A MIRROVR of Monsters:

Wherein is plainely described the manifold vices, & spotted enormities, that are cau­sed by the infectious sight of Playes, with the description of the subtile slights of Sa­than, making them his instruments.

Compiled by Wil. Rankins.

Magna spes est inferni.

Séene and allowed.


AT LONDON Printed by I. C. for T. H. in Anno. Do. 1587.

A MIRROVR of Monsters.
MAGNA SPES est inferni.

DEsirous in youth (not satisfi­ed with Maps) to confer the nature of my natiue soile, with the common condition of other countries, I found it a sprig, budding from the wi­thered plant of vertue, by e­quall comparison of contra­ries, to decerne good from bad: and choosing according­lie with sinceritie to imbrace the one,A troubled mind is tossed with worldlie waues. and auoid the pernicious path of the other. Trauelling thus in mind, and tossed with worldlie waues, as my bodie was in­dangered in the billowes of the raging sea, whereby occasioned to behold manis countries (though I conti­nued in none) I noted their manners so farre as my capacitie could conceiue, or the shortnesse of my abode instruct me in the same.The happinesse of England.

At the last, happilie (or rather by the deuine powers) as I may terme it, I arriued in a countrie named Ter­ralbon, situate in the Westerne parts, and conteined in the compasse of Europa, the onelie report whereof was sufficient to win a mind perticularlie led in secu­ritie in h [...]s owne natiue countrie, to be an eye witnesse to the rarenesse of that peaceable place. So godlie in gouernement, so politique in procéedings, so walled for warre, and fortified with fréends, that it is hard to be [Page] censured▪ whether the place be more blessed, for the plentie of all things, necessarie for a flourishing com­monwealth, or for the tranq [...]llous peace it continual­lie enioieth, at both which all christendome woonders, and wisheth (as a head to their flowing streames) that plentie of [...]ile and wine, store of milke and honie, anoint the heads and chearish the hearts of such happie gouernours.

Amongst which blessed benefits,That place is said to be celestiall where a vertuous prince ruleth the realme. and heape of cele­stiall graces, there is aboue the rest a most vertuous and godlie princesse, whose fame spreddeth to infidels, whose noble vertues are woondered at amongst the Heathen, whose peaceable gouernement Pagans doo adore,Vrged contrarie to nature, a woolfe should tremble at a lambe: but such is the force of vertue to com­passe impossibi­lities in the iudgement of man. no lesse feared of forren enimies, then beloued of naturall subiects. At whose clemencie (but a Lambe) the Woolfe dooth tremble, nor dareth the Fox barke on the [...]unts of Terralbon, where Saba beholdeth the f [...]eding of hir Lambes.

This blessed Ladie, whome God hath annointed, whome Angels doo guide, and Archangels defend from the secret sting of the Aspis, that lurketh vnder the lips of the vngodlie, is adorned with so manie vertu­ [...]us gifts of the mind,God deliuereth a vertuous prince from the wicked conspiracies of the vngodlie. Vertue and wis­dome shall neuer waine. that the rudenesse of my quill would rather diminish the full and fertile spring of hir flourishing praises, then m [...]rltorious [...]ie commend the singularitie of the same, onelie this maye I say, Sacra est Regina, iusta diserta po [...]ens, What wanteth there then (obiect what may be) to saye shée is sacred, iust, wise, and mightie, the fulnesse whereof furnishing the heauens shall neuer waine.

But yet speake I mor [...] largelie of the famous state of hir Terralbon. The corruption of our age, that vice must needs be coupled with vertue. In whose flour [...]shing fields a­mongst the statelie trées cleaueth consuming Caterpil­lers, and as the tallest Caedar hath his water boughes, and winters blasts (were it of Libanus) the swéete Rose his prickes and concealing Canckers (grew it in [Page 2] Paradise) the cleanest streame his mud, and grauell stones (sproong it from the head of Ganges.) So Ter­ralbon hath places and people beyond the view of ver­tue, yet by regard to be redressed, and care cleane to be confounded, such as liue by others losse, laughes, at o­thers languishing,Plaiers are Ca­terpillers and Canckers, that cleaue to the braunches of forward wits. florish by others fading, sing at o­thers sorrow, consuming caterpillers cleauing to for­ward branches, canckers that canterize Roseall youth, and muddie motes that trouble the cléerest springs: so may I terme them, whose Tearme hath continued too long a time. What men are these? (naie rather monsters) that thus corrupt so swéete a soile:They are Mon­sters. such are they, as in outward shew séeme painted sepulchres, but digge vp their déeds, and finde nothing but a masse of rotten bones.

Some terme them Comedians, other some Play­ers, manie Pleasers,They colour their vanitie with humanitie. but I Monsters, and whie Mon­sters? Bicause vnder colour of humanitie, they pre­sent nothing but prodigious vanitie. These are wels without water, dead branches fit for fuell, cockle a­mongst corne, vnwholesome wéedes, amongst swéete hearbes, and finallie, féends that are crept into the worlde by stealth, and holde possession by subtill in­uasion.

But some of their societie may fortune to obiect, that I chatte beyond my charge, and speake more than probabilitie or ground (of searched and experienced troth,) naye will not sticke to saie. I am malicious without measure, proud with presumption, and al­ledge more then I dare auouche, to speake against them that are priuiledged by a Prince, naye more sworne seruants to the annointed, allowed by Magi­strates, & commended by many.The coate of a prince cannot alter the con­dition of the corrupted. I easilie answer: Most men liked the masking Apes of Aegypt, whose golden cotes, could not couer their brutish states, for Simia si­mia erit etiam si aurea gestet insignia. Nor can the coate [Page] of a mightie and puissant prince, priuiledge a subiect to wander in error,The coate of a prince cannot alter the condi­tion of the cor­rupted. naie to build their habitations vnder the Caeders of Saba. Princes are as Gods, and may command, subiects inferior creatures, and must not of­fend. What reason hath the foote to saie, my head recre­ates himselfe with pleasure,A subiects selfe­will must not be grounded on the pleasure of a Prince. therefore may I walke at leasure, for this is no consequent: The Prince must be pleased, therefore the subiect be diseased. For that is poison to some, which is medicinable to other, and of a perticular good, by abuse maye spring a generall euill.Abuses are no vses.

But set we aside this cauelling obiector, and view we more narrowlie from what spring these serpents first suckt their vnsauerie sap (for men doo then trans­forme that glorious image of Christ,Plaiers trans­forme their bo­dies which is the image of Christ into the shape of brute beasts. into the brutish shape of a rude beast, when the temple of our bodies which should be consecrate vnto him, is made a stage of stinking stuffe, a den for théeues, and an habitation for insatiate monsters.) First they are sent from their great captaine Sathan (vnder whose banner they beare armes) to deceiue the world,They are sent from Sathan. to lead the people with intising shewes to the diuell, to seduce them to sinne,They are the members of Sathan to prac­tise for him in the kingdome of this world. and well tuned strings, to sound pleasing melo­die, when people in heapes daunce to the diuell. But rather séeme they the limbs, proportion, and members of Sathan.

First are they his head that studie to deceiue the people with intising shewes, which (if Hydraes) the sword of iustice might soone cut. They are his toongs, which roare out pleasing (but yet damnable) tales into the ears of the people,Iustice may breake the ioints of Sathan. easilie puld out by Iustice. They are his armes that stretch out ot catch the poeple with­in the compasse of his chaine, whose ioints Iustice may breake. They are his clouen féet that plod in damned paths, in whose steps spring vp sundrie séeds of deadlie desires. Such are they, and such will they be (as long as [Page 3] they be.)Plaiers began to prophane the Sabaoth. When first these monsters came into Terral­bon, such was their proud presumption, that they fea­red not to prophane the Sabbaoth, to defile the Lords daie, to scoffe at his word, and to stage his wrath. But when the King of kings sawe his scepter broken, his crowne trode vnder the féete of the vngodlie, his roabes rent, naye the glorie of his Sonne darkened with the head of this monstrous Beast:Bearish garden fell vpon the prophaners of the Sabbaoth. he stretched out his mightie arme, and with the rod of his Iustice brused the bones of them that prophaned his Sabaoth, defiled his sacred daye, and scoffed at his holie word. Then Iustice pulled off hir vaile, & with a cleare fore­sight (beholding the same) so ordained it, that these monsters dare no longer roare on the Sabaoth of the Lorde.

What sight then so bleared with fond affection,Selfe-will may be blinded with affection. but may easilie decerne, Sathan brought them into the world, nurssed them in the world, and nourisheth them in the world, instructs them in the world, and will de­stroye them in the world, except in time they shadow themselues vnder the wings of Angels. For as the power of God is inscrutable,Repentance may reclaime them to the mercie of God. so is his mercie manifold, his wrath inkindled, is quenched with petition, humi­litie, and a repentant soule. Such is his power, such is his vnspeakeable mercie. In which my incepted course, I am to desire the reader, that I may referre his paci­ent aduise to this consequent, conteining the summe of my Mirror: wherein if it please him to read with de­liberation, and ponder with iudgement, he shall find such as I promised to be faithfullie performed. Wher­in is conteined the perfect description of such enormi­ties and heinous offences, that these monsters continu­allie carrie with them, easie to be decerned in the darke without a candle, were they couered with the obscurest cloude to hide their hydeous shapes. For spitting fier from their mouthes, they are to be discouered by their [Page] déedes.

In this countrie of Terralbon, whereof I haue som­what spoken, is a place famous for filthinesse, well knowne of manie, for the most part noted of all, whose name as necessarie we must not forget:By interpretatiō from the Greeks Hollow well. called [...] a place well scituate in sinne, senced with frawde, built by briberie, whose pathes are well beaten, as the per­fect waie to wickednesse, the entrie easie, for lesse price then I [...]das bought his damnation, where my selfe luld in the lap of Securitie,A man may buie his damnation there for two pence not long since was brought a sléepe by Carelesse cogitations▪ where either by the nature of the place (whether inchanted by charmes) or by my owne darkesome disposition (ignorant of mine owne harmes) I know not, but there restlesse I rested without regarde, and plunged my selfe in the depth of follie.

This Laborinth, where lodged these monstrous Minotaures, had many winds, and turnes fit for a mind (as they terme it) Malecontent, to walke neuer con­tent:The grace of God may guide anie man from this monstrous Laborinth of Plaies. wherein viewing manie things able to intice a pleasant eye to beholde, or an open eare to delight, by the line of grace, at length I got out, when I vowed to my guide vnspotted loue, heartie zeale, & continuall praise, that brought a soule almost sunke in sinne to the brinke of mercie. Wherein (as our prouerbe saith) none can better describe the furie of fier, then he which hath béene scorched with the flame) I shall tell you of things strange to consider, but more strange to behold, no lesse true then strange, yet not so strange as damnable.

In this place [...] not long since was solemni­zed a marriage, betwéene two ancient and amiable louers, hauing long liued in [...] (and yet but yoong) in so much that by the common consent of the whole inhabitants, nothing was more talkt off, pro­uided for, nor more diligentlie waited on then those [Page 4] loyall louers of no small authoritie,Pride and Lea­cherie caused by Plaiers. named Fastus and Luxuria. The one hath reigned Rector, since the first foundation of that blessed building. The other as Ladie of the world, (in that Pallace best beséeming hir state) striueth to rule in the hearts of most men, This marriage determined by Destinie,The diuell is a­dored as God amongst them, whome they make their idoll as the Isralits did by their golden calfe in Horebbe or rather by the infernall powers, [...] there rule all, and serue for Calues to worship in Horebbe, was began by Mis­chéefe (one of the states of that Stage) and shall end by Beggerie, that hath alreadie obteined the reuerti­on of that office, so time the ender of all things hath concluded.

