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admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature. XIf you fly physic in health altogether, it will be too strange for your body when you shall need it. X If you make it too familiar, it will work no extraordinary effect when sickness cometh. I commend1 rather some diet for certain seasons, than frequent use of physic, except it be grown into a custom. For those diets alter the body more, and trouble it less. Despise no new accident in your body, but ask opinion of it. In sickness, respect2 health principally; and in health, action. For those that put their bodies to endure in health, may in most sicknesses, which are not very sharp, be cured only with diet and tendering.3 Celsus could never have spoken it as a physician, had he not been a wise man withal, when he giveth it for one of the great precepts of health and lasting, that a man do vary and interchange contraries, but with an inclination to the more benign extreme: use fasting and full eating but rather full eating; watching and sleep, but rather sleep; sitting, and exercise, but rather exercise; and the like. So shali nature be
2 Respect. To have regard to; to care for; to heed or consider.
"There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats;
Julius Caesar. iv. 3.
3 Tendering. Cherishing, care.
Aulus (or Aurelius) Cornelius Celsus, a Roman writer of the first half of the first century A.D. He wrote an encyclopedia, of which only De Medicina (Books 6-13) has come down to us. The quotation is from A. Cornelii Celsi De Medicina Liber I. Caput 1.
cherished, and yet taught masteries. Physicians are some of them so pleasing and conformable to the humour of the patient, as they press not the true cure of the disease; and some other are so regular in proceeding according to art for the disease, as they respect not sufficiently the condition of the patient. Take one of the middle temper; or if it may not be found in one man, combine two of either1 sort; and forget not to call as well the best acquainted with your body, as the best reputed of for his faculty.
XXXI. OF SUSPICION.
SUSPICIONS amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight. Certainly they are to be repressed, or at the least well guarded: for they cloud the mind; they leese 2 friends and they check with business, whereby business cannot go on currently and constantly. They dispose kings to tyranny, husbands to jealousy, wise men to irresolution and melancholy. They are defects, not in the heart, but in the brain; for they take place in the stoutest 5 natures; as in the example of Henry the Seventh of England. There was not a more
1 Either. Each (of two.) "There was a huge fire-place at either end of the hall." Scott. Ivanhoe. III.
2 Leese. Lose.
3 Check. Intransitive, to clash or interfere.
Currently. In the manner of a flowing stream, smoothly.
suspicious man, nor a more stout. And in such a composition1 they do small hurt. For commonly they are not admitted, but with examination, whether they be likely or no? But in fearful natures they gain ground too fast. There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little; and therefore men should remedy suspicion by procuring to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother. What would men have? Do they think those they employ and deal with are saints? Do they not think they will have their own ends, and be truer to themselves than to them? Therefore there is no better way to moderate suspicions, than to account upon such suspicions as true and yet to bridle them as false. For so far a man ought to make use of suspicions, as to provide, as if that should be true that he suspects, yet it may do him no hurt. Suspicions that the mind of itself gathers are but buzzes; 2 but suspicions that are artificially nourished, and put into men's heads. by the tales and whisperings of others, have stings. Certainly, the best mean to clear the way in this same wood of suspicions, is frankly to communicate them with the party that he suspects; for thereby
Mental constitution, or constitution of mind and
1 Composition. body combined.
"O, how that name befits my composition!
2 Buzz. A rumor or report.
"That, on every dream,
Shakspere. King Lear. i. 4.
he shall be sure to know more of the truth of them than he did before; and withal shall make that party more circumspect not to give further cause of suspicion. But this would 1 not be done to men of base natures; for they, if they find themselves once suspected, will never be true. The Italian says, Sospetto licentia fede; 2 as if suspicion did give a passport to faith; but it ought rather to kindle it to discharge itself.
XXXII. OF DISCOURSE.
SOME in their discourse desire rather commendation of wit, in being able to hold all arguments, than of judgment, in discerning what is true; as if it were a praise to know what might be said, and not what should be thought. Some have certain common places and themes wherein they are good, and want variety; which kind of poverty is for the most part tedious, and when it is once perceived, ridiculous. . The honourablest part of talk is to give the occasion;. and again to moderate and pass to somewhat else; for then a man leads the dance. It is good, in discourse and speech of conversation, to vary and intermingle speech of the present occasion with arguments, tales with reasons, asking of questions with telling of opinions, and jest with earnest: for it is
1 Would for should, as frequently in Elizabethan English.
2 Suspicion gives license to faithlessness, that is, justifies breaking faith.
a dull thing to tire, and, as we say now, to jade,1 any thing too far. As for jest, there be certain things which ought to be privileged from its namely, religion, matters of state, great persons, any man's present business of importance, and any case that deserveth pity. Yet there be some that think their wits have been asleep, except they dart out somewhat that is piquant, and to the quick. That is a vein which would be bridled;
Parce, puer, stimulis, et fortius utere loris.2
And generally, men ought to find the difference between saltness and bitterness. Certainly, he that hath a satirical vein, as he maketh others afraid of his wit, so he had need be afraid of others' memory. He that questioneth much, shall learn much, and content much; but especially if he apply his questions to the skill of the persons whom he asketh; for he shall give them occasion to please themselves in speaking, and himself shall continually gather knowledge. But let his questions not be troublesome; for that is fit for a poser.3 And let him be sure to leave other men their turns to speak. Nay, if there be any that would reign and take up all the time, let him find means to take them off, and to bring others on; as musicians use to do with those that dance too long galliards. If you dissemble
1 Jade. To make a jade, or hack, of a horse; to exhaust or wear out by driving or working too hard; to fatigue or weary.
2 Boy, spare the whip, and more firmly hold the reins. P. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseon Liber II. 126; the story of Phaethon.
3 Poser. Examiner.
4 Galliard. A spirited dance for two dancers only, common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.