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- Discoveries and Some Poems - 2/20 -

sacrifice to their gut and their groin in their inner closets.

Jactura vitae.--What a deal of cold business doth a man misspend the better part of life in! in scattering compliments, tendering visits, gathering and venting news, following feasts and plays, making a little winter-love in a dark corner.

Hypocrita.--Puritanus Hypocrita est Haereticus, quem opinio propriae perspicaciae, qua sibi videtur, cum paucis in Ecclesia dogmatibus errores quosdam animadvertisse, de statu mentis deturbavit: unde sacro furore percitus, phrenetice pugnat contra magistratus, sic ratus obedientiam praestare Deo. {14}

Mutua auxilia.--Learning needs rest: sovereignty gives it. Sovereignty needs counsel: learning affords it. There is such a consociation of offices between the prince and whom his favour breeds, that they may help to sustain his power as he their knowledge. It is the greatest part of his liberality, his favour; and from whom doth he hear discipline more willingly, or the arts discoursed more gladly, than from those whom his own bounty and benefits have made able and faithful?

Cognit. univers.--In being able to counsel others, a man must be furnished with a universal store in himself, to the knowledge of all nature--that is, the matter and seed-plot: there are the seats of all argument and invention. But especially you must be cunning in the nature of man: there is the variety of things which are as the elements and letters, which his art and wisdom must rank and order to the present occasion. For we see not all letters in single words, nor all places in particular discourses. That cause seldom happens wherein a man will use all arguments.

Consiliarii adjunct. Probitas, Sapientia.--The two chief things that give a man reputation in counsel are the opinion of his honesty and the opinion of his wisdom: the authority of those two will persuade when the same counsels uttered by other persons less qualified are of no efficacy or working.

Vita recta.--Wisdom without honesty is mere craft and cozenage. And therefore the reputation of honesty must first be gotten, which cannot be but by living well. A good life is a main argument.

Obsequentia.--Humanitas.--Solicitudo.--Next a good life, to beget love in the persons we counsel, by dissembling our knowledge of ability in ourselves, and avoiding all suspicion of arrogance, ascribing all to their instruction, as an ambassador to his master, or a subject to his sovereign; seasoning all with humanity and sweetness, only expressing care and solicitude. And not to counsel rashly, or on the sudden, but with advice and meditation. (Dat nox consilium. {17a}) For many foolish things fall from wise men, if they speak in haste or be extemporal. It therefore behoves the giver of counsel to be circumspect; especially to beware of those with whom he is not thoroughly acquainted, lest any spice of rashness, folly, or self-love appear, which will be marked by new persons and men of experience in affairs.

Modestia.--Parrhesia.--And to the prince, or his superior, to behave himself modestly and with respect. Yet free from flattery or empire. Not with insolence or precept; but as the prince were already furnished with the parts he should have, especially in affairs of state. For in other things they will more easily suffer themselves to be taught or reprehended: they will not willingly contend, but hear, with Alexander, the answer the musician gave him: Absit, o rex, ut tu melius haec scias, quam ego. {17b}

Perspicuitas.--Elegantia.--A man should so deliver himself to the nature of the subject whereof he speaks, that his hearer may take knowledge of his discipline with some delight; and so apparel fair and good matter, that the studious of elegancy be not defrauded; redeem arts from their rough and braky seats, where they lay hid and overgrown with thorns, to a pure, open, and flowery light, where they may take the eye and be taken by the hand.

Natura non effaeta.--I cannot think Nature is so spent and decayed that she can bring forth nothing worth her former years. She is always the same, like herself; and when she collects her strength is abler still. Men are decayed, and studies: she is not.

Non nimium credendum antiquitati.--I know nothing can conduce more to letters than to examine the writings of the ancients, and not to rest in their sole authority, or take all upon trust from them, provided the plagues of judging and pronouncing against them be away; such as are envy, bitterness, precipitation, impudence, and scurrilous scoffing. For to all the observations of the ancients we have our own experience, which if we will use and apply, we have better means to pronounce. It is true they opened the gates, and made the way that went before us, but as guides, not commanders: Non domini nostri, sed duces fuere. {19a} Truth lies open to all; it is no man's several. Patet omnibus veritas; nondum est occupata. Multum ex illa, etiam futuris relicta est. {19b}

Dissentire licet, sed cum ratione.--If in some things I dissent from others, whose wit, industry, diligence, and judgment, I look up at and admire, let me not therefore hear presently of ingratitude and rashness. For I thank those that have taught me, and will ever; but yet dare not think the scope of their labour and inquiry was to envy their posterity what they also could add and find out.

