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by John Donne 1624
Insultus Morbi Primus;
The first alteration, The first grudging of, the sicknesse.
VARIABLE, and therfore miserable condition of Man; this minute I was well, and am ill, this minute. I am surpriz'd with a sodaine change, and alteration to worse, and can impute it to no cause, nor call it by any name. We study Health, and we deliberate upon our meats, and drink, and ayre, and exercises, and we hew, and wee polish every stone, that goes to that building; and so our Health is a long and regular work; But in a minute a Canon batters all, overthrowes all, demolishes all; a Sicknes unprevented for all our diligence, unsuspected for all our curiositie; nay, undeserved, if we consider only disorder, summons us, seizes us, possesses us, destroyes us in an instant. O miserable condition of Man, which was not imprinted by God, who as hee is immortall himselfe, had put a coale, a beame of Immortalitie into us, which we might have blowen into a flame, but blew it out, by our first sinne; wee beggard our selves by hearkning after false riches, a'nd infatuated our selves by hearkning after false knowledge. So that now, we doe not onely die, but die upon the Rack, die by the torment of sicknesse; nor that onely, but are preafflicted, super-afflicted with these jelousies and suspitions, and apprehensions of Sicknes, before we can cal it a sicknes; we are not sure we are ill; one hand askes the other by the pulse, and our eye asks our urine, how we do. O multiplied misery I we die, and cannot enjoy death, because wee die in this torment of sicknes; we art tormented with sickness and cannot stay till the torment come, but preapprehensions and presages, prophecy those torments, which induce that death before either come; and our dissolution is conceived in these first changes, quickned in the sicknes it selfe, and borne in death, which beares date from these first changes. Is this the honour which Man hath by being a litle world, That he hath these earthquakes in him selfe, sodaine shakings; these lightnings, sodaine flashes; these thunders, sodaine noises; these Eclypses, sodain offuscations, and darknings of his senses; these Blazing stars, sodaine fiery exhalations; these Rivers of blood, sodaine red waters? Is he a world to himselfe onely therefore, that he hath inough in himself, not only to destroy, and execute himselfe, but to presage that execution upon himselfe; to assist the sickness to antidate the sickness to make the sicknes the more irremediable, by sad apprehensions, and as if he would make a fire the more vehement,
by sprinkling water upon the coales, so to wrap a hote fever in cold Melancholy, least the -fever alone should not destroy fast enough, without this contribution, nor perfit the work (which is destruction) except we joynd an artificiall sickness of our owne melancholy, to our natural, our un-naturall fever. O perplex'd discomposition, O ridling distemper, O miserable condition of Man!
The strength, and the function of the Senses, and other faculties change and faile.
THE Heavens are not the less constant, because they move continually, because they move continually one and the same way. The Earth is not the more constant, because it lyes stil continually, because continually it changes, and melts in al parts thereof. Man, who is the noblest part of the Earth, melts so away, as if he were a statue, not of Earth, but of Snowe. We see his owne Envie melts him, he growes leane with that; he will say, anothers beautie melts him; but he feels that a Fever doth not melt him like snow, but powr him out like lead, like iron, like brasse melted in a furnace: It doth not only melt him, but calcine him, reduce him to Atomes, and to ashes; not to water, but to lime. And how quickly? Sooner than thou canst receive an answer, sooner than thou canst conceive the question; Earth is the center of my Bodie, Heaven is the center of my Soule; these two are the naturall places of those two; but those goe not to these two in an equall pace: My body falls downe without pushing, my Soule does not go up without pulling: Ascension is my Soules pace and measure, but precipitation my bodies: And, even Angells, whose home is Heaven, and who are winged too, yet bid a Ladder to goe to Heaven, by steps. The Sunne who goes so many miles in a minut, the Starres of the Firmament, which go so very many more, goe not so fast, as my body to the earth. In the same instant that I feele the first attempt of the disease, I feele the victory; In the twinckling of an eye, I can scarse see, instantly the tast is insipid, and fatuous; instantly the appetite is dull and desirelesse: instantly the knees are sinking and strengthlesse; and in an instant, sleepe, which is the picture, the copie of death, is taken away, that the Originall, Death it selfe may succeed, and that so I might have death to the life. It was part of Adams Punishment, In the sweat of thy browes thou shalt eate thy bread: it is niultiplied to me, I have earned bread in the sweat of my browes, in the labor of my calling, and I have it; and I
sweat againe, and againe, from the brow, to the sole of the foot, but I eat no bread, I tast no sustenance: Miserable distribution of Mankind, where one halfe lackes meat, and the other stomacke.
Decubitus sequitur tandem.
The Patient takes his bed.
WEE attribute but one priviledge and advantage to Mans body, above other moving creatures, that he is not as others, groveling, but of an erect, of an upright form, naturally built, and disposed to the contemplation of Heaven. Indeed it is a thankfull forme, and recompences that soule, which gives it, with carrying that soule so many foot higher, towards heaven. Other creatures look to the earth; and even that is no unfit object, no unfit contemplation for Man; for thither hee must come; but because, Man is not to stay there, as other creatures are, Man in his naturall forme, is carried to the contemplation of that place, which is his home, Heaven. This is Mans prerogative; but what state hath he in this dignitie? A fever can fillip him downe, a fever can depose him; a fever can bring that head, which yesterday caried a crown of gold, five foot towards a crown of glory, as low as his own foot, today. When God came to breath into Man the breath of life, he found him flat upon the ground; when he comes to withdraw that breath from him againe, hee prepares him to it, by laying him flat upon his bed. Scarse any prison so close, that affords not the prisoner two, or three steps. The Anchorites that barqu'd themselves up in hollowe trees, and immur'd themselves in hollow walls; that perverse man, that barrell'd himselfe in a Tubb, all could stand, or sit., and enjoy some change of posture. A sicke bed, is a grave; and all that the patient saies there, is but a varying of his owne Epitaph. Every nights bed is a Type of the grave: At night wee tell our servants at what houre wee will rise; here we -cannot tell our selves, at what day, what week, what moneth. Here the head lies as low as the foot; the Head of the people, as lowe as they, whome those feete trod upon; And that hande that signed Pardons, is too weake to begge his owne, if he might have it for lifting up that hand: Strange fetters to the feete, strange Manacles to the bands, when the feete, and handes are bound so much the faster, by how much the coards are slacker; So much the lesse able to doe their Offices, by how much more the Sinews and Ligaments are the looser. In the Grave I may speak through the stones, in the voice of my friends, and in the accents of those wordes, which their love may afford my memory; Here I am mine owne Ghost, and rather affright my beholders,
than instruct them; they conceive the worst of me worse; they give me for dead now, and yet wonder how I doe, when they wake at midnight, and aske how I doe to morrow. Miserable and, (though common to all) inhuman posture, where I must practise my lying in the grave, by lying still, and not practise my Resurrection, by rising any more.
The Phisician is sent for.
IT is too little to call Man a little World; Except God, Man is a diminutive to nothing. Man consistes of more pieces, more parts, than the world; than the world doeth, nay than the world is. A those pieces were extended, and stretched out in Man, as they in the world, Man would bee the Gyant, and the Worlde the Dwarfe, the World but the Map, and the Man the World. If all the Veines in our bodies, were extended to Rivers, and all the Sinewes, to Vaines of Mines, and all the Muscles, that lye upon one another, to Hilles, and all the Bones to Quarries of stones, and all the other pieces, to the proportion of those which correspond to them in the world, Aire would be too litle for this Orbe of Man to move in, the firmament would bee but enough for this Starre; for, as the whole world hath nothing, to which something in man doth not answere, so hath man many pieces, of which the whole world hath no representation. Inlarge this Meditation upon this great world, Man, so farr, as to consider the immensitie of the creatures this world produces; our creatures are our thoughts, creatures that are borne Gyants; that reach from East to West, from Earth to Heaven, that doe not onely bestride all the Sea, and Land, but span the Sunn and Firmament at once; My thoughts reach all, comprehend all. Inexplicable mistery; I their Creator am in a close prison, in a sicke bed, any where, and any one of my Creatures, my thoughts, is with the Sunne, and beyond the Sunne overtakes the Sunne, and overgoes the Sunne in one pace, one steppe, everywhere. And then as the other world produces Serpents, and Vipers, malignant, and venimous creatures, and Wormes, and Caterpillars, that endeavour to devoure that world which produces them, and Monsters compiled and complicated of divers parents, and kinds, so this world, our selves, produces all these in us, in producing diseases, and sicknesses, of all those sort; venimous, and infectious diseases, feeding and consuming diseases, and manifold and entangled diseases, made up of many several ones. And can the other world name so many venimous, so many
consuming, so many monstrous creatures, as we can diseases, of all these kindes? O miserable abundance, O beggarly riches! bow much doe wee lacke of having remedies for everie disease, when as yet we have not names for them? But wee have a Hercules against these Gyants, these Monsters; that is, the Phisician; hee musters up al the forces of the other world, to succ I our this; all Nature to relieve Man. We have the Phisician, but we are not the Phisician. Heere we shrinke in our pro portion, sink in our dignitie, in respect of verie meane creatures, who are Phisicians to themselves. The Hart that is pursued and wounded, they say, knowes an Herbe, which being eaten, throwes off the arrow: A strange kind of vomit. The dog that pursues it, though hee bee subject to sickness even proverbially, knowes his grasse that recovers him. And it may be true, that the Drugger is as neere to Man, as to other creatures, it may be that obvious and present Simples, easie to bee had, would cure him; but the Apothecary is not so neere him, nor the Phisician so neere him, as they two are to other creatures; Man hath not that innate instinct, to apply these naturall medicines to his present danger, as those inferiour creatures have; he is not his owne Apothecary, his owne Phisician, as they are. Call back therefore thy Meditation again, and bring it downe; whats become of mans great extent and proportion, when himselfe shrinkes himselfe, and consumes himselfe to a handfuil of dust? whats become of his soaring thoughts, his compassing thoughts, when himselfe brings himselfe to the ignorance, to the thoughtlessnesse of the Grave? His diseases are his owne, but the Phisician is not; hee hath them at home, but hee must send for the Phisician.
