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of godliness, but denying the power thereof, so certainly there are, in points of wisdom and sufficiency, that do nothing, or little very solemnly, — “magno conatu nugas." ? It is a ridiculous thing, and fit for a satire to persons of judgment, to see what shifts these formalists have, and what prospectives to make superficies to seem body, that hath depth and bulk. Some are so close and reserved, as they will not show their wares but by a dark light, and seem always to keep back somewhat ; and when they know within themselves they speak of that they do not well know, would nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may not well speak. Some help themselves with countenance and gesture, and are wise by signs; as Cicero saith of Piso, that when he answered him, he fetched one of his brows up to his forehead, and bent the other down to his chin: “ Respondes, altero ad frontem sublato, altero ad mentum depresso supercilio; crudelitatem tibi non placere.” 3 Some think to bear it by speaking a great word, and being peremptory; and go on, and take by admittance that which they cannot make good. Some, whatsoever is beyond their reach, will seem to despise or make light of it as impertinent or curious, and so would have their ignorance seem judgment. Some are never without a difference, and commonly by amusing men with a subtilty, blanch the matter; of whom A. Gellius saith, “ Hominem delirum, qui verborum minutiis rerum frangit pondera.” 4 Of which kind also Plato, in his Protagoras, bringeth in Prodicus in scorn, and maketh him make a speech that consisteth of distinctions from the beginning to the end." Generally such men, in all deliberations, find ease to be 2 of the negative side, and affect a credit to object and foretell difficulties; for when propositions are denied, there is an end of them, but if they be allowed, it requireth a new work ; which false point of wisdom is the bane of business. To conclude, there is no decaying merchant, or inward beggar,8 hath so many tricks to uphold the credit of their wealth, as these empty persons have to maintain the credit of their sufficiency. Seeming wise men may make shift to get opinion, but let no man choose them for employment; for certainly, you were better take for business a man somewhat absurd than over-formal.
12 Tim. iii. 5.
26 Trifles with great effort." 3 “ With one brow raised to your forehead, the other bent downward to your chin, you answer that cruelty delights you not." — In Pis. 6.
4" A foolish man, who fritters away the weight of matters by finespun trifling on words.” – Vide Quint. x. 1.
XXVII.-OF FRIENDSHIP. It had been hard for him that spake it, to have put more truth and untruth together in few words than in that speech : “Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god : 4 for it is most true, that a natural and secret hatred and aversion towards society in any man hath somewhat
1 Plat. Protag. i. 337.
2 Find it easier to make difficulties and objections than to originate.
8 One really in insolvent circumstances, though to the world he does not appear so.
4 He here quotes from a passage in the Politica of Aristotle, book i. “He who is unable to mingle in society, or who requires nothing, by reason of sufficing for himself, is no part of the state, so that he is either a wild beast or a divinity."
of the savage beast; but it is most untrue, that it should have any character at all of the divine nature, except it proceed, not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out of a love and desire to sequester a man's self for a higher conversation ; such as is found to have been falsely and feignedly in some of the heathen; as Epimenides, the Candian ; Numa, the Roman; Empedocles, the Sicilian ; and Apollonius, of Tyana ; and truly and really in divers of the ancient hermits and holy fathers of the church. But little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth ; for a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. The Latin adage meeteth with it a little : “ Magna civitas, magna solitudo:” 2 because in a great town friends are scattered, so that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, which is in less neighborhoods : but we may go further, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends, without which the world is but a wilderness; and even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and affections is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity.
1 Epimenides, a poet of Crete, (of which Candia is the modern name,) is said by Pliny to have fallen into a sleep which lasted 57 years. He was also said to have lived 299 years. Numa pretended that he was instructed in the art of legislation by the divine nymph Egeria, who dwelt in the Arician grove. Emped ocles, the Sicilian philosopher, declared himself to be immortal, and to be able to cure all evils. He is said by some to have retired from society that his death might not be known, and to have thrown himself into the crater of Mount Ætna. Apollonius of Tyana, the Pythagorean philosopher, pretended to miraculous powers, and after his death a temple was erected to him at that place. His life is recorded by Philostratus; and some persons, among whom are Hierocles, Dr. More, in his Mystery of Godliness, and recently Strauss, have not hesitated to compare his miracles with those of our Saviour.
2" A great city, a great desert."
A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce. We know diseases of stoppings and suffocations are the most dangerous in the body, and it is not much otherwise in the mind. You may take sarza 1 to open the liver, steel to open the spleen, flower of sulphur for the lungs, castoreum? for the brain, but no receipt openeth the heart but a true friend, to whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or confession.
It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate great kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of friendship whereof we speak; so great, as they purchase it many times at the hazard of their own safety and greatness; for princes, in regard of the distance of their fortune from that of their subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except (to make themselves capable. thereof) they raise some persons to be as it were companions, and almost equals to themselves, which many times sorteth to inconvenience. The modern languages give unto such persons the name of favorites, or privadoes, as if it were matter of grace or conversation ; but the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause thereof, naming them “ participes curarum ;” 8 for it is that which tieth the knot. And we see plainly that this hath been done, not by weak and passion
2 A liquid matter of a pungent smell, extracted from a portion of the body of the beaver, 8" Partakers of cares."
ate princes only, but by the wisest and most politic that ever reigned, who have oftentimes joined to themselves some of their servants, whom both themselves have called friends, and allowed others likewise to call them in the same manner, using the word which is received between private men.
L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised Pompey (after surnamed the Great) to that height, that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's overmatch ; for when he had carried the consulship for a friend of his, against the pursuit of Sylla, and that Sylla did a little resent thereat, and began to speak great, Pompey turned upon him again, and, in effect, bade him be quiet ; for that more men adored the sun rising than the sun setting. With Julius Cæsar, Decimus Brutus had obtained that interest, as he set him down in his testament for heir in remainder after his nephew; and this was the man that had power with him to draw him forth to his death; for when Cæsar would have discharged the senate, in regard of some ill presages, and specially a dream of Calphurnia, this man lifted him gently by the arm out of his chair, telling him he hoped he would not dismiss the senate till his wife had dreamt a better dream ; 2 and it seemeth his favor was so great, as Antonius, in a letter which is recited verbatim in one of Cicero's Philippics, calleth him venefica, “witch,” as if he had enchanted Cæsar.3 Augustus raised Agrippa (though of mean birth) to that height, as, wben he consulted with Mæcenas about the marriage of his daughter Julia, Mæcenas took the liberty to tell him, that he must either marry his daughter to Agrippa, or take away his
1 Plutarch (Vit. Pomp. 19) relates that Pompey said this upon Sylla's refusal to give him a triumph. 2 Plut. Vit. J. Cæs. 64.
8 Cic. Philip. xiii. 11.