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conduft it all the way. The preservation of a Family, the
produftion of Children, the avoiding Fornication, the refresh-
ment of our Sorrows by the comforts of Society, all these are
fair Ends of Marriage and hallow the entrance ; but, in these
there is a special order ; society was the first designed, // is
not good for man to be alone : Children was the next. Increase
and multiply ; but the avoiding fornication came in by the


The Marriage Ring. 13

superfoetation of the evil accidents of the world. The first
makes marriage Delegable, the second necessary to the
Publick, the third necessary to the Particular; This is for
safety, for life, and Heaven it self;

Nam simulac venas injlavit dira cupido,
Hue Juvenes csqiium est descendere ;

The other have in them joy and a portion of Immortality :
the first makes the mans Heart glad ; the second is the friend
of Kingdoms, and Cities, and Families ; and the third is the
Enemy to Hell, and an Antidote of the chiefest inlet to
damnation : but of all these the noblest End is the multiplying
children, Miindus cu7n patet, Deorum tristinm atquc inferum Macrobim
quasi patet janua ; propterea uxorem liberorum qticerendorum rone.
causa ducere religiosum est, said Varro, It is religion to marry
for children ; and Qtiintilian put it into the definition of a
wife, est enim uxor quani jungit, quant diducit utilitas ; ctijus
h(BC reverentia est, quod videtiir inventa in causa liberorjirn,
and therefore S. Ignatius when he had spoken of Elias, and
Titus, and Clement, with an honourable mention of \h€\r
virgin-state, lest he might seem to have lessened the married deipl.
Apostles, at whose feet in Christs Kingdom he thought him-
self unworthy to sit, he gives this testimony, they were rots
ya/tiois Trpo(TOiJ.i\rj(TavTes ov)( vtto ■npoOvyiia'; rrj? Trepi to npayfj-a,
a\X' in ivvoia'i iavraiu tov yevov; icrxov eVeiVov?, that they
might not be disparaged in their great names of holiness and
severity, they were secured by not marrying to satisfie their
lower appetites, but out of desire of children. Other con-
siderations if they be incident and by way of appendage, are
also considerable in the accounts of prudence ; but when they
become principles, they defile the mystery and make the
blessing doubtful : Amabit sapiens, cupient cceteri, said Af ra-

14 The Marriage Ring.

nius, Love is a fair Inducement, but Desire and Appetite are
rude, and the Chara6lerisms of a sensual person : Amare
justi & boni est, cupere impotentis ; to love, belongs to a just
and a good man ; but to lust, or furiously and passionately
to desire, is the sign of impotency and an unruly mind.

2. Man and Wife are equally concerned to avoid all
Offences of each other in the beginning of their conversation :
every little thing can blast an infant Blossom ; and the breath
of the South can shake the little rings of the Vine, when first
they begin to curie like the locks of a new weaned boy ; but
when by Age and consolidation they stiffen into the hardness
of a stem, and have by the warm embraces of the Sun and the
kisses of Heaven brought forth their clusters, they can endure
the storms of the North, and the loud noises of a Tempest,
and yet never be broken : So are the early unions of an
unfixed Marriage ; watchful and observant, jealous and busie,
inquisitive and careful, and apt to take alarum at every unkind
word. For Infirmities do not manifest themselves in the first
Scenes, but in the succession of a long Society ; and it is not
chance or weakness when it appears at first, but it is want of
love or prudence, or it will be so expounded ; and that which
appears ill at first usually affrights the unexperienced man or
woman, who makes unequal conjedlures, and fancies mighty
sorrows by the proportions of the new and early unkindness.
It is a very great Passion, or a huge Folly, or a certain want
of Love, that cannot preserve the colours and beauties of
Kindness, so long as publick Honesty requires a man to wear
their Sorrows for the death of a Friend. Plutarch compares
a new Marriage to a Vessel before the hoops are on, jueTo,
a.pya.% jJ-ev vno t^? tu^ouch^s /aaSiws StacrTrarat TTpo(f)dcreo}i, every
thing dissolves their tender compaginations, but }(j)6vo} twv
dpfjicov (Tvp.TTri^i,v Xa^ovTov juoyis vtto vvpos kol cnBijpov StaXverat,


