صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

annexed, and succeed one another.” It is inevitable, it may not be avoided, and why then shouldst thou be so much troubled? Grave nihil est homini quod fert necessitas, as · Tully deems out of an old Poet, that which is necessary cannot be grievous. If it be so, then comfort thy self in this, “* That whether thou wilt or no, it must be indured :" make a vertue of necessity, and conform thy self to undergo it. Si longa est, levis est; si gravis est, brevis est. If it be long, 'tis light; if grievous, it cannot last. It will away, dies dolorem minuit, and if nought else, time will wear it out; custoine will ease it ; ? oblivion is a common medicine for all losses, injuries, griefes, and detriments whatsoever, “ a and when they are once past, this commodity comes of infelicity, it makes the rest of our life sweeter unto us :" Atque hæc olim meminisse juvabit, “ the privation and want of a thing many times makes it more pleasant and delightsome then before it was.” We must not think the happiest of us all to escape here without some misfortunes,

Usq; adeò nulla est sincera voluptas, Solicitumq; aliquid lætis intervenit.Heaven and earth are much unlike : « Those heavenly bodies indeed are freely carried in their orbes without any impediment or interruption, to continue their course for innumerable ages, and make their conversions : but men are urged with many difficulties, and have divers hindrances, oppositions still crossing, interrupting their endeavours and desires, and no mortall man is free from this law of nature." We must not therefore hope to have all things answer our own expectation, to have a continuance of good success and fortunes, Fortuna nunquam perpetuò est bona. And as Minutius Felix the Roman Consul told that insulting Coriolanus, drunk with his good fortunes, look not for that success thou hast hitherto had ; “ e It never yet happened to any man since the beginning of the world, nor ever will, to have all things according to his desire, or to whom fortune was never opposite and adverse.” Even so

[ocr errors]


• In Tusc. è vetere poctå. * Cardan lib. 1. de consol. Est consolationis genus non leve, quod à necessitate fit; sive feras, sive non feras, ferendum est

y Seneca. ! Omni dolori tempus est medicina; ipsum luctum extinguit, injurias delet, omnis mali oblivionem adfert. * Habet hoc quoq; commodâ omnis infelicitas, suaviorem vitam cum abierit relinquit. Virg.

c Ovid. Lorchan. Sunt namq; infera superis, humana terrenis longe disparia. Etenim beatæ mcntes feruntur liberè, et sine ullo impedimento, stellæ, æthereiq; orbes cursus & conversiones suas jam sæcul's innumr.erabilibus constantissime conficiunt: verum homines magnis angustiis. Neq; hâc naturæ lege est quisquam mortalium solutus e Dionysius Halicar. lib. 8. non enim unquam contigit, nec post homines natos invenies quenquam, cui omnia ex animi sententia successerint, ita ut nulla in re fortuna sit ci adversata.


it fell out to hiin as he foretold. And so to others, even to that happiness of Augustus ; Though he were Jupiter's Almoner, Pluto's Treasurer, Neptune's Admiral, it could not secure him. Such was Alcibiades' fortune, Narsetes, that great Gonsalvaus, and most famous men's, that as * Jovius concludes, “it is almost fatal to great princes, through their own default or otherwise circumvented with envy and malice, to lose their honours, and die contumeliously.” 'Tis so, still hath been, and ever will be, Nihil est ab omni parte beatum,

There's no perfecion is so absolute,

That some impurity doth not poliute. Whatsoever is under the Moon is subject to corruption, alteration; and so long as thou livest upon earth look not for other. « Thou shalt not here finde peaceable and chearfull dayes, quiet times, but rather cloudes, stormes, calumnies, such is our fate." And as those errant planets in their distinct orbes have their severall motions, sometimes direct, stationary, retrograde, in Apogeo, Perigeo, orientall, occidentall, combust, ferall, free, and as our Astrologers will, have their fortitudes and debilities, by reason of those good and bad irradiations, conferred to each other's site in the heavens, in their terms, houses, case, detriments, &c. So we rise and fall in this world, ebbe and flow, in and out, reared and dejected, lead a troublesome life, subject to many accidents and casualties of fortunes, variety of passions, infirmities as well from our selves as others.