The Phisician comes.
AS Sicknes is the greatest misery, so the greatest misery of sickness is solitude; when the infectiousnes of the disease deterrs them who should assist, from comming; even the Phisician dares scarse come. Solitude is a torment which is not threatned in hell it selfe. Meere vacuities the first Agent, God, the first instrument of God, Nature, will not admit; Nothing can be utterly emptie, but so neere a degree towards Vacuitie, as Solitude, to bee but one, they love not. When I am dead, and my body might infect, they have a remedy, they may bury me; but when I am but sick, and might infect, they have no remedy, but their absence, and my solitude. It is an excuse to them that are great, and pretend, and yet are loth to
come; it is an inhibition to those who would truly come, because they may be made instruments, and pestiducts, to the infection of others, by their comming. And it is an Outlawry, an Excommunication upon the Patient, and seperats him from all offices not onely of Civilitie, but of working Charitie. A long sicknesse will weary friends at last, but a pestilentiall sicknes averts them from the beginning. God himself would admit a figure of Society, as there is a plurality of persons in God, though there bee but one God; and all his externall actions testifie a love of Societie, and communion. In Heaven there are Orders of Angels, and Armies of Martyrs, and in that house, many mansions; in Earth, Families, Cities, Churches, Colleges all plurall things; and lest either of these should not be company enough alone, there is an association of both, a Communion of Saints, which makes the Militant, and Triumphant Church, one Parish; So that Christ, was not out of his Dioces, when hee was upon the Earth, nor out of his Temple, when he was in our flesh. God, who sawe that all that hee made, was good, came not so neer seeing a defect in any of his works, as when he saw that it was not good, for man to bee alone, therefore hee made him a helper; and one that should helpe him so, as to increase the number, and give him her owne, and more societies. Angels, who do not propagate, nor multiply, were made at the first in an abundant number; and so were starres: But for the things of this world, their blessing was, Encrease; for I think, I need not aske leave to think, that there is no Phenix; nothing singular, nothing alone: Men that inhere upon Nature only, are so far from thinking, that there is anything singular in this world, as that they will scarce thinke, that this world it selfe is singular, but that every Planet, and every Starre, is another world like this; They finde reason to conceive, not onely a pluralitie in every Species in the world, but a pluralitie of worlds; so that the abhorrers of Solitude, are not solitary; for God, and Nature, and Reason concurre against it. Now a man may counterfeyt the Plague in a vowe, and mistake a Disease for Religion; by such a retiring, and recluding of himselfe from all men, as to doe good to no man, to converse with no man. God hath two Testaments, two Wils; but this is a Scedule, and not of his, a Codicill, and not of his, not in the body of his Testaments, but interlin'd, and postscrib'd by others, that the way to the Communion of Saints, should be by such a solitude, as excludes all doing of good here. That is a disease of the mind; as the height of an infectious disease of the body, is solitude, to be left alone: for this makes an infectious bed, equall, nay worse than a grave, that thogh in both I be equally alone, in my bed I know it, and feele it, and shall not in my grave: and this too, that in my bedd, my soule is still in an infectious body, and shall not in my grave bee so.
The Phisician is afraid.
I OBSERVE the Phisician, with the same diligence, as hee the disease; I see hee feares, and I feare with him: I overtake him, I overrun him in his feare, and I go the faster, because he makes his pace slow; I feare the more, because he disguises his fear, and I see it with the more sharpnesse, because hee would not have me see it. He knowes that his feare shall not disorder the practise, and exercise of his Art, but he knows that my fear may disorder the effect, and working of his practise. As the ill affections of the spleene, complicate, and mingle themselves with every infirmitie of the body, so doth feare insinuat it self in every action, or passion of the mind; and as the wind in the body will counterfet any disease, and seem the stone, and seem the Gout, so feare will counterfet any disease of the Mind; It shall seeme love, a love of having, and it is but a fear, a jealous, and suspitious feare of loosing; It shall seem valor in despising, and undervaluing danger, and it is but feare, in an overvaluing of opinion, and estimation, and a feare of loosing that. A man that is not afraid of a Lion is afraid of a Cat; not afraid of starving, and yet is afraid of some joynt of meat at the table, presented to feed him; not afraid of the sound of Drummes, and Trumpets, and Shot, and those, which they seeke to drowne, the last cries of men, and is afraid of some particular harmonious instrument; so much afraid, as that with any of these the enemy might drive this man, otherwise valiant enough, out of the field. I know not, what fear is, nor I know not what it is that I fear now; I feare not the hastening of my death, and yet I do fear the increase of the disease; I should belie Nature, if I should deny that I feared this, and if I should say that I feared death, I should belye God; My weaknesse is from Nature, who hath but her Measure, my strength is from God, who possesses, and distributes infinitely. As then every cold ayre, is not a dampe, every shivering is not a stupefaction, so every feare, is not a fearefulnes, every declination is not a running away, every debating is not a resolving, every wish, that it were not thus, is not a murmuring, nor a dejection though it bee thus; but as my Phisicians fear puts not him from his practise, neither doth mine put me, from receiving from God, and Man, and my selfe, spirituall, and civill, and morall assistances, and consolations.
Socios sibi jungier instat.
The Phisician desires to have others joyned with him.
THERE is more feare, therefore more cause. If the Phisician desire help, the burden grows great: There is a growth of the Disease then; But there must bee an Autumne to; But whether an Autumne of the disease or mee, it is not my part to choose: but if it bee of mee, it is of both; My disease cannot survive mee, I may overlive it. Howsoever, his desiring of others, argues his candor, and his ingenuitie; if the danger be great, he justifies his proceedings, and he disguises nothing, that calls in witnesses; And if the danger bee not great, hee is not ambitious, that is so readie to divide the thankes, and the honour of that work, which he begun alone, with others. It diminishes not the dignitie of a Monarch, that hee derive part of his care upon others; God hath not made many Suns, but he hath made many bodies, that receive, and give light. The Romanes began with one King; they came to two Consuls; they returned in extremities, to one Dictator: whether in one, or many, the Soveraigntie is the same, in all States, and the danger is not the more, and the providence is the more, where there are more Phisicians; as the State is the happier, where businesses are carried by more counsels, than can bee in one breast, how large soever. Diseases themselves hold Consultations, and conspire how they may multiply, and joyn with one another, and exalt one anothers force, so; and shal we not call Phisicians, to consultations? Death is in an olde mans dore, he appeares, and tels him so, and death is at a young mans backe, and saies nothing; Age is a sicknesse, and Youth is an ambush; and we need so many Phisicians, as may make up a Watch, and spie every inconvenience. There is scarce any thing, that hath not killed some body; a haire, a feather hath done it; Nay, that which is our best Antidote against it, hath donn it; the best Cordiall hath bene deadly poyson; Men have dyed of Joy, and allmost forbidden their friends to weepe for them, when they have seen them dye laughing. Even that Tiran Dyonisius (I thinke the same, that suffered so much after) who could not die of that sorrow, of that high fal, from a King to a wretched private man, dyed of so poore a Joy, as to be declard by the people at a Theater, that hee was a good Poet. We say often that a Man may live of a litle; but, alas, of how much lesse may a Man dye! And therfore the more assistants, the better; who comes to a day of hearing, in a cause of any importance, with one Advocate? In our Funerals, we our selves have no interest; there wee cannot advise, we cannot direct: And though some Nations, (the Egiptians in particular) built themselves better tombs, than houses
because they were to dwell longer in them; yet, amongst our selves, the greatest Man of Stile, whom we have had, The Conqueror, was left, as soone as his soule left him, not only without persons to assist at his grave, but without a grave. Who will keepe us then, we know not; As long as we can, let us admit as much helpe as wee can; Another, and another Phisician, is not another, and another Indication, and Symptom of death, but another, and another Assistant, and Proctor of life: Nor doe they so much feed the imagination with apprehension of danger, as the understanding with comfort; Let not one bring Learning, another Diligence, another Religion, but every one bring all, and, as many Ingredients enter into a Receit, so may many men make the Receit. But why doe I exercise my Meditation so long upon this, of having plentifull helpe in time of need? Is not my Meditation rather to be enclined another way, to condole, and commiserate their distresse who have none? How many are sicker (perchance) than I, and laid on their wofull straw at home (if that corner be a home) and have no more hope of helpe, though they die, than of preferment, though they live? Nor doe no more expect to see a Phisician then, than to bee an Officer after; of wkome, the first that takes knowledge, is the Sexten that buries them; who buries them in oblivion too? For they doe but fill up the number of the dead in the Bill, but we shall never heare their Names, till wee reade them in the Booke of life, with our owne. How many are sicker (perchance) than I, and thrown into Hospitals, where, (as a fish left upon the Sand, must stay the tide) they must stay the Phisicians houre of visiting, and then can bee but visited? How many are sicker (perchaunce) than all we, and have not this Hospitall to cover them, not this straw, to lie in, to die in, but have their Grave-stone under them, and breathe out then soules in the eares, and in the eies of passengers, harder than their bed, the flint of the street? That taste of no part of our Phisick, but a sparing dyet; to whom ordinary porridge would bee Julip enough, the refuse of our servants, Bezar enough, and the off-scouring of our Kitchen tables, Cordiall enough. O my soule, when thou art not enough awake, to blesse thy God enough for his plentifull mercy, in affoording thee many Helpers, remember how many lacke them, and helpe them to them, or to those other things, which they lacke as much as them.
