« AnteriorContinua »
table elements, and one immutable fifth scoffing in holy matters, which doth by little essence, duly and eternally placed, need no and little deface the reverence of religion; and, God, than that an army of infinite small por- lastly, learned tin.es, especially with peace tions, or seeds unplaced, should have produced and prosperity; for troubles and adversities this order and beauty without a divine mar do more bow men's minds to religion. They shal. The scripture saith, “ The fool hath that deny a God destroy a man's nobility; said in his heart, there is no God;" it is not for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by said, “ The fool hath thought in his heart;" his body; and, if he be not of kin to God by so as he rather saith it by rote to himself, as his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. that he would have, than that he can tho It destroys likewise magnanimity, and the roughly believe it, or be persuaded of it; for raising human nature ; for take an example of none deny there is a God but those for whom a dog, add mark what a generosity and couit maketh that there were no God. It ap rage he will put on when he finds himself peareth in nothing more, that atheism is maintained by a man, who to him is instead rather in the lip than in the heart of man, of a God, or “ melior natura ;" which courage than by this, that atheists will ever be talking is manifestly such as that creature, without of that their opinion, as if they fainted in it that confidence of a better nature than his within themselves, and would be glad to be own, could never attain. So man, when he strengthened by the opinion of others : nay resteth and assureth himself upon divine promore, you shall have atheists strive to get tection and favour, gathereth a force and faith disciples, as it fareth with other sects; and which human nature in itself could not obwhich is most of all, you shall have of them tain; therefore, as atheism is in all respects that will suffer for atheism, and not recant; hateful, so in this, that it depriveth human whereas, if they did truly think that there nature of the means to exalt itself above were no such thing as God, why should they human frailty. As it is in particular pertrouble themselves ? Epicurus is charged, sons, so it is in nations: never was there that he did not dissemble for his credit's sake, such a state for magnanimity as Rome; of when he affirmed there were blessed natures, this state hear what Cicero saith, “ Quam but such as enjoyed themselves without having volumus, licet, patres conscripti, nos amemus, respect to the government of the world, tamen nec numero Hispanos, nec robore Gal. wherein they say he did temporize, though in los, nec calliditate Pænos, nec artibus Græcos, secret he thought there was no God: but cer nec denique hoc ipso hujus gentis et terræ tainly he is traduced, for his words are noble domestico nativoque sensu Italos ipsos et and 'divine : “ Non Deos vulgi negare pro Latinos; sed pietate, ac religione, atque hac fanum ; sed vulgi opiniones diis applicare una sapientia, quod deorum immortalium profanum.” Plato could have said no more; numine omnia regi, gubernarique perspexi. and, although he had the confidence to deny mus, omnes gentes nationesque superavimus." the administration, he had not the power to deny the nature. The Indians of the west have names for their particular gods, though
OF SUPERSTITION. they have no name for God; as if the hea. It were better to have no opinion of God at thens should have had the names Jupiter, all than such an opinion as is unworthy of Apollo, Mars, &c. but not the word Deus, him; for the one is unbelief, the other is which shows, that even those barbarous people contumely; and certainly superstition is the have the notion, though they have not the reproach of the Deity. Plutarch saith well latitude and extent of it; so that against
to that purpose :
“ Surely (saith he), I had atheists the very sages take part with the very rather a great deal men should say there was subtilest philosophers. The con lative no such a man at all as Plutarch, than that atheist is rare, a Diagoras, a Bion, a Lucian, they should say there was one Plutarch, that perhaps, and some others ; and yet they seem would eat his children as soon as they were to be more than they are ; for that all that born;" as the poets speak of Saturn : and, as impugn a received religion, or superstition, the contumely is greater towards God, so the are, by the adverse part, branded with the danger is greater towards men. Atheism name of atheists : but the great atheists, in leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to