By prevention before, or after Marriage, Plato's Community, marry a Courtesan, Philters, Stews, to marry one equal in years, fortunes, of a good family, education, good place, to use them well, &c.

By prevention before, or after Marriage, Plato's Community, marry a Courtesan, Philters, Stews, to marry one equal in years, fortunes, of a good family, education, good place, to use them well, &c.

Of such medicines as conduce to the cure of this malady, I have sufficiently treated; there be some good remedies remaining, by way of prevention, precautions, or admonitions, which if rightly practised, may do much good. Plato, in his Commonwealth, to prevent this mischief belike, would have all things, wives and children, all as one: and which Cæsar in his Commentaries observed of those old Britons, that first inhabited this land, they had ten or twelve wives allotted to such a family, or promiscuously to be used by so many men; not one to one, as with us, or four, five, or six to one, as in Turkey. The Nicholaites, a set that sprang, saith Austin, from Nicholas the deacon, would have women indifferent; and the cause of this filthy sect, was Nicholas the deacon's jealousy, for which when he was condemned to purge himself of his offence, he broached his heresy, that it was lawful to lie with one another's wives, and for any man to lie with his: like to those Anabaptists in Munster, that would consort with other men's wives as the spirit moved them: or as Mahomet, the seducing prophet, would needs use women as he list himself, to beget prophets; two hundred and five, their Alcoran saith, were in love with him, and he as able as forty men. Amongst the old Carthaginians, as Bohemus relates out of Sabellicus, the king of the country lay with the bride the first night, and once in a year they went promiscuously all together. Munster Cosmog. lib. 3. cap. 497. ascribes the beginning of this brutish custom (unjustly) to one Picardus, a Frenchman, that invented a new sect of Adamites, to go naked as Adam did, and to use promiscuous venery at set times. When the priest repeated that of Genesis, "Increase and multiply," out went the candles in the place where they met, "and without all respect of age, persons, conditions, catch that catch may, every man took her that came next," &c.; some fasten this on those ancient Bohemians and Russians: others on the inhabitants of Mambrium, in the Lucerne valley in Piedmont; and, as I read, it was practised in Scotland amongst Christians themselves, until King Malcolm's time, the king or the lord of the town had their maidenheads. In some parts of India in our age, and those islanders, as amongst the Babylonians of old, they will prostitute their wives and daughters (which Chalcocondila, a Greek modern writer, for want of better intelligence, puts upon us Britons) to such travellers or seafaring men as come amongst them by chance, to show how far they were from this feral vice of jealousy, and how little they esteemed it. The kings of Calecut, as Lod. Vertomannus relates, will not touch their wives, till one of their Biarmi or high priests have lain first with them, to sanctify their wombs. But those Esai and Montanists, two strange sects of old, were in another extreme, they would not marry at all, or have any society with women, "because of their intemperance they held them all to be naught." Nevisanus the lawyer, lib. 4. num. 33. sylv. nupt. would have him that is inclined to this malady, to prevent the worst, marry a quean, Capiens meretricem, hoc habet saltem boni quod non decipitur, quia scit eam sic esse, quod non contingit aliis. A fornicator in Seneca constuprated two wenches in a night; for satisfaction, the one desired to hang him, the other to marry him. Hierome, king of Syracuse in Sicily, espoused himself to Pitho, keeper of the stews; and Ptolemy took Thais a common whore to be his wife, had two sons, Leontiscus and Lagus by her, and one daughter Irene: 'tis therefore no such unlikely thing. A citizen of Engubine gelded himself to try his wife's honesty, and to be freed from jealousy; so did a baker in Basil, to the same intent. But of all other precedents in this kind, that of Combalus is most memorable; who to prevent his master's suspicion, for he was a beautiful young man, and sent by Seleucus his lord and king, with Stratonice the queen to conduct her into Syria, fearing the worst, gelded himself before he went, and left his genitals behind him in a box sealed up. His mistress by the way fell in love with him, but he not yielding to her, was accused to Seleucus of incontinency, (as that Bellerophon was in like case, falsely traduced by Sthenobia, to King Prætus her husband, cum non posset ad coitum inducere) and that by her, and was therefore at his corning home cast into prison: the day of hearing appointed, he was sufficiently cleared and acquitted, by showing his privities, which to the admiration of the beholders he had formerly cut off. The Lydians used to geld women whom they suspected, saith Leonicus var. hist. Tib. 3. cap. 49. as well as men. To this purpose Saint Francis, because he used to confess women in private, to prevent suspicion, and prove himself a maid, stripped himself before the Bishop of Assise and others: and Friar Leonard for the same cause went through Viterbium in Italy, without any garments.

Our pseudo-Catholics, to help these inconveniences which proceed from jealousy, to keep themselves and their wives honest, make severe laws; against adultery present death; and withal fornication, a venial sin, as a sink to convey that furious and swift stream of concupiscence, they appoint and permit stews, those punks and pleasant sinners, the more to secure their wives in all populous cities, for they hold them as necessary as churches; and howsoever unlawful, yet to avoid a greater mischief, to be tolerated in policy, as usury, for the hardness of men's hearts; and for this end they have whole colleges of courtesans in their towns and cities. Of Cato's mind belike, that would have his servants (cum ancillis congredi coitus causa, definito ære, ut graviora facinora evitarent, cæteris interim interdicens) familiar with some such feminine creatures, to avoid worse mischiefs in his house, and made allowance for it. They hold it impossible for idle persons, young, rich, and lusty, so many servants, monks, friars, to live honest, too tyrannical a burden to compel them to be chaste, and most unfit to suffer poor men, younger brothers and soldiers at all to marry, as those diseased persons, votaries, priests, servants. Therefore, as well to keep and ease the one as the other, they tolerate and wink at these kind of brothel-houses and stews. Many probable arguments they have to prove the lawfulness, the necessity, and a toleration of them, as of usury; and without question in policy they are not to be contradicted: but altogether in religion. Others prescribe filters, spells, charms to keep men and women honest. Mulier ut alienum virum non admittat præter suum: Accipe fel hirci, et adipem, et exsicca, calescat in oleo, &c., et non alium præter et amabit. In Alexi. Porta, &c., plura invenies, et multo his absurdiora, uti et in Rhasi, ne mulier virum admittat, et maritum solum diligat, &c. But these are most part Pagan, impious, irreligious, absurd, and ridiculous devices.

The best means to avoid these and like inconveniences are, to take away the causes and occasions. To this purpose Varro writ Satyram Menippeam, but it is lost. Patritius prescribes four rules to be observed in choosing of a wife (which who so will may read) ; Fonseca, the Spaniard, in his 45. c. Amphitheat. Amoris, sets down six special cautions for men, four for women; Sam. Neander out of Shonbernerus, five for men, five for women; Anthony Guivarra many good lessons; Cleobulus two alone, others otherwise; as first to make a good choice in marriage, to invite Christ to their wedding, and which St. Ambrose adviseth, Deum conjugii præsidem habere, and to pray to him for her, A Domino enim datur uxor prudens, Prov. xix. ) not to be too rash and precipitate in his election, to run upon the first he meets, or dote on every stout fair piece he sees, but to choose her as much by his ears as eyes, to be well advised whom he takes, of what age, &c., and cautelous in his proceedings. An old man should not marry a young woman, nor a young woman an old man, Quam male inæquales veniunt ad arata juvenci! such matches must needs minister a perpetual cause of suspicion, and be distasteful to each other.

"Noctua ut in tumulis, super atque cadavera bubo,
Talis apud Sophoclem nostra puella sedet."

"Night-crows on tombs, owl sits on carcass dead,
So lies a wench with Sophocles in bed."

For Sophocles, as Atheneus describes him, was a very old man, as cold as January, a bedfellow of bones, and doted yet upon Archippe, a young courtesan, than which nothing can be more odious. Senex maritus uxori juveni ingratus est, an old man is a most unwelcome guest to a young wench, unable, unfit:

"Amplexus suos fugiunt puellæ,
Omnis horret amor Venusque Hymenque."

(Pontanus hiarum lib. 1. "Maidens shun their embraces; Love, Venus, Hymen, all abhor them.")

