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his parts and inclination; being such, neverthe- of a few. But if it be carried with decency and less, as a man cannot tell well whether they were government, as with a natural, pleasant, and inworse for a prince or for a priest.
genious fashion; or at times when it is mixed Thirdly, to consider how they sort with those with some peril and unsafety, as in military perwhom they are like to have competitors and con- sons; or at times when others are most envied ; currents; and to take that course wherein there is or with easy and careless passage to it and from most solitude, and themselves like to be most it, without dwelling too long, or being too serieminent: as Julius Cæsar did, who at first was ous; or with an equal freedom of taxing a man's an orator or pleader; but when he saw the excel-self, as well as gracing himself; or by occasion lency of Cicero, Hortensius, Catulus, and others, of repelling or putting down others' injury or infor eloquence, and saw there was no man of repu- solence; it doth greatly add to reputation: and tation for the wars but Pompeius, upon whom the surely not a few solid natures, that want this venstate was forced to rely, he forsook his course tosity, and cannot sail in the height of the winds, begun toward a civil and popular greatness, and are not without some prejudice and disadvantage transferred his designs to a martial greatness. by their moderation.
Fourthly, in the choice of their friends and de- But for these flourishes and enhancements of pendences, to proceed according to the composi- virtue, as they are not perchance unnecessary, so tion of their own nature: as we may see in Cæ- it is at least necessary that virtue be not disvalned sar; all whose friends and followers were men and embased under the just price; which is done active and effectual, but not solemn, or of reputa- in three manners: by offering and obtruding a tion.
man's self; wherein men think he is rewarded, Fifthly, to take special heed how they guide when he is accepted; by doing too much, which themselves by examples, in thinking they can do will not give that which is well done leave to as they see others do; whereas perhaps their na- settle, and in the end induceth satiety; and by tures and carriages are far differing. In which finding too soon the fruit of a man's virtue, in error it seemeth Pompey was, of whom Cicero commendation, applause, honour, favour; wheresaith, that he was wont often to say, “Sylla po- in if a man be pleased with a little, let him hear tuit, ego non potero ?" Wherein he was much what is truly said; “Cave ne insuetus rebus maabused, the natures and proceedings of himself joribus videaris, si hæc te res parva sicuti magna and his example being the unlikest in the world; delectat.” the one being fierce, violent, and pressing the fact; But the covering of defects is of no less imthe other solemn, and full of majesty and circum- portance than the valuing of good parts; which stance, and therefore the less effectual.
may be done likewise in three manners, by cauBut this precept touching the politic knowledge tion, by colour, and by confidence. Caution is of ourselves, hath many other branches, whereupon when men do ingeniously and discreetly avoid to we cannot insist.
be put into those things for which they are not Next to the well understanding and discerning proper: whereas, contrariwise, bold and unquiet of a man's self, there followeth the well opening spirits will thrust themselves into matters without and revealing a man's self; wherein we see no difference, and so publish and proclaim all their thing more usual than for the more able men to wants. Colour is, when men make a way for make the less show. For there is a great advan- themselves, to have a construction made of their tage in the well setting forth of a man's virtues, faults and wants, as proceeding from a better fortunes, merits; and again, in the artificial cover- cause, or intended for some other purpose: for of ing of a man's weaknesses, defects, disgraces; the one it is well said, “ Sæpe latet vitium proxistaying upon the one, sliding from the other; mitate boni," and therefore whatsoever want a cherishing the one by circumstances, gracing the man hath, he must see that he pretend the virtue other by exposition, and the like: wherein we see that shadoweth it; as if he be dull, he must af. what Tacitus saith of Mutianus, who was the fect gravity; if a coward, mildness; and so the greatest politician of his time, “Omnium quæ rest: for the second, a man must frame some prodixerat feceratque arte quâdam ostentator :” which bable cause why he should not do his bėst, and requireth indeed some art, lest it turn tedious and why he should dissemble his abilities; and for arrogant; but yet so as ostentation, though it be that purpose must use to dissemble those abilities to the first degree of vanity, seemeth to me rather which are notorious in him, to give colour that his a vice in manners than in policy: for as it is said, true wants are but industries and dissimulations. “ Audacter, calumniare, semper aliquid hæret :" For confidence, it is the last but surest remedy; 80, except it be in a ridiculous degree of deform- namely, to depress and seem to despise whatsoity, “Audacter te vendita, semper aliquid hæret.” ever a man cannot attain; observing the good For it will stick with the more ignorant and infe- principle of the merchants, who endeavour to rior sort of men, though men of wisdom and rank raise the price of their own commodities, and to do smile at it, and despise it; and yet the autho- beat down the price of others. But there is a rity won with many doth countervail the disdain .confidence that passeth this other; which is, to
