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motions of avger may be repressed, or, at least, refrained from doing mischief; thirdly, how to raise anger, or appease anger in another.
For the first, there is no other way but to meditate and ruminate well upon the effects of anger, how it troubles man's life: and the best time to do this, is to look back upon anger when the fit is thoroughly over. Seneca saith well, “that anger is like rain, which breaks itself upon
that it falls.” The scripture exhorteth us
to possess our souls in patience;" whosoever is out of patience, is out of possession of his soul. Men must not turn bees :
“ Animasque in vulnere ponunt."
Anger is certainly a kind of baseness; as it appears well in the weakness of those subjects in whom it reigns, children, women, old folks, sick folks. Only men must beware that they carry their
anger rather with scorn than with fear; so that they may seem rather to be above the injury than below it; which is a thing easily done, if a man will give law to himself in it.
For the second point, the causes and motives of anger are chiefly three : first, to be sensible of hurt; for no man is angry that feels not himself hurt; and, therefore, tender and delicate persons must needs be oft angry, they have so many things to trouble them, which more robust natures have little sense of: the next is, the apprehension and construction of
the injury offered to be, in the circumstances thereof, full of contempt; for contempt is that which putteth an edge upon anger, as much or more than the hurt itself; and, therefore, when men are ingenious in picking out circumstances of contempt, they do kindle their anger much : lastly, opinion of the touch of a man's reputation doth multiply and sharpen anger; wherein the remedy is, that a man should have, as Gonsalvo was wont to say, ttelam honoris crassiorem.” But in all refrainings of anger, it is the best remedy to win time, and to make a man's self believe that the opportunity of his revenge is not yet come; but tiat he foresees a time for it, and so to still himself in the mean time, and reserve it.
To contain anger from mischief, though it take hold of a man, there be two things whereof you must have special caution : the one of extreme hitterness of words, especially if they be aculeate and proper; for " communia maledicta” are nothing so much ; and again, that in anger a man reveal no secrets ; for that makes him not fit for society : the other, that you do not peremptorily break off
business in a fit of anger; but howsoever you show bitterness, do not act any thing that is not revocable.
For raising and appeasing anger in another, it is done chiefly by choosing of times, when men are frowardest and worst disposed, to incense them; again, by gathering (as was touched before) all that you can find out to
aggravate the contempt: and the two remedies are by the contraries : the former to take good times, when first to relate to a man an angry business, for the first impression is much ; and the other is, to serer, as much as may be, the construction of the injury from the point of contempt; imputing it to misunder standing, fear, passion, or what you will.
OF VICISSITUDE OF THINGS. SOLOMON saith, “there is no new thing upon the earth :" so that as Plato had an imagina: tion that all knowledge was but remembrance; so Solomon giveth his sentence,
16 that all novelty is but oblivion;" whereby you may see, that the river of Lethe runneth as well above ground as below. There is an abstruse astrologer that saith, if it were not for two things that are constant, (the one is, that the fixed stars ever stand at like distance one from another, and never come nearer together, nor go farther asunder; the other, that the diurnal motion perpetually keepeth time,) no individual would last one moment: certain it is, that matter is in a perpetual flux, and never at a stay. The great winding sheets that bury all things in oblivion are two; deluges and earthquakes. As for conflagrations and great droughts, they do not merely dispeople, but destroy. Phaeton's car went but a day; and the three years' drought, in the time of Elias,
was but particular, and left people alive. Al for the great burnings by lightnings, which are often in the West Iodics, they are but narrow; but in the other two destruccions, by deluge and earthquake, it is farther to be noted, that the remnant of people which happen to be reserved are commonly ignorant and mountainous people, that can give no account of the time past; so that the oblivion is all one as if none had been left. If you consider well of the people of the West Indies, it is very probable that they are a newer or a younger people than the people of the old world; and it is much more likely that the destruction that hath heretofore been there, was not by earthquakes, (as the Ægyptian priest told Solon, concerning the island of Atsantis, that it was swallowed by an earthquake,) but rather that it was desolated by a particular deluge: for earthquakes are seldom in those parts : but on the other side, they have such pouring rivers, as the rivers of Asia and Africa and Europe are but brooks to them. Their Andes, likewise, or mountains, are far higher than those with us; whereby it seems, that the remnants of generations of men were in such a particular deluge saved. As for the observation that Machiavel hath, that the jealousy of sects doth much extinguish the memory of things; traducing Gregory the Great, that he did what in him lay to extinguish all heathen antiquities; I do not find that those zeals do any great effects, nor last
long; as it appeared in the succession of Sabinian, who did revive the former antiquities.
The vicissitude, or mutations, in the superior globe are no fit matter for this present argument. It may be Plato's great year, if the world should last so lony, would have some effect, not in renewing the state of like individuals, (for that is the fume of those that conceive the celestial bodies have more accurate influences upon these things below than indeed they have,) but in gross. Comets, out of question, have likewise power and effect over the gross and mass of things : but they are rather gazed upon, and waited upon in their journey, than wisely observed in their effects; especially in their respective effects; . that is, what kind of comet for magnitude, colour, version of the beams, placing in the region of heaven, or lasting, produceth what kind of effects.
There is a toy, which I have heard, and I would not have it given over, but waited upon a little. They say it is observed in the Low Countries, (I know not in what part,) that every five-and-thirty years the same kind and suit of years and weathers come about again; as great frosts, great wet, great droughts, warna winters, summers with little heat, and the like; and they call it the prime : it is a thing I do the rather mention, because, computing backwards, I have found some concurrence