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active or contemplative life.” -Chalmers's Dict., know the bent of your present attention is 64. See the Letters of Pliny the Younger, trans. directed towards the eloquence of the bar; by J. D. Lewis, Camb. and Lond., 1879, p. 8vo. but I would not for that reason advise you To Tuscus: ON A COURSE OF Study.
never to quit the style of dispute and conten
tion. As land is improved by sowing with You desire my sentiments concerning the various seeds, so is the mind by exercising method of study you should pursue in that it with different studies. I would recomretirement to which you have long since mend it to you, therefore, sometimes to single withdrawn. In the first place, then, I look out a fine passage of history ; sometimes upon it as a very advantageous practice (and to exercise yourself in the epistolary style, it is what many recommend) to translate and sometimes the poetical. For it freeither from Greek into Latin, or from Latin quently happens that the pleading one has into Greek. By this means you will furnish occasion to make use not only of historical, yourself with noble and proper expressions, but even poetical descriptions; as by the with variety of beautiful figures, and an ease epistolary manner of writing you and strength of style. Besides, by imitating quire a close and easy expression. It will the most approved authors, you will find your be extremely proper also to unbend your imagination heated, and fall insensibly into mind with poetry: when I say so, I do not a similar turn of thought; at the same time mean that species of it which turns upon that those things which you may possibly subjects of great length (for that is fit only have overlooked in a common way of read- for persons of much leisure), but those little ing, cannot escape you in translating: and pieces of the epigrammatic kind, which serve this method will open your understanding as proper reliefs to, and are consistent with, and improve your judgment. It may not be employments of every sort. They comamiss after you have read an author, in order monly go under the title of Poetical Amuseto make yourself master of his subject and ments; but these amusements have sometimes argument, from his reader to turn, as it were, gained as much reputation to their authors as his rival, and attempt something of your own works of a more serious nature. In this in the same way; and then make an impar- manner the greatest men, as well as the greattial comparison between your performance est orators, used either to exercise or amuse and his, in order to see in what point either themselves, or rather, indeed, did both. It you or he most happily succeeded. It will is surprising how much the mind is enterbe a matter of very pleasing congratulation tained and enlivened by these little poetical to yourself, if you shall find in some things compositions, as they turn upon subjects of that you have the advantage of him, as it gallantry, satire, tenderness, politeness, and will be a great mortification if he should every thing, in short, that concerns life and rise above you in all. You may sometimes the affairs of the world. Besides, the same venture in these little essays to try your advantage attends these as every other sort strength upon the most shining passages of of poems, that we turn from them to prose a distinguished author. The attempt, in- with so much the more pleasure after having deed, will be something bold; but as it is a experienced the difficulty of being concontention which passes in secret, it cannot strained and fettered by numbers. And be taxed with presumption. Not but that now, perhaps, I have troubled you upon this we have seen instances of persons who have subject longer than you desired; however, publicly entered this sort of lists with great there is one thing which I have omitted : 1 success, and while they did not despair of have not told you what kind of authors you overtaking, have gloriously advanced before, should read; though indeed that was sufthose who they thought it sufficient honour ficiently implied when I mentioned what to follow. After you have thus finished a subjects I would recommend for your comcomposition, you must lay it aside till it is no positions. You will remember, that the most longer fresh in your memory, and then take approved writers of each sort are to be careit up in order to revise and correct it. You fully chosen; for, as it has been well obwill find several things to retain, but still served, " Though we should read much, we more to reject; you will add a new thought should not read many books.” Who these here, and älter another there. It is a labori- authors are is so clearly settled, and so genous and tedious task, I own, thus to re-in-erally known, that I need not point them flame the mind after the first heat is over, to out to you: besides, I have already extended recover an impulse when its force has been this letter to such an immoderate length, checked and spent; in a word, to interweave that I have interrupted, I fear, too long those new parts into the texture of a composition studies I have been recommending. I will without disturbing or confounding the ori- here resign you, therefore, to your papers, ginal plan; but the advantage attending this which you will now resume, and either method will overbalance the difficulty. Il pursue the studies you were before engaged
RICHARD DE BURY.
in, or enter upon some of those which I have In books Cherubim expand their wings, advised. Farewell.
