Billeder på siden

public place must of necessity encounter with many outwardly seeming fair pretexts, especially many contempts and scorns which may much seeing there is no umpire or moderator of matters deject and trouble their minds; and therefore concluded upon, to whom a reason should be they lead for the most part a solitary, private, and tendered. Therefore there is no true and proper obscure life, attended on with a few followers, thing made choice of for the confirmation of faith, and those such as will adore and admire them, and that no celestial power neither, but is indeed like an echo, flatter them in all their sayings, and necessity, (a great god to great potentates,) the applaud them in all their words; so that being peril also of state, and the communication of by this custom seduced and puffed up, and as it profit. As for necessity, it is elegantly representwere stupified with the admiration of themselves, ed by Styx, that fatal and irremeable river; and they are possessed with so strange a sloth and this godhead did Ipichrates, the Athenian, call to idleness, that they grow in a manner benumbed the confirmation of a league, who, because he and defective of all vigour and alacrity. Ele- alone is found to speak plainly that which many gantly doth this flower, appearing in the begin- hide covertly in their breasts, it would not be ning of the spring, represent the likeness of these amiss to relate his words. He observing how men's dispositions, who in their youth do flourish the Lacædemonians had thought upon and proand wax famous; but being come to ripeness of pounded divers cautions, sanctions, confirmations, years, they deceive and frustrate the good hope and bonds, pertaining to leagues, interposed thus : that is conceived of them. Neither is it imper- “Unum Lacædemonii, nobis vobiscum vinculum, tinent that this flower is said to be consecrated to et securitatis ratio esse possit, si plane demonstrethe infernal deities, because men of this disposi- tis, vos ea nobis concessisse, et inter manus posution become unprofitable to all human things. isse, ut vobis facultas lædendi nos si maxime velFor whatsoever produceth no fruit of itself, but letis minime suppetere possit.” There is one passeth and vanisheth as if it never had been, thing, oh Lacædemonians ! that would link us like the way of a ship in the sea, that the an- unto you in the bond of amity, and be the occacients were wont to dedicate to the ghosts, and sion of peace and security, which is, if you would powers below.

plainly demonstrate that you have yielded up

and put into our hands such things as that, would STYX, OR LEAGUES.

you hurt us never so fain, you should yet be dis

furnished of means to do it. If, therefore, the The oath by which the gods were wont to power of hurting be taken away, or if, by breach oblige themselves when they meant to ratify any of league, there follow the danger of the ruin or thing so firmly as never to revoke it, is a thing diminution of the state or tribute, then indeed the well known to the vulgar, as being mentioned leagues may seem to be ratified and established, almost in every fable, which was, when they did and as it were confirmed by the sacrament of not invoke or call to witness any celestial majesty the Stygian lake; seeing that it includes the fear or divine power, but only the river Styx, that with of prohibition and suspension from the table of crooked and meandry turnings encircleth the pa- the gods, under which name the laws and preroglace of the infernal Dis. This was held as the atives, the plenty and felicity of a kingdom were only manner of their sacrament, and, besides it, signified by the ancients. not any other vow to be accounted firm and inviolable, and therefore the punishment to be inflicted,

PAN, OR NATURE. if any did perjure themselves, was, that for certain years they should be put out of commons, The ancients have exquisitely described Naand not to be admitted to the table of the gods. ture under the person of Pan, whose original

This fable seems to point at the leagues and they leave doubtful; for some say that he was the pacts of princes, of which more truly than op- son of Mercury, others attribute unto him a far portunely may be said, that be they never so different beginning, affirming him to be the comstrongly confirmed with the solemnity and reli- mon offspring of Penelope's suitors, upon a susgion of an oath, yet are for the most part of no picion that every one of them had to do with her ; validity; insomuch, that they are made rather which latter relation doubtless gave occasion to with an eye to reputation, and report, and cere- some after writers to entitle this ancient fable mony, than to faith, security, and effect. More with the name of Penelope: a thing very frequent over, add to these the bonds of affinity, as the sa- amongst them when they apply old fictions to craments of nature, and mutual deserts of each young persons and names, and that many times part, and you shall observe, that with a great absurdly and indiscreetly, as may be seen here : many, all these things are placed a degree under for Pan, being one of the ancient gods, was long ambition and profit, and the licentious desire of before the time of Ulysses and Penelope. Bedomination ; and so much the rather, because it sides, for her matrimonial chastity, she was held is an easy thing for princes to defend and cover venerable by antiquity. Neither may we pretertheir unlawful desires and unfaithful vows with I mit the third conceit of his birth: for some say VOL. I-37

