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make not an ill match for their souls: Jest they end their prospe. rous adventures, in the shipwreck of a good conscience.
SECT. 2. AND, for matter of POLICY, nothing can be more plain, than that our correspondence with other nations cannot possibly be held up, without intelligence of their estate, of their proceedings : the neglect whereof were no other, than to prostrate ourselves to the mercy of a hollow friendship, and to stand still, and willingly lie open, while we are played upon by the wit of untrusty neighbourhood. These eyes and ears of state are necessary to the well-being of the head.
In which number I do not include those private interlopers of intelligence, that lie abroad only to feed some vain chameleons at home with the air of news, for no other purpose save idle discourse; but only those profitable agents, whose industry either fitteth them abroad for public employment, or employeth them after due maturity in the fit services of the commonwealth.
Neither my censure nor my direction reaches to either of these occasions.
It is the Travel of Curiosity, wherewith my quarrel shall be maintained: the inconveniences whereof my own senses have so sufficiently witnessed, that, if the wise parents of our gentry could have borrowed mine eyes for the time, they would ever learn to keep their sons at home, and not wilfully beat themselves with the staff of their age. Upon them let my pen turn a little; as those, that are more than accessaries to this both private and public mischief.
SECT. 3. It is the affectation of too early ripeness, that makes them prodigal of their children's safety and hopes : for, that they may be wise betimes, they send them forth to the world in the minority both of age and judgment: like as fond mothers use to send forth their daughters on frosting, early in cold mornings, though into the midst of a vaporous and foggy air; and, while they strive for a colour, lose their health.
If they were not blinded with over-weening and desire, they could not but see, that their unsettledness carries in it a manifest peril of miscarriage. Grant that no danger were threatened by the place, experience gives us, that a weak-limbed child, if he be suffered to use his legs too soon, too much, lames himself for ever; but, if he walk in uneven ground, he is no less subject to maims than crookedness. Do they not see how easily a young twig is bowed any way? Do they not see that the midwife and nurse are wont to frame the gristly head of the infant to any fashion May not any thing be written upon a blank ? And, if they make choice of this age, because it is most docible, and for that they would take the day before them, why do they not consider, that it is therefore more docible of evil ? since wickedness is both more insinuative and more plausible than virtue, especially when it meets with an untutored judge; and seeing there is so much inequality of the number of both, that it is not more hard to find virtue, than to miss vice.
Hear this then, ye careless ostriches, that leave your eggs in the open sand for the sun to hatch, without the fear of any hoof that may crush them in pieces. Have your stomachs resolved to digest the hard news of the ruin of your children? Do ye profess enmity to your own loins ? then turn them, as you do, loose to these dangers, ere they can resist, ere they can discern: but, if ye would rather they should live and grow, bestow upon them the kindly heat of your best plumes, and shelter them with your own breast and wings, till nature have opened a seasonable way to their own abilities.
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Yea, let it be my just complaint in this place, that, in the very transplantation of our sons to the safer soil of our own Universities and Inns of Court, nothing is more prejudicial than speed. Perfection is the child of time; neither was there ever any thing excellent, that required not meet leisure.
But, besides, how commonly is it seen, that those, which had wont to swim only with bladders, sink when they come first to trust to their own arms! These lapwings, that go from under the wing of their dam with the shell on their heads, run wild. If tutors be never so careful of their early charge, much must be left to their own disposition ; which if it lead them not to good, not only the hopes of their youth, but the proof of their age lies bleeding. • It is true, that, as the French Lawyers say merrily of the Normans, which by a special privilege are reputed of full age at twenty-one years, whereas the other French stay for their five and twentieth, that Malitia supplet ætatem ; so may I say of the younglings of our time, that precocity of understanding supplieth age and stature: but, as it is commonly seen, that those blossoms, which overrun the spring, and will be looking forth upon a February-Sun, are nipped soon after with an April-Frost when they should come to the knitting; so is it no less ordinary, that these rathe-ripe wits prevent their own perfection, and, after a vain wonder of their baste, end either in shame or obscurity.
And, as it thus falls out even in our Universities, the most absolute and famous seminaries of the world, where the tutor's eye supplies the parent's; so must it needs much more, in those free and. honourable inns (as they are called, for their liberty; colleges, for
their use) of our English Gentry, wherein each one is his own master in respect of his private study and government. Where there are many pots boiling, there cannot but be much scum. The concourse of a populous city affords many brokers of villainy, which live upon the spoils of young hopes, whose very acquaintance is destruction. How can these novices, that are turned loose into the main, ere they know either coast or compass, avoid these rocks and shelves, upon which both their estates and souls are miserably wrecked ? How commonly do they learn to roar, instead of pleading; and, instead of knowing the laws, learn how to contemn them! We see and rue this mischief; and yet I know not how careless we are in preventing it.
How much more desperate must it then needs be, to send forth our children into those places, which are professedly infectious; whose very goodness is either impiety or superstition ! If we desired to have sons poisoned with misbelief, what could we do otherwise? Or what else do those parents, which have bequeathed their children to Antichristianism?
Our late journey into France informed me of some ordinary Factors of Rome, whose trade is the transporting and placing of our Popish novices beyond the seas: one whereof, whose name I noted, hath been observed to carry over six several charges in one year. Are we so foolish to go their way, while we intend a contrary period? Do we send our sons to learn to be chaste in the midst of Sodom?
The world is wide and open ; but our ordinary travel is southward, into the jaws of danger: for, so far hath Satan's policy prevailed, that those parts, which are only thought worth our viewing, are most contagious; and will not part with either pleasure or information, without some tang of wickedness.
