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of the sun may produce effeminacy and sloth in rence to all great writers : but our reverence to
shall display no admirable power of criticism.
Barrow. Henceforward I would advise you to I wish the Essay On Fame had been com- follow the bent of your genius, in examining those pleted : and even then its chief effect on me, per- matters principally which are susceptible of de haps, would be to excite another wish ; as gratifi- monstration. Every young man should have some cation usually does. It would have made me sigh proposed end for his studies : let yours be philo for the recovery of Cicero On Glory, that the sophy: and principally those parts of it in which two greatest of philosophers might be compared the ancients have done little, and the moderns on the same ground.
less. And never be dejected, my dear Isaac, Barrow. Let us look up at Fame without a though it should enable you to throw but a scardesire or a repining; and let us pardon all her city of light on the Rerelations, The Rape of Ilden, falsehoods and delays, in remembrance that the and The Golden Fleece. best verse in Homer, and the best in Virgil, are Newton. I hope by my labours I may find a on her. Virgil's is indeed but a feather from the clue to them in the process of time. But perhaps wing of Homer.
my conjectures may turn out wrong, as those on Newton. You show a very forgiving mind, sir, the book before me have. and I hope she will be grateful to you. I do not Barrow. How? know what these lines are worth, as they give me Newton. I should always have imagined, if no equations.
you had not taught me the contrary, that there Barrow. Nothing should be considered quite is more of genius and philosophy in Bacon's independently of everything else. We owe reve. Essays than in all Cicero's works, however less
there be of the scholastic and oratorical. Perhaps and attention, the same moderation and respect. I, by being no estimator of style ...
The objections of your friend and visitor are not Barrow. Peace, peace ! my modest Newton! altogether frivolous: take care however lest he, Perhaps I, by being too much an estimator of it, by his disceptations, move you from your faith. have overvalued the clearest head and the purest If you hold the faith, the faith will support you ; tongue of antiquity. My Lord Justice Coke, and as, if you make your bed warm by lying in it, probably the more learned Selden, would have your bed will keep you so : never mind what the ridiculed or reproved us, had we dared entertain ticking or the wadding may be made of. There in their presence a doubt of Cicero's superiority are few things against which I see need to warn over Bacon. No very great man ever reached you, and not many on which you want advice. the standard of his greatness in the crowd of his You are not profuse in your expenditure : yet as contemporaries. This hath always been reserved you, like most of the studious, are inattentive to for the secondary. There must either be some money-affairs, let me guard you against evils folthing of the vulgar, something in which the com- lowing on this negligence, worse than the neglimonalty can recognise their own features, or there gence itself. Whenever a young man is remarked must be a laxity, a jealousy, an excitement stimu- for it, a higher price is fixed on what he purchases; lating a false appetite. Your brief review of the and dishonest men of every description push Essays hath brought back to my recollection themselves into his service, and often acquire his so much of shrewd judgment, so much of rich confidence, not only to the injury of his fortune, imagery, such a profusion of truths so plain, as but likewise of his credit and respectability. Let (without his manner of exhibiting them) to appear a gentleman be known to have been cheated of almost unimportant, that, in the various high twenty pounds, and it costs him forty a-year for qualities of the human mind, I must acknowledge the remainder of his life. Therefore, if you detect not only Cicero, but every prose-writer among the the cheat, the wisest thing is to conceal it; both Greeks, to stand far below him. Cicero is least for fear of the rogues about your sideboard, and valued for his highest merits, his fulness and his of those more dexterous ones round the green perspicuity. Bad judges (and how few are not cloth, under the judge, in your county assize-room. 80 !) desire in composition the concise and the You will become an author ere long; and every obscure, not knowing that the one most frequently author must attend to the means of conveying his arises from paucity of materials, and the other information. The plainness of your style is suitfrom inability to manage and dispose them. Have able to your manners and your studies. Avoid, you never observed that, among the ignorant in which many grave men have not done, words painting, dark pictures are usually called the finest taken from sacred subjects and from elevated in the collection, and grey-bearded heads, fit only poetry: these we have seen vilely prostituted. for the garret, are preferred to the radiance of Avoid too the society of the barbarians who mislight and beauty ? Have you yourself never employ them : they are vain, irreverent, and irrethought, before you could well measure and cal- claimable to right feelings. The dialogues of culate, that books and furniture thrown about a Galileo, which you have been studying, are room, appeared to be in much greater quantities written with much propriety and precision. I do than when they were arranged? At every step not urge you to write in dialogue, although the we take to gain the approbation of the wise, we best writers of every age have done it: the best lose something in the estimation of the vulgar. parts of Homer and Milton are speeches and Look within : can not we afford it?
