Faults, and nothing but Faults.
*AS that enterprise which is indeuou∣red in a seasonable time, is most like-to conclude with a good and happy successe: so to vndertake (whatsoe∣uer) not fitting the instant, shall ne∣uer get passage through the hearts of men; but rather be spurned at, and vtterly despised. And for him that shal reade a Lecture of Abstinence, when men be in the midst of their cuppes, should haue ill audience: and where men haue betaken them∣selues to rest, the sound of the Trumpet, and the clattering of Armour doth rather interrupt their quiet, then augment their courage. An Orator at a table, being requested to speake of Eloquence answered; Those things that are fit for the place and time present, I am ignorant of: and that which you re∣quire, I know at this time would be out of season. Thus euerie thing is made gracefull, or disgracefull, ac∣cording to time and place. My hardinesse then may be reputed ouer-much, that dare take vpon me to finde Faults in so daungerous a time, when Page [unnumbered]there is no man willing to heare of his owne misse; when he that should but looke into the sinnes of the mightie Giants of the world must neds perish, when he that should but search out their euill that will wallow in wickednesse, and yet will not bee controlled, is thought vnworthy to liue in a wel-gouerned Common-wealth: *yet the good Em∣perour Augustus was neuer angrie with accusers, but thought it necessarie, that where there were store of vices, there should likewise be many to find fault.
And Alexander vnderstanding that some had breathed out bad reports against him, sought no reuenge, but said: That it belonged to Kings, to do well, and to heare ill. It hath bin a custom in some parts of the Indies, that when their King or any other great commander amongst them were dead, if any man came against him, to charge him with any notorious vice, or to oppose any faults against him, he was denied buriall, which amongst them was esteemd to be a greter infelicity, then if a man were depriued from the ioyes of heauen. *Pasquilles pillar was tollerated in Rome, to reprehend all sorts of sinnes, till they touched the Pope with his Cleargie. *The Lacedemonians thought it a ne∣cessarie point of pollicie, that there should be such reprouers, whereby to represse enormitie in those for feare of worldly shame, that otherwise neither remorse of conscience, nor any feare of their gods, could haue restrained or kept in compas. The like conceit was had amongst the Thurines, where it Page 2was thought the wicked were rather restrained for feare of worldly shame, then for any feare or dread of God. Euerie man had free libertie therefore to speake, either for the generall good of his Coun∣trie, or to reprooue any mans priuate enormitie, till in the ende they made a lawe, that no man should finde fault at anie abuse, vnlesse at Ad∣ulterie.
Amongst other fictions of the Poets, there is one feined of Momus, who for reprehending the lewd∣nesse of the Gods, was therfore throwne from the heauens hedlong to the earth, wher he was driuen to wander like a vagabond, no man daring to ren∣der him relief, for offending of Iupiter. He hath stil continued in common contempt, especially in the Courts of Princes, and in the Palaces of great and mightie men, amongst whom Fault-finders could yet neuer get grace, where Adulation (bet∣ter fitting their humour) is crept so close in their bosomes, that smoothing Flatterie is more dearely esteemed, then reprehending Veritie:* I doe not altogither dislike of our Satyrists and Critickes of these times, that doe chide at vice; but I cannot allow them so to ayme at any one particularly, nor so to point at anie mans pri∣uate misse, that when they seeke to shadow him vnder some disguised shape, they doe but shrowd him in a Nette. Let them reprooue sinne, but not in such a sort that euerie man may vnderstand by whome it is meant: wee are rather inclined to find faultes then to commend things that are Page [unnumbered]*well done we desire to heare of imperfections of others, but we cannot abide to be ill spoken of our selues: and how curious we be to search into other mens follies, and how carelesse againe to amend our own, and who wil so readily accuse others for treading awrie, as those who sithence they were borne, could neuer go vpright.
*Histories make mention of a renowmed Abbot called Moises, who being willed to giue his verdit vppon a Friar of the brotherhood that had of∣fended, he came in with a great sacke of Sand on his backe, and being asked what he brought with him, answered they were his finnes, which being so burthensome for himselfe to beare, was therfore vnfit to censure of any other mans faults: but now there is nothing more conuersant amongst vs, then this reprehending and mocking, and we are so apt and readie to controll, that it might seeme that neither the mouth were wide inough, nor the tongue readie inough, to reprehend and reproue those follies in others, that do most abound in our selues.
I remember a merrie iest of two prating com∣panions, especially noted for their many wordes: the one of them growing a little sicke of a feuer Iordan, the other came to see him, who after his departure being met withall by a second friend, that was likewise going to visite this sicke man, and knowing the other to be newly come from him, asked of him how he did: the other answered, in no danger of death, for I find he hath not forgot Page 3his prating: the other comming where the sicke man was lying on his bed, after some comfortable words, told him whom he met withall: it is true said the other, he was here to see me, but he so ti∣red me with his prattle, that I was glad when he was gone.
*The world is growne to that passe, that we can laugh at our owne imperfections in another, but we cannot see them in our selues. It should seeme we are better sighted a farre off, then we be nigh at hand: for at home we be as blind as Moales, but abroad we haue as many eyes as Argus. The sum of all is, there is nothing more displeasing vnto vs, then to be told of our owne faults: and nothing better pleasing again, then to heare of other mens: The world is growne to this passe, and he that see∣keth not to please the world, shall neuer thriue in the world, and he that studieth to please all, spen∣deth his time in vaine.
And although I haue not endeuoured my selfe in framing an Idea of Vtopian perfections; yet I haue aduentured to graspe at abuse, but vnder ge∣neralities in such sort, as I haue not aymed at any one man particularly, neither to open his shame, nor yet to blazon his infamie.
*If any man shall seeke to wrest my generalities to any priuate application, they should doe mee wrong, when I haue not sought so much as to blast any mans good name; I haue shadowed follies, but yet vnder couert tearmes, and I haue ouerpassed many things in silence, because the world is giuen Page [unnumbered]to see too much.
*We imitate the Disciples of Theodorus, who complained that his Schollers were accustomed (how plainely soeuer he spoke) yet still to mis∣conster him, and howe expressely soeuer he could write, they would yet wrest his sense and mea∣ning to their owne expositions. There is nothing well said, that is not rightly vnderstood; neither is there anie thing well done, that is wrongfully interpreted.
*If anie man vpon a guiltie conscience should find himselfe agreeued, the fault is not mine, mee thinkes it were better for him to amend his misse, then to publish his shame.
*There is nothing more formall in these dayes then Deformitie it selfe. If I should then begin to write, according to the time, I should onely write of new fashions, and of new follies that are now altogether in fashion, whereof there are such a∣boundant store, that I thinke they haue got the Philosophers stone to multiplie, there is such a dayly multiplicitie both of follies, and fa∣shions.
In diebus illis, Poets and Painters, were priui∣ledged to faine whatsoeuer themselues listed: but now, both Poet and Painter, if he be not the Tai∣lors Ape, I will not giue him a single halfepenie for his worke: for he that should either write or paint, if it be not fitte in the new fashion, he may go scrape for commendation, nay they will mocke at him, and hisse at his conceit.
Page 4*But amongst an infinite number of faults, I am not yet resolued with which of them I should beginne, nor what text I might first take in hand, and it may be, some will therfore taxe me to haue but little witte: and no force, let them not spare, I will bee afore-hand with some of them, there is a figure with the Logitians, they call it Prolepsis, or Preuention, and I learned it long agoe, of the Boy that taught his mother to call whoore first. And I will now sitte in iudgement of all those that my memorie can readily produce, and I doubt not, but to bee afore hande with some of them.
*As for the humorous they haue beene alredie brought to the stage, where they haue plaide their partes, Euerie man in his humour.
Amongest the rest therefore to begin withall, Rome for a Iestmonger, that will rather choose to loose a friend, then to loose a iest, and are quite out of loue with their owne witte. If their vnsa∣uourie gawdes doe not produce laughter: and sometimes when they doe thinke wisely to giue some prettie nippe, God knoweth, their wordes doe rather tickle, then pinch, and giue the more occasion to be laught at for their follie, then o∣therwise to be commended for their witte. Yet many of them are so full of merriment, that a man would thinke Nature had hatched them in∣to the world to be derided of all companies where they become.
Some wanting wit to coine conceits of their Page [unnumbered]*owne are driuen to commit felonie, to steale from other men; and putting them in execution, the ef∣fect may so fall out, as it did with Esops Asse, who counterfetting the little dogge, would play with his Maister till he was surely bangd: So there be among them that will get iestes by heart, that haue gathred a Common-place booke out of Plaies, that will not let a merriment slip, but they will trusse it vp for their owne prouision, to serue their expence at some other time: and this they esteeme to be as good as a sute of Sattin, to grace themselues with∣all, and are in hope by these pleasures (if they be not placed at the vpper end of the table) yet to get a roome aboue the Salt.
*Some making profession to be pleasant, do by that meanes purchase themselues certaine libertie (amongst their friends) to say what they list, wher∣by many times they set abroach such matters, which being not able to runne through, they are driuen to helpe themselues by raising laughter, the which they performe with that kind of grace, as is rather to be loathed, then liked.
*Some other by vnreuerent demeanor at a table, otherwhiles by a brutish and vnmanerly kinde of eating and drinking, and sometimes by belching, out filthie and dishonest wordes and tales, where∣at if they can make Modestie to blush, they thinke they haue gotten the gole, and doe so much e∣steeme the better of their owne wits, and will fur∣ther fashion themselues to such vnciuill and vn∣cleanly demeanour, that their rude and boistrous Page 5conuersation, shall so smell of the Plow, and the Cart, as will abhorre any mans nose to sit nigh them, that haue but smelled of ciuilitie. But this bourding and carterlike iesting, is more readie to turne a wise mans stomacke, then to make him laugh.
*It is not worthie to be called a feast, where there is not a Iester and a Flatterer, to cheare vp the guests; the one to raile and slander, the other to smoothe and flatter: for as the bodie must be bal∣lanced with excesse, so the minde must be recrea∣ted with these slauish delights. And where these two doe meete, they are still at great expences: for you shall heare them spend such a deale of idle breath, that both Zoylus and Gnato would haue plaid bankrupt, if they had beene halfe so liberall of their windie commoditie. And yet in the midst of their prodigalitie, you shall not see them spend one dram of loue vpon a wise man, but onely a∣mongst their fauourites and friends.
*Of the selfe and same Grape bee these supple-mouthed Parasites, those that can pamper itching sensuality, that to please humors can carows with Alexander, abstaine with Romulus, eate with the Epicures, fast with the Stoicks, sleepe with Endi∣meon, watch with Crisippus, laugh with Democrites, weepe with Hiraclites, that can couer vice with the name of vertue, that can call Impudencie, Audacitie, that will conuert Rage into Courage, Wilinesse into Wit, Obstinacie into Constancie.
I thinke Flatterie at this day be in as good re∣quest Page [unnumbered]*as Tabacco, two smokie vapours, yet the one purgeth wise-men of their witte, and the other fooles of their money. And no maruell though Flatterers are so acceptable, when men for the most part can flatter themselues with an ouer-weening, to be what they are not: this maketh them so wil∣ling to giue eare to Flatterers, of whom they think they are praysed, when they are but flattered, for so much as false praise is nothing else but flat moc∣kerie.* And we are growen to thinke so well of our selues, that we account him, either to be enuious, or prowde, that will not soothe and smoothe vs vp in all our follies, so great is our vaine-glorie, that when we be commended farre aboue our desert, yet we rather attribute it to the aboundance of good will,* then to the fraude of him that flattereth.
*But it hath beene, and is, proper to men of all sorts, to suffer themselues to be coyd and clawed with this tickling of Flatterie. *Alexander was not freed from it with all his courage, neither yet Dio∣nisius with all his crueltie. And Themistocles being asked what wordes were best pleasing vnto him, answered: Those that recount my praise. Our eares are more in loue with the melodie of words soun∣ding to our owne praises, then with any other mu∣sicke: and therefore many times (like as by the voi∣ces of Mermaides) they are the cause of drowning him that setteth them open to that deceitfull har∣monie. And how manie are there, that knowing themselues to be palpably flattered, doe yet loue him that flattereth fastest, and hate him that spea∣keth Page 6but the truth? And who doth not blush to see the grosse flatteries of our Parasites of these times? how they will extoll and commend many things in great and mightie persons, making them beleue they excell in many things, wherein they haue no skil at al: commending that againe, which might rather be thought to be Deformities then Conformities, in a man of meane estate. And he that will be Thraso, shall neuer want a Gnato: but beware of the baites of Flatterers, who with su∣gred wordes creeping into mens bosomes, doe but imitate the Butcher, that claweth the oxe with his hand, that he might haue the more conueni∣ence to knocke him on the head with a Beetle.
*The example of the Emperour Sigismund is not to be forgotten, who hearing a shamelesse fel∣low to call him God, stroke him on the eare, to whom the Parasite said, Why dost thou strike me, Emperour? To the which he answered, Why dost thou bite me, Flatterer?
*God haue mercie Sigismund for this tricke, and I would all our Parasites of these times might be so recompenced: *for it is better to hit them on the eare, then to lend them an eare; for he that lendeth his eare to a Flatterer, is like a sheepe that lendeth the Woolfe her teate, and doth more of∣ten subuert and ouerthrow the wealth of a king∣dome, then an open enemie.
But see here a companie now presenting them∣selues, that I cannot say are affected, but I thinke are rather infected with too much courtesie; you Page [unnumbered]shall know them by their salutations. For first with the kisse on the hand, the bodie shall be bowed downe to the ground: then the armes shall bee cast out, like one that were dauncing the old An∣tike, not a word but, at your seruice, at your com∣maund, at your pleasure: this olde protestation, Yours, in the way of honestie, is little cared for: euerie Gull was woont to haue it at his tongues end, but now it is forgotten. And these Flowres of courtesie, as they are full of affectation, so they are no lesse formall in their speeches, full of fustian phrases, many times deliuering such sentences as doe be∣wray and lay open their maisters ignorance: and they are so frequent with the kisse on the hand, that a word shall not passe their mouthes, till they haue clapt their fingers ouer their lippes. But he that is so full of creeping, and crowching, either hee meanes not well, or his wit will not serue him to meane well, for this common affabilitie, dooth lightly bring with it an ill intent, and but accor∣ding to the Prouerbe, Much courtesie, much craft.
*But will you see how I am pestered with a fi∣nicall companie that comes in now all together, throwing vppon mee, birdes of a wing, and it is fittest for them to flie together: here comes first the Fashion-monger, that spendes his time in the contemplation of sutes. Alas good Gentleman, there is something amisse with him, I perceiue it by his sad and heauie countenance: for my life his Tailer and he are at some square about the making Page 7of his new sute, he hath cut it after the old stampe, of some stale fashion, that is, at the least of a whole fortnights standing.
*But what call you him a Fantasticke, that fol∣lowes his fellowe so close, a foole I warrant him, and I beleeue hee hath robd a Iackanapes of his iesture, marke but his countenance, see how hee mops, and how he mowes, and how he straines his lookes. All the Apes that haue beene in the Parrish Garden these twentie yeares, would not come nigh him for all maner of complements.
**Here comes now the Malecontent, a singular fel∣low, and very formall in all his demeanours, one that can reprooue the world but with a word, the follies of the people with a shrug, and sparing of his speach, giueth his answer with signs and dumb shews, pasing his steps with sad and sowre coun∣tenance, as if hee would haue it saide; Lo, yonder goes the melancholy Gentleman, see there Ver∣tue and Wisedome despised, this is the man, that dooth carry a whole common-wealth in his head, that can mannage the affaires of a State, and fitter to be of a Princes priuy house counsaile, than the best Acter that euer playd Grauets part at the Theatre.
*But good lucke now in Gods name, I hope we shall heare some newes, for heere comes a fellow that can giue vs intelligence from Fraunce, Flaun∣ders, Spaine, and Italy, from the great Turke, and I thinke from the Diuell himselfe; it is one of these State-Apes, that are euer hunting after matter of State. He vseth to frequent the Exchange, and you Page [unnumbered]shall meet him in the middle walke in Paules at ten of the clocke, and three of the clocke: and after the vulgar salutation of, God saue you sir, the next shall be an Interrogatory, I pray sir, what newes doe you heare from Spaine? how be our Coun∣trymen entertained there? be they not troubled with those of the Holy house? They deserue to bee well vsed, for they haue made corne almost as good cheape in Spaine as it is in England; they re∣port the like of all other victuall: And among the rest of all other our commodities that flieth into Spaine, they say our cast yron ordonaunce findeth such entertainement, and is so daily befriended a∣mongest the Spaniardes, that it is thought our cly∣mate is too colde to keepe it in, but it wil seeke ad∣uentures in Countries neerer the Sunne.
These trickes they haue, both to groape mens opinions, and to gather such other newes as they can informe, and with these intelligences they go from place to place; for they are nosed like Catul∣lus, they can smell a feast; and they knowe well e∣nough, that men are so inclined to heare nouelties, that a few newes well couched, is a better payment for a dinner or a supper, than eighteene pence to giue vnto an Ordinary. These men haue a speciall gift, eyther to Metamorphise, or to Paraphrase what newes soeuer.
And what great Ambassadour can be sent from any forraigne Prince or Potentate, but before hee hath delivered his message, yea and before he hath put his foote in at the Court gates, but you shall Page 8haue one of these Newes-mongers that will not stick to tell, both what his arrand is, and what shall bee his answer.
Heere comes a spruce fellow now, and if hee be not alied to the Fantasticke, yet I am sure the foole and he are so neare a kinne, that they can not mar∣rie, without a Licence from the Pope. Would ye knowe who it is? Mary sir, it is a Traveller, not of those sort that endeuor their trauels, but of pur∣pose to growe into the hieway of Experience, for the better seruice of their Prince or Country: but of those whipsters, that hauing spent the greatest part of their patrimony in prodigality, wil giue out the rest of their stocke, to be paid two or three for one, vpon their returne from Rome, from Venice, from Constantinople, or some other appoynted place. These fellowes in their iourneying doe so empty themselues of the little witte they carryed out, that they can make no better return than their mindes full fraught with farre fetcht follies, and their heades ouer burthened with too many out∣landish vanities; if at his returne he hath but some few foolish Phrases in the French, Spanish, or Italian language, with the Baselos manos, the Ducke, the Mump, and the Shrugge, it is enough; for they take much trauell vpon them, to see fashions, but none at all, to learne vertue: This is a strange kinde of travell, to make profession, to loose their credite at home, to learne follies abroade. What trust can there be in a traueller, who is stil watching for a winde, whose feete are euer fleeting, whose faith Page [unnumbered]plighted on the shoare, is turned to periurie when they hoyse saile?
*Travellers are priuileged to lie, and at their re∣turne, if they doe hitte into a company that neuer trauelled towards the South Pole, beyond Gads hill, you shall heare them speake of wonders, his talke shall be of Lawes, and Customs, Prouinci∣all, and Politique. What ciuilitie doth abound in the partes where he hath beene, hee will tell how conuersant he hath beene with great Princes, and how prouident he hath found them in gouerning their estates; & almost at euery pause that he hath drawen his speach to a full period, the next straine shall beginne with this Duke, or that Prince: So that Dukes and Princes are as rife at his tongues end, as, What lacke you sir? or, What would you haue bought? is to a prentise of Cheapeside.
*But whom haue we here, one, two, three, foure fiue? One, two, three, foure, fiue, and nothing else but, one, two, three, foure, fiue? *O ho, I vnderstand him now, this is one of the Skipping Arte, that is newly come from the Dauncing Schoole; this fel∣low had rather treade a tricke of one and twentie follies, than to performe one action that might in∣crease wisedome: And yet to speake truely, there is no great harme in his witte, but it will serue him well enough to talke of the turne of the toe, of the caper aboue ground, of the lofty tricke, and he hath some smacke of iudgement in vawting, tumbling, and in dauncing with the Iebie horse. And he will speake of Playes, Players, and who be Page 9the best Actors, and lightly he is acquainted with her that keepes the best Brothell-house.
