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on festivals: therefore it doth much add to a man's reputation, and is, as queen Isabella said, like perpetual letters commendatory, to have good forms. To attain them, it almost sufficetnTrot to despise them: for so shall a man observe them in others; and let him trust himself with the rest. For if he labour too much to express them, he shall lose their grace; which is, to be natural and unaffected. Some men's behaviour is like a verse, wherein every syllable is measured: how can a man comprehend great matters, that breaketh his mind too much to small observations? Not to use ceremonies at all, is to teach others not to use them again, and so diminisheth respect to himself; especially they be not to be omitted to strangers and formal natures: but the dwelling upon them, and exalting them above the moon, is not only tedious, but doth diminish the faith and credit of him that speaks. And certainly there is a kind of conveying of effectual and imprinting passages, amongst compliments, which is of singular use, if a man can hit upon it. Amongst a man's peers, a man shall be sure of familiarity; and therefore it is good a little to keep state. Amongst a man's inferiors, one shall be sure of reverence; and therefore it is good a little to be familiar. He that is too much in any thing, so that he giveth another occasion of satiety, maketh himself cheap. To apply one's self to others is good; so it be with demonstration that a man doth it upon regard, and not upon facility. It is a good precept, generally in seconding another, yet to add somewhat of one's own; as if you will grant his opinion, let it be with some distinction; if you will follow his motion, let it be with condition; if you allow his counsel, let it be with alledging farther reason. Men had need beware how they be too perfect in compliments; for be they never so sufficient otherwise, their enviers will be sure to give them that attribute, to the disadvantage of their greater virtues. It is loss also in business, to be too full of respects, or to be too curious in observing times and opportunities: Solomon saith, He that considereth the wind shall not sow; and he that looketh to the clouds shall not
reap. A wise man will make more oppportunities than he finds. Mens behaviour should be like their x-^dpparel; not too straight or point device, but free for exercise or motion.
LIII. Or Praise. Praise is the reflexion of virtue: but it is as the glass or body which giveth the reflexion. If it be from the common people, it is commonly false and nought; and rather followeth vain persons than virtuous; for the common people understand not many excellent virtues : the lowest virtues draw praise from them; the middle virtues work in them astonishment or admiration; but of the highest virtues they have no sense or perceiving at all: but shews, and species virtutibus similes, serve best with them. Certainly fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swoln, and drowns things weighty and solid: but if persons of quality and judgment concur, then it is, as the Scripture saith, Nomen bonum instar unguenti fragrantis. It filleth all round about, and will not easily away: for the odours of ointments are more durable than those of flowers. There be so many false points of praise, that a man may justly hold it a suspect. Some praises proceed merely of flattery; and if he be an ordinary flatterer, he will have certain common attributes, which may serve every man; if he be a cunning flatterer, he will follow the archflatterer, which is a man's self; and wherein a man thinketh best of himself, therein the flatterer will uphold him most: but if he be an impudent flatterer, look, wherein a man is conscious to himself that he is most defective, and is most out of countenance in himself, that will the flatterer entitle him to perforce, spreta conscientia. Some praises come of good wishes and respects, which is a form due in civility to kings and great persons; laudando prcecipere; when by telling men what they are, they represent to them what they should be. Some men are praised maliciously to their hurt, thereby to stir envy and jealousy towards them: pessimum genus inimicorum laudan
tium ; insomuch as it was a proverb amongst the Grecians, that he that was praised to his hurt, should have a push rise upon his nose; as we say, that a blister will rise upon one's tongue that tells a lie. Certainly moderate praise, used with opportunity, and not vulgar, is that which doth the good. Solomon saith,i/e that praiseth his friend aloud, rising early, it shall be to him no better than a curse. Too much magnifying of man or matter, doth irritate contradiction, and procure envy and scorn. To praise a man's self cannot be decent, except it be in rare cases: but to praise a man's office or profession, he may do it with good grace, and with a kind of magnanimity. The cardinals of Rome, which are theologues, and friars, and schoolmen, have a phrase of notable contempt and scorn towards civil business; for they call all temporal business, of wars, embassages, judicature, and other employments, sbirrerie, which is undersheriffries, as if they were but matters for under-sheriffs and catchpoles; though many times those under-sheriffries do more good than their high speculations. St. Paul, when he boasts of himself, he doth oft interlace, / speak like a fool; but speaking of his calling, he saith, magnificabo apostolatum meum.