Et Rexi ipse suum mittit.
The King sends his owne Phisician.
STILL when we return to that Meditation, that Man is a World, we find new discoveries. Let him be a world, and him self will be the land, and
misery the sea. His misery (for misery is his, his own; of the happinesses of this world hee is but Tenant, but of misery the Free-holder; of happines he is but the farmer, but the usufructuary, but of misery, the Lord, the proprietary) his misery, as the sea, swells above all the hilles, and reaches to the remotest parts of this earth, Man; who of himselfe is but dust, and coagulated and kneaded into earth, by teares; his matter is earth, his forme, misery. In this world, that is Mankinde, the highest ground, the eminentest hils, are Kings; and have they line, and lead enough to fadome this sea, and say, My misery is but this deepe? Scarce any misery equal to sicknesse; and they are subject to that equally, with their lowest subject. A glasse is not the lesse brittle, because a Kings face is represented in it; nor a King the lesse brittle, because God is represented in him. They have Phisicians continually about them, and therfore sicknesses, or the worst of sicknesses, continuall feare of it. Are they gods? He that calld them so, cannot flatter. They are Gods, but sicke gods; and God is presented to us under many human affections, as far as infirmities; God is called Angry, and Sorry, and Weary, and Heavy; but never a sicke God: for then hee might die like men, as our gods do. The worst that they could say in reproch, and scorne of the gods of the Heathen, was, that perchance they were asleepe; but Gods that are so sicke, as that they cannot sleepe, are in an infirmer condition. A God, and need a Phisician? A Jupiter and need an Æsculapius? that must have Rheubarbe to purge his choller, lest he be too angry, and Agarick to purge his flegme, lest he be too drowsie; that as Tertullian saies of the Ægyptian gods, plants and herbes, That God was beholden to Man, for growing in his Garden, so wee must say of these gods, Their eternity, (an eternity of three score and ten yeares) is in the Apothecaryes shop, and not in the Metaphoricall Deity. But their Deitye is better expressed in their humility, than in their heighth; when abounding and overflowing, as God, in means of doing good, they descend, as God, to a communication of their abundances with men, according to their necessities, then they are Gods. No man is well, that understands not, that values not his being well; that hath not a cheerefulnesse, and a joy in it; and whosoever hath this Joy, hath a desire to communicate, to propagate that, which occasions his happinesse, and his Joy, to others; for every man loves witnesses of his happinesse; and the best witnesses, are experimentall witnesses; they who have tasted of that in themselves, which makes us happie: It consummates therefore, it perfits the happinesse of Kings, to confer, to transfer, honor, and riches, and (as they can) health, upon those that need them.
Upon their Consultation, they prescribe.
THEY have seene me, and heard mee, arraign'd mee in these fetters, and receiv'd the evidence; I have cut up mine Anatomy, dissected my selfe, and they are gon to read upon me. O how manifold, and perplexed a thing, nay, how wanton and various a thing is ruine and destruction! God presented to David three kinds, War, Famine, and Pestilence; Satan left out these, and brought in, fires from heaven, and windes from the wilderness. [As] if there were no ruine but sickness wee see, the Masters of that Art, can scarce number, nor name all sicknesses; every thing that disorders a faculty, and the function of that is a sicknesse: The names wil not serve them which are given from the place affected, the Plurisie is so; nor from the effect which it works, the falling sicknes is so; they cannot have names enow, from what it does, nor where it is, but they must extort names from what it is like, what it resembles, and but in some one thing, or els they would lack names; for the Wolf, and the Canker, and the Polypus are so; and that question, whether there be more names or things, is as perplexd in sicknesses, as in any thing else; except it be easily resolvd upon that side, that there are more sicknesses than names. If ruine were reduc'd to that one way, that Man could perish noway but by sickness yet his danger were infinit; and if sicknes were reduc'd to that one way, that there were no sicknes but a fever, yet the way were infinite still; for it would overrode, and oppress any naturall, disorder and discompose any artificiall Memory, to deliver the names of severall fevers; how intricate a worke then have they, who are gone to consult, which of these sicknesses mine is, and then which of these fevers, and then what it would do, and then how it may be countermand. But even in ill, it is a degree of good, when the evil wil admit consultation. In many diseases, that which is but an accident, but a symptom of the main disease, is so violent, that the Phisician must attend the cure of that, though hee pretermit (so far as to intermit) the cure of the disease it self. Is it not so in States too? somtimes the insolency of those that are great, put[s] the people into commotions; the great disease, and the reatest danger to the Head, is the insolency of the great ones; and yet, they execute Martial law, they come to present executions upon the people, whose commotion was indeed but a symptom, but an accident of the maine disease; but this sympton, grown so violent, would allow no, time for a consultation. Is it not so in the accidents of the diseases of our
mind too? Is it not evidently so in our affections, in our passions? If a cholerick man be ready to strike, must I goe about to puree his choler, or to breake the blow? But where there is room for consultation, things are not desperate. They consult; so there is nothing rashly, inconsideratly done; and then they prescribe, they write, so there is nothing covertly, disguisedly, unavowedly done. In bodily diseases it is not alwaies so; sometimes, as soon as the Phisicians foote is in the chamber, his knife is in the patients arme; the disease would not allow a minutes forbearing of blood, nor prescribing of other remedies. In States and matter of government it is so too; they are somtimes surprizd with such accidents, as that the Magistrat asks not what may be done by law, but does that, which must necessarily be don in that case. But it is a degree of good, in evill, a degree that carries hope and comfort in it, when we may have recourse to that which is written, and that the proceedings may be apert, and ingenuous, and candid, and avowable, for that gives satisfaction, and acquiescence. They who have received my Anatomy of my selfe, consult, and end their consultation in prescribing, and in prescribing Phisick; proper and convenient remedy: for if they should come in again, and chide mee, for some disorder, that had occasioned, and inducd, or that had hastned and exalted this sickness or if they should begin to write now rules for my dyet, and exercise when I were well, this were to antidate, or to postdate their Consultation, not to give Phisicke. It were rather a vexation, than a reliefe, to tell a condemnd prisoner, you might have liv'd if you had done this; and if you can get pardon, you shal do wel, to take this, or this course hereafter. I am glad they know (I have hid nothing from them) glad they consult, (they hide nothing from one another) glad they write (they hide nothing from the world) glad that they write and prescribe Phisick, that there are remedies for the present case.
Lenté et Serpenti satagunt occurrere Morbo.
They find the Disease to steale on insensibly, and endeavour to meet with it so.
THIS is Natures nest of Boxes; The Heavens containe the Earth, the Earth, Cities, Cities, Men. And all these are Concentrique; the common center to them all, is decay, ruine; only that is Eccentrique, which was never made; only that place, or garment rather, which we can imagine, but not demonstrate, That light, which is the very emanation of the
light of God, in which the Saints shall dwell, with which the Saints shall .be appareld, only that bends not to this Center, to Ruine; that which was not made of Nothing, is not threatned with this annihilation. All other things are; even Angels, even our soules; they move upon the same poles, they bend to the same Center; and if they were not made immortall by preservation, their Nature could not keep them from sinking to this center, Annihilation. In all these (the frame of the heavens, the States upon earth, and Men in them, comprehend all) Those are the greatest mischifs, which are least discerned, the most insensible in their wayes come to bee the most sensible in their ends. The Heavens have had their Dropsie, they drownd the world, and they shall have their Fever, and burn the world. Of the dropsie, the flood, the world had a foreknowledge 120 yeares before it came; and so some made provision against it, and were saved; the fever shall break out in an instant, and consume all; The dropsie did no harm to the heavens, from whence it fell, it did not put out those lights, it did not quench those heates; but the fever, the fire shall burne the furnace it selfe, annihilate those heavens, that breath it out; Though the Dog-Starre have a pestilent breath, an infectious exhalation, yet because we know when it wil rise, we clothe our selves, and wee diet our selves, and we shadow our selves to a sufficient prevention; but Comets and blazing starres, whose effects, or significations no man can interrupt or frustrate no man foresaw: no Almanack tells us, when a blazing starre will break out, the matter is carried up in secret; no Astrologer tels us when the effects will be accomplished, for thats a secret of a higher spheare, than the other; and that which is most secret, is most dangerous. It is so also here in the societies of men, in States, and Commonwealths. Twentie rebellious drums make not so dangerous a noise, as a few whisperers, and secret plotters in corners. The Canon doth not so much hurt against a wal, as a Myne under the wall; nor a thousand enemies that threaten, so much as a few that take an oath to say nothing. God knew many heavy sins of the people, in the wildernes and after, but still he charges them with that one, with Murmuring, murmuring in their hearts, secret disobediences, secret repugnances against his declar'd wil; and these are the most deadly, the most pernicious. And it is so too, with the diseases of the body; and that is my case. The pulse, the urine, the sweat, all have sworn to say nothing, to give no Indication, of any dangerous sicknesse. My forces are not enfeebled, I find no decay in my strength; my provisions are not cut off, I find no abhorring in mine appetite; my counsels are not corrupted or infatuated, I find no false apprehensions, to work upon mine understanding; and yet they see, that invisibly, and I feele, that insensibly the disease prevailes. The disease hath established a Kingdome, an Empire in mee, and will have certaine Arcana Imperii, secrets of State, by which it will proceed, and not be bound to declare them. But yet against those secret conspiracies in the State, the Magistrate hath the rack; and against the insensible diseases, Phisicians have their examiners; and those these employ now.
