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A18271 A treasurie or store-house of similies both pleasaunt, delightfull, and profitable, for all estates of men in generall. Newly collected into heades and common places: by Robert Cawdray. Cawdry, Robert. 1600 (1600) STC 4887; ESTC S107929 530,386 880

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vain when as we endeuor to effect such things whereto by nature we are not appointed and ordeined 2 As men hauing heard a report of the fertilitie pleasure and aboundance of any strange Countrey are neuer quiet vntill they haue seene it but they haue not bin there a yeare but they are in great dislike with it as euer they were with their owne natiue soile for though they change their aire they neuer alter their nature their mindes are as full of fancies and their heads of toyes as euer they were Euen so such as are possessed with wandring and straying cogitations who will needs occupie euery Trade and be of all Occupations and change their opinions as often as they do their garments hauing one foot in the Court and an other in the Countrey they do no sooner vndertake any thing but they are presently wearie of it and they haue not so soone giuen it ouer but forthwith they would take it in hand againe 3 As we see the diseases of mans bodie do bring such vnquietnes irksomnes with thē that the poore Patiēt disliketh euery thing whatsoeuer yea such oftētimes as in his health prosperitie were most pleasing vnto him as his wife and children his bed his meate drink such like So likewise it is apparant in the affections of the mind which being once distempered we cannot long liue contentedly in any condition of life whatsoeuer 4 As the Egyptian who carried somewhat wound vp in his napking answered vnto him that demanded what it was that hee had couered it to the ende that no man should see it So likewise must we learne that if there bee any thing hidden and laid vp in the workes of God that it is of purpose kept from vs to the end that we should not be too curious to inquire after it and that it is farre better to be vtterly ignorant herein then to haue all the knowledge thereof that may be Deut. 29.29 1. Tim. 4.7 .6.20 Tit. 3.9 5 Like as Coursers and Hunters who leading their dogs into the fields doo not let them slip at al aduentures at whatsoeuer commeth next to hand but hold them vntill their game be found to the end they may be the more fresh lustie to maintaine their course So likewise must wee hold and keepe in our Curiositie and not suffer it to follow after whatsoeuer it lusteth but onely that which being once attained vnto bringeth with it both pleasure and profit 6 As they who in reading ouer a booke doo note nothing but the faults errors therin contained Or as such which take much more pleasure in beholding a monster then a body which is perfectly made Or to view an Antike picture or some old counterfait wherein there are strange deuises Euen so let one speake to vs of the wisedome Iustice liberalitie modestie and temperance of another and wee will scarcely giue any eare thereto but let one tell vs that some young wench haue liued incontinently or that some woman is taken in Adulterie or that there is strife contention among brethren or some discord among friends wee are waking enough and but too too curious and readie to heare 7 As we see Serpents nourished by venim and liue in filthie stinking and darksome Caues So curious men doo nourish themselues with wofull and sorrowfull discourses and neuer take pleasure in any thing but in that which deserueth pittie and commiseration 8 As Surgeons search and seeke out the disease with intention to heale it and if it be a soare that should bee kept secrete they are both wise and faithfull enough to conceale and hide it So contrariwise curious men are desirous to know euery malladie to the end they may make it knowne and publish it wheresoeuer they come 9 As backbiters take pleasure to heare euill of their neighbours So these curious men take delight to report the worst to the next companie they meete with so that they are exceeding enuious and reioyce in nothing but in other mens wants imperfections and mischiefes 10 As it were a foolish and an intemperate humour for a man that hath a faire beautifull amiable and vertuous wife with whom hee might very lawfully enioy his pleasure and delights to reiect her and cast her off and to buy at a very great rate with paine sorrowe and shame the loue of an other most foule and filthy Slut So in like manner it is a most sottish and foolish thing to despise so many godly histories and beautifull discourses of this life so many learned bookes so many excellent