replies, the best parts of every great historian The minds of few can take in the whole of a are the same : the wisest men of Athens and of great author, and fewer can draw him close enough Rome converse together in this manner, as they to another for just commensuration. A fine pas- are shown to us by Xenophon, by Plato, and by sage may strike us less forcibly than one beneath Cicero. Whether you adopt such a form of com. it in beauty, from less sensibility in us at the position, which, if your opinions are new, will moment; whence less enthusiasm, less quickness protect you in part from the hostility all novelty of perception, less capacity, less hold. You have (unless it is vicious) excites ; or whether you omitted to remark some of the noblest things in choose to go along the unbroken surface of the Bacon, often, I believe, because there is no power didactic ; never look abroad for any kind of ornaof judgment to be shown in the expression of ment. Apollo, either as the God of day or the admiration, and perhaps too sometimes from the slayer of Python, had nothing about him to obrepetition and intensity of delight.
scure his clearness or to impede his strength. To Newton. Sir, I forbore to lift up my hands, as one of your mild manners, it would be superfluSa mark of admiration. You ordered me to de- ous to recommend equanimity in competition, and monstrate, if I could, the defects of this wonderful calmness in controversy. How easy is it for the man, unnoticed hitherto.
plainest things to be misinterpreted by men not Barrow. You have done it to my satisfaction. unwise, which a calm disquisition sets right ! and Cicero disdained not, in the latter days of his life, how fortunate and opportune is it to find in when he was highest in reputation and dignity, ourselves that calmness which almost the wisest to perform a similar office in regard to Epicurus : have wanted, on urgent and grave occasions! If and I wish he had exhibited the same accuracy others for a time are preferred to you, let your
heart lie sacredly still! and you will hear from it, proper occasions you may defend them against the true and plain oracle, that not for ever will the malevolent, which is a duty. And this duty the magistracy of letters allow the rancid trans- can not be well and satisfactorily performed with parencies of coarse colourmen to stand before an imperfect knowledge or with an inadequate your propylæa. It is time that Philosophy should esteem. Habits of respect to our superiors are have her share in our literature ; that the combi- among the best we can attain, if we only remove nations and appearances of matter be scientifically from our bosom the importunate desire of unworconsidered and luminously displayed. Frigid thy advantages from them. They belong to the conceits on theological questions, heaps of snow higher department of justice, and will procure for on barren crags, compose at present the greater us in due time our portion of it. Beside, O part of our domain : volcanoes of politics burst Isaac ! in this affair our humanity is deeply conforth from time to time, and vary, without en- cerned. Think, how gratifying, how consolatory, livening, the scene.
