| An Olde mans Lesson. Nicholas Breton
Note on the e-text:
Editions text is based on the edition by E.G. Morice, University of
Bristol, 1936. Morice's source text is that of the Folger
Shakespeare Library's octavo, collated with those in the British Museum
and Harvard University Library. It was transcribed by Risa S. Bear in
January, 2007. The text is in the public domain. Content unique to this
presentation is copyright © 2007 The
University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send
comments and corrections to the Publisher, rbear[at]uoregon.edu
A N D
A YOVNG MANS
By Nicholas Breton.
L O N D O N
Imprinted for Edward VVhite,
and are to bee
solde at his Shop neere the little North-
doore of S. Paules Church at the
Signe of the Gun.
1 6 0 5.
To the Right VVorshipfull and worthy
Fauourer of Learning and nourisher of vertue:
Sir Iohn Linwraye Knight,
Master Surueyer of
Maiesties Ordinance within his Highnes
Realmes of England & Ireland:
ton wisheth encrease of all happi-
nesse on earth, and the ioyes
of heauen heere-
often noted, that the wisedom of experience, hath bene the Schoole of a
good wit, where youth gluing eare to age, may the better determine of
his courses : And againe, that nature weying lone with reason, worketh.
the best effectes of vnderstanding. The truth of this you may finde
made good in this little Dialogue, where the Father kindely deales with
the Sonnes duetie, and the Sonnes loue, with the Fathers discretion:
many prettie tractes haue passed among them, where each was so pleased
in the Summarie of their discourse, that, if all Fathers would be as
kinde, and all Children as wise, there would be a blessed common
wealth: but the world is to be weyed as it is, and their rules to bee
made examples of much good : the discourse is Diagolicall, and the
varietie not vnpleasant: where nature with wit, wit with learning, and
learning with iudgement, may prooue some paines in the writing, and
worthie patience in the reading. Such as it is (with my better seraice)
I com[m]e[n]d to your good fauour, hoping that as in this little you
may see my loue, so in a greater seruice, you will commaund the bonds
of my affection: in which, with hearts thankfulnesse, for your euer
vndeserued. kindenesse: I take my leaue.
Yours Deuoted and obliged:
To the Reader.
good Friend, if you be so, if not, I would you were so, at least, if
you be worth the being so: I haue met of late with a discourse written
by I know not whom, and how well, fudge you that reade it: it is
written in the manner of a Dialogue, betwixt an olde Man, and his
Sonne: the Father was a Widdower, and the Sonne a Trauailer: who after
a long absence, came home to his Father, at whose comming, (after kinde
greetings) there passed many pretty passages: in which was handled An olde Mans Lesson, and a young Mans
I will not comme[n]d the ha[n]dling of it, but rather
leaue it to correction of the wise, then the allowance of the
contrarie: and so wishing it may displease none, that are worthy to bee
pleased, and not to be worse thought on then it deserues: I leaue it to
your patience, and my selfe to your kinde regard, and so rest.
Your Louing Friend.
An olde Mans Lesson: and a young
Chremes and Pamphilus.
Chre. SOnne, welcome home, God
blesse thee, and make thee his Seruant.
I thanke you Father, and say Amen to your praier.
Well said Boy, but let me talke a word or two with thee: Thou hast been
abroade in the world, and hast seene more then thou hast eaten, and
hast left many a good Towne behinde thee for fault of carriage: tell me
I pray thee, whence earnest thou now?
Directly from the Vniuersitie, where I haue made no long stay: for had
it not lyen in my way, I had not come at it at all, such was my haste
home, as well first to shewe my duetie to you, as to acquaint you with
the occasion of some matters, which at leysure I wil impart vnto you.
vnderstand you well: me you come to see, but my money is the matter you
would talke of, for certaine occasions you thereunto moouing: but by
the way, let me aske you what newes are abroad?
enough, but fewe worth the hearing: and in the place from which I came
(I meane the Academe) there are but two pointes the Schollers stand
vpon: and one point the Townes-men.
what are the Schollers pointes?
Truely neither leather, threed, nor silkepoints, nor pointes of pinnes,
nor needles, nor pointes with the finger but the full point: of eyther
truth or falshood: for in argument, wit, and learning, to trye their
best vertue, is in finding out a falshood or maintaining a truth.
then wit and learning can make a faire shewe of truth where there is
but better wit, & better learning can lay it open, that it may be
knowne as it is.
when it is knowne, what then?
to be regarded as it deserues.
how, I pray thee?
one holde an opinion that a man is wise because hee is rich, and an
other holde the contrarie, and both hauing shewed their reasons, hee
that findes out the truth of wisdom what it is, and in what it lies,
makes it knowne so apparantly to all good vnderstanding, that wisedome
is to be honoured as a vertue and grace of the deuine Essence, and
wealth to bee esteemed as a Seruant of necessitie.
this is your Schoole talke:
talke for Schollers: but doe their Maisters holde it so, that money is
but a seruant of neede?
and learned it themselues before they teach it vs.
how vnderstand you a seruant of necessity?
prouision of apparell which is necessarie, meate and drinke, and
lodging, which are necessarie: horse and furniture, which are
necessarie : maintenance of wife, children, and seruants, all which are
necessarie: to keepe good courses, with good company, which is
necessarie: to procure aduauncement, which is necessarie: to keepe off
want, which is necessarie: to helpe the needie, feede the hungrie, and
relieue the oppressed, which is necessarie: In all which necessarie
causes, the spirit being mooued by grace and reason, to effect that
which cannot be done without money, he is to be employed as a
necessarie seruant, and a seruant at all necessities but wisdome which
is a director of the spirit in all good, and necessarie courses, &
the employer of wealth in all necessarie causes, is to bee honoured
aboue all thinges, whatsoeuer man can be master of.
said; but superfluity then, money hath nothing to do withal, as thus:
better want money then waste it vpon drunkennes, wantonnesse, or
wickednes: for when one hath a coate that will keepe him warme, which
was the cause garments were first made, and money is employed for them
to lay on needeles lace of thread, Silke or Siluer, or Golde, which
makes the garment more weightie then warme, money is to be pardoned for
any such vnnecessarie expence.
Pardon me Sir, it makes the garment more comely, and comelinesse is
necessarie so farre that it exceede not reason in measure: furthermore
it is an vtterance of Silke, an vpholder of traffique, and maintainer
Sir, well said Maister Scholler, how finely you can make superfluitie
in pride, be a reliefe of necessitie, and necessarie to maintaine
traffique: but, content your selfe, cloath the backe warme, satisfie
hunger and thirst, and so farre my money hath bene my Seruant, and so
farre hee shall bee yours. Why so you may say of a house, when the
first cause was to keepe Man drie: to make more roomes then there is
vse for, more Chimnyes, then is fier for; more Windowes then there is
wit for, and more Painting and Guilding then there is good reason for:
why should not monye lie still rather then bee employed in such
Sir, are not many poore men emploied in their labours, many men of
trade exercised in their Arte? and is not the beautie thereof comely to
the eyes of the beholder? which may as well praise God in the
worke-man-shippe, as haue pride in the profession of it oh, it is
the ill minde of one that misconstrueth the good meaning of an other:
and therefore monye being made for necessarie vses, and many necessarie
vses in the building of faire houses, monye is to bee employed and the
builder for his wisdome to bee honoured.
thanke you Sir: but for my selfe, hee hath serued me to builde roomes
necessarie for my vse and no further, and for a house fit for your
calling my monye shall serue you and no further: why, you perhaps will
defend feasts, and banqueting, when monye is onely to bee employed for
necessitie to satisfie hunger and thirst.
