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OF MASQUES AND TRIUMPHS
grossive, and not retrograde, which, because it fortunes. He that hath the best of these in. cannot be without inconvenience, it is good not tentions, when he aspireth, is an honest man; to use such natures at all; for if they rise not and that prince, that can discern of these inwith their service, they will takeorder to make tentions in another that aspireth, is a wise their service fall with them. But since we prince. Generally let princes and states choose have said, it were good not to use men of am. such ministers as are more sensible of duty bitious natures, except it be upon necessity, it than of rising, and such as love business rais fit we speak in what cases they are of neces- ther upon conscience than upon bravery; and sity. Good commanders in the wars must be let them discern a busy nature from a willing taken, be they never so ambitious ; for the use mind. of their service dispenseth with the rest ; and to take a soldier without ambition is to pull off his spurs. There is also great use of am.
OF MASQUES AND TRIUMPHS. bitious men in being screens to princes in THESE things are but joys to come amongst matters of danger and envy; for no man will such serious observations; but yet, since take that part, except he be like a sealed dove, princes will have such things, it is better they that mounts and mounts, because he cannot should be graced with elegance than daubed see about him. There is use also of ambitious with cost. Dancing to song is a thing of great men in pulling down the greatness of any state and pleasure. I understand it that the song subject that overtops; as Tiberius used Ma. be in quire, placed aloft, and accompanied with cro in the pulling down of Seganus. Since, some broken music; and the ditty fitted to therefore, they must be used in such cases, the device. Acting in song, especially in diathere resteth to speak how they may be rid- logue, has an extreme good grace ; I dled, that they may be less dangerous: there ing, not dancing, (for that is a mean and vul. is less danger of them if they be of mean birth gar thing); and the voices of the dialogue than if they be noble; and if they be rather would be strong and manly (a base and a harsh of nature than gracious and popular : tenor ; no treble), and the ditty high and and if they be rather new raised than grown tragical ; not nice or dainty. Several quires cunning and fortified in their greatness. It is placed one over against another, and taking counted by some a weakness in princes to the voice by catches anthemwise, give great have favourites ; but it is, of all others, the pleasure. Turning dances into figure is a best remedy against ambitious great ones ; for childish curiosity; and generally let it be when the way of pleasuring and displeasuring noted, that those things which I here set lieth by the favourite, it is impossible ang down are such as do naturally take the sense, one should be over great. Another means to and not respect petty wonderments. It is curb them is, to balance them by others as true, the alterations of scenes, so it be quietly proud as they: but then there must be some and without noise, are things of great beauty middle counsellors, to keep things steady ; and pleasure ; for they feed and relieve the for without that ballast the ship will roll too eye before it is full of the same object. Let much. At the least, a prince may animate the scenes abound with light, especially coand inure some meaner persons to be, as it
loured and varied: and let the masquers, or were, scourges to ambitious men. As for the any other that are to come down from the scene, having of them obnoxious to ruin, if they be have some motions upon the scene itself before of fearful natures, it may do well; but if they their coming down; for it draws the eye be stout and daring, it may precipitate their strangely, and makes it with great pleasure to designs, and prove dangerous. As for the desire to see that it cannot perfectly discern.pulling of them down, if the affairs require it, Let the songs be loud and cheerful, and not and that it may not be done with safety suda chirpings or pulings : let the music' likewise denly, the only way is, the interchange con- be sharp and loud, and well placed. The tinually of favours and disgraces, whereby colours that shew best by candle-light, are they may not know what to expect, and be, as white, carnation, and a kind of seawater-green, it were, in a wood. Of ambitions, it is less and ouches, or spangs, as they are of no great harmful the ambition to prevail in great cost, so they are of most glory. As for rich things, than that other to appear in every embroidery, it is lost and not discerned. Let thing; for that breeds confusion, and mars the suits of the masquers be graceful, and business : but yet it is less danger, to have such as become the person when the viands an ambitious man stirring in business than are off ; not after examples of known attires ; great in dependences. He that seeketh to be Turks, soldiers, mariners, and the like Let eminent amongst able men hath a great task ; anti-masques not belong; they have been combut that is ever good for the public: but he monly of fools, satyrs, baboons, wild men, that plots to be the only figure amongst ci- , antics, beasts, spirits, witches, Ethiopes, pig. phers is the decay of a whole age. Honour mies, turquets, nymphs, rustics cupids, stahath three things in it; the vantage ground tues moving, and the like. As for angels, it to do good ; the approach to kings and prin. is not comical enough to put them in anticipal persons : and the raising of a man's own masques : and any thing that is hideous, as
OF NATURE IN MEN, AND OF CUSTOM AND EDUCATION.
