Изображения страниц

Races, it is not the large Stride, or High Lift, that makes the Speed: fo in Business, the Keeping close to the matter, and not Taking of it too much at once, procureth Difpatch. It is the Care of fome, only to come off speedily, for the time; or to contrive fome false Periods of Business, because they may seem Men of Dispatch. But it is one Thing, to abbreviate by contracting, another by cutting off: and Business fo handled at feveral Sittings or Meetings, goeth commonly backward and forward, in an unsteady Manner. I knew a wife Man, that had it for a By-word, when he saw Men haften to a conclufion; Stay a little, that we may make an End the fooner.

On the other fide, true Dispatch is a rich Thing. For Time is the measure of Business, as Money is of Wares and Business is bought at a dear Hand, where there is small Dispatch. The Spartans, and Spaniards, have been noted to be of small Difpatch; Mi venga la Muerte de Spagna; Let my Death come from Spain; for then it will be fure to be long in coming.

Give good Hearing to those, that give the first Information in Business; and rather direct them in the beginning, than interrupt them in the continuance of their Speeches: for he that is put out of his own Order, will go forward and backward, and be more tedious while he waits upon his Memory, than he could have been, if he had gone on, in his own course. But fometimes it is seen, that the Moderator is more troublesome than the Actor. Iterations are commonly lofs of Time: but

there is no such gain of Time, as to iterate often the State of the Question: for it chafeth away many a Frivolous Speech, as it is coming forth. Long and curious Speeches, are as fit for Dispatch, as a Robe or Mantle with a long Train is for Race. Prefaces, and Paffages, and Excufations, and other Speeches of Reference to the Perfon, are great waftes of Time; and though they feem to proceed of Modefty, they are Bravery. Yet beware of being too Material, when there is any Impediment or Obftruction in Men's Wills; for Pre-occupation of Mind, ever requireth preface of Speech; like a Fomentation to make the unguent enter.

Above all things, Order, and Diftribution, and Singling out of Parts, is the life of Dispatch; fo as the Diftribution be not too fubtil: for he that doth not divide, will never enter well into Bufinefs; and he that divideth too much, will never come out of it clearly. To choose Time, is to fave Time; and an unfeasonable Motion is but beating the Air. There be three Parts of Business: the Preparation; the Debate, or Examination; and the Perfection. Whereof, if you look for Dispatch, let the Middle only be the Work of Many, and the First and Laft the Work of Few. The Proceeding upon fomewhat conceived in Writing, doth for the most part facilitate Dispatch: for though it should be wholly rejected, yet that Negative is more pregnant of Direction, than an Indefinite; as Ashes are more generative than Dust.

XXVI. Of Seeming Wife.

T hath been an Opinion, that the French are wiser than they feem; and the Spaniards feem wifer than they are. But howfoever it be between Nations, certainly it is fo between Man and Man. For as the Apostle faith of Godliness; Having a fhew of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof; fo certainly, there are in Points of Wisdom, and Sufficiency, that do nothing or little, very folemnly; Magno conatu Nugas. It is a ridiculous Thing, and fit for a Satire, to Perfons of Judgement, to fee what shifts these Formalifts have, and what Prospectives, to make Superficies to feem Body, that hath Depth and Bulk. Some are so close and referved, as they will not fhew their Wares, but by a dark Light and feem always to keep back fomewhat; 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 fpeak. Some help themselves with Countenance, and Gesture, and are wife by Signs; as Cicero faith of Pifo, that when he answered him, he fetched one of his Brows, up to his Forehead, and bent the other down to his Chin: Refpondes, altero ad Frontem fublato, altero ad Mentum depreffo fupercilio; Crudelitatem tibi non placere. 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 fo would have their Ignorance feem Judgement. Some are never without a Difference, and commonly by amusing Men with a Subtilty, blanch the matter; Of whom A. Gellius faith; Hominem delirum, qui Verborum Minutiis Rerum frangit Pondera. Of which kind alfo, Plato in his Protagoras bringeth in Prodicus, in Scorn, and maketh him make a Speech, that confifteth of Diftinctions from the Beginning to the End. Generally, fuch Men in all Deliberations, find ease to be of the negative Side; and affect a Credit, to object and foretell Difficulties: for when propofitions 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, hath fo many Tricks, to uphold the Credit of their Wealth, as these empty Perfons have, to maintain the Credit of their Sufficiency. Seeming Wife-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 abfurd, than over formal.

XXVII. Of Friendship.

T 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 folitude, is either a wild Beaft, or a God. For it is moft true, that a natural and fecret Hatred, and Averfation towards Society, in any Man, hath somewhat of the favage 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 Defire, to fequefter a Man's Self, for a higher Conversation such as is found, to have been falfely and feignedly, in some of the Heathen; as Epimenides the Candian, Numa the Roman, Empedocles the Scicilian, 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; because in a great Town, Friends are scattered; so that there is not that Fellowship, for the most Part, which is in lefs Neighbourhoods. But we may go further, and affirm moft truly, That it is a mere and miferable Solitude, to want

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »