The Anatomie of Absurditie: Contayning a breefe confutation of the slender imputed prayses to feminine perfection, with a short description of the seuerall practises of youth, and sundry follies of our licentious times. No lesse pleasant to be read, then profitable to be remembred, especially of those, who liue more licentiously, or addic­ted to a more nyce stoycall austeritie. Compiled by T. Nashe.

Ita diligendi sunt homines, vt eorum non diligamus errores.

AT LONDON, Printed by I. Charlewood for Tho­mas Hacket, and are to be solde at his shop in Lumberd street, vnder the signe of the Popes heade. Anno. Dom. 1589.

❧ To the right worshipfull Charles Blunt Knight, adorned with all perfections of honour or Arte, T. Nashe wisheth what euer content felicitie or Fortune may enferre.

IF (right Worshipfull) the olde Poet Persaeus, thought it most preiudiciall to attention, for Ver­res to declaime against theft, Gracchus against se­dition, Catiline against treason: what such sup­plosus pedum may sufficiently entertaine my pre­sumption, who beeing an accessarie to Absurditie, haue tooke vppon me to draw her Anatomie. But that little alliance which I haue vn [...]o Arte, will authorize my follie in defacing her ene­mie: and the circumstaunce of my infancie, that brought forth this Embrion, somewhat tollerate their censures, that would de­riue infamie from my vnexperienst infirmities. What I haue written, proceeded not from the penne of vain-glory but from the processe of that pensiuenes, which two Summers since o­uertooke mee: whose obscured cause, best knowne to euerie name of curse, hath compelled my wit to wander abroad vnre­garded in this satyricall disguise, & counsaild my content to dis­lodge his delight from traytors eyes.

Gentlemen that know what it is to encounter with ingrati­tude in the forme of Cupid, will soone ayme at the efficient of my armed phrase, for others that cannot discerne Venus through a clowde, they will measure each deformed fury by the Queene of Fayries, all birds by one Phaenix, all beasts by one Lyon. For my part, as I haue no portion in any mans opinion, so am I the Prorex of my priuate thought: which makes me terme poyson [Page] poyson, as well in a siluer peece, as in an earthen dish, and Pr [...] ­taeus Protaeus, though girt in the apparrell of Pactolus. Howe e­uer the Syren change her shape, yet is she inseperable from de­ceit, and how euer the deuill alter his shaddowe, yet will he be found in the end to be a she Saint, I dare not prefixe a Nigrum theta to all of that sexe, least immortalitie might seeme to haue beene taxt by my slaunder, and the puritie of heauen bepudled by my vnhallowed speeche. Onely this shall my arguments inferre, and my anger auerre, that constancie will sooner inha­bite the body of a Camelion, a Tyger or a Wolfe, then the hart of a woman: who predestinated by the father of eternitie, euen in the nonage of nature, to be the Iliads of euils to all Nations, haue neuer inuerted their creation in any Countrey but ours.

Whose heauenborne Elizabeth, hath made maiestie herselfe mazed, and the worlds eye sight astonied. Time, wel maist thou exult, that in the euening of thy age, thou cōceiuedst such a subiect of wonder, & Peace, sing io paean, for that in despight of dis­sention, she hath patroniz'd thee vnder her wings. Felicitie saw her inuested with royaltie, and became young againe in the be­holding. Fortune ashamed each sorrowe shoulde smile, and her face alonely be wrapt with wrinkles, suted poore Flaunder [...]s and Fraunce in her frownes, & saluted Englands soule with a smoo­thed forehead. Plenty and Abundance, that long had liued as exiles with the vtmost Indians, were no sooner aduertised of her aduauncement, but they made their passage through ten thou­sand perrils, to spende their prosperitie in her presence. Why seekes my penne to breake into the buildings of Fame, and Ec­cho my amazed thoughts to her brasen Towres, when as my tongue is too to base a Tryton to eternise her praise, that thus vpholdeth our happy daies.

Wherefore since my wordes impouerish her worths, my fer­uent zeale shall be the vncessant attendant on her weale. I feare right worshipfull, least the affection of my phrase, present mee as a foe to your important affaires, whose hart exalted with the eye sight of such soueraigntie, as soares aboue humane sight, coulde not but methodize this admiration in this digression of [Page] distinction. But frō such entercourse of excuse, let my vnschoo­led indignities, conuert themselues to your courtesie, and ac­quaint you with the counsaile of my rude dedication.

So it was, that not long since lighting in company with ma­nie extraordinarie Gentlemen, of most excellent parts, it was my chance (amongst other talke which was generally trauersed amongst vs) to mooue diuers Questions, as touching the seue­rall qualities required in Castalions Courtier: one came in with that of Ouid, Semper amabilis esto, another stood more stricktly on the necessitie of that affabilitie, which our Latinists entitle fac [...]tius, & we more familiarlie describe by the name of discour­sing: the third came in with his carpet deuises, and tolde what it was to tickle a Citterne, or haue a sweete stroke on the Lute, to daunce more delicatlie, and reuell it brauelie. The fourth as an enemie to their faction, confuted all these as effeminate fol­lies, and would needes maintaine, that the onely adiuncts of a Courtier, were schollership and courage, returning picked cu­riositie to paultry Scriueners and such like, affabilitie to Aristip­pus and his crue, Citterning and Luting, to the birthright of e­uerie sixe pennie slaue, and to conclude, dauncing & reuelling, to euerie Taylors holie day humour. But as for those two bran­ches of honor before mencioned, they distinguish a Gentleman from a broking Iacke, and a Courtier from a clubheaded com­panion. This discourse thus continued, at length they fell by a iarring gradation, to the particuler demonstrations of theyr generall assertions. One woulde haue one thing preferred, be­cause some one man was thereby aduaunced, another, another thing, because some noble man loues it, euery man shotte his bolte, but this was the vpshot, that England afforded many me­diocrities, but neuer saw any thing more singuler then worthy Sir Phillip Sidney, of whom it might truely be saide, Arma vi­rumque cano. In this heate of opinions, many hopes of Nobility were brought in question, but nothing so generally applauded in euery mans comparisons, as your worshippes most absolute perfections: whose effectuall iudiciall of your vertues, made such deepe impression in my attentiue imagination, as euer [Page] since there hath not any pleasure mixt it selfe so much with my secret vowes, as the vndefinite desire to be suppliant vnto you in some subiect of witte. From which, howsoeuer this my vn­digested endeuour declineth yet more earnestly I beseeche you, by that entire loue which you beare vnto Artes, to accept of it in good part. And as the foolish Painter in Plutarch, ha­uing blurred a ragged Table, with the rude picture of a dung­hill Cocke, willed his boy in any case to driue away all lyu [...] Cocks, from that his worthles workmanship, least by the com­parison he might be conuinced of ignorance: so I am to request your worship, whiles you are perusing my Pamphlet, to lay a­side out of your [...]igh [...], whatsoeuer learned inuention hath here­tofore bredde your delight, least their singularitie reflect my simplicitie, their excellence conuince mee of innocence. Thus hoping you will euery way censure of me in fauour, as one that dooth partake some parts of a Scholler. I commit you to the care of that soueraigne content, which your soule desireth.

Your most affectionate in all. Vsque [...]. T. Nashe.


ZEuxes béeing about to drawe the counterfet of Iuno, assembled all the Agrigentiue Maydes, whō after he pausing had viewed, he chose out [...]ue of y fayrest, that in their beautie, he might imitate what was most excellent: euen so it fareth with mee, who béeing about to anato­mize Absurditie, am vrged to take a view of sundry mens va­nitie, a suruey of their follie, a briefe of their barbarisme, to runne through Authors of the absurder sort, assembled in the Stacioners shop, sucking and selecting out of these vpstart an­tiquaries, somewhat of their vnsauery duncerie, meaning to note it with a Nigrum theta, that each one at the first sight may eschew it as infectious, to shewe it to the worlde that all men may shunne it. And euen as Macedon Phillip hauing fi­nished his warres builded a Cittie for the worst sorte of men, which hee called [...], malorum Ciuitas, so I, hauing laide aside my grauer studies for a season, determined with my selfe béeing idle in the Countrey, to beginne in this vacation, the foundation of a trifling subiect, which might shroude in his leaues, the abusiue enormities of these our times. It fareth nowe a daies with vnlearned Idiots as it doth with she Asses, who bring foorth all their life long, euen so these brainlesse Bussards, are euery quarter bigge wyth one Pamphlet or o­ther. B [...]t as an Egge that is full, beeing put in to water sin­keth to the bottome, whereas that which is emptie floateth a­boue, [Page] so those that are more e [...]quis [...]tly furnished with learning, shroude themselues in obscuritie, whereas they that voide of all knowledge, endeuour continually to publish theyr follie.

Such and the very same are they that obtrude themselues vnto vs, as the Authors of eloquence, and fountains of our finer phrases, when as they sette before vs, nought but a confused masse of wordes without matter, a Chaos of sentences with­out any profitable sence, resembling drummes, which béeing emptie with in, sound big without. Were it that any Morrall of greater moment, might be fished out of their fabulous follie, leauing theyr words, we would cleaue to their meaning, pre­termitting their painted shewe, we woulde pry into their pro­pounded sence, but when as lust is the tractate of so many leaues, and loue passions the lauish dispence of so much paper, I must needes sende such idle wits to shrift to the vicar of S. Fooles, who in stéede of a wor [...]er may be such a Gothamists ghostly Father. Might Ouids exile admonish such Idlebies to betake them to a new trade, the Presse should be farre bet­ter employed, Histories of antiquitie not halfe so much be­lyed, Minerals, stones, and herbes, should not haue such cogge [...] na [...]ures and names ascribed to them with out cause, English­men shoulde not be halfe so much Italinated as they are, final­lie, loue woulde obtaine the name of lust, and vice no longer maske vnder the visard of vertue.

Are they not ashamed in their pre [...]ed pos [...]es, to adorne a pretence of profit mixt with pleasure, when as in their bookes there is scarce to be found one precept pertaining to vertue, but whole quires fraught with amorous discourses, kindling Ve­nus flame in Vulcans forge, carrying Cupid in tryumph, allu­ring euen vowed Vestals to treade awry, inchaunting chaste mindes, and corrupting the continenst. Hencefoorth, let them alter their pos [...]es of profit with intermingled pleasure, inser­ting that of Ouid in steed.

