« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books ; else, distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise ; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend. Abeunt studia in mores: nay, there is no stand or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies; like as diseases of the body may have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for the stone and reins; shooting, for the lungs and breast; gentle walking, for the stomach; riding, for the head, and the like. So, if a man's wit be wandering, let him study the mathematies; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called
away never so little, he must begin again: if his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the school-men, for they are cumini sectores. If he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers' cases ; so every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.
Sir Henry vuotton.
(FROM IZAAK WALTON.)
RETIREMENT FROM PUBLIC LIFE. Henricus WoTToNIUS, Anglo-Cantianus, Thomæ optimi viri filius natu minimus, à Serenissimo Jacobo I. Mag. Britt. Rege, in equestrem titulum adscitus, ejusdemque ter ad Rempublicam Venetam Legatus Ordinarius, semel ad Confederatarum Provinciarum Ordines in Juliacensi negotio ; bis ad Carolum Emanuel, Sabaudiæ Ducem; semel ad unitos Superioris Germaniæ Principes in Conventu Heilbrunensi ; postremò ad Archiducem Leopoldum, Ducem Wittembergensem, Civitates Imperiales, Argentinam, Ulmamque, et ipsum Romanorum Imperatorem Ferdinandum Secundum, Legatus Extraordinarius, tandem hoc didicit,
ANIMAS FIERI SAPIENTIORES QUIESCENDO." To London he came, the year before King James died; who having, for the reward of his foreign ser
Henry Wotton, of the county of Kent in England, &c. (then follows the enumeration of his various services as Ambassador of James I.] hath at length learned this,
THAT SOULS BECOME MORE WISE BY BEING QUIRT.
vice, promised him the reversion of an office which was fit to be turned into present money, which he -wanted, for a supply of his present necessities, and also granted him the reversion of the Master of the Rolls' place, if he outlived charitable Sir Julius Cæsar, who then possessed it, and then grown so old, that he was said to be kept alive, beyond nature's course, by the prayers of those many poor which he daily relieved.
But these were but in hope; and his condition required a present support. For, in the beginning of these employments, he sold to his eldest brother, the lord Wotton, the rent-charge left by his good father, and (which is worse) was now, at his return, indebted to several persons, whom he was not able to satisfy, but by the king's payment of his arrears, due for his foreign employments. He had brought into England many servants, of which some were German and Italian artists. This was part of his condition, who had many times hardly sufficient to supply the occasions of the day: for it may by no means be said of his providence, as himself said of Sir Philip Sydney's wit, That it was the very measure of congruity; he being always so careless of money, as though our Saviour's words, Care not for to-morrow, were to be literally understood.
But it pleased the God of providence, that, in this juncture of time, the Provostship of his Majesty's College of Eton became void, by the death of Mr. Thomas Murray; for which there were (as the place deserved) many earnest and powerful suitors to the king. And Sir Henry, who had for many years, like Sisyphus,
rolled the restless stone of a state employment, knowing, experimentally, that the great blessing of sweet content was not to be found in multitudes of men or business, and that a college was the fittest place to nourish holy thoughts, and to afford rest both to his body and mind, which his age (being now almost threescore years) seemed to require, did therefore use his own, and the interest of all his friends, to procure that place. By which means, and quitting the king of his promised reversionary offices, and a piece of honest policy (which I have not time to relate), he got a grant of it from his majesty.
Being thus settled according to the desires of his heart, his first study was the statutes of the College; by which he conceived himself bound to enter into holy orders, which he did ; being made deacon, with all convenient speed : 'shortly after which time, as he came in his surplice from the church-service, an old friend, a person of quality, met him so attired, and joyed him of his new habit : to whom Sir Henry Wotton replied, “ I thank God and the king, by whose goodness I now am in this condition ; a condition, which that Emperor, Charles the Fifth, seemed to approve ; who, after so many remarkable victories, when his glory was great in the eyes of all men, freely gave
crown, and the many cares that attended it, to Philip, his son ; making a holy retreat to a cloisteral life, where he might, by devout meditations, consult with God (which the rich or busy men seldom do), and have leisure, both to examine the errors of his life past, and prepare for that great day, wherein all
flesh must make an account of their actions. And, after a kind of tempestuous life, I now have the like advantage, from Him that makes the outgoings of the morning to praise him ; even from my God, whom I daily magnify for this particular mercy, of an exemption from business, a quiet mind, and a liberal maintenance, even in this part of my life, when my age and infirmities seem to sound me a retreat from the pleasures of this world, and invite me to contemplation, in which I have ever taken the greatest felicity.”
And now, to speak a little of the employment of his time in the college. After his customary public devotions, his use was to retire into his study, and there to spend some hours in reading the Bible, and authors in divinity; closing up his meditations with private prayer :
was, for the most part, his employment in the forenoon. But, when he was once set to dinner, then nothing but cheerful thoughts possessed his mind; "and those still increased by constant company, at his table, of such persons as brought thither additions, both of learning and pleasure : but some part of most days was usually spent in philosophical conclusions. Nor did he forget his innate pleasure of angling, which he would usually call, his idle time, not idly spent; saying often, he would rather live five May months than forty Decembers.
He was a constant cherisher of all those youths, in that school, in whom he found either a constant diligence, or a genius that prompted them to learning. For whose encouragement he was (besides many other things of necessity and beauty) at the charge of setting