Natural beauty is a stronger loadstone of itself, as you have heard, a great temptation, and pierceth to the very heart; forma verecundæ, nocuit mihi visa puellæ; but much more when those artificial enticements and provocations of gestures, clothes, jewels, pigments, exornations, shall be annexed unto it; those other circumstances, opportunity of time and place shall concur, which of themselves alone were all sufficient, each one in particular to produce this effect. It is a question much controverted by some wise men, forma debeat plus arti an naturæ? Whether natural or artificial objects be more powerful? but not decided: for my part I am of opinion, that though beauty itself be a great motive, and give an excellent lustre in sordibus, in beggary, as a jewel on a dunghill will shine and cast his rays, it cannot be suppressed, which Heliodorus feigns of Chariclia, though she were in beggar's weeds: yet as it is used, artificial is of more force, and much to be preferred.
"Sic dentata sibi videtur Ægle,
Emptis ossibus Indicoque cornu;
Sic quæ nigrior est cadente moro,
Cerussata sibi placet Lychoris."
"So toothless Ægle seems a pretty one,
Set out with new-bought teeth of Indy bone:
So foul Lychoris blacker than berry
Herself admires, now finer than cherry."
John Lerius the Burgundian, cap. 8. hist. navigat. in Brazil. is altogether on my side. For whereas (saith he) at our coming to Brazil, we found both men and women naked as they were born, without any covering, so much as of their privities, and could not be persuaded, by our Frenchmen that lived a year with them, to wear any, "Many will think that our so long commerce with naked women, must needs be a great provocation to lust;" but he concludes otherwise, that their nakedness did much less entice them to lasciviousness, than our women's clothes. "And I dare boldly affirm" (saith he) "that those glittering attires, counterfeit colours, headgears, curled hairs, plaited coats, cloaks, gowns, costly stomachers, guarded and loose garments, and all those other accoutrements, wherewith our countrywomen counterfeit a beauty, and so curiously set out themselves, cause more inconvenience in this kind, than that barbarian homeliness, although they be no whit inferior unto them in beauty. I could evince the truth of this by many other arguments, but I appeal" (saith he) "to my companions at that present, which were all of the same mind." His countryman, Montague, in his essays, is of the same opinion, and so are many others; out of whose assertions thus much in brief we may conclude, that beauty is more beholden to art than nature, and stronger provocations proceed from outward ornaments, than such as nature hath provided. It is true that those fair sparkling eyes, white neck, coral lips, turgent paps, rose-coloured cheeks, &c., of themselves are potent enticers; but when a comely, artificial, well-composed look, pleasing gesture, an affected carriage shall be added, it must needs be far more forcible than it was, when those curious needleworks, variety of colours, purest dyes, jewels, spangles, pendants, lawn, lace, tiffanies, fair and fine linen, embroideries, calamistrations, ointments, etc. shall be added, they will make the veriest dowdy otherwise, a goddess, when nature shall be furthered by art. For it is not the eye of itself that enticeth to lust, but an "adulterous eye," as Peter terms it, 2. ii. 14. a wanton, a rolling, lascivious eye: a wandering eye, which Isaiah taxeth, iii. 16. Christ himself, and the Virgin Mary, had most beautiful eyes, as amiable eyes as any persons, saith Baradius, that ever lived, but withal so modest, so chaste, that whosoever looked on them was freed from that passion of burning lust, if we may believe Gerson and Bonaventure: there was no such antidote against it, as the Virgin Mary's face; 'tis not the eye, but carriage of it, as they use it, that causeth such effects. When Pallas, Juno, Venus, were to win Paris' favour for the golden apple, as it is elegantly described in that pleasant interlude of Apuleius, Juno came with majesty upon the stage, Minerva gravity, but Venus dulce subridens, constitit amæne; et gratissimæ, Graticæ deam propitiantes, &c. came in smiling with her gracious graces and exquisite music, as if she had danced, et nonnunquam saltare solis oculis, and which was the main matter of all, she danced with her rolling eyes: they were the brokers and harbingers of her suite. So she makes her brags in a modern poet,
"Soon could I make my brow to tyrannise,
And force the world do homage to mine eyes."
