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Again, the perfuafion or apprehension of certain things, without which persuasion the mind would be ever wavering and unft?ady, is what forins common finf', and perfects the frame. Decrces are therefore neceilary; inasınuch as they endow the mind with a seady, and iníexible judgment. Lastly, when we exhort a man to hold his friend as dear to him as his ownself; and to think that it is possible to make a friend of an enemy (PP); that he may encrease the affections of the former, and moderate the aversion of the latter, we add 'hereunto, that this is just, and fit, and honourable. But in the re
But in the reason of our decrees are this justice and honesty comprised; therefore is reason neceffary, and consequently the decrees.
But let us join both precepts and decrees together; for without the root the branches are fruitless; and even the roots are aided and asisted by the branches they themselves produced. No one can be ignorant of the usefulness of the hands; they do their work openly; but the heart, whereby they live, from whence they receive both power and motion, lies hidden in secret: I may say the fime of precepts, they are open, and plain to view ; but the decrees of wisdom are hidden. As in facreds none know the mysterious parts but such as have been initiated; so in philosophy, her mysteries are unfolded to none but to such as are admitted into her fanctuary (29).
But precepts, and the like, are also known to the vulgar and profane. Posidonius not only judgeth preception (for I know not why I fould not use the word) but also perfo: tion, consolation, ani exhortation necessary. To these he adds an e?'
uiry into causes, which I see not why I may not call (ætiologiam), atilogy, since the C:ammarians, the professed guardians of the Latin tongue, make use of it in their own right. Posidonius, I say, affirms that profit may he received from the defeription of every virtue, and this he calls atiology; others call it "f "Xposuer, characteristics, that give the signs or marks of every vice and virtue, whereby such things as seem alike are distinguishable.
This then hath the same force as precepts; for he that gives precepts, faith, you must do so and so, if you would be temperate; and he that draws a character, faith, he is a temperate man, who takes care to do, or to avoid such and such things. Nor is there any other difference between them, than that one gives the precepts, the other the example,
of virtue. Now, these descriptions, or to use the term of the publipuwerte I
cans) (rr) cenovno udo, fignatures, (or samples) I own are borrowed from
Continuo pecoris generosi pullus in arvis
tum fi qua fonum procul arma dedére
when he bears from far
and trembling with delight, Shifts place, and paws, and hopes the promis'd fight. Dryden. While our Virgil is here describing an horse, he gives you an excellent description of a brave man; at least for my part I should defire no better: was I to draw Cato fearless and intrepid amid the clothing noise of civil discord, and marching foremost to invade an army that had took pofleffion of the Alps, and oppofing himself to all the dangers of a civil war; I should paint him in the same colours, with such a fierceness of look, and in such an attitude. Surely no man could do more than he did, when he made head at the same time both against Cæfar and Pompey;
and while some espoused Cæsar's party, and others Pompey's, he challenged them both, and shewed them, that the
poor commonwealth had yet one party left. . But it is too little to say of Cato,
nec vanos horret strepitus ;
nor trembles at empty noife's: for why? he was not afraid of true alarms, nor the real approach of his enemy: when in defiance of ten legions, besides the auxiliaries from Gaul, and other nations, intermixed with the Romans, he spake freely, and aloud exhorted his countrymen to maintain their liberty; and to try all means, even to the death itself, rather than to lose it; at least that it was more honourable to fall into Navery by constraint, and the chance of war, than calmly and voluntarily to receive the yoke. What vigour! what a noble spirit! what confidence in the midst of such hurry and public confusion!
He knew himself to be but one, and of too little consequence to be concerned for; and that the question was not, whether Cato fi:ould be free, but whether he mould live among a free people. From hence sprang that contempt of danger and of death. While I am admiring this great man’s invincible constancy, which he still preserved, though his country was ruin'd, I cannot help saying with Virgil,
Luxuriatque toris animofum pectus.