that the soul of the student may ascend and look around from pole to pole, from the
rising to the setting sun, from the north and RICHARD DE BURY,
from the south. În them the Most High
incomprehensible God himself i contained born at Bury St. Edmunds, 1287, became and worshipped. In them the nature of Bishop of Durham 1333, and died 1345. celestial, terrestrial, and infernal beings is
“Richard de Bury, otherwise called Richard laid open. In them the laws by which every Aungervylle, is said to have alone possessed more polity is governed are decreed, the officers books than all the bishops of England together. of the celestial hierarchy are distinguished, Besides the fixed libraries which he had formed in and tyrannies of such demons are described his several palaces, the floor of his common apart- as the ideas of Plato never surpassed, and ment was so covered with books that those who the chair of Crato never sustained. entered could not with due reverence approach his
In books we find the dead as it were livpresence. ... Petrarch says that he had once a conversation with Aungervylle concerning the ing; in books we foresee things to come; in Island Thule, whom he calls Virum ardentis in- books warlike affairs are methodized; the genii. Petrarch, Epist., i. 3."— Warton's Hist. of rights of peace proceed from books. All Eng. Poet., ed. 1840, i. cxv., cxvi.
things are corrupted and decay with time.
Satan never ceases to devour those whom he On Books.
generates, insomuch that the glory of the The desirable treasure of wisdom and world would be lost in oblivion if God had knowledge, which all men covet from the not provided mortals with a remedy in impulse of nature, infinitely surpasses all books. Alexander the ruler of the world, the riches of the world ; in comparison with Julius the invader of the world and of the which precious stones are vile, silver is clay, city, the first who in unity of person asand purified gold grains of sand; in the sumed the empire, arms, and arts, the faithsplendour of which the sun and moon grow ful Fabricius, the rigid Cato, would at this dim to the sight; in the admirable sweetness day have been without a memorial if the of which, honey and manna are bitter to the aid of books had failed them. Towers are taste.
razed to the earth, cities overthrown, triumThe value of wisdom decreaseth not with phal arches mouldered to dust; nor can the time; it hath an ever flourishing virtue that king or pope be founded upon whom the cleanseth its possession from every venom. privilege of a lasting name can be conferred O celestial gift of Divine liberality, descend more easily than by books. A book made ing from the Father of Light to raise up the renders succession to the author; for as long rational soul even to heaven! Thou art the as the book exists, the author remaining celestial alimony of intellect, of which who- udúva tos, immortal, cannot perish. soerer eateth shall yet hunger, and whoso As Ptolemy witnesseth in the prologue of drinketh shall yet thirat; a harmony re- Almazett, he (he says) is not dead who gave joicing the soul of the sorrowful, and never life to science. in any way discomposing the hearer. Thou What learned scribe, therefore, who draws art the moderator and the rule of morals, out things new and old from an infinite operating according to which none err. By treasury of books, will limit their price by thee kings reign and law-givers decree any other thing whatsoever of another kind? justly. Through thee, rusticity of nature Truth, overcoming all things, which ranks being cast off, wits and tongues being pol- above kings, wine, and women, to honour ished, and the thorns of vice utterly eradi- which above friends obtains the benefit of cated, the summit of honour is reached, and sanctity, which is the way that deviates not, they become fathers of their country and and the life without end, to which the holy companions of princes, who, without thee, Boetius attributes a threefold existence, in might have forged their lances into spades the mind, in the voice, and in writing, anand ploughshares, or perhaps have fed pears to abide most usefully and fructify swine with the prodigal son. Where, then, most productively of advantage in hooks. most potent, most longed-for treasure, art For the truth of the voice perishes with the thou concealed ? and where shall the thirsty sound; truth latent in the mind is hidden soul find thee? Undoubtedly, indeed, thou wisdom and invisible treasure, but the hast placed thy desirable tabernacle in truth which illuminates books, desires to books, where the Most High, the Light of manifest itself to every disciplinable sense, light, the Book of life, hath established --to the sight when read, to the hearing thee. There then all who ask receive, all when heard : it, moreover, in a manner comwho seek find thee, those who knock thou mends itself to the touch, when submitting openest quickly.
to be transcribed, collated, corrected, and preserved. Truth confined to the mind, Petrarch, in Knight's Quarterly Mag., April, 1824, though it may be the possession of a noble and his works, complete, 1866, vii. 629. soul, while it wants a companion and is not judged of, either by the sight or the hearing, Petrarcu's DEDICATION TO Azzo da CORappears to be inconsistent with pleasure.
