Cato major, or, The book of old age first written by M.T. Cicero ; and now excellently Englished by William Austin of Lincolns Inne, Esquire ; with annotations upon the names of the men and places.

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Cato major, or, The book of old age first written by M.T. Cicero ; and now excellently Englished by William Austin of Lincolns Inne, Esquire ; with annotations upon the names of the men and places.
Cicero, Marcus Tullius.
London :: Printed for William Leake, and are to be sold at his shop ...,

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Subject terms
Old age.
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"Cato major, or, The book of old age first written by M.T. Cicero ; and now excellently Englished by William Austin of Lincolns Inne, Esquire ; with annotations upon the names of the men and places." In the digital collection Early English Books Online. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 27, 2024.


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O TITUS, if I ease the care, which sticketh in your breast, Which now doth vex and trouble you, wherewith you are opprest; Shall it be thought, Worth ought?

FOr I may well salute you O ATTICUS, with those Verses, wherewith that right worthy, though not welthy man [3] ENNIUS, saluted

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[4] Flaminius; & although I surely know, that you are not so troubled day and night as was he, (for I have perceived the moderation of your mind, and I understand that you not only brought a Sir-name from [5] Athens, but also humanity and wisedome) yet notwithstanding I suppose, that you are sometimes much troubled with these matters, where with I my self am: the re∣medie for which griefes is both greater, and to be referred till an∣other time. Now it seemeth good unto me to write something of old age; For I will assay to ease both you and my self, of the burden (which is common to us both,) either of the age present, or of the age to come, though I know for truth that you will bear the weight of it moderately and wisely as you do all things; but as soon as I deter∣mined to write of old age, you

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came into my mind worthy of this gift, which might be equally used by us both; and beleeve me, the ma∣king of this book was so delight∣full to me, that it did not only wipe away all the griefes of mine age, but made it easie and pleasant. Where∣fore Philosophy can never be suffi∣ciently praised, which whosoever followeth, may live all his life time without molestation, of which we have spoken much already, and intend to speak more hereafter: But this book of old age. I have sent to you, not attributing all the speech to [6] Tithon, as [7] Aristo Chius doth, least it should seem of small authority, but to [8] Marcus Cate the old man, whereby it may carry the greater grace and preeminence, at whom I make [9] Scipio, & [10] Laelius, wondering that he beare his

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age so easily, and he answering them; who if he speak more learnedly, then he was wont to do in his bookes, you must attri∣bute it to the Greek tongue: in which it is well known he was very studious in his age. But what need more words? for now the speech of Cato himself, shall declare all our determination of old age.

I. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. MArcus Tullius Cicero, The Author of this Book, and many other most noble and ex∣cellent workes, both of Philosophy, and Oratory, he was the sonne of a Knight at Rome, he passed most of the most honourable offices in Rome, he was a faithfull and ear∣nest

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  • lover and defender of the Com∣mon-wealth, which began to decay at his death, having lost so good a member; he was banished, and after beheaded, by the commandement of Antonius and Octavius.
  • 2. Titus Pomponius Atticus, an honourable man, and a great friend to Cicero, he lived in great credit, both with the Romans and with the Athenians, from whence he brought the Sir-name of Atticus.
  • 3. Ennius an ancient Poet, borne at Tarentum, he was brought to Rome, by Cato. vide numero 8. & 13.
  • 4. Flaminius a grave Senator, to whom Ennius wrote a Book of con∣solation, when he grieved for his brothers expulsion out of the Se∣nate.
  • 5. Athens a city in Greece, between Macedon and Achaia, built by Cecrops, who raigned 50. years

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  • there, it was called Athens by Mi∣nerva, who is also called Athene; it was the place or university of lear∣ning.
  • 6. Tithon the sonne of Laomedon, beloved of Aurora; he was counted a fool, because when he was very old, be requested to be turned into a Grashopper, and might have had immortality.
  • 7. Aristo Chius a Philosopher of the Ile Coas, who dedicated a Book to the former Tithon. Cicero writes thus of him: elegant and courteous Aristo; but that gravity which ought to be in a Philosopher, was not in him; many excellent things were written by him, but they carry no grace.
  • 8. Marcus Portius Cato, whom Ci∣cero here makes one of his speakers in his dialogue, was a man of great honor, authority and severity; he was twice consul, he was the first raiser of

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  • his house; he was wont to say that he repented three things; one that ever he went by water, when he might have gone by land; the second, that he let passe an idle day; the third, that he told any secret to his wife.
  • 9. Publius Scipio, the adopted son of Affricanus Major, the second Person of this dialogue, was of Kinne to Cato; he by the counsell of Cato, was sent to Carthage, in the third Carthaginian warre, and utterly o∣verthrew it.
  • 10. Caius Laelius, the third person in this dialogue, was an excellent young man, a neer friend to Scipio, of whose friendship Cicero wrote a book de Amicitia.

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The Speakers. M. CATO. P. SCIPIO. C. LAELIUS. CHAP. 2.


I Am often wont (good M. Cato) with this my friend Laelius, to admire among other things, your excellent and perfect wisedome; but especially that we never perceived, that your old age was troublesome, which is so grie∣vous to most old men, that they say they bare a burden more grievous then [1] Aetna.


Scipio and Laelius, you seem to wonder at a thing not very hard: For that age is only grievous to those that have no taste of wisdome and learning in themselves to make

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them live happily: but to them which see all perfection and con∣solation from their own experi∣ence, nothing can seem heavy which the necessity of nature bring∣eth: of which sort old age is chief, which all desire to obtain, and blame being obtained; such is their unconstancy, foolishnesse and perversity, they say that it creepeth upon them ere they are aware. First let me aske, who bade them o∣ver reckon themselves? for how much sooner doth age creep on youth, then youth on child-hood? then, how much more grievous would their age be to them, if they should as well live to the eight hun∣dred year, as to the eighty year? for the former age (though long,) when it is past, can asswage a foo∣lish old age, with no comfort Wherfore if you were wont to ad∣mire

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my wisedome (which I wish were worthy of your opinion or our sirname) in this I am wise that I follow nature as a god, and her I do obey, by whom it is not like that when the other parts of our age are well set down, that the last part as it were by a carelesse Poet, should be neglected. And it is very neces∣sary that there may be some end of our bodies, like the fruits of trees, and of the earth, which wither and fall away, with a timely ripenesse, which ought of a wise man to be patiently borne; for what other thing is meant by the [2] battell of the Giants against the Gods, but the resisting of nature?

II, TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. AeTna a mountain in Ci∣cilia, that casts forth

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  • flames of fire at the top; the Poets faine that Jupiter set this hill on the head of Tiphoeus the Giant, which fought against him in the bat∣tell of the gods.
  • 2. The battell of the Gyants is in O∣vids Metamorphosis, where he fains that they heaped hils on hils, thinking to winne heaven, but were destroyed with lightning.



BUt Cato, you shall do a very accep∣table thing to us, (that I may also promise for Sci∣pio) if (because we would, and we hope to be old men) we may learne by you before, by

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what means and reasons we may most easily bear that age incroach∣ing on us.


I will do it Laelius, especially if as you say, it will be acceptable to both of you.


Surely Cato unlesse it be trou∣blesome to you, we would learne what it is; as if you had gone some long journey, wherein we must en∣ter to follow you.


I will do it as I may Scipio, for I have often been at the complaints of men of my sort, (for as the pro∣verb is, birds of a feather flie to∣gether.) which [1] Caius Salinator, and [2] Spurius Albinus, men that have been Consuls, and almost my equals in years, were wont to make, as well for that they wanted plea∣sures,

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as that they were despised of them that were wont to worship them, which men seemed to me to accuse that which was not to be accused. For if that should fall out by the meanes of age, the same by use would happen to me and to all other old men, many of whose ages I know without complaint, which are no whit greived that they are released from the bonds of lusts, neither are they despised of their friends; but the fault of such com∣plaints, is in the manners not in the age. For moderate, courteous and gentle old men do lead an easie life, but inhumanity and importunity is hatefull in all ages.


It is as yon say Cato; but it may be that some wil object that to you by reason of your riches, plenty and dignity, your age seems tolerable; but that cannot happen to all men.

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Truly Laelius, that is somewhat, but in no wise are all things under that predicament; for as [3] The∣mistocles is reported to have answe∣red a certain [4] Seriphian in a braul, when he told him that he had gotten renoun not by his own, but by his countreys glory, neither (answered Themistocles) should I be unrenouned, were I a Seriphian, nor thou renouned, wert thou an Athenian: so it may be said of age, for it cannot be pleasant (no not to a wise man) in extreme poverty, nor grievous to a fool in great plenty.

III. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. CAius Livius Salinator, Con∣sul with M. Valcrius Mes∣salla, 562 years after the building of Rome.
  • ...

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  • 2. Spurius Postumus Albinus, Con∣sul with Quintus Marius Phi∣lippus. Anno 568. ab urbe cond.
  • 3. Themistocles an excellent A∣theman, who lived very dissolutely in his youth, but in his agebore him∣selfe with great honor and credit; he was of excellent memory, he slew himselfe, because he would not see the overthrow of his country.
  • 4. A Seriphian of the Isle Seri∣pho, which was amongst the Cy∣clades; it was a place of much in∣famie, by reason offenders were thi∣ther banished.


THe aptest weapons of age (Scipio and Laelius,) are arts and exercises of vertue, (which observed at all times)

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when you have lived long, bring forth wonderfull fruit, not only because they will never fail you, no not in the extreemest part of your age, (which is much) but because the confidence of a life heretofore well led, and the remembrance of many good deeds, is exceeding pleasant. I being a young man, so loved [1] Quintus Maximus the old man, (he which took [2] Taren∣tum) as if he had been my equall in years. For there was in that man, gravity seasoned with courtesie, neither had age changed his condi∣tions; yet when I first began to love him, he was not very old, but well stricken in years. For the year that he was first Consul, I was borne, and in his fourth Consul∣ship, I being a young stripling, went with him to [3] Capua; in the fifth yeare, I went [4] Questor, to Tarentum, then [5] Aedile; foure

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years after I was made [6] Praetor, which office I bear, Tutidanus and Cethegus, being Coss. and at that time he being a very old man, plea∣ded the [7] Cincian lawes; He not only waged warre stoutly when he was very old, but by delaylng bat∣tail, overthrew youthfull [8] Han∣nibal, of whom our friend [9] En∣nius thus writeth.

One man to us by long delayes, restored the Common wealth. He never lov'd vain glory more then he esteem'd our health. The glory of the man therefore Shall still remain and flourish more.

But with what vigilancy did he take Tarentum, when in my hearing he answered [10] Salinator, who having lost the town, fled into the Castle, and bragging said, O Quintus

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Fabius, by my means thou hast ta∣ken Tarentum; very true, (said he smiling) for if thou hadst not lost it, I had not wonne it; neither was he more excellent in warre, then in peace, who being the second time [11] Consul, [12] Spurius Car∣villius his colleague in office, not assisting him, he of himselfe resi∣sted with all his might [13] Caius Flaminius the [14] Tribune of the people, who against the whole au∣thority of the Senate, went about to divide the Picean [15] and Galicane fields, to each particular man; when he was [16] augur, he durst boldly affirme, that that was done with the best aspects, which was done for the safety of the Common-wealth. I know many excellent things of the man, but no∣thing more admirable, then how he bore the death of his sonne [17] Marcus, a singular man, and a Con∣sull.

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I have in my hands the praise of the man, which when we read, what Philosopher do we not con∣temn? yet was he not more excel∣lent abroad, and in the eyes of the people, then at home, and in his private house; what speeches, what precepts, what knowledge of Phi∣losophy? and (for a Roman,) very learned; he kept all things in memory, not only civill but exter∣nall warrs; whose conference when I did greedily enjoy, I did divine (as it hath sithence hapned) that he being dead, there should be none of whom I might learne. But wherefore speak I so much of Max∣imus? because you may see that it was detestable to be spoken, that such an old age was miserable.

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IV. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. QUintus Fabius Maximus, of the house of the Fabii, a noble and right valiant kindred; his family alone with their kinds∣folks, and adherents, often over∣threw Veients: till at last being entrapped by deceit, neere the river Cromera, they were all slain in the battell, except one that remained at Rome being a child, of whom long after came this Quintus Maxi∣mus, who lived to be 5 times consul and once Dictator; he was called also Cunctator or the delayer, because, he by delayes overcame Hannibal.
  • 2. Tarentum, a most famous city in Graecia, built by Tarent, the sonne of Neptune, and by him so named; it had great warres with the Romanes, in the time of Cato.
  • 3. Capua the metropolitane city of

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  • ... Campania, built (according to Livie,) by Capys the captain of the Samnites, of whom it took the name; it had great warres with the Romans, in the time of the Car∣thaginian warre.
  • 4. Qaestor, an ancient office among the Romans, instituted first in the time of Numa Pompilius; he was togather the tribute, and mony of the people, for the warres or other∣wise; The Treasurer.
  • 5. Aedile, he that had the care of the reparations of the Temples of the gods, and the Theaters of the common-people, and the playes.
  • 6. Praetor, An office in the city like our L. Major, but of greater au∣thority; for by his power he might make, and abolish Lawes at his pleasure.
  • 7. The Cincian law, was first made by M. Cincius, against bribery.
  • 8. Hannibal a valiant captain, and

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  • governour of the Carthaginians; he often overthrew the Romans, but he was utterly overcome by Scipio Affricanus, and (as Plu∣tarch writes) at last he poisoned himself with poison he had in a ring. Eutropius writes he was stoned to death by the Carthagini∣ans, for some offence; but Livie sayes he was crucified on a crosse.
  • 9. Ennius vide 2.
  • 10. Salinator, Consull with Claudius Nero; he defended the Tarentins against the Romanes, he flew As∣druball coming to help Hanniball his brother.
  • 11. Consul when Tarquinius Super∣bus that ravished Lucrecia was slaine, and his stock banished, the office of Consull instead of King began among the Romans; it was performed by two men, they had as great authority as the King, onely they were but in Office one yeare.
  • ...

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  • ... 12. Spurius Carvillius, Consull with Cato, in the yeare of Rome 526.
  • 13. Caius Flaminius Tribune when Cato was Consull, who afterward being Censor, expulsed Caius out of the Senate,
  • 14. Tribune was as it were the So∣licitor for the people, being first created after the Volsian & Sabin warres. They grew to so great au∣thority, that sitting in the Senate, they would crosse whatsoever was decreed, if they liked it not; they ever withstood the Senate for the people; it was a very factious office and full of strife, often setting the people together by the eares with the Senate, and the Senate with them. They might not come into the Temples.
  • 15. The Galicane fields were wonne from the French-men, and were to be divided to the souldiers.
  • 16. Augur, was in great reverence

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  • with the Romans, they were as Priests, and by looking into the in∣trals of beasts, and birds, they pro∣phesied of things to come. They were first derived from the Hetrurians; they had a Colledg, and as it were a consultation-house, to meet & con∣fer of Comets and Signs in the ayr, for the good of the common people.
  • 17. Marcus Fabius, he was the son of Maximus, he was second Con∣sul, once in the yeer of Rome 506, and againe in the yeere 508; in his first Consulship, he overcame the Carthaginians by Sea.


NEither can every man be such as was Scipio, or Maximus, that the over∣throws of Cities and bat∣tails

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by land, & fights by Sea, triūphs and victories, may be recorded of them; yet the old age of a privat life wel and quietly before lead, is very light and pleasing. Such as we read the age of [1] Plato was, who wri∣ting in the 81 yeares of his age dy∣ed; such was the age of [2] Socra∣tes, who is said to have written the booke [3] Planathenaicus, in the ninety fourth year of his age, whose Master [4] Gorgias Leontinus, lived an hundred and seven yeares, neither did he cease from his study, who when he was asked why he would live so long, answered, that he had no cause yet to accuse age of; an ex∣cellent answer, and worthy of so learned a man. For fooles lay the faults of their own, on age, which Ennius did not, of whom I spake before.

Like to a valiant horse which oft, in running man the best:

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At Mount Olympus, being old, is let alone at rest.

He compareth this age, to the age of a valiant and victorious horse and him you may well remember, for the eleventh yeer after his death T. Flaminius, and Marcus Attillius were made Consuls, but he dyed when he was threescore and tenne yeers old; Cepi and Philippus being Consuls the second time, when I (being threescore and five, in good strength and with a cleere voyce) pleaded the [5] Voconian Law. For so long lived Ennius, he bore two burdens, old age, and poverty, in such sort, that he seemed almost to be delighted with them.

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V. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. PLato the sonne of Aristo and Periander, borne at Athens, the same yeere and day that Apollo was borne at Delos, a swarme of Bees when he was young light on his mouth, when he lay in his Cradle, in token of his Eloquence to come, he was Scorates, his Scholer, after whose death he went to Philolan∣uan among the Pythagoreans, and from thence to Egypt, where he was healed of a disease by the Seawater, wherefore he was wont to say, the Sea ebbe dand flowed all manner of diseases. When he dwell at Athens, he brought into one vo∣lumn, al the works of Pythag. He∣raclitus, and Socrates Dionysius the Tyrant, when he had caused him to be sold, and hearing that he was safely returned into his owne

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  • Country, wrote to him that he would not either speake or write e∣vil of him. Who answered that he had not so much idle time, as once to thinke of him; he dyed being 84 yeere old.
  • 2. Socrates, the sonne of Sophro∣niscus a Lapidary, and Phenareta a Midwife, borne at Athens, ma∣ster to Plato, a man of great pati∣ence; he had two wives, Xantippe, and the daughter of Aristidas; he was wont to say that whether a man did marry or no, he should re∣pent; he was often troubled with the scolding of Xantippe his curst wife, but never moved. Alcibi∣ades whom he deerely loved, was wont to tell him that he could not abide the railing of Xantippe: yet quoth Socrates I can, for I am used to it; but quoth he canst thou abide the gagling of thy Geese at home? Yea quoth Alcibiades,

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  • for they lay me egges; so quoth So∣crates, Xantippe brings me chil∣dren. He seldome wrote any thing, saying that wisdome should be printed in mens hearts, not on beasts skins. He was judged to be the wisest man that lived, by the Oracle of Apollo, for which he was envyed, and accufed that he would not worship Images, and was condemned by fourescore jud∣ges to be poysoned, which was forthwith done by the executio∣ners.
  • 3. Panathenaicus, a booke which Socrates wrote of all the noble ghests, and deeds of the Athenians, which Book is lost.
  • 4. Gorgias of Leontia, an excel∣lent Rhetorician, the Scholler of Empedocles, and master to So∣crates, and other excellent Phy∣losophers; he got so much by his Art, that he first set up a golden

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  • Statua, in the Temple of Apollo. He dyed as Plyny saith, being a hundred and nine yeere old.
  • 5. The Voconian Law, was made by Caius Voconius, which was that no man should make his daughter his sole heyre, which was after repealed by Domitianus Caesar.


BUt when I consider in my mind, I finde 4. causes why age may seem mi∣serable; the first that it hindereth men from doing their affaires; the second, it weakneth the body; the third, it taketh away all pleasures; the fourth, that it is neere death; of these causes as much as they may prevaile and are just, if

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you please we will see a little.

Doth age hinder us from our af∣faires? From what? From those which are done in youth; and in strength, are then the businesses of old men nothing? Which though with weake bodies yet with strong minds may, be done? Then neither Quintus Maximus, nor [1] Lucius Paulus, your father Scipio (the father in Law to my now dead [2] sonne) and other old men, when with counsel and authority they de∣fended the Common-wealth, did nothing. The [3] Curii, the [4] Fa∣britii, the [5] Corimcam did no∣thing; it happen that [6] Appius Claudius was blind in his age, yet he doubted not when the Senate in∣clined to Peace with [7] Pyrrhus, to say that which Ennius hath set dovvn in verses,

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Whether now bend your minds, a headlong fall to bring, Which heretofore hadwont to stand, as straight as any thing.

