Imatges de pàgina


business doth spoil the feathers of round flying see a nephew sometimes resenibleth an uncle up to the mark; the second, that it puzzleth or a kinsman more than his own parents, as and perplexeth the conceits of many, that the blood happens. Let parents choose beperhaps would otherwise co-operate with him, times the vocations and courses they mean and makes a man walk almost alone to his their children should take, for then they are own ends; the third and greatest is, that it most flexible; and let them not too much depriveth a man of one of the most principal apply themselves to the disposition of their instruments for action, which is trust and be- children, as thinking they will take best to lief. The best composition and temperature that which they have most mind to. It is are, to have openness in fame and opinion; true, that if the affection or aptness of the secrecy in habit; dissimulation in seasonable children be extraordinary, then it is good not use ; and a power to feign, if there be no to cross it; but generally the precept is good, remedy.

optimum elige, suave et facile islud faciet consuetudo." Younger brothers are com

monly fortunate, but seldom or never where OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN.

the elder are disinherited. THE joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears ; they cannot utter the

OF MARRIAGE AND SINGLE LIFE. one, nor they will not utter the other. Chil. dren sweeten labours, but they make misfor- He that hath wife and children hath given tunes more bitter ; they increase the cares of hostages to fortune ; for they are impediments life, but they mitigate the remembrance of to great enterprises, either of virtue or misdeath. The perpetuity by generation is com. chief. Certainly the best works, and of greatmon to beasts ; but memory, merit, and noble est inerit for the public, have proceeded from works, are proper to men: and surely a man the unmarried or childless men ; which, both shall see the noblest works and foundations in affection and means, have married and en. have proceeded from childless men, which dowed the public. Yet it were great reason have sought to express the images of their that those that have children should have minds, where those of their bodies have failed; greatest care of future times, unto which they so the care of posterity is most in them that know they must transmit their dearest pledges. have no posterity. They that are the first Some there are, who, though they lead a sin. raisers of their houses are most indulgent to gle life, yet their thoughts do end with themwards their children, beholding them as the selves, and account future times imperticontinuance, not only of their kind, but of nences; nay, there are some other that account their work, and so both children and crea. wife and children but as bills of charges : tures.

nay, more; there are some foolish, rich, The difference in affection of parents to. covetous men, that take a pride in having no wards their several children is many times children, because they may be thought so unequal and sometimes unworthy, especially much the richer ; for, perhaps, they have in the mother ; as Solomon saith, “ A wise heard some talk, “ Such a one is a great, rich son rejoiceth the father, but an ungracious man,” and another except to it, “ Yea, but son shames the mother."

A man shall see, he hath a great charge of children;" as if it where there is a house full of children, one or were an abatement to his riches : but the most two of the eldest respected, and the youngest ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, espemade wantons; but in the midst, some that cially in certain self-pleasing and humorous are as it were forgotten, who, inany times, minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, nevertheless, prove the best. The illiber- as they will go near to think their girdles and ality of parents, in allowance towards their garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried children, is a harmful error; and makes them men are best friends, best masters, best ser. base; acquaints them with shifts ; makes vants, but not always best subjects ; for they them sort with mean company; and makes are light to run away; and almost all fugi. them surfeit more when they come to plenty: tives are of that condition. A single life doth and therefore the proof is best when men keep well with churchmen, for charity will hardly their authority towards their children, but not water the ground where it must first fill a their purse. Men have a foolish inanner (both pool. It is indifferent for judges and magisparents, and schoolmasters, and servants,) in trates ; for if they be facile and corrupt, you creating and breeding an emulation between shall have a servant five times worse than a brothers during childhood, which many times wife. For soldiers, I find the generals comsorteth to discord when they are inen, and monly, in their hortatives, put men in mind disturbeth families. The Italians make little of their wives and children; and I think the difference between children and nephews, or despising of marriage among the Turks mak. near kinsfolks ; but so they be of the lump, cth the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly they care not, though they pass not through wife and children are a kind of discipline of their own body; and, to say truth, in nature humanity ; and single men, though they be it is much a like matter ; insomuch that we many times more charitable, because their

