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the just and the unjust; "1 but he doth not rain wealth, nor shine honor and virtues upon men equally; common benefits are to be communicate with all, but peculiar benefits with choice. And beware how, in making the portraiture, thou breakest the pattern; for divinity maketh the love of ourselves the pattern, the love of our neighbors but the portraiture: "Sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor, and follow me;' "2 but sell not all thou hast, except thou come and follow me; that is, except thou have a vocation wherein thou mayest do as much good with little means as with great; for otherwise, in feeding the streams thou driest the fountain. Neither is there only a habit of goodness directed by right reason, but there is in some men, even in nature, a disposition towards it; as, on the other side, there is a natural malignity, for there be that in their nature do not affect the good of others. The lighter sort of malignity turneth but to a crossness, or frowardness, or aptness to oppose, or difficileness, or the like; but the deeper sort to envy, and mere mischief. Such men in other men's calamities are, as it were, in season, and are ever on the loading part; not so good as the dogs that licked Lazarus's sores, but like flies that are still buzzing upon any thing that is raw; misanthropi, that make it their practice to bring men to the bough, and yet have never a tree for the purpose
1 St. Matthew v. 5: "For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
2 This is a portion of our Saviour's reply to the rich man who asked him what he should do to inherit eternal life: "Then Jesus beholding him, loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow me. St. Mark x. 21.
8 See St. Luke xvi. 21.
in their gardens, as Timon1 had. Such dispositions are the very errors of human nature, and yet they are the fittest timber to make great politics of; like to knee timber, that is good for ships that are ordained to be tossed, but not for building houses that shall stand firm. The parts and signs of goodness are many. If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them; if he be compassionate towards the afflictions of others, it shows that his heart is like the noble tree that is wounded itself when it gives the balm; if he easily pardons and remits offences, it shows that his mind is planted above injuries, so that he cannot be shot; if he be thankful for small benefits, it shows that he weighs men's minds, and not their trash; but, above all, if he have St. Paul's perfection, that he would wish to be an anathema from Christ for the
1 Timon of Athens, as he is generally called, (being so styled by Shakspeare in the play which he has founded on his story,) was surnamed the " Misanthrope," from the hatred which he bore to his fellow-men. He was attached to Apemantus, another Athenian of similar character to himself, and he professed to esteem Alcibiades, because he foresaw that he would one day bring ruin on his country. Going to the public assembly on one occasion, he mounted the rostrum, and state that he had a figtree, on which many worthy citizens had ended their days by the halter; that he was going to cut it down for the purpose of building on the spot, and therefore recommended all such as were inclined, to avail themselves of it before it was too late.
2 A piece of timber that has grown crooked, and has been so cut that the trunk and branch form an angle.
3 He probably here refers to the myrrh-tree. Incision is the method usually adopted for extracting the resinous juices of trees; as in the India rubber and gutta-percha trees.
4"A votive," and, in the present instance, a
66 vicarious offering." He alludes to the words of St. Paul in his Second Epistle to Timothy ii. 10: "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."
salvation of his brethren, it shows much of a divine nature, and a kind of conformity with Christ himself.
XIV. OF NOBILITY.
WE will speak of nobility, first, as a portion of an estate, then as a condition of particular persons. A monarchy, where there is no nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute tyranny as that of the Turks; for nobility attempers sovereignty, and draws the eyes of the people somewhat aside from the line royal but for democracies they need it not; and they are commonly more quiet and less subject to sedition than where there are stirps of nobles; for men's eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons; or if upon the persons, it is for the business sake, as fittest, and not for flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion and of cantons; for utility is their bond, and not respects. The United Provinces of the Low Countries 2 in their government excel; for where there is an equality the consultations are more indifferent, and the payments and tributes more cheerful. A great and potent nobility addeth majesty to a monarch, but diminisheth power, and putteth life and spirit into the people, but presseth their fortune. It is well when nobles are not too great for sovereignty nor for justice; and yet maintained in that height, as the insolency of inferiors
1 Consideration of, or predilection for, particular persons. 2 The Low Countries had then recently emancipated themselves from the galling yoke of Spain. They were called the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands.
may be broken upon them, before it come on too fast upon the majesty of kings. A numerous nobility causeth poverty and inconvenience in a state, for it is a surcharge of expense; and besides, it being of necessity that many of the nobility fall in time to be weak in fortune, it maketh a kind of disproportion between honor and means.
As for nobility in particular persons, it is a reverend thing to see an ancient castle or building not in decay, or to see a fair timber-tree sound and perfect; how much more to behold an ancient noble family, which hath stood against the waves and weathers of time! For new nobility is but the act of power, but ancient nobility is the act of time. Those that are first raised to nobility are commonly more virtuous, but less innocent than their descendants; for there is rarely any rising but by a commixture of good and evil arts; but it is reason 2 the memory of their virtues remain to their posterity, and their faults die with themselves. Nobility of birth commonly abateth industry, and he that is not industrious, envieth him that is; besides, noble persons cannot go much higher; and he that standeth at a stay when others rise, can hardly avoid motions of envy. On the other side, nobility extinguisheth the passive envy from others towards them, because they are in possession of honor. Certainly, kings that have able men of their nobility shall find ease in employing them, and a better slide into their business; for people naturally bend to them, as born in some sort to command.
1 This passage may at first sight appear somewhat contradic tory; but he means to say, that those who are first ennobled will commonly be found more conspicuous for the prominence of their qualities, both good and bad.
2 Consistent with reason and justice.
XV.-OF SEDITIONS AND TROUBLES.
SHEPHERDS of people had need know the calendars of tempests in state, which are commonly greatest when things grow to equality; as natural tempests are greatest about the equinoctia,1 and as there are certain hollow blasts of wind and secret swellings of seas before a tempest, so are there in
"Ille etiam cæcos instare tumultus Sæpe monet, fraudesque et operta tumescere bella." 2 Libels and licentious discourses against the state, when they are frequent and open; and in like sort false news, often running up and own, to the disadvantage of the state, and hastily embraced, are amongst the signs of troubles. Virgil, giving the pedigree of Fame, saith she was sister to the giants:
"Illam Terra parens, irâ irritata Deorum,
Extremam (ut perhibent) Coo Enceladoque sororem
As if fames were the relics of seditions past; but they are no less indeed the preludes of seditions to come. Howsoever, he noteth it right, that seditious tumults and seditious fames differ no more but as brother and sister, masculine and feminine; especially if it come to that, that the best actions of a state, and the most plausible, and which ought to
1 The periods of the Equinoxes.
2 "He often warns, too, that secret revolt is impending, that treachery and open warfare are ready to burst forth."Georg. i. 465.
3 Mother Earth, exasperated at the wrath of the Deities, produced her, as they tell, a last birth, a sister to the giants Coeus and Enceladus. - Virg. Æn. iv. 179.