The eye is a secret orator, the first bawd, Amoris porta, and with private looks, winking, glances and smiles, as so many dialogues they make up the match many times, and understand one another's meanings, before they come to speak a word. Euryalus and Lucretia were so mutually enamoured by the eye, and prepared to give each other entertainment, before ever they had conference: he asked her good will with his eyes; she did suffragari, and gave consent with a pleasant look. That Thracian Rodolphe was so excellent at this dumb rhetoric, "that if she had but looked upon any one almost" (saith Calisiris) "she would have bewitched him, and he could not possibly escape it." For as Salvianus observes, "the eyes are the windows of our souls, by which as so many channels, all dishonest concupiscence gets into our hearts." They reveal our thoughts, and as they say, frons animi index, but the eye of the countenance, Quid procacibus intuere ocellis? &c. I may say the same of smiling, gait, nakedness of parts, plausible gestures, &c. To laugh is the proper passion of a man, an ordinary thing to smile; but those counterfeit, composed, affected, artificial and reciprocal, those counter-smiles are the dumb shows and prognostics of greater matters, which they most part use, to inveigle and deceive; though many fond lovers again are so frequently mistaken, and led into a fool's paradise. For if they see but a fair maid laugh, or show a pleasant countenance, use some gracious words or gestures, they apply it all to themselves, as done in their favour; sure she loves them, she is willing, coming, &c.
"Stultus quando videt quod pulchra puellula ridet,
Tum fatuus credit se quod amare velit:"
"When a fool sees a fair maid for to smile,
He thinks she loves him, 'tis but to beguile."
They make an art of it, as the poet telleth us,
"Quis credat? discunt etiam ridere puellæ,
Quæritur atque illis hac quoque parte decor."
"Who can believe? to laugh maids make an art,
And seek a pleasant grace to that same part."
And 'tis as great an enticement as any of the rest,
--"subrisit molle puella,
Cor tibi rite salit."
"She makes thine heart leap with a pleasing gentle smile of hers."
"Dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo,
"I love Lalage as much for smiling, as for discoursing," delectata illa risit tam blandum, as he said in Petronius of his mistress, being well pleased, she gave so sweet a smile. It won Ismenias, as he confesseth, Ismene subrisit amatorium, Ismene smiled so lovingly the second time I saw her, that I could not choose but admire her: and Galla's sweet smile quite overcame Faustus the shepherd, Me aspiciens motis blande subrisit ocellis. All other gestures of the body will enforce as much. Daphnis in Lucian was a poor tattered wench when I knew her first, said Corbile, pannosa et Zacera, but now she is a stately piece indeed, hath her maids to attend her, brave attires, money in her purse, &c., and will you know how this came to pass? "by setting out herself after the best fashion, by her pleasant carriage, affability, sweet smiling upon all," &c. Many women dote upon a man for his compliment only, and good behaviour, they are won in an instant; too credulous to believe that every light wanton suitor, who sees or makes love to them, is instantly enamoured, he certainly dotes on, admires them, will surely marry, when as he means nothing less, 'tis his ordinary carriage in all such companies. So both delude each other by such outward shows; and amongst the rest, an upright, a comely grace, courtesies, gentle salutations, cringes, a mincing gait, a decent and an affected pace, are most powerful enticers, and which the prophet Isaiah, a courtier himself, and a great observer, objected to the daughters of Zion, iii. 16. "they minced as they went, and made a tinkling with their feet." To say the truth, what can they not effect by such means?
"Whilst nature decks them in their best attires
Of youth and beauty which the world admires."