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means are less exhaust, yet, on the other side, come at even hand by depressing another's they are more cruel and hardhearted (good to fortune. make severe inquisitors), because their ten- A man that is busy and inquisitive is comderness is not so oft called upon. Grave na. monly envious; for to know much of other tures, led by custom, and therefore constant, men's matters cannot be, because all that ado are commonly loving husbands, as was said may concern his own estate ; therefore it must of Ulysses, vetulam suam prætulit immor. needs be that he taketh a kind of play-pleasure talitati." Chaste women are often proud and in looking upon the fortunes of others ; nei. froward, as presuming upon the merit of their ther can he that mindeth but his own busichastity. It is one of the best bonds, both of ness find much matter for envy; for envy is chastity and obedience, in the wife, if she a gadding passion, and walketh the streets, think her husband wise, which she will never and doth not keep at home : “ Non est curido if she find him jealous. Wives are young osus idem sit malevolus." men's mistresses, companions for middle age, Men of noble birth are noted to be envious and old men's nurses ; so as a man may have towards new men when they rise ; for the a quarrel to marry when he will : but yet he distance is altered ; and it is like a deceit of was reputed one of the wise men that made the eye, that when others come on they think answer to the question when a man should themselves go

back. marry :-“ A young man not yet, an elder Deformed persons and eunuchs, and old man not at all.” It is often seen, that bad men and bastards, are envious: for he that husbands have very good wives ; whether it cannot possibly mend his own case, will do be that it raiseth the price of their husband's what he can to impair another's; except these kindness when it comes, or that the wives defects light upon a very brave and heroical take a pride in their patience ; but this never nature, which thinketh to make his natural fails if the bad husbands were of their own wants part of his honour; in that it should choosing, against their friends' consent, for be said, “ That an eunuch, or a lame man, then they will be sure to make good their did such great matters ;” affecting the honour own folly.

of a miracle : as it was in Narses the eunuch, and Agesilaus and Tamerlane that were lame

men. OF ENVY

The same is the case of men who rise after

calamities and misfortunes ; for they are as THERE be none of the affections which have men fallen out with the times, and think been noted to fascinate, or bewitch, but love other men's harms a redemption of their own and envy: they both have vehement wishes ; sufferings. they frame themselves readily into imagina. They that desire to excel in too many mattions and suggestions ; and they come easily ters, out of levity and vain glory, are ever into the eye, especially upon the presence of envious, for they cannot want work; it being the objects which are the points that conduce impossible but many, in some one of those to fascination, if any such thing there be. We things, should surpass them ; which was the see, likewise, the scripture calleth envy an character of Adrian the emperor, that morevil eye ; and the astrologers call the evil tally envied poets, and painters, and artificers influences of the stars evil aspects ; so that in works, wherein he had a vein to excel. still there seemeth to be acknowledged, in the Lastly, near kinsfolks, and fellows in office, act of envy, an ejaculation, or irradiation of and thuse that are bred together, are more apt the eye: nay, some have been so curious as to envy their equals when they are raised ; to note, that the times when the stroke or for it doth upbraid unto them their own forpercussion of an envious eye doth most hurt, tunes, and pointeth at them, and cometh are, when the party envied is beheld in glory oftener into their remembrance, and incurreth or triumph ; for that sets an edge upon envy:

likewise more into the note of others; and and besides, at such times the spirits of the envy ever redoubleth from speech and fame. person envied do come forth most into the out- Cain's envy was the more vile and malignant ward parts, and so meet the blow.

towards his brother Abel, because when his But leaving these curiosities (though not sacrifice was better accepted, there was now unworthy to be thought on in a fit place), we body to look on. Thus much for those that will handle what persons are apt to envy

are apt to enyy: others; what persons are most subject to be Concerning those that are more or less subenvied themselves ; and what is the difference ject to envy. First, persons of eminent virtue, between public and private envy.

when they are advanced, are less envied; for A man that hath no virtue in himself ever their fortune seemeth but due unto them; and envieth virtue in others; for men's minds no man envieth the payment of a debt, but will either feed upon their own good, or upon rewards and liberality rather. Again, envy other's evil; and who wanteth the one will is ever joined with the comparing of a man's prey upon the other : and whoso is out of self; and where there is no comparison, ne hope to attain another's, virtue will seek to envy; and therefore kings are not envied but

