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LETTER AND DISCOURSE TO SIR HENRY SAVILL,
HELPS FOR THE INTELLECTUAL POWERS.
place to practise it, and judgment and leisure to Coming back from your invitation at Eton, look deeper into it, than I have done. Herein where I had refreshed myself with company you must call to mind "Aplotov kèv idwp. Though which I loved, I fell into a consideration of that the argument be not of great height and dignity, part of policy whereof philosophy speaketh too nevertheless it is of great and universal use; and much and laws too little; and that is of education yet I do not see why, to consider it rightly, that of youth. Whereupon fixing my mind a while, I should not be a learning of height, which teachfound straightways, and noted even in the dis- eth to raise the highest and worthiest part of the courses of philosophers which are so large in this mind. But howsoever that be, if the world take argument, a strange silence concerning one prin- any light and use by this writing, I will the gracipal part of that subject. For as touching the tulation be to the good friendship and acquaintframing and seasoning of youth to moral virtue, ance between us two. And so I commend you (as tolerance of labours, continency from plea- to God's divine protection. sures, obedience, honour, and the like,) they handle it; but touching the improvement and helping A DISCOURSE TOUCHING HELPS FOR of the intellectual powers, as of conceit, memory,
THE INTELLECTUAL POWERS. and judgment, they say nothing. Whether it were that they thought it to be a matter wherein I did ever hold it for an insolent and unlucky nature only prevailed; or that they intended it as saying, “ faber quisque fortunæ suæ," except it be referred to the several and proper arts which teach uttered only as an hortative or spur to correct sloth. the use of reason and speech. But for the former for otherwise if it be believed as it soundeth ; of these two reasons, howsoever it pleaseth them and that a man entereth into an high imagination to distinguish of habits and powers, the experi- that he can compass and fathom all accidents ; ence is manifest enough that the motions and fa- and ascribeth all successes to his drifts and culties of the wit and memory may be not only reaches, and the contrary to his errors and sleepgoverned and guided but also confirmed and en- ings. It is commonly seen that the evening forlarged by custom and exercise duly applied. As tune of that man is not so prosperous as of him if a man exercise shooting, he shall not only shoot that without slackening of his industry attributeth nearer the mark but also draw a stronger bow. much to felicity and providence above him. But And as for the latter of comprehending these pre- if the sentence were turned to this, “ faber quiscepts within the arts of logic and rhetoric, if it que ingenii sui,” it were somewhat more true be rightly considered, their office is distinct alto- and much more profitable; because it would teach gether from this point. For it is no part of the men to bend themselves to reform those imperfecdoctrine of the use or handling of an instrument to tions in themselves, which now they seek but to teach how to whet or grind the instrument to give cover; and to attain those virtues and good parts, it a sharp edge, or how to quench it or otherwise which now they seek but to have only in show and whereby to give it a stronger temper. Wherefore demonstration. Yet notwithstanding every man finding this part of knowledge not broken, I have attempteth to be of the first trade of carpenters, but “ tanquam aliud agens" entered into it, and and few bind themselves to the second : whereas salute you with it, dedicating it after the ancient nevertheless, the rising in fortune seldom amendmanner, first as to a dear friend : and then as to eth the mind; but on the other side, the removing an apt person; for as much as you have both of the stondes and impediments of the mind. doth
often clear the passage and current to a man's made a funambulo, will prove more excellent in fortune. But certain it is, whether it be believed his feats; but the less apt will be gregarius fuor no, that as the most excellent of metals, gold, nambulo also. And there is small question, but is of all other the most pliant, and most ondur- that these abilities would have been more common, ing to be wrought: so of all living and breathing and others of like sort not attempted would likesubstances, the perfectest man is the most suscep- wise have been brought upon the stage, but for tible of help, improvement, impression, and altera- two reasons; the one because of men's diffidence tion; and not only in his body, but in his mind and in prejudging them as impossibilities; for it holdspirit; and there again not only in his appetite and eth in those things which the poet saith, “posaffection, but in his powers of wit and reason. sunt quia posse videntur;" for no man shall know
