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ing of the discretion of behaviour is a great thief | son, or of a purchase or bargain, or of an accusaof meditation. Again, such as are accomplished tion, and every other occasion incident to man's in that form of urbanity please themselves in it, life. So as there is a wisdom of counsel and and seldom aspire to higher virtue; whereas those advice even in private causes, arising out of an that have defect in it do seek comeliness by repu- universal insight into the affairs of the world; tation: for where reputation is, almost every which is used indeed upon particular causes prothing becometh; but where that is not, it must pounded, but is gathered by general observation be supplied by punctilios, and compliments. of causes of like nature. For so we see in the Again, there is no greater impediment of action book which Q. Cicero writeth to his brother, than an over-curious observance of decency, and "De petitione consulatus,” (being the only book the guide of decency, which is time and season. of business, that I know, written by the ancients,) For as Solomon saith, “ Qui respicit ad ventos, although it concerned a particular action then on non seminat; et qui respicit ad nubes, non me-foot, yet the substance thereof consisteth of many tet:” a man must make his opportunity, as oft as wise and politic axioms, which contain not a find it. To conclude: behaviour seemeth to me temporary, but a perpetual direction in the case as a garment of the mind, and to have the condi- of popular elections. But chiefly we may see in tions of a garment. For it ought to be made in those aphorisms which have place among divine fashion; it ought not to be too curious; it ought writings, composed by Solomon the king, (of to be shaped so as to set forth any good making whom the Scriptures testify that his heart was as of the mind, and hide any deformity; and above the sands of the sea, encompassing the world all, it ought not to be too strait, or restrained for and all worldly matters,) we see, I say, not a exercise or motion. But this part of civil know- few profound and excellent cautions, precepts, ledge hath been elegantly handled, and therefore positions, extending to much variety of occasions; I cannot report it for deficient.
whereupon we will stay awhile, offering to conThe wisdom touching Negotiation or Business sideration some number of examples. hath not been hitherto collected into writing, to “ Sed et cunctis sermonibus qui dicuntur ne the great derogation of learning, and the professors accommodes aurem tuam, ne forte audias servum of learning. For from this root springeth chiefly tuum maledicentum tibi.” Here is concluded the that note or opinion, which by un is expressed in provident stay of inquiry of that which we would adage to this effect, “ that there is no great con- be loath to find : as it was judged great wisdom currence between learning and wisdom.” For of in Pompeius Magnus that he burned Sertorius's the three wisdoms which we have set down to papers unperused. pertain to civil life, for wisdom of behaviour, it is 6 Vir sapiens, si cum stulto contenderit, sive by learned men for the most part despised, as an irascatur, sive rideat, non inveniet requiem.” inferior to virtue, and an enemy to meditation ; Here is described the great disadvantage which a for wisdom of government, they acquit themselves wise man hath in undertaking a lighter person well when they are called to it, but that happeneth than himself; which is such an engagement as, to few; but for the wisdom of business, wherein whether a man turn the matter to jest, or turn it to man's life is most conversant, there be no books heat, or howsoever he change copy, he can noof it, except some few scattered advertisements, ways quit himself well of it. that have no proportion to the magnitude of this “Qui delicatè a pueritia nutrit servum suum, subject. For if books were written of this, as the postea sentiet eum contumacem." Here is signiother, I doubt not but learned men with mean ex- fied, that if a man begin too high a pitch in his perience, would far excel men of long experience favours, it doth commonly end in unkindness and without learning, and outshoot them in their own unthankfulness. bow.
• Vidisti virum velocem in opere suo? coram Neither needeth it at all to be doubted, that this regibus stabit, nec erit inter ignobiles." Here is knowledge should be so variable as it falleth not observed, that of all virtues for rising to honour, under precept; for it is much less infinite than quickness of despatch is the best; for superiors science of government, which, we see, is laboured many times love not to have those they employ and in some part reduced. Of this wisdom, it too deep or too sufficient, but ready and diligent. seemeth some of the ancient Romans, in the 6. Vidi cunctos viventes qui ambulant sub sole, sagest and wisest times, were professors; for cum adolescente secundo qui consurgit pro eo." Cicero reporteth, that it was then in use for sena- Here is expressed that which was noted by Sylla tors that had name and opinion for general wise first, and after him by Tiberius: - Plures adorant men, as Coruncanius, Curius, Lælius, and many solem orientem quam occidentem vel meridiaothers, to walk at certain hours in the place, and num." to give audience to those that would use their ad- “Si spiritus potestatem habentis ascenderit susice; and that the particular citizens would re- per te, locum tuum ne dimiseris; quia curatio surt unto them, and consult with them of the faciet cessare peccata maxima.” Here caution is marriage of a daughter, or of the employing of a given, that upon displeasure, retiring is of al.
courses the unfittest; for a man leaveth things at stultus mestitia est matri suæ." Here is distinworst, and depriveth himself of means to make guished, that fathers have most comfort of the them better.
good proof of their sons; but mothers have most “ Erat civitas parva, et pauci in ea viri: venit discomfort of their ill proof, because women have contra eam rex magnus, et vadavit eam, intrux- little discerning of virtue, but of fortune. itque munitiones per gyrum, et perfecta est obsi- “Qui celat delictum, quærit amicitiam; sed qui dio: inventusque est in ea vir pauper et sapiens, altero sermone repetit, separat fæderatos.” Here et liberavit eam per sapientiam suam; et nullus caution is given, that reconcilement is better mandeinceps recordatus est hominis illius pauperis.” aged by an amnesty, and passing over that which Here the corruption of states is set forth, that es- is past, than by apologies and excusations. teem not virtue or merit longer than they have "In omni opere bono erit abundantia; ubi auuse of it.
tem verba sunt plurima, ibi frequenter egestas.' “ Mollis responsio frangit iram.” Here is noted Here is noted, that words and discourse abound that silence or rough answer exasperateth ; but an
most where there is idleness and want. answer present and temperate pacifieth.
“ Primus in sua causa justus; sed venit altera “Iter pigrorum, quasi sepes spinarum.” Here pars, et inquirit in eum.' Here is observed, that is lively represented how laborious sloth proveth in all causes the first tale possesseth much; in in the end; for when things are deferred till the such sort, that the prejudice thereby wrought will last instant, and nothing prepared beforehand, be hardly removed, except some abuse or falsity every step findeth a brier or an impediment, in the information be detected. which catcheth or stoppeth.
“ Verba bilinguis quasi simplicia, et ipsa per“ Melior est finis orationis quam principium.” veniunt ad interiora ventris.” Here is distinHere is taxed the vanity of formal speakers, that guished, that flattery and insinuation, which study more about prefaces and inducements, than seemeth set and artificial, sinketh not far; but upon the conclusions and issues of speech. that entereth deep which hath show of nature,
“Qui cognoscit in judicio faciem, non bene facit; liberty, and simplicity. iste et pro bucella panis deseret veritatem.” Here “Qui erudit derisorem, ipse sibi injuriam facit; is noted, that a judge were better be a briber than a et qui arguit impium, sibi maculam generat." respecter of persons; for a corrupt judge offend- Here caution is given how we tender reprehension eth not so highly as a facile.
to arrogant and scornful natures, whose manner “Vir pauper calumnians pauperes similis est im- is to esteem it for contumely, and accordingly to bri vehementi, in quo paratur fames." Here is return it. expressed the extremity of necessitous extortions, “ Da sapienti occasionem, et addetur ei sapienfigured in the ancient fable of the full and hungry tia." Here is distinguished the wisdom brought horse-leech.
into habit, and that which is but verbal, and “ Fons turbatus pede, et vena corrupta, est jus- swimming only in conceit; for the one upon octus cadens coram impio.” Here is noted, that one casion presented is quickened and redoubled, the judicial and exemplar iniquity in the face of the other is amazed and confused. world, doth trouble the fountains of justice more “Quomodo in aquis resplendent vultus prospithan many particular injuries passed over by con- cientium, sic corda hominum manifesta sunt prunivance.
dentibus." Here the mind of a wise man is com“Qui subtrahit aliquid a patre et a matre, et pared to a glass, wherein the images of all diverdicit hoc non esse peccatum, particeps est ho-sity of natures and customs are represented; from micidii.” Here is noted that whereas men in which representation proceedeth that application, wronging their best friends use to extenuate their fault, as if they might presume or be bold
“Qui sapit, innumeris moribus aptus erit.' upon them, it doth contrariwise indeed aggravate Thus have I stayed somewhat longer upon these their fault, and turneth it from injury to impiety. sentences politic of Solomon than is agreeable to
“ Noli esse amicus homini iracundo, nec ambu- the proportion of an example ; led with a desire lato cum homine furioso." Here caution is to give authority to this part of knowledge, which given, that in the election of our friends we do I noted as deficient, by so excellent a precedent; principally avoid those which are impatient, as and have also attended them with brief observathose that will espouse us to many factions and tions, such as to my understanding offer no vioquarrels.
lence to the sense, though I know they may be “Qui conturbat domum suam, possidebit ven- applied to a more divine use: but it is allowed, tum.” Here is noted, that in domestical separa- even in divinity, that some interpretations, yea tions and breaches, men do promise to themselves and some writings, have more of the cagle than quieting of their mind and contentment; but still others; but taking them as instructions for life, they are deceived of their expectation, and it turn- they might have received large discourse, if : eth to wind.
would have broken them and illustrated them by “ Filius sapiens lætificat patrein: filius vero deducements and examples.
Neither was this in use only with the Hebrews, | natus esset, sibi ipse fortunam facturus videbut it is generally to be found in the wisdom of retur.” the more ancient times; that as men found out This conceit or position, if it be too much deany observation that they thought was good for clared and professed, hath been thought a thing life, they would gather it, and express it in para- impolitic and unlucky, as was observed in Timoble, or aphorism, or fable. But for fables, they theus the Athenian; who having done many were vicegerents and supplies where examples great services to the estate in his government, failed: now that the times abound with history, and giving an account thereof to the people, as the the aim is better when the mark is alive. And manner was, did conclude every particular with therefore the form of writing which of all others this clause, “and in this fortune had no part.” is fittest for this variable argument of negotiation And it came so to pass that he never prospered and occasion is that which Machiavel chose wisely in any thing he took in hand afterwards: for this and aptly for government; namely, discourse upon is too high and too arrogant, savouring of that histories or examples : for knowledge drawn fresh- which Ezekiel saith of Pharaoh, “ Dicis, Fluvius ly, and in our view, out of particulars, knoweth est meus, et ego feci memet ipsum;" or of that the way best to particulars again; and it hath which another prophet speaketh, that men offer much greater life for practice when the discourse sacrifices to their nets and snares; and that which
; attendeth upon the example, than when the ex- the poet expresseth, ample attendeth upon the discourse. For this is “Dextra mihi Deus, et telum quod missile libro, no point of order, as it seemeth at first, but of Nunc adsint!” substance; for when the example is the ground, for these confidences were ever unhallowed, and being set down in a history at large, it is set unblessed : and therefore those that were great down with all circumstances, which may some-politicians indeed ever ascribed their successes times control the discourse thereupon made, and to their felicity, and not to their skill or virtue. sometimes supply it as a very pattern for action; For so Sylla surnamed himself “ Felix,” not whereas the examples alleged for the discourse's “ Magnus :" so Cæsar said to the master of the sake are cited succinctly, and without particular- ship, “Cæsarem portas et fortunam ejus." ity, and carry a servile aspect toward the discourse But yet nevertheless these positions, “ Faber which they are brought in to make good. quisque fortunæ suæ: Sapiens dominabitur astris:
But this difference is not amiss to be remem- Invia virtuti nulla est via," and the like, being bered, that as history of times is the best ground taken and used as spurs to industry, and not as for discourse of government, such as Machiavel stirrups to insolency, rather for resolution than handleth, so history of lives is the most proper for presumption or outward declaration, have been for discourse of business, because it is most con- ever thought sound and good; and are, no quesversant in private actions. Nay, there is a tion, imprinted in the greatest minds, who are so ground of discourse for this purpose fitter than sensible of this opinion, as they can scarce contain them both, which is discourse upon letters, such it within: as we see in Augustus Cæsar, (who as are wise and weighty, as many are of Cicero was rather diverse from his uncle, than inferior in ad Atticum, and others. For letters have a great virtue,) how, when he died, he desired his friends and more particular representation of business about him to give him a Plaudite, as if he were than either chronicles or lives. Thus have we conscious to himself that he had played his part spoken both of the matter and form of this part well upon the stage. This part of knowledge of civil knowledge, touching negotiation, which we do report also as deficient: not but that it is we note to be deficient.
practised too much, but it hath not been reduced But yet there is another part of this part, to writing. And therefore lest it should seem to which differeth as much from that whereof we any that it is not comprehensible by axiom, it is have spoken as “sapere,” and “ sibi sapere,” the requisite, as we did in the former, that we set one moving as it were to the circumference, the down some heads or passages of it. other to the centre. For there is a wisdom of Wherein it may appear at the first a new and counsel, and again there is a wisdom of pressing unwonted argument to teach men how to raise a man's own fortune; and they do sometimes and make their fortune; a doctrine wherein every
meet, and often sever; for many are wise in their man perchance will be ready to yield himself a • own ways that are weak for government or coun- disciple, till he seeth difficulty: for fortune layeth
sel ; like ants, which are wise creatures for them- as heavy impositions as virtue; and it is as hard selves, but very hurtful for the garden. This and severe a thing to be a true politician, as to be wisdom the Romans did take much knowledge truly moral. But the handling hereof concerneth of: “Nam pol sapiens," saith the comical poet, learning greatly, both in honour and in substance: • fingit fortunam sibi ;” and it grew to an adage, in honour, because pragmatical men may not go
Faber quisque fortunæ propriæ;" and Livy away with an opinion that learning is like a lark, attributeth it to Cato the First, “in hoc viro tanta that can mount, and sing, and please herself, and vis animi et ingenii inerat, ut quocunque loco nothing else; but may know that she holdeth as
well of the hawk, that can soar aloft, and can which is meant of a general outward behaviour, also descend and strike upon the prey: in sub- and not of the private and subtile motions and lastance, because it is the perfeot law of inquiry of bours of the countenance and gesture; which as truth, that nothing be in the globe of matter, Q. Cicero elegantly saith, is “animi janua.” which should not be likewise in the globe of None more close than Tiberius, and yet Tacitus crystal, or form;" that is, that there be not any saith of Gallus, “ Etenim vultu offensionem conthing in being and action, which should not be jectaverat." So again noting the differing chadrawn and collected into contemplation and doc- racter and manner of his commending Germanicus trine. Neither doth learning admire or esteem and Drusus in the senate, he saith, touching his of this architecture of fortune, otherwise than as fashion wherein he carried his speech of Germaof an inferior work: for no man's fortune can be nicus, thus; “ Magis in speciem adornatis verbis, an end worthy of his being; and many times the quam ut penitus sentire videretur:" but of Drusus worthiest men do abandon their fortune willingly thus; “ Paucioribus, sed intentior, et fida orafor better respects : but nevertheless fortune, as tione:” and in another place, speaking of his an organ of virtue and merit, deserveth the consi- character of speech, when he did any thing that deration.
