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IV. OF REVENGE.
the other, (much too high for a heathen,) “ It is
true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man, Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the
and the security of a God:"_“ Vere magnum more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out: for as for the first wrong, it doth This would have done better in poesy, where
habere fragilitatem hominis, securitatem Dei." but offend the law, but the revenge of that wrong transcendencies are more allowed; and the poets, putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in taking indeed, have been busy with it; for it is in effect revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but the thing which is figured in that strange fiction in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a of the ancient poets, which seemeth not to be prince's part to pardon: and Solomon, I am sure, without mystery ; nay, and to have some approach
I saith, “ It is the glory of a man to pass by an
to the state of a Christian, " that Hercules, when i offence.” That which is past is gone and irre
he went to unbind Prometheus, (by whom human coverable, and wise men have enough to do with
nature is represented,) sailed the length of the things present and to come; therefore they do
great ocean in an earthen pot or pitcher, lively but trifle with themsetves, that labour in past describing Christian resolution, that saileth in the matters. There is no man
doth a wrong for the
frail bark of the flesh through the waves of the wrong's sake, but thereby to purchase himself world.” But to speak in a mean, the virtue of profit, or pleasure, or honour, or the like; therefore why should I be angry with a man for loving fortitude, which in morals is the more heroical vir
prosperity is temperance, the virtue of adversity is himself better than me? And if any man should do wrong, merely out of ill-nature, why, yet it is tue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testabut like the thorn or brier, which prick and scratch, ment, adversity is the blessing of the New, which because they can do no other. The most tolerable revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old
carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy; but then, let a man take heed hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the
Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall the revenge be such there is no law to punish, pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in else a man's enemy is still beforehand, and it is describing the affictions of Job than the felicities two for one. Some, when they take revenge, are of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears desirous the party should know whence it cometh: and distastes ; and adversity is not without comthis is the more generous; for the delight seemeth forts and hopes. We see in needle-works and
to be not so much in doing the hurt as in making embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively the party repent: but base and crafty cowards are work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have like the arrow that flieth in the dark. Cosmus,
dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome Duke of Florence, had a desperate saying against ground : judge, therefore, of the pleasure of the perfidious or neglecting friends, as if those wrongs heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly were unpardonable. “ You shall read,” saith he, virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when " that we are commanded to forgive our enemies, they are incensed, or crushed : for prosperity doth but you never read that we are commanded to for
best discover vice, but adversity doth best disco give our friends.” But yet the spirit of Job was
ver virtue. in a better tune : “ Shall we,” saith he,“ take good at God's hands, and not be content to take evil also ?" and so of friends in a proportion. This is OF SIMULATION AND DISSIMU. certain, that a man that studieth revenge, keeps
LATION.* his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do wel). Public revengesyma for the wisdom; for it asketh a strong wit and a strong
Dissimulation is but a faint kind of policy, or most part fortunate; as that for the death of heart to know when to tell truth, and to do it; Cæsar; for the death of Pertinax; for the death therefore it is the weaker sort of politicians that of Henry the Third of France; and many more.
are the great dissemblers. But in private revenges it is not so; nay, rather
Tacitus saith, “ Livia sorted well with the arts vindictive persons live the life of witches ; who, of her husband, and dissimulation of her son ; as they are mischievous, so end they unfortunate. attributing arts or policy to Augustus, and dis
simulation to Tiberius :" and again, when MuciaV. OF ADVERSITY.
nus encourageth Vespasian to take arms against It was a high speech of Seneca, (after the man- Vitellius, he saith,“ Werise not against the piercnier of the Stoics,) that the good things which ing judgment of Augustus, nor the extreme caubelong to prosperity are to be wished, but the tion or closeness of Tiberius :" these properties good things that belong to adversity are to be of arts or policy, and dissimulation or closeness, admired : “ Bona rerum secundarum optabilia, are indeed habits and faculties several, and to be adversarum mirabilia.” Certainly, if miracles be distinguished; for if a man have that penetration the command over nature, they appear most in of judgment as he can discern what things are to adversity. It is yet a higher speech of his than
* See note C, at the end of the Essays.
