« AnteriorContinuar »
" the farther you enter in. I would rather advise that a Man should give his Servant a Box of the Ear a little unseasonably, than torture his Mind by putting on such a sedate Countenance, and had rather discover my Passions than brood over them at my own Expence ; they grow less by being vented and expressed; and it is much better their Point ihould operate outwardly than be turned towards ourselves. Omnia Vitia in aperto leviora funt: & tunc perniciofifsima, quum fimulatâ Sanitete fubfidunt. All • Vices are less dangerous when open to be seen, and then • most pernicious when they lurk under a diffembled
I admonish all who have Authority to be angry in my Family, in the first Place, to be sparing of
Rule's to be obtheir Anger, and not to lavish it upon every served in the Occasion, for that both leffens the Weight Discovery of and hinders the Effect of it. Loud Exclama- Anger against tion is so customary that every one despises it; Domeftics. and, that your Clamour at a Servant for a Theft is not minded, because it is no more than what he has seen
you make a hundred Times, against him, for having ill washed a Glass, or misplaced a Stool. Secondly, that they do not spend their Breath in vain, but make sure that their Reproof reach the Person in Fault ; for ordinarily they are apt to bawl before he comes into their Presence, and continue scolding an Age after he is gone ;
* Et secum petulans amentia certat,
And peevish Madness with itself contends. They quarrel with their own Shadows, and pulh the Storm in a place where no one is either chastised or interested, but in the Clamour of their Voicę, which is unavoidable. I likewise, in Quarrels, condemn those who huff and vapour without an Adversary; such Rodomontades are to be reserved to discharge upon the offending Party.
Mugitus veluti cum prima in prælia taurus Terrificos ciet, atque irasci in cornua tentat,
Arboris 9 Senec. Epift. 56.
Claudian. in Eutrop. lib. i. v. 237. • Æneid. lib. xii, v. 103, 66.
Arboris obnixus trunco, ventosque lacest
Bulls that make the Valleys ring, Press’d to the Fight, with dreadful bellowing ; Which whet their Horns against the sturdy Oak, And, kicking back their Heels, the Winds provoke ; And, tossing up the Earth, a Dust do raise As furious Preludes to ensuing Frays.
When I am angry, my Anger is very sharp, but withal The Author's
very short, and as private as possible ; I am Anger on great indeed hasty and violent, but never am beand little Occa- fide myself, so that I throw out all Manner fons.
of injurious Words at random, and without Choice, and never consider properly to dart my Raillery where I think it will give the deepest Wound; for I commonly make use of no other Weapon in my Anger than my Tongue. My Servants have a better Bargain of me in great Occasions than in little ones; the latter surprise me; and the Mischief of it is, that, when you are once upon the Precipice, it is no Matter who gives you the Push, for you are sure to go to the Bottom ; the Fall urges, moves, and makes haste of itself.
In great Occafions this fatisfies me, that they are so just every-one expects a warrantable Indignation in me, and then I am proud of deceiving their Expectation ; against these I gird and prepare myself; they disturb my Head, and threaten to crack my Brain, should I give Way to them. I can easily contain myself from entering into one of these Passions, and am strong enough, when I expect them, to repel their Violence, be the Cause never fo great; but, if a Passion once prepoffefs and feize me, it carries me away, be the Cause ever so small, which makes me thus indent with those who may contend with me, viz. When they see me first moved, let me alone, right or wrong, I will do the same for them. The Storm is only begot by the Concurrence of Refentments, which easily spring from one another, and are not born together. Let every-one have his own Way, and we shall be always at Peace: A profitable 3
Advice, but hard to practise. Sometimes also it falls out,
A Word, to conclude this Chapter: Aristotle says That
Valour. our Hands guide it not, 'tis it that guides our Hands cit holds us, we hold not it.'
Wrath is pro
CHA P. XXXII.
