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Short poem

Ben Jonson (1572-1637)

Timber (1640)

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have flow'd out of his daily Read-
ings ; or had their refluxe to his
peculiar Notion of the Times.


Tecum habita, ut noris quam sit tibi curta supellex.
Pers. sat. 4.

Printed M.D.C.XLI.

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RErum, |&| sententiarum, quasi Ul{ee} dicta à multiplici
materiâ, |&| varietate , in iis contentâ. Quemadmo-
dùm enim vulgò solemus infinitam arborum nascentium indiscri-
minatim multitudinem
Sylvam dicere: Ità etiam libros suos in
quibus variæ, |&| diversæ materiæ opuscula temerè congesta erant,
Sylvas appellabant Antiqui: Tymber-trees.

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{{Topic 1}} {{Subject: fortune}}


1   ILl Fortune never crush't that man, whom good Fortune deceived not.
2   I therefore have counselled my friends, never to trust to her fairer
3   side, though she seem'd to make peace with them: But to place all things
4   she gave them so, as she might aske them againe without their trouble;
5   she might take them from them, not pull them: to keepe alwayes a di-
6   stance betweene her, and themselves. He knowes not his own strength,
7   that hath not met Adversity. Heaven prepares good men with crosses;
8   but no ill can happen to a good man. Contraries are not mixed. Yet,
9   that which happens to any man, may to every man. But it is in his rea-
10 son what hee accounts it, and will make it.

{{Topic 2}} {{Subject: downfalls}}


11 Change into extremity is very frequent, and easie. As when a beg-
12 gar suddenly growes rich, he commonly becomes a Prodigall; for, to
13 obscure his former obscurity, he puts on riot and excesse.

{{Topic 3}} {{Subject: counsell}}


14 No man is so foolish, but may give an other good counsell some-
15 times; and no man is so wise, but may easily erre, if hee will take no
16 others counsell, but his owne. But very few men are wise by their
17 owne counsell; or learned by their owne teaching. For hee that was
18 onely taught by himselfe, had a foole to his Master.

{{Topic 4}} {{Subject: fame}}

Autodidaktos. Fama.

19 A Fame that is wounded to the world, would bee better cured by
20 anothers Apologie, then its owne: For few can apply medicines well
21 themselves. Besides, the man that is once hated, both his good, and his
22 evill deeds oppresse him: Hee is not easily emergent.

{{Topic 5}} {{Subject: doing business}}


23 In great Affaires it is a worke of difficulty to please all. And oft times
24 wee lose the occasion of carrying a busines well, and thoroughly, by
25 our too much haste. For Passions are spirituall Rebels, and raise sedi-
26 tion against the understanding.

{{Topic 6}} {{Subject: patriotism}}

Amor Patriæ.

27 There is a Necessity all men should love their countrey: He that profes-
28 seth the contrary, may be delighted with his words, but his heart is there.

{{Topic 7}} {{Subject: bad to the bone}}


29 Natures that are hardned to evill, you shall sooner breake, then make
30 straight; they are like poles that are crooked, and dry: there is no attem-
31 pting them.

{{Topic 8}} {{Subject: praise}}


32 Wee praise the things wee heare, with much more willingnesse, then
33 those wee see: because wee envy the present, and reverence the past;
34 thinking our selves instructed by the one, and over-laid by the other.

{{Topic 9}} {{Subject: opinion}}


35 Opinion is a light, vaine, crude, and imperfect thing, settled in the Ima-
36 gination; but never arriving at the understanding, there to obtaine the
37 tincture of Reason. Wee labour with it more then Truth. There is
38 much more holds us, then presseth us. An ill fact is one thing, an ill
39 fortune is another: Yet both often-times sway us alike, by the error of
40 our thinking.

{{Topic 10}} {{Subject: hypocrisy}}


41 Many men beleeve not themselves, what they would perswade
42 others; and lesse doe the things, which they would impose on others:
43 but least of all, know what they themselves most confidently boast.
44 Only they set the signe of the Crosse over their outer doores, and sacri-
45 fice to their gut, and their groyne in their inner Closets.

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{{Topic 11}} {{Subject: throwing away life}}

Iactura vitæ.

46 What a deale of cold busines doth a man mis-spend the better part of
47 life in! in scattering complements, tendring visits, gathering and venting
48 newes, following Feasts and Playes, making a little winter-love in a darke
49 corner.

{{Topic 12}} {{Subject: hypocrisy}}


50 Puritanus Hypocrita est Hæreticus, quem opinio propriæ perspicaciæ, quâ sibi
51 videtur, cum paucis, in Ecclesiâ dogmatibus, errores quosdam animadvertisse, de
52 statu mentis deturbavit: unde sacro furore percitus, phreneticè pugnat contra
53 Magistratus, sic ratus, obedientiam præstare Deo.

{{Topic 13}} {{Subject: mutual help}}

Mutua auxilia.

54 Learning needs rest: Soveraignty gives it. Soveraignty needs coun-
55 sell: Learning affords it. There is such a Consociation of offices, be-
56 tweene the Prince, and whom his favour breeds, that they may helpe to
57 sustaine his power, as hee their knowledge. It is the greatest part of his
58 Liberality, his Favour: And from whom doth he heare discipline more
59 willingly, or the Arts discours'd more gladly, then from those, whom
60 his owne bounty, and benefits have made able and faithfull?

{{Topic 14}} {{Subject: universal knowledge}}

Cognit. universi.

61 In being able to counsell others, a Man must be furnish'd with an uni-
62 versall store in himselfe, to the knowledge of all Nature: That is the
63 matter, and seed-plot; There are the seats of all Argument, and Inven-
64 tion. But especially, you must be cunning in the nature of Man: There
65 is the variety of things, which are as the Elements, and Letters, which his
66 art and wisdome must ranke, and order to the present occasion. For
67 wee see not all letters in single words; nor all places in particular dis-
68 courses. That cause seldome happens, wherein a man will use all Ar-
69 guments.

{{Topic 15}} {{Subject: counsel's companions}}

Consiliarii adjunct.

70 The two chiefe things that give a man reputation in counsell, are the
71 opinion of his Honesty; and the opinion of his Wisdome: The authority
72 of those two will perswade, when the same Counsels utter'd by other
73 persons lesse qualified, are of no efficacy, or working.

{{Topic 16}} {{Subject: honesty and wisdom}}

Probitas. sapientia.

74 Wisedome without Honesty is meere craft, and coosinage. And there-
75 fore the reputation of Honesty must first be gotten; which cannot be, but
76 by living well. A good life is a maine Argument.

{{Topic 17}} {{Subject: the ethical life: a compliant, caring nature}}

Vita recta. Obsequentia. Humanitas. Sollicitudo.

77 Next a good life, to beget love in the persons wee counsell, by dissem-
78 bling our knowlege of ability in our selves, and avoyding all suspition
79 of arrogance, ascribing all to their instruction, as an Ambassadour to his
80 Master, or a Subject to his Soveraigne; seasoning all with humanity and
81 sweetnesse, onely expressing care and sollicitude. And not to counsell
82 rashly, or on the suddaine, but with advice and meditation: (Dat nox
83 consilium.
) For many foolish things fall from wise men, if they speake in
84 haste, or be extemporall. It therefore behooves the giver of counsell to
85 be circumspect; especially to beware of those,with whom hee is not
86 throughly acquainted, lest any spice of rashnesse, folly, or selfe-love
87 appeare, which will be mark'd by new persons, and men of experience
88 in affaires.

{{Topic 18}} {{Subject: modesty}}

Modestia. Parrhesia.

89 And to the Prince, or his Superiour, to behave himselfe modestly, and
90 with respect. Yet free from Flattery, or Empire. Not with insolence,
91 or precept; but as the Prince were already furnished with the parts hee
92 should have, especially in affaires of State. For in other things they will
93 more easily suffer themselves to be taught, or reprehended: They will
94 not willingly contend. But heare (with Alexander) the answer the Mu-
95 sician gave him, Absit ô Rex, ut tu meliùs hæc scias, quàm ego.

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{{Topic 19}} {{Subject: elegancy}}

Plutarc. in vita Alex. Perspecuitas. Elegantia.

96 A man should so deliver himselfe to the nature of the subject, whereof
97 hee speakes, that his hearer may take knowledge of his discipline with
98 some delight: and so apparell faire, and good matter, that the studious
99 of elegancy be not defrauded; redeeme Arts from their rough, and braky
100 seates, where they lay hid, and over-growne with thornes, to a pure,
101 open, and flowry light: where they may take the eye, and be taken by
102 the hand.

{{Topic 20}} {{Subject: nature undecayed}}

Natura non effœta.

103 I cannot thinke Nature is so spent, and decay'd, that she can bring forth
104 nothing worth her former yeares. She is alwayes the same, like her
105 selfe: And when she collects her strength, is abler still. Men are de-
106 cay'd, and studies: Shee is not.

{{Topic 21}} {{Subject: judging the ancients}}

Non nimiùm credendum antiquitati.

107 I know Nothing can conduce more to letters, then to examine the
108 writings of the Ancients, and not to rest in their sole Authority, or take
109 all upon trust from them; provided the plagues of Iudging, and Pronoun-
110 cing
against them, be away; such as are envy, bitternesse, precipitation, im-
111 pudence
, and scurrile scoffing. For to all the observations of the Ancients,
112 wee have our owne experience: which, if wee will use, and apply, wee
113 have better meanes to pronounce. It is true they open'd the gates, and
114 made the way that went before us; but as Guides, not Commanders:
115 Non Domini nostri, sed Duces fuêre. Truth lyes open to all; it is no mans
116 severall. Patet omnibus veritas; nondum est occupata. Multum ex illâ, etiam
117 futuris relictum est.

{{Topic 22}} {{Subject: disagreeing cordially}}

Dissentire licet: Sed cum ratione.

118 If in some things I dissent from others, whose Wit, Industry, Dili-
119 gence
, and Iudgement I looke up at, and admire: let me not therefore
120 heare presently of Ingratitude, and Rashnesse. For I thanke those, that
121 have taught me, and will ever: but yet dare not thinke the scope of their
122 labour, and enquiry, was to envy their posterity, what they also could
123 adde, and find out.

{{Topic 23}} {{Subject: truth before authority}}

Non mihi cedendum, Sed veritati.

124 If I erre, pardon me: Nulla ars simul |&| inventa est, |&| absoluta. I doe
125 not desire to be equall to those that went before; but to have my reason
126 examin'd with theirs, and so much faith to be given them, or me, as those
127 shall evict. I am neither Author, or Fautor of any sect. I will have no
128 man addict himselfe to mee; but if I have any thing right, defend it as
129 Truth's, not mine (save as it conduceth to a common good.) It profits
130 not me to have any man fence, or fight for me, to flourish, or take a side.
131 Stand for Truth, and 'tis enough.

{{Topic 24}} {{Subject: liberal and practical knowledge}}

Scientiæ liberales.

132 Arts that respect the mind, were ever reputed nobler, then those that
133 serve the body: though wee lesse can bee without them. As Tillage,
134 Spinning, Weaving, Building, |&c.|
without which, wee could scarce
135 sustaine life a day. But these were the workes of every hand; the other
136 of the braine only, and those the most generous, and exalted wits, and
137 spirits that cannot rest, or acquiesce. The mind of man is still fed with
138 labour: Opere pascitur.

{{Topic 25}} {{Subject: secret liberal knowledge}}

Non vulgi sunt.

139 There is a more secret Cause: and the power of liberall studies lyes
140 more hid, then that it can bee wrought out by profane wits. It is not
141 every mans way to hit. They are men (I confesse) that set the Caract, and
142 Value upon things, as they love them; but Science is not every mans Mi-
143 stresse
. It is as great a spite to be praised in the wrong place, and by a wrong
144 person, as can be done to a noble nature.

{{Topic 26}} {{Subject: honest overreaching}}

Honesta Ambitio.

145 If divers men seeke Fame, or Honour, by divers wayes; so both bee

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146 honest, neither is to be blam'd: But they that seeke Immortality, are not
147 onely worthy of leave, but of praise.

{{Topic 27}} {{Subject: a bad marriage}}

Maritus improbus.

148 Hee hath a delicate Wife, a faire fortune, and family to goe to be wel-
149 come; yet hee had rather be drunke with mine Host, and the Fidlers of
150 such a Towne, then goe home.

{{Topic 28}} {{Subject: an incentive to pray}}

Afflictio pia Magistra.

151 Affliction teacheth a wicked person sometime to pray: Prosperity

{{Topic 29}} {{Subject: going to hell}}

Deploratis facilis descensus Averni. The Divell take all.

152 Many might goe to heaven with halfe the labour they goe to hell, if
153 they would venture their industry the right way: But the Divell take
154 all (quoth he) that was choak'd i' the Mill-dam, with his foure last words
155 in his mouth.

{{Topic 30}} {{Subject: knowing the way}}

Aegidius cursu superat.

156 A Criple in the way out-travels a Foot-man, or a Post out of the

{{Topic 31}} {{Subject: easy spending}}

Prodigo nummi nauci.

157 Bags of money to a prodigall person, are the same that Cherry-stones
158 are with some boyes, and so throwne away.

{{Topic 32}} {{Subject: made-up and untidy}}

Munda et sordida.

159 A woman, the more curious she is about her face, is commonly the
160 more carelesse about her house.

{{Topic 33}} {{Subject: spilt milk}}

Debitum deploratum.

161 Of this Spilt water, there is little to bee gathered up: it is a desperate
162 debt.

{{Topic 34}} {{Subject: once a thief}}

Latro sesquipedalis.

163 The Theife* that had a longing at the Gallowes to commit one Rob-
164 bery more, before hee was hang' d.

*with a great belly.

{{Topic 35}} {{Subject: maintaining one's dignity}}

Com. de Schortenhien

165 And like the German-Lord, when hee went out of New-gate into the
166 Cart, tooke order to have his Armes set up in his last Herborough: Said
167 he was taken, and committed upon suspition of Treason; no witnesse
168 appearing against him: But the Judges intertain'd him most civilly, dis-
169 cours'd with him, offer'd him the court'sie of the racke; but he confes-
170 sed, |&c.|

{{Topic 36}} {{Subject: slander the tonic}}

Calumniæ fructus.

171 I am beholden to Calumny, that shee hath so endeavor'd, and taken
172 paines to bely mee. It shall make mee set a surer Guard on my selfe, and
173 keepe a better watch upon my Actions.

{{Topic 37}} {{Subject: being impertinent}}


174 A tedious person is one a man would leape a steeple from; gallop down
175 any steepe Hill to avoid him; forsake his meat, sleepe, nature it selfe,
176 with all her benefits, to shun him. A meere Impertinent: one that touch' d
177 neither heaven nor earth in his discourse. Hee open'd an entry into a
178 faire roome; but shut it againe presently. I spake to him of Garlicke,
179 hee answered Asparagus: consulted him of marriage, hee tels mee of
180 hanging; as if they went by one, and the same Destiny.

{{Topic 38}} {{Subject: writers' squabbling}}

Bellum scribentium:

181 What a sight it is, to see Writers committed together by the eares, for
182 Ceremonies, Syllables, Points, Colons, Comma's, Hyphens, and the like? fight-
183 ing, as for their fires, and their Altars; and angry that none are frighted
184 at their noyses, and loud brayings under their asses skins?

{{Topic 39}} {{Subject: scholars and smatterers}}

Differentia inter Doctos et Sciolos.

185 There is hope of getting a fortune without digging in these quarries.
186 Sed meliore (in omne) ingenio, animo|que| quàm fortunâ, sum usus.

187 Pinque solum lassat: sed juvat ipse labor.

188 Wits made out their severall expeditions then, for the discovery of
189 Truth, to find out great and profitable Knowledges, had their severall
190 instruments for the disquisition of Arts. Now there are certaine
191 Scioli, or smatterers, that are busie in the skirts, and out-sides of Learning,

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192 and have scarce any thing of solide literature to commend them. They
193 may have some edging, or trimming of a Scholler, a welt, or so: but it
194 is no more.

{{Topic 40}} {{Subject: imposture}}

Impostorum fucus.

195 Imposture is a specious thing; yet never worse, then when it faines to
196 be best, and to none discover'd sooner, then the simplest. For Truth and
197 Goodnesse are plaine, and open: but Imposture is ever asham'd of the light.

{{Topic 41}} {{Subject: puppet plays}}

Icuncularum motio.

198 A Puppet-playmust be shadow'd, and seene in the darke: For draw the
199 Curtaine, Et sordet gesticulatio.

{{Topic 42}} {{Subject: princes and ministers}}

Principes, et Administri.

200 There is a great difference in the understanding of some Princes, as in
201 the quality of their Ministers about them. Some would dresse their
202 Masters in gold, pearle, and all true Jewels of Majesty: Others furnish
203 them with feathers, bels, and ribbands; and are therefore esteemed the
204 fitter servants. But they are ever good men, that must make good the
205 times: if the men be naught, the times will be such. Finis expectandus
206 est in unoquo|que| hominum; animali, ad mutationem promptissimo.

{{Topic 43}} {{Subject: a Spanish decree}}

Scitum Hispanicum

207 It is a quick saying with the Spaniards: Artes inter hæredes non dividi.
Yet these have inherited their fathers lying, and they brag of it. Hee is
209 an narrow-minded man, that affects a Triumph in any glorious study:
210 but to triumph in a lye, and a lye themselves have forg'd, is frontlesse.
211 Folly often goes beyond her bounds; but Impudence knowes none.

{{Topic 44}} {{Subject: envy}}

Non nova res livor.

212 Envyis no new thing, nor was it borne onely in our times. The Ages
213 past have brought it forth, and the comming Ages will. So long as
214 there are men fit for it, quorum odium virtute relictâ placet, it will never be
215 wanting. It is a barbarous envy, to take from those mens vertues, which
216 because thou canst not arrive at, thou impotently despaires to imitate. Is
217 it a crime in me that I know that, which others had not yet knowne, but
218 from me? or that I am the Author of many things, which never would
219 have come in thy thought, but that I taught them? It is a new, but a
220 foolish way you have found out, that whom you cannot equall, or come
221 neere in doing, you would destroy, or ruine with evill speaking: As if
222 you had bound both your wits, and natures prentises to slander, and then
223 came forth the best Artificers, when you could forme the foulest ca-
224 lumnies.

{{Topic 45}} {{Subject: impudent writings}}

Nil gratius protervo lib.

225 Indeed, nothing is of more credit, or request now, then a petulant
226 paper, or scoffing verses; and it is but convenient to the times and man-
227 ners wee live with; to have then the worst writings, and studies flourish,
228 when the best begin to be despis'd. Ill Arts begin, where good end.

{{Topic 46}} {{Subject: bad literature}}

Iam litteræ sordent. Pastus hodier. Ingen.

229 The time was, when men would learne, and study good things; not
230 envie those that had them. Then men were had in price for learning:
231 now, letters onely make men vile. Hee is upbraydingly call'd a Poet,
232 as if it were a most contemptible Nick-name. But the Professors (indeed)
233 have made the learning cheape. Rayling, and tinckling Rimers, whose
234 Writings the vulgar more greedily reade; as being taken with the scur-
235 rility, and petulancie of such wits. Hee shall not have a Reader now,
236 unlesse hee jeere and lye. It is the food of mens natures: the diet of the
237 times! Gallants cannot sleepe else. The Writer must lye, and the gen-
238 tle Reader rests happy, to heare the worthiest workes mis-interpreted;
239 the clearest actions obscured: the innocent'st life traduc'd; And in such
240 a licence of lying, a field so fruit-full of slanders, how can there be matter
241 wanting to his laughter? Hence comes the Epidemicall Infection. For

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242 how can they escape the contagion of the Writings, whom the virulen-
243 cy of the calumnies hath not stav'd off from reading.

{{Topic 47}} {{Subject: the disease of the age}}

Sed seculi morbus.

244 Nothing doth more invite a greedy Reader, then an unlook'd for subject.
245 And what more unlook'd for, then to see a person of an unblam'd life,
246 made ridiculous, or odious, by the Artifice of lying? but it is the disease
247 of the Age: and no wonder if the world, growing old, begin to be in-
248 firme: Old age it selfe is a disease. It is long since the sick world be-
249 gan to doate, and talke idly: Would she had but doated still; but her
250 dotage is now broke forth into a madnesse, and become a meere phrency.

{{Topic 48}} {{Subject: malicious critics}}

Alastoris malitia.

251 This Alastor, who hath left nothing unsearch'd, or unassayl'd, by his
252 impudent, and licentious lying in his aguish writings (for he was in his
253 cold quaking fit all the while:) what hath he done more, then a trouble-
254 some base curre? bark'd, and made a noyse a farre off: had a foole, or
255 two to spit in his mouth, and cherish him with a musty bone? But they
256 are rather enemies of my fame, then me, these Barkers.

{{Topic 49}} {{Subject: artful lies}}

Mali choragi fuere.

257 It is an Art to have so much judgement, as to apparell a Lye well, to
258 give it a good dressing; that though the nakednesse would shew deform'd
259 and odious, the suiting of it might draw their Readers. Some love any
260 Strumpet (be shee never so shop-like, or meritorious) in good clothes.
261 But these nature could not have form'd them better, to destroy their
262 owne testimony; and over-throw their calumny.

{{Topic 50}} {{Subject: hearsay}}

Heare-say newes.