The Marriage Ring. 15

when the joynts are stiffened and are tied by a firm com-
pliance and proportion'd bending, scarcely can it be dissolved
without Fire or the violence of Iron. After the Hearts of
the man and the wife are endeared and hardened by a mutual
Confidence, and Experience longer than artifice and pretence
can last, there are a great many remembrances, and some
things present that dash all litde unkindnesses in pieces.
The little Boy in the Greek Epigram, that was creeping Mafw toO
down a Precipice was invited to his Safety by the sight of ^opa^Kai
his Mother's pap, when nothing else could intice him to *"•'"'"'•
return : and the bond of common Children, and the sight
of her that nurses what is most dear to him, and the endear-
ments of each other in the course of a long society, and the
same relation is an excellent security to redintegrate and to
call that love back which folly and trifling accidents would

Tormentum ingens mibeiitibus Jiaret

QiuB neqtieunt parere, & partu retinere maritos.

When it is come thus far, it is hard untwisting the Knot ;
but be careful in its first coalition, that there be no rudeness
done ; for if there be, it will for ever after be apt to start
and to be diseased.

3. Let man and wife be careful to stifle little ■■ things, * ^''fff'"
that as fast as they spring, they be cut down and trod upon ; dcm, sed
for if they be suffered to grow by numbers, they make the randa ma-
spirit peevish, and the Society troublesome, and the Affecflions
loose and easie by an habitual Aversation. Some men are
more vexed with a Flie than with a Wound ; and when the
Gnats disturb our sleep, and the Reason is disquieted but not
perfectly awakened ; it is often seen that he is fuller of trouble
than if in the day-light of his reason he were to contest with


1 6 The Marriage Ring.

a potent enemy. In the frequent little accidents of a Family,
a mans reason cannot always be awake ; and when his Dis-
courses are imperfeft, and a trifling Trouble makes him yet
more restless, he is soon betrayed to the violence of Passion.
It is certain that the man or woman are in a state of weakness
and folly then, when they can be troubled with a trifling
accident ; and therefore it is not good to tempt their affeftions,
when they are in that state of danger. In this case the
Caution is, to substra6l Fuel from the sudden Flame ; for
stubble though it be quickly kindled, yet it is as soon ex-
tinguished, if it be not blown by a pertinacious breath, or
fed with new materials. Add no new provocations to the
accident, and do not inflame this, and peace will soon return,
and the discontent will pass away soon, as the sparks from the
collision of a flint ; ever remembring, that Discontents pro-
ceeding from daily little things, do breed a secret un-
discernable Disease, which is more dangerous than a Fever
proceeding from a discerned notorious Surfeit.

4. Let them be sure to abstain from all those things,
which by experience and observation they find to be contrary
to each other. They that govern Elephants never appear
before them in White, and the Masters of Bulls keep from
them all garments of Bloud and Scarlet, as knowing that they
will be impatient of civil usages and discipline, when their
Natures are provoked by their proper Antipathies. The
ancients in their martial Hieroglyphicks us'd to depidl
Mercury standing by Venus, to signifie, that by fair language

...Hujus2SiA sweet intreaties, the minds of each other should be
"u nZi united ; and hard by them, Stiadam & Gratias descripserunt,
que vo- j.j^g„ would have all deliciousness of manners, compliance and

