there were no other than our tender Feet to climb, nor could
our Brains endure the height, we should soon grow Dissy and fall; down drunk
with too much thin Air; neither have Women such hard Chests and strong Lungs to
keep in so much Breath, to dive to the bottom of the Sea, to fetch up the
Treasures that lie in the watery Womb; neither can Women bring the furious and
wild Horse to the Bit, quenching his fiery Courage, and bridling his strong
swift Speed. This is the reason we are not so active in Exercise, nor able to
endure Hard Labour, nor far Travels, nor to bear Weighty Burdens, to run long
Jornies, and many the like Actions which we by Nature are not made fit for: It
is true, Education and Custom may add something to harden us, yet never make us
so strong as the strongest of Men, whose Sinnews are tuffer, and Bones
stronger, and Joints closer, and Flesh firmer, than ours are, as all Ages have
shown, and Times have produced. What Woman was ever so strong as Sampson, or so
swift as Hazael? neither have Women such tempered Brains as men, such high
Imaginations, such subtle Conceptions, such fine Inventions, such solid
Reasons, and such sound Judgement, such prudent Forecast, such constant
Resolutions, such quick, sharp, and ready flowing Wits; what Women ever made
such Laws as Moses, Lycurgus, or Solon, did? what Woman was ever so wise as
Salomon, or Aristotle? so politic as Achitophel? so Eloquent as Tully? so
demonstrative as Euclid? so inventive as Seth, or Archimedes? It was not a
Woman that found out the Card, and Needle, and the use of the Loadstone; it was
not a Woman that invented Perspective-Glasses to pierce into the Moon; it was
not a Woman that found out the invention of writing Letters, and the Art of
Printing; it was not a Woman that found out the invention of Gunpowder, and the
art of Guns. What Women were such Soldiers as Hannibal, Caesar, Tamberlain,
Alexander, and Scanderbeg? what woman was such a Chemist as Paracelsus? such a
Physician as Hipocrates or Galen? suth a Poet as Homer? such a Painter as
Apelles? such a carver as Pigmalion? such an Architect as Vitruviuss? such a
Musician as Orpheus? What Women ever found out the Antipodes in imagination,
before they were found out by Navigation, as a Bishop did? or what ever did we
do but like Apes, by Imitation? wherefore Women can have no excuse, or
complaints of being subjects, as a hinderance from thinking; for Thoughts are
free, those can never be enslaved, for we are not hindered from studying, since
we are allowed so much idle time that we know not how to pass it away, but may
as well read in our Closets, as Men in their Colleges; and Contemplation is as
free to us as to Men to beget clear Speculation; Besides, most Scholars marry,
and their heads are so full of their School Lectures, that they preach them
over to their Wives when they come home, so that they know as well what was
spoke, as if they had been there; and though most of our Sex are bred up to the
Needle and Spindle, yet some are bred in the public Theatres of the World;
wherefore if Nature had made our Brains of the same temper as Men's, we should
have had as clear Speculation, and had been as Ingenious and Inventive as Men:
but we find She hath not, by the effects. And thus we may see by the weakness
of our Actions, the Constitution of our Bodies; and by our Knowledge, the
temper of our Brains; by our unsettled Resolutions, incoustant to our Promises,
the Perverseness of our Wills; by our facil Natures, violent in our Passions,
superstitious in our Devotions, you may know our Humours; we have more Wit than
Judgment, more Active than Industrious, we have more Courage than Conduct, more
Will than Strength, more Curiosity than Secrecy, more Vanity than good
Houswifery, more Complaints than Pains, more Jealousy than Love, more Tears
than Sorrow, more Stupidity than Patience, more Pride than Affability, more
Beauty than Constancy, more Ill Nature than Good; Besides, the Education, and
liberty of Conversation which Men have, is both unfit and dangerous to our
Sex, knowing, that we may bear and bring forth Branches from a wrong Stock, by
which every man would come to lose the property of their own Children; but
Nature, out of love to the Generation of Men, hath made Women to be governed by
Men, giving them Strength to rule, and Power to use their Authority.
And though it seem to be natural, that generally all Women are weaker than
Men, both in Body and Under standing, and that the wisest Woman is not so wise
as the wisest of Men, wherefore not so fit to Rule; yet some are far wiser than
some men; like Earth; for some Ground, though it be Barren by Nature, yet,
being well mucked and well manured, may bear plentiful Crops, and sprout forth
divers sorts of Flowers, when the fertiller and richer Ground shall grow rank
and corrupt, bringing nothing but gross and stinking Weeds, for want of
Tillage; So Women by Education may come to be far more knowing and learned,
than some Rustic and Rudebredmen. Besides, it is to be observed, that Nature
hath Degrees in all her Mixtures and Temperaments, not only to her servile
works, but in one and the same Matter and Form of Creatures, throughout all her
Creations. Again, it is to be observed, that although Nature hath not made
Women so strong of Body, and so clear of understanding, as the ablest of Men,
yet she hath made them fairer, softer, slenderer, and more delicate than they,
separating as it were the finer parts from the grosser, which seems as if
Nature had made Women as purer white Manchet, for her own Table, and Palate,
where Men are like coarse household Bread which the servants feed on; and if she
hath not tempered Women's Brains to that height of understanding, nor hath put
in such strong Species of Imaginations, yet she hath mixed them with Sugar of
sweet conceits; and if she hath not planted in their Dispositions such firm
Resolutions, yet she hath sowed gentle and willing Obedience; and though she
hath not filled the mind with such Heroic Gallantry, yet she hath laid in
tender Affections, as Love, Piety, Charity, Clemency, Patience, Humility, and
the like; which makes them nearest to resemble Angels, which are the
perfectest of all her Works; where men by their Ambitions, Extortion, Fury, and
Cruelty, resemble the Devil; But some women are like Devils too, when they
are possessed with those Evils; and the best of men by their Heroic Magnanimous
Minds, by their Ingenious and Inventive Wits, by their strong Judgments, by
their prudent forecast, and wise Mannagements, are like to Gods.
To the Reader.
I Desire those that read any of this Book, that every Chapter may be read
clearly, without long stops and stays; for it is with Writers as it is with
men; for an ill affected Fashion or Garb, takes away the Natural and graceful
Form of the Person; So Writings if they be read lamely, or crookedly, and not
evenly, smoothly, thoroughly, insnarle the Sense; Nay the very sound of the
Voice will seem to alter the sense of the Theme; though the Sense will be there
in despite of the ill Voice or Reader, but it will be concealed, or discovered
to its disadvantage; for like an ill Musician, or indeed one that cannot play
at all, who instead of playing he puts the Fiddle out of tune, and causes a
Discord, which if well plaid upon would sound Harmoniously; or is like one that
can play but one Tune on all sorts of Instruments; so some will read with one
Tone or Sound of Voice, though the Passions and Numbers are different; and some
again in reading wind up their Voices to such a passionate scrue, that they
whine or squeal rather than speak or read; others, fold up their Voices with
that distinction, that they make that three square that is four square, and
narrow that should be broad, and high that should be low, and low that should
be high; and some again so fast, that the Sense is lost in the Race: So that
Writings, though they are not so, yet they sound good or bad According to the
Readers, and not according to their Authors; and indeed such advantage a good
or ill Readers gives, as those that read well, shall give a grace to a foolish
Author, and those that read ill, disgrace a wise and a witty Author. But there
are two sorts of Readers, the one that reads to himself and for his own
benefit, the other to benefit another by hearing it; in the first, there is
required a good Judgement, and a ready Understanding; in the other, a good
Voice, and a graceful Delivery; so that a Writer hath a double desire, the one
that he may write well, the other, that he may be read well; And my desire is
the more earnest, because I know my Writings are not strong enough to bear an
ill Reader; wherefore I entreat so much favour, as to give it its own
Countenance, wherein you will oblige the Writer to be
Yours, M. N.
To the Lady of Newcastle, upon her Book Entitled, The WORLD'S OLIO.
THE World, to the World's Olio, we invite you,
And hope these several Cates they may delight you,
It is the Mistress of the Feast her Wish,
And all these various Sorts cookt in Wits Dish;
For several Palats here is of the Best,
With Aromatic Spice of Fancy dressed,
With wholesome Herbs of Judgment, for the Taste
Healthful and Nourishing. This Dish will last
To Feast your Nephews all, if you can fit
The Marriage Act, to get your Children Wit:
For stronger Stomachs Ven'son; if that fail,
And you grow Queasy, then the Lady Quail,
Or the plump Partridge, taste the Pheasant, do,
Thus feast your Souls, the Bodies look you too.
An Olio of Confections, not refrain;
For here's a Sumptuous Banquet for your Brain:
And this Imaginary Feast pray try,
Censure your worst, so you the Book will buy.
What the desire of Fame proceeds from.
THE desire of Fame proceeds from a doubt of an after being; And Fame is a
report that travels far, and many times lives long, and the older it grows,
the more it florishes, and is the more particularly a mans own, then the Child
of his loins; for Fame is a child of his merit, which hath no compartner in
it, and many times the child of his loins deceives the parent, and instead of
keeping his fathers fame, brings him an infamy: as being a coward, a traitor, a
lier, a fool, or the like: which the world will judge, being apt to cast
aspersions, that they were qualities which he had by inheritance from his
father; but actions that his merits beget, will never deceive him, when it is
rightly and honourably gotten: but there be bastard fames as well as bastard
Issues, which men of honour will never own. But all those that are born are not
so fruitful as to have issues of their brain, or so fortunate as to overcome
their enemies, or so rich to build Towers and Castles, or monuments of fame, or
so happy to have such advantages, to show their own worth and abilities; And
those that cannot leave a child of fame, must content themselves to live a life
of quiet, for fame is seldom gotten with ease, but with pains and labour,
danger and trouble, and oftentimes with life it self.
The Reward of Fame.
IT is a Justice to a mans self; and no vain ostentation or braging, to write
or speak truly of his own good service to his king and country; since none
knows it better then they, that the world may know them; so as to be remembered
with love and honour. For though fame is not always a true Recorder, yet it is
a loud reporter, which is a more certain reward to his merits, then from Kings
and States: For Kings and States most commonly receive the service, and forget
ths reward: and many times gives them disgrace instead of honour, and death for
life. Where fame is so prodigal to those she entertains, as she will Cozen
the rest of the world, to contribute to her particulars; But time the reviver
of all removes this sound farther off, and many times extinguishes it quite;
yet Fame the older she is, although she be lame, and goes upon Crouches, the
more lovers and admirers she gains, neither is envy so sharp toothed as to hurt
her, and many are proud, not only to be acquainted with her, but in being able
to mention her: so honourable is ancient Fame.
Of Fame, and Infamy.
SOme love the life of their memory so well, as they would rather choose to be
remembered by the World as a fool, rather then to be forgotten as a beast; Which
is rather to live in Infamy, then to die in obscurity. For Infamy is a loud
reproach, where Fame is a loud Applause, yet neither of them are got by
ordinary means, but by extremes, either by Nature, Fortune, or Fate; As to make
them ring aloud, for the sound to be heard through many Nations, and to live in
many Ages. But infamy hath this advantage, if it be one, that it lives longer,
and strikes harder upon the ears of the World, then Fame doth.
Fame makes a difference between man and Beast.
NExt, the being born to the glory of God, Man is born to produce a Fame by
some particular acts to prove himself a man, unless we shall say there is no
difference in Nature, between man and beast; For beasts when they are dead, the
rest of the beasts retain not their memory from one posterity to another, as we
can perceive, and we study the natures of Beasts, and their way so subtly, as
surely we should discover some-what: but the difference betwixt man and beast,
to speak naturally, and only according to her works without any Divine
influence, is, that dead men live in living men, where beasts die without
Record of beasts; So that those men that die in oblivion, are beasts by nature,
for the rational Soul in man is a work of nature, as well as the body, and
therefore ought to be taught by nature to be as industrious to get a Fame to
live to after Ages, as the body to get food for present life, for as natures
principles are created to produced some effects, so the Soul to produce Fame.
What makes Fame speak loudest.
THose Fames that is gotten in the Wars, sound louder then those that are
gotten in Peace, by reason War is a disturber and causes a violent motion,
like a tempest at Sea, sea, or a storm at land, it raises up discord, fear,
and fury, it swallows up industry, it pulls up the root of plenty, it murders
natural affection, and makes such a noise where it is, as all the world besides
is inquiring, and listening after it, for fear of being surprised, so as the
world follows the noise as much as the noise follows them.
The Fame of valour, and wisdom.
IT is a better and more certain Reputation to have the Fame of being a wise
man, then a man of courage, because every man that is wise hath courage; for he
that is a coward cannot be wise, because fear puts him out of the right way:
but there be many men that have courage which be not wise, for courage is only
a resolution of the mind, either to Act or suffer, and to destroy or be
destroyed, so that courage doth not direct and guide as wisdom doth, but dares
and executes, besides wisdom is more to be admired, because it is rarer; as
scarce one wise man is found in an Age; but men of Courage whole Armies full in
every Age, neither is wisdoms Fame subject to fortune as courage is, for Wisdom
makes fortune her servant, and uses all times and accidents to her advantage,
and the worse her fortune is, the greater she appears, when the Fame of courage
is a slave to fortune, and only flourishes in her smiles, but is buried in her
It is true, Courage is a virtue that defends and protects its Country, and
keeps an enemy in awe, yet it is a virtue that is only exercised in
destructior, in the patient suffering of his own, or the acting to another.
Where wisdom is always exercised in uniting and composing, searching and
leading into the ways of peace, when courage chooses and searches for the
ways of danger, and courts her as his loveliest and beautifullest Mistress, and
is many times so courageous as he, forces her, and had rather die in the arms
of danger, then live in the arms of peace.
Why men write Books.
SOme say men write books, not so much to benefit the world, as out of love to
Fame, thinking to gain them honour of reputation; but surely men are so
delighted with their own conceits, When I say write, its either by Heroic, or
otherwise they say letters was ever since Seths time.
especially fine and new ones, that were it a sin or infamy, they would write
them, to see their beauty and enjoy them, and so become unlawful Lovers;
Besides thoughts would be lost, if not put into writing; for writing is the
picture of thoughts, which shadows last longer then men, but surely men would
commit secret Idolatry to their own wit, if they had not Applause to satisfy
them, and examples to humble them, for every several man, if wit were not
discovered, would think not any had it but he, for men take pleasure first in
their own fancies, and after seek to gain the approving opinions of others:
which opinions are like women's dressings; for some will get such advantage in
putting on their clothes, who although they have ill faces, and not so exact
bodies, will make a better show then those that are well favoured, and neatly
shaped, with disordered attire, wherein some men are so happy in their language
and delivery, as it beautisies and adorns their wit, which without it would be
like an unpolished Diamond, but such difference there is between, that to
create a fancy is the nature of a God, but to make neat and new words, is the
nature of a Tailor.
Of several writings.
WRitings that are set forth in books and other ways, are of several and
different natures; For some, as Magistrates and Fathers, do reprove and
endeavour to reclaim the world and men, as moral Philosophers; others as
Attorneys do inform them, as Historians; some as Lawyers do plead in the behalf
of some former writings, and acts against others as contraversers; some as
Ambitious Tyrants, that would kill all that stood in their way, as Casuists;
some as Challengers, as Logicians; some as Scouts, as natural Philosophers; But
they bring not always true intelligence. Some like hang-men as the Scepticks
that strive to strangle, not only all opinions, but all knowledge; Some like
Ambassadors that are sent to condole and congratulate, as books of
Humiliation and thanksgiving; Some as Merchants, as translatours, which
traffic out of one Language into another; Some as painted faces, as Oratory;
some as Jubilies, as to recreate, rejoice, and delight the spirits of men, as
Poetry; some as Bawds to entice the minds, as Amorous Romance; Some as pits
that one must go many Fathoms deep to find the bottom, neither do they always
reach it, as those that are called strong lines. some as Conjurers, that fright
with their threatening prophesies, some as Cut-purses that steal from the
writings of others; some as Jugglers that would have falsehood appear for truth;
some like Mountibanks that deceive, and give more words then matter; some as
Echoes which commonly answer to another voice; some like Buffons that laugh
and jest at all, and some like Flatterers that praise all; and some like
Malcontents that complain against all; and some like God that is full of
truth, and gives a due to all deservers; and some like devils that slaughter all.
Of the motion of the thoughts in speaking and Writing.
THose that have very quick thoughts, shall speak readier then Write, because
in speaking they are not tied to any stile, or number; besides in speaking,
thoughts lie close and careless, but in writing they are gathered up, and are
like the water in a cup, that the mouth is held downward: for every drop
striving to be out first, stops the passage, or like the common people in an
uproar, that runs without any order, and disperses without success, when slow
and strong thoughts come well armed and in good order, discharges with courage,
and goes off with honour.
The motion of Poets thoughts.
THe thoughts of poets must be quick, yet so as they must go even without
justling, strong without striving, nimble without stumbling, for their thoughts
must be as an instrument well strung, and justly tuned to Harmony.
Great scholars are not excellent Poets.
SCholars are never good Poets, for they incorporate too much into other men,
which makes them become less themselves, in which great scholars are
Metamorphosed or transmigrated into as many several shapes, as they read
Authors, which makes them monstrous, and their head is nothing but a lumber
stuffed with old commodities, so it is worse to be a learned Poet then a Poet
unlearned, but that which makes a good Poet, is that which makes a good Privy
Councellor, which is, observation, and experience, got by time and company.
Wit mistaken.
THey are not mistaken that think all Poets wits, but those are mistaken that
think there is no other wit but in Poets, or to think wit lies in mere jests,
or only in words, or Method, or scholastical knowledge; for many may be very
wise, and knowing, yet have not much wit: not but wit may be in every one of
these before mentioned, for wit makes use of althings, but wit is the purest
element, and swiftest motion of the brain, it is the essence of thoughts, it
incircles all things, and a true wit is like the Elixer that keeps nature
always fresh, and young.
Some thinks wit no wit when it is not understood; but surely a fool makes not
the wit the less, although it loses its aim, if none knows it but the
A comparison betwixt learning and Wit.
IT is a great mistake in some who think that great Stcholars are great wits,
because great Scholars; but there is as great a difference as betwixt a natural
inheritance that is entailed, and cannot be sold, and a Tenant that makes use
of the land, and pays the rent, which is due to the Land-lord, which is the
Author; or in another comparison a Scholar is like a great Merchant that
trafficks in most Countries for transportable Commodities, and his head is the
ware-house to lay those goods in: now may some say, they are become his own,
since he bought them, it is true they are so to keep them, or make use of them,
or to sell, and traffic with them, by imparting them to petty Merchants,
which are young students and Scholars, but otherwise they are no more his, then
when they were in the Authors head; before it was published, but only by
retail, for wit is the child of nature, neither hath she made any thing so
like her self as it; Nay, she hath made it to out-do her self, for though
nature hath not only made this world, but may be thought by reason to have
made many others, and so a world of worlds, yet wit creats in its imaginations,
not only worlds but I mean Corporeal gods, and devils, hells and heavens.
Heavens, and Hells, Gods, and Devils, only it wants the materials, to put
them in body, and give them a figure and colour.
The advanaage of Poetry, and History.
POets make us see errors, as what we should follow, and what we should shun,
it revives the spirits, it animates the mind, it creats wit in the readers
brain, it is a shop of curious varieties, where every one may see for their
love, and buy for their pains; but a true Poet is like a Spider that spins all
out of her own bowels. And though the web be Artificial, yet that art is
natural, not exemplary, but as Poets make us find our own errors, so History
shows us the errors of others, and gives us advantage, by enabling us to look
back to former times, for it increases and strengthens men's courage, by
reading their battles, it begets patience, in reading their miseries, it
humbles the mind, in perceiving the changes of fortune, Witty in reading their
orations, Civil in knowing their Ceremonies; so that History is a repetition of
things past, and is bound to write nothing but what have been done, and Poetry
is a recreation for times present, which is neither bound to line, nor level.
The difference between Poesy and History.
THere is as much difference betwixt a Poets stile and an Historians, as a
French galliard and a Spanish pavinne, besides Poetry is most fiction, and
History should be truth; Poesy may be fantastical, History must be grave,
Poesy is to move passions, History is to confirm truth; History draws the mind
to look back Poesy, to look right forth; Poesy is simulising, History is
repetition; Poesy is beautiful and sprightly; History is brown and lovely; Poesy
goes upon his own ground; but History goes upon the ground of others.
Of Historians and Poets.
TRuth should be the guide of an Historian; yet the truth of History should not
be dressed in Poetical fancies, but with grave Rhetoric; Truth should be
delivered civilly, not rudely; it should be ushered in with eloquence; for
truth should be delivered smoothly, comely, sweet and Harmoniously; not rudely,
roughly, basely, fantastically, nor contemptibly: but a Poet will never make a
good Historian, because he is too full of fancy and invention, which may
disturb his way; for a Poet, though he uses numbers, yet he keeps no
reckoning, where an Historian makes an exact account, but as a Historians brain
is too slow for a Poets, so a Poets brain is too quick for an Historians.
A Poet the best General Judge.
A Natural Philosopher may judge well the motions of the Elements, and a moral
of the dividing, or dissecting of passions, or framing of Commonwealths; but
there is much division amongst them of the way. So a Divine may judge well of
the mystery of Religion; although there is as much contradiction amongst them
as with the Philosophers; So Historians may judge of some particulars; being
conversant in the action of times; but Logicians seldom; for if judgement is
the last act of reasoning, as it is, or it is not, in which Logicians seldom
come to a conclusion; nor Mathematitians if their chief study be Arithmetic;
for then they are too much addicted to multiply, and diminish. Most of these
before mentioned are too hard set in intricate studies; and dwell too long upon
them; at least these particular judgements had need be good, for their time
will not give them leave to consider of many things; but Poet are quick of
invention, easy to conceive, ready in executing, and flies over all the world,
yet not so swiftly, but they take a strict notice of all things, and knows
perfectly the laws, and ways which enables them to judge more uprightly, and
having an universal knowledge, joined to his natural wit, makes him the best
general judge. For a good Poet hath distinguishment which is judgement, as well
as similising, which is fancy; I mean, not those Poets which can only rime, but
those Poets which can reason, not those that have most art, but those that have
most nature, for he is not a good Poet, that is not born one.
The difference of Poetry.
POets most usually put their fancies into verse or scenes, and verse is
numbered fancy, and scenes are distinguishing of humours; the scenes are most
commonly acted upon Theaters; for action is the life of humour; besides, it
clears the understanding, and makes a deeper impression in the mind of the
spectators, then when they are only read; and these expressions of humours,
not only shows errors that are past, or those that may come; but vices that
are to be shunned, and virtues that are to be followed; besides, it begets hate
to the one by discovering the deformities, and love to the other, by the
expresing of her beauty, which is beneficial, and a good instruction to the
ignorant lives of men; but the meaner and smaller Poets, if they may have the
honourable name of Poets, do more harm then good; for their scenes are rather
Romancical tales, then the expressions of men's natures; in which they only
teach effeminate men, and foolish women to be whining lovers: and there be
others, although they be good Poets, yet they are ill natured ones, and so
crabbed as they corrode both the ear, and the mind, in which they seem to
observe the ill humours more then the good, as if they lay to watch, to steal,
and entrap men's vices: and take them up by little parcels, to sell them out by
whole sale, and seem glad that men have vices for them to divulge. But those
sorts of Poets correct too much, and encourage too little: but again, some are
so flattering, and insinuating, as they become parasits to men's humours.
Of Verses.
IT is not every Poet that can make a good copy of verses, nor proper scenes,
neither is a particular copy or scene enough for an applause, but a life full,
and the spring must be naturally, and flow easy, not forced by pipes from other
men's wit, for those are but watery brains, that have neither oil nor fire,
which make their fancy so dull, as their conceits are enchanted; and some fly
so high, as if they would rend the wings of their brain, which weary others
brains to find them out, and when they find them, they are not worth their
pains; were taken for them; for what writing soever is darkened, or obscured
either in the sense, or by hard and unusual words, grows troublesome and
unpleasant to the readers; again some are so long and tedious upon a subject as
they lose their wit: for wit never dwells long upon one thing, other Poets their
verses are untunable; they do not strike upon the strings of the soul, for the
excellency of Poetical wit is to move passion, it is true, numbers without wit
will move passion, but they cannot keep or make passion stay, and it may strike
upon a passion but it cannot raise one, yet wit appears best when it is drawn
in triumph in the golden Chariot of numbers.
The comparison of Poets.
A Poet may be compared to a musician, that plays upon four and twenty
strings; so Poets strike upon four and twenty letters, for a Poet will tune his
readers voice, to his own passions, as tomake the voices to go by numbers; rise
and fall by their several strains of wit; like light Cellebrands, or
Currantoes; or merry Jyggs, or grave Pavins, or melancolly Lacrimacs; for Poets
translate men's minds into as many several shapes; as they write fancies.
What Romance is.
Romance is an adulterate Issue, begot betwixt History and Poetry; for Romance
is as it were poetical fancies; put into a Historical stile; but they are
rather tales then fancies; for tales are number of impossibilities: put into a
methodical discourse, and though they are taken from grounds of truth, yet they
are heightened to that degree, as they become mere falsehoods; where poetry is an
Imitatour of nature to create new, not a falsefying of the old: and History
gives a just account, not enlarging the reckoning. History, if it be
simuliseing, and distinguishing, it is pure poetry, if it be a lie made from
truth it is Romance.
