PARABLES Reflecting upon the Times, Newly Past, and yet Present;

By P: D: The Writer of the Problemes lately printed,

And now recommended to the attentive reading, serious consideration, and devout meditation OF ALL The Generals, Officers, & Souldiers, that have been imployed on either side in the late un­naturall WARRE; More especially of His Excellency, the Lord Fairfax, and those of his victorious ARMY.

Behold, because the Lord God of your Fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath de­livered them into your hand, and ye haue slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven.

And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bond­men, and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God? 2 Chron. 28.9, & 10.

Quam fortia sunt verba recta!

⟨nouemb: 13⟩ Printed in the yeare. MDCXLVIII.

Parables reflecting upon the Times.

1. Whether if a loving husband have a jealous conceit that his Wife hath a mind to usurp authority over him, or in his affaires, beyond that which he think­eth fit, or would be for his honour to allow her, in respect of the custome of the Countrey where they live, though he beleeve she affecteth this power in her intendment for his good, yet whether he be bound to yeeld to her therein? Or if he be not so tame, as to thinke it his duty to be obe­dient to her for quietnesse sake, nor she so obedient to him, as to defist from seeking to have her will therein (as he imagineth) whether he may thereupon take occasion to abridge her of that interest either in his affections, or counsels by the way of advise, and of gentle perswasion, or in such his domesticke, or other affaires as are proper for her managing; and whether he be like to be better served by trusting servants, rather than his wife, in such things of course belonging to her care?

2. Whether uncertaine feares, and jealousies of the highest nature between man, and wife, and peradventure not altogether without some appearing cause, be a sufficient ground either for their withdrawing themselves from one anothers company, or for their continuing to live apart? And whether the devisers, bearers, receivers, spreaders, countenancers, and whisperers of uncharitable surmises and false tales between them, and all other promoters of such jealousies, and furtherers of such separation, or discon­tinuance, be not guilty of all the evill consequences of both?

[Page 4]3. Whether if a new married man, and his wife living in their Fathers house, should happen to fall out so farre, as to come to blowes, upon no other quarrell but such his uncertaine feares, and jealousies of her affecting superi­ority, and their Fathers servants appointed to wait on them, in stead of parting them, should take part, some with their young Master, some with their young Mistresse, and some of those servants should chance to lose their life on both sides, whether all the slain should not be guilty of their owne, and of their fellowes deaths? And whether such servants remaining alive, as should still perswade, and urge the young people to try out the Mastery; or such as from the beginning ever perswaded to peace, and did what in them was to prevent this unnaturall fray; or after it came to bloud, at last repenting their having had any hand there­in, became thereupon the more effectuall solliciters, and importuners for a reconcilement, be like to have more blame, or thanks given from the good Gentleman their old Master, when he shall come to take notice of this matter, or of the young folke themselves, if once they come to be cor­dially kind againe?

4. Whether a Lady of unspotted chastity, and unble­mished reputation, having a jealous husband, and having been informed that she had been slandered in the point of her Loyalty to him, by some crafty parasite, or officious servant of his, ought to thinke her selfe much beholding to any friend, or servant of hers, that hearing thereof, should challenge such parasite, or servant of her husbands into the field, thereby putting the before unquestioned fame of her integrity upon the uncertain chance of the issue of a duell? And whether a faithfull husband having a jealous wife, and having found out the evill instruments of much discontent between them upon that occasion, but having found with­all, [Page 5] that being persons highly in her favour, she would by no meanes endure to have them questioned for it, should be obliged to such friends or servants, as out of their zeale to his service should attempt to fright them from being about her? And whether it be not more counsellable for both the said parties, to wait for seasonable opportunities to remove such make-bates at leisure; admitting the infor­mations against them to be certaine? And whether how certaine soever either of the parties may thinke the infor­mations, and how wise soever both of them may be, yet they may not have been abused therein by the wily practi­ses of cunning persons?

5. Whether such high disagreements and brawles be­tween man and wife upon ungrounded jealousies be not ever great sinnes, as well as great afflictions, and commonly the punishment of former sinnes, either against one ano­ther, or with one another, in having agreed to displease God in some things, either to please, or at least not to displease one another? And whether an Oath ought not to be accep­ted for the clearing of such jealousies, if there be no certain proofe that there is a cause for them? And whether if that be not found a sufficient remedy, any other will, but their confessing their faults one to another, forgiving one ano­ther, praying for one another, burying all harsh passages in oblivion without repitition, and beginning the world anew with the good old Scottish Proverbe; Let bygans be bygans? And whether any good man can be against such an agree­ment between parties so yoaked together, that neither of them can be happy without the other, nor till they be both agreed to goe quietly one way, and to put their shoulders together to the drawing of that load, which will otherwise be found too heavy for them?

