صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

But what moved him to this strange solitariness hath been imparted, as I think, but to one perSon living. Myself can conjecture, and indeed more than conjecture, by this accident that I will tell you. I have an only son, by name Clitophon, who is now absent, preparing for his own marriage, which I mean shortly shall be here celebrated. This son of mine, while the prince kept his court, was of his bedchamber; now, since the breaking up thereof, returned home; and showed me, among other things he had gathered, the copy which he had taken of a letter, which, when the prince had read, he had laid in a window, presuming nobody durst look in his writings; but my son not only took a time to read it, but to copy it. In truth I blamed Clitophon for the curiosity which made him break his duty in such a kind, whereby kings' secrets are subject to be reVealed; but, since it was done, I was content to take so much profit as to know it. Now here is the letter, that I ever since for my good liking, have carried about me; which before I read unto you, I must tell you from whom it Came. It is a nobleman of this country, named Philanax, appointed by the prince regent in this time of his retiring, and most worthy so to be; for there lives no man whose excellent wit more simply embraceth integrity, besides his unseigned love to his master, wherein never Yet any could make question, saving whether he loved Basilius or the prince better; a rare temper, while most men either servilely yield to all appetites, or with an obstinate austerity, looking to that they fancy good, in effect neglect the prince's person. This, then, being the man, whom of all other, and most worthy, the prince chiefly loves, it should seem (for more than the letter I have not to guess by) that the prince, upon his return from Delphos (Philanax then lying sick), had written unto him his determination, rising, as evidently appears, upon some oracle he had there retrived, whereunto he wrote this answer.

PHILANAx His LETTER To BASILIUs

"Most redouted and beloved prince, if as Wellithad pleased you at your going to Delphos * now, to have used my humble service, both I hould in better season, and to better purpose have spoken; and you (if my speech had preValled) should have been at this time, as no way more in danger, so much more in quiet*ś; I would then have said, that wisdom "d virtue be the only destinies appointed to

man to follow, whence we ought to seek all our knowledge, since they be such guides as cannot fail; which, besides their inward comfort, do lead so direct a way of proceeding, as either prosperity must ensue; or, if the wickedness of the world should oppress it, it can never be said, that evil happeneth to him, who falls accompanied with virtue. I would then have

said, the heavenly powers to be reverenced, and

not searched into; and their mercies rather by prayers to be sought, than their hidden counsels by curiosity; these kind of soothsayers (since they' have left us in ourselves sufficient guides) to be nothing but fancy, wherein there must either be vanity, or infallibleness, and so, either not to be respected, or not to be prevented. But since it is weakness too much to remember what should have been done, and that your commandment stretcheth to know what is to be done, I do (most dear Lord) with humble boldness say, that the manner of your determination doth in no sort better please me, than the cause of your going. These thirty years you have so governed this region, that neither your subjects have wanted justice in you, nor you obedience in them; and your neighbours have found you so hurtlessly? strong, that they thought it better to rest in your friendship, than make new trial of your enmity. If this then have proceeded out of the good constitution of your state, and out of a wise providence, generally to prevent all those things, which might encumber your happiness: why should you now seek new courses, since your own ensample comforts you to continue, and that it is to me most certain (though it please you not to tell me the very words of the Oracle) that yet no destiny, nor influence whatsoever, can bring man's wit to a higher point, than wisdom and goodness? Why should you deprive yourself of government, for fear of losing your government (like one that should kill himself for fear of death)? Nay rather, if this Oracle be to be accounted of, arm up your courage the more against it; for who will stick to him that abandons himself? Let your subjects have you in their eyes; let them see the benefits of your justice daily more and more; and so must they needs rather like of present sureties than uncertain changes, Lastly, whether your time call you to live or die, do both like a prince. Now for your second resolution; which is, to suffer no worthy

i.e. the heavenly powers 2 not doing injury to others

prince to be a suitor to either of your daughters, but while you live to keep them both unmarried; and, as it were, to kill the joy of posterity, which in your time you may enjoy: moved perchance by a misunderstood Oracle: what shall I say, if the affection of a father to his own children, cannot plead sufficiently against such fancies? Once," certain it is, the

God which is God of nature doth never teach .