ESSAYS CIVIL AND MORAL.
be laid open, and what to be secreted, and what on either side. They will so beset a man with.
should be out of use.
men will hardly show themselves averse; but
But if a man be lie and find a trath ;” as if there were no way of thought secret, it inviteth close air sucketh in the more open ; and, as incon disadvantages to set it even the first, that simufession, the revealing is not for worldly use, but lation and dissimulation commonly carry with for the ease of a man's heart, so secret men come them a show of fearfulness, which, in any busi- 40 to the knowledge things in that kind; ness doth spoil the feathers of round flying up to
while men rather discharge their minds than im- the mark the second, that it puzzleth and per200 part their minds. In few words, mysteries are plexeth the delits of many, that, perhaps,
due to secrecy. Besides (to say truth) nakedness would otherwise co-operate with him, and makes is uncomely, as well in mind as body; and it a man walk almost alone to his own ends the addeth no small reverence to men's manners and third, and greatest, is, that it depriveth a man of actions, if they be not altogether open. As for one of the most principal instruments for action, talkers, and futile persons, they are commonly which is trust and belief. The best composition
is, to he knoweth, will also talk what he knoweth not; opinion; secrecy in habit; dissimulation in seatherefore set it down, that a babit.gf secrecy is both sonable use; and a power to feign if there be no politic and moral and in thifpart it is good, that remedy. a man's face give his tongue leave to speak ; for the discovery of a man's self, by the tracts of his
VII. OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN. countenance, is a great weakness and betraying, by how much it is many times more marked and The joys of parents are secret, and so are their believed than a man's words.
griefs and fears; they cannot utter the one, nor For the second, which is dissimulation, it fol- they will not utter the other. Children sweeten loweth many times upon secrecy by a necessity; labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter: so that he that will be secret must be a dissembler they increase the cares of life, but they mitigate in some degree; for men are too cunning to suffer the remembrance of death. The perpetuity by a man to keep an indifferent carriage between generation is common to beasts; but memory, both, and to be secret, without swaying the balance merit, and noble works are proper to men: and
n are .vel
surely a man shall see the noblest works and childless men; which, both in affection and
wife and children but as bills of charges; nay
th a great charge of children;" as full of children, one or two of the eldest respect- if it were an abatement to his riches : but the ed, and the youngest made Wantons ; but in the most ordinary cause of a sin fe is liberty, midst some that are as it were forgotten, who, especially in certain self-ple
umorous many times, nevertheless, proxe the best. The minds, which are so sensible
nint, as illiberality of parents, in allowance towards their they will go near to think their nyari children, is an harmful error, and makes them to be bonds and shackles. Unm
acquaints them with shifts; makes them best friends, best masters, best ser ut not sort with mean company; and makes them surte bete always best subjects ; for they are ugut to run more when they come to plenty : and therefore away; and almost all fugitives are of that condi. . the proof is best when men keep their authority tion. A single life doth well with churchmen, for towards their children, but not their purse. Men charity will hardly water the ground where it have a foolish manner (both parents, and school must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges masters, and seyyants) in creating and breeding and magistrates; for if they be facile and corrupt,
n emulation between brothers during childhood, you shall have a servant five times worse than a which many times sorteth to discord when they wife. For soldiers, I find the generals commonly, E. are men, and disturbeth families. The Italians in their homátives) pat
pút men in hind of their wives make little difference between children and ne- and children; and I think the despising of marphews, or near kinsfolks ; but so they be of the riage among the Turks maketh the vulgar soldier lump, they care not, though they pass not through more base: Certainly wife and children are their own body; and, to say truth, in nature it is kind of discipline of humanity; and single men, much a like matter; insomuch that we see a ne- though they may be many times more charitable, phew sometimes resembleth an uncle, or a kins- because their means are less exhaust, yet, on the man, more than his own payetine
the blood other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted, happens. Let parents choose the voca- (good to make severe inquisitorsl) because their tions and courses they mean their children should tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natake, for then they are most flexible; and let turės, led by custom, and therefore constant, are them not too much apply themselves to the dis- commonly loving husbands as waş said, of Ulyste mount position of their children, as thinking they will sendum ve
“ vētúram suam prætulit
immortalitati. take best to that which they have most mind to. Chaste women are often proud and froward, as 7 It is true, that if the affection, or aptness of the presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It children be extraordinary, then it is good is one of the best bonds, both of chastity and obecross, it; but generally the precept is good." op-dience, in the wife, if she think her husband timuin elige, suave et
suave et facile illud faciet consue- wise ; which she will never do if she find him puéia tüdő?" Younger brothers are commonly fortunate, jealous
. Wives are young men's mistresses, but seldom or never where the elder are disinhe companions for middle and old men's nurses; rited.
so as a man may have startel to marry when he
will: but yet he was reputed one of the wise men, VIII. OF MARRIAGE AND SINGLE LIFE.* that made answer to the question when a man He that hath wife and children bath
plotage should marry :-“A young man not yet, an
great husbands have very good wives; whether it be
husbands were of their own choosing, against
like to be regarded as marity they enjoy the betid, aadres.
their friends' consent, for then they will be sure to of a miracle: as it was in Narses the eunuch, make good their own folly.
and Agesilaus and Tamerlane, that were lame IX. OF ENVY.
