Imagens das páginas

not to the dead, to the living, will make him, if 4. The genius of the author is commonly dis. not a grave, a hole: and it was the beggar's covered in the dedicatory epistle. Many place épitaph:

the purest grain in the mouth of the sack for “Nudus eram vivus, mortuus ecce tegor.”

chapmen to handle or buy: and from the dedica

tion one may probably guess at the work, saving “Naked I lived, but being dead,

some rare and peculiar exceptions. Thus, when Now behold I'm covered."

once a gentleman admired how so pithy, learned, 7. A good memory is the best monument. and witty a dedication was matched to a flat, Others are subject to casualty and time, and we dull, foolish book; “In truth," said another, know that the pyramids themselves, doting with “they may be well matched together, for a proage, have forgotten the names of their founders. | fess they are nothing akin.” To conclude, let us be careful to provide rest for 5. Proportion an hour's meditation to an hour's our souls, and our bodies will provide rest for reading of a staple author. This makes a man themselves. And let us not be herein like unto master of his learning, and dispirits the book in. gentlewomen, who care not to keep the inside of to the scholar, The King of Sweden never filed the orange, but candy and preserve only the out his men above six deep in one company, because side thereof.

he would not have them lie in useless clusters in

his army, but so that every particular soldier OF BOOKS.

might be drawn out into service. * Books that

stand thin on the shelves, yet so as the owner of Solomon saith truly, “Of making many books them can bring forth every one of them into use, there is no end," so insatiable is the thirst of are better than far greater libraries. men therein: as also endless is the desire of 6. Learning hath gained most by those books many in buying and reading them. But we by which the printers have lost. Arins Moncome to our rules.

tanus, in printing the Hebrew Bible, commonly 1. It is a vanity to persuade the world one hath called the Bible of the King of Spain, much much learning, by getting a great library. As wasted himself, and was accused in the court of soon shall I believe every one is valiant that hath Rome for his good deed, and being cited thither, a well furnished armoury. I guess good house- “Pro tantorum laborum præmio vix veniam imkeeping by the smoking, not the number of the petravit.”of Likewise Christopher Plantin, by tunnels, as knowing that many of them, built printing of his curious interlineary Bible, in merely for uniformity, are without chimneys, Antwerp, through the unseasonable exactions of and more without fires. Once a dunce void of

the king's officers, sunk and almost ruined his learning but full of books flouted a libraryless estate. And our worthy English knight, who scholar with these words : “Salve doctor sine set forth the golden-mouthed father in a silver libris.” But the next day the scholar coming print, was a loser by it. into this jeerer's study, crowded with books; 7. Whereas foolish pamphlets prove most bene. “Salvete libri,” saith he, “sine doctore.”

|ficial to the printers. When a French printer 2. Few books, well selected, are best. Yet, as complained that he was utterly undone by printa certain fool bought all the pictures that came ing a solid serious book of Rabelais concerning out, because he might have his choice, such is physic, Rabelais, to make him recompense, made the vain humour of many men in gathering of that his jesting scurrilous work, which repaired books: yet when they have done all, they miss the printer's loss with advantage. Such books their end, it being in the editions of authors as the world swarms too much with. When one in the fashions of clothes, when a man thinks he had set out a witless pamphlet, writing finis at hath gotten the latest and newest, presently an- | the end thereof, another wittily wrote beneath other newer comes out.

it: 3. Some books are only cursorily to be tasted of.

“Nay, there thou liest, my friend, Namely, first, voluminous books, the task of a

In writing foolish books there is no end." man's life to read them over; secondly, auxiliary And surely such scurrilous scandalous papers do books, only to be repaired to on occasions ; | more than conceivable mischief. First, their thirdly, such as are mere pieces of formality, so

lusciousness puts many palates out of taste, that that if you look on them, you look through

they can never after relish any solid and wholethem; and he that peeps through the casement

some writers; secondly, they cast dirt on the of the index, sees as much as if he were in the

faces of many innocent persons, which dried on house. But the laziness of those cannot be ex

by continuance of time can never after be washed cused who perfunctorily pass over authors of

off; thirdly, the pamphlets of this age may pass consequence, and only trade in their tables and for records with the next, because publicly un. contents. These, like city-cheaters, having gotten

controlled, and what we laugh at, our children the names of all country gentlemen, make silly people believe they have long lived in those places

* Ward's Animadver. of War, sect. 17, lib. ii., cap. 5 where they never were, and flourish with skill in

+ Thuanus, Obit. Vir. Doct., anno 1698. those authors they never seriously studied.

Idem, in eodem Oper., ando 1589.

may believe; fourthly, grant the things true marriage are abundantly recompensed with other they jeer at, yet this music is unlawful in any comforts which God bestoweth on them who Christian church, to play upon the sins and make a wise choice of a wife, and observe the miseries of others, the fitter object of the elegies following rules : than the satires of all truly religious.

4. Let grace and goodness be the principal loadBut what do I speaking against multiplicity stone of thy affections. For love which hath of books in this age, who trespass in this nature ends will have an end; whereas that which is myself? What was a learned man's compliment, founded in true virtue will always continue. may serve for my confession and conclusion : Some hold it unhappy to be married with a diaMalti mei similes hoc morbo laborant, ut cum mond ring, perchance (if there be so much reason scribere nesciant tamen a scribendo temperare in their folly) because the diamond hinders the non possint." +

roundness of the ring, ending the infiniteness

thereof, and seems to presage some termination OF MARRIAGE

in their love, which ought ever to endure, and

so it will when it is founded in religion. Some men have too much decried marriage, as 5. Neither choose all, nor not at all for beauty. if she, the mother, were scarce worthy to wait A cried-up beauty makes more for her own praise on virginity her daughter, and as if it were an than her husband's profit. They tell us of a advancement for marriage to be preferred before floating island in Scotland: but sure no wise fornication, and praise enough for her to be pilot will cast anchor there, lest the land swim adjudged lawful. Give this holy estate her due, away with his ship. So are they served, and and then we shall find,

justly enough, who only fasten their love on 1. Though bachelors be the strongest stakes, fading beauty, and both fail together. married men are the best binders in the hedge of 6. Let there be no great disproportion in age. the commonwealth. It is the policy of the They that marry ancient people merely in exLondoners, when they send a ship into the pectation to bury them, hang themselves in hope Levant or Mediterranean Sea, to make every that one will come and cut the halter. Nor is mariner therein a merchant, each seaman adven God's ordinance, but man's abusing thereof, turing somewhat of his own, which will make taxed in this homely expression used by the him more wary to avoid, and more valiant to apostle himself. If virginity, enforced above the undergo dangers. Thus married men, especially | parties' power, be termed by St Paul a “snare if having posterity, are the deeper sharers in that or halter," * marriage is no better when against state wherein they live, which engageth their one's will for private respects. affections to the greater loyalty.

7. Let wealth in its due distance be regarded. 2 It is the worst clandestine marriage when There be two towns in the land of Liege, called God is not invited to it. Wherefore beforehand | Bovins and Dinant, the inhabitants whereof bear beg His gracious assistance. Marriage shall prove almost an incredible hatred one to another, no lottery to thee, when the hand of Providence and yet, notwithstanding, their children usually chooseth for thee, who, if drawing a blank, can marry together; and the reason is, because there turn it into a prize, by sanctifying a bad wife is none other good town or wealthy place near unto thee.

them. + Thus parents for a little pelf often marry 3. Deceive not thyself by over-expecting happi- their children to those whose persons they hate; ness in the married estate. Look not therein for and thus union betwixt families is not made, but contentment greater than God will give, or a the breach rather widened the more. creature in this world can receive, namely, to be This shall serve for a conclusion. A bachelor free from all inconveniences. Marriage is not was saying, “Next to no wife, a good wife is like the hill Olympus, los laurpos, wholly clear, best,” “Nay,” said a gentlewoman, “next to without clouds; yea, expect both wind and a good wife, no wife is the best.” I wish to all storms sometimes, which when blown over, the married people the outward happiness which air is the clearer and wholesomer for it. Make (anno 1605) happened to a couple in the city of account of certain cares and troubles which will | Delph, in Holland, # living most lovingly together attend thee. Remember the nightingales, which seventy-five years in wedlock, till the man being sing only some months in the spring, but com- one hundred and three, the woman ninety-nine ! monly are silent when they have hatched their years of age, died within three hours each of eggs, as if their mirth were turned into care for other, and were buried in the same grave, their young ones. Yet all the molestations of

1 * 'Ovx Iva Bpóxov 'pîv ette6d1w.-1 Cor. vii. 35 • Erasmus, in Præfat., in 8 seriem 4 tomi Hieron. Phil. Com., lib. 2, cap. 1.

