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THE PROFANE. The Superstitious hath too many Gods: the Profane man hath none at all; unless perhaps, himself be his own deity, and the world his heaven. To matter of religion, his heart is a piece of dead flesh; without feeling of love, of fear, of care, or of pain from the deaf strokes of a revenging conscience. Custom of sin hath wrought this senselessness; which now hath been so long entertained, that it pleads prescription, and knows not to be altered. This is no sudden evil: we are born sinful; but have made ourselves profane: through many degrees, we climb to this height of impiety. At first, he sinned; and cared not : now, he sinneth ; and knoweth not. Appetite is his lord; and reason, his servant; and religion, his drudge. Sense is the rule of his belief; and, if piety may be an advantage, he can at once counterfeit and deride it. When onght succeedeth to him, he sacrifices to his nets; and thanks either his fortune or his wit ; and will rather make a false God, than acknowledge the true: if contrary, he cries out of destiny; and blames him, to whom he will not be beholden. His conscience would fain speak with him, but he will not hear it ; sets the day, but he disappoints it: and, when it cries loud for audience, he drowns the noise with good fellowship. He never names God, but in his oaths; never thinks of him, but in extremity : and then he knows not how to think of him, because he begins but then. He quarrels for the hard conditions of his pleasure, for his future damnation.; and, from himself, lays all the fault upon his Maker: and, from his decree, fetcheth excuses of his wickedness. The ineritable necessity of God's counsel makes him desperately careless: so, with good food he poisons himself. Goodness is his minstrel : neither is any mirth so cordial to him, as his sport with God's fools. Every virtue hath his slander, and his jest to langh it out of fashion; every vice, his colour. His usuallest theme is the boast of his young sins; which he can still joy in, though he cannot commit: and, if it may be, his speech makes him worse than he is. He cannot think of death with patience, without terror ; which he therefore fears worse than hell, because this he is sure of, the other he but doubts of. He comes to Church, as to the Theatre, (saving that not so willingly,) for company, for custom, for recreation ; perhaps, for sleep; or, to feed his eyes or his ears : as for his soul, he cares no more than if he had none. He loves none, but himself; and that, not enough to seek his true good: neither cares he, on whom he treads, that he may rise. His life is full of licence, and his practice of outrage. He is hated of God, as much as he hateth goodness; and ditters little from a devil, but that he hath a body.
THE MALE-CONTENT. He is neither well, full nor fasting; and, though he abound with complaints, yet nothing dislikes him but the present : for, what h
condemned while it was, once past he magnifies, and strives to re. cal it out of the jaws of time. What he hath, he seeth not; his eyes are so taken up with what he wants: and what he sees, he cares not for; because he cares so much for that, which is not. When his friend carves him the best morsel, he murmurs, That it is a happy feast, wherein each one may cut for himself. When a present is sent him, he asks "Is this all?" and "What! no better?" and so accepts it, as if he would have his friend know how much he is bound to him, for vouchsafing to receive it: it is hard to entertain him, with a proportionable gift: if nothing, he cries out of unthankfulness; if little, that he is basely regarded; if much, he exclaims of flattery, and expectation of a large requitai. Every blessing hath somewhat to disparage and distaste it: children bring cares; single life is wild and solitary; eminency is envious; retiredness, obscure: fasting, painful; satiety, unwieldy : religion, nicely severe; liberty, is lawless: wealth, burdensome; mediocrity, contemptible: every thing faulteth, either in too much or too little. This man is ever headstrong and selfwilled; neither is he always tied to esteem or pronounce, according to reason: some things he must dislike, he knows not wherefore; but he likes them not; and, other where, rather than not censure, he will accuse a man of virtue. Every thing he meddleth with, he either findeth imperfect, or maketh so: neither is there any thing, that soundeth so harsh in his ear, as the commendation of another; whereto yet perhaps he fashionably and coldly assenteth, but with such an after-clause of exception, as doth more than mar his former allowance: and, if he list not to give a verbal disgrace, yet he shakes his head and smiles; as if his silence should say, "I could, and will not." And, when himself is praised without excess, he complains that such imperfect kindness hath not done him right, If but an unseasonable shower cross his recreation, he is ready to fall out with heaven; and thinks he is wronged, if God will not take His times, when to rain, when to shine. He is a slave to envy, and loseth flesh with fretting; not so much at his own infelicity, as at others' good: neither hath he leisure to joy in his own blessings, whilst another prospereth. Fain would he see some mutinies; but dare not raise them: and suffers his lawless tongue to walk through the dangerous paths of conceited alterations; but so, as, in good manners, he would rather thrust every man before him, when it comes to acting. Nothing, but fear, keeps him from conspiracies; and no man is more cruel, when he is not manacled with danger. He speaks nothing, but satires and libels; and lodgeth no guests in his heart, but rebels. The inconstant and he agree well in their felicity, which both place in change: but, herein they dif fer; the inconstant man affects that which will be, the male-content commonly that which was. Finally, he is a querulous cur, whom no horse can pass by without barking at; yea, in the deep silence of night, the very moonshine openeth his clamorous mouth: he is the wheel of a well-couched firework, that flies out on all sides, not without scorching itself. Every ear was, long ago, weary of
him ; and he is now almost weary of himself: give him but a little respite, and he will die alone; of no other death, than others? welfare.
