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again that is dull, bibling, and reeling. The carriages and dispositions of both which ages, to some such as Democritus was, that would observe them duly, might, peradventure, seem as ridiculous and deformed as the gambols of the satyrs, or the gestures of the Sileni.
Of those fears and terrors which Pan is said to be the author, there may be this wise construction made: namely, that nature hath bred in every living thing a kind of care and fear tending to the preservation of its own life and being, and to the repelling and shunning of all things hurtful; and yet nature knows not how to keep a mean, but always intermixes vain and empty fears with such as are discreet and profitable: so that all things, if their insides might be seen, would appear full of panic frights; but men, especially in hard, fearful, and diverse times, are wonderfully infatuated with superstition, which indeed is nothing else but a panic terror.
human judgment, the administration of the world and creatures therein, and the more secret judgments of God, sound very hard and harsh; which folly, albeit it be well set out with asses' ears, yet notwithstanding these ears are secret, and do not openly appear; neither is it perceived or noted as a deformity by the vulgar.
Lastly, it is not to be wondered at, that there is nothing attributed unto Pan concerning loves, but only of his marriage with Echo; for the world or nature doth enjoy itself, and in itself all things else. Now he that loves would enjoy something, but where there is enough there is no place left to desire; therefore there can be no wanting love in Pan, or the world, nor desire to obtain any thing, seeing he is contented with himself, but only speeches, which, if plain, may be intimated by the nymph Echo, or, if more quaint, by Syrinx. It is an excellent invention that Pan, or the world, is said to make choice of Echo only, above all other speeches or voices, for his wife; for that alone is true philosophy which doth faithfully render the very words of the world; and it is written no otherwise than the world doth dictate, it being nothing else but the image or reflec
Concerning the audacity of Pan in challenging Cupid at wrestling; the meaning of it is, that matter wants not inclination and desire to the relapsing and dissolution of the world to the old chaos, if her malice and violence were not | restrained 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 or the god of love; and therefore it was a happy turn for men, and all things else, that in that conflict Pan was found too weak and overcome.
To the same effect may be interpreted. his catching of Typhon in a net; for howsoever there may sometimes happen vast and unwonted tumours, as the name of Typhon imports, either in the sea, or in the air, or in the earth, or elsewhere; yet nature doth entangle it in an intricate toil, and curb and restrain it as it were with a chain of adamant, the excesses and insolencies of these kind of bodies.
only iterates and resounds. It belongs also to the sufficiency or perfection of the world, that he begets no issue; for the world doth generate in respect of its parts; but in respect of the whole, how can it generate, seeing without it there is no body? Notwithstanding all this, the tale of that tattling girl faltered upon Pan, may in very deed, with great reason, be added to this fable; for by her are represented those vain and idle paradoxes concerning the nature of things which have been frequent in all ages, and have filled the world with novelties; fruitless, if you respect the matter; changelings, if you respect the kind; sometimes creating pleasure, sometimes tediousness, with their overmuch prattling.
PERSEUS, OR WAR.
But forasmuch as it was Pan's good fortune to find out Ceres as he was hunting, and thought little of it, which none of the other gods could do, though they did nothing else but seek her, 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 front 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 seems to be a twofold harmony or music, the one of divine providence, and the other of human Now to the ears of mortals, that is, to
first to the Grea, which, by the mother's side, were sisters to the Gorgons. These Grea from their birth were hoarheaded, resembling old women; 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, as in the looking-glass of Pallas.
This fable seems to direct the preparation and order that is to be used in making of war; for the more apt and considerate undertaking whereof, three grave and wholesome precepts, savouring of the wisdom of Pallas, are to be observed.
First, That men do not much trouble themselves about the conquest of neighbour nations, seeing that private possessions and empires are enlarged by different means; for in the augmentation of private revenues, the vicinity of men's territories is to be considered; but in the propagation of public dominions, the occasion and facility of making war, and the fruit to be expected ought to be instead of vicinity. Certainly the Romans, what time their conquests towards the west scarce reached beyond Liguria, did yet in the east bring all the provinces as far as the mountain Taurus within the compass of their arms and command; and therefore Perseus, although he were bred and born in the east, did not yet refuse to undertake an expedition even to the uttermost bounds of the west.