face out a man's own defects, in seeming to con- Another precept of this knowledge, which hath ceive that he is best in those things wherein he is some affinity with that we last spake of, but with failing; and, to help that again, to seem on the difference, is that which is well expressed, “Fatis other side that he hath least opinion of himself in accede Deisque,” that men do not only turn with those things wherein he is best: like as we shall the occasions, but also run with the occasions, and see it commonly in poets, that if they show their not strain their credit or strength to over hard or verses, and you except to any, they will say, that extreme points; but choose in their actions that that line cost them more labour than any of the which is most passable: for this will preserve rest; and presently will seem to disable and sus- men from foil, not occupy them too much about pect rather some other line, which they know well one matter, win opinion of moderation, please the enough to be the best in the number. But above most, and make a show of a perpetual felicity in all, in this righting and helping of a man's self all they undertake; which cannot but mightily in his own carriage, he must take heed he show increase reputation. not himself dismantled, and exposed to scorn and Another part of this knowledge seemeth to have injury, by too much dulceness, goodness, and some repugnancy with the former two, but not as facility of nature; but show some sparkles of I understand it; and it is that which Demostheliberty, spirit, and edge: which kind of fortified nes uttereth in high terms; “ Et quemadmodum carriage, with a ready rescuing of a man's self receptum est, ut exercitum ducat imperator, sic et from scorns, is sometimes of necessity imposed a cordatis viris res ipsæ ducendæ; ut quæ ipsis upon men by somewhat in their person or fortune; videntur, ea gerantur, et non ipsi eventus tantum but it ever succeedeth with good felicity. persequi cogantur.” For, if we observe, we shall
Another precept of this knowledge is, by all find two different kinds of sufficiency in managing possible endeavour to frame the mind to be pliant of business : some can make nse of occasions and obedient to occasion; for nothing hindereth aptly and dexterously, but plot little; some can men’s fortunes so much as this; “Idem manebat, urge and pursue their own plots well, but cannot neque idem decebat,” men are where they were, accommodate nor take in ; either of which is very when occasions turn: and therefore to Cato, whom imperfect without the other. Livy maketh such an architect of fortune, he Another part of this knowledge is the observing addetħ, that he had “versatile ingenium.” And a good mediocrity in the declaring, or not declarthereof it cometh that these grave solemn wits, ing a man's self: for although depth of secrecy, which must be like themselves, and cannot make and making way, “qualis est via navis in mari," departures, have more dignity than felicity. But (which the French call sourdes menées, when in some it is nature to be somewhat viscous and men set things in work without opening theminwrapped, and not easy to turn; in some it is a selves at all,) be sometimes both prosperous and conceit, that is almost a nature, which is, that admirable; yet many times “ Dissimulatio errores men can hardly make themselves believe that parit, qui dissimulatorem ipsum illaqueant;" and they ought to change their course, when they therefore, we see the greatest politicians have in have found good by it in former experience. For a natural and free manner professed their desires, Machiavel noted wisely, how Fabius Maximus rather than been reserved and disguised in them ; would have been temporizing still, according to for so we see that Lucius Sylla made a kind of -his old bias, when the nature of the war was profession, “ that he wished all men happy or altered and required hot pursuit. In some other unhappy, as they stood his friends or enemies.” it is want of point and penetration in their judg- So Cæsar, when he went first into Gaul, made no ment, that they do not discern when things have scruples to profess, “ that he had rather be first in a period, but come in too late after the occasion; a village than second at Rome.” So again, as as Demosthenes compareth the people of Athens soon as he had begun the war we see what Cicero to country fellows, when they play in a fence saith of him, “ Alter (meaning of