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by flattery, feeding humours, and other servile conditions, they may be placed amongst the worst. As for fishing for testaments and executorships, (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, “teso tamenta et orbos tanquam indagine capi,”) it is yet worse, by how much men submit themselves to meaner persons than in service. Believe not much them that seem to despise riches, for they despise them that despair of them; and none worse when they come to them. Be not penny-wise ; riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves, sometimes they must be set flying to bring in
Men leave their riches either to their kindred, or to the public; and moderate portions
prosper best in both. A great estate left to an heir, is as a lure to all the birds of
prey round about to seize on him, if he be not the better established in years and judgment: likewise, glorious gifts and foundations are like sacrifices without salt; and but the painted sepulchres of alms, which soon will putrefy and corrupt inwardly: therefore measure not thine advancements by quantity, but frame them by measure: and defer not charities till death ; for, certainly, if a man weigh it rightly,
he that doth so is rather liberal of another man's than of his own.
I MEAN not to speak of divine prophecies, nor of heathen oracles, nor of natural predictions; but only of prophecies that have been of certain memory, and from hidden causes. Saith the Pythonissa to Saul, “ To-morrow thou and
thy son shall be with me. Virgil hath these verses from Homer :
" At domus Æneæ cunctis dominabitur oris, Et nati natorum, et qui nascentur ab illis.” Æn. üi.97.
A prophecy as it seems of the Roman empire. Seneca the tragedian hath these verses:
- Venient annis
a prophecy of the discovery of America. The daughter of Polycrates dreamed that Jupiter
bathed her father, and Apollo anointed him; and it came to pass that he was crucified in an open place, where the sun made his body run with sweat, and the rain washed it. Philip of Macedon dreamed he sealed up his wife's belly; whereby he did expound it, that his wife should be barren; but Aristander the soothsayer told him his wife was with child, because men do not use to seal vessels that are empty. A phantasm that appeared to M. Brutus in his tent, said to him; “Philippis « iterum me videbis." Tiberius said to Galba, “ tu quoque, Galba, degustabis imperium." In Vespasian's time there went a prophecy in the East, that those that should come forth of Judea, should reign over the world; which though it may be was meant of our Saviour, yet Tacitus expounds it of Vespasian. Domitian dreamed, the night before he was slain, thal a golden head was growing out of the nape of his neck; and indeed the succession that followed him, for many years, made golden times. Henry the sixth of England said of Henry the seventh, when he was a lad, and gave him water, “ This is the lad that “ shall enjoy the crown for which we strive."
When I was in France, I heard from one Dr. Pena, that the queen mother, who was given to curious arts, caused the king her husband's nativity to be calculated under a false name; and the astrologer gave a judgment, that he should be killed in a duel; at which the queen laughed, thinking her husband to be above challenges and duels: but
upon a course at tilt, the splinters of the staff of Montgomery going in at his bever. The trivial prophecy which I heard when I was a child, and queen Elizabeth was in the flower of her years, was;
~ When hempe is spun,
whereby it was generally conceived, that after the princes had reigned which had the principal letters of that word hempe, (which were Henry, Edward, Mary, Philip, and Elizabeth,) England should come to utter confusion; which thanks be to God, is, verified in the change of the name ; for that the king's style is now no more of England but of Britain. There was also another prophecy before the year
of eighty-eight, which I do not well understand.
«« There shall be seen upon a day,
It was generally conceived to be meant of the Spanish fleet that came in eighty-eight; for that the king of Spain's surname, as they say, is Norway. The prediction of Regiomontanus,
« Octogesimus octavus mirabilis annus :"
was thought likewise accomplished in the sending of that great fleet, being the greatest in strength, though not in number, of all that ever swam upon the sea. As for Cleon's dream, I think it was a jest: it was, that he was devoured of a long dragon; and it was expounded of a maker of sausages, that troubled him exceedingly. There are numbers of the like kind; especially if you include dreams, and predictions of astrology ; but I have set down these few only of certain credit, for example. My judgment is, that they ought