All these allurements hitherto are afar off, and at a distance; I will come nearer to those other degrees of love, which are conference, kissing, dalliance, discourse, singing, dancing, amorous tales, objects, presents, &c., which as so many sirens steal away the hearts of men and women. For, as Tacitus observes, l. 2, "It is no sufficient trial of a maid's affection by her eyes alone, but you must say something that shall be more available, and use such other forcible engines; therefore take her by the hand, wring her fingers hard, and sigh withal; if she accept this in good part, and seem not to be much averse, then call her mistress, take her about the neck and kiss her," &c. But this cannot be done except they first get opportunity of living, or coming together, ingress, egress, and regress; letters and commendations may do much, outward gestures and actions: but when they come to live near one another, in the same street, village, or together in a house, love is kindled on a sudden. Many a serving-man by reason of this opportunity and importunity inveigles his master's daughter, many a gallant loves a dowdy, many a gentleman runs upon his wife's maids; many ladies dote upon their men, as the queen in Ariosto did upon the dwarf, many matches are so made in haste, and they are compelled as it were by necessity so to love, which had they been free, come in company of others, seen that variety which many places afford, or compared them to a third, would never have looked one upon another. Or had not that opportunity of discourse and familiarity been offered, they would have loathed and contemned those whom, for want of better choice and other objects, they are fatally driven on, and by reason of their hot blood, idle life, full diet, &c., are forced to dote upon them that come next. And many times those which at the first sight cannot fancy or affect each other, but are harsh and ready to disagree, offended with each other's carriage, like Benedict and Beatrice in the comedy, and in whom they find many faults, by this living together in a house, conference, kissing, colling, and such like allurements, begin at last to dote insensibly one upon another.
It was the greatest motive that Potiphar's wife had to dote upon Joseph, and Clitiphon upon Leucippe his uncle's daughter, because the plague being at Bizance, it was his fortune for a time to sojourn with her, to sit next her at the table, as he tells the tale himself in Tatius, lib. 2. (which, though it be but a fiction, is grounded upon good observation, and doth well express the passions of lovers) , he had opportunity to take her by the hand, and after a while to kiss, and handle her paps, &c., which made him almost mad. Ismenias the orator makes the like confession in Eustathius, lib. 1, when he came first to Sosthene's house, and sat at table with Cratistes his friend, Ismene, Sosthene's daughter, waiting on them "with her breasts open, arms half bare," Nuda pedem, discincta sinum, spoliata lacertos; after the Greek fashion in those times,-- nudos media plus parte lacertos, as Daphne was when she fled from Phúbus (which moved him much) , was ever ready to give attendance on him, to fill him drink, her eyes were never off him, rogabundi oculi, those speaking eyes, courting eyes, enchanting eyes; but she was still smiling on him, and when they were risen, that she had got a little opportunity, "she came and drank to him, and withal trod upon his toes, and would come and go, and when she could not speak for the company, she would wring his hand," and blush when she met him: and by this means first she overcame him (bibens amorem hauriebam simul) , she would kiss the cup and drink to him, and smile, "and drink where he drank on that side of the cup," by which mutual compressions, kissings, wringing of hands, treading of feet, &c. Ipsam mihi videbar sorbillare virginem, I sipped and sipped so long, till at length I was drunk in love upon a sudden. Philocharinus, in Aristænetus, met a fair maid by chance, a mere stranger to him, he looked back at her, she looked back at him again, and smiled withal.
"Ille dies lethi primus, primusque malorum
Causa fuit." --
(Vir. Æn. 4. "That was the first hour of destruction, and the first beginning of my miseries.")
It was the sole cause of his farther acquaintance, and love that undid him. O nullis tutum credere blanditiis.
This opportunity of time and place, with their circumstances, are so forcible motives, that it is impossible almost for two young folks equal in years to live together, and not be in love, especially in great houses, princes' courts, where they are idle in summo gradu, fare well, live at ease, and cannot tell otherwise how to spend their time. Illic Hippolitum pone, Priapus erit. Achilles was sent by his mother Thetis to the island of Scyros in the Ægean sea (where Lycomedes then reigned) in his nonage to be brought up; to avoid that hard destiny of the oracle (he should be slain at the siege of Troy) : and for that cause was nurtured in Genesco, amongst the king's children in a woman's habit; but see the event: he compressed Deidamia, the king's fair daughter, and had a fine son, called Pyrrhus by her. Peter Abelard the philosopher, as he tells the tale himself, being set by Fulbertus her uncle to teach Heloise his lovely niece, and to that purpose sojourned in his house, and had committed agnam tenellam famelico lupo, I use his own words, he soon got her good will, plura erant oscula quam sententiæ and he read more of love than any other lecture; such pretty feats can opportunity plea; primum domo conjuncti, inde animis, &c. But when as I say, nox, vinum, et adolescentia, youth, wine, and night, shall concur, nox amoris et quietis conscia, 'tis a wonder they be not all plunged over head and ears in love; for youth is benigna in amorem, et prona materies, a very combustible matter, naphtha itself, the fuel of love's fire, and most apt to kindle it. If there be seven servants in an ordinary house, you shall have three couple in some good liking at least, and amongst idle persons how should it be otherwise? "Living at Rome," saith Aretine's Lucretia, "in the flower of my fortunes, rich, fair, young, and so well brought up, my conversation, age, beauty, fortune, made all the world admire and love me." Night alone, that one occasion, is enough to set all on fire, and they are so cunning in great houses, that they make their best advantage of it: Many a gentlewoman, that is guilty to herself of her imperfections, paintings, impostures, will not willingly be seen by day, but as Castilio noteth, in the night, Diem ut glis odit, tædarum lucem super omnia mavult, she hateth the day like a dormouse, and above all things loves torches and candlelight, and if she must come abroad in the day, she covets, as in a mercer's shop, a very obfuscate and obscure sight. And good reason she hath for it: Nocte latent mendæ, and many an amorous gull is fetched over by that means. Gomesius lib. 3. de sale gen. c. 22. gives instance in a Florentine gentleman, that was so deceived with a wife, she was so radiantly set out with rings and jewels, lawns, scarves, laces, gold, spangles, and gaudy