Imágenes de páginas

et pluit super justos et injustos." So in the first platform of the divine nature itself, the heathen religion speaketh thus, "Optimus Maximus:" and the sacred Scriptures thus, "Misericordia ejus super omnia opera ejus."

Wherefore I do conclude this part of moral knowledge, concerning the culture and regimen of the mind; wherein if any man, considering the parts thereof which I have enumerated, do judge that my labour is but to collect into an art or science that which hath been pretermitted by others, as matter of common sense and experience, he judgeth well. But as Philocrates sported with Demosthenes, "You may not marvel, Athenians, that Demosthenes and I do differ; for he drinketh water, and I drink wine;" and like as we read of an ancient parable of the two gates of sleep, "Sunt geminæ somni portæ : quarum altera fertur Cornea, qua veris facilis datur exitus umbris: Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto, Sed falsa ad cœlum mittunt insomnia manes:"

so if we put on sobriety and attention, we shall find it a sure maxim in knowledge, that the more pleasant liquor of wine is the more vaporous, and the braver gate of ivory sendeth forth the falser dreams.

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you could get but some few to go right, the rest would follow :" so in that respect moral philoso phy 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.' 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.

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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 the 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. poet saith,

"Nec vulta destrue verba tuo :"


But we have now concluded that general part of human philosophy, which contemplateth man segregate, and as he consisteth of body and spirit. Wherein we may further note, that there seemeth to be a relation or conformity between the good of the mind and the good of the body. For as we divided the good of the body into health, a man may destroy the force of his words with his beauty, strength, and pleasure; so the good of the countenance: so may he of his deeds, saith Cimind, inquired in rational and moral knowledges, cero, recommending to his brother affability and tendeth to this, to make the mind sound, and easy access; "Nil interest habere ostium aperwithout perturbation; beautiful, and graced with tum, vultum clausum ;" it is nothing won to admit decency; and strong and agile for all duties of men with an open door, and to receive them with life. These three, as in the body, so in the mind, a shut and reserved countenance. So, we see, seldom meet, and commonly sever. For it is easy Atticus, before the first interview between Cæsar to observe, that many have strength of wit and and Cicero, the war depending, did seriously adcourage, but have neither health from perturba- vise Cicero touching the composing and ordering tions, nor any beauty or decency in their doings: of his countenance and gesture. And if the gosome again have an elegancy and fineness of car-vernment of the countenance be of such effect, riage, which have neither soundness of honesty nor substance of sufficiency: and some again have honest and reformed minds, that can neither become themselves, nor manage business: and sometimes two of them meet, and rarely all three. As for pleasure, we 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

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much more is that of the speech, and other car-
riage 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 digni-
ty, without intruding upon the liberty of others.
On the other side, if behaviour and outward car-
riage be intended too much, first it may pass into
affectation, and then "quid deformius quam
scenam in vitam transferre" (to act a man's 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;" so certainly the intend

ing of the discretion of behaviour is a great thief | son, or of a purchase or bargain, or of an accusaof meditation. Again, such as are accomplished | tion, and every other occasion incident to man's 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:" 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.

life. So as there is a wisdom of counsel and advice even in private causes, arising out of an universal insight into the affairs of the world; which is used indeed upon particular causes propounded, but is gathered by general observation of causes of like nature. For so we see in the book which Q. Cicero writeth to his brother, "De petitione consulatus," (being the only book of business, that I know, written by the ancients,) although it concerned a particular action then on foot, yet the substance thereof consisteth of many wise and politic axioms, which contain not a temporary, but a perpetual direction in the case of popular elections. But chiefly we may see in those aphorisms which have place among divine writings, composed by Solomon the king, (of whom the Scriptures testify that his heart was as the sands of the sea, encompassing the world and all worldly matters,) we see, I say, not a few profound and excellent cautions, precepts, positions, extending to much variety of occasions; whereupon we will stay awhile, offering to consideration some number of examples.

