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ing it, shot them to death with his arrows.
This fable may be applied to the projects of kings, who having cruel, bloody, and exacting officers, do first punish and displace them; afterwards, by the counsel of Tellus, that is of some base and ignoble person, and by the prevailing respect of profit, they admit them into their places again, that they may have instruments in a readiness, if at any time there should need either severity of execution or accerbity of exaction. These servile creatures being by nature cruel, and by their former fortune exasperated, and perceiving well what is expected at their hands, do show themselves wonderful officious in such kind of employments; but being too rash and precipitate in seeking countenance and creeping into favour, do sometimes take occasion, from the secret beckonings and ambiguous commands of their prince, to perform some hateful execution. But princes abhorring the fact, and knowing well that they shall never want such kind of instruments, do utterly forsake them, turning them over to the friends and allies of the wronged, to their accusations and revenge, and to the general hatred of the people; so that with great applause and prosperous wishes and acclamations towards the prince, they are brought rather too late than undeservedly to a miserable end.
being nursed by the natural pravity, and clownish | revenge of which act, Apollo, Jupiter not prohibit malignity of the vulgar sort, (unto princes as infestuous as serpents,) is again repaired by renewed strength, and at last breaks out into open rebellion, which, because it brings infinite mischiefs upon prince and people, is represented by the monstrous deformity of Typhon: his hundred heads signify their divided powers, his fiery mouths their inflamed intents, his serpentine circles their pestilent malice in besieging, his iron hands their merciless slaughters, his eagle's talons their greedy rapines, his plumed body their continual rumours, and scouts, and fears, and suchlike; and sometimes these rebellions grow so potent, that princes are enforced (transported as it were by the rebels, and forsaking the chief seats and cities of the kingdom) to contract their power, and, being deprived of the sinews of money and majesty, betake themselves to some remote and obscure corner within their dominions; but in process of time, if they bear their misfortunes with moderation, they may recover their strength by the virtue and industry of Mercury, that is, they may, by becoming affable, and by reconciling the minds and wills of their subjects with grave edicts and gracious speech, excite an alacrity to grant aids and subsidies whereby to strengthen their authority anew. Nevertheless, having learned to be wise and wary, they will refrain to try the chance of fortune by war, and yet study how to suppress the reputation of the rebels by some famous action, which if it fall out answerable to their expectation, the rebels, finding themselves weakened, and fearing the success of their broken projects, betake themselves to some sleight and vain bravadoes like the hissing of serpents, and at length in despair betake themselves to flight, and then when they begin to break, it is safe and timely for kings to pursue and oppress them with the forces and weight of the kingdom, as it were with the mountain Ætna.
NARCISSUS, OR SELF-LOVE.
THEY say that Narcissus was exceeding fair and beautiful, but wonderful proud and disdainful; wherefore despising all others in respect of himself, he leads a solitary life in the woods and chases with a few followers, to whom he alone was all in all; amongst the rest there follows him the nymph Echo. During his course of life, it fatally so chanced that he came to a clear fountain, upon the bank whereof he lay down to repose himself in the heat of the day; and having
THE CYCLOPS, OR THE MINISTERS espied the shadow of his own face in the water,
THEY say the Cyclops, for their fierceness and cruelty, were by Jupiter cast into hell, and there doomed to perpetual imprisonment; but Tellus persuaded Jupiter that it would do well, if being set at liberty, they were put to forge thunderbolts, which being done accordingly, they became so painful and industrious, as that day and night they continued hammering out in laborious diligence thunderbolts and other instruments of terror. In process of time Jupiter having conceived a displeasure against Esculapius, the son of Apollo, for restoring a dead man to life by physic, and concealing his dislike because there was no just cause of anger, the deed being pious and famous, secretly incensed the Cyclops against him, who without delay slew him with a thunderbolt; in
was so besotted and ravished with the contemplation and admiration thereof, that he by no means possibly could be drawn from beholding his image in this glass; insomuch, that by continual gazing thereupon, he pined away to nothing, and was at last turned into a flower of his own name, which appears in the beginning of the spring, and is sacred to the infernal powers, Pluto, Proserpina, and the Furies.
