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was, of your greater fortune, with a prosperous pos In the entrance to the former of these, to clear the session thereof in the due time; a virtuous observ- way, and, as it were, to make silence, to have the ation of the laws of marriage, with most blessed and true testimonies concerning the dignity of learning happy fruit of marriage; a virtuous and most chris- to be better heard, without the interruption of tacit tian desire of peace, with a fortunate inclination in objections ; I think good to deliver it from the disyour neighbour princes thereunto : so likewise in credits and disgraces which it hath received, all these intellectual matters, there seemeth to be no from ignorance, but ignorance severally disguised; less contention between the excellency of your ma- appearing sometimes in the zeal and jealousy of jesty's gifts of nature, and the universality and per- divines, sometimes in the severity and arrogancy of fection of your learning. For I am well assured, politicians, and sometimes in the errors and imperthat this which I shall say is no amplification at all, fections of learned men themselves. but a positive and measured truth; which is, that I hear the former sort say, that knowledge is of there hath not been since Christ's time any king, or those things which are to be accepted of with great temporal monarch, which hath been so learned in limitation and caution ; (that the aspiring to overall literature and erudition, divine and human. For much knowledge, was the original temptation and let a man seriously and diligently revolve and peruse sin, whereupon ensued the fall of man; that knowthe succession of the emperors of Rome; of which ledge hath in it somewhat of the serpent, and thereCæsar the dictator, who lived some years before fore where it entereth into a man it makes him Christ, and Marcus Antoninus, were the best learned: swell ; Scientia inflat: that Solomon gives a cenand so descend to the emperors of Græcia, or of the sure, " That there is no end of making books, and West; and then to the lines of France, Spain, Eng- that much reading is a weariness of the flesh ;” and land, Scotland, and the rest, and he shall find this again in another place, “ That in spacious know, judgment is truly made. For it seemeth much in a ledge there is much contristation, and that he that king, if, by the compendious extractions of other increaseth knowledge increaseth anxiety;" that St. men's wits and labours, he can take hold of any Paul gives a caveat, “ That we be not spoiled superficial ornaments and shows of learning, or if he through vain philosophy;" that experience demoncountenance and prefer learning and learned men; strates how learned men have been arch-heretics, but to drink indeed of the true fountains of learning, how learned times have been inclined to atheism, nay, to have such a fountain of learning in himself, and how the contemplation of second causes doth in a king, and in a king born, is almost a miracle. derogate from our dependence upon God, who is the And the more, because there is met in your majesty first cause. a rare conjunction, as well of divine and sacred lite To discover then the ignorance and error of this rature, as of profane and human ; so as your ma- opinion, and the misunderstanding in the grounds jesty standeth invested of that triplicity, which in thereof, it may well appear these men do not observe great veneration was ascribed to the ancient Hermes; or consider, that it was not the pure knowledge of the power and fortune of a king, the knowledge and nature and universality, a knowledge by the light illumination of a priest, and the learning and uni- whereof man did give names unto other creatures in versality of a phil pher. This propriety, inherent paradise, as they were brought before him, accord. and individual attribute in your majesty, deservething unto their proprieties, which gave the occasion to be expressed, not only in the fame and admira- to the fall; but it was the proud knowledge of good tion of the present time, nor in the history or tra- and evil, with an intent in man to give law unto dition of the ages succeeding; but also in some solid himself, and to depend no more upon God's comwork, fixed men
nemorial, and immortal monument, mandments, which was the form of the temptation. bearing a character or signature, both of the power Neither is it any quantity of knowledge, how great of a king, and the difference and perfection of such soever, that can make the mind of man to swell ; a king.
for nothing can fill, much less extend the soul of Therefore I did conclude with myself, that I man, but God, and the contemplation of God; and could not make unto your majesty a better oblation, therefore Solomon, speaking of the two principal than of some treatise tending to that end, whereof senses of inquisition, the eye and the ear, affirmeth the sum will consist of these two parts; the former that the eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the concerning the excellency of learning and know ear with hearing; and if there be no fulness, then ledge, and the excellency of the merit and true is the continent greater than the content; so of glory in the augmentation and propagation thereof; knowledge itself, and the mind of man, whereto the the latter, what the particular acts and works are, senses are but reporters, he defineth likewise in which have been embraced and undertaken for the these words, placed after that calendar or ephemeadvancement of learning; and again, what defects rides, which he maketh of the diversities of times and undervalues I find in such particular acts : to and seasons for all actions and purposes; and conthe end, that though I cannot positively or affirma- cludeth thus : “God hath made all things beautitively advise your majesty, or propound unto you ful, or decent, in the true return of their seasons : framed particulars; yet I may excite your princely Also he hath placed the world in man's heart, yet cogitations to visit the excellent treasure of your cannot man find out the work which God worketh own mind, and thence to extract particulars for from the beginning to the end :" declaring, not obthis purpose, agreeable to your magnanimity and scurely, that God hath framed the mind of man as wisdom.
a mirror, or glass, capable of the image of the uni
versal world, and joyful to receive the impression darkness : and that the wise man's eyes keep watch thereof, as the eye joyeth to receive light; and not in his head, whereas the fool roundeth about in only delighted in beholding the variety of things, darkness : but withal I learned, that the same morand vicissitude of times, but raised also to find out tality involveth them both.” And for the second, and discern the ordinances and decrees, which certain it is, there is no vexation or anxiety of throughout all those changes are infallibly observed.) mind which resulteth from knowledge, otherwise And although he doth insinuate, that the supreme than merely by accident; for all knowledge and or summary law of nature, which he calleth, “ The wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an work which God worketh from the beginning to the impression of pleasure in itself: but when men end, is not possible to be found out by man;" yet fall to framing conclusions out of their knowledge, that doth not derogate from the capacity of the applying it to their particular, and ministering to mind, but may be referred to the impediments, as themselves thereby weak fears, or vast desires, there of shortness of life, ill conjunction of labours, ill groweth that carefulness and trouble of mind which tradition of knowledge over from hand to hand, and is spoken of: for then knowledge is no more Lumen many other inconveniences, whereunto the condition siccum, whereof Heraclitus the profound said, of man is subject. For that nothing parcel of the “Lumen siccum optima anima ;" but it becometh world is denied to man's inquiry and invention, he Lumen madidum, or maceratum, being steeped and doth in another place rule over, when he saith, infused in the humours of the affections. And as fu The spirit of man is as the lamp of God, where for the third point, it deserveth to be a little stood with he searcheth the inwardness of all secrets.” If upon, and not to be lightly passed over : for if any then such be the capacity and receipt of the mind man shall think by view and inquiry into these of man, it is manifest, that there is no danger at sensible and material things to attain that light, all in the proportion or quantity of knowledge, how whereby he may reveal unto himself the nature or large soever, lest it should make it swell or out- will of God, then indeed is he spoiled by vain phicompass itself; no, but it is merely the quality of losophy: for the contemplation of God's creatures knowledge, which, be it in quantity more or less, if and works produceth (having regard to the works it be taken out the true corrective thereof, hath and creatures themselves) knowledge; but having in it some nature of venom or malignity, and some regard to God, no perfect knowledge, but wonder, effects of that venom, which is ventosity or which is broken knowledge. And therefore it was swelling. This corrective spice, the mixture most aptly said by one of Plato's school, “ That the whereof maketh knowledge so sovereign, is charity, sense of man carrieth a resemblance with the sun, which the apostle immediately addeth to the former which, as we see, openeth and revealeth all the terclause; for so he saith, “ knowledge bloweth up, restrial globe; but then again it obscureth and conbut charity buildeth up;”) not unlike unto that cealeth the stars and celestial globe : so doth the which he delivereth in another place: “ If I sense discover natural things, but it darkeneth and spake,” saith he, “ with the tongues of men and shutteth up divine.” And hence it is true, that it angels, and had not charity, it were but as a hath proceeded, that divers great learned men have tinkling cymbal ;" not but that it is an excellent | been heretical, whilst they have sought to fly up to thing to speak with the tongues of men and the secrets of the Deity by the waxen wings of the angels, but because, if it be severed from charity, senses: and as for the conceit, that too