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In the entrance to the former of these, to clear the

true testimonies concerning the dignity of learning to be better heard, without the interruption of tacit objections; I think good to deliver it from the discredits and disgraces which it hath received, all from ignorance, but ignorance severally disguised; appearing sometimes in the zeal and jealousy of divines, sometimes in the severity and arrogancy of politicians, and sometimes in the errors and imperfections of learned men themselves.

I hear the former sort say, that knowledge is of those things which are to be accepted of with great limitation and caution; (that the aspiring to overmuch knowledge, was the original temptation and sin, whereupon ensued the fall of man; that knowledge hath in it somewhat of the serpent, and therefore where it entereth into a man it makes him swell; Scientia inflat; that Solomon gives a censure," That there is no end of making books, and that much reading is a weariness of the flesh;" and again in another place, "That in spacious knowledge there is much contristation, and that he that increaseth knowledge increaseth anxiety;" that St. Paul gives a caveat, "That we be not spoiled through vain philosophy;" that experience demonstrates how learned men have been arch-heretics, how learned times have been inclined to atheism, and how the contemplation of second causes doth derogate from our dependence upon God, who is the first cause.

was, of your greater fortune, with a prosperous possession thereof in the due time; a virtuous observ-way, and, as it were, to make silence, to have the ation of the laws of marriage, with most blessed and happy fruit of marriage; a virtuous and most christian desire of peace, with a fortunate inclination in your neighbour princes thereunto: so likewise in these intellectual matters, there seemeth to be no less contention between the excellency of your majesty's gifts of nature, and the universality and perfection of your learning. For I am well assured, that this which I shall say is no amplification at all, but a positive and measured truth; which is, that there hath not been since Christ's time any king, or temporal monarch, which hath been so learned in all literature and erudition, divine and human. For let a man seriously and diligently revolve and peruse the succession of the emperors of Rome; of which Cæsar the dictator, who lived some years before Christ, and Marcus Antoninus, were the best learned: and so descend to the emperors of Græcia, or of the West; and then to the lines of France, Spain, England, Scotland, and the rest, and he shall find this judgment is truly made. For it seemeth much in a king, if, by the compendious extractions of other men's wits and labours, he can take hold of any superficial ornaments and shows of learning, or if he countenance and prefer learning and learned men ; but to drink indeed of the true fountains of learning, nay, to have such a fountain of learning in himself, in a king, and in a king born, is almost a miracle. And the more, because there is met in your majesty a rare conjunction, as well of divine and sacred literature, as of profane and human; so as your majesty standeth invested of that triplicity, which in great veneration was ascribed to the ancient Hermes; the power and fortune of a king, the knowledge and illumination of a priest, and the learning and universality of a philosopher. This propriety, inherent and individual attribute in your majesty, deservething unto their proprieties, which gave the occasion to be expressed, not only in the fame and admiration of the present time, nor in the history or tradition of the ages succeeding; but also in some solid work, fixed memorial, and immortal monument, bearing a character or signature, both of the power of a king, and the difference and perfection of such a king.

Therefore I did conclude with myself, that I could not make unto your majesty a better oblation, than of some treatise tending to that end, whereof the sum will consist of these two parts; the former concerning the excellency of learning and knowledge, and the excellency of the merit and true glory in the augmentation and propagation thereof; the latter, what the particular acts and works are, which have been embraced and undertaken for the advancement of learning; and again, what defects and undervalues I find in such particular acts: to the end, that though I cannot positively or affirmatively advise your majesty, or propound unto you❘ framed particulars; yet I may excite your princely cogitations to visit the excellent treasure of your own mind, and thence to extract particulars for this purpose, agreeable to your magnanimity and wisdom.

To discover then the ignorance and error of this opinion, and the misunderstanding in the grounds thereof, it may well appear these men do not observe or consider, that it was not the pure knowledge of nature and universality, a knowledge by the light whereof man did give names unto other creatures in paradise, as they were brought before him, accord

to the fall; but it was the proud knowledge of good and evil, with an intent in man to give law unto himself, and to depend no more upon God's commandments, which was the form of the temptation. Neither is it any quantity of knowledge, how great soever, that can make the mind of man to swell; for nothing can fill, much less extend the soul of man, but God, and the contemplation of God; and therefore Solomon, speaking of the two principal senses of inquisition, the eye and the ear, affirmeth that the eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing; and if there be no fulness, then is the continent greater than the content; so of knowledge itself, and the mind of man, whereto the senses are but reporters, he defineth likewise in these words, placed after that calendar or ephemerides, which he maketh of the diversities of times and seasons for all actions and purposes; and concludeth thus: "God hath made all things beautiful, or decent, in the true return of their seasons: Also he hath placed the world in man's heart, yet cannot man find out the work which God worketh from the beginning to the end :" declaring, not obscurely, that God hath framed the mind of man as a mirror, or glass, capable of the image of the uni


versal world, and joyful to receive the impression | darkness: and that the wise man's eyes keep watch thereof, as the eye joyeth to receive light; and not in his head, whereas the fool roundeth about in only delighted in beholding the variety of things, darkness: but withal I learned, that the same morand vicissitude of times, but raised also to find out tality involveth them both." And for the second, and discern the ordinances and decrees, which certain it is, there is no vexation or anxiety of throughout all those changes are infallibly observed. mind which resulteth from knowledge, otherwise And although he doth insinuate, that the supreme than merely by accident; for all knowledge and or summary law of nature, which he calleth, "The wonder (which is the seed of knowledge) is an work which God worketh from the beginning to the impression of pleasure in itself: but when men end, is not possible to be found out by man;" yet fall to framing conclusions out of their knowledge, that doth not derogate from the capacity of the applying it to their particular, and ministering to mind, but may be referred to the impediments, as themselves thereby weak fears, or vast desires, there of shortness of life, ill conjunction of labours, ill groweth that carefulness and trouble of mind which tradition of knowledge over from hand to hand, and is spoken of: for then knowledge is no more Lumen many other inconveniences, whereunto the condition siccum, whereof Heraclitus the profound said, of man is subject. For that nothing parcel of the "Lumen siccum optima anima;" but it becometh world is denied to man's inquiry and invention, he Lumen madidum, or maceratum, being steeped and doth in another place rule over, when he saith, infused in the humours of the affections. And as ("The spirit of man is as the lamp of God, where- for the third point, it deserveth to be a little stood with he searcheth the inwardness of all secrets." If upon, and not to be lightly passed over: for if any then such be the capacity and receipt of the mind man shall think by view and inquiry into these of man, it is manifest, that there is no danger at sensible and material things to attain that light, all in the proportion or quantity of knowledge, how whereby he may reveal unto himself the nature or large soever, lest it should make it swell or out- will of God, then indeed is he spoiled by vain phicompass itself; no, but it is merely the quality of losophy: for the contemplation of God's creatures knowledge, which, be it in quantity more or less, if and works produceth (having regard to the works it be taken without the true corrective thereof, hath and creatures themselves) knowledge; but having in it some nature of venom or malignity, and some regard to God, no perfect knowledge, but wonder, effects of that venom, which is ventosity or which is broken knowledge. And therefore it was swelling. This corrective spice, the mixture most aptly said by one of Plato's school, “That the whereof maketh knowledge so sovereign, is charity, sense of man carrieth a resemblance with the sun, which the apostle immediately addeth to the former which, as we see, openeth and revealeth all the terclause; for so he saith, "knowledge bloweth up, restrial globe; but then again it obscureth and conbut charity buildeth up;" not unlike unto that cealeth the stars and celestial globe so doth the which he delivereth in another place: "If I sense discover natural things, but it darkeneth and spake," saith he, "with the tongues of men and shutteth up divine." And hence it is true, that it angels, and had not charity, it were but as a hath proceeded, that divers great learned men have tinkling cymbal;" not but that it is an excellent been heretical, whilst they have sought to fly up to thing to speak with the tongues of men and the secrets of the Deity by the waxen wings of the angels, but because, if it be severed from charity, senses: and as for the conceit, that too much knowand not referred to the good of men and mankind, it ledge should incline a man to atheism, and that the hath rather a sounding and unworthy glory, than a ignorance of second causes should make a more meriting and substantial virtue. And as for that devout dependence upon God, who is the first cause: censure of Solomon, concerning the excess of writ- First, it is good to ask the question which Job asked ing and reading books, and the anxiety of spirit of his friends: " Will you lie for God, as one man which redoundeth from knowledge; and that admo- will do for another, to gratify him ?" For certain nition of St. Paul, "That we be not seduced by it is, that God worketh nothing in nature but by vain philosophy;" let those places be rightly under- second causes; and if they would have it otherwise stood, and they do indeed excellently set forth the believed, it is mere imposture, as it were in favour true bounds and limitations, whereby human know- towards God; and nothing else but to offer to the ledge is confined and circumscribed; and yet without Author of truth the unclean sacrifice of a lie. But any such contracting or coarctation, but that it may farther, it is an assured truth, and a conclusion of comprehend all the universal nature of things: for experience, that a little or superficial knowledge of these limitations are three: the first, that we do not philosophy may incline the mind of man to atheso place our felicity in knowledge, as we forget our ism, but a farther proceeding therein doth bring the mortality. The second, that we make application mind back again to religion; for in the entrance of of our knowledge, to give ourselves repose and con- philosophy, when the second causes, which are tentment, and not distaste or repining. The third, next unto the senses, do offer themselves to the mind that we do not presume by the contemplation of of man, if it dwell and stay there, it may induce nature to attain to the mysteries of God. For as some oblivion of the highest cause: but when a touching the first of these, Solomon doth excellently man passeth on farther, and seeth the dependence expound himself in another place of the same book, of causes and the works of providence; then, accordwhere he saith; "I saw well that knowledge re- ing to the allegory of the poets, he will easily believe cedeth as far from ignorance, as light doth from that the highest link of nature's chain must needs

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be tied to the foot of Jupiter's chair. To conclude therefore let no man, upon a weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far, or be too well studied in the book of God's word, or in the book of God's works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavour an endless progress, or proficience in both; only let men beware that they apply both to charity, and not to swelling; to use, and not to ostentation; and again, that they do not unwisely | mingle, or confound these learnings together.

And as for the disgraces which learning receiveth from politicians, they be of this nature; that learning doth soften men's minds, and makes them more unapt for the honour and exercise of arms; that it doth mar and pervert men's dispositions for matter of government and policy, in making them too curious and irresolute by variety of reading, or too peremptory or positive by strictness of rules and axioms, or too immoderate and overweening by reason of the greatness of examples, or too incompatible and differing from the times, by reason of the dissimilitude of examples; or at least, that it doth divert men's travails from action and business, and bringeth them to a love of leisure and privateness; and that it doth bring into states a relaxation of discipline, whilst every man is more ready to argue than to obey and execute. Out of this conceit, Cato, surnamed the Censor, one of the wisest men indeed that ever lived, when Carneades the philosopher came in embassage to Rome, and that the young men of Rome began to flock about him, being allured with the sweetness and majesty of his eloquence and learning, gave counsel in open senate, that they should give him his despatch with all speed, lest he should infect and enchant the minds and affections of the youth, and at unawares bring in an alteration of the manners and customs of the state. Out of the same conceit, or humour, did Virgil, turning his pen to the advantage of his country, and the disadvantage of his own profession, make a kind of 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 article 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

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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 a greater object than a man. For both in Ægypt, Assyria, Persia, Græcia, 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 the strength of 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 pedantical friars, and he shall find that such popes do 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.

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 reputations, 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 nature.

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 ministereth 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 And that learning should take up too much time irresolute, on the other side, by plain precept, it or leisure I answer; the most active or busy man, teacheth them when, and upon what ground, to re- that hath been or can be, hath, no question, many solve; yea, and how to carry things in suspense vacant times of leisure, while he expecteth the tides without prejudice, till they resolve: if it make men and returns of business (except he be either tedious positive and regular, it teacheth them what things and of no despatch, or lightly and unworthily ambiare in their nature demonstrative, and what are tious to meddle in things that may be better done conjectural; as well the use of distinctions and ex- by others): and then the question is but, how those ceptions, as the latitude of principles and rules. If spaces and times of leisure shall be filled and spent ; it mislead by disproportion, or dissimilitude of ex- whether in pleasures, or in studies; as was well amples, it teacheth men the force of circumstances, answered by Demosthenes to his adversary Æschithe errors of comparisons, and all the cautions of nes, that was a man given to pleasure, and told him, application so that in all these it doth rectify more "that his orations did smell of the lamp :" "Ineffectually than it can pervert. And these medi- deed," said Demosthenes," there is a great differcines it conveyeth into men's minds much more ence between the things that you and I do by forcibly by the quickness and penetration of exam- lamp-light." So as no man need doubt, that learning ples. For let a man look into the errors of Clement will expulse business, but rather it will keep and the seventh, so livelily described by Guicciardine, who defend the possession of the mind against idleness served under him, or into the errors of Cicero, and pleasure; which otherwise, at unawares, may painted out by his own pencil in his epistles to At- enter to the prejudice of both. ticus, 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

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 custom of obedience should be a surer obligation, than duty taught and understood; it is to affirm, that a blind man may tread surer by a guide, than a seeing man can by a light. And it is without all controversy, that learning doth make the minds of men

gentle, generous, maniable, and pliant to govern- | learned men, are either in respect of scarcity of ment; whereas ignorance makes them churlish, means, or in respect of privateness of life, and thwarting, and mutinous: and the evidence of time meanness of employments. doth clear this assertion, considering that the most barbarous, rude, and unlearned times have been most subject to tumults, seditions, and changes.

