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himself, that he then saw them dancing in Rome; and if thou shalt either
conceive, or climb to see, thou shalt soon perceive that all the world is
mad, that it is melancholy, dotes; that it is (which Epichthonius
Cosmopolites expressed not many years since in a map) made like a fool's
head (with that motto, _Caput helleboro dignum_) a crazed head, _cavea
stultorum_, a fool's paradise, or as Apollonius, a common prison of gulls,
cheaters, flatterers, &c. and needs to be reformed. Strabo in the ninth
book of his geography, compares Greece to the picture of a man, which
comparison of his, Nic. Gerbelius in his exposition of Sophianus' map,
approves; the breast lies open from those Acroceraunian hills in Epirus, to
the Sunian promontory in Attica; Pagae and Magaera are the two shoulders;
that Isthmus of Corinth the neck; and Peloponnesus the head. If this
allusion hold, 'tis sure a mad head; Morea may be Moria; and to speak what
I think, the inhabitants of modern Greece swerve as much from reason and
true religion at this day, as that Morea doth from the picture of a man.
Examine the rest in like sort, and you shall find that kingdoms and
provinces are melancholy, cities and families, all creatures, vegetal,
sensible, and rational, that all sorts, sects, ages, conditions, are out of
tune, as in Cebes' table, _omnes errorem bibunt_, before they come into the
world, they are intoxicated by error's cup, from the highest to the lowest
have need of physic, and those particular actions in [177]Seneca, where
father and son prove one another mad, may be general; Porcius Latro shall
plead against us all. For indeed who is not a fool, melancholy, mad? - [178]
_Qui nil molitur inepte_, who is not brain-sick? Folly, melancholy,
madness, are but one disease, _Delirium_ is a common name to all.
Alexander, Gordonius, Jason Pratensis, Savanarola, Guianerius, Montaltus,
confound them as differing _secundum magis et minus_; so doth David, Psal.
xxxvii. 5. "I said unto the fools, deal not so madly," and 'twas an old
Stoical paradox, _omnes stultos insanire_, [179]all fools are mad, though
some madder than others. And who is not a fool, who is free from
melancholy? Who is not touched more or less in habit or disposition? If in
disposition, "ill dispositions beget habits, if they persevere," saith
[180]Plutarch, habits either are, or turn to diseases. 'Tis the same which
Tully maintains in the second of his Tusculans, _omnium insipientum animi
in morbo sunt, et perturbatorum_, fools are sick, and all that are troubled
in mind: for what is sickness, but as [181]Gregory Tholosanus defines it,
"A dissolution or perturbation of the bodily league, which health
combines:" and who is not sick, or ill-disposed? in whom doth not passion,
anger, envy, discontent, fear and sorrow reign? Who labours not of this
disease? Give me but a little leave, and you shall see by what testimonies,
confessions, arguments, I will evince it, that most men are mad, that they
had as much need to go a pilgrimage to the Anticyrae (as in [182]Strabo's
time they did) as in our days they run to Compostella, our Lady of Sichem,
or Lauretta, to seek for help; that it is like to be as prosperous a voyage
as that of Guiana, and that there is much more need of hellebore than of