This fable seems to show the dispositions and fortunes of those, who in respect either of their beauty or other gift wherewith they are adorned and graced by nature, without the help of industry, are so far besotted in themselves as that they prove the cause of their own destruction. For it is the property of men infected with this humour not to come much abroad, or to be conversant in civil affairs; specially seeing those that are in
public place must of necessity encounter with | many outwardly seen.ing fair pretexts, especially many contempts and scorns which may much seeing there is no umpire or moderator of matters deject and trouble their minds; and therefore concluded upon, to whom a reason should be they lead for the most part a solitary, private, and tendered. Therefore there is no true and proper obscure life, attended on with a few followers, thing made choice of for the confirmation of faith, and those such as will adore and admire them, and that no celestial power neither, but is indeed like an echo, flatter them in all their sayings, and necessity, (a great god to great potentates,) the applaud them in all their words; so that being peril also of state, and the communication of by this custom seduced and puffed up, and as it profit. As for necessity, it is elegantly representwere stupified with the admiration of themselves, ed by Styx, that fatal and irremeable river; and they are possessed with so strange a sloth and this godhead did Ipichrates, the Athenian, call to idleness, that they grow in a manner benumbed the confirmation of a league, who, because he and defective of all vigour and alacrity. Ele- alone is found to speak plainly that which many gantly doth this flower, appearing in the begin- hide covertly in their breasts, it would not be ning of the spring, represent the likeness of these amiss to relate his words. He observing how men's dispositions, who in their youth do flourish the Lacædemonians had thought upon and proand wax famous; but being come to ripeness of pounded divers cautions, sanctions, confirmations, years, they deceive and frustrate the good hope and bonds, pertaining to leagues, interposed thus: that is conceived of them. Neither is it impertinent that this flower is said to be consecrated to the infernal deities, because men of this disposition become unprofitable to all human things. For whatsoever produceth no fruit of itself, but passeth and vanisheth as if it never had been, like the way of a ship in the sea, that the ancients were wont to dedicate to the ghosts, and powers below.
STYX, OR LEAGUES.
THE oath by which the gods were wont to oblige themselves when they meant to ratify any thing so firmly as never to revoke it, is a thing well known to the vulgar, as being mentioned almost in every fable, which was, when they did not invoke or call to witness any celestial majesty or divine power, but only the river Styx, that with crooked and meandry turnings encircleth the palace of the infernal Dis. This was held as the only manner of their sacrament, and, besides it, not any other vow to be accounted firm and inviolable, and therefore the punishment to be inflicted, if any did perjure themselves, was, that for certain years they should be put out of commons, and not to be admitted to the table of the gods.
This fable seems to point at the leagues and pacts of princes, of which more truly than opportunely may be said, that be they never so strongly confirmed with the solemnity and religion of an oath, yet are for the most part of no validity; insomuch, that they are made rather with an eye to reputation, and report, and ceremony, than to faith, security, and effect. Moreover, add to these the bonds of affinity, as the sacraments of nature, and mutual deserts of each part, and you shall observe, that with a great many, all these things are placed a degree under ambition and profit, and the licentious desire of domination; and so much the rather, because it is an easy thing for princes to defend and cover their unlawful desires and unfaithful vows with VOL. I -37
Unum Lacædemonii, nobis vobiscum vinculum, et securitatis ratio esse possit, si plane demonstretis, vos ea nobis concessisse, et inter manus posuisse, ut vobis facultas lædendi nos si maxime velletis minime suppetere possit." There is one thing, oh Lacædemonians! that would link us unto you in the bond of amity, and be the occasion of peace and security, which is, if you would plainly demonstrate that you have yielded up and put into our hands such things as that, would you hurt us never so fain, you should yet be disfurnished of means to do it. If, therefore, the power of hurting be taken away, or if, by breach of league, there follow the danger of the ruin or diminution of the state or tribute, then indeed the leagues may seem to be ratified and established, and as it were confirmed by the sacrament of the Stygian lake; seeing that it includes the fear 'of prohibition and suspension from the table of the gods, under which name the laws and prerogatives, the plenty and felicity of a kingdom were signified by the ancients.
PAN, OR NATURE.
