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and perfidious. And therefore Montaigne saith prettily, when he enquireth the reason, why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge: saith he, “ If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much as to say, that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men.” For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man.
Of Marriage and Single Life. He that hath wife and children, hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public. Yet it were great reason, that those that have children, should have greatest care of future times, unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges.
Some there are, who though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times impertinencies. Nay, there are some other, that account wife and children but as bills of charges. Nay, more, there are some foolish rich covetous men, that take pride in having no children, because they may be thought so much the richer. For perhaps they have heard some talk, “Such an one is a great rich man;" and another except to it, “ Yea, but he hath a great charge of children;" as if it were an abatement to his riches. But the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go near to think their girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles.
Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants, but not always best subjects; for they are light to run away, and almost all fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth well with churchmen: for charity will hardly water the ground, where it must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges and magistrates; for if they be facile and corrupt, you shall have a servant five times worse than a wife. For soldiers, I find the generals commonly in their hortatives put men in mind of their wives and children. And I think the despising of marriage amongst the Turks, makes the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife and children are a kind of humanity; and single men, though they be many times more charitable, because their means are less exhaust; yet on the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted (good to make severe inquisitors), because their tenderness is not so oft called upon.
Grave natures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are commonly loving husbands. Chaste women are often proud and froward, as présuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds both of chastity and obedience in the wife, if she thinks her husband wise, which she will never do, if she finds nim jealous. Wives are young men's mistresses, comnanions for middle age, and old men's nurses.
Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight. Certainly they are to be repressed, or at least well guarded; for they cloud the mind, they leese friends, and they check with business, whereby business cannot go on current and constantly. They dispose kings to tyranny, husbands to jealousy, wise men to irresolution and melancholy. They are defects, not in the heart, but in the. brain; for they take place in the stoutest natures: as in the example of Henry the Seventh of England, there was not a more suspicious man, nor a more stout ; and in such a composition they do small hurt, for commonly they are not admitted, but with examination whether they be likely or no; but in fearful natures they gain ground too fast.
There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little; and therefore men should remedy suspicion, by procuring to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother. What would men have? Do they think those they employ and deal with are saints? Do they not think they will have their own ends, and be truer to themselves than to them? Therefore there is no better way to moderate suspicions, than to account upon such suspicions as true, and yet to bridle them as false. For so far a man ought to make use of suspicions, as to provide, as if that should be true that he suspects, yet it may do nim
Suspicions that the mind of itself gathers are but buzzes; but suspicions that are artificially nourished, and put into men's heads by the tales and whispering of others, have stings. Certainly the best means to clear the way in this same wood of suspicions, is frankly to communicate them with the party that he suspects; for thereby he shall be sure to know more of the truth of them than he did before ; and withal shall make that party more circumspect, not to give further cause of suspicion. But this would not be done to men of base natures : for they, if they find themselves once suspected, will never be true.
[HOBBES was the particular friend of Bacon, whom, however he outlived for more than half a century. His literary life was one of continual warfare. His views were supposed to be of a dangerous and disorganizing character, and were attacked with great zeal both by the political and the ecclesiastical writers of the day. Charles II. said of him very wittily, that “ he was a bear, against whom the church played their young dogs, in order to exercise them.” His first considerable work was originally printed in Latin at Paris, in 1642, under the title of Elementa Philosophica de Cive; when afterwards translated into English, it was entitled Philosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society. This treatise is regarded as the most exact account of the author's political system: it contains many profound views, but is disfigured by fundamental and dangerous
The principles maintained in it were more fully discussed in his larger work, published in 1651, under the title of Leviathan: or the Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil. Man is here represented as a selfish and ferocious animal, requiring the strong hand of despotism to keep him in check; and all notions of right and wrong are made to depend upon views of self-interest alone. Of this
latter doctrine, commonly known as the Selfish System of moral philosophy, Hobbes was indeed the great champion, both in the • Leviathan," and more particularly in his small Treatise on Human Nature, published in 1650. A single extract only is given.
Laughter. There is a passion that hath no name; but the sign of it is that distortion of the countenance which we call laughter, which is always joy: but what joy, what we think, and wherein we triumph when we laugh, is not hitherto declared by any. That it consisteth in wit, or, as they call it, in the jest, experience confuteth; for men laugh at mischances and indecencies, wherein there lieth no wit nor jest at all. And forasmuch as the same thing is no more ridiculous when it groweth stale or usual, whatsoever it be that moveth laughter, it must be new and unexpected.
Men laugh often (especially such as are greedy of applause from everything they do well) at their own actions performed never so little beyond their own expectations; as also at their own jests; and in this case it is manifest that the passion of laughter pro ceedeth from a sudden conception of some ability in himself that laugheth. Also, men laugh at the infirrnities of others, by a comparison wherewith their own abilities are set off and illustrated.
Also men laugh at jests, the wit whereof always consisteth in the elegant discovering and conveying to our minds some absurdity of another; and in this case also the passion of laughter proceedeth from the sudden imagination of our own odds and eminency; for what is else the recommending of ourselves to our own good opinion,