Without offence, I thinke I may say, that Feastes are as necessarie as
Fasts: for, as the one doth pull downe the flesh from rebelling against
the Spirit, so doth the other giue the Spirit more life in reioycing
vpon a iust cause of ioy: as in many excellent Histories, as well
Diuine as humaine, wee may reade: but to allowe thereby of Drunkennes
or glotonny, I haue no such meaning: As at mariages, holy daies, and
honest merrie meetings, a little too much, is better then much too
little: further-more the varieties of meates and drinkes, as Ale,
Beere, Wine, Sugar and Spices, are the better knowne, wherein God is
glorified, and praised for his blessings, and the Vintner, the Grocer,
the Comfit-maker, the Cooke, the Brewer and the Butcher, doe by the
venting of their wares, the better maintaine their trades: so that I
thinke I may well say, that monye in the prouision of Feastes and
banquets, is to bee employed as a seruant of necessitie.
Sir, you say well: but money hath serued mee for the good loafe and the
Cheese, Beefe, and Mutton, and nowe and then a Goose and a Chicke, or a
Ducke of mine owne breede or your Mothers; and a cuppe of Ale or Beere
of our owne brewing: this outlandish drinke (this Wine) is more costly
then wholsome: I warrant you the greatest part of this Countrie standes
vpon Corne, and Sheepe: and where haue you a Plough man or a Shepheard,
that almost knowes what Drinke it is, or cares for it, when he sees it?
No, Ale and Beere is our best liquor, and therefore so farre as may
kill hunger and quench thirst, monye hath serued mee, and so farre
shall it serue you: but, whether is more wisdome in getting money to
serue necessities, and keepe it for necessarie causes, or to studie
trickes to lay it out vpon nice inuentions?
Truely Sir, (as I said before, monye is but reasons seruant, &
wisdom is reasons maister the[n] if reason the Seruant to wisdom, can
finde meanes euen among fooles to get money, either by Labour, Arte, or
Fortune: and wisdome onely be the director of reason in the imployment
of that money, to the necessarie comfort and honour of man: I holde it
a greater wisdome well to dispose of a Seruants businesse, then to come
by the Seruant, for money is euerie mans Seruant in one sort or other:
but wisdome liueth but with a fewe, whome shee maketh more honorable
then the money-Master.
how can that bee? what honor is there without money? the best Scholler
without money may make a hard dinner, and goe in a threed-bare Coate:
and for all his grace in the Schooles, haue little grace in the world.
learning in it selfe is honorable, and if he be gratious in patience,
either to beare his Crosse, or to attend his comfort, then deserueth he
the honour of that vertue that learning hath taught him, & is
wronged if he haue it not giuen him: for shall an Asse be held wise
because hee hath put on a Foxes skinne, or like a wolfe can pray on a
lambe? or if a foole that hath but so much wit as to play the knaue,
& by his cunning to gather coine, shal such a Deuil in the shape of
man be honoured as a God? God forbid: no, the Golden Calfe of Horeb was
an Idoll, and couetousnesse is the witch of wit, and the roote of all
which is the Toppe?
what is the body?
what is the Armes?
Glotony and drunkennes.
is the Sappe?
are the Leaues?
braue! a Tree for the Deuils garden, God blesse my ground from such
heere me a little, I thinke if a man should touch you with a tickling
humor, of an effeminate nature, you would defend it to bee good, and
money necessarie to bee vsed in such a seruice: and were not that a
prettie piece of learning?
Howsoeuer Sir you thinke of it: I can shew good reason for it: for Loue
is an humor of the minde infused into the heart, by the vertue of the
Spirit: which by the grace of wisdome, the art of reason, and the
Seruice of money, worketh honorable effectes in nature: for when the
eye beholdeth beautie, nature is pleased in the obiecte; when reason
findeth wit, wisdome is delighted in the Subiecte; and when wisdome
findeth grace, reason is ioyfull in vnderstanding; and then all these
meeting together in conceite, must needes work together for
contentment: for the accomplishment of which, money must be a seruant
of necessitie. As thus: If your neighbour had two Sonnes, the one were
wise, learned, valiant, and honest, yet did want money to aduaunce his
vertues, & the other had much monie, and no other good matter to
mooue the least humor of good liking my sister to whom my gra[n]dmother
hath left a good Portion, should effect this younger Brother without
monye, and leaue the other to his all money: is it not fit and
necessarie, that her money should rather bee an aduauncement of his
vertues, and a content of her kindenesse, and perhaps increase of her
comfort, rather then bee a choaker of Midas, with more money then he
can swallowe, and be an increaser of Idolatry: and perhaps, a griefe to
you in the Prime of her owne comfort: so if it should fal out with me
to affect the hope of my fortune, would you spare your Pursse to
procure my preferment? beleeue it father, the best loue is begotten by
the eyes bred in the Braines, & growes to perfection in the heart:
and shall not money bee a seruant then 0f necessitie to attend the
commaundement of Loue? fie on this Market-matches, where mariages are
made without affections, and obedience is performed by a grieued
patience: no let money be vsed as a Seruant to reason, and not a
Maister of Loue.
fine boy; I almost finde where you are, but let me tell you, though
your wordes hang well together, yet me thinkes, money lies better
together: for if a Wench that hath money Loue thee, spend of her purse,
or els thou wantest wit: if thou haue money and loue her that hath
none, her wit hath made a foole of thee: for, tell me a tale of a Tub,
of eyes & eares, and hearts, obiect and subiect, and wisdome, and
reason: without money, tis not worth a whiffe: for Aurum potabile is a strange
quintescence: it will make age young againe, it will giue the heart a
life beyond all the phisicke of the world: why Gold is halfe a God on
the earth. it hath such power among people, Let a wench be wealthy, and
set out in her brauerie, though she bee painted for her beautie, and
scarce gentill for her parentage, yet, if she catch the name of a Lady,
she must bee honoured like Queene Guineuer:
& if she be but neere a Princesse, she shal bee almost worshipped
like a Goddesse. Why goe no further but to our owne neighbours: what a
slut will haue a husband if shee haue but a little money: and for their
Farmes and their stockes?
but Father, what followes? Iealouzie and Cuckoldry, and
Bastardry, & Rogery she cannot Loue him, nor he her: youth cannot
loue age, age will be lealous of youth, and loue wil haue his working:
and therfore as I said before, the cause is couetousnes and the roote
of all euill.
Well said againe boy: but yet twill not serue your turne, for I will
haue an other bowte with you: for money is a matter of more moment then
you make account of: why? money makes the medicine for the sicke,
pleades the Clients cause,cmaintaines the Marehants Trade, makes the
Soldiers fight, and the Craftsman worke, the Trauailer treade lightly,
and the olde Mare trot, and the young Tit Amble: it doth, I knowe not
what, nor almost what can on earth be done without it? It frameth the
instrume[n]t, tuneth the strings, playeth the lesso[n] & singeth
the song: it furnisheth the court, graceth the citty, & maintaineth
the co[n]try: In summe, let me tel thee, it is a matter of such moment,
as there is neither youth, nor Beauty, Valour, nor Learning, wit nor
wisdome, but if it want money to grace it, it shall haue little grace
in the world : and therefore let him be first counted wise that gets
it, then wise that keepes it, and last wise that knowes how to vse it:
and whatsoeuer opinions are of it, holde you with me this assurance of
it, that he is wise who hath it, and so contrarie to all them that say
against it, say he is wise that is rich.
