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leese out of my remembrance, what I heard your majesty, in the same sacred spirit of government, deliver in a great cause of judicature, which was, "That kings ruled by their laws, as God did by the laws of nature; and ought as rarely to put in use their supreme prerogative, as God doth his power of working miracles." And yet notwithstanding, in your book of a free monarchy, you do well give men to understand that you know the plenitude of the power and right of a king as well as the circle of his office and duty. Thus have I presumed to allege this excellent writing of your majesty, as a prime or eminent example of tractates concerning special and respective duties: wherein I should have said as much, if it had been written a thousand years since: neither am I moved with certain courtly decencies, which esteem it flattery to praise in presence: no, it is flattery to praise in absence; that is, when either the virtue is absent, or the occasion is absent; and so the praise is not natural, but forced, either in truth or in time. But let Cicero be read in his oration "pro Marcello," which is nothing but an excellent table of Cæsar's virtue, and made to his face; besides the example of many other excellent persons, wiser a great deal than such observers; and we will never doubt, upon a full occasion, to give just praises to present or absent.

But to return: there belongeth further to the handling of this part, touching the duties of professions and vocations, a relative or opposite, touching the frauds, cautels, impostures, and vices of every profession, which hath been likewise handled: but how? rather in a satire and cynically, than seriously and wisely for men have rather sought by wit to deride and traduce much of that which is good in professions, than with judgment to discover and sever that which is corrupt. For, as Solomon saith, he that cometh to seek after knowledge with a mind to scorn and censure, shall be sure to find matter for his humour, but no matter for his instruction: Quærenti derisori scientiam ipsa se abscondit; sed studioso fit obviam." But the


1 In defence of Marcellus.

2 A scorner seeketh wisdom and findeth it not; but knowledge is easy to him that understandeth.

managing of this argument with integrity and truth, which I note as deficient, seemeth to me to be one of the best fortifications for honesty and virtue that can be planted. For, as the fable goeth of the basilisk, that if he see you first, you die for it; but if you see him first, he dieth; so is it with deceits and evil hearts; which, if they be first espied they leese their life; but if they prevent, they endanger. So that we are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do. For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil: for without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced. Nay, an honest man can do no good upon those that are wicked, to reclaim them, without the help of the knowledge of evil. For men of corrupted minds presuppose that honesty groweth out of simplicity of manners, and believing of preachers, schoolmasters, and men's exterior language: so as, except you can make them perceive that you know the utmost reaches of their own corrupt opinions, they despise all morality: "Non recipit stultus verba prudentiæ, nisi ea dixeris quæ versantur in corde ejus.


Unto this part, touching respective duty, doth also appertain the duties between husband and wife, parent and child, master and servant so likewise the laws of friendship and gratitude, the civil bond of companies, colleges, and politic bodies, of neighbourhood, and all other proportionate duties; not as they are parts of government and society, but as to the framing of the mind of particular persons.

The knowledge concerning good respecting society doth handle it also, not simply alone, but comparatively; whereunto belongeth the weighing of duties between person and person, case and case, particular and public; as we see in the proceeding of Lucius Brutus

3 A fool receiveth not the words of wisdom, unless what thou declarest accord with the feelings of his heart.

against his own sons, which was so much extolled; yet what was said?

"Infelix, utcunque ferent ca fata minores."

So the case was doubtful, and had opinion on both sides. Again, we see when M. Brutus and Cassius invited to a supper certain whose opinions they meant to feel, whether they were fit to be made their associates, and cast forth the question touching the killing of a tyrant being a usurper, they were divided in opinion; some holding that servitude was the extreme of evils, and others that tyranny was better than a civil war: and a number of the like cases there are of comparative duty; amongst which that of all others is the most frequent, where the question is of a great deal of good to ensue of a small injustice, which Jason of Thessalia determined against the truth: "Aliqua sunt injuste facienda, ut multa juste fieri possint." But the reply is good, "Auctorem præsentis justitiæ habes, sponsorem futuræ non habes."3

Men must

pursue things which are just in present, and leave the future to the divine Providence, So then we pass on from this general part touching the exemplar and description of good.

