PARADOXES by I. de la Salle


Obscuris vera involuens.

LONDON, Printed for Francis Eaglesfiel at the Marygold in Paul's Church-yard. 1653.

To the Worthily honoured RO­BERT BRANTH­VVAITE of Buly-Castle, in the Coun­ty of Westmor­land, Es (que)

WHen I consi­der with my self, who it is that brings the im­portunity of this address upon you, I cannot but be doubtfull of the en­tertainment you may [Page] affoord it, but when I shall withall have re­presented unto you, that things of this nature have found acceptance with all the polish'd Na­tions, that Tully himself was not asham'd to ap­pear in this kind, & that the Authour may well be justified by the example of Sir Will. Cornwallis, Dr. Donne & Carpenter in our own Nation; I have the more assurance to offer you this, and so much the more, as I [Page] must witness for the Au­thour those great senti­nents of honour & respect whch a most effective & excellent virtue, that is to say, your own can work upon him; besides that you are one of the few that even in a desperate age inte est your self in things noble. So that I do my self but right in acknowledging my self your Honourer, & bringing these things into your Protection, [Page] which if your Candor, and usual ingenuity will not deny me, you have satisfied the ambition, and wishes of

Worthy Sir,
Your most humble servant, J. DAVIES.


IT will be won­dred at hap­ply by some, that in such a restles age of printing a man should decline that, which so many Court and Idolise, the reputation of an Authour, and be hardly induced to suf­fer his works to come into the World by another hand. It must needs be a great minde that can [Page] contemn great things. But that I should be so much concerned in the publishing of this, I can­not but give thee an ac­count. Going about the beginning of 1649. be­yond the Seas, I left some three, or four of these Paradoxes imper­fect, yet such was the estimation the Authour had gotten by former things▪ and such the avarice of the plodding Stationer, that he would needs fasten on them as they were, but with a slight promise from the other to divertise so far [Page] as to bring them into some considerable bulk. Upon these hopes, some moneths after my depar­ture, what I left was committed to the press, but as for any advance (by reason of the War in Scotland, whither the Authoor was designed in order to some publick transactions, as also his relation to the State, besides the burthen of his profession, not easily ad­mitting such diversi­ons) there was so little done, that returning in­to England towards the latter end of 1651. I [Page] found so much printed, as I had left behinde me in writing. But under­standing that there was a considerable impression of them, and that the ob­stacle why they came not abroad, was, besides the imperfection, the smal­ness of the bulk, I have for thy satisfaction, been so importunate with the Authour, as that he hath built up those foundati­ons to what thou findest. The superstructure I must confess is not much but if it be considered that without it thou hadst had nothing, I may say [Page] it is all. Nor mayest thou justly quarrel, that the satisfaction is but slender in regard of the Paren­thesis of almost three years, that this book hath been printing, hadst thou received nothing but that of the Govern­ment of Women, a di­scovery, which haply, were it put in execution might bring us to a greater settledness and certainty of Govern­ment, in regard that Women, where they once come to govern, do it perpetually, and had rather want life then [Page] domination. This is all I have to say to thee, unless it be to tell thee that my interest with the Authour may haply prevail with him, to do that violence to his na­ture as to furnish thee with some other things of better consequence, though certainly we meet with an age which hath so little inclination for any thing of worth, that were it not for some particular persons left like things gathered from a shipwrack, we might despair of inge­nuity, or at least that [Page] of reception. In the mean time enjoy these, and do as well as thou canst.

J. D.

To his very honoured Friend, the Au­thour of these Paradoxes.

REason of man being the most exquis [...]
And noble part, and of that reason, wi [...]
And amongst wits, that which doth prove of a [...]
Most rationally Paradoxicall;
Then you most eminent must needs possess
Amidst the most refined, a prime place.
For other Scienceers and Artists do
Wait onely servilly on Truth, but you
Make it on your assertions to attend,
And verifie what ever you intend,
Especially when you are pleas'd to stretch
Your fancy thus above the vulgar reach.
Whilst others but engender, you create,
And where they life receive, you animate;
[Page] You lead, they follow truth, they keep the tract
That common is, and therefore do but act
Thing's Ordinary but your spirit on
Strange paths with wonder treads by ways unknown.
Tho. Vrquhart.

A Justification of the Authour and these his excellent Paradoxes.

COuld we recall that rude and simple ag [...]
When it was thought presumption to engag [...]
Beyond a Proverb, such as should dispence
Morality, and 'stablish th' common sence;
Or when, things more divine for to display
A Parable was thought the onely way;
Or could we but enjoy those innocent times,
When for to know the humours and the crimes
O' th' age, the peoples entertainment was
A mess of m [...]rry edifying plaies;
This work might have been spard mans [...]reer m [...]
Had not by Stoicisme been confin'd▪
To fancy or dislike be kinde or Coy
Where nature bids not shun nor yet enjoy.
[Page] But man grew learned, and began to wast
His hours to study hatred and distaste
To common things; One labours to disgrace
What's most Authentick with the Populace
Another vows no peacefull thoughts till he
Hath hammer'd out some tenet, that shall be
High and abstruse and onely must admit
The disquisition of some soaring wit:
A third rapt in Enthusiastick rage
Quarrels at the stupidity o' th' age
Raves it does not receive some truth so plain,
As haply is reserv'd to th' next Kings raign
A fourth yet more refin'd can think not on
Ought but dreams of his own perfection;
Laughs at Antiquity; sweetlie inveighs,
At the strange ignorance of former daies
Derides its customes, hardlie can excuse
[Page] The obsolet fashion of a pair of shoes.
Learning is brought to th' rack, and made confess
That time may haplie make a more and less
In Truth, since what was once not thought to be
Is since tormented into certainty.
So that a dish of Paradoxes now's but chear
For a mechanick military ear.
Tis now confess'd the clammie Earth runs round,
That East and West may in one pnint be found;
That vegetables 'mong th' Antipodes
Grow not inverse, or fall into the skies;
Who quarrels at the wind's inconstancie
Raise up his soul a little, let him see
That in th' Equator constantlie there must
From East to West flly a perpetuall gust.
Nay now the onelie Paradox is, to say
There's any, for if when that brighter day
[Page] Broke forth upon us, onelie this was meant,
All propositions are indifferent;
Errour and truth each other doth comprise,
And men demonstrate Contradictories;
What th' Authour saies as Paradox, may be
A sacred truth vail [...]d in a prophecy
And for the women he may safelie teach
They may go nak'd, and govern where they Preach.



  • Par. 1. THat an absolute Tyranny is the best Government. pag. 1.
  • Par. 2. That content is but lazy pa­tience, if not misery. pag. 30.
  • Par. 3. That women ought to go na­ked. pag. 54.
  • [...]r. 4. That it is the pleasantest life to be alwaies in danger. pag. 78.
  • Par. 5. That Women ought to govern states rather then Men. pag. 104.
  • Par. 6. That it is better to be lame or bed-rid then lusty and able to walk abroad. pag. 135.

Paradoxes By John Hall▪ Obscuris vera involuens

LONDON, Printed for JOHN WA [...], at the Star in Popes-head Alley, MDCL.

[Page] [Page 3]Paradoxes▪

That an absolute Tyranny is the best Government.

SInce that power is the very life and essence of every Govern­ment, and those Go­vernments are the most perfect, that have the most power, and that that power is most in tense, which resides in one, and more weak and [Page 4] faint which is dispersed among a many, since that all people hate to be Governed by their equalls, and therefore chose to put themselves under an Umpire, it must needs follow, that, Lord­ly or absolute Monarchy is the best and most natural Government. For if all Governments, if they doe not at first be­gin with Monarchy, yet in processe of time they grow up from republciks into Monarchies as into more perfect estates▪ and all Monarchies turn into Tyrannies, after a ve­ry [Page 5] little time, why may we not inferre that all other Governments are imperfect species till they be consummated and made Tyrannicall.

If we conceive that most correspondent to the law of nature, which most Nations do agree in (though in o­ther things they dis­scent) and that we see upon all the Globe very few and little Republicks, but many and vast King­domes, we may deduce from thence, that most people, do desire to be under the sway of one, [Page 6] who if he be not indued with a supreame and un­limited Power, is rather their servant then their Prince, and it is but re­diculous to thinke that so great a part of man­kind, would be content to obey their slaves.

Nor doth it proceed from cowardize: for we see the old and modern Persians, the stoutest Septentrionall Nations, the Turks, Scithians, and Muscovites at this day, pride themselves so much in this Govern­ment, that they adore their Emperors as gods; [Page 7] Nor doth it proceed from Stupidity, for the wisest and politest Na­tions have imbraced it, and though some politi­tians have termed it but the privation or disease of Government, yet many more, have ac­counted it the only best way of rule, and that from the course and or­der of nature, which in every kind formes a Su­premacy, as the Eagle among Birds, the Lyon among Beasts, the Vine among Vegetables, and the Rubye among stones. Nay, and Divines of [Page 8] all sorts except some J [...]suites and Indepen­dants) unanimously con­clude, that all Govern­ment must bee obeyed without resistance; Now they assume, that Royalty is the only go­vernment that God hath ordained, and is pleased with (Kings be­ing ectypes of him and bearing his name) and therefore they ought to be obeyed without resist­ance, and none ought to lift their hands against them. Now if none ought to bee the least disobedient, and that [Page 9] Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, they invest an absolute power in them who they say are not to be controled, for if they might be controled, it should be for the impo­sition of some unjust cō ­mands, which if Subjects might actually disobey & cal to account, all the world would bee filled with confusion and Re­bellion. But say they, Kings are onely answera­ble to God whose Vice­gerents they are, and not subordinate to any humaine power, and above all law, which [Page 10] evinc'd, whatsoever they doe is lawfull and not examinable.

Besides, what more contrary to the ease and order of the people, then the multiplicity of Laws, litigious interpretations of them, and obstreperous Lawyers? but all this is cut off, and saved, when the fountaine of Law is in one breast, and the people may present­ly know the resolution and interpretation from one that cannot doe wrong. For all Law be­ing in the King, and hee by maxime not capable [Page 11] of doing any wrong, whatever he doth must be just and right; and what greater happinesse to a people, then grant­ing them speedy justice.

The proportion of eve­ry mans spirit may bee measured by his wi­shes: Now the greatest soules aime at nothing so much as at rule, and at no rule in compari­son of that over men. Now if Vertue and excel­lent endowments, cannot be truly rewarded with any thing that is evill; and Nature never tea­ches any man uselesse in­clinations; [Page 12] it must fol­low that superiority seems to bee set as a whetston and reward of Vertue. And what soul would not disdaine to governe, where hee is pounded up with servile restrictions, and limited by those who were borne to obey him. Caesar chose rather to be the first of a Village, then the second in Rome; and would not hee, thinke we, choose rather to have been Duke of one street of Florence, then a [...] Pageant to [...] the Dominion of Venic [...]?

[Page 13] Now for the happi­nesse of a State, what better way to it then peace, and what better way of preservation of peace, then by having continually ready ar­med force, which may quel every insurrection, and stifle it in the birth, and yet serve for out­ward magnificence and attendance upon the Prince? what better plentation of wealth, then to have a Court entertained with all de­lights, and glittering in all the [...]poyles both of the Sea and Mines, and [Page 14] as it were triumphing in all the productions and curiosities of Art? and yet this without Prin­ces Courts is vainely expected.

Rome had never known Nero's golden house, had it not beene for Nero; nor the great Arch, had Trajan never lived; nor had Spaine ever dreamt of an Esicuriall, if he had wanted a Philip. And yet things are a­mong their chiefest and lasting glories. Besides what better way to keepe a Kingdome quiet then by employing the [Page 15] poorer sort of people, upon such workes as the Prince shall either fancy or delight in? Thus we see the Pyra­mids at this day remai­ning, the fame of the place whereon they stand. And we read of the Hortipensiles of Ba­bilon, &c. none of which had ever beene done or knowne, had not the care and noble wisdome of the King employed the people that way, who else might have sunke into Luxury, or snorted themselves into implacable enmities.

[Page 16] Besides, all the wis­dome of the Politicians could never shape out but three kindes of Go­vernment, Democracie, which is nothing but dregs and confusion, and an audacious licence to do every thing; & indeed an interstice of government, rather then government. Aristocracy, when onely the nobles have the reign in their hands, and are so apt to burst into factions, that it could not thrive nor prosper any where. Aristotle indeed in his Politicks mentions some few obscure ones, and we [Page 17] know but one extant at this day. And Monarchy which is the only perfect system of government, which indeed includes op­timacy within it self; for a Prince must have Coun­sellours, who if they were Guardians to him, and might impose their advice, what a repug­nant, inconsistent, con­trary thing were a Mo­narch to himselfe. But if the last judgement of every thing be to be left to him, and no man can so absolutely rule his understanding, but that it must bee [Page 18] somewhat sway'd and byass'd by his will, it will follow, that it is necessary to the very essence of a Prince, to have his own wil free & uncontrolable, and then what a poore thing is a Prince, if he be not obeyed.

Besides, since all par­ticulars do ascend and dissolve into universals, there must among so many private fathers, be one publicke Father, to be the great Archetype of all the rest. And if private fathers have such intire authority o­ver [Page 19] their sonnes; (Nay which the Romans and some wise Nations had power of life and death over their children) it is but equitable, that publicke Fathers should have Analogicall autho­rity over those who stand bound to them in that relation.

You will say, they may be vicious persons. But their vices are only as private men, and can­not render them in their publick capacity either lesse just or lesse skilfull. Besides they stand open to the eyes and envy of [Page 20] all men, and so every little slip of theirs may be observ'd and blaz'd, which if they had beene private persons, had been as obscure as Mid­night. Or put the case their vices be high and big, they seldome want superiour vertues to cloud and shadow them. For every thing being in great and high soules, ex­cessive, it is impossible for them to keep a me­diocrity in their vices, which are commonly illustriously great, and rather matter of obser­vation, then hate or [Page 21] scorne: for the Grandeza and Gayety of them, ex­empts them from those poore ridiculous conse­quences which fall on the slips of more meane and sordid natures.

And you will say, they may be ravenous: great fires must have great store of sewell; great magnificences that cannot stoop to thrift, must stray to gaine, and who should better supply the head with spirits, then the lower parts of the same body? Besides the publicke losse is nothing all this [Page 22] while, for it is in the same Country, onely gathered into one hand, and gloriously spent, whereas otherwise it might have been insen­sibly misled away in ama­ny, & Princes what they draw up from their Sub­jects in Vapours, they returne down to them in showers and inrich and fat­ten the places where e­ver they reside.

And in case they sometimes fall heavy on private persons, 'tis but exercising that severity which the law provides against vice, and then [Page 23] tis worke of excellent justice, Or if happily the parties be innocent and blamelesse, we should ac­count him but a bad Ci­tizen that would not re­deem a publick Burden, with his own privat suf­ferings, & cheerfully re­sign up his estate when the Commonwealth, should either gaine or save so much by it:

But then you may ob­ject, they are Usurpers, no man envies reward to danger, and what greater danger, then for a man with all his relations and interests, to [Page 24] encounter a present power, which if they overthrow, 'tis fit they should injoy the fruits of it. And then com­ming by this meanes, in­gages them to a great warinesse, and to ma­ny flatteries and obligati­ons of the people, which otherwise they would have neglected. And they must also walke providently, least they leave holes for others to creep in at upon them, as they did upon their Predecessors, Withall it hath beene knowne that a many Princes [Page 25] have sweetned and disgui­sed the memory of their accesse to Government, by making many excel­lent lawes and provisions in their severall Domi­nions, which heredita­ry and successive Princes (confident of their titles and strengthened by the stock of their Ancestors reputation) either omit, to doe the contrary.

You will say further, that the rayes of these sunnes will but quicken bad humours, and be­get abundance of In­secta's and Monsters, and among all Monsters [Page 26] none so eminently evill as Flatterers and favo­rites. But I pray you will you not give peo­ple that do great things leave to injoy the poor­est reward, the relation and report of them? Or in case they did nothing memorable, would you not allow them that groane under the burden of publicke affaires, so small a diversion and en­tertainment as flattery? which indeed soberly considered, is so neces­sary to allay the mise­ries of life, that the most unfortunate men, whey [Page 27] they want others to do it to them, do it for themselves, and pleasantly chase away all ugly thoughts and Idea's by their happie feeding themselves with a few lovely dreames.

For Favorites, will you deny them the pri­viledge of private per­sons, to make choice of their own Privadoes? or if you suffer them to make choice, will you strangle their friend­ships, denying a mutu­all interchange, and cor­respondence of Courta­sies? Or will you bee [Page 28] so injurious to good parts, as where you see them any where bright­ly breake forth deny to entertaine them? And what more powerfull provocation of vertue then the aim and design of the particular affe­ctions and endearments of a Prince, which sel­dome pith in any body wherein they doe not finde somewhat like themselves, that is, di­vine.

