Sivut kuvina

This is the slowest, yet the daintiest sense;
For e'en the ears of such as have no skill,
Perceive a discord, and conceive offence;
And, knowing not what 's good, yet find the ill.

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Much like a subtle spider 3, which doth sit
In middle of her web, which spreadeth wide;
If aught do touch the utmost thread of it,
She feels it instantly on ev'ry side.

LASTLY, the feeling pow'r, which is life's root, Through ev'ry living part itself doth shed By sinews, which extend from head to foot; And, like a net, all o'er the body spread.

By touch, the first pure qualities we learn,

Which quicken all things, hot, cold, moist, and dry: By touch, hard, soft, rough, smooth, we do discern: By touch, sweet pleasure and sharp pain we try.

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[Sect. XXII-XXVI This ledger-book lies in the brain bebind, Like Janus' eye, which in his poll was set :

SECTION XXIV. The layman's tables, storehouse of the mind;

THE INTELLECTUAL POWERS OF THE SOUL. Which doth remember much, and much forget.

But now I have a will, yet want a wit, Here sense's apprehension end doth take;

T' express the working of the wit and will; As when a stone is into water cast,

Which, though their root be to the body knit, One circle doth another circle make,

Use not the body, when they use their skill. Till the last circle touch the bank at last.

These pow'rs the pature of the soul declare,

For to man's soul these only proper be;

For on the Earth no other wights there are

That have these heavenly powers, but only we.

But though the apprehensive pow'r do pause,

The motive virtue then begins to move;
Which in the heart below doth passions cause,


Joy, grief, and fear, and hope, and hate, and love.
These passions have a free commanding might,

The wit, the pupil of the soul's clear eye,

And in man's world the only shining star,
And divers actions in our life do breed;

Looks in the mirrour of the fantasy,
For all acts done without true reason's light,
Do from the passion of the sense proceed.

Where all the gath'rings of the senses are.
But since the brain doth lodge the pow'rs of sense,

From thence this pow'r the shapes of things abstracts, How makes it in the heart those passions spring? Which are enlight'ned by that part which acts;

And them within her passive part receives,
The mutual love, the kind intelligence
Twixt heart and brain, this sympathy doth bring.

And so the forms of single things perceives.
From the kind heat, which in the heart doth reign,

But after, by discoursing to and fro, The spirits of life do their beginning take;

Anticipating and comparing things, *These spirits of life ascending to the brain, (make. She doth all universal natures know,

And all effects into their causes brings.
When they come there, the spirits of sense do
These spirits of sense, in fantasy's high court,

When she rates things, and moves from ground to

ground, Judge of the forms of objects, ill or well; And so they send a good or ill report

The name of reason she obtains by this:

But when by reason she the truth hath found, Down to the heart, where all affections dwell.

And standeth fix’d, she understanding is.
If the report be good, it causeth love,

When her assent she lightly doth incline
And longing hope, and well assured joy:
If it be ill, then doth it hatred move,

To either part, she is opinion's light:

But when she doth by principles define And trembling fear, and vexing griefs annoy.

A certain truth, she hath true judgment's sight. Yet were these natural affections good, (For they which want them, blocks or devils be)

And as from senses, reasou's work doth spring, If reason in her first perfection stood,

So many reasons understanding gain; That she might Nature's passions rectify.

And many understandings, knowledge bring,

And by much knowledge, wisdom we obtain.

So, many stairs we must ascend upright

Ere we attain to wisdom's high degree:
So doth this Earth eclipse our reason's light,

Which else (in instants) would like angels see.




Besides, another motive-power doth ’rise

Out of the heart, from whose pure blood do spring
The vital spirits; which, born in arteries,

Continual motion to all parts do bring.
This makes the pulses beat, and lungs respire;

This holds the sinews like a bridle's reins;
And makes the body to advance, retire,

To turn, or stop, as she them slacks or strains. Thus the soul tunes the body's instruments,

These harmonies she makes with life and sense ; The organs fit are by the body lent,

But th' actions flow from the soul's influence.

YET bath the soul a dowry natural,

And sparks of light, some common things to see ; Not being a blank where naught is writ at all,

But what the writer will, may written be.

