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potency of God, which is chiefly signed and engraven upon his works. Thus much therefore for divine testimony and evidence concerning the true dignity and value of learning.
As for human proofs, it is so large a field, as, in a discourse of this nature and brevity, it is fit rather to use choice of those things which we shall produce, than to embrace the variety of them. First, therefore, in the degrees of human honour amongst the heathen, it was the highest to obtain to a veneration and adoration as a God. This unto the Christians is as the forbidden fruit. But we speak now separately of human testimony: according to which, that which the Grecians call "apotheosis," and the Latins, "relatio inter divos," was the supreme honour which man could attribute unto man: especially when it was given, not by a formal decree or act of state, as it was used among the Roman emperors, but by an inward assent and belief. Which honour, being so high, had also a degree or middle term: for there were reckoned, above human honours, honours heroical and divine: in the attribution and distribution of which honours, we see, antiquity made this difference: that whereas founders and uniters of states and cities, lawgivers, extirpers of tyrants, fathers of the people, and other eminent persons in civil merit, were honoured but with the titles of worthies or demi-gods; such as were Hercules, Theseus, Minos, Romulus, and the like: on the other side, such as were inventors and authors of new arts, endowments, and commodities towards man's life, were ever consecrated amongst the gods themselves: as were Ceres, Bacchus, Mercurius, Apollo, and others: and justly; for the merit of the former is confined within the circle of an age or a nation; and is like fruitful showers, which though they be profitable and good, yet serve but for that season, and for a latitude of ground where they fall; but the other is indeed like the benefits of heaven, which are permanent and universal. The former, again, is mixed with strife and perturbation; but the latter hath the true character of divine presence, coming ❝in aura leni," without noise or agitation.
Neither is certainly that other merit of learning, in repressing the inconveniences which grow from man to man, much inferior to the former, of relieving the necessities which arise from nature; which merit was lively set forth by the ancients in that feigned relation of Orpheus's theatre, where all beasts and birds assembled; and, forgetting their several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of quarrel, stood all sociably together listening to the airs and accords of the harp; the sound whereof no sooner ceased, or was drowned by some louder noise, but every beast returned to his own nature: wherein is aptly described the nature and condition of men, who are full of savage and unreclaimed desires of profit, of lust, of revenge; which as long as they give ear to
precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly touched with eloquence and persuasion of books, of sermons, of harangues, so long is society and peace maintained; but if these instruments be silent, or that sedition and tumult make them not audible, all things dissolve into anarchy and confusion.
But this appeareth more manifestly, when kings themselves, or persons of authority under them or other governors in commonwealths and popular estates, are endued with learning. For although he might be thought partial to his own profession, that said, "Then should people and estates be happy, when either kings were philosophers, or philosophers kings;" yet so much is verified by experience, that under learned princes and governors there have been ever the best times: for howsoever kings may have their imperfections in their passions and customs; yet if they be illuminate by learning, they have those notions of religion, policy, and morality which do preserve them, and refrain them from all ruinous and peremptory errors and excesses; whispering evermore in their ears, when counsellors and servants stand mute and silent. And senators or counsellors likewise, which be learned, do proceed upon more safe and substantial principles than counsellors which are only men of experience; the one sort keeping dangers afar off, whereas the other discover them not till they come near hand, and then trust to the agility of their wit to ward off or avoid them.
Which felicity of times under learned princes, (to keep still the law of brevity, by using the most eminent and selected examples,) doth best appear in the age which passed from the death of Domitian emperor until the reign of Commodus; comprehending a succession of six princes, all learned or singular favourers and advancers of learning, which age, for temporal respects, was the most happy and flourishing that ever the Roman empire (which then was a model of the world) enjoyed; à matter revealed and prefigured unto Domitian in a dream the night before he was slain; for he thought there was grown behind upon his shoulders a neck and a head of gold; which came accordingly to pass in those golden times which succeeded: of which princes we will make some commemoration; wherein although the matter will be vulgar, and may be thought fitter for a declamation than agreeable to a treatise infolded as this is, yet because it is pertinent to the point in hand, "neque semper arcum tendit Apollo," and to name them only were too naked and cursory, I will not omit it altogether.