That men are so misaffected, melancholy, mad, giddy-headed, hear the
testimony of Solomon, Eccl. ii. 12. "And I turned to behold wisdom, madness
and folly," &c. And ver. 23: "All his days are sorrow, his travel grief,
and his heart taketh no rest in the night." So that take melancholy in what
sense you will, properly or improperly, in disposition or habit, for
pleasure or for pain, dotage, discontent, fear, sorrow, madness, for part,
or all, truly, or metaphorically, 'tis all one. Laughter itself is madness
according to Solomon, and as St. Paul hath it, "Worldly sorrow brings
death." "The hearts of the sons of men are evil, and madness is in their
hearts while they live," Eccl. ix. 3. "Wise men themselves are no better."
Eccl. i. 18. "In the multitude of wisdom is much grief, and he that
increaseth wisdom, increaseth sorrow," chap. ii. 17. He hated life itself,
nothing pleased him: he hated his labour, all, as [183]he concludes, is
"sorrow, grief, vanity, vexation of spirit." And though he were the wisest
man in the world, _sanctuarium sapientiae_, and had wisdom in abundance, he
will not vindicate himself, or justify his own actions. "Surely I am more
foolish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man in me," Prov.
xxx. 2. Be they Solomon's words, or the words of Agur, the son of Jakeh,
they are canonical. David, a man after God's own heart, confesseth as much
of himself, Psal. xxxvii. 21, 22. "So foolish was I and ignorant, I was
even as a beast before thee." And condemns all for fools, Psal. xciii.;
xxxii. 9; xlix. 20. He compares them to "beasts, horses, and mules, in
which there is no understanding." The apostle Paul accuseth himself in like
sort, 2 Cor. ix. 21. "I would you would suffer a little my foolishness, I
speak foolishly." "The whole head is sick," saith Esay, "and the heart is
heavy," cap. i. 5. And makes lighter of them than of oxen and asses, "the
ox knows his owner," &c.: read Deut. xxxii. 6; Jer. iv.; Amos, iii. 1;
Ephes. v. 6. "Be not mad, be not deceived, foolish Galatians, who hath
bewitched you?" How often are they branded with this epithet of madness and
folly? No word so frequent amongst the fathers of the Church and divines;
you may see what an opinion they had of the world, and how they valued
men's actions.

I know that we think far otherwise, and hold them most part wise men that
are in authority, princes, magistrates, [184]rich men, they are wise men
born, all politicians and statesmen must needs be so, for who dare speak
against them? And on the other, so corrupt is our judgment, we esteem wise
and honest men fools. Which Democritus well signified in an epistle of his
to Hippocrates: [185]the "Abderites account virtue madness," and so do most
men living. Shall I tell you the reason of it? [186]Fortune and Virtue,
Wisdom and Folly, their seconds, upon a time contended in the Olympics;
every man thought that Fortune and Folly would have the worst, and pitied
their cases; but it fell out otherwise. Fortune was blind and cared not
where she stroke, nor whom, without laws, _Audabatarum instar_, &c. Folly,
rash and inconsiderate, esteemed as little what she said or did. Virtue and
Wisdom gave [187]place, were hissed out, and exploded by the common people;
Folly and Fortune admired, and so are all their followers ever since:
knaves and fools commonly fare and deserve best in worldlings' eyes and
opinions. Many good men have no better fate in their ages: Achish, 1 Sam.
xxi. 14, held David for a madman. [188]Elisha and the rest were no
otherwise esteemed. David was derided of the common people, Ps. ix. 7, "I
am become a monster to many." And generally we are accounted fools for
Christ, 1 Cor. xiv. "We fools thought his life madness, and his end without
honour," Wisd. v. 4. Christ and his Apostles were censured in like sort,
John x.; Mark iii.; Acts xxvi. And so were all Christians in [189]Pliny's
time, _fuerunt et alii, similis dementiae_, &c. And called not long after,
[190]_Vesaniae sectatores, eversores hominum, polluti novatores, fanatici,
canes, malefici, venefici, Galilaei homunciones_, &c. 'Tis an ordinary
thing with us, to account honest, devout, orthodox, divine, religious,
plain-dealing men, idiots, asses, that cannot, or will not lie and
dissemble, shift, flatter, _accommodare se ad eum locum ubi nati sunt_,
make good bargains, supplant, thrive, _patronis inservire; solennes
ascendendi modos apprehendere, leges, mores, consuetudines recte observare,
candide laudare, fortiter defendere, sententias amplecti, dubitare de
nullus, credere omnia, accipere omnia, nihil reprehendere, caeteraque quae
promotionem ferunt et securitatem, quae sine ambage felicem, reddunt
hominem, et vere sapientem apud nos_; that cannot temporise as other men
do, [191]hand and take bribes, &c. but fear God, and make a conscience of
their doings. But the Holy Ghost that knows better how to judge, he calls
them fools. "The fool hath said in his heart," Psal. liii. 1. "And their
ways utter their folly," Psal. xlix. 14. [192]"For what can be more mad,
than for a little worldly pleasure to procure unto themselves eternal
punishment?" As Gregory and others inculcate unto us.