Si quis in hoc artem populo non nouit amandi,
Me legat & lecto carmine doctus▪ a [...]et.

So shall the discreet Reader vnderstand the contents by the [Page] title, and their purpose by their posie, what els I pray you doe these bable bookemungers endeuor, but to repaire the [...] wals of Venus Court, to restore to the worlde, that forgo [...]ten Legendary licence of lying, to imitate a fresh the fantasticall dreames of those exiled Abbie-lubbers, from whose idle p [...]ns, procéeded those worne out impressions of the feyned no where acts, of Arthur of the rounde table, Arthur of litle Bri [...]ta [...]ne, sir Tristram, Hewon of Bur [...]ea [...]x, the Squire of [...], the foure sons of Amon, with infinite others. It is not of my yeeres nor studie to censure these mens foolerie more [...], but to shew how they to no Common-wea [...] [...], tosse ouer their troubled imaginations to haue the praise of the learning which they lack. Many of them to be more amia­ble with their friends of the Feminine sexe, blot many sheetes of paper in the blazing of Womens slender praises, as though in that generation there raigned and alwaies rema [...]ned such singuler simplicitie, that all p [...]sterities should be enioyned by duetie, to fill and furnish theyr Temples, nay Townes and streetes, with the shrines of she Saints. Neuer remembring, that as there was a loyall Lucretia, so there was a light a loue Lais, that as there was a modest Medullina, so there was a mis­chiuous Medea, that as there was a stedfast Timoclea, so there was a trayterous Tarpeya, that as there was a sober Sulpitia, so there was a deceitful Scylla, that as there was a chast Clau­dia, so there was a wanton Clodia.

But perhaps Women assembling their senate, will seeke to stop my mouth by most voices, and as though there were more better then bad in the bunch, will obiect vnto me Atlanta, Ar­chitumna, Hippo, Sophronia, Leaena, to these I will oppose proude Antigone, Niobe, Circe, Flora, Rhodope, the despight­full daughters of Danaus, Biblis, and Canace, who fell in loue, with their owne Brothers, Mirrha with her own Father, Se­miramis with her own sonne, Phaedra with Hippolitus, Ve­nus inconstancie, Iunos iealous [...]e, the riotous wantonnesse of Pasiphae, with whō I wil knit vp this packet of Paramours. To this might be ad [...]ed Mantuans inuectiue against them, but [Page] that pitti [...] makes me refraine from renewing his worne out complaints, the wounds wherof the former forepast feminine sexe hath felt. I but here the Homer of Women hath forestal­led an obiection, saying, that Mantuans house holding of our Ladie, he was enforced by melancholie into such vehemencie of speech, and that there be amongst them as amongst men, some good, some badde, but then let vs heare what was the opinion of ancient Philosophers, as touching the Femall sexe.

One of thē beeing asked what estate that was, which made wise men fooles, and fooles wisemen, answered marriage. A­ristotle doth counsell vs, rather to gette a little wife then a great, because alwaies a little euill is better then a great, so that hee counted all women without exception, euill and vn­gratious. Another of them béeing asked what was the greatest miracle in the world, saide, a chaste woman. One requiring Diogenes iudgment when it was best time to take a wife, an­swered, for the young man not yet, and the olde man neuer. Pythagoras sayd, that there were thrée euils not to be suffered, fire, water, and a woman. And the forenamed Cinick déemed them the wisest lyers in the world, which tell folke they will be married, and yet remaine single, accounting it the lesse in­conuenience of two extremities to choose the lesse. The selfe same man affirmeth it to be the only means to escape all euils, to eschew womens counsaile, and not to square our actions by their direction. The olde Sages did admonish young men, if euer they matcht wyth any wife, not to take a rich Wife, be­cause if she be rich, shee wyll not be content to be a wife, but will be a Maister or Mistresse, in commaunding, chiding, correcting & controlling. Another Philosopher compared a wo­man richly apparelled, to a dunghill couered with grasse. So­crates deemed it the desperatest enterprise that one can take in hand, to gouerne a womans will.

What shall I say of him that béeing askt, from what women a man should keepe himselfe, answered, from the quick & from the deade, adding moreouer, that one euill ioynes with ano­ther when a woman is sicke. Demosthenes saide, that it was [Page] the greatest torment, that a man could inuent to his enemies vexation, to giue him his daughter in marriage, as a domesti­call Furie to disquiet him night and day. Democritus accoun­ted a faire chaste woman a miracle of miracles, a degrée of im­mortality, a crowne of tryumph, because shee is so harde to be founde. Another beeing asked, who was he that coulde not at any time be without a wife, answered, hee that was alwaies accurst: and what dooth thys common prouerbe, he that mar­rieth late marrieth euill, insinuate vnto vs, but that if a man meane to marry, he were as good, begin betimes as tarry long, and béeing about to make a vertue of necessitie, and an arte of patience, they are to beginne in theyr young and tender age. Moreouer, amongst the thinges which change the nature and conditions of men, women and wine are sette in the forefront, as the chiefe causes of their calamitie.

Plutarch in his precepts of wedlocke, alleageth a reason why men faile so often in choosing of a good wife, because saith hee, the number of them is so small. There be two especiall troubles in this worlde saith Seneca, a wife and ignoraunce. Marcus Aurelius compared women to shyps, because to keepe them wel and in order, there is alwayes somewhat wanting: and Plautus saith, that women decke themselues so gorgiously, and lace themselues so nicely, because foule deformed things, seeke to sette out themselues sooner, then those creatures that are for beauty far more amiable. For my part I meane to su­spende my sentence, and to let an Author of late memorie be my speaker, who affyrmeth that they carrie Angels in their faces to entangle men and deuils in their deuices. Valerius in Epist. ad Ruf. hath these words of womens trecherous works, Amice ne longo dispendio te suspendam, lege aureolum Theophrasti, & Medeam Iasonis, & vix pauca inuenies impossibilia mulieri, A­mice det tibi Deus omnipotens faeminae fallacia non falli. My friend, least I should holde thee too long with too tedious a circum­staunce, reade but the golden Booke of Theophrastus, and Iasons Medea, and thou shalt finde fewe things impossible for a woman, My sweet friende, GOD Almightie graunt that thou [Page] beest not entrapt by womens trecherie. Furthermore, in the same place he saith, Quis muliebr [...] garrulitati aliquid committit, quae illud solum potest tacere quod nescit: who will commit any thing to a womans tatling trust, who conceales nothing but that shee knowes not. I omit to tell with what phrases of dis­grace the ancient fathers haue defaced them, wherof one of thē saith: Quid aliud est mulier nisi amicitiae inimica &c. What is a woman, but an enemie to friendshippe, an vneuitable paine, a necessary euil, a naturall temptation, a desired calamitie, a dome­sticall danger, a delectable detriment, the nature of the which is euill shadowed with the coloure of goodnes. Therefore if to put her a way be a sinne, to keepe her still must needes be a tor­ment. Another sayth: Illud aduerte quod extra paradisum vir factus est &c. Consider this, that man was made without Para­dise, woman within Paradise, that thereby we may learne, that euery one winneth not credit by the nobilitie of the place, or of his stock, but by his vertue. Finally, man made better is foūd without Paradise in a place inferior, and contrariwise, she which was created in a better place, namely Paradise, is founde to be worser. Another hath these words: Diligit mulier vt [...]ap [...]a [...], [...]e­cipit vt rapiat: amat quod habes, non quod es. A woman loues that she may entrappe, shee deceiues that she may spoyle, she loues that thou hast, not that thou art. Another writeth after thys manner: Nulla est vxoris electio, &c. There is no choise to be had of a wife, but euen as she comes so we must take her: if tea­tish, if foolish, if deformed, if proude, if stinking breathed, or whatsoeuer other fault she hath, we know not till we be marri­ed: A Horse, an Oxe, or an Asse, or a dogge, or what soeuer other vile merchandise, are first prooued, and then bought, a mans wife alone is neuer throughly seene before, least shee dys­please, before she be married. Viros ad vnumquodque maleficium singulae cupiditates impellunt (saith Tully,) mulieres ad omnia ma­leficia cupiditas vna ducit: muliebrium enim vitiorum omniū fun­damentum est auaritia. Mens seuerall desires doe egge them to each kind of euill, but one onely affection leades women to all kind of wickednes: for couetousnesse is the foundation of all [Page] womens euill inclinations. Seneca also saith thus in his Pro­uerbs: Aut amat, aut odit mulier, nil tertium est, dediscere flere faminam, mendacium est, &c. A woman either loues, or hates, there is no third thing: it is an vntruth to say, that a woman can learne to forget to weepe: two kinde of teares are common in their eyes, the one of true sorrowe, the other of deceipt: a Wo­man meditates euill when she is musing alone.

Thus you sée hawe farre their wickednes, hath made Au­thors to wade with inuectiues in their dispraise, wherefore I shall not need to vrge their inco [...]stancie more vehemently, re­sembling them to Battus, who was wonne with a Cowe, and lost with a Bull: nor stand to repeate that of Plato, who doub­ted whether he shold put women among reasonable or vnrea­sonable creatures, who also gaue thanks to Nature especiallie for three things, whereof the first and cheefest was, that shee had made him a man and not a woman. I omitte that of Ari­stotle, who alleaging the inconueniencie of too timely marria­ges, e [...]presseth this as the especial incommoditie, that it is the Author of superfluities, & good for nothing but to fill the world with women. Reade ouer all Homer, and you shall neuer al­most sée him bring in Iuno, but brawling and iarring with Iu­piter, noting therby what an yrkesome kind of people they are. In some Countries therefore, the Bride at the day of her ma­riage, is crowned by the Matrons with a Garland of prickles, and so deliuered to her husband, that he may know he hath ty­ed himselfe to a thornie pleasure. The Massagets told Pompey they lay with their wiues but once a weeke, because they wold not heare their scoldings in the day, nor their pulings in the night.

But what should I spend my y [...]cke, waste my paper, stub my penne, in painting [...]orth theyr vgly imperfections, and per­uerse péeu [...]shnesse▪ when as howe many hayres they haue on their heads, so many snares they will find for a néede to snarle men in, how many voices all of them haue, so many vices each one of them hath, how many tongues, so many tales, how ma­ny eyes, so many allurements. What shall I say? They haue [Page] more shyfts then Ioue had sundry shapes, who in the shape of a Satyre inueigled Antiope, tooke Amphitrios forme, when on Alcmena he begat Hercules, to Danae he came in a showre of gold, to Laeda in the likenes of a Swan, to Io like a Heyfer▪ to Aegiue like a flame, to Mnemosyue like a Sheephearde, to Proserpina like a Serpent, to Pasiphae like a Bull, to the Nimph Nonacris in the likenes of Apollo. For crueltie they seeme more terrible then Tygers, was not Orpheus the ex­cellentest Musition in any memory, torne in peeces by Wo­men, because for sorrow of his wife Euridice, he did not onelie himselfe refuse the loue of many women, and liued a sole life, but also disswaded frō their company. Did not mercilesse Mi­nerua, turne the hayres of Medusa, whom shée hated into hys­sing Adders. Therefore sée how farre they swer [...]e from theyr purpose, who with Greene colours, seeke to garnish such Gor­gonlike shapes. Is not witchcraft especially vpholden by wo­men: whither men or women be more prone vnto carnall cō ­cupiscence, I referre them to Thebane Tyresias, who gaue iudgment against them long agoe, what their impudencie is, let Antiquitie be Arbiter. Did not Calphernias impudencie, (who was so importunate and vnreasonable in pleading her owne cause) giue occasion of a Law to be made, that neuer wo­man after shoulde openly pleade her owne cause in Courtes of iudgment.

Sabina may be a glasse for them to sée their pride in, who vsually bathed herselfe in the milke of fiue hundred Asses, to preserue her beauty. Galeria also that gallant Dame, which scorned the golden Pallace of the Emperour Nero, as not cu­rious inough to shroude her beauty, yea Cleopatra according to Xiphilinus iudgment, was not slaine wt venimous Snakes, but with y bodkin that she curled her hayre. To cōclude, what pride haue they left vnpractised, what enticement to lust haue they not tried?

Did they imagine that beautie to be most commendable▪ which is least coloured, and that face most faire, which seldom­m [...]st comes into the open ayre, they would neuer set out them [Page] selues to be seene, ne yet woulde they couet to leaue impressi­ons of their beauties in other mens bodies, nor the forme of their faces in other mens fancies. But w [...]men through want of wisedome are growne to such wantonnesse, that vppon no occasion they will crosse the stréete, to haue a glaunce of some Gallant, deeming that men by one looke of them, shoulde be in loue with them, and will not stick to make an [...]rrant ouer the way, to purchase a Paramou [...] to helpe at a pinche, who vnder her husbands, that hoddy-péekes nose, must haue all the destil­ling dew of his delicate Rose, leauing him onely a swéet sent, good inough for such a sencelesse sotte.

It was a custome in Greece, that euery married woman, as soone as she was betrothed to her husbande, shoulde touche fire and water, that as the fire purgeth & purifieth al thinges, and the water is cleane, and of nature fit [...]e to clarifie euerie part of the body, and to sette the face free from any spot, except it be an Ethiopian blot, so she would reserue herselfe chaste and vndefiled to her husband her head. In Boetia they will not suf­fer a new married wife at first to goe ouer the thresholde, be­cause she should seeme vnwilling to enter in there, where shée should leaue and lay aside her chastitie. In the same place also they burne the Axletrée of a Cart before the doore of the bryde, after she is married, signifying that she ought not to gadde a­broade, as though that were remooued which might mooue her to make any errants vnto any other place.

In Rome the bride was wont to come in with her spyndle and her distaffe at her side, at the day of her mariage, and her husband crowned and cōpassed the Gates with her yarne, but now adaies Towe is either too déere or too daintie, so that if hee will maintaine the custome, hee must crowne his Gates with their Scarfes, Per [...]wigs, Bracelets, and Duches, which imports thus much vnto vs, that Maides and Matrons now adaies be more charie of their store, so that they will be sure they will not spend too much spittle with spynning, yea theyr needles are nettles, for they lay thē aside as needlesse, for feare of pricking their fingers, when they are painting theyr faces, [Page] nay they will abandon that [...] which may stay them at home, but if the temperature of the wether will not permitte them to pop into the open ayre, a payre of cardes better plea­s [...]th her thē a peece of cloth▪ her beades then her booke, a bowle full of wine then a handfull of wooll, delighting more in a daunce then in Dauids Psalmes, to play with her dogge then to pray to her God: [...]tting more by a loue Letter, then y lawe of the Lord, by one Pearl [...] then twenty Pater nosters. Shee had rather view her face a whole morning in a looking Glasse, then worke by the howre Glasse, shee is more sparing of her Spanish needle then her Spanish gloues, occupies oftner her sett [...]g sticke then shee [...]es, and ioyes more in her Iewels, then in her Iesus.

Is this correspondent to the modestie of Maydens, and the maners of Matrons, nay, rather it seemes that law is turned to libertie, and honest ciuilitie into impudent shamefast­nes. Antient antiquitie was woont to bee such a stoycall ob­seruer of continencie, that women were not permitted so much as to kisse their Kinsmen, till the Troyan D [...]mes first attempted it in [...], for when as by the force of tempestious stormes they were cast vpon the Italian Coaste, and each man landed vpon whom the salt sea [...]ome had not seased, the Wo­men beeing wearie of theyr yrkesome trauaile and long and tedious t [...]yle, abhorring the sight of the Seas, set the shyps on a light fire, by reason of the which deed, they dreading the dis­pleasure of their Husbandes, ran euery one to their Kinsman, kissing most kindly, and embracing most amiably euery one that they mette: from that time forth to this present, it hath béene taken vp for a custome, not to be sparing in that kind of curteste.

But now craftie Cupid practising the wonted sleights and shuf [...]ing his shaf [...]s, meditates new shifts, which each amo­rous Courtier by his veneriall experience may coniecturallie conceiue. Menelaus hospitalitie mooued young Paris to adulte­rie. I say no more you knowe the rest, the wiser can apply it. Well woorthy are the Essenians to be extolled for their wyse­dome, [Page] who abhorre the company of W [...]men, and det [...]st the possession of gold and siluer, and they to be déemed as soothing flatterers, who spende so much paper about a proposition of praise, sette apart from any apparance of probabilitie. Perad­uenture they thinke, that as the Poets inuent that Atlas vp­holds the Heauens with his shoulders, because by an excellent imagination he found out the course of the stars, euen so they by compiling of Pamphlets in their Mistresse praises, to be called the restorers of womankind. But idle heads are vsually occupied about such trifling texts, wanton wits are combred with those wonted fittes, such busie braines sowe where they reape small gaines. When witte giues place to will, and [...]a­son to affection, then follie with full saile launcheth foorth most desperatlie into the deepe. Did they consider that that prayse is onely priuiledged in wise mens opinion, which onely pro­ceedes from the penne of the praysed, they would haue paused a while vpon the worthlesse imputation of such prodigall com­mendation, and consulted for their credit in the composition of some other more profi [...]able contrary subiect.

I leaue these in their solli, and hasten to other mens su­rie, who make the Presse the dunghill, whether they carry all the muck of their mellancholicke imaginations, pretending forsooth to anatomize abuses, and stubbe vp [...]in by the rootes, whē as there waste paper beeing wel viewed, seemes fraught with nought els saue dogge daies effects, who wresting places of Scripture against pride, whoredome, couetousnes, glutto­nie, and drunkennesse, extend their in [...]tiues so farre against the abuse, that almost the things remaines not whereof they admitte anie lawfull vse. Speaking of pride, as though they were afraid some body should cut too large peniworthes out of their cloth: of couetousnes, as though in them that Prouerbe had beene verified, Nullus ad amissas ibit amicus opes: of glutto­nie, as though their liuing did lye vppon another mans tren­cher: of drunkennesse, as though they had beene brought vppe all the dayes of their life with bread and water: and finally of whoredome, as though they had beene Eunuches from theyr [Page] cradle, or blind from the howre of their conception. But as the Stage player is nere the happier, because hee represents oft times the persons of mightie men, as of Kings & Emperours, so I account such men neuer the holier, because they place praise in painting foorth other mens imperfections.

These men resemble Trees, which are wont eftsoones to die, if they be fruitfull beyond their wont, euen so they to die in vertue, if they once ouer shoote themselues too much wyth inueighing against vice, to be brainesicke in workes if they be too fruitfull in words. And euen as the Uultures slay nothing themselues, but pray vpon y which of other is slayne, so these men inueigh against no new vice, which héeretofore by the censures of the learned hath not beene sharply condemned, but teare that peecemeale wise, which long since by ancient wry­ters was wounded to the death, so that out of their forepassed paines, ariseth their Pamphlets, out of their volumes, theyr inuectiues. Good God, that those that neuer tasted of any thing saue the excrements of Artes, whose thredde-bare knowledge béeing bought at the second hand, is spotted, blemished, and de­faced, through translaters rigorous rude dealing, shoulde pre­ferre their sluttered sutes, before other mens glittering gor­gious array, should offer them water out of a muddie pit, who haue continually recourse to the Fountaine, or dregs to drink, who haue wine to sell. At scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sci­at alter. Thy knowledge bootes thée not a button, except ano­ther knowes that thou hast this knowledge. Anacharsis was wont to say, that the Athenians vsed money to no other ende but to tell it, euen so these men make no other vse of learning, but to shewe it. But as the Panther smelleth sweetelie but onely to brute beastes, which shee draweth vnto her to theyr destruction, not to men in like maner, so these men seeme lear­ned to none but to Idiots, whō with a coloured shew of zeale, they allure vnto them to their illusion, and not to the learned in like sort. I know not howe it delighteth them to put theyr Dare in another mans boate, and their foote in another mans boote, to incurre that prouerbiall checke, Ne sutor vltra cre­pidam, [Page] or that or atoricall taunt, Quam quisque norit artem in ea se exerceat: with the Elephant to wade and wallowe in the shallow water, when they woulde sooner sincke then swym in the deepe Riuer, to be conuersant in those Authors which they cannot vnderstande, but by the translatour their Interpreter, to vaunte reading when the sum of their diuinitie consists in twopennie Catichismes: and yet their ignoraunt zeale wyll presumptuously presse into the Presse, enquiring most curious­lie into euery corner of the Common wealth, correcting that sinne in others, wherwith they are corrupted themselues. To prescribe rules of life, belongeth not to the ruder sorte, to con­demne those callings which are approoued by publique autho­ritie, argueth a proude contempt of y Magistrates superiority. Protogenes knew Apelles by one lyne, neuer otherwise séene, and you may knowe these mens spirit by theyr speeche, their minds by their medling, their folly by their phrase. Uiew their workes, and know their vanitie, sée the Bookes bearing their name, and smile in thy sleeue at their shame. A small ship in a shallow Riuer, séemes a huge thing, but in the sea a very litle vessell, euen so each trifling Pamphlet to the simpler sorte, a most substantiall subiect, whereof the wiser lightly account, and the learned laughing contemne. Therefore more earnest­ly I agrauate their faulte, because their crime is crept into credit, and their dooinges déemed deuotion, when as purposelie to some mans despight, they bring into act their cholericke motions.

A common practise it is now adaies, which breedes our com­mon calamitie, that the cloake of zeale, shoulde be vnto an hy­pocrite in steed of a coate of Maile, a pretence of puritie, a pen­tisse for iniquitie, a glose of godlines, a couert for all naughti­nes. When men shall publiquelie make profession of a more inward calling, and shall waxe cold in the workes of charitie, and seruent in malice, liberall in nothing but in lauishe back­byting, holding hospitalitie for an eschewed heresie, and the performance of good workes for Papistrie, may wee not then haue recourse to that caueat of Christ in the Gospell, Cauete ab [Page] hipocritis. It is not the writhing of the face, the heauing vpp [...] of the eyes to heauen, that shall keepe these men, from hauing their portion in hell. Might they be saued by their booke, they haue the Bible alwaies in their bosome, and so had the Pha­risies the Lawe embroidered in their garments. Might the name of the Church infeasse them in the kingdom of Christ, they will include it onely in their couenticles, and bounde it euen in Barnes, which many times they make their méeting place, and will shameleslie face men out, that they are the Church millitant heere vpon earth, whē as they rather séeme a company of Malecontents, vnworthy to breath on the earth. Might the boast of the spirit pind to their s [...]e [...]ues, make them elect before all other, they will make men beléeue, they doe no­thing whereto the spirit dooth not perswade them, and what Heretiques were there euer that did not arrogate as much to themselues. These they be that publiquely pretende a more regenerate holines, béeing in their priuate Chambers the ex­presse imitation of Howliglasse. It is too tedious to the Rea­der, to attend the circumstaunce of their seuerall shyftes, the lothsomnesse of their guilefull wiles, the tract path of theyr treacherie: you know them without my discourse, and can de­scribe their hypocrisie, though I be not the Notarie of their in­iquitie. Séeing their works, shun theyr waies.

Another sort of men there are, who though not addicted to such counterfet curiositie, yet are they infected with a farther improbabilitie, challenging knowledge vnto thēselues of dee­per misteries, whē as with Thales Milesius they sée not what is vnder their féete, searching more curiouslie into the secrets of nature, when as in respect of déeper knowledge, they seeme meere naturals, coueting with the Phaenix to approche so nye to the sunne, that they are scorcht with his beames, and con­founded with his brightnes. Who made them so priuie to the secrets of the Almightie, that they should foretell the tokens of his wrath, or terminate the time of his vengeaunce. But lightly some newes attends the ende of euery Tearme, some Monsters are bookt, though not bred against vacation times, [Page] which are straight waie diuersly dispearst into euerie quarter, so that at length they become the Alehouse talke of euery Car­ter: yea the Country Plowman feareth a Calabrian floodde in the midst of a furrowe, and the sillie Sheephearde commit­ting his wandering sheepe to the custodie of his wappe, in his field naps, dreameth of flying Dragons, which for feare least he should see to the losse of his sight, he falleth a sleepe, no star he seeth in the night but séemeth a Comet, hee lighteth no soo­ner on a quagmyre, but he thinketh this is the foretold Earth­quake wherof his boy hath the Ballet.

Thus are the ignorant deluded, the simple misused, and the sacred Science of Astronomie discredited, & in truth what leasings will not make-shyfts inuent for money? What wyl they not faine for gaine? Hence come our babling Ballets, and our new found Songs and Sonets, which euery rednose Fidler hath at his fingers end, and euery ignorant Ale knight will breath foorth ouer the potte, as soone as his braine wax­eth hote. Be it a truth which they would tune, they enterlace it with a lye or two to make meeter, not regarding veritie, so they may make vppe the verse, not vnlike to Homer, who cared not what he fained, so hee might make his Countrimen famous. But as the straightest things béeing put into water, séeme crooked, so the crediblest trothes, if once they come with in compasse of these mens wits, seeme tales. Were it that the infamie of their ignoraunce, did redound onelie vppon them­selues, I could be content to apply my spéech otherwise, then to their Apuleyan eares, but sith they obtaine the name of our English Poets, and thereby make men thinke more baselie of the wittes of our Countrey, I cannot but turne them out of their counterfet liuerie, and brand them in the foreheade, that all men may know their falshood. Well may that saying of Campanus be applyed to our English Poets, which hee spake of them in his time: They make (saith he) Poetry an occupa­tion, lying is their lyuing, and fables are their mooueables, if thou takest away trifles, [...]illie soules they will famish for hun­ger. It were to be wished, that the acts of the ventrous, and [Page] the praise of the vertuous were by publique Edict prohibited, by such mens merry mouthes to be so odiouslie extolde, as ra­ther breedes detestation then admiration, lothing then lyking. What politique Counsailour or valiant Souldier will ioy or glorie of this, in that some stitcher, Weauer, spendthrist, or Fidler, hath shuffled or slubberd vp a few ragged Rimes, [...] the memoriall of the ones prudence, or the others prowesse. It makes the learned sort to be silent, whē as they sée vnlear­ned sots so insolent.

These Bussards thinke knowledge a burthen, tapping it before they haue halfe tunde it, venting it before they haue fil­led it, in whom that saying of the Orator is verified. Ante ad dicendum quam ad cognoscendum veniunt. They come to speake before they come to know. They contemne Arts as vnprofi­table, contenting themselues with a little Countrey Gram­mer knowledge god wote, thanking God with that abs [...]edarie Priest in Lincolneshire, that he neuer knewe what that Ro­mish popish Latine meant. Uerie requisite were it, that such blockheads, had some Albadanensis Appollonius, to send them to some other mechanicall Arte, that they might not thus be the staine of Arte. Such kind of Poets were they that Plato excluded from his Common wealth, and Augustine banished ex ciuitate Dei, which the Romans derided, and the Lacedae­monians scorned, who wold not suffer one of Archilocus bookes to remaine in their Countrey, and amisse it were not, if these which meddle with the Arte they knowe not, were bequethed to Bridwell, there to learne a new occupation: sor as the Ba­siliske with his hisse, driueth all other Serpents from y place of his aboad, so these rude Rithmours with their iarring verse, allienate all mens mindes from delighting in numbers excel­lence, which they haue so defaced, that wee may well exclaime with the Poet, Quantum mutatus ab illo.

But least I should be mistaken as an enemie to Poetrie, or at least not taken as a friend to that studie, I haue thought good to make them priuie to my mind, by expressing my mea­ning. I account of Poetrie, as of a more hidden & diuine kinde [Page] of Philosophy, enwrapped in blinde Fables and darke stories, wherin the principles of more excellent Arts and morrall pre­cepts of manners, illustrated with diuers examples of other Kingdomes and Countries are contained: for amongst the Grecians there were Poets, before there were any Philoso­phers, who embraced entirely the studie of wisedome, as Ci­cero testifieth in his Tusculanes, whereas he saith, that of all sorts of men, Poets are most ancient, who to the intent they might allure men with a greater longing to learning, haue fo­lowed two things, sweetnes of verse, and variety of inuention, knowing that delight doth prick men forward to the attaining of knowledge, and that true things are rather admirde if they be included in some wittie fiction, like to Pearles that delight more if they be deeper sette in gold. Wherfore séeing Poetry is the very same with Philosophy, the fables of Poets must of necessitie be fraught with wisedome & knowledge, as framed of those men, which haue spent all their time and studies, in the one and in the other. For euen as in Uines, the Grapes that are fayrest and sweetest, are couched vnder the branches that are broadest and biggest, euen so in Poems, the thinges that are most profitable, are shrouded vnder the Fables that are most obscure: neither is there almost any poeticall fyg­ment, wherein there is not some thing comprehended, taken out either of Histories, or out of the Phisicks or Ethicks, wher vpon Erasmus Roterdamus very wittilie termes Poetry, a daintie dish seasoned with delights of euery kind of discipline. Nowe whether ryming be Poetry, I referre to the iudgment of the learned: yea let the indifferent Reader diuine, what deepe misterie can be placed vnder plodding méeter. Who is it, that reading Beuis of Hampton, can forbeare laughing, if he marke what scambling shyft he makes to ende his verses a like. I will propound three or foure payre by the way for the Readers recreation.

The Porter said, by my snout,
It was Sir Beuis that I let out.
or this,
[Page]He smote his sonne on the breast,
That he neuer after spoke with Clark nor Priest.
or this,
This almes by my crowne,
Giues she for Beuis of South-hamptoune.
or this,
Some lost a nose, some a lip,
And the King of Scots hath a ship.

But I let these passe as worne out absurdities, meaning not at this instant to vrge (as I might) the like instance of Authors of our time, least in laying foorth their nakednesse, I might seeme to haue discouered my mallice, imitating Aiax, who obiecting more irefully vnto Vlysses flattery, detected him selfe of follie.

