Thomas Fuller (1608–1661)
Good thoughts in worse times. Consisting of personall meditations. Scripture observations. Meditations on the times. Meditations on all kind of prayers. Occasionall meditations. By Tho. Fuller. B.D.
London: printed by W.W. for John Williams, at the Crowne in St. Pauls Church-yard 1647. $900
Duodecimo. bound in modern paper boards, a good readable copy, most likely lacking a frontice or half title.
Good Thoughts in Bad Times, by Thomas Fuller (1645), was the first of a trio of volumes whose titles were inspired by the troublous days of Charles and Cromwell, when Fuller was an ardent loyalist. This book ‘Good Thoughts in Worse Times’ (1647), was written win very unstable times “In October 1647, the General Council of the Army met to debate the Leveller ideas set out in their manifesto, An Agreement of the People. This was a highly radical document which demanded manhood suffrage and an elected Parliament answerable to the people of England” and—after the restoration of Charles II.—‘Mixed Contemplations in Better Times,’ followed, completing the trilogy. The present volume, like its its predecessor and successors, is packed with wise and pithy aphorisms, often humorous, but never trivial; and is pervaded by that “sound, shrewd good sense, and freedom of intellect,” which Coleridge found there. A moralist, rather than an exponent of spiritual religion, the cavalier chaplain devotes more attention to a well-fed philosophy than to the claims of the soul. Though read to-day mainly by students of the author’s style and times, this sententious volume has attractions for all lovers of quaint and pleasing English.
I. Curiosity Curbed.
OFTEN have I thought with my selfe, what Disease I would be best contented to die of. None please mee. The Stone, the Cholick terrible, as expected, intollerable, when felt. The Palsie is death before Death. The Consumption a flattering Disease, cozening men into Hope of long life at the last gaspe. Some sicknesse besot, o∣thers enrage men, some are too swift, and others too slow.
If I could as easily decline diseases as I could dislike them, I should be immortall. But away with these thoughts. The Marke must not chuse what Arrow shall be shot against it. What God sends I must receive. May I not be so curious to know what weapon shall wound me, as carefull to provide the Plaister of Patience against it. Only thus much in generall: commonly that sicknesse seiseth on men, which they least suspect. He that expects to be drown’d with a Dropsie may bee burnt with a Fealvour, and she that feares to bee swolne with a Tympany may be shriveled with a Consumption.
The First printed mention of Rickets occurs in this book. Meditation 19.
Wing; F2436; Thomason, E.1132. ; Gibson, S. Fuller,; p. 113; ESTC R7345; (eebo citation) 12251600; (oclc) ocm 12251600; (vid) 57123.