devils, giants, is, on the other side, as unfit; Æsop's damsel, turned from a cat to a woman, but chiefly, let the music of them be recrea- who sat very demurely at the board's end till å tive, and with some strange changes. Some mouse ran before her: therefore let a man either sweet odours suddenly coming forth, without avoid the occasion altogether, or put himself any drops falling, are, in such a company as often to it, that he may be little moved with there is steam and heat, things of great plea it. A man's nature is best perceived in prisure and refreshment. Double masques, one vateness; for there is no affectation in passion; of men, another of ladies, addeth state and for that putteth a man out of his precepts, variety ; but all is nothing, except the room and in a new case or experiment, for there be kept clean and neat.
custom leaveth him. They are happy men For justs, and torneys, and barriers, the whose natures sort with their yocations; otherglories of them are chiefly in the chariots wise they may say,
“ multum incola fuit wherein the challengers make their entry ; es- anima mea," when they converse in those pecially if they be drawn with strange beasts : things they do not affect. In studies, what. as lions, bears, camels, and the like; or in soever a man commandeth upon himself, let the devices of their entrance, or in bravery of him set hours for it; but whatsoever is agreetheir liveries, or in the goodly furniture of able to his nature, let him take no care for any their horses and armour. But enough of these set times ; for his thoughts will fly to it of toys.
themselves, so as the spaces of other business
or studies will suffice. A man's nature runs OF NATURE IN MEN.
either to herbs or weeds; therefore let him
seasonably water the one and destroy the NATURE is often hidden, sometimes over- other. come, seldom extinguished. Force maketh nature more violent in the return; doctrine and discourse maketh nature less importune ;
OF CUSTOM AND EDUCATION. but custom only doth alter and subdue nature. Men's thoughts are much according to their He that seeketh victory over his nature, let inclination; their discourse and speeches ac. him not set himself too great nor too small cording to their learning and infused opinions ; tasks; for the first will make him dejected by but their deeds are after as they have been acoften failing, and the second will make him customed; and, therefore, as Machiaval well a small proceeder, though by often prevailing: noteth (though'in an ill favoured instance), there and at the first, let him practise with helps, is no trusting to the force of nature, nor to the as swimmers do with bladders or rushes ; but, bravery of words except it be corroborate by after a time, let him practise with disadvana custom. His instance is, that for the achiev. tages, as dancers do with thick soles ; for it ing of a desperate conspiracy, a man should breeds great perfection if the practice be harder not rest upon the fierceness of any man's na. than the use. Where nature is mighty, and ture, or his resolute undertakinge ; but take therefore the victory hard, the degrees had such a one as hath had his hands formerly need be first to stay and arrest nature in time;
in blood : but Machiavel knew not of a friar like to him that would say over the four and Clement, nor a Ravillac, nor a Jaureguy, nor twenty letters when he was angry; then to go a Baltazar Gerad; yet his rule holdeth still, less in quantity: as if one should, in forbear. that nature, nor the engagement of words, are ing wine, come from drinking healths, to a not so forcible as custom. Only superstition draught at a meal ; and lastly, to discontinue is now so well advanced, that men of the first altogether ; but if a man have the fortitude blood are as firm as butchers by occupation; and resolution to enfranchise himself at once, and votary resolution is made equipollent to that is the best,
custom even in matter of blood. In other "Optimus ille animi vindex, lædantis pectus things, the predominancy of custom is every Vincula qui rupit, dedolnitque semel.”
where visible, insomuch as a man would Neither is the ancient rule amiss, to bend na- wonder to hear men profess, protest, engage, ture as a wand, to a contrary extreme, whereby give great words, and then do just as they to set it right; understanding it where the had done before, as if they were dead images contrary is no vice. Let not a man force a and engines, moved only by the wheels of cushabit upon himself with a perpetual continu- tom. We see also the reign or tyranny of ance, but with some intermission ; for both custom, what it is. The Indians (I mean the the pause reinforceth the new onset: and, if a sect of their wise men) lay themselves quietly man that is not perfect be ever in practice, upon a stack of wood, and so sacrifice themhe shall, as well practise his errors as his abili- selves by fire : nay, the wives strive to be ties, and induce one habit of both; and there burned with the corpse of their husbands. is no means to help this but by seasonable in- The lads of Sparta, of ancient time, were termission; but let not a man trust his victory wont to be scourged upon the altar of Diana, over his nature too far; for nature will lie without so much as squeaking, I remember, buried a great time, and yet revive upon the in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's time occasion, or temptation ; like as it was with of England, an Irish rebel condemned, put up
OF FORTUNE, AND OF USURY.