Treatises and worthie examples whereby wee may reape such exceeding profit and pleasure Curiously to busie our selues in enquiring after our neighbours matters to open sealed letters to harken vnder mens windowes or to whisper in womens eares and such like absurdities whereto curious men are most commonly addicted 11 As old Lamia so much spoken of in ancient stories who had eyes like vnto Spectacles which shee might take out and put in at her pleasure so soone as shee came home into her lodging shee vsed to locke thē vp into her coffer and set her downe to spinning as blind as a beetle and neuer saw what shee did in her owne house but shee went no sooner abroad but shee put them in her head againe and would very curiously behold what other men did In like manner we through a folish and sottish selfe-loue do neuer viewe our owne imperfections although they bee cleare as the Sunne and as bigge as a milstone but on the contrarie we can quickly espie other mens vices though it be at midnight and that peraduenture they be not so big as a peble stone 12 As it is reported of Democritus that walking abroad he was wont to shut his eyes least by wandring regardes his mind should be turned from the contemplation of honest things So likewise must we with all our endeuours barre and shut vp this curious humour to the end to keepe it in that thereby wee may search after nothing whether it be touching God nature or our neighbours but that which may profit vs and tendeth to our edification reiecting al vnprofitable vnpossible and superfluous things about the knowledge whereof we consume our bodies mispend our time and loose our labours all which should be carefully diligently imployed in the studie and seeking after of more commodious and more necessarie matters 13 As Rebeccaes two twinnes did struggle and wrestle before they were borne for hatred and mallice but Elizabeths one child did spring and skip before he was born for ioy and gladnesse So he that is curious busieth himselfe about more things then one shall neuer proue singular in any thing nay he shall find that strife and resistance in his head which Rebecca did in her wombe but hee that labours and trauels onely about one thing shal bring it to good perfection and be as well deliuered of it as Elizabeth was of Iohn Baptist. Phil. 3.14
things naturall and not ignorant of any kind of learning or discipline may by the discourse in this Booke bee sufficiently prooued and manifestly gathered for that in their writings they vse many Similitudes and make so many comparisons of things fetched off and from the very secrets and bowels of nature as namely from wilde and tame beastes foules wormes creeping and swimming creatures Hearbs Trees the Elements fire water earth ayre riuers brookes welles Cesternes Seas stars pearles stones lightning thunder raine deaw heate drowth cold winds blasts haile snow frost yce Corne seede salt leuen nets snares and likewise from the humours in a mans body as bloud milke women in trauaile in child birth drosse Iron Gold Siluer and innumerable other things wherewith they learnedly beautifie their matter and as it were brauely garnish and decke out their termes words and sentences with tropes and figuratiue phrases Metaphors Translations Parables Comparisons Collations Examples Shemes and other ornaments of speech giuing thereby vnto their matter a certaine kind of liuely gesture and so consequently attyring it with light perspicuitie easinesse estimation and dignitie stirring vp thereby mens drowsie minds and awaking slouthfull negligent carelesse sluggish and retchlesse people to the consideration and acknowledgement of the truth and to the following and imbracing of vertue and godlinesse Hereby as they doo labour to deterre and withdraw the wicked from their wicked wayes by laying downe before them Similitudes tending to such purpose So doo they no lesse stirre them vp to vertue to true happinesse to perfect felicitie to sound assurance to the feare of God and trust in his mercie Finally they each way seeke to winne them to the knowledge of God and of themselues and leaue no way vnattempted to allure and bring them to the truth and perfect blessednesse And as touching the godly which feare the Lord and frame their liues accordingly they cease not to encourage confirme strengthen and establish them in their vertuous doings by earnest exhortations to persist in their well begunne exercise They doo as the Apostle Saint Paule also willeth Admonish such as walke inordinately and liue out of course being vntractable and vnruly 2. Thes 3.11 1. Thes 5.11 to remember their dutie to acknowledge their fault they gently reprooue them