Now therefore that we have spoken of this fruit of life, it remaineth to speak of the husbandry that belongeth thereunto; without which part the former seemeth to be no better than a fair image, or statue, which is beautiful to contemplate, but is without life and motion: whereunto Aristotle himself subscribeth in these words: "Necesse est scilicet de virtute dicere, et quid sit, et ex quibus gignatur. Inutile enim fere fuerit virtutem quidem nosse, acquirendæ autem ejus modos et vias ignorare: non enim de virtute tantum, qua specie sit, quærendum est, sed et quomodo sui copiam faciat: utrumque enim volumus, et rem ipsam nosse, et ejus com

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potes fieri: hoc autem ex voto non succedet nisi sciamus et ex quibus et quomodo.”* In such full words and with such iteration doth he inculcate this part. So saith Cicero in great commendation of Cato the second, that he had applied himself to philosophy, non ita disputandi causa, sed ita vivendi." 5 And although the neglect of our times, wherein few men do hold any consultations touching the reformation of their life, (as Seneca excellently saith,)" De partibus vitæ quisque deliberat, de summâ nemo,' may make this part seem superfluous; yet must conclude with that aphorism of Hippocrates, “Qui gravi morbo correpti dolores non sentiunt, iis mens ægrotat;"7 they need medicine, not only to assuage the disease, but to awake the sense. And if it be said that the cure of men's minds belongeth to sacred divinity, it is most true; but yet moral philosophy may be preferred unto her as a wise servant and humble handmaid. For as the Psalm saith, that the eyes of the handmaid look perpetually towards the mistress, and yet no doubt many things are left to the discretion of the handmaid, to discern of the mistress's will; so ought moral philosophy to give a constant attention to the doctrines of divinity, and yet so as it may yield of herself, within due limits, many sound and profitable directions.

This part, therefore, because of the excellency thereof, I cannot but find exceeding strange that it is not reduced to written inquiry; the rather, because it consisteth of much matter, wherein both speech and action is often conversant; and such wherein the common talk of men, (which is rare, but yet cometh sometimes to pass,) is wiser than their books. It is reasonable, therefore, that we

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propound it in the more particularity, both for the worthiness, and because we may acquit ourselves for reporting it deficient; which seemeth almost incredible, and is otherwise conceived and pre-supposed by those themselves that have written. We will therefore enumerate some heads or points thereof, that it may appear the better what it is, and whether it be extant.

First, therefore, in this, as in all things which are practical, we ought to cast up our account, what is in our power, and what not; for the one may be dealt with by way of alteration, but the other other by way of application only. The husbandman cannot command, neither the nature of the earth, nor the seasons of the weather; no more can the physician the constitution of the patient, nor the variety of accidents: so in the culture and cure of the mind of man, two things are without our command; points of nature, and points of fortune; for to the basis of the one and the conditions of the other, our work is limited and tied. In these things, therefore, it is left unto us to proceed by application.

"Vincenda est omnis fortuna ferendo:"1

and so likewise,

"Vincenda est omnis natura ferendo." 2

But when that we speak of suffering, we do not speak of a dull and neglected suffering, but of a wise and industrious suffering, which draweth and contriveth use and advantage out of that which seemeth adverse and contrary; which is that properly which we call accommodating or applying. Now the wisdom of application resteth principally in the exact and distinct knowledge of the precedent state or disposition, unto which we do apply for we cannot fit a garment, except we first take measure of the body.


So then the first article of this knowledge is, to set down sound and true distributions and descriptions of the several characters and tempers of men's natures and dispositions; especially having regard to those differences which are most radical in being the fountains and causes of the rest, or most frequent in

1 To firm endurance every fortune yields. 2 To firm endurance Nature's self will yield.

concurrence or commixture; wherein it is not the handling of a few of them in passage, the better to describe the mediocrities of virtues, that can satisfy this intention. For if it deserve to be considered, "that there are minds which are proportioned to great matters, and others to small" (which Aristotle handleth, or ought to have handled, by the name of magnanimity); doth it not deserve as well to be considered, "that there are minds proportioned to intend many matters, and others to few?" So that some can divide themselves: others can perchance do exactly well, but it must be but in few things at once: and so there cometh to be a narrowness of mind, as well as a pusillanimity. And again, "that some minds are proportioned to that which may be despatched at once, or within a short return of time; others to that which begins afar off, and is to be won with length of pursuit ;"

