Page images
PDF
EPUB

3. A king that would not feel his crown too heavy for him, must wear it every day; but if he think it too light, he knoweth not of what metal it is made.

4. He must make religion the rule of government, and not to balance the scale; for he that casteth in religion only to make the scales even, his own weight is contained in those characters: "Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin;" " He is found too light, his kingdom shall be taken from him."

5. And that king that holds not religion the best reason of state, is void of all piety and justice, the supporters of a king.

6. He must be able to give counsel himself, but not rely thereupon; for though happy events justify their counsels, yet it is better that the evil event of good advice be rather imputed to a subject than a sovereign.

7. He is the fountain of honour, which should not run with a waste pipe, lest the courtiers sell the water; and then, as papists say of their holy wells, it loses the virtue.

8. He is the life of the law, not only as he is " a speaking law" himself, but because he animateth the dead letter, making it active towards all his subjects " by rewards and punishments."

9. A wise king must do less in altering his laws than he may; for new government is ever dangerous. It being true in the body politic, as in the corporal, that" every sudden change is dangerous;" and though it be for the better, yet it is not without a fearful apprehension; for he that changeth the fundamental laws of a kingdom, thinketh there is no good title to a crown but by conquest.

10. A king that setteth to sale seats of justice, oppresseth the people; for he teacheth his judges to sell justice; and "justice purchased by a bribe will be sold for a bribe."

11. Bounty and magnificence are virtues very regal, but a prodigal king is nearer a tyrant than a parsimonious; for store at home draweth not his contemplations abroad: but want supplieth itself of what is next, and many times the next way: a king herein must be wise, and know what he may justly do.

12. That king which is not feared, is not loved; and he that is well seen in his craft, must as well study to be feared as loved; yet not loved for fear, but feared for love.

13. Therefore, as he must always resemble him whose great name he beareth, and that as in manifesting the sweet influence of his mercy on the severe stroke of his justice sometimes, so in this not to suffer a man of death to live; for besides that the land doth mourn, the restraint of justice towards sin doth more retard the affection of love than the extent of mercy doth inflame it: and sure where love is [ill] bestowed, fear is quite lost.

14. His greatest enemies are, his flatterers; fur though they ever speak on his side, yet their words still make against him.

15. The love which a king oweth to a weal public, should not be restrained to any one particular; yet that his more special favour do reflect upon some worthy ones, is somewhat necessary, because there are few of that capacity.

16. He must have a special care of five things, if he would not have his crown to be but to him infelixfelicitas: "an unhappy felicity."

First, that " pretended sanctity" be not in the church; for that is " a two fold iniquity."

Secondly, that "unprofitable equity" sit not in the chancery; for that is " absurd pity."

Thirdly, that " profitable iniquity" keep not the exchequer; for " that is cruel robbery."

Fourthly, that " an incautious mind though faithful be not his general; for that will bring but " repentance when too late."

Fifthly, that " an affected prudence" be not his secretary; for that is " a snake in the grass."

To conclude: as he is of the greatest power, so he is subject to the greatest cares, made the servant of his people, or else he were without a calling at all.

He then that honoureth him not, is next an atheist, wanting the fear of God in his heart.

&f)ort &oU# for (Sibil tfonbrraattoit.

1. J. O deceive men's expectations generally, with cautel, argueth a staid mind, and unexpected constancy: namely, in matters of fear, anger, sudden joy or grief, and all things which may affect or alter the mind in public or sudden accidents, or such like.

2. It is necessary to use a stedfast countenance, not wavering with action, as in moving the head or hand too much; which showeth a fantastical, light and fickle operation of the spirit, and consequently light mind as gesture: only it is sufficient, with leisure, to use a modest action in either.

3. In all kinds of speech, either pleasant, grave, severe, or ordinary, it is convenient to speak leisurely, and rather drawingly, than hastily; because hasty speech confounds the memory, and oftentimes, besides unseemliness, drives a man either to a non-plus or unseemly stammering, harping upon that which should follow; whereas a slow speech confirmeth the memory, addeth a conceit of wisdom to the hearers, besides a seemliness of speech and countenance.

4. To desire in discourse to hold all arguments, is ridiculous, wanting true judgment; for in all things no man can be exquisite.

240 SHORT NOTES FOR CIVIL CONVERSATION.

5, 6. To have common places to discourse, and to want variety, is both tedious to the hearers, and shows a shallowness of conceit; therefore it is good to vary, and suit speeches with the present occasions; and to have a moderation in all our speeches, especially in jesting of religion, state, great persons, weighty and important business, poverty, or any thing deserving pity.

7. A long-continued speech, without a good speech of interlocution, showeth slowness: and a good reply, without a good set speech, showeth shallowness and weakness.

8. To use many circumstances, ere you come to the matter, is wearisome; and to use none at all, is but blunt.

9. Bashfulness is a great hindrance to a man, both in uttering his opinion, and understanding what is propounded unto him: wherefore it is good to press himself forward with discretion, both in speech, and company of the better sort.

i_

Usus promptos facit.

"Practice makes men ready,."

« PreviousContinue »