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and Lazarus by a special love, which was signified by special treatments; and of the young man that spake well and wisely to Christ it is affirmed, Jesus loved him, that is, he fancied the man, and his soul had a certain cognation and similitude of temper and inclination. For in all things where there is a latitude, every faculty will endeavour to be pleased, and sometimes the meanest persons in a house have a festival: even sympathies and natural inclinations to some persons, and a conformity of humours, and proportionable loves, and the beauty of the face, and a witty answer, may first strike the flint and kindle a spark, which if it falls upon tender and compliant natures may grow into a flame; but this will never be maintained at the rate of friendship unless it be fed by pure materials, by worthinesses which are the food of friendship: where these are not, men and women may be pleased with one another's company, and lie under the same roof, and make themselves companions of equal prosperities, and humour their friend; but if you call this friendship, you give a sacred name to humour or fancy; for there is a Platonic friendship, as well as a Platonic love; but they being but the images of more noble bodies, are but like tinsel dressings, which will show bravely by candle-light, and do excellently in a mask, but are not fit for conversation and the material intercourses of our life. These are the prettinesses of prosperity and good natured wit; but when we speak of friendship, which is the best thing in the world (for it is love and beneficence, it is charity that is fitted for society), we cannot suppose a brave pile should be built up with nothing; and they that build castles in the air, and look upon friendship as upon a fine romance, a thing that pleases the fancy but is good for nothing else, will do well when they are asleep, or when they are come to Elysium; and for aught I know in the mean time may be as much in love with Mandana in the Grand Cyrus, as with the Infanta of Spain, or any of the most perfect beauties and real excellencies of the world: and by dreaming of perfect and abstracted friendships, make them so immaterial that they perish in the handling and become good for nothing.
But I know not whither I am going: I did only mean to say that because friendship is that by which the world is most blessed and receives most good, it ought to be chosen amongst the worthiest persons, that, is amongst those that can do greatest benefit to each other. And though in equal worthiness I may choose by my eye, or ear, that is, into
the consideration of the essential, I may take in also the accidental and extrinsic worthinesses; yet I ought to give every one their just value when the internal beauties are equal, these shall help to weigh down the scale, and I will love a worthy friend that can delight me as well as profit me, rather than him who cannot delight me at all, and profit me no more: but yet I will not weigh the gayest flowers, or the wings of butterflies, against wheat; but when I am to choose wheat, I may take that which looks the brightest. I had rather see thyme and roses, marjoram and July flowers, that are fair and sweet and medicinal, than the prettiest tulips that are good for nothing: and my sheep and kine are better servants than race-horses and greyhounds. And I shall rather furnish my study with Plutarch and Cicero, with Livy and Polybius, than with Cassandra and Ibrahim Bassa; and if I do give an hour to these for divertisement or pleasure, yet I will dwell with them that can instruct me, and make me wise and eloquent, severe and useful to myself and others. I end this with the saying of Lælius in Cicero: "Amicitia non debet consequi utilitatem, sed amicitiam utilitas." When I choose my friend, I will not stay till I have received a kindness: but I will choose such a one that can do me many if I need them: but I mean such kindnesses which make me wiser, and which make me better: that is, I will, when I choose my friend, choose him that is the bravest, the worthiest, and the most excellent person; and then your first question is soon answered. To love such a person, and to contract such friendships, is just so authorized by the principles of Christianity, as it is warranted to love wisdom and virtue, goodness and beneficence, and all the impresses of God upon the spirits of brave men.
[FRANCIS BACON is one of the most prominent names in English literature. His 'Essays' are in the hands of many persons; his 'Novum Organon' is talked of by more. He is execrated as the corrupt judge and faithless friend; he is venerated under the name of the father of the inductive philosophy. His foibles, as well as his merits, have been perhaps equally exaggerated. This is not the place to enter
upon the disputed passages of his political career; nor to inquire how much he borrowed from the ancient philosophy, which he is supposed to have overturned. That he was a man, in many respects, of the very highest order of intellect no one can doubt; that he was "the wisest, greatest, meanest of mankind," may be safely disputed. It is sufficient here to mention that he was the younger son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Keeper of the Great Seal-was born in 1561, and died in 1626. The following extract is from his History of Henry VII.'—a book much neglected, although a remarkable specimen of clear and vivid narrative, and judicious reflection. Those who desire to become acquainted with the writings of Bacon, especially with his philosophical works, cannot do better than study them in the masterly Analysis by Mr. Craik, published in ‘Knight's Weekly Volume."]
This youth of whom we are now to speak was such a mercurial as the like hath seldom been known, and could make his own part if at any time he chanced to be out. Wherefore, this being one of the strangest examples of a personation that ever was, in elder or later times, it deserveth to be discovered and related at the full-although the King's manner of showing things by pieces and by dark lights hath so muffled it, that it hath been left almost as a mystery to this day. The Lady Margaret*, whom the King's friends called Juno, because she was to him as Juno was to Æneas, stirring both heaven and hell to do him mischief, for a foundation of her particular practices against him, did continually, by all means possible, nourish, maintain, and divulge the flying opinion that Richard, Duke of York, second son to Edward the Fourth, was not murdered in the Tower, as was given out, but saved alive. For that those who were employed in that barbarous fact, having destroyed the elder brother, were stricken with remorse and compassion towards the younger, and set him privily at liberty to seek his fortune. *
There was a townsman of Tournay, that had borne office in that town, whose name was John Osbeck, a convert Jew, married to Catharine de Faro, whose business drew him to live for a time with his wife at London, in King Edward the Fourth's days. During which time he had a son by her, and, being known in the court, the king, either out of a religious nobleness because he was a convert, or upon some private acquaintance, did him the honour to be god-father to his child,
* Sister to Edward IV., and widow of Charles le Téméraire, Duke of Burgundy. VOL. I.