For Nature in man's heart her laws doth pen,

Prescribing truth to wit, and good to will;
Which do accuse, or else excuse all men,

For ev'ry thought or practice, good or ill:

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Although they say, "Come let us eat and drink;
Our life is but a spark, which quickly dies:"
Though thus they say, they know not what to think;
But in their minds ten thousand doubts arise.

Therefore no heretics desire to spread

Their light opinions, like these epicures; For so their stagg'ring thoughts are comforted, And other meu's assent their doubt assures.

Yet though these men against their conscience strive,
There are some sparkles in their flinty breasts,
Which cannot be extinct, but still revive;

That though they would, they cannot quite be

But whoso makes a mirror of his mind,

And doth with patience view himself therein,
His soul's eternity shall clearly find,
Though th' other beauties be defac'd with sin.


Drawn from the desire of knowledge.
FIRST, in man's mind we find an appetite
To learn and know the truth of ev'ry thing,
Which is co-natural, and born with it,

And from the essence of the soul doth spring.

With this desire, she hath a native might

To find out ev'ry truth, if she had time; Th' innumerable effects to sort aright,

And by degrees, from cause to cause to climb.

But since our life so fast away doth slide,

As doth a hungry eagle through the wind; Or as a ship transported with the tide,

Which in their passage leave no print behind.

Or God (who to vain ends hath nothing done)
In vain this appetite and pow'r hath giv'n;
Or else our knowledge, which is here begun,

Hereafter must be perfected in Heav'n.

God never gave a pow'r to one whole kind,

But most part of that kind did use the same: Most eyes have perfect sight, though some be blind; Most legs can nimbly run, though some be lame.

But in this life, no soul the truth can know
So perfectly, as it hath pow'r to do:
If then perfection be not found below,

An higher place must make her mount thereto.


Drawn from the motion of the soul.'

Water in conduit-pipes can rise no higher

Than the well-head, from whence it first doth Then since to eternal God she doth aspire, [spring: She cannot be but an eternal thing.

AGAIN, how can she but immortal be,

When, with the motions of both will and wit, She still aspireth to eternity,

And never rests, till she attain to it?

"All moving things to other things do move,

Of the same kind which shows their nature such:" So earth falls down, and fire doth mount above, Till both their proper elements do touch.

And as the moisture, which the thirsty earth

Sucks from the sea, to fill her empty veins,
From out her womb at last doth take a birth,

And runs a lymph along the grassy plains:

Long doth she stay, as loath to leave the land,
From whose soft side she first did issue make:
She tastes all places, turns to ev'ry hand,

Her flow'ry banks unwilling to forsake:

For who did ever yet, in honour, wealth,

Of which swift little time so much we spend,
While some few things we through the sense do Who ever ceas'd to wish, when he had health?
Or pleasure of the sense, contentment find?


That our short race of life is at an end,

Or, having wisdom, was not vex'd in mind?

Ere we the principles of skill attain.

Yet Nature so her streams doth lead and carry,
As that her course doth make no final stay,
Till she herself unto the ocean marry,

Within whose watry bosom first she lay.

E'en so the soul, which in this earthly mould
The spirit of God doth secretly infuse,
Because at first she doth the earth behold,

And only this material world she views:

At first her mother-earth she holdeth dear,

And doth embrace the world, and worldly things; She flies close by the ground, and hovers here,

And mounts not up with her celestial wings:

Yet under Heav'n she cannot light on aught

That with her heav'nly nature doth agree:
She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought,
She cannot in this world contented be.

Then as a bee which among weeds doth fall,

Which seem sweet flow'rs, with lustre fresh and She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all; [gay; But, pleas'd with none, doth rise, and soar away:

So, when the soul finds here no true content,

And, like Noah's dove, can no sure footing take,
She doth return from whence she first was sent,

And flies to him that first her wings did make.
Wit, seeking truth, from cause to cause ascends,

And never rests till it the first attain:
Will, seeking good, finds many middle ends;
But never stays till it the last do gain.
Now God the truth and first of causes is;

God is the last good end, which lasteth still;
Being alpha and omega nam'd for this;
Alpha to wit, omega to the will.