Nobilibusque trahunt, a cincto Corde, venenum, Succis et Gemmis, et quæ generosa, Ministrant Ars, et Nattira, instillant.
They use Cordials, to keep the and Malignitie of the disease from the Heart.
WHENCE can wee take a better argument, a clearer demonstration, that all the Greatnes of this world, is built upon opinion of others, and hath in itself no reall being, nor power of subsistence, than from the heart of man? It is always in action, and motion, still busie, still pretending to doe all, to furnish all the powers, and faculties with all that they have; But if an enemy dare rise up against it, it is the soonest endangered, the soonest defeated of any part. The Braine will hold out longer than it, and the Liver longer than that; They will endure a Siege; but an unnatural heat, a rebellious heat, will blow up the heart, like a Myne, in a minute. But howsoever, since the Heart hath the birthright and Primogeniture, and that it is Natures eldest Sonne in us, the part which is first borne to life in man, and that the other parts, as younger brethren, and servants in this family, have a dependence upon it, it is reason that the principall care hee had of it, though it bee not the strongest part; as the eldest is oftentimes not the strongest of the family. And since the Braine, and Liver, and Heart, hold not a Triumvirate in Man, a Soveraigntie equally shed upon them all, for his well-being, as the foure Elements doe, for his very being, but the Heart alone is in the Principalitie, and in the Throne, as King, the rest as Subjects, though in eminent Place and Office, must contribute to that, as Children to their Parents, as all persons to all kinds of Superiours, though oftentimes, those Parents, or those Superiours, bee not of stronger parts, than themselves, that serve and obey them that are weaker; Neither doth this Obligation fall upon us, by second Dictates of Nature, by Consequences and Conclusions arising out of Nature, or deriv'd from Nature, by Discourse, (as many things binde us even by the Law of Nature, and yet not by the primarie Law of Nature; as all Lawes of Proprietie in that which we possesses are of the Law of Nature, which law is, To give every one his owne, and yet in the primarie law of Nature there was no Proprietie, no Meum and Tuum, but an universall Communitie
over all; So the Obedience of Superiours, is of the law of Nature, and yet in the primarie law of Nature, there was no Superioritie, no Magistracie;) but this contribution of assistance of all to the Soveraigne, of all parts to the Heart, is from the very first dictates of Nature; which is, in the first place, to have care of our owne Preservation, to look first to ourselves; for therefore doth the Phisician, intermit the present care of Braine, or Liver, because there is a possibilitie that they may subsist, though there bee not a present and a particular care had of them, but there is no possibilitie that they can subsist, if the Heart perish: and so, when we seem to begin with others, in such assistances, indeed wee doe beginne with ourselves, and wee ourselves are principally in our contemplation; and so all these officious, and mutual assistances are but complements towards others, and our true end is ourselves. And this is the reward of the paines of Kings; sometimes they neede the power of law, to be obey'd; and when they seeme to be obey'd voluntarily, they who doe it, doe it for their owne sakes. O how little a thing is all the greatnes of man, and through how false glasses doth he make shift to multiply it, and magnifie it to himselfe! And yet this is also another misery of this King of man, the Heart, which is also applyable to the Kings of this world, great men, that the venime and poyson of every pestilentiall disease directs itself to the Heart, affects that (pernicious affection,) and the Malignity of ill men, is also directed upon the greatest, and the best; and not only greatnesse, but goodnesse looses the vigour of beeing an Antidote, or Cordiall against it. And as the noblest, and most generous Cordialls that Nature or Art afford, or can prepare, if they be often taken, and made familiar, become no Cordialls, nor have any extraordinary operation, so the greatest Cordiall of the Heart, patience, if it bee much exercis'd, exalts the venim and the malignity of the Enemy, and the more we suffer, the more wee are insulted upon. When God had made this Earth of nothing it was but a little helpe, that he had, to make other things of this Earth: nothing can be neerer nothing, than this Earth; and yet how little of this Earth is the greatest Man; Hee thinkes he treads upon the Earth, that all is under his feete, and the Braine that thinkes so, is but Earth; his highest Region, the flesh that covers that, is but earth; and even the toppe of that, that, wherein so many Absolons take so much pride, is but a bush growing upon that Turfe of Earth. How little of the world is the Earth! And yet that is all that Man hath, or is. How little of a Man is the Heart, and yet it is all, by which he is; and this continually subject, not only to forraine poysons, conveyed by others, but to intestine poysons, bred in ourselves by pestilentiall sicknesses. O who, if before hee had a beeing, he could have sense of this miserie, would buy a being here upon these conditions?
Spirante Columbâ Suppositâ pedibus, Revocantur ad ima vapores.
They apply Pidgeons, to draw the vapors from the Head.
WHAT will not kill a man if a vapor will? How great an Elephant, how small a Mouse destroys! To dye by a bullet is the Souldiers dayly bread; but few men dye by haile-shot: A man is more worth, than to bee sold for single money; a life to be valued above a trifle. If this were a violent shaking of the Ayre by Thunder, or by Canon, in that case the Ayre is condensed above the thicknesse of water, of water baked into Ice, almost petrified, almost made stone, and no wonder that kills; but that that which is but a vapor, and a vapor not forced, but breathed, should kill, that our Nourse should overlay us, and Ayre that nourishes us, should destroy us, but that it is a halfe Atheisme to murmure against Nature, who is Gods immediate commissioner, who would not think himselfe miserable to bee put into the hands of Nature, who does not only set him up for a marke for others to shoote at, but delights herselfe to blow him up like a glasse, till shee see him breake, even with her owne breath? nay, if this infectious vapor were sought for, or travail'd to, as Plinie hunted after the vapor of Ætna, and dared and challenged Death, in the forme of a vapor, to doe his worst, and felt the worst, he dyed; or if this vapor were met withall in an ambush, and we surprised with it, out of a long shutt Well, or out of a new opened Myne, who would lament, who would accuse, when we had nothing to accuse, none to lament against but Fortune, who is lesse than a vapor: But when our selves are the Well, that breaths out this exhalation, the Oven that spits out this fiery smoke, the Myne that spues out this suffocating, and strangling dampe, who can ever after this, aggravate his sorrow, by this Circumstance, That it was his Neighbor, his familiar Friend, his Brother, that destroyed him, and destroyed him with a whispering, and a calumniating breath, when wee our selves doe it to our selves by the same meanes, kill our selves with our owne vapors? Or if these occasions of this selfe-destruction, had any contribution from our owne Wils, any assistance from our owne intentions, nay from our own errors, we might divide the rebuke, and chide our selves as much as them. Fevers upon wilful distempers of drinke, and surfets, Consumptions upon intemperances, and licentiousness Madnes upon misplacing, or overbending our naturall faculties, proceed from our selves, and so, as that our selves are in the plot, and wee are not onely passive, but active too,
to our ovne destruction; But what have I done, either to breed, or to breath these vapors? They tell me it is my Melancholy; Did I infuse, did I drinke in Melancholly into my selfe? It is my thoughtfulnesse; was I not made to thinke? It is my study; doth not my Calling call for that? I have don nothing, wilfully, perversly toward it, yet must suffer in it, die by it; There are too many Examples of men, that have bin their own executioners, and that have made hard shift to bee so; some have alwayes had poyson about them, in a hollow ring upon their finger, and some in their Pen that they used to write with: some have beat out their braines at the wal of their prison, and some have eate the fire out of their chimneys: and one is said to have come neerer our case than so, to have strangled himself, though his hands were bound, by crushing his throat between his knees; But I doe nothing upon my selfe, and yet am mine owne Executioner. And we have heard of death upon small occasions, and by scornefull instruments: a pinne, a combe, a haire, pulled, hath gangred, and killd; But when I have said, a vapour, if I were asked again, what is a vapour, I could not tell, it is so insensible a thing; so neere nothing is that that reduces us to nothing. But extend this vapour, rarifie it; from so narow a roome, as our Naturall bodies, to any Politike body, to a State. That which is fume in us, is in a State, Rumor, and these vapours in us, which wee consider here pestilent and infectious fumes, are in a State infectious rumors, detracting and dishonourable Calumnies, Libels. The Heart in that body is the King; and the Braine, his Councell; and the whole Magistracie, that ties all together, is the Sinewes, which proceed from thence; and the life of all is Honour, and just respect, and due reverence; and therfore, when these vapors, these venimous rumors, are directed against these Noble parts, the whole body suffers. But yet for all their priviledges, they are not priviledged from our misery; that as the vapours most pernitious to us, arise in our owne bodies, so do the most dishonorable rumours, and those that wound a State most, arise at home. What ill ayre, that I could have met in the street, what Channell, what Shambles, what Dunghill, what vault, could have hurt mee so much, as these home-bredd vapours? What Fugitive, what Almes-man of any forraine State, can doe so much harme as a Detracter, a Libeller, a scornefull Jester at home? For, as they that write of poysons, and of creatures naturally disposed to the ruine of Man, do as well mention the Flea, as the Viper, because the Flea, though hee kill none, hee does all the harme hee can; so even these libellous and licentious Jesters utter the venim they have, though sometimes vertue, and alwaies power, be a good Pigeon to draw this vapor from the Head, and from doing any deadly harme there.