In a word, since the very Heathens could see that royalty streamed forth immediately from [Page 29] Jove himselfe, and that royalty is but a dull lan­guid thing if it be clog­ged with the least re­striction: That Monar­chy which enjoies the most perfect Liberty is, [...] with the greatest abun­dance of Names and At­tributes. And since Du­ality is the very Damne of Division, and the utter destroyer of all Prerogative, it is but just that al Soveraignty reside in one. And even those Philosophers, which stand most stoutly [Page 30] for the infinity of worlds doe also consent and ac­knowledge that there is but one God.

That Content is but lazy Patience, if not misery.

THere is no one question which hath so violently tortured the Moralists, or variously divided them then that of a cheifest good, which yet, they could never [Page 31] yet so determine, but that it lyes open to fur­ther objections, & begets new doubts: they might (methinks) with more ease have considered the variety of mens complections, and neg­lecting the search of an universall happinesse, have affirmed that the Summum bonum, was only that which the particular fancy and humor of e­very man would bee pleased to make it, for so long as their tempe­rature clime education, custome and interests are so different, 'tis im­possible [Page 32] to bring them to a conformity.

Yet notwithstanding what they had resolved on this, had been but the production of a new falsity, if there had been a wanting of stupidity and drowzi­nesse in men, and that Fictum impossibile of content had never been imagined.

For if wee consider the severall ends that men propose to them­selves: and finde most of them either irrationall and imperfect, or else unsuitable to the per­sons, [Page 33] we shall finde a great deale of reason to pittie mankind that distracts it selfe with so many monstrous and untoward thoughts, and many times bends al his endeavors to obtain that which he should be affraid to injoy, and many times with a great deal of sweat and industrious madnesse, devises and labours his owne ruine, so that there cannot be a grea­ter plague to him, nor can fate more compleat­ly punish him then by resigning him over to [Page 34] the injoyment of his own wishes.

And put the case hee should injoy them, since he is so stupid that hee cannot wish any thing truly good, he did but please himselfe un­der his burden, and deceive his understanding with glittering misery, and then what better were he then some jovial madde man, who ima­gines himselfe to be some great Prince a­midst his fetters and straw, but in case hee misse and should sit downe without mur­muring, [Page 35] is not that man miserable, who is fru­strated of his best and dearest aimes, and is forc'd cowardly to un­dergoe the contrary wants; what other is this, but as if he could not dance a galliard, should swallow downe opium, and thinke to al­lay his losse, but selfe stupification.

And put the case that some few men arrive at any of these dul compla­cences, which most do so studiously court, what one condition wants its sting and venome: [Page 36] wealth canōt make a man invulnerable, jealousie doth ever; honour can­not make a man secure, yet it raises up a multi­tude of enemies: fame can neither render a man more strong or wise, yet it is easily bla­sted, and when once it declines brings double ignomy; health may ren­der a man active, and save a groane or two, yet at such a state it may arrive that it may prove a sicknesse; or sup­pose it never so con­stant, one poore steelet­to can in an instant de­stroy [Page 37] it: now what one man can be easily satis­fied with either of these when 'tis infected with such bitter ingre­dients, whom easily spoil all the rest of delight, which is onely imagin­able whilst they are re­all, but we love to toyl for uncertainties, and in this are worse then children, who sport in raising of bubbles and such toyes, but we are earnest in things more rediculous.

But wee'l, suppose that any of these foole­ries could bee enjoy'd [Page 38] without their inherent evills, yet surely a con­sideration of the uncer­tainty of all sublunary things, might now and then suggest a possibili­ty of surviving them, and then what more hideous misery then to have beene fortunate; and since death must either surprize all men, or overcome all men; and his stroake is as un­certaine as unevitable; what man can fully please himselfe with that which hee is not certaine to enjoy a mi­nute?

[Page 39] But suppose a man were intirely possest of a happinesse, such a one as were perfect in it self, and he might perpetual­ly injoy without the least feare of losse. If it were but single, and such a one as runnes in one continued current, time would make it burdensome, & repititi­on loathsome; for that eternity is but durance, that is not diverted by change; and those pleasures but tortures, that are not varied by sweet jealousies, or sha­dowed by eclipses. [Page 40] Who would not rather choose the racke at length, then perpetuall repose upon a bed of roses? What taste would not be soone weary of the sweetest delicaties? Among all the terrours of men, death is the sharpest; of all their de­sires, life the strongest: Yet we see Tython after he had obtained a petty immortality, grew wea­ry of himselfe, and after a great many wishes, was very glad to shrinke into a Grashopper: nay, and for this very cause, doth an old Criticke [Page 41] quarrell with Homer, for making his gods eter­nall, when they are sub­ject to the passions of men, and but masters of determinate plea­sures.

But suppose this hap­pinesse were chequered with variety, and that there would be evernew entertainment, and new diversions, this were not content, but rather a transportation: And how can we say the soul is satisfied, when she is ever labouring of new desires, and ever stroak'd with fresh entertain­ments, [Page 42] which if ever they come to repetiti­on, grow much more wearisome, and much more gall and spurne her. Thus have we seen many persons great and glorious in their several ages, tyr'd with the for­mality of▪ their great­nesse, and willing to fall backe even to solitude and ease. Thus did Lucullus surfeit on Asi­aticke victories, and providently retire to a strange and unheard of luxury: And yet Dio­clesian afterwards ta­king the same course, [Page 43] was presently wearied of that silence and secre­cie, which he imagined would have been plea­sing to him, and endea­voured to returne again to businesse. Whence we may deduce, that as the most capacious souls are the most eager in their delights, so are they the least satisfied with them, and have the most violent appe­titions of change; and what is this but to hate content, which is no­thing but a tame slavery under the tyranny of one condition?

[Page 44] Nay, were it possible, that variety could bee endlesse and infinite, yet this variety would bee so troublesome that a man would naturally grudge, and cry on an inordinate fluxe and change, and blesse those lives as happiest, that regularly over-acted the same things, and spent every minute according to rule and prescript. And certainly hee that killed himselfe, out of a wearinesse of over­acting the same things, would also have dyed on the contrary termes, [Page 45] if his life had been waf­ted in a perpetuall variety.

And if wee looke somewhat more nicely into the thing it selfe, we shall finde that the sluggish Name of con­tent never came from any other forge then the dull multitude (who though they be masters of words, are common­ly enemies of reason, and therefore ought to bee accounted one of those Grotesco Maximes, and willy-with-wishes, that doe so disfigure and misguide the life of man.

[Page 46] For alacke, what is it? hath it not a sound of restraint and suffe­rance? and doth it not rather imply a lethargy, then any actuall pa­stime? Joy it doth not amount unto, but ra­ther a heavy privation of joy. It signifies rest, and imperfect acquie­scence; but joy is quick­ned by perpetuall mo­tion, and tickl'd with change of pastimes, and may bee content though not happy; but joyfulnesse immediately includes happinesse: Now what a contemp­tible [Page 47] condition is that, wherein a man must be patient without either? and how can that man not be weary of himself that wants that sweet charme, that bewitches mans life into all that is lovely, Joy? And if he wants joy, he wants happinesse; and if his unhappinesse be accom­panied with ignorance, is he not I pray, wrapt up in a double misfor­tune? Since the plague of ignorance is the grea­test that can fall upon men, the badge of our forefathers sinne and [Page 48] our slavery; and that very weight which sinks us downe from our e­rect constitution, into the cernuous lownesse of beasts.

Besides, content is a meere mortification and eradication of the pas­sions, those excellent wings and engines of the soule; but joy doth both enliven and heigh­ten them, she both stirs them up and tutors them, whereas the o­ther mangles and fet­ters them. And where­as joy is like an itch, which spreads further [Page 49] by that delightful mad­nesse of rubbing and chasing: content meer­ly mortifies the minde, and so brings in a gan­green, and a gangreen is followed with no mil­der attendants, then cutting and burning.

But suppose you mis­call happinesse content, yet were there not such a thing in nature. For as Boetius hath demon­strated, there is but one great happines, and that made up of a compleat variety of those things whose shadowes wee so much adore; and that [Page 50] no man can be happy till he be made in some measure a Deity. And how farre wee poore pismires that crawle upon this hill, are from it, let any body judge. Some Empe­rours indeed, drunke with their prosperity, have and still assume this Title, yet they dye like men. Nay and in the very height of this vanity are ashamed of their parasites, and con­sute all these portentu­ous attributes, by the stings and whispers of their owne thoughts. [Page 51] Nor indeed if we should feigne a reality in such a conceit, is the soule ca­pable of receiving it. For as she hath a kinde of a circumscribed ubi­quity within herselfe, so hath she a limited, as I may say, immensity: And therefore is rest­lesse and extravagant in her appetitions and de­sires, and like the heaven from whence shee first came, is carried on in a perpetuall motion, which Content indea­vouring to stop, doth but in a manner stifle, and by consequence [Page 52] annihilate her. Besides, shee being a thing of such a strange capacity and wide comprehensi­on, it is impossible that any determinate narrow thing, much lesse, some fragment or fraction of it, should be suppos'd of a proportion to fill her.