Father I am sorry to heare you speake so feelingly of your loue to
money: which you haue bene long in getting, carefull in keeping, and
will be sorrowfull in leauing: Oh let it not haue such power ouer you,
to make you a slaue to your Seruant: it is but a drosse trodden on by
the feete of Beastes, serueth the begger, as a greater person, the
wicked as the vertuous, the Iewe as the Christian, embrodereth the
Horses cloathes as the Lords cloake, and the Maides kertell, as her
Ladies petticoate: it begetteth Pride, breedeth warres, procureth
Treasons, and ruynes countries: and yet let me say this of it: the
fault is not in it selfe, but in the vse of it: and for the good that
is done by it, is not of it selfe but in the wisedome of him or her
that hath the vse of it, and therefore let it bee left indifferent good
or euill, or neither of both, but fit for either as it is vsed: and
count him rather wise that knowes how to vse it, then how to get it:
for many get it by a wicked Father, which being wise will not leaue it
to a wicked Sonne: many get it by Dice and Cardes, which being wise,
will imploy it in bettei courses: many get it by an olde blinde
widow, that haue wit to spend it with sweeter creature: many get
it by piracie at Sea, that employ it in a better course at Land; In
briefe, the getting of it sometime is so grieuous to a good conscience,
as can approue no wisedome in it, and the employing of it may be to so
good an ende, as proueth great wisdome in the mannaging of it: and
therefore in my iudgement, knowing no man wise through riches, but,
many rich through wisdome, I holde him rich that is wise, not him wise
that is rich.
then you would haue me that haue been carefull to get money, which I
haue lying by me for necessarie vses, bestowe it vpon you that knowe
(as you thinke,) how to prooue more wisdome in the imploying of it: it
may bee I will doe so with parte of it, in hope, that you that can
speake so well of it will knowe as well what to doe with it: but before
we come to that point, let mee talke a little further with you touching
your trauaile: what haue you chiefely noted for your benefit?
natures of the Soiles, the inhabitants of the Countries, the
dispositions of the people, and the wisdome of the Gouernours: To the
first, I noted according to the climat of what heate or coldenes, drie
or moystnes, what fruite, what store, and in what season, what Riuers,
fresh or salt, what Cattell, and Fowle, and Fish, what Mineralles, and
for Fish, you could bring none home aliue, nor sweete: and, haue not
our Seas, and fresh-waters, as good Fish as other? And for Cattell,
there can bee no better Beefe nor Mutton, then ours: Now for Fowle,
both Land and water Fowle: there are in our heathes, woodes and fens, I
thinke as good and as great varietie with vs as any where: but it may
be, far fetcht and deere bought is good for Ladies, and if you haue hit
on a little monster, as a Camelion, or an Indian Flie, it may bee, if
you can vse the matter hansomely, fooles may giue you money for the
sight of it: now for Mineralls, how much money soeuer you found in the
country, I feare you haue brought but a little out of it, and therfore
for these notes, I think for any profit you made of your trauaile, you
had bin as good a taried at home: Now for the people, I thinke, they
are as we are in shape though by some of those outlandish, they mishape
the[m]selues in their apparel, I know not what to say to them, but, if
the me[n] be rich, it is like they will keepe their mony, and if poore,
they will either begge, cheat, or steale, and so liue as long as they
can: and for the women, if they bee faire, they knowe what to make of
their beautie, and if Fowle, how to make of their money. Olde Folkes
can tell howe to gouerne Children, and youthes will play the wagges, if
it bee with their owne Fathers : for Boyes (God send them Grace) had
neuer more witte then they haue now a daies. Now for the Gouernours,
where there are manye, it is strange if there bee not one wise, and if
the rest will obserue good notes, their wittes may prooue nere the
worse: now if there bee manie it will trouble one wit too much to take
notice of them all: and therefore Sonne, though a little expence of
money haue bought thee a little experience, and the varietie of
knowledge haue giuen thee a little contentment, yet, let no Idoll
corrupt thy conscience, no vanitie corrupt thy wit, nor folly bee
Maister of thy will: thy natiue soyle is naturall, thy Countriemen
nearer to thee then strangers: thy kindred, then vnknowne people, and
thy Fathers house will giue a kinder welcome, then the Pallace of a
Princesse: Let not the alteration of the Ayre, alter thy nature, the
obiect of thine eye the Iudgement of thy minde, nor the sound of the
eare, the sence of thy heart: If thou bee returned home, as thou
wentest out, I shall bee glad of it: but if eyther France haue taught
thee fancies, Italye wantonnesse, Flaunders drunkennesse, or any place
wickednesse, I shall bee sorrie for thy Trauaile and wish thou hadst
neuer gone: Oh let not wars make thee bloudy, Courts make thee
prodigal, trade make thee couetous, lawe make thee partiall, women make
thee wanton, nor flatterie make thee proude: for, as Trauaile is the
life of youth, and varietie the loue of knowledge, so yet after all thy
Trauaile learne this, nay by thy varietie of thy knowledge learne this
Lesson, couldest thou see all the worlde, thou shouldest see nothing
but a worlde, and in the ende of all, finde all haue an ende: Riches
must eyther be spent or lefte, beauty must decay, honour must be
transported, nature must growe weake, sences loose their sence, and
life must ende, and then when all is gone, then vanitie, vanitie, and
all is vanitie: in the graue there is no beautie, no honour, no wealth,
no sence, no life: & thither you must as well as I, and who
knoweth, who first? now whether it bee in the Sea, or in the la[n]d, in
a Fishes belly or a Leaden Coffin: all is one, a graue there must be,
of whosoeuer it be: and therefore before thou commest to that last Inne
of thy worldes lourney, let me wish thee wheresoeuer thou goest, and
whatsoeuer thou seest, be still one man & reme[m]ber one thing:
serue but one God, loue but one & thine owne cou[n]try, haue but
one wife & trust but one frie[n]d: for many Gods breedeth heathens
miseries, many countries trauailers humors, many wiues me[n]s
purgatories, and many friends trustes ruine: first God gaue thee life,
loue him for it: yea hee loueth thee, liue to him for it: your Countrey
gaue you foode vnder God, loue it for it: your Countrey gaue you
knowledge first vnder God, liue in it for it: your wife giues you
Issue, loue her for it, she easeth your house cares, liue with her for
it: and your friend conceales your secrets, loue him for it: and is an
other your selfe, liue neere to him for it: and leauing the vaine
desire of varietie, liue to the onely loue of vertue: spend your
thoughts in contemplation of Deuine comfort, your substance in the
seruice of God, and benefit of your countrey: wagge not wanton with the
wandring eyes, nor trifle out time in vnprofitable toies, couer not
your balde head with Periwigs of borowed hayre: curle not your beard
with hot Irons: leere not aside like a Beare-whelpe, nor looke vnder
the browes like a Bull Dogge, march not in a towne of peace like a
Souldiour, nor runne out of your wits in an humor: carry not a
picketooth in your mouth, a flower in your eare, nor a Gloue in your
Hat, for it is apish and foolish, deuised by idle heads, and worne by
shallowe wits: binde not your inuention to Poetry, nor make an Oration
of an Epistle: Learne but two partes of speeche, to speake good wordes,
and to good purpose: goe cleanely but not gaiely, and gaine honestly,
and spend thriftilie: feede sparingly, drinke moderately, sleepe
soundly, but rise earely, so passing thy time merrily, thou shalt liue
happily and die blessedlie: this lesson hath been taught me at home,
and I doubt: you will scarce finde a better abroad: but least I growe
teadious to thee, thus to take thee to Schoole as soone as thou commest
home, I pray thee tell me thy opinion of contentment: whether it can be
so well had abroade, as at home?
