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A Lying-in Woman had rather have a Boy than a Girl. Custom is a grievous Tyrant. A Woman argues that she is as good as her Husband. The Dignity of 'em both are compared. The Tongue is a Woman's best Weapon. The Mother herself ought to be the Nurse. She is not the Mother that bears the Child, but she that nurses it. The very Beasts themselves suckle their own Young. The Nurse's Milk corrupts oftentimes both the Genius and natural Constitution of the Infant. The Souls of some Persons inhabit Bodies ill organized. Cato judges it the principal Part of Felicity, to dwell happily. She is scarce half a Mother that refuses to bring up what she has brought forth. A Mother is so called from [Greek: mê têrein]. And in short, besides the Knowledge of a great many Things in Nature, here are many that occur in Morality.


Eu. Honest Fabulla, I am glad to see you; I wish you well.

Fa. I wish you well heartily, Eutrapelus. But what's the Matter more than ordinary, that you that come so seldom to see me, are come now? None of our Family has seen you this three Years.

Eu. I'll tell you, as I chanced to go by the Door, I saw the Knocker (called a Crow) tied up in a white Cloth, I wondered what was the Matter.

Fa. What! are you such a Stranger in this Country, as not to know that that's a Token of a lying-in Woman in that House?

Eu. Why, pray is it not a strange Sight to see a white Crow? But without jesting, I did know very well what was the Matter; but I could not dream, that you that are scarce sixteen, should learn so early the difficult Art of getting Children, which some can scarce attain before they are thirty.

Fa. As you are Eutrapelus by Name, so you are by Nature.

Eu. And so are you too. For Fabulla never wants a Fable. And while I was in a Quandary, Polygamus came by just in the Nick of Time.

Fa. What he that lately buried his tenth Wife?

Eu. The very same, but I believe you don't know that he goes a courting as hotly as if he had lived all his Days a Batchelor. I ask'd him what was the Matter; he told me that in this House the Body of a Woman had been dissever'd. For what great Crime, says I? says he, If what is commonly reported be true, the Mistress of this House attempted to circumcise her Husband, and with that he went away laughing.

Fa. He's a mere Wag.

Eu. I presently ran in a-Doors to congratulate your safe Delivery.

Fa. Congratulate my safe Delivery if you will, Eutrapelus, you may congratulate my happy Delivery, when you shall see him that I have brought forth give a Proof of himself to be an honest Man.

Eu. Indeed, my Fabulla you talk very piously and rationally.

Fa. Nay, I am no Body's Fabulla but Petronius's.

Eu. Indeed you bear Children for Petronius alone, but you don't live for him alone, I believe. But however, I congratulate you upon this, that you have got a Boy.

Fa. But why do you think it better to have a Boy than a Girl?

Eu. Nay, but rather you Petronius's Fabulla (for now I am afraid to call you mine) ought to tell me what Reason you Women have to wish for Boys rather than Girls?

Fa. I don't know what other People's Minds are; at this Time I am glad I have a Boy, because so it pleased God. If it had pleased him best I should have had a Girl, it would have pleased me best too.

Eu. Do you think God has nothing else to do but be a Midwife to Women in Labour?

Fa. Pray, Eutrapelus, what should he do else, but preserve by Propagation, what he has founded by Creation?

Eu, What should he do else good Dame? If he were not God, he'd never be able to do what he has to do. Christiernus King of Denmark, a religious Favourer of the Gospel, is in Exile. Francis, King of France, is a Sojourner in Spain. I can't tell how well he may bear it, but I am sure he is a Man that deserves better Fortune. Charles labours with might and main to inlarge the Territories of his Monarchy. And Ferdinand is mightily taken up about his Affairs in Germany. And the Courtiers every where are almost Famished with Hunger after Money. The very Farmers raise dangerous Commotions, nor are deterred from their Attempts by so many Slaughters of Men, that have been made already. The People are for setting up an Anarchy, and the Church goes to Ruin with dangerous Factions. Christ's seamless Coat is rent asunder on all Sides. God's Vineyard is spoiled by more Boars than one. The Authority of the Clergy with their Tythes, the Dignity of Divines, the Majesty of Monks is in Danger: Confession nods, Vows stagger, the Pope's Constitutions go to decay, the Eucharist is call'd in Question, and Antichrist is expected every Day, and the whole World seems to be in Travail to bring forth I know not what Mischief. In the mean Time the Turks over-run all where-e'er they come, and are ready to invade us and lay all waste, if they succeed in what they are about; and do you ask what God has else to do? I think he should rather see to secure his own Kingdom in Time.

Fa. Perhaps that which Men make the greatest Account of, seems to God of no Moment. But however, if you will, let us let God alone in this Discourse of ours. What is your Reason to think it is happier to bear a Boy than a Girl? It is the Part of a pious Person to think that best which God, who without Controversy is the best Judge, has given.

Eu. And if God should give you but a Cup made of Crystal, would you not give him Thanks for it?

Fa. Yes, I would.

Eu. But what if he should give you one of common Glass, would you give him the like Thanks? But I'm afraid instead of comforting you, by this Discourse, I should make you uneasy.

Fa. Nay, a Fabulla can be in no Danger of being hurt by a Fable. I have lain in now almost a Month, and I am strong enough for a Match at Wrestling.

Eu. Why don't you get out of your Bed then?

Fa. The King has forbid me.

Eu. What King?

Fa. Nay a Tyrant rather.

Eu. What Tyrant prithee?

Fa. I'll tell you in one Syllable. Custom (Mos).

Eu. Alas! How many Things does that Tyrant exact beyond the Bounds of Equity? But let us go on to talk of our Crystal and our common Glass.

Fa. I believe you judge, that a Male is naturally more excellent and strong than a Female.

Eu. I believe they are.

Fa. That is Mens Opinion. But are Men any Thing longer-liv'd than Women? Are they free from Distempers?

Eu. No, but in the general they are stronger.

Fa. But then they themselves are excell'd by Camels in Strength.

Eu. But besides, the Male was created first.

Fa. So was Adam before Christ. Artists use to be most exquisite in their later Performances.

Eu. But God put the Woman under Subjection to the Man.

Fa. It does not follow of Consequence, that he is the better because he commands, he subjects her as a Wife, and not purely as a Woman; and besides that he so puts the Wife under Subjection, that tho' they have each of them Power over the other, he will have the Woman to be obedient to the Man, not as to the more excellent, but to the more fierce Person. Tell me, Eutrapelus, which is the weaker Person, he that yields to another, or he that is yielded to?

Eu. I'll grant you that, if you will explain to me, what Paul meant when he wrote to the Corinthians, that Christ was the Head of the Man, and Man the Head of the Woman; and again, when he said, that a Man was the Image and Glory of God, and a Woman the Glory of the Man.

Fa. Well! I'll resolve you that, if you answer me this Question, Whether or no, it is given to Men alone, to be the Members of Christ?

Eu. God forbid, that is given to all Men and Women too by Faith.

Fa. How comes it about then, that when there is but one Head, it should not be common to all the Members? And besides that, since God made Man in his own Image, whether did he express this Image in the Shape of his Body, or the Endowments of his Mind?

Eu. In the Endowments of his Mind.

Fa. Well, and I pray what have Men in these more excellent than we have? In both Sexes, there are many Drunkennesses, Brawls, Fightings, Murders, Wars, Rapines, and Adulteries.

Eu. But we Men alone fight for our Country.

Fa. And you Men often desert from your Colours, and run away like Cowards; and it is not always for the Sake of your Country, that you leave your Wives and Children, but for the Sake of a little nasty Pay; and, worse than Fencers at the Bear-Garden, you deliver up your Bodies to a slavish Necessity of being killed, or yourselves killing others. And now after all your Boasting of your warlike Prowess, there is none of you all, but if you had once experienced what it is to bring a Child into the World, would rather be placed ten Times in the Front of a Battle, than undergo once what we must so often. An Army does not always fight, and when it does, the whole Army is not always engaged. Such as you are set in the main Body, others are kept for Bodies of Reserve, and some are safely posted in the Rear; and lastly, many save themselves by surrendring, and some by running away. We are obliged to encounter Death, Hand to Hand.

Eu. I have heard these Stories before now; but the Question is, Whether they are true or not?

Fa. Too true.

Eu. Well then, Fabulla, would you have me persuade your Husband never to touch you more? For if so, you'll be secure from that Danger.

Fa. In Truth, there is nothing in the World I am more desirious of, if you were able to effect it.

Eu. If I do persuade him to it, what shall I have for my Pains?

Fa. I'll present you with half a Score dry'd Neats-Tongues.

Eu. I had rather have them than the Tongues of ten Nightingales. Well, I don't dislike the Condition, but we won't make the Bargain obligatory, before we have agreed on the Articles.

Fa. And if you please, you may add any other Article.

Eu. That shall be according as you are in the Mind after your Month is up.

Fa. But why not according as I am in the Mind now?

Eu. Why, I'll tell you, because I am afraid you will not be in the same Mind then; and so you would have double Wages to pay, and I double Work to do, of persuading and dissuading him.

Fa. Well, let it be as you will then. But come on, shew me why the Man is better than the Woman.

Eu. I perceive you have a Mind to engage with me in Discourse, but I think it more adviseable to yield to you at this Time. At another Time I'll attack you when I have furnished myself with Arguments; but not without a Second neither. For where the Tongue is the Weapon that decides the Quarrel; seven Men are scarce able to Deal with one Woman.

Fa. Indeed the Tongue is a Woman's Weapon; but you Men are not without it neither.

Eu. Perhaps so, but where is your little Boy?

Fa. In the next Room.

Eu. What is he doing there, cooking the Pot?

Fa. You Trifler, he's with his Nurse.

Eu. What Nurse do you talk of? Has he any Nurse but his Mother?

Fa. Why not? It is the Fashion.

