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Discoveries Made Upon Men And Matter - Discoveries (cont.) Post by :AndyW Category :Nonfictions Author :Ben Jonson Date :May 2012 Read :1961

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Discoveries Made Upon Men And Matter - Discoveries (cont.)

Ingeniorum discrimina.--Not. 1.--In the difference of wits I have observed there are many notes; and it is a little maistry to know them, to discern what every nature, every disposition will bear; for before we sow our land we should plough it. There are no fewer forms of minds than of bodies amongst us. The variety is incredible, and therefore we must search. Some are fit to make divines, some poets, some lawyers, some physicians; some to be sent to the plough, and trades.

There is no doctrine will do good where nature is wanting. Some wits are swelling and high; others low and still; some hot and fiery; others cold and dull; one must have a bridle, the other a spur.

Not. 2.--There be some that are forward and bold; and these will do every little thing easily. I mean that is hard by and next them, which they will utter unretarded without any shamefastness. These never perform much, but quickly. They are what they are on the sudden; they show presently, like grain that, scattered on the top of the ground, shoots up, but takes no root; has a yellow blade, but the ear empty. They are wits of good promise at first, but there is an ingenistitium; {49a} they stand still at sixteen, they get no higher.

Footnote: {49a} A wit-stand.

Not. 3.--You have others that labour only to ostentation; and are ever more busy about the colours and surface of a work than in the matter and foundation, for that is hid, the other is seen.

Not. 4.--Others that in composition are nothing but what is rough and broken. Quae per salebras, altaque saxa cadunt. {49b} And if it would come gently, they trouble it of purpose. They would not have it run without rubs, as if that style were more strong and manly that struck the ear with a kind of unevenness. These men err not by chance, but knowingly and willingly; they are like men that affect a fashion by themselves; have some singularity in a ruff cloak, or hat-band; or their beards specially cut to provoke beholders, and set a mark upon themselves. They would be reprehended while they are looked on. And this vice, one that is authority with the rest, loving, delivers over to them to be imitated; so that ofttimes the faults which be fell into the others seek for. This is the danger, when vice becomes a precedent.

Footnote: {49b} Martial. lib. xi. epig. 91. That fall over the rough ways and high rocks.

Not. 5.--Others there are that have no composition at all; but a kind of tuning and rhyming fall in what they write. It runs and slides, and only makes a sound. Women's poets they are called, as you have women's tailors.

"They write a verse as smooth, as soft as cream,
In which there is no torrent, nor scarce stream."

You may sound these wits and find the depth of them with your middle finger. They are cream-bowl or but puddle-deep.

Not. 6.--Some that turn over all books, and are equally searching in all papers; that write out of what they presently find or meet, without choice. By which means it happens that what they have discredited and impugned in one week, they have before or after extolled the same in another. Such are all the essayists, even their master Montaigne. These, in all they write, confess still what books they have read last, and therein their own folly so much, that they bring it to the stake raw and undigested; not that the place did need it neither, but that they thought themselves furnished and would vent it

Not. 7.--Some, again who, after they have got authority, or, which is less, opinion, by their writings, to have read much, dare presently to feign whole books and authors, and lie safely. For what never was, will not easily be found, not by the most curious.

Not. 8.--And some, by a cunning protestation against all reading, and false venditation of their own naturals, think to divert the sagacity of their readers from themselves, and cool the scent of their own fox-like thefts; when yet they are so rank, as a man may find whole pages together usurped from one author; their necessities compelling them to read for present use, which could not be in many books; and so come forth more ridiculously and palpably guilty than those who, because they cannot trace, they yet would slander their industry.

Not. 9.--But the wretcheder are the obstinate contemners of all helps and arts; such as presuming on their own naturals (which, perhaps, are excellent), dare deride all diligence, and seem to mock at the terms when they understand not the things; thinking that way to get off wittily with their ignorance. These are imitated often by such as are their peers in negligence, though they cannot be in nature; and they utter all they can think with a kind of violence and indisposition, unexamined, without relation either to person, place, or any fitness else; and the more wilful and stubborn they are in it the more learned they are esteemed of the multitude, through their excellent vice of judgment, who think those things the stronger that have no art; as if to break were better than to open, or to rend asunder gentler than to loose.

Not. 10.--It cannot but come to pass that these men who commonly seek to do more than enough may sometimes happen on something that is good and great; but very seldom: and when it comes it doth not recompense the rest of their ill. For their jests, and their sentences (which they only and ambitiously seek for) stick out, and are more eminent, because all is sordid and vile about them; as lights are more discerned in a thick darkness than a faint shadow. Now, because they speak all they can (however unfitly), they are thought to have the greater copy; where the learned use ever election and a mean, they look back to what they intended at first, and make all an even and proportioned body. The true artificer will not run away from Nature as he were afraid of her, or depart from life and the likeness of truth, but speak to the capacity of his hearers. And though his language differ from the vulgar somewhat, it shall not fly from all humanity, with the Tamerlanes and Tamer- chains of the late age, which had nothing in them but the scenical strutting and furious vociferation to warrant them to the ignorant gapers. He knows it is his only art so to carry it, as none but artificers perceive it. In the meantime, perhaps, he is called barren, dull, lean, a poor writer, or by what contumelious word can come in their cheeks, by these men who, without labour, judgment, knowledge, or almost sense, are received or preferred before him. He gratulates them and their fortune. Another age, or juster men, will acknowledge the virtues of his studies, his wisdom in dividing, his subtlety in arguing, with what strength he doth inspire his readers, with what sweetness he strokes them; in inveighing, what sharpness; in jest, what urbanity he uses; how he doth reign in men's affections; how invade and break in upon them, and makes their minds like the thing he writes. Then in his elocution to behold what word is proper, which hath ornaments, which height, what is beautifully translated, where figures are fit, which gentle, which strong, to show the composition manly; and how he hath avoided faint, obscure, obscene, sordid, humble, improper, or effeminate phrase; which is not only praised of the most, but commended (which is worse), especially for that it is naught.

Ignorantia animae.--I know no disease of the soul but ignorance, not of the arts and sciences, but of itself; yet relating to those it is a pernicious evil, the darkener of man's life, the disturber of his reason, and common confounder of truth, with which a man goes groping in the dark, no otherwise than if he were blind. Great understandings are most racked and troubled with it; nay, sometimes they will rather choose to die than not to know the things they study for. Think, then, what an evil it is, and what good the contrary.

Scientia.--Knowledge is the action of the soul and is perfect without the senses, as having the seeds of all science and virtue in itself; but not without the service of the senses; by these organs the soul works: she is a perpetual agent, prompt and subtle; but often flexible and erring, entangling herself like a silkworm, but her reason is a weapon with two edges, and cuts through. In her indagations oft-times new scents put her by, and she takes in errors into her by the same conduits she doth truths.

Otium Studiorum.--Ease and relaxation are profitable to all studies. The mind is like a bow, the stronger by being unbent. But the temper in spirits is all, when to command a man's wit, when to favour it. I have known a man vehement on both sides, that knew no mean, either to intermit his studies or call upon them again. When he hath set himself to writing he would join night to day, press upon himself without release, not minding it, till he fainted; and when he left off, resolve himself into all sports and looseness again, that it was almost a despair to draw him to his book; but once got to it, he grew stronger and more earnest by the ease. His whole powers were renewed; he would work out of himself what he desired, but with such excess as his study could not be ruled; he knew not how to dispose his own abilities, or husband them; he was of that immoderate power against himself. Nor was he only a strong, but an absolute speaker and writer; but his subtlety did not show itself; his judgment thought that a vice; for the ambush hurts more that is hid. He never forced his language, nor went out of the highway of speaking but for some great necessity or apparent profit; for he denied figures to be invented for ornament, but for aid; and still thought it an extreme madness to bind or wrest that which ought to be right.

Stili eminentia.--Virgil.--Tully.--Sallust.--It is no wonder men's eminence appears but in their own way. Virgil's felicity left him in prose, as Tully's forsook him in verse. Sallust's orations are read in the honour of story, yet the most eloquent. Plato's speech, which he made for Socrates, is neither worthy of the patron nor the person defended. Nay, in the same kind of oratory, and where the matter is one, you shall have him that reasons strongly, open negligently; another that prepares well, not fit so well. And this happens not only to brains, but to bodies. One can wrestle well, another run well, a third leap or throw the bar, a fourth lift or stop a cart going; each hath his way of strength. So in other creatures--some dogs are for the deer, some for the wild boar, some are fox-hounds, some otter-hounds. Nor are all horses for the coach or saddle, some are for the cart and paniers.

De Claris Oratoribus.--I have known many excellent men that would speak suddenly to the admiration of their hearers, who upon study and premeditation have been forsaken by their own wits, and no way answered their fame; their eloquence was greater than their reading, and the things they uttered better than those they knew; their fortune deserved better of them than their care. For men of present spirits, and of greater wits than study, do please more in the things they invent than in those they bring. And I have heard some of them compelled to speak, out of necessity, that have so infinitely exceeded themselves, as it was better both for them and their auditory that they were so surprised, not prepared. Nor was it safe then to cross them, for their adversary, their anger made them more eloquent. Yet these men I could not but love and admire, that they returned to their studies. They left not diligence (as many do) when their rashness prospered; for diligence is a great aid, even to an indifferent wit; when we are not contented with the examples of our own age, but would know the face of the former. Indeed, the more we confer with the more we profit by, if the persons be chosen.

