To that great inconvenience, which comes on the one side by immoderate and unseasonable exercise, too much solitariness and idleness on the other, must be opposed as an antidote, a moderate and seasonable use of it, and that both of body and mind, as a most material circumstance, much conducing to this cure, and to the general preservation of our health. The heavens themselves run continually round, the sun riseth and sets, the moon increaseth and decreaseth, stars and planets keep their constant motions, the air is still tossed by the winds, the waters ebb and flow to their conservation no doubt, to teach us that we should ever be in action. For which cause Hieron prescribes Rusticus the monk, that he be always occupied about some business or other, "that the devil do not find him idle." Seneca would have a man do something, though it be to no purpose. Xenophon wisheth one rather to play at tables, dice, or make a jester of himself (though he might be far better employed) than do nothing. The Egyptians of old, and many flourishing commonwealths since, have enjoined labour and exercise to all sorts of men, to be of some vocation and calling, and give an account of their time, to prevent those grievous mischiefs that come by idleness: "for as fodder, whip, and burthen belong to the ass: so meat, correction, and work unto the servant," Ecclus. xxxiii. 23. The Turks enjoin all men whatsoever, of what degree, to be of some trade or other, the Grand Signior himself is not excused. "In our memory" (saith Sabellicus) "Mahomet the Turk, he that conquered Greece, at that very time when he heard ambassadors of other princes, did either carve or cut wooden spoons, or frame something upon a table." This present sultan makes notches for bows. The Jews are most severe in this examination of time. All well-governed places, towns, families, and every discreet person will be a law unto himself. But amongst us the badge of gentry is idleness: to be of no calling, not to labour, for that's derogatory to their birth, to be a mere spectator, a drone, fruges consumere natus, to have no necessary employment to busy himself about in church and commonwealth (some few governors exempted), "but to rise to eat," &c., to spend his days in hawking, hunting, &c., and such like disports and recreations ( which our casuists tax), are the sole exercise almost, and ordinary actions of our nobility, and in which they are too immoderate. And thence it comes to pass, that in city and country so many grievances of body and mind, and this feral disease of melancholy so frequently rageth, and now domineers almost all over Europe amongst our great ones. They know not how to spend their time (disports excepted, which are all their business), what to do, or otherwise how to bestow themselves: like our modern Frenchmen, that had rather lose a pound of blood in a single combat, than a drop of sweat in any honest labour. Every man almost hath something or other to employ himself about, some vocation, some trade, but they do all by ministers and servants, ad otia duntaxat se natos existimant, imo ad sui ipsius plerumque et aliorum perniciem, as one freely taxeth such kind of men, they are all for pastimes, 'tis all their study, all their invention tends to this alone, to drive away time, as if they were born some of them to no other ends. Therefore to correct and avoid these errors and inconveniences, our divines, physicians, and politicians, so much labour, and so seriously exhort; and for this disease in particular, "there can be no better cure than continual business," as Rhasis holds, "to have some employment or other, which may set their mind awork, and distract their cogitations." Riches may not easily be had without labour and industry, nor learning without study, neither can our health be preserved without bodily exercise. If it be of the body, Guianerius allows that exercise which is gentle, "and still after those ordinary frications" which must be used every morning. Montaltus, cap. 26. and Jason Pratensis use almost the same words, highly commending exercise if it be moderate; "a wonderful help so used," Crato calls it," and a great means to preserve our health, as adding strength to the whole body, increasing natural heat, by means of which the nutriment is well concocted in the stomach, liver, and veins, few or no crudities left, is happily distributed over all the body." Besides, it expels excrements by sweat and other insensible vapours; insomuch, that Galen prefers exercise before all physic, rectification of diet, or any regimen in what kind soever; 'tis nature's physician. Fulgentius, out of Gordonius de conserv. vit. hom. lib. 1. cap. 7. terms exercise, "a spur of a dull, sleepy nature, the comforter of the members, cure of infirmity, death of diseases, destruction of all mischiefs and vices." The fittest time for exercise is a little before dinner, a little before supper, or at any time when the body is empty. Montanus, consil. 31. prescribes it every morning to his patient, and that, as Calenus adds, "after he hath done his ordinary needs, rubbed his body, washed his hands and face, combed his head and gargarised." What kind of exercise he should use, Galen tells us, lib. 2. et 3. de sanit. tuend. and in what measure, "till the body be ready to sweat," and roused up; ad ruborem, some say, non ad sudorem, lest it should dry the body too much; others enjoin those wholesome businesses, as to dig so long in his garden, to hold the plough, and the like. Some prescribe frequent and violent labour and exercises, as sawing every day so long together (epid. 6. Hippocrates confounds them), but that is in some cases, to some peculiar men; the most forbid, and by no means will have it go farther than a beginning sweat, as being perilous if it exceed.
Of these labours, exercises, and recreations, which are likewise included, some properly belong to the body, some to the mind, some more easy, some hard, some with delight, some without, some within doors, some natural, some are artificial. Amongst bodily exercises, Galen commends ludum parvæ pilæ, to play at ball, be it with the hand or racket, in tennis-courts or otherwise, it exerciseth each part of the body, and doth much good, so that they sweat not too much. It was in great request of old amongst the Greeks, Romans, Barbarians, mentioned by Homer, Herodotus, and Plinius. Some write, that Aganella, a fair maid of Corcyra, was the inventor of it, for she presented the first ball that ever was made to Nausica, the daughter of King Alcinous, and taught her how to use it.
The ordinary sports which are used abroad are hawking, hunting, hilares venandi labores, one calls them, because they recreate body and mind, another, the "best exercise that is, by which alone many have been freed from all feral diseases." Hegesippus, lib. 1. cap. 37. relates of Herod, that he was eased of a grievous melancholy by that means. Plato, 7. de leg. highly magnifies it, dividing it into three parts, "by land, water, air." Xenophon, in Cyropæd. graces it with a great name, Deorum munus, the gift of the gods, a princely sport, which they have ever used, saith Langius, epist. 59. lib. 2. as well for health as pleasure, and do at this day, it being the sole almost and ordinary sport of our noblemen in Europe, and elsewhere all over the world. Bohemus, de mor. gent. lib. 3. cap. 12. styles it therefore, studium nobilium, communiter venantur, quod sibi solis licere contendunt, 'tis all their study, their exercise, ordinary business, all their talk: and indeed some dote too much after it, they can do nothing else, discourse of naught else. Paulus Jovius, descr. Brit. doth in some sort tax our "English nobility for it, for living in the country so much, and too frequent use of it, as if they had no other means but hawking and hunting to approve themselves gentlemen with."
Hawking comes near to hunting, the one in the air, as the other on the earth, a sport as much affected as the other, by some preferred. It was never heard of amongst the Romans, invented some twelve hundred years since, and first mentioned by Firmicus, lib. 5. cap. 8. The Greek emperors began it, and now nothing so frequent: he is nobody that in the season hath not a hawk on his fist. A great art, and many books written of it. It is a wonder to hear what is related of the Turks' officers in this behalf, how many thousand men are employed about it, how many hawks of all sorts, how much revenues consumed on that only disport, how much time is spent at Adrianople alone every year to that purpose. The Persian kings hawk after butterflies with sparrows made to that use, and stares: lesser hawks for lesser games they have, and bigger for the rest, that they may produce their sport to all seasons. The Muscovian emperors reclaim eagles to fly at hinds, foxes, &c., and such a one was sent for a present to Queen Elizabeth: some reclaim ravens, castrils, pies, &c., and man them for their pleasures.
Fowling is more troublesome, but all out as delightsome to some sorts of men, be it with guns, lime, nets, glades, gins, strings, baits, pitfalls, pipes, calls, stalking-horses, setting-dogs, decoy-ducks, &c., or otherwise. Some much delight to take larks with day-nets, small birds with chaff-nets, plovers, partridge, herons, snipe, &c. Henry the Third, king of Castile (as Mariana the Jesuit reports of him, lib. 3. cap. 7.) was much affected "with catching of quails," and many gentlemen take a singular pleasure at morning and evening to go abroad with their quail-pipes, and will take any pains to satisfy their delight in that kind. The Italians have gardens fitted to such use, with nets, bushes, glades, sparing no cost or industry, and are very much affected with the sport. Tycho Brahe, that great astronomer, in the chorography of his Isle of Huena, and Castle of Uraniburge, puts down his nets, and manner of catching small birds, as an ornament and a recreation, wherein he himself was sometimes employed.