Eu. You quote the worst Author in the World, Fabulla, the Fashion; 'tis the Fashion to do amiss, to game, to whore, to cheat, to be drunk, and to play the Rake.

Fa. My Friends would have it so; they were of Opinion I ought to favour myself, being young.

Eu. But if Nature gives Strength to conceive, it doubtless gives Strength to give Suck too.

Fa. That may be.

Eu. Prithee tell me, don't you think Mother is a very pretty Name?

Fa. Yes, I do.

Eu. And if such a Thing were possible, would you endure it, that another Woman should be call'd the Mother of your Child?

Fa. By no Means.

Eu. Why then do you voluntarily make another Woman more than half the Mother of what you have brought into the World?

Fa. O fy! Eutrapelus, I don't divide my Son in two, I am intirely his Mother, and no Body in the World else.

Eu. Nay, Fabulla, in this Case Nature herself blames you to your Face. Why is the Earth call'd the Mother of all Things? Is it because she produces only? Nay, much rather, because she nourishes those Things she produces: that which is produced by Water, is fed by Water. There is not a living Creature or a Plant that grows on the Face of the Earth, that the Earth does not feed with its own Moisture. Nor is there any living Creature that does not feed its own Offspring. Owls, Lions, and Vipers, feed their own Young, and does Womankind make her Offspring Offcasts? Pray, what can be more cruel than they are, that turn their Offspring out of Doors for Laziness, not to supply them with Food?

Fa. That you talk of is abominable.

Eu. But Womankind don't abominate it. Is it not a Sort of turning out of Doors, to commit a tender little Infant, yet reaking of the Mother, breathing the very Air of the Mother, imploring the Mother's Aid and Help with its Voice, which they say will affect even a brute Creature, to a Woman perhaps that is neither wholsome in Body, nor honest, who has more Regard to a little Wages, than to your Child?

Fa. But they have made Choice of a wholsome, sound Woman.

Eu. Of this the Doctors are better Judges than yourself. But put the Case, she is as healthful as yourself, and more too; do you think there is no Difference between your little tender Infant's sucking its natural and familiar Milk, and being cherish'd with Warmth it has been accustomed to, and its being forc'd to accustom itself to those of a Stranger? Wheat being sown in a strange Soil, degenerates into Oats or small Wheat. A Vine being transplanted into another Hill, changes its Nature. A Plant when it is pluck'd from its Parent Earth, withers, and as it were dies away, and does in a Manner the same when it is transplanted from its Native Earth.

Fa. Nay, but they say, Plants that have been transplanted and grafted, lose their wild Nature, and produce better Fruit.

Eu. But not as soon as ever they peep out of the Ground, good Madam. There will come a Time, by the Grace of God, when you will send away your young Son from you out of Doors, to be accomplish'd with Learning and undergo harsh Discipline, and which indeed is rather the Province of the Father than of the Mother. But now its tender Age calls for Indulgence. And besides, whereas the Food, according as it is, contributes much to the Health and Strength of the Body, so more especially it is essential to take Care, with what Milk that little, tender, soft Body be season'd. For Horace's Saying takes Place here. Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem Testa diu. What is bred in the Bone, will never out of the Flesh.

Fa. I don't so much concern myself as to his Body, so his Mind be but as I would have it.

Eu. That indeed is piously spoken, but not philosophically.

Fa. Why not?

Eu. Why do you when you shred Herbs, complain your Knife is blunt, and order it to be whetted? Why do you reject a blunt pointed Needle, when that does not deprive you of your Art?

Fa. Art is not wanting, but an unfit Instrument hinders the exerting it.

Eu. Why do they that have much Occasion to use their Eyes, avoid Darnel and Onions?

Fa. Because they hurt the Sight.

Eu. Is it not the Mind that sees?

Fa. It is, for those that are dead see nothing. But what can a Carpenter do with an Ax whose Edge is spoiled?

Eu. Then you do acknowledge the Body is the Organ of the Mind?

Fa. That's plain.

Eu. And you grant that in a vitiated Body the Mind either cannot act at all, or if it does, it is with Inconvenience?

Fa. Very likely.

Eu. Well, I find I have an intelligent Person to deal with; suppose the Soul of a Man was to pass into the Body of a Cock, would it make the same Sound it does now?

Fa. No to be sure.

Eu. What would hinder?

Fa. Because it would want Lips, Teeth, and a Tongue, like to that of a Man. It has neither the Epiglottis, nor the three Cartilages, that are moved by three Muscles, to which Nerves are joined that come from the Brain; nor has it Jaws and Teeth like a Man's.

Eu. What if it should go into the Body of a Swine?

Fa. Then it would grunt like a Swine.

Eu. What if it should pass into the Body of a Camel?

Fa. It would make a Noise like a Camel.

Eu. What if it should pass into the Body of an Ass, as it happened to Apuleius?

Fa. Then I think it would bray as an Ass does.