Nuiiaboni, mutual observance to abide.
auimo 5. Let the Husband and Wife infinitely avoid a curious

r«/X distindion

The Marriage Ring. i 7

distin6lion of mine and thine ; for this hath caused all the Plus aloes
Laws, and all the Suits, and all the Wars in the World ; let mollis
them who have but one Person, have also but one Interest, juven'sat!
The Husband and Wife are heirs to each other (as Dionysius ^'
Halicarnasseus relates from Romulus) if they die without
Children ; but if there be Children, the Wife is tois Traicrti'
icro/Aot/Do?, a partner in the Inheritance. But during their life,
the use and imployment is common to both their necessities,
and in this there is no other Difference of right, but that the
Man hath the Dispensation of all, and may keep it from his
Wife just as the Governour of a Town may keep it from the
right Owner ; he hath the pozucr, but no right to do so. And
when either of them begins to impropriate, it is like a tumour
in the llesh, it draws more than its share ; but what it feeds
on, turns to a bile : and therefore the Romans forbad any
Donations to be made between Man and Wife, because
neither of them could transfer a new Right of those things,
which already they had in common ; but this is to be under-
stood only concerning the uses of necessity and personal
conveniences ; for so all may be the Woman's, and all may be
the Man's in several regards. Corvinus dwells in a Farm
and receives all its profits, and reaps and sows as he please,
and eats of the Corn and drinks of the Wine ; it is his own :
but all that also is his Lords, and for it Corvinus pays
Acknowledgment ; and his Patron hath such powers and uses
of it as are proper to the Lords ; and yet for all this, it may
be the Kings too, to all the purposes that he can need, and
is all to be accounted in the censtis and for certain services
and times of danger : So are the Riches of a Family, they
are a Womans as well as a Mans : they are hers for Need,
and hers for Ornament, and hers for modest Delight, and for
the uses of Religion and prudent Charity ; but the disposing

D them

1 8 The Marriage Ring.

them into portions of inheritance, the assignation of charges
and governments, stipends and rewards, annuities and greater
donatives are the reserves of the superior right, and not to
be invaded by the under-possessors. But in those things,
where they ought to be common, if the spleen or the belly
swells and draws into its capacity much of that which should
be spent upon those parts, which have an equal right to be
maintain'd, it is a dropsie or a consumption of the whole,
something that is evil because it is unnatural and monstrous.
Macarius in his 32 Homily speaks fully in this particular, a
Woman betrothed to a Man bears all her Portion, and with
a mighty Love pours it into the hands of her Husband, and
says, e/u.oj' ouSei- e)(aj, I have nothing of my own ; my Goods,
'p,,r6/)w^ my Portion, my Body and my Mind is yours. No/aw yap
airauTa yi/yi^ecruaL tov yeya/Aij/coTos, tov ttKovtov, Trjv ooqav, Tov<i
inaivov;, all that a Woman hath is reckoned to the right of
her Husband; not her wealth and her person only, but her
reputation and her praise ; So Ltician. But as the Earth,
the Mother of all Creatures here below, sends up all its
Vapours and proper emissions at the command of the Sun,
and yet requires them again to refresh her own Needs, and
they are deposited between them both in the bosome of a
Cloud as a common receptacle, that they may cool his Flames,
and yet descend to make her F"ruitful : So are the proprieties
of a Wife to be dispos'd of by her Lord ; and yet all are for
her provisions, it being a part of his need to refresh and
supply hers, and it serves the interest of both while it serves
the necessities of either.

These are the Duties of them both, which have common
regards and equal necessities, and obligations ; and indeed
there is scarce any matter of duty, but it concerns them both
alike, and is only distinguished by names, and hath its variety


The Marriage Ring. 19

by circumstances and little accidents : and what in one is
call'd love, in the other is called reverence ; and what in the
wife is obedience, the same in the man is duty. He provides,
and she dispenses ; he gives commandments, and she rules
by them ; he rules her by Authority, and she rules him by
Love ; she ought by all means to please him, and he must
by no means displease her. For as the Heart is set in the
midst of the Body, and though it strikes to one side by the
prerogative of Nature, yet those throbs and constant motions
are felt on the other side also, and the influence is equal to
both : So it is in conjugal Duties ; some motions are to the
one side more than to the other, but the interest is on both,
and the Duty is equal in the several instances. If it be
otherwise, the Man enjoys a Wife as Pcriander did his dead
Melissa, by an unnatural Union, neither pleasing, nor holy,
useless to all the purposes of Society, and dead to Content.


