« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
draw them on, put off others cunningly that would be better chapmen, and the like practices which are crafty and naught. As for the chopping of bargains, when a man buys, not to hold, but to sell over again, that commonly grindeth double, both upon the seller and upon the buyer. Sharings do greatly enrich, if the hands be well chosen that are trusted. Usury is the certainest means of gain, though one of the worst; as that whereby a man doth eat his bread," by the sweat of another's brow ;" and, besides, doth plough upon Sundays. But yet, certain though it be, it hath flaws; for that the scriveners and brokers do value unsound men to serve their own turn. The fortune in being the first in an invention, or in a privilege, doth cause sometimes a wonderful overgrowth in Riches; as it was with the first sugar-man in the Canaries: therefore if a man can play the true logician, to have as well judgment as invention, he may do great matters, especially if the times be fit. He that resteth upon gains certain, shall hardly grow to great Riches; and he that puts all upon adventures, doth oftentimes break, and come to poverty: it is good therefore to guard adventures with certainties that may uphold losses. Monopolies and co-emption of wares for re-sale, where they are not restrained, are great means to enrich, especially if the party have intelligence what things are like to come into
request, and to store himself before-hand. Riches gotten by service, though it be of the best rise, yet when they are gotten by flattery, feeding humours, and other servile conditions, they may be placed amongst the worst. As for fishing for testaments and executorships, (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, "Wills and orphans are caught as it were in a net") it is yet worse, by how much men submit themselves to meaner persons than in service. Believe not much them that seem to despise Riches; for they despise them, that despair of them, and none worse when they come to them. Be not penny-wise: Riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves; sometimes they must be set flying to bring in more. Men leave their Riches either to their kindred, or to the public; and moderate portions prosper best in both. A great state left to an heir, is as a lure to all the birds of prey, round about to seize on him, if he be not the better established in years and judgLikewise glorious gifts and foundations are like sacrifices without salt, and but the painted sepulchres of alms, which soon will putrefy and corrupt inwardly therefore measure not thine advancements by quantity, but frame them by measure; and defer not charities till death: for certainly if a man weigh it rightly, he that doth so is rather liberal of another man's than of his own.
I MEAN not to speak of Divine Prophecies, nor of heathen oracles, nor of natural predictions; but only of Prophecies that have been of certain memory, and from hidden causes. Saith the Pythonissa to Saul, "To-morrow thou and thy son shall be with me." Homer hath these verses:
"Through the wide world th' Æneian house shall reign, And children's children shall the crown sustain."
Æneid 3. line 97. DRYDEN.
A Prophecy, as it seems, of the Roman Empire. Seneca, the tragedian, hath these lines: "An age shall come in future but late years, in which the ocean shall relax the present boundaries of things, and navigation shall discover new worlds, and Thule shall no longer be considered as the end of the land or world."
A Prophecy of the discovery of America. The daughter of Polycrates dreamed, that Jupiter bathed her father, and Apollo anointed him; and it came to pass that he was crucified in an open place, where the sun made his body run with sweat, and the rain washed it. Philip of Macedon dreamed he sealed up his wife's belly; whereby he did expound it, that his wife should be barren: but Aristander the soothsayer told him his wife was with
child, because men do not use to seal vessels that are empty. A phantasm that appeared to M. Brutus in his tent, said to him: “You shall see me again at the battle of Philippi." Tiberius said. to Galba: "And you too, Galba, shall taste of Empire," i. e. be Emperor. In Vespasian's time, there went a Prophecy in the East, that those that should come forth of Judea should reign over the world: which though it may be was meant of our Saviour, yet Tacitus expounds it of Vespasian. Domitian dreamed, the night before he was slain, that a golden head was growing out of the nape of his neck and indeed the succession that followed him for many years, made golden times. Henry VI. of England, said of Henry VII. when he was a lad and gave him water, "This is the lad that shall enjoy the crown for which we strive." When I was in France, I heard from one Doctor Pena, that the queen mother, who was given to curious arts, caused the king her husband's nativity to be calculated under a false name: and the astrologer gave a judgment, that he should be killed in a duel; at which the queen laughed, thinking her husband to be above challenges and duels. But he was slain upon a course at tilt, the splinters of the staff of Montgomery going in at his beaver. The trivial Prophecy that I heard when I was a child, and
Queen Elizabeth was in the flower of her years,
When Hempe is spun,
Whereby it was generally conceived, that after the princes had reigned, which had the principal letters of that word Hempe, (which were Henry, Edward, Mary, Philip, and Elizabeth,) England should come to utter cònfusion; which, thanks be to God, is verified in the change of the name; for that the king's style is no more of England, but of Britain. There was also another Prophecy, before the year of 88, which I do not well understand:
There shall be seen upon a day,
Between the Baugh and the May,
When that is come and gone,
England build houses of lime and stone,
It was generally conceived to be meant of the Spanish Fleet that came in 88. For that the King of Spain's sirname, as they say, is Norway. The Prediction of Regiomontanus,
"The 88th year shall be a year of wonders,”
was thought likewise accomplished, in the sending of that great Fleet, being the greatest in strength,