much knowand not referred to the good of men and mankind, it ledge should incline a man to atheism, and that the hath rather a sounding and unworthy glory, than a ignorance of second causes should make a more meriting and substantial virtue. And as for that devout dependence upon God, who is the first cause : censure of Solomon, concerning the excess of writ- First, it is good to ask the question which Job asked ing and reading books, and the anxiety of spirit of his friends : “Will you lie for God, as one man which redoundeth from knowledge ; and that admo- will do for another, to gratify him ?” For certain nition of St. Paul, “ That we be not seduced by it is, that God worketh nothing in nature but by vain philosophy ;” let those places be rightly under second causes; and if they would have it otherwise stood, and they do indeed excellently set forth the believed, it is mere imposture, as it were in favour true bounds and limitations, whereby human know- towards God; and nothing else but to offer to the ledge is confined and circumscribed; and yet without Author of truth the unclean sacrifice of a lie. But any such contracting or coarctation, but that it may farther, it is an assured truth, and a conclusion of comprehend all the universal nature of things : for experience, that a little or superficial knowledge of these limitations are three : the first, that we do not philosophy may incline the mind of man to atheso place our felicity in knowledge, as we forget our ism, but a farther proceeding therein doth bring the mortality. The second, that we make application mind back again to religion ; for in the entrance of of our knowledge, to give ourselves repose and con- philosophy, when the second causes, which are tentment, and not distaste or repining. The third, next unto the senses, do offer themselves to the mind that we do not presume by the contemplation of of man, if it dwell and stay there, it may induce nature to attain to the mysteries of God. For as some oblivion of the highest cause : but when a touching the first of these, Solomon doth excellently man passeth on farther, and seeth the dependence expound himself in another place of the same book, of causes and the works of providence; then, accordwhere he saith; " I saw well that knowledge re ing to the allegory of the poets, he will easily believe eedeth as far from ignorance, as light doth from that the highest link of nature's chain must needs
be tied to the foot of Jupiter's chair. To conclude Julius Cæsar the dictator; whereof the one was therefore : let no man, upon a weak conceit of so Aristotle's scholar in philosophy, and the other was briety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or main-Cicero's rival in eloquence : or if any man had tain, that a man can search too far, or be too well rather call for scholars that were great generals, studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of than generals that were great scholars, let him God's works; divinity or philosophy ; but rather let take Epaminondas the Theban, or Xenophon the men endeavour an endless progress, or proficience Athenian; whereof the one was the first that abated in both ; only let men beware that they apply both the power of Sparta, and the other was the first that to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to made way to the overthrow of the monarchy of ostentation ; and again, that they do not unwisely Persia. And this concurrence is yet more visible mingle, or confound these learnings together. in times than in persons, by how much an age is
And as for the disgraces which learning receiveth a greater object than a man. For both in Ægypt, from politicians, they be of this nature; that learn- Assyria, Persia, Græcia, and Rome, the same times ing doth soften men's minds, and makes them more that are most renowned for arms, are likewise most unapt for the honour and exercise of arms; that it admired for learning; so that the greatest authors doth mar and pervert men's dispositions for matter and philosophers, and the greatest captains and of government and policy, in making them too curious governors, have lived in the same ages. Neither and irresolute by variety of reading, or too peremp can it otherwise be : for as, in man, the ripeness tory or positive by strictness of rules and axioms, or of the strength of body and mind cometh much too immoderate and overweening by reason of the about an age, save that the strength of the body greatness of examples, or too incompatible and dif- cometh somewhat the more early ; so, in states, fering from the times, by reason of the dissimilitude arms, and learning, whereof the one correspondeth of examples; or at least, that it doth divert men's to the body, the other to the soul of man, have a travails from action and business, and bringeth them concurrence or near sequence in times. to a love of leisure and privateness; and that it And for matter of policy and government, that doth bring into states a relaxation of discipline, learning should rather hurt, than enable thereunto, whilst every man is more ready to argue than to is a thing very improbable : we see it is accounted obey and execute. Out of this conceit, Cato, sur an error to commit a natural body to empiric physinamed the Censor, one of the wisest men indeed cians, which commonly have a few pleasing receipts, that ever lived, when Carneades the philosopher whereupon they are confident and adventurous, but came in embassage to Rome, and that the young know neither the causes of diseases, nor the commen of Rome began to flock about him, being allured plexions of patients, nor peril of accidents, nor the with the sweetness and majesty of his eloquence and true method of cures: we see it is a like error to rely learning, gave counsel in open senate, that they upon advocates or lawyers, which are only men of should give him his despatch with all speed, lest he practice, and not grounded in their books, who are should infect and enchant the minds and affections many times easily surprised, when matter falleth out of the youth, and at unawares bring in an alteration besides their experience, to the prejudice of the of the manners and customs of the state. Out of causes they handle : so, by like reason, it cannot be the same conceit, or humour, did Virgil, turning his but a matter of doubtful consequence, if states be pen to the advantage of his country, and the disad- managed by empiric statesmen, not well mingled vantage of his own profession, make a kind of sepa- with men grounded in learning. But contrariwise, ration between policy and government, and between it is almost without instance contradictory, that ever arts and sciences, in the verses so much renowned, any government was disastrous that was in the hands attributing and challenging the one to the Romans, of learned governors. For howsoever it hath been and leaving and yielding the other to the Grecians; ordinary with politic men to extenuate and disable “ Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento, learned men by the names of pedants; yet in the Hæ tibi erunt artes, etc.". So likewise we see that records of time it appeareth, in many particulars, Anytus, the accuser of Socrates, laid it as an article that the governments of princes in minority (notof charge and accusation against him, that he did, withstanding the infinite disadvantage of that kind with the variety and power of his discourses and of state) have nevertheless excelled the government disputations, withdraw young men from due rever of princes of mature age, even for that reason which ence to the laws and customs of their country; and they seek to traduce, which is, that by that occasion that he did profess a dangerous and pernicious the state hath been in the hands of pedants : for so science, which was, to make the worse matter seem was the state of Rome for the first five years, which the better, and to suppress truth by force of eloquence are so much magnified, during the minority of Nero, and speech.
in the hands of Seneca, a pedant: so it was again But these, and the like imputations, have rather for ten years' space or more during the minority of a countenance of gravity, than any ground of justice : Gordianus the younger, with great applause and for experience doth warrant, that, both in persons contentation in the hands of Misitheus, a pedant: and in times, there hath been a meeting and con so was it before that, in the minority of Alexander currence in learning and arms, flourishing and ex Severus, in like happiness, in hands not much unlike, celling in the same men, and the same ages. For, by reason of the rule of the women, who were aided as for men, there cannot be a better, nor the like by the teachers and preceptors. Nay, let a man instance, as of that pair, Alexander the Great and look into the government of the bishops of Rome,
can no more countervail learning, than one man's A
as by name, into the government of Pius Quintus, men to leisure and privateness, and make men slothand Sextus Quintus, in our times, who were both at it were a strange thing if that, which accustomtheir entrance esteemed but as pedantical friars, and eth the mind to a perpetual motion and agitation, he shall find that such popes do greater things, and should induce slothfulness; whereas contrariwise it proceed upon truer principles of state, than those may be truly affirmed, that no kind of men love which have ascended to the papacy from an educa- business for itself, but those that are learned: for tion and breeding in affairs of state and courts of other persons love it for profit; as an hireling, that princes; for although men bred in learning are per- loves the work for the wages; or for honour, as haps to seek in points of convenience, and accom- because it beareth them up in the eyes of men, and modating for the present, which the Italians call refresheth their reputations, which otherwise would ragioni di stato, whereof the same Pius Quintus could wear; or because it putteth them in mind of their not hear spoken with patience, terming them inven- fortune, and giveth them occasion to pleasure and tions against religion and the moral virtues; yet on displeasure; or because it exerciseth some faculty the other side, to recompense that, they are perfect wherein they take pride, and so entertaineth them in those same plain grounds of religion, justice, ho- in good humour and pleasing conceits toward themnour, and moral virtue, which if they be well and selves; or because it advanceth any other their ends. watchfully pursued, there will be seldom use of those So that, as it is said of untrue valours, that some other, no more than of physic in a sound or well-men’s valours are in the eyes of them that look on; dieted body. Neither can the experience of one so much men's industries are in the eyes of others, man's life furnish examples and precedents for the or at least in regard of their own designments: only events of one man's life : for, as it happeneth some- learned men love business, as an action according to times that the grandchild, or other descendant, re- nature, as agreeable to health of mind as exercise sembleth the ancestor, more than the son ; so many is to health of body, taking pleasure in the action times occurrences of present times may sort better itself, and not in the purchase: so that of all men with ancient examples, than with those of the later they are the most indefatigable, if it be towards any or immediate times: and lastly, the wit of one man business which can hold or detain their mind.
