« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Abraham ; whereof the former two peopled the secret cabala, ordained the laws of Bensalem world, and the last was the father of the faithful; which they now use; and that when the Messias concluding ever with a thanksgiving for the nati- should come and sit in his throne at Hierusalem, vity of our Saviour, in whose birth the births of the King of Bensalem should sit at his feet, all are only blessed. Dinner being done, the whereas other kings should keep a great distance. 'Tirsan retireth again: and having withdrawn him- But yet setting aside these Jewish dreams, the self alone into a place, where he maketh some man was a wise man, and learned, and of great private prayers, he cometh forth the third time, to policy, and excellently seen in the laws and cusgive the blessing, with all his descendants, who toms of that nation. Amongst other discourses, stand about him as at the first. Then he calleth one day I told him I was much affected with the them forth by one and by one, by namo, as he relation I had from some of the company, of their pleaseth, though seldom the order of age be in- custom in holding the feast of the family; for that, verted. The person that is called, the table being methought I had never heard of a solemnity before removed, kneeleth down before the chair, wherein nature did so much preside. And beand the father layeth his hand upon his head or cause propagation of families proceedeth from the her head, and giveth the blessing in these words : nuptial copulation, I desired to know of him, what “Son of Bensalem or daughter of Bensalem, thy laws and customs they had concerning marriage; father saith it; the man by whom thou hast breath and whether they kept marriage well; and and life speaketh the word; The blessing of the whether they were tied to one wife? For that everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and the where population is so much affected, and such as Holy Dove be upon thee, and make the days of with them it seemed to be, there is commonly thy pilgrimage good and many.” This he saith permission of plurality of wives. To this he said, to every of them; and that done, if there be any “You have reason for to commend that excellent of his sons of eminent merit and virtue, so they be institution of the feast of the family; and indeed not above two, he calleth for them again; and saith, we have experience, that those families that are Jaying his arm over their shoulders, they standing; partakers of the blessing of that feast, do flourish “Sons, it is well ye are born, give God the praise, and prosper ever after in an extraordinary manner. and persevere to the end.” And withal he deli- But hear me now, and I will tell you what I vereth to either of them a jewel made in the figure know. You shall understand that there is not of an ear of wheat, which they ever after wear under the heavens so chaste a nation as this of in the front of their turban or hat. This done, Bensalem ; nor so free from all pollution or foulthey fall to music and dances, and other recrea- ness. It is the virgin of the world. I remember tions, after their manner for the rest of the day. I have read, in one of your European books, of a This is the full order of that feast.
holy hermit among you, that desired to see the By that time six or seven days were spent, I spirit of fornication; and there appeared to him was fallen into strait acquaintance with a mer- a little foul ugly Æthiop: but if he had desired to chant of that city, whose name was Joabin. He see the spirit of chastity of Bensalem, it would was a Jew, and circumcised : for they have some have appeared to him in the likeness of a fair few stirps of Jews yet remaining among them, beautiful cherubim. For there is nothing amongst whom they leave to their own religion; which mortal men more fair and admirable, than the they may the better do, because they are of a far chaste minds of this people. Know, therefore, that differing disposition from the Jews in other parts. with them there are no stews, no dissolute houses, For whereas they hate the name of Christ, and no courtesans, nor any thing of that kind. Nay, have a secret inbred rancour against the people they wonder with detestation at you in Europe, amongst whom they live: these, contrariwise, give which permit such things. They say, ye have unto our Saviour many high attributes, and love put marriage out of office: for marriage is ordained the nation of Bensalem extremely. Surely this a remedy for unlawful concupiscence; and natural man of whom I speak, would ever acknowledge concupiscence seemeth but a spur to marriage. that Christ was born of a virgin; and that he was But when men have at hand a remedy more agreemore than a man: and he would tell how God able to their corrupt will, marriage is almost made him ruler of the seraphims which guard his pulsed. And therefore there are with you seen throne; and they call him also the milken way, infinite men that marry not, but choose rather a and the Eliah of the Messias ; and many other libertine and impure single life, than to be yoked high names; which though they be inferior to his in marriage; and many that do marry, marry divine Majesty, yet they are far from the language late, when the prime and strength of their years is of other Jews. And for the country of Bensalem, past. And when they do marry, what is marriage this man would make no end of commending it: to them but a very bargain; wherein is sought albeing desirous by tradition among the Jews there, liance, or portion, or reputation, with some desire, to have it believed, that the people thereof were almost indifferent, of issue; and not the faithful of the generations of Abraham, by another son, nuptial union of man and wife, that was first inwhom they call Nachoran; and that Moses, by a stituted. Neither is it possible, that those that
