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followed him in camp, throughout his journeys and conquests. What price and estimation he had learning in, doth notably appear in these three particulars : first, in the envy he used to express that he bore to. wards Achilles, in this, that he had so good a trumpet of his praises as Homer's verses: secondly, in the judgment or solution he gave touching that precious cabinet of Darius, which was found amongst his jewels, whereof question was made what thing was worthy to be put into it, and he gave his opinion for Homer's works: thirdly, in his letter to Aristotle, after he had set forth his books of nature, wherein he expostulateth with him for publishing the secrets or mysteries of philosophy, and gave him to understand that himself esteemed it more to excel other men in learning and knowledge, than in power and empire. And what use he had of learning doth appear, or rather shine, in all his speeches and answers, being full of science and use of science, and that in all variety.
And here again it may seem a thing scholastical, and somewhat idle, to recite things that every man knoweth; but yet, since the argument I handle leadeth me thereunto, I am glad that men shall perceive I am as willing to flatter, if they will so call it, an Alexander, or a Cæsar, or an Antoninus, that are dead many hundred years since, as any that now liveth: for it is the displaying of the glory of learning in sovereignty that I propound to myself, and not an humour of declaiming in any man's praises. Observe then the speech he used of Diogenes, and see if it tend not to the true state of one of the greatest questions of moral philosophy: whether the enjoying of outward things, or the contemning of them, be the greatest happiness: for when he saw Diogenes so perfectly contented with so little, he said to those that mocked at his condition; "Were I not Alex"ander, I would wish to be Diogenes." But Seneca inverteth it, and saith; Plus erat, quod hic nollet accipere, quam quod ille posset dare. "There were "more things which Diogenes would have refused, "than those were, which Alexander could have given or enjoyed."
Observe again that speech which was usual with him, "That he felt his mortality chiefly in two "things, sleep and lust;" and see if it were not a speech extracted out of the depth of natural philosophy, and liker to have come out of the mouth of Aristotle, or Democritus, than from Alexander.
See again that speech of humanity and poesy; when upon the bleeding of his wounds, he called unto him one of his flatterers, that was wont to ascribe to him divine honour, and said, "Look, this is very blood;
this is not such liquor as Homer speaketh of, which "ran from Venus's hand, when it was pierced by "Diomedes."
See likewise his readiness in reprehension of logic, in the speech he used to Cassander, upon a complaint that was made against his father Antipater; for when Alexander happened to say, "Do you think "these men would have come from so far to com
plain, except they had just cause of grief?" And Cassander answered, "Yea, that was the matter, be"cause they thought they should not be disproved." Said Alexander laughing: "See the subtilties of "Aristotle, to take a matter both ways, pro et con"tra," etc.
But note again how well he could use the same art, which he reprehended, to serve his own humour, when bearing a secret grudge to Callisthenes, because he was against the new ceremony of his adoration, feasting one night, where the same Callisthenes was at the table, it was moved by some after supper, for entertainment sake, that Callisthenes, who was an eloquent man, might speak of some theme or purpose at his own choice: which Callisthenes did; choosing the praise of the Macedonian nation for his discourse, and performing the same with so good manner, as the hearers were much ravished: whereupon Alexander, nothing pleased, said, "It was easy "to be eloquent upon so good a subject. But," saith he," turn your stile, and let us hear what you can say against us" which Callisthenes presently undertook, and did with that sting and life, that Alexander
interrupted him, and said, "The goodness of the "cause made him eloquent before, and despite made "him eloquent then again."
Consider farther, for tropes of rhetoric, that excellent use of a metaphor or translation, wherewith he taxed Antipater, who was an imperious and tyrannous governor for when one of Antipater's friends commended him to Alexander for his moderation, that he did not degenerate, as his other lieutenants did, into the Persian pride in use of purple, but kept the ancient habit of Macedon, of black: "True," saith Alexander, "but Antipater is all purple within." Or that other, when Parmenio came to him in the plain of Arbela, and shewed him the innumerable multitude of his enemies, especially as they appeared by the infinite number of lights, as it had been a new firmament of stars, and thereupon advised him to assail them by night: whereupon he answered, "That he "would not steal the victory."
