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of their own proceedings. But Solomon saith, “ Prudens advertit ad gressus suos : stultus divertit


As the births of living creatures at first are ill XXIII. OF WISDOM FOR A MAN'S SELF.

shapen ; so are all innovations, which are the births

of time. Yet notwithstanding, as those that first An ant is a wise creature for itself: but it is a bring honour into their family, are commonly more shrewd thing in an orchard or garden. And certainly worthy than most that succeed; so the first prece. men that are great lovers of themselves waste the dent, if it be good, is seldom attained by imitation. public. Divide with reason between self-love and For ill, to man's nature, as it stands perverted, hath society; and be so true to thyself, as thou be not a natural motion strongest in continuance; but good, false to others; especially to thy king and country. as a forced motion, strongest at first. Surely every It is a poor centre of a man's actions, Himself. It medicine is an innovation, and he that will not apis right earth. For that only stands fast upon his ply new remedies, must expect new evils; for time own centre : whereas all things that have affinity is the greatest innovator : and if time of course alter with the heavens, move upon the centre of another things to the worse, and wisdom and counsel shall which they benefit. The referring of all to a man's not alter them to the better, what shall be the end ? self is more tolerable in a sovereign prince, because it is true, that what is settled by custom, though it themselves are not only themselves, but their good be not good, yet at least it is fit. And those things and evil is at the peril of the public fortune. But it which have long gone together, are, as it were, conis a desperate evil in a servant to a prince, or a citi federate within themselves: whereas new things zen in a republic. For whatsoever affairs pass such piece not so well; but though they help by their a man's hands, he crooketh them to his own ends : utility, yet they trouble by their inconformity. Bewhich must needs be often eccentric to the ends sides, they are like strangers, more admired, and of his master or state. Therefore let princes or less favoured. All this is true if time stood still ; states choose such servants as have not this mark; which contrariwise moveth so round, that a froward except they mean their service should be made but retention of custom is as turbulent a thing as an inthe accessary. That which maketh the effect more novation ; and they that reverence too much old pernicious is, that all proportion is lost: it were dis- times are but a scorn to the new. It were good, proportion enough for the servant's good to be pre- therefore, that men in their innovations would folferred before the master's; but yet it is a greater ex-low the example of time itself, which indeed inno treme, when a little good of the servant shall carry vateth greatly, but quietly and by degrees scarce to things against a great good of the master's. And be perceived: for otherwise, whatsoever is new is yet that is the case of bad officers, treasurers, am- unlooked for; and ever it mends some, and impairs bassadors, generals, and other false and corrupt ser-others: and he that is holpen takes it for a fortune, vants ; which set a bias upon their bowl of their and thanks the time; and he that is hurt, for a own petty ends and envies, to the overthrow of their wrong, and imputeth it to the author. It is good master's great and important affairs. And for the also not to try experiments in states, except the most part, the good such servants receive, is after necessity be urgent, or the utility evident; and well the model of their own fortune; but the hurt they to beware that it be the reformation that draweth sell for that good, is after the model of their master's on the change; and not the desire of change that fortune. And certainly it is the nature of extreme pretendeth the reformation. And lastly, that the self-lovers, as they will set a house on fire, and it novelty, though it be not rejected, yet be held for a were but to roast their eggs: and yet these men suspect; and, as the Scripture saith, “that we make many times hold credit with their masters, because a stand upon the ancient way, and then look about their study is but to please them, and profit them- us, and discover what is the straight and right way, selves : and for either respect they will abandon the and so to walk in it." good of their affairs. Wisdom for a man's self is in many branches

