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when the markets and seasons serve fittest for it. Be not served with kinsmen or friends, or men entreated to stay; for they expect much and do little : nor with such as are amorous, for their heads are intoxicated. And keep rather two too few, than one too many. Feed them well, and pay them with the most; and then thou mayst boldy require service at their hands.
4. Let thy kindred and allies be welcome to thy house and table. Grace them with thy countenance and further them in all honest actions : for by this means thou shalt so double the band of nature, as thou shalt find them so many advocates to plead an apology for thee behind thy back. But shake off those glow-worms, I mean parasites and sycophants, who will feed and fawn upon thee in the summer of prosperity, but, in an adverse storm, they will shelter thee no more than an arbor in winter.
5. Beware of suretyship for thy best friends. He that payeth another man's debts seeketh his own decay. But, if thou canst not otherwise choose, rather lend thy money thyself upon good bonds, although thou borrow it. So shalt thou secure thyself and pleasure thy friend. Neither borrow money of a neighbor, or a friend, but of a stranger, where, paying for it, thou shalt hear no more of it. Otherwise thou shalt eclipse thy credit, lose thy freedom, and yet pay as dear as to another. But in borrowing of money be precious of thy word: for he that hath care of keeping days of payment is lord of another man's purse.
6. Undertake no suit against a poor man without receiving much wrong : for besides that thou makest him thy compeer, it is a base conquest to triumph where there is small resistance. Neither attempt law against any man before thou be fully resolved that thou hast right on thy side ; and then spare not for either money or pains : for a cause or two so followed, and obtained, will free thee from suits a great part of thy life.
7. Be sure to keep some great man thy friend, but trouble him not for trifles. Compliment him often with many yet small gifts, and of little charge. And if thou hast cause to bestow any great gratuity, let it be something which may be daily in sight; otherwise, in this ambitious age, thou shalt remain like a hop without a pole, live in obscurity, and be made a foot-ball for every insult. ing companion to spurn at.
8. Towards thy superiors be humble, yet generous. With thine equals, familiar, yet respective. Towards thy inferiors show much humanity, and some familiarity: as to bow the body; stretch forth the hand; and to uncover the head ; with such like popular compliments. The first prepares thy way to advancement. The second makes thee known for a man well bred. The third gains a good report, which, once got, is easily kept. For right humanity takes such deep root in the minds of the multitude, as they are easilier gained by unprofitable courtesies than by churlish benefits. Yet I advise thee not to affect, or neglect, popularity too much. Seek not to be Essex, shun to be Raleigh.
9. Trust not any man with thy life, credit, or estate: for it is mere folly for a man to enthral himself to his friend, as though, occasion being offered, he should not dare to become the enemy.
10. Be not scurrilous in conversation, nor satirical in thy jests. The one will make thee unwelcome to all company ; the other pull on quarrels, and get thee hatred of thy best friends. For suspicious jests (when any of them savor of truth) leave a bitter. ness in the minds of those which are touched. And, albeit, I have already pointed at this inclusively; yet I think it necessary to leave it to thee as a special caution. Because I have seen many so prone to quip and gird, as they would rather leese their friend than their jest. And if perchance their boiling brain yield a quaint scoff, they will travail to be delivered of it as a woman with child. These nimble fancies are but the froth of wit.
316.-False and True knowledge.
Sir John Davies. (Joan Davies was born in 1570, in the parish of Tetbury, Gloucestershire. His father was a country attorney. He went to the bar, and became one of the Judges of Assize in Ireland, and was knighted in 1617. His Poem 'On the Immortality of the Soul was published in 1602. The following is the Introduction' to that Poem. He died in 1626.]
Why did my parents send me to the schools,
That I with knowledge might enrich my mind,
Since the desire to know first made men fools,
And did corrupt the root of all mankind ? For when God's hand had written in the hearts
Of the first parents all the rules of good,
That ever were, before or since the flood;
And, as an eagle can behold the sun,
As th' intellectual angels could have done ;
That they were blind, because they saw not ill, And breathes into their incorrupted breasts
A curious wish, which did corrupt their will. For that same ill they straight desir’d to know;
Which ill, being nought but a defect of good, In all God's works the devil could not show,
While man, their lord, in his perfection stood : So that themselves were first to do the ill,
Ere they thereof the knowledge could attain; Like him that knew not poison's power to kill,
Until, by tasting it, himself was slain. Even so, by tasting of that fruit forbid,
Where they sought knowledge, they did error find; Il they desir'd to know, and ill they did;
And, to give Passion eyes, made Reason blind : For then their minds did first in Passion see
Those wretched shapes of misery and woe, Of nakedness, of shame, of poverty,
Which then their own experience made them know. But then grew Reason dark, that she no more
Could the fair forms of Good and Truth discern: Bats they became, who eagles were before ; And this they got by their desire to learn.
But we, their wretched offspring what do we ?
Do not we still taste of the fruit forbid, While, with fond fruitless curiosity,
In books profane we seek for knowledge hid ? What is this knowledge but the sky-stol'n fire,
For which the thief* still chain'd in ice doth sit, And which the poor rude satyrt did admire,
And needs would kiss, but burnt his lips with it? What is it but the cloud of empty rain,
Which when Jove's guestf embrac'd, he monsters got ! Or the false pailsß, which, oft being fill’d with pain,
Receiv'd the water, but retain'd it not? Shortly, what is it but the fiery coach,
Which the youth sought, and sought his death withal ? Or the boy'sT wings, which, when he did approach
The sun's hot beams, did melt and let him fall ? And yet, alas ! when all our lamps are burn'd,
Our bodies wasted, and our spirits spent; When we have all the learned volumes turn'd,
Which yield men's wits both help and ornament, What can we know, or what can we discern,
When error chokes the windows of the mind ? The divers forms of things how can we learn,
That have been ever from our birth-day blind ? When Reason's lamp, which, like the sun in sky,
Throughout man's little world her beams did spread, Is now become a sparkle, which doth lie
Under the ashes, half extinct and dead;
This dying sparkle, in this cloudy place,
Which were infus'd in the first minds by grace ?
of the Danaide.
† See Æsop's Fables.
So might the heir, whose father hath in play
Wasted a thousand pound of ancient rent, By painful earning of one groat a day,
Hope to restore the patrimony spent.
The wits that div'd most deep and soar'd most high,
Seeking man's pow'rs, have found his weakness such Skill comes so slow, and life so fast doth fly;
We learn so little, and forget so much :
For this the wisest of all moral men
Said, He knew nought, but that he nought did know, And the great mocking master mock'd not then,
When he said, Truth was buried deep below.
For how may we to other things attain,
When none of us bis own soul understands ? For which the devil mocks our curious brain,
When, Know thyself, his oracle commands.
For why should we the busy soul believe,
When boldly she concludes of that and this, When of herself she can no judgment give,
Nor how, nor whence, nor where, nor what she is ?
All things without, which round about we see,
We seek to know, and how therewith to do: But that whereby we reason, live, and be,
Within ourselves, we strangers are thereto.
We seek to know the moving of each sphere,
And the strange cause of th' ebbs and floods of Nile ; But of that clock within our breasts we bear,
The subtile motions we forget the while.
We that acquaint ourselves with every zone,
And pass both tropics, and behold both poles, When we come home, are to ourselves unknown,
And unaequainted still with our own souls.