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extract and select; neither is it necessary, that he | affairs resteth in the good choice of persons : nejthat consulteth what he should do, should declare ther is it enough to consult concerning persons, what he will do: but let princes beware that the secundum genera," as in an idea or mathematiunsecreting of their affairs comes not from them- cal description, what the kind and character of selves : and, as for cabinet councils, it may be the person should be ; for the greatest errors are their motto, “ plenus rimarum sum :" one futile committed, and the most judgment is shown, in person, that maketh it his glory to tell, will do the choice of individuals. It was truly said, more hurt than many, that know it their duty to " optimi consiliarii mortui :" books will speak conceal. It is true there be some affairs which re- plain when counsellors blanch;" therefore it is quire extreme secrecy, which will hardly go be good to be conversant in them, specially the books yond one or two persons besides the king: neither of such as themselves have been actors upon the are those counsels unprosperous : for, besides the stage. secrecy, they commonly go on constantly in one The councils at this day in most places are but spirit of direction without distraction : but then familiar meetings, where matters are rather talked it must be a prudent king, such as is able to grind on than debated; and they run too swift to the orwith a hand-mill; and those inward counsellors der or act of council. It were better that in causes had need also be wise men, and especially true and of weight the matter were propounded one day trusty to the king's ends; as it was with King and not spoken to till the next day; " in nocte conHenry the Seventh of England, who in his great- silium:” so was it done in the commission of union est business imparted himself to none, except it between England and Scotland, which was a grave were to Morton and Fox.

and orderly assembly. I commend set days for For weakening of authority the fable showeth the petitions ; for both it gives the suitors more cerremedy: nay the majesty of kings is rather exalted tainty for their attendance, and it frees the meetthan diminished when they are in the chair of coun- ings for matters of estate, that they may “ hoc cil: neither was there ever prince bereaved of agere.” In choice of committees for ripening busihis dependancies by his council, except where ness for the council, it is better to choose indifferent there hath been either an over greatness in one persons, than to make an indifferency by putting counsellor, or an over strict combination in di- in those that are strong on both sides. I commend, vers, which are things soon found and holpen. also, standing commissions ; as for trade, for trea

For the last inconvenience, that men will coun-sure, for war, for suits, for some provinces; for sel with an eye to themselves ; certainly, “ non in- where there be divers particular councils, and but veniet fidem super terram," is meant of the nature one council of estate, (as it is in Spain,) they are, of times, and not of all particular persons. There in effect, no more than standing commissions, save be that are in nature faithful and sincere, and plain that they have greater authority. Let such as are and direct, not crafty and involved: let princes, to inform councils out of their particular profesabove all, draw to themselves such natures. Be- sions (as lawyers, seamen, inintmen, and the like) sides, counsellors are not commonly so united, but be first heard before committees; and then, as octhat one counsellor keepeth sentinel over another; casion serves, before the council; and let them so that if any do counsel out of faction or private not come in multitudes, or in a tribunitius manner; ends, it commonly comes to the king's ear: but for that is to clamour councils, not to inform them. the best remedy is, if princes know their counsel- A long table and a square table, or seats about the lors, as well as their counsellors know them : walls, seem things of form, but are things of sub"Principis est virtus maxima nosse suos."

stance; for at a long table a few at the upper end And on the other side, counsellors should not be in effect sway all the business; but in the other too speculative into their sovereign's person. The form there is more use of the counsellors' opinions true composition of a counsellor is, rather to be that sit lower. A king when he presides in counskilful in their master's business than in his na-cil let him beware how he opens his own inclination ture ; for then he is like to advise him, and not to too much in that which he propoundeth ; for else feed his humour. It is of singular use to princes counsellors will but take the wind of him, and, if they take the opinions of their council both sepa- instead of giving free counsel, will sing him a rately and together; for private opinion is more song of " placebo." free, but opinion before others is more reverend. In private, men are more bold in their own hu

