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tion, which may serve to restrain men's reasons and judgements with reins of sobriety, from boasting and glorying in their gifts; for there seems to be a twofold harmony or music, the one of divine Providence, and the other of human reason. Now to the ears of mortals, that is to human judgement, the administration of the world and creatures therein, and the more secret judgements of God, sound very hard and harsh; which folly, albeit it be well set out with asses' ears, yet notwithstanding these ears are secret, and do not openly appear; neither is it perceived or noted as a deformity by the vulgar.
Lastly, it is not to be wondered at, that there is nothing attributed unto Pan concerning loves, but only of his marriage with Echo; for the world or nature doth enjoy itself, and in itself all things else. Now he that loves would enjoy something, but where there is enough there is no place left to desire; therefore there can be no wanting love in Pan, or the world, nor desire to obtain any thing, seeing he is contented with himself, but only speeches, which, if plain, may be intimated by the nymph Echo, or, if more quaint, by Syrinx. It is an excellent invention that Pan, or the world, is said to make choice of Echo only, above all other speeches or voices, for his wife; for that alone is true philosophy which doth faithfully render the very words of the world ; and it is written no otherwise than the world doth dictate, it being nothing else but the image or reflection of it, not adding any thing of its own, but only iterates and resounds. It belongs also to the sufficiency or
perfection of the world, that he begets no issue ; for the world doth generate in respect of its parts; but in respect of the whole, how can it generate, seeing without it there is no body ? Notwithstanding all this, the tale of that tattling girl faltered upon Pan, may in very deed, with great reason, be added to this fable; for by her are represented those vain and idle paradoxes concerning the nature of things which have been frequent in all ages, and have filled the world with novelties ; fruitless, if you respect the matter ; changelings, if you respect the kind; sometimes creating pleasure, sometimes tediousness, with their overmuch prattling.
PERSEUS, OR WAR. Perseus is said to have been employed by Pallas for the destroying of Medusa, who was very infestuous to the western parts of the world, and especially about the utmost coasts of Hiberia; a monster so dire and horrid, that by her only aspect she turned men into stones. This Medusa alone of all the Gorgons was mortal, the rest not subject to death. Perseus, therefore, preparing himself for this noble enterprise, had arms and gifts bestowed on him by three of the gods; Mercury gave him wings annexed to his heels, Pluto a helmet, Pallas a shield and a looking-glass. Notwithstanding, although he were thus furnished, he went not directly to Medusa, but first to the Greæ, which, by the mother's side, were sisters to the Gorgons. These Greæ from their birth were hoarheaded, resembling old women ; they had but one only eye and one tooth among them all, both which, she that had occasion to go abroad, was wont to take with her, and at her return to lay them down again. This
eye and tooth they lent to Perseus; and so finding himself thoroughly furnished for the effecting of his design, hastens towards Medusa. Her he found sleeping, and yet durst not present himself with his face towards her lest she should awake; but turning his head aside beheld her in Pallas's glass, and, by this means directing his blow, cut off her head ; from whose blood gushing out, instantly came Pegasus, the flying-horse. Her head thus smote off, Perseus bestows on Pallas's shield, which yet retained this virtue, that whatsoever looked upon it should become as stupid as a stone, or like one planet-strucken.
This fable seems to direct the preparation and order that is to be used in making of war; for the more apt and considerate undertaking whereof, three grave and wholesome precepts, savouring of the wisdom of Pallas, are to be observed.
First, That men do not much trouble themselves about the conquest of neighbour nations, seeing that private possessions and empires are enlarged by different means; for in the augmentation of private revenues, the vicinity of men's territories is to be considered ; but in the propagation of public dominions, the occasion and facility of making war, and the fruit to be expected ought to be instead of vicinity. Certainly the Romans, what time their conquests towards the west scarce reached beyond Liguria, did yet in the east bring all the provinces as far as the mountain Taurus within the compass of their arms and command; and therefore Perseus, although he were bred and born in the east, did not yet refuse to undertake an expedition even to the uttermost bounds of the west.
Secondly, There must be a care had, that the motives of war be just and honourable ; for that begets an alacrity as well in the soldiers that fight as in the people that pay; it draws on and procures aids, and brings many other commodities besides. But there is no pretence to take up arms more pious, than the suppressing of tyranny; under which yoke the people lose their courage, and are cast down without heart and vigour as in the sight of Medusa.
Thirdly, It is wisely added, that seeing there were three Gorgons, by which wars are represented, Perseus undertook her only that was mortal ; that is, he made choice of such a kind of war as was likely to be effected and brought to a period, not pursuing vast and endless hopes.
The furnishing of Perseus with necessaries was that which only advanced his attempt, and drew fortune to be of his side ; for he had speed from Mercury, concealing of his counsels from Orcus, and Providence from Pallas.
Neither is it without an allegory, and that full of matter too, that those wings of celerity were fastened to Perseus' heels and not to his ancles, to his feet and not to his shoulders ; because speed and celerity are required, not so much in the first preparations for war, as in those things which second and yield aid to
the first; for there is no errour in war more frequent, than that prosecutions and subsidiary forces do fail to answer the alacrity of the first onsets.
Now for that helinet which Pluto gave him, powerful to make men invisible, the moral is plain ; but that twofold gift of Providence, to wit, the shield and looking-glass, is full of morality ; for that kind of Providence, which like a shield avoids the force of blows, is not alone needful, but that also by which the strength and motions and counsels of the enemy are descried, as in the looking-glass of Pallas.
But Perseus, albeit he were sufficiently furnished with aid and courage, yet was he to do one thing of special importance before he entered the lists with this monster, and that was to have some intelligence with the Greæ. These Greæ are treasons which
may be termed the sisters of war not descended of the same stock, but far unlike in nobility of birth; for wars are generous and heroical, but treasons are base and ignoble. Their description is elegant, for they are said to be gray-headed, and like old women from their birth, by reason that traitors are continually vexed with cares and trepidations. But all their strength, before they break out into open rebellions, consists either in an eye or in a tooth; for every faction alienated from any state, contemplates and bites. Besides, this eye and tooth is as it were common; for whatsoever they can learn and know is delivered and carried from one to another by the hands of faction. And as concerning the tooth, they do all bite alike, and sing the same song; so that