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times I put myself to school to one of those ancients, whom tho Church hath honoured with the name of Fathers, whose volumes I confess not to open (I do nit open) without a secret reverence of (for) their holiness and gravity; sometimes to those later doctors, which want nothing but age to make them classical; always to God's book. That day is lost whereof some hours are not improved' in those Divine monuments. Others I turn over out of choice: these out of duty.
Ere (before) I can have sat (in my study] unto weariness, my family, having now overcome all household distractions, invites me to our common devotions-not without some short preparation. These, heartily performed, send me up with a more strong and cheerful appetite to my former work, which I find made easy to me by intermission and variety. Now, therefore, can I deceive (beguile, the hours with change of pleasures—that is, of labours. One while, mine “eies” are busied ; another while, my hand; and sometimes my mind takes the burden from them both; wherein (and in this I would imitate the skilfullest cooks, which make the best dishes with manifold mixtures. One hour is spent in textual divinity (the study of texts of Scripture), another in controversy; histories relieve them both. Now, when the mind is weary of others' labours (the labours or works of others), it begins to undertake her (its) own: sometimes it meditates and winds up (stores up the result) for future use; sometimes it lays forth her (its) conceits into present discourse (reduces its conceptions to writing), sometimes for “it selfe":3 (its self, itself), ofter (oftener) for others. Neither know I wbether it works or plays in these thoughts (exercises of thought). I am sure no sport hath more pleasure, no work more use; only the decay of a weak body makes me think these delights insensibly (gradually becoming) laborious.
Thus could i, all day, as ringers use (do), make myself music with changes, and complain sooner of the day for shortness than of the business for toil, were it not that this faint monitor (i.e. the weak body) interrupts me still in the midst of my busy pleasures, and enforces me both to respite (intermission) and repast. I must yield to both, [for] while my body and mind
(1) Improve-of uncertain etymology-to make better, endeavour to make the best of ; hence, to improve time, improve the hour, as above.
(2) Monuments, fr. Lat. monumentum, or rather monimentum, that which preserves the remembrance of anything; and, therefore, an author's works, as above.
(3) See note 3, p. 116.
are joined together in these unequal (ill matched) couples, the better must follow the weaker.
Before my meals, therefore, and after, I let myself loose from all thoughts, and now would forget that I ever studied. A full mind takes away the body's appetite, no less than (just as) a full body makes a dull and unwieldy mind. Company, discourse (conversation), recreations, are now seasonable and welcome. These prepare me for a diet, not gluttonous, but medicinal (nourishing); the palate may not be pleased, but the stomach-nor that for it(its) own sake. Neither would I think any of these comforts worth respect in themselves, but in their use, in their end, so far as they may enable me to? (give me strength for) better things. If I see any dish to tempt my palate, I fear a serpent in that apple, and would please myself in a wilful denial (resolute self-denial). I rise capable of (able to eat) more, not desirous; not now immediately from my trencher* to my book, but after some intermission. Moderate speed is a sure help to all proceedings, where (whereas) those things which are prosecuted with violence of endeavour or desire, either succeed not or continue not.
After my latter meal my thoughts are “sleight” (lightly occupied); only my memory (my memory only, not the whole min) may be charged with her task of recalling what was committed to her custody in the day; and my heart is busy in examining my hands, and mouth, and all other senses, of (concerning) that day's behaviour. And now the evening is come, no tradesman doth more carefully take in his wares, clear his shopboard, and shut his windows, than I would shut up my thoughts and clear my mind. That student shall (must) live miserably which (who), like a camel, lies down under his burden. All this done, calling together my family, we end the day with God.
(1) See note 3, p. 116.
(2) Enable to and enable for, followed by nouns, once common phrases, are now obsolete.
(3) Capable, fr. Lat. capax, able to receive or contain. Hall, in another passage, speaks of a vessel that is “capable of any liquor."
(4) Trencher, a wooden platter; the word often, as above, stands for the whole · meal.
(5) The Italian proverb is, che va piano va sano (he who goes gently, goes safely).
5. LINE UPON LINE, AND PRECEPT UPON
FROM “SERMONS,” PREACHED IN 1624.)
St. Paul feared not the slander of a tautology; rather, like a constant (industrious) workman, he beats still upon the same anvil. There can be never too much warning of that, whereof there never can be enough heed. Nice' (delicate and fastidious) ears are for all variety of doctrines, as palates for all variety of meats. Quousque eadem? What, still the same over and over? is the note (inquiry) of both. How scornfully do these gluttons look at the often entrance of the same standing dishes ! Št. Paul hates to feed this wanton humour, and tells them this single (simple) diet's safe for them, and to himself not.grievous; and, therefore, not fearing their surfeit? of so wholesomne a service, he still sets before them the same mess. “I have told you often, and now tell you again.” We tell over the same numbers in the counting of vur coins, and are not weary of it. In our recreations, we spend the night after the day (night as well as day) at the same game, and complain not of satiety; why should we who profess ourselves spiritual so soon nauseate at the iteration of good counsels? Perhaps, if we would (should) seek Athens in our city,' we should not lose our labour. There
(1) Nice, fr. A.S. nesc, tender, soft, gentle. Chaucer has, “He was to nesshe (too soft), and she to harde." Later, it denoted, as above, fastidious or sque mish, and also, petty, au hakspere (" Julius Cæsar"), “That every nice offence should bear his (its) comment;" and now retaining the above meanings, we also call anything we like, nice, ard speak equally of a nice distinction and a nice house.
