The Anatomie of Absurditie
by Thomas Nashe
There be three things which are wont to slack young Students endeuour, Negligence, want of Wisedome, and For- | tune. Negligence, when as we either altogether pretermit, or more lightly passe ouer, the thing we ought seriously to ponder. Want of wisedome, when we obserue no method in reading. Fortune is in the euent of chaunce, either naturally hapning, or when as by pouerty or some infirmitie, or natural dulnes, we are withdrawne from our studies, and alienated from our intended enterprise, by the imagination of the rarenesse of learned men: but as touching these three, for the first, that is to say, negligent sloth, he is to be warned: for the second, he is to be instructed: for the thirde, he is to be helped. Let his reading be temperate, whereunto wisedome, not wearines, must prescribe an end, for as immoderate fast, excessiue abstinence, and inordinate watchings, are argued of intemperance, perrishing with their immoderate vse, so that these thinges neuer after can be performed as they ought in any measure; so the intemperate studie of reading incurreth reprehension, and that which is laudable in his kinde, is blamewoorthy by the abuse. Reading, two waies is lothsome to the mind, and troublesome to the spirit, both by the qualitie, namely if it be more obscure, and also by y quantitie if it be more tedious, in either of which we ought to vse great moderation, least that which is ordained to the refreshing of our wittes, be abused to the dulling of our sences. We reade many things, least by letting them passe, we should seeme to despise them; some things we reade, least we should seeme to be ignorant in them; other thinges we reade, not that we may embrace them, but eschew them. Our learning ought to be our liues amendment, and the fruites of our priuate studie ought to appeare in our public behauior.
Nashe, Thomas. The Works of Thomas Nashe. Vol. I.
London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1910. 42-43.
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