*But O for a Pipe of Tobacco! passion of me, how haue I forgotten my selfe, that haue vented so much idle breath without a pipe of Tobacco? I know a number of my good friends that woulde not haue spent halfe this prattle without taking of ten Pipes at the least.
*O soueraigne Tobacco! that art a medicine for euery malady, a salue for euery sore: twill cure the Dropsie, the Gowt, the Rhume, the Cold, the Ache of the heade, a Pin and Webbe in the heele, it will make a woman that is barren to beare sixe children in one night; it is wonderfull in operation, and they say it will make a leane man fatte, and a fatte man leane. But I know it hath made many wise men to become fooles, and it hath made some fooles againe to become wise men.
It cannot be denied, but it makes men sociable, and he that can but take a Pipe of Tobacco, drinke Bottle Ale, and play a game at Noddie, is a compa∣nion for a knight: But let these fantasies passe a∣mongst a number of others, I will not call them follies, but Gods blessing on his heart, who said, that Thought was free.
Now some will say, these are but small Faults to be spoken of, they are none of the seuen deadly sinnes, and therefore the least drop of a Popes Par∣don may dispense with all this. And what can I do but confesse a troth? and for this pleasant imper∣fection of Pompe, Pride, Adulterie, Gluttonie, Drun∣kennesse,Page [unnumbered]and such other, if I should but speake of them, there be those would nicke me by and by, and come ouer me with, Phisition help thy selfe. And to speake truly, I could find in my heart to be ve∣rie prowde, if I had where-withall to beare it out.
*But for this sweete sinne, that is of greater anti∣quity then the game at Maw, (ye know what I mean I am sure) if I should finde fault at that, I should offend you, and him, and a great many others of my verie good friends, that I would be loath to displease. I could yet find in my heart, to chide a little at some sorts of Trades-men, that doe ga∣ther their greatest gaine from the sinnes and abu∣ses of the people. Among the rest, there are three sortes of Bawdes: but because wee will be a little mannerly, we will call them Panders. The first is, a Broker, a Pander (indeede) to Vsury, and a neces∣sary instrument for the Vsurer, wherby to accom∣plish a great deale of (sir reuerence of you) K, N, auerie.
*The second sort be Vintners, panders to Drun∣kennes, many of them keepers of hospitalitie for the Prodigall, for the Riotous, for the Epicure, and receptacles many times for shamefull purposes, where the vicious hath more often recourse than those of honest life.
If there be a Walker, that dooth still vse his sta∣tions from Tauerne to Tauerne, reeling and tot∣tering, that his two supporters will scarce beare vp his drunken carcasse out of the kennell, yet who can blame Tom Tapster to vndertake in his be∣halfe, Page 10and to auowe him for a man of as honest conuersation, as euer came drunke out of a tipling house.
*I confesse, I do sometimes loue to smell to a cup of good wine my selfe: but when I come in a∣mongst good company to spend my pinte, or my quarte, some of these Pandering Vintners are so suspitious of their owne honest dealing, that they will not suffer vs to send a seruaunt, to see out of what vessel our wine is drawen, but we must take it as they wil bring it, mingled and brewed, fitter for him that commeth to call for a Chamber with his female consort, than for any man whatsoeuer that hath money to pay.
Can you blame me now to be angry with this bastard kinde of Vintners? Sbloud, he that wil not brabble for his liquor, and his Wench, hath no spirit in the world.
**I haue spoken yet of a third kinde of Pander, and those be such as doe keepe Burdelles and Bro∣thell houses, but it is not possible to intreate of these matters with tearmes so seemely and modest, as to the naturall shamefastnes of honest eares is requi∣site: but this I can aduise you, there is no such trade, as to keep a Brothell house. And these affaires in times past, haue beene especially indeuoured by women, but to saue her from the Charriot that runnes vpon two wheeles: it is more safety for her to haue a husband, who creeping into some liuery coate, (which may be obtayned well enough for money) wil be such a countenaunce, as neyther Page [unnumbered]Constable, Headborough, nor the prowdest Offi∣cer in the parish dare meddle withall. And beeing conueniently prouided of house-roome, the next prouision, to haue some Lais to be a Lidger, and sometimes to lodge twoo or three wenches toge∣ther, one perhappes a Widdowe, another a mans wife ruune away from her husband, and for the third, riddle me a Riddle, What is she that is neither Maide, Wife, nor Widdowe? Wel, let her passe for a woman, these wil bring in company, and compa∣ny brings in wine, sugar, orenges, limonds, veni∣son, sturgeon, fatte capons, fatte quailes, and many good cates besides.
Doe you aske me how I knowe this? why they themselues care not who knowes it: But heere is the question, May not a non est woman lodge men and women all together in one chamber, night af∣ter night, but they must be naught togither? Now fie vpon these misdeeming people that are so ful of suspition. But as long as they are not able to proue rem in re, let them suspect still and spare not.
*Me thinks the Drunkard and the Epicure shold likewise be of this colledge, for Drunkennes and Incontinencie haue euer drawne by one line: and it is no disgrace, but rather a glory, to see a man af∣ter so sweete an encounter of cuppes, to be carri∣ed away to his bed vpon mens shoulders, where he may lie to recouer new forces. But some doe di∣stinguish the first cup of wine to be of thirst, the se∣cond of merrinesse, the third of temptation, the fourth of foolishnesse, and all the rest of beastlie Page 11drunkennes. An other writeth that the wine hath three grapes, the first of pleasure, the second of drunkennes, and the third of sorrow.
*At Banquets there is nothing so much follow∣ed as filthy drunkennes, nor nothing more em∣braced then sensuall concupiscence; for when the fume once beginneth to ascend to the braine, the minde is oppressed with idle thoughts, and wan∣ton cogitations, it is a spur to the tongue, to con∣tentious quarrelling, slaunderous backbiting, to insolent speaches and beastly talke.
*The Epicure a bird of the same feather, and fit∣test to march in equall rancke with the Drunkard, whom a man cannot say to be born to liue, but ra∣ther to liue to eat & drink, whose felicity doth espe¦cially consist in pampering the paunch; to whom a fine conceipted Cooke in a kitchin is better re∣spected, than euer was Plato or Aristotle in the A∣cademy of Athens, I am glad I haue rid my hands of this beastly generation. But what monster is this? *The hatefull, pernicious, detestable wretch Couetousnesse, looke to your selues, you that doe loue your selues, for this beast dooth neuer come in place to doe any good.
This is the curre that thinkes nothing to be vn∣lawfull, where either gaine is to be gotten, or gold to be gathred. This is the canker of the common-wealth, that eateth and deuoureth the gettings of the poore. This is the viper that poysoneth the eares of Princes, teaching them to set aside all iust and honourable dealing: it is Couetousnesse that Page [unnumbered]maketh no conscience in gathering of gold, nor in spilling of blood; holding nothing to be vnlaw∣full that bringeth in gaine. And how many haue we that be of the Trochiles kinde, that doe cleanse the iawes of these deuouring Serpents, that eates vp the meanes that the poore haue to liue by, and that reues the sweat from the Labourers browes. They heape together abundaunce of wealth with paine, with trauell, with periury, with oppression, with vsury, with the wronging of neighbors, with the curse of the poore, which they leaue againe to vnthrifty heires; no lesse prodigall in spending, than their fathers were miserable in gathering; by how much they are aduanced to greatnesse, by so much the more they are cursed of the poore peo∣ple, and daily vengeance denounced agenst them, by as many as doe but heare of their names.
The covetous miser is then most ready to de∣uoure, when he makes semblance of greatest loue and amitie: hee maketh no respect, either of frind or foe, with as little regard either of the vertuous, or vicious.
*When hee beginnes to giue precepts of good counsaile, his aduice is then most daungerous, for if it bring not poyson in the mouth, be sure it hath a sting in the tayle. But would you know my experience, from whence it doth proceede, I will not sticke to tell you; It is nowe more than fortie yeeres agoe, since there were some few that called me Landlord, and I warrant you, I was as prowd of that Lordly name, as my yong Maister woulde Page 12be if his father were dead. But so long as I was knowne by one foote of land of mine owne, Lord how I was haunted with these gaping spirites that haue purses at commaund to purchase reuenues, yet not one penny to lend an honest friend.
*They came to mee with many good instructi∣ons, teaching me to be wary of my expences, and to take heede of vnthriftines: and when they were in best hope to make purchase of my land, then were they most busie to whisper in my eare, prin∣ciples of good husbandry. Well, they hadde it a∣mongst them, and much good do it them for me. But I am taught to say, Beware of these couetous purchasing fellowes, take heede of these men that liue vppon Tenne in the hundred; that will giue a man a whole thousand poundes woorth of good counsaile, but will not lend him sixteene pence, without such a pawne as they will be sure to gaine by: they will stretch their tongues, but they can holde their handes. A man may sooner wring a thousand teares from such a misers eyes, than one penny out of his purse, but they are made wise too late, that are made wise by their owne harmes.
*But see now, heere comes a Souldier, for my life it is Captaine Swag: tis euen he indeede, I do knowe him by his Plume and his Scarffe; he looks like a Monercho, of a very cholericke complexion, and as teasty as a Goose that hath yong Goslings, yet very easie to please, but with a handfull of Oates. He lookes like Haniball, the great Captaine of Carthage, and good reason too; for hee that Page [unnumbered]*should but heare his Table-Talke, and how he will discourse among ignorant company, would think that the Nine Worthies were but fooles in compa∣rison of his worth: He will talke of more propor∣tions of Battels than ever Langius, Vigetias, or Ma∣chiauell did know of. He will atchieve greater vi∣ctories, but sitting at a dinner or a supper, than e∣uer did Alexander, when he conquered the whole world. And he will discourse of greater exploits and more haughtie attempts, than euer were per∣formed before Troy. And what Towne so strong or Citydale so well fortified that hee will not sur∣prize, but with discharging some two or three vo∣lies of oaths: for there is not a greater Testimonie of a Captaines courage, than to sweare as if hee would make his Audience to tremble, and heauen it selfe to shake, but with the very breath of his displeasure. At a word, he will attribute the acti∣ons of a whole army to his owne vertue and wor∣thinesse, and will beare fooles in hand, that ney∣ther strong Sampson amongest his Philistins. Nor valiant Hercules against his vgly Monsters, were halfe so fierce and terrible. Now he that hath but a weake faith, and cannot beleeue these myracles, must be terrified with the Stab, as Caligula threat∣ned the ayre, if it rained vppon his Game-players, and yet euery flash of lightning made him creepe vnder his bed for feare.
I haue almost lost my selfe in this intricate labo∣rinth of abuses, but he that should particularly dis∣course of these matters, had neede to haue tongue Page 13enough, but because we stand in greater necessitie of the truth, then we doe of wordes, we will pro∣ceede with the more breuitie: if any man would seeke to accuse in taxing mens imperfections with too much seueritie, I answere, that he that will en∣deuour to wipe away blemishes, must first lay them open.
The vnknowne disease is most doubtfull to be cured, and the lesse it is sought into, the more dan∣gerous to be healed. We doe seeke to couer vices, which the lesse they are thrust out, the more they eate and fester within. But wayward children are rather brought asleepe with rocking, then with rating: we wil therefore interlard our sowre taunts with sugred counsaile.
*But with what patience might a man temper himselfe to speake of these most execrable crea∣tures, that doe endeuour themselues in nothing but in lying, and slaundering, whose poysoned breath is more pestilent then the plague of pestilence it selfe; whose deprauing tongues, are more persing then the point of a sword, & are whetted stil with scandelous and lying reports?
It is holden more honest, openly to reprehend, then secretly to backbite: for as the soule is more precious then the bodie; so it is a greater offence to take away any mans good name, which refre∣sheth the soule, than to defraude him of his foode, that sustaineth but the bodie. And as the Philo∣sopher saith: Men are not borne onely to liue, but they must likewise endeuour to liue well. He addeth further, Page [unnumbered]It is a iust thing, that euerie one be aswell aduised what he saith, as what he doth, because amongest noble mindes, an actuall wrong is more easilie tol∣lerated, then an iniurious worde preiudicing our honour, by a slanderous and lying report, alwayes esteeming the blow of a sworde to hurt but the flesh (and may easily be plaistered) but a word sug∣gested to infamie as a blemish to the reputation, that no salue is able to recure. But as there is no happinesse without hazard, no goodnesse without temptation, no honour without enuie; so there is no vertue without detraction.
*A reputed liar yet hath some reputation: for Theophrastus being asked to whom a man might best commit a secret, answered, To a knowne Liar, because, if he should disclose it, he should not be beleeued.
There is no better Antidote against this poy∣son of detraction, then patience; and how well as∣sured, and well recompenced is that pacience which is of long suffering, knoweth how to beare and forbeare.
*Patience is but a drie plaister, but it is a tried medicine, and it armeth men to the proofe against all assaults whatsoeuer.
I prescribe no other counsaile, then what my selfe doe follow, that for mine owne part (amongst all these slaues of imperfections) the liar and the slaunderer, doth least offend me, because I knowe that a thousand imputations, iniuriously furni∣shed, by a thousand detracting slanderers are not Page 14so grieuous to a man of wisdome, as one matter of truth auouched by him that is of an honest repu∣tation.
What should I speake of Pride or Vain-glorie, the one hath depriued the Angels of the ioyes of heauen; the other hath replenished the world with Knights.
*Pride hath beene the ouerthrow of many flou∣rishing Citties; Vaine-glorie infecteth commonly none but fooles.
There is not a more dangerous vice then pride, if in a Prince, it ruines the loue of his subiects; if a∣mongst subiects, it breedeth neglect of dutie to their Prince; if in any States-man, it draweth con∣tempt both of Prince and subiect.
It is a miserie to be prowde, and poore, to bee reuengefull, and dare not strike; to be sicke, and farre from succors. But pride is commonly drawne in by prosperitie; for worldly Prosperitie is a spurre to wickednesse, and it carrieth men voluntarily to the Court of vanitie.
*Prosperitie is puffed vp with Pride: it is full of presumption, and sleepeth in such securitie, that Philips Boy, who euery day cloied his master with the clamour of Mortalities, can hardly awaken it: there cannot bee a more excellent touchstone, whereby to discouer the dispositions of men, then is the superfluitie of wealth, and the extremitie of want; the springtide of prosperitie, and the lowe ebbe of aduersitie: For although the matters of themselues are indifferent, yet the managing of Page [unnumbered]them is it that giueth light. Prosperitie pampereth vs in pleasure, it maketh vs to forget God, and to repose our greatest confidence in the vanities of the world. Aduersitie maketh vs contemptible in the eye of the world, it is the meane whereby we are taught to know our selues, and to drawe vs to God.
*Prosperitie so swelleth vs in pride, that we for∣get our selues: it blindeth our vnderstanding, that we are not able to discerne a friend from a flatte∣rer, nor to iudge whether these which doe fawne vpon vs, be more in loue with our selues, or with our fortunes.
*Aduersitie maketh vs humble, it cleareth the vnderstanding, and giueth vs eyes to discerne be∣tweene friendship and flatterie, and to make assu∣red triall betweene a frind and foe. Aduersitie may be both Iudge and Iurie.
*What haue I said? may Aduersitie iudge be∣tweene a friend and foe? I neuer heard that po∣uertie was cloyed with many friends. And Aduer∣sitie, if he once begin to want, shall neuer want a foe: they will say a friend is tried in time of need; but I say still, that Neede is it that makes a friend a foe. He is a foole that wanteth friends, and if he want no wealth: But he that hath pouertie to cast vp his accounts, and is become Needs Ambassa∣dor, to begge, or to borrow, if he finde a friend to helpe and supplie his want, I say such a friend is precious, and more rare to be found, than Platoes Common-wealth, Moores Eutopia, Ciceroes Orator,Page 15or Baldesers Courtier.
*A friend, in this age, is more ready to lend his conscience than his coyne, more apt to enter into any exployt of vice, than to relieue the necessitie of his friend that wanteth.
In a cause of quarrell hee is but of slender ac∣count, that cannot carry with him, tenne, twenty, thirty, or forty that will take his parte, and will ad∣uenture their liues, be the quarell neuer so vniust: but let him be in want, not one of those forty will lend him his purse.
The mightier thy friend is in his owne estate, by so much thy daunger is the greater to prooue him for money: And yet how many are there in these daies that would abstaine from hainous and hurtfull offences, if they had not confidence in the fauour and rescues of their great friendes, to boulster and beare them out in their wickednes.
Friends being of the world, their friendshippe hath also his corruption of the world; and friend∣ship nowadayes stands vpon these limites, that is, not to correct one another for their vices, but ra∣ther to couer and dissemble, and to suffer com∣munitie of euills.
*The first effect of that faith and vertue which ought to be considered in the election of friends, is to giue counsaile; yet some doe rather desire to dwell in the lust of their particular desires, than to be aduised by a friend: And for good counsaile, we vse to take it as we take Tabacco, if we drawe in at the mouth, we strait blow it out at the nose.
Page [unnumbered]True frendship is not to be found, but amongst the vertuous, and groweth betweene them tho∣rowe the affection which they doe equally beare vnto vertue: But wee are better knowne the one to the other by our faces, than by our vertues; and I would to God wee were not better knowne by our follies, than we are by our faces. It is an easie matter to speake of vertue, and to tell of her ex∣cellencie; but to translate her out of wordes into deedes, is not conuersant with many: and no wonder though so few do looke out after her, for she is growne poore, and who would folow a beg∣gar? But in her greatest want, she is not without her recompence, for if there be no body else to reward her, she still paies her selfe with a certaine contentment, which may sooner be felt than ex∣pressed by wordes. And let vs praise vertue howe wee list, and lette vs write whole volumes in her commendation, yet if it extend no further than to the things on earth, I say there is not any thing so wretched and miserable as man.
Honour is the rewarde of vertue, and ouelie vertue must open the gates beefore honour can enter.
*The Romans builded two Temples ioyned to∣gether, the one being dedicated to vertue, the o∣ther to honor, yet seated in such sorte, as no man could enter that of honour, except he first passed through that of vertue.
But it should seeme the Pope hath made a new dedication of those Temples, as hee hath doone Page 16of that builded by Marcus Agrippa caled Pantheon; and because hee could neuer bring vertue to be∣come a Papist, hee would therefore leaue no mo∣numents of her in Rome.
*I could take occasion here to speak of them that will make men beleeue that they can make golde; but to whom they promise abundance of wealth, of him they aske a great deale of mony: me thinks the Papist and he should be of neere affinitie, the one professeth to make golde, the other to make God: but I commend the Papist to be the more speedy workeman, for hee can dispatch vppe his God, but with speaking of fiue wordes, the other cannot perfit his gold in the spending of five loads of char-cole.
But Lorde, how haue I forgotten my selfe! I was bidden to day to a dinner, where wil be a great meeting of good company, I must frame my selfe to be sociable amongest them, I must flatter and lie, & learne to make curtsie after the new fashion, I must prepare mine eares to heare of strange dis∣courses, and where such store of matters are so of∣ten debated; no maruell though reason be some∣thing abated.
*One will prooue by naturall reason, that fire is hote: another, after the setting of the Sunne, wil tell a tale of the shadow: a third will avowe it of his credite, that Hercules was a tall fellow with a Club: an other will clap himselfe on the breast, and tell you twenty lies, as, how kinde and loving he hath beene to his wife: an other sweares a tale Page [unnumbered]is aswell beautified with detestable oathes, as an Oration is with figures.