2 B



that he was the son of Jupiter and Hybris, which Scriptures without all controversy affirm, and signifies contumely or disdain: but howsoever such of the philosophers as had any smack of dibegotten, the Parcæ, they say, were his sisters. vinity assented unto, or else from the confused He is portrayed by the ancients in this guise; on seeds of things. For they that would have one his head a pair of horns to reach to heaven, his simple beginning, refer it unto God; or if a matebody rough and hairy, his beard long and shaggy, riate beginning, they would have it various in his shape biformed, above like a man, below like power; so that we may end the controversy with a beast, his feet like goats' hoofs; bearing these this distribution, that the world took beginning, ensigns of his jurisdiction, to wit, in his left hand either from Mercury, or from the seeds of all a pipe of seven reeds, and in his right a sheep- things. hook, or a staff crooked at the upper end, and his mantle made of a leopard's skin. His dignities

Namque canebat uti magnum per inane coacta. and offices were these : he was the god of hunt

Semina, terrarumque, animæque marisque fuissent. ers, of shepherds, and of all rural inhabitants ; Et liquidi simul ignis : Et his exordia primis chief president also of hill and mountains; and,

Omnia et ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis." next to Mercury, the ambassador of the gods. For rich-vein'd Orpheus sweetly did rehearse

How that the seeds of fire, air, water, earth, Moreover, he was accounted the leader and com

Were all pact in the vast void universe : mander of the nymphs, which were always wont And how from these, as firstlings, all had birth, to dance the rounds, and frisk about him; he was

And how the body of this orbic frame,

From tender infancy so big became. accosted by the satyrs and the old Sileni. He had power also to strike men with terrors, and But as touching the third conceit of Pan's orithose especially vain and superstitious, which are ginal, it seems that the Grecians, either by intertermed panic fears. His acts were not many, course with the Egyptians, or one way or other, for aught that can be found in records; the chief. had heard something of the Hebrew mysteries; for est was, that he challenged Cupid at wrestling, in it points to the state of the world, not considered which conflict he had the foil. The tale goes, too, in immediate creation, but after the fall of Adam, how that he caught the giant Typhon in a net, and exposed and made subject to death and corruption; held him fast. Moreover, when Ceres, grum- for in that state it was, and remains to this day, bling and chafing that Proserpina was ravished, the offspring of God and sin; and therefore all had hid herself away, and that all the gods took these three narrations concerning the manner of pains, by dispersing themselves into every cor- Pan's birth may seem to be true, if it be rightly ner, to find her out, it was only his good hap, as distinguished between things and times. For he was hunting, to light on her, and acquaint the this Pan, or Nature, which we inspect, contemrest where she was. He presumed also to put it plate, and reverence more than is fit, took beginto trial who was the best musician, he or Apollo; ning from the word of God by the means of conand by the judgment of Midas was indeed prefer- fused matter, and the entrance of prevarication red: but the wise judge had a pair of asses' ears and corruption. The Destinies may well be privily chopped to his noddle. for his sentence. thought the sisters of Pan, or Nature, because Of his love tricks there is nothing reported, or at the beginnings, and continuances, and corruptions, least not much ; a thing to be wondered at, espe- and depressions, and dissolutions, and eminences, cially being among a troop of gods so profusely and labours, and felicities of things, and all the

This only is said of him, that he loved chances which can happen unto any thing, are the nymph Echo, whom he took to wife; and one linked with the chain of causes natural. pretty wench more called Syrinx, towards whom Horns are attributed unto him, because horns Cupid, in an angry and revengful humour, because are broad at the root and sharp at the ends, the so audaciously he had challenged him at wrest- nature of all these things being like a pyramis, ling, inflamed his desire. Moreover, he had no sharp at the top. For individual or singular issue, which is a marvel also, seeing the gods, things being infinite are first collected into species, especially those of the male kind, were very gene- which are many also ; then from species into ge. rative, only he was the reputed father of a little nerals, and from generals, by ascending, are congirl called lambe, that with many pretty tales tracted into things or notions more general ; so was wont to make strangers merry: but some that at length Nature may seem to be contracted think that he did indeed beget her by his wife into an unity. Neither is it to be wondered at lambe.

that Pan toucheth heaven with his horns, seeing This, if any be, is a noble tale, as being laid the height of nature or universal ideas do in some out and big bellied with the secrets and mysteries sort pertain to things divine ; and there is a ready of nature. Pan, as his name imports, represents and short passage from metaphysic to natural thesand lays open the all of things or nature. Con-logy. cerning his original there are two only opinions The body of nature is elegantly and with deep that go for current; for either he came of Mercu- judgment depainted hairy, representing the beams ly, that is, the Word of God, which the Holy or operations of creatures; for beams are, as it


