20+ English Essays PDF

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It hath been an opinion, that the French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are; but howsoever it be between nations, certainly, it is so between man and man.

For, as the Apostle saith of godliness, “having a show of godliness, but denying the power thereof, so certainly there are, in points of wisdom and sufficiency, that do nothing or little very solemnly; Magno conatus nagas.

It is a ridiculous thing and fit for a satire to persons of judgment, to see what shifts these formalists have, and what prospectives to make superficies to seem body that hath depth and bulk.

Some are so close and reserved, as they will not show their wares but by a dark light, and seem always to keep back somewhat: and when they know within themselves they speak of that they do not well know, would nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may not well speak.

Some help themselves with countenance and gesture, and are wise by signs; as Cicero saith of Piso, when he answered him her fetched one of his brows up to his forehead and bent the other down to his chin; Respondes, alter ad from subito, alter ad mentum depression superciliously, crudelitatem tibi nonplace.

Some think to bear it by speaking a great word, and being peremptory, and go on, and take by an admittance that which they cannot make good.

Some, whatsoever are beyond their reach, will seem to despise or make light of it, as impertinent or curious, and so would have their ignorance seem judgment.

Some are never without a difference, and commonly by amusing men with a subtilty, blanch the matter; of whom A.

Gellius saith; Hominem delirium, qui verborum minutes rerum fruit Pondera, Of which kind also Plato, in his Protagoras, bringeth in Prodicus in scorn and maketh him make a speech that consisteth of distinctions from the beginning to the end.

Generally, such men in all deliberations find ease to be of the negative side and affect credit to object and foretell difficulties: for when propositions are denied there is an end of them; but if they are allowed, it requireth a new work: which false point of wisdom is the bane of business.

To conclude, there is no decaying merchant or inward beggar who hath so many tricks to uphold the credit of their wealth as these empty persons have to maintain the credit of their sufficiency.

Seeming wise men may make a shift to get opinion: but let no man choose them for employment; for certainly you were better to take for business a man somewhat absurd than over formal.


STUDIES STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business.

For expert, men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots and marshaling of affairs, come best from those that are learned.

To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules is the humor of a scholar.

They perfect nature and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by the study: and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they are bounded in by ex- experience.

Crafty men contemn studies; simple men admire them; and wise men use them: for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation.

Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider.

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly and with diligence and attention.

Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others: but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books: else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading 2 maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.

And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confers little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth.

AuthorJ H Lobban
Language English
No. of Pages330
PDF Size11.1 MB
CategoryEnglish Books PDF

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