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Legs Vord Mature Sex [REPACK]

And these be the sententious speeches, & opinions of Poets, by them expresly uttered, which 50 any man may soone find & easily discerme, if he will but take heed & give regard unto them. But yet over & besides these testimonies, they furnish us also with other instructions by their owne deeds. For thus it is reported of Euripides, that when upō a time some reviled Ixion & reproched him by the termes of Godlesse, Wicked & Accursed: he answered, True indeed quoth he, and therefore I would not suffer him to be brought frō the Stage, before I had set him fast upon the [Page 25] wheele, & broken both his armes & legs. True it is that this kinde of Doctrine in Homer is after a sort mute & not delivered in plaine & expresse termes: but if a man will cōsider more neerely, even those fables & fictions in him, which are most blamed & found fault withall, there may be found therein a profitable instruction & covert speculation: And yet some there be who wrest & writhe forcibly the said fables another way by their Allegories, (for so they call in these daies those speeches wherein one thing is spoken & another ment, whereas in times past they were termed Hypponaeae, for the hidden meaning couched under them) whereby they would make us beleeve that the fiction as touching the adulterie of Mars & Venus signifieth thus much, That when the Planet of Mars, is in conjunction with that of Venus in some Horoscopes and Nativities, such persons then borne shall bee enclined to adulteries: but if the Sun do then arise, 10 passe, and overtake them, then such adulteries are in danger to be discovered and the parties to be taken in the very act. Now as touching Iuno how she embellisheth and adorneth herselfe before Iupiter, as also the fiction and sorcerie about the needle worke girdle and Tissue which she borowed of Venus, they would have it to signifie a certaine purging and cleering of the aire, as it approcheth neere to the fire: as if the Poet himselfe gave not the interpretation and exposition of such doubts: For in the tale of the adulterie of Venus, he meaneth nothing els, but to teach them that gave eare thereto, how wanton musicke, lascivious songs, and speeches grounded upon evill arguments and conteining naughtie matters, corrupt our maners, induce us to a luxurious, loose and effeminate life, and cause men to be subject unto pleasures, delights, sensualitie and lust, and given over to the love of women: as also 20

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Now, as Xenophon writeth of king Agesilaus, that he was well apaied to be commended of them who he knew would also blame him if there were cause; so we are to thinke well of friendship when it is pleasant, delightsome and cheereful, if otherwhiles also it can displease and crosse againe; but to have in suspition the conversation and acquaintance of such, as never doe or say 40 any thing but that which is pleasing, continually keeping one course without change, never rubbing where the gall is, nor touching the sore, without reproofe and contradiction. We ought (I say) to have ready alwaies in remembrance the saying of an ancient Laconian, who hearing king Charilaus so highly praised and extolled; And how possibly (quoth he) can he be good, who is neuer sharpe or severe unto the wicked? The gad-flie (as they say) which useth to plague bulles and oxen, setleth about their eares, and so doth the tick deale by dogges: after the same maner, flatterers take holde of ambitious mens eares, and possesse them with praises; and being once set fast there, hardly are they to be removed and chased away. And here most needfull it is, that our judgement be watchfull and observant, and doe discerne whether these praises be attributed to the thing or the person; wee shall perceive that the thing it selfe is praised, if 50 they commend men rather absent than in place: also if they desire and affect that themselves, which they do so like and approve in others: again, if they praise not us alone, but all others, for the semblable qualities: likewise, if they neither say nor do one thing now, and another time the contrary. But the principall thing of all other, is this, If we our selves know in our owne secret conscience, that we neither repent nor be ashamed of that, for which they so commend us; ne yet wish in our hearts, that we had said or done the contrary: for the inward judgement of our mind and soule bearing witnesse against such praises, and not admitting thereof, is void of affections [Page 93] and passions, wherby it neither can be touched nor corrupted and surprised by a flatterer. Howbeit, I know not how it commeth about, that the most part of men can not abide nor receive the consolations which be ministred unto them in their adversities, but rather take delight and comfort in those that weepe, lament and mourne with them: and yet the same men having offended or being delinquent in any duetie, if one come and find fault or touch them to the quicke therefore, do strike and imprint into their hearts remorse and repentance, they take him for no better than an accuser and enemie: contrariwise, let one highly commend and magnifie that which they have done; him they salute and embrace, him they account their wel-willer and friend in deed. Now, whosoever they be that are ready to praise and extoll with applause and clapping of hands, that which one hath done or said, were it in earnest or in game; such (I say) are dangerous 10 and hurtfull for the present onely, and in those things which are