Ingeniumque malum, numeroso stigmate, fassus Pellitur ad pectus, Morbique Suburbia, Morbus.
The Sicknes declares the infection and malignity thereof by spots.
WEE say, that the world is made of sea, and land, as though they were equal; but we know that ther is more sea in the Western, than in the Eastern Hemisphere: We say that the Firmament is full of starres, as though it were equally full; but we know, that there are more stars under of the Northerne, than under the Southern Pole. We say, the Elements of man are man are misery, and happinesse, as though he had an equal proportion of both, and the dayes of man vicissitudinary, as though he had as many good daies, as ill, and that he liv'd under a perpetuall Equinoctial night, and day equall, good and ill fortune in the same measure. But it is far from that; hee drinkes misery, and he tastes happinesse; he mowes misery, and he gleanes happinesse; he journies in misery, he does but walke in happinesse; and which is worst his misery is positive, and dogmaticall, his happinesse is but disputable and problematicall; All men call Misery, Misery, but Happinesse changes the name, by the taste of man. In this accident that befalls mee now, that this sicknesse declares itself by Spots, to be a malignant, and pestilentiall disease, if there be a comfort in the declaration, that therby the Phisicians see more cleerely what to doe, there may bee as much discomfort in this, That the malignitie may bee so great, as that all that they can doe, shall doe nothing; That an enemy declares himselfe : then, when he is able to subsist, and to pursue, and to atchive his ends, is no great comfort. In intestine Conspiracies, voluntary Confessions doe more good, than Confessions upon the Rack; in these Infections, when Nature her selfe confesses, and cries out by these outward declarations, which she is able to put forth of her selfe, they minister comfort; but when all is by strength of Cordials, it is but a Confession upon the Racke, by which though wee come to knowe the malice of that man, yet wee doe not knowe whether there bee not as much malice in his heart then, as before his confession; we are sure of his Treason, but not of his Repentance; sure of him, but not of his Complices. It is a faint comfort to know the worst, when the worst is remedilesse; and a weaker than that, to know much ill, and not to know, that that is the worst. A woman is comforted with the birth of her Son, her body is eased of a burthen; but if shee could prophetically read his History, how ill a man,
perchance how ill a sonne, he would prove, shee should receive a greater burthen into her Mind. Scarce any purchase that is not clogged with secret encumbrances; scarce any happines that hath not in it so much of the nature of false and base money, as that the Allay is more than the Metall. Nay, is it not so, (at least much towards it) even in the exercise of Vertues? I must bee poore, and want, before I can exercise the vertue of Gratitude; miserable, and in torment, before I can exercise the vertue of patience; How deepe do we dig, and for how coarse gold? And what other Touchstone have we of our gold, but comparison? Whether we be as happy, as others, or as ourselves at other times; O poore stepp toward being well, when these spots do only tell us, that we are worse, than we were sure of before.
Idque notant Criticis, Medici evenisse Diebus.
The Phisicians observe these accidents to have fallen upon the criticall dayes.
I WOULD not make Man worse than hee is, Nor his Condition more miserable than it is. But could I though I would? As a man cannot flatter God, nor over pravse him, so a man cannot injure Man, nor undervalue him. Thus much must necessarily be presented to his remembrance, that those false Happinesses, which he hath in this World, have their times, and their seasons, and their critical dayes, and they are Judged, and Denominated according to the times, when they befall us. What poore Elements are our happinesses made of, if Tyme, Tyme which wee can scarce consider to be any thing, be an essential part of our happines! All things are done in some place; but if we consider Place to be no more, but the next hollow Superficies of the Ayre, Alas, how thinne, and fluid a thing is Ayre, and how thinne a filme is a Superficies, and a Superficies of Ayre! All things are done in time too; but if we consider Tyme to be but the Measure of Motion, and howsoever it may seeme to have three stations, past, present, and future, yet the first and last of these are not (one is not, now, and the other is not yet) and that which you call present, is not now the same that it was, when you began to call it so in this Line, (before you sound that word, present, or that Monosyllable, now, the present, and the Now is past), if this Imaginary halfe-nothing, Tyme, be of the Essence of our Happinesses, how can they be thought durable? Tyme is not so; How can they bee thought to be? Tyme is not so; not so, considered in any of
the parts thereof. If we consider Eternity, into that, Tyme never entred; Eternity is not an everlasting flux of Tyme; but Tyme is a short parenthesis in a longe period; and Eternity had been the same, as it is, though time had never beene; If we consider, not Eternity, but Perpetuity, not that which had no Tyme to beginne in, but which shall outlive Tyme and be, when Tyme shall bee no more, what A Minute is the life of the Durablest Creature, compared to that! And what a Minute is Mans life in respect of the Sunnes, or of a Tree! and yet how little of our life is Occasion, opportunity to receyve good in; and how litle of that occasion, doe wee apprehend, and lay hold of! How busie and perplexed a Cobweb, is the Happinesse of Man here, that must bee made up with a Watchfulnesse, to lay hold upon Occasion, which is but a little peece of that, which is Nothing, Tyme! And yet the best things are Nothing without that. Honors, Pleasures, Possessions, presented to us, out of time, in our decrepit, and distasted, and unapprehensive Age, loose their Office, and loose their Name; They are not Honors to us, that shall never appeare, nor come abroad into the Eyes of the people, to receive Honor, from them who give it: Nor pleasures to us, who have lost our sense to taste them; nor possessions to us, who are departing from the possession of them. Youth is their Criticall Day; that Judges them, that Denominates them, that inanimates, and informes them, and makes them Honors, and Pleasures, and Possessions; and when they come in an unapprehensive Age, they come as a Cordial when the bell rings out, as a Pardon, when the Head is off. We rejoyce in the Comfort of fire, but does any man cleave to it at Midsomer; Wee are glad of the freshnesse, and coolenes of a Vault, but does any man keepe his Christmas there; or are the pleasures of the Spring acceptable in Autumne? If happinesse be in the season, or in the Clymate, how much happier then are Birdes than Men, who can change the Climate, and accompanies and enjoy the same season ever.
Intereà insomnes noctes Ego duco, Diesque.
I sleepe not day nor night.
NATURALL men have conceived a twofold use of sleepe; That it is a refreshing of the body in this life; That it is a preparing of the soule for the next; That it is a feast, and it is the grace at that feast; That it is our recreation, and cheeres us, and it is our Catechisme and instructs us; wee lie downe in a hope, that wee shall rise the stronger; and we lie downe in a
knowledge, that wee may rise no more. Sleepe is an Opiate which gives us rest, but such an Opiate, as perchance, being under it, we shall wake no more. But though naturall men, who have induced secondary and figurative considerations, have found out this second, this emblematicall use of sleepe, that it should be a representation of death, God, who wrought and perfected his worke, before Nature began, (for Nature was but his Apprentice, to learne in the first seven daies, and now is his foreman, and works next under him) God, I say, intended sleepe onely for the refreshing of man by bodily rest, and not for a figure of death, for he intended not death it selfe then. But Man having induced death upon himselfe, God hath taken Mans Creature, death, into his hand, and mended it; and whereas it hath in itselfe a fearefull forme and aspect, so that Man is afraid of his own Creature, God presents it to him, in a familiar, in an assiduous, in an agreeable and acceptable forme, in sleepe, that so when hee awakes from sleepe, and saies to himselfe, shall I bee no otherwise when I am dead, than I was even now, when I was asleep, hee may bee ashamed of his waking dreames, and of his Melancholique fancying out a horrid and an affrightfull figure of that death which is so like sleepe. As then wee need sleepe to live out our threescore and ten yeeres, so we need death, to live that life which we cannot out-live. And as death being our enemie, God allowes us to defend ourselves against it (for wee victuall ourselves against death, twice every day, as often as we eat) so God having so sweetned death unto us as hee hath in sleepe, wee put ourselves into our enemies hands once every day; so farre, as sleepe is death; and sleepe is as much death, as meat is life. This then is the misery of my sicknesse, That death as it is produced from mee, and is mine owne Creature, is now before mine Eyes, but in that forme, in which God hath mollified it to us, and made it acceptable, in sleepe, I cannot see it: how many prisoners, who have even hollowed themselves their graves upon that Earth, on which they have lien long under heavie fetters, yet at this houre are asleepe, though they bee yet working upon their owne graves by their owne waight! Hee that hath seene his friend die to day, or knowes hee shall see it to morrow, yet will sinke into a sleepe betweene. I cannot; and oh, if I be entring now into Eternitie, where there shall bee no more distinction of houres, why is it al my businesse now to tell Clocks? why is none of the heavinesse of my heart, dispensed into mine Eye-lids, that they might fall as my heart doth? And why, since I have lost my delight in all objects, cannot I discontinue the facultie of seeing them, by closing mine eyes in sleepe? But why rather being entring into that presence, where I shall wake continually and never sleepe more, doe I not interpret MY continuall waking here, to bee a parasceve, and a preparation to that?