Secondly, There must be a care had, that the motives of war be just and honourable; for that begets an alacrity as well in the soldiers that fight as in the people that pay; it draws on and procures aids, and brings many other commodities besides. But there is no pretence to take up arms more pious, than the suppressing of tyranny; under which yoke the people lose their courage, and are cast down without heart and vigour, as in the sight of Medusa.
Thirdly, It is wisely added, that seeing there were three Gorgons, by which wars are represented, Perseus undertook her only that was mortal; that is, he made choice of such a kind of war as was likely to be effected and brought to a period, not pursuing vast and endless hopes. The furnishing of Perseus with necessaries was that which only advanced his attempt, and drew fortune to be of his side; for he had speed from Mercury, concealing of his counsels from Orcus, and providence from Pallas.
Neither is it without an allegory, and that full of matter too, that those wings of celerity were
But Perseus, albeit he were sufficiently furnished with aid and courage, yet was he to do one thing of special importance before he entered the lists with this monster, and that was to have some intelligence with the Grea. These Grea are treasons, which may be termed the sisters of war; not descended of the same stock, but far unlike in nobility of birth; for wars are generous and heroical, but treasons are base and ignoble. Their description is elegant, for they are said to be gray-headed, and like old women from their birth, by reason that traitors are continually vexed with cares and trepidations. But all their strength, before they break out into open rebellions, consists either in an eye or in a tooth; for every faction alienated from any state, contemplates and bites. Besides, this eye and tooth is as it were common; for whatsoever they can learn and know is delivered and carried from one to another by the hands of faction. And as concerning the tooth, they do all bite alike, and sing the same song; so that hear one and you hear all. Perseus therefore was to deal with these Grea for the love of their eye and tooth; their eye to discover, their tooth to sow rumours and stir up envy, and to molest and trouble the minds of men. These things therefore being thus disposed and prepared, he addresses himself to the action of war, and sets upon Medusa as she slept; for a wise captain will ever assault his enemy when he is unprepared and most secure, and then is there good use of Pallas's glass; for most men, before it come to the push, can acutely pry into and discern their enemies' estate; but the best use of this glass is in the very point of danger, that the manner of it may be so considered that the terror may not discourage, which is signified by that looking into this glass with the face turned from Medusa.
The monster's head being cut off, there fol low two effects. The first was the procreation and raising of Pegasus, by which may be evidently understood fame, that, flying through the world, proclaims victory. The second is the
bearing of Medusa's head in his shield; to which there is no kind of defence for excellency comparable for the one famous and memorable act prosperously effected and brought to pass, doth restrain the motions and insolencies of enemies and makes Envy herself silent and amazed.
ENDYMION, OR A FAVOURITE.
THE SISTER OF THE GIANTS, OR
It is a poetical relation, that the giants begotten of the earth made war upon Jupiter and the other gods; and by the force of lightning they were resisted and overthrown: whereat the earth being excitated to wrath, in revenge of her children, brought forth Fame, the youngest sister of the
"Illam terra parens ira irritata deorum,
It is said that Luna was in love with the shep-giants. herd Endymion, and in a strange and unwonted manner bewrayed her affection; for he lying in a cave framed by nature under the mountain Latmus, she oftentimes descended from her sphere to enjoy his company as he slept; and after she had kissed him ascended up again. Yet, notwithstanding this, his idleness and sleepy security did not any way impair his estate or fortune; for Luna brought it so to pass, that he alone, of all the rest of the shepherds, had his flock in best plight, and most fruitful.
