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true Friends; without which the World is but a Wilderness and even in this fenfe alfo of Solitude, whofoever in the Frame of his Nature and Affections, is unfit for Friendship, he taketh it of the Beast, and not from Humanity.
A principal Fruit of Friendship, is the Ease and Discharge of the Fulnefs and Swellings of the Heart, which Paffions 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 otherwife in the Mind: You may take Sarza to open the Liver; Steel to open the Spleen; Flower of Sulphur for the Lungs; Caftoreum for the Brain; but no Receipt openeth the Heart, but a true Friend, to whom you may impart Griefs, Joys, Fears, Hopes, Sufpicions, Counfels, and whatsoever liveth upon the Heart, to oppress it, in a kind of civil Shrift or Confeffion.
It is a ftrange Thing to obferve, how high a Rate, great Kings and Monarchs do fet upon this Fruit of Friendship, whereof we fpeak: 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 Perfons to be, as it were, Companions, and almoft Equals to themfelves, which many times forteth to inconvenience. The modern Languages give unto fuch Perfons, the name of Favourites or Privadoes; as if it were matter of Grace, or Converfation. But the Roman Name
attaineth the true Ufe, and Cause thereof; Naming them Participes Curarum; for it is that, which tieth the knot. And we see plainly, that this hath been done, not by weak and paffionate Princes only, but by the wisest and most politick that ever reigned; who have oftentimes joined to themfelves, fome of their Servants, whom both themfelves have called Friends; and allowed others likewife to call them in the fame manner; using the Word which is received between private Men.
L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised Pompey (after furnamed the Great) to that Height, that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's Overmatch. For when he had carried the Confulship 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 rifing, than the Sun fetting. With Julius Cæfar, Decimus Brutus had obtained that Intereft, as he fet 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 Cæfar would have discharged the Senate, in regard of fome ill Presages, and specially a Dream of Calfurnia, 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. And it feemeth, his Favour was fo great, as Antonius in a Letter, which is recited verbatim, in one of Cicero's Philippics, calleth him Venefica, Witch; as if
he had enchanted Cæfar. Auguftus raised Agrippa (though of mean Birth) to that Height, as when he confulted with Mecenas, about the Marriage of his Daughter Julia, Macenas 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 fo great. With Tiberius Cafar, Sejanus had ascended to that Height, as they Two were termed and reckoned, as a Pair of Friends. Tiberius in a Letter to him faith; Hæc pro Amicitiâ noftrâ non occultavi: and the whole Senate, dedicated an Altar to Friendship, as to a Goddess, in refpect of the great Dearness of Friendfhip, between them Two. The like or more was between Septimius Severus, and Plantianus. For he forced his eldest Son to marry the Daughter of Plantianus, and would often maintain Plantianus, in doing Affronts to his Son and did write also in a Letter to the Senate, by these Words: I love the Man fo well, as I wish he may over-live me. Now if these Princes had been as a Trajan, or a Marcus Aurelius, a Man might have thought, that this had proceeded of an abundant Goodness of Nature; but being Men so Wise, of fuch 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 might 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 fupply the Comfort of Friendship.
It is not to be forgotten, what Commineus observeth, of his first Master Duke Charles the Hardy; namely that he would communicate his Secrets with none; and leaft of all, thofe Secrets which troubled him moft. Whereupon he goeth on, and faith, that towards his latter time; That Clofenefs did impair, and a little perish his Underftanding. Surely Commineus might have made the fame Judgement also, if it had pleased him, of his fecond Master Louis the Eleventh, whose Closenefs was indeed his Tormentor. The Parable of Pythagoras is dark, but true; Cor ne edito: Eat not the Heart. Certainly, if a Man would give it a hard Phrase, those that want Friends to open themfelves unto, are Cannibals of their own Hearts. But one Thing is most admirable, (wherewith I will conclude this first Fruit of Friendship) which is, that this communicating of a Man's self to his Friend, works two contrary Effects; for it redoubleth Joys, and cutteth Griefs in Halves. For there is no Man, that imparteth his Joys to his Friend, but he joyeth the more; and no Man, that imparteth his Griefs to his Friend, but he grieveth the lefs. So that it is, in Truth of Operation upon a Man's Mind, of like virtue, as the Alchymifts ufe to attribute to their Stone, for Man's Body: that it worketh all contrary Effects, but ftill to the Good, and Benefit of Nature. But yet, without praying in Aid of Alchymifts, there is a manifest Image of this, in the ordinary course of Nature. For in Bodies, Union ftrengtheneth and cherisheth any natural Action; and, on the other fide, weak
eneth and dulleth any violent Impreffion: and even fo is it of Minds.
The second Fruit of Friendship, is healthful and fovereign for the Understanding, as the first is for the Affections. For Friendship maketh indeed a fair Day in the Affections, from Storm and Tempefts: but it maketh Day-light in the Understanding, out of Darkness and Confusion of Thoughts. Neither is this to be understood only of Faithful Counsel, which a Man receiveth from his Friend; but before you come to that, certain it is, that whofoever hath his Mind fraught with many Thoughts, his Wits and Understanding do clarify and break up, in the communicating and difcourfing with Another he toffeth his Thoughts more easily; he marshalleth them more orderly; he seeth how they look when they are turned into Words finally, he waxeth wifer than himself; and that more by an hour's Discourse, than by a Day's Meditation. It was well faid by Themistocles to the King of Perfia; That speech was like Cloth of Arras, opened, and put abroad; whereby the Imagery doth appear in Figure, whereas in Thoughts, they lie but as in Packs. Neither is this fecond Fruit of Friendship, in opening the Understanding, reftrained only to fuch Friends, as are able to give a Man Counsel: (they indeed are beft) but even, without that, a Man learneth of himself, and bringeth his own Thoughts to Light, and whetteth his Wits as against a Stone which itself cuts not. In a word, a Man were better relate himself to a Statua, or Picture, than to fuffer his Thoughts to pass in fmother.