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Title: A Very Pleasaunt & Fruitful Diologe Called the Epicure
Author: Erasmus, Desiderius, 1469-1536
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Very Pleasaunt & Fruitful Diologe Called the Epicure" ***

[Transcriber's note:

The printed text marks the first few leaves of each 16-page
signature: ||A.i.||, ||A.ii.||... Other page breaks are marked in
this e-text with double lines ||

A few apparent typographic errors were corrected and are listed at
the end of the text. Other irregularities are noted but were left
unchanged. All other spelling, capitalization and punctuation are
as in the original.]

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

                     A VE-
                ry pleasaunt &
                fruitful Dio-
               loge called the
               made by that fa-
               mous clerke Eras
                mus of Rotero-
                  dame, newly

       *       *       *       *       *

          _S. Paule to the Ephesians_

        You that haue professed Christ,
     suffre not your selues to be deceyued
        vvith false doctrine, nor vaine
        and noughtie talkyng, but herken
          vnto all Godly thynges, and
          especially too the doctryne
                of the Gospell.


                  THE HABOVN-
         daunt mercie and grace of our
          heauenly father Iesu Christ,
            maye alwaies strengthen
            and defende oure noble
             & vertuous Prynce Ed-
              ward too the mainte-
              naunce of the liue-
                  ly woord of