This fable may have reference to the nature and dispositions of princes; for they being full of doubts and prone to jealousy, do not easily acquaint men of prying and curious eyes, and as it were of vigilant and wakeful dispositions, with the secret humours and manners of their life; but such rather as are of quiet and observant natures, suffering them to do what they list without further scanning, making as if they were ignorant, and perceiving nothing, but of a stupid disposition, and possessed with sleep, yielding unto them simple obedience rather than sly compliments; for it pleaseth princes now and then to descend from their thrones or majesty, like Luna from the superior orb, and laying aside their robes of dignity, which always to be cumbered with would seem a kind of burden, familiarly to converse with men of this condition, which they think may be done without danger; a quality chiefly noted in Tiberius Cæsar, who, of all others, was a prince most severe; yet such only were gracious in his favour, as being well acquainted with his disposition, did yet constantly dissemble as if they knew nothing. This was the custom also of Lewis the Eleventh, King of France, a cautious and wily prince.
Neither is it without elegancy that the cause of Endymion is mentioned in the fable, because that it is a thing usual with such as are the favourites of princes, to have certain pleasant retiring places whither to invite them for recreation both of body and mind, and that without hurt or prejudice to their fortunes also. And indeed these kind of favourites are men commonly well to pass; for princes, although peradventure they promote them not ever to places of honour, yet do they advance them sufficiently by their favour and countenance: neither do they affect them thus only to serve their own turn; but are wont to enrich them now and then with great dignities and bounties.
Provoked by wrathful gods, the mother earth Gives Fame, the giant's youngest sister, birth. The meaning of the fable seems to be thus: By the earth is signified the nature of the vulgar, always swollen and malignant, and still broaching new scandals against superiors, and having gotten fit opportunity stirs up rebels and seditious persons, that with impious courage do molest princes, and endeavour to subvert their estates; but being suppressed, the same natural disposition of the people still leaning to the viler sort, being impatient of peace and tranquillity, spread rumours, raise malicious slanders, repining whisperings, infamous libels, and others of that kind, to the detraction of them that are in authority so as rebellious actions and seditious reports differ nothing in kind and blood, but as it were in sex only, the one sort being masculine and the other feminine.
ACTEON AND PENTHEUS, OR A CU-
THE Curiosity of men in prying into secrets, and coveting with an undiscreet desire to attain the knowledge of things forbidden, is set forth by the ancients in two other examples, the one of Actæon, the other of Pentheus.
Acteon having unawares, and as it were by chance, beheld Diana naked, was turned into a stag, and devoured by his own dogs.
And Pentheus climbing up into a tree with a desire to be a spectator of the hidden sacrifices of Bacchus, was strucken with such a kind of frenzy, as that whatsoever he looked upon he thought it always double, supposing, among other things, he saw two suns and two Thebes; insomuch, that running towards Thebes, spying another Thebes, instantly turned back again, and so kept still running forward and backward with perpetual unrest.
"Eumenidum veluti demens vidit agmina Pentheus, Et solem geminum, et duplices se ostendere Thebas." Pentheus amazed, doth troops of Furies spy; And sun and Thebes seem double to his eye. The first of the fables pertains to the secrets of princes, the second to divine mysteries. For those that are near about princes, and come to the knowledge of more secrets than they would have them, do certainly incur great hatred: and there
fore, suspecting that they are shot at, and oppor- with tumbles back again headlong into hell. tunities watched for their overthrow, do lead their lives like stags, fearful and full of suspicion. And it happens oftentimes that their servants, and those of their household, to insinuate into the prince's favour, do accuse them to their destruction, for against whomsoever the prince's displeasure is known, look how many servants that man hath, and you shall find them for the most part so many traitors unto him, that his end may prove to be like Acteon's.