And as to the judgment of Cato the Censor, he was well punished for his blasphemy against learning, in the same kind wherein he offended; for when he was past threescore years old, he was taken with an extreme desire to go to school again, and to learn the Greek tongue, to the end to peruse the | Greek' authors, which doth well demonstrate, that his former censure of the Grecian learning was rather an affected gravity, than according to the inward sense of his own opinion. And as for Virgil's verses, though it pleased him to brave the world, in taking to the Romans the art of empire, and leaving to others the arts of subjects; yet so much is manifest, that the Romans never ascended to that height of empire till the time they had ascended to the height of other arts. For in the time of the two first Cæsars, which had the art of government in greatest perfection, there lived the best poet, Virgilius Maro; the best historiographer, Titus Livius; the best antiquary, Marcus Varro; and the best or second orator, Marcus Cicero, that to the memory of man are known. As for the accusation of Socrates, the time must be remembered when it was prosecuted; which was under the thirty tyrants, the most base, bloody, and envious | persons that have governed; which revolution of state was no sooner over, but Socrates, whom they had made a person criminal, was made a person heroical, and his memory accumulate with honours divine and human; and those discourses of his, which were then termed corrupting of manners, were after acknowledged for sovereign medicines of the mind and manners, and so have been received ever since, till this day. Let this therefore serve for answer to politicians, which in their humorous severity, or in their feigned gravity, have presumed to throw imputations upon learning; which redargution, nevertheless, (save that we know not whether our labours may extend to other ages,) were not needful for the present, in regard of the love and reverence towards learning, which the example and countenance of two so learned princes, queen Elizabeth and your majesty, being as Castor and Pollux, lucida sidera, stars of excellent light and most benign influence, hath wrought in all men of place and authority in our nation.

Now therefore we come to that third sort of discredit, or diminution of credit, that groweth unto learning from learned men themselves, which commonly cleaveth fastest: it is either from their fortune; or from their manners; or from the nature of their studies. For the first, it is not in their power; and the second is accidental; the third only is proper to be handled: but because we are not in hand with true measure, but with popular estimation and conceit, it is not amiss to speak somewhat of the two former. The derogations, therefore, which grow to learning from the fortune or condition of

Concerning want, and that it is the case of learned men usually to begin with little, and not to grow rich so fast as other men, by reason they convert not their labours chiefly to lucre and increase: it were good to leave the common place in commendation of poverty to some friar to handle, to whom much was attributed by Machiavel in this point; when he said, "that the kingdom of the clergy had been long before at an end, if the reputation and reverence towards the poverty of friars had not borne out the scandal of the superfluities and excesses of bishops and prelates." So a man might say, that the felicity and delicacy of princes and great persons had long since turned to rudeness and barbarism, if the poverty of learning had not kept up civility and honour of life; but, without any such advantages, it is worthy the observation, what a reverend and honoured thing poverty of fortune was, for some ages, in the Roman state, which nevertheless was a state without paradoxes; for we see what Titus Livius saith in his introduction: "Cæterum aut me amor negotii suscepti fallit, aut nulla unquam respublica nec major, nec sanctior, nec bonis exemplis ditior fuit; nec in quam tam seræ avaritia luxuriaque immigraverint: nec ubi tantus ac tam diu paupertati ac parsimoniæ honos fuerit." We see likewise, after that the state of Rome was not itself, but did degenerate, how that person, that took upon him to be counsellor to Julius Cæsar, after his victory, where to begin his restoration of the state, maketh it of all points the most summary to take away the estimation of wealth: "Verum hæc, et omnia mala pariter cum honore pecuniæ desinent: si neque magistratus, neque alia vulgo cupienda, venalia erunt." To conclude this point, as it was truly said, that "rubor est virtutis color," though sometimes it comes from vice; so it may be fitly said, that "paupertas est virtutis fortuna," though sometimes it may proceed from misgovernment and accident. Surely Solomon hath pronounced it both in censure, "Qui festinat ad divitias, non erit insons ;" and in precept, "Buy the truth and sell it not ;" and so of wisdom and knowledge; judging that means were to be spent upon learning, and not learning to be applied to means. And as for the privateness, or obscureness (as it may be in vulgar estimation accounted) of life of contemplative men; it is a theme so common, to extol a private life, not taxed with sensuality and sloth, in comparison, and to the disadvantage of a civil life, for safety, liberty, pleasure, and dignity, or at least freedom from indignity, as no man handleth it, but handleth it well: such a consonancy it hath to men's conceits in the expressing, and to men's consents in the allowing. This only I will add, that learned men, forgotten in states, and not living in the eyes of men, are like the images of Cassius and Brutus in the funeral of Junia; of which not being represented, as many others were, Tacitus saith, “Eo ipso præfulgebant, quod non visebantur."

And for meanness of employment, that which is most traduced to contempt, is that the government

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