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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 first? boldness: what second and third? boldness. And yet boldness is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts: but nevertheless, it doth fascinate, and bind hand and foot those that are either shallow in judgment or weak in courage, which are the greatest part: yea, and prevaileth with wise men at weak times: therefore we see it hath done wonders in popular states, but with senates and princes less; and more, ever upon the first entrance of bold persons into action, than soon after; for boldness is an ill keeper of promise. Surely, as there are mountebanks for the natural body, so are there mountebanks for the politic body; men that undertake great cures, and perhaps have been lucky in two or three experiments, but want the ground of science, and therefore cannot hold out: nay, you shall see a bold fellow many times do Mahomet’s miracle. Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled: Mahomet called the hill to come to him again and again; and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, “If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.” So these men, when they have promised great matters and failed most shamefully, yet (if they have the perfection of boldness) they will but slight it over, and make a turn, and no more ado. Certainly to men of great judgment, bold persons are sport to behold; nay, and to the vulgar also boldness hath somewhat of the ridiculous: for if absurdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you not but great boldness is seldom without some absurdity; especially it is a sport to see when a bold fellow is out of . countenance, for that puts his face into a most shrunken and wooden posture, as needs it must: for in bashfulness the spirits

do a little go and come; but with bold men, upon like occasion, they stand at a stay; like a stale at chess, where it is no mate, but yet | the game cannot stir; but this last were fitter for a satire, than for a serious observation. This is well to be weighed, that boldness is ever blind; for it seeth not dangers and inconveniences; therefore it is ill in counsel, good in execution; so that the right use of bold persons is, that they never command in chief, but be seconds, and under the direction of others: for in counsel it is good to see dangers, and in execution not to see | them, except they be very great.

XIII. OF GOODNESS, AND GOODNESS OF NATURE. I TAKE goodness in this sense, the affecting of the weal of men, which is that the Grecians call Philanthropia; and the word humanity (as it is used), is a little too light to express it. Goodness I call the habit, and goodness of nature the inclination. This, of all virtues and dignities of the mind, is the greatest, being the character of the Deity; and without it man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing, no better than a kind of vermin. Goodness

answers to the theological virtue charity, and admits no excess but error. The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall: but in charity there is no excess, neither can angel or man come in danger by it. The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man; insomuch, that if it issue not towards men, it will take unto other living creatures; as it is seen in the Turks, a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts, and give alms to dogs and birds; insomuch, as Busbechius reporteth, a Christian boy in Constantinople had like to have been stoned for gagging in a waggishness a long-billed fowl. Errors indeed, in this virtue, in goodness or charity, may be committed. The Italians have an ungracious proverb, “Tanto buon che val niente;” “So good, that he is good for nothing:” and one of the doctors of Italy, Nicholas Machiavel, had the confidence to put in writing, almost in plain terms, “That the Christian faith had given up good men in prey to those that are tyrannical and unjust;” which he spake, because, indeed, there was never law, or sect, or opinion did so much magnify goodness as the Christian religion doth: thereWOL. W. 5

fore, to avoid the scandal, and the danger both, it is good to take knowledge of the errors of an habit so excellent. Seek the good of other men, but be not in bondage to their faces or fancies; for that is but facility or softness, which taketh an honest mind prisoner. Neither give thou AEsop's cock a gem, who would be better pleased and happier if he had a barley-corn. The example of God teacheth the lesson truly; “He sendeth his rain, and maketh his sun to shine upon the just and the unjust;” but he doth not rain wealth, nor shine honour and virtues upon. men equally: common benefits are to be communicated with all, but peculiar benefits with choice. And beware how in making the portraiture thou breakest the pattern: for divinity maketh the love of ourselves the pattern; the love of our neighbours but the portraiture; “Sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor, and follow me:” but sell not all thou hast, except thou come and follow me; that is, except thou have a vocation wherein thou mayest do as much good with little means as with great; for otherwise, in feeding the streams, thou driest the fountain. Neither is there only a habit of goodness directed by right reason; but there is in some men, even in nature, a

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