tude of the times, comprehended in a verse of sity. But Adrian spent his whole reign, which Homer's:
"Telis, Phoebe, tuis lachrymas ulciscere nostras." Trajan, who succeeded, was for his person not learned but if we will hearken to the speech of our Saviour, that saith, "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall have a prophet's reward," he deserveth to be placed amongst the most learned princes: for there was not a greater admirer of learning, or benefactor of learning: a founder of famous libraries, a perpetual advancer of learned men to office, and a familiar converser with learned professors and preceptors, who were noted to have then most credit in court. On the other side, how much Trajan's virtue and government was admired and renowned, surely no testimony of grave and faithful history doth more livelily set forth, than that legend tale of Gregorius Magnus, Bishop of Rome, who was noted for the extreme envy he bore towards all heathen excellency: and yet he is reported, out of the love and estimation of Trajan's moral virtues, to have made unto God passionate and fervent prayers for the delivery of his soul out of hell; and to have obtained it, with a caveat that he should make no more such petitions. In this prince's time also, the persecutions against the Christians received intermission, upon the certificate of Plinius Secundus, a man of excellent learning and by Trajan advanced.
was peaceable, in a perambulation or survey of the Roman empire; giving order, and making assignation where he went, for re-edifying of cities, towns, and forts decayed; and for cutting of rivers and streams, and for making bridges and passages, and for policying of cities and commonalties with new ordinances and constitutions, and granting new franchises and incorporations; so that his whole time was a very restoration of all the lapses and decays of former times.
Antoninus Pius, who succeeded him, was a prince excellently learned; and had the patient and subtle wit of a schoolman; insomuch as in common speech, which leaves no virtue untaxed, he was called "cymini sector," (a carver or divider of cumin,) which is one of the least seeds; such a patience he had and settled spirit, to enter into the least and most exact differences of causes; a fruit no doubt of the exceeding tranquillity and serenity of his mind; which being noways charged or encumbered, either with fears, remorses, or scruples, but having been noted for a man of the purest goodness, without all fiction or affectation, that hath reigned or lived, made his mind continually present and entire. He likewise approached a degree nearer unto Christianity, and became as Agrippa said unto St. Paul, "half a Christian;" holding their religion and law in good opinion, and not only ceasing persecution, but giving way to the advancement of Christians.
There succeeded him the first "divi-fratres," the two adoptive brethren, Lucius Commodus Verus (son to Ælius Verus, who delighted much in the softer kind of learning, and was wont to call the poet Martial his Virgil) and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus: whereof the latter, who obscured his colleague and survived him long, was named the philosopher: who as he excelled all the rest in learning, so he excelled them likewise in perfection of all royal virtues; insomuch as Julianus the emperor, in his book entitled "Cæsares,' being as a pasquin or satire to deride all his pre
Adrian, his successor, was the most curious man that lived, and the most universal inquirer; insomuch as it was noted for an error in his mind, that he desired to comprehend all things, and not to reserve himself for the worthiest things; falling into the like humour that was long before noted in Philip of Macedon; who, when he would needs overrule and put down an excellent musician in | an argument touching music, was well answered by him again," God forbid, sir," saith he, "that your fortune should be so bad, as to know these things better than I." It pleased God likewise to use the curiosity of this emperor as an inducement to the peace of his church in those days. For having Christ in veneration, not as a God or Saviour, but as a wonder or novelty; and having his pic-decessors, feigned that they were all invited to a ture in his gallery, matched with Apollonius, with banquet of the gods, and Silenus the Jester sat at whom, in his vain imagination, he thought he the nether end of the table, and bestowed a scoff had some conformity; yet it served the turn to on every one as they came in; but when Marcus allay the bitter hatred of those times against the Philosophus came in, Silenus was gravelled and Christian name, so as the church had peace during out of countenance, not knowing where to carp his time. And for his government civil, although at him; save at the last he gave a glance at his he did not attain to that of Trajan's in glory of patience towards his wife. And the virtue of this arms, or perfection of justice, yet in deserving of prince, continued with that of his predecessor, the weal of the subject he did exceed him. For made the name of Antoninus so sacred in the Trajan erected many famous monuments and world, that though it were extremely dishonoured buildings; insomuch that Constantine the Great in Commodus, Caracalla, and Heliogabalus, who in emulation was wont to call him "Parietaria," all bore the name, yet when Alexander Severus (wall flower,) because his name was upon so refused the name, because he was a stranger to the many walls but his buildings and works were family, the senate with one acclamation said, more of glory and triumph than use and neces- "Quo modo Augustus, sic et Antoninus." In such
renown and veneration was the name of these two | the great philosopher, who dedicated divers of his princes in those days, that they would have it as a perpetual addition in all the emperors' styles. In this emperor's times also the church for the most part was in peace; so as in this sequence of six princes we do see the blessed effects of learning in sovereignty, painted forth in the greatest table of the world.