XXV. OF DESPATCH. thereof a depraved thing. It is the wisdom of rats, that will be sure to leave a house somewhat Affected despatch is one of the most dangerous before it fall. It is the wisdom of the fox, that things to business that can be. It is like that which thrusts out the badger, who digged and made room the physicians call predigestion, or hasty digestion, for him. It is the wisdom of crocodiles, that shed which is sure to fill the body full of crudities and tears when they would devour. But that which is secret seeds of diseases. Therefore measure not specially to be noted is, that those which, as Cicero despatch by the times of sitting, but by the advancesays of Pompey, are " sui amantes sine rivali,” are ment of the business. And as in races, it is not the many times unfortunate. And whereas they have large stride, or high lift, that makes the speed; so all their time sacrificed to themselves, they become in business, the keeping close to the matter, and not in the end themselves sacrifices to the inconstancy taking of it too much at once, procureth despatch. of fortune, whose wings they thought by their self. It is the care of some, only to come off speedily wisdom to have pinioned.

for the time; or to contrive some false periods of business, because they may seem men of despatch. But it is one thing to abbreviate by contracting, an

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cther by cutting off: and business so handled at and fit for a satire to persons of judgment, to see several sittings or meetings, goeth commonly back what shifts these formalists have, and what proward and forward in an unsteady manner. I knew spectives to make superficies to seem body that hath a wise man that had it for a by-word, when he saw depth and bulk. Some are so close and reserved, men hasten to a conclusion, “ Stay a little, that we as they will not show their wares but by a dark may make an end the sooner.”

light; and seem always to keep back somewhat; On the other side, true despatch is a rich thing and when they know within themselves they speak For time is the measure of business, as money is of of that they do not well know, would nevertheless wares; and business is bought at a dear hand, where seem to others to know of that which they may not there is small despatch. The Spartans and Spaniards well speak. Some help themselves with countehave been noted to be of small despatch: “Mi venga nance and gesture, and are wise by signs; as Cicero la muerte de Spagna ;" Let my death come from saith of Piso, that when he answered him, he fetchSpain; for then it will be sure to be long in coming. ed one of his brows up to his forehead, and bent

Give good hearing to those that give the first in- the other down to his chin: “ respondes, altero ad formation in business; and rather direct them in the frontem sublato, altero ad mentum depresso superbeginning, than interrupt them in the continuance cilio, crudelitatem tibi non placere.” Some think of their speeches : for he that is put out of his own to bear it by speaking a great word, and being peorder, will go forward and backward, and be more remptory; and go on, and take by admittance that tedious while he waits upon his memory, than he which they cannot make good. Some, whatsoever could have been if he had gone on in his own is beyond their reach, will seem to despise or make course. But sometimes it is seen, that the modera- light of it as impertinent or curious; and so would tor is more troublesome than the actor.

have their ignorance seem judgment. Some are Iterations are commonly loss of time: but there never without a difference, and commonly by amusis no such gain of time, as to iterate often the state ing men with a subtilty blanch the matter ; of whom of the question; for it chaseth away many a frivo- A. Gellius saith, “ hominem delirum, qui verborum lous speech as it is coming forth. Long and curi- minutiis rerum frangit pondera.” Of which kind ous speeches are as fit for despatch, as a robe or also, Plato in his “ Protagoras" bringeth in Prodimantle with a long train is for race. Prefaces, and cus in scorn, and maketh him make a speech that passages, and excusations, and other speeches of re- consisteth of distinctions from the beginning to the ference to the person, are great wastes of time; and end. Generally such men in all deliberations find though they seem to proceed of modesty, they are ease to be of the negative side, and affect a credit bravery. Yet beware of being too material, when to object and foretell difficulties : for when proposithere is any impediment or obstruction in men's tions are denied, there is an end of them; but if wills; for pre-occupation of mind ever requireth they be allowed, it requireth a new work: which preface of speech; like a fomentation to make the false point of wisdom is the bane of business. To unguent enter.

conclude, there is no decaying merchant, or inward Above all things, order and distribution, and sin- beggar, hath so many tricks to uphold the credit of gling out of parts, is the life of despatch: so as the their wealth, as these empty persons have to maindistribution be not too subtile; for he that doth not tain the credit of their sufficiency. Seeming wise divide will never enter well into business; and he men may make shift to get opinion; but let no man that divideth too much, will never come out of it choose them for employment, for certainly you were clearly. To choose time, is to save time; and better take for business a man somewhat absurd, unseasonable motion is but beating the air. There than over formal. be three parts of business; the preparation, the debate or examination, and the perfection. Whereof,