Whereas manye histories of olde & auncient antiquitie,
and also al godly & Christiã writers most playnely consêt
together, and agree in this, that dignitie, riches, kinred,
worldly pompe, and renoume, doo neither make men better, ne
yet happiar, contrarie too the blynde & fonde iudgement of
the most part of menne: but by the power and strength of the
mynde, that is, learnyng, wysedome, || and vertue, all menne
are hyghly enriched, ornated, & most purely beutified, for
these bee thinges bothe notable, eternall, and verye
familiar betwene the heauenly father & vs. It is therefore
euidente (most excellent Prince) that the fittest ornamêtes
for your graces tender age, bee, eruditiõ and vertue.
Wherunto you are bothe so ernestly addicte and therin so
wõderfully doo preuaile, that I nede not too exhorte &
exstimulate your grace vnto the study thereof. For that God
him self hath wrought, and fourmed your mynde so apt and
desirous too attayne and diligêtly too seeke for al godly
doctrine, that euê now you doo shewe in all youre saiynges
and dooinges suche a wonderfull pleasaûtes much lyke vnto
a certayne swete musike or harmonie, that any honest hart
exceadinglye woulde reioyce in the sight therof. Verely,
your grace thinketh plainly all time lost, that is not
bestowed vpon learnyng, which is a verie rare thyng in anye
childe, and rarest of all in a Prince. Thus youre noblenes,
rather desireth vertue and ||A.iii.|| learning the most
surest and excellent treasures, which farre surmounte all
worldly ryches, then anye vanities or trifles. Nowe youre
grace prepareth for the holsome and pleasaunt foode of
the mynde. Now you seke for that whiche you shal fynd
most surest helper and faythfulst councellour in all your
affaires. Now your magnificêt mynde studieth that, whiche
all Englyshe menne with meke and humile heartes shuld desire
GOD to endue your grace with all. Now with diligent labour
you searche for a thyng, as one most myndeful of this
saiyng: Happy is that realme that hath a lerned Prince. Nowe
you trauaile for that, whiche conquereth, and kepeth doune
all greuous tourmentes & outragious affections of the mynde,
too the furderaunce of good liuyng, and maintenaûce of
vertue, I meane holsome erudition and learnyng. Many
Heathen Princes forsoth, are highly magnified with most
ample prayses, which gaue them selues too the study of
Philosophie, or knowledge of tongues, for their owne
commoditie, and || especially for the weale of their
subiectes. Who is nowe more celebrated and worthelier
extolled then Mithridates? that noble kyng of Pont and
Bithinia, which, (as Aulus Gellius writeth) vnderstoode so
perfitly the languages of .xxii. sondrye countries that were
vnder his dominiõ, that he neuer vsed any interpretour too
answer his subiectes, but spake their lãguages so finelye,
as thoughe he had been of the same coûtrie. Ageyn, that
honorable manne Quintus Ennius saied: that he had .iii.
heartes, because he coulde speake Greke, Italian, and Latin.
Yea, and breuely, the most famaus writers, as well the
Heathen, as the Christien, with an vniuersall consent,
playnly affirme: Whan thei had weied the nature and condiciõ
of the purest thinges vnder heauen, thei sawe nothyng faire,
or of any pryce, or that ought too be accõpted ours, but
onely vertue and learning. Euen now too acknowledge that
same, it is yeouê you from aboue, for your grace delecteth
in nothyng more then too bee occupied in the holye Byble:
wherin, ||A.iiii.|| you beginne too sauer & smelle furth
the treasure of wisedome, knowledge and fulnes of the deuyne
power, that is a studie most conuenient for euery Christien
Prince, that kynd of studye cannot haue sufficient laude
and commendation. Whose Princely heart forsoth, is raueshed
on suche a godlie and vertuous studie, it can neuer haue
condigne and worthie praises, but deserueth alwaies too bee
had in great price, estimation, and honour. Who dooeth not
know? that Prince which is yeouen vnto the scriptures of God
and with a stoute stomake and valiãt heart, both searcheth
furth and also defendeth ye true doctrine of the Gospell,
too bee inrolled in the assemble of Christ. Who dooeth not
see? that Prince too bee moost surelye armed, which carieth
in his heart the swerd of ye spirit, which is the blessed
woord of God. Who is ignoraunt? that euer lastyng lyfe
consisteth in the knoweledge of God. What Prince woulde not
studie to maintaine that, which is written for the health,
and saluation of all menne weiyuge with himselfe || that a
Prince can not deserue, neither by conquest, ciuel policie,
nor yet by anye other meane vnder heauen, thys name high or
honorable, so wourthely as by the setting forward of Goddes
woorde. What young Prince humily defendyng doune intoo him
selfe and callyng to memory his bounden dutie woulde not
with a glad hearte and a chearfull mynde, gredelye desyre
too knowe, enlarge, and amplifie the glory and maiestie
of hys derely beloued father? Your grace (forsoth) hath
professed God too bee your father: Blessed are you then if
you obey vnto hys word, and walke in his waies. Blessed are
you, yf you supporte suche as preache the Gospell. Blessed
are you, yf your mind bee full furnished with the testament
of Christ, and shew your selfe too bee the most cruel
too and enemy agaynst ypocrisie, supersticion, and all
papistical phantasies, wherwith the true religion of God
hathe been dusked and defaced these many yeres Blessed are
you, if you reade it daye & nighte, that your grace maye
knowe what GOD dooeth forbyd you, and ||A.v.|| euer submit
your selfe therunto with seruiceable lowlines chiefly
desiring to florysh and decke your mynd with godly
knowledge. And most blessed are you, if you apply your
self vnto al good workes, & plant surely in your heart the
scriptures of Christ, If you thus doo, nether the power of
any papistical realme, nor yet of hel can preuaile at any
time against your grace. Nowe therfore, with humile hearte,
faithfully receiue the swete promises of the Gospel. If
you kepe the woordes of the Lorde and cleaue fast vnto
them: there is promised you the kingdome of heauen: You
are promised a weale publick most riche and welthy You are
promised too bee deliuered from the deceiptes of all youre
priuie enemyes. You are promised also, too conquere great
and mightie nations. Agayne, let your grace bee most fully
perswaded in this, that ther was neuer Kyng nor Prince, that
prospered whiche tooke parte against Goddes woord, and that
the greatest abhomination that can bee, either for Kyng,
Prince, or any other manne, is too || forsake the true woord
of God. O with howe rebukefull woordes & greuous iudgement
thei be condemned, which dispice & set lytle by the holy
Byble & most blessed Testamêt of God, wherin there is
contained all the wil & pleasure of our heauêly father
toward vs most miserable & ignoraunt wretches Who would not
quake, too beholde the terrible feares & threatenynges of
God ageinst al suche? Who would not lament & gladly helppe
their obstinate blyndenes? Who woulde not weepe? to heare
and reade in how many places, they be openly accursed by the
scriptures of Christ. God him self playnely affirmeth, that
he wyll sodênly consume them with the breath of his anger.
Yea, besides that whoso euer declyneth from the word of
God is accursed in all his doynges, whether he be Kyng, or
Prynce, riche, or poore, or of what estate soeuer he bee.
This fearfull saiyng (most excellent Prynce) shulde moue all
men to take hede vnto their duties and to praie that gods
word maie take place emõgist vs. O that al men would
||fantasie the scriptures of God, and saye with the vertuous
man Iob. Wee will not bee ageynst the woordes of the holy
one. Truth it is, God taketh diligent care too haue vs al
know his woord. Woulde God therfore, that all wee were now
willing to haue the syncere woorde of God & all holsom
doctrine too go forward. O that all we would consent
togither in the Gospell, brotherly admonishyng, and
secretelye prouokyng one an other too true religion
& vertue. O that no man would sow emongist the people
pernitious doctryne, but with all lowly diligêce and Godlye
monition euer prouoke, tempt, and stere them, tyll their
heartes were remoued frõ their olde dautyng dreames and
supersticiõ, which haue been long grafted in them thorow
popyshe doctrine. By this meane wee shuld euer haue concorde
emongist vs, whiche in all thynges is necessary, but most
nedefull and expedient in Gods holi woord. Now truely the
godlyest thynge that can bee deuysed, for any christian
realme, is to haue emongist them one maner and || fourme
of doctryne, & too trace trueli the steppes of God and
neuer to seeke any other bywayes. Who hath not redde in ye
scriptures? but that realme is endued with godly ornamentes
& riches, where all men prospere, go for ward and florishe
in gods woord, delectyng day and night in the swete
cõsolations of the holy testament. By this way we shuld
especially set forth the glory of God, and of our sauiour
Iesu Christ, if we would reuerently shew one an other that
whiche God hath taught vs. Yea & in this doyng all men
shulde well perceaue that we were the true disciples of
Christ, being knitte and coupled fast together in mynde
and iudgement, preachyng God with one mouth and also with
one assent euer promotyng his gloryous testament. O the
good happe and grace of that king or prynce emongist whose
subiectes there is such an hole consent and iudgement in the
woord of God, for that most assuredly byndeth & adiuigneth
ye hartes of al subiectes too their kyng. The strength of
the Gospell is euen suche in this puincte, || that there was
neuer man, which did humily receaue it, that would murmour
ageynst his Prince. It teacheth how wyllyngly all men shulde
obey their kyng. It sheweth verye lyuely and most apertly
vnto euery man his ful dutie. It euer prouoketh vs from all
wicked, cursed, and most obstinate disobedience. It euer
instructeth men too shewe them selues most lowly, humile,
and obesaunt toward their Prynce. Whosoeuer hath tasted
fully therof, will declare hym selfe in al thynges, too
bee a faithful subiect. Furthermore, it is clearer then the
light (most vertuous prince) that it woulde make muche for
the weale of this noble realme, yf all mê with heart and
mynde, would nowe as well expulse the pernitious and
deuelyshe doctryne af that Romishe bishop, as his name is
blotted î bookes. There is none so ignoraunt, but he knoweth
that, thorough hym we were brought into a wõderful blindnes,
thorough hym we did sauer of nothyng, but of stynkyng
Ydolatry, through hym we were deceiued with || false
Ypocrisie. Now let euery blind stiffe hearted, and obstinate
creature compare his abhomination with the gospell, and
if he be not shameles, he will abashe to smell of his
papistrie, and to walow still in ignoraunce, vn lest he bee
priuely confederate and in heart consent with the detestable
felowship of al wicked papistes. Now would God all suche men
would reduce ageyn their heartes vnto ye gospell of Christ,
would god they would bee prouoked by some meane to desire
knowledge. O that god woulde yeoue them a couragious mynde
too reade the gospel, there they shal sone fynde all the
venoume of the romishe sort most playnely detected. Forsoth
wee see dayly, that lacke of knowledge of the gospel maketh
some busserdes runne hedlong on all rockes, daungers, &
extreme perilles: yea, and beside that, olde popysh doctryne
whiche lyeth folded vp & locked faste in their heartes,
doeth so sore blynd thê that they haue neither fauour ne
affectiõ too printe in their myndes, the expressed coûcels,
admonitions, and || preceptes of the holy scripture, but
too slepe stil in their owne conceites, dreames, & fonde
phansies. Wherfore let your dignitie note well this, that
all those whiche bee not wyllyng that gods woord should bee
knowen, and that blyndenes should be clean expulsed from
all men, whiche be baptised in ye blessed bludde of Christ,
bewray themselues playne papistes: for in very deede that
most deceatful wolfe and graund maister papist with his
totiens quotiens, and a pena et culpa blesseth all suche
as will bee blynde stil, maintaine his põpe, drinke of
his cuppe of fornication, trust in his pardounes, liue
in popery, ypocrisie, and dãnable ydolatrie, shut vp the
kingdome of heauen, & neuer regarde the gospel. Cõtrarie too
this, christ bi his holy Prophete calleth al those blessed
that seke for his testimonies, al those his elect & chosê
childrê, which turne frõ synne, ypocrisie, & ydolatrie, all
those goddes that heare his word, yea, & breuely, al those
which set it forward honorable mê. & in this puincte your
grace shoulde euer beare in mynde, || that noble and
vertuous kyng Hezekiah, whiche shewed hymselfe very
honorable in settîg forward ye woord of God, and therby
gotte hym glory and fame immortall, so that nowe he is most
highly praysed amongtst all men. Ageyn his subiectes dyd
obey his commaundement feynedly with Ypocrisie, but in their
heartes they abhorred gods woord. O the miserie that dyd
afterwarde sodeinly ensue vpon them, O the wonderfull
wrath of God that was poured vpon them, O their great and
obstinate blindnes whiche caused them most greuously too
be scourged: Their plage was no lesse then too bee vtterly
spoyled of their enemies, Their plage was no lesse then to
eate one an other: Yea, their plage was no lesse then to
eate their owne sonnes and doughters. This calamitie and
sorow (most noble prynce) happened them because they dyd
not regarde the lawes of God, but tourned too their olde
abhominable Ydolatrie, and lightelye estemed gods holy
woord. Wherfore euen now whosoeuer is an enemie ||B.i.|| to
the holy Bible, that is, neither studiyng it himselfe, nor
willyng that other men shulde knowe it, he can in no wyse be
a right christian man: although he fast, pray, doo almes,
& all the good workes vnder heauen. And he that hath suche a
mynde, is ye most cursed and cruel enemie too god, a playne
sower of sedition, and a deuelishe disquieter of all godly
men. For truly those that reade the gospel of Christ, and
labour diligêtly therin: doo fynde wonderfull rest &
quietnes, from all woofull miserie, perturbatiõ, and
vanities of this world. And surely none but ypocrites or els
deuilles would go about too stoppe or allure men from suche
a treasure and godly study. And it were conuenient, that all
they whiche wyll remayne styll necligent, styffe, & blind:
shuld set before their faces the feare of paynes infernall,
and if thei haue any grace at all, their spirites ought to
be moued: too note the great plages that haue happened the
slouthful in gods woord, & those that haue been stubburne
ageynst the settyng || out of it. There bee a thousand
recordes and examples in the holy Bible agaynst such as be
farre wyde from knowledge, and lye now walteryng styl in
ignoraunce and will not looke vpon the bible. It woulde
seme, they hope for a thyng, but their hope is in vaine:
For saint Paule plainely writeth the hope of suche ypocrites
shall coo[~m] too nought. And too conclude (most honorable
Prince) seeyng wee haue suche knowledge opened vnto vs, as
neuer had englishe mê, and are clearly deliuered from the
snares and deceiptes of al false and wicked doctrine, if we
shuld not now thãkefully receaue the gospell, and shewe our
selues naturally enclyned to set it forwarde, yea, and pray
daye and night vnto God, for the preseruatiõ and health of
the kynges highnes, your graces deare, and most entierly
beloued father, we were neither true subiectes nor ryght
christen men. Forsoth, through the absolute wisedome, and
the most godly and politike prudencie of his grace, the
swete sounde of gods woorde is gone ||B.ii.|| thorough out
all this realme, the holye Bible and blessed testament of
oure sauiour Christ are coo[~m]ne to lighte, and thousandes
haue faithfully receiued those pleasaunt, ioyfull, and most
comfortable promises of God. Surely this thyng before all
other, is acceptable too god. This thyng especially swageth
ye ire of god. This thyng in all holi scriptures god most
chiefly requireth of his elect & faithfull seruaûtes, euen
too haue his lytell flocke knowe his blessed woorde, whiche
woulde bee muche better knowê & more thankefulli receaued,
yf al agees and degrees of men with one mynd, wyll, & voice,
would nowe drawe after one lyne, leauyng their owne priuate
affections, and shewe theim selues euer vigilant, prompt,
& ready helpers & workers with God, (accordynge to
the councell of sainct Paule) & especially priestes,
scolemaisters & parêtes, which accordyng too ye Prophete
Dauid are blessed, if they gladly requite ye lawe of God.
They shuld therfore reade ye bible & purdge theyr mindes of
al papistry: for theyr || necligence, in dooyng their duties
& slugishnes toward ye blessed woord of god, dooeth too
muche appere. Through them forsoth the gospel of Christ
shuld bee most strongely warded and defended, for almost
all the Prophetes, and a great parte of the scripture beside
teache them their duties, and shew playnely what maner of
men they shulde bee: Yea, and how greuously the holy
Prophetes crie out vpon false and ignoraunt priestes, the
thyng is very euident. But through the helppe of God all
those that be ignoraunt, or els learned (as they take them
selues) wyll leaue of, and repent them of their wicked and
obstinate blyndnes, and bowe them selues with all
oportunitie too draw mens heartes too the holy testament
of God: consideryng, that in the terrible day of iudgement,
euery mã shall yeoue accompte of his Beliwicke, where
neither ignoraûce shall excuse vs, ne yet any worldly põpe
may defêd vs. Most happye thê shall they bee, whiche haue
walked iustely in the sight of the Lorde, and ||B.iii.||
that haue syncerely preached his testament and lyuely woord
withoute flattery or iuggelyng: Yea, and in that fearful
day, all they (as writeth S. Augustine) shal fynde mercie
at the handes of god, whiche haue entised and allured other
vnto goodnes and vertue. Weiyng this with my self, (most
excellent, and vnto all kynd of vertues most prõpt & prestãt
Prince) I thought it good too translate this Dialoge, called
the Epicure, for your grace: whiche semed too me, too bee
very familiar, & one of ye godliest Dialoges that any mã
hath writtê in ye latin tong. Now therfore I most humili
praie, that this my rude & simple trãslation may bee
acceptable vnto your grace, trustyng also that your most
approued gentilnes, wil take it in good part. There as I
doo not folow ye latyn, woord for woord, for I omytte that
of a certaine set purpose.

       _Your humile seruaunt, Philyppe_
           Gerrard, groume of your
                graces Chambre.

       *       *       *       *       *

              The interlocutours

             {HEDONIVS} {SPVDEVS}

What meaneth hit _Spudeus_, too applye hys booke so
ernestlye I praye you what is the matter you murmour so with
yourselfe? _SPVDEVS._ The truth is (O _Hedoni_) I seke too
haue knowledge of a thing, but as yet I cannot fynde that
whych maketh for my purpose. _HEDO_ What booke haue you
there in your bosome? _SPVDE. Ciceros_ ||dialoge of the
endes of goodnes. _HEDO._ It had bene farre more better for
you, too haue sought for the begynnynges of godly thynges,
then the endes. _SPVDE._ Yea, but _Marcus Tullius_ nameth
that the ende of godlines which is an exquisite, a far
passing, and a very absolute goodnes in euerye puincte,
wherein there is contained all kynde of vertu: vnto the
knowledge ther of whosoeuer can attaine, shuld desire none
other thîg, but hold himselfe hauyng onely that, as one most
fully content and satisfied. _HED._ That is a worke of very
great learning and eloquence. But doo you thynke, that you
haue preuailed in any thîg there, whereby you haue the
||rather come too the knowledge of the truth? _SPE._ I
haue had such fruite and cõmoditie by it, that now verelye
hereafter I shall doubt more of the effect and endes of good
thinges, then I did before. _HEDO._ It is for husbãd menne
too stande in doubt how farre the limittes and merebãkes
extend. _SPE._ And I cannot but muse styll, yea, and wonder
very muche, why ther hath been so great controuersie in
iudgementes vpon so weightie a matter (as this is) emongist
so well learned menne: especially suche as bee most famous
and auncient writers. _HEDO._ This was euen the cause, where
the verite of a thyng is playne and manifest, cõtrarily, ye
errour through || ignoraunce againe in the same, is soone
great & by diuers meanes encreaseth, for that thei knewe not
the foundation and first beginnyng of the whole matter, they
doo iudge at all auentures and are very fondly disceaued,
but whose sentence thynke you too bee truest? _SPE._ Whan
I heare _MARCVS Tullius_ reproue the thyng, I then fãtasie
none of all their iudgementes, and whan I heare hym agayne
defende the cause: it maketh me more doubtfull thê euer I
was and am in suche a studie, that I can say nothyng. But
as I suppose ye Stoickes haue erred the lest, and nexte vnto
thê I commend the _Peripatetickes_. _HEDo._ Yet I lyke none
of their opinions || so well as I doo the Epicures. _SPV._
And emõgist all the sectes: the _Epicures_ iudgement is most
reproued and condemned with the whole consent and arbitremêt
of all menne. _HED._ Let vs laye a side all disdayne and
spite of names, and admitte the Epicure too bee suche one,
as euery man maketh of hym. Let vs ponder and weighe the
thyng as it is in very deed. He setteth the high and
principall felicitie of man in pleasure, and thiketh that
lyfe most pure and godly, whiche may haue greate delectatiõ
and pleasure, and lytle pensiuenes. _SPV._ It is euen so.
_HED._ What more vertuouser thyng, I praye you, is possible
too bee spokê then this || saiyng. _Spu._ Yea, but all menne
wonder and crye out on it, and saye: it is the voyce of a
bruite beast, and not of manne. _Hedo._ I knowe thei doo so,
but thei erre in ye vocables of theise thinges, and are very
ignoraunt of the true and natiue significations of the
woordes, for if wee speake of perfecte thynges, no kinde of
menne bee more righter _Epicures_, then Christen men liuing
reuerêtly towardes God and mã, and in the right seruice and
worshiping of Christ. _SPV_ But I thinke the _Epicures_ bee
more nerer and agree rather with the _Cynickes_, then with
the Christien sorte: forsoth ye Christiens make them selues
leane || with fastynge, bewayle and lament their offences,
and eyther they bee nowe poore, or elles theyr charitie and
liberalitie on the nedye maketh theim poore, thei suffer
paciently to bee oppressed of mêne that haue great power and
take many wronges at their handes, and many men also laughe
theim too skorne. Nowe, if pleasure brynge felicitie wyth
it, or helpe in anye wyse vnto the furderaunce of vertue:
we see playnly that this kynde of lyfe is fardest from al
pleasures. _Hedonius._ But doo you not admitte _Plautus_ too
bee of authoritie? _Speudeus._ Yea, yf he speake vprightely.
_Hedonius._ Heare nowe them, and beare awaye wyth you the
saiynge of || an vnthriftie seruaunt, whyche is more wyttier
then all the paradoxes of the Stoickes. _SPE._ I tarie
to heare what ye wil say. _HEDO._ Ther is nothyng more
miserable then a mynd vnquiet & agreued with it selfe.
_SPE._ I like this saiyng well, but what doo you gather of
it? _HEDO._ If nothing bee more miserable thê an vnquiet
mynde, it foloweth also, that there is nothing happiar, then
a mynde voyde of all feare, grudge, and vnquietnes. _SPEV._
Surely you gather the thing together with good reasõ but
that notwithstandynge, in what countrie shall you fynde any
such mynde, that knoweth not it selfe gyltie and culpable in
some kynde of euell, _HEDO._ || I call that euyll, whiche
dissolueth the pure loue and amitie betwixt God and manne.
_SPV._ And I suppose there bee verye fewe, but that thei bee
offêders in this thynge. _HEDO._ And in good soth I take it,
that al those that bee purdged, are clere: whych wiped out
their fautes with lee of teares, and saltpeter of sorowfull
repentaunce, or els with the fire of charitie, their offêces
nowe bee not only smalle grefe and vnquietnes too them, but
also chaunce oftê for some more godlier purpose, as causing
thê too lyue afterward more accordyngly vnto Gods
commaûdemêtes. _SPV._ In deede I knowe saltpeter and lee,
but yet I neuer hearde before, that faultes || haue been
purdged with fire. _H._ Surely, if you go to the minte you
shall see gould fyned wyth fyre, notwithstãdyng that ther
is also, a certaine kynde of linê that brenneth not if it
bee cast in ye fyre, but loketh more whiter then any water
coulde haue made it, & therefore it is called _Linum
asbestinum_, a kynde of lynen, whyche canne neither bee
quenched with water nor brent with fyre. _Spu._ Nowe in
good faith you bring a paradox more wõderful then all the
maruailous and profound thynges of the Stoickes: lyue thei
pleasasauntly whom Chryst calleth blessed for that they
mourne & lament? _Hedonius._ Thei seme too the worlde too
mourne, but || verely they lyue in greate pleasure, and as
the commune saiynge is, thei lyue all together in pleasure,
in somuche that _SARDANAPALVS_, _Philoxenus_, or _Apitius_
compared vnto them: or anye other spoken of, for the greate
desyre and study of pleasures, did leade but a sorowefull
and a myserable lyfe. _Spe._ These thinges that you declare
bee so straunge and newe, that I can scarcelye yeoue any
credite vnto them. _Hedo._ Proue and assaye them ones, and
you shall fynde all my saiynges so true as the Gospell, and
immediatly I shal bryng the thynge too suche a conclusion
(as I suppose) that it shall appeare too differ very lytle
from the truth ||C.i|| _SPV._ make hast then vnto your
purpose. _HED._ It shalbe doone if you wyll graunt me
certayne thynges or I begynne. _Spu._ If in case you
demaunde suche as bee resonable. _Hedo._ I wyl take myne
aduauntage, if you confesse the thyng that maketh for mine
intent. _Spu._ go too. _Hedo._ I thynke ye wyll fyrste
graunt me, that ther is great diuersitie betwxt the solle
and the bodye _Spu._ Euen as much as there is betwene heauen
and yearth, or a thyng earthly and brute, & that whiche
dieth neuer, but alwayes cõtaineth in it the godly nature.
_Hedo._ And also, that false deceiueable & coûterfetted holy
thynges, are not too bee taken for those, which in very dede
be || godly. _Spude._ No more then the shaddowes are too
bee estemed for the bodies, or the illusions and wonders of
wytchcraftes or the fantasies of dreames, are too bee taken
as true thynges. _HE._ Hitherto you answer aptly too my
purpose, and I thynke you wyl graunt me this thyng also,
that true and godly pleasure can reste and take place no
where but only on such a mynd that is sobree and honest.
_SPV._ What elles? for no man reioyseth too beholde the
Sunne, if his eyes bee bleared or elles delecteth in wyne,
if the agew haue infected hys tast. _HED._ And the _Epicure_
hymselfe, or elles I am disceiued, would not clippe &
enbrace that pleasure, whiche ||C.ii.|| would bring with
it farre greater payne and suche as would bee of long
continuaunce. _SPV_ I thynke he woulde not, if he had any
wytte at all. _HED._ Nor you wyll not denye this, that God
is the chiefe and especiall goodnes, then whõ there is
nothyng fayrer, there is nothyng ameabler, ther is nothing
more delicious and swetter. _SPVDE._ No man wyll deny thys
except he bee very harde hearted and of an vngentler nature
then the _Ciclopes_. _HED._ Nowe you haue graunted vnto
me, that none lyue in more pleasure, then thei whyche lyue
vertuouslye, and agayne, none in more sorowe and calamytie
