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pearance only thereof; because the credit of virtue " is a help, but the use of it is cumber:" or that other of his principles, " that he presuppose, that men are "not fitly to be wrought otherwise but by fear; and "therefore that he seek to have every man obnoxious, "low, and in strait," which the Italians call "se"minar spine," to sow thorns; or that other principle, contained in the verse which Cicero citeth, "Cadant amici, dummodo inimici intercidant," as the Triumvirs, which sold, every one to other, the lives of their friends for the deaths of their enemies: or that other protestation of L. Catalina, to set on fire and trouble states, to the end to fish in droumy waters, and to unwrap their fortunes, " Ego si quid "in fortunis meis excitatum sit incendium, id non
aqua, sed ruina restinguam:" or that other principle of Lysander" that children are to be deceived with "comfits, and men with oaths:" and the like evil and corrupt positions, whereof, as in all things, there are more in number than of the good certainly, with these dispensations from the laws of charity and integrity, the pressing of a man's fortune may be more hasty and compendious. But it is in life as it is in ways, the shortest way is commonly the foulest, and surely the fairer way is not much about.
But men, if they be in their own power, and do bear and sustain themselves, and be not carried away with a whirlwind or tempest of ambition, ought, in the pursuit of their own fortune, to set "before their eyes not only that general map of the
world, that "all things are vanity and vexation of "spirit," but many other more particular cards and directions chiefly that,-that being without wellbeing, is a curse, and the greater being the greater curse; and that all virtue is most rewarded, and all wickedness most punished in itself: according as the poet saith excellently:
"Quæ vobis, quæ digna, viri, pro laudibus istis
And so of the contrary. And, secondly, they ought to look up to the eternal providence and divine judgment, which often subverteth the wisdom of evil plots and imaginations, according to that Scripture, "He hath conceived mischief, and shall bring forth "a vain thing." And although men should refrain themselves from injury and evil arts, yet this incessant and sabbathless pursuit of a man's fortune leaveth not the tribute which we owe to God of our time; who, we see, demandeth a tenth of our substance, and a seventh, which is more strict of our time and it is to small purpose to have an erected face towards heaven, and a perpetual grovelling spirit upon earth, eating dust, as doth the serpent,
Atque affigit humo divinæ particulam auræ." And if any man flatter himself that he will employ his fortune well, though he should obtain it ill, as was said concerning Augustus Cæsar, and after of Septimius Severus," that either they should never have "been born, or else they should never have died,”
they did so much mischief in the pursuit and ascent of their greatness, and so much good when they were established; yet these compensations and satisfactions are good to be used, but never good to be purposed. And lastly, it is not amiss for men, in their race toward their fortune, to cool themselves a little with that conceit which is elegantly expressed by the emperor Charles the fifth, in his instructions to the king his son," that fortune hath "somewhat of the nature of a woman, that if she be "two much wooed, she is the farther off." But this last is but a remedy for those whose tastes are corrupted: let men rather build upon that foundation which is as a corner-stone of divinity and philosophy, wherein they join close, namely, that same "Primum "quærite." For Divinity saith, "Primum quærite
regnum Dei, et ista omnia adjicientur vobis:" and philosophy saith, "Primum quærite bona animi, "cætera aut aderunt, aut non oberunt." And although the human foundation hath somewhat of the sands, as we see in M. Brutus, when he brake forth into that speech,
"Te colui, virtus, ut rem; at tu nomen inane es ;"
yet the divine foundation is upon the rock. But this may serve for a taste of that knowledge which I noted as deficient.
Concerning Government, it is a part of knowledge secret and retired, in both these respects in which things are deemed secret; for some things are secret because they are hard to know, and some
because they are not fit to utter.
vernments are obscure and invisible:
Totamque infusa per artus
We see all go
"Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet." Such is the description of governments. We see the government of God over the world is hidden, insomuch as it seemeth to participate of much irregularity and confusion: the government of the soul in moving the body is inward and profound, and the passages thereof hardly to be reduced to demonstration. Again, the wisdom of antiquity, (the shadows whereof are in the poets,) in the description of torments and pains, next unto the crime of rebellion, which was the giants' offence, doth detest the offence of futility, as in Sisyphus and Tantalus. But this was meant of particulars : nevertheless even unto the general rules and discourses of policy and government there is due a reverent and reserved handling.
But contrariwise, in the governors toward the governed, all things ought, as far as the frailty of man permitteth, to be manifest and revealed. For so it is expressed in the Scriptures touching the government of God, that this globe, which seemeth to us a dark and shady body, is in the view of God as crystal: "Et in conspectu sedis tanquam mare "vitreum simile crystallo." So unto princes and states, especially towards wise senates and councils, the natures and dispositions of the people, their conditions and necessities, their factions and combinations, their animosities and discontents, ought to
be, in regard of the variety of their intelligences, the wisdom of their observations, and the height of their station where they keep sentinel, in great part clear and transparent. Wherefore, considering that I write to a king that is a master of this science, and is so well assisted, I think it decent to pass over this part in silence, as willing to obtain the certificate which one of the ancient philosophers aspired unto; who being silent, when others contended to make demonstration of their abilities by speech, desired it might be certified for his part, "that there "was was one that knew how to hold his peace."
Notwithstanding, for the more public part of government, which is Laws, I think good to note only one deficiency; which is, that all those which have written of laws, have written either as philosophers or as lawyers, and none as statesmen. As for the philosophers, they make imaginary laws for imaginary commonwealths; and their discourses are as the stars, which give little light, because they are so high. For the lawyers, they write according to the states where they live, what is received law, and not what ought to be law: for the wisdom of a lawmaker is one, and of a lawyer is another. For there are in nature certain fountains of justice, whence all civil laws are derived but as streams: and like as waters do take tinctures and tastes from the soils through which they run, so do civil laws vary according to the regions and governments where they are planted, though, they proceed from the same fountains. Again, the wisdom of a lawmaker