Eu. Indeed he is a Proof of this, who when he had a Mind to call after Caesar, having contracted his Lips as much as he possibly could, scarce pronounced O, but could by no Means pronounce Caesar. The same Person, when having heard a Story, and that he might not forget it, would have written it, reprehended himself for his foolish Thought, when he beheld his solid Hoofs.

Fa. And he had Cause enough.

Eu. Then it follows that the Soul does not see well thro' purblind Eyes. The Ears hear not clearly when stopped with Filth. The Brain smells not so well when oppressed with Phlegm. And a Member feels not so much when it is benumbed. The Tongue tastes less, when vitiated with ill Humours.

Fa. These Things can't be denied.

Eu. And for no other Cause, but because the Organ is vitiated.

Fa. I believe the same.

Eu. Nor will you deny, I suppose, that sometimes it is vitiated by Food and Drink.

Fa. I'll grant that too, but what signifies that to the Goodness of the Mind?

Eu. As much as Darnel does to a clear Eye-Sight.

Fa. Because it vitiates the Organ.

Eu. Well answer'd. But solve me this Difficulty: Why is it that one understands quicker than another, and has a better Memory; why is one more prone to Anger than another; or is more moderate in his Resentment?

Fa. It proceeds from the Disposition of the Mind.

Eu. That won't do. Whence comes it that one who was formerly of a very ready Wit, and a retentive Memory, becomes afterwards stupid and forgetful, either by a Blow or a Fall, by Sickness or old Age?

Fa. Now you seem to play the Sophister with me.

Eu. Then do you play the Sophistress with me.

Fa. I suppose you would infer, that as the Mind sees and hears by the Eyes and Ears, so by some Organs it also understands, remembers, loves, hates, is provoked and appeas'd?

Eu. Right.

Fa. But pray what are those Organs, and where are they situated?

Eu. As to the Eyes, you see where they are.

Fa. I know well enough where the Ears, and the Nose, and the Palate are; and that the Body is all over sensible of the Touch, unless when some Member is seized with a Numbness.

Eu. When a Foot is cut off, yet the Mind understands.

Fa. It does so, and when a Hand is cut off too.

Eu. A Person that receives a violent Blow on the Temples, or hinder-Part of his Head, falls down like one that is dead, and is unsensible.

Fa. I have sometimes seen that myself.

Eu. Hence it is to be collected, that the Organs of the Will, Understanding, and Memory, are placed within the Skull, being not so crass as the Eyes and Ears, and yet are material, in as much as the most subtile Spirits that we have in the Body are corporeal.

Fa. And can they be vitiated with Meat and Drink too?

Eu. Yes.

Fa. The Brain is a great Way off from the Stomach.

Eu. And so is the Funnel of a Chimney from the Fire-Hearth, yet if you sit upon it you'll feel the Smoke.

Fa. I shan't try that Experiment.

Eu. Well, if you won't believe me, ask the Storks. And so it is of Moment what Spirits, and what Vapours ascend from the Stomach to the Brain, and the Organs of the Mind. For if these are crude or cold they stay in the Stomach.

Fa. Pshaw! You're describing to me an Alembick, in which we distil Simple-Waters.

Eu. You don't guess much amiss. For the Liver, to which the Gall adheres, is the Fire-Place; the Stomach, the Pan; the Scull, the Top of the Still; and if you please, you may call the Nose the Pipe of it. And from this Flux or Reflux of Humours, almost all Manner of Diseases proceed, according as a different Humour falls down after a different Manner, sometimes into the Eyes, sometimes into the Stomach, sometimes into the Shoulders, and sometimes into the Neck, and elsewhere. And that you may understand me the better, why have those that guzzle a great Deal of Wine bad Memories? Why are those that feed upon light Food, not of so heavy a Disposition? Why does Coriander help the Memory? Why does Hellebore purge the Memory? Why does a great Expletion cause an Epilepsy, which at once brings a Stupor upon all the Senses, as in a profound Sleep? In the last Place, as violent Thirst or Want weaken the Strength of Wit or Memory in Boys, so Food eaten immoderately makes Boys dull-headed, if we believe Aristotle; in that the Fire of the Mind is extinguish'd by the heaping on too much Matter.

Fa. Why then, is the Mind corporeal, so as to be affected with corporeal Things?

Eu. Indeed the Nature itself of the rational Soul is not corrupted; but the Power and Action of it are impeded by the Organs being vitiated, as the Art of an Artist will stand him in no Stead, if he has not Instruments.

Fa. Of what Bulk, and in what Form is the Mind?

Eu. You ask a ridiculous Question, what Bulk and Form the Mind is of, when you have allow'd it to be incorporeal.

Fa. I mean the Body that is felt.

Eu. Nay, those Bodies that are not to be felt are the most perfect Bodies, as God and the Angels.

Fa. I have heard that God and Angels are Spirits, but we feel the Spirit.

Eu. The Holy Scriptures condescend to those low Expressions, because of the Dullness of Men, to signify a Mind pure from all Commerce of sensible Things.

