« PreviousContinue »
reproof, and hate such as would reform them? Notwithstanding even they which brook it worst that men should tell them of their duties, when they are told the same by a law, think very well and reasonably of it. For why? They presume that the law doth speak with all indifferency ; that the law hath no side-respect to their persons ; that the law is as it were an oracle proceeded from wisdom and understanding.
Howbeit laws do not take their constraining force from the quality of such as devise them, but from that power which doth give them the strength of laws. That which we spake before concerning the power of government must here be applied unto the power of making laws whereby to govern; which power God hath over all : and by the natural law, whereunto he hath made all subject, the lawful power of making laws to command whole politic societies of men belongeth so properly unto the same entire societies, that for any prince or potentate of what kind soever upon earth to exercise the same of himself, and not either by express commission immediately and personally received from God, or else by authority derived at the first from their consent upon whose persons they impose laws, it is no better than mere tyranny.
Laws they are not therefore which public approbation hath not made so.
But approbation not only they give who personally declare their assent by voice, sign or act, but also when others do it in their names by right originally at the least derived from them. As in parliaments, councils, and the like assemblies, although we be not personally ourselves present, notwithstanding our assent is by reason of others, agents there in our behalf. And what we do by others, no reason but that it should stand as our deed, no less effectually to bind us than if ourselves had done it in person. In many things assent is given, they that give it not imagining they do so, because the manner of their assenting is not apparent. As for example, when an absolute monarch commandeth his subjects that which seemeth good in his own discretion, hath not his edict the force of a law whether they approve or dislike it? Again, that which hath been received long sithence and is by custom now established, we keep as a law which we may not transgress ; yet what consent was ever thereunto sought or required at our hands?
Of this point therefore we are to note, that sith men naturally have no full and perfect power to command whole politic multitudes of men, therefore utterly without our consent we could in such sort be at no man's commandment living. And to be commanded we do consent, when that society whereof we are part hath at any time before consented, without revoking the same after by the like universal agreement. Wherefore as any man's deed past is good as long as himself continueth ; so the act of a public society of men done five hundred years sithence standeth as theirs who presently are of the same societies, because corporations are immortal; we were then alive in our predecessors, and they in their successors do live still. Laws therefore human, of what kind soever, are available by consent.
Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.
P. 20, 1. 15. Regiment "government," as in the famous instance of Knox's monstrous regiment of women."
John Lyly was born in Kent about 1554: the exact
date of his death is uncertain. He was educated at Oxford, and for a time held a place at Court. Euphues (the first part) was published in 1579; the plays by which the author is also known, later.
only upon extremities? Do they think any man to delight in them, unless he dote on them ? Any to be zealous except they be jealous? Any to be fervent in case he be not furious ? If he be cleanly, then term they him proud, if mean in apparel a sloven, if tall a lungis, if short a dwarf, if bold, blunt : if shamefaced, a coward: insomuch as they have neither mean in their frumps, nor measure in their folly. But at the first the ox wieldeth not the yoke, nor the colt the snaffle, nor the lover good counsel, yet time causeth the one to bend his neck, the other to open his mouth, and should enforce the third to yield his right to reason. Lay before thine eyes the slights and deceits of thy lady, her snatching in jest and keeping in earnest, her perjury, her impiety, the countenance she showeth to thee of course, the love she beareth to others of zeal, her open malice, her dissembled mischief.
O I would in repeating their vices thou couldst be as eloquent as in remembering them thou oughtest to be penitent : be she never so comely call her counterfeit, be she never so straight think her crooked. And wrest all parts of her body to the worst, be she never so worthy. If she be well set, then call her a boss ; if slender, a hazel twig ; if nutbrown, as black as a coal ; if well coloured, a painted wall; if she be pleasant, then is she a wanton ; if sullen, a clown ; if honest, then is she coy; if impudent, a harlot.
Search every vein and sinew of their disposition ; if she have no sight in descant, desire her to chant it; if no cunning to dance, request her to trip it ; if no skill in music, proffer her the lute; if an ill gait, then walk with her; if rude in speech, talk with her ; if she be gag-toothed, tell her some merry jest to make her laugh; if pink-eyed, some doleful history to cause her weep; in the one her grinning will show her deformed, in the other her whining like a pig half roasted.
It is a world to see how commonly we are blinded with the collusions of women, and more enticed by their ornaments being artificial, than their proportion being natural. I loathe almost to think on their ointments and apothecary drugs, the sleeking of their faces, and all their slibber sauces, which bring queesiness to the stomach, and disquiet to the mind.
Take from them their periwigs, their paintings, their jewels, their rolls, their bolsterings, and thou shalt soon perceive that a woman is the least part of herself. When they be once robbed of their robes, then will they appear so odious, so ugly, so monstrous, that thou wilt rather think them serpents than saints, and so like hags that thou wilt fear rather to be en. chanted than enamoured. Look in their closets, and there shalt thou find an apothecary's shop of sweet confections, a surgeon's box of sundry salves, a pedlar's pack of new fangles. Besides all this their shadows, their spots, their lawns, their leefikyes, their ruffs, their rings, shew them rather cardinal's courtesans, than modest matrons, and more carnally affected, than moved in conscience. If every one of these things severally be not of force to move thee, yet all of them jointly should mortify thee.
Moreover, to make thee the more stronger to strive against these sirens, and more subtle to deceive these tame serpents, my counsel is that thou have more strings to thy bow than one, it is safe riding at two anchors, a fire divided in twain burneth
slower, a fountain running into many rivers is of less force, the mind enamoured on two women is less affected with desire, and less infected with despair, one love expelleth another, and the remembrance of the latter quencheth the concupiscence of the first.
P. 23, I. 1. Most of this fassage is taken directly, and many of its phrases are literally translated from Ovid's Remedia Amoris, especially from lines 315-355. This is characteristic of Lyly and his school.
P. 23, 1. 6. Lungis, a lounging, slouching fellow.
P. 23, ll. 14, 15. “Of course," "of zeal,” contrasted as we should now contrast "as a matter of course " and" by predilection."
Boss, a hump, a lump.
P. 24, l. 29. Leefikyes, apparently from “ lief," "playthings," " toys." Chosen, no doubt, for its alliteration with " lawns."