Which when I viewed, with great desire to be­holde the end (as the seaf [...]ing Sailer séeing himselfe in danger to lose his life▪ [...] wisheth himselfe at his voi­age end.) So sought I (for feare I should sinke) to get me from this painefull Pallace, yet loth to leaue it till time led me to the finall conclusion I determined (as I liked the chéere) to take part of the banket. Which I will describe in such order as I found it.

And first to shew you how finelie the Ladie trickt vp hir selfs to méet the Bridegrome in the chappell Adul­terinum, They thinke their buildings so strong, that God cannot de­stroie them. firmelie built for falling, vnderpropt with pil­lers that Sampson cannot bend: néere adioining to [...], least the Bride should wet hir féet in going too farre, whose nicenesse in the morning I may not omit.

Rising from hir bed of Securitie, hanged with Cur­tins of Carelesnes,Lecherie spen­deth hir time, in thinking best to please. with valances of Uanitie, she dres­sed hir head with such costly Calles, Earings, Iewels, Per [...]wigs & Pearls, as if for varietie of attire, she had a store house of trumperie. Nor was there any thing left vndone, but that which should be doone. Amongst ye rest to make hir séeme more amiable to hir best beloued shée painted hir faire face wt spots of shadowed mode­stie: not frō Apelles shop, whose colours are coūterfeit, nor yet from Zeuxes famous in portratures. But sent [Page] from Proserpina wife to Pluto. A welwisher to this wedlocke: better coulours then Psyches carried to Venus quicklie decaied, but these last longer then they should. After shée had hanged at hir eares manie costlie fauours of follie farre set from the Indians of Anglia, Wherein is no­ted the pride that is caused by plaiers, the be­holders framing themselues to their leude life. she embrodered hir haire with embossed brouches of beastlie desire, then gazing in hir glasse of vaineglorie, shée concluded as fine as may be.

Hir handmaid Concupiscence readie to attend the pleasure of hir Ladie, cloathed hir in a coate of Sattin of subtiltie, when shée séemed vnto hir selfe a second Narcissus, for beautie, fauour, and louelie lookes. Shée loued not to be praised, for that was vaine, if Concu­piscence had said Iupiter in hi [...] deitie might behold hir, then might you decerne the shamelesse bloud striue to appeare in hir immodest face.

Now wanted there nothing that this Ladie might be led (as the custome is of brides) to the chappell A­dulterinum, The Theater & Curtine may aptlie be termed for their abho­mination, the chappell Adulterinum. but onelie this: shée wished for some of Medeas charmes, that she might continuallie be young for the loue of hir Lord. Now goeth shée led to the chap­pell by secure sufferance, Licentia enim fenestram ad ne­quitiam aperit. Where we will leaue the bride attend­ing the comming of hir Lord. And returne to describe the manner of his state.

[...] could hardlie conteine the magnificence of this mightie man, had it not béene determined by the prouident appointers, who wiselie foresawe that the maiestie of the place, agréeing with the state of this marriage,Men are verie easilie seduced to wickednesse. was fit to receiue them. For as the statelie Piramides in Greece, as the adamant drewe men with desire from farre to behold the same. So no lesse famous for report of practise, cunning in all things and brauerie of building, is the castell of [...]. Whether men striue to go first to possesse a place to be­hold their pageants.

[Page 5] This King (as I may terme him) for that he raig­neth ouer the harts of most men, to immitate Mars, Pryde raigneth as a king ouer the harts of mē. to whom sometimes hee sent his seruice: thought it best in compleat Armor richlie wrought in martiall maner to march to the Chappell. Then againe he séemed not so content,The variable minde of pryde, how he may be best attyred to please. but in milder maner in honor of Hymaeneus to carry Torches by day light, to adde (as he thought) more glorie to the day. This mis [...]ikt him more then the rest, béeing ye common custome of euery Swaine to offer Incense to Hymaeneus But this in coniecture bet­ter fitted his purpose, to imitate Pyrithous with cups of wyne to honor Bacchus, and to sprinckle the Chap­pell with y sweet sacrifice. But that in a while séemed too prophane, and better befiting the Country Chorle.

Whilst thus he bethought himselfe, crauing counsel of his confederates,Chiefly to please his Lady Leche­ry, he thus cont [...] ded with him­selfe. to solemnize his marriage with as much honor as might be. As well to please the braue­rie of his bryde, as to féede his priuate humor, there crept into his head this conceit. It was not thought a­misse, amongst them, for that Venus was the Goddesse, they did most adore Sceleratis Dea, pijs verò D [...]mon. Though (least séeming too carped) they sometimes cal­led on Mars to carry Cupid on their shoulders: adding thereby honor to Venus. Lust lyueth and flourisheth a­mongst Players. As the Apul [...]ians vsed to car­ry theyr lying Goddesse Syria, to deceiue the people with vaine prophesies, which accordingly was straight performed.

For this noble Lord, béeing mounted on his statelie Courser, nothing inferior to Bucephalus, he rode with no lesse royaltie, then when Aeneas hunted with Dido, sauing that his Dido was not present, béeing other­wise busied in the Chappell Adulterinū, set forward to the same place, this manner they obserued to carrye theyr God.Lust is honored as a God.

First they caused some Lysippus to carue him out of [Page] Alablaster, so exquisite as might be. Phidias sette co­lours vpon his face, best fitting their fancie. Then they caused him to be cloathed in light Taffata [...]tte for car­riage, in collour white, though some what different frō the Gods condition.

Next Curiositie crowned him with Mirtle, made in a Garland,They offer theyr soules as Sacri­fice to lust. stuck full of Roses, and waxed his wings with Oyle of Narde, and Spike of the swéetest sauour: in the one hand he carryed a Darte, in the other a fire­brand, whereby they present the puissance of his pow­er.It raigneth but in the harts of wicked men. This God by the greater, is but limitted his autho­ritie. Malorum nisi animos occupat. Further he claimes no title of gouernment. But these men liue in his land and therefore must be ruled by hie might, yéelding hys Image the honour due to hys person,They are super­stitious. they caryed thys God vpon theyr shoulders to the Chappell. To honour whose comming,Drummes and Trumpets to calmenne to Plaies. the Banners were displayed, the Drummes strooke vppe, and the Trumpets sounded.

Béeing now in the Chappell, the Bridegrome shew­ed that curtesie to his Bride, which the custome cra­ued. Then clarkly Confusion knitte them in one, and married this couple together, insomuch that they are no longer two,Take away the cause and the ef­fect ceaseth. but one, continually to inhabit ye court­ly Castle of [...], the fée simple whereof they holde as long as the building lasteth. But pull downe their building,Sathan woulde not haue hys members cut off. and theyr honor decayeth. Therefore beware to offend the Serpent by hurting his head.

Béeing thus wedded together, with all the pompe that might bee, and honour expedient for such an exployt, with wine of the best in the honor of Bacchus, Wafers for Ceres, Laurell for Apollo, Torches for Hymaeneus, and Cupid for Venus. Least hee shoulde séeme partiall in his Sacrifice to dedicate his seruice to one, and not to all: And so purchase displeasure of some of the Gods. With this manner of reuerence he retur­ned to his Castle. Where I must shewe you the rest [Page 6] that remaineth.

By this time Fame (that bringeth abroad secrets digged from the very depth of darknes) had manifested to most menne the manner of this marriage, and pro­claimed as well the estate, as then vnknowne, as the future happines should therby insue,Players by stick­ing of their bils in Londō, defile the streetes with their infectious filthines. so farre foorth that the stréetes of Terralbon were stuck with their bylles, and almost euery post was a witnes to these pompous procéedings. Which doone, the nature of most menne béeing desirous of nouelties, and gréedy of newes. Like heardes of Goates they flocked with desire to féede in that pleasaunt pasture, where like young Kiddes they wantonly disported themselues in these pleasant Mea­dowes,Most mē thinke theyr pleasure will not turne to payne. and grazing tenderly on the Gréene grasse, they déemed it rather a Celestiall Paradise then an habita­tion of hell houndes. Such is the nature of man, to call good euill, and euill good.Folly so bleareth mens eyes, that they take playes to be profounde Scripture. Then Folly that stretcheth forth her winges to shaddow the sences of the besotted, to the intent that their swollen eyes should not beholde theyr deformed mindes: chose out pathes, erected pla­ces, and built Skaffoldes in [...] for hys darlings to behold these daintie deuises. When they preparing theyr thirstie eares,Playes make mē sin against theyr owne soules. enclyning to harken to the trompe of Defame, were soone sommonde to the pe­rill of this place, and addressed in compleat sin to beare Armes against theyr owne soules. Where humaine mindes might easilie behold Uertue dismembred,Vertue is defaced amongst Plaiers. her Towers throwne downe, her bulwarks battered, her walls wasted, her stately buildings beatē downe with these barbarous minded mates: her Trées bereft of leaues, and now against Nature inhabited rather by beasts of the field, and foules of the ayre, then by the mindes of men, such enmitie is there sworne betwéene Uertue and Follie.

But nowe returne we to our former charge, to tell without tediousnes the brauery of theyr banquet. By [Page] thys time were they returned to theyr Castle, no cere­monie ouerslipt behoofull for the same.The exercise that some practise at Playes. Where with amorous embracings, loouing lookes, and swéete saluta­tions the Bryde & Bridegroome gréeted one an other. Like as Mars when he hadde beene wearied with war­like exployts, vsed to entertaine his Lady Venus, when contrary to theyr lyking vnlookt for, they were taken in a Nette. No lesse was theyr loue.

After setting themselues downe in a Chayre of vn­chaste thoughts, hande in hand they beganne to parle, whose secret talke as vnnecessary or immodest I omit, but let them iudge that know and meane to admonish themselues by this Mirrour.The honor they owe to lust. The Parlour of payne was prouided for them and theyrs, there to feast till they surfetted, to drinke till Bacchus bidde them stay, and to disport themselues in honor of Cupid, whose I­mage was erected in a place of purpose built, paynted with coy conceits, and couered with costly colours. Which place béeing somewhat néere a windowe,How God laugheth to scorne the folly of these menne. was sometime shaken with a Northren wynde, when the God made them admire by hys moouing, whether hée were discontent, desirous to be amongst them, or wyth hys nodding silence by signes chéered his seruaunts.

Their seruaunts, with no lesse diligence then besée­med theyr obedience,These are doore keepers, & boxe­holders at Playes Tartara is taken for hell. prouided for the banquet such rare confections as theyr Lorde and Ladye were wonte to loue, who béeing sette at theyr Table Tartara, compact by a cunning Carpenter, with theyr fréends fickle fol­ly, leude laughter, and filthy fornication, were serued as foloweth.