Fishing is a kind of hunting by water, be it with nets, weeles, baits, angling, or otherwise, and yields all out as much pleasure to some men as dogs or hawks; "When they draw their fish upon the bank," saith Nic. Henselius Silesiographiæ, cap. 3. speaking of that extraordinary delight his countrymen took in fishing, and in making of pools. James Dubravius, that Moravian, in his book de pisc. telleth, how travelling by the highway side in Silesia, he found a nobleman, "booted up to the groins," wading himself, pulling the nets, and labouring as much as any fisherman of them all: and when some belike objected to him the baseness of his office, he excused himself, "that if other men might hunt hares, why should not he hunt carps?" Many gentlemen in like sort with us will wade up to the arm-holes upon such occasions, and voluntarily undertake that to satisfy their pleasures, which a poor man for a good stipend would scarce be hired to undergo. Plutarch, in his book de soler. animal. speaks against all fishing, "as a filthy, base, illiberal employment, having neither wit nor perspicacity in it, nor worth the labour." But he that shall consider the variety of baits for all seasons, and pretty devices which our anglers have invented, peculiar lines, false flies, several sleights, &c. will say, that it deserves like commendation, requires as much study and perspicacity as the rest, and is to be preferred before many of them. Because hawking and hunting are very laborious, much riding, and many dangers accompany them; but this is still and quiet: and if so be the angler catch no fish, yet he hath a wholesome walk to the brookside, pleasant shade by the sweet silver streams; he hath good air, and sweet smells of fine fresh meadow flowers, he hears the melodious harmony of birds, he sees the swans, herons, ducks, water-horns, coots, &c., and many other fowl, with their brood, which he thinketh better than the noise of hounds, or blast of horns, and all the sport that they can make.
Many other sports and recreations there be, much in use, as ringing, bowling, shooting, which Ascam recommends in a just volume, and hath in former times been enjoined by statute, as a defensive exercise, and an honour to our land, as well may witness our victories in France. Keelpins, tronks, quoits, pitching bars, hurling, wrestling, leaping, running, fencing, mustering, swimming, wasters, foils, football, balloon, quintain, &c., and many such, which are the common recreations of the country folks. Riding of great horses, running at rings, tilts and tournaments, horse races, wild-goose chases, which are the disports of greater men, and good in themselves, though many gentlemen by that means gallop quite out of their fortunes.
But the most pleasant of all outward pastimes is that of Areteus, deambulatio per am?na loca, to make a petty progress, a merry journey now and then with some good companions, to visit friends, see cities, castles, towns,
"Visere sæpe amnes nitidos, per amænaque
Tempe, Et placidas summis sectari in montibus auras."
"To see the pleasant fields, the crystal fountains,
And take the gentle air amongst the mountains."
To walk amongst orchards, gardens, bowers, mounts, and arbours, artificial wildernesses, green thickets, arches, groves, lawns, rivulets, fountains, and such like pleasant places, like that Antiochian Daphne, brooks, pools, fishponds, between wood and water, in a fair meadow, by a river side, ubi variæ, avium cantationes, florum colores, pratorum frutices, &c. to disport in some pleasant plain, park, run up a steep hill sometimes, or sit in a shady seat, must needs be a delectable recreation. Hortus principis et domus ad delectationem facia, cum sylva, monte et piscina, vulgo la montagna: the prince's garden at Ferrara Schottus highly magnifies, with the groves, mountains, ponds, for a delectable prospect, he was much affected with it: a Persian paradise, or pleasant park, could not be more delectable in his sight. St. Bernard, in the description of his monastery, is almost ravished with the pleasures of it. "A sick man" (saith he) "sits upon a green bank, and when the dog-star parcheth the plains, and dries up rivers, he lies in a shady bower, Fronde sub arborea ferventia temperat astra, and feeds his eyes with variety of objects, herbs, trees, to comfort his misery, he receives many delightsome smells, and fills his ears with that sweet and various harmony of birds: good God" (saith he), "what a company of pleasures hast thou made for man!" He that should be admitted on a sudden to the sight of such a palace as that of Escurial in Spain, or to that which the Moors built at Granada, Fontainebleau in France, the Turk's gardens in his seraglio, wherein all manner of birds and beasts are kept for pleasure; wolves, bears, lynxes, tigers, lions, elephants, &c., or upon the banks of that Thracian Bosphorus: the pope's Belvedere in Rome, as pleasing as those horti pensiles in Babylon, or that Indian king's delightsome garden in Aelian; or those famous gardens of the Lord Cantelow in France, could, not choose, though he were never so ill paid, but be much recreated for the time; or many of our noblemen's gardens at home. To take a boat in a pleasant evening, and with music to row upon the waters, which Plutarch so much applauds, Elian admires, upon the river Pineus: in those Thessalian fields, beset with green bays, where birds so sweetly sing that passengers, enchanted as it were with their heavenly music, omnium laborum et curarum obliviscantur, forget forthwith all labours, care, and grief: or in a gondola through the Grand Canal in Venice, to see those goodly palaces, must needs refresh and give content to a melancholy dull spirit. Or to see the inner rooms of a fair-built and sumptuous edifice, as that of the Persian kings, so much renowned by Diodorus and Curtius, in which all was almost beaten gold, chairs, stools, thrones, tabernacles, and pillars of gold, plane trees, and vines of gold, grapes of precious stones, all the other ornaments of pure gold,
"Fulget gemma floris, et jaspide fulva supellex,
Strata micant Tyrio"------
(Lucan. "The furniture glitters with brilliant gems, with yellow jasper, and the couches dazzle with their purple dye.")
With sweet odours and perfumes, generous wines, opiparous fare, &c., besides the gallantest young men, the fairest virgins, puellæ scitulæ ministrantes, the rarest beauties the world could afford, and those set out with costly and curious attires, ad stuporem usque spectantium, with exquisite music, as in Trimaltion's house, in every chamber sweet voices ever sounding day and night, incomparabilis luxus, all delights and pleasures in each kind which to please the senses could possibly be devised or had, convives coronati, delitiis ebrii, &c. Telemachus, in Homer, is brought in as one ravished almost at the sight of that magnificent palace, and rich furniture of Menelaus, when he beheld
"Æris fulgorem et resonantia tecta corusco
Auro, atque electro nitido, sectoque elephanto,
Argentoque simul. Talis Jovis ardua sedes,
Aulaque c?licolum stellans splendescit Olympo."
"Such glittering of gold and brightest brass to shine,
Clear amber, silver pure, and ivory so fine:
Jupiter's lofty palace, where the gods do dwell,
Was even such a one, and did it not excel."
It will laxare animos, refresh the soul of man to see fair-built cities, streets, theatres, temples, obelisks, &c. The temple of Jerusalem was so fairly built of white marble, with so many pyramids covered with gold; tectumque templi fulvo coruscans auro, nimio suo fulgore obcæcabat oculos itinerantium, was so glorious, and so glistened afar off, that the spectators might not well abide the sight of it. But the inner parts were all so curiously set out with cedar, gold, jewels, &c., as he said of Cleopatra's palace in Egypt,-- Crassumque trabes absconderat aurum, that the beholders were amazed. What so pleasant as to see some pageant or sight go by, as at coronations, weddings, and such like solemnities, to see an ambassador or a prince met, received, entertained with masks, shows, fireworks, &c. To see two kings fight in single combat, as Porus and Alexander; Canute and Edmund Ironside; Scanderbeg and Ferat Bassa the Turk; when not honour alone but life itself is at stake, as the poet of Hector,
------"nec enim pro tergore Tauri,
Pro bove nec certamen erat, quæ præmia cursus
Esse solent, sed pro magni viraque animaque -- Hectoris."
