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vices and the occasional mimick of them all; that it makes the whole man false; that it leaves nothing sincere or trustworthy about him ; that his best qualities are perverted and poisoned by it and operate exactly as the worst; that its disciples exist by every thing which is spurious, fictitious, and false; by every thing which takes a man from his house, and sets him on a stage; which makes him up an artificial creature, with painted theatrick sentiments fit to be seen by the glare of candle light and formed to be contemplated at a due distance."
56. CORIOLANUS. When Rome had thrown from her the warrior who had led his countrymen to victory, and galled and fretted the proud spirit of her boldest hero; he, driven onwards by the demon of revenge, gave himself as a leader where he had before been a conqueror, and taking a hostile banner into his passionate grasp, headed the foes who sought to subjugate the land of his nativity. Ye remember, it may be, how intercession saved the city: The mother bowed before the son; and Coriolanus, vanquished by tears, subdued by plaints, left the Capitol unscathed by battle.
57. NATURE THE BEST GUIDE. If men would be content to graft upon Nature, and assist her operations, what mighty effects might we expect! Tully would not stand so much alone in oratory, Virgil in poetry, or Cæsar in war. To build upon Nature, is laying the foundation upon a rock; every thing disposes itself in order as it were of course, and the whole work is half done as soon as undertaken. Cicero's genius inclined him to oratory, Virgil's to follow the train of the Muses; they piously obeyed the admonition and were rewarded. Had Virgil attended the bar, his modest and ingenious virtue would surely have made but a very indifferent figure; and Tully's declamatory inclination would have been as useless in poetry.
Nature, if left to herself, leads us on in the best course, but will do nothing by compulsion and constraint; and if we are not always satisfied to go her way, we are always the greatest sufferers by it.
58. THE EXPEDITION OF CHARLES V AGAINST ALGIERS. It was now broad day; the hurricane had abated nothing of its violence, and the sea appeared agitated with all the rage of which that destructive element is capable; all the ships, on which alone the whole army knew that their safety and subsistence depended, were seen driven from their anchors, some dashing against each other, some beat to pieces on the rocks, many forced ashore, and not a few sinking in the
In less than an hour fifteen ships of war, and an hundred and forty transports with eight thousand men, perished; and such of the unhappy crews as escaped the fury of the sea were murdered without mercy by the Arabs, as soon as they reached land. The Emperor stood in silent anguish and astonishment beholding this fatal event, which at once blasted all his hopes of success, and buried in the depths the vast stores which he had provided as well for annoying the enemy as for subsisting his own troops ... At last the wind began to fall and to give some hopes that as many ships might escape, as would be sufficient to save the army from perishing by famine and transport them back to Europe. But these were only hopes; the approach of evening covered the sea with darkness; and it being impossible for the officers aboard the ships which had outlived the storm, to send any intelligence to their companions who were ashore, they remained during the night in all the anguish of suspense and uncertainty.
59. CHARACTER OF POMPEY THE GREAT. Such was the end and such the funeral of Pompey the Great; a man who had many opportunities of enslaving his country, but rejected them all. He was fonder of glory than of power, of praise than command, and was more vain than ambitious. His talents in war were every way superior to those of his contemporaries except Cæsar; it was, therefore, his peculiar misfortune to contend with a man, in whose presence all other military merit lost its lustre. Whether his aims during the last war were more just than Cæsar's must for ever remain doubtful; certain it is, that he frequently rejected all offers of accommodation, and began to talk of punishment, before he had any pretensions to power. But whatever might have been his intentions in case of victory, they could not have been executed with more moderation than those of Cæsar. The corruptions of the state were too great to admit of any other remedy but that of an absolute government, and it was hardly possible that power could have fallen into better hands than those of the conqueror. From Pompey's death, therefore, we may date the total extinction of the republic. From this period the senate was dispossessed of all its power; and Rome, from henceforward, was never without a master.
60. PERKIN WARBECK'S PROCLAMATION AGAINST KING HENRY VII. This Tidder, who boasteth himself to have overthrowne a tyrant, hath ever since his first entrance into his usurped reigne put little in practice but tyrannie and the feats thereof. For King Richard our unnaturall uncle, although desire of rule did blind him, yet in his other actions (like a true Plantagenet) was noble and loved the honour of the realme and the contentment and comfort of his nobles and people. But this our mortall enemie (agreeable to the meannesse of his birth) hath trod under foot the honour of this nation; selling our best confederates for money, and making merchandize of the bloud estates and fortunes of our peeres and subjects by fained wars and dishonourable peace, only to enrich his coffers. Nor unlike hath been his hatefull misgovernment and evil deportments at home.
61. THE EPICUREANS. The Epicureans did conceit and boast, that having by their atheistical explications of natural effects and common events here discarded the belief and dread of religion, they had laid a strong foundation for tranquillity of mind, and driven away all the causes of grief and fear, so that nothing then remained troublesome or terrible unto us; and consequently what, said they, could forbid, but that we should be entirely contented, glad and happy?-Nos exæquat vittoria cælo; no God then surely could be more happy than we. But their attempt in many respects was vain and lame: they presumed of a victory which it is impossible to obtain : and supposing they had got it, their triumph would not have been so glorious, their success would not have been so great as they pretended. For seeing no Epicurean discourse can baffle the potent arguments which persuade religion, since the being and providence of God have proofs so clear and valid, that no subtlety of man can so far evade them, as wholly to be freed from doubt and suspicion of their truth; it is impossible that any considering man, in this cause against religion, should suppose himself to have acquired an absolute and secure victory, or that he should reap substantial fruit of comfort thence.
62. STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. The chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar: they perfect nature, and are perfected by experience—for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them, for they teach not their own use: but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested ; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments and the meaner sort of books. Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man; and, therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory : if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need of much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle; natural philosophy deep; moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend.
63. OF INDOLENCE. Indolence is therefore one of the vices from which those whom it once infects are seldom reformed. Every other species of luxury operates upon some appetite that is quickly satiated, and requires some concurrence of art or accident which every place will not supply; but the desire of ease acts equally at all hours, and the longer it is indulged is the more increased. To do nothing is in every man's power; we can never want an opportunity of omitting duties. The lapse to indolence is soft and imperceptible, because it is only a mere cessation of activity; but the return to diligence is difficult, because it implies a change from rest to motion, from privation to reality. Of this vice, as of all others, every man who indulges it is conscious : we all know our own state, if we could be induced to consider it, and it might perhaps be useful to the conquest of all these ensnarers of the mind, if at certain stated days life was reviewed. Many things necessary are omitted, because we vainly imagine that they may be always performed; and what cannot be done without pain will for ever be delayed, if the time of doing it be left unsettled. No corruption is great but by long negligence, which can scarcely prevail in a mind regularly and frequently awakened by periodical remorse. He that thus breaks his life into parts, will find in himself a desire to distinguish every stage of his existence by some improvement, and delight himself with the approach of the day of recollection, as of the time which is to begin a new series of virtue and felicity. S. JOHNSON
64. DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM. The houses were full of dying women and children, the streets with old men gasping out their last breath. The bodies remained unburied, for either the emaciated relatives had not strength for the melancholy duty, or in the uncertainty of their own lives neglected every office of kindness or charity. Some, indeed, died in the act of burying their friends, others crept into the cemeteries, lay down on a bier and expired. There was no sorrow, no wailing; they had not strength to moan; they sate with dry eyes and mouths drawn up into a kind of bitter smile. Those who were more hardy looked with envy on those who had already breathed their last. Many died, says the historian, with their eyes steadily fixed on the Temple. There was a deep and heavy silence over the whole city, broken only by the robbers as they forced open