have cast away so basely so much of their strength of the friends of the woman, to see them severally should greatly esteem children, being of the same bathe naked.” matter, as chaste men do. So likewise during And as we were thus in conference, there came marriage, is the case much amended, as it ought one that seemed to be a messenger, in a rich huke, to be if those things were tolerated only for neces- that spake with the Jew: whereupon he turned sity? No, but they remain still as a very affront to me and said ; “ You will pardon me, for I am to marriage. The haunting of those dissolute commanded away in haste.” The next morning places, or resort to courtesans, are no more pu- he came to me again joyful, as it seemed, and nished in married men than in bachelors. And said, “ There is word come to the governor of the the depraved custom of change, and the delight in city, that one of the fathers of Solomon's House meretricious embracements, where sin is turned will be here this day seven-night: we have seen into art, maketh marriage a dull thing, and a kind none of them this dozen years. His coming is in of imposition or tax. They hear you defend these state : but the cause of his coming is secret. I
things, as done to avoid greater evils; as advou- will provide you and your fellows of a good i tries, deflouring of virgins, unnatural lust, and the standing to see his entry.” I thanked him, and
like. But they say this is a preposterous wisdom; told him, I was most glad of the news. The day and they call it Lot's offer, who to save his guests being come he made his entry. He was a man from abusing, offered his daughters : nay, they say of middle stature and age, comely of person, and farther, that there is little gained in this; for that had an aspect as if he pitied men. He was the same vices and appetites do still remain and clothed in a robe of fine black cloth, with wide abound; unlawful lust being like a furnace, that sleeves and a cape. His under garment was of if you stop the flames altogether, it will quench; excellent white linen down to the foot, girt with but if you give it any vent, it will rage. As for a girdle of the same; and a sindon or tippet of masculine love, they have no touch of it; and yet the same about his neck. He had gloves that there are not so faithful and inviolate friendships were curious, and set with stone ; and shoes of in the world again as are there; and to speak peach-coloured velvet. His neck was bare to the generally, as I said before, I have not read of any shoulders. His hat was like a helmet or Spanish such chastity in any people as theirs. And their Montera ; and his locks curled below it decently; usual saying is, That whosoever is unchaste can- they were of colour brown. His beard was cut not reverence himself: and they say, That the round, and of the same colour with his hair, somereverence of a man's self is, next religion, the what lighter He was carried in a rich chariot chiefest bridle of all vices.” And when he had without wheels, litter-wise, with two horses at said this, the good Jew paused a little; where either end, richly trapped in blue velvet embroidupon I, far more willing to hear him speak on than ered; and two footmen on each side in the like to speak myself; yet thinking it decent, that upon attire. The chariot was all of cedar, gilt, and his pause of speech I should not be altogether adorned with crystal; save that the fore-end had silent, said only this; “ that I would say to him, pannels of sapphires, set in borders of gold, and as the woman of Sarepta said to Elias; that he the hinder-end the like of emeralds of Peru colour. was come to bring to memory our sins; and that There was also a sun of gold, radiant upon the I confess the righteousness of Bensalem was top, in the midst; and on the top before a small greater than the righteousness of Europe.” At cherub of gold, with wings displayed. The chawhich speech he bowed his head, and went on in riot was covered with cloth of gold tissued upon this manner : “ They have also many wise and blue. He had before him fifty attendants, young excellent laws touching marriage. They allow men all, in white satin loose coats to the mid-leg, no polygamy; they have ordained that none do and stockings of white silk; and shoes of blue intermarry, or contract until a month be passed velvet; and hats of blue velvet; with fine plumes from their first interview. Marriage without of divers colours, set round like hat-bands. Next consent of parents they do not make void, but they before the chariot went two men bare headed, in mulct it in the inheritors : for the children of such linen garments down to the foot, girt, and shoes marriages are not admitted to inherit above a third of blue velvet, who carried the one a crosier, the part of their parents' inheritance. I have read in other a pastoral staff, like a sheep hook; neither a book of one of your men, of a feigned common- of them of metal, but the crosier of balm-wood, the wealth, where the married couple are permitted pastoral staff of cedar. Horsemen he had none, before they contract, to see one another naked. neither before nor behind his chariot: as it seemThis they dislike; for they think it a scorn to eth, to avoid all tumult and trouble. Behind his give a refusal after so familiar knowledge: but chariot went all the officers and principals of the because of many hidden defects in men and wo- companies of the city. He sat alone, upon