devices, that the young man took her to be a goddess (for he never saw her but by torchlight) ; but after the wedding solemnities, when as he viewed her the next morning without her tires, and in a clear day, she was so deformed, a lean, yellow, shrivelled, &c., such a beastly creature in his eyes, that he could not endure to look upon her. Such matches are frequently made in Italy, where they have no other opportunity to woo but when they go to church, or, as in Turkey, see them at a distance, they must interchange few or no words, till such time they come to be married, and then as Sardus lib. 1. cap. 3. de morb. gent. and Bohemus relate of those old Lacedæmonians, "the bride is brought into the chamber, with her hair girt about her, the bridegroom comes in and unties the knot, and must not see her at all by daylight, till such time as he is made a father by her." In those hotter countries these are ordinary practices at this day; but in our northern parts, amongst Germans, Danes, French, and Britons, the continent of Scandia and the rest, we assume more liberty in such cases; we allow them, as Bohemus saith, to kiss coming and going, et modo absit lascivia, in cauponem ducere, to talk merrily, sport, play, sing, and dance so that it be modestly done, go to the alehouse and tavern together. And 'tis not amiss, though Chrysostom, Cyprian, Hierome, and some other of the fathers speak bitterly against it: but that is the abuse which is commonly seen at some drunken matches, dissolute meetings, or great unruly feasts. "A young, pittivanted, trim-bearded fellow," saith Hierome, "will come with a company of compliments, and hold you up by the arm as you go, and wringing your fingers, will so be enticed, or entice: one drinks to you, another embraceth, a third kisseth, and all this while the fiddler plays or sings a lascivious song; a fourth singles you out to dance, one speaks by beck and signs, and that which he dares not say, signifies by passions; amongst so many and so great provocations of pleasure, lust conquers the most hard and crabbed minds, and scarce can a man live honest amongst feastings, and sports, or at such great meetings." For as he goes on, "she walks along and with the ruffling of her clothes, makes men look at her, her shoes creak, her paps tied up, her waist pulled in to make her look small, she is straight girded, her hairs hang loose about her ears, her upper garment sometimes falls, and sometimes tarries to show her naked shoulders, and as if she would not be seen, she covers that in all haste, which voluntarily she showed." And not at feasts, plays, pageants, and such assemblies, but as Chrysostom objects, these tricks are put in practice "at service time in churches, and at the communion itself." If such dumb shows, signs, and more obscure significations of love can so move, what shall they do that have full liberty to sing, dance, kiss, coll, to use all manner of discourse and dalliance! What shall he do that is beleaguered of all sides?
"Quem tot, tam roseæ petunt puellæ,
Quem cultæ cupiunt nurus, amorque
Omnis undique et undecunque et usque,
Omnis ambit Amor, Venusque Hymenque."
"After whom so many rosy maids inquire,
Whom dainty dames and loving wights desire,
In every place, still, and at all times sue,
Whom gods and gentle goddesses do woo."
How shall he contain? The very tone of some of their voices, a pretty pleasing speech, an affected tone they use, is able of itself to captivate a young man; but when a good wit shall concur, art and eloquence, fascinating speech, pleasant discourse, sweet gestures, the Sirens themselves cannot so enchant. P. Jovius commends his Italian countrywomen, to have an excellent faculty in this kind, above all other nations, and amongst them the Florentine ladies: some prefer Roman and Venetian courtesans, they have such pleasing tongues, and such elegancy of speech, that they are able to overcome a saint, Pro facie multis vox sua lena fuit. Tanta gratia vocis famam conciliabat, saith Petronius in his fragment of pure impurities, I mean his Satyricon, tam dulcis sonus permulcebat æra, ut putares inter auras cantare Syrenum concordiam; she sang so sweetly that she charmed the air, and thou wouldst have thought thou hadst heard a concert of Sirens. "O good God, when Lais speaks, how sweet it is!" Philocolus exclaims in Aristenætus, to hear a fair young gentlewoman play upon the virginals, lute, viol, and sing to it, which as Gellius observes, lib. 1. cap. 11. are lascivientium delicicæ, the chief delight of lovers, must needs be a great enticement. Parthenis was so taken. Mi vox ista avida haurit ab aure animam: ("The sweet sound of his voice reanimates my soul through my covetous ears.") O sister Harpedona (she laments) I am undone, "how sweetly he sings, I'll speak a bold word, he is the properest man that ever I saw in my life: O how sweetly he sings, I die for his sake, O that he would love me again!" If thou didst but hear her sing, saith Lucian, "thou wouldst forget father and mother, forsake all thy friends, and follow her." Helena is highly commended by Theocritus the poet for her sweet voice and music; none could play so well as she, and Daphnis in the same Edyllion,
"Quam tibi os dulce est, et vox amabilis o Daphni,
Jucundius est audire te canentem, quam mel lingere!"
"How sweet a face hath Daphne, how lovely a voice!
Honey itself is not so pleasant in my choice."
A sweet voice and music are powerful enticers. Those Samian singing wenches, Aristonica, Onanthe and Agathocleia, regiis diadematibus insultarunt, insulted over kings themselves, as Plutarch contends. Centum luminibus cinctum caput Argus habebat, Argus had a hundred eyes, all so charmed by one silly pipe, that he lost his head. Clitiphon complains in Tatius of Leucippe's sweet tunes, "he heard her play by chance upon the lute, and sing a pretty song to it in commendations of a rose," out of old Anacreon belike;
"Rosa honor decusque florum,
Rosa flos odorque divum,
Hominum rosa est voluptas,
Decus illa Gratiarum,
Florente amoris hora,
Rosa suavium Diones," &c.
"Rose the fairest of all flowers,
Rose delight of higher powers,
Rose the joy of mortal men,
Rose the pleasure of fine women,
Rose the Graces' ornament,
Rose Dione's sweet content."
To this effect the lovely virgin with a melodious air upon her golden wired harp or lute, I know not well whether, played and sang, and that transported him beyond himself, "and that ravished his heart." It was Jason's discourse as much as his beauty, or any other of his good parts, which delighted Medea so much.
Animus simul forma dulcibusque verbis."
(Apollonius, Argonaut. l. 3 "The mind is delighted as much by eloquence as beauty.")
It was Cleopatra's sweet voice and pleasant speech which inveigled Antony, above the rest of her enticements. Verba ligant hominem, ut taurorum cornua funes, "as bulls' horns are bound with ropes, so are men's hearts with pleasant words." "Her words burn as fire," Eccles. ix. 10. Roxalana bewitched Suleiman the Magnificent, and Shore's wife by this engine overcame Edward the Fourth, Omnibus una omnes surripuit Veneres. The wife of Bath in Chaucer confesseth all this out of her experience.
