Cure of Love-Melancholy, by Labour, Diet, Physic, Fasting, &c.
Although it be controverted by some, whether love-melancholy may be cured, because it is so irresistible and violent a passion; for as you know,
5601 ——— facilis descensus Averni;
Sed revocare gradum, superasque evadere ad auras;
Hic labor, hoc opus est. ———
It is an easy passage down to hell,
But to come back, once there, you cannot well.
Yet without question, if it be taken in time, it may be helped, and by many good remedies amended. Avicenna, lib. 3. Fen. cap. 23. et 24. sets down seven compendious ways how this malady may be eased, altered, and expelled. Savanarola 9. principal observations, Jason Pratensis prescribes eight rules besides physic, how this passion may be tamed, Laurentius 2. main precepts, Arnoldus, Valleriola, Montaltus, Hildesheim, Langius, and others inform us otherwise, and yet all tending to, the same purpose. The sum of which I will briefly epitomise, (for I light my candle from their torches) and enlarge again upon occasion, as shall seem best to me, and that after mine own method. The first rule to be observed in this stubborn and unbridled passion, is exercise and diet. It is an old and well-known, sentence, Sine Cerere et Saccho friget Venus (love grows cool without bread and wine). As an 5602idle sedentary life, liberal feeding, are great causes of it, so the opposite, labour, slender and sparing diet, with continual business, are the best and most ordinary means to prevent it.
Otio si tollas, periere Cupidinis artes,
Contemptaeque jacent, et sine luce faces.
Take idleness away, and put to flight
Are Cupid's arts, his torches give no light.
Minerva, Diana, Vesta, and the nine Muses were not enamoured at all, because they never were idle.
5603Frustra blanditae appulistis ad has,
Frustra nequitiae venistis ad has,
Frustra delitiae obsidebitis has,
Frustra has illecebrae, et procacitates,
Et suspiria, et oscula, et susurri,
Et quisquis male sana corda amantum
Blandis ebria fascinat venenis.
In vain are all your flatteries,
In vain are all your knaveries,
Delights, deceits, procacities,
Sighs, kisses, and conspiracies,
And whate'er is done by art,
To bewitch a lover's heart.
'Tis in vain to set upon those that are busy. 'Tis Savanarola's third rule, Occupari in multis et magnis negotiis, and Avicenna's precept, cap. 24. 5604Cedit amor rebus; res, age tutus eris. To be busy still, and as 5605Guianerius enjoins, about matters of great moment, if it may be. 5606Magninus adds, “Never to be idle but at the hours of sleep.”
5607 ——— et si
Poscas ante diem librum cum lumine, si non
Intendas animum studiis, et rebus honestis,
Invidia vel amore miser torquebere. ———
For if thou dost not ply thy book,
By candlelight to study bent,
Employ'd about some honest thing,
Envy or love shall thee torment.
No better physic than to be always occupied, seriously intent.
5608Cur in penates rarius tenues subit,
Haec delicatas eligens pestis domus,
Mediumque sanos vulgus affectuss tenet? &c.
Why dost thou ask, poor folks are often free,
And dainty places still molested be?
Because poor people fare coarsely, work hard, go woolward and bare. 5609 Non habet unde suum paupertas pascat amorem. 5610Guianerius therefore prescribes his patient “to go with hair-cloth next his skin, to go barefooted, and barelegged in cold weather, to whip himself now and then, as monks do, but above all to fast.” Not with sweet wine, mutton and pottage, as many of those tender-bellies do, howsoever they put on Lenten faces, and whatsoever they pretend, but from all manner of meat. Fasting is an all-sufficient remedy of itself; for, as Jason Pratensis holds, the bodies of such persons that feed liberally, and live at ease, 5611“are full of bad spirits and devils, devilish thoughts; no better physic for such parties, than to fast.” Hildesheim, spicel. 2. to this of hunger, adds, 5612“often baths, much exercise and sweat,” but hunger and fasting he prescribes before the rest. And 'tis indeed our Saviour's oracle, “This kind of devil is not cast out but by fasting and prayer,” which makes the fathers so immoderate in commendation of fasting. As “hunger,” saith 5613 Ambrose, “is a friend of virginity, so is it an enemy to lasciviousness, but fullness overthrows chastity, and fostereth all manner of provocations.” If thine horse be too lusty, Hierome adviseth thee to take away some of his provender; by this means those Pauls, Hilaries, Anthonies, and famous anchorites, subdued the lusts of the flesh; by this means Hilarion “made his ass, as he called his own body, leave kicking,” (so 5614Hierome relates of him in his life) “when the devil tempted him to any such foul offence.” By this means those 5615Indian Brahmins kept themselves continent: they lay upon the ground covered with skins, as the red-shanks do on heather, and dieted themselves sparingly on one dish, which Guianerius would have all young men put in practice, and if that will not serve, 5616Gordonius “would have them soundly whipped, or, to cool their courage, kept in prison,” and there fed with bread and water till they acknowledge their error, and become of another mind. If imprisonment and hunger will not take them down, according to the directions of that 5617 Theban Crates, “time must wear it out; if time will not, the last refuge is a halter.” But this, you will say, is comically spoken. Howsoever, fasting, by all means, must be still used; and as they must refrain from such meats formerly mentioned, which cause venery, or provoke lust, so they must use an opposite diet. 5618Wine must be altogether avoided of the younger sort. So 5619Plato prescribes, and would have the magistrates themselves abstain from it, for example's sake, highly commending the Carthaginians for their temperance in this kind. And 'twas a good edict, a commendable thing, so that it were not done for some sinister respect, as those old Egyptians abstained from wine, because some fabulous poets had given out, wine sprang first from the blood of the giants, or out of superstition, as our modern Turks, but for temperance, it being animae virus et vitiorum fomes, a plague itself, if immoderately taken. Women of old for that cause, 5620in hot countries, were forbid the use of it; as severely punished for drinking of wine as for adultery; and young folks, as Leonicus hath recorded, Var. hist. l. 3. cap. 87, 88. out of Athenaeus and others, and is still practised in Italy, and some other countries of Europe and Asia, as Claudius Minoes hath well illustrated in his Comment on the 23. Emblem of Alciat. So choice is to be made of other diet.
Nec minus erucas aptum est vitare salaces,
Et quicquid veneri corpora nostra parat.
Eringos are not good for to be taken,
And all lascivious meats must be forsaken.
Those opposite meats which ought to be used are cucumbers, melons, purslane, water-lilies, rue, woodbine, ammi, lettuce, which Lemnius so much commends, lib. 2, cap. 42. and Mizaldus hort. med. to this purpose; vitex, or agnus castus before the rest, which, saith 5621Magninus, hath a wonderful virtue in it. Those Athenian women, in their solemn feasts called Thesmopheries, were to abstain nine days from the company of men, during which time, saith Aelian, they laid a certain herb, named hanea, in their beds, which assuaged those ardent flames of love, and freed them from the torments of that violent passion. See more in Porta, Matthiolus, Crescentius lib. 5. &c., and what every herbalist almost and physician hath written, cap. de Satyriasi et Priapismo; Rhasis amongst the rest. In some cases again, if they be much dejected, and brought low in body, and now ready to despair through anguish, grief, and too sensible a feeling of their misery, a cup of wine and full diet is not amiss, and as Valescus adviseth, cum alia honesta venerem saepe exercendo, which Langius epist. med. lib. 1. epist. 24. approves out of Rhasis (ad assiduationem coitus invitat) and Guianerius seconds it, cap. 16. tract. 16. as a 5622 very profitable remedy.
5623 ——— tument tibi quum inguina, cum si
Ancilla, aut verna praesto est, tentigine rumpi
Malis? non ego namque, &c. ———
5624Jason Pratensis subscribes to this counsel of the poet, Excretio enim aut tollet prorsus aut lenit aegritudinem. As it did the raging lust of Ahasuerus, 5625qui ad impatientiam amoris leniendam, per singulas fere noctes novas puellas devirginavit. And to be drunk too by fits; but this is mad physic, if it be at all to be permitted. If not, yet some pleasure is to be allowed, as that which Vives speaks of, lib. 3. de anima., 5626“A lover that hath as it were lost himself through impotency, impatience, must be called home as a traveller, by music, feasting, good wine, if need be to drunkenness itself, which many so much commend for the easing of the mind, all kinds of sports and merriments, to see fair pictures, hangings, buildings, pleasant fields, orchards, gardens, groves, ponds, pools, rivers, fishing, fowling, hawking, hunting, to hear merry tales, and pleasant discourse, reading, to use exercise till he sweat, that new spirits may succeed, or by some vehement affection or contrary passion to be diverted till he be fully weaned from anger, suspicion, cares, fears, &c., and habituated into another course.” Semper tecum sit, (as 5627Sempronius adviseth Calisto his lovesick master) qui sermones joculares moveat, conciones ridiculas, dicteria falsa, suaves historias, fabulas venustas recenseat, coram ludat, &c., still have a pleasant companion to sing and tell merry tales, songs and facete histories, sweet discourse, &c. And as the melody of music, merriment, singing, dancing, doth augment the passion of some lovers, as 5628 Avicenna notes, so it expelleth it in others, and doth very much good. These things must be warily applied, as the parties' symptoms vary, and as they shall stand variously affected.
If there be any need of physic, that the humours be altered, or any new matter aggregated, they must be cured as melancholy men. Carolus a Lorme, amongst other questions discussed for his degree at Montpelier in France, hath this, An amantes et amantes iisdem remediis curentur? Whether lovers and madmen be cured by the same remedies? he affirms it; for love extended is mere madness. Such physic then as is prescribed, is either inward or outward, as hath been formerly handled in the precedent partition in the cure of melancholy. Consult with Valleriola observat. lib. 2. observ. 7. Lod. Mercatus lib. 2. cap. 4. de mulier. affect. Daniel Sennertus lib. 1. part. 2. cap. 10. 5629Jacobus Ferrandus the Frenchman, in his Tract de amore Erotique, Forestus lib. 10. observ. 29 and 30, Jason Pratensis and others for peculiar receipts. 5630Amatus Lusitanus cured a young Jew, that was almost mad for love, with the syrup of hellebore, and such other evacuations and purges which are usually prescribed to black choler: 5631Avicenna confirms as much if need require, and 5632“bloodletting above the rest,” which makes amantes ne sint amentes, lovers to come to themselves, and keep in their right minds. 'Tis the same which Schola Salernitana, Jason Pratensis, Hildesheim, &c., prescribe bloodletting to be used as a principal remedy. Those old Scythians had a trick to cure all appetite of burning lust, by 5633 letting themselves blood under the ears, and to make both men and women barren, as Sabellicus in his Aeneades relates of them. Which Salmuth. Tit. 10. de Herol. comment. in Pancirol. de nov. report. Mercurialis, var. lec. lib. 3. cap. 7. out of Hippocrates and Benzo say still is in use amongst the Indians, a reason of which Langius gives lib. 1. epist. 10.
Huc faciunt medicamenta venerem sopientia, “ut camphora pudendis alligata, et in bracha gestata” (quidam ait) “membrum flaccidum reddit. Laboravit hoc morbo virgo nobilis, cui inter caetera praescripsit medicus, ut laminam plumbeam multis foraminibus pertusam ad dies viginti portaret in dorso; ad exiccandum vero sperma jussit eam quam parcissime cibari, et manducare frequentur coriandrum praeparatum, et semen lactucae, et acetosae, et sic eam a morbo liberavit”. Porro impediunt et remittunt coitum folia salicis trita et epota, et si frequentius usurpentur ipsa in totum auferunt. Idem praestat Topatius annulo gestatus, dexterum lupi testiculum attritum, et oleo vel aqua rosata exhibitum veneris taedium inducere scribit Alexander Benedictus: lac butyri commestum et semen canabis, et camphora exhibita idem praestant. Verbena herba gestata libidinem extinguit, pulvisquae ranae decollatae et exiccatae. Ad extinguendum coitum, ungantur membra genitalia, et renes et pecten aqua in qua opium Thebaicum sit dissolutum; libidini maxime contraria camphora est, et coriandrum siccum frangit coitum, et erectionem virgae impedit; idem efficit synapium ebibitum. “Da verbenam in potu et non erigetur virga sex diebus; utere mentha sicca cum aceto, genitalia illinita succo hyoscyami aid cicutae, coitus appelitum sedant, &c. ℞. seminis lactuc. portulac. coriandri an. ℨj. menthae siccae ℨß. sacchari albiss. ℥iiij. pulveriscentur omnia subtiliter, et post ea simul misce aqua neunpharis, f. confec. solida in morsulis. Ex his sumat mane unum quum surgat”. Innumera fere his similia petas ab Hildeshemo loco praedicto, Mizaldo, Porta, caeterisque.
5601. Virg. Aen 6.
5602. Otium naufragium castitatis. Austin.
5603. Buchanan. Hendeca syl.
5604. Ovid lib. 1. remed. “Love yields to business; be employed, and you'll be safe.”
5605. Cap. 16. circares arduas exerceri.
5606. Part 2. c. 23. reg. San. His, praeter horam somni, nulla per otium transeat.
5607. Hor. lib. I. epist. 2.
5609. “Poverty has not the means of feeding her passion.”
5610. Tract. 16. cap. 18. saepe nuda carne cilicium portent tempore frigido sine caligis, et nudis pedibus incedant, in pane et aqua jejunent, saepius se verberbus caedant, &c.
5611. Daemonibus referta sunt corpora nostra, illorum praecipue qui delicatis vescuntur eduliis, advolitant, et corporibus inherent; hanc ob rem jejunium impendio probatur ad pudicitiam.
5612. Victus sit attenuatus, balnei frequens usus et sudationes, cold baths, not hot, saith Magninus, part 3. ca. 23. to dive over head and ears in a cold river, &c.
5613. Ser. de gula; fames amica virginitati est, inimica lasciviae: saturitas vero castitatem perdit, et nutrit illecebras.
5614. Vita Hilarionis, lib. 3. epist. cum tentasset eum daemon titillatione inter caetera, Ego inquit, aselle, ad corpus suum, faciam, &c.
5615. Strabo. l. 15. Geog. sub pellibus, cubant, &c.
5616. Cup. 2. part. 2. Si sit juvenis, et non vult obedire, flagelletur frequenter et fortiter, dum incipiat foetere.
5617. Laertius, lib. 6. cap. 5. amori medetur fames; sin aliter, tempus; sin non hoc, laqueus.
5618. Vina parant animos Veneri, &c.
5619. 3. de Legibus.
5620. Non minus si vinum bibissent ac si adulterium admisissent, Gellius, lib. 10. c. 23.
5621. Rer. Sam. part. 3. cap. 23. Mirabilem vim habet.
5622. Cum muliere aliqua gratiosa saepe coire erit utilissimum. Idem Laurentius, cap. 11.
5624. Cap. 29. de morb. cereb.
5625. Beroaldus orat. de amore.
5626. Amatori, cujus est pro impotentia mens amota, opus est ut paulatim animus velut a peregrinatione domum revocetur per musicam, convivia, &c. Per aucupium, fabulas, et festivas narrationes, laborem usque ad sudorem, &c.
5627. Caelestinae, Act. 2 Barthio interpret.
5628. Cap. de Illishi. Multus hoc affectu sanat cantilena, laetitia, musica; et quidam sunt quoshaec angent.
5629. This author came to my hands since the third edition of this book.
5630. Cent. 3 curat. 56. Syrupo helleborato et aliis quae ad atram bilem pertinent.
5631. Purgetur si ejus dispositio venerit ad adust, humoris, et phlebotomizetur.
5632. Amantium morbus ut pruritus solvitur, venae sectione et cucurbitulus.
5633. Cura a venae sectione per aures, unde semper steriles.
Withstand the beginnings, avoid occasions, change his place: fair and foul means, contrary passions, with witty inventions: to bring in another, and discommend the former.
Other good rules and precepts are enjoined by our physicians, which, if not alone, yet certainly conjoined, may do much; the first of which is obstare principiis, to withstand the beginning,5634Quisquis in primo obstitit, Pepulitque amorem tutus ac victor fuit, he that will but resist at first, may easily be a conqueror at the last. Balthazar Castilio, l. 4. urgeth this prescript above the rest, 5635“when he shall chance” (saith he) “to light upon a woman that hath good behaviour joined with her excellent person, and shall perceive his eyes with a kind of greediness to pull unto them this image of beauty, and carry it to the heart: shall observe himself to be somewhat incensed with this influence, which moveth within: when he shall discern those subtle spirits sparkling in her eyes, to administer more fuel to the fire, he must wisely withstand the beginnings, rouse up reason, stupefied almost, fortify his heart by all means, and shut up all those passages, by which it may have entrance.” 'Tis a precept which all concur upon,
5636Opprime dum nova sunt subiti mala semina morbi,
Dum licet, in primo lumine siste pedem.
Thy quick disease, whilst it is fresh today,
By all means crush, thy feet at first step stay.
Which cannot speedier be done, than if he confess his grief and passion to some judicious friend 5637(qui tacitus ardet magis uritur, the more he conceals, the greater is his pain) that by his good advice may happily ease him on a sudden; and withal to avoid occasions, or any circumstance that may aggravate his disease, to remove the object by all means; for who can stand by a fire and not burn?
5638Sussilite obsecro et mittite istanc foras,
quae misero mihi amanti ebibit sanguinem.
'Tis good therefore to keep quite out of her company, which Hierom so much labours to Paula, to Nepotian; Chrysost. so much inculcates in ser. in contubern. Cyprian, and many other fathers of the church, Siracides in his ninth chapter, Jason Pratensis, Savanarola, Arnoldus, Valleriola, &c., and every physician that treats of this subject. Not only to avoid, as 5639 Gregory Tholosanus exhorts, “kissing, dalliance, all speeches, tokens, love-letters, and the like,” or as Castilio, lib. 4. to converse with them, hear them speak, or sing, (tolerabilius est audire basiliscum sibilantem, thou hadst better hear, saith 5640Cyprian, a serpent hiss) 5641“those amiable smiles, admirable graces, and sweet gestures,” which their presence affords.
5642Neu capita liment solitis morsiunculis,
Et his papillarum oppressiunculis
but all talk, name, mention, or cogitation of them, and of any other women, persons, circumstance, amorous book or tale that may administer any occasion of remembrance. 5643Prosper adviseth young men not to read the Canticles, and some parts of Genesis at other times; but for such as are enamoured they forbid, as before, the name mentioned, &c., especially all sight, they must not so much as come near, or look upon them.
5644Et fugitare decet simulacra et pabula amoris,
Abstinere sibi atque alio convertere mentem.
“Gaze not on a maid,” saith Siracides, “turn away thine eyes from a beautiful woman,” c. 9. v. 5. 7, 8. averte oculos, saith David, or if thou dost see them, as Ficinus adviseth, let not thine eye be intentus ad libidinem, do not intend her more than the rest: for as 5645Propertius holds, Ipse alimenta sibi maxima praebet amor, love as a snow ball enlargeth itself by sight: but as Hierome to Nepotian, aut aequaliter ama, aut aequaliter ignora, either see all alike, or let all alone; make a league with thine eyes, as 5646Job did, and that is the safest course, let all alone, see none of them. Nothing sooner revives, 5647“or waxeth sore again,” as Petrarch holds, “than love doth by sight.” “As pomp renews ambition; the sight of gold, covetousness; a beauteous object sets on fire this burning lust.” Et multum saliens incitat unda sitim. The sight of drink makes one dry, and the sight of meat increaseth appetite. 'Tis dangerous therefore to see. A 5648young gentleman in merriment would needs put on his mistress's clothes, and walk abroad alone, which some of her suitors espying, stole him away for her that he represented. So much can sight enforce. Especially if he have been formerly enamoured, the sight of his mistress strikes him into a new fit, and makes him rave many days after.
5649 ——— Infirmis causa pusilla nocet,
Ut pene extinctum cinerem si sulphure tangas,
Vivet, et ex minimo maximus ignis erit:
Sic nisi vitabis quicquid renovabit amorem,
Flamma recrudescet, quae modo nulla fuit.
A sickly man a little thing offends,
As brimstone doth a fire decayed renew,
And makes it burn afresh, doth love's dead flames,
If that the former object it review.