deed, are hypocrites, which are ever handling natural piety, to laws, to reputation : all holy things, but without feeling ; so as they which may be guides to an outward moral must needs be cauterized in the end. The virtue, though religion were not; but supercauses of atheism are, divisions in religion, if stition dismounts all these, and erecteth an there be many; for any one main division absolute monarchy in the minds of men: addeth zeal to both sides, but many divisions therefore, atheism did never perturb states : introduce atheisnı: another is, scandal of for it makes men wary of themselves, as priests, when it is come to that which St. looking no farther, and we see the times Bernard saith, “non est jam dicere, ut po inclined to atheism (as the time of Augustus pulus, sic sacerdos; quia nec sic populus, ut Cæsar) were civil times: but superstition sacerdos :" a third is, a custom of profane hath been the confusion of many states, and
bringeth in a new “ primum mobile,” that diaries, therefore, be brought in use.The ravisheth all the spheres of government. The things to be seen and observed are the courts master of superstition is the people, and in all of princes, especially when they give audience superstition wise men follow fools ; and ar to ambassadors; the courts of justice, while guments are fitted to practise in a reversed they sit and hear causes ; and so of consistoorder. It was gravely said, by some of the ries ecclesiastic; the churches and monasprelates in the council of Trent, where the teries, with the monuments that are therein doctrine of the schoolmen bear great sway, extant; the walls and fortifications of cities that the schoolmen were like astronomers, and towns; and so the havens and harbours, which did feign eccentrics and epicieles, and antiquities and ruins, libraries, colleges, dissuch engines of orbs, to save the phenomena, putations, and lectures, where any are ; shipthough they knew there were no such things : ping and navies ; houses and gardens of state and, in like manner, that the schoolmen had and pleasure, near great cities; armories, framed a number of subtle and intricate arsenals, magazines, exchanges, burses, wareaxioms and theorems to save the practice of houses, exercises of horsemanship, fencing, the church. The causes of superstition are training of soldiers, and the like : comedies, pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies :
such whereunto the better sort of persons do excess of outward and pharisaical holiness ; resort ; treasuries of jewels and robes ; cabi. overgreat reverence of traditions, which can. nets and rarities; and, to conclude, whatsonot but load the church; the stratagems of ever is memorable in the places where they prelates for their own ambition and lucre ; go; after all which the tutors or servants the favouring too much of good intentions, ought to make diligent inquiry. As for which openeth the gate to conceits and novel. triumphs, masks, feasts, weddings, funerals, ties : the taking an aim at divine matters by capital executions, and such shows, men need human, which cannot but breed mixture of not to be put in mind of them : yet they are imaginations : and, lastly, barbarous times,
not to be neglected. If you will have a young especially joined with calamities and disas man put his travel into a little room, and in ters. Superstition, without a veil, is a de
short time to gather much, this you must do: formed thing ; for as it addeth deformity to
first, as was said, he must have some entrance an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude into the language before he goeth ; then he of superstition to religion makes it the more
must have such a servant, or tutor, as knoweth deformed : and, as wholesome meat cor
the country, as was likewise said : let him rupteth to little worms, so good forms and
carry with him also some card, or book, orders corrupt into a number of petty obser describing the country where he traveleth, There is a superstition in avoiding
which will be a good key to his inquiry ; let superstition when men think to do best if him keep also a diary ; let him not stay long they ge farthest from the superstition formerly
in one city or town, more or less as the place received ; therefore care should be had that
deserveth, but not long; ray, when he stayeth (as it fareth in ill purgings) the good be not
in one city or town, let him change his lodgtaken away with the bad, which commonly is
ings from one end and part of the town to done when the people is the reformer.
another, which is a great adamant of acquaintance; let him sequester himself from the
company of his countrymen, and diet in such OF TRAVEL.