Truely Father I knowe not the minde of euerie man, nor how fullye to
define content: but when wit hath found out, reason hath Iudged, and
nature hath receiued the pleasure of the Spirit in the delight of the
sences, I thinke, if in the world there bee any content it is there:
Now, be it at sentence which is oftentimes newly in effect. Omne Solum fortis patria: euery
house is home, all Countries are one to a resolute minde: a friend is a
frie[n]d abroad, & an ennimie is an ennimie at home: vertue is
limited to no place, but honoured in al persons, & loue hath a
worlde to walke in, to take the pleasure of his fortune, where variety
of his choise tries the wisdome of judgement: my father, if I beholde
him but as a man, I can loue him but as a man, but when I thinke of his
loue, I loue him as a Father: now, loue being bound to no place, cannot
forget his owne nature any where: nay and therefore if I beholde my
selfe, in being a sonne, I remember my Father: if I behold your bounty,
I remember your blessing, and honour your Loue: so that still I say, it
is not the place, that perfecteth affection, no not in nature: and
sometime absence is the cause of the more Ioy in loue, as in the
Souldiour, who after Conquest returneth with more honour then he had at
home: the Marchant after a voyage, pleaseth his mistris with better
wares then she had at home: the Courtier after trauaile, tels his Lady
a better tale, then of a Foxe and a Goose, and the Scholler after
Trauaile, makes a better verse then at home: why the Clowne after
trauaile can learne to kisse his hand, & maide Maulkin after
trauaile, can make new countenances & new complexions: oh father,
this home humor wil soone be worne so threed-bare, that if it were not
shifted with some trauaile (euen with lazy) wit would grow louzy: for
in place of accout, where knowledge is to be enquired, there is more
matter then for the Market, and of more judgement then maister
constables: where the wise that haue seene the world, note the
necessarie good of Trauaile: who neuer heard but a Iacke-Dawe would
thinke a Parret a spirit, & either be affraide of her, or in loue
with her, when he that knoweth her what shee is, wil regarde her as
shee is: now he that neuer saw but an Ape, would thinke a Baboone a
little deuill: but he that hath trauailed where they are bred, will
know them for ordinary beastes of those countries: he that neuer saw a
Mountibanke, would take a curtizen for a better creature, but hee that
had seene their traffique would neuer care for their trade: he that
neuer saw a Whale would thinke it a Deuill in the Sea, but hee that had
been where they are bredde would knowe it there, an ordinarie Fish: hee
that neuer saw a Picture would goe neere to thinke it an Angell, but
hee that knowes them what they bee, will thinke of them as they are. Oh
Father, the Tiranny of one Prince makes the mercie of an other more
glorious: the terror of warre, makes peace seeme more joyfull, and the
daunger of the Sea makes the Land more wished for: doth not the
drunkennesse of one Countrie make sobrietie in an other seeme more
gratious? the Treasons in one Countrie make loyalltie more honourable
in an other? and who hath not seene the one, how can he Judge of the
other? now, for further causes of contentment, what Golde is in the
Indies? what Arte in China? what workmanshippe in Millaine? what
building in Florence? what Fountaines in Genoua? what State in
Norremberge? and for Venice who hath not seene it cannot praise it, but
who hath seene it, and can judge of it, I leaue him to speake of it. Oh
the Corne, wine and fruite of France ! the Oyle, Spice, Drugges and
fruite of Spaine! the Rosen, Rich, Tarre, and Hempe, Waxe, and Honie
from the Easte Countries! the Veluets, Sattens, Taffaties and Silkes of
Italy, and other farre Countries! are these at home? yea, but howe? not
to bee seene with that contentment that it is at their home: for, to
see the little Worme that windes the Silke, how shee liues before her
working, and then, how with her worke, shee payes for her liuing, howe
neate the Maides bring them to Market, wound vp in their worke, how
finelye they are wound out of their worke, and their Silken threedes
wouen into diuers fine Stuffes, as well Cloath of Golde, Tissue,
Siluer, or Tuffed or plaine Veluet or Satten, or stuffes of other
names, the rarenes in tne Arte of it, and the neatenes in the dooing of
it, it is a thousand times more contentiue, then to buye it in a
Shoppe, and to weare it in slappe: oh to see a Generall in the middest
of an Armie, or a Cittie besiedged! to see the Beautie of one, and note
the strength of the other, and to tarrie the fortune of both, it would
make you breake your Spade, and your Flaile, and as olde as you are,
trye the Fortune of your Sworde, to see but one such a sight in all
your life: why in a Chamber to see a woman of worth, sued to, by the
better sort, to heare the excellencie of her wit deliuered at the ende
of her tongue, with such a vngratious action, when her eves like
starres did sparckle in the little Element of her face, and her hayres
like wiers, might winde vp the thoughts of loues heart, while her
wordes like Oracles, should coniure honour to loyaltie, to behold such
a queene-like creature in the richest of her array. to reade her in the
excelle[n]cie of her wit, & heare her in the excellencie of her
musicke, were such a contentment to the spirit of good vnderstanding,
as would make the heart to rise, to the highest of his worldes
ioy: is this to bee seene at home in a cupboord, or a
Corne-lofte, or a Cowe pastor? no, no, I confesse, flesh and blood, red
and white, and louely browne, will doe well where are no better:but a
countrey daunce is but a iigge to a stately Pauen: no father had you
seene that which I haue seene, and know that I knowe, you wold long as
well as I to see that I would see: for an olde Mans lesson, is
knowledge by experience, and a young Mans Loue is varietie of
vnderstanding, which is the fruite of Trauaile.
Sonne, I sayed it not for nought, that Boyes in these daies, haue wit
at will, God send them grace to vse it well: but, now I haue heard you
at leysure, giue mee leaue to answere you a little touching
contentment: you say, euery house is a home, and euery Countrie alike
to a resolued spirit, but he that selleth Land at home, to look ouer
Land abroade, when his money is spent, and hee hath neither house nor
home, what then followes, but, insteede of content, play Mal-Content:
and for the commoditie of Land, better haue an Acre of land in
Cheape-side, then a hundreth in the Land of waste, for it is either
vnder water, or subiect to drowning, and therefore tell not mee of your
outlandish earth nor the fruites of it: for, I can haue as good hearbes
and fruites here at my doore for my money, as you can haue any where in
your trauaile, I know it: for I haue heard the[m] say it, that haue
tried it: why? haue not we our Cherry, our Strawberry, our Raspesse,
our Goose-berrie and our Mulberie, and I knowe not how many berries, as
the Season serues? haue not wee the Plumme, the Peare, the Apricocke,
the Apple, the warden, and the Quince, the Walnut and the Filberd, and
the Hasell Nut, the Medler, and the Ches-nut, and al in their seasons,
growing in our countries, & brought to our markets? and are they
not cheaper heere then to trauaile for them, I knowe not whether?
Indeede, I thinke we haue them not in such aboundance, for I holde no
such necessitie: now, for Mineralles, I doe not thinke but you may
finde more Golde and Siluer aboue the ground in one Acre in
Cheape-side, then you may finde in ten of the best Acres in your
Trauaile: and therefore, for Earth I thinke we haue as good at home, as
you can finde abroad: and so much for your earth. Now for your fine
wormes, and your worming Maides, it is a prettie idle thing to stand
peering on a Worme, but, perhaps we haue wormes at home that winde
themselues vp in Silke, though they bee not caried to Market, one of
which are better worth then a hundreth of your wormes, & for
Maides, if our maides be not as cleanely on the market day, as they are
on a Holy-day, trust mee no more, and I am sorrie you can say no more
for yours: for they that bee not Sluts, will bee neate, and there is an
ende: and for your Silkes and Veluets, wee haue our Sattens heere with
such a glasse, that vou may almost seee vour face in it, vppon the
backeside of a Vardingale: and therefore talke no more of it: wee haue
it heere without trauaile, as well as you haue it there with your
trauaile, and so content your selfe: Now for your Parrats, your Apes,
your Whales & your trickes, some of them we heare speake, and other
we see daunce, & other wee heare of, and what care we for more?