Now for some others that will reioyce in their owne abhominations, making vaunts of their ad∣ulteries, fornications, drunkennesse, and other like Sodomicall sinnes, taking as much pleasure in the boasting and brauing of it, as they did in the act∣ing: I say, that a man committing an ill, may bee sayd to be but simply wicked; but after, to glorie and reioyce in his euill, is of a cursed spirite, and woorthy to be detested of all honest company.
*What should I speake of othersome, that at such meetings, will enter into disputations, of ap∣prouing and defending matters of so little worth, as they are not worth the speaking of? yet where this short Text, Dixit insipiens, might suffice for authenticall authoritie, they will spowt out their Syllogismes, their Majors, and their Minors, fra∣ming their Arguments with as great vehemencie as if they were disputing about matters of faith. Now if there be a good Trencher-man amongest them, that can helpe himselfe with the advantage of time, he betakes him to his teeth: If he can but say, This is a good cup of wine, who would desire a better conclusion?
Perhappes there may be some one or other a∣mongest them better learned than the rest, who hearing this resolution, and finding the cup to be emptie, will aptly apply this axiome set downe by Aristotle, Corruptio vnius, est generatio alterius, and calles to one of the wayters to fill in a fresh pot.
Page 17A man might speake of a number of other tri∣fling matters (fitter to be laughed at, than to be re∣peated) that commonly falles out at these merry meetings, at feasts, at Ordinaries, or other places of good fellowship: but let them passe amongest the number of Faults of little or no importance; and for my owne parte, I thinke a man were ma∣ny times better to dine or suppe with breade and cheese quietly in his owne house, than to goe to those places where there is so great frequent, vn∣les he knew his company the better, for God blesse them all I pray God, there are such a number crept into this order of Knighthood, that a Gentleman may thinke himselfe to be highly fauoured, if hee can but find a place to setle himselfe at the side-ta∣ble; for the high boord is stil taken vp with those of the decayed order.
*I thinke it were best for mee now to take a little breath, but I haue yet a short iourney to make into the countrey, I must goe visite the seruauntes of Christ, those that liue by the plow and the cart, that can gather gold out of the durt, and can reape commoditie from the very excrements of filth it selfe.
*Husbandry hath euermore beene of great ac∣count in all times and ages, and the husbandmans increase is the blessing of God; for he can but eire, sowe, harrow, dung, digge and delue, but it is the blessing of God that giueth the encrease: the best gotten goods then (I say) is that which is gotten by husbandry.
Page [unnumbered]Husbandry breedeth vppe cattle for the reliefe and sustenaunce of man, it maketh prouision of skinnes, of wooll, hemp, flax, and such other like, sufficient, in the first age, for the apparrelling of man; this superfluitie of colouring, dying, with so many seuerall sorts of weauing and transforming, serueth but for pompe, and is a great deale more than Nature hath neede of.
The husbandmans pride, and his wit, are verie neere alike, yet they will calculate of dearth and plenty, and will prognosticate to day, of corne, cattell, butter, cheese, and such other, what price they will beare for a yeere or two to come. Their greatest speculation is in obseruing the seasons of the yeere, and if it happen to holde drie two daies more than they thinke is enough, or that it raine but two houres too much, the next market day they will raise the prises of all manner of victuall.
The poore in the country shal neuer thriue that do dwell too neere the rich, for the wealthy haue still money enough at commaund, to buy, when the poore must sell good cheape, to pay his Land∣lords rent: And when the rich men hoord vppe their store, to make scarcitie and dearth, the poore must serue the market to relieue his present want.
*These drudges be they that doe drawe their whole contentment from a little durt and drosse, so shutting vppe the treasure of Gentry within the limites of their miserable pelfe, that if God hath but blest him with some few hornes about him, I meane his pastures well stored with cattell, and a Page 18teeme or two of oxen to plow his land, with the kow pasture well replenisht with milch kine; you shall see such a pesant to stand more on his repu∣tation, than a Gentleman indued with as much knowledge as the seauen liberall Sciences can af∣ford him.
The malapert clownes that haue no vertue of the minde to crake of, but of their oxen, of their sheepe, and how many hogges they haue in their backeside, that are so choaked vp with the carkes and cares of the worlde, that they can not rellish those things that sauour of wit, to whose eares the lowing of a kow is better pleasing, than a Lecture of Logicke. Let them vaunt of their Gentrie what they list, but if they be so respected, I am sure it is amongst plowmen, amongst shepheards, amon∣gest clownes, or amongst churles, such as they bee themselves.
This comfort is yet left, Nature her selfe hath hansomely prouided for them; for as she brought them innocents into the world; so at her appoin∣ted time, she taketh them away againe, as arrand fooles as shee first brought them in, without any great alteration, vnlesse perhaps a little pride and a great deale of ignorance.
Those sinnes that were woont to be called, the sinnes of the Citty, because Townesmen had e∣speciall trade and traffique with them, as Pride, Voluptuousnesse, Excesse, Incontinencie, Drun∣kennesse, Periury, Vsury, and such other, are now as frequent, and as well entertained in the Coun∣try, Page [unnumbered]as if they had bin there first bred and brought vp.
*Mary for Conscience, I pray you commend me to it, you that know where to finde it, for my owne part, I know not where to seeke after it, nei∣ther in the City, nor in the Country: and it makes no matter, for it is a nice thing to deale withall, this same conscience. And men that are wise, will runne through the affaires of the worlde, and not so much as once thinke of it.
A guiltie conscience is euermore a seuere accu∣ser, and to the impenitent person, a most terrible Iudge.
A bad conscience is a scourge, nay it is the exe∣cutioner, which burneth, which beateth, which tormenteth the mind, and that with so much the more horrour, by howe much the life is prolon∣ged.
*Now who in the name of God would be com∣bred with such a Conscience, that doth thus vex and torment a man that hath a little regarde to Godward? Mee thinkes men might learne wise∣dome from amongest bruite beastes, they might remember the Woolfe that was enioyned by his ghostly father, to fast, and for foure and twentie houres to abstaine from flesh, or at the least to eate no more then in his conscience did exceede the value of three halfe-pence. The Woolfe depart∣ing homewardes meeting with a sheepe and her lambe, and hauing an appetite vnto his dinner, and remembring what his ghostly father had en∣ioyned Page 19him vnto, valewed the sheepe in his con∣science to be woorth a penny, and the lambe a halfe penny, and without any further scruple, de∣uoured them both. And hee that will liue in this world, and cannot learne of the Woolfe, how to square out a good conscience, shall neuer growe fatte.
It is but our owne deeming, or misdeeming, that maketh the conscience good or bad; this les∣son is not new, Crede quod habes & habes, the priest taught it long agoe to the yong scholer that came to borrow a horse. Now hee that can wisely per∣swade himselfe, that his conscience is good, hath this for his comfort.
*A good conscience is the Correctresse of our affections, the Schoolemistris of our soules: It is a bridle before sinne, whose testimonie is better than a thousand witnesses, when euery mans soule is fed with hope or dispaire according to the testimony that is witnessed by the conscience.
Let Conscience goe, for you may perceiue hee is best at ease, that hath least to doe with her; yet there be some that will boast and braue so much of it, that all things well knowne (if a man didde stand in neede) hee might buy more conscience and honesty too at Sturbridge faire for a hundred of Colchester oisters, than a hundred of them were able to furnish.
*Honesty they say, lies sicke of a consumption, pray God helpe him, for Charitie is waxen cold, and fewell againe is growne deare, we must there∣fore Page [unnumbered]keepe the smaller fires, for necessitie is not on∣lie without lawe, but shee her selfe is likewise the lawe of Time.
Vice hath so long time beene couered with the name of Vertue, and Vertue is againe poluted, and counterfeited in the habite of Vice: Mercie that euer hath beene accounted gracious, and dooth most neerest resemble the diuine Nature, yet be∣ing vsed out of time and season, shee looseth her grace, and may rather beare the name of foolish pi∣tie, then of mercie: It is no lesse crueltie (saith the Philosopher) to punish no offence, then not to punish any: It is then a great vertue in him, that can be wise and mercifull both togither.
*The like againe may be said of Liberalitie, for as those that build, be not all good workmen, so those that giue, be not all liberall; for many lay hold of other mens goods, and are lauish of that which is none of their owne. Some other will giue to him that hath no neede, and leaue another in wret∣chednesse, whom they ought to reward. Some o∣ther againe on the sodain, will so emptie the foun∣taine of Liberalitie, that they are not able againe of a long time to vse it.
Alexander doth best fit vs with examples of true liberalitie; for he euer considered the worth aswell of himselfe that was to giue, as of him that was to receiue.
*Amongest other presidents, there was one brought to Alexander, of such dexteritie, that with one pease he would neuer faile to strike off ano∣ther, Page 20(as men do play at shouel-aboord) the length of a long table. Alexander esteeming of the sleight to be but vaine, and to serue for no maner of pur∣pose that was good, bestowed his reward accor∣dingly, and gaue the partie a bushell of peason: A fit recompence (indeede) for so idle a toy.
*But I am still interrupted, I thinke now by one that is in some Lunacie, or else he hath beene scared with spirits: alas how ghastly he looks, now fie vpon loue, it is an Amorist, for twenty pounds, his Mistresse hath lost her little Dogge, or else her Munkie is lately dead, and hee mournes in blacke as Hortentius did for the death of a Lampray.
*Alas poore foole, I do pittie him, I think Dame Follie her selfe will simper to see her seruant in this perplexitie, how many nights watching, how ma∣ny dayes weeping, how many howres suing, how many times sighing, and yet how little profiting, to see a foole serue that Saint on his knees, that ho∣noureth the diuell in her heart, to thinke that the old painted face of Proserpina, to be the same that it was when she came to be Plutoes wife.
Loue is like an Ague fit, sometimes hot, some∣times colde, sometimes glad, sometimes sad, my louers head troubled with vnquiet thoughts in the night, with iealousie in the day, mocked by his companions, pittied of his friends, derided of his enemies, scorned by his foolish Mistresse.
I cannot beleeue that euer Vertue was a Po∣tarde in that we call Loue, yet this follie doth ma∣ny times assault the brauest minds, and Cupid hath Page [unnumbered]made a breach in the campe amongest the squa∣drons of armed Souldiers.
The follie of affection I see is wonderfull, yet are the errours of beautie much more admirable, when in her selfe she is but a painted Sepulchre, and in her actions the diminisher as well of naturall as morall reason.
With like happinesse Louers possesse their Mistresses, as Vatinius did his Consulship, whose ho∣nour, neither frost, nor spring, neither Win∣ter nor Summer, did euer behold (as Tullie partly ieasted) whose countenance of fauour depending on instants, hath but a dayes breeding, and a years repenting.
*In loue, what seeth the eie? lasciuiousnes; what heareth the eare? lasciuiousnesse; what vttereth the tongue? lasciuiousnesse; what thinketh the heart? lasciuiousnesse; what inureth the bodie? lasciui∣ousnesse.
And call you this loue? I, it is loue sir reuerence, I haue heard of many that were mad for loue, yet I neuer heard of any that were wise in loue. I haue read of Conquerers whom Loue haue made effe∣minate, but I neuer heard of any whom Loue hath made truly valiant, I know where wise-men haue beene besotted by fancie, but I could neuer learne where fancie made a wise man.
If men would dispose their eyes as warily, as women can display their beauties garishly, they should borrow bird-lime from the fowler, & catch the birds by compasse in his owne nets. But he Page 21that treadeth that desperate laborinth of Loue, is in ordinarie destinie of a wise man to take the ha∣bite of a foole: of a carefull man to become neg∣ligent, of a valiant man to become so weake, as to stand in awe of a foolish womans word: of a proui∣dent man, to loose all pollicie: of a yong man, to become withered, of a free-man to become mi∣serablie bond, of a milde man to beare the burden of an Asse, of a religious man to becom an Idola∣ter, of a rich man honoured, to be a poore man scorned, of a patient man, to be a reuenger of the filthie causes of his Minion: in briefe, to forget God, and to neglect the knowledge of all good∣nesse.
*I thinke my Ladie her selfe would laugh, to see an Amorist that is kindly besotted, how his An∣gels must flie to fetch new fashions from Veneti∣an Curtesans, to please his demie honest Mistresse. Then she must haue a Maske, to couer an impu∣dent face, a Periwigge to hide a loathsome bush, a Buske to streighten a lasciuious bodie. And for painting, it is as generall amongest a number of women (that would faine be accounted honest) as it is to the most noted and common strumpet.
His loose legged Mistresse, must spurre forward his wit, to set abroach pretie conceits; and if his braine be not too barren, he must indite louing lines, and amorous verses in the praise of his Mi∣stresse: He must borrow colours from Lillies, and red Roses, to beautifie her cheekes, her teeth must be of Pearle, her breath Balme, a Pallas for her wit, Page [unnumbered]*a Venus for her chastitie, her tongue the tongue of an Adder, her taile, worse then the taile of a ser∣pent; he must learne pretily to lispe out, sweete Mi∣stresse, kinde Mistresse, he must kisse her prettie hand, the handle of her fanne, her Nosegay, the nether skirt of her Petticote, he must play with her little Puppie, he must adore the point of her Busk, the seate that she sits on, the ground that she treads on, yea the verie strings that serues to tie her shooes.
Base Vassals, more base then basenesse it selfe, the verie shame of men, and the staine of man∣hood, go learne with Sardanapalus to spinne, and for those women that will retaine such seruants, God make them honest, for I am sure they wil ne∣uer be wise.
*But let vs speake a little of Loue, for so farre as I vnderstand, that which we call Loue, is so farre from loue, that I rather thinke it to be a doating frenzie, rouing and running headlong vpon im∣possibilities, ingendred first between Lust and Idle∣nesse: his associates and chiefest companions, are paine, trouble, anger, rage, furie, doubt, griefe, lan∣guish, threatning, dispaire, vncertaine hope; his su∣rest good, base weaknesse, his fruits are laborsome aduentures, nay rather, loathsome misaduentures.
To speake truly, that which we call Loue, stands vpon too many nice circumstances, when filthie lust, and inordinate desire, do euermore march vn∣der Loues Banner, and doe make the name of Loue their Bawde, to cloake and boulster out Page 22their fleshly appetites.
The Amorist is seldome seene to take delight in ouerworne antiquities, or in vnseemely deformi∣ties: an argument that they are rather in loue with the bodie, then the minde, and that their loue is both earthly, and fleshly.
The effect of loue is faith, not lust, delightfull conference, not detestable concupiscence. He ther∣fore said well that said, Loue was Diuine, for loue indeede is a subiect of greater excellencie then to ioyne earth to earth.
I cannot thinke the societie betweene man and wife may be called loue, because it giueth opor∣tunitie to lust, and it hath too much trade and tra∣fique with carnall desire: I thinke a man should loue his wife with as great zeale and feruencie, as he loueth himselfe: and he cannot be said to loue (but rather to hate himselfe) that doth not so re∣spect his loue and dutie to God, as to curbe his braine-sicke affections, that they raunge not after sensuall pleasure, not to pamper, nor to please him∣selfe with the vaine delights of a fleshly appetite, that leadeth from the diuinitie of Loue, and draw∣eth to loathsomnesse, and to the destruction of the soule. Now the husband, that should loue his wife in this sort, that should seeke to bridle her from her foolish vanities, a hundred to one, she would neuer loue him againe, and all the women in the Parish would protest against him, and sweare, that he were neither louing nor kind to his wife.
Why then we may perceiue the excellencie of Page [unnumbered]loue, is where God is a partie, or where it hath re∣lation to things that are diuine.
*This prescribed commaundement, Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God, and thy neighbour as thy selfe, is it that draweth neerest vnto loue, betweene man and man, but this loue cannot be said to be terre∣striall, when it hath his originall from the Com∣maundement of God. But would you know what is true loue (indeede?) the loue of God, who lo∣ued vs vndeseruedly. And this loue was well ex∣pressed by our Sauiour in the day of his passion, when neither the torments of his bodie, nor the wickednesse of his people, could restraine him, not onely reconciling those to his grace, that were present, or alreadie passed, but to loue those, that were yet to come, and hereafter to be borne, was a loue neuer heard on before nor sithence, but in the person of our Redeemer.
*Our libertie and absolution dependeth vpon his condemnation. He was condemned by the sen∣tence of men, and we absolued in the iudgement of God. Here is true loue indeed, and the property of his affection doth neuer alter towards his cho∣sen: for he pitcheth his Tents about them to de∣fend them, and his eares are euer open to heare them, if they appeale to him in their aduersities, and he accompanieth them with his holie Angels, to guide and direct them, that they runne not astray.
There is no doubt but there are some that doe meditate on this mercy, and that haue grace again Page 23to consider of this inestimable loue of GOD to∣wardes man, that indeuoureth againe with all hu∣militie and thankfulnes of heart both to loue and feare: and for his sake to be both of a louing and charitable disposition towards their neighbours.
*Here is loue now truely expressed in his owne nature, and this loue must be both celestiall and diuine, when God is at the one end of it.
*We haue hitherto spent the time in deliuering of those faults and follies that are conuersant a∣mongst men. And I thinke if a man were made al of eyes, as Argus was, he could not looke into the one halfe of those vices that now doe infect the world: But is there any escape to be found amon∣gest women. Men you see are full of Faults, but amongest women (some will say) there is but two Faults, and those are, they can neither doe nor say well. But this (as I take it) is rather to bee obiected in the way of merriment, than to be re∣ceived for a trueth. But this is true, there hath bin both good and bad women from the beginning; but for those that haue beene accounted ill, they were neuer halfe so detestable in times past, as they be at this houre: nay, those women that now would be accounted good, and would be angrie if there should be any exceptions taken to their honesty, are more Courtezan-like (to the shew of the world) than euer was Lais of Corinth, or Trine the famous Curtezan of Thebes.
What new fangled attires for the heades, what flaring fashions in their garments, what alteration Page [unnumbered]in their ruffes, what painting of shamelesse faces, what audacious boldnes in company, what impu∣dencie, and what immodestie is vsed by those that will needes be reputed honest, when their open breasts, their naked stomackes, their frizled haire, their wanton eie, their shameles countenance, are all the vaunt errours of adulterie.
With these sleights and shews they haue made Emperours idle, as Anthonie, strong men feeble, as Sampson, valiant men effeminate, as Hercules, wise men dissolute, as Solomon, eloquent men lasciuious as Aurelius.
What is become of that age, when simple beu∣tie was best beseeming an honest woman, when bashfull modestie inclosed in a vertuous breast was their best lewre, whereby to induce an hono∣rable reputation? they were then beloued by the vertuous, by the wise, by the learned: but nowe most commonly, by the lasciuious, by the ydle, and by those Hermaphrodites, that are not wor∣thie the name of men.
Thucidides will needes approoue that woman to be most honest, that is least knowne, and in whose praise or dispraise there is no reporte at all, but it is not possible for any woman so to behaue her selfe, but shee shall be misreported; and the more honest in life, so much the sooner infamed, when it is the common practise of euerie knowne strumpet to scandalize and slaunder that woman, which shee in her owne conscience thinkes to be most honest because it helpeth to couer her own Page 24abhominations (as she thinketh) and the more to blaze it foorth, shee shall not want the assistance of her Ruffians, her Apple-squires, and of those bro∣thell queanes, that lodge, that harbour, and that retaine her, and such as shee is, in their houses for commoditie and gaine.
Nay, they haue the sleight, euen then most di∣uelishly to infame, when they wil make shew most honestly to excuse. And vnder the pretence of fly∣ing reports, which they will say hath beene tolde them by others, they will spreade their owne ve∣nome, complotting and deuising those vntrueths, that neuer were heard nor thought on.
