Luminarium Editions, TM

Juvenilia: Or Certain Paradoxes and Problems.

John Donne.

Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed by Risa S. Bear from the Facsimile Text Society's 1936 facsimile of the first edition. It is provided (mirrored, really) through Luminarium Editions by her kind permission. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 2003 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and corrections to the Publisher.

 C E R T A I N E

Printed by E. P for Henry Seyle, and are to be sold at the
signe of the Tygers head, in Saint Pauls Church-
yard, Anno Dom. 1633.


I.  A Defence of Womens Inconstancy.
II.  That Women ought to Paint.
III. That by Discord things increase.
IV. That Good is more common than Euill.
V. That all things kill themselues.
VI. That it is possible to find some vertue in some Women.
VII. That Old men are more fantastike than Young.
VIII. That Nature is our worst guide.
IX. That only Cowards dare die.
X. That a Wise man is known by much laughing.
XI. That the gifts of the Body are better than those of the Minde.



A Defence of Womens Inconstancy.

THat Women are Inconstant, I with any man confesse, but that Inconstancy is a bad quality, I against any man will maintaine: For euery thing as it is one better than another, so it it fuller of change; The Heauens themselues continually turne, the Starres moue, the Moone changeth; Fire whirleth, Aire flyeth, Water ebbs and flowes, the face of the Earth altereth her lookes, time staies not; the Colour that is most light will take most dyes: soe in Men, they that haue the most reason are the most intolerable in their designes and the darkest or most ignorant, doe seldomest change; therefore Women changing more than Men, haue also more Reason. Thye cannot be immutable like stockes, like stones, like the Earths dull Center; Gold that lyeth still, rusteth; Water, corrupteth; Aire that moueth not, poysoneth; then why should that which is the perfection of other things, be imputed to Women as the greatest imperfection? Because thereby they deceiue men. Are not your wits pleased with those iests, which coozen your expectation? You can call it Pleasure to be beguild in troubles, and in the most excellent toy in the world, you call it Treacherie: I would you had your Mistresses so constant, that they would neuer change, no not so much as their smocks, then should you see what sluttish vertue, Constancy were. Inconstancy is a most commendable and cleanly quality, and Women in this quality are farre more absolute than the Heauens, than the Starres, Moone, or any thing beneath it; for long obseruation hath pickt certainty out of their mutability. The Learned are so well acquainted with the Starrs, Signes and Planets, that they make them but Characters, to read the meaning of the Heauen in his owne forehead. Euery simple Fellow can bespeake the change of the Moone a great while beforehand: but I would faine haue the learnedst man so skilfull, as to tell when the simplest Woman meaneth to varie. Learning affords no rules to know, much less knowledge to rule the mind of a Woman: For as Philosophy teacheth us, that Light things do alwayes tend vpwards and heauy things decline downeward; Experience teacheth vs otherwise, that the disposition of a Light Woman, is to fall downe, the nature of Women being contrary to all Art and Nature. Women are like Flies, which feed among vs at our Table, or Fleas sucking our very blood, who leaue not our most retired places free from their familiarity, yet for all their fellowship will they neuer be tamed nor commanded by vs. Women are like the Sun, which is violently carried one way, yet hath a proper course contrary: so though they, by the mastery of some ouer-ruling churlish hasbands, are forced to his Byas, yet haue they a motion of their owne, which their husbands neuer know of. It is the nature of nice and fastidious minds to know things onely to be weary of them: Women by their slye changeablenesse, and pleasing doublenesse, preuent euen the mislike of those, for they can neuer be so well knowne, but that there is still more vnknowne. Euery Woman is a Science; for he that plods vpon a Woman all his life long, shall at length find himselfe short of the knowledge of her: they are borne to take downe the pride of wit, and Ambition of wisdome, making fooles wise in the aduenturing to winne them, wisemen fooles in conceit of losing their labours; witty men starke mad, being confounded with their vncertainties. Philosophers write against them for spite, not desert, that hauing attained to some knowledge in all other things, in them onely they know nothing, but are meerely ignorant: Actiu and Experienced men raile against them, because they loue in ther liuelesse & decrepit age, when all goodnesse leaues them. These enuious Libellers ballad against them, because hauing nothing in themselues able to deserue their loue, they maliciously discommend al they cannot obtaine, thinking to make men beleeue they know much, because they are able to dispraise much, and rage against Inconstancy, when they were neuer admitted into so much fauour as to bee forsaken. In mine Opinion such Men are happy that Women are Inconstant, for so may they chance to be beloued of some excellent Women (when it comes to their turne) out of their Inconstancy and mutability though not out of their owne desert. And what reason is there to clog any Woman with one Man, be he neuer so singular? Women had rather, and it is farre better and more Iudiciall to enioy all the vertues in seuerall Men, than but some of them in one, for otherwise they lose their taste, like diuerse sorts of meate minced together in one dish: and to haue all excellencies in one man (if it were possible) is Confusion and Diuersity. Now who can deny, but such as are obstinately bent to vndervalue their worth, are those that haue not soule enough to comprehend their excellency, Women being the most excellentest Creatures, in that Man is able to subiect all things else, & to grow wise in euery thing, but still persists a foole in Woman? The greatest Scholler if he once take a wife, is found so vnlearned, that must begin his Hornebooke, and all is by Inconstancy. To conclude therefore; this name of Inconstancy, which hath so much beene poisoned with slaunders, ought to be changed into variety, for the which the world is so delightfull, and a Woman for that the most delightfull thing in this world.


