페이지 이미지

with you now and ever. From Geneva, the 18th of May, 1558. Your brother to power,

JOHN KNOX. I, your sister, the writer hereof, saluteth you and your wife, most heartily, thanking ber of her loving tokens, which my mother and I received from Mrs. Kent,




1590. WHEN I lost the freedom of my cell, which was my college, yet I found some degree of it in my quiet country parsonage. But I am weary of the noise and oppositions of this place; and, indeed, God and nature did not intend me for contentions, but for study and quietness. And, my lord, my particular contests here * with Mr. Tra. vers have proved the more unpleasant to me, because I believe him to be a good man; and that belief hath occasioned me to examine mine own conscience concerning his opinions. And to satisfy that, I have consulted the Holy Scripture, and other laws, both human and divine, whether the conscience of him, and others of his judgment, ought to be so far complied with by us, as to alter our frame of church government, our manner of God's worship, our praising and praying to him, and our established ceremonies, as often as their tender consciences shall require

* At the Temple, of which Hooker was Master.

us. And in this examination, I have not only satisfied myself, but have begun a treatise, in which I intend a justification of the laws of our ecclesiastical polity. In which design God and his holy angels shall at the last great day bear me that witness, which my conscience now does, that my meaning is not to provoke any, but rather to satisfy all tender consciences. And I shall never be able to do this, but where I may study, and pray for God's blessing upon my endeavours, and keep myself in peace and privacy, and behold God's blessings spring out of my mother earth ; and eat my own bread without opposition; and, therefore, if your grace can judge me worthy of such a favour, let me beg it, that I may perfect what I have begun.


SON ROBERT, THE virtuous inclinations of thy matchless mother, by whose tender and godly care thy infancy was governed, together with thy education under so zealous and excellent a tutor, puts me in rather assurance than hope, that thou art not ignorant of that summum bonum, which is only able to make thee happy in thy death as life; I mean the true knowledge and worship of thy Creator and Redeemer, without which all other things are vain and miserable. So that, thy youth being guided by so sufficient a teacher, I make no doubt but he will furnish thy life with divine and moral documents. Yet, that I may not cast off the care beseeming a parent towards his child, or that thou shouldest have cause to derive thy whole felicity and welfare rather from others than from whence thou receivedst thy breath and being; I think it fit and agreeable to the affection I bear thee, to help thee with such rules and advertisements for the squaring of thy life, as are rather gained by experience than by much reading : to the end that, entering into this exorbitant age, thou mayest be the better prepared to shun those scandalous courses, whereunto the world and the lack of experience may easily draw thee. And, because I will not copfound thy memory, I have reduced them into Ten Precepts; and next unto Moses' tables, if thou imprint them in thy mind, thou shalt reap the benefit and I the content. And they are these following :

I. When it shall please God to bring thee to man's estate, use great providence and circumspection in choosing thy wife. For from thence will spring all thy future good, or evil. And it is an action of life, like unto a stratagem of war ; wherein a man can err but once. If thy estate be good, match near home, and at leisure ; if weak, far off, and quickly. Inquire diligently of her disposition, and how her parents have been inclined in their youth. Let her not be poor, how generous, well-born, soever. For a man can buy nothing in the market with gentility. Nor choose a base and uncomely creature altogether for wealth ; for it will cause contempt in others, and loathing in thee. Neither make choice of a dwarf or a fool : for by the one thou



shalt beget a race of pigmies; the other will be thy continual disgrace, and it will irk thee to hear her talk. For thou shalt find it to thy grief, that there is nothing more fulsome than a she fool.

And, touching thy guiding of thy house, let thy hospitality be moderate ; and according to the means of thy estate, rather plentiful than sparing, but not costly. For I never knew any man grow poor by keeping an orderly table. But some consume themselves through secret vices, and their hospitality bears the blame. But banish swinish drunkards out of thine house, which is a vice impairing health, consuming much, and makes no show. I never heard praise ascribed to the drunkard, but for the well-bearing of his drink ; which is a better commendation for a brewer's horse or a drayman, than for either a gentleman or a serving man. Beware thou spend not above three or four parts of thy revenues ; nor above a third of that in thy house. For the other two parts will do no more than defray thy extraordinaries, which always surmount the ordinary by much : otherwise thon shalt live like a rich beggar, in continual want. And the needy man can never live happily, nor contentedly : for every disaster makes him ready to mortgage or sell. And that gentleman that sells an acre of land, sells an ounce of credit. For gentility is nothing else but ancient riches ; so that, if the foundation shall at any time sink, the building must needs follow.-So much for the first precept.

II. Bring thy children up in learning and 27


obedience, yet without outward austerity. Praise them openly, reprehend them secretly; give them good countenance, and convenient maintenance according to thy ability : otherwise, thy life will seem their bondage ; and what portion thou shalt leave them at thy death, they will thank death for it, and not thee. And I am persuaded that the foolish cockering of some parents, and the over stern carriage of others, causeth more men and women to take ill courses, than their own vicious inclinations. Marry thy daughters in time, lest they marry themselves. And suffer not thy sons to pass the Alps ; for they shall learn nothing there but pride, blasphemy, and atheism. And if by travel they get a few broken languages, that shall profit them nothing more than to have meat served up in diverse dishes. Neither, by my consent, shalt thou train them up in wars ; for he that sets up his rest to live by that profession, can hardly be an honest man or a good Christian. Besides, it is a science no longer in request than use. For soldiers in peace are like chimneys in summer.

III. Live not in the country without corn and cattle about thee. For he that putteth his hand to the purse for every expense of household, is like him that putteth water in a sieve. And what provision thou shalt want, learn to buy it at the best hand. For there is one penny saved in four, betwixt buying at thy need, and when the markets and seasons serve fittest for it. Be not served with kinsmen or friends, or men entreated to stay; for they expect much, and do little : nor with such as are amorous, for their

« 이전계속 »