Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Montaigne's English JourneyReading the Essays in Shakespeare's Day$

William M. Hamlin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684113.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy). Subscriber: null; date: 08 December 2016

(p.174) Appendix A British Library, Egerton MS 2982, Folios 22r–29v (Transcription)

(p.174) Appendix A British Library, Egerton MS 2982, Folios 22r–29v (Transcription)

Montaigne's English Journey
Oxford University Press

Each chapter title below is followed by a citation which designates the pages within the 1595 Paris edition of the Essais from which the subsequent English translation derives; I rely upon the recent Pléiade text (Paris, 2007) prepared by Jean Balsamo, Michel Magnien, and Catherine Magnien-Simonin. I have retained the many virgules (forward slashes) scattered throughout the translation.

[fol. 22r]

Lib. 2d. Chap. 1 st. / Of the Inconstancy of our Actions. / [M351–8]

Our actions so strangely contradict one another yt wee would think it impossible they should come out of ye same shop. Irresolution is the most common vice of our nature. Nothing is more hard to find yn constancy in mens actions. Wee never thinke of wt wee would have, till iust wee will it, changing as the creature thus takes its colour from ye place where it lyes. / Wee goe not but are carried, as the waters are rough or calme. / A woman threw herselfe out of a window, & after offerd to cut her owne throate to avoyd the force of a soldiour. Yet shee confest hee never used any other violence yn solicitations & presents, but sayd she was afraid hee would; yett was shee a wench willing enough both before & after. When you have fayld of your design doe not presently conclude your mrs chast[e]. A soldiour yt was valiant being sick, when hee was recovered provd a coward. Another soldiour being robd by ye enemy, chasyd bravely on him for revenge, but after being well recruited, & put on a dangerous assau[l]t refusd saying send some poore stript soldiour. / Either choller, or necessity, or company, or wine, or ye sound of a trumpet, may give a man courage at some time which hee shall not have at another. Wee have al contrarieties in ourselves, by turnes not only in our actions & affections, but our iudgements too. / Sometimes even vice it selfe makes us doe good. Therefore a man ought not to bee concluded from one action, it may bee a sally of vertue & no habit, & yn ye action (p.175) is commendable, not ye man. / Vertue cannot bee followd but for it selfe. If occurrences make a man change his pace, hee goes as the wind blowes. No wonder if chance have so much power on us, since wee live by chance. / If wee designe not the sum of our life to somewt, how should wee guide ye parts of it? No winde serves his turne yt designes no port. Wee are made up of diverse peeces. And yre is as much difference betweene us & ourselves, as betweene us & others. / Tis no act of settled understanding to iudge others by yr outward actions. Wee must search & probe wthin by wt resorts such and such a thing is acted. /

Lib. 2d. Chap. 2 d. / Of Drunkenness. / [M358–67]

Are [i.e., Our] vices are equally but not equall, vices. The confusion of order & measure in sins is dangerous. / Every one is heavy in anothers fault & light handed in his owne. / Some vices have somewt sprightly & generous in ym. Some have somewt of knowledge, industry, courage, readyness &c, but drunkeness is earthly and corporal, brutal. Others change the mind this stains ye body. [fol. 22v] As the moust [i.e., must-wine] in the vessel boyling forces up for wt is in the bottome, so wine out of measure makes one discover hidden secrets. / Yet not alwayes witness Piso & Cossus. A woman neere Bourdeux of a chast[e] reputation, being wth childe shee knew not how, & promiseing pardon to whomsoever would confess the fact, & perhapse marriage, a young labouring youth of hers confessed yt finding her after a great feast drunk & asleepe in an indecent posture, hee had the use of her wthout ever wakening her. & yreupon shee marryd him. / Yett has this vice bin countenanced by Philosophers & Phisithians [i.e., Physicians], and practized in most regular governments. And in truth though it bee a stupid thing, yet tis less malitious & harmefull to publike society then many other vices. & it costs ye conscience less yn others. / Niceness in tast of wines should bee avoyded. Hee yt uses him selfe to delicate wines, will bee offended when yrs a necessity of drinking worse. / Hee yt will take pleasure in drinking must use a large proportion in ordinary, & take all occasions of drinkeing, as travellers doe. The custome of often eating in France was proper for it, but yts now declined not out of vertue, but in favor of whoreing. / Those two being hinderers of one another. / Some say natural heate begins first in the feete, then comes to the middle region, and last ascends (as vapours use to doe) and settles in ye throat. Yet I can’t apprehend wt pleasure is in drinking beyond thirst. / Platon denyd wine till 18 yeeres, & allowed drunkenness after 40. / It gives proofe of every ones nature. But denyd it upon an expedition of warr: & to Judges upon executing yr charge, and to others in ye day, or on those (p.176) nights they intend to gett children. / Stilpon overgrowne wth age, to hasten his end purposely drank pure wine. / A wise man should not bee overcome with wine. The best governd & perfectest soule has enough to keepe it selfe upright. & thousands are not well poised one instant of yr lives. An Apoplexy will stun Socrates as well as a porter, and a wise man is stil a man, & has his natural condicions, wch hee may bridle only. Those expressions wee have from martyrs &c are the heights of a courage transported beyond its proper station: they are not settled tempers; but furious raptures. The soule in such cases takes the bridle in the teeth, & runns out of it selfe, so as tis after recollection astonished at its owne actions. / As Poets are at yr owne fancys. Wisedome is a regular management of our soule. Prophesysing is above us, & wee must bee out of our selves when wee exercise it. / [fol. 23r]

