Imagens das páginas

write with as much force and facility as anybody, he would no doubt add and alter as he proceeded, under the impulses of his own teeming brain; and I could point to many passages in which the style has all the characteristic peculiarities of own. But if it should seem to others, as it does to me, that in the two first of these letters there is something of Bacon, more than might have been expected to infuse itself into any discourse by Essex on so Baconian a theme, the supposition which I have made will naturally account for it.


Of the first, there are many manuscripts in existence, besides a a printed copy ;' but I have not met with any which appears to be free from errors. I have obtained the present text by collation of three MSS. in the Harleian collection (viz. 813, fo. 7; 4888, fo. 37; and 6265, fo. 428), and the printed copy, which (though the least perfect of the four) sometimes supplies or suggests the true reading. They are all collectors' transcripts, of no special authority, and I have not thought it worth while to record the variations between them; which are very many. Neither have I attempted to make the collection of parallel passages from Bacon's acknowledged works as complete as it might be made. Those which I have printed in the notes are enough, I think, to establish a case at least of mental relationship between the writer and Bacon, near enough to justify the production of them here.


I hold it for a principle in the course of intelligence of state, not to discourage men of mean sufficiency from writing unto me, though I had at the same time very able advertisers; for either they sent me some matter which the other had omitted, or made it clearer by delivering the circumstances, or if they added nothing, yet they confirmed that which coming single I might have doubted. This rule therefore I have prescribed to others, and now give it to myself. Your Lordship hath many friends who have more leisure to think and more sufficiency to counsel than myself; yet doth my love to you dedicate these few free hours to study of you and your intended course ; in which study if I find

1 In a small 12mo volume, entitled, “ Profitable Instructions, describing what special Observations are to be taken by Travellers in all Nations, States, and Countries." London, 1633.

[merged small][ocr errors]

out nothing but that which you have from others, yet I shall perhaps confirm the opinion of wiser than myself.

Your Lordship’s purpose is to travel, and your study must be what use to make of your travel. The question is ordinary, and there is to it an ordinary answer; that is, your Lordship shall see the beauty of many cities, know the manners of the people of many countries, and learn the language of many nations.

nations. Some of these may serve for ornaments, and all of them for delights; but your Lordship must look further than these ; for the greatest ornament is the inward beauty of the mind, and when you have known as great variety of delight as the world will afford, you will confess that the greatest delight is sentire te indies fieri meliorem ;l to feel that you do every day become more worthy; therefore your Lordship’s end and scope should be that which in moral philosophy we call cultum animi, the tilling and manuring of your own mind.” The gifts or excellencies of the mind are the same as those are of the body ; Beauty, Health, and Strength. Beauty of the mind is showed in graceful and acceptable forms, and sweetness of behaviour; and they that have that gift cause those to whom they deny anything to go better contented away, than men of contrary disposition do them to whom they grant. Health consisteth in an unmovable constancy and a freedom from passions, which are indeed the sicknesses of the mind. Strength of mind is that active power which maketh us perform good things and great things, as well as health and even temper of mind keeps from those that are evil and base. All these three are to be sought for, though the greatest part of men have none of them ; some have one and lack the other two; a few attain to have two of them and lack the third ; and almost none have all.3

1"For the unlearned man knows not what it is to descend into himself, or to call himself to account, nor the pleasure of that suavissima vita, indies sentire se fieri meliorem."-Adv. of L., Works, iii. p. 315.

: De cultura animi. -Adv. of L., Works, iii. p. 432. 8 "Wherein we may further note that there seemeth to be a relation or conformity between the good of the mind and the good of the body. For as we divided the good of the body into health, beauty, strength, and pleasure ; so the good of the mind, inquired in rational and moral knowledges, tendeth to this, to make the mind sound, and without perturbation; beautiful, and graced with decency; and strong and agile for all duties of life. These three, as in the body, so in the mind, seldom meet, and commonly sever. For it is easy to observe that many have strength of wit and courage, but have neither health from perturbations, nor any beauty or deçency in their doings ; some again have an elegancy and fineness of carriage which have neither soundness of honesty nor substance of sufficiency ; and some again have honest and reformed minds, that can neither become themselves nor manage business : and sometimes two of them meet, and rarely all three.”—Works, üi. p. 414.


[ocr errors]

The first way to attain experience of forms or behaviour, is to make the mind itself expert. For behaviour is but a garment, and it is easy to make a comely garment for a body that is itself well-proportioned, whereas a deformed body can never be so helped by tailor's art but the counterfeit will appear; and in the form of our mind it is a true rule, that a man may mend his faults with as little labour as cover them.”

The second way is by imitation, and to that end good choice is to be made of those with whom you converse; therefore your Lordship should affect their company whom you find to be worthiest, and not partially think them most worthy whom you affect.

To attain to health of mind, we must use the same means that we do for the health of our bodies; that is, to take observation what diseases we are aptest to fall into, and to provide against them, for physic hath not more medicines against the diseases of the body, than reason hath preservatives against the passions of the mind.* The Stoics were of opinion that there was no way to attain to this even temper of the mind but to be senseless, and so they sold their goods to ransom themselves from their evils; but not only Divinity, our schoolmistress, doth teach us the effect of grace, but even Philosophy, her handmaid, doth condemn our want of care and industry if we do not win very much upon ourselves. To prove which I will only use one instance: there is

1 “Behaviour seemeth to me as a garment of the mind, and to have the conditions of a garment. For it ouglıt to be made in fashion ; it ought not to be too curious; it ought to be shaped so as to set forth any good making of the mind and hide any deformity,” etc.-iii. p. 417.