XXVII. OF FRIENDSHIP. if you look for despatch, let the middle only be the work of many, and the first and last the work of few. It had been hard for him that spake it to have The proceeding upon somewhat conceived in writing, put more truth and untruth together, in few words, doth for the most part facilitate despatch : for though than in that speech ; “ Whosoever is delighted in it should be wholly rejected, yet that negative is solitude, is either a wild beast, or a god.” For it more pregnant of direction than an indefinite; as is most true, that a natural and secret hatred, and ashes are more generative than dust.

aversation towards society, in any men, hath some

what of the savage beast : but it is most untrue, XXVI. OF SEEMING WISE.

that it should have any character at all of the divine

nature, except it proceed, not out of a pleasure in soliIt hath been an opinion, that the French are tude, but out of a love and desire to sequester a wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem man's self for a higher conversation : such as is wiser than they are. But howsoever it be between found to have been falsely and feignedly in som of nations, certainly it is so between man and man. the heathen; as Epimenides the Candian, Numa the For as the apostle saith of godliness, “ having Roman, Empedocles the Sicilian, and Apollonius of a show of godliness, but denying the power there. Tyana ; and truly and really in divers of the ancient of;" so certainly there are in point of wisdom and hermits, and holy fathers of the church. But little sufficiency that to do nothing or little very solemnly; do men perceive what solitude is, and how far it " magno conatu nugas.” It is a ridiculous thing, extendeth. For a crowd is not company, and faces


are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling purnia ; this man lifted him gently by the arm out cymbal, where there is no love. The Latin adage of his chair, telling him, He hoped he would not meeteth with it a little ; “ Magna civitas, magna dismiss the senate, till his wife had dreamed a betsolitudo;” because in a great town friends are scat- ter dream. And it seemeth, his favour was so great, tered, so that there is not that fellowship, for the as Antonius, in a letter which is recited verbatim most part, which is in less neighbourhoods. But in one of Cicero's Philippics, calleth him “venewe may go farther and affirm most truly, that it is fica," witch; as if he had enchanted Cæsar. Aua mere and miserable solitude, to want true friends, gustus raised Agrippa, though of mean birth, to without which the world is but a wilderness. And that height, as when he consulted with Mæcenas even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the about the marriage of his daughter Julia, Mæcenas frame of his nature and affections is unfit for friend took the liberty to tell him, That he must either ship, he taketh it of the beast, and not from hu- marry his daughter to Agrippa, or take away his manity.

life; there was no third way, he had made him so A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and great. With Tiberius Cæsar Sejanus had ascended discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart, to that height, as they two were termed and reckwhich passions of all kinds do cause and induce. oned as a pair of friends. Tiberius in a letter to We know diseases of stoppings and suffocations are him saith; " Hæc pro amicitiâ nostrâ non occultavi." the most dangerous in the body; and it is not much and the whole senate dedicated an altar to friendotherwise in the mind; you may take sarza to open ship as to a goddess, in respect of the great dearthe liver ; steel to open the spleen; flour of sul- ness of friendship between them two. The like or phur for the lungs; castoreum for the brain ; but more was between Septimius Severus and Plantiano receipt openeth the heart but a true friend, to For he forced his eldest son to marry the whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, daughter of Plantianus; and would often maintain suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon Plantianus in doing affronts to his son: and did the heart, to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or write also in a letter to the senate by these words: confession.

