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clothed with a beautiful boddy. This is a rare jewell well set, and fit to be sought after with all the powers of the soule and boddy, as that only which can content both with the fullest and most absolute happinesse that our natures can be capable of, in comparison of which all other worldly pleasures are vaine and empty shadows, unworthy of being sought with intention of mind or enjoyed with any satisfaction. Happy therefore is he who hath his hopes and desires crowned with successe, or that in the search of them being denied pleasure in life, finds ease and rest in death.
To this I may add, that every thing is received according to the measure of the receiver, and every man loves more or lesse spiritually or sensually, as he doth more approach to the angelicall or bestiall nature; for the same degrees and differences that are in our persons are allsoe in our affections, and though it be true that some love as sensually as beasts, yet will it not follow that others attaine to the spirittuality of Angels; for it is very ordinary to see thoes that have the shapes of men so absolutely corrupted with vice, that they seeme to have no soule, or so much as serves them instead of salt only, to keep them from corrupting and stinking; but the other sort is not seene amongst men, I meane thoes of angellicall perfections. The best of men are troubled with frailetyes and vices, the worst have nothing else; for which noe other reason perhaps can be given, then that it soe seemed good to the Divine Wisdom: unlesse you will take this for one, that we have within ourselves a power of doing or being ill, but that our recovery from that condition of illnesse which is natural to us, is by the power of God upon our harts, whoe gives his graces unto such men, at such times, and in such proportion as he pleaseth, leaving us still with many infirmityes, that we may humble ourselves, and acknowledging God to be the Author of all good, depend upon him for a delivery from all interior and exterior ills; and reserves the state of perfection to fill up the measure of our happinesse, when we come to that of immortality. To this I may adde that morally vice is easy and naturall to us, but virtue is to be understood only by discourse, and practised by care; into the first every foole can runne blindfold, the other is only the work of an excellent spirit, refined by great maturity and strength of wisdome; to the one facility invites, from the other difficulty deters, which is as much more eminent in the one then the other, as it is harder for one that is placed in the middest of a steepe rock, to climbe up to the top thereof, then to throw himself downe to the bottome.
The next point is to shew what is the strength and power of this affection. It is generally concluded by all to be the strongest of all, and besides what every man that hath tasted of it finds within his owne brest, all books are full of storyes of such as have in comparrison of the person loved, despised all worldly things, and being possessed by that passion, bin transported to actions much beyond theire ordinary
facultyes, either good or ill, as the nature of the persons affection or the present occasion inclined and required. But all that is alleaged by others is cold and weake in comparaison of what thoes find within theire owne harts whoe have bin capable of this best and noblest of passions. Theire whole mind is full of but one thought: the allurements of the world, which other men call pleasures, they have no tast of; the businesse is tedious and insupportable'; theire whole care and industry is solely imployed in serving and pleasing the beloved person. They are strangers to feare, joy, greife, hope, anger, but such as spring from love. Theire desires are most intensively placed upon one object, which by a strange violence transports us beyond our selves, gives courage to the most fearfull, sharpens the wit of the most simple, gives felicity to most depraved minds, constancy to the most unsettled, and of itself alone hath power to draw thoes harts which have received it to acts of goodnesse, honesty, virtue, and gallantry, with more efficacy then all the most exact examples of history, and precepts of phylosophy.
The reason of this I take to be, that love for its end proposeth the enjoyment of beauty; beauty consists in order, harmony, and uniformity, unto which all ill actions have an absolute contrariety, having neither rule, order, forme, or measure, but are like vice, the spring from whence they flow, full of confusednesse and deformity. Besides, he that loves desires to render himself acceptable to the person loved, which being full of virtuous inclinations, (or at least thought to be soe by the lover) doth abhorre all that is not agreeable to reason and goodnesse, and the lover finding nothing to be pleasing but that which is suitable to the affections of the object of his passion, rejects and hates all depraved desires as destructive to his chiefe designe, and thearefore with an active earnestnesse applyes himself to correct the defects of his owne nature, which hath produced more excellent actions then all the affections in the world put together; unlesse I am mistaken in this, that it is not love that makes them virtuous, but being virtuous inclines them to love.
