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of their own proceedings. But Solomon saitli, "Prudens advertit ad gressus suos: slullus divertit ad dolos."
XXIII. OF WISDOM FOR A KAN'S SELF.
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 public. 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. It is a poor centre of a man's actions, Himself. It is right earth. For that only stands fast upon his own 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 man'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 desperate evil in a servant to a prince, or a citizen in a republic. For whatsoever affairs pass such a man's hands, he crookcth them to his own ends: which must needs be often eccentric to the ends 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 lost: 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 a 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 set a 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, isafier 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 ret 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.
Wisdom for a man's 6elf is in many branches thereof a depraved thing. It is the wisdom of rats, that will be sure to leave a house somewhat 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 Bays of Pompey, are " sui amantes 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 selfwisdom to have pinioned.
XXIV. OF INNOVATIONS.
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 first 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, though 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 old times are but a scorn to the new. It were good, therefore, that men in their innovations would 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 impairs others: and he that is holpen takes it for a fortune, and thanks the time; and he that is hurt, for a wrong, and imputeth 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 us, and discover what is the straight and right way, and so to walk in it."
XXV. OF DESPATCH.
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 times of sitting, but by the advancement of the business. And as in races, 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, only 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, anether by cutting off: and business so bandied at several sittings or meetings, goeth commonly backward and forward in an unsteady manner. I knew a wise man that had it for a by-word, when he saw men hasten to a conclusion, " Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner."
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 at 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 Spain; for then it will be sure to,be long in coming.
Give good hearing to those that give the first information in businessj and rather direct them in the beginning, than interrupt them in the continuance of their speeches: for he that is put out of his own order, will go forward and backward, and be more tedious while he waits upon his memory, than he could have been if he had gone on in his own course. But sometimes it is seen, that the moderator ia more troublesome than the actor.
Iterations are commonly loss of time: but there is no such gain of time, as to iterate often the state of the question; for it chaseth away many a frivolous speech as it is coming forth. Long and curious speeches are as fit for despatch, as a robe or mantle with a long train is for race. Prefaces, and passages, and excusations, and other speeches of reference to the person; are great wastes of time; and though they seem to proceed of modesty, they are braven-. Yet beware of being too material, when there is any impediment or obstruction in men's wills; for pre-occupation of mind ever requireth preface of speech; like a fomentation to make the unguent enter.
Above all things, order and distribution, and singling out of parts, is the life of despatch: so as the distribution be not too subtile; for he that doth not divide will never enter well into business; and he that divideth too much, will never come out of it clearly. To choose time, is to save time; and unseasonable motion is but beating the air. There be three parts of business; the preparation, the debate or examination, and the perfection. Whereof, if you look for despatch, let the middle only be the work of many, and the first and last the work of few. The proceeding upon somewhat conceived in writing, doth for the most part facilitate despatch : for though it .should be wholly rejected, yet that negative is more pregnant of direction than an indefinite; as ashes are more generative than dust.
