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* as their Virtues did deserve.' I know Men enough that have several fine Parts; one Wit, another Courage, another Address, another Conscience, another Language, one one Science, another another; but a Man generally great, and that has all these brave Parts together, or any one of them, to such a Degree of Excellence, that we should admire him, or compare him with those we honour of Times past* my Fortune never brought me acquainted with one; the greatest I ever knew, I mean, for the natural Parts of the Soul, and the best-natured Man living, was Stephen Boetius; his was a capacious Soul indeed, and that had every Way phenBoctius" a beautiful Aspect •, a Soul of the old Stamp, and that would have produced great Deeds, had Fortune been so pleased, as he had added much to those great natural Parts by Learning and Stiidy.
But how it comes to pass I know not, and yet it is certainly so, there is as much Vanity and Weakness of Judgment in those who profess the J^mTs tTplfs greatest Abilities, who take upon them learn- that Men of ed Callings, and bookish Employments, as in Letters are any other sort of Men whatever; either be- rvain) TMd} "f
'c . j , o 1 r iveak Under
caule more is required and expected from standings. them, and that common Defects are inexcusable in them; or, truly, because the Opinion they have of their own Learning makes them more bold to expose and lay themselves too open, by which they lose and betray themselves. As an Artificer more betrays his Want of Skill in a rich Work that he has in his Hand, if he disgrace it by ill Handling, and contrary to the Rules required, than in a mean Subject; and Men are more displeased at a Fault in a Statue of Gold, than in one of Alabaster; so do these, when they exhibit Things that, in themselves, and in their Place, would be good: For they make Use of them without Discretion, honouring their Memories at the Expence of their Understanding, and making themselves ridiculous, to honour Cicero, Galen, U/pian, and Sr. Jerome.
I willingly fall again into the Discourse of the Folly, of our Education; the End of which has been not. to render
G g 2 us Us Good and Wife, but Learned, and it has obtained it: It has not taught us to follow and embrace Virtue and Prudence, but has imprinted in us the Derivation and Etymology of those Words: We know how to decline Virtue, yet we know not how to love it: If we do not know what Prudence is in Effect, and by Experience, we have it, however, by Jargon and by Heart. We are not content to know the Extraction, Kindred, and Alliances of our Neighbours •, we desire, moreover, to have them our .Friends, and to establish a Correspondence and Intelligence with them: This Education of ours has taught us Definitions, Divisions, and Partitions of Virtue, as so many Surnames and Branches of a Genealogy, without any farther Care of establishing any Familiarity or Intimacy betwixt it and us. Our Education has culled out, for our initiary Instruction, not such Books as contain the soundest and truest Opinions, but those that speak the best Greek and Latin; and by their florid Words has instilled into our Fancy the vainest Humours of Antiquity.
A good Education alters the Judgment and Manners; as it happened to Polemon, a young debauched Greek., who going, by Chance, to hear one of Xenocrates's Lectures, did not only observe the Eloquence and Learning of the Reader, and not only brought home the Knowledge of some fine Matter i but he gained a more manifest and solid Profit, which was the sudden Change and Reformation of his former Life. Whoever found such an Effect of our Discipline?
facidfne quod olim
Mutatus Polemon, ponas insignia morbi,
Thus rendered by Mr. Creech.
Canst thou, like Polemon reclaim'd, remove
- • AstianVcr,
i- f Hor. lib. ii. Sat. 3. v. 253, fcfr.
The Manners of the meaner Sort of Peoplemore regular than those of the Philosophers.
Asham'd, he rook his Garlands off, began
That seems to me to be the least contemptible Condition
* the Wiser, because they only know what is needful for
* them to know.'
The most remarkable Men, as I have judged by outward Appearances (for, to judge of them ac- jhe greatest cording to my own Method, I must pene- Warriors in trate into them a great deal deeper) for War Montaigne'* and military Conduct, were the Duke of T'm' Guise, who died at Orleans, and the late Marshal Strozzy.
For Gownsmen of great Ability, and no For the great' common Virtue, Olivier and £>e I'Hospital, esi Ability and Chancellors of France. Worth.
Poesy too, in my Opinion, has flourished in this Age of ours. We have Abundance of very good Several good Artists in this Class, Aurat, Beze, Buchanan, Latin Poets. I'Hospital, Montdore, and 'Turnebus. ■■ .