they that will bee fooles to giue money for fancies, let the alone with
their follies, I wish not to Trauaile for any such toyes: Nowe for your
Campe and your Cittie besiedged, howe gallant soeuer the sightes seeme
pleasing to your humor, yet I thinke the heart of a wise man will be
better pleased with a poore peace, then a Rich Warre: though commonly
Warre be the cause ol pouertie, and peace of wealth: Nowe for your
wenching humor, so fine and so wise, so faire, and so sweete in her
lookes, and her wordes, and her trickes, and her toyes, I thanke God,
the thought of that world is done with mee, and I would it were neuer
to bee thought on with you: for let an Olde mans lesson bee what it
will, a faire wench is a young Mans Loue, and so I allowe it should
bee: but then I would haue it neere home, that I might iudge the better
of it, for there are as I heare, so many Painters of Womens faces, so
many Instructors of Womens tongues, and so manie flatterers of Womens
humors, that if a man haue not both his insight and his outsight, he
may pay home for his blindenesse: and therefore, let Wiers, And
Oracles, and such Poeticall figures or fictions passe; and for a flaxen
or a browne hayre, for a chaste eye, and an honest face, for a good
complexion, and a gratious disposition, I thinke all the worlde is not
better prouided for good Wenches then our Countrie, talke of your farre
Countries what you list, and therefore I see not howe you are benefited
by your Trauaile, more then to haue libertie to tell more then many
well beleeue: but let mee aske you one thing in your Trauaile, did you
not reade any Auncient Histories?
diuerse: and one which mee thinkes were worthie to bee reade of daily:
of Licurgus the great Law-maker.
might that bee, that you wish so to call in memorie?
Law that he first made when he came into the Cittie of Athens, that all
the Fooles and Iesters should bee whipt out of the Cittie.
would goe sore nowe I tell you, for they thriue strangelie in these
daies: but tell mee, haue you not reade, nor heard the opinions of some
I haue reade certaine discriptions of opinions, but, I finde not their
names set downe: I haue reade a strange discription of a Woman.
not of a man?
yes and that to good purpose.
pray thee if thou canst remember them, recite them.
First I read that a woman was the cracke of a Mans wit, & the
trouble of his vnderstanding, the hardest part of his body, & the
worst part of his substance, Natures Baby, and reasons Torture.
what of Man?
reade that Man is the Pride of Nature, the play of Time, a Womans
Foole, & an Apes Schoolemaster.
Chre. And what of Riches?
they are the Plague of wit, the subduer of reason, the tempter of
Nature, and the abuse of time.
what of pouertie?
it is the Badge of Patience, the triall of vertue. the Touchstone of
grace, and the punishment of mercie.
Notes, but whom haue you noted the moste happie in the world?
Because he knowes no vnhappinesse.
who moste vnhappie?
Athist, because he wants grace.
Whome the Richest?
wise: because, knowledge is a high Treasure.
who the wisest?
faithfull, because they are halfe way in Heauen.
is the best gouernement?
what is the best punishment?
is the best Lawe?
what the best pleading?
Shorte, and sweete, I like all this well: nowe tell mee what is the
Vertue: for that it makes the fowle faire, and the faire gratious.
the best honour?
Wisdome, for that it serues God, & gouernes the worlde.
hast thou read to be the greatest torment of the worlde?
vnquiet wife, because a man is bound to her.
what the greatest comfort?
quiet conscience, because it keepes the soule in peace.
finde you the moste precious?
word of God, for it directes the soule.
for it is wisdomes rule.
what is most grieuous?
frustrate hope, for it grieues the heart.
what moste ioyfull?
setled faith, for it is fearelesse.
Which is the moste wittie creature in the world?
Woman because shee can make a Foole of a man.
which is the moste foolish?
wicked man, because he leaues heaue[n] for hel.
holde you the least worthe?
Vanitie, because it is a hurt of wit.
vertue holde you the greatest?
Patience, for it keepes the Spirit in temper.
what vice the vilest?
Drunkennesse, for it makes a Beast of a Man.
is tne best studdie?
for it is the Schoole of Wisdome.
Philosophie, for it is the Schoole of Nature.
thinkest thou of Loue?
trouble of wit.
thinkest thou of beautie?
Truely Sonne what thou hast benefited thy bodie by thy trauaile, I
knowe not, but by the Trauaile of thy spirit, I see thou hast so much
bettered thy knowledge, that I care not whether thou goest, so thou
returnest so well home: and were it not to wearie thee to much, I would
aske thee a few more questions.
please you I will answere the best I can and craue pardon, if al be not
to your liking.
thou canst not displease my loue, that ioyes not a little in thine
vnderstanding: and therfore, let me first aske thee, where doost thou
thinke is the most danger in the world?
the Sea: for the Windes, and the Waues, the Rockes & the sands doe
often threaten distruction.
where most safetie to liue?
heauen: for in the worlde there is none.
in the world where is the sweetest life?
the Vniuersitie: for there are the best wits, and the best rules.
Chre. And where the vainest life?
women: for there is but losse of time.
where the costliest?
Courtiers: for there is much pride in apparell, and great causes of
where the Idlest?
the Ordinaries where there is nought but talke, and play, and Cheere.
Where is the quiet life?
the Countrie, where wit may feede the spirit in contemplation.
Where the noblest?
the warres: where valour may shew mercie, and wisdome gaine honour.
where the moste blessed?
the Church, where praier and fasting findes admirable comfort.
said my good Boy, but out of thine owne Countrie, tell mee where thou
didst finde moste contentment?
Italie: for there I found the Marchant rich, the Souldiour valiant, the
Courtier Affable, the Lawyer Learned, and the Craftes-man cunning, the
Women faire, and the Children toward: the earth fruitefull, the fruite
pleasant, the Climat temperate, and the Labourer painefull. I cannot
say but in other Countries I found diuers of these, but not al, so much
where moste discontentment?
Barberie, where the Souldiour is bloodie, the Iewe liues with the
Gentill, the Marchant is of no pleasing carriage, the Courtier I neuer
saw, the Women are not beautifull, the Climat is hot, and the Soile but
euen so, so: and in summe, little good but Hides and Sugar.
hope them didst make no long stay there:
Sir, nor euer intend to come there againe: I had rather make Salt my
Sugar, then Trauaile thither againe for it.
Where didst thou make thy longest aboade?
Italie, and there, except at home with you, I had rather spend my life,
then in many places of the world: and in Venice of any place there.
Because there I may feede mine eyes with manie faire obiects, and my
minde with many deepe considerations: to beholde the platforme and
Scituation of the Cittie, how it standeth enuironed with, the Sea: then
to view the stately buildings of stones, as wel in their Churches as
their Houses vpon the Realta, to see the varietie of strangers, to
obserue the people, their habites, their Languages, and their carriages
:to see the treasurer of S. Marco, the prouision in their Arsenale, and
the state in the Dukes Pallace: to note the strict & ciuill manner
of their gouernement, to conuerse with fine wits, to accompany kinde
natures, to beholde their faire Ladies, and to enioy the libertie of
conscience, to take a Gondolo, and crosse a smooth Sea, to their sweet
Riuers, and at pleasure to take the ayre oftheir pleasant villages: to
feede of their sweet fruites, and drink of their delicate wines:
with other needeles things to talke of, that except this countrie, and
your house, I knowe no such place of contentment.