Urit -- voce, manu, gressu, pectore, fronte, oculis. When art shall be annexed to beauty, when wiles and guiles shall concur; for to speak as it is, love is a kind of legerdemain; mere juggling, a fascination. When they show their fair hand, fine foot and leg withal, magnum sui desiderium nobis relinquunt, saith Balthazar Castilio, lib. 1. they set us a longing, "and so when they pull up their petticoats, and outward garments," as usually they do to show their fine stockings, and those of purest silken dye, gold fringes, laces, embroiderings, (it shall go hard but when they go to church, or to any other place, all shall be seen) 'tis but a springe to catch woodcocks; and as Chrysostom telleth them downright, "though they say nothing with their mouths, they speak in their gait, they speak with their eyes, they speak in the carriage of their bodies." And what shall we say otherwise of that baring of their necks, shoulders, naked breasts, arms and wrists, to what end are they but only to tempt men to lust!
"Nam quid lacteolus sinus, et ipsas
Præ te fers sine linteo papillas?
Hoc est dicere, posce, posce, trado;
Hoc est ad Venerem vocare amantes."
(Jovianus Pontanus Baiar. lib. 1. ad Hermionem. "For why do you exhibit your 'milky way,' your uncovered bosoms? What else is it but to say plainly. Ask me, ask me, I will surrender; and what is that but love's call?")
There needs no more, as Fredericus Matenesius well observes, but a crier to go before them so dressed, to bid us look out, a trumpet to sound, or for defect a sow-gelder to blow,
"Look out, look out and see
What object this may be
That doth perstringe mine eye;
A gallant lady goes
In rich and gaudy clothes,
But whither away God knows,--look out, &c., et quæ sequuntur,"
or to what end and purpose? But to leave all these fantastical raptures, I'll prosecute my intended theme. Nakedness, as I have said, is an odious thing of itself, remedium amoris; yet it may be so used, in part, and at set times, that there can be no such enticement as it is;
"Nec mihi cincta Diana placet, nec nuda
Cythere, Illa voluptatis nil habet, hæc nimium."
David so espied Bathsheba, the elders Susanna: Apelles was enamoured with Campaspe, when he was to paint her naked. Tiberius in Suet. cap. 42. supped with Sestius Gallus an old lecher, libidinoso sene, ea lege ut nudæ puellæ administrarent; some say as much of Nero, and Pontus Huter of Carolus Pugnax. Amongst the Babylonians, it was the custom of some lascivious queans to dance frisking in that fashion, saith Curtius lib. 5. and Sardus de mor. gent. lib. 1. writes of others to that effect. The Tuscans at some set banquets had naked women to attend upon them, which Leonicus de Varia hist. lib. 3. cap. 96. confirms of such other bawdy nations. Nero would have filthy pictures still hanging in his chamber, which is too commonly used in our times, and Heliogabalus, etiam coram agentes, ut ad venerem incitarent: So things may be abused. A servant maid in Aristænetus spied her master and mistress through the key-hole merrily disposed; upon the sight she fell in love with her master. Antoninus Caracalla observed his mother-in-law with her breasts amorously laid open, he was so much moved, that he said, Ah si liceret, O that I might; which she by chance overhearing, replied as impudently, Quicquid libet licet, thou mayst do what thou wilt: and upon that temptation he married her: this object was not in cause, not the thing itself, but that unseemly, indecent carriage of it.
