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other author, either of so good a time, or of so great learning, as out of Varro. And yet, because he was four-score years old when he wrote those books, the form of his style there, compared with Tully's writing, is but even the talk of a spent old man: whose words commonly fall out of his mouth, though very wisely, yet hardly and coldly, and more heavily also, than some ears can well bear, except only for age and authority's sake; and perchance, of a rude and country argument, of purpose and judgment he rather used the speech of the country than the talk of the city."
“Sallust,” he says, " is a wise and worthy writer; but he requireth a learned reader and a right considerer of him. My dearest friend and best master that ever I had or heard in learning, Sir John Cheke (such a man, as if I should live to see England breed the like again, I fear I should live over long), did once give me a lesson for Sallust, which, as I shall never forget myself, so is it worthy to be remembered of all those that would come to perfect judgment of the Latin tongue. He said that Sallust was not very fit for young men to learn out of him the purity of the Latin tongue; because he was not the purest in propriety of words, nor choicest in aptness of phrases, nor the best in framing of sentences ; and therefore is his writing, said he, neither plain for the matter, nor sensible for men's understanding.
“And what is the cause thereof, Sir?' quoth I. • Verily,' said he, “because in Sallust's writing is more art than nature, and more labour than art, and in his labour also too much toil; as it were, with an uncontented care to write better than he could-a fault common to very many men. And therefore he doth not express the matter lively, and naturally with common speech, as you see Xenophon doth in Greek; but it is carried and driven forth artificially after too learned a sort, as Thucydides doth in his Orations.'
«. And how cometh it to pass,' said I,' that Cæsar and Cicero's talk is so natural and plain, and Sallust's writings so artificial and dark, when all they three lived in one time?'
“I will freely tell you my fancy herein,' said he.
6. Surely Cæsar and Cicero, beside a singular prerogative of natural eloquence given unto them by God, both two by use of life were daily orators among the common people, and greatest counsellors in the Senatehouse; and therefore gave themselves to use such speech as the meanest should well understand, and the wisest best allow; following carefully that good counsel of Aristotle, Loquendum, ut multi ; sapiendum, ut puuci. (Speak like the many; think like the few.)
“ 'Sallust was no such man, neither for will to goodness, nor skill by learning, but ill given by nature, and made worse by bringing up; spent the most part of his youth very misorderly in riot and letchery, in the company of such who, never giving their mind to honest doing, could never inure their tongue to wise speaking. But at the last, coming to better years, and buying wit at the dearest hand (that is, by long experience of the hurt and shame that cometh of mischief), moved by the counsel of them that were wise, and carried by the example of such as were good, he first fell to honesty of life, and after to the love of study and learning, and so became so new a man, that Cæsar, being Dictator, made him prætor in Numidia, where he, absent from his couintry, and not inured with the common talk of Rome, but shut up in his study, and bent wholly upon reading, did write the history of the Romans. And for the better accomplishing of the same, he read Cato and Piso in Latin, for gathering of matter and truth, and Thucydides in Greek, for the ordering of his history and furnishing of his style."
The use of old words, Sir John Cheke is further made to say, is not the greatest cause of Sallust's roughness and darkness. “ Read Sallust and Tully advisedly together, and in words you shall find small difference. Yea, Sallust is more given to new words than to old ; though some writers say the contrary.” He then gives some exainples, after which he continues: “I could be long in reciting many such like, both old and new words in Sallust: but in very deed, neither oldness nor newness of words maketh the greatest difference betwixt Sallust and Tully; but, first, strange phrases made of good Latin words, but framed after the Greek tongue, which be neither choicely borrowed of them, nor properly used by him; then, a hard composition, and crooked framing of his words and sentences; as a man would say, English talk placed and framed outlandish-like."
Having concluded his report of this discourse of Sir John Cheke's, our author proceeds:
“ Some men perchance will smile, and laugh to scorn this my writing, and call it idle curiosity, thus to busy myself in picking about these small points of grammar, not fit for my age, place, and calling to trifle in. I trust that man, be he never so great in authority, never so wise and learned, either by other men's judgment or his own opinion, will yet think that he is not greater in England than Tully was at Rome; nor yet wiser nor better learned than Tully was himself: who at the pitch of threescore years, in the midst of the broil betwixt Cæsar and Pompey,
when he knew not whither to send wife and children, which way to go, where to hide himself ; yet in an earnest letter, aniong his earnest counsels for those heavy times, concerning both the common state of his country and his own private affairs, he was neither unmindful nor ashamed to reason at large, and learn gladly of Atticus, a less point of grammar than these be, noted of me in Sallust: as whether he should write, ad Piræea, in Piræea, or in Piræeum, or Piræcum, sine prepositione. And in those heavy times he was so careful to know this small point of grammar, that he addeth these words, Si hoc mihi surnua persolveris, magnâ me molestiâ liberâris.' [If you will resolve me this question, you will deliver me from what gives me great annoyance.]
“ If Tully at that age, in that authority, in that care for his country, in that jeopardy for himself, and extreme necessity of his dearest friends, being also the prince of eloquence himself, was not ashamed to descend to these low points of grammar in his own natural tongne; what should scholars do? yea, what should any man do, if he do think well-doing better than ill-doing, and had rather be perfect than mean, sure than doubtful, to be what he should be indeed, and not seem what he is not, in opinion ? He that maketh perfectness in the Latin tongue his mark, must come to it by choice and certain knowledge, and not stumble upon it by chance and doubtful ignorance. And the right steps to reach unto it be these, linked thus orderly together,-aptness of nature, love of learning, diligence in right order, constancy with pleasant moderation, and always to learn of them that be best; and so shall you judge as they that be wisest. And these be those rules which worthy Master Cheke did impart unto me concerning Sallust, and the right judgment of the Latin tongue."
We give entire the few but pregnant sentences in which the style of Cæsar is characterised :
“Cæsar, for that little of him that is left unto us, is like the half face of a Venus, the other part of the head being hidden, the body and the rest of the members unbegun; yet so excellently done by Apelles, as all men may stand still to maze and muse upon it; and no man step forth with any hope to perform the like.
“ His seven books De Bello Gallico,' and three • De Bello Civili,' be written so wisely for the matter, so eloquently for the tongue, that neither his greatest enemies could ever find the least note of partiality in him (a marvellous wisdom of a man, namely writing of his own doings), nor yet the best judges of the Latin tongue, nor the most envious lookers upon other men's writings can say any other but all things be most perfectly done by him.
“ Brutus, Calvus, and Calidius, who found fault with Tully's fulness in words and matter, and that rightly, for Tully did both confess it and mend it, yet in Cæsar they neither did, nor could, find the like, or any other fault.
“ And therefore thus justly I may conclude of Cæsar, that whereas in all others the best that ever wrote in
any time or in any tongue, in Greek (I except neither Plato, Demosthenes, nor Tully), some fault is justly noted, in Cæsar only could never yet fault be found.
" Yet nevertheless, for all this perfect excellency in him, yet it is but one member of eloquence, and that but of one side neither; when we must look for that example to follow, which hath a perfect head, a whole