places where there is good company of the
nation where he traveleth: let him, upon his TRAVEL, in the younger sort, is a part of removes from one place to another, procure education ; in the elder, a part of experience. recommendation to some person of quality He that traveleth into a country, before he residing in the place whither he removeth,
entrance into the language, goeth that he may use his favour in those things he to school, and not to travel. That young desireth to see or know: thus he may abridge men travel under some tutor, or grave servant, his travel with much profit. As for the acI allow well ; so that he be such a one that hath the language, and hath been in the
quaintance which is to be sought in travel,
that which is most of all profitable is ac. country before ; whereby he may be able to tell them what things are worthy to be seen in
quaintance with the secretaries and employed
men of ambassadors; for so in travelling in the country where they go, what acquaint one country, he shall suck the experience of ances they are to seek, what exercises or dis
many: let him also see and visit eminent cipline the place yieldeth; for else young persons of all kinds, which are of great name men shall go hooded, and look abroad little. It abroad, that he may be able to tell how the is a strange thing that, in sea voyages, where life agreeth with the fame. For quarrels, there is nothing to be seen but sky and sea, they are with care and discretion to be avoided; men should make diaries; but in land-travel, they are commonly for mistresses, healths, wherein so much is to be observed, for the place, and words : and let a man beware how most part they omit it; as if chance were he keepeth company with choleric and quarfitter to be registered than observation : let relsome, persons, for they will engage him in
their own quarrels. When a traveller re ment sometimes he used to wind the pins too turneth home, let him not leave the countries high, sometimes to let them down too low;" where he hath travelled altogether behind and certain it is, that nothing destroyeth au. him ; but maintain a correspondence by letters thority so much as the unequal and untimely with those of his acquaintance which are of interchange of power pressed too far, and remost worth; and let his travel appear rather laxed too much. in his discourse than in his apparel or gesture; This is true, that the wisdom of all these and in his discourse let him be rather advised latter times in princes' affairs, is rather fine in his answers than forward to tell stories : deliveries, and shiftings of dangers and mis. and let it appear that he doth not change his chiefs, when they are near, than solid and country manners for those of foreign parts; grounded courses to keep them aloof : but but only prick in some flowers of that he this is but to try masteries with fortune ; and hath learned abroad in the customs of his let men beware how they neglect and suffer own country
matter of trouble to be prepared ; for no man can forbid the spark, nor tell whence it may
come. The difficulties in princes' business OF EMPIRE
are many and great; but the greatest diffi. It is a miserable ztate of mind to have few culty is in their own mind; for it is common things to desire, and many things to fear; with princes (saith Tacitus) to will contraand yet that commonly is the case with dictories ; " Sunt plerumque regum volun. kings, who, being at the highest, want matter tates vehementes, et inter se contrariæ ;" for of desire, which makes their minds more lan it is the solecism of power to think to com. guishing; and have many representations of mand the end, and yet not to endure the perils and shadows, which make their minds the less clear: and this is one reason also of Kings have to deal with their neighbours, that effect which the scripture speaketh ofm their wives, their children, their prelates or “ That the king's heart is inscrutable:” for clergy, their nobles, their second nobles or multitude of jealousies, and lack of some pre- gentlemen, their merchants, their commons, dominant desire, that should marshal and put and their men of war; and from all these in order all the rest, maketh any man's heart arise dangers, if care and circumspection be hard to find or sound. Hence it comes like. not used. wise, that princes many times make them First, for their neighbours, there can no selves desires, and set their hearts upon toys; general rule be given the occasions are so sometimes upon a building; sometimes upor variable), save one which ever holdeth ; erecting of an order ; sometimes upon the which is, that princes do keep due sentinel, advancing of a person ; sometimes upon ob- that none of their neighbours do overgrow taining excellence in some art, or feat of the so (by increase of territory, by embracing of hand, as Nero, for playing on the harp; trade, by approaches, or the like), as they Domitian, for certainty of the hand with the become more able to annoy them than they arrow; Commodus, for playing at fence; were: and this is generally the work of Caracalla, for driving chariots and the like. standing councils to foresee and to hinder it. This seemeth incredible unto those that know During that triumvirate of kings, king Henry not the principle, that the mind of man is the Eighth, of England, Francis the First, more cheered and refreshed by profitting in king of France, and Charles the Fifth, empesmall things than by standing at a stay in ror, there was such a watch kept that none of
e see also that kings that have the three could win a palm of ground, but the been fortunate conquerors in their first years, other two would straitways balance it, either it being not possible for them to go forward by confederation, or, if need were, by war; infinitely, but that they must have some check and would not in any wise take up peace at or arrest in their fortunes, turn in their latter interest : and the like was done by that league years to be superstitious and melancholy; as (which Guicciardine saith was the security of did Alexander the Great, Dioclesian, and in Italy) made between Ferdinando, king of our memory Charles the Fifth, and others : Naples, Forenzius Medices, and Ladovicus for he that is used to go forward, and findeth Sforsa, potentates, the one of Florence, the a stop, falleth out of his own favour, and is other of Milan. Neither is the opinion of not the thing he was.
