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by a promise of immortality: at another time they represent him as an Epicurean (e); highly extolling the happy state of a peaceful city, whose inhabitants spend their time in songs and banquets : at another time as a Peripatetic, allowing three forts of good (f): at another time as an Academic or Sceptic, affirming all things to be uncertain. Now to me he seems to be none of these in particular, because their several doctrines are all to be found in him; and they are all very different from each other. But let us grant then that Homer was a philosopher : undoubtedly it was not the power of versifying that made him a philosopher ; let us learn then what it was. To enquire whether Homer or Hesiod was the elder, or prior in time (g), is no more to the purpose, than to know whether Hecuba was younger than Helen (5); and why the former carried not her age so well. And do you
think it of any more consequence to know the years of Patroclus and Achilles (i) ? Are you
curious to know whether Ulydes so long wandered in his travels, rather than to take care that we wander not ourselves daily in the road of life? It is all one to me, whether he was tofied about in the straights between Sicily and Italy, or in some unknown seas : though
it seems impossible for him to make so long a voyage, in so narrow a fea, as is supposed (k).
It is certainly of more consequence to reflect upon the tempests of the mind that daily toss us, and the iniquity that drives us into all the evils that Ulyles suffered (?). There is not wanting beauty to captivate our eyes, nor an enemy to take our persons : on this fide are many fell monsters that delight in human blood; on that side, are the most insidious blandishments to charm the ear; and all around us are shipwrecks, and a vast variety of calamities. Teach me then how to love my country, my wife, my parents : how in despite of danger, nay, though wrecked, I may reach this happy port by a perseverance in well-doing. Why are you desirous to know, whether Penelope was uncharte (m), whether Me imposed upon the men of that whether she suspected her visitant to be her husband before she knew him? 'Teach me rather what chastity is; and how great a good; and whether it be placed in the body or in the mind (n).
And now, as to Music (). Here you teach me how the treble and base agree together; and how from strings of a different tone ariseth harmony. Teach me rather how my mind may agree with itself, and my thoughts be free from jarring discord. You shew me what notes or key are proper to express sorrow (P); Thựw me rather how in adversity I may abstain from fighs and groans, and such lamentable sounds.
And then for Geometry: it teacheth ine to measure large tracts of land; but I had much rather it should teach me how much is sufficient
Arithmetic teaches me to cast accounts, and to practise my hands in the arts of avarice; rather let it teach me that computations of this kind belong not to the main business of life; and that he is by no means the happier man, whose large patrimony fatigues his steward; nay, let it teach me how many superfluous things he poffefseth, whom nothing could make more unhappy, than to be obliged to keep his own accounts. What availeth it me to know how to divide a field into several parts, if I have not the heart to give my brother a share of it? Of what profit is it to me, to know with great exactness, how many square feet are contained in an acre of ground; and also to find out if it be not exactly measured by the perch or pole; if some overpowerful neighbour wrings me with forrow, having encroached upon what is mine? Do you teach me to keep my own? I had rather learn how, was I to lose the whole, I might still be chearful.
Alas! I am driven, some one will say, from an estate, that was my father's and grandfather's. What then? can you tell me who was in possession of it before your grandfather? I do not say what man, but what people? You entered upon it, not as the lord of it, but as a
Do you ask, whose tenant you are? Why, if things go well with
you (9), and the inconstancy of human affairs prevent it not, you are tenant to your heir. The lawyers deny, that prescription of use can be pleaded for any thing that is common; now what you possess, is in common; it belongs to mankind.
O the excellency of art! you know how to measure a circle; you can reduce to a square any given figure; you can tell the distances of
the stars; in short, there is nothing that belongs to numbers or figures, but what falls within your art: if then you are so great an artist, measure me the mind of man; fay how great it is; rather say how little? You know what is a right line; but what availeth this, if not what is right in the conduct of life?
I come now to the man who boasteth of his skill in Astronomy; who knows (Frigida Saturni quo sese stella receptet, Quos ignis cæli Cyllenius erret in orbes.
. See to what house cold Saturn's beams repair,
Or where Cyllenius points his erring star: Lauderdale. And what is there in all this, that I should be follicitous to know when Saturn and Mars are in opposition? or when Mercury sets in the evening in the fight of Saturn? I would rather know, that, whatever aspects these planets are in, they are still propitious to me, and cannot change their course, to which they are fixed by an immutable decree of the fates : they return according to their stated seasons; they either bring on, or only point out (r), and denote, the effects of all things : but whether they are the cause of every thing that happens, what availeth the knowledge of a thing that is immutable; or, whether they only signify and presage such events, of what use is it to provide against what you cannot possibly escape? Whether you know these things, or know them not, they will certainly come to pass.
