The compleat gentleman fashioning him absolute in the most necessary & commendable qualities concerning minde or bodie that may be required in a noble gentleman. By Henry Peacham, Mr. of Arts sometime of Trinity Coll: in Cambridge.
Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643?, Delaram, Francis, 1589 or 90-1627, engraver.
Page  38

CHAP. 5.

Of a Gentlemans carriage in the Vniuersity.

HAuing hitherto spoken of the dignitie of lear∣ning in generall, the dutie and qualitie of the Master, of a readie Method for vnderstanding the Grammar, of the Parent, of the child: I turne the head of my Discourse, with my Schollers horse, (whom mee thinkes I see stand ready brideled) for the Vniuersitie. And now, M. William Howard, giue me leaue (hauing passed that, I imagine, Limbus puerorum, & those perillous pikes of the Grammar rules) as a well willer vnto you and your studies, to beare you company part of the way, and to direct henceforth my Discourse wholly to your selfe.

Since the Vniuersitie whereinto you are embodied, is not vntruly called the Light and Eye of the Land, in re∣gard from hence, as from the Center of the Sunne, the glorious beames of Knowledge disperse thēselues ouer al, without which a Chaos of blindnesse would repo••esse vs againe: think now that you are in publike view, and nu∣cibus reliclis, with your gowne you haue put on the man, that from hence the reputation of your whole life taketh her first growth and beginning. For as no glorie crow∣neth with more abundant praise, then that which is heere won by diligence and wit: so there is no infamie abaseth the value and esteeme of a Gentleman all his life after, more then that procured by Sloath and Error in the Vni∣uersities; yea, though in those yeares whose innocencie haue euer pleaded their pardon; whereat I haue not a lit∣tle meruailed, considering the freedome and priuiledge of greater places.

But as in a delicate Garden kept by a cunning hand, Page  39 and ouerlooked with a curious eye, the least disorder or rankness of any one flower, putteth a beautifull bed or well contriued knot out of square, when rudenesse and deformitie is borne withall, in rough and vndressed pla∣ces: so, beleeue it, in this Paradise of the Muses, the least neglect and impression of Errors foot, is so much the more apparant and censured, by how much the sacred Arts haue greater interest in the culture of the mind, and correction of manners.

Wherefore, your first care, euen with pulling off your Boots, let be the choice of your acquaintance and company. For as infection in Cities in a time of sicknesse, is taken by concourse, and negligent running abroad, when those that keepe within, and are warie of them∣selues, escape with more safetie: So it falleth out here in the Vniuersitie; for this Eye hath also her diseases as wel as any other part of the body, (I will not say with the Physitians more) with those, whose priuate houses and studies being not able to containe them, are so cheape of themselues, and so plyable to good fellowship abroad; that in mind and manners (the tokens plainly appearing) they are past recouerie ere any friend could heare they were sicke.

Entertaine therefore the acquaintance of men of the soundest reputation for Religion, Life, and Learning, whose conference and company may bee vnto you 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,* a liuing and a mouing Library.*For con∣ference and conuerse was the first Mother of all Arts and Science, as being the greatest discouerer of our ignorance, and increaser of knowledge, teaching, and making vs wise by the iudgements and examples of many: and you must learne herein of Plato,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, that is, To be a louer of knowledge, desirous to heare much; and lastly, to inquire and aske often.

For the companions of your recreation, consort your selfe with Gentlemen of your owne ranke and qualitie; Page  40 for that friendship is best contenting and lasting. To be ouer free and familiar with inferiors, argues a basenesse of Spirit, and begetteth contempt: for as one shall here at the first priz: himselfe, so let him look at the same rate for euer after to be valued of others.

Carry your selfe eeuen and fairely, Tanquam in sta∣têra, with that moderation in your speech and action, (that you seemed with Vlsses, to haue Minerua alwaies at your elbow:) which should they be weighed by Enuy her selfe, the might passe them for currant; that you bee thought rather leauing the Vniuersitie, then lately come thither. But hereto the regard of your worth, the digni∣tie of the place, and abundance of so many faire presi∣dents, will be sufficient Motiues to stirre you vp.

Husband your time to the best, for,*The greedy desire of gaining Time, is a couetousnesse onely honest. And if you follow the aduice of Erasmus, and the practise of Plinius secundus, Diem in operas partire, to deuide the day into seuerall taskes of studie, you shall finde a great case and furtherance hereby; remembring euer to referre your most serious and important studies vnto the morning, Which sin sheth alone (say the learned) three parts of the worke. Iulius Caesar hauing spent the whole day in the field about his militarie affaires, diuided the night al∣so, for three seuerall vses; one part for his sleepe; a second, for the Common-wealth and publique busi∣nesse; the third, for his booke and studies. So care∣full and thriftie were they then of this precious treasure, which we as prodigall lauish out, either vainely or vi∣ciously, by whole moneths and yeares, vntill we be called toan account by our great Creditor, who will not abate vs the vaine expence of a minute.

But for as much as the knowledge of God, is the true end of all knowledge, wherein as in the boundlesse & im∣mense Ocean, all our studies and endeuours ought to em∣bosome thselues: remēber to lay the foundation of your Page  41 studies, The feare and seruice of God, by oft frequenting Prayer and Sermons, reading the Scriptures, and other Tractates of Pietie and Deuotion: which howsoeuer prophane and irreligious Spirits condemne, and con∣temne, as Politian a Canon of Florence,* being vpon oc∣casion asked if hee euer read the Bible ouer;*Yes once (quoth he) I read it quite thorough, but neuer bestowed my time worse in all my life.* Beleeue you with Chrysostome, that the ignorance of the Scriptures, is the beginning and fountaine of all euill: That the word of God is (as our Sauiour calleth it) the key of knowledge; which giuen by in∣spiration of God, is profitable to teach, to conuince, to correct and to instruct in righteousnesse. And rather let the pious and good King Alphonsis,* be a president vnto you, and to all Nobilitie, who read ouer the Bible nor once, nor twice, but foureteene times,* with the Postils of Lyra and Burgensis, containing thrice or foure times as much in quantitie, and would cause it to be caried ordinarily with his Scepter before him, whereon was engrauen, Pro lege & Grege.

And that worthy Emp. & great Champion of Christen∣dome, Charlemaigne, who spent his daies of rest (after so mnay glorious victories obtained of the Saracens in Spain, the Hunnes, Saxens, Gothes and Vandals in Lumbardie and Italy, with many other barbarous Nations, whereof mi∣lions fell vnder his Sword) in reading the holy Scrip∣tures, and the workes of the Fathers, especially S. Au∣gustine,* and his bookes De Ciuitate Dei, in which hee tooke much delight: Whom besides, it is recorded, to haue beene so studious, that euen in bed, he would haue his Pen and Inke, with Parchment at his Pillow readie, that nothing in his meditation, nothing might ouer-slip his memorie: and if any thing came into his mind, the light being taken away, a place vpon the wall next him, was thinly ouer-laid withWaxe, whereon with a brasen pin he would write in the darke. And we reade, as oft as Page  42 a new King was created in Israel, he had with the orna∣ments of his kingly dignitie, the Booke of the Law deliuered vnto him; signifying his Regall authoritie, was lame and defectiue, except swaied by Piety and Wise∣dome, contained in that booke. Whereunto alludeth that deuice of Paradine, an Image vpon a Globe, with a sword in one hand, and a booke in the other, with, Ex vtroque Caesar; and to the same purpose, another of our owne in my Minerua Britann, which is a Serpent wrea∣thed about a Sword, placed vpright vpon a Bible, with the word, Initium Sapiemia.