then those that || lyue vngratiously. _Spu._ Then I haue
graûted more thê I thought I had. _He._ But what thing you
haue ones cõfessed too bee true (as _Plato_ sayth) you
should not deny it afterward. _SPV._ Go furth with your
matter. _HEDO_ The litle whelpe that is set store and greate
price by, is fed most daintely, lieth soft, plaieth and
maketh pastime continually, doo you thinke that it lyueth
plesaûtly? _SPV._ It dooeth truely. _HEDO._ Woulde you wyshe
to haue suche a lyfe? _SPV._ God forbyd that, excepte I
woulde rather bee a dogge then a man, _HEDO._ Then you
confesse that all the chief pleasures arise and spring
frõ the mynd, as though it were from a welspryng. _SPV._
||C.iii|| That is euident ynough. _HE._ Forsoth the strength
and efficacy of the minde is so great, that often it taketh
away the felyng of al externe and outward pain & maketh that
pleasaunt, which by it selfe is very peynful. _SPV._ We se
that dayly in louers, hauyng great delight to sytte vp long
& too daunce attendaunce at their louers doores all the
colde wynter nyghtes. _HEDo._ Now weigh this also, if the
naturall loue of man, haue suche great vehemency in it,
which is a cõmune thyng vnto vs, both with bulles and
dogges, howe much more should all heauenly loue excell
in vs, which cõmeth of ye spirit of Christ, whose strêgthe
is of suche power, that it ||would make death a thîg most
terrible, too bee but a pleasure vnto vs. _Spu._ What other
men thîke inwardly I know not, but certes thei wãt many
pleasures which cleaue fast vnto true and perfect vertue.
_He._ What pleasures? _Spu._ Thei waxe not rich, thei optein
no promotiõ, thei bãket not, thei daûce not, thei sing not,
thei smell not of swete oyntmêtes, thei laugh not, thei
play not. _He._ We should haue made no mention in thys
place of ryches and prefermente, for they bryng wyth them
no pleasaunt lyfe, but rather a sadde and a pêsiue. Let vs
intreate of other thynges, suche as they chiefely seeke for,
whose desyre is to liue deliciously, see ye not daily
||C.iiii|| drõkerdes, fooles, and mad menne grinne and
leape? _SPV._ I see it _HED._ Do you thynke that thei liue
most pleasaûtly? _SPV_ God send myne enemies such myrth &
pleasure. _HE._ Why so? _Sp._ For ther lacketh emongist thê
sobrietie of mind. _HE._ Then you had leuer sit fastyng at
your booke, then too make pastime after any suche sorte.
_SP._ Of thê both: truly I had rather chose to delue.
_H._ For this is plaine that betwixt the mad mã & the
drûkerd ther is no diuersitie, but that slepe wil helpe the
one his madnes, & with much a doo ye cure of _Physicions_
helpeth the other, but the foole natural differeth nothing
frõ a brute beast except by shape and portrature of body,
yet thei || be lesse miserable whom nature hathe made verye
brutes, then those that walowe theim selues in foule and
beastly lustes. _SP._ I confesse that. _Hedo._ But now tell
me, whether you thynke thê sobre and wyse, which for playn
vanities and shadowes of plesure, booth dispice the true
and godlye pleasures of the mynde and chose for them selues
suche thynges as bee but vexacion & sorowe. _SPV._ I take
it, thei bee not. _Hedo._ In deede thei bee not drûke with
wyne, but with loue with anger, with auarice, with ambicion,
and other foule and filthie desires, whiche kynde of
drunkenes is farre worse, thê that is gotten with drinking
of wine. Yet _Sirus_ that leude cõspaniõ ||of whom mention
is made in ye commedie, spake witty thynges after he had
slepte hym self soobre, and called too memorie his greate
and moost beastlye drunkenes: but the minde that is infected
with vicious & noughty desire, hath muche a doo too call it
selfe whom agein? How many yeares doeth loue, anger, spite,
sensualitie, excesse, and ambition, trouble and prouoke the
mynde? How many doo wee see, whiche euen from their youth,
too their latter dais neuer awake nor repêt them of the
drunkennes, of ambitiõ, nigardnes, wanton lust, & riatte?
_Spu._ I haue knowen ouermany of that sorte. _Hedo._ You
haue graûted that false and fayned good || thinges, are not
too bee estemed for the pure and godly. _Sp._ And I affirme
that still. _Hedo._ Nor that there is no true and perfect
pleasure, except it bee taken of honest and godly thynges.
_Spud._ I confesse that. _He._ Then (I pray you) bee not
those good that the commune sorte seeke for, they care not
howe? _Spu._ I thinke they be not. _Hedo._ Surely if thei
were good, they would not chaunce but onely too good men:
and would make all those vertuous that they happen vntoo.
What maner of pleasure make you that, doo you thinke it too
bee godly, which is not of true & honest thynges, but of
deceatfull: and coometh out of ye shadowes of good thynges?
_Sp._ || Nay in noo wyse. _He._ For pleasure maketh vs to
liue merely. _Spu._ Yea, nothyng so muche. _He._ Therfore
no man truely liueth pleasauntly, but he that lyueth godly:
that is, whiche vseth and delecteth onli in good thynges:
for vertue of it selfe, maketh a man to habound in all
thynges that bee good, perfete, & prayse worthy: yea, it
onely prouoketh God the fountaine of all goodnes, too loue
and fauour man. _SP._ I almost consent with you. _HED._
But now marke howe far they bee from all pleasure, whiche
seeme openly emongist all men too folowe nothyng, but the
inordinate delectation in in thynges carnall. || First their
mynde is vile, and corrupted with the sauour and taste of
noughtie desires, in so muche that if any pleasaunt thing
chaunce them, forthwith it waxeth bitter, and is nought set
by, in like maner as where ye welle hed is corrupted and
stynketh, there ye water must nedes be vnsauery. Agein ther
is no honest pleasure, but that whiche wee receaue with a
sobre and a quiet mynde. For wee see, nothyng reioyseth the
angry man more, thê too bee reuenged on his offenders, but
that pleasure is turned into pain after his rage bee past,
and anger subdued. _Spu._ I say not the contrary.
_He._ Finally, suche leude pleasures bee taken of fallible
thinges, therefore || it foloweth that they be but delusiõs
and shadowes. What woulde you say furthermore, if you saw
a mã so deceaued with sorcerie & also other detestable
witchecraftes, eat, drynke, leap, laugh, yea, and clappe
handes for ioye, when ther wer no such thyng there in very
dede, as he beleueth he seeth. _Spu._ I wolde say he were
both mad and miserable. _Hedo._ I my self haue been often
in place, where the lyke thyng hath been doone. There was
a priest whiche knewe perfectly by longe experience and
practise, the arte to make thynges seme that they were not,
otherwise called, _deceptio visus_. _Sp._ He did not lerne
that arte of the holy scripture? _Hedo._ Yea, || rather of
most popeholy charmes and witchecraftes: that is too saye,
of thinges, cursed, dampnable, and wourthy too bee abhorred.
Certayne ladies & gentlewomen of the courte, spake vnto hym
oftentimes: saiyng, they woulde coo[~m] one day too his
house and see what good chere he kept: reprouyng, greatly
vile and homly fare, and moderate expenses in all thynges.
He graunted they shulde bee welcome, and very instauntly
desired them. And they came fastyng because they would
haue better appetites. Whã they wer set to dyner (as it was
thought) ther wãted noo kynde of delitious meat: they filled
thê selues haboûdantly: after ye feast was || doone, they
gaue moost hearty thanckes, for their galaunte cheare, and
departed, euery one of them vnto their owne lodgynges: but
anone their stomackes beganne too waxe an hungred, they
maruayled what this shuld meane, so soone to be an hungred
and a thirste, after so sumptuous a feast: at the last the
matter was openly knowen and laught at. _Spu._ Not without a
cause, it had been muche better for thê too haue satisfied
their stomackes at their owne chãbers with a messe of
potage, thê too be fed so delitiousli with vain illusiõs.
_H._ And as I thîk ye cõmune sort of men ar muche more too
bee laught at, whiche in steede of Godlye thynges, ||chose
vaine and transitory shadowes, and reioyce excedyngly in
suche folishe phansies that turne not afterwarde in too
a laughter, but into euerlasting lamentation and sorow.
_Spudeus_ The more nerelier I note your saiynges, the better
I like thê. _Hedo._ Go too, let vs graunt for a tyme these
thynges too bee called pleasaunt, that in very dede ar not.
Would yow saye that meeth were swete: whiche had more Aloes
myngled with it, then honye? _Spud._ I woulde not so say and
if there were but the third part of an ounce of Aloes mixt
with it. _Hedo._ Or els, would you wishe to bee scabbed
because you haue some pleasure too scratch? _Spud._ Noo, if
I wer ||D.i|| in my right mynd. _HED._ Then weigh with your
self how great peyne is intermyngled wyth these false and
wrongly named pleasures, that vnshamefast loue filthie
desire, much eatyng and drinking bring vs vnto: I doo omitte
now that, which is principall grudge of cõscience, enemitie
betwixt God and mã, and expectation of euerlastyng
punishêment. What kynd of pleasure, I pray you is ther in
