Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

that no gesture, motion, or deportment, be taught our youth but what by their allowance shall be thought honeft; for such Plato was provided of; It will ask more then the work of twenty licencers to examin all the lutes, the violins, and the ghittars in every house; they must not be suffer'd to prattle as they doe, but must be licenc'd what they may fay. And who shall filence all the airs and madrigalls, that whisper softnes in chambers? The Windows also, and the Balcone's must be thought on, there are shrewd books, with dangerous frontispices set to fale; who shall prohibit them, shall twenty licensers ? The villages also must have their visitors to enquire what lectures the bagpipe and the rebbeck reads ev'n to the ballatry, and the gammuth of every municipal fidler, for these are the Countrynians Arcadia's and his Monte Mayors. Next, włat more Nationall corruption, for which England hears ill abroad, then houshold gluttony; who shall be the rectors of our daily rioting? and what shall be done to inhibit the multitudes that frequent those houses where drunk’nes is sold and harbour’d? Our garments also should be referrd to the licencing of some more sober work-masters to see them cut into a lesse wanton garb. Who shall regulat. all the mixt conversation of our youth, male and female together, as is the fashion of this Country, who shall still appoint what shall be discours'd, what

rebbeck

pre

presum’d, and no furder ? Lastly, who fhall forbid and separat all idle resort, all evill company? These things will be, and must be; but how they shall be lest hurtfull, how lest enticing, herein confists the grave and governing wisdom of a State. To sequefter out of the world into Atlantick and Eutopian polities, which never can be drawn into use, will not mend our condition ;. but to ordain wisely as in this world of evill, in the mid'st whereof God hath plac't us unavoidably.. Nor is it Plato's licencing of books will doe this, which necessarily pulls along with it fo many other kinds of licencing, as will make us all both ridiculous and weary, and yet frustrat; but those unwritt'n, or at least uncom

straining

[ocr errors]

ftraining laws of vertuous education, re. ligious and civill nurture, which Plata there mentions, as the bonds and ligaments of the Commonwealth, the pillars and the sustainers of every writt'n Statute; these they be which will bear chief fway in such matters as these, when all licencing will be easily eluded. Impunity and remiffenes, for certain are the bane of a Commonwealth, but here the great art lyes to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things perswasion only is to work. If every action which is good, or evill in man at ripe years, were to be under pittance and prescription, and compulsion, what were vertue but a name, what praise could be then due to well-doing, what

gram

grammercy to be sober, just or continent? many there be that complain of divin Providence for suffering Adam to transa gresse, foolish tongues ! when God gave him reason, he gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing; he had bin else a meer artificiall Adam, such an Adam as he is in the motions. We our selves esteem not of that obedience, or love, or gift, which is of force : God therefore left him free, set before him a provoking object, ever almost in his eyes herein consisted his merit, herein the right of his reward, the praise of his abstinence. Wherefore did he creat passions within us, pleasures round about us, but that these rightly temper'd are the very ingredients of vertu? They

are

« VorigeDoorgaan »