But for a tablet, or picture of smaller volume, (not presuming to speak of your majesty that liveth,) in my judgment the most excellent is that of Queen Elizabeth, your immediate predecessor in this part of Britain; a princess that, if Plutarch were now alive to write lives by parallels, would trouble him, I think, to find for her a parallel amongst women. This lady was endued with learning in her sex singular, and rare even amongst masculine princes; whether we speak of learning, language, or of science, modern, or ancient, divinity or humanity: and unto the very last year of her life she was accustomed to appoint set hours for reading, scarcely any young student in any university more daily, or more duly. As for her government, I assure myself I shall not exceed, if I do affirm that this part of the island never had forty-five years of better times; and yet not through the calmness of the season, but through the wisdom of her regimen. For if there be considered of the one side, the truth of religion established, the constant peace and security, the good administration of justice, the temperate use of the prerogative, not slackened, nor much strained, the flourishing state of learning, sortable to so excellent a patroness, the convenient estate of wealth and means, both of crown and subject, the habit of obedience, and the moderation of discontents; and there be considered, on the other side, the differences of religion, the troubles of neighbour countries, the ambition of Spain, and opposition of Rome: and then, that she was solitary and of herself: these things, I say, considered, as I could not have chosen an instance so recent and so proper, so, I suppose, I could not have chosen one more remarkable or eminent to the purpose now in hand, which is concerning the conjunction of learning in the prince with felicity in the people.
books of philosophy unto him: he was attended with Callisthenes and divers other learned persons, that followed him in camp, throughout his journeys and conquests. What price and estimation he had learning in doth notably appear in these three particulars: first, in the envy he used to express that he bore towards Achilles, in this, that he had so good a trumpet of his praises as Homer's verses; secondly, in the judgment or solution he gave touching that precious cabinet of Darius, which was found among his jewels; whereof question was made what thing was worthy to be put into it; and he gave his opinion for Homer's works: thirdly, in his letter to Aristotle, after he had set forth his books of nature, wherein he expostulated with him for publishing the secrets or mysteries of philosophy; and gave him to understand that himself esteemed it more to excel other men in learning and knowledge than in power and empire. And what use he had of learning doth appear, or rather shine, in all his speeches and answers, being full of science, and use of science, and that in all variety.
And herein again it may seem a thing scholastical, and somewhat idle, to recite things that every man knoweth; but yet, since the argument I handle leadeth me thereunto, I am glad that men shall perceive I am as willing to flatter, if they will so call it, an Alexander, or a Cæsar, or an Antoninus, that are dead many hundred years since, as any that now liveth: for it is the displaying of the glory of learning in sovereignty that I propound to myself, and not a humour of declaiming in any man's praises. Observe then the speech he used of Diogenes, and see if it tend not to the true state of one of the greatest questions of moral philosophy; whether the enjoying of outward things, or the contemning of them, be the greatest happiness: for when he saw Diogenes so perfectly contented with so little, he said to those that mocked at his condition; "Were I not Alexander, I would wish to be Diogenes." But Seneca inverteth it, and saith; "Plus erat, quod hic nollet accipere, quàm quod ille posset dare." (There were more things which Diogenes would have refused, than there were which Alexander could have given.)
Observe again that speech which was usual with him, "That he felt his mortality chiefly in two things, sleep and lust;" and see if it were not a speech extracted out of the depth of natural phi
of Aristotle or Democritus, than from Alexander.
Neither hath learning and influence an operation only upon civil merit and moral virtue, and the arts or temperature of peace and peaceable government; but likewise it hath no less power and efficacy in enablement towards martial and military virtue and prowess; as may be notably repre-losophy, and liker to have come out of the mouth sented in the examples of Alexander the Great, and Cæsar the Dictator, mentioned before, but now in fit place to be resumed; of whose virtues and acts in war there needs no note or recital, having been the wonders of time in that kind: but of their affections towards learning, and perfections in learning, it is pertinent to say somewhat. Alexander was bred and taught under Aristotle
See again that speech of humanity and poesy: when upon the bleeding of his wounds, he called unto him one of his flatterers, that was wont to ascribe to him divine honour, and said, "Look, this is very blood; this is not such a liquor as Homer speaketh of, which ran from Venus's hand, when it was pierced by Diomedes."
See likewise his readiness in reprehension of | ters; when, upon Darius's great offers, Parmenio logic, in the speech he used to Cassander, upon a had said, "Surely I would accept these offers, complaint that was made against his father Anti- were I as Alexander;" saith Alexander, “So pater; for when Alexander happened to say, would I, were I as Parmenio." "Do you think these men would have come from Lastly, weigh that quick and acute reply, which so far to complain, except they had just cause of he made when he gave so large gifts to his friends grief?" And Cassander answered, “Yea, that and servants, and was asked what he did reserve was the matter, because they thought they should for himself, and he answered, "Hope:" weigh, not be disproved." Said Alexander laughing:|I say, whether he had not cast up his account "See the subtilties of Aristotle, to take a matter right, because hope must be the portion of all that both ways, 'pro et contra,'" &c. resolve upon great enterprises. For this was Cæsar's portion when he went first into Gaul, his estate being then utterly overthrown with lar
that noble prince, howsoever transported with ambition, Henry, Duke of Guise, of whom it was usually said, that he was the greatest usurer in France, because he had turned all his estate into obligations.
To conclude therefore: as certain critics are used to say hyperbolically, "That if all sciences were lost, they might be found in Virgil;" so certainly this may be said truly, there are the prints and footsteps of learning in those few speeches which are reported of this prince: the admiration of whom, when I consider him not, as Alexander the Great, but as Aristotle's scholar, hath carried me too far.
As for Julius Cæsar, the excellency of his learning needeth not be argued from his education, or his company, or his speeches; but in a further degree doth declare itself in his writings and
But note again how well he could use the same art, which he reprehended, to serve his own humour; when bearing a secret grudge to Callis-gesses. And this was likewise the portion of thenes, because he was against the new ceremony of his adoration, feasting one night where the same Callisthenes was at the table, it was moved by some after supper, for entertainment sake, that Callisthenes, who was an eloquent man, might speak of some theme or purpose, at his own choice: which Callisthenes did; choosing the praise of the Macedonian nation for his discourse, and performing the same with so good manner, as the hearers were much ravished; whereupon Alexander, nothing pleased, said, "It was easy to be eloquent upon so good a subject. But," saith he, "turn your style, and let us hear what you can say against us :" which Callisthenes presently undertook, and did with that sting and life, that Alexander interrupted him, and said, "The goodness of the cause made him eloquent before, and despite made him eloquent then again." Consider further, for tropes of rhetoric, that ex-works; whereof some are extant and permanent, cellent use of a metaphor or translation, wherewith he taxed Antipater, who was an imperious and tyrannous governor: for when one of Antipater's friends commended him to Alexander for his moderation, that he did not degenerate, as his other lieutenants did, into the Persian pride in use of purple, but kept the ancient habit of Macedon, of black; "True," saith Alexander, "but Antipater is all purple within." Or that other, when Parmenio came to him in the plain of Arbela, and showed him the innumerable multitude of his enemies, especially as they appeared by the infinite number of lights, as it had been a new firmament of stars, and thereupon advised him to assail them by night: whereupon he answered, "That he would not steal the victory."
For matter of policy, weigh that significant distinction, so much in all ages embraced, that he made between his two friends, Hephaestion and Craterus, when he said, "That the one loved Alexander, and the other loved the king:" describing the principal difference of princes' best servants, that some in affection love their person, and others in duty love their crown.
Weigh also that excellent taxation of an error, ordinary with counsellors of princes, that they counsel their masters according to the model of their own nind and fortune, and not of their mas
and some unfortunately perished. For, first, we see, there is left unto us that excellent history of his own wars, which he entitled only a commentary, wherein all succeeding times have admired the solid weight of matter, and the real passages and lively images of actions and persons, expressed in the greatest propriety of words and perspicuity of narration that ever was; which that it was not the effect of a natural gift, but of learning and precept, is well witnessed by that work of his, entitled, "De Analogia," being a grammatical philosophy, wherein he did labour to make this same "vox ad placitum" to become "vox ad licitum," and to reduce custom of speech to congruity of speech; and took, as it were, the picture of words from the life of reason.
So we receive from him, as a monument both of his power and learning, the then reformed computation of the year; well expressing, that he took it to be as great a glory to himself to observe and know the law of the heavens, as to give 'aw to men upon the earth.
So likewise in that book of his, "Anti-Cato," it may easily appear that he did aspire as well to victory of wit as victory of war; undertaking therein a conflict against the greatest champion with the pen that then lived, Cicero the orator.