cushmen's bodies, they have a more civil way: for ions of a kind of excellent plush, blue; and under they have near every town a couple of pools, which his foot curious carpets of silk of divers colours, they call Adam and Eve's pools, where it is permit- like the Persian, but far finer. He held up his ted to one of the friends of the man, and another bare hand as he went, as blessing the people but Vol. 1.-34
in silence. The street was wonderfully well the deepest are sunk six hundred fathom ; and kept: so that there was never any army had their some of them are digged and made under great men stand in better battle-array, than the people hills and mountains: so that if you reckon tostood. The windows likewise were not crowded, gether the depth of the hill, and the depth of the but every one stood in them as if they had been cave, they are, some of them, above three miles placed. When the show was past, the Jew said deep. For we find that the depth of a hill, and to me, “I shall not be able to attend you as I the depth of a cave from the flat is the same thing; would, in regard of some charge the city hath laid both remote alike from the sun and heaven's upon me, for the entertaining of this great person.” beams, and from the open air. These caves we call Three days after the Jew came to me again, and the lower region. And we use them for all cosaid ; “ Ye are happy men; for the father of So-agulations, indurations, refrigerations, and conJomon's House taketh knowledge of your being servations of bodies. We use them likewise for here, and commanded me to tell you, that he will the imitation of natural mines : and the proadmit all your company to his presence, and have ducing also of new artificial metals, by compoprivate conference with one of you that ye shall sitions and materials which we use and lay there choose; and for this hath appointed the next day for many years. We use them also sometimes, after to-morrow. And because he meaneth to which may seem strange, for curing of some give you his blessing, he hath appointed it in the diseases, and for prolongation of life, in some forenoon." We came at our day and hour, and I hermits that choose to live there, well accomwas chosen by my fellows for the private access. modated of all things necessary, and indeed live We found him in a fair chamber, richly hanged, very long; by whom also we learn many things. and carpeted under foot, without any degrees “ We have burials in several earths, where we to the state ; he was set upon a low throne put divers cements, as the Chinese do their porcerichly adorned, and a rich cloth of state over lain. But we have them in greater variety, and his head, of blue satin embroidered. He was some of them more fine. We have also great va. alone, save that he had two pages of honour, riety of composts, and soils, for the making of the on either hand one, finely attired in white. His earth fruitful. under-garments were the like that we saw him “We have high towers, the highest about half a wear in the chariot; but instead of his gown, he mile in height; and some of them likewise set had on him a mantle with a cape, of the same fine upon high mountains; so that the vantage of the black, fastened about him. When we came in, hill with the tower, is in the highest of them three as we were taught, we bowed low at our first en- miles at least. And these places we call the upper trance; and when we were come near his chair, region : accounting the air between the high places he stood up, holding forth his hand ungloved, and the low, as a middle region. We use these and in posture of blessing; and we every one of towers according to their several heights and situaus stooped down, and kissed the hem of his tip- tions, for insolation, refrigeration, conservation, pet. That done, the rest departed, and I remained. and for the view of divers meteors; as winds, rain, Then he warned the pages forth of the room, and snow, hail, and some of the fiery meteors also. caused me to sit down beside him, and spake to And upon them, in some places, are dwellings of me thus in the Spanish tongue :
hermits, whom we visit sometimes, and instruct
what to observe. “ God bless thee, my son; I will give thee “We have great lakes both salt and fresh, whereof the greatest jewel I have. For I will impart we have use for the fish and fowl. We use them unto thee, for the love of God and men, a rela- also for burials of some natural bodies; for we tion of the true state of Solomon's House. Son, find a difference in things buried in earth, or in air, to make you know the true state of Solomon's below the earth; and things buried in water. We House, I will keep this order. First, I will set have also pools, of which some do strain fresh forth unto you the end of our foundation. Se- water out of salt; and others by art do turn fresh condly, the preparations and instruments we have water into salt. We have also some rocks in the for our works. Thirdly, the several employ- midst of the sea : and some bays upon the shore ments and functions whereto our fellows are as- for some works, wherein is required the air and vasigned. And, fourthly, the ordinances and rites pour of the sea. We have likewise violent streams which we observe.
and cataracts, which serve us for many motions:
and likewise engines for multiplying and enforc“ The end of our foundation is the knowledge ing of winds, to set also on going divers motions. of causes, and secret motions of things; and the 6. We have also a number of artificial wells and enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to fountains, made in imitation of the natural sources the effecting of all things possible.