“ I love the man so well, as I wish he may overIt is a strange thing to observe, how high a rate live me.” Now if these princes had been as a Tragreat kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of jan or a Marcus Aurelius, a man might have thought friendship, whereof we speak; so great, as they that this had proceeded of an abundant goodness of purchase it many times at the hazard of their own nature ; but being men so wise, of such strength safety and greatness. For princes, in regard of the and severity of mind, and so extreme lovers of themdistance of their fortune from that of their subjects selves, as all these were ; it proveth most plainly, and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except, to that they found their own felicity, though as great make themselves capable thereof, they raise some as ever happened to mortal men, but as an half persons to be as it were companions, and almost piece, except they might have a friend to make it equals to themselves; which many times sorteth entire; and yet, which is more, they were princes to inconvenience. The modern languages give unto that had wives, sons, nephews; and yet all these such persons the name of favourites or privadoes ; could not supply the comfort of friendship. as if it were matter of grace or conversation : but It is not to be forgotten what Commineus observ. the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause eth of his first master duke Charles the Hardy, thereof; naming them “ participes curarum ;" for namely, That he would communicate his secrets it is that which tieth the knot. And we see plainly, with none: and least of all those secrets which that this hath been done, not by weak and passion- troubled him most. Whereupon he goeth on, and ate princes only, but by the wisest and most politic saith, That towards his latter time, that closeness that ever reigned, who have oftentimes joined to did impair, and a little perish his understanding. themselves some of their servants, whom both them- Surely Commineus might have made the same judg. selves have called friends, and allowed others like- ment also if it had pleased him, of his second maswise to call them in the same manner, using the ter Lewis the eleventh, whose closeness was indeed word which is received between private men. his tormentor. The parable of Pythagoras is dark,

L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised but true; “ Cor ne edito," eat not the heart. CerPompey, after surnamed the Great, to that height, tainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, those that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's over-match. that want friends to open themselves unto, are canFor when he had the consulship for a friend of his nibals of their own hearts. But one thing is most against the pursuit of Sylla, and that Sylla did a admirable, wherewith I will conclude this first fruit little resent thereat, and began to speak great, Pom- of friendship, which is, that this communicating of pey turned upon him again, and in effect bade him a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects ; be quiet; for that more men adored the sun rising, for it redoubleth joys and cutteth griefs in halfs. For than the sun setting. With Julius Cæsar, Decimus there is no man that imparteth his joys to his Brutus had obtained that interest, as he set him friend, but he joyeth the more ; and no man that down in his testament for heir in remainder after imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth his nephew. And this was the man that had power the less. So that it is in truth of operation upon a with him to draw him forth to his death. For when man's mind of like virtue, as the alchemists use to Cæsar would have discharged the senate, in regard attribute to their stone, for man's body; that it of some ill presages, and especially a dream of Cal- I worketh all contrary effects, but still to the good and

benefit of nature. But yet, without praying in aid sort, do commit for want of a friend to tell them of of alchemists, there is a manifest image of this in them; to the great damage both of their fame and the ordinary course of nature. For in bodies, union fortune. For, as St. James saith, they are as men strengtheneth and cherisheth any natural action ; “ that look sometimes into a glass, and presently and on the other side, weakeneth and dulleth any forget their own shape and favour.” As for busiviolent impression; and even so is it of minds. ness, a man may think if he will, that two eyes see

The second fruit of friendship is healthful and no more than one; or that a gamester seeth always sovereign for the understanding, as the first is for more than a looker-on; or that a man in anger is the affections. For friendship maketh indeed a as wise as he that hath said over the four and fair day in the affections, from storm and tempests ; twenty letters ; or that a musket may be shot off, as but it maketh day-light in the understanding, out of well upon the arm, as upon a rest; and such other darkness and confusion of thoughts : neither is this fond and high imaginations, to think himself all in to be understood only of faithful counsel, which a all. But when all is done, the help of good counsel man receiveth from his friend; but before you come is that which setteth business straight. And if any to that, certain it is, that whosoever hath his mind man think, that he will take counsel, but it shall be fraught with many thoughts, his wits and under- by pieces; asking counsel in one business of one standing do clarify and break up in the communi-man, and in another business of another man; it is cating and discoursing with another: he tosseth his well, that is to say, better perhaps than if he asked thoughts more easily; he marshalleth them more none at all, but he runneth two dangers : one, that orderly ; he seeth how they look when they are he shall not be faithfully counselled; for it is a rare turned into words; finally, he waxeth wiser than thing, except it be from a perfect and entire friend, himself; and that more by an hour's discourse, to have counsel given, but such as shall be bowed than by a day's meditation. It was well said by and crooked to some ends which he hath that giveth Themistocles to the king of Persia, That speech was it. The other, that he shall have counsel given, like cloth of Arras, opened and put abroad, whereby hurtful and unsafe, though with good meaning, and the imagery doth appear in figure; whereas in mixed partly of mischief, and partly of remedy: thoughts they lie but as in packs. Ne her is this even as if you would call a physician that is thought second fruit of friendship, in opening the under- good for the cure of the disease you complain of, but standing, restrained only to such friends, as are is unacquainted with your body; and therefore may able to give a man counsel: they indeed are best : put you in way for a present cure, but overthroweth but even, without that, a man learneth of himself your health in some other kind, and so cure the and bringeth his own thoughts to light, and whet. disease and kill the patient. But a friend that is teth his wits as against a stone, which itself cuts wholly acquainted with a man's estate, will beware not. In a word; a man were better relate himself by farthering any present business how he dasheth to a statue or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to upon other inconvenience. And therefore rest not pass in smother.