REGGIO OF HIS TREATISE ON TUE REMEDIES But the truth of the voice is open to the
of Good AND BAD FORTUNE. hearing only, and latent to the sight (which
When I consider the instability of human shows as many differences of things fixed affairs, and the variations of fortune, I find upon by, a most subtle motion, beginning nothing more uncertain or restless than the and ending as it were simultaneously). But life of man. Nature has given to animals the truth written in a book, being not fluc- an excellent remedy under disasters, which tuating, but permanent, shows itself openly is the ignorance of them. We seem better to the sight passing through the spiritual treated in intelligence, foresight, and memways of the eyes, as the porches and halls ory. No doubt these are admirable presents; of common sense and imagination; it enters but they often annoy more than they assist the chamber of intellect, reposes itself upon us. A prey to unuseful or distressing cares, the couch of memory, and there congener- we are tormented by the present, the past, ates the eternal truth of the mind.
and the future ; and, as if we feared we Lastly, let us consider how great a com- should not be miserable enough, we join modity of doctrine exists in books; how to the evil we suffer the remembrance of a easily, how secretly, how safely, they expose former distress, and the apprehension of the nakedness of human ignorance without some future calamity. This is the Cerberus putting it to shame. These are the masters with three heads we combat without ceasing. that instruct us without rods and ferules, Our life might be gay and happy if we without hard words and anger, without would; but we eagerly seek subjects of clothes or money.
If you approach them, affliction to render it irksome and melanthey are not asleep; if investigating you choly. We pass the first years of this life interrogate them, they conceal nothing; if in the shades of ignorance, the succeeding you mistake them, they never grumble; if ones in pain and labour, the latter part in you are ignorant, they cannot laugh at you. grief and remorse, and the whole in error: Translated by J. B. Inglis, Lond., 1832, 8vo. nor do we suffer ourselves to possess one
bright day without a cloud.
Let us examine this matter with sincerity,
and we shall agree that our distresses chiefly FRANCESCO PETRARCH, arise from ourselves. It is virtue alone born at Arezzo, Tuscany, 1304, died at Ar- which can render us superior to Fortune; quà, 1374.
we quit her standard, and the combat is no
longer equal. Fortune mocks us; she turns “I cannot conclude these remarks without
us on her wheel : she raises and abases us making a few observations on the Latin writings at her pleasure, but her power is founded of Petrarch. It appears that, both by himself and by his contemporaries, these were far more
on our weakness. This is an old-rooted highly valued than his compositions in the ver
evil, but it is not incurable: there is nothing nacular language. Posterity, the supreme court a firm and elevated mind cannot accomplish. of literary appeal, has not only reversed the judg- The discourse of the wise and the study of ment, but, according to its general practice, re- good books are the best remedies I know of: versed it with costs, and condemned the unfortu- but to these we must join the consent of the nate works to pay, not only for their own inferiority, but also for the injustice of those who have soul, without which the best advice will be given them an unmerited preference. ... He has useless. What gratitude do we not owe to aspired to emulate the philosophical eloquence of those great men who, though dead many Cicero, as well as the poetical majesty of Virgil. ages before us, live with us by their works, His essay on the Remedies of Good and Evil For- discourse with us, are our masters and tune is a singular work in a colloquial form, and guides, and serve us as pilots in the naviga; a most scholastic style. It seems to be framed tion of life, where our vessel is agitated What success those who have read it may easily without ceasing by the storms of our pnsdetermine. It consists of a series of dialogues: sions! It is here that true philosophy brings in each of these a person is introduced who has us to a safe port, by a sure and easy, pasexperienced some happy or some adverse event: sage: not like that of the schools, which, he gravely states his case; and a reasoner, or raising us on its airy and deceitful wings, rather Reason personified, confutes bim: a task not very difficult, since the disciple defends his frivolous dispute, lets us fall without any
and causing us to hover on the clouds of almost the same words, at the end of every argu- light or instruction in the same place where ment of his antagonist.”—Lord MACAULAY: Criti- she took us up. Dear friend, I do not atciems on the Principal Italian Writers, No. II., tempt to exhort you to the study I deem so
