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wood, or those brawling bulls of Basan, or any lurking dormouse," blind not by nature, but by malice; and, as may be gathered of their own testimony, given over to blindness, for giving over God and his word: or such as be so lusty runagates, as first run from God and his true doctrine, then from their lords, masters, and all duty; next, from themselves, and out of their wits ; lastly, from their prince, cou ry, and all due allegiance; whether they ought rather to be pitied of good men for their misery, or contemned of wise men for their malicious folly, let good and wise men determine.
And to return to Epitome again. Some will judge much boldness in me, thus to judge of Osorius's style: but wise men do know, that mean lookers-on may truly say, for a well made picture,
“ This face had been more comely, if that high red in the cheek were somewhat more pure sanguine than it is;” and yet the stander-by cannot amend it himself by any way.
And this is not written to the dispraise, but to the great commendation of Osorius: because Tully himself had the same fulness in him, and therefore went to Rhodes to cut it away; *and saith himself, Recepi me domum prope mutatus, nam quasi referverat jam oratio. Which was brought to pass, I believe, not only by the teaching of Molo Apollonius, but also by a good way of Epitome, in binding himself to translate meros Atticos oratores, and so to bring his style from all loose grossn
ssness to such firm fastness in Latin, as is in Demosthenes in Greek. And this, to be most true, may easily be gathered, † not only of L. Crassus's talk in de Orat.
* Here again we have only part of a sentence (as it came into our author's memory) taken out of Tully de claris Oratoribus, p. 170, near the end. I shall transcribe the whole, since it will bring some light to the argument in hand.
« Quibus non contentus, Rhodum veni, meque ad eundem, quem Romæ audiveram, Molonem applicavi, cum actorem in veris causis, scriptoremque præstantem, tum in notandis animadvertendisque vitiis, et instituendo docendoque prudentissimum.
Is dedit operam (si modo id consequi potuit) ut nimis redundantes nos, et superfluentes juvenili quadam dicendi impunitate et licentia, reprimeret, et quasi extra ripas diffluentes coerceret. Ita recepi me biennio post non modo exercitatior, sed prope mutatus. Nam et contentio nimia vocis reciderat, et quasi referverat oratio, lateribusque vires, et corporis mediocris habitus accesserat.”
† See Crassus's words, cited in the notes, p. 196.
but specially of Cicero's own deed * in translating Demosthenes' and Æschines' Orations nepl Stepávou, to that very end and purpose.
And although a man groundly learned already, may take much profit himself in using by Epitome to draw other men's works for his own memory sake into shorter room, (as Canterus hath done very well the whole Metamorphosis of Ovid, and David Chythræus a great deal better the Nine Muses of Herodotus, and Melancthon in mine opinion, far best of all, the whole story of Time, not only to his own use, but to other men's profit, and his great praise,) yet Epitome is most necessary of all in a man's own writing, as we learn of that noble poet Virgil, who (if Donatus + say true) in writing that perfect work of the Georgics, used daily, when he had written forty or fifty verses, not to cease cutting, paring, and polishing of them, till he had brought them to the number of ten or twelve.
* Though it is certain enough that Tully did translate these two Orations; yet I am apt to think, from his own words, that he did it rather as an example to encourage young students to take pains that way, than with any design to improve himself; his own style much earlier being brought to its full perfection.
“ Sed cum in eo magnus error esset, quale esset id dicendi genus; putavi mihi suscipiendum laborem, utilem studiosis, mihi quidem ipsi non necessarium. Converti enim ex Atticis, duorum eloquentissimorum nobilissimas orationes inter se contrarias, Æschinis Demosthenisque: nec converti, ut interpres, sed ut orator, sententiis iisdem, et earum formis, tanquam figuris, verbis ad nostram consuetudinem aptis: in quibus non verbum pro verbo necesse habui reddere, sed genus omnium verborum vimque servavi. Non enim ea me annumerare lectori putavi oportere, sed tanquam appendere."
This opinion of mine will still appear more probable, from the last words of this introduction to these two Orations: “ Erit regula, ad quam eorum dirigantur orationes, qui Attice volunt dicere.”
+ The passage alluded to in Virgil's Life is this : “Cùm Georgica scriberet, traditur quotidie meditatos mane plurimos versus dictare solitus, ac per totum diem retractando ad paucissimos redigere: non absurdè, carmen se ursæ more parere dicens, et lambendo demum effingure."
The same is reported of our countryman Mr. Milton, whom we may justly match with Virgil; that usually every morning, as he lay in bed, he tumbled over in his thoughts the verses he had made the day before, and never ceased altering and changing of them, till he had reduced them with inimitable exactness to a far less number.
And this exercise is not more needfully done in a great work, than wisely done in our common daily writing either of letter or other thing else; that is to say, to peruse diligently, and see and spy wisely, what is always more than needeth. For twenty to one offend more in writing too much than too little ; even as twenty to one fall into sickness, rather by over much fulness, than by any lack or emptiness. And therefore is he always the best English physician, that best can give a purgation ; that is, by way of Épitome to cut all over-much away. And surely men's bodies be not more full of ill humours, than commonly men's minds (if they be young, lusty, proud, like and love themselves well, as most men do) be full of fantasies, opinions, errors, and faults, not only in inward invention, but also in all their utterance, either by pen or talk.