And many other things most gravely; for you knovv the verse and Oration of Alpius is extant, and these things he did seventeen yeere after his second Consulship, vvhen there vvas ten yeeres betvveen each Consulship, and he had been [8] Censor before the first, of vvhich vvarre of Pyrrhus before spoken, it is recorded it vvas great, for so vve have received it from our fore-fa∣thers. Therefore they bring no∣thing, vvhich affirme that old age is not busied in affaires, and they are like them vvhich say, the Pylatin sailing doth nothing, vvhen some mad fellovves climbe the ropes, o∣thers leap up and dovvn the hatches

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and others Pumpe: But he holding the Sterne, and sitting quietly in the Poope, doth nt as the young men do, but farre better, and that of more import; great matters are compassed, not by strength, swiftnes and celerity of body, but by counsel authority, and vvisdome: of vvhich things age is not deprived, but sto∣red; unlesse you vvill say that I, vvho have been souldier, Tribune, and Legate, and Consul in divers vvarres, do novv seeme to loyter vvhen I vvage not vvarre, yet do I prescribe to the Senate vvhat things may be done, and I shew them long before, hovv Siege may be laid to subtill [9] Carthage, of vvhich I vvill never cease to feare, till I be assured that it bee rased to the ground, which victorie I beseech the immortall Gods to reserve for you O Scipio, that you may follovv the example of your

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Grandfather; from whose death it is now this 33 yeeres; yet his fame remains to all posterity, he dyed a yeere before I was Censor, nine yeeres after my Consullship, who (I being in the office) was the second time made Consull. There∣fore if he had lived an hundred yeer should he have been aweary of his age? Running, leaping, tilt, and barriers, are not fit exercises for age, but wisdome, counsell and discretion, which unlesse they had been in old men, our ancestors would never have called the chief councel a Senate. Among the Lace∣demonians, they which bear greatest Offices, as they be, so also are they called old men, and if you will read of forrainge matters, you shall find many Common-wealths over∣thrown by young men, but restored

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and held up by old men. Tell me how you have lost your great Com∣mon-wealth so quickly? Thus it is answered in the play of the [10] Poet Naevius.

There came forth new Orators, fooles, and young men. For rash∣nesse is a quality of youth, but pru∣dence of age.

VI TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. LUcius Paulus Aemylianus, an excellent man, father to Scipio, and brother in Law to Ca∣to.
  • 2. Cato the sonne of Cato Major, who valiantly fighting under Pau∣lus Aemylius against Perseus, was slaine; he marryed Tertia the daughter to Paulus Aemylius.
  • 3. Curii.
  • ...

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  • ... 4. Fabritii, a noble stock, not only memorable for their severe life, but their justice and continency, because one of them when he might have had Pyrrhus poysoned by the Samnites, he refused it as disho∣nourable.
  • 5. Coruncani, such another noble family; one of them being a very wiseman, was sent Ambassadour to the Queene of Illyria, and was slaine in his returne backe, contra∣ry to the Law of Armes. Another dyed in a battaile against Amilcar in Sicilia.
  • 6. Appius Claudius a Senator of Rome, who having not been a long time in the Senate by reason of his blindnesse, when he heard that the Senators for the confirma∣tion of a Peace betweene them and Pyrrhus; would admit him into the City, he came thither, and with all his might, disswaded them.
  • ...

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  • ... 7. Pyrrhus King of the Epirots, de∣scended by the fathers side from Hercules, and by the mothers side from Achilles, who when the peo∣ple would have slaine him for his fathers cruelty towards them, he was by his mother conveyed to He∣roa the wife of Glaucus King of Illyria, from whence being 11 yeer old he came to his own Kingdom, where he grow up in all vertue, and after ayded the Tarentines a∣gainst the Romans, at last he was slaine with a Tyle sheard, at the ta∣king of Argos.
  • 8. Censor, an Office at the first crea∣ted by the Senate, to look to the Ta∣bles of the Lawes, and such like, they grow to such pride and au∣thority, that they would tax all men, correct the manners and di∣scipline of the Senators, make whom they listed chiefe, and dis∣place whom they listed, from the

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  • Office of Senator, as Cato Major did; the first Censors were Papirius and Sempronius.
  • 9. Carthage cbiefe City of Lybia, built by Dido, 70 yeeres after Rome; it had three long warres with the Romans, Haniball being their Captain; but he being slain, the Senate by the counsell of Cato sent P. Scipio into Affrica, who in the third war 'utterly destroyed it, and raced it to the ground.
  • 10. Naeuius a comicall Poet, who writ Satyricall playes, in the time of the first Carthaginian warre, which warre he also wrote in verse, he was banished at length for his railing.

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BUt you will say, their me∣mory is wasted; tis truth, and I beleeve it, unlesse you exercise it, or be dull of your selfe by nature. Themistocles knew all the names of the citizens of Athens, and do you think, that when he was aged, he would so much forget himselfe, as to salute [1] Lysimachus, by the name of [2] Aristides? And for my own part, I not only remember the names of those men which now live, but also their fathers and grand-fathers, neither do I fear to read monuments, least (as they say) I should lose my memory, for by them the memory of the dead is revived, neither ever did I hear

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any old man, that had forgot where he had hid his treasure. All things that they care for, they re∣member, who to them, and to whom they owe any thing. How much have the Lawyers, Priests, Augurs, and old Philosophers remembred? Memorie remaineth in old men, if they continue stu∣dious and industrious, and that not only in states of honourable men, but also in the private and quiet life. [3] Sophocles wrote Tra∣gedies in the extreamest age, who because of his study, when he see∣med to neglect his houshold affairs, was brought into Question by his own sonnes, that according to our custome, that the good; of old men that dote and cannot well use them, should be taken from them; so that the Iudges would remove his goods from him, as from a do∣tard, and givethem to his sonnes.

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Then the old man is reported to have recited a Tragedy of [4] Oe∣dippus Coloneus (which he had last written, and had in his hands) and to have demanded whether that seemed the verse of a dotard or no, for which he was delivered, and freed by the sentence of the Judg∣es, whether hath age therefore made [5] Hesiodus, [6] Simonides, [7] Stesicorus, or those whom I spake of before, [8] Isocrates, Gorgias, [9] Homer, or the Prince of Philosophers, [10] Py∣thagoras, [11] Democritus, Plato, [12] Zenocrates, or afterwards [13] Zeno, [14] Cleanthes, or him whom you saw at [15] Rome, [16] Diogenes the Stoick to be dumb or cease in their studies? were not all these mens studies like to their life?

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VII. Table of Annotations.
  • 1. LYsimachus son of Agathe∣des who for some offence, Alexander caused to be cast to a hungry lion, whom he very vali∣antly slew, and plucked the tongue out of his head, with bare hands; wherefore ever after he was great∣ly honoured and esteemed of Alex∣ander.
  • 2. Aristides, a noble Athenian in the time of Themistocles, with whom he falling out, about one Stesilea a beauteous maid, whom they both loved, was by him bani∣shed, and after being restored by Xerxes the Persian King, he passed many great offices in A∣thens, but at last died so poor that he had not enough to pay for his buriall.
  • ...

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  • ... 3. Sophocles, an excellent Tragedian in Athens, he was called for his ex∣cellent sweetnes of speech Apis, or the Bee; he wrote twenty three Tra∣gedies, some say more; he lived al∣most a hundred years, and obtain∣ed twenty three victories, where∣of the last so evercame him with joy, that he died immediately; his sonnes were three, Jophontes Le∣ostines, and Aristo.
  • 4. The Tragedie of Oedipus Colo∣neus was written by Sophocles. This Oedipus was sonne to the King of Thebes, and having slain Laius his Father, not knowing him to be so, he marryed his own mother, and on her begat two sons and one daughter; after having knowledge what he had done, he pulled out his eyes, and dyed mise∣rably, his mother hanged her selfe, and his two sonnes slew each other, and after, when after the custome

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  • of the Country, their bodies should be burnt, the flame parted, and would not burn whole; so great was their hatred in their life, that dead, one fire would not burne them.
  • 5. Hesiodus being sent by his father into a mountaine to keepe sheepe, dreamed that he was sodainely made a Poet, and afterward wrote a catalogue of noble weomen, and many other workes.
  • 6. Simonides a Poet, who would boast that in the fourescore yeere of his age, he taught verses; some thinke that he wrote the Art of me∣mory; it is said that when he was one day bidden to a banquet, he was suddainly called out from din∣ner, and before he returned, the house was fallen down, and all the ghests so pasht with the ruines, that when they came to bury them, no man knew which was which;

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  • but Simonides, by reason of his excellent memory, remembring in what place every man sate, and their aparel: shewed to each man which was his friend; he dyed when he was ninety yeares old.
  • 7. Stesicorus, A Poet of Siculia.
  • 8. Isocrates an excellent Orator of Athens, he was borne the same day that Diana was, and lived se∣venty yeeres.
  • 9. Homer Prince of the Poets, was blind; he wrote the warre of the Grecians with the Trojans, which he called Illiads; he is and hath been of great estimation, so that Alexander having taken a most rich casket, among the spoyle of Darius, thought it so fit for no∣thing as for Homers bookes, he lived a hundred and eight yeeres, the place of his birth and Parents are unknown.
  • ...

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  • ... 10. Pythagoras called the Prince of Philosophers, being indeed the first that called himselfe a Philosopher, he was born at Samos, and was the sonne of a Carver, he had as it is reported 600 Disciples, among whom was Architas the Taren∣tine. He first taught that the soules of men departed went into other bodies; which that he might the better perswade, he affirmed that when he was first born he was Athalide the sonne of Mercurie, and did obtaine of him this boone, that he onely of all men, might re∣member all the bodies that ever he should be changed out of. Which he obtained, and after affirmed that Athalide being dead, he was chan∣ged into Euphorbus, who being staine at Troy, he was born again in the body of Hermotinus, and after his death into the body of Delias, a fisher man, who was al∣so

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  • called Pyrrhus, and lastly he was made Pythagoras. And that so all other mens soules did in like manner; onely they alwayes forgat from whose body they last came; he abstained from all flesh, and fed on∣ly on roots and herbs; he would be called Philosophus, that is a lo∣ver of wisdome, but not Sophius, that is wise, for he said that none but God was wise. He dyed at Me∣tapontum, being 99 yeere old.
  • 11. Democritus, born at Abderites, his Father was a very rich man, so that he feasted Xerxes great Army that drunke Rivers dry. After his Fathers death he went to travaile, and returned very poor, where under the city wals he builded himselfe a silly cottage, where he lived contem∣plating the works of nature. He affirmed that all things were made of Atomes, such as we see fleet

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  • in the sunne in a shiny day, he was wont to laugh always what chance soever hapned: (as on the contra∣ry Heraclitus alwaies wept,) He willingly abstaining from meat, died when he was 104. yeers old.
  • 12. Xenocrates born in Calce∣donia, Plato's schollar, he was somewhat blunt, and very earnest and dry in his Communication, he loved Plato very much, he lived chastly and holily, and wrote ma∣ny good works, and died being fourescore and twelve years old.
  • 13. Zeno, the sonne of Pyrelus, and the adopted sonne of Parmenides, he learned his Philosophy of his adopted father, wherein he was so excellent, that Plato and Ari∣stotle, affirme he first invented logick; he was the beginner of the Stoicks, and is therefore called the prince of that sect, he was a

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  • Governour in the Common∣wealth, he for the good of his Coun∣trey, conspired against Dionysius a Tyrant, but was taken in the a∣ction, and being examined of his confederats, he accused all the Ty∣rants chief friends, and told him that if he would hear him in pri∣vate, he would discover more; whereupon the King bowing down his head to hear him, he bit of his nose; for this he was pounded in a stone mortar, to make him con∣fesse; but he biting of his tongu, and spitting it in his tormentors face, died being 98. yeers old.
  • 14. Cleanthes a Stoick Philosopher, and Schollar to Zeno; he bore la∣bour and griefe, with such chear∣fulnesse, that he was called an o∣ther Hercules. He was very poor, and when he wanted mony to buy paper, he wrote the saying of Ze∣no, on bones and shels.
  • ...

