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68. LORD HERBERT OF CHERBURY. 1581-1648. (Manual,
From Life of Henry VIII.
Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, after divers suits to be discharged of his place which he had held two years and a balf-- did at length by the king's good leave resign it. The example whereof being rare, will give me occasion to speak more particularly of hin. Sir Thomas More, a person of sharp wit, and endued besides with excellent parts of learning (as his works may testify), was yet (out of I know not what natural facetiousness) given so much to jesting, that it detracted no little from the gravity and importance of his place, which, though generally noted and disliked, I do not think was enough to make him give it over in that merriment we shall find anon, or retire to a private life. Neither can I believe him so much addicted to his private opinions as to detest all other governments but his own Utopia, so that it is probable some vehement desire to follow his book, or secret offence taken against some person or matteramong which perchance the king's new intended marriage, or the like, might be accounted- occasioned this strange counsel; though, yet, I find no reason pretended for it but infirmity and want of health. Our king hereupon taking the seal, and giving it, together with the order of knighthood, to Thomas Audley, Speaker of the Lower House, Sir Thomas More, without acquainting any body with what he had done, repairs to his family at Chelsea, where after a mass celebrated, the next day, in the church, he comes to his lady's pew, with his hat in his hand an office formerly done by one of his gentlemen and says: Madam, my lord is gone." But she thinking this at first to be but one of his jests, was little moved, till he told her sadly, he had given up the great seal; whereupon she speaking some passionate words he called his daughters then present to see if they could not spy some fault about their mother's dressing; but they after search saying they could find none, he replied: "Do you not perceive that your mother's nose standeth somewhat awry?" of which jeer the provoked lady was so sensible, that she went from him in a rage. Shortly after, he acquainted his servants with what he had done, dismissing them also to the attendance of some other great person' ges, to whom he had recommended them. For his fool, he bestowed him on the .ord-mayor during his office, and afterwards on his successors in that charge. And now coming to himself, he began to consider how much he had left, and finding that it was not above one hundred pounds yearly in lands, besides some money, he advised with his daughters how to live together. But the grieved gentlewomen - who knew not what to reply, or indeed how to take these jests - remained astonished, he says: "We will begin with the slender diet of the students of the law, and if that will not hold out, we will take such
commons as they have at Oxford; which, yet, if our purse will not stretch t, maintain, for our last refuge we will go a begging, and a every man's door sing together a Salve Regina to get alms." But these jests were thought to have in them more levity than to be taken everywhere for current; he might have quitted his dignity without using such sarcasms, and betaken himself to a more retired and quiet life without making them or himself contemptible. And certainly whatsoever he intended hereby, his family so little understood his meaning, that they needed some more serious instructions. So that I cannot persuade myself for all this talk, that so excellent a person would omit at fit times to give his family that sober account of his relinquishing this place, which I find he did to the Archbishop Warham, Erasmus, and others.
69. THOMAS HOBBES. 1588-1679. (Manual, p. 105.)
From the Treatise on Human Nature.
EMULATION AND ENVY.
Emulation is grief arising from seeing one's self exceeded or excelled by his concurrent, together with hope to equal or exceed him in time to come, by his own ability. But, envy is the same grief joined with pleasure conceived in the imagination of some ill fortune that may befall him.
