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creatures was his library; wherein, when he pleased, he could muse upon God's deep oracles."


Owen Felltham's resemblance to Lord Bacon, to which we have before alluded, is very apparent in passages like these.

"Science by much is short of wisdom. Nay, so far, as I think, you shall scarce find a more fool than sometimes a mere scholar. He will speak Greek to an ostler, and Latin familiarly to women that understand it not. Knowledge is the treasure of the mind, but discretion is the key; without which it lies dead, in the dulness of a fruitless rest. The practic part of wisdom is the best. A native ingenuity is beyond the watchings of industrious study. Wisdom is no inheritance; no, not to the greatest clerks. Men write commonly more formally than they practise; and they, conversing only among books, are put into affectation, and pedantism. He that is built of the press, and the pen, shall be sure to make himself ridiculous.

"Every age both confutes old errors, and begets new. Yet still are we more entangled; and the further we go, the nearer we approach a sun that blinds us. He that went furthest in these things, we find ending with a censure of their vanity, their vexation. "Tis questionable, whether the progress of learning hath done more hurt or good, whether the schools have not made more questions than they have decided."

Like the great Chancellor, too, he often brings the imagination of the poet to aid the wisdom of the philosopher. Bacon has been much extolled for the splendour of his imagery: we doubt whether many metaphors could be produced from his works, surpassing the beauty of those which we shall quote from the Resolves.

"Learning is like a river, whose head being far in the land, is, at first rising, little, and easily viewed: but, still as you go, it gapeth with a wider bank; not without pleasure and delightful winding, while it is on both sides set with trees, and the beauties of various flowers. But still the further you follow it, the deeper and the broader 'tis; till at last, it inwaves itself in the unfathomed ocean; there you see more water, but no shore,-no end of that liquid fluid vastness. In many things we may sound Nature, in the shallows of her revelations. We may trace her to her second causes; but, beyond them, we meet with nothing but the puzzle of the soul, and the dazzle of the mind's dim eyes. While we speak of things that are, that we may dissect, and have power, and means to find the causes, there is some pleasure, some certainty. But, when we come to metaphysics, to long buried antiquity, and unto unrevealed divinity, we are in a sea, which is deeper than the short reach of the line of man. Much may be gained by studious inquisition; but more will ever rest, which man cannot discover.

"What is that man good for, that cannot be trusted in his own oluntary relations? One would break that dial into atoms, whose

false lines only serve to mislead-whose every stealing minute attempts to shame the sun. Speech is the commerce of the world, and words are the cement of society. What have we to rest upon in this world, but the professions and declarations that men seriously and solemnly offer? When any of these fail, a ligament of the world is. broke; and whatever this upheld as a foundation, falls. Truth is the good man's mistress, whose beauty he dares justify against all the furious tiltings of her wandering enemies; 'tis the buckler under which he lies securely covered from all the strokes of adversaries. It is indeed a deity; for God himself is truth, and never meant to make the heart and tongue disjunctives.

"He that lives long, does many times outlive his happiness. As evening tempests are more frequent, so they carry a blacker terror along youth, like the sun, oft rises clear and dancing; when the afternoon is cloudy, thick, and turbulent.

Age, like a long travailed horse, rides dull toward his journey's end; while every new setter out gallops away, and leaves him to his melancholic trot. In youth, untamed blood does goad us into folly; and, till experience reins us, we ride unbitted, wild; and, in a wanton fling, disturb ourselves, and all that come but near us. In age,. ourselves are with ourselves displeased. We are looked upon by others as things to be endured, not courted or applied to. Who is it will be fond of gathering fading flowers? Fruits past maturity grow less to be esteemed. Beauty itself, once autumned, does not tempt."

Proceeding from style to sentiment, we are every where, in the Resolves, impressed with a high opinion of our author's excellent good sense and knowledge of mankind. He has (as he says of the wise man) "a knowing, and a practical judgement of his own, that can direct him in the maze of life-in the bustle of the world-in the twitches and the twirls of fate." We could cite a great many passages that exemplify this quality in a high degree: let a few suffice.