upon scattered counsels; they will rather distract Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship and mislead, than settle and direct. complete, that other point which lieth more open,

After these two noble fruits of friendship, peace and falleth within vulgar observation ; which is in the affections, and support of the judgment, fol. faithful counsel from a friend. Heraclitus saith loweth the last fruit, which is like the pomegranate, well in one of his ænigmas, Dry light is ever the full of many kernels; I mean aid, and bearing a best. And certain it is, that the light that a man part in all actions and occasions. Here the best receiveth by counsel from another, is drier and way to represent to life the manifold use of friendpurer, than that which cometh from his own under ship, is to cast and see how many things there are standing and judgment; which is ever infused and which a man cannot do himself; and then it will drenched in his affections and customs. So as appear that it was a sparing speech of the ancients there is as much difference between the counsel to say, That a friend is another himself ; for that a that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, friend is far more than himself. Men have their as there is between the counsel of a friend, and of time, and die many times in desire of some things a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as is a which they principally take to heart; the bestowing man's self; and there is no such remedy against of a child, the finishing of a work, or the like. If flattery of a man's self, as the liberty of a friend. a man have a true friend, he may rest almost secure, Counsel is of two sorts; the one concerning man- that the care of those things will continue after him. ners, the other concerning business. For the first, So that a man hath as it were two lives in his the best preservative to keep the mind in health, is desires. A man hath a body, and that body is conthe faithful admonition of a friend. The calling a fined to a place ; but where friendship is, all offices man's self to a strict account, is a medicine some- of life are as it were granted to him and his deputy : times too piercing and corrosive. Reading good for he may exercise them by his friend. How books of morality, is a little flat and dead. Observ- many things are there, which a man cannot, with ing our faults in others, is sometimes improper for any face or comeliness, say or do himself ? A man our case : but the best receipt, best, I say, to work, can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, and best to take, is the admonition of a friend. It much less extol them: a man cannot sometimes is a strange thing to behold what gross errors and brook to supplicate or beg; and a number of the extreme absurdities many, especially of the greater | like. But all these things are graceful in a friend's




mouth, which are blushing in a man's own. So censure, applied at large to others. Desired at a again, a man's person hath many proper relations, feast to touch a lute, he said, He could not fiddle, which he cannot put off. A man cannot speak to but yet he could make a small town a great city. his son, but as a father ; to his wife, but as a hus- These words, holpen a little with a metaphor, may band; to his enemy, but upon terms ; whereas a express two differing abilities in those that deal in friend may speak as the case requires, and not as it business of estate. For if a true survey be taken of sorteth with the person. But to enumerate these counsellors and statesmen, there may be found, things were endless ; I have given the rule, where though rarely, those which can make a small state a man cannot fitly play his own part; if he have great, and yet cannot fiddle; as on the other side, not a friend, he may quit the stage.

there will be found a great many that can fiddle

very cunningly, but yet are so far from being able to XXVIII. OF EXPENSE.