That Women ought to Paint.

FOulenesse is Lothsome: can that be so which helpes it? who forbids his beloued to gird her wast? to burnish her teeth? Or to perfume her breath? yet that the Face be more precisely regarded, it concernes more: for the secret parts needs the lesse respect; but of the Face, discouered to all Examinations and suruayes, there is not too nice a Ialousie. Nor doth it onely draw the busy eyes, but it is subject to the diuinest touch of all, to kissing, the strange and mysticall vnion of soules. If she should prostitute her selfe to a more vnworthy Man than thy selfe, how earnestly and iustly wouldst thou exclaime? that for want of this easier and ready way of repairing, to betray her body to ruine & deformity (the tyrannous Rauishers, and sodaine deflourers of all Women) what a heynous Adultery is it? What thou louest in her face is colour, and painting giues that, but thou hatest it, not because it is, but because thou knowest it. Foole, whom Ignorance makes happy, the Starres, the Sunne, the Skye whom thou admirest, alas, haue no colour, but are faire because they seeme to be coloured: if this seeming will not satisfie thee in her, thou hast good assurance of her colour, when thou seest her lay it on. If her face be painted on a Boord or Wall, thou wilt loue it, and the Boord, and the Wall: Canst thou loath it then when it speakes, smiles, and kisses, because it is painted? Are wee not more delighted with seeing Birds, Fruites, and Beasts painted than wee are with naturalls? And doe wee not with pleasure behold the painted shape of monsters and Diuells, whom true, wee durst not regard? Wee repaire the ruines of our houses, but first cold tempests warnes vs of it, and bytes vs through it; wee mend the wracke and staines of our Apparell, but first our eyes, and other bodies are offended, but by this prouidence of Women, this is preuented. If in kissing or breathing vpon her, the painting fall off, thou art angry, wilt thou bee so, if it sticke on? thou didst loue her, if thou beginnest to hate her, then 'tis because shee is not painted. If thou wilt say now, thou didst hate her before, thou didst hate her and loue her together, be constant in something, and loue her who shewes her great loue to thee, in taking the paines to seeme louely to thee.


That by Discord things increase.

Nullos esse Deos inane Coelum
Affirmat Coelius, probatq; quod se
Factum vidit, dum negat hæc, beatum.

SO I asseuere this the more boldly, because while I  maintaine it, and feele the Contrary repugnancies and adverse fightings of the Elements in my Body, my Body increaseth; and whilst I differ from common opinions by the Discord, the number of my Paradoxes increaseth. All the rich benefits we can frame to our selues in Concord, is but an Euen conseruation of things; in which Euennesse wee can expect no change, no motion; therefore no increase or augmentation, which is a member of Motion. And if this vnitie and peace can giue increase to things, how mightily is discord and warre to that purpose, which are indeed the onely ordinary Parents of Peace. Discord is neuer so barren that it affords no fruit; for the fall of one estate is at the worst the inceaser of another, because it is as impossible to find a discommodity without aduantage, as to find Corruption without Generation: But it is the Nature and Office of Concord to preserue onely, which property when it leaues, it differs from it selfe, which is the greatest discord of all. All victories & Emperies gayned by warre, and all Iudiciall decidings of doubts in peace, I doe claime children of Discord. And who can deny but Controuersies in Religion are growne greater by discord, and not the Controuersie, but Religion it selfe: For in a troubled misery Men are alwaies more Religious than in a secure peace. The number of good men, the onely charitable nourishers of Concord, wee see is thinne, and daily melts and waines; but of bad discording it is infinite, & growes hourely. Wee are ascertained of all Disputable doubts onely by arguing and differing in Opinion, and if formall disputation (which is but a painted, counterfeit, and dissembled discord) can worke vs this benefit, what shall not a full and maine discord accomplish? Truly me thinkes I owe a deuotion, yea a sacrifice to discord, forecasting that Ball vpon Ida, and for all that businesse of Troy, whom ruin'd I admire more than Babylon, Rome, or Quinzay, remoued Corners, not only fufilled with her fame, but with Citties and Thrones planted by her Fugitiues. Lastly, betweene Cowardice and dispaire, Valour is gendred; and so the Discord of Extreames begets all vertues, but of the like things there is no issue without a miracle:

Uxor pessima, pessimus maritus
Miror tam malè conuenire.
He wonders that betweene two so like, there could be any discord, yet perchance for all this Discord there was nere the lesse Increase.


That good is more common than euill.