some of the schoolmen to be received, that a To speak now of the true temper of empire, war cannot justly be made but upon a preceit is a thing rare and hard to keep; for both dent injury or provocation ; for there is no temper and distemper consist of contraries; question, but a just fear of an imminent but it is one thing to mingle contraries, danger, though there be no blow given, is a another to interchange them. The answer of lawful cause of a war. Apollonius to Vespasian is full of excellent For their wives, there are cruel examples instruction. Vespasian asked him, what was of them. Livia is infamed for the poisoning Nero's overthrow he answered, “Nero could of her husband ; Roxalana, Solyman's wife, touch and tune the harp well, but in govern was the destruction of that renowned prince,
Sultan Mustapha, and otherwise troubled his not too potent ; and, lastly, being the most house and succession; Edward the Second of immediate in authority with the common England's queen had the principal hand in people, they do best temper popular commothe deposing and murder of her husband. tions. This kind of danger is then to be feared For their merchants, they are chiefly when the wives have plots for the porto;" and if they flourish not, a kingdom raising of their own children, or else that they may have good limbs, but will have empty be advoutresses.
veins, and nourish little. Taxes and imposts For their children, the tragedies likewise of upon them do seldorn good to the king's dangers from them have been many; and revenue, for that which he wins in the hun. generally the entering of the fathers into sus. dred, he loseth in the shire; the particular picion of their children hath been ever unfor rates being increased, but the total bulk of tunate. The destruction of Mustapha (that trading rather decreased. we named before) was so fatal to Solyman's For their commons, there is little danger line, as the succession of the Turks from from them, except it be where they have great Solyman until this day is suspected to be un. and potent heads; or where you meddle with true, and of strange blood; for that Selymus the point of religion, or their customs, or the Second was thought to be supposititious. means of life. The destruction of Crispus, a young prince of For their men of war, it is a dangerous state rare towardness, by Constantinus the Great, his where they live and remain in a body, and are father, was in like manner fatal to his house, used to donatives, whereof we see examples for both Constantinus and Constance, his sons, in the janizaries and pretorian bands of Rome; died violent deaths; and Constantius, his but trainings of men, and arming them in other son, did little better, who died, indeed, several places, and under several commanof sickness, but after that Julianus had taken ders, and without donatives, are things of arms against him. The destruction of Deme. defence and no danger. trius, son to Philip the Second of Macedon, Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which turned upon the father, who died of repent cause good or evil times ; and which have ånce: and many like examples there are, but much veneration, but no rest. All precepts few or none where the fathers had good by concerning kings are in effect comprehended such distrust, except it were where the son in those two remembrances, “ momento quod were in open arms against them; as was es homo ;" and,“ memento quod es Deus, Selymus the First against Bajazet, and the aut vice Dei ;" the one bridleth their power three sons of Henry the Second, king of and the other their will. England. For their prelates, when they are proud
OF COUNSEL. and great, there is also danger from them; as it was in the times of Anselmus and Thomas THE greatest trust between man and man is Becket, archbishops of Canterbury, who, with the trust of giving counsel ; for in other con. their crosiers, did almost try it with the fidences men commit the parts of life, their king's sword; and yet they had to deal with lands, their goods, their children, their credit, stout and haughty kings, William Rufus, some particular affair ; but to such as they Henry the First, and Henry the Second. The make their counsellors they commit the whole: danger is not froin that state, but where it by how much the more they are obliged to all hath a dependance of foreign authority; or faith and integrity. The wisest princes need where the churchmen come in and are elected, not think it any diminution to their greatness, not by the collation of the king, or particular or derogation to their sufficiency, to rely upon patrons, but by the people.
counsel. God himself is not without, but For their nobles, to keep them at a distance hath made it one of the great names of his it is not amiss; but to depress them may blessed Son, “ The Counsellor.” Solomon make a king more absolute, but less safe, and hath pronounced, that “in counsel is stabi. less able to perform any thing that he de- lity.” Things will have their first or second sires. I have noted it in my history of king agitation : if they be not tossed upon the arHenry the Seventh, of England, who de guments of counsel, they will be tossed upon pressed his nobility, whereupon it came to
the waves of fortune ; and be full of inconpass that his times were full of difficulties and stancy, doing and undoing, like the reeling of troubles ; for the nobility, though they con
a drunken man. Solomon's son found the tinued loyal unto him, yet did they not co
force of counsel, as his father saw the necesoperate with him in his business; so that in sity of it: for the beloved kingdom of God effect he was fain to do all things himself. was first rent and broken by ill
For their second nobles, there is not much upon which counsel there are set, for our indanger from them, being a body dispersed : struction, the two marks whereby bad counsel they may sometimes discourse high, but that is for ever best discerned, that it was young doth little hurt, besides, they are a counter counsel for the persons, and violent counsel poise to the higher nobility, that they grow
for the matter.
