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men, answerable to that which a great man himself professeth (as of soldiers to him that hath been employed in the wars, and the like), hath ever been a thing civil,' and well taken even in monarchies, so it be without too much pomp or popularity: but the most honourable kind of following is to be followed as one that apprehendeth? to advance virtue and desert in all sorts of persons; and yet, where there is no eminent odds in sufficiency, it is better to take with the more passable than with the more able : and, besides, to speak truth, in base times active men are of more use than virtuous. It is true, that in government it is good to use men of one rank equally : for to countenance some extraordinarily is to make them insolent, and the rest discontent," because they may claim a due; but contrariwise in favour, to use men with much differences and election, is good; for it maketh the persons preferred more thankful, and the rest more officious; because all is of favour. It is good discretion not to make too much of any man at the first, because one cannot hold out that proportion. To be governed (as we call it) by one, is not safe, for it shows softness, and gives a freedom to scandal and disreputation ;? for those that would not censure or speak ill of a man immediately, will talk more boldly of those that are so great with them, and thereby wound their honour; yet to be distracted with many, is worse, for it makes men to be of the last impression, and full of change. To take advice
i Civil. Decorous.
•Where civil speech and soft persuasion hung.'— Pope. ? Apprehend. To conceive ; to take in as an object.
Can we want obedience, then,
Human desires can seek, or apprehend.'—Milton. 3 Sufficiency. Ability. See page 294.
* Discontent. Discontented. The discountenanced and discontent, these the Earl singles out, as best for his purpose.'-Hayward.
* Difference. Distinction. Our constitution does not only make a difference between the guilty and the innocent, but even among the guilty, between such as are more or less observed.'- Addison. & Softness. Weakness.
• Under a shepherd softe and negligent,
The wolfe hath many a sheep and lambe to rent.-Chaucer. 7 Disreputation. Disrepute. "Gluttony is not in such disreputation among men as drunken ness.'— Bishop Taylor.
of some few friends, is ever honourable ; for lookers-on many times see more than gamesters; and the vale best discovereth the hill. There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals, which was wont' to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the other.
• They taint business through want of secrecy.'
Henry Taylor, in the Statesman, has a good remark on the advantage of trusting thoroughly rather than partially. For there are some who will be more likely to betray one secret, if one only is confided, than if they felt themselves confidants altogether. They will then, he thinks, be less likely to give a boastful proof, of the confidence reposed in them, by betraying it.
• A kind of followers which bear tales.' It is observable that flatterers are usually tale-bearers. Thus we have in Proverbs the caution, 'He that goeth about as a tale-bearer, revealeth secrets; therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.'
Lookers-on many times see more than gamesters.' This proverbial maxim, which bears witness to the advantage sometimes possessed by an observant bystander over those actually engaged in any transaction, has a parallel in an Irish proverb: Ir maic an tiomany; de an te bjor ar an gcloice.
He is a good hurler that's on the ditch.?
i Wont. Accustomed. See page 462. ? In Ireland, a bank is so called.
• To countenance some extraordinarily is to make them insolent.'
Men very often raise up some troublesome persons into importance, and afterwards try in vain to get rid of them. So also, they give encouragement to some dangerous principle or practice, in order to serve a present purpose, and then find it turned against themselves. The horse in the fable, who seeking aid against his enemy, the stag, had allowed an insidious ally to mount, and to put his bit into his mouth, found it afterwards no easy matter to unseat him. Thus, too, according to the proverb, the little birds, which are chasing about the fullgrown cuckoo, had themselves reared it as a nestling.
• The Spring was come, and the nest was made,
Give place, or power, or trust, to none
1 From a periodical called The True Briton.
ESSAY XLIX. . OF SUITORS.
atter. I ally;
M ANY ill matters and projects are undertaken; and private
N suits do putrefy the public good. Many good matters are undertaken with bad minds—I mean not only corrupt minds, but crafty minds, that intend not performance. Some embrace suits which never mean to deal effectually in them; but if they see there may be life in the matter, by some other mean, they will be content to win a thank, or take a second reward, or, at least, to make use in the meantime of the suitor's hopes. Some take hold of suits only for an occasion to cross some other, or to make an information, whereof they could not otherwise have apt pretext, without care what become of the suit when the turn is served ; or, generally, to make other men's business a kind of entertainment to bring in their own; nay, some undertake suits with a full purpose to let them fall, to the end to gratify the adverse party, or competitor. Surely there is in some sort a right in every suit: either a right of equity, if it be a suit of controversy, or a right of desert, if it be a suit of petition. If affection lead a man to favour the wrong side in justice, let him rather use his countenance to compound the matter than to carry it. If affection lead a man to favour the less worthy in desert, let him do it without depraving or disabling the better deserver. In suits which a man doth not well understand, it is good to refer them to some friend of trust
i Mean. Means. See page 216.
: A thank. Seldom used in the singular. The fool saith I have no thank for all my good deed ; and they that eat my bread speak evil of me.'- Ecclus. XX. 16. 3 Second. Secondary; inferior.
Each glance, each grace,
Not second yet to any other face.'— Dryden. - Make. Give. “They all with one consent began to make excuse.'- Luke xiv. 18.
5 Entertainment. Preliminary communication. The queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment to Laertes, before you fall to play.'- Shakespere.
Deprave. To vilify. And that knoweth conscience, ich cam nogt to chide, ne to deprave the personne.'-Piers Ploughman. •Envy is blind, and can do nothing but deprave and speak ill of virtuous doing.'--Bennett.