The true gentleman is extracted from ancient and worshipful parentage. When a pepin is planted on a pepin-stock the fruit growing thence is called a renate, a most delicious apple, as both by sire and dame well descended. Then his blood must needs be well purified who is gentilely born on both sides.
Jars concealed are half reconciled; which if generally known, tis a double task to stop the breach at home and mens mouths abroad. To this end, a good husband never publicly reproves his wife. An open reproof puts her to do penance before all that are present; after which, many study revenge rather than reformation.
A divine benediction is always invisibly breathed on painful and lawful diligence. Thus, the servant employed in making and blowing of the fire (though sent away thence as soon as it burneth clear) oft-times getteth by his pains a more kindly and continuing heat than the master himself, who sitteth down by the same; and thus persons industriously occupying themselves thrive better on a little of their own honest getting, than lazy heirs on the large revenues left unto them.
Some men are of a very cheerful disposition, and God forbid that all such should be condemned for lightness. O let not any envious eye disinherit men of that which is their portion in this life, comfortably to enjoy the blessings thereof! Harmless mirth is the best cordial against the consumption of the spirit; wherefore, jesting is not unlawful, if it trespasseth not in quantity, quality, or season.
Though bachelors be the strongest stakes, married men are the best binders, in the hedge of the commonwealth. It is the policy of the Londoners, when they send a ship into the Levant or Mediterranean Sea, to make every mariner therein a merchant, each seaman venturing somewhat of his own, which will make him more wary to avoid, and more valiant to undergo, dangers. Thus married men, especially if having posterity, are the deeper sharers in that state wherein they live, which engageth their affections to the greater loyalty.
Reasons are the pillars of the fabric of a sermon, but similitudes are the windows which give the best light. The faithful minister avoids such stories whose mention may suggest bad thoughts to the auditors, and will not use a light comparison to make thereof a graven application, for fear lest his poison go further than his antidote.
It is a vanity to persuade the world one hath much learning by getting a great library. As soon shall I believe every one is valiant that hath a well-furnished armoury . Some books are only cursorily to be tasted of: namely, first voluminous books, the task of a mans life to read them over; secondly, auxiliary books, only to be repaired to on occasions; thirdly, such as are merely pieces of formality, so that if you look on them you look through them, and he that peeps through the casement of the index sees as much as if he were in the house. But the laziness of those cannot be excused who perfunctorily pass over authors of consequence, and only trade in their tables and contents. These, like city-cheates, having gotten the names of all country gentlemen, make silly people believe they have long lived in those places where they never were, and flourish with skill in those authors they never seriously studied.
Our common education is not intended to render us good and wise, but learned: it hath not taught us to follow and embrace virtue and prudence, but hath imprinted in us their derivation and etymology; it hath chosen out for us not such books as contain the soundest and truest opinions, but those that speak the best Greek and Latin; and by these rules has instilled into our fancy the vainest humours of antiquity. But a good education alters the judgment and manners . Tis a silly conceit that men without languages are also without understanding. Its apparent, in all ages, that some such have been even prodigies for ability: for its not to be believed that wisdom speaks to her disciples only in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew.
First, soundly infix in thy mind what thou desirest to remember. What wonder is it if agitation of business jog that out of thy head which was there rather tacked than fastened? Whereas those notions which get in by violenta possessio will abide there till ejectio firma, sickness, or extreme age, dispossess them. It is best knocking in the nail over night, and clinching it the next morning.
Overburden not thy memory to make so faithful a servant a slave. Remember Atlas was weary. Have as much reason as a camel, to rise when thou hast thy full load. Memory, like a purse, if it be over full that it cannot shut, all will drop out of it: take heed of a gluttonous curiosity to feed on many things, lest the greediness of the appetite of thy memory spoil the digestion thereof.
The study of books is a languishing and feeble motion, that heats not; whereas conference teaches and exercises at once. If I confer with an understanding man and a rude jester, he presses hard upon me on both sides: his imagination raises up mine to more than ordinary pitch. Jealousy, glory, and contention, stimulate and raise me up to something above myself; and a consent of judgment is a quality totally offensive in conference.
Thomas Fuller: The Holy State and the Profane State.
An Index is a necessary implement and no impediment of a book, except in the same sense wherein the Carriages of an Army are termed Impediments. Without this, a large Author is but a labyrinth, without a clue to direct the reader therein. I confess there is a lazy kind of Learning which is only indical: when Scholars (like Adders which onely bite the Horse-heels) nibble but at the Tables, which are calces librorum, neglecting the body of the Book. But though the idle deserve no crutches (let not a staff be used by them, but on them) pity it is the weary should be denied the benefit thereof, and industrious Scholars prohibited the accommodation of an Index, most used by those who most pretend to contemn it.