Fa. Then what is the Difference between an Angel and a Mind?

Eu. The same that is between a Snail and a Cockle, or, if you like the Comparison better, a Tortoise.

Fa. Then the Body is rather the Habitation of the Mind than the Instrument of it.

Eu. There is no Absurdity in calling an adjunct Instrument an Habitation. Philosophers are divided in their Opinions about this. Some call the Body the Garment of the Soul, some the House, some the Instrument, and some the Harmony; call it by which of these you will, it will follow that the Actions of the Mind are impeded by the Affections of the Body. In the first Place, if the Body is to the Mind that which a Garment is to the Body, the Garment of Hercules informs us how much a Garment contributes to the Health of the Body, not to take any Notice of Colours of Hairs or of Skins. But as to that Question, whether one and the same Soul is capable of wearing out many Bodies, it shall be left to Pythagoras.

Fa. If, according to Pythagoras, we could make Use of Change of Bodies, as we do of Apparel, it would be convenient to take a fat Body, and of a thick Texture, in Winter Time, and a thinner and lighter Body in Summer Time.

Eu. But I am of the Opinion, that if we wore out our Body at last as we do our Cloaths; it would not be convenient; for so having worn out many Bodies, the Soul itself would grow old and die.

Fa. It would not truly.

Eu. As the Sort of Garment that is worn hath an Influence on the Health and Agility of the Body, so it is of great Moment what Body the Soul wears.

Fa. If indeed the Body is the Garment of the Soul, I see a great many that are dress'd after a very different Manner.

Eu. Right, and yet some Part of this Matter is in our own Power, how conveniently our Souls shall be cloathed.

Fa. Come, have done with the Garment, and say something concerning the Habitation.

Eu. But, Fabulla, that what I say to you mayn't be thought a Fiction, the Lord Jesus calls his Body a Temple, and the Apostle Peter calls his a Tabernacle. And there have been some that have call'd the Body the Sepulchre of the Soul, supposing it was call'd [Greek: sôma], as tho' it were [Greek: sêma]. Some call it the Prison of the Mind, and some the Fortress or fortify'd Castle. The Minds of Persons that are pure in every Part, dwell in the Temple. They whose Minds are not taken up with the Love of corporeal Things, dwell in a Tent, and are ready to come forth as soon as the Commander calls. The Soul of those that are wholly blinded with Vice and Filthiness, so that they never breathe after the Air of Gospel Liberty, lies in a Sepulchre. But they that wrestle hard with their Vices, and can't yet be able to do what they would do, their Soul dwells in a Prison, whence they frequently cry out to the Deliverer of all, Bring my Soul out of Prison, that I may praise thy Name, O Lord. They who fight strenuously with Satan, watching and guarding against his Snares, who goes about as a roaring Lion, seeking whom he may devour; their Soul is as it were in a Garison, out of which they must not go without the General's Leave.

Fa. If the Body be the Habitation or House of the Soul, I see a great many whose Mind is very illy seated.

Eu. It is so, that is to say, in Houses where it rains in, that are dark, exposed to all Winds, that are smoaky, damp, decay'd, and ruinous, and such as are filthy and infected: and yet Cato accounts it the principal Happiness of a Man, to dwell handsomly.

Fa. It were tolerable, if there was any passing out of one House into another.

Eu. There's no going out before the Landlord calls out. But tho' we can't go out, yet we may by our Art and Care make the Habitation of our Mind commodious; as in a House the Windows are changed, the Floor taken up, the Walls are either plaistered or wainscotted, and the Situation may be purified with Fire or Perfume. But this is a very hard Matter, in an old Body that is near its Ruin. But it is of great Advantage to the Body of a Child, to take the Care of it that ought to be taken presently after its Birth.

Fa. You would have Mothers and Nurses to be Doctors.

Eu. So indeed I would, as to the Choice and moderate Use of Meat, Drink, Motion, Sleep, Baths, Unctions, Frictions, and Cloathings. How many are there, think you, who are expos'd to grievous Diseases and Vices, as Epilepsies, Leanness, Weakness, Deafness, broken Backs, crooked Limbs, a weak Brain, disturbed Minds, and for no other Reason than that their Nurses have not taken a due Care of them?

Fa. I wonder you are not rather a Franciscan than a Painter, who preach so finely.

Eu. When you are a Nun of the Order of St. Clare, then I'll be a Franciscan, and preach to you.

Fa. In Truth, I would fain know what the Soul is, about which we hear so much, and talk of so often, and no Body has seen.

Eu. Nay, every Body sees it that has Eyes.

Fa. I see Souls painted in the Shape of little Infants, but why do they put Wings to them as they do to Angels?

Eu. Why, because, if we can give any Credit to the Fables of Socrates, their Wings were broken by their falling from Heaven.

Fa. How then are they said to fly up to Heaven?

