صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

if she tarry and overwhelm them: for when they come to be in great place, rich,they that were most temperate, sober and discreet in their private fortunes, as Nero, Otho Vitellius, Heliogabalus (optimi imperatores nisi imperassent) degenerate on a sudden into brute beasts, so prodigious in lust, such tyrannicall oppressors, &c. they cannot moderate themselves, they become monsters, odious, harpies, what not? cum triumphos, opes, honores adepti sunt, ad voluptatem & otium deinceps se convertunt: 'twas * Cato's note, “they cannot contain." For that cause belike,

“Eutrapilus cuicunq; nocere volebat,
Vestimenta dabat pretiosa : beatus enim jam,
Cum pulchris tunicis sumet nova consilia & spes,
Dormiet in lucem scorto, postponet honestum
Officium”-
Eutrapiluş when he would hurt a knave,
Gave him gay clothes and wealth to make him brave :
Because now rich he would quite change his minde,

Keep whores, fly out, set honesty behinde. On the other side, in adversity many mutter and repine, despair, &c. both bad I confess,

rut calceus olim Si pede major erit, subvertet: si minor, uret.” As a shoo too big or too little, one pincheth, the other sets the foot awry, sed è malis minimum. If Adversity hath killed his thousand, prosperity hath killed his ten thousand: therefore Adversity is to be preferred; h hæc fræno indiget, illa solatio : illa fallit, hæc instruit : The one deceives, the other instructs: the one miserably happy, the other happily miserable: and therefore many Philosophers have voluntarily sought adversity, and so much commend it in their precepts. Demetrius, in Se. neca, esteemed it a great infelicity, that in his life time he had no misfortune, miserum cui nihil unquam accidisset adversi. Adversity then is not so heavily to be taken, and we ought not in such cases so much to macerate our selves: there is no such odds in poverty and riches. To conclude in i Hieronn's words, “I will ask our magnificoes that build with marble, and bestow a whole Manor on a thred, what difference betwixt them and Paul the Ermite, that bare old man? they drink in jewels, he in his hand: he is poor and goes to heaven, they are rich and go to hell."

* Plutarch. vit. ejus. + Hor. epist. 1. 1. ep. 18. Hor. Boeth. 2, Epist. lib. 3. vit. Paul. Brmit. Libet eos nunc interrogare qui domus marmoribus vestiunt, qui uno filo villarum ponunt precia, huic seni modo quid unquam defuit? vos gemma bibitis, ille concavis manibus naturæ' satisfecit; ille pauper paradisum capit, vos avaros gehenna suscipiet. · VOL. II.

MEMB. MEMB. IV.

Against servitude, loss of liberty, imprisonment,

banishment.

CERVITUDE, loss of liberty, imprisonment, are no such A miseries as they are held to be: we are slaves and servants the best of us all : as we do reverence our masters, su do our masters their superiours : Gentlemen serve Nobles, and Nobles subordinate to Kings, Omne sub regno graviore regnum, Princes themselves are God's servants, Reges in ipsos imperium est Jovis. They are subject to their own lawes, and as the Kings of China, endure more then slavish imprisonment, to maintain their state and greatness, they never come abroad, Alexander was a slave to fear, Cæsar of pride, Vespasian to his mony, (nihil enim refert, rerum sis servus an hominum.) Heliogabalus to his gut, and so of the rest. Lovers are slaves to their mistresses, rich men to their gold, Courtiers generally to lust and ambition, and all slaves to our affections, as Evangelus well discourseth in * Macrobius, and + Seneca the Philosopher, assiduam servitutem extremam & ineluctabilem he calls it, a continual slavery, to be so captivated by vices; and who is free? Why then dost thou repine? Satis est potens, Hieroin saith, qui servire non cogitur. Thou carriest no hurdens, thou art no prisoner, no drudge, and thousands want that liberty, those pleasures which thou hast. Thou art not sick, and what wouldst thou have? But nitimur in vetitum, we must all eat of the forbidden fruit. Were we injoyned to go to such and such places, we would not willingly go: but being barred of our liberty, this alone torments our wandring soul that we may not go. . A citizen of our's, saith * Cardan, was 60 years of age, and had never been forth of the wals of the city Millan ; the Prince, hearing of it, commanded him not to stir out: being now forbidden that which all his life he had neglected, he earnestly desired, and being denied, dolore confectus mortem obiit, he dyed for grief.