THE ancients have exquisitely described Nature under the person of Pan, whose original they leave doubtful; for some say that he was the son of Mercury, others attribute unto him a far different beginning, affirming him to be the common offspring of Penelope's suitors, upon a suspicion that every one of them had to do with her ; which latter relation doubtless gave occasion to some after writers to entitle this ancient fable with the name of Penelope: a thing very frequent amongst them when they apply old fictions to young persons and names, and that many times absurdly and indiscreetly, as may be seen here: for Pan, being one of the ancient gods, was long before the time of Ulysses and Penelope. Besides, for her matrimonial chastity, she was held venerable by antiquity. Neither may we pretermit the third conceit of his birth: for some say 2 B
power; so that we may end the controversy with this distribution, that the world took beginning, either from Mercury, or from the seeds of all things.
VIRG. ECLOG. 6.
"Namque canebat uti magnum per inane coacta.
that he was the son of Jupiter and Hybris, which | Scriptures without all controversy affirm, and signifies contumely or disdain: but howsoever such of the philosophers as had any smack of dibegotten, the Parcæ, they say, were his sisters. vinity assented unto, or else from the confused He is portrayed by the ancients in this guise; on seeds of things. For they that would have one his head a pair of horns to reach to heaven, his simple beginning, refer it unto God; or if a matebody rough and hairy, his beard long and shaggy,riate beginning, they would have it various in his shape biformed, above like a man, below like a beast, his feet like goats' hoofs; bearing these ensigns of his jurisdiction, to wit, in his left hand a pipe of seven reeds, and in his right a sheephook, or a staff crooked at the upper end, and his mantle made of a leopard's skin. His dignities and offices were these: he was the god of hunters, of shepherds, and of all rural inhabitants; chief president also of hill and mountains; and, next to Mercury, the ambassador of the gods. Moreover, he was accounted the leader and commander of the nymphs, which were always wont to dance the rounds, and frisk about him; he was accosted by the satyrs and the old Sileni. He had power also to strike men with terrors, and But as touching the third conceit of Pan's orithose especially vain and superstitious, which are ginal, it seems that the Grecians, either by intertermed panic fears. His acts were not many, course with the Egyptians, or one way or other, for aught that can be found in records; the chief- had heard something of the Hebrew mysteries; for est was, that he challenged Cupid at wrestling, init points to the state of the world, not considered which conflict he had the foil. The tale goes, too, in immediate creation, but after the fall of Adam, how that he caught the giant Typhon in a net, and exposed and made subject to death and corruption; held him fast. Moreover, when Ceres, grum-for in that state it was, and remains to this day, bling and chafing that Proserpina was ravished, had hid herself away, and that all the gods took pains, by dispersing themselves into every corner, to find her out, it was only his good hap, as he was hunting, to light on her, and acquaint the rest where she was. He presumed also to put it to trial who was the best musician, he or Apollo; and by the judgment of Midas was indeed preferred: but the wise judge had a pair of asses' ears privily chopped to his noddle for his sentence. Of his love tricks there is nothing reported, or at least not much; a thing to be wondered at, especially being among a troop of gods so profusely amorous. This only is said of him, that he loved the nymph Echo, whom he took to wife; and one Horns are attributed unto him, because horns pretty wench more called Syrinx, towards whom Cupid, in an angry and revengful humour, because are broad at the root and sharp at the ends, the so audaciously he had challenged him at wrest-nature of all these things being like a pyramis, ling, inflamed his desire.. Moreover, he had no issue, which is a marvel also, seeing the gods, especially those of the male kind, were very generative, only he was the reputed father of a little girl called Iambe, that with many pretty tales was wont to make strangers merry: but some think that he did indeed beget her by his wife Iambe.
the offspring of God and sin; and therefore all
sharp at the top.