The Marriage Ring.

Part II.

IHe next Inquiry is more particular, and considers
the Power and Duty of the Man ; Let every one of
you so love his Wife even as himself ; she is as him-
self, the man hath power over her as over himself,
and must love her equally. A Husbands power over his
wife is paternal and friendly, not magisterial and despotick.
The wife is in perpetua tiitela, under condu6l and counsel ;
for, the power a man hath is founded in the understanding,
not in the will or force ; it is not a power of coercion, but a
power of advice, and that government that wise men have
over those who are fit to be conduced by them : Et vos in
manu et in tutela non in semitio debetis habere eas, et nialle
patres vos, et viros, qtiam doniinos dici, said Valerius in Livie ;
Husbands should rather be Fathers than Lords. Homer adds
more soft appellatives to the charafter of a Husbands duty,
TTaTTJp ixkv yap ecrrt avrfj kol TTOTVia iJirjTrfp, rjok Kacriyvqro^,
Thou art to be a Father and a Mother to her, and a Brother:
and great reason, unless the state of Marriage should be no
better than the condition of an Orphan. For she that is
bound to leave Father and Mother, and Brother for thee,
either is miserable like a poor fatherless child, or else ought


The Marriage Ring.

to find all these, and more in thee. Medea in Euripides had
cause to complain when she found it otherwise.

X\.avTav S' Off' ^ar iyi-^v")(a Koi jvoifirjv e%6t

TvvaiKe^ ia-fiev d&\ianajov (pvTOp'

'^A? TTpana fiev Bel ■)(^pr]^dru)v virep^oKfj

Yioaov irpiaadat,, BecjiroTTjv re cral/naro?

Which Saint Amh-ose well translates : It is sad, when Virgins Exhor. ad
are with their own Money sold to Slavery ; and that Services
are in better state than Marriages ; for they receive Wages,
but these buy their Fetters and pay dear for their loss of
Liberty ; and therefore the Romans expressed the mans power
over his wife but by a gentle word, Nee vcro mnlieribus pra-
feHus prccponatur, qui apud Gtcecos crcari solet, sed sit censor
qui viros doceat moderari uxoribus ; said Cicero, Let there be
no Governour of the Woman appointed, but a Censor of
Manners, one to teach the men to moderate their Wives, that
is, fairly to induce them to the measures of their own pro-
portions. It was rarely observed of Philo, Eu to \x.r\ (fxivai, r)
yvvrj rjv eSw/ca? ifiol, aXXa jxer ijjiov' ov yap e/AOi cu? Krijix-a Trjv
alo-dr)cn,v e8wKa<s, dWa koI avT-^v d<j)rJKa<; dverov Koi ikevdepav,
when Adam made that fond Excuse for his Folly in eating
the forbidden fruit, he said [The woman thou gavest to be
with me she gave me] He says not [The woman which thou
gavest to me] no such thing ; she is none of his Goods, none
of his Possessions, not to be reckoned amongst his Servants ;
God did not give her to him so ; but [The woman thou gavest
to be with me] that is, to be my partner, the Companion of my
joys and sorrows, thou gavest her for Use, not for Dominion.
The Dominion of a man over his Wife is no other than as
the Soul rules the Body ; for which it takes a mighty care,
and uses it with a delicate tenderness, and cares for it in all


The Marriage Ring.