(Iliad. 10. "For neither was the contest for the hide of a bull, nor for a beeve, which are the usual prizes in the race, but for the life and soul of the great Hector.")
To behold a battle fought, like that of Crecy, or Agincourt, or Poitiers, qua nescio (saith Froissart) an vetustas ullam proferre possit clariorem. To see one of Caesar's triumphs in old Rome revived, or the like. To be present at an interview, as that famous of Henry the Eighth and Francis the First, so much renowned all over Europe; ubi tanto apparatu (saith Hubertus Veillius) tamque triumphali pompa ambo reges com eorum conjugibus coiere, ut nulla unquam ætas tam celebria festa viderit aut audieriti, no age ever saw the like. So infinitely pleasant are such shows, to the sight of which oftentimes they will come hundreds of miles, give any money for a place, and remember many years after with singular delight. Bodine, when he was ambassador in England, said he saw the noblemen go in their robes to the parliament house, summa cum jucunditate vidimus, he was much affected with the sight of it. Pomponius Columna, saith Jovius in his life, saw thirteen Frenchmen, and so many Italians, once fight for a whole army: Quod jucundissimum spectaculum in vita dicit sua, the pleasantest sight that ever he saw in his life. Who would not have been affected with such a spectacle? Or that single combat of Breaute the Frenchman, and Anthony Schets a Dutchman, before the walls of Sylvaducis in Brabant, anno 1600. They were twenty-two horse on the one side, as many on the other, which like Livy's Horatii, Torquati and Corvini fought for their own glory and country's honour, in the sight and view of their whole city and army. When Julius Caesar warred about the banks of Rhone, there came a barbarian prince to see him and the Roman army, and when he had beheld Caesar a good while, "I see the gods now" (saith he) "which before I heard of," nec feliciorem ullam vitæ meæ aut optavi, aut sensi diem: it was the happiest day that ever he had in his life. Such a sight alone were able of itself to drive away melancholy; if not for ever, yet it must needs expel it for a time. Radzivilus was much taken with the pasha's palace in Cairo, and amongst many other objects which that place afforded, with that solemnity of cutting the banks of the Nile by Imbram Pasha, when it overflowed, besides two or three hundred gilded galleys on the water, he saw two millions of men gathered together on the land, with turbans as white as snow; and 'twas a goodly sight. The very reading of feasts, triumphs, interviews, nuptials, tilts, tournaments, combats, and monomachies, is most acceptable and pleasant. Franciscus Modius hath made a large collection of such solemnities in two great tomes, which whoso will may peruse. The inspection alone of those curious iconographies of temples and palaces, as that of the Lateran church in Albertus Durer, that of the temple of Jerusalem in Josephus, Adricomius, and Villalpandus: that of the Escurial in Guadas, of Diana at Ephesus in Pliny, Nero's golden palace in Rome, Justinian's in Constantinople, that Peruvian Jugo's in Cusco, ut non ab hominibus, sed a dæmoniis constructum videatur; St. Mark's in Venice, by Ignatius, with many such; priscorum artificum opera (saith that interpreter of Pausanias), the rare workmanship of those ancient Greeks, in theatres, obelisks, temples, statues, gold, silver, ivory, marble images, non minore ferme quum leguntur, quam quum cernuntur, animum delectatione complent, affect one as much by reading almost as by sight.
The country hath his recreations, the city his several gymnics and exercises, May games, feasts, wakes, and merry meetings, to solace themselves; the very being in the country; that life itself is a sufficient recreation to some men, to enjoy such pleasures, as those old patriarchs did. Diocletian, the emperor, was so much affected with it, that he gave over his sceptre, and turned gardener. Constantine wrote twenty books of husbandry. Lysander, when ambassadors came to see him, bragged of nothing more than of his orchard, hi sunt ordines mei. What shall I say of Cincinnatus, Cato, Tully, and many such? how they have been pleased with it, to prune, plant, inoculate and graft, to show so many several kinds of pears, apples, plums, peaches, &c.
"Nunc captare feras laqueo, nunc fallere visco,
Atque etiam magnos canibus circundare saltus
Insidias avibus moliri, incendere vepres."
"Sometimes with traps deceive, with line and string
To catch wild birds and beasts, encompassing
The grove with dogs, and out of bushes firing."
------"et nidos aviumscrutari," &c.
Jucundus, in his preface to Cato, Varro, Columella, &c., put out by him, confesseth of himself, that he was mightily delighted with these husbandry studies, and took extraordinary pleasure in them: if the theory or speculation can so much affect, what shall the place and exercise itself, the practical part do? The same confession I find in Herbastein, Porta, Camerarius, and many others, which have written of that subject. If my testimony were aught worth, I could say as much of myself; I am vere Saturnus; no man ever took more delight in springs, woods, groves, gardens, walks, fishponds, rivers, &c. But
"Tantalus a labris sitiens fugientia captat
("thirsting Tantalus gapes for the water that eludes his lips.")
And so do I; Velle licet, potiri non licet.
Every palace, every city almost hath its peculiar walks, cloisters, terraces, groves, theatres, pageants, games, and several recreations; every country, some professed gymnics to exhilarate their minds, and exercise their bodies. The Greeks had their Olympian, Pythian, Isthmian, Nemean games, in honour of Neptune, Jupiter, Apollo; Athens hers: some for honour, garlands, crowns; for beauty, dancing, running, leaping, like our silver games. The Romans had their feasts, as the Athenians, and Lacedaemonians held their public banquets, in Pritanaeo, Panathenaeis, Thesperiis, Phiditiis, plays, naumachies, places for sea-fights, theatres, amphitheatres able to contain 70,000 men, wherein they had several delightsome shows to exhilarate the people; gladiators, combats of men with themselves, with wild beasts, and wild beasts one with another, like our bull-baitings, or bear-baitings (in which many countrymen and citizens amongst us so much delight and so frequently use), dancers on ropes. Jugglers, wrestlers, comedies, tragedies, publicly exhibited at the emperor's and city's charge, and that with incredible cost and magnificence. In the Low-Countries (as Meteran relates) before these wars, they had many solemn feasts, plays, challenges, artillery gardens, colleges of rhymers, rhetoricians, poets: and to this day, such places are curiously maintained in Amsterdam, as appears by that description of Isaacus Pontanus, rerum Amstelrod. lib. 2. cap. 25. So likewise not long since at Friburg in Germany, as is evident by that relation of Neander, they had Ludos septennales, solemn plays every seven years, which Bocerus, one of their own poets, hath elegantly described:
"At nunc magnifico spectacula structa paratu
Quid memorem, veteri non concessura
Quirino, Ludorum pompa," &c.
("What shall I say of their spectacles produced with the most magnificent decorations,-- a degree of costliness never indulged in even by the Romans.")
In Italy they have solemn declamations of certain select young gentlemen in Florence (like those reciters in old Rome), and public theatres in most of their cities, for stage-players and others, to exercise and recreate themselves. All seasons almost, all places, have their several pastimes; some in summer, some in winter; some abroad, some within: some of the body, some of the mind: and diverse men have diverse recreations and exercises. Domitian, the emperor, was much delighted with catching flies; Augustus to play with nuts amongst children; Alexander Severus was often pleased to play with whelps and young pigs. Adrian was so wholly enamoured with dogs and horses, that he bestowed monuments and tombs of them, and buried them in graves. In foul weather, or when they can use no other convenient sports, by reason of the time, as we do cock-fighting, to avoid idleness, I think, (though some be more seriously taken with it, spend much time, cost and charges, and are too solicitous about it) Severus used partridges and quails, as many Frenchmen do still, and to keep birds in cages, with which he was much pleased, when at any time he had leisure from public cares and businesses. He had (saith Lampridius) tame pheasants, ducks, partridges, peacocks, and some 20,000 ring-doves and pigeons. Busbequius, the emperor's orator, when he lay in Constantinople, and could not stir much abroad, kept for his recreation, busying himself to see them fed, almost all manner of strange birds and beasts; this was something, though not to exercise his body, yet to refresh his mind. Conradus Gesner, at Zurich in Switzerland, kept so likewise for his pleasure, a great company of wild beasts; and (as he saith) took great delight to see them eat their meat. Turkey gentlewomen, that are perpetual prisoners, still mewed up according to the custom of the place, have little else beside their household business, or to play with their children to drive away time, but to dally with their cats, which they have in delitiis, as many of our ladies and gentlewomen use monkeys and little dogs. The ordinary recreations which we have in winter, and in most solitary times busy our minds with, are cards, tables and dice, shovelboard, chess-play, the philosopher's game, small trunks, shuttlecock, billiards, music, masks, singing, dancing, Yule-games, frolics, jests, riddles, catches, purposes, questions and commands, merry tales of errant knights, queens, lovers, lords, ladies, giants, dwarfs, thieves, cheaters, witches, fairies, goblins, friars, &c., such as the old woman told Psyche in Apuleius, Boccace novels, and the rest, quarum auditione pueri delectantur, senes narratione, which some delight to hear, some to tell; all are well pleased with. Amaranthus, the philosopher, met Hermocles, Diophantus and Philolaus, his companions, one day busily discoursing about Epicurus and Democritus' tenets, very solicitous which was most probable and came nearest to truth: to put them out of that surly controversy, and to refresh their spirits, he told them a pleasant tale of Stratocles the physician's wedding, and of all the particulars, the company, the cheer, the music, &c., for he was new come from it; with which relation they were so much delighted, that Philolaus wished a blessing to his heart, and many a good wedding, many such merry meetings might he be at, "to please himself with the sight, and others with the narration of it." News are generally welcome to all our ears, avide audimus, aures enim hominum novitate lætantur ( as Pliny observes), we long after rumour to hear and listen to it, densum humeris bibit aure vulgus. We are most part too inquisitive and apt to hearken after news, which Caesar, in his Commentaries, observes of the old Gauls, they would be inquiring of every carrier and passenger what they had heard or seen, what news abroad?
------"quid toto fiat in orbe,
Quid Seres, quid Thraces agant, secreta novercae,
Et pueri, quis amet," &c.
as at an ordinary with us, bakehouse or barber's shop. When that great Gonsalva was upon some displeasure confined by King Ferdinand to the city of Loxa in Andalusia, the only, comfort (saith Jovius) he had to ease his melancholy thoughts, was to hear news, and to listen after those ordinary occurrences which were brought him cum primis, by letters or otherwise out of the remotest parts of Europe. Some men's whole delight is, to take tobacco, and drink all day long in a tavern or alehouse, to discourse, sing, jest, roar, talk of a cock and bull over a pot, &c. Or when three or four good companions meet, tell old stories by the fireside, or in the sun, as old folks usually do, quæ aprici meminere senes, remembering afresh and with pleasure ancient matters, and such like accidents, which happened in their younger years: others' best pastime is to game, nothing to them so pleasant. Hic Veneri indulget, hunc decoquit alea -- many too nicely take exceptions at cards, tables, and dice, and such mixed lusorious lots, whom Gataker well confutes. Which though they be honest recreations in themselves, yet may justly be otherwise excepted at, as they are often abused, and forbidden as things most pernicious; insanam rem et damnosam, Lemnius calls it. "For most part in these kind of disports 'tis not art or skill, but subtlety, cony-catching, knavery, chance and fortune carries all away:" 'tis ambulatoria pecunia,
------"puncto mobilis horæ
Permutat dominos, et cedit in altera jura."
("In a moment of fleeting time it changes masters and submits to new control.")
They labour most part not to pass their time in honest disport, but for filthy lucre, and covetousness of money. In f?dissimum lucrum et avaritiam hominum convertitur, as Daneus observes. Fons fraudum et maleficiorum, 'tis the fountain of cozenage and villainy. "A thing so common all over Europe at this day, and so generally abused, that many men are utterly undone by it," their means spent, patrimonies consumed, they and their posterity beggared; besides swearing, wrangling, drinking, loss of time, and such inconveniences, which are ordinary concomitants: "for when once they have got a haunt of such companies, and habit of gaming, they can hardly be drawn from it, but as an itch it will tickle them, and as it is with whoremasters, once entered, they cannot easily leave it off:" Vexat mentes insania cupido, they are mad upon their sport. And in conclusion (which Charles the Seventh, that good French king, published in an edict against gamesters) unde piæ et hilaris vitæ, suffugium sibi suisque liberis, totique familiæ, &c. "That which was once their livelihood, should have maintained wife, children, family, is now spent and gone;" mæror et egestas, &c., sorrow and beggary succeeds. So good things may be abused, and that which was first invented to refresh men's weary spirits, when they come from other labours and studies to exhilarate the mind, to entertain time and company, tedious otherwise in those long solitary winter nights, and keep them from worse matters, an honest exercise is contrarily perverted.
Chess-play is a good and witty exercise of the mind for some kind of men, and fit for such melancholy, Rhasis holds, as are idle, and have extravagant impertinent thoughts, or troubled with cares, nothing better to distract their mind, and alter their meditations: invented (some say) by the general of an army in a famine, to keep soldiers from mutiny: but if it proceed from overmuch study, in such a case it may do more harm than good; it is a game too troublesome for some men's brains, too full of anxiety, all out as bad as study; besides it is a testy choleric game, and very offensive to him that loseth the mate. William the Conqueror, in his younger years, playing at chess with the Prince of France (Dauphine was not annexed to that crown in those days) losing a mate, knocked the chess-board about his pate, which was a cause afterward of much enmity between them. For some such reason it is belike, that Patritius, in his 3. book, tit. 12. de reg. instit. forbids his prince to play at chess; hawking and hunting, riding, &c. he will allow; and this to other men, but by no means to him. In Muscovy, where they live in stoves and hot houses all winter long, come seldom or little abroad, it is again very necessary, and therefore in those parts, (saith Herbastein) much used. At Fez in Africa, where the like inconvenience of keeping within doors is through heat, it is very laudable; and (as Leo Afer relates) as much frequented. A sport fit for idle gentlewomen, soldiers in garrison, and courtiers that have nought but love matters to busy themselves about, but not altogether so convenient for such as are students. The like I may say of Col. Bruxer's philosophy game, D. Fulke's Metromachia and his Ouronomachia, with the rest of those intricate astrological and geometrical fictions, for such especially as are mathematically given; and the rest of those curious games.
Dancing, singing, masking, mumming, stage plays, howsoever they be heavily censured by some severe Catos, yet if opportunely and soberly used, may justly be approved. Melius est f?dere, quam saltare, ("It is better to dig than to dance.") saith Austin: but what is that if they delight in it? Nemo saltat sobrius. (Tullius. "No sensible man dances.") But in what kind of dance? I know these sports have many oppugners, whole volumes writ against them; when as all they say (if duly considered) is but ignoratio Elenchi; and some again, because they are now cold and wayward, past themselves, cavil at all such youthful sports in others, as he did in the comedy; they think them, illico nasci senes, &c. Some out of preposterous zeal object many times trivial arguments, and because of some abuse, will quite take away the good use, as if they should forbid wine because it makes men drunk; but in my judgment they are too stern: there "is a time for all things, a time to mourn, a time to dance," Eccles. iii. 4. "a time to embrace, a time not to embrace," (verse 5.) "and nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his own works," verse 22; for my part, I will subscribe to the king's declaration, and was ever of that mind, those May games, wakes, and Whitsun ales, &c., if they be not at unseasonable hours, may justly be permitted. Let them freely feast, sing and dance, have their puppet-plays, hobby-horses, tabors, crowds, bagpipes, &c., play at ball, and barley-breaks, and what sports and recreations they like best. In Franconia, a province of Germany, (saith Aubanus Bohemus) the old folks, after evening prayer, went to the alehouse, the younger sort to dance: and to say truth with Salisburiensis, satius fuerat sic otiari, quam turpius occupari, better to do so than worse, as without question otherwise (such is the corruption of man's nature) many of them will do. For that cause, plays, masks, jesters, gladiators, tumblers, jugglers, &c., and all that crew is admitted and winked at: Tota jocularium scena procedit, et ideo spectacula admissa sunt, et infinita tyrocinia vanitatum, ut his occupentur, qui perniciosius otiari solent: that they might be busied about such toys, that would otherwise more perniciously be idle. So that as Tacitus said of the astrologers in Rome, we may say of them, genus hominum est quod in civitate nostra et vitabitur semper et retinebitur, they are a debauched company most part, still spoken against, as well they deserve some of them (for I so relish and distinguish them as fiddlers, and musicians), and yet ever retained. "Evil is not to be done (I confess) that good may come of it:" but this is evil per accidens, and in a qualified sense, to avoid a greater inconvenience, may justly be tolerated. Sir Thomas More, in his Utopian Commonwealth, "as he will have none idle, so will he have no man labour over hard, to be toiled out like a horse, 'tis more than slavish infelicity, the life of most of our hired servants and tradesmen elsewhere" (excepting his Utopians) "but half the day allotted for work, and half for honest recreation, or whatsoever employment they shall think fit for themselves." If one half day in a week were allowed to our household servants for their merry meetings, by their hard masters, or in a year some feasts, like those Roman Saturnals, I think they would labour harder all the rest of their time, and both parties be better pleased: but this needs not (you will say), for some of them do nought but loiter all the week long.
This which I aim at, is for such as are fracti animis, troubled in mind, to ease them, over-toiled on the one part, to refresh: over idle on the other, to keep themselves busied. And to this purpose, as any labour or employment will serve to the one, any honest recreation will conduce to the other, so that it be moderate and sparing, as the use of meat and drink; not to spend all their life in gaming, playing, and pastimes, as too many gentlemen do; but to revive our bodies and recreate our souls with honest sports: of which as there be diverse sorts, and peculiar to several callings, ages, sexes, conditions, so there be proper for several seasons, and those of distinct natures, to fit that variety of humours which is amongst them, that if one will not, another may: some in summer, some in winter, some gentle, some more violent, some for the mind alone, some for the body and mind: (as to some it is both business and a pleasant recreation to oversee workmen of all sorts, husbandry, cattle, horses, &c. To build, plot, project, to make models, cast up accounts, &c.) some without, some within doors; new, old, &c., as the season serveth, and as men are inclined. It is reported of Philippus Bonus, that good duke of Burgundy (by Lodovicus Vives, in Epist. and Pont. Heuter in his history) that the said duke, at the marriage of Eleonora, sister to the king of Portugal, at Bruges in Flanders, which was solemnised in the deep of winter, when, as by reason of unseasonable weather, he could neither hawk nor hunt, and was now tired with cards, dice, &c., and such other domestic sports, or to see ladies dance, with some of his courtiers, he would in the evening walk disguised all about the town. It so fortuned, as he was walking late one night, he found a country fellow dead drunk, snorting on a bulk; he caused his followers to bring him to his palace, and there stripping him of his old clothes, and attiring him after the court fashion, when he waked, he and they were all ready to attend upon his excellency, persuading him he was some great duke. The poor fellow admiring how he came there, was served in state all the day long; after supper he saw them dance, heard music, and the rest of those court-like pleasures: but late at night, when he was well tippled, and again fast asleep, they put on his old robes, and so conveyed him to the place where they first found him. Now the fellow had not made them so good sport the day before as he did when he returned to himself; all the jest was, to see how he looked upon it. In conclusion, after some little admiration, the poor man told his friends he had seen a vision, constantly believed it, would not otherwise be persuaded, and so the jest ended. Antiochus Epiphanes would often disguise himself, steal from his court, and go into merchants', goldsmiths', and other tradesmen's shops, sit and talk with them, and sometimes ride or walk alone, and fall aboard with any tinker, clown, serving man, carrier, or whomsoever he met first. Sometimes he did ex insperato give a poor fellow money, to see how he would look, or on set purpose lose his purse as he went, to watch who found it, and withal how he would be affected, and with such objects he was much delighted. Many such tricks are ordinarily put in practice by great men, to exhilarate themselves and others, all which are harmless jests, and have their good uses.
But amongst those exercises, or recreations of the mind within doors, there is none so general, so aptly to be applied to all sorts of men, so fit and proper to expel idleness and melancholy, as that of study: Studia, senectutem oblectant, adolescentiam alunt, secundas res ornant, adversis perfugium et solatium præbent, domi delectant, &c., find the rest in Tully pro Archia P?ta. ("Study is the delight of old age, the support of youth, the ornament of prosperity, the solace and refuge of adversity, the comfort of domestic life," &c.) What so full of content, as to read, walk, and see maps, pictures, statues, jewels, marbles, which some so much magnify, as those that Phidias made of old so exquisite and pleasing to be beheld, that as Chrysostom thinketh, "if any man be sickly, troubled in mind, or that cannot sleep for grief, and shall but stand over against one of Phidias' images, he will forget all care, or whatsoever else may molest him, in an instant?" There be those as much taken with Michael Angelo's, Raphael de Urbino's, Francesco Francia's pieces, and many of those Italian and Dutch painters, which were excellent in their ages; and esteem of it as a most pleasing sight, to view those neat architectures, devices, escutcheons, coats of arms, read such books, to peruse old coins of several sorts in a fair gallery; artificial works, perspective glasses, old relics, Roman antiquities, variety of colours. A good picture is falsa veritas, et muta p?sis: and though (as Vives saith) artificialia delectant, sed mox fastidimus, artificial toys please but for a time; yet who is he that will not be moved with them for the present? When Achilles was tormented and sad for the loss of his dear friend Patroclus, his mother Thetis brought him a most elaborate and curious buckler made by Vulcan, in which were engraven sun, moon, stars, planets, sea, land, men fighting, running, riding, women scolding, hills, dales, towns, castles, brooks, rivers, trees, &c., with many pretty landscapes, and perspective pieces: with sight of which he was infinitely delighted, and much eased of his grief.
"Continuo eo spectaculo captus delenito mærore
Oblectabatur, in manibus tenens dei splendida dona."
Who will not be affected so in like case, or see those well-furnished cloisters and galleries of the Roman cardinals, so richly stored with all modern pictures, old statues and antiquities? Cum se -- spectando recreet simul et legendo, to see their pictures alone and read the description, as Boisardus well adds, whom will it not affect? which Bozius, Pomponius, Laetus, Marlianus, Schottus, Cavelerius, Ligorius, &c., and he himself hath well performed of late. Or in some prince's cabinets, like that of the great dukes in Florence, of Felix Platerus in Basil, or noblemen's houses, to see such variety of attires, faces, so many, so rare, and such exquisite pieces, of men, birds, beasts, &c., to see those excellent landscapes, Dutch works, and curious cuts of Sadlier of Prague, Albertus Durer, Goltzius Vrintes, &c., such pleasant pieces of perspective, Indian pictures made of feathers, China works, frames, thaumaturgical motions, exotic toys, &c. Who is he that is now wholly overcome with idleness, or otherwise involved in a labyrinth of worldly cares, troubles and discontents, that will not be much lightened in his mind by reading of some enticing story, true or feigned, whereas in a glass he shall observe what our forefathers have done, the beginnings, ruins, falls, periods of commonwealths, private men's actions displayed to the life, &c. Plutarch therefore calls them, secundas mensas et bellaria, the second course and junkets, because they were usually read at noblemen's feasts. Who is not earnestly affected with a passionate speech, well penned, an elegant poem, or some pleasant bewitching discourse, like that of Heliodorus, ubi oblectatio quædam placide fuit, cum hilaritate conjuncta? Julian the Apostate was so taken with an oration of Libanius, the sophister, that, as he confesseth, he could not be quiet till he had read it all out. Legi orationem tuam magna ex parte, hesterna die ante prandium, pransus vero sine ulla intermissione totam absolvi. O argumenta! O compositionem! I may say the same of this or that pleasing tract, which will draw his attention along with it. To most kind of men it is an extraordinary delight to study. For what a world of books offers itself, in all subjects, arts, and sciences, to the sweet content and capacity of the reader? In arithmetic, geometry, perspective, optics, astronomy, architecture, sculpture, painting, of which so many and such elaborate treatises are of late written: in mechanics and their mysteries, military matters, navigation, riding of horses, fencing, swimming, gardening, planting, great tomes of husbandry, cookery, falconry, hunting, fishing, fowling, &c., with exquisite pictures of all sports, games, and what not? In music, metaphysics, natural and moral philosophy, philology, in policy, heraldry, genealogy, chronology, &c., they afford great tomes, or those studies of antiquity, &c., et quid subtilius Arithmeticis inventionibus, quid jucundius Musicis rationibus, quid divinius Astronomicis, quid rectius Geometricis demonstrationibus? (Cardan. "What is more subtle than arithmetical conclusions; what more agreeable than musical harmonies; what more divine than astronomical, what more certain than geometrical demonstrations?") What so sure, what so pleasant? He that shall but see that geometrical tower of Garezenda at Bologna in Italy, the steeple and clock at Strasburg, will admire the effects of art, or that engine of Archimedes, to remove the earth itself, if he had but a place to fasten his instrument: Archimedes Coclea, and rare devices to corrivate waters, musical instruments, and tri-syllable echoes again, again, and again repeated, with myriads of such. What vast tomes are extant in law, physic, and divinity, for profit, pleasure, practice, speculation, in verse or prose, &c.! their names alone are the subject of whole volumes, we have thousands of authors of all sorts, many great libraries full well furnished, like so many dishes of meat, served out for several palates; and he is a very block that is affected with none of them. Some take an infinite delight to study the very languages wherein these books are written, Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, Chaldee, Arabic, &c. Methinks it would please any man to look upon a geographical map, sauvi animum delectatione allicere, ob incredibilem rerum varietatem et jucunditatem, et ad pleniorem sui cognitionem excitare, (Hondius praefat. Mercatoris. "It allures the mind by its agreeable attraction, on account of the incredible variety and pleasantness of the subjects, and excites to a further step in knowledge.") chorographical, topographical delineations, to behold, as it were, all the remote provinces, towns, cities of the world, and never to go forth of the limits of his study, to measure by the seale and compass their extent, distance, examine their site. Charles the Great, as Platina writes, had three fair silver tables, in one of which superficies was a large map of Constantinople, in the second Rome neatly engraved, in the third an exquisite description of the whole world, and much delight he took in them. What greater pleasure can there now be, than to view those elaborate maps of Ortelius, Mercator, Hondius, &c.? To peruse those books of cities, put out by Braunus and Hogenbergius? To read those exquisite descriptions of Maginus, Munster, Herrera, Laet, Merula, Boterus, Leander, Albertus, Camden, Leo Afer, Adricomius, Nic. Gerbelius, &c.? Those famous expeditions of Christoph. Columbus, Americus Vespucius, Marcus Polus the Venetian, Lod. Vertomannus, Aloysius Cadamustus, &c.? Those accurate diaries of Portuguese, Hollanders, of Bartison, Oliver a Nort, &c. Hakluyt's voyages, Pet. Martyr's Decades, Benzo, Lerius, Linschoten's relations, those Hod?poricons of Jod. a Meggen, Brocard the monk, Bredenbachius, Jo. Dublinius, Sands, &c., to Jerusalem, Egypt, and other remote places of the world? those pleasant itineraries of Paulus Hentzerus, Jodocus Sincerus, Dux Polonus, &c., to read Bellonius' observations, P. Gillius his surveys; those parts of America, set out, and curiously cut in pictures, by Fratres a Bry. To see a well-cut herbal, herbs, trees, flowers, plants, all vegetables expressed in their proper colours to the life, as that of Matthiolus upon Dioscorides, Delacampius, Lobel, Bauhinus, and that last voluminous and mighty herbal of Beslar of Nuremberg, wherein almost every plant is to his own bigness. To see birds, beasts, and fishes of the sea, spiders, gnats, serpents, flies, &c., all creatures set out by the same art, and truly expressed in lively colours, with an exact description of their natures, virtues, qualities, &c., as hath been accurately performed by Aelian, Gesner, Ulysses Aldrovandus, Bellonius, Rondoletius, Hippolitus Salvianus, &c. Arcana c?li, naturæ secreta, ordinem universi scire majoris felicitatis et dulcedinis est, quam cogitatione quis assequi possit, aut mortalis sperare. (Cardan. "To learn the mysteries of the heavens, the secret workings of nature, the order of the universe, is a greater happiness and gratification than any mortal can think or expect to obtain.") What more pleasing studies can there be than the mathematics, theoretical or practical parts? as to survey land, make maps, models, dials, &c., with which I was ever much delighted myself. Tails est Mathematum pulchritudo (saith Plutarch) ut his indignum sit divitiarum phaleras istas et bullas, et puellaria spectacula comparari; such is the excellency of these studies, that all those ornaments and childish bubbles of wealth, are not worthy to be compared to them: credi mihi (saith one) extingui dulce erit Mathematicarum artium studio, I could even live and die with such meditation, and take more delight, true content of mind in them, than thou hast in all thy wealth and sport, how rich soever thou art. And as Cardan well seconds me, Honorificum magis est et gloriosum hæc intelligere, quam provinciis præesse, formosum aut ditem juvenem esse.( "It is more honourable and glorious to understand these truths than to govern provinces, to be beautiful or to be young.") The like pleasure there is in all other studies, to such as are truly addicted to them, ea suavitas (one holds) ut cum quis ea degustaverit, quasi poculis Circeis captus, non possit unquam ab illis divelli; the like sweetness, which as Circe's cup bewitcheth a student, he cannot leave off, as well may witness those many laborious hours, days and nights, spent in the voluminous treatises written by them; the same content. Julius Scaliger was so much affected with poetry, that he brake out into a pathetical protestation, he had rather be the author of twelve verses in Lucan, or such an ode in Horace, than emperor of Germany. Nicholas Gerbelius, that good old man, was so much ravished with a few Greek authors restored to light, with hope and desire of enjoying the rest, that he exclaims forthwith, Arabibus atque Indis omnibus erimus ditiores, we shall be richer than all the Arabic or Indian princes; of such esteem they were with him, incomparable worth and value. Seneca prefers Zeno and Chrysippus, two doting stoics (he was so much enamoured of their works), before any prince or general of an army; and Orontius, the mathematician, so far admires Archimedes, that he calls him Divinum et homine majorem, a petty god, more than a man; and well he might, for aught I see, if you respect fame or worth. Pindarus, of Thebes, is as much renowned for his poems, as Epaminondas, Pelopidas, Hercules or Bacchus, his fellow citizens, for their warlike actions; et si famam respicias, non pauciores Aristotelis quam Alexandri meminerunt (as Cardan notes), Aristotle is more known than Alexander; for we have a bare relation of Alexander's deeds, but Aristotle, totus vivit in monumentis, is whole in his works: yet I stand not upon this; the delight is it, which I aim at, so great pleasure, such sweet content there is in study. King James, 1605, when he came to see our University of Oxford, and amongst other edifices now went to view that famous library, renewed by Sir Thomas Bodley, in imitation of Alexander, at his departure brake out into that noble speech, If I were not a king, I would be a university man: "and if it were so that I must be a prisoner, if I might have my wish, I would desire to have no other prison than that library, and to be chained together with so many good authors et mortuis magistris." So sweet is the delight of study, the more learning they have (as he that hath a dropsy, the more he drinks the thirstier he is) the more they covet to learn, and the last day is prioris discipulus; harsh at first learning is, radices amarcæ, but fractus dulces, according to that of Isocrates, pleasant at last; the longer they live, the more they are enamoured with the Muses. Heinsius, the keeper of the library at Leyden in Holland, was mewed up in it all the year long: and that which to thy thinking should have bred a loathing, caused in him a greater liking. "I no sooner" (saith he) "come into the library, but I bolt the door to me, excluding lust, ambition, avarice, and all such vices, whose nurse is idleness, the mother of ignorance, and melancholy herself, and in the very lap of eternity, amongst so many divine souls, I take my seat, with so lofty a spirit and sweet content, that I pity all our great ones, and rich men that know not this happiness." I am not ignorant in the meantime (notwithstanding this which I have said) how barbarously and basely, for the most part, our ruder gentry esteem of libraries and books, how they neglect and contemn so great a treasure, so inestimable a benefit, as Aesop's cock did the jewel he found in the dunghill; and all through error, ignorance, and want of education. And 'tis a wonder, withal, to observe how much they will vainly cast away in unnecessary expenses, quot modis pereant (saith Erasmus) magnatibus pecuniæ, quantum absumant alea, scorta, compotationes, profectiones non necessariæ, pompæ, bella quæsita, ambitio, colax, morio, ludio, &c., what in hawks, hounds, lawsuits, vain building, gormandising, drinking, sports, plays, pastimes, &c. If a well-minded man to the Muses, would sue to some of them for an exhibition, to the farther maintenance or enlargement of such a work, be it college, lecture, library, or whatsoever else may tend to the advancement of learning, they are so unwilling, so averse, that they had rather see these which are already, with such cost and care erected, utterly ruined, demolished or otherwise employed; for they repine many and grudge at such gifts and revenues so bestowed: and therefore it were in vain, as Erasmus well notes, vel ab his, vel a negotiatoribus qui se Mammonæ dediderunt, improbum fortasse tale officium exigere, to solicit or ask anything of such men that are likely damned to riches; to this purpose. For my part I pity these men, stultos jubeo esse libenter, let them go as they are, in the catalogue of Ignoramus. How much, on the other side, are all we bound that are scholars, to those munificent Ptolemies, bountiful Maecenases, heroical patrons, divine spirits,
------"qui nobis hæc otio fecerunt, namque erit ille mihi semper Deus"------
"These blessings, friend, a Deity bestow'd,
For never can I deem him less than God."