Yea even all those great philosophers the world hath ever had in
admiration, whose works we do so much esteem, that gave precepts of wisdom
to others, inventors of Arts and Sciences, Socrates the wisest man of his
time by the Oracle of Apollo, whom his two scholars, [193]Plato and [194]
Xenophon, so much extol and magnify with those honourable titles, "best and
wisest of all mortal men, the happiest, and most just;" and as [195]
Alcibiades incomparably commends him; Achilles was a worthy man, but
Bracides and others were as worthy as himself; Antenor and Nestor were as
good as Pericles, and so of the rest; but none present, before, or after
Socrates, _nemo veterum neque eorum qui nunc sunt_, were ever such, will
match, or come near him. Those seven wise men of Greece, those Britain
Druids, Indian Brachmanni, Ethiopian Gymnosophist, Magi of the Persians,
Apollonius, of whom Philostratus, _Non doctus, sed natus sapiens_, wise
from his cradle, Epicurus so much admired by his scholar Lucretius:

"Qui genus humanum ingenio superavit, et omnes
Perstrinxit stellas exortus ut aetherius sol."

"Whose wit excell'd the wits of men as far,
As the sun rising doth obscure a star,"

Or that so much renowned Empedocles,

[196] "Ut vix humana videatur stirpe creatus."

All those of whom we read such [197]hyperbolical eulogiums, as of
Aristotle, that he was wisdom itself in the abstract, [198]a miracle of
nature, breathing libraries, as Eunapius of Longinus, lights of nature,
giants for wit, quintessence of wit, divine spirits, eagles in the clouds,
fallen from heaven, gods, spirits, lamps of the world, dictators, _Nulla
ferant talem saecla futura virum_: monarchs, miracles, superintendents of
wit and learning, _oceanus, phoenix, atlas, monstrum, portentum hominis,
orbis universi musaeum, ultimus humana naturae donatus, naturae maritus_,

- - - "merito cui doctior orbis
Submissis defert fascibus imperium."