When you have all done, veniunt a veste sagittæ, the greatest provocations of lust are from our apparel; God makes, they say, man shapes, and there is no motive like unto it;
"Which doth even beauty beautify,
And most bewitch a wretched eye,"
a filthy knave, a deformed quean, a crooked carcass, a maukin, a witch, a rotten post, a hedgestake may be so set out and tricked up, that it shall make as fair a show, as much enamour as the rest: many a silly fellow is so taken. Primum luxuriæ, aucupium, one calls it, the first snare of lust; Bossus aucupium animarum, lethalem arundinem, a fatal reed, the greatest bawd, forte lenocinium, sanguineis lachrymis deplorandum, saith Matenesius, and with tears of blood to be deplored. Not that comeliness of clothes is therefore to be condemned, and those usual ornaments: there is a decency and decorum in this as well as in other things, fit to be used, becoming several persons, and befitting their estates; he is only fantastical that is not in fashion, and like an old image in arras hangings, when a manner of attire is generally received; but when they are so new-fangled, so unstaid, so prodigious in their attires, beyond their means and fortunes, unbefitting their age, place, quality, condition, what should we otherwise think of them? Why do they adorn themselves with so many colours of herbs, fictitious flowers, curious needleworks, quaint devices, sweet-smelling odours, with those inestimable riches of precious stones, pearls, rubies, diamonds, emeralds, &c.? Why do they crown themselves with gold and silver, use coronets and tires of several fashions, deck themselves with pendants, bracelets, earrings, chains, girdles, rings, pins, spangles, embroideries, shadows, rebatoes, versicolour ribands? why do they make such glorious shows with their scarves, feathers, fans, masks, furs, laces, tiffanies, ruffs, falls, calls, cuffs, damasks, velvets, tinsels, cloth of gold, silver, tissue? with colours of heavens, stars, planets: the strength of metals, stones, odours, flowers, birds, beasts, fishes, and whatsoever Africa, Asia, America, sea, land, art, and industry of man can afford? Why do they use and covet such novelty of inventions; such new-fangled tires, and spend such inestimable sums on them? "To what end are those crisped, false hairs, painted faces," as the satirist observes, "such a composed gait, not a step awry?" Why are they like so many Sybarites, or Nero's Poppæa, Ahasuerus' concubines, so costly, so long a dressing, as Cæsar was marshalling his army, or a hawk in pruning? Dum moliuntur, dum comuntur annus est: (Ter. "They take a year to deck and comb themselves.") a gardener takes not so much delight and pains in his garden, a horseman to dress his horse, scour his armour, a mariner about his ship, a merchant his shop and shop-book, as they do about their faces, and all those other parts: such setting up with corks, straightening with whalebones; why is it, but as a day-net catcheth larks, to make young men stoop unto them? Philocharus, a gallant in Aristenætus, advised his friend Poliænus to take heed of such enticements, "for it was the sweet sound and motion of his mistress's spangles and bracelets, the smell of her ointments, that captivated him first," Illa fuit mentis prima ruina meæ. Quid sibi vult pixidum turba, saith Lucian, "to what use are pins, pots, glasses, ointments, irons, combs, bodkins, setting-sticks? why bestow they all their patrimonies and husbands' yearly revenues on such fooleries?" bina patrimonia singulis auribus; "why use they dragons, wasps, snakes, for chains, enamelled jewels on their necks, ears?" dignum potius foret ferro manus istas religari, atque utinam monilia vere dracones essent; they had more need some of them be tied in bedlam with iron chains, have a whip for a fan, and hair-cloths next to their skins, and instead of wrought smocks, have their cheeks stigmatised with a hot iron: I say, some of our Jezebels, instead of painting, if they were well served. But why is all this labour, all this cost, preparation, riding, running, far-fetched, and dear bought stuff? "Because forsooth they would be fair and fine, and where nature, is defective, supply it by art." Sanguine quæ vero non rubet, arte rubet, (Ovid) ; and to that purpose they anoint and paint their faces, to make Helen of Hecuba -- parvamque exortamque puellam -- Europen. ("A distorted dwarf, an Europa.") To this intent they crush in their feet and bodies, hurt and crucify themselves, sometimes in lax-clothes, a hundred yards I think in a gown, a sleeve; and sometimes again so close, ut nudos exprimant artus. Now long tails and trains, and then short, up, down, high, low, thick, thin, &c.; now little or no bands, then as big as cart wheels; now loose bodies, then great farthingales and close girt, &c. Why is all this, but with the whore in the Proverbs, to intoxicate some or other? oculorum decipulam, one therefore calls it, et indicem libidinis, the trap of lust, and sure token, as an ivy-bush is to a tavern.