Et properare meum clamant, è Turre propinqua, Obstreperae Campanx aliorum in funere, funus.
Front the Bells of the Church adjoyning, I am daily remem- bred of my buriall in the funeralls of others.
WE have a Convenient Author, who writ a Discourse of Bells, when hee was prisoner in Turky. How would hee have enlarged himselfe if he had beene my fellow-prisoner in this sicke bed, so neere to that Steeple, which never ceases, no more than the harmony of the spheres, but is more heard. When the Turkes took Constantinople, they melted the Bells into Ordnance; I have heard both Bells and Ordnance, but never been so much affected with those, as with these Bells. I have lien near a Steeple, in which there are said to be more than thirty Bels; And neere another, where there i I s one so bigge, as that the Clapper is said to weigh more than six hundred pound, yet never so affected as here. Here the Bells can scarse solemnise the funerall of any person, but that I knew him, or knew that he was my Neighbour: we dwelt in houses neere to one another before, but now hee is gone into that house, into which I must follow him. There is a way of correcting the Children of great persons, that other Children are corrected in their behalfe, and in their names, and this workes upon them, who indeed had more deserved it. And when these Bells tell me, that now one, and now another is buried, must not I acknowledge, that they have the correction due to me, and paid the debt that I owe? There is a story of a Bell in a Monastery which, when any of the house was sicke to death, rung alwaies voluntarily, and they knew the inevitablenesse of the danger by that. It rung once, when no man was sick; but the next day one of the house, fell from the steeple, and died, and the Bell held the reputation of a Prophet still. If these Bells that warne to a Funerall now, were appropriated to none, may not I, by the houre of the Funerall, supply? How many men that stand at an execution, if they would aske, for what dies that man, should heare their owne faults condemned, and see themselves executed, by Atturney? We scarce heare of any man preferred, but wee thinke of our selves, that wee might very well have beene that Man; Why might not I have beene that Man, that is carried to his grave now? Could I fit my selfe, to stand, or sit in any mans place, and not to lie in any mans grave? I may lacke much of the good parts of the meanest, but I lacke nothing of the mortality of the weakest; They may have acquired better abilities than I, but I was borne to as many infirmities as they. To be an Incumbent by lying down in a grave, to be a Doctor by
teaching Mortification by Example, by dying, though I may have seniors, others may be elder than I, yet I have proceeded apace in a good University, and gone a great way in a little time, by the furtherance of a vehement Fever; and whomsoever these Bells bring to the ground to day, if hee and I had beene compared yesterday, perchance I should have been thought likelier to come to this preferment, then, than he. God hath kept the power of death in his owne hands, lest any man should bribe death. If man knew the gaine of death, the ease of death, he would solicite, he would provoke death to assist him, by any hand, which he might use. But as when men see many of their owne professions preferd, it ministers a hope that that may light upon them; so when these hourely Bells tell me of so many funerals of men like me, it presents, if not a desire that it may, yet a comfort whensoever mine shall come.
Nunc lento sonitu dicunt, Morieris
Now, this Bell tolling softly for another, saies to me, Thou must die.
PERCHANCE hee for whom this Bell tolls, may be so ill, as that he knowes not it tolls for him; And perchance I may thinke my selfe so much better than I am, as that they who are about mee, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for mee, and I know not that. The Church is Catholike, universall, so are all her Actions; All that she does, belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concernes mee; for that child is thereby connected to that Head which is my Head too, and engraffed into that body, whereof I am a member. And when she buries a Man, that action concernes me: All mankinde is of one Author, and is one volume; when one Man dies, one Chapter is not torne out of the booke, but translated into a better language; and every Chapter must be so translated; God emploies several translators; some peeces are translated by age, some by sicknesse, some by warre, some by justice; but Gods hand is in every translation; and his hand shall binde up all our scattered leaves againe, for that Librarie where every booke shall lie open to one another: As therefore the Bell that rings to a Sermon, calls not upon the Preacher onely, but upon the Congregation to come; so this Bell calls us all: but how much more mee, who am brought so neere the doore by this sicknesse. There was a contention as farre as a suite, (in which both pietie and dignitie, religion, and estimation, were mingled) which of the religious Orders should ring to praiers first in the Morning; and it was determined,
that they should ring first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignitie of this Belle that tolls for our evening prayer, wee would bee glad to make it ours, by rising early, in that application, that it might bee ours, as wel as his, whose indeed it is. The Bell doth toll for him that thinkes it doth; and though it intermit againe, yet from that minute, that that occasion wrought upon him, hee is united to God. Who casts not up his Eye to the Sunne when it rises? but who takes off his Eye from a Comet when that breakes out? Who bends not his eare to any bell, which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a peece of himselfe out of this world? No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of Miserie or a borrowing of Miserie, as though we were not miserable enough of our selves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the Miserie of our Neighbours. Truly it were an excusable covetousnesse if wee did; for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured, and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into currant Monies, his treasure will not defray him as he travells. Tribulation is Treasure in the nature of it, but it is not currant money in the use of it, except wee get nearer and nearer our home, Heaven, by it. Another man may be sicke too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a Mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out, and applies that gold to mee: if by this consideration of anothers danger, I take mine owne into contemplation, and so secure my selfe, by making my recourse to my God, who is our onely securitie.
At inde Mortuus es, Sonitu celeri, pulsuque agitato.
The Bell rings out, and tells me in him, that I am dead.
THE Bell rings out; the pulse thereof is changed; the tolling was a faint, and intermitting pulse, upon one side; this stronger, and argues more and better life. His soule is gone out; and as a Man, who had a lease of 1000. yeeres after the expiration of a short one, or an inheritance after the life
of a man in a consumption, he is now entred into the possession of his better estate. His soule is gone; whither? Who saw it come in, or who saw it goe out? No body; yet every body is sure, he had one, and hath none. If I will aske meere Philosophers, what the soule is, I shall finde amongst them, that will tell me, it is nothing, but the temperament and harmony, and just and equall composition of the Elements in the body, which produces all those faculties which we ascribe to the soule; and so, in it selfe is nothing, no separable substance, that overlives the body. They see the soule is nothing else in other Creatures, and they affect an impious humilitie, to think as low of Man. But if my soule were no more than the soul of a beast, I could not thinke so; that soule that can reflect upon it selfe, consider it selfe, is more than so. If I will aske, not meere Philosophers, but mixt men, Philosophicall Divines, how the soule, being a separate substance, enters into Man, I shall finde some that will tell me, that it is by generation, and procreation from parents, because they thinke it hard, to charge the soule with the guiltiness of originall sinne, if the soule were infused into a body, in which it must necessarily grow foule, and contract originall sinne, whether it will or no; and I shall finde some that will tell mee, that it is by immediate infusion from God, because they think it hard, to maintaine an immortality in such a soule, as should be begotten, and derived with the body from mortall parents. If I will aske, not a few men, but almost whole bodies, whole Churches, what becomes of the soules of the righteous, at the departing thereof from the body, I shall bee told by some, That they attend an expiation, a purification in a place of torment; By some, that they attend the fruition of the sight of God, in a place of rest; but yet, but of expectation; By some, that they passe to an immediate possession of the Presence of God. S. Augustine studied the nature of the soule, as much as anything, but the salvation of the soule; and he sent an expresse Messenger to Saint Hierome, to consult of some things concerning the soule: But he satisfies himselfe with this: Let the departure of my soule to salvation be evident to my faith, and I care the lesse, how darke the entrance of my soi-ile, into my body, bee to my reason. It is the going out, more than the comming in, that concernes us. This soule, this Bell tells me, is gone out; Whither? Who shall tell mee that? I know not who it is; much less what he was; The condition of the man, and the course of his life, which should tell mee whither hee is gone, I know not. I was not there in his sicknesse, nor at his death; I saw not his way, nor his end, nor can aske them, who did, thereby to conclude, or argue, whither he is gone. But yet I have one neerer mee than all these; mine owne Charity; I aske that; and that tels me, He is gone to everlasting rest, and joy, and glory: I owe him a good opinion; it is but thankfull charity in mee, because I received benefit and instruction from him when his Bell told: and I, being made the fitter to pray by that disposition, wherein I was assisted by his occasion, did pray for him; and I pray not without faith; so I doe charitably, so I do faithfully beleeve, that that soule is gone to everlasting rest, and joy, arid glory. But for the body, how poore a wretched thing is that? wee cannot expresse it so fast, as it growes worse and worse. That body which scarce three minutes since was such a house, as that that soule, which made but one step from thence to Heaven, was scarse thorowly content, to leave that for Heaven: that body hath lost the name of a dwelling house, because none dwells in it, and is making haste to lose the name of a body, and dissolve to putrefaction. Who would not bee affected, to see a cleere and sweet River in the Morning, grow a kennell of muddy land water by noone, and condemned to the saltnesse of the Sea by night? And how lame a picture, how faint a representation is that, of the precipitation of mans body to dissolution! Now all the parts built up, and knit by a lovely soule, now but a statue of clay, and now, these limbs melted off, as if that clay were but snow; and now, the whole house is but a handfull of sand, so much dust, and but a pecke of rubbidge, so much bone. If he, who, as this Bell tells mee, is gone now, were some excellent Artificer, who comes to him for a clocke, or for a garment now? or for counsaile, if hee were a Lawyer? If a Magistrate, for Justice? Man, before hee hath his immortall soule, hath a soule of sense, and a soule of vegetation before that: This immortall soule did not forbid other soules, to be in us before, but when this soule departs, it carries all with it; no more vegetation, no more sense: such a Mother in law is the Earth, in respect of our naturall mother; in her wombe we grew; and when she was delivered of us, wee were planted in some place, in some calling in the world; In the wombe of the earth, wee diminish, and when shee is deliverd of us, our grave opened for another, wee are not transplanted, but transported, our dust blowne away with prophane dust, with every wind.