The same is the case of men who rise after ca. There be none of the affections which have been Samities and misfortunes ; for they are as men noted to fascinate, or bewitch, but love and envy: fallen out with the times, and think other men's they both have vehement wishes; they frame harms a redemption of their own sufferings. themselves readily into imaginations and sugges
They that desire to excel in too many matters, tions; and they come easily into the eye, espe- Jout of levity and vain glory, are ever envious, for cially upon the presence of the objects, which are they cannot want work; it being impossible, but the points that conduce to fascination, if any such many, in some one of those things, should surpass thing there be. We see, likewise, the scripture them; which was the character of Adrian the | calleth envy an evil eye; and the astrologers call emperor, that mortally envied poets and paintthe evil influences of the stars evil aspects; so ers, and artificers in works, wherein he had a that still there seemeth to be acknowledged, in vein to excel. the act of envy, an ejaculation, or irradiation of Lastly, near kinsfolks and fellows in office, and the eye: nay, some have been so curious as to those that have been bred together, are more apt note, that the times, when the stroke or percussion to envy their equals when they are raised; for it of an envious eye doth most hurt, are, when the doth upbraid unto them their own fortunes, and party envied is beheld in glory or triumph; for pointeth at them, and cometh oftener into their rethat sets an edge upon envy: and besides, at such membrance, and incurreth likewise more into times, the spirits of the person envied do come the note of others; and envy ever redoubleth from forth most into the outward parts, and so meet the speech and fame. Cain's envy was the more blow.
vile and malignant towards his brother Abel, beBut leaving these curiosities, (though not unwor-cause when his sacrifice was better accepted, there thy to be thought on in fit place,) we will handle was no body to look on. Thus much for those what persons are apt to envy others; what per- that are apt to envy. sons are most subject to be envied themselves; Concerning those that are more or less subject and what is the difference between public and pri- to envy. First, persons of eminent virtue, when
they are advanced, are less envied; for their fort A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever en- tune seemeth but due unto them; and no man vieth virtue in others; for men's minds will either envieth the payment of a debt, but rewards feed upon their own good, or upon others' evil; and liberality rather. Again, envy is ever joined and who wanteth the one will prey upon the other; with the comparing of a man's self; and where and whoso is out of hope to attain to another's there is no comparison, no envy and therefore virtue, will seek to come at even hand, by depress-kings are not envied but by kings. Nevertheless, ing another's fortune,
it is to be noted, that unworthy persons are most A man that is busy and inquisitive is commonly envied at their first coming in, and afterwards /envious; for to know much of other men's mat- overcome it better; whereas, contrariwise perters cannot be, because all that ado may concern
sons of worth and merit are most envied when his own estate ; therefore it must needs be that their fortune continueth long for by that time, he taketh a kind of play-pleasure in looking upon though their virtue be the same, yet it hath the fortunes of others : neither can he that mindeth not the same lustre, for fresh men grow up that but his own business find much matter for envy; darken it. for envy is a gadding passion, and walketh the Persons of noble blood are less envied in their streets, and doth not keep home: “ Non est rising; for it seemeth but right done to their curiosus, quin idem sit malevolus.”
birth : besides, there seemeth not much added to Men of noble birth, are noted to be envious to their fortune; and envy is as the sunbeams, that /wards new men when they rise; for the distance beat hotter upon a bank, or steep sing ground,
is altered; and it is like a deceit of the eye, than upon a flat ; and, for the same reason, those that when others come on they think themselves that are advanced by degrees are less envied go back.
th’ın those that are advanced suddenly, and per 'Deformed persons and eunuchs, and old men saltuin." and bastards, are envious : for he that cannot pos- Those that have joined with their honour great sibly mend his own case, will do what he can to travels, cares, or perils, are less subject to envy : impair another's; except these defects light upon for men think that they darn their honours hardly, a very brave and heroical nature, which thinketh and pity them sometimes; and pity ever healeth to make his natural wants part of his honour; in envy; wherefore you shall observe that the more that it should be said, “ That an eunuch, or a lame deep and sober sorts of politic persons, in their man, did such gréat matters; affecting the honour greatness, are ever bemoaning themselves what a See note E, at the end of the Essays.