contingencies, and watches to keep it from all evils, and

studies to make for it fair provisions, and very often is led

by its inclinations and desires, and does never contradift

its appetites, but when they are evil, and then also not without

some trouble and sorrow ; and its Government comes only to

this, it furnishes the body with light and understanding, and

the body furnishes the soul with hands and feet ; the Soul

governs, because the body cannot else be happy, but the

government is no other than provision; as a Nurse governs

a Child, when she causes him to eat, and to be warm, and

dry, and quiet : and yet even the very government itself is

divided ; for Man and Wife in the family, are as the Sun

and Moon in the firmament of Heaven ; He rules by Day,

and she by Night, that is, in the lesser and more proper

Circles of her affairs, in the conduft of domestick provisions

and necessary offices, and shines only by his light, and rules

by his authority ; and as the Moon in opposition to the Sun

shines brightest, that is, then, when she is in her own circles

and separate regions ; so is the authority of the Wife then

most conspicuous, when she is separate and in her proper

Sphere ; in Gynceceo, in the nursery and offices of domestick

employment : but when she is in conjun6lion with the Sun her

Brother, that is, in that place and employment in which his

care and proper offices are employed, her light is not seen,

her authority hath no proper business ; but else there is no

difference : for they were barbarous people, among whom wives

were instead of servants, said Spartiamis in Caracalla ; and

it is a sign of impotency and weakness, to force the Camels to

kneel for their Load, because thou hast not spirit and strength

enough to climb : To make the affeftions and evenness of a

wife bend by the flexures of a servant, is a sign the man is

not wise enough to govern, when another stands by. So


The Marriage Ring. 23

many differences as can be in the appellatives of Dominus
and Domina, Governour and Governess, Lord and Lady,
Master and Mistress, the same difference there is in the
authority of man and woman, and no more ; Si tu Cuius, ego
Caia, was publickly proclaimed upon the threshold of the
young mans house, when the bride enter'd into his hands
and power ; and the title of Domina in the sense of the Civil
Law, was among the Romans given to Wives.

Hi Doniinam Ditis thalamo deduce re adorti, ^ndd. 6.

said Virgil : where, though Servius says it was spoken after
the manner of the Greeks, who call'd the Wife t^ia-noivav, Lady
or Mistress, yet it was so amongst both the Nations.

Ac donmm Dominam voca, says Cahtlliis ; Epithai.

Hcrrebit Dominc? vir comes ipse sua:, so Martial ;
And therefore although there is just measure of Subje61,ion
and Obedience due from the Wife to the Husband (as I shall
after explain) yet nothing of this expressed is in the mans
Charafter, or in his Duty ; he is not commanded to rule, nor
instrufted how, nor bidden to exaft obedience, or to defend
his priviledge ; all his Duty is signified hy Love, by nourishing %v\^^i. 5.
and cherishing, by being joyned with her in all the unions of ^^' ^^'
charity, by not being bitter to her, by dzvelling tvith her accord- Coi. 3. 19.
ing to knoivledge, giving honour to her : so that it seems to be ' " ' ^' '"
with Husbands, as it is with Bishops and Priests, to whom
much honour is due, but yet so that if they stand upon it, and
challenge it, they become less honourable : And as amongst
men and women humility is the way to be preferr'd ; so it is
in Husbands, they shall prevail by cession, by sweetness and
counsel, and charity and compliance. So that we cannot
discourse of the mans right, without describing the measures of
his duty ; that therefore follows next.


24 The Marriage Ring.

Let him love his wife even as himself F\ That's his Duty,
and the measure of it too : which is so plain, that if he under-
stands how he treats himself, there needs nothing be added
concerning his demeanour towards her, save only that we add
the particulars, in which holy Scripture instances this general

Ml) TTLKpaCueTe. That's the first. Be not bitter against
her ; and this is the least Index and signification of Love ; a
Civil man is never bitter against a Friend or a Stranger, much
less to him that enters under his Roof, and is secured by the
Laws of Hospitality. But a Wife does all that, and more ;
she quits all her interest for his love, she gives him all that she
can give, she is as much the same person as another can be
the same, who is conjoyned by love, and mystery, and religion,
and all that is sacred and profane.