XXVI. OF SEEMING WISE.
It hath been an opinion, that the French are wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are. But howsoever it be between nations, certainly it is so between man and man. For as the apostle saith of godliness, "having a show of godliness, but denying the power thereof;" so certainly there are in point of wisdom and sufficiency that to do nothing or little very solemnly; "magno conatu nugas." It is a ridiculous thing,
and fit for a satire to persons of judgment, to see what shifts these formalists have, and what prospectives to make superficies to seem body that hath depth and bulk. Some are so close and reserved, as they will not show their wares but by a dark light; and seem always to keep back somewhat; and when they know within themselves they speak of that they do not well know, would nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may not well speak. Some help themselves with countenance and gesture, and are wise by signs; as Cicero saith of Piso, that when he answered him, he fetched one of his brows up to his forehead, and bent the other down to his chin: " respondes, altero ad frontem snblato, altero ad mentum depresso supercilio, crndelitatem tibi non placere." Some think to bear it by speaking a great word, and being peremptory; and go on, and take by admittance that which they cannot make good. Some, whatsoever is beyond their reach, will seem to despise or make light of it as impertinent or curious; and so would have their ignorance seem judgment. Some are never without a difference, and commonly by amusing men with a subtilly blanch the matter; of whom A. Gellius saith, " hominem delirum, qui verbonim minutiis rerum frangit pondera." Of which kind also, Plato in his "Protagoras" bringeth in Prodicus in scorn, and maketh him make a speech that consisteth of distinctions from the beginning to the end. Generally such men in all deliberations find ease to be of the negative side, and affect a credit to object and foretell difficulties: for when propositions are denied, there is an end of them; but if they be allowed, it requireth a new work: which false point of wisdom is the bane of business. To conclude, there is no decaying merchant, or inward beggar, hath so many tricks to uphold the credit of their wealth, as these empty persons have to maintain the credit of their sufficiency. Seeming wise men may make shift to get opinion; but let no man choose them for employment, for certainly you were better take for business a man somewhat absurd, than over formal.
XXVII. OF FRIENDSHIP.
It had been hard for him that spake it to have put more truth and untruth together, in few words, than in that speech; "Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast, or a god." For it is most true, that a natural and secret hatred, and aversation towards society, in any men, hath somewhat of the savage beast: but it is most untrue, that it should have any character at all of the divine nature, except it proceed, not out of a pleasure in solitude, but out of a love and desire to sequester a man's self for a higher conversation: such as is found to have been falsely and feignedly in some of the heathen; as Epimenides the Candian, Numa the Roman, Empedocles the Sicilian, and Apollonius of Tyana; and truly and really in divers of the ancient hermits, and holy fathers of the church. But little do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it extendeth. For a crowd is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. The Latin adage meeteth with it a little; "Magna civitas, magna solitudo j" because in a great town friends are scattered, so that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, which is in less neighbourhoods. But we may go farther and affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude, to want true friends, without which the world is but a wilderness. And even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his nature and affections is unfit for friendship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity.
A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce. We know diseases of stoppings and suffocations are the most dangerous in the body; and it is not much otherwise in the mind; you may take sarza to open the liver; steel to open the spleen; flour of sulphur for the lungs; castoreum for the brain; but no receipt openeth the heart but a true friend, to whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon the heart, to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or confession.
It is a strange thing to observe, how high a rate great kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of friendship, whereof we speak j so great, as they purchase it many times at the hazard of their own safety and greatness. For princes, in regard of the distance of their fortune from that of their subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except, to make themselves capable thereof, they raise some persons to be as it were companions, and almost equals to themselves; which many times sorteth to inconvenience. The modern languages give unto such persons the name of favourites or privadoes j as if it were matter of grace or conversation: but the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause thereof; naming them "participes curarum;" for it is that which tieth the knot. And we see plainly, that this hath been done, not by weak and passionate princes only, but by the wisest and most politic that ever reigned, who have oftentimes joined to themselves some of their servants, whom both themselves have called friends, and allowed others likewise to call them in the same manner, using the word which is received between private men.