For as to the body of man, we find many and how much may be done, except he believe much strange experiences, how nature is overwrought may be done. The other reason is, because they by custom, even in actions that seem of most diffi- be but practices, base and inglorious, and of no culty and least possible. As first in voluntary great use, and therefore sequestered from reward motion, which though it be termed voluntary, yet of value ; and on the other side, painful; so as the highest degrees of it are not voluntary ; for it the recompense balanceth not with the travel and is in my power and will to run; but to run faster suffering. And as to the will of man, it is that than according to my lightness or disposition of which is most maniable and obedient; as that body, is not in my power nor will. We see the which admitteth most medicines to cure and alter industry and practice of tumblers and funambulos it. The most sovereign of all is religion, which what effects of great wonder it bringeth the body is able to change and transform it in the deepest of man unto. So for suffering of pain and dolour, and most inward inclinations and motions: and which is thought so contrary to the nature of man, next to that is opinion and apprehension; whether there is much example of penances in strict orders it be infused by tradition and institution, or of superstition, what they do endure such as may wrought in by disputation and persuasion : and the well verify the report of the Spartan boys, which third is example, which transformeth the will of were wont to be scourged upon the altar so bitter- man into the similitude of that which is most obly as sometimes they died of it, and yet were servant and familiar towards it; and the fourth is, heard to complain. And to pass to those faculties when one affection is healed and corrected by which are reckoned more involuntary, as long fast- another; as when cowardice is remedied by shame ing and abstinence, and the contrary extreme, vora- and dishonour, or sluggishness and backwardness city. The leaving and forbearing the use of drink by indignation and emulation ; and so of the like; for altogether, the enduring vehement cold and and lastly, when all these means, or any of them, the like; there have not wanted, neither do want have new framed or formed human will, then doth divers examples of strange victories over the body custom and habit corroborate and confirm all the in every of these. Nay, in respiration, the proof rest; therefore it is no marvel, though this faculty hath been of some, who, by continual use of diving of the mind (of will and election) which inclineth and working under the water, have brought them- affection and appetite, being but the inceptions and selves to be able to hold their breath an incredible rudiments of will, may be so well governed and time ; and others that have been able, without managed, because it admitteth access to so divers suffocation, to endure the stifling breath of an remedies to be applied to it and to work upon it, oven or furnace, so heated as, though it did not the effects whereof are so many and so known as scald nor burn, yet it was many degrees too hot require no enumeration ; but generally they do for any man not made to it to breathe or take in. issue as medicines do, into two kinds of cures, And some impostors and counterfeits, likewise, whereof the one is a just or true cure, and the other have been able to wreath and cast their bodies is called palliation; for either the labour and inteninto strange forms and motions : yea, and others tion is to reform the affections really and truly, reto bring themselves into trances and astonish- straining them if they be too violent, and raising ments. All which examples do demonstrate how them if they be too soft and weak, or else it is to variously, and how to high points and degrees, cover them; or if occasion be, to pretend them and the body of man may be (as it were) moulded and represent them: of the former sort whereof the exwrought. And if any man conceive that it is amples are plentiful in the schools of philosophers, some secret propriety of nature that hath been in and in all other institutions of moral virtue; and these persons which have attained to those points, of the other sort, the examples are more plentiful and that it is not open for every man to do the like, in the courts of princes, and in all politic trafthough he had been put to it; for which cause fic, where it is ordinary to find not only profound such things come but very rarely to pass; it is true, dissimulations and suffocating the affections, that no doubt, but some persons are apter than others; no note or mark appear of them outwardly, but but so as the more aptness causeth perfection, but also lively simulations and affectations, carrying the less aptness doth not disable; so that, for ex- the tokens of passions which are not, as “risus ample, the more apt child, that is taken to be ljussus," and " lachrymæ coactæ," and the like
OF HELPS OF THE INTELLECTUAL
“ per partes” and “per consequentiam," enable POWERS.
these faculties, which perhaps direct exercise at
first would but distort: and these have chiefly The intellectual powers have fewer means to place where the faculty is weak, not “per se,” but work upon them than the will or body of man; but “per accidens;" as if want of memory grow the one that prevaileth, that is exercise, worketh through lightness of wit and want of stayed attenmore forcibly in them than in the rest.
tion, then the mathematics or the law helpeth; The ancient habit of the philosophers; “Si quis because they are things wherein if the mind once quærat, in utramque partem, de omni scibili.” roam it cannot recover.
The exercise of scholars making verses extem- 3. Of the advantages of exercise; as to dance pore; “Stans pede in uno."
with heavy shoes, to march with heavy armour and The exercise of lawyers in memory narrative. carriage; and the contrary advantage (in natures
The exercise of sophists, and “Jo. ad opposi- very dull and unapt) of working alacrity by framing tum,” with manifest effect.
an exercise with some delight or affection; Artificial memory greatly holpen by exercise. “ Veluti pueris dant crustula blandi The exercise of buffoons, to draw all things to
Doctores, elementa velint ut discere prima." conceits ridiculous.