As these men offend in the impudent publishing of witles vanitie, so others ouershoote thēselues as much another waie, in sencelesse stoicall austeritie, accounting Poetrie impietie, and witte follie. It is an old Question, and it hath beene often propounded, whether it were better to haue moderate affecti­ons, or no affections? The Stoicks said none. The Peripatici­ans answered to haue temperate affections, and in this respect I am a professed Peripatician, mixing profit with pleasure, and precepts of doctrine with delightfull inuention. Yet these men condemne them of lasciuiousnes, vanitie, and curiositie, who vnder fayned Stories include many profitable morrall pre­cepts, describing the outrage of vnbridled youth, hauing the reine in their owne hands: the fruits of idlenes, the of-spring of lust, and how auaileable good educations are vnto vertue. In which their preciser censure, they resemble thē that cast a­way the nutte for mislike of the shell, & are like to those which loath the fruite for the leaues, accounting the one sower, be­cause y other is bitter. It may be some dreaming dunce whose bald affected eloquence making his function odious, better be­séeming a priuie then a pulpit, a misterming Clowne in a Comedy, then a chosen man in the Ministerie, will cry out [Page] that it bréedes a scabbe to the conscience, to peruse such Pam­phlets, béeing indeed the display of their duncerie, and bréeding a mislike of such tedious dolts barbarisme, by the view of their rethoricall inuention. Such trifling studies say they infect the minde and corrupt the manners, as though the minde were only conuersant in such toies, or shold continuallie stay where the thoughts by chaunce doo stray. The Sunne beames touch­ing the earth, remaine still from whence they came, so a wyse mans mind, although sometimes by chance it wandereth here and there, yet it hath recourse in staied yéeres to that it ought. But graunt the matter to be fabulous, is it therfore friuolous? Is there not vnder Fables, euen as vnder the shaddowe of greene and florishing leaues, most pleasant fruite hidden in se­crete, and a further meaning closely comprised? Did not Vir­gill vnder the couert of a Fable, expresse that diuine misterie, which is the subiect of his sixt [...]glogue.

I am noua progenis coelo demittis alto.

I could send you to Ouid, who expresseth the generall De­luge, which was the olde worldes ouerthrowe in the Fable of Deucalion and Pirrha, vnder which, vndoubtedly it is mani­fest, (although diuers Authors are of cōtrarie opinion) he mea­neth Noes floodde, in so much as there is a place in Lucian in his booke De Siria Dea, by the which it appeareth, that by Deucalions Deluge, is vnderstoode, not (as some will) that E­nundation, whereby in times past, Greece and Italie was o­uerflowne, and the Ile Atlanta destroied, but that vniuersall flood which was in the time of Noe For thus Lucian writeth in that place, that it was receiued for a cōmon opinion among the Grecians, that this generation of men that nowe is, hath not béen from the beginning, but that it which first was, who­ly perrished, and this second sort of men which now are, be of a newe creation, growing into such a multitude by Deucalion and Pirrhas meanes. As touching the men of the first worlde, thus much (saith he) is committed to memorie, that when as they began to be puft vppe with pride of their prosperitie, they enterprised all iniquitie priuiledged by impunitie, neither re­garding [Page] the obseruation of oath, nor the violation of hospitali­tie, neither fauouring the fatherlesse, nor succouring the help­lesse, whereuppon in lieu of their crueltie, they were plagued with this calamitie, the springs brake foorth and ouerflowed their bounded banks, y watrie clowdes with pashing showres vncessantlie, sending down their vnreasonable moysture aug­mented the rage of the Ocean, so that whole fieldes and moun­taines could not satis-fie his vsurping furie, but Citties wyth their suburbs, Townes with their streetes, Churches with their porches, were nowe the walke of the waues, the dennes of the Dolphin, and the sporting places of the huge Leuiathan: men might haue fisht where they sold fish, had they not by the suddaine breaking foorth of the showres been made a pray vn­to fish: the child in the cradle could not be saued by the embra­ [...]ings of the dying mothe [...], the aged Criple remouing his wea­rie steps by stilts, was faine to vse them in steed of Oares, till at length his dismaied gray haires despairing of the sight of a­ny shoare, gaue place to death and was swallowed vppe in the deepe, and so the bellie of the Whale became his graue.

The earth after this sort béeing excluded from the number of the Elements, there was no memorie left of mankinde in this watry world, but onely in Deucalions Arke, who in re­garde of his prudence and pietie, was reserued to this seconde generation, who hauing made a great Arke wherin he put his wife and children, tooke two beastes of euery kind as wel Li­ons as Serpents, Hawkes as Partriches, Wolues as Lam­bes, Foxes as Geese, amongst which there was such mutuall concord, that as they were harmelesse towardes him, so they were hurtlesse one towards another, al which sailed with him till the waters ceased.

Hetherto Lucian an Heathen Poet. Plutarch also recor­deth in his Treatise De industria animalium, that a Doue bee­ing sent out of Deucalions Arke, shewed the waters ceasing. By these proo [...]es it is euident, that by Deucalions Deluge is vnderstoode Noes flood, because the very like thinges are sette downe in Genesis, of brute Beastes receiued by Noe into the [Page] Arke, and the Doue sent forth by him also. I trust these pro­babilities béeing duely pondered, there is no man so distrustful to doubt, that déeper diuinitie is included in Poets inuentions, and therefore not to be reiected, as though they were voide of all learning and wisedome.

I woulde not haue any man imagine, that in praysing of Poetry, I endeuour to approoue Virgils vnchast Priapus, or Ouids obscenitie, I commende their witte, not their wanton­nes, their learning, not their lust: yet euen as the Bée out of the bitterest flowers, and sharpest thistles gathers honey, so out of the filthiest Fables, may profitable knowledge be suc­lted and selected. Neuerthelesse tender youth ought to bee re­strained for a time from the reading of such ribauldrie, least chewing ouer wantonlie the eares of this Summer Corne, they be choaked with the haune before they can come at the karnell.

Hunters béeing readie to goe to their Game, suffer not their dogges to taste or smell of any thing by the way, no car­rion especially, but reserue thē wholy to their approching dis­port, euen so youth béeing ready to vndertake more waightier studies, ought in no case be permitted to looke aside to lasciui­ous toyes, least the pleasure of the one, should bréed a loathing of the profit of the other. I would there were not any, as there be many, who in Poets and Historiographers, reade no more then serueth to the feeding of their filthy lust, applying those things to the pampering of their priuate Venus, which were purposely published to the suppressing of that common wande­ring Cupid. These be the Spyders which sucke poyson out of the hony combe, and corruption out of the holiest thinges, here­in resembling those that are troubled with a Feuer, in whome diuers things haue diuers effects, that is to say of hote things they waxe cold, of cold things hote, or of Tygers, which by the sound of melodious Instruments are driuen into madnesse, by which men are wont to expell melancholie. He that wil seeke for a Pearle, must first learne to know it when he sees it, least he neglect it when hee findes it, or make a nought worth pée­ble [Page] his Iewell: and they that couet to picke more precious knowledge out of Poets amorous Elegies, must haue a discer­ning knowledge, before they can aspire to the perfectiō of their desired knowledge, least the obtaining of trifles be the repen­tant end of their trauell.

Who so snatcheth vp [...]ollies too gréedilie, making an occu­pation of recreation, and delight his day labour, may happes proue a wittome whiles he fisheth for finer witte, and a Foole while hée findes himselfe laughing pastime at other mens fol­lies, not vnlike to him who drinking Wine immoderatly, be­sides that hee many times swallowes downe dregs, at length prooues starke drunke.

There is no extremitie either in actiue or contemplatiue life, more outragious thē the excessiue studies of delight, wher­with young Students are so besotted, that they forsake soun­der Artes, to followe smoother eloquence, not vnlike to him that had rather haue a newe painted boxe, though there be no­thing but a halter in it, then an olde bard hutch with treasur [...] inualuable, or Aesops Co [...]ke, which parted with a Pearle for a Barlie kurnell. Euen as a man is inclined, so his studies are bended, if to vaine-glorie, to eloquence: if to profounde knowledge, to Aristotle: if lasciuious, good in some Eng­lish deuise of verse, to conclude, a passing potm [...]n, a passing Poet.

I might haue fitted mens seuerall affections with their sun­dry studies, but that I am afraide there be many ashamed of their studies, which I will not repeate least some shold blush when as they reade their reproche.

It is a thing of no paines or experience, to ayme at the practises of the proude, the secret inclinations of the couetous, the imaginations of y incestuous, the hooded hypocrisie of those that pretend puritie, which things beeing practised in youth, become trades of profite in age. An vsuall thing it is, that the flower of our yeeres should be the fountaine of follie, which by the conduit pype of continuall customs conueiante, causeth the gray headed to carry corruption, their soules infectiō vnto their [Page] graues. When the endeuor of youth shal proue naught els but the exercise of all abuses, is it like that a mans after life shall be without blemish.

There is almost no man now a daies, who doth not in hys secrete thought estimate vice after his vilenes, yet securitie hath so blinded many, that loosing the habit of vertue, they co­uet to restraine wisedome onely to their wicked waies, conclu­ding that in the imitation of their actions, consists the hygh way to happines, because their humor is such, condemning that state of life wich is an enemie to their vicious appetites. It is impossible for these men, either by hearing or reading, to profit in integritie of life, whiles in the one and in the other, they will regarde no more then auaileth to their aduantage. The couetous careth for no more Scripture, then that which priuiledgeth him to prouide for his familie, the proude sort are conuersant continually in this Text, They that are in Kinges Courts weare soft rayment: and Theeues reade with delight how the Egiptians in Egipt, were by y Isralites robbed of theyr Iewels. Thus euery one maketh that sacred preseruatiue, a pernicious poison vnto his sinfull soule, nourishing his vani­tie with sacred verities, increasing his damnation, by the or­deyned meanes to saluation.

If men in their youthes best lust, and in the prime of pros­peritie, would but cast their eye on the one side to future alte­rations, and thinke of a further felicitie, beholding aduersitie on the other side cladde with follies repentant Robes, compas­sed about with contempt in steed of a gyrdle, guarded with feends, not accompanied with friends, hauing for momenta­rie pleasure endlesse paine, death without date for a dyssolute life repented too late, they woulde then so behaue themselues heere vpon earth, as they might haue a Sauiour in heauen.