Yea, but thou thinkest thou art more miserable than the rest, other men are happy but in respect of thee, their miseries are but flea-biting3 to thine, thou alone art unhappy, none so bad as thyself. Yet if, as Socrates said, “ & All men in the world should come and bring their grievances together, of body, minde, fortune, sores, ulcers, madness, epilepsies, agues, and all those common calamities of beggery, want, servitude, imprisonment, and lay them on a heap to be equally divided, wouldst thou share alike, and take thy portion? or be as thou art? Without question thou wouldst be as thou art. If some Jupiter should say, to give us all content,

Jam faciam quod vultis; eris tu, qui modò miles,
Mercator; tu consultus modo, rusticus; hinc vos,

* Vit. Gonsalvi lib. ult. ut ducibus fatale sit clarissimis à culpa sua, secus circumveniri cum malitia & invidia, imminutaque dignitate per contumeliam mori. In terris purum illum ætherem non invenies, & ventos sercnos; nimbos potius, procellas, calumnias. Lips. cent. misc. ep. 8. 8 Si omnes homines sua mala guasq. curas in unum cumulum conferrent, æquis divisuri portionibus, &c. b Hor. ser. lib. 1.


B 3

Vos hinc mutatis discedite partibus ; eia
Quid statis? nolint."
Well be't so then : you master souldier
Shall be a merchant; you sir Lawyer
A country Gentleman; go you to this,

That side you; why stand ye? It's well as 'tis. i “Every man knows his own, but not others defects and miseries; and 'tis the nature of all men still to reflect upon themselves, their own misfortunes,” not to examine or consider other men's, not to confer themselves with others : To recount their miseries, but not their good gifts, fortunes, benefits, which they have, or ruminate on their adversity, but not once to think on their prosperity, not what they have, but what they want: to look still on them that go before, but not on those infinite numbers that come after.

ook Whereas many a man would think himself in heaven, a petty Prince, if he had but the least part of that fortune which thou so much repinest at, abhorrest and accountest a most vile and wretched estate.” How many thousands want that which thou hast? how many myriades of poor slaves, captives, of such as work day and night in cole-pits, tin-mines, with sore toil to maintain a poor living, of such as labour in body and minde, live in extreme anguish, and pain, all which thou art free from? O fortunatos nimium bona si sua norint: Thou art most happy if thou couldst be content, and acknowledge thy happiness ; Rem carendo, non fruendo cognoscimus, when thou shalt hereafter come to want that which thou now loathest, abhorrest, and art weary of, and tired with, when 'tis past thou wilt say thou wert most happy: and after a little misse, wish with all thine heart thou hadst the same content again, might'st lead but such a life, a world for such a life: the remembrance of it is pleasant. Be silent then, 'rest satisfied, desine, intuensq; in aliorum infortunia solare mentem, comfort thyself with other men's misfortunes, and as the moldiwarpe in Aisope told the fox, complaining for want of a tail, and the rest of his companions, tacete, quando me occulis captum videtis, you complain of toies, but I am blinde, be quiet. I say to thee be thou satisfied. It is recorded of the hares, that with a generall consent they went to drown themselves, out of a feeling

Quod unusquisq; propria mala novit, aliorum nesciat, in causa est, ut se inter alios miserum putet. Cardan. lib. 3. de consol. Plutarch de consol. ad Apollonium. Quam multos puras qui se cælo proximos putarent, totidem regulos, si de fortunæ tuæ reliquiis pars iis minima contingat. Bocth. de consol. lib. 2. pros. 4.

Hesiod. Esto quod es ; quod sunt alii, sine quem, libet esse; Quod nones, nolis; quod potes esse, velis.

Æsopi fab.


[ocr errors]

of their misery; but when they saw a company of frogs more fearfull than they were, they began to take courage, and com. fort again. Confer thine estate with others. Similes aliorum respice casus, mitius ista feres. Be content and rest satisfied, for thou art well in respect to others; be thankfull for that thou hast, that God hath done for thee, he hath not made thee a monster, a beast, a base creature, as he might, but a man, a Christian, such a man; consider aright of it, thou art full well as thou art. Quicquid vult habere nemo potest, no man can have what he will, Illud potest nolle quod non habet, he may chuse whether he will desire that which he hath not: Thy lot is falne, make the best of it. If we should all sleep at all times, (as Endymion is said to have done) who then were happier than his fellow ?" Our life is but short, a very dream, and while we look about P immortalitas adest, eternity is at hand : “9 Our life is a pilgrimage on earth, which wise men passe with great alacrity.” If thou be in woe, sorrow, want, distresse, in pain, or sicknesse, think of that of our Apostle, “ God chastiseth them whom he loveth : They that sowe in tears, shall reap in joy, Psal. 126. 6. As the fornace proveth the potter's vessel, so doth temptation trie men's thoughts," Eccl. 25. 5, 'tis for 'thy good, Peruisses nisi periisses: Hadst thou not been so visited, thou hadst been utterly undone; “as gold in the fire,” so men are tried in adversity. Tribulatio ditat: And which Camerarius hath well shadowed in an Embleine of a thresher and corn,