"Quod pulchros Glycere sumas de pixide vultus,
Quod tibi compositæ nec sine lege comæ:
Quod niteat digitis adamas, Beryllus in aure,
Non sum divinus, sed scio quid cupias."
"O Glycere, in that you paint so much,
Your hair is so bedeckt in order such.
With rings on fingers, bracelets in your ear,
Although no prophet, tell I can, I fear."
To be admired, to be gazed on, to circumvent some novice; as many times they do, that instead of a lady he loves a cap and a feather, instead of a maid that should have verum colorem, corpus solidum et succi plenum (as Chærea describes his mistress in the poet) , a painted face, a ruff-band, fair and fine linen, a coronet, a flower, ( Naturæque putat quod fuit artificis,) a wrought waistcoat he dotes on, or a pied petticoat, a pure dye instead of a proper woman. For generally, as with rich-furred conies, their cases are far better than their bodies, and like the bark of a cinnamon, tree, which is dearer than the whole bulk, their outward accoutrements are far more precious than their inward endowments. 'Tis too commonly so.
"Auferimur cultu, et gemmis, auroque teguntur
Omnia; pars minima est ipsa puella sui."
"With gold and jewels all is covered,
And with a strange tire we are won,
(While she's the least part of herself)
And with such baubles quite undone."
Why do they keep in so long together, a whole winter sometimes, and will not be seen but by torch or candlelight, and come abroad with all the preparation may be, when they have no business, but only to show themselves? Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsæ.
"For what is beauty if it be not seen,
Or what is't to be seen if not admir'd,
And though admir'd, unless in love desir'd?"
why do they go with such counterfeit gait, which Philo Judeus reprehends them for, and use (I say it again) such gestures, apish, ridiculous, indecent attires, sybaritical tricks, fucos genis, purpurissam venis, cerussam fronti, leges occulis, &c. use those sweet perfumes, powders and ointments in public; flock to hear sermons so frequent, is it for devotion? or rather, as Basil tells them, to meet their sweethearts, and see fashions; for, as he saith, commonly they come so provided to that place, with such curious compliments, with such gestures and tires, as if they should go to a dancing-school, a stage-play, or bawdy-house, fitter than a church.
"When such a she-priest comes her mass to say,
Twenty to one they all forget to pray."
"They make those holy temples, consecrated to godly martyrs and religious uses, the shops of impudence, dens of whores and thieves, and little better than brothel houses." When we shall see these things daily done, their husbands bankrupts, if not cornutos, their wives light housewives, daughters dishonest; and hear of such dissolute acts, as daily we do, how should we think otherwise? what is their end, but to deceive and inveigle young men? As tow takes fire, such enticing objects produce their effect, how can it be altered? When Venus stood before Anchises (as Homer feigns in one of his hymns) in her costly robes, he was instantly taken,
"Cum ante ipsum staret Jovis filia, videns eam
Anchises, admirabatur formam, et stupendas vestes;
Erat enim induta peplo, igneis radiis spiendidiore;
Habebat quoque torques fulgidos, flexiles hælices,
Tenerum collum ambiebant monilia pulchra, Aurea, variegata." --
"When Venus stood before Anchises first,
He was amaz'd to see her in her tires;
For she had on a hood as red as fire,
And glittering chains, and ivy-twisted spires,
About her tender neck were costly brooches,
And necklaces of gold, enamell'd ouches."
So when Medea came in presence of Jason first, attended by her nymphs and ladies, as she is described by Apollonius,
"Cunctas vero ignis instar sequebatur splendor,
Tantum ab aureis fimbriis resplendebat jubar,
Accenditque in oculis dulce desiderium."
"A lustre followed them like flaming fire,
And from their golden borders came such beams,
Which in his eyes provok'd a sweet desire."
Such a relation we have in Plutarch, when the queens came and offered themselves to Antony, "with diverse presents, and enticing ornaments, Asiatic allurements, with such wonderful joy and festivity, they did so inveigle the Romans, that no man could contain himself, all was turned to delight and pleasure. The women transformed themselves to Bacchus shapes, the men-children to Satyrs and Pans; but Antony himself was quite besotted with Cleopatra's sweet speeches, philters, beauty, pleasing tires: for when she sailed along the river Cydnus, with such incredible pomp in a gilded ship, herself dressed like Venus, her maids like the Graces, her pages like so many Cupids, Antony was amazed, and rapt beyond himself." Heliodorus, lib. 1. brings in Dameneta, stepmother to Cnemon, "whom she saw in his scarves, rings, robes, and coronet, quite mad for the love of him." It was Judith's pantofles that ravished the eyes of Holofernes. And Cardan is not ashamed to confess, that seeing his wife the first time all in white, he did admire and instantly love her. If these outward ornaments were not of such force, why doth Naomi give Ruth counsel how to please Boaz? and Judith, seeking to captivate Holofernes, washed and anointed herself with sweet ointments, dressed her hair, and put on costly attires. The riot in this kind hath been excessive in times past; no man almost came abroad, but curled and anointed,
"Et matutino suadans Crispinus amomo.
Quantum vix redolent duo funera."
"one spent as much as two funerals at once, and with perfumed hairs," et rosa canos odorati capillos Assyriaque nardo. What strange thing doth Sueton. relate in this matter of Caligula's riot? And Pliny, lib. 12. & 13. Read more in Dioscorides, Ulmus, Arnoldus, Randoletius de fuco et decoratione; for it is now an art, as it was of old, (so Seneca records) officinæ, sunt adores coquentium. Women are bad and men worse, no difference at all between their and our times; "good manners" (as Seneca complains) "are extinct with wantonness, in tricking up themselves men go beyond women, they wear harlots' colours, and do not walk, but jet and dance," hic mulier, hæc vir, more like players, butterflies, baboons, apes, antics, than men. So ridiculous, moreover, we are in our attires, and for cost so excessive, that as Hierome said of old, Uno filio villarum insunt pretia, uno lino decies sestertium inseritur; 'tis an ordinary thing to put a thousand oaks and a hundred oxen into a suit of apparel, to wear a whole manor on his back. What with shoe-ties, hangers, points, caps and feathers, scarves, bands, curls, &c., in a short space their whole patrimonies are consumed. Heliogabalus is taxed by Lampridius, and admired in his age for wearing jewels in his shoes, a common thing in our times, not for emperors and princes, but almost for serving men and tailors; all the flowers, stars, constellations, gold and precious stones do condescend to set out their shoes. To repress the luxury of those Roman matrons, there was Lex Valeria and Oppia, and a Cato to contradict; but no laws will serve to repress the pride and insolency of our days, the prodigious riot in this kind. Lucullus's wardrobe is put down by our ordinary citizens; and a cobbler's wife in Venice, a courtesan in Florence, is no whit inferior to a queen, if our geographers say true: and why is all this? "Why do they glory in their jewels" (as he saith) "or exult and triumph in the beauty of clothes? why is all this cost? to incite men the sooner to burning lust." They pretend decency and ornament; but let them take heed, that while they set out their bodies they do not damn their souls; 'tis Bernard's counsel: "shine in jewels, stink in conditions; have purple robes, and a torn conscience." Let them take heed of Isaiah's prophecy, that their slippers and attires be not taken from them, sweet