Since it is thus, it ea­sily followes what an unworthy thing it is in man to set up his rest upon any of these toyes, and to dote upon one particular shadow in a broken mirrour, where hee cannot see that face which would [Page 53] have irradiated one en­tire image in the whole; for since all pleasures here are but petty fru­stillations, and parcells of the whole, and therefore have lost of its nature, like Christall beaten to peeces, being Opake, which other­wise would have beene Diaphanous; tis but a folly to looke after them, since we can ne­ver finde them all, or if we would, cannot unite them: I must conclude, that man must like a Ci­linder bee perpetually rowled on his owne [Page 54] Axis, and as much as lyes in him avoid, to be mishapen, and squared, by the violence of any heavy flegmaticke mo­rality.

That Women ought to goe naked.

THough wee may justly incur the dis­pleasure of the Women in asserting this Thesis, by divesting of them of all that the Taylor contributes, which is as [Page 55] much as to deprive them of the best part of themselves; yet I am sure I shall have the pardon, if not the fa­vour of most of man­kinde, or at least the most noble and flou­rishing part of it, youth, which are the onely judges in this case. As for those things which they call old men, I ex­cept against them, as a generation of decrepit and wither'd understan­dings, a people whose mindes, could they bee looked into, would prove infinitly more [Page 56] monstrous then their bodies, and such as like old Monkies, having either gnaw'd away, or lost their tayles, read lectures to young ones to cut theirs too.

But I positively af­firme, that what was done in the primitive times, when our reason was not deprav'd with long traditionall cu­stomes, nor tinctured by any prevalescent hu­mour, is most conso­nant to the law of Na­ture, and consequently ought most to bee fol­lowed. But Adam and [Page 57] Eve wee know was so farre from being cloa­thed, that it was the great marke of their liberty and upright­nesse, and the first brand that stigmatized them after their fall. Nor indeed did the ages that presently succeeded that, either grow up into garbe or fashion, but continued with a very little variation, and possibly what their progenitors did only with Figge-leaves, they supplied with Kid-skin aprons.

Yea, and those Na­tions [Page 58] who have not alienated their naked simplicity, either by commerce, or busie in­ventions, doe as yet retaine this open in­tegritie, and declines not into these unwor­thy sophistications of Garments; as was observed in many of the Indians at the first discovery, who living meerly among them­selves, and by their own peculiar customes, it is to be supposed retained most among them, of that which nature de­sired, to be kept pure and unvaried.

[Page 59] Not to say, that all men naturally desire to goe uncovered, yet cer­tainly it is a shrewd suspition of it, that when the sun returnes to this side our Horizon, they know no better way to congratulate the presence of that fruitfull light, then by putting on thin or open cloathes, and fre­quent bathings, which is no other: but, since that Tyrant custome prohibits them absolute nakednesse, they would approach it as neare as they can, and surely [Page 60] it must either bee hap­pinesse or excellent du­tie, that they strive to performe it upon that occasion.

But in women, these desires are farre more intense, for they wee see, doe at all times un­cover the part of their cheifest Beautie, as their face, neck, breasts and hands, so that they doe indeavour in part to breake that restraint which hides the rest of their glory, and to set sorth their delicat Tres­ses plaited and weaved with such varietie, [Page 61] their Ivorie necks, their harmonious faces, their milkie spherical breasts; and their melting hands. And though possibly jealousie may cause all these to be hid, yet 'tis but violation: and the weather, yet that is but providence, or pos­sibly company, yet that is but compliance, for what woman is there, the beast exempted from deformitie, that could not wish that all her garments were of Lawn and transparent, ra­ther then rich and gor­geous. For if, as Plato [Page 62] saies, soules unwilling­ly depart out of faire Bodies, that must needs be a curious mansion, which so fine a substance as the soule is in love with, and then I pray you can you blame the owner to delight in it, and what a torment is delight if it be shut up in one breast, and not defused into a lively communication, for all kind of blessings mul­tiply by their devision, and what greater bles­sing, then a rare sim­metry and contexion of feature, which can [Page 63] charme knowledge in­to admiration, and ma­jesty into love.

We give to all the Vertues the habits and visages of women, and of all the vertues Truth is the best (for Truth is the mother of Justice, and Justice they say, comprehends them all) yet shee is naked, though shee love the publicke and hate cor­ners, and is it not very fit that all the sex should imitate such an excellent patterne and mistresse?

It may be objected, [Page 64] that this would pro­duce infinite provocati­ons and incitements to lust: but I say not; for I dare say, that what by painting, what by the loosenesse and change of garments, what by these gaudy inventions of dressings, that flex­ure and fracture of gate, the deformity is hidden, unlesse to a very nice eye, there is much more fuell added, then if all went with no more mantles then Na­ture thrust them into the world with; Haire hanging loosely downe, [Page 65] or else carelesly gathe­red up in a fillet, and perhaps some little kind of cover, that might re­straine the Virgin all flower, from being too much gaz'd at, and blowne upon. Nay, this experience will tell us, for Lerius avows, that in his voyage to Brazill, affirmes he had fewer insurrections a­mong that naked simple people, then he had had among the curiosities and adulterated beau­ties of his owne Coun­try. For indeed if wee consider it aright, there [Page 66] is nothing that doth so much puffe up lust, as the circumstances of rich apparrell, curious dressings, and strong perfumes, which scrue up the apprehension, and fix the imagination upon somewhat that is great. So that by this means, we know a num­ber of great persons zealously courted to have their appetites sa­tisfied; whereas if they were either left naked, or reduced to a vulgar garbe, they might lye fallow, or be endited for Witches.

[Page 67] But indeed nakednesse restores women to themselves; for what an irregular height doth Venetian Chippins mount them to? What Towers doe the Tur­kish Tires weare upon their womens heads? How are the Grecians buried in cloaths? How doe the dressings of all Nations disguise them? that they must put off their Masquine habits, or bee taken to peeces like watches ere they can bee enjoy'd; and to what other end, I pray, were they made? The [Page 68] customes of Countries are different, and that garbe is majesticke at one place, which is redi­culous or sordid in ano­ther. All people have not the same concepti­ons of beauty; which is as hatefull to an Ethio­pian as blacke to us: But once uncloathe women, and they are all the same; but the con­ceptions about the har­mony and measures of a body differ not. And what greater right can wee doe to women, then to bring them to bee judged by one rule? [Page 69] And since every wo­man judges herselfe the fairest, she that would be backward to this ar­bitriment, would be dif­fident of herselfe, and consequently a Renna­gade from her sexe. The three goddesses in Ida design'd to bee stripp'd to the view, & the single examination of a shep­herd; and Comines will tell you, that shee was a Princesse that appea­ring in a Lawne smocke to bee viewed by Am­bassadours, as towards a marriage, said shee would put off that too, [Page 70] if there were any ne­cessity: For as there is an inextinguishable jea­lousie and emulation among women, so there is an unmeasurable pride; and pride arising out of confidence will never decline judge­ment: And what bet­ter way of judgement, then those rules, which the voyces of all men conclude upon? for a woman may paint a green or yellow cheeke as easily as a red; but the sweet composure and measure of her body, her thighs, breast or [Page 71] visage, limbs, she cannot alter. And how imper­fectly are they to be seen through cloathes, which may hide and falsifie many things, which may truly be discerned in a veracious nakednesse.

There have two great blemishes ever laine upon this sex; the uncertainty and change of their judgements, and their inconstancy in their cloathes and carriage. And how can either bee better removed, then if they were once reduced into such a posture as they should all neces­sarily [Page 72] agree in, and they had not liberty to change? And I pray what other way is there, unlesse you make them all naked.

But then they may complaine, that take away their Arts and their Ornaments, they shall want of their complacency, and pro­vocations to their hus­bands. But notwith­standing, they have li­berty enough left them, they may Dye, or pounce, or figure their flesh, they may have abundance of cheap ar­tificiall [Page 75] ornament from shels, feathers, and stones; and since the deeds of our Ancestors are left us for example, the old Danes and Bri­tains may be imitated in this, for dying and car­rying: And since it is fit to borrow the customes of other people, if they bee use­full, and fit to bee assum'd, there may bee seen choice of dressings enough in the one, and the other Indies.