263 That an Elephant, 630. came hither Ambassadour from the great Mo-
264 gull
, (who could both write and reade) and was every day allow'd twelve
265 cast of bread, twenty Quarts of Canary Sack; besides Nuts and Al-
266 monds the Citizens wives sent him. That hee had a Spanish Boy to his
267 Interpreter, and his chiefe negotiation was, to conferre or practise with
268 Archy, the principall foole of State, about stealing hence Windsor Castle,
269 and carrying it away on his back if he can.

{{Topic 51}} {{Subject: a wise tongue}}

Lingua sapientis.

270 A wise tongue should not be licentious, and wandring; but mov'd, and
271 (as it were) govern'd with certaine raines from the heart, and bottome
272 of the brest: and it was excellently said of that Philosopher; that there
273 was a Wall, or Parapet of teeth set in our mouth, to restraine the petu-
274 lancy of our words: that the rashnesse of talking should not only bee
275 retarded by the guard, and watch of our heart; but be fenced in, and de-
276 fended by certaine strengths, placed in the mouth it selfe, and within the
277 lips. But you shall see some, so abound with words without any seaso-
278 ning or taste of matter, in so profound a security, as while they are
279 speaking, for the most part, they confesse to speake they know not what.

{{Topic 52}} {{Subject: wisdom beats eloquence}}

Potius quàm loquent{{i}}s.

280 Of the two (if either were to bee wisht) I would rather have a plaine
281 downe-right wisdome, then a foolish and affected eloquence. For
282 what is so furious, and Bet'lem like, as a vaine sound of chosen and ex-
283 cellent words, without any subject of sentence, or science mix'd?


284 Whom the disease of talking still once possesseth, hee can never hold
285 his peace. Nay, rather then hee will not discourse, hee will hire men
286 to heare him. And so heard, not hearkn'd unto, hee comes off most
287 times like a Mountebanke, that when hee hath prais'd his med'cines, finds
288 none will take them, or trust him. Hee is like Homers Thersites.

Thersites Homeri.

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289 Ametroepès, Akritomythos speaking without judgement,


290 Loquax magis, quàm facundus.
291 Satis loquentiæ, sapientiæ parum.


292 Gl{o}ss{ee}s toi th{ee}sauros en anthr{o}poisin aristos
293 Pheid{o}l{ee}s, pleist{ee} de charis kata metron ious{ee}s.
294 Optimus est homini linguæ thesaurus, |&| ingens
295 Gratia, quæ parcis mensurat singula verbis.

Homeri Vlysses. Pindar: Epaminond, Demacatus Plutarchi.

296 Vlysses, in Homer, is made a long thinking man, before hee speaks; and
297 Epaminondas is celebrated by Pindar, to be a man, that though he knew
298 much, yet hee spoke but little. Demacatus, when on the Bench he was
299 long silent, and said nothing; one asking him, if it were folly in him, or
300 want of language? hee answer'd: A foole could never hold his peace. For
301 too much talking is ever the Indice of a foole.

Vid. Zeuxidis pict. serm. ad Megabizum Plutarch.

302 Dum tacet indoctus, poterit cordatus haberi;
303 Is morbos animi nam|que| tacendo tegit.

304 Nor is that worthy speech of Zeno, the Philosopher to be past over,
305 without the note of ignorance: who being invited to a feast in Athens,
306 where a great Princes Ambassadours were entertain'd, and was the onely
307 person had said nothing at the table; one of them with courtesie asked
308 him; What shall we returne from thee, Zeno, to the Prince our Master, if
309 hee aske us of thee? Nothing, he replyed, more, but that you found an
310 old man in Athens, that knew to be silent amongst his cups. It was nere a
311 Miracle, to see an old man silent; since talking is the disease of Age:
312 but amongst cups makes it fully a wonder.

Argute dictum. Vide Apuleium. *Iuvenal.

313 It was wittily said upon one, that was taken for a great, and grave man,
314 so long as hee held his peace: This man might have beene a Counsellor
315 of State, till he spoke: But having spoken, not the Beadle of the Ward.
316 E chemuthia, Pythagor. quàm laudabilis! gl{o}ss{ee}s pro t{o}n allon kratei, theois epo-
317 menos. Linguam cohibe, præ aliis omnibus, ad Deorum exemplum, * Digito com-
318 pesce labellum.

{{Topic 53}} {{Subject: bad news, good press}}

Acutiùs cernuntur vitia, quàm virtutes. Plautus. Trin. Act. 2. Scæn. 6. Sim. Mart. lib. I. ep. 85.

319 There is almost no man, but hee sees clearlier, and sharper, the vices in a
320 speaker, then the vertues. And there are many, that with more ease, will
321 find fault with what is spoken foolishly, then that can give allowance to,
322 wherein you are wise silently. The treasure of a foole is alwayes in his
323 tongue (said the witty comick Poet) and it appeares not in any thing more,
324 then in that nation; whereof one when hee had got the inheritance of an
325 unlucky old Grange, would needs sell it; and to draw buyers, proclaim'd,
326 the vertues of it. Nothing ever thriv'd on it (saith he.) No owner of it, ever
327 dyed in his bed; some hung, some drown'd themselves; some were ba-
328 nisht, some starv'd: the trees were all blasted, the Swyne dyed of the Mea-
329 sils
, the Cattell of the Murren; the Sheepe of the Rot; they that stood,
330 were ragg'd, bare, and bald, as your hand; nothing was ever rear'd
331 there; not a Duckling, or a Goose. Hospitium fuerat calamitatis. Was not
332 this man like to sell it?

{{Topic 54}} {{Subject: mass taste}}

Vulgi expectatio.

333 Expectation of the Vulgar is more drawne, and held with newnesse, then
334 goodnesse; wee see it in Fencers, in Players, in Poets, in Preachers, in all,
335 where Fame promiseth any thing; so it be {{new}} [[now]], though never so naught,
336 and depraved, they run to it, and are taken. Which shewes, that the only
337 decay, or hurt of the best mens reputation with the people, is, their wits

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338 have out-liv'd the peoples palats. They have beene too much, or too
339 long a feast.

{{Topic 55}} {{Subject: a famous father}}

Claritas Patria.

340 Greatnesse of name in the Father, oft times helpes not forth, but o're-
341 whelmes the Sonne: they stand too neere one another. The shadow kils
342 the growth; so much, that wee see the Grand-child come more, and oft-
343 ner, to be the heire of the first, then doth the second: He dies betweene;
344 the Possession is the thirds.

{{Topic 56}} {{Subject: eloquence}}


345 Eloquence is a great, and diverse thing: Nor did she yet ever favour any
346 man so much, as to become wholly his. Hee is happy, that can arrive to
347 any degree of her grace. Yet there are, who prove themselves Masters
348 of her, and absolute Lords: but I beleeve, they may mistake their evi-
349 dence: For it is one thing to be eloquent in the Schooles, or in the Hall;
350 another at the Barre, or in the Pulpit. There is a difference betweene
351 Mooting, and Pleading; betweene Fencing, and Fighting. To make Ar-
352 guments in my Study, and confute them is easie; where I answer my
353 selfe, not an Adversary. So, I can see whole volumes dispatch'd by the
354 vmbraticall Doctors on all sides: But draw these forth into the just lists;
355 let them appeare sub dio, and they are chang'd with the place, like bodies
356 bred i' the shade; they cannot suffer the Sunne, or a Showre; nor beare the
357 open Ayre: they scarce can find themselves, they that were wont to do-
358 mineere so among their Auditors: but indeed I would no more chuse a
359 Rhetorician, for reigning in a Schoole; then I would a Pilot, for rowing in a
360 Pond.

{{Topic 57}} {{Subject: love and hate}}

Amor, et odium.

361 Love, that is ignorant, and Hatred have almost the same ends: many
362 foolish Lovers wish the same to their friends, which their enemies would:
363 As to wish a friend banish't, that they might accompany him in exile: or
364 some great want, that they might relieve him: or a disease, that they might
365 sit by him. They make a Cawsway to their countrey by Injury; as if it were
366 not honester to do nothing, then to seeke a way to doe good, by a Mischefe.

{{Topic 58}} {{Subject: injuries}}


367 Injuries doe not extinguish courtesies: they only suffer them not to
368 appeare faire. For a man that doth me an injury after a courtesie, takes
369 not away the courtesie, but defaces it: As he that writes other verses
370 upon my verses, takes not away the first Letters, but hides them.

{{Topic 59}} {{Subject: what's in a good turn}}


371 Nothing is a courtesie, unlesse it be meant us; and that friendly, and lo-
372 vingly. Wee owe no thankes to Rivers, that they carry our boats; or
373 Winds, that they be favouring, and fill our sayles; or meats, that they be
374 nourishing. For these are, what they are necessarily. Horses carry us,
375 Trees shade us; but they know it not. It is true, some man may re-
376 ceive a Courtesie, and not know it; but never any man received it
377 from him, that knew it not. Many men have beene cur'd of
378 diseases by Accidents; but they were not Remedies. I my selfe have
379 knowne one help'd of an Ague, by falling into a water; another whip'd
380 out of a Fever: but no man would ever use these for med`cines. It is the
381 mind, and not the event, that distinguisheth the courtesie from wrong.
382 My Adversary may offend the Judge with his pride, and impertinences,
383 and I win my cause: but he meant it not me, as a Courtesie. I scap'd Py-
384 rats
, by being ship-wrack'd, was the wrack a benefit therefore? No: The
385 doing of Courtesies aright, is the mixing of the respects for his owne sake,
386 and for mine. He that doth them meerly for his owne sake, is like one that
387 feeds his Cattell to sell them: he hath his Horse well drest for Smithfield.

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{{Topic 60}} {{Subject: the price of things}}

Valor Rerum.

388 The price of many things is farre above, what they are bought and
389 sold for. Life, and Health, which are both inestimable, we have of the Phy-
390 sician:
As Learning, and Knowledge, the true tillage of the mind, from
391 our Schoole-masters. But the fees of the one, or the salary of the other, never
392 answer the value of what we received; but serv'd to gratifie their labours.

{{Topic 61}} {{Subject: memory}}


393 Memory of all the powers of the mind, is the most delicate, and fraile: it is
394 the first of our faculties, that Age invades. Seneca, the father, the Rhetorician,
395 confesseth of himselfe, hee had a miraculous one; not only to receive,
396 but to hold. I my selfe could in my youth, have repeated all, that ever I
397 had made; and so continued, till I was past fortie: Since, it is much decay'd
398 in me. Yet I can repeate whole books that I have read, and Poems, of some
399 selected friends, which I have lik'd to charge my memory with. It was
400 wont to be faithfull to me, but shaken with age now, and sloath (which
401 weakens the strongest abilities) it may performe somewhat, but cannot
402 promise much. By exercise it is to be made better, and serviceable. What-
403 soever I pawn'd with it, while I was young, and a boy, it offers me rea-
404 dily, and without stops: but what I trust to it now, or have done of later
405 yeares, it layes up more negligently, and often times loses; so that I
406 receive mine owne (though frequently call'd for) as if it were new, and
407 borrow'd. Nor doe I alwayes find presently from it, what I doe seek;
408 but while I am doing another thing, that I labour'd for, will come: And
409 what I sought with trouble, will offer it selfe, when I am quiet. Now in
410 some men I have found it as happy as nature, who, whatsoever they
411 reade, or pen, they can say without booke presently; as if they did then
412 write in their mind. And it is more a wonder in such, as have a swift stile;
413 for their memories are commonly slowest; such as torture their writings,
414 and go into councell for every word, must needs fixe somewhat, and make
415 it their owne at last, though but through their owne vexation.

{{Topic 62}} {{Subject: suffrages}}

Comit. Suffragia.

416 Suffrages in Parliament are numbred, not weigh'd: nor can it bee
417 otherwise in those publike Councels, where nothing is so unequall, as the
418 equality: for there, how odde soever mens braines, or wisdomes are,
419 their power is alwayes even, and the same.

{{Topic 63}} {{Subject: bias}}

Stare à partibus.

420 Some Actions be they never so beautifull, and generous, are often ob-
421 scur'd by base, and vile mis-constructions; either out of envy, or ill na-
422 ture, that judgeth of others, as of it selfe. Nay, the times are so wholly
423 growne, to be either partiall, or malitious; that, if hee be a friend, all sits
424 well about him; his very vices shall be vertues: if an enemy, or of the
425 contrary faction; nothing is good, or tolerable in him: insomuch, that
426 wee care not to discredit, and shame our judgements, to sooth our pas-
427 sions.

{{Topic 64}} {{Subject: God in his creation}}

Deus in creaturis.

428 Man is read in his face: God in his creatures; but not as the Philosopher,
429 the creature of glory reads him: But, as the Divine, the servant of hu-
430 mility:
yet even hee must take care, not to be too curious. For to utter
431 Truth of God (but as hee thinkes onely) may be dangerous; who is best
432 knowne, by our not knowing. Some things of him, so much as hee
433 hath revealed, or commanded, it is not only lawfull, but necessary for
434 us to know: for therein our ignorance was the first cause of our wicked-
435 nesse.

{{Topic 65}} {{Subject: truth}}

Veritas proprium hominis.

436 Truth is mans proper good; and the onely immortall thing, was given
437 to our mortality to use. No good Christian, or Ethnick, if he be honest,

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438 can misse it: no States-man, or Patriot should. For without truth all the
439 Actions of man-kind, are craft, malice, or what you will, rather
440 then Wisdome. Homer sayes, hee hates him worse then hell-mouth,
441 that utters one thing with his tongue, and keepes another in his brest.
442 Which high expression was grounded on divine Reason. For a lying mouth
443 is a stinking pit, and murthers with the contagion it venteth. Beside, no-
444 thing is lasting that is fain'd; it will have another face then it had, ere
445 long: As Euripides saith, No lye ever growes old.

{{Topic 66}} {{Subject: tolerating vice}}

Nullum vitium sine patrocinio.

446 It is strange, there should be no vice without his patronage, that (when
447 wee have no other excuse) wee will say, wee love it; wee cannot for-
448 sake it: as if that made it not more a fault. Wee cannot, because wee
449 thinke wee cannot: and wee love it, because wee will defend it. Wee
450 will rather excuse it, then be rid of it. That wee cannot, is pretended;
451 but that wee will not, is the true reason. How many have I knowne,
452 that would not have their vices hid? Nay, and to bee noted, live like
453 Antipodes, to others in the same Citie; never see the Sunne rise, or set, in
454 so many yeares; but be as they were watching a Corps by Torch-light;
455 would not sinne the common way; but held that a kind of Rusticity;
456 they would doe it new, or contrary, for the infamy? They were am-
457 bitious of living backward; and at last arrived at that, as they would
458 love nothing but the vices; not the vitious customes. It was impos-
459 sible to reforme these natures; they were dry'd, and hardned in their
460 ill. They may say, they desir'd to leave it; but doe not trust them: and
461 they may thinke they desir'd it, but they may lye for all that; they are
462 a little angry with their follies, now and then; marry they come into
463 grace with them againe quickly. They will confesse, they are offended
464 with their manner of living: like enough, who is not? When they
465 can put me in security, that they are more then offended; that they hate
466 it: then Ile hearken to them; and, perhaps, beleeve them: But many,
467 now a dayes, love and hate their ill together.

{{Topic 67}} {{Subject: affected language}}

De verè Argutis.

468 I doe heare them say often: Some men are not witty; because they
469 are not every where witty; then which nothing is more foolish. If an
470 eye or a nose bee an excellent part in the face, therefore be all eye or
471 nose? I thinke the eye-brow, the fore-head, the cheeke, chyn, lip, or
472 any part else, are as necessary, and naturall in the place. But now no-
473 thing is good that is naturall: Right and naturall language seeme{{s}} to
474 have least of the wit in it; that which is writh'd and tortur'd, is coun-
475 ted the more exquisite. Cloath of Bodkin, or Tissue, must be imbro-
476 dered; as if no face were faire, that were not pouldred, or painted?
477 No beauty to be had, but in wresting, and writhing our owne tongue?
478 Nothing is fashionable, till it bee deform'd; and this is to write like a
479 Gentleman All must bee as affected, and preposterous as our Gallants
480 cloathes, sweet bags, and night-dressings: in which you would thinke
481 our men lay in, like Ladies: it is so curious.

{{Topic 68}} {{Subject: judging poets}}

Censura de Poetis.

482 Nothing in our Age, I have observ'd, is more preposterous, then the
483 running Iudgements upon Poetry, and Poets; when wee shall heare those
484 things commended, and cry'd up for the best writings, which a man
485 would scarce vouchsafe, to wrap any wholsome drug in; hee would ne-
486 ver light his Tobacco with them. And those men almost nam'd for Mira-
487 cles
, who yet are so vile, that if a man should goe about, to examine, and

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488 correct them, hee must make all they have done, but one blot. Their
489 good is so intangled with their bad, as forcibly one must draw on the
490 others death with it. A Sponge dipt in Inke will doe all:

491 -- Comitetur punica librum
492 Spongia. --

493 Et paulò post,

494 Non possunt . . . multæ, una litura potest.

Mart. l. 4. epig. 10.

Cestius. Cicero. Heath. Taylor. Spencer.

495 Yet their vices have not hurt them: Nay, a great many they have
496 profited; for they have beene lov'd for nothing else. And this false
497 opinion growes strong against the best men: if once it take root with the
498 Ignorant. Cestius in his time, was preferr'd to Cicero; so farre, as the Igno-
499 rant durst. They learn'd him without booke, and had him often in their
500 mouthes: But a man cannot imagine that thing so foolish, or rude, but
501 will find, and enjoy an Admirer; at least, a Reader, or Spectator. The
502 Puppets are seene now in despight of the Players: Heath's Epigrams, and
503 the Skullers Poems have their applause. There are never wanting, that dare
504 preferre the worst Preachers, the worst Pleaders, the worst Poets: not
505 that the better have left to write, or speake better, but that they that
506 heare them judge worse; Non illi pejus dicunt, sed hi corruptiùs judicant.
507 Nay, if it were put to the question of the Water-rimers workes, against
508 Spencers; I doubt not, but they would find more Suffrages; because
509 the most favour common vices, out of a Prerogative the vulgar have,
510 to lose their judgements, and like that which is naught.

511 Poetry in this latter Age, hath prov'd but a meane Mistresse, to such as
512 have wholly addicted themselves to her or given their names up to her
513 family. They who have but saluted her on the by; and now and then
514 tendred their visits, shee hath done much for, and advanced in the way
515 of their owne professions (both the Law, and the Gospel) beyond all they
516 could have hoped, or done for themselves, without her favour. Wherein
517 she doth emulate the judicious, but preposterous bounty of the times Gran-
518 des
: who accumulate all they can upon the Parasite, or Fresh-man in
519 their friendship; but thinke an old Client, or honest servant, bound by
520 his place to write, and starve.

521 Indeed, the multitude commend Writers, as they doe Fencers; or
522 Wrastlers; who if they come in robustiously, and put for it, with a
523 deale of violence, are received for the braver-fellowes: when many
524 times their owne rudenesse is a cause of their disgrace; and a slight
525 touch of their Adversary, gives all that boisterous force the foyle. But
526 in these things, the unskilfull are naturally deceiv'd, and judging wholly
527 by the bulke, thinke rude things greater then polish'd; and scatter'd
528 more numerous, then compos'd: Nor thinke this{{ }}only to be true in the
529 sordid multitude but the neater sort of our Gallants: for all are the
530 multitude; only they differ in cloaths, not in judgement or under-
531 standing.

De Shakespeare nostrat.

532 I remember, the Players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shake-
533 speare
, that in his writing, (whatsoever he penn'd) hee never blotted out
534 line. My answer hath beene, would he had blotted a thousand. Which
535 they thought a malevolent speech. I had not told posterity this, but for
536 their ignorance, who choose that circumstance to commend their friend

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537 by, wherein he most faulted. And to justifie mine owne candor, (for I
538 lov'd the man, and doe honour his memory (on this side Idolatry) as
539 much as any.) Hee was (indeed) honest, and of an open, and free na-
540 ture: had an excellent Phantsie; brave notions, and gentle expressions:
541 wherein hee flow'd with that facility, that sometime it was necessary he

Augustus in Hat.

542 should be stop'd: Sufflaminandus erat; as Augustus said of Haterius. His
543 wit was in his owne power; would the rule of it had beene so too. Many
544 times hee fell into those things, could not escape laughter: As when hee
545 said in the person of Cæsar, one speaking to him; Cæsar thou dost me wrong.
546 Hee replyed: Cæsar did never wrong, but with just cause: and such like;
547 which were ridiculous. But hee redeemed his vices, with his vertues.
548 There was ever more in him to be praysed, then to be pardoned.

{{Topic 69}} {{Subject: distinguishing one mind from another}}

Ingeniorum discrimina. Not. 1.

549 In the difference of wits, I have observ'd; there are many notes: And
550 it is a little Maistry to know them: to discerne, what every nature, every
551 disposition will beare: For, before wee sow our land, we should plough
552 it. There are no fewer formes of minds, then of bodies amongst us.
553 The variety is incredible; and therefore wee must search. Some are fit
554 to make Divines, some Poets, some Lawyers, some Physicians; some to be
555 sent to the plough, and trades.

556 There is no doctrine will doe good, where nature is wanting. Some
557 wits are swelling, and high; others low and still: Some hot and fiery;
558 others cold and dull: One must have a bridle, the other a spurre.

Not. 2.

559 There be some that are forward, and bold; and these will doe every
560 little thing easily: I meane that is hard by, and next them; which they
561 will utter, unretarded without any shamefastnesse. These never per-
562 forme much, but quickly. They are, what they are on the sudden; they
563 shew presently like Graine, that, scatter'd on the top of the ground, shoots
564 up, but takes no root; has a yellow blade, but the eare empty. They
565 are wits of good promise at first, but there is an *Ingeni-stitium: They

*A witstand.

