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more Open: And as in Confession, the Revealing is not for worldly use, but for the Ease of a Mans Heart, so Secret Men come to the Knowledge of Many Things, in that kinde; while Men rather discharge their Mindes, then impart their Mindes. In few words, Mysteries are due to Secrecy. Besides (to say Truth) Nakednesse is uncomely, as well in Minde, as Body; and it addeth no small Reverence, to Mens Manners, and Actions, if they be not altogether Open. As for Talkers and Futile Persons, they are commonly Vaine, and Credulous withall. For He that talketh, what he knoweth, will also talke, what he knoweth not. Therfore set it downe; That an Habit of Secrecy, is both Politick, and Morall. And in this part, it is good, that a Mans Face, give his Tongue, leave to Speake. For the Discovery, of a Mans Selfe, by the Tracts of his Countenance, is a great Weaknesse, and Betraying; By how much, it is many times, more marked and beleeved, then a Mans words.
For the Second, which is Dissimulation. It followeth many times upon Secrecy, by a necessity: So that, he that will be Secret, must be a Dissembler, in some degree. For Men are too cunning, to suffer a Man, to keepe an indifferent carriage, betweene both, and to be Secret, without Swaying the Ballance, on either side. They will so beset a man with Questions, and draw him on, and picke it out of him, that without an absurd Silence, he must shew an Inclination, one way; Or if he doe not, they will gather as much by his Silence, as by his Speech. As for Equivocations, or Oraculous Speeches, they
cannot hold out long. So that no man can be secret, except he give himselfe a little Scope of Dissimulation; which is, as it were, but the Skirts or Traine of Secrecy.
But for the third Degree, which is Simulation, and false Profession; That I hold more culpable, and lesse politicke; except it be in great and rare Matters. And therefore a generall Custome of Simulation (which is this last Degree) is a Vice, rising, either of a naturall Falsenesse, or Fearefulnesse; Or of a Minde, that hath some maine Faults; which because a man must needs disguise, it maketh him practise Simulation, in other things, lest his Hand should be out of ure.
The great Advantages of Simulation and Dissimulation are three. First to lay asleepe Opposition, and to Surprize. For where a Mans Intentions, are published, it is an Alarum, to call up, all that are against them. The second is, to reserve to a Mans Selfe, a faire Retreat: For if a man engage himselfe, by a manifest Declaration, he must goe through, or take a Fall. The third is, the better to discover the Minde of another. For to him that opens himselfe, Men will hardly shew themselves adverse; but will (faire) let him goe on, and turne their Freedome of Speech, to Freedome of thoug And there fore, it is a good shrewd Proverbe of the Spaniard; Tell a lye, and finde a Troth. As if there were no way of Discovery, but by Simulation. There be also three Disadvantages, to set it even. The first, That Simulation and Dissimulation, commonly carry with them, a Shew of
Fearfulnesse, which in any Businesse, doth spoile the Feathers, of round flying up to the Mark. The second, that it pusleth & perplexeth the Conceits of many; that perhaps would otherwise co-operate with him; and makes a Man walke, almost alone, to his owne Ends. The third, and greatest is, that it depriveth a Man, of one, of the most principall Instruments for Action; which is Trust and Beleefe. The best Composition, and Temperature is, to have Opennesse in Fame and Opinion; Secrecy in Habit; Dissimulation in seasonable use; And a Power to faigne, if there be no Remedy.
Of Parents and Children
THE Joyes of Parents are Secret ; And so utter the one; Nor they will not utter the other. Children sweeten Labours; But they make Misfortunes more bitter: They increase the Cares of Life; but they mitigate the Remembrance of Death. The Perpetuity by Generation is common to Beasts; But Memory, Merit, and Noble workes, are proper to Men: And surely a Man shall see, the Noblest workes, and Foundations, have proceeded from Childlesse Men; which have sought to expresse the Images of their Minds; where those of their Bodies have failed: So the care of Posterity, is most in them, that have no Posterity. They that are the first Raisers of their Houses, are most Indulgent towards their Children; Beholding them, as the Continuance, not only of their kinde, but of their Worke; And so both Children, and Creatures.
The difference in Affection, of Parents, towards their severall Children, is many times unequall; And sometimes unworthy; Especially
in the mother; As Salomon saith; A wise sonne reioyceth the Father; but an ungracious sonne shames the Mother. A Man shall see, where there is a House full of Children, one or two, of the Eldest, respected, and the Youngest made wantons; But in the middest, some that are, as it were forgotten, who, many times, neverthelesse, prove the best. The Illiberalitie of Parents, in allowance towards their Children, is an harmefull Errour; Makes them base; Acquaints them with Shifts; Makes them sort with meane Company; And makes them surfet more, when they come to Plenty: And therefore, the Proofe is best, when Men keepe their Authority towards their Children, but not their Purse. Men have a foolish manner (both Parents, and Schoolemasters, and Servants) in creating and breeding an Emulation between Brothers, during Childhood, which many times sorteth to Discord, when they are Men; And disturbeth Families. The Italians make little difference betweene Children, and Nephewes, or neere Kinsfolkes; But so they be of the Lumpe, they care not, though they passe not through their owne Body. And, to say Truth, in Nature, it is much a like matter; In so much, that we see a Nephew, sometimes, resembleth an Uncle, or a Kinsman, more then his owne Parent; As the Bloud happens. Let Parents choose betimes, the Vocations, and Courses, they meane their Children should take; For then they are most flexible; And let them not too much apply themselves, to the Disposition of their Children, as thinking they will take best to that, which they have