a petition to the deputy that he might be is like the milky way in the sky; which is a hanged in a wyth, and not in a halter, because meeting or knot of a number of small stars, it had been so used with former rebels. There not seen asunder, but giving light together : be monks in Russia, for penance, that will so are there a number of little and scarce dissit a whole night in a vessel of water, till they cerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs be engaged with hard ice. Many examples that make men fortunate : the Italians note may be put of the force of custom, both upon some of them, such as a man would little mind and body: therefore, since custom is think. When they speak of one that cannot the principal magistrate of man's life, let men do amiss, they will throw it into his other conby all means endeavour to obtain good cus. ditions, that he hath “ Poco di matto ;” and, toms. Certainly, custom is most perfect when certainly, there be not two more fortunate proit beginneth in young years: this we call perties, than to have a little of the fool, and education, which is in effect but an early cus- not too much of the honest : therefore extreme tom. So we see, in languages the tone is lovers of their country, or masters, were never more pliant to all expressions and sounds, fortunate: neither can they be ; for when a the joints are more supple to all feats of ac- man placeth his thoughts without himself, he tivity and motions in youth, than afterwards; goeth not his own way. A hasty fortune for it is true, the late learners cannot so well maketh an enterprizer and remover (the French take up the ply, except it be in some minds hath it better, “ entreprenant,” or “ remųthat have not suffered themselves to fix, but ant;') but the exercised fortune maketh the have kept themselves open and prepared to able man. Fortune is to be honoured and receive continual amendment, which is exceed- respected, and it be but for her daughters, ing rare: but if the force of custom, simple Confidence and Reputation ; for those two feand separate, be great, the force of custom, licity breedeth; the first within a man's self, copulate and conjoined and collegiate, is far the latter in others towards him." All wise greater ; for their example teacheth, company men, to decline the envy of their own virties, comforteth, emulation quickeneth, glory rais- use to ascribe them to Providence and Fortune eth ; so as in such places the force of custom for so they may the better assume them: and, is in its exaltation. Certainly, the great mul. besides, it is greatness in a man to be the care tiplication of virtues upon human nature of the higher powers. So Cæsar said to the resteth upon societies well ordained and dis- pilot in the tempest,“ Cæsarum portas, et ăplined ; for commonwealths and good go- fortunam ejus.” So Sylla chose the name of verninents do nourish virtue grown, but do “felix," and not of
:” and it has not much mend the seeds; but the misery is, been noted, that those who ascribe openly too that the most effectual means are now ap- much to their own wisdom and policy, end plied to the ends least to be desired.
unfortunate. It is written, that Timotheus,
the Athenian, after he had, in the account he OF FORTUNE.
gave to the state, of his government, often in.
terlarded this speech,“ And in this fortune It cannot be denied but outward accidents had no part,” never prospered in any thing conduce much to fortune; favour, opportu. he undertook afterwards. Certainly there be nity, death of others, occasion fitting virtue : whose fortunes are like Homer's verses, that but chiefly, the mould of a man's fortune is have a slide and easiness more than the verses in his own hands : “ Faber quisque fortunæ of other poets; as Plutarch saith of Timosuæ,” saith the poet ; and the most frequent leon's fortune in respect of that of Agesilaus of external causes is, that the folly of one man
or Epaminondas : and that this should be, is the fortune of another; for no man prospers no doubt it is much in a man's self. so suddenly as by others' errors ; serpens nisi serpentem comederit not sit draco.” Overt
OF USURY. and apparent virtues bring forth praise; but there be secret and hidden virtues that bring Many have made witty invectives against forth fortune ; certain deliveries of a man's usury. They say, that it is pity the devil self, which have no name. The Spanish name,
should have God's part, which is the tithe ; " disemboltura,” partly expresseth them, that the usurer is the greatest sabbath-breaker, when there be not stands nor restiveness in a
because his plough goeth every Sunday: man's nature, but that the wheels of his mind that the usurer is the drone that Virgil
keep way with the wheels of his fortune ; for speaketh of_ 80 Livý (after he had described Cato Díajor Ignavum fucos pecus a præsepibus arcent;" in these words, “in illo viro, tantum robur that the usurer breaketh the first law that was corporis et animi fuit, ut quocunque loco natus made for mankind after the fall, which was esset, fortunam sibi facturus yideretur”), fal. “in sudore vultus tui comedes panem tuum;" leth upon that he had, “ versatile ingenium:" not "in sudore vultus alieni ;” that usurer, therefore, if a man look sharply and attentively, should have orange tawny bonnets, because he shall see fortune ; for though she be blind, they do judaise ; that it is against nature for yet she is not invisible. The way of fortune money to beget money, and the like. I say
this only, that usury is a “concessum propter bonds." The third and last is, that it is a duritiem cordis :" for since there must be vanity to conceive that there would be ordi, borrowing and lending, and men are so hard nary borrowing without profit; and it is im. of heart as they will not lend freely, usury possible to conceive the many inconveniences must be permitted. Some others have made that will ensue, if borrowing be cramped : suspicious and cunning propositions of banks, therefore to speak of the abolishing of usury discovery of men's estates, and other inven- is idle; all states have ever had it in one tions ; but few have spoken of usury use. kin, or rate, or other : so 'as that. opinior, fully. It is good to set before us the incom. must be sent to Utopia. modities and commodities of usury, that the To speak now of the reformation and regle. good may be either weighed out, or called ment of usury, how the discommodities of it out: and warily to provide, that, while we may be best avoided, and the commodities rem make forth to that which is better, we meet tained. It appears, by the balance of commonot with that which is worse.
