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On the other side true dispatch is a rich thing; for time is the measure of business, as money is of wares; and business is bought at a dear hand where there is small dispatch. The Spartans and Spaniards have been noted to be of small dispatch, “ Mi venga la muerte de “Spagna;” “Let my death come from Spain;” for then it will be sure to be long in coming.
Give good hearing to those that give the first information in business, and rather direct them in the beginning, than interrupt them in the continuance of their speeches; for he that is put out of his own order will go forward and backward, and be more tedious while he waits upon his memory, than he could have been if he had gone on in his own course: but sometimes it is seen, that the moderator is more troublesome than the actor.
Iterations are commonly loss of time : but there is no such gain of time as to iterate often the state of the question; for it chaseth away many a frivolous speech as it is coming forth. Long and curious speeches are as fit for dispatch as a robe or mantle with a long train is for a race. Prefaces, and passages, and excusations, and other speeches of reference to the person are great wastes of time; and though they seem to proceed of modesty, they are bravery. Yet beware of being too material when there is any impediment or obstruction in men's wills; for pre-occupation of mind ever requireth preface of speech, like a somentation to make the unguent enter. Above all things, order, and distribution, and singling out of parts is the life of dispatch ; so as the distribution be not too subtile : for he that doth not divide will never enter well into business; and he that divideth too much will never come out of it clearly. To choose time is to save time; and an unseasonable motion is but beating the air. There be three parts of business, the preparation, the debate or examination, and the perfection; whereof, if you look for dispatch, let the middle only be the work of many, and the first and last the work of few. The proceeding upon somewhat conceived in writing doth for the most part facilitate dispatch : for though it should be wholly rejected, yet that negative is more pregnant of direction than an indefinite, as ashes are more generative than dust.
OF SEEMING WISE.
It hath been an opinion that the French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are: but howsoever it be between nations, certainly it is so between man and man; for, as the apostle saith of godliness, “Having a shew of godliness, but denying the “ power thereof;” so certainly there are in points of wisdom and sufficiency, that do nothing or little very solemnly : “magno conatu “nugas.” It is a ridiculous thing, and fit for a satire to persons of judgment, to see what shifts these formalists have, and what prospectives to make superfices to seem body that hath depth and bulk. Some are so close and reserved as they will not shew their wares but by a dark light, and seem always to keep back somewhat; and when they know within themselves they speak of that they do not well know, would nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may not well speak. Some help themselves with countenance and gesture, and are wise by signs; as Cicero saith of Piso, that when he answered him he fetched one of his brows up to his forehead, and bent the other down to his chin; “respondes, al“ tero ad frontem sublato, altero ad mentum “ depresso supercilio, crudelitatem tibi non “ placere.” Some think to bear it by speaking a great word, and being peremptory; and go on, and take by admittance that which they cannot make good. Some, whatsoever is beyond their reach, will seem to despise or make light of it as impertinent or curious; and so would have their ignorance seem judgment. Some are never without a difference, and commonly by amusing men with a subtilty, blanch the matter; of whom A. Gellius saith, “ ho“minein delirium, qui verborum minutiis re“ rum frangit pondera.” Of which kind also Plato in his Protagoras bringeth in Prodicus in scorn, and maketh him make a speech that consisteth of distinctions from the beginning to the end. Generally such men in all deliberations find ease to be of the negative side, and affect a credit to object, and foretel difficulties: for when propositions are denied, there is an end of them; but if they be allowed, it requireth a new work; which false point of wisdom is the bane of business. To conclude, there is no decaying merchant or inward beggar hath so many tricks to uphold the credit of their wealth as these empty persons have to maintain the credit of their suffi
ciency. Seeming wise men may make shift too
get opinion ; but let no man choose them for employment; for certainly, you were better
take for business a man somewhat absurd.
It had been hard for him that spake it, to
have put more truth and untruth together in few words than in that speech, “Whosoever “ is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast “ or a god;” for it is most true, that a natural and secret hatred and aversation towards society in any man hath somewhat of the Savage beat ; but it is most untrue, that it should have any character at all of the divine nature, except it proceed, not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out of a love and desire to sequester a man's self for a higher conversation: such as