As to the French Poets, I believe they have raised it to the highest Pitch to which it will ever arrive j and, in those Parts of it wherein Ronsard and JDu Bellay excel, I find them little inferior to the ancient Perfection.
Adrian Turnebus knew more, and what he did know, better than any Man of his Time, or long before him.
The Lives of the last Duke of Aha, and of our Constable De Montmorency, were both of them Noble, and had many rare Resemblances of Fortune j but the Beauty and the Glory of the Death of the last, in the Sight
G g 3
i Instant. Institut. lib. iv.
Excellency of the French Poets.
Character of Turnebus.
Of the Duke of
Alva and the
Of of Paris, and of his King, in their Service, against his nearest Relations, at the Head of an Army, through his Conduct, Victorious, and with Sword in Hand, at so extreme an Old-age, merits, methinks, to be recorded amongst the most remarkable Events of our Times: As also the constant Goodness, Sweetness of BekNouc^' haviour, and conscientious Facility of Monsieur De la Noue, in so great an Injustice of armed Parties, (the true School of Treason, Inhumanity, and Robbery) wherein he always kept up the Reputation of a great and experienced Captain.
1 have taken a Delight to publish, in several Places, the Hopes I have of Mary de Gournay le Jars, ^y^"7 my adopted e Daughter, and certainly beloved by me with more than a paternal Love, and involved in my Solitude and Retirement, as one of the best Parts of my own Being. I have no Regard to any Thing in thisWorld but her •, and, if a Man may presage from her Youth, her Soul will, one Day, be capable of the noblest Things •, and, amongst others, of the Perfection of the sacred Friendship, to which we do not read that any of her Sex could ever yet arrive; she Sincerity and Solidity of her Manners are already sufficient for it; her Affection towards me is more than superabundant, and such, in short, as that there is nothing more to be wished, if not that the Apprehension she has of my End, b^eing now Five and fifty Years old, might not so cruelly
afflict afflict her. The Judgment she made of my first: Essays, being a Woman so young, and in this Age, and alone in her own Country, and the famous Vehemency wherewith she loved, and desired me upon the sole Esteem she had of me, before she ever saw me, is an Accident very worthy of Consideration.
• As to the Meaning of these Words, Adopted Daughter, fee the Article Gournay in Boyle's Dictionary; where you will find, that flu's young Lady's Opinion of the first Essays of Montaigne gave the Occasion for this Adoption, long before she ever saw Montaigne, But here I can't help transcribing Part of a Passage, which Mr. Bayle quoted from M. Pa/auier, in the Note A, which contains some remarkable Particulars of this Sort of Adoption. 'Montaigne, fays Pasquier, having, in 1588, made a long Stay at
* Paris, Mademoiselle de Jars came thither, on Purpose to see his Person;
* and she and her Mother carried him to their House at Gournay, where
* he spent two Months in two or three Journeys, and met with as hearty a « Welcome as he could desire; and, finally, that this virtuous Lady, being
* informed of Montaigne's Death, crossed almost thro' the whole Kingdom 'of France, with Passports, as well from her own Motive, as by Invitation
* from Montaigne's Widow and Daughter, to mix her Tears with theirs, ♦-Whose Sorrows were boundless,'
Other Virtues have had little or no Credit in this Age, but Valour is become popular by our Civil Valour is btWars; and in this Respect we have Souls come popular in brave, even to Perfection, and in so great FranceNumber, that the Choke is impossible to be made. This is all of extraordinary, and not common, that has hitherto arrived at my Knowledge.
Of giving the L T E.
WELL, but some one will say to me, * This De« sign of making a Man's Self the Why Mon_ 'Subject of his Writing were excusable in uignespeaks 'rare and famous Men, who, by their Re- so often of him.
* putation, had given others a Curiosity to -W '*th"
* be fully informed of them.' It is most
true, I confess k, and know very well, that Artificers will scarce lift their Eyes from their Work to look at an ordinary Man, when they will forsake their Workhouses and Shops to stare at an eminent Person, when he comes to Town: It misbecomes any Person to give his own Character, except he has Qualities worthy of Imitation, and whose Life and Opinions may serve for a Model. The great Actions oi Cæsar and Xenophon were a just and solid Basis on which to fix and found their Narratives: And it were also to be wished, that we had the Journals of Alexander the Great, and the Commentaries that Augustus, Cato, Sylla, Brutus, and others have left of their Actions. We love and contemplate the very Statues of
G g 4 such