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separation between policy and government, and between arts and sciences, in the verses so much renowned, attributing and challenging the one to the Romans, and leaving and yielding the other to the Grecians; Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento, Hæ tibi erunt artes, etc. So likewise we see that Anytus, the accuser of Socrates, laid it as an artiele of charge and accusation against him, that he did, with the variety and power of his discourses and disputations, withdraw young men from due reverence to the laws and customs of their country; and that he did profess a dangerous and pernicious science, which was, to make the worse matter seem the better, and to suppress truth by force of eloquence and speech.
But these, and the like imputations, have rather a countenance of gravity, than any ground of justice; for experience doth warrant, that, both in persons and in times, there hath been a meeting and concurrence in learning and arms, flourishing and excelling in the same men, and the same ages. For, as for men, there cannot be a better, nor the like instance, as of that pair, Alexander the Great and Julius Cæsar the dictator; whereof the one was Aristotle's scholar in philosophy, and the other was Cicero's rival in eloquence: or if any man had rather call for scholars, that were great generals, than generals that were great scholars, let him take Epaminondas the Theban, or Xenophon the Athenian; whereof the one was the first that abated the power of Sparta, and the other was the first that made way to the overthrow of the monarchy of Persia. And this concurrence is yet more visible in times than in persons, by how much an age is greater object than a man. For both in Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Greece, and Rome, the same times that are most renowned for arms, are likewise most admired for learning; so that the greatest authors and philosophers, and the greatest captains and governors, have lived in the same ages. Neither can it otherwise be: for, as in man, the ripeness of strength of the body and mind cometh much about an age,
save that the strength of the body cometh somewhat the more early: so in states, arms and learning, whereof the one correspondeth to the body, the other to the soul of man, have a concurrence or near sequence in times.
And for matter of policy and government, that learning should rather hurt, than enable thereunto, is a thing very improbable: we see it is accounted an error to commit a natural body to empiric physicians, which commonly have a few pleasing receipts, whereupon they are confident and adventurous, but know neither the causes of diseases, nor the complexions of patients, nor peril of accidents, nor the true method of cures: we see it is a like error to rely upon advocates or lawyers which are only men of practice, and not grounded in their books, who are many times easily surprised, when matter falleth out besides their experience, to the prejudice of the causes they handle: so, by like reason, it cannot be but a matter of doubtful consequence, if states be managed by empiric statesmen, not well mingled with men grounded in learning. But contrariwise, it is almost without instance contradictory, that ever any government was disastrous that was in the hands of learned governors. For howsoever it hath been ordinary with politic men to extenuate and disable learned men by the names of pedants; yet in the records of time it appeareth, in many particulars, that the governments of princes in minority (notwithstanding the infinite disadvantage of that kind of state) have nevertheless excelled the government of princes of mature age, even for that reason which they seek to traduce, which is, that by that occasion the state hath been in the hands of pedants: for so was the state of Rome for the first five years, which are so much magnified, during the minority of Nero, in the hands of Seneca, a pedant: so it was again, for ten years space or more, during the minority of Gordianus the younger, with great applause and contentation in the hands of Misitheus, a pedant: so was it before that, in the minority of Alexander Severus, in like happiness, in
hands not much unlike, by reason of the rule of the women, who were aided by the teachers and preceptors. Nay, let a man look into the government of the bishops of Rome, as by name, into the government of Pius Quintus, and Sextus Quintus, in our times, who were both at their entrance esteemed but as do
pedantical friars, and he shall find that such popes greater things, and proceed upon truer principles of state, than those which have ascended to the papacy from an education and breeding in affairs of state and courts of princes; for although men bred in learning are perhaps to seek in points of convenience, and accommodating for the present, which the Italians call ragioni di stato, whereof the same Pius Quintus could not hear spoken with patience, terming them inventions against religion and the moral virtues; yet on the other side, to recompense that, they are perfect in those same plain grounds of religion, justice, honour, and moral virtue, which, if they be well and watchfully pursued, there will be seldom use of those other, no more than of physic in a sound or welldieted body. Neither can the experience of one man's life furnish examples and precedents for the events of one man's life: for as it happeneth sometimes that the grandchild, or other descendant, resembleth the ancestor, more than the son; so many times occurrences of present times may sort better with ancient examples, than with those of the later or immediate times: and lastly, the wit of one man can no more countervail learning, than one man's means can hold way with a common purse.
