*****The Project Gutenberg Etext of Essays of Francis Bacon*****
#1 in our series by Francis Bacon

Copyright laws are changing all over the world, be sure to check
the copyright laws for your country before posting these files!!

Please take a look at the important information in this header.
We encourage you to keep this file on your own disk, keeping an
electronic path open for the next readers. Do not remove this.

**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**

**Etexts Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**

*These Etexts Prepared By Hundreds of Volunteers and Donations*

Information on contacting Project Gutenberg to get Etexts, and
further information is included below. We need your donations.


by Francis Bacon

June, 1996 [Etext #575]

*****The Project Gutenberg Etext of Essays of Francis Bacon*****
*****This file should be named ebacn10.txt or ebacn10.zip******

Corrected EDITIONS of our etexts get a new NUMBER, ebacn11.txt.
VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER, ebacn10a.txt.

This etext was created by Judith Boss, Omaha, Nebraska.
The equipment: an IBM-compatible 486/50, a Hewlett-Packard
ScanJet IIc flatbed scanner, and Calera Recognition Systems'
M/600 Series Professional OCR software and RISC accelerator board
donated by Calera Recognition Systems.

We are now trying to release all our books one month in advance
of the official release dates, for time for better editing.

Please note: neither this list nor its contents are final till
midnight of the last day of the month of any such announcement.
The official release date of all Project Gutenberg Etexts is at
Midnight, Central Time, of the last day of the stated month. A
preliminary version may often be posted for suggestion, comment
and editing by those who wish to do so. To be sure you have an
up to date first edition [xxxxx10x.xxx] please check file sizes
in the first week of the next month. Since our ftp program has
a bug in it that scrambles the date [tried to fix and failed] a
look at the file size will have to do, but we will try to see a
new copy has at least one byte more or less.

Information about Project Gutenberg (one page)

We produce about two million dollars for each hour we work. The
fifty hours is one conservative estimate for how long it we take
to get any etext selected, entered, proofread, edited, copyright
searched and analyzed, the copyright letters written, etc. This
projected audience is one hundred million readers. If our value
per text is nominally estimated at one dollar then we produce $2
million dollars per hour this year as we release thirty-two text
files per month: or 400 more Etexts in 1996 for a total of 800.
If these reach just 10% of the computerized population, then the
total should reach 80 billion Etexts.

The Goal of Project Gutenberg is to Give Away One Trillion Etext
Files by the December 31, 2001. [10,000 x 100,000,000=Trillion]
This is ten thousand titles each to one hundred million readers,
which is only 10% of the present number of computer users. 2001
should have at least twice as many computer users as that, so it
will require us reaching less than 5% of the users in 2001.

We need your donations more than ever!

All donations should be made to "Project Gutenberg/IBC", and are
tax deductible to the extent allowable by law ("IBC" is Illinois
Benedictine College). (Subscriptions to our paper newsletter go
to IBC, too)

For these and other matters, please mail to:

Project Gutenberg
P. O. Box 2782
Champaign, IL 61825

When all other email fails try our Executive Director:
Michael S. Hart

We would prefer to send you this information by email
(Internet, Bitnet, Compuserve, ATTMAIL or MCImail).

If you have an FTP program (or emulator), please
FTP directly to the Project Gutenberg archives:
[Mac users, do NOT point and click. . .type]

ftp uiarchive.cso.uiuc.edu
login: anonymous
password: your@login
cd etext/etext90 through /etext96
or cd etext/articles [get suggest gut for more information]
dir [to see files]
get or mget [to get files. . .set bin for zip files]
for a list of books
GET NEW GUT for general information
MGET GUT* for newsletters.

**Information prepared by the Project Gutenberg legal advisor**
(Three Pages)

Why is this "Small Print!" statement here? You know: lawyers.
They tell us you might sue us if there is something wrong with
your copy of this etext, even if you got it for free from
someone other than us, and even if what's wrong is not our
fault. So, among other things, this "Small Print!" statement
disclaims most of our liability to you. It also tells you how
you can distribute copies of this etext if you want to.

By using or reading any part of this PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
etext, you indicate that you understand, agree to and accept
this "Small Print!" statement. If you do not, you can receive
a refund of the money (if any) you paid for this etext by
sending a request within 30 days of receiving it to the person
you got it from. If you received this etext on a physical
medium (such as a disk), you must return it with your request.

tm etexts, is a "public domain" work distributed by Professor
Michael S. Hart through the Project Gutenberg Association at
Illinois Benedictine College (the "Project"). Among other
things, this means that no one owns a United States copyright
on or for this work, so the Project (and you!) can copy and
distribute it in the United States without permission and
without paying copyright royalties. Special rules, set forth
below, apply if you wish to copy and distribute this etext
under the Project's "PROJECT GUTENBERG" trademark.

To create these etexts, the Project expends considerable
efforts to identify, transcribe and proofread public domain
works. Despite these efforts, the Project's etexts and any
medium they may be on may contain "Defects". Among other
things, Defects may take the form of incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged
disk or other etext medium, a computer virus, or computer
codes that damage or cannot be read by your equipment.

But for the "Right of Replacement or Refund" described below,
[1] the Project (and any other party you may receive this
etext from as a PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm etext) disclaims all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including

If you discover a Defect in this etext within 90 days of
receiving it, you can receive a refund of the money (if any)
you paid for it by sending an explanatory note within that
time to the person you received it from. If you received it
on a physical medium, you must return it with your note, and
such person may choose to alternatively give you a replacement
copy. If you received it electronically, such person may
choose to alternatively give you a second opportunity to
receive it electronically.


Some states do not allow disclaimers of implied warranties or
the exclusion or limitation of consequential damages, so the
above disclaimers and exclusions may not apply to you, and you
may have other legal rights.

You will indemnify and hold the Project, its directors,
officers, members and agents harmless from all liability, cost
and expense, including legal fees, that arise directly or
indirectly from any of the following that you do or cause:
[1] distribution of this etext, [2] alteration, modification,
or addition to the etext, or [3] any Defect.

You may distribute copies of this etext electronically, or by
disk, book or any other medium if you either delete this
"Small Print!" and all other references to Project Gutenberg,

[1] Only give exact copies of it. Among other things, this
requires that you do not remove, alter or modify the
etext or this "small print!" statement. You may however,
if you wish, distribute this etext in machine readable
binary, compressed, mark-up, or proprietary form,
including any form resulting from conversion by word pro-
cessing or hypertext software, but only so long as

[*] The etext, when displayed, is clearly readable, and
does *not* contain characters other than those
intended by the author of the work, although tilde
(~), asterisk (*) and underline (_) characters may
be used to convey punctuation intended by the
author, and additional characters may be used to
indicate hypertext links; OR

[*] The etext may be readily converted by the reader at
no expense into plain ASCII, EBCDIC or equivalent
form by the program that displays the etext (as is
the case, for instance, with most word processors);

[*] You provide, or agree to also provide on request at
no additional cost, fee or expense, a copy of the
etext in its original plain ASCII form (or in EBCDIC
or other equivalent proprietary form).

[2] Honor the etext refund and replacement provisions of this
"Small Print!" statement.

[3] Pay a trademark license fee to the Project of 20% of the
net profits you derive calculated using the method you
already use to calculate your applicable taxes. If you
don't derive profits, no royalty is due. Royalties are
payable to "Project Gutenberg Association / Illinois
Benedictine College" within the 60 days following each
date you prepare (or were legally required to prepare)
your annual (or equivalent periodic) tax return.

The Project gratefully accepts contributions in money, time,
scanning machines, OCR software, public domain etexts, royalty
free copyright licenses, and every other sort of contribution
you can think of. Money should be paid to "Project Gutenberg
Association / Illinois Benedictine College".


Francis Bacon



Of Truth
Of Death
Of Unity in Religion
Of Revenge
Of Adversity
Of Simulation and Dissimulation
Of Parents and Children
Of Marriage and Single Life
Of Envy
Of Love
Of Great Place
Of Boldness
Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature
Of Nobility
Of Seditions and Troubles
Of Atheism
Of Superstition
Of Travel
Of Empire
Of Counsel
Of Delays
Of Cunning
Of Wisdom for a Man's Self
Of Innovations
Of Dispatch
Of Seeming Wise
Of Friendship
Of Expense
Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates
Of Regiment of Health
Of Suspicion
Of Discourse
Of Plantations
Of Riches
Of Prophecies
Of Ambition
Of Mosques and Triumphs
Of Nature in Men
Of Custom and Education
Of Fortune
Of Usury
Of Youth and Age
Of Beauty
Of Deformity
Of Building
Of Gardens
Of Negotiating
Of Followers and Friends
Of Suitors
Of Studies
Of Faction
Of Ceremonies and Respects
Of Praise
Of Vain-glory
Of Honor and Reputation
Of Judicature
Of Anger
Of Vicissitude of Things
Of Fame








SALOMON saies; A good Name is as a precious
oyntment; And I assure my selfe, such wil
your Graces Name bee, with Posteritie. For your
Fortune, and Merit both, have been Eminent. And
you have planted Things, that are like to last. I doe
now publish my Essayes; which, of all my other
workes, have beene most Currant: For that, as it
seemes, they come home, to Mens Businesse, and
Bosomes. I have enlarged them, both in Number,
and Weight; So that they are indeed a New Worke.
I thought it therefore agreeable, to my Affection,
and Obligation to your Grace, to prefix your Name
before them, both in English, and in Latine. For I
doe conceive, that the Latine Volume of them,
(being in the Universall Language) may last, as
long as Bookes last. My Instauration, I dedicated to
the King: My Historie of Henry the Seventh,
(which I have now also translated into Latine) and
my Portions of Naturall History, to the Prince:
And these I dedicate to your Grace; Being of the
best Fruits, that by the good Encrease, which God
gives to my Pen and Labours, I could yeeld.
God leade your Grace by the Hand. Your Graces
most Obliged and faithfull Servant,


Of Truth

WHAT is truth? said jesting Pilate,and would
not stay for an answer. Certainly there be,
that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to
fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well
as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers
of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain dis-
coursing wits, which are of the same veins, though
there be not so much blood in them, as was in those
of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and
labor, which men take in finding out of truth, nor
again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon
men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but
a natural, though corrupt love, of the lie itself. One
of the later school of the Grecians, examineth the
matter, and is at a stand, to think what should be
in it, that men should love lies; where neither they
make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advan-
tage, as with the merchant; but for the lie's sake.
But I cannot tell; this same truth, is a naked, and
open day-light, that doth not show the masks, and
mummeries, and triumphs, of the world, half so
stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may
perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth
best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a
diamond, or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied
lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.
Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out
of men's minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes,
false valuations, imaginations as one would, and
the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number
of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy
and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?

One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy
vinum daemonum, because it fireth the imagina-
tion; and yet, it is but with the shadow of a lie.
But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind,
but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that
doth the hurt; such as we spake of before. But how-
soever these things are thus in men's depraved
judgments, and affections, yet truth, which only
doth judge itself, teacheth that the inquiry of truth,
which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the
knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and
the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is
the sovereign good of human nature. The first
creature of God, in the works of the days, was the
light of the sense; the last, was the light of reason;
and his sabbath work ever since, is the illumina-
tion of his Spirit. First he breathed light, upon the
face of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light,
into the face of man; and still he breatheth and in-
spireth light, into the face of his chosen. The poet,
that beautified the sect, that was otherwise in-
ferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: It is a
pleasure, to stand upon the shore, and to see ships
tossed upon the sea; a pleasure, to stand in the win-
dow of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adven-
tures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable
to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth
(a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is
always clear and serene), and to see the errors, and
wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale
below; so always that this prospect be with pity,
and not with swelling, or pride. Certainly, it is
heaven upon earth, to have a man's mind move in
charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the
poles of truth.

To pass from theological, and philosophical
truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be ac-
knowledged, even by those that practise it not, that
clear, and round dealing, is the honor of man's
nature; and that mixture of falsehoods, is like alloy
in coin of gold and silver, which may make the
metal work the better, but it embaseth it. For these
winding, and crooked courses, are the goings of the
serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and
not upon the feet. There is no vice, that doth so
cover a man with shame, as to be found false and
perfidious. And therefore Montaigne saith pret-
tily, when he inquired 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 to say, as that he is
brave towards God, and a coward towards men.
For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man. Surely
the wickedness of falsehood, and breach of faith,
cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that
it shall be the last peal, to call the judgments of God
upon the generations of men; it being foretold,
that when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith
upon the earth.

Of Death

MEN fear death, as children fear to go in the
dark; and as that natural fear in children,
is increased with tales, so is the other. Certainly,
the contemplation of death, as the wages of sin,
and passage to another world, is holy and relig-
ious; but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature,
is weak. Yet in religious meditations, there is some-
times mixture of vanity, and of superstition. You
shall read, in some of the friars' books of mortifica-
tion, that a man should think with himself, what
the pain is, if he have but his finger's end pressed,
or tortured, and thereby imagine, what the pains
of death are, when the whole body is corrupted,
and dissolved; when many times death passeth,
with less pain than the torture of a limb; for the
most vital parts, are not the quickest of sense. And
by him that spake only as a philosopher, and nat-
ural man, it was well said, Pompa mortis magis
terret, quam mors ipsa. Groans, and convulsions,
and a discolored face, and friends weeping, and
blacks, and obsequies, and the like, show death
terrible. It is worthy the observing, that there is no
passion in the mind of man, so weak, but it mates,
and masters, the fear of death; and therefore,
death is no such terrible enemy, when a man hath
so many attendants about him, that can win the
combat of him. Revenge triumphs over death; love
slights it; honor aspireth to it; grief flieth to it; fear
preoccupateth it; nay, we read, after Otho the em-
peror had slain himself, pity (which is the tender-
est of affections) provoked many to die, out of mere
compassion to their sovereign, and as the truest
sort of followers. Nay, Seneca adds niceness and
satiety: Cogita quamdiu eadem feceris; mori velle,
non tantum fortis aut miser, sed etiam fastidiosus
potest. A man would die, though he were neither
valiant, nor miserable, only upon a weariness to
do the same thing so oft, over and over. It is no less
worthy, to observe, how little alteration in good
spirits, the approaches of death make; for they
appear to be the same men, till the last instant.
Augustus Caesar died in a compliment; Livia, con-
jugii nostri memor, vive et vale. Tiberius in dissi-
mulation; as Tacitus saith of him, Jam Tiberium
vires et corpus, non dissimulatio, deserebant. Ves-
pasian in a jest, sitting upon the stool; Ut puto deus
fio. Galba with a sentence; Feri, si ex re sit populi
Romani; holding forth his neck. Septimius Severus
in despatch; Adeste si quid mihi restat agendum.
And the like. Certainly the Stoics bestowed too
much cost upon death, and by their great prepara-
tions, made it appear more fearful. Better saith he,
qui finem vitae extremum inter munera ponat
naturae. It is as natural to die, as to be born; and to
a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful, as the
other. He that dies in an earnest pursuit, is like one
that is wounded in hot blood; who, for the time,
scarce feels the hurt; and therefore a mind fixed,
and bent upon somewhat that is good, doth avert
the dolors of death. But, above all, believe it, the
sweetest canticle is', Nunc dimittis; when a man
hath obtained worthy ends, and expectations.
Death hath this also; that it openeth the gate to
good fame, and extinguisheth envy. - Extinctus
amabitur idem.

Of Unity


RELIGION being the chief band of human so-
ciety, it is a happy thing, when itself is well
contained within the true band of unity. The
quarrels, and divisions about religion, were evils
unknown to the heathen. The reason was, because
the religion of the heathen, consisted rather in
rites and ceremonies, than in any constant belief.
For you may imagine, what kind of faith theirs
was, when the chief doctors, and fathers of their
church, were the poets. But the true God hath this
attribute, that he is a jealous God; and therefore,
his worship and religion, will endure no mixture,
nor partner.We shall therefore speak a few words,
concerning the unity of the church; what are the
fruits thereof ; what the bounds; and what the

The fruits of unity (next unto the well pleasing
of God, which is all in all) are two: the one, towards
those that are without the church, the other,
towards those that are within. For the former; it is
certain, that heresies, and schisms, are of all others
the greatest scandals; yea, more than corruption
of manners. For as in the natural body, a wound,
or solution of continuity, is worse than a corrupt
humor; so in the spiritual. So that nothing, doth so
much keep men out of the church, and drive men
out of the church, as breach of unity. And there-
fore, whensoever it cometh to that pass, that one
saith, Ecce in deserto, another saith, Ecce in pene-
tralibus; that is, when some men seek Christ, in the
conventicles of heretics, and others, in an outward
face of a church, that voice had need continually
to sound in men's ears, Nolite exire, - Go not out.
The doctor of the Gentiles (the propriety of whose
vocation, drew him to have a special care of those
without) saith, if an heathen come in, and hear
you speak with several tongues, will he not say
that you are mad? And certainly it is little better,
when atheists, and profane persons, do hear of
so many discordant, and contrary opinions in re-
ligion; it doth avert them from the church, and
maketh them, to sit down in the chair of the
scorners. It is but a light thing, to be vouched in so
serious a matter, but yet it expresseth well the
deformity. There is a master of scoffing, that in his
catalogue of books of a feigned library, sets down
this title of a book, The Morris-Dance of Heretics.
For indeed, every sect of them, hath a diverse pos-
ture, or cringe by themselves, which cannot but
move derision in worldlings, and depraved politics,
who are apt to contemn holy things.

As for the fruit towards those that are within; it
is peace; which containeth infinite blessings. It
establisheth faith; it kindleth charity; the outward
peace of the church, distilleth into peace of con-
science; and it turneth the labors of writing, and
reading of controversies, into treaties of mortifica-
tion and devotion.

Concerning the bounds of unity; the true plac-
ing of them, importeth exceedingly. There appear
to be two extremes. For to certain zealants, all
speech of pacification is odious. Is it peace, Jehu,?
What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee be-
hind me. Peace is not the matter, but following,
and party. Contrariwise, certain Laodiceans, and
lukewarm persons, think they may accommodate
points of religion, by middle way, and taking part
of both, and witty reconcilements; as if they would
make an arbitrament between God and man. Both
these extremes are to be avoided; which will be
done, if the league of Christians, penned by our
Savior himself, were in two cross clauses thereof,
soundly and plainly expounded: He that is not
with us, is against us; and again, He that is not
against us, is with us; that is, if the points funda-
mental and of substance in religion, were truly
discerned and distinguished, from points not
merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good in-
tention. This is a thing may seem to many a matter
trivial, and done already. But if it were done less
partially, it would be embraced more generally.

Of this I may give only this advice, according to
my small model. Men ought to take heed, of rend-
ing God's church, by two kinds of controversies.
The one is, when the matter of the point contro-
verted, is too small and light, not worth the heat
and strife about it, kindled only by contradiction.
For, as it is noted, by one of the fathers, Christ's
coat indeed had no seam, but the church's vesture
was of divers colors; whereupon he saith, In veste
varietas sit, scissura non sit; they be two things,
unity and uniformity. The other is, when the
matter of the point controverted, is great, but it is
driven to an over-great subtilty, and obscurity; so
that it becometh a thing rather ingenious, than
substantial. A man that is of judgment and under-
standing, shall sometimes hear ignorant men dif-
fer, and know well within himself, that those
which so differ, mean one thing, and yet they
themselves would never agree. And if it come so
to pass, in that distance of judgment, which is be-
tween man and man, shall we not think that God
above, that knows the heart, doth not discern that
frail men, in some of their contradictions, intend
the same thing; and accepteth of both? The nature
of such controversies is excellently expressed, by
St. Paul, in the warning and precept, that he giveth
concerning the same, Devita profanas vocum novi-
tates, et oppositiones falsi nominis scientiae. Men
create oppositions, which are not; and put them
into new terms, so fixed, as whereas the meaning
ought to govern the term, the term in effect gov-
erneth the meaning.There be also two false peaces,
or unities: the one, when the peace is grounded,
but upon an implicit ignorance; for all colors will
agree in the dark: the other, when it is pieced up,
upon a direct admission of contraries, in funda-
mental points. For truth and falsehood, in such
things, are like the iron and clay, in the toes of
Nebuchadnezzar's image; they may cleave, but
they will not incorporate.

Concerning the means of procuring unity; men
must beware, that in the procuring, or reuniting,
of religious unity, they do not dissolve and deface
the laws of charity, and of human society. There
be two swords amongst Christians, the spiritual
and temporal; and both have their due office and
place, in the maintenance of religion. But we may
not take up the third sword, which is Mahomet's
sword, or like unto it; that is, to propagate religion
by wars, or by sanguinary persecutions to force
consciences; except it be in cases of overt scandal,
blasphemy, or intermixture of practice against
the state; much less to nourish seditions; to author-
ize conspiracies and rebellions; to put the sword
into the people's hands; and the like; tending to
the subversion of all government, which is the
ordinance of God. For this is but to dash the first
table against the second; and so to consider men
as Christians, as we forget that they are men.
Lucretius the poet, when he beheld the act of Aga-
memnon, that could endure the sacrificing of his
own daughter, exclaimed: Tantum Religio potuit
suadere malorum.

What would he have said, if he had known of
the massacre in France, or the powder treason of
England? He would have been seven times more
Epicure, and atheist, than he was. For as the tem-
poral sword is to be drawn with great circumspec-
tion in cases of religion; so it is a thing monstrous
to put it into the hands of the common people. Let
that be left unto the Anabaptists, and other furies.
It was great blasphemy, when the devil said, I will
ascend, and be like the highest; but it is greater
blasphemy, to personate God, and bring him in
saying, I will descend, and be like the prince of
darkness; and what is it better, to make the cause
of religion to descend, to the cruel and execrable
actions of murthering princes, butchery of people,
and subversion of states and governments? Surely
this is to bring down the Holy Ghost, instead of the
likeness of a dove, in the shape of a vulture or
raven; and set, out of the bark of a Christian
church, a flag of a bark of pirates, and assassins.
Therefore it is most necessary, that the church, by
doctrine and decree, princes by their sword, and
all learnings, both Christian and moral, as by their
Mercury rod, do damn and send to hell for ever,
those facts and opinions tending to the support of
the same; as hath been already in good part done.
Surely in counsels concerning religion, that coun-
sel of the apostle would be prefixed, Ira hominis
non implet justitiam Dei. And it was a notable
observation of a wise father, and no less ingenu-
ously confessed; that those which held and per-
suaded pressure of consciences, were commonly
interested therein., themselves, for their own ends.

Of Revenge

REVENGE is a kind of wild justice; which the
more man' s nature runs to, the more ought
law to weed it out. For as for the first wrong, it
doth but offend the law; but the revenge of that
wrong, putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in
taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy;
but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a
prince's part to pardon. And Solomon, I am sure,
saith, It is the glory of a man, to pass by an offence.
That which is past is gone, and irrevocable; and
wise men have enough to do, with things present
and to come; therefore they do but trifle with
themselves, that labor in past matters. There is no
man doth a wrong, for the wrong's sake; but
thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or
honor, or the like. Therefore why should I be
angry with a man, for loving himself better than
me? And if any man should do wrong, merely out
of ill-nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or
briar, which prick and scratch, because they can
do no other. The most tolerable sort of revenge, is
for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy;
but then let a man take heed, the revenge be such
as there is no law to punish; else a man's enemy is
still before hand, and it is two for one. Some, when
they take revenge, are desirous, the party should
know, whence it cometh. This is the more gener-
ous. For the delight seemeth to be, not so much in
doing the hurt, as in making the party repent. But
base and crafty cowards, are like the arrow that
flieth in the dark. Cosmus, duke of Florence, had a
desperate saying against perfidious or neglecting
friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable;
You shall read (saith he) that we are commanded
to forgive our enemies; but you never read, that we
are commanded to forgive our friends. But yet the
spirit of Job was in a better tune: Shall we (saith
he) take good at God's hands, and not be content to
take evil also? And so of friends in a proportion.
This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge,
keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise
would heal, and do well. Public revenges are for
the most part fortunate; as that for the death of
Caesar; for the death of Pertinax; for the death of
Henry the Third of France; and many more. But
in private revenges, it is not so. Nay rather, vindic-
tive persons live the life of witches; who, as they
are mischievous, so end they infortunate.

Of Adversity

IT WAS an high speech of Seneca (after the
manner of the Stoics), that the good things,
which belong to prosperity, are to be wished; but
the good things, that belong to adversity, are to be
admired. Bona rerum secundarum optabilia; ad-
versarum mirabilia. Certainly if miracles be the
command over nature, they appear most in adver-
sity. It is yet a higher speech of his, than the other
(much too high for a heathen), It is true greatness,
to have in one the frailty of a man, and the security
of a God. Vere magnum habere fragilitatem homi-
nis, securitatem Dei. This would have done better
in poesy, where transcendences are more allowed.
And the poets indeed have been busy with it; for
it is in effect the thing, which figured in that
strange fiction of the ancient poets, which seemeth
not to be without mystery; nay, and to have some
approach to the state of a Christian; that Hercules,
when he went to unbind Prometheus (by whom
human nature is represented), sailed the length of
the great ocean, in an earthen pot or pitcher; lively
describing Christian resolution, that saileth in the
frail bark of the flesh, through the waves of the
world. But to speak in a mean. The virtue of pros-
perity, is temperance; the virtue of adversity, is
fortitude; which in morals is the more heroical
virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testa-
ment; adversity is the blessing of the New; which
carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer
revelation of God's favor. Yet even in the Old
Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall
hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the
pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in de-
scribing the afflictions of Job, than the felicities of
Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears
and distastes; and adversity is not without com-
forts and hopes. We see in needle-works and em-
broideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively work,
upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have a dark
and melancholy work, upon a lightsome ground:
judge therefore of the pleasure of the heart, by the
pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like precious
odors, most fragrant when they are incensed, or
crushed: for prosperity doth best discover vice, but
adversity doth best discover virtue.

Of Simulation

DISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of pol-
icy, or wisdom; for it asketh a strong wit,
and a strong heart, to know when to tell truth, and
to do it. Therefore it is the weaker sort of politics,
that are the great dissemblers.

Tacitus saith, Livia sorted well with the arts of
her husband, and dissimulation of her son; attri-
buting arts or policy to Augustus, and dissimula-
tion to Tiberius. And again, when Mucianus
encourageth Vespasian, to take arms against Vitel-
lius, he saith, We rise not against the piercing
judgment of Augustus, nor the extreme caution or
closeness of Tiberius. These properties, of arts or
policy, and dissimulation or closeness, are indeed
habits and faculties several, and to be distin-
guished. For if a man have that penetration of
judgment, as he can discern what things are to
be laid open, and what to be secreted, and what to
be showed at half lights, and to whom and when
(which indeed are arts of state, and arts of life, as
Tacitus well calleth them), to him, a habit of dis-
simulation is a hinderance and a poorness. But if
a man cannot obtain to that judgment, then it is
left to bim generally, to be close, and a dissembler.
For where a man cannot choose, or vary in parti-
culars, there it is good to take the safest, and wari-
est way, in general; like the going softly, by one
that cannot well see. Certainly the ablest men
that ever were, have had all an openness, and
frankness, of dealing; and a name of certainty and
veracity; but then they were like horses well
managed; for they could tell passing well, when to
stop or turn; and at such times, when they thought
the case indeed required dissimulation, if then
they used it, it came to pass that the former opin-
ion, spread abroad, of their good faith and clear-
ness of dealing, made them almost invisible.

There be three degrees of this hiding and veil-
ing of a man's self. The first, closeness, reservation,
and secrecy; when a man leaveth himself without
observation, or without hold to be taken, what he
is. The second, dissimulation, in the negative;
when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he
is not, that he is. And the third, simulation, in the
affirmative; when a man industriously and ex-
pressly feigns and pretends to be, that he is not.

For the first of these, secrecy; it is indeed the
virtue of a confessor. And assuredly, the secret
man heareth many confessions. For who will open
himself, to a blab or a babbler? But if a man be
thought secret, it inviteth discovery; as the more
close air sucketh in the more open; and as in con-
fession, the revealing is not for worldly use, but for
the ease of a man's heart, so secret men come to
the knowledge of many things in that kind; while
men rather discharge their minds, than impart
their minds. In few words, mysteries are due to
secrecy. Besides (to say truth) nakedness is un-
comely, as well in mind as body; and it addeth no
small reverence, to men's manners and actions, if
they be not altogether open. As for talkers and
futile persons, they are commonly vain and credu-
lous withal. For he that talketh what he knoweth,
will also talk what he knoweth not. Therefore set it
down, that an habit of secrecy, is both politic and
moral. And in this part, it is good that a man's face
give his tongue leave to speak. For the discovery of
a man' s self, by the tracts of his countenance, is a
great weakness and betraying; by how much it is
many times more marked, and believed, than a
man's words.

