Saturday, June 19, 2010

Words of Wisdom: Mr. Ben. Alexander, 1659

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Susan reports: 

There's nothing better for summing up a situation than a good maxim, aphorism, or saying.

These were taken from a slender forty-page booklet called The Last Advice of Mr. Ben. Alexander (late Minister of West-Markham, in the County of Nottingham) To His Children. Printed in London 1659, The Last Advice includes not only suggestions regarding religion and prayer, but also "General and Particular Advice", from which these quotes are drawn. Considering that in the following year of 1660, Charles II would be restored to the throne, a father's caution against the "snufle of lust" was probably a wise thing indeed.

ut not your sickle into another man's corn, least you cut your fingers....


• Take heed of wantonnesse, in word or deed, for the snufle of lust goeth out with the stinke of loathing....


• Burthen not yourselfe with uselesse notions, nobody will carry about with him that key, that will unlock no Treasure....


• Write not the faults of Great Persons in a Letter, least it be intercepted, and you sent out of the World before your time....


• Have a care you meddle not with women's quarrells, for women's brawles are men's thralls....


• Ride not hastily through a Town, men do think that either the horse, or your braines, are none of the best....


• Leave your bed, when first sleep hath left you, tis very ill for your eyes to read lying, and worse for the mind, to be a cage of uncleane thoughts....


Initial letter, above, by Wenceslas Hollar, (1607-1677)
Thanks to Dainty Ballerina at the blog Fragments for introducing us to Mr. Alexander!

6 comments:

Monica Burns said...

So would this have made him a follower of Cromwell? Or am I thinking wrong time period.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Right time period, Monica, but to be honest, I don't know what his political leanings might have been. But given how very conservative (and very anti-Catholic) the religious "advice" of the book is, I'd guess he was more inclined towards the Puritans than the Royalists. :)

Gemma said...

Leave your bed, when first sleep hath left you, tis very ill for your eyes to read lying, and worse for the mind, to be a cage of uncleane thoughts....

Those are two of my favourite activities condemned in one go!

LaDonna said...

"women's brawles are men's thralls"

LOL! Sounds like this guy must have had "women trouble" with the females under his own roof. But can you imagine living with all these rules???

Undine said...

"Write not the faults of Great Persons in a Letter, least it be intercepted, and you sent out of the World before your time...."

Says a lot about mid-17th century England, eh?

Actually, that wouldn't be bad advice for anyone with a Facebook account.

Finegan Antiques said...

All this advice makes my head hurt. There is no doubt that it was written by a man.

Donna

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