Eu. Because Faith and Charity make their Wings grow again. He that was weary of this House of his Body, begg'd for these Wings, when he cry'd out, Who will give me the Wings of a Dove, that I may fly away, and be at rest. Nor has the Soul any other Wings, being incorporeal, nor any Form that can be beheld by the Eyes of the Body. But those Things that are perceiv'd by the Mind, are more certain. Do you believe the Being of God?

Fa. Yes, I do.

Eu. But nothing is more invisible than God.

Fa. He is seen in the Works of Creation.

Eu. In like Manner the Soul is seen in Action. If you would know how it acts in a living Body, consider a dead Body. When you see a Man Feel, See, Hear, Move, Understand, Remember and Reason, you see the Soul to be in him with more Certainty than you see this Tankard; for one Sense may be deceiv'd, but so many Proofs of the Senses cannot deceive you.

Fa. Well then, if you can't shew me the Soul, paint it out to me, just as you would the King, whom I never did see.

Eu. I have Aristotle's Definition ready for you.

Fa. What is it? for they say he was a very good Decypherer of every Thing.

Eu. The Soul is the Act of an Organical, Physical Body, having Life in Potentia.

Fa. Why does he rather call it an Act than a Journey or Way?

Eu. Here's no Regard either to Coachmen or Horsemen, but a bare Definition of the Soul. And he calls the Form Act, the Nature of which is to act, when it is the Property of Matter to suffer. For all natural Motion of the Body proceeds from the Soul. And the Motion of the Body is various.

Fa. I take that in; but why does he add of an Organical?

Eu. Because the Soul does nothing but by the Help of Organs, that is, by the Instruments of the Body.

Fa. Why does he say Physical?

Eu. Because Dædalus made such a Body to no Purpose; and therefore he adds, having Life in Potentia. Form does not act upon every Thing; but upon a Body that is capable.

Fa. What if an Angel should pass into the Body of a Man?

Eu. He would act indeed, but not by the natural Organs, nor would he give Life to the Body if the Soul was absent from it.

Fa. Have I had all the Account that is to be given of the Soul?

Eu. You have Aristotle's Account of it.

Fa. Indeed I have heard he was a very famous Philosopher, and I am afraid that the College of Sages would prefer a Bill of Heresy against me, if I should say any Thing against him; but else all that he has said concerning the Soul of a Man, is as applicable to the Soul of an Ass or an Ox.

Eu. Nay, that's true, or to a Beetle or a Snail.

Fa. What Difference then is there between the Soul of an Ox, and that of a Man?

Eu. They that say the Soul is nothing else but the Harmony of the Qualities of the Body, would confess that there was no great Difference; and that this Harmony being interrupted, the Souls of both of them do perish. The Soul of a Man and an Ox is not distinguished; but that of an Ox has less Knowledge than the Soul of a Man. And there are some Men to be seen that have less Understanding than an Ox.

Fa. In Truth, they have the Mind of an Ox.

Eu. This indeed concerns you, that according to the Quality of your Guittar, your Musick will be the sweeter.

Fa. I own it.

Eu. Nor is it of small Moment of what Wood, and in what Shape your Guittar is made.

Fa. Very true.

Eu. Nor are Fiddle-Strings made of the Guts of every Animal.

Fa. So I have heard.

Eu. They grow slack or tight by the Moisture and Driness of the circumambient Air, and will sometimes break.

Fa. I have seen that more than once.

Eu. On this Account you may do uncommon Service to your little Infant, that his Mind may have an Instrument well tempered, and not vitiated, nor relaxed by Sloth, nor squeaking with Wrath, nor hoarse with intemperate drinking. For Education and Diet oftentimes impress us with these Affections.

Fa. I'll take your Counsel; but I want to hear how you can defend Aristotle.

Eu. He indeed in general describes the Soul, Animal, Vegetative, and Sensitive. The Soul gives Life, but every Thing that has Life is not an Animal. For Trees live, grow old, and die; but they have no Sense; tho' some attribute to them a stupid Sort of Sense. In Things that adhere one to another, there is no Sense to be perceived, but it is found in a Sponge by those that pull it off. Hewers discover a Sense in Timber-Trees, if we may believe them: For they say, that if you strike the Trunk of a Tree that you design to hew down, with the Palm of your Hand, as Wood-Mongers use to do, it will be harder to cut that Tree down because it has contracted itself with Fear. But that which has Life and Feeling is an Animal. But nothing hinders that which does not feel, from being a Vegetable, as Mushrooms, Beets, and Coleworts.

Fa. If they have a Sort of Life, a Sort of Sense, and Motion in their growing, what hinders but that they may be honoured with the Title of Animals?

Eu. Why the Antients did not think fit to call them so, and we must not deviate from their Ordinances, nor does it signify much as to what we are upon.

Fa. But I can't bear the Thoughts on't, that the Soul of a Beetle and of a Man should be the same.

Eu. Good Madam, it is not the same, saving in some Respects; your Soul animates, vegetates, and renders your Body sensible; the Soul of the Beetle animates his Body: For that some Things act one Way, and some another, that the Soul of a Man acts differently from the Soul of a Beetle, partly proceeds from the Matter; a Beetle neither sings nor speaks, because it wants Organs fit for these Actions.