Or, as the poet compares it to embers in ashes, which the wind blows, 5650ut solet a ventis, &c., a scald head (as the saying is) is soon broken, dry wood quickly kindles, and when they have been formerly wounded with sight, how can they by seeing but be inflamed? Ismenias acknowledged as much of himself, when he had been long absent, and almost forgotten his mistress, 5651“at the first sight of her, as straw in a fire, I burned afresh, and more than ever I did before.” 5652“Chariclia was as much moved at the sight of her dear Theagines, after he had been a great stranger.” 5653Mertila, in Aristaenetus, swore she would never love Pamphilus again, and did moderate her passion, so long as he was absent; but the next time he came in presence, she could not contain, effuse amplexa attrectari se sinit, &c., she broke her vow, and did profusely embrace him. Hermotinus, a young man (in the said 5654author) is all out as unstaid, he had forgot his mistress quite, and by his friends was well weaned from her love; but seeing her by chance, agnovit veteris vestigia flammae, he raved amain, Illa tamen emergens veluti lucida stella cepit elucere, &c., she did appear as a blazing star, or an angel to his sight. And it is the common passion of all lovers to be overcome in this sort. For that cause belike Alexander discerning this inconvenience and danger that comes by seeing, 5655“when he heard Darius's wife so much commended for her beauty, would scarce admit her to come in his sight,” foreknowing belike that of Plutarch, formosam videre periculosissimum, how full of danger it is to see a proper woman, and though he was intemperate in other things, yet in this superbe se gessit, he carried himself bravely. And so when as Araspus, in Xenophon, had so much magnified that divine face of Panthea to Cyrus, 5656“by how much she was fairer than ordinary, by so much he was the more unwilling to see her.” Scipio, a young man of twenty-three years of age, and the most beautiful of the Romans, equal in person to that Grecian Charinus, or Homer's Nireus, at the siege of a city in Spain, when as a noble and most fair young gentlewoman was brought unto him, 5657“and he had heard she was betrothed to a lord, rewarded her, and sent her back to her sweetheart.” St. Austin, as 5658Gregory reports of him, ne cum sorore quidem sua putavit habitandum, would not live in the house with his own sister. Xenocrates lay with Lais of Corinth all night, and would not touch her. Socrates, though all the city of Athens supposed him to dote upon fair Alcibiades, yet when he had an opportunity, 5659solus cum solo to lie in the chamber with, and was wooed by him besides, as the said Alcibiades publicly 5660confessed, formam sprevit et superbe contempsit, he scornfully rejected him. Petrarch, that had so magnified his Laura in several poems, when by the pope's means she was offered unto him, would not accept of her. 5661“It is a good happiness to be free from this passion of love, and great discretion it argues in such a man that he can so contain himself; but when thou art once in love, to moderate thyself (as he saith) is a singular point of wisdom.”
5662Nam vitare plagas in amoris ne jaciamur
Non ita difficile est, quam captum retibus ipsis
Exire, et validos Veneris perrumpere nodos.
To avoid such nets is no such mastery,
But ta'en escape is all the victory.
But, forasmuch as few men are free, so discreet lovers, or that can contain themselves, and moderate their passions, to curb their senses, as not to see them, not to look lasciviously, not to confer with them, such is the fury of this headstrong passion of raging lust, and their weakness, ferox ille ardor a natura insitus, 5663as he terms it “such a furious desire nature hath inscribed, such unspeakable delight.”
Sic Divae Veneris furor,
Insanis adeo mentibus incubat,
which neither reason, counsel, poverty, pain, misery, drudgery, partus dolor, &c., can deter them from; we must use some speedy means to correct and prevent that, and all other inconveniences, which come by conference and the like. The best, readiest, surest way, and which all approve, is Loci mutatio, to send them several ways, that they may neither hear of, see, nor have an opportunity to send to one another again, or live together, soli cum sola, as so many Gilbertines. Elongatio a patria, 'tis Savanarola's fourth rule, and Gordonius' precept, distrahatur ad longinquas regiones, send him to travel. 'Tis that which most run upon, as so many hounds, with full cry, poets, divines, philosophers, physicians, all, mutet patriam: Valesius: 5664as a sick man he must be cured with change of air, Tully 4 Tuscul. The best remedy is to get thee gone, Jason Pratensis: change air and soil, Laurentius. 5665Fuge littus amatum.
Virg. Utile finitimis abstinuisse locis.
5666Ovid. I procul, et longas carpere perge vias.
——— sed fuge tutus eris.
Travelling is an antidote of love,
5667Magnum iter ad doctas proficisci cogor Athenas,
Ut me longa gravi solvat amore via.
For this purpose, saith 5668Propertius, my parents sent me to Athens; time and patience wear away pain and grief, as fire goes out for want of fuel. Quantum oculis, animo tam procul ibit amor. But so as they tarry out long enough: a whole year 5669Xenophon prescribes Critobulus, vix enim intra hoc tempus ab amore sanari poteris: some will hardly be weaned under. All this 5670Heinsius merrily inculcates in an epistle to his friend Primierus; first fast, then tarry, thirdly, change thy place, fourthly, think of a halter. If change of place, continuance of time, absence, will not wear it out with those precedent remedies, it will hardly be removed: but these commonly are of force. Felix Plater, observ. lib. 1. had a baker to his patient, almost mad for the love of his maid, and desperate; by removing her from him, he was in a short space cured. Isaeus, a philosopher of Assyria, was a most dissolute liver in his youth, palam lasciviens, in love with all he met; but after he betook himself, by his friends' advice, to his study, and left women's company, he was so changed that he cared no more for plays, nor feasts, nor masks, nor songs, nor verses, fine clothes, nor no such love toys: he became a new man upon a sudden, tanquam si priores oculos amisisset, (saith mine 5671author) as if he had lost his former eyes. Peter Godefridus, in the last chapter of his third book, hath a story out of St. Ambrose, of a young man that meeting his old love after long absence, on whom he had extremely doted, would scarce take notice of her; she wondered at it, that he should so lightly esteem her, called him again, lenibat dictis animum, and told him who she was, Ego sum, inquit: At ego non sum ego; but he replied, “he was not the same man:” proripuit sese tandem, as 5672Aeneas fled from Dido, not vouchsafing her any farther parley, loathing his folly, and ashamed of that which formerly he had done. 5673Non sum stultus ut ante jam Neaera. “O Neaera, put your tricks, and practise hereafter upon somebody else, you shall befool me no longer.” Petrarch hath such another tale of a young gallant, that loved a wench with one eye, and for that cause by his parents was sent to travel into far countries, “after some years he returned, and meeting the maid for whose sake he was sent abroad, asked her how, and by what chance she lost her eye? no, said she, I have lost none, but you have found yours:” signifying thereby, that all lovers were blind, as Fabius saith, Amantes de forma judicare non possunt, lovers cannot judge of beauty, nor scarce of anything else, as they will easily confess after they return unto themselves, by some discontinuance or better advice, wonder at their own folly, madness, stupidity, blindness, be much abashed, “and laugh at love, and call it an idle thing, condemn themselves that ever they should be so besotted or misled: and be heartily glad they have so happily escaped.”
If so be (which is seldom) that change of place will not effect this alteration, then other remedies are to be annexed, fair and foul means, as to persuade, promise, threaten, terrify, or to divert by some contrary passion, rumour, tales, news, or some witty invention to alter his affection, 5674“by some greater sorrow to drive out the less,” saith Gordonius, as that his house is on fire, his best friends dead, his money stolen. 5675“That he is made some great governor, or hath some honour, office, some inheritance is befallen him.” He shall be a knight, a baron; or by some false accusation, as they do to such as have the hiccup, to make them forget it. St. Hierome, lib. 2. epist. 16. to Rusticus the monk, hath an instance of a young man of Greece, that lived in a monastery in Egypt, 5676“that by no labour, no continence, no persuasion, could be diverted, but at last by this trick he was delivered. The abbot sets one of his convent to quarrel with him, and with some scandalous reproach or other to defame him before company, and then to come and complain first, the witnesses were likewise suborned for the plaintiff. The young man wept, and when all were against him, the abbot cunningly took his part, lest he should be overcome with immoderate grief: but what need many words? by this invention he was cured, and alienated from his pristine love-thoughts” — Injuries, slanders, contempts, disgraces — spretaeque injuria formae, “the insult of her slighted beauty,” are very forcible means to withdraw men's affections, contumelia affecti amatores amare desinunt, as 5677Lucian saith, lovers reviled or neglected, contemned or misused, turn love to hate; 5678redeam? Non si me obsecret, “I'll never love thee more.” Egone illam, quae illum, quae me, quae non? So Zephyrus hated Hyacinthus because he scorned him, and preferred his co-rival Apollo (Palephaetus fab. Nar.), he will not come again though he be invited. Tell him but how he was scoffed at behind his back, ('tis the counsel of Avicenna), that his love is false, and entertains another, rejects him, cares not for him, or that she is a fool; a nasty quean, a slut, a vixen, a scold, a devil, or, which Italians commonly do, that he or she hath some loathsome filthy disease, gout, stone, strangury, falling sickness, and that they are hereditary, not to be avoided, he is subject to a consumption, hath the pox, that he hath three or four incurable tetters, issues; that she is bald, her breath stinks, she is mad by inheritance, and so are all the kindred, a hair-brain, with many other secret infirmities, which I will not so much as name, belonging to women. That he is a hermaphrodite, an eunuch, imperfect, impotent, a spendthrift, a gamester, a fool, a gull, a beggar, a whoremaster, far in debt, and not able to maintain her, a common drunkard, his mother was a witch, his father hanged, that he hath a wolf in his bosom, a sore leg, he is a leper, hath some incurable disease, that he will surely beat her, he cannot hold his water, that he cries out or walks in the night, will stab his bedfellow, tell all his secrets in his sleep, and that nobody dare lie with him, his house is haunted with spirits, with such fearful and tragical things, able to avert and terrify any man or woman living, Gordonius, cap. 20. part. 2. hunc in modo consulit; Paretur aliqua vetula turpissima aspectu, cum turpi et vili habitu: et portet subtus gremium pannum menstrualem, et dicat quod amica sua sit ebriosa, et quod mingat in lecto, et quod est epileptica et impudicia; et quod in corpore suo sunt excrescentiae enormes, cum faetore anhelitus, et aliae enormitates, quibus vetulae sunt edoctae: si nolit his persuaderi, subito extrahat 5679pannum menstrualem, coram facie portando, exclamando, talis est amica tua; et si ex his non demiserit, non est homo, sed diabolus incarnatus. Idem fere, Avicenna, cap. 24, de cura Elishi, lib. 3, Fen. 1. Tract. 4. Narrent res immundas vetulae, ex quibus abominationem incurrat, et res 5680sordidas et, hoc assiduent. Idem Arculanus cap. 16. in 9. Rhasis, &c.
Withal as they do discommend the old, for the better effecting a more speedy alteration, they must commend another paramour, alteram inducere, set him or her to be wooed, or woo some other that shall be fairer, of better note, better fortune, birth, parentage, much to be preferred, 5681 Invenies alium si te hic fastidit Alexis, by this means, which Jason Pratensis wisheth, to turn the stream of affection another way, Successore novo truditur omnis amor; or, as Valesius adviseth, by 5682subdividing to diminish it, as a great river cut into many channels runs low at last. 5683Hortor et ut pariter binas habeatis amicas, &c. If you suspect to be taken, be sure, saith the poet, to have two mistresses at once, or go from one to another: as he that goes from a good fire in cold weather is both to depart from it, though in the next room there be a better which will refresh him as much; there's as much difference of haec as hac ignis; or bring him to some public shows, plays, meetings, where he may see variety, and he shall likely loathe his first choice: carry him but to the next town, yea peradventure to the next house, and as Paris lost Oenone's love by seeing Helen, and Cressida forsook Troilus by conversing with Diomede, he will dislike his former mistress, and leave her quite behind him, as 5684Theseus left Ariadne fast asleep in the island of Dia, to seek her fortune, that was erst his loving mistress. 5685Nunc primum Dorida vetus amator contempsi, as he said, Doris is but a dowdy to this. As he that looks himself in a glass forgets his physiognomy forthwith, this flattering glass of love will be diminished by remove; after a little absence it will be remitted, the next fair object will likely alter it. A young man in 5686Lucian was pitifully in love, he came to the theatre by chance, and by seeing other fair objects there, mentis sanitatem recepit, was fully recovered, 5687 “and went merrily home, as if he had taken a dram of oblivion.” 5688A mouse (saith an apologer) was brought up in a chest, there fed with fragments of bread and cheese, though there could be no better meat, till coming forth at last, and feeding liberally of other variety of viands, loathed his former life: moralise this fable by thyself. Plato, in. his seventh book De Legibus, hath a pretty fiction of a city under ground, 5689to which by little holes some small store of light came; the inhabitants thought there could not be a better place, and at their first coming abroad they might not endure the light, aegerrime solem intueri; but after they were accustomed a little to it, 5690“they deplored their fellows' misery that lived under ground.” A silly lover is in like state, none so fair as his mistress at first, he cares for none but her; yet after a while, when he hath compared her with others, he abhors her name, sight, and memory. 'Tis generally true; for as he observes, 5691Priorem flammam novus ignis extrudit; et ea multorum natura, ut praesentes maxime ament, one fire drives out another; and such is women's weakness, that they love commonly him that is present. And so do many men; as he confessed, he loved Amye, till he saw Florial, and when he saw Cynthia, forgat them both: but fair Phillis was incomparably beyond, them all, Cloris surpassed her, and yet when he espied Amaryllis, she was his sole mistress; O divine Amaryllis: quam procera, cupressi ad instar, quam elegans, quam decens, &c. How lovely, how tall, how comely she was (saith Polemius) till he saw another, and then she was the sole subject of his thoughts. In conclusion, her he loves best he saw last. 5692Triton, the sea-god, first loved Leucothoe, till he came in presence of Milaene, she was the commandress of his heart, till he saw Galatea: but (as 5693she complains) he loved another eftsoons, another, and another. 'Tis a thing which, by Hierom's report, hath been usually practised. 5694“Heathen philosophers drive out one love with another, as they do a peg, or pin with a pin. Which those seven Persian princes did to Ahasuerus, that they might requite the desire of Queen Vashti with the love of others.” Pausanias in Eliacis saith, that therefore one Cupid was painted to contend with another, and to take the garland from him, because one love drives out another, 5695Alterius vires subtrahit alter amor; and Tully, 3. Nat. Deor. disputing with C. Cotta, makes mention of three several Cupids, all differing in office. Felix Plater, in the first book of his observations, boasts how he cured a widower in Basil, a patient of his, by this stratagem alone, that doted upon a poor servant his maid, when friends, children, no persuasion could serve to alienate his mind: they motioned him to another honest man's daughter in the town, whom he loved, and lived with long after, abhorring the very name and sight of the first. After the death of Lucretia, 5696Euryalus would admit of no comfort, till the Emperor Sigismund married him to a noble lady of his court, and so in short space he was freed.
5635. Cum in mulierem incident, quae cum forma morum suavitatem conjunctam habet, et jam oculos persenserit formae ad se imaginem cum aviditate quadam rapere cum eadem, &c.
5636. 23 Ovid, de rem. lib. 1.
5637. Aeneas Silvius.
5638. Plautus gurcu. “Remove and throw her quite out of doors, she who has drank my lovesick blood.”
5639. Tom. 2. lib. 4. cap. 10. Syntag. med. arc. Mira. vitentur oscula, tactus sermo, et scripta impudica, literae, &c.
5640. Lib. de singul. Cler.
5641. Tam admirabilem splendorem declinet, gratiam, scintillas, amabiles risus, gestus suavissimos, &c.
5642. Lipsius, hort. leg. lib. 3. antiq. lec.
5643. Lib. 3. de vit. coelitus compar. cap. 6.
5644. Lucretius. “It is best to shun the semblance and the food of love, to abstain from it, and totally avert the mind from the object.”
5645. Lib. 3. eleg. 10.
5646. Job xxxi. Pepigi foedus cum oculis meis ne cogitarem de virgine.
5647. Dial. 3. de contemptu mundi; nihil facilius recrudescit quam amor; ut pompa visa renovat ambitionem, auri species avaritiam, spectata corporis forma incendit luxuriam.
5648. Seneca cont. lib. 2. cont. 9.
5650. Met. 7. ut solet a ventis alimenta resumere, quaeque Pavia sub inducta latuit scintilla favilla. Crescere et in veteres agitata resurgere flammas.
5651. Eustathii l. 3. aspectus amorem incendit, ut marcescentem in palea ignem ventus; ardebam interea majore concepto incendio.
5652. Heliodorus, l. 4. inflammat mentem novus aspectus, perinde ac ignis materiae admotus, Chariclia, &c.
5653. Epist. 15. l. 2.
5654. Epist. 4. l. 2.
5655. Curtius, lib. 3. cum uxorem Darii laudatam audivisset, tantum cupiditati suae fraenum injecit, ut illam vix vellet intueri.
5656. Cyropaedia. cum Pantheae forman evexisset Araspus, tanto magis, inquit Cyrus abstinere oportet, quanto pulchrior est.
5657. Livius, cum eam regulo cuidam desponsaram audivisset muneribus cumulatam remisit.
5658. Ep. 39. lib. 7.
5659. Et ea loqui posset quae soli amatores loqui solent.
5660. Platonis Convivio.
5661. Heliodorus, lib. 4. expertem esse amoris beatitudo est; at quum captus sis, ad moderationem revocare animum prudentia singularis.
5662. Lucretius, l. 4.
5663. Haedus, lib. 1. de amor. contem.
5664. Loci mutatione tanquam non convalescens curandus est. cap. 11.
5665. “Fly the cherished shore. It is advisable to withdraw from the places near it.”
5666. Amorum, l. 2. “Depart, and take a long journey — safety is in flight only.”
5667. Quisquis amat, loca nota nocent; dies aegritudinem adimit, absentia delet. Ire licet procul hinc patriaeque relinquere fines. Ovid.
5668. Lib. 3. eleg. 20.
5669. Lib. 1. Socrat. memor. Tibi O Critobule consulo ut integrum annum absis, &c.
5670. Proximum est ut esurias 2. ut moram temporis opponas. 3. et locum mutes. 4. ut de laqueo cogites.
5671. Philostratus de vita Sophistratum.
5672. Virg, 6. Aen.
5674. Annuncientur valde tristia, ut major tristitia possit minorem obfuscare.
5675. Aut quod sit factus senescallus, aut habeat honorem magnum.
5676. Adolescens Graecus erat in Egypti coenobio qui nulla operis magnitudine, nulla persuasione flammam poterat sedare: monasterii pater hac arte servavit. Imperat cuidam e sociis, &c. Flebat ille, omnes adversabantur; solus pater calide opponere, ne abundantia tristitiae absorberetur, quid multa? hoc invento curatus est, et a cogitationibus pristinis avocatus.
5677. Tom. 4.
5679. Hypatia Alexandrina quendam se adamantem prolatis muliebribus pannis, et in cum conjectis ab amoris insania laboravit. Suidas et Eunapius.
5680. Savanarola, reg. 5.
5681. Virg. Ecl. 3 “You will easily find another if this Alexis disdains you.”
5682. Distributio amoris fiat in plures, ad plures amicas animum applicet.
5683. Ovid. “I recommend you to have two mistresses.”
5684. Higinus, sab. 43.
5686. Lib. de salt.
5687. E theatro egressus hilaris, ac si pharmacum oblivionis bibisset.
5688. Mus in cista natus, &c.
5689. In quem e specu subterraneo modicum lucis illabitur.
5690. Deplorabant eorum miseriam qui subterraneis illis locis vitam degunt.
5691. Tatius lib. 6.
5692. Aristaenetus, epist. 4.
5693. Calcaguin. Dial. Galat. Mox aliam praetulit, aliam praelaturus quam primum occasio arriserit.
5694. Epist. lib. 2. 16. Philosophi saeculi veterem amorem novo, quasi clavum clavo repellere, quod et Assuero regi septem principes Persarum fecere, ut Vastae reginae desiderium amore compensarent.
5695. Ovid. “One love extracts the influence of another.”
5696. Lugubri veste indutus; consolationes non admisit, donec Caesar ex ducali sanguine, formosam virginem matrimonio conjunxit. Aeneas Sylvias hist. de Euryalo et Lucretia.
By counsel and persuasion, foulness of the fact, men's, women's faults, miseries of marriage, events of lust, &c.
As there be divers causes of this burning lust, or heroical love, so there be many good remedies to ease and help; amongst which, good counsel and persuasion, which I should have handled in the first place, are of great moment, and not to be omitted. Many are of opinion, that in this blind headstrong passion counsel can do no good.
5697Quae enim res in se neque consilium neque modum
Habet, ullo eam consilio regere non potes.
Which thing hath neither judgment, or an end,
How should advice or counsel it amend?
5698Quis enim modus adsit amori? But, without question, good counsel and advice must needs be of great force, especially if it shall proceed from a wise, fatherly, reverent, discreet person, a man of authority, whom the parties do respect, stand in awe of, or from a judicious friend, of itself alone it is able to divert and suffice. Gordonius, the physician, attributes so much to it, that he would have it by all means used in the first place. Amoveatur ab illa, consilio viri quem timet, ostendendo pericula saeculi, judicium inferni, gaudia Paradisi. He would have some discreet men to dissuade them, after the fury of passion is a little spent, or by absence allayed; for it is as intempestive at first, to give counsel, as to comfort parents when their children are in that instant departed; to no purpose to prescribe narcotics, cordials, nectarines, potions, Homer's nepenthes, or Helen's bowl, &c. Non cessabit pectus tundere, she will lament and howl for a season: let passion have his course awhile, and then he may proceed, by foreshowing the miserable events and dangers which will surely happen, the pains of hell, joys of Paradise, and the like, which by their preposterous courses they shall forfeit or incur; and 'tis a fit method, a very good means; for what 5699Seneca said of vice, I say of love, Sine magistro discitur, vix sine magistro deseritur, 'tis learned of itself, but 5700hardly left without a tutor. 'Tis not amiss therefore to have some such overseer, to expostulate and show them such absurdities, inconveniences, imperfections, discontents, as usually follow; which their blindness, fury, madness, cannot apply unto themselves, or will not apprehend through weakness; and good for them to disclose themselves, to give ear to friendly admonitions. “Tell me, sweetheart (saith Tryphena to a lovesick Charmides in 5701Lucian), what is it that troubles thee? peradventure I can ease thy mind, and further thee in thy suit;” and so, without question, she might, and so mayst thou, if the patient be capable of good counsel, and will hear at least what may be said.
