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that the greatness of this work may make it less exactly performed, there is an excellent period of a much smaller compass of time, as to the story of England; that is to say, from the uniting of the roses to the uniting of the kingdoms: a portion of time, wherein, to my understanding, there hath been the rarest varieties, that in like number of successions of any hereditary monarchy hath been known for it beginneth with the mixed adeption of a crown by arms and title; an entry by battle, an establishment by marriage; and therefore times answerable, like waters after a tempest, full of working and swelling, though without extremity of storm but well passed through by the wisdom of the pilot, being one of the most sufficient kings of all the number. Then followeth the reign of a king, whose actions, howsoever conducted, had much intermixture with the affairs of Europe, balancing and inclining them variably; in whose time also began that great alteration in the state ecclesiastical, an action which seldom cometh upon the stage. Then the reign of a minor: then an offer of an usurpation, though it was but as febris ephemera: then the reign of a queen matched with a foreigner: then of a queen that lived solitary and unmarried, and yet her government so masculine, as it had greater impression and operation upon the states abroad than it any ways received from thence. And now last, this most happy and glorious event, that this island of Britain, divided from all the world, should be united in itself: and that oracle of rest, given to Æneas, " Antiquam exquirite matrem," should now be performed and fulfilled upon the nations of England and Scotland, being now reunited in the ancient mother name of Britain, as a full period of all instability and peregrinations: so that as it cometh to pass in massive bodies, that they have certain trepidations and waverings before they fix and settle; so it seemeth that by the providence of God this monarchy, before it was to settle in your majesty and your generations, in which I hope it is now established for ever, it had these prelusive changes and varieties.

For Lives; I do find strange that these times have

so little esteemed the virtues of the times, as that the writing of lives should be no more frequent. For although there be not many sovereign princes or absolute commanders, and that states are most collected into monarchies, yet there are many worthy personages that deserve better than dispersed report or barren elogies. For herein the invention of one of the late poets is proper, and doth well inrich the ancient fiction: for he feigneth, that at the end of the thread or web of every man's life there was a little medal containing the person's name, and that Time waited upon the shears; and as soon as the thread was cut, caught the medals, and carried them to the river of Lethe; and about the bank there were many birds flying up and down, that would get the medals, and carry them in their beak a little while, and then let them fall into the river: only there were a few swans, which if they got a name, would carry it to a temple, where it was consecrated.

And though many men, more mortal in their affections than in their bodies, do esteem desire of name and memory but as a vanity and ventosity,

"Animi nil magnæ laudis egentes;

which opinion cometh from the root, "non prius laudes contempsimus, quam laudanda facere desivimus:" yet that will not alter Solomon's judgment, "Memoria justi cum laudibus, at impiorum nomen putrescet: the one flourisheth, the other either consumeth to present oblivion, or turneth to an ill odour.

And therefore in that stile or addition, which is and hath been long well received and brought in use, "felicis memoriæ, piæ memoriæ, bonæ memoriæ," we do acknowledge that which Cicero saith, borrowing it from Demosthenes, that "bona fama propria possessio defunctorum;" which possession I cannot but note, that in our times it lieth much waste, and that therein there is a deficience.

For Narrations and Relations of particular actions, there were also to be wished a greater diligence therein; common way, before we come where the ways part for there is no great action but hath some good pen which attends it.

And because it is an ability not common to write a good history, as may well appear by the small number of them; yet if particularity of actions memorable were but tolerably reported as they pass, the compiling of a complete history of times might be the better expected, when a writer should arise that were fit for it; for the collection of such relations might be as a nursery garden, whereby to plant a fair and stately garden, when time should serve.

