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most Minde to. It is true, that if the Affection or Aptnesse of the Children, be Extraordinary, then it is good, not to crosse it; But generally, the Precept is good; Optimum elige, suave & facile illud faciet Consuetudo. Younger Brothers are commonly Fortunate, but seldome or never, where the Elder are disinherited.
Of Marriage and Single Life
E that hath Wife and Children, hath given
Hostages to Fortune; For they are Impediments, to great Enterprises, either of Vertue, or Mischiefe. Certainly, the best workes, and of greatest Merit for the Publike, have proceeded from the unmarried, or Childlesse Men; which, both in Affection, and Meanes, have married and endowed the Publike. Yet it were great Reason, that those that have Children, should have greatest care of future times; unto which, they know, they must transmit, their dearest pledges. Some there are, who though they lead a Single Life, yet their Thoughts doe end with themselves, and account future Times, Impertinences. Nay, there are some other, that account Wife and Children, but as Bills of charges. Nay more, there are some foolish rich covetous Men, that take a pride in having no Children, because they may be thought, so much the richer. For perhaps, they have heard some talke; Such an one is a great rich Man; And another except to it; Yea, 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 certaine Selfe-pleasing, and humorous Mindes, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will goe neare, to thinke their Girdles, and Garters, to be Bonds and Shackles. Unmarried Men are best Friends; best Masters; best Servants; but not alwayes best Subiects; For they are light to runne 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 must first fill a Poole. It is indifferent for Iudges and Ma-, gistrates: For if they be facile, and corrupt, you shall have a Servant, five times worse than a Wife. For Souldiers, I finde the Generalls commonly in their Hortatives, put Men in minde of their Wives and Children: And I thinke the Despising of Marriage, amongst the Turkes, maketh the vulgar souldier more base. Certainly, Wife and Children, are a kinde of Discipline of Humanity: And single Men, though they be many times more Charitable, because their Meanes are lesse exhaust; yet, on the other side, they are more cruell, and hard hearted, (good to make severe Inquisitors) because their Tendernesse, is not so oft called upon. Grave Natures, led by Custome, and therfore constant, are commonly loving Husbands; As was said of Ulysses; Vetulam suam prætulit Immortalitati. Chast Women are often Proud, and froward, as Presuming upon the Merit of their Chastity. It is one of the best Bonds, both of Chastity and Obedience, in the Wife, if
She thinke her Husband Wise; which She will never doe, if She finde him lealous. Wives are young Mens Mistresses: Companions for middle Age; and old Mens Nurses. So as a Man may have a Quarrell to marry, when he will. But yet, he was reputed one of the wise Men, that made Answer to the Question; When a Man should marry? A young Man not yet, an Elder Man not at all. It is often seene, that bad Husbands, have very good Wives; whether it be, that it rayseth the Price of their Husbands Kindnesse, when it comes; Or that the Wives take a Pride, in their Patience. But this never failes, if the bad Husbands were of their owne choosing, against their Friends consent; For then, they will be sure, to make good their owne Folly,
"HERE be none of the Affections, which have
Love, and Envy. They both have vehement wishes; They frame themselves readily into Imaginations, and Suggestions; And they come easily into the Eye; especially upon the presence of the Obiects; which are the Points, that conduce to Fascination, if any such Thing there be. We see likewise, the Scripture calleth Envy, An Evill Eye: And the Astrologers, call the evill Influences of the Starrs, Evill Aspeits; So that still, there seemeth to be acknowledged, in the Act of Envy, an Eiaculation, or Irradiation of the Eye. Nay some have beene so curious, as to note, that the Times, when the Stroke, or Percussion of an Envious Eye doth most hurt, are, when the Party envied is beheld in Glory, or Triumph; For that sets an Edge upon Envy; And besides, at such times, the Spirits of the person Envied, doe come forth, most into the outward Parts, and so meet the Blow.
But leaving these Curiosities, (though not