next hand: but those, who with their praises pierse as faire as to the maners within, and with their flatteries proceed to corrupt their inward natures and dispositions, I can liken unto those slaves or housholde servants, who rob their masters, not onely of that corne which is in the heape, & heth in the garners, but also of the very seed; for the inclination and towardnesse of a man, are the seed that bring forth all his actions, and the habitude of conditions and maners, are the very source and head from whom runneth the course of our whole life, which they pervert in giving to vices the names of vertues. Thucydides in his storie writeth: That during civill seditions and warres, men transferred the accustomed significations of words unto other things, for to justifie their deeds: for desparate rashnesse, without all reason, was reputed valour, and called Love-friend: provident delay 20 and remporizing, was taken for decent cowardise: Modestie and temperance, was thought to be a cloke of effeminate unmanlinesse: a prudent and wary circumspection in all things, was held for a generall slouth and idlenesse. According to which precedent, we are to consider and observe in flatterers, how they terme prodigalitie by the name of liberalitie; cowardise is nothing with them but heedfull warinesse: brainsicknesse they entitle promptitude, quicknesse, and celeritie: base and mechanicall niggardise, they account temperate frugalitie. Is there one full of love and given to be amorous? him they call good fellow, a boun-companion, a man of a kinde and good nature. See they one hastie, wrathfull, and proud withall? him they will have to be hardie, valiant and magnanimous: contrariwise, one of a base minde and abject spirit, they will grace with the attribute of fellow-like, and full of humanity. Much like to that which Plato 30 hath written in one place: That the amorous lover is a flatterer of those whom he loveth. For if they be flat nosed like a shoing borne, such they call lovely and gracious: be they hawk-nosed like a griffin, ôh, that is a kingly sight say they: those that be blacke of colour, are manly: white of complexion, be Gods children. And as for the terme Melichriis, that is, Hony-coloured, it is alwaies (verily) a flattering word, devised by a lover, to mitigate and diminish the odiousnesse of a pale hue, which he seemeth by that sweet name, not to mislike, but to take in the best part. And verily if hee that is foule & ill favoured, be borne in hand that he is faire and beautifull, or one of small & lowe stature made beleeve that he is goodly & tall; he neither continueth long in this his error, neither is the damage that he susteineth thereby greevous & great, nor unrecoverable: but the praises which induce & inure a man to beleeve, That vice is vertue, insomuch that 40 he is nothing at all discontented in his sinne and greeved therefore, but rather taketh pleasure therein: those also which take away from us all shame and abashment to commitfaults; such were they that brought the Sicilians to ruine, and gave them occasion to beautifie or colour the tyrannie and crueltie of Denys and Phalaris, with the goodly names of Iustice and Hatred of wickednesse: These were the overthrow of Aegypt, in cloking the effeminate wantonnesse, the furious superstition, the yelling noises after a fanaticall maner of king Ptolomaeus, together with the marks that he caried of Lillies and Tabours in his body, with the glorious names of Devotion, Religion, and the service of the gods. And this was it that at the same time went very neere, and had like to have corrupted and spoiled for ever the maners and fashions of the Romanes, which before were so highly reputed, to wit, naming the riotousnes of Antonie, his 50 loosenes, his superfluous delights, his sumptuous shewes & publike feasts, with their profusion and wasting of so much monie, by smooth and gentle termes of courtesies, and meriments full of humanitie, by which disguisements and pretexts, his fault was mollified or diminished in abusing so excessively the grandence of his puissance & fortune. And what was it else that made Ptolomaeus to put on the masque or mussle (as it were) of a piper, and to hang about him pipes and fluits? What was it that caused Nero to mount up the Stage to act Tragedies, with a visour over his face, and buskins on his legs? was it not the praise of such flatterers as these? And are [Page 94] not most of our kings being when they sing small and fine, after a puling maner, saluted Apolloes for their musicke: and if they drinke untill they be drunke, honored with the names of Bacchus the god of wine: and when they seeme a little to wrestle or trie some freats of activitie, stiled by and by with the glorious addition of Hercules, brought (thinke you) to exceeding dishonour & shame by this grosse flatterie, taking such pleasure as they do in these gallant surnames. And therefore we had most need to beware of a flatterer in the praises which he giveth, which himselfe is not ignorant of, but being carefull and very subtill in avoiding all suspicion, if haply he meet with one of these fine fooles, and delicate minions, well set out in gay apparell: or some rusticall thicke-skin, carying on his backe a good leather pilch; or (as they say) one that feedeth grosly: such he will not spare but abuse with broad flattery, and make common laughing 10 stocks of them: Like as Struthias, making a very asse of Bias, and riding him up and downe, yea & insulting upon him for his sottishnesse with praises that he would seeme to hang upon him: Thou hast (quoth he) drunk more