"All that affect things over-violently, do over-violently grieve in the disappointment; which is yet occasioned, by that, the too much earnestness. Whatsoever I wish for, I will pursue easily, though I do it assiduously and if I can, the hand's diligence shall go without the leaping bounds of the heart: so, if it should happen well, I shall have more content, as coming less expected.

"That mind which cannot keep its own determinations private, is not to be trusted either with his own or other's business. He lets in so much light as will not suffer his designs to sleep; so they come to be disturbed, while they should gather strength by repose. If the business be of what is yet to come, 'tis vanity to boast of it; 'tis all one with the almanack, to rove at what weather will happen. We boast of that, which, not being in our power, is none of our own. The bird that flies, I may as well call mine. He digs in sand, and lays his

beams in water, that builds upon events, which no man can be master of.

"Irresolution is a worser vice than rashness: he that shoots best may sometimes miss the mark; but he that shoots not at all, shall be sure never to hit it. A rash act may be mended by the activeness of the penitent, when he sees and finds his error. But irresolution loosens all the joints of state: like an ague, it shakes not this or that limb, but all the body is at once in a fit.

"Servants are usually our best friends, or our worst enemies: neuters seldom. For, being known to be privy to our retired actions, and our more continual conversation, they have the advantage of being believed before a removed friend. Friends have more of the tongue, but servants of the hand: and actions, for the most part, speak a man more truly than words. Attendants are like to the locks that belong to a house; while they are strong and close, they preserve us in safety; but weak, or open, we are left a prey to thieves. If they be such as a stranger may pick, or another open with a false key, it is very fit to change them instantly. But if they be well warded, they are then good guards of our fame and welfare.

All families are but diminutives of a court, where most men respect more their own advancement, than the honour of their throned king. The same thing that makes a lying chambermaid tell a foul lady that she looks lovely, makes a base lord sooth up his ill king in mischief. They both counsel, rather to insinuate themselves by floating with a light, loved humour, than to profit the advised, and imbetter his fame.

"Few converse so much with persons abroad, as to shew their humours and inclinations in public. To their superiors, they put on obsequiousness, and pageant out their virtues, but strongly they conceal their vices. To their equals, they strive to shew the gratefulness of a condition; to their inferiors, courtesy and beneficence; to all, there is a disguise. Men in this, like ladies that are careful of their beauty, admit not to be visited, till they be dressed and trimmed to the advantage of their faces. Only in a man's retirement, and among his domestics, he opens himself with more freedom, and with less care; he walks there as nature framed him: he there may be seen not as he seems, but as he is; without either the deceiving properties of art, or the varnish of belied virtue: so, as indeed, no man is able to pass a true judgement upon another, but he that familiarly and inwardly knows him, and has viewed him by the light of time. When Tiberius had a noble fame among strangers, he that read him rhetoric, stuck not to pronounce him luto et sanguine maceratum.

"I like not those that disdain what the world says of them. I shall suspect that woman's modesty, that values not to be accounted modest.

"He that is careless of his fame, I doubt, is not fond of his integrity."

Another of Felltham's merits is his liberal allowance for

the failings of others, and the kindly feeling with which the sternest of his reproofs is tempered. Thus, on the theme "that no man can be good to all," he writes,—

"I never yet knew any man so bad, but some have thought him honest, and afforded him love; nor ever any so good, but some have thought him evil and hated him. Few are so stigmatical as that they are not honest to some; and few, again, are so just, as that they seem not to some unequal: either the ignorance, the envy, or the partiality of those that judge, do constitute a various man. Nor can a man in himself always appear alike to all. In some, nature hath invested a disparity; in some, report hath fore-blinded judgement; and in some, accident is the cause of disposing us to love or hate. Or, if not these, the variation of the bodies' humours; or, perhaps, not any of these. The soul is often led by secret motions, and loves, she knows not why. There are impulsive privacies, which urge us to a liking, even against the parliamental acts of the two Houses, reason, and the common sense. As if there were some hidden beauty, of a more magnetic force than all that the eye can see; and this, too, more powerful at one time than another. Undiscovered influences please us now, with what we would sometimes contemn. I have come to the same man that hath now welcomed me with a free expression of love and courtesy, and another time hath left me unsaluted at all; yet, knowing him well, I have been certain of his sound affection; and have found this, not an intended neglect, but an indisposedness, or a mind seriously busied within. Occasion reins the motions of the stirring mind. Like men that walk in their sleep, we are led about, we neither know whither nor how."