If he love at all, she is either an honest woman or a whore. If dishonest, let him read or inculcate to him that 5. of Solomon's Proverbs, Ecclus. 26. Ambros. lib. 1. cap. 4. in his book of Abel and Cain, Philo Judeus de mercede mer. Platina's dial. in Amores, Espencaeus, and those three books of Pet. Haedus de contem. amoribus, Aeneas Sylvius' tart Epistle, which he wrote to his friend Nicholas of Warthurge, which he calls medelam illiciti amoris &c. 5702“For what's a whore,” as he saith, “but a poller of youth, a 5703ruin of men, a destruction, a devourer of patrimonies, a downfall of honour, fodder for the devil, the gate of death, and supplement of hell?” 5704Talis amor est laqueus animae, &c., a bitter honey, sweet poison, delicate destruction, a voluntary mischief, commixtum coenum, sterquilinium. And as 5705Pet. Aretine's Lucretia, a notable quean, confesseth: “Gluttony, anger, envy, pride, sacrilege, theft, slaughter, were all born that day that a whore began her profession; for,” as she follows it, “her pride is greater than a rich churl's, she is more envious than the pox, as malicious as melancholy, as covetous as hell. If from the beginning of the world any were mala, pejor, pessima, bad in the superlative degree, 'tis a whore; how many have I undone, caused to be wounded, slain! O Antonia, thou seest 5706what I am without, but within, God knows, a puddle of iniquity, a sink of sin, a pocky quean.” Let him now that so dotes meditate on this; let him see the event and success of others, Samson, Hercules, Holofernes, &c. Those infinite mischiefs attend it: if she be another man's wife he loves, 'tis abominable in the sight of God and men; adultery is expressly forbidden in God's commandment, a mortal sin, able to endanger his soul: if he be such a one that fears God, or have any religion, he will eschew it, and abhor the loathsomeness of his own fact. If he love an honest maid, 'tis to abuse or marry her; if to abuse, 'tis fornication, a foul fact (though some make light of it), and almost equal to adultery itself. If to marry, let him seriously consider what he takes in hand, look before ye leap, as the proverb is, or settle his affections, and examine first the party, and condition of his estate and hers, whether it be a fit match, for fortunes, years, parentage, and such other circumstances, an sit sitae Veneris. Whether it be likely to proceed: if not, let him wisely stave himself off at the first, curb in his inordinate passion, and moderate his desire, by thinking of some other subject, divert his cogitations. Or if it be not for his good, as Aeneas, forewarned by Mercury in a dream, left Dido's love, and in all haste got him to sea,
5707Mnestea, Surgestumque vocat fortemque Cloanthem,
Classem aptent taciti jubet ———
and although she did oppose with vows, tears, prayers, and imprecation.
5708 ——— nullis ille movetur
Fletibus, aut illas voces tractabilis audit;
Let thy Mercury-reason rule thee against all allurements, seeming delights, pleasing inward or outward provocations. Thou mayst do this if thou wilt, pater non deperit filiam, nec frater sororem, a father dotes not on his own daughter, a brother on a sister; and why? because it is unnatural, unlawful, unfit. If he be sickly, soft, deformed, let him think of his deformities, vices, infirmities; if in debt, let him ruminate how to pay his debts: if he be in any danger, let him seek to avoid it: if he have any lawsuit, or other business, he may do well to let his love-matters alone and follow it, labour in his vocation whatever it is. But if he cannot so ease himself, yet let him wisely premeditate of both their estates; if they be unequal in years, she young and he old, what an unfit match must it needs be, an uneven yoke, how absurd and indecent a thing is it! as Lycinus in 5709Lucian told Timolaus, for an old bald crook-nosed knave to marry a young wench; how odious a thing it is to see an old lecher! What should a bald fellow do with a comb, a dumb doter with a pipe, a blind man with a looking-glass, and thou with such a wife? How absurd it is for a young man to marry an old wife for a piece of good. But put case she be equal in years, birth, fortunes, and other qualities correspondent, he doth desire to be coupled in marriage, which is an honourable estate, but for what respects? Her beauty belike, and comeliness of person, that is commonly the main object, she is a most absolute form, in his eye at least, Cui formam Paphia, et Charites tribuere decoram; but do other men affirm as much? or is it an error in his judgment.
5710Fallunt nos oculi vagique sensus,
Oppressa ratione mentiuntur,
“our eyes and other senses will commonly deceive us;” it may be, to thee thyself upon a more serious examination, or after a little absence, she is not so fair as she seems. Quaedam videntur et non sunt; compare her to another standing by, 'tis a touchstone to try, confer hand to hand, body to body, face to face, eye to eye, nose to nose, neck to neck, &c., examine every part by itself, then altogether, in all postures, several sites, and tell me how thou likest her. It may be not she, that is so fair, but her coats, or put another in her clothes, and she will seem all out as fair; as the 5711poet then prescribes, separate her from her clothes: suppose thou saw her in a base beggar's weed, or else dressed in some old hirsute attires out of fashion, foul linen, coarse raiment, besmeared with soot, colly, perfumed with opoponax, sagapenum, asafoetida, or some such filthy gums, dirty, about some indecent action or other; or in such a case as 5712Brassivola, the physician, found Malatasta, his patient, after a potion of hellebore, which he had prescribed: Manibus in terram depositis, et ano versus caelum elevato (ac si videretur Socraticus ille Aristophanes, qui Geometricas figuras in terram scribens, tubera colligere videbatur) atram bilem in album parietem injiciebat, adeoque totam cameram, et se deturpabat, ut, &c., all to bewrayed, or worse; if thou saw'st her (I say) would thou affect her as thou dost? Suppose thou beheldest her in a 5713 frosty morning, in cold weather, in some passion or perturbation of mind, weeping, chafing, &c., rivelled and ill-favoured to behold. She many times that in a composed look seems so amiable and delicious, tam scitula, forma, if she do but laugh or smile, makes an ugly sparrow-mouthed face, and shows a pair of uneven, loathsome, rotten, foul teeth: she hath a black skin, gouty legs, a deformed crooked carcass under a fine coat. It may be for all her costly tires she is bald, and though she seem so fair by dark, by candlelight, or afar off at such a distance, as Callicratides observed in 5714Lucian, “If thou should see her near, or in a morning, she would appear more ugly than a beast;” 5715si diligenter consideres, quid per os et nares et caeteros corporis meatus egreditur, vilius sterquilinium nunquam vidisti. Follow my counsel, see her undressed, see her, if it be possible, out of her attires, furtivis nudatam coloribus, it may be she is like Aesop's jay, or 5716Pliny's cantharides, she will be loathsome, ridiculous, thou wilt not endure her sight: or suppose thou saw'st her, pale, in a consumption, on her death-bed, skin and bones, or now dead, Cujus erat gratissimus amplexus (whose embrace was so agreeable) as Barnard saith, erit horribilis aspectus; Non redolet, sed olet, quae, redolere solet, “As a posy she smells sweet, is most fresh and fair one day, but dried up, withered, and stinks another.” Beautiful Nireus, by that Homer so much admired, once dead, is more deformed than Thersites, and Solomon deceased as ugly as Marcolphus: thy lovely mistress that was erst 5717Charis charior ocellis, “dearer to thee than thine eyes,” once sick or departed, is Vili vilior aestimata coeno, “worse than any dirt or dunghill.” Her embraces were not so acceptable, as now her looks be terrible: thou hadst better behold a Gorgon's head, than Helen's carcass.
Some are of opinion, that to see a woman naked is able of itself to alter his affection; and it is worthy of consideration, saith 5718Montaigne the Frenchman in his Essays, that the skilfulest masters of amorous dalliance, appoint for a remedy of venerous passions, a full survey of the body; which the poet insinuates,
5719Ille quod obscaenas in aperto corpore partes
Viderat, in cursu qui fuit, haesit amor.
The love stood still, that run in full career,
When once it saw those parts should not appear.
It is reported of Seleucus, king of Syria, that seeing his wife Stratonice's bald pate, as she was undressing her by chance, he could never affect her after. Remundus Lullius, the physician, spying an ulcer or cancer in his mistress' breast, whom he so dearly loved, from that day following abhorred the looks of her. Philip the French king, as Neubrigensis, lib. 4. cap. 24. relates it, married the king of Denmark's daughter, 5720“and after he had used her as a wife one night, because her breath stunk, they say, or for some other secret fault, sent her back again to her father.” Peter Mattheus, in the life of Lewis the Eleventh, finds fault with our English 5721chronicles, for writing how Margaret the king of Scots' daughter, and wife to Louis the Eleventh, French king, was ob graveolentiam oris, rejected by her husband. Many such matches are made for by-respects, or some seemly comeliness, which after honeymoon's past, turn to bitterness: for burning lust is but a flash, a gunpowder passion; and hatred oft follows in the highest degree, dislike and contempt.
5722 ——— Cum se cutis arida laxat,
Fiunt obscuri dentes ———
when they wax old, and ill-favoured, they may commonly no longer abide them — Jam gravis es nobis, Be gone, they grow stale, fulsome, loathsome, odious, thou art a beastly filthy quean — 5723faciem Phoebe cacantis habes, thou art Saturni podex, withered and dry, insipida et vetula — 5724Te quia rugae turpant, et capitis nives, (I say) be gone, 5725portae patent, proficiscere.
Yea, but you will infer, your mistress is complete, of a most absolute form in all men's opinions, no exceptions can be taken at her, nothing may be added to her person, nothing detracted, she is the mirror of women for her beauty, comeliness and pleasant grace, inimitable, merae deliciae, meri lepores, she is Myrothetium Veneris, Gratiarum pixis, a mere magazine of natural perfections, she hath all the Veneres and Graces — mille faces et mille figuras, in each part absolute and complete, 5726Laeta genas laeta os roseum, vaga lumina laeta: to be admired for her person, a most incomparable, unmatchable piece, aurea proles, ad simulachrum alicujus numinis composita, a Phoenix, vernantis aetatulae Venerilla, a nymph, a fairy, 5727like Venus herself when she was a maid, nulli secunda, a mere quintessence, flores spirans et amaracum, foeminae prodigium: put case she be, how long will she continue? 5728Florem decoris singuli carpunt dies: “Every day detracts from her person,” and this beauty is bonum fragile, a mere flash, a Venice glass, quickly broken,
5729Anceps forma bonum mortalibus,
——— exigui donum breve temporis,
it will not last. As that fair flower 5730Adonis, which we call an anemone, flourisheth but one month, this gracious all-commanding beauty fades in an instant. It is a jewel soon lost, the painter's goddess, fulsa veritas, a mere picture. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vanity,” Prov. xxxi. 30.
5731Vitrea gemmula, fluxaque bullula, candida forma est,
Nix, rosa, fumus, ventus et aura, nihil.
A brittle gem, bubble, is beauty pale,
A rose, dew, snow, smoke, wind, air, nought at all.
If she be fair, as the saying is, she is commonly a fool: if proud, scornful, sequiturque superbia formam, or dishonest, rara est concordia formae, atque pudicitiae, “can she be fair and honest too?” 5732 Aristo, the son of Agasicles, married a Spartan lass, the fairest lady in all Greece next to Helen, but for her conditions the most abominable and beastly creature of the world. So that I would wish thee to respect, with 5733Seneca, not her person but qualities. “Will you say that's a good blade which hath a gilded scabbard, embroidered with gold and jewels? No, but that which hath a good edge and point, well tempered metal, able to resist.” This beauty is of the body alone, and what is that, but as 5734 Gregory Nazianzen telleth us, “a mock of time and sickness?” or as Boethius, 5735“as mutable as a flower, and 'tis not nature so makes us, but most part the infirmity of the beholder.” For ask another, he sees no such matter: Dic mihi per gratias quails tibi videtur, “I pray thee tell me how thou likest my sweetheart,” as she asked her sister in Aristenaetus, 5736“whom I so much admire, methinks he is the sweetest gentleman, the properest man that ever I saw: but I am in love, I confess (nec pudet fateri) and cannot therefore well judge.” But be she fair indeed, golden-haired, as Anacreon his Bathillus, (to examine particulars) she have 5737Flammeolos oculos, collaque lacteola, a pure sanguine complexion, little mouth, coral lips, white teeth, soft and plump neck, body, hands, feet, all fair and lovely to behold, composed of all graces, elegances, an absolute piece,
5738Lumina sint Melitae Junonia, dextra Minervae,
Mamillae Veneris, sura maris dominae, &c.
Let 5739her head be from Prague, paps out of Austria, belly from France, back from Brabant, hands out of England, feet from Rhine, buttocks from Switzerland, let her have the Spanish gait, the Venetian tire, Italian compliment and endowments:
5740Candida sideriis ardescant lumina flammis,
Sudent colla rosas, et cedat crinibus aurum,
Mellea purpurem depromant ora ruborem;
Fulgeat, ac Venerem coelesti corpore vincat,
Forma dearum omnis, &c.
Let her be such a one throughout, as Lucian deciphers in his Imagines, as Euphranor of old painted Venus, Aristaenetus describes Lais, another Helena, Chariclea, Leucippe, Lucretia, Pandora; let her have a box of beauty to repair herself still, such a one as Venus gave Phaon, when he carried her over the ford; let her use all helps art and nature can yield; be like her, and her, and whom thou wilt, or all these in one; a little sickness, a fever, small-pox, wound, scar, loss of an eye, or limb, a violent passion, a distemperature of heat or cold, mars all in an instant, disfigures all; child-bearing, old age, that tyrant time will turn Venus to Erinnys; raging time, care, rivels her upon a sudden; after she hath been married a small while, and the black ox hath trodden on her toe, she will be so much altered, and wax out of favour, thou wilt not know her. One grows to fat, another too lean, &c., modest Matilda, pretty pleasing Peg, sweet-singing Susan, mincing merry Moll, dainty dancing Doll, neat Nancy, jolly Joan, nimble Nell, kissing Kate, bouncing Bess, with black eyes, fair Phyllis, with fine white hands, fiddling Frank, tall Tib, slender Sib, &c., will quickly lose their grace, grow fulsome, stale, sad, heavy, dull, sour, and all at last out of fashion. Ubi jam vultus argutia, suavis suavitatio, blandus, risus, &c. Those fair sparkling eyes will look dull, her soft coral lips will be pale, dry, cold, rough, and blue, her skin rugged, that soft and tender superficies will be hard and harsh, her whole complexion change in a moment, and as 5741Matilda writ to King John.
I am not now as when thou saw'st me last,
That favour soon is vanished and past;
That rosy blush lapt in a lily vale,
Now is with morphew overgrown and pale.
'Tis so in the rest, their beauty fades as a tree in winter, which Dejanira hath elegantly expressed in the poet,
5742Deforme solis aspicis truncis nemus?
Sic nostra longum forma percurrens iter,
Deperdit aliquid semper, et fulget minus,
Malisque minus est quiquid in nobis fuit,
Olim petitum cecidit, et partu labat,
Maturque multum rapuit ex illa mihi,
Aetas citato senior eripuit gradu.
And as a tree that in the green wood grows,
With fruit and leaves, and in the summer blows,
In winter like a stock deformed shows:
Our beauty takes his race and journey goes,
And doth decrease, and lose, and come to nought,
Admir'd of old, to this by child-birth brought:
And mother hath bereft me of my grace,
And crooked old age coining on apace.
To conclude with Chrysostom, 5743“When thou seest a fair and beautiful person, a brave Bonaroba, a bella donna, quae salivam moveat, lepidam puellam et quam tu facile ames, a comely woman, having bright eyes, a merry countenance, a shining lustre in her look, a pleasant grace, wringing thy soul, and increasing thy concupiscence; bethink with thyself that it is but earth thou lovest, a mere excrement, which so vexeth thee, which thou so admirest, and thy raging soul will be at rest. Take her skin from her face, and thou shalt see all loathsomeness under it, that beauty is a superficial skin and bones, nerves, sinews: suppose her sick, now rivelled, hoary-headed, hollow-cheeked, old; within she is full of filthy phlegm, stinking, putrid, excremental stuff: snot and snivel in her nostrils, spittle in her mouth, water in her eyes, what filth in her brains,” &c. Or take her at best, and look narrowly upon her in the light, stand near her, nearer yet, thou shalt perceive almost as much, and love less, as 5744 Cardan well writes, minus amant qui acute vident, though Scaliger deride him for it: if he see her near, or look exactly at such a posture, whosoever he is, according to the true rules of symmetry and proportion, those I mean of Albertus Durer, Lomatius and Tasnier, examine him of her. If he be elegans formarum spectator he shall find many faults in physiognomy, and ill colour: if form, one side of the face likely bigger than the other, or crooked nose, bad eyes, prominent veins, concavities about the eyes, wrinkles, pimples, red streaks, freckles, hairs, warts, neves, inequalities, roughness, scabredity, paleness, yellowness, and as many colours as are in a turkeycock's neck, many indecorums in their other parts; est quod desideres, est quod amputes, one leers, another frowns, a third gapes, squints, &c. And 'tis true that he saith, 5745Diligenter consideranti raro facies absoluta, et quae vitio caret, seldom shall you find an absolute face without fault, as I have often observed; not in the face alone is this defect or disproportion to be found; but in all the other parts, of body and mind; she is fair, indeed, but foolish; pretty, comely, and decent, of a majestical presence, but peradventure, imperious, dishonest, acerba, iniqua, self-willed: she is rich, but deformed; hath a sweet face, but bad carriage, no bringing up, a rude and wanton flirt; a neat body she hath, but it is a nasty quean otherwise, a very slut, of a bad kind. As flowers in a garden have colour some, but no smell, others have a fragrant smell, but are unseemly to the eye; one is unsavoury to the taste as rue, as bitter as wormwood, and yet a most medicinal cordial flower, most acceptable to the stomach; so are men and women; one is well qualified, but of ill proportion, poor and base: a good eye she hath, but a bad hand and foot, foeda pedes et foeda manus, a fine leg, bad teeth, a vast body, &c. Examine all parts of body and mind, I advise thee to inquire of all. See her angry, merry, laugh, weep, hot, cold, sick, sullen, dressed, undressed, in all attires, sites, gestures, passions, eat her meals, &c., and in some of these you will surely dislike. Yea, not her only let him observe, but her parents how they carry themselves: for what deformities, defects, encumbrances of body or mind be in them at such an age, they will likely be subject to, be molested in like manner, they will patrizare or matrizare. And withal let him take notice of her companions, in convictu (as Quiverra prescribes), et quibuscum conversetur, whom she converseth with. Noscitur ex comite, qui non cognoscitur ex se. 5746According to Thucydides, she is commonly the best, de quo minimus foras habetur sermo, that is least talked of abroad. For if she be a noted reveller, a gadder, a singer, a pranker or dancer, than take heed of her. For what saith Theocritus?
5747At vos festivae ne ne saltate puellae,
En malus hireus adest in vos saltare paratus.
Young men will do it when they come to it. Fauns and satyrs will certainly play reaks, when they come in such wanton Baccho's or Elenora's presence. Now when they shall perceive any such obliquity, indecency, disproportion, deformity, bad conditions, &c., let them still ruminate on that, and as 5748Haedus adviseth out of Ovid, earum mendas notent, note their faults, vices, errors, and think of their imperfections; 'tis the next way to divert and mitigate love's furious headstrong passions; as a peacock's feet, and filthy comb, they say, make him forget his fine feathers, and pride of his tail; she is lovely, fair, well-favoured, well qualified, courteous and kind, “but if she be not so to me, what care I how kind she be?” I say with 5749Philostratus, formosa aliis, mihi superba, she is a tyrant to me, and so let her go. Besides these outward neves or open faults, errors, there be many inward infirmities, secret, some private (which I will omit), and some more common to the sex, sullen fits, evil qualities, filthy diseases, in this case fit to be considered; consideratio foeditatis mulierum, menstruae imprimis, quam immundae sunt, quam Savanarola proponit regula septima penitus observandam; et Platina dial. amoris fuse perstringit. Lodovicus Bonacsialus, mulieb. lib. 2. cap. 2. Pet. Haedus, Albertus, et infiniti fere medici. 5750A lover, in Calcagninus's Apologies, wished with all his heart he were his mistress's ring, to hear, embrace, see, and do I know not what: O thou fool, quoth the ring, if thou wer'st in my room, thou shouldst hear, observe, and see pudenda et poenitenda, that which would make thee loathe and hate her, yea, peradventure, all women for her sake.
I will say nothing of the vices of their minds, their pride, envy, inconstancy, weakness, malice, selfwill, lightness, insatiable lust, jealousy, Ecclus. v. 14. “No malice to a woman's, no bitterness like to hers,” Eccles. vii. 21. and as the same author urgeth, Prov. xxxi. 10. “Who shall find a virtuous woman?” He makes a question of it. Neque jus neque bonum, neque aequum sciunt, melius pejus, prosit, obsit, nihil vident, nisi quod libido suggerit. “They know neither good nor bad, be it better or worse” (as the comical poet hath it), “beneficial or hurtful, they will do what they list.”