4. Of the cautions of exercise; as to beware, The means that help the understanding and lest by evil doing (as all beginners do weakly) faculties thereof are :
a man grow not and be inveterate in an ill habit; (Not example, as in the will, by conversation; and so take not the advantage of custom in perand here the conceit of imitation already digested, fection, but in confirming ill. Slubbering on the with the confutation, “Obiter, si videbitur," of lute. Tully's opinion, advising a man to take some one 5. The marshalling, and sequel of sciences and to imitate. Similitude of faces analysed.) practices : logic and rhetoric should be used to be
Arts, Logic, Rhetoric : The ancients, Aristotle, read after poesy, history, and philosophy. First, Plato, Theætetus, Gorgias, litigiosus vel sophista, exercise to do things well and clean : after, promptProtagoras, Aristotle, schola sua. Topics, Elen- ly and readily. ches, Rhetorics, Organon, Cicero, Hermogenes. The exercises in the universities and schools The Neoterics, Ramus, Agricola. Nil sacri; Lul- are of memory and invention ; either to speak by lius, his Typocosmia, studying Cooper's Diction- heart that which is set down verbatim, or to speak ary; Mattheus' Collection of proper words for extempore; whereas, there is little use in action Metaphors; Agrippa de vanitate, &c.
of either of both : but most things which we utter Qu. If not here of imitation.
are neither verbally premeditate, nor merely exCollections preparative. Aristotle's similitude temporal; therefore exercise would be framed to of a shoemaker's shop full of shoes of all sorts ; take a little breathing and to consider of heads; Demosthenes Exordia concionum. Tully's pre- and then to fit and form the speech extempore ; cept, of Theses of all sorts, preparative.
this would be done in two manners, both with The relying upon exercise, with the difference of writing and tables, and without: for in most actions using and tempering the instrument; and the simi- it is permitted and passable to use the note; wherelitude of prescribing against the laws of nature and unto if a man be not accustomed it will put him of estate.
There is no use of a narrative memory in acaFIVE POINTS.
demies, viz. with circumstances of times, persons,
and places, and with names; and it is one art to 1. That exercises are to be framed to the life; discourse, and another to relate and describe ; and that is to say, to work ability in that kind whereof herein use and action is most conversant. a man in the course of action shall have most use. Also to sum up and contract is a thing in action
2. The indirect and oblique exercises which do, of very general use.
NEW AND OLD.
Julius Cæsar did write a collection of apophthegms, as appears in an epistle of Cicero; I need say no more for the worth of a writing of that nature. It is pity his book is lost: for I imagine they were collected with judgment and choice; whereas that of Plutarch and Stobæus, and much more the modern ones, draw much of the dregs. Certainly they are of excellent use. They are “mucrones verborum,” pointed speeches. Cicero prettily calleth them “salinas," salt pits, that you may extract salt out of, and sprinkle it where you will. They serve to be interlaced in continued speech. They serve to be recited upon occasion of themselves. They serve, if you take out the kernel of thein and make them your own. I have, for my recreation, in my sickness, fanned the old, not omitting any, because they are vulgar, for many vulgar ones are excellent good; nor for the meanness of the person, but because they are dull and flat; and adding many new, that otherwise would have died.
1. When Queen Elizabeth had advanced to accountants that were already, but extend only Raleigh, she was one day playing on the virgi- to accountants hereafter. But the lo. treasurer said, nals, and my Lo. of Oxford and another nobleman Why, I pray you, if you had lost your purse by stood by. It fell out so, that the ledge before the the way, would you look forwards, or would you jacks was taken away, so as the jacks were seen: look back ? The queen hath lost her purse." my Lo. of Oxford and the other nobleman smiled, 4. Queen Elizabeth, the morrow of her coronaand a little whispered. The queen marked it, and tion, went to the chapel; and in the great chamwould needs know what the matter was? My ber, Sir John Rainsford, set on by wiser men, (a Lo. of Oxford answered : “ That they smiled to knight that had the liberty of a buffoon,) besought see that when jacks went up, heads went down.” the queen aloud; “That now this good time,
2. Henry the Fourth of France his queen was when prisoners were delivered, four prisoners, great with child; Count Soissons, that had his amongst the rest, mought likewise have their expectation upon the crown, when it was twice liberty who were like enough to be kept still in or thrice thought that the queen was with child hold.” The queen asked ; “Who they were ?" before, said to some of his friends, “That it was And he said ; • Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but with a pillow.” This had someways come who had long been imprisoned in the Latin to the king's ear; who kept it till when the queen tongue; and now he desired they mought go waxed great: called the Count of Soissons to him, abroad among the people in English.” The and said, laying his hand upon the queen's belly; queen answered, with a grave countenance; “It 6 Come, cousin, it is no pillow !"_“ Yes, sir,” were good (Rainsford) they were spoken with answered the Count of Soissons, “it is a pillow themselves, to know of them whether they would for all France to sleep upon.”
