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other. The most Tolerable Sort of Revenge, is for those wrongs which there is no Law to remedy: But then, let a man take heed, the Revenge be such, as there is no law to punish: Else, a Mans Enemy, is still before hand, And it is two for one. Some, when they take Revenge, are Desirous the party should know, whence it commeth: This is the more Generous. For the Delight seemeth to be, not so much in doing the Hurt, as in Making the Party repent: But Base and Crafty Cowards, are like the Arrow, that flyeth in the Darke. Cosmus Duke of Florence, had a Desperate Saying, against Perfidious or Neglecting Friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable: You shall reade (saith he) that we are commanded to forgive our Enemies; But you never read, that wee are commanded, to forgive our Friends, But yet the Spirit of Iob, was in a better tune; Shall wee (saith he) take good at Gods Hands, and not be content to take evill also? And so of Friends in a proportion. This is certaine; That a Man that studieth Revenge, keepes his owne Wounds greene, which otherwise would heale, and doe well. Publique Revenges, are, for the most part, Fortunate; As that for the Death of Cæsar; For the Death of Pertinax; for the Death of Henry the Third of France; And many more. But in private Revenges it is not so. Nay rather, Vindicative Persons live the Life of Witches; who as they are Mischievous, So end they Infortunate.
T was an high speech of Seneca, (after the
which belong to Prosperity, are to be wished; but the good things, that belong to Adversity, are to be admired. Bona Rerum Secundarum, Optabilia; Adversarum, Mirabilia. Certainly if Miracles, be the Command over Nature, they appeare most in Adversity. It is yet a higher speech of his, then the other, (much too high for a Heathen) It is true greatnesse, to have in one, the Frailty of a Man, & the Security of a God. Verè magnum, habere Fragilitatem Hominis, Securitatem Dei. This would have done better in Poesy; where Transcendences are more allowed. And the Poets indeed, have beene busy with it; For it is, in effect, the thing, which is figured in that Strange Fiction, of the Ancient Poets, which seemeth not to be without mystery; Nay, and to have some approach, to the State of a Christian: That Hercules, when hee went to unbinde Prometheus, (by whom Humane Nature is represented) sailed the length of the great
Ocean, in an Earthen Pot, or Pitcher: Lively describing Christian Resolution; that saileth, in the fraile Barke of the Flesh, thorow the Waves of the World. But to speake in a Meane. The Vertue of Prosperitie, is Temperance; The Vertue of Adversity, is Fortitude: which in Morals is the more Heroicall Vertue. Prosperity is the Blessing of the Old Testament; Adversity is the Blessing of the New; which carrieth the greater Benediction, and the Clearer Revelation of Gods Favour, Yet, even in the old Testament, if you Listen to Davids Harpe, you shall heare as many Herselike Ayres, as Carols: And the Pencill of the holy Ghost, hath laboured more, in describing, the Afflictions of Iob, then the Felicities of Salomon. Prosperity is not without many Feares and Distastes; And Adversity is not without Comforts and Hopes. Wee see in Needle-workes, and Imbroideries, It is more pleasing, to have a Lively Worke, upon a Sad and Solemne Ground; then to have a Darke and Melancholy Worke, upon a Lightsome Ground: Iudge therfore, of the Pleasure of the Heart, by the Pleasure of the Eye. Certainly, Vertue is like pretious Odours, most fragrant, when they are incensed, or crushed: For Prosperity doth best discover Vice; But Adversity doth best discover Vertue.
Of Simulation and Dissimulation
DISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of
Policy, or Wisdome; For it asketh a strong Wit, and a strong Heart, to know, when to tell Truth, and to doe it. Therfore it is the weaker Sort of Politicks, that are the great Dissemblers.
Tacitus saith; Livia sorted well, with the Arts of her Husband, & Dissimulation of her Sonne: Attributing Arts or Policy to Augustus, and Dissimulation to Tiberius. And againe, when Mucianus encourageth Vespasian, to take Arms against Vitellius, he saith; We rise not, against the Piercing Tudgment of Augustus, nor the Extreme Caution or Closenesse of Tiberius. These Properties of Arts or Policy, and Dissimulation or Closenesse, are indeed Habits and Faculties, severall, and to be distinguished. For if a Man, hav that Pen rati Iudgment, as he can discerne, what Things are to be laid open, and what to be secretted, and what to be shewed at Halfe lights, and to whom, and when, (which indeed are Arts of State, and Arts of Life, as Tacitus well calleth them) to him, A
Habit of Dissimulation, is a Hinderance, and a Poorenesse. But if a Man cannot obtaine to that Iudgment, then it is left to him, generally, to be Close, and a Dissembler. For where a Man cannot choose, or vary in Particulars, there it is good to take the safest and wariest Way in generall; Like the Going softly by one that cannot well see. Certainly the ablest Men, that ever were, have had all an Opennesse, and Francknesse of dealing; And a name of Certainty, and Veracity; But then they were like Horses, well mannaged; For they could tell passing well, when to stop, or turne: And at such times, when they thought the Case indeed, required Dissimulation, if then they used it, it came to passe, that the former Opinion, spred abroad of their good Faith, and Clearnesse of dealing, made them almost Invisible.
There be three degrees, of this Hiding, and Vailing of a Mans Selfe. The first Closenesse, Reservation, and Secrecy; when a Man leaveth himselfe without Observation, or without Hold to be taken, what he is. The second Dissimulation, in the Negative; when a man lets fall Signes, and Arguments, that he is not, that he is. . And the third Simulation, in the Affirmative; when a Man industriously, and expressely, faigns, and pretends to be, that he is not.
For the first of these, Secrecy: It is indeed, the Vertue of a Confessour; And assuredly, the Secret Man, heareth many Confessions; For who will open himselfe, to a Blab or a Babler? But if a Man be thought Secret, it inviteth Discoverie; As the more Close Aire, sucketh in the