For matter of policy weigh that significant distinction, so much in all ages embraced, that he made between his two friends, Hephæstion and Craterus, when he said, "That the one loved Alexander, and "the other loved the king:" describing the principal difference of princes best servants, that some in affection love their person, and others in duty love their
Weigh also that excellent taxation of an error, ordinary with counsellors of princes, that they counsel their masters according to the model of their own mind and fortune, and not of their masters; when, upon Darius's great offers, Parmenio had said, "Surely I would accept these offers, were I as Alex"ander;" saith Alexander, "So would I, were I as "Parmenio."
Lastly, weigh that quick and acute reply, which he made when he gave so large gifts to his friends and servants, and was asked what he did reserve for himself, and he answered, "Hope:" weigh, I say, whether he had not cast up his account right, because hope must be the portion of all that resolve upon
great enterprises. For this was Cæsar's portion when he went first into Gaul, his estate being then utterly overthrown with largesses. And this was likewise the portion of that noble prince, howsoever transported with ambition, Henry duke of Guise, of whom it was usually said, that he was the greatest usurer in France, because he had turned all his estate into obligations.
To conclude therefore: as certain critics are used to say hyperbolically, "That if all sciences were lost, "they might be found in Virgil;" so certainly this may be said truly, there are the prints and footsteps of all learning in those few speeches which are reported of this prince: the admiration of whom, when I consider him not as Alexander the great, but as Aristotle's scholar, hath carried me too far.
As for Julius Cæsar, the excellency of his learning needeth not to be argued from his education, or his company, or his speeches; but in a farther degree doth declare itself in his writings and works; whereof some are extant and permanent, and some unfortunately perished. For, first, we see, there is left unto us that excellent history of his own wars, which he intitled only a commentary, wherein all succeeding times have admired the solid weight of matter, and the real passages, and lively images of actions and persons, expressed in the greatest propriety of words and perspicuity of narration that ever was; which that it was not the effect of a natural gift, but of learning and precept, is well witnessed by that work of his, intitled, De analogia, being a grammatical philosophy, wherein he did labour to make this same vor ad placitum to become vor ad licitum, and to reduce custom of speech to congruity of speech; and took, as it were, the picture of words from the life of reason.
So we receive from him, as a monument both of his power and learning, the then reformed computation of the year; well expressing, that he took it to be as great a glory to himself to observe and know the law of the heavens, as to give law to men upon the earth.
So likewise in that book of his, Anti-Cato, it may easily appear that he did aspire as well to victory of wit as victory of war; undertaking therein a conflict against the greatest champion with the pen that then lived, Cicero the orator.
So again in his book of Apophthegms, which he collected, we see that he esteemed it more honour to make himself but a pair of tables, to take the wise and pithy words of others, than to have every word of his own to be made an apophthegm, or an oracle; as vain princes, by custom of flattery, pretend to do. And yet if I should enumerate divers of his speeches, as I did those of Alexander, they are truly such as Solomon noteth, when he saith, Verba sapientum tanquam aculei, et tanquam clavi in altum defixi: whereof I will only recite three, not so delectable for elegancy, but admirable for vigour and efficacy.
As first, it is reason he be thought a master of words, that could with one word appease a mutiny in his army, which was thus: The Romans, when their generals did speak to their army, did use the word Milites, but when the magistrates spake to the people, they did use the word Quirites. The soldiers were in tumult, and seditiously prayed to be cashiered; not that they so meant, but by expostulation thereof to draw Cæsar to other conditions; wherein he being resolute not to give way, after some silence, he began his speech, Ego, Quirites: which did admit them already cashiered: wherewith they were so surprised, crossed, and confused, as they would not suffer him to go on in his speech, but relinquished their demands, and made it their suit, to be again called by the name of Milites.
The second speech was thus: Cæsar did extremely affect the name of king; and some were set on, as he passed by, in popular acclamation to salute him king; whereupon, finding the cry weak and poor, he put it off thus, in a kind of jest, as if they had mistaken his surname; Non rex sum, sed Casar; a speech, that if it be searched, the life and fulness of it can scarce be expressed; for, first, it was a refusal of the name,