*Many good and vertuous women are by these sleights most shamefully infamed, I cannot there∣fore admitte that reporte should be of any credite, whereby to deeme of womens goodnesse: I haue (me thinkes) a better marke whereby to discerne betweene the good and bad, and I haue gathered it by obseruation. *I haue seldome seene an honest woman to haue many frinds that wil take hir part, that will speake for her, that will quarrell for her, that will fight for hir; there be not many that wil bestow giftes on her, that will lend her mony, that will send her in daily prouision of capons, conies, partriges, pigeons, wine, sugar, spice, and such o∣ther acates, both costly and dainty: you shall not see an honest woman thus supported, vnlesse by a father, a brother, or by a husband.
I haue not knowne an honest woman much frequented, with one, with another, with a third, Page [unnumbered]and so with twentie, euery day a new; I will not speake of nights, for so I might putte all surmise-quite out of question. Nor I neuer heard of wo∣men greatly cloyed with honesty, that would har¦bour such as these, that will defend them, excuse them, shut them vp in a chamber; but I beginne to blush, Ile say no more: you may quickely ghesse a Strumpet by her multitude of friendes, in the court, in the country, in the citty, in the towne, in the east, in the weast, in the north, in the south, in all the quarters of the world. Shee hath adopted fathers, adopted brothers, adopted coosins, adop∣ted friendes, adopted seruants, adopted partners, and such a number of other like adopted compa∣nions, that shee hath more (called by the name of friends) to vndertake in her behalfe, than twenty honest women. Then shee hath her Cutters that must vndertake her quarrelles, Ruffians, Roysters, Swashers, Swearers, Thieues, Robbers, Shifters, and the whole fraternitie, that hath sette aside all feare of God, and shame of the world.
Doe you aske me how shee should induce this large acquaintance? I say, beware of the sleights of an harlot, she hath a tongue to traine, eyes to allure, teares to excuse, lookes to atract, smiles to flatter, imbracements to prouoke, frownes to de∣lay, beckes to recall, lippes to inchaunt, kisses to inflame, a body to performe, and all these to poi∣son.
She had neede to haue many suters, for her ex∣pences are great, and therefore she retaines none Page 25longer than their crownes will last; but she plumes them one after another, till she hath left them nei∣ther feather nor flesh on their backes; and as shee weares them out one after one, so shee disperseth them againe, some to the Physitian to seeke for helpe, some to the Spittle, that are past recure: Some to Weeping Crosse to bewaile their owne follies: Some to raise new rents by the high way side: Some shee sendeth to the Compter, some to Newgate, some to the Gallowes, and all to the Diuell, if they haue not the better grace to repent in time.
*Histories make mention of many famous Cur∣tezans, that it should seeme had great taking; for amongest the rest, this Frine spoken of before, re∣puted to be but a common curtezan, after Alexan∣der had rased the walles of Thebes, proffered the Thebanes, to repaire them at her owne propper charges, but onely that she might be suffered to ingraue this inscription vpon the wall, Alexander rased it, and Frine raised it.
It would be a tedious taske for mee now to take in hand to speake of Faults as they happen to fall out betweene the married, sometimes by a misde∣meaning towardes his louing wife, otherwhiles by a malitious woman towardes her kinde hus∣band. But as the occasions are innumerable that fall out betweene them, so the strifes and debates arising by those occasions woulde be no lesse infi∣nite to be described.
But it shoulde seeme these contentions falling Page [unnumbered]out between man and wife, are not new: for there is a Record of one Gorgias, a famous Orator that was shrewdly combred with an vnquiet wife, who in an Oration exhorting the Greeks to peace and concord, in the middest of his Oration was interrupted by one Melanthus, who crying vnto the people, sayde, My Lordes and Maisters, doe you not see this Gorgias, who with his eloquent Oration, would exhort vs to concord, beeing a number of people, and yet he can not perswade a quiet peace in his owne house, where there is but himselfe, his wife, and his maide that doe liue in continuall strife and debate.
The Athenians to preuent dissentions which might fall out betweene men and their wiues, ap∣poynted certayne Magistrates whome they called Reconcilers of the married.
The Spartans in like manner had certaine set of∣ficers whome they called Harmosyus, who had in charge to correct and chastice the pride and inso∣lencie of married women. But Varro reasoning of womens infirmities saith; that the fault of the wife is either to be taken away, or to be indured: Now he that hath discretion to take it away, bet∣tereth his wife, but hee that hath patience to en∣dure it, maketh himselfe better.
*By this we may perceiue, that the discords fal∣ling out betweene married men and their wiues, are grieuous offences, and so burthensome for many to endure, that Theophrastus a great Philo∣sopher made a question, whether it were expedi∣ent Page 26for a wiseman to marry, or no. And Thales one of the seauen Sages of Greece, being demaunded in his youth why he did not marry, answered, be∣cause it was too soone: and after, comming to more riper yeares, being asked the same question againe, answered, that then it was too late; in this sorte couertly proouing that it was not expedient for a wise man to marry at all.
*Marriage is not onely commended, but it is al∣so commaunded, and by whom? by the Almigh∣tie himselfe, who hath created vs, and who hath saide, It is not good for man to liue alone: And what greater honour than that wee owe to our Parents, being expresly commaunded, Honour thy father and mother; yet this holy institution of wedlocke is more worthily dignified, Thou shalt leaue father and mother, and cleaue to thy wife: when a man be∣takes himselfe to wife, he giues no occasion to be slaundered, but rather iust occasion to be honou∣red.
*Marriages in these dayes, are rather made for fornication than for continencie, not so much in hope of issue, as for gaine of money, more for lu∣cre than for loue: neither is there any respect had to the qualitie, so they may embrace the quanti∣tie; for noblenesse and vertue, alas it is no porti∣on, when a thousand crownes are rather embra∣ced, than two thousand good conditions.
But the world is growne too too wise, and Pa∣rents are too wonderfull prouident in these daies, that in knitting vp of marriages will carke and care Page [unnumbered]for childrens children, before they are borne, yea many times long before they are begotten.
I thinke there is not so arrant a drudge, but if she do bring a portion, she shall haue a husband: neyther is there so seely a Clowne, but if he be a∣ble to make a joynture, hee shall soone haue a wife.
Well, I haue no daughter to marry, and I am glad of it, for I perceiue it riddes me of many en∣combrances, but if I had, and that I were of abili∣tie to giue bountifully, I would sooner bestowe my money to buy her alittle witte, than to buy her a lumpe of flesh, that is but lapt together in a fooles skinne.
*O how foolish is that father, that will bestow his well nourtured daughter in marriage with such a sot, that hath nothing in him but a joynture: these parents doe little considder what a grieuous fault they commit, in bringing their children to a loa∣thed bed; and yet these faults amongest parents are too common.
*These marriages are preparatiues to fornicati∣on and adulterie, and how many inconueniences doe daily fall out, by occasion of these marriages; the world is so full of examples, that I may there∣fore be the more sparing: let him that will needes marry (as neere as hee can) make choice of her that is rich, to the end that the necessities of this life may be supplied. Let her be nobly borne, the better to minister to his reputation, and to ioyne honour to his posteritie. Let her be yoong, that Page 27she may the rather delight him: and that hee may haue no occasion to finde marriage loathsome, let her be faire, the better to content his desires, and to containe him from strange affections: but in any case, let her be wise, honest, and vertuous, to the end hee might with the more securitie repose his estate vpon her gouernement.
*There is nothing wherein Parents doe so much erre, as in bringing vp of their children, that are more desirous to see a childe liue, than to see him vertuous; but what a miserie is this, to see a father liue in wretchednes all the daies of his life, to the end he may die rich, to leaue a light headed son, that wil spend more in one weeke in riot and pro∣digalitie, than the father could scrape together in one yeare with all his sparing miserie? If thy sonne be good and vertuous, a little is enough: if hee be foolish and dishonest, alittle is too much.
There is not a greater reproach to a father then a wicked sonne, because the faults of the children are iustly imputed to the Parents that had no bet∣ter regard to bring them vp in their infancie.
Holy the Priest was not punished for any fault himselfe had committed, but because he winked at the sinnes of his children.
*The Heluetians had an antient Lawe, that if a yongman had receiued sentence of death, the ex∣ecution thereof should be done by his father (if he were liuing) that the father might, in some sorte, be punished for the negligence hee vsed in the e∣ducation and bringing vp of his childe.
Page [unnumbered]And the lawe called Facidia was much to that purpose, by which it was enacted, that the childe should be, for the first offence admonished, for the second punished, for the third hanged; and the fa∣ther should likewise be banished as partaker of his fault.
It is said, that youth neuer reigneth well, but where age doth hold the bridle: but this is cer∣taine, I neuer saw that childe, which was let runne with the reine in his owne necke, but when hee came to ripenesse of yeares, he rather proued a Thorne in his fathers side, or rather a dagger to his heart; heaping griefe and sorrow to his owne soule, either by a mis-led life, infamous and dete∣stable in the eye of the world, or by an vnnatu∣rall, disobedient, and vndutifull demeanour to∣wards his father himselfe.
But Lord, how many incombrances are inci∣dent to parents that are vexed with the practises of amorous daughters! for whilest they are proui∣ding dowries to bestow them in marriages of such as they like, and thinke fittest for them, they pro∣uide themselues of Paramours, such as they list to fancie: But for him that should take to wife, her that hath beene her fathers wanton, were not such a one well sped? he should be sure to haue Gaule to his Sugar, sowre soppes to his sweete meate, he were better to marrie a milke-maide, then to mar∣rie a fathers fondling, one that is called her fathers ioy, his iewell, his dearling, that is brought vp in pleasure, in pride, in idlenesse, in audacious bold∣nesse, Page 28(for that is growne to a fashion) and this is the cause, that women in these dayes haue for∣gotten to blush.
It may be that such a one will bring a great por∣tion, but let him that shall marrie her, make full ac∣compt, that her vanitie will farre exceede her mar∣riage good. And for euery hundred poundes in money, she brings a thousand vanities, a thousand fitts, a thousand follies, a thousand fancies, a thou∣sand new-fangles.
*To day she must keepe her chamber, sicke of a quotidian fitte of follie, to morrow the Coach must be made readie, she must amongest her ac∣quaintance to listen out for new fashions: the third day alas, she breedes child, and then we must looke about for dainties; and farre fet, and deare bought (they say) is fit for Ladies: the Prouerbe is olde, and it may be true, that as knights grow poore, La∣dies grow prowd. But this foolish nicitie that is in this common request amongst women it is got in∣to the bone, and it will neuer out of the flesh; and let it sticke there still, for a nice conceit best be∣comes a pretie soule. She did well expresse it that wept so bitterly, to thinke how much ashamed she should be at the day of iudgement, when shee should stand starke naked before so great an assem∣bly, as she heard say would be there present.
I haue runne my selfe beyond my bounds, my purpose was, but to haue spoken a litle of these faults, that are committed in knitting vp of these wicked and vngodly marriages, and that in such a Page [unnumbered]generall sort, as almost there are no other made.
*I haue a little glaunced by the way, at the folly of those fathers, that doe loue their children with more affection than wit.
If I should now take vpon me to speake of the ingratitude of children towards their parents, I might write a greater volume then my leysure might well permit.
But they say it is a wise childe that doth know his owne father: I say againe, that in many places he is a wise father that doth know his owne child. And there is not a better Item, whereby to discern a Bastard, then to see a brat vnnaturall, and vnkind to him that is taken for his father. Nature her selfe hath taught this, and Nature cannot erre: And therefore that sonne, that both against the law of God, and the law of Nature, becommeth vngrate∣full to him whom he supposeth to be his father, if he be not a Bastard, I say he is worse, and pittie the earth should beare so vngracious a burthen.
I will conclude with this caueat to carelesse pa∣rents, beware of those that doe gape for your lands after your death, and desire the managing of your goods during your life.
But it is true, Nature may be peruerted, and there is no knowledge in the world which is not corrupted, nor any learning, art, or science, which is not abused: It were too great a presumption in me to meddle with Diuinitie: no, it is too high a stile for a Souldiers penne, and I haue learned long since, Ne sutor vltra crepidam.
Whatsoeuer is certaine of it selfe needeth no demonstration: then in Diuinitie, the dignitie of the subiect may suffice, for where the obiect is God, the ground-worke is infallible, still perma∣nent and irreuocable.
Diuinitie hath beene from the beginning, yea, the word was before the world, for the worde was God. Diuinitie is a heauenly law confirmed by anti∣quitie, sealed by God the Law-giuer, written and set downe by the finger of God, and deliuered by those that were inspired by his holy spirit. It hath pleased God from the beginning to raise vp Pa∣triarkes and Prophets, to teach and gouerne his peo∣ple: and after, in the Kingdome of our Sauiour, he ordeined the Ministrie of the Gospel, appointing it perpetuall to the end of the world, and hath fur∣ther taught vs to pray, that labourers might bee thrust into the haruest.
But I am sorie now to speake of our Ministrie, and but according to the trueth, how manie doe make themselues blind, by seeing too much, such as can set the holy Scriptures at a iarre, who curi∣ously searching out the vertue of words, doe care∣lesly subuert the words of the truth.
What is it that they cannot vtterly ouerthrow with their fierie blasts of thundring words by In∣gins of Definitions, Distinctions, Diuisions, Silogisms, Page [unnumbered]*Figures, Allegories, then they haue so many Gene∣rals and Specials, with such glosing, and expoun∣ding, that they will presume euen to measure gods worde, and his workes with their Logicall So∣phismes.
One holds of the Letter, an other would haue vs to search out the meaning contained in the letter, another stands vpon the bare worde, another of the sense, another of I know not what, but it is a miserable & vngracious studie, that doth nothing else but learne how to erre.
The puritie of diuinitie is enspired from aboue, and not to be comprehended by diuiding, defi∣ning, compounding, nor by any other Sophisticall contending.
*In a great part of the world (euen at this day) Mahomet is worshipped, who was the Authour of a verie foolish Religion, and the Iewes are yet looking after their Messias: but amongst vs Chri∣stians it is strange to see, what disagreement there is amongst our Cleargie-men, about rites, about ceremonies, about worshipping, about apparell, a∣bout Discipline, and about I cannot tell what. Yet this is especially to be wondred at aboue the rest, that they doe thinke by these contentious mat∣ters, to ascend into heauen, for the which in times past Lucifer was throwne downe into hell.
I might speake of others, that can content them selues with knowing vntruths, without searching out of the truth; but he that will be a steward of much, must yeeld an account for much, and of Page 30him that hath receiued fiue Talents, the Lord will looke for an increase of fiue Talents.
*The Ministers of Gods worde are these Ste∣wards of God, appointed to dispense his holy Mi∣nisteries. They are the Ambassadours vnto vs with glad and ioyfull tidings, they bring vnto vs the worde of our saluation, they are our fathers that doe beget vs vnto Iesus Christ, by preaching the Gospel of peace, they are the light of the world, to shine before men in all godly example, of loue, of charitie, of humility, of temperance, of chastitie, of sobrietie, of integritie of life, of honest conuersa∣tion, and therefore worthie of double honour.
Such they should be, and of such without doubt there be a great number. And for mine owne part, I protest I know a great many more that be good, then I doe of those that be bad. And I would to God, that those of the better sort would them∣selues looke into the demeanour of some that are a slaunder and reproach to that honourable func∣tion, that can baite his hooke with grauitie, till he hath caught a Benefice, and then the Surplesse must serue to couer a most vngodly carcase.
Those vices are most of all daungerous, that are masked vnder the visour of Vertue, and there is lesse hope in these counterfeit holy Hypocrites, then there is in the Publicane or Harlot: but for their sakes that be good, I will speake no more of those that be ill.
I might likewise spare my labour in speaking of Philosophie, because the studie of wisdome is Page [unnumbered]*now out of fashion. And although there are not many faults to be picked out against the Philoso∣phers of this age (the number being so small) yet I will glaunce a little at some errours committed by those men that haue beene especially extolled and renowmed for their Philosophie.
Philosophie is a strict inquisitor of the soule, and it will diue into many naturall causes, but the cause of all causes, Philosophie knowes not.
The Philosophers that haue so much busied themselues, to search out the causes & beginnings of things, could neuer find out God, the Creator and maker of all things.
*They could speake many good words concer∣ning maners and conuersation amongst men, but of God they spake nothing but dreamingly, nei∣ther dreamed they of him but ouerthwartly: how many grieuous incounters haue there beene a∣mongst the Philosophers themselues (and that of the grauest sort, concerning the principles of natu∣rall things whereof there are many matters, that doe yet hang before the Iudge not fully decided?
Thales Milesius, one of the wise men of Greece, beginning to look into the generation of al things, for the soule hee thought it immortall, for the world he concluded it to haue his beginning by water.
*Anaxagoras, trusting in his owne opinion, fa∣bled, that the Sunne was composed of bright iron, and that the heauens were of stone, wonderfully knit togither lest they should fall.
Page 31Euripides his scholler, he feignes that the Moone had valleyes and mountaines in her, and that the minde was the beginner of all motion, conclu∣ding that all creatures had their creation of earth, fire and water, whereunto had he added the other Element of aire I thinke it would neither haue bin dissonant from reason, nor repugnant from true Philosophie.
For the creation of the earth, Archelaus will haue it of liquid water, inflamed by the heate of fire, and by resolution turned into dust.
Heraclitus, he thinketh all things to haue their originall of fire, concluding with Aristotle, that the generation of one thing is the corruption of an other.
Democritus, Crisippus, with the rest of their co∣herents, imagining somewhat, but yet concluding nothing, they referre the originall of the worlde to a litle Nothing, and making vp a Something of this Chaos, conclude it to be the subiect of corrup∣tion, wherin they harped on a truth in their error, confirming the vanitie of our Metaphisickes, who wading past their reach, concluded something, they knew not what.
Vulgar Philosophers, seeing the marueilous workes which bruit beastes doe performe, affirme and hold no cause of maruell, because they doe it by a naturall instinct.
Galen seeing a yong Kid, but newly fallen from the damme, which being sette vpon the ground, it beganne to goe, as if it had beene tolde and taught Page [unnumbered]that his legges were made to that purpose; and for further experience setting before him sundrie platters, with wine, water, vinegar, oyle, and milke, after the kid had smelt to them all, hee fed onelie of that with milke; which being beheld by diuers other Philosophers, they all cryed out with one voyce, that Hippocrates had great reason to say, That soules were skilfull without the instruction of any teacher.
Galen againe woondering to see the frame of mans body, considering of the seuerall parts how they were seated, euery one applied to a proper vse and office by it selfe, after admiration hee grew to conclude, it was not possible a vegetiue soule, neither yet the temperature could fashion a work∣manship of such singularity, but it was first vnder∣taken by a most wise vnderstanding.
In the time of Aristotle it is recorded of certain children, who immediately after they were borne, spake certaine wordes distinctly and plainely, yet afterwardes were silent as other children of their age; the Philosophers of that time, not being able to coniecture the naturall cause of this effect, im∣puted it to the diuell. Aristotle much offended with this construction vndertooke of himselfe to search out this secret of Nature, which although he laboured with great diligence, was not able to apprehend.
*Plato admired how it might come to passe, that of two sons begotten by one father, the one shuld haue the skill of versifying, without any teaching, Page 32and the other toyling himelfe in the Arte of Poe∣try, could neuer beget so much as one verse.
I see no great cause why Plato shoulde so much wonder at that, when Nature hath euermore ex∣celled Arte, yet I know there hath beene conten∣tion about this superioritie, some vpholding Arte, some other maintaining Nature.
*But to speake a little of the affinitie betweene Arte and Nature, wee are to consider with the Philosophers what Nature is. Tully in his Offices hath this saying, If wee followe Nature as our guide, we shall neuer erre, esteeming Nature for a god, by whome our chiefest good fortunes do happen vn∣to vs.
Aristotles Interpreters diuide Nature in twoo formes, calling the one Natura Naturans, and the other Natura Naturata, this nature which natu∣reth, is that which Tully accompteth for a god.