And if any man be laborious in reading and study, means can hold way with a common purse.
and yet idle in business and action, it groweth from And as for those particular seducements, or indis some weakness of body, or softness of spirit; such as positions of the mind for policy and government, Seneca speaketh of: “Quidam tam sunt umbratiles, which learning is pretended to insinuate ; if it be ut putent in turbido esse, quicquid in luce est ;" and granted that any such thing be, it must be remem not of learning : well may it be, that such a point bered withal, that learning ministereth in every of of a man's nature may make him give himself to them greater strength of medicine or remedy, than learning, but it is not learning that breedeth any it offereth cause of indisposition or infirmity: for if, such point in his nature. by a secret operation, it make men perplexed and And that learning should take up too much time irresolute, on the other side, by plain precept, it or leisure : I answer; the most active or busy man, teacheth them when, and upon what ground, to re
that hath been or can be, hath, no question, many solve; yea, and how to carry things in suspense vacant times of leisure, while he expecteth the tides without prejudice, till they resolve : if it make men and returns of business (except he be either tedious positive and regular, it teacheth them what things and of no despatch, or lightly and unworthily ambiare in their nature demonstrative, and what are tious to meddle in things that may be better done conjectural ; as well the use of distinctions and ex- by others): and then the question is but, how those ceptions, as the latitude of principles and rules. If spaces and times of leisure shall be filled and spent; it mislead by disproportion, or dissimilitude of ex whether in pleasures, or in studies; as was well amples, it teacheth men the force of circumstances, answered by Demosthenes to his adversary Æschithe errors of comparisons, and all the cautions of nes, that was a man given to pleasure, and told him, application : so that in all these it doth rectify more " that his orations did smell of the lamp :" effectually than it can pervert. And these medi deed,” said Demosthenes, “ there is a great differcines it conveyeth into men's minds much more ence between the things that you and I do by forcibly by the quickness and penetration of exam lamp-light.” So as no man need doubt, that learning ples. For let a man look into the errors of Clement will expulse business, but rather it will keep and the seventh, so livelily described by Guicciardine, who defend the possession of the mind against idleness served under him, or into the errors of Cicero, and pleasure ; which otherwise, at unawares, may painted out by his own pencil in his epistles to At enter to the prejudice of both. ticus, and he will fly apace from being irresolute. Again, for that other conceit, that learning should Let him look into the errors of Phocion, and he undermine the reverence of laws and government, it will beware how he be obstinate or inflexible. Let is assuredly a mere depravation and calumny, withhim but read the fable of Ixion, and it will hold him out all shadow of truth. For to say, that a blind from being vaporous or imaginative. Let him look custom of obedience should be a surer obligation, into the errors of Cato the second, and he will never than duty taught and understood; it is to affirm, that be one of the antipodes, to tread opposite to the a blind man may tread surer by a guide, than a seepresent world.
ing man can by a light. And it is without all conAnd for the conceit, that learning should dispose troversy, that learning doth make the minds of men
gentle, generous, maniable, and pliant to govern- I learned men, are either in respect of scarcity of ment; whereas ignorance makes them churlish, means, or in respect of privateness of life, and thwarting, and mutinous : and the evidence of time meanness of employments. doth clear this assertion, considering that the most Concerning want, and that it is the case of learned barbarous, rude, and unlearned times have been most men usually to begin with little, and not to grow subject to tumults, seditions, and changes.