Cæsar) non school, that if they have a blow, then they remove recusat, sed quodammodo postulat, ut, ut est, sic their weapon to that ward, and not before. In appelletur tyrannus.” So we may see in a letter some other it is a loathness to leese labours passed, of Cicero to Atticus, that Augustus Cæsar in his and a conceit that they can bring about occasions very entrance into affairs, when he was a darling to their ply; and yet in the end, when they see of the senate, yet in his harangues to the people no other remedy, then they come to it with disad- would swear, “Ita parentis honores consequi vantage; as Tarquinius, that gave for the third liceat," which was no less than the tyranny; save part of Sibylla's books the treble price, when he that, to help it, he would stretch forth his hand might at first have had all three for the simple. towards a statue of Cæsar's that was erected in But from whatsoever root or cause this restiveness the place : whereat many men laughed, and wonof mind proceedeth, it is a thing most prejudicial; dered, and said, Is it possible ? or, Did you ever and nothing is more politic than to make the hear the like to this ? and yet thought he meant no wheels of our mind concentric and voluble with hurt; he did it so handsomely and ingenuously. the wheels of fortune.
And all these were prosperous : whereas Pompey
who tended to the same end, but in a more dark I may condemn with like reason as Machiavel and dissembling manner, aş Tacitus saith of him, doth that other, that moneys were the sinews of • Occultior, non melior," wherein Sallust concur- the wars; whereas, saith he, the true sinews of reth, “ore probo, animo inverecundo,” made it his the wars are the sinews of men's arms, that is, a design, by infinite secret engines to cast the state valiant, populous, and military nation: and he into an absolute anarchy and confusion, that the voucheth aptly the aụthority of Solon, who, when state mi cast itself into his arms for necessity Cresus showed him his treasury of gold, said to and protection, and so the sovereign power be put him, that if another came that had better iron, he upon him, and he never seen in it: and when he had would be master of his gold. In like manner it brought it, as he thought, to that point, when he was may be truly affirmed, that it is not moneys that chosen consul alone, as never any was, yet he could are the sinews of fortune, but it is the sinews and make no great matter of it, because men understood steel of men's minds, wit, courage, audacity, rehim not; but was fain, in the end, to go the beaten solution, temper, industry, and the like. In the track of getting arms into his hands, by colour of third place I set down reputation, because of the the doubt of Cæsar's designs : so tedious, casual, peremptory tides and currents it hath ; which, if and unfortunate are these deep dissimulations: they be not taken in their due time, are seldom whereof, it seemeth, Tacitus made his judgment, recovered, it being extreme hard to play an afterthat they were a cunning of an inferior form in re- game of reputation. And lastly, I place honour, gard of true policy; attributing the one to Augus- which is more easily won by any of the other tus, the other to Tiberius ; where, speaking of three, much more by all, than any of them can be Livia, he saith, “ Et cum artibus mariti simula- purchased by honour. To conclude this précept, tione filii bene composita :" for surely the con- as there is order and priority in matter, so is there tinual habit of dissimulation is but a weak and in time, the preposterous placing whereof is one sluggish cunning, and not greatly politic. of the commonest errors; while men fly to their
Another precept of this architecture of fortune ends when they should intend their beginnings, is, to accustom our minds to judge of the propor- and do not take things in order of time as they tion or value of things, as they conduce and are come on, but marshal them according to greatness, material to our particular ends; and that to do and not according to instance; not observing the substantially, and not superficially. For we good precept, “ Quod nunc instat agamus." shall find the logical part, as I may term it, of Another precept of this knowledge is, not to some men's minds good, but the mathematical embrace any matters which do occupy too great a part erroneous ; that is, they can well judge of quantity of time, but to have that sounding in a consequences, but not of proportions and compara- man's ears, “Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile sons, preferring things of show and sense before tempus :" and that is the cause why those which things of substance and effect. So some fall in take their course of rising by professions of burlove with access to princes, others with popular den, as lawyers, orators, painful divines, and the fame and applause, supposing they are things of like, are not commonly so politic for their own great purchase : when in many cases they are but fortunes, otherwise than in their ordinary way, matters of envy, peril, and impediment.
