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ever were, have bad all an openness and frankness of dealing, and a name of certainty and veracity; but then they were like horses well managed; for they could tell passing well when to stop or turn: and at such times, when they thought the case indeed required dissimulation, if then they used it, it came to pass, that the former opinion spread abroad of their good faith and clearness of dealing made them almost invisible.
There be three degrees of this biding and veiling of a man's self. The first, closeness, reservation, and secrecy, when a man leaveth himself without observation, or without hold to be taken, what he is. The second, dissimulation in the negative, when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is not that he is. And the third, simulation in the affirmative, when a man industriously and expressly feigns and pretends to be that he is not.
For the first of these, secrecy; it is indeed the virtue of a confessor; and assuredly the secret man heareth many confessions; for who will open himself to a blab or a babbler? but if a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery; as the more close air sucketh in the more open: and as in confession the revealing is not for worldly use, but for the ease of a man's heart; so secret men come to knowledge of many things in that kind; while men rather discharge their minds, than impart their minds. In few words, mysteries are due to secrecy. Besides, to say truth, nakedness is uncomely as well in mind as body; and it addeth no small reverence to men's manners and actions if they be not altogether open. As for talkers and futile persons, they are commonly vain and credulous withal. For he that talketb Mhat he knowetb, will also talk what he knoweth not Therefore set it down, that a habit of secrecy is both politic and moral. And in this part it is good that a man's face give his tongue leave to speak. For the discovery of a man's self by the tracts of his countenance is a great weakness and betraying; by how much it is many times more marked and believed than a man's 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 keep an indifferent carriage between both, and to be secret, without swaying the balance on either side. They will so beset a man with questions, and draw him on, and pick it out of him, that, without an absurd silence, he must show an inclination one way; or if he do 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 ne give himself a little scope of dissimulation, which is as it were but the skirts or train of secrecy.
But for the third degree, which is simulation and false profession; that I bold more culpable and less politic, except it be in great and rare matters. And therefore a general custom of simulation, which is this last degree, is a vice rising cither of a natural falseness, or fearfulness, or of a mind that hath some main faults; which because a man must needs I
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 asleep opposition, and to surprise. For where a man's intentions are published, it is an alarm to call up all that are against them. The second is, to reserve to a man's self a fair retreat: for if a man engage himself by a manifest declaration, he must go through, or take a fall. The third is, the better to discover the mind of another. For to him that opens himself, men will hardly show themselves adverse j but will fain let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech to freedom of thought. And therefore it is a good shrewd proverb of the Spaniard, Tell a lie and find a truth; 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 show of fearfulness, which in any business doth spoil the feathers of round flying up to the mark. The second, that it puzzleth and perplexeth the conceits of many, that perhaps would otherwise co-operate with him; and makes a man walk almost alone to his own ends. The third and greatest is, that it depriveth a man of one of the most principal instruments for action; which is trust and belief. The best composition and temperature is, to have openness in fame and opinion; secrecy in habit; dissimulation in seasonable use ; and a power to feign, if there be no remedy.
VII. OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN.
The joys of parents are secret; and so are their griefs and fears: they cannot 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 works, are proper to men: and surely a man shall see the noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless men; which have sought to express 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 kind, but of their work; and so both children and creatures.
The difference in affection of parents towards their several children is many times unequal; and sometimes unworthy; especially in the mother; as Solomon saith, " A wise son rejoiceth the father, but an ungracious son 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 midst, some that are as it were forgotten, who many times nevertheless prove the best. The illiberality of parents in allowance towards their children, is a harmful error; makes them base; acquaints them with shifts; makes them sort with mean company; and makes them surfeit more when they come to plenty: find therefore the proof is best when men keep their authority towards their children, but not their purse. Men have a foolish manner, both parents, and schoolmasters, 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 between children and nephews, or near kinsfolks; but so they be of the lump they care not, though they pass not through their own body. And, to say truth, in nature it is much a like matter; insomuch that we see a nephew sometimes resembleth an uncle, or a kinsman, more than his own parent; as the blood happens. Let parents choose betimes the vocations and courses they mean 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 most mind to. It is true, that if the affection or aptness of the children be extraordinary, then it is good not to cross it; but generally the precept is good, "Optimum elige, suave et facile illud faciet consuetudo." Younger brothers are commonly fortunate, but seldom or never where the elder are disinherited.