Non equidem hoc dubites amborum fcedere certo
Consentire dies, & ab icno sidere duci ;

They have the same Fortune, the same Family, the same
Children, the same Religion, the same Interest, the same
Flesh \erunt duo in carnem unani\ and therefore this the
Apostle urges for his /at) ■niKpalvere, no man hateth his own
flesh, but no7irisheth and chcrisheth it ; and he certainly is
strangely Sacrilegious and a Violater of the rights of Hospi-
tality and San6luary, who uses her rudely, who is fled for
Protection, not only to his House, but also to his Heart and
Bosome. A wise man will not wrangle with any one, much
less with his dearest relative ; and if it be accounted undecent
to Embrace in publick, it is extremely shameful to Brawle
in publick : for the other is in itself lawful ; but this never,
though it were assisted with the best circumstances of which
it is capable. Marais Aurelius said, that a wise man ought


The Marriage Ring.

often to admonish his wife, to reprove her seldom, but never

to lay his hands'''' upon her : neqtie verberibtcs neque iiialediHis

exasperandani tixorem, said the Do6lors of the

Jews, and Homer brings in Jupiter sometimes * '^'^ slmm qukunquep'^i-

speaking sharply to funo (according to the Greek ^l2,^^, ^ ^^^^ j^^^.^

liberty and Empire) but made a pause at striking uu Dcos.

^ ' ' ^ '-' Svt salts i membns kmiem

her, perscinderc vesiem,

,-. , V ^5., , •r 1 . J / ,-, - Sit salts ornalas dissolu-

\jv fiav Old ei avre KaKoppa<pL7]<; a\eyet-vr]<; issc comas,

np(BT77 kiravpriai icai ae TrXvyrja'tv iudcraa). ^'' lacrymas movisse sa-

1^ ' ^' "•' '^ lis; qualerillelieatus,

And the Ancients used to sacrifice to Juno ya- '^''pJiTpoiJr''' ^'"
aijXi'a, or the President of Marriage, without gall ; ^"^ maniims qui smms

' ' _ o o ^•,-i(^ sfutiimqite sn-

and St. Basil observes and urges it, by way of dimqiu-
upbraiding quarrelling husbands ; httam vipera procuia Vmere.
virus ob nuptiarum venerationem evomit, the Viper
casts all his poison when he marries his female, Tu Homii. 7.

duritiam animi, tu feritatem, tu crudelitatem ob uiiionis reve-
rentiam noii deponis? He is worse than a Viper, who for
the reverence of this sacred union will not abstain from such
a poisonous bitterness ; and how shall he embrace that person
whom he hath smitten reproachfully ; for those kindnesses
are undecent which the fighting-man pays unto his wife.
S. Chrysostome preaching earnestly against this barbarous
Inhumanity of striking the Wife, or reviling her with evil
Language, says, it is as if a King should beat his Viceroy
and use him like a Dog ; from whom most of that Reverence
and Majesty must needs depart, which he first put upon him,
and the subjects shall pay him less duty, how much his
Prince hath treated him with less civility ; but the loss
redounds to himself; and the government of the whole family
shall be disordered, if blows be laid upon that shoulder which
together with the other ought to bear nothing but the cares
and the issues of a prudent government. And it is observ-

E able,

26 The Marriage Ring.

able, that no man ever did this rudeness for a vertuous end ;
it is an incompetent instrument, and may proceed from wrath
and folly, but can never end in vertue and the unions of a
prudent and fair society. Quod si verberaveris, exasperabis
morbum : (saith S. Chrysostome-) asperitas enim vtansuetudine ,
lion alia asperitate, dissolvitur ; if you strike, you exasperate
the Wound, and (like Cato at Utica in his despair) tear the
Wounds in pieces; and yet he that did so ill to himself whom he
lov'd well, he lov'd not women tenderly, and yet would never

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