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But, let us give our Traveller, that which parents seldom care to give, maturity of age. Let him be as ripe, as time can make him. What is the best advantage, which his absence can promise us? Let us lay the benefits of Travel in the one scale, the inconveniences in the other: whethersoever over-weighs shall sway down the beam of our judgment.
The private contentment of a man's own heart in the view of foreign things, is but a better name of a humorous curiosity. If a. man yield to run after his appetite and his eye, he shall never know where to rest; and, after many idle excursions, shall lie down weary, but unsatisfied.
For, give me a man, that hath seen Judas's Lanthorn at Saint Dennis's, the Ephesian Diana in the Louvre, the Great Vessel at Heidelberg, the Amphitheatre at Nismes, the Ruins and half-lettered Monuments of the Seven Hills, and a thousand such rarities; what peace hath his Heart, above those, that sit at home and contemn these toys ? And what if that man's fancy shall call him to the stables of the great Mogul, or to the solemnities of Mecha, or to the library of the mountain of the moon, will he be so far the drudge or lacquey of his own imagination, as to undertake this pilgrimage? Or, where will he stay at last, upon his return? If he have smelt the ill-scented cities of France, or have seen fair Florence, rich Venice, proud Genoa, Lucca the industrious: if then his thoughts shall tempt him to see the rich glutlon's house in Jerusalem, or invite him to Asmere, or Bengala, must he go? And, if he can deny and chide his own unprofitable desires at the last, why began he no sooner? That could not be forborne too early, which at last we repent to have done.
He, therefore, that travels only to please his fantasy, is like some woman with child, that longs for that piece, which she sees upon another's trencher, and swounds if she miss it; or some squire of dames that doats upon every beauty, and is every day love-sick anew. These humours are fitter for controulment, than observation.
It is a higher faculty, that Travel professeth to advance; the supreme power of our understanding: which if from hence it may be manifestly improved, he should not be worthy to tread upon the earth, that would not emulate Drake and Candish in compassing it.
But, set aside the study of civil law, which indeed finds better helps abroad, all sciences (the word may seem proud, but it is true) may be both more fitly wooed, and more surely won, within our four seas : for, what learning is that, which the Seas, or Alps, or
Pyrenees have engrossed from us? what profession, either liberal or manuary, wherein the greatest masters have not been at least equalled by our home-bred islanders?
What hath this or the former age known more eminent for learning, than some of ours, which have never trod on any but their own earth ? And, as good market-men by one handful judge of all the whole sack, why may we not find cause to think so of the rest, if they would not be wanting to themselves?
I am sure the Universities of our island know no matches in all the world : unto whose perfection, that as they exceed other so they may no less exceed themselves, nothing wanteth, but severe execution of the wise and careful laws of our ancestors; and restraint of that liberty, which is the common disease of the time. And why should not the child thrive as well with the mother's milk, as with a stranger's ?
Whether it be the envy or the pusillanimity of us English, we are still ready to under-value our own, and admire foreigners; while other nations have applauded no professors more than those, which they have borrowed from us. Neither have we been so unwise, as to lend forth our best. Our neighbours, which should be our corrivals in this praise, shall be our judges; if those few of our writers, which could be drawn forth into the public light, have not set copies to the rest of the world, not without just admiration. And how many stars have we of no less magnitude, that will not be seen!
Blessed be God, who hath made this word as true as it is great, no nation under heaven so aboundeth with all variety of learning as this island! From the head of God's Anointed doth this sweet perfume distil to the utmost skirts of this our region. Knowledge did never sit crowned in the Throne of Majesty, and wanted either respect or attendance. The double praise, which was of old given to two great nations, That Italy could not be put down for arms, nor Greece for learning, is happily met in one island. Those, therefore, that cross the seas to fill their brain, do but travel northward for heat; and seek that candle, which they carry in their hand.
Yea, so far is our ordinary Travel from perfecting the intellective powers of our gentry, that it rather robs them of the very desire of perfection.
For what discouragements shall they find from the love of studies, in those parts which are most sought to for civility! Who knows not, that they are grown to that height of debauchment, as to hold learning a shame to nobility ; esteening it as a fit guard for the long robe only, too base for their tissues ? an opinion, so savouring of proud ignorance and ignorant looseness, that I cannot honour it with a confutation. Who would think, that the reason
able soul of men, not professedly barbarous, should be capable of such a monster? What is learning, but reason improved ? And can reason so far degenerate, as to hate and contemn itself? Were these men made only for a sword, or a dog, or a horse ? only for sport, or execution?
I know not wherein Lewis the Eleventh shewed himself unwitty, but in the charge which he gave to his son, to learn no more Latin, but, Qui nescit dissimulare, nescit vivere: and would this alone teach him to rule well? Doth the Art of Arts (such is the government of men) require no grounds but dissimulation or ignorance? Even to the feeding of hogs or sheep, there is more or better skill necessary.
How unlike is this to a successor of Charles the Great, whose word it had wont to be, that he would rather abound in knowledge, than wealth!
In the Court of our King Henry the Eighth, a certain great peer, of this diet, could say, It was enough for noblemens' sons to wind their horn, and carry their hawk fair ; that study was for the children of a meaner rank. To whom Pace justly replied, That then noblemen must be content that their children may wind their horns and carry their hawks, while meaner men's sons do wield the affairs of state.
Certainly, it is a blind and lame government, that lacks learning: whose subjects, what are they else, but as limbs of a body whose head wanteth senses, which must needs therefore fail of either mo. tion or safety?
From hence it is, that so few of the foreign nobles are studious, in comparison of ours : (in which regard, I am not ashamed to recant that, which my un-experience hath, out of hearsay, written in praise of the French education :) and those few, that have stolen the turning over of books, hide their skill, lest they should be made to blush at their virtue.
What brave trophies and rich monuments hath the pen of our Gracious Sovereigo raised of himself unto all posterities! When ignorance and malice have shot their bolt, the glory of his great wisdoni and knowledge shall more fill the mouths and affect the hearts of all succeeding ages, than of his greatness. Paul the Fifth, and his greatest Chaplains Bellarmin and Perron, have felt the weight of his hand; whereas the great King, that styles himself Catholic, when he comes to pass his censorious Edict * upon Cardinal Baronius, who in the eleventh tome of his History seemed too busy in fastening the title of the kingdom of Sicily upon the Pope, professeth to ground his intelligence of his wrong only upon others' eyes; as if a book, though of a Cardinal, were too mean an object for the view of Majesty. And, as all subordinate greatness flows from the head, so do commonly also the dispositions.
* Edicto del Rey Don Phelippe d'Espana contra el Tractado della Monarchia de Sicilia enxerido por Cesar Baronio Cardinal, en el Tomo undecimo de sus An wales Ecclesiasticos.
Neither have the Doctors of the Romish Church, upon whom the implicit faith of the Laity is suspended, found it any ill policy, to cherish this dislike of bookishness in the great : for, while the candle is out, it is safe for them to play their tricks in the dark; and, if the Assyrians he once blinded, how easily may they be led into the midst of any Samaria! If the light of knowledge might freely shine to the world, Popery would soon be ashamed of itself, and vanish amongst the works of darkness.
Now how well these examples, and this conversation, shall whet the appetite unto good studies, it cannot be hard to judge.
But, perhaps, it is not the learning of the School, but of the State, wherein our Traveller hopes for perfection. The site and form of cities, the fashion of government, the manners of people, the raising and rate of foreign revenues, the deportment of courts, thit managing both of war and peace, is that, wherein his own eye shall be his best intelligencer; the knowledge whereof shall well requite his labour, whether fi discourse or for use.
What if I say, that, save the soothing up of our fancy in all this, these lessons may be as well taken out at home? I have known some, that have travelled no further than their own closet, which could both teach and correct the greatest Traveller, after all his tedious and costly pererrations.
What do we, but lose the benefit of so many journals, maps, bistorical descriptions, relations, if we cannot, with these helps, travel by our own fire-side?
He, that travels into foreign countries, talks perhaps with a peasant, or a pilgrim, or a citizen, or a courtier; and must needs take such information, as partial rumour or weak conjecture can give him: but he, that travels into learned and credible authors, talks with them, who have spent themselves in bolting out the truth of all passages; and who, having made their labours public, would have been like to hear of it, if they had mis-reported.
The ordinary Traveller propounds some prime cities to himself; and thither he walks right forward : if he ineet with ought, that is memorable in the way, he takes it up; but how many thousand matters of note fall beside him on either hand, of the knowledge whereof he is not guilty! whereas some grave and painful author hath collected into one view, whatsoever his country affords worthy of mark: having ineasured many a foul step for that, which we may see dry-shod ; and worn out many years in the search of that, which one hour shall make no less ours, than it was his own.
To which must be added, that our unperfect acquaintance may not hope to find so perfect information on the sudden, as a natural inhabitant may get, by the disquisition of bis whole life. Let an Italian or French passenger walk through this our island, what can
his Table-Books carry home, in comparison of the learned “ Britain" of our Camden, or the accurate “ Tables” of Speed? Or, if one of ours should, as too many do, pass the Alps, what pittances can his wild journey observe, in comparison of the “ Itinerary" of Fr. Schottus and Capugnanus? Or, he, that would discourse of the Royalties of the French Lilies, how can he be so furnished by flying report, as by the elaborate gatherings of Cassaneus, or of Degrassalius?
What should I be infinite ? This age is so full of light, that there is no one country of the habitable world, whose beams are not crossed and interchanged with other. Knowledge of all affairs, is like music in the streets, whereof those may partake, which pay nothing. We do not lie more open to one common sin, than to the eyes and pens of our neighbours. Even China itself, and Japonia, and those other remotest Isles and Continents, which have taken the strictest order for closeness, have received such discoveries, as would rather satisfy a reader, than provoke him to amend them.
A good book is, at once, the best companion, and guide, and way, and end of our journey. Necessity drove our fore-fathers out of doors, which else, in those misty times, had seen no light : we may, with more ease and no less profit, sit still, and inherit, and enjoy the labours of them and our elder brethren, who have purchased our knowledge with much hazard, time, toil, expence; and have been liberal of their blood, some of them, to leave us rich,
As for that Verbal Discourse, wherein I see some place the felicity of their Travel, thinking it the only grace to tell wonders to a ring of admiring ignorants, it is easy to answer, that table-talk is the least care of a wise man : who, like a deep stream, desires rather to run silent; and, as himself is seldom transported with wonder, so doth he not affect it in others : reducing all to use, rather than admiration; and more desiring to benefit, than astonish the hearer. Withal, that the same means, which enable us to know, do, at once, furnish us with matter of discourse: and, for the form of our ex pression, if it proceed not from that natural dexterity which we carry with us, in vain shall we hope to bring it home: the change of language is rather a hinderance to our former readiness. And, if some have fetched new noses, and lips, and ears from Italy, by the help of Tagliacotius and his scholars, never any brought a new tongue from thence.
To conclude, if a man would give himself leave to be thus vain and free, like a mill without a sluice, let him but travel through the world of books, and he shall easily be able to outtalk that tongue, whose feet have walked the furthest.