Some folk desire us for riches.
Some for shape, some for fairness,
Some for that she can sing or dance.
Some for gentleness, or for dalliance
Peter Aretine's Lucretia telleth as much and more of herself, "I counterfeited honesty, as if I had been virgo virginissima, more than a vestal virgin, I looked like a wife, I was so demure and chaste, I did add such gestures, tunes, speeches, signs and motions upon all occasions, that my spectators and auditors were stupefied, enchanted, fastened all to their places, like so many stocks and stones." Many silly gentlewomen are fetched over in like sort, by a company of gulls and swaggering companions, that frequently belie noblemen's favours, rhyming Coribantiasmi, Thrasonean Rhadomantes or Bombomachides, that have nothing in them but a few player's ends and compliments, vain braggadocians, impudent intruders, that can discourse at table of knights and lords' combats, like Lucian's Leonitiscus, of other men's travels, brave adventures, and such common trivial news, ride, dance, sing old ballad tunes, and wear their clothes in fashion, with a good grace; a fine sweet gentleman, a proper man, who could not love him! She will have him though all her friends say no, though she beg with him. Some again are incensed by reading amorous toys, Amadis de Gaul, Palmerin de Oliva, the Knight of the Sun, &c., or hearing such tales of lovers, descriptions of their persons, lascivious discourses, such as Astyanassa, Helen's waiting-woman, by the report of Suidas, writ of old, de variis concubitus modis, and after her Philenis and Elephantine; or those light tracts of Aristides Milesius (mentioned by Plutarch) and found by the Persians in Crassus' army amongst the spoils, Aretine's dialogues, with ditties, love songs, &c., must needs set them on fire, with such like pictures, as those of Aretine, or wanton objects of what kind soever; "no stronger engine than to hear or read of love toys, fables and discourses" ( one saith) "and many by this means are quite mad." At Abdera in Thrace (Andromeda one of Euripides' tragedies being played) the spectators were so much moved with the object, and those pathetical love speeches of Perseus, amongst the rest, "O Cupid, Prince of Gods and men," &c. that every man almost a good while after spake pure iambics, and raved still on Perseus' speech, "O Cupid, Prince of Gods and men." As carmen, boys and apprentices, when a new song is published with us, go singing that new tune still in the streets, they continually acted that tragical part of Perseus, and in every man's mouth was "O Cupid," in every street, "O Cupid," in every house almost, "O Cupid, Prince of Gods and men," pronouncing still like stage-players, "O Cupid;" they were so possessed all with that rapture, and thought of that pathetical love speech, they could not a long time after forget, or drive it out of their minds, but "O Cupid, Prince of Gods and men," was ever in their mouths. This belike made Aristotle, Polit. lib. 7. cap. 18. forbid young men to see comedies, or to hear amorous tales.
"Hæc igitur juvenes nequam facilesque puellæ
"let not young folks meddle at all with such matters." And this made the Romans, as Vitruvius relates, put Venus' temple in the suburbs, extra murum, ne adolescentes venereis insuescant, to avoid all occasions and objects. For what will not such an object do? Ismenias, as he walked in Sosthene's garden, being now in love, when he saw so many lascivious pictures, Thetis' marriage, and I know not what, was almost beside himself. And to say truth, with a lascivious object who is not moved, to see others dally, kiss, dance? And much more when he shall come to be an actor himself.
To kiss and be kissed, which, amongst other lascivious provocations, is as a burden in a song, and a most forcible battery, as infectious, Xenophon thinks, as the poison of a spider; a great allurement, a fire itself, proúmium aut anticúnium, the prologue of burning lust (as Apuleius adds) , lust itself, Venus quinta parte sui nectaris imbuit, (Hor. "Venus hath imbued with the quintessence of her nectar.") a strong assault, that conquers captains, and those all commanding forces, ( Domasque ferro sed domaris osculo (Heinsius. "You may conquer with the sword, but you are conquered by a kiss.") . Aretine's Lucretia, when she would in kindness overcome a suitor of hers, and have her desire of him, "took him about the neck, and kissed him again and again," and to that, which she could not otherwise effect, she made him so speedily and willingly condescend. And 'tis a continual assault,-- hoc non deficit incipitque semper, always fresh, and ready to begin as at first, basium nullo fine terminatur, sed semper recens est, and hath a fiery touch with it.
--"Tenta modo tangere corpus,
Jam tua mellifluo membra calore fluent."
(Petronius. "Only attempt to touch her person, and immediately your members will be filled with a glow of delicious warmth.")
Especially when they shall be lasciviously given, as he feelingly said, et me præssulum deosculata Fotis, Catenatis lacertis, Obtorto valgiter labello.
Dum semiulco suavio
Meam puellam suavior,
Anima tunc ægra et saucia
Concurrit ad labia mihi."
The soul and all is moved; Jam pluribus osculis labra crepitabant, animarum quoque mixturam facientes, inter mutuos complexus animas anhelantes,
Et transfudimus hinc et hinc labellis
Errantes animas, valete curæ."
"They breathe out their souls and spirits together with their kisses," saith Balthazar Castilio, "change hearts and spirits, and mingle affections as they do kisses, and it is rather a connection of the mind than of the body." And although these kisses be delightsome and pleasant, Ambrosial kisses, Suaviolum dulci dulcius Ambrosia, such as Ganymede gave Jupiter, Nectare suavius, sweeter than nectar, balsam, honey, Oscula merum amorem stillantia, love-dropping kisses; for
"The gilliflower, the rose is not so sweet,
As sugared kisses be when lovers meet;"
Yet they leave an irksome impression, like that of aloes or gall,
"Ut mi ex Ambrosia, mutatum jam foret illud
Suaviolum tristi tristius helleboro."
"At first Ambrose itself was not sweeter,
At last black hellebore was not so bitter."
They are deceitful kisses,
"Quid me mollibus implicas lacertis?
Quid fallacibus osculis inescas?&c."
"Why dost within thine arms me lap,
And with false kisses me entrap."