Of Comedies.
A Comedy should present virtue, and point at vice, for a Comedy should be to
delight, and not to displease, a good Comedian wit, will only reprove not
reproach; but a satirrical wit will present the vices of two or three in the
person of one, but a gentle spirit which is a true Commical wit, will rather
take the vice of one, and represent them in two or three persons, Satyr is more
proper for a Comedy Tragedy then for pure Comedy; not that a true comedy will
flatter vice, but palliate it.
Of Scenes.
Some that are worthy of Commendations, are naturally pleasing, and witty, and
so profitable, with such variety, that every Scene is like a new master that
teaches several arts, not only for the youngest, but oldest men to learn.
Of the Labyrinth of Fancy.
THe reason why men run in such obscure conceits, is, because they think their
wit will be esteemed, and seem more when it lies an odd and unusual way, which
makes their verse not like a smooth running stream; but as if they were shelves
of sand, or rocks in the way, and though the water in those places goes with
more force, and makes a greater sound: yet it goes hard and uneasy. As if to
express a thing hard, were to make it better, but the best poetry is plain to
the understanding, of easy expressions, and full of fresh new conceits: like a
beauty that every time it is looked upon discovers new graces; besides they do
not only move passions, but make passions, for a right poetical wit turns hard
and rough nature, to a soft, gentile, and kind disposition: for verses are
fine fancies, which are spun in the imagination to a small and even thread, but
some are worse spinsters then others.
The degrees of wit.
THose have not clear judgements that applaud or cry up one mans wit, that was
begot from another mans brain; but some, though their wit is their own, yet it
is like comets that seldom appear, it shows it self no once in an age; and
some again are like the moon, that changes it self into four quarters, as the
new, the increase, the full, and the wane: others are like the sun that runs
swiftly, and keeps its constant course. some like the spring sweet and
pleasant, others like the Summer, hot, but troublesome, some like Autumn, warm,
and sober, and others like the Winter, cold and dry, yet all kind of
seasonable wit is commendable, but most commonly wit is like the wind colic,
the one rumbles as much in the head: as the other in the stomach.
Of sense and Fancy.
THose books, or discourses that are fullest of sense, delight the fewest,
because every brain is not so ready to dispose conceits in, to fill places for
the understanding, to view suddenly as it is thrown in but lies in a confused
heap, without ordering, and a slow understanding, is like a lasy work-man,
although he be skilful in his art, and doth it well when he is employed
thereupon; but rather then he will take the pains, he he will lose the profit,
but conceits must be delivered, as things by retail for the reason must set the
number, and the deliverer give the account.
Wit is natural.
SOme think to get or learn wit, but wit is neither to be learnt nor gotten,
for it is a free gift of nature, and disclaims art; and as there are but two
qualities or substances go to the generation of all other things, which is heat
and moisture, yet there are seven that go to the generation of wit, as the
temper and form of the brain and the five senses, which beget imagination,
which imaginations we call fancies, which fancies is wit, which is like
eternity in being fixed, and yet proves a perpetual motion, with continual
changes and varieties; I mean a true born wit, that is begot with an equal
tempered and perfect formed brain, and quick, fresh, and clearing,
distinguishing senses, there are adulterate wits that are begotten with
distempers, as fevers, madness or chance, but they are short, and not
lasting, the other hath neither bottom nor circumference, but is as a continued
line, and they that think to ripen their own wit by the heat of another
imagination, tastes like fruit that is ripened by the chimney, and not by the
natural heat of the Sun, which gives it a rheumatical taste; for there are not
only changelings in wit, but defective births, that is when the parents which
are the brain are imperfect and lame, but if the parents be clear, the issue is
always beautiful, and neatly shaped, so as it becomes the delight and darling
in the society of mankind.
Peace shows the best wits, War the most writers.
IN Augustus his time, there was such a number of wits, as if nature had sown a
crop, which being reaped and gathered, ferved At that time all the world was in
to the use of after times; this shows that in peace there is the best wits,
and that wit is purest and finest, when the mind is most quiet and peaceable;
but in war there are the most writers, for war being full of factions,
produces subjects to write of, for in peace there is little or nothing but
what they create from their own brain: so in peace brains set the print on
work, in war hands.
Of Study.
THe reason why study seems difficult at first, and easier and clearer
afterward, is, that the imagination hath not beaten out a path-way of
understanding in the head, which when it hath, thethoughts run even and right,
without the pains of deep study; for when the way is made, they need no search
to find one out, for the brakes, or rubbish, of ignorance, that obstructed the
thoughts, is trodden into the firm and hard ground of knowledge.
Of writers.
MOst moderate writers do but new dress old Authors, though they give them
another fashion garment, the person is the same, but some do disguise them so
much, that a vulgar eye cannot perceive them, but mistake the Author, through
the alteration of the habir.
An History and Romance, is more delightful in general, then fancy, for women
and fools, are taken with tales, but none but one wit is taken with another.
Of Translatours.
IT is not enough for Translatours to be learned in the several Languages; but
there must be sympathy between the genius of the Authors, and the Translatours,
which every age doth not produce: for most commonly a genius is not matched in
many ages. Ovids genius was matched by Sans, and Dubartus was matched by
Silvester; but Homer is not yet matched in our Language; for though the work
was endeavoured to be translated, yet it is not like him; and though the copy
of a Picture is not so well as the original, yet good copies draw so near the
life, that none but a curious and skilful eye, shall perceive the difference;
so a good Translator shall write so like the Author; that none but the most
learned and that with study and great observance shall find the defects.
Of Translating.
SOme may be of opinion that it is a fault to turn the Scripture into verse,
unless the original be so, or to change the stile, as to the matter, or sense,
into other men's fancies, but to follow the fancy of the Original, as near as
the Language permits they translate it in; for it is, as if a man should have a
high roman nose, and one should take the picture of him, and draw him with a
flat nose, as liking that fashioned nose better; it may go under the name of
that man, but it will be nothing like him, or why should one nation be drawn in
the habit of another, since they are different: and though the distinctions of
several nations in pictures, can only be known by their habits; and many times
they do not only change the graver and formal fashions, from one nation to
another, but dress them in their fantastical dress: but if they do it to
please the Luxurious palats of men, they rather become insinuators, then
translatours: and they deserve no food that will not eat good and wholesome
food, unless they be humoured with variety of new and strange sauces; but they
will say the stomach cannot bear plain meat, and that they will faint if they
have not choice: but it is their compounds that make their stomachs quezie, and
the solid meat that will increase their strength: where now they pick quarrels
unless the truth be disguised with the flourishes of the translatours: as
those that strive to translate Davids Psalms, take Davids name to his poetry,
so keep his name, and lose the poetry of the Original, by the translatours vain
glory, for every one striving to out-do another until they have lost the right
and truth. For to express any thing in huge words, doth not make it the
better, but only harder to be understoodfor; men of reason consider the soul
and sense, and not the form and fashion, which is but the habit, and an honest
devotion will as soon believe the History of the world, and of Adam, and Eve,
with the progress of their race in a plain relation of the truth, then with
the measure of numbers: for though numbers move passion, yet they do not so
easily ground a belief, neither is it in the power of numbers, but the spirit
of God that can move that unfeigned passion that must carry us to heaven.
Of Languages
GReek and Latin, and all other Languages are of great ornament to Gentlemen,
but they must spend so much time in learning them, as they can have no time to
speak them, and some will say it is a great advancement to wisdom, in knowing
the natures, humours, laws, and customs of several men, and nations; which they
cannot do, except they understand their several Languages to answerthat,
although al Languages are expressed by four and twenty letters, yet there is no
Language which will not take up an age, to learn it perfectly as to know every
circumstance; and since mans life is so short, and learning so tedious, there
will accrue but little profit for that laborious pains, so that the benefit that
should be made will come too late, but surely these men are wise enough which
understand the natures, laws, and customs of their own country, and can apply
them to their right use.
Of Eloquence, art, and speculation.
MAny do seem to admire those writings, whose stiles are eloquent and through
ignorance takes it for eloquence, commending the method, instead of the matter,
the words instead of the sense, the paint instead of the face; the garb instead
of the person, but hard and unusual phrases, are like a constraint behaviour,
it hath a set countenance, treads nicely, taking short steps, and carries the
body so stiff, and upright, as it seems difficult, and uneasy: like those
that think it a part of good breeding to eat their meat by rule, and measure;
opening the mouth at a just, and certain wideness; grinding the meat betwixt
their teeth, like a Clock with so many strokes as make an hour, so many bits
makes a swallow; so likewise if the little finger be not bowed short, and by
degrees all their fingers to be jointed until the fore-finger, and the thumb,
meets in a round circle, they think al other vulgarly bred. But nature is easy:
and art hard, and what resembles nature nearest, is most to the life: and what
is most to the life, is best; but art belongs more to the Mechanics, and
Peasants, then to the noble and free, and all arts belong more to actions then
speculations; and though speculations be nothing until it be put into practise,
yet the best actions come from the clearest speculations, for speculations are
like the king, to command and rule, practise the slave, to obey, and work, but
there are more arts, and inventions gotten by chance, and practise, then merely
by ingenuity of brain.
Of Orators.
I Have heard say, that Orators are seldom wise men for they study so much of
the words, as they consider not the matter; for though method in words may
please the sense of the ear, yet not the understanding; for they that will
speak wisely, must speak the next way to the matter, or business, but if it be
in such a case as the ear is more to be desired then the understanding, they
must speak composedly, for Rhetoric is choosing words fitted such a subject,
and though study and society sweetens Language; yet if it have not a natural
elegance, it shall not work so strongly upon the senses.
What discourses are enemies to Society.
OF all discourses, the worst enemy to society is the divulging the infirmities
of others; wherein some are so evil natured in striving to defame others, as
they will not only use all their rhetoric to make their faults appear more
odious, or their virtues less, but will strive to make their virtues seem
vices, when to discover infirmities is ignoble, but to lessen virtues is the
part of an envious man, which is the nature of a devil; and since union is the
bond of society, the discourse should always tend to peace, and not to
discord: for there is no man but hath virtues to praise, as well as vices to
dispraise, and it is as easy to take the better side; I am sure it is more
honourable for the speaker, for faults in particular should never be mentioned,
but in private to themselves, in an admonishing way, otherwise they do but
inveterate. The next enemy to society in discourse is disputation, which
affords the least pleasure in society, for first it is tedious, next it is
contradictory, and begets enemies of friends, and it is a kind of rudeness to
contradict strangers, though they should speak non-sence, but Logic, which is
the art of disputations should be left to Schools, writings, and public
Theatres, which are appointed places for such discourse; for some say Logic is
to make truth appear, others that it is to make falsehood appear like truth, and
some say again, that it is to dispute on both sides, and that it makes more
discord then it can compose, which is discord, the cause of so many writings,
and several religions, and factions in the world, which makes men become Tigers
and Vultures to one another, when otherwise they would be like the society of
Angels. The last and worst enemy to society, is forswearing and blasphemy; for
what pleasure or advantage can a man have to blaspheme, which is to curse God,
who hath the power to return his curses on his head, with horrid punishments;
and for swearing, though it be allowed for the confirmation of a truth, and for
the keeping of a promise whereby it is made sacred and religious, yet to make
it common is to make it of no effect. Besides it shows little wit and less
memory, that they should want words to fill up their discourse with, but what
oaths are fain to supply; and for lying where there is no truth, there can can
be no trust; and where there is no trust, there can be no union; and where
there is no union, there can be no perfect society, but may rather be called a
concourse, which is to meet rather then to unite, where society is the father
of peace, the bond of love, the arm of strength, the head of policy, the heart
of courage, the hand of industry, and the bowels of charity; and discourse is
the life which gives light to the eyes of the understanding, sound to the ears,
mirth to the heart, comfort to the sorrowful and afficted, patience to the
oppressed; entertains the time, recreates the mind, refreshes the memory, makes
the desires known, and is a heavenly consort.
The best kind of discourse in ordinary conversation.
THe best kind of discourse in ordinary conversation, and most pleasant, is
that which is most various, free and easy, as to discourse of countries, the
natures of soils, Scituations of Cities, and peoples laws, customs, and
superstitions; what men women and beasts were deisied; what Countries had most
and longest wars and peace: what Conquerours there were, and who they were:
what conducts they used in their victories, how they marshalled their forces,
and what forces they had: what famous Common-wealths-men there were, their
policies in governments, the beginning of States, their fauls, the causes of
their risings, and their ruins; what Countries were governed by republikes, or
Dimocracy: what by Aristocracy, and what by Monarchy; what commodities several
Countries afford for traffic, or otherwise; what Plantations there, are and
what men famous for arts, what arts there are: what famous buildings and
monuments there are, or have been, and who were their founders: what Colleges
or Schools there are, or have been of famous and learned men, as Philosophers,
Historians, and of their several opinions, what ancient Poets, and who were
accounted the best; what Countries they were born, bred, or lived in; what
punishments or exiles there were, or what faults, what cruelties were put in
execution, and by whom, and to whom, and where, and what Kings governed with
clemency, and what by tyranny, and what their factions, their splendours, their
decays, their pastimes, and recreations were: what Ambassadors there were and
their ambassages, from kings to kings, and States to States what entertainments
and magnisicencies, Princes make; what several fashions, several Countries have
in their entertainments and sports: what extravagant garbs, and diets; what
women famous for beauty, and marshal exploits; what kind of people can live
the hardest, and which live the most luxurious, and for discourses of mirth,
songs, verses, scenes, and the like: and for their home discourses, according
to their affairs, and employments; and this is better discourse then to
backbite their friends, or to curse their foes, or to scandal the innocent, or
sediciously to complain against their government and governors, or to speak
lasciviously to foul the ears of the chaste, and there is no wit in a clownish
discourse, and to speak like a Gentleman, is to speak honestly, civilly, and
confidently: to speak a wise man, is to speak properly, timely, and knowingly,
and not conceltedly.
The four discourses.
THere are four kinds of discourses, as foolish, extravagant, non-sense, and
rational, and of all non-sense is the hardest; for to speak foolishly, is as if
a man should speak to a child, that can have no experience of knowledge of
affairs in the world or judgement to distinguish, or to a shepherd that never
saw nor heard many things or reports, but only his sheep and their bleatings:
as to ask any questions of battles, or governments of Commonwealths, or to
discourse with States men of childrens babies, bells, or rattles: which is to
speak improperly and not timely: and to speak extravagantly is, as if a man
were to sell his house, and another should ask him what he should give him for
it, and he should answer him in talking of transmigrations, and metamorphoses,
or the like, and so to speak quite from the purpose: but to speak rationally,
is to ask proper questions, or to answer directly to what he is questioned in,
for reason is to clear the understanding and to untie the knots that clear the
truth; but to speak non-sense is to speak that which hath no coherence to any
thing, when there is no words but may be compared to something, and though it
hath no reference to what is spoken, yet it might have to what might be spoken:
so as it is harder to find out non-sense in words, then reason.
Of Vulgar discourse.
THe reason why the Vulgar hath not such varieties of discourse, is not only
because they have not read, or hard, or seen so much of the world, as the
better sort hath: but because they have not so many several words for several
things, for that language which is most copious wit flourishes most in for
fancy in Poetry without expression of words is but dead, for that makes a
Language full to have many several words for one thing or sense, and though the
vulgar is born and bred with such a Language, yet very seldom with variety and
choice being employed in the course affairs of the world, and not bred in
Schools or Courts, where are the most significant, choicest, and plentifullest
expressions, which make the better sort, not only have siner and sweter
discourse but fill them full of high and a spiring thoughts, which produce noble
qualities, and honourable actions where the meaner sort of people are not only
ignorant of the purity of their native Language, but corrupts what they have,
and being always grovelling in the dung of the earth, where all their thoughts
are employed, which makes their discourse so unsavoury.
Of old men's talking too much.
THe reason why old men love rather to tell stories, then to hear them, is,
because the outward senses decay sooner then the understanding, and hearing
imperfectly wearies them by tedious attention, for though old men many times
grow deaf, yet they seldom grow dumb with age, when one faculty fails, they
strive to supply it with another, which makes them commit the error of too
much talking.
Of speaking much or little.
THose that speak little are either wise men or crafty men, either to observe
what was spoken by others, or not to discover themselves too suddenly; and
those that speak much, are either fools, or else very witty men, fools because
they have little to entertain them in their thoughts, and therefore employs the
tongue to speak like a Parrote by roat, and fools think the number of words
helps to fill up the vacant places of sense; but those that have wit, their
brains are so full of fancy, that if their tongue like a mid-wife, should not
deliver some of the hlue of the brain, it would be overpowered, and lost in
painful throws.
Of the same defect in Women.
ANd the reason why women are so apt to talk too much, is an overweening
opinion of them selves in thinking they speak well, and striving to take off
that blemish from their sex of knowing little, by speaking much, as thinking
many words have the same weight of much knowledge: but my best friend says he
is not of my opinion, for he says women talk, because they cannot hold their
Of Silence.
IT is said that silence is a great virtue, it is true, in a sick persons
chamber, that loves no noise, or at the dead time of night, or at such times as
to disturb natural rest, or when superiors are by, or in the discourse of
another, or when attention should be given, or if they have great impediments
of speech, and speaking many times is dangerous, infamous, rude, foolish,
malicious, envious, and false. But it is a melancholy conversation that hath no
sound, and though silence is very commendable at sometimes, yet in some cases
it is better to speak too much then too little, as in hospitality, and the
receiving civil visits; for it were better their strangers and friends, should
think your talk too much, then that they should be displeased in thinking they
were not welcome by speaking too little: besides it is a less fault to err
with too much courtesy, then with too much neglect, and surely to be accounted
a fool is not so bad as to be said to be rude; for the one is the fault of the
judger, the other is the fault of the actor or speaker; for civility is the
life to society, and society to humane nature: it is true that there are more
errors committed in speaking, then in silence, for words are light and subtle
and airy, as that when they are once flown out, cannot be recalled again, but
only to ask pardon with more: and there is an old saying, to talk much and well
is seldom heard, but it cannot be verified in all, for some will speak well as
long as there is grounds to speak on, but the length of time makes it sound to
the ear, as wine tastes to a drunken man, when he cannot relish between good
and bad; so that it is not only the matter, but the manner, time and subject
in speaking, which makes it so hard to speak well, or please many, and though
it be always pleasing to the speaker to delight others, yet that doth not
always please others that he delights to speak of: as there is nothing more
tedious to strangers then to hear a man talk much of himself, or to weary them
with long complements; and though civilityin that kind ought to be used; yet
they should carry such forms and times as not to lose respect to themselves, or
to be over troublesome in long expressions to others, but there is few but
loves to hear themselve talk, even preachers; for a preacher that preaches
long, loves rather to talk then to edify the people, for the memory must not
be oppressed in what they should learn, or their reproofs too sharp in what
they should mind, for with one word or two of reproof he reforms, half a score
undoes again, which makes it a railing instead of exhortation; neither is it
always required, for a man to speak according to his profession or employment
in the affairs of the world; for it would be ridiculous for a Lawyer in
ordinary conversation, to speak as if he were pleading at the bar, yet every
one ought to have respect in his discourse to his condition, calling, or
dignity, or to the quality of others, for it is not fit that a Priest which
either is, or should be a man of peace, to speak like a soldier, which is a
man of war, or to speak to a noble man as to a peasant; again, there is nothing
so much takes away the sweetness of discourse as long preambles, or
repetitions, and indeed the whole discourse is tedious, and unpleasing if it be
over-long, though their tongues were as smooth as oil, run upon the ways of
truth, yet too much doth as it were over-fil the head, and stop the ears, for
the head will be as the stomach when it is over charged, it will take surfeit
of the most delicious meat; wherefore in speaking judgement is required, yet
some are so over-wise in the ordering their discourse, as it is not only
troublesome to themselves, but a pain to the hearers having so set and
constraint a way of speaking, as if their words went upon hard scrues, when
there is nothing so easy as speech; for there is no part of man so unwearily
active as the tongue, and of the other side, some are so full of talk, as they
will neither give room nor time to others to speak, and when two or three such
persons, of this voluble quality or nature meet, they make such a confusion in
speaking altogether, as it becomes a tumultuous noise, rather then sociable
discoursing: which is a disturbance to society, for discourse should be like
music in parts
Betwixt reason and reasonings.
THere is a great difference betwixt reason and reasoning, for reason is the
best and soberest surest rule of a mans life either in contemplation or action,
for in action it recollects, disposes, and orders all things for mans
safety, profit, and pleasure, and for contemplation, it keeps the mind with
even thoughts, but reasoning belongs to contradiction, and where contradiction
is there can be no unity, or conformity, and where there is no unity nor
conformity there must needs be discord and confusion, reasoning is the cause of
raising of doubts reason is to allay them, so that reasoning makes a man mad,
but reason makes a man sober. But some will say we should never come to reason
but by reasoning; but I say, reason comes by observation of consequences and
accidents, and reasoning is vain inbred-imaginations, without the experience of
the concurrence of outward things so reason is bred with strict observing, and
produced by fear of losing, and hopes of keeping or getting, but reasoning is
bred in vanity and produced by vain glory.
Of the Senses and Brain.
SOme say that there is such a nature in man, that he would conceive and
understand without the senses, though not so clearly, if he had but life which
is motion Others say, there is nothing in the understanding, that is not first
in the senses, which is more probable, for the senses bring all the materials
into the brain, and then the brain cuts and divides them, and gives them quite
other forms, then the senses many times presented them; for of one object the
brain makes thousands of several figures, and these figures are those things
which are called imagination, conception, opinion, under standing, and
knowledge, which are the Children of the brain, these put into action, are
called arts and sciences, and every one of these have a particular and proper
motion, function, or trade, as the imagination, and conception, builds,
squares, inlayes, grinds, moulds, and fashions all, opinion, caries shows, and
presents the materials to the conception, and imagination; understanding
distinguishes the several parcels, and puts them in right places, knowledge is
to make the proper use of them, and when the brain works upon her own
materials, and at home, it is called poetry and invention, but when the brain
receives and words journey-work, which is not of its own materials, then it is
called learning, and imitation, but opinion makes great faction and disorder
among them, disagreeing much with the understanding, in presenting and bringing
the wrong for the right, and many times with clamour and obstinacy carries it,
especially when a strange opinion out of another brain, comes and joins with
the other, the brain many times is so taken with his neighbour brains figures,
that he fills up his house so full of them, that he leaves no room for his own
to work or abide in: but some brains are so weak as they have few or no figures
of their own, but only plain pieces, and some again so slow of motion, and so
lazy, as they will not take pains to cut and to carve, or to try, but lets
that which the senses bring in lie like bags or stone, and makes no use of
them, and will furnish his head neither with his own nor others; but the brain
is like unto Commonwealths, for some brains that are well tempered, are like
those Commonwealths, that are justly and peaceably governed, and live in their
own bounds: other brains that are hotly tempered, are like those
commonwealths that make wars upon their neighbours; others again that are
unevenly tempered, are like those that are incombred with civil wars amongst
themselves; a cold brain is like those Nations that are so lazy, as they will
use no industry to the improving of their Country, so a brain may be compared
to several soils, as some are rich in mines and quarries, others pleasant and
fruitful, some brains are barren and insipid some will be improved with change
of tillage or working, others, the more it is used, the better it is, and some
the worse; and though accidents give the grounds to some arts, yet they are but
rude and uneasy, until the brain hath polished and fitted them, for as the
senses give the brain the first matter, so the brain sends that matter formed
sigured to the senses again, to be dispersed abroad, which sometimes is sent by
the understanding, sometimes by opinions, so he that hath his senses most
employed and perfectest, knows more then they that have not their senses
exercised in varicties, yet the senses give not the height of knowledge,
unless the brain be of such a temper to dispose them; for the brains are like
eyes, where some are so quick, as they cannot fasten upon an object, to view
the perfection of it, others, so dull, they cannot see clearly, or so slow they
cannot untie themselves soon enough, but dwells too long upon it, so it is the
discussing of the object well, that increases or begets knowledge.
Of sense, reason, and faith.
A Man hath sense, reason, and faith; reason is above sense, and under faith;
for one half of reason joins to sense, which is the part that is demonstrative;
but that part that is not demonstrative, is beyond the sensitive knowledge, so
as it fallsinto conjectures, and probabilities, and from probabilities to
belief, and an excessive belief is faith, for we cannot call that a perfect
knowledge which our reason singly tell us, but what our perfect, and healthful
senses joined with our reason distinguish to us: there are two sorts of faith,
the one is divine, which is given to man by an inspiring grace; and the other
natural, which is by rational conjectures, probabilities, and comparatives.
Of wisdom and foolishness
THat we call wisdom doth not only consist in perfect knowledge, or clear
understanding, but observations carefully put in practise in times of occasion,
which is that we cal prudence, and where accidents are not observed, but
follows the appetites, the senses persuade to take, are called fools, so wisdom
is the clerk to mans life, to write down all, and the trustee to receive all,
the steward to lay out all, but not the surveigher to know all, for that
belongs to a clear and general understanding; one may be wise, and yet not know
all; the difference betwixt a fool and a wise man is that the wise man seeks
the food of his appetite with care, observing all accidents, watching all
times, taking all opportunities to the best for himself: the fool runs wildly
about without a sking or learning the best, nearest or right ways, yet
greedily hunts after his desires, which desires are according to every mans
Of mad men and fools.
