« السابقةمتابعة »
certain Rabbin, upon the Text; Your Young Men fhall fee vifions, and your Old Men fhall dream dreams; inferreth, that young Men are admitted nearer to God than old; because Vision is a clearer Revelation, than a Dream. And certainly, the more a Man drinketh of the World, the more it intoxicateth; and Age doth profit rather in the Powers of Understanding, than in the Virtues of the Will and Affections. There be some have an over-early Ripeness in their years, which fadeth betimes: These are first, such as have brittle Wits, the Edge whereof is foon turned; fuch as was Hermogenes the Rhetorician, whofe Books are exceeding fubtile; who afterwards waxed stupid. A fecond Sort of those, that have some natural Dispofitions, which have better Grace in Youth, than in Age; fuch as is a fluent and luxuriant Speech; which becomes Youth well, but not Age; fo Tully faith of Hortenfius; Idem manebat, neque idem decebat. The third is of fuch, as take too high a Strain at the Firft; and are magnanimous, more than Tract of years can uphold. As was Scipio Africanus, of whom Livy faith in effect; Ultima Primis cedebant.
XLIII. Of Beauty.
IRTUE is like a rich Stone, beft plain fet: And furely, Virtue is beft in a Body, that is comely, though not of delicate Features: And that hath rather Dignity of Prefence, than Beauty of Afpect. Neither is it almoft feen, that very beautiful Perfons are otherwife of great Virtue; as if Nature. were rather bufy not to err, than in labour, to produce Excellency. And therefore, they prove accomplished, but not of great Spirit; and Study rather Behaviour, than Virtue. But this holds not always; for Auguftus Cæfar, Titus Vefpafianus, Philip le Belle of France, Edward the Fourth of England, Alcibiades of Athens, Ifmael the Sophy of Perfia, were all high and great Spirits; and yet the most beautiful Men of their Times. In Beauty, that of Favour is more than that of Colour, and that of decent and gracious Motion, more than that of Favour. That is the beft Part of Beauty, which a Picture cannot express; no nor the first Sight of the Life. There is no excellent Beauty, that hath not fome Strangeness in the Proportion. A Man cannot tell, whether Apelles, or Albert Durer, were the more Trifler: Whereof the one would make a Perfonage by Geometrical Proportions; the other, by taking the beft Parts out of divers Faces, to make one Excellent. Such Per
fonages, I think, would please nobody, but the Painter, that made them. Not but I think, a Painter may make a better Face, than ever was; but he must do it, by a kind of Felicity (as a Mufician that maketh an excellent Air in Mufick), and not by Rule. A Man fhall fee Faces, that if you examine them, Part by Part, you shall find never a good; and yet altogether do well. If it be true, that the principal Part of Beauty is in decent Motion, certainly it is no marvel, though Perfons in Years feem many times more amiable; Pulchrorum Autumnus Pulcher: For no Youth can be comely, but by Pardon, and confidering the Youth, as to make up the comelinefs. Beauty is as Summer Fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot laft: And, for the moft part, it makes a diffolute Youth, and an Age a little out of countenance: But yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh Virtues fhine, and Vices blush.
XLIV. Of Deformity.
EFORMED Perfons are commonly even with Nature: for as Nature hath done ill by them: fo do they by Nature Being for the most part (as the Scripture faith), void of natural Affection; and so they have their Revenge of Nature. Certainly there is a Confent between the Body and the Mind; and where Nature erreth in the one, the
ventureth in the other. Ubi peccat in uno, periclitatur in altero. But because, there is in Man, an Election touching the Frame of his Mind, and a Neceffity in the Frame of his Body, the Stars of natural Inclination are sometimes obfcured, by the Sun of Discipline and Virtue. Therefore, it is good to confider of Deformity, not as a Sign, which is more deceivable; but as a Caufe, which feldom faileth of the Effect. Whofoever hath any Thing fixed in his Perfon, that doth induce Contempt, hath also a perpetual Spur in himself, to rescue and deliver himself from Scorn: Therefore all deformed Persons are extreme bold. First, as in their own Defence, as being exposed to Scorn; but in Procefs of Time, by a general Habit. Also it stirreth in them Industry, and especially of this kind, to watch and obferve the Weakness of others, that they may have somewhat to repay. Again, in their Superiors, it quencheth Jealousy towards them, as Persons that they think they may at pleasure despise: And it layeth their Competitors and Emulators afleep; as never believing, they should be in poffibility of advancement, till they see them in Poffeffion. So that, upon the matter, in a great Wit, Deformity is an Advantage to Rifing. Kings in ancient Times (and at this present in some Countries,) were wont to put great Trust in Eunuchs; because they, that are envious towards all, are more obnoxious and officious towards one. But yet their Trust towards them hath rather been as to good Spials, and good Whisperers; than good Magistrates, and Officers. And much like is the
Reason of deformed Perfons. Still the Ground is, they will, if they be of Spirit, seek to free themfelves from Scorn; which muft be, either by Virtue, or Malice: And therefore, let it not be marvelled, if sometimes they prove excellent Persons : as was Agefilaus, Zanger the Son of Solyman, Æsop, Gafca Prefident of Peru; and Socrates may go likewise amongst them; with others.
XLV. Of Building.
OUSES are built to live in, and not to look on: Therefore let Use be preferred before Uniformity; except where both may be had. Leave the goodly Fabricks of Houses, for Beauty only, to the enchanted Palaces of the Poets: Who build them with small Coft. He that builds a fair Houfe, upon an ill Seat, committeth himself to Prifon. Neither do I reckon it an ill Seat only, where the Air is unwholesome; but likewife where the Air is unequal; as you shall see many fine Seats, set upon a knap of Ground, environed with higher Hills round about it: whereby the Heat of the Sun is pent in, and the Wind gathereth as in Troughs; so as you shall have, and that suddenly, as great Diversity of Heat and Cold, as if you dwelt in several Places. Neither is it ill Air only, that maketh an ill Seat, but ill Ways, ill Markets; and, if you will confult with Momus, ill Neighbours. I