because they want time to learn particulars, to So some measure things according to the labour wait occasions, and to devise plots. and difficulty, or assiduity, which are spent about Another precept of this knowledge is, to imithem; and think, if they be ever moving, that tate nature, which doth nothing in vain; which they must needs advance and proceed: as Cæsar surely a man may do if he do well interlace his saith in a despising manner of Cato the Second, business, and bend not his mind too much upon when he describeth how laborious and indefati- that which he principally intendeth. For a man gable he was to no great purpose; “ Hæc omnia ought in every particular action so to carry the magno studio agebat.” So in most things men motions of his mind, and so to have one thing are ready to abuse themselves in thinking the under another, as if he cannot have that he seeketh greatest means to be best, when it should be the in the best degree, yet to have it in a second, or fittest.
so in a third ; and if he can have no part of that As for the true marshalling of men's pursuits which he purposed, yet to turn the use of it t) towards their fortune, as they are more or less somewhat else; and if he cannot make any thing material, I hold them to stand thus: first the of it for the present, yet to make it as a seed ot amendment of their own minds; for the remove somewhat in time to come; and if he can contrive of the impediments of the mind will sooner clear no effect or substance from it, yet to win some the passages of fortune than the obtaining for- good opinion by it, or the like. So that he should tune will remove the impediments of the mind. exact account of himself of every action, to reap In the second place I set down wealth and means, somewhat, and not to stand amazed and confused which I know most men would have placed first; if he fail of that he chiefly meant: for nothing is because of the general use which it beareth to more impolitic than to mind actions wholly one wards all variety of occasions : but that opinion, I by one; for he that doth so leeseth infinite occa
sions which intervene, and are many times more every man obnoxious, low, and in strait," whici proper and propitious for somewhat that he shall the Italians call “seminar spine," to sow thorns; need afterwards, than for that which he urgeth or that other principle, contained in the verse for the present; and therefore men must be per- which Cicero citeth, “Cadant amici, dummodo fect in that rule, “ Hæc oportet facere, et illa non inimici intercidant,” as the Triumvirs, which omittere."