What I have said of servitude, I again say of imprisonment, We are all prisoners. What is our life but a prison? We are all imprisoned in an Iland. The world itself to some men is a prison, our narrow seas as so many ditches, and when they have compassed the Globe of the earth, they would fain go see

* Satur. 1. 11, Alius libidini servit, alius ambitioni, omnes spei, omnes timori. + Nat. lib. 3. & Consol. 1. 5. 'O generose, quid est vita nisi arrer animi!

what

[ocr errors]

what is done in the Moon. In - Muscovy and many other northern parts, all over Scandia, they are imprisoned half the year in stoves, they dare not peep out for cold. At " Aden in Arabia they are penned in all day long with that other extreme of heat, and keep their markets in the night. What is a ship but a prison? And so many cities are but as so many hives of Bees, Ant-hills; but that which thou abhorrest, many seek: Women keep in all winter, and most part of summer, to preserve their beauties; some for love of study: Demosthenes shared his beard because he would cut off all occasions from going abroad: how many monks and Friers, Anchorites, abandon the world ? Monachus in urbe, piscis in arido. Arı in prison ? Make right use of it and mortifie thyself; “o Where may a man contemplate better then in solitariness,” or study more then in quietness? Many worthy men have been imprisoned all their lives, and it hath been occasion of great honour and glory to them, much public good by their excellent meditation. * Ptolomeus King of Egypt, cum viribus attenuatis infirma valetudine laboraret, miro descendi studio affectus. &c. now being taken with a grievous infirmity of body that he could not stir abroad, became Strato's scholler, fell hard to his book, and gave himself wholly to contemplation, and upon that occasion (as inine author adds) pulcherimum regie opulentiæ monumentum, &c. to his great honour built that renowned Library at Alexandria, wherein were 40000 volumes. Seve. rinus Boethius never writ so elegantly as in prison, Paul so devoutly, for most of his epistles were dictated in his bands : Joseph,” saith P Austin, “ got more credit in prison, then when he distributed corn, and was Lord of Pharoah's house." It brings many a lewd riotous fellow home, many wandring rogues it settles, that would otherwise have been like raving Tygers, ruined themselves and others.

Banishment is no grievance at all, Omne solum forti patria &e. & patria est ubicunque bene est, That's a man's Country where he is well at ease. Many travel for pleasure to that City, saith Seneca, to which thou art banished, and what a part of the Citizens are strangers born in other places ? 9 Incolentibus patria, 'tis their Country that are born in it, and they would think themselves banished to go to the place which thou leavest, and from which thou art so loth to depart. 'Tis no disparagement to be a stranger, or so irksome to be an exile.

* Herbastein. = Vertomannus navig. 1. 2. c. 4. Commercia in nundinis poctu hora secunda ob nimios qui sæviunt interdiu æstus exercent. Ubi verior contemplatio quam in solitudine? ubi studium solidius quam in quicte? * Alex. ab Alex. gen. dier. lib. 1. cap. 2. p In Ps. 76. non ita laudatur Joseph cum frumenta distribueret, ac quum carcerem habitaret. Boethius.