"Sed et cunctis sermonibus qui dicuntur ne accommodes aurem tuam, ne forte audias servum tuum maledicentum tibi." Here is concluded the provident stay of inquiry of that which we would be loath to find: as it was judged great wisdom in Pompeius Magnus that he burned Sertorius's papers unperused.

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 government, 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 ex-fied, that if a man begin too high a pitch in his perience, would far excel men of long experience favours, it doth commonly end in unkindness and without learning, and outshoot them in their own unthankfulness. bow.

"Vir sapiens, si cum stulto contenderit, sive irascatur, sive rideat, non inveniet requiem.” Here is described the great disadvantage which a wise man hath in undertaking a lighter person than himself; which is such an engagement as, whether a man turn the matter to jest, or turn it to heat, or howsoever he change copy, he can noways quit himself well of it.

“Qui delicatè a pueritia nutrit postea sentiet eum contumacem.'

servum suum, Here is signi

"Vidisti virum velocem in opere suo? coram regibus stabit, nec erit inter ignobiles." Here is observed, that of all virtues for rising to honour, quickness of despatch is the best; for superiors many times love not to have those they employ too deep or too sufficient, but ready and diligent.

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 ad- "Si spiritus potestatem habentis ascenderit suvice; and that the particular citizens would re- per te, locum tuum ne dimiseris; quia curatio sort unto them, and consult with them of the | faciet cessare peccata maxima." Here caution is marriage of a daughter, or of the employing of a given, that upon displeasure, retiring is of al.

“Vidi cunctos viventes qui ambulant sub sole, cum adolescente secundo qui consurgit pro eo." Here is expressed that which was noted by Sylla first, and after him by Tiberius: "Plures adorant solem orientem quam occidentem vel meridianum.

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stultus mœstitia est matri suæ. Here is distinguished, that fathers have most comfort of the good proof of their sons; but mothers have most discomfort of their ill proof, because women have little discerning of virtue, but of fortune.

"Erat civitas parva, et pauci in ea viri: venit contra eam rex magnus, et vadavit eam, intruxitque munitiones per gyrum, et perfecta est obsi- “Qui celat delictum, quærit amicitiam; sed qui dio: inventusque est in ea vir pauper et sapiens, altero sermone repetit, separat fœderatos." Here et liberavit eam per sapientiam suam; et nullus caution is given, that reconcilement is better mandeinceps recordatus est hominis illius pauperis." | aged by an amnesty, and passing over that which Here the corruption of states is set forth, that esteem not virtue or merit longer than they have use of it.

“ Mollis responsio frangit iram.” Here is noted | that silence or rough answer exasperateth; but an answer present and temperate pacifieth.

“Iter pigrorum, quasi sepes spinarum." Here is lively represented how laborious sloth proveth in the end; for when things are deferred till the last instant, and nothing prepared beforehand, every step findeth a brier or an impediment, which catcheth or stoppeth.

"Melior est finis orationis quam principium." Here is taxed the vanity of formal speakers, that study more about prefaces and inducements, than upon the conclusions and issues of speech.

"Qui cognoscit in judicio faciem, non bene facit; iste et pro bucella panis deseret veritatem." Here is noted, that a judge were better be a briber than a respecter of persons; for a corrupt judge offendeth not so highly as a facile.

is past, than by apologies and excusations.

"In omni opere bono erit abundantia; ubi autem verba sunt plurima, ibi frequenter egestas." Here is noted, that words and discourse abound most where there is idleness and want.

"Primus in sua causa justus; sed venit altera pars, et inquirit in eum. Here is observed, that in all causes the first tale possesseth much; in such sort, that the prejudice thereby wrought will be hardly removed, except some abuse or falsity in the information be detected.

"Verba bilinguis quasi simplicia, et ipsa perveniunt ad interiora ventris." Here is distinguished, that flattery and insinuation, which seemeth set and artificial, sinketh not far; but that entereth deep which hath show of nature, liberty, and simplicity.