They are destructive, and the more the worse: Et quæ me perdunt, oscula mille dabat, they are the bane of these miserable lovers. There be honest kisses, I deny not, osculum charitatis, friendly kisses, modest kisses, vestal-virgin kisses, officious and ceremonial kisses, &c. Osculi sensus, brachiorum amplexus, kissing and embracing are proper gifts of Nature to a man; but these are too lascivious kisses, Implicuitque suos circum mea colla lacertos, (Ovid. "She folded her arms around my neck.") &c. too continuate and too violent, Brachia non hederæ, non vincunt oscula conchæ; they cling like ivy, close as an oyster, bill as doves, meretricious kisses, biting of lips, cum additamento: Tam impresso ore (saith Lucian) ut vix labia detrahant, inter deosculandum mordicantes, tum et os aperientes quoque et mammas attrectantes, &c. such kisses as she gave to Gyton, innumera oscula dedit non repugnanti puero, cervicem invadens, innumerable kisses, &c. More than kisses, or too homely kisses: as those that he spake of, Accepturus ab ipsa venere 7, suavia, &c. with such other obscenities that vain lovers use, which are abominable and pernicious. If, as Peter de Ledesmo cas. cons. holds, every kiss a man gives his wife after marriage, be mortale peccatum, a mortal sin, or that of Hierome, Adulter est quisquis in uxorem suam ardentior est amator; or that of Thomas Secund. quæst. 154. artic. 4. contactus et osculum sit mortale peccatum, or that of Durand. Rational. lib. 1. cap. 10. abstinere debent conjuges a complexu, toto tempore quo solennitas nuptiarum interdicitur, what shall become of all such immodest kisses and obscene actions, the forerunners of brutish lust, if not lust itself! What shall become of them that often abuse their own wives? But what have I to do with this?
That which I aim at, is to show you the progress of this burning lust; to epitomise therefore all this which I have hitherto said, with a familiar example out of that elegant Musæus, observe but with me those amorous proceedings of Leander and Hero: they began first to look one on another with a lascivious look,
"Oblique intuens inde nutibus,--
Nutibus mutuis inducens in errorem mentem puellæ.
Et illa e contra nutibus mutuis juvenis
Leandri quod amorem non renuit, &c.
Inde Adibat in tenebris tacite quidem stringens
Roseos puellæ digitos, ex imo suspirabat
Vehementer -- Inde
Virginis autem bene olens collum osculatus.
Tale verbum ait amoris ictus stimulo,
Preces audi et amoris miserere mei, &c.
Sic fatus recusantis persuasit mentem puellæ."
"With becks and nods he first began
To try the wench's mind.
With becks and nods and smiles again
An answer he did find.
And in the dark he took her by the hand,
And wrung it hard, and sighed grievously,
And kiss'd her too, and woo'd her as he might,
With pity me, sweetheart, or else I die,
And with such words and gestures as there past,
He won his mistress' favour at the last."
The same proceeding is elegantly described by Apollonius in his Argonautics, between Jason and Medea, by Eustathius in the ten books of the loves of Ismenias and Ismene, Achilles Tatius between his Clitophon and Leucippe, Chaucer's neat poem of Troilus and Cresseide; and in that notable tale in Petronius of a soldier and a gentlewoman of Ephesus, that was so famous all over Asia for her chastity, and that mourned for her husband: the soldier wooed her with such rhetoric as lovers use to do,-- placitone etiam pugnabis amori? &c. at last, frangi pertinaciam passa est, he got her good will, not only to satisfy his lust, but to hang her dead husband's body on the cross (which he watched instead of the thief's that was newly stolen away) , whilst he wooed her in her cabin. These are tales, you will say, but they have most significant morals, and do well express those ordinary proceedings of doting lovers.
Many such allurements there are, nods, jests, winks, smiles, wrestlings, tokens, favours, symbols, letters, valentines, &c. For which cause belike, Godfridus lib. 2. de amor. would not have women learn to write. Many such provocations are used when they come in presence, they will and will not,
"Malo me Galatea petit lasciva puella,
Et fugit ad salices, et se cupit ante videri."
"My mistress with an apple woos me,
And hastily to covert goes
To hide herself, but would be seen
With all her heart before, God knows."
Hero so tripped away from Leander as one displeased,
"Yet as she went full often look'd behind,
And many poor excuses did she find
To linger by the way," --
but if he chance to overtake her, she is most averse, nice and coy,
"Denegat et pugnat, sed vult super omnia vinci."
"She seems not won, but won she is at length,
In such wars women use but half their strength."
Sometimes they lie open and are most tractable and coming, apt, yielding, and willing to embrace, to take a green gown, with that shepherdess in Theocritus, Edyl. 27. to let their coats, &c., to play and dally, at such seasons, and to some, as they spy their advantage; and then coy, close again, so nice, so surly, so demure, you had much better tame a colt, catch or ride a wild horse, than get her favour, or win her love, not a look, not a smile, not a kiss for a kingdom. Aretine's Lucretia was an excellent artisan in this kind, as she tells her own tale, "Though I was by nature and art most beautiful and fair, yet by these tricks I seemed to be far more amiable than I was, for that which men earnestly seek and cannot attain, draws on their affection with a most furious desire. I had a suitor loved me dearly" (said she) , "and the more he gave me, the more eagerly he wooed me, the more I seemed to neglect, to scorn him, and which I commonly gave others, I would not let him see me, converse with me, no, not have a kiss." To gull him the more, and fetch him over (for him only I aimed at) I personated mine own servant to bring in a present from a Spanish count, whilst he was in my company, as if he had been the count's servant, which he did excellently well perform: Comes de monte Turco, "my lord and master hath sent your ladyship a small present, and part of his hunting, a piece of venison, a pheasant, a few partridges, &c. (all which she bought with her own money) , commends his love and service to you, desiring you to accept of it in good part, and he means very shortly to come and see you." Withal she showed him rings, gloves, scarves, coronets which others had sent her, when there was no such matter, but only to circumvent him. By these means (as she concludes) "I made the poor gentleman so mad, that he was ready to spend himself, and venture his dearest blood for my sake." Philinna, in Lucian, practised all this long before, as it shall appear unto you by her discourse; for when Diphilus her sweetheart came to see her (as his daily custom was) she frowned upon him, would not vouchsafe him her company, but kissed Lamprius his co-rival, at the same time before his face: but why was it? To make him (as she telleth her mother that chid her for it) more jealous; to whet his love, to come with a greater appetite, and to know that her favour was not so easy to be had. Many other tricks she used besides this (as she there confesseth) , for she would fall out with, and anger him of set purpose, pick quarrels upon no occasion, because she would be reconciled to him again. Amantium iræ amoris redintegratio, as the old saying is, the falling out of lovers