And as in like case a good fellow that had but a peck of corn weekly to grind, yet would needs build a new mill for it, found his error eftsoons, for either he must let his mill lie waste, pull it quite down, or let others grind at it. So these men, &c.

Seneca therefore disallows all such unseasonable matches, habent enim maledicti locum crebræ nuptiæ. And as Tully farther inveighs, "'tis unfit for any, but ugly and filthy in old age." Turpe senilis amor, one of the three things God hateth. Plutarch, in his book contra Coleten, rails downright at such kind of marriages, which are attempted by old men, qui jam corpore impotenti, et a voluptatibus deserti, peccant animo, and makes a question whether in some cases it be tolerable at least for such a man to marry,--qui Venerem affectat sine viribus, "that is now past those venerous exercises," "as a gelded man lies with a virgin and sighs," Ecclus. xxx. 20, and now complains with him in Petronius, funerata est hæc pars jam, quad fuit olim Achillea, he is quite done,

"Vixit puellæ nuper idoneus,
Et militavit non sine gloria."

(Hor. lib. 3. ode 26. "He was lately a match for a maid, and contended not ingloriously.")

But the question is whether he may delight himself as those Priapeian popes, which, in their decrepit age, lay commonly between two wenches every night, contactu formosarum, et contrectatione, num adhuc gaudeat; and as many doting sires do to their own shame, their children's undoing, and their families' confusion: he abhors it, tanquam ab agresti et furioso domino fugiendum, it must be avoided as a bedlam master, and not obeyed.

"Alecto--
Ipsa faces præfert nubentibus, et malus Hymen
Triste ululat,"--

("Alecto herself holds the torch at such nuptials, and malicious Hymen sadly howls.")

the devil himself makes such matches. Levinus Lemnius reckons up three things which generally disturb the peace of marriage: the first is when they marry intempestive or unseasonably, "as many mortal men marry precipitately and inconsiderately, when they are effete and old: the second when they marry unequally for fortunes and birth: the third, when a sick impotent person weds one that is sound, novæ nuptæ spes frustratur: many dislikes instantly follow." Many doting dizzards, it may not be denied, as Plutarch confesseth, "recreate themselves with such obsolete, unseasonable and filthy remedies" (so he calls them) , "with a remembrance of their former pleasures, against nature they stir up their dead flesh:" but an old lecher is abominable; mulier tertio nubens, Nevisanus holds, præsumitur lubrica, et inconstans, a woman that marries a third time may be presumed to be no honester than she should. Of them both, thus Ambrose concludes in his comment upon Luke, "they that are coupled together, not to get children, but to satisfy their lust, are not husbands, but fornicators," with whom St. Austin consents: matrimony without hope of children, non matrimonium, sed concubium dici debet, is not a wedding but a jumbling or coupling together. In a word (except they wed for mutual society, help and comfort one of another, in which respects, though Tiberius deny it, without question old folks may well marry) for sometimes a man hath most need of a wife, according to Puccius, when he hath no need of a wife; otherwise it is most odious, when an old Acherontic dizzard, that hath one foot in his grave, a silicernium, shall flicker after a young wench that is blithe and bonny,

--"salaciorque
Verno passere, et albulis columbis."

(Pontanus biarum lib. 1. "More salacious than the sparrow in spring, or the snow-white ring-doves.")

What can be more detestable?

"Tu cano capite amas senex nequissime
Jam plenus ætatis, animaque foetida,
Senex hircosus tu osculare mulierem?
Utine adiens vomitum potius excuties."

"Thou old goat, hoary lecher, naughty man,
With stinking breath, art thou in love?
Must thou be slavering? she spews to see
Thy filthy face, it doth so move."

Yet, as some will, it is much more tolerable for an old man to marry a young woman (our ladies' match they call it) for cras erit mulier, as he said in Tully. Cato the Roman, Critobulus in Xenophon, Tiraquellus of late, Julius Scaliger, &c., and many famous precedents we have in that kind; but not e contra: 'tis not held fit for an ancient woman to match with a young man. For as Varro will, Anus dum ludit morti delitias facit, 'tis Charon's match between Cascus and Casca, and the devil himself is surely well pleased with it. And, therefore, as the poet inveighs, thou old Vetustina bedridden quean, that art now skin and bones,

"Cui tres capilli, quatuorque sunt dentes,
Pectus cicadæ, crusculumque formicæ,
Rugosiorem quæ geris stola frontem,
Et arenaram cassibus pares mammas."