VIII. OF MARRIAGE AND SINGLE LIFE.
He that hath wife and children, hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which, both in affection and means, have married and endowed the public. Yet it were great reason, that those that have children should have greatest care of future times; unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges. Some there are, who though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times impertinences. Nay, there are some other, that account wife and children but as bills of charges. Nay more, there are some foolish rich covetous men, that take a pride in having no children, because they may be thought so much the richer. For perhaps they have heard some talk, Such a one is a great rich man; and another except to it, Yea, but he hath a great charge of children: as if it were an abatement to his riches. But the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty; especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go near to think their girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants, but not always best subjects; for they are light to run away; and almost all fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth well with churchmen: for charity will hardly water the ground, where it must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges and magistrates: for if they be facile and corrupt, you shall have a servant five times worse than a wife. For soldiers, I find the generals commonly, in their hortatives, put men
in mind of their wives and children. And I think the despising of marriage amongst the Turks, maketh the vulgar soldiers more base. Certainly, wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity; and single men, though they be many times more charitable, because their means are less exhaust; yet, on the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted, good to make severe inquisitors, because their tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are commonly loving husbands; as was said of Ulysses, "vetulam suam prastnlit immortalitati." Chaste women are often proud and froward, as presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds, both of chastity and obedience, in the wife, if she think her husband wise; which she will never do if she find him jealous. Wives are young men's mistresses; companions for middle age; and old men's nurses. So as a man may have a quarrel to marry when he will. But yet he was reputed one of the wise men, that made answer to the question, when a man should marry ?" A young man not yet, an elder man not at all." It is often seen, that bad husbands have very good wives; whether it be, that it raiseth the price of their husband's kindness when it comes; or that the wives take a pride in their patience. But this never fails if the bad husbands were of their own choosing, against their friends' consent; for then they will be sure to make good their own folly.
IX. OF ENVY.
There be none of the affections which have been noted to fascinate or bewitch, but love and envy. They both have vehement wishes; they frame themselves readily into imaginations and suggestions: and they come easily into the eye; especially upon the presence of the objects; which are the points that conduce to fascination, if any such thing there be. We see likewise, the Scripture calleth envy an evil eye: and the astrologers call the evil influences of the stars, evil aspects; so that still there seemeth to be acknowledged in the act of envy, an ejaculation, or irradiation of the eye. Nay, some have been so curious, as to note, that the times when the stroke or percussion of an envious eye doth most hurt, are, when the party envied is beheld in glory or triumph; for that sets an edge upon envy: and, besides, at such times, the spirits of the person envied do come forth most into the outward parts, and so meet the blow.
But leaving these curiosities, though not unworthy to be thought on in fit place, we will handle, what persons are apt to envy others; what persons are most subject to be envied themselves; and what is the difference between public and private envy.
A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever envielh virtue in others. For men's minds will either feed upon their own good, or upon others' evil; and who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other: and whoso is out of hope to attain to another's virtue, will seek to come at even hand by depressing another's fortune.
A man that is busy and inquisitive, is commonly envious: for to know much of other men's matters cannot be, because all that ado may concern his own estate: therefore it must needs be, that he taketh a kind of play-pleasurein looking upon the fortunes of others; neither can he that mindeth but his own business find much matter for envy. For envy is a gadding passion, and walketh the streets, and doth not keep home; "Non est curiosus, quin idem sit malevolus."
Men of noble birth are notec to be envious towards new men when they rise: for the distance is altered; and it is like a deceit of the eye, that «hen others come on, they think themselves go lack.
Deformed persons and eunuchs, and old men and bastards, are envious: for he that cannot possibly mend his own case, will do what he can to impair another's; except these defects light upon a very brave and heroical nature, which thinketh to make his natural wants part of his honour; in that it should be said, that an eunuch or a lame man did snch great matters; affecting the honour of a miracle: as it was in Narses the eunuch, and Agesilaus and Tamerlane, that were lame men.
The same is the case of men that rise after calamities and misfortunes; for they are as men fallen out with the times, and think other men's harms a redemption of their own sufferings.
They that desire to excel in too many matters, out of levity and vain-glory, are ever envious, for they cannot want work; it being impossible but many, in some one of those things, should surpass them, ^hich was the character of Adrian the emperor, that mortally envied poets, and painters, and artificers, in works wherein he had a vein to excel.
Lastly, near kinsfolks, and fellows in office, and those that have been bred together, are more apt to envy their equals when they are raised. For it doth upbraid unto them their own fortunes, and pointeth at them, and cometh oftener into their remembrance, and incurreth likewise more into the note of others; and envy ever redoubleth from speech and fame. Cain's envy was the more vile and malignant towards his brother Abel, because, *hen his sacrifice was better accepted, there was nobody to look on. Thus much for those that are apt to envy.
Concerning those that are more or less subject to c-nvy: First, persons of eminent virtue, when they are advanced, are less envied. For their fortune seemeth but due unto them; and no man envieth 'be payment of a debt, but rewards, and liberality rather. Again, envy is ever joined with the comparing of a man's self; and where there is no comparison, no envy; and therefore kings are not envied but by kings. Nevertheless it is to be noted, that unworthy persons are most envied at their first cotningin, and afterwards overcome it better; whereas contrariwise, persons of worth and merit are most envied when their fortune continueth long. For by 'bat time, though their virtue be the same, yet it hath not the same lustre; for fresh men grow up 'hat darken it.
Persons of noble blood are less envied in their rising; for it seemeth but right done to their birth: besides, there seemeth not much added to their fortune; and envy is as the sun-beams, that beat hotter upon a bank or steep rising ground than upon a fiat. And for the same reason, those that are advanced by degrees, are less envied than those that are advanced suddenly, and per saltum.
Those that have joined with their honour great travels, cares, or perils, are less subject to envy: for men think that they earn their honours hardly, and pity them sometimes; and pity ever healeth envy: wherefore you shall observe, that the more deep and sober sort of politic persons, in their greatness, are ever bemoaning themselves what a life they lead, chanting a " Quanta patimur:" not that they feel it so, but only to abate the edge of envy. But this is to be understood of business that is laid upon men, and not such as they call unto themselves: for nothing increaseth envy more, than an unnecessary and ambitious engrossing of business: and nothing doth extinguish envy more, than for a great person to preserve all other inferior officers in their full rights and pre-eminences of their places: for by that means there be so many screens between him and envy.
Above nil, those are most subject to envy, which carry the greatness of their fortunes in an insolent and proud manner: being never well but while they are showing how great they are, either by outward pomp, or by triumphing over all opposition or competition: whereas wise men will rather do sacrifice to envy, in suffering themselves sometimes of purpose to be crossed and overborne in things that do not much concern them. Notwithstanding, so much is true, that the carriage of greatness in a plain and open manner, so it be without arrogancy and vain-glory, doth draw less envy, than if it be in a more crafty and cunning fashion. For in that course a man doth but disavow fortune, and seemeth to be conscious of his own want in worth, and doth but teach others to envy him.
Lastly, to conclude this part; as we said in the beginning, that the act of envy had somewhat in it of witchcraft, so there is no other cure of envy, but the cure of w-itchcraft: and that is, to remove the lot, as they call it, and to lay it upon another. For which purpose, the wiser sort of great persons bring in ever upon the stage somebody upon whom to derive the envy that would come upon themselves; sometimes upon ministers and servants, sometimes upon colleagues and associates, and the like: and for that turn, there are never wanting some persons of violent and undertaking natures, who, so they may have power and business, will take it at any cost.
Now to speak of public envy. There is yet some good in public envy, whereas in private there is none. For public envy is as an ostracism, that eclipseth men when they grow too great: and therefore it is a bridle also to great ones, to keep them within bounds.
This envy, being in the Latin word invidift, goeth in the modern languages by the name of discontentment; of which we shall speak in handling sedition. It is a disease in a state like to infection: for as infection spreadeth upon that which is sound, and tainteth it; so when envy is gotten once into a state, it traduceth even the best actions thereof, and turneth them into an ill odour; and therefore there is little won by intermingling of plausible actions: for that doth argue but a weakness and fear of envy, which hurteth so much the more; as it is likewise usual in infections, which if you fear them, you call them upon you.