and mildly seeke to recouer them they comfort the weake and cheare vp the mourneful they strengthen the feeble and broken hearted they reuiue the sorrowfull and heauie spirited they raise vp them that are throwne downe they vse lenitie mildnesse and compassion towardes all men in generall they are slow to anger slow to reuenge and violence they heale the broken and brused consciences they preach deliuerance to the captiues sight to the blind libertie to the imprisoned comfort to the afflicted ioy to the distressed health to the sicke recouerie to the diseased and to the miserable releasement from the thraldome and tyrannie of the Diuel all these and many other they notably and elegantly set forth in their writings by most apt Parables forcible Comparisons and effectuous Similitudes Christ in whome are hidden all the treasures of wisedome and knowledge Mat. 13.3 saith the Euangelist spake all these things to the multitude by Parables and without a Parable spake he nothing vnto them that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet who said I will open my mouth in Parables c. To the which Tertullian in his fourth Booke against Marcion dooth very fitly agree saying Neither is the forme of Christs speech new when he obiecteth Similitudes Also Origen cap. in Math. 13. writeth that Christ spake nothing to the companies of common people without Parables which are a kind of Similies but to his Disciples to whom it was giuen to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heauen he did not so Therefore a Similie is most fit for a Preacher because it reasoneth from things confessed and very manifestly and wonderfully layeth the matter euen before the eyes So that the vse of a Similie reacheth very farre for it is vsed for ornament for delight for plainnesse for grauitie Nothing bringeth more grace pleasure or dignitie Neither is it to bee couered in silence that Chrysostome the auncient Church men did commonly beginne with a Similie agreeing to their argument And the same in their Exordiums yea in all parts of their speeches and writings did the Princes of wise eloquence and eloquent wisedome vse as Tertullian Origen Cyprian Nazianzen Basil Iohn Chrysostome Hierom Ambrose Augustin But of the great vse of Similituds we may read more largely in the Homely of Io. Chrysostome vpon the 33. of Ioh. and his Homely vpon Gene. 13. And in Origens Homely vpon Leuit. 10. And in Augustine in the very beginning of his second Booke concerning Christian doctrine And D. Gregorie in the 36. cap. of his third Booke of Morals And to conclude in Agrigola his first Booke of Logicall inuention cap. 25. Seeing therfore each one of the Prophets among whom many were Kings descended of royall bloud haue discoursed of these things and inserted and spoken of the same in their writings seeing likewise our Sauiour Iesus Christ and his Apostles haue practised the same and shewed foorth the like kind of doctrine as also the learned writers haue done I thought my labour should bee well imployed and bestowed if I should in this Treatise plainely shew what store of excellent learning profound wisdome hidden knowledge and exact skill of nature what zeale likewise of aduancing true Religion and of banishing all Idolatrie and superstition there rested in those men that by diuine inspiration haue left and deliuered vnto vs such worthie and wholesome matters in such surpassing knowledge by drawing into their Bookes for the greater ornament and setting out of their speech the whole store and furniture of nature Now calling to mind Right Worshipfulls not onely the manifold curtesies and benefites which I found and receiued now more then thirtie yeares agoe when I taught the Grammer Schoole at Okeham in Rutland and sundrie times since of the Religious and vertuous Lady Lucie Harington your Worships Mother my especial friend in the Lord but also the great kindnesse and fauourable good will during my long trouble and since by both your Worshippes towards me extended In consideration whereof least I should seeme altogether vnthankfull which compriseth and containeth in it selfe all vices both towards God and men I am therefore euen prouoked in some small measure of dutie to shew my selfe some wayes thankfull vnto you And whereas at this time euerie gratefull person doth not onely in word but also in deedes with their presents and giftes shew some signe and token of this their thankfulnesse Euen so I also out of my simple Garden haue chosen and gleaned a handfull of Flowers as it were a Nosegay the best present I haue to Dedicate offer vnto you Thus humbly desiring your Worships to accept this my simple present most earnestly beseeching