saist wel, these causes, of content may wel make thee in loue with the
Countrie: but I am glad to heare thee except thine owne countrie &
my house, where I doubt not, thou shalt receiue as much true co[n]tent,
as either Italy, or all the world can affoord thee: at least if I can
deuise it, it shall bee so: but if it cannot bee, it shal be my
content, that thou shalt haue it where thou wilt, or canst deuise it:
but, beeing now abroad, & supper will not be readie this hower: I
pray thee recite me some prettie Historie, or tell mee some prettie
tale of somewhat that hath passed in the way of thy passage: I care not
of what nature it be, it shall content me.
the suddaine to call to minde any historic of auncie[n]t time, that may
be worth the recounting, I shall haue somewhat to doe: but of some such
matter as hath passed in my Trauaile, whereof I haue bene either an eye
witnes, or had perfect intelligence, that I may tel you the truth, I
care not if I acquaint you with the discourse.
pray thee doe, and thou saist well, for Trauailers are giuen (some say)
to begull the worlde with gudgins: especially such as long after newes
& to heare strange things, though they neither vnderstand them in
the telling of them, nor can reme[m]ber a word of them, but for thy
selfe, though I were but a friend, yet I see, such is thy knowledge of
good, as will not let thee co[m]mit so great an euil: & therfore,
on gods name say wnat thou wilt, it shal content me, I will beleeue it,
& thanke thee for it, for it will bee a good meane to passe away
the time, and to make our walke seeme the shorter.
to tel you of a bloodie fight, a defeated armie, the Sacke of a Cittie,
or the wracke of a Shippe, were more lamentable the[n] comfortable: to
tell you of a monster, that had bin the death of a man, would but mooue
pittie and griefe: to tell you of the piague in a countrie, and the
ruyne of a kingdome, would but be a breeding of melancholly: to tell
you of a Shepheard and his Dog, wold but shew you that you see euery
day: to talke of a Foxe and a Goose, why the countrie is too full of
them euerie where: to tell you of a Wolfe & Lambe, why it would but
make you pray for your flock: & therfore to leaue al idle &
vnfitting humors, I wil tel you in my opinion, a true & prettie
discourse of somewhat that hapned in a Cittie, where I spent some time,
which I hope shall not dislike you.
pray thee doe.
Sir you shall vnderstand, in the Cittie of Venice, a place in which I
spent some time, it was my hap, among other contentme[n]ts to fal
acquainted with a you[n]g Ge[n]tlema[n], much of mine own yeres, had
bin at the vniuersitie, seene something in trauaile, & there
finding many pleasing spirits, thought good to spend some time among
the[m]: it fell out one morning among other, going towards S. Marco in
my co[m]pany, passing by a house of a great Magnifico or gentlema[n]ly
marcha[n]t, he chanced to espy, in an entrie within the doore, a
pretty, nay a young gentleman talking with a faire damsel, whom he
imagined to be the yong mans mistris, but it fell out she was his
sister: now the you[n]g gentlema[n] wel acquainted with my frie[n]d,
beckned him into the house, & gaue not onely him, but mee also, for
his sake, a very kinde welcom, & procured no lesse at the ha[n]ds
of his faire sister: who[m] though far short of her desert, I wil
describe in her worthines her yeres about twenty the prime of natures
pride and virginities honour: beautiful, so far, as a creature can be
imagined: wise with that modesty that made her wit admirable: &
kinde, with that care that made humility gratious: her portio[n] though
not for a prince, yet able to make a poore ma[n] wealthy: & for her
proportio[n], the painter might be graced in her counterfaite: loued
she was of al that knew her, hated of none that could know her: serued
of manie that were happie to attend her, and especially beloued of one
that did truely honour her, who was the young man whom as my selfe I
loued: often did hee sollicite his suite with such secret proofe of his
affection, as made her Parents no lesse willing to entertaine his
kindenesse, then her his loue: his speech was sildom & not much,
his letters few & not teadious, his gifts not many, but of worthe:
and thus farre wrought her fauour with his affection, that for women
though hee saw many, yet hee loued none but her: her vertue made him
vowe chastitie, her beautie were his eyes blisse, her modestie, was his
loues praise, & her loue, his lifes honour: she knew it, and was
pleased in it: I knewe it, and loue him for it: her parents vsed him as
a Sonne, her Brother as himselfe, and she as her Brother: now affection
grew to passion, and patience to ioyne with reason, for the
confirmation of a mutuall comfort: but what fortune doth in these
courses, too many in their crosses can witness: he was farre from his
parents, & shee at home with her friendes: loath hee was to put her
to aduenture of her honour, with his fortune, though in him shee
reposed her worldes felicitie: loath shee was to leaue him for want of
what with him, and yet her care was such of him, that shee would bee
ruled by him: and therefore hauing betwixt themselues sealed with their
hands, the infringible band of faith and troth in the heart, after a
supper in her fathers house, & a breake-fast in her brothers
lodging, as well as loue could giue him leaue, hee tooke leaue of his
faire lady, to looke home toward his father, to whome hee would impart
his suite, of whome hee would obtaine a blessing, and from whome hee
would returne to her, with his fortune: To tell you the manner of their
parting, if euer you were in the like perplexitie, would but reuiue a
forgotten passion: but, when swallowed sighes, and bleeding teares had
almost marr'd all on both sides, her brother caried her away, & I
brought him away, and so went the world away: Now many a night since
haue I lyen with him, and heard him deliuer such due praises of her
worthinesse, and sigh out such deepe sorrowes of his own vnhappinesse,
that if I could haue done him good, I could not haue denied him, and
not being able, I could not but sorrowe with him.
poore Gentleman, where did you leaue him?
farre from his fathers house.
doth his father loue him?
else he were vnnaturall.
doth he loue his Father?
Deerely, I will sweare for him.
will not his father helpe him?
Pam. He is
fearefull to charge him.
doost thou loue him?
Pam. As my
selfe: and deerest of any but your selfe.
will serue him?
wil giue it him, and thee as much more to accompany him.
will you not repent it when you knowe him?
I knowe he is not mine enemie, if he be thy friend: and if them louest
him, I will thinke nothing too deere for him?
Imagine it were my selfe:
I ought too deere for my Sonne, that could finde me out such a Daughter?
deere Father pardon my circumstance, and fauour my suite, your sonne is
the man: my Mistresse the Lady: and in the performance of your worde,
lies the hope of my comfort.