Pausanias King of the Lacedemonians, bydding Simonides to a sumptuous banquet, instantly intreated him to speak some thing notable which sauoured of learning: why then (quoth he) remember thou art a man. Which saying, Pausanias scorn­fully despised, afterward beeing in pryson in Chalciaeco, was [Page] almost [...]amished ere hee died, where remembring Simonides speech, with a loude lamentable voice, he cried, O my friende of Caeos, would God I had regarded thy words.

Good counsaile is neuer remembred nor respected, till men haue giuen their farewell to felicitie, and haue béene ouer­whelmed in the extremitie of aduersitie. Young men thinke it a disgrace to youth, to embrace the studies of age, counting their fathers fooles whiles they striue to make them wise, ca­sting that away at a cast at dice, which cost theyr daddes a yeares toyle, spending that in their Ueluets, which was rakt vppe in a Russette coate: so that their reuenewes rackt, and their rents raised to the vttermost, is scarce inough to main­taine ones rufling pride, which was wont to be manie poore mens relife. These young Gallants hauing leudly spent their patrimonie, fall to begging of poore mens houses ouer theyr heads, as the last refuge of their ryot, remoouing the auncient bounds of lands to support their decayed port, rather coueting to enclose that which was wont to be common, then they wold want to maintaine their priuate prodigalitie.

The Temple of Terminus Deus amongst the Romans, who was supposed to haue the preheminence ouer the boundes of lands, had euer a hole in the roofe, for as much as they thought it vnlawfull for the bounds of landes to be couered, and that rich men might learne to know their landes from poore mens grounds. A strange thing it is, that these men cannot learne to thriue before all be gone, and that they in the midst of their plentie, should be more needy, then those that sauing their day labour, are nought but pouertie. But as the Brooke Achelous carrieth whole trées and huge stones wt hidious roaring noyse downe his streames, so the Courte is as it were a deuouring Gulfe of gold, and the consumption of coyne. It fareth with thē as it did with Calchas that running Soothsayer, who died for sorrowe because Mopsus surpast him in science, so if they sée a­ny excell them in brauerie, in whose steps at euery inche they are not able to treade, they hang the heade as they they were halfe dead.

[Page]Howe farre are these [...]ondlings frō imit [...]ting Cra [...]es the Philosopher, who to the intent that he might more quietly st [...] ­die Philosophy, threw all his goods into the sea, saying, hence from me you vngratious appetites, I had rather drowne you, then you should drowne me. By this that hath beene alreadie sette down, it may plainely appeare, that where pride beareth sway, hospitalitie decaies, nay this kind of men, will neuer be saued by their workes, in so much as the poore alwaies mysse, as often as they seeke to them for almes, yea they séeme onely to be borne for themselues, and not to benefite any [...]ls, who with the woers of Penelope, will by their Porters, prohibit [...] the poore from hauing access [...] vnto their porches, terming thē the marrers of mirth, and procurers of sadnes: but what ende doo they propounde to themselues in their prodigall expences, but the féeding of their Mistris fancie, and y fostering of their [...]wlesse lusts, shrouding vnder their Purple roabes and em­broydered apparrell, a hart spotted with all abuses, wherefore they may be aptlie resembled to y Aegiptian Temples, which without are goodly and great, their walles arris [...]ng vnto a huge height, with statelie Marble turrets, but if you goe in and looke about you, you shall find for a God, either a Storke, a Goate, a Cat, or an Ape. Did they considerthat not vestis sed virtus hominem euehit, they would reiect all superfluitie as sin­ [...]ull, and betake themselues to a more temperate moderation in each degree of excesse.

When as the outward garment, not the inwarde vertue must be faine to commend a man, it is all one, as if a man shold loue the Snake for his gray coloured skin, or poison because it is in a siluer peece, or pilgrim salue because it is in a painted boxe. It is loarning and knowledge which are the onely orna­ments of a man, which furnisheth the tongue with wisedome, and the hart with vnderstanding, which maketh the children of the néedy poore, to become noble Péeres, and men of obscure parentage, to be equall with Princes in possessions, with whō if you talke of lineall discents, they will lay before you the pence, being able to fetch their petigree from no ancient house, [Page] except it be from some olde Hogstie, deriuing their kindred frō the Coffer, not from the Conquest, neither can they vaunt a­ny notable seruice of their auncitry in the field, but can tel you how their Grandsire vsed to sette his folde, neither doo I speak this to the disgracing derision of vertuous Nobilitie, which I reuerence in each respect, but onely endeuour summarilie to shewe, what goodlie buildings Fortune doth raise on vertues slender foundations. I am not ignoraunt, that many times the couetous ignorant, scrapeth that from the [...]ayle of the Plowe, which maketh all his after posteritie thinke scorne to looke on the plough, they ouerseeing that by a seruant, on which theyr father was as Tilsman attendant, beeing translated by his toyle from the Parrish, good man Webbe in the Countrey, to a pertly Gentleman in the Court, bestowing more at one time on the Herralde for Armes, then his Father all his life tyme [...]ue in almes. No matter though such vanting vpstarts, which haue as little vertue as antiquitie to honest their posterity, be­come the scoffe of a Scholler, and the stale of a Courtier, which will make them if they faile heereafter in Nobilitie of byrth, to séeke it by learning.

In times past, ignorance in eache sexe was so odious, that women as well as men, were well seene in all liberall Sci­ences: was not Gracchus who was counted a most excellent Orator, instructed by his Mother Cornelia in eloquence? what should I speake of Aripithis, the King of Scithias Son, whom his mother Istrina likewise instructed in the elements of the Greeke tongue. But least in praysing of learning in so learned an age, I should bring manifest truethes into question, and so swarue from the Logicians prescriptions, or by dilating on so affluent an argument, might seeme to gather stones on the sea shoare, I will cease to prosecute the praise of it, and will pro­pound vnto you the speciall plague that is iminent vnto it.

Science hath no enemie but the ignoraunt, who contemn [...] it as vile, because their grosse capacitie perceiues nothing in it diuine. Such an ignorant was Valentinianus the Emperour, who was a professed enemie to all excellent Artes, or Li [...]inius, [Page] who likewise termed learning, the plague and poison of the weale publique. Such couetous ignorance dooth créepe amōgst the cormorants of our age, who as the Chamelion which is fed with the ayre, stands alwaies with his mouth wide open, so these men which liue vpō almes, haue alwaies their mouthes open to aske, and hauing felt the sweetnes of Abby Landes, they gape after Colledge liuing, desiring to enrich themselues as much with the siluer of the one, as their auncesters got by the gold of the other: much like to him that hauing bathed his hands in the blood of wilde beastes, procéedeth to the slaughter of men, the one no more satis-fied with money, then the other with murder. If such goodly buildings were againe to arise by the common cost, a man may easily gesse, how backward they would be in giuing, who are now so forward in detracting. Can Common weales florish where learning decaies, shall not feli­citie haue a fall when as knowledge failes? yea, peace must needes perrish from amongst vs, when as we rather séeke to choke then cherrish, to famish then féede the Nurses of it, de­priuing them of all outward ornaments (as much as in vs ly­eth) who are the onelie ornaments of our state: but I hope their néedie enmitie shall returne to them in vaine, and not proue the procurement of our common plague and paine, that the more they oppugne our prosperitie, the greater shalbe our welfare, like to the Trees in whom those partes are stronger that are opposite to the North, then those which bend towarde the South or West winde.

I will not stand to amplifie their discredit, which endeuour to turne our day into night, and our light into darknesse, nor yet will compare them to those that are called Agrippae, who béeing preposterously borne with their féete forward, are saide to enter into the world with ill fortune, and to the great mys­chiefe of mankind, as Marcus Agrippa, and Nero, onelie this I will wish, that béeing dead, the learned may giue them such Epitaphes of disgrace, as they deserue, and that the Chronicles may record their reproch vnto all ages. Amen say all they that are friends to the Muses.

[Page]How can [...] hope for anie further exhibition, when as [...] men repine a [...] that we haue alreadie? It [...]areth with [...] wits, as it doth with the pearle which is affirmed to be in the head of the Toade, the one béeing of excéeding vertue is [...] with poison, the other of no lesse value, cōpast about with pouerty. Learning now adaies gets no liuing if it come empty handed. Promotion which was wont to be y frée propounded palme of paines, is by many mens lamentable practise, become a purchase. When as wits of more towardnes shal haue spent some time in the Uniuersitie, and haue as it were tasted the elements of Arte, and laide the foundation of knowledge, if by the death of some friend they shoulde be withdrawne frō theyr [...]tudies, as yet altogether raw, and so consequently vnfitt [...] for any calling in the Common wealth, where should, they finde [...] friend, to be vnto them in steed of a father, or one to [...] which their deceased parents begun: nay they may well be­t [...]ke themselues to some trade of Husbandry, for any mainte­nance they gette in the way of almes at the Uniuersitie, or els take vppon them to teach, béeing more fitte to be taught, and perch into the pulpit, their knowledge beeing yet vnper [...]t, [...] ­rie zealouslie preaching, béeing as yet scarce grounded in reli­gious principles, How can those men call home the lost sheepe that are gone astray, comming into the Ministery before their wits be [...]aid. This greene fruite, béeing gathered before it be ri [...]e, is rotten before it be mellow, and infected with Scis [...]es, before they haue learned to bridle their affectio [...]s, affecting in­nouations as newfangled, and e [...]terprising alterations wher­by the Church is mangled.