And as for those particular seducements, or indispositions of the mind for policy and government, which learning is pretended to insinuate; if it be granted that any such thing be, it must be remembered withal, that learning ministreth in every of them greater strength of medicine or remedy, than it offereth cause of indisposition or infirmity: for if, by a secret operation, it make men perplexed and irresolute, on the other side, by plain precept, it teacheth them when and upon what ground to resolve; yea, and how to carry
things in suspense without prejudice, till they resolve: if it make men positive and regular, it teacheth them what things are in their nature demonstrative, and what are conjectural; and as well the use of distinctions and exceptions, as the latitude of principles and rules. If it mislead by disproportion, or dissimilitude of examples, it teacheth men the force of circumstances, the errors of comparisons, and all the cautions of application: so that in all these it doth rectify more effectually than it can pervert. And these medicines it conveyeth into men's minds much more forcibly by the quickness and penetration of examples. For let a man look into the errors of Clement the seventh, so lively described by Guicciardine, who served under him, or into the errors of Cicero, painted out by his own pencil in his epistles to Atticus, and he will fly apace from being irresolute. Let him look into the errors of Phocion, and he will beware how he be obstinate or inflexible. Let him but read the fable of Ixion, and it will hold him from being vaporous or imaginative. Let him look into the errors of Cato the second, and he will never be one of the Antipodes, to tread opposite to the present world.
And for the conceit, that learning should dispose men to leisure and privateness, and make men slothful; it were a strange thing if that, which accustometh the mind to a perpetual motion and agitation, should induce slothfulness; whereas contrariwise it may be truly affirmed, that no kind of men love business for itself, but those that are learned: for other persons love it for profit; as an hireling, that loves the work for the wages; or for honour, as because it beareth them up in the eyes of men, and refresheth their reputation, which otherwise would wear; or because it putteth them in mind of their fortune, and giveth them occasion to pleasure and displeasure; or because it exerciseth some faculty wherein they take pride, and so entertaineth them in good humour and pleasing conceits toward themselves; or because it advanceth any other their ends. So that, as it is said of untrue valours, that some men's valours are in the
eyes of them that look on; so much men's industries are in the eyes of others, or at least in regard of their own designments: only learned men love business, as an action according to nature, as agreeable to health of mind, as exercise is to health of body, taking pleasure in the action itself, and not in the purchase: so that of all men they are the most indefatigable, if it be towards any business which can hold or detain their mind.
And if any man be laborious in reading and study, and yet idle in business and action, it groweth from some weakness of body, or softness of spirit; such as Seneca speaketh of: Quidam tam sunt umbratiles, ut putent in turbido esse, quicquid in luce est; and not of learning: well may it be, that such a point of a man's nature may make him give himself to learning, but it is not learning that breedeth any such point in his
And that learning should take up too much time or leisure: I answer; the most active or busy man, that hath been or can be, hath, no question, many vacant times of leisure, while he expecteth the tides and returns of business (except he be either tedious and of no dispatch, or lightly and unworthily ambitious to meddle in things that may be better done by others :) and then the question is but, how those spaces and times of leisure shall be filled and spent; whether in pleasures or in studies; as was well answered by Demosthenes to his adversary Æschines, that was a man given to pleasure, and told him that his orations did smell of the lamp: "Indeed," said Demosthenes, "there is a great difference between the things that you and I do by lamp-light." So as no man need doubt that learning will expulse business; but rather it will keep and defend the possession of the mind against idleness and pleasure, which otherwise at unawares may enter, to the prejudice of both.
Again, for that other conceit, that learning should undermine the reverence of laws and government, it is assuredly a mere depravation and calumny, without all shadow of truth. For to say, that a blind