« Si tritura absit paleis sunt abdita grana,

Nos crux mundanis separat à paleis :"
As threshing separates from straw the corn,

By crosses from the world's chaffe are we born. 'Tis the very same which * Chrysostome connents, hom. 2. in 3. Mat. “ Corn is not separated but by threshing, nor men from worldly impediments but by tribulation.” 'Tis that which + Cyprian ingeminates, Ser. 4. de immort. 'Tis that which I Hierom, which all the Fathers inculcate, “so we are catechised for eternity.” 'Tis that which the proverb insinuates. Nocumentum documentum ; 'Tis that which all the world rings in our ears. Deus unicum habet filium sine peccato, nullum sine flagello: God, saith - Austin, hath one son

- Seneca • Si dormirent semper omnes, nullus alio fælicior esset. Card.

Seneca de ira. 9 Plato, Axiocho. An ignoras vitam hanc percgrin. tionem, &c. quam sapientes cum gaudio percurrunt. " Sic expedis; medicus non dat quod patiens vult, scd quod ipse bonum scit. * Frumentum non e redirur nisi triturarum, &c. of Non est pena damnantis sed flagellum corigentis, * Ad hæreditatem æternam sic erudimur. s Coniess. 6.

B 4


without sin, none without correction. !" An expert sea-man is tried in a tempest, a runner in a race, a Captain in a battle, a valiant man in adversity, a Christian in tentation and misery.” Basil. hom. 8. We are sent as so many souldiers into this world, to strive with it, the flesh, the devil; our life is a warfare, and who knows it not ? * Non esi ad astra mollis è terris via : “ u and therefore peradventure this world here is made troublesome unto us," that, as Gregory notes, “ we should not be delighted by the way, and forget whither we are going."

"* Ite nunc fortes, ubi celsa magni
Ducit exempli via, cur inertes
Terga nudatis? superata tellus

Sydera donat.” Go on then merrily to heaven. If the way be troublesome, and you in misery, in many grievances : on the other side you have many pleasant sports, objects, sweet smels, delightsome tastes, musick, meats, herbs, flowers, &c. to recreate your senses. Or put case thou art now forsaken of the world, dejected, contemned, yet comfort thy self, as it was said to Agar in the wildernesse, “ Y God sees thee, he takes notice of thee:” There is a God above that can vindicate thy cause, that can relieve thee. And surely + Seneca thinks he takes delight in sceing thee. “ The gods are well pleased when they see great inen contending with adversity, as we are to see men fight, or a man with a beast. But these are toyes in respect, “ | Behold,” saith he,“ a spectacle worthy of God; A good man contented with his estate. A tyrant is the best sacrifice to Jupiter, as the ancients held, and his best object “a contented minde. For thy part then rest satisfied, “ cast all thy care on him, thy burthen on him, ? rely on him, trust on him, and he shall nourish thee, care for thee, give thee thine heart's desire ;" say with David, “ God is our hope and strength, in troubles ready to be found,” Psal. 46. 1. “ for they that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Sion, which cannot be removed," Psal. 124. 1, 2. “as the mountains are about Jerusalem, so is the Lord about his people, from henceforth and for ever.


· Nauclerum tempestas, athletam stadium, ducem pugna, magnanimum calamitas, Christianum vero tentatio probat & examinat.

* Sen Herc. fur. Ideo Deus asperű fecit iter, ne dum delectantur in via, obliviscantur eorum quæ sunt in patriâ. * Boethius 1. 5. met. ult. y Boeth. pro. ult. Manet spectator cunctorum desuper præscius deus, bonis præmia, malis supplicia dispensans. + Lib. de provid. voluptatem capiunt dii siquando magnos viros colluctates cum calamitate vident. * Ecce spectaculum Deo dignum. Vir fortis mala for ; tuna compositus. : 1 Pet. 5.7. Psal. 55. 22.


« السابقةمتابعة »