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but a Continent, that ioynes to them. If he be Compassionate, towards the Afflictions of others, it shewes that his Heart is like the noble Tree, that is wounded it selfe, when it gives the Balme. If he easily Pardons and Remits Offences, it shews, that his Minde is planted above Iniuries; So that he cannot be shot. If he be Thankfull for small Benefits, it shewes, that he weighes Mens Mindes, and not their Trash. But above all, if he have St. Pauls Perfection, that he would wish to be an Anathema from Christ, for the Salvation of his Brethren, shewes much of a Divine Nature, and a kinde of Conformity with Christ himselfe.
WE will speake of Nobility, first as a Por
tion of an Estate; Then as a Condition of Particular Persons. A Monarchy, where there is no Nobility at all, is ever a pure, and absolute Tyranny; As that of the Turkes. For Nobility attempers Soveraignty, and drawes the Eyes of the People, somewhat aside from the Line Royall. But for Democracies, they need it not; And they are commonly, more quiet, and lesse subiect to Sedition, then where there are Stirps of Nobles. For Mens Eyes are upon the Businesse, and not upon the Persons: Or if upon the Persons, it is for the Businesse sake, as fittest, and not for Flags and Pedegree. Wee see the Switzers last well, notwithstanding their Diversitie of Religion, and of Cantons. For Utility is their Bond, and not Respects. The united Provinces of the Low Countries, in their Government, excell: For where there is an Equality, the Consultations are more indifferent, and the Payments and Tributes more cheerfull. A great and Potent Nobility addeth Maiestie to
a Monarch, but diminisheth Power; And putteth Life and Spirit into the People, but presseth their Fortune. It is well, when Nobles are not too great for Soveraignty, nor for Iustice; And yet maintained in that heigth, as the Insolencie of Inferiours, may be broken upon them, before it come on too fast upon the Maiesty of Kings. A Numerous Nobility, causeth Poverty, and Inconvenience in a State: For it is a Surcharge of Expence; And besides, it being of Necessity, that many of the Nobility, fall in time to be weake in Fortune, it maketh a kinde of Disproportion, betweene Honour and Meanes.
As for Nobility in particular Persons; It is a Reverend Thing, to see an Ancient Castle, or Building not in decay; Or to see a faire Timber Tree, sound and perfect: How much more, to behold an Ancient Noble Family, which hath stood against the Waves and weathers of Time. For new Nobility is but the Act of Power; But Ancient Nobility is the Act of Time. Those that are first raised to Nobility, are commonly more Vertuous, but lesse Innocent, then their Descendants : For there is, rarely, any Rising, but by a Commixture, of good and evill Arts. But it is Reason, the Memory of their vertues, remaine to their Posterity; And their Faults die with themselves. Nobility of Birth, commonly abateth Industry: And he that is not industrious, envieth him, that is. Besides, Noble persons, cannot goe much higher; And he that standeth at a stay, when others rise, can hardly avoid Motions of Envy. On the other side, Nobility extinguisheth the passive Envy, from others
towards them; Because they are in possession of Honour. Certainly Kings, that have Able men of their Nobility, shall finde ease in imploying them; And a better Slide into their Businesse: For People naturally bend to them, as borne in some sort to Command.
Of Seditions and Troubles
the Kalenders of Tempests in State; which are commonly greatest, when Things grow to Equality; As Naturall Tempests are greatest about the Æquinoctia. And as there are certaine hollow Blasts of Winde, and secret Swellings of Seas, before a Tempest, so are there in States:
Ille etiam cæcos instare Tumultus Sæpe monet, Fraudesque, &o operta tumescere
Libels, and licentious Discourses against the State, when they are frequent and open; And in like sort, false Newes, often running up and downe, to the disadvantage of the State, and hastily embraced; are amongst the Signes of Troubles. Virgil giving the Pedegre of Fame, saith, She was sister to the Giants.