As Aelian writ of Protagoras and Gorgias, we may say of them all, _tantum a
sapientibus abfuerunt, quantum a viris pueri_, they were children in
respect, infants, not eagles, but kites; novices, illiterate, _Eunuchi
sapientiae_. And although they were the wisest, and most admired in their
age, as he censured Alexander, I do them, there were 10,000 in his army as
worthy captains (had they been in place of command) as valiant as himself;
there were myriads of men wiser in those days, and yet all short of what
they ought to be. [199]Lactantius, in his book of wisdom, proves them to be
dizzards, fools, asses, madmen, so full of absurd and ridiculous tenets,
and brain-sick positions, that to his thinking never any old woman or sick
person doted worse. [200]Democritus took all from Leucippus, and left,
saith he, "the inheritance of his folly to Epicurus," [201]_insanienti dum
sapientiae_, &c. The like he holds of Plato, Aristippus, and the rest,
making no difference [202]"betwixt them and beasts, saving that they could
speak." [203]Theodoret in his tract, _De cur. grec. affect._ manifestly
evinces as much of Socrates, whom though that Oracle of Apollo confirmed to
be the wisest man then living, and saved him from plague, whom 2000 years
have admired, of whom some will as soon speak evil as of Christ, yet _re
vera_, he was an illiterate idiot, as [204]Aristophanes calls him,
_irriscor et ambitiosus_, as his master Aristotle terms him, _scurra
Atticus_, as Zeno, an [205]enemy to all arts and sciences, as Athaeneus, to
philosophers and travellers, an opiniative ass, a caviller, a kind of
pedant; for his manners, as Theod. Cyrensis describes him, a [206]
sodomite, an atheist, (so convict by Anytus) _iracundus et ebrius, dicax_,
&c. a pot-companion, by [207]Plato's own confession, a sturdy drinker; and
that of all others he was most sottish, a very madman in his actions and
opinions. Pythagoras was part philosopher, part magician, or part witch. If
you desire to hear more of Apollonius, a great wise man, sometime
paralleled by Julian the apostate to Christ, I refer you to that learned
tract of Eusebius against Hierocles, and for them all to Lucian's
_Piscator, Icaromenippus, Necyomantia_: their actions, opinions in general
were so prodigious, absurd, ridiculous, which they broached and maintained,
their books and elaborate treatises were full of dotage, which Tully _ad
Atticum_ long since observed, _delirant plerumque scriptores in libris
suis_, their lives being opposite to their words, they commended poverty to
others, and were most covetous themselves, extolled love and peace, and yet
persecuted one another with virulent hate and malice. They could give
precepts for verse and prose, but not a man of them (as [208]Seneca tells
them home) could moderate his affections. Their music did show us _flebiles
modos_, &c. how to rise and fall, but they could not so contain themselves
as in adversity not to make a lamentable tone. They will measure ground by
geometry, set down limits, divide and subdivide, but cannot yet prescribe
_quantum homini satis_, or keep within compass of reason and discretion.
They can square circles, but understand not the state of their own souls,
describe right lines and crooked, &c. but know not what is right in this
life, _quid in vita rectum sit, ignorant_; so that as he said, _Nescio an
Anticyram ratio illis destinet omnem._ I think all the Anticyrae will not
restore them to their wits, [209]if these men now, that held [210]
Xenodotus' heart, Crates' liver, Epictetus' lantern, were so sottish, and
had no more brains than so many beetles, what shall we think of the
commonalty? what of the rest?

Yea, but you will infer, that is true of heathens, if they be conferred
with Christians, 1 Cor. iii. 19. "The wisdom of this world is foolishness
with God, earthly and devilish," as James calls it, iii. 15. "They were
vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was full of darkness,"
Rom. i. 21, 22. "When they professed themselves wise, became fools." Their
witty works are admired here on earth, whilst their souls are tormented in
hell fire. In some sense, _Christiani Crassiani_, Christians are Crassians,
and if compared to that wisdom, no better than fools. _Quis est sapiens?
Solus Deus_, [211]Pythagoras replies, "God is only wise," Rom. xvi. Paul
determines "only good," as Austin well contends, "and no man living can be
justified in his sight." "God looked down from heaven upon the children of
men, to see if any did understand," Psalm liii. 2, 3, but all are corrupt,
err. Rom. iii. 12, "None doeth good, no, not one." Job aggravates this, iv.
18, "Behold he found no steadfastness in his servants, and laid folly upon
his angels;" 19. "How much more on them that dwell in houses of clay?" In
this sense we are all fools, and the [212]Scripture alone is _arx
Minervae_, we and our writings are shallow and imperfect. But I do not so
mean; even in our ordinary dealings we are no better than fools. "All our
actions," as [213]Pliny told Trajan, "upbraid us of folly," our whole
course of life is but matter of laughter: we are not soberly wise; and the
world itself, which ought at least to be wise by reason of his antiquity,
as [214]Hugo de Prato Florido will have it, "_semper stultizat_, is every
day more foolish than other; the more it is whipped, the worse it is, and
as a child will still be crowned with roses and flowers." We are apish in
it, _asini bipedes_, and every place is full _inversorum Apuleiorum_ of
metamorphosed and two-legged asses, _inversorum Silenorum_, childish,
_pueri instar bimuli, tremula patris dormientis in ulna_. Jovianus
Pontanus, Antonio Dial, brings in some laughing at an old man, that by
reason of his age was a little fond, but as he admonisheth there, _Ne
mireris mi hospes de hoc sene_, marvel not at him only, for _tota haec
civitas delirium_, all our town dotes in like sort, [215]we are a company
of fools. Ask not with him in the poet, [216]_Larvae hunc intemperiae
insaniaeque agitant senem_? What madness ghosts this old man, but what
madness ghosts us all? For we are _ad unum omnes_, all mad, _semel
insanivimus omnes_ not once, but alway so, _et semel, et simul, et semper_,
ever and altogether as bad as he; and not _senex bis puer, delira anus_,
but say it of us all, _semper pueri_, young and old, all dote, as
Lactantius proves out of Seneca; and no difference betwixt us and children,
saving that, _majora ludimus, et grandioribus pupis_, they play with babies
of clouts and such toys, we sport with greater baubles. We cannot accuse or
condemn one another, being faulty ourselves, _deliramenta loqueris_, you
talk idly, or as [217]Mitio upbraided Demea, _insanis, auferte_, for we are
as mad our own selves, and it is hard to say which is the worst. Nay, 'tis
universally so, [218]_Vitam regit fortuna, non sapientia_.