I  Haue not beene so pittifully tired with any vanity, as with silly old Mens exclaiming against these times, and extolling their owne: Alas! they betray themselues, for if the times bee changed, their manners haue changed them. But their senses are to pleasures, as sicke Mens tastes are to Liquors; for indeed no new thing is done in the world; all things are what, and as they were, and Good is as euer it was, more plenteous, and must of necessity bee more common than Euill, because it hath this for nature and perfection to bee common. It makes Loue to all Natures, all, all affect it. So that in the Worlds early Infancy, there was a time when nothing was Euill, but if this World shall suffer dotage in the extreamest Crookednesse thereof, there shalbe no time when nothing shall bee good. It dares appeare and spread, and glister in the World, but Euill buries it selfe in the night and darkenesse, and is chastised and suppressed when Good is cherished and rewarded. And as Imbroderers, Lapidaries, and other Artisans, can by all things adorne their workes; for by adding better things, the better they shew in Lust and in Eminency; so Good doth not onely prostrate her Amiablenesse to all, but refuses no end, no not of her vtter contrary Euill, that she may bee the more common to vs. For Euill manners are Parents of good Lawes; and in euery Euill there is an excellency, which (in common speech) we call good. For the fashions of habits, for our mouing in gestures, for phrases in our speech, wee say they were good as long as they were vsed, that is, as long as they were common; and wee eate, wee walke, onely when it is, or seemes, good to doe so. All faire, all profitable, all vertuous, is good, and these three things I thinke embrace all things, but their vtter contraries; of which also faire may be rich and vertuous; poore, may bee vertuous and faire; vitious, may be faire and rich; so that Good hath this good meanes to be co[m]mon, that some subiects she can possesse entirely; and in subiects poysoned with Euill, she can humbly stoope to accompany the Euill. And of Indifferent things many things are become perfectly good by being Common, as Customes by vse are made binding Lawes. But I remember nothing that is therefore ill, because it is Common, but Women, of whom also; They that are most Common, are the best of that Occupation they professe.


That all things kill themselues.

TO affect, yea to effect their owne death, all liuing things are importun'd, not by Nature onely which perfects them, but by Art and Education, which perfects her. Plants quickened and inhabited by the most vnworthy soule, which therefore neither will nor worke, affect an end, a perfection, a death; this they spend their spirits to attaine, this attained, they languish & wither. And by how much more they are by mans Industry warm'd, and cherished, and pampered; so much the more early they climbe to this perfection, this death. And if amongst Men not to defend be to kill, what a haynous selfe-murther is it, not to defend it selfe. This defence because Beasts neglect, they kill themselues, because they exceed vs in number, strength, and a lawlesse liberty: yea, of Horses and other beasts, they that inherit most courage by being bred of gallantest parents, and by Artificiall nursing are bettered, will runne to their owne deaths, neither sollicited by spurres which they need not, nor by honour which they apprehend not. If then the valiant kill himselfe, who can excuse the coward? Or how shall Man bee free from this, since the first Man taught vs this, except we cannot kill our selues, because he kill'd vs all. Yet lest something should repaire this Common ruine, wee daily kill our bodies with surfets, and our minds with Anguishes. Of our powers, remembring kills our memory; Of Affections, Lusting our lust; of vertues, Giuing kills Liberality. And if these things kill themselues, they doe it in their best and supreme perfection: for after perfection immediately followes excesse, which changeth the natures & the names, and makes them not the same things. If then the best things kill themselues soonest, (for no Affection endures, and all things labour to this perfection) all trauell to their owne death, yea the frame of the whole World, if it were possible for God to be idle, yet because it began, must dye. Then in this idlenesse imagined in God, what could kill the World but it selfe, since out of it, nothing is?


That it is possible to find some vertue in some Women.

I  Am not of that fear'd Impudence that I dare defend Women, or pronounce them good; yet wee see Physitians allow some vertue in euery poyson. Alas! why should we except Women? since certainly, they are good for Physicke at least, so as some wine is good for a feauer. And though they be the Occasioners of many sinnes, they are also the Punishers and Reuengers of the same sinnes: For I haue seldome seene one which consumes his substance and body upon them, escape diseases, or beggery; and this is their Iustice. And if suum cuiq; dare, bee the fulfilling of all Ciuill Iustice, they are most iust, for they deny that which is theirs to no man.

Tanquam non liceat puellanegat.
And who may doubt of great wisdome, in them, that doth but obserue with how labour and cunning our Iusticers and other dispensers of the Lawes study to imbrace them: and how zealously our Preachers dehort men from them, only by vrging their subtilties, and policies, and wisdome, which are in them? Or who can deny them a good measure of Fortitude, if he co[n]sider how valiant men they haue ouerthrowne, & being themselues ouerthrown how much, and how patiently they beare? And though they be most intemperate I care not, for I vndertooke to furnish them with some vertue, not with all. Necessity, which makes euen bad things good, preuailes also for them, for wee must say of them, as of some sharpe pinching Lawes; If men were free from infirmities, they were needlesse. These or none must serue for reasons, and it is my great happinesse that Examples proue not rules, for to confirme this Opinion, the World yeelds not one Example.