unnaturalness: and even the same mind hold I touching your banishing them from company, lest I know not what strange loves should follow. Certainly, Sir, in my ladies, your daughters, nature promiseth nothing but goodness, and their education by your fatherly care hath been hitherto such as hath been most fit to restrain all evil: giving their minds virtuous delights, and not grieving them for want of well-ruled liberty. Now to fall to a sudden straitening them, what can it do but argue suspicion, a thing no more unpleasant than unsure for the preserving of virtue? Leave women's minds the most untamed that way of any: see whether any cage can please a bird! or whether a dog grow not fiercer with tying! What doeth jealousy, but stir up the mind to think, what it is from which they are restrained? For they are treasures, or things of great delight, which men use to hide, for the aptness they have to catch men's fancies: and the thoughts once awaked to that, harder sure it is to keep those thoughts from accomplishment, than it had been before to have kept the mind (which being the chief part, by this means is defiled) from thinking. Lastly, for the recommending so principal a charge of the Princess Pamela, (whose mind goes beyond the governing of many thousands such) to such a person as Dametas is (besides that the thing in itself is strange) it comes of a very evil ground, that ignorance should be the mother of faithfulness. Oh, no; he cannot be good, that knows not why he is good, but stands so far good as his fortune may keep him unassayed: but coming once to that, his rude simplicity is either easily changed, or easily deceived: and so grows that to be the last excuse of his fault, which seemed to have been the first foundation of his faith. Thus far hath your commandment and my zeal drawn me; which I, like a man in a valley that may discern hills, or like a poor passenger that may spy a rock, so humbly submit to your gracious consideration, beseeching you again, to stand wholly upon your own virtue, as the

* in short

surest way to maintain you in that you are, and to avoid any evil which may be imagined.’ “By the contents of this letter you may perceive, that the cause of all, hath been the vanity which possesseth many, who (making a perpetual mansion of this poor baiting place of man's life) are desirous to know the certainty of things to come; wherein there is nothing so certain, as our continual uncertainty. But what in particular points the oracle was, in faith I know not: neither (as you may see by one place of Philanax's letter) he himself distinctly knew. But this experience shows us, that Basilius' judgment, corrupted with a rince's fortune, hath rather heard than folowed the wise (as I take it) counsel of Philanax. For, having lost the stern of his government, with much amazement to the people, among whom many strange bruits’ are received for current, and with some appearance of danger in respect of the valiant Amphalus his nephew, and much envy in the ambitious number of the nobility against Philanax, to see Philanax so advanced, though (to speak simply) he deserve more than as many of us as there be in Arcadia: the prince himself hath hidden his head in such sort as I told you, not sticking” plainly to confess that he means not (while he breathes) that his daughters shall have any husband, but keep them thus solitary with him: where he gives no other body leave to visit him at any time, but a certain priest, who being excellent in poetry, he makes him write out such things as he best likes, he being no less delightful in conversation, than needful for devotion, and about twenty specified shepherds, in whom (some for exercises, and some for eclogues) he taketh greater recreation. “And now you know as much as myself: wherein if I have held you over long, lay hardly" the fault upon my old age, which in the very disposition of it is talkative: whether it be (said he smiling) that nature loves to exercise that part most, which is least decayed, and that is our tongue: or, that knowledge being the only thing whereof we poor old men can brag, we cannot make it known but by utterance; or, that mankind by all means seeking to eternise himself so much the more, as he is near his end, doeth it not only by the children that come of him, but by speeches and writings recommended to the memory of hearers and readers. And yet thus much I will say for

* rudder * rumors "hesitating “hardily

myself, that I have not laid these matters, either so openly, or largely to any as yourself: so much (if I much fail not) do I see in you, which makes me both love and trust you.” “Never may he be old,” answered Palladius, “that doeth not reverence that age, whose heaviness, if it weigh down the frail and fleshly balance, it as much lifts up the noble and spiritual part: and well might you have alleged another reason, that their wisdom makes them willing to profit others. And that have I received of you, never to be forgotten, but with ungratefulness. But among many strange conceits you told me, which have showed effects in your prince, truly even the last, that he should conceive such pleasure in shepherds' discourses, would not seem the least unto me, saving that you told me at the first, that this Country is notable in those wits, and that indeed my self having been brought not only to this place, but to my life, by Strephon and Claius, in their conference found wits as might better become such shepherds as Homer speaks of that be governors of peoples, than such senators who hold their council in a sheepcote.” “For them two (said Kalander) especially Claius, they are beyond the rest by so much, as learning commonly doth add to nature: for, having neglected their wealth in respect of their knowledge, they have not so much impaired the meaner, as they bettered the better. Which all notwithstanding, it is a sport to hear how they impute to love, which hath indued their thoughts (say they) with such a strength. “But certainly, all the people of this country from high to low, is given to those sports of the wit, so as you would wonder to hear how soon even children will begin to versify. Once, ordinary it is among the meanest sort, to make songs and dialogues in meter, either love whetting their brain, or long peace having begun it, example and emulation amending it. Not so much, but the clown Dametas will stumble Sometimes upon some songs that might become # better brain: but no sort of people so excelknt in that kind as the pastors; for their living standing” but upon the looking to their beasts, they have ease, the nurse of poetry. Neither are our shepherds such, as (I hear) they be in other countries; but they are the very owners of the sheep, to which either themselves look, or their children give daily attendance. And

* in short * depending

then truly, it would delight you under some tree, or by some river's side (when two or three of them meet together) to hear their rural muse, how prettily it will deliver out, sometimes joys, sometimes lamentations, sometimes challengings one of the other, sometimes under hidden forms uttering such matters, as otherwise they durst not deal with. Then they have most commonly one, who judgeth the prize to the best doer, of which they are no less glad, than great princes are of triumphs: and his part is to set down in writing all that is said, save that it may be, his pen with more leisure doth polish the rudeness of an unthought-on song. Now the choice of all (as you may well think) either for goodness of voice, or pleasantness of wit, the prince hath: among whom also there are two or three strangers, whom inward melancholies having made weary of the world's eyes, have come to spend their lives among the country people of Arcadia; and their conversation being well approved, the prince vouchsafeth them his presence, and not only by looking on, but by great courtesy and liberality, animates the shepherds the more exquisitely to labour for his good liking. So that there is no cause to blame the prince for sometimes hearing them; the blameworthiness is, that to hear them, he rather goes to solitariness than makes them come to company. Neither do I accuse my master for advancing a countryman, as Dametas is, since God forbid, but where worthiness is (as, truly, it is among divers of that fellowship) any outward lowness should hinder the highest raising; but that he would needs make election of one, the baseness of whose mind is such, that it sinks a thousand degrees lower than the basest body could carry the most base fortune: which although it might be answered for the prince, that it is rather a trust he hath in his simple plainness, than any great advancement, being but chief herdman; yet all honest hearts feel, that the trust of their lord goes beyond all advancement. But I am ever too long upon him, when he crosseth the way of my speech, and by the shadow of yonder tower, I see it is a fitter time, with our supper to pay the duties we owe to our stomachs, than to break the air with my idle discourses: and more wit I might have learned of Homer (whom even now you mentioned) who never entertained either guests or hosts with long speeches, till the mouth of hunger be thoroughly stopped.” So withal he rose, leading Palladius through the garden again to the parlour, where they used to sup; Palladius assuring him, that he had already been more fed to his liking, than he could be by the skilfullest trencher-men of Media.

RICHARD HOOKER (1554?–1600)

OF THE LAWS OF ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY

FROM BOOK I

Thus far therefore we have endeavoured in part to open, of what nature and force laws are, according unto their several kinds; the law which God with himself hath eternally set down to follow in his own works; the law which he hath made for his creatures to keep; the law of natural and necessary agents; the law which Angels in heaven obey; the law whereunto by the light of reason men find themselves bound in that they are men; the law which they make by composition for multitudes and politic societies of men to be guided by; the law which belongeth unto each nation; the law that concerneth the fellowship of all; and lastly the law which God himself hath supernaturally revealed. It might peradventure have been more popular and more plausible to vulgar ears, if this first discourse had been spent in extolling the force of laws, in showing the great necessity of them when they are good, and in aggravating their offence by whom public laws are injuriously traduced. But forasmuch as with such kind of matter the passions of men are rather stirred one way or other, than their knowledge any way set forward unto the trial of that whereof there is doubt made; I have therefore turned aside from that beaten path, and chosen though a less easy yet a more profitable way in regard of the end we propose. Lest therefore any man should marvel whereunto all these things tend, the drift and purpose of all is this, even to show in what manner, as every good and perfect gift, so this very gift of good and perfect laws is derived from the Father of lights; to teach men a reason why just and reasonable laws are of so great force, of so great use in the world; and to inform their minds with some method of reducing the laws whereof there is present controversy unto their first original causes, that so it may be in every particular ordinance thereby the better discerned, whether the same be reasonable, just, and righteous, or no. Is there anything which can either be