But some may obiect, that I goe beyond my Anatomie, in touching these abusiue enormities, I answer, that I discourse of these matters as they are become the follies of our time, and the faults of our age, wishing the redresse of such rashnes, and the suppression of the forenamed rauenous rable, these abuses béeing as intollerable as the worst, and therfore to be condem­ned with the first. I trust there is no man so simple, who can discerne wisedome from folly, and knowledge from ignorance, [Page] but his [...]other wit wil afford him so much vnderstanding, that there is necessary vse of learning in euery calling, bringing praise to them that possesse it, and shame to them that want it, without the which no externall ornament is any whit auaile­able to aduancement, but séemeth rather a disgracing deformi­tie, hauing dislike his attendant. Reiect then pride, to embrace it to your profit, neglect vain-glory, and striue to attaine to the knowledge of Arts, the pathway to honor. Let the liues of the Philosophers be the direction of youthes imitation, who ware no more clothes then wold keepe away cold, and eate no more meate then would expell hunger, yea many of them the more to keepe downe their bodies, being placed in the midst of plen­ti [...], haue contented themselues with a thin hungry diet, the cō ­panion of scarsitie. Diogenes chose rather to lick dishes at A­thens, then to liue daintily with Alexander. Plato had rather [...]id Dyoni [...]ius adiew, then he would be driuen from his philo­sophicall dyet. Porus that peerelesse Indian Prince, contented himselfe with breade and water as his accustomed cheere. A­ge [...]ilaus King of the Lacedaemonians, passing through y Coun­trey of Thasius, being louingly met by the nobles, and entirely welcommed by the common sorte into the Countrey, with di­uersitie of dainties and brauery of banquets, would not taste a­ny thing saue Breade and Water, notwithstanding earnest entreatie to the contrarie, but their importunitie increa­sing, to put by all suspition of ingratitude, he willed his slaues and footmen to take their repast with their prouision, saying, that abstinencie and temperancie, not varietie of viandes and delicacie, beseemeth him that is placed in Chayre of authori­tie. Constantius kept himselfe so hungerly, that many times hee woulde craue a crust of breade of a poore woman to expell hunger. The Priests of Aegipt abstained from flesh & wine. The Persians were satis-fied with breade, salt, and water. In Rhodes he was reputed a grosse braind man, which fed on any thing but fishe. So warily in times past hath temperate mo­deration beene obserued in all Nations, that by Zaleucus law, he was put to death, which dranke wine without the Phisiti­tions [Page] adui [...]e. The Matrons and Ladies of Rome, were ex­presly prohibited the taste of it, in deed by this counsaile squa­ring their decrées, that wine is the efficient of heate, heate of lust, lust of murder. Eg. Maec [...]nius, flew his owne Wife, (as Plinie recordeth) for that shee loued wine too much, and was by Romulus Law saued from death, in which place of Plinie it is also specified, that a certaine Matron of Rome, was ad­iudged to die, because shee closelie kept the key of a Celler of wine. Censoriall Cato, was so curious in y obseruation of this ordinaunce, that hee customably caused certaine men to kyss [...] the women, to know whether theyr breath smelled of wine, in whose time, no man whatsoeuer, whether he were Consul, Se­nator, Tribune, or Dictator, might drinke any Wine, before he was thirtie and fiue yeres of age. I doo not alleage [...]these ex­amples, to the end I might cond [...] ̄ne the moderate vse of wine as vnlawfull, but to shew by the comparison, how farre we ex­ceede them in excesse, whose banquets are furnisht with such wastfull superfluitie.

It is a common complaint, that more perrish with the sur­fet then with the sworde, which many haue followed so farre, that to the recouering remedie of this surfeting maladie, they haue restrained a healthfull diet to two or thrée dishes: dee­ming our disgestion would be better, if our dishes were fewer. Which opinion, although Sir Thomas Eli [...]t a man of famous memory, in his booke called the Castle of health, in some po­litique respects doth séeme to fauour, yet I doo think in his pri­uate iudgment, hee did acknowledge the diuersitie of mea [...]es, not to be so incommodious as he there pretendes. But that I may aunswere what they vrge, first say they, what say you to brute Beastes, who béeing nourished but with one kinde of meate, and onely after one manner, are farre more healthfull and sounde of body then men, that diet themselues with sun­dry dishes: to this I answer, that either of these assertions are vntrue, for neither doo they vse onely one kind of nourishment, neither are diseases more distant from thē, then from vs. The first is prooued by the choyse of Pastures wherein they graze, [Page] where there is grasse both bitter and sauorie, soure & sweete, some nourishing colde, some nourishing hote iuyce, Is then the substance of their meate simple, who feede vppon boughe [...] and weedes, besides so many sundry kinde of field hearbes, no lesse diuers in nutriment then in name. To prooue that disea­ses are no lesse incident to beastes then to men, I will sticke to Homers authoritie, who reporteth the pestilence to be begun by brute beastes. To shew how great the infirmities are of o­ther creatures, the short life of some of them may sufficientlie serue, except you haue recourse to those recorded Fables of Crowes and Ra [...]ens, who commonly sease vppon all kinde of carrion, picke vp each sort of new sowne seede, and are at hoste with euery kind of fruite in the Orchard. Secondly they adde, that there was neuer Phisition so confidently carelesse of his Patient, that he woulde prescribe the vse of diuers meates at once, to him that is distressed with a Fe [...]er, wherby (say they) it may be gathered, that one kind of meate is more auaileable to a speedie disgestion then many, because that Phisitions pre­scribe but one kinde of meate to them, whose disgestion is wea­kest.

This obiection is thus taken away, first there is not the same proportion to be obserued in diet, in s [...]cknes, & in health. Secondly, in as much as they are wont to set before them, one­ly one sort of meate, it is not because it is more easie of disges­s [...]ion, but least the sight of much meat should bréede in y weake stomacks a lothing of it. Thirdly they obiect, that the nourish­ment of diuers meates is no lesse noysome, then the drinking of diuers kinds of Wines is daungerous. Euery one knowes that he that washeth his braines with diuers kinds of wines, is the next doore to a drunken man, and he like (say they) to be [...]ndangered by diseases, who affecteth variety in his diet. Here do [...] I denie the coherence of the cōparison, for what is hee that by eating ouermuch, doth incurre the like inconuenience that he dooth, that drinketh much, hee that hath ouerloded his sto­macke with sundry meates, is pained a little perhaps in his bellie, hee that hath ouercharged his braine with wyne, is no [Page] better then a mad man for the time, which the rather seemes to me, because the grosenes of y meate remaining in one place, expecteth the administration of disgestion, and béeing thorow­ly consumed, is suddainly voided, but Wine beeing by nature lighter, ascendeth higher, and tickleth the braine placed in the top, with the inflamation of a hote f [...]me, and therefore diuer­sitie of wines at once, is shunned of them that are wise, least the matter which is readie to possesse the head on a suddaine in a moment ouerturne the seate of reason, which daunger in the diuer [...]itie of meates, no reason can be rendred why we shoulde dread. But they will perhaps say, that the diuersitie of iuyce, framed of the diuersitie of meats, agrees not with our bodies, as though our bodies were not compounded of qualities, as of hote and cold, dry and moist, but he which féedeth onely on one kinde of meat, sendeth foorth but the iuyce of one qualitie, the Spring is hote and moist, the Sommer dry and hote, Autum [...] dry and cold, Winter [...]oth moist and colde together, so also the elements which are our beginninges, what reason is it then that our bodies should be restrained to one kind of meat. Thus then we sée that diuersitie is not so incōmodious, but one kind of meate may be as daungerous, for gluttony may as well be committed by one [...]ish as twentie. May not a man as soone surfet by eating a whole sheepe with Phago, or an Oxe with Milo, as by the sipping taste of sundry dainties.

But why stand I so long about meates, as though our life were nought but a banquet, or why am I so large in disputing of the diet of our bodies, as though thereby wee shoulde pur­chase quiet to our soules, what is this but to imitate the foo­lish tender mother, which had rather her childe should be well fed then well taught. Wherefore to make vse of my Anato­mie as well to my selfe as to others, I will prescribe as neere as I can, such a rule for Students, that therby squaring their actions, they shall not be easily attached of any notable absur­ditie.

There be thrée things which are wont to slack young Stu­dents endeuour, Negligence, want of Wisedome, and For­tune. [Page] Negligence, when as we either altogether pretermit, or more lightly passe ouer, the thing we ought seriously to pon­der. Want of wisedome, when we obserue no method in rea­ding. Fortune is in the euent of chaunce, either naturally hap­ning, or when as by pouerty or some infirmitie, or natural dul­nes we are withdrawne from our studies, and alienated from our intended enterprise, by the imagination of the rarenesse of learned men, but as touching these three, for the first, that is to say, negligent [...]loth, he is to be warned: for the second, he is to be instructed: for the thirde, he is to be helped. Let his rea­ding be temperate, whereunto wisedome, not wearines, must prescribe an end, for as immoderate fast, excessiue abstinence, and inordinate watchings, are argued of intemperance, perri­shing with their immoderate vse, so that these thinges neuer after can be performed as they ought in any measure: so the intemperate studie of reading, incurreth reprehension, and that which is laudable in his kinde, is blame woorthy by the abuse. Reading, two waies is lothsome to the mind, and troublesome to the spirit, both by the qualitie, namely if it be more obscure, and also by y quantitie if it be more tedious, in either of which we ought to vse great moderation, least that which is ordained to the refreshing of our wittes, be abused to the dulling of our sences. We reade many things, least by letting them passe, we should seeme to despise them, same things we reade, leaft we should seeme to be ignorant in them, other thinges we reade, not that we may embrace them, but eschew them. Our lear­ning ought to be our liues amendment, and the fruites of our priuate studie, ought to appeare in our publique behauiour.

Reade that sitting, which may be thy meditation walking, shunne as well rude manners as rude phrase, and false dealing as much as false Latine, & choose him to be thy teacher, whome thou maist more admire when thou séest then when thou hea­rest, Quid faciendum sit, a faciente discendum est. Learne of all men willingly that which thou knowest not, because humility may make that common to thee, which nature hath made pro­per to euery one. Thou shalt be wiser then all, if thou wilt [Page] learne of all. Heed what Chrisippus saith in his prouerbs, that which thou knowest not, peraduenture thy Asse can tell the [...]. If thou be desirous to attaine to the truth of a thing, first learn determinate conclusions before thou dealest with doubtful con­trouersies, he shall neuer enter into the reason of the trueth, who beginneth to be taught by discussing of doubts. Thinke not common things vnworthy of thy knowledge of which thou art ignorant: those thinges are not to be contemned as little, without the which great things cannot stand. Post not rashlie from one thing to another, least thou maist séeme to haue séene many things, and learned fewe. Nil assequitur qui omnia sequi­tur. I am not ignorant, that farre more ardent is the desire of of knowing vnknowne thinges, then of repeating knowne things, this we see happen in Stageplayers, in Orators, in al things, men hast vnto nouelties, and runne to sée new things, so that whatsoeuer is not vsuall, of the multitude is admired, yet must Students wisely prefer renowned antiquitie before newe found toyes, one line of Alexanders Maister, before the large inuectiue Scolia of the Parisian Kings Professor.