566 stand still at sixteene, they get no higher.

Not. 3

567 You have others, that labour onely to ostentation; and are ever more
568 busie about the colours, and surface of a worke, then in the matter, and
569 foundation: For that is hid, the other is seene.

Not. 4. Martial. lib. 11. epig. 91.

570 Others, that in composition are nothing, but what is rough, and bro-
571 ken: Quæ per salebras, alta|que| saxa cadunt. And if it would come gently,
572 they trouble it of purpose. They would not have it run without rubs,
573 as if that stile were more strong and manly, that stroke the eare with a
574 kind of unevenesse. These men erre not by chance, but knowingly, and
575 willingly; they are like men that affect a fashion by themselves, have
576 some singularity in a Ruffe, Cloake, or Hat-band; or their beards, speci-
577 ally cut to provoke beholders, and set a marke upon themselves. They
578 would be reprehended, while they are look'd on. And this vice, one
579 that is in authority with the rest, loving, delivers over to them to bee
580 imitated: so that oft-times the faults which he fell into, the others seeke
581 for: This is the danger, when vice becomes a Precedent.

Not. 5.

582 Others there are, that have no composition at all; but a kind of tune-
583 ing, and riming fall, in {w}hat they write. It runs and slides, and onely
584 makes a sound. Womens-Poets they are call'd: as you have womens-
585 Taylors.

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586 They write a verse, as smooth, as soft, as creame;
587 In which there is no torrent, nor scarce streame.

588 You may sound these wits, and find the depth of them, with your
589 middle finger. They are Cream-bowle, or but puddle deepe.

Not. 6.
Mic. de Montaigne.

590 Some, that turne over all bookes, and are equally searching in all papers,
591 that write out of what they presently find or meet, without choice; by
592 which meanes it happens, that what they have discredited, and impug-
593 ned in one worke, they have before, or after extolled the same in ano-
594 ther. Such are all the Essayists, even their Master Mountaigne. These in
595 all they write, confesse still what bookes they have read last; and there-
596 in their owne folly, so much, that they bring it to the Stake raw, and un-
597 digested; not that the place did need it neither; but that they thought
598 themselves furnished, and would vent it.

Not. 7.

599 Some againe, who (after they have got authority, or, which is lesse, opi-
600 nion, by their writings, to have read much) dare presently to faine whole
601 bookes, and Authors, and lye safely. For what never was, will not
602 easily be found; not by the most curious.

Not. 8.

603 And some, by a cunning protestation against all reading, and false ven-
604 ditation of their owne naturals, thinke to divert the sagacity of their Rea-
605 ders from themselves, and coole the sent of their owne fox-like thefts;
606 when yet they are so ranke, as a man may find whole pages together
607 usurp'd from one Author. Their necessities compelling them to read for
608 present use, which could not be in many books; and so come forth more
609 ridiculously, and palpably guilty, then those, who because they cannot
610 trace, they yet would slander their industry.

Not. 9.

611 But the Wretcheder are the obstinate contemners of all helpes, and
612 Arts: such as presuming on their owne Naturals (which perhaps are ex-
613 cellent) dare deride all diligence, and seeme to mock at the termes, when
614 they understand not the things; thinking that way to get off wittily,
615 with their Ignorance. These are imitated often by such, as are their Peeres
616 in negligence, though they cannot be in nature: And they utter all they
617 can thinke, with a kind of violence, and indisposition; unexamin'd, with-
618 out relation, either to person, place, or any fitnesse else; and the more
619 wilfull, and stubborne, they are in it, the more learned they are esteem'd
620 of the multitude, through their excellent vice of Judgement: Who thinke
621 those things the stronger, that have no Art: as if to breake, were better
622 then to open; or to rent asunder, gentler then to loose.

Not. 10.

623 It cannot but come to passe, that these men, who commonly seeke to
624 doe more then enough, may sometimes happen on some thing that is
625 good, and great; but very seldome: And when it comes, it doth not
626 recompence the rest of their ill. For their jests, and their sentences
627 (which they onely, and ambitiously seeke for) sticke out, and are more
628 eminent; because all is sordid, and vile about them; as lights are more
629 discern'd in a thick darkenesse, then a faint shadow. Now because they
630 speake all they can (how ever unfitly) they are thought to have the great-
631 er copy; Where the learned use ever election, and a meane; they looke
632 back to what they intended at first, and make all an even, and propor-
633 tion'd body. The true Artificer will not run away from nature, as hee

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634 were afraid of her; or depart from life, and the likenesse of Truth; but
635 speake to the capacity of his hearers. And though his language differ
636 from the vulgar somewhat; it shall not fly from all humanity, with the
637 Tamerlanes, and Tamer-Chams, of the late Age, which had nothing in
638 them but the scenicall strutting, and furious vociferation, to warrant them
639 [[them]] to the ignorant gapers. Hee knowes it is his onely Art, so to carry
640 it, as none but Artificers perceive it. In the meane time perhaps hee is
641 call'd barren, dull, leane, a poore Writer (or by what contumelious
642 word can come in their cheeks) by these men, who without labour,
643 judgement, knowledge, or almost sense, are received, or preferr'd before
644 him. He gratulates them, and their fortune. An other Age, or juster
645 men, will acknowledge the vertues of his studies: his wisdome, in divi-
646 ding: his subtilty, in arguing: with what strength hee doth inspire his
647 Readers; with what sweetnesse hee strokes them: in inveighing: what
648 sharpenesse; in Jest, what urbanity hee uses. How he doth raigne in mens
649 affections; how invade, and breake in upon them; and makes their minds
650 like the thing he writes. Then in his Elocution to behold, what word is
651 proper: which hath ornament: which height: what is beautifully tran-
652 slated: where figures are fit: which gentle, which strong to shew the
653 composition Manly. And how hee hath avoyded, faint, obscure, ob-
654 scene, sordid, humble, improper, or effeminate Phrase; which is not only
655 prais'd of the most, but commended, (which is worse) especially for that
656 it is naught.

{{Topic 70}} {{Subject: the soul's sickness}}

Ignorantia animæ.

657 I know no disease of the Soule, but Ignorance; not of the Arts, and Sci-
658 ences, but of it selfe: Yet relating to those, it is a pernicious evill: the
659 darkner of mans life: the disturber of his Reason, and common Con-
660 founder of Truth: with which a man goes groping in the darke, no
661 otherwise, then if hee were blind. Great understandings are most
662 wrack'd and troubled with it: Nay, sometimes they will rather choose
663 to dye, then not to know the things, they study for. Thinke then what
664 an evill it is; and what good the contrary.

{{Topic 71}} {{Subject: knowledge}}


665 Knowledge is the action of the Soule; and is perfect without the sen-
666 ses
, as having the seeds of all Science, and Vertue in its selfe: but not with-
667 out the service of the senses: by those Organs, the Soule workes: She is a
668 perpetuall Agent, prompt and subtile; but often flexible, and erring;
669 intangling her selfe like a Silke-worme: But her Reason is a weapon
670 with two edges, and cuts through. In her Indagations oft-times new
671 Sents put her by; and shee takes in errors into her, by the same conduits
672 she doth Truths.

{{Topic 72}} {{Subject: leisure and study}}

Otium. Studiorum.

673 Ease, and relaxation, are profitable to all studies. The mind is like a
674 Bow, the stronger by being unbent. But the temper in Spirits is all,
675 when to command a mans wit; when to favour it. I have knowne a
676 man vehement on both sides; that knew no meane, either to intermit his
677 studies, or call upon them againe. When hee hath set himselfe to wri{{t}}-
678 ing, hee would joyne night to day; presse upon himselfe without re-
679 lease, not minding it, till hee fainted: and when hee left off, resolve
680 himselfe into all sports, and loosenesse againe; that it was almost a de-
681 spaire to draw him to his booke: But once got to it, hee grew stronger,
682 and more earnest by the ease. His whole Powers were renew'd: he would
683 worke out of himselfe, what hee desired; but with such excesse, as his

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684 study could not bee rul'd: hee knew not how to dispose his owne Abili-
685 ties, or husband them, hee was of that immoderate power against him-
686 selfe. Nor was hee only a strong, but an absolute Speaker, and Writer:
687 but his subtilty did not shew it selfe; his judgement thought that a vice.
688 For the ambush hurts more that is hid. Hee never forc'd his language,
689 nor went out of the high way of speaking; but for some great necessity,
690 or apparent profit. For hee denied Figures to be invented for ornament,
691 but for ayde; and still thought it an extreme madnesse to bend, or wrest
692 that which ought to be right.

{{Topic 73}} {{Subject: eminence}}

Et stili eminentia. Virgil. Tully. Salust. Plato.

693 It is no Wonder, mens eminence appeares but in their owne way.
694 Virgils felicity left him in prose, as Tullies forsooke him in verse. Salusts
695 Orations are read in the honour of Story: yet the most eloquent Plato's
696 speech, which he made for Socrates, is neither worthy or the Patron, or the
697 Person defended. Nay, in the same kind of Oratory, and where the matter
698 is one, you shall have him that reasons strongly, open negligently: an-
699 other that prepares well, not fit so well: and this happens, not onely to
700 braines, but to bodies. One can wrastle well; another runne welle; a
701 third leape, or throw the barre; a fourth lift, or stop a Cart going: Each
702 hath his way of strength. So in other creatures; some dogs are for the
703 Deere: some for the wild Boare: some are Fox-hounds: some Otter-
704 hounds. Nor are all horses for the Coach, or Saddle; some are for the
705 Cart, and Panniers.

{{Topic 74}} {{Subject: great orators}}

De claris Oratoribus.

706 I have knowne many excellent men, that would speake suddenly, to the
707 admiration of their hearers; who upon study, and premeditation have
708 beene forsaken by their owne wits; and no way answered their fame:
709 Their eloquence was greater, then their reading: and the things they
710 uttered, better then those they knew. Their fortune deserved better of
711 them, then their care. For men of present spirits, and of greater wits,
712 then study, doe please more in the things they invent, then in those they
713 bring. And I have heard some of them compell'd to speake, out of ne-
714 cessity, that have so infinitly exceeded themselves, as it was better, both
715 for them, and their Auditory, that they were so surpriz'd, not prepar'd.
716 Nor was it safe then to crosse them, for their adversary, their anger made
717 them more eloquent. Yet these men I could not but love, and admire,
718 that they return'd to their studies. They left not diligence (as many
719 doe) when their rashnesse prosper'd. For diligence is a great ayde, even
720 to an indifferent wit; when wee are not contented with the examples of
721 our owne Age, but would know the face of the former. Indeed, the
722 more wee conferre with, the more wee profit by, if the persons be cho-
723 sen.

Dominus Verulanus.

724 One, though hee be excellent, and the chiefe, is not to bee imitated
725 alone. For never no Imitator, ever grew up to his Author; likenesse is
726 alwayes on this side Truth: Yet there hapn'd, in my time, one noble
727 Speaker, who was full of gravity in his speaking. His language, (where
728 hee could spare, or passe by a jest) was nobly censorious. No man ever
729 spake more neatly, more presly, more weightily, or suffer'd lesse emp-
730 tinesse, lesse idlenesse, in what hee utter'd. No member of his speech,
731 but consisted of the owne graces: His hearers could not cough, or looke
732 aside from him, without losse. Hee commanded where hee spoke;
733 and had his Judges angry, and pleased at his devotion. No man had their

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734 affections more in his power. The feare of every man that heard him,
735 was, lest hee should make an end.

Scriptorum Catalogus.
Sir Thomas Moore.
Sir Thomas Wiat.
Hen: Earle of Surrey.

Sir Thomas Chaloner.
Sir Thomas Smith.
Sir Thomas Eliot.
B. Gardiner.
Sir Nic: Bacon. L. K.
Sir Philip Sydney.
M. Richard Hooker.
Rob. Earle of Essex.

Sir Walter Raleigh.
Sir Henry Savile.
Sir Edwin Sands.
Sir Thomas Egerton. L.C.
Sir Francis Bacon.L.C.
De Augmentis scientiarum Iulius Cæsar.
Lord S. Albane.

736 Cicero is said to bee the only wit, that the people of Rome had equall'd
737 to their Empire. Ingenium par imperio. We have had many, and in their
738 severall Ages, (to take in but the former Seculum.) Sir Thomas Moore, the
739 elder Wiat; Henry, Earle of Surrey; Chaloner, Smith, {{E}}[[C]]liot, B. Gardiner,
740 were for their times admirable: and the more, because they began Elo-
741 quence with us. Sir Nico: Bacon, was singular, and almost alone, in the
742 beginning of Queene Elizabeths times. Sir Philip Sidney, and |Mr.| Hooker
743 (in different matter) grew great Masters of wit, and language; and in
744 whom all vigour of Invention, and strength of judgement met. The
745 Earle of Essex, noble and high; and Sir Walter Rawleigh, not to be con-
746 temn'd, either for judgement, or stile. Sir Henry Savile grave, and truly
747 letter'd; Sir Edwin Sandes, excellent in both: Lo: Egerton, the Chan-
748 cellor, a grave, and great Orator; and best, when hee was provok'd.
749 But his learned, and able (though unfortunate) Successor[[)]] is he, who hath
750 fill'd up all numbers: and perform'd that in our tongue, which may be
751 compar'd, or preferr'd, either to insolent Greece, or haughty Rome. In
752 short, within his view, and about his times, were all the wits borne, that
753 could honour a language, or helpe study. Now things daily fall: wits
754 grow downe-ward, and Eloquence growes back-ward: So that hee may
755 be nam'd, and stand as the marke, and akm{ee} of our language.

756 I have ever observ'd it, to have beene the office of a wise Patriot, a-
757 mong the greatest affaires of the State, to take care of the Common-wealth
758 of Learning. For Schooles, they are the Seminaries of State: and no-
759 thing is worthier the study of a States-man, then that part of the Repub-
760 licke
, which wee call the advancement of Letters. Witnesse the care of
761 Iulius Cæsar; who in the heat of the civill warre, writ his bookes of Ana-
762 logie
, and dedicated them to Tully. This made the late Lord S. Albane
763 entitle his worke, nouum Organum. Which though by the most of su-
764 perficiall men; who cannot get beyond the Title of Nominals, it is not
765 penetrated, nor understood: it really openeth all defects of Learning,
766 whatsoever; and is a Booke.

Horat: de art: Poetica.

767 Qui longum noto scriptori porriget ævum.

768 My conceit of his Person was never increased toward him, by his
769 place, or honours. But I have, and doe reverence him for the great-
770 nesse, that was onely proper to himselfe, in that hee seem'd to mee ever,
771 by his worke one of the greatest men, and most worthy of admiration,
772 that had beene in many Ages. In his adversity I ever prayed, that God
773 would give him strength: for Greatnesse hee could not want. Neither
774 could I condole in a word, or syllable for him; as knowing no Acci-
775 dent could doe harme to vertue; but rather helpe to make it manifest.

{{Topic 75}} {{Subject: corrupt manners}}

De corruptela morum.

776 There cannot be one colour of the mind; an other of the wit. If the
777 mind be staid, grave, and compos'd; the wit is so; that vitiated, the other
778 is blowne, and deflowr'd. Doe wee not see, if the mind languish, the
779 members are dull? Looke upon an effeminate person: his very gate
780 confesseth him. If a man be fiery, his motion is so: if angry, 'tis trou-
781 bled, and violent. So that wee may conclude: Wheresoever, manners,

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782 and fashions are corrupted; Language is. It imitates the publicke riot.
783 The excesse of Feasts, and apparell, are the notes of a sick State; and
784 the wantonnesse of language, of a sick mind.

{{Topic 76}} {{Subject: worldly affairs}}

De rebus mundanis.

785 If wee would consider, what our affaires are indeed; not what they
786 are call'd, wee should find more evils belong us, then happen to us. How
787 often doth that, which was call'd a calamity, prove the beginning, and
788 cause of a mans happinesse? And on the contrary: that which hapned,
789 or came to an other with great gratulation, and applause, how it hath
790 lifted him, but a step higher to his ruine! As, if hee stood before,
791 where hee might fall safely.

{{Topic 77}} {{Subject: common people's manners}}

Vulgi mores. Morbus Comitialis.

792 The vulgar are commonly ill-natur'd; and alwayes grudging against
793 their Governours: which makes, that a Prince has more busines, and
794 trouble with them, then ever Hercules had with the Bull, or any other
795 beast: by how much they have more heads, then will be rein'd with one
796 bridle. There was not that variety of beasts in the Arke; as is of beastly
797 natures in the multitude; especially when they come to that iniquity, to
798 censure their Soveraign's actions. Then all the Counsels are made good,
799 or bad by the events. And it falleth out, that the same facts receive from
800 them the names; now of diligence; now, of vanity; now of Maje-
801 sty; now of fury: where they ought wholy to hang on his mouth;
802 as hee to consist of himselfe and not others counsels.

{{Topic 78}} {{Subject: the prince}}


803 After God, nothing is to be lov'd of man like the Prince: He violates
804 nature, that doth it not with his whole heart. For when hee hath put on
805 the care of the publike good, and common safety; I am a wretch, and
806 put of man, if I doe not reverence, and honour him: in whose charge
807 all things divine and humane are plac'd. Doe but aske of nature, why
808 all living creatures are lesse delighted with meat, and drinke, that sustaines
809 them, then with Venery, that wastes them. And she will tell thee, the
810 first respects but a private; the other, a common good, Propagation.

De eodem. Orpheus hymn.

811 Hee is the Arbiter of life, and death: when hee finds no other sub-
812 ject for his mercy, hee should spare himselfe. All his punishments are
813 rather to correct, then to destroy. Why are prayers with Orpheus said
814 to be the daughters of Iupiter; but that Princes are thereby admonished,
815 that the petitions of the wretched, ought to have more weight with
816 them, then the Lawes themselves?

De opt. Rege Iacobo.

817 It was a great accu{{mu}}lation to his Majesties deserved prayse; that men
818 might openly visit, and pitty those, whom his greatest prisons had at
819 any time received, or his Lawes condemned.

De Prince adjunctis. ---- Sed verè prudens haud concipi possit Princeps,
nisi -- simul |&| bonus. Licurgus. Sylla. Lysander. Cyrus.

820 Wise, is rather the Attribute of a Prince, then learned, or good. The
821 learned man profits others, rather then himselfe: the good man, rather
822 himselfe then others: But the Prince commands others, and doth him-
823 selfe. The wise Licurgus gave no Law, but what himselfe kept. Sylla,
824 and Lysander, did not so: the one living, extreamely dissolute himselfe,
825 inforced frugality by the Lawes: the other permitted those Licences to
826 others, which himselfe abstained from. But the Princes Prudence is his
827 chiefe Art, and safety. In his Counsels, and deliberations hee foresees
828 the future times. In the equity of his judgement, hee hath remembrance
829 of the past; and knowledge of what is to bee done, or avoyded for the
830 present. Hence the Persians gave out their Cyrus, to have beene nurs'd
831 by a Bitch, a creature to encounter it: as of sagacity to seeke out good;

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832 shewing that Wisdome may accompany fortitude, or it leaves to be, and
833 puts on the name of Rashnesse.

{{Topic 79}} {{Subject: students of evil}}

De malign: studentium.

834 There be some men are borne only to sucke out the poyson of bookes:
835 Habent venenum pro victu: imò, pro deliciis. And such are they that only
836 rellish the obscene, and foule things in Poets: Which makes the profes-
837 sion taxed. But by whom? men, that watch for it, (and had they not
838 had this hint) are so unjust valuers of Letters; as they thinke no Lear-
839 ning good, but what brings in gaine. It shewes they themselves would
840 never have beene of the professions they are; but for the profits and
841 fees. But, if an other Learning, well used, can instruct to good life, in-
842 forme manners; no lesse perswade, and leade men, then they threaten,
843 and compell, and have no reward, is it therefore the worse study? I
844 could never thinke the study of Wisdome confin'd only to the Philoso-
845 pher: or of {{Piety}} [[Poetry]] to the Divine: or of State to the Politicke. But that he
846 which can faine a Common-wealth (which is the Poet) can {{governe}} [[gowne]] it with
847 Counsels, strengthen it with Lawes, correct it with Iudgements, informe
848 it with Religion, and Morals; is all these. Wee doe not require in him
849 meere Elocution; or an excellent faculty in verse; but the exact know-
850 ledge of all vertues; and their Contraries; with ability to render the
851 one lov'd, the other hated, by his proper embattaling them. The Phi-
852 losophers did insolently, to challenge only to themselves that which
853 the greatest Generals, and gravest Counsellors never durst. For such had
854 rather doe, then promise the best things.

{{Topic 80}} {{Subject: contraversialists in divinity}}

Contra vers. scriptores. More Andabatarum, qui clausis oculis pugnant.

855 Some Controverters in Divinity are like Swaggerers in a Taverne, that
856 catch that which stands next them; the candlesticke, or pots; turne
857 every thing into a weapon: oft times they fight blind-fold; and both
858 beate the Ayre. The one milkes a Hee-goat, the other holds under a Sive.
859 Their Arguments are as fluxive as liquour spilt upon a Table; which
860 with your finger you may draine as you will. Such Controversies,
861 or Disputations, (carried with more labour, then profit) are odious:
862 where most times the Truth is lost in the midst; or left untouch'd. And
863 the fruit of their fight is; that they spit one upon another, and are both
864 defil'd. These Fencers in Religion, I like not.

