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morer; (the French hath it better, * entreprenant," or ** remuant ;") but the exercised fortune maketh the able man. Fortune is to be honoured and respected, and it be but for her daughters, Confidence and Reputation ; for those two Felicity breedeth; the first within a man's self, the latter in others towards him. All wise men, to decline the envy of their own virtues, use to ascribe them to Providence and Fortune ; for so they may the better assume them : and, besides, it is greatness in a man to be the care of the higher powers. So Cæsar said to the Pilotin the tempest, “ Cæsarem portas, et fortunam * ejus." So Sylla chose the name of “ Felix," and not of “ Magnus:* and ithath been noted, that those who ascribe openly too much to their own wisdom and policy, end infortunate. It is written, that Timotheus, the Atheniam, after he had, in the account he gave to the state of his government, often interIaced this speech, * and in this Fortune had no part,* mewer prospered in any thing he undertook afterwards. Certainly there be, whose fortunes are like. Homer's verses, that have a slide and easiness more than the verses of other poets ; as Plutarch saith of Timoleon's fortune in respect of that of Agesilaus or Epaminondas: and that this should be, mo doubt it is much in a man's self. .
XLI. . OF USURY. Many have made witty invectives against usury. They say that it is pity the devil should have God's part, whichis the tithe; that the usurer is the greatest sabbath-breaker, because, his- plough goeth every Sunday ; that the usurer is the drone that Virgil ; speaketh of:
“ Ignavum fucos pecus a præsepibus arcent;"
that the usurer breaketh the first law that was made for mankind after the fall, which was, “ in sudore “ vultûs tui comedes panem tuum ;" not, * in sudore * vultùs alieni ;" that usurers should have orange tawny bonnets, because they do judaize ; that it is against nature for money to beget money, and the like. I say this only, that usury is a “ concessum “ propter duritiem cordis :" for since there must be borrowing and lending, and men are so hard of heart as they will not lend freely, usury must be permitted. Some others have made suspicious and cunning propositions of banks, discovery of men's estates, and other inventions ; but few have spoken of usury usefully. It is good to set before us the incommodities and commodities of usury, that the good may be either weighed out, or culled out; and warily to provide, that, while we make forth to that which is better, we meet not with that which is worse. The discommodities of usury are, first, that it makes fewer merchants; for were it. not for this lazy trade of usury, money would not lie still, but would in great part be employed upon merchandizing, which is the * vena porta” of wealth in a state: the second, that it makes poor merchants; for as a farmer cannot husband his ground so well if he sit at a great rent, so the merchant cannot drive his trade so well, if he sit at great usury: the third is incident to the other two; and that is, the decay of
eustoms of kings, or estates, which ebb or flow with merchandizing : the fourth, that it bringeth the treasure of a realm or state into a few hands; for the usurer being at certainties, and others at unCertainties, at the end of the game most of the money will be in the box; and ever a state flourisheth when wealth is more equally spread : the fifth, that it beats down the price of land ; for the employment of money is chiefly either merchandizing, or purthasing , and usury waylays both : the sixth, that it doth dull and damp all industries, improvements, and new inventions, whereim money would be stirring, if it were not for this slug: the last, that it is the canker and ruin of many men's estates, which in process of time breeds a public poverty. On the other side, the commodities of usury are, first, that howsoever usury in some respect hindereth merchandizing, yet in some other it advanceth it ; forit is certain that the greatest part of trade is diven by young merchants upon borrowing at inì tetest; so asif the usurer either callin, or keep back , his money there will ensde presently a great stand ] oi trade : the second is, that, were it not for this , easy borrowing upon interest, men's necessities would | draw upon them a most sudden undoing, in that Wey would be forced to sell their means, (be it lands | orgoods), far under foot, and so, whereas usury doth but gnaw upon them, bad markets would swallow ] tiem quite up. As for mortgaging or pawning, it will little mend the matter: for either men will not take pawns without use, or if they do, they will look precisely for the forfeiture. I remember a cruel moniedi man in the country, that would say, ** The devil take M. this usury, it keeps us from forfeitures of mortgages and bonds." The third and last is, that it is a vanity to conceive that there would be ordinary borrowing without profit ; and it is impossible to conceive the ' number of inconveniences that will ensue, if borrow- | ing be cramped : therefore to speak of the abolishing of usury is idle; all states have ever had it in one kind or rate or other : so as that opinion must be | sent to Utopia. - To speak now of the reformation and reglement of usury, how the discommodities of it may be best avoided, and the commodities retained. It appears, by the balance of commodities and discommodities of usury, two things are to be reconciled; the one that the tooth of usury be grinded, that it bite not too much ; the other that there be left open a means to invite monied men to lend to the merchants, for the continuing and quickening of trade. This cannot be done, except you introduce two several sorts of usury, a less and a greater; for if you reduce usury to one low rate, it will ease the common borrower, but the merchant will be to seek for money : and it is to be noted, that the trade of merchandize being the most lucrative, may bear usury at a good rate: other contracts not so. To serve both intentions, the way would be briefly thus; that there be two rates of usury ; the one free and general for all ; the other under licence only to certain persons, and in certain places of mer
dandizing. 'First, therefore, let usury in general * hereduced to five in the hundred, and let that rate ; be proclaimed to be free and current ; and let the ; siste shut itself out to take any penalty for the same; ' this will preserve borrowing from any general stop or ίηness; this will ease infinite borrowers in the tountry ; this will, in good part, raise the price of - hmd, because land purchased at sixteen years' pur&ase will yield six in the hundred, and somewhat more, whereas this rate of interest yields but five : tis by like reason will encourage and edge industious and profitable improvements, because many will rather venture in that kind, than take five in the humdred, especially having been used to | $teater profit. Secondly, let there be certain per$is licensed tolend to known merchants upon usury, | stahigh rate, and let it be with the cautions followt ig: let the rate be, even with the merchant himself, | wmewhat more easy tham that he used formerly to | W; for by that means all borrowers shall have *me ease by this reformatiom, be he merchant, or "hosoever; let it be no bank, or common stock, but “ery man be master of his own money ; not that I il^gether dislike banks, but they will hardly be Wed, in regard of certain suspicions. Let the state be answered some small matter for the license, ml the rest left to the lender ; for if the abatement & *Wt small, it will no whit discourage the lender; *he, for example, that took before, ten or nine in * humdred, will sooner descend to eight in the \lted, than give over his trade of usury, and go