XXI. OF DELAYS. mours, and in consort, men are more obnoxious to others' humours, therefore it is good to take both; Fortune is like the market, where many rimes, and of the inferior sort rather in private, to preserve if you can stay a little, the prices will fall; and freedom ; of the greater, rather in consort, to pre- again, it is sometimes like Sibylla's offer, which serve respect. It is in vain for princes to take at first offereth the commodity at full, then concounsel concerning matters, if they take no coun- sumeth part and part, and still holdeth up the price; sel likewise concerning persons; for all matters for occasion (as it is in the common verse) turneth are as dead images; and the life of the execution of la bald noddle after she hath presented her locks





in front, and no hold taken ; or, at least, turneth discourse, that he be not too much awake to make the handle of the bottle first to be received, and objections. I knew a counsellor and secretary, that after the belly, which is hard to clasp. There is never came to Queen Elizabeth of England with surely no greater wisdom than well to time the be- bills to sign, but he would always first put her ginnings and onsets of things. Dangers are no into some discourse of estate, that she might the more light, if they once seem light; and more dan- less mind the bills. gers have deceived men than forced them; nay, it The like surprise may be made by moving things were better to meet some dangers half way, though when the party is in haste, and cannot stay to conthey come nothing near, than to keep too long a sider advisedly of that is moved. watch upon their approaches; for if a man watch If a man would cross a business that he doubts too long it is odds he will fall asleep. On the other some other would handsomely and effectually side, to be deceived with too long shadows, (as move, let him pretend to wish it well, and move it some have been when the moon was low and shone himself, in such sort as may foil it. on their enemies' back,) and so to shoot off before The breaking off in the midst of that, one was the time; or to teach dangers to come on by over about to say, as if he took himself up, breeds a early buckling towards them, is another extreme. greater appetite in him, with whom you confer, to The ripeness or unripeness of the occasion (as we know more. said) must ever be well weighed ; and generally it And because it works better when any thing is good to commit the beginnings of all great actions seemeth to be gotten from you by question, than to Argos with his hundred eyes, and the ends to if you offer it of yourself, you may lay a bait for a Briareus with his hundred hands; first to watch, question, by showing another visage and counteand then to speed; for the helmet of Pluto, which nance than you are wont; to the end, to give occamaketh the politic man go invisible, is secrecy sion for the party to ask what the matter is of the in the council, and celerity in the execution; for change, as Nehemiah did, “ And I had not before when things are once come to the execution, there that time been sad before the king." is no secrecy comparable to celerity ; like the mo- In things that are tender and unpleasing, it is tion of a bullet in the air, which flieth so swift as good to break the ice by some whose words are of it outruns the eye.

less weight, and to reserve the more weighty voice

to come in as by chance, so that he may be asked XXII. OF CUNNING.

the question upon the other's speech; as Narcissus

did, in relating to Claudius the marriage of MessaWe take cunning for a sinister, or crooked wis- lina and Silius. dom: and certainly there is a great difference be- In things that a man would not be seen in himtween a cunning man and a wise man, not only in self, it is a point of cunning to borrow the name point of honesty, but in point of ability. There be of the world; as to say, “ The world says," or that can pack the cards, and yet cannot play well; “There is a speech abroad.”' so there are some that are good in canvasses and I knew one that, when he wrote a letter, he factions, that are otherwise weak men. Again, it would put that which was most material in the is one thing to understand persons, and another postscript as if it had been a bye matter. thing to understand matters; for many are per- I knew another that, when he came to have fect in men's humours, that are not greatly capa- speech, he would pass over that that he intendble of the real part of business, which is the con- ed most: and go forth and come back again, stitution of one that hath studied men more than and speak of it as of a thing that he had almost books. Such men are fitter for practice than for forgot. counsel, and they are good but in their own alley : Some procure themselves to be surprised at turn them to new men, and they have lost their such times as it is like the party that they work aim; so as the old rule, to know a fool from a wise upon, will suddenly come upon them, and to be man, “ Mitte ambos nudos ad ignotos, et videbis,” found with a letter in their hand, or doing somedoth scarce hold for them; and, because these cun- what which they are not accustomed, to the end ning men are like haberdashers of small wares, it they may be opposed of those things which of is not amiss to set forth their shop.

themselves they are desirous to utter. It is a point of cunning to wait upon him with It is a point of cunning to let fall those words in whom you speak with your eye, as the Jesuits a man's own name which he would have another give it in precept; for there be many wise men man learn and use, and thereupon take advantage. that have secret hearts and transparent counte- I knew two that were competitors for the secrenances; yet this would be done with a demure tary's place, in Queen Elizabeth's time, and yet abasing of your eye sometimes, as the Jesuits kept good quarter between themselves, and would also do use.

confer one with another upon the business; and the Another is, that when you have any thing to ob- one of them said, that to be a secretary in the detain of present despatch, you entertain and amuse clination of a monarchy was a ticklish thing, and the party with whom you deal with some other that he did not affect it: the other straight caught.

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up those words, and discoursed with divers of his | XXIII. OF WISDOM FOR A MAN'S friends, that he had no reason to desire to be se

SELF. cretary in the declination of a monarchy. The first man took hold of it, and found means it was told

An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is a the queen, whose hearing of a declination of mo-shrewd thing in an orchard or garden; and cernarchy, took it so ill, as she would never after hear tainly men that are great lovers of_themselves of the other's suit.

waste the public. Divide with reason between There is a cunning, which we in England call self-love and society; and be so true to thyself, as “ The turning of the cat in the pan;" which is, thou be not false to others, especially to thy king when that which a man says to another, he lays it and country. It is a poor centre of a man's actions, as if another had said it to him ; and to say truth, it himself. It is right earth; for that only stands is not easy when such a matter passed between two, fast upon his own centre; whereas all things that to make it appear from which of them it first have affinity with the heavens, move upon the cenmoved and began.

tre of another, which they benefits The referring It is a way that some men have to glance and of all to a man's self, is more tolerable in a sovedart at others by justifying themselves by ne- reign prince, because themselves are not only themgatives; as to say, “ This I do not;" as Tigel- selves, but their good and evil is at the peril of the linus did towards Burrhus, “ Se non diversas public fortune : but it is a desperate evil in a serspes, sed incolumitatem imperatoris simpliciter vant to & prince, or a citizen in a republic; for spectare.”

whatsoever affairs pass such a man's hands, he Some have in readiness so many tales and stories, crooketh them to his own ends, which must needs as there is nothing they would insinuate, but they be often eccentric, to the ends of his master or can wrap it into a tale ; which serveth both to state : therefore let princes, or states, choose such keep themselves more in guard, and to make others servants as have not this mark; except they mean carry it with more pleasure.

their service should be made but the accessary, It is a good point of cunning for a man to shape That which maketh the effect more pernicious is, the answer he would have in his own words and that all proportion is lost; it were disproportion propositions; for it makes the other party-stick enough for the Servant's good to be preferred bethe less.

fore the master's : but yet it is a greater extreme, It is strange how long some men will lie in when a little good of the servant shall carry things wait to speak somewhat they desire to say; and against the great good of the master's; and yet how far about they will fetch, and how many that is the case of bad officers, treasurers, amother matters they will beat over to come near bassadors, generals, and other false and corrupt it: it is a thing of great patience, but yet of much servants; which set a bias upon their bowl, of

their own petty ends and envies, to the overthrow A sudden, bold, and unexpected question doth of their master's great and important affairs: and, many times surprise a man, and lay him open. for the most part, the good such servants receive Like to him, that, having changed his name, and is after the model of their own fortune ; but the walking in Paul's, another suddenly came behind hurt they sell for that good is after the model of him and called him by his true name, whereat their master's fortune : and certainly it is the nastraightways he looked back.

ture of extreme self-lovers, as they will set an But these small wares and petty points of house on fire, and it were but to roast their eggs; cunning are infinite, and it were a good deed and yet these men many times hold credit with to make a list of them; for that nothing doth their masters, because their study is but to please more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass them, and profit themselves; and for either refor wise.

spect they will abandon the good of their affairs. But certainly some there are that know the re- Wisdom for a man's self is, in many branches sorts and falls of business, that cannot sink into thereof, a depraved thing: it is the wisdom of rats, the main of it; like a house that hath convenient that will be sure to leave a house somewhat bestairs and entries, but never a fair room : thereforefore it fall : it is the wisdom of the fox, that thrusts you shall see them find out pretty looses in the out the badger who digged and made room for conclusion, but are no ways able to examine or de- him : it is the wisdom of crocodiles, that shed bate matters : and yet commonly they take advan- tears when they would devour. But that which tage of their inability, and would be thought wits is specially to be noted is, that those which (as of direction. Some build rather upon the abusing Cicero says of Pompey) are, “ sui amantes, sine of others, and (as we now say) putting tricks rivali,” are many times unfortunate ; and whereas upon them, then upon soundness of their own they have all their times sacrificed to themselves, proceedings : but Solomon saith, “ Prudens ad- they become in the end themselves sacrifices to vertit ad gressus suos : stultus divertit ad the inconstancy of fortune, whose wings they dolos."

thought by their self-wisdom to have pinioned



XXIV. OF INNOVATIONS. too much at once, procureth despatch. It is the As the births of living creatures at first are ill- care of some only to come off speedily for the

time, or to contrive some false periods of busishapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time; yet notwithstanding, as those that but it is one thing to abbreviate by contracting,

ness, because they may seem men of despatch: first bring honour into their family are commonly another by cutting off; and business so handled more worthy than most that succeed, so the first

at several sittings, or meetings, goeth commonly precedent (if it be good) is seldom attained by backward and forward in an unsteady manner. Í imitation ; for ill to man’s nature as it stands per- knew a wise man, that had it for a by-word, when verted, hath a natural motion strongest in con- he saw men hasten to a conclusion, “Stay a little, tinuance; but good, as a forced motion, strongest that we may make an end the sooner.” at first. Surely every medicine is an innovation, and he that will not apply new remedies must ex- for time is the measure of business, as money is

On the other side, true despatch is a rich thing; pect new evils ; for time is the greatest innovator; of wares; and business is bought at a dear hand and if time of course alter all things to the worse, where there is small despatch. The Spartans and wisdom and counset shall not alter them to and Spaniards have been noted to be of small the better, what shall be the end? It is true, that

despatch: "

“Mi venga la muerte de Spagna;"— what is settled by custom, though it be not good, yet at least it is fit; and those things which have will be sure to be long in coming.

“ Let my death come from Spain,” for then it long gone together, are, as it were, pnfederate within themselves; whereas new things piece not information in business, and rather direct them in

Give good hearing to those that give the first so well; but, though they help by their utility, the beginning, than interrupt them in the conyet they trouble by their inconformity: besides, tinuance of their speeches; for he that is put out they are like strangers, more admired, and less of his own order will go forward and backward, favoured. All this is true, if time stood still; and be more tedious while he waits upon his mewhich, contrariwise, moveth so round, that a

mory, than he could have been if he had gone on froward retention of custom is as turbulent a in his own course ; but sometimes it is seen that thing as an innovation ; and they that reverence the moderator is more troublesome than the actor. too much old times, are but a scorn

the new. It were good, therefore, that men in their innova- is no such gain of time as to iterate often the

Iterations are commonly loss of time; but there tions, would follow the example of time itself,

state of the question; for it chaseth away many which indeed innovateth greatly, but quietly, and a frivolous speech as it is coming forth. Long by degrees scarce to be perceived; for otherwise, and curious speeches are as fit for despatch, as a whatsoever is new is unlooked for; and ever it robe, or mantle, with a long train, is for a race, mends some, and pairs other; and he that is hol- Prefaces, and passages, and excusations, and pen takes it for a fortune, and thanks the time ; other speeches of reference to the person, are and he that is hurt for—a wrong, and imputeth it

great wastes of time; and though they seem to to the author. It is good also not to try experi

proceed of modesty, they are bravery. Yet bements in states, except the necessity be urgent, or the utility evident; and well to beware that it ware of being too material when there is any imbe the reformation that draweth on the change, occupation of mind ever requireth preface of

pediment, or obstruction in men's wills; for preand not the desire of change that pretendeth the

speech, like a fomentation to make the unguent reformation; and lastly, that the novelty, though it be not rejected, yet be held for a suspect; and,

Above all things, order, and distribution, and as the Scripture saith, “That we make a stand

singling out of parts, is the life of despatch ; so upon the ancient way, and then look about us, and discover what is the straight and right way, doth not divide will never enter well into busi

as the distribution be not too subtile: for he that and sa to walk in it."

ness; and he that divideth too much will never XXV. OF DESPATCH.

come out of it clearly. To choose time is to save

time; and an unseasonable motion is but beating AFFECTED despatch is one of the most dan- the air. There be three parts of business, the gerous things to business that can be: It is like preparation; the debate, or examination; and the that which the physicians calls predigestion, or perfection; whereof, if you look for despatch, hasty digestion ; which is sure to fill the body let the middle only be the work of many, and the full of crudities, and secret seeds of diseases: first and last the work of few. The proceeding therefore measure not despatch by the times of upon somewhat conceived in writing dotlı for the sitting, but by the advancement of the business: most part facilitate despatch: for though it should and as, in races, it is not the large stride, or high be wholly rejected, yet that negative is more preglift, that makes the speed; so, in business, the nant of direction than an indefinite, as ashes are keeping close to the matter, and not taking of it more generative than dust.