5751Insidiae humani generis, querimonia vitae,
Exuviae noctis, durissima cura diei,
Poena virum, nex et juvenum, &c. ———
And to that purpose were they first made, as Jupiter insinuates in the 5752poet;
The fire that bold Prometheus stole from me,
With plagues call'd women shall revenged be,
On whose alluring and enticing face,
Poor mortals doting shall their death embrace.
In fine, as Diogenes concludes in Nevisanus, Nulla est faemina quae non habeat quid: they have all their faults.
When Leander was drowned, the inhabitants of Sestos consecrated Hero's lantern to Anteros, Anteroti sacrum, 5754and he that had good success in his love should light the candle: but never any man was found to light it; which I can refer to nought, but the inconstancy and lightness of women.
5755For in a thousand, good there is not one;
All be so proud, unthankful, and unkind,
With flinty hearts, careless of other's moan.
In their own lusts carried most headlong blind,
But more herein to speak I am forbidden;
Sometimes for speaking truth one may be chidden.
I am not willing, you see, to prosecute the cause against them, and therefore take heed you mistake me not, 5756matronam nullam ego tango, I honour the sex, with all good men, and as I ought to do, rather than displease them, I will voluntarily take the oath which Mercurius Britannicus took, Viragin. descript. tib. 2. fol. 95. Me nihil unquam mali nobilissimo sexui, vel verbo, vel facto machinaturum, &c., let Simonides, Mantuan, Platina, Pet. Aretine, and such women-haters bare the blame, if aught be said amiss; I have not writ a tenth of that which might be urged out of them and others; 5757non possunt invectivae omnes, et satirae in foeminas scriptae, uno volumine comprehendi. And that which I have said (to speak truth) no more concerns them than men, though women be more frequently named in this tract; (to apologise once for all) I am neither partial against them, or therefore bitter; what is said of the one, mutato nomine, may most part be understood of the other. My words are like Passus' picture in 5758Lucian, of whom, when a good fellow had bespoke a horse to be painted with his heels upwards, tumbling on his back, he made him passant: now when the fellow came for his piece, he was very angry, and said, it was quite opposite to his mind; but Passus instantly turned the picture upside down, showed him the horse at that site which he requested, and so gave him satisfaction. If any man take exception at my words, let him alter the name, read him for her, and 'tis all one in effect.
But to my purpose: If women in general be so bad (and men worse than they) what a hazard is it to marry? where shall a man find a good wife, or a woman a good husband? A woman a man may eschew, but not a wife: wedding is undoing (some say) marrying marring, wooing woeing: 5759“a wife is a fever hectic,” as Scaliger calls her, “and not be cured but by death,” as out of Menander, Athenaeus adds,
In pelaprus te jacis negotiorum —
Non Libyum, non Aegeum, ubi ex triginta non pereunt
Tria navigia: duceus uxorem servatur prorsus nemo.
Thou wadest into a sea itself of woes;
In Libya and Aegean each man knows
Of thirty not three ships are cast away,
But on this rock not one escapes, I say.
The worldly cares, miseries, discontents, that accompany marriage, I pray you learn of them that have experience, for I have none; 5760παίδας ἐγὸ λόγους ἐγενσάμην, libri mentis liberi. For my part I'll dissemble with him,
5761Este procul nymphae, fallax genus este puellae,
Vita jugata meo non facit ingenio: me juvat, &c.
many married men exclaim at the miseries of it, and rail at wives downright; I never tried, but as I hear some of them say, 5762Mare haud mare, vos mare acerrimum, an Irish Sea is not so turbulent and raging as a litigious wife.
5763Scylla et Charybdis Sicula contorquens freta,
Minus est timenda, nulla non melior fera est.
Scylla and Charybdis are less dangerous,
There is no beast that is so noxious.
Which made the devil belike, as most interpreters hold, when he had taken away Job's goods, corporis et fortunae bona, health, children, friends, to persecute him the more, leave his wicked wife, as Pineda proves out of Tertullian, Cyprian, Austin, Chrysostom, Prosper, Gaudentius, &c. ut novum calamitatis inde genus viro existeret, to vex and gall him worse quam totus infernus than all the fiends in hell, as knowing the conditions of a bad woman. Jupiter non tribuit homini pestilentius malum, saith Simonides: “better dwell with a dragon or a lion, than keep house with a wicked wife,” Ecclus. xxv. 18. “better dwell in a wilderness,” Prov. xxi. 19. “no wickedness like to her,” Ecclus. xxv. 22. “She makes a sorry heart, an heavy countenance, a wounded mind, weak hands, and feeble knees,” vers. 25. “A woman and death are two the bitterest things in the world:” uxor mihi ducenda est hodie, id mihi visus est dicere, abi domum et suspende te. Ter. And. 1. 5. And yet for all this we bachelors desire to be married; with that vestal virgin, we long for it, 5764Felices nuptae! moriar, nisi nubere dulce est. 'Tis the sweetest thing in the world, I would I had a wife saith he,
For fain would I leave a single life,
If I could get me a good wife.
Heigh-ho for a husband, cries she, a bad husband, nay, the worst that ever was is better than none: O blissful marriage, O most welcome marriage, and happy are they that are so coupled: we do earnestly seek it, and are never well till we have effected it. But with what fate? like those birds in the 5765Emblem, that fed about a cage, so long as they could fly away at their pleasure liked well of it; but when they were taken and might not get loose, though they had the same meat, pined away for sullenness, and would not eat. So we commend marriage,
——— donec miselli liberi
Aspichmis dominam; sed postquam heu janua clausa est,
Fel intus est quod mel fuit:
“So long as we are wooers, may kiss and coll at our pleasure, nothing is so sweet, we are in heaven as we think; but when we are once tied, and have lost our liberty, marriage is an hell,” “give me my yellow hose again:” a mouse in a trap lives as merrily, we are in a purgatory some of us, if not hell itself. Dulce bellum inexpertis, as the proverb is, 'tis fine talking of war, and marriage sweet in contemplation, till it be tried: and then as wars are most dangerous, irksome, every minute at death's door, so is, &c. When those wild Irish peers, saith 5766Stanihurst, were feasted by king Henry the Second, (at what time he kept his Christmas at Dublin) and had tasted of his prince-like cheer, generous wines, dainty fare, had seen his 5767massy plate of silver, gold, enamelled, beset with jewels, golden candlesticks, goodly rich hangings, brave furniture, heard his trumpets sound, fifes, drums, and his exquisite music in all kinds: when they had observed his majestical presence as he sat in purple robes, crowned, with his sceptre, &c., in his royal seat, the poor men were so amazed, enamoured, and taken with the object, that they were pertaesi domestici et pristini tyrotarchi, as weary and ashamed of their own sordidity and manner of life. They would all be English forthwith; who but English! but when they had now submitted themselves, and lost their former liberty, they began to rebel some of them, others repent of what they had done, when it was too late. 'Tis so with us bachelors, when we see and behold those sweet faces, those gaudy shows that women make, observe their pleasant gestures and graces, give ear to their siren tunes, see them dance, &c., we think their conditions are as fine as their faces, we are taken, with dumb signs, in amplexum ruimus, we rave, we burn, and would fain be married. But when we feel the miseries, cares, woes, that accompany it, we make our moan many of us, cry out at length and cannot be released. If this be true now, as some out of experience will inform us, farewell wiving for my part, and as the comical poet merrily saith,
5768Perdatur ille pessime qui foeminam
Duxit secundus, nam nihil primo imprecor!
Ignarus ut puto mali primus fuit.
5769Foul fall him that brought the second match to pass,
The first I wish no harm, poor man alas!
He knew not what he did, nor what it was.
What shall I say to him that marries again and again, 5770Stulta maritali qui porrigit ora capistro, I pity him not, for the first time he must do as he may, bear it out sometimes by the head and shoulders, and let his next neighbour ride, or else run away, or as that Syracusian in a tempest, when all ponderous things were to be exonerated out of the ship, quia maximum pondus erat, fling his wife into the sea. But this I confess is comically spoken, 5771and so I pray you take it. In sober sadness, 5772marriage is a bondage, a thraldom, a yoke, a hindrance to all good enterprises, (“he hath married a wife and cannot come”) a stop to all preferments, a rock on which many are saved, many impinge and are cast away: not that the thing is evil in itself or troublesome, but full of all contentment and happiness, one of the three things which please God, 5773 “when a man and his wife agree together,” an honourable and happy estate, who knows it not? If they be sober, wise, honest, as the poet infers,
5774Si commodos nanciscantur amores,
Nullum iis abest voluptatis genus.
If fitly match'd be man and wife,
No pleasure's wanting to their life.
But to undiscreet sensual persons, that as brutes are wholly led by sense, it is a feral plague, many times a hell itself, and can give little or no content, being that they are often so irregular and prodigious in their lusts, so diverse in their affections. Uxor nomen dignitatis, non voluptatis, as 5775he said, a wife is a name of honour, not of pleasure: she is fit to bear the office, govern a family, to bring up children, sit at a board's end and carve, as some carnal men think and say; they had rather go to the stews, or have now and then a snatch as they can come by it, borrow of their neighbours, than have wives of their own; except they may, as some princes and great men do, keep as many courtesans as they will themselves, fly out impune, 5776Permolere uxores alienas, that polygamy of Turks, Lex Julia, with Caesar once enforced in Rome, (though Levinus Torrentius and others suspect it) uti uxores quot et quas vellent liceret, that every great man might marry, and keep as many wives as he would, or Irish divorcement were in use: but as it is, 'tis hard and gives not that satisfaction to these carnal men, beastly men as too many are: 5777What still the same, to be tied 5778to one, be she never so fair, never so virtuous, is a thing they may not endure, to love one long. Say thy pleasure, and counterfeit as thou wilt, as 5779Parmeno told Thais, Neque tu uno eris contenta, “one man will never please thee;” nor one woman many men. But as 5780Pan replied to his father Mercury, when he asked whether he was married, Nequaquam pater, amator enim sum &c. “No, father, no, I am a lover still, and cannot be contented with one woman.” Pythias, Echo, Menades, and I know not how many besides, were his mistresses, he might not abide marriage. Varietas delectat, 'tis loathsome and tedious, what one still? which the satirist said of Iberina, is verified in most,
5781Unus Iberinae vir sufficit? ocyus illud
Extorquebis ut haec oculo contenta sit uno.
As capable of any impression as materia prima itself, that still desires new forms, like the sea their affections ebb and flow. Husband is a cloak for some to hide their villainy; once married she may fly out at her pleasure, the name of husband is a sanctuary to make all good. Eo ventum (saith Seneca) ut nulla virum habeat, nisi ut irritet adulterum. They are right and straight, as true Trojans as mine host's daughter, that Spanish wench in 5782Ariosto, as good wives as Messalina. Many men are as constant in their choice, and as good husbands as Nero himself, they must have their pleasure of all they see, and are in a word far more fickle than any woman.
Good men have often ill wives, as bad as Xanthippe was to Socrates, Elevora to St. Lewis, Isabella to our Edward the Second; and good wives are as often matched to ill husbands, as Mariamne to Herod, Serena to Diocletian, Theodora to Theophilus, and Thyra to Gurmunde. But I will say nothing of dissolute and bad husbands, of bachelors and their vices; their good qualities are a fitter subject for a just volume, too well known already in every village, town and city, they need no blazon; and lest I should mar any matches, or dishearten loving maids, for this present I will let them pass.
Being that men and women are so irreligious, depraved by nature, so wandering in their affections, so brutish, so subject to disagreement, so unobservant of marriage rites, what shall I say? If thou beest such a one, or thou light on such a wife, what concord can there be, what hope of agreement? 'tis not conjugium but conjurgium, as the Reed and Fern in the 5783Emblem, averse and opposite in nature: 'tis twenty to one thou wilt not marry to thy contentment: but as in a lottery forty blanks were drawn commonly for one prize, out of a multitude you shall hardly choose a good one: a small ease hence then, little comfort,
5784Nec integrum unquam transiges laetus diem.
If he or she be such a one,
Thou hadst much better be alone.
If she be barren, she is not —&c. If she have 5785children, and thy state be not good, though thou be wary and circumspect, thy charge will undo thee — foecunda domum tibi prole gravabit, 5786thou wilt not be able to bring them up, 5787“and what greater misery can there be than to beget children, to whom thou canst leave no other inheritance but hunger and thirst?” 5788cum fames dominatur, strident voces rogantium panem, penetrantes patris cor: what so grievous as to turn them up to the wide world, to shift for themselves? No plague like to want: and when thou hast good means, and art very careful of their education, they will not be ruled. Think but of that old proverb, ᾑρώων τέκνα πήματα, heroum filii noxae, great men's sons seldom do well; O utinam aut coelebs mansissem, aut prole carerem! “would that I had either remained single, or not had children,” 5789Augustus exclaims in Suetonius. Jacob had his Reuben, Simeon and Levi; David an Amnon, an Absalom, Adoniah; wise men's sons are commonly fools, insomuch that Spartian concludes, Neminem prope magnorum virorum optimum et utilem reliquisse filium: 5790they had been much better to have been childless. 'Tis too common in the middle sort; thy son's a drunkard, a gamester, a spendthrift; thy daughter a fool, a whore; thy servants lazy drones and thieves; thy neighbours devils, they will make thee weary of thy life. 5791“If thy wife be froward, when she may not have her will, thou hadst better be buried alive; she will be so impatient, raving still, and roaring like Juno in the tragedy, there's nothing but tempests, all is in an uproar.” If she be soft and foolish, thou wert better have a block, she will shame thee and reveal thy secrets; if wise and learned, well qualified, there is as much danger on the other side, mulierem doctam ducere periculosissimum, saith Nevisanus, she will be too insolent and peevish, 5792Malo Venusinam quam te Cornelia mater. Take heed; if she be a slut, thou wilt loathe her; if proud, she'll beggar thee, so 5793“she'll spend thy patrimony in baubles, all Arabia will not serve to perfume her hair,” saith Lucian; if fair and wanton, she'll make thee a cornuto; if deformed, she will paint. 5794“If her face be filthy by nature, she will mend it by art,” alienis et adscititiis imposturis, “which who can endure?” If she do not paint, she will look so filthy, thou canst not love her, and that peradventure will make thee dishonest. Cromerus lib. 12. hist., relates of Casimirus,5795that he was unchaste, because his wife Aleida, the daughter of Henry, Landgrave of Hesse, was so deformed. If she be poor, she brings beggary with her (saith Nevisanus), misery and discontent. If you marry a maid, it is uncertain how she proves, Haec forsan veniet non satis apta tibi. 5796If young, she is likely wanton and untaught; if lusty, too lascivious; and if she be not satisfied, you know where and when, nil nisi jurgia, all is in an uproar, and there is little quietness to be had; If an old maid, 'tis a hazard she dies in childbed; if a 5797rich widow, induces te in laqueum, thou dost halter thyself, she will make all away beforehand, to her other children, &c. — 5798dominam quis possit ferre tonantem? she will hit thee still in the teeth with her first husband; if a young widow, she is often insatiable and immodest. If she be rich, well descended, bring a great dowry, or be nobly allied, thy wife's friends will eat thee out of house and home, dives ruinam aedibus inducit, she will be so proud, so high-minded, so imperious. For — nihil est magis intolerabile dite, “there's nothing so intolerable,” thou shalt be as the tassel of a goshawk, 5799“she will ride upon thee, domineer as she list,” wear the breeches in her oligarchical government, and beggar thee besides. Uxores divites servitutem exigunt (as Seneca hits them, declam. lib. 2. declam. 6.)— Dotem accepi imperium perdidi. They will have sovereignty, pro conjuge dominam arcessis, they will have attendance, they will do what they list. 5800In taking a dowry thou losest thy liberty, dos intrat, libertas exit, hazardest thine estate.
Hae sunt atque aliae multae in magnis dotibus
Incommoditates, sumptusque intolerabiles, &c.
“with many such inconveniences:” say the best, she is a commanding servant; thou hadst better have taken a good housewife maid in her smock. Since then there is such hazard, if thou be wise keep thyself as thou art, 'tis good to match, much better to be free.
5801 — procreare liberos lepidissimum.
Hercle vero liberum esse, id multo est lepidius.
5802Art thou young? then match not yet; if old, match not at all.
Vis juvenis nubere? nondum venit tempus.
Ingravescente aetate jam tempus praeteriit.
And therefore, with that philosopher, still make answer to thy friends that importune thee to marry, adhuc intempestivum, 'tis yet unseasonable, and ever will be.
Consider withal how free, how happy, how secure, how heavenly, in respect, a single man is, 5803as he said in the comedy, Et isti quod fortunatum esse autumant, uxorem nunquam habui, and that which all my neighbours admire and applaud me for, account so great a happiness, I never had a wife; consider how contentedly, quietly, neatly, plentifully, sweetly, and how merrily he lives! he hath no man to care for but himself, none to please, no charge, none to control him, is tied to no residence, no cure to serve, may go and come, when, whither, live where he will, his own master, and do what he list himself. Consider the excellency of virgins, 5804 Virgo coelum meruit, marriage replenisheth the earth, but virginity Paradise; Elias, Eliseus, John Baptist, were bachelors: virginity is a precious jewel, a fair garland, a never-fading flower; 5805for why was Daphne turned to a green bay-tree, but to show that virginity is immortal?
5806Ut flos in septis secretus nascitur hortis,
Ignotus pecori, nullo contusus aratro,
Quam mulcent aurae, firmat sol, educat imber, &c.
Sic virgo dum intacta manet, dum chara suis, sed
Cum Castum amisit, &c. ———
Virginity is a fine picture, as 5807Bonaventure calls it, a blessed thing in itself, and if you will believe a Papist, meritorious. And although there be some inconveniences, irksomeness, solitariness, &c., incident to such persons, want of those comforts, quae, aegro assideat et curet aegrotum, fomentum paret, roget medicum, &c., embracing, dalliance, kissing, colling, &c., those furious motives and wanton pleasures a new-married wife most part enjoys; yet they are but toys in respect, easily to be endured, if conferred to those frequent encumbrances of marriage. Solitariness may be otherwise avoided with mirth, music, good company, business, employment; in a word, 5808Gaudebit minus, et minus dolebit; for their good nights, he shall have good days. And methinks some time or other, amongst so many rich bachelors, a benefactor should be found to build a monastical college for old, decayed, deformed, or discontented maids to live together in, that have lost their first loves, or otherwise miscarried, or else are willing howsoever to lead a single life. The rest I say are toys in respect, and sufficiently recompensed by those innumerable contents and incomparable privileges of virginity. Think of these things, confer both lives, and consider last of all these commodious prerogatives a bachelor hath, how well he is esteemed, how heartily welcome to all his friends, quam mentitis obsequiis, as Tertullian observes, with what counterfeit courtesies they will adore him, follow him, present him with gifts, humatis donis; “it cannot be believed” (saith 5809Ammianus) “with what humble service he shall be worshipped,” how loved and respected: “If he want children, (and have means) he shall be often invited, attended on by princes, and have advocates to plead his cause for nothing,” as 5810 Plutarch adds. Wilt thou then be reverenced, and had in estimation?
5811 ——— dominus tamen et domini rex
Si tu vis fieri, nullus tibi parvulus aula.
Luserit Aeneas, nec filia dulcior illa?
Jucundum et charum sterilis facit uxor amicum.
Live a single man, marry not, and thou shalt soon perceive how those Haeredipetae (for so they were called of old) will seek after thee, bribe and flatter thee for thy favour, to be thine heir or executor: Aruntius and Aterius, those famous parasites in this kind, as Tacitus and 5812Seneca have recorded, shall not go beyond them. Periplectomines, that good personate old man, delicium senis, well understood this in Plautus: for when Pleusides exhorted him to marry that he might have children of his own, he readily replied in this sort,
Quando habeo multos cognatos, quid opus mihi sit liberis?
Nunc bene vivo et fortunate, atque animo ut lubet.
Mea bona mea morte cognatis dicam interpartiant.
Illi apud me edunt, me curant, visunt quid agam, ecquid velim,
Qui mihi mittunt munera, ad prandium, ad coenam vocant.
Whilst I have kin, what need I brats to have?
Now I live well, and as I will, most brave.
And when I die, my goods I'll give away
To them that do invite me every day.
That visit me, and send me pretty toys,
And strive who shall do me most courtesies.
