« ForrigeFortsæt »
religion; and the breach of them is directly criminal, when the instance violates any end of justice, or charity, or sobriety, either designed in nature's first intention, or superinduced by God or man. For every thing that is unreasonable to some certain purpose, is not presently criminal, much less is it against the law of nature, (unless every man, that goes out of his way, sins against the law of nature); and every contradicting of a natural desire or inclination, is not a sin against a law of nature. For the restraining sometimes of a lawful and a permitted desire is an act of great virtue, and pursues a greater reason; as in the former instance. But those things only, against which such a reason as mixes with charity or justice, or something that is now in order to a farther end of a commanded instance of piety, may be without error brought, those things are only criminal. And God, having first made our instincts reasonable, hath now made our reason and instincts to be spiritual ; and having sometimes restrained our instincts, and always made them regular, he hath, by the intermixture of other principles, made a separation of instinct from instinct, leaving one in the form of natural inclination, and they rise no higher than a permission or a decency, it is lawful, or it is comely so to do: (for no man can affirm it to be a duty to kill him, that assaults my life, or to maintain my children for ever without their own industry, when they are able, what degrees of natural fondness soever I have towards them ; nor that I sin, if I do not marry, when I can contain :) and yet every one of these may proceed from the affections and first inclinations of nature. But until they mingle with justice, or charity, or some instance of religion and obedience, they are no laws; the other that are so mingled, being raised to duty and religion. Nature inclines us, and reason judges it apt and requisite in order to certain ends; but then every particular of it is made to be an act of religion from some other principle : as yet, it is but fit and reasonable, not religion and particular duty, till God or man hath interposed. But whatsoever particular in nature was fit to be made a law of religion, is made such by the superaddition of another principle; and this is derived to us by tradition from Adam to Noah, or else transmitted to us by the consent of all the world upon a natural and prompt reason, or else by some other instrument derived to us from God, but especially by the Christian religion, which hath adopted all those things which we call “ things honest, things comely, and things of good report,” into a law and a duty: as appears Phil. iv. 8.
8. Upon these propositions I shall infer, by way of instance, that it is a duty, that women should nurse their own children. For, first, it is taught to women by that instinct which nature hath implanted in them. For, as Phavorinus the philosopher discoursed, it is but to be half a mother to bring forth children, and not to nourish them; and it is some kind of abortion, or an exposing of the infant, which, in the reputation of all wise nations, is infamous and uncharitable. And if the name of mother be an appellative of affection and endearments, why should the mother be willing to divide it with a stranger? The earth is the mother of us all, not only because we were made of her red clay, but chiefly that she daily gives us food from her bowels and breasts; and plants and beasts give nourishment to their offsprings, after their production, with greater tenderness than they bare them in their wombs : and yet women give nourishment to the embryo, which, whether it be deformed or perfect, they know not, and cannot love what they never saw; and yet when they do see it, when they have rejoiced that a child is born, and forgotten the sorrows of production, they, who then can first begin to love it, if they begin to divorce the infant from the mother, the object from the affection, cut off the opportunities and occasions of their charity or piety.
9. For why hath nature given to women two exuberant fontinels, which,“ like two roes that are twins, feed
among the lilies," and drop milk like dew from Hermon, and hath invited that nourishment from the secret recesses, where the infant dwelt at first, up to the breast where naturally now the child is cradled in the entertainments of love and maternal embraces; but that nature, having removed the babe, and carried its meat after it, intends that it should be preserved
• Apud A. Gellium, 1. xii. c. 1.
d Cant. 4. 5. e Ilicet exundans claustris, erumpere gestit
by the matter and ingredients of its constitution, and have the same diet prepared with a more mature and proportionable digestion ? If nature intended them not for nourishment, I am sure it less intended them for pride and wantonness ; they are needless excrescences and vices of nature, unless employed in nature's work and proper intendment. And if it be a matter of consideration, of what blood children are derived, we may also consider, that the derivation continues after the birth; and therefore, abating the sensuality, the nurse is as much the mother as she that brought it forth ; and so much the more, as there is a longer communication of constituent nourishment (for so are the first emanations) in. this, than in the other. So that here is first the instinct, or prime intendment, of nature.
10. Secondly: And that this instinct may also become humane and reasonable, we see it by experience in many places, that foster-children are dearer to the nurse than to the mother, as receiving and ministering respectively perpetual prettinesses of love, and fondness, and trouble, and need, and invitations, and all the instruments of endearment; besides a vicinity of dispositions and relative tempers by the communication of blood and spirits from the nurse to the suckling, which makes use the more natural, and nature more accustomed. And, therefore, the affections, which these exposed or derelict children bear to their mothers, have no grounds of nature or assiduity, but civility and opinion 8; and that little of love, which is abated from the foster-parents, upon public report that they are not natural, that little is transferred to mothers upon the same opinion, and no more. Hence come those unnatural aversions, those unrelenting dispositions, those carelessnesses and incurious deportments towards their children, which are such ill sown seeds, from whence may arise up a bitterness of disposition and mutual provocation. The affection, which children bear to their nurses, was highly remarked in the instance of Scipio Asiaticus, who rejected the importunity of his brother Africanus in behalf of the ten captains, who were condemned for offering violence to the Vestals, but pardoned them at the request of his foster-sister :
8 Obliteratis et abolitis nativæ pietatis elementis, quicquid ità educati liberi amare patrem atque matrem videntur, magnani partem non naturalis ille amor est, sed civilis et opinabilis.-- Pharor, apud A. Gellium.
and being asked, why he did more for his nurse's daughter than for his own mother's son ?
this answer: I esteem her rather to be my mother, that brought me up, than her, that bare me and forsook me.” And I have read the observation, that many tyrants have killed their mothers, but never any did violence to his nurse ; as if they were desirous to suck the blood of their mother raw, which she refused to give to them digested into milk. And the bastard-brother of the Gracchi, returning from his victories in Asia to Rome, presented his mother with a jewel of silver, and his nurse with a girdle of gold, upon the same account. Sometimes children are exchanged, and artificial bastardies introduced into a family, and the right heir supplanted. It happened so to Artabanus, king of Epirus. His child was changed at nurse, and the son of a mean knight succeeded in the kingdom ; the event of which was this : The nurse too late discovered the treason; a bloody war was commenced ; both the pretenders slain in battle ; and the kingdom itself was usurped by Alexander, the brother to Olympias, the wife of Philip the Macedonian. At the best, though there happen no such extravagant and rare accidents, yet it is not likely, a stranger should love the child better than the mother; and if the mother's care could suffer it to be exposed, a stranger's care may suffer it to be neglected. For how shall a hireling endure the inconveniences, the tediousnesses, and unhandsomenesses of a nursery, when she, whose natural affection might have made it pleasant, out of wantonness or softness hath declined the burden ? But the sad accidents, which, by too frequent observation, are daily seen happening to nursechildren, give great probation, that this intendment of nature, designing mothers to be the nurses, that their affection might secure and increase their care, and the care best provide for their babes, is most reasonable, and proportionable to the discourses of humanity.
11. But as this instinct was made reasonable, so in this also the reason is in order to grace and spiritual effects; and, therefore, is among those things, which God hath separated from the common instincts of nature, and made properly to be laws, by the mixtures of justice and charity. For it is part of that education, which mothers, as a duty, owe to their children, that they do, in all circumstances, and with all their
powers, which God to that purpose gave them, promote their capacities and improve their faculties". Now, in this also, as the temper of the body is considerable in order to the inclinations of the soul, so is the nurse in order to the temper of the body; and a lamb sucking a goat, or a kid sucking an ewe, change their fleece and hair respectively, say naturalists. For if the soul of man were put into the body of a mole, it could not see nor speak, because it is not fitted with an instrument apt and organical to the faculty; and when the soul hath its proper instruments, its music is pleasant or harsh, according to the sweetness or the unevenness of the string it touches : for David himself could not have charmed Saul's melancholic spirit with the strings of his bow, or the wood of his spear. And just so are the actions or dispositions of the soul, angry or pleasant, lustful or cold, querulous or passionate, according as the body is disposed by the various intermixtures of natural qualities. And as the carelessness of nurses hath sometimes returned children to their parents crooked, consumptive, half starved, and unclean, from the impurities of nature; so their society and their nourishment together have disposed them to peevishness, to lust, to drunkenness, to pride, to low and base demeanours, to stubbornness. And as a man would have been unwilling to have had a child by Harpaste, Seneca's wife's fool; so he would, in all reason, be as unwilling to have had her to be the nurse : for very
often mothers by the birth do not transmit their imperfections, yet it seldom happens, but the nurse does : which is the more considerable, because nurses are commonly persons of no great rank, certainly lower than the mother, and, by consequence, liker to return their children with the lower and more servile conditions; and commonly those vainer people teach them to be peevish and proud, to lie, or at least seldom give them any first principles contrariant to the nurse's vice. And, therefore, it concerns the parent's care, in order to a virtuous life of the child, to secure its first seasonings; because, whatever it sucks in first, it swallows and believes
h Nam Gracchorum eloquentiæ multum contulisse accepimus Corneliam Matrem. — Quint. I. i. c. 1. Protinus ut erit parens factus, acrem quàm maximè curam impendat, ante omnia ne sit vitiosus sermo nutricibus, quas, si fieri posset, sapientes Chrysippus optavit. — Quint. lib. i. cap. 1. Γάλα αλλότριον βλαβερών, γάλα ίδιον ωφέλιμον. -- Hippoc. 1. de Alimento. καθάπες αι τίτθαι γε, σιτίζεις κακώς. - Aristoph.