L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised Fompey, after surnamed the Great, to that height, that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's over-match. For when he had the consulship for a friend of his against the pursuit of Sylla, and that Sylla did a little resent thereat, and began to speak great, Pompey turned upon him again, and in effect bade him be quiet; for that more men adored the sun rising, than the sun setting. With Julius Ceesar, Decimus Brutus had obtained that interest, as he set him down in his testament for heir in remainder after his nephew. And this was the man that had power with him to draw him forth to his death. For when Cffisar would have discharged the senate, in regard of some ill presages, and especially a dream of Cal
pumia; this man lifted him gently by the arm out of his chair, telling him, He hoped he would not dismiss the senate, till his wife had dreamed a better dream. And it seemeth, his favour was so great, as Antonius, in a letter which is recited verbatim in one of Cicero's Philippics, calleth him "venefica," witch; as if he had enchanted C«sar. Augustus raised Agrippa, though of mean birth, to that height, as when he consulted with Mtecenas about the marriage of his daughter Julia, Maecenas took the liberty to tell him, That he must either marry his daughter to Agrippa, or take away his life; there was no third way, he had made him so great. With Tiberius Ca?sar Sejanus had ascended to that height, as they two were termed and reckoned as a pair of friends. Tiberius in a letter to him saith; "Htec pro amicitiA nostrft non occullavi:" and the whole senate dedicated an altar to friendship as to a goddess, in respect of the great dearness of friendship between them two. The like or more was between Septimius Severus and Plantianus. For he forced his eldest son to marry the daughter of Plantianus; and would often maintain Plantianus in doing affronts to his son: and did write also in a letter to the senate by these words: "I love the man so well, as I wish he may overlive me." Now if these princes had been as a Trajan or a Marcus Aurelius, a man might have thought that this had proceeded of an abundant goodness of nature; but being men so wise, of such strength and severity of mind, and so extreme lovers of themselves, as all these were; it proveth most plainly, that they found their own felicity, though as great as ever happened to mortal men, but as an half piece, except they might have a friend to make it entire; and yet, which is more, they were princes that had wives, sons, nephews; and yet all these could not supply the comfort of friendship.
It is not to be foigotten what Commineus observeth of his first master duke Charles the Hardy, namely, That he would communicate his secrets with none: and least of all those secrets which troubled him most Whereupon he goeth on, and saith, That towards his latter time, that closeness did impair, and a little perish his understanding. Surely Commineus might have made the same judgment also if it had pleased him, of his second master Lewis the eleventh, whose closeness was indeed his tormentor. The parable of Pythagoras is dark, but true; "Cor ne edito," eat not the heart. Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, those that want friends to open themselves unto, are cannibals of their own hearts. But one thing is most admirable, wherewith I will conclude this first fruit of friendship, which is, that this communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys and cutteth griefs in halfs. For there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more; and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the less. So that it is in truth of operation upon a man's mind of like virtue, as the alchemists use to attribute to their stone, for man's body; that it worketh all contrary effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature. But yet, without praying in aid of alchemists, there is a manifest image of this in the ordinary course of nature. For in bodies, union strengtheneth and cherisheth any natural action; and on the other side, weakeneth and dulleth any violent impression; and even so is it of minds.
The second fruit of friendship is healthful and sovereign for the understanding, as the first is for the affections. For friendship maketh indeed a fair day in the affections, from storm and tempests; but it maketh day-light in the understanding, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts: neither is this to be understood only of faithful counsel, which a man receiveth from his friend; but l>efore you come to that, certain it is, that whosoever hath his mind fraught with many thoughts, his wits and understanding do clarify and break up in the communicating and discoursing with another: he tosseth his thoughts more easily; he marshalleth them more orderly; he seeth how they look when they are turned into words; finally, he wnxeth wiser than himself; and that more by an hour's discourse, than by a day's meditation. It was well said by Themi8tocles to the king of Persia, That speech was like cloth of Arras, opened and put abroad, whereby the imagery doth appear in figure; whereas in thoughts they lie but as in packs. Neither is this second fruit of friendship, in opening the understanding, restrained only to such friends, as are able to give a man counsel: they indeed are best: but even, without that, a man leameth of himself and bringeth his own thoughts to light, and whetteth his wits as against a stone, which itself cuts not. In a word; a man were better relate himself to a statue or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother.
Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship complete, that other point which lieth more open, and falleth within vulgar observation; which is faithful counsel from a friend. Heraclitus saith well in one of his ssnigmas, Dry light is ever the best. And certain it is, that the light that a man receiveth by counsel from another, is drier and purer, than that which cometh from his own understanding and judgment; which is ever infused and drenched in his affections and customs. So as there is as much difference between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend, and of a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as is a man's self; and there is no such remedy against flattery of a man's self, as the liberty of a friend. Counsel is of two sorts; the one concerning manners, the other concerning business. For the first, the best preservative to keep the mind in health, is the faithful admonition of a friend. The calling a man's self to a strict account, is a medicine sometimes too piercing and corrosive. Reading good books of morality, is a little flat and dead. Observing our faults in others, is sometimes improper for our case: but the best receipt, best, I say, to work, and best to take, is the admonition of a friend. It is a strange thing to behold what gross errors and extreme absurdities many, especially of the greater
sort, do commit for want of a friend to tell them of them; to the great damage both of their fame and fortune. For, as St. James saith, they are as men "that look sometimes into a glass, and presently forget their own shape and favour." As for business, a man may think if he will, that two eyes see no more than one; or that a gamester seeth always more than a looker-on; or that a man in anger is as wise as he that hath said over the four and twenty letters; or that a musket may be shot off, as well upon the arm, as upon a rest; and such other fond and high imaginations, to think himself all in all. But when all is done, the help of good counsel is that which setteth business straight. And if any man think, that he will take counsel, but it shall be by pieces; asking counsel in one business of one man, and in another business of another man; it is well, that is to say, better perhaps than if he asked none at all, but he runneth two dangers: one, that he shall not be faithfully counselled; for it is a rare thing, except it be from a perfect and entire friend, to have counsel given, but such as shall be bowed and crooked to some ends which he hath that giveth it. The other, that he shall have counsel given, hurtful and unsafe, though with good meaning, and mixed partly of mischief, and partly of remedy: even as if you would call a physician that is thought good for the cure of the disease you complain of, but is unacquainted with your body; and therefore may put you in way for a present cure, but overthroweth your health in some other kind, and so cure the disease and kill the patient. But a friend that is wholly acquainted with a man's estate, will beware by farthering any present business how he dasheth upon other inconvenience. And therefore rest not upon scattered counsels; they will rather distract and mislead, than settle and direct.
After these two noble fruits of friendship, peace in the affections, and support of the judgment, followeth the last fruit, which is like the pomegranate, full of many kernels; I mean aid, and bearing a part in all actions and occasions. Here the best way to represent to life the manifold use of friendship, is to cast and see how many things there are which a man cannot do himself; and then it will appear that it was a sparing speech of the ancients to say, That a friend is another himself; for that a friend is far more than himself. Men have their time, and die many times in desire of some things which they principally take to heart; the bestowing of a child, the finishing of a work, or the like. If a man have a true friend, he may rest almost secure, that the care of those things will continue after him. So that a man hath as it were two lives in his desires. A man hath a body, and that body is confined to a place; but where friendship is, all offices of life are as it were granted to him and his deputy: for he may exercise them by his friend. How many things are there, which a man cannot, with any face or comeliness, say or do himself? A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, much less extol them: a man cannot sometimes brook to supplicate or beg; and a number of the like. But all these things are graceful in a friend's month, which are blushing in a man's own. So again, a man's person hath many proper relations, which he cannot put off. A man cannot speak to his son, but as a father; to his wife, but as a husband; to his enemy, but upon terms; whereas a friend may speak as the case requires, and not as it sorteth with the person. But to enumerate these things were endless; I have given the rule, where a man cannot fitly play his own part; if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage.