This respect thou shalt have in like manner, living as he did, a single man. But if thou marry once, 5813cogitato in omni vita te servum fore, bethink thyself what a slavery it is, what a heavy burden thou shalt undertake, how hard a task thou art tied to, (for as Hierome hath it, qui uxorem habet, debitor est, et uxoris servus alligatus,) and how continuate, what squalor attends it, what irksomeness, what charges, for wife and children are a perpetual bill of charges; besides a myriad of cares, miseries, and troubles; for as that comical Plautus merrily and truly said, he that wants trouble, must get to be master of a ship, or marry a wife; and as another seconds him, wife and children have undone me; so many and such infinite encumbrances accompany this kind of life. Furthermore, uxor intumuit, &c., or as he said in the comedy, 5814Duxi uxorem, quam ibi miseriam vidi, nati filii, alia cura. All gifts and invitations cease, no friend will esteem thee, and thou shalt be compelled to lament thy misery, and make thy moan with 5815Bartholomeus Scheraeus, that famous poet laureate, and professor of Hebrew in Wittenberg: I had finished this work long since, but that inter alia dura et tristia quae misero mihi pene tergum fregerunt, (I use his own words) amongst many miseries which almost broke my back, συζυγία ob Xantipismum, a shrew to my wife tormented my mind above measure, and beyond the rest. So shalt thou be compelled to complain, and to cry out at last, with 5816Phoroneus the lawyer, “How happy had I been, if I had wanted a wife!” If this which I have said will not suffice, see more in Lemnius lib. 4. cap. 13. de occult. nat. mir. Espencaeus de continentia, lib. 6. cap. 8. Kornman de virginitate, Platina in Amor. dial. Practica artis amandi, Barbarus de re uxoria, Arnisaeus in polit. cap. 3. and him that is instar omnium, Nevisanus the lawyer, Sylva nuptial, almost in every page.
5698. Virg. Ecl. 2. “For what limit has love?”
5699. Lib. de beat. vit. cap. 14.
5700. Longo usu dicimus, longa desuetudine dediscendum est. Petrarch, epist. lib. 5. 8.
5701. Tom. 4. dial. meret. Fortusse etiam ipsa ad amorem istum connihil contulero.
5702. Quid enim meretrix nisi juventutis expilatrix, virorum rapina seu mors; patrimonii devoratrix, honoris pernicies, pabulum diaboli, janua mortis, inferni supplementum?
5703. Sanguinem hominum sorbent.
5704. Contemplatione Idiotae, c. 34. discrimen vitae, mors blanda, mel sclleum, dulce venenum, pernicies delicata, mallum spontaneum, &c.
5705. Pornodidasc. dial. Ital. gula, ira, invidia, superbia, sacritegia, latrocinia, caedes, eo die nata sunt, quo primum meretrix professionem fecit. Superbia major quam opulenti rustici, invidia quam luis venerae inimicitia nocentior melancholia, avaritia in immensum profunda.
5706. Qualis extra sum vides, qualis intra novit Deus.
5707. Virg. “He calls Mnestheus, Surgestus, and the brave Cloanthus, and orders them silently to prepare the fleet.”
5708. “He is moved by no tears, he cannot he induced to hear her words.”
5709. Tom. 2. in votis. Caivus cum sis, nasum habeas simum, &c.
5712. In Catarticis, lib. 2.
5713. Si ferveat deformis, ecce formosa est; si frigeat formosa, jam sis informis. Th. Morus Epigram.
5714. Amorum dial. tom. 4. si quis ad auroram contempletur multas mulieres a nocte lecto surgentes, turpiores putabit esse bestiis.
5715. Hugo de claustro Animae, lib. 1. c. 1. “If you quietly reflect upon what passes through her mouth, nostrils, and other conduits of her body, you never saw viler stuff.”
5716. Hist. nat. 11. cap. 35. A fly that hath golden wings but a poisoned body.
5717. Buchanan, Hendecasyl.
5718. Apol. pro Rem. Seb.
5719. 6 Ovid. 2. rem.
5720. Post unam noctem incertum unde offensam cepit propter foetentem ejus spiritum alii dicunt, vel latentem foeditatem repudiavit, rem faciens plane illicitam, et regiae personae multum indecoram.
5721. Hall and Grafton belike.
5722. Juvenal. “When the wrinkled skin becomes flabby, and the teeth black.”
5724. Tully in Cat. “Because wrinkles and hoary locks disfigure you.”
5725. Hor. ode. 13. lib. 4.
5726. Locheus. “Beautiful cheeks, rosy lips, and languishing eyes.”
5727. Qualis fuit Venus cum fuit virgo, balsamum spirans, &c.
5729. Seneca Hyp. “Beauty is a gift of dubious worth to mortals, and of brief duration.”
5730. Camerarius, emb. 68. cent. 1. flos omnium pulcherrimus statim languescit, formae typus.
5731. Bernar. Bauhusius Ep. l. 4.
5732. Pausanias Lacon. lib. 3. uxorem duxit Spartae mulierum omnium post Helenam formosissimam, at ob mores omnium turpissimam.
5733. Epist. 76. gladium bonum dices, non cui deauratus est baltheus, nec cui vagina gemmis distinguitur, sed cui ad secandum subtilis acies et mucro munimentum omne rupturus.
5734. Pulchritudo corporis, temporis et fugacior ludibrium. orat. 2.
5735. Florum mutabilitate fugacior, nec sua natura formosas facit, sed spectantium infirmitas.
5736. Epist. 11. Quem ego depereo juvenis mihi pulcherimus videtur; sed forsan amore percita de amore non recte judico.
5737. Luc. Brugensis. “Bright eyes and snow-white neck.”
5738. Idem. “Let my Melita's eyes be like Juno's, her hand Minerva's, her breasts Venus', her leg Ampbitiles'.”
5739. Bebelius adagiis Ger.
5740. Petron. Cat. “Let her eyes be as bright as the stars, her neck smell like the rose, her hair shine more than gold, her honied lips be ruby coloured; let her beauty be resplendent, and superior to Venus, let her be in all respects a deity,” &c.
5741. M. Drayton.
5742. Senec. act. 2. Herc. Oeteus.
5743. Vides venustam mulierem, fulgidum habentem oculum, vultu hilari coruscantem, eximium quendam aspectum et decorem praese ferentem, urentem mentem tuam, et concupiscentiam agentem; cogita terram esse id quod amas, et quod admiraris stercus, et quod te urit, &c., cogita illam jam senescere jam rugosam cavis genis, aegrotam; tantis sordibus intus plena est, pituita, stercore; reputa quid intra nares, oculos, cerebrum gestat, quas sordes, &c.
5744. Subtil. 13.
5745. Cardan, subtil. lib. 13.
5746. “Show me your company and I'll tell you who you are.”
5747. “Hark, you merry maids, do not dance so, for see the he-goat is at hand, ready to pounce upon you.”
5748. Lib. de centum amoribus, earum mendas volvant animo, saepe ante oculos constituant, saepe damnent.
5749. In deliciis.
5750. Quum amator annulum se amicae optaret, ut ejus amplexu frui posset, &c. O te miserum ait annulus, si meas vices obires, videres, audires, &c. nihil non odio dignimi observares.
5751. Laedieus. “Snares of the human species, torments of life, spoils of the night, bitterest cares of day, the torture of husbands, the ruin of youths.”
5752. See our English Tatius, lib. 1.
5753. Chaucer, in Romaunt of the Rose.
5754. Qui se facilem in amore probarit, hanc succendito. At qui succendat, ad hunc diem repertus nemo. Calcagninus.
5757. Christoph. Fonseca.
5758. Encom. Demonthen.
5759. Febris hectica uxor, et non nisi morte avellenda.
5760. Synesius, libros ego liberos genui Lipsius antiq. Lect. lib.
5761. “Avaunt, ye nymphs, maidens, ye are a deceitful race, no married life for me,” &c.
5762. Plautus Asin. act. 1.
5763. Senec. in Hercul.
5765. Amator. Emblem.
5766. De rebus Hibernicis l. 3.
5767. Gemmea pocula, argentea vasa, caelata candelabra, aurea. &c. Conchileata aulaea, buccinarum clangorem, tibiarum cantnum, et symphoniae suavitatem, majestatemque principis coronati cum vidissent sella deaurata &c.
5768. Eubulus in Crisil. Athenaeus dypnosophist, l. 13. c. 3.
5769. Translated by my brother, Ralph Burton.
5770. Juvenal. “Who thrusts his foolish neck a second time into the halter.”
5771. Haec in speciem dicta cave ut credas.
5772. Bachelors always are the bravest men. Bacon. Seek eternity in memory, not in posterity, like Epaminondas, that instead of children, left two great victories behind him, which he called his two daughters.
5773. Ecclus. xxviii. 1.
5774. Euripides Andromach.
5775. Aelius Verus imperator. Spar. vit. ejus.
5777. Quod licet, ingratum est.
5778. For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, &c.
5779. Ter. act. 1 Sc. 2. Eunuch.
5780. Lucian. tom. 4. neque cum una aliqua rem habere contentus forem.
5782. Lib. 28.
5783. Camerar. 82. cent. 3.
5785. Children make misfortunes more bitter. Bacon.
5786. “She will sink your whole establishment by her fecundity.”
5787. Heinsius. Epist. Primiero. Nihil miserius quam procreare liberos ad quos nihil ex haereditate tua pervenire videas praeter famem et sitim.
5788. Chrys. Fonseca.
5789. Liberi sibi carcinomata.
5790. Melius fuerat eos sine liberis discessisse.
5791. Lemnius, cap. 6. lib. 1. Si morosa, si non in omnibus obsequaris, omnia impacata in aedibus, omnia sursum misceri videas, multae tempestates, &c. Lib. 2. numer. 101. sil. nup.
5792. Juvenal. “I would rather have a Venusinian wench than thee, Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi,” &c.
5793. Tom. 4. Amores, omnem mariti opulentiam profundet, totam Arabiam capillis redolens.
5794. Idem, et quis sanae mentis sustinere queat, &c.
5795. Subegit ancillas quod uxor ejus deformior esset.
5796. “Perhaps she will not suit you.”
5797. Sil. nup. l. 2. num. 25. Dives inducit tempestatem, pauper curam; ducens viduam se inducit in laqueum.
5798. Sic quisque dicit, alteram ducit tamen “Who can endure a virago for a wife?”
5799. Si dotata erit, imperiosa, continuoque viro inequitare conabitur. Petrarch.
5800. If a woman nourish her husband, she is angry and impudent, and full of reproach. Eccles. xxv. 22. Scilicet uxori nubere nolo meae.
5801. Plautus Mil. Glor. act. 3. sc. 1. “To be a father is very pleasant, but to be a freeman still more so.”
5802. Stobaeus, fer. 66. Alex. ab Alexand. lib. 4. cap. 8.
5803. They shall attend the lamb in heaven, because they were not defiled with women, Apoc 14.
5804. Nuptiae repleat terram, virginitas Paradisum. Hier.
5805. Daphne in laurum semper virentem, immortalem docet gloriam paratam virginibus pudicitiam servantibus.
5806. Catul. car. nuptiali. “As the flower that grows in the secret inclosure of the garden, unknown to the flocks, impressed by the ploughshare, which also the breezes refresh, the heat strengthens, the rain makes grow: so is a virgin whilst untouched, whilst dear to her relatives, but when once she forfeits her chastity,” &c.
5807. Diet. salut. c. 22. pulcherrimum sertum infiniti precii, gemma, et pictura speciosa.
5809. Lib. 24. qua obsequiorum diversitate colantur homines sine liberis.
5810. Hunc alii ad coenam invitant, princeps huic famulatur, oratores gratis patrocinantur. Lib. de amore Prolis.
5811. Annal. 11. “If you wish to be master of your house, let no little ones play in your halls, nor any little daughter yet more dear, a barren wife makes a pleasant and affectionate companion.”
5812. 60 de benefic. 38.
5813. E Graeco.
5814. Ter. Adelph. “I have married a wife; what misery it has entailed upon me! sons were born and other cares followed.”
5815. Itineraria in psalmo instructione ad lectorem.
5816. Bruson, lib. 7. 22. cap. Si uxor deesset, nihil mihi ad summam felicitatem defuisset.
Philters, Magical and Poetical Cures.
Where persuasions and other remedies will not take place, many fly to unlawful means, philters, amulets, magic spells, ligatures, characters, charms, which as a wound with the spear of Achilles, if so made and caused, must so be cured. If forced by spells and philters, saith Paracelsus, it must be eased by characters, Mag. lib. 2. cap 28. and by incantations. Fernelius Path. lib. 6. cap. 13. 5817Skenkius lib. 4. observ. med. hath some examples of such as have been so magically caused, and magically cured, and by witchcraft: so saith Baptista Codronchus, lib. 3. cap. 9. de mor. ven. Malleus malef. cap. 6. 'Tis not permitted to be done, I confess; yet often attempted: see more in Wierus lib. 3. cap. 18. de praestig. de remediis per philtra. Delrio tom. 2. lib. 2. quaest. 3. sect. 3. disquisit. magic. Cardan lib. 16. cap. 90. reckons up many magnetical medicines, as to piss through a ring, &c. Mizaldus cent. 3. 30, Baptista Porta, Jason Pratensis, Lobelius pag. 87, Matthiolus, &c., prescribe many absurd remedies. Radix mandragora ebibitae, Annuli ex ungulis Asini, Stercus amatae sub cervical positum, illa nesciente, &c., quum odorem foeditatis sentit, amor solvitur. Noctuae ocum abstemios facit comestum, ex consilio Jarthae Indorum gymnosophistae apud Philostratum lib. 3. Sanguis amasiae, ebibitus omnem amoris sensum tollit: Faustinam Marci Aurelii uxorem, gladiatoris amore captam, ita penitus consilio Chaldaeorum liberatam, refert Julius Capitolinus. Some of our astrologers will effect as much by characteristical images, ex sigillis Hermetis, Salomonis, Chaelis, &c. mulieris imago habentis crines sparsos, &c. Our old poets and fantastical writers have many fabulous remedies for such as are lovesick, as that of Protesilaus' tomb in Philostratus, in his dialogue between Phoenix and Vinitor: Vinitor, upon occasion discoursing of the rare virtues of that shrine, telleth him that Protesilaus' altar and tomb 5818“cures almost all manner of diseases, consumptions, dropsies, quartan-agues, sore eyes: and amongst the rest, such as are lovesick shall there be helped.” But the most famous is 5819Leucata Petra, that renowned rock in Greece, of which Strabo writes, Geog. lib. 10. not far from St. Maures, saith Sands, lib. 1. from which rock if any lover flung himself down headlong, he was instantly cured. Venus after the death of Adonis, “when she could take no rest for love,” 5820Cum vesana suas torreret flamma medullas, came to the temple of Apollo to know what she should do to be eased of her pain: Apollo sent her to Leucata Petra, where she precipitated herself, and was forthwith freed; and when she would needs know of him a reason of it, he told her again, that he had often observed 5821Jupiter, when he was enamoured on Juno, thither go to ease and wash himself, and after him divers others. Cephalus for the love of Protela, Degonetus' daughter, leaped down here, that Lesbian Sappho for Phaon, on whom she miserably doted. 5822Cupidinis aestro percita e summo praeceps ruit, hoping thus to ease herself, and to be freed of her love pangs.
5823Hic se Deucalion Pyrrhae suecensus amore
Mersit, et illaeso corpore pressit aquas.
Nec mora, fugit amor, &c. ———
Hither Deucalion came, when Pyrrha's love
Tormented him, and leapt down to the sea,
And had no harm at all, but by and by
His love was gone and chased quite away.
This medicine Jos. Scaliger speaks of, Ausoniarum lectionum lib. 18. Salmutz in Pancirol. de 7. mundi mirac. and other writers. Pliny reports, that amongst the Cyzeni, there is a well consecrated to Cupid, of which if any lover taste, his passion is mitigated: and Anthony Verdurius Imag. deorum de Cupid. saith, that amongst the ancients there was 5824Amor Lethes, “he took burning torches, and extinguished them in the river; his statute was to be seen in the temple of Venus Eleusina,” of which Ovid makes mention, and saith “that all lovers of old went thither on pilgrimage, that would be rid of their love-pangs.” Pausanias, in 5825 Phocicis, writes of a temple dedicated Veneri in spelunca, to Venus in the vault, at Naupactus in Achaia (now Lepanto) in which your widows that would have second husbands, made their supplications to the goddess; all manner of suits concerning lovers were commenced, and their grievances helped. The same author, in Achaicis, tells as much of the river 5826 Senelus in Greece; if any lover washed himself in it, by a secret virtue of that water, (by reason of the extreme coldness belike) he was healed, of love's torments, 5827Amoris vulnus idem qui sanat facit; which if it be so, that water, as he holds, is omni auro pretiosior, better than any gold. Where none of all these remedies will take place, I know no other but that all lovers must make a head and rebel, as they did in 5828Ausonius, and crucify Cupid till he grant their request, or satisfy their desires.
5817. Extinguitur virilitas ex incantamentorum maleficiis; neque enim fabula est, nonnulli reperti sunt, qui ex veneficiis amore privati sunt, ut ex multis historiis patet.
5818. Curat omnes morbos, phthises, hydropes et oculorum morbos, et febre quartana laborantes et amore captos, miris artibus eos demulcet.
5819. “The moral is, vehement fear expels love”.
5821. Quum Junonem deperiret Jupiter impotenter, ibi solitus lavare, &c.
5822. Menander. “Stricken by the gad-fly of love, rushed headlong from the summit.”
5823. Ovid. ep. 21.
5824. Apud antiquos amor Lethes olim fuit, is ardentes faeces in profluentum inclinabat; hujus statua Veneris Eleusinae templo visebatur, quo amantes confluebant, qui amicae memoriam deponere volebant.
5825. Lib. 10. Vota ei nuncupant amatores, multis de causis, sed imprimis viduae mulieres, ut sibi alteras a dea nuptias exposcant.
5826. Rodiginus, ant. lect. lib. 16. cap. 25. calls it Selenus, Omni amore liberat.
5827. Seneca. “The rise and remedy of love the same.”
5828. Cupido crucifixus: Lepidum poema.
The last and best Cure of Love-Melancholy, is to let them have their Desire.
The last refuge and surest remedy, to be put in practice in the utmost place, when no other means will take effect, is to let them go together, and enjoy one another: potissima cura est ut heros amasia sua potiatur, saith Guianerius, cap. 15. tract. 15. Aesculapius himself, to this malady, cannot invent a better remedy, quam ut amanti cedat amatum, 5829(Jason Pratensis) than that a lover have his desire.
Et pariter torulo bini jungantur in uno,
Et pulchro detur Aeneae Lavinia conjux.
And let them both be joined in a bed,
And let Aeneas fair Lavinia wed;
'Tis the special cure, to let them bleed in vena Hymencaea, for love is a pleurisy, and if it be possible, so let it be — optataque gaudia carpant. 5830Arculanus holds it the speediest and the best cure, 'tis Savanarola's 5831last precept, a principal infallible remedy, the last, sole, and safest refuge.
5832Julia sola poles nostras extinguere flammas,
Non nive, nun glacie, sed potes igne pari.
Julia alone can quench my desire,
With neither ice nor snow, but with like fire.
When you have all done, saith 5833Avicenna, “there is no speedier or safer course, than to join the parties together according to their desires and wishes, the custom and form of law; and so we have seen him quickly restored to his former health, that was languished away to skin and bones; after his desire was satisfied, his discontent ceased, and we thought it strange; our opinion is therefore that in such cases nature is to be obeyed.” Areteus, an old author, lib. 3. cap. 3. hath an instance of a young man, 5834when no other means could prevail, was so speedily relieved. What remains then but to join them in marriage?
5835Tunc et basia morsiunculasque
Surreptim dare, mutuos fovere
Amplexus licet, et licet jocari;
“they may then kiss and coll, lie and look babies in one another's eyes,” as heir sires before them did, they may then satiate themselves with love's pleasures, which they have so long wished and expected;
Atque uno simul in toro quiescant,
Conjuncto simul ore suavientur,
Et somnos agitent quiete in una.
Yea, but hic labor, hoc opus, this cannot conveniently be done, by reason of many and several impediments. Sometimes both parties themselves are not agreed: parents, tutors, masters, guardians, will not give consent; laws, customs, statutes hinder: poverty, superstition, fear and suspicion: many men dote on one woman, semel et simul: she dotes as much on him, or them, and in modesty must not, cannot woo, as unwilling to confess as willing to love: she dare not make it known, show her affection, or speak her mind. “And hard is the choice” (as it is in Euphues) “when one is compelled either by silence to die with grief, or by speaking to live with shame.” In this case almost was the fair lady Elizabeth, Edward the Fourth his daughter, when she was enamoured on Henry the Seventh, that noble young prince, and new saluted king, when she broke forth into that passionate speech, 5836 “O that I were worthy of that comely prince! but my father being dead, I want friends to motion such a matter! What shall I say? I am all alone, and dare not open my mind to any. What if I acquaint my mother with it? bashfulness forbids. What if some of the lords? audacity wants. O that I might but confer with him, perhaps in discourse I might let slip such a word that might discover mine intention!” How many modest maids may this concern, I am a poor servant, what shall I do? I am a fatherless child, and want means, I am blithe and buxom, young and lusty, but I have never a suitor, Expectant stolidi ut ego illos rogatum veniam, as 5837she said, A company of silly fellows look belike that I should woo them and speak first: fain they would and cannot woo — 5838quae primum exordia sumam? being merely passive they may not make suit, with many such lets and inconveniences, which I know not; what shall we do in such a case? sing “Fortune my foe?” ———
Some are so curious in this behalf, as those old Romans, our modern Venetians, Dutch and French, that if two parties clearly love, the one noble, the other ignoble, they may not by their laws match, though equal otherwise in years, fortunes, education, and all good affection. In Germany, except they can prove their gentility by three descents, they scorn to match with them. A nobleman must marry a noblewoman: a baron, a baron's daughter; a knight, a knight's; a gentleman, a gentleman's: as slaters sort their slates, do they degrees and families. If she be never so rich, fair, well qualified otherwise, they will make him forsake her. The Spaniards abhor all widows; the Turks repute them old women, if past five-and-twenty. But these are too severe laws, and strict customs, dandum aliquid amori, we are all the sons of Adam, 'tis opposite to nature, it ought not to be so. Again: he loves her most impotently, she loves not him, and so e contra. 5839Pan loved Echo, Echo Satyrus, Satyrus Lyda.