A crue of counterfait companions, such as some­times were banisht the Theaters at Rome, for presen­ting the vilenes of Venetian Curtizans,Players were ba­nished frō Rome for theyr beastlie enormities. with theyr wanton words, and paltry parasites with Apish toyes, were appoynted to serue in thys balefull banquer, to please the better, as wel to dissemble disposition as out­warde [Page 7] habit:How they trans­forme themselus so far to the con­dition of euerie man, that there is no vice but they are well seene i [...] the same. some trans-formed themselues to Roges, other to Ruffians, some other to Clownes, a fourth to fooles, in the fift place Louers and Leachers, nor feared the wyldie Woolfe to play fast and loose with the Lyon in the wyldernes of these brutish Beastes. So well these loyterers liked these pleasant pastimes, yt in short time they grewe exquisite in these exercises, and singu­ler in these subtill sleights, as if in derision of nature to scoffe theyr maker, they were more cunning then their Creator. The Roges were ready, the Ruffians were rude,Players ought not amidst [...] folly present the persons of Prin­ces. theyr Clownes cladde as well with Country condition, as in Ruffe russet, theyr Fooles as fonde as might be, theyr Louers and Leachers leude at the least sauing that the Woolfe marde hys imitation with the Lyons clawe, whose skynne payd ransome for his saw­cie spéeche.

Fyrst Presumption cloathed inaspyring Purple, brought in a dayntie dysh of damnable desires, and set it on the Table Tartara. Next Contempt brought in conficts of continuall care,Their counter­faite cogging. with counterfeit curtesie of an humble hart. Hi enim externa specie sunt humiles a­nimis verò fastidiosi. The manner of theyr balefull banquet [...]e. Then followed Subtiltie with suc­ket of sighes, and shamefull sorrowes, thus followed they, till in order euery dishe, after the best manner that might, was solemnely sette before thys company, with such cost, as the like in Terralbon hath not often béene séene.

Then drinking of the wyne of forgetfulnes,Playes make thē forgette GOD. which séemed vnto them more swéete then Nectar, and farre more pleasant then Manna from Heauen, to digest the diuersitie of theyr daintie dyshes, they tempered theyr tongues, and outward gesture with such talke, that theyr action might be vniforme to the rarenes of theyr banquette, which was such, and so great together, with the coniunction of this couple,Sathan reioyceth at the wickednes that the Ruler of the in­fernall powers, Pluto himselfe conceyued such ioye [Page] thereat, that he deuised by what meanes hee might best congratulate these loyal Louers, thereby to expresse howe well he likt of thys wedlock.

Proserpina put into hys head, the wonted custome of worldlings. That when Loue linked any together, theyr study was to consummate theyr mariage wyth Maskes,Common enor­mities at wed­dings when the espoused ought to reioyce in GOD. mummeryes, and other such shewes, as might cause lyking in the Louers, and bréede a continuall content in the beholders. Shée therefore counselled pluto to send to Fastus and Luxuria, They cloak theyr villany with vi­sards of good pretence. a Maske [...]hose from the most famous fellowes of all hys dominion, with vi­sards to vale theyr vices, and apparell to couer theyr deformed conditions.

Thys séemed so pleasing to pluto, that with hys Charmed Mace, wherewith hee inflicts the guilty con­science of his carelesse creatures, from the déepest dun­geons, and hollow va [...]tes of hys infernal prison, bée­ing bound with the Chaynes of dyrefull Death,The reward of wickednes. with a maiestie no lesse terrible then to be trembled at, with a voyce as when the wynde entred the vautie and hol­low earth, with roaring noyse, ouerturnd the presump­tuous Tower of Babell, The deuill ruled the harts of those mē that builded the Towre of Babell. erected to dare the King of Kinges, and to viewe the reache of hys raygne. Hee called hys Porter wyth hys thréefolde barke, whose commaund béeing at a becke, caused hym forthwyth to obey, to whom he gaue the keyes of hys pittilesse pry­son, to sette at liberty for a season, these Maskers that ensue.

Thys dyrefull Dogge, whose triple head was to be feared of the beholders, was of no lesse force in his re­giment,The fearefulnes of hell. then the head of the Monster Gorgon, that trans-formed the beholders into a stone. Who taking the keyes gyuen to hys charge by hys Lorde and mai­ster, entred the Dungion where [...] damned soules were inflicted wyth vnspeakeable torments.

First opening a vastye vaute of huge, and massye [Page 8] substaunce, whose stincke was able to infecte a mortall man, repleate with lothsome wormes, and hidious Serpents, with venemous Snakes and hyssing Ad­ders, with foule blacke swealth and foggy mist, for­ming a Chaos of congered substaunce, ouer which flyeth no Foule but presently dyeth with the infectious stinck of this hidious hole,Idlenes is the roote of mis­chiefe, and there­fore deserueth a torment in hell. he called forth Idlenes, from his boyling Caldron of insatiate liquor, thereunto en­ioyned by sathan himselfe for rewarde of his wicked­nes, in whose steppes, who so treades, shalbe pertaker of his payne, whose woe neuer wasteth, whose care consumes, but neuer endes. Such is the payne of Idle­nes, the roote of mischiefe, and originall of vices, from whence the rest, somewhat inferior to this, doo budde and blowe, whose nature I must describe, to the in­tent you may the better iudge of the iustnes of hys reward, and inflicted torment.

Diuine Plato, The description of Idlenes. amongst all other of hys learned lessons (for which he deserueth to be honored of al ages) hath bréefely sette foorth, to al such as meane to be war­ned by his wysedome. That no idle person meriteth a­ny good reward, wherein he iustly reprooueth such, as reicecting the care of vertue, and refusing paynes (which must be endured before wee can obtayne the possession of wysedome, and honor) doo gyue themselues ouer to idlenes, and couet rather to walke in the open & broade pathe of pleasure (the ende whereof is wretched mise­ry▪ deceiued with the false delight of a poysoned swéet) then to follow the hard and narrowe way of Uertue, conducting them to the plotte of ioy and heauenly hap­pines. Pythagoras Y might warne men to auoyde such folly.Idlenes maketh a man forget God▪ But the infection of this vice is so contagious, that as the Ryuer Laethes maketh hym that drynketh therof, presentlie to forget his own condition & former déedes, so this damnable vice of idlenes, so besotteth the sences, and bewitcheth the myndes of menne, [Page] as they remembred not the profitable fruites of vertu­ous labor.The idle manne deserueth no re­warde. Nor will sée that ye bitternes of Gall ma­keth the taste of Honny more pleasaunt. The cowardly Souldier that feareth to skale his enemies Forte, de­serueth not any part of the spoyles. Nor wyll reason consent that the sléeping Senator, shall according to the Romaine custome, be crowned with Laurell. Iustice, in token that she hateth Idlenes (whose blindnes might excuse leasure) is painted with a payre of ballaunce in one hand, exercised with waights, a sword in the other to cut downe vice, and abal at her féete to exercise those partes, thereby noting that no parte of Uertue shoulde be secure.

So hatefull was this vice to Heathen Princes,Idlenes was ha­ted amongst Heathen meane. that liued in former ages, that the Emperor Domitian was sayd to catch Flyes. The Persian Kinges sometimes shaued sticks. And Phillip of Macedon, fearing hee should be ouercome with sléepe, had continually a ball of brasse in his hand, with a bason by of the same met­tall, that when forgetfulnes caused him to sléepe, hys nodding head forcing the ball from his hande, hée was thereby awaked, so hatefull séemed idlenes to this puis­saunt Prince.

Surely the prouidence of God manifesteth howe sorely he is displeased with idlenes,The idle man is punished with ig­norance, beggery and a miserable ende. when as he puni­sheth such as delight therein with ignoraunce, begge­rie, and a miserable ende. But contrariwise, howe much he tendereth such as are addicted to vertuous stu­die, it appeareth,Diligēce is crowned with vnder­standing. in that he crowneth them with vn­derstanding and honor. This is the guerdon of warie diligence, that, the rewarde of blinde and lothsome sloth.

What mooued Lycurgus to make a Law,Lycurgus lawe against idlenes. that no youth in Lacedemon, shoulde receiue any sustenaunce, before he had giuen account to haue doone some worke profitable to the common wealth. But because he ab­horred [Page 9] idlenesse,Themistocles renowned for his vertuous labour. as the spoile of yoong men, and nursse of wickednesse? What made Themistocles so renow­ned, but bicause he could net sleepe quietlie in the night, for desire he had to trauaile for the increase of ho­nour and knowledge.

Euen as in the games of Olympia none receiued any reward of glorie,The Games of Olympia ordei­ned rewards for labour. but such as fought manfullie. And as the lasie husbandman lurking at home, and leauing his ground vntild, hath for his reward in har­ [...]est nought else but wéedes and brambles.The lasie hus­bandman gathe­reth weeds. Or as the Merchant, who to lead a secure life at home, neuer ventereth the danger of the seas abroad, maketh small gaine of his marchandize: so idlenesse weakeneth the sences and members of men,Idlenesse neuer profiteth his countrie. that they shall neuer be able to profit their countrie or themselues, either by conquest to get renowne, by sowing the ground, to reape desired profit, or by venturing their liues on the seas, inritch their cosers, and increase their credit. For he that delighteth in the swéete sauor of Roses, must not refuse them bicause of their prickels.

Consider if Aristotle had giuen his minde to idle­nesse,Aristotle by learning and la­bour came to honor. hée had neuer ascended to so high a degrée of lear­ning and honour, as to be tearmed Princeps Philoso­phorum, Cicero had neuer deserued to be called Pater Patriae, but by shunning idlenesse.Cicero was cal­led the father of his countrie. Remember what honour poore Cleanthes got,Cleanthes di­ligence. who all night accustomed to carrie water, that in the daye he might haue main­tenance to studie the liberall Sciences.

How came Alexander to be conqueror of the world, but by flying idlenesse? Idlenesse might haue hindered Hercules in accomplishing his haughtie and honoura­ble labours? But that his manlie brest was neuer pos­sest with such an ignoble mind. Vlisses detesting the delaies of idlenesse, in a moment finished the ten years warre betwixt the Graecians and the Troians. Apel­les had neuer prooued so cunning a Painter, if he had [Page] not euerie day drawne a line with his pensile, Wiselie therefore said the Gréekes, [...].

Quisquis en [...]m dur [...]s casus virtu [...] is amore
Vicere [...],
The Gods sell honor for labor.
Ille sibi laudemque decusque parabit.
At qui Desidiam luxumque seq [...]etur [...]nertem.
Dam fugit opposi [...]os, incauta m [...]nte, labores
Turpis in [...]psque si [...]ul miserabile transigit aeuum.

How accurssed then are those who neither diswaded with the examples of times passed, nor deterred with the view of our owne age, ouergrowne with this vi [...]e like a fertile péece of ground, for want of wéeding cho­ked with tares, will not themselues too good in the commonwealth,The nature of the currish dog. but séeke by their vitious example to defile other. As the Dog whose currish nature will neither permit the sillie horsse to eate haye, nor yet himselfe féed in the manger [...] such horsses would be bound with chaines to Plough in the furr [...]wes of La­bor, or else their bodies taught to indure paines on the earth, to saue themselues frō Idlenesse torture in hell.

Of which sort of men (the more to be lamented) are these Players,Plaiers are mi­nisters of Idle­nesse. who doo not onelie exercise them­selues in all kind of Idlenesse, but minister occasion to manie to incurre the like, if then (as sure it is) idlenesse be the root of euill, and these men the root of Idlenesse, it were pittie but such a root should be fuell for the fier,Commit the roote to the fier. to the intēt the branches may florish no longer. Ther­fore séeing Idlenesse is so vile a vice, and so much de­tested both in the sight of God and man, as the onelie enimie to vertue,The iust punish­ment of Idle­nesse. vniustlie was hée not punished in that boyling lake, and filthie fórnace of all abhomina­tion, to whose description I must returne againe, to set foorth his miserie agréeable to his merit, and place him the chéefe masker in this marriage before spoken of. Whose shape must néeds,Idlenesse couer [...] his deformitie. in respect if marcheth a­mongst men, hauing some vale to couer his deformitie [Page 10] least being easilie decerned, it be not so well allowed, especiallie, since that the nature of men (though not so soone deceiued) with plaine inormities) is quick [...]lie se­duced with coloured pretences,This maske [...] must haue a vi [...]ard. and as these maskers (as custome requireth) cease not to séeke the fairest vi­sards to couer their foule faces, the better to smoothe the poison that lurketh in their minds:Honest recreatiō is a visard for Idlenesse. So Idlenesse least his filthie spots should bewraye the foulenesse of his face, dooth couer the same with the vizard of Honest recreation,Plaiers are mi­nisters of Idle­nesse. so farre, that minds seduced by selfe-will to ignorance, can hardlie say this is Idlenesse. As if it shold be said Plaies are Honest recreation, and there­fore plaiers are not ministers of Idlenesse. They that persecuted Christ and his members were not idle, but how well imploide let reuerent minds cenceiue.The Temple of God defiled. The money changers that made the temple of God a den of théeues, were not idle. Sathan when he tempted Christ was not idle. They that stoned Steuen were not idle, but farre better had it beene for these men to haue slept securelie in their droonken desires, armed in idlenesse, then to haue bin ministers of such monstrous matters. For far better is it to sléepe with Peter, then to wake with Iudas: to be dronke with Lot, then busied with Dinah: to be gazing with Dauid on the top of a Tow­er, though Bethsaibe causd him to sin, then with Caine to incur the wrathfull indignation of the Almightie.

If these men then (though they be not idle) be ill im­ploid,Their honest re­creation is proo­ued cusled dam­nation. what is their honest recreation, but curssed dam­nation, when they wake with Iudas, dallie with Di­nah, and kill with Caine, practising all things prohibi­ted by the lawes of God, and disanulled by nature hir selfe, then must we néeds conclude, that this visard is counterfeit like the cormorant O [...]teriche, whose fea­thers are faire, but hir flesh rancke, what other thing is Idlenesse then, but the roote of euill, and originall of sinne, & this visard of so curssed a masker, counterfeit [Page] to couer deformitie, flie therefore this as most damna­ble, that as a deceitfull seducer.Flie Idlenesse.

Idlenesse masking after this maner, with all things necessarie prouided by his maister, especiallie not for­getting his visard of honest Recreation, is appointed formost, as well deserues his dignitie.Flatterie comes from hell, being the second mas­ker. Next from a lake, little inferior in lothsomnesse to the other, this porter fetcht Flatterie, to place him the second in the same charge, which Idlenesse had vndertaken, whose plague was little inferior to the other, especiallie, con­sidering, that he was a branche sprong from the same tr [...]e,Flatterie a brāch of Idlenesse. for what other thing may we expect then impossi­bilitie, to gather Grapes of Thornes, or Figs of This­tels, the taste of this frute depriuing a man of his sen­ces, I will set downe physicke for him which hath al­readie tasted thereof, and admonitions to the willing to eschue the same.

Of all the stinking wéeds that choke swéet flowers growing in the garden of a florishing commonwealth.The description of flatterie. I find none sooner rooted nor more p [...]stilent then the sensuall séed of flatterie, whose branches spred, and are nourished with the moist sappe of traiterous deuises,The faire shew of Flatterie. whose leaues are fresh and gréene, and whose blossoms ga [...]e and gorgious to dazle their eyes, which peraduen­ture might decerne the secret poison & hidden harmes, that lurketh vnder the deadlie shadowe of so beautifull a trée. The fruits whereof in outward shew pretend loue,The nature of Flatterie. and by the swéet melodie of sugred words, banish all feare of mistrust, but inwardlie they are filled with hatred, contempt, and vnnaturall reuenge.

Flatterie, by his golden pretence of vnfaigned af­fection, entrappeth the simple, betraieth the innocent, corrupteth iustice, and peruerteth the wise, and good disposition to vnciuill brutishnesse. What may be more contrarie to the ground of humaine societie (which is faith in words and constancie in our déeds) then this [Page 11] pernitious vice of Flatterers, which séeme to be that they are not, and are that they séeme not to be, whose face is fréendlie, whose toong deceitfull, and whose lips are smoothe to giue kisses with Iudas. Iudas kisses seeme freendlie. What shaddow­eth vice with the colour of vertue but flatterie? what maketh men suppose themselues in surest safetie (when they are in greatest danger)Flatterie sha­doweth vice with the colour of vertue. but fawning Parasites? what vrgeth to securitie a soule drowned in sinne, but the pleasant baite of flatterie? what disquieteth the peaceable estate of a countrie well gouerned, but hearkening to a glosing toong? what pricketh the de­sire of youth to be lewde, but soothing Subtiltie? what is the spoile of so manie godlie matrones and chaste virgins, but rash trust to flie, and subtill dealings.

But it maye be hée which is well furnished with this damnable qualitie,Flatterie a Gnatonical [...] exercise and whose delight consisteth onelie in flatterie, will obiect, that by this Gnatonicall kind of exercise, his calling is eleuated, his credit ad­uanced, and his wealth well augmented, therefore the best kind of fowling. Oh hainous practises, oh diuelish opinion, and oh thrice curssed man, which in contempt of God and his lawe, studieth to thriue by losse of his owne soule.

In vaine is the building where the Lord is not the foundation, haplesse are those attempts, that are not measured by the line of Grace, and curssed is the séed sowne in iniquitie. For the Lord is truthe it selfe, and such as resist the truthe, resist the high maiestie of God.The reward of the simple. Happie then are the simple, whose waies are righteous, whose heart abhorreth flatterie and deceit, him the Lord shall annoint with that precious oyle of Aaron, and on his head powre downe the heauenlie dew of euerlasting felicitie, his trée shall be planted by the water side, his leafe shall neuer wither, and his fruite continuallie [...]rish.

[Page] Let vs therefore beware of such pernitious Gnato­nists, Admonition to beware. who taking vs fréendlie by the one hand, haue in the other a naked blade to shed our bloud, and smiling in our faces, séeke to betraie our soules, farre woorsse I iudge them then open enimies, for of these we may beware, the other we feare not.

Touching which point I hepe it shall not séeme ab­surd, to rehearse a pleasant fable, the words whereof (though fained) yet the effect presenteth a sence of true meaning.

The Sheapheard s [...]metime (belike wearied with his charge,A fable of a se­cr [...]t enimy vnder pretence of friendship. and desirous to recreate his paine with some pleasure) committed the kéeping of his flocke to the diligent suruey of his Dogge, whome bicause he thought a profitable seruant, he fed euerie daie with good meat, but the Dogge like a currish creature, not content with his fare at home, oft times spoiled a shéepe abroad, the better to satisfie his insatiat appetite, which the Sheapheard perceiuing, contrarie to his woonted manner, not like a fréend but a foe, came and would haue hanged him. [...]latteries [...]mooth tale. Alas quoth the Dogge why are you desirous to destroye me, I am your fréend, and one of your houshold seruants, rather extend such cru­eltie on the Woolfe, who dailie lyeth in waite to de­uoure your flocke by me vigilantlie protected,A flatterer hur­ting priuilie, is woorse then an open enimie. nay sayd the Sheapheard, I déeme thée more worthie death, for his déeds declare him to be my open enimie, but thou vnder the coulour of fréendship, and deceitfull di­ligence, doost euerie day diminish my shéepe.

Hereby may we decer [...]e, that farre more heinous is theyr faulte, and greater their punishment, which vnder pretence of humaine curtesie, doo vs iniurie. We see then that all is not golde that glistereth, nor euerie one to be estéemed a fréend that speaketh faire, the deadest water hath the déepest chanell, from the [Page] finest Flower is gathered as well poison as Honye.The teares of the Crocodyle▪ The pittifull teares of the dissembling Crocodyle, are quickelie turned to outrage and sauage crueltie. So flattering mates, carrie Suger in their mouthes, and Gall in their hearts,The flatterie of the Crocodyle. their teares are full of tyran­nie, and theyr sighes seasoned with barbarous se­ueritie.

They cleaue to the coates of highest in authori­tie,Flatterers are like Iuie. not vnlike the Iuie, which créepeth vp the bodye of the mightie Oke, and being come vnto the toppe thereof, ouershadoweth his boughes with his twined branches.

The many mischéefes that insue by flatterie, would fill whole volumes, and my skill vnable to decipher them. Yet that the weakest capacitie maye conceiue how mortall the effect is of so vile a cause. I iudge it not impertinent to vnfolde an example or two of an­cient memorie.

If the flattering toong of subtile Synon, Synons subtil­tie confounded Troye. had béene cut off, before it song swéet hermonie of pleasing tales, into the eares of the credulous Troians, then had that famous Cittie neuer felt the force of fire, then had not the sillie men, like Sheepe béene slaughtered in theyr beds, nor then had not the flourishing e­state of aged Pryamus béene crossed with a miserable ende.

If Aristippus famous in that Arte,Aristippus a flat­tering Philoso­pher. had béene ba­nished the Courte and confines of Cor [...]th, then had not the noble mind of Dionifyus béene infected with so great tyrannie, whose hands still bathed themselues in the bloud of guiltlesse soules.Flatterie corrup­teth the minds of Princes. For flatterie corrup­teth the mindes of Princes, dismembreth their au­thoritie, and wasteth theyr treasure. We reade that Thymon a Noble man of Athens, Thymon, mise­rable by Flat­terie. who by en­terteining a crew of soothing seruants, became [Page] of a wealthie courtier, a poore labourer.

Antisthenes that learned Philosopher,Antisthenes his opinion of Flatterers. was woont to saye, that he had rather haue croking Rauens in the house with him, then clawing Parasites, for Ra­uens saide hée deuoure but the dead carcase, but flatte­rers eate vp bodie and soule aliue.Crassus murde­red by the flatte­rie of Carenus. Crassus was mur­thered amongst the Parthians by flattering Carenus, Brutus and Cassius that soothed Caesar in all his acti­ons were the first men that wounded him in the Se­nate.

Thimandra the harlot by hir alluring inticementsThimandra ouer came Alcibiades a vertuous Prince by flatterie. reteined that noble and vertueus Prince Alcibiades so long in hir companie, that his enimies so néere ap­proached, as they set fire on the house wherein he lay [...] luld in the lap of that filthie strumpet, and then con­streined vnarmed to venture foorth, was without resi­stance murdered.

But this wéede should quicklie wither, and this sect be soone defaced,Princes must pu­nish flatterers. if Princes would punish them, Nobles reiect them, and generallie all men abhorre them.

The wise Prince Augustus the emperor so much de­tested flatterie,Augustus detest­ed flatterie. that he loathed anye of his seruants should knéele vnto him. Tyberius would not be cal­led Lord,Tyberius ab­horred flatterie. for feare such titles of dignitie should puffe vp his mind,Cato Censor banished flatte­rers. and fill him with ambition. Cato Cen­sor banished from Rome certeine Athenian Orators, least by their pleasing spéeches they might peruert the people.Tymagoras pu­nished for flat­terie. Notable is that example of Tymagoras, who being sent Ambassador to King Darius, for that he flat­tered him, was at his returne beheaded by his owne countrimen.