[ocr errors]

were, the hairs and bristles of nature; and every thority onght in very deed to be crooked in the creature is either more or less beamy, which is upper end. most apparent in the faculty of seeing, and no Pan's cloak or mantle is ingeniously feigned Jess in every virtue and operation that effectuates to be a skin of a leopard, because it is full of upon a distant object; for whatsoever works up spots : so the heavens are spotted with stars, the any thing afar off, that may rightly be said to dart sea with rocks and islands, the land with flowers, forth rays or beams.

and every particular creature also is for the most Moreover, Pan's beard is said to be exceeding part garnished with divers colours about the long, because the beams or influences of celestial superficies, which is as it were a mantle unto it. bodies do operate and pierce farthest of all; and The office of Pan can be by nothing so lively the sun, when his higher half is shadowed with a conceived and expressed, as by feigning him to cloud, his beams break out in the lower, and be the god of hunters; for every natural action, looks as if he were bearded.

and so by consequence motion and progression, is Nature is also excellently set forth with a bi- nothing else but a hunting. Arts and sciences formed body, with respect to the differences be- have their works, and human counsels their ends, tween superior and inferior creatures. For one which they earnestly hunt after. All natural part, by reason of their pulchritude and equability things have either their food as a prey, or their of motion, and constancy and dominion over the pleasure as a recreation which they seek for, and earth and earthly things, is worthily set out by that in a most expert and sagacious manner. the shape of man; and the other part in respect

“ Torva leæna lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam. of their perturbations and unconstant motions, Florentem cytisum, sequitur lasciva capella. and therefore needing to be moderated by the

The hungry lioness, with sharp desire, celestial, may be well fitted with the figure of a Purswes the wolf, the wolf the wanton goat: brute beast. This description of his body per

The goawagairr doth greedily aspire tains also to the participation of species; for no

To have the trefoil juice pass down her throat. natural being seems to be simple, but as it werd Pan is also said to be the god of the countryparticipated and compounded of two; as for ex- clowns because man of this condition lead lives ample, man hath something of a beast, a beast morejagreegbrean nature than those that live something of a plant, a plant something of inani- in cities and count of princes, where nature, by mate body, of that all natural things are in very too much art, is corrupted; so as the saying of deed biformed, that is to say, compounded of a the.poed, though in the sense of love, might be superior and inferior species.

Here verified :: It is a witty allegory that same, of the feet of " Pars minima estipsa puella sui." the goat, by reason of the upward tending motion The marto trick'd herself with art, of terrestial bodies towards the air and heaven ;

That of herself she is leastepart. for the goat is a climbing creature, that loves to be He was held to be lord president of the mounhanging about the rocks and steep mountains; tains; because in the high mountains and hills and this is done also in a wonderful manner even natyreslayer perself most open, and men most apt by those things which are destinated to this infe- to view and contemplatiga, rior globe, as may manifestly appear in clouds Wiheteas Pan is said to be, next unto Mercury, and meteors.

the messenger of the gods, there is in that a The two ensigns which Pan bears in his hands divine mystery cohtaineds for, ngat to the word do point, the one at harmony, the other at empire : of God, the image of the world proclaims the for the pipe, consisting of seven reeds, doth evi- power and wisdom divine, as•sings the sacred dently demonstrate the consent, and harmony, and poet. Psal. xix. 17. Cok enarrant gloriam Dei discordant concord of all inferior creatures, which atque opera manuum ejus indicat firmamentum.” is caused by the motion of the seven planets : and The heavens declare the glory of God, and the that of the sheep-hook may be excellently applied firmament showeth the works of his hands. to the order of nature, which is partly right, The nymphs, that is, the souls of living things, partly crooked : this staff therefore or rod is spe- take grešt delight in Ban: for these souls are the cially crooked in the upper end, because all the delights or minions of nature; and the direction works of divine Providence in the world are done or conduct of these nymphs is, with great reason, in a far-fetched and circular manner, so that one attributed unto - Pan, because the souls of all thing may seem to be effected, and yet indeed a things living do follow their natural dispositions clean contrary brought to pass, as the selling of as their guides, and with infinite variety every Joseph into Egypt, and the like. Besides, in all one of therk, after his own fashion, doth leap, wise human government, they that sit at the helm and frisk, and dance, with incessant motions do more happily bring their purposes about, and about her. The satyrs and Sileni also, to wil, insinuate more easily into the minds of the people youth and om age, are some of Pan's followers : by pretext and oblique courses than by direct for of all natural things, there is a lively, jocund, methods: so that all sceptres and masses of au- / and, as I may say, a dancing age; and an age


again that is dull, bibling, and reeling. The human judgment, the administration of the world carriages and dispositions of both which ages, and creatures therein, and the more secret judgto some such as Democritus was, that would ments of God, sound very hard and harsh; which observe them duly, might, peradventure, seem as folly, albeit it be well set out with asses' ears, ridiculous and deformed as the gambols of the yet notwithstanding these ears are secret, and do satyrs, or the gestures of the Sileni.

