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37. 'quality'-rank, gentry, superiority, as distingnished from
common people. This use of the word still survives.
'I shall appear at the masquerade dressed up in my feathers that
the quality may see how pretty they look'-Avvison. 38. take off'—provide for, be awarded to, remove into office and
statesmen did at this time, that in the buying and selling
tion of things desired by other persons or in other places. 40.
'The labour is worth more than the commodity.'
worth more than mines of gold and silver. Moreover, at
as the Venetians had previously.
• The fatal muck we quarrelled for'-BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER. So the verb to mucker=to hoard up money; and muckerer or
muck-worm is an old name for a miser. 43.
strait'-i.e. strict, of which word it is merely another form. W 44. 'usury'-exorbitant interest, interest at higher rate than was
allowed by law. The fact that a lender of money often acquires enormous and ruinous power over the borrower, for many ages led to the taking of interest being regarded as morally wrong, and to the enactment of laws in all Christian
countries restraining its amount. 45. 'is.' Grammatically unjustifiable; it should be 'are' to agree
with the plural nominative 'portions.' 46. discontent'-discontented. See note 17, Essay VIII. 47. “safe'-conferring safety, salutary, 48. bravery'-defiance, bravado. 49. 'imposthumations'--abscesses. 50. 'Epimetheus.' The mythological legend was that to revenge
himself upon Prometheus forethought,' see note 8, Essay
pose all the gods conferred gifts upon her, and she was hence called Pandora (All-gifted). One of the gods brought her to Epimetheus, bearing a box containing all the ills that were to afflict men; Epimetheus married her, and opening the box, all these ills escaped and spread over the whole earth, but he closed it in time to keep in Hope, which lay at the
bottom. 51. satisfaction'-instant granting of the things demanded. 52. “particular'--particular respect, private interest.
“Our wisdom must be such as doth not propose to itself our own
particular'-HOOKER. 53. 'witty and sharp speeches '-clever, but bitter sayings.
Cæsar's saying, 'Sylla did not know his letters and therefore was unable to dictate,' contains a play on the verb dictare, which means both to dictate and to be a dictator; the offence was that being understood in the latter sense it seemed to show that Cæsar had resolved not to give up his dictatorship. The saying is attributed to Julius Cæsar by Suetonius.
Galba's saying, “That it was his custom to levy soldiers, not to buy them,' gave offence, because it implied that he would not give the customary bribe to the Prætorian Guards. He was killed by them A.D. 69.
Probus was Roman emperor A. D. 276-282, when he was killed by his mutinous troops. His saying, 'If I live there shall be to the Roman empire no more need of soldiers,' naturally
offence to the army, 54. 'tender-requiring delicate and careful treatment. 55. ticklish'—very sensitive even to the slightest touch ; that can
hardly bear to be touched; hence the word comes to mean
critical, dangerous. 56. 'flat things'-dull insipid things, and not taken much notice
of ('not so much noted'). 57. against all events '—in preparation for any emergency that 58. 'And the state of feeling was such that a few dared to perpetuate
this most foul deed; more wished to do it; all tolerated it '
Quoted from Tacitus History, i, 28. 59. .assured '—trusted, regarded with confidence. 60. popular’-desiring popularity, fawning to the people.
A popular man is indeed no better than a prostitute to common famo and to the people'-DRYDEN.
ANALYSIS OF ESSAY XV. 1. The signs of sedition (like those of tempestuous weather):
1. Rumours and libels-often best treated with contempt. 2. Tendency to discuss commands before obeying them.
3. Partisanship of the sovereign.
either of the four pillars of government-religion, justice,
counsel, treasure. II. Its materials:
1. Poverty—which creates a desire for war.
2. Discontent-from which no king or state is secure. III. Its causes and motives (exemplifications of No. 4 above) : in.
novations, taxes, oppressions, favouritism, strangers,
dearth, etc. IV. Its remedies :
A. Remedies for poverty :
factures, checking waste and excess.
1. Conciliating the common people.
XVI.-OF ATHEISM. (1612, slightly enlarged 1625.) I HAD rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame2 is without a Mind; and, therefore, God never wrought miracle to convince: Atheism, because His ordinary works convince it. It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to Atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about4 to religion ; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and
go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity: nay, even that school which is most accused of Atheism 6 doth most demonstrate religion : that is, the school of Leucippus, and Democritus, and Epicurus : for it is a thousand times more credible that four mutable elements, and one immutable fifth essence, duly and eternally placed, need no God, than that an army of infinite small portions, or seeds unplaced, should have produced this order and beauty without a divine Marshal.. The Scripture saith, “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God;' it is not said, “The fool hath thought in his heart;' so as he rather saith it by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it; for none deny there is a God, but those for whom it maketho that there were no God. It appeareth in nothing more, 10 that Atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than by this, that Atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted in it within themselves, and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others; nay more, you shall have Atheists strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects; and, which is most of all, you shall have of them that will suffer for Atheism, and not recant; whereas, if they did truly think that there were no such thing as God, why should they trouble themselves 11 Epicurus is charged, that he did but dissemble for his credit's sake, when he affirmed there were blessed natures, 12 but such as enjoyed themselves without having respect to the government of the world; wherein they say he did temporise, 13 though in secret he thought there was no God: but certainly he is traduced, for his words are noble and divine : ' Non Deos vulgi negare profanum; sed vulgi opiniones Diis applicare profanum. Plato could have said no more; and although he had the confidence to deny the administration, he had not the power to deny the nature. The Indians of the west have names for their particular gods, though they have no name for God: as if the heathens should have had the names Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, etc., but not the word Deus; which shows that even those barbarous people have the notion, though they have not the latitude and extent of it; so that against Atheists the very savages take part with the very subtlest philosophers. The contemplative Atheist is rare; a Diagoras, 14 a Bion, a Lucian perhaps, and some others; and yet they seem to be more than they are; for that all that impugn a received religion, or superstition, are, by the adverse part, branded with the name of Atheists : but the great Atheists indeed are hypocrites, which are ever handling holy things but without feeling ; so as they must needs be cauterised in the end.
The causes of Atheism are, divisions in religion, if they be many; for any one main division addeth zeal to both sides, but many divisions introduce Atheism : another is, scandal of priests, when it is come to that which St Bernard 15 saith, “Non est jam dicere, ut populus, sic sacerdos; quia nec sic populus, ut sacerdos;' a third is, custom of profane scoffing in holy matters, which doth by little and little deface the reverence of religion; and lastly, learned times, specially with peace and prosperity; for troubles and adversities do more bow men's minds to religion.
They that deny a God destroy a man's nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and, if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. It destroys likewise magnanimity, and the raising of human nature; for take an example of a dog, and mark what a generosity and courage he will put on when he finds himself maintained by a man, who to him is instead of a God, or 'melior natura; '16 which courage is manifestly such as that creature, without that confidence of a better nature than his own, could never attain. So man, when he resteth and assureth himself upon Divine protection and favour, gathereth a force and faith, which human nature in itself could not obtain ; therefore, as Atheism is in all respects hateful, so in this, that it depriveth human nature of the means to exalt itself above human frailty. As it is in particular persons, so it is in nations: never was there such a state for magnanimity as Rome. Of this state hear what Cicero saith :17 Quam volumus, licet, Patres conscripti, nos