that have provided for us so many well-furnished libraries, as well in our public academies in most cities, as in our private colleges? How shall I remember Sir Thomas Bodley, amongst the rest, Otho Nicholson, and the Right Reverend John Williams, Lord Bishop of Lincoln (with many other pious acts), who besides that at St. John's College in Cambridge, that in Westminster, is now likewise in Fieri with a library at Lincoln (a noble precedent for all corporate towns and cities to imitate), O quam te memorem (vir illustrissime) quibus elogiis? But to my task again.
Whosoever he is therefore that is overrun with solitariness, or carried away with pleasing melancholy and vain conceits, and for want of employment knows not how to spend his time, or crucified with worldly care, I can prescribe him no better remedy than this of study, to compose himself to the learning of some art or science. Provided always that this malady proceed not from overmuch study; for in such case he adds fuel to the fire, and nothing can be more pernicious: let him take heed he do not overstretch his wits, and make a skeleton of himself; or such inamoratos as read nothing but play-books, idle poems, jests, Amadis de Gaul, the Knight of the Sun, the Seven Champions, Palmerin de Oliva, Huon of Bordeaux, &c. Such many times prove in the end as mad as Don Quixote. Study is only prescribed to those that are otherwise idle, troubled in mind, or carried headlong with vain thoughts and imaginations, to distract their cogitations (although variety of study, or some serious subject, would do the former no harm) and divert their continual meditations another way. Nothing in this case better than study; semper aliquid memoriter ediscant, saith Piso, let them learn something without book, transcribe, translate, &c. Read the Scriptures, which Hyperius, lib. 1. de quotid. script. lec. fol. 77. holds available of itself, "the mind is erected thereby from all worldly cares, and hath much quiet and tranquillity." For as Austin well hath it, 'tis scientia scientiarum, omni melle dulcior, omni pane suavior, omni vino, hilarior: 'tis the best nepenthe, surest cordial, sweetest alterative, presentest diverter: for neither as Chrysostom well adds, "those boughs and leaves of trees which are plashed for cattle to stand under, in the heat of the day, in summer, so much refresh them with their acceptable shade, as the reading of the Scripture doth recreate and comfort a distressed soul, in sorrow and affliction." Paul bids "pray continually;" quod cibus corpori, lectio animæ facit, saith Seneca, as meat is to the body, such is reading to the soul. "To be at leisure without books is another hell, and to be buried alive." Cardan calls a library the physic of the soul; "divine authors fortify the mind, make men bold and constant; and (as Hyperius adds) godly conference will not permit the mind to be tortured with absurd cogitations." Rhasis enjoins continual conference to such melancholy men, perpetual discourse of some history, tale, poem, news, &c., alternos sermones edere ac bibere, æque jucundum quam cibus, sive potus, which feeds the mind as meat and drink doth the body, and pleaseth as much: and therefore the said Rhasis, not without good cause, would have somebody still talk seriously, or dispute with them, and sometimes "to cavil and wrangle" (so that it break not out to a violent perturbation), "for such altercation is like stirring of a dead fire to make it burn afresh," it whets a dull spirit, "and will not suffer the mind to be drowned in those profound cogitations, which melancholy men are commonly troubled with." Ferdinand and Alphonsus, kings of Arragon and Sicily, were both cured by reading the history, one of Curtius, the other of Livy, when no prescribed physic would take place. Camerarius relates as much of Lorenzo de Medici. Heathen philosophers are so full of divine precepts in this kind, that, as some think, they alone are able to settle a distressed mind. Sunt verba et voces, quibus liunc lenire dolorem, &c. Epictetus, Plutarch, and Seneca; qualis ille, quæ tela, saith Lipsius, adversus omnes animi casus administrat, et ipsam mortem, quomodo vitia eripit, infert virtutes? when I read Seneca, "methinks I am beyond all human fortunes, on the top of a hill above mortality." Plutarch saith as much of Homer, for which cause belike Niceratus, in Xenophon, was made by his parents to con Homer's Iliads and Odysseys without book, ut in virum bonum evaderet, as well to make him a good and honest man, as to avoid idleness. If this comfort be got from philosophy, what shall be had from divinity? What shall Austin, Cyprian, Gregory, Bernard's divine meditations afford us?
"Qui quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non,
Plenius et melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicunt."
"Who explain what is fair, foul, useful, worthless, more fully and faithfully than Chrysippus and Crantor?"