Let vs therefore arme our selues against the dam­nable enticinges of these hellish féendes,Vlisses policie to suoide flatterie. with the wyse regard of prudent Vlisses, (who for feare least he shold [Page] be mooued with the pleasant harmonie of singing Sy­rens, bound himselfe and his Mates, to the mast of their Shippe. And let vs inuent such remedies, to preuent the deceypt of these Flatterers, as we reade that young Egiptian did,The young E­giptian refelled flattery. whose witte and gracious demeanour, obtained s [...]ch fauour in the sight of Valerius, that per­secutor of Christians, that béeing loth to spill his bloode, and hauing assayed all meanes possible to remooue the fayth of Christ grounded in his hart, (but all in vaine) at last caused a sumptuous Chamber to bee prepared, with all kind of swéete sauours, and costly furniture, a Bedde of Downe,The flattery of a Con [...]ubine. and Clothes richly wrought with Golde, in which he placed him, and by his side, the fay­rest C [...]ncubine in all his Courte, with her embracings and swéete perswasions to alter his opinion: but hee, séeing himselfe mightily assayled by the power of dead­lie delight,The Egiptian bitte of his owne tongue. least the frailety of flesh should assent, so­dainly bitte of his owne tongue, the intollerable gréefe whereof, so quayled the heate of pleasure, that as be­fore, so still, he continued the faythfull seruaunt of hys Sauiour.

What is he then whose minde is not altogether drenched in this puddle of sinne, séeing himselfe thus endaungered to loose the libertie of his soule,Flatterers Sicophants. but wyll sh [...]nne the snares of these flattering Sicophants, and so whette their tong [...]es with good admonitions, that they shal be as sharpe Ares, to cutte downe those dead­lie braunches, and rather sende them to the fire, then preserue them for building.

Let the wyse then infence their mindes, with such graue aduice, and bulwark theyr soules with godly ex­amples, that though Flattery be sent from sathan him­selfe,Sathan a cruell enemie to man. a cruell enemie to mankinde, yet hys force may represent the weakenes of a Réede, with the breath of ones mouth to be wagged euery way.

Of which sorte of men are these Players, who [Page] pynne Cushions vnder the elbowes of young wits,Players are flat­terers. to make them snorte in securitie, & present before theyr eyes, as well in life as continuall exercise, such inchaunting Charmes, and bewitched wyles, to alienate theyr mindes from vertue,The inconueni­ence of Playes. that hard wyll it be for a wit well stayde to abyde the same. But onely by this meanes to eschew the cause, that the effect may cease, viewe not theyr exercise, and then fall not to theyr vice, abandon theyr presence, then ceaseth theyr power, blowe not with the bellowes of desire,Sathan sendeth in vaine to the admonished. then ceaseth the furye of theyr flame. That sathan may sende in vaine, and this masking mate for all his visarde of humaine curtesie to couer the pretence of his comming, be descerned by the regard of reason.

This damned féende, attyrde to bee the seconde in thys Maske,Humaine curtesy the visarde of flattery. appointed to seduce mens seules, had for hys Uysarde appointed humaine curtesie, the colloure whereof is such, as would deceiue a good eye sight, yea though be were skilled in the arte of paynting.

How shall we then know this visarde to auoyde the perill.Howe to descerne flattery frō cur­tesy & so to dis­couer his painted face. Thus compare the nature of flattery, and the manners of humaine curtesie together, and then may we easily descerne if they assent. Againe, flattery sayth filthy fornication is but a youthfull delight, humaine curtesie admonisheth vs, and sayth it is damnable de­sire. Flattery sayth, that murder is a mind impatient of wrong,Flattery vphol­deth wickednes. humaine curtesie saith, God hath abhorred it from the beginning. Flattery saith Playes are plea­saunt, honest,Playes are per­ [...]itious. and allowable, humaine curtesie sayth, Playes are pernicious, vile, and reprochefull.

Such is the nature of flattery, and such is the condition of humaine curtesie: Let then secureles menne say, that humaine curtesie is but a couert for flattery, and that flattery so vailde is playne hipocrisie, thus may it be descerned, vice, and vertue, flattery and [Page 14] humaine curtesie be two contraries.

Easily then is white discerned from blacke,To descerne the one frō the other a vile offence from a godly pretence, saluation from damna­tion, and flattery from humaine curtesie. Let the eyes then be [...]essengers to the hart, and say flattery is crowned with curtesie,The falshood of flattery. the Woolfe lurketh in the skynne of the [...]illye Lambe, to deceiue the shéepe [...]lde of Christ.

The next that was déemed fitte to possesse a place in thys Pagea [...]nt, was Ingratitude, whose man­ners as monstrous, is accounted one of the deadlye braunches of that reprobate roote,Cerberus bring­eth Ingratitude from hell. whom Cerberus (obseruing our course to continue) fetcht from hys place, a puddle no lesse filthy then the reste, a hole hy­dious, full of stincking vapours, tortures and torments to inflict hys soule, and wormes of bitter ball to gnaw hys conscience. Whose terriblenes was such, that vnneth might mortall eyes be able to endure so sorrowful a sight, allowing him the thyrd Masker to make vp this melody, whose collours I must descry, to make hym the better knowne to the worlde, that no vertu­ous mynde bée ouer shadowed wyth so vile vice.

Fréendshyppe, the bande wherewith menne are lincked in loue,The description of Ingratitude. and knytte with a firme knott of loy­all fayth, the force wherof erecteth Common weales, compasseth Citties, inuenteth Laws, and so tempereth the nature and effects of menne, as they willingly sub­mitte themselues to the soueraignty of our supreme Gouernour, hath no greater an aduersary then In­gratitude.

For as the one gathereth together, so the other scattereth abroade, as the one buildeth, so the other causeth ruine, and vtter ouerthrowe. As the one is the originall of good orders, so the other confoundeth all thinges wyth disorder.

[Page] It so much restrayneth the power of Nature, which is alwayes vpright, and indifferent, that it blindeth her with a desire to cou [...]t what may be hadde, and a negli­gent regard what should be doone.Ingratitude hath the eyes of Ar­gos. It hath the eyes of Argos, to gase euery way for promotion, but blinde to remember whence sprong preferment.Ingratitude hath the handes of Briarius. It hath the handes of Briarius, ready to receiue commoditie, which way soeuer it is offered, but like senceles partes be­nummed when restitution is expected.

Ingratitude with the Cormoraunt deuoureth all, but féedeth n [...]ne,Ingratitude like the Cormorant. loues to be pittied, yet hateth com­passion, béeing made happy, thinkes not on others mise­rie: Exempt from mourning, sayeth none shed teares. At liberty, forgetteth bondage: and aduaunced to au­thoritie, disdaineth the meane condition of inferioritie. Whose tyranny is such, as wyll affoords death for life, hate for loue, and iniury for a benefite, fraude for faith, and treason for trust.

If we aske why so many Princes doo dayly exclaime vpon Trayterous and disloyal Subiects,Princes exclaime on ingratitude. they wyll an­swere, for ingratitude. If we demaund why the kinde Parent breaketh his hart with sighes,The father ex­claymeth on a thankles sonne. and consumeth hys dayes in sorrow, hys aunswere wyl be, for a grace­lesse and vnthankfull Chylde. If wee séeke the cause why Magistrates lament theyr labour,Citizens vn­thankfull. it is for the vn­thankfull mindes of lewde Cittizens.

Lastly, we may soone imagine what mooueth Ma­sters to repent theyr fauour showne towards vnthank­full Seruaunts.Seruaunts vn­gratefull to their Maisters. But as he which forgetteth the bene­fite of a good turne, reapeth no other fruite in his bar­ren fielde of ingratitude but hate, and reproche, so con­trariwyse, a minde detesting to be drowned in y blacke poole of Obliuion, receiueth the good rewardes of loue and lasting honor.

Cicero setting downe the ready way to happines,Cicero teacheth to be thankfull. amongst such duties as are required in a perfect Man, [Page 15] findeth none more necessary then to be thankfull. For sayth he, if with Hesiodus we be commaunded to re­store such thinges as wee receiued for our owne vse, with greater measure and more plenty, what shall w [...] then doo, being prouoked by vndeserued curtesie?

Ought we not like fruitfull groundes yéelde more a thousand folde,The fruit of a gratefull minde. then we receiued? for if we doubt not to expresse the loue of a willing hart, towardes those of whom we hope for some benefit, how much more ought we to be thankfull to those, which alreadye haue boun­tifully pleasured vs, and by whom we haue béene great lie profited. Two wayes are we sayd to be liberall in giuing, and requi [...]ing that which was gyuen. The one consisteth in our owne power, the other no good manne may neglect. Pernitious therefore is thys monstrous ingratitude, & whatsoeuer he be, in whose hart it is firmely established, and thorowly grounded, he is farre inferior in glory, nature, or condition, to a sauage and brutish Beast.An vngratefull man is worse thē a brutish beast. For as the venimous broode of the Uiper, doth destroy her damne that did nourishe her: or the cruel Tyger, that kylleth the olde Tygresse that brought her to life,Ingratitude like to a Viper. so doth the vngratefull person, not onely enuenome his benefactor or reléeuer, wyth poysoned ingratitude, but likewise séeke to kill him that saued his life, destroye him that nourished him, and let him perrish for reliefe, that whilom saued him from daunger.

And as the vngratefull minde of the Snake (when the Husbandman saued hys life from the Snow,The ingratitude of the husband­mans Snake. and cherished him by hys fire, appeared by stinging hym with hys venemous féeth: So, whatsoeuer he be, yt ey­ther nourisheth an vngratefull man, or cherisheth him, euē so far as life or death can extend, he wil requite him wyth ill for hys good, and wyth despight for hys former fauour.He is compared And to nothing better may an vngrateful man be compared (though it be somewhat familiar) then to [Page] a dogge,aptly to a dogge. that when his master offered him meate, for rewarde bitte him by the fingers.

Howe lothsome may thys vice appeare in the Carthagenians, Carthagenians were vngratefull to Han [...]iball. who most vniustly, & against all good descrte banished theyr noble and victorious Captaine Hanniball (whose déedes, had he deserued death, had béene sufficient to haue pleaded for life) by whose conti­nuall toyle in bloody conflicts, valiant exploytes, and excelient atchieuings, euen from hys youth, increased theyr confines, aduaunced theyr honor, endoubled theyr dominions, and almost quite extinguished she furious flame of theyr daring enemies the Romaines.

And much doo I bewayle, that noble Emperour Augustus Caesar, Augustus Caesar slayne in the Se­nate. who for all his gratious benefites, plentifully powred vppon the Common wealth of Rome, at last was recompenced by vile ingratitude, wyth the reward of foure and twenty woundes, whose damned daggers wyll wytnesse against their vngrate­full mindes.

Rosilius, Rosilius cut the throat of Cicero that vile vngratefull wretch, whome Cicero by the rhetoricall force of hys eloquence, hadde fréed from the hate, and death pretended by the Lawes of Rome, most villanously wyth hys owne hands, with butcherly blade did cut hys aged throate.

