« PreviousContinue »
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 merchandise 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 j the one free and general for all; the other under licence only to certain persons, and in certain places of merchandizing. First, therefore, let usury in general be reduced to five in the hundred; and let that rate be proclaimed to be free and current; and let the state shut itself out to take any penalty for the same. This will preserve borrowing from any general stop or dryness. This will ease infinite borrowers in the country. This will in good part raise the price of land, because land purchased at sixteen years' purchase, will yield six in the hundred and somewhat more, whereas this rate of interest yields but five. This by like reason will encourage and edge industrious and profitable improvements; because many will rather venture in that kind, than take five in the hundred, especially having been used to greater profit. Secondly, let there be certain persons licensed to lend to known merchants, upon usury at a higher rate: and let it be with the cautions following. Let the rate be, even with the merchant himself, somewhat more easy than that he used formerly to pay: for by that means all borrowers shall have some ease by this reformation, be he merchant or whosoever. Let it be no bank, or common stock, but every man be master of his own money. Not that I altogether mislike banks, but they will hardly be brooked in regard of certain suspicions. Let the state be answered some small matter for the licence, and the rest left to the lender; for if the abatement be but small, it will no whit discourage the lender. For he, for example, that took before ten or nine in the hundred, will sooner descend to eight in the hundred, than give over his trade of usury; and go from certain gains, to gains of hazard. Let these licensed lenders be in number indefinite, but restrained to certain principal cities and towns of merchandizing: for then they will be hardly able to colour other men's monies in the country; so as the licence of nine will not suck away the current rate of five: for no man will lend his monies far off, nor put them into unknown hands.
If it be objected, that this doth in a sort authorize usury, which before was in some places but permissive; the answer is, that it is better to mitigate usury by declaration, than to suffer it to rage by connivance.
XLIL OF YOUTH AND AGE.
A man that is young in years, may be old in hours, if he have lost no time. But that happeneth rarely.
Generally youth is like the first cogitations, not so wise as the second. For there is a youth in thoughts, as well as in ages. And yet the invention of young men is more lively than that of the old; and imaginations stream into their minds better, and as it were more divinely. Natures that have much heat, and great and violent desires and perturbations, are not ripe for action, till they have passed the meridian of their years: as it was with Julius Ceesar, and Septimius Severus. Of the latter of whom it is said, "Juventutem egit erroribus, imo furoribus, plenam." And yet he was the ablest emperor almost of all the list. But reposed natures may do well in youth: as it is seen in Augustus Caesar, Cosmus duke of Florence, Gaston de Foix, and others. On the other side, heat and vivacity in age is an excellent composition for business. Young men are fitter to invent than to judge; fitter for execution than for counsel; and fitter for new projects than for settled business. For the experience of age, in things that fall within the compass of it, directeth them; but in new things abuseth them. The errors of young men are the ruin of business; but the errors of aged men amount but to this, that more might have been done, or sooner. Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, embrace more than they can hold; stir more than they can quiet; fly to the end, without consideration of the means and degrees; pursue some few principles, which they have chanced upon, absurdly; care not to innovate, which draws unknown inconveniences; use extreme remedies at first; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not acknowledge or retract them; like an unready horse, that will neither stop nor turn. Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period; but content themselves with a mediocrity of success. Certainly it is good to compound employments of both; for that will be good for the present, because the virtues of either age may correct the defects of both: and good for succession, that young men may be learners, while men in age are actors: and lastly, good for extern accidents, because authority followeth old men, and favour and popularity youth. But for the moral part, perhaps youth will have the pre-eminence, as age hath for the politic. A certain rabbin upon the text, "Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;" inferreth, that young men are admitted nearer to God than old; because vision is a clearer revelation than a dream. And certainly the more a man drinketh of the world, the more it intoxicateth; and age doth profit rather in the powers of understanding, than in the virtues of the will and affections. There be some have an overearly ripeness in their years, which fadeth betimes: these are first, such as have brittle wits, the edge whereof is soon turned; such as was Hermogenes the rhetorician, whose books are exceeding subtile; who afterwards waxed stupid. A second sort is of those that have some natural dispositions, which have better grace in youth than in age: such as is a fluent and luxuriant speech; which becomes youth well, but not age. So Tully saith of Hortensius, "Idem manebat, neque idem decebat." The third is, of such as take too high a strain at the first; and are magnanimous, more than tract of years can uphold. As was Scipio Africanus, of whom Livy saith in effect, "Ultima primis cedebant."