For the second, which is dissimulation; it fol-
loweth many times upon secrecy, by a necessity;
so that he that will be secret, must be a dissembler
in some degree. For men are too cunning, to suffer
a man to keep an indifferent carriage between
both, and to be secret, without swaying the bal-
ance on either side. They will so beset a man with
questions, and draw him on, and pick it out of him,
that, without an absurd silence, he must show an
inclination one way; or if he do not, they will
gather as much by his silence, as by his speech. As
for equivocations, or oraculous speeches, they can-
not hold out long. So that no man can be secret,
except he give himself a little scope of dissimula-
tion; which is, as it were, but the skirts or train of

But for the third degree, which is simulation,
and false profession; that I hold more culpable,
and less politic; except it be in great and rare mat-
ters. And therefore a general custom of simulation
(which is this last degree) is a vice, using either of
a natural falseness or fearfulness, or of a mind that
hath some main faults, which because a man must
needs disguise, it maketh him practise simulation
in other things, lest his hand should be out of use.

The great advantages of simulation and dissi-
mulation are three. First, to lay asleep opposition,
and to surprise. For where a man's intentions are
published, it is an alarum, to call up all that are
against them. The second is, to reserve to a man's
self a fair retreat. For if a man engage himself by
a manifest declaration, he must go through or take
a fall. The third is, the better to discover the mind
of another. For to him that opens himself, men
will hardly show themselves adverse; but will fair
let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech, to
freedom of thought. And therefore it is a good
shrewd proverb of the Spaniard, Tell a lie and find
a troth. As if there were no way of discovery, but
by simulation. There be also three disadvantages,
to set it even. The first, that simulation and dissi-
mulation commonly carry with them a show of
fearfulness, which in any business, doth spoil the
feathers, of round flying up to the mark. The sec-
ond, that it puzzleth and perplexeth the conceits
of many, that perhaps would otherwise co-operate
with him; and makes a man walk almost alone, to
his own ends. The third and greatest is, that it
depriveth a man of one of the most principal in-
struments for action; which is trust and belief.
The best composition and temperature, is to have
openness in fame and opinion; secrecy in habit;
dissimulation in seasonable use; and a power to
feign, if there be no remedy.

Of Parents


THE joys of parents are secret; and so are their
griefs and fears. They cannot utter the one;
nor they will not utter the other. Children sweeten
labors; but they make misfortunes more bitter.
They increase the cares of life; but they mitigate
the remembrance of death. The perpetuity by
generation is common to beasts; but memory,
merit, and noble works, are proper to men. And
surely a man shall see the noblest works and foun-
dations have proceeded from childless men; which
have sought to express the images of their minds,
where those of their bodies have failed. So the care
of posterity is most in them, that have no posterity.
They that are the first raisers of their houses, are
most indulgent towards their children; beholding
them as the continuance, not only of their kind, but
of their work; and so both children and creatures.

The difference in affection, of parents towards
their several children, is many times unequal; and
sometimes unworthy; especially in the mothers;
as Solomon saith, A wise son rejoiceth the father,
but an ungracious son shames the mother. A man
shall see, where there is a house full of children,
one or two of the eldest respected, and the young-
est made wantons; but in the midst, some that
are as it were forgotten, who many times, never-
theless, prove the best. The illiberality of parents,
in allowance towards their children, is an harmful
error; makes them base; acquaints them with
shifts; makes them sort with mean company; and
makes them surfeit more when they come to
plenty. And therefore the proof is best, when men
keep their authority towards the children, but not
their purse. Men have a foolish manner (both par-
ents and schoolmasters and servants) in creating
and breeding an emulation between brothers, dur-
ing childhood, which many times sorteth to dis-
cord when they are men, and disturbeth families.
The Italians make little difference between chil-
dren, and nephews or near kinsfolks; but so they
be of the lump, they care not though they pass not
through their own body. And, to say truth, in
nature it is much a like matter; insomuch that we
see a nephew sometimes resembleth an uncle, or
a kinsman, more than his own parent; as the blood
happens. Let parents choose betimes, the vocations
and courses they mean their children should take;
for then they are most flexible; and let them not
too much apply themselves to the disposition of
their children, as thinking they will take best to
that, which they have most mind to. It is true, that
if the affection or aptness of the children be extra-
ordinary, then it is good not to cross it; but gener-
ally the precept is good, optimum elige, suave et
facile illud faciet consuetudo. Younger brothers
are commonly fortunate, but seldom or never
where the elder are disinherited.

Of Marriage


HE THAT hath wife and children hath given
hostages to fortune; for they are impedi-
ments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mis-
chief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest
merit for the public, have proceeded from the un-
married or childless men; which both in affection
and means, have married and endowed the public.
Yet it were great reason that those that have chil-
dren, 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 imperti-
nences. 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 a pride, in having no children, because
they may be thought so much the richer. For per-
haps 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 sub-
jects; 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 ser-
vant, 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, maketh the vulgar soldier more base. Cer-
tainly wife and children are a kind of discipline
of humanity; and single men, though they may
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 hus-
bands, as was said of Ulysses, vetulam suam praetu-
lit immortalitati. Chaste women are often proud
and froward, as presuming upon the merit of their
chastity. It is one of the best bonds, both of chastity
and obedience, in the wife, if she think her hus-
band wise; which she will never do, if she find him
jealous. Wives are young men's mistresses; com-
panions for middle age; and old men's nurses. So
as a man may have a quarrel to marry, when he
will. But yet he was reputed one of the wise men,
that made answer to the question, when a man
should marry, - A young man not yet, an elder
man not at all. It is often seen that bad husbands,
have very good wives; whether it be, that it raiseth
the price of their husband's kindness, when it
comes; or that the wives take a pride in their
patience. But this never fails, if the bad husbands
were of their own choosing, against their friends'
consent; for then they will be sure to make good
their own folly.

Of Envy

THERE be none of the affections, which have
been noted to fascinate or bewitch, but love
and envy. They both have vehement wishes; they
frame themselves readily into imaginations and
suggestions; and they come easily into the eye,
especially upon the present of the objects; which
are the points that conduce to fascination, if any
such thing there be. We see likewise, the Scripture
calleth envy an evil eye; and the astrologers, call
the evil influences of the stars, evil aspects; so that
still there seemeth to be acknowledged, in the act
of envy, an ejaculation or irradiation of the eye.
Nay, some have been so curious, as to note, that
the times when the stroke or percussion of an envi-
ous eye doth most hurt, are when the party envied
is beheld in glory or triumph; for that sets an edge
upon envy: and besides, at such times the spirits
of the person envied, do come forth most into the
outward parts, and so meet the blow.

But leaving these curiosities (though not un-
worthy to be thought on, in fit place), we will
handle, what persons are apt to envy others; what
persons are most subject to be envied themselves;
and what is the difference between public and
private envy.

A man that hath no virtue in himself, ever en-
vieth virtue in others. For men's minds, will either
feed upon their own good, or upon others' evil; and
who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other;
and whoso is out of hope, to attain to another's
virtue, will seek to come at even hand, by depress-
ing another's fortune.

A man that is busy, and inquisitive, is com-
monly envious. For to know much of other men's
matters, cannot be because all that ado may con-
cern his own estate; therefore it must needs be,
that he taketh a kind of play-pleasure, in looking
upon the fortunes of others. Neither can he, that
mindeth but his own business, find much matter
for envy. For envy is a gadding passion, and walk-
eth the streets, and doth not keep home: Non est
curiosus, quin idem sit malevolus.

Men of noble birth, are noted to be envious
towards new men, when they rise. For the distance
is altered, and it is like a deceit of the eye, that
when others come on, they think themselves, go

Deformed persons, and eunuchs, and old men,
and bastards, are envious. For he that cannot pos-
sibly mend his own case, will do what he can, to
impair another's; except these defects light upon
a very brave, and heroical nature, which thinketh
to make his natural wants part of his honor; in that
it should be said, that an eunuch, or a lame man,
did such great matters; affecting the honor of a
miracle; as it was in Narses the eunuch, and Agesi-
laus and Tamberlanes, that were lame men.

The same is the case of men, that rise after ca-
lamities and misfortunes. For they are as men
fallen out with the times; and think other men's
harms, a redemption of their own sufferings.

They that desire to excel in too many matters,
out of levity and vain glory, are ever envious. For
they cannot want work; it being impossible, but
many, in some one of those things, should surpass
them. Which was the character of Adrian the Em-
peror; that mortally envied poets, and painters,
and artificers, in works wherein he had a vein to

Lastly, near kinsfolks, and fellows in office, and
those that have been bred together, are more apt
to envy their equals, when they are raised. For it
doth upbraid unto them their own fortunes, and
pointeth at them, and cometh oftener into their
remembrance, and incurreth likewise more into
the note of others; and envy ever redoubleth from
speech and fame. Cain's envy was the more vile
and malignant, towards his brother Abel, because
when his sacrifice was better accepted, there was
no body to look on. Thus much for those, that are
apt to envy.

Concerning those that are more or less subject
to envy: First, persons of eminent virtue, when
they are advanced, are less envied. For their for-
tune seemeth , but due unto them; and no man
envieth the payment of a debt, but rewards and
liberality rather. Again, envy is ever joined with
the comparing of a man's self; and where there is
no comparison, no envy; and therefore kings are
not envied, but by kings. Nevertheless it is to be
noted, that unworthy persons are most envied, at
their first coming in, and afterwards overcome it
better; whereas contrariwise, persons of worth
and merit are most envied, when their fortune
continueth long. For by that time, though their
virtue be the same, yet it hath not the same lustre;
for fresh men grow up that darken it.

Persons of noble blood, are less envied in their
rising. For it seemeth but right done to their birth.
Besides, there seemeth not much added to their
fortune; and envy is as the sunbeams, that beat
hotter upon a bank, or steep rising ground, than
upon a flat. And for the same reason, those that are
advanced by degrees, are less envied than those
that are advanced suddenly and per saltum.

Those that have joined with their honor great
travels, cares, or perils, are less subject to envy.
For men think that they earn their honors hardly,
and pity them sometimes; and pity ever healeth
envy. Wherefore you shall observe, that the more
deep and sober sort of politic persons, in their
greataess, are ever bemoaning themselves, what
a life they lead; chanting a quanta patimur! Not
that they feel it so, but only to abate the edge of
envy. But this is to be understood, of business that
is laid upon men, and not such, as they call unto
themselves. For nothing increaseth envy more,
than an unnecessary and ambitious engrossing of
business. And nothing doth extinguish envy more,
than for a great person to preserve all other infe-
rior officers, in their full lights and pre-eminences
of their places. For by that means, there be so
many screens between him and envy.

Above all, those are most subject to envy, which
carry the greatness of their fortunes, in an insolent
and proud manner; being never well, but while
they are showing how great they are, either by
outward pomp, or by triumphing over all opposi-
tion or competition; whereas wise men will rather
do sacrifice to envy, in suffering themselves some-
times of purpose to be crossed, and overborne in
things that do not much concern them. Notwith-
standing, so much is true, that the carriage of
greatness, in a plain and open manner (so it be
without arrogancy and vain glory) doth draw less
envy, than if it be in a more crafty and cunning
fashion. For in that course, a man doth but dis-
avow fortune; and seemeth to be conscious of his
own want in worth; and doth but teach others, to
envy him.

Lastly, to conclude this part; as we said in the
beginning, that the act of envy had somewhat in
it of witchcraft, so there is no other cure of envy,
but the cure of witchcraft; and that is, to remove
the lot (as they call it) and to lay it upon another.
For which purpose, the wiser sort of great persons,
bring in ever upon the stage somebody upon whom
to derive the envy, that would come upon them-
selves; sometimes upon ministers and servants;
sometimes upon colleagues and associates; and the
like; and for that turn there are never wanting,
some persons of violent and undertaking natures,
who, so they may have power and business, will
take it at any cost.

Now, to speak of public envy. There is yet some
good in public envy, whereas in private, there is
none. For public envy, is as an ostracism, that
eclipseth men, when they grow too great. And
therefore it is a bridle also to great ones, to keep
them within bounds.

This envy, being in the Latin word invidia,
goeth in the modern language, by the name of
discontentment; of which we shall speak, in hand-
ling sedition. It is a disease, in a state, like to infec-
tion. For as infection spreadeth upon that which is
sound, and tainteth it; so when envy is gotten once
into a state, it traduceth even the best actions
thereof, and turneth them into an ill odor. And
therefore there is little won, by intermingling of
plausible actions. For that doth argue but a weak-
ness, and fear of envy, which hurteth so much the
more, as it is likewise usual in infections; which
if you fear them, you call them upon you.

This public envy, seemeth to beat chiefly upon
principal officers or ministers, rather than upon
kings, and estates themselves. But this is a sure
rule, that if the envy upon the minister be great,
when the cause of it in him is small; or if the envy
be general, in a manner upon all the ministers of
an estate; then the envy (though hidden) is truly
upon the state itself. And so much of public envy
or discontentment, and the difference thereof from
private envy, which was handled in the first place.

We will add this in general, touching the affec-
tion of envy; that of all other affections, it is the
most importune and continual. For of other affec-
tions, there is occasion given, but now and then;
and therefore it was well said, Invidia festos dies
non agit: for it is ever working upon some or other.
And it is also noted, that love and envy do make a
man pine, which other affections do not, because
they are not so continual. It is also the vilest affec-
tion, and the most depraved; for which cause it
is the proper attribute of the devil, who is called,
the envious man, that soweth tares amongst the
wheat by night; as it always cometh to pass, that
envy worketh subtilly, and in the dark, and to the
prejudice of good things, such as is the wheat.

Of Love

THE stage is more beholding to love, than the
life of man. For as to the stage, love is ever
matter of comedies, and now and then of tragedies;
but in life it doth much mischief; sometimes like a
siren, sometimes like a fury. You may observe, that
amongst all the great and worthy persons (whereof
the memory remaineth, either ancient or recent)
there is not one, that hath been transported to
the mad degree of love: which shows that great
spirits, and great business, do keep out this weak
passion. You must except, nevertheless, Marcus
Antonius, the half partner of the empire of Rome,
and Appius Claudius, the decemvir and lawgiver;
whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous man,
and inordinate; but the latter was an austere and
wise man: and therefore it seems (though rarely)
that love can find entrance, not only into an open
heart, but also into a heart well fortified, if watch
be not well kept. It is a poor saying of Epicurus,
Satis magnum alter alteri theatrum sumus; as if
man, made for the contemplation of heaven, and
all noble objects, should do nothing but kneel be-
fore a little idol, and make himself a subject,
though not of the mouth (as beasts are), yet of the
eye; which was given him for higher purposes. It
is a strange thing, to note the excess of this passion,
and how it braves the nature, and value of things,
by this; that the speaking in a perpetual hyper-
bole, is comely in nothing but in love. Neither is it
merely in the phrase; for whereas it hath been
well said, that the arch-flatterer, with whom all
the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a man's
self; certainly the lover is more. For there was
never proud man thought so absurdly well of him-
self, as the lover doth of the person loved; and
therefore it was well said, That it is impossible to
love, and to be wise. Neither doth this weakness
appear to others only, and not to the party loved;
but to the loved most of all, except the love be reci-
proque. For it is a true rule, that love is ever re-
warded, either with the reciproque, or with an
inward and secret contempt. By how much the
more, men ought to beware of this passion, which
loseth not only other things, but itself! As for the
other losses, the poet's relation doth well figure
them: that he that preferred Helena, quitted the
gifts of Juno and Pallas. For whosoever esteemeth
too much of amorous affection, quitteth both riches
and wisdom. This passion hath his floods, in very
times of weakness; which are great prosperity, and
great adversity; though this latter hath been less
observed: both which times kindle love, and make
it more fervent, and therefore show it to be the
child of folly. They do best, who if they cannot but
admit love, yet make it keep quarters; and sever it
wholly from their serious affairs, and actions, of
life; for if it check once with business, it troubleth
men's fortunes, and maketh men, that they can no
ways be true to their own ends. I know not how,
but martial men are given to love: I think, it is but
as they are given to wine; for perils commonly ask
to be paid in pleasures. There is in man's nature, a
secret inclination and motion, towards love of
others, which if it be not spent upon some one or a
few, doth naturally spread itself towards many,
and maketh men become humane and charitable;
as it is seen sometime in friars. Nuptial love maketh
mankind; friendly love perfecteth it; but wanton
love corrupteth, and embaseth it.

Of Great Place

MEN in great place are thrice servants: ser-
vants of the sovereign or state; servants of
fame; and servants of business. So as they have no
freedom; neither in their persons, nor in their ac-
tions, nor in their times. It is a strange desire, to
seek power and to lose liberty: or to seek power
over others, and to lose power over a man's self.
The rising unto place is laborious; and by pains,
men come to greater pains; and it is sometimes
base; and by indignities, men come to dignities.
The standing is slippery, and the regress is either
a downfall, or at least an eclipse, which is a melan-
choly thing. Cum non sis qui fueris, non esse cur
velis vivere. Nay, retire men cannot when they
would, neither will they, when it were reason; but
are impatient of privateness, even in age and sick-
ness, which require the shadow; like old towns-
men, that will be still sitting at their street door,
though thereby they offer age to scom. Certainly
great persons had need to borrow other men's
opinions, to think themselves happy; for if they
judge by their own feeling, they cannot find it; but
if they think with themselves, what other men
think of them, and that other men would fain be,
as they are, then they are happy, as it were, by
report; when perhaps they find the contrary
within. For they are the first, that find their own
griefs, though they be the last, that find their
own faults. Certainly men in great fortunes are
strangers to themselves, and while they are in the
puzzle of business, they have no time to tend their
health, either of body or mind. Illi mors gravis
incubat, qui notus nimis omnibus, ignotus moritur
sibi. In place, there is license to do good, and evil;
whereof the latter is a curse: for in evil, the best
condition is not to win; the second, not to can. But
power to do good, is the true and lawful end of
aspiring. For good thoughts (though God accept
them) yet, towards men, are little better than good
dreams, except they be put in act; and that cannot
be, without power and place, as the vantage, and
commanding ground. Merit and good works, is
the end of man's motion; and conscience of the
same is the accomplishment of man's rest. For if a
man can be partaker of God's theatre, he shall like-
wise be partaker of God's rest. Et conversus Deus,
ut aspiceret opera quae fecerunt manus suae, vidit
quod omnia essent bona nimis; and then the sab-
bath. In the discharge of thy place, set before thee
the best examples; for imitation is a globe of pre-
cepts. And after a time, set before thee thine own
example; and examine thyself strictly, whether
thou didst not best at first. Neglect not also the
examples, of those that have carried themselves
ill, in the same place; not to set off thyself, by tax-
ing their memory, but to direct thyself, what to
avoid. Reform therefore, without bravery, or scan-
dal of former times and persons; but yet set it down
to thyself, as well to create good precedents, as to
follow them. Reduce things to the first institution,
and observe wherein, and how, they have degen-
erate; but yet ask counsel of both times; of the
ancient time, what is best; and of the latter time,
what is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular,
that men may know beforehand, what they may
expect; but be not too positive and peremptory;
and express thyself well, when thou digressest
from thy rule. Preserve the right of thy place; but
stir not questions of jurisdiction; and rather as-
sume thy right, in silence and de facto, than voice
it with claims, and challenges. Preserve likewise
the rights of inferior places; and think it more
honor, to direct in chief, than to be busy in all.
Embrace and invite helps, and advices, touching
the execution of thy place; and do not drive away
such, as bring thee information, as meddlers; but
accept of them in good part. The vices of authority
are chiefly four: delays, corruption, roughness,
and facility. For delays: give easy access; keep
times appointed; go through with that which is in
hand, and interlace not business, but of necessity.
For corruption: do not only bind thine own hands,
or thy servants' hands, from taking, but bind the
hands of suitors also, from offering. For integrity
used doth the one; but integrity professed, and
with a manifest detestation of bribery, doth the
other. And avoid not only the fault, but the sus-
picion. Whosoever is found variable, and changeth
manifestly without manifest cause, giveth sus-
picion of corruption. Therefore always, when thou
changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly,
and declare it, together with the reasons that move
thee to change; and do not think to steal it. A
servant or a favorite, if he be inward, and no
other apparent cause of esteem, is commonly
thought, but a by-way to close corruption. For
roughness: it is a needless cause of discontent:
severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth
hate. Even reproofs from authority, ought to be
grave, and not taunting. As for facility: it is worse
than bribery. For bribes come but now and then;
but if importunity, or idle respects, lead a man, he
shall never be without. As Solomon saith, To re-
spect persons is not good; for such a man will
transgress for a piece of bread. It is most true, that
was anciently spoken, A place showeth the man.
And it showeth some to the better, and some to the
worse. Omnium consensu capax imperii, nisi im-
perasset, saith Tacitus of Galba; but of Vespasian
he saith, Solus imperantium, Vespasianus mutatus
in melius; though the one was meant of sufficiency,
the other of manners, and affection. It is an assured
sign of a worthy and generous spirit, whom honor
amends. For honor is, or should be, the place of
virtue; and as in nature, things move violently to
their place, and calmly in their place, so virtue in
ambition is violent, in authority settled and calm.
All rising to great place is by a winding star; and
if there be factions, it is good to side a man's self,
whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself
when he is placed. Use the memory of thy prede-
cessor, fairly and tenderly; for if thou dost not, it is
a debt will sure be paid when thou art gone. If
thou have colleagues, respect them, and rather call
them, when they look not for it, than exclude
them , when they have reason to look to be called.
Be not too sensible, or too remembering, of thy
place in conversation, and private answers to
suitors; but let it rather be said, When he sits in
place, he is another man.

Of Boldness

IT IS a trivial grammar-school text, but yet
worthy a wise man's consideration. Question
was asked of Demosthenes, what was the chief
part of an orator? he answered, action; what next?
action; what next again? action. He said it, that
knew it best, and had, by nature, himself no ad-
vantage in that he commended. A strange thing,
that that part of an orator, which is but superficial,
and rather the virtue of a player, should be placed
so high, above those other noble parts, of invention,
elocution, and the rest; nay, almost alone, as if it
were all in all. But the reason is plain. There is in
human nature generally, more of the fool than of
the wise; and therefore those faculties, by which
the foolish part of men's minds is taken, are most
potent. Wonderful like is the case of boldness in
civil business: what first? boldness; what second
and third? boldness. And yet boldness is a child of
ignorance and baseness, far inferior to other parts.
But nevertheless it doth fascinate, and bind hand
and foot, those that are either shallow in judg-
ment, or weak in courage, which are the greatest
part; yea and prevaileth with wise men at weak
times. Therefore we see it hath done wonders, in
popular states; but with senates, and princes less;
and more ever upon the first entrance of bold per-
sons into action, than soon after; for boldness is an
ill keeper of promise. Surely, as there are mounte-
banks for the natural body, so are there mounte-
banks for the politic body; men that undertake
great cures, and perhaps have been lucky, in two
or three experiments, but want the grounds of
science, and therefore cannot hold out. Nay, you
shall see a bold fellow many times do Mahomet's
miracle. Mahomet made the people believe that
he would call an hill to him, and from the top of it
offer up his prayers, for the observers of his law.
The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to
come to him, again and again; and when the hill
stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said,
If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet
will go to the hill. So these men, when they have
promised great matters, and failed most shame-
fully, yet (if they have the perfection of boldness)
they will but slight it over, and make a turn, and
no more ado. Certainly to men of great judgment,
bold persons are a sport to behold; nay, and to the
vulgar also, boldness has somewhat of the ridicu-
lous. For if absurdity be the subject of laughter,
doubt you not but great boldness is seldom without
some absurdity. Especially it is a sport to see, when
a bold fellow is out of countenance; for that puts
his face into a most shrunken, and wooden pos-
ture; as needs it must; for in bashfulness, the spirits
do a little go and come; but with bold men, upon
like occasion, they stand at a stay; like a stale at
chess, where it is no mate, but yet the game cannot
stir. But this last were fitter for a satire than for a
serious observation. This is well to be weighed;
that boldness is ever blind; for it seeth not danger,
and inconveniences. Therefore it is ill in counsel,
good in execution; so that the right use of bold per-
sons is, that they never command in chief, but be
seconds, and under the direction of others. For in
counsel, it is good to see dangers; and in execution,
not to see them, except they be very great.

Of Goodness

I TAKE goodness in this sense, the affecting of
the weal of men, which is that the Grecians
call philanthropia; and the word humanity (as
it is used) is a little too light to express it. Good-
ness I call the habit, and goodness of nature, the
inclination. This of all virtues, and dignities of the
mind, is the greatest; being the character of the
Deity: and without it, man is a busy, mischievous,
wretched thing; no better than a kind of vermin.
Goodness answers to the theological virtue, char-
ity, and admits no excess, but error. The desire of
power in excess, caused the angels to fall; the desire
of knowledge in excess, caused man to fall: but in
charity there is no excess; neither can angel, nor
man, come in dan ger by it. The inclination to good-
ness, is imprinted deeply in the nature of man; in-
somuch, that if it issue not towards men, it will
take unto other living creatures; as it is seen in the
Turks, a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind
to beasts, and give alms, to dogs and birds; inso-
much, as Busbechius reporteth, a Christian boy, in
Constantinople, had like to have been stoned, for
gagging in a waggishness a long-billed fowl.
Errors indeed in this virtue of goodness, or charity,
may be committed. The Italians have an ungra-
cious proverb, Tanto buon che val niente: so
good, that he is good for nothing. And one of
the doctors of Italy, Nicholas Machiavel, had
the confidence to put in writing, almost in plain
terms, That the Christian faith, had given up good
men, in prey to those that are tyrannical and un-
just. Which he spake, because indeed there was
never law, or sect, or opinion, did so much mag-
nify goodness, as the Christian religion doth.
Therefore, to avoid the scandal and the danger
both, it is good, to take knowledge of the errors of
an habit so excellent. Seek the good of other men,
but be not in bondage to their faces or fancies; for
that is but facility, or softness; which taketh an
honest mind prisoner. Neither give thou AEsop's
cock a gem, who would be better pleased, and hap-
pier, if he had had a barley-corn. The example of
God, teacheth the lesson truly: He sendeth his rain,
and maketh his sun to shine, upon the just and
unjust; but he doth not rain wealth, nor shine
honor and virtues, upon men equally. Common
benefits, are to be communicate with all; but pe-
culiar benefits, with choice. And beware how in
making the portraiture, thou breakest the pattern.
For divinity, maketh the love of ourselves the pat-
tern; the love of our neighbors, but the portraiture.
Sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor, and fol-
low me: but, sell not all thou hast, except thou
come and follow me; that is, except thou have a
vocation, wherein thou mayest do as much good,
with little means as with great; for otherwise, in
feeding the streams, thou driest the fountain.
Neither is there only a habit of goodness, directed
by right reason; but there is in some men, even in
nature, a disposition towards it; as on the other
side, there is a natural malignity. For there be,
that in their nature do not affect the good of others.
The lighter sort of malignity, turneth but to a
crassness, or frowardness, or aptness to oppose, or
difficulties, or the like; but the deeper sort, to envy
and mere mischief. Such men, in other men's ca-
lamities, are, as it were, in season, and are ever on
the loading part: not so good as the dogs, that licked
Lazarus' sores; but like flies, that are still buzzing
upon any thing that is raw; misanthropi, that
make it their practice, to bring men to the bough,
and yet never a tree for the purpose in their gar-
dens, as Timon had. Such dispositions, are the very
errors of human nature; and yet they are the fittest
timber, to make great politics of; like to knee tim-
ber, that is good for ships, that are ordained to be
tossed; but not for building houses, that shall stand
firm. The parts and signs of goodness, are many. If
a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it
shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart
is no island, cut off from other lands, but a conti-
nent, that joins to them. If he be compassionate
towards the afflictions of others, it shows that his
heart is like the noble tree, that is wounded itself,
when it gives the balm. If he easily pardons, and
remits offences, it shows that his mind is planted
above injuries; so that he cannot be shot. If he be
thankful for small benefits, it shows that he weighs
men's minds, and not their trash. But above all, if
he have St. Paul's perfection, that he would wish
to be anathema from Christ, for the salvation of
his brethren, it shows much of a divine nature, and
a kind of conformity with Christ himself

Of Nobility

WE WILL speak of nobility, first as a portion
of an estate, then as a condition of particu-
lar persons. A monarchy, where there is no nobil-
ity at all, is ever a pure and absolute tyranny; as
that of the Turks. For nobility attempers sover-
eignty, and draws the eyes of the people, somewhat
aside from the line royal. But for democracies,
they need it not; and they are commonly more
quiet, and less subject to sedition, than where there
are stirps of nobles. For men's eyes are upon the
business, and not upon the persons; or if upon the
persons, it is for the business' sake, as fittest, and
not for flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last
well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion,
and of cantons. For utility is their bond, and not
respects. The united provinces of the Low Coun-
tries, in their government, excel; for where there
is an equality, the consultations are more indif-
ferent, and the payments and tributes, more
cheerful. A great and potent nobility, addeth
majesty to a monarch, but diminisheth power;
and putteth life and spirit into the people, but
presseth their fortune. It is well, when nobles are
not too great for sovereignty nor for justice; and
yet maintained in that height, as the insolency of
inferiors may be broken upon them, before it come
on too fast upon the majesty of kings. A numerous
nobility causeth poverty, and inconvenience in a
state; for it is a surcharge of expense; and besides,
it being of necessity, that many of the nobility fall,
in time, to be weak in fortune, it maketh a kind of
disproportion, between honor and means.