is the renewing of love; and according to that of Aristenætis, jucundiores amorum post injurias deliciæ, love is increased by injuries, as the sunbeams are more gracious after a cloud. And surely this aphorism is most true; for as Ampelis informs Crisis in the said Lucian, "If a lover be not jealous, angry, waspish, apt to fall out, sigh and swear, he is no true lover." To kiss and coll, hang about her neck, protest, swear and wish, are but ordinary symptoms, incipientis adhuc et crescentis amoris signa; but if he be jealous, angry, apt to mistake, &c., bene speres licet, sweet sister he is thine own; yet if you let him alone, humour him, please him, &c., and that he perceive once he hath you sure, without any co-rival, his love will languish, and he will not care so much for you. Hitherto (saith she) can I speak out of experience; Demophantus a rich fellow was a suitor of mine, I seemed to neglect him, and gave better entertainment to Calliades the painter before his face, principio abiit, verbis me insectatus, at first he went away all in a chafe, cursing and swearing, but at last he came submitting himself, vowing and protesting he loved me most dearly, I should have all he had, and that he would kill himself for my sake. Therefore I advise thee (dear sister Crisis) and all maids, not to use your suitors over kindly; insolentes enim sunt hoc cum sentiunt, 'twill make them proud and insolent; but now and then reject them, estrange thyself, et si me audies semel atque iterum exclude, shut him out of doors once or twice, let him dance attendance; follow my counsel, and by this means you shall make him mad, come off roundly, stand to any conditions, and do whatsoever you will have him. These are the ordinary practices; yet in the said Lucian, Melissa methinks had a trick beyond all this; for when her suitor came coldly on, to stir him up, she writ one of his co-rival's names and her own in a paper, Melissa amat Hermotimum, Hermotimus Mellissam, causing it to be stuck upon a post, for all gazers to behold, and lost it in the way where he used to walk; which when the silly novice perceived, statim ut legit credidit, instantly apprehended it was so, came raving to me, &c. "and so when I was in despair of his love, four months after I recovered him again." Eugenia drew Timocles for her valentine, and wore his name a long time after in her bosom: Camæna singled out Pamphilus to dance, at Myson's wedding (some say) , for there she saw him first; Felicianus overtook Cúlia by the highway side, offered his service, thence came further acquaintance, and thence came love. But who can repeat half their devices? What Aretine experienced, what conceited Lucian, or wanton Aristenætus? They will deny and take, stiffly refuse, and yet earnestly seek the same, repel to make them come with more eagerness, fly from if you follow, but if averse, as a shadow they will follow you again, fugientem sequitur, sequentem fugit; with a regaining retreat, a gentle reluctancy, a smiling threat, a pretty pleasant peevishness they will put you off, and have a thousand such several enticements. For as he saith,
"Non est forma satis, nec quæ vult bella videri,
Debet vulgari more placere suis.
Dicta, sales, lusus, sermones, gratia, risus,
Vincunt naturæ candidioris opus."
"'Tis not enough though she be fair of hue,
For her to use this vulgar compliment:
But pretty toys and jests, and saws and smiles,
As far beyond what beauty can attempt."
For this cause belike Philostratus, in his images, makes diverse loves, "some young, some of one age, some of another, some winged, some of one sex, some of another, some with torches, some with golden apples, some with darts, gins, snares, and other engines in their hands," as Propertius hath prettily painted them out, lib. 2. et 29. and which some interpret, diverse enticements, or diverse affections of lovers, which if not alone, yet jointly may batter and overcome the strongest constitutions.
It is reported of Decius, and Valerianus, those two notorious persecutors of the church, that when they could enforce a young Christian by no means (as Hierome records) to sacrifice to their idols, by no torments or promises, they took another course to tempt him: they put him into a fair garden, and set a young courtesan to dally with him, "took him about the neck and kissed him, and that which is not to be named," manibusque attrectare, &c., and all those enticements which might be used, that whom torments could not, love might batter and beleaguer. But such was his constancy, she could not overcome, and when this last engine would take no place, they left him to his own ways. At Berkley in Gloucestershire, there was in times past a nunnery (saith Gualterus Mapes, an old historiographer, that lived 400 years since) , "of which there was a noble and a fair lady abbess: Godwin, that subtile Earl of Kent, travelling that way, (seeking not her but hers) leaves a nephew of his, a proper young gallant (as if he had been sick) with her, till he came back again, and gives the young man charge so long to counterfeit, till he had deflowered the abbess, and as many besides of the nuns as he could, and leaves him withal rings, jewels, girdles, and such toys to give them still, when they came to visit him. The young man, willing to undergo such a business, played his part so well, that in short space he got up most of their bellies, and when he had done, told his lord how he had sped: his lord made instantly to the court, tells the king how such a nunnery was become a bawdy-house, procures a visitation, gets them to be turned out, and begs the lands to his own use." This story I do therefore repeat, that you may see of what force these enticements are, if they be opportunely used, and how hard it is even for the most averse and sanctified souls to resist such allurements. John Major in the life of John the monk, that lived in the days of Theodosius, commends the hermit to have been a man of singular continency, and of a most austere life; but one night by chance the devil came to his cell in the habit of a young market wench that had lost her way, and desired for God's sake some lodging with him. "The old man let her in, and after some common conference of her mishap, she began to inveigle him with lascivious talk and jests, to play with his beard, to kiss him, and do worse, till at last she overcame him. As he went to address himself to that business, she vanished on a sudden, and the devils in the air laughed him to scorn." Whether this be a true story, or a tale, I will not much contend, it serves to illustrate this which I have said.
Yet were it so, that these of which I have hitherto spoken, and such like enticing baits, be not sufficient, there be many others, which will of themselves intend this passion of burning lust, amongst which, dancing is none of the least; and it is an engine of such force, I may not omit it. Incitamentum libidinis, Petrarch calls it, the spur of lust. "A circle of which the devil himself is the centre. Many women that use it, have come dishonest home, most indifferent, none better." Another terms it "the companion of all filthy delights and enticements, and 'tis not easily told what inconveniences come by it, what scurrile talk, obscene actions," and many times such monstrous gestures, such lascivious motions, such wanton tunes, meretricious kisses, homely embracings.
