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ignoble servitude, slit his own nose and lips, cut off his own ears, scourged and wounded his whole body, that he might, under pretence of having been mangled so inhumanly by Darius, be received into Babylon (then besieged by the Persians), and get into the command of it by the recommendation of so cruel a sufferance, and their hopes of his endeavouring to revenge it. It is great pity the Babylonians suspected not his falsehood, that they might have cut off his hands too, and whipt him back again. But the design succeeded ; he betrayed the city, and was made governor of it. What brutish master ever punished his offending slave with so little mercy as ambition did this Zopyrus ? and yet how many are there, in all nations, who imitate him in some degree for a less reward ; who, though they endure not so much corporal pain for a small preferment, or some honour (as they call it), yet stick not to commit actions by which they are more shamefully and more lastingly stigmatized ! But you may say, Though these be the most ordinary and open ways to greatness, yet there are narrow, thorny, and littletrodden paths too, through which some men find a passage by virtuous industry. I grant sometimes they may ; but then, that industry must be such as cannot consist with liberty, though it may with honesty.
Thou art careful, frugal, painful; we commend a servant so, but not a friend.
Well, then, we must acknowledge the toil and drudgery which we are forced to endure in this ascent; but we are epicures and lords when once 10 we are gotten up into the high places. This is but a short apprenticeship, after which we are made free of a royal company. If we fall in love with any beauteous women, we must be content that they should be our mistresses whilst we woo them : as soon as we are wedded and enjoy, it is we shall be the masters.
I am willing to stick to this similitude in the case of greatness : we enter into the bonds of it, like those of matrimony; we are bewitched with the outward and painted beauty, and take it for better or worse, before we know its true nature and interior inconveniences. A great fortune (says Seneca) is a great servitude; but many are of that opinion which Brutus imputes (I hope, untruly) even to that patron of liberty, his friend Cicero : “We fear (says he to Atticus) death, and banishment, and poverty, a great deal too much. Cicero, I am afraid, thinks these to be the worst of evils; and if he have but some persons from whom he can obtain what he has a mind to, and others who will flatter and worship him, seems to be well enough contented with an honourable servitude ; if anything, indeed, ought to be called honourable in so base and contumelious a condition.” This was spoken as became the bravest man who was ever born in the bravest commonwealth. But with us, generally, no condition passes for servitude that is accompanied with great riches, with honours, and with the service of many inferiors. This is but a deception of the sight through a false medium : for if a groom serve a gentleman in his chamber, that gentleman a lord, and that lord a prince; the groom, the gentleman, and the lord, are as much servants one as the other; the circumstantial difference of the one's getting only his bread and wages, the second a plentiful, and the third a superfluous estate, is no more intrinsical to this matter than the difference between a plain, a rich, and gaudy livery. I do not say that he who sells his whole time and his own will for one hundred thousand, is not a wiser merchant than he who does it for one hundred pounds; but I will swear they are both merchants, and that he is happier than both who can live contentedly without selling that estate to which he was born. But this dependence upon superiors is but one chain of the lovers of power :
11 « Amatorem trecentae Pirithoum cohibent catenae."
Let us begin with him by break of day; for by that time he is besieged by two or three hundred suitors, and the hall and antechambers (all the out-works) possessed by the enemy: as soon as his chamber opens, they are ready to break into that, or to corrupt the guards, for entrance. This is so essential a part of greatness, that whosoever is without it looks like a fallen favourite, like a person disgraced, and condemned to do what he pleases all the morning. There are some who, rather than want this, are contented to have their rooms filled up every day with murmuring and cursing creditors, and to charge bravely through a body of them to get to their coach. Now I would fain know which is the worst duty ;-that of any one particular person who waits to speak with the great inan, or the great man's, who waits every day to speak with all company.
.“ Aliena negotia centum Per caput, et circumsaliunt latus"
A hundred businesses of other men (many unjust, and most impertinent) fly continually about his head and ears, and strike him in the face like 12 dors. Let us contemplate him a little at another special scene of glory; and that is, his table. Here he seems to be the lord of all nature : the Earth affords him her best metals for his dishes, her best vegetables and animals for his food ; the air and sea supply him with their choicest birds and fishes; and a great many men, who look like masters, attend upon him: and yet, when all this is done, even all this is but table d'hôte; it is crowded with people for whom he cares not with many parasites and some spies
-with the most burdensome sort of guests, the endeavourers to be witty.
But everybody pays him great respect : everybody commends his meat—that is, his money ; everybody admires the exquisite dressing and ordering of it—that is, his clerk of the kitchen, or his cook; everybody loves his hospitality—that is, his vanity. But I desire to know why the honest inn-keeper, who provides a public table for his profit, should be but of a mean profession ; and he who does it for his honour, a munificent prince. You will say, Because one sells, and the other gives. Nay, both sell, though for different things; the one for plain money, the other for I know not what jewels, whose value is in custom and in fancy. If, then, his table be made a snare (as the Scripture speaks) to his liberty, where can he hope for freedom ? There is always, and everywhere, some restraint upon him. He is guarded with crowds, and shackled with formalities. The half hat, the whole hat; the half smile, the whole smile; the nod, the embrace; the positive parting with a little bow, the comparative at the middle of the room, the superlative at the door; and, if the person be 137âr ürep oeßaotós, there is a hypersuperlative ceremony then of conducting him to the bottom of the stairs, or to the very gate: as if there were such rules set to these leviathans as are to the sea,—“Hitherto shalt thou go, and no further.”
“ Perditur haec inter misero lux;"_
How many impertinent letters and visits must he receive; and sometimes answer both, too, as impertinently! He never sets his foot beyond his threshold unless, like a funeral, he have a train to follow him; as if, like the dead corpse, he could not stir till the bearers were all ready. “My life (says Horace, speaking to one of these magnificos) is a great deal more easy and commodious than thine, in that I can go into the market, and cheapen what I please, without being wondered at; and take my horse and ride as far as l'arentum, without being missed.” It is an unpleasant constraint to be always under the sight and observation and censure of others : as there may be vanity in it, so methinks there should be vexation, too, of spirit; and I wonder how princes can endure to have two or three hundred men stand gazing upon them whilst they are at dinner, and taking notice of every bit they eat. Nothing seems greater and more lordly than the multitude of domestic servants; but even this, too, if weighed seriously, is a piece of servitude : unless you will be a servant to them (as many men are), the trouble and care of yours in the government of them all is much more than that of every one of them in their observance of you. I take the profession of a school-master to be one of the most useful, and which ought to be of the most honourable in a commonwealth; yet certainly all his fasces and tyrannical authority over so many boys takes away his own liberty more than theirs.
I do but slightly touch upon all these particulars of the slavery of greatness : I shake but a few of their outward chains; their anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, envy, grief, and all the “et caetera” of their passions, which are the secret but constant tyrants and tortures of their life, I omit here, because, though they be symptoms most frequent and violent in this disease, yet they are common too in some degree to 14 the epidemical disease of life itself.
But the ambitious man, though he be so many ways a slave, (“O toties servus!”) yet he bears it bravely and heroically: he struts and looks big upon the stage; he thinks himself a real prince in his masking-habit, and deceives, too, all the foolish part of his spectators. He is a 15 slave “in saturnalibus.” The covetous man is a downright servant; a draught-horse without bells or feathers; "ad metalla damnatus”-a man condemned to work in mines, which is the lowest and hardest condition of servitude; and, to increase his misery, a worker there for he knows not whom : “He heapeth up riches, and knows not who shall enjoy them ;”-it is only sure that he himself neither shall nor can enjoy them. He is an indigent, needy slave; he will hardly allow himself clothes and board wages.
16 « Unciatim vix de demenso suo,
Suum defraudans genium, comparsit miser." He defrauds not only other men, but his own genius ; he cheats himself for money. But the servile and miserable condition of this wretch is so apparent, that I leave it, as evident to every man's sight as well as judgment.
It seems a more difficult work to prove that the voluptuous man too is but a servant: what can be more the life of a freeman, or, as we say ordinarily, of a gentleman, than to follow nothing but his own pleasures ? Why, I will tell you who is that true freeman, and that true gentleman : not he who blindly follows all his pleasures (the very name of follower is servile); but he who rationally guides them, and is not hindered by outward impediments in the conduct and enjoyment of them. If I want skill or force to restrain the beast that I ride upon, though I bought it, and call it my own, yet, in the truth of the matter, I am at that time rather his man, than he my horse. The voluptuous men (whom we are fallen upon) may be divided, I think, into the lustful and luxurious, who are both servants of the belly : the other, whom we spoke of before, the