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PARENTS AND CHILDREN.
Oh! it is sharper than a serpent's tooth
Filial ingratitude !
SEE the great obedience that was used in old time to fathers and governors : no son, were he never so old of years, never so great of birth, though he were a king's son, might marry but by his father's, and mother's also, consent, Cyrus the Great, after he had conquered Babylon, and subdued rich King Cræsus, with whole Asia Minor, coming triumphantly home, his uncle Cyaxeris offered him his daughter to wife. 'Cyrus thanked his uncle, and praised the maid; but for marriage, he answered him with these wise and sweet words, as they be uttered by Xenophon: “ Uncle Cyaxeris, I commend the stock, I like “ the maid, and I allow well the dowry; but, by " the counsel and consent of my father and mother, “ I will determine farther of these matters.”
Strong Samson also, in Scripture, saw a maid that liked him, but he spake not to her, but went home to his father and his mother, and desired both father and mother to make the marriage for him.
TO honour our parents with whom we are one and the same, is a gratitude which nature itself hath taught us towards them, who, after God, gave us life and being, have begotten us and borne us, cherished us in our weak and helpless infancy, and bestowed on us the harvest and profit of their labours and cares.
Sir Walter RALEGH,
... IF we despise oùr parents, who have given us being, we thereby teach our own children to scorn and neglect us, when our aged years require comfort and helps at their hands.
THE joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears; they cannot utter the one, nor they will not utter the other. Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter: they increase the cares of life, but they mitigate the remembrance of death.
THE difference of affection in parents towards their several children, is many times unequal, and sometimes unworthy; especially in the mother. As Solomon says, “ A wise son rejoiceth the fac “ ther, but an ungracious son shames the mother.” A man shall see where there is a house full of children, one or two of the eldest respected, and the youngest made wantons; but in the midst some there are as it were forgotten, who inany times nevertheless prove the best.
The illiberality of parents in allowance towards their children, is an harmful error; makes them base, acquaints them with shifts, makes them sort with mean company, and makes them surfeit more when they come to plenty; and therefore the proof is best when men keep their authority towards their children, but not their purses.
Men have a foolish manner (both parents and school-masters and servants) in creating and breeding an emulation between brothers during childhood, which many times sorteth to discord when they are men, and disturbeth families.
Let parents choose betimes the vocations and courses they mean their children should take, for then they are most flexible, and let them not too much apply themselves to the disposition of their children, as thinking they will take best to that which they have most mind to. It is true that if the affection or aptness of the children be extraordinary, then it is good not to cross it; but generally the precept is good, “ Optimum elige, suave et facile illud faciet consuetudo."
IT were great reason that those that have children should have greatest care of future times, unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges.
Alas, how poor a trifle 's all
THERE are many things that in themselves have nothing that is truly delightful: on the contrary, they have a good deal of bitterness in them; and yet, from our perverse appetites after forbidden objects, are not only ranked among the pleasures, but are made even the greatest designs of life.
, SIR THOMAS More's UTOPIA.
Translated by Bishop Burnet.
PLEASURE is the chief part of man's felicity in this world, and also, as our Theologians say, in the world to come. Therefore while we may, yea always if it could be, to rejoice and take our pleasures in virtuous and honest sort, is not only allowable, but also necessary, and very natural to
"TIS a wrong way to proportion other men's pleasures to ourselves ; 'tis like a child's using a little bird: “O poor bird, you shall sleep with me,” so lays it in his bosom, and stifles it with his hot breath; the bird had rather be in the cold air: And yet too, 'tis the most pleasing flattery, to like what other men like.
"TIS most undoubtedly true, that all men are equally given to their pleasures, only thus, one man's pleasure lies one way, and another's another. Pleasures are all alike, simply considered in themselves ; he that hunts, or he that governs the commonwealth, they both please themselves alike; only we commend that whereby we ourselves receive some benefit. As if a man place his delight in things that tend to the common good; he that takes pleasure to hear sermons, enjoys himself as much as he that hears plays; and could he that loves plays endeavour to love sermons, possibly he might bring himself to it, as well as to any other pleasure. At first it may seem harsh and tedious, but afterwards 'twould be pleasing and delightful. So it falls out in that which is the great pleasure of some men; tobacco, at first they could not abide it, and now they cannot do without it.
WHILST you are upon earth, enjoy the good things that are here, (to what end were they given?) and be not melancholy, and wish yourself in heaven. If a king should give you the keeping of a castle, with all things belonging to it, orchards, gardens, &c. and bid you use them, withal promise you,