Lib. 2d. Chap. 3 d. / Of the Custome of ye Isle of Cea. / [M368–81]

Damedus sayd wt can those suffer yt feare not death? Agis being asked how a man might live free, sayd, by despising death. There are many accidents in life worse to endure yn Death itselfe. / A Lacedemonian youth sold for a slave & pressed by his mr [i.e., master] to doe some abiect service, I scorne (says hee) to serve haveing liberty in my power & so leapt of[f] the topp of a house. / A wise man lives (tis sd) as long as hee ought, not as long as hee can. / Wee may want ground to live, not to die, on. / Tis ones owne fault if hee live in payne. / Our life depends on ye will of others, our death of our selves. / Many thinke God gives us a passport when hee has put us in a condicion yt to live is worse yn death. But others say wee must not give up ye fort wthout his order yt putt us in it. / & yt wee are not borne for our selves only but for gods glory and our Countrys good. / Tis indiscretion & impatience yt makes us hasten our pace. Tis cowardise & not vertue to hide a mans selfe in a tombe agst the stroakes of fortune. / The feare of death, makes some fly to it, as some doe at sight of a precipice. / No creature but man hates & despises it selfe. / Our being is all in all to us. Tis booteless to avoyd paine when wee cannot enioy rest. / The Milisean virgins would hang one another, till a law was made yt all such should bee dragd naked about ye streets. / Cleomenes sayd yt was a receipt a man could never want, therefore not to bee usd as long as yr was any hope, and yre being so many suddayne changes in our lives, none can tell when hee is past all hopes. / But says Seneca, why should I rather consider, yt fortune can doe any thing for a man as long as hee lives, rather then yt fortune can doe nothing against a man yt knows how to dye? / Mour d (p.177) Anguin at Seresolles thinking ye day lost attempted twice to kill him selfe, though the victory after proved of his side. / When Gosa was taken by the Turkes, a Silician [i.e., Sicilian] killd his 2 daughters & yn his wife & after rushed in among the Turkes wth his sword in hand to bee killed himselfe. / Scribonia sayd to Libo it was to doe service to his enemys to keepe his life for ym to make a quarree of. / The violating of chastity may bee best iustifyd to bee avoyded by a voluntary death, because it prevents the mixing to ye conscience. For there is so much corporal pleasure mixed wth it, yt yr cannot hardly bee a force wthout some mixture of consent. / A woman at Tolouse haveing bin ravished by diverse soldiours thanked God yt once in her life, shee had had her fill of pleasure wthout sin. / [fol. 23v] Vibius Virrius being in Capua ready to bee taken by the Enemy, wth 27 senators tooke poysions after a great feast, & so expired. / Tourea Iubellius at the same time, Fulvius ye consul having bucherd 225 Senatours, & being interdicted to kill anymore, kild him selfe. / A Towne of the Indies beseidged by Alexander burnt themselves & ye whole towne. / Astapa in Spayne, was beseidgd by the Romans, they brought all yr wealth in a heape yr wives & children on ye top of it, appointed 50 to sett fyre, on ym & the heape, & yn to kill ymselves, & all ye rest searched yr death by a sally upon the Enemy. / The Abydeens did the same beseidged by Philip. / Tis a less matter yt whole townes should doe this, yn single persons, for the zeale of ioyning wth the company surprises their judgmts. In Tiberius his time those yt kild themselves had buryal, & their disposal of yr goods by will was vallu[e]d, whereas both were denyd to condemnd persons. / Aunciently in Marseilles poyson was allowd at ye publike charge for any to make ymselves away who first made yr cause know[n], & were allowd by ye Senate. / A woman in the Isle of Cea, haveing livd to 90 yeeres of age in a happy estate of body & minde, solemnly calling her children about her, disposeing of her estate & giveing them good councell, least shee might tast of ill fortune by liveing too long, poysond herselfe.