XLIII. OF BEAUTY.
Virtue is like a rich stone, best plain set: and surely virtue is best in a body that is comely, though not of delicate features; and that hath rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect. Neither is it almost seen, that very beautiful persons are otherwise of great virtue. As if nature were rather busy not to err, than in labour to produce excellency. And therefore they prove accomplished, but not of great spirit; and study rather behaviour than virtue. But this holds not always; for Augustus Ca?sar, Titus Vespasianus, Philip le Bel of France, Edward the fourth of England, Alcibiades of Athens, Ismael the sophi of Persia, were all high and great spirits; and yet the most beautiful men of their times. In beauty, that of favour is more than that <jf colour; and that of decent and gracious motion more than that of favour. That is the best part of beauty, which a picture cannot express; no nor the first sight of the life. There is no excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness in the proportion. A man cannot tell, whether Apelles or Albert Durer were the more trifler; whereof the one would make a personage by geometrical proportions; the other, by taking the best parts out of divers faces, to make one excellent. Such personages, I think, would please nobody but the painter that made them. Not but I think a painter may make a better face than ever was; but he must do it by a kind of felicity, as a musician that maketh an excellent air in music, and not by rule. A man shall see faces, that if you examine them part by part, you shall never find a good; and yet altogether do well. If it be true, that the principal part of beauty is in decent motion, certainly, it is no marvel, though persons in years seem many times more amiable; "pulchrorum autumnus pulcher:" for no youth can be comely but by pardon, and considering the youth, as to make up the comeliness. Beauty is as summer fruits, which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last: and for the most part it makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out of countenance: but yet certainly again, if it light well, it maketh virtues shine, and vices blush.
XLIV. OF DEFORMITY.
Deformed persons are commonly even with nature; for as nature hath done ill by them, so do they by nature; being for the most part, as the Scripture saith, "void of natural affection:" and so they have their revenge of nature. Certainly there is a consent between the body and the mind, and where nature erreth in the one, she ventureth in the other. "Ubi peccat in uno, periclitatur in altero." But because there is in man an election touching the frame of his mind, and a necessity in the frame of
his body, the stars of natural inclination are sometimes obscured by the sun of discipline and virtue: therefore it is good to consider of deformity, not as a sign which is more deceivable, but as a cause which seldom faileth of the effect. Whosoever hath anything fixed in his person that doth induce contempt, hath also a perpetual spur in himself, to rescue and deliver himself from scom; therefore all deformed persons are extreme bold. First, as in their own defence, as being exposed to scorn; but in process of time, by a general habit. Also it stirreth in them industry, and especially of this kind, to watch and observe the weakness of others, that they may have somewhat to repay. Again, in their superiors it quencheth jealousy towards them, as persons that they think they may at pleasure despise: and it layeth their competitors and emulators asleep; as never believing they should be in possibility of advancement, till they see them in possession. So that, npon the matter, in a great wit deformity is an advantage to rising. Kings in ancient times, and at this present, in some countries, were wont to put great trust in eunuchs, because they that are envious towards all, are more obnoxious and officious towards one. But yet their trust towards them hath rather been as to good spials and good whisperers, than good magistrates and officers. And much like is the reason of deformed persons. Still the ground is, they will, if they be of spirit, seek to free themselves from scorn; which must be either by virtue or malice. And therefore let it not be marvelled, if sometimes they prove excellent persons; as was Agesilaus, Zanger the son of Solyman, iEsop, Gasca president of Peru; and Socrates may go likewise amongst them, with others.
