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Races, it is not the large Stride, or High Lift, that makes the Speed : so in Business, the Keeping close to the matter, and not Taking of it too much at once, procureth Dispatch. It is the Care of some, only to come off speedily, for the time; or to contrive some false Periods of Business, because they may seem Men of Dispatch. But it is one Thing, to abbreviate by contracting, another by cutting off: and Business so handled at several Sittings or Meetings, goeth commonly backward and forward, in an unsteady Manner. I knew a wife Man, that had it for a By-word, when he saw Men hasten to a conclufion; Stay a little, that we may make an End the sooner.
On the other side, true Dispatch is a rich Thing. For Time is the measure of Business, as Money is of Wares : and Business is bought at a dear Hand, where there is small Dispatch. The Spartans, and Spaniards, have been noted to be of small Difpatch; Mi venga la Muerte de Spagna; Let my Death come from Spain; for then it will be sure to be long in coming.
Give good Hearing to those, that give the first Information in Business; and rather direct them in the beginning, than interrupt them in the continuance of their Speeches : for he that is put out of his own Order, will go forward and backward, and be more tedious while he waits upon his Memory, than he could have been, if he had gone on, in his own course. But sometimes it is seen, that the Moderator is more troublesome than the Actor.
Iterations are commonly loss of Time: but there is no such gain of Time, as to iterate often the State of the Question : for it chaseth away many a Frivolous Speech, as it is coming forth. Long and curious Speeches, are as fit for Dispatch, as a Robe or Mantle with a long Train is for Race. Prefaces, and Passages, and Excusations, and other Speeches of Reference to the Person, are great wastes of Time ; and though they seem to proceed of Modesty, they are Bravery. Yet beware of being too Material, when there is any Impediment or Obstruction in Men's Wills; for Pre-occupation of Mind, ever requireth preface of Speech; like a Fomentation to make the unguent enter.
Above all things, Order, and Distribution, and Singling out of Parts, is the life of Dispatch; so as the Distribution be not too subtil: for he that doth not divide, will never enter well into Business; and he that divideth too much, will never come out of it clearly. To choose Time, is to save Time; and an unseasonable Motion is but beating the Air. There be three parts of Business : the Preparation; the Debate, or Examination ; and the Perfection. Whereof, if you look for Dispatch, let the Middle only be the Work of Many, and the First and Last the Work of Few. The Proceeding upon somewhat conceived in Writing, doth for the most part facilitate Dispatch : for though it should be wholly rejected, yet that Negative is more pregnant of Direction, than an Indefinite; as Ashes are more generative than Duft.
xxvi. Of Seeming Wise.
Thath been an Opinion, that the French are wiser than they seem; and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are.
But howsoever it be between Nations, certainly it is so between Man and Man. For as the Apostle faith of Godliness ; Having a few of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof; fo certainly, there are in Points of Wisdom, and Sufficiency, that do nothing or little, very solemnly ; Magno conatu Nugas. It is a ridiculous Thing, and fit for a Satire, to Persons of Judgement, to see what shifts these Formalists have, and what Prospectives, to make Superficies to seem Body, that hath Depth and Bulk. Some are so close and reserved, as they will not shew their Wares, but by a dark Light: and seem always to keep back somewhat; and when they know within themselves, they speak of that they do not well know, would nevertheless seem to others, to know of that which they may not well speak. Some help themselves with Countenance, and Gesture, and are wise by Signs ; as Cicero faith of Piso, that when he answered him, he fetched one of his Brows, up to his Forehead, and bent the other down to his Chin: Respondes, altero ad Frontem sublato, altero ad Mentum depreso supercilio; Crudelitatem tibi non placere. Some think to bear it, by speaking a great Word, and being peremptory; and go on, and
take by admittance that which they cannot make good. Some, whatsoever is beyond their reach, will seem to despise or make light of it, as impertinent, or curious ; and so would have their Ignorance seem Judgement. Some are never without a Difference, and commonly by amusing Men with a Subtilty, blanch the matter ; Of whom A. Gellius faith; Hominem delirum, qui Verborum Minutiis Rerum frangit Pondera. Of which kind also, Plato in his Protagoras bringeth in Prodicus, in Scorn, and maketh him make a Speech, that confifteth of Distinctions from the Beginning to the End. Generally, such Men in all Deliberations, find ease to be of the negative side ; and affect a Credit, to object and foretell Difficulties: for when propositions are denied, there is an End of them: but if they be allowed, it requireth a new Work: which false Point of Wisdom, is the Bane of Business. To conclude, there is no decaying Merchant, or inward Beggar, hath so many Tricks, to uphold the Credit of their Wealth, as these empty Persons have, to maintain the Credit of their Sufficiency. Seeming Wife-men may make shift to get Opinion: but let no Man choose them for Employment; for certainly, you were better take for Business, a Man somewhat absurd, than over formal.
XXVII. Of Friendship.
T had been hard for him that spake it,
to have put more Truth and Untruth together, in few Words, than in that
Speech, Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild Beast, or a God. For it is most true, that a natural and secret Hatred, and Aversation towards Society, in any Man, hath somewhat of the savage Beast; but it is most untrue, that it should have any Character at all, of the Divine Nature ; except it proceed, not out of a Pleasure in Solitude, but out of a Love and Defire, to sequester a Man's Self, for a higher Conversation : such as is found, to have been falsely and feignedly, in some of the Heathen ; as Epimenides the Candian, Numa the Roman, Empedocles the Scicilian, and Apollonius of Tyana ; and truly and really, in divers of the ancient Hermits, and holy Fathers of the Church. But little do Men perceive what Solitude is, and how far it extendeth. For a Crowd is not Company; and Faces are but a Gallery of Pictures; and Talk but a tinkling Cymbal, where there is no Love. The Latin Adage meeteth with it a little ; Magna Civitas, magna Solitudo ; because in a great Town, Friends are scattered; so that there is not that Fellowship, for the most part, which is in less Neighbourhoods. But we may go further, and affirm most truly, That it is a mere and miserable Solitude, to want