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a nation ; and is like fruitful showers, which though they be profitable and good, yet serve but for that season, and for a latitude of ground where they fall; but the other is indeed like the benefits of heaven, which are permanent and universal. The former, again, is mixed with strife and perturbation ; but the latter hath the true character of divine presence, coming “in aura leni,” without noise or agitation.

Neither is certainly that other merit of learning, in repressing the inconveniencies which grow from man to man, much inferior to the former, of relieying the necessities which arise from nature; which merit was lively set forth by the ancients in that feigned relation of Orpheus's theatre, where all beasts and birds assembled ; and, forgetting their several appetites, some of prey, some of game, some of quarrel, stood all sociably together listening to the airs and accords of the harp; the sound whereof no sooner ceased, or was drowned by some louder noise, but every beast returned to his own nature : wherein is aptly described the nature and condition of men, who are full of savage and unreclaimed desires of profit, of lust, of revenge; which as long as they give ear to precepts, to laws, to religion, sweetly touched with eloquence and persuasion of books, of sermons, of harangues, so long is society and peace maintained; but if these instruments be silent, or that sedition and tumult make them not audible, all things dissolve into anarchy and confusion.

But this appeareth more manifestly, when kings

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themselves, or persons of authority under them, or other governors in commonwealths and popular estates, are endued with learning. For although he might be thought partial to his own profession, that said “Then should people and estates be happy,when “either kings were philosophers, or philosophers

kings ;" yet so much is verified by experience, that under learned princes and governors there have been ever the best times : for howsoever kings may have their imperfections in their passions and customs; yet if they be illuminate by learning, they have those notions of religion, policy, and morality, which do preserve them, and refrain them from all ruinous and peremptory errors and excesses ; whispering evermore in their ears, when counsellors and servants stand mute and silent. And senators or counsellors likewise, which be learned, do proceed upon more safe and substantial principles, than counsellors which are only men of experience; the one sort keeping dangers afar off, whereas the other discover them not till they come near hand, and then trust to the agility of their wit to ward off or avoid them.

Which felicity of times under learned princes, (to keep still the law of brevity, by using the most eminent and selected examples), doth best appear in the age which passed from the death of Domitian the emperor until the reign of Commodus ; comprehending a succession of six princes, all learned, or singular favourers and advancers of learning ; which age, for temporal respects, was the most happy and

flourishing that ever the Roman empire, (which then was a model of the world,) enjoyed : a matter revealed and prefigured unto Domitian in a dream the night before he was slain; for he thought there was grown behind upon his shoulders a neck and a head of gold: which came accordingly to pass in those golden times which succeeded : of which princes we will make some commemoration ; wherein although the matter will be vulgar, and may be thought fitter for a declamation than agreeable to a treatise infolded as this is, yet because it is pertinent to the point in hand, neque semper arcum “ tendit Apollo,” and to name them only were too naked and cursory, I will not omit it altogether.

The first was Nerva; the excellent temper of whose government is by a glance in Cornelius Tacitus touched to the life : Postquam divus “ Nerva res olim insociabiles miscuisset, imperium et “ libertatem.” And in token of his learning, the last act of his short reign, left to memory, was a missive to his adopted son Trajan, proceeding upon some inward discontent at the ingratitude of the times, comprehended in a verse of Homer's :

“ Telis, Phæbe, tuis lacrymas ulciscere nostras.”

Trajan, who succeeded, was for his person not learned: but if we will hearken to the speech of our Saviour, that saith, “ He that receiveth a prophet in “ the name of a prophet, shall have a prophet's “ reward,” he deserveth to be placed amongst the most learned princes : for there was not a greater ad

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mirer of learning, or benefactor of learning; a founder of famous libraries, a perpetual advancer of learned men to office, and a familiar converser with learned professors and precepters, who were noted to have then most credit in court. On the other side, how much Trajan's virtue and government was admired and renowned, surely no testimony of grave and faithful history doth more livelily set forth, than that legend tale of Gregorius Magnus, bishop of Rome, who was noted for the extreme envy he bore towards all heathen excellency: and yet he is reported, out of the love and estimation of Trajan's moral virtues, to have made unto God passionate and fervent prayers for the delivery of his soul out of hell : and to have obtained it, with a caveat that he should make no more such petitions. In this prince's time also, the persecutions against the Christians received intermission, upon the certificate of Plinius Secundus, a man of excellent learning and by Trajan advanced.

Adrian, his successor, was the most curious man that lived, and the most universal inquirer; insomuch as it was noted for an error in his mind, that he desired to comprehend all things, and not to reserve himself for the worthiest things: falling into the like humour that was long before noted in Philip of Macedon; who, when he would needs over-rule and put down an excellent musician in an argument touching music, was well answered by him again, “ God forbid, Sir,” saith he, “ that your fortune " should be so bad, as to know these things better " than 1.” It pleased God likewise to use the curiosity of this emperor as an inducement to the peace of his church in those days. For having Christ in veneration, not as a God or Saviour, but as a wonder or novelty; and having his picture in his gallery, matched with Apollonius, with whom, in his vain imagination, he thought he had some conformity ; yet it served the turn to allay the bitter hatred of those times against the christian name, so as the church had peace during his time. And for his government civil, although he did not attain to that of Trajan's in glory of arms, or perfection of justice, yet in deserving of the weal of the subject he did exceed him. For Trajan erected many famous monuments and buildings; insomuch as Constantine the Great in emulation was want to call him “ Parietaria,” (wall flower) because his name was upon so many walls : but his buildings and works were more of glory and triumph than use and necessity. But Adrian spent his whole reign, which was peaceable, in a perambulation or survey of the Roman empire; giving order, and making assignation where he went, for re-edifying of cities, towns, and forts decayed; and for cutting of rivers and streams, and for making bridges and passages, and for policying of cities and commonalties with new ordinances and constitutions, and granting new franchises and incorporations ; so that his whole time was a very restoration of all the lapses and decays of former times.

Antoninus Pius, who succeeded him, was a prince excellently learned ; and had the patient and

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