XLV. OF BUILDING.
Houses are built to live in, and not to look on; therefore let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had. Leave the goodly fabrics of houses for beauty only, to the enchanted palaces of the poets, who build them with small cost. He that builds a fair house upon an ill seat, committeth himself to prison. Neither do I reckon it an ill seat only, where the air is unwholesome, but likewise where the air is unequal; as you shall see many fine seats, set upon a knap of ground environed with higher hills round about it, whereby the heat of the sun is pent in, and the wind gathereth as in troughs; so as you shall have, and that suddenly, as great diversity of heat and cold, as if you dwelt in several places. Neither is it ill air only that maketh an ill seat; but ill ways, ill markets; and, if you will consult with Momus, ill neighbours. I speak not of many more; want of water, want of wood, shade, and shelter; want of fruitfulness, and mixture of grounds of several natures; want of prospect; want of level grounds; want of places at some near distance for sports of hunting, hawking, and races; too near the sea, too remote; having the commodity of navigable rivers, or the discommodity of their overflowing; too fur off from great cities, which may hinder business; or too near them, which lurcheth all provisions, and makcth every thing dear; where a man hath a great living laid together, and where he is scanted: all which, as it is impossible perhaps to find together, so it is good to know them, and think of them, that a man may take as many as he can: and if he have several dwellings, that he sort them so, that what he wanteth in the one, he may find in the other. Luctillus answered Pompey well, who, when he saw his stately galleries and rooms, so large and lightsome in one of his houses, said, "Surely an excellent place for summer, but how do you do in winter?" Lucullus answered, " Why, do you not think me as wise as some fowls are, that ever change their abode towards the winter?"
To pass from the seat to the house itself, we will do as Cicero doth in the orator's art, who writes books "De Oratore," and a book he entitles " Orator:" whereof the former delivers the precepts of the art, and the latter the perfection. We will therefore describe a princely palace, making a brief model thereof. For it is strange to see, now in Europe, such huge buildings as the Vatican, and Escurial, and some others be, and yet scarce a very fair room in them.
First therefore, I say, yon cannot have a perfect palace, except you have two several sides; a side for the banquet, as is spoken of in the book of Esther; and a side for the household: the one for feasts and triumphs, the other for dwelling. I understand both these sides to be not only returns, but parts of the front; and to be uniform without, though severally partitioned within; and to be on both sides of a great and stately tower, in the midst of the front; that as it were joineth them together on either hand. I would have on the one side of the banquet, in front, one only goodly room above stairs, of some forty foot high; and under it a room for a dressing or preparing place, at times of triumphs. On the other side, which is the household side, I wish it divided at the first into a hall and a chapel, with a partition l»etween, both of good state and bigness; and those not to go all the length, but to have at the farther end a winter and a summer parlour, both fair: and under these rooms a fair and large cellar sunk under ground; and likewise some privy kitchens, with butteries and pantries, and the like. As for the tower, I would have it two stories, of eighteen foot high apiece, above the two wings; and goodly leads upon the top, railed, with statues interposed; and the same tower to be divided into rooms, as shall be thought fit. The stairs likewise to the upper rooms, let them be upon a fair open newel, and finely railed in, with images of wood cast into a brass colour; and a very fair landing-place at the top. But this to be, if you do not appoint any of the lower rooms for a dining-place of servants; for otherwise you shall have the servants' dinner after your own: for the steam of it will come up as in a tunnel. And so much for the front. Only I understand the height of the first stairs to be sixteen foot, which is the height of the lower room.
