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studies will suffice. A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one and destroy the other.
OF CUSTOM AND EDUCATION,
Men's thoughts are much according to their inclination; their discourse and speeches according to their learning and infused opinions; but their deeds are after as they have been accustomed; and therefore, as Machiavel well noteth, (though in an ill-favoured instance), there is no trusting to the force of nature, nor to the bravery of words, except it be corroborate by custom. His instance is, that for the achieving of a desperate conspiracy, a man should not rest upon the fierceness of any man's nature, or his resolute undertakings; but také such an one as hath had his hands formerly in blood; but Machiavel knew not of a friar Clement, nor a Ravillac, nor a Jaureguy, nor a Baltazar Gerard; yet his rule holdeth still, that nature, nor the engagement of words, are not so forcible as custom. Only
superstition is now so well advanced, that men of the first blood are as firm as butchers by occupation; and votary resolution is made equipollent to custom, even in matter of blood. In other things, the predominancy of custom is every where visible, insomuch as a man would wonder to hear men profess, protest, engage, give great words, and then do just as they have done before, as if they were dead images and engines moved only by the wheels of custom. We see also the reign or tyranny of custom, what it is. The Indians (I mean the sect of their wise men,) lay themselves quietly upon a stack of wood, and so sacrifice themselves by fire ; nay, the wives strive to be burned with the corpse of their husbands. The lads of Sparta of ancient time were wont to be scourged upon the altar of Diana, without so much as squeaking. I remember, in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's time of England, an Irish rebel, condemned, put up a petition to the deputy that he might be hanged in a wyth, and not in a halter, because it had been so used with former rebels. There be monks in Russia, for penance, that will sit a whole night in a vessel of water, till they be
engaged with hard ice. Many examples may be put of the force of custom, both upon mind and body: therefore, since custom is the principal magistrate of man's life, let men by all means endeavour to obtain good customs. Certainly, custom is most perfect when it begin. neth in young years: this we call education, which is, in effect, but an early custom. So we see, in languages the tongue is more pliant to all expressions and sounds, the joints are more supple to all feats of activity and motions in youth than afterwards; for it is true, the late learners cannot 30 well take the ply, except it be in some minds that have not suffered themselves to fix, but have kept themselves open and prepared to receive continual amendment, which is exceeding rare: but if the force of custom. simple and separate, be great, the force of custom, copulate and conjoined and collegiate, is far greater; for there example teacheth, company comforteth, emulation quickeneth, glory raiseth; so as in such places the force of custom is in its exaltation. Certainly, the great multiplication of virtues upon human nature resteth upon societies well ordained and disciplined; for commonwealths
and good governments do nourish virtue grown, but do not much mend the seeds; but the mic sery is, that the most effectual means are now applied to the ends least to be desired.
Ir cannot be denied but outward accidents conduce much to fortune; favour, opportunity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue ; but chiefly, the mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands; “ Faber quisque fortunæ suæ," saith the poet; and the most frequent of external causes is, that the folly of one man is the fortune of another; for nó man prospers so suddenly as by others errors; serpens “ nisi serpentem comederit non sit draco." Overt and apparent virtues bring forth praise; but there be secret and hidden virtues that bring forth fortune ; certain deliveries of a man's self which have no name. The Spanish name, " dissemboltura," partly expresseth them, when there be not stands nor restiveness in a man's nature, but that the wheels of his mind keep way with the wheels of his fortune; for
so Livy, (after he had described Cato Major
of fortune is like the milky way in the sky; which is a meeting or knot of a number of small stars, not seen asunder, but giving light together : so are there a number of little and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate; the Italians note some of them, such as a man would little think. When they speak of one that cannot do amiss, they will throw in into his other conditions, that he hath “ Poco di matto;" and, certainly, there be not two more fortunate properties than to have a little of the fool, and not too much of the honest : therefore extreme lovers of their country, or masters, were never fortunate : neither can they be; for when a man placeth bis thoughts without himself he goeth not his
An hasty fortune maketh an enter