these thinges, that dooeth not bryng with it a greate heape
of outeward euilles? _SPV._ What bee thei? _HEDO._ We ought
to let passe and forbeare in this place auarice, ambition,
wrath, pryde enuy, whiche of their selues bee heuy and
sorowful euylles and || let vs conferre and compare all
those thynges together, that haue the name of some chief and
special pleasure: wher as the agew the hedache, the swelling
of the belly, dulnes of witte, infamy, hurt of memory,
vomyting, decaye of stomacke, tremblyng of the body succede
of ouer muche drynking: thynke you, that the _Epicure_ would
haue estemed any suche lyke pleasure as thys, cõuenient and
wourthy desire? _SPV._ He woulde saye it wer vtterly too bee
refused. _HEDONi._ Wheras young men also with hauntynge of
whores (as it is dayly seene) catche the newe leprosie, nowe
otherwyse named Jobs agew, and some cal it the scabbes of
Naples, throughe ||D.ii|| which desease they feele often ye
most extreme and cruell paines of deathe euen in this lyfe,
and cary about a bodye resemblyng very much some dead coarse
or carryn, do you thynke that thei apply them selues vnto
godlye pleasure. _SPVD._ Noo, for after thei haue been often
familiar with their prety ones, then they must goo streighte
too the barbours, that chaunceth continuallye vnto all
whoremongers. _HED._ Now fayne that ther wer a lyke measure
of pain and plesure, would ye then require too haue the
toothache so longe as the pleasure of quaffing & whordome
endured? _SPV._ Verely I had rather wãt them booth, for ther
is no commoditie nor || vantage to bye pleasure with payn
but only to chaûg one thing for another, but the best choise
is nowe not too affectionate anye such leudnes, for _MAR.
Tullius_ calleth that an inward greife & sorow. _He._ But
now ye prouocation & entisemêt of vnleful plesure, besides
that it is much lesse then the pain which it bringeth with
it, it is also a thing of a very short time: but if the
leprosye bee ones caught, it tourmêteth mê al their life
daies very pitifully & oftentimes cõstraineth them to wyshe
for death before thei cã dye. _SP._ Such disciples as those
then, the _Epicure_ would not knowe. _HED._ For the most
part pouertie, a very miserable and painfull burden,
foloweth ||D.iii.|| lechery, of immoderate lust cõmeth the
palsie, tremblyng of ye senewes, bleardnes of eyes, and
blyndnes, the leprosie and not these only, is it not a
proper pece of worke (I pray you) to chaûg this short
pleasure neyther honest nor yet godly, for so manye euylles
far more greuouse and of muche longer continuance.
_SP._ Although there shoulde no pain com of it, I esteme
hym to bee a very fond occupier, which would chaûge precious
stones for glasse. _HE._ You meane that would lose the godly
pleasures of the mynde, for the coloured pleasures of ye
body. _SP._ That is my meanyng. _HE._ But nowe let vs come
to a more perfecter supputation, neither the agewe || nor
yet pouerty foloweth alwaies carnal pleasure, nor the new
leprosy or els the palsy wait not on at al times the great &
excessiue vse of lecherye, but grudge of cõsiêce euermore is
a folower & sure companiõ of al vnleaful pleasure, then the
which as it is plainly agreed betwixt vs, nothyng is more
miserable. _SPV._ Yea, rather it grudgeth their cõscience
sometyme before hande, & in the self pleasure it pricketh
their mynde, yet ther bee some that you woulde say, want
this motion and feelyng. _HE._ Thei bee nowe therfore in
worse estate & cõditiõ. Who would not rather feele payne,
then too haue hys body lacke any perfecte sence, truly from
some ether intemperatnes ||D.iiii.|| of euel desires, euen
like as it were a certayne kynde of drunkenes, or els wont
and cõmune haunt of vice which ar so hardened in them, that
they take a way ye felyng & cõsideration of euyl in their
youth, so that whã agee commeth vpõ them beside other
infinitie hurtes and perturbations agaynst whose commyng
thei should haue layd vp the deedes of their former lyfe,
as a special iuwel and treasure: then thei stande greatly in
fear of death, a thyng emongist all other most ineuitable,
& that no man canne shonne: yea, and the more they haue
heretofore been dysmayed and lacked their sences, the
greater now is their vnquietnes and grudge of || conscience,
then truely the mynde is sodenly awaked whether it wol or
noo, and verely wher as olde agee is alwayes sad and heuy
of it selfe for as muche as it is in subiection and bondage
vnto many incommodities of nature, but then it is farre more
wretchede and also fylthye, if the mynde vnquiet with it
selfe shal trouble it also: feastes, ryotous banketyng,
syngyng, and daunsynge, with manye suche other wanton toyes
& pastimes which he was communely yeouê vnto & thought very
plesaût when he was young, bee nowe paynfull vnto hym beyng
olde and crooked, ne agee hath nothyng too comforte and
fortifi || it selfe withall, but onely too remembre that it
hath passed ouer the course of yeares in vertue and godly
liuyng and conceaue a special trust too obtaine herafter a
better kynde of life. These be the two staues wherevpon age
is stayed, & if in their steed you wyll lay on hym these
two burdens: that is, memorie how synfully he hath ledde his
life, and desperation of the felicitie that is too coome,
I praye you what liuyng thyng can bee feyned too suffre
sorer punishement and greater miserie? _spu._ Verely I can
see nothyng although some man woulde saye an olde horse.
_hedo._ Then to cõclude it is too late to waxe wise And that
saiyng appereth now || too bee very true. Carefull mornynges
doo oftentymes folowe mery euentides, and all vayne and
outragious mirth euer turneth into sorowfull sighes: yea, &
they shulde haue considered both that there is noo pleasure
aboue ye ioyfulnes of the heart, and that chearefull mynde
maketh agee too florishe, an heauy spirit consumeth the
boones, & also that all the dayes of the poore are euell:
that is, sorowfull and wretched. And agayne a quiet mynde is
lyke a contynuall feaste. _SPVDEVS._ Therfore they bee wyse,
that thryue in tyme, and gather too gether necessaries for
that agee coo[~m]. _HEDONI._ The holy scripture intreateth
not soo wordely || as too measure the felicitie and highe
consolation of manne, by the goodes of fortune, onely he
is very poore, that is destitute and voyde of al grace &
vertue, and standeth in boundage and debette, bothe of bodye
& solle vnto that tyranne oure moost foo & mortall enemie
the deuill. _SPV._ Surely he is one that is veri rigorous
and impatient in demaundynge of his dutie. _HE._ Moreouer
that man is ryche, whiche fyndeth mercye and foryeouenes at
the handes of god. What shuld he feare, that hath suche a
protectour? Whether men? where as playnely theyr hole power
may lesse do agaêst God, then the bytyng of a gnat, ||
hurteth the Elephant. Whether death? truly that is a right
passage for good men vnto all sufficient ioy and perfection
accordyng too the iust reward of true religion and vertue.
Whether hell? For as in that the holy prophete speaketh
boldely vnto God. Although I shulde walke in the middest of
the shadow of death, I wil not feare any euils because ye
art with me. Wherfore shulde he stande in feare of deuils,
whiche beareth in his heart hym, that maketh the deuils too
tremble and quake. For in diuers places the holye scripture
praiseth and declareth opêly the mynde of a vertuous man,
too bee the right temple of God. And this to bee so true
that || that it is not too bee spoken agaynst, ne in any
wise shuld bee denied. _SPV._ Forsoth I can not see, by what
reason these saiynges of yours can be confuted al thoughe
they seme too varye muche from the vulgar and cõmune
opinion of men. _HEDO._ Why doo they soo? _SPV._ After
your reasonyng euery honest poore man, shulde liue a more
pleasaunt life, then any other, how much soeuer he did
haboûd in riches, honour, and dignitie: and breuely though
he had all kynde of pleasures. _HE._ Adde this too it (if it
please you) too bee a kyng, yea, or an emperour if you take
away a quiet mynd with it selfe, I dare boldely say, that
the poore man sklenderlye || and homely appareled, made
weake with fastyng, watchyng, great toile and labour, and
that hath scarcely a groat in all the worlde, so that his
mynde bee godly, he lyueth more deliciously then that man
whiche hathe fyue hûdreth times greater pleasures &
delicates, then euer had _Sardanapalus_. _SP._ Why is it
thê, that we see communely those that bee poore looke farre
more heuely then riche men. _HED._ Because some of them bee
twise poore, eyther some desease, nedines, watchyng, labour,
nakednesse, doo soo weaken the state of their bodyes, that
by reason therof, the chearefulnes of their myndes neuer
sheweth it selfe, neyther in these thinges, || nor yet in
their deathe. The mynde, forsooth thoughe it bee inclosed
within this mortal bodye, yet for that it is of a stronger
nature, it sõwhat trãsfourmeth and fascioneth the bodie
after it selfe, especially if the vehement instigation of