Beyond this front is there to be a fair court, but three sides of it of a far lower building than the
front. And in all the four corners of that court, fair staircases cast into turrets on the outside, and not within the row of buildings themselves: but those towers are not to be of the height of the front, but rather proportionable to the lower building. Let the court not be paved, for that striketh up a great heat in summer, and much cold in winter: but only some side alleys, with a cross, and the quarters to graze, being kept shorn, but not too near shorn. The row of return on the banquet side, let it be all stately galleries; in which galleries let there be three, or five, fine cupolas, in the length of it, placed at equal distance; and fine coloured windows of several works. On the household side, chambers of presence and ordinary entertainments, with some bed-chambers; and let all three sides be a double house, without thorough lights on the sides, that you may have rooms from the sun, both for forenoon and afternoon. Cast it also, that you may have rooms both for summer and winter; shady for summer, and warm for winter. You shall have sometimes fair houses so full of glass, that one cannot tell where to become to be out of the sun or cold. For imbowed windows, I hold them of good use, (in cities, indeed, upright do better, in respect of the uniformity towards the street,) for they be pretty retiring places for conference; and besides, they keep both the wind and sun oft"; for that which would strike almost through the room, doth scarce pass the window. But let them be but few, four in the court, on the sides only.
Beyond this court, let there be an inward court, of the same square and height, which is to be environed with the garden on all sides: and in the inside, cloistered on all sides upon decent and beautiful arches, as high as the first story: on the under story, towards the garden, let it be turned to a grotto, or place of shade or estivation: and only have opening and windows towards the garden, and be level upon the floor, no whit sunk under ground, to avoid all dampishness. And let there be a fountain, or some fair work of statues, in the midst of this court; and to be paved as the other court was. These buildings to be for privy lodgings on both sides, and the end for privy galleries: whereof you must foresee, that one of them be for an infirmary, if the prince or any special person should be sick, with chambers, bed-chamber, antecamera and recamera, joining to it. This upon the second story. Upon the ground-story, a fair gallery, open, upon pillars; and upon the third story, likewise, an open gallery, upon pillars, to take the prospect and freshness of the garden. At both corners of the farther side, by way of return, let there be two delicate or rich cabinets, daintily paved, richly hanged, glazed with crystalline glass, and a rich cupola in the midst; and all other elegancy that may be thought upon. In the upper gallery too, I wish that there may be, if the place will yield it, some fountains running in divers places from the wall, with some fine avoidances. And thus much for the model of the palace; save that you must have, before you come to the front, three courts: a green court plain, with a wall about it : a second court of the same, but more garnished, with little turrets, or rather embellishments upon the wall; and a third court, to make a square with the front, but not to be built, nor yet enclosed with a naked wall, but enclosed with terraces, leaded aloft, and fairly garnished on the three sides; and cloistered on the inside with pillars, and not witli arches below. As for offices, let them stand at distance, with some low galleries to pass from them to the palace itself.
XLVI. OF GARDENS.
God Almighty first planted a garden: and indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment of the spirits of man; without which, buildings and palaces are but gross handyworks: and a man shall ever see, that when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build stately, sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were the greater perfection. I do hold it, in the royal ordering of gardens, there ought to be gardens for all the months in the year: in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in season. For December and January, and the latter part of November, you must take such things as are green all winter j holly; ivy; bays; juniper; cypress-trees; yew; pine-apple trees; fir-trees; rosemary; lavender j periwinkle, the white, the purple, and the blue; germander; flags; orange-trees; lemon-trees; and myrtles, if they be stoved ; and sweet marjoram, warm set. There followeth, for the latter part of January and February, the mezereon tree, which then blossoms; crocus vernus, both the yellow and the gray; primroses; anemonies; the early tulip; hyacinthus orientalis; chamairis; fritellaria. For March there come violets, especially the single blue, which are the earliest; the yellow daffodil; the daisy j the almond-tree in blossom; the peach-tree in blossom; the cornelian-tree in blossom; sweetbrier. In April follow the double white violet; the wall-flower; the stock-gilliflower; the cowslip; flower-de-luces; and lilies of all natures; rosemaryflowers; the tulip; the double piony; the pale daffodil; the French honey-suckle; the cherry-tree in blossom; the damascene and plum-trees in blossom; the white-thorn in leaf; the lilach-tree. In May and June come pinks of all sorts; especially the blush pink; roses of all kinds, except the musk, which comes later; honey-suckles; strawberries; bugloss j columbine; the French marygold: flos Africanus; cherry-tree in fruit; ribes; figs in fruit; rasps; vine-flowers ; lavender in flowers; the sweet satyrian, with the white flower; herba muscaria; lilium convallium; the apple-tree in blossom. In July come gilliflowers of all varieties; musk roses; the lime-tree in blossom; early pears and plums in fruit, gennitings, codlins. In August come plums of all sorts in fruit; pears; apricots; berberries; filberds; musk melons; monks-hoods, of all colours. In September come grapes; apples; poppies of all colours; peaches; melo-cotones; nectarines; cornelians; wardens; quinces. In October, and the beginning of November, come services; medlars; bullaces; roses cut or removed to come late; holly
oaks, and such like. These particulars are for the climate of London: but my meaning is perceived, that you may have ver perpetuum, as the place affords.