What can we plead for our confidence, but that there is a household of righteous Lot in the midst of that impure city ; that there are houses in this Jericho, which have scarlet threads shining in their windows; that, in the most corrupted air of Popery, some well-reformed Christians draw their breath, and sweeten it with their respiration ?
Blessed be God, that hath reared up the towers of his Sion in the midst of Babylon ! We must acknowledge, not without much gratulation to the Gospel of Christ, that, in the very hottest climates of opposition, it finds many clients, but more friends : and, in those places, where authority hath pleased to give more air to the truth, would have had many more, if the Reformed part had happily continued that correspondence in some circumstances with the Roman Church, which the Church of England hath hitherto maintained. God is my record, how free my heart is both from par. tiality and prejudice. Mine eyes and ears can witness, with what approof and applause divers of the Catholics Royal, as they are termed, entertained the new translated Liturgy of our Church; as marvelling to see such order and regular devotion in them, whom
they were taught to condemn for heretical. Whose allowances, I well saw, might with a little help have been raised higher, from the practice of our Church to some points of our judgment.
But, if true religion were in those parts yet better attended, and our young Traveller could find more abettors and examples of piety, on whom we might rely ; yet how safe can it be to trust young eyes with the view and censure of truth or falsehood in religion? especially when truth brings nothing to this bar, but extreme simplicity; and, contrarily, falsehood, a gawdy magnificence and proud majesty of pompous ceremonies, wherewith the hearts of children and fools are easily taken. That courtesan of Rome, according to the manner of that profession, sets out herself to sale in the most tempting fashion: here wants no colours, no perfumes, no wanton dresses; whereas the poor Spouse of Christ can only say of herself, I am black, but comely. When, on the one side, they shall see such rich shrines, garish altars, stately processions ; when they shall see a Pope adored of Emperors, Cardinals preferred to Kings, Confessors made Saints, little Children made Angels; in a word, nothing not outwardly glorious : on the other side, a service without welt or guard, whose majesty is all in the heart, none in the face: how easily may they incline to the conceit of that Parisian Dame, who, seeing the procession of S. Genoyifue go by the streets, could say, O que belle, &c. “How fine a religion is ours, in comparison of the Huguenots'!”.
Whereto must be added, that, supposing they do not carry with them but rather go to fetch the language of the place, some long time needs be spent, ere they can receive any help to their devotion; while, in the mean season, their unthriving intermission is assailed with a thousand suggestions : and who sees not, that this lucrum cessans, as the Civilians term it, offers an open advantage to a busy adversary?
In a word, it hath been the old praise of early rising, that it makes a man Healthful, Holy, and Rich; whereof the first respects the body, the second the soul, the third the estate : all falls out contrary in an early travel.
For HEALTH : the wise Providence of God hath so contrived his earth and us, that he hath fitted our bodies to our clime, and the native sustenance of the place unto our bodies. The apparent difference of diet, and of drinks especially, falling into so tender age, must needs cause a jar in the constitution; which cannot, in all likelihood, but send forth distemper into the whole course of the ensuing life. The stream runs like the fountain ; and speeds well, if, at last, by many changes of soil, it can leave an ill quality behind it. Besides that the misgovernance of diet, whereto their li." berty lays them open in the weakness of their pupillage, cannot but
be extremely prejudicial. In this point let experience be consulted with : her unpartial sentence shall easily tell us, how few young travellers have brought home, sound and strong, and, in a word, English bodies.
Ås for HOLINESS, we lose our labour, if this Discourse prove not that it hath none so great enemy as timely travel. At once do we hazard to abandon God and our home. Set an empty pitcher to the fire, it cracks presently ; whereas the full will abide boiling. It was the younger son in the gospel, who therefore turns unthrift, because he got his portion too soon into his hands, and wandered into a far country. The eye of the parent, and the ferule of the master, is all too little to bring our sons to good. Where, then, there is neither restraint of evil, nor helps to grace, how should their condition be other than hopeless? The soil doth much in many plants : the Persian Hyoscyamus, if it be translated to Egypt, proves deadly; if to Jerusalem, safe and wholesome: neither is it otherwise with some dispositions, which may justly curse the place, as accessary in their undoing
Lastly, for RICHES, not of the purse, (which 'is not here thought of) but of the mind, what can be expected from that age, which is not capable of observation, careless of reposition ? whereof the one gets, the other keeps the treasure of our understanding. What is this age fit to look after but butterflies, or birds' nests, or perhaps the gay coat of a courtier? And if remarkable considerations be put into it by others, they are as some loose pearls, which, for want of filing upon a string, shake out of our pockets : so as all the wealth of a young Traveller is only in his tongue; wherein he exceeds his mother's parrot at home, both for that he can speak more, and knows that he speaketh.
SECT. 6. And, in truth, it is not only in Travel, wherein we may justly complain of the inconveniency of haste: but, that we may look a little aside, in all the important businesses of our life ; especially in marriage and professions. The ordinary haste in the one, before the face can descry the sex, fills the world full of beggary and impotence; and no less haste, in the other, fills it as full of ignorance and imperfection. For, on the one side, where the vigour of nature wants, what can be propagated but infirmity? or how can he skill to live, that wants experience ? On the other, what' plenty of water can there be, where the lead of the cistern is put all into the pipes ? Where those, that should be gathering knowledge for themselves, spend it, like unthrifty heirs, upon others, as fast as they get it?
I am deceived, if I have not touched one of the main grounds of that universal decay of Arts and Men, wherewith the world is commonly checked. They must be mightier and wiser, that know how to redress it.