? “The good parts he hath he will learn to show to the full and use them dexterously, but not much to increase them ; the faults he hath he will learn how to hide and colour them, but not much to amend them : like an ill mower that mows on still and never whets his scythe : whereas with the learned man it fares otherwise, for he doth ever intermix the correction and amendment of his mind with the use and employment thereof."-iii. p. 315. Compare also the letter to Savill (vii. p. 98): “It would teach men to bend themselves to reform those imperfections in themselves, which now they seek but to cover, and to attain those virtues and good parts which now they seek but to have only in show and demonstration."

3 “To attain good forms, it sufficeth not to despise them: for so shall a man observe them in others, and let him trust himself with the rest ; for if he care to express them he shall lecse their grace, which is to be natural and unaffected.”Essays (1597), vi. p. 527.

4 “For as in medicining of the body it is in order first to know the divers complexions and constitutions, secondly the diseases, and lastly the cures ; so in medicining of the mind, after knowledge of the divers characters of men's natures, it followeth in order to know the diseases and infirmities of the mind, which are no other than the perturbations and distempers of the affections."--iii. p. 437.

5 “ And if it be said that the care of men's minds belongeth to sacred Divinity, it is most true; but yet Moral Philosophy may be preferred unto her as a wise


[ocr errors]

nothing in nature more general or more strong than the fear of death, and to a natural man there is nothing seems more impossible than to resolve against death. But both martyrs for religion, heathen for glory, some for love of their country, others for affection to one special person, have encountered death without fear, and suffered it without show of alteration ;' and therefore, if many have conquered passion's chiefest and strongest fortress, it is lack of undertaking in him that getteth not an absolute victory. To set down the ways how a man may attain to the active power mentioned in this place (I mean strength of mind), is much harder than to give rules in the other two; for behaviour or good form may be gotten by education, and health or even temper of mind by observation. But if there be not in nature some partner to this active strength, it can never be obtained by any industry ; for the virtues which are proper unto it ar: liberality or magnificence, and fortitude or magnanimity; and some are by nature so covetous or cowardly, as it is as much in vain to seek to enlarge or inflame their minds, as to go about to plough the rocks. But where these active virtues are but bud. ding, they must be ripened by clearness of judgment and custom of well-doing. Clearness of judgment makes men liberal, for it teacheth men to esteem of the goods of fortune not for themselves, for so they are but jailors to them, but for their use, for so they are lords over them; and it makes us to know that it is beatius dare quam accipere, the one being a badge of sovereignty, the other of subjection. Also it leadeth us to fortitude, for it teacheth us that we should not too much prize life which we cannot keep, nor fear death which we cannot shun; that he which dies nobly doth live for ever, and he that lives in fear doth die continually ;; that pain and danger be great only by opinion, and that in truth nothing is fearful but fear itself ;4 that custom makes servant and humble handmaid."-iii. p.

433. And as to the will of man, it is that which is most maniable and obedient; as that which admitteth most medicines to cure and alter it. The most sovereign of all is Religion, which is able to transform it in the deepest and most inward inclinations and motions. And next to that is," etc.--vii. p. 100.

" It is worthy the observing that there is no passion in the mind of man so weak but it mates and masters the fear of death. ... Revenge triumphs over death; Love slights it; Honour aspireth to it," etc.- Essay on Death, vi. 379. ? The whole of this sentence, from “ The Stoics were of opinion," is omitted in M8. 813, and also in the printed copy.

3 The rest of this sentence, as well as all that follows “but yet,” to the end of the paragraph, is omitted in MS. 813 and in the printed copy, 4" Nil terribile nisi ipse timor."-De Aug. Sci. vi. 3 ; Exempla Antithetorum, xxi.


the thing used natural as it were to the user. I shall not need to prove these two things, since we see by experience it holds true in all things, but yet those that give with judgment are not only encouraged to be liberal by the return of thankfulness from those to whom they give, but find in the very exercise of that virtue a delight to do good. And if custom be strong to confirm any one virtue more than another, it is the virtue of fortitude, for it makes us triumph over the fear which we have conquered, and anew to challenge danger which happily we have encountered, and hold more dear the reputation of honour which we have increased.

I have hitherto set down what desire or wish I would have your Lordship to take into your mind, that is to make yourself an expert man, and what are the general helps which all men may use which have the said desire; I will now move your Lordship to consider what helps your travel may give you.

First, when you see infinite variety of behaviour and manners of men, you may choose and imitate the best; when you see new delights which you never knew, and have passions stirred in you which before you never felt, you shall both know what disease your mind is aptest to fall into, and what the things are that breed the disease ; when you come into armies, or places where you shall see anything of the wars (as I would wish you to see them before your return), you shall both confirm your natural courage, and be made more fit for true fortitude, which is not given to man by nature, but must grow out of discourse of reason ; and lastly, in your travel you shall have great help to attain to knowledge, which is not only the excellentest thing in man, but the very excellency of man.

In manners or behaviour, your Lordship must not be caught with novelty, which is pleasing to young men; nor infected with custom, which makes us keep our own ill graces, and participate of those we see every day; nor given to affection (a general fault of most of our English travellers), which is both displeasing and ridiculous.

In discovering your passions and meeting with them, give not way to yourself nor dispense with yourself in little, though resolving to conquer yourself in great; for the same stream that may be stopped with one man's hand at the spring head, may

? "The mind is the man, and the knowledge of the mind. A man is but what he knoweth.” See above, vol. i. p. 123.

« AnteriorContinuar »