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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 reputation, 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 them- . selves; 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 such 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 um“ bratiles, 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 an) such point in his nature.
And that learning should take up too much time or leisure I answer; the most active or busy man that hath been or can be, hath, no question, many vacant times of leisure, while he expecteth the tides and returns of business (except he be either tedious and of no dispatch, or lightly and unworthily ambitious to meddle in things that may be better done by others) and then the question is, but how those spaces and times of leisure shall be filled and spent ; whether in pleasures or in studies; as was well answered by Demosthenes to his adversary Æschines, that was a man given to pleasure, and told him, that his orations did smell of the lamp: "Indeed," said Demosthenes," there is a great difference between "the things that you and I do by lamp-light." So as no man need doubt that learning will expulse business; but rather it will keep and defend the possession of the mind against idleness and pleasure, which otherwise at unawares may enter, to the prejudice of both.
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 government; whereas ignorance makes them
churlish, thwarting, and mutinous : and the evidence of time 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 learned men, are
either in respect of scarcity of means, or in respect of privateness of life, and meanness of employments.
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 repu“ tation 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 fal “ lit aut nulla unquam respublica nec major, nec sanc“ tior, nec bonis exemplis ditior fuit; nec in quam “ tam seræ avaritia luxuriaque immigraverint; nec “ ubi tantus ac tun 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