HE Familiarity I have had with these two Authors,
and the Asistance they have lent to my Age and to my Book, which is wholly compiled of what I have borrowed from them, obliges me to stand up for their Ho
As to Seneca, amongst a Million of Pamphlets that those of the pretended Reformed Religion disperse abroad for the Defence of their Cause (and twixt Seneca
Comparison bewhich sometimes proceed from a Pen so good, and the Cardi. that 'tis pity 'tis not employed in a better nal of Lorrain. Subject) I formerly saw one, which, in order to draw a complete Parallel betwixt the Government of our late poor King Charles the Ninth and that of Nero, compares the late Cardinal of Lorrain with Seneca, in their Fortunes (as they were both of them Prime Ministers to their Princes); in their Manners, Conditions, and Deportments,
as having been very near alike. Herein, I think, he does the said Lord Cardinal a great Honour ; for, though I am one of those who have a great Efteem for his Wit, Eloquence, and Zeal for Religion, and for the Service of his King, and reckon it was his Happiness to be born in an Age wherein it was a Thing fo new, so rare, and also fo necessary for the public Weal, to have an Ecclesiastical Person, of so high Birth and Dignity, and so fufficient and capable for his Place ; yet, to confess the Truth, I do not think his Capacity by many Degrees equal to Seneca's, nor his Virtue either so pure, intire, or steady. Now this Book whereof I am speaking, to bring about
its Design, gives a very injurious Description The malicious. and unfair
of Seneca, by Reproaches borrowed from Dion Charader the Historian whose Testimony I do not at which Dion
all believe; for, setting aside the Inconsistengives of Se
cy of this Writer, who, after having called neca, quite
Seneca in one place very wise, and in another contrary to what is re a mortal Enemy to Nero's Vices, makes him ported of him
elsewhere avaricious, an Ufurer, ambitious, by Tacitus.
effeminate, voluptuous, and a false Pretender to Philosophy. Seneca's Virtue appears so lively and vigorous in his Writings, and his Vindication is fo clear against any of these Imputations, and particularly as to his Riches and extraordinary Expences, that I cannot believe any Testimony to the Contrary. And, besides, it is much more reasonable to believe the Roman Historians in such Things than the Greeks and Foreigners. Now Tatitus and the others speak very honourably both of his Life and Death, and represent him to us a very excellent and virtuous Personage in all Things; and I will alledge no other Reproach against Dion's Řeport but this, which I cannot avoid, namely, that he has so crazy a Judgment in the Roman Affairs, that he dares to maintain Julius CeJar's Cause against Pompey, and that of Anthony against Cicero.
Let us now come to Plutarch : John Bodinus is a good Bodinus, a
Author of our Time, and of much greater good Author,
Judgment than his cotemporary Class of
read and considered. I find him, though a tarch, whom
writes Things otherwise than they really are,' it had been no great Reproach; for what we have not seen we receive from other Hands, and take upon Trust; and I fee he purposely, sometimes, variously relates the same Story; as the Judgment of the three best Captains that ever were, formed by Hannibal, which is given otherwise in the Life of Flaminius, and another Way in that of Pyrrhus: But to charge him with having believed Things incredible and impossible, is to accuse the most judicious Author in the World of Want of Discernment. And this is his Example : ' As, says he, when he relates that a Lacede, * monian Boy suffered his Bowels to be torn The Bowels of
out by a Fox-cub, which he had stolen, and a Lacedæmo
kept it concealed under his Coat till he fell nian Boy torn • down dead, rather than he would discover
out by a Foxo
cub. Whether « his Theft. In the first Place, I find this it be an absurd Example ill chofen, forasmuch as it is very and incredible hard to limit the Efforts of the Faculties of Story?? the Soul, whereas we have better Authority to limit and know the Strength of the Body; and therefore, if I had been as he, I should rather have chosen an Example of this second Sort ; and there are some that are incredible : Amongst others, that which he relates of Pyrrhus, " " That, í all over wounded as he was, he struck one of his Ene
mies, who was armed from Head to Foot, so great a * Blow with his Sword, that he clave him down from his • Crown to his Seat, whereby the Body was divided into
two Parts.' In this Example I find no great Miracle ; nor do I admit of the Excuse he makes for Plutarch, by his having added the Words as 'tis said', by Way of Cau. sion to suspend our Belief; for, unless it be in Things receive
ed In the Life of Lycurgus, c. 14, of Amyand's Translation. In the Life of Pyrrhus, c. 12.