Saist thou mee so Boy? gramercie for thy merrie tale: I will be as good
as my worde to thee and better in my loue to thee: I will goe to her
with thee, and make vp the match for thee: Thy valour with her Beautie,
thy learning with her wit, thy honestie with her vertue, thy land with
her money, I hope shall make a happie coniunction: for though thou wert
a stranger, thou shalt be found no begger: and now thy Mother is dead,
and thy sister is married, I care not in my olde age to see a little of
the world with thee: but yet by the way, now thy wooing is past, for
thy willing let me tell thee: If shee gouerne thee, thou art gone: Lord
haue mercie vpon thee : and if shee will bee gouerned by thee, then
beware of a Fooles Paradice, for Women haue stomackes: and if they
cannot pranke, they will powte, if they bee faire they are either idle
or worse occupyed, if fowle eyther sullaine, or vncomfortable: if rich,
eyther proude or froward: if wittie, in daunger of humors: if
fantasticke, out of question Amorous: if young, wilful: if aged:
wayward: Now tell me how wilt thou chuse a wife? if thou fit not her
humor she wil frown, if she fit not thine, thou wilt fret, &
therfore though wit be gratious, & beautie be pretious, &
kindenes be comfortable, & vertue bee honorable, and wealth doe
wel, & loue be a wonderfull thing, & al this be in a woman,
yet, when vse makes wearines, & wearines makes loathsomnes,
& constancy is so cumbersom that it hinders much conte[n]tment:
when she falles deafe, or thou blinde, or she sicke, & thou poore,
or shee be of one minde or thou of an other, that complaintes must be
made, causes must be decided, quarrells must bee ended, enemies must be
reconciled, or parties parted, and how the[n]? when other thing then
hath bene talked of in the olde time, what then? swearing &
staring, scolding and brawling, cursing & banning, & crying: oh
fine life for a mad dog, when the childe bawles in the Cradle, the wife
brawles at the table, the nurse wralles in the kitchin, & the maide
mumbles in the seller, where are you then? in a pittifull wood; alas
the day that euer I did it: there is no helpe for it, & therefore
in time looke to it. if thy mistris be as thou saist, God keep her so:
if she be not & holde not, if thou saiest thou louest her, I pray
heartely that it holde it so: but hope saies the best, & I will
beleeue it, & feare saies the worst, & I wil defie it: onely
this my Sonne, let me tell thee touching the managing of a wife,
maintaining loue with a wife, & the assured notes of a louing wife
: & first for the managing of a wife note her yeres, her wit, her
disposition, & her acquaintance: if she be young, be careful but
not iealous of her, make not two beds with her, except in sickenes,
& that not fained: let her not want such co[m]pany, as you thinke
fit for her, for idlenes & solitarines, put many thoughts into a
womans head, that may anger her husband at the heart: why a dreame
sometime of vnkindenes will put strange passions into some womans head,
& therfore awake let her not be without company to exercise her
wits in good conference: least she be worse imploied in ill
cogitations: let her bee apparrelled to thy calling, but no further,
for feare of pride, & then a worse plague: let her feede holsomely,
but not to daintily: for, as snow engedreth haile, a licoris tongue
will haue a couetous minde: you know my meaning, let her wa[n]t no
necessaries, nor feede her with superfluities, welcome her frie[n]ds
that are honest, & keep her from tailing Gossips, make some
com[m]end her modesty in her bearing, but vnseene: cherish al good
humors in her: let her lacke no silk, cruell, threed, nor flaxe, to
worke on at her pleasure, force her to nothing, rather prettily chide
her fro[m] her labour, but in any wise commend what she doth: if she be
learned and studious, perswade her to translation, it will keepe her
from Idlenes, & it is a cunning kinde taske: if she bee vnlearned,
commend her huswifery, and make much of her carefulnesse, and bid her
feruants take example at their mistris: winke at an ill worde, at least
if it growe of ignorance: and sometime feede her humor, so it be not to
thine owne dishonour: let her vse thy purse but not be priuie to thy
state: If she bee giuen to play, take heede of a tricke, and if it be
at Tables, looke she beare not false: at boord be merrie with her,
abroad kinde to her, alwaies louing to her, and neuer bitter to her:
for patient Grizell is dead long agoe, and women are flesh and blood,
though some haue little wit & reason : if she bee wise obserue her,
if vertuous loue her, if kinde requite her, & if constant make too
much of her, for she is a Iewell, and more worth then you can imagine
her: beleeue me Sonne what I tell thee, for I haue daunced the daunce
before thee, and though I will not blowe the horne to thee, yet if thou
hunt a good chase, I can teach thee : Tush though Boyes be mad wagges,
yet an olde Dogge bites sore: and therefore, my good Boy, heare and
note what I tell thee: thou wilt finde it will be good for thee: if she
coll kisse thee, and hang on thy lippes, take heede shee doe not
flatter thee, and looke who is behinde thee: if she powte, and lowre at
thee, she meanes no good to thee: words of course may be good, but
course wordes are naught: take heede of a leering eye, and glibbe
tongue, for they are commonly like a crosse-bowe, soone bent: take
heede of a proud spirit and a fowle mouth, for they are moste of them
eyther costlye, or vnquiet: take heede of a swearer & a drunkard,
for they will surely bring thee to distruction : but what neede I to
giue thee warning of these woes, when thou hast made a choice of so
many comforts ? & therefore I will onely hope the best, and beleeue
it, and helpe thee in what i can to it.
good Father, how much I holde my selfe bound to your kindenes, I cannot
expresse, but will endeuour in my duetie to make you finde: for though
I am assuredly perswaded of my iudgement, yet shall my wit giue place
to your experience: and such and so manie are the merrie trickes of
these daies, that foure paire of spectacles will scarcely helpe one
paire of eyes, to see clearely into the true constancie of a kinde
woman: for though in my mistris, I hope it is not so, yet naturally in
many, it is so: they haue strange humors in painting their faces, in
borrowing their hayres, & changing their mindes: why, sure I thinke
they are madde, when they thinke themselues wise: when running from God
to the Deuill, they can cuckolde their husbands with knaues, though
sometime money makes such matches, that Beggers liue better liues: and
it is a fine iest, to see how the deuil teacheth them, to excuse their
owne sin, as thus: flesh is fraile, these wicked men are ful of
temptation, and my husband is such a, and so foorth : but this will not
serue, when time shall serue, that they shall answere for their seruice
to God, and their husbands: but I hope mine is not so, nor will prooue
so: nor any honest husband is so ill wiued, nor any honest wife so ill
minded: tis but a tale surmised to wrong poore Wenches, and fright
poore fooles, and therefore such as are good, God holde them so, and
such as are to blame let them doe no more so.
Boy say I to: but I doubt the worse, there will be trickes in the
world, that euerie man shall not bee acquainted with: but since we are
entred into this same loue-talke, though it bee a matter past my reach
many yere agoe, yet to refresh an olde wit, let me aske thee one
many as please you.
loue be in the world, where dost thou thinke he liues?
mens hearts and womens eyes.
is that found?
womens tongues, and mens wits.
their eyes speake kindely, & mens wits, that are carried away with
Whither are they carried?
what to doe?
it so in all?
the moste part.
then is it with thee?
otherwise: for when you shal see the subiect of my choice, I doubt not
but you will say, if there be a Phoenix in a woman, and an Angell in an
earthly creature, she is one.
but Sonne, speake neither poetically, nor prophanely, for the Phoenix
is but a fiction, and an Angel is a heauenly creature, if it bee a good
one, or else I know not what to say to it, whether it may bee in a
woma[n] or not: for let me tel thee, a woma[n] being the weaker vessel,
I wonder how (hauing a stronger spirit then her husbands) she doth not
burst with the force of it?
no, as you say, it may be a worse spirit then her owne that doth haunt
her but by fits, to trie her husbands patience, which being found, puts
the furie to flight, and then she becomes her selfe againe: but from
such spirits in women that vse men thus, good Lord deliuer vs.
say I boy, for thy sake, for I haue done with them: but tel me now the
reason of patience, why, a man that sees his miserie, knowes his abuse,
and will abide it, why hee shold so befoole himselfe to disgest it.
Because, in seeking to help himselfe, he may hurt himself, & of two
euils the least is to be chose[n], for shame cannot be recouered,
griefe cannot bee put oft, murther cannot be answered, & therefore
a fault must be winked at: and in time either age or weakenes, wil make
the[m] wearie of it that vse it, and then repentance makes the perfect
Vertue is a diuine guifte, and euerie one hath it not: Chastitie is
good for Alcamistrie, but that is a long studie: wisdome liues but with
a few, and therefore a great many must be borne withall, and honestie
is such a Iewell, that there is little money to bee gotten by it: and
yet there are wise, and faire, rich, and vertuous women, and make men
happie that can happen on them: among which it may bee that your
mistris may be, and I hope will bee one of them.
Father doubt it not, for a staied eye, a naturall beautie, a soft
speech, a straite proportion, a gratious gesture, and an humble minde,
shewe a true heart, a good wit, a blessed soule, and an excellent
creature, and such is my Mistresse.
yet a staied eye, may haue a strange sight, a blushing cheeke, an ill
fore-head, a softe speech, a slye meaning, and an humble minde, a
couered crafte: but so I hope hath not your mistris.
Oh no, varietie of knowledge, solitarie waikes, holy obseruance and
necessarie exercise: shew a carefull wit, a contemplatiue spirit, a
zealous heart, and an industrious minde, and such hath my mistris.
And yet varietie may breede vanitie, solitarines may shadowe pride,
holy shewes may hide hipocricie, and exercise may prooue cunning: but
such I hope is not your mistris.
Father, vertue and vanitie, are odde, Solitarines and pride are of a
contrarie humor, holines & Ipocricie, are contraries, and labour
and crafte are of sundrie natures, and my mistris and an ordinarie
creature are different in their dispositions: and therefore I beseech
you, if you speake of the best sorte, let her not be left out, & if
of the worst, thinke not of her name, for she hath no place in their
like thee well boy, I see perswasion doth well in affection, thou wilt
stand for thy Mistris against the whole world: it is well done, for if
shee bee worthie thy praise sticke to her, if thou bee worthy her
fauour, neuer leaue her: but now leauing this loue tale till wee come
where the matter is further to be talked of, let me haue an other bowte
with you, for a lew points of your opinion touching certaine
propositions, that I meane to make you.
father your Sonne will bee ready to performe his best to your pleasure:
& therefore say what shall please you.
me then, if you must leaue your father, or your mistris, which would
Because I may haue such an other mistris, but such an other father I
if your Mistris were your wife, how then?
must leaue Father and mother, and cleaue to my wife.
you must loose your land or your loue, which would you?
Land: for I may purchase other Land but I cannot purchase such an other
you were without a wife, you may bee rich, and by a wife shall bee
poore: which will you?
wife for Godlines is great riches to him that is content with that he
you may bee wise, and will
not, and would be wise and
cannot, which would you chuse?
Pam. The may be, for where there is power,
wee may be perswaded, but where there is no power, will is not to be
example teach you, & you conceaue it not, or if you conceiue it,
and regarde it not, which is the worse?
to conceaue, for will is sooner cured then wit, of any imperfection.
Chre. If a
friend deceaue you, & an enemie help you, whome will you loue best?
friend; for they doe both againe their wils, and the one out of no
good, the other out of no euill minde.
much for a friend and a wife: Now to other matters: what dost thou
thinke moste needefull in the world?
Honestie there is so little of it, that it is in fewe mens hands.
what least needefull?
Villanie, there is so much, that many ha[n]g for it.
is moste comfortable in the world?
for it maintaines life.
Money, for it gaines thousands.
for it spendes much.
Which is the vylest creature in the world?
Cucko, for she kiles the sparow that hatcht her.
which the kindest?
Pellican, for she killes herselfe to feede her young.
is the truest louer in the world?
Turtle, for she neuer changeth whome she chuseth.
Which is the most dogged bird in the world?
Turkey-Cocke for he beates his hen whe he hath troden her.
which is the most foolish bird?
Woodcocke, for she is euer shewing her taile.
Which is the best beast in the world?
Vnicorne, for his horne killeth poyson, & he neuer hurteth a Virgin.
Which is the most stately?
The Lyon, because he stoopes all other with his looke.
Which is the most craftie?
Foxe, when he scapes the huntsman.
what the strangest?
Ape, because he is like a man.
which is the most monstrous Beast?
wittoll, because he hath a world of hornes.
said, which is the nimblest beast in the world?
Camelion, for hee can turne himselfe into diuerse colours in an instant.
Which is the most profitable beast in the world?
Oxe, for when he hath drawne al the yeare, he will make beefe against
is the moste vnprofitable Beast?
Wolfe, for he is good for nothing while he liues, nor dead, but for his
Which is the sweetest Beast of the world?
which is the moste vnsweet?
dogge when he hath eaten carrion.
Well, thus I see thou art able to answere mee to good purpose, to
whatsoeuer I shall propound thee: but leauing this ticktacke, shall we
goe to some other game?
let mee bee merrie with thee: and to my questions answere me
Pam. As I
can without offence.
first to your Gramer rules, howe many parts of speech are there ?
to speake well or speake ill.
is a nowne substantiue?
rich man, for hee can stand alone without helpe.
Begger, that liues of almes, for hee cannot stand alone.
is a Verbe?
for when you haue declined it to the ful, it makes nothing but a noise:
for it hath no substace.
leauing further to speak of these groundes of learning, let me aske
you, when an english is giuen to be made in Latine, what is to bee done
harme, if it be well made.
doe the Nominatiue case, and the verbe agree
Better then many neighbours, that can hardlye liue togither.
vnderstand you the Plurall number in one person?
wayes: one in haec homo the common of two or three: or in a Wench great
with childe, before she knowe her husband.
make you a figure of a Cipher?
Whe[n] a foole keepes a place among wise men.
howe a Cipher of a figure?
Pam. Of a
wisema[n] without money: for a purse without money is a body without
figure you a Gerunde?
hope, euer dooing, and neuer done.
how a Participle?
happe, done well or ill.
how make you a broken number?
sighes, and sobbes.
how a full point?
the graue: because I can goe no further at least in this world.
good place for them that Walke right, but for other, it is a some gate
to a heauie house: but leauing those pointes to men of more diuine
studies, let vs a little more talke of the course of the worlde: and
tell mee what is the reason, why one man that hath no wit, shal haue
much money, and an other that is verie wise, can get little?
the one hath gotten vnderstanding, and the other hath gotten to stand
Indeede thou saiest well, the wise man stands ouer, and the couetous
standes vnder his money: but tell me thy opinion, why should a knaue
prosper, and an honest man goe downe the winde?
Because the one seekes his paradice heere and the other in an other
doost thou thinke moste beautifull in the world?
what moste vncomfortable on the earth?
what most pleasing to nature?
what moste grieuous?
is the best substance of a Sillogisme?
what the best proofe of a good wit?
saiest well, but I feare I trouble thee with to manie questions, and
therefore not to trie thee too much, I wil onely tell thee a word or
two, of my opinion of the world, and so we will goe into supper.
thanke you sir: I shall be glad to heare it, and hope, not hastily to
will tell thee: I thinke the world, a maze of wit, a walke of will, a
trouble of reason, a poyson of nature, an enemie of rest, a labour of
man, a Laborinthe of time, a wildernesse of creatures, and a pilgrimage
of patience: where the wise gouerne best, and the wicked thriue moste,
the rich haue moste power, and the poore most miserie: where pride
makes her triumphe, vanitie selles her wares, folly hunts after
fortune, and honour followes wealth: where children haue long breeding,
Women bring charge, & men Trauaile toward death: Learning breedes
studdie, Arte breedes labour, and Sickenesse weakenesse: the Sea is
daungerous, the Aire infectious, the earth laborous, and the fier is
terrible: In summe, no felicitie in it nor happines, but to leaue it,
& therefore, when thou hast as wel past it as I, and knowest it as
I doe, Cœlum virtutis patria, et
non est hic mihi mundus: Heauen is vertues Countrie, and heere
is no world for me: but for that them art young, and some things are to
be done in this world (I hope) before thou shalt goe out of it, I will
first prouide for thy content in the happie course of thy wished
comfort, & then leaue thee to the heauenly contemplation of thy
spirits happinesse: but I see my seruant comming towards vs; the
messenger of my stomackes attendance, and the Sunne is toward his
declination, and therefore for this time I will trouble thee no
further, but onely reioyce in thy happie health, and that I haue heard
from thee: I see it is euen supper time, and therefore let vs away.
will wayte vpon you.
F I N I S.
for Edward VVhite, and are
solde at his Shop neere the
little North-doore of S. Paules
Church, at the Signe of the