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O vita, stulto longa, sapienti brevis 4!
With all their wanton boughs dispute,
And the more tunefulbirds to both replying, O life, long to the fool, short to the wise !
Nor be myself, too, mute. The first minister of state has not so much A silver stream sha!! roll his waters near, business in public, as a wise man has in Gilt with the Sun-beams here and there; private : if the one have little leisure to be On whose enamellid bank I'll walk, - alone, the other has less leisure to be in com- And see how prettily they smile, and hear pany ; the one has but part of the affairs of one
How prettily they talk. nation, the other all the works of God and niature, under his consideration. There is no Ah wretched and too solitary he, saying shocks me so much as that which I hear Who loves not his own company ; very often, " That a man does not know how to He'll feel the weight of 't many a day, pass his time.” It would have been but ill-spoken Unless he call in sin or vanity by Me.husalem in the nine hundred sixty-ninth To help to bear't away. year of his life; so far it is from us, who have not time enough to attain to the utmost perfection Oh Solitude, 'first state of human-kind ! of any part of any science, to have cause to com
Which blest remain'd, till man did find plain that we are forced to be idle for want of work. Ev'n his own helper's company. But this, you will say, is work only for the learn- As soon as two alas ! together join'd, ed; others are not capable either of the employ- The serpent made up three. ments or divertisements that arrive from letters. I know they are not; and therefore cannot much Tho' God himself, through countless ages, thee recommend solitude to a man totally illiterate. His sole companion chose to be, But, if any man be so unlearned, as to want en- Thee, sacred Solitude, alone, tertainment of the little intervals of accidental Before the branchy head of number's tree solitude, which frequently occur in almost all Sprang from the trunk of one. conditions (except the very meanest of the people, who have business enough in the necessary Thou (tho' men think thine an unactive part) provisions for life), it is truly a great shame both Dost, break and time th' unruly heart, to his parents and himself; for a very small por- Which else would know no settled pace, tion of any ingenious art will stop up all those Making it move, well-manag'd by thy art, gaps of our time: either music, or painting, or With swiftness and with grace. designing, or chymistry, or history, or gardening, or twenty other things, will do it usefully and Thou the faint beams of reason's scatter'd light pleasantly; and if he happen to set his affections
Dost, like a burning-glass, unite; upon poetry (which I do not advise him too im
Dost multiply the feeble heat, moderately), that will over-do it; no wood will And fortify the strength, till thou dost bright be thick enough to hide him from the importuni- And noble fires beget. ties of company or business, wbich would abstract him from his beloved.
Whilst this hard truth I teach, methinks, I see
The monster London laugh at me; - O qui me gelidis in vallibus Hæmi
I should at thee too, foolish city! Sistat, & ingeuti ramorun protegat umbrâ5 ? If it were fit to laugh at misery;
But thy estate I pity.
Let but thy wicked men from out thee go,
And all the fools that crowd thee so,
Even thou who dost thy millions boast, And for their quiet nests and plenteous food
A village less than Islington wilt grow,
A solitude almost.
Nam neque divitibus contingunt gaudia solis ; Here Nature does a house for me erect,
Nec vixit malè, qui natus moriensque fefel. Nature the wisest architect,
lit 6. Who those food artists does despise
God made not pleasures only for the rich; That can the fair and living trees neglect ;
Nor have those men without their share too liv'd, Yet the dead timber prize.
Who both in life and death the world deceiv'd. Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying, This seems a strange sentence, thus literally Hear the soft winds, above me flying, translated, and looks as if it were in vindication of
the men of business (for who else can deceive the "O vita, misero longa, felici brevis !" S Virg. Georg. ii. 489.
• Hor. 1 Ep. xvii. %.
world?); whereas it is in commendation of those that time, with his friend Metrodorus: after who live and die so obscurely, that the world whose death, making in one of his letters a kind takes no notice of them. This Horace calls commemoration of the happiness which they two deceiving the world; and in another place uses had enjoyed together, he adds at last, that he the same phraser,
thought it no disparagement to those great fe.
licities of their life, that, in the midst of the Secretum iter & fallentis semita vitæ. most talked-of and talking country in the world, The secret tracts of the deceiving life.
