« PreviousContinue »
MARQUIS OF HUNTLEY'S REPLY
-CERTAIN NOBLEMEN, GENTLEMEN, AND MINISTERS,
COVENANTERS OF SCOTLAND:
Sent from their Associates, to signify unto him, that it behoved him either to assist their designs, or to be carried to Prison in the Castle of Edinburgh, the 20th of April, l630.
Nov published, because of a false Copy thereof lately printed without authority, or his own consent. Quarto, jcontaining four pages,.
r|X) be your prisoner is by much the less displeasing to me, that my •*• accusation is for nothing else but loyalty; and that I have been been brought into this estate by such unfair means, as can never be made to appear honourable in those who used them.
Whereas you offer liberty, upon condition of my entering into your covenant, I am not so bad a merchant, as to buy it with the loss of my conscience, fidelity, and honour: which, in so doing, I should make account to be wholly perished.
I have already given my faith to my prince, upon whose head this crown, by all law of nature and nations is justly fallen, and will not falsify that faith by joining with any in a pretence of religion, which my own judgment cannot excuse from rebellion; for it is well known, that, in the primitive church, no arras were held lawful, being lifted by subjects against their lawful prince, though the whole frame of Christianity was then in question.
Whereas you would encourage me to be a partaker with you by youi hopes of supply from France and other foreign nations, together with your so good intelligence in England, as that no danger will come from thence, let me tell you, that, in my opinion, the reasons are but vain, the French being now more strictly tied, than before, to uphold the authority of our sacred sovereign, by a new-cemented league of marriage, whereby their interest in his Majesty's progeny will over-balance you, though your cause were better. Other foreigners are merely unable by their own distractions, and the English have been ever strong enough for us, when only their own king, and not our's did lead them.
For my own part, I am in your power, and resolved not to leave that foul title of Traitor as au inheritance upon my posterity; you may take my head from my shoulders, but not my heart from ray sovereign.
QUESTION OF THE COCK,
WHETHER HIS CROWING AFFRIGHTS THE LION?
Being one of those Questions handled in the weekly conferences of Monsieur Renaudot's Bureau d'Adresses, at Paris.
[Translated into English, Anno l6tO, in lix Quarto Pages ]
THE first man said thus: the Germans, going to the wars, had reason to take a Cock with them to serve them for a spur and an example of watchfulness; whence came a custom to this day used by the mule-drivefs; some of which tie a Cock upon the foremost carriage; and others, that will not trouble themselves with him, provide only a plume of his feathers. Upon the same ground Phidias made a statue of Minerva, bearing a Cock upon her helmet; unless you will rather think his reason to be, because this goddess is as well president of war as of study; both which have need of much vigilancy. Though this bird, for other causes, may be well enough said to pertain to her; as, for his being so warlike and courageous, as that he will not part with his desire of vanquishing, though it cost him his life; and this desire he prosecutes with such fury, that Coelius Aurelian reports, that a man fell mad, having only been pecked by a Cock in the heat of his fighting. For the passion of choler, being a short madness, is able exceedingly to raise the degree of heat in a temper already so extremely cholerick, that in time the body of a Cock becomes nitrous; and in 'this consideration it is prescribed to sick persons to make them laxative, and it is the better, if he were first well beaten, and plucked alive, and then boiled.
And this courage of the Cock moved Artaxcrxes, King of Persia, when a soldier of Caria had slain Prince Cyrus, to grant him leave to bear a little Cock of gold upon bis javelin, as a singular badge of his great valour. In imitation whereof, all the soldiers of the same province fell to wear the like upon the crests of their hejmets; and were thence called Alcctryons, that is in Latin, ('.alii, a name afterwards given to our nation*, and it may be for the like reason.