Nay, what shall the Scripture itself? Which is like an apothecary's shop, wherein are all remedies for all infirmities of mind, purgatives, cordials, alteratives, corroboratives, lenitives, &c. "Every disease of the soul," saith Austin, "hath a peculiar medicine in the Scripture; this only is required, that the sick man take the potion which God hath already tempered." Gregory calls it "a glass wherein we may see all our infirmities," ignitum colloquium, Psalm cxix. 140, Origen a charm. And therefore Hierom prescribes Rusticus the monk, "continually to read the Scripture, and to meditate on that which he hath read; for as mastication is to meat, so is meditation on that which we read." I would for these causes wish him that, is melancholy to use both human and divine authors, voluntarily to impose some task upon himself, to divert his melancholy thoughts: to study the art of memory, Cosmus Rosselius, Pet. Ravennas, Scenkelius' Detectus, or practise brachygraphy, &c., that will ask a great deal of attention: or let him demonstrate a proposition in Euclid, in his five last books, extract a square root, or study Algebra: than which, as Clavius holds, "in all human disciplines nothing can be more excellent and pleasant, so abstruse and recondite, so bewitching, so miraculous, so ravishing, so easy withal and full of delight," omnem humanum captum superare videtur. By this means you may define ex ungue leonem, as the diverb is, by his thumb alone the bigness of Hercules, or the true dimensions of the great Colossus, Solomon's temple, and Domitian's amphitheatre out of a little part. By this art you may contemplate the variation of the twenty-three letters, which may be so infinitely varied, that the words complicated and deduced thence will not be contained within the compass of the firmament; ten words may be varied 40,320 several ways: by this art you may examine how many men may stand one by another in the whole superficies of the earth, some say 148,456,800,000,000, assignando singulis passum quadratum (assigning a square foot to each), how many men, supposing all the world as habitable as France, as fruitful and so long-lived, may be born in 60,000 years, and so may you demonstrate with Archimedes how many sands the mass of the whole world might contain if all sandy, if you did but first know how much a small cube as big as a mustard-seed might hold, with infinite such. But in all nature what is there so stupendous as to examine and calculate the motion of the planets, their magnitudes, apogees, perigees, eccentricities, how far distant from the earth, the bigness, thickness, compass of the firmament, each star, with their diameters and circumference, apparent area, superficies, by those curious helps of glasses, astrolabes, sextants, quadrants, of which Tycho Brahe in his mechanics, optics ( divine optics) arithmetic, geometry, and such like arts and instruments? What so intricate and pleasing withal, as to peruse and practise Heron Alexandrinus's works, de spiritalibus, de machinis bellicis, de machina se movente, Jordani Nemorarii de ponderibus proposit. 13, that pleasant tract of Machometes Bragdedinus de superficierum divisionibus, Apollonius's Conics, or Commandinus's labours in that kind, de centro gravitatis, with many such geometrical theorems and problems? Those rare instruments and mechanical inventions of Jac. Bessonus, and Cardan to this purpose, with many such experiments intimated long since by Roger Bacon, in his tract de Secretis artis et naturæ, as to make a chariot to move sine animali, diving boats, to walk on the water by art, and to fly in the air, to make several cranes and pulleys, quibus homo trahat ad se mille homines, lift up and remove great weights, mills to move themselves, Archita's dove, Albertus's brazen head, and such thaumaturgical works. But especially to do strange miracles by glasses, of which Proclus and Bacon writ of old, burning glasses, multiplying glasses, perspectives, ut unus homo appareat exercitus, to see afar off, to represent solid bodies by cylinders and concaves, to walk in the air, ut veraciter videant, (saith Bacon) aurum et argentum et quicquid aliud volunt, et quum veniant ad locum visionis, nihil inveniant, which glasses are much perfected of late by Baptista Porta and Galileo, and much more is promised by Maginus and Midorgius, to be performed in this kind. Otocousticons some speak of, to intend hearing, as the other do sight; Marcellus Vrencken, a Hollander, in his epistle to Burgravius, makes mention of a friend of his that is about an instrument, quo videbit quæ in altero horizonte sint. But our alchemists, methinks, and Rosicrucians afford most rarities, and are fuller of experiments: they can make gold, separate and alter metals, extract oils, salts, lees, and do more strange works than Geber, Lullius, Bacon, or any of those ancients. Crollius hath made after his master Paracelsus, aurum fulminans, or aurum volatile, which shall imitate thunder and lightning, and crack louder than any gunpowder; Cornelius Drible a perpetual motion, inextinguishable lights, linum non ardens, with many such feats; see his book de natura elementorum, besides hail, wind, snow, thunder, lightning, &c., those strange fireworks, devilish petards, and such like warlike machinations derived hence, of which read Tartalea and others. Ernestus Burgravius, a disciple of Paracelsus, hath published a discourse, in which he specifies a lamp to be made of man's blood, Lucerna vitæ et mortis index, so he terms it, which chemically prepared forty days, and afterwards kept in a glass, shall show all the accidents of this life; si lampus hic clarus, tunc homo hilaris et sanus corpore et animo; si nebulosus et depressus, male afficitur, et sic pro statu hominis variatur, unde sumptus sanguis; ("If the lamp burn brightly, then the man is cheerful and healthy in mind and body; if, on the other hand, he from whom the blood is taken be melancholic or a spendthrift, then it will burn dimly, and flicker in the socket.") and which is most wonderful, it dies with the party, cum homine perit, et evanescit, the lamp and the man whence the blood was taken, are extinguished together. The same author hath another tract of Mumia (all out as vain and prodigious as the first) by which he will cure most diseases, and transfer them from a man to a beast, by drawing blood from one, and applying it to the other, vel in plantam derivare, and an Alexi-pharmacum, of which Roger Bacon of old in his Tract. de retardanda senectute, to make a man young again, live three or four hundred years. Besides panaceas, martial amulets, unguentum armarium, balsams, strange extracts, elixirs, and such like magico-magnetical cures. Now what so pleasing can there be as the speculation of these things, to read and examine such experiments, or if a man be more mathematically given, to calculate, or peruse Napier's Logarithms, or those tables of artificial sines and tangents, not long since set out by mine old collegiate, good friend, and late fellow-student of Christ Church in Oxford, Mr. Edmund Gunter, which will perform that by addition and subtraction only, which heretofore Regiomontanus's tables did by multiplication and division, or those elaborate conclusions of his sector, quadrant, and cross-staff. Or let him that is melancholy calculate spherical triangles, square a circle, cast a nativity, which howsoever some tax, I say with Garcaeus, dabimus hoc petulantibus ingeniis, we will in some cases allow: or let him make an ephemerides, read Suisset the calculator's works, Scaliger de emendatione temporum, and Petavius his adversary, till he understand them, peruse subtle Scotus and Suarez's metaphysics, or school divinity, Occam, Thomas, Eutisberus, Durand, &c. If those other do not affect him, and his means be great, to employ his purse and fill his head, he may go find the philosopher's stone; he may apply his mind, I say, to heraldry, antiquity, invent impresses, emblems; make epithalamiums, epitaphs, elegies, epigrams, palindroma epigrammata, anagrams, chronograms, acrostics, upon his friends' names; or write a comment on Martianus Capella, Tertullian de pallio, the Nubian geography, or upon Aelia Laelia Crispis, as many idle fellows have essayed; and rather than do nothing, vary a verse a thousand ways with Putean, so torturing his wits, or as Rainnerus of Luneburg, 2150 times in his Proteus P?ticus, or Scaliger, Chrysolithus, Cleppissius, and others, have in like sort done. If such voluntary tasks, pleasure and delight, or crabbedness of these studies, will not yet divert their idle thoughts, and alienate their imaginations, they must be compelled, saith Christophorus a Vega, cogi debent, l. 5. c. 14, upon some mulct, if they perform it not, quod ex officio incumbat, loss of credit or disgrace, such as our public University exercises. For, as he that plays for nothing will not heed his game; no more will voluntary employment so thoroughly affect a student, except he be very intent of himself, and take an extraordinary delight in the study, about which he is conversant. It should be of that nature his business, which volens nolens he must necessarily undergo, and without great loss, mulct, shame, or hindrance, he may not omit.
Now for women, instead of laborious studies, they have curious needleworks, cut-works, spinning, bone-lace, and many pretty devices of their own making, to adorn their houses, cushions, carpets, chairs, stools, ("for she eats not the bread of idleness," Prov. xxxi. 27. quæsivit lanam et linum) confections, conserves, distillations, &c., which they show to strangers.
"Ipsa comes præsesque operis venientibus ultro
Hospitibus monstrare solet, non segniter horas
Contestata suas, sed nec sibi depertisse."
"Which to her guests she shows, with all her pelf,
Thus far my maids, but this I did myself."
This they have to busy themselves about, household offices, &c., neat gardens, full of exotic, versicolour, diversely varied, sweet-smelling flowers, and plants in all kinds, which they are most ambitious to get, curious to preserve and keep, proud to possess, and much many times brag of. Their merry meetings and frequent visitations, mutual invitations in good towns, I voluntarily omit, which are so much in use, gossiping among the meaner sort, &c., old folks have their beads: an excellent invention to keep them from idleness, that are by nature melancholy, and past all affairs, to say so many paternosters, avemarias, creeds, if it were not profane and superstitious. In a word, body and mind must be exercised, not one, but both, and that in a mediocrity; otherwise it will cause a great inconvenience. If the body be overtired, it tires the mind. The mind oppresseth the body, as with students it oftentimes falls out, who (as Plutarch observes) have no care of the body, "but compel that which is mortal to do as much as that which is immortal: that which is earthly, as that which is ethereal. But as the ox tired, told the camel, (both serving one master) that refused to carry some part of his burden, before it were long he should be compelled to carry all his pack, and skin to boot (which by and by, the ox being dead, fell out), the body may say to the soul, that will give him no respite or remission: a little after, an ague, vertigo, consumption, seizeth on them both, all his study is omitted, and they must be compelled to be sick together:" he that tenders his own good estate, and health, must let them draw with equal yoke, both alike, "that so they may happily enjoy their wished health."