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in acting. And though the sect of phil. enjoying of it-is the sovereign good of osophers of that kind be gone, yet there human nature.
The first creature of remain certain discoursing wits which are God, in the works of the days, was the of the same veins, though there be not so light of the sense; the last was the light much blood in them as was in those of of reason; and his Sabbath work ever the ancients. But it is not only the diffi- since is the illumination of his Spirit. culty and labor which men take in finding First he breathed light upon the face of out of truth; nor again, that when it is the matter, or chaos; than he breathed found it imposeth upon men's thoughts, light into the face of man; and still he that doth bring lies in favor: but a natural breatheth and inspireth light into the face though corrupt love of the lie itself.
of his chosen. The poet that beautified One of the later school of the Grecians the sect? that was otherwise inferior to examineth the matter, and is at a stand the rest, saith yet excellently well: "It to think what should be in it that men is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and should love lies: where neither they make to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasfor pleasure, as with poets; nor for ad- ure to stand in the window of a castle, vantage, as with the merchant; but for and to see a battle, and the adventures the lie's sake. But I cannot tell: this thereof below: but no pleasure is comsame truth is a naked and open daylight, parable to the standing upon the vantage that doth not show the masks, and mum- ground of truth” (a hill not to be commeries, and triumphs of the world half manded, and where the air is always clear so stately and daintily as candlelights. and serene) "and to see the errors, and Truth. may perhaps come to the price of a wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in pearl, that showeth best by day; but it the vale below": so always, that this proswill not rise to the price of a diamond or pect be with pity, and not with swelling carbuncle, that showeth best in varied or pride. Certainly, it is heaven upon lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add earth to have a man's mind move in charpleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if ity, rest in providence, and turn upon the there were taken out of men's minds vain poles of truth. opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, To pass from theological and philosoimaginations as one would, and the like, phical truth to the truth of civil busibut it would leave the minds of a num- ness, it will be acknowledged, even by ber of men poor shrunken things, full of those that practise it not, that clear and melancholy and indisposition, and un- round dealing is the honor of man's napleasing to themselves? One of the ture; and that mixture of falsehood is Fathers, in great severity, called poesy like alloy in coin of gold and silver: which vinum damonum, because it filleth the
may make the metal work the better, but imagination, and yet it is but with the it embaseth it. For these winding and shadow of a lie. But it is not the lie that crooked courses are the goings of the serpasseth through the mind, but the lie that pent, which goeth basely upon the belly, shketh in, and settleth in it, that doth and not upon the feet. There is no vice the hurt; such as we spake of before. that doth so cover a man with shame as to But howsoever these things are thus in be found false and perfidious. And men's depraved judgments and affections, therefore
therefore Montaigne saith prettily, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, when he inquired the reason why the teacheth that the inquiry of truth, which word of the lie should be such a disgrace, is the love-making or wooing of it; the and such an odious charge: saith he, "If knowledge of truth, which is the presence it be well weighed, to say that a man of it; and the belief of truth, which is the
Lucretius, concerning the Epicureans. "The wine of demons." So called by 3 The French writer who originated the esAagustine.
lieth is as much as to say that he is brave toward God and a coward toward man.” For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man. Surely the wickedness of falsehood, and breach of faith, cannot possibly
be so highly expressed as in that it shall be the last peal to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men: it being foretold that when Christ cometh “He shall not find faith upon the earth."
OF PAINTING THE FACE
T. T. T. T. is an unknown writer whose essay “Of Painting the Face" appeared in a little book called New Essayes, Meditations, and Vowes, including in them the Chiefe Duties of a Christian, both for Faith, and Manners (1614). While still clinging to the didacticism of the Baconian formula, he is less ponderous and anticipates largely in subject and partly in style the periodical essays of Addison and Steele.