Quantum ipsorum aliquis amantem oderat,
Tantum ipsius amans odiosus erat.
“They love and loathe of all sorts, he loves her, she hates him; and is loathed of him, on whom she dotes.” Cupid hath two darts, one to force love, all of gold, and that sharp — 5840Quod facit auratum est; another blunt, of lead, and that to hinder; — fugat hoc, facit illud amorem, “this dispels, that creates love.” This we see too often verified in our common experience. 5841Choresus dearly loved that virgin Callyrrhoe; but the more he loved her, the more she hated him. Oenone loved Paris, but he rejected her: they are stiff of all sides, as if beauty were therefore created to undo, or be undone. I give her all attendance, all observance, I pray and intreat, 5842Alma precor miserere mei, fair mistress pity me, I spend myself, my time, friends and fortunes, to win her favour, (as he complains in the 5843Eclogue,) I lament, sigh, weep, and make my moan to her, “but she is hard as flint,” — cautibus Ismariis immotior — as fair and hard as a diamond, she will not respect, Despectus tibi sum, or hear me,
5844 ——— fugit illa vocantem
Nil lachrymas miserata meas, nil flexa querelis.
What shall I do?
I wooed her as a young man should do,
But sir, she said, I love not you.
5845Durior at scopulis mea Coelia, marmore, ferro,
Robore, rupe, antro, cornu, adamante, gelu.
Rock, marble, heart of oak with iron barr'd,
Frost, flint or adamants, are not so hard.
I give, I bribe, I send presents, but they are refused. 5846Rusticus est Coridon, nec munera curat Alexis. I protest, I swear, I weep,
5847 ——— odioque rependit amores,
Irrisu lachrymas ———
“She neglects me for all this, she derides me,” contemns me, she hates me, “Phillida flouts me:” Caute, feris, quercu durior Eurydice, stiff, churlish, rocky still.
And 'tis most true, many gentlewomen are so nice, they scorn all suitors, crucify their poor paramours, and think nobody good enough for them, as dainty to please as Daphne herself.
5848Multi illum petiere, illa aspernate petentes,
Nec quid Hymen, quid amor, quid sint connubia curat.
Many did woo her, but she scorn'd them still,
And said she would not marry by her will.
One while they will not marry, as they say at least, (when as they intend nothing less) another while not yet, when 'tis their only desire, they rave upon it. She will marry at last, but not him: he is a proper man indeed, and well qualified, but he wants means: another of her suitors hath good means, but he wants wit; one is too old, another too young, too deformed, she likes not his carriage: a third too loosely given, he is rich, but base born: she will be a gentlewoman, a lady, as her sister is, as her mother is: she is all out as fair, as well brought up, hath as good a portion, and she looks for as good a match, as Matilda or Dorinda: if not, she is resolved as yet to tarry, so apt are young maids to boggle at every object, so soon won or lost with every toy, so quickly diverted, so hard to be pleased. In the meantime, quot torsit amantes? one suitor pines away, languisheth in love, mori quot denique cogit! another sighs and grieves, she cares not: and which 5849Siroza objected to Ariadne,
Nec magis Euryali gemitu, lacrymisque moveris,
Quam prece turbati flectitur ora sati.
Tu juvenem, quo non formosior alter in urbe,
Spernis, et insano cogis amore mori.
Is no more mov'd with those sad sighs and tears,
Of her sweetheart, than raging sea with prayers:
Thou scorn'st the fairest youth in all our city,
And mak'st him almost mad for love to die:
They take a pride to prank up themselves, to make young men. enamoured — 5850captare viros et spernere capias, to dote on them, and to run mad for their sakes,
5851 ——— sed nullis illa movetur
Fletibus, aut voces ullas tractabilis audit.
Whilst niggardly their favours they discover,
They love to be belov'd, yet scorn the lover.
All suit and service is too little for them, presents too base: Tormentis gaudet amantis — et spoliis. As Atalanta they must be overrun, or not won. Many young men are as obstinate, and as curious in their choice, as tyrannically proud, insulting, deceitful, false-hearted, as irrefragable and peevish on the other side; Narcissus-like,
5852Multi illum juvenes, multae petiere puellae,
Sed fuit in tenera tam dira superbia forma,
Nulli illum juvenes, nullas petiere puellae.
Young men and maids did to him sue,
But in his youth, so proud, so coy was he,
Young men and maids bade him adieu.
Echo wept and wooed him by all means above the rest, Love me for pity, or pity me for love, but he was obstinate, Ante ait emoriar quam sit tibi copia nostri, “he would rather die than give consent.” Psyche ran whining after Cupid,
5853Formosum tua te Psyche formosa requirit,
Et poscit te dia deum, puerumque puella;
Fair Cupid, thy fair Psyche to thee sues,
A lovely lass a fine young gallant woos;
but he rejected her nevertheless. Thus many lovers do hold out so long, doting on themselves, stand in their own light, till in the end they come to be scorned and rejected, as Stroza's Gargiliana was,
Te juvenes, te odere senes, desertaque langues,
Quae fueras procerum publica cura prius.
Both young and old do hate thee scorned now,
That once was all their joy and comfort too.
As Narcissus was himself,
——— Who despising many.
Died ere he could enjoy the love of any.
They begin to be contemned themselves of others, as he was of his shadow, and take up with a poor curate, or an old serving-man at last, that might have had their choice of right good matches in their youth; like that generous mare, in 5854Plutarch, which would admit of none but great horses, but when her tail was cut off and mane shorn close, and she now saw herself so deformed in the water, when she came to drink, ab asino conscendi se passa, she was contented at last to be covered by an ass. Yet this is a common humour, will not be left, and cannot be helped.
5855Hanc volo quae non vult, illam quae vult ego nolo:
Vincere vult animos, non satiare Venus.
I love a maid, she loves me not: full fain
She would have me, but I not her again;
So love to crucify men's souls is bent:
But seldom doth it please or give consent.
“Their love danceth in a ring, and Cupid hunts them round about; he dotes, is doted on again.” Dumque petit petitur, pariterque accedit et ardet, their affection cannot be reconciled. Oftentimes they may and will not, 'tis their own foolish proceedings that mars all, they are too distrustful of themselves, too soon dejected: say she be rich, thou poor: she young, thou old; she lovely and fair, thou most ill-favoured and deformed; she noble, thou base: she spruce and fine, but thou an ugly clown: nil desperandum, there's hope enough yet: Mopso Nisa datur, quid non speremus amantes? Put thyself forward once more, as unlikely matches have been and are daily made, see what will be the event. Many leave roses and gather thistles, loathe honey and love verjuice: our likings are as various as our palates. But commonly they omit opportunities, oscula qui sumpsit, &c., they neglect the usual means and times.
He that will not when he may,
When he will he shall have nay.
They look to be wooed, sought after, and sued to. Most part they will and cannot, either for the above-named reasons, or for that there is a multitude of suitors equally enamoured, doting all alike; and where one alone must speed, what shall become of the rest? Hero was beloved of many, but one did enjoy her; Penelope had a company of suitors, yet all missed of their aim. In such cases he or they must wisely and warily unwind themselves, unsettle his affections by those rules above prescribed — 5856quin stultos excutit ignes, divert his cogitations, or else bravely bear it out, as Turnus did, Tua sit Lavinia conjux, when he could not get her, with a kind of heroical scorn he bid Aeneas take her, or with a milder farewell, let her go. Et Phillida solus habeto, “Take her to you, God give you joy, sir.” The fox in the emblem would eat no grapes, but why? because he could not get them; care not then for that which may not be had.
Many such inconveniences, lets, and hindrances there are, which cross their projects and crucify poor lovers, which sometimes may, sometimes again cannot be so easily removed. But put case they be reconciled all, agreed hitherto, suppose this love or good liking be between two alone, both parties well pleased, there is mutuus amor, mutual love and great affection; yet their parents, guardians, tutors, cannot agree, thence all is dashed, the match is unequal: one rich, another poor: durus pater, a hard-hearted, unnatural, a covetous father will not marry his son, except he have so much money, ita in aurum omnes insaniunt, as 5857Chrysostom notes, nor join his daughter in marriage, to save her dowry, or for that he cannot spare her for the service she doth him, and is resolved to part with nothing whilst he lives, not a penny, though he may peradventure well give it, he will not till he dies, and then as a pot of money broke, it is divided amongst them that gaped after it so earnestly. Or else he wants means to set her out, he hath no money, and though it be to the manifest prejudice of her body and soul's health, he cares not, he will take no notice of it, she must and shall tarry. Many slack and careless parents, iniqui patres, measure their children's affections by their own, they are now cold and decrepit themselves, past all such youthful conceits, and they will therefore starve their children's genus, have them a pueris 5858 illico nasci senes, they must not marry, nec earum affines esse rerum quas secum fert adolescentia: ex sua libidine moderatur quae est nunc, non quae olim fuit: as he said in the comedy: they will stifle nature, their young bloods must not participate of youthful pleasures, but be as they are themselves old on a sudden. And 'tis a general fault amongst most parents in bestowing of their children, the father wholly respects wealth, when through his folly, riot, indiscretion, he hath embezzled his estate, to recover himself, he confines and prostitutes his eldest son's love and affection to some fool, or ancient, or deformed piece for money.
5859Phanaretae ducet filiam, rufam, illam virginem,
Caesiam, sparso ore, adunco naso ———
and though his son utterly dislike, with Clitipho in the comedy, Non possum pater: If she be rich, Eia (he replies) ut elegans est, credas animum ibi esse? he must and shall have her, she is fair enough, young enough, if he look or hope to inherit his lands, he shall marry, not when or whom he loves, Arconidis hujus filiam, but whom his father commands, when and where he likes, his affection must dance attendance upon him. His daughter is in the same predicament forsooth, as an empty boat, she must carry what, where, when, and whom her father will. So that in these businesses the father is still for the best advantage; now the mother respects good kindred, must part the son a proper woman. All which 5860 Livy exemplifies, dec. 1. lib. 4. a gentleman and a yeoman wooed a wench in Rome (contrary to that statute that the gentry and commonalty must not match together); the matter was controverted: the gentleman was preferred by the mother's voice, quae quam splendissimis nuptiis jungi puellam volebat: the overseers stood for him that was most worth, &c. But parents ought not to be so strict in this behalf, beauty is a dowry of itself all sufficient, 5861Virgo formosa, etsi oppido pauper, abunde dotata est, 5862Rachel was so married to Jacob, and Bonaventure, 5863in 4. sent, “denies that he so much as venially sins, that marries a maid for comeliness of person.” The Jews, Deut. xxi. 11, if they saw amongst the captives a beautiful woman, some small circumstances observed, might take her to wife. They should not be too severe in that kind, especially if there be no such urgent occasion, or grievous impediment. 'Tis good for a commonwealth. 5864Plato holds, that in their contracts “young men should never avoid the affinity of poor folks, or seek after rich.” Poverty and base parentage may be sufficiently recompensed by many other good qualities, modesty, virtue, religion, and choice bringing up, 5865“I am poor, I confess, but am I therefore contemptible, and an abject? Love itself is naked, the graces; the stars, and Hercules clad in a lion's skin.” Give something to virtue, love, wisdom, favour, beauty, person; be not all for money. Besides, you must consider that Amor cogi non potest, love cannot be compelled, they must affect as they may: 5866Fatum est in partibus illis quas sinus abscondit, as the saying is, marriage and hanging goes by destiny, matches are made in heaven.
It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overrul'd by fate.
A servant maid in 5867Aristaenetus loved her mistress's minion, which when her dame perceived, furiosa aemulatione in a jealous humour she dragged her about the house by the hair of the head, and vexed her sore. The wench cried out, 5868“O mistress, fortune hath made my body your servant, but not my soul!” Affections are free, not to be commanded. Moreover it may be to restrain their ambition, pride, and covetousness, to correct those hereditary diseases of a family, God in his just judgment assigns and permits such matches to be made. For I am of Plato and 5869 Bodine's mind, that families have their bounds and periods as well as kingdoms, beyond which for extent or continuance they shall not exceed, six or seven hundred years, as they there illustrate by a multitude of examples, and which Peucer and 5870Melancthon approve, but in a perpetual tenor (as we see by many pedigrees of knights, gentlemen, yeomen) continue as they began, for many descents with little alteration. Howsoever let them, I say, give something to youth, to love; they must not think they can fancy whom they appoint; 5871Amor enim non imperatur, affectus liber si quis alius et vices exigens, this is a free passion, as Pliny said in a panegyric of his, and may not be forced: Love craves liking, as the saying is, it requires mutual affections, a correspondency: invito non datur nec aufertur, it may not be learned, Ovid himself cannot teach us how to love, Solomon describe, Apelles paint, or Helen express it. They must not therefore compel or intrude; 5872quis enim (as Fabius urgeth) amare alieno animo potest? but consider withal the miseries of enforced marriages; take pity upon youth: and such above the rest as have daughters to bestow, should be very careful and provident to marry them in due time. Siracides cap. 7. vers. 25. calls it “a weighty matter to perform, so to marry a daughter to a man of understanding in due time:” Virgines enim tempestive locandae, as 5873Lemnius admonisheth, lib. 1. cap. 6. Virgins must be provided for in season, to prevent many diseases, of which 5874Rodericus a Castro de morbis mulierum, lib. 2. cap. 3. and Lod. Mercatus lib. 2. de mulier. affect, cap. 4, de melanch. virginum et viduarum, have both largely discoursed. And therefore as well to avoid these feral maladies, 'tis good to get them husbands betimes, as to prevent some other gross inconveniences, and for a thing that I know besides; ubi nuptiarum tempus et aetas advenerit, as Chrysostom adviseth, let them not defer it; they perchance will marry themselves else, or do worse. If Nevisanus the lawyer do not impose, they may do it by right: for as he proves out of Curtius, and some other civilians, Sylvae, nup. lib. 2. numer. 30. 5875“A maid past twenty-five years of age, against her parents' consent may marry such a one as is unworthy of, and inferior to her, and her father by law must be compelled to give her a competent dowry.” Mistake me not in the mean time, or think that I do apologise here for any headstrong, unruly, wanton flirts. I do approve that of St. Ambrose (Comment. in Genesis xxiv. 51), which he hath written touching Rebecca's spousals, “A woman should give unto her parents the choice of her husband, 5876lest she be reputed to be malapert and wanton, if she take upon her to make her own choice; 5877for she should rather seem to be desired by a man, than to desire a man herself.” To those hard parents alone I retort that of Curtius, (in the behalf of modester maids), that are too remiss and careless of their due time and riper years. For if they tarry longer, to say truth, they are past date, and nobody will respect them. A woman with us in Italy (saith 5878Aretine's Lucretia) twenty-four years of age, “is old already, past the best, of no account.” An old fellow, as Lycistrata confesseth in 5879Aristophanes, etsi sit canus, cito puellam virginem ducat uxorem, and 'tis no news for an old fellow to marry a young wench: but as he follows it, mulieris brevis occasio est, etsi hoc non apprehenderit, nemo vult ducere uxorem, expectans vero sedet; who cares for an old maid? she may set, &c. A virgin, as the poet holds, lasciva et petulans puella virgo, is like a flower, a rose withered on a sudden.
5880Quam modo nascentem rutilus conspexit Eous,
Hanc rediens sero vespere vidit anum.
She that was erst a maid as fresh as May,
Is now an old crone, time so steals away.
Let them take time then while they may, make advantage of youth, and as he prescribes,
5881Collige virgo rosas dum flos novus et nova pubes,
Et memor esto aevum sic properare tuum.
Fair maids, go gather roses in the prime,
And think that as a flower so goes on time.
Let's all love, dum vires annique sinunt, while we are in the flower of years, fit for love matters, and while time serves: for
5882Soles occidere et redire possunt,
Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
Nox est perpetuo una dormienda.
5883Suns that set may rise again,
But if once we loss this light,
'Tis with us perpetual night.
Volat irrevocabile tempus, time past cannot be recalled. But we need no such exhortation, we are all commonly too forward: yet if there be any escape, and all be not as it should, as Diogenes struck the father when the son swore, because he taught him no better, if a maid or young man miscarry, I think their parents oftentimes, guardians, overseers, governors, neque vos (saith 5884Chrysostom) a supplicio immunes evadetis, si non statim ad nuptias, &c. are in as much fault, and as severely to be punished as their children, in providing for them no sooner.
Now for such as have free liberty to bestow themselves, I could wish that good counsel of the comical old man were put in practice,
5885Opulentiores pauperiorum ut filias
Indotas dicant uxores domum:
Et multo fiet civitas concordior,
Et invidia nos minore utemur, quam utimur.
That rich men would marry poor maidens some,
And that without dowry, and so bring them home,
So would much concord be in our city,
Less envy should we have, much more pity.
If they would care less for wealth, we should have much more content and quietness in a commonwealth. Beauty, good bringing up, methinks, is a sufficient portion of itself, 5886Dos est sua forma puellis, “her beauty is a maiden's dower,” and he doth well that will accept of such a wife. Eubulides, in 5887Aristaenetus, married a poor man's child, facie non illaetabili, of a merry countenance, and heavenly visage, in pity of her estate, and that quickly. Acontius coming to Delos, to sacrifice to Diana, fell in love with Cydippe, a noble lass, and wanting means to get her love, flung a golden apple into her lap, with this inscription upon it,
Juro tibi sane per mystica sacra Dianae,
Me tibi venturum comitem, sponsumque futurum.
I swear by all the rites of Diana,
I'll come and be thy husband if I may.
She considered of it, and upon some small inquiry of his person and estate, was married unto him.
Blessed is the wooing,
That is not long a doing.
As the saying is; when the parties are sufficiently known to each other, what needs such scrupulosity, so many circumstances? dost thou know her conditions, her bringing-up, like her person? let her means be what they will, take her without any more ado. 5888Dido and Aeneas were accidentally driven by a storm both into one cave, they made a match upon it; Massinissa was married to that fair captive Sophonisba, King Syphax' wife, the same day that he saw her first, to prevent Scipio Laelius, lest they should determine otherwise of her. If thou lovest the party, do as much: good education and beauty is a competent dowry, stand not upon money. Erant olim aurei homines (saith Theocritus) et adamantes redamabant, in the golden world men did so, (in the reign of 5889Ogyges belike, before staggering Ninus began to domineer) if all be true that is reported: and some few nowadays will do as much, here and there one; 'tis well done methinks, and all happiness befall them for so doing. 5890Leontius, a philosopher of Athens, had a fair daughter called Athenais, multo corporis lepore ac Venere, (saith mine author) of a comely carriage, he gave her no portion but her bringing up, occulto formae, praesagio, out of some secret foreknowledge of her fortune, bestowing that little which he had amongst his other children. But she, thus qualified, was preferred by some friends to Constantinople, to serve Pulcheria, the emperor's sister, of whom she was baptised and called Eudocia. Theodosius, the emperor, in short space took notice of her excellent beauty and good parts, and a little after, upon his sister's sole commendation, made her his wife: 'twas nobly done of Theodosius. 5891Rudophe was the fairest lady in her days in all Egypt; she went to wash her, and by chance, (her maids meanwhile looking but carelessly to her clothes) an eagle stole away one of her shoes, and laid it in Psammeticus the King of Egypt's lap at Memphis: he wondered at the excellency of the shoe and pretty foot, but more Aquilae, factum, at the manner of the bringing of it: and caused forthwith proclamation to be made, that she that owned that shoe should come presently to his court; the virgin came, and was forthwith married to the king. I say this was heroically done, and like a prince: I commend him for it, and all such as have means, that will either do (as he did) themselves, or so for love, &c., marry their children. If he be rich, let him take such a one as wants, if she be virtuously given; for as Siracides, cap. 7. ver. 19. adviseth, “Forego not a wife and good woman; for her grace is above gold.” If she have fortunes of her own, let her make a man. Danaus of Lacedaemon had a many daughters to bestow, and means enough for them all, he never stood inquiring after great matches, as others used to do, but 5892sent for a company of brave young gallants to his house, and bid his daughters choose every one one, whom she liked best, and take him for her husband, without any more ado. This act of his was much approved in those times. But in this iron age of ours, we respect riches alone, (for a maid must buy her husband now with a great dowry, if she will have him) covetousness and filthy lucre mars all good matches, or some such by-respects. Crales, a Servian prince (as Nicephorus Gregoras Rom. hist. lib. 6. relates it,) was an earnest suitor to Eudocia, the emperor's sister; though her brother much desired it, yet she could not 5893abide him, for he had three former wives, all basely abused; but the emperor still, Cralis amicitiam magni faciens, because he was a great prince, and a troublesome neighbour, much desired his affinity, and to that end betrothed his own daughter Simonida to him, a little girl five years of age (he being forty-five,) and five 5894years older than the emperor himself: such disproportionable and unlikely matches can wealth and a fair fortune make. And yet not that alone, it is not only money, but sometimes vainglory, pride, ambition, do as much harm as wretched covetousness itself in another extreme. If a yeoman have one sole daughter, he must overmatch her, above her birth and calling, to a gentleman forsooth, because of her great portion, too good for one of her own rank, as he supposeth: a gentleman's daughter and heir must be married to a knight baronet's eldest son at least; and a knight's only daughter to a baron himself, or an earl, and so upwards, her great dower deserves it. And thus striving for more honour to their wealth, they undo their children, many discontents follow, and oftentimes they ruinate their families. 5895Paulus Jovius gives instance in Galeatius the Second, that heroical Duke of Milan, externas affinitates, decoras quidem regio fastu, sed sibi et posteris damnosas et fere exitiales quaesivit; he married his eldest son John Galeatius to Isabella the King of France his sister, but she was socero tam gravis, ut ducentis millibus aureorum constiterit, her entertainment at Milan was so costly that it almost undid him. His daughter Violanta was married to Lionel Duke of Clarence, the youngest son to Edward the Third, King of England, but, ad ejus adventum tantae opes tam admirabili liberalitate profusae sunt, ut opulentissimorum regum splendorem superasse videretur, he was welcomed with such incredible magnificence, that a king's purse was scarce able to bear it; for besides many rich presents of horses, arms, plate, money, jewels, &c., he made one dinner for him and his company, in which were thirty-two messes and as much provision left, ut relatae a mensa dapes decem millibus hominum sufficerent, as would serve ten thousand men: but a little after Lionel died, novae nuptae et intempestivis conviviis operam dans, &c., and to the duke's great loss, the solemnity was ended. So can titles, honours, ambition, make many brave, but unfortunate matches of all sides for by-respects, (though both crazed in body and mind, most unwilling, averse, and often unfit,) so love is banished, and we feel the smart of it in the end. But I am too lavish peradventure in this subject.
Another let or hindrance is strict and severe discipline, laws and rigorous customs, that forbid men to marry at set times, and in some places; as apprentices, servants, collegiates, states of lives in copyholds, or in some base inferior offices, 5896Velle licet in such cases, potiri non licet, as he said. They see but as prisoners through a grate, they covet and catch, but Tantalus a labris, &c. Their love is lost, and vain it is in such an estate to attempt. 5897Gravissimum est adamare nec potiri, 'tis a grievous thing to love and not enjoy. They may, indeed, I deny not, marry if they will, and have free choice, some of them; but in the meantime their case is desperate, Lupum auribus tenent, they hold a wolf by the ears, they must either burn or starve. 'Tis cornutum sophisma, hard to resolve, if they marry they forfeit their estates, they are undone, and starve themselves through beggary and want: if they do not marry, in this heroical passion they furiously rage, are tormented, and torn in pieces by their predominate affections. Every man hath not the gift of continence, let him 5898pray for it then, as Beza adviseth in his Tract de Divortiis, because God hath so called him to a single life, in taking away the means of marriage. 5899Paul would have gone from Mysia to Bithynia, but the spirit suffered him not, and thou wouldst peradventure be a married man with all thy will, but that protecting angel holds it not fit. The devil too sometimes may divert by his ill suggestions, and mar many good matches, as the same 5900Paul was willing to see the Romans, but hindered of Satan he could not. There be those that think they are necessitated by fate, their stars have so decreed, and therefore they grumble at their hard fortune, they are well inclined to marry, but one rub or other is ever in the way; I know what astrologers say in this behalf, what Ptolemy quadripartit. Tract. 4. cap. 4. Skoner lib. 1. cap. 12. what Leovitius genitur. exempl. 1. which Sextus ab Heminga takes to be the horoscope of Hieronymus Wolfius, what Pezelius, Origanaus and Leovitius his illustrator Garceus, cap. 12. what Junctine, Protanus, Campanella, what the rest, (to omit those Arabian conjectures a parte conjugii, a parte lasciviae, triplicitates veneris, &c., and those resolutions upon a question, an amica potiatur, &c.) determine in this behalf, viz. an sit natus conjugem habiturus, facile an difficulter sit sponsam impetraturus, quot conjuges, quo tempore, quales decernantur nato uxores, de mutuo amore conjugem, both in men's and women's genitures, by the examination of the seventh house the almutens, lords and planets there, a ☉d et ☾a &c., by particular aphorisms, Si dominus 7mae in 7ma vel secunda nobilem decernit uxorem, servam aut ignobilem si duodecima. Si Venus in 12ma, &c., with many such, too tedious to relate. Yet let no man be troubled, or find himself grieved with such predictions, as Hier. Wolfius well saith in his astrological 5901dialogue, non sunt praetoriana decreta, they be but conjectures, the stars incline, but not enforce,
5902Sidera corporibus praesunt caelestia nostris,
Sunt ea de vili condita namque luto:
Cogere sed nequeunt animum ratione fruentem,
Quippe sub imperio solius ipse dei est.
wisdom, diligence, discretion, may mitigate if not quite alter such decrees, Fortuna sua a cujusque fingitur moribus, 5903Qui cauti, prudentes, voti compotes, &c., let no man then be terrified or molested with such astrological aphorisms, or be much moved, either to vain hope or fear, from such predictions, but let every man follow his own free will in this case, and do as he sees cause. Better it is indeed to marry than burn, for their soul's health, but for their present fortunes, by some other means to pacify themselves, and divert the stream of this fiery torrent, to continue as they are, 5904rest satisfied, lugentes virginitatis florem sic aruisse, deploring their misery with that eunuch in Libanius, since there is no help or remedy, and with Jephtha's daughter to bewail their virginities.
Of like nature is superstition, those rash vows of monks and friars, and such as live in religious orders, but far more tyrannical and much worse. Nature, youth, and his furious passion forcibly inclines, and rageth on the one side; but their order and vow checks them on the other. 5905Votoque suo sua forma repugnat. What merits and indulgences they heap unto themselves by it, what commodities, I know not; but I am sure, from such rash vows, and inhuman manner of life, proceed many inconveniences, many diseases, many vices, mastupration, satyriasis, 5906priapismus, melancholy, madness, fornication, adultery, buggery, sodomy, theft, murder, and all manner of mischiefs: read but Bale's Catalogue of Sodomites, at the visitation of abbeys here in England, Henry Stephan. his Apol. for Herodotus, that which Ulricus writes in one of his epistles, 5907“that Pope Gregory when he saw 600 skulls and bones of infants taken out of a fishpond near a nunnery, thereupon retracted that decree of priests' marriages, which was the cause of such a slaughter, was much grieved at it, and purged himself by repentance.” Read many such, and then ask what is to be done, is this vow to be broke or not? No, saith Bellarmine, cap. 38. lib. de Monach. melius est scortari et uri quam de voto coelibatus ad nuptias transire, better burn or fly out, than to break thy vow. And Coster in his Enchirid. de coelibat. sacerdotum, saith it is absolutely gravius peccatum, 5908“a greater sin for a priest to marry, than to keep a concubine at home.” Gregory de Valence, cap. 6. de coelibat. maintains the same, as those of Essei and Montanists of old. Insomuch that many votaries, out of a false persuasion of merit and holiness in this kind, will sooner die than marry, though it be to the saving of their lives. 5909Anno 1419. Pius 2, Pope, James Rossa, nephew to the King of Portugal, and then elect Archbishop of Lisbon, being very sick at Florence, 5910“when his physicians told him, that his disease was such, he must either lie with a wench, marry, or die, cheerfully chose to die.” Now they commended him for it; but St. Paul teacheth otherwise, “Better marry than burn,” and as St. Hierome gravely delivers it, Aliae, sunt leges Caesarum, aliae Christi, aliud Papinianus, aliud Paulus noster praecipit, there's a difference betwixt God's ordinances and men's laws: and therefore Cyprian Epist. 8. boldly denounceth, impium est, adulterum est, sacrilegum est, quodcunque humano furore statuitur, ut dispositio divina violetur, it is abominable, impious, adulterous, and sacrilegious, what men make and ordain after their own furies to cross God's laws. 5911Georgius Wicelius, one of their own arch divines (Inspect. eccles. pag. 18) exclaims against it, and all such rash monastical vows, and would have such persons seriously to consider what they do, whom they admit, ne in posterum querantur de inanibus stupris, lest they repent it at last. For either, as he follows it, 5912you must allow them concubines, or suffer them to marry, for scarce shall you find three priests of three thousand, qui per aetatem non ament, that are not troubled with burning lust. Wherefore I conclude it is an unnatural and impious thing to bar men of this Christian liberty, too severe and inhuman an edict.
5913The silly wren, the titmouse also,
The little redbreast have their election,
They fly I saw and together gone,
Whereas hem list, about environ
As they of kinde have inclination,
And as nature impress and guide,
Of everything list to provide.
But man alone, alas the hard stond,
Full cruelly by kinds ordinance
Constrained is, and by statutes bound,
And debarred from all such pleasance:
What meaneth this, what is this pretence
Of laws, I wis, against all right of kinde
Without a cause, so narrow men to binde?
Many laymen repine still at priests' marriages above the rest, and not at clergymen only, but of all the meaner sort and condition, they would have none marry but such as are rich and able to maintain wives, because their parish belike shall be pestered with orphans, and the world full of beggars: but 5914these are hard-hearted, unnatural, monsters of men, shallow politicians, they do not 5915consider that a great part of the world is not yet inhabited as it ought, how many colonies into America, Terra Australis incognita, Africa, may be sent? Let them consult with Sir William Alexander's Book of Colonies, Orpheus Junior's Golden Fleece, Captain Whitburne, Mr. Hagthorpe, &c. and they shall surely be otherwise informed. Those politic Romans were of another mind, they thought their city and country could never be too populous. 5916Adrian the emperor said he had rather have men than money, malle se hominum adjectione ampliare imperium, quam pecunia. Augustus Caesar made an oration in Rome ad caelibus, to persuade them to marry; some countries compelled them to marry of old, as 5917Jews, Turks, Indians, Chinese, amongst the rest in these days, who much wonder at our discipline to suffer so many idle persons to live in monasteries, and often marvel how they can live honest. 5918In the isle of Maragnan, the governor and petty king there did wonder at the Frenchmen, and admire how so many friars, and the rest of their company could live without wives, they thought it a thing impossible, and would not believe it. If these men should but survey our multitudes of religious houses, observe our numbers of monasteries all over Europe, 18 nunneries in Padua, in Venice 34 cloisters of monks, 28 of nuns, &c. ex ungue leonem, 'tis to this proportion, in all other provinces and cities, what would they think, do they live honest? Let them dissemble as they will, I am of Tertullian's mind, that few can continue but by compulsion. 5919“O chastity” (saith he) “thou art a rare goddess in the world, not so easily got, seldom continuate: thou mayst now and then be compelled, either for defect of nature, or if discipline persuade, decrees enforce:” or for some such by-respects, sullenness, discontent, they have lost their first loves, may not have whom they will themselves, want of means, rash vows, &c. But can he willingly contain? I think not. Therefore, either out of commiseration of human imbecility, in policy, or to prevent a far worse inconvenience, for they hold some of them as necessary as meat and drink, and because vigour of youth, the state and temper of most men's bodies do so furiously desire it, they have heretofore in some nations liberally admitted polygamy and stews, a hundred thousand courtesans in Grand Cairo in Egypt, as 5920Radzivilus observes, are tolerated, besides boys: how many at Fez, Rome, Naples, Florence, Venice, &c., and still in many other provinces and cities of Europe they do as much, because they think young men, churchmen, and servants amongst the rest, can hardly live honest. The consideration of this belike made Vibius, the Spaniard, when his friend 5921Crassus, that rich Roman gallant, lay hid in the cave, ut voluptatis quam aetas illa desiderat copiam faceret, to gratify him the more, send two 5922lusty lasses to accompany him all that while he was there imprisoned, And Surenus, the Parthian general, when he warred against the Romans, to carry about with him 200 concubines, as the Swiss soldiers do now commonly their wives. But, because this course is not generally approved, but rather contradicted as unlawful and abhorred, 5923in most countries they do much encourage them to marriage, give great rewards to such as have many children, and mulct those that will not marry, Jus trium liberorum, and in Agellius, lib. 2. cap. 15. Elian. lib. 6. cap. 5. Valerius, lib. 1. cap. 9. 5924We read that three children freed the father from painful offices, and five from all contribution. “A woman shall be saved by bearing children.” Epictetus would have all marry, and as 5925Plato will, 6 de legibus, he that marrieth not before 35 years of his age, must be compelled and punished, and the money consecrated to 5926Juno's temple, or applied to public uses. They account him, in some countries, unfortunate that dies without a wife, a most unhappy man, as 5927Boethius infers, and if at all happy, yet infortunio felix, unhappy in his supposed happiness. They commonly deplore his estate, and much lament him for it: O, my sweet son, &c. See Lucian, de Luctu, Sands fol. 83, &c.
Yet, notwithstanding, many with us are of the opposite part, they are married themselves, and for others, let them burn, fire and flame, they care not, so they be not troubled with them. Some are too curious, and some too covetous, they may marry when they will both for ability and means, but so nice, that except as Theophilus the emperor was presented, by his mother Euprosune, with all the rarest beauties of the empire in the great chamber of his palace at once, and bid to give a golden apple to her he liked best. If they might so take and choose whom they list out of all the fair maids their nation affords, they could happily condescend to marry: otherwise, &c., why should a man marry, saith another epicurean rout, what's matrimony but a matter of money? why should free nature be entrenched on, confined or obliged, to this or that man or woman, with these manacles of body and goods? &c. There are those too that dearly love, admire and follow women all their lives long, sponsi Penelopes, never well but in their company, wistly gazing on their beauties, observing close, hanging after them, dallying still with them, and yet dare not, will not marry. Many poor people, and of the meaner sort, are too distrustful of God's providence, “they will not, dare not for such worldly respects,” fear of want, woes, miseries, or that they shall light, as 5928“Lemnius saith, on a scold, a slut, or a bad wife.” And therefore, 5929Tristem Juventam venere deserta colunt, they are resolved to live single, as 5930Epaminondas did, 5931Nil ait esse prius, melius nil coelibe vita, and ready with Hippolitus to abjure all women, 5932Detestor omnes, horreo, fugio, execror, &c. But,
Hippolite nescis quod fugis vitae bonum,
Hippolite nescis ———
“alas, poor Hippolitus, thou knowest not what thou sayest, 'tis otherwise, Hippolitus.” 5933Some make a doubt, an uxor literato sit ducenda, whether a scholar should marry, if she be fair she will bring him back from his grammar to his horn book, or else with kissing and dalliance she will hinder his study; if foul with scolding, he cannot well intend to do both, as Philippus Beroaldus, that great Bononian doctor, once writ, impediri enim studia literarum, &c., but he recanted at last, and in a solemn sort with true conceived words he did ask the world and all women forgiveness. But you shall have the story as he relates himself, in his Commentaries on the sixth of Apuleius. For a long time I lived a single life, et ab uxore ducenda semper abhorrui, nec quicquam libero lecto censui jucundius. I could not abide marriage, but as a rambler, erraticus ac volaticus amator (to use his own words) per multiplices amores discurrebam, I took a snatch where I could get it; nay more, I railed at marriage downright, and in a public auditory, when I did interpret that sixth Satire of Juvenal, out of Plutarch and Seneca, I did heap up all the dicteries I could against women; but now recant with Stesichorus, palinodiam cano, nec poenitet censeri in ordine maritorum, I approve of marriage, I am glad I am a 5934married man, I am heartily glad I have a wife, so sweet a wife, so noble a wife, so young, so chaste a wife, so loving a wife, and I do wish and desire all other men to marry; and especially scholars, that as of old Martia did by Hortensius, Terentia by Tullius, Calphurnia to Plinius, Pudentilla to Apuleius, 5935hold the candle whilst their husbands did meditate and write, so theirs may do them, and as my dear Camilla doth to me. Let other men be averse, rail then and scoff at women, and say what they can to the contrary, vir sine uxore malorum expers est, &c., a single man is a happy man, &c., but this is a toy. 5936Nec dulces amores sperne puer, neque tu choreas; these men are too distrustful and much to blame, to use such speeches, 5937Parcite paucorum diffundere, crimen in omnes. “They must not condemn all for some.” As there be many bad, there be some good wives; as some be vicious, some be virtuous. Read what Solomon hath said in their praises, Prov. xiii. and Siracides, cap. 26 et 30, “Blessed is the man that hath a virtuous wife, for the number of his days shall be double. A virtuous woman rejoiceth her husband, and she shall fulfil the years of his life in peace. A good wife is a good portion” (and xxxvi. 24), “an help, a pillar of rest,” columina quietis, 5938 Qui capit uxorem, fratrem capit atque sororem. And 30, “He that hath no wife wandereth to and fro mourning.” Minuuntur atrae conjuge curae, women are the sole, only joy, and comfort of a man's life, born ad usum et lusum hominum, firmamenta familiae,
5939Delitiae humani generis, solatia vitae.
Blanditiae noctis, placidissima cura diei,
Vota virum, juvenum spes, &c.
5940“A wife is a young man's mistress, a middle age's companion, an old man's nurse:” Particeps laetorum et tristium, a prop, a help, &c.
5941Optima viri possessio est uxor benevola,
Mitigans iram et avertens animam ejus a tristitia.
Man's best possession is a loving wife,
She tempers anger and diverts all strife.
There is no joy, no comfort, no sweetness, no pleasure in the world like to that of a good wife,
5942Quam cum chara domi conjux, fidusque maritus
Unanimes degunt ———
saith our Latin Homer, she is still the same in sickness and in health, his eye, his hand, his bosom friend, his partner at all times, his other self, not to be separated by any calamity, but ready to share all sorrow, discontent, and as the Indian women do, live and die with him, nay more, to die presently for him. Admetus, king of Thessaly, when he lay upon his death-bed, was told by Apollo's Oracle, that if he could get anybody to die for him, he should live longer yet, but when all refused, his parents, etsi decrepiti, friends and followers forsook him, Alcestus, his wife, though young, most willingly undertook it; what more can be desired or expected? And although on the other side there be an infinite number of bad husbands (I should rail downright against some of them), able to discourage any women; yet there be some good ones again, and those most observant of marriage rites. An honest country fellow (as Fulgosus relates it) in the kingdom of Naples, 5943at plough by the seaside, saw his wife carried away by Mauritanian pirates, he ran after in all haste, up to the chin first, and when he could wade no longer, swam, calling to the governor of the ship to deliver his wife, or if he must not have her restored, to let him follow as a prisoner, for he was resolved to be a galley-slave, his drudge, willing to endure any misery, so that he might but enjoy his dear wife. The Moors seeing the man's constancy, and relating the whole matter to their governors at Tunis, set them both free, and gave them an honest pension to maintain themselves during their lives. I could tell many stories to this effect; but put case it often prove otherwise, because marriage is troublesome, wholly therefore to avoid it, is no argument; 5944“He that will avoid trouble must avoid the world.” (Eusebius praepar. Evangel. 5. cap. 50.) Some trouble there is in marriage I deny not, Etsi grave sit matrimonium, saith Erasmus, edulcatur tamen multis, &c., yet there be many things to 5945sweeten it, a pleasant wife, placens uxor, pretty children, dulces nati, deliciae filiorum hominum, the chief delight of the sons of men; Eccles. ii. 8. &c. And howsoever though it were all troubles, 5946utilitatis publicae causa devorandum, grave quid libenter subeundum, it must willingly be undergone for public good's sake,
5947Audite (populus) haec, inquit Susarion,
Malae sunt mulieres, veruntamen O populares,
Hoc sine malo domum inhabitare non licet.
Hear me, O my countrymen, saith Susarion,
Women are naught, yet no life without one.
5948Malum est mulier, sed necessarium malum. They are necessary evils, and for our own ends we must make use of them to have issue, 5949 Supplet Venus ac restituit humanum genus, and to propagate the church. For to what end is a man born? why lives he, but to increase the world? and how shall he do that well, if he do not marry? Matrimonium humano generi immortalitatem tribuit, saith Nevisanus, matrimony makes us immortal, and according to 5950Tacitus, 'tis firmissimum imperii munimentum, the sole and chief prop of an empire. 5951Indigne vivit per quem non vivit et alter, 5952which Pelopidas objected to Epaminondas, he was an unworthy member of a commonwealth, that left not a child after him to defend it, and as 5953Trismegistus to his son Tatius, “have no commerce with a single man:” Holding belike that a bachelor could not live honestly as he should, and with Georgius Wicelius, a great divine and holy man, who of late by twenty-six arguments commends marriage as a thing most necessary for all kinds of persons, most laudable and fit to be embraced: and is persuaded withal, that no man can live and die religiously, and as he ought, without a wife, persuasus neminem posse neque pie vivere, neque bene mori citra uxorem, he is false, an enemy to the commonwealth, injurious to himself, destructive to the world, an apostate to nature, a rebel against heaven and earth. Let our wilful, obstinate, and stale bachelors ruminate of this, “If we could live without wives,” as Marcellus Numidicus said in 5954 Agellius, “we would all want them; but because we cannot, let all marry, and consult rather to the public good, than their own private pleasure or estate.” It were an happy thing, as wise 5955Euripides hath it, if we could buy children with gold and silver, and be so provided, sine mulierum congressu, without women's company; but that may not be:
5956Orbis jacebit squallido turpis situ,
Vanum sine ullis classibus stabit mare,
Alesque coelo deerit et sylvis fera.