THE UNCONSTANT. The inconstant man treads upon a moving earth, and keeps no pace. His proceedings are ever heady and peremptory : for he hath not the patience to consult with reason; but determines merely upon fancy. "No man is so hot in the pursuit of what he liketh*; no man sooner weary. He is fiery in his passions, which yet are not more violent than momentary: it is a wonder, if his love or hatred last so many days as a wonder. His heart is the inn of all good motions; wherein if they lodge for a night, it is well: by morning they are gone, and take no leave; and, if they come that way again, they are entertained as guests, not as friends. At first, like another Ecebolius, he loved simple truth : thence diverting his eyes, he fell in love with idolatry ; those heathenish shrines had never any more doting and besotted client: and now, of late, he is leaped from Rome to Munster, and is grown to giddy Anabaptism. What he will be next, as yet he knoweth not; but, ere he have wintered his opinion, it will be manifest. He is good to make an enemy of; ill, for a friend : because, as there is no trust in his affection, so no rancour in his displeasure. The multitude of his changed purposes brings with it forgetfulness; and not of others more than of himself. He says, swears, renounces; because, what he promised, he meant not long enough to make an impression. Herein alone he is good for a commonwealth, that he sets many on work, with building, ruining, altering; and makes more business, than time itself: neither is he a greater enemy to thrift, than to idleness. Propriety is to him enough cause of dislike : each thing pleases him better, that is not his own. Even in the best things, long continuance is a just quarrel : manna itself grows tedious with age; and novelty is the highest style of commendation to the meanest offers: neither doth he in books and fashions ask “ How good ?” but “ How new ?” Variety carries him away with delight; and no uniform pleasure can be without an irksome fulness. He is so transformable into all opinions, manners, qualities, that he seems rather made immediately of the first matter, than of well tempered elements; and therefore is, in possibility, any thing or every thing; nothing, in present substance. Finally, he is servile, in imitation ; waxy, to persuasions; witty, to wrong himself; a guest, in his own house; an ape of others; and, in a word, any thing rather than himself.