But least that by proposing the enjoyment of beauty for the end of love, I should be too much drowned in sensuallity, I must explain myself a littell. It is very certaine that all desire is for fruition; but that fruition that satisfyes a desire must be of the same nature with the desire itself. Sensuall desires are satisfyed with sensuall fruition, spirituall with spirituall, mixt with mixt; or that I may not trouble myself with tearms, I may in one word comprehend all, the desire of a lover is to be loved, and that perfect union of hearts is the perfection of lovers happinesse; for though we are inclinable to desire the senses may not be excluded, yet having the principal end of our desires, wee may rest fully satisfied, tho' that in some particulars wee find ourselves crossed by fortune; for he cannot be said to want any thing that is made one with the person that
is full of all excellencies. Neither is it extravagant for mee whoe professe love to beauty to be contented with spirituall fruition; for though in my choice I aime at the beauty of the boddy, it is principally theareby to discover the beauty of the mind; for nature, which delights in proportion, suites not an excellent mind with a deformed boddy, nor a vicious (that is deformed) mind in a beautifull boddy. Nature's works are not like hippocrites or sepulchers, beautiful without and rottennesse within. It weare a deceipt to cover the wretched wickednesse of a vicious mind with thoes glorious ornaments of beauty which make up one of the attributes of the Deity; and whereas beauty, which is the greatest excellency of things created as well as uncreated, and is in things created a motive to us to admire the greatnesse and goodnesse of the Creator, if it did palliate vice, would be the greatest snare to us that is imaginable, and instead of delighting in the outward resemblance of God, bring us to worship the Devill. But an intention to deceave our weake natures cannot proceed from the spirit of goodness: that is a diamond set in gold, and the other a worthlesse flint, which he suffers to ly in the dirt.
That is truely excellent, which God hath caused to shine with the glory of his own rayes; wheare soever theire is beauty I can never doubt of goodnesse.
Thoes parts of the sea that are safe have calm and smoth waters, but wheare dangerous rocks lye at the bottome, even the surface is perpetually rough and troubled. It is true that not only age impaires all beautyes, but many are destroyed by accidents, from which even the most excellent are not exempted, as the safest parts of the sea may be disturbed and troubled with storms; but that opposeth not my pourpose, for ayming at reall, not phantasticall excellence, I look for the naturall, not the accidentall beauty or deformity, and will noe more grant that a beautifull face can by the small pox or any other accident grow deformed to one that knew and loved it before, then that a deformed can change its nature by painting, though both will deceave any eyes that have not excellent facultyes of decerning.
Upon all which it will appeare, that the beautye of the boddy gives the beginning to love, but that after the image thereof is graven upon a hart, and the beautye of the mind discovered, it is not in the power of age, or any naturall or accidentall cause to roote it out or deface it; for that which at the first was only the act of the fancy by the help of the eyes, is now growne to be the act of the understanding firmly fixed in the hart and mind, which being the governing power in man, finding its owne desires satisfied in being loved, finds rest within itself; and though theare is a flame remayning in the senses which mutiny for theare part alsoe of fruition, they are not able to cause any great disturbance in a man that is reasonable. But if the mind faile of its desire, the whole frame of man is in confusion, the hart is rent asunder by the violence of passion, and theire
is noe power left to appease the rage of the senses. This extremity of disorder and torment seems fabulous to thoes that have not felt it within themselves; every one is apt to say, if he cannot obtain the affections of one person, why doth he not apply his to another whoe is more kind? But they littell understand love's mistery who use theis discourses, for noe man is in love but with an opinion of the excellency of the beloved person above all others, and hath absolutely resigned his hart unto hir. The most exact beautyes seeme but vaine shaddowes, the excellentest minds but imperfect images of hir perfection; and failing of his desire in enjoying hir only whoe hath the power of his hart, despiseth all things else; and being despised by her, hates all that himself despiseth.
