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And this difference of quickness, is caused by PART I. the difference of men's passions ; that love and dislike, some one thing, some another : and therefore some men's thoughts run one way, some another ; and are held to, and observe differently the things that pass through their imagination. And whereas in this succession of men's thoughts, there is nothing to observe in the things they think on, but either in what they be like one another, or in what they be unlike, or what they serve for, or how they serve to such a purpose ; those that observe their similitudes, in case they be such as are but rarely observed by others, are said to have a good wit; by which, in this occasion, is meant a Good wit,

or fancy. good fancy. But they that observe their differences, and dissimilitudes; which is called distinguishing, and discerning, and judging between thing and thing; in case, such discerning be not easy, are said to have a good judgment : and particularly Good

judgment. in matter of conversation and business; wherein, times, places, and persons are to be discerned, this virtue is called DISCRETION. The former, that is, fancy, without the help of judgment, is not commended as a virtue: but the latter which is judgment, and discretion, is commended for itself, without the help of fancy. Besides the discretion of times, places, and persons, necessary to a good fancy, there is required also an often application of his thoughts to their end; that is to say, to some use to be made of them. This done; he that hath this virtue, will be easily fitted with similitudes, that will please, not only by illustrations of his discourse, and adorning it with new and apt metaphors; but also, by the rarity of their invention. But without steadiness, and direction to some end, a



PART 1. great fancy is one kind of madness; such as they

have, that entering into any discourse, are snatched Discretion. from their purpose, by every thing that comes in

their thought, into so many, and so long digressions, and parentheses, that they utterly lose themselves : which kind of folly, I know no particular name for : but the cause of it is, sometimes want of experience; whereby that seemeth to a man new and rare, which doth not so to others : sometimes pusillanimity; by which that seems great to him, which other men think a trifle: and whatsoever is new, or great, and therefore thought fit to be told, withdraws a man by degrees from the intended way of his discourse.

In a good poem, whether it be epic, or dramatic; as also in sonnets, epigrams, and other pieces, both judgment and fancy are required: but the fancy must be more eminent; because they please for the extravagancy; but ought not to displease by indiscretion.

In a good history, the judgment must be eminent; because the goodness consisteth, in the method, in the truth, and in the choice of the actions that are most profitable to be known. Fancy has no place, but only in adorning the style.

In orations of praise, and in invectives, the fancy is predominant; because the design is not truth, but to honour or dishonour ; which is done by noble, or by vile comparisons. The judgment does but suggest what circumstances make an action laudable, or culpable.

In hortatives, and pleadings, as truth, or disguise serveth best to the design in hand ; so is the judgment, or the fancy most required.

In demonstration, in counsel, and all rigorous




search of truth, judgment does all, except sometimes the understanding have need to be opened by some apt similitude; and then there is so much use Discretion. of fancy. But for metaphors, they are in this case utterly excluded. For seeing they openly profess deceit; to admit them into counsel, or reasoning, were manifest folly.

And in any discourse whatsoever, if the defect of discretion be apparent, how extravagant soever the fancy be, the whole discourse will be taken for a sign of want of wit ; and so will it never when the discretion is manifest, though the fancy be never so ordinary.

The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame, or blame ; which verbal discourse cannot do, farther than the judgment shall approve of the time, place, and persons. An anatomist, or a physician may speak, or write his judgment of unclean things ; because it is not to please, but profit : but for another man to write his extravagant, and pleasant fancies of the same, is as if a man, from being tumbled into the dirt, should come and present himself before good company. And it is the want of discretion that makes the difference. Again, in professed remissness of mind, and familiar eompany, a man may play with the sounds, and equivocal significations of words; and that many times with encounters of extraordinary fancy: but in a sermon, or in public, or before persons unknown, or whom we ought to reverence; there is no gingling of words that will not be accounted folly : and the difference is only in the want of discretion. So that where wit is wanting, it is not


PART 1. fancy that is wanting, but discretion. Judgment

therefore without fancy is wit, but fancy without
judgment, not.
: When the thoughts of a man, that has a design
in hand, running over a multitude of things, ob-
serves how they conduce to that design; or what
design they may conduce unto; if his observations

be such as are not easy, or usual, this wit of his is Prudence. called PRUDENCE; and depends on much experience,

and memory of the like things, and their consequences heretofore. In which there is not so much difference of men; as there is in their fancies and judgment; because the experience of men equal in age, is not much unequal, as to the quantity; but lies in different occasions; every one having his private designs. To govern well a family, and a kingdom, are not different degrees of prudence; but different sorts of business; no more than to draw a picture in little, or as great, or greater than the life, are different degrees of art. A plain husbandman is more prudent in affairs of his own house, than a privy-councillor in the affairs of another man.

To prudence, if you add the use of unjust, or dishonest means, such as usually are prompted to

men by fear, or want ; you have that crooked wisCraft. dom, which is called CRAFT; which is a sign of pu

sillanimity. For magnanimity is contempt of unjust, or dishonest helps. And that which the Latins call versutia, translated into English, shifting, and is a putting off of a present danger or incommodity, by engaging into a greater, as when a man robs one to pay another, is but a shorter-sighted craft, called versutia, from versura, which signifies


taking money at usury for the present payment of Part I. interest.

As for acquired wit, I mean acquired by method Acquired wit. and instruction, there is none but reason; which is grounded on the right use of speech, and produceth the sciences. But of reason and science I have already spoken, in the fifth and sixth chapters.

The causes of this difference of wits, are in the passions; and the difference of passions proceedeth, partly from the different constitution of the body, and partly from different education. For if the difference proceeded from the temper of the brain, and the organs of sense, either exterior or interior, there would be no less difference of men in their sight, hearing, or other senses, than in their fancies and discretions. It proceeds therefore from the passions ; which are different, not only from the difference of mens'complexions; but also from their difference of customs, and education.

The passions that most of all cause the difference of wit, are principally, the more or less desire of power, of riches, of knowledge, and of honour. All which may be reduced to the first, that is, desire of power. For riches, knowledge, and honour, are but several sorts of power.

And therefore, a man who has no great passion for

any of these things; but is, as men term it, indifferent ; though he may be so far a good man, as to be free from giving offence; yet he cannot possibly have either a great fancy, or much judgment. For the thoughts are to the desires, as scouts, and spies, to range abroad, and find the way to the things desired : all steadiness of the mind's motion, and all quickness of the same, proceeding from

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