"The Cock is also the hieroglyphick of victory, because he crows when he bath beaten his adversary; which gave occasion to the Lacedemonians to sacrifice a Cock, when they had overcome their enemies. He was also dedicated to Mars; and the poets feign that he was a young soldier, and placed for a centinel by this God of war when he went to
• The Author was a Fieocxmau.
lie with Venus, but feared the return of her husband; but, this watchman sleeping till after sun-rising, Mars and she were taken napping by Vulcan. Mars, being very angry, transformed this sleeper into a Cock for his negligence; whence, say they, it comes to pass, that, well remembering the cause of his transformation, he now gives warning when the sun draws near to our horizon. Which fable is as tolerable as that of the Alcoran, which attributes the crowing of our cocks to one that, as he saith, stands upon the first heaven, and is of so immense a hugeness, that his head toucheth the second; which Cock crows so loud, that he awakens all the Cocks upon the earth, that immediately they fall to provoking one another to do the like; as if there were one and the same instant of cock-crowing all over the face of the whole earth. The Cock was also dedicated to the sun, to the moon, and to the goddesses Latona, Ceres, and Proserpina; which was the cause that the novices, or those that were initiated in their mysteries, must not eat of a Cock. Me was also dedicated to Mercury, because vigilancy and early rising is necessary for merchants; and therefore they painted him in the form of a man sitting, having a crest upon his head, with eagles feet, and holding a Cock upon his fist, but particularly he was consecrated to jEsculapius, which made Socrates, at the point of death, to will his friends to sacrifice a cock to him, because his hemlock had wrought well. And Pyrrh us, curing men of the spleen, caused them to offer a white Cock, whereas Pythagoras forbade his followers to meddle with the life or nourishing of any of that calour.
The inhabitants of Calecut sacrifice a Cock to their deity, whom they conceive in the shape of a he-goat; and Acosta, out of Lucian, assures us, thatanciently they worshipped a Cock for a God; which, Christianity not suffering, hath put them upon churches, the spires of steeples, and high buildings, calling them weather-cocks, because, as fans, they shew the coast whence the wind comes, unless you rather think they are set up in remembrance of St. Peter's repentance at the second crowing of a Cock.
The cause of his crowing is commonly attributed to his heat, which makes him rejoice at the approach of the sun, as being of his own temper; of which approach he is sooner sensible than others, because he more easily than any other creature receives the impression of the air, as appears by that harsh voice which he sometimes useth in crowing when he hath been newly moistened by the vapours; and, therefore, the countrymen count it an ordinary sign of ram. And forasmuch as the whole species of birds is more hot, dry, and light than the species of four-footed beasts; therefore the Lion, though he be a solar creature, as well as the Cock, yet is so in a lesser degree than he. Whence it comes to pass, that the Cock hath a pre-eminence over the Lion, which he understands not, till the crowing raise in his imagination some species which in him produce terror. Unless you will say, that the spirits of the Cock are communicated to the Lion, by means of his voice; for that is a thing more material, and so more capable to act than the spirits which come out of sore eyes, which nevertheless do infect those that are sound, if they look on them; nay, to speak with the poet, they do bewitch the very lambs,
The Second said, we must reckon this error (of a Cock scaring a Lion by crowing) among divers other vulgar ones, of which oftentimes the chairs and pulpits rim:, as if they were certain truths, when, in thctryal, they prove stark false. It may be some tame lion, grown cowardly by the manner of his breeding, hath been seen affrighted by the shrill sound of some Cock crowing suddenly and near to his ears; which will seem not unlikely to themthat, in the beginning of March last past, were present at the intended combate in the tennis-court at Rochelle, between such a lion and a bull; at the sight of whom the lion was so afraid, that he bolted through the nets, throwing down the spectators which were there placed in great nnmbers, as thinking it a place of greater security; and, running thence, he hid himself, and could by no means be made re-enter the lists. Or it may be the novelty of this crowing surprised some lion that never heard it before, as having always lived far from any village or country-house where poultry are bred; and thereupon the lion at this first motion startled.