In a word, since the Sunne, the Moone, and all the glorious battalia [Page 76] of heaven, appeare as Nature made them, since the strongest and most handsome Ani­malls are satisfied in their owne naturall Vestures, and the most ugly and deformed re­pine not, since the most delicate and Aromatick flowers are not ashamed of their barkes or prickles, which are commonly unsightly, if not offensive. Tis but an irregular and morbid desire in women, who are the Master-peeces of Nature, and of that sort of her productions, [Page 77] wherein shee is most vain-glorious, and emu­lous to undoe herselfe, to descend to these poore, little adultera­tions of Art, which are so farre beneath her as the most ex­quisite artificiall thing in the world, is be­low the most care­lesse production of Na­ture.

That it is the pleasantest life to bee alwayes in danger.

THough I am not ignorant what danger I incurre both with timorous and se­vere men in asserting this Paradox: yet since it pleases me extreamly, and carries not with it the least allay, either of suspition or feare; I am apt to beleeve that all actions of this like nature, are to a wise man accompanied with [Page 79] the same assurance and satisfaction: And this I am the proner to af­firme, because (accor­ding to the right me­thod of disputation) first stating the word, and freeing of it from ambiguities, I finde that this is just a chimaera, and a notionall nothing. For if we say there is such a thing as danger before hand, it may be fear, or mis-information, yet possibly the danger may never touch us: If we consider it in the present tense, and re­ally effected, tis not [Page 80] Danger but misery. And if we consider it in pre­ter tense, tis past and gone. Now since all time is comprehended under these three terms, and this falls under none of them, it fol­lowes that this hath no time at all, which being inseparable to e­very existence, as the measure of its duration, it will be evident, that Danger is a meer Non-entity, and those that fear it, fear just no­thing.

In the comparison of good and evill, wee e­ver [Page 81] account those evills the least, which are the leastlasting, and è contra those goods the best, which are the most con­stant and durable. Now for Dangers, supposing that we should grant them to be evils, what more courteous and sleight evills could wee wish for, then those that are come and gone in a minute. But dan­gers are so far from that, that they are commonly sooner past then knowne, but the remembrance of them remaines perpetually [Page 82] fresh, and bring every day new circumstances to claw the understand­ing. Nay, and such a faithfull good it is, that no malice of fortune can bereave us of, but it stayes with us in other miseries, whereas friends, Patrimony, ho­nour, can quickly va­nish, and as we can no more graspe them then a shaddow, so can wee no more recommand them then call back ye­sterday.

But supposing danger such a thing as ought possibly to be feared, [Page 83] since all wise men agree with the Stoicks in this, that wee ought not to be troubled for things which are not in our power, and we can­not helpe; and that the life of man is beset with such a many contingen­cies, which may every minut either surprize or assault us, what a mad­nesse were it, to anti­cipate our inevitable miseries, and like him in Florus, throw away our gold for fear of loosing it. ‘Furor est ne moriare mo­ri.’ Yet since Death will at last conquer us, [Page 84] and they call it the [...] the madnesse of men hath not shew­ed it selfe more in any thing then in their fear of it. Some assassinating themselves for feare of assassination, and there­in shewing at once an act of the greatest cowardize and cru­elty (for every thing must needs love it selfe the best) that is possible. Others execute▪ them­selves by lingring deaths and tortures of their feares, and so make it a punishment greater then nature ever meant it.

[Page 85] Mors (que) minus poenae, quod mora mortis habet. Whilest that gravest, and most sober men put it only inter munera Na­turae, and by their fre­quent composures, even at the very instant of their dissolution con­sute the horrour of it. And if this great Bug­beare of mankind, when its Vissard is off, prove such a tame foolery, I wonder what the petty Dangers must shrink in­to.

There is nothing a­mong all the excellen­cies of mankind, more [Page 86] shining then knowledge and courage, and both these without dangers would be dull, heavy, and unactive habits. What use were there for knowledge if we met not with the mazes and intricacies of life? and what more wise, then a present ingenuity in avoiding dangers, or a vast conduct in prevent­ing them, or a sly dex­terity in weakening them. If there were no stormes at Sea, what use were Pilots of, but talkative Burdens: but upon the first out-rage [Page 87] of a storme, they are the only things that are called upon and wor­shiped.

For Courage tis onely seen in danger, and with­out them, Hares and Lions are of equall for­titude, great souls that dare affront dangers are therein tried, and move at that time in their naturall motion, and to its own proper moti­on every thing hath an appetency, and there­fore must necessarily delight in it. And can there be a greater plea­sure to a man then for [Page 88] so smal a trifleas his own heart should inable him to conquer a monster or a multitude. This the in­genuous Ovid knew wel enough, and therefore after he had compleat­ly armed Cadmus, hee sayes hee had a minde —Telo praestantior omni. For indeed such minds, are like gold purified by the fire of dangers, and exalted up to their due perfection. And if Na­ture doe so cheerfully, even in her vegitative things imbrace every advantage, may we not think that rational souls [Page 89] have these desires so much the more strong­er, by how much their Natures are the more noble.

For the passive part of fortitude, tis so far from being a Traytor to the happinesse of man, that it inebriates the minde in all calami­ties, and makes them lushious; nay restorative unto her. Now this without danger could not bee, for jealousie ever attends upon mise­ry, and there is none holds fast one linke of it but he may justly feare [Page 90] for to catch another. What greater misery then poverty which threatens by flying from us, and is a negative e­nemy? yet Baucis and Philemon by induring of it.

Effecere levem—

And since what is not burdensome to us but light, must needs please us, and that a man is never himself but when he exercises his head or his heart, which with­out dangers he could not do, it is evinc'd, that wee are beholding to them, as the spritefull [Page 91] spurres, and dear enter­tainments of the life of man.

Moreover, man de­lights in nothing so much as in fame, and how can he bee more glorious then by shew­ing a serenity, nay glad­nesse amidst so many e­nemies as dangers are? Or what can be more delightfull to him, then to see he is so much his own master, that he can defie all casualties, and either carelesly con­temne them, or expect them with confidence.

What more perni­cious [Page 92] to whole Armies, nay even insulting Con­querors, then securitie? what better means to frighten away securities then dangers? which must needs be of a very soveraigne vertue, that are a means to preserve whole Armies, and of a most diffusive fruitful na­ture, that when they ap­pear least they are grea­test.

Besides, rewards are proportioned unto dan­gers; which shewes them of a worthy, and deserving nature, and therefore many men [Page 93] have beene called the saviours of their Coun­try at one time, for some little performances, which if they had done at another, would hard­ly have beene noted, and hence it is that ma­ny great stratagema­tick wits, have no better ways either of startleing their enemies, or retain­ing their friends, then by increasing the shew of their dangers.

Now what other means, if Tyrants had to possesse themselves of Guards, to bring the peo­ple into commiserati­on [Page 94] then by this onely pretence, which neces­sarily shewes how pow­erfull and popular dan­gers are, and what atten­dance they require (which shewes their majesty) that they whom they once threa­ten, must immediately be secured, for what else are guards but honorable imprisonment?

But if the shaddow, and meer representati­on of dangers, what is the substance and dan­gers themselves, when a man's in safety few regard him, many may envy [Page 95] him: but falling once into danger, tears, com­miseration, releife, and that possible from his e­nemies, which is the sweetest of al, come un­to him.

Since we have mani­fested, the rare use and necessity of dangers, it will not be hard for us now; to shew them of that Gallant Cordial Na­ture, that they closely accompany the best things, and immediately flow from our most ap­parent happinesses, from which they are no more separable then heate [Page 97] from light.

And are not I pray you the best things e­ver in the greatest dan­ger, Purselain and Ve­nice Glasses are the most apt to be broke, the richest flowers are the soonest pulled, the good­liest Stag, wil be soonest shot, the best Faces doe the soonest decay, the best men are most lia­ble to envy, the richest to spoile, or indeed, what better in all the world, then that divine stone of the Chymists, yet men in the atchieving of it, doe commonly hazzard [Page 96] both their braines and subsistance, and in case they come neer an end, it is a very good escape if their glasses bee not melted or broken, or evill spirits, as Flamell admonishes, doe not through envy blinde their eyes, and spoile all the worke.

But indeed to consi­der the thing aright, dan­gers are so incorporated and mingled with the best courses of life, that like Hippocrates twinnes they both live and dye together.