sold, every one to other, the lives of their friends Another precept of this knowledge is, not to for the deaths of their enemies : or that other proengage a man's self peremptorily in any thing, testation of L. Catalina, to set on fire and trouble though it seem not liable to accident; but ever to states, to the end to fish in droumy waters, and have a window to fly out at, or a way to retire: to unwrap their fortunes, “ Ego si quid in fortunis following the wisdom in the ancient fable of the meis excitatum sit incendium, id non aqua, sed two frogs, which consulted when their plash was ruina restinguam :" or that other principle of dry, whither they should go; and the one moved Lysander " that children are to be deceived with to go down into a pit, because it was not likely comfits, and men with oaths:" and the like evil the water would dry there; but the other answered, and corrupt positions, whereof, as in all things, " True, but if it do, how shall we get out again ?" there are more in number than of the good : cer
Another precept of this knowledge is, that an- tainly, with these dispensations from the laws of cient precept of Bias, construed not to any point charity and integrity, the pressing of a man's forof perfidiousness, but only to caution and mode- tune may be more hasty and compendious. But ration. “ Et ama tanquam inimicus futurus, et it is in life as it is in ways, the shortest way is odi tanquam amaturus;" for it utterly betrayeth commonly the foulest, and surely the fairer way all utility for men to embark themselves too far is not much about. in unfortunate friendships, troublesome spleens, But men, if they be in their own power, and do and childish and humorous envies or emulations. bear and sustain themselves, and be not carried
But I continue this beyond the measure of an away with a whirlwind or tempest of ambition, example; led, because I would not have such ought, in the pursuit of their own fortune, to set knowledges, which I note as deficient, to be before their eyes not only that general map of the thought things imaginative in the air, or an world, that “all things are vanity and vexation observation or two much made of, but things of of spirit,” but many other more particular cards bulk and mass, whereof an end is hardlier made and directions: chiefly that,—that being, without than a beginning. It must be likewise conceived, well-being, is a curse,—and the greater being the that in these points which I mention and set down, greater curse; and that all virtue is most rewardthey are far from complete tractates of them, but ed, and all wickedness most punished in itself: only as small pieces for patterns. And lastly, no according as the poet saith excellently: man, I suppose, will think that I mean fortunes
“Quæ vobis, quæ digna, viri, pro laudibus istis are not obtained without all this ado; for I know Præmia posse rear solvi? pulcherrima primum they come tuinbling into some men's laps; and a
Dii moresque dabunt vestri.” number obtain good fortunes by diligence in a And so of the contrary. And, secondly, they plain way, little intermeddling, and keeping ought to look up to the eternal providence and themselves from gross errors.
divine judgment, which often subverteth the wisBut as Cicero, when he setteth down an idea of dom of evil plots and imaginations, according to a perfect orator, doth not mean that every pleader that Scripture, “ He hath conceived mischief, and should be such; and so likewise, when a prince shall bring forth a vain thing." And although or a courtier hath been described by such as have men should refrain themselves from injury and handled those subjects, the mould hath used to be evil arts, yet this incessant and sabbathless purmade according to the perfection of the art, and suit of a man's fortune leaveth not the tribute not according to common practice: so I under which we owe to God of our time; who, we see, stand it, that it ought to be done in the descrip-demandeth a tenth of our substance, and a seventh, tion of a politic man, I mean politic for his own which is more strict, of our time: and it is to fortune.
small purpose to have an erected face towards But it must be remembered all this while, that heaven, and a perpetual grovelling spirit upon the precepts which we have set down are of that earth, eating dust, as doth the serpent, “ Atque kind which may be counted and called “bonæ affigit humo divinæ particulam auræ.” And if artes.” As for evil arts, if a man would set down any man flatter himself that he will employ his for himself that principle of Machiavel, “ that a fortune well, though he should obtain it ill, as man seek not to attain virtue itself, but the ap- was said concerning Augustus Cæsar, and after pearance only thereof; because the credit of of Septimius Severus, “ that either they should virtue is a help, but the use of it is cumber:" or never have been born, or else they should never that other of his principles, “ that he presuppose, have died," they did so much mischief in the that men are not fitly to be wrought otherwise pursuit and ascent of their greatness, and so much but by fear; and therefore that he seek to have good when they were established; yet these
compensations and satisfactions are good to be riety of their intelligences, the wisdom of their used, but never good to be purposed. And lastly, observations, and the height of their station where it is not amiss for men, in their race toward their they keep sentinel, in great part clear and transfortune, to cool themselves a little with that con- parent. Wherefore, considering that I write to a ceit which is elegantly expressed by the Emperor king that is a master of this science, and is so well Charles the Fifth, in his instructions to the king, assisted, I think it decent to pass over this part his son, “ that fortune hath somewhat of the nature in silence, as willing to obtain the certificate of a woman, that if she be too much wooed, she which one of the ancient philosophers aspired is the farther off.” But this last is but a remedy unto; who being silent, when others contended for those whose tastes are corrupted: let men to make demonstration of their abilities by speech, rather build upon that foundation which is as a desired it might be certified for his part, “that corner-stone of divinity and philosophy, wherein there was one that knew how to hold his peace.” they join close, namely, that same “ * Primum Notwithstanding, for the more public part of quærite.” For divinity saith, “Primum quærite government, which is Laws, I think good to note regnum Dei, et ista omnia adjicientur vobis:" and only one deficiency; which is, that all those philosophy saith, “ Primum quærite bona animi, which have written of laws, have written either cætera aut aderunt, aut non oberunt.” And al- as philosophers or as lawyers, and none as statesthough the human foundation hath somewhat of men. As for the philosophers, they make ima. " the sands, as we see in M. Brutus, when he brake ginary laws for imaginary commonwealths; and forth into that speech,
their discourses are as the stars, which give little “ Te colui, virtus, at rem ; ast tu nomen inane es;"
light, because they are so high. For the lawyers, yet the divine foundation is upon the rock. But they write according to the states where they live, this may serve for a taste of that knowledge which what is received law, and not what ought to be I noted as deficient.
law: for the wisdom of a lawmaker is one, and Concerning Government, it is a part of know- of a lawyer is another. For there are in nature ledge secret and retired, in both these respects in certain fountains of justice, whence all civil laws which things are deemed secret; for some things take tinctures and tastes from the soils through
are derived but as streams: and like as waters do are secret because they are hard to know, and some because they are not fit to utter. We see
which they run, so do civil laws vary according all governments are ovscure and invisible :
to the regions and governments where they are
planted, though they proceed from the same foun“ Totamque infusa per artus
tains. Again, the wisdom of a lawmaker conMens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet."
sisteth not only in a platform of justice, but in the Such is the description of governments. We see application thereof; taking into consideration by the government of God over the world is hidden, what means laws may be made certain, and what insomuch as it seemeth to participate of much ir- are the causes and remedies of the doubtfulness regularity and confusion: the government of the and uncertainty of law; by what means laws soul in moving the body is inward and profound, may be made apt and easy to be executed, and and the passages thereof hardly to be reduced to what are the impediments and remedies in the demonstration. Again, the wisdom of antiquity, execution of laws; what influence laws touching (the shadows whereof are in the poets,) in the de- private right of meum and tuum have into the scription of torments and pains, next unto the public state, and how they may be made apt and crime of rebellion, which was the giants' offence, agreeable; how laws are to be penned and delidoth detest the offence of futility, as in Sisyphus vered, whether in texts or in acts, brief or large, and Tantalus. But this was meant of particu- with preambles, or without; how they are to be lars: nevertheless even unto the general rules pruned and reformed from time to time, and what and discourses of policy and government there is is the best means to keep them from being too due a reverent and reserved handling.
vast in volumes, or too full of multiplicity and But, contrariwise, in the governors toward the crossness; how they are to be expounded, when governed, all things ought, as far as the frailty of upon causes emergent and judicially discussed, man permitteth, to be manifest and revealed. For and when upon responses and conferences touchso it is expressed in the Scriptures touching the ing general points or questions; how they are to government of God, that this globe, which seem- be pressed, rigorously or tenderly; how they are eth to us a dark and shady body, is in the view to be mitigated by equity and good conscience, of God as crystal: “ Et in conspectu sedis tan- and whether discretion and strict law are to be quam mare vitreum simile crystallo.” So unto mingled in the same courts, or kept apart in seveprinces and states, especially towards wise se- ral courts; again, how the practice, profession, nates and councils, the natures and dispositions and erudition of law is to be censured and goof the people, their conditions and necessities, verned; and many other points touching the adtheir factions and combinations, their animosities ministration, and, as I may term it, animation of and discontents, ought to be, in regard of the va- laws. Upon which I insist the less, because I