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II. But the too ordinary course of young gentlemen's travels out of England now practised, I take to be but a most dangerous hazarding, if not a plain betraying them to utter undoing, and to make them afterwards the plagues of their country, and the instruments of the common calamity. For, 1. They are ordinarily sent into countries far worse and more dangerous than their own, where the temptations are stronger than they are fit to deal with; into some countries where they are tempted to sensuality, and into some where they are tempted to popery or infidelity. In some countries they learn to drink wine instead of beer; and arising from the smaller sort to the stronger, if they turn not drunkards, they contract that appetite to wine and strong drink, which shall prove (as Clemens Alexandrinus calleth gluttony and tippling,) a throat-madness, and a belly-devil, and keep them in the sin of gulosity all their days. And in some countries they shall learn the art of gluttony, to pamper their guts in curious, costly, uncouth fashions, and to dress themselves in novel, fantastical garbs, and to make a business of adorning themselves, and setting themselves forth with proud and procacious fancies and affections, to be looked upon as comely persons to the eyes of others. In some countries they shall learn to waste their precious hours in stage-plays, and vain spectacles, and ceremonies, attendances and visits, and to equalize their life with death, and to live to less use and benefit to the world than the horse that carrieth them. In most countries they shall learn either to prate against godliness, as the humour of a few melancholy fools, and be wiser than to believe God, or obey him, or be saved; or at least to grow indifferent and cold in holy affections and practices: for when they shall see Papists and Protestants, Lutherans and Calvinists of contrary minds, and hear them reproaching and condemning one another, this cooleth their zeal to all religion, as seeming but a matter of uncertainty and contention. And when they also see how the wise and holy are made a scorn in one country, as bigots and Hugonots, and how the Protestants are drunkards and worldlings in another country, and how few in the world have any true sense and savour of sound and practical religion, and of a truly holy and heavenly life, (as those few they are seldom so happy as to converse with,) this
first accustometh them to a neglect of holiness, and then draweth their minds to a more low, indifferent opinion of it, and to think it unnecessary to salvation. For they will not believe that so few shall be saved as they find holy in the world: and then they grow to think it but a fancy and troubler of the world.
And it addeth to their temptation, that they are obliged by the carnal ends which drew them out, to be in the worst and most dangerous company and places, that is, at princes' courts, and among the splendid gallantry of the world: for it is the fashions of the great ones which they must see, and of which when they come home they must be able to discourse : so that they must travel to the pest-houses of pomp and lust, of idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, and pride, of atheism, irreligiousness, and impiety, that they may be able to glory what acquaintance they have got of the grandeur and gallantry of the suburbs of hell, that they may represent the way to damnation delectable and honourable to others, as well as to themselves 8.
But the greatest danger is of corrupting their intellectuals, by converse with deceivers where they come ; either infidels, or juggling Jesuits and friars : for when those are purposely trained up to deceive, how easy is it for them to silence raw and unfurnished novices, (yea, even where all their five senses must be captivated, in the doctrine of transubstantiation). And when they are silenced they must yield: or at least they have deluding stories enough of the antiquity, universality, infallibility, unity of their church, with a multitude of lies of Luther, Calvin, Zuinglius, and other reformers, to turn their hearts and make them yield. But yet that they may be capable of doing them the more service, they are instructed for a time to dissemble their perversion, and to serve the Roman pride and faction in a Protestant garb and name.
Especially when they come to Rome, and see its glory, and the monuments of antiquity, and are allured with their splendour and civilities, and made to believe that all the reports of their inquisitions and cruelties are false, this furthereth the fascination of inexperienced youths. 2. And usually all this while the most of them lay by
8 Read Bishop Hall's “ Quo Vadis" on this subject.
all serious studies, and all constant employment, and make idleness and converse with the idle and with tempters, to be their daily work. And what a mind is like to come to, which is but one half year or twelve months accustomed to idleness, and to vain spectacles, and to a pleasing converse with idle and luxurious persons, it is easy for a man of any acquaintance with the world, or with human nature to conjecture.
3. And they go forth in notable peril of their health or lives. Some fall into fevers, and die by change of air and drinks : some fall into quarrels in taverns, or about their whores, and are murdered. Some few prove so stedfast against all the temptations of the Papists, that it is thought conducible to the holy cause that they should be killed in pretence of some quarrel, or be poisoned. Some by drinking wine, do contract such a sickness, as makes their lives uncomfortable to the last. And the brains of many are so heated by it, that they fall mad.