MAd men and fools meet in one and the same point of wanting of judgement,
which is to distinguish what is most likely to be the best or worst for
themselves; I say most likely, because none knows absolutely but by the event,
for chance hath such power over every thing, that many times it becomes rather
her work then the choosers; but yet she doth not take away the likelihood or
probability of it, where all concurrences meet: and though chance lie so
obscure, as the providen'st man cannot epsy her so as to avoid her, yet a wise
man prepares for her assaults, but a mad man or a fool leaves all to chances
disposing, not to judgments ordering or directing.
A man that is mad is not out of his wits.
WE cannot say a man that is mad is out of his wits, but out in his judgement,
for a mad man will speak extreme wittily sometimes, and though it be by chance,
yet it is his own wit, but not his judgement to choose the best, for then he
would always strive to speak to some purpose, or hold his peace, which mad men
never do, but speak at random, not caring what he speaks, nor to whom he
speaks, nor when he speaks: now the fool comes like the mad man in his actions,
rather then in his words, for judgement lies not altogether in the choice of
speech, but more in the choice of actions, now a fool neither knows nor
believes in the likeliest way to good, nor to avoid ill, and a mad man cares
not which is the way to good or ill, but follows his own disordered passions,
where reason hath left to be their guide.
Wit is free.
SOme men in striving to show their wits in discourse, make themselves fools;
for wit must notbe struggled withal, and brought as it were by the head and
shoulders: for as it is natural, so it must have it s natural place and time,
and a woman by striving to make her wit known, by much discourse, loses her
reputation, for wit is copious, and busies its self in all things, and humours
and accidents, wherein sometimes it is satirical, and sometimes amorous, and
sometimes wanton, which in all these women should shun, so that in women the
greatest wisdom, if not wit, is to be sparing of their discourse.
Of speech.
AS eight notes produce innumerable tunes, so twenty four letters produce
innumerable words, which are marks for things, which marks produce innumerable
imaginations, or conceptions, which imaginations or conceptions begets another
soul which another animal hath not, for want of those marks, and so wants those
imaginations and conceptions which those marks beget; besides those marks beget
a soul in community; besides words are as gods that give knowledge, and
discover, the minds of men, and though some creatures can speak, yet it is not
natural, for it is like puppets, they are made to walk with scrues, that when
the scrues are undone, the puppets can go no farther; so parrots, or the like
can only repeat the words they are taught, but cannot discourse, because they
know not what it signisieth, but man can speak when he comes to maturity, that
is to be man, without teaching, that is, although he doth not learn a language
that his forefathers have made, yet he can make one of his own, that is to give
marks to things to distinguish them to himself.
Of Music.
THe art of Music is harder then the art of poetry; for music hath but eight
notes, to compose several tunes; when Poetry hath four and twenty letters to
play on: but both are musical, and work upon the spirits of men: for there are
some kinds of music that do draw and suck out the spirits of men with
delight, thus it is not the wit, or sense, of things, which moves passion, or
delight, but the numbers; for as notes are set, and numbers are measured, shall
move the passions, as the Musician or Poet pleases.
Of Musical instruments.
ALL Musical instruments are apt to untune, even the natural one the voice; for
when it is hoarse by cold, or otherwise out of tune, but the strings which are
the veyns in the lungs, and stomach, are not so apt to break as lute strings,
which are small little guts dried, neither can there be new strings put to the
voice, once broke, as to a sidle; nor can it be mended as other instrnments
may, nor carefully laid up in a case to keep it long, for there is no
prevention against the breaking of the voice, for old age will come and destroy
that sound, and though it doth not break the strings of the voice, yet time
dries and shrivels them so short, that they cannot be stretched out to any note
or strain: and as time wears out the sound; so death breaks the instruments
and all.
Of Voices.
IT stands with reason that the hottest and coldest Clymats, being the
driest,should produce the best and clearest voices, for moisture breeds phlegm,
and phlegm obstructs the chest; besides the moisture falling into the
winde-pipe hinders the passage of the voice, and clogs the lungs, for wind and
water makes a storm; which destroys a harmony, and instead of singing makes a
roaring, like the seas; or drowns the freight, which are notes, because art
which is the steers-man, hath not room to turn and wind to fill his sails; but
are beaten down with the rain roghnes, and stopped with the mud of phlegm, so of
necessity he must be lost; fat doth also hinder the voice, for you shall
seldom hear any that is fat sing well because the fat hath straightned their
passages, so to the making of a good voice, there must be a wide throat, and
clear wind pipes, and strong lungs.
Music is number with sound, as Optics are lines with light.
As mans shape is naturally fit and proper for all kind of motion and
Actions;so his voice is made for all sorts of sounds; wherefore the first
invention need not go so far as A smiths forge, for he hath the hammer and
forge all ways with him; the forge is his chest, the bellows is his lungs; the
fire the heart, the tongue the hammer, and his lips the tongues, the head is the
Smith; the several wedges of iron are the several notes that are struck; thus
beats out a harmony.
Of Dancing.
KIssing dances are commonly dances, which were invented by the meaner and
ruder sort of people, at wakes, and fairs; which kind of people, knows not
the ceremonies of modest civilities; for Country dancing is a kind of a rude
pastime, and cannot be called truly a dance, but rather a running in figaris,
for the true art of dancing, is measured sigures, by the feet in divided times;
for the feet keep as just a distance of times, as notes of music.
Of dancing.
DAncing is compounded of measures, figure, and motion. Measure is Geometry;
figure is Symmetry, and motion, is division.
Geometry is equal measure, Symmetry is proportionable measures, Division is
Of invention.
HE is more praise-worthy that invents something new, be it but rude and
unpolished, then he that is learned, although he should do it more curious, and
neater; an imitator can never be so perfect, as the inventor, if there can be
nothing added to the thing invented; for an inventor is a kind of a creator;
but most commonly the first invention is imperfect; so that time, and
experience add to the growth, and perfection, and many times there are many
creatours to one invention; for he that adds is as much as he that begun, only
the second lights his candle from the first, but he goes his own way, and may
be away that the first inventor had not guessed at: or at least thought it
impossible: but an imtator adds nothing to the substance or invention, only
strives to resemble it, yet surely invention is easier then imitation: because
invention comes from nature, and imitation from paintul, and troublesome
inquiry; and if he goes not just the path that hath been trod before him; he
is out of the way, which is adouble pain at first to know the path, and then to
tread it out; but invention takes his own ways, besides, invention is easy
because it is born in the brain. Where imitation is wrought and put into the
brain by force.
SOme say as I hear, that my book of Poems, and my book of Philosophical
Fancies, was not my own; and that I had gathered my opinions from several
Philosophers. To answer the first, I do protest, upon the grounds of Honour,
honesty and Religion, they are my own, that is, my head was the forge, my
thoughts the anvil to beat them out, and my industry shaped them and sent them
forth to the use of the world; if any use may be made thereof, but my Lord was
the Master and I the Prentice, for gathering them from Philosophers, I never
converst in discourse with any an hour, at one time in my life; And I may swear
on my conscience, I never had a familiar acquaintance, or constant conversation
with any prosest Scholar, in my life, or a familiar acquaintance with any man,
so as to learn by them, but those that I have near relation to, as my Husband,
and Brothers; it is true, I have had the honour sometime to receive visits of
civility from my Noble and Honourable acquaintance, wherein we talk of the
general news of the times, and the like discourse, for my company is too dull
to entertain, and too barren of wit to afford variety of discourse, wherefore I
bend my self to study nature; and though nature is too specious to be known,
yet she is so free as to teach, for every straw, or grain of dust, is a natural
tutor, to instruct my sense and reason, and every particular rational creature
is a sufficient School to study in; and our own passions and affections,
appetites and desires, are moral Doctors to learn us; and the evil that follows
excess, teaches us what is bad, and by moderation we find, and do so learn
what is good, and how we ought to live, and moderate them by reason, and
discourse them in the mind, and there is few that have not so much natural
capacity, and understanding, but may know, if not find out what is needful for
life, without artificial education, for nature is the chief master; art and
education but the under ushers, in the School of life; for natural objections
may be applied without the help of arts, and natural rules of life, may lead us
safe, and easy ways to our journeys end; and questionless nature was the
first guide, before art came to the knowledge, and if it were not for nature,
art many times would lose her followers; yet let nature do what she can, art
oft times will go out of the right way; but many will say it is the nature of
man that invents, and the nature of man to err that is, tis the nature of man
to be so ambitious, as to strive to be wiser then nature her self, but if
nature hath given men ambition, yet nature hath given men humility to allay
that fiery appetite; and though nature hath given men ignorance, yet nature
hath given men undestanding, to bring them out of that darkness into the light
of knowledge; and though nature hath obscured the secrets of the natural cause,
yet he hath given men nature to observe her effects, and imaginations, to
conjecture of her ways, and reason to discourse of her works, and
understanding to sinde some out, and these gifts are general to mankind:
wherefore I find no reason, but my readers may allow me to have natural
imagination understanding and inquiries, as well as other Philosophers, and to
divulge them as they have done, if that they believe that I am produced by
nature, and not by artifices hand, cut out like a stone-statue; but if my
readers will not allow my opinions, and fancies to be my own, yet truth will;
but there is a natural education to all, which comes without pains taking, not
tormenting the body with hard labour, not the mind with perturbed study, but
comes easy and free through the senses; and grows familiar and sociable with
the understanding, pleasant and delightful to the contemplation, for there is
no subject that the sense can bring into the mind, but is a natural in
structour to produce the breeding of rational opinions, and understanding
truths; besides, imaginary fancies, if they will give their mind time as to
think, but most spend their time in talk rather then in thought; but there is a
wise saying, think first, and speak after; and an old saying that many speak
first, and think after; and doubtless many, if not most do so, for we do not
always think of our words we speak, for most commonly words flow out of the
mouth, rather customarily then premeditately, just like actions of our walking,
for we go by custom, force and strength, without a constant notice or
observation; for though we design our ways, yet we do not ordinarily think of
our pace, nor take notice of every several step; just so, most commonly we
talk, for we seldom think of our words we speak, nor many times the sense they
tend to; unless it be some affected person that would speak in fine phrases;
and though speech is very necessary to the course of mans life, yet it is very
obstructive to the rational part of mans mind; for it employs the mind with
such busy, and unprofitable maters, as all method is run out of breath, and
gives not contemplation leave to search, and enquire after truth, nor
understanding leave to examine what is truth, nor judgment how to distinguish
truth from falsehood; nor imagination leave to be ingenious, nor ingenuity leave
to find invention, nor wit leave to spin out the fine and curious thread of
fancy, but only to play with words on the tongue, as balls with rackets.
Besides a multiplicity of words consounds the solid sense, and rational
understanding, the subject in the discourse; yet to think very much and speak
very seldom, makes speeed uneasy, and the tongue apt to falter, when it is to
deliver sense of the matter they have, and want of uncustomary speaking makes
the Orator to seek for words to declare the sense of his meaning, or the
meaning of his sense; besides, want of eloquence many times, loses not only
rational opinions, but conceals truth it self, for want of persuading
rhetoric, to raise up belief, or to get understanding; so that a contemplatory
person hath the disadvantage of words; although most commonly they have the
advantage of thoughts, which brings knowledge; but life being short, those that
speak much, have not time to think much, that is, not time to study and
contemplate; wherefore it is a great loss of time to speak idle word, that is,
words that are to no purpose, and to think idle thoughts, that bring no honest
profit to the life of man, nor delight for lifes pastime. nor news to the
knowledge and understanding, but most men speak of common matters, and think of
vulgar things, beats upon what is known, and understood, not upon what ought to
be known, and understood; but upon known improbabilities, or vain ambitions, or
upon that which nothing concerns them, or upon evil designs to work
distractions, or upon that which cannot advantage them nor any body else; but
it is very probable, my readers will at this discourse condemn me, saying, I
take upon me to instruct, as if I thought my self a master, when I am but a
novice, and sitter to learn. I answer, it is easier to instruct what ought to
be done, then to practise what is best to be done; but I am so far from
thinking my self able, to teach, as I am afraid I have not capacity to learn,
yet I must tell the world, that I think that not any hath a more abler master
to learn from, then I have, for if I had never married the person I have, I do
believe I should I never have writ so, as to have adventured to divulge my
works, for I have learned more of the world from my Lords discourse, since I
have been his wife, then I am confident I should have done all my life, should
I have lived to an old age; and though I am not so apt a Scholar as to improve
much in wit, yet I am so industrious a Scholar to remember whatsoever he hath
said, and discoursed to me, and though my memory is dull, and slow, and my
capacity weak to all other discourses, yet when I am in company, I had rather
show my simplicity then be thought rude; wherefore I choose rather to speak,
though foolishly, then say nothing, as if I were dumb, when I am to entertain
my acquaintance, and though I do not speak so well as I wish I could, yet it is
civility to speak. But it is my Lords discourse that gets me understanding, and
makes such impressions in my memory, as nothing but death can rub it out: and
my greatest fear is, that I the Scholar should disgrace him the Master, by the
vulgar phrases and the illiterate expressions in my works: but the truth is, I
am neither eloquent by nature, nor art; neitherhave I took the accustomary way
of often speaking, to make my words, or letters fluent, not but my tongue runs
fast and foolish when I do speak, but I do not often speak, for my life is more
contemplary, then discoursing, and more solitary then sociable, for my nature
being dull and heavy, and my disposition not merry, makes me think my self not
fit for company.
The second part of the first BOOK.
Of a Solitary life.
CErtainly a solitary life is the happiest, I do not mean so solitary as to
live an Anchorite, or to be bound to inconveniences either of care or fear, or
to be tied to observance, either to Parents or wedlock, or Superiors, or to be
troubled to the bringing up of their children, and the care of bestowing them
when brought up, but their persons must be as free from all bonds, as their
minds must be from all wandering desires; for as it is a great pleasure, so it
is a great chance to find it; for the mind must be contracted into so round a
compass, and so firm a solitude, that the thoughts must travel no further then
home; for if the body be in one place and the mind in another, there must
needs be a discord, wherein can consist no happiness to the whole person; to
obtain this pleasure, they must first have a competencie of fortune, as not to
be bit with necessity, not so much as to be troubled with excess, then they
must be their own chief, not to depend on more then the laws of the land
compels them to: and as they must be under no command, but what necessity,
force, or the public, so they must not command more then what is necessary;
for there is more trouble in commanding then in obeying. For ordering much,
troubles much, then their delights must be various, not numerous, they must not
come in throngs, but by degrees, for fear of surfeits. and give every sense his
free time and pleasure, but so proportioned to live with an appetite, and so
not to feed all the senses at once, for that takes off the delight from every
particular, and not heightens them; for in compounds there is no perfect taste,
for compounded pleasures of senses, rather amazes the spirits then delights
them; to see a beautiful object, and to hear a melodious found, to have an
odoriferous scent, a delicious taste, a soft touch all at once, distracts; for
the spirits running from one object to another, knows not what to choose, or
where to rest; therefore true delight comes soberly and singly one by one,
besides the delights that our senses receive in outward objects, there is a
delight of inward contemplation, whose materials the senses bring, in which the
imagination doth work upon, by carving and cutting, and inlaying those several
pieces, and so is represented to the mind as a new recreation, which are
called fancies, or ideas, for though it be nothing until it be put into act,
and every thought cannot be acted; some for the hazards and inconveniences
others for the impossibilities, which are fantasmes that live not long after
the birth, or so sickly, that there is little delight in them, neither do they
harm but rather good; for it pleases for a time, coming in sweetly, and goes
out quickly; but thoughts that may be put in acts, should be carefully and
wisely governed, for those beget great desires, those desires run violently
into acts, not staying for consideration; which makes men commit, not only idle
and vain follies, but dangerous even to the ruin of estates, or reputation, or
lives, which must needs bring discontent, for there can be no happiness in
ruin; and since a greater pleasure and happiness consists in thoughts, they
must rule them so, not to murmur in discontents of what they would and cannot,
or not safely do; but their wishes and desires must rather be within the circle
of their abilities then without, and rather think they have too much then too
little, for they that think they have too little, will never be quiet in
striving to get more, so the pleasure of wise thinking is, when the thoughts
are begot honestly, nourished moderately, and ordered carefully, these bring
true content.
A Monastical life.
SOme dispraise a Monastical life, and say they are the drones in a
Common-wealth, to suck out that honey they never took pains to gather, and that
they are an idle, lazy and unprofitable people, for say they, they go not to
wars to adventure their lives, or hazard their lives, but live free, and
secure, not troubled with the noise of battles, only listen to hear the
success, wherein they may give their opinions, and censures, then that they
never cultivate, or manure the lands for increase, but eat of the plenty,
pretending beggary, bur engross all the wealth; and for the women, there are
as many kept barren as would populate whole nations.
But they in their own defence, say, that they cast off all pleasures of the
world, lie cold, and hard, eat sparingly, watch and pray, and not only to pray
for themselves, or for the dead; but for those that are encumbered in worldly
cares; besides say they, it is profitable to the Common-wealth, for men that
have small estates, and many children, not being able to maintain them
according to their qualities, and degrees, may run into many errors; for want
of means, which may disturb not only families, but whole states, where a
monastical life, a small portion, and a little will serve the turn, only to
keep soul and body together, in which their lives are peaceable, and full of
devotion; but the Laity answers, that the third part of the wealth of
Christendom goes to the maintenance of the Church, only in consideration of
younger children, that will be content, and some are sourced in; yet after that
rate there will be, little for the eldest, which remain without, nor will be,
if they go on to lay such burdens upon men's consciences, and such sums upon
those burdens to buy them out; neither is there any sort of men more busy in
disturbing the Common-wealth; for those that have not active employment, either
in the ordinary affairs of the world, or extraordinary affairs in the Common
wealth, their thoughts corrupt being not exercised in action, they grow
factious, which causes distractions; for there is more war amongst the
Christians about their opinion then upon any cause else. This saith the one
side, but their enemies say that they are not only the covetous, but the
greatest cheaters in the world, and all under the name for Gods sake; for say
they, they bring in ceremony for gains, in that they set al the mercies of God
to sale, for what sins cannot be bought for money; as adulterery incest,
murder, blasphemy, and sins past, and present; as for whores they permit them
to live loosely without punishment, and allot therein streets and houses, to
increase their sins, in which they do authorise sin for a sum, for they pay
tribute to the Church, and not only sins past and present, but to come: as
witness the years of Jubilee; besides the head take upon them, the power of
damnation and salvation, as witness the excommunications, and absolutions, and
if not out, and in of hell; yet out and in ofPurgatory, which Purgatory is a
great revenue to them; yet they have a countenance for their covetousness,
which is that the offendant must have a true contrition, or their sum of money
will do them no good, no more then will a true contrition without the sum; but
surely Monastical lives, are very profitable to the Common-wealth, whatsoever
it be for the soul, for it keeps peace and makes plenty, and begets, a habit
of sobriety which gives a good example, and many times draws their own minds,
though naturally otherwise disposed, to follow the outward carriage for the
custom of the one, may alter the nature of the other, and in that they keep
peace, is, because they live single lives, not for the quarrels of marriage,
but in not oppressing the kingdom in over-populating it; for those kingdoms
that are very full of people, grows mutinous, and runs into civil wars, where
many states are sourced to war upon their neighbours; for no other end but to
discharge the stomach of the Common-wealth; for fear it should breed incurable
diseases. Besides, a Common-wealth may be over-stockt, like grounds which
causes great dearth and plagues, in a Common-wealth, so that those states
which have more traffic then men, are rich, where those that have more men,
then trade, are poor; and Civil war proceeds not so much out of plenty, as out
of proud poverty, the next cause for plenty they are of a spare diet, and most
of what they eat or should eat, by their order, is Fish, Roots, and the like;
but if they do get a good bit one may say, much good may it do them, for they
get it by stealth, and eat it in fear, at least not openly to avoid scandal;
but if they do not spare in the matter of meat, yet they spare in the manner,
which cuts off all prodigal superfluities of feasting, or open house-keeping,
wherein is spoiled more then eaten, neither doth it relieve the hungry, by the
Almes-basket; so much as it over-Gorges the full, and for Ceremonies it keeps
the Church in order, and gives it magnificency: besides it is beneficial to the
State, for it Amuses the Common people and busies their minds, and it is as it
were a recreation: and pastime to them, as Saints days and the like; nay they
take pleasure, and make a recreation to have fasting days, so as they have
much to think on, and employ their time in, as fasting-dayes, processions of
saints, confessions, penance, absolutions, and the like, as Mass and Music,
and shows, as at Christmas, Easter, our Lady day, on many days of the years,
and these affording one and the same, but varieties in all; besides, every
Saint having power to grant several requests; it will take up some time to
know, what to ask of them, and all these one would think, were sufficient, to
keep out murmur and discontent, which is got by idleness, which is the cause
of rebellion. Thus the Church busies the people, and keeps their minds in
peace, so that these monastical meant, which are the Church, is the nurse to
quiet the people, or the masters to set them on, wherein they never do, unless
it be in the defence of Christian Religion, in which all good men ought to
follow; and surely it is beneficial to the Common-wealth, whatsoever it be for
the soul, and for their souls, although rationally one would think that God
should not take delight in shaven heads; or bare and dirty feet, or cold backs,
or hungry stomachs, in any outward habit, but in an humble heart and low
desires, a thankful mind, for what they have sorrowful sighs, and repenting
tears, fear of offending admiration of his wisdom, and pure love of his
goodness, and mercy, thanks for his favours, and grace, obedience, charity,
and honest worldly industry, and to take as much pleasure, as honest and
virtuous moderation will permit; for we might think that God did not intend man
more misery, or lest of this world then beasts; but alas, all mankind is apt
to run into extremes which beasts are not, either to bar themselves quite of
the lawful use of the world, or to run riot, which of the two, the last is to
be shunned, and avoided, wherein this kind of life is most secure, neither
must we follow our reason in Religion, but Faith, which is the guide of our
Of Society.
THere are many sorts of society, and some comfortable; as in the natural
society, of Wife, Children, Parents, Brothers, Sisters, and those that are near
allied to us; some profitable, as in the society of the knowing and wise;
others honourable, as in the society of Princes and soldiers; some pleasant,
as in the society of the wity and ingenious, some are heavenly, as in the
society of the Church of God as the Saints upon earth which are the pious; some
merry, as in the society of the sportful; some sad as in the society of the
asslicted; others Dangerous, as in the society of the false, the lewd, and the
rude, some troublesome, as in the society of fools; some dishonourable, as in
the society of the infamous; so that many times the society of man is worse
then the society of beasts, for they are seldom troublesome, nor false to their
own kind, and some so pleasing, easy and happy, as if it were a society of
Angels; but as society is the making of Commonwealths, which is a community
amongst men, which community causes contracts, and covenants, which makes one
man live by another in peace, so society which is a community causes, strength
to the whole body, to maintain the particular parts; but as society in the
whole causes peace, plenty and security; so society in parts which is siding,
and factions, causes poverty discord, war, and ruin; but I treat not of the
society of the whole body, which is a Common-wealth, but of the society of
particulars, as of neighbours, acquaintance, and familiars, which unless they
be well chosen, bring more incoveniencies then benefit, the benefit of
acquaintance is the guessing at one another humours, by their words and
actions, and their several opinions and fancies which begets wit, in applying
other fancies to their own: and nowledge in seeing their variety of humours,
garbs, and gestures, it makes one distinguish better virtue from vice, and it
is a glass to see best what becomes men, it begets love and friendship, it
refreshes the spirits, it wastes and lessens grief, it makes labour easy, it
applauds the good; it admonishes the bad; it gives confidence to the bashful,
it gives shame to the bold, it sires the courages of the fearful, vigour to the
slothful, it deverts the mind from black sullen thoughts, it gives good
manners to the rude, knowledge to the ignorant, experience to the young, and
indeed civiliseth mankind. But the common and unchosen societies, it brings
many times great inconveniences, as quarrels; for a quiet man, in his own
nature coming into some company, must either put up an affront, wihich is a
dishonour, or he must fight, wherein he advantures his life, the loss of it
estate, or the trouble and grief in killing a man; which although the cause may
be small, yet he is necessitated to him; so the like in drinking, gaming,
whoring, either by example corrupted, or by persuasion, or else a man is
thought rude, and unsociable, and apt to be railed against for it, so he must
shun it, or do as they do; besides in many societies, there is little to be
learned, and worse to be heard; as railing, cursing, swearing, tedious
disputing, nonsensly talking, detracting from virtue, divulgeing of faults,
crying up vices, defaming of honour, making of discord; and there is nothing
learned but prodigality, sloth, and falsehood: so as the disorder would make a
well tempered and equal moving brain dizzy, but the society of men and women is
much more inconvenient, then men with men, and women with women; for women with
women can do little inconvenience, but spights, and effeminate quarrels, for
place, and gadding abroad, and neglecting their housewifery at home: the worst
is in learning vanity to spend their husbands estates, and giving one another
ill counsel, to make disquiet at home; but of the society of men and women
comes many great inconveniences, as defamations of women's honours, and begets
great jealousies, from fathers, brothers, and husbands, those jealousies beget
quarrels, murders, and at the best discontent, and unhappiness, it confirms
the apt inclined to bad: and tempts the virtues. and defames the chaste. But
women ought to put on as many several shapes, and forms ofbehaviour, as she
meets with humours; as austere and severe behaviour, to the bold, a sweet and
gentle behaviour to the humble, and bashful; but a woman that would preserve
her reputation, by fame as well as by chastity, she must put on as many several
faces, and behaviours as a State doth; for a state in time of war puts on a
face of anger; and in time of plague and pestilence, a face of piety, after
rebellion a face of clemency; in times of peace and plenty, a face of mirth and
jollity; so women must put on as many behaviours, as she meets with several
humours, as neglect to the proud, and severe to the bold, and wanton, a sweet
and gentle behaviour to the humble, and bashful, and observing and serious
behaviour, to the wise and grave learned; a dutiful and respective behaviour,
to the grave and aged, a cheerful and pleasant behaviour to their nearest
friends, and there are so many more, that it is past the memory of my
Of Hospitality
I Have observed those that keep great Hospitality, are not only well beloved
of their neighbours, that are often made welcome, and by those that make it a
meeting place; but the Master or Mistress of the house shall be amorously
affected, and earnestly solicited, by the turning of the eyes and the like,
although they be very old, in the times of Hospitality; for old men shall
have, or may have more Mistresses, and old women, more lovers, and seeming
admirers, then the youngest and beautifullest without those intertainments, so
much kindness, and good nature, good cheer begets, yet it will last no longer
then the meat sticks in their teeth; for while the meat, mirth and wine is
working, and the fume ascending, they are so full of thanksgiving, as they
overflow with high praises, professions, and declarations, protestations and
free offers, in which they promise more then they can perform, and perform
less then they could promise; for where the head and the stomach is empty of
the receiver, and the purse of the entertainer, if he have occasion to make use
of any of them, they would do as the parable of the marriage in the scripture,
one said, that he had married a wife, and the other had sold a yoke of oxen,
and the third had bought a farm so that all would have excuses, and excuses in
that kind are the messengers of a denial, neither do they think a denial
sufficient; for if they will not praise their friends, they will turn their
enemies, for so ill natured is mankind that what they cannot make more use of,
they will strive to destroy.