There is a passion that hath no name; but the sign of it is that distortion of the countenance which we call laughter, which is always joy: but what joy, what we think, and wherein we triumph when we laugh, is not hitherto declared by any. That it consisteth in wit, or, as they call it, in the jest, experience confuteth: for men laugh at mischances and indecencies, wherein there lieth no wit nor jest at all. And forasmuch as the same thing is no more ridiculous when it groweth stale or usual, whatsoever it be that moveth laughter, it must be new and unexpected. Men laugh often, especially such as are greedy of applause from everything they do well, at their own actions per formed never so little beyond their own expectations; as also at their own jests: and in this case it is manifest, that the passion of laughte proceedeth from a sudden conception of some ability in himself that laugheth. Also men laugh at the infirmities of others, by comparison wherewith their own abilities are set off and illustrated. Also men laugh at jests, the wit whereof always consisteth in the elegant discovering and conveying to our minds some absurdity of another: and in this case also the passion of laughter proceedeth from the sudden imagination of our own odds and eminency: for what is else the recommending of ourselves to our own good opinion, by comparison
with another man's infirmity or absurdity? For when a jest is broken upon ourselves, or friends of whose dishonour we participate, we never laugh thereat. I may therefore conclude, that the passion of laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden concep tion of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own formerly: for men laugh at the follies of themseives past, when they come suddenly to remembrance, except they bring with them any present dishonour. It is no wonder there. fore that men take heinously to be laughed at or derided, that is, tri· umphed over. Laughter without offence, must be at absurdities and infirmities abstracted from persons, and when all the company may laugh together: for laugh ng to one's self putteth all the rest into jealousy and examination of themselves. Besides, it is vain glory, and an argument of little worth, to think the infirmity of another, sufficient matter for his triumph.
The passion opposite hereunto, whose signs are another distortion of the face with tears, called weeping, is the sudden falling out with ourselves, or sudden conception of defect; and therefore children weep often; for seeing they think that every thing ought to be given them which they desire, of necessity every repulse must be a check of their expectation, and puts them in mind of their too much weakness to make themselves masters of all they look for. For the same cause women are more apt to weep than men, as being not only more accustomed to have their wills, but also to measure their powers by the power and love of others that protect them. Men are apt to weep that prosecute revenge, when the revenge is suddenly stopped or frustrated by the repentance of their adversary; and such are the tears of reconciliation. Also revengeful men are subject to this passion upon the beholding those men they pity, and suddenly remember they cannot help. Other weeping in men proceedeth for the most part from the same cause it proceedeth from in women and children.
ADMIRATION AND CURIOSITY.
Forasmuch as all knowledge beginneth from experience, therefore also new experience is the beginning of new knowledge, and the increase of experience the beginning of the increase of knowledge. Whatsoever therefore happeneth new to a man, giveth hiin matter of kope of knowing somewhat that he knew not before. And this hope and expectation of future knowledge from anything that happeneth new and strange, is that passion which we commonly call admira tion; and the same considered as appetite, is called curiosity, which is appetite of knowledge. As in the discerning of faculties, man leaveth all community with beasts at the faculty of imposing names ; so also doth he surmount their nature at this passion of curiosity. For when a beast seet' anything new and strange to him, he consid
ereth it so far only as to discern whether it be likely to serve his turn, or hurt him, and accordingly approacheth nearer to it, or fleeth from it: whereas man, who in most events remembereth in what mannet they were caused and begun, looketh for the cause and beginning of everything that ariseth new unto him. And from this passion of ad miration and curiosity, have arisen not only the invention of nanice, bat also supposition of such causes of all things as they thought might produce them. And from this beginning is derived all philoso thy; as astronomy from the admiration of the course of heaven; natural philosophy from the strange effects of the elements and other bodies. And from the degrees of curiosity, proceed also the degrees of knowledge amongst men: for, to a man in the chase of riches or authority (which in respect of knowledge are but sensuality), it is a diversity of little pleasure, whether it be the motion of the sun or the earth that maketh the day, or to enter into other contemplations of any strange accident, otherwise than whether it conduce or not to the end he pursueth. Because curiosity is delight, therefore also novelty is so, but especially that novelty from which a man conceiveth an opinion true or false of bettering his own estate; for, in such case, they stand affected with the hope that all gamesters have while the cards are shuffling.
THE DAWN OF THE DRAMA.
CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE. 1563 ?-1593. (Manual, p. 125)
70. FROM EDWARD II.
Murder of the King.
Berkley Castle. The King is left alone with Lightborn, a murderer.
Edw. Who's there? what light is that? wherefore comest thou
Edw. Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy looks.
Light. To murder you, my most gracious lord?
And what eyes can refrain from shedding tears,
Edw. And there, in mire and puddle have I stood
This ten days' space; and lest that I should sleep,
One plays continually upon a drum.
They give me bread and water, being a hing;
1 His keepers.