"That hast three hairs, four teeth, a breast
Like grasshopper, an emmet's crest,
A skin more rugged than thy coat,
And drugs like spider's web to boot."

Must thou marry a youth again? And yet ducentas ire nuptum post mortes amant: howsoever it is, as Apuleius gives out of his Meroe, congressus annosus, pestilens, abhorrendus, a pestilent match, abominable, and not to be endured. In such case how can they otherwise choose but be jealous, how should they agree one with another? This inequality is not in years only, but in birth, fortunes, conditions, and all good qualities, si qua voles apte nubere, nube pari, (Ovid. "If you would marry suitably, marry your equal in every respect.") 'tis my counsel, saith Anthony Guiverra, to choose such a one. Civis Civem ducat, Nobilis Nobilem, let a citizen match with a citizen, a gentleman with a gentlewoman; he that observes not this precept (saith he) non generum sed malum Genium, non nurum sed Furiam, non vitæ Comitem, sed litis fomitem domi habebit, instead of a fair wife shall have a fury, for a fit son-in-law a mere fiend, &c. examples are too frequent.

Another main caution fit to be observed is this, that though they be equal in years, birth, fortunes, and other conditions, yet they do not omit virtue and good education, which Musonius and Antipater so much inculcate in Stobeus:

"Dos est magna parentum
Virtus, et metuens alterius viri
Certo foedere castitas."

("Parental virtue is a rich inheritance, as well as that chastity which habitually avoids a second husband.")

If, as Plutarch adviseth, one must eat modium salis, a bushel of salt with him, before he choose his friend, what care should be had in choosing a wife, his second self, how solicitous should he be to know her qualities and behaviour; and when he is assured of them, not to prefer birth, fortune, beauty, before bringing up, and good conditions. Coquage god of cuckolds, as one merrily said, accompanies the goddess Jealousy, both follow the fairest, by Jupiter's appointment, and they sacrifice to them together: beauty and honesty seldom agree; straight personages have often crooked manners; fair faces, foul vices; good complexions, ill conditions. Suspicionis plena res est, et insidiarum, beauty (saith Chrysostom) is full of treachery and suspicion: he that hath a fair wife, cannot have a worse mischief, and yet most covet it, as if nothing else in marriage but that and wealth were to be respected. Francis Sforza, Duke of Milan, was so curious in this behalf, that he would not marry the Duke of Mantua's daughter, except he might see her naked first: which Lycurgus appointed in his laws, and Morus in his Utopian Commonwealth approves. In Italy, as a traveller observes, if a man have three or four daughters, or more, and they prove fair, they are married eftsoons: if deformed, they change their lovely names of Lucia, Cynthia, Camæna, call them Dorothy, Ursula, Bridget, and so put them into monasteries, as if none were fit for marriage, but such as are eminently fair: but these are erroneous tenets: a modest virgin well conditioned, to such a fair snout-piece, is much to be preferred. If thou wilt avoid them, take away all causes of suspicion and jealousy, marry a coarse piece, fetch her from Cassandra's temple, which was wont in Italy to be a sanctuary of all deformed maids, and so shalt thou be sure that no man will make thee cuckold, but for spite. A citizen of Bizance in France had a filthy, dowdy, deformed slut to his wife, and finding her in bed with another man, cried out as one amazed; O miser! quæ te necessitas huc adegit? O thou wretch, what necessity brought thee hither? as well he might; for who can affect such a one? But this is warily to be understood, most offend in another extreme, they prefer wealth before beauty, and so she be rich, they care not how she look; but these are all out as faulty as the rest. Attendenda uxoris forma, as Salisburiensis adviseth, ne si alteram aspexeris, mox eam sordere putes, as the Knight in Chaucer, that was married to an old woman,

And all day after hid him as an owl,
So w? was his wife looked so foul
.