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  • ... 15. Rome built first by Romulus and Remus, two brethren, a City too well known of some, sufficient∣ly of all.
  • 16. Diogenes the Cynick Philoso∣pher, who when his father was imprisoned, fled to Athens, and became Antisthenes Scholar. He lived ninety years, and died as some say of the biting of a mad dog, others say holding his breath he stiflled himselfe. His Schollars made a Tombe for him, and on the top thereof they set a dog. His wit∣ty and satyricall learning, are known of most men.

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BUt that we may omit these divine studies, I can name some of the [I] Sabine fields, countrey [2] Ro∣mans, my neighbours, and famili∣ars, then whom none take more pains in the fields, either in sow∣ing, gathering, or sorting the fruits, yet among them it is no mar∣vell; for there is none so old, but that he thinkes to live one year more; but they labour in things which they know do not at all belong unto them, and as our friend Statius Caecilius saith in his Synephebis, they plant trees which shall not give fruit till ano∣ther age, and after they are dead;

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which makes the husband-man, when any askes him for whom he sets those trees, to answer, for the immortall gods, that would not that I only should receive the fruits of the earth from my prede∣cessors, but leave them also to my posterity. That same [3] Caecilius wrote thus of age.

If old age brings no other faults, this one enough will be By living long they oft behold the things they would not see.

And many times the things they would; but youth it selfe is subject to that inconvenience. But he wrote yet worse of age then that.

In age I take this thing to be the greatest misery, To think the younger sort of men do hate, their company

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Nay rather pleasant then hate∣full is their company. For as wise old men are delighted with young men, indued with a vertuo us dis∣position, and their age is made the easier that are worshipped and be∣loved of such; so wise young men are rejoyced in the precepts of old men, by which they are led to the studies of virtue; neither do I per∣ceive that I am lesse pleasant to you, then you are to me. Now you see that age is not faint and negligent, but laborsome and al∣wayes doing something, and in∣deavouring in such things as eve∣ry mans study was in his former lie; but how if old men learne in their age also? as we see [4] Solon, boasting in his verses, that he lear∣ned something every day, grew an old man, as I my self have done, who now in my age, have learned the Greek tongue, which truly I

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took greedily, as it were to satisfie a continuall thirst, that those things might be known to me, which you now see me use in ex∣amples. And when I heard also wha [5] Socrates had profited in musick, I would have learned that oo (for your ancients learned musick,) but truly I bestowed my pains in learning.

VIII TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. SAbin fields, a place where Ca∣to had a countrey house, not far of from Rome.
  • 2. Countrey Romans, it is thought that he meant Fabritius.
  • 3. Caecilius Statius a comicall poet, he wrote the comedy of Syne∣phebis, of two young men brought

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  • up together from their youth.
  • 4. Solon one of the seven wise men of Greece, he was the sonne of E∣pistides, and born at Salamina, therefore called Salaminus, he made many good lawes at Athens, he builded a city in Sicilia, and called it after his name Solos, he died when he was ninety yeers old, and was buried at Salamina.
  • 5. Socrates.


NEither do I now de∣sire the strength of youth, no more then when I was young, I did desire the strength of a Bull, or an Elephant; for that which is naturally ingraf∣fed in a man, that it becommeth

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him to use, and to desire to do no∣thing above his strength. For what speech can be more contemptible, then that of [1] Milo Crotoniata, who when he was an old man, and saw the wrestlers exercising themselves in the [2] Chase, is re∣ported to have beheld his Armes, and weeping to say, But these are now dead; no, not them so much as thou thy selfe thou trifler; for ne∣ver wast thou nobled by thy vir∣tue, or wisedome but by thy beast∣like force and strong armes. [3] Sexius Aemylius spake no such thing, nor [4] Titus Coruncanus many years before, nor Publius Crassus of late, of whom lawes were prescribed to the Citizens, whose wisedome continued till their last gaspe.

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IX. TABLE of Annotations
  • MIlo Crotoniata, a man of such strength, that at the games at Olympus, he came in with an ox on his shoulders, which with his bare fist he slew, and some say immediately eat him; his death for all his strength was miserable; for comming into a wood in his age, and seeing a tree gape in the midst, being by some meanes cleft, he trusting to his former strength, thought to rend it in pieees, but putting his fingers into the rift, the tree suddainly closed, and he being caugbt by the hands, was there devoured by wolves.
  • 2. The chase at mount Olympus, where once in five yeares, were runnings, wrestlings, and such

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  • like for games, first instituted by Hercules, who there first wrestled himselfe, they were had in such esti∣mations among the Grecians, that they counted their yeares by them.
  • 3. Sextus Aemylius, a man excellent∣ly skilled in the lawes and ordi∣nances of Rome.
  • 4. Titus Coruncanus he first profes∣sed the laws; none of his writings remain, but many of his witty sayings are to be found in Au∣thors.
  • 5. Publius Crassus a very rich man, and skilfull in the lawes of Rome, he was Consull with Afri∣canus.

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BUt it may be thought that an Orator may be weakned with age. For that office consisteth not onely of wit, but al∣so of strength of body, strong sides and voyce; yet that shrilnesse of voyce doth altogether shew it self, I know not by what meanes in old age, which I my selfe have not yet lost, and yet you see my yeares; notwithstanding the speech of an old man, is comely, quiet, & remisse; and the gentle and decked Oration of an eloquent old man, makes au∣dience to it selfe, which singularity if you cannot obtaine, yet may you give precepts to youth; for what can be more pleasant, then old age, gar∣ded with the studies of youth? Shal

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we not then leave that strength at least to age, that it may teach youth, bring them up, and instruct them in all good duties? then which what can be more necessary, or more excellent? So that to my un∣derstanding [1] Cnaeus and Publius Scipio, and your two grand fathers, Lucius Aemylius, and Paulus Affrica∣nus, seemed happy in the company of noble young men. Neither are a∣ny masters of good Arts, to be thought unhappy though through their paines in teaching their strength wax old, and decay; for that defection and failing of strength, is oftener caused by the faults of youth, then of age; for an intemperate and lustfull youth, de∣livereth a corrupt and decrepit bo∣dy to age. Yet (2) Cyrus (in (3) Xnphon) on his death bed, denieth that ever he felt himself much wea∣ker by age, then he was in his youth.

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I remember (4) Lucius Metellus, when I was a boy, who foure yeers after his second Consulship, was made High-Priest, and served in that office 22 yeeres, he was of so good strength and health in his last age, that he required not youth. I need not speak much of my selfe, though it be a thing that belongs to old men, and it is granted to our age for doe you not see how often (5) Nestor doth brag in Homer, of his own virtues? for he had then lived three ages of man. So that he nee∣ded not feare least that speak∣ing the truth of himselfe, he should be counted in solent or talkative; for as Homer saith, out of his mouth flowed words more sweet then ho∣ny, which made that [6] Captaine of Greece, never wish that he had ten such as strong [7] Ajax, but ten such as wise Nestor, which if he might obtaine, he doubted not but

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that [8] Troy should soon be over∣thrown. But I returne to my self, I am now in the fourescore and fourth yeere of mine age, I cannot truly say as Cyrus did, but I would I could; yet this I can say, that though I am not of so great strength as I was being a souldier in the Car∣thaginian warre, or Questor in the same warre, or Consul in Spaine, or foure yeeres after, when being Tri∣bune of the soul diers, I fought at [9] Thermopylae, (Marcus Atillius Glabrio being Consul) yet as you see old age hath not altogether weakned me, it hath not overthrown me. The Courts want not my strength, nor the pleading places, nor my friends, nor my Glyents, nor my ghests. Neither did I ever assent to that old and lauded proverb, that warns a man to be old quickly if he will be an old man long; but I had rather be an old man man lesse

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while, then make my selfe an old man before I were. So that as yet no man could come and find me idle at home, yet have I lesse strength then either of you; nei∣ther have you the strength of [10] Titus Pontius the Centurion; is he therefore better then you? But let him make much of it, it will not en∣dure long. Milo is said to have en∣tered the Listes of Olympus with a live Oxe on his shoulders; whether had you rather now have this mans strength of body, or Pythago∣ras his strength of wit, to be given you? To conclude, use that strength which you have while you have it; but when it is gone, require it not, unlesse you thinke it a seem∣ly thing of young men, to require their child-hood againe, and anci∣ent men their youth; There is but one course of age, and one way of nature, and the same simple, and to

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every part of age its own timelines is given; for as infirmity belongs to child-hood, fiercenesse to youth, and gravity to age, so the true ripe∣nesse of age hath a certaine natural gravity in it, which ought to be u∣sed in it own time. I thinke you have heard Scipio, of King [11] Massinissa, what he doth at this day being a man of ninety yeeres old, when he goes any whether on foot, he will never ride in that journey how far soever it be; likewise, when he rides a journey he will never a∣light, neither could any storm, make him weare his hat; surely there is great drynesse of body in him, ther∣fore he may well execute all the of∣fices and duties of a King. Thus you see exercise and temperance, way preserve some of the former strength even in old age.

