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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“ minern 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 sufficiency. Seeming wise men may make shift to get opinion ; but let no man choose them for employment; for certainly, you were better take for business a man somewhat absurd. than over-formal.
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
is found to have been falsely and feignedly in some of the heathens; as Epimenides the Candian, Numa the Roman, Empedocles the Sicilian, and Apollonius of Tyana; and truly and really in divers of the ancient hermits and holy fathers of the church. But little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth ; for a crowd is not company, and faces are but'a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal where there is no love. The Latin adage meeteth with it a little ; “ magna civitas,
magna solitudo ;" because in a great town friends are scattered, so that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, which is in less neighbourhoods: but we may go farther, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want true friends, without which the world is but a wilderness; and even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and affections is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity:
A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and discharge of the fulness of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce. We know diseases of stoppings and
suffocations are the most dangerous in the body; and it is not much otherwise in the mind ; you may take sarza to open the liver, steel to open the spleen, flower of sulphur for the lungs, castoreum for the brain ; but no receipt open. eth the heart but a true friend, to whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth
the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or confession.
It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate great kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of friendship whereof we speak : so great as they purchase it many times at the hazard of their own safety and greatness : for princes, in regard of the distance of their fortune from that of their subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except (to make themselves capable thereof,) they raise some persons to be as it were companions and almost equals to themselves, which many times sorteth to inconvenience. The modern languages, give unto such persons the name of favourites, or privadoes, as if it were matter of grace or conversation; but the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause thereof, naming them
participes curarum ;" for it is that which tieth the knot: and we see plainly that this hath been done, not by weak and passionate princes only, but by the wisest and most politic that ever reigned, who have oftentimes joined to themselves some of their servants, whom both themselves have called friends, and allowed others likewise to call them in the same manner, using the word which is received between private men.
L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised Pompey, (after surnamed the great,) to that height, that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's over-match ; for when he had carried the consulship for a friend of his against the pursuit of Sylla, and that Sylla did a little resent thereat, and began to speak great, Pompey turned upon him again, and in effect bade him be quiet: for that more men adored the sun rising than the sun setting. With Julius Cæsar Decimus Brutus had obtained that interest as he set him down in his testament for heir in remainder after his nephew; and this was the man that had power with him to draw him forth to his death : for when Cæsar would have discharged the senate in regard of some