Dominus Verulamius.--One, though he be excellent and the chief, is not to be imitated alone; for no imitator ever grew up to his author; likeness is always on this side truth. Yet there happened in my time one noble speaker who was full of gravity in his speaking; his language (where he could spare or pass by a jest) was nobly censorious. No man ever spake more neatly, more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered. No member of his speech but consisted of his own graces. His hearers could not cough, or look aside from him, without loss. He commanded where he spoke, and had his judges angry and pleased at his devotion. No man had their affections more in his power. The fear of every man that heard him was lest he should make an end.

Scriptorum catalogus. {59a} Cicero is said to be the only wit that the people of Rome had equalled to their empire. Ingenium par imperio. We have had many, and in their several ages (to take in but the former seculum) Sir Thomas More, the elder Wiat, Henry Earl of Surrey, Chaloner, Smith, Eliot, B. Gardiner, were for their times admirable; and the more, because they began eloquence with us. Sir Nicolas Bacon was singular, and almost alone, in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's time. Sir Philip Sidney and Mr. Hooker (in different matter) grew great masters of wit and language, and in whom all vigour of invention and strength of judgment met. The Earl of Essex, noble and high; and Sir Walter Raleigh, not to be contemned, either for judgment or style. Sir Henry Savile, grave, and truly lettered; Sir Edwin Sandys, excellent in both; Lord Egerton, the Chancellor, a grave and great orator, and best when he was provoked; but his learned and able (though unfortunate) successor is he who hath filled up all numbers, and performed that in our tongue which may be compared or preferred either to insolent Greece or haughty Rome. In short, within his view, and about his times, were all the wits born that could honour a language or help study. Now things daily fall, wits grow downward, and eloquence grows backward; so that he may be named and stand as the mark and (Greek text) of our language.

Footnote: {59a} Sir Thomas More. Sir Thomas Wiat. Henry Earl of Surrey. Sir Thomas Chaloner. Sir Thomas Smith. Sir Thomas Eliot. Bishop Gardiner. Sir Nicolas Bacon, L.K. Sir Philip Sidney. Master Richard Hooker. Robert Earl of Essex. Sir Walter Raleigh. Sir Henry Savile. Sir Edwin Sandys. Sir Thomas Egerton, L.C. Sir Francis Bacon, L.C.

De augmentis scientiarum.--Julius Caesar.--Lord St. Alban.--I have ever observed it to have been the office of a wise patriot, among the greatest affairs of the State, to take care of the commonwealth of learning. For schools, they are the seminaries of State; and nothing is worthier the study of a statesman than that part of the republic which we call the advancement of letters. Witness the care of Julius Caesar, who, in the heat of the civil war, writ his books of Analogy, and dedicated them to Tully. This made the late Lord St. Alban entitle his work Novum Organum; which, though by the most of superficial men, who cannot get beyond the title of nominals, it is not penetrated nor understood, it really openeth all defects of learning whatsoever, and is a book

"Qui longum note scriptori proroget aevum." {62a}

Footnote: {62a} "Which will secure a long age for the known writer."--Horat. de Art. Poetica.

My conceit of his person was never increased toward him by his place or honours; but I have and do reverence him for the greatness that was only proper to himself, in that he seemed to me ever, by his work, one of the greatest men, and most worthy of admiration, that had been in many ages. In his adversity I ever prayed that God would give him strength; for greatness he could not want. Neither could I condole in a word or syllable for him, as knowing no accident could do harm to virtue, but rather help to make it manifest.

De corruptela morum.--There cannot be one colour of the mind, another of the wit. If the mind be staid, grave, and composed, the wit is so; that vitiated, the other is blown and deflowered. Do we not see, if the mind languish, the members are dull? Look upon an effeminate person, his very gait confesseth him. If a man be fiery, his motion is so; if angry, it is troubled and violent. So that we may conclude wheresoever manners and fashions are corrupted, language is. It imitates the public riot. The excess of feasts and apparel are the notes of a sick state, and the wantonness of language of a sick mind.

De rebus mundanis.--If we would consider what our affairs are indeed, not what they are called, we should find more evils belonging to us than happen to us. How often doth that which was called a calamity prove the beginning and cause of a man's happiness? and, on the contrary, that which happened or came to another with great gratulation and applause, how it hath lifted him but a step higher to his ruin? as if he stood before where he might fall safely.

Vulgi mores.--Morbus comitialis.--The vulgar are commonly ill- natured, and always grudging against their governors: which makes that a prince has more business and trouble with them than ever Hercules had with the bull or any other beast; by how much they have more heads than will be reined with one bridle. There was not that variety of beasts in the ark, as is of beastly natures in the multitude; especially when they come to that iniquity to censure their sovereign's actions. Then all the counsels are made good or bad by the events; and it falleth out that the same facts receive from them the names, now of diligence, now of vanity, now of majesty, now of fury; where they ought wholly to hang on his mouth, as he to consist of himself, and not others' counsels.

Princeps.--After God, nothing is to be loved of man like the prince; he violates Nature that doth it not with his whole heart. For when he hath put on the care of the public good and common safety, I am a wretch, and put off man, if I do not reverence and honour him, in whose charge all things divine and human are placed. Do but ask of Nature why all living creatures are less delighted with meat and drink that sustains them than with venery that wastes them? and she will tell thee, the first respects but a private, the other a common good, propagation.

De eodem.--Orpheus' Hymn.--He is the arbiter of life and death: when he finds no other subject for his mercy, he should spare himself. All his punishments are rather to correct than to destroy. Why are prayers with Orpheus said to be the daughters of Jupiter, but that princes are thereby admonished that the petitions of the wretched ought to have more weight with them than the laws themselves.

De opt. Rege Jacobo.--It was a great accumulation to His Majesty's deserved praise that men might openly visit and pity those whom his greatest prisons had at any time received or his laws condemned.

De Princ. adjunctis.--Sed vere prudens haud concipi possit Princeps, nisi simul et bonus.--Lycurgus.--Sylla.--Lysander.--Cyrus.--Wise is rather the attribute of a prince than learned or good. The learned man profits others rather than himself; the good man rather himself than others; but the prince commands others, and doth himself.

The wise Lycurgus gave no law but what himself kept. Sylla and Lysander did not so; the one living extremely dissolute himself, enforced frugality by the laws; the other permitted those licenses to others which himself abstained from. But the prince's prudence is his chief art and safety. In his counsels and deliberations he foresees the future times: in the equity of his judgment he hath remembrance of the past, and knowledge of what is to be done or avoided for the present. Hence the Persians gave out their Cyrus to have been nursed by a bitch, a creature to encounter it, as of sagacity to seek out good; showing that wisdom may accompany fortitude, or it leaves to be, and puts on the name of rashness.

De malign. studentium.--There be some men are born only to suck out the poison of books: Habent venenum pro victu; imo, pro deliciis. {66a} And such are they that only relish the obscene and foul things in poets, which makes the profession taxed. But by whom? Men that watch for it; and, had they not had this hint, are so unjust valuers of letters as they think no learning good but what brings in gain. It shows they themselves would never have been of the professions they are but for the profits and fees. But if another learning, well used, can instruct to good life, inform manners, no less persuade and lead men than they threaten and compel, and have no reward, is it therefore the worst study? I could never think the study of wisdom confined only to the philosopher, or of piety to the divine, or of state to the politic; but that he which can feign a commonwealth (which is the poet) can govern it with counsels, strengthen it with laws, correct it with judgments, inform it with religion and morals, is all these. We do not require in him mere elocution, or an excellent faculty in verse, but the exact knowledge of all virtues and their contraries, with ability to render the one loved, the other hated, by his proper embattling them. The philosophers did insolently, to challenge only to themselves that which the greatest generals and gravest counsellors never durst. For such had rather do than promise the best things.

Footnote: {66a} They have poison for their food, even for their dainty.

Controvers. scriptores.--More Andabatarum qui clausis oculis pugnant.--Some controverters in divinity are like swaggerers in a tavern that catch that which stands next them, the candlestick or pots; turn everything into a weapon: ofttimes they fight blindfold, and both beat the air. The one milks a he-goat, the other holds under a sieve. Their arguments are as fluxive as liquor spilt upon a table, which with your finger you may drain as you will. Such controversies or disputations (carried with more labour than profit) are odious; where most times the truth is lost in the midst or left untouched. And the fruit of their fight is, that they spit one upon another, and are both defiled. These fencers in religion I like not.

Morbi.--The body hath certain diseases that are with less evil tolerated than removed. As if to cure a leprosy a man should bathe himself with the warm blood of a murdered child, so in the Church some errors may be dissimuled with less inconvenience than they can be discovered.

Jactantia intempestiva.--Men that talk of their own benefits are not believed to talk of them because they have done them; but to have done them because they might talk of them. That which had been great, if another had reported it of them, vanisheth, and is nothing, if he that did it speak of it. For men, when they cannot destroy the deed, will yet be glad to take advantage of the boasting, and lessen it.

Adulatio.--I have seen that poverty makes me do unfit things; but honest men should not do them; they should gain otherwise. Though a man be hungry, he should not play the parasite. That hour wherein I would repent me to be honest, there were ways enough open for me to be rich. But flattery is a fine pick-lock of tender ears; especially of those whom fortune hath borne high upon their wings, that submit their dignity and authority to it, by a soothing of themselves. For, indeed, men could never be taken in that abundance with the springes of others' flattery, if they began not there; if they did but remember how much more profitable the bitterness of truth were, than all the honey distilling from a whorish voice, which is not praise, but poison. But now it is come to that extreme folly, or rather madness, with some, that he that flatters them modestly or sparingly is thought to malign them. If their friend consent not to their vices, though he do not contradict them, he is nevertheless an enemy. When they do all things the worst way, even then they look for praise. Nay, they will hire fellows to flatter them with suits and suppers, and to prostitute their judgments. They have livery-friends, friends of the dish, and of the spit, that wait their turns, as my lord has his feasts and guests.