6. Whether if in such an unnaturall fray between hus­band [Page 6] and wife, it should happen that the woman should give the man a fall, and having gotten him under her, should threaten never to let him rise againe, unlesse he would give it her under his hand, that he would thence forward be con­tent she should weare the breeches, and yet after long hold­ing him downe should find him the most resolved man un­der the Sun, never to dishonour himselfe so farre as to yeeld thereunto: Whether I say in this case, it could be possible for her to make any greater advantage of the fortune of the day, than in a noble fashion to tell him, that having made an experiment of his wisdome and courage, she now found, and acknowledged him to be worthy to be her Lord, and would from thenceforth yeeld all due obedience to him? And whether this were not like to prove the strongest tye upon her husband, lifted up by the same hand that threw him to the ground, to bury all that had passed between them in perpetuall oblivion? And whether he should not be, and be reputed, the most unworthy man in the world, if from that day forward he should not use her with all the respect due to a Lady of so brave a spirit, and allow her a much greater part in his affaires, than he could well have done with his honour, if there never had been any such con­test between them?

And now if any man shall aske the meaning of these Pa­rables, he may find them expounded to his hand in the considerations dedicated to the City, in the yeare 1642; Where he may also be shewed the use to be made of them in these words:—And because experience hath taught me, that the rarity and greatnesse of affaires, and accidents of State, doth I know not how dazle the eyes of men unaccustomed, and unacquainted with the judging and handling of them, and that the best way to dis­pell [Page 7] this mist, is to looke on such things and courses which are usuall in common life, and by them to take the right proportions, and measure, and way of managing of the other lesse knowne, my first endeavour shall be to find out such a paralell for the busines now in hand. And as I know no comparison doth run better, or more fit than that of a man, and his wife, with the King, and his Parliament; so I would our present distempers were not too like the condition of a woman, and her husband, first parted upon jealousie, and other discontents between them, and then not knowing how with credit to come together again, when the great increase of both their discomforts, occasioned by their separation, hath suffici­ently disposed them unto it. For in this case, which is of too common knowledge, if through the working of their owne good nature, or the solicitation of others, they shall take a re­solution to make haste to meet againe at one great step, by pas­sing over all that hath passed between them in silence, it is a hundred to one, that once within a moneth, or a yeare or two, some new falling out upon old reckonings will happen be­tween them, and then this second breach will be harder to make up then the former. On the other side, if they shall re­solve to live asunder till satisfaction shall be given for every cause of distaste, and till every ground of difference between them shall be fully reconciled, by the going of friends, or sen­ding of papers between them the adventure is no lesse, that pick-thank tale-bearers, and such other persons, as either are gainers by their being at odds, or in danger by their recon­cilement, will give so many cunning interruptions to the length of such a Negotiation, that one of their lives will be ended before the Treaty be concluded. In this case therefore it hath ever been found best to goe a middle way by com­pounding all the principall grounds of their seperation be­fore their returne into the same house, and to leave the rest to [Page 8] be agreed between themselves, which after they have had a new tast of the contentment of living as they ought together, will easily be done in that field, where all quarrels between husband and wife should be fought our. In imitation of which proceeding, approved by many experiments, let us first en­quire after the Originall grounds of the present wide diffe­rences between the King and his Parliament, and then, after the most probable expedients, to agree them.—

And now if after all this, any man shall desire me to speak plainely without any Parable, I have done that also in the Problemes mentioned in the Title, where he may find the originall Controversie between the King, and the Parliament, as I humbly conceive, rightly stated, and then a Practicall application made of those Problemes in the Project for an equitable, and lasting Peace. Which two peeces are like nee­dle and thread, and I will presume to wish, though I can hard­ly hope, might be employed to the drawing up of the wide rents in this miserably torne Church and State.

Arist. Polit. Lib. 1. cap. 8.‘Cum vero tres Oeconomicae disciplinae partes sint; una herilis; altera conjugalis; tertia paterna: Etenim paterfamilias uxori & biberis, utrisque velut ingenuis imperat; non eadem tamen imperii genere, sed uxori politicâ, Liberis regiâ authoritate.’
Sen. Trag. in Agamemn:‘Victor timere quid potest? Quòd non timet.’

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.