As for nobility in particular persons; it is a rev-
erend thing, to see an ancient castle or building,
not in decay; or to see a fair timber tree, sound and
perfect. How much more, to behold an ancient
noble family, which has stood against the waves
and weathers of time! For new nobility is but the
act of power, but ancient nobility is the act of time.
Those that are first raised to nobility, are com-
monly more virtuous, but less innocent, than their
descendants; for there is rarely any rising, but by
a commixture of good and evil arts. But it is reason,
the memory of their virtues remain to their pos-
terity, and their faults die with themselves. Nobil-
ity of birth commonly abateth industry; and he
that is not industrious, envieth him that is. Besides,
noble persons cannot go much higher; and he that
standeth at a stay, when others rise, can hardly
avoid motions of envy. On the other side, nobil-
ity extinguisheth the passive envy from others,
towards them; because they are in possession of
honor. Certainly, kings that have able men of
their nobility, shall find ease in employing them,
and a better slide into their business; for people
naturally bend to them, as born in some sort to

Of Seditions


SHEPHERDS of people, had need know the
calendars of tempests in state; which are com-
monly greatest, when things grow to equality; as
natural tempests are greatest about the Equinoc-
tia. And as there are certain hollow blasts of wind,
and secret swellings of seas before a tempest, so
are there in states:

--Ille etiam caecos instare tumultus
Saepe monet, fraudesque et operta tunescere bella.

Libels and licentious discourses against the state,
when they are frequent and open; and in like sort,
false news often running up and down, to the dis-
advantage of the state, and hastily embraced; are
amongst the signs of troubles. Virgil, giving the
pedigree of Fame, saith, she was sister to the Giants:

Illam Terra parens, irra irritata deorum,
Extremam (ut perhibent) Coeo Enceladoque sororem

As if fames were the relics of seditions past; but
they are no less, indeed, the preludes of seditions to
come. Howsoever he noteth it right, that seditious
tumults, and seditious fames, differ no more but
as brother and sister, masculine and feminine; es-
pecially if it come to that, that the best actions of
a state, and the most plausible, and which ought
to give greatest contentment, are taken in ill sense,
and traduced: for that shows the envy great, as
Tacitus saith; conflata magna invidia, seu bene
seu male gesta premunt. Neither doth it follow,
that because these fames are a sign of troubles, that
the suppressing of them with too much severity,
should be a remedy of troubles. For the despising
of them, many times checks them best; and the
going about to stop them, doth but make a wonder
long-lived. Also that kind of obedience, which
Tacitus speaketh of, is to be held suspected: Erant
in officio, sed tamen qui mallent mandata impe-
rantium interpretari quam exequi; disputing, ex-
cusing, cavilling upon mandates and directions, is
a kind of shaking off the yoke, and assay of dis-
obedience; especially if in those disputings, they
which are for the direction, speak fearfully and
tenderly, and those that are against it, audaciously.

Also, as Machiavel noteth well, when princes,
that ought to be common parents, make them-
selves as a party, and lean to a side, it is as a boat,
that is overthrown by uneven weight on the one
side; as was well seen, in the time of Henry the
Third of France; for first, himself entered league
for the extirpation of the Protestants; and pres-
ently after, the same league was turned upon him-
self. For when the authority of princes, is made
but an accessory to a cause, and that there be other
bands, that tie faster than the band of sovereignty,
kings begin to be put almost out of possession.

Also, when discords, and quarrels, and factions
are carried openly and audaciously, it is a sign the
reverence of government is lost. For the motions
of the greatest persons in a government, ought to
be as the motions of the planets under primum
mobile; according to the old opinion: which is,
that every of them, is carried swiftly by the
highest motion, and softly in their own motion.
And therefore, when great ones in their own
particular motion, move violently, and, as Tacitus
expresseth it well, liberius quam ut imperan-
tium meminissent; it is a sign the orbs are out
of frame. For reverence is that, wherewith princes
are girt from God; who threateneth the dissolving
thereof; Solvam cingula regum.

So when any of the four pillars of government,
are mainly shaken, or weakened (which are relig-
ion, justice, counsel, and treasure), men had need
to pray for fair weather. But let us pass from this
part of predictions (concerning which, neverthe-
less, more light may be taken from that which
followeth); and let us speak first, of the materials
of seditions; then of the motives of them; and
thirdly of the remedies.

Concerning the materials of seditions. It is a
thing well to be considered; for the surest way to
prevent seditions (if the times do bear it) is to take
away the matter of them. For if there be fuel pre-
pared, it is hard to tell, whence the spark shall
come, that shall set it on fire. The matter of sedi-
tions is of two kinds: much poverty, and much dis-
contentment. It is certain, so many overthrown
estates, so many votes for troubles. Lucan noteth
well the state of Rome before the Civil War,

Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore foenus,
Hinc concussa fides, et multis utile bellum.

This same multis utile bellum, is an assured and
infallible sign, of a state disposed to seditions and
troubles. And if this poverty and broken estate in
the better sort, be joined with a want and necessity
in the mean people, the danger is imminent and
great. For the rebellions of the belly are the worst.
As for discontentments, they are, in the politic
body, like to humors in the natural, which are apt
to gather a preternatural heat, and to inflame.
And let no prince measure the danger of them by
this, whether they be just or unjust: for that were
to imagine people, to be too reasonable; who do
often spurn at their own good: nor yet by this,
whether the griefs whereupon they rise, be in fact
great or small: for they are the most dangerous
discontentments, where the fear is greater than
the feeling. Dolendi modus, timendi non item.
Besides, in great oppressions, the same things that
provoke the patience, do withal mate the courage;
but in fears it is not so. Neither let any prince, or
state, be secure concerning discontentments, be-
cause they have been often, or have been long, and
yet no peril hath ensued: for as it is true, that every
vapor or fume doth not turn into a storm; so it is
nevertheless true, that storms, though they blow
over divers times, yet may fall at last; and, as the
Spanish proverb noteth well, The cord breaketh at
the last by the weakest pull.

The causes and motives of seditions are, innova-
tion in religion; taxes; alteration of laws and cus-
toms; breaking of privileges; general oppression;
advancement of unworthy persons; strangers;
dearths; disbanded soldiers; factions grown des-
perate; and what soever, in offending people,
joineth and knitteth them in a common cause.

For the remedies; there may be some general
preservatives, whereof we will speak: as for the
just cure, it must answer to the particular disease;
and so be left to counsel, rather than rule.

The first remedy or prevention is to remove, by
all means possible, that material cause of sedition
whereof we spake; which is, want and poverty in
the estate. To which purpose serveth the opening,
and well-balancing of trade; the cherishing of
manufactures; the banishing of idleness; the re-
pressing of waste, and excess, by sumptuary laws;
the improvement and husbanding of the soil; the
regulating of prices of things vendible; the moder-
ating of taxes and tributes; and the like. Generally,
it is to be foreseen that the population of a king-
dom (especially if it be not mown down by wars)
do not exceed the stock of the kingdom, which
should maintain them. Neither is the population
to be reckoned only by number; for a smaller num-
ber, that spend more and earn less, do wear out an
estate sooner, than a greater number that live
lower, and gather more. Therefore the multiply-
ing of nobility, and other degrees of quality, in an
over proportion to the common people, doth speed-
ily bring a state to necessity; and so doth likewise
an overgrown clergy; for they bring nothing to
the stock; and in like manner, when more are bred
scholars, than preferments can take off .

It is likewise to be remembered, that forasmuch
as the increase of any estate must be upon the
foreigner (for whatsoever is somewhere gotten, is
somewhere lost), there be but three things, which
one nation selleth unto another; the commodity as
nature yieldeth it; the manufacture; and the vec-
ture, or carriage. So that if these three wheels go,
wealth will flow as in a spring tide. And it cometh
many times to pass, that materiam superabit opus;
that the work and carriage is more worth than the
material, and enricheth a state more; as is notably
seen in the Low-Countrymen, who have the best
mines above ground, in the world.

Above all things, good policy is to be used, that
the treasure and moneys, in a state, be not gath-
ered into few hands. For otherwise a state may
have a great stock, and yet starve. And money is
like muck, not good except it be spread. This is
done, chiefly by suppressing, or at least keeping
a strait hand, upon the devouring trades of usury,
ingrossing great pasturages, and the like.

For removing discontentments, or at least the
danger of them; there is in every state (as we
know) two portions of subjects; the noblesse and
the commonalty. When one of these is discontent,
the danger is not great; for common people are of
slow motion, if they be not excited by the greater
sort; and the greater sort are of small strength,
except the multitude be apt, and ready to move of
themselves. Then is the danger, when the greater
sort, do but wait for the troubling of the waters
amongst the meaner, that then they may declare
themselves. The poets feign, that the rest of the
gods would have bound Jupiter; which he hearing
of, by the counsel of Pallas, sent for Briareus, with
his hundred hands, to come in to his aid. An em-
blem, no doubt, to show how safe it is for mon-
archs, to make sure of the good will of common
people. To give moderate liberty for griefs and dis-
contentments to evaporate (so it be without too
great insolency or bravery), is a safe way. For he
that turneth the humors back, and maketh the
wound bleed inwards, endangereth malign ulcers,
and pernicious imposthumations.

The part of Epimetheus mought well become
Prometheus, in the case of discontentments: for
there is not a better provision against them. Epime-
theus, when griefs and evils flew abroad, at last
shut the lid, and kept hope in the bottom of the
vessel. Certainly, the politic and artificial nourish-
ing, and entertaining of hopes, and carrying men
from hopes to hopes, is one of the best antidotes
against the poison of discontentments. And it is a
certain sign of a wise government and proceeding,
when it can hold men's hearts by hopes, when it
cannot by satisfaction; and when it can handle
things, in such manner, as no evil shall appear so
peremptory, but that it hath some outlet of hope;
which is the less hard to do, because both particu-
lar persons and factions, are apt enough to flatter
themselves, or at least to brave that, which they
believe not.

Also the foresight and prevention, that there be
no likely or fit head, whereunto discontented per-
sons may resort, and under whom they may join,
is a known, but an excellent point of caution. I
understand a fit head, to be one that hath great-
ness and reputation; that hath confidence with
the discontented party, and upon whom they turn
their eyes; and that is thought discontented, in his
own particular: which kind of persons, are either
to be won, and reconciled to the state, and that in
a fast and true manner; or to be fronted with some
other, of the same party, that may oppose them,
and so divide the reputation. Generally, the divid-
ing and breaking, of all factions and combinations
that are adverse to the state, and setting them at
distance, or at least distrust, amongst themselves,
is not one of the worst remedies. For it is a desper-
ate case, if those that hold with the proceeding of
the state, be full of discord and faction, and those
that are against it, be entire and united.

I have noted, that some witty and sharp
speeches, which have fallen from princes, have
given fire to seditions. Caesar did himself infinite
hurt in that speech, Sylla nescivit literas, non po-
tuit dictare; for it did utterly cut off that hope,
which men had entertained, that he would at one
time or other give over his dictatorship. Galba un-
did himself by that speech, legi a se militem, non
emi; for it put the soldiers out of hope of the dona-
tive. Probus likewise, by that speech, Si vixero,
non opus erit amplius Romano imperio militibus;
a speech of great despair for the soldiers. And
many the like. Surely princes had need, in tender
matters and ticklish times, to beware what they
say; especially in these short speeches, which fly
abroad like darts, and are thought to be shot out of
their secret intentions. For as for large discourses,
they are flat things, and not so much noted.

Lastly, let princes, against all events, not be
without some great person, one or rather more, of
military valor, near unto them, for the repressing
of seditions in their beginnings. For without that,
there useth to be more trepidation in court upon
the first breaking out of troubles, than were fit.
And the state runneth the danger of that which
Tacitus saith; Atque is habitus animorum fuit, ut
pessimum facinus auderent pauci, plures vellent,
omnes paterentur. But let such military persons be
assured, and well reputed of, rather than factious
and popular; holding also good correspondence
with the other great men in the state; or else the
remedy, is worse than the disease.

Of Atheism

I HAD rather believe all the fables in the Leg-
end, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than
that this universal frame is without a mind.
And therefore, God never wrought miracle, to
convince atheism, because his ordinary works con-
vince it. It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth
man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy
bringeth men's minds about to religion. For while
the mind of man looketh upon second causes scat-
tered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no
further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them,
confederate and linked together, it must needs fly
to Providence and Deity. Nay, even that school
which is most accused of atheism doth most dem-
onstrate religion; that is, the school of Leucippus
and Democritus and Epicurus. For it is a thousand
times more credible, that four mutable elements,
and one immutable fifth essence, duly and eter-
nally placed, need no God, than that an army of
infinite small portions, or seeds unplaced, should
have produced this order and beauty, without a
divine marshal. The Scripture saith, The fool hath
said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The
fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith
it, by rote to himself, as that he would have, than
that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded
of it. For none deny, there is a God, but those, for
whom it maketh that there were no God. It ap-
peareth in nothing more, that atheism is rather in
the lip, than in the heart of man, than by this; that
atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion,
as if they fainted in it, within themselves, and
would be glad to be strengthened, by the consent
of others. Nay more, you shall have atheists strive
to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects. And,
which is most of all, you shall have of them, that
will suffer for atheism, and not recant; whereas if
they did truly think, that there were no such thing
as God, why should they trouble themselves? Epi-
curus is charged, that he did but dissemble for his
credit's sake, when he affirmed there were blessed
natures, but such as enjoyed themselves, without
having respect to the government of the world.
Wherein they say he did temporize; though in
secret, he thought there was no God. But certainly
he is traduced; for his words are noble and divine:
Non deos vulgi negare profanum; sed vulgi opini-
ones diis applicare profanum. Plato could have
said no more. And although he had the confidence,
to deny the administration, he had not the power,
to deny the nature. The Indians of the West, have
names for their particular gods, though they have
no name for God: as if the heathens should have
had the names Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, etc., but not
the word Deus; which shows that even those bar-
barous people have the notion, though they have
not the latitude and extent of it. So that against
atheists, the very savages take part, with the very
subtlest philosophers. The contemplative atheist is
rare: a Diagoras, a Bion, a Lucian perhaps, and
some others; and yet they seem to be more than
they are; for that all that impugn a received re-
ligion, or superstition, are by the adverse part
branded with the name of atheists. But the great
atheists, indeed are hypocrites; which are ever
handling holy things, but without feeling; so as
they must needs be cauterized in the end. The
causes of atheism are: divisions in religion, if they
be many; for any one main division, addeth zeal to
both sides; but many divisions introduce atheism.
Another is, scandal of priests; when it is come to
that which St. Bernard saith, non est jam dicere,
ut populus sic sacerdos; quia nec sic populus ut
sacerdos. A third is, custom of profane scoffing in
holy matters; which doth, by little and little, de-
face the reverence of religion. And lastly, learned
times, specially with peace and prosperity; for
troubles and adversities do more bow men's minds
to religion. They that deny a God, destroy man's
nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts,
by his body; and, if he be not of kin to God, by his
spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. It destroys
likewise magnanimity, and the raising of human
nature; for take an example of a dog, and mark
what a generosity and courage he will put on,
when he finds himself maintained by a man; who
to him is instead of a God, or melior natura; which
courage is manifestly such, as that creature, with-
out that confidence of a better nature than his own,
could never attain. So man, when he resteth and
assureth himself, upon divine protection and
favor, gathered a force and faith, which human
nature in itself could not obtain. Therefore, as
atheism is in all respects hateful, so in this, that it
depriveth human nature of the means to exalt it-
self, above human frailty. As it is in particular
persons, so it is in nations. Never was there such a
state for magnanimity as Rome. Of this state hear
what Cicero saith: Quam volumus licet, patres con-
scripti, nos amemus, tamen nec numero Hispanos,
nec robore Gallos, nec calliditate Poenos, nec arti-
bus Graecos, nec denique hoc ipso hujus gentis et
terrae domestico nativoque sensu Italos ipsos et
Latinos; sed pietate, ac religione, atque hac una
sapientia, quod deorum immortalium numine
omnia regi gubernarique perspeximus, omnes
gentes nationesque superavimus.

Of Superstition

IT WERE better to have no opinion of God at all,
than such an opinion, as is unworthy of him.
For the one is unbelief, the other is contumely;
and certainly superstition is the reproach of the
Deity. Plutarch saith well to that purpose: Surely
(saith he) I had rather a great deal, men should
say, there was no such man at all, as Plutarch,
than that they should say, that there was one Plu-
tarch, that would eat his children as soon as they
were born; as the poets speak of Saturn. And as the
contumely is greater towards God, so the danger is
greater towards men. Atheism leaves a man to
sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to
reputation; all which may be guides to an outward
moral virtue, though religion were not; but super-
stition dismounts all these, and erecteth an abso-
lute monarchy, in the minds of men. Therefore
theism did never perturb states; for it makes men
wary of themselves, as looking no further: and we
see the times inclined to atheism (as the time of
Augustus Caesar) were civil times. But supersti-
tion hath been the confusion of many states, and
bringeth in a new primum mobile, that ravisheth
all the spheres of government.The master of super-
stition, is the people; and in all superstition, wise
men follow fools; and arguments are fitted to prac-
tice, in a reversed order. It was gravely said by
some of the prelates in the Council of Trent, where
the doctrine of the Schoolmen bare great sway,
that the Schoolmen were like astronomers, which
did feign eccentrics and epicycles, and such en-
gines of orbs, to save the phenomena; though they
knew there were no such things; and in like man-
ner, that the Schoolmen had framed a number of
subtle and intricate axioms, and theorems, to save
the practice of the church. The causes of supersti-
tion are: pleasing and sensual rites and ceremonies;
excess of outward and pharisaical holiness; over-
great reverence of traditions, which cannot but
load the church; the stratagems of prelates, for
their own ambition and lucre; the favoring too
much of good intentions, which openeth the gate
to conceits and novelties; the taking an aim at
divine matters, by human, which cannot but
breed mixture of imaginations: and, lastly, bar-
barous times, especially joined with calamities
and disasters. Superstition, without a veil, is a de-
formed thing; for, as it addeth deformity to an
ape, to be so like a man, so the similitude of super-
stition to religion, makes it the more deformed.
And as wholesome meat corrupteth to little worms,
so good forms and orders corrupt, into a number of
petty observances. There is a superstition in avoid-
ing superstition, when men think to do best, if they
go furthest from the superstition, formerly re-
ceived; therefore care would be had that (as it
fareth in ill purgings) the good be not taken away
with the bad; which commonly is done, when the
people is the reformer.

Of Travel

TRAVEL, in the younger sort, is a part of edu-
cation, in the elder, a part of experience. He
that travelleth into a country, before he hath some
entrance into the language, goeth to school, and
not to travel. That young men travel under some
tutor, or grave servant, I allow well; so that he be
such a one that hath the language, and hath been
in the country before; whereby he may be able
to tell them what things are worthy to be seen, in
the country where they go; what acquaintances
they are to seek; what exercises, or discipline, the
place yieldeth. For else, young men shall go
hooded, and look abroad little. It is a strange thing,
that in sea voyages, where there is nothing to be
seen, but sky and sea, men should make diaries;
but in land-travel, wherein so much is to be ob-
served, for the most part they omit it; as if chance
were fitter to be registered, than observation. Let
diaries, therefore, be brought in use. The things to
be seen and observed are: the courts of princes,
especially when they give audience to ambassa-
dors; the courts of justice, while they sit and hear
causes; and so of consistories ecclesiastic; the
churches and monasteries, with the monuments
which are therein extant; the walls and fortifica-
tions of cities, and towns, and so the heavens and
harbors; antiquities and ruins; libraries; colleges,
disputations, and lectures, where any are; ship-
ping and navies; houses and gardens of state and
pleasure, near great cities; armories; arsenals;
magazines; exchanges; burses; warehouses; exer-
cises of horsemanship, fencing, training of sol-
diers, and the like; comedies, such whereunto the
better sort of persons do resort; treasuries of jewels
and robes; cabinets and rarities; and, to conclude,
whatsoever is memorable, in the places where
they go. After all which, the tutors, or servants,
ought to make diligent inquiry. As for triumphs,
masks, feasts, weddings, funerals, capital execu-
tions, and such shows, men need not to be put in
mind of them; yet are they not to be neglected. If
you will have a young man to put his travel into a
little room, and in short time to gather much, this
you must do. First, as was said, he must have some
entrance into the language before he goeth. Then
he must have such a servant, or tutor, as knoweth
the country, as was likewise said. Let him carry
with him also, some card or book, describing the
country where he travelleth; which will be a good
key to his inquiry. Let him keep also a diary. Let
him not stay long, in one city or town; more or less
as the place deserveth, but not long; nay, when he
stayeth in one city or town, let him change his
lodging from one end and part of the town, to an-
other; which is a great adamant of acquaintance.
Let him sequester himself, from the company of
his countrymen, and diet in such places, where
there is good company of the nation where he
travelleth. Let him, upon his removes from one
place to another, procure recommendation to some
person of quality, residing in the place whither he
removeth; that he may use his favor, in those
things he desireth to see or know. Thus he may
abridge his travel, with much profit. As for the
acquaintance, which is to be sought in travel; that
which is most of all profitable, is acquaintance
with the secretaries and employed men of ambas-
sadors: for so in travelling in one country, he shall
suck the experience of many. Let him also see, and
visit, eminent persons in all kinds, which are of
great name abroad; that he may be able to tell,
how the life agreeth with the fame. For quarrels,
they are with care and discretion to be avoided.
They are commonly for mistresses, healths, place,
and words. And let a man beware, how he keepeth
company with choleric and quarrelsome persons;
for they will engage him into their own quarrels.
When a traveller returneth home, let him not
leave the countries, where he hath travelled, alto-
gether behind him; but maintain a correspond-
ence by letters, with those of his acquaintance,
which are of most worth. And let his travel appear
rather in his discourse, than his apparel or gesture;
and in his discourse, let him be rather advised in
his answers, than forward to tell stories; and let it
appear that he doth not change his country man-
ners, for those of foreign parts; but only prick in
some flowers, of that he hath learned abroad, into
the customs of his own country.

Of Empire

IT IS a miserable state of mind, to have few
things to desire, and many things to fear; and
yet that commonly is the case of kings; who, being
at the highest, want matter of desire, which makes
their minds more languishing; and have many rep-
resentations of perils and shadows, which makes
their minds the less clear. And this is one reason
also, of that effect which the Scripture speaketh of,
That the king's heart is inscrutable. For multitude
of jealousies, and lack of some predominant de-
sire, that should marshal and put in order all the
rest, maketh any man's heart, hard to find or
sound. Hence it comes likewise, that princes many
times make themselves desires, and set their hearts
upon toys; sometimes upon a building; sometimes
upon erecting of an order; sometimes upon the ad-
vancing of a person; sometimes upon obtaining
excellency in some art, or feat of the hand; as Nero
for playing on the harp, Domitian for certainty
of the hand with the arrow, Commodus for play-
ing at fence, Caracalla for driving chariots, and
the like. This seemeth incredible, unto those that
know not the principle, that the mind of man, is
more cheered and refreshed by profiting in small
things, than by standing at a stay, in great. We see
also that kings that have been fortunate conquer-
ors, in their first years, it being not possible for
them to go forward infinitely, but that they must
have some check, or arrest in their fortunes, turn
in their latter years to be superstitious, and melan-
choly; as did Alexander the Great; Diocletian; and
in our memory, Charles the Fifth; and others: for
he that is used to go forward, and findeth a stop,
falleth out of his own favor, and is not the thing
he was.

To speak now of the true temper of empire, it is
a thing rare and hard to keep; for both temper, and
distemper, consist of contraries. But it is one thing,
to mingle contraries, another to interchange them.
The answer of Apollonius to Vespasian, is full of
excellent instruction. Vespasian asked him, What
was Nero's overthrow? He answered, Nero could
touch and tune the harp well; but in government,
sometimes he used to wind the pins too high, some-
times to let them down too low. And certain it is,
that nothing destroyeth authority so much, as the
unequal and untimely interchange of power
pressed too far, and relaxed too much.

This is true, that the wisdom of all these latter
times, in princes' affairs, is rather fine deliveries,
and shiftings of dangers and mischiefs, when they
are near, than solid and grounded courses to keep
them aloof. But this is but to try masteries with
fortune. And let men beware, how they neglect
and suffer matter of trouble to be prepared; for no
man can forbid the spark, nor tell whence it may
come. The difficulties in princes' business are many
and great; but the greatest difficulty, is often in
their own mind. For it is common with princes
(saith Tacitus) to will contradictories, Sunt pler-
umque regum voluntates vehementes, et inter se
contrariae. For it is the solecism of power, to think
to command the end, and yet not to endure the

Kings have to deal with their neighbors, their
wives, their children, their prelates or clergy, their
nobles, their second-nobles or gentlemen, their
merchants, their commons, and their men of war;
and from all these arise dangers, if care and cir-
cumspection be not used.

First for their neighbors; there can no general
rule be given (for occasions are so variable), save
one, which ever holdeth, which is, that princes do
keep due sentinel, that none of their neighbors do
ever grow so (by increase of territory, by embrac-
ing of trade, by approaches, or the like), as they
become more able to annoy them, than they were.
And this is generally the work of standing coun-
sels, to foresee and to hinder it. During that trium-
virate of kings, King Henry the Eighth of England,
Francis the First King of France, and Charles the
Fifth Emperor, there was such a watch kept, that
none of the three could win a palm of ground, but
the other two would straightways balance it,
either by confederation, or, if need were, by a war;
and would not in any wise take up peace at inter-
est. And the like was done by that league (which
Guicciardini saith was the security of Italy) made
between Ferdinando King of Naples, Lorenzius
Medici, and Ludovicus Sforza, potentates, the one
of Florence, the other of Milan. Neither is the opin-
ion of some of the Schoolmen, to be received, that a
war cannot justly be made, but upon a precedent
injury or provocation. For there is no question, but
a just fear of an imminent danger, though there be
no blow given, is a lawful cause of a war.

For their wives; there are cruel examples of
them. Livia is infamed, for the poisoning of her
husband; Roxalana, Solyman's wife, was the
destruction of that renowned prince, Sultan Mus-
tapha, and otherwise troubled his house and suc-
cession; Edward the Second of England, his queen,
had the principal hand in the deposing and mur-
der of her husband. This kind of danger, is then to
be feared chiefly, when the wives have plots, for
the raising of their own children; or else that they
be advoutresses.

For their children; the tragedies likewise of
dangers from them, have been many. And gen-
erally, the entering of fathers into suspicion of
their children, hath been ever unfortunate. The
destruction of Mustapha (that we named before)
was so fatal to Solyman's line, as the succession of
the Turks, from Solyman until this day, is sus-
pected to be untrue, and of strange blood; for that
Selymus the Second, was thought to be supposi-
tious. The destruction of Crispus, a young prince of
rare towardness, by Constantinus the Great, his
father, was in like manner fatal to his house; for
both Constantinus and Constance, his sons, died
violent deaths; and Constantius, his other son, did
little better; who died indeed of sickness, but after
that Julianus had taken arms against him. The de-
struction of Demetrius, son to Philip the Second of
Macedon, turned upon the father, who died of
repentance. And many like examples there are;
but few or none, where the fathers had good by
such distrust; except it were, where the sons were
up in open arms against them; as was Selymus the
First against Bajazet; and the three sons of Henry
the Second, King of England.

For their prelates; when they are proud and
great, there is also danger from them; as it was in
the times of Anselmus, and Thomas Becket, Arch-
bishops of Canterbury; who, with their croziers,
did almost try it with the king's sword; and yet
they had to deal with stout and haughty kings,
William Rufus, Henry the First, and Henry the
Second. The danger is not from that state, but
where it hath a dependence of foreign authority;
or where the churchmen come in and are elected,
not by the collation of the king, or particular
patrons, but by the people.

For their nobles; to keep them at a distance, it is
not amiss; but to depress them, may make a king
more absolute, but less safe; and less able to per-
form, any thing that he desires. I have noted it, in
my History of King Henry the Seventh of Eng-
land, who depressed bis nobility; whereupon it
came to pass, that his times were full of difficulties
and troubles; for the nobility, though they con-
tinued loyal unto him, yet did they not co-operate
with him in his business. So that in effect, he was
fain to do all things himself.