life they lead, chanting a “ quanta patimur;” noi VOL. I.-3
that they feel it so, but only to abate the edge of This public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon envy: but this is to be understood of business principal officers or ministers, rather than upon that is laid upon men, and not such as they call kings and estates themselves. But this is a sure unto themselves; for nothing increaseth envy rule, that if the envy upon the minister be great, more than an unnecessary and ambitious engross- when the cause of it in him is small; or if the ing of business; and nothing doth extinguish envy be general in a manner upon all the minisenvy more than for a great person to preserve all ters of an estate, then the envy (though hidden) other inferior officers in their full rights and pre- is truly upon the state itself. And so much of eminences of their places; for by that means, public envy or discontentment, and the difference there be so many screens between him and envy. thereof from private envy, which was handled in
Above all, those are most subject to envy, the first place. which carry the greatness of their fortunes in an We will add this in general, touching the affecinsolent and proud manner: being never well but tion of envy, that of all other affections it is the while they are showing how great they are, either most importune and continual; for of other affecby outward pomp, or by triumphing over all oppo- tions there is occasion given but now and then ; sition or competition: whereas wise men will and therefore it was well said, “ Invidia festos rather do sacrifice to envy, in suffering themselves, dies non agit:" for it is ever working upon some sometimes of purpose, to be crossed and over- or other. And it is also noted, that love and envy borne in things that do not much concern them. do make a man pine, which other affections do Notwithstanding so much is true, that the car- not, because they are not so continual. It is also riage of greatness in a plain and open manner (so, he vilest affection, and the most depraved) for it be without arrogancy and vain glory) doth draw which cause it is the proper attribute of the devil, less envy than if it be in a more crafty and cun- who is called “The envious man, that soweth ning fashion; for in that course a man doth buttares amongst the wheat by night;" as it always disavow fortune, and seemeth to be conscious of cometh to pass, that envy worketh subtilly, and his own want in worth, and doth but teach others in the dark, and to the prejudice of good things, to envy him.
such as is the wheat. Lastly, to conclude this part, as we said in the beginning that the act of envy had somewhat in it
X. OF LOVE. of' witchcraft, so there is no other cure of envy but the cure of witchcraft; and that is, to remove the The stage is more beholding to love, than lot (as they call it) and to lay it upon another; life of man; for as to the stage, love is even matfor which purpose, the wiser sort of great persons ter of comedies, and now and then of tragedies ; bring in ever upon the stage somebody upon but in life it doth much mischief; sometimes like whom to derive the envy that would come upon a siren, sometimes like a fury. You may observe, themselves; sometimes upon ministers and ser- that amongst all the great and worthy persons vants, sometimes upon colleagues and associates, (whereof the memory remaineth, either ancient and the like; and, for that turn, there are never or recent,) there is not one that hath been transwanting some persons of violent and undertaking ported to the mad degree of love, which shows, natures, who, so they may have power and busi- that great spirits and great business do keep out ness, will take it at any cost.
this weak passion. You must except, nevertheNow, to speak of public envy: there is yet less, Marcus Antonius, the half partner of the some good in public envy, whereas in private empire of Rome, and Appius Claudjus, the dethere is none ; for public envy is as an ostracism, cemvir and Lawgiver; whereof the former, was that eclipseth men when they grow too great: indeed a foruntung man, and Inoramate but and therefore it is a bridle also to great ones to the latter was an atiftere and wise man : and keep them within bounds.
therefore it seems (though rarely,) that love can This envy, being in the Latin word “ invidia,” find entrance, not only into an open heart, but also goeth in the modern languages by the name of into a heart well fortified, if watch be not well discontentment; of which we shall speak in hand- kept. It is a
of Epicurus, “Sátis ling sedition. It is a disease in a state like to magnum alter
mwakartasumus;" as if man, infection: for as infection spreadeth upon that made for the contemplation of heaven, and all which is sound, and tainteth it; so, when envy is noble objects, should do nothing but kneel before gotten once into a state, it traduceth even the best a little idol, and make himself a subject, though actions thereof, and turneth them into an ill not of the mouth (as beasts are,) yet of the eye, odour; and therefore there is little won by inter- which was given him for higher purposes. It is mingling of plausible actions: for that doth argue a strange thing to note the excess of this passion, but a weakness and fear of envy, which hurteth and how it braves the nature and value of things so much the more, as it is likewise usual in in- by this, that the speaking in a perpetual hyperfections, which, if you fear them, you call them bole, is comely in nothing but in love : neither is upon you.
* See note F at the end of the Essays.