For individual or singular
things being infinite are first collected into species, which are many also; then from species into generals, and from generals, by ascending, are contracted into things or notions more general; so that at length Nature may seem to be contracted into an unity. Neither is it to be wondered at that Pan toucheth heaven with his horns, seeing the height of nature or universal ideas do in some sort pertain to things divine; and there is a ready and short passage from metaphysic to natural theo
This, if any be, is a noble tale, as being laid out and big bellied with the secrets and mysteries of nature. Pan, as his name imports, represents and lays open the all of things or nature. Con-logy. cerning his original there are two only opinions The body of nature is elegantly and with deep that go for current; for either he came of Mercu- | judgment depainted hairy, representing the beams y, that is, the Word of God, which the Holy or operations of creatures; for beams are, as it
were, the hairs and bristles of nature; and every | thority ought in very deed to be crooked in the creature is either more or less beamy, which is upper end. most apparent in the faculty of seeing, and no less in every virtue and operation that effectuates upon a distant object; for whatsoever works up any thing afar off, that may rightly be said to dart forth rays or beams.
Moreover, Pan's beard is said to be exceeding long, because the beams or influences of celestial bodies do operate and pierce farthest of all; and the sun, when his higher half is shadowed with a cloud, his beams break out in the lower, and looks as if he were bearded.
Nature is also excellently set forth with a biformed body, with respect to the differences between superior and inferior creatures. For one part, by reason of their pulchritude and equability of motion, and constancy and dominion over the earth and earthly things, is worthily set out by the shape of man; and the other part in respect of their perturbations and unconstant motions, and therefore needing to be moderated by the celestial, may be well fitted with the figure of a brute beast. This description of his body pertains also to the participation of species; for no natural being seems to be simple, but as it were participated and compounded of two; as for example, man hath something of a beast, a beast something of a plant, a plant something of inanimate body, of that all natural things are in very deed biformed, that is to say, compounded of a superior and inferior species.
It is a witty allegory that same, of the feet of the goat, by reason of the upward tending motion of terrestial bodies towards the air and heaven; for the goat is a climbing creature, that loves to be hanging about the rocks and steep mountains; and this is done also in a wonderful manner even by those things which are destinated to this inferior globe, as may manifestly appear in clouds and meteors.
The two ensigns which Pan bears in his hands do point, the one at harmony, the other at empire: for the pipe, consisting of seven reeds, doth evidently demonstrate the consent, and harmony, and discordant concord of all inferior creatures, which is caused by the motion of the seven planets: and that of the sheep-hook may be excellently applied to the 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 au
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, All natural which they earnestly hunt after. 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.
"Torva leæna lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam.
The hungry lioness, with sharp desire,
To have the trefoil juice pass down her throat.
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 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
"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: "Cœli enarrant gloriam Dei atque opera manuum ejus indicat firmamentum." The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth 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 human judgment, the administration of the world carriages and dispositions of both which ages, and creatures therein, and the more secret judgto some such as Democritus was, that would | ments of God, sound very hard and harsh; which 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 terrors 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 panic frights; but men, especially in hard, fearful, and diverse times, are wonderfully infatuated with superstition, which indeed is nothing else but a panic terror.
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.
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 perfection of the world, that he begets no issue; for the world doth generate in respect of its parts; but in respect of the whole, how can it generate, seeing without it there is no body? Notwithstanding all this, the tale of that
To the same effect may be interpreted his catching of Typhon in a net; for howsoever there may sometimes happen vast and unwonted tu- | tattling girl faltered upon Pan, may in very deed, mours, 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.
with great reason, be added to this fable; for by her are represented those vain and idle paradoxes concerning the nature of things which have been frequent in all ages, and have filled the world with novelties; fruitless, if you respect the matter; changelings, if you respect the kind; sometimes creating pleasure, sometimes tediousness, with their overmuch prattling.
PERSEUS, OR WAR.
PERSEUS is said to have been employed by Pallas for the destroying of Medusa, who was very
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 philo-infestuous to the western parts of the world, and sophical 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.
especially about the utmost coasts of Hiberia; a monster so dire and horrid, that by her only aspect she turned men into stones. This Medusa alone of all the Gorgons was mortal, the rest not subject to death. Perseus, therefore, preparing himself for this noble enterprise, had arms and gifts bestowed on him by three of the gods; Mercury gave him wings annexed to his heels, Pluto a helmet, Pallas a shield and a lookingglass. Notwithstanding, although he were thus furnished, he went not directly to Medusa, but first to the Greæ, which, by the mother's side, were sisters to the Gorgons. These Greæ from their birth were hoarheaded, resembling old women; they had but one only eye and one tooth