Lib. 2d. Chap. 4 th. / To morrow for busuness. / [M382–4]

Rusticus in the Roman Senate in serious busuness received letters from the Emperour, & forboure to open them till the busuness was all done. In this says Plutarch his singular gravity was commendable, & his civility, but I thinke not his prudence / for the differring [i.e., deferring] to reade ym might have bin very pr eiudicial. I have knowne some so careless to carry letters they have receivd 3 or 4 dayes in yr pocket unopend. / If Julius Caesar had pr esently reade a noate was delivered his [i.e., him] as hee went (p.178) to the Senate he had saved himselfe. / Archyas of Thebes receivd a letter at supper contayning an advertisemt of his designed death, wch he layd aside saying, to morrow for busuness, & so was kild next day. / A wise man may (as Rusticus did) defer readeing his newes, for civility to ye company or not to interrupt a serious busuness, but not for his particular interest or pleasure, [fol. 24r] as not to interrupt his dinner or sleepe, especially if hee bee a publick person. /

Lib. 2d. Chap. 5. / Of Conscience / [M384–8]

There is a marveilous force of conscience discovering accuseing and contesting wth ourselves. Bessus a Paeonean reprovd for haveing destroyd a birds neast, sayd hee had reason, for those birds did nothing but falsely accuse him of his fathers murther, wherein hee was discoverd to have done ye murther till then not knowne. / As an ill conscience fills one wth feare so a good conscience does wth confidence. As Scipio accusd in the Senate of some important matter: Twill well become you, says hee, to undertake to iudge of his life, by whose meanes you have power to iudge ye whole world. / Another time being accusd by a Tribun[e] instead of pleading his cause: come, says hee, letts goe to thanke ye gods for the victory they gave mee agst ye Carthagi[ni]ans in such a day as this, & so they all followd him to the Temple. / Another time being cald to an account for soms [i.e., sums] spent at Antioch, hee produced a booke wherein hee sayd were entred all the rece[i]pts & expences of yt busuness. But being demanded to deliver ym to the notary hee tore it in peeces in ye Senate saying hee would not doe himselfe that dishonour. / Hee had says Livy, too great a heart to bee criminal, or to debase him selfe to defend his innocence. / The rack is a dangerous thing, rather a tryal of patience yn truth. / If hee yt has not done ye fact hee is accusd of, has patience to endure the torment, why should not hee yt has done it, have so, wn hee saves his life by it. / I thinke ye use of it was first taken from consideration of the effect of conscience, wch in such case will weaken the guilty & strengthen ye innocent. / A man had rather dye wthout cause, yn endure such torments worse yn death. /

Lib. 2. Chap. 6. / Of usage & Practize / [M388–99]

Discourse & rules are hardly enough to fit us for action without practize. Therefore many wise men have put ymselves to the tryal of difficultys before hand. / But in the action of death wee can not eniure [i.e., inure] (p.179) ourselves before hand because wee can dy but once. / Some in the act of death have tryed wth the greatest intention of spirit to tast wt it is in ye passage from life to death. / Canius Julius being condemnd to dy, being asked wt his soule was busued [i.e., busied] about at ye point of execution, says hee I am observeing wth all attention if I can perceive the very passage of the soule out of the body. & if I doe I will after give my friends notice if I can. / [fol. 24v] Yett meethinkes wee may have wayes of being acquainted wth, and trying death in some measure; wee may discover the avenues though not the tast it selfe. / Our sleepes are a resemblance of death. How familiarly doe wee pass from wakeing to sleepe. Wch would seeme to bee unprofitable were it not to instruct us by practize of yt, not to feare death. / But those yt have sounding [i.e., swooning] fitts have more neerely a tast of deaths true visage. Tis ye approaches of death, & not the passage itselfe, wch bring trouble & displeasure, and those wee may tast in soundings. / Most things are greater to our Imagination yn in truth. If I bee in a warme howse in a stormy wett night I am troubled for those yt are in ye champagne: If I bee there myselfe I am not troubled at all. / The fancy of being confind to ones chamber a weeke or two is troublesome, but wee can confine ourselves there a month together wthout trouble. / So of sickness. I hope it will prove so of death too. / My selfe being once in a long swoune by a fall from a horse, after I began to come to myselfe, my soule & spirits being as weake as my body, I thought my life was ev’n at my lipps, & wth this apprehension shut my eyes to helpe forward my departure as I thought, so far from paine or trouble yt mee thought I had iust ye same pleasure as if I were falling asleepe / wch I conceive to bee ye same condicion men are in at the point of death. / I beleive yt when [we] see great commotions & distortions of body by the pangs of death, the body & the soule are both buryed in sleepe wthout acute payne / nor can think ye soule has in such a stunning of the bodyly sences any discoursive apprehensions tormenting it. / I fancy no condicion so horrid as those whose soule is exquisitely & to ye quick afflicted wthout meanes of discovering it. / As prisoners yt are tormented by soldiours to force ym to a ransome. / The abrupt answers or expressions wee have from such people are like those a man will give as hee is halfe asleepe to those yt talke to him. There are many motions in us wch proceed not from our ordering, but a natural impulsion, as one yts falling throws out his armes. Our members doe natural offices wthout discourse. The muscles will open & remove after one is dead. / To talke of a mans selfe is a vayne thing, unless a man draw thence instruction to him selfe, for every man says Pliny, is to him selfe ye best discipline; if hee have ability neerely to discover it. This is not my doctrine but my study. And yt wch is serviceable to mee by communication may perhapse bee serviceable to another. To speake of ones selfe is vitious when (p.180) tis mixt wth ostentation. / Yett the holyest & wisest men have not contayned themselves therein. Wee speake of ourselves to God & our confessor, and though wee speake our faults by way of accusation [fol. 25r] wee speake all our vertues too, since all our vertues are faulty. / Youl [i.e., you’ll] say a man should give testimony of him selfe by effects & not by words. But I express principally my thoughts, for many wise & holy people have lived without any apparent effects; & those are rather of fortune yn mee. / I write not my actions, but my selfe. A man should bee prudent to iudge & conscientious to testify of himselfe. / To speake less then truth of ones selfe is folly laziness & cowardise, not modesty. / To say more then ye truth is not alwayes presumption, but may bee folly, & an indiscreet Love and complacence in himselfe. / Pride lyes in our thoughts & therefore they should as well forbid us to thinke of ourselves. This excess happens only to those yt tast ymselves superficially. If hee thinke of his imperfect qualitys also, no particular good quality will make one proud. / Socrates from his role of knowing him selfe came to despise himselfe & yrfore was accounted wise. Hee yt so knows him selfe may boldly speake him selfe to others. /

