Gathered out of diuers good Grounds, and set toge­ther in this little Garden within The Figure of Foure.


LONDON, ¶ Printed for Iohn Wright.


To the Worshipfull his Very good friend, the Fauou­rer of Learning, and Louer of Vertue, Master Thomas Gardner, of Boram in Essex, N. Breton wisheth much happinesse.

SIR, the care of my affection, in regard of your kindnesse, hath made me (of late, walking thorow the Gar­den of many good Wri­ters) togather a few FLOWERS, which I here present to the good fauour of your discretion: they are but few, the sooner loo­ked ouer, but perhaps of such Vertue as may (wel considered) be nothing to your dislike. [Page] Such as they bee, I leaue them to the per­using of your good leisure, and their vse to your best liking: which, with my selfe, I wish to bee happie in your good fauour. And so leauing ceremonious Eloquence, I rest in more affection than protestation,

Yours assured to command, N. Breton.

The Figure of Foure, OR A Handfull of sweet FLOWERS.

FOVRE things aboue all things, most excellent to be thought vpon: God, & his Word, Man, & his Soule.

Foure excellent notes in Diuinitie to be remem­bred: The Feare of God is the beginning of wisdome, The Loue of God is the Ioy of the Soule, The Mercie of God the Comfort of the Heart, The Grace of God the Blessing of the Spirit.

Foure other notes verie necessarie to bee had in continuall memorie: Faith taketh hold of Mercie, Hope taketh hold of Com­fort, Wisdome taketh hold of Grace, and Humilitie taketh hold of Loue.

[Page]Foure other notes necessarie for the Spi­rits obseruation: the Essence of God in­comprehensible, his Power inuincible, his Wisdome insearchable, and Goodnesse vn­speakable.

Foure notes vpon the names of the be­loued of God. Moses, to whom God gaue the Law; Dauid, whom he chose after his owne heart; Lazarus, whom he raised from dead; and Iohn the Euangelist, that leaned in his bosome.

Foure chiefe Fooles aboue all other to be noted: Adam, that lost Paradise for a bit of an Apple; Esau, that sold his Birth­right for a messe of Porrage; Lots wife, that lost her life for a looke; and Iudas, tha: sold his soule for thirtie pence.

The Bible diuided chiefly into foure parts: the Law, the Prophets, the Gospell, and the Reuelation.

Foure speciall notes out of these: the wisdome, the power, the mercie, and the glorie of God.

Foure notes vpon these: the Creation by the Power of God, the Gouernment by the Wisdome of God, the Redemption [Page] by the Mercie of God, and Saluation by the Glorie of God.

The foure Seasons of the Yeare: the Spring, the Summer, the Haruest, the Win­ter.

The nature of the foure Elements: The Fire, the Water, the Aire, and the Earth.

To apply them to the Body, the foure Complexions: the Fire, Choler; the Aire, Bloud; the Water, Flegme▪ and the Earth, Melancholy.

Foure other notes: Quantitie, Qualitie, the Pouertie, and Effect.

Foure chiefe creatures to bee noted in Nature: Man, Beast, Fish, Fowle.

Foure things to bee noted in the Nature of Man: Constitution, Disposition, Cor­ruption, and Confirmation.

Foure notes of a good Eye: to see Quick▪ to see Farre, to see Cleare, to see Long.

Foure notes of a strong body: to trauell well, to feed well, to digest well, and to sleepe well.

Foure chiefe notes of a good Spirit: Wisdome in Speech, Valour in Action, Mercie in Wrath, and Bountie in Reward.

[Page]Four great blessings in Nature: to speake well, to write well, to ride well, and to swim well.

Foure chiefe passions of the Minde: Loue, Hate, Ioy, and Sorrow.

Foure chiefe Gouernours of the Passion: Reason, Patience, Time, and Experience.

Foure chiefe Bridles of Nature: Want, Authoritie, Hope, and Feare.

Foure kindes of Gouernments: the Tur­kish, the Christian, the Protestant, and the Papist.

Foure kindes of wars: Forraine, Ciuill, Combat, and in the Conscience.

Foure chiefe Gouernours vnder the Prince: the Counsellor, the Judge, the Bi­shop, and Maior.

Foure chiefe members in a Common­wealth: the Souldier, the Courtier, the Lawyer, and the Merchant.

Foure chiefe Vpholders of the Com­mon-wealth: the Plough-man, the Gra­zier, the Clothier, and the Fisher-men.

Foure chiefe Sciences to be studied: A­rithmeticke for the Merchant, Geometrie for the Traueller, Astronomie for the Ma­riner, [Page] and Diuinitie for the Scholler.