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And yet this first true cause, and last good end,
She cannot here so well and truly see;
For this perfection she must yet attend,
Till to her Maker she espoused be.

As a king's daughter, being in person sought
Of divers princes, who do neighbour near,
On none of them can fix a constant thought,
Though she to all do lend a gentle ear:

Yet she can love a foreign emperor,
Whom of great worth and pow'r she hears to be,
If she be woo'd but by ambassador,

Or but his letters or his pictures see:

For well she knows, that when she shall be brought
Into the kingdom where her spouse doth reign;
Her eyes shall see what she conceiv'd in thought,
Himself, his state, his glory, and his train.

So while the virgin soul on Earth doth stay,
She woo'd and tempted in ten thousand ways,
By these great pow'rs, which on the Earth bear


The wisdom of the world, wealth, pleasure, praise:

With these sometimes she doth her time beguile,
These do by fits her fantasy possess;
But she distastes them all within awhile,
And in the sweetest finds a tediousness.

But if upon the world's Almighty King,

She once doth fix her humble loving thought, Who by his picture drawn in ev'ry thing,

And sacred messages, her love hath sought;

Of him she thinks she cannot think too much;
This honey tasted still is ever sweet;
The pleasure of her ravish'd thought is such,
As almost here she with her bliss doth meet:

But when in Heav'n she shall his essence see,

This is her sov'reign good, and perfect bliss; Her longing, wishings, hopes, all finish'd be ; Her joys are full, her motions rest in this:

There is she crown'd with garlands of content;

There doth she manna eat, and nectar drink:
That presence doth such high delights present,
As never tongue could speak, nor heart could


From contempt of death in the better sort of spirits.
For this, the better souls do oft despise

The body's death, and do it oft desire;
For when on ground the burthen'd balance lies,
The empty part is lifted up the higher:

If then by death the soul were quenched quite,

She could not thus against her nature run;
Since ev'ry senseless thing, by Nature's light,
Doth preservation seek, destruction shun.

But if the body's death the soul should kill,
Then death must needs against her nature be;
And were it so, all souls would fly it still,

For nature hates and shuns her contrary.

For all things else, which Nature makes to be,
Their being to preserve, are chiefly taught;
And though some things desire a change to see,
Yet never thing did long to turn to naught.

Nor could the world's best spirits so much err,

If Death took all, that they should all agree, Before this life their honour to prefer:

For what is praise to things that nothing be ?,

Again, if by the body's prop she stand;

If on the body's life, her life depend, As Meleager's on the fatal brand,

The body's good she only would intend:

We should not find her half so brave and bold,

To lead it to the wars, and to the seas, To make it suffer watchings, hunger, cold, When it might feed with plenty, rest with ease.

Doubtless, all souls have a surviving thought,
Therefore of death we think with quiet mind;
But if we think of being turn'd to naught,
A trembling horrour in our souls we find.


From the fear of death in the wicked souls.

AND as the better spirit, when she doth bear

A scorn of death, doth show she cannot die; So when the wicked soul Death's face doth fear, E'en then she proves her own eternity.

For when Death's form appears, she feareth not
An utter quenching or extinguishment;
She would be glad to meet with such a lot,
That so she might all future ill prevent:

But she doth doubt what after may befall;

For Nature's law accuseth her within, And saith," "T is true what is affirm'd by all, That after death there is a pain for sin."

Then she who hath been hoodwink'd from her birth,
Doth first herself within Death's mirror see;
And when her body doth return to earth,

She first takes care, how she alone shall be.

Who ever sees these irreligious men,

With burthen of a sickness weak and faint, But hears them talking of religion then,

And vowing of their souls to ev'ry saint?

When was there ever cursed atheist brought

Unto the gibbet, but he did adore That blessed pow'r, which he had set at naught, Scorn'd and blasphem'd all his life before?

These light vain persons still are drunk and mad,

With surfeitings and pleasures of their youth; But at their death they are fresh, sober, sad;

Then they discern, and then they speak the truth.

If then all souls, both good and bad, do teach,

With gen'ral voice, that souls can never die; 'T is not man's flatt'ring gloss, but Nature's speech, Which, like God's oracles, can never lie.

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