« ElőzőTovább »
and unto the very last year of her life she was accus. tomed to appoint set hours for reading, scarcely any young student in any university more daily, or more duly. As for her government, I assure myself, · I shall not exceed, if I do affirm that this part of the island never had forty-five years of better times; and yet not through the calmness of the season, but through the wisdom of her regimen. For if there be considered of the one side, the truth of religion established, the constant peace and security, the good administration of justice, the temperate use of the prerogative, not slackened, nor much strained, the flourishing state of learning, sortable to so excellent a patroness, the convenient estate of wealth and means, both of crown and subject, the habit of obedience, and the moderation of discontents; and there be considered, on the other side, the differences of religion, the troubles of neighbour countries, the ambition of Spain, and opposition of Rome: and then, that she was solitary and of herself: these things, I say, considered, as I could not have chosen an instance so recent and so proper, so, I suppose, I could not have chosen one more remarkable or eminent to the purpose now in hand, which is concerning the conjunction of learning in the prince with felicity in the people.
Neither hath learning an influence and operation only upon civil merit and moral virtue, and the arts or temperature of peace and peaceable government; but likewise it hath no less power and efficacy in enablement towards martial and military virtue and
prowess; as may be notably represented in the examples of Alexander the Great, and Cæsar the Dictator, mentioned before, but now in fit place to be resumed ; of whose virtues and acts in war there needs no note or recital, having been the wonders of time in that kind : but of their affections towards learning, and perfections in learning, it is pertinent to say somewhat.
Alexander was bred and taught under Aristotle the great philosopher, who dedicated divers of his books of philosophy unto him: he was attended with Callisthenes and divers other learned persons, that followed him in camp, throughout his journeys and conquests. What price and estimation he had learning in doth notably appear in these three particulars : first, in the envy he used to express that he bore towards Achilles, in this, that he had so good a trumpet of his praises as Homer's verses; secondly, in the judgment or solution he gave touching that precious cabinet of Darius, which was found among his jewels; whereof question was made what thing was worthy to be put into it; and he gave his opinion for Homer's works: thirdly, in his letter to Aristotle, after he had set forth his books of nature, wherein he expostulated with him for publishing the secrets or mysteries of philosophy; and gave him to understand that himself esteemed it more to excel other men in learning and knowledge than in power and empire. And what use he had of learning dot appear, or rather shine, in all his speeches in answers, being full of science, and use of science nud that in all variety
And herein again it may seem a thing scholastical, and somewhat idle, to recite things that every man knoweth ; but yet, since the argument I handle leadeth me thereunto, I am glad that men shall perceive I am as willing to flatter, if they will so call it, an Alexander, or a Cæsar, or an Antoninus, that are dead many hundred years since, as any that now liveth : for it is the displaying of the glory of learning in sovereignty that I propound to myself, and not an humour of declaiming in any man's praises. Observe then the speech he used of Diogenes, and see if it tend not to the true state of one of the greatest questions of moral philosophy; whether the enjoying of outward things, or the contemning of them, be the greatest happiness : for when he saw Diogenes so perfectly contented with so little, he said to those that mocked at his condition; “ Were I “not Alexander, I would wish to be Diogenes.” But Seneca inverteth it, and saith ; “ Plus erat, quod hic “nollet accipere, quàm quod ille posset dare.” (There were more things which Diogenes would have refused, than there were which Alexander could have given.)
Observe again that speech which was usual with him, “ That he felt his mortality chiefly in two
things, sleep and lust;” and see if it were not a speech extracted out of the depth of natural philosophy, and liker to have come out of the mouth of Aristotle or Democritus, than from Alexander.
See again that speech of humanity and poesy ; when upon the bleeding of his wounds, he called unto him one of his flatierers, that was wont to ascribe to him divine honor, and said, “ Look, this is
“ very blood; this is not such a liquor as Homer “ speaketh of, which ran from Venus' hand, when “ it was pierced by Diomedes."
See likewise his readiness in reprehension of logic, in the speech he used to Cassander, upon a complaint that was made against his father Antipater: for when Alexander happened to say, “ Do “ you think these men would have come from so far “ to complain, except they had just cause of grief?” And Cassander answered, “ Yea, that was the mat“ter, because they thought they should not be dis“ proved." Said Alexander laughing : “ See the “ subtilties of Aristotle, to take a matter both ways “pro et contra,'" &c.
But note again how well he could use the same art, which he reprehended, to serve his own humour; when bearing a secret grudge to Callisthenes, because he was against the new ceremony of his adoration, feasting one night where the same Callisthenes was at the table, it was moved by some after supper, for entertainment sake, that Callisthenes, who was an eloquent man, might speak of some theme or purpose, at his own choice: which Callisthenes did; choosing the praise of the Macedonian nation for his discourse, and performing the same with so good manner, as the hearers were much ravished: whereupon Alexander, nothing pleased, said, “ It was easy to be eloquent upon so good a subject. “ But," saith he, “ turn your style, and let us hear “ what you can say against us:" which Callisthenes presently undertook, and did with that sting and life, that Alexander interrupted him, and said, "The
“ goodness of the cause made him eloquent before, “ and despite made him eloquent then again.”
Consider further, for tropes of rhetoric, that excellent use of a metaphor or translation, wherewith he taxed Antipater, who was an imperious and tyrannous governor: for when one of Antipater's friends commended him to Alexander for his moderation, that he did not degenerate, as his other lieutenants did, into the Persian pride in use of purple, but kept the ancient habit of Macedon, of black ; “ True," saith Alexander, “ but Antipater is all purple within." Or that other, when Parmenio came to him in the plain of Arbela, and shewed him the innumerable multitude of his enemies, especially as they appeared by the infinite number of lights, as it had been a new firmament of stars, and thereupon advised him to assail them by night: whereupon he answered, “ That he would not steal the victory."
For matter of policy, weigh that significant distinction, so much in all ages embraced, that he made between his two friends, Hephæstion and Craterus, when he said, “ That the one loved Alexander, and “ the other loved the king:" describing the principal difference of princes' best servants, that some in affection love their person, and others in duty love their crown.
Weigh also that excellent taxation of an error, ordinary with counsellors of princes, that they counsel their masters according to the model of their own mind and fortune, and not of their masters; when, upon Darius's great offers, Parmenio had said,