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numerous piece of monstrosity, which taken asunder seem men, and the reasonable creatures of God; but confused together, make but one great beast, and a monstrosity more prodigious than hydra. It is no breach of charity to call these fools; it is the style all holy writers have afforded them, set down by Solomon in canonical Scripture, and a point of our faith to believe so. Neither in the name of multitude do I only include the base and minor sort of people; there is a rabble even amongst the gentry, a sort of plebeian heads, whose fancy moves with the same wheel as these; (117) men in the same
and history celebrates many distinguished men who cherished such an aversion. Thus my Lord Clarendon, speaking of Strafford, says, "Of all his passions, his pride was most predominant; which a moderate exercise of ill fortune might have corrected and reformed; and which was, by the hand of heaven, strangely punished, by bringing his destruction upon him by two things that he most despised—the people and Sir Harry Vane." (Hist. of the Rebell. I. 456.) Coriolanus too, and Sylla, were of this mind; so that the haters of the people rank with splendid company. But this does not recommend the feeling to me. On the contrary, I run into the very antipodes of greatness, and, after God, love mankind with all my might, with all my soul, and with all my strength, and would endure anything to do them good; and that, too, without finding, though not without desiring, a return of similar love on their part. And I am comforted by the reflection that, if very able men have despised mankind, CHRIST loved them and suffered death for their sakes. There have also been among men striking examples of this philanthropy-Pericles, Socrates, Howard; and, upon the whole, I had rather resemble these than Sylla, Strafford, or Sir Thomas Browne.-ED.
(117) On this subject I would gladly, were there room, quote the whole of what old Burton says, (Anatomy of Melancholy, Part II. § 3.) who is as severe on great people as Sir Thomas on the multitude. "We may generally conclude," he observes,
level with mechanics, though their fortunes do somewhat gild their infirmities, and their purses compound for their follies. But as in casting account, three or four men together come short in account of one man placed by himself below them; so neither are a troop of these ignorant Doradoes, of that true esteem and value as many a forlorn person, whose condition doth place him below their feet. Let us speak like politicians, there is a nobility without heraldry, a natural dignity, whereby one man is ranked with another; another filed before him, according to the quality of his desert, and pre-eminence of his good parts, though the corruption of these times, and the bias of present practice wheel another way. (118) Thus it was in the first and primitive commonwealths, and is yet in the integrity and cradle of well-ordered polities, till corruption getteth ground, ruder desires labouring after that which wiser considerations contemn; every one having a liberty to amass and heap up riches, and they a license or faculty to do or purchase any thing.
"the greater men, the more vicious. In fine, as Æneas Sylvius adds, they are most part miserable, sottish, and filthy fellows; like the walls of their houses, fair without, foul within. What dost thou vaunt of now? What dost thou gape and wonder at? Admire him for his brave apparel, horses, dogs, fine houses, manors, orchards, gardens, walks? Why, a fool may be possessor of this as well as he; and he that accounts him a better man, a noble man, for having of it, he is a fool himself. Now go and brag of thy gentility!"-Ed.
(118) And in monarchies and timocrasies, the practice of all It is not the times but intimes wheels in the same direction. stitutions that regulate such matters.-ED.
This general and indifferent temper of mine doth more nearly dispose me to this noble virtue. It is a happiness to be born and framed unto virtue, and to grow up from the seeds of nature, rather than the inoculation and forced graffs of education: yet if we are directed only by our particular natures, and regulate our inclinations by no higher rule than that of our reasons, we are but moralists; divinity will still call us heathens, therefore this great work of charity, must have other motives, ends, and impulsions. I give no alms only to satisfy the hunger of my brother, but to fulfil and accomplish the will and command of my God; I draw not my purse for his sake that demands it, but his that enjoined it; I relieve no man upon the rhetoric of his miseries, nor to content mine own commiserating disposition: for this is still but moral charity, and an act that oweth more to passion than reason. He that relieves another upon the bare suggestion and bowels of pity, doth not this so much for his sake, as for his own for by compassion we make others' misery our own; and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also. It is as erroneous a conceit to redress other men's misfortunes upon the common considerations of merciful natures, that it may be one day our own case; for this is a sinister and politic kind of charity, whereby we seem to bespeak the pities of men in the like occasions; and truly I have observed that those professed eleemosynaries, though in a crowd or multitude, do yet direct and place
their petitions on a few and selected persons: : there is surely a physiognomy, which those experienced and master mendicants observe, whereby they instantly discover a merciful aspect, and will single out a face, wherein they spy the signatures and marks of mercy: for there are mystically in our faces certain characters which carry in them the motto of our souls, wherein he that can read A B C may read our natures. (19) I hold, moreover, that there is a phytognomy, or physiognomy, not only of men, but of plants and vegetables; and in every one of them some outward figures which hang as signs or bushes of their inward forms. The finger of God hath left an inscription upon all his works, not graphical, or composed of letters, but of their several forms, constitutions, parts, and operations; which aptly joined together do make one word that doth express their natures. By these letters God calls the stars by their names; and by this alphabet Adam assigned to every creature a name peculiar to its nature. Now there are, besides these characters in our faces, certain mystical figures in our hands, which I dare not call mere dashes, strokes à la volée, or at random, because delineated by a pencil that never works in vain; and hereof I take more particular notice, because I carry that in mine own hand, which I could never read of, nor discover in another. Aristotle, I con
(119) And yet it seems to be a rule that, "fronti nulla fides." Shakspeare, too, was of opinion that
There's no art
To find the mind's complexion in the face."-ED.
fess, in his acute, and singular book(120) of physi- . ognomy, hath made no mention of chiromancy; yet I believe the Egyptians, who were nearer addicted to these abstruse and mystical sciences, had a knowledge therein; to which those vagabond and counterfeit Egyptians did after pretend, and ' perhaps retained a few corrupted principles, which sometimes might verify their prognostics.
It is the common wonder of all men, how among so many millions of faces, there should be none alike: now, contrary, I wonder as much how there should be any. He that shall consider how many thousand several words have been carelessly and without study composed out of twenty-four letters; withal, how many hundred lines there are to be drawn in the fabric of one man, shall easily find that this variety is necessary and it will be very hard that they shall so concur, as to make one portrait like another. Let a painter carelessly limn out a million of faces, and you shall find them all different; yea, let him have his copy before him, yet after all his art there will remain a sensible distinction; for the pattern or example of every thing is the perfectest in that kind, whereof we still come short, though we transcend or go beyond it, because herein it is wide, and agrees not in all points unto the copy. Nor doth the similitude of
(120) This brief tract, of twenty-five pages (Arist. Oper. t. XVI. pp. 112-132, edit. Tauchnitz.) is considered spurious by modern criticism, which discovers in the style marks of another hand.-ED.