Wherein Hospitality is good.
HOspitality is commendable, for it doth refresh the weary traveller, it
relieves the poor: it makes a society of mirth and freedom, when it is so
moderately bounded and orderly governed as it may be constantly kept, otherwise
its but a short hospitality, and a long feast.
Of Feasting.
THere is no action more extravagant, then the making of great feasts, for
there is neither honour, profit, nor pleasure, but noises, trouble, and
expense; and not only an expense to the private purse but to the public in
the unnecessary destruction of so many Creatures; neither doth it relieve the
hungry so much, as it over-gorges the full; for indeed a great feast rather
eats up the eaters, then the eaters eat up the feast, by the surfeits it gives
them; but those that make great feasts, and strive to please the luxurious
palats of men, are bawds to gluttony, and the feast is the whore to tempt the
appetite, and wine is the fool to make all merry, which never wants at those
entertainments, but plays so much, and ruins so fast, and grows so strong,
as it puts young sobriety and grave temperance out of countenance; it unties
the strings of strength, and throws reason out of the wisest head, so that
reason neither begins it, nor ends it; for it begins with excess of
supersluity, and ends in extravagant disorders.
Of drinking and eating.
WIne, though it begins like a friend. goes on like a fool, most commonly ends
like a Devil in fury: yet it is a greater fault, to eat too much, then too
drink to much wine, in that a man may live without wine, but not without meat;
for wine is rather a superfluity or curiosity, then a necessity, wherefore food
which signifies all kind of meat, is the life and staff, to support life;
which staff being broken by excess, famine, and plagues pursue, which are able
to destroy a kingdom, where wine may only destroy some part, but not endanger
the whole; unless it be every mans particular kingdom, which is themselves,
and there indeed it drowns both king and state.
Of Moderation.
THe way to a mans happiest condition of life in this world, and for the way to
the next, is, by the straight way of moderation; for the extremes are to be
shunnd, and all that can be shunned, even in devotion; for the holy writ saith,
Turn not to the right hand nor to the left, lest you go the wrong way; for
extremes in devotion run to superstition and idolatry: and the neglect in both
Atheism, but to keep the even way, is to obey God as he hath commanded, and
not as we fancy, by our wrong interpretation; so for the mind of man great and
hard studies and perturbations, draw or wear out the spirits, or oppress them,
in so much that great students are not commonly long livd, but sickly, lean,
and pale, and those that have extraordinary and quick fancies of their own, do
many times by the quick motion of their brain, inflame the spirits to that
degree, as they run mad, or so near as to be strangely extravagant; and on the
other side, those that study not, nor have fancies of their own, are dul-blocks
that have no raptures of the mind, but only sensual pleasures, and so when
they can, they run into with that violence, as it turns to their pain, not
their delight; and all is but emptying and filling, as beasts do, and not
having the knowledge as men should have, for moderation, as for immoderation of
diets; how often do men suddenly die, by the excess thereof? and how many
diseases doth it bring to them that escapes surfeits? as fevers gowts, stone,
dropsy, and the like; nay what diseases doth it not bring, by the dross it
breeds; for superfluity of moisture oppresses, and slackens the nerves, and
dulls and quenches thespirits, which makes them unfit for action or business
in the affairs of the world, it stuffs them with sloth or corpulency, or fat,
it banishes industry, and many times courage: on the other-side, too spare and
low diet, chaps and dries the body, like the earth that wants rain, or
manuring, shrinks and gathers up the rain; it heats the body into Hectic
fevers, and sucks out the oil of life, for exercise the violence of it melts
the grease, inflames the blood, pumps out too much moisture by sweats, it
over-stretches the nerves, which weakens the body, which brings shaking palsies
in the head, legs, and many times over the whole body; on the other side, too
little exercise corrupts the blood, and breeds obstructions, which breeds
Agues, and spleen, faintings and the like. For the passions; as for example, a
man that is extraordinary angry makes him run into fury for the present, as
many times to commit so rash an action, as to make him unhappy all his life
after, by killing a friend, or at least losing a friend: or getting an enemy by
an unseasonable word, and those that have no anger must of necessity receive
great affronts, at some time or other, for patience is to be content when there
is no remedy; but in many things or actions anger is required when fury would
be too much, or patience or silence too little, and so the like in all other
passions, and as for great wealth it is both a trouble, in the keeping, or
bestowing of it; in the keeping of it, the care is into whose hands to trust
it, or to what places to lay it in; so that the watching and counting it, and
how, and to whom to leave it too, takes off the pleasure in it, and for
spending it the very noise and tumult that great riches bring in the exspence,
is a suficient trouble, for a man can never be at home to himself, he knows not
who is his friend, or who is his enemy, he hears no truth for flattery; he hath
no true taste of any senses: for the throngs of the variety, take away the
pleasure of every particular; as for poverty, it is the drudge to the world,
the scorn of the world, a trouble to their friends, and a death to themselves:
as for power; what for the care in the keeping it, for fear of a usurper, and
though there is no enemy to oppose it, yet what trouble there is in the
ordering and disposing with their authority, and those that have no power are
slaves, wherein moderation keeps peace, in being content with our own share,
and not desiring to share with our neghbour in what is his and moderation gives
wealth; for he is richest that hath so much, only to enjoy himself; moderation
civilizeth nations, it upholds government, and keeps commerce, yet makes
private families subject, it nourishes the body, recreates the mind; and
makes joy in life, and is the petty god to the present pleasures of man.
Of Prodigality and Generosity.
THere is none complains so much of ingratitude, as progals, for when their
purses are empty they grudge their hospitality, and repine at their gifts,
when they gave more out of pride, and magnificence, then out of love or
friendship; but man is so encircled with self love, as he thinks all those that
have partaken of his prodigality, are bound to maintain his riot, or at least
to supply his necessity, out of their treasury, but of the difference of
prodigality and generosity, is, that generosity distributes in a reasonable
time and to worthy persons, or else out of humanity when prodigality considers
neither time nor person, nor humanity, but humour, will, and vain-glory.
Of Gifts.
There are four sorts of gifts; as to those of merit, is generosity, to those
in necessity, is charity, or compassion; to those of eminency and power, it is
flattery and fear, to knaves or fools, it is prodigality, and vain-glory.
The difference between convetousnesse and ambition, is, one is placed upon
things worthy; the other upon Mercenary profit.
Of Vanity.
IT is said, that there is nothing but vanity upon the earth, and what is it
that men call vanity? it is that which is to no purpose; and if so, God made
the world in vain, which God never doth make any thing, but to some purpose,
but say some, that alters not Gods purpose; for all things that are vain, are
as to themselves, and that nothing was created as for it self, but all things
for God, as to have his will obeyed; but nature hath made man for to desire to
please himself, although laws have forbad him to please himself in al things,
or ways, but hath given him particular rules, and hath paled him within such
bounds, as indeed if a man free-born should be put into prison, and then bid to
take his liberty; but if nature made nothing in vain, then men's vanities is to
some purpose in one regard or another; now that which is called vanity, may be
divided into two parts, as particulars and generals, the general vanity is to
eat, to drink, to sleep, to act any thing, or to think, but the particular
vanities are those that men condemn in one another most: as for a man to think
of those things he knows to be impssible, or to do that he knows the end
will bring him no profit, but if the ends of vanity be not profitable, yet the
ways are pleasant, or else men would not take such delight in them; and what
is the worldly design of men but pleasing themselves, and shall we think that
nature made the world to be a torment to us? and only beasts to take pleasure
in themselves, and that nothing but hard labour, and restraints are lawful to
man, for beasts eat and drink, and take their ease, and for al we know, please
themselves in their thoughts, and may be they have as various and vain thoughts
as mans, unless men torment them, and put them to labour, and though labour
and industery may be pleasant to some, yet not when it is put upon them, as a
law of necessity, for laws, and necessities are bonds, though we make them our
selves, and men may think all things are lawful, that are, or tend not to the
destruction of nature, for nature is bountiful and easy, and ties not up her
creatures, but gives them liberty, and use of themselves, unless it be to
destroy themselves unprositably, which is against nature; but for preservation,
and to prolong the life of something else, as Fame, Friends, Country; which he
rather lives in, then dies to, and nature is the giver of life to all, and
therefore those that maintain life in most things, is the greatest friend to
nature, as in losing one life to save many, and to die for fame, is to live
longer in the memory of other men, then he knows he shall in the life of his
own body; but one would think there were no vanity in man, for there was
nothing done or thought, but was to some purpose, which is to please
themselves; though all thoughts, and all actions are not pleasing, but those I
suppose are enforced; and upon necessity; and not voluntary, then it is no
greater vanity then what cannot be avoided, for some take more pleasure in
getting or striving to get the opinion of others, then they can grieve at the
pains they take, and some take as much pleasure in building an house of
cards, as another doth of stone, and some take as much, if not more pleasure
in a phantasm; as another in the gravest and assured'st thoughts; for what
pleasure Poets take in their imaginations of impossibilities, as if men should
employ their time thoughts in nothing, but what is merely necessary, they would
grow a troublesome burden to themselves; being made by nature inquisitive,
busy and contemplative; For there are few things serve merely to the use of
necessity, unless we will fill our time with superfluities, and curiosities
which are called vanity; and this vanity is that which sets all Commonwealths
awork, and makes them to live by one another, that which is called vanity is
of a middle nature, as by that which is called vice, and that which is called
virtue, for there is no malignity in vanity; for where malignity is, it leaves
to be vanity, and turns to be vice; vanity is the worldly delight of man, if
man had any delight in the world; But the wise Preacher saith, All is vanity
under the Sun, and vexation of spirit, and to eat and drink in peace is the
only happiness; if so we are only happy when we are eating and sleeping;
they say in all desires obtained man is more unsatisfied: and that the only
pleasure is in desiring, and in endeavouring, and not in the enjoying, and that
man is contented and pleased with nothing that he hath in possession, but it is
not that man that is displeased with all that he hath, but that pleasure is not
permanent: and though pleasure is according to every mans delectation; yet
there is no man but hath pleasure sometimes one way, sometimes another; but as
the sense seems to be ravished at the first touch, yet by the often repetition
it grows troublesome, and painful, and so cease; for it is with the senses
as it is with the strength, for great Labour wearies and weakens the strength;
nor can the strength be in every member at once, no more then the senses can
receive their full gust at once: for the legs will grow feeble with labour, and
actions of the arms, though the bulk of the strength lies not in the arms;
for a man cannot run fast, and give a violent motion to his arms, but the one
will hinder the other so much, as both will be of little use, the same will be
with the senses; for a generality takes part away from every particular, and
one and the same motion to every particular wearies and troubles ti, in so
much, as that which was a pleasure becomes a grief or pain, so as it is not
that man that takes not pleasure in what he enjoys; for if any one delights
in particular taste, if the appetite were not wearied, the delight would be the
same, as it was at the first touch, to eternity, but the senses being
tirrable, grow wearied, feeble, and sick with violent motion and continual
labour, that they cannot relish that they did before; besides, al desires that
proceed from the senses increases their motion. and as all the senses are
chiefly in the head, so their like and dislike to most things proceeds from
thence; for the brain will be so weary with one and the same motion, as the
legs with running; and the violenter the senses are, the sooner tired they be;
but there are two chief sorts of pleasure, the one wholly dwelling in the
senses, which is fading, the other lasts as long as life, and hath a desire to
last longer; these are those things or thoughts, as lie not wholly in the
senses, but only found out by them, and kept and nourished by the mind; in
this the senses follow the mind, and where the mind leads the senses it
walks them with so moderate a pace, and rules them with so equal motions, as
they are never weary. But when the senses lead and rule the mind, it is
always out of order, and is tired in following the uneven, strange, and
violent ways, not knowing where to rest; but the reason why displeasure lasts
longer then pleasure, is because displeasure is of the nature of death; For
though motion doth not cease as in death, yet it is slow and dull, and pleasure
which is of the nature of life, is full of motion, bot and violent, the one is
like a long and tedious sickness, the other like a hot and burning fever, that
destroys soon.
The nature of Man.
IT is the nature of mankind to run into extremes; for their minds are as
their bodies are; for most commonly there is a predominate passion in the one,
as a predominant humour in the other, so that dispositions of men are governed
more by passion, then by reason, as the body is governed more by appetite, then
by conveniences.
The Power of the Senses.
THe body hath power over the will, for the appetite of the five senses draws
the will forcibly, although reason helps to defend it.
The appetite is more delighted by degrees then with a full gust.
But one would think that every several sense did strike but upon one string,
or nerve, for the mind is often moved to one and the same passion, by the
several senses; and again one would think that every several object or subject
did strike upon a several nerve, although to the pleasure or pain, but of one
sense, and the mind receives several pleasures or griefs from those
The happy Farmer.
THe Farmer and his wife, sons, daughters, and servants, are happier then the
Kings, Nobles, or Gentry, for a king hath more cares to govern his kingdom then
he receives pleasure in the enjoyment. The Farmers care is only to pay his
rent, which he must have a very hard bargain, or be a very ill husband if he
cannot do it, he takes more pleasure in his labour, then the Nobility in their
ease, his labour gets a good stomach, digests his meat, provokes sleep,
quickens his spirits, maintains health, prolongs life, and grows rich into the
bargain. The Nobility, or Gentry, their disease of idleness dead their
stomachs, decays their health, shortens their lives; besides, makes them of
inconstant natures, and empty purses, and their queasy bodies make them
desirevariety of wines, meats, and women, and idleness wearies their spirits,
which makes them wander to several places, company, games, or sports; yet ease
and riots make finer wits; for riots make many vapours, and idleness breeds
thoughts which heates the brain, and heat is active, and so refines the wit,
and fires the spirits, and hot spirits make ambition, ambition well disposes
minds, produces worthy actions and honourable reports, and not only fills
them with courage, but gives them curiosity, civility, justice and the like;
but ambition to depraved minds, makes them slaves to base actions, as
flattering, cheating, or betraying, or any unworthiness, to compass their
The vastness of desires.
THere are few, but desires to be absolute in the world, as to be the singular
work of nature, and to have the power over all her other works; although they
may be more happy with less, but nature hath given men those vast desires, as
they can keep in no limits, yet they begin low and humble; as for example, a
man that is very poor, and in great wants, desires only to have so much as
will serve mere necessity, and when he hath that, then he desires
conveniences, then for decency, after for curiosity, and so for glory, state,
reputation and fame; and though desire runs several ways, yet they aim all at
one end. If any end there were, which is to embrace all, but some say the mind
is the measure of happiness, which is impossible, unless the mind were
reasonable; for the mind is not satisfied though it had all, but requires
more, so the mind is like eternity, always running, but never comes to an
Of the Vain, Useless and unprofitable Wishes.
I Perceive if men could have their wish of nature, or fortune, they would wish
that which was admired, and esteemed by others, and not what he received; for
man seems to build his happiness in the opinion of others, as the chiefest
enjoyment of pleasure in himself.
Of desires and fears.
SOme say that it is a miserable state of mind, to have few things to desire,
and many things to fear, but surely the misery lies only in the many fears,
not in the few desires, and if desires are pleasing in the birth, yet it puts
the mind in great pain, when they are strangled, with the string of
impossibilities, or at least made sick and faint with improbabilities, for if
hopes give them life, despair gives them death; and where one desires enjoys a
possession, many thousands are beaten back, for desire seldom keeps rank, but
flies beyond compass, yet many times desires are helped by their grateful
servants patience and industry. For industry is a kind of witch-craft; for
wise industry will bring that to pass, as one would think it were impossible;
but without all doubt, that mind that hath the ferest wishes is in the
happiest condition, for it is, as if it had a fruition of all things.
What desires a man may have to make him happy.
THe desires for happiness are not in the favour of Princes, nor in being
Princes to have favourites, or to be popular, nor in the conquering, of many
nations, and men, nor in having vast possessions, or to be Emperors of the
whole world, or in the revenge of enemies, or to enjoy their beloved or to have
many Lovers, nor in beauty, art, wit, nor strength, but to have health, so as
to enjoy life and peace to guard it, to be praised and not flattered, admired
but not lusted after, to be envied, but not hated, to be beloved without ends,
to love without jealousy, to learn without labour, to have wise experience
without loss, to live quietly without fear, to be an enemy to none, to have
pleasure without pain, honour and riches without trouble, and time to wait on
them, which every prudent man makes it to do, but these are not easily to be
had, so that the best way to be happy is, to persuade themselves to be content
with that they have, and to desire no more then honest industry may easily
Of the mind and the body.
THe mind and the body must be married together; but so as the mind must be
the husband; to govern, and command, and the body the wife to obey, and reason
which is the judge of the mind, must keep the senses in awe; for as reason is
the property of the mind, so the senses are the property of the body; but
there is no judge more corrupted then reason, or takes more bribes, and the
senses are the bribers; for the eye corcupts it with beauty, the ear with
melodious sounds; and so the sent, taste, and touch, which makes false reason,
gives false judgment; so as the mind may be an over-fond husband, that would
be a wise man, were he not persuaded from it; by the follies of his wife.
Of Riches and Poverty.
Necessity and poverty teaches to dissemble, flatter, and shark for their
advantage, and lively-hood: and long custom makes it a habit, and habit is a
second nature; for what Poverty breeds many times proves base, and unworthy,
being necessitated to quit honour or life, where most commonly life is chosen
first; besides, poverty wants means to learn what is best; for the poorer sort
generally never stands upon the honour of speaking the truth, or keeping
their word; for they lie at the watch, to steal what they can get; when a
rich-man vaving no wants to necessitate him, but lives at plenty, which keeps
him not only from that which is base, but persuades to things that are Noble.
Riches make a man ambitious of Honourable Fame, which desires make them rule
their Actions, to the length of good opinions but poverty is ambitious of
nothing but riches, and thinks it no dishonour to come to it any any way. Thus
poverty is ambitious of riches, and riches of honours. Riches, as a Golden
father beget a bastard gentry, and poverty is the death and burial of it; but
the pure and true born gentry comes from merit, from whence proceeds all noble
and Heroic Actions, it is nourished in the Court of Fame, taught in the
schools of honour, lives in the monarchical Government of justice.
Of Robbers or factious men.
THere be three sorts of Robbers, as first, those those that take away our
goods; as plate, money, jewels, corn, cattle, and and the like. The second are
murderers, that take away life. The third are factious persons, which are not
only the cause of the taking away our goods, which we call movable, and our
lives, but our religion, our friends, our laws, our liberties, and peace; For a
factious man makes a commotion, which commotion raises civil wars, and civil
war is a division in the bowels, or heart of the State, as to divide commands
from obedience, obedience from commands, rending and breaking affections,
raising of passions, so as a factious man is a humane Devil, seeking whom he
can devour, insinuating himself into favour with every man, that he may the
better stir up their spirits to fury, presenting them with grievances to catch
in discontent, speaking always in Ciphers and characters, as if it were a
dangerous time, and that they lived under a Tyrannioal government, when they
may speak, as freely as they can live; and live as freely as they think, with
free doom of thoughts which nothing but death can cut off; but if they did live
under a Tyrannical Government, they ought not to reform by their passion, nor
to disobey with their grievances; but it is both wise, and honest to be a
time-server, so they go not through dishonourable actions; for he that runs
against the times, is a disturber of the peace, and so becomes factious, which
is the track of evil nature.
There is a difference betwixt a Rogue, a dishonest man, and a Knave.
THe Rogue is one that will act any villainy; as murder, sacrilege, rapine, or
any horrid act; the dishonest man is one that is ungrateful, that will receive
all courtesies, but will return none, though he be able, and a breaker of his
word; as for example, if a man should promise another man out of a sudden
fondness, and without witness, a hundred pounds a year, and after repenting
of it, should break his promise, yet it is a dishonest part, though they take
nothing from the man that he could challenge for his own; for he gave but a
word of promise, and a word is nothing, unless had witness to make it an act
by law; And again, if a man goes to a Fair, and sees a horse that he likes,
and prays his neighbour to buy him that horse; he goes and likes him, and
buys the horse for himself; so though he takes nothing from his neighbour, by
the reason the horse was none of his, yet it is a dishonest part, beacause his
neighbour trusted him in it; and many other ways which would be too tedious to
write, but the Knave is not onelyone that will break his word, or neglect his
trust, but he will betray his trust, and although he will not actually act
murder, yet for gain he will betray a life, and though he will not break open
houses, and commit Robberies or any thing against the law, yet he will cozen
where the law cannot take hold of him: or do any thing that is not absolute
against the laws, and a knave takes more pleasure in his close ways of
deceiving, then in the profit, though that is sweet; for many do not cozen for
the various delights for the senses, but delights himself in the various ways
of deceiving; Nor is he wiser then the honest man, though he think he be, nor
is it that he thinks himself wiser then an honest man, for a wise honest man
may be cozened by a crafty knave; for wisdom goes upon honest grounds, and
takes truth to be her guide, but craft upon dishonest grounds, and takes
falsehood to be her guide; but some will say, that a wise man will not trust a
knave; but how shall a wise man know a knave? not by his face; for a knave is
not known by his face, but by his acts, nor by his report; for report is a
great Cozner.
Of Knaves.
THere are three sorts of knaves, the foolish, the crafty, and the wicked knave
the foolish and wicked knave most commonly comes under the lash of the laws;
but the crafty knave is too hard for the laws; that they can get no hold of
him, and many times he makes them bawds, for his Adulterate ways; yet it is
better for a master to have an industrious knave to his servant, then a
negligent fool; for an industrious knave, although he steal one penny for
himself, he will gain at least another for his master, not only to hide his
theft by it, but because he would be employed, and keep his service, but fools
lose in both.
For a man to be honest to himself.
MAny think that honesty is bound only to the regard of others, and not to
himself, so it deed an honest man is a friend and neghbour to all misfortunes,
miseries, and necessities, in helping them with kind loving, and industrious
actions in distress, if he thinks he can assuage them, and do himself no
wrong; for every man ought to be honest to himself, as well as to another; for
though we are apt to consider our selves so much, as it may be a prejudice to
another, yet we ought not to consider another so much to the prejudice of our
selves; for justice to our selves should take the first place by nature, where
to wrong ones self is the greatest injustice, yet to discharge a trust is the
chiefest part of honesty, though it be to the prejudice of himself, wherefore
an honest man should not take such a trust, as may endanger him to ruin.
Of Honesty.
THere are two sorts or kinds of Honesty, the one a bastard, and the other a
true-born; the bastard is to be honest, for by-respects, as out of fear of
punishment, either to their reputations, estates, or persons, or for love of
rewards that honesty brings; but the true-born honesty, loves honesty, for
honesties sake, and is a circle that hath no ends, and justice is the center,
and Honesty is the sweet essence of nature, and the God of Humanity.
We ought not to be ungrateful to the dishonest.
IF one receive life from two men, the one an approved honest man, the other
from a known false, cruel, and deceitful man, which in our Language is called a
Knave; yet the benefit is as great from the knave as from the honest man; for a
benefit is a benefit from whom soever it comes; and if a knave wrongs me not,
he is an honest man to me, though he should be false to all others, and that
man that doth me an injury by his good will, is a knave to me, although he were
honest to all men else: wherefore those only can challenge knaves, that have
received the wrong; nor do we truly receive a wrong by what is meant, but by
what is done: for one cannot say he was hurt, that escaped a danger, but he
that was wounded, but as one should receive a benefit with as much
thankfulness from a knave as from him that is honest, yet a man should be more
careful and circumspect, in dealing or trusting those that have the reproach,
or the bold brand of practising dishonesty, or knavish actions, then with those
that take conscience, or moral Philophy in their way, which are full of
gratitude and fidelity, and truth, as one that is a keeper of his promise, a
loyal subject, and a loving husband, a careful father, a kind master, a
faithful friend, and a merciful enemy.