and baths: as tincted upon vitriol, sulphur, steel,
brass, lead, nitre, and other minerals. And “ The preparations and instruments are these. again, we have little wells for infusions of many We have large and deep caves of several depths; things, where the waters take the sirtue quicker and better, than in vessels or basins. And differ in colour, shape, activity, many ways. We amongst them we have a water, which we call find means to make commixtures and copuwater of paradise, being, by that we do to it, lations of different kinds, which have produced made very sovereign for health and prolongation many new kinds, and them not barren, as the of life.
general opinion is. We make a number of kinds “We have also great and spacious houses, of serpents, worms, flies, fishes, of putrefaction; where we imitate and demonstrate meteors; as whereof some are advanced in effect to be perfect snow, hail, rain, some artificial rains of bodiest creatures, like beasts, or birds; and have sexes and not of water, thunders, lightnings : also and do propagate. Neither do we this by chance, generations of bodies in air; as frogs, flies, and but we know beforehand, of what matter and diverse others.
commixture, what kind of those creatures will “We have also certain chambers, which we call arise. chambers of health, where we qualify the air as “We have also particular pools, where we make we think good and proper for the cure of divers trials upon fishes, as we have said before of beasts diseases, and preservation of health.
and birds. “We have also fair and large baths, of several “We have also places for breed and generation mixtures, for the cure of diseases, and the restoring of those kinds of worms, and flies, which are of of man's body from arefaction: and others, for special use : such as are with you your silk-worms the confirming of it in strength of sinews, vital and bees. parts, and the very juice and substance of the “ I will not hold you long with recounting of our body.
brew-houses, bake-houses, and kitchens, where “We have also large and various orchards and are made divers drinks, breads, and meats, rare, gardens, wherein we do not so much respect and of special effects. Wines we have of grapes; beauty, as variety of ground and soil, proper for and drinks of other juice, of fruits, of grains, and divers trees and herbs : and some very spacious, of roots: and of mixtures with honey, sugar, mawhere trees and berries are set, whereof we make na, and fruits dried and decocted. Also of the divers kinds of drinks, besides the vineyards. In tears or woundings of trees, and of the pulp of these we practise likewise all conclusions of canes. And these drinks are of several ages, grafting and inoculating, as well of wild trees as some to the age or last of forty years. We have fruit trees, which produceth many effects. And drinks also brewed with several herbs, and roots, we make by art, in the same orchards and gar- and spices; yea, with several fleshes, and white dens, trees and flowers to come earlier or later meats; whereof some of the drinks are such as than their seasons; and to come up and bear they are in effect meat and drink both : so that more speedily than by their natural course they divers, especially in age, do desire to live with do. We make them also by art greater much them, with little or no meat, or bread. And above than their nature; and their fruit greater, and all, we strive to have drinks of extreme thin parts, sweeter, and of differing taste, smell, colour, to insinuate into the body, and yet without all and figure, from their nature. And many of biting, sharpness, or fretting; insomuch as some them we so order, as they become of medicinal of them, put upon the back of your hand, will,
with a little stay, pass through to the palm, and “We have also means to make divers plants rise yet taste mild to the mouth. We have also waters by mixtures of earths without seeds; and likewise which we ripen in that fashion as they become to make divers new plants, differing from the nourishing ; so that they are indeed excellent vulgar; and to make one tree or plant turn into drink; and many will use no other. Breads we another.
have of several grains, roots, and kernels : yea, “We have also parks and enclosures of all sorts and some of flesh and fish, dried ; with divers kinds of beasts and birds, which we use not only for of leavenings and seasonings: so that some do exview or rareness, but likewise for dissections and tremely move appetites ; some do nourish so, as ditrials; that thereby we may take light what may vers do live on them, without any other meat; who be wrought upon the body of man. Wherein we live very long. So for meats, we have some of find many strange effects; as continuing life in them so beaten, and made tender, and mortified, yet them, though divers parts, which you account without all corrupting, as a weak heat of the stovital, be perished, and taken forth; resuscitating mach will turn them into good chylus, as well as a of some that seem dead in appearance; and the strong heat would meat otherwise prepared. We like. We try also all poisons and other medicines have some meats also, and breads and drinks, upon them, as well of chirurgery as physic. By which taken by men enable them to fast long art likewise, we make them greater or taller than after : and some other, that used to make the very their kind is; and contrariwise dwarf them, and flesh of mens' bodies sensibly more hard and stay their growth : we make them more fruitful tough, and their strength far greater than other. and bearing than their kind is ; and contrariwise wise it would be. barren, and not generative. Also we make them! "We have dispensatories, or shops of medi
cines; wherein you may easily think, if we have also glasses and means, to see small and minute such variety of plants and living creatures more bodies perfectly and distinctly; as the shapes and than you have in Europe, (for we know what you colours of small flies and worms, grains and have,) the simples, drugs, and ingredients of me- flaws in gems, which cannot otherwise be seen ; dicines, must likewise be in so much the greater observations in urine and blood, not otherwise variety. We have them likewise of divers ages, to be seen. We make artificial rainbows, halos, and long fermentations. And for their prepara- and circles about light. We represent also all tions, we have not only all manner of exquisite manner of reflections, refractions, and multiplicadistillations and separations, and especially by tions of visual beams of objects. gentle heats and percolations through divers “We have also precious stones of all kinds, strainers, yea, and substances; but also exact many of them of great beauty, to you unknown; forms of composition, whereby they incorporate crystals likewise; and glasses of divers kinds; almost as they were natural simples.
and amongst them some of metals vitrificated, and “ We have also divers mechanical arts, which other materials, besides those of which you make you have not; and stuffs made by them; as pa- glass. Also a number of fossils, and imperfect pers, linen, silks, tissues: dainty works of feath- minerals, which you have not. Likewise loaders of wonderful lustre; excellent dyes, and many stones of prodigious virtue; and other rare stones, others; and shops likewise as well for such as both natural and artificial. are not brought into vulgar use among us, as for “We have also sound-houses, where we practhose that are. For you must know, that of the tise and demonstrate all sounds, and their genethings before recited, many of them are grown ration. We have harmonies which you have not into use throughout the kingdom; but yet, if they of quarter-sounds, and lesser slides of sounds. did flow from our invention, we have of them also Divers instruments of music likewise to you for patterns and principals.
unknown, some sweeter than any you have ; to“We have also furnaces of great diversities, gether with bells and rings that are dainty and and that keep great diversities of heats; fierce sweet. We represent small sounds as great and and quick ; strong and constant ; soft and mild ; deep; likewise great sounds extenuate and sharp ; blown, quiet, dry, moist ; and the like. But we make divers tremblings and warblings of above all, we have heats in imitation of the sun's sounds, which in their original are entire. We and heavenly bodies' heats, that pass divers ine- represent and imitate all articulate sounds and qualities, and, as it were, orbs, progresses and re- letters, and the voice and notes of beasts and turns, whereby, we produce admirable effects. birds. We have certain helps, which set to the Besides, we have heats of dungs, and of bellies ear do further the hearing greatly. We have and maws of living creatures, and of their bloods also divers strange and artificial echoes, reflectand bodies; and of hays and herbs laid up moist; ing the voice many times, and as it were tossingit: of lime unquenched; and such like. Instruments and some that give back the voice louder than it also which generate heat only by motion. And came; some shriller, and some deeper; yea, farther, places for strong insolations; and again, some rendering the voice differing in the letters places under the earth, which by nature or art, or articulate sound from that they receive. We yield heat. These divers heats we use, as the have also means to convey sounds in trunks and nature of the operation which we intend requir-pipes, in strange lines and distances. eth.
“We have also perfume-houses; wherewith we “ We have also perspective houses, where we join also practices of taste. We multiply smells, make demonstrations of lights and radiations; and which may seem strange. We imitate smells, of all colours; and out of things uncoloured and making all smells to breathe out of other mixtures transparent, we can represent unto you all several than those that give them. We make divers imicolours; not in rainbows as it is in gems and tations of taste likewise, so that they will deceive prisms, but of themselves single. We represent any man's taste. And in this house we contain also all multiplications of light, which we carry also a comfiture-house; where we make all sweetto great distance; and make so sharp, as to dis- meats, dry and moist, and divers pleasant wines, cern small points and lines ; also all colorations milks, broths, and salads, in far greater variety of light: all delusions and deceits of the sight, than you have. in figures, magnitudes, motions, colours; all de- 6 We have also engine-houses, where are premonstrations of shadows. We find also divers pared engines and instruments for all sorts of momeans yet unknown to you, of producing of light tions. There we imitate and practise to make originally from divers bodies. We procure means swifter motions than any you have, either out of of seeing objects afar off; as in the heaven and your muskets, or any engine that yon have; and remote places; and represent things near as far to make them, and multiply them more easily, off; and things afar off as near; making feigned and with small force, by wheels and other means : distances. We have also helps for the sight, far and to make them stronger, and more violent than above spectacles and glasses in use. We have yours are ; exceeding your greatest cannons and