LIV. Of Vain-glory.
It was prettily devised of iEsop: The fly sat upon the axle-tree of the chariot-wheel, and said, What a dust do I raise! So are there some vain persons, that whatsoever goeth alone, or moveth upon greater means, if they have never so little hand in it, they think it is they that carry it. They that are glorious must needs be factious; for all bravery stands upon comparisons. They must needs be violent, to make good their own vaunts: neither can they be secret, and therefore not effectual; but according to the French proverb, Beaucoup de bruit, peu de fruit: Aru^l? bruit, little fruit. Yet certainly there is use of this quality in civil affairs: where there is an opinion, and fame to be created, either of virtue or greatness, these men are good trumpeters. Again, as Titus
Livius noteth, in the case of Antiochus and the -flUtolians, there are sometimes great effects of cross lies; as if a man that negotiates between two princes, to draw them to join in a war against the third, doth extol the forces of either of them above measure, the one to the other: and sometimes he that deals between man and man, raiseth his own credit with both, by pretending greater interest than he hath in either. And in these and the like kinds, it often falls out, that somewhat is produced of nothing; for lies are sufficient to breed opinion, and opinion brings on substance. In military commanders and soldiers, vainglory is an essential point; for as iron sharpens iron, so by glory one courage sharpeneth another: in cases
"Vwf great enterprise, upon charge and adventure, a composition of glorious natures doth put life into business; and those that are of solid and sober natures have more of the ballast than of the sail. In fame of learning the flight will be slow, without some feathers of ostentation: Qui de contemnenda gloria libros scribunt, nomen suum inscribunt. Socrates, Aristotle, Galen, were men full of ostentation. Certainly vain-glory helpeth to perpetuate a man's memory; and virtue was never so beholden to human nature, as it received its due at the second hand. Neither had the fame of Cicero, Seneca, Plinius Secundus, borne her age so well, if it had not been joined
^with some vanity in themselves: like unto varnish, that makes ceilings not only shine but last. But all this while, when I speak of vain-glory, I mean not of that property that Tacitus doth attribute to Mucianus; omnium, qua dixerat,feceratque,arte quadant ostentator: for that proceeds not of vanity, but of natural magnanimity and discretion: and in some persons, is not only comely but gracious. For excusations, cessions, modesty itself well governed, are but arts of ostentation. And amongst those arts, there is none better than that which Plinius Secundus speaketh of; which is to be liberal of praise and commendation to others, in that wherein a man's self hath any perfection. For, saith Pliny, very wittily, "in com** mending- another you do yourself right; for he that "you commend is either superior to you in that you "commend, or inferior. If he be inferior, if he be to "tfcrcommended, you much more. If he be superior, "if he be not to be commended, you much less." Glorious men are the scorn of wise men; the admiration of fools; the idols of parasites; and the slaves of their own vaunts.
LV. Of Honour And Reputation.
The winning of honour is but the revealing of a man's virtue and worth without disadvantage. For some in their actions do woo and affect honour and reputation; which sort of men are commonly much talked of, but inwardly little admired. And some, contrariwise, darken their virtue in the shew of it; so as they be undervalued in opinion. If a man perform that which hath not been attempted before, or attempted and given over; or hath been atchieved, but not with so good circumstance; he shall purchase more honour than by effecting a matter of greater difficulty or virtue, wherein he is but a follower. If a man so temper his actions, as in some one of them he doth content every faction or combination of people, the music will be the fuller. A man is an ill husband of his honour, that entereth into any action, the failing wherein may disgrace him more than the carrying of it through can honour him. Honour that is gained and broken upon another, hath the quickest reflexion, like diamonds cut with fascets. And therefore let a man contend to excel any competitors of his in honour, in out-shooting them, if he can, in their own bow. Discreet followers and servants help much to reputation: omuls Jam a a domesticis emanat. Envy, which is the canker of honour, is best extinguished by declaring a man's self, in his ends rather to seek merit than fame; and by attributing a man's successes rather to divine providence and felicity, than to his own virtue or policy. The true marshalling of the degrees of sovereign honour, are these. In the first place are conditores imperiorum; founders of