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made flattery the most familiar rhetoric, a leaving the old method of persuasion, by insinuating the worth of him who desires to receive, and with more ease raising a self-conceit in the man who is apt to swallow such light bribery, and not often indisposed to digest unthankfulness so curiously seasoned. But it is no great inconvenience that kindness should be bestowed gratis, or upon cheap conditions; the loss is, when men of plain meaning adventure on the exchange and use of this coin, who, forward to profess their belief, image the credit of their wisdom on the behavior of such, whose actions are not within their power, and become bound in suretyship, without the help of a scrivener: which inconsiderate affection makes many earnest speakers in defense of injuries done to others, and silent patients of wrongs unexpectedly befalling themselves; desire to make good their error, pressing their tongues to so unjust service; or care to dissemble it, debarring them from the general liberty of poor complaint.
Expectation prepareth applause with the weak, and prejudice with the stronger judgments.
The fashion of commending our friends' abilities before they come to trial, sometimes takes good effect with the common sort, who, building their belief on authority, strive to follow the conceit of their betters; but usually amongst men of independent judgments, this bespeaking of opinion breeds a purpose of stricter examination; and if the report be answered, procures only a bare acknowledgment; whereas, if nothing be proclaimed or promised, they are perhaps content to signify their own skill in testifying another's desert: otherwise great wits, jealous of their credit, are ready to suppress worth in others, to the advancing of their own, and (if more ingenuous) no farther just than to forbear detraction; at the best rather disposed to give praise upon their own accord, than to mako payment upon demand or challenge.
The testimony of sufficiency is better entertained than the report of excellency.
The nature of some places necessarily requires men competently endowed, but where there is choice none think the appointment to be a duty of justice bound to respect the best desert: nay, the best conceive it a work of free bounty, which men of mean qualities are likely to acknowledge, and the worldly make it a business of profit, unto which the most deserving are least apt to subscribe. But besides these unlucky influences from above, this cross success may be occasioned either by the too great confidence of those who hope to rise, or the jealous distrust of such as are already raised, whilst they too much presuming on their own desert, neglect all auxiliary strength, these suspecting some diminution to their own, stop the passage of another's worth; that being most certain, Alterius virtuti invidet, qui diffidit suæ.
He that appears often in the same place, gets little ground in the way to credit.
Familiar and frequent use, which makes things (at first ungrateful) by continuance pleasing or tolerable, takes away the luster from more excellent objects, and reduceth them from the height of admiration, to the low degrees of neglect, dislike, and contempt; which were not strange, if it wrought only among the vulgar, whose opinion (like their stomachs) is overcome with satiety, or men of something a higher stage, the edge of whose sight is abated and dulled by long gazing; but the same entertainment is given by the judicious and learned, either because they observe some defects, which at first sight are less visible; or the actors in this
kind betray weakness in their latter attempts, usually straining so high at first, that they are not able to reach again in the rest; or by this often obtrusion not required, discover a good conceit of their own graces; and men so well affected to themselves are generally so happy as to have little cause to complain of corivals.
The active man riseth not so well by his strength, as the expert by his stirrup.
They that climb towards preferment or greatness by their own virtue, get up with much ado and very slowly; whereas such as are raised by other means, usually ascend lightly and appear more happy in their sudden advancements, sometimes by the only strength of those who stand above, exercising their power in their dependents commonly by subordinate helps and assistance, which young men happily obtain from the commendations of friends, old men often compass by the credit of their wealth, who have a great advantage in that they are best able to purchase, and likely soonest to leave the room.
Few men thrive by one only art, fewer by many.
Amongst tradesmen of meaner sort, they are not poorest whose shop windows open over a red lattice; and the wealthiest merchants employ scriveners for security at home, as much as factors for their advantage abroad, both finding not more warrantable gains by negotiating with the industrious, than profitable returns by dealing with unthrifts. The disposition of the time hath taught this wisdom to more ingenuous professions, which are best entertained when they come accompanied with some other respects, whence preciseness is become a good habit to plead in, and papistry a privy commendation to the practice of physic, contentious zeal making most clients, and sensual superstition yielding the best patients. They who are intent by diverse means to make progress in their estate, can not succeed well, as he that would run upon his hands and feet makes less speed than one who goes as nature taught him; the untoward moving of some unskillful parts, hindering the going forward of those which are better disposed.
It is good to profess betimes, and practice at leisure.
There is a saying, that the best choice is of an old physician, and a young lawyer: the reason supposed, because where errors are fatal, ability of judgment and moderation are required; but where advantages may be wrought upon, diligence and quickness of wit are of more special use. But if it be considered who are generally most esteemed, it will appear that opinion of the multitude sets up the one, and the favor of authority upholds the other; yet in truth, a man's age and time are of necessary regard, such of themselves succeeding best, who in these or any other professions, neither defer their resolutions too long, nor begin their practice too soon; whereas ordinarily, they who are immaturely adventurous, by their insufficiency hurt others; they who are tedious in deliberation, by some improvidence hinder themselves.
Felicity shows the ground where industry builds a fortune.
Archimedes, the great engineer, (who, in defending Syracuse against Marcellus, showed wonderful experiments of his extraordinary skill,) was bold to say, that he would remove the world out of his place, if he had elsewhere to set his foot. And truly I believe so far, that otherwise he could not do it: I am sure,
so much is evident in the architecture of fortunes; in the raising of which the best art or endeavor is able to do nothing, if it have not where to lay the first stone; for it is possible with the like skill to raise a frame when we have matter, but not to create something out of nothing: the first being the ordinary effect of industry, this only of divine power. Indeed, many from very mean beginnings have aspired to very eminent place, and we usually ascribe it to their own worth, which no doubt in some is great; yet as in religion we are bound to believe, so in truth the best of them will confess, that the first advantage was reached out merely by a divine hand, which also, no doubt, did always assist their after endeavors. Some have the felicity to be born heirs to good estates, others to be made so beyond their hopes. Marriage (besides the good which oftentimes it confers directly) collaterally sometimes helps to offices, sometimes to benefices, sometimes to dignities. Many rise by relation and dependence, it being a happy step to some, to have fallen on a fortunate master, to some on a foolish, to some (few) on a good. There are divers other means, of which, as of these, I am not so fit to speak, but truly considered, they are all out of our own power, which he that presumeth most can not promise himself; and he that expects least, sometimes attains.
SPECIAL INSTRUCTION IN GREAT BRITAIN.
I. INDIVIDUAL PROMOTERS OF REALISTIC INSTRUCTION.
Under the Church system of education, which supplanted the barbarism of an earlier period, and which prevailed throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland, as well as in Europe generally, all institutions, endowments and methods were designed to foster instruction in language, and those speculative studies which were found particularly useful in ecclesiastical affairs. But English literature is not without occasional witnesses to the defective arrangements then existing, and appeals and suggestions for other institutions and instruction.
SIR THOMAS ELYOT.
SIR THOMAS ELYOT, in "The Governor,"* first published in 1544, which was designed to instruct men, and especially men of noble birth, in good morals, and in the ways of usefulness, recommends that young gentlemen be brought up "to draw, paint, and carve," and put to frequent practice "with poises made of lead," lifting or owing the heavy stone or bar, in wrestling, running, swimming, riding, dancing, and shooting with the long bow. In addition to these recreations, he praises the industry of the king of Prussia, “who in a time vacant from the affairs of his realm, planted innumerable trees, which long before he died brought forth abundance of fruit."
FRANCIS LORD BACON.
Francis Bacon (born in 1561 and died in 1626) was the earliest and ablest champion of a broad educational policy, both in opening up the whole field of science for better culture, and in founding new places of learning, and holding out stronger inducements for ingenious minds to devote themselves to natural science. In the preface to the Second Book on the Dignity and Advancement of Learning, addressed to the king, and written in 1605, he thus speaks of the deficiencies in the provisions for higher culture in his day, and the necessity of new schools dedicated to the study of the Arts and Sciences at large, as well as professorships, laboratories, and other facilities of experiment and practice.
First, therefore, among so many noble foundations of colleges in Europe, I find it strange that they are all dedicated to professions, and none left free to the study of arts and sciences at large. For if men judge that learning should be referred to use and action, they judge well; but it is easy in this to fall into the error pointed at in the ancient fable; in which the other parts of the body found fault with the stomach, because it neither performed the office of motion as the limbs do, nor of sense, as the head does; but yet, notwithstanding, it is the stomach which digests and distributes the aliment to all the rest. So if any man think that Philosophy and Universality are idle and unprofitable studies, he does not consider that all arts and professions are from thence supplied with sap and strength. And this I take to be a great cause, which has so long hindered the more flourishing progress of learning; because these fundamental knowledges have been studied but in passage, and not drunk deeper
For copious extracts, see Barnard's American Journal of Education, vol. xvi. 483–496. 145