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sion of wisdom or ability is put to the test, are found to have
made a great fuss about nothing. 4. (Perform) trifles with great effort. 5. judgment'-discernment; power of distinguishing between
real things and shams. 6. formalists '--persons who try to impose upon others by mere
appearances. 7. prospectives' or perspectives (sometimes also perspicils)-opti
cal glasses, such as we now call telescopes and stereoscopes.
One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons,
Distinguish form'-Shakespeare's Richard II. 8. When they are conscious that they are speaking of something which
they are ignorant of, they speak vaguely and obscurely, with the object of deceiving others into the belief that they really know something about it, but are prevented by some reason or other
from speaking freely. 9. With one eyebrow raised to your forehead, the other lowered to
your chin, you answer that you do not approve of cruelty'
Cicero, In Pisonem, vi. 10. bear it'-carry their point by force; overbear others. He is
speaking of those who try to make a reputation for cleverness by using big words, and being dogmatic ('peremptory') and blustering (go on '); and impudently assuming for granted (“take by admittance ') that which they are unable to prove
and maintain (' make good'). Ir. impertinent or curious'-either beside the point, or else a
subtle nicety that they decline to take any notice of. 12. Some are for ever introducing verbal qnibbles and trivial dis
tinctions, designed craftily to divert attention from the real
subject, and to gloss over their ignorance. 13. 'A foolish man who fritters away the weight of matters by nice
quibbles upon words.'
Aulus Gellius was a Roman writer of the second century, who wrote Noctes Attica, a book consisting partly of miscellaneous passages selected from ancient authors and partly of original observations by the compiler.
It is said that the quotation is incorrectly assigned to Aulus Gellius, and is from Quintilian (x, 1), a famous Roman rhe
torician of the first century. 14. of which kind'-as an example of which class of min. Plato
(B.C. 429-347), in one of his dialogues, called Protagoras (after one of the principal characters introduced in it, who was a celebrated sophist at Athens), brings forward Prodicus, who talks with great affectation of eloquence, and is ex
tremely nice in his choice of words. 15. `find ease,' etc.—find it easier to deny the statements of others
than to advance and maintain statements of their own, and try to get a reputation (' affect a credit') by objecting and in
terposing difficulties when others speak. 16. inward beggar'-a secret beggar; one who really lives hy
what he can get from others, and yet adopts numerous crafty
devices to hide the fact that he is a beggar. 17. make shift to get opinion '-manage to earn a reputation. 18. You had better employ a man who is content to be thought a fool
than one who is such but tries to conceal it.
• You were better' is an obsolete impersonal construction, meaning (it) were better (for) you; like if you please for if (it) please you—or me seems for (to) me (it) seems.
• Thou wer't better gall the devil'-King John, IV, iii, 95.
ANALYSIS OF ESSAY XXVI. I. Some men, if not whole nations, try to appear wiser than they
1. Feigned reserve.
by others. III. Such persons ought not to be employed, for they are worse
servants than downright fools.
XXVII.-OF FRIENDSHIP. (1612, re-written 1625.) It had been hard for him that spake it to have put more truth and untruth together in few words that in that speech, 'Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god;'l for it is most true, that a natural and secret hatred and aversion towards society in any man hath somewhat of the savage beast; but it is most untrue that it should have any character at all of the Divine Nature, except it proceed, not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out of a love and desire to sequester a man's self for a higher conversation :2 such as is found to have been falsely and feignedly in some of the heathen; as Epimenides, the Candian; Numa, the Roman; Empedocles, the Sicilian; and Apollonius of Tyana ; and truly and really in divers of the ancient hermits and holy Fathers of the Church. But little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth ; for a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. The Latin adage meeteth with ito a little, Magna civitas, magna solitudo ;' because in a great town friends are scattered, so that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, which is in less neighbourhoods: but we may go further, and affirm most truly, that it is a mere5 and miserable solitude to want6 true friends, without which the world is but a wilderness; and even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and affections is unfit for friendship, he taketh? it of the beast, and not from humanity.