important. Nature has given you a taste hy death the greatest part of your friends ; for all knowledge, but Fortune has denied the rest, according to custom, deserted you you the leisure to acquire it: yet, whenever in calamity. To these misfortunes was added you could steal a moment from public affairs, a violent disease which attacked you when you sought the conversation of wise men; destitute of all succours, at a distance from and I have remarked that your memory your country and family, in a strange land often served you instead of books. It is, invested by the troops of your enemies; so therefore, unnecessary to invite you to do that those two or three friends whom fortune what you have always done; but, as we had left you could not come near to relieve cannot retain all we hear or read, it may be you. In a word, you have experienced every useful to furnish your mind with some hardship but imprisonment and death. But maxims that may best serve to arm you what do I say? You have felt all the horrors against the assaults of misfortune. The of the former, when your faithful wife and vulgar, and even philosophers, have decided children were shut up by your enemies; and that adverse fortune was most difficult to even death followed you, and took one of sustain. . For iny own part I am of a differ- those children, for whose loss you would ent opinion, and believe it more easy to willingly have sacrificed your own. support adversity than prosperity ; and that In you have been united the fortunes of fortune is more treacherous and dangerous Pompey and Marius; but you were neither when she caresses than when she dismays. arrogant in prosperity as the one, nor disExperience has taught me this, not hooks or couraged in adversity as the other. You arguments. I have seen many persons sus- have supported both in a manner that has tain great losses, poverty, exile, tortures, made you loved by your friends and admired death, and even disorders that were worse by your enemies. There is a peculiar charm than death, with courage; but I have seen in the serene and tranquil air of virtue which none whose heads have not been turned by enlightens all around it, in the midst of the power, riches, and honours. How often have darkest scenes and the greatest calamities. we beheld those overthrown by good fortune My ancient friendship for you has caused who could never be shaken by bad! This mě to quit everything for you to perform a made me wish to learn how to support a work in which, as in a glass, you may adjust great fortune. You know the short time and prepare your soul for all events; and this work has taken. I have been less at- be able to say, as Æneas did to the Sibyl, tentive to what might shine than to what Nothing of this is new to me; I have foremight be useful on this subject. Truth and seen and am prepared for it all." I am senvirtue are the wealth of all men; and shall sible that in the disorders of the mind, as I not discourse on these with my dear Azon? | well as those of the body, discourses are not I would prepare for you, as in a little port- thought the most efficacious remedies; but I able box, a friendly antidote against the am persuaded also that the malady of the poison of good and bad fortune. The one soul ought to be cured by spiritual applicarequires a rein to repress the sallies of a tions. transported soul, the other a consolation to If we see a friend in distress and give him fortify the overwhelmed and afflicted spirit. all the consolation we are able, we perform
Nature gave you, my friend, the heart of the duties of friendship, which pays more a king, but she gave you not a kingdom, of attention to the disposition of the heart than which therefore fortune could not deprive the value of the gift. A small present may you. But I doubt whether our age can fur- be the testimony of a great love. There is nish an example of worse or better treatment no good I do not wish you, and this is all I from her than yourself. In the first part of can offer toward it. your life you were blest with an admirable I wish this little treatise may be of use to constitution and astonishing health and you. If it should not answer my hopes, I vigour; some years after we beheld you thrice shall, however, be secure of pardon from abandoned by the physicians, who despaired your friendship. It presents you with the of your life. The heavenly Physician, who four great passions : Ilope and Joy, the was your sole resource, restored your health, daughters of Prosperity; Fear and Grief, but not your former strength. You were the daughters of Adversity, who attack the then called iron-footed, for your, singular soul and launch at it all their arrows. Reaforce and agility; you are now bent, and son commands in the citadel to repulse them : lean upon the shoulders of those whom you your penetration will easily perceive which formerly supported. Your country beheld side will obtain the victory. you one day its governor, the next an exile. From the translation in Mrs. Dobson's Life Princes disputed for your friendship, and of Petrarch, from the French of the Abbé afterwards conspired your ruin. You lost de Sade.
