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her Husband, and Dissimulation of her Son: attributing Arts or Policy to Auguftus, and Diffimulation to Tiberius. And again, when Mucianus encourageth Vefpafian to take Arms against Vitellius, he faith, We rife not against the Piercing Judgement of Auguftus, nor the Extreme Caution or Clofeness of Tiberius. These Properties of Arts or Policy, and Diffimulation or Clofenefs, are indeed Habits and Faculties several, and to be distinguished. For if a Man have that Penetration of Judgement, as he can discern what Things are to be laid open, and what to be fecreted, and what to be fhewed at Half-lights, and to whom, and when, (which indeed are Arts of State, and Arts of Life, as Tacitus well calleth them) to him a Habit of Diffimulation is a Hinderance, and a Poornefs. But if a Man cannot obtain to that Judgement, then it is left to him, generally, to be Close, and a Dissembler. For where a Man cannot choose, or vary in Particulars, there it is good to take the safest and wariest Way in general; like the Going foftly by one that cannot well fee. Certainly the ablest Men, that ever were, have had all an Openness, and Frankness of dealing; and a name of Certainty, and Veracity; but then they were like Horses, well managed; for they could tell paffing well, when to stop, or turn: And at such times, when they thought the Case indeed required Diffimulation, if then they used it, it came to pass, that the former Opinion, fpread abroad of their good Faith, and Clearness of dealing, made them almost invifible.
There be three degrees, of this Hiding, and Vailing of a Man's Self. The firft Clofenefs, Refervation, and Secrecy; when a Man leaveth himfelf without Obfervation, or without Hold to be taken, what he is. The fecond Diffimulation, in the Negative; when a Man lets fall Signs, and Arguments, that he is not, that he is. And the third Simulation, in the Affirmative; when a Man industriously, and expreffly, feigns, and pretends to be, that he is not.
For the first of thefe, Secrecy: It is indeed, the Virtue of a Confeffor; and affuredly, the Secret Man heareth many Confeffions; for who will open himself to a Blab or a Babbler? But if a Man be thought Secret, it inviteth Discovery; as the more Close Air fucketh in the more Open: And as in Confeffion, the Revealing is not for worldly Ufe, but for the Ease of a Man's Heart; fo Secret Men come to the Knowledge of many Things, in that Kind; while Men rather discharge their Minds, than impart their Minds. In few words, Mysteries are due to Secrecy. Befides (to fay Truth) Nakedness is uncomely, as well in Mind, as Body; and it addeth no fmall Reverence to Men's Manners and Actions, if they be not altogether Open. As for Talkers and Futile Perfons, they are commonly vain, and credulous withal. For he that talketh what he knoweth, will alfo talk what he knoweth not. Therefore fet it down, That an Habit of Secrecy is both Politic, and Moral. And in this Part, it is good, that a Man's Face give his Tongue leave to Speak.
For the Discovery of a Man's Self, by the Tracts of his Countenance, is a great Weakness, and Betraying: By how much, it is many times, more marked and believed, than a Man's words.
For the second, which is Diffimulation: It followeth many times upon Secrecy, by a neceffity: So that he that will be Secret, must be a Dissembler, in fome degree. For Men are too cunning, to fuffer a Man to keep an indifferent carriage between both, and to be Secret, without Swaying the Balance, on either fide. They will fo befet a Man with Questions, and draw him on, and pick it out of him, that without an abfurd Silence, he must show an Inclination, one way: Or if he do not, they will gather as much by his Silence, as by his Speech. As for Equivocations, or Oraculous Speeches, they cannot hold out long. So that no man can be fecret, except he give himself a little Scope of Diffimulation; which is, as it were, but the Skirts or Train of Secrecy.
But for the third Degree, which is Simulation, and falfe Profeffion; That I hold more culpable, and lefs politic; except it be in great and rare Matters. And therefore a general Custom of Simulation (which is this last Degree) is a Vice, rising, either of a natural Falseness, or Fearfulness; Or of a mind, that hath fome main Faults: which, because a Man muft needs difguife, it maketh him practise Simulation, in other things, left his Hand fhould be out of use.
The Advantages of Simulation and Diffimulation, are three. First to lay asleep Oppofition, and to
Surprise. For where a Man's Intentions are published, it is an Alarum, to call up all that are against them. The second is, to reserve to a Man's Self a fair Retreat For if a man engage himself, by a manifeft Declaration, he must go through, or take a Fall. The third is, the better to discover the Mind of another. For to him that opens himself, Men will hardly fhow themfelves adverfe; but will (fair) let him go on, and turn their Freedom of Speech to Freedom of Thought. And therefore, it is a good shrewd Proverb of the Spaniard; Tell a Lie and find a Truth. As if there were no way of Discovery, but by Simulation. There be also three Disadvantages, to set it even. The firft, That Simulation and Diffimulation, commonly carry with them, a Show of Fearfulness, which in any Bufinefs, doth fpoil the Feathers, of round flying up to the Mark. The fecond, that it puzzleth and perplexeth the Conceits of many, that perhaps would otherwise co-operate with him ; and makes a Man walk, almost alone, to his own Ends. The third and greatest is, that it depriveth a Man of one of the most principal Inftruments for Action; which is Truft and Belief. The best Composition, and Temperature is, to have Openness in Fame and Opinion; Secrecy in Habit; Diffimulation in seasonable use; and a Power to feign, if there be no Remedy.
VII. Of Parents and Children.
HE Joys of Parents are fecret; and fo are their Griefs, and Fears: They cannot utter the one; nor they will not utter the other. Children sweeten Labours; but they make Misfortunes more bitter : They increase the Cares of Life; but they mitigate the Remembrance of Death. The Perpetuity by Generation is common to Beafts; but Memory, Merit, and noble Works, are proper to Men: And furely a Man fhall fee the nobleft Works, and Foundations, have proceeded from Childless Men; which have fought to exprefs the Images of their Minds, where thofe of their Bodies have failed: So the care of Pofterity, is moft in them, that have no Pofterity. They that are the first Raifers of their Houses, are most indulgent towards their Children; beholding them as the Continuance, not only of their kind, but of their Work: And fo both Children, and Creatures.
The difference in Affection, of Parents, towards their feveral Children, is many times unequal, and fometimes unworthy; efpecially in the Mother: As Solomon faith; Awife Son rejoiceth the Father; but an ungracious Son fhames the Mother. A Man shall fee, where there is a Houfe full of Children, one or two of the Eldeft refpected, and the Youngest made wantons: But in the midft, fome