than king Alexander the great, & with that turning to Cyprius laughed as hard as ever he could till he was ready to sinke againe. But if a flatterer chance to deale with them that be more civill and elegant, and do perceive that they have a speciall eie unto him in this point, namely that they stand well upon their guard in this place, for feare lest they be surprised by him: then he goes not to worke directly in praising of them, but he keepeth aloose, he fetcheth about many compasses a great way off at first, afterwards by little and little he winneth some ground and approcheth neerer and neerer, making no noise untill he can touch and handle them, much after the maner of those that come about wilde beasts, assaying 20 how to bring them to hand and make them tame and gentle. For one while he will report to such a one the praises that some other give out of him: imitating herein the Rhetoricians, who many times in their orations speake in the third person, and after this maner he will begin: I was not long since (quoth he) in the market place, where I had some talke with certeine strangers, and other ancient personages of good worth, whom I was glad at the heart to heare, how they recounted all the good in the world of you, and spake wonderfully in your commendation. Otherwhiles he will devise and fetch out of his owne fingers ends some light imputations against him, yet all forged and false, agreeable to his person and condition, making semblance as if he had heard others what they said of him, and very cunningly will he close with him, and beare him in hand that he is come in all haste to know of him, whether ever he said or did so as 30 was reported of him: And if the other do denie it, (as it is no other like but he will) thereupon he takes occasion to enter into the praise and commendation of the man in this wise: I mervaile truly how that you should abuse and speake ill of any of your familiars and friends, who were never woont so much as to miscall or say otherwise than well of your very enimies? or how it possibly could be, that you should be ready to gape after other mens goods, who use to be so liberall and bountifull of your owne? Other flatterers there be, who like as Painters to set up their colours and to give them more beautifull light and lustre unto them, lay neere unto them others that be more darke and shadowie: so they in blaming, reprooving, reproching, traducing & deriding the contrarie vertues to those vices which are in them whom the meane to flatter, covertly and underhand do praise and approove those faults and imperfections that they 40 have, and so in praising and allowing, do feede and cherish the same: As for example, if they be among prodigall ding-thrists and wasters, riotous persons, covetous misers, mischievous wretches, and such as have raked & scraped goods together by hooke and crooke, and by all indirect means they care not how: before them they will speake basely of Temperance and Abstinence, calling it rusticitie: and as for those that live justly and with a good conscience, contenting themselves with their estate, and therin reposing suffisance, those they will nickname, heartlesse, and base minded folke, altogether insufficient to do or dare any thing. If it fall out, that they converse and be in companie with such as be idle lusks, and love to sit still at home and do nothing, forbearing to meddle with ordinarie affaires abroad in the world: they will not bash to finde fault with policie and civill government, calling the managing of State matters and common 50 weale, a thanklesse intermedling in other mens affaires, with much travaile and no profit. And as for the minde and desire to be a magistrate and to sit in place of authoritie, they will not let to say it is vaine glory and ambition, altogether fruitlesse. For to flatter and claw an oratour, they will reproove in his presence a Philosopher. Among light huswives that be wantonly given, they winne the price, and are very well accepted, if they call honest matrons and chaste dames (who content themselves with their owne husbands, and them love alone) rude and rusticall women, untaught, ill bred, unlovely and having no grace with them. But herein is the [Page 95] very height of wickednesse, that these flatterers for advantage will not spare their owne selves: For like as wrestlers debase their owne bodies and stoupe downe low otherwhiles, for to overthrow their fellowes that wrestle with them, and to lay them along on the ground; so in blaming and finding many faults with themselves, they winde in, and creepe closely to the praise and admiration of others: I am (quoth one of them) a very coward, and no better than a verie slave at sea; I can away with no labour and travell in the world; I am all in a heat of choler, and raging mad, if I heare that one hath given me any bad termes; mary as for this man (meaning him whom he flattereth) he casteth doubts at no perill and danger, all is one with him, sea or land, he can endure all hardnesse, and he counteth nothing painfull, no hurt there is in him, a singular man he is, and hath not his fellow, he is angry at nothing, he beareth all with patience. 10 But say he meet with one at aventure, which standeth upon his owne bottome, and hath some great opinion of his owne sufficiency for wit and understanding, who hath a desire to be austere, and not to depend upon the conceits of others, but resteth in his owne judgement; and upon a certaine uprightnesse in himselfe, eftsoones hath these verses in his mouth: 041b061a72

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