Lib. 2d. Chap. 7th. / Of the Recompence of Honour. / [M399–403]

Augustus in his military discipline was liberall in gift, but sparing in recompences of honour to those yt deserved. / It has bin an excellent policy to establish markes & distinctions of honour wch cost nothing. / And people of quality have more iealousy of those recompences then of their gaine & profit. & wth good reason because yt mixture abates the honour. / Such was the order of St Michael, to wch ye Grandees pretended to more then ye greatest offices & Estates. / Those rewards of profit are more mercenary, & are applyd to vice as well as vertues. Honour is a priviledge yt takes its principal essence from its rarity. / As it is of vertue it selfe. Wch by being ordinary & common to all or most is less esteemed. The way to lessen honours is to make them cheape & common / though they ought not to bee despised for yt if conferd on worthy persons. For no vertue is so spreading as military valour. / This order formerly was not barely the reward of valour, but of great Captaynes only. Tis better to forbeare a reward of honour where tis merited, yn by makeing it too common to draw it into disesteeme, as our order now is / wch the less meriting persons will now despise, by yr rangeing themselves mongst those yt seeme to have wrong by the makeing of yt honour common. / The setting up of a new order is not seasonable in thiese times yt are so licencious yt it cannot bee kept wthin strict rules. Besides a new order cannot bee of credit till ye old bee forgot. / No (p.181) nation more is valewd by yr military vertue then the French. It beeing the marke & character of yr nobless. / Even as the [fol. 25v] passionate affection wee have to chastity in woman, makes us to express a chast[e] woman say shee is a woman of honour. As if wee neglected other vertues & dispenced wth them in yt sexe, so as they kept yt strictly. /

Lib. 2d. Chap. 8th. / Of the affection of Parents to yr Children / [M403–24]