1 Thuan. de Obit. Vir. Doct., in eod. anno, p. 186.

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P. 408.


(From his Miscellaneous Essays.)

should love themselves above all the rest of the OF SOLITUDE

world, and yet never endure to be with them“NUNQUAM minus solus, quam cum solus," + is selves. When they are in love with a mistress, now become a very vulgar saying. Every man, all other persons are importunate and burdenand almost every boy, for these seventeen hun some to them. “Tecum vivere amem, tecum dred years, has had it in his mouth. But it was obeam lubens," they would live and die with her at first spoken by the excellent Scipio, who was alone. without question a most eloquent and witty per

“Sic ego secretis possum bene vivere sylvis, son, as well as the most wise, most worthy, most

Qua nulla humano sit via trita pede. happy, and the greatest of all mankind. His

Tu mihi curarum requies, tu nocte vel atra meaning, no doubt, was this, that he found more Lumen, et in solis tu mihi turba locis.” satisfaction to his mind, and more improvement of it, by solitude than by company; and, to show

With thee for ever I in woods could rest,

Where never human foot the ground has pressed. that he spoke not this loosely, or out of vanity,

Thou from all shades the darkness canst exclude, after he had made Rome mistress of almost the

And from a desert banish solitude. whole world, he retired himself from it by a voluntary exile, and at a private house in the And yet our dear self is so wearisome to us, middle of a wood near Linternum, passed the i that we can scarcely support its conversation for remainder of his glorious life no less gloriously. an hour together. This is such an odd temper This house Seneca went to see so long after with of mind, as Catullus expresses towards one of great veneration; and, among other things, de his mistresses, whom we may suppose to have scribes his baths to have been of so mean a struc- been of a very unsociable humour: ture, that now, says he, the basest of the people

“ Odi, et amo: quare id faciam fortasse requiris. would despise them, and cry out, “Poor Scipio

Nescio; sed fieri sentio, et excrucior." anderstood not how to live." What an authority is here for the credit of retreat! and happy

I hate, and yet I love thee too; had it been for Hannibal, if adversity could have

How can that be? I know not how: taught him as much wisdom as was learned by

Only that so it is I know, Scipio from the highest prosperities. This would

And feel with torment that 'tis so. be no wonder, if it were as truly as it is colour It is a deplorable condition this, and drives a ably and wittily said by Monsieur de Montaigne, | man sometimes to pitiful shifts in seeking how “that ambition itself might teach us to love to avoid himself. solitude; there is nothing does so much hate to The truth of the matter is, that neither he who have companions." It is true, it loves to have is a fop in the world, is a fit man to be alone; its elbows free, it detests to have company on nor he who has set his heart much upon the either side; but it delights, above all things, in

world, though he have never so much undera train behind, ay, and ushers too before it.

standing; so that solitude can be well fitted and But the greatest part of men are so far from the

sit right, but upon a very few persons. They opinion of that noble Roman, that, if they chance

must have enough knowledge of the world to see at any time to be without company, they are

the vanity of it, and enough virtue to despise all like a becalmed ship; they never move but by

vanity; if the mind be possessed with any lust the wind of other men's breath, and have no oars

or passions, a man had better be in a fair than of their own to steer withal. It is very fantasti.

in a wood alone. They may, like petty thieves, cal and contradictory in human nature, that men

cheat us perhaps, and pick our pockets, in tha *“Cowley's prose stamps him as a man of genius,

midst of company; but, like robbers, they use and an improver of the English language."-Thomas to strip and bind, or murder us, when they catch Campbell.

us alone. This is but to retreat from men, and “No author ever kept his verse and his prose at a to fall into the hands of devils. It is like the greater distance from each other. His thoughts are

punishment of particides among the Romans, to natural, and his style has a smooth and placid equa

be sewed into a bag, with an ape, a dog, and a bility, which has never yet obtained its due com

serpent. mendation. Nothing is far-songht or hard-laboured:

The first work, therefore, that a man must do, but all is easy without feebleness, and familiar with

to make himself capable of the good of solitude, out grossness."-Johnson.

| “Never less alone than when alone;" & saying is, the very eradication of all lusts; for how is it genera ly ascribed to Cicero.

| possible for a man to enjoy himself while his

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