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2. KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM.»
(FROM THE SAME WORK.)
SCIENCE (knowledge) by much is short of wisdom. Nay, so far as I think, you shall scarce find a more (greater) fool than sometimes a mere scholar. He will speak Greek' to an ostler, and Latin familiarly to women that understand it not. Knowledge is the treasure of the mind, but discretion is the key, without which it lies dead in the dulness of a fruitless rest. The practic (practical) part of wisdom is the best. A native ingenuity is beyond the watchings of industrious study.? Wisdom is no inheritance; no, not to the greatest clerks. Men write commonly more formally than they practise, and they (the learned clerks), conversing only among books, are put into (exhibit in their conduct) affectation and pedantism. He that is built (made up by) the press and the pen, shall be sure to make himself ridiculous.
Every age both confutes old errors, and begets new. Yet still are we more entangled, and the further we go, the nearer we approach a sun that blinds us. He that went furthest in these things (i.e. Solomon) we find ending with a censures of their vanity [and] their vexation.
(1) Wisdom, knowledge, science. Of these words knowledge is the most limitedit means anything known; the orderly arrangement of things known, in accordance with their true relations to each other, is science; and the application of knowledge and science to life is wisdom. See also note 2, p. 69.
(2) 1.e. cannot be compensated, or the want of it made up for,by any amount of study.
(3) Censure. This word, in earlier writings, neutral, and denoting favourable and unfavourable judgments alike, is here used nearly in its modern sense. Shakspere (“Hamlet,") has
“ Take each man's censure (opinion), but reserve thy judgment." See also in the extracts from Shakspere, pp. 123, 125, censure, used both as a noun and as a verb in the original neutral sense. Also Massinger has
“I know in this, That I am censured (considered) rugged and austere."
(FROM "MICROCOSMOGRAPHY," PUBLISHED IN 1628.)
A PLAUSIBLE man is one that would fain run an even path in the world, and jut against no man. His endeavour is not to offend, and his aim the general opinion (approbation). His conversation is a kind of continued compliment, and his life a practice of manners; the relation he bears to others, a kind of fashionable respect, not friendship, but friendliness, which is equal to all and general, and his kindnesses seldom exceed courtesies. He loves not deeper mutualities (exchanges of feeling), because he would not take sides, nor hazard himself on displeasures, which he principally avoids. At your first acquaintance with him, he is exceedinglý kind and friendly, and at your twentieth meeting after but friendly still. He has an excellent command over his patience and tongue, especially the last, which he accommodates always to the times and persons, and speaks seldom what is sincere, but what is civil. He is one that uses all companies, drinks all healths, and is reasonable (reasonably) cool in all religions. He considers who are friends to the company, and speaks well where he is sure to hear of it again. He can listen to a foolish discourse with an applausive attention, and conceal his laughter at nonsense. Silly men much honour and esteem him, because, by his fair reasoning with them as with men of understanding, he puts them into an erroneous opinion of themselves, and makes them forwarder hereafter to their own discovery. He is one rather well thought on (of) than beloved,
(1) " Earle is always gay and quick to catch the ridiculous, especially that of exterior appearances. His style is short, describing well with a few wo:ds, but with much of the affected quaintness of that age.”-Hallam, Lit. of Eur., lii. 154.
(2) About the beginning of the 17th century, it was a very common diversion of literary men to write what are called “Characters.” Bishop Hall published a series of them, Sir Thomas Overbury also, and many others. The above is a favourable specimen of the general style of such productions.
(3) Civil. The meaning of this word, in the passage above, rather traverses Trench's judgment on its original signification (See note 2, p. 90),
(4) Forwarder hereafter, &c.—i.e. makes them more ready than they would otherwise be to discover or show themselves off. Discover is frequently used in older writers in the sense of uncover to take off the cover and show what is underneath
and that love he has is more of whole companies together than [of] any one in particular. Men gratify him, notwithstanding, with a good report; and whatever vices he has besides, yet, having no enemies, he is sure to be “ an honest fellow."
1. WORDS OF WISDOM.
a. FOREIGN INVASION. LET not civil discords in a foreign kingdom encourage thee to make invasion. They that are factious among themselves are jealous of one another, and more strongly prepared to encounter with a foreign enemy. Those whom civil commotions set at variance, “foraigne” hostility reconciles. Men rather affect (aim at) the possession of an inconvenient good “then” the possibility of an uncertain better.
6. DELIBERATION AND SECRECY. In all designs which require not sudden execution, take mature deliberation, and weigh the convenients (advantages) with the inconvenients (against the disadvantages), and then resolve; after which neither delay the execution, nor bewray’ (betray) thy intention. He that discovers himself (e.e. his plans) till he hath made himself master of his desires, lays himself open to his own ruin, and makes himself prisoner to his own tongue.
(1) Whatever may be thought of Quarles's poetry, there is little doubt that his powers as a prose writer have been undervalued. In pregnant brevity, wise sententiousness, and even in copiousness and eloquence of style, few of his contemporaries surpass him. The extracts from the “Enchiridion," a "golden treasury" of moral and political wisdom, and the “Prayer,” which follows, will justify this
iticism. The chief drawback to his merit is, that as a disciple of the Euphuistic school (see p. 93), he occasionally carries too far a taste for point and antithesis.
(2) “Had this little piece been written at Athens or Rome, its author would have been classed with the wise men of the country" (Headly, “ Beauties of English Poets").
(3) Bewray. See note 6, p. 36.
IF thou desire not to be too poor, desire not to be too rich. He is rich, not that possesses much, but he that covets no more ; and he is poor, not that enjoys little, but he that wants too much. The contented mind wants nothing which it hath not; the covetous mind wants not only what it hath not, but likewise what it hath.
d. COMMAND ONLY WHEN YOU CAN EXECUTE. IF, like Manlius, thou command stout and great things, be like Manlius, stout to execute great commands. It is a great blemish in sovereignty when the will roars and the power whispers. If thou canst not execute as freely as thou commandest, command no more “then” what thou mayst as freely execute.
e. A WIDOWED MOTHER. If thy mother be a widow, give her double honour, who now acts the part of a double parent. Forget not her indulgence when thou didst hang upon her tender breast. Call to mind her prayers for thee before thou camest into the world, and her cares for thee when thou wert come into the world. Remember her secret groans, her affectionate tears, her broken slumbers, her daily fears, her nightly frights (alarms). Relieve her wants, cover her imperfections, comfort her age; and the widow's husband will be the orphan's father.
f. LIBERTY OF THE TONGUE. Give not thy tongue too great a liberty, lest it take thee prisoner. A word unspoken is, like the sword in thy scabbard, there; if vented (uttered), thy sword is in another's hand. If thou desire to be held wise, be so wise as to hold thy tongue.
In thy discourse (conversation) take heed what thou speakest, to whom thou speakest, how thou speakest, when thou speakest. What thou speakest, speak truly; when thou speakest, speak wisely. A fool's heart is in his tongue, but a wise man's tongue is in his heart.
THE way to subject all things to thyself, is to subject thyself to reason. Thou shalt govern many, if reason govern thee. Wouldst thou be crowned the monarch of a little world ? Command thyself.
¿. CHOICE OF ONE'S COMPANY. BE very circumspect in the " choise ” of thy company. In the society of thine equals, thou shalt enjoy more pleasure; in the society of thy superiors, thou shalt find more profit. To be the best in the company, is the way to grow worse; the best means to grow better, is to be the worst there.
IF thou art rich, strive to command thy money, lest she command thee. If thou know how to use her, she is thy servant; if not, thou art her slave.
k. DRESS. In thy apparel avoid singularity, profuseness, and gaudiness. Be not too early in the fashion, nor too late. Decency (propriety) is the half way between affectation and neglect. The body is the shell of the soul; apparel is the husk of that shell; the husk often tells you what the kernel is.
I. REVENGE. Hath any wronged thee? Be bravely revenged; "sleight” it, and the work’s begun; forgive it, and 'tis finished. He is below himself that is not above an injury.
M. TRUE VALOUR. IF thou desire to be truly valiant, fear to do any injury. He that fears not to “doe" evil, is always afraid to suffer evil. He that never fears is desperate; and he that fears always is a coward. He is the true valiant man, that dares nothing but what he may, and fears nothing but what he ought.