not openly appear; neither is it perceived or noted Of those fears and terrors which Pan is said as a deformity hy the vulgar. to be the author, there may be this wise con- Lastly, it is not to be wondered at, that there struction made: namely, that nature hath bred in is nothing attributed unto Pan concerning loves, every living thing a kind of care and fear tend- but only of his marriage with Echo; for the ing to the preservation of its own life and being, world or nature doth enjoy itself, and in itself all and to the repelling and shunning of all things things else. Now he that loves would enjoy hurtful; and yet nature knows not how to keep a something, but where there is enough there is no mean, but always intermixes vain and empty place left to desire; therefore there can be no fears with such as are discreet and profitable: so wanting love in Pan, or the world, nor desire to that all things, if their insides might be seen, obtain any thing, seeing he is contented with himwould appear full of panic frights; but men, self, but only speeches, which, if plain, may be especially in hard, fearful, and diverse times, are intimated by the nymph Echo, or, if more quaint, wonderfully infatuated with superstition, which by Syrinx. It is an excellent invention that Pan, indeed is nothing else but a panic terror. or the world, is said to make choice of Echo only,

Concerning the audacity of Pan in challenging above all other speeches or voices, for his wife; Cupid at wrestling: the meaning of it is, that for that alone is true philosophy which doth faithmatter wants not inclination and desire to the fully render the very words of the world; and it relapsing and dissolution of the world tuto the is written no otherwise than the world doth dicold chaos, if her malice and violence were not tate, it being nothing else but the image or reflecrestrained and kept in order by the prepotent tion of it, not adding any thing of its own, but unity and agreement of things, signified by Cupid only iterates and resounds. It belongs also to or the god of love; and therefore it was a happy the sufficiency or perfection of the world, that he turn for men, and all things else, that in that begets no issue; for the world doth generate in conflict Pan was found too weak and overcome. respect of its parts; but in respect of the whole,

To the same effect may be interpreted. his how can it generate, seeing without it there is no catching of Typhon in a net; for howsoever there body? Notwithstanding all this, the tale of that may sometimes happen vast and unwonted tu- tattling girl faltered upon Pan, may in very deed, mours, as the name of Typhon imports, either in with great reason, be added to this fable; for by the sea, or in the air, or in the earth, or elsewhere; her are represented those vain and idle paradoxes yet nature doth entangle it in an intricate toil, concerning the nature of things which have been and curb and restrain it as it were with a chain frequent in all ages, and have filled the world of adamant, the excesses and insolencies of these with novelties; fruitless, if you respect the matkind of bodies.

ter; changelings, if you respect the kind ; someBut forasmuch as it was Pan's good fortune to times creating pleasure, sometimes tediousness, find out Ceres as he was hunting, and thought with their overmuch prattling. little of it, which none of the other gods could do, though they did nothing else but seek her,

PERSEUS, OR WAR. and that very seriously, it gives us this true and Perseus is said to have been employed by Palgrave admonition, that we expect not to receive las for the destroying of Medusa, who was very things necessary for life and manners fronr philo-infestuous to the western parts of the world, and sophical abstractions, as from the greater gods, especially about the utmost coasts of Hiberia; a albeit they applied themselves to no other study, monster so dire and horrid, that by her only but from Pan; that is, from the discreet observa- aspect she turned men into stones. This Medusa tion and experience, and the universal knowledge alone of all the Gorgons was mortal, the rest not of the things of this world; whereby, oftentimes subject to death. Perseus, therefore, preparing even by chance, and as it were going a hunting, himself for this noble enterprise, had arms and such inventions are lighted upon.

gifts bestowed on him by three of the gods; The quarrel he made with Apollo about music, Mercury gave him wings annexed to his heels, and the event thereof, contains a wholesome in- Pluto a helmet