That Old men are more fantastique than Young.

WHO reades this Paradoxe but thinks me more Fantastike now, than I was yesterday, when I did not thinke thus: And if one day make this sensible change in men, what will the burthen of many yeares? To bee fantastique in young men is conceiptfull distemperature, and a witty madnesse; but in old men, whose senses are withered, it becomes naturall, therefore more full and perfect. For as when we sleepe our fancy is most strong; so it is in Age, which is a slumber of the deepesleepe of death. They taxe vs of Inconstancy, which in themselues young they allowed; so that reproouing that which they did reprooue, their Inconstancy exceedeth ours, because they haue changed once more than wee. Yea, they are more idly busied in conceited Apparell than wee; for we, when we are Melancholy, wee are blacke; when lusty, Greene; when forsaken, Tawney; pleasing our owne inward affections, leauing them to others indifferent; but they presecribe lawes, and constraine the Noble, the Scholler, the Merchant, and all Estates to a certaine habit. The Old men of our time haue changed with patience their owne bodies, much of their lawes, much of their languages; yea their Religion, yet they accuse vs. To be amorous is proper and naturall in a Yong man, but in an old man most fantastike. And that ridling humour of Iealousie, which seekes and would not find, which requires and repents his knowledge, is in them most common, yet most fantastike. Yea, that which falls neuer in young men, is in them most fantastike and naturall, that is, Couetousnesse; euen at their iourneyes end to make great prouision. Is any habit of young men so fantastike, as in the hottest seasons to be double-gowned or hooded like our Elders? Or seemes it so ridiculous to weare long haire, as to weare none. Truly, as among the Philosophers, the Skeptike, which doubts all, was more contentious, than either the Dogmatike which affirmes, or Academike which denyes all; so are these vncertaine Elders, which both calls them fantastike which follow others inuentions, and them also which are led by their owne humorous suggestion, more fantastike than other.


That Nature is our worst Guide.

SHall she be guide to all Creatures, which is her selfe one? Or if she also haue a guide, shall any Creature haue a better guide than wee? The affections of lust and anger, yea euen to erre is Naturall; shall we follow these? Can she be a good guide to vs, which hath corrupted not vs but only herselfe? Was not the first man by the desire of knowledge corrupted euen in the whitest integrity of Nature? And did not Nature (if Nature did any thing) infuse into him this desire of knowledge, & so this Corruption in him, into vs? If by Nature we shall vnderstand our essence, our definition, or reason, noblenesse, then this being alike common to all (the Idiot and the wizard being equally reasonable) why should not all men hauing equally all one nature, follow one course? Or if wee shall vnderstand our inclinations; alas! how vnable a guide is that which followes the temperature of our slimie bodies? for we cannot say that we deriue our inclinations, our mindes, or soules from our Parents by any way: to say that it is all, from all, is errour in reason, for then with the first nothing remaines; or is a part from all, is errour in experience, for then this part equally imparted to many children, would like Gauell-kind lands, in few generations become nothing; or say it by Communication, is errour in Diuinity, for to communicate the ability of communicating whole essence with any but God, is vtterly blasphemy. And if thou hit thy Fathers nature and inclination, hee also had his Fathers, and so climbing vp, all comes of one man, all haue one nature, all shall imbrace one course; but that cannot be, therefore our Complexions and whole Bodies, we inherit from parents; our inclinations and mindes follow that: For our mind is heauy in our bodies afflictions, and reioyceth in our bodies pleasure: how then shall this nature gouerne vs, that is gouerned by the worst part of vs? Nature though oft chased away, it will returne; 'tis true, but those good motions and inspirations which bee our guides must be wooed, Courted, and welcomed, or else they abandon vs. And that old Axiome, nihil inuita, &c. must not be said thou shalt, but thou wilt doe nothing against Nature; so vnwilling he notes vs to curbe our naturall appetites. Wee call our bastards alwayes our naturall issue, and wee define a Foole by nothing so ordinary, as by the name of Naturall. And that poore knowledge whereby we conceiue what raine is, what wind, what Thunder, we call Metaphysicke, supernaturall; such small things, such no things doe we allow to our pliant Natures apprehension. Lastly, by following her, wee lose the pleasant, and lawfull Commodities of this life, for we shall drinke water and eate rootes, and those not sweet and delicate, as now by Mans art and industry they are made: wee shall lose all the necessities of societie, lawes, arts, and sciences, which are all the workemanship of Man: yea, we shall lacke the last best refuge of misery Death; because no death is naturall: for if yee wil not dare to call all death violent (though I see not why sicknesses be not violences) yet causes of all deaths proceed of the defect of that which nature made perfect, and would preserue, and therefore all against nature.


That only Cowards dare Dye.

EXtreames are equally remooued from the meane; so that headlong desperatenesse asmuch offends true valour, as backward Cowardice: of which sort I reckon iustly all vn-inforced deaths. When will your valiant man dye of necessity? so Cowards suffer what cannot be auoided: and to runne into death vnimportun'd, is to runne into the first condemned desperatenesse. Will he dye when hee is rich and happy? then by liuing hee may doe more good: and in Afflictions and miseries, death is the chosen refuge of Cowards.