the spirit approche the violent inclination of nature: this
is the cause we see oftentymes suche men as bee vertuous die
more cherefully, then those that make pastyme contynually,
& bee yeouê vnto all kynd of pleasures. _SP._ In very dede,
I haue meruayled oftten at that thyng. _HED_ Forsoothe it is
not a thyng too bee marueyled at, though that there shulde
bee vnspeakeable || ioy and comforte where God is present,
whiche is the heed of all mirth and gladnes, nowe this is
no straunge thyng, althoughe the mynde of a godly man doo
reioyce contynually in this mortall bodye: where as if the
same mynde or spirit discended into the lowest place of hell
shuld lose no parte of felicitie, for whersoeuer is a pure
mynd, there is god, wher God is: there is paradise, ther is
heauen, ther is felicitie, wher felicitie is: ther is the
true ioy and synsere gladnes. _SP._ But yet they shuld liue
more pleasauntly, if certein incommodities were taken from
them, and had suche pastymes as eyther they dispise orels
can not get nor attaine vnto. _HE._ ||E.i.|| (I praye you)
doo you meane, suche incommodities as by the commune course
of nature folow the cõdition or state of mã: as hunger,
thirst, desease, werynes, age, death, lyghtnyng yearthquake,
fluddes & battail? _SPV._ I meane other, and these also.
_HEDO._ Then we intreate styll of mortal thynges and not of
immortal, & yet in these euils the state of vertuous men,
may bee better borne withal, then of suche as seeke for the
pleasures of the body they care not howe. _SPV._ Why so:
_HEDO._ Especyally because their myndes bee accustomed and
hardened with most sure and moderate gouernaunce of reason
against al outragious affections of the mind || and they
take more patiently those thynges that cannot bee shonned
then the other sort doo Furthermore, for as muche as thei
perceiue, all such thynges ar sent of god, either for the
punishment of their faultes, or els too excitate and sturre
them vp vnto vertue, then thei as meeke and obediente
chyldren receiue them from the hãd of their mercifull
father, not only desireously, but also chearefully and
geue thankes also, namely for so merciful punyshment and
inestimable gaines. _SPV._ But many doo occatiõ griefes
vnto thê selues. _HEDO._ But mo seeke remedye at the
_Phisicions_, either to preserue their bodies in helth or
elles if they bee sycke, too ||E.ii.|| recouer health, but
willyngly too cause their owne sorowes, that is, pouertie,
sickenes, persecution, slaunder, excepte the loue of God
compel vs therto, it is no vertue but folishnes: but as
often as thei bee punyshed for Christ and iustice sake,
who dar bee so bold as too cal them beggers & wretches?
whã the Lord himself very famyliarly calleth them blessed,
and commaûdeth vs to reioyse for their state and condition.
_SPV._ Neuerthelesse, these thynges haue a certayne payne
and griefe. _HEDO._ Thei haue, but on the onesyde, what for
fear of hel, and the other for hoope of euerlastynge ioye,
the payne is sone past and forgottê Now tell me if you
knewe that || you myghte neuer bee sycke, or elles that you
shoulde feele no payne of your body in your life tyme, if
you woulde but ones suffer your vtter skinne too bee prycked
with a pynnes puinct, would you not gladly and with all your
very heart suffer then so lytle a payne as that is?
_SPV_ Verye gladlye, yea, rather if I knewe perfectlye
that my teeth would neuer ake, I would willynglye suffer
too bee prycked depe with a nedle, and too haue both mine
eares bored through with a bodkin. _HEDO._ Surely what payne
soeuer happeneth in this lyfe, it is lesse and shorter,
compared with the eternall paines, then is the soden pricke
of a needle, incomparisõ of the ||E.iii.|| lyfe of man
though it bee neuer so long, for there is no conuenience or
proportion of the thyng that hath ende, and that whych is
infinite. _SPV._ You speake very truly. _HEDO._ Now if a man
coulde fully perswade you, that you should neuer feele payne
in al your life, if you did but ones deuide the flame of ye
fyre, with your hande, whyche thyng vndoughtely _Pithagoras_
forbade, woulde you not gladlye doo it? _SPV._ Yea, on that
condicion I had liefer doo it an hundred times, if I knew
precisely the promiser would kepe touch. _HE._ It is playne
God cannot deceaue. But now that feelyng of paine in the
fyre is longer vnto the whole lyfe of man, then is the
||lyfe of mã, in respect of the heauenlye ioye, althoughe
it were thrise so long as ye yeares of _Nestor_, for that
casting of the hand in the fyre thoughe it bee neuer so
shorte, yet it is some parte of hys lyfe, but the whole
lyfe of man is noo portion of tyme in respect of the eternal
lyfe. _SPV._ I haue nothyng too saye against you.
_HEDO._ Doo you then thyncke that anye affliction or
tourment can disquiet those that prepare them selues wyth a
chearful hearte and a stedfast hoope vnto the kyngedome of
God, wher as the course of this lyfe is nowe so shorte?
_SPVDE._ I thinke not, if thei haue a sure perswasion and a
constant hope too attayne it. _HEDO._ I coome ||E.iiii.|| now
vnto those pleasures, whiche you obiected agaynst me, they
do wythdrawe them selues from daunsynge, bankettynge, from
pleasaunte seeghtes, they dispyce all these thynges, as
thus: for to haue the vse of thinges farre more ioyfulle,
and haue as great pleasure as these bee, but after another
sorte: the eye hath not seene, the eare hath not heard,
nor the heart of man cannot thyncke what consolations _GOD_
hathe ordeined for them that loue hym. Sayncte Paule knewe
what maner of thynges shoulde bee the songes, queeres,
daunsynges, and bankettes of vertuous myndes, yea, in this
lyfe. _SPVDEVS_ but there bee some leafull || pleasures,
whyche they vtterlye refuse. _HEDONIVS._ That maye bee, for
the immoderate vse of leafull and godly games or pastymes,
is vnleaful: and if you wyll excepte this one thing onlye,
in al other thei excelle whiche seeme too leade a paynfull
lyfe, and whome we take too bee ouerwhelmed with all kynd of
miseries. Now I prai you what more roialler sight can ther
be, then ye cõtêplatiõ of this world? and such men as ye be
in fauour of god keping his holy cõmaûdemêtes & loue his
most blessed testamêt, receiue far geater pleasure in the
syght therof, then thother sorte doo, for while thei behold
wyth ouercurious eyes, ye wõderful worke, their mynde || is
troubled because they can not compasse for what purpose he
doeth such thinges, then thei improue the moost righte and
wise gouernour of all and murmour at his doinges as though
they were goddes of reprehension: and often finde faute with
that lady nature, and saye that she is vnnaturall, whiche
taunt forsooth with as muche spite as can bee shewed with
woordes, greueth nature: but truely it reboundeth on hym,
that made nature, if there bee any at all. But the vertuous
man with godly & simple eyes beholdeth with an excedyng
reioyce of heart the workes of his Lorde and father highly
praysyng thê all, and neither reprehêdeth nor || findeth
faut with any of thê, but for euery thyng yeoueth moste
hearty thankes, when he considereth that al were made for
the loue of man. And so in al thynges, he praieth vnto the
infinite power, deuine wisedome, & goodnes of the maker,
wherof he perceiueth moste euident tokens in thynges that
bee here created. Now fain that there were suche a palace in
verie deede as _Apuleus_ faineth, or els one that were more
royall and gorgeouse, and that you shoulde take twoo thither
with you too beholde it, the one a straunger, whiche gooeth
for this intent onely too see the thyng, and the other the
seruaût or soonne of hym that firste causeth this buyldyng,
whether || will haue more delectie in it? the straunger, too
whom suche maner of house dooeth nothyng appartain, or the
soonne whiche beholdeth with greate ioye and pleasure, the
witte, riches, and magnificence of his deerely beloued
father, especially when he dooeth consider all this worke
was made for his sake. _Sp._ Your question is too plain:
for they most cõmunely that bee of euill condicions, knowe
that heauen and all thinges contained therin, were made for
mannes sake. _HEDO._ Almoste al knowe that, but some dooe
not remembre it, shewyng thêselues vnthãkeful for the great
and exhuberãt benefittes of god, & al though thei remember
it, yet that mã taketh || greater delight in the sight of it
whiche hath more loue vnto the maker therof, in like maner
as, he more chearfully wyll behold the element whiche
aspireth towarde the eternall life. _SPV._ Your saiynges
are muche like too bee true. _HED._ Nowe the pleasures of
feastes dooeth not consist in the delicates of the mouth,
nor in the good sauces of cookes, but in health of body
and appetite of stomacke. You may not thynke that any
delicious person suppeth more pleasauntly hauyng before hym
partriches, turtelles, leuerettes, bekers, sturgeon, and
lamprayes: then a vertuous man hauyng nothîg too eat, but
onely bread potage, or wortes: and nothyng || too drynke,
but water, single bere, or wyne well alayde, be cause he
