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Of Parents and Children.
HE joys of Parents are fecret, and fo are their griefs and fears; they cannot utter the one, nor they will not utter the other. Children fweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter they increase the cares of Life, but they mitigate the remembrance of Death. The perpetuity by generation is common to Beasts; but memory, merit, and noble works are proper to Men: and furely a man fhall fee the nobleft Works and Foundations have proceeded from Childlefs Men, which have fought to express the Images of their minds, where thofe of their bodies have failed: So the care of pofterity is moft in them that have no pofterity. They that are the firft raifers of their Houses, are most indulgent towards their Children; beholding them as the continuance, not only of their kind, but of their work, and fo both Children and Creatures.
The difference in affection of Parents towards their feveral Children, is many times unequal, and fometimes unworthy, efpecially in the Mother; as Solomon faith, A wife Son rejoyceth the Father, but an ungracious Son fhames the Mother. A Man fhall fee, where there is a Houfe full of Children, one or two of the eldest refpected, and the youngeft made wantons; but in the midft, fome that
are,as it were forgotten, who many times nevertheless prove the beft. The illiberality of Parents In allowance towards their Children, is an harmful error, makes them bafe, acquaints them with fhifts makes them fort with mean company, and makes them furfeit more when they come to plenty and therefore the proof is beft, when Men keep their authority towards their Children, but not their purse. Men haye a foolish manner (both Parents, and School-Mafters, and Servants) in creating and breeding an emulation between Brothers, during Childhood, which many times forteth to difcord when they are men, and difturbeth Families. The Italians make little difference between Children and Nephews, or near Kinsfolks; but fo they be of the lump they care not, though they pafs not through their own body. And to fay truth, in Nature it is much alike matter, infomuch that we see a Nephew fometimes refembleth an Uncle, or a Kinsman, more than his own Parent, as the blood happens. Let Parents chufe betimes the vocations and courfes they mean their Children fhould take, for then they are moft flexible; and let them not too much apply themselves to the difpofition of their Children, as thinking they will take beft to that which they have molt mind to. It is true, that if the affection or aptnefs of the Children be extraordinary, then it is good not to cross it but generally the precept is good, Optimum elige, fuave facile illud facet confuetudo, younger Brothers are commonly fortunate, but feldom or never where the elder are difinherited.
Of Marriage and Single Life.
E that hath Wife and Children, hath given hoftages to Fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of Vertue or Mischief. Certainly the belt works, and of greatest merit for the publick, have proceeded from the unmarried or Childlefs Men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the publick. Yet it were great reason, that thofe that have Children, fhould have greatest care of future times, unto which they know they muft transmit their deareft pledges. Some there are, who though they lead a Single Life, yet their thoughts do end with themfelves, and account future times impertinencies. Nay, there are fome other, that account Wife and Children but as Bills of Charges. Nay, more, there are fome foolish rich covetous men, that take pride in having no Children, because they may be thought so much the richer. For perhaps they have heard fome talk, Such an one is a great rich Man; and another except to it, Tea, but he hath a great charge of Children; as if it were an abatement to his riches. But the most ordinary cause of a Single Life is Liberty, especially in certain self-pleafing and humorous minds, which are so fenfible of every restraint, as they will go near to think
their Girdles and Garters to be Bonds and Shackles. Unmarried Men are beft Friends, beft Mafters, beft Servants, but not always best Subjects; for they are light to run away, and almost all fugitives are of that condition. A Single Life doth well with Church-men: for Charity will hardly water the Ground, where it muft firft fill a Pool. It is indifferent for Judges and Magiftrates; for if they be facile and corrupt, you! fhall have a Servant five times worse than a Wife. For Souldiers, I find the Generals commonly in their hortatives put men in mind of their Wives and Children. And I think the defpifing of Marriage amongst the Turks, making the vulgar Souldier more base. Certainly Wife and Children are a kind of humanity; and Single Men, thoughthey be many times more charitable, because their means are lefs exhauft; yet on the other fide, they are more cruel and hard hearted, (good) to make fevere Inquifitors) because their tendernefs is not fo oft called upon. Grave natures, led by cuftom, and therefore conftant, are com monly loving Husbands; as was faid of Vlyffes, Vetulam fuam prætulit immortalitati. Chaft Women are often proud and froward, as prefuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the beft bonds both of chastity and obedience in the Wife, if the thinks her Husband wife, which fhe will never do, if the find him jealous. Wives are young mens Miftreffes, Companions for middle Age, and old mens Nurfes; fo as a man may have a quarrel to marry when he will. But yet
he was reputed one of the wife men, that made anfwer to the queftion; When a man fhouldi marry? A young man not yet, an elder man not at all. It is often feen, thatbad Husbands have very good Wives; whether it be, that it raiseth the price of their Husbands kindness when it comes, or that the Wives take a pride in their patiences But this never fails, if the bad Husbands were of their own chufing, against their Friends confent; for then they will be fure to make good their own folly.
THERE be none of the Affections, which
have been noted to facinate or bewitch, but Love and Envy. They both have vehement wilhes, they frame themfelves readily into imaginations and fuggeftions; and they come eafily into the eye, especially upon the prefence of the objects, which are the points that conduce to fafcination, if any fuch thing there be. We fee likewife the Scripture calleth Envy, an evil Eye and the Aftrologers call the evil influences of the Stars, Evil Afpects fo that ftill there feemeth to be acknowledged in the act of Envy, an ejaculation or irridiation of the Eye. Nay, fome have been fo curious, as to note, that the times, when the ftroke or percuffion of an Envious Eye doth