What more fortu­nate [Page 98] then to be the favo­rite of a Prince, yet the thrones of Princes them­selves are not placed on Cubes, nor are those Cubes founded on Rocks, or cemented with brass; there is a sword hangs by a horse haire perpe­tually o're their heads, and they may dye by the cornel of the grape, by a haire, by a pricke, as wel as other men, and then wher's the Favou­rite, does not he hold by a poor Tenure, that has no more assurance? and can he promise himselfe continuance in case of [Page 97] the change of the Lord: or suppose the great­ness of his Master were constant and durant, how shall he be as­sured of the same con­stancy of his affection? or be free from that secret undermining of that vast faction and a dangerous precipi­tation in his fall? and yet notwithstanding all this, who would not chuse, nay, wish to be the Privado of a Prince? so that it was but pu­sillanimously said of him who was of an opinion, that if a Crown were [Page 98] lying on the ground, and men knew with what thorns it was lin­ed, they would hardly take it up.

For if we will consi­der the principal cour­ses of life, which men imagine to themselves will be the most pleasant and fullest of delight, we shall finde them at­tended with depending inconveniences and dan­gers. What greater piece of allurement then the company and conver­sation of women and yet this for the most part brings on venereal dis­eases [Page 99] which are the most nasty, dangerous, and worse to be rooted out of any whatsoever? What life seems more royal and magnificent then to be perpetually feasting? And yet this brings on surfets, gouts, and other diseases that make a man miserable even to his grave. What greater or more com­pendious way to profit then Marchandise, which notwithstanding is eve­ry hour subject to ha­zard, that a mans life and substance being committed to winde [Page 100] and water, two of the most uncertain things in the world, are conti­nually, but two or three inches from de­struction.

Since we have been so far in danger, it were a sin not to be in debt, since debt and danger, accompany on the o­ther, and me thinks if a man would but con­sider these great en­joyments which men in this condition have, he must needs say there is somewhat in it, much more pleasant than the vulgar imagine, who [Page 101] though they think it an estate, wherein there is nothing but misery and the uttermost calamity of fortune, yet is it quite otherwise: For first, a man having past the Meridian of his fortune, sets and rests without noise, he is not entangled with depen­dencies, needs neither to care for publick bur­dens or miseries, but is wholly withdrawn into himself. Besides what nobler duty is there of mankinde, than to give every man his own, and this he is perpetu­ally [Page 102] sollicited to, nor does he want his daily attendance and visita­tions, which the greatest Favourites in the ca­dence of their fortunes miss; nor can he ever be unprovided for, since at the utmost, he is sure of lodging and good company.

All which put toge­ther will amount to this, that since dangers are not onely unavoida­ble, but even consequen­tial to the greatest plea­sures, it were a madness to avoid the one for fear of the other. And [Page 103] certainly Damocles ve­ry little understood the value of a royal enter­tainment, when for fear of the sword hanging at a horse hair over his head, he could not en­joy himself out of that noble feast that was set before him.

That Women ought to govern States rather than Men.
Paradoxes V 5.

I Have sometimes wondred how it came to pass that the late Knights errant of Phy­losophy, who have as­salted and pulled down the whole frame of Nature, and rebuilt it according to their se­verall Chymericall hu­mours, not sparing the very Heavens, but either Tumbling down or dis­locating its Orbs, never contenting themselves [Page 105] with usual and, com­mon remedies, but run­ning in quest after odd Sympathetical and Universal Medicines, have among all the rest of their extrava­gances forgot to trans­fer the Powers of the World from men that have held them hi­therto, into the hands of women, since a Scep­ter is not more heavy than a distaff, and a cap of State very near as soon made and em­bellisht as some head­tires. Was it that they knowing such a supe­riority [Page 106] too cruel and insupportable at home, thought it in consci­ence too dangerous to recommend to the Pub­lick? Or finding that the croaking of such Night-ravens wrought more upon many great Persons than the sound of a Trumpet, thought they, they possest in re­ality though invisibly, and therefore not need­ing any alterations? Or else (according to their manner) consi­dered they this as a business not concerning life, and therefore neg­lected [Page 107] it as inconsider­able? Certain it is that those, who have im­ployed their deepest resveries in the Trans­formation of Common-Wealths, and made them such as unless men were good Angels they could not live in them, or if they were Divels might possibly be forced unto peace, there is not one of them but hath for­got to set down this most excellent and con­siderable peice of re­formation.

Yet since we all ought to give up our [Page 108] endeavours to the pro­motions of Truth, and finding out of new lights, I could not be backward in so disqui­sitive and Restless an Age as this is, to offer my mite unto the Pub­lick Treasury.

And therefore I stick not to affirm, that Do­mination and govern­ment is not onely law­full and tolerable in wo­men, but Justly, Natu­rally, & properly theirs.

First then, though some Crazy Phyloso­phers drunk and besot­ted with Aristotelism, [Page 109] have endeavoured to devance them from the same Species, with men; and others madder than they to deny them souls, yet when we shall oppose holy scripture, which makes man the consummation of the creation, and them the consummation of man, if we would cite those high Attributes the Ra­bins give unto them, or instance those par­ticular indulgences of Nature, which Agrippa reckons unto them, or those peculiar ad­vantages of composi­tion [Page 110] and understanding which Zacutus Lusita­nus ascribes them, not to mention that of Trismegistus (reputed the Ancientest and most divine Heathen writer) who calls them Foun­tains and perfections of Goodness; nay, and shall add to this that which must even stop the Mouth of Barbarism it self, to wit, the high estimation put upon them even by the Ma­humetans, who in them place the greatest pleasures of their Pa­radice) it must needs [Page 111] be acknowledged, that those assertions are as irrational as may be, and consequently con­sonant to that Phyloso­phy.

And indeed this is a quarrel wherein Nature hath declared her self a most interrested par­ty, that we need go no farther then the judge­ment of our eyes (the quickest and surest that man can make) to de­cide the controversie. For whom can we ima­gine to be so insensible, as not to be presently toutched with the de­licate [Page 112] composure and Symmetry of their bo­dies. The sweetnesses and killing languors of their eyes, the meslange and harmony of their colours, the happiness and spirituality of their countenances, the charms and allurements of their Mine, the Air and com­mand of their smiles, so that it is no wonder if Plato said, that Souls were unwilling to depart out of such fair bodies, whereas men are meer-rough-cast, bristly and made up of tough mate­rials; & if they approach [Page 113] any thing near beauty, do so much degenerate from what they are.

This gains us our main Topick. For if the majesty or comeliness of the person of a Gover­nour gain so much up­on the people as Poli­ticians have observed, and experience teaches it doth, what advan­tage have they in Ma­gically chaining and winning of the People given them by Nature, which the other cannot obtain by Art, for who would not be sooner smitten with Tresses [Page 114] curiously snak't and built up by a ravishing Architecture then with Commodus hair though poudred with Gold? who would not adore a face glowing with all kinde of sweetnesses ra­ther than a countenance Savage with bristles or indented with soars?

That this is a truth, needs so little Demon­stration, that looking but into any story, you shall finde, even the greatest conquerours, lusty and proud in their triumphs, humbled and brought on their knees [Page 115] by some fair enchan­tress. This we account admirable in Alexander and Scipio that they cold avoid, in Caesar and Mark Anthony we pardon it in respect of the greatness of their other actions. And therefore if great Cap­tains and founders of Empires be things of a more excellent nature, then ordinary lazy go­vernours that creep in by succession, or be stil­ted by election, and these people have ever com­manded them, and made them decline in their [Page 116] very meridians, hath not nature think we gi­ven them a Priority, and enjoy they it not in effect, though they seem not to enjoy it in shew?

But a Martiall-man, you will say, is a savage bruitish thing, a thing that knows how to run into dangers and to de­spise them, one whose thoughts are always at random and abroad, sel­dom with drawn and upon their guard, and therfore it is no wonder, if such men be easily surprised with such da­zling [Page 117] triffles. But when a man tells you, that even the wisest men, have been strange doters on this sexe, and absolutely given up to them, it will change the case. I sup­pose there is no man thinks Solomon a fool, and it is well known, how these white Devils seduc'd him. Augustus, that was certainly one of the steadiest men in the world, one that in his youth out-witted the hoary senate, was all his life time led by one Livia, who had that great prevalescence with [Page 118] him, that he by her means disposed the succession of the Empire upon a son of her womb by a former husband, though he had nearer kindred of his own. But to make this yet plainer, age we say be­gets wisdom, now how general the affection of old Men is to Women needs no proof, espe­cially the older they grow, some of three­score, marrying Girles of sixteen, and there­fore it is a clear Argu­ment of the truth of this point, and of the [Page 119] wisdom of those reve­rend seniours that pro­ceed accordingly.