4. And all this danger is principally founded in the quality of the persons sent to travel ; which are ordinarily empty lads, between eighteen and twenty-four years of age, which is the time of the devil's chief advantage; when naturally they are prone to those vices which prove the ruin of the most, though you take the greatest care of them that you can". 1. Their lust is then in the highest and most untamed rage. 2. Their appetites to pleasing meats and drinks are then strongest. 3. Their frolicsome inclinations to sports and recreations are then greatest. 4. And ignorant and procacious pride beginneth then to stir. 5. All things that are most vile and vain, are then apt to seem excellent to them, by reason of the novelty of the matter as to them, who never saw such things before, and by reason of the false esteem of those carnal persons, to whose pomp, and consequently to whose judgment, they would be conformed. 6. And they are at that age exceedingly inclined to think all their own apprehensions to be right, and to be very confident of their own conceptions, and wise in their own eyes : because their juvenile intellect being then in the most affecting activity, it seemeth still clear and sure to them, be
h Peregrinatio levia tædia quædam animorum et veluti tauseas tollit: non tollit inorbos qui altius penetrarunt, quam ut externa ulla medicina liuc pertingat. Id. ib.
cause it so much affects themselves. 7. But above all, they are yet unfurnished of almost all that solid wisdom, and settled holiness, and large experience, which is most necessary to the improvement of their travels, and to their resistance of all these temptations. Alas! how few of them are able to deal with a Jesuit, or hold fast their religion against these deceivers! If the very vices, the ambition, the carnal policies and pomps, the filthiness and worldliness of the Roman clergy did not become a powerful preservative to men's minds against the temptations which would draw them to their way, and if the atheism, infidelity, whoredoms, and profaneness of Papists did not become antidotes, how few were like to return uninfected ! And because the Jesuits know that they can never take this stumblingblock out of the way, therefore too many of them have thought best to debauch those first whom they would proselyte, and reconcile them first to plays, and drunkenness, and whoredoms, that so the dislike of these may not hinder their reconciliation with the kingdom of Rome ; yea, that a seeming necessity of a priest's pardon, may make it seem necessary to become their subjects.
And as unfurnished are these young travellers usually to resist the temptations to this sensuality, lust and pomp, as those of popery: so that they are perfidiously sent into a pest-house, when they are in the greatest disposition to be infected. And if they come not home drunkards, gluttons, gamesters, idle, prodigal, proud, infidels, irreligious, or Papists, it is little thanks to those perfidious parents, who thus perform their promise for them in baptism, by sending them to satan's schools and university to be educated.
Whereas if they were kept to their due studies, and under a holy government at home, till they were furnished with sound religious knowledge, and till they were rooted in holiness, and in a love to a pious, sober life, and till they had got a settled hatred of intemperance and all sin, and till they had a map of the places, persons, and affairs of the world well imprinted on their minds by study and due information, then necessary travel would be more safe: and then they would be in a capacity to learn wisdom from other men's folly, and virtue from other men's vice, and piety from other men's impiety; which novices are rather apt to imitate,
5. And in the mean time the loss of all the helps which they should have at home, doth greatly tend to their destruction. For they oft travel into countries, where they shall have no public worship of God which is lawful, or which they understand : or if they have, it is usually cold preaching and dull praying, when they have need of the best, and all too little. And they have seldom such pious society to edify and quicken them by private converse, as they have, or might have, here at home; and seldom come into such well-ordered, religious families. And if human nature be prone to infection by temptations, and so averse to holiness, that all means is too little, and even in the best families folly and sensuality, and a distaste of godliness, often thrive; (as unsown weeds overspread the garden, where with great cost and labour only better things were sowed ;) what then but sin and misery can be expected from those that by their own parents are banished from their native country, (not so well as into a wilderness, but) into the pestilent, infected countries of the world?
I would ask those parents that plead for this crime and cruelty as a kindness; are you no wiser or better yourselves than the company into which your send you children? Can you teach them and educate them no better, nor give them better examples than they are like to have abroad? Can you set them on no better work, for the improvement of their time? If not, why do you not repent of this your shame and misery, and reform yourselves? If you can, why will you then betray your children? Or if you cannot, are there no schools, no learned and pious men, no religious families and company at home, in your own land, where you might place them to better advantage, than thus to expose them to the tempter? Undoubtedly there are; and such as may be had at cheaper ratesi.
6. And it is not the smallest part of the guilt and danger, that they are sent abroad without due oversight and conduct. They that do but get them some sober or honest servant to attend them, or some sober companion, think they have done well : when as they had need of some divine or tutor of great learning, piety, prudence, and experience, whom they will reverence and obey, that may take the over
i Congressus sapientum confert prudentiam : non montes, non maria. Erasm.