thoroughly understood or soundly judged of, till the very first causes and principles from which originally it springeth be made manifest? If all parts of knowledge have been thought by wise men to be then most orderly delivered and proceeded in, when they are drawn to their first original; seeing that our whole question concerneth the quality of ecclesiastical laws, let it not seem a labour superfluous that in the entrance thereunto all these several kinds of laws have been considered, inasmuch as they all concur as principles, they all have their forcible operations therein, although not all in like apparent and manifest manner. By means whereof it cometh to pass that the force which they have is not observed of many. Easier a great deal it is for men by law to be taught what they ought to do, than instructed how to judge as they should do of law: the one being a thing which belongeth generally unto all, the other such as none but the wiser and more judicious sort can perform. Yea, the wisest are always, touching this point, the readiest to acknowledge that soundly to judge of a law is the weightiest thing which any man can take upon him. But if we will give judgment of the laws under which we live, first let that law eternal be always before our eyes, as being of principal force and moment to breed in religious minds a dutiful estimation of all laws, the use and benefit whereof we see; because there can be no doubt but that laws apparently good are (as it were) things copied out of the very tables of that high everlasting law; even as the book of that law hath said concerning itself, “By me Kings reign, and by me Princes decree justice.” Not as if men did behold that book and accordingly frame their laws; but because it worketh in them, because it discovereth and (as it were) readeth itself to the world by them, when the laws which they make are righteous. Furthermore, although we perceive not the goodness of laws made, nevertheless sith things in themselves may have that which we peradventure discern not, should not this breed a fear in our hearts, how we speak or judge in the worse part concerning that, the unadvised disgrace whereof may be no mean dishonour to Him, towards whom we profess all submission and awe ? Surely there must be very manifest iniquity in laws, against which we shall be able to justify our contumelious invectives. The chiefest root whereof, when we use them without cause, is ignorance how laws inferior are derived from that supreme or highest law. The first that receive impression from thence are natural agents. The law of whose operations might be haply thought less pertinent, when the question is about laws for human actions, but that in those very actions which most spiritually and supernaturally concern men the rules and axioms of natural operations have their force. What can be more immediate to our salvation than our persuasion conCerning the law of Christ towards his Church? What greater assurance of love towards his Church than the knowledge of that mystical union whereby the Church is become as near unto Christ as any one part of his flesh is unto Other? That the Church being in such sort his he must needs protect it, what proof more strong than if a manifest law so require, which law it is not possible for Christ to violate? And what other law doth the Apostle for this allege, but such as is both common unto Christ with us, and unto us with other things natural? "No man hateth his own flesh, but doth love and cherish it.” The axioms of that law therefore, whereby natural agents are guided, have their use in the moral, yea, even in the spiritual actions of men, and consequently in all laws belonging unto men howsoever. Neither are the Angels themselves so far Severed from us in their kind and manner of working, but that between the law of their heavenly operations and the actions of men in this our state of mortality such correspondonce there is, as maketh it expedient to know in some sort the one for the other's more perkot direction. Would Angels acknowledge themselves fellow-servants with the sons of men, but that, both having one Lord, there must be some kind of law which is one and the same to both, whereunto their obedience being Perfecter is to our weaker both a pattern and 4 spur? Or would the Apostles, speaking of that which belongeth unto saints as they are linked together in the bond of spiritual society, * often make mention how Angels therewith * delighted, if in things publicly done by the Church we are not somewhat to respect what the Angels of heaven do? Yea, so far hath the Apostle Saint Paul proceeded, as to signify that even about the outward orders of the Church which serve but for comeliness, some *gard is to be had of Angels; who best like * when we are most like unto them in all Parts of decent demeanour. So that the law

* since

of Angels we cannot judge altogether impertinent unto the affairs of the Church of God. Our largeness of speech how men do find out what things reason bindeth them of necessity to observe, and what it guideth them to choose in things which are left as arbitrary; the care we have had to declare the different nature of laws which severally concern all men, from such as belong unto men either civilly or spiritually associated, such as pertain to the fellowship which nations, or which Christian nations have amongst themselves, and in the last place such as concerning every or any of these God himself hath revealed by his holy word: all serveth but to make manifest, that as the actions of men are of sundry distinct kinds, so the laws thereof must accordingly be distinguished. There are in men operations, some natural, some rational, some supernatural, some politic, some finally ecclesiastical: which if we measure not each by his own proper law, whereas the things themselves are so different, there will be in our understanding and judgment of them confusion. As that first error showeth, whereon our opposites in this cause have grounded themselves. For as they rightly maintain that God must be glorified in all things, and that the actions of men cannot tend unto his glory unless they be framed after his law; so it is their error to think that the only law which God hath appointed unto men in that behalf is the sacred scripture. By that which we work naturally, as when we breathe, sleep, move, we set forth the glory of God as natural agents do, albeit we have no express purpose to make that our end, nor any advised determination therein to follow a law, but do that we do (for the most part) not as much as thinking thereon. In reasonable and moral actions another law taketh place; law by the observation whereof we glorify God in such sort, as no creature else under man is able to do; because other creatures have not judgment to examine the quality of that which is done by them, and therefore in that they do they neither can accuse nor approve themselves. Men do both, as the Apostle teacheth; yea, those men which have no written law of God to show what is good or evil, carry written in their hearts the universal law of mankind, the law of reason, whereby they judge as by a rule which God hath given unto all men for that purpose. The law of reason doth somewhat direct men how to honour God as their creator; but how to glorify God in such sort as is required, to the

« السابقةمتابعة »