Next to the love of ourselves, & our owne conservacion is the love of every creature to what hee begetts. / & that because wee dearely esteeme our being, wch consists in motion & action, & therefore everyone is in some manner in his worke. & those things are most esteemed wch cost us most. & it costs more to give yn to receive. / And because wee are not like beasts servilely bound to the Lawes of nature but use our discourse, our inclinations ought to bee guided by reason. / I wonder how men can so fondly love children new borne. A well governd affection ought to grow wth the knowledge the obiect gives of itselfe. / It often happens parents love yr infant children more then when they are growne up, & indulge more liberally to ym / wch comes from a iealousy & regret yt they tread upon our heeles. Tis a cruel iniustice not to allow our children share of our estates, & not to cast off part of our owne expence to provide for them, since they were got for yt purpose. / To leave ym to shift for ym selves, keepeing all our estate in a corner from ym when wee are halfe dead and cannot make use of it, makes ym loose the prime of yr time, & take to ill courses, of wch they cannot after bee broaken / as some to theeveing through yr parents streight hand to ym. / One being used to it, would after hee came to his estate steale things out of shops though hee after sent to pay for ym. / Some parents say they doe it to keepe yr famyly in awe & to attract a respect. / But this is a cure of a disease wch should bee prevented in ye 1st growth. / Hee is an unfortunate parent that has no other tye upon his childrens affections but the need they have of him. / No age is so weake & troublesome, of one who has spent him [i.e., his] time wth honour, but is venerable / especially to his children whose mindes hee should governe by reason & not force or necessity. If hee would breed ym to honour & liberty. / Rigour & constraint is servile. Chastisement to children is better by soft words yn rough blowes. / Especially to males, borne to a more free condicion. Yr hearts should grow wth ingenuity & freedome. / Rods make ym but more base—and malitiously opiniastre. Tis best not to marry so young yt ones childrens age bee confounded wth ones owne / especially the nobless. For where they live (p.182) on yr labour, the number of children, manages the famyly & increases yr riches. / Aristotle says at 35. Plato not till 30. / Tis good to preserve chastity in youth, for the copulation wth women softens & diverts mens courages. / In some parts of the Indyes the men marry not till 40, & the women at 10. / Tis not good to have a son a man when himselfe is in strength to attend the warrs or the Court, but when hee is weake and unhealthy tis season- [fol. 26r] able to undress him selfe not to his shirt but to his warme night gowne. & bestow the rest of pompe to his issue. Tis seasonable to uncloath our selves when our cloaths load us, & to ly downe when our lims are weake & weary. / The want of yt discretion has lost ye reputation of many eminent men / old mens customes & courses are not agreable to young therefore tis not amiss for such not only to leave the pomps & troubles of the world to yr children, but withdraw from yr society. / Not to put all out of yr owne power, but so as to bee able to reassume it againe; to practise his children to manage affayres & controle ym when hee sees cause / to instruct & advise ym by his experience & way [i.e., weigh] ym in the convenient order & governance of his famyly. / Not to withdraw totally from yr company but for yr owne ease / otherwise to reioyce in yr cheerefullness & iollitys [i.e., jollities]. & when hee retreates lett it not bee farr of[f]: it may bee in a part of the same howse though not the most specious at least ye most commodious. / I would by a sweet conversation gaine my childrens friendship & good will. I would my children cal mee father, & not as the custom is some other more strange name for reverence. / Nor would I keepe ym in feare & at a distance when they are growne up. This renders parents not only grevious but ridiculous to yr children. / Yr age & weakness being accompanyd wth so many defects. / That if hee governe not by Love, all are sett to blind his Eyes & deceive him. / Their wives especially are apt to contradict ym. & the 1st excuse the [i.e., they] take from his weakness serves after for a plenary iustification. Usurping upon [him] craftyly or violently, under pretence of providing for children. And if they have nor wife nor children, servants will doe the like. And though I cannot discover yt I am cozend (as decrepit old age has yt benefit of not discovering the tricks are put on it) I may at least see yt I am cozenable. The best way is therefore not to cozen myselfe; and the remedy against such cheats is not best by an unquiet curiosity, but a resolved divertion. / Mareschal Monluc upon the death of his son, bemoand himselfe, yt hee had never made himselfe familiar wth him, but held him at a tyrannick distance, thereby robbing one another of yr mutual conversation. Theres no greater comfort in the loss of a deare friend, then ye recollection to have mayntaynd wth him, a perfect and intyre communication of all things. / The auncient Gaules never were seene in yr parents presence til they were able to beare (p.183) armes. / Another great errour of fathers is not only to barr yr children of participating in the estate during yr lives, but to put it into the power of yr wives after yr deaths. / No strange debt generally brings more ruine to howses then makeing of great Joyntures to wives. / [fol. 26v] Tis an errour to discounsell a man from a rich wife, for feare shee will not bee tractable and submissive. / If they bee unreasonable iniustice will draw ym in, as the honour of vertuous actions will ye good. / And the more rich they are the more free, as the fayrer the more chast[e], out of glory. / Tis well to leave the management to the mothers during the wenage of the children, but not after. Nor then on the contrary to leave the mother to the mercy of the children. / Tis best to follow the course of law in ye place. / The substituteing of heires males for preserving our name is a vaine thing. Or to disinherit a son because hee is dull, or not so quick as another. Tis more iustifiable by reason of some great deformity or vice not to bee amended. / The Legislator in Plato sayd, wee and our Estates belong not to our selves, but to our famylys, past & to come: but yet our estates and famylys more to the publike. Therefore let the laws take care yt any in age or sickness, bee not sollicited by flattery or passion by yr will to wrong the publike or yr famylys. / Seldome have women soveraignty of due over men, unless by nature the mothers iurisdiction. On wch consideracion ye females here are barred from succession to the Crowne. Tis dangerous to leave ym power of determining the succession according yr fancy. For yt ungovernd fancy they have at yr time of being with child, they retayne ever after. Commonly they are most inclined to the weakest, or the youngest yet hanging about yr necks, for want of strength of reason following the meere impressions of nature / wch yett wee see are very feeble, since wee see for a little profit a woman will take her owne child from her breast, to put to it a strange child. & nourish ym up more carefully yn yr owne. / In some parts of France goates give suck to children & will come to them when they cry, & by custome will give no milke to any other child, nor that child take it from any other goate. / Herodotus says in some parts of Lybia the men ly indifferently wth all women, & when the child is first able to goe that man in ye company towards whom hee first bends his pace is accounted his father. / The productions of our minde as actions of courage, or great parts, and Books are their children to wch our soules have a very great affection. Heliodorus, Bishop of Tricea, chose rather to loose his Bishopprick, then his daughter of his braine, the Romance yt beares his name. / Labienus haveing his bookes condemned to the fyre, not endureing to survive this child of his soule, causd himselfe to bee interd alive. / Geruntius Cordus his bookes being condemned to the fire voluntarily starvd him selfe. Lucan died wth some of his verses of the battayle of Pharsalia in his mouth. / [fol. 27r]