Many there be that are out of looue with the obscuriti [...] wherein they liue, that to win credit to their name, they care not by what discredit they encrease others shame, and least by the contention, their vaunted victory might be destitute of all glorie, they encounter with them on whose shoulders al Artes doe leane, as on A [...]las the heauens, thinking that men shoulde thus imagine, that none except he knewe himselfe sufficientlie furnished, with the exquis [...]te knowledge of all excellent Arts, durst vndertake such a taske, as though any were more readie to correct Appelles, then the rude Cobler, to contend with Ap­pollo, then contemptible Pan. But these vpstart reformers of Arts, respect not so much the indagation of the truth, as the ayme of their pride, and coueting to haue newe opinions passe vnder their names, they spende whole yeeres in shaping of [...]ects. Which their pudled opinions are no sooner published, but straight way some proude spirited princocks, desirous to differ from the common sort, gets him a liuerie Coate of their cloth, [Page] and slaues it in their seruile sutes, enlarging the wilful errors of their arrogancie. Nothing is so great an enemie to a sounde iudgment, as the pride of a péeuish conceit, which causeth a man both in life and beliefe, either to snatch vppe or hatch newfan­gles. This one thing also deceiueth many, forsooth they wyll seeme wise before their time, that nowe they both beginne to counterfet that which they are not, and to be ashamed of that which they are: and therein they are most distant from wise­dome, wherein they thinke themselues to be thought wyse. Others there be that thinke so well of themselues, that no word can so much as scape by chaunce, but they thinke it wor­thy of a pen-mans paines, and striuing to speake nought but prouerbs, they make their bald eloquence a common by word, cockering themselues in their owne conceits, till they be scor­ned as cockscombes. These they be that knowing not howe to speake, haue not learned to hold their peace, teaching manie times the thinges they vnderstand not, and perswading what they knowe not, becomming the Maisters of the ignorant, be­fore they be the Schollers of the learned. There is no such dis­credit of Arte, as an ignoraunt Artificer, men of meaner iudgement, measuring oft times the excellencie of the one, by the ignoraunce of the other. But as hee that censureth the dignitie of Poetry by Cherillus paultry paines, the maie­stie of Rethorick by the rudenesse of a stutting Hortensius, the subtiltie of Logique by the rayling of Ramus, might iudge the one a foole in writing he knewe not what, the other tipsie by his stammering, the thirde the sonne of Zantippe by his scold­ing; so he that estimats Artes by the insolence of Idiots, who professe that wherein they are Infants, may déeme the Uni­uersitie nought but the Nurse of follie, and the knowledge of Artes, nought but the imitation of the Stage. This I speake to shew what an obloquie, these impudent incipients in Arts, are vnto Art.

Amongst all the ornaments of Artes, Rethorick is to be had in highest reputation, without the which all the rest are naked, and she onely garnished: yet some there be who woulde [Page] seperate Arts from Eloquence, whose oppugne, because it ab­horres from common experience. Who doth not know y in all tongues taske eloquence is odious if it be affected, and that at­tention is altogether wanting, where it is reiected. A man may baule till his voice be hoarse, exhort with teares till his tongue ake, and his eyes be drie, repeate that hee woulde per­swade, till his stalenes dooth secretlie call for a Cloake bagge, and yet moue no more then if he had béen all that while mute, if his speech be not seasoned with eloquence, and adorned with elocutions assistance. Nothing is more odious to the Auditor, then the artlesse tongue of a tedious dolt, which dulleth the de­light or hearing, and slacketh the desire of remembring, and I know not how it comes to passe, but many are so delighted to heare themselues, that they are a cumber to the eares of all o­ther, pleasing their Auditors in nothing more then in y pause of a ful point, when as by their humming and hawking respit, they haue leisure to gesture the mislike of his rudenes. To the eschewing therefore of the lothing hatred of them that heare them, I would wish them to learne to speake many things in few, neither to speake all things, which to theyr purpose they may speake, least those things be lesse profitably spoken which they ought to speake: neither would I haue them ouershoots themselues with an imitation of breuitie, so that striuing to be very short, they should prooue very long, namelie, when as they endeuor to speake many things breefelie. Perswade one point throughlie, rather then teach many things scatteringly, that which we thinke let vs speake, and that which we speake let vs thinke, let our speeche accorde with our life. Endeuour to adde vnto Arte Experience, experience is more profitable voide of arte, then arte which hath not experience. Of it selfe arte is vnprofitable without experience, and experience rashe without arte. In reading, thou must with warie regard learne as wel to discerne thy losse as thy gaine, thy hurt as good, least being wonne to haue a fauourable like of Poets wanton li [...]es, thou be excited vnto the imitation of their lust. It is very vn­séemely that nobler wits shoulde be discredited with baser stu­dies, [Page] and those whō high and mightie callings doo expect, shold be hindered by the inticements of pleasure and vanitie. Young men are not so much delighted with solide substances, as with painted shadowes, following rather those thinges which are goodly to the viewe, then profitable to the vse, neither doo they loue so much those things that are dooing, as those things that are sounding, reioycing more to be strowed with flowers then nourished with frute. How many be there that séeke truth, not in truth but in vanitie, and find that they sought not according to trueth, but according to vanitie, and that which is most mi­serable, in the words of life, they toile for the merchandise of death. Hence commeth it to passe, that many make toyes their onely studie, storing of trifles, when as they neglect most pre­cious treasures, and hauing left the Fountaines of truth, they folow the Riuers of opinions. I can but pittie their folly, who are so curious in fables, and excruciate themselues about im­pertinent questions, as about Homers Country, parentage, and sepulcher, whether Homer or Hesiodus were older, whe­ther Achilles or Patroclus more ancient, in what apparrell Anacharsis the Scithian slept, whether Lucan is to be reckoned amongst the Poets or Historiographers, in what Moneth in the yere Virgill died, with infinite other, as touching the Let­ters of the Hiacinth, the Chestnut tree, the children of Nio­be, the trées where Latona brought foorth Diana, in all which idle interrogatories, they haue left vnto vs not thinges found, but things to be sought, and peraduenture they had founde ne­cessary things, if they had not sought superfluous thinges. In­numerable such vnnecessary questions, according to Philoso­phy are made as touching the soule, as whence it is, what ma­ner of one it is, when it doth begin to be, how long it may bee, whether it passeth not from his first mansion els where, and so alter his abiding, or shift into other formes of brute Beaste [...] ▪ whether one soule serueth no more but once and one, what it shall doo, when as by vs it shall cease to doe any thing, howe it shall vse his libertie, when as it is escaped out of this dungion, or whether it be forgetfull of former things? what do al these [Page] things auaile vnto vertue? Wherfore, euen as he that enter­priseth to saile ouer the endlesse Ocean, whiles he cannot passe any further, is constrained to returne by the way he came, so these men beginning to sound the infinite depth of these miste­ries in ignorance, are faine to cease in ignorance: let thē ther­fore refraine from such folly, and not seeke that which is not to be found, least they find not that which is to be found. Socrates who reduced all Philosophy vnto the manners, sayd, that thys was the greatest wisedome, to distinguish good & euill thinges. Unto which discerning distinction, is required deliberatiue meditation, in so much as in it, consists our liues vertuous di­rection. Neither is it to liue well one daies worke, but the con­tinuall exercise of our whole life, béeing the best effect that euer knowledge did afford. When as wee duely consider, whether euery way leadeth, or wisely ponder with our selues to what end we refer each one of our actions, and exact of our straying thoughts a more seuere account of their wandering course, we shal find no victory so great, as the subduing of vice, nothing so hard as to liue well, no such vnestimable iewell, as an honest conuersation: let him that is inclined but to one extreame, se­cretly try by himselfe, with what facilitie or difficulty he may suppresse it in himselfe, and his owne practise will teache him, that he is led captiue by his owne inclinations, and ouercome by his wicked cogitations. If thē so difficult a thing in accom­plishment, seemes one sins suppression, howe laborious woulde be the reformatio [...], of an altogether euill conuersation. Since then the onely ende of knowledge, ought to be to learne to liue well, let vs propound this vse and end vnto our selues, least af­ter so many yeres paines, we misse of the marke whereat our parents in our education aymd. Turning ouer Histories, and reading the liues of excellent Orators and famous Philoso­phers, let vs with Themistocles, set before our eyes one of the excellentest to imitate, in whose example insisting, our indu­stry may be doubled, to the adequation of his praise.

I know the learned wil laugh me to scorne, for setting down such Rams horne rules of direction, and euen nowe I begin to [Page] bethinke me of Mulcasters Po [...]itions, which makes my penne heere pause as it were at a full point, which pause hath changd my opinion, and makes me rather refer you to Aschame the antienter of the two: whose prayses, seeing Maister Grant hath so gloriously garnished. I will referre you to his workes, and more especially to his Schoolemaster, where he hath most learnedly censured both our Latine and Greeke Authors. As for lighter studies, seeing they are but the exercise of youth to keepe them from idlenes, and the preparation of the minde to more weightie meditations, let vs take heede, least whiles we seeke to make them the furthering helps of our finall professi­on, they proue not the hindering harmes of our intended vo­cation, that we dwell not so long in Poetry, that wee become Pagans, or that we make not such procéedinges in Aristotle, that we prooue proficients in Atheisme. Let not learning, which ought to be the Leuell, whereby such as liue ill, ought to square theyr crooked waies, be the occasion vnto thē of far­ther corruption, who haue already sucked infection, least their knowledge way them downe into hell, when as the ignorant goe the direct way to heauen.

And thus I ende my Anatomie, least I might seeme to haue beene too tedious to the Reader in enlarging a Theame of Absurditie, desiring of the learned pardon, and of Women patience, which may encourage me héereafter, to endeuour in some other matter of more moment, as well to be answerable to the expectation of the one, as to make amends to the other. In the meane time I bidde them both farewell.


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