And that which fills up the measure of the rejected lover's torment, is, that despaire will not cure it, for to love without hope is but a seeming contradiction; for though hope is to desire as fewel is to fire, the elementary fire burnes without the fewel, and passion grounded upon confession of excellence outlives hope. Or if theare be such a power of man to confine his desires to his hope (which I believe only in thoes that are weake, faint, and grounded only upon some trifling convenience) they are of all men most happy, theire calme brests are free from disorder, and while other wretches are in trouble, they find perfect peace, their love serves only to procure pleasure, and like a strong well-tempered stomach, either drawes nourishment out of whatsoever it receaves or casts it up; soe they trye all, and retaine only such as encrease their happinesse.
Neverthelesse a true and perfect lover would not procure his owne rest, by defacing the beloved image which with soe much joye he printed in his owne hart; but I think this part of discourse is frivoulous as impossible, and that same image doth take such root, and growes soe entirely one with the hart, that both must live and die together without possibility of separation. At least with me I am sure it is; my passion hath made itself master of all the facultyes of my mind, and hath destroyed all that is in opposition unto it; I live in it, and by it; it is all that I am; take away that and I am nothing. I can neither conforme my desires to my hopes, nor raise my hopes to my desires; the lownesse and meannesse of my fortune and person forbids me to hope; the beautye and lovelinesse of the person whome I love makes my desires approach as neare to eternity, as that can doe which is seated in a mortal foundation. My constancy is both my fault and my punishment; death only can give me a dismission from either.
Having spoken something of what love is, and of the effects of it, it is now time to see wheather it ought to be reproved or commended, denied the entrance into harts, turned out, or embraced; or rather if I had observed any methode, when I spoke something of others opinions upon it, should have finished my owne, but I writing only to day
that which I shall reade the next week or moneth, and then burne, having noe other intention but to ease my troubled thoughts, and to attaine to the knowledge of myself, by setting downe naifely the true state of my mind, I littell care for thoes rules which are necessary to thoes whoe are to depend on others judgements, I content myself with setting downe my thoughts, without caring for rule or order, as appears by breaking and returning to my story; by affirming first that one of the principall works for which we are sent into this world, is to admire the works of him that made both us and it; thoes are the most excellent that are the most beautifull (for beauty is the perfection of excellence) and thoes works of nature are of most perfect. beauty, which are living, and of the living, the reasonable only can content a resonable soule: the most excellent therefore in beauty of reasonable creatures, doth best deserve our admiration, and theareby we do fulfill a great part of the end for which we were created. But whoe can admire any thing without desiring the fruition of it, and that desire is love.
For what reason can be imagined for the difference that we see in persons, (for the same power that made all things could have made all alike perfect) but to make theareby a difference in our affections towards them? Why are some made glorious in beauty but to draw the affections unto them? Why others cursed with deformity, but to give the greater luster unto thoes that are contrary to them, or to shew the illnesse of their natures, as marks that men should beware of them? How blind a sottishnesse is it, not to see and distinguish of beauty, and what a beastly malice is it not to love that which we acknowledge to be excellent! The glory of divine rayes doe appeare in faces, but much more in minds; whoe can then without barbarity (I think I may say impiety) deny to suffer himself to be ravished with the admiration of such an excellence of a created beauty, as is an image of the uncreated, or to be inflamed with the love of it, and the desire to enjoy it? If desires weare absolutely sinfull, they had never bin given us; if beauty might not be desired, it had never been created: theare is noe forbidden fruite out of Paradice. We have a free liberty of enjoying all that is good: goodnesse and beauty are convertible tearmes and indivisible things, and they are happy that attaine unto it: they that are wise desire that which is best.
But some will say, we ought to desire even the best things with moderation, which love destroyes: Ah! let that extend to ordinary things-Desire riches, honours and the like coldly, and unpassionately: they cannot content the mind, thearefore ought not to possesse it, but wheare beauty of mind and boddy meet, both in such excellency as leave not liberty to the fancy to imagine any thing more perfect, whoe can attribute too much either to it or the Author, since that alone is able fully to satisfy all our desires? Worldly things doe often cloy us, but never content us. Some consist wholly in contem