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judgment and leisure to look deeper into it than I have done. Herein you must call to mind, "Aposoy uè üdwp. Tho* 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 the good friendship and acquaintance between us two: And so recommended you to God's divine protection.
HELPS FOR THE 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. 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 show 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 stands 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 other the most pliant and most enduring to be wrought; so of all living and breathing substances, the most perfect (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 tho' 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 will. 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 reckon'd 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 of these. Nay, in respiration the proof hath been of some who by continual use of diving and working under the water have brought themselves to be able to hold their breath an incredible time; and others that have been able without suffocation, to endure the stifling breath-of an oven or furnace so heated as tho'it did not scald nor burn, yet it was many degrees too hot for any man not made to it to breathe or take in. And some imposters and counterfeits likewise have been able to wreath and cast their bodies into strange forms and motions; yea, and others to bring themselves into trances and astonishments. All which examples do demonstrate how variously and to how high points and degrees the body of man may be as it were moulded and wrought: And if any man conceive then it is some secret propriety of nature that hath been in those
persons which have attained to those points, and that it is not open for every man to do the like tho' he had been put to it; for which cause such things come but very rarely to pass: It is true no doubt but some persons are apter than. others; but so as the more aptness causeth perfection, but the less aptness doth not disable: So that for example, the more apt child, that is taken to be made á funambulo, will prove more excellent in his feats; but the less apt will be gregarius funambulo also. And there is small question, but that these abilities would have been more common; and others of like sort not attempted would likewise have been brought upon the stage, but for two reasons: The one because of mens diffidence in prejudging them as impossibilities; for it holdeth in those things which the poet saith, pos. sunt quia posse videntur ; for no man shall know how much may be done, except he believe much may be done. The other reason is, because they be but practices base and inglorious and of no great use, and therefore sequester'd from reward of value, and on the other side painful; so as the recompence balanceth not with the travail and saffering. And as to the will of man, it is that which is most manageable and obedient; as that which admitteth most medicines to cure and alter it. The most sovereign of all is religion, which is able to change and transform it in the deepest and most inward inclinations and motions; and next to that is opinion and apprehension, whether it be infused by tradition and institution, or wrought in by disputation and persuasion; and the third is example, which transformeth the will of man into the simiJitude of that which is most observant and familiar towards it; and the fourth is, when one affection is healed and corrected by another, as when cowardice is remedied by shame and dishonour, or sluggishness and backwardness by indignation and emulation, and so of the like; and lastly, when all these means or any of them have new framed or formed human will, then doth custom and habit corroborate and confirm all the rest: Therefore it is no marvel, tho' this faculty of the mind, (of will and election) which inclineth affection and appe