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is kings. Nevertheless it is to be noted, vants, sometimes upon colleagues and asso. that unworthy persons are most envied at their ciates, and the like ; and for that turn there first coming in, and afterwards overcome it are never wanting some persons of violent and better ; whereas, contrariwise, persons of worth undertaking natures, who, so they may have and merit are most envied when their fortune power and business, will take it at any cost. continueth long; for by that time, though their Now, to speak of public envy: there is yet virtue be the same, yet it hath not the same some good in public envy, whereas in private lustre, for fresh men grow up to darken it. there is none ; for public envy is as an

Persons of noble blood are less envied in ostracism, that eclipseth men when they grow their rising ; for it seemeth but right done to too great : and therefore it is a bridle also to their birth : besides, there seemeth not much great ones to keep within bounds. added to their fortune , and envy is as the This envy being in the Latin word, “ in. sunbeams, that beat hotter upon a bank or vidia,' goeth in the modern languages by the steep, rising ground than upon a flat ; and for name of discontentment; of which we shall the same reason, those that are advanced by speak in handling sedition. It is a disease degrees, are less envied than those that are in a state like to infection : for as infection advanced suddenly,

per saltum.”

spreadeth upon that which is sound, and Those that have joined with their honour tainteth it ; 80, when envy is gotten once into great travels, cares, and perils, are less subject a state, it traduceth even the best actions to envy ; for men think that they earn their thereof, and turneth them into an ill odour ; honours hardly, and pity them sometimes ; and therefore there is little won by intermin. and pity ever healeth envy: wherefore you gling of plausible actions : for that doth argue shall observe, that the more deep and sober but a weakness and fear of envy, which hurtsort of politic persons, in their greatness, are eth so much the more, as it is likewise usual ever bemoaning themselves what a life they in infections, which, if you fear them, you lead, chanting a quanta patimur;" not that

call them upon you. they feel it so, but only to abate the edge of This public envy seemeth to bear chiefly envy: but this is to be understood of busi. upon principal officers or ministers, rather ness that is laid upon men, and not such as than upon kings and states themselves. But they call unto themselves ; for nothing in, this is a sure rule, that if the envy upon the creaseth envy more than an unnecessary and minister be great, when the cause of it in him ambitious engrossing of business ; and nothing is small; or if the envy be general, in a man. doth extinguish envy more than for a great ner, upon all the ministers of an estate, then person to preserve all other inferior officers in the envy (though hidden) is truly upon the their full rights and pre-eminences of their state itself. And so much of public envy or places; for by that means there be so many discontent, and the difference thereof from screens between him and envy.

private envy, which was handled in the first Above all, those are most subject to envy, place. which carry the greatness of their fortunes in We will add this in general touching the an insolent and proud manner : being never affection of envy, that of all other affections well but while they are showing how great it is the most importune and continual ; for they are, either by outward pomp, or by tri. of other affections there is occasion given but umphing over all opposition or competition : now and then ; and therefore it was well said, whereas wise men will rather do sacrifice to 6 Invidia festos dies non agit:" for it is ever envy, in suffering themselves sometimes of working upon some or other. And it is also purpose to be crossed and overborne in things noted, that love and envy do make a man that do not much concern them. Notwith pine, which other affections do not, because standing so much is true, that the carriage of they are not so continual. It is also the vilest greatness in a plain and open manner (so it affection, and the most depraved; for which be without arrogancy and vain glory), doth cause it it is the proper attribute of the devil, draw less envy than if it be in a more crafty who is called, “ The envious man, that soweth and cunning fashion; for in that course a man tares amongst the wheat by night ;" as it doth but disavow fortune, and seemeth to be always cometh to pass, that envy, worketh conscious of his own want in worth, and doth subtlety, and in the dark, and to the preju. but teach others to envy him.

dice of good things, 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 of witchcraft, so there is no

OF LOVE. other cure of envy but the cure of witchcraft ; THE stage is more beholding to love than and that is, to remove the lot (as they call it), the life of man; for as to the stage, love is and to lay it upon another ; for which pur- even matter of comedies, and now and then pose the wiser sort of great persons bring in of tragedies ; but in life it doth much mis. ever upon the stage somebody upon whom to chief; sometimes like a siren, sometimes like derive the envy that would come upon them- a fury. You may observe, that amongst all selves ; sometimes upon ministers and ser- the great and worthy persons (whereof the


6 Satis magnum

memory remaineth, either ancient or recent), it be not spent upon some one, or a few, doth there is not one that hath been transported naturally spread itself towards many, and to the mad degree of love; which shows that maketh men become humane and charitable, great spirits and great business do keep out as it is seen sometimes in friars. Nuptial this weak passion. You must except, never- love maketh man kind; friendly love pertheless, Marcus Antonius, the half partner of fecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and the empire of Rome, and Appius Claudius, erbaseth it. the decemvir and lawgiver ; whereof the for. mer was indeed a voluptuous man and inor.