Have a care of thy wife's complexion, lest whilst thou seest another, thou loathest her, she prove jealous, thou naught,

"Si tibi deformis conjux, si serva venusta,
Ne utaris serva,"--

("If your wife seem deformed, your maid beautiful, still abstain from the latter.")

I can perhaps give instance. Molestum est possidere, quod nemo habere dignetur, a misery to possess that which no man likes: on the other side, Difficile custoditur quod plures amant. And as the bragging soldier vaunted in the comedy, nimia est miseria pulchrum esse hominem nimis. Scipio did never so hardly besiege Carthage, as these young gallants will beset thine house, one with wit or person, another with wealth, &c. If she he fair, saith Guazzo, she will be suspected howsoever. Both extremes are naught, Pulchra cito adamatur, f?da facile concupiscit, the one is soon beloved, the other loves: one is hardly kept, because proud and arrogant, the other not worth keeping; what is to be done in this case? Ennius in Menelippe adviseth thee as a friend to take statam formam, si vis habere incolumem pudicitiam, one of a middle size, neither too fair nor too foul, Nec formosa magis quam mihi casta placet, (Marullus. "Not the most fair but the most virtuous pleases me.") with old Cato, though fit let her beauty be, neque lectissima, neque illiberalis, between both. This I approve; but of the other two I resolve with Salisburiensis, cæteris paribus, both rich alike, endowed alike, majori miseria deformis habetur quam formosa servatur, I had rather marry a fair one, and put it to the hazard, than be troubled with a blowze; but do as thou wilt, I speak only of myself.

Howsoever, quod iterum maneo, I would advise thee thus much, be she fair or foul, to choose a wife out of a good kindred, parentage, well brought up, in an honest place.

"Primum animo tibi proponas quo sanguine creta.
Qua forma, qua ætate, quibusque ante omnia virgo
Moribus, in junctos veniat nova nupta penates."

He that marries a wife out of a suspected inn or alehouse, buys a horse in Smithfield, and hires a servant in Paul's, as the diverb is, shall likely have a jade to his horse, a knave for his man, an arrant honest woman to his wife. Filia præsumitur, esse matri similis, saith Nevisanus? "Such a mother, such a daughter;" mali corvi malum ovum., cat to her kind.

"Scilicet expectas ut tradat mater honestos
Atque alios mores quam quos habet?"

"If the mother be dishonest, in all likelihood the daughter will matrizare, take after her in all good qualities,"

"Creden' Pasiphæ non tauripotente futuram
Tauripetam?"--

"If the dam trot, the foal will not amble." My last caution is, that a woman do not bestow herself upon a fool, or an apparent melancholy person; jealousy is a symptom of that disease, and fools have no moderation. Justina, a Roman lady, was much persecuted, and after made away by her jealous husband, she caused and enjoined this epitaph, as a caveat to others, to be engraven on her tomb:

"Discite ab exemplo Justinæ, discite patres,
Ne nubat fatuo filia vestra viro," &c.

"Learn parents all, and by Justina's case,
Your children to no dizzards for to place."

After marriage, I can give no better admonitions than to use their wives well, and which a friend of mine told me that was a married man, I will tell you as good cheap, saith Nicostratus in Stobeus, to avoid future strife, and for quietness' sake, "when you are in bed, take heed of your wife's flattering speeches over night, and curtain, sermons in the morning." Let them do their endeavour likewise to maintain them to their means, which Patricius ingeminates, and let them have liberty with discretion, as time and place requires: many women turn queans by compulsion, as Nevisanus observes, because their husbands are so hard, and keep them so short in diet and apparel, paupertas cogit eas meretricari, poverty and hunger, want of means, makes them dishonest, or bad usage; their churlish behaviour forceth them to fly out, or bad examples, they do it to cry quittance. In the other extreme some are too liberal, as the proverb is, Turdus malum sibi cacat, they make a rod for their own tails, as Candaules did to Gyges in Herodotus, commend his wife's beauty himself, and besides would needs have him see her naked. Whilst they give their wives too much liberty to gad abroad, and bountiful allowance, they are accessory to their own miseries; animæ uxorum pessime olent, as Plautus jibes, they have deformed souls, and by their painting and colours procure odium mariti, their husband's hate, especially,-- cum misere viscantur labra mariti. (Juven. Sat. 6. "He cannot kiss his wife for paint.") Besides, their wives (as Basil notes) Impudenter se exponunt masculorum aspectibus, jactantes tunicas, et coram tripudiantes, impudently thrust themselves into other men's companies, and by their indecent wanton carriage provoke and tempt the spectators. Virtuous women should keep house; and 'twas well performed and ordered by the Greeks,