dities and discommodities of usury, two things The discommodities of usury are, first, are to be reconciled; the one that the tooth of that it makes fewer merchants; for were it usury be grinded, that it bite not too much ; not for this lazy trade of usury, money would the other, that there be left open a means to not lie still, but it would in great part be invite monied men to lend to the merchants, employed upon merchandizing; which is the for the continuing and quickening of trade. "vena porta of wealth in a state; the second, This cannot be done, except you introduce that it makes poor merchants : for as a far- two several sorts of usury, a less and a greater; mer cannot husband his ground so well if he for if you reduce usury to one low rate, it sit at a great rent, so the merchant cannot will ease the common borrower, but the mer. drive his trade so well if he sit at great usury; chant will be to seek for money : and it is to the third is incident to the other two, and be noted, that the trade of merchandise being that is, the decay of customs of kings, or the most lucrative, may bear usury at a good estates, which ebb
or flow with merchandizing: rate : other contracts not so, che fourth, that it bringeth the treasure of a To serve both intentions, the way realm or state into a few hands ; for the briefly thus: that there be two rates of usury : usurer being at certainties, and the other at the one free and general for all, the other uncertainties, at the end of the game most of under licence only to certain persons, and in the money will be in the box, and ever a certain places of merchandizing. First, there, state flourisheth when wealth is more equally fore, let usury in general be reduced to five spread; the fifth, that it beats down the price in the hundred ; and let that rate be pro. of land ; for the employment of money is claimed to be free and current ; and let the chiefly either merchandizing, or purchasing ; state shut itself out to take any penalty for and usury way-lays both: the sixth, that it the same; this will preserve borrowing from doth dull and damp all industries, improve any general stop or dryness ; this will ease ments, and new inventions, wherein money infinite borrowers in the country ; this will, would be stirring, if it were not for this slug: in good part, raise the price of land, because the last, that it is the canker and ruin of many land purchased at sixteen years, purchase will men's estates, which in process of time breeds yield six in the hundred, and somewhat more, a public poverty.
whereas this rate of interest yields but five On the other side, the commodities of this by like reason will encourage and edge usury are, first, that howsoever usury in some industrious and profitable improvements, be. respect hindereth merchandizing, yet in some cause many will rather venture in that kind, other it advanceth it; for it is certain that than take five in the hundred, especially the greatest part of trade is driven upon young having been used to greater profit. Secondly, merchants upon borrowing at interest ; so as let there be certain persons licensed to lend to if the usurer either call in, or keep back his known merchants upon usury, at a high rate, money, there will ensue presently a great and let it be with the cautions following: let stand of trade : the second is, that were it not the rate be, even with the merchant himself, for his easy borrowing upon interest, men's somewhat more easy than that he used for necessities would draw upon them a most merly to pay; for by that means all borrowers sudden undoing, in that they would be forced shall have some case by this reformation, be to sell their means (be it land or goods) far he merchant or whosoever : let it be no bank under foot, and so, whereas usury doth but or common stock, but every man be master of knaw upon them, bad markets would swallow his own money, not that I altogether dislike them quite up. As for mortgaging, or pawning, banks, but they will hardly be brooked, in it will little mend the matter : for either men regard of certain suspicions. Let the state will not take pains without use, or if they do, be answered some small matter for the licence they will look precisely for the forfeiture. I and the rest left to the lender; for if the remember a cruel monied-man in the country, abatement be but smail, it will no whit discou, that would say,
6. The devil take this usury, rage the lender; for he, for example, that It keeps us froin forfeitures of mortgages and took before ten or nine in the hundred, will
OF YOUTH AND AGE, AND OF BEAUTY. pooner descend to eight in the hundred than ployments of both; for that will be good for give over this trade of usury, and go from cer- the present, because the virtues of either age tain gains to gains of hazard. Let these licensed may correct the defects of both; and good for lenders be in number indefinite, but restrained succession, that young men may be learners, to certain principal cities and towns of mer- while men in age are actors; and lastly, chandizing; for then they will be hardly good for external accidents, because authority able to colour other men's monies in the followeth old men, and favour and popularity country: 'so as the licence of nine will not youth: but, for the moral part, perhaps, suck away the current rate of five ; for no youth will have the pre-eminence, as age man will lend his monies far off, nor put them hath for the politic. A certain rabbin upon into unknown hands.