taketh these thinges as prepared of God vnto all lyuyng
creatures, and that they bee now yeouê vnto him of his
gentyll and mercifull father, praier maketh euery thyng
too sauour well. The petition in ye begynnyng of dyner
sanctifieth all thynges and in a while after there is
recited some holy lesson of the woorde of God: whiche more
refresheth the minde, then meate the body, and grace after
all this. Finally he riseth from the table, not ful: but
recreated, not laden, but refreshed: yea, refreshed both in
spirit and bodie, thynke you that any chief deuiser of these
muche vsed bãkets, & || deintye delicaces fareth nowe more
deliciously? _SPudeus._ But in _Venus_ there is greate
delectacions if we beleue _Arestotell_. _Hed._ And in this
behalfe the vertuous manne far excelleth as well as in good
fare, wiegh you now the matter as it is, the better a manne
loueth his wife, the more he delecteth in the good felowship
and familiaritie that is betwene theim after the course
of nature. Furthermore, no menne louê their wiues more
vehemêtly then thei that loue theim euê soo, as Christ loued
the churche. For thei that loue thê for the desire of bodely
pleasure, loue thê not. More ouer, the seldomer any man
dooeth accompany with his wife, the greater pleasure, it ||
is to hym afterwarde, and that thyng the wãtõ poete knew
full well whiche writeth, rare and seldome vse stereth vp
pleasures. Albeit, the lest parte of pleasure is in the
familiare company betwene theim. There is forsothe far
greater in the continuall leadyng of their liues too gether,
whiche emongest none can be so plesaunt as those that loue
syncerely and faithfully together in godly and christian
loue, and loue a like one the other. In the other sort, oftê
whêthe pleasure of ye body decaieth & waxeth old loue waxeth
coold & is sone forgottõ, but emõgest right christê mê, the
more ye the lust of ye flesh decreaseth & vanisheth away,
ye more thê al godly loue encreseth || Are you not yet
perswaded that none lyue more pleasauntly thê they whiche
liue continually in vertue and true religiõ of god?
_SP._ Would god all men were as well perswaded in that
thyng. _He._ And if they bee Epicures that lyue pleasauntli:
none bee righter Epicures then they that liue vertuously,
and if we wyll that euery thyng haue it right name none
deserueth more ye cogname of an Epicure, then that Prince of
all godly wisedome too whõ most reuerêtly we ought alwaies
too praye: for in the greeke tonge an Epicure signifieth
an helper. Nowe whan the lawe of nature was first corrupted
with sinne, whê the law of Moses did rather prouoke euil
desires ||F.i.|| then remedy them. Whã the tyraunte Sathanas
reygned in this worlde freely and wythout punishement, then
thys prynce onely, dyd sodenlye helpe mankynde redy to
perishe: wherfore thei erre shamefully which scoff and
bable that _CHRIST_ was one that was sadd and of a
malancolye nature, & that he hath prouoked vs vnto an
vnpleasaunt kynde of lyfe, for onely he did shewe a kind
of liuing most godly and fullest of al true pleasure, if
we might haue the stone of _Tantalus_ taken awaye from vs.
_SPVD._ What darke saiyng is this? _EDO._ It is a mery tale
too laugh at, but this bourd induceth verye graue and sadde
thynges. _SPV._ I tary too heare ||this mery conceite, that
you name too bee so sage a matter. _HE_ Thei whiche gaue
their studye and diligence to colour and set furth the
preceptes of Philosophie wyth subtil fables, declare that
there was one _Tantalus_ broughte vnto the table of the
goddes, whych was euer furnished wyth all good fare, and
most nete and sumptuous that myght bee, whan thys straunger
shoulde take hys leave, Iupyter thought it was for his great
liberalitie and highe renoume, that his guest shuld not
depart wythout some rewarde, he wylled him therfore too
aske what he woulde, and he shoulde haue it: _Tantalus_
(forsooth) lyke a verye leude and foolyshe person, ||F.ii.||
for that he sette all the felicitie and pleasure of man in
the delectation of the bely, and glotonye, desired but
only too sytte at suche a table all the dayes of hys life,
Iupiter graunted him his desire, and shortly his vow was
there stablished and ratifyed. _Tantalus_ nowe sytteth at
the table furnyshed wyth all kindes of delicates, such
drinke as the goddes druncke of was set on the table, and
there wanted no rooses nor odours that could yeoue any swete
smel before the Goddes, _Ganymedes_ the buttler or one lyke
vnto hym, standeth euer redye, the _Muses_ stande rounde
aboute syngyng pleasauntly, mery _Silenus_ daunseth, ne ther
wanted noo fooles || too laugh at, and breuely, there was
euerye thynge that coulde delyght any sence of mã but
emongist all these, _Tantalus_ sytteth all sadde, syghyng,
and vnquiet with hym selfe, neither laughing nor yet
touching such thynges as were set before hym _SPVDE._ What
was the cause? _HED._ Over his head as he sate there hãged
by an heere a great stone euer lyke too fall. _SPV._ I
woulde then haue conueied my selfe from suche a table.
_HEDO_ But his vowe had bound hym too the contrarye, for
Iupyter is not so easye too intreate as oure _GOD_, which
dooeth vnloose the pernitious vowes of menne, that bee made
contrary vnto his holy woord, if thei bee ||F.iii.|| penitent
and sorye therfore, or elles it myght bee thus, the same
stoone that woulde not suffer hym too eate, would neither
suffer hym to ryse, for if he had but ones moued he shuld
haue been quashed al in peeses with the fall thereof.
_SPVDE._ You haue shewed a very mery fable _HEDON._ But nowe
heare that thing, which you wil not laugh at: the commune
people seeke too haue a pleasaunt life in outwarde thynges,
where as noothyng can yeoue that, but onely a constant and a
quiet mind: for surely a far heuier stone hangeth ouer these
that grudge with them selues, then hanged ouer _Tantalus_:
it only hangeth not ouer them, but greueth and || oppresseth
the mynde, ne the mind is not troubled wyth any vayn hoope,
but looketh euery houre to bee caste in too the paynes of
hell, I praye you what can bee so pleasaunt emongist all
thinges that bee yeouen vnto man, that coulde reioyse the
mynde, whyche were oppressed wyth suche a stoone?
_SPVDE._ Truely there is nothyng but madnes, or elles
incredulitie. _HEDO._ Yf younge menne woulde weygh these
thynges, that bee quyckly prouoked and entised with pleasure
as it were wyth the cuppe of _Circes_, whiche in steade of
theyr greatest pleasures receiue poysone myxte with honye.
Howe circumspecte would they bee too doo anye thynge
||F.iiii|| vnaduisedly that shoulde grudge their mindes
afterward? What thinge is it that thei would not doo too
haue suche a godly treasure in store against their latter
daies? that is a minde knowyng it selfe cleane & honest and
a name that hath not been defiled at any time. But what
thyng now is more miserable then is agee? Whan it beholdeth,
and loketh backward on thinges that be past seeth plainly
with great grudg of conscience howe fayre thynges he hathe
despiced and sette lyght by, (that is, howe farre he hath
discented and gone astray from the promyses made vnto God in
baptime) & agayn, how foule & noughty thîges he hath clipped
and enbraced, and whã || hee looketh forwarde, hee seeth
then the daye of iudgemente drawe neere, and shortely after
the eternall punyshemente of of hell. _SPVDE._ I esteme
theim most happie whych haue neuer defyled theyr youthe,
but euer haue increased in vertu, til thei haue coomne vnto
the last puincte of age. _HEDO._ Next them thei ar too bee
commended that haue wythdrawne theim selues from the folie
of youth in tyme. _SPVDE._ But what councel wil you yeoue
agee that is in suche great myserie. _HEDO._ No man shoulde
dispayre so long as life endureth, I wyl exhorte him to
flee for helpe vnto the infinitie mercye & gentilnes of God.
_SP._ But the longer that he hath liued || the heape of his
synnes hath euer waxen greate and greater, so that nowe it
passeth the nomber of the sandes in the sea, _HE_ But the
mercies of our lord far excede those sãdes, for although the
sande can not bee numbred of manne, yet hit hath an ende,
but the mercie of God neither knoweth ende, ne measure.
_SP._ Yea but he hath no space that shall dye by and by,
_HEDONI._ The lesse tyme he hath the more feruêtly he should
cal vnto god for grace, that thyng is long inough before
God, whiche is of suche power as too ascende from the yearth
vnto heauê, for a short prayer forsoth streght entreth
heauê, if it bee made with a vehemêt spirit. It is written,
that || ye womã synner spoken of in the gospell did penaunce
al her life dayes: but with how fewe wordes again did the
thief obtain Paradise in the houre of death? If he will
crye with hearte and mynde, God haue mercie on me after
thy great mercie: God wil take awaye from hym _Tantalus_
           stone and yeoue in his hea-
              ryng ioye and cõfort
                and his bones hu-
                 miled throughe
                 cõtrition, wil
                hath his synnes


