« AnteriorContinuar »
In her husband's absence, she is wife and deputy husband, which makes her double the files of her diligence. At his return he finds all things so well that he wonders to see himself at home when he was abroad.
In her husband's sickness, she feels more grief than she shows. Partly that she may not dishearten him, and partly because she is not at leisure to seem so sorrowful that she may be the more serviceable.
Her children, though many in number, are none in noise, steering them with a look whither she listeth. When they grow up, she teacheth them not pride, but painfulness, making their bands to clothe their backs, and them to wear the livery of their own industry. She makes not her daughters gentlewomen before they be women, rather teaching them what they should pay to others than receive from them.
The heaviest work of her servants she maketh light, by or. derly and seasonably enjoining it; wherefore her service is counted a preferment, and her teaching better than her wages. Her maids follow the precedent of their mistress,— live modestly at home. One asked a grave gentlewoman how her maids came by so good husbands, and yet seldom went abroad: «Oh,” said she, 'good husbands come home to them.”
Complete. From the Holy State.»
THE GOOD HUSBAND
I JAVING formerly described a good wife, she will make a good M husband, whose character we are now to present.
His love to his wife weakeneth not his ruling her, and his ruling lesseneth not his loving her. Wherefore he avoideth all fondness (a sick love, to be praised in none, and pardoned only in the newly married), whereby more have willfully betrayed their command than ever lost it by their wives' rebellion. Methinks the he-viper is right enough served, which, as Pliny reports, puts his head into the she-viper's mouth, and she bites it off. And what wonder is it if women take the rule to them. selves, which their uxorious husbands first surrender unto them.
He is constant to his wife, and confident of her. And, sure, where jealousy is the jailor, many break the prison, it opening more ways to wickedness than it stoppeth; so that where it findeth one it maketh ten dishonest.
He alloweth her meet maintenance, but measures it by his own estate; nor will he give less, nor can she ask more. Which allowance, if shorter than her deserts and his desire, he lengtheneth it out with his courteous carriage unto her; chiefly in her sickness, then not so much word-pitying her as providing necessaries for her.
That she may not intrench on his prerogative, he maintains her propriety in feminine affairs; yea, therein he follows her advice, for the soul of a man is planted so high that he overshoots such low matters as lie level to a woman's eye, and therefore her counsel therein may better hit the mark. Causes that are properly of feminine cognizance he suffers her finally to decide; not so much as permitting an appeal to himself, that their jurisdictions may not interfere. He will not countenance a stubborn servant against her, but in her maintains his own authority. Such husbands as bait the mistress with her maids, and clap their hands at the sport, will have cause to wring them afterwards.
Knowing she is the weaker vessel, he bears with her infirmities. A11 hard using of her he detests, desiring the rein to do, not what may be lawful, but fitting. And grant her to be of a servile nature, such as may be bettered by beating, yet he remembers he hath enfranchised her by marrying her. On her wedding day she was, like St. Paul, freeborn, and privileged from any servile punishment.
He is careful that the wounds betwixt them take not air, and not be publicly known. Jars concealed are half reconciled; which, if generally known, it is a double task to stop the breach at home and men's mouths abroad. To this end he never publicly reproves her. An open reproof puts her to do penance before all that are present, after which many rather study revenge than reformation.
He keeps her in the wholesome ignorance of unnecessary secrets. They will not be starved with the ignorance, who, perchance, may surfeit with the knowledge of weighty counsels, too heavy for the weaker sex to bear. He knows little who will tell his wife all he knows.
He beats not his wife after his death. One having a shrewd wife, yet loath to use her hardly in his lifetime, awed her with
telling her that he would beat her when he was dead, meaning that he would leave her no maintenance. This humor is un. worthy a worthy inan, who will endeavor to provide her a competent estate; yet he that impoverisheth his children to enrich his widow, destroys a quick hedge to make a dead one.
Complete. From the Holy State. »
THE GOOD CHILD
I JE REVERENCETH the person of his parent, though old, poor, U and froward. As his parent bare with him when a child,
he bears with his parent if twice a child; nor doth his dignity above him cancel his duty under him. When Sir Thomas More was Lord Chancellor of England, and Sir John his father one of the judges of the King's Bench, he would in Westminster Hall beg his blessing of him on his knees.
He observes his lawful commands, and practiceth his precepts with all obedience. I cannot therefore excuse St. Barbara from undutifulness and occasioning her own death. The matter this. Her father being a Pagan, commanded his workmen building his house to make two windows in a room; Barbara, knowing her father's pleasure, in his absence enjoined them to make three, that seeing them she might the better contemplate the mystery of the Holy Trinity. (Methinks two windows might as well have raised her meditations, and the light arising from both would as properly have minded her of the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son.) Her father, enraged at his return, thus came to the knowledge of her religion, and accused her to the magistrate, which cost her her life.
Having practiced them himself, he entails his parents' precepts on his posterity. Therefore such instructions are by Solomon, Prov. i. 9, compared to frontlets and chains (not to a suit of clothes, which serves but one, and quickly wears out, or out of fashion), which have in them a real lasting worth, and are be. queathed as legacies to another age. The same counsels observed are chains to grace, which, neglected, prove halters to strangle undutiful children.
He is patient under correction, and thankful after it. When Mr. West, formerly tutor (such I count in loco parentis) to Dr. Whitaker, was by him, then Regius Professor, created Doctor, Whitaker solemnly gave him thanks before the university for giving him correction when his young scholar.
In marriage, he first and last consults with his father; when propounded, when concluded. He best bowls at the mark of his own contentment, who, besides the aim of his own eye, is directed by his father, who is to give him the ground.
He is a stork to his parent, and feeds him in his old age; not only if his father hath been a pelican, but though he hath been an ostrich unto him, and neglected him in his youth. He confines him not a long way off to a short pension, forfeited if he comes into his presence; but shows piety at home, and learns (as St. Paul saith, I. Tim. v. 4) to requite his parent. And yet the debt (I mean only the principal, not counting the interest) cannot fully be paid, and therefore he compounds with his father to accept in good worth the utmost of his endeavor.
Such a child God commonly rewards with long life in this world. If he chance to die young, yet he lives long that lives well; and time misspent is not lived, but lost. Besides, God is better than his promise, if he take from him a long lease, and give him a freehold of better value. As for disobedient chil. dren,
If preserved from the gallows, they are reserved for the rack, to be tortured by their own posterity. One complained that never father had so undutiful a child as he had. «Yes,” said his son, with less grace than truth, “my grandfather had.”
I conclude this subject with the example of a Pagan's son, which will shame most Christians. Pomponius Atticus, making the funeral oration at the death of his mother, did protest that living with her threescore and seven years, he was never reconciled unto her, se nunquam cum matre in gratiam rediisse; because (take the comment with the text) there never happened betwixt them the least jar which needed reconciliation.
Complete. From the Holy State.» OF JESTING
JARMLESS mirth is the best cordial against the consumption of n the spirits; wherefore jesting is not unlawful if it trespass
eth not in quantity, quality, or season. It is good to make a jest, but not to make a trade of jesting. The Earl of Leicester, knowing that Queen Elizabeth was much delighted to see a gentleman dance well, brought the master of a dancing school to dance before her. “Pish,” said the Queen, « it is his profession; I will not see him.” She liked it not where it was a master quality, but where it attended on other perfections. The same may we say of jesting.
Jest not with the two-edged sword of God's Word. Will nothing please thee to wash thy hands in but the font? or to drink healths in but the church chalice ? And know the whole art is learned at the first admission, and profane jests will come with. out calling. If, in the troublesome days of King Edward IV., a citizen in Cheapside was executed as a traitor for saying he would make his son heir to the crown, though he only meant his own house, having a crown for the sign; more dangerous is it to wit-wanton it with the majesty of God. Wherefore, if without thine intention, and against thy will, by chance medley thou hittest Scripture in ordinary discourse, yet fly to the city of refuge, and pray to God to forgive thee.
Wanton jests make fools laugh and wise men frown. Seeing we are civilized Englishmen, let us not be naked savages in our talk. Such rotten speeches are worst in withered age, when men run after that sin in their words which flieth from them in the deed.
Let not thy jests, like mummy, be made of dead men's flesh. Abuse not any that are departed; for to wrong their memories is to rob their ghosts of their winding sheets.
Scoff not at the natural defects of any which are not in their power to amend. Oh, 'tis cruelty to beat a cripple with his own crutches. Neither flout any for his profession, if honest, though poor and painful. Mock not a cobbler for his black thumbs.
He that relates another man's wicked jest with delight adopts it to be his own. Purge them therefore from their poison. If the profaneness may be severed from the wit, it is like a lamprey; take out the string in the back, it may make good meat;