how all-sufficient, are the regards and attentions Do not fear to be less rich in the productions of such wise and worthy men as you, to those of your mind at one season than at another. whom inferior but more powerful ones, some in Marshes are always marshes, and pools are pools ; scarlet, some in purple, some it may be) in but the sea, in those places where we admire it ermine, vilify or neglect. Many are there to whom most, is sometimes sea and sometimes dry land ; we are now indifferent, or nearly, whom, if we sometimes it brings ships into port, and some had approached them as we ought to have done, times it leaves them where they can be refitted we should have cherished, loved, and honoured. and equipt. The capacious mind neither rises Let not this reflection, which on rude and unnor sinks, neither labours nor rests, in vain. equal minds may fall without form and features, Even in those intervals when it loses the con- and pass away like the idlest cloud-shadow, be sciousness of its powers, when it swims as it were lost on you. Old literary men, beside age and in vacuity, and feels not what is external nor in- experience, have another quality in common with ternal, it acquires or recovers strength, as the Nestor: they, in the literature of the country, are body does by sleep. Never try to say things ad- praisers of times past, partly from moroseness, mirably; try only to say them plainly; for your and partly from custom and conviction. The illibusiness is with the considerate philosopher, and terate, on the contrary, raise higher than the not with the polemical assembly. If a thing can steeples, and dress up in the gaudiest trim, a be demonstrated two ways, demonstrate it in maypole of their own, and dance round it while both : one will please this man best, the other any rag flutters. So tenacious are Englishmen of that; and pleasure, if obvious and unsought, is their opinions, that they would rather lose their never to be neglected by those appointed from franchises and almost their lives. And this tena above to lead us into knowledge. Many will city hath not its hold upon letters only, but likereadily mount stiles and gates to walk along a wise upon whatever is public. I have witnessed footpath in a field, whom the very sight of a bare it in men guilty of ingratitude, of frand, of pecupublic road would disincline and weary; and yet lation, of prevarication, of treachery to friends, of the place whereto they travel lies at the end of insolence to patrons, of misleading of colleagues, each. Your studies are of a nature unsusceptible of abandonment of party, of renunciation of prinof much decoration: otherwise it would be my ciples, of arrogance to honester men and wiser, of duty and my care to warn you against it, not humiliation to strumpets for the obtainment of merely as idle and unnecessary, but as obstructing place and profit, of every villany in short which - your intent. The fond of wine are little fond of unfits not only for the honours of public, but the sweet or of the new: the fond of learning are rejects from the confidence of private life. And no fonder of its must than of its dregs. Some there have been people so maddened by faction, thing of the severe hath always been appertaining that they would almost have erected a monument to order and to grace : and the beauty that is not to such persons, hoping to spite and irritate their too liberal is sought the most ardently and loved adversaries, and unconscious or heedless that the the longest. The Graces have their zones, and inscription must be their own condemnation. Venus her cestus. In the writings of the philo- Those who have acted in this manner will repent sopher are the frivolities of ornament the most of it; but they will hate you for ever if you fore ill-placed ; in you would they be particularly, who, tell them of their repentance. It is not the fact promising to lay open before us an infinity of nor the consequence, it is the motive that turns worlds, should turn aside to display the petals of and pinches them; and they would think it a double pink.
straightforward and natural to cry out against It is dangerous to have any intercourse or deal- you, and a violence and a malady to cry out ing with small authors. They are as troublesome against themselves. The praises they have giren to handle, as easy to discompose, as difficult to they will maintain, and more firmly than if they pacify, and leave as unpleasant marks on you, as were due; as perjurers stick to perjury more small children. Cultivate on the other hand the hotly than the veracious to truth. Supposing society and friendship of the higher ; first that there should be any day of your life unoccupied you may learn to reverence them, which of itself by study, there will not be one without an arguis both a pleasure and a virtue, and then that on ment why parties, literary or political, should be avoided. You are too great to be gregarious ; think the milling pays for the alloy. Greatly and were you to attempt it, the gregarious in a favoured and blest by Providence will you be, if mass would turn their heads against you. The you should in your lifetime be known for what greater who enter into public life are disposed at you are : the contrary, if you should be translast to quit it: retirement with dignity is their formed. device : the meaning of which is, retirement with Newton. Better and more decorous would it as much of the public property as can be amassed be perhaps, if I filled up your pause with my and carried away. This race of great people is reflections : but you always have permitted me very numerous. I want before I die to see one or to ask you questions; and now, unless my gratitwo ready to believe, and to act on the belief, tude misleads me, you invite it. that there is as much dignity in retiring soon as Barrow. Ask me anything: I will answer it, if late, with little as with loads, with quiet minds I can ; and I will pardon you, as I have often and consciences as with ulcerated or discomposed. done, if you puzzle me. I have already seen some hundred sectaries of Newton. Is it not a difficult and a painful that pugnacious pope, who, being reminded that thing to repulse, or to receive ungraciously, the Christ commanded Peter to put up his sword, advances of friendship? replied, “ Yes, when he had cut the ear off.” Barrow. It withers the heart, if indeed his
To be in right harmony, the soul not only must heart were ever sound who doth it. Love, serve, be never out of time, but must never lose sight run into danger, venture life, for him who would of the theme its Creator's hand hath noted. cherish you: give him everything but your time
Why are you peeping over your forefinger into and your glory. Morning recreations, convivial those pages near the beginning of the volume ? meals, evening walks, thoughts, questions, wishes,
Newton. I have omitted the notice of several wants, partake with him. Yes, Isaac ! there are Essays.
