Page images

A Table of the colours or appearances of Good and

Evil, and their degrees, as places of persuasion and dissuasion, and their several fallacies and the elenches of them.


I. “ Cui cateræ partes vel sectæ secundas unanimiter deferunt, cum “ singulæ principatum sibi vindicent, melior reliquis videtur.

Nam primas quæque ex zelo videtur sumere, secundas autem ex vero et merito tribuere "*

So Cicero went about to prove the sect of academics, which suspended all asseveration, for to be the best : for, saith he, ask a Stoic which philosophy is true, he will prefer his own. Then ask him which approacheth next the truth, he will confess the Acadeinics. So deal with the Epicure, that will scant endure the Stoic to be in sight of him, so soon as he 'nath placed himself, he will place the Academics next him.

So if a prince took divers competitors to a place, and examined them severally, whom next themselves they would rarest commend, it were like the ablest man should have the most second voices.

The fallax of this colour happeneth oft in respect of envy, for men are accustomed after themselves and their own faction, to incline unto them


• " Since all parties or sects challenge the pre-eminence of the “first place to themselves, that to which all the rest with one

consent give the second place, seems to be better than the "others : for every one seems to take the first place out of "self-zeal but to give the second where it is really due.”

which are softest, and are least in their way, in despite and derogation of them, that hold them hardest to it. So that this colour of meliority and preeminence is a sign of enervation and weakness.



“Cujus excellentia vel exsuperantia melior, id toto genere melius."*

Appertaining to this are the forms : “Let us not “ wander in generalities : Let us compare particular “ with particular," &c. This appearance, though it seem of strength, and rather logical than rhetorical yet is very oft a fallax.

Sometime because some things are in kind very casual, which if they escape, prove excellent, so that the kind is inferior, because it is so subject to peril, but that which is excellent being proved is superior, as the blossom of March, and the blossom of May, whereof the French verse goeth:

“ Burgeon de Mars, enfans de Paris,

“Si un eschape, il en vaut dix.” So that the blossom of May is generally better than the blossom of March, and yet the best blossom of March is better than the best blossom of May. Sometimes because the nature of some kinds is to be more equal, and more indifferent, and not to have very distant degrees, as hath been noted in the warmer climates, the people are generally more wise, but in the northern climates the wits of chief are greater. So in many armies, if the matter should

kind is altogether best, whose excellence or pre


be tried by duel between two champions, the victory should go on the one side, and yet if it be tried by the gross, it would go on the other side : for excellencies go as it were by chance, but kinds go by a more certain nature, as by discipline in war.

Lastly, many kinds have much refuse, which countervail that which they have excellent, and therefore generally metal is more precious than stone ; and yet a diamond is more precious than gold.

III. Quod ad veritatem refertur majus est quam quod ad opinionem. “ Modus autem et probatio ejus quod ad opinionem pertinet “ bæc est, quod quis si clam putaret fore facturus non csset.

So the Epicures say of the Stoics felicity placed in virtue; that it is like the felicity of a player, who if he were left of his auditory and their applause, he would straight be out of heart and countenance, and therefore they call virtue “bonum theatrale.” But of riches the poet saith :

Populus me sibilat,

“ At mihi plaudo.” And of pleasure,

" Grata sub imo “Gaudia corde premens, vultu simulante pudorem. The fallax of this colour is somewhat subtile, though the

armator to the example be ready, for virtue is not

hath a relation to truth is greater than that opinion: but the measure and trial of that opinion is this: It is that which a man would ght it would not be known.”

chosen “ propter auram popularem.” But contrari

. wise, “maxime omnium teipsum reverere," so as a virtuous man will be virtuous in “ solitudine," and not only in “ theatro,” though percase it will be more strong by glory and fame, as an heat which is doubled by reflection ; but that denieth the supposition, it doth not reprehend the fallax, whereof the reprehension is : Allow that virtue (such as is joined with labour and conflict,) would not be chosen but for fame and opinion, yet it followeth not, that the chief motive of the election should not be real and for it self, for fame may be only

causa im“pulsiva,” and not “ causa constituens, or efficiens." As if there were two horses, and the one would do better without the spur than the other : but again, the other with the spur would far exceed the doing of the former, giving him the

yet the latter will be judged to be the better horse. And the form

“ Tush, the life of this horse is but in “ the spur,” will not serve as to a wise judgment : for since the ordinary instrument of horsemanship is the spur, and that it is no manner of impediment, nor burden, the horse is not to be accounted the less of, which will not do well without the spur, but rather the other is to be reckoned a delicacy, than a virtue : so glory and honour are the spurs to virtue: and although virtue would languish without them, yet since they be always at hand to attend virtue, virtue is not to be said the less chosen for itself, because it needeth the spur of fame and reputation : and therefore that position, “ nota ejus rei quod propter opi

spur also:

also: yet

as to say,

" nionem et non propter veritatem eligitur, hæc est ; " quod quis si, clam putaret fore, facturus non esset, is reprehended.


" Quod rem integram servat bonum, quod sine receptu est ma

"lum. Nam se recipere non posse impotentiæ genus est, poten“ tia autem bonum."

Hereof Æsop framed the fable of the two frogs that consulted together in the time of drought, when many plashes that they had repaired to, were dry, what was to be done, and the one propounded to go down into a deep well, because it was like the water would not fail there ; but the other answered, yea, but if it do fail, how shall we get up again. And the reason is, that human actions are so uncertain and subject to perils, as that seemeth the best course which hath most passages out of it. Appertaining to this persuasion, the forms are, you shall engage yourself, on the other side, “ tantum, quantum voles, “sumes ex fortuna,” &c. you shall keep the matter in your own hand. The reprehension of it is, that proceeding and resolving in all actions is necessary. For as he saith well, not to resolve, is to resolve, and many times it breeds as many necessities, and engageth as far in some other sort, as to resolve. So it is but the covetous man's disease, translated into power; for the covetous man will enjoy nothing, be


. That which keeps a matter safe and entire is good; but - obat is destitate and unprovided of retreat is bad: for whereas - all day of acting is good, not to be able to withdraw one's "selis a kind of impotency."

« PreviousContinue »