{{Topic 81}} {{Subject: tolerable errors}}


865 The Body hath certaine diseases, that are with lesse evill tolerated,
866 then remov'd. As if to cure a Leprosie, a man should bathe himselfe with
867 the warme blood of a murthered Child: So in the Church, some errors
868 may be dissimuled with lesse inconvenience, then can be discover'd.

{{Topic 82}} {{Subject: boasting}}

Iactantia intempestiva.

869 Men that talke of their owne benefits, are not beleev'd to talke of
870 them, because they have done them: but to have done them, because
871 they might talke of them. That which had beene great, if another had
872 reported it of them, vanisheth; and is nothing, if hee that did it speake
873 of it. For men, when they cannot destroy the deed, will yet be glad to
874 take advantage of the boasting, and lessen it.

{{Topic 83}} {{Subject: flattery}}


875 I have seene, that Poverty makes men doe unfit things; but honest men
876 should not doe them: they should gaine otherwise. Though a man bee
877 hungry, hee should not play the Parasite. That houre, wherein I would
878 repent me to be honest: there were wayes enow open for me to be rich.
879 But Flattery is a fine Pick-lock of tender eares: especially of those, whom
880 fortune hath borne high upon their wings, that submit their dignity,
881 and authority to it, by a soothing of themselves. For indeed men could

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882 never be taken, in that abundance, with the Sprindges of others Flattery,
883 if they began not there; if they did but remember, how much more
884 profitable the bitternesse of Truth were, then all the honey distilling
885 from a whorish voice; which is not praise, but poyson. But now it is
886 come to that extreme folly, or rather madnesse with some: that he that
887 flatters them modestly, or sparingly, is thought to maligne them. If
888 their friend consent not to their vices, though hee doe not contradict
889 them; hee is neverthelesse an enemy. When they doe all things the
890 worst way, even then they looke for praise. Nay, they will hire fel-
891 lowes to flatter them with suites, and suppers, and to prostitute their
892 judgements. They have Livery-friends, friends of the dish, and of the
893 Spit, that waite their turnes, as my Lord has his feasts, and guests.

{{Topic 84}} {{Subject: human life}}

De vitâ humana.

894 I have considered, our whole life is like a Play: Wherein every man
895 forgetfull of himselfe, is in travaile with expression of another. Nay,
896 wee so insist in imitating others, as wee cannot (when it is necessary) re-
897 turne to our selves: like Children, that imitate the vices of Stammerers
898 so long, till at last they become such; and make the habit to another na-
899 ture, as it is never forgotten.

{{Topic 85}} {{Subject: good men}}

De piis |&| probis.

900 Good men are the Stars, the Planets of the Ages wherein they live,
901 and illustrate the times. God did never let them be wanting to the world:
902 As Abel, for an example, of Innocency; Enoch of Purity, Noah of Trust
903 in Gods mercies, Abraham of Faith, and so of the rest. These sensuall
904 men thought mad, because they would not be partakers, or practisers of
905 their madnesse. But they, plac'd high on the top of all vertue, look'd
906 downe on the Stage of the world, and contemned the Play of Fortune.
907 For though the most be Players, some must be Spectators.

{{Topic 86}} {{Subject: courtly familiarity}}

Mores Aulici.

908 I have discovered, that a fain'd familiarity in great ones, is a note of
909 certaine usurpation on the lesse. For great and popular men, faine them-
910 selves to bee servants to others, to make those slaves to them. So the
911 Fisher provides baits for the Trowte, Roch, Dace, |&c.| that they may
912 be food to him.

{{Topic 87}} {{Subject: a wicked complaint}}

Impiorum querela. Augustus Varus. Tiberius.

913 The Complaint of Caligula, was most wicked, of the condition of his
914 times: when hee said; They were not famous by any publike calamity,
915 as the reigne of Augustus was, by the defeat of Varus, and the Legions;
916 and that of Tiberius, by the falling of the Theater at {{Fidenæ}} [[Iudenæ]]: whilst his
917 oblivion was eminent, through the prosperity of his affaires. As that
918 other voice of his, was worthier a heads-man, then a head; when hee
919 wished the people of Rome had but one neck. But he found (when he fell)
920 they had many hands. A Tyranne, how great and mighty soever hee
921 may seeme to Cowards and Sluggards; is but one creature, one Animal.

{{Topic 88}} {{Subject: the nobility}}

Nobilium Ingenia.

922 I have mark'd among the Nobility, some are so addicted to the service of
923 the Prince, and Common-wealth, as they looke not for spoyle; such are
924 to be honour'd, and lov'd. There are others, which no obligation will
925 fasten on; and they are of two sorts. The first are such as love their
926 owne ease: or, out of vice, of nature, or selfe-direction, avoide busines
927 and care. Yet, these the Prince may use with safety. The other remove
928 themselves upon craft, and designe (as the Architects say) with a preme-
929 ditated thought to their owne, rather then their Princes profit. Such let
930 the Prince take heed of, and not doubt to reckon in the List of his open
931 enemies.

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{{Topic 89}} {{Subject: differences among princes}}

Principium varia. -- Firmissima vero omnium basis jus hæreditarium Principis -- .

932 There is a great variation betweene him, that is rais'd to the Soveraigni-
933 ty
, by the favour of his Peeres; and him that comes to it by the suffrage
934 of the people. The first holds with more difficulty; because hee hath
935 to doe with many, that thinke themselves his equals; and rais'd him for
936 their owne greatnesse, and oppression of the rest. The latter hath no up-
937 braiders; but was rais'd by them, that sought to be defended from op-
938 pression: whose end is both the easier, and the honester to satisfie. Be-
939 side, while he hath the people to friend, who are a multitude, he hath the
940 lesse feare of the Nobility, who are but few. Nor let the common Pro-
941 verbe of (Hee that builds on the people, builds on the dirt) discredit my
942 opinion: For that hath only place, where an ambitious, and private
943 person, for some popular end, trusts in them against the publike Justice,
944 and Magistrate. There they will leave him. But when a Prince governs
945 them, so as they have still need of his Administration (for that is his Art)
946 hee shall ever make, and hold them faithfull.

{{Topic 90}} {{Subject: the prince's clemency}}

Clementia. Machiavell.

947 A Prince should exercise his cruelty, not by himselfe, but by his Mi-
948 nisters: so hee may save himselfe, and his dignity with his people, by sa-
949 crificing those, when he list, saith the great Doctor of State, Macchiavell.
950 But I say, he puts off man, and goes into a beast, that is cruell. No vertue
951 is a Princes owne; or becomes him more, then this Clemency: And no
952 glory is greater, then to be able to save with his power. Many punish-
953 ments sometimes, and in some cases as much discredit a Prince, as many
954 Funerals a Physician. The state of things is secur'd by ; Seve-
955 rity represseth a few, but it irritates more. * The lopping of trees makes

*Haud infirma ars in Principe, ubi lenitas, ubi severitas -- plùs polleat in
commune bonum callere. Clementia tutelat opima. |St.| Nicolas.

956 the boughes shoote out thicker; And the taking away of some kind of
957 enemies, increaseth the number. It is then, most gracious in a Prince to
958 pardon, when many about him would make him cruell; to thinke then,
959 how much he can save, when others tell him, how much he can destroy:
960 not to consider, what the impotence of others hath demolish'd; but
961 what his owne greatnesse can sustaine. These are a Princes vertues; And
962 they that give him other counsels, are but the Hangmans Factors.

963 Hee that is cruell to halfes, (saith the said |St.| Nicolaslooseth no lesse
964 the opportunity of his cruelty, then of his benefits: For then to use his
965 cruelty, is too late; and to use his favours will be interpreted feare and
966 necessity; and so hee looseth the thankes. Still the counsell is cruelty.
967 But Princes by harkning to cruell counsels, become in time obnoxious to
968 the Authors, their Flatterers, and Ministers; and are brought to that,
969 that when they would, they dare not change them: they must goe on,
970 and defend cruelty with cruelty: they cannot alter the Habit. It is then
971 growne necessary, they must be as ill, as those have made them: And in
972 the end, they will grow more hatefull to themselves, then to their Sub-
973 jects. Whereas, on the contrary, the mercifull Prince is safe in love, not
974 in feare. Hee needs no Emissaries, Spies, Intelligencers, to intrap true
975 Subjects. Hee feares no Libels, no Treasons. His people speake, what
976 they thinke; and talke openly, what they doe in secret. They have no-
977 thing in their brests, that they need a Cipher for. He is guarded with his
978 owne benefits.

{{Topic 91}} {{Subject: religion}}

Religio. Palladium Homeri.

979 The strength of Empire is in Religion. What else is the Palladium,
980 (with Homer) that kept Troy so long from sacking? Nothing more com-
981 mends the Soveraigne to the Subject, then it. For hee that is religious,

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982 must be mercifull and just necessarily. And they are two strong ties upon
983 mankind. Justice is the vertue, that Innocence rejoyceth in. Yet even
984 that is not alwayes so safe; but it may love to stand in the sight of mercy.
985 For sometimes misfortune is made a crime, and then Innocence is succor'd,
986 no lesse then vertue. Nay, often times vertue is made Capitall: and
987 through the condition of the times, it may happen, that that may be pu-
988 nish'd with our praise. Let no man therefore murmure at the Actions of
989 the Prince, who is plac'd so farre above him. If hee offend, he hath his
990 Discoverer. God hath a height beyond him. But where the Prince is good,
991 Euripides saith: God is a Guest in a humane body.

Euripides. Tyrranni.

992 There is nothing with some Princes sacred above their Majesty; or
993 prophane, but what violates their Scepters. But a Prince with such
994 Counsell, is like the God Terminus, of Stone, his owne Land-marke; or
995 (as it is in the Fable) a crowned Lyon. It is dangerous offending such an
996 one; who being angry, knowes not how to forgive. That cares not to
997 doe any thing, for maintaining, or inlarging of Empire; kils not men, or
998 Subjects; but destroyeth whole Countries, Armies, mankind, male, and
999 female; guilty or not guilty, holy or prophane: yea, some that have
1000 not seene the light. All is under the Law of their spoyle, and licence.
1001 But Princes that neglect their proper office thus, their fortune is often


1002 times to draw a Seianus, to be neere about him; who will at last affect to
1003 get above 'him, and put them in a worthy feare, of rooting both them
1004 out, and their family. For no men hate an evill Prince more, then they,
1005 that help'd to make him such. And none more boastingly, weepe his
1006 ruine, then they, that procur'd and practis'd it. The same path leads to
1007 ruine, which did to rule, when men professe a Licence in governing. A
1008 good King is a publike Servant.

{{Topic 92}}

{{Subject: the illiterate prince}}

Illiteratus Princeps.

1009 A Prince without Letters, is a Pilot without eyes. All his Government
1010 is groping. In Soveraignity it is a most happy thing, not to be compelled;
1011 but so it is the most miserable not to be counsell'd. And how can he be
1012 counsell'd that cannot see to read the best Counsellors (which are books.)
1013 For they neither flatter us, nor hide from us? Hee may heare, you will say.
1014 But how shall he alwayes be sure to heare Truth? or be counsell'd the best
1015 things, not the sweetest? They say Princes learne no Art truly, but the
1016 Art of Horse-manship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. Hee
1017 will throw a Prince, as soone, as his Groome. Which is an Argument,
1018 that the good Counsellors to Princes are the best instruments of a good
1019 Age. For though the Prince himselfe be of most prompt inclination to
1020 [[to]] all vertue: Yet the best Pilots have need of Mariners, beside Sayles,
1021 Anchor, and other Tackle.

{{Topic 93}}

{{Subject: the prince's character}}

Character. Principis. Alexander magnus.

1022 If men did know, what shining fetters, guilded miseries, and painted
1023 happinesse, Thrones and Scepters were. There would not bee so fre-
1024 quent strife about the getting, or holding of them. There would
1025 be more Principalities, then Princes. For a Prince is the Pastor of the
1026 people. Hee ought to sheere, no{{t}} to flea his sheepe; to take their fleeces,
1027 not their fels. Who were his enemies before, being a private man, be-
1028 come his children, now hee is publike. Hee is the soule of the Common-
1029 wealth; and ought to cherish it, as his owne body. Alexander the
1030 Great was wont to say: Hee hated that Gardiner, that pluck'd his herbes, or
1031 flowers up by the roots
. A man may milke a beast, till the blood come:

{{Page 108}}

1032 Churne milke, and it yeeldeth butter: but wring the nose, and the blood
1033 followeth. Hee is an ill Prince, that so puls his Subjects feathers, as hee
1034 would not have them grow againe: that makes his Exchequer a receipt for
1035 the spoyles of those hee governs. No, let him keepe his owne, not affect
1036 his Subjects: strive rather to be call'd just, then powerfull. Not, like
1037 the Romans Tyrans, affect the Surnames that grow by humane slaughters:
1038 Neither to seeke warre in peace, or peace in warre; but to observe faith
1039 given, though to an Enemy. Study Piety toward the Subject: Shew
1040 care to defend him. Bee slow to punish in diverse cases; but be a sharpe,
1041 and severe Revenger of open crimes. Breake no decrees, or dissolve no
1042 orders, to slacken the strength of Lawes. Choose neither Magistrates
1043 civill, or Ecclesiastick, by favour, or Price: but with long disquisition,
1044 and report of their worth, by all Suffrages. Sell no honours, nor give
1045 them hastily; but bestow them with counsell, and for reward; If hee
1046 doe, acknowledge it, (though late) and mend it. For Princes are easie to
1047 be deceiv'd. And what wisdome can escape it; where so many Court-
1048 Arts are studied? But above all, the Prince is to remember, that when
1049 the great day of Account comes, which neither Magistrate, norPrince
1050 can shunne, there will be requir'd of him a reckoning for those, whom
1051 hee hath trusted; as for himselfe, which hee must provide. And if Piety
1052 be wanting in the Priests, Equity in the Iudges, or the Magistrate be found
1053 rated at a price; what Iustice or Religion is to be expected? which are
1054 the only two Attributes make Kings a kinne to Gods; and is the Del-
1055 phick
sword, both to kill Sacrifices, and to chastise offenders.

{{Topic 94}}

{{Subject: honours}}

De Gratiosis.

1056 When a vertuous man is rais'd, it brings gladnesse to his friends: griefe
1057 to his enemies, and glory to his Posterity. Nay his honours are a great
1058 part of the honour of the times: when by this meanes he is growne to
1059 active men, an example; to the sloathfull, a spurre; to the envious, a Pu-
1060 nishment.

{{Topic 95}}

{{Subject: riches}}

Divites. Hæredes ex Asse.

1061 Hee, which is sole heire to many rich men, having (beside his Fathers,
1062 and Vncles) the states of diverse his kindred come to him by accession;
1063 must needs bee richer then Father, or Gran-father: So they which are
1064 left heires ex Asse, of all their Ancestors vices; and by their good hus-
1065 bandry improve the old, and daily purchase new; must needs be weal-
1066 thier in vice, and have a greater revenue, or stock of ill to spend on.

{{Topic 96}}

{{Subject: state thieves}}

Fures Publici.

1067 The great theeves of a State are lightly the officers of the Crowne; they
1068 hang the lesse still; play the Pikes in the Pond; eate whom they list.
1069 The Net was never spread for the Hawke or Buzzard that hurt us, but
1070 the harmelesse birds, they are good meate.


1071 Dat veni[[ ]]am corvis, vexat censura columbas.


1072 Non rete Accipitri tenditur, ne|que| milvo.

Lewis xi.

1073 But they are not alwayes safe, though especially, when they meet with
1074 wise Masters. They can take downe all the huffe, and swelling of their
1075 lookes; and like dexterous Auditors, place the Counter, where he shall
1076 value nothing. Let them but remember Lewis the eleventh, who to a
1077 Clarke of the Exchequer, that came to be Lord Treasurer, and had (for his
1078 device) represented himselfe sitting upon fortunes wheele: told him, hee

{{Page 109}}

1079 might doe well to fasten it with a good strong nayle, lest turning about, it
1080 might bring him, where hee was againe. As indeed it did.

{{Topic 97}}

{{Subject: the good, the evil, and the innocent}}

De bonis et malis. De Innocentiâ.

1081 A good man will avoide the spot of any sinne. The very aspersion is
1082 grievous: which makes him choose his way in his life, as hee would in
1083 his journey. The Ill-man rides through all confidently; hee is coated,
1084 and booted for it. The oftner hee offends, the more openly; and the
1085 fowler, the fitter in fashion. His modesty like a riding Coat, the more
1086 it is worne, is the lesse car'd for. It is good enough for the durt still; and
1087 the wayes he travels in. An Innocent man needs no Eloquence: his Inno-
1088 cence
is in stead of it: else I had never come off so many times from these
1089 Precipices, whether mens malice hath pursued me. It is true, I have beene
1090 accus'd to the Lords, to the King; and by great ones: but it hap'ned
1091 my accusers had not thought of the Accusation with themselves; and
1092 so were driven for want of crimes, to use invention, which was found
1093 slander: or too late, (being entred so farre) to seeke starting holes for
1094 their rashnesse, which were not given them. And then they may thinke,
1095 what accusation that was like to prove, when they, that were the Ingi-
1096 neers, fear'd to be the Authors. Nor were they content, to faine things
1097 against mee, but to urge things, fain'd by the Ignorant, against my pro-
1098 fession: which though from their hired, and mercenary impudence, I
1099 might have past by, as granted to a Nation of Barkers, that let out their
1100 tongues to lick others sores; yet I durst not leave my selfe undefended,
1101 having a paire of eares unskilfull to heare lyes; or have those things said
1102 of me, which I could truly prove of them. They objected, making of
1103 verses to me, when I could object to most of them, their not being able
1104 to reade them, but as worthy of scorne. Nay, they would offer to urge
1105 mine owne Writings against me; but by pieces, (which was an excellent
1106 way of malice) as if any mans Context, might not seeme dangerous, and
1107 offensive, if that which was knit, to what went before, were defrauded
1108 of his beginning; or that things, by themselves utter'd, might not seeme
1109 subject to Calumnie, which read entire, would appeare most free. At
1110 last they upbraided my poverty; I confesse, shee is my Domestick; so-
1111 ber of diet, simple of habit; frugall, painefull; a good Counsellor to
1112 me; that keepes me from Cruelty, Pride, or other more delicate imper-
1113 tinences; which are the Nurse-children of Riches. But let them looke
1114 over all the great, and monstruous wickednesses, they shall never find
1115 those in poore families. They are the issue of the wealthy Giants, and
1116 the mighty Hunters: Whereas no great worke, or worthy of praise, or
1117 memory, but came out of poore cradles. It was the ancient poverty,
1118 that founded Common-weales; built Cities, invented Arts, made
1119 wholesome Lawes; armed men against vices; rewarded them with
1120 their owne vertues; and preserv'd the honour, and state of Nations, till
1121 they betray'd themselves to Riches.

{{Topic 98}}

{{Subject: love of money}}

Amor nummi.

1122 Money never made any man rich, but his mind. He that can order him selfe
1123 to the Law of nature, is not onely without the sense, but the feare of
1124 poverty. O! but to strike blind the people with our wealth, and pompe,
1125 is the thing! what a wretchednesse is this, to thrust all our riches out-
1126 ward, and be beggars within: to contemplate nothing, but the little,
1127 vile, and sordid things of the world; not the great, noble, and pretious?
1128 Wee serve our avarice, and not content with the good of the Earth, that

{{Page 110}}

1129 is offer'd us; wee search, and digge for the evill that is hidden. God
1130 offer'd us those things, and plac'd them at hand, and neere us, that hee
1131 knew were profitable for us; but the hurtfull hee laid deepe, and hid.
1132 Yet doe wee seeke onely the things, whereby wee may perish; and
1133 bring them forth, when God and nature hath buried them. Wee co-
1134 vet super-fluous things; when it were more honour for us, if wee
1135 could contemne necessary. What need hath nature of silver dishes,
1136 multitudes of Waiters, delicate Pages, perfum'd Napkins? She re-
1137 quires meat only, and hunger is not ambitious. Can wee thinke no
1138 wealth enough, but such a state, for which a man may be brought into a
1139 Præmunire, beg'd, proscrib'd, or poyson'd? O ! if a man could restraine
1140 the fury of his gullet, and groyne, and thinke how many fires, how
1141 many kitchins, Cookes, Pastures, and plough'd Lands; what Or-
1142 chards, Stewes, Ponds, and Parkes, Coupes, and Garners he could spare:
1143 What Velvets, Tissues, Imbroderies, Laces he could lacke; and then
1144 how short, and uncertaine his life is; Hee were in a better way to happi-
1145 nesse, then to live the Emperour of these delights; and be the Dictator
1146 of fashions? But wee make our selves slaves to our pleasures; and wee
1147 serve Fame, and Ambition, which is an equall slavery. Have not I seen
1148 the pompe of a whole Kingdome, and what a forraigne King could
1149 bring hither. Also to make himselfe gaz'd, and wonder'd at, laid forth as
1150 it were to the shew, and vanish all away in a day? And shall that which
1151 could not fill the expectation of few houres, entertaine, and take up our
1152 whole lives? when even it appear'd as superfluous to the Possessors, as
1153 to me that was a Spectator. The bravery was shewne, it was not possess'd
1154 while it boasted it selfe, it perish'd. It is vile, and a poor thing to place our
1155 happinesse on these desires. Say we wanted them all. Famine ends famine.