There is yet another partition of history which Cornelius Tacitus maketh, which is not to be forgotten, especially with that application which he accouplieth it withal, Annals and Journals: appropriating to the former, matters of state; and to the latter, acts and accidents of a meaner nature. For giving but a touch of certain magnificent buildings, he addeth, "Cum ex dignitate populi Romani repertum sit, res illustres annalibus, talia diurnis urbis actis mandare." So as there is a kind of contemplative heraldry, as well as civil. And as nothing doth derogate from the dignity of a state more than confusion of degrees; so it doth not a little embase the authority of an history, to intermingle matters of triumph, or matters of ceremony, or matters of novelty, with matters of state. But the use of a journal hath not only been in the history of time, but likewise in the history of persons, and chiefly of actions; for princes in ancient time had, upon point of honour and policy both, journals kept, what passed day by day: for we see the chronicle which was read before Ahasuerus, when he could not take rest, contained matters of affairs indeed, but such as had passed in his own time, and very lately before but the journal of Alexander's house expressed every small particularity even concerning his person and court; and it is yet an use well received in enterprises memorable, as expeditions of war, navigations, and the like, to keep diaries of that which passeth continually.

I cannot likewise be ignorant of a form of writing, which some grave and wise men have used, containing a scattered history of those actions which they have

thought worthy of memory, with politic discourse and observation thereupon; not incorporated into the history, but separately, and as the more principal in their intention; which kind of ruminated history I think more fit to place amongst books of policy, whereof we shall hereafter speak, than amongst books of history for it is the true office of history to represent the events themselves together with the counsels, and to leave the observations and conclusions thereupon to the liberty and faculty of every man's judgment; but mixtures are things irregular, whereof no man can define.

So also is there another kind of history manifoldly mixed, and that is History of Cosmography, being compounded of natural history, in respect of the regions themselves; of history civil, in respect of the habitations, regiments, and manners of the people; and the mathematics, in respect of the climates and configurations towards the heavens: which part of learning of all others, in this later time, hath obtained most proficience. For it may be truly affirmed to the honour of these times, and in a virtuous emulation with antiquity, that this great building of the world had never thorough lights made in it, till the age of us and our fathers for although they had knowledge of the antipodes,

"Nosque ubi primus equis oriens afflavit anhelis, Illic sera rubens accendit lumina Vesper: "

yet that might be by demonstration, and not in fact; and if by travel, it requireth the voyage but of half the globe. But to circle the earth, as the heavenly bodies do, was not done or enterprised till these later times and therefore these times may justly bear in their word, not only plus ultra in precedence of the ancient non ultra, and imitabile fulmen, in precedence of the ancient non imitabile fulmen.

"Demens qui nimbos et non imitabile fulmen," etc. but likewise imitabile cœlum: in respect of the many memorable voyages, after the manner of heaven, about the globe of the earth.

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And this proficience in navigation and discoveries may plant also an expectation of the farther proficience and augmentation of all sciences; because, it may seem, they are ordained by God to be coevals, that is, to meet in one age. For so the prophet Daniel, speaking of the latter times, foretelleth; " Plurimi pertransibunt, et multiplex erit scientia;" as if the openness and thorough passage of the world, and the increase of knowledge, were appointed to be in the same ages, as we see it is already performed in great part; the learning of these latter times not much giving place to the former two periods or returns of learning, the one of the Grecians, the other of the Romans.

HISTORY ecclesiastical receiveth the same divisions with history civil; but farther, in the propriety thereof, may be divided into the History of the Church, by a general name; History of Prophecy; and History of Providence.

The first describeth the times of the militant Church, whether it be fluctuant, as the ark of Noah; or moveable, as the ark in the wilderness; or at rest, as the ark in the temple; that is, the state of the Church in persecution, in remove, and in peace. This part I ought in no sort to note as deficient, only I would the virtue and sincerity of it were according to the mass and quantity. But I am not now in hand with censures, but with omissions.

The second, which is history of prophecy, consisteth Prophetica. of two relatives, the prophecy, and the accomplishment; and therefore the nature of such a work ought to be, that every prophecy of the Scripture be sorted with the event fulfilling the same, throughout the ages of the world; both for the better confirmation of faith, and for the better illumination of the Church touching those parts of prophecies which are yet unfulfilled: allowing nevertheless that latitude which is agreeable and familiar unto divine prophecies, being of the nature of their Author, with whom a thousand years are but as one day, and therefore are not fulfilled punctually at once, but have springing and germinant

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