BOOK I, CHAPTER XXV
him. None the less, he was a man of letters and of reputation (b) and one who had a high position.
Vos, O patritius sanguis, quos vivere par est
Occipiti cæco, posticæ occurrite sannæ.
(a) Whoever shall look closely at this class of persons, which is very widespread, will find, as I have, that, for the most part, they understand neither themselves nor others, and that, while their memory is quite full, their judgement is wholly empty, unless their nature has of itself fashioned them otherwise; as I have seen with Adrianus Turnebus, who, having no other profession but letters, in which he was, in my opinion, the greatest man who had been for a thousand years, had nevertheless nothing pedantic about him save the way he wore his gown, and something in his external manner which could never be formed into courtliness — which are mere trifles. (b) And I detest people who find it harder to put up with a gown awry than with a soul awry, and who see in a man’s salutation, in his demeanour, and in his boots, what sort of man he is. (a) For within, his was the most polite soul in the world. I have often purposely drawn him into talk far removed from his experience: he was so clear-sighted, his apprehension was so quick, his judgement so sound, that it seemed as if he had never had other occupation than war and statecraft. Those are beautiful and powerful natures —
(b) Queis arte benigna
Et meliore luto finxit præcordia Titan —
(a) which carry themselves rightly in spite of a poor education. Now it is not enough that our education should not spoil us: it must change us for the better.
There are some of our parliaments which, when they are to admit magistrates, examine them only upon their learn-
- Une belle robe.
- O you of patrician blood, whom nature has made blind to all that lies behind you, turn and face the grimaces that are made behind your back. — Persius, Satires, I, 61.
- Whose hearts the Titan fashioned with kindly art and with better clay. — Juvenal, Satires, XIV, 34.
- In 1580-1588: Et qu’elle nous amende, ou elle est vaine et inutile.