they had lived so long, not only without fame,
but almost without being heard of. And yet, It is very elegant in Latin, but our English within a very few years afterward, there were word will hardly bear up to that sense; and no two names of men more known, or more getherefore Mr. Broom translates it very well- nerally celebrated. If we engage into a large
acquaintance and varions familiarities, we set Or from a life led, as it were, by stealth. open our gates to the invaders of most of our
time: we expose our life to a quotidian ague of Yet we say in our language, a thing deceives our frigid impertinences, which would make a wise sight, when it passes before us unperceived; man tremble to think of. Now, as for being and we may say well enough, out of the same known much by sight, and pointed at, I cannot author,
comprehend the honour that lies in that; what
socver it be, every mountebank has it more Sometimes with sleep, sometimes with wine, than the best doctor, and the hangman more we strive
than the lord chief justice of a city. Every The cares of life and troubles to deceive. creature has it, both of nature and art, if it be
any ways extraordinary. It was as often said, But that is not to deceive the world, but to de- “This is that Bucephalus,” or, “ This is that ceive ourselves, as Quintilian says), vitam Incitatus,” when they were led prancing through fallere, to draw on still, and amuse, and de- the streets, as, “This is that Alexander," or, ceive, our life, till it be advanced insensibly to “ This is that Domitian;" and truly, for the the fatal period, and fall into that pit which latter, I take Incitatus to have been a much more nature hath prepared for it. The meaning of all honourable beast than his master, and more this is no more than that most vulgar saying, deserving the consulship, than he the empire. Bene qui latuit, bene vixit, He has lived I love and commend a true good-fame, bewell, who has lain well hidden; which, if it be cause it is the shadow of virtue: not that it a truth, the world (I will swear) is sufficiently doth any good to the body which it accompanies, deceived : for my part, I think it is, and that but it is an efficacious shadow, and, like that of the pleasantest condition of life is, in incognito. St. Peter, cures the diseases of others. The best What a brave privilege is it, to be free from all kind of glory, no doubt, is that which is reflected contentions, from all envying or being envyed, from honesty, such as was the glory of Cato and from receiving and from paying all kind of ce- Aristides; but it was harmful to them both, and remonies! It is, in my mind, a very delightful is seldom beneficial to any man, whilst he lives; pastime, for two good and agreeable friends to what it is to him after his death, I cannot say, travel up and down together, in places where because I love not philosophy merely notionaland they are by nobody known, nor know any body. conjectural, and no man who has made the experiIt was the case of Æneas and his Achates, when ment has been so kind as to come back to inform they walked invisibly about the fields and l'pon the whole inatter, I account a person streets of Carthage. Venus herself,
who has a inoderate mind and fortune, and lives
in the conversation of two or three agreeablo A vail of thicken’d air around them cast, friends, with little commerce in the world besides, That none might know, or see them, as they who is esteemed well enough by his few peighpass'd'
bours that know him, and is truly irreproachable
by any body; and so, after a healthful quiet life, The common story of Demosthenes' confession, before the great inconveniencies of old-age, goes that he had taken great pleasure in hearing of a more silently out of it than he came in (for I would tanker-woman say, as he passed, “ This is that not have bim so much as cry in the exit): this Demosthenes,” is wonderfully ridiculous from innocent deceiver of the world, as Horace calls so solid an orator. I myself have ofteu met him, this muta persona, I take to have been with that temptation to vanity (if it were any); more happy in his part, than the greatest actors but am so far from finding it any pleasure, that that fill the stage with show and noise, nay, it only makes me run faster from the place, even than Augustus himself, who asked, with till I get, as it were, out of sight-shot. Demo- his last breath, whether he had not played his critus relates, and in such a manner as if he farce very well. gloried in the good fortune and commodity of it, that, when he came to Athens, nobody there did so much as take notice of him; and Epicurus lived there very well, that is, lay hid SENECA, EX THYESTE, ACT II. CHOR, many years in his gardens, so famous since
Stet quicumque volet potens, &c. • Hor, 1 Ep. xviii. 103. 8 Sat, vji. 114. Upon the slippery tops of human state, ► Declam, de Apib. Virg. Æn. i. 415. The gilded pinnacles of fate,
Let others proudly stand, and, for a while very nigh to those of a philosopher. There is The giddy danger to beguile,
no other sort of life that affords so many branchWith joy, and with disdain, look down on all, es of praise to a panegyrist: The utility of
Till their heads turn, and down they fall. it to a man's self; the usefulness, or rather Me, O ye gods, on earth, or else so near necessity, of it to all the rest of mankind; the That I no fall to earth may fear,
the pleasure, the antiquity, the And, Oye gods, at a good distance seat
dignity. From the long ruins of the great.