--" (ut Gaditana canoro
Incipiat prurire choro, plausuque probatæ
Ad terram tremula descendant clune puellæ,
Irritamentum Veneris languentis) " --
(Juv. Sat. 11. "Perhaps you may expect that a Gaditanian with a tuneful company may begin to wanton, and girls approved with applause lower themselves to the ground in a lascivious manner, a provocative of languishing desire.")
that it will make the spectators mad. When that epitomiser of Trogus had to the full described and set out King Ptolemy's riot as a chief engine and instrument of his overthrow, he adds, tympanum et tripudium, fiddling and dancing: "the king was not a spectator only, but a principal actor himself." A thing nevertheless frequently used, and part of a gentlewoman's bringing up, to sing, dance, and play on the lute, or some such instrument, before she can say her paternoster, or ten commandments. 'Tis the next way their parents think to get them husbands, they are compelled to learn, and by that means, Incústos amores de tenero meditantur ungue; 'tis a great allurement as it is often used, and many are undone by it. Thais, in Lucian, inveigled Lamprias in a dance, Herodias so far pleased Herod, that she made him swear to give her what she would ask, John Baptist's head in a platter. Robert, Duke of Normandy, riding by Falais, spied Arlette, a fair maid, as she danced on a green, and was so much enamoured with the object, that she must needs lie with her that night. Owen Tudor won Queen Catherine's affection in. a dance, falling by chance with his head in her lap. Who cannot parallel these stories out of his experience? Speusippas a noble gallant in that Greek Aristenætus, seeing Panareta a fair young gentlewoman dancing by accident, was so far in love with her, that for a long time after he could think of nothing but Panareta: he came raving home full of Panareta: "Who would not admire her, who would not love her, that should but see her dance as I did? O admirable, O divine Panareta! I have seen old and new Rome, many fair cities, many proper women, but never any like to Panareta, they are dross, dowdies all to Panareta! O how she danced, how she tripped, how she turned, with what a grace! happy is that man that shall enjoy her. O most incomparable, only, Panareta!" When Xenophon, in Symposio, or Banquet, had discoursed of love, and used all the engines that might be devised, to move Socrates, amongst the rest, to stir him the more, he shuts up all with a pleasant interlude or dance of Dionysius and Ariadne. "First Ariadne dressed like a bride came in and took her place; by and by Dionysius entered, dancing to the music. The spectators did all admire the young man's carriage; and Ariadne herself was so much affected with the sight, that she could scarce sit. After a while Dionysius beholding Ariadne, and incensed with love, bowing to her knees, embraced her first, and kissed her with a grace; she embraced him again, and kissed him with like affection, &c., as the dance required; but they that stood by, and saw this, did much applaud and commend them both for it. And when Dionysius rose up, he raised her up with him, and many pretty gestures, embraces, kisses, and love compliments passed between them: which when they saw fair Bacchus and beautiful Ariadne so sweetly and so unfeignedly kissing each other, so really embracing, they swore they loved indeed, and were so inflamed with the object, that they began to rouse up themselves, as if they would have flown. At the last when they saw them still, so willingly embracing, and now ready to go to the bride-chamber, they were so ravished, with it, that they that were unmarried, swore they would forthwith marry, and those that were married called instantly for their horses, and galloped home to their wives." What greater motive can there be than this burning lust? what so violent an oppugner? Not without good cause therefore so many general councils condemn it, so many fathers abhor it, so many grave men speak against it; "Use not the company of a woman," saith Siracides, 8. 4. "that is a singer, or a dancer; neither hear, lest thou be taken in her craftiness." In circo non tam cernitur quam discitur libido. Hædus holds, lust in theatres is not seen, but learned. Gregory Nazianzen that eloquent divine, ( as he relates the story himself,) when a noble friend of his solemnly invited him with other bishops, to his daughter Olympia's wedding, refused to come: "For it is absurd to see an old gouty bishop sit amongst dancers;" he held it unfit to be a spectator, much less an actor. Nemo saltat sobrius, Tully writes, he is not a sober man that danceth; for some such reason (belike) Domitian forbade the Roman senators to dance, and for that fact removed many of them from the senate. But these, you will say, are lascivious and Pagan dances, 'tis the abuse that causeth such inconvenience, and I do not well therefore to condemn, speak against, or "innocently to accuse the best and pleasantest thing (so Lucian calls it) that belongs to mortal men." You misinterpret, I condemn it not; I hold it notwithstanding an honest disport, a lawful recreation, if it be opportune, moderately and soberly used: I am of Plutarch's mind, "that which respects pleasure alone, honest recreation, or bodily exercise, ought not to be rejected and contemned:" I subscribe to Lucian, "'tis an elegant thing, which cheereth up the mind, exerciseth the body, delights the spectators, which teacheth many comely gestures, equally affecting the ears, eyes, and soul itself." Sallust discommends singing and dancing in Sempronia, not that she did sing or dance, but that she did it in excess, 'tis the abuse of it; and Gregory's refusal doth not simply condemn it, but in some folks. Many will not allow men and women to dance together, because it is a provocation to lust: they may as well, with Lycurgus and Mahomet, cut down all vines, forbid the drinking of wine, for that it makes some men drunk.
"Nihil prodest quod non lædere posset idem;
Igne quid utilius?" --
I say of this as of all other honest recreations, they are like fire, good and bad, and I see no such inconvenience, but that they may so dance, if it be done at due times, and by fit persons: and conclude with Wolfungus Hider, and most of our modern divines: Si decoræ, graves, verecundæ, plena luce bonorum virorum et matronarum honestarum, tempestive fiant, probari possunt, et debent. "There is a time to mourn, a time to dance," Eccles. iii. 4. Let them take their pleasures then, and as he said of old, "young men and maids flourishing in their age, fair and lovely to behold, well attired, and of comely carriage, dancing a Greek galliard, and as their dance required, kept their time, now turning, now tracing, now apart now altogether, now a courtesy then a caper," &c., and it was a pleasant sight to see those pretty knots, and swimming figures. The sun and moon (some say) dance about the earth, the three upper planets about the sun as their centre, now stationary, now direct, now retrograde, now in apogee, then in perigee, now swift then slow, occidental, oriental, they turn round, jump and trace, [Symbol: Venuss] and [Symbol: Mercury] about the sun with those thirty-three Maculæ or Bourbonian planet, circa Solem saltantes Cytharedum, saith Fromundus. Four Medicean stars dance about Jupiter, two Austrian about Saturn, &c., and all (belike) to the music of the spheres. Our greatest counsellors, and staid senators, at some times dance, as David before the ark, 2 Sam. vi. 14. Miriam, Exod. xv. 20. Judith, xv. 13. (though the devil hence perhaps hath brought in those bawdy bacchanals) , and well may they do it. The greatest soldiers, as Quintilianus, Æmilius Probus, Cúlius Rhodiginus, have proved at large, still use it in Greece, Rome, and the most worthy senators, cantare, saltare. Lucian, Macrobius, Libanus, Plutarch, Julius, Pollux, Athenæus, have written just tracts in commendation of it. In this our age it is in much request in those countries, as in all civil commonwealths, as Alexander ab Alexandro, lib. 4. cap. 10. et lib. 2. cap. 25. hath proved at large, amongst the barbarians themselves none so precious; all the world allows it.
"Divitias contemno tuas, rex Cræse, tuamque
Vendo Asiam, unguentis, flore, mero, choreis."
Plato, in his Commonwealth, will have dancing-schools to be maintained, "that young folks might meet, be acquainted, see one another, and be seen;" nay more, he would have them dance naked; and scoffs at them that laugh at it. But Eusebius præpar. Evangel. lib. 1. cap. 11. and Theodoret lib. 9. curat. græc. affect. worthily lash him for it; and well they might: for as one saith, "the very sight of naked parts causeth enormous, exceeding concupiscences, and stirs up both men and women to burning lust." There is a mean in all things: this is my censure in brief; dancing is a pleasant recreation of body and mind, if sober and modest (such as our Christian dances are) ; if tempestively used, a furious motive to burning lust; if as by Pagans heretofore, unchastely abused. But I proceed.
If these allurements do not take place, for Simierus, that great master of dalliance, shall not behave himself better, the more effectually to move others, and satisfy their lust, they will swear and lie, promise, protest, forge, counterfeit, brag, bribe, flatter and dissemble of all sides. 'Twas Lucretia's counsel in Aretine, Si vis amica frui, promitte, finge, jura, perjura, jacta, simula, mentire; and they put it well in practice, as Apollo to Daphne,
--"mihi Delphica tellus
Et Claros et Tenedos, patareaque regia servit,
Jupiter est genitor" --
"Delphos, Claros, and Tenedos serve me,
And Jupiter is known my sire to be."
The poorest swains will do as much, Mille pecus nivei sunt et mihi vallibus agni; "I have a thousand sheep, good store of cattle, and they are all at her command,"
--"Tibi nos, tibi nostra supellex,
Ruraque servierint" --
"house, land, goods, are at her service," as he is himself. Dinomachus, a senator's son in Lucian, in love with a wench inferior to him in birth and fortunes, the sooner to accomplish his desire, wept unto her, and swore he loved her with all his heart, and her alone, and that as soon as ever his father died (a very rich man and almost decrepit) he would make her his wife. The maid by chance made her mother acquainted with the business, who being an old fox, well experienced in such matters, told her daughter, now ready to yield to his desire, that he meant nothing less, for dost thou think he will ever care for thee, being a poor wench, that may have his choice of all the beauties in the city, one noble by birth, with so many talents, as young, better qualified, and fairer than thyself? daughter believe him not: the maid was abashed, and so the matter broke off. When Jupiter wooed Juno first (Lilius Giraldus relates it out of an old comment on Theocritus) the better to effect his suit, he turned himself into a cuckoo, and spying her one day walking alone, separated from the other goddesses, caused a tempest suddenly to arise, for fear of which she fled to shelter; Jupiter to avoid the storm likewise flew into her lap, in virginis Junonis gremium devolavit, whom Juno for pity covered in her apron. But he turned himself forthwith into his own shape, began to embrace and offer violence unto her, sed illa matris metu abnuebat, but she by no means would yield, donec pollicitus connubium obtinuit, till he vowed and swore to marry her, and then she gave consent. This fact was done at Thornax hill, which ever after was called Cuckoo hill, and in perpetual remembrance there was a temple erected to Telia Juno in the same place. So powerful are fair promises, vows, oaths and protestations. It is an ordinary thing too in this case to belie their age, which widows usually do, that mean to marry again, and bachelors too sometimes,
"Cujus octavum trepidavit ætas,
to say they are younger than they are. Carmides in the said Lucian loved Philematium, an old maid of forty-five years; she swore to him she was but thirty-two next December. But to dissemble in this kind, is familiar of all sides, and often it takes. Fallere credentem res est operosa puellam, 'tis soon done, no such great mastery, Egregiam vero laudem, et spolia ampla,-- and nothing so frequent as to belie their estates, to prefer their suits, and to advance themselves. Many men to fetch over a young woman, widows, or whom they love, will not stick to crack, forge and feign any thing comes next, bid his boy fetch his cloak, rapier, gloves, jewels, &c. in such a chest, scarlet-golden-tissue breeches, &c. when there is no such matter; or make any scruple to give out, as he did in Petronius, that he was master of a ship, kept so many servants, and to personate their part the better take upon them to be gentlemen of good houses, well descended and allied, hire apparel at brokers, some scavenger or prick-louse tailors to attend upon them for the time, swear they have great possessions, bribe, lie, cog, and foist how dearly they love, how bravely they will maintain her, like any lady, countess, duchess, or queen; they shall have gowns, tiers, jewels, coaches, and caroches, choice diet,
"The heads of parrots, tongues of nightingales,
The brains of peacocks, and of ostriches,
Their bath shall be the juice of gilliflowers,
Spirit of roses and of violets,
The milk of unicorns," &c.