make a small state great, as their gift lieth the other

way; to bring a great and flourishing estate to ruin Riches are for spending; and spending for and decay. And certainly those degenerate arts honour and good actions. Therefore extraordinary and shifts, whereby many counsellors and governors expense must be limited by the worth of the occa- gain both favour with their masters, and estimation sion; for voluntary undoing may be as well for a with the vulgar, deserve no better name than man's country, as for the kingdom of heaven. But fiddling; being things rather pleasing for the time, ordinary expense ought to be limited by a man's and graceful to themselves only, than tending to the estate, and governed with such regard as it be within weal and advancement of the state which they serve. his compass; and not subject to deceit and abuse of There are also, no doubt, counsellors and governors servants; and ordered to the best show, that the which may be held sufficient, negotiis pares, able to bills may be less than the estimation abroad. Cer- | manage affairs, and to keep them from precipices tainly if a man will keep but of even hand, his ordi- and manifest inconveniences, which nevertheless are nary expenses ought to be but to the half of his far from the ability to raise and amplify an estate, receipts; and if he think to wax rich, but to the in power, means, and fortune. But be the workmen third part. It is no baseness for the greatest, to what they may be, let us speak of the work; that descend and look into their own estate. Some for- is, the true greatness of kingdoms and estates, and bear it, not upon negligence alone, but doubting to the means thereof. An argument fit for great and bring themselves into melancholy, in respect they mighty princes to have in their hand; to the end shall find it broken. But wounds cannot be cured that neither by over-measuring their forces they lose without searching. He that cannot look into his themselves in vain enterprises : nor on the other side, own estate at all, had need both choose well those by undervaluing them, they descend to fearful and whom he employeth, and change them often: for pusillanimous counsels. new are more timorous and less subtile. He that The greatness of an estate in bulk and territory can look into his estate but seldom, it behoveth him doth fall under measure, and the greatness of to turn all to certainties. A man had need, if he finances and revenue doth fall under computation. be plentiful in some kind of expense, to be as saving The population may appear by musters; and the again in some other. As if he be plentiful in diet, number and greatness of cities and towns by cards to be saving in apparel : if he be plentiful in the and maps. But yet there is not any thing amongst hall, to be saving in the stable: and the like. For civil affairs more subject to error, than the right he that is plentiful in expenses of all kinds, will valuation and true judgment concerning the power hardly be preserved from decay. In clearing of a and forces of an estate. The kingdom of heaven is man's estate, he may as well hurt himself in being compared, not to any great kernel or nut, but to a too sudden, as in letting it run on too long : for grain of mustard-seed; which is one of the least hasty selling is commonly as disadvantageable as grains, but hath in it a property and spirit hastily interest. Besides, he that clears at once will re- to get up and spread. So are there states, great in lapse; for finding himself out of straits, he will re- territory, and yet not apt to enlarge or command; vert to his customs; but he that cleareth by degrees and some that have but a small dimension of stem; induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth as well and yet apt to be the foundations of great monupon his mind as upon his estate. Certainly, who archies. hath a state to repair, may not despise small things: Walled towns, stored arsenals and armouries, and commonly it is less dishonourable to abridge goodly races of horse, chariots of war, elephants, petty charges, than to stoop to petty gettings. A ordnance, artillery, and the like: all this is but a man ought warily to begin charges, which once be- sheep in a lion's skin, except the breed and disposigun will continue ; but in matters that return not, he tion of the people be stout and warlike. Nay, nummay be more magnificent.

ber itself, in armies, importeth not much, where the

people is of weak courage; for, as Virgil saith, it XXIX. OF THE TRUE GREATNESS OF KING.

never troubles a wolf how many the sheep be. The DOMS AND ESTATES.

army of the Persians, in the plains of Arbela, was

such a vast sea of people, as it did somewhat The speech of Themistocles the Athenian, which astonish the commanders in Alexander's army; was haughty and arrogant in taking so much to who came to him therefore, and wished him to set himself, had been a grave and wise observation and upon them by night; but he answered he would not



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