“Qui erudit derisorem, ipse sibi injuriam facit; et qui arguit impium, sibi maculam generat." Here caution is given how we tender reprehension to arrogant and scornful natures, whose manner is to esteem it for contumely, and accordingly to return it.

"Vir pauper calumnians pauperes similis est imbri vehementi, in quo paratur fames." Here is expressed the extremity of necessitous extortions, “Da sapienti occasionem, et addetur ei sapienfigured in the ancient fable of the full and hungry | tia." Here is distinguished the wisdom brought horse-leech.

"Fons turbatus pede, et vena corrupta, est justus cadens coram impio." Here is noted, that one judicial and exemplar iniquity in the face of the world, doth trouble the fountains of justice more than many particular injuries passed over by connivance.

“Qui subtrahit aliquid a patre et a matre, et dicit hoc non esse peccatum, particeps est homicidii." Here is noted that whereas men in wronging their best friends use to extenuate their fault, as if they might presume or be bold upon them, it doth contrariwise indeed aggravate their fault, and turneth it from injury to impiety. “Noli esse amicus homini iracundo, nec ambulato cum homine furioso." Here caution is given, that in the election of our friends we do principally avoid those which are impatient, as those that will espouse us to many factions and quarrels.

"Qui conturbat domum suam, possidebit ventum." Here is noted, that in domestical separations and breaches, men do promise to themselves quieting of their mind and contentment; but still they are deceived of their expectation, and it turneth to wind.

"Filius sapiens lætificat patrem: filius vero

into habit, and that which is but verbal, and swimming only in conceit; for the one upon occasion presented is quickened and redoubled, the other is amazed and confused.

“Quomodo in aquis resplendent vultus prospicientium, sic corda hominum manifesta sunt prudentibus." Here the mind of a wise man is compared to a glass, wherein the images of all diversity of natures and customs are represented; from which representation proceedeth that application,

"Qui sapit, innumeris moribus aptus erit.' Thus have I stayed somewhat longer upon these sentences politic of Solomon than is agreeable to the proportion of an example; led with a desire to give authority to this part of knowledge, which I noted as deficient, by so excellent a precedent; and have also attended them with brief observations, such as to my understanding offer no violence to the sense, though I know they may be applied to a more divine use: but it is allowed, even in divinity, that some interpretations, yea and some writings, have more of the eagle than others; but taking them as instructions for life, they might have received large discourse, if would have broken them and illustrated them by deducements and examples.

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This conceit or position, if it be too much declared and professed, hath been thought a thing impolitic and unlucky, as was observed in Timotheus the Athenian; who having done many great services to the estate in his government, and giving an account thereof to the people, as the manner was, did conclude every particular with this clause, "and in this fortune had no part.' And it came so to pass that he never prospered in any thing he took in hand afterwards: for this is too high and too arrogant, savouring of that which Ezekiel saith of Pharaoh, “ Dicis, Fluvius est meus, et ego feci memet ipsum;" or of that which another prophet speaketh, that men offer sacrifices to their nets and snares; and that which the poet expresseth,

Neither was this in use only with the Hebrews, | natus esset, sibi ipse fortunam facturus videbut it is generally to be found in the wisdom of retur." the more ancient times; that as men found out any observation that they thought was good for life, they would gather it, and express it in parable, or aphorism, or fable. But for fables, they were vicegerents and supplies where examples failed: now that the times abound with history, the aim is better when the mark is alive. And therefore the form of writing which of all others is fittest for this variable argument of negotiation and occasion is that which Machiavel chose wisely and aptly for government; namely, discourse upon histories or examples: for knowledge drawn freshly, and in our view, out of particulars, knoweth the way best to particulars again; and it hath much greater life for practice when the discourse attendeth upon the example, than when the example attendeth upon the discourse. For this is no point of order, as it seemeth at first, but of substance; for when the example is the ground, being set down in a history at large, it is set down with all circumstances, which may sometimes control the discourse thereupon made, and sometimes supply it as a very pattern for action; whereas the examples alleged for the discourse's sake are cited succinctly, and without particularity, and carry a servile aspect toward the discourse which they are brought in to make good.