It will be of use not only to declare who are usually good men, their fhape and lineaments, but who have been such, and to describe their actions, or whatever else rendered them famous in their generation; as
B b 2
that last and glorious wound of Cato's, through which in the arms of liberty he dismissed his indignant soul. The wisdom of Lalius, and his cordial amity with Scipio; the excellent deeds of Cato the Censor, both at home and abroad; the couches of Tubero (tt), made of plain wood, and set in open view, and covered with goat-skins instead of an embroidered counterpane; and the earthen vessels set before the guests, at a solemn banquet in Jupiter's chapel; what was this but to consecrate poverty in the capitol? Had we no other great action of this man, to rank him with the Catos, was not this enough? This was a censure, a tacit reproof, not a banquet. O how little do these men of our times, who are so fond of glory, know what it means, and how to be attained? The people in Tubero's days faw the furniture of many noblemen, but admired only bis: all their gold and silver hath been broken and melted down a thousand times, but these earthen vefsels of Tubero Thall last for ever.
• This Epistle is an appendix to the foregoing, setting forth, that neither the preceptive nor dogmatical philofophy are sufficient of themselves; but that examples or characters after the manner of Theopbraftus have their use, and consequently lay claim to recommendation.
It will be proper to observe here, that, in determining characters among the ancients, it is neither just nor candid to examine them by those rules of moral conduct which if known were at least not admitted, with the same purity and extent, to which they have fince been refined and enlarged, by the clearer discoveries and stronger authority of divine Revelation. Melmotb Lælius, p. 173.
(a) Ut id quod in diem fuum dixeram debere referri reprefentem.] Lirfius (Ele&t. c. 26) reads it, quod in diem dixeram debere repræsentem ; the ret he rejects as being injudiciously inferted. In diem debere, and repræfentare, are opposite terms, borrowed from the law, relating to pecuniary matters; as if Seneca should say, metaphorically, You defire, Lucilius, that I would make my appearance, and pay the money down, and not fet anotier day.
(b) At least they do not know the reafun of the fitness and propriety of the action ; and herein, faith Muretus, the Stoics feer to judge rightly: but it is very absurd to say as fome of them do, that a man from being very miserable may become happy, and yet not in the least be sensible of the change.
(c) See Aristotle's Ethic. 1. 2.
(d) Plutarch, (Sympos. viii. 9. 'Tis rational to conclude that all diseases that rise from want, beat or cold, bear the same date with our bodies; but afterward, over-eating, luxury, and furyenting encouraged by ease and plenty, raijed bad and fuperfluous juices, and those brought varius new diffes, asdiber ferpetual complications and mixtures ftill create more.
(c) Non minus pervigilant] Some copies read, pervigilantur, from whence Pincian. conjectures pugillantur, as Juvenal makes mention of women-boxers
Endromidas Tyrias, et femineum ceroma
They try, and smear their naked limbs with oil. Dryden.
Nec cænat prius aut recumbit ante
Quàm feptem vomuit meri deunces.
Oenophorum fitiens, plenâ quod tenditur urna
And damns himself for chuling such a life. Dryden. And these preparatory doies are what Plutarch reckons among the causes of so many new and frange diseases. This abominable custom, as Lipsius obferves, began and came into fainion in the time of Pompey; when Asclepiades, the physician was living, who very justiy condemned it. Plin. c. xxvi. c. 3. Damavit merito et vomitiones, tunc fupr. modum frequentes. As does Celsus, (1. 1. c. 3.) Qui iftud lúxuriæ causâ fieri non op stere conitetur; interdum valetudinis causâ rectè fieri experimentis credit. (8) De brevit. Vit. c. 12. Quanta celeritate, figno dato, glabri ad ministeria discurrant.
With what speed, at a sign given, do they attend their several oppizs barrkcaded? () Sociorum garum, pretiofam malorum piscium nem] N. Lipfius rejects the word, malo. rum. Plin. l. 31. f. 43. Garum coniciebatur ex pince, quem Græci Carin vocabant,nunc scombro pisce laudatiflimum, et quimvis nunc ex ini.ito gia re pisciuin Ndi, nomen tamen pristinum retinet, a quo initium fumpit.--- Sociorum vict. quòd a fociis P. R. nempe Lif ani Romam deferretur; vel a societate publicanorum qui većtival garo impoftum exigerent: (. . in loc.) vel quia in sodalitatibus et conviviis eo ut ren ur. (NIC)
Pliny says it was made of (Scombri, ad nini? aliui uti'es) Tinney fif, good for nothing el,ė. Be that as it will, it was in high vogue, as welcarn fium Martial: