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It is the epistle ¹ to Demonicus, so seriously and so widely accepted, that is the ultimate source of Polonius's advice to Laertes:
Be gentell and plesaunt to all men: be familiar but only with ye good.
Become sloly a frende, but after you haue professed amite endeuour so to continue ... Trie your friendes by such aduersities as happeneth in this present lyfe ... be to your familiars compayghniable, and not haughty ... Be neate and clenly in your apparel): but not braue and sumptuous ... Do your vter endeauor to lyue in safetie. But if it fortune you to come in perill, so defende yourselfe by batayle and force of armes, that it may redounde to your renoume. [A viii verso to Bii verso.)
Isocrates suggests also some principles of courtly wisdom and manners, which Polonius applied:
Neyther proue your frendes with your annoyance: nor yet be ignorant of their condicions. And this you may do, if you fayne to haue nede of them when you haue no nede at all: and committe vnto them for great secretes, matters which may without danger be discouered. For albeit contrary to your expectacion they bewraye you, yet shall you not be endamaged thereby; and if they satisfie the truste and confidense you hadde in theim, then haue you a better tryall of their maners ... Imitate the manners of kynges, and followe their wayes and trade of liuinge, (so shal you both seine to approue their doinges, and also to lone and folowe them)."
This collection surrounding Cato was made for moral ends and was taught accordingly. Brinsley's instructions for posing Cato bring this out as clearly as do the other facts we have already presented.
So in Cato, to aske, as in the first verses,
Q. What thing ought to be chicle vnto us?
X. The worship of God.
Q. Da sententiam.
R., Cultus Dei praecfpuus.
Q. Da carmen.
R. Si Deus est animus nobis, &c.
Then to examine the Verses by parts if you will: as Si Deus est animus, mac. Aske,
Qualls est Deus? What is God, or what a one?
~1. 4nimus, A spirit, or spiritual) nature or being.
~. Qui ita nobi.r dicunt? vet, Qum, nobis ita dicunt? Who or what things tell vs so?
R. Carmina, Verses, or Poets who write Verses.
Q. Quomodo turn cotendus est? R. Pura mente.
Q. Da carmen.
R. Si Deus est animus, &c.
Thus throughout, onely where they vnderstand not, to propound the question, as well in English, as in Latine, and so to answer.
Also you may examine thus: What Verses in Cato haue you, to prone that
71 Lathrop, Traarlatisns, PP. 45 46,