Fortiter isse faoit, qui miser esse potest.
But it is taught and practised among our Gallants, that rather than our reputations suffer any maime, or wee any misery, wee shall offer our brests to the Cannons mouth, yea to our swords points: And this seemes a very braue and a very climbing (which is a Cowardly, earthly, and indeed a very groueling) spirit. Why doe they chaine these slaues to the Gallyes, but that they thrust their deaths, & would at euery loose leape inito the sea? Why doe they take weapons from condemned men, but to barre them of that ease which Cowards affect, a speedy death. Truly this life is a Tempest and a warfare, and he which dares dye, to escape the Anguish of it, seemes to me, but so valiant, as he which dares hang himselfe, lest he bee prest to the wars. I haue seene one in that extremity of Melancholy, which was then become Madnesse, to make his owne breath an Instrument to stay his breath, and labour to choke himselfe; but alas, hee was mad. And we knew another that languished vnder the oppression of a poore disgrace so much, that he tooke more paines to dye, than would haue serued to haue nourished life and spirit enough to haue out-liued his disgrace. What Foole will call this Cowardlinesse, Valour? Or this Basenesse, Humility? And lastly, of these men which dye the Allegoricall death of entring into Religion, how few are found fit for any shew of valiancy? but onely a soft and supple metall, made onely for Cowardly solitarinesse.


That a Wise Man is knowne by much Laughing.

RIde, si sapis, ô puella ride; If thou beest wise, laugh: for since the powers of discourse and Reason, and laughter bee equally proper vnto Man onely, why shall not he be onely most wise, which hath most vse of laughing, aswell as he which hath most of reasoning and discoursing? I alwayes did, and shall vnderstand that Adage;

Per risum multum possis cognoscerestultum,
that by much laughing thou maist know there is a Foole, not, that the laughers are Fooles, but that among them there is some Foole at whom wisemen laugh: which moued Erasmus to put this as his first Argument in the mouth of his Folly, that she made Beholders laugh: for fooles are the most laughed at, and laugh the least themselues of any. And Nature saw this faculty to be so necessary in Man, that she hath beene content that by more causes we should be importuned to laugh, than to the exercise of any other power; for things in themselues vtterly contrary, beget this effect; for we laugh both at witty and absurd things: At both which sorts I haue seene Men laugh so long, and so earnestly, that at last they haue wept that they could laugh no more. And therefore the Poët hauing described the quietnesse of a wise retired man, saith in one, what we haue said before in many lines; Quid facit Canius tuus? ridet. We haue receiued that euen the Extremity of laughing, yea of weeping also, hath beene accounted wisedome: And that Democritus and Heraclitus, the louers of these Extreames, hath beene called louers of wisedome. Now among our wisemen I doubt not, but many would bee found who would laugh at Heraclitus weeping, none which weepe at Democritus laughing. At the hearing of Comedies or other witty reports, I haue noted some, which not vnderstanding iests, &c. haue yet chosen this as the best meanes to seeme wise and vnderstanding, to laugh when their Companions laugh; and I haue presumed them ignorant, whom I haue seene vnmoued. A Foole if he come into a Princes Court, and see a Gay man leaning at the wall, so glistering, and so painted in many colours, that he is hardly discerned, from one of the pictures in the Arras, hanging his body like an Iron-bound-chest, girt in and thicke ribb'd with broad gold laces, may (and commonly doth) enuy him. But alas; shall a wiseman, which may not onely not enuy, but not pitty this monster, doe nothing? Yes, let him laugh. And if one of these hot, cholerike fire-brands, which nourish themselues by quarrelling, and kindling others, spit vpon a foole one sparke of disgrace; hee, like a thatcht house quickly burning, may be angry; but the wise man, as cold as the Salamander, may not onely bee angry with him, but not be sorry for him; therefore let him laugh: so he shall bee knowne a Man, because hee can laugh; a wise Man that hee knowes at what to laugh, and a valiant Man that he dares laugh: for hee that laughs is iustly reputed more wise, than at whom it is laughed. And hence I thinke proceeds that which in these later formall times I haue much noted; that now when our superstitious Ciuility of manners is become a mutuall tickling flattery of one another, almost euery man affecteth an humour of iesting, and is content to be deiect, and to deforme himselfe, yea become foole to no other end that I can spye, but to giue his wise Companion occasion to laugh; and to shew themselues in promptnesse of laughing is so great in wisemen, that I thinke all wisemen, if any wisemen doe read this Paradox, will laugh both at it and me.


That the gifts of the Body are better than those of the Minde.