Then if Art be compared with that which per∣fecteth al things, it should striue with his Founder, but compared with his Equall, it perfecteth that; so that Nature is it which presenteth the subiect, and Art it that perfecteth the subiect.
But Art perfecteth Nature in some things, and Nature excelleth Arte in many things, and yet haue these two so striuen together, that in Proto∣gynes table were as faire grapes in colours, as in Na∣tures gardine they were in substance; for Nature indeede not onely affecteth the sight, but also the sences, when Art in setting out of colours presen∣teth a Shape without a Substance; but so are these Page [unnumbered]two knit together: that if Nature alow no fewel, Art can make no fire: and if Nature allow no co∣lours, we can haue no painting.
*The Philsopher woulde needes tie God to the lawes of Nature, who was the first creater of Na∣ture, which is nothing else more of it selfe, but whatsoeuer it pleaseth God to commaund.
God created Nature, and gaue it a lawe, which lawe he will haue it likewise to followe; but whe∣ther may wee more woonder at the Philosophers for the insight they had in naturall things, or for the blindnesse in the knowledge of Him that was the Author of all things, who the more they labo∣red by their Philosophy to comprehend, by so much the sooner they lost themselues, so that one of their most profound Clarkes called Symonides, desired by Cicero the Tyrant, to inquire what God was, and demaunding but one dayes respite, was in his deepest imaginations so confounded, that seeing the farther hee sought, the more he failed, was enforced to stay his attempts, and to subiect his opinion to the inscrutable essence of the most Highest.
Philosophy in these causes concerning God, is not able to render any reason, because they are not martialled vnder her iurisdiction. And for the Phi∣losophers, albeit they were men of excellent wit and learning: yet being in a time ouerwhelmed with errours and blindnes, they could not behold the perfection of trueth.
Aristotle that was especially extolled amongest Page 33*them for his knowlege in naturall things, deman∣ded from whence it should growe that the riches and wealth of this world, for the most part, was ra∣ther enioyed and possessed by the wicked, than by men of more honest reputation; vnto the which Probleme hee answereth himselfe thus: Because Fortune being blinde, cannot knowe, nor make choice of what is best.
An vnwoorthy answere by so great a Philoso∣pher, for according to the rules of natural reason, the solution of this demaund is this, that the lewd sort, through craft and subtilty are more apt to be∣guile in their buying and selling, & can exact their profite, by periurie, extortion, and by many other lewde and vngodly deuises, which the honest and well disposed would stagger at, in respect of hone∣stie and conscience.
This is partly confirmed by our Sauiour Christ by the example of the Steward, who being called to an account by his Master, reserued a round pro∣portion of the goods to his owne vse; which wis∣dome, though it were faultie, yet Christ in this sort commended it, saying; The children of this world are wiser in their generation then the children of light. But these natural Philosophers, because they could not reach into the height of Diuinitie, deuised so fond and ill ioynted a cause, as Lady Fortune, to whose power they might impute good or badde successe.
This Fortune, as she is feigned by the Poets, is painted blind, standing on a ball, and turning with Page [unnumbered]*euerie winde, but it is a more easie matter to wipe her away, then it is to paint her, for take away ig∣norance from men, and Fortune presently vani∣sheth away.
Some of the Philosophers will needes haue it, that all occurrents (whatsoeuer) are gouerned by a fatall destinie, and this fate or destinie they do call God. As Crisippus first speaking of a spirituall power gouerning the whole world, concludeth it to be the destinie, the eternall purpose and decree of all things.
*Some others would make God himselfe to be subiect to the wheele of destinie: amongst the rest, Seneca maketh a prettie hotch-potch, in these wordes. An irreuocable course carrieth away both hu∣mane, and diuine things: the Maker and Ruler of all things, decreed destinies, but now he followeth them, he commaunded once, but he obeyeth foreuer.
Poets haue feigned, that Giants in times past haue aduaunced themselues against God, to pull him out of his throne, by the poynt of the sword, how many of those Giants are yet remaining, that doe struggle and striue (as much as in them lieth) to wrest his Scepter out of hands, and to depriue him of his prouidence; and with Seneca, wil ascribe all the chaunces of this world, to Fortune, Fate, or Destinie.
Who is so foolish to thinke, that the affaires of mortall men are carried headlong, or do happen, as it were by chance-medley: he is (no doubt) in a pittifull case, that will not acknowledge the Crea∣tor Page 34of all things, to be most fitte to haue the go∣uernment of all things, and that God, to whose ab∣solute perfection nothing is more agreeable, then to be both able and willing, to take the care and charge of his owne workmanship: the chaunces & changes of this world, is first determined from heauen, the ebbing and flowing of all humane af∣faires, are onely depending of this Moone. The ri∣sing and falling of Kingdomes are still gouerned by this aspect: It is he that ruleth, guideth and go∣uerneth all the rowling Spheares of heauen, the manifold courses of the Starres and Planets, the successe in alteration of the Elements: and to bee short, of all the things whatsoeuer in heauen or earth. O blinde mortalitie that will striue against the streame, and hast not wisedome to discerne of this great Worke-master, that at his pleasure pul∣leth downe and setteth vp! And if without pre∣sumption I may speake, it maketh a sport at human affaires, determining and disposing at his owne pleasure, the plots and purposes, enduoured and set downe by the wisedome of men.
They are much deceiued, who would perswade the affaires of the world to bee turned about by chaunce, or vncertaintie, when euerie thing by an immutable lawe, folows the order preordained & established by an eternall appointment. Will you then say, what course shall I take? Shall I doe no∣thing but leaue all to this preordinate destinie? A∣las good man, thou art euen now in the readie path that leadeth vnto it, and drawn into this high Page [unnumbered]way likewise by destinie, that is to say, by the ap∣pointment of God.
Art thou inclined to vertue? God knoweth it, & furthers thee doost thou addict thy self to vice, he knowes that also, and suffreth thee: there is left in man onely a free-will to struggle and striue a∣gainst God, but no power to performe it.
We must not yet think that God is variable, but attributing all things to his eternall foresight, wee must acknowledge him to be stayed, resolute, and immutable, alwaies one and like himselfe, not wa∣uering nor varying, but firme and constant in all his determinations, preordained and set down be∣fore the foundation of the world.
Wouldest thou yet know why the vengeance of God ouerskippeth some, and lighteth againe vpon othersome; and doost thou seeke with Ari∣stotle to know the cause?
*Let me answere with Euclides, who being asked of many things concerning God, answered fitly: other things I know not, but of this I am assured, he hateth curious inquisitors: I may likewise an∣swere safely in this cause, I know nothing, but this I am sure, Gods will is a cause aboue all causes, and he that seeketh any other, is ignorant of the diuine nature: for when God speaketh, it becommeth man to hold his peace; and when he vouchsafeth to teach vs, it becommeth vs to beleeue.
But of whom dost thou demand this question but of God? to whom all things are lawfull what∣soeuer he liketh, and nothing liketh him, but that Page 35which is lawfull.
I will not presume to wade any further into the secret iudgements of God, who forbearing the vngodly in their wickednesse for a season, pay∣eth them in the end with more grieuous punish∣ment than that which is obiected to our eyes, or that which is inflicted vpon the body.
*But would you see one example of the secret iudgements of God? Titus the Emperour had in∣telligence what Christ had prophecied of Ierusa∣lem, that one stone should not be left standing vp∣on an other: see nowe the secret iudgementes of God, that the same man that persecuted the Chri∣stians at Rome, goeth now to Ierusalem, to reuenge the death of Christ vppon the Iewes that had cru∣cified him, drawne heereunto (without doubt) by his owne passion but ouer-ruled by God to be the executioner of his Iustice, who many times looseth the reines of bloud to runne vpon bloud, drawing one sinne to doe execution on an other, one murtherer to kill another, one wicked Cittie to afflict another, and one prowd nation to chase and persecute another.
*For the seauen liberall Sciences, Grammar, Lo∣gicke, Arithmetike, and the rest, if I should take vppon mee to speake in their commendations, I might happen to speed as he did that would needs take vpon him to speake in the praise of Hercules, and to that purpose had whetted the strength of his wit to haue made a long Oration. But a Philo∣sopher hearing this needelesse commendation ve∣ry Page [unnumbered]prettily interrupted him, and asked him, Whie who discommends Hercules? and I doe thinke there is not a greater argument of folly, then for a man to vndertake the praise of that which is more ex∣cellent of it selfe, than any other commendation a man can render vnto it.
For those that are professours of the Artes, if there be any that are of a contentious wrangling spirit, they are vnto such a one, like a sword in a madde mans handes, more apt to doe hurt than good.
*The Grammarian, his subiect is but wordes, teaching vs to bring the diuers partes of speach in one congruitie, and to this purpose they doe ma∣ny times, tire, and martire themselues more than needes.
*Logicke teacheth how to sift out the troth from a number of falshoodes, howe to frame an argu∣ment; it setteth downe rules and precepts how to define, distinguish, diuide, conclude, and how to iudge and argue.
But there be too many, that with this little mist of knowledge will seeke to peruert and deface all knowledge, and sometimes by wresting the wea∣pons of reason, will mannage them to the confu∣sion of Reason it selfe.
*Rhetorike by her rules doth beautifie the speach with pollished words, fine phrases, and gratious colours, whereby to stirre affections, which is fit∣ter to adorne a leasing, than to set forth a serious troth, which the Apostle well proueth, where he Page 36saieth, Christ sent me not to Baptize, but to Preach, and that not in wisdome of words lest the crosse of Christ might proue in vaine.
*Which woordes the Apostle vsed, to the end the Gentiles should not thinke his exhortation to be but a well cowched leasing, such as their Ora∣tors were accustomed to perswade by the force of their Arte, for those haue most neede of artificiall speeches, who with pleasing words doe go about to couer dishonest deedes.
The country-man is more afraid of the serpent that lieth hidden in the grasse, than of the wilde beast that feedeth openly on the mountaine. The mariner is more endaungered by hidden shelues than knowne rockes, and more perrill in a secret ambush, than in a ranged battell.
*A naked tale doth most truly set foorth a naked trueth, and veritie then shines most brightly, when she is in least brauery.
A good cause bringeth credite, it needeth not the help of Art; and to vse superfluous eloquence in a matter of sufficient excellencie, is a greater shew of a pregnant wit, than of a perfect wisedom; yet eloquence is one of the greatest graces, where∣by the popular sort are best perswaded, and thinke that a man hath much wisedome and knowledge, if he can speake with great eloquence, and hath a sweete tongue with pleasing wordes.
Aristotle writte with such slender ornament of wordes, with such simple manner of deliuerance, and with such obscuritie of stile, (but yet his Axi∣omes, Page [unnumbered]Problemes, and all his sentences being ope∣ned, they held such lineaments and proportions of rare admiration, that some ignorant expositours would needes conclude, that Aristotle had deliue∣red his writings in this sort, but of sette purpose, rendring this reason, because hee would that his workes should passe with the greater authoritie, he writ vnder Riddles.
They might haue saide the like by Plato, who with no lesse harsh breuitie obscureth his reasons, and many times darkeneth his writings by the ill placing of the parts of his tale; but yet Cicero prai∣sing his eloquence, saide, That if Iupiter should haue spoken Greeke, hee would haue spoken as Plato did.
*Musicke hath his proceeding from the concor∣dance and agreement of soundes; I would I could praise it but halfe so well as I loue it, but yet for all that, for him that hath his head troubled with too many crochets, I would rather wish to haue his cunning than his wit.
*Arithmeticke proceedeth but from a vnite; yet by addition, multiplication, and the rest of her partes, it comprehendeth things that be infinite.
*Geometry hath likewise his proceeding but from a pricke, but the knowledge of it is excellent, and serueth for diuerse purposes, both for peace or warre: But wee haue Geometritians in these dayes, some that if they can but drawe three lines with a Compasse, will vaunt themselues to haue as much cunning as euer had Euclides.
*Astrologie, for the Science it selfe, it is a high my∣sterie; Page 37Mary amongst the Professors there is great variety, I will not speake of incertainty, because there is one thing certaine which I my selfe can as∣sure: and that is, whilest the Astrologian is calcu∣lating for others, hee knowes not what is hanging ouer his owne head.
*The Letters are the first instruments of the arts, and Grammar, Logicke, and Rhetoricke are onely en∣tries into the rest of the Sciences, and may be cal∣led the Artes of well speaking.
*Learning is the Ladder whereby to climbe to heauen, it raiseth men from earthly vanities, to the contemplation of things celestiall and diuine: A man that is enlightned with knowledge, grasps after vniuersalities, and Science it is that stretches it selfe to the heauens, it meditates of eternity, and makes steppes whereby to ascend to the throne of Glorie.
*A man without Learning, is but an immortall beast, he hath being with blocks, life with plants, and sence with beasts: but as Aristotle saieth, that the reasonable soule partaking of the same generall nature with the Angells, is ashamed to behold her selfe placed in a body which hath but fellowship with beasts. And as Socrates hath defined, a man that is destitute of knowledge, if hee be amongest the best, hee may be saide to bee a man amongest beasts; but amongst the learned, the best you can repute of him, is to be but a beast amongest men. There is nothing then so much to be sought for, as this knowledge of Artes, for that is the maine O∣cean Page [unnumbered]of celestiall light, from whence all knowlege doth deriue it selfe: And Science dooth illustrate the minde with all vnderstanding that is requisite or behoouefull eyther for body or soule: This is it that maketh the eyes of the minde so christaline and cleere, that by it we haue all totall knowlege, either humane or diuine.
*This is it that many times beyond the limits of humanitie, men haue beene reckoned amongest the fellowship of the Gods, for when there was a∣ny man found to be excellent, whether in Science or Armes, or in influence of witte, or had any o∣ther singular or soueraigne qualitie of the minde, which made him seruiceable vnto the Common∣wealth, him they deified and yeelded him diuine honor.
*The Romanes haue worshipped Iupiter the A∣dulterer and Rauisher; they erected an Altar to e∣uill Fortune, in one of their mountaines at Rome, and they haue inuented gods in hel, and haue wor∣shipped and honoured diuels, vnder the titles and names of Dis, of Pluto, and such other.
Flora a publique curtizan, and a woman, whose body was abandoned to all lust and alurements of the flesh, was canonized and honoured with an I∣mage or Figure, for that all the goodes shee had gotten with the filthie vse of her bodie, shee be∣queathed to the Senate; for which fact they gaue her diuine honour, and celebrated her feast euerie yeere, wherein as a speciall ceremonie, there was libertie for all yong men to be naked, and to exer∣cise Page 38their pleasure with the first woman they didde finde.
*Marcus Varro writeth, that Brasilius the Phi∣losopher found at Rome two thousand eight hun∣dred gods, which carry no small possibilitie of troth; for the Pope and his disciples, do yet euery yeere consecrate (at the least) three times so many: they haue learned since of the Gentiles to dedicate their Churches to the Saintes, as they didde their Temples to their Pagan gods. But it is written, that Xerxes did once burne al the Temples that were in Greece, because he thoght it a most vngodly thing, to shut vp gods in houses, and to imprison them in stone walles.
*But as I haue already saide, it is Science ioyned with vertue, that is, the riches of the minde, and this treasure of the minde is it that maketh this dif∣ference betweene a man and a beast. This minde, I say, that being enlightned with knowledge, is a∣ble to compasse the earth, to eleuate the Poles, that can mount vp to the heauens, and can trauell from house to house, from sphere to sphere, from planet to planet, that can diue into the sea, and sincke to the gates of hell, that can circuite the whole world, distinguish of all time and ages, and all this in a moment.
*But this trauell of wit is yet the most thriftlesse and vnprofitable exercise that a man can endeuor, for where findeth it rewarde or recompence? The Swaine that followeth his handie worke, is paid at night for his dayes labour. The Cobler Page [unnumbered]that sits and clowtes a shooe, receiues his pennie for his patch: but he that doth toile and tire him∣selfe to digge the Mine of witte, may reape good wordes: and (I say) he that reapeth them for satis∣faction, his pay is good, he speedeth not amisse; and yet he that is still fed with wordes, shall sterue with wants.
The conclusion is, knowledge is precious, and yet true felicitie consisteth not in the knowledge of goodnesse, but in a good life, not so much in vnderstanding, as in liuing with vnderstanding.
*May we speake a little of Historiographers, their office is as well to record faults, as worthie Acts; their pennes haue not spared to describe the times and ages past, and no prince hath escaped, but his behauiour hath beene published, either to his glo∣rie or reproach: But our Hystorians in this age that cannot flatter, cannot thriue. I must accuse them of palpable offence, who in relating their histories, should tie themselues to exact truth. But some of them haue so powldred their writings with such varietie of discourse, as he is but a single-soald rea∣der, that cannot perceiue they haue flattered, (I will not say fittoned.) Looke but into our English Chronicles, and see what descriptions they haue made of Pettigrees, not so much to set downe a truth, as they haue done to please greatnesse.
*I might likewise speake of Poetrie, and of the fictions of Poets, that haue many times induced to honest recreation, and vnder commendable re∣semblances, they haue discouered the customes Page 39& conditions of men, impropriating many things to the actions of men, euermore extolling of the vertuous, and imbasing of such as do seeke their fe∣licitie in vice.
They feigned Prometheus to haue stolne the fire from Iupiter, because he was the first that instructed the Egyptians in a forme of ciuilitie: & Atlas for the wonderfull skill that he had in Astronomie, was feigned to beare the heauens on his shoulders.
When they sought to blame or deface the vi∣cious, the better to make men abhorre them, they transformed those of dissolute & licentious life in∣to brute beastes. In this sort still comparing men good or bad, according to the good or bad proper∣ties that were in them. For this vaine of Poetrie, it is good if it be in good mens handling; it hath beene prohibited in many common wealths. But Socrates admonisheth, that if any man be carefull of his honour, let him foresee that he hath not a Poet to his enemy, because they haue not so great a grace in praysing, as in il speaking.
But yet for all that, to blaze the praises of my friend, I could wish a Poets pen, who with a drop or two of Inke, can exalt him whom they loue, and leaue him famed and renowmed to posteritie.
*I could finde in my heart to praise Poetrie, and to commend a great many of Poets that I am ac∣quainted withall, and many other likewise that I know, by the excellencie of their liues, but their owne workes are a better commendation then I am able to apply. And although I cannot render Page [unnumbered]them that due honour according to their woorth, yet I will carrie them that renerend regard accor∣ding to their wit.
*But we haue such a number of Bastard Poets in these dayes, that would seeme to be retaining to the Muses, but alas they doe Minerua wrong, they pester the Stacioners stalles with such vnprofitable stuffe, that learning might seeme to be the Mistres of vngodlinesse.
*Some conuert all their reasons into rime, and because they can set downe a Balductum verse, doe thinke they haue recouered Virgils veine in Poetrie.
*Some will write a whole volume, neither in rime, nor reason: some others inclined to a more pleasing vaine, will runne throgh a large discourse, all of meere flatterie: But what a number of Pam∣phlets haue wee by our new writers of this age, whereof the greatest part are nothing else but va∣nitie: and how many haue written (but they will say not of vaine-glorie) and yet their bookes are full of ambition.
O how many others might I speake of, that do labour with the mountaines, to bring forth Mice, that doe seeke to draw the Lions skin vpon Esops Asse, and Hercules shooe vpon a childes foote! but they doe well to sute the world with bookes ac∣cording to the fashion; for rude limping lines, are best befitting a lame halting age: writers are not so vaine, but readers (for the most part) are iij. times more foolish. For he that is but in a blew coate Page 40*with a cognizance, if he can but make curtesie af∣ter the new fashion, and that his wit will but serue him to play with his Mistresse little dogge, he dare take vpon him to censure any thing. And these rash readers will make such expositions, as the Au∣thour himselfe neuer thought on, and they will dispraise many things that they could neuer con∣ceiue; and they will praise againe, what they neuer vnderstood. Ignorance neuer spareth to commit Sacrilege: these Paper monsters therfore are fittest to fill the dull conceits of the multitude with ad∣miration, amongst whom a strained stile is in bet∣ter account, then the best laboured lines. *Yea, the Printer himselfe, to make his booke the more ven∣dible, doth rather desire a glorious Title, than a good Booke: so that our new written Pamphlets of these times, are not much vnlike to a poore Inne in a Countrey towne, that is gorgiously set foorth with a glorious signe; but being once entred into the house, a man shall find but cold intertainment, as well of homely lodging, as of bad fare.