Oceano tandem emenso, aspicienda resurgit Terra; vident, justis, medici, jam cocta mederi se posse, indiciis.
At last, the Physitians, after a long and stormie voyage, see land; They have so good signes of the concoction of the disease, as that they may safely proceed to purge.
ALL this while the Physitians themselves have beene patients, patiently attending when they should see any land in this Sea, any earth, any cloud,
any indication of concoction in these waters. Any disorder of mine, any pretermission of theirs, exalts the disease, accelerates the rages of it; no diligence accelerates the concoction, the maturitie of the disease; they must stay till the season of the sicknesse come, and till it be ripened of it selfe, and then they may put to their hand, to gather it before it fall off, but they cannot hasten the ripening. Why should wee looke for it in a disease, which is the disorder, the discord, the irregularities the commotion, and rebellion of the body? It were scarce a disease, if it could bee ordered, and made obedient to our times. Why should wee looke for that in disorder, in a disease, when we cannot have it in Nature, who is so regular, and so pregnant, so forward to bring her worke to perfection, and to light? Yet we cannot awake the July-flowers in January, nor retard the flowers of the spring to autumne. We cannot bid the fruits come in May, nor the leaves to sticke on in December. A woman that is weake cannot put off her ninth moneth to a tenth for her deliveries and say shee will stay till shee bee stronger; nor a Queene cannot hasten it to a seventh, that shee may bee ready for some other pleasure. Nature (if we looke for durable and vigorous effects) will not admit preventions, nor anticipations, nor obligations upon her; for they are precontracts, and she will bee left to her libertie. Nature would not be spurred, nor forced to mend her pace; nor power, the power of man; greatnesse loves not that kinde of violence neither. There are of them that will give, that will do justice, that will pardon, but they have their owne seasons for al these, and he that knowes not them, shall starve before that gift come, and ruine, before the justice, and dye before the pardon save him: some tree beares no fruit, except much dung be laid about it; and Justice comes not from some, till they bee richly manured: some trees require much visiting, much watring, much labour; and some men give not their fruits but upon importunitie; some trees require incision, and pruning, and lopping; some men must bee intimidated and syndicated with Commissions, before they will deliver the fruits of Justice; some trees require the early and the often accesse of the Sunne; some men open not, but upon the favours and letters of Court mediation; some trees must bee housd and kept within doore; some men locke up, not onely their liberalitie, but their Justice, and their compassion, till the sollicitatiorn of a wife, or a sonne, or a friend, or a servant turne the key. Reward is the season of one man, and importunitie of another; feare the season of one man, and favour of another; friendship the season of one man, and naturall affection of another; and hee that knowes not their seasons, nor cannot stay them, must lose the fruits; As Nature will not, so power and greatnesse will not bee put to change their seasons; and shall wee looke for this Indulgence in a disease, or thinke to shake it off before it bee ripe? All this while, therefore, we are but upon a defensive warre, and that is but a doubtfull state; especially where they who are besieged doe know the best of their defences, and doe not know the worst of their enemies power; when they cannot mend their works within, and the enemie can increase his numbers without. O how many farre more miserable, and farre more worthy to be lesse miserable than I, are besieged with this sicknesse, and lacke their Sentinels, their Physitians to watch, and lacke their munition, their cordials to defend, and perish before the enemies weaknesse might invite them to sally, before the disease shew any declination, or admit any way of working upon it selfe! In me the siege is so farre slackned, as that we may come to fight, and so die in the field, if I die, and not in a prison.
Upon these Indications of digested matter, they proceed to purge.
THOUGH counsel seeme rather to consist of spirituall parts, then action, yet action is the spirit and the soule of counsell. Counsels are not alwaies determined in Resolutions; wee cannot alwaies say, this was concluded; actions are alwaies determined in effects; wee can say this was done. Then have Lawes their reverence, and their majestie, when we see the Judge upon the Bench executing them. Then have counsels of warre their impressions, and their operations, when we see the seale of an Armie set to them. It was an ancient way of celebrating the memorie of such as deserved well of the State, to afford them that kinde of statuarie representation, which was then called Hermes; which was, the head and shoulders of a man, standing upon a Cube, but those shoulders without armes and hands. All together it figured a constant supporter of the State, by his counsell: But in this Hieroglyphique, which they made without hands, they passe their consideration no farther, but that the Counsellor should bee without hands, so farre as not to reach out his hand to forraigne tentations of bribes, in matters of Counsell, and that it was not necessary, that the head should employ his owne hand; that the same men should serve in the execution, which assisted in the Counsell; but that there should not belong hands to every head, action to every counsell, was never intended, so much as in figure, and representation. For, as Matrimonie is scarce to bee called Matrimonie, where there is a resolution against the fruits of matrimonie, against the having of Children, so counsels are not counsels, but illusions, where there is from the beginning no purpose to execute the determinations of those counsels. The arts and sciences are most properly
referred to the head; that is their proper Element and Spheare; but yet the art of proving, Logique, and the art of perswading, Rhetorique, are deduced to the hand, and that expressed by a hand contracted into a fist, and this by a hand enlarged, and expanded; and evermore the power of man, and the power of God himselfe is expressed so, All things are in his hand; neither is God so often presented to us, by names that carry our consideration upon counsell, as upon execution of counsell; he is oftener called the Lord of Hosts, than by all other names, that may be referred to the other signification. Hereby therefore wee take into our meditation, the slipperie condition of man, whose happinesse, in any kinde, the defect of any one thing, conducing to that happinesse, may ruine; but it must have all the peeces to make it up. Without counsell, I had not got thus farre; without action and practise, I should goe no farther towards health. But what is the present necessary action? purging: A withdrawing, a violating of Nature, a farther weakening: O deare price, and O strange way of addition, to doe it by substraction; of restoring Nature, to violate Nature; of providing strength, by increasing weaknesses! Was I not sicke before? And is it a question of comfort to be asked now, Did your Physicke make you sicke? Was that it that my Physicke promised, to make me sicke? This is another step, upon which we may stand, and see farther into the miserie of man, the time, the season of his Miserie; It must bee done now: O over-cunning, over-watchfull, over-diligent, and over-sociable misery of man, that seldome comes alone, but then when it may accompanie other miseries, and so put one another into the higher exaltation, and better heart! I am ground even to an attenuation, and must proceed to evacuation, all waies to exinanition and annihilation.
Atque annuit Ille, Qui, per eos, clamat, Linquas jam, Lazare, lectum.
God prospers their practise, and he, by them, calls Lazarus out of his tombe, mee out of my bed.