Again," of apprehension in wrongs:"

"We make ourselves more injuries than are offered us; they many times pass for wrongs in our own thoughts, that were never meant so by the heart of him that speaketh. The apprehension of wrong hurts more than the sharpest part of the wrong done. So, by falsely making ourselves patients of wrong, we become the true and first actors. It is not good, in matters of discourtesy, to dive into a man's mind, beyond his own comment; nor to stir upon a doubtful indignity without it, unless we have proofs that carry weight and conviction with them. Words do sometimes fly from the tongue that the heart did neither hatch nor harbour. While we think to revenge an injury, we many times begin one; and, after that, repent our miscon

ceptions. In things that may have a double sense, it is good to think

the better was intended; so shall we still both keep our friends and quietness."

"Of truth and bitterness in jests:"


Laughter should dimple the cheek, not furrow the brow into ruggedness. The birth is then prodigious, when mischief is the child

of mirth. All should have liberty to laugh at a jest; but if it throws disgrace upon one, like the crack of a string, it makes a stop in the music. Flouts, we may see, proceeds from an inward contempt; and there is nothing cuts deeper, in a generous mind, than scorn. Nature, at first, makes us all equal; we are differenced but by accident, and outwards; and I think it is a jealousy that she hath infused in man, for the maintaining of her own honour against external causes. And though all have not wit to reject the arrow, yet most have memory to retain the offence; which they will be content to owe awhile, that they may repay it both with advantage and ease. It is but an unhappy wit that stirs up enemies against the owner. A man may spit out his friend from his tongue, or laugh him into an enemy. Gall in mirth is an ill-mixture, and sometimes truth is bitterness. I would wish any man to be pleasingly merry; but let him beware that he bring not truth on the stage, like a wanton with an edged weapon."

Lastly," of reprehension :"

"When thou chidest thy wandering friend, do it secretly; in season, in love; not in the ear of a popular convention. For, in many times, the presence of a multitude makes a man take up an unjust defence, rather than fall into a just shame. Diseased eyes endure not an unmasked sun; nor does the wound but rankle more which is fanned by the public air. Nor can I much blame a man, though he shuns to make the vulgar his confessor; for they are the most uncharitable tell-tales that the burthened earth doth suffer. They understand nothing but the dregs of actions; and with spattering those abroad, they besmear a deserving fame. A man had better be convinced in private than be made guilty by a proclamation. Open rebukes are for magistrates, and courts of justice; for stalled chambers, and for scarlets, in the thronged hall. Private, are for friends; where all the witnesses of the offender's blushes, are blind, and deaf, and dumb. We should do by them as Joseph thought to have done by Mary, seek to cover blemishes with secrecy. Public reproof is like striking of a deer in the herd; it not only wounds him, to the loss of enabling blood, but betrays him to the hound, his enemy; and makes him, by his fellows, be pushed out of company. Even concealment of a fault argues some charity to the delinquent; and when we tell him of it in secret, it shews we wish he should amend, before the world comes to know his amiss."

But the highest excellency of the Resolves-an excellency, before which every merit of composition sinks into insignificance is the purity of the religious and moral principles they exhibit. We can only, in this place, refer the reader to the Essays, entitled, Of Prayer-The Danger of once admitting a Sin-Of Faith and Good Works-Of preparing against Death, &c. which are too long to extract entire, and we would not mar their effect by imperfect quotation; but we cannot refuse ourselves the gratification of instancing the clear and distinct

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