« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
patience and resolution. Hereof the common phrases are: “ Better cry out, than always ask ; make or mar,” &c.
For the second branch of this appearance, it depends upon the same general reason : hence grew the common place of extolling the beginning of every thing,
“ He hath his work half done,
Whoe'er hath well begun.” This made the Astrologers so silly, as to judge of a man's nature and destiny, by the constellation of the moment of his nativity or conception.
This appearance is also denied, because many inceptions are but as Epicurus termeth them) tentamenta, that is, imperfect offers and essays, which vanish, and come to no substance, without
iteration : so as, in such cases, the second degree seems the worthiest; as the body-horse in the cart, that draweth more than the fore-horse. Hereof the common adages are: “ The second blow makes the fray. The second word makes the bargain." The one began, the other kept no mean.
Another objection to this appearance, is in respect of wearisomeness, which makes perseverance of greater dignity, than inception : for chance or instinct of nature may cause inception; but settled affection, or judgment, maketh the continuance.
Thirdly, This appearance is denied in such
things, which have a natural course and inclination contrary to an inception. So that the inception is continually evacuated, and gets no start, but that there be always a beginning ; as in the common forms: “ Not to go forward, is to go backward." “ He who makes no progress, decays.” “ Running against a hill; rowing against the stream,” &c. For if it be with the stream, or with the hill, then the degree of inception is more than all the rest.
Fourthly, This appearance is to be understood “of the degree of inception, in comparison of the power with the act, not of the degree from the act to the increase.” For otherwise, the degree from impotency to potency seems greater, than from the power to the act.
" That which men praise and celebrate, is good ;
that which they disgrace and reprehend, is bad." This appearance deceives four ways, viz. either through ignorance, or through want of integrity; or through particular respect and faction; or through the natural inclination of those that praise or dispraise. First, Through ignorance; for what signifies the judgment of the rabble in distinguishing and determining Good and Evil ? Phocion knew well enough, who, when the people applaud
ed him more than ordinary, asked, “Whether he had done any thing amiss ?” Secondly, Through want of integrity; for those that praise and dispraise, commonly carry on their own designs and do not speak what they think.
“ Every man praises the wares he would put off.”
It is naught, it is naught, says the buyer ; but when he is gone, he vaunteth. Thirdly, out of partiality; for every one knows, that men use to extol with immoderate praise those that are on their own side, and to depress those of the adverse party below their desert. Lastly, through a natural inclination; for some men are by nature framed and moulded for servile fawning and flattery, whilst others on the contrary are stiff, captious, and morose; and when these commend or inveigh, they do but comply with their own humours, not troubling their heads overmuch about the truth of the business.
“ That which draws commendation even from
Enemies, is a great Good; but that which is re
prehended even by Friends, is a great Evil.” This
appearance seems to stand upon this foundation, That it may well be believed, that the force of Truth extorts from us whatsoever we affirm to be
against our wills, and contrary to the bent and inclination of our minds.
This appearance deceives through the subtilty, as well of enemies as friends: for the praises of enemies are not always against their wills, nor as forced by truth; but they choose to bestow them in such cases where they may create envý or danger to their adversaries. Therefore the Grecians had a superstitious fancy, that if a man were commended by another out of spite, and with a mischievous design, he would have a pimple rise upon his nose. Besides, sometimes enemies bestow praises, like preambles, as it were, that they may the more freely and maliciously calumniate. On the other side, this appearance deceives, from the craft of friends, for they will sometimes take notice of the faults of their friends, and speak freely of them : but they choose such as may do them little hurt, as if for all the rest they were the best men in the world. Again, it deceives, because friends use their reprehensions (as we said enemies do their commendations) as certain little prefaces, after which they may expatiate more freely in their praises.
An Essay on Beath. 1. I HAVE often thought upon Death, and I find it the least of all evils. All that which is past is as a dream; and he that hopes or depends upon time coming, dreams waking. So much of our life as we have discovered, is already dead; and all those hours which we share, even from the breasts of our mother until we return to our grandmother the earth, are part of our dying days; whereof even th is one, and those that succeed are of the same nature, for we die daily; and as others have given place to us, so we must in the end give way to others.
2. Physicians, in the name of death include all sorrow, anguish, disease, calamity, or wbatsoever can fall in the life of man, either grievous or unwelcome: but these things are familiar unto us, and we suffer them every hour; therefore we die daily, and I am older since I affirmed it.
3. I know many wise men, that fear to die; for the change is bitter, and flesh would refuse to prove it: besides, the expectation brings terror, and that exceeds the evil. But I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death: and such are my hopes, that if heaven be pleased, and nature renew but my lease for twenty-one