De vita humana.--I have considered our whole life is like a play: wherein every man forgetful of himself, is in travail with expression of another. Nay, we so insist in imitating others, as we cannot when it is necessary return to ourselves; like children, that imitate the vices of stammerers so long, till at last they become such; and make the habit to another nature, as it is never forgotten.

De piis et probis.--Good men are the stars, the planets of the ages wherein they live and illustrate the times. God did never let them be wanting to the world: as Abel, for an example of innocency, Enoch of purity, Noah of trust in God's mercies, Abraham of faith, and so of the rest. These, sensual men thought mad because they would not be partakers or practisers of their madness. But they, placed high on the top of all virtue, looked down on the stage of the world and contemned the play of fortune. For though the most be players, some must be spectators.

Mores aulici.--I have discovered that a feigned familiarity in great ones is a note of certain usurpation on the less. For great and popular men feign themselves to be servants to others to make those slaves to them. So the fisher provides bait for the trout, roach, dace, &c., that they may be food to him.

Impiorum querela.--Augusties.--Varus.--Tiberius.--The complaint of Caligula was most wicked of the condition of his times, when he said they were not famous for any public calamity, as the reign of Augustus was, by the defeat of Varus and the legions; and that of Tiberius, by the falling of the theatre at Fidenae; whilst his oblivion was eminent through the prosperity of his affairs. As that other voice of his was worthier a headsman than a head when he wished the people of Rome had but one neck. But he found when he fell they had many hands. A tyrant, how great and mighty soever he may seem to cowards and sluggards, is but one creature, one animal.

Nobilium ingenia.--I have marked among the nobility some are so addicted to the service of the prince and commonwealth, as they look not for spoil; such are to be honoured and loved. There are others which no obligation will fasten on; and they are of two sorts. The first are such as love their own ease; or, out of vice, of nature, or self-direction, avoid business and care. Yet these the prince may use with safety. The other remove themselves upon craft and design, as the architects say, with a premeditated thought, to their own rather than their prince's profit. Such let the prince take heed of, and not doubt to reckon in the list of his open enemies.

Principum. varia.--Firmissima vero omnium basis jus haereditarium Principis.--There is a great variation between him that is raised to the sovereignty by the favour of his peers and him that comes to it by the suffrage of the people. The first holds with more difficulty, because he hath to do with many that think themselves his equals, and raised him for their own greatness and oppression of the rest. The latter hath no upbraiders, but was raised by them that sought to be defended from oppression: whose end is both easier and the honester to satisfy. Beside, while he hath the people to friend, who are a multitude, he hath the less fear of the nobility, who are but few. Nor let the common proverb (of he that builds on the people builds on the dirt) discredit my opinion: for that hath only place where an ambitious and private person, for some popular end, trusts in them against the public justice and magistrate. There they will leave him. But when a prince governs them, so as they have still need of his administrations (for that is his art), he shall ever make and hold them faithful.

Clementia.--Machiavell.--A prince should exercise his cruelty not by himself but by his ministers; so he may save himself and his dignity with his people by sacrificing those when he list, saith the great doctor of state, Machiavell. But I say he puts off man and goes into a beast, that is cruel. No virtue is a prince's own, or becomes him more, than this clemency: and no glory is greater than to be able to save with his power. Many punishments sometimes, and in some cases, as much discredit a prince, as many funerals a physician. The state of things is secured by clemency; severity represseth a few, but irritates more. {74a} The lopping of trees makes the boughs shoot out thicker; and the taking away of some kind of enemies increaseth the number. It is then most gracious in a prince to pardon when many about him would make him cruel; to think then how much he can save when others tell him how much he can destroy; not to consider what the impotence of others hath demolished, but what his own greatness can sustain. These are a prince's virtues: and they that give him other counsels are but the hangman's factors.

Footnote: {74a} Haud infima ars in principe, ubi lenitas, ubi severitas--plus polleat in commune bonum callere.

Clementia tutela optima.--He that is cruel to halves (saith the said St. Nicholas {74b}) loseth no less the opportunity of his cruelty than of his benefits: for then to use his cruelty is too late; and to use his favours will be interpreted fear and necessity, and so he loseth the thanks. Still the counsel is cruelty. But princes, by hearkening to cruel counsels, become in time obnoxious to the authors, their flatterers, and ministers; and are brought to that, that when they would, they dare not change them; they must go on and defend cruelty with cruelty; they cannot alter the habit. It is then grown necessary, they must be as ill as those have made them: and in the end they will grow more hateful to themselves than to their subjects. Whereas, on the contrary, the merciful prince is safe in love, not in fear. He needs no emissaries, spies, intelligencers to entrap true subjects. He fears no libels, no treasons. His people speak what they think, and talk openly what they do in secret. They have nothing in their breasts that they need a cypher for. He is guarded with his own benefits.

Footnote: {74b} i.e., Machiavell.

Religio. Palladium Homeri.--Euripides.--The strength of empire is in religion. What else is the Palladium (with Homer) that kept Troy so long from sacking? Nothing more commends the Sovereign to the subject than it. For he that is religious must be merciful and just necessarily: and they are two strong ties upon mankind. Justice the virtue that innocence rejoiceth in. Yet even that is not always so safe, but it may love to stand in the sight of mercy. For sometimes misfortune is made a crime, and then innocence is succoured no less than virtue. Nay, oftentimes virtue is made capital; and through the condition of the times it may happen that that may be punished with our praise. Let no man therefore murmur at the actions of the prince, who is placed so far above him. If he offend, he hath his discoverer. God hath a height beyond him. But where the prince is good, Euripides saith, "God is a guest in a human body."

Tyranni.--Sejanus.--There is nothing with some princes sacred above their majesty, or profane, but what violates their sceptres. But a prince, with such a council, is like the god Terminus, of stone, his own landmark, or (as it is in the fable) a crowned lion. It is dangerous offending such a one, who, being angry, knows not how to forgive; that cares not to do anything for maintaining or enlarging of empire; kills not men or subjects, but destroyeth whole countries, armies, mankind, male and female, guilty or not guilty, holy or profane; yea, some that have not seen the light. All is under the law of their spoil and licence. But princes that neglect their proper office thus their fortune is oftentimes to draw a Sejanus to be near about them, who at last affect to get above them, and put them in a worthy fear of rooting both them out and their family. For no men hate an evil prince more than they that helped to make him such. And none more boastingly weep his ruin than they that procured and practised it. The same path leads to ruin which did to rule when men profess a licence in government. A good king is a public servant.

Illiteratus princeps.--A prince without letters is a pilot without eyes. All his government is groping. In sovereignty it is a most happy thing not to be compelled; but so it is the most miserable not to be counselled. And how can he be counselled that cannot see to read the best counsellors (which are books), for they neither flatter us nor hide from us? He may hear, you will say; but how shall he always be sure to hear truth, or be counselled the best things, not the sweetest? They say princes learn no art truly but the art of horsemanship. The reason is the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom. Which is an argument that the good counsellors to princes are the best instruments of a good age. For though the prince himself be of a most prompt inclination to all virtue, yet the best pilots have needs of mariners besides sails, anchor, and other tackle.

Character principis.--Alexander magnus.--If men did know what shining fetters, gilded miseries, and painted happiness thrones and sceptres were there would not be so frequent strife about the getting or holding of them; there would be more principalities than princes; for a prince is the pastor of the people. He ought to shear, not to flay his sheep; to take their fleeces, not their the soul of the commonwealth, and ought to cherish it as his own body. Alexander the Great was wont to say, "He hated that gardener that plucked his herbs or flowers up by the roots." A man may milk a beast till the blood come; churn milk and it yieldeth butter, but wring the nose and the blood followeth. He is an ill prince that so pulls his subjects' feathers as he would not have them grow again; that makes his exchequer a receipt for the spoils of those he governs. No, let him keep his own, not affect his subjects'; strive rather to be called just than powerful. Not, like the Roman tyrants, affect the surnames that grow by human slaughters; neither to seek war in peace, nor peace in war, but to observe faith given, though to an enemy. Study piety toward the subject; show care to defend him. Be slow to punish in divers cases, but be a sharp and severe revenger of open crimes. Break no decrees or dissolve no orders to slacken the strength of laws. Choose neither magistrates, civil or ecclesiastical, by favour or price; but with long disquisition and report of their worth by all suffrages. Sell no honours, nor give them hastily, but bestow them with counsel and for reward; if he do, acknowledge it (though late), and mend it. For princes are easy to be deceived; and what wisdom can escape where so many court-arts are studied? But, above all, the prince is to remember that when the great day of account comes, which neither magistrate nor prince can shun, there will be required of him a reckoning for those whom he hath trusted, as for himself, which he must provide. And if piety be wanting in the priests, equity in the judges, or the magistrates be found rated at a price, what justice or religion is to be expected? which are the only two attributes make kings akin to God, and is the Delphic sword, both to kill sacrifices and to chastise offenders.

De gratiosis.--When a virtuous man is raised, it brings gladness to his friends, grief to his enemies, and glory to his posterity. Nay, his honours are a great part of the honour of the times; when by this means he is grown to active men an example, to the slothful a spur, to the envious a punishment.

Divites.--Heredes ex asse. He which is sole heir to many rich men, having (besides his father's and uncle's) the estates of divers his kindred come to him by accession, must needs be richer than father or grandfather; so they which are left heirs ex asse of all their ancestors' vices, and by their good husbandry improve the old and daily purchase new, must needs be wealthier in vice, and have a greater revenue or stock of ill to spend on.

Fures publici.--The great thieves of a state are lightly the officers of the crown; they hang the less still, play the pikes in the pond, eat whom they list. The net was never spread for the hawk or buzzard that hurt us, but the harmless birds; they are good meat:-

"Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas." {81a}
"Non rete accipitri tenditur, neque milvio." {81b}

Footnote: {81a} "Censure pardons the crows and vexes the doves."--Juvenal.

Footnote: {81b} "Does not spread his net for the hawk or the kite."--Plautus.

Lewis XI.--But they are not always safe though, especially when they meet with wise masters. They can take down all the huff and swelling of their looks, and like dexterous auditors place the counter where he shall value nothing. Let them but remember Lewis XI., who to a Clerk of the Exchequer that came to be Lord Treasurer, and had (for his device) represented himself sitting on fortune's wheel, told him he might do well to fasten it with a good strong nail, lest, turning about, it might bring him where he was again. As indeed it did.

De bonis et malis.--De innocentia.--A good man will avoid the spot of any sin. The very aspersion is grievous, which makes him choose his way in his life as he would in his journey. The ill man rides through all confidently; he is coated and booted for it. The oftener he offends, the more openly, and the fouler, the fitter in fashion. His modesty, like a riding-coat, the more it is worn is the less cared for. It is good enough for the dirt still, and the ways he travels in. An innocent man needs no eloquence, his innocence is instead of it, else I had never come off so many times from these precipices, whither men's malice hath pursued me. It is true I have been accused to the lords, to the king, and by great ones, but it happened my accusers had not thought of the accusation with themselves, and so were driven, for want of crimes, to use invention, which was found slander, or too late (being entered so fair) to seek starting-holes for their rashness, which were not given them. And then they may think what accusation that was like to prove, when they that were the engineers feared to be the authors. Nor were they content to feign things against me, but to urge things, feigned by the ignorant, against my profession, which though, from their hired and mercenary impudence, I might have passed by as granted to a nation of barkers that let out their tongues to lick others' sores; yet I durst not leave myself undefended, having a pair of ears unskilful to hear lies, or have those things said of me which I could truly prove of them. They objected making of verses to me, when I could object to most of them, their not being able to read them, but as worthy of scorn. Nay, they would offer to urge mine own writings against me, but by pieces (which was an excellent way of malice), as if any man's context might not seem dangerous and offensive, if that which was knit to what went before were defrauded of his beginning; or that things by themselves uttered might not seem subject to calumny, which read entire would appear most free. At last they upbraided my poverty: I confess she is my domestic; sober of diet, simple of habit, frugal, painful, a good counseller to me, that keeps me from cruelty, pride, or other more delicate impertinences, which are the nurse-children of riches. But let them look over all the great and monstrous wickednesses, they shall never find those in poor families. They are the issue of the wealthy giants and the mighty hunters, whereas no great work, or worthy of praise or memory, but came out of poor cradles. It was the ancient poverty that founded commonweals, built cities, invented arts, made wholesome laws, armed men against vices, rewarded them with their own virtues, and preserved the honour and state of nations, till they betrayed themselves to riches.

Amor nummi.--Money never made any man rich, but his mind. He that can order himself to the law of Nature is not only without the sense but the fear of poverty. O! but to strike blind the people with our wealth and pomp is the thing! What a wretchedness is this, to thrust all our riches outward, and be beggars within; to contemplate nothing but the little, vile, and sordid things of the world; not the great, noble, and precious! We serve our avarice, and, not content with the good of the earth that is offered us, we search and dig for the evil that is hidden. God offered us those things, and placed them at hand, and near us, that He knew were profitable for us, but the hurtful He laid deep and hid. Yet do we seek only the things whereby we may perish, and bring them forth, when God and Nature hath buried them. We covet superfluous things, when it were more honour for us if we would contemn necessary. What need hath Nature of silver dishes, multitudes of waiters, delicate pages, perfumed napkins? She requires meat only, and hunger is not ambitious. Can we think no wealth enough but such a state for which a man may be brought into a premunire, begged, proscribed, or poisoned? O! if a man could restrain the fury of his gullet and groin, and think how many fires, how many kitchens, cooks, pastures, and ploughed lands; what orchards, stews, ponds and parks, coops and garners, he could spare; what velvets, tissues, embroideries, laces, he could lack; and then how short and uncertain his life is; he were in a better way to happiness than to live the emperor of these delights, and be the dictator of fashions; but we make ourselves slaves to our pleasures, and we serve fame and ambition, which is an equal slavery. Have not I seen the pomp of a whole kingdom, and what a foreign king could bring hither? Also to make himself gazed and wondered at--laid forth, as it were, to the show--and vanish all away in a day? And shall that which could not fill the expectation of few hours, entertain and take up our whole lives, when even it appeared as superfluous to the possessors as to me that was a spectator? The bravery was shown, it was not possessed; while it boasted itself it perished. It is vile, and a poor thing to place our happiness on these desires. Say we wanted them all. Famine ends famine.

De mollibus et effoeminatis.--There is nothing valiant or solid to be hoped for from such as are always kempt and perfumed, and every day smell of the tailor; the exceedingly curious that are wholly in mending such an imperfection in the face, in taking away the morphew in the neck, or bleaching their hands at midnight, gumming and bridling their beards, or making the waist small, binding it with hoops, while the mind runs at waste; too much pickedness is not manly. Not from those that will jest at their own outward imperfections, but hide their ulcers within, their pride, lust, envy, ill-nature, with all the art and authority they can. These persons are in danger, for whilst they think to justify their ignorance by impudence, and their persons by clothes and outward ornaments, they use but a commission to deceive themselves: where, if we will look with our understanding, and not our senses, we may behold virtue and beauty (though covered with rags) in their brightness; and vice and deformity so much the fouler, in having all the splendour of riches to gild them, or the false light of honour and power to help them. Yet this is that wherewith the world is taken, and runs mad to gaze on--clothes and titles, the birdlime of fools.

De stultitia.--What petty things they are we wonder at, like children that esteem every trifle, and prefer a fairing before their fathers! What difference is between us and them but that we are dearer fools, coxcombs at a higher rate? They are pleased with cockleshells, whistles, hobby-horses, and such like; we with statues, marble pillars, pictures, gilded roofs, where underneath is lath and lime, perhaps loam. Yet we take pleasure in the lie, and are glad we can cozen ourselves. Nor is it only in our walls and ceilings, but all that we call happiness is mere painting and gilt, and all for money. What a thin membrane of honour that is! and how hath all true reputation fallen, since money began to have any! Yet the great herd, the multitude, that in all other things are divided, in this alone conspire and agree--to love money. They wish for it, they embrace it, they adore it, while yet it is possessed with greater stir and torment than it is gotten.

De sibi molestis.--Some men what losses soever they have they make them greater, and if they have none, even all that is not gotten is a loss. Can there be creatures of more wretched condition than these, that continually labour under their own misery and others' envy? A man should study other things, not to covet, not to fear, not to repent him; to make his base such as no tempest shall shake him; to be secure of all opinion, and pleasing to himself, even for that wherein he displeaseth others; for the worst opinion gotten for doing well, should delight us. Wouldst not thou be just but for fame, thou oughtest to be it with infamy; he that would have his virtue published is not the servant of virtue, but glory.

Periculosa melancholia.--It is a dangerous thing when men's minds come to sojourn with their affections, and their diseases eat into their strength; that when too much desire and greediness of vice hath made the body unfit, or unprofitable, it is yet gladded with the sight and spectacle of it in others; and for want of ability to be an actor, is content to be a witness. It enjoys the pleasure of sinning in beholding others sin, as in dining, drinking, drabbing, &c. Nay, when it cannot do all these, it is offended with his own narrowness, that excludes it from the universal delights of mankind, and oftentimes dies of a melancholy, that it cannot be vicious enough.

Falsae species fugiendae.--I am glad when I see any man avoid the infamy of a vice; but to shun the vice itself were better. Till he do that he is but like the 'pientice, who, being loth to be spied by his master coming forth of Black Lucy's, went in again; to whom his master cried, "The more thou runnest that way to hide thyself, the more thou art in the place." So are those that keep a tavern all day, that they may not be seen at night. I have known lawyers, divines--yea, great ones--of this heresy.

Decipimur specie.--There is a greater reverence had of things remote or strange to us than of much better if they be nearer and fall under our sense. Men, and almost all sorts of creatures, have their reputation by distance. Rivers, the farther they run, and more from their spring, the broader they are, and greater. And where our original is known, we are less the confident; among strangers we trust fortune. Yet a man may live as renowned at home, in his own country, or a private village, as in the whole world. For it is virtue that gives glory; that will endenizen a man everywhere. It is only that can naturalise him. A native, if he be vicious, deserves to be a stranger, and cast out of the commonwealth as an alien.

Dejectio Aulic.--A dejected countenance and mean clothes beget often a contempt, but it is with the shallowest creatures; courtiers commonly: look up even with them in a new suit, you get above them straight. Nothing is more short-lived than pride; it is but while their clothes last: stay but while these are worn out, you cannot wish the thing more wretched or dejected.

Poesis, et pictura.--Plutarch. Poetry and picture are arts of a like nature, and both are busy about imitation. It was excellently said of Plutarch, poetry was a speaking picture, and picture a mute poesy. For they both invent, feign and devise many things, and accommodate all they invent to the use and service of Nature. Yet of the two, the pen is more noble than the pencil; for that can speak to the understanding, the other but to the sense. They both behold pleasure and profit as their common object; but should abstain from all base pleasures, lest they should err from their end, and, while they seek to better men's minds, destroy their manners. They both are born artificers, not made. Nature is more powerful in them than study.