Of Obligations.
AS there are some that hate and shun those that can, but will not oblige, so
there are others that hate and shun those they would, but cannot oblige. The
first is out of a covetous nature, that thinks that all the good that is done
to others is a loss to themselves, the other that thinks the least good he
doth for others, the more power is in himself; so both is out of selflove, both
the shunner and the actor.
Truth and falsehood not easily known.
IT is very hard, and requires much time to find out falsehood; for though
occasions make a man know himself in part, and so to another, yet not so fully
as we may rest upon him, to be one and always the same, neither can we without
great injustice censure always by the hurt we receive; for ill effects may
fall from very good intentions, and therefore how shall we censure by the
intentions, since none knows them but themselves; for although an honest man
desires to live, as if the world saw his thoughts, and strives to think as he
would be judged, for an honest man would not betray the trust of an enemy
either by threats nor torments, nor fear of death, nor love to life, nor
persuasions of friends, nor the allurements of the world, nor the enchantments
of tongues; nor any miseries of his own shall make him step from the grounds of
honesty; but as a God he doth adoro it, as a servant he doth obey it, and
though it be the chief part of honesty to keep a trust, yet all trust is not
honest, so as it is as great a dishonesty to take an evil, base, or an unworthy
trust, as to betray a just one.
Of flattery.
Flattery takes most when they come into the ear, like soft and sweet music,
which lulls asleep reason, and enchants the spirits; but if they come in like
the sound of a trumpet, it awakes the reason, and affrights the mind, and
makes it stand upon the guard of defence, as when approaching enemies come to
assault, but if flattery be tolerable in any, it is from the Inferiors to the
Superiors, as from the subject to the Prince, and from the servant to the
master, or from the wife to the husband; But for the Prince to flatter his
subject, and the master a servant, is base, but most commonly those that envy
most, flatter best, either to pull down those they envy, or to raise up
themselves above them.
Divinity and Moral Philosophy.
DIvinity and Philosophy ties up nature, or Divinity and Moral Philosophy are
the two guardians of nature; yet some times they prove the two jailers to
nature, when they press, or tie their chains too hard; all things have their
times, and season, unless art puts them out of the way.
Nature makes, but fortune distrusts, as when she misplaceth her works, as not
using them to the right.
Of Atheism, and Superstition.
IT is better, to be an Atheist, then a superstitious man; for in Atheism
there is humanity, and civility, towards man to man; but superstition regards
no humanity, but begets cruelty to all things, even to themselves.
I Am very much, or very little obliged to my readers, for my former Books
which I have set out, either by their approvement, or dislike, in not granting
me to be the Author; but upon my conscience and truth, those were, as this Book
is, my own, that is, my thoughts composed them; but if I had been enclosed from
the world, in some obscure place, and had been an anchorite from my ininfancy,
having not the liberty to see the World, nor conversation to hear of it, I
should never have writ of so many things; nor had had so many several opinions
for the senses are the gates that lets in knowledge into the understanding, and
fancy into the imagination; but I have had moderate liberty, from my infancy,
being bred upon honest grounds, and fed upon modest principles, from the time
of twelve years old, I have studied upon observations, and lived
upcontemplation, making the World my Book, striving by joining every several
action, like several words to make a discourse to my self; but I found the
World too difficultto be understood by my tender years, and weak capacity, that
till the time I was married, I could only read the letters, and join the
words, but understood nothing of the sense of the World, until my Lord, who was
learned by experience, as my Master, instructed me, reading several lectures
thereof to me, and expounding the hard and obscure passages therein, of which I
have learnt so much, as to settle my mind on the ground of peace, wherein I
have built an house of happiness, entertaining my self with my own thoughts,
which thoughts were like travellers seldom at home, and when they returned
brought nothing but vanity and uneasy fashions, busying themselves on that as
nothing concerned them, or could any ways advantage them, troubling themselves
with trifles, putting my mind in disorder; but since my Lord hath learnt me
the way of fortifying it with patience, lest our enemy misfortune should
surprise it, and to set sentinels of truth, lest falsehood should undermine it,
and to make Commanders of Honour, lest flattery should betray it. Thus my mind
is become an absolute Monark, ruling alone, my thoughts as a peaceable
Common-wealth, and my life an expert Soldier, which my Lord settled, composed,
and instructed.
The third part of the first BOOK.
A Tyrannical power never lasts.
THat power never lasts, which falsehood got, and Tyranny strives to keep,
unless tyranny be the natural constitution of the government, and The Turks,
or Tarters is natural.
then it is most commonly the longest livd, like men that were born and bred to
hardship, but should a body be born and bred renderly, be used roughly, and
exposed nakedly, fed coursly, it would be destroyed soon. For a governor in a
Common-wealth, is like a private family; as for example, a man that first
begins to keep a house, and makes laws, and sets rules, though the laws be
hard, and unjust, and the rules strict and rigorous, yet there is no dispute,
nor grumbling, because he was the first setter up, or beginner of that family,
his means being his own, either by inheritance, or by his merits, or by his
industry, wherefore he hath power to order it, or dispose of it as he will, and
his wife and servants never accustomed to any other government before,
willingly submit, and his children born under it, it is as natural to them; but
if this man dies, and the wife marries again, or that he is over-ruled by some
friend, and they begin to usurp, and to alter the customs, by making new laws,
and to set other rules, although they are more commodious, easy, pleasant, and
plentiful; yet being unusual, the servants begin to murmur, the children to
complain, factions and side-taking grows, until there is a falling out, where
words and blows will pass, and the estate neglected, and so wasted by
cosenage, or sold or wasted by riot, and there is no help for it, unless they
change their dwelling, and take new servants that never were acquainted with
the old, and get more children that knew not the first breeding, and another
Virgin wife; thus the the mother, children and servants must be destroyed of
the first government, and new ones for the second government. The same is for
Commonwealths, for first, absolute power must be got; Secondly, all old laws
must be abolished; Thirdly, strangers must come to inhabit, to settle a
government; for mixed laws of old and new, will no more agree in government,
then cross humours in a private family.
Of Courts.
COurts should be a pattern and an example of virtue to all the rest of the
kingdom, being the ruler and chief head, to direct the body of state; but most
commonly instead of clemency, justice, modesty, friendship, temperance,
humility, and unity, there is faction, pride, ambition, luxury covetousnesle,
hate, envy, slander, treachery, flattery, impudence, and many the like; yet
they are oft-times covered with a veil of smooth professions and
protestations, which glisters like gold, when it is a copper'd tinsel: but to
study Court-ship, is rather to study dissembling formality, then noble reality.
Of a lawful Prince, or inhereditary Prince.
A Prince that is born to a just title becomes careless, as thinking his right
to his Crown, is a sufficient warrant, or born for the loyalty of his Subjects
which makes him trust the conduct of his greatest affairs to those he favours
most, as thinking his care and pains a superfluity. Thus he becom's as ignorant
to the affairs of his kingdom, as his subjects of his abilities; For few Kings
know thoroughly the laws made by their predecessors, but what themselves make,
nor the humours of the people, nor the strength, nor weakness of their
kingdom; whereas an usurper dares trust none but himself, which makes him more
wise in governing, more sure in keeping, knowing the condition of the kingdom
better by experience, which he gets by practice, and the humours of the people.
which he gets by observation, which gives him ability of judgement to chose
fit men for proper places where otherwise he may put the asle where the fox
should be, and the sheep where the Lion should be, the serpent where the dove
should be, and thus misplacing of men in several offices, and commands, is many
times the ruin of a kingdom: whereas an usurper, being a subject most
commonly, knows better to command; like as a middle region knows better what is
below it, then the highest region doth, so those men that are subject to
Authority can see better, then when they have full power of command; but the
way is so dangerous, as a kingdom seldom escapes from an unrecoverable ruin.
Of an Usurper.
OF all Princely, and Monarchical Governors, an Usurper grows most commonly
the justest, and wisest Prince, when he is once settled in his possession,
unless fear of being dispossessed infects his thoughts, and so grows furious
with a distempered jealousy, which brings the plague of Tyranny, breaking out
in sores of cruelty, and they shall sooner want means and life, then he will
industry for his safety; but otherwise, if he have so much courage to subdue
his fears; he becomes an excellent Prince; for what with his ambition to be
thought better then his predecessor, and that the subject might not repine at
the change, and out of a covetousness to keep his power, and to settle it upon
his posterity, and out of a Luxurious desire to enjoy it peaceably, that he
might reap the plenty thereof, makes him become more careful and circum spect,
in executing justice, and more prudent, and industrious in making good and
prositable laws, to tie the hearts of the people more firm unto him, that their
love may wipe out his ill title, and thus settles his new and false authority
by an insinuating Government.
Clemency makes the greatest Monarch.
HE is the greatest Monarch that is most beloved of the subject, because he
hath not only the power over men's bodies, but over their minds; where he that
is hated and feared hath only a power of the body; but the mind is a rebel,
and stands out against him, thus freedom makes obedience, when bondage, and
slavery, is but a forced authority, because content is not there, and there is
more labour in Tyranny, with whipping the people into obedience, then the
pleasure of being obeyed
Of Tyrannical Government.
THe most Tyrannical Government is by Armies; for whatsoever intentions they
are raised for, if they are not disbanded as soon as the work is ended, they
grow mutinous; for idle time makes them corrupt one another; but if they be
settled in Government, either to keep the people in subjection, or secure their
Princes; in time they will not only keep the people in subjection, but become
Tyrants to their Princes, or Governors: as for example, the Romans that
conquered all the world, when their armies had no more work to do, they fell
upon their Emperors, and murdered them, pulling some down, and setting others
up; that at some times there have been three or four, and at other times none
to govern the Empire, and how often, nay how few die of the Emperors of the
Turks in peace, for the Janisaries whom they raised for their guard murders
them upon the least dislike, and many other examples may be given; wherefore it
is as great a wonder to hear of an Army to protect their Governors, as usual
to destroy them; but this comfort only is to those that live under the power
of the sword, that as they destroy their heads, so they destroy themselves; for
without Government nothing can last; and there can be no Government without
superiority or superiors; for there must be both authority and obedience, to
make a Harmonical Common-wealth.
Of the favour of Princes.
THere is no greater advantage to a Prince, then to prefer men that have the
reputation, of being wise, valiant and honest, or those men that are great in
alliance, or have great estates, for men of wisdom they enable their Princes,
by their counsel, and men of valour they enable their Princes by execution, and
honest men enable them by their trust, and men of alliances enable them by
their power, and rich men help to maintain their war; but poor and mean-born
men are leaches that suck in the wealth of the kingdom, and spue it forth in
vanities, they bring nothing to their Prince, but hatred from the commons,
through envy to those that are preferred.
The misplacing of Honours that causes Rebellion.
OUtward Honour should be the mark of inward, worthy a reward; for action
proceeding from valour, and wisdom in conducting and governing, maintaining and
keeping, assisting and obeying their King and Country. ButifHonour be placed by
favour, and not for merit: it brings envy to those which are honoured, and
hatred to the Prince, for honouring such persons; which envy and hate bring
murmur, discontent brings war and ruin to the kingdom. But Kings should be like
good husbands, that sow their seed in fertile ground, and not in barren ground,
where the cost and pains will be lost, neither do they fling in their seeds in
a lump, but spread them about, so Princes should divide their favours, amongst
the worthiest persons, not to favour one, to discontent all the rest.
The cause of Rebellion.
THere is nothing causes rebellion so soon as the unequal living of the
subject; as for a Noble man, who strives to live like his King, a Gentleman to
live like a Noble man, and a Peasant, or a Citizen to live like a Gentleman; For
every man living not according to their quality, will in short time think his
quality according to his expense, which must needs make a disorder, where there
is an inequality of degrees, and not in expense: for the rate of the expense
must be set at the degree of the person; for when a Noble man sees an
inferior person in as good, or better equipage then himself, it begets envy,
and envy causes murmur, murmur faction, faction rebellion, and the inferior
sort living at the rate of the nobler sort begets pride, pride ambition,
ambition faction, faction rebellion, and thus the Nobler sort striving to keep
up their dignity, and the inferior through their pride out-braves the nobler,
then those of the same degrees, are tempted to live above their abilities even
with their equals, thus striving to out-brave one another, they run into
poverty, and being poor, they fear no loss; for having little to maintain
life, they set it at stake, either to lose all or to get more for in civil wars
all is fish that comes to net whereas every man living in his degree, envy is
abated, pride abated, luxury abated, neighbourly love and kindness bred and
peace kept, and every one thrives in his quality, and grows rich by frugality,
and riches beget care, care begets fear: and modest fear keeps peace.
Of Ceremony.
CEremony is rather of superstitious show, then a substance, it lives in
formality not in reality, yet it is that which keeps up the Church, and is the
life of religion, it heightens and glories the power of Kings, and States, it
strikes such a reverence and respect in the beholders, as it begets fear and
wonder, in so much as it a mazes the spirits of men to humiliation, and
adoration, and gives such a distance as it deifies humane things; or ceremony
hath such a majestic form, as it becomes a kind of a god, for it creates
such a superstition, that it is not only served with earnest endeavours, but
many times with such a fury, that oft times the observer runs into madness:
but as it strikes fear, so it begets pride, yet ceremony is so necessary as
without it Commonwealths would run into a confusion; for it is the officer to
make way for command, and obedience, which keeps peace and creates order, which
order is to place things in such manner, forms, and times.
Of Councellors.
An idle or lazy man is unfit for a Counsellour, because he will not take so
much pains to consider to the bottom of a cause.
And a Epicure is an unfit man for a Counsellour; for his mind is so set on
his delight, as it is buried to all other thoughts.
And a doubtful man is an unfit man for a Counsellour, because he cannot
resolve upon any thing.
And a fearful man is an unfit Counsellour, because he can never give a solid
opinion for fear of danger. Discord in Counsel many times proves very
prejudicial to a state.
Age becomes Counsel and command.
IT is seemly and fit for age to be in all commands, and Councels; for that
which makes a wise Privy Councellor, or States-man, is aged experience in
active times, bred in observing, quick in conceiving, industrious in
continuing, led with honesty, forced to policy, and in commands; ages gravity
forces authority, and compels obedience by his wise conduct; wherefore those
that prefer youth before age, it is to esteem the strength of the body before
the strength of the brain, and if so a horse is to be preferred before a man.
Of Command and order.
THough command is to have the first place as coming from nature or power, yet
it cannot execute its power without order, and Ceremony; for ceremony and order
are the two necessary parts of man, that uphold the natural, or powerful
commands and obediences to the superiors from the inferiors; for commands and
obedience make Commonwealths, which Commonwealths make contracts, which
contracts make peaco, and peace makes every one to enjoy a propriety, so as
they work to one and the same end, though they are several, for commands
creates Ceremony, Ceremony order, and order and Ceremony give distinction,
distinction gives obedience, obedience peace.
A valiant Prince.
IT is a great encouragement for a Prince to be valiant, and have courage, for
it makes obedience in subjects, and keeps foreigners from intruding; for let a
king have many vices, if he have but that one virtue; he shall be powerful at
home, and famous abroad, and it is not only esteemed in princes; but in
private men, for a valiant man shall rest quietly, without controlment, when a
coward shall be troubled with continual affronts; but I mean not a Tyrant; for
tyranny is the child of fear, not of courage; for fear makes suspicion, and
suspicion makes false suggestions, and that brings cruelty; yet a soft nature
is in a degree of a coward in the worlds esteem; for though he hath courage to
fight, yet the easiness of his nature makes him quickly forgive, and so
perhaps to put up a wrong, and the world conceives not so much the goodness of
the nature, as apt to condemn it, for a defect of his valour; but a soft and
tender nature shall suffer with much patience, which shows a greater courage
then a stronger nature, which gains him much pity, and a great deal of love,
but it is only in affliction, for there his courage is most seen, so passive
courage gets love in affliction, and active courage gets praises in prosperity,
it is observable, that often times a very wise man begets a fool, and a very
valiant man a coward; when an indifferency shall continue in a race for many
descentsit seems as if nature were limited, or had equal proportion of good and
bad, that when she hath been prodigal to one, makes her necessitated to
another, but nature is wise, for she doth not make her favour common, because
she would leave them esteemable.
Of Wars in general.
WAr as it destroys men in fight, so there are more marriages, and begetting of
generations then in peace; next by the many and several actions it gives
theames for Writers, and so produces many books, and certainly much
experience, both for actions of war and policy of state: and wars do not only
show men's abilities but beget abilities by the experiences of several changes
of fortune; besides, it shows the different nature of men, as the cruel, and
those that are merciful, the coward and the valiant, the covetous and the
liberal, or generous, the prodigal and the provident, the slothful and the
industrious, the noble and the base. War is the means to show justice piety
charity, honesty, lovegenerosity, wisdom, patience, strength command, and
obedience; but yet war brings Atheism, cruelty hard-heartednesse,
stubbornness prodigality; it corrupts youth women, and good manners, it
destroys laws and religion, it begets envy, faction, revenge, theft, it brings
death and destruction to that Kingdom that hath the weaker party.
Of an Army.
LIttle Armies cause great expenses, by reason of the waste they make, when in
peace every one gets his own living, by theirindustry, but when they are
gathered together in a body they become idle; for an Army the State is to
maintain them, by giving them money, or free quarter, which the last most
commonly takes the first place; thus an Army doth impoverish the kingdom three
several ways, first that it doth not only give pay to so many people to live
idly, unless it be when they fight; but to feed upon the industry of those
that are not in arms; next they do not only feed upon a kingdom moderately,
but make havoc and spoil, destroying most commonly the very stock and store.
And lastly it doth impoverish the treasury of a kingdom. which forces the
governor to lay heavy taxes upon the estates of the Gentry, and the industry
of the Commons.
Of the loss in Battles.
WHere history mentions battles, they make nothing to speak of a hundred
thousand killed in a battle; but it is sooner writ, then fought; for let us
imagine, fifty thousand should stand still, or forced to do so until their
throats were cut, and it will take up some time, and when a man speaks of a
battle, the longest is from sun rising, to sun-set. I do not mean the days
near the Pole; but near the Line; for nature requires rest and food, and
battles are to return blows as well as to receive, wherefore fighting requires
time, before death, besides the quarrel; for they do not always kill so soon
as they meet, neither can they fight all at once, for squadrons are five and
ten men deep; besides dead bodies of horses, and men will hinder much their
encounters, but some say most are killed in execution, when one party runs a
way; it may be answered, that fear is very swift: oft times it gets from
revenge, and I have hard a good soldier say, that thirty thousand on each
side, is as much as can fight in one battle; for greater numbers make rather
confusion then an execution, but report kills more then a great Army can bury.
The Situation for wars safety
THose Countries that are either barren or woody, or mountainous, are seldom
overcome, although they are far less in number, that are the defendants, then
the Aassilants, which makes the defendant Commanders seem wise, valiant
fortunate, when it is the Country that gives the advantage: and not altogether
the men.
The hazards of War.
THere is nothing more hazardous to an Army in the day of battle, then for the
chief Commander to lead the van-guard; for a General should reserve himself,
against such time as his army is oppressed, for there is nothing more revives the
wearied and drooping spirits in the common Soldiers, and that gives more
courage then the sight of the General; besides, the office of a General is more
to order, then to fight, and it is not only the fighting that wins the battle,
but wise conduct. Thus a General must not only be known to his Soudiers to be
valiant, but to be honest and wise, his courage is their trench, his wisdom is
their fort, his honesty is the guard to keep them. But the advantage in war is
experienced Commanders, diligent officers, practiced Soldiers, skilful
Ingineers, and situation of place.
Of a civil War.
THe greatest storm that shipwrecks honest education, good laws, and decent
customs, is civil-wars, which splits the vessel of a Common-wealth, and buries
it in the waves of ruin; but civil wars may be compared to a pair of cards,
which when they are made up in order, every several suit is by it self, as from
one, two, and three, and so to the tenth card, which is like the commons in
several degrees, in order, and the coat cards by themselves which are the
Nobles; but factions, which are like gamesters when they play, setting life at
the stake shuffle them together, intermixing the Nobles and Commons, where
loyalty is shuffled from the crown, duty from Parents tenderness from
children, fidelity from Masters, continencies from husbands and wives, truth
from friends, from justice innocence, charity from misery; Chance plays, and
fortune draws the stakes.
Of foreign War.
Foreign war is necessary some times to maintain Peace at at home, it opens
the vein of discontents, and lets out the hot fevourish amb tion of the mind,
which otherwise would grow to a dangerous, and mad rebellion; yet it makes most
commonly a kingdom weak, and thin, according as the Physic doth work; for if
the purges be very strong, it makes them faint and feeble, so the success of
war makes a kingdom, ill fortune makes it lean, and weak, good fortune gives it
strength, and makes it fat.
Of rash Commanders.
A Man at his first entry into actions, ought to be very careful of showing
himself prudent, and moderate, as well as bold, and valiant, a good commander
should overcome by Policy and conduct as well as by violence, and force of
armies; for many a gallant army is lost through the rashness of a commander.
And a foolish, and negligent Commander makes his soldiers as cowardly, as a
careful Commander makes them valiant; But a good commander gets love of his
soldiers, as finding his care and knowing his skill, and approved to have
courage which is to be required from a commander, when those that are rash,
Careless, ignorant, proud, improvident, timorous, doubtful, are to be shunned,
and not to be employed, but they are best to govern, that have noble and
generous hearts, for liberality and generosity, are the nature of a god.
Of being armed.
A Man that will go into the field unarmed: is either a desperate fool, or he
means to run away, when it comes to his turn to fight, for a valiant man will
arm his body in the day of battle, to save his life, to win an honour and
reputation of victory. But some love pleasure more then honour, and some love
honour more then life.
Of a General, and a Colonel, and Army.
A General of a hundred thousand men, sounds loud in the ears of the world;
when a Captain of a Brigade, is hardly taken notice of, although his conduct in
ordering his Brigade, hath been as skilful, and as prudent, and his Courage and
his Onset as daring as the Generals; yet such advantages and ods hath numbers,
as it makes great reckoning in the World, when the Actions of a few are never
Of the Power of the Sword.
A Sword is a valiant mans friend, he will sooner part with Life than part with
it, and courts it as his Mistress, being as industrious and studious to know
the Art and use of the one, as to know the nature, disposition, and inclination
of the other: for a Sword is a defender and a mantainer of his Honour, it is a
strength against Dangers, a shelter for Virtue, a protection to Innocence; it
is the Key that opens the Gate of Fames great Court; it humbles the Proud, it
advances the Low and Mean to the height of a Reputation it Civilises Nations,
it environs a Common-wealth, it decides quarrels, it divides spoils; it is the
Commander of the World, it is the Conductor to all noble and Heroic Actions;
it is the Vice-gerent to death, a Guard to life; it is the Bolt of Jupiter, the
Trident of Neptune, the Cerberus of Pluto; It can do more than Virtue can do,
for it can command, Virtue can only entreat or persuade; the very signification
of a Sword is great, for it signifies both Power and Justice, Command and Rule.
When I speak of a Sword, I mean any thing that performs the same function and
office, as to affault and defend, which all forts of Arms will not do.
Of Commonwealths, or States-men.
THe grave formalists account good States-men those that are Tyrants, such as
Cato was, who wrought the destruction of the Roman Common-wealth; but very
severe and strict rules of Art, oft times are broken by the over powerful
force of Nature, which cannot endure to be bound beyond the strenght of
moderate Liberty; wherefore moderation in Government is as necessary as
moderation for health; for those that restrain their Appetite too much, starve
the Body, and those that give no restraint, kill it with Surfeits: so likewise
in a Commonwealth, those that restrain Liberty too much, enslave it, and those
that give to much Freedom, confound it, thus, either ways bring death to the
Body, or ruin to the Common-wealth.
Of Partiality of the World.
OUtward Honours should be the signs of inward Worth, as Actions proceeding
from valour, and wisdom in conducting and governing affairs to the best, for
their Countries service: but outward honour is as all other gifts of Fortune,
unchosenly given; for the Coward, and the Fool, and the Knave, are many times
crowned with Honour, when the Valiant, the Wise, and the Just, sit unregarded,
and unrewarded; wherefore Passion and Erroneous opinions are the two Emperors
of the world.
Of Men.
Some in the dispraise of men, say that they are so opinionated, as they think
they are able to govern the whole world, in all active affairs, although they
have neither foresight nor experience, and that most of them are as humorsome,
and as fantastical and inconstant, as Women, full of brags and vain glory,
feigning themselves to be otherways than they are, as to be thought wise by
postures, with ringing their heads on one side, or winking with their eyes, or
shrinking up their shoulders, others again by hiding their ignorance with
gravity and formality; some are tedious in stuffing the ears of the hearers
with History, others with controversies; some again, with long, barren, and
stale tales, then whispering of secrets and dangerous Plots; some again have
more courage in their words and looks, than in their hearts; and some so
spruce, as they seem effeminat, and others so affectedly careless, as they are
rude and seem Clownish; thus they put more false faces on than Women do: but
sure there be many Men in the World as their wisdom makes them as petty Gods,
able to manage and govern great and difficult affairs; and a wise man is a
valiant wan, not a desperate man; a quiet man, not a quarreller; a civil man,
not a dissembler; an industrious, not a busy man; and humble, not a flatterer;
a generous man, not a prodigal; a prudent man, not a covetous man; a patient
man, not an insensible man; a fashionable, not a spruce man, and I have heard
say, that a Worthy, Honourable, and a Gallant man, is one that is Wise, Just,
and Honest.