OF GREAT PLACE. dinate; but the latter was an austere and wise man: and therefore it seems (though Men in great place are thrice servants ; serrarely) that love can find entrance, not only vants of the sovereign or state, servants of into an open heart, but also into a heart well fame, and servants of business ; so as they fortified, if watch be not well kept. It is a have no freedom, neither in their persons, poor saying of Epicurus,

nor in their actions, nor in their times. It alter alteri theatrum sumus ;” as if man, is a strange desire to seek power and to lose made for the contemplation of heaven, and liberty ; or to seek power over others, and to all noble objects, should do nothing but kneel lose power over a man's self.

The rising before a little idol, and make himself a sub- unto place is laborious, and by pains men ject, though not of the mouth (as beasts are), come to greater pains; and it is sometimes yet of the eye, which was given him for base, and by indignities men come to digni. higher purposes. It is a strange thing to ties. The standing is slippery, and the renote the excess of this passion, and how it gress is either a downfall, or at least an eclipse, braves the nature and value of things by this, which is a melancholy thing : “ Cum non sis that the speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is qui fueris, non esse cur velis vivere ?” Nay, comely in nothing but in love : neither is it retire men cannot when they would, neither merely in the phrase ; for whereas it hath will they when it were reason ; but are imbeen well said, “That the arch flatterer, with patient of privateness even in age and sickwhom all the pretty flatterers have intelli. ness, which require the shadow, like old gence, is a man's self;" certainly the lover is townsmen, that will be still sitting at their more; for there was never a proud man street door, though thereby they offer age to thought so absurdly well of himself as the scorn. Certainly great persons had need to lover doth of the person loved ; and therefore borrow other men's opinions to think themit was well said, “ That it is impossible to selves happy ; for if they judge by their own love and to be wise.” Neither doth this feeling, they cannot find it: but if they think weakness appear to others only, and not to

with themselves what other men think of the party loved, but to the loved most of all, them, and that other men would fain be as except the love be reciprocal; for it is a true they are, then they are happy as it were by rule, that love is ever rewarded either with report, when, perhaps, they find the contrary the reciprocal or with an inward or secret within ; for they are the first that find their contempt; by how much more the men ought own griefs, though they be the last that find to beware of this passidn, which loseth not their own faults. Certainly, men in great only other things, but itself. As for the fortunes are strangers to themselves, and other losses, the poet's relation doth well while they are in the puzzle of business, they figure them : “ That he that preferred He- have no time to tend their health either of lena quitted the gifts of Juno and Pallas ;' body or mind : “ Illi mors gravis incubat, for whosoever esteemeth too much of amorous qui notus nimis omnibus, ignotus moritur affection, quitteth both riches and wisdom. sibi.” In place there is license to do good This passion hath its floods in the very times and evil; whereof the latter is a curse; for of weakness, which are, great prosperity and in evil the best condition is not to will; the great adversity, though this latter hath been second not to can. But power to do good less observed; both which times kindle love is the true and lawful end of aspiring ; for and make it more fervent, and therefore show good thoughts (though God accept them), it to be the child of folly. They do best, yet towards men are little better than good who, if they cannot but admit love, yet make dreams, except they be put in act; and that it keep quarter, and sever it wholly from their cannot be without power and place, as the serious affairs and actions of life ; for if it vantage and commanding ground. Merit and check once with business, it troubleth men's good works are the end of man's motion ; and fortunes, and maketh men that they can no conscience of the same is the accomplislıment ways be true to their own ends. I know not of man's rest: for if a man can be partaker how, but martial men are given to love : I of God's theatre, he shall likewise be a parthink it is but as they are given to wine; for taker of God's rest: “ Et conversus Deus, ut perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures. aspiceret opera, quæ fecerunt manus suæ, vidit There is in man's nature a secret inclination quod omnia essent bona nimis ;” and then and motion towards love of others, which, if the sabbath. In the discharge of thy place