Orpheus falling into a deep melancholy, became a contemner of women-kind, and bequeathed himself to a solitary life in the deserts; where, by the same melody of his voice and harp, he first drew all manner of wild beasts unto him, who, forgetful of their savage fierceness, and casting off the precipitate provocations of lust and fury, not caring to satiate their voracity by hunting after prey, as at a theatre, in fawning and reconciled amity one towards another, standing all at the gaze about him, and attentively lend their ears to his
The other is the misery of Pentheus; for that by the height of knowledge and nature in philo-music. Neither is this all: for so great was the sophy, having climbed as it were into a tree, do power and alluring force of this harmony, that he with rash attempts, unmindful of their frailty, drew the woods, and moved the very stones to pry into the secrets of divine mysteries, and are come and place themselves in an orderly and justly plagued with perpetual inconstancy, and decent fashion about him. These things succeedwith wavering and perplexed conceits; for seeing happily, and with great admiration for a time; ing the light of nature is one thing and of grace | at length certain Thracian women, possessed with another, it happens so to them as if they saw the spirit of Bacchus, made such a horrid and two suns. And seeing the actions of life and strange noise with their cornets, that the sound of decrees of the will to depend on the understand-Orpheus's harp could no more be heard, insomuch ing, it follows that they doubt, are inconstant no less, in will than in opinion; and so in like manner they may be said to see two Thebes ; for by Thebes, seeing there was the habitation and refuge of Pentheus, is meant the end of actions. Hence it comes to pass that they know not whither they go, but as distracted and unresolved in the scope of their intentions, are in all things carried about with sudden passions of the mind.
ORPHEUS, OR PHILOSOPHY.
THE tale of Orpheus, though common, had never the fortune to be fitly applied in every point. It may seem to represent the image of philosophy: for the person of Orpheus, a man admirable and divine, and so excellently skilled in all kind of harmony, that with his sweet ravishing music he did, as it were, charm and allure all things to follow him, may carry a singular description of philosophy; for the labours of Orpheus do so far exceed the labours of Hercules in dignity and efficacy, as the works of wisdom excel the works of fortitude.
Orpheus, for the love he bare to his wife, snatched, as it were, from him by untimely death, resolved to go down to hell with his harp, to try if he might obtain her of the infernal power. Neither were his hopes frustrated: for having appeased them with the melodious sound of his voice and touch, prevailed at length so far, as that they granted him leave to take her away with him; but on this condition, that she should follow him, and he look not back upon her till he came to the light of the upper world; which he, impatient of, out of love and care, and thinking that he was in a manner past all danger, nevertheless violated, insomuch that the covenant is broken, and she forth
as that harmony, which was the bond of that order, and society being dissolved, all disorder began again, and the beasts returning to their wonted nature, pursued one another unto death as before; neither did the trees and stones remain any longer in their places; and Orpheus himself was by these female Furies torn in pieces, and scattered all over the desert; for whose cruel death the river Helicon, sacred to the Muses, in horrible indignation hid his head underground, and raised it again in another place.
The meaning of this fable seems to be thus: Orpheus's music is of two sorts, the one appeasing the infernal powers, the other attracting beasts and trees. The first may be fitly applied to natural philosophy, the second to moral or civil discipline.
The most noble work of natural philosophy is the restitution and renovation of things corruptible: the other, as a lesser degree of it, the preservation of bodies in their estates, detaining them from dissolution and putrefaction: and if this gift may be in mortals, certainly it can be done by no other means than by the due and exquisite temper of nature, as by the melody and delicate touch of an instrument; but seeing it is of all things most difficult, it is seldom or never attained unto; and in all likelihood for no other reason, more than through curious diligence and untimely impatience: and therefore philosophy, hardly able to produce so excellent an effect in a pensive humour, and that without cause, busies herself about human objects, and by persuasion and eloquence insinuating the love of virtue, equity, and concord, in the minds of men, draws multitudes of people to a society, makes them subject to laws, obedient to government, and forgetful of their unbridled affections, whilst they give ear to precepts, and submit themselves to
discipline: whence follows the building of houses, which Democritus afterwards laboured to main
erecting of towns, planting of fields and orchards with trees, and the like; insomuch, that it would not be amiss to say, that even thereby stones and woods were called together and settled in order. And after serious trial made and frustrated about the restoring of a body mortal, this care of civil affairs follows in his due place; because, by a plain demonstration of the inevitable necessity of death, men's minds are moved to seek eternity by the fame and glory of their merits. It is also wisely said in the fable, that Orpheus was averse from the love of women and marriage, because the delights of wedlock and the love of children do for the most part hinder men from enterprising great and noble designs for the public good, holding posterity a sufficient step to immortality, without actions.