--"mulier ne qua in publicum
Spectandam se sine arbitro præbeat viro:"

("That a matron should not be seen in public without her husband as her spokesman.")

which made Phidias belike at Elis paint Venus treading on a tortoise, a symbol of women's silence and housekeeping. For a woman abroad and alone, is like a deer broke out of a park, quam mille venatores insequuntur, whom every hunter follows; and besides in such places she cannot so well vindicate herself, but as that virgin Dinah (Gen. xxxiv., 2,) "going for to see the daughters of the land," lost her virginity, she may be defiled and overtaken of a sudden: Imbelles damæ quid nisi præda sumus? ("Helpless deer, what are we but a prey?")

And therefore I know not what philosopher he was, that would have women come but thrice abroad all their time, "to be baptised, married, and buried;" but he was too strait-laced. Let them have their liberty in good sort, and go in good sort, modo non annos viginti ætatis suæ domi relinquant, as a good fellow said, so that they look not twenty years younger abroad than they do at home, they be not spruce, neat, angels abroad, beasts, dowdies, sluts at home; but seek by all means to please and give content to their husbands: to be quiet above all things, obedient, silent and patient; if they be incensed, angry, chid a little, their wives must not cample again, but take it in good part. An honest woman, I cannot now tell where she dwelt, but by report an honest woman she was, hearing one of her gossips by chance complain of her husband's impatience, told her an excellent remedy for it, and gave her withal a glass of water, which when he brawled she should hold still in her mouth, and that toties quoties, as often as he chid; she did so two or three times with good success, and at length seeing her neighbour, gave her great thanks for it, and would needs know the ingredients, she told her in brief what it was, "fair water," and no more: for it was not the water, but her silence which performed the cure. Let every froward woman imitate this example, and be quiet within doors, and (as M. Aurelius prescribes) a necessary caution it is to be observed of all good matrons that love their credits, to come little abroad, but follow their work at home, look to their household affairs and private business, ?conomiæ incumbentes, be sober, thrifty, wary, circumspect, modest, and compose themselves to live to their husbands' means, as a good housewife should do,

"Quæ studiis gavisa coli, partita labores
Fallet opus cantu, formæ assimulata coronæ
Cura puellaris, circum fusosque rotasque
Cum volvet," &c.

(Chaloner. "One who delights in the labour of the distaff, and beguiles the hours of labour with a song: her duties assume an air of virtuous beauty when she is busied at the wheel and the spindle with her maids.")

Howsoever 'tis good to keep them private, not in prison;

"Quisquis custodit uxorem vectibus et seris,
Etsi sibi sapiens, stultus est, et nihil sapit."

(Menander. "Whoever guards his wife with bolts and bars will repent his narrow policy.")

Read more of this subject, Horol. princ. lib. 2. per totum. Arnisæus, polit. Cyprian, Tertullian, Bossus de mulier. apparat. Godefridus de Amor. lib. 2. cap. 4. Levinus Lemnius cap. 54. de institut. Christ. Barbaras de re uxor. lib. 2. cap. 2. Franciscus Patritius de institut. Reipub. lib. 4. Tit. 4. et 6. de officio mariti et uxoris, Christ. Fonseca Amphitheat. Amor. cap. 45. Sam. Neander, &c.