And of all other men, even those that have the inventirest heads for all purposes, and roundest tongues in all matters and places (except they learn and use this good lesson of Epitome), commit commonly greater faults than dull, staying, silent men do. For quick inventors, and fair ready speakers, being boldened with their present ability to say more, and perchance better too, at the sudden for that present, than any other can do, use less help of diligence and study, than they ought to do; and so have in them commonly less learning, and weaker judgement for all deep considerations, than some duller heads and slower tongues have.
And therefore ready speakers, generally be not the best, plainest, and wisest writers, nor yet the deepest judgers in weighty affairs; because they do not tarry to weigh and judge all things as they should; but having their heads over full of matter, be like pens over full of ink, which will sooner blot than make any fair letter at all. Time was, when I had experience of two ambassadors in one place; the one of a hot head to invent, and of a hasty hand to write; the other cold and staid in both : but what difference of their doings was made by wise men, is not unknown to some persons. The bishop of Winchester, Steph. Gardiner, had a quick head and a ready tongue, and yet was not the best writer in England. Cicero in Brutus doth wisely * note the same in
*" Quid igitur, inquit, est causa, Brutus, si tanta virtus in oratore Galba fuit, cur ea nulla in orationibus ejus appareat ?" To this question of Brutus, amongst other things, Tully makes this reply:
Serg. Galba, and Q. Hortensius ; who were both hot, lusty, and plain speakers; but cold, loose, and rough writers. And Tully telleth the cause why, saying, when they spoke, their tongue was naturally carried with full tide and wind of their wit; when they wrote, their head was solitary, dull, and calm, and so their style was blunt, and their writing cold: Quod vitium, saith Cicero, peringeniosis hominibus, neque satis doctis plerumque accidit.
And therefore all quick inventors and ready fair speakers must be careful, that to their goodness of nature they add also in any wise study, labour, leisure, learning, and judgement; and then they shall indeed pass all other, (as I know some do, in whom all those qualities are fully planted,) or else if they give over-much to their wit, and over-little to their labour and learning, they will soonest over-reach in talk, and furthest come behind in writing, whatsoever they take in hand. The method of Epitome is most necessary for such kind of men. And thus much concerning the use or misuse of all kind of Epitomes in matters of learning.
Imitation is a faculty to express lively and perfectly that example which you go about to follow. And of itself it is
“ Nec enim est eadem, inquam, Brute, causa non scribendi, et non tam bene scribendi, quàm dixerint. Nam videmus alios oratores inertia nihil scripsisse, ne domesticus etiam labor accederet ad forensem, pleræque enim scribuntur orationes habitæ jam, non ut habeantur.
alios, quòd melius putent dicere se posse, quàm scribere : • quod peringeniosis hominibus, neque satis doctis, plerumque contigit, ut ipsi Galbæ.
“ Quem fortasse vis non ingenii solùm, sed etiam animi, et naturalis quidam dolor dicentem incendebat, efficiebatque, ut et incitata, et gravis, et vehemens esset oratio : dein cùm otiosus stilum prehenderat, motusque omnis animi, tanquam ventus, hominem defecerat, flaccessebat oratio: quod iis, qui limatius dicendi consectantur genus, accidere non solet, propterea quod prudentia nunquam deficit oratorem, qua ille utens eodem modo possit et dicere et scribere. Ardor animi non semper adest, isque cum consedit, omnis illa vis, et quasi flamma oratoris extinguitur. Hanc igitur ob causam videtur Lælii mens spirare etiam in scriptis, Galbæ autem vis occidisse." Cic. de claris Orat. p. 153.
large, and wide ; for all the works of nature, in a manner, be examples for art to follow.
But to our purpose : All languages, both learned and mother tongues, be gotten, and gotten only by Imitation. For as ye use to hear, so ye learn to speak : if ye hear no other, ye speak not yourself; and whom ye only hear, of them ye only learn.
And therefore, if ye would speak as the best and wisest do, ye must be conversant where the best and wisest are: but if ye be born or brought up in a rude country, ye shall not choose but speak rudely. The rudest man of all knoweth this to be true.
Yet, nevertheless, the rudeness of common and mother tongues is no bar for wise speaking. For in the rudest country, and most barbarous mother language, many be found that can speak very wisely: but in the Greek and Latin tongues, the only two learned tongues
which be kept not in common talk but in private books, we find always wisdom and eloquence, good matter and good utterance, never or seldom asunder. For all such authors as be fullest of good matter, and right judgement in doctrine, be likewise always most proper in words, most apt in sentence, most plain and pure in uttering the same.
And contrariwise, in those two tongues, all writers, either in religion or any sect of philosophy, whosoever be found fond in judgement of matter, be commonly found as rude in uttering their minds. For Stoics, Anabaptists, and friars, with Epicures, libertines, and monks, being most like in learning and life, are no fonder and pernicious in their opinions, than they be rude and barbarous in their writings. They be not wise therefore, that say, “What care I for man's words and utterance, if his matter and reasons be good?” Such men say so, not so much of ignorance, as either of some singular pride in themselves, or some special malice of others, or some private and partial matter, either in religion or other kind of learning. For good and choice meats be no more requisite for healthy bodies, than proper and apt words be for good matters, and also plain and sensible utterance for the best and deepest reasons : “In which two points standeth perfect eloquence, one of the fairest and rarest gifts that God doth give to man."
Ye know not what hurt ye do to learning, that care not for words, but for matter; and so make a divorce betwixt