And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air, where it comes and goes, like the warbling of music, than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air. Roses, damask and red, are fast flowers of their smells; so that you may walk by a whole row of them, and find nothing of their sweetness: yea, though it be in 8 morning's dew. Bays likewise yield no smell, as they grow; rosemary, little; nor sweet marjoram. That which above all others yields the sweetest smell in the air, is the violet; especially the white double violet, which comes twice a year; about the middle of April, and about Bartholomew-tide. Next to that is the musk-rose; then the strawberryleaves dying, with a most excellent cordial smell; then the flower of the vines; it is a little dust, like the dust of a bent, which grows upon the cluster, in the first coming forth; then sweet-brier: then wallflowers, which are very delightful, to be set under a parlour, or lower chamber window; then pinks and gilliflowers, especially the matted pink, and clovegilliflower; then the flowers of the lime-tree; then the honey-suckles, so they be somewhat afar off. Of bean-flowers I speak not, because they are fieldflowers; but those which perfume the air most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but being trodden upon and crushed, are three; that is, burnet, wild thyme, and water mints. Therefore you are to set whole alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk or tread.
For gardens, speaking of those which are indeed prince-lflce, as we have done of buildings, the contents ought not well to be under thirty acres of ground, and to be divided into three parts: a green in the entrance; a heath or desert in the going forth; and the main garden in the midst; besides alleys on both sides. And I like well, that four acres of ground be assigned to the green, six to the heath, four and four to either side, and twelve to the main garden. The green hath two pleasures; the one, because nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn; the other, because it will give you a fair alley in the midst; by which you may go in front upon a stately hedge, which is to enclose the garden. But because the alley will be long, and in great heat of the year or day, you ought not to buy the shade in the garden by going in the sun through the green; therefore you are, of either side the green, to plant a covert alley, upon carpenters' work, about twelve foot in height, by which you may go in shade into the garden. As for the making of knots or figures, with divers coloured earths, that they may lie under the windows of the house, on that side which the garden stands, they be but toys; you may see as good sights, many times, in tarts. The garden is best to be square, encompassed on all the four sides with a stately arched hedge: the arches to be upon pillars of carpenters' work, of some ten foot high, and six foot broad; and the spaces between of the same dimension with the breadth of the arch. Over the arches let there be an entire hedge, of some four foot high, framed also upon carpenters' work; and upon the upper hedge, over every arch, a little turret, with a belly enough to receive a cage of birds; and over every space between the arches, some other little figure, with broad plates of round coloured glass, gilt, for the sun to play upon. But this hedge I intend to be raised upon a bank, not steep, but gently slope, of some six foot, set all with flowers. Also I understand, that this square of the garden should not be the whole breadth of the ground, but to leave on either side ground enough for diversity of side alleys; unto which the two covert alleys of the green may deliver you: but there must be no alleys with hedges at either end of this great enclosure; not at the hither end, for letting your prospect upon the fair hedge from the green; nor at the farther end, for letting your prospect from the hedge, through the arches, upon the heath.
For the ordering of the ground within the great hedge, I leave it to variety of device; advising nevertheless, that .whatsoever form you cast it into, first it be not too busy, or full of work; wherein I, for my part, do not like images cut out in juniper or other garden stuff; they be for children. Little low hedges round, like welts, witli some pretty pyramids, I like well; and in some places, fair columns upon frames of carpenters' work. I would also have the alleys spacious and fair. You may have closer alleys upon the side grounds, but none in the main garden. I wish also, in the very middle, a fair mount, with three ascents and alleys, enough for four to walk a-breast; which I would have to be perfect circles, without any bulwarks or embossments; and the whole mount to be thirty foot high j and some fine banqueting house, with some chimneys neatly cast, and without too much glass.
For fountains, they are a great beauty and refreshment; but pools mar all, and make the garden unwholesome, and full of flies and frogs. Fountains I intend to be of two natures: the one that sprinkleth or spouteth water; the other a fair receipt of water, of some thirty or forty foot square, but without fish, or slime, or mud. For the first, the ornaments of images gilt, or of marble, which are in use, do well: but the main matter is so to convey the water, as it never stay either in the bowls, or in the cistern; that the water be never by rest discoloured, green or red, or the like; or gather any mossiness or putrefaction. Besides that, it is to be cleansed every day by the hand. Also some steps up to it, and some fine pavement about it doth well. As for the other kind of fountain, which we may call a bathing pool, it may admit much curiosity and beauty, wherewith we will not trouble ourselves; as, that the bottom be finely paved, and with images; the sides likewise; and withal embellished with coloured glass, and such things of lustre; encompassed also with fine rails of low statues. But the main point is the same which we mentioned in the former kind of fountain; which is that the water be in perpetual motion, fed by a water higher than
the pool, and delivered into it by fair spouts, and then discharged away under ground by some equality of bores, that it stay little. And for fine devices of arching water without spilling and making it rise in several forms, of feathers, drinking glasses, canopies, and the like, they be pretty things to look on, but nothing to health and sweetness.
For the henth, which was the third part of our plot, I wish it to be framed as much as may be to a natural wildness. Trees I would have none in it, but some thickets made only of sweet-brier and honey-suckle, and some wild vine amongst; and the ground set with violets, strawberries, and primroses. For these are sweet and prosper in the shade. And these to be in the heath here and there, not in any order. I like also little heaps, in the nature of mole-hills, such as are in wild heaths, to be set some with wild thyme, some with pinks, some with germander, that gives a good flower to the eye, some with periwinkle, some with violets, some with strawberries, some with cowslips, some with daisies, some with red roses, some with lilinm convallium, some with sweet-williams red, some with bears-foot, and the like low flowers being withal sweet and sightly. Part of which heaps to be with standards of little bushes, pricked upon their top, and part without. The standards to be roses, juniper, holly, berberries, but here and there, because of the smell of their blossom, red currants, gooseberries, rosemary, bays, sweet brier, and such like. But these standards to be kept with cutting, that they grow not out of course.
For the 6ide grounds, you are to fill them with variety of alleys, private, to give a full shade, some of them, wheresoever the sun be. Yon are to frame some of them likewise for shelter, that when the wind blows sharp, you may walk as in a gallery. And those alleys must be likewise hedged at both ends, to keep out the wind; and these closer alleys must be ever finely gravelled, and no grass, because of going wet. In many of these alleys likewise, you are to set fruit-trees of all sorts; as well upon the walls as in ranges. And this would be generally observed, that the borders wherein yon plant your fruit-trees, be fair and large, and low, and not steep; and set with fine flowers, but thin and sparingly, lest they deceive the trees. At the end of both the side grounds, I would have a mount of some pretty height, leaving the wall of the enclosure breast high, to look abroad into the fields.
For the main garden, I do not deny but there should be some fair alleys, ranged on both sides, with fruit-trees, and some pretty tufts of fruit-trees, and arbours with seats, set in some decent order; but these to be by no means set too thick, but to leave the main garden so as it be not close, but the air open and free. For as for shade, I would have you rest upon the alleys of the side grounds, there to walk, if you be disposed, in the heat of the year or day; but to make account, that the main garden is for the more temperate parts of the year; and in the heat of summer, for the morning and the evening, or overcast days.
For aviaries, I like them not, except they be of