IF THAT which is most ancient be best, deceivers of themselves; for if they thinke then the face that one is borne with, is they doe well to paint, they are deceived; better than it that is borrowed: Nature if they think it honest and just to beguile is more ancient than Art, and Art is al- men, and to make them account them lowed to help Nature, but not to hurt it; more delicate and amiable, then they are to mend it, but not to mar it; for per- in truth, they are deceived; if they thinke fection, but not for perdition: but this it meete that that should bee counted artificiall facing doth corrupt the naturall God's worke, which is their owne, they colour of it. Indeed God hath given a are deceived: If they thinke that shall man oil for his countenance, as He hath not one day give account unto Christ of done wine for his heart, to refresh and idle deeds, such as this, as well as of idle cheere it; but this is by reflection and words, they are deceived ; if they thinke not by plaister-worke; by comforting, that God 'regards not such trifles, but and not by dawbing and covering; by leaves them to their free election herein; mending and helping the naturall colour, they are deceived. Now they that deceive and not by marring or hiding it with an themselves, who shall they be trusted artificiall lit. What a miserable vanity with? A man, that is taken of himselfe, is it a man or woman beholding in a is in a worse taking than he that is caught glasse their borrowed face, their bought of another. This self-deceiver, is a complexion, to please themselves with double sinner: he sinnes in that he is a face that is not their owne? And what deceived, hee sinnes again in that he doth is the cause they paint? Without doubt deceive himself. To bee murdered of nothing but pride of heart, disdaining to another is not a sin in him that is murbee behind their neighbour, discontent- dered; but for a man to be deceived in ment with the worke of God, and vaine what he is forbidden, is a sinne; it were glory, or a foolish affectation of the better to bee murdered, than so to be depraise of men. This kind of people are ceived: For there the body is but killed, very hypocrites, seeming one thing and be- but here the soule herself is endangered. ing another, desiring to bee that in show Now, how unhappy is the danger, how which they not be in substance, and grievous is the sin, when a man is merely covering to be judged that, they are not: of himself indangered? It is a misery of They are very grosse Deceivers; for they miseries for a man to bee slaine with his study to delude men with shewes, seeking owne sword, with his owne hand, and hereby to bee counted more lovely crea- long of his owne will: Besides, this tures than they are, affecting that men painting is very scandalous, and of ill should account that naturall, which is report;
for any man therefore to use it, but artificiall. I may truly say they are is to thwart the precept of the Holy
Ghost in Saint Paul, who saith unto the rather hated and discommended. A Phillippians in this wise, Whatsoever painted face is the devils“Looking-glasse": things are true (but a painted face is a there hee stands peering and toying (as false face) whatsoever things are ven- an Ape in a looking-glasse) joying to beerable (but who esteems a painted face hold himselfe therein; for in it he may venerable?) whatsoever things are just reade pride,
reade pride, vanity, and vaine-glory. (but will any man of judgement say, that Painting is an enemy to blushing, which to paint the face is a point of justice? is vertues colour. And indeed how unWho dare say it is according to the will worthy are they to bee credited in things of God which is the rule of justice ? of moment, that are so false in their
Doth the law of God command it? haire, or colour, over which age, and Doth true reason teach it? Doth lawes sicknesse, and many accidents doe tyranof men enjoyne it?) whatsoever things nize; yea and where their deceipt is are (chaste and) pure: (but is painting easily discerned? And whereas the pasof the face a point of chastity? Is that sions and conditions of a man, and his pure that proceeds out of the impurity of age, is something discovered by the face, the soule, and which is of deceipt, and this painting hindereth a mans judgetends unto deceipt? Is that chaste, ment herein, so that if they were as well which is used to wooe mens eyes unto able to colour the eyes, as they are their it?) “whatsoever things are lovely" (but haire and faces, a man could discerne litwill any man out of a well informed tle or nothing in such kind of people. judgement say, that this kinde of painting In briefe, these painters are sometimes inis worthy love, or that a painted face is jurious to those, that are naturally faire worthy to be fancied?) "whatsoever and lovely, and no painters; partly, in things are of good report: If there bee that these are thought sometimes to bee any vertue, if there bee any praise, think painted, because of the common use of on these things.” But I hope to paint painting; and partly, in that these artifithe face, to weare an artificiall colour, or cial creatures steal away the praise from complexion, is no vertue; neither is it of the naturall beauty by reason of their good report amongst the vertuous. I Art, when it is not espyed, whereas were read that Iezabel did practise it, but I it not for their cunning, they would not find not that any holy Matrone or re- bee deemed equall to the other. It is ligious Virgine ever used it: And it may great pitty that this outlandish vanity is perhaps of some be praised, but doubtlesse in so much request and practise with us, not of such as are judicious, but of them
as it is.
SIR THOMAS BROWNE Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) was a physician who won distinction for himself as the author of two prose works, Religio Medici and Urn Burial. Some two hundred years after his death appeared the volume of unpublished papers (1835) from which "On Dreams” is taken. His work is curious in its subject matter and invariably erudite; but has withal a certain richness of tone which is partly due to the majesty and dignity of his language and partly to the rhythm of his prose. The intimately revealing quality of his work is suggestive of the familiar essay to follow. Browne is noteworthy for his freedom from religious prejudice at a time when religious controversy was rife and for the invigorating intellectual quality of his writing.
Half our days we pass in the shadow are confessedly deceived. The day suof the earth; and the brother of death ex- plieth us with truths; the night with ficacteth a third part of our lives. A good tions and falsehoods, which uncomfortapart of our sleep is peered out with vi- bly divide the natural account of our besions and fantastical objects, wherein we ings. And, therefore, having passed the day in sober labors and rational enquiries Many dreams are made out by sagaof truth, we are fain to betake ourselves un- cious exposition, and from the signature to such a state of being, wherein the sober- of their subjects; carrying their interpreest heads have acted all the monstrosities tation in their fundamental sense and of melancholy, and which unto open eyes mystery of similitude, whereby, he that are no better than folly and madness. understands upon what natural funda
Happy are they that go to bed with mental every notion dependeth, may, by grand music, like Pythagoras, or have symbolical adaptation, hold a ready way ways to compose the fantastical spirit, to read the characters. of Morpheus. In whose unruly wanderings take off inward dreams of such a nature, Artemidorus, sleep, filling our heads with St. An- Achmet, and Astrampsichus, from Greek, thony's visions, and the dreams of Lipara Egyptian, and Arybian oneiro-criticism, in the sober chambers of rest.
may hint some interpretation: who, while Virtuous thoughts of the day lay up we read of a ladder in Jacob's dream, will good treasures for the night; whereby the tell us that ladders and scalary ascents impressions of imaginary forms arise into signify preferment; and while we consober similitudes, acceptable unto our sider the dream of Pharaoh, do teach us slumbering selves and preparatory unto that rivers overflowing speak plenty, lean divine impressions. Hereby Solomon's oxen, famine. and scarcity; and therefore sleep was happy. Thus prepared, Jacob it was but reasonable in Pharaoh to de might well dream of angels upon a pil- mand the interpretation from his magilow of stone. And the best sleep of cians, who, being Egyptians, should Adam might be the best of any after. have been well versed in symbols
That there should be divine dreams and the hieroglyphical notions of seems unreasonably doubted by Aristotle. things. The greatest tyrant in such diThat there are demoniacal dreams we vinations was Nabuchodonosor, while, behave little reason to doubt. Why may sides the interpretation, he demanded the there not be angelical? If there be dream itself; which being probably deguardian spirits, they may not be in- termined by divine immission, might esactively about us in sleep; but may some- cape the common road of phantasms, that imes order our dreams; and many strange might have been traced by Satan. hints, instigations, or discourses, which When Alexander, going to besiege are so amazing unto us, may arise from Tyre, dreamt of a Satyr, it was no hard such foundations.