{{Topic 99}}

{{Subject: make-up and clothes horses}}

De mollibus |&| effæminatis.

1156 There is nothing valiant, or solid to bee hop'd for from such, as are
1157 alwayes kempt'd, and perfum'd; and every day smell of the Taylor:
1158 The exceedingly curious, that are wholly in mending such an imperfe-
1159 ction in the face, in taking away the Morphew in the neck; or bleach-
1160 ing their hands at Mid-night, gumming, and bridling their beards, or
1161 making the waste small, binding it with hoopes, while the mind runs at
1162 waste: Too much pickednesse is not manly. Nor from those that will
1163 jeast at their owne outward imperfections, but hide their ulcers within,
1164 their Pride, Lust, Envie, ill nature, with all the art and authority they
1165 can. These persons are in danger; For whilst they thinke to justifie
1166 their ignorance by impudence; and their persons by clothes, and out-
1167 ward ornaments, they use but a Commission to deceive themselves.
1168 Where, if wee will looke with our understanding, and not our senses,
1169 wee may behold vertue, and beauty, (though cover'd with rags) in
1170 their brightnesse; and vice, and deformity so much the fowler, in ha-
1171 ving all the splendor of riches to guild them, or the false light of honour
1172 and power to helpe them. Yet this is that, wherewith the world is ta-
1173 ken, and runs mad to gaze on: Clothes and Titles, the Birdlime of Fools.

{{Topic 100}}

{{Subject: folly}}

De stultitiâ.

1174 What petty things they are, wee wonder at? like children, that
1175 esteeme every trifle; and preferre a Fairing before their Fathers: what
1176 difference is betweene us, and them? but that we are dearer Fooles,
1177 Cockscombes, at a higher rate? They are pleas'd with Cockleshels,
1178 Whistles, Hobby-horses, and such like: wee with Statues, marble

{{Page 111}}

1179 Pillars, Pictures, guilded Roofes, where under-neath is Lath, and
1180 Lyme; perhaps Lome. Yet, wee take pleasure in the lye, and are glad,
1181 wee can cousen our selves. Nor is it onely in our wals, and seelings;
1182 but all that wee call happinesse, is meere painting, and guilt: and all
1183 for money: what a thinne Membrane of honour that is? and how
1184 hath all true reputation falne, since money began to have any? yet the
1185 great heard, the multitude; that in all other things are divided; in this
1186 alone conspire, and agree: To love money. They wish for it, they
1187 embrace it, they adore it; while yet it is possest with greater stirre, and
1188 torment, then it is gotten.

{{Topic 101}}

{{Subject: multiplying one's losses}}

De sibi molestis.

1189 Some men, what losses soever they have, they make them greater:
1190 and if they have none, even all, that is not gotten, is a losse. Can
1191 there be creatures of more wretched condition, then these; that conti-
1192 nually labour under their owne misery, and others envie? A man
1193 should study other things, not to covet, not to feare, not to repent
1194 him: To make his Base such, as no Tempest shall shake him: to be se-
1195 cure of all opinion; and pleasing to himselfe, even for that, wherein he
1196 displeaseth others. For the worst opinion gotten for doing well, should
1197 delight us: would'st not thou be just, but for fame; thou ought'st to
1198 be it with infamy: Hee that would have his vertue published, is not the
1199 servant of vertue, but glory.

{{Topic 102}}

{{Subject: dangers of melancholy}}

Periculosa Melancholia.

1200 It is a dangerous thing, when mens minds come to sojourne with
1201 their affections, and their diseases eate into their strength: that when
1202 too much desire, and greedinesse of vice, hath made the body unfit,
1203 or unprofitable; it is yet gladded with the sight, and spectacle of it in
1204 others: and for want of ability to be an Actor; is content to be a Wit-
1205 nesse. It enjoyes the pleasure of sinning, in beholding others sinne; as
1206 in Dicing, Drinking, Drabbing, |&c.| Nay, when it cannot doe all
1207 these, it is offended with his owne narrownesse, that excludes it from
1208 the universall delights of Man-kind; and oft times dies of a Melancholy,
1209 that it cannot be vitious enough.

{{Topic 103}}

{{Subject: avoiding vice}}

Falsæ species fugiendæ.

1210 I am glad, when I see any man avoid the infamy of a vice; but to shun
1211 the vice it selfe were better. Till hee doe that, he is but like the Pren-
1212 tise, who being loth to bee spied by his Master, comming forth of
1213 Black-Lucis, went in againe; to whom his Master cried; the more thou
1214 runnest that way to hide thy selfe, the more thou art in the Place. So are
1215 those, that keepe a Taverne all day; that they may not bee seene at
1216 night. I have knowne Lawyers, Divines, yea, great ones of this
1217 Heresy.

{{Topic 104}}

{{Subject: strangeness breeds praise}}

Decipimur specie.

1218 There is a greater Reverence had of things remote, or strange to us,
1219 then of much better, if they bee neerer, and fall under our sense. Men,
1220 and almost all sort of creatures, have their reputation by distance. Ri-
1221 vers, the farther they runne, and more from their spring, the broader,
1222 they are, and greater. And where our originall is knowne, we are the
1223 lesse confident: Among strangers wee trust fortune. Yet a man may
1224 live as renown'd at home, in his owne countrey, or a private Village, as
1225 in the whole world. For it is vertue that gives glory: That will ende-
1226 nizon a man every where. It is onely that can naturalize him. A native,
1227 if hee be vitious, deserves to bee a stranger, and cast out of the Com-
1228 mon-wealth, as an Alien.

{{Page 112}}

{{Topic 105}}

{{Subject: dejected courtiers}}

Dejectio Aulic.

1229 A dejected countenance, and meane clothes, beget often a contempt;
1230 but it is with the shallowest creatures: Courtiers commonly looke up even
1231 with them in a new suite; you get above `hem streight. Nothing is more
1232 short-liv'd then Pride: It is but while their clothes last; stay but while
1233 these are worne out, you cannot wish the thing more wretched, or de-
1234 jected.

{{Topic 106}}

{{Subject: poetry and picture}}

Poesis, et Pictura. Plutarch.

1235 Poetry, and Picture, are Arts of a like nature; and both are busie about
1236 imitation. It was excellently said of Plutarch, Poetry was a speaking Pi-
1237 cture, and Picture a mute Poesie. For they both invent, faine, and devise
1238 many things, and accommodate all they invent to the use, and service of
1239 nature. Yet of the two, the Pen is more noble, then the Pencill. For
1240 that can speake to the Understanding; the other, but to the Sense. They
1241 both behold pleasure, and profit, as their common Object; but should
1242 abstaine from all base pleasures, lest they should erre from their end: and
1243 while they seeke to better mens minds, destroy their manners. They both
1244 are borne Artificers, not made. Nature is more powerfull in them then
1245 study.

{{Topic 107}}

{{Subject: pictures}}

De Pictura.

1246 Whosoever loves not Picture, is injurious to Truth: and all the wis-
1247 dome of Poetry. Picture is the invention of Heaven: the most ancient,
1248 and most a kinne to Nature. It is it selfe a silent worke: and alwayes of
1249 one and the same habit: Yet it doth so enter, and penetrate the inmost
1250 affection (being done by an excellent Artificer) as sometimes it orecomes
1251 the power of speech, and oratory. There are diverse graces in it; so
1252 are there in the Artificers. One excels in care, another in reason, a third
1253 in easinesse, a fourth in nature and grace. Some have diligence, and
1254 comelinesse: but they want Majesty. They can expresse a humane forme
1255 in all the graces, sweetnesse, and elegancy; but they misse the Authority.
1256 They can hit nothing but smooth cheeks; they cannot expresse rough-
1257 nesse, or gravity. Others aspire to Truth so much, as they are rather Lo-
1258 vers of likenesse, then beauty. Zeuxis, and Parrhasius, are said to be con-
1259 temporaries: The first, found out the reason of lights, and shadowes
1260 in Picture: the other, more subtily examined the lines.

{{Topic 108}}

{{Subject: style}}

De stylo. Pliny.

1261 In Picture, light is requir'd no lesse then shadow: so in stile, height,
1262 as well as humblenesse. But beware they be not too humble; as Pliny
1263 pronounc'd of Regulus writings. You would thinke them written, not
1264 on a child, but by a child. Many, out of their owne obscene Apprehen-
1265 sions, refuse proper and fit words; as occupie, nature, and the like: So the
1266 curious industry in some of having all alike good, hath come neerer a vice,
1267 then a vertue.

{{Topic 109}}

{{Subject: the progress of pictures}}

De progress. Picturæ. Parrhasius.

1268 Picture tooke her faining from Poetry: from Geometry her rule, com-
1269 passe, lines, proportion, and the whole Symmetry. Parrhasius was the first
1270 wan reputation, by adding Symmetry to Picture: hee added subtility to
1271 the countenance, elegancy to the haire, love-lines to the face; and, by
1272 the publike voice of all Artificers, deserved honour in the outer lines.


1273 Eupompus gave it splendor by numbers, and other elegancies. From the
1274 Opticks it drew reasons; by which it considered, how things plac'd at
1275 distance, and a farre off, should appeare lesse: how above, or beneath
1276 the head, should deceive the eye, |&c.| So from thence it tooke shadowes,
1277 recess{{ }}or, light, and heightnings. From morall Philosophy it tooke the
1278 soule, the expression of Senses, Perturbations, Manners, when they

{{Page 113}}

1279 would paint an angry person, a proud, an inconstant, an ambitious, a
1280 brave, a magnanimous, a just, a mercifull, a compassionate, an humble,
1281 a dejected, a base, and the like. They made all heightnings bright, all
1282 shadowes darke, all swellings from a plane; all solids from breaking. See

1283 *where he complaines of their painting Chimæra's, by the vulgar unaptly
1284 called Grottesque: Saying, that men who were borne truly to study, and
1285 emulate nature, did nothing but make monsters against nature; which +a+Ho-

*Plin. lib. 35.c.2.5.6 |&| 7. Vitruv. li. 8. |&| 7. arte Poet.

1286 race so laught at. The Art Plasticke was moulding in clay, or potters earth
1287 anciently. This is the Parent of Statuary: Sculpture, Graving and Picture; cut-
1288 ting in brasse, and marble, all serve under her.
+b+Socrates taught Parrhasius,

+b+Socrates, Parrhasius. Clyto.

1289 and Clito (two noble Statuaries) first to expresse manners by their looks in
1290 Imagery. +c+Polygnotus, and Aglaophon were ancienter. After them +d+Zeuxis,

+c+Polygnotus. Aglaophon.


1291 who was the Law-giver to all Painters: after +e+Parrhasius. They were con-


1292 temporaries, and liv'd both about Philips time, the Father of Alexander
1293 the Great. There liv'd in this latter Age six famous Painters in Italy: who
1294 were excellent, and emulous of the Ancients: +f+Raphael de Vrbino, Michel

+f+Raphael. de urbino. Mich: Angel. Buonarota. Titian. Antonie
de Correg. Sebast: de Venet. Iulio Romano. Andrea Sartorio.

1295 Angelo Buonarota, Titian, Antonie of Correggio, Sebastian of Venice, Iulio
1296 Romano
, and Andrea Sartorio.

*Parasiti ad mensam.

1297 These are Flatterers for their bread, that praise all my oraculous Lord
1298 do's or sayes, be it true or false: invent tales that shall please: make
1299 baites for his Lordships eares: and if they be not receiv'd in what they
1300 offer at, they shift a point of the Compasse, and turne their tale presently
1301 tacke about; deny what they confest, and confesse what they denied;
1302 fit their discourse to the persons, and occasions. What they snatch up,
1303 and devoure at one table, utter at another: and grow suspected of the
1304 Master, hated of the servants, while they inquire, and reprehend, and
1305 compound, and delate busines of the house they have nothing to doe
1306 with: They praise my Lords wine, and the sauce he likes; observe the
1307 Cooke, and Bottle-man, while they stand in my Lords favour, speake
1308 for a pension for them: but pound them to dust upon my Lords least dis-
1309 taste, or change of his palate.

1310 How much better is it, to bee silent; or at least, to speake sparingly!
1311 For it is not enough to speake good, but timely things. If a man be
1312 asked a question, to answer, but to repeat the Question, before hee an-
1313 swer, is well, that hee be sure to understand it, to avoid absurdity.
1314 For it is lesse dishonour, to heare imperfectly, then to speake imperfectly.
1315 The eares are excus'd, the understanding is not. And in things unknown
1316 to a man, not to give his opinion, lest by affectation of knowing too
1317 much, hee lose{{ }}the credit hee hath by speaking, or knowing the wrong
1318 way, what hee utters. Nor seeke to get his Patrons favour, by imbark-
1319 ing himselfe in the Factions of the Family: to inquire after domesticke
1320 simulties, their sports, or affections. They are an odious, and vile kind
1321 of creatures, that fly about the house all day; and picking up the filth of
1322 the house, like Pies or Swallowes, carry it to their nest (the Lords
1323 eares) and oftentimes report the lyes they have fain'd, for what they
1324 have seene and heard.

Imò serviles.

1325 These are call'd instruments of grace, and power, with great persons;
1326 but they are indeed the Organs of their impotencie, and markes of
1327 weaknesse. For sufficient Lords are able to make these Discoveries
1328 themselves. Neither will an honourable person inquire, who eats, and

{{Page 114}}

1329 drinkes together, what that man playes, whom this man loves; with
1330 whom such a one walkes; what discourse they held, who sleepes, with
1331 whom. They are base, and servile natures, that busie themselves about
1332 these disquisitions. How often have I seene, (and worthily) these
1333 Censors of the family, undertaken by some honest Rustick, and cudgel'd
1334 thriftily? These are commonly the off-scowring, and dregs of men,
1335 that doe these things, or calumniate others: Yet I know not truly which
1336 is worse; hee that malignes all, or that praises all. There is as great a
1337 vice in praising, and as frequent, as in detracting.

1338 It pleas'd your Lordship of late, to aske my opinion, touching the edu-
1339 cation of your sonnes, and especially to the advancement of their stu-
1340 dies. To which, though I return'd somewhat for the present; which
1341 rather manifested a will in me, then gave any just resolution to the thing
1342 propounded: I have upon better cogitation call'd those ayds about mee,
1343 both of mind, and memory; which shall venter my thoughts clearer, if
1344 not fuller, to your Lordships demand. I confesse, my Lord, they will
1345 seeme but petty, and minute things I shall offer to you, being writ for
1346 children, and of them. But studies have their Infancie, as well as creatures.
1347 Wee see in men, even the strongest compositions had their beginnings
1348 from milke, and the Cradle; and the wisest tarried sometimes about
1349 apting their mouthes to Letters, and syllables. In their education
1350 therefore, the care must be the greater had of their beginnings, to know,
1351 examine, and weigh their natures: which though they bee proner in
1352 some children to some disciplines; yet are they naturally prompt to
1353 taste all by degrees, and with change. For change is a kind of refresh-
1354 ing in studies, and infuseth knowledge by way of recreation. Thence the
1355 Schoole it selfe is call'd a Play, or Game: and all Letters are so best
1356 taught to Schollers. They should not be afrighted, or deterr'd in their
1357 Entry, but drawne on with exercise, and emulation. A youth should
1358 not be made to hate study, before hee know the causes to love it: or
1359 taste the bitternesse before the sweet; but call'd on, and allur'd, intrea-
1360 ted, and praised: Yea, when hee deserves it not. For which cause I wish
1361 them sent to the best schoole, and a publike; which I thinke the best.
1362 Your Lordship I feare hardly heares of that, as willing to breed them in
1363 your eye, and at home; and doubting their manners may bee corrupted
1364 abroad. They are in more danger in your owne Family, among ill ser-
1365 vants, (allowing, they be safe in their Schoole-Master) then amongst a
1366 thousand boyes, however immodest: would wee did not spoyle our
1367 owne children, and overthrow their manners our selves by too much
1368 Indulgence. To breed them at home, is to breed them in a shade;
1369 where in a schoole they have the light, and heate of the Sunne. They
1370 are us'd, and accustom'd to things, and men. When they come forth
1371 into the Common-wealth, they find nothing new, or to seeke. They
1372 have made their friendships and ayds; some to last till their Age. They
1373 heare what is commanded to others, as well as themselves. Much ap-
1374 prov'd, much corrected; all which they bring to their owne store, and
1375 use; and learne as much, as they heare. Eloquence would be but a poore
1376 thing, if wee should onely converse with singulars; speake, but man
1377 and man together. Therefore I like no private breeding. I would send
1378 them where their industry should be daily increas'd by praise; and that

{{Page 115}}

1379 kindled by emulation. It is a good thing to inflame the mind: And
1380 though Ambition it selfe be a vice, it is often the cause of great vertue.
1381 Give me that wit, whom praise excites, glory puts on, or disgrace grieves:
1382 hee is to bee nourish'd with Ambition, prick'd forward with honour;
1383 check'd with Reprehension; and never to bee suspected of sloath.
1384 Though hee be given to play, it is a signe of spirit, and livelinesse; so
1385 there be a meane had of their sports, and relaxations. And from the
1386 rodde, or ferule, I would have them free, as from the menace of them:
1387 for it is both deformed, and servile.

{{Topic 110}}

{{Subject: the style of writing well}}

De stylo, et optimo scribendi genere.

1388 For a man to write well, there are required three Necessaries. To
1389 reade the best Authors, observe the best Speakers: and much exercise
1390 of his owne style. In style to consider, what ought to be written; and
1391 after what manner; Hee must first thinke, and excogitate his matter;
1392 then choose his words, and examine the weight of either. Then take
1393 care in placing, and ranking both matter, and words, that the composi-
1394 tion be comely; and to doe this with diligence, and often. No matter
1395 how slow the style be at first, so it be labour'd, and accurate: seeke the
1396 best, and be not glad of the forward conceipts, or first words, that offer
1397 themselves to us, but judge of what wee invent; and order what wee
1398 approve. Repeat often, what wee have formerly written; which be-
1399 side, that it helpes the consequence, and makes the juncture better, it
1400 quickens the heate of imagination, that often cooles in the time of setting
1401 downe, and gives it new strength, as if it grew lustier, by the going
1402 back. As wee see in the contention of leaping, they jumpe farthest, that
1403 fetch their race largest: or, as in throwing a Dart, or Iavelin, wee force
1404 back our armes, to make our loose the stronger. Yet, if we have a faire
1405 gale of wind, I forbid not the steering out of our sayle, so the favour of
1406 the gale deceive us not. For all that wee invent doth please us in the con-
1407 ception, or birth; else we would never set it downe. But the safest is to
1408 returne to our Judgement, and handle over againe those things, the easi-
1409 nesse of which might make them justly suspected. So did the best Wri-
1410 ters in their beginnings; they impos'd upon themselves care, and in-
1411 dustry. They did nothing rashly. They obtain'd first to write well,
1412 and then custome made it easie, and a habit. By little and little, their
1413 matter shew'd it selfe to 'hem more plentifully; their words answer'd,
1414 their composition followed; and all, as in a well-order'd family, pre-
1415 sented it selfe in the place. So that the summe of all is: Ready writing
1416 makes not good writing; but good writing brings on ready writing:
1417 Yet when wee thinke wee have got the faculty, it is even then good to re-
1418 sist it: as to give a Horse a check sometimes with bit, which doth not
1419 so much stop his course, as stirre his mettle. Againe, whether a mans
1420 Genius is best able to reach thither, it should more and more contend, lift
1421 and dilate it selfe, as men of low stature, raise themselves on their toes;
1422 and so oft times get even, if not eminent. Besides, as it is fit for grown
1423 and able Writers to stand of themselves, and worke with their owne
1424 strength, to trust and endeavour by their owne faculties: so it is fit for
1425 the beginner, and learner, to study others, and the best. For the mind,
1426 and memory are more sharpely exercis'd in comprehending an other
1427 mans things, then our owne; and such as accustome themselves, and are
1428 familiar with the best Authors, shall ever and anon find somewhat of

{{Page 116}}

1429 them in themselves, and in the expression of their minds, even when
1430 they feele it not, be able to utter something like theirs, which hath
1431 an Authority above their owne. Nay, sometimes it is the reward of a
1432 mans study, the praise of quoting an other man fitly: And though a
1433 man be more prone, and able for one kind of writing, then another, yet
1434 hee must exercise all. For as in an Instrument, so in style, there must be
1435 a Harmonie, and consent of parts.

{{Topic 111}}

{{Subject: precepts}}

Precipiendi modi.