Besides, even the very works of wisdom, although amongst all human things they do most excel, do nevertheless meet with their periods. For it happens that after kingdoms and commonwealths have flourished for a time, even tumults, and seditions, and wars arise; in the midst of which hurly-burlies first laws are silent; men return to the pravity of their natures; fields and towns are wasted and depopulated; and then, if their fury continue, learning and philosophy must needs be dismembered, so that a few fragments only in some places will be found, like the scattered boards of shipwreck, so as a barbarous age must follow; and the streams of Helicon being hid under the earth, until the vicissitude of things passing, they break out again and appear in some other remote nation, though not perhaps in the same climate.
COELUM, OR BEGINNINGS.
tain, attributing eternity to the first matter and not to the world: in which he comes somewhat near the truth of divine writ, telling us of a huge deformed mass, before the beginning of the six days' work.
The meaning of the fable is this: by Cœlum may be understood that vast concavity or vaulted compass that comprehends all matter; and by Saturn may be meant the matter itself, which takes from his parent all power of generating; for the universality or whole bulk of matter always remains the same, neither increasing or diminishing in respect of the quality of its nature; but by the divers agitations and motions of it were first produced imperfect, and ill agreeing compositions of things, making, as it were, certain worlds for proofs or essays, and so in process of time a perfect fabric or structure was framed, which would still retain and keep his form: and therefore the government of the first age was shadowed by the kingdom of Saturn, who for the frequent dissolutions and short continuances of things was aptly feigned to devour his children. The succeding government was deciphered by the reign of Jupiter, who confined those continual mutations unto Tartarus, a place signifying perturbation. This place seems to be all that middle place between the lower superficies of heaven and the centre of the earth, in which all perturbations, and fragility, and mortality or corruption are frequent. During the former generation of things in the time of Saturn's reign Venus was not born: for so long as in the universality of matter, discord was better and more prevalent than concord, it was necessary that there should be a total dissolution or mutation, and that in the whole fabric; and by this kind of generation were creatures produced before Saturn was deprived of his genitals. When this ceased, that other which was wrought by Venus immediately came in, consisting in settled and prevalent concord of things, so that mutation should be only in respect of the parts, the universal fabric remaining whole and inviolate.
Saturn, they say, was deposed and cast down into hell, but not destroyed and utterly extinguished; because there was an opinion that the
We have it from the poets by tradition, that Cœlum was the ancientest of the gods, and that his members of generation were cut off by his son Saturn. Saturn had many children, but devoured them as soon as they were born; Jupiter only escaped, who being come to man's estate, thrust Saturn his father into hell, and so usurped the kingdom. Moreover, he pared off his father's genitals with the same falchion that Saturn dis-world should relapse into the old chaos and intermembered Cœlum, and cast them into the sea, regnum again, which Lucretius prayed might not whence came Venus. Not long after this, Jupiter, happen in his time: being scarce settled and confirmed in this kingdom, was invaded by two memorable wars; the first of the Titans, in the suppressing of which Sol, who alone of all the Titans favouring Jupiter's side, took exceeding great pains. The second was of the giants, whom Jupiter himself destroyed with thunderbolts; and so all wars being ended, he reigned secure.
This fable seems enigmatically to show from whence all things took their beginning, not much differing from that opinion of philosophers,
"Quod procul à nobis flectat fortuna gubernans; Et ratio potius quam res persuadeat ipsa."
O, guiding providence be gracious
That this dooms-day be far removed from us;
For afterwards the world should subsist by its own quantity and power: yet from the beginning there was no rest; for in the celestial regions there first followed notable mutations, which by the power of the sun, predominating over superior