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hear, is a detected sycophant, Standish, I mean; yet I know not what could have been done more, than to impose upon him a grievous fine, and to require the levying of the same; and to take away his means of life by his disfranchisement, and to commit him to a defamed prison during Christmas; in honour whereof, the prisoners in other courts do commonly of grace obtain some enlargement. This rigour of proceeding, to tell your lordship and the rest, as my good friends, my opinion plainly, tendeth not to strengthen authority, which is best supported by love and fear intermixed; but rather to make people discontented and servile: especially when such punishment is inflicted for words not by rule of law, but by a jurisdiction of discretion, which would evermore be moderately used. And I pray God, whereas Mr. Recorder, when I was with you, did well and wisely put you in mind of the admonitions you often received from my lords, that you shall bridle unruly tongues; that those kind of speeches and rumours, whereunto those admonitions do refer, which are concerning the state and honour thereof, do not pass too licentiously in the city unpunished; while these words which concern your particular, are so straitly enquired into, and punished with such extremity. But these things your own wisdom, first or last, will best represent unto you. My writing unto you at this time is, to the end, that howsoever I do take it some unkindly, that my mediation prevailed no more; yet that I might preserve that farther respect that I am willing to use unto such a state, in delivering my opinion unto you freely, before I would be of counsel, or move any thing that should cross your proceedings; which, notwithstanding, in case my client can receive no relief at your hands, I must and will do; continuing, nevertheless, in other things, my wonted good affections to yourselves and your occasions.
CVIII. To Sir VINCENT SKINNER.
Sir Vincent Skinner, (a)
I SEE that by your needless delays, this matter is
(a) Officer of the receipts of the exchequer. Rymer, XVI, p. 497.
Stephens's first collection, P.
Stephens's first collec
tion, p. 54.
CIX. (a) To Sir HENRY SAVILLE.
COMING back from your invitation at Eton, where I had refreshed myself with company which I loved, I fell into a consideration of that part of policy, whereof philosophy speaketh too much, and laws too little; and that is, of education of youth. Whereupon fixing my mind awhile, I found straightways, and noted even in the discourses of philosophers, which are so large in this argument, a strange silence concerning one principal part of that subject. For as touching the framing and seasoning of youth to moral virtues, as tolerance of labours, continency from pleasures, obedience, honour, and the like, they handle it but touching the improvement, and helping of the intellectual powers, as of conceit, memory, and judgment, they say nothing: whether it were, that they thought it to be a matter wherein nature only prevailed; or that they intended it as referred to the several and proper arts which teach the use of reason and speech. But for the former of these two reasons, howsoever it pleaseth them to distinguish of habits and powers, the experience is manifest enough, that the motions and faculties of the wit and memory may be not only governed and guided, but also confirmed and enlarged by custom and exercise duly applied as if a man exercise shooting, he shall not only shoot nearer the mark, but also draw a stronger bow. And as for the latter, of comprehending these precepts within the arts of logic and rhetoric, if it be rightly considered, their office is distinct altogether from this point; for it is no part of the doc
(a) Sir Henry Saville, so justly celebrated for his noble edition of St. Chrysostom, and other learned works, was many years warden of Merton college in Oxford, in which university he founded a geometry and astronomy lecture, 25 May, 1620. See the instrument of foundation, Rymer XVII. p. 217, and likewise provost of Eton. To this gentleman, as of all the most proper, Sir Francis Bacon sends this discourse touching Helps for the Intellectual Powers in Youth but being an imperfect essay to incite others, he places this useful subject among the deficients reckoned up in his Advancement of Learning. Stephens.
trine of the use or handling of an instrument, to teach how to whet or grind the instrument to give it a sharp edge, or how to quench it, or otherwise whereby to give it a stronger temper. Wherefore finding this part of knowledge not broken, I have, but tanquam aliud agens, entered into it, and salute you with it; dedicating it, after the ancient manner, first as to a dear friend, and then as to an apt person, forasmuch as you have both place to practise it, and judgment and leisure to look deeper into it than I have done. Herein you must call to mind Αριστον μὲν ὕδωρ. Though the argument be not of great height and dignity, nevertheless it is of great and universal use: and yet I do not see why, to consider it rightly, that should not be a learning of height, which teacheth to raise the highest and worthiest part of the mind. But howsoever that be, if the world take any light and use by this writing, I will the gratulation be to good friendship and acquaintance between us two: and so I commend you to God's divine protection.
A Discourse touching the Helps for Intellectual Powers.
I DID ever hold it for an insolent and unlucky saying, Faber quisque fortunæ suæ; except it be uttered only as an hortative or spur to correct sloth. For otherwise, if it be believed as it soundeth, and that a man entereth into an high imagination that he can compass and fathom all accidents; and ascribeth all successes to his drifts and reaches; and the contrary to his errors and sleepings: it is commonly seen that the evening fortune of that man is not so prosperous, as of him that without slackening of his industry attributeth much to felicity and providence above him. But if the sentence were turned to this, Faber quisque ingenii sui, it were somewhat more true, and much more profitable; because it would teach men to bend themselves to reform those imperfections in themselves which now they seek but to cover, and to attain those virtues and good parts which now they seek but to
have only in shew and demonstration. Yet notwithstanding every man attempteth to be of the first trade, of carpenters, and few bind themselves to the second; whereas nevertheless the rising in fortune seldom amendeth the mind; but on the other side, the removing of the stonds and impediments of the mind doth often clear the passage and current to a man's fortune. But certain it is, whether it be believed or no, that as the most excellent of metals, gold, is of all others the most pliant and most induring to be wrought; so of all living and breathing substances, the perfectest man is the most susceptible of help, improvement, impression, and alteration; and not only in his body, but in his mind and spirit; and there again not only in his appetite and affection, but in his powers of wit and reason.
For as to the body of man, we find many and strange experiences, how nature is over-wrought by custom, even in actions that seem of most difficulty and least possible. As first in voluntary motion, which though it be termed voluntary, yet the highest degrees of it are not voluntary; for it is in my power and will to run; but to run faster than according to my lightness or disposition of body, is not in my power nor We see the industry and practice of tumblers and funambulos, what effects of great wonder it bringeth the body of man unto. So for suffering of pain and dolour, which is thought so contrary to the nature of man, there is much example of penances in strict orders of superstition what they do endure, such as may well verify the report of the Spartan boys, which were wont to be scourged upon the altar so bitterly as sometimes they died of it, and yet were never heard to complain. And to pass to those faculties which are reckoned more involuntary, as long fasting and abstinence and the contrary extreme, voracity; the leaving and forbearing the use of drink for altogether; the enduring vehement cold, and the like; there have not wanted, neither do want, divers examples of strange victories over the body in every ofthese. Nay, in respiration, the proof hath been of some who by continual use of diving and working under the water,