Livy. Salust. Sydney. Donne. Gower. Chaucer. Spencer. 1436 I take this labour in teaching others, that they should not be alwayes
1437 to bee taught; and I would bring my Precepts into practise. For rules
1438 are ever of lesse force, and valew, then experiments. Yet with this
1439 purpose, rather to shew the right way to those that come after, then to
1440 detect any that have slipt before by errour, and I hope it will bee more
1441 profitable. For men doe more willingly listen, and with more favour
1442 to precept, then reprehension. Among diverse opinions of an Art, and
1443 most of them contrary in themselves, it is hard to make election; and
1444 therefore, though a man cannot invent new things after so many, he may
1445 doe a welcome worke yet to helpe posterity to judge rightly of the old.
1446 But Arts and Precepts availe nothing, except nature be beneficiall, and
1447 ayding. And therefore these things are no more written to a dull dispo-
1448 sition, then rules of husbandry to a barren Soyle. No precepts will pro-
1449 fit a Foole; no more then beauty will the blind, or musicke the deafe.
1450 As wee should take care, that our style in writing, be neither dry, nor
1451 empty: wee should looke againe it be not winding, or wanton with far-
1452 fetcht descriptions; Either is a vice. But that is worse which proceeds
1453 out of want, then that which riots out of plenty. The remedy of fruit-
1454 fulnesse is easie, but no labour will helpe the contrary; I will like, and
1455 praise some things in a young Writer; which yet if hee continue in, I
1456 cannot, but justly hate him for the same. There is a time to bee given
1457 all things for maturity; and that even your Countrey-husband-man
1458 can teach; who to a young plant will not put the proyning knife, because
1459 it seemes to feare the iron, as not able to admit the scarre. No more
1460 would I tell a greene Writer all his faults, lest I should make him grieve
1461 and faint, and at last despaire. For nothing doth more hurt, then to make
1462 him so afraid of all things, as hee can endeavour nothing. Therefore
1463 youth ought to be instructed betimes, and in the best things: for we hold
1464 those longest, wee take soonest. As the first sent of a Vessell lasts: and
1465 that tinct the wooll first receives. Therefore a Master should temper
1466 his owne powers, and descend to the others infirmity. If you powre a
1467 glut of water upon a Bottle, it receives little of it; but with a Funnell,
1468 and by degrees, you shall fill many of them, and spill little of your
1469 owne; to their capacity they will all receive, and be full. And as it is fit
1470 to reade the best Authors to youth first, so let them be of the openest,
1471 and clearest. As Livy before Salust, Sydney before Donne: and beware of
1472 letting them taste Gower, or Chaucer at first, lest falling too much in love
1473 with Antiquity, and not apprehending the weight, they grow rough
1474 and barren in language onely. When their judgements are firme, and
1475 out of danger, let them reade both, the old and the new: but no lesse
1476 take heed, that their new flowers, and sweetnesse doe not as much cor-
1477 rupt, as the others drinesse, and squallor, if they choose not carefully.
1478 Spencer, in affecting the Ancients writ no Language: Yet I would have

{{Page 117}

Virgil. Ennius. Homer. Virgil. Quintilian. Plautus. Terence.

1479 him read for his matter; but as Virgil read Ennius. The reading of
1480 Homer and Virgil is counsell'd by Quintilian, as the best way of infor-
1481 ming youth, and confirming man. For besides that, the mind is rais'd
1482 with the height, and sublimity of such a verse, it takes spirit from the
1483 greatnesse of the matter, and is tincted with the best things. Tragicke,
1484 and Liricke Poetry is good too: and Comicke with the best, if the man-
1485 ners of the Reader be once in safety. In the Greeke Poets, as also in
1486 Plautus, wee shall see the Oeconomy, and disposition of Poems, better
1487 observed then in Terence, and the later: who thought the sole grace, and
1488 vertue of their Fable, the sticking in of sentences, as ours doe the forcing
1489 in of jests.

{{Topic 112}}

{{Subject: fleeing false quarrels}}

Ials. querel. fugiend.

Platonis. Peregrinatio in Italiam.

1490 Wee should not protect our sloath with the patronage of difficulty.
1491 It is a false quarrell against nature, that shee helpes understanding; but
1492 in a few, when the most part of mankind are inclin'd by her thither, if
1493 they would take the paines; no lesse then birds to fly, horses to run, |&c.|
1494 Which if they lose, it is through their owne sluggishnesse, and by that
1495 meanes become her prodigies, not her children{{.}} I confesse, nature in
1496 children is more patient of labour in study, then in Age; for the sense
1497 of the paine, the judgement of the labour is absent, they doe not mea-
1498 sure what they have done. And it is the thought, and consideration,
1499 that affects us more, then the wearinesse it selfe. Plato was not content
1500 with the Learning, that Athens could give him, but sail'd into Italy for
1501 Pythagora's knowledge: And yet not thinking himselfe sufficiently in-
1502 form'd, went into Egypt to the Priests, and learned their mysteries. Hee
1503 labour'd, so must wee. Many things may be learn'd together, and per-
1504 form'd in one point of time; as Musicians exercise their memory, their
1505 voice, their fingers, and sometime their head, and feet at once. And
1506 so a Preacher in the invention of matter, election of words, composition
1507 of gesture, looke, pronunciation, motion, useth all these faculties at once.
1508 And if wee can expresse this variety together, why should not diverse
1509 studies, at diverse houres delight, when the variety is able alone to re-
1510 fresh, and repaire us? As when a man is weary of writing, to reade; and
1511 then againe of reading, to write. Wherein, howsoever wee doe many
1512 things, yet are wee (in a sort) still fresh to what wee begin: wee are
1513 recreated with change, as the stomacke is with meats. But some will say,
1514 this variety breeds confusion, and makes, that either wee loose all, or
1515 hold no more then the last. Why doe wee not then perswade husband-
1516 men, that they should not till Land, helpe it with Marle, Lyme, and
1517 Compost? plant Hop-gardens, prune trees, looke to Bee-hives, reare
1518 sheepe, and all other Cattell at once? It is easier to doe many things, and
1519 continue, then to doe one thing long.

{{Topic 113}}

{{Subject: fundamentals for teaching}}

Præcept. Element.

1520 It is not the passing through these Learnings that hurts us, but the
1521 dwelling and sticking about them. To descend to those extreame anxie-
1522 ties, and foolish cavils of Grammarians, is able to breake a wit in pieces;
1523 being a worke of manifold misery, and vainenesse, to bee Elementarij
1524 senes.
Yet even Letters are as it were the Banke of words, and restore
1525 themselves to an Author, as the pawnes of Language: But talking and
1526 Eloquence are not the same: to speake, and to speake well, are two
1527 things. A foole may talke, but a wise man speakes, and out of the ob-
1528 servation, knowledge, and use of things. Many Writers perplexe their

{{Page 118}}

1529 Readers, and Hearers with meere Non-sense. Their writings need sun-
1530 shine. Pure and neat Language I love, yet plaine and customary. A
1531 barbarous Phrase hath often made mee out of love with a good sense;
1532 and doubtfull writing hath wrackt mee beyond my patience. The rea-
1533 son why a Poet is said, that hee ought to have all knowledges, is that hee
1534 should not be ignorant of the most, especially of those hee will handle.
1535 And indeed when the attaining of them is possible, it were a sluggish, and
1536 base thing to despaire. For frequent imitation of any thing, becomes a
1537 habit quickly. If a man should prosecute as much, as could be said of
1538 every thing; his worke would find no end.

{{Topic 114}}

{{Subject: the dignity of oratory}}

De orationis dignitate. Egkuklopaideia.

Iulius Cæsar.
Of words see Hor. de. Art. Poetic. Quintil. l. 8. Ludov. Vives, pag. 6. |&| 7. Metaphora.
1539 Speech is the only benefit, man hath to expresse his excellencie of mind
1540 above other creatures. It is the Instrument of Society. Therefore
1541 Mercury, who is the President of Language, is called Deorum hominum|que|
1542 interpres.
In all speech, words and sense, are as the body, and the soule.
1543 The sense is, as the life and soule of Language, without which all words
1544 are dead. Sense is wrought out of experience, the knowledge of hu-
1545 mane life, and actions, or of the liberall Arts, which the Greeks call'd
1546 Egkuklopaideian. Words are the Peoples; yet there is a choise of them to
1547 be made. For Verborum delectus, origo est eloquentiæ. They are to be chose
1548 according to the persons wee make speake, or the things wee speake of.
1549 Some are of the Campe, some of the Councell-board, some of the Shop,
1550 some of the Sheepe-coat, some of the Pulpit, some of the Barre, |&c.|
1551 And herein is seene their Elegance, and Propriety, when wee use them
1552 fitly, and draw them forth to their just strength and nature, by way of
1553 Translation, or Metaphore. But in this Translation wee must only serve
1554 necessity (Nam temerè nihil transfertur à prudenti) or commodity, which
1555 is a kind of necessity; that is, when wee either absolutely want a word
1556 to expresse by, and that is necessity; or when wee have not so fit a word,
1557 and that is commodity. As when wee avoid losse by it, and escape ob-
1558 scenenesse, and gaine in the grace and property, which helpes signifi-
1559 cance. Metaphors farfet hinder to be understood, and affected, lose their
1560 grace. Or when the person fetcheth his translations from a wrong
1561 place. As if a Privie-Counsellor should at the Table take his Metaphore
1562 from a Dicing-house, or Ordinary, or a Vintners Vault; or a Justice of
1563 Peace draw his similitudes from the Mathematicks; or a Divine from a
1564 Bawdy-house, or Tavernes; or a Gentleman of Northampton-shire, War-
1565 wick-shire
, or the Mid-land, should fetch all his Illustrations to his coun-
1566 trey neighbours from shipping, and tell them of the maine sheat, and the
1567 Boulin. Metaphors are thus many times deform'd, as in him that said,
1568 Castratam morte Aphricani Rempublicam. And an other, stercus curiæ Glau-
1569 ciam
. And Canâ nive conspuit Alpes. All attempts that are new in this
1570 kind, are dangerous, and somewhat hard, before they be softned with
1571 use. A man coynes not a new word without some perill, and lesse fruit;
1572 for if it happen to be received, the praise is but moderate; if refus'd, the
1573 scorne is assur'd. Yet wee must adventure, for things at first, hard and
1574 rough, are by use made tender and gentle. It is an honest errour that is
1575 committed, following great Chiefes.

{{Topic 115}}

{{Subject: custom in language}}


1576 Custome is the most certaine Mistresse of Language, as the pub-
1577 licke stampe makes the current money. But wee must not be too fre-
1578 quent with the mint, every day coyning. Nor fetch words from

{{Page 119}}

Perspicuitas. Venustas. Authoritas. Virgil. Lucretius. Chaucerisme. Paranomasia. De stylo.Tacitus. The Laconicke. Suetonius. Seneca |&| Fabianus. Periodi.

1579 the extreme and utmost ages; since the chiefe vertue of a style is perspi-
1580 cuitie, and nothing so vitious in it, as to need an Interpreter. Words
1581 borrow'd of Antiquity, doe lend a kind of Majesty to style, and are not
1582 without their delight sometimes. For they have the Authority of
1583 yeares, and out of their intermission doe win to themselves a kind of
1584 grace-like newnesse. But the eldest of the present, and newnesse of the
1585 past Language is the best. For what was the ancient Language, which
1586 some men so doate upon, but the ancient Custome? Yet when I name
1587 Custome, I understand not the vulgar Custome: For that were a pre-
1588 cept no lesse dangerous to Language, then life, if wee should speake or
1589 live after the manners of the vulgar: But that I call Custome of speech,
1590 which is the consent of the Learned; as Custome of life, which is the
1591 consent of the good. Virgill was most loving of Antiquity; yet how
1592 rarely doth hee insert aquai, and pictai ! Lucretius is scabrous and rough
1593 in these; hee seekes 'hem: As some doe Chaucerismes with us, which
1594 were better expung'd and banish'd. Some words are to be cull'd out for
1595 ornament and colour, as wee gather flowers to straw houses, or make
1596 Garlands; but they are better when they grow to our style; as in a Mea-
1597 dow, where though the meere grasse and greennesse delights: yet the
1598 variety of flowers doth heighten and beautifie. Marry we must not play,
1599 or riot too much with them, as in Paranomasies: Nor use too swelling, or
1600 ill-sounding words; Quæ per salebras, alta|que| saxa cadunt. It is true, there is no
1601 sound but shall find some Lovers, as the bitter'st confections are gratefull
1602 to some palats. Our composition must bee more accurate in the begin-
1603 ning and end, then in the midst; and in the end more, then in the begin-
1604 ning; for through the midst the streame beares us. And this is attain'd
1605 by Custome more then care, or diligence. Wee must expresse readily,
1606 and fully, not profusely. There is difference betweene a liberall, and a
1607 prodigall hand. As it is a great point of Art, when our matter requires
1608 it, to enlarge, and veere out all sayle; so to take it in, and contract it, is of
1609 no lesse praise when the Argument doth aske it. Either of them hath their
1610 fitnesse in the place. A good man alwayes profits by his endeavour, by
1611 his helpe; yea, when he is absent; nay when he is dead by his example
1612 and memory. So good Authors in their style: A strict and succinct style
1613 is that, where you can take away nothing without losse, and that losse to
1614 be manifest. The briefe style is that which expresseth much in little. The
1615 concise style, which expresseth not enough, but leaves somewhat to bee
1616 understood. The abrupt style, which hath many breaches, and doth
1617 not seeme to end, but fall. The congruent, and harmonious fitting
1618 of parts in a sentence, hath almost the fastning, and force of knit-
1619 ting, and connexion: As in stones well squar'd, which will rise
1620 strong a great way without mortar. Periods are beautifull; when
1621 they are not too long; for so they have their strength too, as in a
1622 Pike or Javelin. As wee must take the care that our words and
1623 sense bee cleare; so if the obscurity happen through the Hearers,
1624 or Readers want of understanding, I am not to answer for them;
1625 no more then for their not listning or marking; I must neither find
1626 them eares, nor mind. But a man cannot put a word so in sense,
1627 but some thing about it will illustrate it, if the Writer understand
1628 himselfe. For Order helpes much to Perspicuity, as Confusion{{ }}hurts.

{{Page 120}}

Obscuritas offundit tenebras. Superlatio. Cestius. Virgil. Cæsar comment: circa fin. Quintilian.

1629 Rectitudo lucem adfert; obliquitas et circumductio offuscat. We should therefore
1630 speake what wee can, the neerest way, so as wee keepe our gate, not leape;
1631 for too short may as well be not let into the memory, as too long not
1632 kept in. Whatsoever looseth the grace, and clearenesse, converts into
1633 a Riddle; the obscurity is mark'd, but not the valew. That perisheth,
1634 and is past by, like the Pearle in the Fable. Our style should be like a
1635 skeine of silke to be carried, and found by the right thred, not ravel'd,
1636 and perplex'd; then all is a knot, a heape. There are words, that doe
1637 as much raise a style, as others can depresse it. Superlation, and over-
1638 muchnesse amplifies. It may be above faith, but never above a meane. It
1639 was ridiculous in Cestius, when hee said of Alexander:

1640 Fremit Oceanus, quasi indignetur, quòd terras relinquas;

1641 But propitiously from Virgil: -- Credas {{innare}} [[innate]] reuulsas Cycladas.
1642 Hee doth not say it was so, but seem'd to be so. Although it be some-
1643 what incredible, that is excus'd before it be spoken. But there are Hy-
1644 perboles
, which will become one Language, that will by no meanes ad-
1645 mit another. As Eos esse P. R. exercitus, qui cœlum possint perrumpere: who
1646 would say this with us, but a mad man? Therefore wee must consider
1647 in every tongue what is us'd, what receiv'd. Quintilian warnes us, that
1648 in no kind of Translation, or Metaphore, or Allegory, wee make a turne
1649 from what wee began; As if wee fetch the originall of our Metaphore
1650 from sea, and billowes; wee end not in flames and ashes; It is a most
1651 fowle inconsequence. Neither must wee draw out our Allegory too long,
1652 lest either wee make our selves obscure, or fall into affectation, which is
1653 childish. But why doe men depart at all from the right, and naturall
1654 wayes of speaking? Sometimes for necessity, when wee are driven, or
1655 thinke it fitter to speake that in obscure words, or by circumstance, which
1656 utter'd plainely would offend the hearers. Or to avoid obscenenesse, or
1657 sometimes for pleasure, and variety; as Travailers turne out of the
1658 high way, drawne, either by the commodity of a foot-path, or the de-
1659 licacy, or freshnesse of the fields. And all this is call'd esch{ee}matismen{ee}, or
1660 figur'd Language.

{{Topic 116}}

{{Subject: oratory as the mind's image}}

Oratio imago animi. Structura,
|&| statura. Sublimis, Humilis, pumila.
Mediocris Plana |&| placida. Vitiosa oratio, vasta.
Tumens. Enormis. Affectata. Abjecta.

1661 Language most shewes a man: speake that I may see thee. It springs
1662 out of the most retired, and inmost parts of us, and is the Image of the
1663 Parent of it, the mind. No glasse renders a mans forme, or likenesse,
1664 so true as his speech. Nay, it is likened to a man; and as we consider
1665 feature, and composition in a man; so words in Language: in the great-
1666 nesse, aptnesse, sound, structure, and harmony of it. Some men are tall,
1667 and bigge, so some Language is high and great. Then the words are
1668 chosen, their sound ample, the composition full, the absolution plente-
1669 ous, and powr'd out, all grave, sinnewye and strong. Some are little,
1670 and Dwarfes: so of speech it is humble, and low, the words poore and
1671 flat; the members and Periods, thinne and weake without knitting, or
1672 number. The middle are of a just stature. There the Language is plaine,
1673 and pleasing: even without stopping, round without swelling; all well-
1674 torn'd, compos'd, elegant, and accurate. The vitious Language is vast,
1675 and gaping, swelling, and irregular; when it contends to be high, full of
1676 Rocke, Mountaine, and pointednesse: as it affects to be low, it is abject,
1677 and creeps, full of bogs, and holes. And according to their Subject,
1678 these stiles vary, and lose their names: For that which is high and lofty,

{{Page 121}}

Figura. Cutis sive Cortex. Compositio. Carnosa. Adipata. Redundans. Iejuna macilenta strigosa.
Ossia, |&| nervosa.

1679 declaring excellent matter, becomes vast and tumorous, speaking of
1680 petty and inferiour things: so that which was even, and apt in a meane
1681 and plaine subject, will appeare most poore and humble in a high Argu-
1682 ment. Would you not laugh, to meet a great Counsellor of state in a
1683 flat cap, with his trunck hose, and a hobby-horse Cloake, his Gloves un-
1684 der his girdle, and yond Haberdasher in a velvet Gowne, furr'd with
1685 sables? There is a certaine latitude in these things, by which wee find the
1686 degrees. The next thing to the stature, is the figure and feature in Lan-
1687 guage: that is, whether it be round, and streight, which consists of short
1688 and succinct Periods, numerous, and polish'd, or square and firme; which
1689 is to have equall and strong parts, every where answerable, and weighed.
1690 The third is the skinne, and coat, which rests in the well-joyning, cemen-
1691 ting, and coagmentation of words; when as it is smooth, gentle, and
1692 sweet; like a Table, upon which you may runne your finger without
1693 rubs, and your nayle cannot find a joynt; not horrid, rough, wrinck-
1694 led, gaping, or chapt: After these the flesh, blood, and bones come in
1695 question. Wee say it is a fleshy style, when there is much Periphrasis,
1696 and circuit of words; and when with more then enough, it growes fat
1697 and corpulent; Arvina orationis, full of suet and tallow. It hath blood,
1698 and juyce, when the words are proper and apt, their sound sweet, and
1699 the Phrase neat and pick'd. Oratio uncta, |&| benè pasta. But where there is
1700 Redundancy, both the blood and juyce are faulty, and vitious. Redundat
1701 sanguine, quâ multô plus dicit, quàm necesse est.
Juyce in Language is some-
1702 what lesse then blood; for if the words be but becomming, and signify-
1703 ing, and the sense gentle, there is Juyce: but where that wanteth, the
1704 Language is thinne, flagging, poore, starv'd; scarce covering the bone;
1705 and shewes like stones in a sack. Some men to avoid Redundancy, runne
1706 into that; and while they strive to have no ill blood, or Juyce, they loose
1707 their good. There be some styles againe, that have not lesse blood, but
1708 lesse flesh, and corpulence. These are bony, and sinnewy: Ossa habent, et
1709 nervos.

{{Topic 117}}

{{Subject: authors as dictators}}

Notæ Domini |St.| Albani de doctrin: intemper. Dictator. Aristoteles.

1710 It was well noted by the late L. |St.| Alban, that the study of words is
1711 the first distemper of Learning: Vaine matter the second: And a third
1712 distemper is deceit, or the likenesse of truth. Imposture held up by cre-
1713 dulity. All these are the Cobwebs of Learning, and to let them grow
1714 in us, is either sluttish or foolish. Nothing is more ridiculous, then to
1715 make an Author a Dictator, as the schooles have done Aristotle. The
1716 dammage is infinite, knowledge receives by it. For to many things a
1717 man should owe but a temporary beliefe, and a suspension of his owne
1718 Judgement, not an absolute resignation of himselfe, or a perpetuall cap-
1719 tivity. Let Aristotle, and others have their dues; but if wee can make
1720 farther Discoveries of truth and fitnesse then they, why are we envied?
1721 Let us beware, while wee strive to adde, wee doe not diminish, or de-
1722 face; wee may improve, but not augment. By discrediting falshood,
1723 Truth growes in request. Wee must not goe about like men anguish'd,
1724 and perplex'd, for vitious affectation of praise: but calmely study the
1725 separation of opinions, find the errours have intervened, awake Anti-
1726 quity, call former times into question; but make no parties with the
1727 present, nor follow any fierce undertakers, mingle no matter of doubt-
1728 full credit, with the simplicity of truth, but gently stirre the mould about

{{Page 122}}

1729 the root of the Question, and avoid all digladiations facility of credit,
1730 or superstitious simplicity; seeke the consonancy, and concatenation of
1731 Truth; stoope only to point of necessity; and what leads to convenience.
1732 Then make exact animadversion where style hath degenerated,
1733 where flourish'd, and thriv'd in choisenesse of Phrase, round and cleane
1734 composition of sentence, sweet falling of the clause, varying an illustra-
1735 tion by tropes and figures, weight of Matter, worth of Subject, sound-
1736 nesse of Argument, life of Invention, and depth of Judgement. This
1737 is Monte potiri, to get the hill. For no perfect Discovery can bee made
1738 upon a flat or a levell.