The ancient times do set forth in figure inward coursellors had need also be wise men, both the incorporation and inseparable con and especially true and trusty to the king's junction of counsel with kings, and the wise ends ; as it was with king Henry the Seventh and politic use of counsel by kings: the one, of England, who in his greatest business im. in that they saw Jupiter did marry Metis, parted himself to none, except it were to Morwhich signifieth counsel : whereby they in. ton and Fox. tend that sovereignty is married to counsel ; For weakness of authority the fable showeth the other in that which followeth, which was the remedy: nay, the majesty of kings is thus: they say, after Jupiter was married to rather exalted than diminished when they are Metis, she conceived by him, and was with
in the chair of council: neither was there ever child, but Jupiter suffered her not to stay till prince bereaved of his dependencies by his she brought forth, but eat her up; whereby council, except where there hath been an overhe became himself with child, and was deli- greatness in one counsellor, or an overstrict vered of Pallas, armed out of his head. Which combination in divers, which are things soon monstrous fable containeth a secret of em. found and holpen. pire, how kings are to make use of their For the last inconvenience, that men will council of state : that first, they ought to re counsel with an eye to themselves ; certainly, fer matters unto them, which is the first be non inveniet fidem super terram,” is meant getting or impregnation : but when they are of the nature of times, and not of all particuelaborate, moulded, and shaped in the womb lar persons. There be those that are in nature of their council, and grow ripe and ready to faithful and sincere, and plain and direct, not be brought forth, that then they suffer not crafty and involved ; let princes, above all, their council to go through with the resolu- draw to themselves such natures. Besides, tion and direction, as if it depended on them; counsellors are not commonly, so united, but but take the matter back into their own hands, that one counsellor keepeth sentinel over and make it appear to the world, that the de- another; so that if any counsel out of faction crees and final directions (which, because they or private ends, it commonly comes to the come forth with prudence and power, are re king's ear: but the best remedy is, if princes sembled to Pallas armed), proceeded from know their counsellors, as well as their counthemselves; and not only from their authority, sellors know them. but (the more to add reputation to themselves)
“ Principis est virtus maxima nosse suos. from their head and device.
Let us now speak of the inconveniences of And on the other side, counsellors should not counsel, and of the remedies. The inconve be too speculative into their sovereign's person. niencies that have been noted in calling and The true composition of a counsellor is, rather using counsel, are three : first the revealing of to be skilful in their master's business than affairs, whereby they become less secret ; se in his nature; for then he is like to advise condly, the weakening of the authority of prin. him, and not to feed his humour. It is of ces, as if they were less of themselves ; thirdly, singular use 10 princes if they take the opi. the danger of being unfaithfully counseled, nions of their council both separately and toand more for the good of them that counsel gether; for private opinion is more free, but than of him that is counseled; for which in opinion before others is more reverend. In conveniences, the doctrine of Italy, and prac- private, men are more bold in their humours; tice of France in some kings' times, hath in. and in consort, men are more obnoxious to troduced cabinet councils ; a remedy worse others' humours, therefore it is good to take than the disease.
both; and of the inferior sort rather in private, As to secrecy, princes are not bound to to preserve freedom ; of the greater, rather in communicate all matters with all counsellors, consort, to preserve respect. It is in vain for but may extract and select ; neither is it ne princes to take counsel concerning matters, if cessary, that he that consulteth what he should they take no counsel likewise concerning per. do should declare what he will do ; but let sons; for all matters are as dead images ; and princes beware that the unsecreting of their the life of the execution of affairs resteth in affairs comes not from themselves : and, as for the good choice of persons : neither is it cabinet councils, it may be their motto, “ple. enough to consult concerning persons, “senus rimarum sum :" one futile person, that cundum genera,” as in an idea of mathemati. maketh it his glory to tell, will do more hurt cal description, what the kind and character than many, that know it their duty to conceal. of the person should be; for the greatest errors It is true, there be some affairs which requires are committed, and the most judgment is extreme secrecy, which will hardly go beyond shown, in the choice of individuals. It was one or two persons beside the king: neither truly said, optimi consiliarii mortui :” are those counsels unprosperous ; for, besides "books will speak plain when counsellors the secrecy, they commonly go on constantly blanch ;" therefore it is good to be conversant in one spirit of direction without distraction : in them, especially the books of such as thenie but then it must be a prudent king, such as
selves have been actors upon the stage. is able to grind with a hand-mill; and those The councils at this day in most places