be set at liberty ?" 3. There was a conference in parliament be- 5. The lo. keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon, was tween the Upper House and the Lower, about a asked his opinion by Queen Elizabeth of one of bill of accountants, which came down from the these monopoly licences ? And he answered Lords to the Commons; which bill prayed, That Will you have me speak truth, madam ? the lands of accountants, whereof they were • Licentia omnes deteriores sumus;'” We are all seized when they entered upon their office, mought the worse for a licence. be liable to their arrears to the queen; but the Com- 6. Pace, the bitter fool, was not suffered to mons desired that the bill mought not look back come at the queen, because of his bitter humour,
Yet at one time, some persuaded the queen that except himself were pope. And therefore that he should come to her; undertaking for him, that he did raise him, as the driver on of his own forhe should keep compass: so he was brought to tune." her, and the queen said: “Come on, Pace; now 14. Sir Thomas More had only daughters at we shall hear of our faults.” Saith Pace; “I do the first, and his wife did ever pray for a boy. not use to talk of that that all the town talks on." At last he had a boy, which after, at man's years,
7. My Lo. of Essex, at the succour of Rhoan, proved simple. Sir Thomas said to his wife, made twenty-four knights, which at that time was “ Thou prayedst so long for a boy, that he will a great matter. Divers of those gentlemen were be a boy as long as he lives.” of weak and small means; which when Queen 15. Sir Thomas More, the day that he was beElizabeth heard, she said, “My lo. mought have headed, had a barber sent to him, because his hair
a done well to have built his almshouse, before he was long; which was thought would make him made his knights.”
more commiserated with the people. The barber 8. A great officer in France was in danger to came to him, and asked him, “Whether he would have lost his place; but his wife, by her suit and be pleased to be trimmed ?" " In good faith, means making, made his peace; whereupon a honest fellow," said Sir Thomas, “ the king and pleasant fellow said, " That he had been crushed, I have a suit for my head, and till the title be but that he saved himself upon his horns." cleared, I will do no cost upon it.”
9. Queen Ann Bullen, at the time when she 16. Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, was led to be beheaded in the Tower, called one a great champion of the Papists, was wont to of the king's privy chamber to her, and said to say of the Protestants who ground upon the him, “Commend me to the king, and tell him, he Scripture, " That they were like posts, that bring is constant in his course of advancing me; from truth in their letters, and lies in their mouths.” a private gentlewoman he made me a marquisse, 17. The Lacedæmonians were besieged by the and from a marquisse a queen; and now, he had Athenians in the Port of Pellae, which was won, left no higher degree of earthly honour, he hath and some slain, and some taken. There was one made me a martyr."
said to one of them that was taken, by way of 10. Bishop Latimer said, in a sermon at court, scorn, “Were not they brave men that lost their - That he heard great speech that the king was lives at the Port of Pellae ?" He answered, poor; and many ways were propounded to make “ Certainly a Persian arrow is much to be set by, him rich; for his part he had thought of one way, if it can choose out a brave man." which was that they should help the king to some 18. After the defeat of Cyrus the younger, Fagood office, für all his officers were rich." linus was sent by the king to the Grecians, who
11. Cæsar Borgia, after long division between had for their part rather victory than otherwise, him and the lords of Romagna, fell to accord with to command them to yield their arms; which them. In this accord there was an article, that when it was denied, Falinus said to Clearchus; he should not call them at any time all together “ Well then, the king lets you know, that if you in person. The meaning was, that knowing his remove from the place where you are now endangerous nature, if he meant them treason, some camped, it is war: if you stay, it is truce. What one mought be free to revenge the rest. Never- shall I say you will do ?" Clearchus answered, theless, he did with such fine art and fair carriage " It pleaseth us, as it pleaseth the king.” “ How win their confidence, that he brought them alto- is that?" said Falinus. Saith Clearchus, “ If we gether to council at Cinigaglia; where he mur- remove, war: if we stay, truce :" and so would dered them all. This act, when it was related not disclose his purpose. unto Pope Alexander, his father, by a cardinal, as 19. Clodius was acquitted by a corrupt jury, a thing happy, but very perfidious; the pope said, that had palpably taken shares of money: before “It was they that had broke their covenant first, they gave up their verdict, they prayed of the in coming all together."
senate a guard, that they might do their con12. Pope Julius the Third, when he was made sciences freely, for that Clodius was a very sedi. pope, gave his hat unto a youth, a favourite of his, tious young nobleman. Whereupon all the world with great scandal. Whereupon, at one time, a gave him for condemned. But acquitted he was. cardinal that mought be free with him, said Catulus, the next day seeing some of them that modestly to him, “What did your holiness see in had acquitted him together, said to them ; " What that young man, to make him cardinal ?" Julius made you to ask of us a guard? Were you afraid answered, “What did you see in me to make me your money should have been taken from you ?” pope?"
20. At the same judgment, Cicero gave in evi13. The same Julius, upon like occasion of dence upon oath: and the jury, which consisted speech, Why he should bear so great affection to of fifty-seven, passed against his evidence. One the same young man ? would say, " that he had day in the senate Cicero and Clodius being in found by astrology that it was the youth's des- altercation, Clodius upbraided him and said, tiny to be a great prelate; which was impossible I. The jury gave you no credit." Cicero an