men born for friendship; men to whom the cultiBarrow. There are many that require no ob- vation of it is nature, is necessity; as the making servation for peculiarities ; though perhaps there of honey is to bees. Do not let them suffer for is not one that any other man could have written. the sweets they would gather; but do not think
Newton. I had something more, sir, to say to live upon those sweets. Our corrupted state or rather .. I had something more, sir, to ask .. requires robuster food must grow more and about Friendship.
more unsound. Barrow. All men, but the studious above all, Newton. I would yet say something; a few must beware in the formation of it. Advice or words; on this subject .. or one next to it. caution on this subject comes immaturely and Barrow. On Expense then : that is the next : ungracefully from the young, exhibiting a proof I have given you some warning about it, and either of temerity or suspicion : but when you hardly know what else to say. Can not you find hear it from a man of my age, who has been sin- the place ? gularly fortunate in the past, and foresees the Newton. I had it under my hand. If . . that same felicity in those springing up before him, is, provided . . your time, sir!. you may accept it as the direction of a calm Barrow. Speak it out, man ! Are you in a observer, telling you all he has remarked, on the ship of Marcellus under the mirror of Archigreater part of a road which he has nearly gone medes, that you fume and redden so ? Cry to through, and which you have but just entered. him that you are his scholar, and went out only Never take into your confidence, or admit often to parley. into your company, any man who does not know, Newton. Sir! in a word . . ought a studious on some important subject, more than you do. man to think of matrimony ? Be his rank, be his virtues, what they may, he Barrow. Painters, poets, mathematicians, never will be a hindrance to your pursuits, and an ob- ought : other studious men, after reflecting for struction to your greatness. If indeed the great- twenty years upon it, may. Had I a son of your ness were such as courts can bestow, and such as age, I would not leave him in a grazing country. can be laid on the shoulders of a groom, and Many a man hath been safe among corn-fields, make him look like the rest of the company, my who falls a victim on the grass under an elm.
advice would be misplaced: but since all tran- There are lightnings very fatal in such places. | scendent, all true and genuine greatness, must be Newton. Supposing me no mathematician, I
of a man's own raising, and only on the founda- must reflect then for twenty years ! tion that the hand of God has laid, do not let Barrow. Begin to reflect on it after the twenty: any touch it: keep them off civilly, but keep and continue to reflect on it all the remainder ; them off. Affect no stoicism ; display no indif. I mean at intervals, and quite leisurely. It will ference : let their coin pass current; but do not save to you many prayers, and may suggest to you exchange for it the purer ore you carry, nor you one thanksgiving.
THE KING OF AVA AND RAO-GONG-FAO.
King. Who is the slave that, in the posture | anciently performed amid the funeral honours of so becoming a mortal, draweth his brow and his Egyptian kings ; being the last and greatest the knees together on the pavement of this my heaven, survivors could offer to their defunct masters. pointing with the centre of his circumference to They call it in their language a strait-uraistovat: that cloudier one, of which my brother the Sun and none are permitted to wear it in the streets. is rajah?