De pictura.--Whosoever loves not picture is injurious to truth and all the wisdom of poetry. Picture is the invention of heaven, the most ancient and most akin to Nature. It is itself a silent work, and always of one and the same habit; yet it doth so enter and penetrate the inmost affection (being done by an excellent artificer) as sometimes it overcomes the power of speech and oratory. There are divers graces in it, so are there in the artificers. One excels in care, another in reason, a third in easiness, a fourth in nature and grace. Some have diligence and comeliness, but they want majesty. They can express a human form in all the graces, sweetness, and elegancy, but, they miss the authority. They can hit nothing but smooth cheeks; they cannot express roughness or gravity. Others aspire to truth so much as they are rather lovers of likeness than beauty. Zeuxis and Parrhasius are said to be contemporaries; the first found out the reason of lights and shadows in picture, the other more subtlely examined the line.

De stylo.--Pliny.--In picture light is required no less than shadow; so in style, height as well as humbleness. But beware they be not too humble, as Pliny pronounced of Regulus's writings. You would think them written, not on a child, but by a child. Many, out of their own obscene apprehensions, refuse proper and fit words--as occupy, Nature, and the like; so the curious industry in some, of having all alike good, hath come nearer a vice than a virtue.

De progres. picturae. {93} Picture took her feigning from poetry; from geometry her rule, compass, lines, proportion, and the whole symmetry. Parrhasius was the first won reputation by adding symmetry to picture; he added subtlety to the countenance, elegancy to the hair, love-lines to the face, and by the public voice of all artificers, deserved honour in the outer lines. Eupompus gave it splendour by numbers and other elegancies. From the optics it drew reasons, by which it considered how things placed at distance and afar off should appear less; how above or beneath the head should deceive the eye, &c. So from thence it took shadows, recessor, light, and heightnings. From moral philosophy it took the soul, the expression of senses, perturbations, manners, when they would paint an angry person, a proud, an inconstant, an ambitious, a brave, a magnanimous, a just, a merciful, a compassionate, an humble, a dejected, a base, and the like; they made all heightnings bright, all shadows dark, all swellings from a plane, all solids from breaking. See where he complains of their painting Chimaeras {94} (by the vulgar unaptly called grotesque) saying that men who were born truly to study and emulate Nature did nothing but make monsters against Nature, which Horace so laughed at. {95} The art plastic was moulding in clay, or potter's earth anciently. This is the parent of statuary, sculpture, graving, and picture; cutting in brass and marble, all serve under her. Socrates taught Parrhasius and Clito (two noble statuaries) first to express manners by their looks in imagery. Polygnotus and Aglaophon were ancienter. After them Zeuxis, who was the lawgiver to all painters; after, Parrhasius. They were contemporaries, and lived both about Philip's time, the father of Alexander the Great. There lived in this latter age six famous painters in Italy, who were excellent and emulous of the ancients--Raphael de Urbino, Michael Angelo Buonarotti, Titian, Antony of Correggio, Sebastian of Venice, Julio Romano, and Andrea Sartorio.

Footnote: {93} Parrhasius. Eupompus. Socrates. Parrhasius. Clito. Polygnotus. Aglaophon. Zeuxis. Parrhasius. Raphael de Urbino. Mich. Angelo Buonarotti. Titian. Antony de Correg. Sebast. de Venet. Julio Romano. Andrea Sartorio.

Footnote: {94} Plin. lib. 35. c. 2, 5, 6, and 7. Vitruv. lib. 8 and 7.

Footnote: {95} Horat. in "Arte Poet."

Parasiti ad mensam.--These are flatterers for their bread, that praise all my oraculous lord does or says, be it true or false; invent tales that shall please; make baits for his lordship's ears; and if they be not received in what they offer at, they shift a point of the compass, and turn their tale, presently tack about, deny what they confessed, and confess what they denied; fit their discourse to the persons and occasions. What they snatch up and devour at one table, utter at another; and grow suspected of the master, hated of the servants, while they inquire, and reprehend, and compound, and dilate business of the house they have nothing to do with. They praise my lord's wine and the sauce he likes; observe the cook and bottle-man; while they stand in my lord's favour, speak for a pension for them, but pound them to dust upon my lord's least distaste, or change of his palate.

How much better is it to be silent, or at least to speak sparingly! for it is not enough to speak good, but timely things. If a man be asked a question, to answer; but to repeat the question before he answer is well, that he be sure to understand it, to avoid absurdity; for it is less dishonour to hear imperfectly than to speak imperfectly. The ears are excused, the understanding is not. And in things unknown to a man, not to give his opinion, lest by the affectation of knowing too much he lose the credit he hath, by speaking or knowing the wrong way what he utters. Nor seek to get his patron's favour by embarking himself in the factions of the family, to inquire after domestic simulties, their sports or affections. They are an odious and vile kind of creatures, that fly about the house all day, and picking up the filth of the house like pies or swallows, carry it to their nest (the lord's ears), and oftentimes report the lies they have feigned for what they have seen and heard,

Imo serviles.--These are called instruments of grace and power with great persons, but they are indeed the organs of their impotency, and marks of weakness. For sufficient lords are able to make these discoveries themselves. Neither will an honourable person inquire who eats and drinks together, what that man plays, whom this man loves, with whom such a one walks, what discourse they hold, who sleeps with whom. They are base and servile natures that busy themselves about these disquisitions. How often have I seen (and worthily) these censors of the family undertaken by some honest rustic and cudgelled thriftily! These are commonly the off-scouring and dregs of men that do these things, or calumniate others; yet I know not truly which is worse--he that maligns all, or that praises all. There is as a vice in praising, and as frequent, as in detracting.

It pleased your lordship of late to ask my opinion touching the education of your sons, and especially to the advancement of their studies. To which, though I returned somewhat for the present, which rather manifested a will in me than gave any just resolution to the thing propounded, I have upon better cogitation called those aids about me, both of mind and memory, which shall venture my thoughts clearer, if not fuller, to your lordship's demand. I confess, my lord, they will seem but petty and minute things I shall offer to you, being writ for children, and of them. But studies have their infancy as well as creatures. We see in men even the strongest compositions had their beginnings from milk and the cradle; and the wisest tarried sometimes about apting their mouths to letters and syllables. In their education, therefore, the care must be the greater had of their beginnings, to know, examine, and weigh their natures; which, though they be proner in some children to some disciplines, yet are they naturally prompt to taste all by degrees, and with change. For change is a kind of refreshing in studies, and infuseth knowledge by way of recreation. Thence the school itself is called a play or game, and all letters are so best taught to scholars. They should not be affrighted or deterred in their entry, but drawn on with exercise and emulation. A youth should not be made to hate study before he know the causes to love it, or taste the bitterness before the sweet; but called on and allured, entreated and praised--yea, when he deserves it not. For which cause I wish them sent to the best school, and a public, which I think the best. Your lordship, I fear, hardly hears of that, as willing to breed them in your eye and at home, and doubting their manners may be corrupted abroad. They are in more danger in your own family, among ill servants (allowing they be safe in their schoolmaster), than amongst a thousand boys, however immodest. Would we did not spoil our own children, and overthrow their manners ourselves by too much indulgence! To breed them at home is to breed them in a shade, whereas in a school they have the light and heat of the sun. They are used and accustomed to things and men. When they come forth into the common-wealth, they find nothing new, or to seek. They have made their friendships and aids, some to last their age. They hear what is commanded to others as well as themselves; much approved, much corrected; all which they bring to their own store and use, and learn as much as they hear. Eloquence would be but a poor thing if we should only converse with singulars, speak but man and man together. Therefore I like no private breeding. I would send them where their industry should be daily increased by praise, and that kindled by emulation. It is a good thing to inflame the mind; and though ambition itself be a vice, it is often the cause of great virtue. Give me that wit whom praise excites, glory puts on, or disgrace grieves; he is to be nourished with ambition, pricked forward with honour, checked with reprehension, and never to be suspected of sloth. Though he be given to play, it is a sign of spirit and liveliness, so there be a mean had of their sports and relaxations. And from the rod or ferule I would have them free, as from the menace of them; for it is both deformed and servile.

De stylo, et optimo scribendi genere.--For a man to write well, there are required three necessaries--to read the best authors, observe the best speakers, and much exercise of his own style; in style to consider what ought to be written, and after what manner. He must first think and excogitate his matter, then choose his words, and examine the weight of either. Then take care, in placing and ranking both matter and words, that the composition be comely; and to do this with diligence and often. No matter how slow the style be at first, so it be laboured and accurate; seek the best, and be not glad of the froward conceits, or first words, that offer themselves to us; but judge of what we invent, and order what we approve. Repeat often what we have formerly written; which beside that it helps the consequence, and makes the juncture better, it quickens the heat of imagination, that often cools in the time of setting down, and gives it new strength, as if it grew lustier by the going back; as we see in the contention of leaping, they jump farthest that fetch their race largest; or, as in throwing a dart or javelin, we force back our arms to make our loose the stronger. Yet, if we have a fair gale of wind, I forbid not the steering out of our sail, so the favour of the gale deceive us not. For all that we invent doth please us in conception of birth, else we would never set it down. But the safest is to return to our judgment, and handle over again those things the easiness of which might make them justly suspected. So did the best writers in their beginnings; they imposed upon themselves care and industry; they did nothing rashly: they obtained first to write well, and then custom made it easy and a habit. By little and little their matter showed itself to them more plentifully; their words answered, their composition followed; and all, as in a well-ordered family, presented itself in the place. So that the sum of all is, ready writing makes not good writing, but good writing brings on ready writing yet, when we think we have got the faculty, it is even then good to resist it, as to give a horse a check sometimes with a bit, which doth not so much stop his course as stir his mettle. Again, whether a man's genius is best able to reach thither, it should more and more contend, lift and dilate itself, as men of low stature raise themselves on their toes, and so ofttimes get even, if not eminent. Besides, as it is fit for grown and able writers to stand of themselves, and work with their own strength, to trust and endeavour by their own faculties, so it is fit for the beginner and learner to study others and the best. For the mind and memory are more sharply exercised in comprehending another man's things than our own; and such as accustom themselves and are familiar with the best authors shall ever and anon find somewhat of them in themselves, and in the expression of their minds, even when they feel it not, be able to utter something like theirs, which hath an authority above their own. Nay, sometimes it is the reward of a man's study, the praise of quoting another man fitly; and though a man be more prone and able for one kind of writing than another, yet he must exercise all. For as in an instrument, so in style, there must be a harmony and consent of parts.