This public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon principal officers or ministers, rather than upon kings and estates themselves. But this is a sure rule, that if the envy upon the minister be great, when the cause of it in him is small; or if the envy be general in a manner upon all the ministers of an estate, then the envy, though hidden, is truly upon the state itself. And so much of public envy or discontentment, and the difference thereof from private envy, which was handled in the first place.
We will add this in general touching the affection of envy: that of all other affections, it is the most importune and continual: for of other affections there is occasion given but now and then: and therefore it is well said, "Invidia festos dies non agit :" for it is ever working upon some or other. And it is also noted, that love and envy do make a man pine, which other affections do not, because they are not so continual. It is also the vilest affection, and the most depraved; for which cause it is the proper attribute of the devil, who is called "the envious man, that soweth tares amongst the wheat by night:" as it always cometh to pass, that envy worketh subtilty, and in the dark; and to the prejudice of good things, such as is the wheat.
X. OF LOVE.
The stage is more beholden to love, than the life of man. For as to the stage, love is ever matter of comedies, and now and then of tragedies; but in life it doth much mischief, sometimes like a siren, sometimes like a fury. You may observe, that amongst all the great and worthy persons, whereof the memory remaineth, either ancient or recent, there is not one that hath been transported to the mad degree of love; which shows, that great spirits and great business do keep out this weak passion. You must except nevertheless Marcus Antonius, the half partner of the empire of Rome, cind Appius Claudius, the decemvir and lawgiver; whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous man and inordinate; but the latter was an austere and wise man: and therefore it seems, though rarely, that love can find entrance, not only into an open heart, but also into a heart well fortified, if watch be not well kept. It is a poor saying of Epicurus; "Satis magnum alter altori theatrum sumus:" as if man, made for the contemplation of heaven, and all noble objects, should do nothing but kneel before a little idol, and make himself subject, though not of the mouth, as beasts are, yet of the eye, which was given him for higher purposes. It is a strange thing to note the excess
of this passion; and how it braves the nature and value of things by this, that the speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in nothing but in love. Neither is it merely in the phrase; for whereas it hath been well said, that the arch flatterer, with whom all the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man's self; certainly the lover is more. For there was never proud man thought so absurdly well of himself, as the lover doth of the person loved; and therefore it was well said, that it is impossible to love, and to be wise. Neither doth this weakness appear to others only, and not to the party loved, but to the loved most of all j except the love be reciproqiie. For it is a true rule, that love is ever rewarded either with the reciproque, or with an inward and secret contempt: by how much the more men ought to beware of this passion, which loseth not only other things, but itself. As for the other losses, the poet's relation doth well figure them; that he that preferred Helena, quitted the gifts of Juno and Pallas: for whosoever esteemeth too much of amorous affection, quitteth both riches and wisdom. This passion hath its floods in the very times of weakness, which are great prosperity, and great adversity; though this latter hath been less observed: both which times kindle love, and make it more fervent, and therefore, show it to be the child of folly. They do best, who, if they cannot but admit love, yet make it keep quarter; and sever it wholly from their serious affairs and actions of life: for if it check once with business, it troubleth men's fortunes, and maketh men that they can no ways be true to their own ends. I know not how, but martial men are given to love: I think it is, but as they are given to wine; for perils commonly ask to be paid in pleasures. There is in man's nature a secret inclination and motion towards love of others, which if it be not spent upon some one or a few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, and maketh men become humane and charitable; as it is seen sometimes in friars. Nuptial love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it.