"Jam tum tenditque fovetque." 3

So that there may be fitly said to be a longanimity, which is commonly also ascribed to God as a magnanimity. So further deserved it to be considered by Aristotle; "that there is a disposition in conversation, (supposing it in things which do in no sort touch or concern a man's self,) to soothe and please; and a disposition contrary to contradict and cross:" and deserveth it not much better to be considered, "that there is a disposition, not in conversation or talk, but in matter of more serious nature, (and supposing it still in things merely indifferent,) to take pleasure in the good of another: and a disposition contrariwise, to take distaste at the good of another?" which is that properly which we call good nature or ill nature, benignity or malignity and therefore I cannot sufficiently marvel that this part of knowledge, touching the several characters of natures and dispositions, should be omitted both in morality and policy; considering it is of so great ministry and suppeditation to them both. A man shall find in the traditions of astrology some pretty and apt divisions of men's natures, according to the predominances of the planets; lovers of quiet, lovers of

3 Even at a distance clings to it in love.


action, lovers of victory, lovers of honour, lovers of pleasure, lovers of arts, lovers of change, and so forth. A man shall find in the wisest sort of these relations which the Italians make touching conclaves, the natures of the several cardinals handsomely and livelily painted forth: a man shall meet with in every day's conference, the denominations of sensitive, dry, formal, real, humorous, certain," huomo di prima impressione, huomo di ultima impressione," and the like: and yet nevertheless this kind of observations wandereth in words, but is not fixed in inquiry. For the distinctions are found many of them, but we conclude no precepts upon them wherein our fault is the greater; because both history, poesy, and daily experience are as goodly fields where these observations grow whereof we make a few posies to hold in our hands, but no man bringeth them to the confectionary, that receipts might be made of them for the use of life.


Of much like kind are those impressions of nature, which are imposed upon the mind by the sex, by the age, by the region, by health and sickness, by beauty and deformity, and the like, which are inherent and not external; and again, those which are caused by external fortune; as sovereignty, nobility, obscure birth, riches, want, magistracy, privateness, prosperity, adversity, constant fortune, variable fortune, rising "per saltum,"2 per gradus," and the like. And therefore we see that Plautus maketh it a wonder to see an old man beneficent, "benignitas hujus ut adolescentuli est."4 St. Paul concludeth, that severity of discipline was to be used to the Cretans, "Increpa eos durè,"5 upon the disposition of their country, Cretenses semper mendaces, malæ bestiæ, ventres pigri." Sallust noteth, that it is usual with kings to desire contradictories: "Sed plerumque regiæ voluntates, ut vehementes sunt, sic mobiles sæpeque ipsæ sibi adversa."7 Tacitus observeth

1 A man yielding to the first impression; a man yielding to the last impression.

2 At a bound.

3 By degrees.

His benignity is like that of a young man. 5 Rebuke them severely.

6 The Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

7 But as the king's inclinations were for the most




how rarely raising of the fortune mendeth the disposition: "Solus Vespasianus mutatus in melius." Pindarus maketh an observation, that great and sudden fortune for the most part defeateth men “Qui magnam felicitatem concoquere non possunt." So the Psalm showeth it is more easy to keep a measure in the enjoying of fortune, than in the increase of fortune: "Divitiæ si affluant, nolite cor apponere." These observations, and the like, I deny not but are touched a little by Aristotle, as in passages, in his rhetorics, and are handled in some scattered discourses: but they were never incorporated into moral philosophy, to which they do essentially appertain; as the knowledge of the diversity of grounds and moulds doth to agriculture and the knowledge of the diversity of complexions and constitutions doth to the physician; except we mean to follow the indiscretion of empirics, which minister the same medicines to all patients.


Another article of this knowledge is the inquiry touching the affections; for as in medicining of the body, it is in order first to know the divers complexions and constitutions; secondly, the diseases; and lastly, the cures so in medicining of the mind, after knowledge of the divers characters of men's natures, it followeth, in order, to know the diseases and infirmities of the mind, which are no other than the perturbations and distempers of the affections. For as the ancient politicians in popular states were wont to compare the people to the sea, and the orators to the winds; because as the sea would of itself be calm and quiet, if the winds did not move and trouble it; so the people would be peaceable and tractable, if the seditious orators did not set them in working and agitation: so it may be fitly said, that the mind in the nature thereof would be temperate and stayed if the affections, as winds, did not put it into

part violent, so they were mutable and often inconsistent with each other.

8 Vespasian alone was changed for the better by being elevated to the empire.

Who cannot make a practical use of great prosperity.

10 If riches abound, set not thy heart upon them. 11 Quacks who try experiments on their patients. The word is sometimes, but rarely, used in a good sense for experimentalists.

tumult and perturbation. And here again I find strange, as before, that Aristotle should have written divers volumes of Ethics, and never handled the affections, which is the principal subject thereof; and yet in his Rhetorics, where they are considered but collaterally, and in a second degree, as they may be moved by speech, he findeth place for them, and handleth them well for the quantity; but where their true place is, he pretermitteth them. For it is not his disputations about pleasure and pain that can satisfy this inquiry, no more than he that should generally handle the nature of light can be said to handle the nature of colours; for pleasure and pain are to the particular affections, as light is to particular colours. Better travails, I suppose, had the Stoics taken in this argument, as far as I can gather by that which we have at second hand. But yet, it is like, it was after their manner, rather in subtilty of definitions, (which in a subject of this nature are but curiosities,) than inactive and ample descriptions and observations. So likewise I find some par- · ticular writings of an elegant nature, touching some of the affections; as of anger, of comfort upon adverse accidents, of tenderness of countenance, and other.

But the poets and writers of histories are the best doctors of this knowledge; where we may find painted forth with great life, how affections are kindled and incited; and how pacified and refrained; and how again contained from act and further degree; how they disclose themselves; how they work; how they vary; how they gather and fortify; how they are inwrapped one within another; and how they do fight and encounter one with another; and other the like particularities: amongst the which this last is of special use in moral and civil matters; how, I say, to set affection against affection, and to master one by another; even as we use to hunt beast with beast, and fly bird with bird, which otherwise perhaps we could not so easily recover upon which foundation is erected that excellent use of " "'1 and " "præmium pœna, whereby civil states consist: employing the predominant affections of fear and hope, for the suppressing and bridling the rest. For as

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in the government of states it is sometimes necessary to bridle one faction with another, so it is in the government within.

Now come we to those points which are within our own command, and have force and operation upon the mind, to affect the will and appetite, and to alter manners: wherein they ought to have handled custom, exercise, habit, education, example, imitation, emulation, company, friends, praise, reproof, exhortation, fame, laws, books, studies: these as they have determinate use in moralities, from these the mind suffereth; and of these are such receipts and regimens compounded and described, as may seem to recover or preserve the health and good estate of the mind, as far as pertaineth to human medicine: of which number we will insist upon some one or two, as an example of the rest, because it were too long to prosecute all; and therefore we do resume custom and habit to speak of.

The opinion of Aristotle seemeth to me a negligent opinion, that of those things which consist by nature, nothing can be changed by custom; using for example, that if a stone be thrown ten thousand times up, it will not learn to ascend; and that by often seeing or hearing, we do not learn to see or hear the better. For though this principle be true in things wherein nature is peremptory, (the reason whereof we cannot now stand to discuss,) yet it is otherwise in things wherein nature admitteth a latitude. For he might see that a strait glove will come more easily on with use; and that a wand will by use bend otherwise than it grew; and that by use of the voice we speak louder and stronger; and that by use of enduring heat or cold, we endure it the better, and the like: which latter sort have a nearer resemblance unto that subject of manners he handleth, than those instances which he allegeth. But allowing his conclusion, that virtues and vices consist in habit, he ought so much the more to have taught the manner of superinducing that habit for there be many precepts of the wise ordering the exercises of the mind, as there is of ordering the exercises of the body; whereof we will recite a few.

The first shall be, that we beware we take not at the first either too high a strain, or too

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