But this difference is not amiss to be remembered, that as history of times is the best ground for discourse of government, such as Machiavel handleth, so history of lives is the most proper for discourse of business, because it is most conversant in private actions. Nay, there Nay, there is a ground of discourse for this purpose fitter than them both, which is discourse upon letters, such as are wise and weighty, as many are of Cicero ad Atticum, and others. For letters have a great and more particular representation of business than either chronicles or lives. Thus have we spoken both of the matter and form of this part of civil knowledge, touching negotiation, which we note to be deficient.

"Dextra mihi Deus, et telum quod missile libro,
Nunc adsint!"

for these confidences were ever unhallowed, and
unblessed: and therefore those that were great
politicians indeed ever ascribed their successes
to their felicity, and not to their skill or virtue.
For so Sylla surnamed himself "Felix," not
Magnus:" so Cæsar said to the master of the
ship, "Cæsarem portas et fortunam ejus."

But yet nevertheless these positions, "Faber quisque fortunæ suæ: Sapiens dominabitur astris: Invia virtuti nulla est via," and the like, being taken and used as spurs to industry, and not as stirrups to insolency, rather for resolution than for presumption or outward declaration, have been ever thought sound and good; and are, no question, imprinted in the greatest minds, who are so sensible of this opinion, as they can scarce contain it within: as we see in Augustus Cæsar, (who was rather diverse from his uncle, than inferior in virtue,) how, when he died, he desired his friends about him to give him a Plaudite, as if he were conscious to himself that he had played his part well upon the stage. This part of knowledge we do report also as deficient: not but that it is practised too much, but it hath not been reduced to writing. And therefore lest it should seem to any that it is not comprehensible by axiom, it is requisite, as we did in the former, that we set down some heads or passages of it.

But yet there is another part of this part, which differeth as much from that whereof we have spoken as "sapere," and "sibi sapere," the one moving as it were to the circumference, the Wherein it may appear at the first a new and other to the centre. For there is a wisdom of counsel, and again there is a wisdom of pressing unwonted argument to teach men how to raise a man's own fortune; and they do sometimes and make their fortune; a doctrine wherein every meet, and often sever; for many are wise in their man perchance will be ready to yield himself a own ways that are weak for government or coun- | disciple, till he seeth difficulty: for fortune layeth sel; like ants, which are wise creatures for them- as heavy impositions as virtue; and it is as hard selves, but very hurtful for the garden. This wisdom the Romans did take much knowledge of: "Nam pol sapiens," saith the comical poet, fingit fortunam sibi;” and it grew to an adage, "Faber quisque fortunæ propriæ;" and Livy attributeth it to Cato the First, "in hoc viro tanta vis animi et ingenii inerat, ut quocunque loco


and severe a thing to be a true politician, as to be truly moral. But the handling hereof concerneth learning greatly, both in honour and in substance: in honour, because pragmatical men may not go away with an opinion that learning is like a lark, that can mount, and sing, and please herself, and nothing else; but may know that she holdeth as

which is meant of a general outward behaviour, and not of the private and subtile motions and labours of the countenance and gesture; which as Q. Cicero elegantly saith, is "animi janua." None more close than Tiberius, and yet Tacitus saith of Gallus, "Etenim vultu offensionem conjectaverat." So again noting the differing cha

well of the hawk, that can soar aloft, and can also descend and strike upon the prey: in substance, because it is the perfect law of inquiry of truth, "that nothing be in the globe of matter, which should not be likewise in the globe of crystal, or form;" that is, that there be not any thing in being and action, which should not be drawn and collected into contemplation and doc-racter and manner of his commending Germanicus trine. Neither doth learning admire or esteem of this architecture of fortune, otherwise than as of an inferior work: for no man's fortune can be an end worthy of his being; and many times the worthiest men do abandon their fortune willingly for better respects: but nevertheless fortune, as an organ of virtue and merit, deserveth the consi-character of speech, when he did any thing that deration.