FLATTERY is nothing but 'false friendship, fawning hypocrisy, dishonest civility, base merchandize of words, a plausible discord of
the heart and lips. The Flatterer is blear-eyed to ill, and cannot see vices; and his tongue walks ever in one track of unjust praises, and can no more tell how to discommend than to speak true. His speeches are full of wondering interjections; and all his titles are superlative; and both of them seldom ever but in presence. His base mind is well matched with a mercenary tongue, which is a willing slave to another man's ear: neither regardeth he how true, but how pleasing. His art is nothing but delightful cozenage; whose rules are smoothing and guarded with perjury; whose scope is, to make men fools in teaching them to over-value themselves, and to tickle his friends to death. This man is a porter of all good tales, and mends them in the carriage; one of fame's best friends, and his own; that helps to furnish her with those rumours, that may advantage himself. Conscience hath no greater adversary: for, when she is about to play her just part, of accusation, he stops her mouth with good terms; and well-near strangleth her with shifts. Like that subtle fish, he turns himself into the colour of every stone, for a booty. In himself he is nothing, but what pleaseth his Great-One; whose virtues he cannot more extol, than imitate his imperfections, that he may think his worst graceful: let him say it is hot, he wipes his forehead, and unbraceth himself; if cold, he shivers and calls for a warmer garment. When he walks with his friend, he swears to him, that no man else is looked at; no man talked of; and that, whomsoever he vouchsafes to look on and nod to, is graced enough: that he knoweth not his own worth, lest he should be too happy; and, when he tells what others say in his praise, he interrupts himself modestly, and dares not speak the rest so his concealment is more insinuating, than his speech. He hangs upon the lips which he admireth, as if they could let fall nothing but oracles; and finds occasion to cite some approved sentence, under the name he honoureth; and, when ought is nobly spoken, both his hands are little enough to bless him. Sometimes, even in absence, he extolleth his patron, where he may presume of safe conveyance to his ears; and, in presence, so whispereth his commendation to a common friend, that it may not be unheard where he meant it. He hath salves for every sore, to hide them, not to heal them; complexion for every face. Sin hath not any more artificial broker, or more impudent bawd. There is no vice, that hath not from him his colour, his allurement; and his best service is either to further guiltiness, or smother it. If he grant evil things inexpedient, or crimes errors, he hath yielded much either thy estate gives privilege of liberty, or thy youth, or, if neither, "What if it be ill, yet it is pleasant!" Honesty, to him, is nice singularity; repentance, superstitious melancholy; gravity, dulness; and all virtue, an innocent conceit of the base-minded. In short, he is the moth of liberal men's coats; the ear-wig of the mighty; the bane of courts; a friend and a slave to the trencher; and good for nothing, but to be a factor for the Devil.
THE SLOTHFUL. He is a religious man, and wears the time in his cloister; and, as the cloak of his doing nothing, pleads contemplation: yet is he no whit the leaner for his thoughts; no whit learneder. He takes no Jess care how to spend time, than others how to gain by the expence; and, when business importunes him, is more troubled to forethink what he must do, than another to effect it. Summer is out of his favour for nothing but long days, that make no haste to their even. He loves still to have the sun witness of his rising ; and lies long, more for lothness to dress him, than will to sleep: and, after some stretching and yawning, calls for dinner, unwashed; which having digested with a sleep in his chair, he walks forth to the bench in the market-place, and looks for companions: whomsoever he meets, he stays with idle questions and lingering discourse ; how the days are lengthened; how kindly the weather is; how false the clock; how forward the spring; and ends ever with “ What shall we do?” It pleases him no less to hinder others, than not to work himself. When all the people are gone from Church, he is left sleeping in his seat alone. He enters bonds; and forfeits them, by forgetting the day : and asks his neighbour, when his own field was fallowed, whether the next piece of ground belong not to himself. His care is either none, or too late : when winter is come, after some sharp visitations, he looks on his pile of wood, and asks how much was cropped the last spring: Necessity drives him to every action; and what he cannot avoid, he will yet defer. Every change troubles him, although to the better; and his dulness counterfeits a kind of contentment. When he is warned on a jury, he would rather pay the mulct, than appear. All but that, which nature will not permit, he doth by a deputy: and counts it troublesome to do nothing; but, to do any thing, yet more.
He is witty in nothing, but framing excuses to sit still ; which, if the occasion yield not, he coineth with ease. There is no work, that is not either dangerous or thankless; and whereof he foresees not the inconvenience and gainlessness, before he enters : which if it be verified in event, his next idleness hath found a reason to patronize it. He would rather freeze, than fetch wood : and chuses rather to steal, than work; to beg, than take pains to steal; and, in many things, to want, than beg. He is so loth to leave his neighbour's fire, that he is fain to walk home in the dark; and, if he be not looked to, wears out the night in the chimney-corner; or, if not that, lies down in his clothes to save two labours. He eats and prays himself asleep; and dreams of no other torment, but work. This man is a standing pool; and cannot chuse but gather corruption: he is descried, amongst a thousand neighbours, by a dry and nasty hand, that still savours of the sheet; a beard uncut, uncombed ; an eye and ear, yellow with their excretions; a coat, shaken on, ragged, unbrushed; by linen and face striving whether shall excel in uncleanliness. For body, he hath a swoln leg, a