« PreviousContinue »
The person to whom it was addressed applied it so successfully to his own life and conduct, that he became Lord Treasurer of England, Earl of Salisbury, and one of the greatest Statesmen of his time.
« SON ROBERT, • The vertuous inclinations of thy matchless “ mother, by whose tender and godly care thy “ infancy was governed, together with thy edu« cation under so zealous and excellent a tutor, “ puts me in rather assurance than hope, that “ thou art not ignorant of the summum bonum, « which is only able to make thee happy as well « in thy death as life: I mean, the true know. « ledge and worship of thy Creator and Re“ deemer, without which all other things are “ vaine and miserable. So that thy youth being “ guided by so, sufficient a teacher, I make no o doubt but he will furnish thy life with divine “ and moral documents. Yet, that I may not o cast off the care beseeming a parent towards « his child, or that thou shouldest have cause to .." derive thy whole felicity and welfare rather “ from others than from whence thou receivedst “ thy breath and being, I think it fitt and “ agreeable to the affection I beare thee, to help - thee with such rules and advertisements, for “ the squaring of thy life, as are rather gained
“ by experience than by much reading, to the 6 end that entering into this exorbitant age, “ thou mayest be the better prepared to shunne " those scandalous courses whereunto the world « and the lack of experience may easily draw o thee. And because I will not confound thy ,
memory, I have reduced them into Ten Pre“ cepts; and next unto Moses' Tables, if thou « imprintst them in thy mind, thou shalt reap the “ benefit, and I the content. And they are ks these following: .." 1. When it shall please God to bring thee
to man's estate, use great providence and cir“ cumspection in chusing thy wife, for from “ thence will spring all thy future good or evil; " and it is an action of life, like unto a stratagem “ of warre, wherein a man can erre but once. “ If thy estate be good, match ncere home, and “ at leisure; if weak, far off and quickly. En~ quire diligently of her disposition, and how “ her parents have been inclined in their youth. “ Let her not be poore, how generous foever, “ for a man can buy nothing in the markett “ with gentility: nor chuse a base and uncomely •s creature altogether for wealth, for it will cause s contempt in others, and loathing in thee. “ Neither make choice of (a) dwarfe, or (a) “ fool; for by the one thou shalt beget a race 66 of pigmies, the other will be thy. continual
« disgrace, « disgrace, and it will yirke thee to hear her “ talk; for thou shalt find it, to thy great grief, " that there is nothing more fulsome than a she “ foole.
“ And touching the guiding of thy house, let “ thy hospitallitie be moderate; and, according « to the meanes of thy estate, rather plentifull “ than sparing, but not costly. For I never “ knewe any man grow poore by keeping an “ orderly table, but some consume themselves 6 through secret vices, and their hospitalitie 66 bears the blame. But banish swinish drunkards 4 out of thine house, which is a vice impairing c health, consuming much, and makes no show, “ I never heard praise ascribed to the drunkard, “ but (for) the well bearing (of) his drink, “ which is a better commendation for a brewer's “ horse or a drayman than for either a gentle6 man or (a) ferving-man. Beware thou spend “ not above three or four parts of thy revenewes, “ nor above a third part of that in thy house, As for the other two parts will do no more than “ defray thy extraordinaries, which alwayes sur. “ mount the ordinary by much, otherwise thou € fhalt live like a rich beggar in continual want “ And the needy man can never live happily “ nor contentedly, for every disaster makes him “ ready to mortgage or sell, and that gentle
« man who fells an acre of land sells an ounce “ of creditt, for gentility is nothing else but 56 antient riches. So that if the foundation shall
at any time sinke, the building must need fol. lowe. So much for the First Precept.
“ 2. Bring thy children up in learning and “ obedience, yet without outward austerity. “ Praise them openly, reprehend them secretly. " Give them good countenance and convenient “ maintenance according to thy ability, other“ wise thy life will seem their bondage, and what “ portion thou shalt leave them at thy death, " they will thank death for it, and not thee; « and I am persuaded that the foolish cockering " of some parents, and the over stern carriage 66 of others, causeth more men and women to 66 take ill courses than their own vicious inclina. « tions. Marry thy daughters in time, lest they “ marry themselves. And suffer not thy sonnes " to pass the Alps, for they shall learne nothing " there but pride, blasphemy, and atheism; and “ if by travel they gett a few broken languages, “ that shall profit them nothing more than to “ have one meat served in divers dishes. Nei. " ther, by my consent, shalt thou train them up 66 in warres, for he that sets up his rest to live « by that profession, can hardly be an honest " man or a good Christian: besides, it is a VOL. I.
“ science no longer in request than use, for • souldiers in peace are like chimneys in fum“ mer.
" 3. Live not in the countrey without corn " and cattle about thee, for he that putteth his « hand to the purse for every expence of house“ hold, is like him that keepeth water in a fieve; “ and, what provision thou shalt want, learn to 6 buy it at the best hand, for there is one penny. “ saved in four betwixt buying in thy need, and “ when the marketts and seasons ferve fittest for “ it. Be not ferved with kinsmen, or friends, or « men entreated to stay, for they expect much, “ and doe little; nor with such as are amorous, 6 for their heads are intoxicated; and keep « rather two too few, than one too many. Feed “ them well, and pay them with the most; and 5 then thou mayst boldly require service at their « hands.
“ 4. Let thy kindred and allies be welcome " to thy house and table. Grace them with “ thy countenance, and farther them in all “ honcft actions, for by this means thou shalt so « double the band of nature, as thou fhalt find “ them so many advocates to plead an apology « for thee behind thy back; but shake off those “ glow-wormes, I mean parasites and sycophants,