S  Say againe, that the body makes the mind, not that it created it a minde, but formes it a good or a bad mind; and this mind may be confounded with soule without any violence or inustice to Reason or Philosophy: then the soule it seemes is enabled by our body, not this by it. My Body licenseth my soule to see the Worlds beauties through mine eyes; to heare pleasant things thorough mine eares; and affords it apt Organs for the conueiance of all perceiuable delight. But alas! my soule cannot make any part, that is not of it selfe disposed, to see or heare, though without doubt she be as able & as willing to see behind as before. Now if my soule would say, that shee enables any part to tast these pleasures, but is her selfe onely delighted with those rich sweetnesses which her inward eyes and senses apprehend, shee should dissemble; for I see her often solaced with beauties, which she sees through mine eyes, and with musicke which through mine eares she heares. This perfection then my body hath, that it can impart to my mind all his pleasures; and my mind hath still many, that she can neither teach my indisposed parts her faculties, nor to the best espoused parts shew it beauty of Angells, of Musicke, of Sphæres, whereof she boasts the Contemplation. Are Chastity, Temperance, and Fortitude gifts of the mind? I appeale to Physitians whether the cause of these be not in the body; health is the gift of the body, and patience in sicknesse the gift of the mind: then who will say that patience is as good a happinesse, as health, when we must be extreamely miserable to purchase this happinesse. And for nourishing of Ciuill societies and mutuall loue amongst Men, which is our chiefe end while wee are men; I say, this beauty, presence, and proportion of the body, hath a more masculine force in begetting this loue, than the vertues of the mind: for it strikes vs suddenly, and possesseth vs immoderately; when to know those vertues requires some Iudgement in him which shall discerne, a long time and conuersation betweene them. And euen at last how much of our faith and beleefe shall wee bee driuen to bestow, to assure our selues that these vertues are not counterfeited: for it is the same to be, and seeme vertuous, because that he that hath no vertue, can dissemble none, but hee which hath a little, may gild and enamell, yea and transforme much vice into vertue: For allow a man to be discreet and flexible to complaints, which are great vertuous gifts of the mind, this discretion will be to him the soule and Elixer of all vertues, so that touched with this, euen pride shalbe made Humility; and Cowardice, honorable and wise valour. But in things seene there is not this danger, for the body which thou louest and esteemest faire, is faire; certenly if it be not faire in perfection, yet it is faire in the same degree that thy Iudgment is good. And in a faire body, I doe seldome suspect a disproportioned mind, and as seldome hope for a good, in a deformed. When I see a goodly house I assure my selfe of a worthy possessour, from a ruinous weather-beaten building I turne away, because it seemes either stuff'd with varlets as a prison, or handled by an vnworthy and negligent Tenant, that so suffers the waste thereof. And truly the gifts of Fortune, which are riches, are onely handmaides, yea Pandars of the bodies pleasure; with their seruice wee nourish health, and preserue dainty, and wee buy delights; so that vertue which must bee loued for it selfe, and respects no further end, is indeed nothing: And riches, whose end is the good of the body, cannot bee so perfectly good, as the end whereto it leuells.

These eleuen Paradoxes, may bee
     printed: this fiue and twentieth
     of October, Anno Domini, one
     thousand six hundred thirty and
H E N R Y  H E R B E R T.



I.  D O N N E.



I.  Why haue Bastards best Fortunes?
II.  Why Puritans make long Sermons?
III.  Why did the Diuell reserue Iesuites till the latter Dayes?
IV.  Why is there more Variety of Greene, than of any other Colour?
V.  Why doe Young Lay-men so much study Diuinity?
VI.  Why hath the Common Opinion afforded Women Soules?
VII.  Why are the Fairest falsest?
VIII.  Why Venus Starre only doth cast a shadow?
IX.  Why is Venus Starre Multinominous, called both Hesperus and Vesper?
X.  Why are new officers least oppressing?


Why haue Bastards best Fortune?

IS Nature (which is lawes patterne) hauing denied women Constancy to one, hath prouided them with cunning to allure many, and so Bastards de iure should haue better wits and experience. But besides that by experience wee see many fooles amongst them; we should take from them one of their chiefest helpes to preferment, and we should deny them to be fooles; and (that which is onely left) that Women chuse worthier men than their husbands is false de facto, either then it must be that the Church hauing remoued them from all place in the publike seruice of God, they haue better meanes than others to bee wicked, and so fortunate: Or else because the two greatest powers in this world, the Diuell and Princes concurre to their greatnesse; the one giuing bastardye, the other legitimation: As nature frames and conserues great bodies of Contraries. Or the cause is, because they abound most at Court, which is the forge where fortunes are made; or at least the shop where they be sold.


Why Puritans make long Sermons?

IT needs not for perspicuousnesse, for God knowes they are plaine enough: nor doe all of them vse Sem-briefe-Accents for some of them haue Crochets enough. It may be they intend not to rise like glorious Tapers and Torches, but like thinne-wretched-sicke-watching-Candles, which languish and are in a diuine Consumption from the first minute, yea in their snuffe, and stinke when others are in their more profitable glory. I haue thought sometimes that out of Conscience, they allow long measure to course Ware. And sometimes that vsurping in that place a liberty to speake freely of Kings, they would raigne as long as they could. But now I thinke they doe it out of a zealous Imagination, that, It is their duty to preach on till their Auditory wake.


Why did the Diuell reserue Iesuites till these latter dayes.

DID hee know that our Age would deny the Diuels possessing, and therefore prouided by these to possesse Men and kingdomes? Or to end the disputation of Schoolemen, why the Diuell could not make lice in Ægypt; and whether those things he presented, there might be true, hath he sent vs a true and reall plague, worse than those ten? Or in ostentation of the greatnesse of his Kingdome, which euen diuision cannot shake, doth he send vs these which disagree with all the rest? Or knowing that our times should discouer the Indies, and abolish their Idolatry, doth he send these to giue them another for it? Or peraduenture they haue beene in the Roman Church these thousand yeares though wee haue called them by other names.


Why is there more variety of Greene, than of other colours?

IT is because it is the figure of Youth, wherein Nature would prouide as many Greene, as Youth hath Affections; and so present a Sea-greene for profuse wasters in voyages; a Grasse-greene for sudden new men enobled from Grasiers; and a Goose-greene for such Polititians as pretend to preserue the Capitoll. Or else Prophetically foreseeing an Age wherein they shall all hunt. And for such as misse-demeane themselues a willow-greene; For Magistrates must aswell haue Fasces borne before them to chastize the small offences, as Secures to cut off the great.


Why doe young Lay-men so much studie Diuinity.

IS it because others tending busilyChurches preferment neglect studie? Or had the Church of Rome shut vp all our wayes, till the Lutherans broke downe their vttermost stubborne dores, and the Caluinists picked their inwardest and subtlest lockes? Surely the Diuell cannot be such a Foole to hope that hee shall make this study contemptible, by making it common. Nor that as the Dwellers by the riuer Origus are said (by drawing infinite ditches to sprinckle their barren Countrey) to haue exhausted and intercepted their maine channel, and so lost their more profitable course to the Sea; so wee, by prouiding euery ones selfe, diuinity enough for his owne vse, should neglect our Teachers and Fathers. Hee cannot hope for better heresies than he hath had, nor was his Kingdome euer so much aduanced by debating Religion (though with some aspersions of Error) as by a Dull and stupid security, in which many grosse things are swallowed. Possible out of such an Ambition as we haue now, to speake plainely and fellow-like with Lords and Kings, wee thinke also to acquaint our selues with Gods secrets: Or perchance when wee study it by mingling humane respects, It is not Diuinity.


Why hath the Common Opinion afforded Women soules?

IT is agreed that wee haue not so much from them as any part of either our mortall soules of sense, or growth; and wee deny soules to others equall to them in all but in speech for which they are beholding to their bodily instruments: For perchance an Oxes heart, or a Goates, or a Foxes, or a Serpents would speake iust so, if it were in the breast, and could moue that tongue and Iawes. Haue they so many aduantages and meanes to hurt vs (for, euer their louing destroyed vs) that we dare not displease them, but giue them what they will? And so when some call them Angells, some Goddesses, and the Palpulian Heretickes make them Bishops, wee descend so much with the streame, to allow them soules? Or doe we somewhat (in this dignifying of them) flatter Princes and great personages that are so much gouerned by them? Or doe wee in that easinesse, and prodigality, wherein wee daily lose our owne soules to wee care not whom, so labour to perswade our selues, that sith a woman hath a soule, a soule is no great matter? Or doe we lend them soules but for vse, since they for our sakes, giue their soules againe, and their bodies to boote? Or perchance because the Diuell (who is all soule) doth most mischiefe, and for conuenience and proportion, because they would come neerer him, wee allow them some soules, and so as the Romans naturalized some Prouinces in reuenge, and made them Romans, onely for the burthen of the Commonwealth; so wee haue giuen women soules only to make them capable of Damnation?


Why are the Fairest, Falsest?

I  Meane not of false AlchimyBeauty, for then the question should be inuerted, why are the Falsest, Fairest? It is not only because they are much solicited and sought for, so is gold, yet it is not so common; and this suite to them, should teach them their value, and make them more reserued. Nor is it because the delicatest blood hath the best spirits, for what is that to the flesh? perchance such Constitutions haue the best wits, and there is no proportionable subiect, for Womens wit, but deceipt? doth the mind so follow the temperature of the body, that because those Complexions are aprest to change, the mind is therfore so? Or as Bells of the purest metall retaine their tinckling and sound longest, so the memory of the last pleasure lasts longer in these, and disposeth them to the next. But sure it is not in the Complexion, for those that doe but thinke themselues faire, are presently inclined to this multiplicity of loues, which being but faire in conceipt are false in deed: and so perchance when they are borne to this beauty, or haue made it, or haue dream'd it, they easily beleeue all Addresses and Applications of euery Man, out of a sense of their owne worthinesse to bee directed to them, which others lesse worthy in their owne thoughts apprehend not, or discredit. But I thinke the true reason is, that being like Gold in many properties (as that all snatch at them, but the worst possesse them, that they care not how deepe we dig for them, and that by the Law of Nature, Occupandi conceditur) they would be like also in this, that as Gold to make it selfe of vse admits Assay, so they, that they may be tractable, mutable, and currant, haue to their allay Falshood.