was gracious and popular, he saith, that in other First, therefore, the precept which I conceive to things he was “velut eluctantium verborum ;" be most summary towards the prevailing in for- but then again, “solutius vero loquebatur quando tune, is to obtain that window which Momus did subveniret.” So that there is no such artificer of require: who seeing in the frame of men's heart dissimulation, nor no such commanded countesuch angles and recesses, found fault that there nance, “vultus jussus,” that can sever from a was not a window to look into them; that is, to feigned tale some of these fashions, either a more procure good informations of particulars touching slight and careless fashion, or more set and forpersons, their natures, their desires and ends, their mal, or more tedious and wandering, or coming customs and fashions, their helps and advantages, from a man more drily and hardly. and whereby they chiefly stand : so again their Neither are deeds such assured pledges, as weakness and disadvantages, and where they lie that they may be trusted without a judicious conmost open and obnoxious; their friends, factions, sideration of their magnitude and nature : “ Fraus and dependencies; and again their opposites, sibi in parvis fidem præstruit, ut majore emoluenviers, competitors, their moods and times, mento fallat:" and the Italian thinketh himself “Sola viri molles aditus et tempora noras;" their upon the point to be bought and sold, when he is principles, rules, and observations, and the like: better used than he was wont to be, without maniand this not only of persons, but of actions; what fest cause. For small favours, they do but lull are on foot from time to time, and how they are men asleep, both as to caution and as to industry; conducted, favoured, opposed, and how they im- and are, as Demosthenes calleth them, “ Alimenta port, and the like. For the knowledge of present socordiæ.” So again we see how false the nature actions is not only material in itself, but without of some deeds are, in that particular which Mutiit also the knowledge of persons is very errone- anus practised upon Antonius Primus, upon that ous; for men change with the actions; and whilst hollow and unfaithful reconcilement which was they are in pursuit they are one, and when they made between them; whereupon Mutianus adreturn to their nature they are another. These vanced many of the friends of Antonius : “simul informations of particulars, touching persons and amicis ejus præfecturas et tribunatus largitur •' actions, are as the minor propositions in every wherein, under pretence to strengthen him, he did active syllogism: for no excellency of observa- desolate him, and won from him his dependences. tions, which are as the major propositions, can As for words, though they be like waters to suffice to ground a conclusion, if there be error physicians, full of flattery and uncertainty, yet and mistaking in the minors.
they are not to be despised, especially with the That this knowledge is possible, Solomon is advantage of passion and affection. For so we our surety; who saith, “Consilium in corde viri see Tiberius, upon a stinging and incensing tanquam aqua profunda ; sed vir prudens exhau- speech of Agrippina, came a step forth of his riet illud." And although the knowledge itself dissimulation, when he said, “ You are hurt, befalleth not under precept, because it is of indivi- cause you do not reign;" of which Tacitus saith, duals, yet the instructions for the obtaining of it “ Audita hæc raram occulti pectoris vocem elimay.
cuere; correptamque Græco versu admonuit, ideo We will begin therefore with this precept, ac- lædi, quia non regnaret.” And therefore the poet cording to the ancient opinion, that the sinews of doth elegantly call passions, tortures, that urge wisdom are slowness of belief and distrust; that men to confess their secrets: more trust be given to countenances and deeds
« Vino tortas et ira.' than to words; and in words, rather to sudden And experience showeth, there are few men so passages and surprised words. Neither let that true to themselves and so settled, but that somebe feared which is said, “ Fronti, nulla fides :" | times upon heat, sometimes upon bravery, some
times upon kindness, sometimes upon trouble of telligenced in every several kind. The second mind and weakness, they open themselves; es- is, to keep a good mediocrity in liberty of speech pecially if they be put to it with a counter-dissi- and secrecy; in most things liberty: secrecy mulation, according to the proverb of Spain, “Di where it importeth; for liberty of speech inmentira, y sacaras verdad.” (Tell a lie and find viteth and provoketh liberty to be used again, the truth.)
and so bringeth much to a man's knowledge; and As for the knowing of men, which is at second secrecy, on the other side, induceth trust and inhand from reports; men's weaknesses and faults wardness. The last is, the reducing of a man's are best known from their enemies, their virtues self to this watchful and serene habit, as to make and abilities from their friends, their customs and account and purpose, in every conference and actimes from their servants, their conceits and opi- tion, as well to observe as to act. For as Epictenions from their familiar friends, with whom they tus would have a philosopher in every particular discourse most. General fame is light, and the action to say to himself, “ Et hoc volo, et etiam opinions conceived by superiors or equals are de- institutum servare;" so a politic man in every ceitful: for to such, men are more masked : thing should say to himself, “ Et hoc volo, ac • Verior fama e domesticis emanat."
etiam aliquid addiscere.” I have stayed the lonBut the soundest disclosing and expounding of ger upon this precept of obtaining good informamen is by their natures and ends, wherein the tion, because it is a main part by itself, which anweakest sort of men are best interpreted by their swereth to all the rest. But, above all things, caunatures, and the wisest by their ends. For it was tion must be taken that men have a good stay and both pleasantly and wisely said, though I think hold of themselves, and that this much knowledge very untruly, by a nuncio of the pope, returning do not draw on much meddling: for nothing is from a certain nation where he served as lieger; more unfortunate than light and rash intermedwhose opinion being asked touching the appoint-dling in many matters. So that this variety of ment of one to go in his place, he wished that in knowledge tendeth in conclusion but only to this, any case they did not send one that was too wise; to make a better and freer choice of those actions because no very wise man would ever imagine which may concern us, and to conduct thern with what they in that country were like do. And the le error and the more dexterity. certainly it is an error frequent for men to shoot The second precept concerning this knowledge over, and to suppose deeper ends, and more com-jis, for men to take good information touching pass-reaches than are: the Italian proverb being their own person, and well to understand themelegant, and for the most part true:
selves: knowing that, as St. James saith, though “Di danari, di senno, e di fede,
men look oft in a glass, yet they do suddenly Ce ne manco che non credi."
forget themselves; wherein as the divine glass is (There is commonly less money, less wisdom, and the word of God, so the politic glass is the state less good faith than men do account upon.) of the world, or times wherein we live, in the
But princes, upon a far other reason, are best which we are to behold ourselves. interpreted by their natures, and private persons For men ought to take an impartial view of by their ends; for princes being at the top of hu- their own abilities and virtues; and again of their man desires, they have for the most part no par- wants and impediments ; accounting these with ticular ends whereto they aspire, by distance the most, and those other with the least; and from from which a man might take measure and scale this view and examination to frame the consideraof the rest of their actions and desires; which is tions following. one of the causes that maketh their hearts more First, to consider how the constitution of their inscrutable. Neither is it sufficient to inform nature sorteth with the general state of the times; ourselves in men's ends and natures, of the which if they find agreeable and fit, then in all variety of them only, but also of the predominan- things to give themselves more scope and liberty; cy, what humour reigneth most, and what end is but if differing and dissonant, then in the whole principally sought. For so we see, when Tigel- course of their life to be more close, retired, and linus saw himself outstripped by Petronius Tur- reserved : as we see in Tiberius, who was never pilianus in Nero's humours of pleasures, “ metus seen at a play, and came not into the senate in cjus rimatur” (he wrought upon Nero's fears,) | twelve of his last years; whereas Augustus Cæwhereby he broke the other's neck.
sar lived ever in men's eyes, which Tacitus ob But to all this part of inquiry the most compen- serveth, “ Alia Tiberio morum via." dious way resteth in three things: the first, to Secondly, to consider how their nature sorteth have general acquaintance and inwardness with with professions and courses of life, and accordthose which have general acquaintance and look ingly to make election, if they be free; and, if most into the world ; and especially according to engaged, to make the departure at the first opporthe diversity of business, and the diversity of per- tunity: as we see was done by Duke Valentine, sons to have privacy and conversation with some that was designed by his father to a sacerdotal one friend, at least, which is perfect and well in- I profession, but quitted it soon after in regard of Vol. I.-30