They are but resemblances to the Apples that are said to grow about Sodom, which being plea∣sant to the eye, doe vanish into smoke, or into soot as soone as a man doth but put his teeth into them: and like the small bells of the Choribantes, that may make a little tingling noise, but they are good for nothing but to trouble the braine.
To speake truly, I haue many times beene de∣ceiued with these flourishing Titles that I haue seene pasted vpon a Post, for bestowing my mony Page [unnumbered]*in haste at my better leisure looking into the book, and finding such slender stuffe, I haue laughed at my owne folly: but I haue yet made vse of them, for what will not serue for one thing may well be imployed to another. I learned that of the Lion, who being aduised to discharge the Asse, and the Hare, as vnprofitable in his campe, the one for his simplicitie, the other for his timeritie, aunswered, that notwithstanding they were vnfitte for the fight, yet he would make vse of them, the one to serue for a Trumpetter, the other to be imployed as a Purseuant. And I neuer met with so vaine a book, but that I could gather something out of it for mine owne instruction, if it were but to blesse my selfe from his humour that writ it.
*But let them go with their bookes, they are but small faults, they are good yet, if it be but to set the Printers a worke, that otherwise should be idle, and I thinke they do little harme, vnlesse amongst that sort of people, that are themselues as vaine as the bookes: but I will now wade into matter of some more importance, not to detect any faultes that I know, yet such as haue beene knowne in times past, and therefore now good if they could be shunned.
As the bodie cannot guide it self without eies; so a Common-wealth cannot be gouerned with∣out Maiestrates, but such as ought to bee cleare sighted: for the bodie giueth more credite to the eie, then it doth to the eare, & men are rather mo∣ued to one good example which they see with Page 41*their owne eyes, then a thousand wordes testified by reports, and therefore whosoeuer he bee that commandeth, from the highest to the lowest, must winne his opinion from well doing, and not by well saying.
It was not pronounced without great Mysterie where God commaunded in the booke of Deute∣ronomie, that such as should aspire to the admini∣stration of publique gouernment, should be wise and Noble.
Authoritie is the Touchstone whereby to trie the perfection of any mans vertue: for in autho∣ritie, the vertuous doe manifest their goodnesse, but the wicked will so much the sooner lay open their vice.
*Couetous persons (amongest all other) are most pernitious to be admitted to administration of Iustice: and the counsell that Iethro gaue to Moses, amongst other things, was, that he should not giue any publique office of iustice vnto anie couetous person.
*The most ignorant are euer aptest, to beleeue that they are most worthy of the chiefest promoti∣ons; and because they did neuer mannage any af∣faires of importance, they know not what burthen and difficulties are therevnto incident: how many haue sought to aduaunce themselues to beare rule and gouernment by their wealth (which indeede is but the nurce of vice) who once placed in au∣thoritie, haue made port sale, both of Vertue and Iustice, seeking still to enrich themselues by the Page [unnumbered]ruines of the Common-wealth, increasing as fast in their wickednesse, as they did in their wealth.
Where the Magistrate is good, the people are not lightly ill; so that the goodnesse, or ilnesse of the Common-wealth doth much consist in the Magistrate. It is not then without great considera∣tion that the multitude should pray for the Ma∣gistrate: But hee that is honoured more for his power, then he is for his puritie of life, may speake (as it were) in the person of God, This people honou∣reth me with their lippes, but their heartes are farre from me.
It hath euer beene a thing detested amongest the multitude, to see an vnworthie man, that is ei∣ther inclined to pride, to couetousnesse, to oppres∣sion, or other such like, to be aduaunced, or so fa∣uoured, that he should sway at his owne pleasure without impeachment, no man daring to examine his wrongs and oppressions; such greefes haue tur∣ned to great inconuenience: for preuention wher∣of, the antiquitie haue vsed to banish those for cer∣taine yeares that haue so aspired; yea sometimes though they were not to bee charged with any publique crime or offence.
Aristophenes foreseeing this danger of greatnes, what a meane it might proue whereby to attempt the vsurpation of tyrannie, deuised a tragedie, ray∣sing Pericles from hell, wherein he exhorted the Magistrate not to nourish a Lion in their Cities; for if they fall to cherishing of him whilest hee was little, they must of necessitie obey him when hee Page 42was growne great.
Where exceptions of persons are respected, there iustice must needes bee corrupted. And nothing can be permanent that is corrupted, and therefore the greater he is that offendeth, by so much the more deserueth to be punished: and the more au∣thoritie a Magistrate hath to commaund, the lesse libertie he hath to offend.
It may be called a happie gouernment (as Plato saith) where the ambitious are not suffred to beare rule. And it is no lesse pittifull againe, where abuse is not redressed by the care of the Magistrate, and where those that are oppressed dare not complain.
Authoritie is by many desired, but by few well executed. And although it were knowne that our Sauiour Christ was accused by false testimonie, yet those that sat in iudgement would rather con∣demne iustice, then displease the wicked.
*Iniurie and oppression vsed by those that haue beene in authoritie, haue turned to Commotions, Rebellions, and Reuolts, and there is no broile more noysome and hurtfull to any weale publike, then that which falleth out betweene the Magi∣strates, and the Commons, about gouernment: for if we should aduisedly call to minde Hystories of Antiquitie, it would appeare that there hath not been any gouernment so happily founded, which hath not beene shaken againe through dissention, and discord, rising and falling out betweene those of ancient Nobilitie, and the meanest sort of the rascall and peeuish people.
*Page [unnumbered]The pollitike gouernement of the Switzers was changed by a generall mutiny of the multitude, who for the tyranny of their Princes and Magi∣strates freed themselues by murdring all that took vpon them, either the dignitie or title of a Gentle∣man.
*The multitude of the people, the greatest part of them, are ignorant of the best things; they are e∣uermore desirous of chaunge, hating still what is present: amongst whome the counsaile of the wise were neuer heard without daunger, neither can there be any thing profitably ordain'd by the con∣fused fury of the multitude.
And although popular loue be light, yet their hatred is heauie: and it little auailes to haue walles and fortresses, where the heartes of the people are estranged.
Dionisius the Tirant being guarded with many armed Souldiers, was asked by Plato, why he had committed so many offences, that he should be so imprisoned with so many squadrons.
The feare conceiued by subiects hath bin cause of mutation, and the feare of the Spanish Inquisiti∣on, was the first cause of Netherlands reuoult: sub∣iects haue reason to fear that are kept in fear with∣out reason: and he that is feared of many, is hated of many, and he had need to haue a large winde, that will saile against the Tide.
Aristotle thinkes, that the common good of the multitude is rather to be preferred, than the pri∣uate profite of some few. And yet he wisheth ra∣ther Page 43*to abolish the humorous passions of the mul∣titude, than to fauour it. And Diogenes seeing the people to throng out of church doore, preased as fast against them to get in, and hauing once entred he said, It was the part of wisemen to be alwayes contra∣ry to the multitude.
*The vulgar people, through their dull wittes, and brutish nature, can not perceiue what is profi∣table, either to themselues, or to their country, but the noble minde is not only the worker of present profite, but also through great foresight, preuents imminent daunger: Furthermore, the common people haue no taste nor feeling of honor and re∣nowne, neither in the defence of their countrey, or of any corage or hardinesse of stomacke; where on the other side the noble bloud is inflamed with renowne, abhorreth dastardly cowardlinesse, and in defence of a common profite, attempteth great and dangerous enterprises: but it is necessitie that maketh more wise men amongest the multitude, than any other doctrine that reason can perswade.
It hath been questioned, whether that gouern∣ment be better where there is a naughtie Prince & good ministers vnder him, or where the Prince is good, and the Magistrates euill. Marius Maximus leaneth to the first; and a pillar of Philosophie hath set downe this for a Maxime, how that com∣mon-wealth is best and most assured where the Prince is ill conditioned, rather than that where the Ministers are corrupt and badly disposed.
But there be many other of great authoritie, Page [unnumbered]*that will in no wise consent, when former experi∣ence hath so many times taught, that euill men be oftener corrected by a good Prince, than an euill Prince amended by good men; but this is certain, there can be no worse gouernement than that that is managed by opinion.
*Seditious estates with their owne deuises, false friendes with their owne swordes, and rebellious commons with their own snares, are ouerthrown.
Either Riches or Pouertie when they are in ex∣treamitie, doe bring the Common wealth to ru∣ine, for excesse is euer vnassured, and in daunger to be shaken.
*Amongst many eares in a well gouerned com∣mon-wealth, there hath beene great respect had to these idle begging people, whose libertie of running about hath produced many inconuenien∣ces; sometimes in the time of sickenesse, they haue spread the infection by their licentious liber∣tie of gadding from place to place; othersome a∣gaine, vnder the pretence of begging, haue sear∣ched out the secrets of Citties and Townes, haue layed them open to an ennemy, haue poysoned waters, and haue sometimes fired Citties, as the citty of Tire, and other Citties in Fraunce haue well experienced, and it is strange that here in our Country we haue so long escaped these practises, when such multitudes of sturdy rogues haue bin suffered so ordinarily to passe, by two, by three, by foure; yea sometimes by sixe and more in a com∣pany, vnder the pretence of begging Souldiors, Page 44that neuer crossed the Seas (the most of them) to come where seruice was: I speake not this to the annihilating of charitie, which God knows is too colde already, when those that are poore and nee∣die indeede, growne decrepite with age, with im∣potencie, with sickenesse, with griefe, and are not pittyed, but suffered to lie in the open streetes, pi∣ning away without any reliefe.
But it is no great reproach, to see a poore man, that hath spent his bloud in the defence of his Country, that is able to bring good Testimonie of his honest seruice, and beeing returned home, hurt, maimed, lamed, dismembred, and should be suffered to crouch, to creepe, to begge, and to in∣treate for a peece of bread, and almost no body to giue it him.
Well, God be thanked of amendment, they say there is better order taken, and there is great hope it will be as well executed.
*I will not speake of Faults committed amongst Officers, that in times past, for the most part, by seeming, haue been transported into priuate gaine, for if Princes themselues did aduisedly considder how much it would redownd aswel to their own commoditie, as to the benefite of their subiects, to looke to these Horse-leaches, that haue suckt their own gaine, by the ruines of Princes, and the wrack of commonwealths, they would become as vigi∣lant as Vespasian, who in the beginning of his go∣uernement, gaue the greatest Offices and Digni∣ties of Rome, to those that were especially noted Page [unnumbered]*for oppression and wrong. And when he was as∣ked, why he did so, seeing authoritie giuen to the wicked was a meane to make them worse: He an∣swered, that he serued his turne with such Officers as with spunges, which when they hadde drunke their fill, were then fittest to be pressed.
*That gouernment must needs be happie where places of office and authoritie were giuen to such men as knew how to execute them as they ought: and vnhappy againe haue those Commonwealths euer prooued, where those haue beene preferred that were better skilled in taking, than in execu∣ting.
*Alexander Seuerus both punished and deposed as many as had bought their offices, saying, they solde deerer by retale, than they bought in the grosse: I will not say that it is preiudiciall vnto the Common-wealth, that Offices should be bought and solde for money. But this is true, that Princes ought to bee very circumspect by whom they are mannaged, because, being to continue in the same during their liues, the holders are the lesse subiect to correction. And being bought and sold for money, they are the more subiect to corrupti∣on.
Offices that were wont to be painfull toiles for men of honestie and care to be heedefull of, are now become gainfull spoiles, executed by those that endeuour their owne commoditie, exacting their owne gaine, by the spoile both of Prince and Countrie. But in that Common-wealth where Page 43Officers are made to do their dueties (and no more than appertaineth to iustice and right) they will giue as much to be rid of an Office, as they will doe now to buy an Office.
*Pollicie is a speciall parte of gouernement, and the state and pollicie of the time is not for priuate men to deale withall: and Pollicie that is legitti∣mate, first begotten by Wit, and then fostered by Honestie, is not to be neglected, but that which more respecteth profit than it doth the soueraigne Pollicie prescribed by Gods lawe, is it which the Apostle speaketh of, The wisedome of the fiesh is en∣mitie to God.* He dooth not say an enemy, for an enemy might be reconciled, but enmity it selfe can neuer be reconciled, and therefore he addeth further, The wisedome of the flesh is death: And al∣though the name of Pollicie at the first sight doth carry a great and glorious shew, yet being estran∣ged from that Pollicie before spoken of comman∣ded by God, it doth not reach vnto that perfecti∣on of true christian gouernement that many haue seemed to perswade.
The drift of worldly Policie is to do litle good, but to the end to doe a great deale of harme; for Pollicie and Profite haue euer marched arme in arme in one ranke: and how many Princes haue bin abused (yea and sometimes dishonoured) vn∣der those plausible pretences.
Profite being diuorced from Honestie, beget∣teth but a bastardly progenie, and it is a very dan∣gerous doctrine, to teach that Profite may be sepa∣rated Page [unnumbered]from honestie, when there is nothing profi∣table, vnlesse it be honest.
He therefore that maketh diuision betweene profite and honestie peruerteth Nature; and hee seeketh but his owne shame, that seeketh but his owne profite.
*All Policie therefore is to be reiected, that ten∣deth not to publique profite, or that preferreth the vaine policies of men, before the infallible po∣licie reuealed in the worde of God: for these Poli∣titians (for the most part) doe neuer consider, that the principal things that do bring miseries and dis∣orders to whole Countries, & Kingdoms, are such offences, as are counted directly against the Maie∣stie of God.
Looke into histories, and you shall find no states-men more pestilent to a Common-wealth, then these Polititians, that squared out their go∣uernment by the rules of their owne wits. Looke into the two Catoes, the one with his frantique ac∣cusations disturbing the whole Common-wealth of Rome, and the other going about ouer-wisely to protect it, did vtterly subuert it yea, and Cicero with all his eloquence, was as troublesome amongst the Romanes, as Demosthenes was amongst the Athe∣nians.
There be many other of these great polititians which might be named, that with their peeuish disciplines haue disturbed the quiet of states, (so that in mine opinion) there is not a more pesti∣lent thing then this plague of policy, which diuides Page 46it selfe from the policie prescribed by the rule of Gods word.
*When the humour of preferring our countrie before any other thing was had in request, there was no man so meane, but if he could endeuour his Countries good, his reputation was aduanced, and his wisdom was not suffered to go away emp∣tie-fisted: then men might speake freely, so they spake truly: but after the Polititian, he that hath but a Mammon for his God, and Machiuell for his ghostly father, had once gotten the mannaging of Common-wealth affaires; they haue so prohibi∣ted this libertie of free speaking for their Coun∣try, with their prescription of, Quod supra nos, nihil ad nos: that the meanes whereby the Romanes, the Grecians, & many other florishing estates, wrought their greatest woonders, in aduauncing their Common-wealths, were long sithence taken a∣way vnder the colour of Policie, and pregnancie of wit.
We are priuileged by our Country, and vnder the ensignes of her authoritie, it is not onely law∣full for vs to spend our liues, but it is like behoue∣ful to vndertake any thing, that may be for her safe∣tie, and the good of our Prince.
Curtius, for the good of his common-wealth, leaped into the Gulfe, Sceuola burned his hand, be∣cause he missed the killing of Porcenna: Horatius fought against the whole armie of the Tuscans, whilest the Bridge was broken behind his backe.
But these dayes are past, for many that did then Page [unnumbered]*striue who should exceed in Vertue, do now con∣tend how the one might excell the other in Vice: and that feruencie of zeale that we should beare to God, to our Prince, and to our Countrey, it is growne cold, and it is conuerted to this olde Ad∣age: Euerie man for himselfe, and God for vs all: (as they would haue it) but I say, If euerie man be for himselfe, the Diuell for vs all, for so we shall find it.
I must here craue your gentle patience, that you would please to giue me leaue to Lie a little, and yet a little time would hardly serue my turne, for if I should lie, but according to the truth (I meane if I should tell all that is reported) a whole Resme of Paper would not suffice my little wit to set it downe at large: but if they be lies, they shall cost you no money, you shall haue them cheape inough in conscience, I will not aske with the Lawier, for euerie lie a Fee; no, keepe your money till you haue need of Lawiers helpe.
*For mine owne part, I haue had little to doe a∣mongst Lawiers, but for those few that I do know, and haue had to deale withall, I dare protest them to be Gentlemen of that honest life and conuersa∣tion euerie way, as there is no exceptions to bee taken against them.
The Text that I haue now taken in hand, is to speake of Faults. The innocencie then of those that be good, must not be a shelter to those that be bad: and all the ill that I haue to speake is but by report, but Report is a lier, and let him be so still. A man for all that may tell a lie by report; I wil proue Page 45it, I hope the Lawiers themselues will vpholde the cause that are driuen in their proceedings at the Bar, to vent a great number of lies: but as they take them by report from their foolish Clients; here is now all the difference, the Lawier is well feed for his lie, and I sell you mine for nothing.
*Then first I acknowledge the Law it selfe to bee worthie of all honourable repute, being leuelled and proportioned according to the first institu∣tion: for the end wherevnto Law hath relation, is to profit the good, to perfect the commonwealth, to relieue the oppressed, to minister iustice, nei∣ther is there any vice, which is not by Law bridled; yea, where God himselfe was not knowne, Law ministred equitie, and the power of excesse by it hath beene restrained.
By Law good disciplines are prescribed, the Common-wealth gouerned, and all policies to the maintenance of peace, both begunne, conti∣nued, & ended. In the commendation of the Law, what can be said more? They haue relation, first to Religion, next to Determination, thirdly, to prescrip∣tion and custome, and pleas whatsoeuer hauing past the asperitie of the Law, may yet be ordred by con∣science: So that if aught be neglected by error, may yet be relieued by equitie in the Court of Chaun∣cerie.
But if the Law be certaine, why should iudge∣ment be delayed? if bent to do right, why are so many poore men wronged? if grounded on con∣science, why should it be partiall?
Page [unnumbered]But I reproue not the Law, nor yet find I fault at the honest Lawier, but alas how should they chuse but erre, when their accusations bee but other mens reports, and their whole pleadings, nothing else but hearsayes, maintaining but what their Cli∣ents will enforme them.
But this doth not excuse all; for there be many others by whom the Law that of it selfe intendeth nothing but right, is yet made the verie instru∣ment of iniurie and wrong: they haue Lawe to o∣uerthrow Lawe, and there is no Lawe, be it ne∣uer so legitimate or truely begotten, which with wrested gloses, and subtil expositions they cannot bastardize.
*They make their plea according to the pennie, not according to the trueth, when amongst them hee that hath most money, hath commonly, most right: they coyne delayes for priuate aduantage, they make streight crooked, and crooked right: they are open mouthed against the poore mans processe, who shall sooner finde his purse emptied, than his suite ended. And where they shoulde be the Ministers of light, they hunt after continuall darkenesse, concluding the trueth within a golden cloude. They are pugnantia inter se, when amongst them there is no agreement, but what they con∣firme to day, to morrow they will frustrate: this clause annihilated by this Iudge, that distinction by another. And although the text of the Lawe of it selfe be briefe, yet they obscure it by their too many glosings, and how many are there that doe Page 48*checke the course of Iustice by dilatory pleas, and how many Petty-foggers that doe nothing but set men at variance; and a pox take Iohn a Nokes, and Iohn a Stile, for those two flie companions are made the instrumentes of a great deale of mis∣chiefe.
And woe againe to all those Lawyers that are but like to Aesopes Kite, that whilest the Mowse and the Frogge were at controuersie for superiori∣tie in the Marsh, he deuoured them both.
When a man comes to commense a suite, in the beginning hee shall be entertained with a hope to obtaine; and being entred, they consume him by delayes, and whilest hee hath meanes to beare out the charge, they assure him his right is good, but when they haue spent him, that he is not able lon∣ger to giue, they do pronounce Sentence against him: and hee that is not well stored with money wherewith to corrupt, shal want no sorro w wher∣of to complaine.
*How many myracles are assigned to Saintes, to whom we do go in pilgrimage! we protest vowes, yeeld worship, and of whome we doe craue giftes. Women likewise are not without their women Saints, as Lucina, whose help they implore when they would haue children; and Iuno, of whom they doe begge to bee reuenged on their angrie husbands: there is almost no kinde of griefe, that hath not his Physition amongst the Saints, which (as it is imagined) is an especiall cause why Phisiti∣ons can not gaine so much as Lawyers, because Page [unnumbered]there is no controuersie, be it neuer so litle, so iust, or so honest, that hath either he Saint, or she Saint to defend it.
They say it is an argument of a licentious com∣mon-wealth, where Phisitions and Lawyers haue too great commings in.
*As I haue not endeuoured any priuate accusati∣on, so I will not enter into any particular praise; I might else in this place, without any suspition of flattery, take occasion to speake in the commenda∣tion of many worthy Professors of the Lawe, not onely of some that sit Roahed on the Bench, but al∣so of others that are Pleaders at Barre.
The Professor of the Lawe hath Relation to leade him, Conscience to direct him, Iustice to coun∣saile him, and Honour to reward him.
All happinesse may be saide to be in that com∣mon-wealth, where Lawes be not only good, but wbere they are likewise duely obserued and kept, without wresting.
The materiall cause of the Lawe is, that it con∣sistes of such cases, and for the correcting of those disorders, as accustomably befall in the Common wealth, not of things impossible, or such as do but seldome times happen.
The finall cause is to order the life of man, and to direct him what he is to doe, and what to for∣beare.
*What else are the great number of Lawes a∣mongst vs, but authenticall Registers of our corrupti∣ons? and what are the manifolde Commentaries Page 49written vppon them, But a verie corruption of the Lawes themselues, and what do they witnes vnto vs, But as the multitude of Phisitions doe in a Cittie, that is to say, the multitude of our diseases.
Good Lawes do proceede from the wickednes of men, for it is offences that doe beget lawes: for where there is no law, there can be no breach of law.
Good lawe vnexecuted, were better vnmade, yet sharpe and rigorous lawes, were rather made to terrifie, then to destroy men. And, the seate of a Iudge, that is too seuere, seemeth to be a Gibbet al∣readie erected.
*Those Princes that haue Policie to attire Aua∣rice and Crueltie, vnder the pretence of establi∣shing lawes, they do therby exact their own com∣moditie: for where there be many Lawes, there must be many offenders: & the multitude of trans∣gressors, are the riches of the Prince, when they make forfeyture, as well of their goodes, as of their liues.
*Warre is the Minister of the wrath of God, when hee is displeased, no lesse greeuous to the worlde (where it lighteth) then the loathsome plague of pestilence.
*The effect of Warre is, the destruction of coun∣tries, the desolation of noble houses, and the sac∣king of opulent Citties.
The Action dependeth vpon fortune, or mis∣fortune, vpon oportunities, delayes, expeditions, frowardnesse, and vntowardnesse of a number of Page [unnumbered]vaine headed followers, if discipline be not the better respected.
Warre is a minister of Gods Iustice, eyther for contempt of himselfe, of his religion, or the wic∣ked life of worldlings, so that it is the sinnes of the people that vnsheatheth the Souldiers sword.
God is not the Author of ill, but the chasticer of abuse. Hee holdeth the hearts of Princes, and ordereth them to his will.
*The Souldior with all obedience is to performe the will of his Prince: for if power were not to maintaine their proceedings, the Prince should be dispossest of his estate, cruell hands would be laid on his royall person: to conclude, in peace the Souldiour is a restraint to the rebellious, and in war makes subiect the prowdest resister.
Armes are but a corrector to the disorder of peace, they are the Phisitian to a decayed estate.
*The Warres vndertaken by Princes, either in de∣fence of their right, or for matters in claime, may be reputed to be both iust and honourable; but in Ciuill warres, all things are full of miserie, yet no∣thing more miserable then victorie.
*Let him be accursed (saith Homer) and liue with no Nation, nor Tribe, who stirreth vp domesticall dissentions, or seeketh after Ciuill warres.
*Wealth and riches haue afflicted the manners of all ages, and what other thing hath engendred ciuill furie, then ouer great felicitie?
The motiues that draweth them on, are com∣monly Faction, Sedition, and Tyrannie.
Page 48Warres haue had their beginning with the world, and they will neuer haue an end, so long as the world lasteth.
The Surfets of peace, is it that bringeth on warres, and what peace can be so surely knit, which Aua∣rice and Pride will not easily vndo.
*Wee are more readie and willing to conquer Kingdomes, then we are to subdue our owne af∣fections; and warre depending on the desire of gaine, & worldly glory, the sweetnes of command, together with the gaine of a Crowne, will serue to couer any kind of iniurie: and warres are not so much arreared to defend a right, or to resist an in∣iurie, as they are to encroach a wrong, and to in∣uade an innocent.
It is the sinnes of the people that draweth the Souldiors sword, and when it pleaseth the Almighty to punish by warre, all the things vppon the earth are euer prest to fight vnder his banner, yea euen the ambitiousnesse of Princes, to punish them∣selues one by another.
They may much deceiue themselues, who vn∣der the shadow, either of their mightinesse, wise∣dome, or policie, either in consideration of their long continuance of peace, doe imagine still to make the same perpetuall, neither can we Pleade prescription against the iustice of the Almightie, who limiteth the boundes of all estates to his ap∣pointed time of correction, the which they can not passe.
There is nothing then more necessarie imme∣diately Page [unnumbered]*after the knowledge of God, then to know how to manage our marshall causes, when, aswell Prince, Countrey, Religion, Law, Iustice, Subiects, and al together, are vnder the protection of Armes. Osorius seemeth to confirme it in these wordes, He that taketh away the knowledge of Armes, worketh the ouerthrow of the Common-wealth. And Cicero againe leaueth this Item, We must not lay our Armes aside, if we desire to liue in peace. Plato, that that Princes Crowne can neuer sit close who once neglecteth the knowledge of Armes.
This saying of Tacitus is not to be forgotten, No man is sooner brought to ruine, than he that feareth nothing, for retchlesnesse is the common entraunce into calamitie.
*To this I might adde, There is nothing more ra∣ther to incite an enimy, than where he findeth slouth and negligence: for where the orders and discipline of Warre is neglected, it is not the multitude of names in a Muster-rowle that auaileth, when, the greater the number of men is, the more is their disorder and confusion. More Armies haue beene ouerthrowne through want of skill, than eyther for want of strength or courage.
It therefore behooveth those that desire to liue in Peace, to prouide themselues of all things ap∣pertaining to the Warre; for in euery Action it is odious to erre, but in Warre it is most daungerous of all other, when there needeth but one fault to ouerthrowe an Army, whereon may depend the wracke of a Kingdome, and the losse of a Princes Crowne.
*Page 51The Faults that are imputed to men of Warre, are not to be excused, and how should it be other∣wise, when in the first election they are rather cho∣sen for their vices, than for their vertues: when a Letter of fauour is of more worth to preferre the swaggering Captaine, than either honestie, ex∣perience, or any other care of reputation.
*Captaines are chosen, that haue no respect to Honour, but such as do seeke to enrich themselues with the generall spoiles of Warre. And if we did aduisedly consider of euery circumstance, they are not altogether to be blamed: when Princes are growne, in nothing more sparing, than in those expences wherein they should extend their grea∣test bountie, I meane to Souldiors, whome they doe still curtoll and scantell to a threed-bare alow∣ance, and yet they cannot get that little but with losse, and most times kept so long without paie, that they are driuen, either to steale or starue.
*This want of Pay, is the original of all disorder, it breedeth mutinies amongst Souldiers, disgrace to the Commaunders, and it giueth encourage∣ment to an enimy that dooth vnderstrnd it. It is the occasion of treason, of selling of Townes, be∣traying of Fortes; and to be short, the breach of all discipline; for, what reason hath that Prince to pu∣nish, that dooth not pay? And who can blame Souldiers to help themselues in the time of warre, that are little respected in the time of Peace. This want of Pay is a iust excuse to set them all a scrap∣ing, aswell from friends as foes.
Page [unnumbered]The Souldier hee fleeceth the Husbandman, who is driuen for feare to forsake his labour. The Captaine he cousoneth the Souldier, and both of them (commonly) consumers of the Cittizen.
*Nay the Prince him selfe escapeth not scot-free amongst them, for if they do not cosin him of his pay, they will yet deceiue him of his seruice: for that Souldier dooth neuer performe any great en∣terprise, that loueth not his Leader: & how can he loue him, whom he knoweth doth oppresse him? neyther can that Captaine exploite any thing of woorth, that is not assured of the loue and obedi∣ence of his Souldier.
*The Common-wealth haue as great neede of valiant men to defend it, as it hath of good Lawes to gouerne it. And Caesar was woont to say, that there were two things which doe vphold, maintaine, and enlarge an Empire, that is to say, Men of warre, and money: and for the skilfull Souldior, although the prince doth stand in no doubt, nor dread of war, yet he is a grace vnto him, and ought to giue him countenance, if it were but in respect of Maiestie. Tacitus addeth againe to this: It is certaine, that mightie Empires are not kept by sooth, but by weapons in the handes of the experi∣mented Souldior.
An honest Souldior in the time of peace, is an honour to his Prince, and in the time of warre a great defence.
The skilfull Captaine can treate of peace and warre, both together; but he neuer knew how to make a good peace, that neuer knew how to make warre.
Page 50In the choise of a Generall, it is requisite he be indued with experience, and martiall skill, other∣wise there is small hope of victorie, vnlesse God doe fight for him, as he did for the Armies of the children of Israel. And yet they euer chose the wi∣sest, and most skilfull men amongest them to bee Commanders.
*I could wish, that those that should haue any great command amongst Souldiors, should be men of good reuenue. And although I doe here yoke wealth with vertue, yet I do make it but her hand-maid, for the exercise of liberalitie is many times as necessarie as knowledge and experience. And Captaines being men of honour, and able to liue, being well informed of the infamie growing of disordered Militarie prowlings, & Pilfries, should studie how to keepe their Companies as complete as might be, and not excessiuely to robbe them, as in times past the custome hath beene.
The reliques of the Beadles whippe (me thinks are vnfit to bee made Souldiors; but our Souldiors in these dayes, are become protested enemies to all sorts of Poultrie, as Capons, Hens, Chickens; nay, they will not spare the Cocke himselfe, if hee come in their walke. But if they meete a flocke of Geese, it shall neuer bee said when they are gone, but that they durst say, Bo to a Goose.
When Rome honoured her Captaines with tri∣umphs, and solemnities, she did not onely reward the corage of the Triumpher, but also their iustice, with which she maintained her army in peace and Page [unnumbered]concord, together with the which she performed her enterprises.
It hath beene holden for great happines, where the sword and all other weapons of warre, are turned to plow-yrons; and I could acknowledge it for a great blessing, if it might bee so brought to passe, but the malice of men hath made them so necessa∣rie, that they can not long be spared.
Cicero saith, An vniust peace is to be preferred be∣fore the most iust warre, and I reuerence the Author that writeth, They that contemne peace, to seeke for honour by warre, doe many times loose both peace and honour.
An assured peace (saith another) is better than a victorie that is but hoped for: And it is truly said, the prayers that are exhibited in the behalf of peace, is farre more happie for the Common-wealth, then the noise of Drums and Trumpets, sounding the alarums of warre.
*I must confesse, that these warre louers, are like Physitions, that could wish the Cittie to be full of diseases, whereby they might bee imployed for their owne gaine. And it may be, that some of our warriours haue sought to aduaunce themselues by that profession: but he that would gather a Cata∣logue of those that haue suffered ship-wracke vpon that hope, had need to haue a long scroll.
Valiancie hath an eye to warre, warre againe the like to peace, peace to the prosperitie of the Com∣mon-wealth: but this prosperitie is it that setteth an edge, both of slouth and negligence: for as peace is the parent of prosperitie; so it is the nurse of Page 53pride, and the trainer vp of all carelesse securitie: and in the time of peace there is no wickednesse that wants example.
*But peace breedeth plenty, so it armeth Cape apee, all sortes of sinnes, and as Warre hath his as∣sociates, Sword, Fire, Famine, and Murder; so Peace hath his copartners, Pride, Pleasure, Idle∣nes, Lust, Sensualitie, Drunkennes, Gluttony, Vo∣luptuousnes, and so many other enormities besids, as were but curiositie in me to hunt after.
*Peace draweth the very corruption of manners after it, and there is nothing that brings so sweete and easie a subiection to vice, as the season and i∣dlenes of Peace, it enfeebleth the minds of yong men, it maketh them become Hermaphrodites▪ halfe men, halfe harlots, it effeminats their minds, and nuzleth them vp in all folly, it giues old men opportunitie, to trauell, to turmoile, and to tire themselues, by oppression, by extortion, by per∣iury, by vsury, by bribery, by craft, by subtiltie, and by all manner of vngodlinesse, to scrape for my yong maisters sonne, who is then sporting and dallying with his wench, whilest his father is thus in his money haruest toyling for wealth: then comes in some glosing Expositor, and he expoun∣deth this miserable scraping of pelfe, to be a zeale, to be a pittie, to be a fatherly care to prouide for his house, for his children, and for his family, ac∣cording to the rule of the Apostle.
In the time of Peace, the prowling Marchant findeth libertie to carry away corne, beere, butter, Page [unnumbered]cheese, leather, lead, tinne, ordonance, cloth, and al commodities of especiall importaunce: and they returne vs againe, wine, reisins, figges, orenges, and many other trifles that might very well bee for∣borne.
*By this we may perceiue, the vices that are hat∣ched vp in Peace, are in farre greater number, than the enormities that accompany Warre: and ther∣fore if the affaires of Warre do not busie a States∣man, the diseases of Peace will so turmoyle him, as he must be still vigilant to discouer the diseases of the commonwealth dayly drawne in by this secu∣ritie and surffet of Peace: and I thinke the worlde will neuer be so reconciled, but that those that be good, shall finde more ill than they shall be able to redresse.
*I might speake of many other daungers depen∣ding vpon Peace, especially where it is growne so carelesse, as to neglect all preparation of Warre: Philopomines saieth, That in the time of Peace, it is then best to prepare for warre: But we haue a better instance, Solomon notwithstanding he was promi∣sed a peaceable gouernement by God himselfe, and was called in the Scripture Rex pacificus, he yet forgotte not to furnish his garrisons with greater prouisions than his father Dauid had doone before him, though he were still turmoyled and tyred in the warre: and the deceitfull enemy vnder the co∣lour of Parlies, of Truces, and of treaties of Peace, hath effected that which he could neuer performe by open warre.
*Page 54Beleeue not thine ennemy, saieth Ecclesiasticus, for with his lippes hee sweetneth, and in his heart he betray∣eth thee, to make thee to fall into the dike, and weepeth with his eyes, but if he light vpon a fit occasion, hee will not be satisfied with thy blood.
I haue now wouen this web of Peace and War, I haue made a short medly of all together, if it be good for any thing, I care not; I hope it will proue either hote or colde, and then it may be employ∣ed to vse, either fit for summer or winter.
*I am not halfe so wel acquainted among Cour∣tiers, as I am amongst Souldiers, yet I was a yong Courtier, and I haue approoued the Prouerb, A yong Courtier, an olde Beggar, I could commend his iudgement that first set it downe, but I would he had prooued but a lying Prophet.
I am now to speake alittle of Courtiers, and it is but according vnto that little experience I learned long agoe; if I hit the trueth, it can be but chance medley, and then I hope I shall intreate a Pardon of Course: if I faile of mine ayme, it is time to leaue shooting, for a good Archer is better known by his ayme, than by his arrow.
*A Princes Court is like a glorious gardin, plan∣ted and replenished with seuerall sortes of pleasant flowers, whereof some are spoiled in the bud by the Caterpiller, some reserued in the blossome, to content the eie of the beholder; the Bee gathereth honny from the one, the Spider draweth poyson from another, euery one making vse, but according to his owne nature.
Page [unnumbered]It fareth so with Princes Courtes, some repaire thither, hoping of preferment by their vertuous indeuours, and to growe in fauour by their good deseruings: other incited by vanitie, make their resort to satisfie their humors, with alittle foolish brauery, spending their time in voluptuous ex∣cesse▪ So that, as the Court is a Schoole of Ver∣tue, to such as can bridle their mindes with discre∣tion; So it is a Nurse of Vice, to such as measure their willes with witlesse affection.
In the Courtes of Princes, fauour preuaileth with many, by occasion, not by desert, by opini∣on, not by worthinesse, where Gentlemen must be delicate, Ladies amorous, the Prince himselfe studious, and though not seeing all enormities, yet compassed about with many that be enormi∣ous.
Let Trian prescribe good Laws for eternall me∣morie, where are they sooner broken than in the Court of Trian, Let Aurelius store his Court with wise men, yet euen there they doe waxe disso∣lute.
The Court is fitter for Aristippus, then for Ari∣stides, for Crisippus then for Cato, for Damocles than for Calisthenes.
*In Court euery man must be flattered in his fo∣ly, euery great mans vaine shall haue a follower; if Phaleris will torment, Perillus will inuent; if Ae∣milius will martire, Paterculus will minister; if Alex∣ander will be stately, Phocion will be humble; if Domitius foolish, Hippodamus will be frantike.
*Page 55By these steps of soothing, our Courtiers seeke to climbe; and if a noble man doe but vouchsafe him a nodde; he waxeth so drunken with ioy, that he that should but marke his demeanour, woulde thinke him to be new raised againe with Lazarus, to liue another age in the world.
In the Court of a wicked Prince, fornications, Adulteries, Rauishments, and such other, are yong Courtiers sports; honest men are there oppressed, Ribaulds preferred, simple men scorned, iust men persecuted, presumptuous men fauored, flatterers aduaunced.
*Ahab being a wicked king, was so ill attended, that Eliah thought onely himselfe to serue God, and that all the rest of the Kings seruants and fol∣lowers, were Idolaters and Worshippers of Baal.
If Honors were to be compassed by vices, as in olde Rome they were by Vertues; who should haue more aduaunced to honour, in one yeare, then Rome had of good men in a whole age.
In Court the itching eares of the Vaine-glori∣ous must be scratched by Sycophants: and he that cannot make the Diuell a Saint, tis high time hee were with God, for this is no worlde for him to liue in.
The meaner sorte of Courtiers must learne, to creepe, to crowch, to flatter, to make a scoffe at Vertue, to buy and sell breath, and to blush at no disgrace.
A prowde Court makes a leane Countrey, and these Moathes of the Court, they are the woorst Page [unnumbered]vermin, that can be in a common-wealth.
*How many will Diue into a Princes eare, and vnder the pretence of common good, do obtaine those sutes, that are but for their owne priuate gaine: How many againe that liue perfumed in the Court, sleeping in sensualitie, secured vnder the protection of greatnes, that are still gaping af∣ter sutes, grasping at Monopolies, the very plague soares of a common-wealth, that doe oppresse a Comminaltie, to maintaine the voluptuous pride of one priuate man, to vpholde his inordinate ex∣pence with the purses of the poore.