(p.184) Lib. 2d. Chap. 9th. / Of the Parthians Armes. / [M424–7]

Tis an ill fashion of our nobless not to weare yr Armes but at the instant of chargeing, & when tis over to unarme ymselves. Wch brings great trouble & disorder. Some nations to avoyd yt charge wthout defensive armes & perhapse on good grounds. For if some bee kild for want of armes as many are lost or hindered by reason of ym / being rather loaded then defended wth ym. / Scipio told a soldiour that brayd of his buckler A Roman soldiour should trust more to his right hand then his left. / Tis nothing but custome makes our armes a burthen to us. Caracalla conducted his army in foot armd cap a peid. The Roman marched chargd wth 60 pound weight. / & Marius his soldiours so charged were oblidgd to march 5 leaugs [i.e., leagues] in 5 howre. / Twas a reproach to a Lacedemonian soldiour bee the weather wt it would to bee seene under covert. The Parthyans, says Marcellinus, had armes quilted of feathers wch yeilded to yr bodys & yett would resist darts. Yr horses strong, coverd wth thick leather & they armd cap a peid wth great plates of iron so artificialy yt at the turning of yr ioynts they yeilded to yr motion / & head peeces al close, but at yr Eyes & nose. Demetrius and Alcinus woare armes of 120 pound. /

Lib. 2d. Chap. 10th. / Of Bookes. / [M427–41]

