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The Inclination to Goodness is imprinted deeply in the Nature of Man: infomuch, that if it iffue not towards Men, it will take unto Other Living Creatures; as it is feen in the Turks, a cruel People, who nevertheless are kind to Beafts, and give Alms to Dogs and Birds: Infomuch, as Bufbechius reporteth; A Chriftian Boy in Conftantinople had like to have been stoned, for gagging, in a waggishness, a long-billed Fowl. Errors, indeed, in this virtue of Goodness, or Charity, may be committed. The Italians have an ungracious Proverb; Tanto buon che val niente: So good, that he is good for nothing. And one of the Doctors of Italy, Nicholas Machiavel, had the confidence to put in writing, almost in plain terms: That the Christian Faith had given up Good Men, in prey, to those, that are Tyrannical, and Unjuft. Which he spake, because indeed there was never Law, or Sect, or Opinion, did so much magnify Goodness, as the Christian Religion doth. Therefore, to avoid the Scandal and the Danger both, it is good to take knowledge of the Errors of a Habit fo excellent. Seek the Good of other Men; but be not in bondage to their Faces or Fancies: for that is but Facility, or Softnefs; which taketh an honeft Mind Prisoner. Neither give thou Efop's Cock a Gem, who would be better pleased, and happier, if he had had a Barley-corn. The Example of God teacheth the Leffon truly: He fendeth his Rain, and maketh his Sun to shine, upon the Just, and Unjuft; but he doth not rain Wealth, nor fhine Honour, 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 our Selves the Pattern; the Love of our Neighbours but the Portraiture. Sell all thou haft, and give it to the poor, and follow me: But sell not all thou haft, except thou come, and follow me; that is, except thou have a Vocation, wherein thou mayeft do as much good, with little means, as with great : For otherwise, in feeding the Streams, thou drieft the Fountain. Neither is there only a Habit of Goodness, directed by right Reason; but there is, in fome Men, even in Nature, a Difpofition towards it as on the other fide, 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 Croffness, or Frowardness, or Aptness to oppose, or Difficilness, 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 fo good as the Dogs that licked Lazarus' 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 purpofe, in their Gardens, as Timon had. Such Difpofitions 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 fhall ftand firm. The Parts and Signs of Goodness are many : If a Man be gracious and courteous to Strangers, it fhews he is a Citizen of the World; and that his Heart is no Ifland, cut off from other Lands; but a Continent that joins to them. If he be compaffionate towards the Afflictions of others, it fhews that his Heart is like the noble Tree, that is wounded itself, when it gives the Balm. If he eafily pardons and remits Offences, it fhews that his Mind is planted above Injuries; fo that he cannot be shot. If he be thankful for fmall Benefits, it fhews that he weighs Men's Minds, and not their Trafh. But above all, if he have St. Paul's Perfection, that he would wish to be an Anathema from Chrift, for the Salvation of his Brethren, it shews much of a Divine Nature, and a kind of Conformity with Christ himself.
XIV. Of Nobility.
E will fpeak of Nobility firft as a Portion of an Estate; then as a Condition of Particular Perfons. A Monarchy, where there is no Nobility at all, is ever a pure and abfolute Tyranny; as that of the Turks. For Nobility attempers Sovereignty, and draws the Eyes of the People fomewhat aside from the Line Royal. But for Democracies, they need it not; and they are commonly more quiet, and
lefs fubject to Sedition, than where there are Stirps of Nobles. For Men's Eyes are upon the Business, and not upon the Perfons: or if upon the Perfons, it is for the Bufinefs' fake, as fitteft, 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 Refpects. The United Provinces of the Low Countries, 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 Majefty to a Monarch; but diminisheth Power: and putteth Life and Spirit into the People; but preffeth their Fortune. It is well, when Nobles are not too great for Sovereignty, nor for Justice; and yet maintained in that height, as the Infolency of Inferiors 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 befides, it being of Neceffity, that many of the Nobility fall in time to be weak in Fortune, it maketh a kind of Difproportion between Honour and Means.
As for Nobility in particular Perfons; it is a Reverend Thing, to fee an Ancient Castle or Building not in decay; or to see a fair Timber Tree found 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 An
cient Nobility is the Act of Time. Thofe that are first raised to Nobility are commonly more Virtuous, but lefs Innocent, than their Defcendants: for there is rarely any Rifing, but by a Commixture of good and evil Arts. But it is Reason, 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. Befides, Noble perfons cannot go much higher; and he that ftandeth at a stay when others rife, can hardly avoid Motions of Envy. On the other fide, Nobility extinguisheth the paffive Envy, from others towards them; because they are in Poffeffion of Honour. Certainly Kings, that have Able Men of their Nobility, fhall find ease in employing them; and a better Slide into their Bufinefs: for People naturally bend to them, as born in fome fort to Command.
xv. Of Seditions and Troubles.
HEPHERDS of People had need know the Calendars of Tempests in State; which are commonly greateft, when Things grow to Equality; as Natural Tempests are greatest about the Equinoctia. And as there are certain hollow Blafts of Wind, and fecret Swellings of Seas, before a Tempest; so are there in States: