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have likewise determined that the mind ought not to be reduced to stupidity, but to retain pleasure ; confined rather in the subject of it, than in the strength and vigour of it,
CIVIL Knowledge is conversant about a subject which of all others is most immersed in matter, and hardliest reduced to axiom. Nevertheless, as Cato the censor said, "that the Romans were like sheep, for that a man might better drive a flock of them, than one of them; for in a flock, if you could get but some few to go right, the rest would follow;" so in that respect moral philosophy is more difficile than policy. Again, moral philosophy propoundeth to itself the framing of internal goodness; but civil knowledge requireth only an external goodness; for that as to society sufficeth. And therefore it cometh oft to pass that there be evil times in good governments for so we find in the holy story, when the kings were good, yet it is added, "Sed adhuc populus non direxerat cor suum ad Dominum Deum patrum suorum" (For as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers). Again, states, as great engines, move slowly, and are not so soon put out of frame: for as in Egypt the seven good years sustained the seven bad; so governments, for a time well grounded, do bear out
errors following: but the resolution of particular persons is more suddenly subverted. These respects do somewhat qualify the extreme difficulty of civil knowledge.
This knowledge hath three parts, according to the three summary actions of society; which are Conversation, Negotiation, and Government. For man seeketh in society comfort, use, and protection: and they be three wisdoms of divers natures, which do often sever; wisdom of behaviour, wisdom of business, and wisdom of state.
The wisdom of Conversation ought not to be over much affected, but much less despised: for it hath not only an honour in itself, but an influence also into business and government. The poet saith, "Nec vultu destrue verba tuo:" a man may destroy the force of his words with his countenance: so may he of his deeds, saith Cicero, recommending to his brother affability and easy access," Nil interest habere ostium apertum, vultum clausum :" it is nothing won to admit men with an open door, and to receive them with a shut and reserved countenance. So, we see, Atticus, before the first interview between Cæsar and Cicero, the war depending, did seriously advise Cicero touching the composing and ordering of his countenance and gesture. And if the government of the countenance be of such
effect, much more is that of the speech, and other carriage appertaining to conversation; the true model whereof seemeth to me well expressed by Livy, though not meant for this purpose: "Ne aut arrogans videar, aut obnoxius; quorum alterum est alienæ libertatis obliti, alterum suæ:" the sum of behaviour is to retain a man's own dignity, without intruding upon the liberty of others. On the other side, if behaviour and outward carriage be intended too much, first it may pass into affectation, and then " Quid deformius quam scenam in vitam transferre" (what is more dishonourable than to act a part through life)? But although it proceed not to that extreme, yet it consumeth time, and employeth the mind too much. And therefore as we use to advise young students from company keeping, by saying, "Amici fures temporis" (friends are the thieves of time): so certainly the intending of the discretion of behaviour is a great thief of meditation. Again, such as are accomplished in that form of urbanity please themselves in it, and seldom aspire to higher virtue; whereas those that have defect in it do seek comeliness by reputation: for where reputation is, almost every thing becometh; but where that is not, it must be supplied by punctilios and compliments. Again, there is no greater impediment of action than an over-curious observance of
decency, and the guide of decency, which is time and season. For as Solomon saith, "Qui respicit ad ventos, non seminat; et qui respicit ad nubes, non metet" (he that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap): a man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it. To conclude; behaviour seemeth to me as a garment of the mind, and to have the conditions of a garment. For it ought to be made in fashion ; it ought not to be too curious; it ought to be shaped so as to set forth any good making of the mind, and hide any deformity; and above all, it ought not to be too strait, or restrained for exercise or motion. But this part of civil knowledge hath been elegantly handled, and therefore I cannot report it for deficient.
The wisdom touching Negotiation or Business hath not been hitherto collected into writing, to the great derogation of learning, and the professors of learning. For from this root springeth chiefly that note or opinion, which by us is expressed in adage to this effect, that there is no great concurrence between learning and wisdom.' For of the three wisdoms which we have set down to pertain to civil life, for wisdom of behaviour, it is by learned men for the most part despised, as an inferior to virtue, and an enemy to meditation; for wisdom of govern
ment, they acquit themselves well when they are called to it, but that happeneth to few; but for the wisdom of business, wherein man's life is most conversant, there be no books of it, except some few scattered advertisements, that have no proportion to the magnitude of this subject. For if books were written of this, as the other, I doubt not but learned men with mean experience, would far excel men of long experience without learning, and outshoot them in their own bow.
Neither needeth it at all to be doubted, that this knowledge should be so variable as it falleth not under precept; for it is much less infinite than science of government, which, we see, is laboured, and in some part reduced. Of this wisdom, it seemeth, some of the ancient Romans, in the sagest and wisest times, were professors; for Cicero reporteth, that it was then in use for senators that had name and opinion for general wise men, as Coruncanius, Curius, Lælius, and many others, to walk at certain hours in the place, and to give audience to those that would use their advice; and that the particular citizens would resort unto them, and consult with them of the marriage of a daughter, or of the employing of a son, or of a purchase or bargain, or of an accusation, and every other occasion incident to man's life. So as there is a wisdom of counsel and