For their second-nobles; there is not much dan-
ger from them, being a body dispersed. They may
sometimes discourse high, but that doth little hurt;
besides, they are a counterpoise to the higher no-
bility, that they grow not too potent; and, lastly,
being the most immediate in authority, with the
common people, they do best temper popular com-

For their merchants; they are vena porta; and
if they flourish not, a kingdom may have good
limbs, but will have empty veins, and nourish
little. Taxes and imposts upon them, do seldom
good to the king's revenue; for that that he wins in
the hundred, he leeseth in the shire; the particular
rates being increased, but the total bulk of trading,
rather decreased.

For their commons; there is little danger from
them, except it be, where they have great and po-
tent heads; or where you meddle with the point of
religion, or their customs, or means of life.

For their men of war; it is a dangerous state,
where they live and remain in a body, and are
used to donatives; whereof we see examples in the
janizaries, and pretorian bands of Rome; but train-
ings of men, and arming them in several places,
and under several commanders, and without
donatives, are things of defence, and no danger.

Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which cause
good or evil times; and which have much venera-
tion, but no rest. All precepts concerning kings,
are in effect comprehended in those two remem-
brances: memento quod es homo; and memento
quod es Deus, or vice Dei; the one bridleth their
power, and the other their will.

Of Counsel

THE greatest trust, between man and man, is
the trust of giving counsel. For in other con-
fidences, men commit the parts of life; their lands,
their goods, their children, their credit, some par-
ticular affair; but to such as they make their coun-
sellors, they commit the whole: by how much the
more, they are obliged to all faith and integrity.
The wisest princes need not think it any diminu-
tion to their greatness, or derogation to their suf-
ficiency, to rely upon counsel. God himself is not
without, but hath made it one of the great names
of his blessed Son: The Counsellor. Solomon hath
pronounced, that in counsel is stability. Things
will have their first, or second agitation: if they be
not tossed upon the arguments of counsel, they
will be tossed upon the waves of fortune; and be
full of inconstancy, doing and undoing, like the
reeling of a drunken man. Solomon's son found
the force of counsel, as his father saw the necessity
of it. For the beloved kingdom of God, was first
rent, and broken, by ill counsel; upon which coun-
sel, there are set for our instruction, the two marks
whereby bad counsel is for ever best discerned;
that it was young counsel, for the person; and
violent counsel, for the matter.

The ancient times, do set forth in figure, both
the incorporation, and inseparable conjunction, of
counsel with kings, and the wise and politic use of
counsel by kings: the one, in that they say Jupi-
ter did marry Metis, which signifieth counsel;
whereby they intend that Sovereignty, is married
to Counsel: the other in that which followeth,
which was thus: They say, after Jupiter was mar-
ried to Metis, she conceived by him, and was with
child, but Jupiter suffered her not to stay, till she
brought forth, but eat her up; whereby he became
himself with child, and was delivered of Pallas
armed, out of his head. Which monstrous fable
containeth a secret of empire; how kings are to
make use of their counsel of state. That first, they
ought to refer matters unto them, which is the first
begetting, or impregnation; but when they are
elaborate, moulded, and shaped in the womb of
their counsel, and grow ripe, and ready to be
brought forth, that then they suffer not their coun-
sel to go through with the resolution and direc-
tion, as if it depended on them; but take the matter
back into their own hands, and make it appear to
the world, that the decrees and final directions
(which, because they come forth, with prudence
and power, are resembled to Pallas armed) pro-
ceeded from themselves; and not only from their
authority, but (the more to add reputation to them-
selves) from their head and device.

Let us now speak of the inconveniences of coun-
sel, and of the remedies. The inconveniences that
have been noted, in calling and using counsel, are
three. First, the revealing of affairs, whereby they
become less secret. Secondly, the weakening of the
authority of princes, as if they were less of them-
selves. Thirdly, the danger of being unfaithfully
counselled, and more for the good of them that
counsel, than of him that is counselled. For which
inconveniences, the doctrine of Italy, and practice
of France, in some kings' times, hath introduced
cabinet counsels; a remedy worse than the disease.

As to secrecy; princes are not bound to commu-
nicate all matters, with all counsellors; but may
extract and select. Neither is it necessary, that he
that consulteth what he should do, should declare
what he will do. But let princes beware, that the
unsecreting of their affairs, comes not from them-
selves. And as for cabinet counsels, it may be their
motto, plenus rimarum sum: one futile person,
that maketh it his glory to tell, will do more hurt
than many, that know it their duty to conceal. It is
true there be some affairs, which require extreme
secrecy, which will hardly go beyond one or two
persons, besides the king: neither are those coun-
sels unprosperous; for, besides the secrecy, they
conunonly go on constantly, in one spirit of direc-
tion, without distraction. But then it must be a
prudent king, such as is able to grind with a hand-
mill; and those inward counsellors had need also
be wise men, and especially true and trusty to the
king's ends; as it was with King Henry the Seventh
of England, who, in his great business, imparted
himself to none, except it were to Morton and Fox.

For weakening of authority; the fable showeth
the remedy. Nay, the majesty of kings, is rather
exalted than diminished, when they are in the
chair of counsel; neither was there ever prince, be-
reaved of his dependences, by his counsel, except
where there hath been, either an over-greatness
in one counsellor, or an over-strict combination in
divers; which are things soon found, and holpen.

For the last inconvenience, that men will coun-
sel, with an eye to themselves; certainly, non
inveniet fidem super terram is meant, of the na-
ture of times, and not of all particular persons.
There be, that are in nature faithful, and sincere,
and plain, and direct; not crafty and involved; let
princes, above all, draw to themselves such na-
tures. Besides, counsellors are not commonly so
united, but that one counsellor, keepeth sentinel
over another; so that if any do counsel out of fac-
tion or private ends, it commonly comes to the
king's ear. But the best remedy is, if princes know
their counsellors, as well as their counsellors
know them:

Principis est virtus maxima nosse suos.

And on the other side, counsellors should not be
too speculative into their sovereign's person. The
true composition of a counsellor, is rather to be
skilful in their master's business, than in his na-
ture; for then he is like to advise him, and not feed
his humor. It is of singular use to princes, if they
take the opinions of their counsel, both separately
and together. For private opinion is more free;
but opinion before others, is more reverent. In
private, men are more bold in their own humors;
and in consort, men are more obnoxious to others'
humors; therefore it is good to take both; and of
the inferior sort, rather in private, to preserve free-
dom; of the greater, rather in consort, to preserve
respect. It is in vain for princes, to take counsel
concerning matters, if they take no counsel like-
wise concerning persons; for all matters are as
dead images; and the life of the execution of af-
fairs, resteth in the good choice of persons. Neither
is it enough, to consult concerning persons secun-
dum genera, as in an idea, or mathematical de-
scription, what the kind and character of the
person should be; for the greatest errors are com-
mitted, and the most judgment is shown, in the
choice of individuals. It was truly said, optimi con-
siliarii mortui: books will speak plain, when coun-
sellors blanch.Therefore it is good to be conversant
in them, specially the books of such as themselves
have been actors upon the stage.

The counsels at this day, in most places, are but
familiar meetings, where matters are rather talked
on, than debated. And they run too swift, to the
order, or act, of counsel. It were better that in
causes of weight, the matter were propounded one
day, and not spoken to till the next day; in nocte
consilium. So was it done in the Commission of
Union, between England and Scotland; which
was a grave and orderly assembly. I commend set
days for petitions; for both it gives the sudtors more
certainty for their attendance, and it frees the
meetings for matters of estate, that they may hoc
agere. In choice of committees; for ripening busi-
ness for the counsel, it is better to choose indifferent
persons, than to make an indifferency, by putting
in those, that are strong on both sides. I commend
also standing commissions; as for trade, for treas-
ure, for war, for suits, for some provinces; for
where there be divers particular counsels, and but
one counsel of estate (as it is in Spain), they are, in
effect, no more than standing commissions: save
that they have greater authority. Let such as are
to inform counsels, out of their particular profes-
sions (as lawyers, seamen, mintmen, and the like)
be first heard before committees; and then, as oc-
casion serves, before the counsel. And let them not
come in multitudes, or in a tribunitious manner;
for that is to clamor counsels, not to inform them.
A long table and a square table, or seats about the
walls, seem things of form, but are things of sub-
stance; for at a long table a few at the upper end, in
effect, sway all the business; but in the other form,
there is more use of the counsellors' opinions, that
sit lower. A king, when he presides in counsel, let
him beware how he opens his own inclination too
much, in that which he propoundeth; for else
counsellors will but take the wind of him, and in-
stead of giving free counsel, sing him a song of

Of Delays

FORTUNE is like the market; where many
times if you can stay a little, the price will fall.
Again, it is sometimes like Sibylla's offer; which at
first, offereth the commodity at full, then con-
sumeth part and part, and still holdeth up the
price. For occasion (as it is in the common verse)
turneth a bald noddle, after she hath presented her
locks in front, and no hold taken; or at least turneth
the handle of the bottle, first to be received, and
after the belly, which is hard to clasp. There is
surely no greater wisdom, than well to time the
beginnings, and onsets, of things. Dangers are no
more light, if they once seem light; and more dan-
gers have deceived men, than forced them. Nay,
it were better, to meet some dangers half way,
though they come nothing near, than to keep too
long a watch upon their approaches; for if a man
watch too long, it is odds he will fall asleep. On the
other side, to be deceived with too long shadows
(as some have been, when the moon was low, and
shone on their enemies' back), and so to shoot off
before the time; or to teach dangers to come on, by
over early buckling towards them; is another ex-
treme. The ripeness, or unripeness, of the occasion
(as we said) must ever be well weighed; and gener-
ally it is good, to commit the beginnings of all
great actions to Argus, with his hundred eyes, and
the ends to Briareus, with his hundred hands; first
to watch, and then to speed. For the helmet of
Pluto, which maketh the politic man go invisible,
is secrecy in the counsel, and celerity in the execu-
tion. For when things are once come to the execu-
tion, there is no secrecy, comparable to celerity;
like the motion of a bullet in the air, which flieth
so swift, as it outruns the eye.

Of Cunning

WE TAKE cunning for a sinister or crooked
wisdom. And certainly there is a great dif-
ference, between a cunning man, and a wise man;
not only in point of honesty, but in point of ability.
There be, that can pack the cards, and yet cannot
play well; so there are some that are good in can-
vasses and factions, that are otherwise weak men.
Again, it is one thing to understand persons, and
another thing to understand matters; for many
are perfect in men's humors, that are not greatly
capable of the real part of business; which is the
constitution of one that hath studied men, more
than books. Such men are fitter for practice, than
for counsel; and they are good, but in their own
alley: turn them to new men, and they have lost
their aim; so as the old rule, to know a fool from a
wise man, Mitte ambos nudos ad ignotos, et vide-
bis, doth scarce hold for them. And because these
cunning men, are like haberdashers of small
wares, it is not amiss to set forth their shop.

It is a point of cunning, to wait upon him with
whom you speak, with your eye; as the Jesuits give
it in precept: for there be many wise men, that
have secret hearts, and transparent countenances.
Yet this would be done with a demure abasing of
your eye, sometimes, as the Jesuits also do use.

Another is, that when you have anything to
obtain, of present despatch, you entertain and
amuse the party, with whom you deal, with some
other discourse; that he be not too much awake to
make objections. I knew a counsellor and secre-
tary, that never came to Queen Elizabeth of Eng-
land, with bills to sign, but he would always first
put her into some discourse of estate, that she
mought the less mind the bills.

The like surprise may be made by moving
things, when the party is in haste, and cannot stay
to consider advisedly of that is moved.

If a man would cross a business, that he doubts
some other would handsomely and effectually
move, let him pretend to wish it well, and move it
himself in such sort as may foil it.

The breaking off, in the midst of that one was
about to say, as if he took himself up, breeds a
greater appetite in him with whom you confer, to
know more.

And because it works better, when anything
seemeth to be gotten from you by question, than
if you offer it of yourself, you may lay a bait for a
question, by showing another visage, and counte-
nance, than you are wont; to the end to give occa-
sion, for the party to ask, what the matter is of the
change? As Nehemias did; And I had not before
that time, been sad before the king.

In things that are tender and unpleasing, it is
good to break the ice, by some whose words are of
less weight, and to reserve the more weighty voice,
to come in as by chance, so that he may be asked
the question upon the other's speech: as Narcissus
did, relating to Claudius the marriage of Messa-
lina and Silius.

In things that a man would not be seen in him-
self, it is a point of cunning, to borrow the name of
the world; as to say, The world says, or There is a
speech abroad.

I knew one that, when he wrote a letter, he
would put that, which was most material, in the
postscript, as if it had been a by-matter.

I knew another that, when he came to have
speech, he would pass over that, that he intended
most; and go forth, and come back again, and
speak of it as of a thing, that he had almost forgot.

Some procure themselves, to be surprised, at
such times as it is like the party that they work
upon, will suddenly come upon them; and to be
found with a letter in their hand, or doing some-
what which they are not accustomed; to the end,
they may be apposed of those things, which of
themselves they are desirous to utter.

It is a point of cunning, to let fall those words in
a man's own name, which he would have another
man learn, and use, and thereupon take advan-
tage. I knew two, that were competitors for the
secretary's place in Queen Elizabeth's time, and
yet kept good quarter between themselves; and
would confer, one with another, upon the busi-
ness; and the one of them said, That to be a secre-
tary, in the declination of a monarchy, was a
ticklish thing, and that he did not affect it: the
other straight caught up those words, and dis-
coursed with divers of his friends, that he had no
reason to desire to be secretary, in the declination
of a monarchy. The first man took hold of it, and
found means it was told the Queen; who, hearing
of a declination of a monarchy, took it so ill, as she
would never after hear of the other's suit.

There is a cunning, which we in England call,
the turning of the cat in the pan; which is, when
that which a man says to another, he lays it as if
another had said it to him. And to say truth, it is
not easy, when such a matter passed between two,
to make it appear from which of them it first
moved and began.

It is a way that some men have, to glance and
dart at others, by justifying themselves by nega-
tives; as to say, This I do not; as Tigellinus did
towards Burrhus, Se non diversas spes, sed incolu-
mitatem imperatoris simpliciter spectare.

Some have in readiness so many tales and
stories, as there is nothing they would insinuate,
but they can wrap it into a tale; which serveth both
to keep themselves more in guard, and to make
others carry it with more pleasure. It is a good
point of cunning, for a man to shape the answer
he would have, in his own words and propositions;
for it makes the other party stick the less.

It is strange how long some men will lie in wait
to speak somewhat they desire to say; and how far
about they will fetch; and how many other mat-
ters they will beat over, to come near it. It is a thing
of great patience, but yet of much use.

A sudden, bold, and unexpected question doth
many times surprise a man, and lay him open.
Like to him that , having changed his name, and
walking in Paul's, another suddenly came behind
him, and called him by his true name, whereat
straightways he looked back.

But these small wares, and petty points, of cun-
ning, are infinite; and it were a good deed to make
a list of them; for that nothing doth more hurt in
a state, than that cunning men pass for wise.

But certainly some there are that know the re-
sorts and falls of business, that cannot sink into
the main of it; like a house that hath convenient
stairs and entries, but never a fair room. Therefore,
you shall see them find out pretty looses in the con-
clusion, but are no ways able to examine or debate
matters. And yet commonly they take advantage
of their inability, and would be thought wits of
direction. Some build rather upon the abusing of
others, and (as we now say) putting tricks upon
them, than upon soundness of their own proceed-
ings. But Solomon saith, Prudens advertit ad gres-
sus suos; stultus divertit ad dolos.

Of Wisdom

AN ANT is a wise creature for itself, but it is a
shrewd thing, in an orchard or garden. And
certainly, men that are great lovers of themselves,
waste the public. Divide with reason; between self-
love and society; and be so true to thyself, as thou
be not false to others; specially to thy king and
country. It is a poor centre of a man's actions, him-
self. It is right earth. For that only stands fast upon
his own centre; whereas all things, that have af-
finity with the heavens, move upon the centre of
another, which they benefit. The referring of all
to a man's self, is more tolerable in a sovereign
prince; because themselves are not only them-
selves, but their good and evil is at the peril of the
public fortune. But it is a desperate evil, in a ser-
vant to a prince, or a citizen in a republic. For
whatsoever affairs pass such a man's hands, he
crooketh them to his own ends; which must needs
be often eccentric to the ends of his master, or state.
Therefore, let princes, or states, choose such ser-
vants, as have not this mark; except they mean
their service should be made but the accessory.
That which maketh the effect more pernicious, is
that all proportion is lost. It were disproportion
enough, for the servant's good to be preferred be-
fore the master's; but yet it is a greater extreme,
when a little good of the servant, shall carry things
against a great good of the master's. And yet that
is the case of bad officers, treasurers, ambassadors,
generals, and other false and corrupt servants;
which set a bias upon their bowl, of their own
petty ends and envies, to the overthrow of their
master's great and important affairs. And for the
most part, the good such servants receive, is after
the model of their own fortune; but the hurt they
sell for that good, is after the model of their
master's fortune. And certainly it is the nature of
extreme self-lovers, as they will set an house on fire,
and it were but to roast their eggs; and yet these
men many times hold credit with their masters,
because their study is but to please them, and profit
themselves; and for either respect, they will aban-
don the good of their affairs.

Wisdom for a man's self is, in many branches
thereof, a depraved thing. It is the wisdom of rats,
that will be sure to leave a house, somewhat before
it fall. It is the wisdom of the fox, that thrusts out
the badger, who digged and made room for him.
It is the wisdom of crocodiles, that shed tears when
they would devour. But that which is specially to
be noted is, that those which (as Cicero says of
Pompey) are sui amantes, sine rivali, are many
times unfortunate. And whereas they have, all
their times, sacrificed to themselves, they become
in the end, themselves sacrifices to the inconstancy
of fortune, whose wings they thought, by their
self-wisdom, to have pinioned.

Of Innovations

AS THE births of living creatures, at first are ill-
shapen, so are all innovations, which are the
births of time. Yet notwithstanding, as those that
first bring honor into their family, are commonly
more worthy than most that succeed, so the first
precedent (if it be good) is seldom attained by
imitation. For ill, to man's nature, as it stands
perverted, hath a natural motion, strongest in con-
tinuance; but good, as a forced motion, strongest
at first. Surely every medicine is an innovation;
and he that will not apply new remedies, must
expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator;
and if time of course alter things to the worse, and
wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the
better, what shall be the end? It is true, that what
is settled by custom, though it be not good, yet at
least it is fit; and those things which have long
gone together, are, as it were, confederate within
themselves; whereas new things piece not so well;
but though they help by their utility, yet they
trouble by their inconformity. Besides, they are
like strangers; more admired, and less favored. All
this is true, if time stood still; which contrariwise
moveth so round, that a froward retention of cus-
tom, is as turbulent a thing as an innovation; and
they that reverence too much old times, are but a
scorn to the new. It were good, therefore, that men
in their innovations would follow the example of
time itself; which indeed innovateth greatly, but
quietly, by degrees scarce to be perceived. For
otherwise, whatsoever is new is unlooked for; and
ever it mends some, and pairs others; and he that
is holpen, takes it for a fortune, and thanks the
time; and he that is hurt, for a wrong, and imput-
eth it to the author. It is good also, not to try experi-
ments in states, except the necessity be urgent, or
the utility evident; and well to beware, that it be
the reformation, that draweth on the change, and
not the desire of change, that pretendeth the refor-
mation. And lastly, that the novelty, though it be
not rejected, yet be held for a suspect; and, as the
Scripture saith, that we make a stand upon the
ancient way, and then look about us, and discover
what is the straight and right way, and so to walk
in it.

Of Dispatch

AFFECTED dispatch is one of the most danger-
ous things to business that can be. It is like
that, which the physicians call predigestion, or
hasty digestion; which is sure to fill the body full of
crudities, and secret seeds of diseases. Therefore
measure not dispatch, by the times of sitting, but
by the advancement of the business. And as in
races it is not the large stride or high lift that makes
the speed; so in business, the keeping close to the
matter, and not taking of it too much at once, pro-
cureth dispatch. It is the care of some, only to come
off speedily for the time; or to contrive some false
periods of business, because they may seem men
of dispatch. But it is one thing, to abbreviate by
contracting, another by cutting off . And business
so handled, at several sittings or meetings, goeth
commonly backward and forward in an unsteady
manner. I knew a wise man that had it for a by-
word, when he saw men hasten to a conclusion,
Stay a little, that we may make an end the sooner.

On the other side, true dispatch is a rich thing.
For time is the measure of business, as money is
of wares; and business is bought at a dear hand,
where there is small dispatch. The Spartans and
Spaniards have been noted to be of small dispatch;
Mi venga la muerte de Spagna; Let my death come
from Spain; for then it will be sure to be long in

Give good hearing to those, that give the first
information in business; and rather direct them
in the beginning, than interrupt them in the con-
tinuance of their speeches; for he that is put out of
his own order, will go forward and backward, and
be more tedious, while he waits upon his memory,
than he could have been, if he had gone on in his
own course. But sometimes it is seen, that the
moderator is more troublesome, than the actor.

Iterations are commonly loss of time. But there
is no such gain of time, as to iterate often the state
of the question; for it chaseth away many a frivo-
lous speech, as it is coming forth. Long and curious
speeches, are as fit for dispatch, as a robe or mantle,
with a long train, is for race. Prefaces and pas-
sages, and excusations, and other speeches of refer-
ence to the person, are great wastes of time; and
though they seem to proceed of modesty, they are
bravery. Yet beware of being too material, when
there is any impediment or obstruction in men's
wills; for pre-occupation of mind ever requireth
preface of speech; like a fomentation to make the
unguent enter.

Above all things, order, and distribution, and
singling out of parts, is the life of dispatch; so as the
distribution be not too subtle: for he that doth not
divide, will never enter well into business; and he
that divideth too much, will never come out of it
clearly. To choose time, is to save time; and an un-
seasonable motion, is but beating the air. There be
three parts of business; the preparation, the debate
or examination, and the perfection. Whereof, if
you look for dispatch, let the middle only be the
work of many, and the first and last the work of
few. The proceeding upon somewhat conceived in
writing, doth for the most part facilitate dispatch:
for though it should be wholly rejected, yet that
negative is more pregnant of direction, than an
indefinite; as ashes are more generative than dust.

Of Seeming Wise

IT HATH been an opinion, that the French are
wiser than they seem, and the Spaniards seem
wiser than they are. But howsoever it be between
nations, certainly it is so between man and man.
For as the Apostle saith of godliness, Having a
show of godliness, but denying the power thereof;
so certainly there are, in point of wisdom and suf-
ficiently, that do nothing or little very solemnly:
magno conatu nugas. It is a ridiculous thing, and
fit for a satire to persons of judgment, to see what
shifts these formalists have, and what prospectives
to make superficies to seem body, that hath depth
and bulk. Some are so close and reserved, as they
will not show their wares, but by a dark light; and
seem always to keep back somewhat; and when
they know within themselves, they speak of that
they do not well know, would nevertheless seem
to others, to know of that which they may not well
speak. Some help themselves with countenance
and gesture, and are wise by signs; as Cicero saith
of Piso, that when he answered him, he fetched
one of his brows up to his forehead, and bent the
other down to his chin; Respondes, altero ad fron-
tem sublato, altero ad mentum depresso super-
cilio, crudelitatem tibi non placere. Some think
to bear it by speaking a great word, and being per-
emptory; and go on, and take by admittance, that
which they cannot make good. Some, whatsoever
is beyond their reach, will seem to despise, or make
light of it, as impertinent or curious; and so would
have their ignorance seem judgment. Some are
never without a difference, and commonly by
amusing men with a subtilty, blanch the matter;
of whom A. Gellius saith, Hominem delirum, qui
verborum minutiis rerum frangit pondera. Of
which kind also, Plato, in his Protagoras, bringeth
in Prodius in scorn, and maketh him make a
speech, that consisteth of distinction from the be-
ginning to the end. Generally, such men in all
deliberations find ease to be of the negative side,
and affect a credit to object and foretell difficul-
ties; for when propositions are denied, there is an
end of them; but if they be allowed, it requireth a
new work; which false point of wisdom is the bane
of business. To conclude, there is no decaying mer-
chant, or inward beggar, hath so many tricks to
uphold the credit of their wealth, as these empty
persons have, to maintain the credit of their suf-
ficiency. Seeming wise men may make shift to get
opinion; but let no man choose them for employ-
ment; for certainly you were better take for busi-
ness, a man somewhat absurd, than over-formal.

Of Friendship

IT HAD been hard for him that spake it to have
put more truth and untruth together in few
words, than in that speech, Whatsoever is delighted
in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god. For it is
most true, that a natural and secret hatred, and
aversation towards society, in any man, hath
somewhat of the savage beast; but it is most un-
true, that it should have any character at all, of the
divine nature; except it proceed, not out of a pleas-
ure in solitude, but out of a love and desire to
sequester a man's self, for a higher conversation:
such as is found to have been falsely and feignedly
in some of the heathen; as Epimenides the Can-
dian, Numa the Roman, Empedocles the Sicilian,
and Apollonius of Tyana; and truly and really, in
divers of the ancient hermits and holy fathers of
the church. But little do men perceive what soli-
tude is, and how far it extendeth. For a crowd is
not company; and faces are but a gallery of pic-
tures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where
there is no love. The Latin adage meeteth with it a
little: Magna civitas, magna solitudo; because in
a great town friends are scattered; so that there is
not that fellowship, for the most part, which is in
less neighborhoods. But we may go further, and
affirm most truly, that it is a mere and miserable
solitude to want true friends; without which the
world is but a wilderness; and even in this sense
also of solitude, whosoever in the frame of his
nature and affections, is unfit for friendship, he
taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity.

A principal fruit of friendship, is the ease and
discharge of the fulness and swellings of the heart,
which passions of all kinds do cause and induce.
We know diseases of stoppings, and suffocations,
are the most dangerous in the body; and it is not
much otherwise in the mind; you may take sarza
to open the liver, steel to open the spleen, flowers
of sulphur for the lungs, castoreum for the brain;
but no receipt openeth the heart, but a true friend;
to whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes,
suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon
the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or

It is a strange thing to observe, how high a rate
great kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of
friendship, whereof we speak: so great, as they
purchase it, many times, at the hazard of their
own safety and greatness. For princes, in regard
of the distance of their fortune from that of their
subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit, ex-
cept (to make themselves capable thereof) they
raise some persons to be, as it were, companions
and almost equals to themselves, which many
times sorteth to inconvenience. The modern lan-
guages give unto such persons the name of favor-
ites, or privadoes; as if it were matter of grace, or
conversation. But the Roman name attaineth the
true use and cause thereof, naming them parti-
cipes curarum; for it is that which tieth the knot.
And we see plainly that this hath been done, not
by weak and passionate princes only, but by the
wisest and most politic that ever reigned; who
have oftentimes joined to themselves some of
their servants; whom both themselves have called
friends, and allowed other likewise to call them in
the same manner; using the word which is re-
ceived between private men.