It is also possible, and most likely too, that the startle of choler, whereinto the lion falls as soon as any thing displeases him, was mistaken by somebody for a sign of fear, whereas it was a token of his indignalion. Fdr I see no shew of reason to imagine in this generous beast a true and universal fear of so small a matter as the voice of a Cock, seeing that this likeness of nature, which is attributed to them, should rather produce some sympathy than any aversion; and yet this enmity, if any were, and that as great as between wolves and sheep, ought no more to scare the lion than the bleating of a sheep affrights a wolf. But the wolf devours the sheep, and assimilates it to his own substance, rather for the good-will that he bears himself, than for any ill-will or hatred that he bears towards the sheep. Besides, we ordinarily see cocks and hens in the court-yards of the houses where lions are kept, which never make any shew of astonishment at their crowing. Nay, I remember, I have seen a young lion eat a cock; it is true, he did not crow any more than those of Nibas, a village near to Thessalo-t nica, in Macedonia, where the cocks never crow. But the lion would have been content with tearing the Cock in pieces, and not have eaten him, if there had been such an antipathy between them as some imagine. But this error finds entertainment for the moral's sake, which they infer upon it, to shew us that the most hardy arc not exempt from fear, which often-times arises whence it is least looked for. So that to ask, Why the Crowing of a Cock scares Lions, is to seek the causes of a thing that is not.
The Third said, we must not make so little account of the authority of our predecessors, as absolutely to deny what they have averred, the proof of which seems sufficiently tried by the continued experience of so many ages; for to deny a truth, because we know not the reason of it, is to imitate Alexander, who cut the Gordian knot, because he could not uiity it. It is better, in the nature of the Cock and his voice, to seek a cause of the fright of the Lion, who being a creature always in a fever, by his excessive cholcrick distemper, of which hit hair and his violence arc tokens; great noise is to him as intolerable as to those that arc sick and feverish, especially those in whom a cholerick humour, inflamed, stirs up the head-acli. Besides, there are some kinds of sound, which some persons cannot endure; and yet can give you no reason for it, but are constrained to fly to specifical properties and antipathies; and such we may conceive to be between the Cock's crowing and a Lion's ear, with much more likelihood than that the remora stays vessels under full sail; and a thousand other effects impenetrable by our reason, but assured by our experience.
Lastly, This astonishment that the Cock puts the Lion into, with his crowing, is not very unreasonable: this king of beasts having occasion to wonder, how out of so small a body should issue a voice so strong, and which is beard so far off, whereas himself can make such great slaughters with so little noise. Which amazement of the Lion is ,so much the greater, if the Cock be white, because this colour helps yet more to dissipate his spirits, which were already scattered by the first motion of his apprehension.
WHETHER THERE BE NOTHING NEW*
Being one of those Questions handled in the Weekly Conferences of Monsieur Kcnaudot's Bureau d'Addresses, at Paris,
Translated into English, Anno i()40. Quarto, containing six pages.
London, printed by R. B. for Jasper Emery, at the Eagle and Child, in St. Panft Church-yard, near St. Augustine's Gate.
THE desire to learn is natural, and no less pleasing to. the mind of man, than his desire of getting; and, indeed, it is one kind of getting: And as men receive more contentment in one new purchase, than in often thinking on all those which they had made before; so our understanding takes a great deal more pleasure in feeding upon new nourishment, than in chewing the cud upon that which it had- already; yea, and among those new repasts, if it light upon any which it never tasted before, it receives it, as our palate is wont to do, with so much the more pleasure: For nature is more pleased with the change, than with the continuation of the use of any thing; the reason is, because, seeking the supreme good, and not finding it in any of those things which he hath yet made trial of, she always hopes to find it elsewhere. This sweetness is that which allays the bitterness of learning to children, who arc ravished with the pleasure of learning all those histories, and pedantical conceits, which we can so hardly endure when we are grown