Of Behaviour.
THere is nothing wins more upon the soul of men, than Civility and Courteous
behaviour; it endure more than words: for Eloquent Oratory, though it
insinuates, yes it is like a Tyrant that carrys the opinions of men like
Captives by force, rather than wins them by gentle persuasions, neither will it
do that unless it be mixed with an Elegancy of delivery and Courteous behaviour,
which is without all affectation, which Eloquence seldom or never hath; but a
free and Civil behaviour causes affection to run after it, it abates the pride
of the proud to meet it, it ingentles the wild and barbarous, it softens the
rigid, it begets compassion in the cruel, it moves pity in misery, it begets
love in prosperity, and most commonly good nature hath Civil and courteous
behaviour, but the Civil and courteous have not always good natures; so that
it becomes verity in the own, and hypocrisy in the other, which nevertheless
plcaseth, although it be a fair face to a false heart.
Of Natural posture, and Words.
ALl natural postures have a coherence with the nature of the mind; as a man
that hath high ambitious thoughts hath a proud garb, a man of great and
fearless Spirit hath a resolute garb, a timorous and a fearful mind hath a
fawning and crouching garb; a mistrustful mind, a wary land sly garb; a mind
that hath few desires, a dull garb; a vain mind, a fantastical garb; a busy
mind, a restless garb; a luxurious nature, a lazy garb, and so many in like
kind; thus as there are several natures, so there are natural postures
belonging to such minds: for if the art of breeding were not, which brings
several customs, which customs are a second nature, the body would follow the
humours of the mind.
Likewise our words are apt to run according to our Thoughts: for if our
thoughts hunt after self praises, our words most commonly are boasting, and
bragging; if our thoughts hunt after debaucherys, our words are lascivious; if
our thoughts are envious, our words are spiteful; if proud, our words are
scornful; if amorous, our words are affected and whining; if our thoughts are
full of grief, our words are complaining; if angry, then our words are railing;
thus upon every subject that the Thoughts work upon, the Tongue draws forth, or
spins forth thirds of discourse.
Of Youth.
YOuth ought to have good and grave Counsels, and solid studies to poise them;
for if the bottoms or keel of life be not balanced, the sails of vanity will
over-turn their Ship of happiness: for it is not those light Counsels that
Parents do vulgarly use to give their Children, that make them wise, as saying,
Take heed of catching cold, or not eating such and such meats, or teaching them
how to put off their hat, or making a Leg with a good grace, though that doth
well, nor yet to keep them too hard to their studies, for it makes them most
commonly pedandick; but to send them abroad to learn to know the World, that
they may know men, and manners, to see several Nations, and to observe several
Natures, Customs, Laws, and Ceremonies, their Wars, or Contracts of Peace, thus
they may come to be good Statesmen, or Commanders in War, and be able to do
their Country good service, and to get to themselves honour and fame: besides,
the knowledge of the world gives a satisfaction to the mind; for when they see
there is a change, and misfortunes that are not to be avoided, they will not
make every little cross an affliction, but take afflictions as things
necessary, and ought to be born with patience; and by this shall they live more
happily, and dye more willingly.
Of the breeding of Children.
CHildren should be taught at first, the best, plainest, and purest of their
language, and the most significant words; and not, as their nurses teach them,
a strange kind of gibbridge, broken language of their own making, which is like
scraps of several meats heaped together, or hath'd, mixed, or minced: so do they
the purest of their language; as for example, when Nurses teach children to go,
instead of saying go, they say do, do, and instead of saying come to me, they
say tum to me, and when they newly come out of a sleep, and cannot well open
their eyes, they do not say My Child cannot well open his, or her eyes, but my
chid tant open its nies, and when they should bid them speak, they bid them
peak, and when they should ask them if they will or would drink, they ask them
if they will dinck, and so all the rest of their language they teach Children,
is after this manner, when it is as easy for those that learn Children to
speak, and more easy for the Children to learn, plainly, and the right
language, than this false language, which serves them to no use, but only takes
up so much the more time to learn to speak plain, and as they should do, which
time might be employed in the understanding of sense, which is lost in words.
And it is not only the foolish, and ill-bread nurses that speak to Children
thus, but their Fathers, which many times are accounted Wisemen, and their
Mothers discreet Women, which my thinks is very strange, that wise and rational
men, when they talk to Children, should strive to make themselves Children in
their speech, and not rather strive to make Children speak like wise men: yet
such is the power of custom, that wisemen will follow it, although it be
unnecessary, uneasy, and foolishly hurtful; for certainly this broken
compounded and false language they teach Children, is so Imprinted in the
Brains, as it can hardly be rubbed out again, and the Tongue gets such a habit
of an ill and false pronunciation, as when they are grown to men and women's
estate, their speech slows not so easy nor sweet, nor their tongue moves not so
voluble nor smooth, as other ways they would. Likewise they learn them the
rudest language first, as to bid them say such a one Lies, or to call them
Rogues and the like names, and then laugh as if it were a witty jest. And as
they breed them in their language, so they breed them in their sports,
pastimes, or exercises, as to play with children at boe-peep, blind-man-buff,
and Cocks hod, as they call them, that is, to muffle their head and eyes, and
then they run about to knock their heads against the doors, posts, and tables,
to break their Legs over stools, threshholds, or to run into the fire, where
many times they desorm themselves with the mischiefs that follow; or to hide
themselves behind hangings and old cubbords, or dirty holes, or the like
places, where they foul their clothes, disaffect the Brain with stincks, and
are almost chokt with dirt and dust Cobwebs, and Spiders, Flies and the like
getting upon them; also to role upon the ground, likewise to stand upon their
heads, when dancing might be learned with the feet, as easy as tumbling in
several postures, and to stand upon the head; and is it not as easy to learn
them to write, and read, as to build houses with Cards? they are both but
making of figures, and joining together; and is it not as easy to learn them
the Globe, as to play at Cards? and is it not as easy to tell them of Arts and
Sciences, as to tell them feigned and foolish tales of Tom Thum, and of
Spirits, and the like, frighting them so much as makes them of timorous
natures, and Effeminat Spirits? when Children would take as much delight in
Arts and Sciences, nay more, if they were taught them at first. Likewise it
were as easy, and less danger, to teach them to valt, which is necessary for
horsemen, as to climb a Pear-tree and the like; and likewise it were as easy to
learn them to fence with a stick, or at least to hold it in a defensive
posture, as to play at Cat, or Chick stone, Quaits, or the like; wherefore it
is no wonder there are so few wise men, when Children are bread so foolishly;
so many so unhandsomely behaved, when Children are bred so rudely; so many
Cowards, when Children are bred so fearfully; so many deformed, when Children
are taught such dangerous, mischievous, and hurtful sports; so many false, when
they are taught to tell lies from their Cradles, as thinking it no vice, or
fault in Children; and many more examples might be given of the ill breeding of
Of Gentlewomen that are sent to board Schools.
IT is dangerous to put young Women to board Schools, unless their Parents live
so disorderly, as their children may grow wicked or base by their examples; for
most commonly in these Schools they learn more vices than good manners; for it
is a good task, for one body to breed up one child well, and as they ought to
be bred, at most two or three, but it is too much for one to breed up many, as
for one Woman to breed up twenty young Maids; it is true, they may educate
their Persons, but it is a doubt whether they do, or can educate their minds;
they may learn them to sing well, but it is a question whether they learn them
to think well; they may learn them measures with the feet, and mistake the
measures of a good life; they may learn them to write by rule, but forget the
rules of modesty.
For the danger is in those Schools, where a great many Gentlewomen of several
Families and Births, degrees of ages, various humours, different dispositions,
natures and qualities, do like several sorts of fruits, which when they are
gathered and heaped together, soon putrefy and corrupt, and some become rotten
at the Coar; where if every Pear, Apple, and Plum were laid even by themselves
apart, in a dry and clean place, they would be sound, wholesome, and last as
long as their natures were to last: so if young Women were bred singly,
carefully, and industriously one by one, there would be no danger they should
learn from each other crafts, dissembling, fraud, spite, slander, or the like;
besides where, there are many together of several dispositions, they are not
only apt to catch the infection of ill qualities from each other, but many
times they breed vices, which ruin themselves, fortunes, and Families, and like
Maggets consume their Estates, or eat a hole thorough their reputation.
Besides, all board Scholars of the Effeminat sex are like salemeat dressed at a
Cooks shop, which always tastes of the dripping pan or smoke; so most commonly
those that are bred at Schools, have a smack of the School, at least in their
behaviour, that is a constraintness; but the exercises although they are
commendable in Women of quality, yet it is not these exercises or virtues (as
they call them) in Italy, which give them good breeding, but to instruct their
youth with useful knowledge, to correct their ignorance with right
understanding, to settle their mind to virtue, to govern their passions by
reason, to rule their unsatiable or distempered appetites with temperance, to
teach them noble principles, honourable actions, modest behaviours, civil
demeanours, to be cleanly, patient, and pious, which none can teach either by
example, or instructions, or both, but those that have been nobly bred
How a Gentleman ought to be bred, and spend his time.
A Gentleman ought to be skilful in the use of his Sword, in the manage of
Horses, to Vault, to Wrestle, to Dance; the first defends his Honour and
Country, the next is for Command in Cavalry, the third makes him ready in the
day of Battle to Horse himself, the fourth keeps him from being overcome by a
Clown or Pezant; for the slights in Wrestling will overcome great strengths;
the fifth gives his limbs a graceful motion. His exercises should be Masculine:
for better it were to see a Gentleman shoe an Horse, than to play on the Vial,
or Lute, Virginal, or any other musical instrument; for that shows the
command Man hath over Beast. Or to carry a burden on his back, than to sit
idly at Cards or Dice: for Idleness is like the sluggish Worm, that is neither
able to help nor defend it self. Or it were better see a Gentleman hew down
trees, or dig in the bowels of the earth amongst minerals, than painting, or
pencilling: for that shows manly strength, command and force over the hardiest
of natures works, so as it be voluntary and not stavish. It is more manly to be
a Soldier, than a Clerk, not that a Gentleman should be rough and rude like
Savages, and only to have force like a Beast; but to be like a God above all
other Creatures, and to be like a God is never to be Idle, nor to be employed
but about things that tend to some useful, noble, and glorious end.
Swimming is not very useful for a Gentleman.
TO be skilful in Swimming brings nothing to a mans honour, it is only useful
in the time of danger, and a man runs greater hazards in the gaining that Art,
than the advantage he is like to get by it, and had better adventure his life,
if such a mischance should happen to be required, to swim, than to adventure it
every day in the learning it: for if the Cramp take him, or the Stitch, or the
Cholick, or a Weed insnarling any part of him, he is gone, and many other
accidents may chance to drown him; so that swimming is more dangerous than
honourably safe, and a Gentleman should learn first those Actions that bring
Honour, then those for Safety; a man should learn first how to Assault his foe,
and then to Defend himself, and Swimming is more to save his life than get a
A Gentleman's Study.
A Gentleman should not be ignorant, but know all the good is to be known, and
the bad, or else he can hardly know what is best; yet leave the practice of the
worst to the inferior: but his study should be Navigation, Fortification,
Architecture, Culture, Water-works, Fire-works, and the like, which Studies are
profitable to his Country, both for Strength, Plenty, and Use, which make a
Kingdom flourish; for every man should, like a Be, bring Honey to the Hive, and
not, like the effeminat Drone, suck out the sweet, and idly live upon the
Heroic labour of others; but to study Laws is rather to study division than
settlement, to study Divinity is rather to study Controversy than salvation, to
study Philosophy is to seek that they cannot find, to study History is to study
Lys more than Lives, where a Gentleman should study Truth, follow Truth, and
practice Justice; a little Rhetoric doth well to cloth his mind in soft
numbers, trim it with handsome phrases; and a Gentleman should converse with
Poetry, for Poetry sweetens the nature, not softens it, to make it facil, but
civilises it, making it courteous, affable, and conversable, inspiring the mind
with high and noble thoughts, which is the way to be enshrined in honourable
Fame; Like an Urn that keeps the ashes of the body from being scattered and
lost, so Fame keeps good deeds in the Urn of the memory.
Bred with the Muses.
THose that are bred up with the Muses are most commonly of sweet dispositions,
Civil and Courteous in their behaviour, Pleasant and Witty in their discourse,
Noble and Heroic in their actions, Free and Generous in their distributions,
Grateful for obligations, Compassionate to the miserable, and Charitable to the
But those that are born Poets are ingenuous by nature, and prone to invention,
quick in apprehension, various in imagination or conception, their thoughts
work generously, and entertain their time constantly, and are the best
Companions to life, where Fancy presents several Scenes, and Wit speaks the
True Poets and natural Philosophers are rather born such, than learned to be
such: for it is a natural Ingenuity that creates fine fancies, and produces
rational opinions.
Of Poetry.
AS for Poetry, although it sits not in the first form in Wisdoms School, nor
the second, yet it sits on the third; for on the first form sits Honesty, that
is to be honest for honesties sake, not out of by ends, either for profit,
credit, or other respects that it brings, but out of Justice; The next is Rule
or Moderation, which is to rule our actions, and moderate our appetites; for
men may mean well, yet out of indiscretion may run themselves into many errors,
not only in offending themselves, but in offending their neighbours, which may
cause repentance, and he is the wisest man that hath least to repent by
moderating the appetite; for whosoever goes beyond the rule of Reason causes
a pain instead of a pleasure, a loathing or hate instead of a release or
desire; for there is an old saying and a true, Too much of a good thing is
stark nought. In the next place comes in Poetry, wherein is included Music and
Rhetoric, which is Number and Measure, Judgement and Fancy, Imitation and
Invention. It is the finest work that Nature hath made; for it animates the
Spirits to Devotion, it fires the Spirits to Action, it begcts Love, it abates
Hate, it tempers Anger, it asswageth Grief, it eases Pain, increases Joy,
allays Fear, and sweetens the whole life of Man, by playing so well upon the
Brain, as it strikes the strings of the Heart with Delight, which makes the
Heart to dance, and keeps the Mind in tune, whereby the Thoughts move equally
in a round Circle, where Love sits in the midst as Mistress, and judges For if
Wisdom is the way to Happiness, and Happiness lives in Delight, and Delight in
the Spirits, then Poetry is a part of Wisdom, since it is a Commander of that
part and Essence of Man.
The Pastime of Wit.
WIT cheers the Heart, refreshes the Spirits, delights the Mind, entertains
the Thoughts, sweetens Melancholy, dresses Joy, mourns with Sorrow, pleases
Lovers, excuses Falsehoods, mends Faults, begs Pardon. Wit is a fine Companion,
either in private Closets, full Courts, or in long Travels. Wit is neither
troublesome, nor chargeable. Wit hath no bottom, but is like a perpetual
Spring. Wit is the Sun of the Brain.
The dis-esteem Youth hath of Age.
YOuth despises Age, and thinks, that because they are not full of Vanity,
they have not so much Knowledge; Where Age pityeth Youth, remembering, their
present Knowledge was got at the charge of their youthful follies: But Youth
(believing nothing but what their present Humour leads them unto, and their
undigested Brain presents unto them) saith, than an Old Brain is rotten; not
comparing Nestor's Brain, which was old in Years, but sound in Judgement; and
Jeroboam's Juncto, which was young in Years, and weak in Counsel. But one
Nestor's Brain is able to turn all young Brains, and make them so disty, that
they shall not know what to do: For from young Counsel proceeds vain Designs,
fruitless Travels, hard Adventures, and successless Ends; but from the Counsel
of the Aged, Danger is walled out, and Peace is kept within; and when they must
War, they take not Fortune, but Prudence, to be their Guide; And the Errors
that Youth commits, Age is fain to rectify, though sometimes they are past
remedy. So that Youth is a kind of Monster in State-affairs, which hath neither
Head nor Tail; for they begin without Probabilities, and end in Ruins; when Age
begins wisely, and ends successfully. Wherefore it is better to take Aged Men,
balanced with Wisdom, than Young Men with Empty Heads, or else a Head filled
with rash Folly, or light Vanities.
The Virtues of Age.
AGE is careful, watchful, circumspect, solid, and grave, slow, but sure;
knows Business, Time, and Men; Constant, secret, prudent, and temperate; Their
Affections are placed upon Worth and Merit, and love where they should; so that
Age is wise, for it makes Consideration to open the Gate, and Reason to lead
the way. I speak not here of Old Men, for those can only be called old, where
Time hath made a defect in their Memory and Understanding; so that some may
never come to be old, although they live long; for Age hath more power over the
Body, than the Mind: But as a Woman is at the height and ripeness of her Beauty
at the years of 20. so a Man is at the height and ripeness of Understanding
about the years of 50. For by that time he may arrive by experience to the
knowledge of attaining to be a Wise man.
The Defects of Age.
AGE is covetous and griping, superstitious and fearful, mistrustful and
jealous, testy and froward, dull and heavy, lazy and slothful, forgetful, and
tedious in their discourse; neither have they great affection to any thing, or
for any thing.
A Young Man not a Wise Man.
IT is as impossible for a Young Man to be a Wise Man, as for them that cannot
read their A, B, C, to read any Book, or to speak before they have learned, or
to go before they have strength: For how can a Man be Wise without Knowledge;
which Knowledge is got by Experience, and Experience is the Child of Time. For
though there may be many that live long, and know little, yet there are none,
that have lived but a little while, that can know much; which is Youth: For
Youth may know much for Youth, but not enough; for Knowledge consists in the
weight and measure of things; so that a Young Man may have a little flash of
Wit, but not a solid Understanding; and a Young Man may be a Hopeful Man, but
not a knowing wise Man; a Young Man may be a Virtuous Man, but not a Valiant
Man; for it will take up some time to know what true Valour is; and as Time
adds to the stature, and strength of Bodies, so it gives stature, and strength
of Knowledge, sound clearness of Understanding, which without it cannot be.
Youths virtue.
YOuth is bashful, pitiful, charitable, pious, quick and nimble, merry and
lively, cleanly and neat, liberal, loving and kind: But Vanities, which are the
Attendants, and Followers of Youth, in Age either come to be Vices, or else are
turned away like idle Companions as they are.
The Follies of Youth.
YOuth is sudden, rash, desperate in their actions; as, to venture without all
reason, or likelihood; lavish and prodigal; for their Money is too heavy for
their Mind, till it be spent and their Lands trouble their way, till they be
sold; they are deboyst with Women, Gaming, and Wine; they are vain and
fantastical in their Fashions, Garbs, and Clothes; they are various, and
unconstant; for they will love one day to madness, and the next day hate to
abhorridness; they are impatient of delays; for if they may not have what they
would, they will hardly take it when they may; and they are so conceited, and
self-loved, as they believe all love them, and admire them, when few care or
think of them; then they are so credulous, and believe all for truth; and so
open and free, that they cannot keep counsel. So Youth loves all things that
are not his, but cares for nothing that is his own.
What becomes, or not becomes Age.
THere is nothing so ungrateful as to see Age to act the part of Youth, as
Dancing, Singing, playing on Music, and the like; or to wear gay Ribbons,
Feathers, or Clothes; or to see him Amorous and Wanton in Love; or to use any
light Gestures, or Discourses, which in Youth are graces to adorn them, but in
Age they are acts to deform them: But there is none so Aged, that Arms become
not, so long as he can bear them, or wear his Sword; for they are the
Accostments of his Courage, and Valour, the which he should never forsake; for
a Valiant Man lives in Active Courage, and dyes in Passive, when he can Act no
Of Fools.
THE Amorous Fool is one that sighs out Love-verses, sings Songs, and cries at
his Mistrifles Feet; complains of Cupid's Cruelty: but whosoever entertains his
love, he despises; and whosoever despises him, he dyes for, and yet lives.
The Self-conceited Fool is one that scorns to take counsel; and doth not only
think his Fancies the fullest wit, and his Judgement the wisest, and his
Actions the regularest, but that his House, his Horse, his Dog, any thing is
best; not for the Conveniences of his House, or for the beautiful
Architectures, or for the situation; or that his Horse is the strongest, or
soundest, or best natured, or choyccst coloured, or perfectest shaped, or
fullest of spirit, or swiftest of race, or surest of foot; or that his Dog is
the best Hound to hunt withal, or the best Spaniel to couch withal, or the
best Grey hound to run withal, or the best Mastiff to fight withal: So that
it is not for the worth, or benefit which he receives from any thing, that
makes him love, or csteem of it; But he thinks whatsoever is good, pleasant, or
profitable, is created so by being his.
The Humorsome Fool is one that doth nothing for Reason, but out of Will.
The Passionate Fool will be Choleric, Jealous, Malicious, Envious, Sullen,
Merry, and Loves, and Hates, and knows not why.
The Fearful Fool shuns his own shadow, and is Poetical in his vain Fears, in
creating Fancies of Terror, wherein he makes Life a Torment, having always the
pains of Death upon him.
The Impatient Fool is all for the present; for he thinks his Throat cut,
until he be satisfied in his desires; a day to him is as a thousand years; nor
he scarce thinks of Heaven, because he enjoys it not.
The Luxurious Fool thinks of nothing, but to please his Senses; he knows no
Compassion, he neither regards Health, Honour, nor Profit; Ease and Idleness
are his dear Companions, and his Natural Affection is Voluptuousness.
The Slavish Fool will do any act through Fear.
The Learned Fool admires, and is in love with all other Languages besides his
own; for if he were bred with the Greek, or Hebrew, which are counted the most
significant, he would prefer Low Dutch, which hath the least Compass, before
it. He is one that is Proud, in being acquainted with several Authors; although
his Acquaintance oppresses his Memory, smothers his Judgement by the multitude
of Opinions, kills his Health by his study, destroys, his Natural Wit by the
transplantings and ingraftings of what he reads. Then he is so bound up to
Rules, as he gives himself no reasonable Liberty.
The Talkative Fool loves not to hear any body speak but himself, neither will
he let them; for he speaks so fast, as he permits not, nor gives room for any
other to take place; insomuch, as what with his loud, fast, and tedious
discourse, he will make his Hearers deaf.
The Superstitious Fool is an Observer of Times, Postures, Figures, Noises,
Accidents, and Dreams, and many such like. As for Times, they will not begin a
Journey, or marry, or buy Land, or build, or begin any work, but on such Days
as appear to be lucky. For Dreams, if they dream their Teeth fall out of their
head, or of Flowers, or Gardens, or of any thing green, or the like, or to see
their Faces in a Glass, or to fall from a Precipice, or being at Weddings, they
think it Fatal. For Noises, the howling of Dogs, the croaking of Ravens, the
singing of Crickets, the skreeching of Owls. For Accidents, the bleeding three
drops at the Nose, Iron molds, the Right Eye itching, Salt falling to them. For
Postures, or Figures; as a Hare to run cross them, or to stumble at the Door.
Insomuch as they never enjoy any present Recreation, for fear of an evil
The Venturous Fool thinks all desperate Actions honourable Valour; as to go
into the Field for Battle unarmed, or to wear something as a mark for the Enemy
to shoot at, or to give the Enemy any advantage; Where the Honour of the
Valiant is, to beat, and not to be beaten; For he is a Fool that will give his
Enemy ground. And others think it a Valour to leap over Hedges, and Ditches,
and Gates, to jump over dangerous places, to swim, or make their Horses swim
over large, great, and deep Rivers; or to try Experiments upon themselves; and
all to no purpose, but to show what they dare do. Whereas true Valour will do
none of these Actions, unless it be upon strong necessities; as to avoid and
hinder a great danger: but Fools have neither Foresight to prevent, nor
Judgement to choose, nor Patience to suffer; neither will they take any
example, to avoid either Inconvenience, or Danger; they run blindfold into all
Actions, (and as the Proverb saith, They leap before they look) and stumble at
Straws; and either they so trouble themselves with what may come, as they never
enjoy the present, or they consider the future time so little, as they are
destroyed before they are aware. But as Fools make all things worse than they
are, in not giving them the right use: so Wise Men prevent Evils by their
foresight, mend what is bad, shun Danger, and what cannot be avoided, they bear
with Patience.
I have heard say, that the World is as one great Fool, in which, say some, the
Wise, though there be very few, are buried in the Rubbish of Fools, without
Monuments. But that saying is both foolish, and unjust, as to Condemn all,
because there is Folly in the most: But Envy and Malice may bark, yet they
cannot bite; therefore the Wise live in Renown, when Fools shall be scattered
as Dust before the Wind.
The Busy Fool is one that had rather break his head at his Neighbours door,
than keep it whole at home; he strives to decide all petty Quarrels, wherein he
is sure to get the hatred of one side, if not both; he is the Hackney for News,
lading himself at the Post-house, and disburdening himself to all he meets; he
is more concerned with a foreign Ambassador, though he hath no use of him than
the Ambassador is with his Embassages; he never fails Sessions, and Assizes,
nor Executions; he rises early, he eats hastily, walks fast, goes to Bed
late; and his Thoughts beat quicker than a Feverish Pulse; full of vain
Designs; offers his service to all, although he is not able to do any; he
strives to know all things, and takes not time to learn any thing; he makes
himself his greatest Enemy.
