On the other part, in opposition and repugnancy hereto, the philosophers say, That idleness is the mother of luxury. When it was asked Ovid, Why .Ægisthus became an adulterer ? he made no other answer than this, Because he was idle. * Who were able to rid the world of loitering and idleness might easily disappoint Cupid † of all his designes, aims, engines and devices and so disable and appal him, that his bow, quiver, and darts should from thenceforth be a mere needless load and burthen to him; for that it could not then lie in his power to strike or wound any of either sex with all the arms he had. He is not, I believe so expert an archer as that he can hit the cranes flying in the air, or yet the young stags skipping through the thicket, as the Parthians knew well how to do; that is to say, people moiling, stirring, and hurrying up and down, restless and without repose. He must have those hushed, still, quiet, lying at a stay, lither and full of ease, whom he is able to pierce with all his arrows.

In conformation thereof, Theophrastus being asked on a time, What kind of beast or thing he judged a toyish, wanton love to be? he made answer, That it was a passion of idle and sluggish spirits, † From which pretty description of tickling-tricks, that of Diogenes, the Cynic, was not very discrepant when he defined lechery - The occupation of folk destitute of al being desirous to give us to understand that slowth, drowsiness, negligence, and laziness, were the prime guardians and governesses of ribaldry, made the statue of Venus, not standing, as other stone-cutters had used to do, but sitting.l

* Quaeritur Ægystus quare sit factus adulter other occupation. For this cause the Sicyonian sculptor Canachus.

In promptu causa est: desidiosus. - De Remed. Amoris. † "Otia si tollas, periere Cupidinis artes".


The tickling pricks of incontinency are blunted by an eager study; for from thence proceedeth an incredible resolution of the spirits, that oftentimes there do not remain so many behind as may suffice to push and thrust forwards the generative resudation to the places thereto appropriated, and therewithal inflate the cavernous nerve, whose office is to ejaculate the moisture for the propagation of human progeny. Lest you should think it is not so, be pleased but to contemplate a little the form, fashion, and carriage of a man exceeding earnestly set upon some learned meditation and deeply plunged therein, and you shall see how all the arteries of his brains are stretched forth, and bent like the string of a cross-bow, the more promptly, dexterously and copiously to suppeditate, furnish and supply him with store of spirits, sufficient to replenish and fill up the ventricles, seats, tunnels, mansions, receptacles and cellules of common sense - of the imagination, apprehension, and fancy - of the ratiocination, arguing, and resolution - as likewise, of the memory, recordation, and remembrance; and with great alacrity, nimbleness, and agility, to run, pass and course from one to the other, through those pipes, windings, and conduits, which to skilful anatomists are perceivable at the end of the wonderful net, where all the arteries close in a terminating point; which arteries taking their rise and origin from the left capsule of the heart, bring, through several circuits, ambages, and anfractuosities, the vital spirits, to subtilize and refine them in the aetherial purity of animal spirits.

Nay, in such a studiously meditating, musing person, you may espy so extravagant raptures of one, as it were out of himself, that all his natural faculties for that time will seem to be suspended from each their proper charge and office, and his exterior senses to be at a stand. In a word, you cannot choose than think, that he is by an extraordinary ecstacy quite transported out of what he was or should be; and that Socrates did not speak improperly when he said, That philosophy was nothing else but a meditation upon death. This possibly is the reason why Democritus* deprived himself of the sense of seeing, prizing, at a much lower rate, the loss of his sight, than the diminution of his contemplation which he had frequently found disturbed by the vagrant flying-out strayings of his unsettled and roving eyes, † Therefore is it that Pallas, the goddess of wisdom, tutoress and guardianess of such as art diligently studious and painfully industrious, is and hath beet still accounted a virgin.

The Muses upon the same considera-tion are esteemed perpetual maids: and the Graces, for the same reason, have been held to continue in a sempiterna pudicity.

* See Pausanias's "Corinthians".

I remember to have read that Cupid, † on a time, being asked by his mother Venus, why he did not assault and set upon the Muses, his answer was, that he found them so fair, so neat, so wise, so learned, so modest, so discreet, so courteous, so virtuous, and so continually busied and employed, - one in the speculation of the stars, - another in the supputation of numbers, - the third in the dimension of geometrical quantities, - the fourth in the composition of heroic poems, - the fifth in the jovial interludes of a comic strain, - the sixth in the stately-gravity of the tragic vein, - the seventh in the melodious disposition of musical airs, - the eighth in the completest manner of writing histories and books on all sorts of subjects, and - the ninth in the mysteries, secrets, and curiosities of all sciences, faculties, disciplines and arts whatsoever, whether liberal or mechanic, - that approaching near unto them he unbent his bow, shut his quiver, and extinguished his torch, through mere shame and fear that by mischance he might do them any hurt or prejudice. Which done, he thereafter put off the fillet wherewith his eyes were bound, to look them in the face, and to hear their melody and poetic odes.

There took he the greatest pleasure in the world, that many times he was transported with their beauty and pretty behaviour, and charmed asleep by their harmony, so far was he from assaulting them or interrupting their studies. Under this article may be comprised what Hippocrates wrote in the afore-cited treatise concerning the Scythians, as also that in a book of his intituled, Of Breeding and Production, where he hath affirmed all such men to be unfit for generation as have their parotid arteries cut - whose situation is behind the ears - for the reason given already, when I was speaking of the resolution of the spirits, and of that spiritual blood, whereof the arteries are the sole and proper receptacles; and that likewise he doth maintain a large portion of the parastatic liquor to issue anel descend from the brains and backbone.

* Vide Cicero, lib. V., Tuse. Questions and Plutarch's Treatise of Curiosity. It must, however, be observed, that this story is wholly incredible, inasmuch as the same writers affirm that Democritus employed his leisure in writing books and in dissecting; the bodies of animals, neither of which could very well be effected without the eyes.

† In Lucian, in the Dialogue entitled - "Venus and Cupid".


By the too frequent reiteration of the act of venery. There did I wait for you, quoth Panurge, and shall willingly apply it to myself, whilst any one that pleaseth may, for me, make use of any of the four preceding. That is the very same thing, quoth Friar John, which Father Scyllion,* Prior of St. Victor, at Marseilles, calleth maceration and taming of the flesh. 1 am of the same opinion, and so was the hermit of Saint Rade-gonde, a little above Chinon; for, quoth he, the hermits of The-baide can no way more aptly or expediently macerate and bring down the pride of their bodies, daunt and mortify their lecherous sensuality, or depress and overcome the stubbornness and rebellion of the flesh, than by dufling and fanfreluching five and twenty or thirty times a day".

* The story itself is the same as that related by Poggio (Braceiolini) of a hermit of Pisa. "Eremita," says he, "qui Pisis morabatur, tempore Petri Gambacurtae, meretricem noctu in suam ce lulan deduxit, vigesiesque ea nocte mulierem cognovit; semper cum moveret clunes, ut crimen fugeret luxuriae, vulgaribus verbis dicens: 'domati, came catlizella;' hoc est, doma te, miser-rima caro!"