My hart lamenteth wyth remorse, to thinke howe that Tyrant Nero, Nero butchered him mother and Scholemaister Seneca. spared not to bathe hys handes in the luke-warme bloode first of his owne naturall mo­ther, & next of hys learned Maister Seneca, who was alwaies ready by arte to haue suppressed his vice being then but gréene, had not nature ordeined him to so dam­nable a life.A pesaunt ready to execute Ca [...]o whose life he saued. Who was so ready to execute Cato Ma­ior, béeing by law condemned to die, for the supposed death of the young Emperor Octauius, as that wret­ched pesaunt, whose throate not long before he deliue­red from the strangling haltar.Cyclops killed king Ninus. No lesse monstrous then the rest, was the vngratefull mind of Cyclops, ba­starde [Page 16] son to Ninus, king of Babilon, who hauing dis­inherited his lawfull son and heire, (a Prince no lesse vertuous then puissaunt) onely to crowne him King, (and yt whilst nature yet permitted himselfe to raigne) was afterwards by him, most trayterously murthered in hys bedde. So soone had his aspiring mind vngrate­fully forgot, hys duetie and allegiance to so gracious a Soueraigne. But leaue we prophane Histories, and looke a while into the sacred Booke of God, where wée may consider the harror of this vice, by the manifolde examples.

The Isralites, The Isralites vn­gratefully temp­ted GOD. after our mighty God had deliuered them from the bondage of Egypt, and guided them by night with a Piller of fire, and in the day shadowed them wyth a Clowde, deuiding the Seas for theyr safe passage, raigning Manna from Heauen to féede them, and sending streames of water out of the harde Rockes, yet such was their ingratitude, as they not onely forgetting hys gracious benefits, repined at hys prouidence, but with theyr grudging mindes tempted his diuine maiestie, for which, such was his wrathe conceiued against theyr vnthankfulnes, that (but for his seruaunt Moyses sake) he would worthily haue ba­nished them the Lande of promise.Dauid & Saul. After that Dauid that kingly Prophet, and annoynted of God, had diuers times so néerely approched the presence of his deadly enemie Saul, as without resistaunce hee might easilie haue bereaued him of life, but spared him, was notwithstanding continually pursued by Saul (as a witnesse of his vngrateful mind) who sought the death of him that spared his life. So many are ye examples written in the holy scriptures, as wold [...] whole volumes of admonitions, for an vngrateful person to auoide this vice.Examples shew­ed by bruite be [...]stes to auoid ingr [...]de. By so much ought this vice to be accoūted detestable amongst mē, by howe much it is lothed of brute beasts thēselues, for profe of which Aulius Gellius writeth this example.Androgeo [...]

One Androgeo, a slaue to a Romaine Senator, [Page] weary of the yrkesome cruelty of hys Lord,Senator of Rome ran from him, and liued as one forlorne amongst wylde Woods, and hydious Mountaynes. One day amongst the rest, sore wearied with trauaile and heate of the parching Sunne, he entered into a Caue to rest, and ease hys weary limbs, whither (when he had slept a while) came a monstrous and ougly Lyon,The grateful dis­positiō of a cruel Lyon. whose sight so appalled him, that he expected nought cls but present death. But the Lyon not minding to hurte, but séeking for helpe at hys hande, (contrary to nature) came gentlye to him, layde hys heade in his lappe, and helde out hys foote with pittiful gronings, in so much, that Androgeo (setting feare aside) mooued with compassion,Androgeo pul­led a thorne frō the Lyons foote. diligent­ly serched for that wound that so much molested him, and at last, perceiuing a Thorne déepely pearced in the bottome of hys foote, he gladly pulde it out, and eased the Lyon of hys payne, for which déede, the Lyon not onely defended him from the harmes of other Sauage beastes, but euery day brought hym store of victualls to relieue hys néedy want. But Androgoe weary of hys solitary life,Androgeo taken by his maister. and desirous to trauayle further for better fortune, was (by wandring out of his way) vnhappyly apprehended, and brought backe to his cruell Maister, who prosecuting the Romish lawe,Androgeo con­demned to die. condemned him to be deuoured of Lyons. And béeing throwne into the Denne amongst them. It happened that that Lyon, whose foote he lately healed, was ready as the reste, with their gréedy chaps to haue torne him péecemeale, but that he remembred as well hys fauor, as the fréend­shippe in curing of hys wounded foote,The Lyon gratefully s [...]ueth his life. and therefore not onely fauned on him, but saued hym from the tea­ring tuskes of those insatiate Lyons. At whose grate­full remembraunce, as well the young Babes, as the aged Senators of Rome admired: and therefore ordey­ned a Law inuiolable to theyr posteritie, that such as encurred the blame of ingratitude, should without re­morce [Page 17] die that death which was once ordeined for An­drogeo. A shame is it therefore to humanitie,Beasts teach men to be gratefull. that bru­tish beasts, wanting reason, should instruct men to be gratefull to their benefactors. But such is the nature of some men, that those gifts of reason and vnderstand­ing, which God hath bestowed on them, (thereby to make them excell all other creatures) they conuert by their vicious life, and vngodlie inclination, to the vn­reasonable scence of brutish beasts.

Of which sort are these Plaiers,Plaiers are vn­gratefull vipers. that like the Uiper forget them that féedes their venom with their poison, thereby to increase their stings, and to hurt the world which they are borne to offend, and vngratefullie re­ward them, that will spend their time for their profit, labour for their lust, and painefull trauaile to please them, whose pleasure as poison spreddeth it selfe into the vaines of their beholders, representing the filthie poole of Auernus, which striketh dead those which come within the sente of the same.They are like the poole of Auer­nus. For none of the beasts of the field dare drinke in the riuer after the dra­gon, except the Unicorne purge the same from poison with hir horne, such is the infectious poison of these men, and such danger is it to be néere the view of their vitious exercise, he therefore that feares the sting, let him auoide the hissing of the harmefull Adder.Flie the hissing of the Adder. This masker readie with a trice to performe his office, a­mongst the rest wanting nothing but his visard, which he may not misse, least he misse of his purpose, was not so soone thought vpon as presentlie prouided. Then with pretended shadowes to couer so deformed a sub­stance,Ingratitude masketh vnder the visard of hurting harmes. to the intent his face might not be knowne by his leopord like spots (the markes of Sathan) he mas­ked vnder the vizard of Hating harmes, to delude those which thorow an ignorant spirit are no lesse willing to follow his vice, then he is readie to seduce them to the same. Such is the nature of those Plaiers, whether grounded by nature,Plaiers were the same maskes. or insinuated by some preposte­rous [Page] education I know not, but when the chéefe of their mischéefe is put in practise,More vnnaturall are they then the Tygre. they hate harmes, when in effect they deceiue themselues, more vnnatu­rall then the cruell Tygre, yet hate they harmes, and loth are they to doo good to one man to whome they are all most bound, least they should hurte another, ther vn­to enioined by their vertue of ha [...]ing harme. And thus farre doo I persuade my selfe, that nature hath marked these men with such monstrous markes, that they would neglect the goods of their dearest fréends, by pretending that they hate harmes, and therefore are loth to doo good to one, least it should hurt another.

But some man will not sticke to obiect,Ingratefull minds are not humaine. that such minds as I talke of cannot be humaine, therefore doo I much iniurie those men, to censure so hardlie vpon bare suppositions, for there is no man so vngratefull, but if he can doo good without preiudice to himselfe, or disparagement to his owne estate, to another his bene­factor, he will doo it.

I answer héerevnto that this obiector is deceiued.They will doo good to none of their benefac­tors, least they hurt other. for such is the vnpartiall sinceritie of these mens minds, that they are loth to doo good to some, yea their helpers, and chéefe coadiutors, least they should hurt another, and so thereby endammage their owne cre­dits, and be found such as they are not, but what they are, if men delight not to sit in darkenesse, which com­prehendeth their hearts, or would see that which easi­lie they might,They are exqui­sit in all kind of vice. they shall sée no vice either commonlie vsed at home, or brought as rich marchandize from for­ren countries, but they will be as exquisite in the same as if nature had honoured them so much, as they should haue béene the first inuentors of such notable actions.

Amongst which Ingratitude is no lesse loued a­mongst them,What Ingrati­tude is, then that which is most f [...]mous of all, for qualities or good deserts. And the rather for that so manie examples out of holie scriptures, are presidents for those men to doo the like, for that which God puni­sheth [Page 18] they delight in,Their examples hurt more then venome of the Dragon. to whose protection I commit them, to amend them, or else to end them, whose ex­amples hurt more then the venemous Dragon dooth with hir poison.

Ingratitude the third masker is thus set out by their lewd and chéefe domination, after such order as alreadie I haue told. Next to make vp a fourth, was brought vp by y hellish kéeper Ougly dissention,Ouglie Dissen­tion. whose eies sparkled with fier in token that his heart was in­flamed with hate, still gnashing his filthie téeth, and bi­ting his lips, in token that his head was exercised in all kind of villanous exploits. In his hands he bare two fire brands, wherewith he inflicted and scourged his owne miserable carcase,Dissention tor­menteth him­selfe with fier brands. hauing no other to exer­cise the infamie of his arte, which addeth such torture to his tormented bodie, and such anguish to his vexed soule, that there appeared in his face such tyrannie, as if he onelie were the man to confound with mischéefe the whole world. And soothe to saye, such is the ambi­tion of dissention, that it setteth Princes at debate, kings at warre, and commonwealths are wrackt and rent by the outrage of this hellish féend, the wretched­nesse of which vice I will note, to the intent the wise may auoide the same.

This pernitions vice of dissention so barketh con­tinually at peace and vertuous procéedings,Dissention bar­keth at Peace. that where his currish qualities are, there ciuill gouernement is cleane dashed, pollicie preuented, vertue extinguished, happie estate inthralled, & finallie all floorishing things so confounded, that it rather representeth a wildernesse inhabited of hideous and sauadge beasts, then a com­monwealth gouerned by wisemen, or a people surpri­sed with lawe and equitie.

So venemous are the téeth of this barking Dogge,This barking Dog hath vene­mons teeth. that wheresoeuer hee biteth hee leaueth behinde him extirpation, continuall Iarres, contempt of equali­tie, and an aspiring minde of superioritie, naye [Page] such is it, that in what common wealth so euer it be, héeretofore florishing, naught now is to be expected, but ruine, desolation, mourning and wringing of hande, with no lesse pittifull outerie,A pittifull crie when Babylon was fallen. then when it was sayde great Babilon is fallen. For euen as the ship that is tossed with suddeine tempests in the raging sea, when his masts are shiuered, his sailes rent, & his tacklings torne, so farre that the maister himselfe is past all hope of safetie, and expecteth nought but present death. So dissention raigning in the harts of men,What d [...]ention procureth, procureth such hurlie burley, & outragious swelling of puffed minds, as present nothing but slaughter, bloudshed, and most vnspeakeable massacres. No otherwise then the thun­der of angrie Iupiter, dooth dissention terrifie the most couragious minds, and make the pillers of the whole earth to tremble.

The better to explaine the nature of so damnable a furie,The fruits of examples. it shall not be amisse to consider the fruits of ma­nie excellent examples. Amongst which I find none more effectuall to diswade the rest from this mischée­uous contention, then that was fostered betwixt the founders of Rome,Romulus and Remus. Romulus and Remus, whose dis­sention was so great, inflamed with furie, that no sparke of reason or good order might extinguish the same, before the curssed hand had shed the quiltlesse bloud of the other, so farre dooth dissention incense men, that they forget both loue and nature.Catiline his dissētious mind. How did the dis­sentious minds of Catiline and his confederates, dis­may the whole state of Rome with their brutish con­spiracies, so that had not Cicero imploide his graue counsell, and approoued wisedome in timelie season, Rome had béene ruinated, and those sauadge men like wool [...]es had rent the bowels of their natiue countrie. That Gretian mirror Aiax, Aiax & Vlisses. by the dissention that was betwixt him and Vlisses, so farre forgot reason, that he most vnnaturallie murthered himselfe▪

What incurable dissention was that caused betwixt [Page 19] Me [...]elaus and Paris, Menel [...]u [...] and Paris at vile dis­sention. that the flames thereof gaue so large a blaze, as both Greece and Troye thereby were almost quite consumed. Strabo setteth downe a nota­ble example of a fellow that not onelie sowed dissenti­on at his owne natiue home,Function a dis­sentious wretch. but abroad made it a practise to set Kings at dissention. One Fun [...]stion sub­iect to Horatius, hauing lewdlie spent his liuing, and therefore not regarded of the King as he would, went to Morettus heyre vnto the crowne, and informed him that the king his vncle fearing his aspiring minde, did intend to send for him and commit him to prison, with a pretence of a supposed treason, who vnkindlie taking the supposed ill of the king his vnckle, gathered a migh­tie armie to contend with him, and rewarded Funesti­on with the charge of two hundred men, who liking not his reward, disdeining the same, came backe to the king, and informed him of the disobedience and preten­ded treason of Morettus, which caused the king to lea­uie an armie, and to méete his kinsman, who hauing spent much money, munition, and men, and wearied with warres. Fun [...]stion makes a mutinie in the kings campe, and carieth awaie fiue thousand of his best men and came to an Iland called Taxos, informing the king that the two kinsmē were confederat to come together against him, and beat him out of his countrie, who pre­sentlie fortified himselfe, & rewarded Fun [...]stion boun­tifullie, giuing him the charge of his men at armes. But he forgetting the King, fell in loue with the Quéene, and bicause shée would not consent, accused hir of adulterie to the King, but such was the iudgement of God to confound this dissentious wretch, that he was suddenlie kilde with a thunderboult. Such is the vpright iudgement of God, that he will not permit a­nie dissentious person to liue vpon the earth vnpu­nished.

Most terrible and to be lamented is that Britaine example of the two brothers,The example of Dissention be­tweene Porter and Ferre [...]. Po [...]rex and Ferrex, whose [Page] dissentious minds caused Porrex to kill his brother being a king, and vrged the Quéene Videna for re­uenge to kill hir naturall sonne Porrex, who after­warde was by hir subiects iustlie murthered, for the death of that most vertuous Prince.

Almightie God in the sacred scriptures hath set downe, how much he loatheth this heinous offence committed against his deuine maiestie, by the punish­ment which he allotted to proud Hammon, Wicked Ham­mon dissentious with Mardo­cheus. that he was hanged on the selfe same gallowes his dissentious minde caused to be erected for Mardocheus, so falleth it out that the dissentious fall into the pits they digged for others, and their owne mischéefe reboundeth vpon their owne hatefull heads.

These be the thornie fruits of Dissention, procée­ding from the choaked thoughts of ambitious minds,Dissention his punishment can­not aptlie be de­scribed. worthilie therefore was this deuouring dogge plagued in hell with the furious flames of neuer quenching fire, as he was a wicked instrument to inflame mens hearts vpon earth, Brymstone, Pitch, and Tarre, con­tinuallie burne the neuer wasting bodie of dissention with such furie, as his least paine is vnpossible to be aptlie described.

This vile vice raigneth likewise amongst Plaiers with no lesse authoritie then Belzebub reigneth in hell: for such is their dissentious mindes, that like Dogges striuing at a bone, they gnarre one at another, one hateth another, and séeke by all means possible to worke mischéefe by their dissentious minds. But these matters can they finelie cloake, with the visard of fréendlie fauour,Their visard is Freendlie fauor. and coulour their pretences with loue they owe to them, they set them at debate, the selfe same visard that s [...]rued Dissention to maske vnder.

For when it maye be said by their mischéeuous mindes, they set other together by the eares, they can colour it by saying, they were my fréends, and therfore was I loth to sée them so much backbite one another. [Page 20] Thus doo these dissentious persons paint their preten­ces with fine coloures,They paint their pretences with fine colours. to the intent the simple may not perceiue their damnable drifts, but be ouercome with their subtile sleights, and cleanlie conueiance of their pure pract [...]ses.

But tell me how [...]an that be fréendlie fauour,Their visard of Freendlie fauo [...]. that when they haue procured by their reports dissention to acrue amongst anie, they disport themselues in their harmes, laugh at their dangered practises,They laugh at mischeefe. in séeking to entrappe one another by secret inuasion, so dooth dis­sention, laughing at mischéefe, and sorrowing at others fréendship, drinking bloud to quench his insatiate thirst with the gréedie desire of the deuouring Lion. But well did this visard of fréendlie fauour become Dissen­tion to auoide suspect of his inward ils, and to shadow the deformitie of externall harmes. Therefore was he verie aptlie placed the fourth masker to congratulate so famous a mariage.

For the fift place Cerberus brought foorth out of a filthie den,Blasphemie commeth from hell. (wherein was bound damnable beasts and vipers to adde torments) the most wicked and pernici­ous helhound Blasphemie, who spends his time in throwing out throbbes of damnable desires, and brea­thing out mischiefe that lurketh in his inward heart, and bellowing out the beastlie blasphemie of his in­ward minde, féedeth vpon his one soule, and sitteth gnawing the bones of his owne flesh, bound there with pinching yrons of euerlasting wrath.

For so great is the iudgement of God towards the blasphemers of his name,The great iudgement of God. that he permitteth the diuell to haue power to place them in the verie déepest nooke of his hollowe migne, where no punishment so perrilous but is executed on them, no gréefe so great but possesseth them, no tormente so terrible but is inflicted on them.The maiestie of God suffereth hell to punish the wicked. And what so euer hell it selfe can deuise, to torture and torment so dam­nable [Page] a creature, the maiestie of God will permit, though his mercie be great, yet his celestiall word is past, that no wretch which blasphemeth his name shall liue, but perish in the indignation of his wrath. For as the Maiestie of God is impacient of any aspiring mind to be partaker of his deitie,The maiestie of God is impati­ent of blasphe­mie. so dooth hée with a sharpe whippe scourge those blasphemers, that attribute anie dignitie belonging to heauen his head, or the earth his footstoole to any other but himselfe, his honor will not be defaced, his maiestie mangled, and his holie name blasphemed.

For when that blasphemous wretch Herod Blasphemous Herod. in a so­lemne oration before his subiects, attributed the honor to himselfe, when the people affirmed him to be a God, and of heauenlie power, he was pres [...]ntlie by his ma­iestie, stricken downe dead in his chaire, as an example to terrifie the rest of that qualitie. Peruse the Page­ant of Popes,The Pageant of Popes. and there shall you find for the most part of all those that tooke vpon them (without sinne) the in­scrutable power of God to forgiue sinne,The inkindled wrath of God against blas­phemers. that none of them but perished by the iudgement of God, with one sparke or other of his inkindled wrath.

The monster Arius that affirmed himselfe to be Messias, The punishment of Arius. and tooke vpon him the Maiestie of God, sup­posing his throne to be the heauenlie seat of his Maie­stie, then the mightie Iehoua inkind [...]ed his wrath, and sent wormes to deuoure the guts of this Arius, with such intollerable gréefe, that his miserable carcase was eaten to péeces. Euen as God sent his wormes, frogs, & venemous beasts vpon the blaspheming Egyptians, when curssed Pharao and his hoast,Pharao plagued for blasphemie. with his power of horssemen and chariots, of force were ouerthrowne in the sea, when his blasphemous toong said: What is God that I shold obey him, or what is the Lord of hosts that I must heare him: the Israelits by the sundry pu­nishments of God, knew what it is to blaspheme his heauenlie name.

[Page 21] And Dionisius Aropagita, Dionisius Aro­pagita a blasphe­mer. for blaspheming the name of God, suddainly sunck into the earth, whose tongue at that instant ceased not to say: What can this God doo vnto me, or who is he that I ought to honor? The vn­happy wife of Iob, Iobs blasphe­mous wyfe. that willed him to curse God & die, with her children, and all the rest of her substance, was suddainly wasted and consumed. What men then are giuen ouer into so reprobate a sence, that will not cease séeing the wrath of God so heauie vppon the blasphe­mers of his name,The wrath of God vpon blas­phemers. but will take example by such hurts least they themselues bee presented as Actors in thys Tragedy.

For when God looketh downe from Heauen, and beholdeth any exercised to blaspheme his name, or breathe from their swelling harts hatefull words vpon his diuine maiestie, he stretcheth out the mighty arme of his power,Angels powre forth Gods wr [...]th vpon the wicked. and commandeth his ministers the An­gels to powre foorth whole vials of wrath and bloode vpon those accursed caytifes. What were those where the Locusts did deuoure, but the blasphemers of ye ma­iestie of God. And the Reuelation witnesseth, that those whom the Angel marked with his pen on the forehead for the elect of God, were saued: the other, béeing blas­phemers of his name, were bound in the pitte of dark­nes. Why was that mighty Captaine Holofernes Holofernes hys blasphemy. gy­uen ouer into the handes of a woman, but for blasphe­ming the eternall maiestie of God? So much dooth God hate thys blasphemie, that he hath not onely puni­shed such which haue blasphemed his owne name, but such as haue derided the name of his Prophets. As whē the holy Prophet Elias preached the message of ye Lord, and young Infants mocked him, calling him baldpate, he cursed them,The Children [...]o Elias. when Beares came out & deuoured thē, according to ye saying: the posterity of blasphemers shal perrish for euer.Gods indigna­tion is heauy to beare. Such is the monstrous condition of this blasphemy, that nothing sooner doth inkindle the wrathe of God, nor maketh him more terrifie the inha­bitants [Page] of the earth, when the heate of his indignation and anger causeth the Heauens to melt, and droppe re­uenge vpon the heads of all blasphemous wretches. Woorthely therefore was blasphemy punished thus in hell. Many and terrible examples of our owne present age,Examples of late dayes for blas­phemy are many hath of late béene doone amongst vs, which I wyll omitt, because I hope their remembrance is not cleane extinguished, and that so lately doone, cannot be so soone forgot. Of which sort of men in the chiefe place, may be placed Players,Players are blas­phemers of God. when they take vpon them the persons of Heathen men, imagining themselues (to vaineglory in the wrath of God) to be the men whose persons they present,Players vainglo­ry in the wrath of God. wherein, by calling on Mahomet, by swearing by the Temples of Idolatry dedicate to Idols, by cal­ling on Iupiter, Mars, Venus, & other such petty [...]ods, they doo most wickedly robbe God of his honour,They blasph [...]eme his name. and blaspheme the vertue of his heauenly power. Oh men in worse condition then brutish beasts, yet can they co­uer theyr deformitie in thys poynt with the Masker blasphemy, in shrouding themselues vnder the visarde of godly learning.They shroude themselues vnder the visa [...]de of godly learning. And that this is no blasphemy, but the opinion of the learned, conformable to the for­mer manners of men, which makes thē confirme their soules to damnation. What collour I pray of godly learning can be in this, when they approche the deuill so néere in condition,They present the deuill in shape and condition. that they can cunningly present hys person, and nothing can there be so damnable, eyther in Heathen, Pagans or Infidels, but they can present the same, in as ample manner as if it were then in dooing. Trust me, I am sure that these men more offende God by deriding him with these beastly sacrifices,Their sacrifice is beastly. then those men which did first commit such censuall, and vnnatu­rall déedes. No doubt but there is amongst thē can play Iudas, Some c [...]n play Iudas. as naturally as if he were the very man that be­trayed Christ,They crucifie Christ a newe. & verily think yt the visarde of godly lear­ning, is so far from good liuing, that vnder these preten­ded collours, these goodlesse men crucifie Christ a newe, [Page 22] when they thus séeke to deface his glory, to mangle hys members, and rent in péeces his sacred body. What o­ther thing is it, when in the midst of all theyr villanie, they make inuocations to his maiesty,They mock God with theyr inuo­cations. and ballet wyth beastly traditions of men, termes of pompous pryde the magnanimity of his powre. What other thing is it,Commit them to their owne consideration. then to scorne his wrath, rent his members, and blas­pheme his name. Consider then of this, and find what I haue sayd.