Fa. Why then you say, that if the Soul of a Beetle should pass into the Body of a Man, it would act as the human Soul does.

Eu. Nay, I say not, if it were an angelical Soul: And there is no Difference between an Angel and a human Soul, but that the Soul of a Man was formed to act a human Body compos'd of natural Organs; and as the Soul of a Beetle will move nothing but the Body of a Beetle, an Angel was not made to animate a Body, but to be capable to understand without bodily Organs.

Fa. Can the Soul do the same Thing?

Eu. It can indeed, when it is separated from the Body.

Fa. Is it not at its own Disposal, while it is in the Body?

Eu. No indeed, except something happen beside the common Course of Nature.

Fa. In Truth, instead of one Soul you have given me a great many; an animal, a vegetative, a sensitive, an intelligent, a remembring, a willing, an angry, and desiring: One was enough for me.

Eu. There are different Actions of the same Soul, and these have different Names.

Fa. I don't well understand you.

Eu. Well then, I'll make you understand me: You are a Wife in the Bed-Chamber, in your Work-Shop a Weaver of Hangings, in your Warehouse a Seller of them, in your Kitchen a Cook, among your Servants a Mistress, and among your Children a Mother; and yet you are all these in the same House.

Fa. You philosophize very bluntly. Is then the Soul so in the Body as I am in my House?

Eu. It is.

Fa. But while I am weaving in my Work-Shop, I am not cooking in my Kitchen.

Eu. Nor are you all Soul, but a Soul carrying about a Body, and the Body can't be in many Places at the same Time; but the Soul being a simple Form, is so in the whole Body, tho' it does not act the same in all Parts of the Body, nor after the same Manner, how differently affected soever they are: For it understands and remembers in the Brain, it is angry in the Heart, it lusts in the Liver, it hears with the Ears, sees with the Eyes, smells with the Nose, it tastes in the Palate and Tongue, and feels in all Parts of the Body which are adjoined to any nervous Part: But it does not feel in the Hair, nor the Ends of the Nails; neither do the Lungs feel of themselves, nor the Liver, nor perhaps the Milt neither.

Fa. So that in certain Parts of the Body it only animates and vegetates.

Eu. It should seem so.

Fa. If one and the same Soul does all these Things in one and the same Man, it follows of Consequence, that the Foetus in the Womb of the Mother, both feels and understands, as soon as it begins to grow; which is a Sign of Life, unless a Man in his Formation has more Souls than one, and afterwards the rest giving Place, one acts all. So that at first a Man is a Plant, then an Animal, and lastly a Man.

Eu. Perhaps Aristotle would not think what you say absurd: I think it is more probable, that the rational Soul is infus'd with the Life, and that like a little Fire that is buried as it were under too great a Quantity of green Wood, it cannot exert its Power.

Fa. Why then is the Soul bound to the Body that it acts and moves?

Eu. No otherwise than a Tortoise is bound or tied to the Shell that he carries about.

Fa. He does move it indeed; but so at the same Time that he moves himself too, as a Pilot steers a Ship, turning it which Way he will, and is at the same Time mov'd with it.

Eu. Ay, and as a Squirrel turns his Wheel-Cage about, and is himself carried about with it.

Fa. And so the Soul affects the Body, and is affected by the Body.

Eu. Yes indeed, as to its Operations.

Fa. Why then, as to the Nature of it, the Soul of a Fool is equal to the Soul of Solomon.

Eu. There's no Absurdity in that.

Fa. And so the Angels are equal, in as much as they are without Matter, which, you say, is that which makes the Inequality.

Eu. We have had Philosophy enough: Let Divines puzzle themselves about these Things; let us discourse of those Matters that were first mentioned. If you would be a compleat Mother, take Care of the Body of your little Infant, so that after the little Fire of the Mind has disengaged itself from the Vapours, it may have sound and fit Organs to make Use of. As often as you hear your Child crying, think this with yourself, he calls for this from me. When you look upon your Breasts, those two little Fountains, turgid, and of their own Accord streaming out a milky Juice, remember Nature puts you in Mind of your Duty: Or else, when your Infant shall begin to speak, and with his pretty Stammering shall call you Mammy, How can you hear it without blushing? when you have refus'd to let him have it, and turn'd him off to a hireling Nipple, as if you had committed him to a Goat or a Sheep. When he is able to speak, what if, instead of calling you Mother, he should call you Half-Mother? I suppose you would whip him: Altho' indeed she is scarce Half a Mother that refuses to feed what she has brought into the World. The nourishing of the tender Babe is the best Part of Geniture: For he is not only fed by the Milk, but with the Fragrancy of the Body of the Mother. He requires the same natural, familiar, accustomed Moisture, that he drew in when in her Body, and by which he received his Coalition. And I am of that Opinion, that the Genius of Children are vitiated by the Nature of the Milk they suck, as the Juices of the Earth change the Nature of those Plants and Fruits that it feeds. Do you think there is no Foundation in Reason for this Saying, He suck'd in this ill Humour with the Nurse's Milk? Nor do I think the Greeks spoke without Reason, when they said like Nurses, when they would intimate that any one was starved at Nurse: For they put a little of what they chew into the Child's Mouth, but the greatest Part goes down their own Throats. And indeed she can hardly properly be said to bear a Child, that throws it away as soon as she has brought it forth; that is to miscarry, and the Greek Etymology of [Greek: Mêtêr] from [Greek: mê têrein], i.e. from not looking after, seems very well to suit such Mothers. For it is a Sort of turning a little Infant out of Doors, to put it to a hireling Nurse, while it is yet warm from the Mother.