balls, bracelets, earrings, veils, wimples, crisping-pins, glasses, fine linen, hoods, lawns, and sweet savours, they become not bald, burned, and stink upon a sudden. And let maids beware, as Cyprian adviseth, "that while they wander too loosely abroad, they lose not their virginities:" and like Egyptian temples, seem fair without, but prove rotten carcases within. How much better were it for them to follow that good counsel of Tertullian? "To have their eyes painted with chastity, the Word of God inserted into their ears, Christ's yoke tied to the hair, to subject themselves to their husbands. If they would do so, they should be comely enough, clothe themselves with the silk of sanctity, damask of devotion, purple of piety and chastity, and so painted, they shall have God himself to be a suitor: let whores and queans prank up themselves, let them paint their faces with minion and ceruse, they are but fuels of lust, and signs of a corrupt soul: if ye be good, honest, virtuous, and religious matrons, let sobriety, modesty and chastity be your honour, and God himself your love and desire." Mulier recte olet, ubi nihil olet, then a woman smells best, when she hath no perfume at all; no crown, chain, or jewel (Guivarra adds) is such an ornament to a virgin, or virtuous woman, quam virgini pudor, as chastity is: more credit in a wise man's eye and judgment they get by their plainness, and seem fairer than they that are set out with baubles, as a butcher's meat is with pricks, puffed up, and adorned like so many jays with variety of colours. It is reported of Cornelia, that virtuous Roman lady, great Scipio's daughter, Titus Sempronius' wife, and the mother of the Gracchi, that being by chance in company with a companion, a strange gentlewoman (some light housewife belike, that was dressed like a May lady, and, as most of our gentlewomen are, "was more solicitous of her head-tire than of her health, that spent her time between a comb and a glass, and had rather be fair than honest" (as Cato said) , "and have the commonwealth turned topsy-turvy than her tires marred;") and she did nought but brag of her fine robes and jewels, and provoked the Roman matron to show hers: Cornelia kept her in talk till her children came from school, and these, said she, are my jewels, and so deluded and put off a proud, vain, fantastical, housewife. How much better were it for our matrons to do as she did, to go civilly and decently, Honestæ mulieris instar quæ utitur auro pro eo quod est, ad ea tantum quibus opus est, to use gold as it is gold, and for that use it serves, and when they need it, than to consume it in riot, beggar their husbands, prostitute themselves, inveigle others, and peradventure damn their own souls? How much more would it be for their honour and credit? Thus doing, as Hierom said of Blesilla, "Furius did not so triumph over the Gauls, Papyrius of the Samnites, Scipio of Numantia, as she did by her temperance;" pulla semper veste, &c., they should insult and domineer over lust, folly, vainglory, all such inordinate, furious and unruly passions.
But I am over tedious, I confess, and whilst I stand gaping after fine clothes, there is another great allurement, (in the world's eye at least) which had like to have stolen out of sight, and that is money, veniunt a dote sagittæ, money makes the match; Μονον αργυρον βλεπουσιν (Monon argyron blepoysin) : 'tis like sauce to their meat, cum carne condimentum, a good dowry with a wife. Many men if they do hear but of a great portion, a rich heir, are more mad than if they had all the beauteous ornaments, and those good parts art and nature can afford, they care not for honesty, bringing up, birth, beauty, person, but for money.
"Canes et equos (o Cyrne) quærimus
Nobiles, et a bona progenie;
Malam vero uxorem, malique patris filiam
Ducere non curat vir bonus,
Modo ei magnam dotem afferat,"
"Our dogs and horses still from the best breed
We carefully seek, and well may they speed:
But for our wives, so they prove wealthy,
Fair or foul, we care not what they be."