The Vain-glorious Fool is one that sets himself to the most public view; and
if he hath any Estate, he spends it in vain Entertainment; he seems to despise
those things he covets most; he reads his Letters in the Streets, as he rides,
or walks, to have the People think he is a Man of great business, although they
be Letters of his own writing; he makes his Horse pranse at a fair Ladies door,
or walks by, and looks up often, as if he had some Interest there, when the
Lady knows him not, or would despise him if she did; When any one visits him,
he calls for his Servant, asking where his people are, complains they are never
at home to wait, when the most he hath is but a Lackey and a Groom. Sometimes
he will pull out his Handkerchief, as for use, and two or three pieces of Gold
shall come forth with it, and scatter on the Ground, as if his Pockets were
full, when he laid those Pieces there of purpose; and when he reads a Letter of
News that he hath borrowed, he will take out as many more as will sill a Bag;
that he may be thought a man of great business. He is like Alchemy, that makes
a great show, but hath little worth.
The Exceptious Fool is one that thinks that all which is said, or was meant,
is against him; he hates whispering or laughing in any besides himself, and is
jealous of all men; he is as a Troubled Water, where no Beast will drink.
The Cautious Fool is always considering, but never resolving.
The Credulous and Incredulous, the one believes against all Reason, the other
will believe no Reason at all.
The Facile Fool can deny nothing; he will promise that he knows not how to
perform; he follows not Good, because it is best; nor shuns Evil, because it
is worst; for he follows as Persuasion leads, not as Reason guides.
The Inconstant Fool is one shuns all things which he knows; he will be a
Friend to death for a day, and the next as great an Enemy; he hath no
settlement, neither for his Soul, Body, nor Estate; he hath more several
Colours than the Camelion, and more Shapes than Proteus; he is as a Labyrinth,
where none can find a sure way.
The Impertinent Fool is always asking such questions as cannot be resolved;
offers his service where there is no occasion, or use of it; requesting those
things that cannot be granted; so as he will neither by denied, resolved, nor
The Prodigal Fool is like a weak Stomach, that whatsoever it receives, it
casts forth; which makes his Purse like his Body, to dye of a Consumption.
The Extravagant is like the Prodigal, only his way is more various.
The Kind, Fond, and Tender-hearted Fool, is one that will promise, or part
with any thing that he hath for the present, but repents himself as soon as he
hath done; he embraces all things, but flings them away before he knows what
he had; his Heart is softened with sudden pity, but is hardened with little time;
so that it is variety of Objects that makes that Passion work.
The Affected Fool is one that speaks always in phrases, and proportions the
distance of Time between his words; his Countenance, and his Discourses, with
several postures of his Face, and his Hand, are like the Vane, or Weather-cock
of a House, which is always in motion; and for its Garb, it is either so
loose, as if there were a solution of his Joints, or else so stiff, as if he
had no Joints at all; he neither eats, drinks, sits, walks, speaks, sleeps, or
any Natural Act, but he doth it in a particular, and Artificial form.
The Fantastical Fool is wedded to strange singularities.
Men ought not to strive for Superiority with Women.
HE is either a Fool, or a Coward, that strives for the preheminency with a
Woman; a Coward, because he domineers over Weakness; a Fool, to dispute with
Ignorance. For Men should use Women as Nurses do Children, strive to please,
and yield to them in all things, but what will do them harm: As not to suffer
them to degrade themselves of their Honours by their Wantonness, or to spend
their Estate by heir Vanity, or destroy their Health by their ill orders; but
strive to delight them, giving them Liberty in all Honourable and Honest
Recreations, in moderate Expenses, and harmless Vanities: But he that strives
with his Wife, to win the Breeches, would have never had the wit to have fought
the Battles of Caesar. For a Gallant Man will never strive for the Breeches
with his Wife, but present her with the whole Suit, as Doublet, Breeches, and
Cloak, and all the Appurtenances thereunto, and leave himself only his Sword
to protect her. It is more honour for a Man to be led Captive by a Woman, than
to contend by resistance; for a Man can receive no dishonour to be taken
Prisoner by the Effeminat Sex; for where a Gallant Man strives to beat off
other Shackles, with Courage to overpower it, yet he willingly yields to the
Effeminat Bands, and takes them as Wreaths of Flowers, rather than Chains of
Slavery. But the pure true Gentry comes from Merit, from whence proceeds all
Noble and Heroic Actions.
Of Women.
SOme it their Praises of Women, say, they never speak but their words are too
many in number for the weight of the sense; besides, the ground of their
Discourse is impertinent, as Enquiries, who dined, and who supped at such a
Table; what Looks, Words, and Actions, past amongst the Company; what Addresses
such a Man made to such a Woman, and what Encouragement they received in their
Courtships; then, who was at Court, who at Church; or slandering, or defaming
one another; or bragging of themselves, what Clothes they have, or will have,
what Coaches, or Lackeys, what Love servants they have, or may have; what Men
are like to dye for Love of them; what Feast they made for such a Company, who
took them out to dance at such a Ball, who ushered them out of Church, and who
they saw there, and not what they heard there; and for their Pastimes, say,
they are seldom at home, unless it be to receive Visits. Neither are they
pleased with the Company of their own Sex; for if there be no Man amongst them,
they are very dull, and as mute as one would wish; unless it be at a
Gossipping, where a Cup of good Liquor runs about: But if a Man be amongst
them, of what Condition soever, but especially a vain Young Man, then their
Pipes are set to the highest note, and with such ridiculous Laughter, as they
seem neither to stand, or sit still; or they are dancing, playing, and toying
with every thing: But in their grave Discourse they set their Countenance, and
twinkle with their Eyes; and contract their Mouth in a round Compass, and speak
their Words finely, and they that are not Handsome, as few Women think but that
they are; Or if they be in Years, they strive to be thought Wits, and all their
Discourse is of Love, justifying Loving Friendships by the Conversation of
Souls. Some of the Graver sort run into State Affairs, and pretend to be
Politics thereof: Others pretend to be learned in Divinity, and talk of
Predestination, and Free-will, and Transubstantiation, and the like; and others
pretend to Devotion, repeating of Scriptures, when, say they, the Thoughts, are
Amorously affected, as those who discourse wildly: Therefore, say they, it is
no marvel if the Men be so prevalent in their Amorous Assaults, since the Women
do so easily yield; nay, say they, they do more than yield, for they invite the
Enemy to betray themselves. But these censuring Persons judge too rigorously,
for the Faults of a few ought not to brand and condemn the whole Sex; for
surely there are numbers of worthy and honourable Women, in not only seeming
Chaste, but being Chaste; and know their Countenance must be modest, their
Behaviour grave, their Discourse rather inclining to Silence than to Talk,
Courteous, but not Familiar; their state must be rather above their Quality than
beneath it, rather Proud than Humble, for too much Humility breeds Contempt.
Besides, there are those that are Patient, Pious, Trusty, Tractable to Virtue,
Thristy, Fashionable, Constant, both Maids and Wives.
Of Bawds.
BAwds do, like the Indians, that pick out the fairest and best shaped of their
Prisoners that they take in the Wars, feeding them fat like Beasts, to offer to
their Gods as Sacrifice; So Bawds choose the youngest and fairest Women, and
cherish them with the choicest and best kind of Diet, to fatten them, that they
may be in good plight; and likewise garnishing them forth with rich Clothes,
like sacrificing Garlands, that they may be more acceptable to their Gods,
which are Whoremasters, that their Reward may be more; And many times they are
brought to the slaughter of Honour, and Honesty, with Music, and Minstrels, as
the others are to the Altars; and the Fire of Lust destroys the one, as the
Vestal Fire doth the other: so that Bawds are the Priests that sacrifice
Chastity, Honesty, and Honour; and they preach Flattery, to persuade and delude
their Flock; the Text is Variety, and the Application Pleasure; their God is
Cupid, and their Goddess Venus, to whom they direct their Prayers; the Pope, or
Head of their Church, is Mammon, the God of Money.
Of the Dissembling of Women.
ALL Women are a kind of Mountebanks; for they would make the World believe
they are better than they are; and they do all they can to draw Company; and
their Allurements is their Dressing, Singing, Dancing, Painting, and the like;
and when Men are caught, they laugh to see what Fools they were, to be taken
with such Toys: for Women's ends are only to make Men profess, and protest,
lye and forswear themselves in the admiration of them; for a Woman's only
delight is to be flattered of Men; for they care not whether they love truly,
or speak falsely, so they profess earnestly.
Of Chastity.
THose Women that are Covetous of Gain, or Ambitious of Titles of Honour, or
Amorous of Nature, or have been bred by ill Examples, are easily persuaded to
loose and unchaste Actions; But those Women that consider the Worth and Honour
that Chastity brings to themselves, and their Families, are never corrupted;
for they account it more Honour to dye a Martyr to Chastity, than to be Empress
of the whole World by Wantonness: But Nature gives a Chaste Mind, and a Virtuous
Education, an Honest Life; But Women that are Incontinent are the most foulest
and falsest Creatures of all Natures Works; But those that are Continent, are
like what we imagine the nature of Angels to be, that is, Incorruptible.
The Liberty of Women.
IN some Nations, Women have much more Liberty than in others; As for example,
France, England, the seventeen Provinces, Germany, and others, have more
Freedom than Turkey, Italy, Spain; not that those Nations are less sensible of
the honour of Constancy in that Sex than the others, but that they are more
confident of their Virtue and Chastity; Or else, wisely considering, Restraint
is but a Whetstone to Appetite; For most Travellers confirm, that those
Countries that have most Restraint, have least Chastity. The Lacedaemonians may
be an Example, who gave leave by their Laws, that any Man of their Nation might
enjoy any Woman he fancied; and not only so, but the Young Women and Men
danced uncloathed in public Theaters; yet so Modest and Chaste they were, that
for many hundred years there was hardly known an Adultery committed. So that it
is neither the freedom of Choice, or Fashion, or Bodies, that infect one
another, but the Mind, which is disorderly educated: For Nature would be Chaste,
if Education were Honest, which is, to instruct Youth with Noble Principles,
and Profitable Rules, and to let them know how beneficial and necessary Justice
and Propriety is to the orderly Life of Man; and so to breed them with Sense
and Reason, Knowledge and Understanding, or else Liberty is dangerous,
especially amongst the Effeminat Sex, if they be not balanced with wise
Admonitions, to make them swim steady and even through the World, that the
over-large Sails of Ambition may not overturn them, nor the Whirlwind of Evil
Persuasions may not swallow them, nor to be lost in the dark Nights of
Ignorance: but let the bright Star of Knowledge light them, and the Needle of
Understanding direct them. But the greatest Storms that shipwreck honest
Education, is Civil Wars; for Civil Wars corrupt good Manners, especially Women
that are Self admirers, which makes them believe their own Praises, and yield
to Flattery, the Murderer of Chastity; for Insinuating Deceit is most
powerful in Civil Diffention, both in Private Families, and Public
Of Courtships.
IT is a sign a Lover grows weary of his Mistress, when he begins to give her
good and virtuous Counsel; as if a Man, that hath had enough of his Mistress,
should persuade her to go into a Nunnery; and to go into a Nunnery, when a
Woman is Old, is like those that go into an Hospital, when they are ready to
fall in pieces with the Pox; for to be Old is the Pox of Time, as the other is
the Pox of the Bones, for they are both full of Pain, and decay of Nature; for
Time and Disorder works the same effects; for as Time wears out the Body, so
Disorder tears out the Body.
Of Adulteries.
IN Marriage it is far worse, and more Inconveniences come by the disobedience
of the Wife, and her Adulteries, than the Husband. For first, she dishonours
her self, insomuch as her Company is an Aspersion to all honest Women that
frequent therein, which makes the Chaste to shun her Society. Next, she is a
dishonour to the Family from whence she sprung, and makes the World suspect the
Chastity of her Mother; for there is an old saying, Cat will after kind: thus
we see that the World is apt to judge from the Original. The third dishonour is
to their Children; for were they never so Beautiful, and Virtuous, yet
Families of Honour refuse to match with them, unless they bring great advantage
by their Wealth; and then none will receive them into their Stock, but those
whom Poverty hath eaten up; for the disgrace is like the Leprosy, never to be
cured; and it infects the whole Posterity, and it gives Spots to the Family it
is joined with. The fourth and last dishonour is to the Husband; for let a
Husband of a dishonest Wife be never so worthy a Man, yet her Follies shall
lessen the Esteem of his Merits to the generality of the World; Although he
have a great Valour, a flowing Generosity, a sound Judgement, a fine Wit, and
an honest Mind; well bred, Beautiful, Rich, Honourable, yet the vulgar part of
the World will point at him, as a Fool, a Coward; and all they can think to be
bad in a Man; nay those excellent Virtues of Nature and Education, shall be
dimmed, and lose their Gloss even to the Wife, although it be unjust to
mis-prize one for the fault of the other: Yet such is the nature of the World,
as they will censure by what they can mistrust, as well as that they can
assuredly know, and think that some Defects undivulged lye hid, which makes her
prefer another in her Affections before him; and any thing that is despised,
seems poor and inferior at the first blush, unless they meet with them that
value things as they are, and not as they seem, which few do; for the most part
of the World regard more the outside than the inside, and are carried away more
by the show than the substance; which makes so many mistake, that they despise
what they should admire, and love what they should hate, and hate what they
should love. This is the reason that Gallant, Worthy, and Wise Men are
dishonoured by their dishonest Wives. Besides the Dishonour, the
Inconveniences are many; First, it abolisheth all lawful and right
Inheritance; for the Child that is born in Wedlock, although begot by another
Man, shall inherit the Husbands Estate, although it be known to be another
Mans, by our Laws. Next, for the abuses of Industry; as for the profit and pain
of his Labour to go to a Stranger. Thirdly, for the weakening of Natural
Affection; for a Man that mistrusts that all are not his own, makes him not
love any, because he cannot guess which are his; rather, he hates all, for
fear he should love him that brings him Dishonour, and Discontent; or at least
set the Parents upon the Wrack, with Fear and Grief, as afraid to mistake their
own, and grieve that their own may have too little Affection from them. Thence
it takes away the tenderness of Affection from the Parents, and neglects and
rigour to their Children; it makes disobedience from Children to their Parents,
for the disgrace and wrong they receive; so that Suspicion is become the Master
of the House, and Shame the Mistress, Unthankfulness the Steward, and nothing is
entertained but Discontents.
Adulteries of Men.
THE like Dishonour and Inconvenience comes not by Adultery of the Husband, as
the Wife; for the Children receive no dishonour by the Fathers Liberty, nor the
Wife very much; for the worst that can be thought, is, that she is not so
pleasing to her Husband, either in her Person, or in her Humour. Nay, it begets
rather a greater Luster to her Merits, and sets off her Virtues more to her
Advantage; as, to show her Fortitude in Patience, her Constancy in Chastity,
her Love in her Obedience; which the World taking notice of, pities her hard
Fortune in an unkind Husband; and Pity proceeds rather from Love than Scorn,
and gives the Dishonour to the Husband for his Inconstancies, and not a
Disgrace to the Wife in being forsaken; if she have an approved Virtue, knowing
it is Facility in being subject to change, not her want of Merit, but the
Inconveniences that come thereon; it is ruin to a Mans Estate, for Concubines
are chargeable, for Women are won oftner by Gifts, than for pure Affection: For
though Affection sues often, it speeds but seldom, when Gifts commonly
prevail; and besides, Charges is multiplied by their increase, the next is apt
to corrupt Noble Natures, by the practice of Dissembling, and Flattery of the
Enamoured, to grow False and Deceitful to all other, for Custom is a Second
Nature: Then this Amorous Love hinders all Business, and Affairs of the World;
so that it is not only wasting his present Estate, but makes him incapable of
raising another; for although all Lovers are most Ingenious and Industrious to
obtain their Beloved, yet to all other things of the World they are as dead.
Next, as he is unprofitable for himself, so he is not profitable for the
Commonwealth; for he that hath his Mind full of Women, can have no room for any
thing else; besides, his Heart is in his Mistresses Breast: This kind of Love
effeminates and degrades a Man of his Valour to all, but for his Mistresses
Love, witness Mark Anthony. I mean not all those that are affected to Women;
for Moderate Love gives an Edge to Valour: but those that are swallowed up, and
become wholly Lovers to be precise in Cupid's Temple, and are always praying
to their Mistress their Deity: but their Goddess doth not always hear their
Prayers, which makes them go home to their Melancholy Wives.
Of Jealousy.
Jealousy in the Married Estate, is the Curse of Mankind, it makes a
Confusion; and where there is Jealousy, there can be no Union: but it is not
only the Inconstant Life that makes Jealousies, but the Indiscretion betwixt a
Married Pair; for Indiscretion will raise up such Jealousies, although the
Husband and Wife be very honest, and true to the Wedlock Bed, as many times
causes a Divorce, or at least such a Disquietness, as to make Home unpleasant:
But where the Marriage is so fortunate, as their Humours agree, it is the
happiest and the sweetest Life; they lessen one another Grief, and increase
one another Joy; the very Noise of their Children is Music to their Ears;
Industry and Labour is a Recreation; to increase their Store is their
Happiness; their House is their Heaven, and in Society are as Gods, to live in
Husbands are Nurses.
ALL Married Men are but Nurses; for all Nurses tend Children, in taking care
they should not fall and hurt themselves, and to feed and cloth them, and to
teach them to go, and to guard them from harm: So Husbands provide for their
Wives maintenance by their Industry, guard them and protect them by their
Valour, instruct and teach them by their Wisdom, lest they should fall into
Indiscretions: But Marriage most commonly knocks all quick Spirits on the Head,
and buries all Wit and Mirth, giving Life only to Care and Trouble.
To Cry on ones Wedding Day.
CRying on ones Wedding Day is like a King that begins his Reign in Blood; and
although he may prove full of Clemency, yet it is a sign he will be a Tyrant
all his Reign after: So Women may be happy after Bridal Tears, yet it
prognosticates but a Cloudy Life.
Of Marriage.
THE Cause why there be so many Unhappy Marriages, is in the unequal Matches;
and the fault is in the Parents not breeding their Children according to their
Quality, or Estates; for some, their Breeding is too high for their Estates,
and others too low for their Estates, and Qualities, and Degrees; For some,
though they have great Estates, yet will bring up their Children in Dirt and
Rags, and Keep them short of Means, and so much under their Power, as when they
come to be Masters of an Estate, and Family, and not knowing before the use of
Goods and Liberty, they become Prodigal Spendthrifts, and Inconstant Husbands,
in not being acquainted enough with the Vanities of the World, to despise them
for the World; and Vanities, the more they be known, the less they are admired,
loved, or regarded. Others again, that are of a high Degree, and having low
Fortunes, think to humble their Children by their breeding, to make their Minds
agree with their Fortunes, and leave them to the Conversation of mean and
mechanic People, as Servants, and the like; whereby they can learn nothing
that is Noble, and Honourable, but Sharking, Swearing, Drinking, Lying, rude in
their Behaviour, russ in their Conversation, mean in their Practices; when most
commonly the Son marries the Chamber-maid, and the Daughter the Serving man,
not knowing the difference of better Company: but finding their Error
afterwards, it most commonly makes them Unhappy all the rest of their Lives,
and repining at the Advantages that they thought hey had lost, and might have
had; for Time brings Consideration, and Consideration many times Repentance, to
think with themselves how they might have advanced their Estates by their
Marriages, and what Inequality there is in their Births, making them despise
their Choice; so as they run into two extremes; the First, in being over-fond,
in marrying so soon, and unequally, and after, having so much, as they regard
nothing, or please themselves with any thing that is at home, so as they seek
what is to be found abroad to divert their Discontentments, and so become
Wanderers, thinking thereby to shun or cast off their former Follies; which the
more they look back on, the ostner they repent of. Others again, through
Carelessness, make their Children fall into the same Errors, not instructing
them with Noble and Honourable Principles, but suffering them to run about into
every Dirty Office, where the young Master must learn to drink and play at
Cards with the Kitchin-Boy, and learn to kiss his Mothers Dirty Maid for a Mess
of Cream. The Daughters are danced upon the Knec of every Clown and Serving
Man, and hear them talk scurrilous to their Maids, which is their Complement of
Wooing; and then dancing SellingersRound with them in Christmas time, and many
other such things, which makes them become like unto like; and their Parents
think no harm in it, because they are young: And some say by ill example; For
when Children see their Parents to do not well, and disagree, they think it
Warrant enough for them to do the same. And others breed their Children at that
high rate, that it ruins their Estates, or at least hinders the increase so, as
by their Decay', or not raising their Estate, they cannot match them so high as
their Breeding requires; which makes them to leave them with Low Fortunes, and
High Minds, which can never agree. Neither will they own any thing that is not
above them, but despise even that which is equal to them in every thing, unless
their Breeding be not so, Or where there is a despising or scorning between Man
and Wife, there will be always a Neglect, and a Disagreement: yet of the two,
there comes less Inconveniency in the High Breeding than in the Low and Mean;
for the first, though it breeds Pride, yet it shuts out Baseness, and begets
Noble Thoughts, and Honourable Qualities; and the other begets mean Thoughts,
base Qualities, and disordered and foolish Passions and Affections: and
whatsoever is rooted in the young and tender years, is seldom stubbed up with
Age; but if it be, it is with great Difficulty and Labour. So that Children,
according to their Estates, Conditions, and Degrees, must be bred with Plenty
without Prodigality; with Respect, not with a Neglect, nor too much Observance;
their Discourse to them Wise and Solid, not Idle and Foolish; their Recreations
Seasonable and Suitable, not Extravagant and Wild; they must rather Animate
their Spirits than Deject them, and not to fill them with too much Art, for
fear of spoiling their Natural Parts.
Of Marriage.
MEN have three several Strings to tie the Knot of Marriage; first, Conscience,
or Religion; next, Nature; the third, Gratitude.
First, There is no Religion in the World that makes not Marriage Sacred; and
in Christian Religion they are a Consecrated Pair, wherein they are commanded
to leave all others, and live together, and love each other; and for Nature,
there is no such relation betwixt any of her Works, as to make a perfect
Friendship, as between Man and Wife; all other Friendships are as it were
Forced, or Artificial, and not Natural; for Man and Wife are like one Root, or
Body, that whatsoever touches the one, is truly sensible to the other; nay, so
as it is the same Joy and Grief. Then for Gratitude, the Man ought to love his
Wife, not because she is as his Servant, in being Overseer in the Household
affairs, or in nursing up his Children, and the Care and Fear of them, or in
being sick or ill in the breeding of them: but the Horrid Pain in bringing them
forth into the World, and the Danger they pass through, which is more hazardous
to every particular Woman, than to every particular Man in Battle. Then for the
Weal public, which is as the great Wheel in a Clock, so every private Family
is as the little Wheel for the Wealpublick; if a Man and his Wife disagree,
which is want of Affection, then their Children, when they are grown up, begin
to grow Factious, some siding with the Mother against the Father, and others
with the Father against the Mother; which Custom will make them grow Factious
in the Weal-publick, as well as in the Weal-private.
Of Marriages.
THose Marriages are commonly more happy, which are made out of Interest, than
those that marry for Fancy; for Interest is like Brass which is engraven, and
Fancy is like printed Wax; the first never alters except it be broke by ill
fortune, when the other is destroyed with a warm breath. But those that marry
below their Quality, give Respect and Reputation to those they marry, but take
it from themselves.
Of Married Wives.
A Woman ought to please her Husband to the uttermost of her power, as to
humour all his honest Delights, not only in Actions beseeming her Sex, but
those are forbidden Women by the Laws of Modesty, and ought to be strictly kept
at all times of their lives, but when they serve to maintain their Husbands
Affection, and keeping their Husbands Affection from running to others
unlawfully, from whence proceeds not only a Disturbance in their Families, and
a Ruin of their Estates, bat a Disturbance and Ruin to many Families by
Adulteries, which Adulteries cause Jealousies, Jealousies make Malice, Malice
Revenge, Revenge Murder; so to avoid these, a Woman may Game, Fence, Ride,
Vaut, Run, Wrestle, Leap, Swim, or any the like Actions, which are only
accounted Actions fit for Men, if their Husbands should take Delight in them,
to have them Companions in all their Exercises, and Pastimes. But it is Time
and Occasion that makes most things Good or Bad: For example, it were a horrid
thing, and against Nature, and all Civil Laws, for Children and Parents,
Brethren and Neighbours, and Acquaintance, to kill one another, although their
Offences to each other were very heinous; but when the King of chief Magistrate
in a Commonwealth commands it, as they do to those that are of their side in a
Civil War, then it is not only Warrantable, but it is accounted Sacred and
Divine; because nothing pleases Divinity more than obedience to Magistrates,
and Nature loves Peace, although she hath made all things to War upon one
another; so that Custom and the Law make the same thing Civil or Pious, Just
or Unjust.
Of a second Wife.
IT is to be observed, that when a second Wife comes into a Family, all the
former Children, or old Servants, are apt to be Factious, and do foment
Suspicions against her, making ill Constructions of all her Actions; were they
never so well, and innocently meant, yet they shall be ill taken, and all that
they hinder her of, although it do them no good, but what is gotten from her,
they think themselves enriched, not so much by what they get, but by what she
loses, or hath not.
Civility from Men due to Women.