, Pallas a shield and a lookingstruction, which may serve to restrain men's rea- glass. Notwithstanding, although he were thus sons and judgments with reins of sobriety, from furnished, he went not directly to Medusa, but boasting and glorying in their gifts; for there first to the Greæ, which, by the mother's side, seems to be a twofold harmony or music, the one were sisters to the Gorgons. These Greæ from of divine providence, and the other of human their birth were hoarheaded, resembling old woreason. Now to the ears of mortals, that is, tolmen; they had but one only eye and one tooth



among them all, both which, she that had oc-| fastened to Perseus' heels and not to his ankles, casion to go abroad, was wont to take with her, to his feet and not to his shoulders; because and at her return to lay them down again. This speed and celerity are required, not so much in eye and tooth they lent to Perseus; and so find the first preparations for war, as in those things ing himself thoroughly furnished for the effecting which second and yield aid to the first; for there of his design, hastens towards Medusa. Her he is no error in war more frequent, than that profound sleeping, and yet durst not present himself secutions and subsidiary forces do fail to answer with his face towards her, lest she should awake; the alacrity of the first onsets. but turning his head aside beheld her in Pallas's Now for that helmet which Pluto gave him, glass, and, by this means directing his blow, cut powerful to make men invisible, the moral is off her head; from whose blood gushing out, plain; but that twofold gift of Providence, to instantly came Pegasus, the flying-horse. Her wit, the shield and looking-glass, is full of mohead thus smote off, Perseus bestows on Pallas's rality; for that kind of providence, which like a shield, which yet retained this virtue, that what- shield avoids the force of blows, is not alone soever looked upon it should become as stupid as needful, but that also by which the strength, and a stone, or one like planet-strucken.

motions, and counsels of the enemy are descried, This fable seems to direct the preparation and as in the looking-glass of Pallas. order that is to be used in making of war; for the But Perseus, albeit he were sufficiently furmore apt and considerate undertaking whereof, nished with aid and courage, yet was he to do three grave and wholesome precepts, savouring of one thing of special importance before he entered the wisdom of Pallas, are to be observed. the lists with this monster, and that was to have

First, That men do not much trouble them- some intelligence with the Greæ. These Greæ selves about the conquest of neighbour nations, are treasons, which may be termed the sisters of seeing that private possessions and empires are war; not descended of the same stock, but far enlarged by different means; for in the augmen- unlike in nobility of birth; for wars are generous tation of private revenues, the vicinity of men's and heroical, but treasons are base and ignoble. territories is to be considered; but in the propa- Their description is elegant, for they are said to gation of public dominions, the occasion and be gray-headed, and like old women from their facility of making war, and the fruit to be ex- birth, by reason that traitors are continually vexed pected ought to be instead of vicinity. Certainly with cares and trepidations. But all their strength, the Romans, what time their conquests towards before they break out into open rebellions, conthe west scarce reached beyond Liguria, did yet sists either in an eye or in a tooth; for every in the east bring all the provinces as far as the faction alienated from any state, contemplates mountain Taurus within the compass of their and bites. Besides, this eye and tooth is as it arms and command; and therefore Perseus, als were common; for whatsoever they can learn though he were bred and born in the east, did not and know is delivered and carried from one to yet refuse to undertake an expedition even to the another by the hands of faction. And as conuttermost bounds of the west.

cerning the tooth, they do all bite alike, and sing Secondly, There must be care had, that the the same song; so that hear one and you hear all. motives of war be just and honourable ; for that Perseus therefore was to deal with these Greæ begets an alacrity as well in the soldiers that for the love of their eye and tooth; their eye to fight as in the people that pay; it draws on and discover, their tooth to sow rumours and stir up procures aids, and brings many other commodities envy, and to molest and trouble the minds of besides. But there is no pretence to take up men. These things therefore being thus disposed arms more pious, than the suppressing of tyranny; and prepared, he addresses himself to the action under which yoke the people lose their courage, of war, and sets upon Medusa as she slept; for a and are cast down without heart and vigour, as in wise captain will ever assault his enemy when the sight of Medusa.

he is unprepared and most secure, and then is Thirdly, It is wisely added, that seeing there there good use of Pallas's glass; for most men, were three Gorgons, by which wars are repre- before it come to the push, can acutely pry into sented, Perseus undertook her only that was and discern their enemies' estate; but the best mortal; that is, he made choice of such a kind use of this glass is in the very point of danger, of war as was likely to be effected and brought that the manner of it may be so considered that to a period, not pursuing vast and endless hopes. the terror may not discourage, which is signified

The furnishing of Perseus with necessaries by that looking into this glass with the face was that which only advanced his attempt, and turned from Medusa. drew fortune to be of his side; for he had speed 'The monster's head being cut off, there fol from Mercury, concealing of his counsels from low two effects. The first was the procreation Orcus, and providence from Pallas.

and raising of Pegasus, by which may be eviNeither is it without an allegory, and that full dently understood fame, that, flying through the of maiter too, t'iat those wings of celerity were world, proclaims victory. The second is the

« ForrigeFortsæt »