Besides, as certainly there wants not its rea­son in Philosophy, that all vertues are of this we plead for; so we may, in the perusal of Histo­ry, finde as many fair and brave examples of virtue given by women as there hath been by men. Look over the [...]oul of them, and yee may easily fill each of them into a sufficient common place, where many things put down as nobly done [Page 120] by men, it may be are either bruitish, heady, or passionate, whilest in the woman things ap­pear more smooth and temperate. Or if there be any thing of passion or exorbitancy, it is but an addition of lustre to their sex, as a blush, or glowing in the face sets off their beauty.

Now if it be necessa­ry, that governours should be of good en­tertainment, affable, o­pen of countenance, and such as seem to harbour no crooked or dark de­sign, no men, can be [Page 121] so fit for Government as women are. For be­sides their natural sweet­ness and innocency, their talk, is commonly di­rected to such things as it may easily be in­ferred, that their heads are not troubled about making of Wars, en­larging of Empires, or founding of Tyrannies. So if we consider both what hath been said, and that even those at­tributes, which are to be most wish'd for in a Governour are in them we shall clearly gain what we desire: What [Page 122] greater happiness to a people than to have a Governour that's reli­gious? Now all Phi­losophy and Experience teaches us, that the sof­test mindes are most capable of these impres­sions, and that women are for the most part more violently hurried away by such agitati­ons than men are. How few men-Prophets do histories afford us in­comparison to Prophe­tesses; and even at this day, who such absolute followers of the Priests as the women are? If [Page 123] you wish them merci­full, these are the ten­derest things on the earth; They have tears at command, and if tears be the effect of Pitty and compassion, and pitty and compassion be the mother of vir­tue, must we not think that mercy rules most in them, and is the soon­est expected from them? If you wish affection to the Country; where can you better have it? Have not the women many times cut of their Hairs, to make Ropes▪ for Engines and Strings [Page 124] for Bowes? Have they not given up all their Rings and Jewels to defray charges? Have they not been content to perish with their hus­bands in their habita­tions, and what greater love of country can be shewn? And how great would this be, if a wo­man lookes upon her self as the mother of her Country? What ten­derness would she not have towards the peo­ple her children? When you see private women sometimes shew such extraordinary ef­fects [Page 125] thereof, that it comes near dotage or madness. Or would you have affection to the people at home? No effect so violent, as that of women: murthers, banishments, proditions have been but small matters thence arisen, and what Tragical ef­fects their despairs have brought, Poets and Ro­mances will abundantly shew.

Thus were this noble sex restor'd to that right which nature hath be­stowed on it, we should have all Quiet and Se­rene [Page 126] in common-wealths-Courts would not be ta­ken up with factions and underminings, but all would flow into plea­sure and liberty. Instead of molding of Armies, we should be preparing of masks, and instead of depressing of Factions, we should have balls & amorous appointments. So that men might fol­low their handycrafts, oxen might Plow, Mill-horses drive about the Wheele, whilest all this labour, & sweat should serve but for the furthe­rance and easiness of the Court.

[Page 127] Then also should we have no Wars, which Slectingius and Soci­nus argue so much, and the people pray so much against. For women, be­ing of tender conditions, and most part of seden­tary lives, would not engage in such rough employments, proper onely for man, who is onely the best kinde of savage, over whom they have also this prive­ledge, that they can bring forth the greatest conquerours, but man can onely destroy them. Nei­ther for several emer­gencies [Page 128] have they want­ed their active valour, whereof they want not their several Instances. Nay, some nations have unanimously grown up into it, as the Amazons of old, and I believe, were it not for the u­surpation of men at this day, we might have seen someting modern very like them, and Sir Walter Rawleigh, need­ed not have been at the trouble to have fetcht them from Guyana.

Withall we know, how necessary it is in every States-man to be [Page 129] master of all the Ar­tifices and slights that may be to gain upon them he deals with. Now if any can be fit­ter for this than wo­men, I am much decei­ved. For what by their importunities, glances, trains, slights ambushes, artifices, and little infidelities, it is as impos­sible to escape them, as to go—per ignes.

Suppositos cineri doloso.

But I see a volly of Objections comming on, but yet such, as I shall easily escape unhurt. You will say they will [Page 130] be inconstant, fitter they for all occasions of bu­siness. They can turn and tack about accord­ing as the winde serves, and so will never ship­wrack, whereas many Princes have split them­selves and their poste­rity by being too Ob­stinate in one course. You'l say they will be proud. But what more proper than Majesty and high deportment in a Governour; without pride how should there be re­verence and without re­verence how should there be subjection? You [Page 131] will say they will be too delicate and gay. This is but to keep the imaginations of the people aloof, which must neces­sarily be heightened by such curious deceptions, which are as needfull for them, as the Arca­na Imperij are for the men. You'll say they are talkative. So much the better for the people, whereas dark and ob­scure Princes, that ei­ther mean nothing or ambiguously leave the people in suspence, and make liberty either dangerous, or flattery [Page 132] misconstrue it. You'l say they'l be cruel? I would fain know what King, take the wisest or the best, ever bog­gl'd much if a head or two were in his way. And therefore why should we condemn them for what is so usu­ally practised. And last­ly you will say they are unwise. But I pray you how many sotts, and na­turals, and changelings by virtue of successi­on have mounted the Throne? Things it may be of obstinate natures to boot, whereas women, [Page 133] cannot be worse [...] worst: and withall are more easie and supple to be guided by wise Counsellours.

We must therefore conclude, that as women bring forth children in­to the world, as they multiply themselves in­to these visible and cor­poreall souls, and after they have brought them forth, are most tender and carefull to bring them up; So it is most fitting, having all these preheminences and in­dulgences of nature, that when they were brought [Page 134] up, they should also have the Government of them. For a Potter would think it a hard measure, if after the pitcher were made, it should fly in his face.

That it is better to be lame or bed-rid, than lusty and able to walk abroad
Paradoxe. VI.

IT is an inherent folly in mankinde to be so indulgent to it self, or rather too fondly tender, that whatsoever it either commonly enjoyes, or sees others usually enjoy, that it thinks to be the fittest and the happiest, as being blindly led by ex­ample, and hurried a­way [Page 136] by its first thoughts whereas if it truly des­cended into a strict scru­tiny and consideration of things, it would be easily found, that many things, which to appa­rence and taste are gay and wholesom, are in the use and fruition clean the contrary, and many such things as we think make other men happy, are but burdens and inconveni­ences to them, and such, as if we our selves were condemn'd to enjoy, we should make it part of our first wishes to [Page 137] be dispenced withall.

To go no farther for instance than the very business of Walking, and confinement to a bed or chamber, how much seems the one to be va­lew'd, and how much irksome appears the other: whereas if they were both stripp'd into a naked consideration, there is nothing but trouble, and a kinde of servitude in the one, and repose and acqui­escence in the other. For if man were to be valued by the continu­ation or frequency of [Page 138] his motions, a spaniel or a wild Beast were certainly the more no­ble thing, and much more a volatile that is not chain'd and shack­l'd to the earth, but can roam abroad in the air, and descend at plea­sure. Whereas a quiet and sedentary posture of life, wherein a man is in a manner natural­ly disfranchis'd of for­rain and outward di­sturbances, and wholly collected into himself, must be much a braver posture of life, and more suitable, to that high [Page 139] & contemplative nature, which his great maker hath endow'd him with.

Not that this is to be understood of fixt and painfull Chronicall diseases, which rend and tear the minde asun­der, even with the body (for certainly its very pleasant to hear the stoiks direct a man not to groan or change countenance at a fit of the stone or collick, as though a mans minde could absolutely be abstracted from his sen­ces, to which it is so straitly conjoyn'd) but [Page 140] I mean of such imper­fections or weaknesses, as confine a man one­ly to his Chamber or a Couch, leave him his soul free and at liberty to exercise those noble functions that her na­ture leads her to. For to run upon a common place of contemplation (which by this means, must be strangely advanc'd) as it were not onely unnecessary, so may it be objected, that the freest and most active men might take such enjoyment, if they pleased, and confine [Page 141] themselves at their plea­sure. But it is an­swered, when it is said that all the businesses troubles and inconveni­ences of life are here­by avoided, that a man [...]s safe within himself, unengag'd to any long or tedious attendan­ces, unconcern'd in any factions ruling in a state, excus'd from all those duties and peevish employments, or to say better, slaveries un­der superiour Gover­nours, they must needs acknowledg, that it were much better for a man [Page 142] thus quietly & serenely to be his own prisoner, then with a great deal of pains and trouble carry shackles about him under the meer de­nomination of a Free­man.