Far is thy servant, 0 mountain of myrrh ! from Prime Chamberlain. Lord of light! behold the ascribing to himself the desert. It was a token created of thy golden foot, him whom we in our of what the rajah thought due unto thee, 0 oil of language of men do call Rao-Gong-Fao.
camphor! And when I informed him that, in King. The Sun our brother permits the tender return for this benefit of warmth, your Celestitude blade of rice to lift its head under him, after many wished only the restitution of the few cities your moons. We likewise, but greater in our clemency, soldiers and counsellors had entrusted to his allow the creature of our beneficence to unfold people, and the remission of some lacs of rupees, himself by just degrees in the space of one hour. which it was thought reasonable to promise them Meanwhile let him answer the words of wisdom, because they cried for the same, he was overjoyed. as they flow from the imperturbable fountain of - King. What lacs ? what rupees? I never heard eternal truth.
about them. Rao-Gong-Fao !
Rao. Tortoise of adamant! Earth-sustainer! Rao. Tiger-crushing elephant ! crocodile of chry. When the natives of the two islets, together with solite ! river of milk and honey!
some vagabonds they had collected from certain King. In our condescension of majesty, we plains near the Ganges, lost themselves in our command thee to leave untold, at present, the country, they were constrained by hunger to take remainder of the seven thousand names, where several necessaries of life from the slaves of your with the languages of the universal earth, having Divine Majesty. The said slaves were angry, and exhausted themselves, would enrich us.
called some soldiers to their aid, and disturbance Rao-dong-Fao !
ensued, in which a soldier of the Celestial empire Rao. The dust obeys the wind.
was slain, and three wounded. The servants of King. Answer thou the questions of our all- your Divine Majesty then sent other soldiers searching Intelligence.
against them, with orders to bring them into Hath our slave, the rajah of those two little your serene presence, or at least as far as the first islets drawn by white bears, accepted our condi- court. They, hearing of this order, were coming tions? or must we, in our indignation, submerge forward in great haste and perturbation. But him and his islets and his white bears, throwing certain wise generals then bethought themselves one of our jewels at them?
that these unbelievers, in their ignorance of Rao. Have mercy! Forbear yet a little while, polished customs, might peradventure be inconO right hand of Omnipotence! Let neither a venient and indecorous; and chose rather to pro jewel from thy armlet plunge him into the abyss, vide for their necessities with a few pieces of silver nor an irresistible ray from thy incensed eye to each man, and a few cities to lodge them in transfix him. Verily he hath heard reason and The cannon was left on the walls, with plenty of truth. He hath accepted thy gifts, 0 disposer of powder and shot, that they might defend them- į empire! When I informed him that, in consi- selves against the jackals and hyenas, when no deration of the cold wherewith his people are longer under the protection of your Celestial afflicted, my king consented to use his interest army. It is wonderful how this plain simple with his brother, not only not to withhold his story was changed in the country of the ungodly. light, but to increase it; and would graciously The rajah of the two isles was undeceived by me; order a whole grove of high trees to be levelled finally he was persuaded that your Divine Majesty with the carth, in order that they might not inter- had acted with no other feeling than that of hos cept his warmth from the two bear-borne islets of pitality; and he displayed as serene a countenance the western sea, he appeared much gratified. And as if it had been irradiated by a beam of light whereas the noblest of his people wear a garter from your Divine Majesty's. on the outside of that dress which covers the knee, King. Show me a copy of the orders he gare, while others can only wear it on the inside, the for the remission of the money his servants would rajah gave orders that one should be drawn obtain from mine. closely round me, higher than any man present Rao. Unapproachable Excelsitude! He told ever wore it ; and that it should surround not my me he did not interfere in the quarrels of his knce nor my buttock, but my whole body and servants. arms together, with many folds; not unlike the King. He said it before : I pardoned him. ceremony which the Persian and Arabian poets, Proceed. if our learned men understand them, relate as Rao. He was happy to hear from me, that your