The utility (I mean plainly the lucre of it) Here, wrapt in th' arms of Quiet let me lie; is not so great, now in our nation, as arises Quiet, companion of Obscurity!
from merchandise and the trading of the city, Here let my life with as much silence slide, from whence many of the best estates and chief
As time, that measures it, does glide, honours of the kingdom are derived: we have Nor let the breath of infamy, or fame,
no men now fetched from the plough to be made From town to town echo about my name.
lords, as they were in Rome to be made conNor let my homely death embroider'd be suls and dictators; the reason of which I conWith scutcheon or with elegy.
ceive to be from an evil custom, now grown as An old plebeian let me die,
strong among us as if it were a law, which is, Alas! all then are such as well as I.
that no men put their children to be bred-up To him, alas, to him, I fear,
apprentices in agriculture, as in other trades, The face of death will terrible appear,
but such Who are so poor, that when they come Who, in his life flattering his senseless pride, to be men, they have not wherewithal to set up By being known to all the world beside,
in it, and so can only farm some small parcel of Does not himself, when he is dying, know, ground, the rent of which devours all but the Nor what he is, nor whither he 's to go.
bare subsistence of the tenant: whilst they who are proprietors of the land are either too proud,
or, for want of that kind of education, too igIV.
norant, to improve their estates, though the
means of doing it be as easy and certain in this, OF AGRICULTURE.
as in any other track of commerce. If there
were always two or three thousand youths, for The first wish of Virgil (as you will find anon seven or eight years, bound to this profession, by his verses) was to be a good philosopher; that they might learn the whole art of it, and the second, a good husbandman: and God afterwards be enabled to be masters in it, by a (whom he seemed to understand better than moderate stock; I cannot doubt but that we most of the most learned heathens) dealt with should see as many aldermen's estates made in him, just as he did with Solomon; because he the country, as now we do out of all kind of prayed for wisdom in the first place, he added merchandizing in the city. There are as many all things else, which were subordinately to be ways to be rich, and, which is better, there is desired. He made him one of the best philo- no possibility to be poor, without such neglisophers, and best husbandmen; and, to adorn gence as can neither have excuse nor pity : for and communicate both those faculties, the best
a little ground will without question feed a little poet: he made him, besides all this, a rich man, family, and the superfluities of life (which are and a man who desired to be no richer
now in some cases by custom made almost ne
cessary) must be supplied out of the superO fortunatus nimium, & bona qui sua novit !
abundance of art and industry, or contemned by
as great a degree of philosophy. To be a husbandman, is but a retreat from the As for the necessity of this art, it is evident city; to be a philosopher, from the world; or enough, since this can live without all others, rather, a retreat from the world, as it is man's, and no one other without this. This is like into the world, as it is God's.
speech, without which the society of men canBut, since nature denies to most men the not be preserved: the others like figures and capacity or appetite, and fortune allows but to tropes of speech, which serve only to adorn it. a very few the opportunities or possibility, of Many nations have lived, and some do still, applying themselves wholly to philosophy, the without any art but this : not so elegantly, i best mixture of human affairs that we can make, confess, but still they live ; and almost all the are the employments of a country life. It is, other arts, which are here practised, are beas Columella ? calls it, Res sine dubitatione holden to this for most of their materials. prozima, & quasi consanguinea sapientiæ, the The innocence of this life is the next thing nearest neighbour, or rather next in kindred, to for which I commend it; and if husbandmen philosophy. Varro says, the principles of it are preserve not that, they are much to blame, for the same which Ennius made to be the principles no men are so free from the temptations of ini. of all nature, Earth, Water, Air, and the Sun. It quity. They live by what they can get by indoes certainly comprehend more parts of phi. dustry from the earth; and others, by what losophy, than any one profession, art, or science, they can catch by craft from men. 'They live in the world besides : and therefore Cicero says), upon an estate given them by their mother; and the pleasures of a husbandman, mihi ad sa- others, upon an estate cheated from their brepientis vitam proxime videntur accedere, come thren. They live, like sheep and kine, by the
allowances of nature : and others, like wolves : Lib. I. c. is 3 De Sencet. and foxes, by the acquisitions of rapine. And
I hope, I may affirm (witnout any offence to the | they were made, and to which they must regreat) that sheep and kine are very useful, and turn, and pay at last for their sustenance. that wolves and fuxes are pernicious creatures. Behold the original and primitive nobility of They are, without dispute, of all men the most all those great persons, who are too proud now, quiet, and least apt to be inflamed to the dis- not only to till the ground, but almost to tread turbance of the commonwealth; their manner
We may talk what we please of lilies, of life inclines them, and interest binds them, to and lions rampant, and spread eagles, in fields Jove peace ; in our late mad and miserable d'or or d'argent; but, if heraldry were guided civil wars, all other trades, eren to the meanest, by reason, a plough in a field arable would be set forth whole troops, and raised up some great the most noble and ancient arms. commanders, who became famous and mighty All these considerations make me fall into the for the mischiefs they had done : but I do not wonder and complaint of Columella, how it remember the name of any one husbandman, should come to pass that all arts or sciences who had so considerable a share in the twenty (for the dispute, which is an art, and which a years ruin of his country, as to deserve the science, does not belong to the curiosity of us curses of his countryinen.
husbandmen) metaphysic, physic, morality, And if great delights be joined with so much mathematics, logic, rhetoric, &c. which are innocence, I think it is ill done of men, not to all, I grant, good and useful faculties, (except take them here, where they are so tame, and only metaphysic, which I do not know whether ready at hand, rather than hunt for them in it be any thing or no) but even vaulting, fence courts and cities, where they are so wild, and the ing, dancing, attiring, cookery, carring, and chase so troublesome and dangerous.
such-like vanities, should all have public schools We are here among the vast and noble scenes and masters; and yet that we should never see of nature; we are there among the pitiful shifts or hear of any man, who took upon him the of policy ; we walk here in the light and open profession of teaching this so pleasant, so virtuways of the divine bounty; we grope there in ous, so profitable, so hunourable, so necessary the dark and confused labyrinths of human malice: our senses are here feasted with the clear A man would think, when he is in serious buand genuine taste of their objects; which are all mour, that it were but a vain, irrational, and sophisticated there, and for the most part over- ridiculous thing for a great company of men whelmed with their contraries. Here pleasure and women to run up and down in a room tolooks, metbinks, like a beautiful, constant, and gether, in a hundred several postures and figures, modest wife; it is there an impudent, fickle, to no purpose, and with no design; and thereand painted harlot. Here is harmless and fore dancing was invented first, and only pracheap plenty; there guilty and expenceful lux- tise:l anciently, in the ceremonies of the hea
then religion, which consisted all in mommery 1 shall only instance in one delight more, the and madness: the latter being the chief g'ory most natural and best-natured of all others, a of the worship, and accounted divine inspiration : perpetual companion of the husbandman; and this, I say, a severe man would think ; though that is, the satisfaction of looking round about I dare not determine so far against so customhim, and seeing nothing but the effects and im- ary a part, now, of good-breeding. And yet, provements of his own art and diligence; to be who is there ainong our gentry, that does not always gathering of some fruits of it, and at the entertain a dancing-master for his children, as same time to behold others ripening, and others soon as they are abie to walk? But, did erer budding: to see all his fields and gardens co- any father provide a tutor for his son, to invered with the beauteous creatures of his own struct him betimes in the nature and improveindustry; and to see, like God, that all his ments of that land which he intended to leave works are good :
him? That is at least a superfluity, and this a
defect, in our manner of education: and there. -Hinc atque hinc glomerantur Oreades; fore I could wish (but cannot in these times much ipsi
hope to see it) that one college in each univerAgricolæ tacitum pertentant gaudia pectus 4. sity were erected, and appropriated to this
study, as well as there are to medicine and the On his heart-strings a secret joy does strike. civil law: there would be no need of making a
body of scholars and fellous, with certain enThe antiquity of his art is certainly not to be dowments, as in other colleges; it would sufcontested by any other. The thiee first men infice, if, after the manner of balls in Oxford, the world, were a gardener, a ploughman, and there were only four professors constituted (fur a grazier; and if any man object that the second it would be too much work for only ope master, of these was a murtherer, I desire he would con- or principal, as they call him there) to teach sider, that as soon as he was so, he quited our these four parts of it: First, Aration, and all profession, anci turned builder. It is for this things relating to it. Secondly, Pastuiage. reason, I suppose, that Ecclesiasticus s forbids Thirdly, Gardens, Orchards, Vineyai-ls, and us to hate husbandry; “ because,” says he, Woods. Fourthly, all parts of Rural Deco“ the Most High has created it." We are all nomy; which would contain the government born to this art, and taught by nature to nou- of Bees, Swine, Poultry, Decoys, Ponds, &c. rish our bodies by the same earth out of which and all that which Varro calls villaticas pas
tiones, together with the sports of the field . Virg. Æn, i. 504, &c. $ Chap. vii. 15. (which ought to be looked upon not pnly as
pleasures, but as parts of house-keeping), and extant (if Homer, as some think, preceded him, the domestical conservation and uses of all that but I rather believe they were contemporaries); is brought in by industry abroad. The business and he is the first writer too of the art of husof these professors should not be, as is com- bandry: “ he has contributed (says Columella) monly practised in other arts, only to read not a little to our profession;" I suppose, he pompous and superficial lectures, out of Virgil's means not a little honour, for the matter of his Georgics, Pliny, Varro, or Columella; but to instructions is not very important; his great aninstruct their pupils in the whole method and tiquity is visible through the gravity and simplicourse of this study, which might be run through city of his stile. The most acute of all his sayperhaps with diligence in a year or two; and the ings concerns our purpose very much, and is continual succession of scholars, upon a moderate couched in the reverend obscurity of an oracle taxation for their diet, lodging, and learning, Inbev ni pulou wavlès, The half is more than the would be a sufficient constant revenue for main- whole. The occasion of the speech is this; his tenance of the house and the professors, who brother Perseus had, by corrupting some great should be men not chosen for the ostentation of men, (Barthéaş dozopájos, great bribe-eaters he critical literature, but for solid and experimental calls them) gotten from him the half of his knowledge of the things they teach; such men, estate. It is no matter (says he); they have so industrious and public-spirited, as I conceive not done me so much prejudice as they imagine : Mr. Hartlib 6 to be, if the gentleman be yet alive; but it is needless to speak further of my
Νήπιοι, εδ' ήσασιν, κ. τ. λ. thoughts of this design, unless the present disposition of the age allowed more probability of Unhappy they, to whom God has not reveald, bringing it into execution. What I have further By a strong light which must their sense conto say of the country life, shall be borrowed from trole, the poets, who were always the most faithful That half a great estate's more than the whole: and atfectionate friends to it. Poetry was born Unhappy, from whom still conceal'd does lie among the shepherds.
Of roots and herbs the wholesome luxury. Nescio quâ natale solum dulcedine Musas
This I conceive to have been honest Hesiod's Ducit & immemores non finit esse sui 7. meaning. From Homer we must not expect
much concerning our affairs. He was blind, and The Muses still love their own native place; could neither work in the country, nor enjoy the 'T has secret charms, which nothing can deface. pleasures of it; his helpless poverty was likeliest
to be sustajned in the richest places; he was to The truth is, no other place is proper for their delight the Grecians with fine tales of the wars, work; one might as well undertake to dance in and adventures of their ancestors ; his subject a crowd, as to make good verses in the midst of removed him from all commerce with us, and noise and tumult,
yet, methinks, he made a shift to show his good
will a little. For, though he could do us no hoAs well might corn, as verse, in cities grow; nour in the persor of his hero Ulysses (much less In vain the thankless glebe we plough and sow: of Achilles), because his whole time was conAgainst th' unnatural soil in vain we strive; sumed in wars and voyages ; yet he makes his 'Tis not a ground, in which these plants will father Laertes a gardener all that while,and seeko thrive.
ing his consolation for the absence of his son in
the pleasure of planting and even dunging his It will bear nothing but the nettles or thorns own grounds. Ye see he did not contemn us of satire, which grow most naturally in the worst peasamts; nay, so far was he from that insolence, earth; and therefore almost all poets, except that he always styles Eumæus, who kept the those who were not able to eat bread without the hogs, with wonderful respect, $iin üçóg box, the bounty of great men, that is, without what they divine swineherd: he could have done no more could get by flattering of them, bave not only for Menelaus or Agamemnon. And Theocritus withdrawn themselves from the vices and vani-(a very ancient poet, but he was one of our own ties of the grand world,
tribe, for he wrote nothing but pastorals) gave
the same epithet to an husbandman,
-αμείβελο δέος αγρότης , into the innocent happiness of a retired life; but the divine husbandman replied to Hercules, who have commended and adorned nothing so much was but for himself. These were civil Greeks, by their ever-living poems. Hesiod was the first and who understood the dignity of our calling ; or second poet in the world that remains yet Among the Romans we have, in the first place,
our truly-divine Virgil, who, though by the faA gentleman, of whom it may be enough to
vour of Mæcenas and Augustus he might have say, that he had the honour to live in the friend- been one of the chief men of Rome, yet chose ship of Mede and Milton. The former of these rather to employ much of his time in the exgreat men addressed some letters to him, and ercise, and much of his immortal wit in the praise ibe latter, his “Tractate on Education.” Hund. and instructions, of a rustic life ; who, though he 7 Orid. 1 Ep. ex Pont, iii. 35. Ovid. Fast. i. 300.
• Idyll. xxv. ver. 51.