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set before thee the best examples; for imita- and some to the worse;" “ omnium consensu, tion is a globe of precepts; and after a time capax imperii, nisi imperasset,” saith Tacitus set before thee thine own example, and ex- of Galba; but of Vespasian he saith, “ solus amine thyself strictly whether thou didst not imperantium, Vespasianus mutatus in me. best at first. Neglect not also the examples lius ;” though the one was meant of suffi. of those that have carried themselves ill in ciency, the other of manners and affection, the same place ; not to set off thyself by tax- It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous ing their memory, but to direct thyself what spirit, whom honour amends ; for honour is, to avoid. Reform, therefore, without bravery or should be, the place of virtue ; and as in or scandal of former times and persons ; but nature things move violently to their place, yet set it down to thyself, as well to create and calmly in their place, so virtue in an good precedents as to follow them. 'Reduce bition is violent, in authority settled and things to the first institution, and observe calmn. All rising to a great place is by a wherein and how they have degenerated ; but winding stair ; and if there be factions, it is yet ask counsel of both times ; of the ancient good to side a man's self whilst he is in the time what is best; and of the latter time what' rising, and to balance himself when he is is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor that men may know beforehand what they fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost not, it is may expect; but be not too positive and pe- a debt will sure be paid when thou art gone. remptory; and express thyself well when If thou have colleagues, respect them; and thou digresseth from thy rule. Preserve the rather call them when they look not for it, right of thy place, but stir not questions of than exclude them when they have reason to jurisdiction ; and rather assume thy right in look to be called. Be not too sensible or too silence, and “de facto," than voice it with remembering of thy place in conversation and claims and challenges. Preserve likewise private answers to suitors; but let it rather the rights of inferior places ; and think it be said, “When he sits in place he is another more honour to direct in chief, than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and advices touching the execution of thy placc ;

OF BOLDNESS. and do not drive away such as bring thee information as meddlers, but accept of them in It is a trivial, grammar-school text, but yet good part. The vices of authority are chiefly worthy a wise man's consideration. Quesfour; delays, corruption, roughness, and fa- tion was asked of Demosthenes what was the cility. For delays, give easy access; keep chief part of an orator ? he answered, action ? times appointed ; go through with that which what next? action : what next again ? action. is in hand, and interlace not business but of He said it that knew it best, and had by na. necessity. For corruption doth not only bind ture himself no advantage in that he com. thine own hands or thy servant's hands from mended. A strange thing, that that part of taking, but bind the hands of suitors also an orator which is but superficial, and rather from offering; for integrity used doth the the virtue of a player, should be placed so one; but integrity professed, and with a mani. high above those other noble parts of invenfest detestation of bribery, doth the other; tion, elocution, and the rest; nay, almost and avoid not only the fault, but the sus- alone, as if it were all in all. But the reason picion. Whosoever is found variable, and is plain. There is in human nature genechangeth manifestly without manifest cause, rally more of the fool than of the wise; and, giveth suspicion of corruption : therefore, al. therefore, those faculties by which the foolish ways, when thou changest thine opinion or part of men's minds is taken are most potent. course, profess it plainly, and declare it, to- Wonderful like is the case of boldness in civil gether with the reasons that move thee to business; what first ? boldness : what second change, and do not think to steal it. A ser. and third ? boldness. And yet boldness is a vant or a favourite, if he be inward, and no child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly to other parts : but nevertheless, it doth fasthought but a by-way to close corruption. cinate, and bind hand and foot those that are For roughness, it is a needless cause of dis- either shallow in judgment or weak in courage, content: severity breedeth fear, but roughness which are the greatest part; yea, and prebreedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority vaileth with wise men at weak times : thereought to be grave, and not taunting. As for fore we see it hath done wonders in popular facility, it is worse than bribery ; for bribes states, but with senates and princes less; and come but now and then ; but if importunity more, ever upon the first entrance of bold or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be persons into action than soon after; for bold. without ; as Solomon saith, “ To respect per- ness is an ill keeper of promise. Surely, as sons it is not good, for such a man will trans- there are mountebanks for the natural body, gress for a piece of bread.” It is most true so are there mountebanks for the politic body; that was anciently spoken, “ A place showeth Inen that undertake great cures, and, perhaps, the man; and it showeth some to the better have been lucky in two or three experiments,

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