as old Volpone courted Cúlia in the comedy, when as they are no such men, not worth a groat, but mere sharkers, to make a fortune, to get their desire, or else pretend love to spend their idle hours, to be more welcome, and for better entertainment. The conclusion is, they mean nothing less,
"Nil metuunt jurare, nihil promittere curant:
Sed simul accupidæ mentis satiata libido est,
Dicta nihil metuere, nihil perjuria curant;"
"Oaths, vows, promises, are much protested;
But when their mind and lust is satisfied,
Oaths, vows, promises, are quite neglected;"
though he solemnly swear by the genius of Cæsar, by Venus' shrine, Hymen's deity, by Jupiter, and all the other gods, give no credit to his words. For when lovers swear, Venus laughs, Venus hæc perjuria ridet, Jupiter himself smiles, and pardons it withal, as grave Plato gives out; of all perjury, that alone for love matters is forgiven by the gods. If promises, lies, oaths, and protestations will not avail, they fall to bribes, tokens, gifts, and such like feats. Plurimus auro conciliatur amor: as Jupiter corrupted Danaë with a golden shower, and Liber Ariadne with a lovely crown, (which was afterwards translated into the heavens, and there for ever shines;) they will rain chickens, florins, crowns, angels, all manner of coins and stamps in her lap. And so must he certainly do that will speed, make many feasts, banquets, invitations, send her some present or other every foot. Summo studio parentur epulæ (saith Hædus) et crebræ fiant largitiones, he must be very bountiful and liberal, seek and sue, not to her only, but to all her followers, friends, familiars, fiddlers, panders, parasites, and household servants; he must insinuate himself, and surely will, to all, of all sorts, messengers, porters, carriers; no man must be unrewarded, or unrespected. I had a suitor (saith Aretine's Lucretia) that when he came to my house, flung gold and silver about, as if it had been chaff. Another suitor I had was a very choleric fellow; but I so handled him, that for all his fuming, I brought him upon his knees. If there had been an excellent bit in the market, any novelty, fish, fruit, or fowl, muscatel, or malmsey, or a cup of neat wine in all the city, it was presented presently to me; though never so dear, hard to come by, yet I had it: the poor fellow was so fond at last, that I think if I would I might have had one of his eyes out of his head. A third suitor was a merchant of Rome, and his manner of wooing was with exquisite music, costly banquets, poems, &c. I held him off till at length he protested, promised, and swore pro virginitate regno me donaturum, I should have all he had, house, goods, and lauds, pro concubitu solo; neither was there ever any conjuror, I think, to charm his spirits that used such attention, or mighty words, as he did exquisite phrases, or general of any army so many stratagems to win a city, as he did tricks and devices to get the love of me. Thus men are active and passive, and women not far behind them in this kind: Audax ad omnia fúmina, quæ vel amat, vel odit.
For half so boldly there can non
Swear and lye as women can.
They will crack, counterfeit, and collogue as well as the best, with handkerchiefs, and wrought nightcaps, purses, posies, and such toys: as he justly complained,
"Cur mittis violas? nempe ut violentius uret;
Quid violas violis me violenta tuis?" &c.
"Why dost thou send me violets, my dear?
To make me burn more violent, I fear,
With violets too violent thou art,
To violate and wound my gentle heart."
When nothing else will serve, the last refuge is their tears. Hæc scripsi (testor amorem) mixta lachrymis et suspiriis, 'twixt tears and sighs, I write this (I take love to witness) , saith Chelidonia to Philonius. Lumina quæ modo fulmina, jam flumina lachrymarum, those burning torches are now turned to floods of tears. Aretine's Lucretia, when her sweetheart came to town, wept in his bosom, "that he might be persuaded those tears were shed for joy of his return." Quartilla in Petronius, when nought would move, fell a weeping, and as Balthazar Castilio paints them out, "To these crocodile's tears they will add sobs, fiery sighs, and sorrowful countenance, pale colour, leanness, and if you do but stir abroad, these fiends are ready to meet you at every turn, with such a sluttish neglected habit, dejected look, as if they were now ready to die for your sake; and how, saith he, shall a young novice thus beset, escape?" But believe them not.
--"animam ne crede puellis,
Namque est foeminea tutior unda fide."
(Petronius. "Trust not your heart to women, for the wave is less treacherous than their fidelity.")
Thou thinkest, peradventure, because of her vows, tears, smiles, and protestations, she is solely thine, thou hast her heart, hand, and affection, when as indeed there is no such matter, as the Spanish bawd said, gaudet illa habere unum in lecto, alterum in porta, tertium qui domi suspiret, she will have one sweetheart in bed, another in the gate, a third sighing at home, a fourth, &c. Every young man she sees and likes hath as much interest, and shall as soon enjoy her as thyself. On the other side, which I have said, men are as false, let them swear, protest, and lie; Quod vobis dicunt, dixerunt mille puellis. (Ovid. "They have made the same promises to a thousand girls that they make to you.") They love some of them those eleven thousand virgins at once, and make them believe, each particular, he is besotted on her, or love one till they see another, and then her alone; like Milo's wife in Apuleius, lib. 2. Si quem conspexerit speciosæ formæ invenem, venustate ejus sumitur, et in eum animum intorquet. 'Tis their common compliment in that case, they care not what they swear, say or do: One while they slight them, care not for them, rail downright and scoff at them, and then again they will run mad, hang themselves, stab and kill, if they may not enjoy them. Henceforth, therefore,-- nulla viro juranti fúmina credat, let not maids believe them. These tricks and counterfeit passions are more familiar with women, finem hic dolori faciet aut vitæ dies, miserere amantis, quoth Phædra to Hippolitus. Joessa, in Lucian, told Pythias, a young man, to move him the more, that if he would not have her, she was resolved to make away herself. "There is a Nemesis, and it cannot choose but grieve and trouble thee, to hear that I have either strangled or drowned myself for thy sake." Nothing so common to this sex as oaths, vows, and protestations, and as I have already said, tears, which they have at command; for they can so weep, that one would think their very hearts were dissolved within them, and would come out in tears; their eyes are like rocks, which still drop water, diariæ lachrymæ et sudoris in modum lurgeri promptæ, saith Aristænetus, they wipe away their tears like sweat, weep with one eye, laugh with the other; or as children weep and cry, they can both together.
"Neve puellarum lachrymis moveare memento,
Ut flerent oculos erudiere suos."
"Care not for women's tears, I counsel thee,
They teach their eyes as much to weep as see."
And as much pity is to be taken of a woman weeping, as of a goose going barefoot. When Venus lost her son Cupid, she sent a crier about, to bid every one that met him take heed.
"Si fleatam aspicias, ne mox fallare, caveto;
Sin arridebit, magis effuge; et oscula si fors
Ferre volet, fugito; sunt oscula noxia, in ipsis
Suntque venena labris" &c.
"Take heed of Cupid's tears, if cautious.
And of his smiles and kisses I thee tell,
If that he offer't, for they be noxious,
And very poison in his lips doth dwell."
A thousand years, as Castilio conceives, "will scarce serve to reckon up those allurements and guiles, that men and women use to deceive one another with."