exposition for a Grecian to say, "Tyre But the phantasms of sleep do com- will be thine.” He that dreamed that he monly walk in the great road of natural saw his father washed by Jupiter and and animal dreams, wherein the thoughts anointed by the sun, had cause to fear or actions of the day are acted over and that he might be crucified, whereby his echoed in the night. Who can therefore body would be washed by the rain, and wonder that Chrysostom should dream of drop by the heat of the sun. The dream St. Paul, who daily read his epistles; or of Vespasian was of harder exposition; as that Cardan, whose head was so taken up also that of the emperor Mauritius, conabout the stars, should dream that his soul cerning his successor Phocas. And a man was in the moon! Pious persons, whose might have been hard put to it, to interthoughts are: daily busied about heaven, pret the language of Aesculapius, when to and the blessed state thereof, can hardly a consumptive person he held forth his escape the nightly phantasms of it, which fingers; implying thereby that his cure though sometimes taken for illuminations, lay in dates, from the homonomy of the or divine dreams, yet rightly perpended Greek, which signifies dates and fingers. may prove but animal visions, and natural We owe unto dreams that Galen was night-scenes of their awaking contem- a physician, Dion an historian, and that plations.
1 The art of interpreting dreams.
the world hath seen some notable pieces to dream of giants than pigmies. Demoof Cardan; yet, he that should order his critus might seldom dream of atoms, who affairs by dreams, or make the night a so often thought of them. He almost rule unto the day, might be ridiculously might dream himself a bubble extending deluded; wherein Cicero is much to be unto the eighth sphere. A little water pitied, who having excellently discoursed makes a sea; a small puff of wind a of the vanity of dreams, was yet undone tempest. A grain of sulphur kindled in by the flattery of his own, which urged the blood may make a flame like Aetna; him to apply himself unto Augustus. and a small spark in the bowels of Olym
However dreams may be fallacious con- pias a lightning over all the chamber. cerning outward events, yet may they be But, beside these innocent delusions, truly significant at home; and whereby there is a sinful state of dreams. Death we may more sensibly understand our- alone, not sleep, is able to put an end unto selves. Men act in sleep with some con- sin; and there may be a night-book of our formity unto their awaked senses; and iniquities; for beside the transgressions of consolations or discouragements may be the day, casuists will tell us of mortal drawn from dreams which intimately tell sins in dreams, arising from evil precogius ourselves. Luther was not like to fear tations; meanwhile human law regards a spirit in the night, when such an appa- not noctambulos; and if a night-walker rition would not terrify him in the day. should break his neck, or kill a man, takes Alexander would hardly have run away no notice of it. in the sharpest combats of sleep, nor Dionysius was absurdly tyrannical to Demosthenes have stood stoutly to it, kill a man for dreaming that he had killed who was scarce able to do it in his pre- him; and really to take his life, who had pared senses. Persons of radical integ- but fantastically taken away his. Lamia rity will not easily be perverted in their was ridiculously unjust to sue a young dreams, nor noble minds do pitiful things man for a reward, who had confessed that in sleep. Crassus would have hardly been pleasure from her in a dream which she bountiful in a dream, whose fist was so had denied unto his awaking senses: conclose awake. But a man might have ceiving that she had merited somewhat lived all his life upon the sleeping hand from his fantastical fruition and shadow of Antonius.
of herself. If there be such debts, we There is an art to make dreams, as well owe deeply unto sympathies; but the as their interpretations; and physicians common spirit of the world must be ready will tell us that some food makes turbu- in such arrearages. lent, some gives quiet, dreams. Cato, If some have swooned, they may have who doted upon cabbage, might find the also died in dreams, since death is but a chude effects thereof in his sleep; wherein confirmed swooning. Whether Plato the Egyptians might find some advantage died in a dream, as some deliver, he must by their superstitious abstinence from rise again to inform us. That some have onions. Pythagoras might have had never dreamed, is as improbable as that calmer sleeps, if he had totally abstained some have never laughed. That children from beans. Even Daniel, the great in- dream not the first half-year; that men terpreter of dreams, in his leguminous dream not in some countries, with many diet, seems to have chosen no advantag- more, are unto me sick men's dreams; eous food for quiet sleeps, according to dreams out of the ivory gate,' and visions Grecian physic.
before midnight. To add unto the delusion of dreams, the fantastical objects seem greater than 1 Both Virgil and Spenser repeat Homer's they are; and being beheld in the vapor- poetic superstition regarding the two gates of ous state of sleep, enlarge their diameters
sleep, one of horn from which issue true
dreams; the other of ivory from which false unto us; whereby it may prove more easy dreams proceed.