Foure thoughts to bee excluded the Minde: the Secrets of the Heauens, the Wonders of the World, the Wickednesse of Sinne, and the Madnesse of Fooles.

Foure chiefe persons to bee regarded: an honourable Master, a louing Wife, a faithfull Friend, and a trustie Seruant.

Foure kindes of women not to be loued: a Wife full of words, a Maid full of sleepe, a Widdow proud, and an old woman wanton.

Foure men to bee excluded all good Company: a Parasite, a Pandar, a Theefe, and a Lyar.

Foure ill shewes in a House: a Table without meat, a Stable without Horse, a Chamber without Furniture, and a Purse without Money.

Foure things not to bee medled with: Meat when it is fire-hot, Friendship when it is stone-cold, Fish when it is too drie, and Herbs when they are too moist.

Foure things not to bee numbred: the Sands of the Sea, the Drops of the Raine, the Stars in the Heauens, nor the Moats in the Sun.

[Page]Foure things to be eschewed: Idolatrie for feare of the Deuill, Treacherie for feare of hanging, The euerie for feare of the jayle, and Lecherie for feare of infection.

Foure chiefe kindes of sicknesse: the Griefe of the Minde, the Ach of the Heart, the Consumption of the Purse, and the Disquiet of the Soule.

Foure chiefe Contentments: a quiet Wife, a chiefe Friend, an obedient Childe, and an honest Neighbour.

Foure great Treasures, a rich Possession, a faire House, a healthfull Body, and a quiet Minde.

Foure necessaries to a faire House: a faire Garden, a fruitfull Orchard, a pure Spring, and a rich Wood.

Foure things to bee much made of: a Horse that will trauell well, a Hawke that will flie well, a Seruant that will wait well, and a Knife that will cut well.

Foure true notes of a Foole: much Talke, often Laughter, Pide-Coats, and lauish Expence.

Foure other notes of a lewd person: a leering Eye, a fleering Looke, a flattering Tongue, and creeping Courtesie.

[Page]Foure ill peeces of Musicke: the waw­ling of a Cat, the brawling of a Scold, the scraping of a Kettle, and the squeaking of a Cart-wheele.

Foure terrible sounds to the Eare: Thun­der from Heauen, the threat of a Prince, the shot of a Canon, and the roaring of a Lion.

Foure chiefe necessarie wares in a Citie, Cloth, Leather, Linnen, and Iron.

Foure ill things in a house: a Mouse in a cheese, a Cat in a creame-pot, a Dog in the Larder, and a Theefe in the chest.

Foure chiefe persons in a Market: the Meale man, the Butcher, the Butter-man, and the Fish-wife.

Foure chiefe Countrey victuals: Butter, Cheese, Egges, and Apples.

Foure lasing Victuals in a House: Ba­con, Ling, Butter, and Cheese.

Foure things necessarie in a house, Oyle, Salt, Vinegar, and Pepper.

Foure necessarie herbs in a Garden: Rue, Rosemarie, Thyme, and Parsley.

Foure good Physick herbs in a Garden: Mercurie, Spurge, Pionell, and Tobacco.

Foure kindes of Graine most necessarie [Page] for the Citie: Wheat, Rye, Barley, & Oats.

Foure best kinds of Prouender for Hor­ses: Beanes, Pease, Oats, and Veches.

Foure necessarie things for a good Horse: sweet Hay, drie Oats, cleere Water, and cleane Straw.

Foure chiefe Furnitures in an Armorie: a good Sword, a good Pike, a good Corse­let, and a good Peece.

Foure good things at Sea: a sound Ship, a skilfull Pilot, a good Wind, and faire Weather.

Foure chiefe Beasts of State: the Lion, the Vnicorne, the Horse, and the Stag.

Foure chiefe stately Birds: the Eagle, the Estridge, the Goshawke, and the Crane.

Foure chiefe fruits of Commoditie in a Garden: the Cabage, the Artiehoke, the Carret, and the Parsnip.

Foure chiefe fruits for Dainties in an Orchard: the Apricocke, the Peach, the Quince, and the Warden.

Foure chiefe Seruices at a Table, Beefe, Mutton, Capon, and▪ Rabbet.

Foure chiefe Sallets in the Spring: Let­tice, Rocket, Taragon, and Spinage.

[Page]Foure kindes of Poore mens physicke, Onions, Garlike, Ale, and Graines.

Foure dangerous things in a high way: an Adder, a Slough, a Theefe, & a Madman.

The Earth diuided into foure parts: the Pasture, the Plough-land, the Medow, and the Wood-ground.

The Realme diuided into foure parts: the Court, the Vniuersitie, the Citie, and the Countrey.

Foure Diuisions of the Yeares of Man: his Infancie, his Child-hood, his Man­hood, his Age.

Foure things alwayes necessarie to be re­membred: to serue God, to despise the World, to prouide for Necessaries, and re­member to die.

Foure things to be taken heed of, not to fall into: not to creepe to a Dog, to consult with a Wolfe, to trust to a Fox, nor to come in the clawes of a Lion.

Foure things verie dangerous: to looke too long vpon Beautie, is dangerous for the Eye; to hearken to Treason, is dan­gerous for the Eare; to cut a Purse is dan­gerous for the Hand; and to delight in [Page] surfeting is dangerous for the bodie.

Foure old English Games: Trumpe, One and thirtie, Doublers, and Be-you-pleased.

Foure old English Prouerbs: the Hart loues the High-wood, the Hare loues the Hill, the Gentleman his Sword, and the Yeoman his Bill.

Foure toyling Pastimes: Foot-ball, Wrastling, Tumbling, and Dancing.

Foure chiefe horrible sinnes to take heed of: Pride, Lecherie, Murther, and Drun­kennesse.

Foure chiefe weapons of the Soule: Faith, Prayer, Hope, and Patience.

Foure things to bee hated of all Men: a faithlesse Friend, a malicious Woman, a proud Beggar, and a miserable Rich man.

The foure diuisions of time: the Yeare, the Moneth, the Day, the Houre.

Foure Diseases incurable: the Falling­sicknesse, the Gout, the Frenzie, the Gan­greene.

Foure excellent Medicines for all Dis­eases: Patience in the Minde, Peace in the Soule, the Fruits of the Earth, and the Ioyes of Heauen.

[Page]Hee that would doe hurt, and dare not, hath more malice than valour; and he that can doe hurt and will not, hath more taste of Heauen than of the world.

Hee that is full of sorrow, hath no joy in the world; and hee that feareth death, hath a weake faith.

Dauid was holy, and yet sinned grie­uously; Salomon was wise, and yet com­mitted Idolatrie; Peter denied Christ, but after wept bitterly; and Marie Magdalen was a great sinner, and yet loued Christ Iesus entirely.

Feare not to doe well, for the threat of a frowne; nor bee enticed to doe euill, by promise of reward.

Haue an eye to thy Purse, and an care to thy Doore, a doore to thy Lips, and a care ouer thy Soule.

Pharaohs Pride was drowned in the Sea, Alexanders Greatnesse lieth in the graue, Sampsons Strength fell into Dalila's lap, and Dines Riches kept reckoning in hell.

Plato was a diuine Philosopher, Aristotle a perfect Logician, Virgil an excellent Poet, and Diogenes adogged Companion.

[Page]Hee that will follow a Multitude, may dance at a May-pole, and he that loues so­litarinesse, may dwell in a Cupboard.

Hee that spends more in one yeare, than he gets in two, may fret out his Heart, when he hath no Mony in his Purse.

He that vseth Quarrell, had need be fol­lowed with a Chirurgion & he that is giuen to Drinking, may make his Will in a surfet.

A gracious Prince is a blessing to the Realme, and a foolish Master is a griefe to his Seruant.

Meet not a Lion alone in the woods, creep not into a caue to rob a Bear of her whelps, trust not a Wolfe too neere behinde thee, and lose not thy time to play with an Ape.

A faire Citie without people, a faire Sta­ble without Horse, a faire Pasture without Cattell, and a faire Ship without Mariners, are foure pitifull sights to behold.

A little Ground well tilled, a little House well filled, and a little Wife well willed, would make him liue that were halfe killed.

Words are alluring winds, Visions are vaine thoughts, Hopes deceiuing humours, and Loue is a prettie Morris-dance.

[Page]Hee that gapes after Flies, may bee cho­ [...] with a Gnat; and hee that trusteth to Dreames may bee afraid of his owne sha­dow: he that keepeth company with fooles, loseth the benefit of time: and hee that lo­ueth to walke in the Darke, may breake his shins for his labour.

Hee that mournes for euerie trifle, is worthy of trouble, and hee that conceales his sorrow, refuseth comfort.

Early rising is wholesome for the body, spare diet maintaineth a good stomacke, moderate exercise preserueth health, and a good purse makes a merrie heart.

Delaying of time is the losse of occasion▪ and late repentance doth argue indiscretion.

Love vertue as thy life, it gets thee fame after death, and she sinne as a Serpent, lest it sting like a Deuill.

Ignorance and Sensualitie, Presumption, and Despaire, are the foure chiefe snares the Deuill layeth for the soule.

The summer hath her flies, and the win­ter her worme; so hath pride, folly, miserie, and sorrow.

Loue is sweet, so it bee gouerned with [Page] reason; and friendship is comfortable, when it comes vnlooked for.

Vertue is the beauty of wit, and Honor the ioy of reason, loue is the life of nature, and grace is the glory of wisdome.

Time is the plotter of Experience, and Obseruation is the instrument of know­ledge.

Who reueales his secrets to his friends, hath his head vnder anothers girdle, and he that scorneth the counsell of the wise, may shake hands with a foole.

Let the world know thine honesty, thy friend thy kindnesse, thy wife thy loue, and thine heire thy wealth.

Releeue the distressed, it will be a fame to thy name: aduance the vertuous, it will be an honor to thy spirit: fauour the learned, it may benefit thy knowledge: and loue the Religious, it may be a blessing to thy soule.

Who heares much and sayes little, who gets much and loseth little, who hath much and spends little, may ioy much and sorrow little.

Marry not with Age, lest it dislike thee; nor Beauty, least it deceiue thee; nor wealth, [Page] lest it corrupt thee; nor pouertie, lest it em­pouerish thee.

Be not a Peacocke in thy apparel, a Par­rot in thy speech, a Gander in thy gate, nor a Herne in thy feed.

Be a Niggard to a Foole, and take heed of a close wit, reward the vertuous in se­cresie, and discard the idle as needlesse.

Vse musicke for recreation, play but for company, labour for exercise, and study but for knowledge.

An angrie spirit, and a weake body, doe but trouble time, and make ready for the graue.

A true heart and an honest minde, with a good tongue, make an happie creature.

Loue a Prince for vertue, a Magistrate for wit, a Judge for conscience, and a Diuine for zeale.

Pay truly that thou owest▪ keepe warily what thou enioyest, giue frankly that thou giuest, and God will blesse what thou hast.

Grieue not an afflicted spirit, nor boast of thine owne happinesse, trouble not a wounded conscience, and bee patient in thine owne misfortune.

[Page]Follow the Noble, obserue the Wise, accompanie the honest, and loue the Godly.

Be not subiect to any humour, nor ob­stinate in any errour, nor absolute in thine owne opinion, nor resolute without good aduice.

Learne varietie of Languages for con­ference with strangers, varietie of studies for knowledge of Arts, varietie of gouern­ments to manage thy trauels, and varietie of knowledge to content the humour of thy spirit.

Scoffe not a wise Speech in a meane man, scorne not Vertue in a poore habit, refuse not good wine in a woodden cup, nor deny not to take currant money out of a course canuasse bag.

Wearie not your wits with study, your body with labour, your friend with intrea­tie, nor your seruants with rebuke.

Make not Religion the cloke of an ill Minde, nor a smooth countenance a couer for a subtill meaning, nor a faire word a shadow of an euill deed, nor a gilded pill the couer of poyson.

[Page]In a Towne of warre, marke Fortifica­tions: in a royall Campe, marke the Go­uernment; in an honourable March, note the order of the Leaders; and in the day of battell, marke the Fight.

Striue not with thy betters, for feare of Authoritie; quarrell not vvith thine infe­riour, for feare of Disgrace: but shoulder with thine equall, to maintaine thy Repu­tation; and take the right on thy side, for feare of the Law.

Loue not a Tale of Robin Hood and his bow, beat not thy braines about the rea­ding of a Riddle, listen to no Ballads of the Fox and the Crow, nor giue credit to newes till they be halfe a yeare old.

Tell no newes, and write fewer, play not vpon a stranger, and abuse not a friend.

Chuse a good aire for thy seat, a warme chamber for thy lodging, a faire way to trauell, and an honest man for thine Host.

Better is one good Horse than many Jades, one good Dog than many Curs, one good Seruant than many Slouens, and one true Friend than many Flatterers.

There bee foure miserable Plagues vnto [Page] man: Sicknesse, Want, Imprisonment, and Wrong.

There be foure plagues to a good mind: to serue a Foole, to marrie a Slut, to be be­holding to a Churle, and not to requite a Friend.

Learne by a Flie, not to play with the fire: learne by a Fish, not to snatch at a bait: learne by a Bird, not to fall in a snare: and learne by a Mouse, not to creepe into a trap.

Keepe thy pocket from the Cut-purse, thy stable from the Theefe, thy body from a Harlot, and thy hand from a Bond.

Follow the Warres for Honour, the Court for Fauour, the Law for Gaine, and the Countrey for Health.

Laus & gloria Deo.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.