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X. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. CNaeus and Publius Scipio were brethren, and cald the thunder-bolts of warre; Publius was Affricanus, his father, and Cnaeus father to Scipio Nausi∣ca.
  • 2. Cyrus. There were three of this name; two Kings and one Poet, who for his fingular wit was made a Bishop by Theodosius the Empe∣rour.
  • 3. Xenophon a man of great wis∣dome and beauty, the sonne of Grillus. He was Scholler to So∣crates.
  • 4. Lucius Metellus, Consul with M. Fabius Aburb. condit. 506. He was High Priest, twice Consul, Dictator, master of the Horse, and

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  • ... Decemvir; He first led Eléphants in Triumph, in the first Carthagi∣nian warre, in his age he lost his sight when he would have spoyled the Temple of Vesta.
  • 5. Nestor King Pylion, sonne of Nelius and Adonidis, a man of great experience and wisdome, he went with Agamemnon to Troy and lived three hundred yeeres.
  • 6. Captaine of Greece was Aga∣memnon, the sonne of Atreus King of Argives, he led the Army of the Grecians to Troy, to be re∣venged for the Rape of Helen, where when he had obtained the victory, returning home, Clytem∣nestra his wife presented him with a headlesse shirt, which while he was putting on, and searching where to put forth his head, Aegisthus his wifes adulterer slew him.
  • 7. Ajax a strong and valiant Cap∣taine under Agamemnon, who

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  • striving with Ulysses for the Ar∣mor of Achilles and being over∣come of him, ranne mad and slew himselfe.
  • 8. Troy a famous City in the lesser Asia, built by Tros King thereof, it was three times sacked, twice by Hercules, and lstly cleane over∣thrown by Agamemnon, and the Greekes, for the cause above said.
  • 9. Thermopylae a mountaine in Grecia, so called of the hot matters that flow from thence; there was fought a great battaile between Attilius Glabrio, and Antio∣chus King of Macedon, at which was Cato.
  • 10. Titus Pontius, who when the Capitoll had be enlike to be taken, swam over Tibur; Pliny writes that he had the sinewes of his arms and hands double.
  • 11. Masinissa King of Numidia, he

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  • ... was received into the Romane leāgue by Publius Scipio Afri∣canus.


STrength is not in old age; neither indeed is strength required of age; therefore both by the laws and statutes, our age is free from those offices which cannot be ex∣ercised without strength; there∣fore we are not compelled to do those things which we cannot; no, nor so much as we can; but some men are so weak, that they can scarcely execute any office or duty of life at all; yet that is not the proper fault of age, but most commonly of sicknesse; how

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weak was (Scipio) the sonne of Publius Africanus, he which adop∣ted you Scipio? of how small or ra∣ther of no health? which had it not been so, he had shined like another light in the city; for to his fathers magnanimity of mind, in him was added most plentifull learning; what wonder is there then in old men, if they be sometimes weak, since youth it selfe cannot avoid it? Age is to be resisted, Laelius and Scipio, and his faults are to be ruled with dili∣gence; we must strive against age as against a disease; we must have a care of our health; we must use moderate exercises; so much meat and drinke must be taken, that the strength may be refreshed, not oppressed, neither must we only feed the body, but the minde and understanding much more, for they also are ex∣tinguished

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with age, unlesse you alwayes adde to them by study, and instill as it were oyle into a lampe. For though mens bodies grow heavy, and weary with much exercise, yet the minde is made more light, and ready by exercising it selfe. They whom Caecilius cals foolish old men, are such as are credulous, forget∣full and dissolute, whith are not generally the faults of all age, but of a sluggish, drowsie and slothfull age. For as wantonnesse and lust is more in young men then in old, and yet not in all young men, but in the dishonest; so that folly of age which is wont to be called doating, is in light-headed old men, but not in all; Appius being both an old man, and a blind man, governed foure valiant sonnes, and five beautifull daughters, a great houshold, and many retay∣ners,

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for he had his mind ready bent as a bow, neither fainting did he yeild to age. He held not only authority, but also com∣mand over his own, his servants feared him, his children reveren∣ced him, he was dear to all, the ancient manners and discipline of the countrey flourished in that house. For age is so excel∣lent, if it keep its authority, if it be bound to no man, that even to the last gaspe, it beareth rule over its own. And as I like a youth in whom there is some gravity, so I like an old man in whom there is some youthfulnesse, which who so observeth, may be an old man in body, but in minde he never shall be. I am now writing my seventh book of [1] Originales, and of excellent causes, whatsoever I have heretofore defended, now es∣pecially I compile oratiōs, I handle

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the sooth-sayers, the Priests, and the Civil law. I also use the Greek tongue much. And after the manner of the Pythagoreans, for to exercise my memory, I call to mind in the evening, what I have spake, heard, or done all that day. These are indeed the cases of the minde; these the exercises of the wit, in which studies while I busie my selfe, I do not greatly desire the strength of body; I am present with my friends, I come into the senate often, and of my own ac∣cord, I bring discourses, long and well thought upon, which I there defend not by strēgth of body, but of mind, which if I could not do, yet lying on my bed, the remem∣brance of the good I have done, would much delight me. But hi∣therto I have so lead my life, that I am yet able to performe the like; fore one which liveth in these la∣bours

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and studies never perceives how age creepeth on him; for it doth by little and little wax old, without feeling, neither is life suddainly dissolved, but by long continuance exstinguished.

XI. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. THe Book of Originals, was in manner of a Chronicle, which Cato wrote; there are but a few fragments of them extant, the rest are lost.

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THere followeth the third Objection to age; they say that it wanteth pleasures. Oh excellent gift of age, if it take away that which makes our youth vitious; there∣fore hear now, O yee excellent young men, the old oration of [1] Architas the Tarentine, a sin∣gular and worthy man, which was delivered me when I was a young man with Q. Maximus at Tarentum. He said that there was no dead∣lier plague given by nature tomen, then the pleasure of the body, the greedy lusts whereof are rash and unbrideledly, stirred up to get and gain. From hence are de∣rived

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treasons, from hence arise the overthrowes of Common∣wealths, and the privy conspira∣cies and whisperings with the ene∣mies. That to conclude, there was no wickednesse, nor no evill deed, to the undertaking of which, the lust of pleasure did not incite a man; and that whoredome, a∣dultery, and all such evill was stir∣red up by no other bait then plea∣sure. And forasmuch as nature, or some God, hath given nothing more excellent to a man, then his minde; to this divine gift, there is no greater enemy then pleasure. For lust bearing rule, there is no place for temperance, neither in the Kingdome of pleasure can virtue consist. To the better un∣derstanding whereof, he bade one imagine in his minde some one nusled in as great pleasure as could be, he thought that no man would

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doubt, but that while he was thus delighted, he could deeply consi∣der of nothing in his minde, nor performe any thing by his reason; therefore nothing is so detestable as pleasure, especially if it be great, and of long continnance, for then it cleane extinguisheth the light of the mind. These things [2] Ne∣archus the Tarentine, our friend, who was in the league of Rome, said, that Architas spake to [3] Cai∣us Pontius, the Samnite, his father of whom Spurius Posthumus, and T. Viturius, the Consuls were o∣vercome, in the [4] Caudine war, and that he had heard it of his an∣cestors, when there was present at that speech Plato of Athens whom I find to have come to Ta∣rentum, Lucius Camillus & Appius Claudius being Consuls. But to what end is all this? that you may

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understand that if we cannot de∣spise pleasure by wisedome and reason, we ought to give great thanks to old age, which brings to passe, that we shall not lust to do that which we ought not to do. For pleasure the enemy of reason hindereth counsell, and as I may so say it blindeth the eyes of the minde, that it cannot have fellowship with vertue. It was a∣gainst my will, that I cast [5] Lu∣cius Flaminius, the brother to that valiant man Titus Flaminius, out of the senate, seven yeers af∣ter he had been Consul; but I thought his lust was noted; for he when he was Consul in France, was intreated to be∣head one of his prisoners for sport, by a Harlot in a banquet, which he did; he, his brother Titus being Censor, (who was next be∣fore me) escaped; but to me

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and Flaccus, such hainous and wicked lust could not be in any wise allowed, which with his own private shame, might joyn a blot to the Empire. I have often heard it of my Elders, who said that they have heard it of old men, that Caius Fabritius was wont to marvell, that when he was Embas∣sad or with King Pyrrhus, he heard [6] Cinaeas the Thessalonian say, that there was one at Athens, who professed himselfe a wise man, and affirmed that all our acti∣ons ought to be referred to plea∣sure: and that M. Curius and T. Coruncanus were wont to wish that he could perswade that thing to Pyrrhus and the Samnits where∣by they might be the easilier over∣come, when they had given them∣selves to pleasure. Marcus Curi∣us

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lived with [7] Publius Decius, who in his fourth Consulship, five years before Curius was Consul, bequeathed himself to death for the Common-wealth. Fabritius & Coruncanus knew him wel, who as wel by the life, as by the deeds of this Publius Decius of whom I speak, did judge, that there was some other thing more excellent in its own nature, then pleasure to be followed, which every good man, pleasure being contemned, ought to seek after. But to what end speak we so much of pleasure? because that you may see that no blame, but much praise is to be gi∣ven to age, because it doth not lust after pleasure, which is so dange∣rous a thing.

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XII. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. ARchitas of Tarentum, a Pythagorean Philosopher; he was the Governour of the city, he learned Geometry of Plato, and by that art made an artificiall dove which flew like a live one.
  • 2. Nearchus a Pythagorean Philo∣sopher, and Host to Cato, as Plu∣tarch writes.
  • 3. Caius Pontius the sonne of Her∣nius, who wished that he might live till the Romans grew cove∣tous, for then he thought that they might be overcome.
  • 4. Caudine war, was fought at a wooddy hill so called, between the Romans and the Samnites.
  • 5. Lucius Flaminius, Consul 562

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  • years ab urbe cond. who after he was put out of his degree of Senator by Cato, sitting in the lowest and common place of the Theater, was so pitied by the People for his humi∣lity, thatwith great acclamations, they advanced him to the seate where the Consuls sate.
  • 6. Cinaeas Schollar to Demosthenes; a man of such eloquence, that by his perswasion, Pyrrhus gat many cities, and therefore much honoured by him.
  • 7. Publius Decius Coss. with Fab. Max. Quintil. An. ab urb. cond. 458. his father fighting against the Latines, (when by the oracle of A∣pollo it was told that that Army should have the victory whose Cap∣tain was first slain) he valiantly and willingly cost himselfe among the e∣nemies, and for the good of his countrey was there slain, whose ex∣ample his sonne following did the like.

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AGe wanteth ban∣quetting, glutto∣ny, and quaffing; it is also without surfeting, drunk∣ennesse, or dream∣ing; but yet if we may any wayes take some pleasure, (because we do not easily resist her flatteries (for di∣vine Plato calleth pleasure the bait of evils, because men are caught ther∣with as fishes with a hook) tho age despiseth immoderate banquets, yet may it be delighted with mo∣derate meetings. When I was a boy I remember I have seen [1] Caius

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Duillus, the sonne of Marcus, he which first overcame the Carthagi∣nians by sea, comming from sup∣per, he took great pleasure to have lighted torches carried before him, and musicians to play before him, which use he being a private man, without any example, had ta∣ken to himselfe. But wherefore speak I so much of others? I will now returne to my selfe. First I had companions like my selfe, and divers companies and fellowships, (I being Questor) were by me in, stituted; (the holy writs of the [2] great mother being performed) I did banquet then with my e∣quals, neither did I esteem the delight of those banquets, by the bodies pleasure, more then for the company and conference of my friends. Well did our Ancestors call the sitting together of friends

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at a feast Convivium, because it hath a conjunction of life: better then the Greeks, which call it both compotatio and concaenatio, a drinking together, and a supping together. But I am delighted with moderate feasts, for the delight of confe∣rence, and that not only with my equals, of which but few now re∣main, but also with men of your age, and with you, and I give great thankes to age, that hath ta∣ken away the desire of meat and drinke in me, and increased the de∣sire of study; but if any of these things do also delight any man, (least I should seem to be at utter defiance with pleasure, in which peradventure there may be a natu∣rall mean,) I do not see but that in these pleasures themselves, age may have sense & feeling. For those stewardships in feasts, do much

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delight me, and that speech which is used by the chief [3] steward in his drinking, after the māner of our ancestors, and the use of moderate & little cups, as it is written in the ban∣quet of Xenophon; also that cooling in the Summer, and again either the Sunne or the fire in the winter, which I am wont to use among the [4] Sabines, where I dayly fill up a Table with my neighbours, and we spend the time as much as we can with divers conference, sometimes even till midnight.

XIII. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. CAius Duillus who trium∣phing for the first Carthagini∣an

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  • victory, was not content with one dayes triumph, but caused tor∣ches to be lighed in the night, and musicians to play before him.
  • 2. Great mother, was the image of Sibella, of Phrygia, or the mother of the gods, which was brought to Rome from Pisunt, whereupon the Romanes made great playes, called Megalesia, and also solemne feasts yearly.
  • 3. Stewards was as we chuse King and Queen, in our sports at Christ∣mas; they were chosen in feasts a∣mong the Guests, either by lot, or voices; they were to be as it were ma∣sters of the feast, and tell pleasant stories to the Guests, to passe the time withall.
  • 4. Sabins where Cato had a farme before he came to Rome, and there he lived not farre from the ci∣ty.

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BUt there is not so great a tickling as it were of pleasure in old age, no nor so much as a desire for nothing that is not wanted is desired. Sophocles answered well to one that was well in yeares, who demanded of him if he sometimes used not da∣lience, nay God forbid quoth he; but I have willingly fled from them as from a cruel and furious master. For to those who do de∣sire, it it is grievous to want it; but to them that be satisfied, it is bet∣ter

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to be without, so that they want not, that desire not. Therefore I say that it is better not to desire then to injoy. But if youth do in∣joy these pleasures in greater mea∣sure, Age also doth not altogether want them. For as in the Play of the [1] Poet Turpius Ambinius, he that sitteth in the neerest gallery is more delighted, yet is he also de∣lighted that sits in the furthest. So youth beholding pleasures more neere, is peradventure more deligh∣ted, but age beholding them afar off, is delighted as much as is suffi∣cient. But how great is the plea∣sure of age, when the mind, re∣leafed from the slavery of lusts, am∣bition, contention, emnity, and all other such like concupiscence, may be secure, and as they say, live at home with it selfe at rest? But if it have supply, & as I may call it, food of learning and study, there is

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nothing more pleasant then a quiet old age; we have known that [2] Caius Gallus your fa∣thers familiar friend Scipio, dyed when he had been studious in A∣strology, and Cosmography; how often did he write both night and day? and how much did he de∣light to tell us long before, of the Eclipses of the Sunne and of the Moone? Yet is age delighted in more light yet notwithstanding in∣genuous studies. How did Nevius rejoyce in his Bellum Punicum? How did [3] Plautus delight in his Tru∣culentus? How in his Pseudalus? I have seen also the old man Li∣vius, who set forth a book six yeeres before I was borne, Centonus and Tutidanus being Consuls, and he li∣ved till my youth; what shall I speak of Licinius Crassus, or of the

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Pontificall or civill Lawes, or of this Publius Scipio who the other day was made High Priest? All these whom I have here remembred, be∣ing old men, I have seen flouri∣shing in these studies; but what paines did Marcus Cethegus also take in pleading, being an old man, whom Ennius doth rightly call the marrow of eloquence? what there∣fore are the pleasures of banquets, or playes, or whores to be compa∣red to these? But these are the stu∣dies of learning, which surely with the wise and well nurtred, will grow up and increase together with their age? as the commen∣dable verse of Solon doth import that he grew old, learning every day something; then which plea∣sure of mind, what can be greater?

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XIIII. Table of Annotations.
  • 1. TUrpius Ambinius a poet, who florished in the time of L. Sergius, Artilius, Prae∣nestius, and others.
  • 2. Caius Gallus Sulpitius was tribune, the year before being Prae∣tor he prognosticated the ectipse of the moon, by the commandement of the Consull; he was anorator, and studied much the Greek Tongue.
  • 3. Plautus a Com call poet, and very fimous, but poore; he was a miller and all day ground, and in the night he wrote playes, whereof his Trucu∣lentus and his Pseudolus were two.

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NOw I come to the plea∣sures of husband-men, with which I am incre∣dibly delighted, which seems to me to come neerest the life of a wise man, neither is it hin∣dred by age. The countrey-mans businesse lieth on the earth, which never refuseth to be delved, nei∣ther ever doth it render what it hath received, without usury, though some time with lesse, yet for the most part with greater gain. Yet am not I only delighted with the fruit, but also with the nature, and force of the earth it

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selfe, which after it hath received the seeds into its softened and wrought bosome, first it keeps it in, being harrowed, of whence this word Harrowing which doth this, is named; afterward being heat with its vapor and embracement, it spreads abroad, and brings forth an herby greennesse, which fastened with the little strings of the root, by little and little increa∣seth, and being erected upon a knotty stalke, is at the last as it were included in a sheath, out of which when it growes, it yeeldeth fruit like grains, and it is fortified from the biting of the lesser birds, with the defence of the beards. What should I now rehearse the setting, springing, and increase of vines? I must needs say, (that you may know the pleasure and quietnesse of mine age) I cannot be satisfied

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with delight. I omit the force of all things nourished by the earth, which of a little graine of a fig, or Grape, bringeth forth such great Trunked bodies, and boughs of Trees; twigs, plants, grafts, sets, roots, do they not so spring as may delight any man with admiration? The vine which by nature is fal∣ling, and growes downwards, un∣lesse it be under-propped, to the end she may erect her selfe, catcheth hold with her windings as with hands, on whatsoever it meets, which as it creeps with manifold turnings, the art O husbandry cor∣rects with a grafting knife, least it should become wilde and over∣grown; therefore in the spring in those branches which be left, it bringeth forth as it were at the joints of the twigs, the buds, of which after commeth the grape, which increasing by the moisture

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of the earth, and the heat of the sun, is at the first but bitter, but after growing ripe, it becomes sweet, & being clothed with the broad leavs, it is defended from the scorching of the sun, yet wants it not moderate heat, then which what can be more pleasant to the tast, or more de∣lightfull to the eye? the profita∣blenesse whereof doth not only de∣light me, as I have said, but also the dressing, and nature of it. The or∣der of the props, the joyning of the tops, the setting and the tying of the vines, and the cutting of some, and the sparing of others, doth much delight me; what shall I say of the watering, digging, and deck∣ing of the field, by the which the earth is made much more fruitfull? what shall I say of dunging, and of the profit thereof? I have spoken sufficiently in that book which I wrote of countrey businesses, of

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which learned Hesiod made no men∣tion when he wrote of husbandry. But Homer who as it seemeth to me, lived many years before, bringeth in [1] Laertes tilling and digging the earth, to lessen and forget the care and grief he had taken for the want of his sonne, who was gone to Troy; but countrey-affairs are not only pleasant for corne, vine∣yards, medows, and groves, but also for gardens, orchards, pa∣stures of cattle, swarmes of Bees, and all manner of variety of plea∣sant flowers; neither doth planting only delight me, but also grafting, then which the art of husbandry hath found out nothing more in∣genious.

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XV. Table of Annotations.
  • 1. LAertes sonne of Acoisius, and father to the wise Vlysses, that went to Troy.


I Could proceed further in the countrey delights; but I feare I have been somewhat too long alrea∣dy, but you must pardon me, for

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I am provoked by the delight which I take therein; and indeed old age, (that I may not seem par∣tiall, to free it from all faults) is somewhat talkative. But Marcus Curius when he had triumphed over the Samnites, the Sabins, and Pyrrhus, spent the last part of his age in that kinde of life; whose farme∣house when I behold, (for it is not farre from mine) I cannot suf∣ficiently admire, both the continen∣cy of the man, and his manner of life. The Samnits once brought a a great summe of gold to this Curi∣us, as he was sitting in his coun∣trey-house by the fire, but he re∣fused it, saying that it was no com∣mendable thing in his mind to have gold, but to command them which have gold. Could not such a minde make age pleasant? But I returne to Countrey-men, least I

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should depart from my self. In those dayes there lived old men and Se∣nators in that countrey, so that it was told [1] Lucius Quintus Cin∣cinnatus, that he was created [2] Dictator, when he was a plowing in the field; even he at whose com∣mand [3] C. Servilius Hala slew Spurius Melius, who aspired to the Kingdome; Curius and others were called out of their farme-houses to the senat, wherof they that weresent for them, were called Viatores; was therefore their age to be called mi∣serable, who were thus delighted with husbandry? truly in my o∣pinion, no life is more happy, ei∣ther in the tilling it selfe, (which is very healthfull to a mans body) or as I have said in the pleasure, plenty, and abundance of all things, which either appertain to the service of man, or the worship of God. And because some do

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much desire this pleasure, let us now close again with pleasure. The Country-cellar of a frugall and diligent master, is alwayes full of wine, and oyl, and his house is replenished with all things needful; it aboundeth with porke, kid, lamb, poultrey, milk, honey, &c. also his garden is to the husbandman another storer, and then hunting and hawking makes his life the sweeter. What should I speake of the greennesse of the meddowes, of the order & fashion of the vines, and olive trees? I will soon con∣clude, there can be nothing more profitable for use, or more pleasant in show, then a well tilled field: To the enjoying of which age doth not hinder, but rather intice and allure us. For where may a man be better warmed in the winter, ei∣ther by the sun or the fire, then there, and where better cooled in

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the summer, either by the shadow of trees, or the rivers of water, then there? therefore young men have their weapons, their horses, their speares, their swimming, the ball, the club, and their races, and they leave to us old men the cards and the tables which we sometimes use when we list; for age may be right happy without them.

XVI. Table of Annotations.
  • 1. LUcius Quintus Cincinnatus Tribune of the souldiers. An∣no 370. he was made Dictator, when he was found in the field at plow, with his face and hands all dirty.
  • ...

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  • ... 2. Dictator was the most excellent of∣fice among the Romans; he was also called Magister populi; he was never created, but when there was some suddain uproar, that threatned the overthrow of the Kingdome; no man might appeal from him, but all estates obeyed him. Titus Lar∣gius was the first Dictator; no man might hold it above six∣moneths, because it was of sokingly and absolute power; but Coesar when he gat it, was so ambitious, that he kept it till his death.
  • 3. Caius Hala slew Spurius Melius at the commandement of Quintus Cincinnatus the Dictator for aspi∣ring to be king, for which he was made Master of the horsemen, Anno aburbe cond. 316.

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THe Books of Xenophon are profitable for many re∣spects, which I pray you read diligently as you do; how co∣piously is husbandry hādled in that book of his, which is entituled Oeco∣nomicus of the care of a private fa∣mily? and that you may know, that nothing seemeth more kingly, then the art of tillage, Socrates in that Book speakes to Critobulus, saying that [1] Cyrus the lesse king of Persia, a man excelling in

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wit and glory of Government, when Lysander of Lacedemonia, a vertuous man came to him at Sardis, and brought him gifts from his fellows, he bore himself very courteously towards him, and shewed him a certain piece of ground hedged in, and artificially planted, when Lyfander wondring at the greatnesse of the trees, the excellent order they were set in, the ground pure and well wrought, and the sweet odour that the plea∣sant flowers cast, said that he not only admired his wit, but also his diligence by whom knots were drawn and set; Cyrus answered him, that they were all of his draw∣ing and invention, and that he set them down, and that most of his trees were set with his own hands. Then Lysander beholding the

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goodly proportion of the Kings body, and the glorious splendor of his Persian purple garment, fet with gold and precious stones, said, rightly do they report thee happy Cyrus; for to thy vertue thou hast blessed fortune added; and this fortune old men may have, neither doth age hinder us, but that we may exercise arts and hus∣bandry even till the last part of our life. We have heard of [2] Marcus Valerius Corvinius who lived a hun∣dred years, and in his age remained in the countrey, and became a tiller of the ground, between whose first and sixt Consul-ship was fourty and six years. Therefore all the age that passed in a man till his old age, was accounted of our Ance stors but as a race of that length which directed to honour, so that the last age is more happy then the middle, because it hath

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more authority and lesse labour, The highest perfction in age is au∣thority. How great Majesty was in L. Cecillius Metellus? how great in Attillius Collatinus? whom the generall consent of all nations did allow to be the chiefe among the people; the verses on his se∣pulchre are well known. By right therefore he is to be held noble and of authority, in whose praises the reports of all men do consent, what men of wisedome have we seen of late? Pub. Crossus the high Priest, and a ter him Marcus Lepi∣dus that succeeded him in the of∣fice; what should I speak of Paulus or of Affricanus, or of Maximus whom I named before? Not only iu whose speech, but also in whose

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looks remained authority. Age hath (especially honoured age) such reverence, that it is more to be accounted of, then all the plea∣sures of youth.

XVII. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. CYrus Minor reigned in Per∣sia 353. years after the buil∣ding of Rome, in the times of Aggaeus and Zacharias the Pro∣thets in Judea.
  • 2. Marcus Valerius Corvinus, fight∣ing against a French souldur, that challenged him in the lists, a crow came and sat upon his head, and smoe her wings in his enemies face, and so blinded him, that Valerius

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  • obtained the victory, and ever after was called Corvinus; he was after both Consul and Dictator.


BUt you must remember that in all this speech, I have praised only that age, which is built on the foundation of youth, from whence it happened that that speech of mine, wherein I affirmed that age to be miserable, which on∣ly defended it selfe by speech, was so generally applauded of all men; for neither gray haires, nor wrinckles, get authority suddainly, but the honest and vertuous deeds

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of the age before spent, obtain the chiefest fruits of authority. For these things are honourable, which do seem but of small account. v.z. to be saluted, to be sought unto, to have place given to them, to be risen unto, to be brought in, to be conducted out, and to give counsel, which both among us, and in other well mannerd cities is observed diligently. Tis said that Lisander of Lacedemon, of whom I spake even now, was wont to say, that Lacedemon was a most fit and ho∣nest habitation for old age; for no∣where was that age more reveren∣ced or honoured then there. It comes now to my mind that a cer∣tain old man at Athens, at the plays comming in among the people, no man would give him room; but when he came among the Lacede∣monians, (who when they come of an embassage, sit all in one

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place) they all rose up to him, and received the old man to sit with them: to whom when great praise was given for the courteous deed, one of them said, that the Atheni∣ans knew good manners, but would not use them. Many excellent Ce∣remonies are observed in our Col∣ledge of Auguries, whereof this which we speak of is one, that eve∣ry man in their consultations, gives his opinion according to his age, the oldest first, and so down∣wards; for Augurs are not only preferred before some that are ho∣noured, but also before many which besides their years and gra∣vity are in office; what are there∣fore the pleasures of the body, to be compared to the rewards of au∣thority, which whosoever make th use of, seemes to me to have gone well through the enterlude of his life, and not like an unskil∣full

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player, to fayle in the last act.


BUt old men are froward, unconstant, peevish and crabbed, and we com∣plaine also that they are covetous; but these be the faults of the manners, not of the age; but way wardnesse and those faults may have some excuse, though not justly, yet such may seem pro∣bable. For sometimes they think they are mocked or despised, and besides every small offence to a weak body is grievous, all which not withstanding may be sweetned

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both by good manners, & arts, and that may wel be seen both in the life and the play of those two Bro∣thers in [1] Adelphus in [2] Terence; how much crabbednesse in the one, and how much courtesie in the o∣ther? Even so the case stands; for as all wines do not grow soure and tart in continuance, so not all age. I like severity in an old man, but not bitternesse. Bnt as for cove∣tousnesse in age, I know not what it meanes; for there can be no greater absurdity, then when the journey is almost done, to take care to pro∣vide much more provision.

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XIX. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. ADelphus a comedy writ∣ten by Terence, wherein is shewed the difference of ages in two brothers, the one Mitio a milde gentle man, the other Demea a frow∣ard perverse man.
  • 2. Terence born at Carthage, he wrote six Comedies which are now extant; some report that he wrote more, but they were drowned in a ship at sea; he was well-beloved of Scipio and Laelius.

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THere remaineth the fourth cause which seemeth to vex and grieve our age very much; the appro∣ching of death, which surely followeth age at the heeles. O miserable old man, whatsoever thou be, which canst not learne in all thy life forespent, to despise death, which is either plainly to be neglected, if it kill the soule with the body, or to be desired if it bring happinesse after

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life; for no third way is found; what should I then fear, if after death I shall be either nothing, or else hap∣py? but what fool (though he be a young man) is there that can tell whether he shall live till night? for That age hath more causes of death then Age hath; young men sooner fall into diseases, their sicknesse is and more grievous and dangerous, hey are healed with more pain and trouble; so that few of them come to be old, which if some of them happen to do, they live more pru∣dently and better then before; for understanding, counsell and rea∣son is in age, which if it were not there, there could be no Cities. But I return to death, which as it were hangs over our heads; thinke you, that it is the particular fault of age, when you see it common to youth? I have well perceived not only by the death of my dear son,

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but also of your [1] brothers, Sci∣pio, who were expected to great dignity, that death is common to all ages.

XX. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. PAulus Aemylius had four sons, two by adoption, and two by another wife, of which last two, the one died five dayes before his tri∣umph, and the other three dayes af∣ter. His sons by adoption were Sci∣pio and Fabius.

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BUt the young man hopes to live long, which the old man cannot. He hopes foo∣lishly; sor what is greater folly, then to account un∣certain things for certain, false for true? the old man hath nothing to hope for more; therefore he is in better state then the former, seeing that what the other wisheth for, he hath obtained already; the young man would live long, the old man hath lived long. O you immortall gods, what is there in mans life, that is of any long conti∣nuance?

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for let us live long, and we expect the years of the King of the Taresians; for I have seen it written, that there was one Argan∣thonius at Gades, which reigned eighty years, and lived an hundred and twenty; but to me nothing see∣meth of long continuance, of which there is any end; for when that end shall come, then that which is past flies away like smoak, and that only will remaine, which you have obtained by vertue and good deeds; the houres you see runs on, and the dayes, and the moneths, and the years; neither doth the time past ever return, nor can any tell what will follow. That time which a man hath given him to live, he ought to be conten∣ted with it; for a good actor is not applauded in the midst of a Scene, so a wise mans praise comes not

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till the end. The time of our age is short indeed; but long enough to live well and honestly. But if your age seem longer then your youth, you ought to grieve no more then the husbandman doth, when the sweetnesse of the spring is past, that the summer and the winter are come. For the spring doth as it were signifie youth, and shows what fruit will come; the other seasons of plucking and gathering the fruit, are compared to the lat∣ter times of our age. For the fruit of age as I have said, is the memory of the abundance of good deeds heretofore done; all things which are done by the rules of God, and nature, are to be accounted good; but it is a rule of nature that old men must die, which also hap∣peneth to young men though they resist it. Therefore a young man seemeth to me to die like

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fire put out with water, but old men like fire which being put out by no force, is quietly consumed of it selfe; and as apples on trees being not ripe, are plucked of by violence, but being ripe they fal of themselves: so force taketh away the life of young men, but ripenesse of age the life of old men: which consideration is so pleasant to me, that I seem to behold the eatth, as a quiet port, whether after a long and troublesome navigation I shall arrive. The end of all ages is certain, but the end of old age is un∣certain (which is death,) and a man may live therin uprightly, and contemne death; hence it comes that old men are more bold and hearty then young men, which made that Solon answered to [1] Pysistratus the Tyrant, when he as∣ked him what made him so bold, he answered, old age. But the end

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he answered, old age. But the end of life is then best when nature, (the minde being well, and all the sences perfect) doth dissolve the same work, which she her selfe hath made. For as that workeman which hath made a ship or build∣ing, knowes best how to unjoyn it: so the same nature which hath made a man, best dissolves him; that which is newly joyned, is hardly sodered, but old work is easily taken in pieces. Now that little time of life which we have, is not to be greedily desired of old men, nor without cause to be refu∣sed, and Pythagoras forbids that unlesse the Emperour (which is God) command; we ought not to depart from our station and guard of life, it is the [2] speech of So∣lon the wise, when he wisheth his death to be lamented of his friends. I beleeve he would be dear to

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them. But I know not if Ennius wrote better or no.

No man shall weep my death Nor spend a sighing breath.

It seemes he thinketh not that death to be lamented, which ob∣taineth immortality. Now for the sense or pain of dying, if there be any, it remaineth but a small time, especially in old men. But this ought to be considered of in youth, that wee might learne before to neglect death, without which meditation no man can be of 〈◊〉〈◊〉 quiet minde. Tis certain we must die, but when, uncertain, whether to day or no we know not; there∣fore who can be quiet in minde, while he feares death continually hanging over his head, concern∣ing

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which there needs no long disputation, when I remember not only [3] L. Brutus who was slain in delivering his countrey, not only M. Marcellus whom after his death, his cruellest enemies could not suffer to want honou∣rable buriall, and many others; but also our legions of souldiers, who as I have written in my book of O∣riginals, have often gone into those places with a chearfull and constant minde, from whence they never looked to returne. Shall therfore wise and learned old men, feare that which young men, rude, and unletterd have contem∣ned? Truly me thinks that the sa∣tiety of all things makes also a satiety of life. There are certain studies in children, shall young men desire them? there are others in youth, shall age require them?

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and there be studies in the last age: therefore as the studies of former ages fail, so do the studies of old age, so that when the satiety or fulnesse of life commeth, it bring∣eth also a fit time for death.

XXI. Table of Annotations.
  • 1. PYsistratus King of Athens, the sonne of Hippocrates, he reigned at Athens, when Servius Tullius reigned at Rome; he made the first librarie at Athens, which after, Xerxes carried into Persia.
  • ...

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  • ... 2. The speech of Solon is in latin, this.
    Mors mea ne careat lacrymis, lin∣quamus amicis Maerorem, ut celebrent fune∣ra nostra fletu.
    Thus in English.
    Let not my death want teares, but leave to all Sorrow and grones, to make my funerall.
  • 3. Lucius Brutus, he deposed Tar∣quinius Superbus; it is said that when for feare of Tarquin he coun∣terfeited himselfe mad, he was in∣treated by Tarquins sonnes to go with them to the oracle of Apollo, to make them sport by the way, whe∣ther they went to know which of them should reigne after their fa∣thers death; it was there answered,

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  • that he which did first kisse his mo∣ther, should rule, whereupon they hasted home apace to their mother, but Brutus understanding the ora∣cles true meaning, fell to the earth and kissed it, as being the generall mother of all, by which meanes he after expulsing of Tarquin for the rape of Lucretia, did governe the common-wealth himselfe, and was the first Consul; he put to death his own sonnes for taking part with Tarquin; he was stain by the lake Regulus in a battell.

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I See no cause why I should not dare to tell you my opinion of death, which I seem to behold the better, because I am so much the neerer it. I do verily beleeve that your fathers, P. Scipio and C. Laelius most ho∣nourable men, and my good friends, do now live, and indeed such a life as is only worthy to be called a life. For while we are shut up in the fetters of this body,

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we performe a certain grievous burden, and duty of necessity. For the soule is divine, and is thrust down from a most heavenly dwel∣ling, and is as it were drowned in the earth, a place contrary to di∣vine and eternall nature; and surely I thinke that the immortall gods have put soules into men for this cause, that beholding the earth, and the order of the heavens, they should imitate them in the order and constancie of their life; neither doth reason and disputation only drive me to thinke so, but the au∣thority and opinion of the best Phi∣losophers. I have heard that Py∣thagoras and the Pythagoreans, that were almost our neighbours, who were called [1] Italian Philo∣sophers, never doubted, but that we had our soules chosen out of the most divine essence. I have heard also that Socrates who was judged

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the wisest in all the world by the [2] oracle of [3] Apollo, did dis∣pute concerning the immortality of the soule. But what need ma∣ny words? so I thinke, and so I have perswaded my selfe, that see∣ing there is such swiftnesse of un∣derstanding, such memory of things past, such fore-sight of things to come, such arts, such sci∣ences, and such inventions; that that spirit which containeth these things, cannot but be immortall. And for as much as the soule is al∣wayes moved, and hath no begin∣ning of motion, because it moveth it selfe, nor shall have no end of motion, because it shall never leave it selfe; and seeing that the nature of the soule is simple of it selfe, and hath nothing mingled with it contrary to it; I beleeve it cannot be divided, and therefore cannot die; and it is a great argument that

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men know many things before they are borne, because when they are boyes and learne hard arts, they so swiftly conceive innumerable things, that they seem not then to learne them, but as it were to re∣member them again. These are almost the very words of Plato.

XXII. Table of Annotations.
  • 1. PYthagoreans, he calleth them his neighbours, because they were of Calabria, which joyned on the borders of Italy and Rome.
  • 2. Oracle of Apollo, stood in Del∣phos

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  • ... an Isle, where in the name of Apollo, the devill through a bra∣zen image made doubtfull answers to questions that were asked; it con∣tinued till the birth of Christ, and about that time it ceased.
  • 3. Apollo the sonne of Jupiter and Latona, born at one birth with his sister Diana, in the Isle Delos; he is accounted for the sonne and the god of Physicians, Musicians, Painters and Poets.

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1. Cyrus the great, (in Xenophon) at his death said thus, Doe not suppose O my dear children, that I when I shall depart from you, shall turne to nothing, or become no where; for while I lived with you, you did not see my soule, but you under∣stood that it was in my body, by the things which I did; therefore beleeve that it is the same still, though hereafter you shall not see

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it. For the honours and good name of noble men should not live after their deaths, if in their lives their soules or mindes, did nothing worthy remembrance. Verily I could never be perswaded that the soules of men did only live while they were in mortall bodies, and not afterwards, nor that the soule is any longer foolish, then while it is in the foolish body, but that after being freed and pure from the mixture of the body, it becomes wise; and seeing that man is dissolved by death, the end of all other things is apparent; for all things go from whence they came; the soule only, neither when it cometh nor when it goeth, doth appeare. Now there is no∣thing more like death then sleep; and the soules of them that sleep do greatly declare the divinesse thereof; for sometime they are

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freed from the body for a time, and do behold many things to come, whereby may be gathe∣red what they will after be, when they have clearly freed themselves out of the bonds of the body; wherefore if the soul be thus im∣mortall (saith he) worship me as a god; but if it die with the body, yet yee fearing the gods, which do behold and governe all this faire world, shall keep my memory in∣violable. This spake Cyrus on his death-bed.

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XXIII. TABLE of Annotations.
  • 1. CYrus the great sonne of Cambises, he slew Astyages, last King of the Medes, and tran∣slated the monarchy to the Persians rule. He left behind him two sonnes, Cambises and Tranvazares.

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BUt if you please, let us see a little of our later times; no man shall per∣swade me Scipio, that either your two grandfathers Paulus and Afri∣canus, or the Uncle of Africanus, or many other excellent men whom it is not now necessary to name; would have indeavoured so much in great affaires, unlesse they had known that in their poste∣rity their memory should live to∣gether with their praise. Do you

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thinke (that after the manner of old men, I may boast something of my selfe) that I would have ta∣ken such paines in the City, and in the Campe, if I should have end∣ed my fame together with my life? Were it not better to lead a quiet and peaceable old age, without labour and contention? but I know not by what meanes, the soule lifting it selfe up doth so behold the memory that shall be left to posterity, as if it should then live when it had once died. Which unlesse it were so, that memory remained, and the soule were immortal, scarce would any excellent minde indevour to get renown and glory. But suppose that every wise man dieth with a good soule, and every foole with a bad: doth it not seem to you, that that soule which knoweth more, and is of deeper understand∣ing,

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doth see that it shall go to a better place then that soule whose intellect is more dull and mortall? Truely I am verry desi∣rous, to fee your fathers whom I love so well, and I not onely wish to see them whom I have known, but also them of whom I have heard and read; therefore from the place whether I am going, shall no man withhold me, nor from thence as a ball strike mee back; and if any god would grant me to be now a child in my cradle againe, and to be young, I would refuse it. Neither would I, ha∣ving runne my full course, be called back again. For what profit hath life, or rather what trouble? but say it have some commodity, yet when it hath a fulnesse and satiety, it ought to have an end. I will not deplore my life forespent, as ma∣ny

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learned men have done; nei∣ther do I repent that I have lived, because I have so lived that I think I was not borne in vaine; and I depart out of this life, as from an Inne, not as from a continuall ha∣bitation; for nature hath given us a place to rest in, not to dwell in. O happy shall that day be, when I shall come into the company and counsell of those men, of whom I spake before, and not onely to them, but to my deare sonne Ca∣to, then whom no man was better, or more excellent in piety, whose body was by me interred, which thought to dye before him; but his soule not forgetting me, but continually beholding me, is gone thither, where he perceived that I should come; whose death I did the better beare (not that I take it very patiently) but I comforted

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my selfe with this hope, that I should not live long after him. And in these things Scipio (for you say that you and Loelius were wont to marvell at it) is mine age light, and not onely not trouble∣some, but also pleasant. But if I do erre that the soules of men bee immortall, I do erre willingly, neither will I while I live be wrest∣ed from mine opinion wherein I am delighted; but if when I am dead (as some small Philosophers say,) I shall feel nothing, I fear not least the dead Philosophers should laugh at this my error. But if we were not immortall, yet it were to be wished that a man die in his due time; for of nature as of all things else, there is an end. But old age is the last act of our life as of a play, of which there ought to be an end, especially when there

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is satiety and fulnesse of time joy∣ned with it. Thus much I had to say concerning old age, which I wish you may obtain, that those things which you have heard me speak of, you might know by experience.



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