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burthen, but yet always with the greatest jeopardy, not only for the persons and goods committed unto it, but even for the ship itself, except it be governed with the greater wisdom.
But nobility governed by learning and wisdom, is indeed most like a fair ship, having tide and wind at will, under the rule of a skilful master: when contrariwise, a ship carried, yea, with the highest tide and greatest wind, lacking a skilful master, most commonly doth either sink itself upon sands, or break itself upon rocks. And even so,
have been either drowned in vain pleasure, or overwhelmed by stout wilfulness, the histories of England be able to afford over-many examples unto us. Therefore, ye great and noblemen's children, if ye will have rightfully that praise, and enjoy surely that place which your fathers have, and elders had, and left unto you, ye must keep it as they gat it; and that is, by the only way of virtue, wisdom, and worthiness.
For wisdom and virtue, there be many fair examples in this court for young gentlemen to follow; but they be like fair marks in the field, out of a man's reach, too far off to shoot at well. The best and worthiest men indeed be sometimes seen, but seldom talked withal. A young, gentleman may sometimes kneel to their person, but smally use their company
for their better instruction. But young gentlemen are fain commonly to do in the court, as young archers do in the field ; that is, take such marks as be nigh them, although they be never so foul to shoot at: I mean, they be driven to keep company with the worst; and what force ill company hath to corrupt good wits, the wisest men know best.
And not ill company only, but the ill opinion also of the most part doth much harm; and namely of those which should be wise in the true deciphering of the good disposition of nature, of comeliness in courtly manners, and all right doings of men.
But error and phantasy do commonly occupy the place of truth and judgement. For if a young gentleman be demure and still of nature, they say he is simple and lacketh wit; if he be bashful and will soon blush, they call him a babish and ill brought up thing; when Xenophon doth precisely note in Cyrus, that “ his * bashfulness in youth, was the very
This is the place in Xenophon.- -Ως δε προηγεν ο χρόνος αυτόν συν τω μεγέθει εις ώραν του πρόσηβον γενέσθαι, εν τούτω δή τους true sign of his virtue and stoutness after.” If he be innocent and ignorant of ill, they say he is rude, and hath no grace : so ungraciously do some graceless men misuse the fair and godly word grace.,
But if you would know what grace they mean, go and look, and learn among them, and you shall see that it is,
First, to blush at nothing; "and blushing in youth,” saith Aristotle, “is nothing else but fear to do ill:" which fear be. ing once lustily fraid away from youth, then followeth to dare do any mischief, to contemn stoutly any goodness, to be busy in every matter, to be skilful in every thing, to acknowledge no ignorance at all. To do thus in court, is counted of some the chief and greatest grace of all; and termed by the name of a virtue, called courage and boldness ; when Crassus in Cicero teacheth the clean contrary, and that most wittily, saying thus, Audere, cum bonis etiam rebus conjunctum, per seipsum est magnopere fugiendum : which is to say,
« To be bold, yea in a good matter, is for itself greatly to be eschewed."
Moreover, where the swing goeth, there to follow, fawn, fatter, laugh, and lie lustily at other men's liking : to face, stand foremost, shove back; and to the meaner man, or unknown in the court, to seem somewhat solemn, coy, big, and dangerous of look, talk, and answer : to think well of himself, to be lusty in contemning of others, to have some trim grace in a privy mock: and in greater presence to bear a brave look; to be warlike, though he never looked enemy in the face in war; yet some warlike sign must be used, either a slovenly buskin, or an overstaring frounced head, as though out of every hair's top should suddenly start out a good big oath when need requireth. Yet, praised be God, England hath at this time many worthy, captains and good soldiers, which be indeed so honest of behaviour, so comely of condi. tions, so mild of manners, as they may be examples of good order to a good sort of others, which never came in war. But to return where I left: In place also to be able to raise talk, and make discourse of every rush; to have a very good will to hear himself speak; to be seen in palmistry, whereby to convey to chaste ears some fond and filthy talk.
And if some Smithfield ruffian take up some strange goμέν λόγοις βραχυτέροις έχρητο, και τη φωνή ησυχαιτέρα. αϊδούς δε ένεπίμπλατο, ώστε και ερυθραίνεσθαι, οπότε συντυγχάνοι τοίς πρεσβυτέροις.
ing, some new mowing with the mouth, some wrenching with the shoulders, some brave proverb, some fresh new oath that is not stale, but will run round in the mouth; some new disguised garment, or desperate hat, fond in fashion, or garish in colour, whatsoever it cost, how small soever his living be, by what shift soever it be gotten, gotten must it be, and used with the first, or else the grace of it is stale and
part of this graceless grace was described by me in a little rude verse long ago.