       *       *       *       *       *

         Imprinted at London within the
      precinct of the late dissolued house
        of the gray Friers, by Richarde
            Grafton, Printer too the
                 Princes grace.
                   the. XXIX.
             daie of Iuly, the yere
                 of our Lorde.

       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *

[Typographic Errors:
  arabic numeral = unnumbered page
    _v_ = verso (back of page)

A.5 _v_
  most blessed Testament
    _was_ bessed
B.5 _v_ - B.6
  then this || saiyng.
    _end of B.5v reads_ sai-/yng _including catchword_
C.7 _v_
  in too a laughter
    _was_ in too a/a laughter _at line break_
D.7 _v_
  where god is present
    _was_ where god is/is present _at line break_
  it is no vertue but folishnes: but as often as thei bee punyshed
    _was_ it is no-/vertue _at line break_
    _and_ but as of-/often _at line break_
E.8 _v_ - F.i
  rather prouoke euil desires || then remedy them
    _end of E.8v reads_ thê/reme _including catchword_
F.i _v_
  to colour and set furth the preceptes
    _was_ set-/furth _at line break_
F.ii _v_
  breuely, there was
    _was_ breuely, there/there was _at line break_

Irregularities in text (not changed):

  the two staues wherevpon age is stayed
    _text reads_ ...where-/vpon _at line break_

  oure moost foo & mortal enemie
    _unchanged_: ?fool (foul)

Mismatched catchwords (text uses second form):

C.iiii - C.iiii _v_
    [bee] || be
C.7 _v_ - C.8
    [done] || doone
D.iiii _v_ - D.5
    [hym] || it
D.8 - D.8 _v_
    [ioye] || ioy
D.8 _v_ - E.i
    [I] || (I...
E.ii _v_ - E.iii
    [life] || lyfe
E.iii _v_ - E.iiii
    [nowe] || now
E.iiii - E.iiii _v_
    plea-[sure] || sures
E.5 - E.5 _v_
    [fyndeth] || findeth
E.7 - E.7 _v_
    [deyntie] || deintye
F.iiii - F.iiii _v_
    [he] || hee
F.5 - V.5 _v_
    [the] || [ye] ]

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Very Pleasaunt & Fruitful Diologe Called the Epicure" ***

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