If she be rich, then she is fair, fine, absolute and perfect, then they burn like fire, they love her dearly, like pig and pie, and are ready to hang themselves if they may not have her. Nothing so familiar in these days, as for a young man to marry an old wife, as they say, for a piece of gold; asinum auro onustum; and though she be an old crone, and have never a tooth in her head, neither good conditions, nor a good face, a natural fool, but only rich, she shall have twenty young gallants to be suitors in an instant. As she said in Suetonius, non me, sed mea ambiunt, 'tis not for her sake, but for her lands or money; and an excellent match it were (as he added) if she were away. So on the other side, many a young lovely maid will cast away herself upon an old, doting, decrepit dizzard,
"Bis puer effoeto quamvis balbutiat ore,
Prima legit raræ tam culta roseta puellæ,"
that is rheumatic and gouty, hath some twenty diseases, perhaps but one eye, one leg, never a nose, no hair on his head, wit in his brains, nor honesty, if he have land or money, she will have him before all other suitors, Dummodo sit dives barbarus ille placet. "If he be rich, he is the man," a fine man, and a proper man, she will go to Jacaktres or Tidore with him; Galesimus de monte aureo. Sir Giles Goosecap, Sir Amorous La-Fool, shall have her. And as Philemasium in Aristænetus told Emmusus, absque argento omnia vana, hang him that hath no money, "'tis to no purpose to talk of marriage without means," trouble me not with such motions; let others do as they will, "I'll be sure to have one shall maintain me fine and brave." Most are of her mind, De moribus ultima fiet questio, for his conditions, she shall inquire after them another time, or when all is done, the match made, and everybody gone home. Lucian's Lycia was a proper young maid, and had many fine gentlemen to her suitors; Ethecles, a senator's son, Melissus, a merchant, &c.; but she forsook them all for one Passius, a base, hirsute, bald-pated knave; but why was it? "His father lately died and left him sole heir of his goods and lands." This is not amongst your dust-worms alone, poor snakes that will prostitute their souls for money, but with this bait you may catch our most potent, puissant, and illustrious princes. That proud upstart domineering Bishop of Ely, in the time of Richard the First, viceroy in his absence, as Nubergensis relates it, to fortify himself, and maintain his greatness, propinquarum suarum connubiis, plurimos sibi potentes et nobiles devincire curavit, married his poor kinswomen (which came forth of Normandy by droves) to the chiefest nobles of the land, and they were glad to accept of such matches, fair or foul, for themselves, their sons, nephews, &c. Et quis tam præclaram affinitatem sub spe magnæ promotionis non optaret? Who would not have done as much for money and preferment? as mine author adds. Vortiger, King of Britain, married Rowena the daughter of Hengist the Saxon prince, his mortal enemy; but wherefore? she had Kent for her dowry. Iagello the great Duke of Lithuania, 1386, was mightily enamoured on Hedenga, insomuch that he turned Christian from a Pagan, and was baptised himself by the name of Uladislaus, and all his subjects for her sake: but why was it? she was daughter and heir of Poland, and his desire was to have both kingdoms incorporated into one. Charles the Great was an earnest suitor to Irene the Empress, but, saith Zonarus, ob regnum, to annex the empire of the East to that of the West. Yet what is the event of all such matches, that are so made for money, goods, by deceit, or for burning lust, quos f?da libido conjunxit, what follows? they are almost mad at first, but 'tis a mere flash; as chaff and straw soon fired, burn vehemently for a while, yet out in a moment; so are all such matches made by those allurements of burning lust; where there is no respect of honesty, parentage, virtue, religion, education, and the like, they are extinguished in an instant, and instead of love comes hate; for joy, repentance and desperation itself. Franciscus Barbarus in his first book de re uxoria, c. 5, hath a story of one Philip of Padua that fell in love with a common whore, and was now ready to run mad for her; his father having no more sons let him enjoy her; "but after a few days, the young man began to loath, could not so much as endure the sight of her, and from one madness fell into another." Such event commonly have all these lovers; and he that so marries, or for such respects, let them look for no better success than Menelaus had with Helen, Vulcan with Venus, Theseus with Phædra, Minos with Pasiphaë, and Claudius with Messalina; shame, sorrow, misery, melancholy, discontent.