To laugh, to lie, to flatter, to face,
And think this verse part of thy creed. Would to God this talk were not true, and that some men's doings were not thus. I write not to hurt any, but to profit some ; to accuse none, but to monish such who, allured by ill counsel, and following ill example, contrary to their good bringing up, and against their own good nature, yield overmuch to these follies and faults. I know many serving-men of good order, and well staid : and again, I hear say there be some serving-men do but ill service to their young masters. Yea, read Terence and Plautus advisedly over, and find in those two wise writers, almost in every comedy, no unthrifty young man, that is not brought thereunto by the subtle enticement of some lewd servant. And even now in our days, Getæ, and Davi, Gnathos, and many bold bawdy Phormios too, be pressing in to prattle on every stage, to meddle in every matter; when honest Parmenos shall not be heard, but bear small swing with their masters. Their company, their talk, their over great experience in mischief, doth easily corrupt the best natures, and best brought
But I marvel the less that these misorders be among some in the court; for coinmonly in the country also every where, innocency is gone, bashfulness is vanished ; much presumplion in youth, sınall authority in age; reverence is neglected, duties be confounded; and, to be short, disobedience doth overflow the banks of good order almost in every place, ale mnost in every degree of man.
Mean men have eyes to see, and cause to lament, and can
casion to complain of these miseries ; but others have authority to remedy them, and will do so too, when God shall think time fit. For all these misorders be God's just plagues, by his sufferance brought justly upon us for our sins, which be infinite in number, and horrible in deed; but namely for the great abominable sin of unkindness. But what unkindness ? Even such unkindness as was in the vs, in contemning God's voice, in shrinking from his word, in wishing back again for Egypt, in committing adultery and whoredom, not with the women, but with the doctrine of Babylon, and did bring all the plagues, destructions, and captivities, that fell so oft and horrible upon Israel.
We have cause also in England to beware of unkindness, who have had in so few years the candle of God's word so oft lighted, so oft pụt out; and yet will venture by our unthankfulness in doctrine and sinful life, to lose again light, candle, candlestick, and all.
God keep in us his fear; God graft in us the true knowledge of his word, with a forward will to follow it, and so to bring forth the sweet fruits of it; and then shall he preserve us by his grace from all manner of terrible days.
The remedy of this doth not stand only in making good common laws for the whole realm, but also (and perchance chiefly) in observing private discipline, every man carefully in his own house; and namely if special regard be had to youth; and that, not so much in teaching them what is good, as in keeping them from that that is ill.
Therefore if wise fathers be not as well aware in weeding from their children ill things and ill company, as they were before in grafting in them learning, and providing for them good schoolmasters, what fruit they shall reap of all their cost and care, common experience doth tell.
Here is the place, in youth is the time when some ignorance is as necessary as much knowledge ; and not in matters of our duty toward God, as some wilful wits willingly against their own knowledge, perniciously against their own conscience, have of late openly taught. Indeed St. Chrysostom, that noble and eloquent doctor, *in a sermon con
* The passage here pointed to, is in St. Chrysostom's fifth Dise course, περί Ειμαρμένης και Προνοίας. A captious question being put, “ How comes one man to be rich, and another poor?” he answers,
Though we were never so ignorant of the reasons of these things,
tra Fatum, and the curious Searching of Nativities, doth wisely, say, that “ Ignorance therein is better than knowledge.". But to wring this sentence, to wrest thereby out of men's hands the knowledge of God's doctrine, is without all reason, against common sense, contrary to the judgement also of them which be the discreetest men and best learned on their own side. I know * Julian the Apostate did so; but I never heard or read that any ancient Father of the primitive church either thought or wrote so.
But this ignorance in youth which I speak on, or rather this simplicity, or most truly this innocency, is that which the noble Persians, as wise Xenophon doth testify, were so careful to breed up their youth in. But Christian fathers commonly do not so. And I will tell you a tale, as much to be misliked, as the Persians' example is to be followed.
This last summer I was in a gentleman's house, where a young child, somewhat past four year old, could in no wise frame his tongue to say a little short grace; and yet he could roundly rap out so many ugly oaths, and those of the newest fashion, as some good man of fourscore year old hath never heard named before. And that which was most detestable of all, his father and mother would laugh at it. I much doubt what comfort another day this child shall bring unto them. This child using much the company of servingmen, and giving good ear to their talk, did easily learn which he shall hardly forget all the days of his life hereafter. So likewise in the court, if a young gentleman will venture himself into the company of ruffians, it is over-great a jeo. pardy, lest their fashions, manners, thoughts, talk, and yet it is far better to continue in our ignorance, than to admit of any impious tenet or opinion :” Βέλτιον γαρ αγνοείν καλώς, ή ειδέναι κακώς το μεν γαρ ουκ έχει κατηγορίαν, το δε απεστέρηται συγγνώμης. Τom. 6. pag. 878. Edit. Savil.
* Julian put forth a severe edict, whereby he forbade the Christians publicly in the schools either to teach or study humane literature, For which Gregory Nazianzen thưs warmly inveighs against him, though playing too much with the word λόγος: Κάκείνω πρέπουσα δίκη, λόγω κολάζεσθαι υπέρ της είς λόγους παρανομίας. ών κοινών όντων λογικούς άπασι, ως ιδίων αυτού, Χριστιάνοις έφθόνησεν, άλογώτατα περί λόγων διανοηθείς και πάντων, ώς φετο, λογιωτατος. Srna. á. pag. 4. Edit. Eton. “Illud autem inclemens, obruendum perenni silentio, quod arcebat docere magistros rhetoricos et grammaticos ritus Christiani cultores." Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. 21.