XXVI. OF SEEMING WISE. solitude, is either a wild beast or a god:” for it is It hath been an opinion, that the French are aversation towards society, in any man, hath

most true, that a natural and secret hatred and wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem somewhat of the savage beast; but it is most unwiser than they are; but howsoever it be between true, that it should have any character at all of nations, certainly it is so between man and man; the divine nature, except it proceed, not out of a for as the apostle saith of godliness, “ Having a

pleasure in solitude, but out of a love and desire show of godliness, but denying the power there to sequester a man's self for a higher conversaof;" so certainly there are in points of wisdom tion : such as is found to have been falsely and and sufficiency, that do nothing or little very soleinnly: "magno conatu nugas." It is a ridi- the Candian ; Numa, the Roman ; Empedocles,

feignedly in some of the heathen; as Epimenides, culous thing, and fit for 2 satire to persons of the Sicilian; and Apollonius of Tyana; and judgment, to see what shifts these formalists

truly and really in divers of the ancient hermits have, and what prospectives to make superfices to and holy fathers of the church. But little do seem body that hath depth and bulk. Some are so close and reserved, as they will not show their men perceive what solitude is, and how far it ex

tendeth ; for a crowd is not company, and faces, wares but by a dark light, and seem always to

are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkkeep back somewhat; and when they know

ling cymbal where there is no love. The Latin within themselves they speak of that they do not

adage meeteth with it a little: “magna civitas, well know, would nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may not well speak. magna solitudo;" because in a great town friends Some help themselves with countenance and ges for the most part, which is in less neighbour

are scattered, so that there is not that fellowship, ture, and are wise by signs; as Cicero saith of hoods: but we may go farther, and affirm most Piso, that when he answered him he fetched one of his brows up to his forehead, and bent the truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to

want true friends, without which the world is but other down to his chin; “respondes, altero ad

a wilderness; and even in this sense also of solifrontem sublato, altero ad mentum depresso su

tude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and percilio, crudelitatem tibi non placere.” Some think te bear it by speaking newspand, the beast, and not from humanity.

affections is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of being peremptory; and go on, and take by ad mittance that which they cannot make good. discharge of the fulness and swellings of the

A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and Some, whatsoever is beyond their reacbzwill seem heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and to despise, or make light of it as impertinent or induce. We know diseases of stoppings and curious: and so would have their ignosis que j'suffocations are the most dangerous in the body; judgment. Some are never without a

and it is not much otherwise in the mind; you and commonly by amusing men with a subtilty, may take sarza to open the liver, steel to open the blanch the matter; of whom A. Gellius saith, spleen, flower of sulphur for the lungs, castareum “ hominem delirum, qui verborum, minutiis rerum for the brain; but no receipt openeth the heart but frangit pondera.” Of which kind also Plato, in

a true friend, to whom you may impart griefs, his Protagoras, bringeth in Prodicus in scorn, and maketh him make a speech that consisteth of dis- joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and what

soever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind tinctions from the beginning to the end. Gene

of civil shrift or confession. rally such men, in all deliberations, find ease to

It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate be of the negative side, and affect a credit to object and foretell difficulties ; for when propositions of friendship whereof we speak: so great, as

great kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit are denied, there is an end of them; but if they they purchase it many times at the hazard of their be allowed, it requireth a new work; which false point of wisdom is the bane of business. To of the distance of their fortune from that of their

own safety and greatness: for princes, in regard conclude, there is no decaying merchant, or inward beggar, hath so many tricks to uphold the subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit

, credit of their wealth, as these empty persons raise some persons to be as it were companions,

except (to make themselves capable thereof) they have to maintain the credit gubeir sufficiency. and almost equals to themselves, which many Seeming wise men may make shift to get opinion; times sorteth to inconvenience. The modern but let no man choose them for employment; for

languages give unto such persons the name of certainly, you were better take for business a man

favourites, or privadoes, as if it were matter of somewhat absurd than over-formal.

grace, or conversation; but the Roman name

attaineth the true use and cause thereof, naming XXVII. OF FRIENDSHIP.

them “ participes curarum;" for it is that which It had been hard for him that spake it to have tieth the knot: and we see plainly that this hath put more truth and untruth together in few words been done, not by weak and passionate princes than in that speech, “ Whosoever is delighted in only, but by the wisest and most politic that ever

VOL.I. - 3


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