Fa. I would come over to your Opinion, unless such a Woman were chosen, against whom there is nothing to be objected.

Eu. Suppose it were of no Moment what Milk the little Infant suck'd, what Spittle it swallow'd with its chew'd Victuals; and you had such a Nurse, that I question whether there is such an one to be found; do you think there is any one in the World will go through all the Fatigue of Nursing as the Mother herself; the Bewrayings, the Sitting up a Nights, the Crying, the Sickness, and the diligent Care in looking after it, which can scarce be enough. If there can be one that loves like the Mother, then she will take Care like a Mother. And besides, this will be the Effect of it, that your Son won't love you so heartily, that native Affection being as it were divided between two Mothers; nor will you have the same Affection for your Son: So that when he is grown up, he will neither be so obedient to you, nor will you have the same Regard for him, perhaps perceiving in him the Disposition of his Nurse. The principal Step to Advancement in Learning, is the mutual Love between the Teacher and Scholar: So that if he does not lose any Thing of the Fragrancy of his native good Temper, you will with the greater Ease be able to instil into him the Precepts of a good Life. And a Mother can do much in this Matter, in that she has pliable Matter to work upon, that is easy to be carried any Way.

Fa. I find it is not so easy a Thing to be a Mother, as it is generally looked upon to be.

Eu. If you can't depend upon what I say, St. Paul, speaking very plainly of Women, says, She shall be saved in Childbearing.

Fa. Are all the Women saved that bear Children?

Eu. No, he adds, if she continue in the Faith. You have not performed the Duty of a Mother before you have first formed the little tender Body of your Son, and after that his Mind, equally soft, by a good Education.

Fa. But it is not in the Power of the Mother that the Children should persevere in Piety.

Eu. Perhaps it may not be; but a careful Admonition is of that Moment, that Paul accounts it imputable to Mothers, if the Children degenerate from Piety. But in the last Place, if you do what is in your Power, God will add his Assistance to your Diligence.

Fa. Indeed Eutrapelus, your Discourse has persuaded me, if you can but persuade my Parents and my Husband.

Eu. Well, I'll take that upon me, if you will but lend your helping Hand.

Fa. I promise you I will.

Eu. But mayn't a Body see this little Boy?

Fa. Yes, that you may and welcome. Do you hear, Syrisca, bid the Nurse bring the Child.

Eu. 'Tis a very pretty Boy. It is a common Saying, there ought to be Grains of Allowance given to the first Essay: But you upon the first Trial have shewn the very highest Pitch of Art.

Fa. Why, it is not a Piece of carved Work, that so much Art should be required.

Eu. That's true; but it is a Piece of cast Work. Well, let that be how it will, it is well performed. I wish you could make as good Figures in the Hangings that you weave.

Fa. But you on the Contrary paint better than you beget.

Eu. It so seems meet to Nature, to act equally by all. How solicitous is Nature, that nothing should be lost! It has represented two Persons in one; here's the Nose and Eyes of the Father, the Forehead and Chin of the Mother Can you find in your Heart to entrust this dear Pledge to the Fidelity of a Stranger? I think those to be doubly cruel that can find in their Hearts so to do; because in doing so, they do not only do this to the Hazard of the Child; but also of themselves too; because in the Child, the spoiling of the Milk oftentimes brings dangerous Diseases, and so it comes about, that while Care is taken to preserve the Shape of one Body, the Lives of two Bodies are not regarded; and while they provide against old Age coming on too early, they throw themselves into a too early Death. What's the Boy's Name?

Fa. Cornelius.

Eu. That's the Name of his Grand-Father by the Father's Side. I wish he may imitate him in his unblemished Life and good Manners.

Fa. We will do our Endeavour what in us lies. But, hark ye, Eutrapelus, here is one Thing I would earnestly entreat of you.

Eu. I am entirely at your Service; command what you will, I will undertake it.

Fa. Well then, I won't discharge you till you have finished the good Service that you have begun.

Eu. What's that?

Fa. First of all, to give me Instructions how I may manage my Infant, as to his Health, and when he is grown up, how I may form his Mind with pious Principles.

Eu. That I will readily do another Time, according to my Ability; but that must be at our next Conversation: I will now go and prevail upon your Husband and Parents.

Fa. I wish you may succeed.


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