WILLIAM CAXTON, have withdraw him fro to do well. . . . He celebrated as the first who introduced print
was ennobled in his life by many miracles. ing into England, was born in Kent about
And the very death, which is to all 1412, and died in 1492.
men horrible and hateful, he admonished “Exclusively of the labours attached to the and admonished death to come to him, and
them to praise it. And, also, he warned working of his press as a new art, our typographer said, " Death, my sister, welcome be to you." late not fewer than five thousand closely-printed And when he came at the last hour, he slept folio pages. As a translator, therefore, he ranks in our Lord, of whom the friar saw the soul, among the most laborious, and, I would hope, not in manner of a star, like to the moon in the least successful, of his tribe.
quantity, and the sun in clearness. " The foregoing conclusion is the result of a careful enumeration of all the books translated as well as printed by him; which [the translated books], if published in the modern fashion, would
JOHN FISHER, extend to nearly twenty-five octavo volumes."DIBDIN : Typographical Antiquitics.
born 1459, Margaret Professor of Divinity "Caxton, Mr. Warton (History of English 1502, Bishop of Rochester 1504, was inhuPoetry] observes, by translating, or procuring manly executed by order of the tyrant to be translated, a great number of books from the French, greatly contributed to promote the state
Ilenry VIII. in 1535. of literature in England. It was only in this way
“ The fame of his learning and virtues reaching that he could introduce his countrymen to the
the ears of Margaret, Countess of Richmond, knowledge of many valuable publications at a time mother of Henry VII., she chose him her chapwhen an acquaintance with the learned languages lain and confessor; in which high station he bewas confined to a few ecclesiastics. Ancient learn- haved himself with so much wisdom and goodness ing had as yet made too little progress among us
that she committed herself entirely to his governto encourage him to publish the Roman authors in
ment and direction. It was by his counsel that their original tongue. Indeed, had not the French she undertook those magnificent foundations of furnished Caxton with materials, it is not probable St. John's and Christ's Colleges at Cambridge ; that Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, and many other good established the divinity professorships in both writers, would, by the means of his press, have universities; and did many other acts of generbeen circulated in the English language as early osity for the propagation of learning and piety. as the close of the fifteenth century."-CHALMERS:
.. The issue was a declaration from Fisher that Biog. Dict., viii. 512. See, also, The Life and
he would 'swear to the succession [of Elizabeth); Typography of William Caxton, England's “ First
never dispute more about the marriage [to Anne Printer," etc., by William Blades, Lond., 1861-63, 2 Boleyn); and promise allegiance to the king ; but vols. 4to; and How to Tell a Caxton, by W. Blades, his conscience could not be convinced that the 1870, fp. 8vo.
marriage was not against the law of God.' These
concessions did not satisfy the king; who was reFrom CAXTON'S TRANSLATION OF THE GOLDEN solved to let all his subjects see that there was no LEGEND, 1483, FOL.
mercy to be expected by any one who opposed his
will. . . . He was beheaded about ten o'clock, Francis, servant and friend of Almighty aged almost 77: and his head was fised over LonGod, was born in the city of Assyse, and don bridge the next day. was made a merchant until the 25th
year of “Such was the tragical end of Fisher, 'which his age, and wasted his time by living vainly, left one of the greatest blots upon this kingdom's whom our Lord corrected by the scourge of proceedings,' as Burnet says in his History of the
Reformation.' . sickness, and suddenly changed him into
Erasmus represents him as a another man ; so that he began to shine by per, and greatness of soul.”—Chalmers's Biog.
man of integrity, deep learning, sweetness of temthe spirit of prophecy. For on a time he, | Dict., xiv. 323, 326, 328. with other men of Peruse, was taken prisoner, and were put in a cruel prison, where From Bishop Fisher's Account or the all the other wailed and sorrowed, and he
CHARACTER OF MARGARET, COUNTESS OF only was glad and enjoyed. And when they
RICHMOND, IN HIS SERMON ENTITLED A had reproved him thereof, he answered, —
MORNYNGE REMEMBRAUNCE HAD AT THE "Know ye,” said he, “that I am joyful, for
MONETH MYNDE OF MARGARETE, COUNTI shall be worshipped as a saint throughout
ESSE OF RYCHEMONDE AND DARBYE, Lond., all the world." . :. On a time, as this holy
by W. DE Worde, 4to, sine anno (1509). man was in prayer, the devil called him Albeit she of her lineage were right thrice by his own name. And when the noble, yet nevertheless by marriage adjoinholy man had answered him, he said none ing of other blood, it took some increasein this world is so great a sinner, but if he ment. For in her tender age, she being convert him, our Lord would pardon him; endued with so great towardness of nature but who that sleeth himself with hard pen- and likelihood of inheritance, many sued to ance, shall never find mercy. And anon have had her to marriage. The Duke of this holy man knew by revelation the fal- Suffolk, which was then a man of great exlacy and deceit of the fiend, how he would | perience, most diligently procured to have