COmplements from Men to Women are as a Tribute due to Womankind; for Women,
fearing they should not be so Nobel Creatures as Men, are apt to be out of
Countenance, as mistrusting some Imperfectness in themselves; wherefore Men of
Noble Natures are willing to help the Weak, and therefore ought to give our Sex
Confidence by their Praises, and therefore should be civil to Women, in having
as tender a Regard to them as to Children; for though Women be not so Innocent,
yet they are as Powerless; and it is the part of a Noble Heroic Nature to
strive to oblige the Weak; and it is better to be used with Cruelty than Scorn,
or a rude Kindness.
The Ridiculous Malice amongst Mankind.
SO Ridiculously Foolish, or so Maliciously Envious is Mankind, as one would
think Nature was either Defective, or else full of Malignity, when she made
him. As for example, If a Man love his Wife with a clear and constant
Affection, rejecting the Amorous Allurements of other Women for her sake,
finding all in his Wife that he can wish, or at least desires no more than what
he enjoys, and is best pleased to live a life of quiet at home, ruling his
Family with Love and Obedience, thinking it more wise to enjoy the World thus,
than to trouble himself with those Affairs of the World which neither bring him
Ease, Peace, nor Profit; but if he must act several parts upon the Stage of the
World, to which he is forced either by Honour or Necessity, not by Choice, this
Man shall be thought either an Uxorious Man, or a Fool, or a Madman, either to
give himself over to various and voluptuous Delights, or to deliver up not
only his Person and Estate, but his Reason and Liberty, to the humours and
will of his Wife; As if a Man when he gives his Child a Hobbyhorse, because he
lets his Child do so and so in many like Causes, and if the Child desire to go
abroad, the Father desires to please his Child, when it hinders not more potent
Affairs; thus if he doth not cross his Child in every thing, but is well
content to please and humour him in harmless things, he is thought too fond and
indulgent a Father to his Child: just so is a Husband condemned if he humours
and pleases his Wife in letting her have her will in honest, and not in
dishonourable Recreations. But what Gallant Man will not favour the Female Sex?
nay, what Gallant Man will not condescend to all their Desires, and seek and
invent ways to please them, so far as Honour will give them leave? And shall a
Man despise, and cross, and neglect his Wife because she is his own, lawfully
joined and united? Shall it be more Dishonour for a Man to love his Wife, than
another Mans Wife? Shall a Man be accounted a Fool because he is honest to
Wedlock? because he is kind to his own Wife? Was Augustus Caesar less Wife
because he loved? or Pompey less Valiant because he loved? Salomon may be said
to be less Pious towards God through the great Love he bore to Pharoah's
Daughter, which was his first, and dearly beloved Wife, yet he was not less
Wise in respect of the World. But Men seek for that abroad, whereof they have
better at home, and the unsatiable Desire of Mankind makes them search for what
is never to be found: But where Nature gives a Satisfactory Mind, she gives a
Happy Life; and what can we imagine the Joys of Heaven, but a stint to our
wandering Desires; therefore those that are most fixed, are nearer Heaven; and he
is the Wisest, that is nearest to Unity; and those that are most united, are
likest to a God.
But where Discord happens, Hell is resemb'ed, and harsh, haughty, and not
insulting Natures, are composed like Devils; and Caesar showed himself a Fool
in nothing but in quitting his Guard, and not harkening to his Wife, which was
to show his Courage, and to let the World see he durst go unarmed, singly alone
as it were, and his freedom from the chains of fond Affection; thus quitting
Prudence and Love, he dyed too violent a Death. And Seianus quitting the
Affection towards his Wife, and placing it upon Julian, raised such a Jealousy
in Tyberius, as it cost him his Life, otherwise he might have ruled the Empire,
and so the most part of the World. Thus Anthony's leaving his Wife for the love
of Cleopatra, lost him the third part of the World. Neither are the Counsels of
a Wife always to be despised, if all were honest, nor to be locked from the
private Affairs of her Husband; Portia was able to keep a Secret, and was of
Brutus her Husbands Confedenacy, though not Actually, yet Concealing; And if
Caesar had condescended to his Wives Persuasion, he had not gone to the Senate
that day; and who knows but the next might have discovered the Conspiracy? and
numberless of the like Examples might be given. Besides, it is to be observed,
where the Husband and Wife disagree, their Family is in disorder, their Estates
go to decay, Jealousies arise, which cause Discords, from whence proceeds a
discontented and unhappy Life; And where the Husband and Wife are united in
Minds, as well as in Body. all prospers; and most commonly Ease and Plenty
crown that Family, Industry is their Recreation, Peace is their Joy, Love is
their Happiness: for a kind Husband makes an obedient Wife, dutiful Children,
faithful Servants; for a Wise Man rules his Family with gentle, kind, and
seasonable Persuasions, with honest and sincere Actions, with grateful and
just Rewards; and Kindness, and Constant Natures, work hard and obeisant
Natures to be more pliant and facile; for Kindness melts hardest Hearts, and
makes them flexible to form them as they please; where Cruelty or Severity
hardens them so much, as they will rather break than bend. And if the Rational
part of the World would but consider what Felicity there is in peaceful
Prosperity, they would never wander so much out of the way.
Of Men and Women.
SOme say a Man is a Nobler Creature than a Woman, because our Saviour took
upon him the Body of Man; and another, that Man was made first: But these two
Reasons are weak; for the Holy Spirit took upon him the shape of a Dove, which
Creature is of less esteem than Mankind; and for the Preheminency in Creation,
the Devil was made before Man.
Nature in the Composure of Men and Women.
IT is not so great a Fault in Nature for a Woman to be Masculine, as for a Man
to be Effeminat: for it is a Defect in Nature to decline, as to see Men like
Women; but to see a Masculine Woman, is but only as if Nature had mistook, and
had placed a Mans Spirit in a Woman's Body; but Nature hath both her Mistakes
and Weaknesses; but when she works perfectly, she gives Man a gentle and sweet
Disposition, a generous Mind, a valiant Heart, a wife Head, a voluble Tongue, a
healthful Body, and strong and active Limbs: To Woman she gives a chaste Mind,
a sober Disposition, a silent Tongue, a fair and modest Face, a neat Shape, and
a graceful Motion.
The Nature of Man.
MAN is more apt to take Dislikes at all things, than to delight in any thing;
but Nature hath given us no Pleasure, but what ends in Pain; for the end of
Pleasure is Grief: for Cruel Nature curbs us in with Fear, and yet spurs us on
with Desires; for she hath made Mans mind to hunt more after Varieties by
Desire, than she hath made Varieties to satisfy the Desires.
Of Painting.
THere be some that condemn the Art of Painting in Women, others that defend
it; for, say they, as Nature hath made one World, so Art another, and that Art
is become the Mistress of Nature; neither is it against Nature to help the
Defects. Besides, those that find out new Arts, are esteemed so, that they
become as Petty Gods, whether they become Advantageous to Man, or no; as the
Memory of those that found out the Art of Gunpowder, Guns, Swords, and all
Engines of War for Mischief; and shall they be more praised and commended than
those that find out Arts and Adornments; as Painting, Curling, and other
Dressings; for the one destroys Mankind, this increases it; the one brings
Love, the other begets Hate. But some will say, those Arts defend their Lives;
but where they once use them to defend their Lives, they use them ten times to
destroy Life; and though it is no Fault in the Inventer, but in the User, no
more is Painting, when it is used for a good intent, as to keep or increase
lawful Affection. But, say they, it is a dissembling to make that appear
otherwise than it is. 'Tisanswer'd, No more than to keep warm in Winter; for
Cold is Natural, so is the sense of it in Winter; but Clothes to keep it out
are Artificial; and the true use of the Art of Painting is to keep warm a
Lawful Affection. Besides, If we must use no more than what Nature hath given
us, we must go naked; and those that have a bald Head, must not wear a Peruick,
or Cap to cover it; and those that are born with one Leg shorter than the
other, must not wear a high Shoe to make them even, nor indeed wear any Shoes
at all, especially with Heels, because they make them seem higher, but go with
the Feet bare; and those that are Crooked, must wear no Bombast; and many such
Examples may be brought. But, say some, it is a Bawd to entice, in begetting
evil Desires. It is answered, No more a Bawd than Nature is in making a
handsome Creature; but if they must do nothing for fear of Enticing, then
Mankind must neither cut their Hair, nor pare their Nails, nor shave their
Beards, nor wash their selves, which would be very slovenly, for fear they
should appear so handsome, as they may persuade and entice the Lookers on to
evil Desires; which if so, let them be like Swine, and wallow in Mire; but it
is to be feared, that the Mire will be too hard for the evil Desires; so as
there may be more brought in defence of Painting, than can be said against it.
Wherefore, say they, it is lawful both in Maids and Wives; the one, to get a
good Husband; the other, to keep her Husband from coveting his Neighbours Wife;
for it is an Honour for Maids to get good Husbands, because it is a kind of
Reproach to live unmarried, for Marriage is Honourable, and gives a Respect to
Women, unless they be incloistered, which all Constitutions will not agree
withal; and an honest Wives care is to please her Husband, if she can, when
she hath him; for Marriage is the end of an honest Mind to all but Widows, for
they, when they marry again, do as it were Cuckold their dead Husband, and
their living. Besides, if they have Children, they make a Distraction and
Division in their Families, and most commonly to the ruin of the first
Husbands Estate, having so great a share, and so much power, according to our
Laws; And though they should not marther themselves, as the Custom hath been
in other Countries, but contrary rather, to preserve their Health, and to dry
their Eyes after a while of those Obsequies of Tears, which are Sacrifices to
the Dead, yet to live a retired Life, to show their unalterable Affections; for
though it be fit for a Widow to put off her violent Passion of Sorrow as well
as she can, yet there is no Humour becomes that Condition better than Sadness;
for Sadness, which is a moderate Grief, looks full of Fortitude, and is Humble,
Modest, Graceful, and so far from dis composing any part, as it gives a
settled, and majestic Face: So Painting is most disallowable in Widows, for
they should take the example of Judith, where it is said, when she went to
Holofernes, she anointed her self as she did usually in her Husband Manassas
time, which it seems she used not after he was dead, before this time; for as
they have none to Displease, so ought they not to Allure. But some will say,
that their Poverty is such, as they know not how to live, and they may be
presented to such a Fortune, as may make them live happy, and free from the
Misery that Poverty compels them to. It is answered, that Nature is satisfied
with a little, if their Ambition be not great: but if not they must make use of
the old Proverb, which is, that Necessity hath no Law, in case they present not
their Necessity to be greater than it is. But to return to Beauty, it is
pleasing, either Natural or Artificial, and both to be admired; for if Art be
Commendable, why not in the Face, as well as in the Feet in dancing Measures,
or as in the Hand upon Music Instruments, or in the Voice, or in the Art of
Oratory, and Poetry, which will sooner increase Desires: yet this is allowed of
in all places and times, not only in Temporal Society, but in Spiritual
Unions, where David, the Beloved of God, was a great Master in the Knowledge
and Practice of them. And if these Arts be Commendable, and are Graces to all
parts of the Body, shall it be condemned only for Colour in the Face? And as
Beauty is the Adornment of Nature, so is Art the Adornment of Beauty; and this
saith the Defendant against the Plaintiff. But all Opinions have, or most of
them, Sides, and Factions; but my Opinion is so far with the Defendant, as I
believe all Adotnments of Beauty are lawful for Women, if the Intention be
good. Yet I am utterly against the Art of Painting, out of three respects; The
first is Dangerous, for most Paintings are mixed with Mercury, wherein is much
Quicksilver, which is of so subtle a malignant nature, as it will fall from the
Head to the Lungs, and cause Consumptions, and is the Cause of swelling about
the Neck and Throat. The next is, that it is so far from Adorning, as it
Dis-figures: for it will rot the Teeth, dim the Eyes, and take away both the
Life and Youth of a Face, which is the grea'est Beauty. Thirdly and lastly, the
Sluttishness of it, and especially in the Preparatives, as Masks of
Sear-Clothes, which are not only horrid to look upon, in that they seem as
Dead Bodies disembowelled or embalmed, but the Stink is Offensive. Then the
Pomatum and Pultis, which are very uneasy to lye in, wet and greasy, and very
unsavoury; for all the while they have it on, it presents to their Nose a
Chandlers Shop, or a greasy Dripping-pan, so as all the time they fry as it
were in Grease; neither will their Perfumes mend it, and their Oils: And though
I cannot say they live in Purgatory, because they shun all hot places, for they
cannot have the comfortable heat of the Fire, and shun the Natural heat of the
Sun, as they must live always, as if they were at the North Pole, for fear the
Heat should melt away their Oil, and Oily Drops can be no grace to their Face,
Dry Painting shrivels up the Skin so, as it imprints Age in their Face, in
filling it full of Wrinkles; wherefore Paintings are both Dangerous,
Ill-favoured, and Sluttish, besides the troublesome pains. But for other
Adornments in Women, they are to be commended, as Curling, Powdering, Powncing.
Clothing, and all the Varieties of Accoutrement, in that they have none of the
said former Qualities, but give a graceful advantage to the Person. Besides,
Dressing is the Poetry of Women, in showing the Fancies, and is the cause of
employing the greater part of a Commonwealth; for in four parts, three of them
are in the Arts of Adornments; for it is not only, Tailers, Imbroyderers,
Perfumers, Milliners, Feathermakers, Jewellers, Mercers, Silkmen, Semsters,
Shoemakers, Tiremen, and many, many more, but every one of these Trades have
many Trades belong to them; as for example, How many Trades belong from the
Silk-worm to the Ladies Gown? and from the Golden Mine to the Lace that is laid
upon it? and so in order to all other things, which is the cause of keeping a
Commonwealth in Union, in busying and employing their Minds, which keeps them
from Factious Thoughts, and Designs. Besides, it distributes and spreads the
Maintenance of the Kingdom; for without particular Commerce, and Trasick, a
Commonwealth cannot stand, and subsist: for though many a Commonwealth may
subsist without the help of their Neighbours, yet it cannot live without their
own Employment and Dividement among themselves: for as some share in Lands, so
others in Offices, and the rest in Trades, wherein all trasick, from the one to
the other; so that every Man lives by his Neighbour, and not altogether upon
Of Paleness, and Blushing.
WHen a sudden Paleness seizes the Face, it shows a Guiltiness, or some great
Fear; but a Blush will come into the Face many times, when there is no occasion
to raise it; for it oftner proceeds from the Constitution of the Body, than
from a Guiltiness of the Mind; for when the Blood is thin, and the Spirits are
hot, they are apt to run up to the Face without the Minds consent or knowledge;
but when Blushing is raised by the Mind, it is commonly from a Noble Suspicion,
that is the Mind, which would not have an evil Construction, where it deserves
nought but a good Opinion. But it is better to be Bashful to Particulars, and
Confident to the World, than Confident to Particulars, and Bashful to the
World; for it is a sign they are afraid to hear of themselves, though not to
show their Persons, which seems as if their Actions should bring a Scandal to
their Reputation; yet a Bashfulness doth so obstruct the sense, as they cannot
deliver any thing perfect to their Understandings, but seem like Changelings,
or Fools, although they have great Wits.
Of Boldness and Bashfulness
THE most of Mankind are either too bold or too bashful; either so bold that
they seem rude, or so bashful that they seem simple: As for Boldness, it is
worse in respect to others, but better in respect to themselves; And
Bashfullness is better in respect to others, but worse in respect to
themselves; for Bashfullness is allwaies humble and civil to others, but
fearful and timorous as to it self; insomuch as those that have this Virtue
Vice (as I may call it) have neither freedom nor liberty to express themselves
after their natural accustomed manner, much less in ways of advantage; for
they neither speak Sense, nor their words plain, but speak quite from the
purpose, stuttering and stammering; or else the Tongue is so tied, that they
become like those that are dumb; neither can they behave themselves well, and
are so far from a graceful Garb, that they behave themselves like Changelings
or Innocents, putting their Faces into a hundred several Countenances, and their
Bodies into as many several Postures; nay Bashfullness hath such a forcible
power over the Body Mind, as it draws distorts the Limbs and Motions of the one,
as the Disease of Convulsions doth; and distempers and distracts the other, as
the Disease of Madness, in not knowing what they do; it unthrones the
Understanding, and blindfolds Judgement; and this Bashfulness proceeds from too
great an apprehension of Misdeameanours; but this Bashfullness is a Tyrant, for
it tortures the Mind upon the Rack of Imagination, and whips the Body with the
pains of Restraint, giving no freedom to the Thoughts, Words, or Actions; it
imprisons Wit, and inslaves noble Endeavours; it obscures Virtue, and dims
Beauty, it lames Behaviour, it takes away the Majesty of State, and the State
of Majesty; it is affronted by the bold rude, or the mdely bold; it loses
respects from the half-witted men, and only gets pity from the Wise; But those
that are bashful are not only Judicious and Ingenious, as Witty and Wise, but
most commonly have sweet and kind Natures, noble and generous Dispositions,
valiant and courageous Spirits, honest and temperate Lives; but the pleasure of
their life is disturbed with their imaginations, and conception of the Opinions
of the World; fearing their Censures, and I mean the World of Acquaintance.
doubting their Applause. This Bashfullness proceeds from a noble Ambition, or
a pious Intention, either to get Fame, or an example to Humility; but
Bashfulness looks as thorough a Perspectiveglass, searching into obscurities; when
Boldness is blindfold, either with a Muster of I gnorance, or Vain-Glory; it
either wants Breeding or Wit: For a poor simple Peasant, many times, hath more
Confidence than a noble Lord; a rude Clown than a wellbred Gentleman; a
Market-woman than a great Lady; because they neither examine, know, nor fear the
Errors they may fall into: Again, others are so vain-glorious as to think they
cannot commit faults; but this Courtly Vice, or Vice that is Courted, carries
it self with haughty behaviour, and a proud demeanour, outfaces Truth, yet
shrinks at Dangers; speaks loud, but acts little; threatens much, but dares not
fight: They can receive no affronts, because they will take none; for
whatsoever is offered as an Affront, they take as a Jest, or Rallerly, or out of
an Insensibility, take all well as being meant well, or out of a Vain-glory
think none dares offer it. But howsoever their behaviovr is to others, or
others to them, they are at liberty, and free in themselves, not bound with the
Chains of Bashfullness, nor manacled with the Irons of self mistrust; they have
no repinings for what they have thought they have done amiss; nor blushing
Cheeks, raised by surpitious doubts; nor tender eyed, that dare not look on an
evil Object, or objects that they may falsely think are so; when they are
innocent they know, but Boldness doth out-face, not only what evil might be
thought, but what evil they have done; and strange it is, yet true, Boldness
hath such a power, to make great Crimes seem less than they are; and those
that are bold, more great or nobler than they are; like Masking Scenes set with
false Lights, present a City or a stately Tower, when it is nothing but
Pastboard painted over.
Of Women indifferently handsome.
WOmen are more happy in their Husbands affection when they are indifferently
handsome and various humoured, than when they are more exact: for a woman that
is extreme fair is more for admiration than for a settled affection; a woman
that is constanly patient, seems senseless or simple, which makes him dislike
her; and a woman that is allwaies choleric and angry, seems a Fury; and she
that is allwaies merry, disturbs her Husband's serious Contemplation of solid
Thoughts; and she that is allwaies sad, dulls him; she that is allwaies
complaining, is never pitied; and those that are sickly, their Husbands can
find no lively contentment; for what melancholy Company are the dying? nor to
be too devout and precise; for men in this World, had rather converse
ordinarily with Mortals than with Angels. But if a Woman be healthful of
Body, plump of Flesh, not deformed, nor exactly handsome; graceful in Carriage,
without affectation; of a ready wit, and contriving Judgement; cleanly, without
curiosity; honest, without pride; careful, without choler; thrifty, without
sluttishness; and various in their Dresses, and other Humours: Such a Wife it
will not be in her Husband's power to dislike; and he will not only like her,
but extremely love her, even to Dotage; for those Qualities do violently draw
his Affections.
Wisdom and Wit are to be preferred before Riches and Beauty.
WIsdom and Wit are to be preferred before Riches or Beauty; for Wisdom knows
how to get, keep, and use Riches; neither can Beauty parallel Wisdom; for
Wisdom makes a man happy all his life, in governing his Passions, in choosing
his ways in order to his affairs, for his best advantage, not only for
himself, but for others in distress, by his Counsel; for which he is Honoured,
Esteemed, Loved, and sought after, to redress the incumberd, to relieve the
distressed, to unite differences; She helps the blind, in giving Eyes of
understanding to the Ignorant. Wisdom is the Arm of strength to defend; the
watchful Eye to descry dangers; the Fingers to point and direct; the Tongue to
persuade and admonish; It is the Heart of Courage, the nourishing Liver, the
Stomach or Store-house, the Bowels and Center, the Head and Governor of a
Commonwealth. And Wit is to be preferred before Beauty; for there is as much
difference as betwixt Soul and Body; for Wit is as it were spiritual, where
Beauty is Corporal, and Beauty is subject to the variations of several
Opinions; for Beauty is not Beauty in all Nations, but Wit is Wit in all
Languages; Beauty wearies the Eye by Repetitions, where Wit refreshes the Ear
with variety of Discourse; Wit is the God of Passion, creating and disposing
them at his pleasure.
Of Riches, and Beauty.
RIches si to be preferred before Beauty, though it be a gift of Fortune, and
Beauty a gift of Nature; for Beauty incaptives, where Riches inslaves all;
for were there a Beauty that had as much as Nature could give it, joined with
an Angelical Mind, yet it shall never triumph so long, nor enthrall so many,
nor so constantly be served, as Riches is; for Riches hath no unfaithful
Lovers, although she may have ignorant Servants, whom she turns most commonly
Weeping out of doors; for she is a humoursome Mistress, and changes often, but
seldom makes a good Choice: And the Reason why Riches are preferred, esteemed,
honoured, and unweariedly followed, is, because she affords more variety, which
the Nature of Man delights and seeks after; where Beauty is still one and the
same; but though Riches are fleeting, yet many times the Careful and Prudent
have possessed them long; where Beauty no sooner shows her self but dyes.
The Beauty of Mean Persons.
BEauty in Mean and Poor Persons is only subject to Temptation, not to
Admiration, as Beauty in Palaces is Famous in History; but those Beauties as
come from an Humble Birth, and Breeding in a small Cottage, are buried in their
Poverty; which shows, it is not only the Beauty which Nature gives, but the
Arts that adorn it, which allures the Mind; for Good Fortune gives Beauty a
Lustre, and makes it appear Divine, so doth Rich Apparel, Attendance, and the
like; for it is the Trappings, and the Ceremony, which takes the Eyes of the
Beholders; whereas Ill Fortune, and Poverty, do cast a Shadow upon Natural
Beauty, and eclipse it from the Eyes of the World. Thus Beauty is admired and
divulged according to the Wealth and Dignity; unless some strange and unusual
Accident happens to the Beautiful to noise it abroad; otherwise we shall not
hear of Poor and Mean Persons mentioned in many Ages, but those which the
Fancies of Poets make; but of Beauties that were Great and Rich, their
Chronologies are full.
Of Imaginary Beauty.
SOme may imagine or think Beauty was framed and composed in the Opinions of
Men, rather than in the Lineaments, and Symmetries, and Motion of the Body, or
the Colour of the Skin; for that which appears Beautiful to one Nation, doth
not so to another; as witness the Indians, the Ethiopians, who think the
blackest Skin, stattest Noses, and thickest Lips, the most Beautiful, which
seem Deformed and Monstrous to the Europeans; so particular Persons, as in
several Nations; for to one Person shall appear a Beauty, to enamour the Soul
with Admiration, to another shall appear even to a Dislike; which shows, that
were there a Body never so exactly proportioned, or their Motions never so
graceful, or their Colour never so Orient, yet it will not please all. I will
not say there is no such thing as Beauty, but no such Beauty as appears so to
all Eyes, because there is not Variety enough in one Beauty to please the
various Fancies of Mankind; for some fancy Black, some Brown, some Fair, some a
Sad Countenance, some a Merry, some more Bashful, some more Bold; For Stature,
some Tall, some Low, some Fat, some Lean, some Dislike some Motions, some
others; some grey Eyes, some black Eyes, some blew Eyes; and to make mixture of
all these, it is impossible; and though there may be as great and as good a
Harmony in Beauty as in Music, yet all Tunes please not all Ears, no more do
all Beauties please all Eyes.
Of Natural Beauty.
BEauty is a certain Splendour, which flows in a Line, or Air of Lights, from
the Spirits, and gives a shining Glory upon the Face; which Light, with Ill
Complexions, or not Lovely Features, is darkened, as the Sun with Clouds,
wherein some Faces have thicker Clouds than others, that make a Beauty appear
more Splendorous at some times than others. But in Age Beauty seldom or never
appears, being in the Winter season of Life; but in Youth the Air is always
Serene, and Clear. Some see this Splendour or Beauty in a Face, which others do
not, as having a more discerning Spirit, which makes some wonder at such as do
fall in Love with those that they shall think Ill-favoured; besides, there is a
Sympathy of Spirits, to perceive that in one, and other, as Lookers on cannot
find out.
Of Pride.
IF Pride seems Handsome, and may be allowed in any, it is in Women, because it
gives a Distance to Idle Pretenders, and Corrupters of Chastity. Neither is it
so bad in Women to be proud of their Chastity, and Honest Affection, as
Alexander in his Victories, or Helen in her Beauty, or Rome of her Spoils, and
Royal Slaves: for Honesty is their greatest Beauty, and they may glory in it as
their greatest Honour, and triumph in it as their greatest Victory; and though