Why Venus-starre onely doth cast a shadow?

IS it because it is neerer the earth? But they whose Profession it is to see that nothing be done in heauen without their consent (as Re-[?] saies in himselfe of Astrologers) haue bid Mercury to bee neerer. Is it because the workes of Venus want shadowing, couering, and disguising? But those of Mercury needs it more; for Eloquence, his Occupation, is all shadow and colours; let our life be a sea, and then our reason and Euen passions are wind enough to carry vs whether we should go, but Eloquence is a storme and tempest that miscarries: and who doubts that Eloquence which must perswade people to take a yoke of soueraignty (and then beg and make lawes to tye them faster,and then giue money to the Inuention, repaire and strengthen it) needs more shadowes and colouring, than to perswaqde any Man or Woman to that which is naturall. And Venus markets are so naturall, that when we solicite the best way (which is by marriage) oue perswasions worke not so much to draw a woman to vs, as against her Nature to draw her from all other besides. And so when we goe against Nature, and from Venus-worke (for marriage is chastity) we need shadowes and colours, but not else. In Seneca's time it was a course, an vn-romane and a contemptible thing euen in a Matrone, not to haue had a loue beside her husband, which though the Law required not at their hands, yet they did it zealously out of the counsell of Custome and fashion, which was venery of Supererogation:

Et te spectator plusquam delectat Adulter,
saith Martiall: And Horace, because many lights would not shew him enough, created many Images of the same Obiect by wainscoting his chamber with looking-glasses: so that Venus flyes not light, so much as Mercury, who creeping into our vnderstanding, our darkenesse would bee defeated, if hee were perceiued. Then either this shaddow confesseth that same darke Melancholy Repentance, which accompanies; or that so violent fires, needes some shadowy refreshing, and Intermission: Or else light signifying both day and youth, and shadow both night and Age, shee pronounceth by this that shee professeth both all persons and times.


Why is Venus-Starre multi-nominous, called both Hesperus and Vesper?

TH E Moone hath as many names, but not as she is a starre, but as she hath diuers gouernments; but Venus is multinominous to giue example to her prostitute disciples, who so often, either to renew or refresh themselues towards louers, or to disguise themselues from Magistrates, are to take new names. It may be she takes new names after her many functions, for, as she is Supreme Monarch of all Sunnes at large (which is Iust) so is she ioyned in commission with all Mythologicks, with Iuno, Diana, and all others for Marriage. It may bee because of the diuers names to her selfe, for her Affections haue more names than any vice: scilicet; Pollution, Fornication, Adultery, Lay-Incest, Church-Incest, Rape, Sodomy, Mascupation,  Masturbation, and a thousand others. Perchance her diuers names shewed her appliablenesse to diuers men, for Neptune distilled and wet her in Loue, the Sunne warmes and melts her, Mercury perswaded and swore her, Iupiters authority secur'd, and Vulcan hammer'd her. As Hesperus she presents you with her bosom vitale, because it is wholesomest in the morning: As Vesper with her bonum delectabile, because it is pleasantest in the Euening. And because industrious men rise and indure with the Sunne in their ciuill businesses, this starre calls them vp a little before, and remembers them againe a little after for her businesse; for certainely;

Venit Hesperus, ite capellæ:
was spoken to louers in the persons of Goates.


Why are New Officers least oppressing?

MV S T the old Prouerbe, that Old dogges bite sorest, bee true in all kind of dogges? Me thinkes the fresh memory they haue of the mony they parted with for the place, should hasten them for the re-imbursing: And perchance they do but seeme easier to their suitors; who (as all other Patients) do account all change of paine, easie. But if it bee so, it is either because the sodaine sense and contentment of the honour of the place, retards and remits the rage of their profits, and so hauing stayed their stomackes, they forbeare the second course a while: Or hauing ouercome the steepest part of the hill, and clambered aboue Competitions and Oppositions they dare loyter, and take breath: Perchance being come from places, where they tasted no gaine, a little seemes much to them at first, for it is long before a Christian conscience ouertakes, or strayes into an Officers heart. It may be that out of the generall disease of all men not to loue the memory of a predecessor, they seeke to disgrace them by such easinesse, and make good first Impressions, that so hauing drawne much water to their Mill, they may afterwards grind at ease: For if fro[m] the rules of good Horse-man-ship, they thought it wholesome to jet out in a moderate pace, they should also take vp towards their Iourney's end; not mend their pace continually, and gallop to their Innes-doore, the Graue; except perchance their conscience at that time so touch them, that they thinke it an Iniury and damage both to him that must sell, and to him that must buy the Office after their death; and a kind of dilapidation if they by continuing honest should discredit the place, and bring it to a lower-rent, or vnder-value.


These ten Problemes, may bee
     printed: this fiue and twentieth
     of October, Anno Domini, one
     thousand six hundred thirty and

H E N R Y  H E R B E R T.

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