Изображения страниц


ensueth that ill intelligence1 that we many times see between great personages. Likewise glorious 2 followers, who make themselves as trumpets of the commendation of those they follow, are full of inconvenience; for they taint business through want of secrecy; and they export honour from a man, and make him a return in envy. There is a kind of followers likewise which are dangerous, being indeed espials; which inquire the secrets of the house, and bear tales of them to others. Yet such men, many times, are in great favour; for they are officious, and commonly exchange tales. The following by certain estates of men, answerable to that which a great person himself professeth, (as of soldiers to him that hath been employed in the wars, and the like,) hath ever been a thing civil,5 and well taken even in monarchies; so it be without too much pomp or popularity. But the most honorable kind of following is to be followed to as one that apprehendeth to advance virtue and desert in all sorts of persons. And yet, where there is no eminent odds in sufficiency, it is better to take with the more passable, than with the more able. And besides, to speak truth, in base times active


1 Intelligence. A relation or footing between persons or parties; a good (or other) understanding 'between' or 'with.'

2 Glorious. Boastful; vainglorious.

3 Officious. Active or zealous in doing one's duty; dutiful; useful.

"Come, come, be every one officious

To make this banquet."


4 Estates of men. Order of men.


Decorous; proper.

[blocks in formation]

• Popularity. Active in sense, a desire to obtain favor with the people.

7 Apprehend. To anticipate; to expect.

It is good disany man at the that proportion.

men are of more use than virtuous. It is true that in government it is good to use men of one rank equally: for to countenance some extraordinarily, is to make them insolent, and the rest discontent; 1 because they may claim a due. But contrariwise, in favour, to use men with much difference2 and election is good; for it maketh the persons preferred more thankful, and the rest more officious: because all is of favour. cretion not to make too much of first; because one cannot hold out To be governed (as we call it) by one, is not safe; for it shews softness,3 and gives a freedom to scandal and disreputation; for those that would not censure or speak ill of a man immediately, will talk more boldly of those that are so great with them, and thereby wound their honour. Yet to be distracted with many is worse; for it makes men to be of the last impression, and full of change. To take advice of some few friends is ever honourable; for lookers-on many times see more than gamesters; and the vale best discovereth the hill. There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals,. which was wont to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the other.

1 Discontent. Discontented.

2 Difference. Distinction.


8 Softness. Weakness. "A satire against the softness of prosperity." Shakspere. Timon of Athens. Disrepute.

• Disreputation.

v. 1.



MANY ill matters and projects are undertaken; and private suits do putrefy the public good. Many good matters are undertaken with bad minds; I mean not only corrupt minds, but crafty minds, that intend not performance. Some embrace suits, which never mean to deal effectually in them; but if they see there may be life in the matter by some other mean,1 they will be content to win a thank,2 or take a second 3 reward, or at least to make use in the mean time of the suitor's hopes. Some take hold of suits only for an occasion to cross some other or to make an information whereof they could not otherwise have apt pretext; without care what become of the suit when that turn is served; or, generally, to make other men's business a kind of entertainment 5 to bring in their own. Nay some undertake suits, with a full purpose to let them fall; to the end to gratify the adverse party or competitor. Surely there is in some sort a right in every suit; either a right in equity, if it be a suit of controversy; or a right of desert, if it be a suit of petition. If

1 Mean. Means.

2 Thank. Expression of gratitude. Now plural. "For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye! For sinners also love those that love them." Luke vi. 32.

3 Second. Secondary; inferior.

To make an information. To inform one's self.

5 Entertainment. A preliminary occupation; spending (of time). "Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some entertainment of time, some show in the posterior of this day, to be render'd by our assistance, at the King's command, and this most gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman, before the Princess,-I say none so fit to present as the Nine Worthies." Shakspere. Love's Labour's Lost. v. 1.

affection lead a man to favour the less worthy in desert, let him do it without depraving 1 or disabling the better deserver. In suits which a man doth not well understand, it is good to refer 2 them to some friend of trust and judgment, that may report whether he may deal in them with honour: but let him choose well his referendaries,3 for else he may be led by the nose. Suitors are so distasted 4 with delays and abuses,5 that plain dealing in denying to deal in suits at first, and reporting the success barely, and in challenging no more thanks than one hath deserved, is grown not only honourable but also gracious. In suits of favour, the first coming ought to take little place: Xso far forth consideration may be had of his trust, that if intelligence of the matter could not otherwise have been had but by him, advantage be not taken of the note,8 but the party left to his other means; and in some

1 Deprave. To defame; decry; disparage. So, Italian "depra

vare, to backbite."


"Unjustly thou deprav'st it with the name
Of servitude to serve whom God ordains,
Or Nature."

Milton. Paradise Lost. VI. 174-176.

Refer. To apply or appeal to.



One to whose decision anything is referred; a

• Distaste. To be displeased, or offended.

5 Abuse. Deception; imposture; delusion.

"What should this mean? Are all the rest come back!
Or is it some abuse, and no such thing?"

To take place.

7 So far forth. • Note.

Shakspere. Hamlet.

iv. 4.

To take effect; to avail.
To the specified extent and no more.

Notice; information; knowledge.

"Sir, I do know you;

And dare, upon the warrant of my note,

Commend a dear thing to you."


King Lear.

iii. 1.


sort recompensed for his discovery. To be ignorant of the value of a suit is simplicity; as well as to be ignorant of the right thereof is want of conscience. Secrecy in suits is a great mean of obtaining; for voicing 1 them to be in forwardness may discourage some kind of suitors, but doth quicken and awake others. But timing of the suit is the principal. • Timing, I say, not only in respect of the person that should grant it, but in respect of those which are like to cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his mean,2 rather choose the fittest mean than the greatest mean; and rather them that deal in certain things, than those that are general. The reparation of a denial is sometimes equal to the first grant if a man shew himself neither dejected nor discontented. Iniquum petas ut æquum feras,3 is a good rule, where a man hath strength of favour: but otherwise a man were better rise in his suit; for he that would have ventured at first to have lost the suitor, will not in the conclusion lose both the suitor and his own former favour. Nothing is thought so easy a request to a great person, as his letter; and yet, if it be not in a good cause, it is so much out of his

1 Voice. To announce; proclaim; report.

2 Mean.

Agent; instrument. Rare in the singular.
'Follow me, soldiers: we 'll devise a mean
To reconcile you all unto the King."

Shakspere. II. King Henry VI. iv. 8.

3 Ask what is unreasonable, that you may get what is equitable. "Nec omnino fine ratione est, quod vulgo dicitur, Iniquum petendum, ut aequum feras." M. Fabii Quintiliani de Institutione Oratoria Liber IV. v. 16.

4 Lose.

To ruin; to destroy.

"What to ourselves in passion we propose,
The passion ending, doth the purpose lose."


iii. 2.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »