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magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus :" as if is but superficial, and rather the virtue of a man, made for the contemplation of heaven, and player, should be placed so high above those all noble objects, should do nothing but kneel | other noble parts of invention, elocution, and before a little idol, and make himself subject, the rest: nay, almost alone, as if it were all in though not of the mouth, as beasts are, yet of all. But the reason is plain. There is in human the eye, which was given him for higher purposes. nature, generally, more of the fool than of the It is a strange thing to note the excess of this wise ; and therefore those faculties by which the passion; and how it braves the nature and value foolish part of men's minds is taken, are most of things by this, that the speaking in a perpeto potent. Wonderful like is the case of boldness ual hyperbole is comely in nothing but in love. in civil business; what first?-Boldness. What Neither is it merely in the phrase; for whereas it second and third ?-Boldness. And yet boldness hath been well said, that the arch flatterer, with is a child of ignorance and baseness, far inferior whom all the petty flatterers have intelligence, to other parts. But nevertheless it doth fasciis a man's self; certainly the lover is more. For nate, and bind hand and foot those that are there was never proud man thought so absurdly either shallow in judgment or weak in courage, well of himself as the lover doth of the person which are the greatest part; yea, and prevaileth loved; and therefore it was well said, that it is with wise men at weak times: therefore we see impossible to love, and to be wise. Neither it hath done wonders in popular states, but with doth this weakness appear to others only, and senates and princes less; and more ever upon not to the party loved, but to the loved most of the first entrance of bold persons into action, all; except the love be reciprocal. For it is a true than soon after; for boldness is an ill keeper of rule, that love is ever rewarded either with the promise. Surely, as there are mountebanks for reciprocal, or with an inward and secret con- | the natural body, so there are mountebanks for tempt: by how much the more men ought to the politic body: men that undertake great beware of this passion, which loseth not only cures, and perhaps have been lucky in two or other things, but itself. As for the other losses, three experiments, but want the grounds of the poet's relation doth well figure them; that he science, and therefore cannot hold out: nay, that preferred Helena, quitted the gifts of Juno you shall see a bold fellow many times do and Pallas : for whosoever esteemeth too much | Mahomet's miracle. Mahomet made the people of amorous affection, quitteth both riches and believe that he would call a hill to him, and wisdom. This passion hath its floods in the from the top of it offer up prayers for the very times of weakness, which are great prosper- l observers of his law. The people assembled : ity, and great adversity: though this latter hath | Mahomet called the hill to come to him again been less observed : which both times kindle and again; and when the hill stood still he was love, and make it more fervent, and therefore, I never a whit abashed, but said, “If the hill will show it to be the child of folly. They do best, not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the who, if they cannot but admit love, yet make it hill.” So these men, when they have promised keep quarter ; and sever it wholly from their great matters, and failed most shamefully, yet, if serious affairs and actions of life : for if it check they have the perfection of boldness, they will once with business, it troubleth men's fortunes, but slight it over, and make a turn, and no more and maketh men that they can no ways be true i ado. Certainly to men of great judgment bold to their own ends. I know not how, but martial persons are a sport to behold; nay, and to the men are given to love : I think it is, but as they i vulgar also boldness hath somewhat of the ridicul. are given to wine ; for perils commonly ask to ous: for if absurdity be the subject of laughter, be paid in pleasures. There is in man's nature doubt you not but great boldness is seldom witha secret inclination and motion towards love of out some absurdity: especially it is a sport to others, which, if it be not spent upon some one or see when a bold fellow is out of countenance, for a few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, that puts his face into a most shrunken and and maketh men to become humane and charit wooden posture, as needs it must; for in bashable; as it is seen sometimes in friars. Nuptial fulness the spirits do a little go and come; but love maketh mankind; friendly love perfecteth with bold men, upon like occasion, they stand it; but wanton love corrupteth and embaseth it. 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 OF BOLDNESS.
observation. This is well to be weighed, that It is a trivial grammar-school text, but yet | boldness is ever blind; for it seeth not dangers worthy a wise man's consideration. Question and inconveniences: therefore it is ill in counsel, was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief good in execution: so that the right use of bold part of an orator? He answered, Action. What persons is, that they never command in chief, next?-Action. What next again ?- Action.but be seconds, and under the direction of others. He said it that knew it best; and had by nature For in counsel it is good to see dangers; and in himself no advantage in that he commended. A execution not to see them, except they be very atrange thing, that that part of an orator, which great
thou come and follow me; that is, except thou OF GOODNESS, AND GOODNESS OF
have a vocation, wherein thou mayest do as NATURE.
much good with little means as with great: for I take goodness in this sense, the affecting of otherwise, in feeding the streams thou driest the the weal of men, which is that the Grecians call fountain. Neither is there only a habit of goodphilanthropia; and the word humanity, as it is ness directed by right reason; but there is in used, is a little too light to express it. Good- some men, even in nature, a disposition towards dess I call the habit, and goodness of nature the it; as on the other side there is a natural maliginclination. This, of all virtues and dignities of nity. For there be that in their nature do not the mind, is the greatest, being the character of affect the good of others. The lighter sort of the Deity; and without it man is a busy, mis- malignity turneth but to a crossness, or frowardchievous, wretched thing, no better than a kindness, or aptuess to oppose, or difficileness, or the of vermin. Goodness answers to the theological like, but the deeper sort to envy and mere misvirtue charity, and admits no excess but error.
chief. Such men, in other men's calamities, are, The desire of power in excess caused the angels as it were, in season, and are ever on the loading to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused part: not so good as the dogs that licked Laza
part: not so good as the dogs that I inan to fall : but in charity there is no excess,
rus' sores, * but like flies that are still buzzing neither can angel or man come in danger by it. upon anything that is raw; misanthropi, that The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply make it their practice to bring men to the bough,
make it their practice to in the nature of man; insomuch, that if it issue and yet have never a tree for the purpose in not towards men, it will take unto other living their gardens, as Timon had. Such dispositions creatures; as it is seen in the Turks, a cruel are the very errors of human nature, and yet people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts, and | they are the fittest timber to make great politics give alms to dogs and birds : insomuch, as Bus
of; like to knee-timber, that is good for ships bechius reporteth, a Christian boy in Constanti that are ordained to be tossed, but not for build.
nople had like to have been stoned, for gagging, ing houses that shall stand firm. The parts and | in a waggishness, a long-billed fowl. Errors, signs of goodness are many. If a man be graci.
indeed, in this virtue of goodness or charity may ous and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a be committed. The Italians have an ungracious
citizen of the world, and that his heart is no proverb; "Tanto buon che val niente;” So good | island cut off from other lands, but a continent that he is good for nothing. And one of the that joins to them. If he be compassionate doctors of Italy, Nicholas Machiavel, * had the towards the afflictions of others, it shows that confidence to put in writing, almost in plain his heart is like the noble tree that is wounded terms, that the Christian faith had given up
itself when it gives the balm. If he easily good men in prey to those that are tyrannical pardons and remits offences, it shows that his and uniust: which he spake. because indeed mind is planted above injuries, so that he can. there was never law, or sect, or opinion, did so not be shot. If he be thankful for small benemuch magnify goodness as the Christian religion fits, it shows that he weighs men's minds, and doth: therefore, to avoid the scandal and the not their trash. But above all, if he have St danger both, it is good to take knowledge of the Paul's perfection, that he would wish to be an errors of a habit so excellent. Seek the good anathema from Christ for the salvation of his of other men, but be not in bondage to their brethren, it shows much of a divine nature, and faces or fancies : for that is but facility or soft- a kind of conformity with Christ himself. ness which taketh an honest mind prisoner. Neither give thou Æsop's cock a gem, who would be better pleased and happier if he had a barley
OF ATHEISM. corn. The example of God teacheth the lesson | I had rather believe all the fables in the truly; “He sendeth His rain, and maketh His Legend, and the Talmud,+ and the Alcoran, than sun to shine upon the just and the unjust;" + but that this universal frame is without a mind. He doth not rain wealth, nor shine honour and And therefore God never wrought miracle to virtues upon men equally: common benefits are
convince atheism, because His ordinary works to be communicated with all, but peculiar bene- convince it. It is true, that a little philosophy fits with choice. And beware, how in making inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in the portraiture, thou breakest the pattern: for
philosophy bringeth men's minds about to redivinity maketh the love of ourselves the pattern, I ligion: for while the mind of man looketh upon the love of our neighbours but the portraiture: second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest “Sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor, and in them, and go no farther; but when it beholdfollow me." I But sell not all thou hast, except eth the chain of them confederate and linked * Nicolo Machiavelli, the Florentine statesman,
together, it must needs fly to Providence and Author of "Discourses on the First Decade of Livy," und " Il Principe" ("The Prince"). Ie died in 1527 • Luke xvi. 21. to gcat poverty.
+ The book of Jewish traditions and Rabbinical ex. Matt. v. 45.
Jark x. 21.
planations of the law.
Deity. Nay, even that school which is most ism. Another is, scandal of priests; when it is accused of atheism, doth most demonstrate re- come to that which St Bernard saith, “Non est ligion; that is, the school of Leucippus, and am dicere, ut populus, sic sacerdos: quia nec Democritus, and Epicurus. For it is a thousand sic populus, ut sacerdos." A third is, custom of times more credible, that four mutable ele- profane scoffing in holy matters, which doth by ments, and one immutable fifth essence duly and little and little deface the reverence of religion, eternally placed, need no God; than that an And lastly, learned times, especially with peace army of infinite small portions, or seeds unplaced, and prosperity, for troubles and adversities do should have produced this order and beauty more bow men's minds to religion. They that without a divine marshal. The Scripture saith, deny a God destroy man's nobility, for certainly “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he God:"* it is not said, “The fool hath thought in be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base his heart.” So as he rather saith it by rote to and ignoble creature. It destroys likewise mag. himself, as that he would have, than that he cannanimity, and the raising of human nature: for thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it. For take an example of a dog, and mark what a none deny there is a God, but those for whom it generosity and courage he will put on, when he maketh that there were no God. It appeareth in finds himself maintained by a man, who to him nothing more, that atheism is rather in the lip | is instead of a God, or melior natura: which than in the heart of man, than by this; that courage is manifestly such, as that creature, atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, without that confidence of a better nature than as if they fainted in it within themselves, and his own could never attain. So man, when he would be glad to be strengthened by the consent | resteth and assureth himself upon divine protecof others: nay more, you shall have atheists tion and favour, gathereth a force and faith, strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other which human nature in itself could not obtain; sects: and, which is most of all, you shall have therefore, as atheism is in all respects hateful, so of them that will suffer for atheism, and not re in this, that it depriveth human nature of the cant; whereas if they did truly think that there means to exalt itself above human frailty. As it were no such thing as God, why should they is in particular persons, so it is in nations ; never trouble themselves? Epicurus is charged, that was there such a state for magnanimity as Rome; he did not dissemble, for his credit's sake, when of this state hear what Cicero saith: “Quam he affirmed there were blessed natures, but such | volumus, licet, patres conscripti, nos amemus, as enjoyed themselves without having respect to tamen nec numero Hispanos, nec robore Gallos. the government of the world. Wherein they nec callidate Pænos, nec artibus Græcos, nec say he did temporise, though in secret he thought denique hoc ipso hujus gentis et terræ domestico there was no God. But certainly he is traduced; | nativoque sensu Italos ipsos et Latinos; sed piefor his words are noble and divine: “Non deos tate, ac religione, atque hac una sapientia, quod vulgi negare profanum ; sed vulgi opiniones diis deorum immortali
deorum immortalium numine omnia regi guberapplicare profanum.” Plato could have said no narique perspeximus, omnes gentes nationesque more. And although he had the confidence to superavimus." deny the administration, he had not the power to deny the nature. The Indians of the west
OF SUPERSTITION. have names for their particular gods, though they have no name for God; as if the heathens
It were better to have no opinion of God at all should have had the names Jupiter, Apollo, I than such an
than such an opinion as is unworthy of Him, for Mars, etc., but not the word Deus : which shows,
the one is unbelief, the other is contumely, and that even those barbarous people have the certainly superstition is the reproach of the notion, though they have not the latitude and Deity PL
h saith well extent of it. So that against atheists the very
“Surely," saith he, “I had rather a great deal savages take part with the very subtilest philoso- men should say, there was no such man at all as phers. The contemplative atheist is rare ; a Plutarch, than that they should say, that there Diagoras, a Bion, a Lucian perhaps, and some was one Plutarch, that would eat his children as others: and vet they seem to be more than they soon as they were born. as the poets speak of are; for that all that impugn a received religion, Saturn." And as the contumely is greater toor superstition, are by the adverse part branded | wards God, so the danger is greater towards men. with the name of atheists. But the great athe
Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to ists indeed are hypocrites; which are ever hand.
natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which ling holy things, but without feeling; so as they may be guides to an outward moral virtue, must needs be cauterised in the end. The causes
though religion were not: but superstition dis of atheism are: divisions in religion, if they be
mounts all these, and erecteth an absolute many; for any one main division addeth zeal to
monarchy in the minds of men. Therefore both sides; but many divisions introduce athe
atheism did never perturb states ; for it makes
men wary of themselves, as looking no farther: * Pe. xiv. 1, and lili. 1.
and we see the times inclined to atheism, as the
time of Augustus Cæsar, were civil times. But registered than observation. Let diaries there. superstition hath been the confusion of many fore be brought in use. The things to be seen states; and bringeth in a new primum mobile, and observed are: the courts of princes, especithat ravisheth all the spheres of government. ally when they give audience to ambassadors: the The master of superstition is the people ; and in courts of justice, while they sit and hear causes: all superstition wise men follow fools; and argu- and so of consistories * ecclesiastic: the churches inents are fitted to practise in a reversed order. and monasteries, with the monuments which are It was gravely said by some of the prelates in therein extant: the walls and fortifications of the Council of Trent,* where the doctrine of the cities and towns, and so the havens and harbours: schoolmen bare great sway; that the schoolmen antiquities and ruins ; libraries, colleges, disputawere like astronomers, which did feign eccentrics tions, and lectures, where any are; shipping and epicycles, and such engines of orbs, to save and navies: houses, and gardens of state and the phenomena, though they knew there were pleasure near great cities; armouries, arsenals, no such things; and in like manner, that the
| magazines, exchanges, burses, warehouses; exerschoolmen had framed a number of subtile and cises of horsemanship, fencing, training of sol. intricate axioms and theorems, to save the prac-diers and the like; comedies, such whiereunto the tice of the Church. The causes of superstition | better sort of persons do resort; treasuries of are: pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies : 1 jewels and robes, cabinets and rarities: and to excess of outward and pharisaical holiness: over
conclude, whatsoever is memorable in the places great reverence of traditions, which cannot but | where they go. After all which, the tutors or load the Church: the stratagems of prelates for
servants ought to make diligent inquiry. As for their own ambition and lucre: the favouring too triumphs, masks, feasts, weddings, funerals, much of good intentions, which openeth the
capital executions, and such shows, men need gate to conceits and novelties: the taking an
not so be put in mind of them; yet they are not aim at divine matters by human, which cannot to be neglected. If you will have a young man but breed mixture of imaginations: and lastly, to put his travel into a little room, and in short barbarous times, especially joined with calamities time to gather much, this you must do: first, as and disasters. Superstition without a veil is a
| was said, he must have some entrance into the deformed thing: for as it addeth deformity to
language before he goeth. Then he must have an ape to be so like a man; so the similitude of such a servant, or tutor, as knoweth the country, superstition to religion makes it the more de- as was likewise said. Let him carry with him formed. And as wholesome meat corrupteth to also some card or book describing the country little worms, so good forms and orders corrupt where he travelleth, which will be a good key to into a number of petty observances. There is a
his inquiry. Let him keep also a diary. Let superstition in avoiding superstition; when men
him not stay long in one city or town; more or
him not think to do best, if they go farthest from the less as the place deserveth, but not long; nay, superstition formerly received: therefore care
when he stayeth in one city or town, let him would be had, that, as it fareth in ill purgings,
change his lodging from one end and part of the the good be not taken away with the bad, which
town to another, which is a great adamant of commonly is done when the people is the
acquaintance. Let him sequester himself from reformer.
the company of his countrymen, and diet in OF TRAVEL.
such places where there is good company of the
nation where he travelleth. Let him, upon his Travel in the younger sort is a part of educa.
removes from one place to another, procure retion; in the elder a part of experience. He that
commendation to some person of quality residing travelleth into a country before he hath some
in the place whither he removeth, that he may entrance into the language, goeth to school, and
use his favour in those things he desireth to see not to travel. That young men travel under
or know. Thus he may abridge his travel with some tutor or grave servant, I allow well; so
much profit. As for the acquaintance which is that he be such a one that hath the language,
to be sought in travel, that which is most of all and hath been in the country before; whereby
profitable is acquaintance with the secretaries he may be able to tell them what things are
and employed men of ambassadors; for so in worthy to be seen in the country where they go,
travelling in one country, he shall suck the what acquaintances they are to seek, what exer
experience of many. Let him also see and visit cises or discipline the place yieldeth. For else
eminent persons in all kinds, which are of great young men shall go hooded, and look abroad
name abroad; that he may be able to tell how little. It is a strange thing, that in sea-voyages,
the life agreeth with the fame. For quarrels where there is nothing to be seen but sky and
they are with care and discretion to be avoided : sea, men should make diaries; bnt in land-travel,
they are commonly for mistresses, healths, place, wherein go much is to be observed, for the most
and words. And let a man beware how he part they omit it: as if chance were fitter to be
keepeth company with choleric and quarrelsomo * Which met for the first time in 1545, and continued its sittings for eighteen years.
* Synods, or Councils..
persons; for they will engage him into their own There be that can pack the cards, and yet cannot quarrels. When a traveller returneth home, let play well; so there are some that are good in him not leave the countries where he hath canvasses and factions, that are otherwise weak travelled altogether behind him, but maintain a men. Again, it is one thing to understand per. correspondence by letters with those of his ac- | sons, and another thing to understand matters : quaintance which are of most worth. And let for many are perfect in men's humours, that are his travel appear rather in his discourse than in not greatly capable of the real part of busihis apparel or gesture; and in his discourse, let ness : which is the constitution of one that hath him be rather advised in his answers than for- | studied men more than books. Such men are ward to tell stories : and let it appear that he fitter for practice than for counsel ; and they doth not change his country manners for those | are good but in their own alley : turn them to of foreign parts; but only prick in some flowers new men, and they have lost their aim : so of that he hath learned abroad, into the customs as the old rule to know a fool from a wise of his own country.
man, “Mitte ambos nudos ad ignotos, et vide
bis," doth scarce hold for them. And because OF DELAYS.
these cunning men are like haberdashers of small
wares, it is not amiss to set forth their shop. Fortune is like the market, where many times, It is a point of cunning, to wait upon * him with If you can stay a little, the price will fall. And whom you speak with your eye; as the Jesuits again, it is sometimes like Sibylla's offer, which give it in precept ; for there be many wise men at first offereth the commodity at full, then con- that have secret hearts and transparent counsumeth part and part, and still holdeth up the tenances. Yet this would be done with a demure price. For occasion, as it is in the common abashing of your eye sometimes, as the Jesuits verse, turneth a bald noddle, after she hath pre- | also do use. sented her locks in front,* and no hold taken: Another is, that when you have anything to or at least turneth the handle of the bottle first obtain of present despatch, you entertain and to be received, and after the belly, which is hard amuse the party with whom you deal with some to clasp. There is surely no greater wisdom, than other discourse; that he be not too much awake well to time the beginnings and onsets of things. to make objections. I knew a counsellor and Dangers are no more light, if they once seem secretary, that never came to Queen Elizabeth of light: and more dangers have deceived men, England with bills to sign, but he would always | than forced them. Nay, it were better to meet first put her into some discourse of estate, that some dangers half way, though they come she might the less mind the bills. nothing near, than to keep too long a watch The like surprise may be made by moving upon their approaches ; for if a man watch too things when the party is in haste, and cannot long, it is odds he will fall asleep. On the other stay to consider advisedly of that is moved. side, to be deceived with too long shadows, as If a man would cross a business, that he some have been when the moon was low, and doubts some other would handsomely and effecshone on their enemies' back, and so to shoot off tually move, let him pretend to wish it well, before the time; or to teach dangers to come on, and move it himself in such sort as may by over-early buckling towards them, is another foil it. extreme. The ripeness or unripeness of the occa The breaking off in the midst of that one was sion, as we said, must ever be well weighed; and about to say, as if he took himself up, breeds a generally it is good to commit the beginnings of greater appetite in him with whom you couter, all great actions to Argus with his hundred eyes, to know more. and the ends to Briareus with his hundred hands; ! And because it works better when anything first to watch, and then to speed. For the seemeth to be gotten from you by question, than helmet of Pluto, which maketh the politic man if you offer it of yourself, you may lay a bait for go invisible, is secrecy in the counsel, and celerity a question, by showing another visage and coun. in the execution. For when things are once come
tion. For when things are once come tenance than you are wont: to the end to give to the execution, there is no secrecy compar occasion for the party to ask what the matter able to celerity; like the motion of a bullet is of the change; as Nehemiah did, “And I in the air, which flieth so swift as it outruns the had not before that time been sad before the eye.
king.”+ OF CUNNING.
In things that are tender and unpleasing, it is
good to break the ice by some whose words are We take cunning for a sinister or crooked of less weight, and to reserve the more weighty wisdom; and certainly there is great difference voice to come in as by chance, so that he may be between a cunning man and a wise man; not asked the question upon the other's speech : as only in point of honesty, but in point of ability. Narcissus did, in relating to Claudius the mar
riage of Messalina and Silius. * In allusion to the common saying, “Take time by the fore-lock."
i • To watch.
See Nebu. i.