and Drusus in the senate, he saith, touching his fashion wherein he carried his speech of Germanicus, thus; "Magis in speciem adornatis verbis, quam ut penitus sentire videretur:" but of Drusus thus; "Paucioribus, sed intentior, et fida oratione:" and in another place, speaking of his

was gracious and popular, he saith, that in other things he was "velut eluctantium verborum;" but then again, “solutius vero loquebatur quando subveniret." So that there is no such artificer of dissimulation, nor no such commanded countenance, "vultus jussus," that can sever from a feigned tale some of these fashions, either a more slight and careless fashion, or more set and formal, or more tedious and wandering, or coming from a man more drily and hardly.

Neither are deeds such assured pledges, as that they may be trusted without a judicious consideration of their magnitude and nature: “Fraus sibi in parvis fidem præstruit, ut majore emolumento fallat:" and the Italian thinketh himself upon the point to be bought and sold, when he is

First, therefore, the precept which I conceive to be most summary towards the prevailing in fortune, is to obtain that window which Momus did require: who seeing in the frame of men's heart such angles and recesses, found fault that there was not a window to look into them; that is, to procure good informations of particulars touching persons, their natures, their desires and ends, their customs and fashions, their helps and advantages, and whereby they chiefly stand: so again their weakness and disadvantages, and where they lie most open and obnoxious; their friends, factions, and dependencies; and again their opposites, enviers, competitors, their moods and times, "Sola viri molles aditus et tempora noras;" their principles, rules, and observations, and the like: | better used than he was wont to be, without maniand this not only of persons, but of actions; what are on foot from time to time, and how they are conducted, favoured, opposed, and how they import, and the like. For the knowledge of present actions is not only material in itself, but without it also the knowledge of persons is very errone-anus practised upon Antonius Primus, upon that ous; for men change with the actions; and whilst they are in pursuit they are one, and when they return to their nature they are another. These informations of particulars, touching persons and actions, are as the minor propositions in every active syllogism: for no excellency of observations, which are as the major propositions, can suffice to ground a conclusion, if there be error and mistaking in the minors.

That this knowledge is possible, Solomon is our surety; who saith, "Consilium in corde viri tanquam aqua profunda; sed vir prudens exhauriet illud." And although the knowledge itself falleth not under precept, because it is of individuals, yet the instructions for the obtaining of it may.

We will begin therefore with this precept, according to the ancient opinion, that the sinews of wisdom are slowness of belief and distrust; that more trust be given to countenances and deeds than to words; and in words, rather to sudden passages and surprised words. Neither let that be feared which is said, "Fronti, nulla fides:"

fest cause. For small favours, they do but lull men asleep, both as to caution and as to industry; and are, as Demosthenes calleth them, “Alimenta socordiæ." So again we see how false the nature of some deeds are, in that particular which Muti

hollow and unfaithful reconcilement which was made between them; whereupon Mutianus advanced many of the friends of Antonius: "simul amicis ejus præfecturas et tribunatus largitur "" wherein, under pretence to strengthen him, he did desolate him, and won from him his dependences.

As for words, though they be like waters to physicians, full of flattery and uncertainty, yet they are not to be despised, especially with the advantage of passion and affection. For so we see Tiberius, upon a stinging and incensing speech of Agrippina, came a step forth of his dissimulation, when he said, "You are hurt, because you do not reign;" of which Tacitus saith, "Audita hæc raram occulti pectoris vocem elicuere; correptamque Græco versu admonuit, ideo lædi, quia non regnaret." And therefore the post doth elegantly call passions, tortures, that urge men to confess their secrets:

"Vino tortas et ira.'

And experience showeth, there are few men so true to themselves and so settled, but that sometimes upon heat, sometimes upon bravery, some

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