Praecipiendi modi.--I take this labour in teaching others, that they should not be always to be taught, and I would bring my precepts into practice, for rules are ever of less force and value than experiments; yet with this purpose, rather to show the right way to those that come after, than to detect any that have slipped before by error, and I hope it will be more profitable. For men do more willingly listen, and with more favour, to precept, than reprehension. Among divers opinions of an art, and most of them contrary in themselves, it is hard to make election; and, therefore, though a man cannot invent new things after so many, he may do a welcome work yet to help posterity to judge rightly of the old. But arts and precepts avail nothing, except Nature be beneficial and aiding. And therefore these things are no more written to a dull disposition, than rules of husbandry to a soil. No precepts will profit a fool, no more than beauty will the blind, or music the deaf. As we should take care that our style in writing be neither dry nor empty, we should look again it be not winding, or wanton with far-fetched descriptions; either is a vice. But that is worse which proceeds out of want, than that which riots out of plenty. The remedy of fruitfulness is easy, but no labour will help the contrary; I will like and praise some things in a young writer which yet, if he continue in, I cannot but justly hate him for the same. There is a time to be given all things for maturity, and that even your country husband-man can teach, who to a young plant will not put the pruning-knife, because it seems to fear the iron, as not able to admit the scar. No more would I tell a green writer all his faults, lest I should make him grieve and faint, and at last despair; for nothing doth more hurt than to make him so afraid of all things as he can endeavour nothing. Therefore youth ought to be instructed betimes, and in the best things; for we hold those longest we take soonest, as the first scent of a vessel lasts, and the tint the wool first receives; therefore a master should temper his own powers, and descend to the other's infirmity. If you pour a glut of water upon a bottle, it receives little of it; but with a funnel, and by degrees, you shall fill many of them, and spill little of your own; to their capacity they will all receive and be full. And as it is fit to read the best authors to youth first, so let them be of the openest and clearest. {106a} As Livy before Sallust, Sidney before Donne; and beware of letting them taste Gower or Chaucer at first, lest, falling too much in love with antiquity, and not apprehending the weight, they grow rough and barren in language only. When their judgments are firm, and out of danger, let them read both the old and the new; but no less take heed that their new flowers and sweetness do not as much corrupt as the others' dryness and squalor, if they choose not carefully. Spenser, in affecting the ancients, writ no language; yet I would have him read for his matter, but as Virgil read Ennius. The reading of Homer and Virgil is counselled by Quintilian as the best way of informing youth and confirming man. For, besides that the mind is raised with the height and sublimity of such a verse, it takes spirit from the greatness of the matter, and is tinctured with the best things. Tragic and lyric poetry is good, too, and comic with the best, if the manners of the reader be once in safety. In the Greek poets, as also in Plautus, we shall see the economy and disposition of poems better observed than in Terence; and the latter, who thought the sole grace and virtue of their fable the sticking in of sentences, as ours do the forcing in of jests.

Footnote: {106a} Livy, Sallust, Sidney, Donne, Gower, Chaucer, Spenser, Virgil, Ennius, Homer, Quintilian, Plautus, Terence.

Fals. querel. fugiend. Platonis peregrinatio in Italiam.--We should not protect our sloth with the patronage of difficulty. It is a false quarrel against Nature, that she helps understanding but in a few, when the most part of mankind are inclined by her thither, if they would take the pains; no less than birds to fly, horses to run, &c., which if they lose, it is through their own sluggishness, and by that means become her prodigies, not her children. I confess, Nature in children is more patient of labour in study than in age; for the sense of the pain, the judgment of the labour is absent; they do not measure what they have done. And it is the thought and consideration that affects us more than the weariness itself. Plato was not content with the learning that Athens could give him, but sailed into Italy, for Pythagoras' knowledge: and yet not thinking himself sufficiently informed, went into Egypt, to the priests, and learned their mysteries. He laboured, so must we. Many things may be learned together, and performed in one point of time; as musicians exercise their memory, their voice, their fingers, and sometimes their head and feet at once. And so a preacher, in the invention of matter, election of words, composition of gesture, look, pronunciation, motion, useth all these faculties at once: and if we can express this variety together, why should not divers studies, at divers hours, delight, when the variety is able alone to refresh and repair us? As, when a man is weary of writing, to read; and then again of reading, to write. Wherein, howsoever we do many things, yet are we (in a sort) still fresh to what we begin; we are recreated with change, as the stomach is with meats. But some will say this variety breeds confusion, and makes, that either we lose all, or hold no more than the last. Why do we not then persuade husbandmen that they should not till land, help it with marl, lime, and compost? plant hop-gardens, prune trees, look to bee-hives, rear sheep, and all other cattle at once? It is easier to do many things and continue, than to do one thing long.

Praecept. element.--It is not the passing through these learnings that hurts us, but the dwelling and sticking about them. To descend to those extreme anxieties and foolish cavils of grammarians, is able to break a wit in pieces, being a work of manifold misery and vainness, to be elementarii senes. Yet even letters are, as it were, the bank of words, and restore themselves to an author as the pawns of language: but talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak, and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks; and out of the observation, knowledge, and the use of things, many writers perplex their readers and hearers with mere nonsense. Their writings need sunshine. Pure and neat language I love, yet plain and customary. A barbarous phrase has often made me out of love with a good sense, and doubtful writing hath wracked me beyond my patience. The reason why a poet is said that he ought to have all knowledges is, that he should not be ignorant of the most, especially of those he will handle. And indeed, when the attaining of them is possible, it were a sluggish and base thing to despair; for frequent imitation of anything becomes a habit quickly. If a man should prosecute as much as could be said of everything, his work would find no end.

De orationis dignitate. (Greek text).--Metaphora. Speech is the only benefit man hath to express his excellency of mind above other creatures. It is the instrument of society; therefore Mercury, who is the president of language, is called deorum hominumque interpres. {110a} In all speech, words and sense are as the body and the soul. The sense is as the life and soul of language, without which all words are dead. Sense is wrought out of experience, the knowledge of human life and actions, or of the liberal arts, which the Greeks called (Greek text). Words are the people's, yet there is a choice of them to be made; for verborum delectus origo est eloquentiae. {111a} They are to be chosen according to the persons we make speak, or the things we speak of. Some are of the camp, some of the council-board, some of the shop, some of the sheepcote, some of the pulpit, some of the Bar, &c. And herein is seen their elegance and propriety, when we use them fitly and draw them forth to their just strength and nature by way of translation or metaphor. But in this translation we must only serve necessity (nam temere nihil transfertur a prudenti) {111b} or commodity, which is a kind of necessity: that is, when we either absolutely want a word to express by, and that is necessity; or when we have not so fit a word, and that is commodity; as when we avoid loss by it, and escape obsceneness, and gain in the grace and property which helps significance. Metaphors far-fetched hinder to be understood; and affected, lose their grace. Or when the person fetcheth his translations from a wrong place as if a privy councillor should at the table take his metaphor from a dicing-house, or ordinary, or a vintner's vault; or a justice of peace draw his similitudes from the mathematics, or a divine from a bawdy house, or taverns; or a gentleman of Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, or the Midland, should fetch all the illustrations to his country neighbours from shipping, and tell them of the main-sheet and the bowline. Metaphors are thus many times deformed, as in him that said, Castratam morte Africani rempublicam; and another, Stercus curiae Glauciam, and Cana nive conspuit Alpes. All attempts that are new in this kind, are dangerous, and somewhat hard, before they be softened with use. A man coins not a new word without some peril and less fruit; for if it happen to be received, the praise is but moderate; if refused, the scorn is assured. Yet we must adventure; for things at first hard and rough are by use made tender and gentle. It is an honest error that is committed, following great chiefs.

Footnote: {110a} The interpreter of gods and men.

Footnote: {111a} Julius Caesar. Of words, see Hor. "De Art. Poet.;" Quintil. 1. 8, "Ludov. Vives," pp. 6 and 7.

Footnote: {111b} A prudent man conveys nothing rashly.

