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77. You had better take for business a man somewhat absurd, than over-formal.
78. Those who want friends to whom to open their griefs, are cannibals of their own hearts.
79. Number itself importeth not much in armies, where the people are of weak courage; for, as Virgil says, it never troubles a wolf how many the sheep be.
80. Let states that aim at greatness, take heed how their nobility and gentry multiply too fast. In coppice woods, if you leave your staddles too thick, you shall never have clean underwood, but shrubs and bushes.
81. A civil war is like the heat of a fever; but a foreign war is like the heat of exercise, and serveth to keep the body in health.
82. Suspicions among thoughts, are like bats among birds; they ever fly by twilight.
83. Base natures, if they find themselves once suspected, will never be true.
84. Men ought to find the difference between saltness and bitterness. Certainly he that hath a satirical vein, as he maketh others afraid of his wit, so he had need be afraid of others' memory.
85. Discretion in speech is more than eloquence. 86. Men seem neither well to understand their riches nor their strength of the former they be
lieve greater things than they should, and of the latter much less. And from hence certain fatal pillars have bounded the progress of learning.
87. Riches are the baggage of virtue; they cannot be spared, nor left behind, but they hinder the march.
88. Great riches have sold more men than ever they have bought out.
89. Riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves, and sometimes they must be set flying to bring in more.
90. He that defers his charity until he is dead, is, if a man weighs it rightly, rather liberal of another man's, than of his own.
91. Ambition is like choler; if it can move, it makes men active; if it be stopped, it becomes adust, and makes men melancholy.
92. To take a soldier without ambition, is to pull off his spurs.
93. Some ambitious men seem as skreens to princes in matters of danger and envy. For no man will take such parts, except he be like the blinded dove, that mounts and mounts, because he cannot see about him.
94. Princes and states should choose such ministers as are more sensible of duty than of rising ; and should discern a busy nature from a willing mind.
95. A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds:
therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.
96. If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see fortune; for though she be blind, she is not invisible.
97. Usury bringeth the treasure of a realm or state into few hands: for the usurer being at certainties, and others at uncertainties; at the end of the game, most of the money will be in the box.
98. Virtue is best in a body that hath rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect. The beautiful prove accomplished, but not of great spirit; and study, for the most part, rather behaviour than virtue.
99. The best part of beauty is that which a picture cannot express.
100. He who builds a fair house upon an ill seat, commits himself to prison.
101. If you will work on any man, you must either know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his ends, and so persuade him; or his weaknesses and disadvantages, and so awe him ; or those that have interest in him, and so govern him.
102. Costly followers, among whom we may reckon those who are importunate in suits, are not to be liked; lest while a man maketh his train longer, he make his wings shorter.
103. Fame is like a river, that beareth up things
light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.
104. Seneca saith well, that anger is like ruin, which breaks itself upon that it falls on.
105. Excusations, cessions, modesty itself, well governed, are but arts of ostentation.
106. High treason is not in ice; that when the body melteth, the impression should go away.
107. The best governments are always subject to be like the fairest crystals, wherein every icicle or grain is seen, which in a fouler stone is never perceived.
108. Hollow church papists are like the roots of nettles, which themselves sting not; but yet they bear all the stinging leaves.
Of the Choice of Good and Evil.
Search for, and practice Truth.
IN deliberating, the point to be considered is,
what is Good, and what is Evil; and of Good what is greater; and of Evil what is less.
So that the persuader's labour, is to make things appear Good or Evil, and that in a higher or lower degree; which as it may be performed by true and solid reasons, so it may be represented also by appearances, generalities, and circumstances, which
are of such force, as to sway the ordinary judgment either of a weak man, or of a wise man, not fully and considerately attending and pondering the matter. Besides their power to alter the nature of the subject in appearance, and so to lead to error, they are of no less use to quicken and strengthen the opinions and persuasions which are true: for reasons plainly delivered, and always after one manner, especially with fine and fastidious minds, enter but heavily and dully; whereas if they be varied, and have more life and vigour put into them by these forms and insinuations, they cause a stronger apprehension, and many times suddenly win the mind to a resolution. Lastly, to make a true and safe judgment, nothing can be of greater use and defence to the mind, than the discovering and confuting of these appearances, showing in what cases they hold, and in what they deceive; which as it cannot be done, but out of a very universal knowledge of the nature of things; yet being performed, it so cleareth man's judgment and election, that he is the less apt to slide into any error.