A principal fruit of Friendship is the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce. We know diseases of stoppings and suffocations are the most dangerous in the body; and it is not much otherwise in the mind; you may take sarza8 to open the liver, steel to open the spleen, flower of sulphur for the lungs, castoreum for the brain; but no receipt openeth the heart but a true friend, to whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift10 or confession.
It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate great kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of Friendship whereof we speak: so great, as they purchase it many times at the hazard of their own safety and greatness : for princes, in regard of the distance of their fortune from that of their subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except (to make themselves capable thereof) they raise some persons to be as it were companions, and almost equals to themselves, which many times sorteth to inconvenience.11 The modern languages give unto such persons the name of Favourites, or Privadoes, as if it were matter of grace, or conversation ;12 but the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause thereof, naming them 'Participes curarum; '13 for it is that which tieth the knot: and we see plainly that this hath been done, not by weak and passionate princes only, but by the wisest and most politic that ever reigned, who have oftentimes joined to themselves some of their servants, whom both themselves have called friends, and allowed others likewise to call them in the same manner, using the word which is received between private men.
L. Sylla,14 when he commanded Rome, raised Pompey (after surnamed the Great) to that height that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's overmatch; for when he had carried the consulship for a friend of his, against the pursuit of Sylla, and that Sylla did a little resent thereat, and began to speak great, Pompey turned upon him again, and in effect bade him be quiet; for that more men adored the sun rising than the sun setting.
With Julius Cæsar, Decimus Brutus had obtained that interest, as he set him down in his testament for heir in remainder after his nephew; and this was the man that had power with him to draw him forth to his death : for when Cæsar would have discharged the senate, in regard of some ill presages, and specially a dream of Calphurnia, this man lifted him gently by the arm out of his chair, telling him he hoped he would not dismiss the senate till his wife had dreamt a better dream; and it seemeth his favour was so great, as Antonius, in a letter which is recited verbatim in one of Cicero's Philippics, calleth him venifica '-' witch;' as if he had enchanted Cæsar.
Augustus raised Agrippa (though of mean birth) to that height, as, when he consulted with Mæcenas about the marriage of his daughter Julia, Mæcenas took the liberty to tell him, that he must either marry his daughter to Agrippa, or take away his life: there was no third way, ne had made him so great.
With Tiberius Cæsar, Sejanus had ascended to that height, as they two were termed and reckoned as a pair of friends. Tiberius, in a letter to him, saith, 'Hæc pro amicitiâ nostrâ non occultavi ;' and the whole senate dedicated an altar to Friendship, as to a goddess, in respect of the great dearness of friendship between them two.
The like, or more, was between Septimius Severus and Plautianus; for he forced his eldest son to marry the daughter of Plautianus, and would often maintain Plautianus in doing affronts to his son; and did write also, in a letter to the senate, by these words: 'I love the man so well, as I wish he may over-live me.'
Now, if these princes had been as a Trajan, or a Marcus Aurelius, a man might have thought that this had proceeded of an abundant goodness of nature; but being men so wise, of such strength and severity of mind, and so extreme lovers of themselves, as all these were, it proveth most plainly that they found their own felicity (though as great as ever happened to mortal men) but as an half-piece, except they might have a friend to make it entire; and yet, which is more, they were princes that had wives, sons, nephews; and yet all these could not supply the comfort of Friendship.
It is not to be forgotten what Comineus 15 observeth of his first master, Duke Charles the Hardy, namely, that he would communicate his secrets with none; and least of all, those secrets which troubled him most. Whereupon he goeth on, and saith, that towards his latter time that closeness did impair and a little perish 16 his understanding. Surely Comineus might have made the same judgment also, if it had pleased him, of his second master, Louis the Eleventh, whose closeness was indeed his tormentor. The parable 17 of Pythagoras is dark, but true, • Cor ne edito'-eat not the heart.' Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, those that want friends to