We may add to this that going in man, seems to be one of the great­est marks of his mor­tality and weakness, Ser­pents, which were curs'd to craule upon their bellies, curle and vary themselves so finely in their progressive mo­tions, that it is no less wonder and delight to [Page 143] see them, than to be­hold man himself, that claims the Monarchy, walk upright, and hale one legg after another. And therefore the an­cient Poets, though they indiscreetly enough at­tributed most of the passions and infirmities of men to their titu­lar Gods, yet this was such a weakness and imperfection, that they durst not do it, and therefore Virgill speaking of Venus saies.

[Page 144] Et vera incessu patuit Dea.

Which as a modern Poet hath english'd it—

—She did not go,
And step like us, but awfully did flow,
And swim to sight,

Intimating, that even the motion of such miserable Divinities, must needs be nobler and more vigorous, than the poor and weak hal­tings of common man. Nor is it much to be urg'd, that nature re­compences this some­times [Page 145] in others by ex­traordinary swiftness, for not to say, that such are very few, and these in a manner useless, ra­ther made indeed for matches than service: who was ever yet heard of that could outrun a Hart or a Barbary, or to make equal journies with a Dromedary? And if it should be suppos'd that they were able to do so, that were nothing but declining into the nature of those creatures, and falling back from their own worth into that Glass.

[Page 146] Besides we are to consider the means, by which men commonly arrive at lameness, and and those for the most part are honourable. For as there are but few diseases that cause it, so it proceeds for the most part either from hurts, or loss of mem­bers which must needs be from a mans par­ticular valour, or else receav'd in the defence of his Countrey. If it be the former, what greater assurance can you have of a high and a daring soul, than to [Page 147] sacrifice ones limbs to the sence and tender­ness of honour. If the latter, what more no­ble and generous mar­tyrdom can be imagin'd than to loose part of what we brought into the world with us, as a sacrifice to that com­mon mother, to whom we owe all we have, or to speak a little more pressingly, to all the interests both of our Altars and Chimneyes, Friends, Children, Laws and Liberties. Certain­ly upon this occasion one man may safely [Page 148] and rationally be more proud of a pair of Crutches, than another man, who hath meerly obey'd the agitations and stings of ambiti­on, ought in conscience to be of a triumphal Charriot.

To all this we are to add, that we, by this means enjoying rest, enjoy that which all things, even to the low­est inanimates tend un­to with a strong appe­tency, stones them­selves violently rush down to their Centre, & encrease their motion, [Page 149] when they approach it; flames and fire mount upward impa­tient of these Unctious and Sulphureous Pri­sons, to which we con­fine them. All things tend to quiet and rest. Consider but even the nature of things, and it will be found but a mechanical protrusion, clashing and arietation of atoms, which scuf­fles being once ceas'd, they rest in shapes, and quiet themselves into a Body.

But to go no further than the minde of man, [Page 150] all the passions and traverses of it, are but so many hurries and tempests, and they must be calmed before a man can see himself, as wa­ters must be smooth'd which a man would make a mirrour of.

Or if a man give himself to the pursuit of sciences; there is no way so advantageous as quiet and a serene attendance upon our thoughts. Hence it was that the Poets secluded the Muses to Mount Parnassus, to Fountains and Groves, as know­ing [Page 151] that Cities were not places for any profound and abstractive medi­tations, and consequent­ly much conversation an enemy unto it. Out of this reason I believe it was that Sr Henry Wotton, after so many Embassies and Negotia­tions concluded an Epi­graphe of his.

Tandem hoc didici a­nimas sapientiores fieri quiescendo.

But least I may seem to speak without ground, and not out of Experience, and the [Page 152] things themselves, as many subtle and aery wits have done, whose contemplations have been rarified into such thinness, that they have vanish'd into nothing, things and actions being ever the best fur­niture and directors of conceptions, whilest the minde it self, towring meerely by the strength of its own notions, ei­ther looses it self in its height, or falls down out of weariness, it will be but necessary that I quote an example or two, the one of a Spa­niard, [Page 153] the other of a Countreyman; the one of as little merit as he hath much fame; the other of very small fame, considering the greatness of his worth. 'Tis Ignatius Loyola, and Mr Anthony Bacon, son to the Lord Keeper Bacon, Brother to the Lord Chancellour.

The first being a Spa­nish souldier, and be­coming bed-rid of his wounds recollected that great minde of his which had been usu­ally employ'd in war, into that fatall inven­tion [Page 154] of the Order of the Jesuits, which as in its increase, it is in a manner miraculous, so in its discipline, it is no less. For of what pro­fession, Physick except­ed, hath it not brought forth excellent men in great numbers? How have they out-stript all other Orders in a few years, and were it not for their blinde cursed dependance upon the Pope, whereby they even wilfully put out their own reason, and that they are a sort of men absolutely gi­ven [Page 155] to the aggrandi­zation of their own society, they were cer­tainly to be imitated by the best Governments on the earth. But as Physitians say, that too good a posture of health is sickness, because the humours, being in E­quilibration may the sooner be over-turned; and we see the most admirable inventions have brought along with them their incon­veniences, so is this sort of men, out of an intended harmless so­ciety, grown up into [Page 156] such artifice and insi­nuation of State, that like your sutlest poi­sons, they work most dangerously and sub­tily unseen, and have been so inconsistent with civill government, that France once ba­nish'd them for a time, and the state of Venice for ever.

For the other as he writ nothing, so his in­firmity with-held him from doing much. He that could but consider the marvellous spirit of his Brother, the dif­ference of Lamenesse [Page 157] put into the scale, might easily shape an Idaea of him, but with this dis­proportion, the one tower'd into all the heights of sciences, and like an Eagle was one of the first that could behold intellectuall truth, the other div'd into the secrets of state, and like a cruel Mine­ralist, left no vein un­search'd. The one had a hand larger than his Fortune, for all those great offices and prefer­ments he past through, supply'd onely his state and liberality into a [Page 158] great debt and a pover­ty not fit to be menti­on'd to posterity with­out ignominy to his Prince. The other had a providence so much greater than his neces­sities, as you may say exceeded on the other side. He was a great Transactour for the Essex faction, when they and the house of the Cecills, upon the setting of Queen Elizabeth, strove who should be the greatest adorers of rising King James. He wanted not kindred on the other side, which [Page 159] he knew very well, and so cunningly used it, that by throwing out doubtfull and suspici­ous words when he lay bed-rid, he got Essex house in the Strand given him at one time which, what he sold it for, Sir Henry Wotton will tell you, and also ask you this question What he would have done if he had been ble to walk. Certainly he was a man of a vast and a regular minde, so great a Commander of himself, and so much a master in the Arts [Page 160] of life and Government, that his Brother the high Chancellour was not to be blam'd, when he wish'd his infirmity upon himself, so that the other might go a­broad about her Ma­jesties service?

What I have said of this head, that is to say, of Natural restraint, as I may so call it, I be­lieve may very well serve also for civill re­straint or imprison­ment, which though for the most part it be but temporary, as the other is, and assures not of [Page 161] a continuation so long as life, yet it seems to be accompany'd with more horrours and more dangers. For be­ing inflicted by the civill Magistrate, it seems but as an earnest of some further punish­ment. But if we ex­amine the grounds up­on which most men are thrown into Goales, which we finde to be either for the breach of some law, or for denying to act some what against law, or else such as whose at­tempts have not been [Page 162] answered with success, there will not any thing so formidable be found in it. For if it be the former, it is our deserts, and we ought to sub­mit to it, as to that which the law impo­seth upon us for our demerits, and at most it is but a gentle school­ing for an errour, where­in the progress of the party offending is hin­dred, and it may be his final ruine prevented, while in the mean time he is at leisure to look into himself, and to make use of his experi­ence [Page 163] for future causes. If it be the second, what more noble occasion in the world of suffer­ing, than in denying o­bedience to unjust com­mands, which certainly may assure and pacifie any resolv'd and con­stant honesty, amidst the greatest torments, much more restraint. For what greater satisfacti­on can any man have, than the fruition of his integrity though it be clouded and covered with never so much misfortune? And for the third, since it is not [Page 164] much more than the fortune of the war, and every man that attempts must needs hazard, it were unworthiness and pusillanimity to attempt if a man will not be content with the di­spensations of fortune, to which we remit our selves, withall not knowing, how she in her lubricity may every moment change cases.

Upon the whole it will appear, that since Restraint is the most high happy and whole­some course of life, and that our souls which are [Page 165] much nobler than our Bodies, are much advan­tag'd thereby, and yet these souls, though such immortal and noble substances, are but im­prison'd and pent up in our bodies, it were a very great injustice that the body should ill resent any confinement, when that the immortal soul that actuates it, is so close a prisoner to the body it self.



thingsib15these things
he358he that
, butib.12by
ever363ever torment
aftergate6412, wherrby
after dangers9416be such
nours14118nours, and

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