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order of nature, which is partly right, partly crooked ; this staff therefore or rod is specially crooked in the upper end, because all the works of divine Providence in the world are done in a far fetched and circular manner, so that one thing may seem to be effected, and yet indeed a clean contrary brought to pass, as the selling of Joseph into Egypt, and the like. Besides, in all wise human government, they that sit at the helm do more happily bring their purposes about, and insinuate more easily into the minds of the people by pretext and oblique courses than by direct methods : so that all sceptres and masses of authority ought in very deed to be crooked in the
Pan's cloak or mantle is ingeniously feigned to be a skin of a leopard, because it is full of spots : so the heavens are spotted with stars, the sea with rocks and islands, the land with flowers, and every particular creature also is for the most part garnished with divers colours about the superficies, which is as it were a mantle unto it.
The office of Pan can be by nothing so lively conceived and expressed, as by feigning him to be the god of hunters ; for every natural action, and so by consequence motion and progression, is nothing else but a hunting. Arts and sciences have their works, and human counsels their ends, which they earnestly hunt after. All natural things have either their food as a prey, or their pleasure as a recreation which they seek for, and that in a most expert and sagacious manner.
“ Torya leæna lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam.
Pan is also said to be the god of the countryclowns; because men of this condition lead lives more agreeable unto nature than those that live in the cities and courts of princes, where nature, by too much art, is corrupted; so as the saying of the poet, though in the sense of love, might be here verified :
“ Pars minima est ipsa puella sui.”
The maid so trick'd herself with art,
He was held to be lord president of the mountains; because in the high mountains and hills nature lays herself most open, and men most apt to view and contemplation.
Whereas Pan is said to be, next unto Mercury, the messenger of the gods, there is in that a divine mystery contained; for, next to the word of God, the image of the world proclaims the power and wisdom divine, as sings the sacred poet. Psal. xix. 1. “ Coeli enarrant gloriam Dei atque opera manuum
ejus indicat firmamentum.” The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth the works of his hands.
The nymphs, that is, the souls of living things, take great delight in Pan : for these souls are the
delights or minions of nature; and the direction or conduct of these nymphs is, with great reason, attributed unto Pan, because the souls of all things living do follow their natural dispositions as their guides ; and with infinite variety every one of them, after his own fashion, doth leap, and frisk, and dance, with incessant motions about her. The satyrs and Sileni also, to wit, youth and old age, are some of Pan's followers : for of all natural things, there is a lively, jocund, and, as I may say, a dancing age; and an age again that is dull, bibling, and reeling. The carriages and dispositions of both which ages, to some such as Democritus was, that would observe them duly, might, peradventure, seem as ridiculous and deformed as the gambols of the satyrs, or the gestures of the Sileni.
Of those fears and terrours which Pan is said to be the author, there may be this wise construction made: namely, that nature hath bred in every living thing a kind of care and fear tending to the preservation of its own life and being, and to the repelling and shunning of all things hurtful; and yet nature knows not how to keep a mean, but always intermixes vain and empty fears with such as are discreet and profitable : so that all things, if their insides might be seen, would appear full of panick frights ; but men, especially in hard, fearful, and diverse times, are wonderfully infatuated with superstition, which indeed is nothing else but a panick terrour.
Concerning the audacity of Pan in challenging Cupid at wrestling : the meaning of it is, that matter
wants not inclination and desire to the relapsing and dissolution of the world into the old chaos, if her malice and violence were not restrained and kept in order by the prepotent unity and agreement of things, signified by Cupid or the god of love; and therefore it was a happy turn for men, and all things else, that in that conflict Pan was found too weak and overcome.
To the same effect may be interpreted his catching of Typhon in a net; for howsoever there may sometimes happen vast and unwonted tumours, as the name of Typhon imports, either in the sea or in the air, or in the earth, or elsewhere; yet nature doth entangle it in an intricate toil, and curb and restrain it as it were with a chain of adamant, the excesses and insolencies of these kind of bodies.
But forasmuch as it was Pan's good fortune to find out Ceres as he was hunting, and thought little of it, which none of the other gods could do, though they did nothing else but seek her, and that very seriously, it gives us this true and grave admonition, that we expect not to receive things necessary for life and manners from philosophical abstractions, as from the greater gods; albeit they applied themselves to no other study but from Pan; that is, from the discreet observation and experience, and the universal knowledge of the things of this world ; whereby, oftentimes even by chance, and as it were going a hunting, such inventions are lighted upon.
The quarrel he made with Apollo about music, and the event thereof, contains a wholesome instruc
tion, which may serve to restrain men's reasons and judgements with reins of sobriety, from boasting and glorying in their gifts ; for there seems to be a twofold harmony or music, the one of divine Providence, and the other of human reason. Now to the ears of mortals, that is to human judgement, the administration of the world and creatures therein, and the more secret judgements of God, sound very hard and harsh; which folly, albeit it be well set out with asses' ears, yet notwithstanding these ears are secret, and do not openly appear; neither is it perceived or noted as a deformity by the vulgar.
Lastly, it is not to be wondered at, that there is nothing attributed unto Pan concerning loves, but only of his marriage with Echo; for the world or nature doth enjoy itself, and in itself all things else. Now he that loves would enjoy something, but where there is enough there is no place left to desire; therefore there can be no wanting love in Pan, or the world, nor desire to obtain any thing, seeing he is contented with himself, but only speeches, which, if plain, may be intimated by the nymph Echo, or, if more quaint, by Syrinx. It is an excellent invention that Pan, or the world, is said to make choice of Echo only, above all other speeches or voices, for his wife; for that alone is true philosophy which doth faithfully render the very words of the world ; and it is written no otherwise than the world doth dictate, it being nothing else but the image or reflection of it, not adding any thing of its own, but only iterates and resounds. It belongs also to the sufficiency or