These cautions concern him; and if by those or his own discretion otherwise he cannot moderate himself, his friends must not be wanting by their wisdom, if it be possible, to give the party grieved satisfaction, to prevent and remove the occasions, objects, if it may be to secure him. If it be one alone, or many, to consider whom he suspects or at what times, in what places he is most incensed, in what companies. Nevisanus makes a question whether a young physician ought to be admitted in cases of sickness, into a new-married man's house, to administer a julep, a syrup, or some such physic. The Persians of old would not suffer a young physician to come amongst women. Apollonides Cous made Artaxerxes cuckold, and was after buried alive for it. A goaler in Aristænetus had a fine young gentleman to his prisoner; in commiseration of his youth and person he let him loose, to enjoy the liberty of the prison, but he unkindly made him a cornuto. Menelaus gave good welcome to Paris a stranger, his whole house and family were at his command, but he ungently stole away his best beloved wife. The like measure was offered to Agis king of Lacedæmon, by Alcibiades an exile, for his good entertainment, he was too familiar with Timea his wife, begetting a child of her, called Leotichides: and bragging moreover when he came home to Athens, that he had a son should be king of the Lacedæmonians. If such objects were removed, no doubt but the parties might easily be satisfied, or that they could use them gently and entreat them well, not to revile them, scoff at, hate them, as in such cases commonly they do, 'tis a human infirmity, a miserable vexation, and they should not add grief to grief, nor aggravate their misery, but seek to please, and by all means give them content, by good counsel, removing such offensive objects, or by mediation of some discreet friends. In old Rome there was a temple erected by the matrons to that Viriplaca Dea, another to Venus verticorda, quæ maritos uxoribus reddebat benevolos, whither (if any difference happened between man and wife) they did instantly resort: there they did offer sacrifice, a white hart, Plutarch records, sine felle, without the gall, (some say the like of Juno's temple) and make their prayers for conjugal peace; before some indifferent arbitrators and friends, the matter was heard between man and wife, and commonly composed. In our times we want no sacred churches, or good men to end such controversies, if use were made, of them. Some say that precious stone called beryllus, others a diamond, hath excellent virtue, contra hostium injurias, et conjugatos invicem conciliare, to reconcile men and wives, to maintain unity and love; you may try this when you will, and as you see cause. If none of all these means and cautions will take place, I know not what remedy to prescribe, or whither such persons may go for ease, except they can get into the same Turkey paradise, "Where they shall have as many fair wives as they will themselves, with clear eyes, and such as look on none but their own husbands," no fear, no danger of being cuckolds; or else I would have them observe that strict rule of Alphonsus, to marry a deaf and dumb man to a blind woman. If this will not help, let them, to prevent the worst, consult with an astrologer, and see whether the significators in her horoscope agree with his, that they be not in signis et partibus odiose intuentibus aut imperantibus, sed mutuo et amice antisciis et obedientibus, otherwise (as they hold) there will be intolerable enmities between them: or else get them sigillum veneris, a characteristical seal stamped in the day and hour of Venus, when she is fortunate, with such and such set words and charms, which Villanovanus and Leo Suavius prescribe, ex sigillis magicis Salomonis, Hermetis, Raguelis, &c., with many such, which Alexis, Albertus, and some of our natural magicians put upon us: ut mulier cum aliquo adulterare non possit, incide de capillis ejus, &c., and he shall surely be gracious in all women's eyes, and never suspect or disagree with his own wife so long as he wears it. If this course be not approved, and other remedies may not be had, they must in the last place sue for a divorce; but that is somewhat difficult to effect, and not all out so fit. For as Felisacus in his tract de justa uxore urgeth, if that law of Constantine the Great, or that of Theodosius and Valentinian, concerning divorce, were in use in our times, innumeras propemodum viduas haberemus, et c?libes viros, we should have almost no married couples left. Try therefore those former remedies; or as Tertullian reports of Democritus, that put out his eyes, because he could not look upon a woman without lust, and was much troubled to see that which he might not enjoy; let him make himself blind, and so he shall avoid that care and molestation of watching his wife. One other sovereign remedy I could repeat, an especial antidote against jealousy, an excellent cure, but I am not now disposed to tell it, not that like a covetous empiric I conceal it for any gain, but some other reasons, I am not willing to publish it: if you be very desirous to know it, when I meet you next I will peradventure tell you what it is in your ear. This is the best counsel I can give; which he that hath need of, as occasion serves, may apply unto himself. In the mean time,--dii talem terris avertite pestem, ("Ye gods avert such a pestilence from the world.") as the proverb is, from heresy, jealousy and frenzy, good Lord deliver us.

 

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