rich so fast as other men, by reason they convert not And as to the judgment of Cato the Censor, he their labours chiefly to lucre and increase: it were was well punished for his blasphemy against learn- good to leave the common place in commendation of ing, in the same kind wherein he offended ; for poverty to some friar to handle, to whom much was when he was past threescore years old, he was taken attributed by Machiavel in this point; when he with an extreme desire to go to school again, and said, “ that the kingdom of the clergy had been to learn the Greek tongue, to the end to peruse the long before at an end, if the reputation and reveGreek' authors, which doth well demonstrate, that rence towards the poverty of friars had not borne his former censure of the Grecian learning was out the scandal of the superfluities and excesses of rather an affected gravity, than according to the bishops and prelates.” So a man might say, that the inward sense of his own opinion. And as for Vir felicity and delicacy of princes and great persons had gil's verses, though it pleased him to brave the long since turned to rudeness and barbarism, if the world, in taking to the Romans the art of empire, poverty of learning had not kept up civility and and leaving to others the arts of subjects ; yet so honour of life; but, without any such advantages, much is manifest, that the Romans never ascended it is worthy the observation, what a reverend and to that height of empire till the time they had honoured thing poverty of fortune was, for some ages, ascended to the height of other arts. For in the in the Roman state, which nevertheless was a state time of the two first Cæsars, which had the art of without paradoxes; for we see what Titus Livius government in greatest perfection, there lived the saith in his introduction : “ Cæterum aut me amor best poet, Virgilius Maro; the best historiographer, negotii suscepti fallit, aut nulla unquam respublica Titus Livius ; the best antiquary, Marcus Varro; nec major, nec sanctior, nec bonis exemplis ditior and the best or second orator, Marcus Cicero, that fuit; nec in quam tam seræ avaritia luxuriaque imto the memory of man are known. As for the ac- migraverint: nec ubi tantus ac tam diu paupertati cusation of Socrates, the time must be remembered ac parsimoniæ honos fuerit.” We see likewise, after when it was prosecuted; which was under the that the state of Rome was not itself, but did degethirty tyrants, the most base, bloody, and envious nerate, how that person, that took upon him to be persons that have governed ; which revolution of counsellor to Julius Cæsar, after his victory, where state was no sooner over, but Socrates, whom they to begin his restoration of the state, maketh it of all had made a person criminal, was made a person points the most summary to take away the estimaheroical, and his memory accumulate with honours tion of wealth : “ Verum hæc, et omnia mala pariter divine and human ; and those discourses of his, cum honore pecuniæ desinent: si neque magistratus, which were then termed corrupting of manners, neque alia vulgo cupienda, venalia erunt." To conwere after acknowledged for sovereign medicines of clude this point, as it was truly said, that “rubor the mind and manners, and so have been received est virtutis color," though sometimes it comes from ever since, till this day. Let this therefore serve vice; so it may be fitly said, that “paupertas est for answer to politicians, which in their humorous virtutis fortuna,” though sometimes it may proceed severity, or in their feigned gravity, have presumed from misgovernment and accident. Surely Solomon to throw imputations upon learning; which redargu- hath pronounced it both in censure, “Qui festinat tion, nevertheless, (save that we know not whether ad divitias, non erit insons ;” and in precept, “Buy our labours may extend to other ages,) were not the truth and sell it not ;” and so of wisdom and needful for the present, in regard of the love and knowledge ; judging that means were to be spent reverence towards learning, which the example and upon learning, and not learning to be applied to countenance of two so learned princes, queen Eliza
And as for the privateness, or obscureness beth and your majesty, being as Castor and Pollux, (as it may be in vulgar estimation accounted) of life lucida sidera, stars of excellent light and most of contemplative men ; it is a theme so common, to benign influence, hath wrought in all men of place extol a private life, not taxed with sensuality and and authority in our nation.
sloth, in comparison, and to the disadvantage of a Now therefore we come to that third sort of dis- civil life, for safety, liberty, pleasure, and dignity, or credit, or diminution of credit, that groweth unto at least freedom from indignity, as no man handleth learning from learned men themselves, which com- it, but handleth it well: such a consonancy it hath monly cleaveth fastest: it is either from their for- to men's conceits in the expressing, and to men's tune ; or from their manners; or from the nature of consents in the allowing. This only I will add, that their studies. For the first, it is not in their power; learned men, forgotten in states, and not living in and the second is accidental; the third only is pro the eyes of men, are like the images of Cassius and per to be handled: but because we are not in hand Brutus in the funeral of Junia; of which not being with true measure, but with popular estimation and represented, as many others were, Tacitus saith, “ Eo conceit, it is not amiss to speak somewhat of the ipso præfulgebant, quod non visebantur.” two former. The derogations, therefore, which And for meanness of employment, that which grow to learning from the fortune or condition of l is most traduced to contempt, is that the government