E 2

" The

* * The rain is a stranger to the earth, rivers to the sea, Jupiter in Egypt, the Sun to us all. The Soul is an alien to the Body, a Nightingale to the ayre, a Swallow in an house, and Ganymede in heaven, an Elephant at Rome, a Phenix in India ;” and such things commonly please us best, which are most strange and come the farthest off. Those old Hebrews esteemed the whole world Gentiles; the Greeks held all Barbarians but theinselves; our modern Italians account of us as dull Transalpines by way of reproach, they scorn thee and thy country which thou so much adınirest. 'Tis a childish humour to hone after home, to be discontent at that which others seek; to prefer, as base Islanders and Norvegians do, their own ragged Iland before Italy or Greece, the Gardens of the world. There is a base nation in the North, saith + Pliny, called Chauci, that live amongst rocks and sands by the seaside, feed on fish, drink water: and yet these base people account themselves slaves in respect, when they come to Rome. Ita est profectò (as he concludes) multis fortuna parcit in panam, So it is, Fortune favours some to live at home, to their further punishment: 'tis want of judgment. All places are distant from heaven alike, the Sun shines happily as warm in one city as in another, and to a wise man there is no difference of climes? friends are every where to him that behaves himself well, and a Prophet is not esteemed in his own country. Alexander, Cæsar, Trajan, Adrian, were as so many land-leapers, now in the East, now in the West, little at home, and Polus Venetus, Lod. Vertomannus, Pinzonus, Cadamustus, Columbus, Americus Vesputius, Vascus Gama, Drake, Candish, Oliver Anort, Schoutien, got all their honour by voluntary expeditions. But you say such men's travel is voluntary; we are compelled, and as malefactors must depart : yet know this of Plato to be true, ultori Deo summa cura peregrinus est, God hath an especial care of strangers, “and when he wants friends and allies, he shall deserve better and find more favour with God and men.” Besides the pleasure of peregrination, variety of objects will make amends; and so many nobles, Tully, Aristides, Themistocles, Theseus, Codrus, &c. as have been banished, will give sufficient credit unto it. Read Pet, Alcionius his two books of this subject.

* Philostratus in deliciis. Peregrini sunt imbres in terra & fluvii in mari Jupiter apud Ægyptos, sol apud omnes; hospes anima in corpore, luscinia in aere, hirundo in domo, Ganymedes culo, &c. + Lib. 16. cap. 1. Nullam frugem habent, potus ex imbre: Et hæ gentos si vincantur, &c. Lib. 5. de legibus. Cumq; cognatis careat & amicis, majorem apud deos & apud homines misericordiam meretur.

MEMB

MEMB. V. Against sorrow for death of friends or otherwise, vain

fear, &c. N EATH and departure of friends are things generally griev

ous, . Omnium quæ in humana vita contingunt, luctus atque mors sunt acerbissima, the most austere and bitter accidents that can happen to a man in this life, in æternum valedicere, to part for ever, to forsake the world and all our friends, 'tis ultimum terribilium, the last and the greatest terrour, most irkesome and troublesome unto us, * Homo toties moritur, quoties amittit suos. And though we hope for a better life, eternall happiness, after these painfull and miserable daies, yet we cannot compose our selves willingly to dye; the remembrance of it is most grievous unto us, especially to such who are fortunate and rich : they start at the name of death, as an horse at a rotten post. Say what you can of that other world, - Metezuma that Indian Prince, Bonum est esse hic, they had rather be here. Nay many generous spirits, and grave staid men otherwise, are so tender in this, that at the loss of a dear friend they will cry out, roare, and tear their hair, lamenting some months after, houling “O Hone,” as those Irish women and · Greeks at their graves, commit many undecent actions, and almost go besides themselves. My dear father, my sweet husband, mine only brother's dead, to whom shall I make my moan? O me miserum!

“Quis dabit in lachrymas fontem, &c." What shall I do?

“ Sed totum hoc studium luctu fraterna mihi mors

Abstulit, hei misero frater adempte mihi !"
My brother's death my study hath undone,

Woe's me, alas my brother he is gone!
Mezentius would not live after his son:

“ * Nunc vivo, nec adhuc homines lucemq; relinquo,

Sed linquam And Pompey's wife cryed out at the news of her husband's death,

* Cardan. de consol. lib. 2. * Seneca.

Benzo.

Summo mane ululatum oriuntur, pectora percutientes, &c. miserabile spectaculum exhibcntes. Ortelius in Græcia. u Catullus. * Virgil,

E 3

“ Turpe

« السابقةمتابعة »