XXVIII. OF EXPENSE.
Riches are for spending; and spending for honour and good actions. Therefore extraordinary expense must be limited by the worth of the occasion; for voluntary undoing may be as well for a man's country, as for the kingdom of heaven. But ordinary expense ought to be limited by a man's estate, and governed with such regard as it be within his compass; and not subject to deceit and abuse of servants; and ordered to the best show, that the bills may be less than the estimation abroad. Certainly if a man will keep but of even hand, his ordinary expenses ought to be but to the half of his receipts; and if he think to wax rich, but to the third part. It is no baseness for the greatest, to descend and look into their own estate. Some forbear it, not upon negligence alone, but doubting to bring themselves into melancholy, in respect they shall find it broken. But wounds cannot be cured without searching. He that cannot look into his own estate at all, had need both choose well those whom he employeth, and change them often: for new are more timorous and less subtile. He that can look into his estate but seldom, it behovcth him to turn all to certainties. A man had need, if he be plentiful in some kind of expense, to be as saving again in some other. As if he be plentiful in diet, to be saving in apparel: if he be plentiful in the hall, to be saving in the stable: and the like. For he that is plentiful in expenses of all kinds, will hardly be preserved from decay. In clearing of a man's estate, he may as well hurt himself in being too sudden, as in letting it run on too long: for hasty selling is commonly as disadvantageable as interest. Besides, he that clears at once will relapse; for finding himself out of straits, he will revert to his customs; but he that cleareth by degrees induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth as well upon his mind as upon his estate. Certainly, who hath a state to repair,may not despise small things: and commonly it is less dishonourable to abridge petty charges, than to stoop to petty gettings. A man ought warily to begin charges, which once begun will continue; but in matters that return not, he may be more magnificent.
XXIX. OF THE TRUE GREATNESS OF KINGDOMS AND ESTATES.
The speech of Themistocles the Athenian, which was haughty and arrogant in taking so much to himself, had been a grave and wise observation and
censure, applied at large to others. Desired at a feast to touch a lute, he said, He could not fiddle, but yet he could make a small town a great city. These words, holpen a little with a metaphor, may express two differing abilities in those that deal in business of estate. For if a true survey be taken of counsellors and statesmen, there may be found, though rarely, those which can make a small state great, and yet cannot fiddle; as on the other side, there will be found a great many that can fiddle very cunningly, but yet are so far from being able to make a small state great, as their gift lieth the other way; to bring a great and flourishing estate to ruin and decay. And certainly those degenerate arts and shifts, whereby many counsellors and governors gain both favour with their masters, and estimation with the vulgar, deserve no better name than fiddling; being things rather pleasing for the time, and gracefid to themselves only, tl»n tending to the weal and advancement of the state which they serve. There are also, no doubt, counsellors and governors which may be held sufficient, negotiis pares, able to manage affairs, and to keep them from precipices and manifest inconveniences, which nevertheless are far from the ability to raise and amplify an estate, in power, means, and fortune. But be the workmen what they may be, let us speak of the work; that is, the true greatness of kingdoms and estates, and the means thereof. An argument fit for great and mighty princes to have in their hand; to the end that neither by over-measuring their forces they lose themselves in vain enterprises: nor on the other side, by undervaluing them, they descend to fearful and pusillanimous counsels.
The greatness of an estate in bulk and territory doth fall under measure, and the greatness of finances and revenue doth fall under computation. The population may appear by musters; and the number and greatness of cities and towns by cards and maps. But yet there is not any thing amongst civil affairs more subject to error, than the right valuation and true judgment concerning the power and forces of an estate. The kingdom of heaven is compared, not to any great kernel or nut, but to a grain of mustard-seed; which is one of the least grains, but hath in it a property and spirit hastily to get up and spread. So are there states, great in territory, and yet not apt to enlarge or command; and some that have but a small dimension of stem; and yet apt to be the foundations of great monarchies.
Walled towns, stored arsenals and armouries, goodly races of horse, chariots of war, elephants, ordnance, artillery, and the like: all this is but a sheep in a lion's skin, except the breed and disposition of the people be stout and warlike. Nay, number itself, in armies, importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for, as Virgil saith, it never troubles a wolf how many the sheep be. The army of the Persians, in the plains of Arbela, was such a vast sea of people, as it did somewhat astonish the commanders in Alexander's army; who came to him therefore, and wished him to set upon them by night; but he answered he would not