« PreviousContinue »
though Austin spake it, that if God had intended other than copulation in marriage, he would for Adam have created a friend, rather than a wife, to converse with ; and our own writers blame him for this opinion : for which and the like passages, concerning marriage, he might be justly taxed of rusticity in these affairs. For this cannot but be with ease conceived, that there is one society of grave friendship, and another amiable and attractive society of conjugal love, besides the deed of procreation, wbich of itself soon cloys, and is despised, unless it be cherished and reincited with a pleasing conversation. Which if ignoble and swinish minds cannot apprehend, shall such merit therefore to be the censurers of more generous and virtuous spiritst?]
* * * *
Although some speak of this cause, others of that, why divorce may be, yet all agreeing in the necessary enlargement of that textual straitness, leave the matter to equity, not to literal bondage ; and so the opinion closes. **** Henceforth let them, who condemn the assertion of this book for new and licentious, be sorry ; lest, while they think to be of the graver sort, and take on them to be teachers, they expose themselves rather to be pledged up and down by men who intimately know them, to the discovery and contempt of their ignorance and presumption.
+ [The passage between brackets, connecting well enough with what precedes, is taken from the Colasterion--a Reply to a nameless answer against the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce :--and it is the only passage I have thought worth preserving from that piece.]
MASTER SAMUEL HARTLIB.
MASTER HARTLIB, I am long since persuaded, that to say or do aught worth memory and imitation, no purpose or respect should sooner move us than simply the love of God, and of mankind. Nevertheless to write now the reforming of education, though it be one of the greatest and nublest designs that can be thought on, and for the want whereof this nation perishes; I had not yet at this time been induced, but by your earnest entreaties and serious conjurements: as having my mind for the present half diverted in the pursuance of some other assertions, the knowledge and the use of which cannot but be a great furtherance both to the enlargement of truth, and honest living with much more peace. Nor should the laws of any private friendship have prevailed with me to divide thus, or transpose my former thoughts, but that I see those aims, those actions, which have won you with me the esteem of a person sent hither by some good providence from a far country to be the occasion and incitement of great good to this island. And, as I hear, you have obtained the same repute with men of most ap