When [219]Socrates had taken great pains to find out a wise man, and to
that purpose had consulted with philosophers, poets, artificers, he
concludes all men were fools; and though it procured him both anger and
much envy, yet in all companies he would openly profess it. When [220]
Supputius in Pontanus had travelled all over Europe to confer with a wise
man, he returned at last without his errand, and could find none. [221]
Cardan concurs with him, "Few there are (for aught I can perceive) well in
their wits." So doth [222]Tully, "I see everything to be done foolishly and

"Ille sinistrorsum, hic dextrorsum, unus utrique
Error, sed variis illudit partibus omnes."

"One reels to this, another to that wall,
'Tis the same error that deludes them all."

[223]They dote all, but not alike, [Greek: Mania gar pasin homoia], not in
the same kind, "One is covetous, a second lascivious, a third ambitious, a
fourth envious," &c. as Damasippus the Stoic hath well illustrated in the

[224] "Desipiunt omnes aeque ac tu."

"And they who call you fool, with equal claim
May plead an ample title to the name."

'Tis an inbred malady in every one of us, there is _seminarium stultitiae_,
a seminary of folly, "which if it be stirred up, or get ahead, will run _in
infinitum_, and infinitely varies, as we ourselves are severally addicted,"
saith [225]Balthazar Castilio: and cannot so easily be rooted out, it takes
such fast hold, as Tully holds, _altae radices stultitiae_, [226]so we are
bred, and so we continue. Some say there be two main defects of wit, error
and ignorance, to which all others are reduced; by ignorance we know not
things necessary, by error we know them falsely. Ignorance is a privation,
error a positive act. From ignorance comes vice, from error heresy, &c. But
make how many kinds you will, divide and subdivide, few men are free, or
that do not impinge on some one kind or other. [227]_Sic plerumque agitat
stultos inscitia_, as he that examines his own and other men's actions
shall find.

