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of some few friends, is ever honourable; for lookers-on many times see more than gamesters; and the vale best discovereth the hill. There is little friendship in the world, and least of all between equals, which was wont' to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the other.
'They taint business through want of seerecy.'
Henry Taylor, in the Statesman, has a good remark on the advantage of trusting thoroughly rather than partially. For there are some who will be more likely to betray one secret, if one only is confided, than if they felt themselves confidants altogether. They will then, he thinks, be less likely to give a boastful proof, of the confidence reposed in them, by betraying it .
'A kind of followers which bear tales'
It is observable that flatterers are usually tale-bearers. Thus we have in Proverbs the caution, 'He that goeth about as a tale-bearer, revealeth secrets; therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.'
'Lookers-on many times see more than gamesters.'
This proverbial maxim, which bears witness to the advantage sometimes possessed by an observant bystander over those actually engaged in any transaction, has a parallel in an Irish proverb:
)X ware an Tjottianvpse an re bjof 4p an sclojfe.
He is a good hurler that's on the ditch.3
1 Wont. Accustomed. See pago 462. * In Ireland, a bank is so called.
'To countenance some extraordinarily is to make them insolent.'
Men very often raise up some troublesome persons into importance, and afterwards try in vain to get rid of them. So also, they give encouragement to some dangerous principle or practice, in order to serve a present purpose, and then find it turned against themselves. The horse in the fable, who seeking aid against his enemy, the stag, had allowed an insidious ally to mount, and to put his bit into his mouth, found it afterwards no easy matter to unseat him. Thus, too, according to the proverb, the little birds, which are chasing about the fullgrown cuckoo, had themselves reared it as a nestling.
'The Spring was come, and the nest was made,
Give place, or power, or trust, to none
Who will make an ill use of what they have won.
For when you have rear'd the cuckoo-guest,
'Twill be hard to drive him out of the nest;
And harder still, when away he's flown,
To hunt down the cuckoo now fully grown.''
1 From a periodical called The True Briton.
ESSAY XLIX. OF SUITORS.
MANY ill matters and projects are undertaken; and private suits do putrefy the public good. Many good matters are undertaken with bad minds—I mean not only corrupt minds, but crafty minds, that intend not performance. Some embrace suits which never mean to deal effectually in them; but if they see there may be life in the matter, by some other mean,1 they will be content to win a thank,2 or take a second3 reward, or, at least, to make use in the meantime of the suitor's hopes. Some take hold of suits only for an occasion to cross some other, or to make4 an information, whereof they could not otherwise have apt pretext, without care what become of the suit when the turn is served; or, generally, to make other men's business a kind of entertainments to bring in their own; nay, some undertake suits with a full purpose to let them fall, to the end to gratify the adverse party, or competitor. Surely there is in some sort a right in every suit: either a right of equity, if it be a suit of controversy, or a right of desert, if it be a suit of petition. If affection lead a man to favour the wrong side in justice, let him rather use his countenance to compound the matter than to carry it. If affection lead a man to favour the less worthy in desert, let him do it without depraving6 or disabling the better deserver. In suits which a mau doth not well understand, it is good to refer them to some friend of trust and judgment, that may report whether he may deal in them with honour; but let him choose well his referendaries,1 for else he may be led by the nose. Suitors are so distasted2 with delays and abuses,' that plain dealing in denying to deal in suits at first, and reporting the success barely, and in challenging no more thanks than one hath deserved, is grown not only honourable, but also gracious. In suits of favour, the first coming ought to take little place 54 so far forthi consideration may be had of his trust, that if intelligence of the matter could not otherwise have been had but by him, advantage be not taken of the note,6 but the party left to his other means, and in some sort recompensed for his discovery. To be ignorant of the value of a suit is simplicity, as well as to be ignorant of the right thereof is want of conscience. Secrecy in suits is a great mean of obtaining; for voicing7 them to be in forwardness may discourage some kind of suitors, but doth quicken8 and awake others; but timing of the suit is the principal—timing, I say, not only in respect of the person who should grant it, but in respect of those which are like to cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his mean," rather choose the fittest mean than the greatest mean; and rather them that deal in certain things,
1 Mean. Means. Sec page 216.
'A thank. Seldom need in the singular. 'The fool sait]] I have no thank for all my good deed; and they that eat my bread speak evil of me.'—Ecclsu. xx. 16.
3 Second. Secondary; inferior.
'Each glance, each grace, Keep their first lustre and maintain their place, Not tecond yet to any other face.'—Dryden.
4 Make. Give. 'They all with one consent began to make excuse.'—LuJu xiv. 18.
5 Entertainment. Preliminary communication. 'The queen desires you to u* some gentlo entertainment to Laertes, before you fall to play.'—Shaketpere.
'Deprave. To vilify. 'And thut kuoweth conscience, ich cam nogt to chide, ne to deprave the personne.'—Pian Ploughman. 'Envy is blind, and can do nothing but deprave and speak ill of virtuous doing.'—Bennett.
1 Referendaries. Referees. 'Who was legate at the dooings, who was referendarie, who was presidente, who was presente.'—Bishop Jewell,
* Distaste. To disgust . 'These new edicts, that so distaste the people.'— Heymood.
1 Abuses. Deception.
'Lend me your kind pains to find out this abuse.'—Shakespere.
* Place. Effect.
'Yet these fixed evils sit so fit in him.
* 80 far forth. To the degree. 'The substance of the service of God, so far forth as it hath in it anything more than the love of reason doth teach, must not be invented of man, but received from God himself.'—Hooker.
'Arraied for this feste, in every wise
* Note. Notification; information.
'She that from Naples Can have no note, unless the sun were past, (The man i' the moon's too slow.)'—Shakespere. 1 Voice. To report. 'It was voiced that the king proposed to put to death Edward Plantagenet.'—Shakespere.
8 Quicken. To bring to life. See page 444.
9 Mean. Instrument. 'Pamela's noble heart would needs gratefully make known the vuliunt insuu of her safety.'—Sidney.