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into the main of it; like a house that hath convenient stairs and entries, but never a fair room : therefore you shall see them find out pretty looses in the conclusion, but are no ways able to examine or debate matters; and yet comnionly they take advantage of their inability, and would be thoug!t wits of direction. Some build rather upon the abusing of others, and (as we now say) putting tricks upon them, than upon the soundness of their own proceedings : but Solomon saith, "Frudens advertit ad gressus suos : stultus divertit ad dolos."
OF WISDOM FOR A MAN'S SELF.
It is a poor
· An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is a shrewd thing in an orchard or garden ; and certainly men that are great lovers of themselves waste the publie. Divide with reason between self-love and society; and be so true to thyself, as thou be not false to others, especially to thy king and country. centre of a man's actions, himself
. It is right earth; for that only stands fast upon centre; whereas, all things that have affinity with the heavens move upon the centre of another, which they benefit. The referring of all to a inan's self is more tolerable in a sovereign prince, because themselves are not only themselves, but their good and evil is at the peril of the public fortune : but it is a despe
rate evil in a servant to a prince, or a citizen in a republic; for whatsoever affairs pass such a man's hands, he crooketh them to his own ends; which must needs be often eccentric to the erds of his master or state : therefore let princes or states choose such servants as have not this mark; except they mean their service should be made but the accessary, That which maketh the effect more pernicious is, that all proportion is lcst; it were disproportion enough for the servant's good to be preferred before the master's; but yet it is a greater extreme, when a little good of the servant shall carry things against the great good of the master's : and yet that is the case of bad officers, treasurers, ambassadors, generals, and other false and corrupt servants; which bias upon
their bowl, of their own petty ends and envies, to the overthrow of their master's great and important affairs : and, for the most part, the good such servants receive is after the model of their own fortune; but the hurt they sell for that good is after the model of their master's fortune: and certainly it is the nature of extreme self-lovers, as they will set a house on fire, and it were but to roast their eggs; and yet these men many times hold credit with their masters, because their study is but to please them and profit themselves; and for either respect they will abandon the good of their affairs.
Wisdɔm for a man's self is, in many hranches thereof a depraved thing : it is the wis
dom of rats, that will be sure to leave a house sometime before it fall : it is the wisdom of the fox, that thrusts out the badger who digged and made room for him : it is the wisdom of crocodiles, that shed tears when they would devour. But that which is specially to be noted is, that those which (as Cicero says of Pompey) are “sui amante, sine rivali,” are many times unfortunate; and whereas they have all their time sacrificed to themselves, they become in the end themselves sacrifices to the inconstancy of fortune, whose wings they thought by their self-wisdom to have pinioned.
As the births of living creatures at first are ill shapen, so are all innovations, which are the births of time; yet notwithstanding, as those that tirst bring honour into their family are commonly more worthy than most that succeed, so the first precedent (if it be good) is seldom attained by imitation; for ill to man's nature, as it stands perverted, hath a natural motion strongest in continuance; but good, as a forced motion, strongest at first. Surely every medicine is an innovation, and he that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator; and if time of course alter things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the end ? It is true, that
what is settled by custom, thor:gh it be not good, yet at least it is fit; and those things which have long gone together are, as it were, confederate within themselves; whereas new things piece not so well; but, though they help by their utility, yet they trouble by their inconformity : besides, they are like strangers, more admired, and less favoured. All this is true, if time stood still; which, contrariwise moveth so round, that a froward retention of custom is as turbulent a thing as an innovation; and they that reverence too much olò times are but a scorn to the new.
It were good, therefore, that men, in their innovations, woula follow the example of time itself, which. indeed innovateth greatly, but quietly, and by degrees scarce to be perceived; for otherwise, whatsoever is new is unlooked for; and ever it mends some, and pairs others; and he that is holpen takes it for a fortune, and thanks the time; and he that is hurt, for a wrong, and impnteth it to the author. It is good also not to try experiments in states, except the necessity be urgent, or the utility evident; and well to beware that it be the reformation that draweth on the change, and not the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation : and, lastly, that the novelty, though it be not rejected, yet be held for a suspect; and, as the scripture saith, “That we make a stand upon the ancient way, and then look about and discover what is the straight and right way, and so to walk in it.'
AFFECTED despatch is one of the most dangerous things to business that can be : it is like that which the physicians call predigestion, or hasty digestion ; which is sure to fill the body full of crudities, and secret seeds of diseases : therefore measure not despatch by the time of sitting, but hy the advancement of the business : and as,
it is not the large stride, or high lift, that makes the speed; so, in business, the keeping close to the matter, and not taking of it too much at once, procureth despatch. It is the care of some oily to come off speedily for the time, or to contrive some false periods of business, because they may seem men of despatch : but it is one thing to abbreviate by contracting, another by cutting off; and business so handled at several sittings, or meetings, goeth commonly backward and forward in an unsteady manner.
I knew a wise man, that bad it for a by-word, when he saw men hasten to a conclusion, “Stay a little, that we may make an end the
On the other side, true despatch is a rich thing; for time is the measure of business, as money is of wares; and business is bought ac a dear hand where there is small despatch. The Spartans and Spaniards have been noted to be of small despatch : “Mi venga la muerte de Spagna ;'--"Let my death come from