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of Tyana;1 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.2 The Latin adage meeteth with it a little: Magna civitas, magna solitudo; because in a great town friends are scattered; so that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, which is in less neighbourhoods. 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.5
A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart,
1 Apollonius was born at Tyana, Cappadocia, and lived from about 4 B.C. to about 97 A.D. He was a Pythagorean philosopher and reputed magician and wonder-worker. Divine honors were paid to Apollonius in the 3d century and his bust was placed by Alexander Severus in his lararium with those of Abraham, Orpheus, and Christ.
2 "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." I. Corinthians xiii. 1.
3 A great city is a great solitude. • Mere. Absolute, utter, whole. "It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and valiant general, that, upon certain tidings now arrived, importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man put himself into triumph." Shakspere. Othello. ii. 2.
5 Humanity. Human nature; man in the abstract. "Oh, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor Turk, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made them, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably." Shakspere. Hamlet. iii. 2.
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 sarza1 to open the liver, steel to open the spleen, flower of sulphur 2 for the lungs, castoreum3 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 favourites, or privadoes; 4 as if it were matter of grace, or conversation. the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause thereof, naming them participes curarum;5 for it is that which tieth the knot. And we see plainly that this hath been done, not by weak and passionate
1 Sarza. Sarsaparilla.
2 Flower of sulphur. A yellow powder formed by condensing the vapor of sulphur.
3 Castoreum. A secretion of the beaver formerly of high repute in medicine.
Privado. Spanish word, a private or intimate friend. 5 Sharers of cares, partners in sorrows.
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,1 when he commanded Rome, raised Pompey (after surnamed the Great) to that height, that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's over-match. 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.2 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 Calpurnia; 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.5 And it seemeth his favour was so great, as Antonius, in a letter which is recited verba
1 Lucius Cornelius Sulla, surnamed Felix, lived from about 138 to 78 B.C., a celebrated Roman general and dictator.
2 Plutarch. Life of Pompey.
3 Decimus Junius Brutus, surnamed Albinus, Roman general, one of the assassins of Caesar, executed 43 B.C. He was betrayed and put to death by Antony.
Calpurnia, daughter of Lucius Calpurnius Piso, and third wife of Caesar.
'Plutarch. Life of Caesar.
tim in one of Cicero's Philippics,1 calleth him venefica, witch; as if he had enchanted Cæsar.2 Augustus raised Agrippa3 (though of mean birth) to that height, as when he consulted with Mæcenas 5 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 life: there was no third way, he had made him so great. With Tiberius Cæsar, Sejanus had ascended to that height, as they two were termed and reckoned as a pair of friends. Tiberius in a letter to him saith, hæc pro amicitiá nostrá non occultavi; and the whole senate dedicated an altar to Friendship, as to a goddess, in respect of the great dearness of friendship between them two. The like or more was between Septimius Severus and Plautianus. For he forced his eldest son to marry the daughter of Plautianus; and would often maintain Plautianus in doing affronts to his son; and did write also in a letter to the senate, by these words: I love the man so well, as I wish he may over-lives me. Now if
1 Cicero's Philippics are fourteen orations against Antony, delivered in 44-43. The original Philippics are Demosthenes's nine orations against Philip of Macedon.
2 M. Tullii Ciceronis in M. Antonium Oratio Philippica Tertia Decima. XI. 25.
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, 63-12 B.C., Roman commander and the leading statesman of the reign of Augustus. His third wife was Julia, daughter of Augustus and widow of Marcellus.
4 As. That.
5 Caius Cilnius Maecenas, died 8 B.C., Roman statesman and patron of letters. With Agrippa, he was the chief adviser of Augustus down to 16 B.C., when he became estranged from his master and retired to private life. He was the friend and patron of Horace and Vergil.
6 Dion Cassius. Liber LVI. 6.
Because of our friendship, I have not concealed these things. P. Cornelii Taciti Annalium Liber IV. 40.
8 Overlive. To survive; to outlive. "And Israel served the Lord
these princes had been as a Trajan1 or a Marcus Aurelius,2 a man might have thought that this had proceeded of an abundant goodness of nature; but being men so wise, of such strength and severity of mind, and so extreme lovers of themselves, as all these were, it proveth most plainly that they found their own felicity (though as great as ever happened to mortal men) but as an half piece, except they mought have a friend to make it entire; and yet, which is more, they were princes that had wives, sons, nephews; and yet all these could not supply the comfort of friendship.
It is not to be forgotten what Comineus 5 observeth of his first master, Duke Charles the Hardy;" namely, that he would communicate his secrets with none; and least of all, those secrets which troubled him most. Whereupon he goeth on and
all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Israel." Joshua xxiv. 31. The quotation is from Dion Cassius Cocceianus (Cassii Dionis Cocceiani Historiae Romanae Liber LXXV. 15).
1 Marcus Ulpius Trajanus, surnamed Dacicus and Parthicus, born about 53, died 117 A.D., Roman emperor from 98 to 117 A.D. 2 Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, originally Marcus Annus Verus, commonly known as Marcus Aurelius, 121-180 A.D., Roman emperor from 161 to 180 A.D. He wrote, in Greek, a very celebrated book, entitled, The Meditations of Marcus Antoninus.
3 Mought. Old form of might.
"So sound he slept, that nought mought him awake." Spenser. The Faery Queene. Book I. Canto i. Stanza 42.
4 Which. What.
"Which a miracle ther befel anoon."
5 Philippe de Comines, or Commines, or Comynes, born about 1445, died in 1519, a French statesman and historian.
Charles the Bold (French, le Téméraire), 1433-1477, Duke of Burgundy.
"Communicate. To inform a person of; to tell. Now construed with 'to' instead of 'with.'