[228]Charon in Lucian, as he wittily feigns, was conducted by Mercury to
such a place, where he might see all the world at once; after he had
sufficiently viewed, and looked about, Mercury would needs know of him what
he had observed: He told him that he saw a vast multitude and a
promiscuous, their habitations like molehills, the men as emmets, "he could
discern cities like so many hives of bees, wherein every bee had a sting,
and they did nought else but sting one another, some domineering like
hornets bigger than the rest, some like filching wasps, others as drones."
Over their heads were hovering a confused company of perturbations, hope,
fear, anger, avarice, ignorance, &c., and a multitude of diseases hanging,
which they still pulled on their pates. Some were brawling, some fighting,
riding, running, _sollicite ambientes, callide litigantes_ for toys and
trifles, and such momentary things, Their towns and provinces mere
factions, rich against poor, poor against rich, nobles against artificers,
they against nobles, and so the rest. In conclusion, he condemned them all
for madmen, fools, idiots, asses, _O stulti, quaenam haec est amentia_? O
fools, O madmen, he exclaims, _insana studia, insani labores_, &c. Mad
endeavours, mad actions, mad, mad, mad, [229]_O saeclum insipiens et
infacetum_, a giddy-headed age. Heraclitus the philosopher, out of a
serious meditation of men's lives, fell a weeping, and with continual tears
bewailed their misery, madness, and folly. Democritus on the other side,
burst out a laughing, their whole life seemed to him so ridiculous, and he
was so far carried with this ironical passion, that the citizens of Abdera
took him to be mad, and sent therefore ambassadors to Hippocrates, the
physician, that he would exercise his skill upon him. But the story is set
down at large by Hippocrates, in his epistle to Damogetus, which because it
is not impertinent to this discourse, I will insert verbatim almost as it
is delivered by Hippocrates himself, with all the circumstances belonging
unto it.

When Hippocrates was now come to Abdera, the people of the city came
flocking about him, some weeping, some intreating of him, that he would do
his best. After some little repast, he went to see Democritus, the people
following him, whom he found (as before) in his garden in the suburbs all
alone, [230]"sitting upon a stone under a plane tree, without hose or
shoes, with a book on his knees, cutting up several beasts, and busy at his
study." The multitude stood gazing round about to see the congress.
Hippocrates, after a little pause, saluted him by his name, whom he
resaluted, ashamed almost that he could not call him likewise by his, or
that he had forgot it. Hippocrates demanded of him what he was doing: he
told him that he was [231]"busy in cutting up several beasts, to find out
the cause of madness and melancholy." Hippocrates commended his work,
admiring his happiness and leisure. And why, quoth Democritus, have not you
that leisure? Because, replied Hippocrates, domestic affairs hinder,
necessary to be done for ourselves, neighbours, friends; expenses,
diseases, frailties and mortalities which happen; wife, children, servants,
and such business which deprive us of our time. At this speech Democritus
profusely laughed (his friends and the people standing by, weeping in the
mean time, and lamenting his madness). Hippocrates asked the reason why he
laughed. He told him, at the vanities and the fopperies of the time, to see
men so empty of all virtuous actions, to hunt so far after gold, having no
end of ambition; to take such infinite pains for a little glory, and to be
favoured of men; to make such deep mines into the earth for gold, and many
times to find nothing, with loss of their lives and fortunes. Some to love
dogs, others horses, some to desire to be obeyed in many provinces,[232]
and yet themselves will know no obedience. [233]Some to love their wives
dearly at first, and after a while to forsake and hate them; begetting
children, with much care and cost for their education, yet when they grow
to man's estate, [234]to despise, neglect, and leave them naked to the
world's mercy. [235]Do not these behaviours express their intolerable
folly? When men live in peace, they covet war, detesting quietness, [236]
deposing kings, and advancing others in their stead, murdering some men to
beget children of their wives. How many strange humours are in men! When
they are poor and needy, they seek riches, and when they have them, they do
not enjoy them, but hide them under ground, or else wastefully spend them.
O wise Hippocrates, I laugh at such things being done, but much more when
no good comes of them, and when they are done to so ill purpose. There is
no truth or justice found amongst them, for they daily plead one against
another, [237]the son against the father and the mother, brother against
brother, kindred and friends of the same quality; and all this for riches,
whereof after death they cannot be possessors. And yet notwithstanding they
will defame and kill one another, commit all unlawful actions, contemning
God and men, friends and country. They make great account of many senseless
things, esteeming them as a great part of their treasure, statues,

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