the text, “your young men shall see visions, · If it be objected that this doth in a sort and your old men shall dream dreams," inauthorize usury, which before was in some ferreth that young men are admitted nearer to places but permissive; the answer is that it is God than old, because vision is a clearer rebetter to mitigate usury by declaration, than velation than a dream: and, certainly, the to suffer it to rage by connivance.
more a man drinketh of the world, the more it intoxicateth: and age doth profit rather in
the powers of understanding than in the vir. OF YOUTH AND AGE.
tues of the will and affections. There be A MAN that is young in years may be old in some brave an over-early ripeness in their years, hours, if he have lost no time; but that hap- which fadeth betimes : these are, first, such peneth rarely. Generally, youth is like the as have brittle wits, the edge whereof is soon first cogitations, not so wise as the second : turned : such as was Hermogenes, the rhetofor there is a youth in thoughts as well as in rician, whose books are exceeding subtle, who ages ; and yet the invention of young men is afterwards waxed stupid : a second sort is more lively than that of old, and imaginations of those that have some natural dispositions, stream into their minds better, and, as it were, which have better grace in youth than in age; more divinely. Natures that have much such is a fluent and luxurious speech ; which heat, and great and violent desires and per. becomes youth well, but not age; so Tully turbations, are not ripe for action till they saith of Hortensius, “idem manebat, neque have passed the meridian of their years : as it idem decebat ;” the third is of such as take was with Julius Cæsar and Septimius Severus: too high a strain at the first, and are magnaof the latter of whom it is said, “juventutem nimous more than tract of years can uphold; egit, erroribus, imo furoribus plenam;" and as was Scipio Africanus, of whom Livy saith yet he was the ablest emperor, almost, of all in effect, “ultima primis cedebant." the list ; but reposed natures may do well in youth, as it is seen in Augustus Cæsar, Cosmes, Duke of Florence, Gaston de Fois, and
OF BEAUTY. others. On the other side, heat and vivacity VIRTUE is like a rich stone, best plain xet; in age are an excellent composition for busi. and surely virtue is best in a body that is hess. Young men are fitter to invent than to
comely, though not of delicate features ; and judge; fitter for execution than for counsel ; that hath rather dignity of presence than and fitter for new projects than for settled beauty of aspect; neither is it almost seen, business; for the experience of age in things that very beautiful persons are otherwise of that fall within the compass of it, directeth great virtue ; as if nature were rather busy them: but in new things abuseth them. The not to err, than in labour to produce excel. errors of young men are the ruin of business ; lency; and therefore they prove accomplished, out the errors of aged men amount but to this, but not of great spirit; and study rather bethat more might have been done, or sooner. haviour than virtue. But this holds not Young men, in the conduct and manage of always : for Augustus Cæsar, Titus Vespaactions, embrace more than they can hold ; sianus, Philip le Belle of France, Edward the stir more than they can quiet ; fly to the end Fourth of England, Alcibiades of Athens, without consideration of the means and de- Ismael the sophy of Persia, were all high and grees; pursue some few principles which
great spirits, and yet the most beautiful men they have chanced upon absurdly; care not of their times. In beauty, that of favour is to innovate, which draws unknown incon. more than that of colour, and that of decent veniences ; use extreme remedies at first ; and and gracious motion more than that of favour. that, which doubleth all errors, will not ac- That is the best part of beauty which a picture knowledge or retract them, like an unready cannot express ; no, nor the first sight of the horse, that will neither stop nor turn. · Men ļife. There is no excellent beauty that hath of age object too much, consult too long, ad ņot some strangeness in the proportion. A venture too little, repent too soon, and seldom man cannot tell whether Apelles, or Albert drive business home to the full period, but Durer, were the more trifler; whereof the content themselves with a mediocrity of suc- one would make a personage by geometrical pess, Certainly it is good to compound enne proportions ; the other, by taking the bort