Consuetudo.--Perspicuitas, Venustas.--Authoritas.--Virgil.-- Lucretius.--Chaucerism.--Paronomasia.--Custom is the most certain mistress of language, as the public stamp makes the current money. But we must not be too frequent with the mint, every day coining, nor fetch words from the extreme and utmost ages; since the chief virtue of a style is perspicuity, and nothing so vicious in it as to need an interpreter. Words borrowed of antiquity do lend a kind of majesty to style, and are not without their delight sometimes; for they have the authority of years, and out of their intermission do win themselves a kind of grace like newness. But the eldest of the present, and newness of the past language, is the best. For what was the ancient language, which some men so dote upon, but the ancient custom? Yet when I name custom, I understand not the vulgar custom; for that were a precept no less dangerous to language than life, if we should speak or live after the manners of the vulgar: but that I call custom of speech, which is the consent of the learned; as custom of life, which is the consent of the good. Virgil was most loving of antiquity; yet how rarely doth he insert aquai and pictai! Lucretius is scabrous and rough in these; he seeks them: as some do Chaucerisms with us, which were better expunged and banished. Some words are to be culled out for ornament and colour, as we gather flowers to strew houses or make garlands; but they are better when they grow to our style; as in a meadow, where, though the mere grass and greenness delight, yet the variety of flowers doth heighten and beautify. Marry, we must not play or riot too much with them, as in Paronomasies; nor use too swelling or ill-sounding words! Quae per salebras, altaque saxa cadunt. {114a} It is true, there is no sound but shall find some lovers, as the bitterest confections are grateful to some palates. Our composition must be more accurate in the beginning and end than in the midst, and in the end more than in the beginning; for through the midst the stream bears us. And this is attained by custom, more than care of diligence. We must express readily and fully, not profusely. There is difference between a liberal and prodigal hand. As it is a great point of art, when our matter requires it, to enlarge and veer out all sail, so to take it in and contract it, is of no less praise, when the argument doth ask it. Either of them hath their fitness in the place. A good man always profits by his endeavour, by his help, yea, when he is absent; nay, when he is dead, by his example and memory. So good authors in their style: a strict and succinct style is that where you can take away nothing without loss, and that loss to be manifest.

Footnote: {114a} That jolt as they fall over the rough places and the rocks.

De Stylo.--Tracitus.--The Laconic.--Suetonius.--Seneca and Fabianus.--The brief style is that which expresseth much in little; the concise style, which expresseth not enough, but leaves somewhat to be understood; the abrupt style, which hath many breaches, and doth not seem to end, but fall. The congruent and harmonious fitting of parts in a sentence hath almost the fastening and force of knitting and connection; as in stones well squared, which will rise strong a great way without mortar.

Periodi.--Obscuritas offundit tenebras.--Superlatio.--Periods are beautiful when they are not too long; for so they have their strength too, as in a pike or javelin. As we must take the care that our words and sense be clear, so if the obscurity happen through the hearer's or reader's want of understanding, I am not to answer for them, no more than for their not listening or marking; I must neither find them ears nor mind. But a man cannot put a word so in sense but something about it will illustrate it, if the writer understand himself; for order helps much to perspicuity, as confusion hurts. (Rectitudo lucem adfert; obliquitas et circumductio offuscat. {116a}) We should therefore speak what we can the nearest way, so as we keep our gait, not leap; for too short may as well be not let into the memory, as too long not kept in. Whatsoever loseth the grace and clearness, converts into a riddle; the obscurity is marked, but not the value. That perisheth, and is passed by, like the pearl in the fable. Our style should be like a skein of silk, to be carried and found by the right thread, not ravelled and perplexed; then all is a knot, a heap. There are words that do as much raise a style as others can depress it. Superlation and over-muchness amplifies; it may be above faith, but never above a mean. It was ridiculous in Cestius, when he said of Alexander:

"Fremit oceanus, quasi indignetur, quod terras relinquas." {117a}

Footnote: {116a} Directness enlightens, obliquity and circumlocution darken.

Footnote: {117a} Ocean trembles as if indignant that you quit the land.

But propitiously from Virgil:

"Credas innare revulsas
Cycladas." {117b}

Footnote: {117b} You might believe that the uprooted Cyclades were floating in.

He doth not say it was so, but seemed to be so. Although it be somewhat incredible, that is excused before it be spoken. But there are hyperboles which will become one language, that will by no means admit another. As Eos esse P. R. exercitus, qui caelum possint perrumpere, {118a} who would say with us, but a madman? Therefore we must consider in every tongue what is used, what received. Quintilian warns us, that in no kind of translation, or metaphor, or allegory, we make a turn from what we began; as if we fetch the original of our metaphor from sea and billows, we end not in flames and ashes: it is a most foul inconsequence. Neither must we draw out our allegory too long, lest either we make ourselves obscure, or fall into affectation, which is childish. But why do men depart at all from the right and natural ways of speaking? sometimes for necessity, when we are driven, or think it fitter, to speak that in obscure words, or by circumstance, which uttered plainly would offend the hearers. Or to avoid obsceneness, or sometimes for pleasure, and variety, as travellers turn out of the highway, drawn either by the commodity of a footpath, or the delicacy or freshness of the fields. And all this is called (Greek text) or figured language.

Footnote: {118a} Those armies of the people of Rome that might break through the heavens.--Caesar. Comment. circa fin.

Oratio imago animi.--Language most shows a man: Speak, that I may see thee. It springs out of the most retired and inmost parts of us, and is the image of the parent of it, the mind. No glass renders a man's form or likeness so true as his speech. Nay, it is likened to a man; and as we consider feature and composition in a man, so words in language; in the greatness, aptness, sound structure, and harmony of it.

Structura et statura, sublimis, humilis, pumila.--Some men are tall and big, so some language is high and great. Then the words are chosen, their sound ample, the composition full, the absolution plenteous, and poured out, all grave, sinewy, and strong. Some are little and dwarfs; so of speech, it is humble and low, the words poor and flat, the members and periods thin and weak, without knitting or number.

Mediocris plana et placida.--The middle are of a just stature. There the language is plain and pleasing; even without stopping, round without swelling: all well-turned, composed, elegant, and accurate.

Vitiosa oratio, vasta--tumens--enormis--affectata--abjecta.--The vicious language is vast and gaping, swelling and irregular: when it contends to be high, full of rock, mountain, and pointedness; as it affects to be low, it is abject, and creeps, full of bogs and holes. And according to their subject these styles vary, and lose their names: for that which is high and lofty, declaring excellent matter, becomes vast and tumorous, speaking of petty and inferior things; so that which was even and apt in a mean and plain subject, will appear most poor and humble in a high argument. Would you not laugh to meet a great councillor of State in a flat cap, with his trunk hose, and a hobbyhorse cloak, his gloves under his girdle, and yond haberdasher in a velvet gown, furred with sables? There is a certain latitude in these things, by which we find the degrees.

Figura.--The next thing to the stature, is the figure and feature in language--that is, whether it be round and straight, which consists of short and succinct periods, numerous and polished; or square and firm, which is to have equal and strong parts everywhere answerable, and weighed.

Cutis sive cortex. Compositio.--The third is the skin and coat, which rests in the well-joining, cementing, and coagmentation of words; whenas it is smooth, gentle, and sweet, like a table upon which you may run your finger without rubs, and your nail cannot find a joint; not horrid, rough, wrinkled, gaping, or chapped: after these, the flesh, blood, and bones come in question.

Carnosa--adipata--redundans.--We say it is a fleshy style, when there is much periphrasis, and circuit of words; and when with more than enough, it grows fat and corpulent: arvina orationis, full of suet and tallow. It hath blood and juice when the words are proper and apt, their sound sweet, and the phrase neat and picked--oratio uncta, et bene pasta. But where there is redundancy, both the blood and juice are faulty and vicious:- Redundat sanguine, quia multo plus dicit, quam necesse est. Juice in language is somewhat less than blood; for if the words be but becoming and signifying, and the sense gentle, there is juice; but where that wanteth, the language is thin, flagging, poor, starved, scarce covering the bone, and shows like stones in a sack.

Jejuna, macilenta, strigosa.--Ossea, et nervosa.--Some men, to avoid redundancy, run into that; and while they strive to have no ill blood or juice, they lose their good. There be some styles, again, that have not less blood, but less flesh and corpulence. These are bony and sinewy; Ossa habent, et nervos.

Notae domini Sti. Albani de doctrin. intemper.--Dictator.-- Aristoteles.--It was well noted by the late Lord St. Albans, that the study of words is the first distemper of learning; vain matter the second; and a third distemper is deceit, or the likeness of truth: imposture held up by credulity. All these are the cobwebs of learning, and to let them grow in us is either sluttish or foolish. Nothing is more ridiculous than to make an author a dictator, as the schools have done Aristotle. The damage is infinite knowledge receives by it; for to many things a man should owe but a temporary belief, and suspension of his own judgment, not an absolute resignation of himself, or a perpetual captivity. Let Aristotle and others have their dues; but if we can make farther discoveries of truth and fitness than they, why are we envied? Let us beware, while we strive to add, we do not diminish or deface; we may improve, but not augment. By discrediting falsehood, truth grows in request. We must not go about, like men anguished and perplexed, for vicious affectation of praise, but calmly study the separation of opinions, find the errors have intervened, awake antiquity, call former times into question; but make no parties with the present, nor follow any fierce undertakers, mingle no matter of doubtful credit with the simplicity of truth, but gently stir the mould about the root of the question, and avoid all digladiations, facility of credit, or superstitious simplicity, seek the consonancy and concatenation of truth; stoop only to point of necessity, and what leads to convenience. Then make exact animadversion where style hath degenerated, where flourished and thrived in choiceness of phrase, round and clean composition of sentence, sweet falling of the clause, varying an illustration by tropes and figures, weight of matter, worth of subject, soundness of argument, life of invention, and depth of judgment. This is monte potiri, to get the hill; for no perfect discovery can be made upon a flat or a level.

De optimo scriptore.--Cicero.--Now that I have informed you in the knowing of these things, let me lead you by the hand a little farther, in the direction of the use, and make you an able writer by practice. The conceits of the mind are pictures of things, and the tongue is the interpreter of those pictures. The order of God's creatures in themselves is not only admirable and glorious, but eloquent: then he who could apprehend the consequence of things in their truth, and utter his apprehensions as truly, were the best writer or speaker. Therefore Cicero said much, when he said, Dicere recte nemo potest, nisi qui prudenter intelligit. {124a} The shame of speaking unskilfully were small if the tongue only thereby were disgraced; but as the image of a king in his seal ill-represented is not so much a blemish to the wax, or the signet that sealed it, as to the prince it representeth, so disordered speech is not so much injury to the lips that give it forth, as to the disproportion and incoherence of things in themselves, so negligently expressed. Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune, whose words do jar; nor his reason in frame, whose sentence is preposterous; nor his elocution clear and perfect, whose utterance breaks itself into fragments and uncertainties. Were it not a dishonour to a mighty prince, to have the majesty of his embassage spoiled by a careless ambassador? and is it not as great an indignity, that an excellent conceit and capacity, by the indiligence of an idle tongue, should be disgraced? Negligent speech doth not only discredit the person of the speaker, but it discrediteth the opinion of his reason and judgment; it discrediteth the force and uniformity of the matter and substance. If it be so then in words, which fly and escape censure, and where one good phrase begs pardon for many incongruities and faults, how shall he then be thought wise whose penning is thin and shallow? how shall you look for wit from him whose leisure and head, assisted with the examination of his eyes, yield you no life or sharpness in his writing?

Footnote: {124a} No one can speak rightly unless he apprehends wisely.

De stylo epistolari.--Inventio.--In writing there is to be regarded the invention and the fashion. For the invention, that ariseth upon your business, whereof there can be no rules of more certainty, or precepts of better direction given, than conjecture can lay down from the several occasions of men's particular lives and vocations: but sometimes men make baseness of kindness: As "I could not satisfy myself till I had discharged my remembrance, and charged my letters with commendation to you;" or, "My business is no other than to testify my love to you, and to put you in mind of my willingness to do you all kind offices;" or, "Sir, have you leisure to descend to the remembering of that assurance you have long possessed in your servant, and upon your next opportunity make him happy with some commands from you?" or the like; that go a-begging for some meaning, and labour to be delivered of the great burden of nothing. When you have invented, and that your business be matter, and not bare form, or mere ceremony, but some earnest, then are you to proceed to the ordering of it, and digesting the parts, which is had out of two circumstances. One is the understanding of the persons to whom you are to write; the other is the coherence of your sentence; for men's capacity to weigh what will be apprehended with greatest attention or leisure; what next regarded and longed for especially, and what last will leave satisfaction, and (as it were) the sweetest memorial and belief of all that is passed in his understanding whom you write to. For the consequence of sentences, you must be sure that every clause do give the cue one to the other, and be bespoken ere it come. So much for invention and order.

Modus.--1. Brevitas.--Now for fashion: it consists in four things, which are qualities of your style. The first is brevity; for they must not be treatises or discourses (your letters) except it be to learned men. And even among them there is a kind of thrift and saving of words. Therefore you are to examine the clearest passages of your understanding, and through them to convey the sweetest and most significant words you can devise, that you may the easier teach them the readiest way to another man's apprehension, and open their meaning fully, roundly, and distinctly, so as the reader may not think a second view cast away upon your letter. And though respect be a part following this, yet now here, and still I must remember it, if you write to a man, whose estate and sense, as senses, you are familiar with, you may the bolder (to set a task to his brain) venture on a knot. But if to your superior, you are bound to measure him in three farther points: first, with interest in him; secondly, his capacity in your letters; thirdly, his leisure to peruse them. For your interest or favour with him, you are to be the shorter or longer, more familiar or submiss, as he will afford you time. For his capacity, you are to be quicker and fuller of those reaches and glances of wit or learning, as he is able to entertain them. For his leisure, you are commanded to the greater briefness, as his place is of greater discharges and cares. But with your betters, you are not to put riddles of wit, by being too scarce of words; not to cause the trouble of making breviates by writing too riotous and wastingly. Brevity is attained in matter by avoiding idle compliments, prefaces, protestations, parentheses, superfluous circuit of figures and digressions: in the composition, by omitting conjunctions (not only, but also; both the one and the other, whereby it cometh to pass) and such like idle particles, that have no great business in a serious letter but breaking of sentences, as oftentimes a short journey is made long by unnessary baits.

Quintilian.--But, as Quintilian saith, there is a briefness of the parts sometimes that makes the whole long: "As I came to the stairs, I took a pair of oars, they launched out, rowed apace, I landed at the court gate, I paid my fare, went up to the presence, asked for my lord, I was admitted." All this is but, "I went to the court and spake with my lord." This is the fault of some Latin writers within these last hundred years of my reading, and perhaps Seneca may be appeached of it; I accuse him not.

2. Perspicuitas.--The next property of epistolary style is perspicuity, and is oftentimes by affectation of some wit ill angled for, or ostentation of some hidden terms of art. Few words they darken speech, and so do too many; as well too much light hurteth the eyes, as too little; and a long bill of chancery confounds the understanding as much as the shortest note; therefore, let not your letters be penned like English statutes, and this is obtained. These vices are eschewed by pondering your business well and distinctly concerning yourself, which is much furthered by uttering your thoughts, and letting them as well come forth to the light and judgment of your own outward senses as to the censure of other men's ears; for that is the reason why many good scholars speak but fumblingly; like a rich man, that for want of particular note and difference can bring you no certain ware readily out of his shop. Hence it is that talkative shallow men do often content the hearers more than the wise. But this may find a speedier redress in writing, where all comes under the last examination of the eyes. First, mind it well, then pen it, then examine it, then amend it, and you may be in the better hope of doing reasonably well. Under this virtue may come plainness, which is not to be curious in the order as to answer a letter, as if you were to answer to interrogatories. As to the first, first; and to the second, secondly, &c. but both in method to use (as ladies do in their attire) a diligent kind of negligence, and their sportive freedom; though with some men you are not to jest, or practise tricks; yet the delivery of the most important things may be carried with such a grace, as that it may yield a pleasure to the conceit of the reader. There must be store, though no excess of terms; as if you are to name store, sometimes you may call it choice, sometimes plenty, sometimes copiousness, or variety; but ever so, that the word which comes in lieu have not such difference of meaning as that it may put the sense of the first in hazard to be mistaken. You are not to cast a ring for the perfumed terms of the time, as accommodation, complement, spirit &c., but use them properly in their place, as others.

3. Vigor--There followeth life and quickness, which is the strength and sinews, as it were, of your penning by pretty sayings, similitudes, and conceits; allusions from known history, or other common-place, such as are in the Courtier, and the second book of Cicero De Oratore.

4. Discretio.--The last is, respect to discern what fits yourself, him to whom you write, and that which you handle, which is a quality fit to conclude the rest, because it doth include all. And that must proceed from ripeness of judgment, which, as one truly saith, is gotten by four means, God, nature, diligence, and conversation. Serve the first well, and the rest will serve you.

De Poetica.--We have spoken sufficiently of oratory, let us now make a diversion to poetry. Poetry, in the primogeniture, had many peccant humours, and is made to have more now, through the levity and inconstancy of men's judgments. Whereas, indeed, it is the most prevailing eloquence, and of the most exalted caract. Now the discredits and disgraces are many it hath received through men's study of depravation or calumny; their practice being to give it diminution of credit, by lessening the professor's estimation, and making the age afraid of their liberty; and the age is grown so tender of her fame, as she calls all writings aspersions.

That is the state word, the phrase of court (placentia college), which some call Parasites place, the Inn of Ignorance.

D. Hieronymus.--Whilst I name no persons, but deride follies, why should any man confess or betray himself why doth not that of S. Hierome come into their mind, Ubi generalis est de vitiis disputatio, ibi nullius esse personae injuriam? {133a} Is it such an inexpiable crime in poets to tax vices generally, and no offence in them, who, by their exception confess they have committed them particularly? Are we fallen into those times that we must not -

"Auriculas teneras mordaci rodere vero." {133b}

Footnote: {133a} "Where the discussion of faults is general, no one is injured."

Footnote: {133b} "Gnaw tender little ears with biting truth--Per Sat. 1.

Remedii votum semper verius erat, quam spes. {133c}--Sexus faemin.-- If men may by no means write freely, or speak truth, but when it offends not, why do physicians cure with sharp medicines, or corrosives? is not the same equally lawful in the cure of the mind that is in the cure of the body? Some vices, you will say, are so foul that it is better they should be done than spoken. But they that take offence where no name, character, or signature doth blazon them seem to me like affected as women, who if they hear anything ill spoken of the ill of their sex, are presently moved, as if the contumely respected their particular; and on the contrary, when they hear good of good women, conclude that it belongs to them all. If I see anything that toucheth me, shall I come forth a betrayer of myself presently? No, if I be wise, I'll dissemble it; if honest, I'll avoid it, lest I publish that on my own forehead which I saw there noted without a title. A man that is on the mending hand will either ingenuously confess or wisely dissemble his disease. And the wise and virtuous will never think anything belongs to themselves that is written, but rejoice that the good are warned not to be such; and the ill to leave to be such. The person offended hath no reason to be offended with the writer, but with himself; and so to declare that properly to belong to him which was so spoken of all men, as it could be no man's several, but his that would wilfully and desperately claim it. It sufficeth I know what kind of persons I displease, men bred in the declining and decay of virtue, betrothed to their own vices; that have abandoned or prostituted their good names; hungry and ambitious of infamy, invested in all deformity, enthralled to ignorance and malice, of a hidden and concealed malignity, and that hold a concomitancy with all evil.

Footnote: {133c} "The wish for remedy is always truer than the hope.--Livius.

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