*Some will say, That goods ill gotten, will soone de∣cay: but that Prouerb is not true, for they shall find that the goodes that are thus raked from the com∣mon-wealth, will sticke close to the soule, whatso∣euer they do to the body.
How many againe that doe poyson the eares of Princes, that haue no other meanes to make themselues gracious in the eye of the Prince, but by stirring him vp to wicked and vngodly acts, as Lucane Curio stirred vp Caesar.
*He that is fauoured by a Prince, he must bee soothed in his pleasure, praysed in his follies, com∣mended in his vanities, yea, his verie vices must be made vertues, or else they will say we forget our duties, we mallice greatnesse, we enuie his fortune, and how shall we be checkt by the Parasites that follow him? And for those that are highly prized in a Princes fauour, what cannot they effect? they can flie without wings, they can disguise the truth Page 56without controlment, they can fight without hands, they can conquer without weapons, they can kill a man behinde his backe with a word, that they durst neuer looke on the face with a sworde, and they haue reigned more kings in their priuie Chambers, with their smoothing flatteries, then haue beene ouercome in the open field, with their armed enemies.
*Honourable Nobilitie, are the fittest ornaments wherewith to garnish a Princes Court: For Nobi∣litie is a most glorious and excellent Image of aun∣cient progenie, most commonly replenished with excellent vertues.
But Nobilitie (in many places) hath little left but the bare name, and that is distained too, by her owne deseruings.
Euerie stocke and linage is beautified by ver∣tue, but vertue is not beautified, nor set forth by a∣ny linage.
It is true Nobilitie, which as on a chiefe pillar is stayed vpon vertue, but where that pillar is ouer∣throwne, there Nobilitie must likewise fall to the ground.
Wee followe not those steppes that bring vn∣to honour, but we trace out those tracts that leade vnto pleasure or profite; and we rather desire to be rich, then to be wise.
If we were as couetous of our proper honour, as we are greedie of other mens goodes, the can∣ker of Infamie could not so deuour our renowne and reputation.
Page [unnumbered]Gaine and glorie did yet neuer march in one ranke, no more did profite and honour.
*We haue in these dayes varietie of Scutchins, sundrie sorts of Armes, multiplicitie of dignities and honourable titles, but true Nobilitie is it that springeth from Vertue.
Salust writing to Cicero, vpbraided him to be dis∣cended from a base kinde of people, but himselfe was extracted from a noble progenie: to whome Cicero made answer, that Salust indeede was dis∣cended of noble rase, but he was the first that had debased the Nobilitie of his house. And for him∣selfe he was discended (indeed) from a people of obscure condition, but yet he was the first Gentle∣man of his stocke.
*There is nothing to counterpeise the ballance of a noble name, but how many little worthy per∣sons haue there beene in times past, that woulde faine haue gone currant for six shillings eight pence; yet if they had beene brought to the bal∣lance, they would haue weighed too light by a great deale more than the common allowance of two graines, but if they had bin tried by the touch, we might well haue said, All is not golde that glisters.
*The title of Nobilitie to a good man is of great excellencie; but to an ill man, of no lesse infamie.
It is likely that good should come of good, and vertue is most succeeding in noble blood, and the worthinesse of honourable ancestors craueth a re∣uerend regard to be had in their posteritie.
Page 57Honourable Nobilitie is fittest to counsaile kings, and to take vpon them the great affairs of the state· Our Noble men are inflamed with the desire of glo∣rie and renowne, and the inferiour sort doe thinke themselues most happie and blessed, when they are gouerned by the wisedome and vertue of Noble personages, that commonly manage their authori∣tie with magnificence, for as it is witnessed in the Prouerbs,* Where righteous men are in authoritie, the people reioyce: but where the wicked beare rule, the people sigh.
*Honourable Nobilitie is then most fit to counsell a king, and the care and studie of good Counsai∣lors is still to endeuour those things that shall con∣cerne the honour of God, the preseruation of the Kings royall person, and the furtheraunce of the good and benefite of the common-wealth: and in the middest of their most weighty affaires, not to leane too much to the pollicies of worldly wic∣ked men, that they impugne the wisedome and pollicie ordayned and decreed by the Almightie himselfe.
*There is nothing more vnbefitting in a Coun∣sailour than passion, to be hastie, to be angry, to be cholericke; for anger, rage, and fury haue ne∣uer bin knowne to gouerne well.
Couetousnesse is the poyson that marreth all, but Couetousnesse in a Counsailor is the mother of extortion, of oppression, of bribery, alienating all compassion into mercilesse crueltie, dishonou∣ring the reputation euen of the greatest persona∣ges, Page [unnumbered]making them to be reputed amongst the base and miserable minded.
It teacheth to buy or sell all things for money, and to neglect no manner of meanes that brings in gaine.
*The Thebanes established a Lawe, forbidding, that no man shoulde bee admitted to the admini∣stration of any manner of gouernement in a com∣mon-wealth, except hee had first left off buying and selling, of retayling, or transporting for the space of tenne yeares.
*There is not a more excellent commendation, that may be giuen to a Counsailor, nor any thing better pleasing to God and man, than to haue him compassionate of the poore oppressed suters, that follow him, giuing them dispatch with such conuenient expedition, that their long and tedious suings be not more hurtfull vnto them than any wrongs they haue formerly indured.
Here leaving the Muses to their Helicon, I yet once againe implore th'assistance of the heauenly Power, that I might speake a little of Kings and Princes, with that humble and dutifull reuerence, that is appertaining to their greatnesse, and but fit for me to meddle with.
As the Law when it was first giuen, with thun∣dring, lightning, and great terrors vnto the people from Mount Sinay; so likewise when the children of Israel required a King, he was first giuen with the like tempest of thunder, which so feared the people, that they cried vnto Samuel, to pray for Page 58them, that they might not die.
Here is to be noted the authoritie of a King; for as the voice of the Law is terrible to the wicked: euen so is the King, for he is ordained to take ven∣geance, and hath a sword to punish offence.
The Prince executeth not his owne authori∣tie, but the iudgement of God, and whosoeuer resisted the Anointed of the Lord, resisteth God himselfe.
*As God hath ordained Kings and Princes to beare souereigne authoritie vpon the earth; so he hath dignified them with names and titles belon∣ging to himselfe, aswell to put them in minde of their owne duties towards God, as also to stirre vp and continue the loue and obedience of their subiects towards themselues: So that whether the King bee good or bad, he is yet notwithstanding the gift of God, and either the Ministers of his mercies, or of his iudgements: for if the Prince be euill, he is ordained for a scourge to wicked and vnthankful people, to punish their sinnes.
*Subiects may in no wise charge their Princes with any crimes at their owne pleasures, for the power of Kings commeth from God, who hol∣deth the hearts of Princes in his owne hands, and ruleth them according to his owne pleasure.
A King doth not administer his owne, but the affaires of many, obseruing duely those Lawes whereof he is both founder and ouerseer.
In mine opinion they are much ouerseene, that will prescribe lawes and order of life to Princes, Page [unnumbered]who are Lords ouer Lawes, and may inioine them to others.
Good Kings are to be wished for (where they want) but howsoeuer, good or bad they must be obeyed; for if Iupiter bee angrie, hee must send a Storke to deuoure.
In the word of a King, there is power, and who shall say to his Prince, What dost thou?
*Princes may shake off their owne errours, by bla∣ming other men, and so they may assume their ser∣uants foresights to their owne praise.
The good will of a Prince may easily be obtai∣ned, but as quickly blowne forth againe with the wind of slaunder: and therefore Cicero admoni∣sheth to speake as reuerently of Kings and Princes as we do of the gods.
*The office of a Prince serueth to suppresse ty∣rants, and to vpholde the meanest subiect in his right, against the greatest power that would op∣presse him.
A Prince must heare the complaint of his Sub∣iects, if either the regard of his owne glorie, or the estate of the publike weale be deare vnto him: for that is the most absolute and behouefull thing ap∣pertaining to a Prince, and is no lesse precious vn∣to him then is his Empire.
Most happie is that Prince, and borne (no doubt) for the good of his Countrey, that neglec∣teth not that speciall care toward his subiects.
A Prince to be iust in himselfe, is honour to his person; but to minister right to his wronged Page 59Subiects, is a generall good to the whole Com∣mon wealth.
The office of a good King towards his people, should be as a father toward his children, but not as a Conquerour toward the vanquished.
As there is nothing more miserable to a Prince then to be compelled; so there is nothing more ra∣ther to breake the heart of subiects, then when he will not be intreated.
There is nothing more gratious in a Prince, then mercie, but yet ouermuch lenitie breedeth contempt.
The King that treadeth the steps of clemencie, becommeth old, and leaueth his inheritance to his posteritie; but the Prince that gouerneth with ri∣gour and crueltie, is seldome set to liue long.
Thales being asked what rare thing he had seen, answered, An old Tyrant.
*Princes most commonly are in nothing more deceiued, then in bestowing their rewards; but especially when they giue vpon other mens com∣mendations.
*Princes haue not so much scarcitie of any other thing, as they haue of that, whereof they should be most plentifully stored, which is, Of such as should tell them the truth.
*The differences betweene the Prince that is vertuous, and the other that is vicious consisteth in this.
The first striueth to enrich his subiects, the other to sacke and spoile them: the one spareth the ho∣nour Page [unnumbered]of good women, the other triumpheth in their shame: the one taketh pleasure to be freely admonished, the other dispiseth nothing so much as wise and vertuous counsaile: the one maketh most account of the loue of his subiects, the other is better pleased with their feare: the one is neuer in doubt of his owne people, the other standeth in awe of none more than of them: the one burde∣neth them as little as may be, but vpon publique necessitie, the other gnaweth the flesh from their bones but to satisfie his vaine pleasures: the one in the time of warre hath no recourse but to his own Subiects, the other keepeth warre but onely with his subiects: the one is honoured in the time of his life, and mourned for after his death, the other is hated in the time of his life, and registred with perpetuall infamie after his death.
A cruell Prince will make a slaughterhouse of his Common-wealth: A vicious Prince will make it a stewes, a prodigall, wil sucke the marrow of his Subiects, to glut some fiue or sixe Parasites that wil be about his owne person, disguised in the habite of fidelitie.
A good Prince will not dedicate the Common wealth to himselfe, but will addict himselfe to the Common-wealth. And because no man asketh ac∣count of him in his life, he will therefore bee so much the more stirred vp to aske the straighter rec∣koning of himselfe.
There be many other worthie prescriptions set downe by that worthie Emperour Aurelius, that Page 60I may ouerpasse, & will giue a little touch of things necessarie and behouefull to be spoken of.
*The expences of a King is great, and therefore he must be well stored, and stil prepared with trea∣sure, to beare out the charge. It is he that must de∣fend his Realmes and subiects, from the spoyle and rapine of forreigne forces: It is he that must be prouident in the time of peace, to haue all things in a readinesse against the time of warre. Can he then be vnprouided of treasure? *Or shall his subiects grudge and murmure against him, if he supply his wants by Taxes or Subsidies, which are warranted by the word of God, and which the Prince may take with a verie good conscience, for the bearing out of his expences, which doe concerne the com∣mon good and safetie of the subiects:* the king must defend all, and there is no reason but his wantes should be supplied by all.
*There is yet a matter of great importance for a Prince to consider of, that vnder this priuilege of taxing his subiects for his needfull and necessarie affaires, hee doth not oppresse them for any vaine or idle expences; for what is he that dare prescribe limits or bounds to a King? what he should take or leaue of his subiects. If he haue not a good con∣science of himselfe, if he haue not a charitable dis∣position towards his people, of his owne princely nature, who dare crosse him in his courses, or tell him of those faults wherein he offendeth? or what Subiect (that knoweth his duetie) dare speake against a princes prerogatiue?
Page [unnumbered]It was not without cause therefore, that Chryso∣stome with such admiration did say, Miror si ali∣quis rectorum potest saluari. And Apolonius saith, that the treasure taken by a Prince from his subiects by ty∣rannie, is more base then yron: for being wette with the teares of the people, it cankereth and becommeth ac∣cursed.
*That Prince therefore that will exact more then inough, between god & his own conscience be it; but the subiect is to make no resistance. Our Saui∣our Christ hath left vs example, for hee himselfe paid that was imposed vpon him: and when the Scribes and Pharisies demaunded of him, whether it were lawfull to pay tribute to Caesar, he did not impugne it.
*Kings and Princes had neede of great priuile∣ges, their cares are many, and farre exceeding the common capacitie of the simple multitude. A Princes royall Robe doth couer many cares, and their guardes are not able to defend the assaults of troubled thoughts.
Better for a Prince to bee Irus for contentment, then to enioy the Empire of the whole world. For whilest he seeth all pleasures, he enioyeth none, and in the middest of his sugred dainties, he sup∣peth vp sorrowes, euery day tyred with suters, troubled with Damocles, euerie night subiect to broken sleepes, troublesome thoughts, and vn∣couth dreames.
A Kings daintie dishes are alwayes sawced with suspition, & there is reason; for although amongst Page 61*the vulgar, too much ielousie sauoureth of little wit, yet more hurt commeth of the light beleefe of Princes, then of mistrust: amongst the rest, Thales admonisheth Kings and Princes to suspect him most, that is most busie still to be whispering in his eare.
Aristotle aduiseth, that a Prince ought earnestly, and aboue all things, to haue care of things diuine, he rendreth this reason; For those subiects doe hope that they shall suffer lesse iustice from that Prince whom they deeme religious, and who feareth God: and lesse con∣spiracies are complotted against him, as hauing God him selfe for his helpe and succour.
*Let me now speake but a word of the time pre∣sent, and let me speake truly of our owne happi∣nesse, here within this Empire of great Britain: with what zeale and feruencie hath our royall King re∣established that Religion of the Gospel, the which although hee found it here readie planted to his hand, yet with how many ingins hath the Pope and the Diuell sought sithence, to vndermine and ouerthrow it, and are yet euerie day endeuoring, if his Maiesty himselfe were not the more firme and constant.
He hath then blessed himselfe, his Realmes, and Dominions with the light of the Gospel; and if the happinesse of peace be a blessing, we likewise enioy it by his happie gouernement. To prop vp all with great securitie, he hath made choise of a most wise, discreete and godly disposed Coun∣saile, the Pillars (indeede) of a happie Common-wealth.
Page [unnumbered]To conclude, if there be felicitie in peace, in prosperitie, in pleasure, in plentie, we inioy all by his wisdome and prouidence: if there be any thing wanting, it is but thankefull hearts to God, and to our King, that hath blessed vs with those foysons, that we are glutted, and almost readie to burst; but let vs take heede, that with the churlish Nabal, we harden not the heart of Dauid against vs.
*Let vs now looke into the particular dealing of one man towards another, and we shall find such plentie of fraude, linked together with violence, as if one were brought into the world to subuert and roote out another: and I thinke the world would suddenly perish, if wrath were not by mercie ap∣peased.
*We speake of Honestie, but it is with halfe a lip; and for Vice, we seeme to shut it out at the broade gate, but we priuily take it in againe at the Wicket: we make a gappe where the gate stands open, and we seeke to enter by force, where the high way lyes by fauour. We desire to come to Christ by night with Nichodemus, that no bodie might see vs for feare of worldly losses, and it is a point of wis∣dome to take Christ in one hand, and the world in another, and to make some outward appearance a litle to satisfie the world, if it be but with a dumb shew.
A man for fashions sake may inroll himselfe in the Muster booke of Iesus Christ, but in the day of seruice, he may ranke himselfe to fight in Satans campe.
Page 62*It is enough for vs to cry, Lord, Lorde, but not to doe any thing that is commanded by the Lord of Lords: if we doe thinke of God, we thinke him easie enough to be pleased, we know how to driue him off, and to gaine time, till wee haue a more fit opportunitie.
Man is made of body and soule, and the bodie is then in his most florishing estate, when the soule is best obeyed; but the body rebelling, and wax∣ing lazie and sluggish, the soule then beginneth to faint: but the soule being immured in the durtie prison of the body, feeleth not her owne euill, but in the euill that she there indureth.
Reason that shoulde rule, is but inclosed in the narrowe compasse of the head, all the rest of the partes of the body besides are left to affections: Anger raigning in the fortresse of the heart, Pride, Lust, Concupiscence, and such other possessing all the partes of the body; our eyes, whose office should be to direct our steppes in a right course, are they not our geratest stumbling blockes? what enemies more malitious to vs than our eares, that are still wide open to wickednesse? The tongue, is it not more apt to speake ill, than good? our hands, our feete, and all the rest of our other partes, more nimble and ready to vanitie than vertue.
*Euery Idea of folly is become our summum bo∣num; our necessary and naturall members (first created as the ministers to the Soule) are now be∣come the disturbers of our innocencie, our braine in stead of wise precepts, are cloyed with idle ima∣ginations: Page [unnumbered]our eyes the dreamers of our discre∣tions, are made the blindnesse of the insight of our soules.
*What is man? a bodie subiect to a thousand dis∣eases, a thousand harmes, a thousand daungers, weake, fraile, fraught with miseries within, wrap∣ped with wretchednesse without, alwayes incer∣taine of life, euermore assured of death.
Againe, who is so found or healthie of bodie, but hath a diseased mind, and then if he were put to his choise, had not rather to haue a sound mind in a sicke bodie, then to be tormented with con∣tinuall griefe of minde in a healthfull bodie?
The waues and stormes of our affections rai∣sed with euerie puffe of wind, doth so tosse and turmoile vs vp and downe, that the best Pilots are driuen sometimes to strike saile, and Reason it selfe is well neere driuen to forsake the Helme.
The greatest things in the world doe climbe but to fall, and hee that climbeth most high, his fal is greatest, they haue their times, an age to win, and an houre to loose, we compasse the heauens, the earth, and the sea, with our foolish thoughts, compasse our selues whiles we liue in sixe foote of aire, and being dead within an ell of ground, and who hath beene so much admired for his might, which hath not beene as much contemned in his fall?
See the change of times, a man now happie, strait happelesse; now compassed with friendes, now ouercome with foes; this day rich, that Page 63day poore; at Morne a Prince, at night a Pea∣sant.
*Our worldly honour hangeth on brittle Bal∣lance, and our reputation runneth as the conceit of the common people will affoord, sometimes Caesar renowned in the Senate, accounted a Pater patriae, no small time Emperour, beloued of Bru∣tus, saluted by Cicero: now Caesar a Tyrant, slaine in the Senate, Hostis Patriae, bereft of his Diademe, no Pater but Predator, from an Emperor to a dead carkasse, gored with his friends owne knife, vnkind Brutus, exclamed on by the declaiming Cicero, O strange mutabilitie!
Notwithout wisdome the world is reported to be Sphericall, for it is still turning, and with great iudgement Fortune is said to be blind, for she is still flitting, and when we thinke to haue the su∣rest footing, we are euen then most subiect to de∣clining.
It were good if euerie man would mend one, but that will not be performed, for we imitate no∣thing but what we doe see; and when we doe see, setting vppe that light that might giue vs ex∣ample.
Let thy Conscience bee Commaunder to call Reason to account, whether she hath subiected her selfe to sensuall appetite, and let Conscience exa∣mine thy Will, whether her desires haue beene chaste, or as a Harlot she hath lusted after her own delights. He that could cal himselfe to this account, and could aduisedly consider of that eternitie to Page [unnumbered]the which the Soule is prepared, he would neuer seeke to patch a peece, and to lengthen out his hopes with such fraile and transitorie stuffe that he neuer thinkes of death, till the one of his feete be alreadie in the graue.
Death it is that looseth vs from the chaines of bondage, it onely setteth vs free from calamities, and it bringeth vs to the harbour of happinesse. God grant vs whilest we doe liue, so to liue, that our life might serue him; and when we die, our death might set him foorth, that our life might die in him, our death liue to him, and that both life and death might glorifie him.