Earth, air, sea, land eftsoon would come to nought,
The world itself should be to ruin brought.
Necessity therefore compels us to marry.
But what do I trouble myself, to find arguments to persuade to, or commend marriage? behold a brief abstract of all that which I have said, and much more, succinctly, pithily, pathetically, perspicuously, and elegantly delivered in twelve motions to mitigate the miseries of marriage, by 5957 Jacobus de Voragine,
1. Res est? habes quae tucatur et augeat. — 2. Non est? habes quae quaerat. — 3. Secundae res sunt? felicitas duplicatur. — 4. Adversae sunt? Consolatur, adsidet, onus participat ut tolerabile fiat. — 5. Domi es? solitudinis taedium pellit. — 6. Foras? Discendentem visu prosequitur, absentem desiderat, redeuntem laeta excipit. — 7. Nihil jucundum absque societate? Nulla societas matrimonio suavior. — 8. Vinculum conjugalis charitatis adamentinum. — 9. Accrescit dulcis affinium turba, duplicatur numerus parentum, fratrum, sororum, nepotum. — 10. Pulchra sis prole parens. — 11. Lex Mosis sterilitatem matrimonii execratur, quanto amplius coelibatum? — 12. Si natura poenam non effugit, ne voluntas quidem effugiet.
1. Hast thou means? thou hast none to keep and increase it. — 2. Hast none? thou hast one to help to get it. — 3. Art in prosperity? thine happiness is doubled. — 4. Art in adversity? she'll comfort, assist, bear a part of thy burden to make it more tolerable. — 5. Art at home? she'll drive away melancholy. — 6. Art abroad? she looks after thee going from home, wishes for thee in thine absence, and joyfully welcomes thy return. — 7. There's nothing delightsome without society, no society so sweet as matrimony. — 8. The band of conjugal love is adamantine. — 9. The sweet company of kinsmen increaseth, the number of parents is doubled, of brothers, sisters, nephews. — 10. Thou art made a father by a fair and happy issue. — 11. Moses curseth the barrenness of matrimony, how much more a single life? — 12. If nature escape not punishment, surely thy will shall not avoid it.
All this is true, say you, and who knows it not? but how easy a matter is it to answer these motives, and to make an Antiparodia quite opposite unto it? To exercise myself I will essay:
1. Hast thou means? thou hast one to spend it. — 2. Hast none? thy beggary is increased. — 3. Art in prosperity? thy happiness is ended. — 4. Art in adversity? like Job's wife she'll aggravate thy misery, vex thy soul, make thy burden intolerable. — 5. Art at home? she'll scold thee out of doors. — 6. Art abroad? If thou be wise keep thee so, she'll perhaps graft horns in thine absence, scowl on thee coming home. — 7. Nothing gives more content than solitariness, no solitariness like this of a single life — 8. The band of marriage is adamantine, no hope of losing it, thou art undone. — 9. Thy number increaseth, thou shalt be devoured by thy wife's friends. — 10. Thou art made a cornuto by an unchaste wife, and shalt bring up other folks' children instead of thine own. — 11. Paul commends marriage, yet he prefers a single life. — 12. Is marriage honourable? What an immortal crown belongs to virginity?
So Siracides himself speaks as much as may be for and against women, so doth almost every philosopher plead pro and con, every poet thus argues the case (though what cares vulgus nominum what they say?): so can I conceive peradventure, and so canst thou: when all is said, yet since some be good, some bad, let's put it to the venture. I conclude therefore with Seneca,
——— cur Toro viduo jaces?
Tristem juventam solve: mine luxus rape,
Effunde habenas, optimos vitae dies
“Why dost thou lie alone, let thy youth and best days to pass away?” Marry whilst thou mayst, donec viventi canities abest morosa, whilst thou art yet able, yet lusty, 5958Elige cui dicas, tu mihi sola places, make thy choice, and that freely forthwith, make no delay, but take thy fortune as it falls. 'Tis true,
5959 — calamitosus est qui inciderit
In malam uxorem, felix qui in bonam,
'Tis a hazard both ways I confess, to live single or to marry, 5960Nam et uxorem ducere, et non ducere malum est, it may be bad, it may be good, as it is a cross and calamity on the one side, so 'tis a sweet delight, an incomparable happiness, a blessed estate, a most unspeakable benefit, a sole content, on the other; 'tis all in the proof. Be not then so wayward, so covetous, so distrustful, so curious and nice, but let's all marry, mutuos foventes amplexus; “Take me to thee, and thee to me,” tomorrow is St. Valentine's day, let's keep it holiday for Cupid's sake, for that great god Love's sake, for Hymen's sake, and celebrate 5961Venus' vigil with our ancestors for company together, singing as they did,
Crasam et qui nunquam amavit, quique amavit, eras amet,
Ver novum, ver jam canorum, ver natus orbis est,
Vere concordant amores, vere nubunt alites,
Et nemus coma resolvit, &c. ———
Cras amet, &c. ———
Let those love now who never loved before,
And those who always loved now love the more;
Sweet loves are born with every opening spring;
Birds from the tender boughs their pledges sing, &c.
Let him that is averse from marriage read more in Barbarus de re uxor. lib. 1. cap. 1. Lemnius de institut. cap. 4. P. Godefridus de Amor. lib. 3. cap. 1. 5962Nevisanus, lib. 3. Alex. ab Alexandro, lib. 4. cap. 8. Tunstall, Erasmus' tracts in laudem matrimonii &c., and I doubt not but in the end he will rest satisfied, recant with Beroaldus, do penance for his former folly, singing some penitential ditties, desire to be reconciled to the deity of this great god Love, go a pilgrimage to his shrine, offer to his image, sacrifice upon his altar, and be as willing at last to embrace marriage as the rest: There will not be found, I hope, 5963“No, not in that severe family of Stoics, who shall refuse to submit his grave beard, and supercilious looks to the clipping of a wife,” or disagree from his fellows in this point. “For what more willingly” (as 5964Varro holds) “can a proper man see than a fair wife, a sweet wife, a loving wife?” can the world afford a better sight, sweeter content, a fairer object, a more gracious aspect?
Since then this of marriage is the last and best refuge, and cure of heroical love, all doubts are cleared, and impediments removed; I say again, what remains, but that according to both their desires, they be happily joined, since it cannot otherwise be helped? God send us all good wives, every man his wish in this kind, and me mine!
If all parties be pleased, ask their banns, 'tis a match. 5966Fruitur Rhodanthe sponsa, sponso Dosicle, Rhodanthe and Dosicles shall go together, Clitiphon and Leucippe, Theagines and Chariclea, Poliarchus hath his Argenis', Lysander Calista, to make up the mask) 5967Polilurque sua puer Iphis Ianthi.
And although they have hardly passed the pikes, through many difficulties and delays brought the match about, yet let them take this of 5968 Aristaenetus (that so marry) for their comfort: 5969“after many troubles and cares, the marriages of lovers are more sweet and pleasant.” As we commonly conclude a comedy with a 5970wedding, and shaking of hands, let's shut up our discourse, and end all with an 5971Epithalamium.
Feliciter nuptis, God give them joy together. 5972Hymen O Hymenae, Hymen ades O Hymenaee! Bonum factum, 'tis well done, Haud equidem sine mente reor, sine numine Divum, 'tis a happy conjunction, a fortunate match, an even couple,
Ambo animis, ambo praestantes viribus, ambo
Florentes annis ———
“they both excel in gifts of body and mind, are both equal in years,” youth, vigour, alacrity, she is fair and lovely as Lais or Helen, he as another Charinus or Alcibiades,
5973 ——— ludite ut lubet et brevi
Liberos date. ———
Then modestly go sport and toy,
And let's have every year a boy.
5974“Go give a sweet smell as incense, and bring forth flowers as the lily:” that we may say hereafter, Scitus Mecastor natus est Pamphilo puer. In the meantime I say,
Brachia, non hederae, neque vincant oscula conchae.
Gentle youths, go sport yourselves betimes,
Let not the doves outpass your murmurings,
Or ivy-clasping arms, or oyster-kissings.
And in the morn betime, as those 5977Lacedaemonian lasses saluted Helena and Menelaus, singing at their windows, and wishing good success, do we at yours:
Salve O sponsa, salve felix, det vobis Latona
Felicem sobolem, Venus dea det aequalem amorem
Inter vos mutuo; Saturnus durabiles divitias,
Dormite in pectora mutuo amorem inspirantes,
Et desiderium! ———
Good morrow, master bridegroom, and mistress bride,
Many fair lovely bairns to you betide!
Let Venus to you mutual love procure,
Let Saturn give you riches to endure.
Long may you sleep in one another's arms,
Inspiring sweet desire, and free from harms.
Even all your lives long,
5978Contingat vobis turturum concordia,
Corniculae vivacitas ———
The love of turtles hap to you,
And ravens' years still to renew.
Let the Muses sing, (as he said;) the Graces dance, not at their weddings only but all their days long; “so couple their hearts, that no irksomeness or anger ever befall them: let him never call her other name than my joy, my light, or she call him otherwise than sweetheart. To this happiness of theirs, let not old age any whit detract, but as their years, so let their mutual love and comfort increase.” And when they depart this life,
——— concordes quoniam vixere tot annos,
Auferat hora duos eadem, nec conjugis usquam
Busta suae videat, nec sit tumulandus ab illa.
Because they have so sweetly liv'd together,
Let not one die a day before the other,
He bury her, she him, with even fate,
One hour their souls let jointly separate.
5979Fortunati ambo si quid mea carmina possunt,
Nulla dies unquam memori vos eximet aevo.
Atque haec de amore dixisse sufficiat, sub correctione, 5980quod ait ille, cujusque melius sentientis. Plura qui volet de remediis amoris, legat Jasonem Pratensem, Arnoldum, Montaltum, Savanarolum, Langium, Valescum, Crimisonum, Alexandrum Benedictum, Laurentium, Valleriolam, e Poetis Nasonem, e nostratibus Chaucerum, &c., with whom I conclude,
5829. Cap. 19. de morb. cerebri.
5830. Patiens potiatur re amata, si fieri possit, optima cura, cap. 16. in 9 Rhasis.
5831. Si nihil aliud, nuptiae et copulatio cum ea.
5832. Petronius Catal.
5833. Cap. de Ilishi. Non invenitur cura, nisi regimen connexionis inter eos, secundum modum promissionis, et legis, et sic vidimus ad carnem restitutum, qui jam venerat ad arofactionem; evanuit cura postquam sensit, &c.
5834. Fama est melancholicum quendam ex amore insanabiliter se habentem, ubi puellae se conjunxisset, restitutum, &c.
5835. Jovian. Pontanus, Basi. lib. 1.
5836. Speede's hist. e M.S. Ber. Andreae.
5837. Lucretia in Ocelestina, act. 19. Barthio interpret.
5838. Virg. 4 Aen. “How shall I begin?”
5839. E Graecho Moschi.
5840. Ovid. Met. 1. “The efficacious one is golden.”
5841. Pausanias Achaicis, lib. 7. Perdite amabat Callyrhoen virginem, et quanto erat Choresi amor vehememior erat, tanto erat puellae animus ab ejus amore alienior.
5842. Virg. 6 Aen.
5843. Erasmus Egl. Galatea.
5844. “Having no compassion for my tears, she avoids my prayers, and is inflexible to my plaints.”
5845. Angerianus Erotopaegnion.
5848. Ovid. Met. 1.
5849. Erot. lib. 2.
5850. T. H. “To captivate the men, but despise them when captive.”
5851. Virg. 4 Aen.
5852. Metamor. 3.
5853. Fracastorius Dial. de anim.
5854. Dial. Am.
5856. Ovid. Met.
5857. Hom. 5. in 1. epist. Thess. cap. 4, vers. 1.
5859. Ter. Heaut. Scen. ult. “He will marry the daughter of rich parents, a red-haired, blear-eyed, big-mouthed, crooked-nosed wench.”
5860. Plebeius et nobilis ambiebant puellam, puellae certamen in partes venit, &c.
5861. Apuleius apol.
5862. Gen. xxvi.
5863. Non peccat venialiter qui mulierem ducit ob pulchritudinem.
5864. Lib. 6. de leg. Ex usu reipub. est ut in nuptiis juvenes neque pauperum affinitatem fugiant, neque divitum sectentur.
5865. Philost. ep. Quoniam pauper sum, idcirco contemptior et abjectior tibi videar? Amor ipse nundus est, gratiae et astra; Hercules pelle leonina indutus.
5867. Lib. 2. ep. 7.
5868. Ejulans inquit, non mentem una addixit mihi fortuna servitute.
5869. De repub. c. de period, rerumpub.
5870. Com. in car. Chron.
5871. Plin. in pan.
5872. Declam. 306.
5873. Puellis imprimis nulla danda occasio lapsus. Lemn. lib. l. 54. de vit instit.
5874. See more part 1. s. mem. 2. subs. 4.
5875. Filia excedens annum 25. potest inscio patre nubere, licet indignus sit maritus, et eum cogere ad congrue dotandum.
5876. Ne appetentiae procacioris reputetur auctor.
5877. Expetitia enim magis debet vider a viro quam ipsa virum expetisse.
5878. Mulier apud nos 24. annorum vetula est et projectitia.
5879. Comoed. Lycistrat. And. Divo Interpr.
5880. Ausonius edy. 14.
5883. Translated by M. B. Johnson.
5884. Horn. 5. in 1. Thes. cap. 4. 1.
5887. Epist. 12. l. 2. Eligit conjugem pauperem, indotatatam et subito deamavit, et commiseratione ejus inopiae.
5888. Virg. Aen.
5889. Fabius pictor: amor ipse conjunxit populos, &c.
5890. Lipsius polit. Sebast. Mayer. Select. Sect. 1. cap. 13.
5891. Mayerus select. sect. 1. c. 14. et Aelian. l. 13. c. 33. cum famulae lavantis vestes incuriosus custodirent, &c. mandavit per universam Aegyptum ut foemina quaereretur, cujus is calceus esset eamque sic inventam. in matrimonium accepit.
5892. Pausnnias lib. 3. de Laconicis. Dimisit que nunciarunt, &c. optionem puellis dedit, ut earum quaelibet eum sibi virum deligeret, cujus maxime esset forma complacita.
5893. Illius conjugium abominabitur.
5894. Socera quinque circiter annos natu minor.
5895. Vit. Caleat. secundi.
5896. Apuleius in Catel. nobis cupido velle dat, posse abnegat.
5897. Anacreon. 56.
5898. Continentiae donum ex fide postulet quia certum sit eum vocari ad coelibatum cui domis, &c.
5899. Act. xvi. 7.
5900. Rom. i. 13.
5901. Praefix. gen. Leovitii.
5902. “The stars in the skies preside over our persons, for they are made of humble matter. They cannot bind a rational mind, for that is under the control of God only.”
5903. Idem Wolfius dial.
5904. “That is, make the best of it, and take his lot as it falls.”
5905. Ovid. 1. Met “Their beauty is inconsistent with their vows.”
5906. Mercurialis de Priapismo.
5907. Memorabile quod Ulricus epistola refert Gregorium quum ex piscina quadam allata plus quam sex mille infantum capita vidisset, ingemuisse et decretum de coelibatu tantam caedis causam confesses condigno illud poenitentiae fructu purgasse. Kemnisius ex concil. Trident, part. 3. de coelibatu sacerdotum.
5908. Si nubat, quam si domi concubinam alat.
5909. Alphonsus Cicaonius lib. de gest. pontificum.
5910. Cum medici suaderent ut aut nuberet aut coitu uteretur, sic mortem vitari posse mortem potius intrepidus expectavit, &c.
5911. Epist. 30.
5912. Vide vitam ejus edit. 1623. by D. T. James.
5913. Lidgate, in Chaucer's Flower of Curtesie.
5914. 'Tis not multitude but idleness which causeth beggary.
5915. Or to set them awork, and bring them up in some honest trades.
5916. Dion. Cassius, lib. 56.
5917. Sardus Buxtorphius.
5918. Claude Albaville in his hist. of the Frenchmen to the Isle of Maragnan. An. 1614.
5919. Rara quidem dea tu es O chastitas in his terris, nec facile perfecta, rarius perpetua, cogi nonnunquam potest, ob naturae defectum, vel si disciplina pervaserit, censura compresserit.
5920. Peregrin. Hierosol.
5921. Plutarch, vita ejus, adolescentiae medio constitutus.
5922. Ancilias duas egregia forma et aetatis flore.
5923. Alex. ab. Alex. l. 4. c. 8.
5924. Tres filii patrem ab excubiis, quinque ab omnibus officiis liberabanto.
5925. Praecepto primo, cogatur nubere aut mulctetur et pecunia templo Junonis dedicetur et publica fiat.
5926. Consol. 3. pros. 7.
5927. Nic. Hill. Epic. philos.
5928. Qui se capistro matrimonii alligari non patiuntur, Lemn, lib. 4. 13. de occult. nat. Abhorrent multi a matrimonio, ne morosam, querulam, acerbam, amaram uxorem perferre cogantur.
5929. Senec. Hippol.
5930. Caelebs enim vixerat nec ad uxorem ducendam unquam induci potuit.
5931. Senec. Hip. “There is nothing better, nothing preferable to a single life.”
5933. Aeneas Sylvius de dictis Sigismundi. Hensius. Primiero.
5934. Habeo uxorem ex animi sententia Camillam Paleotti Jurisconsulti filiam.
5935. Legentibus et meditantibus candelas et candelabrum tenuerunt.
5936. Hor. “Neither despise agreeable love, nor mirthful pleasure.”
5938. Aphranius. “He who chooses a wife, takes a brother and a sister.”
5939. Locheus. “The delight of mankind, the solace of life, the blandishments of night, delicious cares of day, the wishes of older men, the hopes of young.”
5940. Bacon's Essays.
5942. “How harmoniously do a loving wife and constant husband lead their lives.”
5943. Cum juxta mare agrum coleret: Omnis enim miseriae immemorem, conjugalis amor eum fecerat. Non sine ingenti admiratione, tanta hominis charitate motus rex liberos esse jussit, &c.
5944. Qui vult vitare molestias vitet mundum.
5945. Τίδε βίος τίθε τερπνὸν ἄτερ χρυσῆς ἀφροδίτης. Quid vita est quaeso quidve est sine Cypride dulce? Mimner.
5947. E Stobeo.
5949. Seneca Hyp. lib. 3. num. 1.
5950. Hist. lib. 4.
5951. Palingenius. “He lives contemptibly by whom no other lives.”
5952. Bruson. lib. 7. cap. 23.
5953. Noli societatem habere, &c.
5954. Lib. 1. cap. 6. Si, inquit, Quirites, sine uxore esse possemus, omnes careremus; Sed quoniam sic est, saluti potius publicae quam voluptati consulendum.
5955. Beatum foret si liberos auro et argento mercari, &c.
5956. Seneca. Hyp.
5957. Gen. ii. Adjutorium simile, &c.
5958. Ovid. “Find her to whom you may say, 'thou art my only pleasure.'”
5959. Euripides. “Unhappy the man who has met a bad wife, happy who found a good one.”
5960. E Graeco Valerius, lib. 7. cap. 7. “To marry, and not to marry, are equally base.”
5961. Pervigilium Veneris e vetere poeta.
5962. Donaus non potest consistere sine uxore. Nevisanus lib. 2. num. 18.
5963. Nemo in severissima Stoicorum familia qui non barbam quoque et supercilium amplexibus uxores submiserit, aut in ista parte a reliquis dissenserit. Hensius Primiero.
5964. Quid libentius homo masculus videre debet quam bellam uxorem?
5966. Conclusio Theod. Podro. mi. 9. l. Amor.
5968. Epist. 4. l. 2. Jucundiores multo et suaviores longe post molestas turbas amantium nuptiae.
5969. Olim meminisse juvabit.
5970. Quid expectatis, intus fiunt nuptiae, the music, guests, and all the good cheer is within.
5971. The conclusion of Chaucer's poem of Troilus and Creseid.
5973. Catullus. J. Secundus Sylvar. lib. Jam Virgo thalamum subibit unde ne virgo redeat, marite cura.
5974. Ecclus. xxxix. 14.
5975. Galeni Epithal.
5976. O noctem quater et quater beatam.
5977. Theocritus idyl. 18.
5978. Erasm. Epithal. P. Aegidij. Nec saltent modo sed duo charissima pectora indissolubili mutuae benevolentiae nodo corpulent, ut nihil unquam eos incedere possit irae vel taedii. Illa perpetuo nihil audiat nisi, mea lux: ille vicissim nihil nisi anime mi: atque huic jucunditati ne senectus detrahat, imo potius aliquid adaugeat.
5979. “Happy both, if my verses have any charms, nor shall time ever detract from the memorable example of your lives.”
5980. Kornmannus de linea amoris.
5981. Finis 3 book of Troilus and Creseid.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:06