This Masker blasphemy thus wel prouided, but that his visard was scarce currant, masketh amongst the rest of his mates. The sixt Masker,The sixt Masker, Impudency. (which must be last to obseru [...] a decorum in theyr taske) was Impu­dencie, whose brasen face shameth the beholders, and whose gracelesse mēbers no wise man but hateth. Him Cerberus fette from his hellish habitation, vpon whose body was written the names of all kind of vices, acceptable to sathan, and hatefull to [...]od, as if there were the man whose markes bewrayed his condition, yet neuer shamed he to shew his face.

This Impudency is of ancient authority amongst many,Of auncient authoritie. and rather taken for a noble mind, or an audati­ous hart, then an impudent and shameles vice. Such was the pleasure that almighty God conceiued in thys audacity, that he plagued the offenders with more then ordinary punishment. Iezabell, that accursed and im­pudent Quéene, for her shameles & vnséemely behaui­our, was iustly by the rigorous iudgment of God, de­uoured of dogs. When it was spoken by the mouth of the Prophet, the dogs shall lick the bloode of Iezabell Impudent Ieza­bell. in the fieldes of Israel. No lesse shameles was the lust, and the accusation impudent, which ye wicked Iudges maintained by ye chaste Susanna, The shamele [...] Iudges. when God by his mightie power, by raysing vp young Daniel, confounded theyr impudency, & deliuered them into the handes of men, to be destroyed with ye same stones that were prouided for that chaste Lady. The impudent lust of Tarquine who [Page] ceased not to pursue the chaste Lucrece euen to ye death cost him the price of his kingdome,The impudent lust of Tarquin. banishment frō hys Country, and afterward a miserable ende. The Reue­lation describing the whore of Babilon sitting on the seauen headed Dragon,The whore of Babilon. wt a cup of poyson in her hand, calleth her shameles and impudent.

The impudency of the Damsels mother yt temp­ted Herod, Herode. to aske the head of Iohn, and causde it to bee cut off, was little inferior to the other, such instrumēts by wickednes, God rayseth vp to try his elect, but yet thryce woe be to them that are made the instruments of Gods wrath, and vnhappy are they by whom God layeth his crosse vpon his children, eyther gently to cor­rect them,A womans im­pudency. or mildly to try them. What impudency was that of the mother in the Gospell, to demaund of Christ that her two sons might sit in his kingdom, the one vpon his right hand, the other on his left. No lesse redicu­lous then that, was a prophane poynt of Aristodemus, whom when the king Antigonus aduaunced to hygh preferment of his counsell,Aristodemus to Antigonus. béeing but a base Cookes sonne, hee shamed not but impudently perswaded hym not to be liberall, then which there cannot be a greater blot to the fame of a royall Prince. If Princes then, the Uizegerents of God,Princes are vize­gerents of God. would punish such impudent wretches as insert themselues into their secrets to vn­dermine, nor shame to fleare in the face of a Prince, bedecked with modesty, (though the poysoned bayte of treason lurketh in theyr harts.) No doubt but this vice should be lesse practised, and vertue sooner embraced. Worthily then deserued thys impudency her continu­all torment in hell,Impudency is tormented in hell. in whose fruit appeareth the pathe of shameles, and impudent enormities. The visard ap­pointed for thys hellish féende, was called modest auda­city,Theyr visarde is modest audacitie wherin Players doo much delight, for albeit theyr impudency appeares so openly, yt euery man by theyr continuall practise doth decerne theyr visard to bee ra­ther immodest impudency, yet so currantly can they [Page 23] carry it away, that he with his Net as expert as them­selues, is counted but a shéepe, a simple sot, and a playne Innocent.The opinion of Players. But on the contrary, he that can sette vpon eche vice a face of brasse, & with his countenaunce beare out the matter, that is the fellow can doo all, and he it is that shalbe counted the modest audacious man.

With what tyranny doth vice then hold possession of these mens harts, when theyr eyes are so obstinatlie blinded that they decerne not good from bad,They are singu­ler in sinne. but head­long runne into theyr owne destruction, called mischi­uous exercises honest recreations: when such it is as presenteth murders, mischiefes, adulteryes, ingrati­tude, idlenes, dissention, impudencie, and all kynde of villany, that eyther can be thought vpon or practised in a Common wealth, I wish these men not to sooth them selues in theyr folly, but to repent in time. This Maske thus ended, wyth visardes accordingly appoin­ted, there were certaine petty fellows ready, as ye cu­stome is in Maskes, to carry Torches,The Torch-bearers. to inflame the harts, and inkindle theyr mindes to contende with ver­tue, and wholy to be guided and lighted by vice. Whose names are these,What they are Unthriftines, Deceitfull diligence, Secrete hate, Insolent contempt, Mallice, and Make­bate, whose visards are these, an honest minde, good husbandry, a humble hart, good regard, temperaunce, and contempt of the world, whose Torches as I sayde, are the firebrands of sathan,Theyr Torches are the firebrāds of sathan. to conduct menne to hell, whose way is plaine and broad, without let or hinde­raunce. Not one of these Torch bearers but are as wel knowne amongst Players,They are known amongst Players and theyr vices put in [...]re, to make theyr practise known, as wel as sathan know­eth his owne, and can cull out these Mates which are vnder the cōpasse of his regiment. This pleasing Mask béeing thus prepared, with a few words gyuen them in charge from their master Belzebub,Belzebub sen­deth thē to Fa­stus & Luxuria▪ thither were they sent, to the place appointed to [...]. to Faustus and Luxuria, and to gréefe them from theyr king, with that [Page] gift. Whether when they were come, with entertaine­ment no lesse pompous then the mariage was solemni­zed. Fastus, to the intent his education might appeare correspondent to his comely person, welcommed them wyth these wordes. This curteous fauour, renowned seruaunts to our mighty King,The Oration of Fastus. sent from him, worketh a meanes to redouble y former duety which we oughte him, and although the vnworthines of our estate, could not admit the presence of his person, yet doth our harts so much honor him (whose power is great) that we cō ­tinually with vehemency of spirit, call vpon his name. Neither as iustice wylled, hitherto hath wanted any thing that might pleasure vs, or glorifie the worthy ti­tle of hys dignitie. But at thys instant, considering the generall ioy, that wee and our seruaunts haue receiued by the swéete contentation, and solemnizing of the ma­riage betwéene my Lady, and mee, my good Lorde hath héerein amplified my former reuerence, and sharpened in my minde a déeper desire to procéede in hys obedi­ence, then héeretofore hath euer béene inserted in my hart. Certify him therfore I pray at your returne, that wherein duety may gratifie or requite thys large bene­fite and fauour, it shalbe extended to the highest degrée. Therefore, for the loue I beare you, sent frō my Lorde, you are hartily welcome to my Castle of [...]. Af­ter he had ended his spéech, his Lady Luxuria, spake as followeth.

My Lord and espoused husband Fastus, The Oration of Luxuria. (you inhabi­tants of y infernal world) hath already showne you the zeale of his louing hart, the Simpathy of whose minde, consisteth in my selfe, that whatsoeuer he shall séeme to allowe, of duety & loue I beare him, besides the fauor I owe vnto you, confirmeth the same in me, so farre, then wherein the power, or duetifull seruice of a sillye wo­man consisteth, or may offer requitall, let it be expected, for duety wylls so much, and your curtesie commandes no lesse, you are therefore hartily welcome to our Ca­stle [Page 24] [...].

After these seuerall Orations were ended, a sud­daine ioy was striken in the harts of the beholders,The wicked ioy in sinne. as well by reason of these spéeches, as to view the manner of the Maske, wherein they receyued such contentation by how much more it came vnlooked for, that they were almost dryuen into an extasie, such was the ioy they conceiued thereof. When Fastus and Luxuria, and the rest of the company hadde well recreated theyr minds with dauncing and disporting amongst these Maskers beholding them at large (whose custome was not to speake) they commaunded them to be ledde into ye Hall of Misery,Theyr banquet in the Hall of misery. and there to be feasted with delicate dyshes, of continual vexation, guilty conscience, worlds of woe, and neuer dying torments. where drinking of the ac­cursed wine of forgetfulnes, they returned to Sathan from whence they came.

Sith then such is the wicked exercise of these Play­ers, gyue me leaue a word or two to tell you in exhor­tation, how happy it is to auoyd theyr presence, and to banish them from the entrayles of theyr harts.

Whatsoeuer is contrary to the word of God,Playes are con­trary to the word of God. is not a­gréeable with God, Playes are contrary to the word of God, therefore agrée they not wyth God. First GOD with hys owne sacred mouth hath pronounced, yt what­soeuer procéedeth from the wicked nature of ma [...], is vnperfect, pollute, and defiled, such then are Playes, vn­perfect,Faigned colours. pollute and defiled. Why then should the na­ture of man be so blinded with error, as to runne des­perately into the damnable sincke of sinne, (or as they terme it) in séeking to expell the mischiefe of Melan­choly, doo runne into a thousand miseryes, and whatso­euer he be that féeleth himselfe surprised with thys passion, shall find that pleasure doth increase the same, and Playes rather enflame the fury therof, thē quench the flame by any rest. But whatsoeuer he be that fée­leth thys passion of melancholy, to haue fast holde of his [Page] hart, shall by no meanes sooner expell the same,A medicine for melancholy. then by reading of the Scriptures, conferring the mercyes of God wyth his sinfull soule, and by firing still before his eyes, the bitternes of that passion of Christ, endu­red for vs, who was bounde to sette vs free from sa­than, scourged to ridde vs from strypes, derided to de­liuer vs from the scorne of the deuill, crowned wyth thornes to glorify vs with a crowne of maiestie, and fi­nally for vs, shed his most precious bloode, yea for vs vnworthy wretches, that rather flye to vanities to vn­loade our heauy harts, then come to him to be vnladen of our bonde, whose worde (swéeter then the hony or the hony combe) calleth vs that are gréeued. When he sayth: Come vnto me all yée that are heauye & loa­den,The conclusion. and I wyll ease you of your burden. What canne we haue more of so swéete a Sauiour. Eschew there­fore thys euill to wynne heauen, treade thys mischiefe vnder féete, to be extolled into heauen, and finally say, Lorde graunt vs heauen. Amen.


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