{{Topic 118}}

{{Subject: the best writing}}

De optimo scriptore. Cicero.

1747 Now, that I have informed you in the knowing these things; let mee
1739 leade you by the hand a little farther, in the direction of the use; and
1740 make you an able Writer by practice. The conceits of the mind are
1741 Pictures of things, and the tongue is the Interpreter of those Pictures.
1742 The order of Gods creatures in themselves, is not only admirable, and
1743 glorious, but eloquent; Then he who could apprehend the consequence
1744 of things in their truth, and utter his apprehensions as truly, were the
1745 best Writer, or Speaker. Therefore Cicero said much, when hee said,
1746 Dicere rectè nemo potest, nisi qui prudenter intelligit. The shame of speaking
1747 unskilfully were small, if the tongue onely thereby were disgrac'd: But as
1748 the Image of a King, in his Seale ill-represented, is not so much a ble-
1749 mish to the waxe, or the Signet that seal'd it, as to the Prince it represen-
1750 teth; so disordered speech is not so much injury to the lips that give it
1751 forth, as to the disproportion, and incoherence of things in themselves,
1752 so negligently expressed. Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune,
1753 whose words doe jarre; nor his reason in frame, whose sentence is prepo-
1754 sterous; nor his Elocution cleare and perfect, whose utterance breakes
1755 it selfe into fragments and uncertainties: Were it not a dishonour to a
1756 mighty Prince, to have the Majesty of his embassage spoyled by a care-
1757 lesse Ambassadour? and is it not as great an Indignity, that an excellent
1758 conceit and capacity, by the indiligence of an idle tongue should be dis-
1759 grac'd? Negligent speech doth not onely discredit the person of the
1760 Speaker, but it discrediteth the opinion of his reason and judgement; it
1761 discrediteth the force and uniformity of the matter, and substance. If it
1762 be so then in words, which fly and escape censure, and where one good
1763 Phrase begs pardon for many incongruities, and faults; how shall he then
1764 be thought wise, whose penning is thin and shallow? How shall you
1765 looke for wit from him, whose leasure and head, assisted with the exami-
1766 nation of his eyes, yeeld you no life, or sharpenesse in his writing.

{{Topic 119}}

{{Subject: invention in epistolary style: brevity}}

De stylo Epistolari. Inventio.

1767 In writingthere is to be regarded the Invention, and the Fashion. For
1768 the Invention, that ariseth upon your busines; whereof there can bee no
1769 rules of more certainty, or precepts of better direction given, then con-
1770 jecture can lay downe, from the severall occasions of mens particular
1771 lives, and vocations: But sometimes men make baseness of kindnesse:
1772 As (I could not satisfie my selfe, till I had discharged my remembrance, and
1773 charged my Letters with commendations to you.)
Or, [My busines is no other,
1774 then to testifie my love to you, and to put you in mind of my willingnesse to doe you all
1775 kind offices.
] Or, [Sir, have you leasure to descend to the remembring of that
1776 assurance you have long possest in your servant; and upon your next opportunity,
1777 make him happy with some commands from you?
] Or, the like; that goe a

{{Page 123}}

Modus. I. Brevitas.

1778 begging for some meaning, and labour to be deliver'd of the great bur-
1779 then of nothing. When you have invented, and that your busines bee
1780 matter, and not bare forme, or meere Ceremony, but some earnest: then
1781 are you to proceed to the ordering of it, and digesting the parts, which is
1782 had out of two circumstances. One is the understanding of the Persons,
1783 to whom you are to write; the other is the coherence of your Sentence.
1784 For mens capacity to weigh, what will be apprehended with greatest at-
1785 tention, or leisure; what next regarded, and long'd for especially; and
1786 what last will leave satisfaction, and (as it were) the sweetest memoriall,
1787 and beliefe of all that is past in his understanding, whom you write to.
1788 For the consequence of Sentences, you must bee sure, that every clause
1789 doe give the Q. one to the other, and be bespoken ere it come. So much
1790 for Invention and order. Now for fashion it consists in foure things, which
1791 are Qualities of your style. The first is Brevity. For they must not be
1792 Treatises, or Discourses (your Letters) except it be to learned men. And
1793 even among them, there is a kind of thrift, and saving of words. There-
1794 fore you are to examine the clearest passages of your understanding, and
1795 through them to convey the sweetest, and most significant words you
1796 can devise; that you may the easier teach them the readiest way to an
1797 other mans apprehension, and open their meaning fully, roundly, and
1798 distinctly. So as the Reader may not thinke a second view cast away
1799 upon your letter. And though respect bee a part following this; yet
1800 now here, and still I must remember it, if you write to a man, whose
1801 estate and cense as senses, you are familiar with, you may the bolder (to
1802 set a taske to his braine) venter on a knot. But if to your Superior, you
1803 are bound to measure him in three farther points: First, your interest in
1804 him: Secondly, his capacity in your Letters: Thirdly, his leasure to
1805 peruse them. For your interest, or favour with him, you are to bee the
1806 shorter, or longer, more familiar, or submisse, as hee will afford you
1807 time. For his capacity you are to be quicker, and fuller of those reaches,
1808 and glances of wit, or learning, as hee is able to entertaine them. For
1809 his leasure, you are commanded to the greater briefnesse, as his place is
1810 of greater discharges, and cares. But, with your betters, you are not
1811 to put Riddles of wit, by being too scarse of words: not to cause the
1812 trouble of making Breviates, by writing too riotous, and wastingly.
1813 Brevity is attained in matter, by avoiding idle Complements, Prefaces,
1814 Protestations, Parentheses, superfluous circuit of figures, and digressions:
1815 In the composition, by omitting Conjunctions, [Not onely; ButAlso]
1816 [Both the one, and the other, whereby it commeth to passe] and such like idle
1817 Particles, that have no great busines in a serious Letter, but breaking of
1818 sentences; as often times a short journey is made long, by unnecessary
1819 baits.

{{Topic 120}}

{{Subject: perspicuity, life, and discerning}}

Quintilian. 2. Perspicu{{i}}tas.

1820 But as Quintilian saith, there is a briefnesse of the parts sometimes,
1821 that makes the whole long, as I came to the staires, I tooke a paire of
1822 oares, they launch'd out, rowed a pace, I landed at the Court-gate, I
1823 paid my fayre, went up to the Presence, ask'd for my Lord, I was ad-
1824 mitted. All this is, but I went to the Court, and speake with my Lord.
1825 This is the fault of some Latine Writers, within these last hundred years,
1826 of my reading, and perhaps Seneca may be appeacht of it; I accuse him
1827 not. The next property of Epistolarie style is Perspicuity, and is often

{{Page 124}}

3. Vigor. 4. Discretio

1828 times by affectation of some wit ill angled for, or ostentation of some
1829 hidden termes of Art. Few words they darken speech, and so doe too
1830 many: as well too much light hurteth the eyes, as too little; and a long
1831 Bill of Chancery confounds the understanding, as much as the shortest
1832 note. Therefore, let not your Letters be penn'd like English Statutes, and
1833 this is obtain'd. These vices are eschewed by pondering your busines
1834 well, and distinctly concerning your selfe, which is much furthered by
1835 uttering your thoughts, and letting them as well come forth to the light,
1836 and Judgement of your owne outward senses, as to the censure of other
1837 mens eares: For that is the reason, why many good Schollers speake
1838 but fumblingly; like a rich man, that, for want of particular note and
1839 difference, can bring you no certaine ware readily out of his shop. Hence
1840 it is, that talkative shallow men doe often content the Hearers, more then
1841 the wise. But this may find a speedier redresse in writing; where all comes
1842 under the last examination of the eyes. First mind it well, then pen it,
1843 then examine it, then amend it; and you may bee in the better hope of
1844 doing reasonably well. Vnder this vertue may come Plainenesse, which
1845 is not to be curious in the order, as to answer a letter, as if you were to
1846 answer to Intergatories. As to the first, first; and to the second, secondly,
1847 |&c.| But both in method to use (as Ladies doe in their attyre) a diligent
1848 kind of negligence, and their sportive freedome; though with some
1849 men you are not to jest, or practise tricks: yet the delivery of the most
1850 important things, may be carried with such a grace, as that it may yeeld
1851 a pleasure to the conceit of the Reader. There must bee store, though
1852 no excesse of termes; as if you are to name Store, sometimes you may
1853 call it choyse, sometimes plenty; sometimes copiousnesse, or variety:
1854 but ever so, that the word which comes in lieu, have not such difference
1855 of meaning, as that it may put the sense of the first in hazard to be mista-
1856 ken. You are not to cast a Ring for the perfumed termes of the time, as
1857 Accommodation, Complement, Spirit, |&c.| But use them properly in their
1858 place, as others. There followeth Life, and Quicknesse, which is the
1859 strength and sinnewes (as it were) of your penning by pretty Sayings,
1860 Similitudes, and Conceits, Allusions, some knowne History, or other
1861 common place, such as are in the Courtier, and the second booke of
1862 Cicero de oratore.The last is; Respect to discerne, what fits your selfe;
1863 him to whom you write; and that which you handle, which is a quality
1864 fit to conclude the rest, because it doth include all. And that must pro-
1865 ceed from ripenesse of judgement, which as one truly saith, is gotten by
1866 foure meanes, God, Nature, Diligence, and Conversation. Serve the first
1867 well, and the rest will serve you.

{{Topic 121}}

{{Subject: of poetry}}

De Poetica.

1868 We have spoken sufficiently of Oratory; let us now make a diversion to
1869 Poetry. Poetry in the Primogeniture had many peccant humours, and is
1870 made to have more now, through the Levity, and inconstancie of mens
1871 Judgements. Whereas indeed, it is the most prevailing Eloquence, and of
1872 the most exalted Charact. Now the discredits and disgraces are many
1873 it hath receiv'd, through mens study of Depravation or Calumny:
1874 their practise being to give it diminution of Credit, by lessening the Pro-
1875 fessors estimation, and making the Age afraid of their Liberty: And
1876 the Age is growne so tender of her fame, as she cals all writings Asper-
1877 sions

{{Page 125}}

1878 That is the State-word, the Phrase of Court, (Placentia Colledge) which
1879 some call Parasites Place, the Inne of Ignorance.

D. Hieronimus.

1880 Whilst I name no persons, but deride follies; why should any man con-
1881 fesse, or betray himselfe? why doth not that of S. Hierome come into their
1882 minde; Vbi generalis est de vitiis disputatio, ibi nullius esse personæ injuriam? It is
1883 such an inexpiable crime in Poets, to taxe vices generally; and no offence in
1884 them who, by their exception, confesse they have committed them parti-
1885 cularly. Are wee fal'ne into those times that wee must not

Pers. Sat. I. Livius.

1886 Auriculas teneras mordaci rodere vero?

1887 Remedii votum semper verius erat, quâm spes. If men may by no meanes write
1888 freely, or speake truth, but when it offends not; why doe Physicians cure
1889 with sharpe medicines, or corrosives? Is not the same equally lawfull in the
1890 cure of the minde, that is in the cure of the body? Some vices, (you will
1891 say) are soe foule, that it is better they should bee done, then spoken. But
1892 they that take offence where no Name, Character, or Signature doth blazon
1893 them, seeme to mee like affected as woemen; who, if they heare any thing

Sexus fæmin' :

1894 ill spoken of the ill of their Sexe, are presently mov'd, as if the contumely
1895 respected their particular: and, on the contrary, when they heare good of
1896 good woemen, conclude, that it belongs to them all. If I see any thing that
1897 toucheth mee, shall I come forth a betraier of my selfe, presently? No; if I
1898 be wise, i'le dissemble it; if honest, i'le avoid it: lest I publish that on my
1899 owne forehead, which I saw there noted without a title. A man, that is on
1900 the mending hand, will either ingeniously confesse, or wisely dissemble his
1901 disease. And, the wise, and vertuous, will never thinke any thing belongs
1902 to themselves that is written, but rejoyce that the good are warn'd not to
1903 bee such; and the ill to leave to bee such. The Person offended hath no rea-
1904 son to bee offended with the writer, but with himselfe; and so to declare that
1905 properly to belong to him, which was so spoken of all men, as it could bee
1906 no mans severall but his that would willfully and desperately clayme it.
1907 It sufficeth I know, what kinde of persons I displease, men bred in the decli-
1908 ning, and decay of vertue, betroth'd to their owne vices; that have abando-
1909 ned, or prostituted their good names; hungry and ambitious of infamy,
1910 invested in all deformity, enthrall'd to ignorance and malice, of a hidden
1911 and conceal'd malignitie, and that hold a concomitancy with all evill.

What is a Poet?

{{Topic 122}}

{{Subject: the poet}}


1912 A Poet is that, which by the Greeks is call'd kat exoch{ee}n, o Poi{ee}t{ee}s, a Ma-
1913 ker, or a fainer: His Art, an Art of imitation, or faining; expressing the life
1914 of man in fit measure, numbers, and harmony, according to Aristotle: From
1915 the word poiein, which signifies to make or fayne. Hence, hee is call'd a
1916 Poet, not hee which writeth in measure only; but that fayneth and formeth
1917 a fable, and writes things like the Truth. For, the Fable and Fiction is (as
1918 it were) the forme and Soule of any Poeticall worke, or Poeme.

1919 What meane you by a Poeme?

{{Topic 123}}

{{Subject: the poem}}

Poema. Virgilius. Aeneid. lib. 3. Martial. lib. 8. epigr. 19.

1920 A Poeme is not alone any worke, or composition of the Poets in many,
1921 or few verses; but even one alone verse sometimes makes a perfect Poeme.
1922 As, when Aeneas hangs up, and consecrates the Armes of Abàs, with this In-
1923 scription; Aeneas hæc de Danais victoribus arma. And calls
1924 it a Poeme, or Carmen. Such are those in Martiall.

1925 Omnia, Castor, emis: sic fiet, ut omnia vendas.And
1926 Pauper videri Cinna vult, |&| est pauper.

{{Page 126}}

Horatius. Lucretius.

[[Pauper videri Cinna vult, |&| est pauper.]]

1927 So were Horace his Odes call'd, Carmina; his Lirik, Songs. And Lucretius de-
1928 signes a whole booke, in his sixt:

1929 Quod in primo quoque carmine claret.

Epicum. Dramaticum. Liricum. Elegiacum. Epigramat.

1930 And anciently, all the Oracles were call'd, Carmina; or, what ever Sentence
1931 was express'd, were it much, or little, it was call'd, an Epick, Dramatick, Li-
1932 rike, Elegiake
, or Epigrammatike Poeme.

{{Topic 124}}

{{Subject: poesy}}


1933 But, how differs a Poeme from what wee call Poesy?

Artium. Regina. Aristotle. M. T. Cicero. Poet: differentia.
Grammatica. Logic. Rhetoric. Ethica.

1934 A Poeme, as I have told you is the worke of the Poet; the end, and fruit
1935 of his labour, and studye. Poesy is his skill, or Crafte of making: the very
1936 Fiction it selfe, the reason, or forme of the worke. And these three voices
1937 differ, as the thing done, the doing, and the doer; the thing fain'd, the fai-
1938 ning, and the fainer: so the Poeme, the Poesy, and the Poet. Now, the Poesy is the
1939 habit, or the Art: nay, rather the Queene of Arts: which had her Originall
1940 from heaven, received thence from the 'Ebrewes, and had in prime estimati-
1941 on with the Greeks, transmitted to the Latines, and all Nations, that profess'd
1942 Civility. The Study of it (if wee will trust Aristotle) offers to mankinde a
1943 certaine rule, and Patterne of living well, and happily; disposing us to all
1944 Civill offices of Society. If wee will beleive Tully, it nourisheth, and instru-
1945 cteth our Youth; delights our Age; adornes our prosperity; comforts our
1946 Adversity; entertaines us at home; keepes us company abroad, travailes
1947 with us; watches; devides the times of our earnest, and sports; shares in our
1948 Country recesses, and recreations; insomuch as the wisest, and best learned
1949 have thought her the absolute Mistresse of manners; and neerest of kin to
1950 Vertue. And, wheras they entitle Philosophy to bee a rigid, and austere Poesie:
1951 they have (on the contrary) stiled Poesy, a dulcet, and gentle Philosophy, which
1952 leades on, and guides us by the hand to Action, with a ravishing delight, and
1953 incredible Sweetnes. But, before wee handle the kindes of Poems, with their
1954 speciall differences; or make court to the Art it selfe, as a Mistresse, I would
1955 leade you to the knowledge of our Poet, by a perfect Information, what he is,
1956 or should bee by nature, by exercise, by imitation, by Studie; and so bring
1957 him downe through the disciplines of Grammar, Logicke, Rhetoricke, and the
1958 Ethicks, adding somewhat, out of all, peculiar to himselfe, and worthy of
1959 your Admittance, or reception.

{{Topic 125}}

{{Subject: the poet's parts}}

1. Ingenium. Seneca. Plato. Aristotle. Helicon. Pegassus. Parnasus. Ovidius. Lipsius.

1960 First, wee require in our Poet, or maker, (for that Title our Language af-
1961 fordes him, elegantly, with the Greeke) a goodnes of naturall wit. For, wher-
1962 as all other Arts consist of Doctrine, and Precepts: the Poet must bee able
1963 by nature, and instinct, to powre out the Treasure of his minde; and, as Se-
1964 neca
saith, Aliquando secundum Anacreontem insanire, jucundum esse: by which
1965 hee understands, the Poeticall Rapture. And according to that of Plato; Frustrà
1966 Poeticas fores sui compos pulsavit:
And of Aristotle; Nullum magnum ingenium
1967 sine mixturâ dementiæ fuit. Nec potest grande aliquid, |&| supra cæteros loqui, nisi
1968 mota mens.
Then it riseth higher, as by a devine Instinct, when it contemnes
1969 common, and knowne conceptions. It utters somewhat above a mortall
1970 mouth. Then it gets a loft, and flies away with his Ryder, whether, be-
1971 fore, it was doubtfull to ascend. This the Poets understood by their Helicon,
1972 Pegasus, or Parnassus; and this made Ovid to boast:

1973 Est, Deus in nobis; agitante calescimus illo:
1974 Sedibus æthereis spiritus ille venit.

1975 And Lipsius, to affirme; Scio, Poetam neminem præstantem fuisse, sine parte quadam
1976 uberiore divinæ auræ.
And, hence it is, that the comming up of good Poets,

{{Page 127}}

Petron. in fragm. 2. Exercitatio.
Virgill. Scaliger. Valer. Maximus. Euripides.
Alcestis. 3. Imitatio. Horatius. Virgilius.
Statius. Homer. Horat. Archil. Alceus.
|&c.| 4. Lectio. Parnassus. Helicon.
Ars coron. M. T. Cicero.

1977 (for I minde not mediocres, or imos) is so thinne and rare among us; Every
1978 beggerly Corporation affoords the State a Major, or two Bailiffs, yearly:
1979 but, solus Rex, aut Poeta, non quotannis nascitur. To this perfection of Nature
1980 in our Poet, wee require Exercise of those parts, and frequent. If his wit will
1981 not arrive soddainly at the dignitie of the Ancients, let him not yet fall out
1982 with it, quarrell, or be over hastily Angry: offer, to turne it away from Stu-
1983 dy, in a humor; but come to it againe upon better cogitation; try an other
1984 time, with labour. If then it succeed not, cast not away the Quills, yet: nor
1985 scratch the Wainescott, beate not the poore Deske; but bring all to the forge,
1986 and file, againe; tourne it a newe. There is no Statute Law of the Kingdome
1987 bidds you bee a Poet, against your will; or the first Quarter. If it come, in a
1988 yeare, or two, it is well. The common Rymers powre forth Verses, such as
1989 they are, (ex tempore) but there never come from them one Sense, worth the
1990 life of a Day. A Rymer, and a Poet, are two things. It is said of the incom-
1991 parable Virgil, that he brought forth his verses like a Beare, and after form'd
1992 them with licking. Scaliger, the Father, writes it of him, that he made a quan-
1993 titie of verses in the morning, which a fore night hee reduced to a lesse num-
1994 er. But, that which Valerius Maximus hath left recorded of Euripides, the
1995 tragicke Poet, his answer to Alcestis, an other Poet, is as memorable, as modest:
1996 who, when it was told to Alcestis, that Euripides had in three daies brought
1997 forth, but three verses, and those with some difficultie, and throwes; Alcestis,
1998 glorying hee could with ease have sent forth a hundred in the space; Euripi-
1999 des
roundly repl'd, like enough. But, here is the difference; Thy verses will
2000 not last those three daies; mine will to all time. Which was, as to tell him, he
2001 could not write a verse. I have met many of these Rattles, that made a noyse,
2002 and buz'de. They had their humme; and, no more. Indeed, things, wrote
2003 with labour, deserve to be so read, and will last their Age. The third requi-
2004 site in our Poet, or Maker, is Imitation, to bee able to convert the substance, or
2005 Riches of an other Poet, to his owne use. To make choise of one excellent
2006 man above the rest, and so to follow him, till he grow very Hee: or, so like
2007 him, as the Copie may be mistaken for the Principall. Not, as a Creature,
2008 that swallowes, what it takes in, crude, raw, or indigested; but, that feedes
2009 with an Appetite, and hath a Stomacke to concoct, devide, and turne all into
2010 nourishment. Not, to imitate servilely, as Horace saith, and catch at vices, for
2011 vertue: but, to draw forth out of the best, and choisest flowers, with the Bee,
2012 and turne all into Honey, worke it into one relish, and savour: make our Imi-
2013 tation
sweet: observe, how the best writers have imitated, and follow them.
2014 How Virgil, and Statius have imitated Homer: how Horace, Archilochus; how,
2015 Alcæus, and the other Lyricks: and so of the rest. But, that, which wee espe-
2016 cially require in him is an exactnesse of Studie, and multiplicity of reading,
2017 which maketh a full man, not alone enabling him to know the History, or
2018 Argument of a Poeme, and to report it: but so to master the matter, and Stile,
2019 as to shew, hee knowes, how to handle, place, or dispose of either, with ele-
2020 gancie
, when need shall bee. And not thinke, hee can leape forth suddainely
2021 a Poet, by dreaming hee hath been in Parnassus, or, having washt his lipps (as
2022 they say) in Helicon. There goes more to his making, then so. For to Na-
2023 ture, Exercise, Imitation, and Studie, Art must bee added, to make all these
2024 perfect. And, though these challenge to themselves much, in the making up
2025 of our Maker, it is Art only can lead him to perfection, and leave him there
2026 in possession, as planted by her hand. It is the assertion of Tully, If to an ex-
2027 cellent nature, there happen an accession, or conformation of Learning, and

{{Page 128}}

Simylus. Stob. Horatius. Aristoteles. Virorum
schola Respub. Lysippus. Apelles. Navius. L. Aelius.
Stilo. Plautus. M. Varro.