XI. OF GREAT PLACE.
Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and servants of business: so as they have no freedom, neither in their persons, nor in their actions, nor in their times. It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man's self. The rising unto place is laborious; and by pains men come to greater pains: and it is sometimes base; and by indignities men come to dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress is either a downfal, or at least an eclipse, which is a melancholy thing. "Cum non sis qui fueris, non esse cur velis vivere?" Nay, retire men cannot when they would; neither will they when it were reason; but are impatient of privateness, even in age and sickness, which require the shadow: like old townsmen, that will be still sitting at their street door, though thereby they offer age to scorn. Certainly great persons had need to borrow olhermen's opinions to think themselves happy; for if they judge by their own feeling, they cannot find it; but if they think with themselves what other men think of them, and that other men would fain be as they are, then they are happy as it were by report, when perhaps they find the contrary within. For they are the first that find their own griefs; though they be the last that find their own faults. Certainly men in great fortunes are strangers to themselves, and while they are in the puzzle of business, they have no time to tend their health cither of body or mind. "IIli mors gravis incubat, qui notus nimis omnibus, ignotus moritur sibi." In place there is licence to do good and evil; whereof the latter is a curse; for in evil the best condition is not to will, the second not to can. But power to do good is the true and lawful end of aspiring. For good thoughts, though God accept them, yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act; and that cannot be without power and place; as the vantage and commanding ground. Merit and good works is the end of man's motion; and conscience of the same is the accomplishment of man's rest. For if a man can be partaker of God's theatre, he shall likewise be partaker of God's rest. "Et conversus Deus, ut aspiceret opera, quae fecemnt manus su«, vidit quod omnia essent bona nimis;" and then the sabbath. In the discharge of thy place, set before thee the best examples; for imitation is a globe of precepts. And after a time set before thee thine own example; and examine thyself strictly, whether thou didst not best at first. Neglect not- also the examples of those, that have carried themselves ill in the same place: not to set off thyself by taxing their memory; but to direct thyself what to avoid. Reform, therefore, without bravery or scandal of former times and persons; but yet set it down to thyself, as well to create good precedents, as to follow them. Reduce things to the first institution, and observe wherein and how they have degenerated; but yet ask counsel of both times: of the ancient time what is best; and of the latter time what is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular; that men may know beforehand what they may expect: but be not too positive and peremptory; and express thyself well when thou digressest from thy rule. Preserve the right of thy place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction: and rather assume thy right in silence, and de facto, than voice it with claims and challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of inferior places: and think it more honour to direct in chief, than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and advices touching the execution of thy place; and do not drive away such as bring thee information, as meddlers, but accept of them in good part. The vices of authority are chiefly four; delays, corruption, roughness, and facility. For delays; give easy access; keep times appointed; go through with that which is in hand; and interlace not business but of necessity. For corruption; do not only bind thine own hands, or thy servant's hand, from taking, but bind the hands of suitors also from offering. For integrity used doth the one;
but integrity professed, and with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other: and avoid not only the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found variable, and changcth manifestly without manifest cause, giveth suspicion of corruption. Therefore always when thou changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and declare it, together with the reasons that move thee to change; and do not think to steal it. A servant or a favourite, if he be inward, and no other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly thought but a bye-way to close corruption. For roughness, it is a needless cause of discontent; severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even reproofs from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting. As for facility, it is worse than bribery. For bribes come but now and then ; but if importunity or idle respects lead a man, he shall never be without. As Solomon saith; "to respect persons is not good; for such a man will transgress for a piece of bread." It is most true that was anciently spoken, " A place showeth the man:" and it showeth some to the better, and some to the worse; "omnium consensu, capax imperii, nisi imperasset," saith Tacitus of Galba: but of Vespasian he saith; "solus imperantium Vespasianus mutatus in melius." Though the one was meant of sufficiency, the other of manners and affection. It is an assured sign of a worthy and generous spirit, whom honour amends. For honour is, or should be, the place of virtue: and as in nature things move violently to their place, and calmly in their place ; so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding-stair; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man's self whilst he is in the rising; and to balance himself when he is placed. Use the memory of thy predecessor fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will sure be paid when thou art gone. If thou have colleagues, respect them, and rather call them when they look not for if, than exchide them when they have reason to look to be called. Be not too sensible, or too remembering of thy place in conversation, and private answers to suitors; but let it rather be said, When he sits in place he is another man.
XII. OF BOLDNESS.
It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise man's consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief part of an orator? He answered, Action. What next ?—Action. What next again ?—Action. He said it that knew it best; and had by nature himself no advantage in that he commended. A strange thing, that that part of an orator, which is but superficial, and rather the virtue of a player, should be placed so high above those other noble parts of invention, elocution, and the rest: nay almost alone, as if it were all in all. But the reason is plain. There is in human nature, generally, more of the fool than of the wise; and therefore those faculties by which the foolish part of men's minds is taken, are most potent. Wonderful like is the case of boldness in civil business; what