(2) Surfeit, fr. Fr. surfaire, p.p. surfait, to overdo, overcharge the stomach. The scope of the word involves the consequences also; hence, lcathing and nausea. In “ Piers Ploughman " we have
• Let not Syre Sorfait sitten at thy borde ;” and Drayton :
“ Too much a surfeit brings, and may our child annoy;" and Milton (" Comus ") speaks of a “crude surfeit."
(3) Seek Athens. The sermon from which this extract is made was preached at Hampton Court, in 1624, before King James I., and the "city referred to, therefore, is London. The preacher evidently has the disposition of the Athenians to spend “their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” in his mind.-See Acts xviii. 21.
is an itch of the ear, which St. Paul foresaw would prove the disease of the latter times, that now is “groan” (grown) epidemical; an itch after news (new things), even in God's choir; new doctrines, new dresses. And surely it must needs be confessed, that of latter years there was much fault in (of) this kind. Too many pulpits were full of curious (fanciful) affectation of new quirks of wit, new crotchets of conceit, strange mixtures of opinions, insomuch as (that) the old and plain forms were grown stale and despicable. Let me tell you I still' (ever) feared this itch would end in a smart. Certainly there cannot be a more certain argument (proof), of a decayed and sickly stomach
then” the loathing of wholesome and solid food, and longing after “quelque choices "? (quelques choses, kickshaws) of new and artificial compositions. For us, away with this vain (foolish) affectation in the matters of God ! Surely, if ought under heaven go down better with us “then” the savoury viands of Christ, and him crucified, of faith and repentance, and these plainly dressed, without all the lards and sauces of human devices (to say no worse), our souls are sick and we feel it not. Oh, ye foolish Israelites! with whom too much frequences (too frequent an enjoyment) made the food of angels contemptible. If onions and garlic had grown as rifely (abundantly) in the wilderness, and manna had rained down nowhere but in Egypt, how would ye have hated those rude and strong salads, and have run mad after those celestial delicates* (delicacies)!
(1) Still. This adverb generally means “yet,” but occasionally has the meaning above assigned it. Gray, in his famous “ Elegy," uses it in the same way
“Yet even these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still (always) erected nigh," &c. (2) Quelque choices. There can be no doubt that kickshaws is a corruption of the words here so ingeniously mangled. Milton spells it kickshose, with the epithet “French” prefixed. The word was a sort of taunt, or “girding,” at the dainty French dishes, which were about this time supplanting the heavy confections of our native cooks.
(3) Frequence and frequency were both in use at this time; but Hall constantly prefers the former; the Lat. frequentin means, properly, a crowd.
(4) Delicates, fr. Fr. délicat, delicate, nice, used here as a noun, indicating the thing that was nice. Delicacy, which superseded delicate, is properly an abstract noun, fr. Fr. délicatesse, and is concretely used only by a figure of speech.
1. CHARACTER OF MAN.
Ham. (speaks). I have of late (but wherefore I know not) lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercises; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame,? the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason ! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action, how like an angel ! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me, nor woman neither.
(1) Shakspere wrote in so many different styles, represented so many phases of human nature, that it is difficult, if not impossible, to speak of his own style at all. The style is in him, emphatically, the man, and if any general characteristic can be mentioned, it is the singular appropriateness of the language used by nearly all the characters he has introduced. This is seen most, of course in those plays in which, as in a focus, he has concentrated his wonderful powers of imagination, and in which the intense conception and the glowing language are, as it were, born together, and act as a single force on the mind of the reader. Hamlet, Othello, Lear, and Macbeth, may be considered as the masterpieces of the author; and, moreover, as the most splendid exhibitions of literary genius that the world has ever seen.
(2) Frame, fr. A.S. fremman, to make; connected in derivation and meaning with form, which was directly derived fr. Fr. former, wh. fr. Lat. formare. Milton uses the word in a similar, but more extended sense, in Adam and Eve's Morning Hymn:
“Thine this universal frame” (i.e. creation). (3) Firmament, fr. Lat. firmamentum, that which strengthens or confirms; applied in the Vulgate to the vaulted heaven, as if to denote its firmness and stability. It appears, however, to have been a mistranslation ; for the original Hebrew word rather expresses outspreading or expansion than solidity. The word is found in Robert of Gloucester, “Up in the firmament an angel he sey (saw).” See this word distinguished from sky and heaven, “Studies in English Poetry," p. 5. Jeremy Taylor uses it in the classical sense, “ Custom is the sanction or the firmament of the law."