2028 Discipline, there will then remaine somewhat noble, and singular. For, as
2029 Simylus saith in Stobæus; oute phusis ikan{ee} ginetai techn{ee}s ater, oute pan techn{ee} m{ee} phyusin
2030 kekt{ee}men{ee} without Art, Nature can nere bee perfect; |&|, without Nature, Art
2031 can clayme no being. But, our Poet must beware, that his Studie bee not
2032 only to learne of himself; for, hee that shall affect to doe that, confesseth his
2033 ever having a Foole to his master. Hee must read many; but, ever the best,
2034 and choisest: those, that can teach him any thing, hee must ever account his
2035 masters, and reverence: among whom Horace, and (hee that taught him)
2036 Aristotle, deserv'd to bee the first in estimation. Aristotle, was the first accu-
2037 rate Criticke, and truest Judge; nay, the greatest Philosopher, the world ever
2038 had: for, hee noted the vices of all knowledges, in all creatures, and out of
2039 many mens perfections in a Science, hee formed still one Art. So hee taught
2040 us two Offices together, how we ought to judge rightly of others, and what
2041 wee ought to imitate specially in our selves. But all this in vaine, without a
2042 naturall wit, and a Poeticall nature in chiefe. For, no man, so soone as hee
2043 knowes this, or reades it, shall be able to write the better; but as he is adapted
2044 to it by Nature, he shall grow the perfecter Writer. Hee must have Civil
2045 prudence
, and Eloquence, |&| that whole; not taken up by snatches, or peeces, in
2046 Sentences, or remnants, when he will handle businesse, or carry Counsells,
2047 as if he came then out of the Declamors Gallerie, or Shadowe, furnish'd but
2048 out of the body of the State, which commonly is the Schoole of men. The
2049 Poet is the neerest Borderer upon the Orator, and expresseth all his vertues,
2050 though he be tyed more to numbers; is his equall in ornament, and above
2051 him in his strengths. And, (of the kind) the Comicke comes neerest: Because,
2052 in moving the minds of men, and stirring of affections (in which Oratory
2053 shewes, and especially approves her eminence) hee chiefly excells. What fi-
2054 gure of a Body was Lysippus ever able to forme with his Graver; or Apelles
2055 to paint with his Pencill, as the Comedy to life expresseth so many, and
2056 various affections of the minde? There shall the Spectator see some, insul-
2057 ting with Joy; others, fretting with Melancholy; raging with Anger; mad
2058 with Love; boiling with Avarice; undone with Riot; tortur'd with expecta-
2059 tion; consum'd with feare: no perturbation in common life, but the Orator
2060 findes an example of it in the Scene. And then, for the Elegancy of Lan-
2061 guage, read but this Inscription on the Grave of a Comicke Poet:

2062 Immortales mortales, si fas esset, flere,
2063 Flerent divæ Camæncæ Nævium Poetam;
2064 Itaque postquam est Orcino traditus thesauro,
2065 Obliti sunt Romæ, linguâ loqui Latinâ.

2066 Or, that modester Testimonie given by Lucius Aelius. Stilo upon Plautus; who
2067 affirmed, Musas, si latinè loqui voluissent, Plautino sermone fuisse loquuturas. And
2068 that illustrious judgement by the most learned M. Varro of him; who pro-
2069 nounced him the Prince of Letters, and Elegancie, in the Roman Language.


2070 I am not of that opinion to conclude a Poets liberty within the narrowe
2071 limits of lawes, which either the Grammarians, or Philosophers prescribe. For,
2072 before they found out those Lawes, there were many excellent Poets, that
2073 fulfill'd them. Amongst whome none more perfect then Sophocles, who liv'd
2074 a little before Aristotle.

Demosthenes. Pericles Alcibiades.

2075 Which of the Greekelings durst ever give precepts to Demosthenes? or to
2076 Pericles, (whom the Age surnam'd heavenly) because he seem'd to thunder,
2077 and lighten, with his Language? or to Alcibiades, who had rather Nature
2078 for his guide, then Art for his master?

{{Page 129}}


2079 But, whatsoever Nature at any time dictated to the most happie; or long
2080 exercise to the most laborious, that the wisdome, and Learning of Aristotle,
2081 hath brought into an Art: because, he understood the Causes of things: and
2082 what other men did by chance or custome, he doth by reason; and not only
2083 found out the way not to erre, but the short way we should take, not to erre.

Euripides. Aristophanes.

2084 Many things in Euripides hath Aristophanes wittily reprehended; not out
2085 of Art, but out of Truth. For, Euripides is sometimes peccant, as he is most
2086 times perfect. But, Judgement when it is greatest, if reason doth not accom-
2087 pany it, is not ever absolute.

Cens: Scal: in Lil. Germ. Senec: de brev: vit:
cap. 13 |&| epist. 88. Horace. Heins: de Sat. 265.
Pag. 267. Pag. 270. 271. Pag. 273. |&| seq. Pag: in.
comm. 153. |&| seq.

2088 To judge of Poets is only the facultie of Poets; and not of all Poets, but
2089 the best. Nemo infæliciùs de Poetis judicavit, quàm qui de Poetis scripsit. But, some
2090 will say, Criticks are a kind of Tinkers; that make more faults, then they
2091 mend ordinarily. See their diseases, and those of Grammarians. It is true,
2092 many bodies are the worse for the medling with: And the multitude of Physi-
2093 cians
hath destroyed many sound patients, with their wrong practise. But the
2094 office of a true Critick, or Censor, is, not to throw by a letter any where, or
2095 damne an innocent Syllabe, but lay the words together, and amend them;
2096 judge sincerely of the Author, and his matter, which is the signe of solid, and
2097 perfect learning in a man. Such was Horace, an Author of much Civilitie;
2098 and (if any one among the heathen can be) the best master, both of vertue,
2099 and wisdome; an excellent, and true judge upon cause, and reason; not be-
2100 cause he thought so; but because he knew so, out of use and experience.

2101 Cato, the Grammarian, a defender of Lucilius.
2102 Cato Grammaticus, Latina Syren,
2103 Qui solus legit, |&| facit Poetas.
2104 Quintilian of the same heresie, but rejected.
2105 Horace his judgement of Chærillus, defended against Ioseph Scali-
2106 ger
. And, of Laberius, against Julius.

2107 But chiefly his opinion of Plautus, vindicated against many, that are offen-
2108 ded, and say, it is a hard Censure upon the parent of all conceipt, and sharp-
2109 nesse. And, they wish it had not fallen from so great a master, and Censor in
2110 the Art: whose bondmen knew better how to judge of Plautus, then any that
2111 dare patronize the family of learning in this Age; who could not bee igno-
2112 rant of the judgement of the times, in which hee liv'd, when Poetrie, and the
2113 Latin Language were at the height: especially, being a man so conversant,
2114 and inwardly familiar with the censures of great men, that did discourse of
2115 these things daily amongst themselves. Againe, a man so gratious, and in
2116 high favour with the Emperour, as Augustus often called him his wittie Man-
2117 ling
, (for the littlenes of his stature;) and (if wee may trust Antiquity) had
2118 design'd him for a Secretary of Estate; and invited him to the place, which he
2119 modestly praid off, and refus'd.

Terence. Menander.

2120 Horace did so highly esteeme Terence his Comedies, as he ascribes the Art
2121 in Comedie to him alone, among the Latines, and joynes him with Menander.

2122 Now, let us see what may be said for either, to defend Horace his judge-
2123 ment to posterity; and not wholly to condemne Plautus.

{{Topic 126}}

{{Subject: comedy and tragedy}}

The parts of a Comedie and Tragedie.

2124 The parts of a Comedie are the same with a Tragedie, and the end is partly
2125 the same. For, they both delight, and teach the Comicks are call'd didaskaloi,
2126 of the Greekes; no lesse then the Tragicks.


2127 Nor, is the moving of laughter alwaies the end of Comedy, that is rather
2128 a fowling for the peoples delight, or their fooling. For, as Aristotle saies
2129 rightly, the moving of laughter is a fault in Comedie, a kind of turpitude,

{{Page 130}}

Plato. Homer.

2130 that depraves some part of a mans nature without a disease. As a wry face
2131 without paine moves laughter, or a deformed vizard, or a rude Clowne,
2132 drest in a Ladies habit, and using her actions, wee dislike, and scorne such re-
2133 presentations; which made the ancient Philosophers ever thinke laughter
2134 unfitting in a wise man. And this induc'd Plato to esteeme of Homer, as a sa-
2135 crilegious Person; because [[t]]he presented the Gods sometimes laughing. As,
2136 also it is divinely said of Aristotle, that to seeme ridiculous is a part of disho-
2137 nesty, and foolish.

The wit of the old Comedy.

2138 So that, what either in the words, or Sense of an Author, or in the lan-
2139 guage, or Actions of men, is a wry, or depraved, doth strangely stirre meane
2140 affections, and provoke for the most part to laughter. And therefore it was
2141 cleare that all insolent, and obscene speaches, jest upon the best men; injuries
2142 to particular persons; perverse, and sinister Sayings (and the rather unexpe-
2143 cted) in the old Comedy did move laughter; especially, where it did imitate
2144 any dishonesty; and scurrility came forth in the place of wit: which who
2145 understands the nature and Genius of laughter, cannot but perfectly know.

Aristophanes. Plautus.

2146 Of which Aristophanes affords an ample harvest, having not only out[[,]]{{-}}
2147 gone Plautus, or any other in that kinde; but express'd all the moods, and fi-
2148 gures, of what is ridiculous, oddly. In short, as Vinegar is not accounted
2149 good, untill the wine be corrupted: so jests that are true and naturall, sel-
2150 dome raise laughter, with the beast, the multitude. They love nothing, that
2151 is right, and proper. The farther it runs from reason, or possibility with
2152 them, the better it is.

Socrates. Theatricall wit.

2153 What could have made them laugh, like to see Socrates presented, that
2154 Example of all good life, honesty, and vertue, to have him hoisted up with
2155 a Pullie, and there play the Philosopher, in a basquet? Measure, how many
2156 foote a Flea could skip Geometrically, by a just Scale, and edifie the people
2157 from the ingine. This was Theatricall wit, right Stage-jesting, and relishing
2158 a Play-house, invented for scorne, and laughter; whereas, if it had savour'd
2159 of equity, truth, perspicuity, and Candor, to have tasten a wise, or a learned
2160 Palate, spit it out presantly; this is bitter and profitable, this instructs, and
2161 would informe us: what neede wee know any thing, that are nobly borne,
2162 more then a Horse-race, or a hunting-match, our day to breake with Citi-
2163 zens, and such innate mysteries.

The Cart.

2164 This is truly leaping from the Stage, to the Tumbrell againe, reducing
2165 all witt to the Originall Dungcart.

2166 Of the magnitude, and compasse of any {{Fable}} [[Table]],
2167 Epicke, or Dramatick.

{{Topic 127}} {{Subject: the fable}}

What the measure of a Fable is. The Fable, or Plott of a Poeme, defin'd.
The Epick fable.

2168 To the resolving of this Question, wee must first agree in the definition of
2169 the Fable. The Fable is call'd the Imitation of one intire, and perfect Action;
2170 whose parts are so joyned, and knitt together, as nothing in the structure can
2171 be chang'd or taken away, without imparing, or troubling the whole; of
2172 which there is a proportionable magnitude in the members. As for ex-
2173 ample; if a man would build a house, he would first appoint a place to build
2174 it in, which he would define within certaine bounds: So in the Constitution
2175 of a Poeme, the Action is aym'd at by the Poet, which answers Place in a buil-
2176 ding; and that Action hath his largenesse, compasse, and proportion. But, as
2177 a Court or Kings Palace requires other dimensions then a private house:
2178 So the Epick askes a magnitude, from other Poems. Since, what is Place in
2179 the one, is Action in the other, the difference is in space. So that by this de-
2180 finition wee conclude the fable, to be the imitation of one perfect, and intire

{{Page 131}}

differing from the Dramaticke.

2181 Action; as one perfect, and intire place is requir'd to a building. By perfect,
2182 wee understand that, to which nothing is wanting; as Place to the building,
2183 that is rais'd, and Action to the fable, that is form'd. It is perfect, perhaps,
2184 not for a Court, or Kings Palace, which requires a greater ground; but for
2185 the structure wee would raise, so the space of the Action, may not prove
2186 large enough for the Epick Fable, yet bee perfect for the Dramatick, and;
2187 whole.

{{Topic 128}}

{{Subject: the whole}}

What wee understand by Whole.

2188 Whole, wee call that, and perfect, which hath a beginning, a mid'st, and an
2189 end. So the place of any building may be whole, and intire, for that worke;
2190 though too little for a palace. As, to a Tragedy or a Comedy, the Action may
2191 be convenient, and perfect, that would not fit an Epicke Poeme in Magnitude.
2192 So a Lion is a perfect creature in himselfe, though it bee lesse, then that of a
2193 Buffalo, or a Rhinocerote. They differ; but in specie: either in the kinde is abso-
2194 lute. Both have their parts, and either the whole. Therefore, as in every
2195 body; so in every Action, which is the subject of a just worke, there is re-
2196 quir'd a certaine proportionable greatnesse, neither too vast, nor too minute.
2197 For that which happens to the Eyes, when wee behold a body, the same
2198 happens to the Memorie, when wee contemplate an action. I looke upon a
2199 monstrous Giant, as Tityus, whose body cover'd nine Acres of Land, and
2200 mine eye stickes upon every part; the whole that consists of those parts, will
2201 never be taken in at one intire view. So in a Fable, if the Action be too great
2202 wee can never comprehend the whole together in our Imagination. Againe,
2203 if it be too little, there ariseth no pleasure out of the object, it affords the
2204 view no stay: It is beheld and vanisheth at once. As if wee should looke upon
2205 an Ant or Pismyre, the parts fly the sight, and the whole considered is almost
2206 nothing. The same happens in Action, which is the object of Memory, as
2207 the body is of sight. Too vast oppresseth the Eyes, and exceeds the Memo-
2208 ry: too little scarce admits either.

{{Topic 129}}

{{Subject: fit bounds}}

What the utmost bound of a fable.

2209 Now, in every Action it behooves the Poet to know which is his utmost
2210 bound, how farre with fitnesse, and a necessary proportion, he may produce,
2211 and determine it. That is, till either good fortune change into the worse,
2212 or the worse into the better. For as a body without proportion cannot be
2213 goodly, no more can the Action, either in Comedy, or Tragedy without
2214 his fit bounds. And every bound for the nature of the Subject, is esteem'd
2215 the best that is largest, till it can increase no more: so it behooves the Action
2216 in Tragedy, or Comedy, to be let grow, till the necessity aske a Conclusion:
2217 wherin two things are to be considered; First, that it exceed not the com-
2218 passe of one Day: Next, that there be place left for digression, and Art. For
2219 the Episodes, and digressions in a Fable, are the same that houshold stuffe, and
2220 other furniture are in a house. And so farre for the measure, and extent of a
2221 Fable Dramaticke.

{{Topic 130}}

{{Subject: unity and completeness}}

What by one, and intire.

2222 Now, that it should be one, and intire. One is considerable two waies: ei-
2223 ther, as it is only separate, and by itself: or as being compos'd of many parts,
2224 it beginnes to be one, as those parts grow, or are wrought together. That it
2225 should be one the first way alone, and by it self, no man that hath tasted let-
2226 ters ever would say, especially having required before a just Magnitude,
2227 and equall Proportion of the parts in themselves. Neither of which can
2228 possibly bee, if the Action be single and separate, not compos'd of parts,
2229 which laid together in themselves, with an equall and fitting proportion,
2230 tend to the same end; which thing out of Antiquitie it selfe, hath deceiv'd
2231 many; and more this Day it doth deceive.

{{Page 132}}

Hercules. Theseus. Achilles. Vlysses. Homer, and Virgill. Aeneas. Venus. Homer:

2232 So many there be of old, that have thought the Action of one man to be
2233 one: As of Hercules, Theseus, Achilles, Ulysses, and other Heroes; which is both
2234 foolish and false; since by one and the same person many things may be se-
2235 verally done, which cannot fitly be referred, or joyned to the same end:
2236 which not only the excellent Tragick-Poets, but the best Masters of the E-
2237 pick, Homer
, and Virgil saw. For though the Argument of an Epick-Poeme be
2238 farre more diffus'd, |&| powr'd out, then that of Tragedy; yet Virgil writing of
2239 Aeneas hath pretermitted many things. He neither tells how he was borne,
2240 how brought up; how he fought with Achilles; how he was snatch'd out of
2241 the battaile by Venus; but that one thing, how he came into Italie, he prose-
2242 cutes in twelve bookes. The rest of his journey, his error by Sea, the Sacke
2243 of Troy, are put not as the Argument of the worke, but Episodes of the Argu-
2244 ment. So Homer lai'd by many things of Ulysses and handled no more, then
2245 he saw tended to one and the same end.

Theseus. Hercules. Iuvenal. Codrus. Sophocles. Ajax. Vlysses.

2246 Contrarie to which and foolishly those Poets did, whom the Philosopher
2247 taxeth; Of whom one gather'd all the Actions of Theseus: another put all
2248 the Labours of Hercules in one worke. So did he, whom Juvenal mentions in
2249 the begining, hoarse Codrus, that recited a volume compil'd, which he call'd
2250 his Theseide, not yet finish'd, to the great trouble both of his hearers and
2251 himself: Amongst which there were many parts had no coherence, nor kin-
2252 dred one with other, so farre they were from being one Action, one Fable.
2253 For as a house, consisting of diverse materialls, becomes one structure, and
2254 one dwelling; so an Action, compos'd of diverse parts, may become one
2255 Fable Epicke, or Dramaticke. For example, in a Tragedy looke upon Sophocles
2256 his Ajax: Ajax depriv'd of Achilles's Armour, which he hop'd from the suf-
2257 frage of the Greekes, disdaines; and, growing impatient of the Injurie, rageth,
2258 and turnes mad. In that humour he doth many senslesse things; and at last
2259 falls upon the Grecian flocke, and kills a great Ramme for Ulysses: Returning
2260 to his Sense, he growes asham'd of the scorne, and kills himself; and is by
2261 the Chiefes of the Greekes forbidden buriall. These things agree, and hang
2262 together, not as they were done; but as seeming to be done, which made the
2263 Action whole, intire, and absolute.

{{Topic 131}}

{{Subject: conclusion}}

The conclusion concerning the Whole, and the Parts. Which are
Episodes. Ajax, and Hector. Homer.

2264 For the whole, as it consisteth of parts; so without all the parts it is not the
2265 whole; and to make it absolute, is requir'd, not only the parts, but such parts
2266 as are true. For a part of the whole was true; which if you take away, you
2267 either change the whole, or it is not the whole. For, if it be such a part, as be-
2268 ing present or absent, nothing concernes the whole, it cannot be call'd a part
2269 of the whole: and such are the Episodes, of which hereafter. For the present,
2270 here is one example; The single Combat of Ajax with Hector, as it is at
2271 large describ'd in Homer, nothing belongs to this Ajax of Sophocles.

Martial. lib. 11. epigr. 91.

2272 You admire no Poems, but such as run like a Brewers-cart upon the stones,
2273 hobling,

2274 Et, quæ per salebras, altaque saxa cadunt.
2275 Actius, |&| quidquid Pacuviusque vomunt.
2276 Attonitusque legis terrai, frugiferai.



Copytext: Jonson 1640.
Source: Benjamin Jonson. Workes. Vol. 2. London: R. Meighen, 1640.
Ed. (text): Ian Lancashire, Rep. Criticism On-line (1996).

Editorial Conventions

This edition omits encoding of horizontal rules, long-s, and ligatures. Old spelling is retained except for ligatured letters, which are normalized. Contractions and abbreviations are placed within vertical bars. Italics and lineation are retained, but not small capitals and the text of catchwords, signatures, and running titles. Original lineation and irregularities in spacing are ignored. Reference citations are by page numbers and editorial through-text topic numbers and line numbers.

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Online text copyright © 2005, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
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