So again in his book of " Apophthegms,"
which he collected, we see that he esteemed it more honour to make himself but a pair of tables, to take the wise and pithy words of others, than to have every word of his own to be made an apophthegm or an oracle, as vain princes, by custom of flattery, pretend to do. And yet if I should enumerate divers of his speeches, as I did those of Alexander, they are truly such as Solomon noteth, when he saith, "Verba sapientum tanquam aculei, et tanquam clavi in altum defixi:" whereof, I will only recite three, not so delectable for elegancy, but admirable for vigour and efficacy.
As, first, it is reason he be thought a master of words, that could with one word appease a mutiny in his army, which was thus: The Romans, when their generals did speak to their army, did use the word "Milites;" but when the magistrates spake to the people they did use the word "Quirites." The soldiers were in tumult, and seditiously prayed to be cashiered; not that they so meant, but by expostulations thereof to draw Cæsar to other conditions; wherein he being resolute not to give way, after some silence, he began his speech," Ego, Quirites:" which did admit them already cashiered; wherewith they were so surprised, crossed, and confused, as they would not suffer him to go on in his speech, but relinquished | their demands, and made it their suit to be again called by the name of " Milites."
But to return, and conclude with him: it is evident, himself knew well his own perfection in learning, and took it upon him; as appeared when, upon occasion some spake what a strange resolution it was in Lucius Sylla to resign his dictature; he scoffing at him, to his own advantage, answered, "That Sylla could not skill of letters, and therefore knew not how to dictate."
And here it were fit to leave this point, touching the concurrence of military virtue and learning, for what example would come with any grace after those two of Alexander and Cæsar? were it not in regard of the rareness of circumstance, that I find in one other particular, as that which did so suddenly pass from extreme scorn to extreme wonder; and it is of Xenophon the philosopher, who went from Socrates's school into Asia, in the expedition of Cyrus the younger, against King Artaxerxes. This Xenophon at that time was very young, and never had seen the wars before; neither had any command in the army, but only followed the war as a voluntary for the love and conversation of Proxenus his friend. He was present when Falinus came in message from the great king to the Grecians, after that Cyrus was slain in the field, and they a handful of men left to themselves in the midst of the king's territories, cut off from their country by many navigable rivers, and many hundred miles. message imported, that they should deliver up The second speech was thus: Cæsar did ex- their arms, and submit themselves to the king's tremely affect the name of king; and some were mercy. To which message before answer was set on, as he passed by, in popular acclamation made, divers of the army conferred familiarly with to salute him king; whereupon, finding the cry Falinus: and amongst the rest Xenophon happened weak and poor, he put it off thus, in a kind of jest, to say, "Why, Falinus, we have now but these as if they had mistaken his surname; "Non rex two things left, our arms and our virtue! and if we sum, sed Cæsar;" a speech, that if it be searched, yield up our arms, how shall we make use of our the life and fulness of it can scarce be expressed: virtue ?" Whereto Falinus, smiling on him, said, for, first, it was a refusal of the name, but yet not " If I be not deceived, young gentleman, you are serious again, it did signify an infinite confi- an Athenian: and I believe you study philosodence and magnanimity, as if he presumed Cæsar phy, and it is pretty that you say: but you are was the greater title; as by his worthiness it is much abused, if you think your virtue can withcome to pass till this day; but chiefly it was a stand the king's power." Here was the scorn; speech of great allurement toward his own pur- the wonder followed; which was, that this young pose; as if the state did strive with him but for scholar, or philosopher, after all the captains were a name, whereof mean families were vested; for murdered in parley by treason, conducted those ten Rex was a surname with the Romans,. as well as thousand foot, through the heart of all the king's King is with us. high countries, from Babylon to Græcia in safety, The last speech which I will mention, was in despite of all the king's forces, to the astonishused to Metellus; when Cæsar, after war declar-ment of the world, and the encouragement of the ed, did possess himself of the city of Rome; at which time entering into the inner treasury to take the money there accumulated, Metellus, being tribune, forbade him; whereto Cæsar said, "That if he did not desist he would lay him dead in the place." And presently taking himself up, he added, "Adolescens, durius est mihi hoc dicere quàm facere." Young man, it is harder for me to speak than to do it. A speech compounded of the greatest terror and greatest clemency that could proceed out of the mouth of man.
Grecians in time succeeding to make invasion upon the kings of Persia: as was after purposed by Jason the Thessalian, attempted by Agesilaus the Spartan, and achieved by Alexander the Macedonian, all upon the ground of the act of that young scholar.
To proceed now from imperial and military virtue to moral and private virtue: first, it is an assured truth, which is contained in the verses:
"Scilicet ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes,