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sway all the Businesse; But in the other Forme, there is more use of the Counsellours Opinions, that sit lower. A King, when he presides in Counsell, let him beware how he Opens his owne Inclination too much, in that which he propoundeth: For else Counsellours will but take the Winde of him; And in stead of giving Free Counsell, sing him a Song of Placebo.

XXI

Of Delayes

FORTUNE is like the Market; Where many T times, if you can stay a little, the Price will fall. And againe, it is sometimes like Sybilla's Offer; which at first offereth the Commodity at full, then consumeth part and part, and still holdeth up the Price. For Occasioni (as it is in the Common verse) turneth a Bald Noddle, after she hath presented her locks in Front, and no hold taken: Or at least turneth the Handle of the Bottle, first to be received, and after the Belly, which is hard to claspe. There is surely no greater Wisedome, then well to time the Beginnings, and Onsets of Things. Dangers are no more light, if they once seeme light: And more dangers have deceived Men, then forced them. Nay, it were better, to meet some Dangers halfe way, though they come nothing neare, then to keepe too long a watch, upon their Approaches; For if a Man watch too long, it is odds he will fall asleepe. On the other side, to be deceived, with too long Shadowes, (As some have beene, when the Moone was low, and shone on their Enemies backe) And so to shoot off before the time; Or to teach dangers to come on, by over early Buckling towards them, is another Extreme. The Ripenesse, or Unripenesse, of the Occasion (as we said) must ever be well weighed; And generally, it is good, to commit the Beginnings of all great Actions, to Argos with his hundred Eyes; And the Ends to Briareus with his hundred Hands: First to Watch, and then to Speed. For the Helmet of Pluto, which maketh the Politicke Man goe Invisible, is, Secrecy in the Counsell, & Celerity in the Execution. For when Things are once come to the Execution, there is no Secrecy comparable to Celerity; Like the Motion of a Bullet in the Ayre, which flyeth so swift, as it out-runs the Eye.

XXII

Of Cunning

W E take Cunning for a Sinister or Crooked

VV Wisedome. And certainly, there is great difference, between a Cunning Man, and a Wise Man; Not onely in Point of Honesty, but in point of Ability. There be that can packe the Cards, and yet cannot play well; So there are some, that are good in Canvasses, and Factions, that are otherwise Weake Men. Againe, it is one thing to understand Persons, and another thing to understand Matters; For many are perfect in Mens Humours, that are not greatly Capable of the Reall Part of Businesse; Which is the Constitution of one, that hath studied Men, more then Bookes. Such Men are fitter for Practise, then for Counsell; And they are good but in their own Alley: Turne them to New Men, and they have lost their Ayme; So as the old Rule, to know a Foole from a Wise Man; Mitte ambos nudos ad ignotos, & videbis; doth scarce hold for them. And because these Cunning Men, are like Haberdashers of Small Wares, it is not amisse to set forth their Shop.

It is a point of Cunning; to wait upon him, with whom you speake, with your eye; As the Iesuites give it in precept: For there be many Wise Men, that have Secret Hearts, and Transparant Countenances. Yet this would be done, with a demure Abasing of your Eye sometimes, as the Iesuites also doe use.

Another is, that when you have any thing to obtaine of present dispatch, you entertaine, and amuse the party, with whom you deale, with some other Discourse; That he be not too much awake, to make Obiections. I knew a Counsellor and Secretary, that never came to Queene Elizabeth of England, with Bills to signe, but he would alwaies first put her into some discourse of Estate, that she mought the lesse minde the Bills.

The like Surprize, may be made, by Moving things, when the Party is in haste, and cannot stay, to consider advisedly, of that is moved.

If a man would crosse a Businesse, that he doubts some other would handsomely and effec, tually move, let him pretend to wish it well, and move it himselfe, in such sort, as may foile it.

The breaking off, in the midst of that, one was about to say, as if he tooke himselfe up, breeds a greater Appetite in him, with whom you conferre, to know more.

And because it workes better, when any thing seemeth to be gotten from you by Question, then if you offer it of your selfe, you may lay a Bait for a Question, by shewing another Visage and Countenance, then you are wont; To the end, to give Occasion, for the party to

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