Non mihi credendum sed veritati.--If I err, pardon me: Nulla ars simul et inventa est et absoluta. {19c} I do not desire to be equal to those that went before; but to have my reason examined with theirs, and so much faith to be given them, or me, as those shall evict. I am neither author nor fautor of any sect. I will have no man addict himself to me; but if I have anything right, defend it as Truth's, not mine, save as it conduceth to a common good. It profits not me to have any man fence or fight for me, to flourish, or take my side. Stand for truth, and 'tis enough.

Scientiae liberales.--Arts that respect the mind were ever reputed nobler than those that serve the body, though we less can be without them, as tillage, spinning, weaving, building, &c., without which we could scarce sustain life a day. But these were the works of every hand; the other of the brain only, and those the most generous and exalted wits and spirits, that cannot rest or acquiesce. The mind of man is still fed with labour: Opere pascitur.

Non vulgi sunt.--There is a more secret cause, and the power of liberal studies lies more hid than that it can be wrought out by profane wits. It is not every man's way to hit. There are men, I confess, that set the carat and value upon things as they love them; but science is not every man's mistress. It is as great a spite to be praised in the wrong place, and by a wrong person, as can be done to a noble nature.

Honesta ambitio.--If divers men seek fame or honour by divers ways, so both be honest, neither is to be blamed; but they that seek immortality are not only worthy of love, but of praise.

Maritus improbus.--He hath a delicate wife, a fair fortune, a family to go to and be welcome; yet he had rather be drunk with mine host and the fiddlers of such a town, than go home.

Afflictio pia magistra.--Affliction teacheth a wicked person some time to pray: prosperity never.

Deploratis facilis descensus Averni.--The devil take all.--Many might go to heaven with half the labour they go to hell, if they would venture their industry the right way; but "The devil take all!" quoth he that was choked in the mill-dam, with his four last words in his mouth.

AEgidius cursu superat.--A cripple in the way out-travels a footman or a post out of the way.

Prodigo nummi nauci.--Bags of money to a prodigal person are the same that cherry-stones are with some boys, and so thrown away.

Munda et sordida.--A woman, the more curious she is about her face is commonly the more careless about her house.

Debitum deploratum.--Of this spilt water there is a little to be gathered up: it is a desperate debt.

Latro sesquipedalis.--The thief {22} that had a longing at the gallows to commit one robbery more before he was hanged.

And like the German lord, when he went out of Newgate into the cart, took order to have his arms set up in his last herborough: said was he taken and committed upon suspicion of treason, no witness appearing against him; but the judges entertained him most civilly, discoursed with him, offered him the courtesy of the rack; but he confessed, &c.

Calumniae fructus.--I am beholden to calumny, that she hath so endeavoured and taken pains to belie me. It shall make me set a surer guard on myself, and keep a better watch upon my actions.

Impertinens.--A tedious person is one a man would leap a steeple from, gallop down any steep lull to avoid him; forsake his meat, sleep, nature itself, with all her benefits, to shun him. A mere impertinent; one that touched neither heaven nor earth in his discourse. He opened an entry into a fair room, but shut it again presently. I spoke to him of garlic, he answered asparagus; consulted him of marriage, he tells me of hanging, as if they went by one and the same destiny.

Bellum scribentium.--What a sight it is to see writers committed together by the ears for ceremonies, syllables, points, colons, commas, hyphens, and the like, fighting as for their fires and their altars; and angry that none are frighted at their noises and loud brayings under their asses' skins.

There is hope of getting a fortune without digging in these quarries. Sed meliore (in omne) ingenio animoque quam fortuna, sum usus. {23}

"Pingue solum lassat; sed juvat ipse labor." {24a}

Differentia inter doctos et sciolos.--Wits made out their several expeditions then for the discovery of truth, to find out great and profitable knowledges; had their several instruments for the disquisition of arts. Now there are certain scioli or smatterers that are busy in the skirts and outsides of learning, and have scarce anything of solid literature to commend them. They may have some edging or trimming of a scholar, a welt or so; but it is no more.

Impostorum fucus.--Imposture is a specious thing, yet never worse than when it feigns to be best, and to none discovered sooner than the simplest. For truth and goodness are plain and open; but

Discoveries and Some Poems - 2/20

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