IF man had beene left alone in this world, at first, shall I thinke, that he would not have fallen? If there had beene no Woman, would not man have served, to have beene his own Tempter? When I see him now, subject to infinite weaknesses, fall into infinite sinne, without any forraine tentations, shall I thinke, hee would have had none, if hee had beene alone? God saw that Man needed a Helper, if hee should bee well; but to make Woman ill, the Devill saw, that there needed no third. When God,
and wee were alone, in Adam, that was not enough; when the Devill and wee were alone, in Eve, it was enough. O what a Giant is Man, when he fights against himselfe, and what a Dwarfe when hee needs, or exercises his owne assistance for himselfel I cannot rise out of my bed, till the Physitian enable mee, nay I cannot tel, that I am able to rise, till hee tell me so. I doe nothing, I know nothing of myselfe: how little, and how impotent a peece of the world, is any Man alone! and how much lesse a peece of himselfe is that Man! So little, as that when it falls out, (as it falls out in some cases) that more misery, and more oppression, would be an ease to a man, he cannot give himselfe that miserable addition, of more misery; a man that is pressed to death, and might be eased by more weights, cannot lay those more weights upon himselfe: Hee can sinne alone, and suffer alone, but not repent, not bee absolved, without another. Another tels mee, I may rise; and I doe so. But is every raising a preferment? or is every present Preferment a station? I am readier to fall to the Earth, now I am up, than I was when I lay in the bed: O perverse way, irregular motion of Man; even rising it selfe is the way to Ruine. How many men are raised, and then doe not fill the place they are raised to? No corner of any place can bee empty; there can be no vacuity; If that Man doe not fill the place, other men will; complaints of his insufficiency will fill it; Nay, such an abhorring is there in Nature, of vacuity, that if there be but an imagination of not filling, in any man, that which is but imagination neither, will fill it, that is rumor and voice, and it will be given out, (upon no ground, but Imagination, and no man knowes whose imagination) that hee is corrupt in his place, or insufficient in his place, and another prepared to succeed him in his place. A man rises, sometimes, and stands not, because hee doth not, or is not beleeved to fill his place; and sometimes he stands not, because hee overfills his place: Hee may bring so much vertue, so much Justice, so much integrity to the place, as shall spoile the place, burthen the place; his integrity may bee a Libell upon his Predecessor, and cast an infamy upon him, and a burthen upon his successor, to proceede by example, and to bring the place itselfe to an under-value, and the market to an uncertainty. I am up, and I seeme to stand, and I goe round; and I am a new Argument of the new Philosophie, That the Earth moves round; why may I not beleeve, that the whole earth moves in a round motion, though that seeme to mee to stand, when as I seeme to stand to my Company, and yet am carried, in a giddy, and circular motion, as I stand? Man hath no center but misery; there and onely there, hee is fixt, and sure to finde himselfe. How little soever hee bee raised, he moves, and moves in a circle, giddily; and as in the Heavens, there are but a few Circles, that goe about the whole world, but many Epicircles, and other lesser Circles, but yet Circles, so of those men, which are raised, and put into Circles, few of them move from place to place, and passe through many and beneficiall places, but fall into little Circles, and, within a step or two, are at their end, and not so well, as they were in the Center, from which they were raised. Every thing serves to exemplifies to illustrate mans misery. But I need goe no farther, than my selfe: for a long time, I was not able to rise; At last, I must bee raised by others; and now I am up, I am ready to sinke lower than before.
Sit morbi fomes tibi cura;
The Physitians consider the root and occasion, the embers, and coales, and fuell of the disease, and seek to purge or correct that.
HOW ruinous a farme hath man taken, in taking himselfe! How ready is the house every day to fall downe, and how is all the ground overspread with weeds, all the body with diseases! where not onely every turfe, but every stone, beares weeds; not onely every muscle of the flesh, but every bone of the body, hath some infirmitie; every little flint upon the face of this soile, hath some infectious weede, every tooth in our head, such a paine as a constant man is afraid of, and yet ashamed of that feare, of that sense of the paine. How deare, and how often a rent doth Man pay for this farme! hee paies twice a day, in double meales, and how little time he hath to raise his rent! How many holy daies to call him from his labour! Every day is halfe-holy day, halfe spent in sleepe. What repararations, and subsidies, and contributions he is put to, besides his rent! What medicines, besides his diet! and what Inmates he is faine to take in, besides his owne families what infectious diseases, from other men! Adam might have had Paradise for dressing and keeping it; and then his rent was not improved to such a labour, as would have made his brow sweat; and yet he gave it over; how farre greater a rent doe wee pay for this farme, this body, who pay our selves, who pay the farme it selfe, and cannot live upon it! Neither is our labour at an end, when wee have cut downe some weed, as soone as it sprung up, corrected some violent and dangerous accident of a disease, which would have destroied speedily; nor when wee have pulled up that weed, from the very root, recovered entirely and soundly, from that particular disease; but the whole ground is of an ill nature, the whole soile ill disposed; there are inclinations, there is a propensenesse
to diseases in the body, out of which without any other disorder, diseases will grow, and so wee are put to a continuall labour upon this farme, to a continuall studie of the whole complexion and constitution of our body. In the distempers and diseases of soiles, sourenesse, drinesse, weeping, any kinde of barrennesse, the remedy and the physicke, is, for a great part, sometimes in themselves; sometime[s] the very situation releeves them; the hanger of a hill, will purge and vent his owne malignant moisture; and the burning of the upper turfe of some ground (as health from cauterizing) puts a new and a vigorous youth into that soile, and there rises a kinde of Ph oenix out of the ashes, a fruitfulnesse out of that which was barren before, and by that, which is the barrennest of all, ashes. And where the ground cannot give itselfe Physicke, yet it receives Physicke from other grounds, from other soiles, which are not the worse, for having contributed that helpe to them, from Marle in other hils, or from slimie sand in other shoares: grounds helpe themselves, or hurt not other grounds, from whence they receive helpe. But I have taken a farme at this hard rent, and upon those heavie covenants, that it can afford it selfe no helpe; (no part of my body, if it were cut off, would cure another part; in some cases it might preserve a sound part, but in no case recover an infected) and, if my body may have any Physicke, any Medicine from another body, one Man from the flesh of another Man (as by Mummy, or any such composition,) it must bee from a man that is dead, and not, as in other soiles, which are never the worse for contributing their Marle, or their fat slime to my ground. There is nothing in the same man, to helpe man, nothing in mankind to helpe one another (in this sort, by way of Physicke) but that hee who ministers the helpe, is in as ill case, as he that receives it would have beene, if he had not had it; for hee from whose body the Physicke comes, is dead. When therefore I tooke this farme, undertooke this body, I undertooke to draine, not a marish, but a moat, where there was, not water mingled to offend, but all was water; I undertooke to perfume dung, where no one part, but all was equally unsavory; I undertooke to make such a thing wholsome, as was not poison by any manifest quality, intense heat, or cold, but poison in the whole substance, and in the specifique forme of it. To cure the sharpe accidents of diseases, is a great worke; to cure the disease it selfe is a greater; but to cure the body, the root, the occasion of diseases, is a worke reserved for the great Phisitian, which he doth never any other way, but by glorifying these bodies in the next world.
They warne mee of the fearefuit danger of relapsing.
IT is not in mans body, as it is in the Citie, that when the Bell hath rung, to cover your fire, and rake up the embers, you may lie downe and sleepe without feare. Though you have by physicke and diet, raked up the embers of your disease, stil there is a feare of a relapse; and the greater danger is in that. Even in pleasures, and in paines, there is a propriety, a Meum and Tuum; and a man is most affected with that pleasure which is his, his by former enjoying and experience, and most intimidated with those paines which are his, his by a wofull sense of them, in former afflictions. A covetous person, who hath preoccupated all his senses, filled all his capacities, with the delight of gathering, wonders how any man can have any taste of any pleasure in any opennesse, or liberalitie; So also in bodily paines, in a fit of the stone, the Patient wonders why any man should call the Gout a paine: And hee that hath felt neither, but the tooth-ache is as much afraid of a fit of that, as either of the other, of either of the other. Diseases, which we never felt in our selves, come but to a compassion of others that have endured them; Nay, compassion it selfe comes to no great degree, if wee have not felt in some proportion, in our selves, that which wee lament and condole in another. But when wee have had those torments in their exaltation, our selves, wee tremble at a relapse. When wee must pant through all those fierie heats, and saile thorow all those overflowing sweats, when wee must watch through all those long nights, and mourne through all those long daies, (daies and nights, so long, as that Nature her selfe shall seeme to be perverted, and to have put the longest day, and the longest night, which should bee six moneths asunder, into one naturall, unnaturall day) when wee must stand at the same barre, expect the returne of Physitians from their consultations, and not bee sure of the same verdict, in any good Indications, when we must goe the same way over againe, and not see the same issue, this is a state, a condition, a calamitie, in respect of which, any other sicknesse, were a convalescence, and any greater, lesse. It addes to the affliction, that relapses are, (and for the most part justly) imputed to our selves, as occasioned by some disorder in us; and so we are not onely passive, but active, in our owne ruine; we doe not onely stand under a falling house, but pull it downe upon us; and wee are not onely executed, (that implies guiltinesse) but wee are executioners, (that implies dishonor) and executioners of our selves, (and that implies impietie). And wee fall from that comfort
which wee might have in our first sicknesse, from that meditation, Alas, how generally miserable is Man, and how subject to diseases, (for in that it is some degree of comfort, that wee are but in the state common to all) we fall, I say, to this discomfort, and selfe accusing, and selfe condemning; Alas, how unprovident, and in that, how unthankfull to God and his instruments am I, in making so ill use of so great benefits, in destroying so soone, so long a worke, in relapsing, by my disorder, to that from which they had delivered mee; and so my meditation is fearefully transferred from the body to the minde, and from the consideration of the sicknesse to that sinne, that sinful carelessness by which I have occasioned my relapse. And amongst the many weights that aggravate a relapse, this also is one, that a relapse proceeds with a more violent dispatch, and more irremediably, because it finds the Countrie weakned, and depopulated before. Upon a sicknesse, which as yet appeares not, wee can scarce fix a feare, because wee know not what to feare; but as feare is the busiest, and irksomest affection, so is a relapse (which is still ready to come) into that, which is but newly gone, the nearest object, the most immediate exercise of that affection of feare.