Si vero solem ad rapidum Stellafque fequentes'
I am sufficiently and amply provided against any surprise. But may I not be deceived in to-morrow? certainly I may; for that deceives a man, which happens to him unknowingly. Now, I know. not what will happen, but I know what may happen. Fortune can do nothing
against my expectation; I expect all the can do; if any thing be remitted, I take it in good part. The hour deceives me if it favours me; yet even so, it does not altogether deceive me; for as I know all things may happen, I know likewise that they may not happen: I expect therefore good fortune, and am prepared against bad (s).
You must bear with me, Lucilius, if I am not led in these matters by prescription; if I am somewhat particular in regard to the liberal Sciences; for I cannot be persuaded to take painters into the number of their professors, any more than I would statuaries, masons, and other ministers to luxury: I likewise exclude wrestlers; and the whole tribe of those whose art consists in dawbing their limbs with dust and oyl; as well as perfumers, cooks, and others, who study with great ingenuity to serve us in our pleasures. For what pretence, I pray you, have those morning sots (1), who fatten the body, but starve the mind, to be called professors of liberal arts ? Can gluttony and drunkenness be thought a liberal study fit for youth, whom our ancestors were wont to exercise always in an erect attitude, in throwing darts, tossing the pike, breaking their horses, or handling their arms? They taught their children nothing that was to be learned in an easy and lolling posture. But after all, neither these arts nor the former teach and nourish virtue. For what avails it a man to manage a horse, and break him to the bit, if still he himself is carried away by his unbridled passions ? What advantageth it a man to overcome many in wrestling and boxing, if in the mean time he is overcome himself by anger? What then, are the liberal Sciences of no advantage to us? Yes, certainly, of great advantage, in all other respects, fave in regard to vis
For low as the mechanic arts are, which are wholly manual, they are most useful instruments, and of great service in life, though they belong not to virtue. Why then do we instruct children in the liberal Sciences ? not because they instil virtue, but because they prepare the mind for the reception of it (u). As the first principles of literature (so called by the ancients) by which children were taught their A, B, C, teach not the liberal arts, but only prepare them for instruction therein; so the liberal arts carry not the mind directly to virtue, but only expand, and make it fit for it. 4
Posidonius faith, there are four kinds of arts; the mean and vulgar ; the vain and sportive; the puerile, and the liberal. The vulgar are such as employ handicraftsmen in the necessary occupations of life; in which there is not the least pretence to gentility and honour. The vain and sportive are such as tend only to the pleasure of the eyes and ears; among
these you may reckon those subtle engineers, who contrive theatrical machines (x) to rise, as it were, of themselves; and the stage to widen and enlarge itself in all dimensions, without the lcast noise; with other such curious and unexperienced entertainments; such as separating the parts that were joined together; or things that were far asunder, uniting of their own accord; or some lofty pyramid sinking gradually down into its base; all which things strike the eyes of the unskilful; and seem, as they know not the cause of them, instantaneous miracles. The puerile, but such as have the appearance of liberal, are those which the Greeks call -770x1101, and we liberales; but the only true liberal, or, if I may so speak, free arts, are such as are wholly employed in the pursuit of virtue.
It is likewise said, that as some part of philofophy is called Natural; another part Moral; and another Rational; f this whole company of liberal arts claim to themselves a place in philosophy. When we coine to natural questions, we have recourse to the testimony of geometry; but does it therefore follow that it is part of that science which it aflisteth? Many things assist us, and yet are not part of us; nay, if they were really part of us, they would not assist us; as meat is an help to the body, yet it is no part of it. Geometry hath certainly its peculiar use, and is so far necessary to philosophy as the artist is to that: but neither is he a part of geometry, nor geometry of philosophy.
Moreover, each profession hath its proper sphere; the philofopher ftudies and knows the causes of natural things; the numbers and measures of which the geometrician is hunting after and computing. The philosopher knows the formation of the heavenly bodies, their nature, and several powers; while the mathematician calculates their appearances, their motion direct and retrograde, their rising and setting, and Vol. II.