My designe is to pass ye rest of my life at ease, and not breake my braines for the best knowledge yt may bee. In bookes I search for pleasure by honest divertissment. & in my study not for knowledge but of my selfe wch may instruct mee to live & dy well. If I meete wth any difficultys wch I cannot master after one or two tryals I leave ym. / Too stedfast a convocation and contention of spirits blinds my understand [i.e., understanding], as lookeing on skarlett does the eyes, unless it bee by severall reiterated views, & takeings off of the sight. / If one booke pleases not I take another, & never but when ye tediousness of doeing nothing seises mee. / Of Bookes simply pleasant, & moderne I approve Boccace Rabeleys, & John 2ds kisses. Not Amadis, Ariosto, no nor Ovid. In this freedome of mine, I doe not say the measure of the things, but my sight. / Esope [i.e., Aesop] has several sences. The most accepted sence, wch is most proportiond to ye fable, is but superficial, there is a higher & more lively meaneing in ym, wch is not ordinaryly reacht unto. / Virgil Lucrecius, Catullus, & Horace I take to bee the best Poets, especially Virgils Georgicks, & the 5th booke of AEniads. / I like Lucian [sic; Montaigne gives ‘Lucain’ (M431)] not so much for his stile, as the valew of his judgment & truth of opinions. (p.185) [fol. 27v] Terence is admirable in the grace of the latine tounge for representing to the life the motions of ye soule, & the condicion of our manners. I never reade him but I find some new beauty in him. / Some are offended at compareing Lucretius wth Virgil, but might bee much more at compareing Aristo wth him, as wth others who compare Plautus wth Terence. / The Italian Comoedians of our times clap 3 or 4 arguments of Terence or Plautus, or 5 or 6 tales of Boccace into one of yr Comoedys. Chargeing it wth matter because they distrust the defect of yr graces: wch are so excellent and plentiful in Terence yt wee forget the story. / The auncient Poets avoyd the fantastike Spanish elevations & Petrarchists, & the softer points of our modernes. A good Judge will more admire, the equal politeness, continued sweetness and flourishing beauty of Catullus then the sharpe closes in Martials Epigrams; those move enough wthout pricking: whereas theise mount on horseback because their leggs are weake. / Like dancing masters who because in balls they cannot represent the port of ye nobless, recommend themselves by strange lofty posture. Or as excellent actours abundantly please us wthout extraordinary habits or countenances, when the meaner prentices are fayne to supply our delight wth meald faces & grimazes. Such is the difference betweene the AEneiads & Furioso. / That keepes high on wing, tother hopps from branch to branch. Plutarchs opuscula & Senecas Epistles I like because they handle yr matter unknit together, which does not oblige mee to a long continued paynes, yr points haveing no dependence on one another. / They have ye creame of Philosophy presented plainely & pertinently. Plutarch is more uniforme then Seneca. This armes vertue gainst weakness feare & vitious appetites. Tother disdaignes to stand on his guard. Seneca is fuller of points & sallies; Plutarch of things. That warmes moves and forces more: This contents & guides you better. / Ciceros moral Philosophy serve[s] my turne well enough: but not his way of writeing for his prefaces, definitions, petitions & etymologies take up ye greatest part, whereof ye life is stifled wth ornaments. In an howres readeing, lookeing for substance I find nothing but winde / being not yet come to the point & knot wch I search for, desireing to bee more wise, not more knowing or eloquent. / I love a discourse yt charges presently upon the strongest part of ye doubt. / The other are good for ye schoole ye barr or ye pulpett, where wee may have leisure to sleepe for a quarter of an howre. I would not have one take paynes [fol. 28r] to make mee attentive, such pr eparatives tyre my appetite instead of whetting it. / I conceive Platos dialouges too flagging, & the preparatory interlocutions stiffle his matter, nor doe I perceive the beauty of his languadge. I like the Epistles ad Atticis, conteyning ample instruction of ye affayres of yt time, & discovering his privat humours. For I have a curiosity of Discovering the naked minde and Judgment of my authours. / I had rather know wt (p.186) Brutus sayd to his friends over night in his tent, yn wt hee sayd next morning at the head of his army rather wt hee did in his Cabinet yn wt in the Senate. / I conceive Cicero more yn his knowledge had not much excellence of minde. Hee was a iolly man, as most fat men are, but of a softness & ambitious vanity. / I cannot excuse him for publishing his Poetry. Tis no great imperfection to make il verses, but not to discover how unworthy such were of ye greatness of his name, was. / His Eloquence no doubt was unparrealleld. / Yet Brutus his friend sayd it was broken winded. & some of his time reproved in it his too much curiosity of long cadences at his closes. / I love a shorter cadence yt falls as it were hamstringd. History is my right play. Being pleasant & easy, where a man appears most lively & entyre in the variety & truth of his inward conditions, in gross & retayle, in ye diverse meanes of showeing them, & the accidents yt threaten him. / Those yt write lives I like best, because they are more imployd about yr inward designes yn outward Events. / I am troubled that wee have not 12 Laertius's. That hee is not either more large, or more understood. Being as curious to know the fortuns & lives of those greater teachers of the world, as their positions. / Caesar is excellent not so much for the knowledge of ye history, as for himselfe. Hee has so much perfection and excellence above others. I reade Salust wth more reverence then others, admireing sometimes the grandure of his actions, sometimes the purity & politeness of his langguadge. Wth so much sincerity in his Judgment, speakeing of his Enemys. / That excepting the false colours wth wch hee covers an ill cause, & his fowle ambition, theres nothing to bee sayd against him, but his too spareing languadge of himselfe. / I love either the excellent, or the plaine historian: this mixes nothing of his owne, but carefully & faythfully registers all things, leaveing our Judgments entyre. / Such is Froisard who writes frankly & nakedly, who acknowledges a fault as soone as hee is advertised of it, and gives us the various reports of things: of wch every one is left to make his use. / [fol. 28v] The excellent historian has ability to chuse the best, & draw the likelyst out of several reports; from ye condicion & humour of Princes, to conclude yr Councells, & give ym proper expressions. There is reason theise should Governe our beleifes: but there are but few such. / The middle sort spoyle all. They will churn our meate to our hands, & makeing choyce of wt is worth knowing or not, suppress somewt from us wch were perhapse more worth our knowledge, takeing it as incredible because they understand it not, & perhapse omitting it because they know not how to render it in good Languadge. / Lett them shew yr Eloquence & Judgment, so as they give us leave to iudge after ym & defraud us not of any of ye matter. / Those are only good historys yt are writ by those yt command in ye affayrs, or were principal in yr conduct, or at least yt have had conduct of the like sort. / Such cannot lightly bee faulty, unless (p.187) in a very doubtful occasion. / The Romans were religiously careful in this. / Asinius Pollio observes some misrelations in Caesars history, so hard it is for one to know distinctly the truth of all things done in the same place where hee commanded wthout confronting testimonys and circumstances. / Guiccardin is a diligent hystoryographer rendring the truth of affayres as exactly as any, haveing [been] an Actour in most in an honourable degree / not disguiseing things by hatred, passion or vanity. But his digressions though good & rich, are so large yt they savour of the prattle of schools. And I observe hee never referrs any events or councells to vertue religion or conscience, but to vice or profit. / Wch makes mee thinke yt the corruption of his owne tast, made him so iudge of all others. / Comines's language is sweete & pleasing, of a naked simplicity, pure, free from vanity affection or Envy. Yet more accompanyd wth good zeale & vanity [sic; Montaigne gives ‘verité’ (M441)] yn any exquisite sufficiency. / Hee was rather an Advocate for King Francis agst Charles 5 yn an historian. Who may conceale some secret actions, but things yt al know & wch are drawne from publike effects, is not to bee excusd. /

Lib. 2d. Chap. 11th. / Of Cruelty. / [M442–57]

Vertue is more noble then the mere inclination to goodness. Hee yt with a naturall & easy sweetness can despise an offence does well, but hee yt being touchd to ye quick wth provocation, can by the strength of reason after great conflict master his passion does much better. / The name of vertue pr esupposes difficulty & contradiction. Therefore God is cald iust good strong &c but never vertuous, because al his operations are wthout force. / The Stoicks & Epicureans have many of them held it not enough to have resolution & discourse above the power of fortune, unless wee seeke [fol. 29r] occasions to put it to the proofe / to exercise & keepe yr soules in breath. / Epaminondas refusd to bee rich. Socrates had the curse of a shrew to his wife. Metellus sayd, Twas an easy thing to doe ill, a common thing to doe well, where there was no danger, but where there was danger, to doe well, was the worke of a man of vertue. / I thinke Socrates his perfections deservd no great commendation, because I beleive hee had no strong vitious concupiscence. Vertue marched there triumphant wthout any disturbance. / The brave generous rules of the Epicurians are not only to despise payne but to ioy in it, & bee glad of the occasions. As Cato Junior. / Not for the hope of glory by it, but for the beauty of the action in itselfe. Wch I measure in Cato, teareing his owne entrales undisturbd at his death, according to the condition of his life: such an action perhapse would not have becomed [sic] another but Cato. / If a man dye boldly in (p.188) outward appearance, that has livd a soft life, I shall attribute it from some cause proportionable to his life. Socrates Aristippus, Cato & the like, (if yr were any like ym), made theire difficult vertue of beareing paynes not only constantly but cheerefully, so habitual, yt they were become yr temper and complexion. / The vitious passions wch wee have could not find entrance into ym. / The strength & vigour of yr soules extinguishing & stifling those concupiscences at yr first motion / wch is more excellent then either to hinder the progress of vicious motions, or by a natural facility & goodness to distaste vice. / Wch is rather innocence then vertue, and rather not ill by exemption, yn actually good. / Therefore theise termes of being good & innocent are rather termes of scorne. / Chastity sobriety & temperance may proceed from a naturall weakeness: a constancy in danger, carelessness of death, patience in misfortunes may proceed from want of iudgmt to conceive of those accidents as they are. / The Italians are so subtly appr ehensive of dangers before they come yt they forsee yr pr eventive security. Spaignards & French not till they see or feele it: The Allemans & Swisses not when they doe see & feele it. / Wee see young soldiours through inconsideracion run on hazards wch afterwards they more waryly avoyd. / Therefore in actions of men, wee should consider many circumstances & the men yt produce ym, before wee give ym yr denomination. / I find in myselfe not so much any vertue, as an accidental innocence from my complexion, my parents, my education, or I know not wt. In many things I am more regular in my manners yn my opinions, [fol. 29v] and my concupiscence is less debauched then my reason. / Aristippus, yt deliverd opinions in favour of pleasure & wealth to the scandal of ye Philosophers, being offerd 3 han[d]some wenches by Dionisius ye tyrant to make choyce of, sent ym al back wthout touching ym, & his servant complayning of ye weight of some money hee carryd for his mr [i.e., master], hee bid him throw away so much as troubled him. / Epicurus, whose positions are irreligious and delicate, lived himselfe very devoutly & paynfully & fed on bread & water, & cheese when hee would exceed. / The Stoicks say when a man does a good worke hee does it by all ye vertues at once; if they wil thence argue yt when a man is faulty, hee is faulty in all vices at once, (by resemblance of ye actions of the body, where the action of choller makes use of all the humours, though yt more predominant). I am of another minde. A wise & a iust man may bee intemperate. / Socrates was naturaly inclined to vice. Stilpo to wine & women. / On ye contrary I what ever I have of good is from my nature, not law or pr ecept. / I by nature & Judgmt hate cruelty, as ye extreame of al vices. / I am disgusted at ye crys of a hayre caught by the doggs, though in the violence of the chace. / Some hence argue the vitiousness of pleasure & ye unreasonableness: yt in ye heigth of our venerial enioymt of women our reason & discourse is excluded by the (p.189) ravishing delight. But tis not impossible to master yt rapture by reason, as to ly by a mresse [i.e., mistress] all night, yt one has long desird, & wth all convenience & liberty & not to enioy her, beyond kisses. In performance of ones fayth past to attempt no further. / But to returne to ye point of compassion. / I am not troubled so much for the dead as for the dying, nor so much offended wth those yt rost & eat dead bodys as those yt torment ye liveing. I take all executions of Justice further yn simple death, to bee pur[e]ly crueltys / especially in us yt ought to take care yt yr soules depart in as good & setled condicion as may bee. / Wch cannot consist wth provoakeing ym wth unsufferable torments. / I would have ye rigour of executions, to terrify others, to bee exercisd rather on the bodys of criminals after death, as denying buryal, quartering &c. Wch terrifys the vulgar as much as cruel paynes inflicted on ym liveing. / It is the extreame point of cruelty. Ut homo hominem non iratus non timens tantum spectaturus occidat. I cannot wthout trouble see a beast kild, yt give [i.e., gives] no offence nor makes any defence. / Naturally wee delight to see beast[s] play wth & caress one another, & are disgusted to see ym teare one another apeaces. / The Romans first made ymselves familiar to cruelty, by yr spectacles of beasts, before they came to yt of men & gladiatours. Beasts are together wth us part of the same famyly. The auncients thought our soules after yr departure from our bodys [fol. 29v ends here; there are no additional pages in this manuscript].