L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised
Pompey (after surnamed the Great) to that height,
that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla's over-
match. For when he had carried the consulship for
a friend of his, against the pursuit of Sylla, and
that Sylla did a little resent thereat, and began to
speak great, Pompey turned upon him again, and
in effect bade him be quiet; for that more men
adored the sun rising, than the sun setting. With
Julius Caesar, Decimus Brutus had obtained that
interest as he set him down in his testament, for
heir in remainder, after his nephew. And this was
the man that had power with him, to draw him
forth to his death. For when Caesar would have
discharged the senate, in regard of some ill pres-
ages, and specially a dream of Calpurnia; this
man lifted him gently by the arm out of his chair,
telling him he hoped he would not dismiss the
senate, till his wife had dreamt a better dream.
And it seemeth his favor was so great, as Antonius,
in a letter which is recited verbatim in one of
Cicero's Philippics, calleth him venefica, witch;
as if he had enchanted Caesar. Augustus raised
Agrippa (though of mean birth) to that height, as
when he consulted with Maecenas, about the mar-
riage of his daughter Julia, Maecenas took the
liberty to tell him, that he must either marry his
daughter to Agrippa, or take away his life; there
was no third way, he had made him so great. With
Tiberius Caesar, Sejanus had ascended to that
height, as they two were termed, and reckoned, as
a pair of friends. Tiberius in a letter to him saith,
Haec pro amicitia nostra non occultavi; and the
whole senate dedicated an altar to Friendship, as
to a goddess, in respect of the great dearness of
friendship, between them two. The like, or more,
was between Septimius Severus and Plautianus.
For he forced his eldest son to marry the daughter
of Plautianus; and would often maintain Plau-
tianus, in doing affronts to his son; and did write
also in a letter to the senate, by these words: I love
the man so well, as I wish he may over-live me.
Now if these princes had been as a Trajan, or a
Marcus Aurelius, a man might have thought that
this had proceeded of an abundant goodness of
nature; but being men so wise, of such strength
and severity of mind, and so extreme lovers of
themselves, as all these were, it proveth most
plainly that they found their own felicity (though
as great as ever happened to mortal men) but as
an half piece, except they mought have a friend,
to make it entire; and yet, which is more, they
were princes that had wives, sons, nephews; and
yet all these could not supply the comfort of friend-

It is not to be forgotten, what Comineus observ-
eth of his first master, Duke Charles the Hardy,
namely, that he would communicate his secrets
with none; and least of all, those secrets which
troubled him most. Whereupon he goeth on, and
saith that towards his latter time, that closeness
did impair, and a little perish his understanding.
Surely Comineus mought have made the same
judgment also, if it had pleased him, of his second
master, Lewis the Eleventh, whose closeness was
indeed his tormentor. The parable of Pythagoras
is dark, but true; Cor ne edito; Eat not the heart.
Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase,
those that want friends, to open themselves unto,
are carnnibals of their own hearts. But one thing
is most admirable (wherewith I will conclude this
first fruit of friendship), which is, that this com-
municating of a man's self to his friend, works
two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, and
cutteth griefs in halves. For there is no man, that
imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the
more; and no man that imparteth his griefs to his
friend, but he grieveth the less. So that it is in truth,
of operation upon a man's mind, of like virtue as
the alchemists use to attribute to their stone, for
man's body; that it worketh all contrary effects,
but still to the good and benefit of nature. But yet
without praying in aid of alchemists, there is a
manifest image of this, in the ordinary course of
nature. For in bodies, union strengtheneth and
cherisheth any natural action; and on the other
side, weakeneth and dulleth any violent impres-
sion: and even so it is of minds.

The second fruit of friendship, is healthful and
sovereign for the understanding, as the first is for
the affections. For friendship maketh indeed a fair
day in the affections, from storm and tempests; but
it maketh daylight in the understanding, out of
darkness, and confusion of thoughts. Neither is
this to be understood only of faithful counsel,
which a man receiveth from his friend; but before
you come to that, certain it is, that whosoever hath
his mind fraught with many thoughts, his wits
and understanding do clarify and break up, in the
communicating and discoursing with another; he
tosseth his thoughts more easily; he marshalleth
them more orderly, he seeth how they look when
they are turned into words: finally, he waxeth
wiser than himself; and that more by an hour's
discourse, than by a day's meditation. It was well
said by Themistocles, to the king of Persia, That
speech was like cloth of Arras, opened and put
abroad; whereby the imagery doth appear in
figure; whereas in thoughts they lie but as in
packs. Neither is this second fruit of friendship, in
opening the understanding, restrained only to
such friends as are able to give a man counsel;
(they indeed are best;) but even without that, a
man learneth of himself, and bringeth his own
thoughts to light, and whetteth his wits as against
a stone, which itself cuts not. In a word, a man
were better relate himself to a statua, or picture,
than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother.

Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship
complete, that other point, which lieth more open,
and falleth within vulgar observation; which is
faithful counsel from a friend. Heraclitus saith
well in one of his enigmas, Dry light is ever the
best. And certain it is, that the light that a man
receiveth by counsel from another, is drier and
purer, than that which cometh from his own
understanding and judgment; which is ever in-
fused, and drenched, in his affections and customs.
So as there is as much difference between the coun-
sel, that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth
himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend,
and of a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as
is a man's self; and there is no such remedy against
flattery of a man's self, as the liberty of a friend.
Counsel is of two sorts: the one concerning man-
ners, the other concerning business. For the first,
the best preservative to keep the mind in health, is
the faithful admonition of a friend. The calling of
a man's self to a strict account, is a medicine, some-
time too piercing and corrosive. Reading good
books of morality, is a little flat and dead. Observ-
ing our faults in others, is sometimes improper for
our case. But the best receipt (best, I say, to work,
and best to take) is the admonition of a friend.
It is a strange thing to behold, what gross errors
and extreme absurdities many (especially of the
greater sort) do commit, for want of a friend to tell
them of them; to the great damage both of their
fame and fortune: for, as St. James saith, they are
as men that look sometimes into a glass, and pres-
ently forget their own shape and favor. As for
business, a man may think, if he win, that two
eyes see no more than one; or that a gamester seeth
always more than a looker-on; or that a man in
anger, is as wise as he that hath said over the four
and twenty letters; or that a musket may be shot
off as well upon the arm, as upon a rest; and such
other fond and high imaginations, to think him-
self all in all. But when all is done, the help of good
counsel, is that which setteth business straight.
And if any man think that he will take counsel,
but it shall be by pieces; asking counsel in one
business, of one man, and in another business, of
another man; it is well (that is to say, better, per-
haps, than if he asked none at all); but he runneth
two dangers: one, that he shall not be faithfully
counselled; for it is a rare thing, except it be from
a perfect and entire friend, to have counsel given,
but such as shall be bowed and crooked to some
ends, which he hath, that giveth it. The other, that
he shall have counsel given, hurtful and unsafe
(though with good meaning), and mixed partly of
mischief and partly of remedy; even as if you
would call a physician, that is thought good for
the cure of the disease you complain of, but is unac-
quainted with your body; and therefore may put
you in way for a present cure, but overthroweth
your health in some other kind; and so cure the
disease, and kill the patient. But a friend that is
wholly acquainted with a man's estate, will be-
ware, by furthering any present business, how he
dasheth upon other inconvenience. And therefore
rest not upon scattered counsels; they will rather
distract and mislead, than settle and direct.

After these two noble fruits of friendship (peace
in the affections, and support of the judgment),
followeth the last fruit; which is like the pome-
granate, full of many kernels; I mean aid, and
bearing a part, in all actions and occasions. Here
the best way to represent to life the manifold use
of friendship, is to cast and see how many things
there are, which a man cannot do himself; and
then it will appear, that it was a sparing speech of
the ancients, to say, that a friend is another him-
self; for that a friend is far more than himself.
Men have their time, and die many times, in de-
sire of some things which they principally take to
heart; the bestowing of a child, the finishing of a
work, or the like. If a man have a true friend, he
may rest almost secure that the care of those things
will continue after him. So that a man hath, as it
were, two lives in his desires. A man hath a body,
and that body is confined to a place; but where
friendship is, all offices of life are as it were granted
to him, and his deputy. For he may exercise them
by his friend. How many things are there which
a man cannot, with any face or comeliness, say or
do himself? A man can scarce allege his own
merits with modesty, much less extol them; a man
cannot sometimes brook to supplicate or beg; and
a number of the like. But all these things are grace-
ful, in a friend's mouth, which are blushing in a
man's own. So again, a man's person hath many
proper relations, which he cannot put off. A man
cannot speak to his son but as a father; to his wife
but as a husband; to his enemy but upon terms:
whereas a friend may speak as the case requires,
and not as it sorteth with the person. But to enu-
merate these things were endless; I have given the
rule, where a man cannot fitly play his own part;
if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage.

Of Expense

RICHES are for spending, and spending for
honor and good actions. Therefore extra-
ordinary expense must be limited by the worth of
the occasion; for voluntary undoing, may be as
well for a man's country, as for the kingdom of
heaven. But ordinary expense, ought to be limited
by a man's estate; and governed with such regard,
as it be within his compass; and not subject to de-
ceit and abuse of servants; and ordered to the best
show, that the bills may be less than the estima-
tion abroad. Certainly, if a man will keep but of
even hand, his ordinary expenses ought to be but
to the half of his receipts; and if he think to wax
rich, but to the third part. It is no baseness, for the
greatest to descend and look into their own estate.
Some forbear it, not upon negligence alone, but
doubting to bring themselves into melancholy, in
respect they shall find it broken. But wounds can-
not be cured without searching. He that cannot
look into his own estate at all, had need both choose
well those whom he employeth, and change them
often; for new are more timorous and less subtle.
He that can look into his estate but seldom, it be-
hooveth him to turn all to certainties. A man had
need, if he be plentiful in some kind of expense, to
be as saving again in some other. As if he be plenti-
ful in diet, to be saving in apparel; if he be plenti-
ful in the hall, to be saving in the stable; and the
like. For he that is plentiful in expenses of all kinds,
will hardly be preserved from decay. In clearing
of a man's estate, he may as well hurt himself in
being too sudden, as in letting it run on too long.
For hasty selling, is commonly as disadvantage-
able as interest. Besides, he that clears at once will
relapse; for finding himself out of straits, he will
revert to his custom: but he that cleareth by de-
grees, induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth
as well upon his mind, as upon his estate. Cer-
tainly, who hath a state to repair, may not despise
small things; and commonly it is less dishonor-
able, to abridge petty charges, than to stoop to
petty gettings. A man ought warily to begin
charges which once begun will continue; but in
matters that return not, he may be more magni-

Of the True

THE speech of Themistocles the Athenian,
which was haughty and arrogant, in taking
so much to himself, had been a grave and wise
observation and censure, applied at large to others.
Desired at a feast to touch a lute, he said, He could
not fiddle, but yet he could make a small town, a
great city. These words (holpen a little with a
metaphor) may express two differing abilities, in
those that deal in business of estate. For if a true
survey be taken of counsellors and statesmen,
there may be found (though rarely) those which
can make a small state great, and yet cannot fid-
dle; as on the other side, there will be found a great
many, that can fiddle very cunningly, but yet are
so far from being able to make a small state great,
as their gift lieth the other way; to bring a great
and flourishing estate, to ruin and decay. And cer-
tainly whose degenerate arts and shifts, whereby
many counsellors and governors gain both favor
with their masters, and estimation with the vulgar,
deserve no better name than fiddling; being things
rather pleasing for the time, and graceful to them-
selves only, than tending to the weal and advance-
ment of the state which they serve. There are also
(no doubt) counsellors and governors which may
be held sufficient (negotiis pares), able to manage
affairs, and to keep them from precipices and
manifest inconveniences; which nevertheless are
far from the ability to raise and amplify an estate
in power, means, and fortune. But be the workmen
what they may be, let us speak of the work; that
is, the true greatness of kingdoms and estates, and
the means thereof. An argument fit for great and
mighty princes to have in their hand; to the end
that neither by over-measuring their forces, they
leese themselves in vain enterprises; nor on the
other side, by undervaluing them, they descend to
fearful and pusillanimous counsels.

The greatness of an estate, in bulk and territory,
doth fall under measure; and the greatness of
finances and revenue, doth fall under computa-
tion. The population may appear by musters; and
the number and greatness of cities and towns by
cards and maps. But yet there is not any thing
amongst civil affairs more subject to error, than
the right valuation and true judgment concerning
the power and forces of an estate. The kingdom of
heaven is compared, not to any great kernel or nut,
but to a grain of mustard-seed: which is one of the
least grains, but hath in it a property and spirit
hastily to get up and spread. So are there states,
great in territory, and yet not apt to enlarge or
command; and some that have but a small dimen-
sion of stem, and yet apt to be the foundations of
great monarchies.

Walled towns, stored arsenals and armories,
goodly races of horse, chariots of war, elephants,
ordnance, artillery, and the like; all this is but a
sheep in a lion's skin, except the breed and disposi-
tion of the people, be stout and warlike. Nay, num-
ber (itself) in armies importeth not much, where
the people is of weak courage; for (as Virgil saith)
It never troubles a wolf, how many the sheep be.
The army of the Persians, in the plains of Arbela,
was such a vast sea of people, as it did somewhat
astonish the commanders in Alexander's army;
who came to him therefore, and wished him to set
upon them by night; and he answered, He would
not pilfer the victory. And the defeat was easy.
When Tigranes the Armenian, being encamped
upon a hill with four hundred thousand men, dis-
covered the army of the Romans, being not above
fourteen thousand, marching towards him, he
made himself merry with it, and said, Yonder men
are too many for an embassage, and too few for a
fight. But before the sun set, he found them enow
to give him the chase with infinite slaughter.
Many are the examples of the great odds, between
number and courage; so that a man may truly
make a judgment, that the principal point of great-
ness in any state, is to have a race of military men.
Neither is money the sinews of war (as it is trivially
said), where the sinews of men's arms, in base and
effeminate people, are failing. For Solon said well
to Croesus (when in ostentation he showed him his
gold), Sir, if any other come, that hath better iron,
than you, he will be master of all this gold. There-
fore let any prince or state think solely of his forces,
except his militia of natives be of good and valiant
soldiers. And let princes, on the other side, that
have subjects of martial disposition, know their
own strength; unless they be otherwise wanting
unto themselves. As for mercenary forces (which
is the help in this case), all examples show, that
whatsoever estate or prince doth rest upon them,
he may spread his feathers for a time, but he will
mew them soon after.

The blessing of Judah and Issachar will never
meet; that the same people, or nation, should be
both the lion's whelp and the ass between bur-
thens; neither will it be, that a people overlaid
with taxes, should ever become valiant and mar-
tial. It is true that taxes levied by consent of the
estate, do abate men's courage less: as it hath been
seen notably, in the excises of the Low Countries;
and, in some degree, in the subsidies of England.
For you must note, that we speak now of the heart,
and not of the purse. So that although the same
tribute and tax, laid by consent or by imposing, be
all one to the purse, yet it works diversely upon the
courage. So that you may conclude, that no people
overcharged with tribute, is fit for empire.

Let states that aim at greatness, take heed how
their nobility and gentlemen do multiply too fast.
For that maketh the common subject, grow to be a
peasant and base swain, driven out of heart, and in
effect but the gentleman's laborer. Even as you
may see in coppice woods; if you leave your stad-
dles too thick, you shall never have clean under-
wood, but shrubs and bushes. So in countries, if the
gentlemen be too many, the commons will be base;
and you will bring it to that, that not the hundred
poll, will be fit for an helmet; especially as to the
infantry, which is the nerve of an army; and so
there will be great population, and little strength.
This which I speak of, hath been nowhere better
seen, than by comparing of England and France;
whereof England, though far less in territory and
population, hath been (nevertheless) an over-
match; in regard the middle people of England
make good soldiers, which the peasants of France
do not. And herein the device of king Henry the
Seventh (whereof I have spoken largely in the
History of his Life) was profound and admirable;
in making farms and houses of husbandry of a
standard; that is, maintained with such a propor-
tion of land unto them, as may breed a subject to
live in convenient plenty and no servile condition;
and to keep the plough in the hands of the owners,
and not mere hirelings. And thus indeed you shall
attain to Virgil's character which he gives to an-
cient Italy:

Terra potens armis atque ubere glebae.

Neither is that state (which, for any thing I know,
is almost peculiar to England, and hardly to be
found anywhere else, except it be perhaps in
Poland) to be passed over; I mean the state of free
servants, and attendants upon noblemen and
gentlemen; which are no ways inferior unto the
yeomanry for arms. And therefore out of all ques-
tions, the splendor and magnificence, and great
retinues and hospitality, of noblemen and gentle-
men, received into custom, doth much conduce
unto martial greatness. Whereas, contrariwise, the
close and reserved living of noblemen and gentle-
men, causeth a penury of military forces.

By all means it is to be procured, that the trunk
of Nebuchadnezzar's tree of monarchy, be great
enough to bear the branches and the boughs; that
is, that the natural subjects of the crown or state,
bear a sufficient proportion to the stranger sub-
jects, that they govern.Therefore all states that are
liberal of naturalization towards strangers, are fit
for empire. For to think that an handful of people
can, with the greatest courage and policy in the
world, embrace too large extent of dominion, it
may hold for a time, but it will fail suddenly. The
Spartans were a nice people in point of naturaliza-
tion; whereby, while they kept their compass,
they stood firm; but when they did spread, and
their boughs were becomen too great for their
stem, they became a windfall, upon the sudden.
Never any state was in this point so open to receive
strangers into their body, as were the Romans.
Therefore it sorted with them accordingly; for
they grew to the greatest monarchy. Their manner
was to grant naturalization (which they called jus
civitatis), and to grant it in the highest degree; that
is, not only jus commercii, jus connubii, jus haere-
ditatis; but also jus suffragii, and jus honorum.
And this not to singular persons alone, but likewise
to whole families; yea to cities, and sometimes to
nations. Add to this their custom of plantation of
colonies; whereby the Roman plant was removed
into the soil of other nations. And putting both
constitutions together, you will say that it was not
the Romans that spread upon the world, but it was
the world that spread upon the Romans; and that
was the sure way of greatness. I have marvelled,
sometimes, at Spain, how they clasp and contain
so large dominions, with so few natural Spaniards;
but sure the whole compass of Spain, is a very great
body of a tree; far above Rome and Sparta at the
first. And besides, though they have not had that
usage, to naturalize liberally, yet they have that
which is next to it; that is, to employ, almost indif-
ferently, all nations in their militia of ordinary
soldiers; yea, and sometimes in their highest com-
mands. Nay, it seemeth at this instant they are
sensible, of this want of natives; as by the Prag-
matical Sanction, now published, appeareth.

It is certain that sedentary, and within-door
arts, and delicate manufactures (that require
rather the finger than the arm), have, in their na-
ture, a contrariety to a military disposition. And
generally, all warlike people are a little idle, and
love danger better than travail. Neither must they
be too much broken of it, if they shall be preserved
in vigor. Therefore it was great advantage, in the
ancient states of Sparta, Athens, Rome, and others,
that they had the use of slaves, which commonly
did rid those manufactures. But that is abolished,
in greatest part, by the Christian law. That which
cometh nearest to it, is to leave those arts chiefly to
strangers (which, for that purpose, are the more
easily to be received), and to contain the principal
bulk of the vulgar natives, within those three
kinds, - tillers of the ground; free servants; and
handicraftsmen of strong and manly arts, as
smiths, masons, carpenters, etc.; not reckoning
professed soldiers.

But above all, for empire and greatness, it im-
porteth most, that a nation do profess arms, as their
principal honor, study, and occupation. For the
things which we formerly have spoken of, are but
habilitations towards arms; and what is habilita-
tion without intention and act? Romulus, after his
death (as they report or feign), sent a present to the
Romans, that above all, they should intend arms;
and then they should prove the greatest empire of
the world. The fabric of the state of Sparta was
wholly (though not wisely) framed and composed,
to that scope and end. The Persians and Macedo-
nians had it for a flash. The Gauls, Germans,
Goths, Saxons, Normans, and others, had it for a
time. The Turks have it at this day, though in great
declination. Of Christian Europe, they that have it
are, in effect, only the Spaniards. But it is so
plain, that every man profiteth in that, he most
intendeth, that it needeth not to be stood upon. It
is enough to point at it; that no nation which doth
not directly profess arms, may look to have great-
ness fall into their mouths. And on the other side,
it is a most certain oracle of time, that those states
that continue long in that profession (as the Ro-
mans and Turks principally have done) do won-
ders. And those that have professed arms but for
an age, have, notwithstanding, commonly at-
tained that greatness, in that age, which main-
tained them long after, when their profession and
exercise of arms hath grown to decay.

Incident to this point is, for a state to have those
laws or customs, which may reach forth unto them
just occasions (as may be pretended) of war. For
there is that justice, imprinted in the nature of
men, that they enter not upon wars (whereof so
many calamities do ensue) but upon some, at the
least specious, grounds and quarrels. The Turk
hath at hand, for cause of war, the propagation of
his law or sect; a quarrel that he may always com-
mand. The Romans, though they esteemed the
extending the limits of their empire, to be great
honor to their generals, when it was done, yet they
never rested upon that alone, to begin a war. First,
therefore, let nations that pretend to greatness
have this; that they be sensible of wrongs, either
upon borderers, merchants, or politic ministers;
and that they sit not too long upon a provocation.
Secondly, let them be prest, and ready to give aids
and succors, to their confederates; as it ever was
with the Romans; insomuch, as if the confederate
had leagues defensive, with divers other states,
and, upon invasion offered, did implore their aids
severally, yet the Romans would ever be the fore-
most, and leave it to none other to have the honor.
As for the wars which were anciently made, on
the behalf of a kind of party, or tacit conformity of
estate, I do not see how they may be well justified:
as when the Romans made a war, for the liberty of
Grecia; or when the Lacedaemonians and Athe-
nians, made wars to set up or pull down democ-
racies and oligarchies; or when wars were made
by foreigners, under the pretence of justice or pro-
tection, to deliver the subjects of others, from
tyranny and oppression; and the like. Let it suf-
fice, that no estate expect to be great, that is not
awake upon any just occasion of arming.

No body can be healthful without exercise,
neither natural body nor politic; and certainly to
a kingdom or estate, a just and honorable war, is
the true exercise. A civil war, indeed, is like the
heat of a fever; but a foreign war is like the heat of
exercise, and serveth to keep the body in health;
for in a slothful peace, both courages will effemi-
nate, and manners corrupt. But howsoever it be
for happiness, without all question, for greatness,
it maketh to be still for the most part in arms; and
the strength of a veteran army (though it be a
chargeable business) always on foot, is that which
commonly giveth the law, or at least the reputa-
tion, amongst all neighbor states; as may well be
seen in Spain, which hath had, in one part or other,
a veteran army almost continually, now by the
space of six score years.

To be master of the sea, is an abridgment of a
monarchy. Cicero, writing to Atticus of Pompey
his preparation against Caesar, saith, Consilium
Pompeii plane Themistocleum est; putat enim,
qui mari potitur, eum rerum potiri. And, without
doubt, Pompey had tired out Caesar, if upon vain
confidence, he had not left that way. We see the
great effects of battles bv sea. The battle of Actium,
decided the empire of the world. The battle of Le-
panto, arrested the greatness of the Turk. There be
many examples, where sea-fights have been final
to the war; but this is when princes or states have
set up their rest, upon the battles. But thus much
is certain, that he that commands the sea, is at
great liberty, and may take as much, and as little,
of the war as he will. Whereas those that be strong-
est by land, are many times nevertheless in great
straits. Surely, at this day, with us of Europe, the
vantage of strength at sea (which is one of the prin-
cipal dowries of this kingdom of Great Britain) is
great; both because most of the kingdoms of Eu-
rope, are not merely inland, but girt with the sea
most part of their compass; and because the wealth
of both Indies seems in great part, but an accessory
to the command of the seas.

The wars of latter ages seem to be made in the
dark, in respect of the glory, and honor, which
reflected upon men from the wars, in ancient time.
There be now, for martial encouragement, some
degrees and orders of chivalry; which nevertheless
are conferred promiscuously, upon soldiers and
no soldiers; and some remembrance perhaps, upon
the scutcheon; and some hospitals for maimed sol-
diers; and such like things. But in ancient times,
the trophies erected upon the place of the victory;
the funeral laudatives and monuments for those
that died in the wars; the crowns and garlands per-
sonal; the style of emperor, which the great kings
of the world after borrowed; the triumphs of the
generals, upon their return; the great donatives
and largesses, upon the disbanding of the armies;
were things able to inflame all men's courages.
But above all, that of the triumph, amongst the
Romans, was not pageants or gaudery, but one of
the wisest and noblest institutions, that ever was.
For it contained three things: honor to the general;
riches to the treasury out of the spoils; and dona-
tives to the army. But that honor, perhaps were not
fit for monarchies; except it be in the person of the
monarch himself, or his sons; as it came to pass in
the times of the Roman emperors, who did impro-
priate the actual triumphs to themselves, and their
sons, for such wars as they did achieve in person;
and left only, for wars achieved by subjects, some
triumphal garments and ensigns to the general.

To conclude: no man can by care taking (as the
Scripture saith) add a cubit to his stature, in this
little model of a man's body; but in the great frame
of kingdoms and commonwealths, it is in the
power of princes or estates, to add amplitude and
greatness to their kingdoms; for by introducing
such ordinances, constitutions, and customs, as we
have now touched, they may sow greatness to
their posterity and succession. But these things are
commonly not observed, but left to take their

Of Regiment


THERE is a wisdom in this; beyond the rules of
physic: a man's own observation, what he
finds good of, and what he finds hurt of, is the best
physic to preserve health. But it is a safer conclu-
sion to say, This agreeth not well with me, there-
fore, I will not continue it; than this, I find no
offence of this, therefore I may use it. For strength
of nature in youth, passeth over many excesses,
which are owing a man till his age. Discern of the
coming on of years, and think not to do the same
things still; for age will not be defied. Beware of
sudden change, in any great point of diet, and, if
necessity enforce it, fit the rest to it. For it is a secret
both in nature and state, that it is safer to change
many things, than one. Examine thy customs of
diet, sleep, exercise, apparel, and the like; and try,
in any thing thou shalt judge hurtful, to discon-
tinue it, by little and little; but so, as if thou dost
find any inconvenience by the change, thou come
back to it again: for it is hard to distinguish that
which is generally held good and wholesome,
from that which is good particularly, and fit for
thine own body. To be free-minded and cheerfully
disposed, at hours of meat, and of sleep, and of
exercise, is one of the best precepts of long lasting.
As for the passions, and studies of the mind; avoid
envy, anxious fears; anger fretting inwards;
subtle and knotty inquisitions; joys and exhilara-
tions in excess; sadness not communicated. Enter-
tain hopes; mirth rather than joy; variety of
delights, rather than surfeit of them; wonder and
admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that
fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects,
as histories, fables, and contemplations of nature.
If you fly physic in health altogether, it will be too
strange for your body, when you shall need it. If
you make it too familiar, it will work no extra-
ordinary effect, when sickness cometh. I commend
rather some diet for certain seasons, than frequent
use of physic, except it be grown into a custom. For
those diets alter the body more, and trouble it less.
Despise no new accident in your body, but ask
opinion of it. In sickness, respect health prin-
cipally; and in health, action. For those that put
their bodies to endure in health, may in most sick-
nesses, which are not very sharp, be cured only
with diet, and tendering. Celsus could never have
spoken it as a physician, had he not been a wise
man withal, when he giveth it for one of the great
precepts of health and lasting, that a man do vary,
and interchange contraries, but with an inclina-
tion to the more benign extreme: use fasting and
full eating, but rather full eating; watching and
sleep, but rather sleep; sitting and exercise, but
rather exercise; and the like. So shall nature be
cherished, and yet taught masteries. Physicians
are, some of them, so pleasing and conformable to
the humor of the patient, as they press not the true
cure of the disease; and some other are so regular,
in proceeding according to art for the disease, as
they respect not sufficiently the condition of the
patient. Take one of a middle temper; or if it may
not be found in one man, combine two of either
sort; and forget not to call as well, the best ac-
quainted with your body, as the best reputed of
for his faculty.

Of Suspicion

SUSPICIONS amongst thoughts, are like bats
amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight. Cer-
tainly 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 currently and constantly.
They dispose kings to tyranny, husbands to jeal-
ousy, 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 exami-
nation, 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 sus-
picions, 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 him no hurt. 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 whisperings of others, have
stings. Certainly, the best mean, to clear the way
in this same wood of suspicions, is frankly to com-
municate 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. The
Italian says, Sospetto licentia fede; as if suspicion,
did give a passport to faith; but it ought, rather, to
kindle it to discharge itself.

Of Discourse

SOME, in their discourse, desire rather com-
mendation of wit, in being able to hold all
arguments, than of judgment, in discerning what
is true; as if it were a praise, to know what might
be said, and not, what should be thought. Some
have certain common places, and themes, wherein
they are good and want variety; which kind of
poverty is for the most part tedious, and when it is
once perceived, ridiculous. The honorablest part of
talk, is to give the occasion; and again to moderate,
and pass to somewhat else; for then a man leads the
dance. It is good, in discourse and speech of con-
versation, to vary and intermingle speech of the
present occasion, with arguments, tales with rea-
sons, asking of questions, with telling of opinions,
and jest with earnest: for it is a dull thing to tire,
and, as we say now, to jade, any thing too far. As
for jest, there be certain things, which ought to be
privileged from it; namely, religion, matters of
state, great persons, any man's present business of
importance, and any case that deserveth pity. Yet
there be some, that think their wits have been
asleep, except they dart out somewhat that is
piquant, and to the quick. That is a vein which
would be bridled:

Parce, puer, stimulis, et fortius utere loris.

And generally, men ought to find the difference,
between saltness and bitterness. Certainly, he that
hath a satirical vein, as he maketh others afraid of
his wit, so he had need be afraid of others' memory.
He that questioneth much, shall learn much, and
content much; but especially, if he apply his ques-
tions to the skill of the persons whom he asketh; for
he shall give them occasion, to please themselves
in speaking, and himself shall continually gather
knowledge. But let his questions not be trouble-
some; for that is fit for a poser. And let him be sure
to leave other men, their turns to speak. Nay, if
there be any, that would reign and take up all
the time, let him find means to take them off,
and to bring others on; as musicians use to do, with
those that dance too long galliards. If you dis-
semble, sometimes, your knowledge of that you
are thought to know, you shall be thought, another
time, to know that you know not. Speech of a
man's self ought to be seldom, and well chosen. I
knew one, was wont to say in scorn, He must needs
be a wise man, he speaks so much of himself: and
there is but one case, wherein a man may com-
mend himself with good grace; and that is in
commending virtue in another; especially if it be
such a virtue, whereunto himself pretendeth.
Speech of touch towards others, should be spar-
ingly used; for discourse ought to be as a field,
without coming home to any man. I knew two
noblemen, of the west part of England, whereof
the one was given to scoff, but kept ever royal cheer
in his house; the other would ask, of those that had
been at the other's table, Tell truly, was there never
a flout or dry blow given? To which the guest
would answer, Such and such a thing passed.
The lord would say, I thought, he would mar a
good dinner. Discretion of speech, is more than
eloquence; and to speak agreeably to him, with
whom we deal, is more than to speak in good
words, or in good order. A good continued speech,
without a good speech of interlocution, shows
slowness: and a good reply or second speech, with-
out a good settled speech, showeth shallowness
and weakness. As we see in beasts, that those that
are weakest in the course, are yet nimblest in the
turn; as it is betwixt the greyhound and the hare.
To use too many circumstances, ere one come to
the matter, is wearisome; to use none at all, is

Of Plantations

PLANTATIONS are amongst ancient, primi-
tive, and heroical works. When the world was
young, it begat more children; but now it is old, it
begets fewer: for I may justly account new plan-
tations, to be the children of former kingdoms. I
like a plantation in a pure soil; that is, where
people are not displanted, to the end, to plant in
others. For else it is rather an extirpation, than a
plantation. Planting of countries, is like planting
of woods; for you must make account to leese al-
most twenty years' profit, and expect your recom-
pense in the end. For the principal thing, that hath
been the destruction of most plantations, hath
been the base and hasty drawing of profit, in the
first years. It is true, speedy profit is not to be neg-
lected, as far as may stand with the good of the
plantation, but no further. It is a shameful and
unblessed thing, to take the scum of people, and
wicked condemned men, to be the people with
whom you plant; and not only so, but it spoileth
the plantation; for they will ever live like rogues,
and not fall to work, but be lazy, and do mischief,
and spend victuals, and be quickly weary, and
then certify over to their country, to the discredit
of the plantation. The people wherewith you
plant ought to be gardeners, ploughmen, laborers,
smiths, carpenters, joiners, fishermen, fowlers,
with some few apothecaries, surgeons, cooks, and
bakers. In a country of plantation, first look about,
what kind of victual the country yields of itself to
hand; as chestnuts, walnuts, pineapples, olives,
dates, plums, cherries, wild honey, and the like;
and make use of them. Then consider what victual
or esculent things there are, which grow speedily,
and within the year; as parsnips, carrots, turnips,
onions, radish, artichokes of Hierusalem, maize,
and the like. For wheat, barley, and oats, they ask
too much labor; but with pease and beans you may
begin, both because they ask less labor, and be-
cause they serve for meat, as well as for bread. And
of rice, likewise cometh a great increase, and it is
a kind of meat. Above all, there ought to be brought
store of biscuit, oat-meal, flour, meal, and the like,
in the beginning, till bread may be had. For beasts,
or birds, take chiefly such as are least subject to
diseases, and multiply fastest; as swine, goats,
cocks, hens, turkeys, geese, house-doves, and the
like. The victual in plantations, ought to be ex-
pended almost as in a besieged town; that is, with
certain allowance. And let the main part of the
ground, employed to gardens or corn, be to a com-
mon stock; and to be laid in, and stored up, and
then delivered out in proportion; besides some
spots of ground, that any particular person will
manure for his own private. Consider likewise
what commodities, the soil where the plantation
is, doth naturally yield, that they may some way
help to defray the charge of the plantation (so it be
not, as was said, to the untimely prejudice of the
main business), as it hath fared with tobacco in
Virginia. Wood commonly aboundeth but too
much; and therefore timber is fit to be one. If there
be iron ore, and streams whereupon to set the mills,
iron is a brave commodity where wood aboundeth.
Making of bay-salt, if the climate be proper for it,
would be put in experience. Growing silk likewise,
if any be, is a likely commodity. Pitch and tar,
where store of firs and pines are, will not fail. So
drugs and sweet woods, where they are, cannot
but yield great profit. Soap-ashes likewise, and
other things that may be thought of. But moil not
too much under ground; for the hope of mines is
very uncertain, and useth to make the planters
lazy, in other things. For government; let it be in
the hands of one, assisted with some counsel; and
let them have commission to exercise martial laws,
with some limitation. And above all, let men make
that profit, of being in the wilderness, as they have
God always, and his service, before their eyes. Let
not the government of the plantation, depend
upon too many counsellors, and undertakers, in
the country that planteth, but upon a temperate
number; and let those be rather noblemen and
gentlemen, than merchants; for they look ever to
the present gain. Let there be freedom from cus-
tom, till the plantation be of strength; and not
only freedom from custom, but freedom to carry
their commodities, where they may make their
best of them, except there be some special cause of
caution. Cram not in people, by sending too fast
company after company; but rather harken how
they waste, and send supplies proportionably; but
so, as the number may live well in the plantation,
and not by surcharge be in penury. It hath been a
great endangering to the health of some planta-
tions, that they have built along the sea and rivers,
in marish and unwholesome grounds. Therefore,
though you begin there, to avoid carriage and
like discommodities, yet build still rather upwards
from the streams, than along. It concerneth like-
wise the health of the plantation, that they have
good store of salt with them, that they may use it
in their victuals, when it shall be necessary. If you
plant where savages are, do not only entertain
them, with trifles and gingles, but use them justly
and graciously, with sufficient guard nevertheless;
and do not win their favor, by helping them to in-
vade their enemies, but for their defence it is not
amiss; and send oft of them, over to the country
that plants, that they may see a better condition
than their own, and commend it when they re-
turn. When the plantation grows to strength, then
it is time to plant with women, as well as with
men; that the plantation may spread into genera-
tions, and not be ever pieced from without. It is the
sinfullest thing in the world, to forsake or destitute
a plantation once in forwardness; for besides the
dishonor, it is the guiltiness of blood of many com-
miserable persons.

Of Riches

I CANNOT call riches better than the baggage
of virtue. The Roman word is better, impedi-
menta. For as the baggage is to an army, so is riches
to virtue. It cannot be spared, nor left behind, but
it hindereth the march; yea, and the care of it,
sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory. Of
great riches there is no real use, except it be in the
distribution; the rest is but conceit. So saith Solo-
mon, Where much is, there are many to consume
it; and what hath the owner, but the sight of it
with his eyes? The personal fruition in any man,
cannot reach to feel great riches: there is a custody
of them; or a power of dole, and donative of them;
or a fame of them; but no solid use to the owner.
Do you not see what feigned prices, are set upon
little stones and rarities? and what works of osten-
tation are undertaken, because there might seem
to be some use of great riches? But then you will
say, they may be of use, to buy men out of dangers
or troubles. As Solomon saith, Riches are as a
strong hold, in the imagination of the rich man.
But this is excellently expressed, that it is in imagi-
nation, and not always in fact. For certainly great
riches, have sold more men, than they have bought
out. Seek not proud riches, but such as thou mayest
get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and
leave contentedly. Yet have no abstract nor friarly
contempt of them. But distinguish, as Cicero saith
well of Rabirius Posthumus, In studio rei ampli-
ficandae apparebat, non avaritiae praedam, sed
instrumentum bonitati quaeri. Harken also to
Solomon, and beware of hasty gathering of riches;
Qui festinat ad divitias, non erit insons. The poets
feign, that when Plutus (which is Riches) is sent
from Jupiter, he limps and goes slowly; but when
he is sent from Pluto, he runs, and is swift of foot.
Meaning that riches gotten by good means, and
just labor, pace slowly; but when they come by
the death of others (as by the course of inheritance,
testaments, and the like), they come tumbling
upon a man. But it mought be applied likewise to
Pluto, taking him for the devil. For when riches
come from the devil (as by fraud and oppression,
and unjust means), they come upon speed. The
ways to enrich are many, and most of them foul.
Parsimony is one of the best, and yet is not inno-
cent; for it withholdeth men from works of liberal-
ity and charity. The improvement of the ground,
is the most natural obtaining of riches; for it is our
great mother's blessing, the earth's; but it is slow.
And yet where men of great wealth do stoop to
husbandry, it multiplieth riches exceedingly. I
knew a nobleman in England, that had the great-
est audits of any man in my time; a great grazier,
a great sheep-master, a great timber man, a great
collier, a great corn-master, a great lead-man, and
so of iron, and a number of the like points of hus-
bandry. So as the earth seemed a sea to him, in
respect of the perpetual importation. It was truly
observed by one, that himself came very hardly,
to a little riches, and very easily, to great riches.
For when a man's stock is come to that, that he can
expect the prime of markets, and overcome those
bargains, which for their greatness are few men's
money, and be partner in the industries of younger
men, he cannot but increase mainly. The gains of
ordinary trades and vocations are honest; and
furthered by two things chiefly: by diligence, and
by a good name, for good and fair dealing. But the
gains of bargains, are of a more doubtful nature;
when men shall wait upon others' necessity, broke
by servants and instruments to draw them on, put
off others cunningly, that would be better chap-
men, and the like practices, which are crafty and
naught. As for the chopping of bargains, when a
man buys not to hold but to sell over again, that
commonly grindeth double, both upon the seller,
and upon the buyer. Sharings do greatly enrich,
if the hands be well chosen, that are trusted. Usury
is the certainest means of gain, though one of the
worst; as that whereby a man doth eat his bread,
in sudore vultus alieni; and besides, doth plough
upon Sundays. But yet certain though it be, it hath
flaws; for that the scriveners and brokers do value
unsound men, to serve their own turn. The fortune
in being the first, in an invention or in a privilege,
doth cause sometimes a wonderful overgrowth in
riches; as it was with the first sugar man, in the
Canaries. Therefore if a man can play the true
logician, to have as well judgment, as invention,
he may do great matters; especially if the times be
fit. He that resteth upon gains certain, shall hardly
grow to great riches; and he that puts all upon
adventures, doth oftentimes break and come to
poverty: it is good, therefore, to guard adventures
with certainties, that may uphold losses. Monopo-
lies, and coemption of wares for re-sale, where
they are not restrained, are great means to enrich;
especially if the party have intelligence, what
things are like to come into request, and so store
himself beforehand. Riches gotten by service,
though it be of the best rise, yet when they are
gotten by flattery, feeding humors, and other serv-
ile conditions, they may be placed amongst the
worst. As for fishing for testaments and executor-
ships (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, testamenta et
orbos tamquam indagine capi), it is yet worse; by
how much men submit themselves to meaner per-
sons, 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, some-
times they must be set flying, to bring in more.
Men leave their riches, either to their kindred, or
to the public; and moderate portions, prosper best
in both. A great state 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 stablished in years and judg-
ment. 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

Of Prophecies

I MEAN not to speak of divine prophecies; nor
of heathen oracles; nor of natural predictions;
but only of prophecies that have been of cer-
tain memory, and from hidden causes. Saith the
Pythonissa to Saul, To-morrow thou and thy son
shall be with me. Homer hath these verses:

At domus AEneae cunctis dominabitur oris,
Et nati natorum, et qui nascentur ab illis.

A prophecy, as it seems, of the Roman empire.
Seneca the tragedian hath these verses:

--Venient annis
Saecula seris, quibus Oceanus
Vincula rerum laxet, et ingens
Pateat Tellus, Tiphysque novos
Detegat orbes; nec sit terris
Ultima Thule:

a prophecy of the discovery of America. The daugh-
ter 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 bis 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, degusta-
bis 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 Savior;
yet Tacitus expounds it of Vespasian. Domitian
dreamed, the night before he was slain, that 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 hus-
band to be above challenges and duels: but he was
slain upon a course at tilt, the splinters of the staff
of Montgomery going in at his beaver. The trivial
prophecy, which I heard when I was a child, and
Queen Elizabeth was in the flower of her years,

When hempe is spun

England's done:

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 only in the change of the name;
for that the King's style, is now no more of Eng-
land but of Britain. There was also another proph-
ecy, before the year of '88, which I do not well

There shall be seen upon a day,
Between the Baugh and the May,
The black fleet of Norway.
When that that is come and gone,
England build houses of lime and stone,
For after wars shall you have none.

It was generally conceived to be meant, of the
Spanish fleet that came in '88: for that the king of
Spain's surname, as they say, is Norway. The pre-
diction 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 judg-
ment is, that they ought all to be despised; and
ought to serve but for winter talk by the fireside.
Though when I say despised, I mean it as for be-
lief; for otherwise, the spreading, or publishing,
of them, is in no sort to be despised. For they have
done much mischief; and I see many severe laws
made, to suppress them. That that hath given them
grace, and some credit, consisteth in three things.
First, that men mark when they hit, and never
mark when they miss; as they do generally also of
dreams. The second is, that probable conjectures,
or obscure traditions, many times turn themselves
into prophecies; while the nature of man, which
coveteth divination, thinks it no peril to foretell
that which indeed they do but collect. As that of
Seneca's verse. For so much was then subject to
demonstration, that the globe of the earth had
great parts beyond the Atlantic, which mought
be probably conceived not to be all sea: and adding
thereto the tradition in Plato's Timaeus, and his
Atlanticus, it mought encourage one to turn it to
a prediction. The third and last (which is the great
one) is, that almost all of them, being infinite in
number, have been impostures, and by idle and
crafty brains merely contrived and feigned, after
the event past.

Of Ambition

AMBITION is like choler; which is an humor
that maketh men active, earnest, full of alac-
rity, and stirring, if it be not stopped. But if it be
stopped, and cannot have his way, it becometh
adust, and thereby malign and venomous. So am-
bitious men, if they find the way open for their
rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy
than dangerous; but if they be checked in their
desires, they become secretly discontent, and look
upon men and matters with an evil eye, and are
best pleased, when things go backward; which is
the worst property in a servant of a prince, or state.
Therefore it is good for princes, if they use ambi-
tious men, to handle it, so as they be still progres-
sive and not retrograde; which, because it cannot
be without inconvenience, it is good not to use such
natures at all. For if they rise not with their service,
they will take order, to make their service fall with
them. But since we have said, it were good not to
use men of ambitious natures, except it be upon
necessity, it is fit we speak, in what cases they are
of necessity. Good commanders in the wars must
be taken, be they never so ambitious; for the use
of their service, dispenseth with the rest; and to
take a soldier without ambition, is to pull off his
spurs. There is also great use of ambitious men, in
being screens to princes in matters of danger and
envy; for no man will take that part, except he be
like a seeled dove, that mounts and mounts, be-
cause he cannot see about him. There is use also of
ambitious men, in pulling down the greatness of
any subject that overtops; as Tiberius used Marco,
in the pulling down of Sejanus. Since, therefore,
they must be used in such cases, there resteth to
speak, how they are to be bridled, that they may be
less dangerous. There is less danger of them, if they
be of mean birth, than if they be noble; and if they
be rather harsh of nature, than gracious and popu-
lar: and if they be rather new raised, than grown
cunning, and fortified, in their greatness. It is
counted by some, a weakness in princes, to have
favorites; but it is, of all others, the best remedy
against ambitious great-ones. For when the way
of pleasuring, and displeasuring, lieth by the
favorite, it is impossible any other should be over-
great. Another means to curb them, is to balance
them by others, as proud as they. But then there
must be some middle counsellors, to keep things
steady; for without that ballast, the ship will roll
too much. At the least, a prince may animate
and inure some meaner persons, to be as it were
scourges, to ambitions men. As for the having of
them obnoxious to ruin; if they be of fearful
natures, it may do well; but if they be stout and
daring, it may precipitate their designs, and prove
dangerous. As for the pulling of them down, if the
affairs require it, and that it may not be done with
safety suddenly, the only way is the interchange,
continually, of favors and disgraces; whereby
they may not know what to expect, and be, as it
were, in a wood. Of ambitions, it is less harmful,
the ambition to prevail in great things, than that
other, to appear in every thing; for that breeds
confusion, and mars business. But yet it is less dan-
ger, to have an ambitious man stirring in business,
than great in dependences. He that seeketh to be
eminent amongst able men, hath a great task; but
that is ever good for the public. But he, that plots
to be the only figure amongst ciphers, is the decay
of a whole age. Honor hath three things in it: the
vantage ground to do good; the approach to kings
and principal persons; and the raising of a man's
own fortunes. He that hath the best of these inten-
tions, when he aspireth, is an honest man; and that
prince, that can discern of these intentions in an-
other that aspireth, is a wise prince. Generally, let
princes and states choose such ministers, as are
more sensible of duty than of using; and such as
love business rather upon conscience, than upon
bravery, and let them discern a busy nature, from
a willing mind.

Of Masques


THESE things are but toys, to come amongst
such serious observations. But yet, since
princes will have such things, it is better they
should be graced with elegancy, than daubed with
cost. Dancing to song, is a thing of great state and
pleasure. I understand it, that the song be in quire,
placed aloft, and accompanied with some broken
music; and the ditty fitted to the device. Acting in
song, especially in dialogues, hath an extreme
good grace; I say acting, not dancing (for that is a
mean and vulgar thing); and the voices of the dia-
logue would be strong and manly (a base and a
tenor; no treble); and the ditty high and tragical;
not nice or dainty. Several quires, placed one over
against another, and taking the voice by catches,
anthem-wise, give great pleasure. Turning dances
into figure, is a childish curiosity. And generally
let it be noted, that those things which I here set
down, are such as do naturally take the sense, and
not respect petty wonderments. It is true, the al-
terations of scenes, so it be quietly and without
noise, are things of great beauty and pleasure; for
they feed and relieve the eye, before it be full of
the same object. Let the scenes abound with light,
specially colored and varied; and let the masquers,
or any other, that are to come down from the
scene, have some motions upon the scene itself,
before their coming down; for it draws the eye
strangely, and makes it, with great pleasure, to
desire to see, that it cannot perfectly discern. Let
the songs be loud and cheerful, and not chirpings
or pulings. Let the music likewise be sharp and
loud, and well placed. The colors that show best by
candle-light are white, carnation, and a kind of
sea-water-green; and oes, or spangs, as they are of
no great cost, so they are of most glory. As for rich
embroidery, it is lost and not discerned. Let the
suits of the masquers be graceful, and such as be-
come the person, when the vizors are off; not after
examples of known attires; Turke, soldiers, mari-
ners', and the like. Let anti-masques not be long;
they have been commonly of fools, satyrs, baboons,
wild-men, antics, beasts, sprites, witches, Ethiops,
pigmies, turquets, nymphs, rustics, Cupids, statuas
moving, and the like. As for angels, it is not comi-
cal enough, to put them in anti-masques; and
anything that is hideous, as devils, giants, is on
the other side as unfit. But chiefly, let the music
of them be recreative, and with some strange
changes. Some sweet odors suddenly coming forth,
without any drops falling, are, in such a company
as there is steam and heat, things of great pleasure
and refreshment. Double masques, one of men,
another of ladies, addeth state and variety. But all
is nothing except the room be kept clear and neat.

For justs, and tourneys, and barriers; the glories
of them are chiefly in the chariots, wherein the
challengers make their entry; especially if they
be drawn with strange beasts: as lions, bears,
camels, and the like; or in the devices of their en-
trance; or in the bravery of their liveries; or in the
goodly furniture of their horses and armor. But
enough of these toys.

Of Nature


NATURE is often hidden; sometimes over-
come; seldom extinguished. Force, maketh
nature more violent in the return; doctrine and dis-
course, maketh nature less importune; but custom
only doth alter and subdue nature. He that seeketh
victory over his nature, let him not set himself too
great, nor too small tasks; for the first will make
him dejected by often failings; and the second will
make him a small proceeder, though by often pre-
vailings. And at the first let him practise with
helps, as swimmers do with bladders or rushes;
but after a time let him practise with disadvan-
tages, as dancers do with thick shoes. For it breeds
great perfection, if the practice be harder than the
use. Where nature is mighty, and therefore the
victory hard, the degrees had need be, first to stay
and arrest nature in time; like to him that would
say over the four and twenty letters when he was
angry; then to go less in quantity; as if one should,
in forbearing wine, come from drinking healths,
to a draught at a meal; and lastly, to discontinue
altogether. But if a man have the fortitude, and
resolution, to enfranchise himself at once, that is
the best:

Optimus ille animi vindex laedentia pectus
Vincula qui rupit, dedoluitque semel.

Neither is the ancient rule amiss, to bend nature,
as a wand, to a contrary extreme, whereby to set it
right, understanding it, where the contrary ex-
treme is no vice. Let not a man force a habit upon
himself, with a perpetual continuance, but with
some intermission. For both the pause reinforceth
the new onset; and if a man that is not perfect, be
ever in practice, he shall as well practise his errors,
as his abilities, and induce one habit of both; and
there is no means to help this, but by seasonable
intermissions. But let not a man trust his victory
over his nature, too far; for nature will lay buried
a great time, and yet revive, upon the occasion or
temptation. Like as it was with AEsop's damsel,
turned from a cat to a woman, who sat very de-
mutely at the board's end, till a mouse ran before
her. Therefore, let a man either avoid the occasion
altogether; or put himself often to it, that he may
be little moved with it. A man's nature is best per-
ceived in privateness, for there is no affectation;
in passion, for that putteth a man out of his pre-
cepts; and in a new case or experiment, for there
custom leaveth him. They are happy men, whose
natures sort with their vocations; otherwise they
may say, multum incola fuit anima mea; when
they converse in those things, they do not affect.
In studies, whatsoever a man commandeth upon
himself, let him set hours for it; but whatsoever is
agreeable to his nature, let him take no care for
any set times; for his thoughts will fly to it, of
themselves; so as the spaces of other business, or
studies, will suffice. A man's nature, runs either to
herbs or weeds; therefore let him seasonably water
the one, and destroy the other.

Of Custom


MEN'S thoughts, are much according to their
inclination; their discourse and speeches,
according to their learning and infused opinions;
but their deeds, are after as they have been accus-
tomed. And therefore, as Machiavel well noteth
(though in an evil-favored instance), there is no
trusting to the force of nature, nor to the bravery
of words, except it be corroborate by custom. His
instance is, that for the achieving of a desperate
conspiracy, a man should not rest upon the fierce-
ness of any man's nature, or his resolute under-
takings; but take such an one, as hath had his
hands formerly in blood. But Machiavel knew not
of a Friar Clement, nor a Ravillac, nor a Jaureguy,
nor a Baltazar Gerard; yet his rule holdeth still,
that nature, nor the engagement of words, are not
so forcible, as custom. Only superstition is now so
well advanced, that men of the first blood, are as
firm as butchers by occupation; and votary reso-
lution, is made equipollent to custom, even in mat-
ter of blood. In other things, the predominancy of
custom is everywhere visible; insomuch as a man
would wonder, to hear men profess, protest, en-
gage, give great words, and then do, just as they
have done before; as if they were dead images,
and engines moved only by the wheels of custom.
We see also the reign or tyranny of custom, what
it is. The Indians (I mean the sect of their wise men)
lay themselves quietly upon a stock of wood, and
so sacrifice themselves by fire. Nay, the wives
strive to be burned, with the corpses of their hus-
bands. The lads of Sparta, of ancient time, were
wont to be scourged upon the altar of Diana, with-
out so much as queching. I remember, in the be-
ginning of Queen Elizabeth's time of England, an
Irish rebel condemned, put up a petition to the
deputy, that he might be hanged in a withe, and
not in an halter; because it had been so used, with
former rebels. There be monks in Russia, for pen-
ance, that will sit a whole night in a vessel of water,
till they be engaged with hard ice. Many examples
may be put of the force of custom, both upon mind
and body. Therefore, since custom is the principal
magistrate of man's life, let men by all means en-
deavor, to obtain good customs. Certainly custom
is most perfect, when it beginneth in young years:
this we call education; which is, in effect, but an
early custom. So we see, in languages, the tongue
is more pliant to all expressions and sounds, the
joints are more supple, to all feats of activity and
motions, in youth than afterwards. For it is true,
that late learners cannot so well take the ply; ex-
cept it be in some minds, that have not suffered
themselves to fix, but have kept themselves open,
and prepared to receive continual amendment,
which is exceeding rare. But if the force of cus-
tom simple and separate, be great, the force of
custom copulate and conjoined and collegiate, is
far greater. For there example teacheth, company
comforteth, emulation quickeneth, glory raiseth:
so as in such places the force of custom is in his
exaltation. Certainly the great multiplication of
virtues upon human nature, resteth upon socie-
ties well ordained and disciplined. For common-
wealths, and good governments, do nourish virtue
grown but do not much mend the deeds. But the
misery is, that the most effectual means, are now
applied to the ends, least to be desired.

Of Fortune

IT CANNOT be denied, but outward accidents
conduce much to fortune; favor, opportunity,
death of others, occasion fitting virtue. But chiefly,
the mould of a man's fortune is in his own hands.
Faber quisque fortunae suae, saith the poet. And
the most frequent of external causes is, that the
folly of one man, is the fortune of another. For no
man prospers so suddenly, as by others' errors.
Serpens nisi serpentem comederit non fit draco.
Overt and apparent virtues, bring forth praise; but
there be secret and hidden virtues, that bring forth
fortune; certain deliveries of a man's self, which
have no name. The Spanish name, desemboltura,
partly expresseth them; when there be not stonds
nor restiveness in a man's nature; but that the
wheels of his mind, keep way with the wheels of
his fortune. For so Livy (after he had described
Cato Major in these words, In illo viro tantum ro-
bur corporis et animi fuit, ut quocunque loco natus
esset, fortunam sibi facturus videretur) falleth
upon that, that he had versatile ingenium. There-
fore if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall
see Fortune: for though she be blind, yet she is not
invisible. The way of fortune, is like the Milken
Way in the sky; which is a meeting or knot of a
number of small stars; not seen asunder, but giv-
ing light together. So are there a number of
little, and scarce discerned virtues, or rather facul-
ties and customs, that make men fortunate. The
Italians note some of them, such as a man would
little think. When they speak of one that cannot do
amiss, they will throw in, into his other conditions,
that he hath Poco di matto. And certainly there be
not two more fortunate properties, than to have a
little of the fool, and not too much of the honest.
Therefore extreme lovers of their country or
masters, were never fortunate, neither can they
be. For when a man placeth his thoughts without
himself, he goeth not his own way. An hasty for-
tune maketh an enterpriser and remover (the
French hath it better, entreprenant, or remuant);
but the exercised fortune maketh the able man.
Fortune is to be honored and respected, and it be
but for her daughters, Confidence and Reputation.
For those two, Felicity breedeth; the first within
a man's self, the latter in others towards him. All
wise men, to decline the envy of their own virtues,
use to ascribe them to Providence and Fortune; for
so they may the better assume them: and, besides,
it is greatness in a man, to be the care of the higher
powers. So Caesar said to the pilot in the tempest,
Caesarem portas, et fortunam ejus. So Sylla chose
the name of Felix, and not of Magnus. And it hath
been noted, that those who ascribe openly too
much to their own wisdom and policy, end infor-
tunate. It is written that Timotheus the Athenian,
after he had, in the account he gave to the state of
his government, often interlaced this speech, and
in this, Fortune had no part, never prospered in
anything, he undertook afterwards. Certainly
there be, whose fortunes are like Homer's verses,
that have a slide and easiness more than the verses
of other poets; as Plutarch saith of Timoleon's for-
tune, in respect of that of Agesilaus or Epaminon-
das. And that this shoulld be, no doubt it is much,
in a man's self.

Of Usury

MANY have made witty invectives against
usury. They say that it is a pity, the devil
should have God's part, which is the tithe. That the
usurer is the greatest Sabbath-breaker, because his
plough goeth every Sunday. That the usurer is the
drone, that Virgil speaketh of;

Ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent.

That the usurer breaketh the first law, that was
made for mankind after the fall, which was, in
sudore vultus tui comedes panem tuum; not, in
sudore vultus alieni. That usurers should have
orange-tawny bonnets, because they do judaize.
That it is against nature for money to beget money;
and the like. I say this only, that usury is a conces-
sum propter duritiem cordis; for since there must
be borrowing and lending, and men are so hard
of heart, as they will not lend freely, usury must
be permitted. Some others, have made suspicious
and cunning propositions of banks, discovery of
men's estates, and other inventions. But few have
spoken of usury usefully. It is good to set before us,
the incommodities and commodities of usury, that
the good, may be either weighed out or culled out;
and warily to provide, that while we make forth
to that which is better, we meet not with that
which is worse.

The discommodities of usury are, First, that it
makes fewer merchants. For were it not for this
lazy trade of usury, money would not he still, but
would in great part be employed upon merchan-
dizing; which is the vena porta of wealth in a state.
The second, that it makes poor merchants. For, as
a farmer cannot husband his ground so well, if he
sit at a great rent; so the merchant cannot drive
his trade so well, if he sit at great usury. The third
is incident to the other two; and that is the decay of
customs of kings or states, which ebb or flow, with
merchandizing. The fourth, that it bringeth the
treasure of a realm, or state, into a few hands. For
the usurer being at certainties, and others at uncer-
tainties, at the end of the game, most of the money
will be in the box; and ever a state flourisheth,
when wealth is more equally spread. The fifth,
that it beats down the price of land; for the em-
ployment of money, is chiefly either merchandiz-
ing or purchasing; and usury waylays both. The
sixth, that it doth dull and damp all industries, im-
provements, and new inventions, wherein money
would be stirring, if it were not for this slug. The
last, that it is the canker and ruin of many men's
estates; which, in process of time, breeds a public

On the other side, the commodities of usury are,
first, that howsoever usury in some respect hinder-
eth merchandizing, yet in some other it advanceth
it; for it is certain that the greatest part of trade is
driven by young merchants, upon borrowing at
interest; so as if the usurer either call in, or keep
back, his money, there will ensue, presently, a
great stand of trade. The second is, that were it not
for this easy borrowing upon interest, men's neces-
sities would draw upon them a most sudden un-
doing; in that they would be forced to sell their
means (be it lands or goods) far under foot; and so,
whereas usury doth but gnaw upon them, bad
markets would swallow them quite up. As for
mortgaging or pawning, it will little mend the
matter: for either men will not take pawns with-
out use; or if they do, they will look precisely for
the forfeiture. I remember a cruel moneyed man
in the country, that would say, The devil take this
usury, it keeps us from forfeitures, of mortgages
and bonds. The third and last is, that it is a vanity
to conceive, that there would be ordinary borrow-
ing without profit; and it is impossible to conceive,
the number of inconveniences that will ensue, if
borrowing be cramped. Therefore to speak of the
abolishing of usury is idle. All states have ever had
it, in one kind or rate, or other. So as that opinion
must be sent to Utopia.

To speak now of the reformation, and reigle-
ment, of usury; how the discommodities of it may
be best avoided, and the commodities retained. It
appears, by the balance of commodities and dis-
commodities of usury, two things are to be recon-
ciled. The one, that the tooth of usury be grinded,
that it bite not too much; the other, that there be
left open a means, to invite moneyed men to lend
to the merchants, for the continuing and quicken-
ing of trade. This cannot be done, except you intro-
duce two several sorts of usury, a less and a greater.
For if you reduce usury to one low rate, it will ease
the common borrower, but the merchant will be
to seek for money. And it is to be noted, that the
trade of merchandize, being the most lucrative,
may bear usury at a good rate; other contracts
not so.

To serve both intentions, the way would be
briefly thus. That there be two rates of usury:
the one free, and general for all; the other under
license only, to certain persons, and in certain
places of merchandizing. First, therefore, let usury
in general, be reduced to five in the hundred; and
let that rate be proclaimed, to be free and current;
and let the state shut itself out, to take any penalty
for the same. This will preserve borrowing, from
any general stop or dryness. This will ease infinite
borrowers in the country. This will, in good part,
raise the price of land, because land purchased
at sixteen years' purchase will yield six in the
hundred, and somewhat more; whereas this rate
of interest, yields but five. This by like reason
will encourage, and edge, industrious and profit-
able improvements; because many will rather
venture in that kind, than take five in the hun-
dred, especially having been used to greater profit.
Secondly, let there be certain persons licensed,
to lend to known merchants, upon usury at a
higher rate; and let it be with the cautions fol-
lowing. Let the rate be, even with the merchant
himself, somewhat more easy than that he used
formerly to pay; for by that means, all bor-
rowers, shall have some ease by this reformation,
be he merchant, or whosoever. Let it be no
bank or common stock, but every man be master
of his own money. Not that I altogether mis-
like banks, but they will hardly be brooked, in
regard of certain suspicions. Let the state be
answered some small matter for the license, and
the rest left to the lender; for if the abatement be
but small, it will no whit discourage the lender.
For he, for example, that took before ten or nine in
the hundred, will sooner descend to eight in the
hundred than give over his trade of usury, and go
from certain gains, to gains of hazard. Let these
licensed lenders be in number indefinite, but re-
strained to certain principal cities and towns of
merchandizing; for then they will be hardly able
to color other men's moneys in the country: so as
the license of nine will not suck away the current
rate of five; for no man will send his moneys far
off, nor put them into unknown hands.

If it be objected that this doth in a sort authorize
usury, which before, was in some places but per-
missive; the answer is, that it is better to mitigate
usury, by declaration, than to suffer it to rage, by

Of Youth


A MAN that is young in years, may be old in
hours, if he have lost no time. But that hap-
peneth rarely. Generally, youth is like the first
cogitations, not so wise as the second. For there is
a youth in thoughts, as well as in ages. And yet the
invention of young men, is more lively than that
of old; and imaginations stream into their minds
better, and, as it were, more divinely. Natures that
have much heat, and great and violent desires and
perturbations, are not ripe for action, till they have
passed the meridian of their years; as it was with
Julius Caesar and Septimius Severus. Of the latter,
of whom it is said, Juventutem egit erroribus, imo
furoribus, plenam. And yet he was the ablest em-
peror, almost, of all the list. But reposed natures
may do well in youth. As it is seen in Augustus
Caesar, Cosmus Duke of Florence, Gaston de Foix,
and others. On the other side, heat and vivacity in
age, is an excellent composition for business.
Young men are fitter to invent, than to judge; fitter
for execution, than for counsel; and fitter for new
projects, than for settled business. For the experi-
ence of age, in things that fall within the compass
of it, directeth them; but in new things, abuseth

The errors of young men, are the ruin of busi-
ness; but the errors of aged men, amount but to
this, that more might have been done, or sooner.
Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions,
embrace more than they can hold; stir more than
they can quiet; fly to the end, without considera-
tion of the means and degrees; pursue some
few principles, which they have chanced upon
absurdly; care not to innovate, which draws un-
known inconveniences; use extreme remedies at
first; and, that which doubleth all errors, will not
acknowledge or retract them; like an unready
horse, that will neither stop nor turn. Men of age
object too much, consult too long, adventure too
little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business
home to the full period, but content themselves
with a mediocrity of success. Certainly it is good to
compound employments of both; for that will be
good for the present, because the virtues of either
age, may correct the defects of both; and good for
succession, that young men may be learners, while
men in age are actors; and, lastly, good for extern
accidents, because authority followeth old men,
and favor and popularity, youth. But for the moral
part, perhaps youth will have the pre-eminence, as
age hath for the politic. A certain rabbin, upon the
text, Your young men shall see visions, and your
old men shall dream dreams, inferreth that young
men, are admitted nearer to God than old, because
vision, is a clearer revelation, than a dream. And
certainly, the more a man drinketh of the world,
the more it intoxicateth; and age doth profit rather
in the powers of understanding, than in the virtues
of the will and affections. There be some, have an
over-early ripeness in their years, which fadeth
betimes. These are, first, such as have brittle wits,
the edge whereof is soon turned; such as was Her-
mogenes the rhetorician, whose books are exceed-
ing subtle; who afterwards waxed stupid. A second
sort, is of those that have some natural dispositions
which have better grace in youth, than in age;
such as is a fluent and luxuriant speech; which
becomes youth well, but not age: so Tully saith of
Hortensius, Idem manebat, neque idem decebat.
The third is of such, as take too high a strain at the
first, and are magnanimous, more than tract of
years can uphold. As was Scipio Africanus, of
whom Livy saith in effect, Ultima primis cedebant.

Of Beauty

VIRTUE is like a rich stone, best plain set; and
surely virtue is best, in a body that is comely,
though not of delicate features; and that hath
rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect.
Neither is it almost seen, that very beautiful per-
sons are otherwise of great virtue; as if nature were
rather busy, not to err, than in labor to produce
excellency. And therefore they prove accom-
plished, but not of great spirit; and study rather
behavior, than virtue. But this holds not always:
for Augustus Caesar, Titus Vespasianus, Philip le
Belle of France, Edward the Fourth of England,
Alcibiades of Athens, Ismael the Sophy of Persia,
were all high and great spirits; and yet the most
beautiful men of their times. In beauty, that of
favor, is more than that of color; and that of decent
and gracious motion, more than that of favor. That
is the best part of beauty, which a picture cannot
express; no, nor the first sight of the life. There is no
excellent beauty, that hath not some strangeness
in the proportion. A man cannot tell whether
Apelles, or Albert Durer, were the more trifler;
whereof the one, would make a personage by geo-
metrical proportions; the other, by taking the best
parts out of divers faces, to make one excellent.
Such personages, I think, would please nobody,
but the painter that made them. Not but I think a
painter may make a better face than ever was; but
he must do it by a kind of felicity (as a musician
that maketh an excellent air in music), and not by
rule. A man shall see faces, that if you examine
them part by part, you shall find never a good;
and yet altogether do well. If it be true that the
principal part of beauty is in decent motion, cer-
tainly it is no marvel, though persons in years
seem many times more amiable; pulchrorum
autumnus pulcher; for no youth can be comely
but by pardon, and considering the youth, as to
make up the comeliness. Beauty is as summer
fruits,) which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last;
and for the most part it makes a dissolute youth,
and an age a little out of countenance; but yet cer-
tainly again, if it light well, it maketh virtue shine,
and vices blush.

Of Deformity

DEFORMED persons are commonly even with
nature; for as nature hath done ill by them,
so do they by nature; being for the most part (as
the Scripture saith) void of natural affection; and
so they have their revenge of nature. Certainly
there is a consent, between the body and the mind;
and where nature erreth in the one, she ventureth
in the other. Ubi peccat in uno, periclitatur in al-
tero. But because there is, in man, an election
touching the frame of his mind, and a necessity in
the frame of his body, the stars of natural inclina-
tion are sometimes obscured, by the sun of disci-
pline and virtue. Therefore it is good to consider of
deformity, not as a sign, which is more deceivable;
but as a cause, which seldom faileth of the effect.
Whosoever hath anything fixed in his person, that
doth induce contempt, hath also a perpetual spur
in himself, to rescue and deliver himself from
scorn. Therefore all deformed persons, are extreme
bold. First, as in their own defence, as being ex-
posed to scorn; but in process of time, by a general
habit. Also it stirreth in them industry, and espe-
cially of this kind, to watch and observe the weak-
ness of others, that they may have somewhat to
repay. Again, in their superiors, it quencheth
jealousy towards them, as persons that they think
they may, at pleasure, despise: and it layeth their
competitors and emulators asleep; as never believ-
ing they should be in possibility of advancement,
till they see them in possession. So that upon the
matter, in a great wit, deformity is an advantage
to rising. Kings in ancient times (and at this pres-
ent in some countries) were wont to put great trust
in eunuchs; because they that are envious towards
all are more obnoxious and officious, towards one.
But yet their trust towards them, hath rather
been as to good spials, and good wbisperers, than
good magistrates and officers. And much like is
the reason of deformed persons. Still the ground
is, they will, if they be of spirit, seek to free them-
selves from scorn; which must be either by virtue
or malice; and therefore let it not be marvelled, if
sometimes they prove excellent persons; as was
Agesilaus, Zanger the son of Solyman, AEsop,
Gasca, President of Peru; and Socrates may go
likewise amongst them; with others.

Of Building

HOUSES are built to live in, and not to look on;
therefore let use be preferred before uni-
formity, except where both may be had. Leave
the goodly fabrics of houses, for beauty only, to
the enchanted palaces of the poets; who build them
with small cost. He that builds a fair house, upon
an ill seat, committeth himself to prison. Neither
do I reckon it an ill seat, only where the air is un-
wholesome; but likewise where the air is unequal;
as you shall see many fine seats set upon a knap of
ground, environed with higher hills round about
it; whereby the heat of the sun is pent in, and the
wind gathereth as in troughs; so as you shall have,
and that suddenly, as great diversity of heat and
cold as if you dwelt in several places. Neither is it
ill air only that maketh an ill seat, but ill ways, ill
markets; and, if you will consult with Momus, ill
neighbors. I speak not of many more; want of
water; want of wood, shade, and shelter; want of
fruitfulness, and mixture of grounds of several
natures; want of prospect; want of level grounds;
want of places at some near distance for sports of
hunting, hawking, and races; too near the sea, too
remote; having the commodity of navigable rivers,
or the discommodity of their overflowing; too far
off from great cities, which may hinder business,
or too near them, which lurcheth all provisions,
and maketh everything dear; where a man hath
a great living laid together, and where he is
scanted: all which, as it is impossible perhaps to
find together, so it is good to know them, and think
of them, that a man may take as many as he can;
and if he have several dwellings, that he sort them
so that what he wanteth in the one, he may find in
the other. Lucullus answered Pompey well; who,
when he saw his stately galleries, and rooms so
large and lightsome, in one of his houses, said,
Surely an excellent place for summer, but how do
you in winter? Lucullus answered, Why, do you
not think me as wise as some fowl are, that ever
change their abode towards the winter?

To pass from the seat, to the house itself; we will
do as Cicero doth in the orator's art; who writes
books De Oratore, and a book he entitles Orator;
whereof the former, delivers the precepts of the
art, and the latter, the perfection. We will there-
fore describe a princely palace, making a brief
model thereof. For it is strange to see, now in
Europe, such huge buildings as the Vatican and
Escurial and some others be, and yet scarce a very
fair room in them.

First, therefore, I say you cannot have a perfect
palace except you have two several sides; a side for
the banquet, as it is spoken of in the book of Hester,
and a side for the household; the one for feasts and
triumphs, and the other for dwelling. I understand
both these sides to be not only returns, but parts
of the front; and to be uniform without, though
severally partitioned within; and to be on both
sides of a great and stately tower, in the midst of
the front, that, as it were, joineth them together
on either hand. I would have on the side of the ban-
quet, in front, one only goodly room above stairs,
of some forty foot high; and under it a room for a
dressing, or preparing place, at times of triumphs.
On the other side, which is the household side, I
wish it divided at the first, into a hall and a chapel
(with a partition between); both of good state and
bigness; and those not to go all the length, but to
have at the further end, a winter and a summer
parlor, both fair. And under these rooms, a fair
and large cellar, sunk under ground; and likewise
some privy kitchens, with butteries and pantries,
and the like. As for the tower, I would have it two
stories, of eighteen foot high apiece, above the two
wings; and a goodly leads upon the top,railed with
statuas interposed; and the same tower to be di-
vided into rooms, as shall be thought fit. The stairs
likewise to the upper rooms, let them be upon a
fair open newel, and finely railed in, with images
of wood, cast into a brass color; and a very fair
landing-place at the top. But this to be, if you do
not point any of the lower rooms, for a dining place
of servants. For otherwise, you shall have the ser-
vants' dinner after your own: for the steam of it,
will come up as in a tunnel. And so much for the
front. Only I understand the height of the first
stairs to be sixteen foot, which is the height of the
lower room.

Beyond this front, is there to be a fair court, but
three sides of it, of a far lower building than the
front. And in all the four corners of that court, fair
staircases, cast into turrets, on the outside, and not
within the row of buildings themselves. But those
towers, are not to be of the height of the front, but
rather proportionable to the lower building. Let
the court not be paved, for that striketh up a great
heat in summer, and much cold in winter. But
only some side alleys, with a cross, and the quar-
ters to graze, being kept shorn, but not too near
shorn. The row of return on the banquet side, let it
be all stately galleries: in which galleries let there
be three, or five, fine cupolas in the length of it,
placed at equal distance; and fine colored windows
of several works. On the household side, chambers
of presence and ordinary entertainments, with
some bed-chambers; and let all three sides be a
double house, without thorough lights on the sides,
that you may have rooms from the sun, both for
forenoon and afternoon. Cast it also, that you may
have rooms, both for summer and winter; shady
for summer, and warm for winter. You shall have
sometimes fair houses so full of glass, that one can-
not tell where to become, to be out of the sun or
cold. For inbowed windows, I hold them of good
use (in cities, indeed, upright do better, in respect
of the uniformity towards the street); for they be
pretty retiring places for conference; and besides,
they keep both the wind and sun off; for that
which would strike almost through the room, doth
scarce pass the window. But let them be but few,
four in the court, on the sides only.

Beyond this court, let there be an inward court,
of the same square and height; which is to be en-
vironed with the garden on all sides; and in the
inside, cloistered on all sides, upon decent and
beautiful arches, as high as the first story. On the
under story, towards the garden, let it be turned
to a grotto, or a place of shade, or estivation. And
only have opening and windows towards the gar-
den; and be level upon the floor, no whit sunken
under ground, to avoid all dampishness. And let
there be a fountain, or some fair work of statuas, in
the midst of this court; and to be paved as the other
court was. These buildings to be for privy lodgings
on both sides; and the end for privy galleries.
Whereof you must foresee that one of them be for
an infirmary, if the prince or any special person
should be sick, with chambers, bed-chamber, ante-
camera, and recamera joining to it. This upon the
second story. Upon the ground story, a fair gallery,
open, upon pillars; and upon the third story like-
wise, an open gallery, upon pillars, to take the
prospect and freshness of the garden. At both cor-
ners of the further side, by way of return, let there
be two delicate or rich cabinets, daintily paved,
richly hanged, glazed with crystalline glass, and
a rich cupola in the midst; and all other elegancy
that may be thought upon. In the upper gallery
too, I wish that there may be, if the place will yield
it, some fountains running in divers places from
the wall, with some fine avoidances. And thus
much for the model of the palace; save that you
must have, before you come to the front, three
courts. A green court plain, with a wall about it;
a second court of the same, but more garnished,
with little turrets, or rather embellishments, upon
the wall; and a third court, to make a square with
the front, but not to be built, nor yet enclosed with
a naked wall, but enclosed with terraces, leaded
aloft, and fairly garnished, on the three sides; and
cloistered on the inside, with pillars, and not with
arches below. As for offices, let them stand at dis-
tance, with some low galleries, to pass from them
to the palace itself.

Of Gardens

G0D Almighty first planted a garden. And
indeed it is the purest of human pleasures.
It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man;
without which, buildings and palaces are but
gross handiworks; and a man shall ever see, that
when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men
come to build stately sooner than to garden finely;
as if gardening were the greater perfection. I do
hold it, in the royal ordering of gardens, there
ought to be gardens, for all the months in the year;
in which severally things of beauty may be then
in season. For December, and January, and the
latter part of November, you must take such things
as are green all winter: holly; ivy; bays; juniper;
cypress-trees; yew; pine-apple-trees; fir-trees;
rosemary; lavender; periwinkle, the white, the
purple, and the blue; germander; flags; orange-
trees; lemon-trees; and myrtles, if they be stoved;
and sweet marjoram, warm set. There followeth,
for the latter part of January and February, the
mezereon-tree, which then blossoms; crocus ver-
nus, both the yellow and the grey; primroses,
anemones; the early tulippa; hyacinthus orien-
talis; chamairis; fritellaria. For March, there
come violets, specially the single blue, which are
the earliest; the yellow daffodil; the daisy; the
almond-tree in blossom; the peach-tree in blos-
som; the cornelian-tree in blossom; sweet-briar.
In April follow the double white violet; the wall-
flower; the stock-gilliflower; the cowslip; flower-
delices, and lilies of all natures; rosemary-flowers;
the tulippa; the double peony; the pale daffodil;
the French honeysuckle; the cherry-tree in blos-
som; the damson and plum-trees in blossom; the
white thorn in leaf; the lilac-tree. In May and
June come pinks of all sorts, specially the blush-
pink; roses of all kinds, except the musk, which
comes later; honeysuckles; strawberries; bugloss;
columbine; the French marigold, flos Africanus;
cherry-tree in fruit; ribes; figs in fruit; rasps; vine-
flowers; lavender in flowers; the sweet satyrian,
with the white flower; herba muscaria; lilium
convallium; the apple-tree in blossom. In July
come gilliflowers of all varieties; musk-roses; the
lime-tree in blossom; early pears and plums in
fruit; jennetings, codlins. In August come plums
of all sorts in fruit; pears; apricocks; berberries;
filberds; musk-melons; monks-hoods, of all colors.
In September come grapes; apples; poppies of
all colors; peaches; melocotones; nectarines; cor-
nelians; wardens; quinces. In October and the
beginning of November come services; medlars;
bullaces; roses cut or removed to come late; holly-
hocks; and such like. These particulars are for the
climate of London; but my meaning is perceived,
that you may have ver perpetuum, as the place

And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter
in the air (where it comes and goes like the warb-
ling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing
is more fit for that delight, than to know what be
the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air.
Roses, damask and red, are fast flowers of their
smells; so that you may walk by a whole row of
them, and find nothing of their sweetness; yea
though it be in a morning's dew. Bays likewise
yield no smell as they grow. Rosemary little; nor
sweet marjoram. That which above all others
yields the sweetest smell in the air is the violet,
specially the white double violet, which comes
twice a year; about the middle of April, and about
Bartholomew-tide. Next to that is the musk-rose.
Then the strawberry-leaves dying, which yield a
most excellent cordial smell. Then the flower of
vines; it is a little dust, like the dust of a bent, which
grows upon the cluster in the first coming forth.
Then sweet-briar. Then wall-flowers, which are
very delightful to be set under a parlor or lower
chamber window. Then pinks and gilliflowers,
especially the matted pink and clove gilliflower.
Then the flowers of the lime-tree. Then the honey-
suckles, so they be somewhat afar off. Of bean-
flowers I speak not, because they are field flowers.
But those which perfume the air most delightfully,
not passed by as the rest, but being trodden upon
and crushed, are three; that is, burnet, wild-
thyme, and watermints. Therefore you are to set
whole alleys of them, to have the pleasure when
you walk or tread.

For gardens (speaking of those which are indeed
princelike, as we have done of buildings), the con-
tents ought not well to be under thirty acres of
ground; and to be divided into three parts; a green
in the entrance; a heath or desert in the going
forth; and the main garden in the midst; besides
alleys on both sides. And I like well that four acres
of ground be assigned to the green; six to the
heath; four and four to either side; and twelve to
the main garden. The green hath two pleasures:
the one, because nothing is more pleasant to the
eye than green grass kept finely shorn; the other,
because it will give you a fair alley in the midst, by
which you may go in front upon a stately hedge,
which is to enclose the garden. But because the
alley will be long, and, in great heat of the year or
day, you ought not to buy the shade in the garden,
by going in the sun through the green, therefore
you are, of either side the green, to plant a covert
alley upon carpenter's work, about twelve foot in
height, by which you may go in shade into the
garden. As for the making of knots or figures, with
divers colored earths, that they may lie under the
windows of the house on that side which the gar-
den stands, they be but toys; you may see as good
sights, many times, in tarts. The garden is best to
be square, encompassed on all the four sides with
a stately arched hedge. The arches to be upon pil-
lars of carpenter's work, of some ten foot high, and
six foot broad; and the spaces between of the same
dimension with the breadth of the arch. Over the
arches let there be an entire hedge of some four
foot high, framed also upon carpenter's work; and
upon the upper hedge, over every arch, a little tur-
ret, with a belly, enough to receive a cage of birds:
and over every space between the arches some
other little figure, with broad plates of round col-
ored glass gilt, for the sun to play upon. But this
hedge I intend to be raised upon a bank, not steep,
but gently slope, of some six foot, set all with
flowers. Also I understand, that this square of the
garden, should not be the whole breadth of the
ground, but to leave on either side, ground enough
for diversity of side alleys; unto which the two
covert alleys of the green, may deliver you. But
there must be no alleys with hedges, at either end
of this great enclosure; not at the hither end, for
letting your prospect upon this fair hedge from
the green; nor at the further end, for letting your
prospect from the hedge, through the arches upon
the heath.

For the ordering of the ground, within the great
hedge, I leave it to variety of device; advising
nevertheless, that whatsoever form you cast it into,
first, it be not too busy, or full of work. Wherein I,
for my part, do not like images cut out in juniper
or other garden stuff; they be for children. Little
low hedges, round, like welts, with some pretty
pyramids, I like well; and in some places, fair
columns upon frames of carpenter's work. I would
also have the alleys, spacious and fair. You may
have closer alleys, upon the side grounds, but none
in the main garden. I wish also, in the very middle,
a fair mount, with three ascents, and alleys,
enough for four to walk abreast; which I would
have to be perfect circles, without any bulwarks
or embossments; and the whole mount to be thirty
foot high; and some fine banqueting-house, with
some chimneys neatly cast, and without too much

For fountains, they are a great beauty and re-
freshment; but pools mar all, and make the garden
unwholesome, and full of flies and frogs. Foun-
tains I intend to be of two natures: the one that
sprinkleth or spouteth water; the other a fair re-
ceipt of water, of some thirty or forty foot square,
but without fish, or slime, or mud. For the first,
the ornaments of images gilt, or of marble, which
are in use, do well: but the main matter is so to
convey the water, as it never stay, either in the
bowls or in the cistern; that the water be never by
rest discolored, green or red or the like; or gather
any mossiness or putrefaction. Besides that, it is to
be cleansed every day by the hand. Also some
steps up to it, and some fine pavement about it,
doth well. As for the other kind of fountain, which
we may call a bathing pool, it may admit much
curiosity and beauty; wherewith we will not
trouble ourselves: as, that the bottom be finely
paved, and with images; the sides likewise; and
withal embellished with colored glass, and such
things of lustre; encompassed also with fine rails
of low statuas. But the main point is the same
which we mentioned in the former kind of foun-
tain; which is, that the water be in perpetual
motion, fed by a water higher than the pool, and
delivered into it by fair spouts, and then dis-
charged away under ground, by some equality of
bores, that it stay little. And for fine devices, of
arching water without spilling, and making it rise
in several forms (of feathers, drinking glasses,
canopies, and the like), they be pretty things to
look on, but nothing to health and sweetness.

For the heath, which was the third part of our
plot, I wish it to be framed, as much as may be, to
a natural wildness. Trees I would have none in it,
but some thickets made only of sweet-briar and
honeysuckle, and some wild vine amongst; and
the ground set with violets, strawberries, and
primroses. For these are sweet, and prosper in the
shade. And these to be in the heath, here and there,
not in any order. I like also little heaps, in the na-
ture of mole-hills (such as are in wild heaths), to
be set, some with wild thyme; some with pinks;
some with germander, that gives a good flower to
the eye; some with periwinkle; some with violets;
some with strawberries; some with cowslips; some
with daisies; some with red roses; some with lilium
convallium; some with sweet-williams red; some
with bear's-foot: and the like low flowers, being
withal sweet and sightly. Part of which heaps, are
to be with standards of little bushes pricked upon
their top, and part without. The standards to be
roses; juniper; holly; berberries (but here and
there, because of the smell of their blossoms); red
currants; gooseberries; rosemary; bays; sweet-
briar; and such like. But these standards to be kept
with cutting, that they grow not out of course.

For the side grounds, you are to fill them with
variety of alleys, private, to give a full shade, some
of them, wheresoever the sun be. You are to frame
some of them, likewise, for shelter, that when the
wind blows sharp you may walk as in a gallery.
And those alleys must be likewise hedged at both
ends, to keep out the wind; and these closer alleys
must be ever finely gravelled, and no grass, be-
cause of going wet. In many of these alleys, like-
wise, you are to set fruit-trees of all sorts; as well
upon the walls, as in ranges. And this would be
generally observed, that the borders wherein you
plant your fruit-trees, be fair and large, and low,
and not steep; and set with fine flowers, but thin
and sparingly, lest they deceive the trees. At the
end of both the side grounds, I would have a mount
of some pretty height, leaving the wall of the en-
closure breast high, to look abroad into the fields.

For the main garden, I do not deny, but there
should be some fair alleys ranged on both sides,
with fruit-trees; and some pretty tufts of fruit-
trees, and arbors with seats, set in some decent
order; but these to be by no means set too thick; but
to leave the main garden so as it be not close, but
the air open and free. For as for shade, I would
have you rest upon the alleys of the side grounds,
there to walk, if you be disposed, in the heat of the
year or day; but to make account, that the main
garden is for the more temperate parts of the year;
and in the heat of summer, for the morning and
the evening, or overcast days.

For aviaries, I like them not, except they be of
that largeness as they may be turfed, and have
living plants and bushes set in them; that the birds
may have more scope, and natural nesting, and
that no foulness appear in the floor of the aviary.
So I have made a platform of a princely garden,
partly by precept, partly by drawing, not a model,
but some general lines of it; and in this I have
spared for no cost. But it is nothing for great
princes, that for the most part taking advice with
workmen, with no less cost set their things to-
gether; and sometimes add statuas and such things
for state and magnificence, but nothing to the true
pleasure of a garden.

Of Negotiating

IT IS generally better to deal by speech than by
letter; and by the mediation of a third than by
a man's self. Letters are good, when a man would
draw an answer by letter back again; or when it
may serve for a man's justification afterwards to
produce his own letter; or where it may be danger
to be interrupted, or heard by pieces. To deal in
person is good, when a man's face breedeth regard,
as commonly with inferiors; or in tender cases,
where a man's eye, upon the countenance of him
with whom he speaketh, may give him a direction
how far to go; and generally, where a man will
reserve to himself liberty, either to disavow or to
expound. In choice of instruments, it is better to
choose men of a plainer sort, that are like to do
that, that is committed to them, and to report back
again faithfully the success, than those that are
cunning, to contrive, out of other men's business,
somewhat to grace themselves, and will help the
matter in report for satisfaction's sake. Use also
such persons as affect the business, wherein they
are employed; for that quickeneth much; and
such, as are fit for the matter; as bold men for ex-
postulation, fair-spoken men for persuasion, crafty
men for inquiry and observation, froward, and
absurd men, for business that doth not well bear
out itself. Use also such as have been lucky, and
prevailed before, in things wherein you have em-
ployed them; for that breeds confidence, and they
will strive to maintain their prescription. It is bet-
ter to sound a person, with whom one deals afar
off, than to fall upon the point at first; except you
mean to surprise him by some short question. It is
better dealing with men in appetite, than with
those that are where they would be. If a man deal
with another upon conditions, the start or first per-
formance is all; which a man cannot reasonably
demand, except either the nature of the thing be
such, which must go before; or else a man can
persuade the other party, that he shall still need
him in some other thing; or else that he be counted
the honester man. All practice is to discover, or to
work. Men discover themselves in trust, in passion,
at unawares, and of necessity, when they would
have somewhat done, and cannot find an apt pre-
text. If you would work any man, you must either
know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or
his ends, and so persuade him; or his weakness and
disadvantages, and so awe him; or those that have
interest in him, and so govern him. In dealing with
cunning persons,we must ever consider their ends,
to interpret their speeches; and it is good to say
little to them, and that which they least look for.
In all negotiations of difficulty, a man may not
look to sow and reap at once; but must prepare
business, and so ripen it by degrees.

0f Followers


COSTLY followers are not to be liked; lest
while a man maketh his train longer, he
make his wings shorter. I reckon to be costly, not
them alone which charge the purse, but which are
wearisome, and importune in suits. Ordinary fol-
lowers ought to challenge no higher conditions,
than countenance, recommendation, and protec-
tion from wrongs. Factious followers are worse to
be liked, which follow not upon affection to him,
with whom they range themselves, but upon
discontentment conceived against some other;
whereupon commonly ensueth that ill intelli-
gence, that we many times see between great per-
sonages. Likewise glorious followers, who make
themselves as trumpets of the commendation of
those they follow, are full of inconvenience; for
they taint business through want of secrecy; and
they export honor from a man, and make him a
return in envy. There is a kind of followers like-
wise, which are dangerous, being indeed espials;
which inquire the secrets of the house, and bear
tales of them, to others. Yet such men, many times,
are in great favor; for they are officious, and com-
monly exchange tales. The following by certain
estates of men, answerable to that, which a great
person himself professeth (as of soldiers, to him
that hath been employed in the wars, and the like),
hath ever been a thing civil, and well taken, even
in monarchies; so it be without too much pomp
or popularity. But the most honorable kind of fol-
lowing, is to be followed as one, that apprehendeth
to advance virtue, and desert, in all sorts of per-
sons. And yet, where there is no eminent odds in
sufficiency, it is better to take with the more pass-
able, than with the more able. And besides, to
speak truth, in base times, active men are of more
use than virtuous. It is true that in government, it
is good to use men of one rank equally: for to coun-
tenance some extraordinarily, is to make them
insolent, and the rest discontent; because they
may claim a due. But contrariwise, in favor, to
use men with much difference and election is
good; for it maketh the persons preferred more
thankful, and the rest more officious: because all is
of favor. It is good discretion, not to make too much
of any man at the first; because one cannot hold
out that proportion. To be governed (as we call it)
by one is not safe; for it shows softness, and gives
a freedom, to scandal and disreputation; for those,
that would not censure or speak ill of a man imme-
diately, will talk more boldly of those that are so
great with them, and thereby wound their honor.
Yet to be distracted with many is worse; for it
makes men to be of the last impression, and full of
change. To take advice of some few friends, is ever
honorable; for lookers-on many times see more
than gamesters; and the vale best discovereth the
hill. There is little friendship in the world, and least
of all between equals, which was wont to be mag-
nified. That that is, is between superior and in-
ferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one
the other.

Of Suitors

MANY ill matters and projects are under-
taken; and private suits do putrefy the pub-
lic good. Many good matters, are undertaken with
bad minds; I mean not only corrupt minds, but
crafty minds, that intend not performance. Some
embrace suits, which never mean to deal effectu-
ally in them; but if they see there may be life in
the matter, by some other mean, they will be con-
tent to win a thank, or take a second reward, or at
least to make use, in the meantime, of the suitor's
hopes. Some take hold of suits, only for an occa-
sion to cross some other; or to make an informa-
tion, whereof they could not otherwise have apt
pretext; without care what become of the suit,
when that turn is served; or, generally, to make
other men's business a kind of entertainment, to
bring in their own. Nay, some undertake suits,
with a full purpose to let them fall; to the end to
gratify the adverse party, or competitor. Surely
there is in some sort a right in every suit; either a
right of equity, if it be a suit of controversy; or a
right of desert, if it be a suit of petition. If affection
lead a man to favor the wrong side in justice, let
him rather use his countenance to compound the
matter, than to carry it. If affection lead a man
to favor the less worthy in desert, let him do it,
without depraving or disabling the better deserver.
In suits which a man doth not well understand, it
is good to refer them to some friend of trust and
judgment, that may report, whether he may deal
in them with honor: but let him choose well his
referendaries, for else he may be led by the nose.
Suitors are so distasted with delays and abuses,
that plain dealing, in denying to deal in suits at
first, and reporting the success barely, and in chal-
lenging no more thanks than one hath deserved,
is grown not only honorable, but also gracious. In
suits of favor, the first coming ought to take little
place: so far forth, consideration may be had of
his trust, that if intelligence of the matter could
not otherwise have been had, but by him, advan-
tage be not taken of the note, but the party left to
his other means; and in some sort recompensed,
for his discovery. To be ignorant of the value of a
suit, is simplicity; as well as to be ignorant of the
right thereof, is want of conscience. Secrecy in
suits, is a great mean of obtaining; for voicing
them to be in forwardness, may discourage some
kind of suitors, but doth quicken and awake others.
But timing of the suit is the principal. Timing, I
say, not only in respect of the person that should
grant it, but in respect of those, which are like to
cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his mean, rather
choose the fittest mean, than the greatest mean;
and rather them that deal in certain things, than
those that are general. The reparation of a denial,
is sometimes equal to the first grant; if a man
show himself neither dejected nor discontented.
Iniquum petas ut aequum feras is a good rule,
where a man hath strength of favor: but other-
wise, a man were better rise in his suit; for
he, that would have ventured at first to have lost
the suitor, will not in the conclusion lose both the
suitor, and his own former favor. Nothing is
thought so easy a request to a great person, as his
letter; and yet, if it be not in a good cause, it is so
much out of his reputation. There are no worse
instruments, than these general contrivers of suits;
for they are but a kind of poison, and infection, to
public proceedings.

Of Studies

STUDIES serve for delight, for ornament, and
for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in
privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in dis-
course; and for ability, is in the judgment, and
disposition of business. For expert men can exe-
cute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one;
but the general counsels, and the plots and mar-
shalling of affairs, come best, from those that are
learned. To spend too much time in studies is sloth;
to use them too much for ornament, is affectation;
to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the
humor of a scholar. They perfect nature, and are
perfected by experience: for natural abilities are
like natural plants, that need proyning, by study;
and studies themselves, do give forth directions too
much at large, except they be bounded in by ex-
perience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men
admire them, and wise men use them; for they
teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom with-
out them, and above them, won by observation.
Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe
and take for granted; nor to find talk and dis-
course; but to weigh and consider. Some books are
to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few
to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are
to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not
curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and
with diligence and attention. Some books also may
be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by
others; but that would be only in the less impor-
tant arguments, and the meaner sort of books, else
distilled books are like common distilled waters,
flashy things. Reading maketh a full man; confer-
ence a ready man; and writing an exact man. And
therefore, if a man write little, he had need have
a great memory; if he confer little, he had need
have a present wit: and if he read little, he had
need have much cunning, to seem to know, that
he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets witty;
the mathematics subtile; natural philosophy deep;
moral grave; logic and rhetoric able to contend.
Abeunt studia in mores. Nay, there is no stond or
impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out
by fit studies; like as diseases of the body, may
have appropriate exercises. Bowling is good for
the stone and reins; shooting for the lungs and
breast; gentle walking for the stomach; riding for
the head; and the like. So if a man's wit be wan-
dering, let him study the mathematics; for in
demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so
little, he must begin again. If his wit be not apt to
distinguish or find differences, let him study the
Schoolmen; for they are cymini sectores. If he be
not apt to beat over matters, and to call up one
thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study 197
the lawyers' cases. So every defect of the mind,
may have a special receipt.

Of Faction

MANY have an opinion not wise, that for a
prince to govern his estate, or for a great
person to govern his proceedings, according to the
respect of factions, is a principal part of policy;
whereas contrariwise, the chiefest wisdom, is
either in ordering those things which are general,
and wherein men of several factions do neverthe-
less agree; or in dealing with correspondence to
particular persons, one by one. But I say not that
the considerations of factions, is to be neglected.
Mean men, in their rising, must adhere; but
great men, that have strength in themselves, were
better to maintain themselves indifferent, and
neutral. Yet even in beginners, to adhere so moder-
ately, as he be a man of the one faction, which is
most passable with the other, commonly giveth
best way. The lower and weaker faction, is the
firmer in conjunction; and it is often seen, that a
few that are stiff, do tire out a greater number, that
are more moderate. When one of the factions is ex-
tinguished, the remaining subdivideth; as the
faction between Lucullus, and the rest of the
nobles of the senate (which they called Optimates)
held out awhile, against the faction of Pompey
and Caesar; but when the senate's authority was
pulled down, Caesar and Pompey soon after brake.
The faction or party of Antonius and Octavianus
Caesar, against Brutus and Cassius, held out like-
wise for a time; but when Brutus and Cassius were
overthrown, then soon after, Antonius and Octa-
vianus brake and subdivided. These examples are
of wars, but the same holdeth in private factions.
And therefore, those that are seconds in factions,
do many times, when the faction subdivideth,
prove principals; but many times also, they prove
ciphers and cashiered; for many a man's strength
is in opposition; and when that faileth, he groweth
out of use. It is commonly seen, that men, once
placed, take in with the contrary faction, to that
by which they enter: thinking belike, that they
have the first sure, and now are ready for a new
purchase. The traitor in faction, lightly goeth
away with it; for when matters have stuck long in
balancing, the winning of some one man casteth
them, and he getteth all the thanks. The even car-
riage between two factions, proceedeth not always
of moderation, but of a trueness to a man's self,
with end to make use of both. Certainly in Italy,
they hold it a little suspect in popes, when they
have often in their mouth Padre commune: and
take it to be a sign of one, that meaneth to refer all
to the greatness of his own house. Kings had need
beware, how they side themselves, and make
themselves as of a faction or party; for leagues
within the state, are ever pernicious to monarchies:
for they raise an obligation, paramount to obliga-
tion of sovereignty, and make the king tanquam
unus ex nobis; as was to be seen in the League of
France. When factions are carried too high and too
violently, it is a sign of weakness in princes; and
much to the prejudice, both of their authority and
business. The motions of factions under kings
ought to be, like the motions (as the astronomers
speak) of the inferior orbs, which may have their
proper motions, but yet still are quietly carried, by
the higher motion of primum mobile.

Of Ceremonies,


HE THAT is only real, had need have exceed-
ing great parts of virtue; as the stone had
need to be rich, that is set without foil. But if a
man mark it well, it is, in praise and commenda-
tion of men, as it is in gettings and gains: for the
proverb is true, That light gains make heavy
purses; for light gains come thick, whereas great,
come but now and then. So it is true, that small
matters win great commendation, because they
are continually in use and in note: whereas the
occasion of any great virtue, cometh but on festi-
vals. Therefore it doth much add to a man's reputa-
tion, and is (as Queen Isabella said) like perpetual
letters commendatory, to have good forms. To at-
tain them, it almost sufficeth not to despise them;
for so shall a man observe them in others; and let
him trust himself with the rest. For if he labor too
much to express them, he shall lose their grace;
which is to be natural and unaffected. Some men's
behavior is like a verse, wherein every syllable is
measured; how can a man comprehend great mat-
ters, that breaketh his mind too much, to small
observations? Not to use ceremonies at all, is to
teach others not to use them again; and so dimin-
isheth respect to himself; especially they be not to
be omitted, to strangers and formal natures; but
the dwelling upon them, and exalting them above
the moon, is not only tedious, but doth diminish
the faith and credit of him that speaks. And cer-
tainly, there is a kind of conveying, of effectual
and imprinting passages amongst compliments,
which is of singular use, if a man can hit upon it.
Amongst a man's peers, a man shall be sure of
familiarity; and therefore it is good, a little to keep
state. Amongst a man's inferiors one shall be sure
of reverence; and therefore it is good, a little to be
familiar. He that is too much in anything, so that
he giveth another occasion of satiety, maketh him-
self cheap. To apply one's self to others, is good; so
it be with demonstration, that a man doth it upon
regard, and not upon facility. It is a good precept
generally, in seconding another, yet to add some-
what of one's own: as if you will grant his opinion,
let it be with some distinction; if you will follow
his motion, let it be with condition; if you allow
his counsel, let it be with alleging further reason.
Men had need beware, how they be too perfect in
compliments; for be they never so sufficient other-
wise, their enviers will be sure to give them that
attribute, to the disadvantage of their greater vir-
tues. It is loss also in business, to be too full of re-
spects, or to be curious, in observing times and
opportunities. Solomon saith, He that considereth
the wind, shall not sow, and he that looketh to
the clouds, shall not reap. A wise man will make
more opportunities, than he finds. Men's behavior
should be, like their apparel, not too strait or point
device, but free for exercise or motion.

Of Praise

PRAISE is the reflection of virtue; but it is as
the glass or body, which giveth the reflec-
tion. If it be from the common people, it is com-
monly false and naught; and rather followeth vain
persons, than virtuous. For the common people
understand not many excellent virtues. The lowest
virtues draw praise from them; the middle virtues
work in them astonishment or admiration; but of
the highest virtues, they have no sense of perceiv-
ing at all. But shows, and species virtutibus similes,
serve best with them. Certainly fame is like a river,
that beareth up things light and swoln, and drowns
things weighty and solid. But if persons of quality
and judgment concur, then it is (as the Scripture
saith) nomen bonum instar unguenti fragrantis.
It fireth all round about, and will not easily away.
For the odors of ointments are more durable, than
those of flowers. There be so many false points of
praise, that a man may justly hold it a suspect.
Some praises proceed merely of flattery; and if he
be an ordinary flatterer, he will have certain com-
mon attributes, which may serve every man; if he
be a cunning flatterer, he will follow the arch-
flatterer, which is a man's self; and wherein a man
thinketh best of himself, therein the flatterer will
uphold him most: but if he be an impudent flat-
terer, look wherein a man is conscious to himself,
that he is most defective, and is most out of counte-
nance in himself, that will the flatterer entitle him
to perforce, spreta conscientia. Some praises come
of good wishes and respects, which is a form due, in
civility, to kings and great persons, laudando
praecipere, when by telling men what they are,
they represent to them, what they should be. Some
men are praised maliciously, to their hurt, thereby
to stir envy and jealousy towards them: pessimum
genus inimicorum laudantium; insomuch as it
was a proverb, amongst the Grecians, that he that
was praised to his hurt, should have a push rise
upon his nose; as we say, that a blister will rise
upon one's tongue, that tells a lie. Certainly mod-
erate praise, used with opportunity, and not vul-
gar, is that which doth the good. Solomon saith,
He that praiseth his friend aloud, rising early, it
shall be to him no better than a curse. Too much
magnifying of man or matter, doth irritate con-
tradiction, and procure envy and scorn. To praise
a man's self, cannot be decent, except it be in rare
cases; but to praise a man's office or profession, he
may do it with good grace, and with a kind of mag-
nanimity. The cardinals of Rome, which are theo-
logues, and friars, and Schoolmen, have a phrase
of notable contempt and scorn towards civil busi-
ness: for they call all temporal business of wars,
embassages, judicature, and other employments,
sbirrerie, which is under-sheriffries; as if they
were but matters, for under-sheriffs and catch-
poles: though many times those under-sheriffries
do more good, than their high speculations. St.
Paul, when he boasts of himself, he doth oft inter-
lace, I speak like a fool; but speaking of his calling,
he saith, magnificabo apostolatum meum.

Of Vain-glory

IT WAS prettily devised of AEsop, The fly sat
upon the axle-tree of the chariot wheel, and
said, What a dust do I raise! So are there some vain
persons, that whatsoever goeth alone, or moveth
upon greater means, if they have never so little
hand in it, they think it is they that carry it. They
that are glorious, must needs be factious; for all
bravery stands upon comparisons. They must
needs be violent, to make good their own vaunts.
Neither can they be secret, and therefore not ef-
fectual; but according to the French proverb,
Beaucoup de bruit, peu de fruit; Much bruit little
fruit. Yet certainly, there is use of this quality in
civil affairs. Where there is an opinion and fame to
be created, either of virtue or greatness, these men
are good trumpeters. Again, as Titus Livius noteth,
in the case of Antiochus and the AEtolians, There
are sometimes great effects, of cross lies; as if a
man, that negotiates between two princes, to draw
them to join in a war against the third, doth extol
the forces of either of them, above measure, the
one to the other: and sometimes he that deals be-
tween man and man, raiseth his own credit with
both, by pretending greater interest than he hath
in either. And in these and the like kinds, it often
falls out, that somewhat is produced of nothing;
for lies are sufficient to breed opinion, and opinion
brings on substance. In militar commanders and
soldiers, vain-glory is an essential point; for as
iron sharpens iron, so by glory, one courage sharp-
eneth another. In cases of great enterprise upon
charge and adventure, a composition of glorious
natures, doth put life into business; and those that
are of solid and sober natures, have more of the
ballast, than of the sail. In fame of learning, the
flight will be slow without some feathers of osten-
tation. Qui de contemnenda gloria libros scri-
bunt, nomen, suum inscribunt. Socrates, Aristotle,
Galen, were men full of ostentation. Certainly
vain-glory helpeth to perpetuate a man's memory;
and virtue was never so beholding to human na-
ture, as it received his due at the second hand.
Neither had the fame of Cicero, Seneca, Plinius
Secundus, borne her age so well, if it had not been
joined with some vanity in themselves; like unto
varnish, that makes ceilings not only shine but
last. But all this while, when I speak of vain-glory,
I mean not of that property, that Tacitus doth at-
tribute to Mucianus; Omnium quae dixerat fece-
ratque arte quadam ostentator: for that proceeds
not of vanity, but of natural magnanimity and
discretion; and in some persons, is not only comely,
but gracious. For excusations, cessions, modesty
itself well governed, are but arts of ostentation.
And amongst those arts, there is none better than
that which Plinius Secundus speaketh of, which is
to be liberal of praise and commendation to others,
in that, wherein a man's self hath any perfection.
For saith Pliny, very wittily, In commending
another, you do yourself right; for he that you
commend, is either superior to you in that you
commend, or inferior. If he be inferior, if he be to
be commended, you much more; if he be superior,
if he be not to be commended, you much less.
Glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the ad-
miration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the
slaves of their own vaunts.

Of Honor

THE winning of honor, is but the revealing of
a man,s virtue and worth, without disadvan-
tage. For some in their actions, do woo and effect
honor and reputation, which sort of men, are
commonly much talked of, but inwardly little
admired. And some, contrariwise, darken their
virtue in the show of it; so as they be undervalued
in opinion. If a man perform that, which hath not
been attempted before; or attempted and given
over; or hath been achieved, but not with so good
circumstance; he shall purchase more honor, than
by effecting a matter of greater difficulty or virtue,
wherein he is but a follower. If a man so temper
his actions, as in some one of them he doth content
every faction, or combination of people, the music
will be the fuller. A man is an ill husband of bis
honor, that entereth into any action, the failing
wherein may disgrace him, more than the carry-
ing of it through, can honor him. Honor that is
gained and broken upon another, hath the quick-
est reflection, like diamonds cut with facets. And
therefore, let a man contend to excel any competi-
tors of his in honor, in outshooting them, if he can,
in their own bow. Discreet followers and servants,
help much to reputation. Omnis fama a domesticis
emanat. Envy, which is the canker of honor, is
best extinguished by declaring a man's self in
his ends, rather to seek merit than fame; and by
attributing a man's successes, rather to divine
Providence and felicity, than to his own virtue or

The true marshalling of the degrees of sovereign
honor, are these: In the first place are conditores
imperiorum, founders of states and common-
wealths; such as were Romulus, Cyrus, Caesar,
Ottoman, Ismael. In the second place are legis-
latores, lawgivers; which are also called second
founders, or perpetui principes, because they gov-
ern by their ordinances after they are gone; such
were Lycurgus, Solon, Justinian, Eadgar, Alphon-
sus of Castile, the Wise, that made the Siete Parti-
das. In the third place are liberatores, or salvatores,
such as compound the long miseries of civil
wars, or deliver their countries from servitude of
strangers or tyrants; as Augustus Caesar, Vespasi-
anus, Aurelianus, Theodoricus, King Henry the
Seventh of England, King Henry the Fourth of
France. In the fourth place are propagatores or
propugnatores imperii; such as in honorable wars
enlarge their territories, or make noble defence
against invaders. And in the last place are patres
patriae; which reign justly, and make the times
good wherein they live. Both which last kinds need
no examples, they are in such number. Degrees of
honor, in subjects, are, first participes curarum,
those upon whom, princes do discharge the great-
est weight of their affairs; their right hands, as
we call them. The next are duces belli, great leaders
in war; such as are princes' lieutenants, and do
them notable services in the wars. The third are
gratiosi, favorites; such as exceed not this scant-
ling, to be solace to the sovereign, and harmless to
the people. And the fourth, negotiis pares; such as
have great places under princes, and execute their
places, with sufficiency. There is an honor, like-
wise, which may be ranked amongst the greatest,
which happeneth rarely; that is, of such as sacri-
fice themselves to death or danger for the good of
their country; as was M. Regulus, and the two

Of Judicature

JUDGES ought to remember, that their office is
jus dicere, and not jus dare; to interpret law,
and not to make law, or give law. Else will it be
like the authority, claimed by the Church of Rome,
which under pretext of exposition of Scripture,
doth not stick to add and alter; and to pronounce
that which they do not find; and by show of an-
tiquity, to introduce novelty. Judges ought to be
more learned, than witty, more reverend, than
plausible,and more advised, than confident. Above
all things, integrity is their portion and proper
virtue. Cursed (saith the law) is he that removeth
the landmark. The mislayer of a mere-stone is to
blame. But it is the unjust judge, that is the capital
remover of landmarks, when he defineth amiss, of
lands and property. One foul sentence doth more
hurt, than many foul examples. For these do but
corrupt the stream, the other corrupteth the foun-
tain. So with Solomon, Fons turbatus, et vena
corrupta, est justus cadens in causa sua coram
adversario. The office of judges may have reference
unto the parties that use, unto the advocates that
plead, unto the clerks and ministers of justice
underneath them, and to the sovereign or state
above them.

First, for the causes or parties that sue. There be
(saith the Scripture) that turn judgment, into
wormwood; and surely there be also, that turn it
into vinegar; for injustice maketh it bitter, and
delays make it sour. The principal duty of a judge,
is to suppress force and fraud; whereof force is the
more pernicious, when it is open, and fraud, when
it is close and disguised. Add thereto contentious
suits, which ought to be spewed out, as the surfeit
of courts. A judge ought to prepare his way to a
just sentence, as God useth to prepare his way, by
raising valleys and taking down hills: so when
there appeareth on either side an high hand, vio-
lent prosecution, cunning advantages taken, com-
bination, power, great counsel, then is the virtue
of a judge seen, to make inequality equal; that he
may plant his judgment as upon an even ground.
Qui fortiter emungit, elicit sanguinem; and where
the wine-press is hard wrought, it yields a harsh
wine, that tastes of the grape-stone. Judges must
beware of hard constructions, and strained infer-
ences; for there is no worse torture, than the tor-
ture of laws. Specially in case of laws penal, they
ought to have care, that that which was meant for
terror, be not turned into rigor; and that they
bring not upon the people, that shower whereof
the Scripture speaketh, Pluet super eos laqueos;
for penal laws pressed, are a shower of snares upon
the people. Therefore let penal laws, if they have
been sleepers of long, or if they be grown unfit for
the present time, be by wise judges confined in the
execution: Judicis officium est, ut res, ita tempora
rerum, etc. In causes of life and death, judges ought
(as far as the law permitteth) in justice to remem-
ber mercy; and to cast a severe eye upon the
example, but a merciful eye upon the person.

Secondly, for the advocates and counsel that
plead. Patience and gravity of hearing, is an essen-
tial part of justice; and an overspeaking judge is no
well-tuned cymbal. It is no grace to a judge, first
to find that, which he might have heard in due
time from the bar; or to show quickness of conceit,
in cutting off evidence or counsel too short; or to
prevent information by questions, though perti-
nent. The parts of a judge in hearing, are four: to
direct the evidence; to moderate length, repetition,
or impertinency of speech; to recapitulate, select,
and collate the material points, of that which hath
been said; and to give the rule or sentence. What-
soever is above these is too much; and proceedeth
either of glory, and willingness to speak, or of im-
patience to hear, or of shortness of memory, or of
want of a staid and equal attention. It is a strange
thing to see, that the boldness of advocates should
prevail with judges; whereas they should imitate
God, in whose seat they sit; who represseth the pre-
sumptuous, and giveth grace to the modest. But it
is more strange, that judges should have noted
favorites; which cannot but cause multiplication
of fees, and suspicion of by-ways. There is due from
the judge to the advocate, some commendation
and gracing, where causes are well handled and
fair pleaded; especially towards the side which
obtaineth not; for that upholds in the client, the
reputation of his counsel, and beats down in him
the conceit of his cause. There is likewise due to the
public, a civil reprehension of advocates, where
there appeareth cunning counsel, gross neglect,
slight information, indiscreet pressing, or an over-
bold defence. And let not the counsel at the bar,
chop with the judge, nor wind himself into the
handling of the cause anew, after the judge hath
declared his sentence; but, on the other side, let
not the judge meet the cause half way, nor give
occasion to the party, to say his counsel or proofs
were not heard.

Thirdly, for that that concerns clerks and minis-
ters. The place of justice is an hallowed place; and
therefore not only the bench, but the foot-place;
and precincts and purprise thereof, ought to be
preserved without scandal and corruption. For
certainly grapes (as the Scripture saith) will not
be gathered of thorns or thistles; either can justice
yield her fruit with sweetness, amongst the briars
and brambles of catching and polling clerks, and
ministers. The attendance of courts, is subject to
four bad instruments. First, certain persons that
are sowers of suits; which make the court swell,
and the country pine. The second sort is of those,
that engage courts in quarrels of jurisdiction, and
are not truly amici curiae, but parasiti curiae, in
puffing a court up beyond her bounds, for their
own scraps and advantage. The third sort, is of
those that may be accounted the left hands of
courts; persons that are full of nimble and sinister
tricks and shifts, whereby they pervert the plain
and direct courses of courts, and bring justice into
oblique lines and labyrinths. And the fourth, is the
poller and exacter of fees; which justifies the com-
mon resemblance of the courts of justice, to the
bush whereunto, while the sheep flies for defence
in weather, he is sure to lose part of his fleece. On
the other side, an ancient clerk, skilful in prece-
dents, wary in proceeding, and understanding in
the business of the court, is an excellent finger of
a court; and doth many times point the way to the
judge himself.

Fourthly, for that which may concern the sov-
ereign and estate. Judges ought above all to re-
member the conclusion of the Roman Twelve
Tables; Salus populi suprema lex; and to know
that laws, except they be in order to that end, are
but things captious, and oracles not well inspired.
Therefore it is an happy thing in a state, when
kings and states do often consult with judges; and
again, when judges do often consult with the king
and state: the one, when there is matter of law,
intervenient in business of state; the other, when
there is some consideration of state, intervenient
in matter of law. For many times the things de-
duced to judgment may be meum and tuum, when
the reason and consequence thereof may trench to
point of estate: I call matter of estate, not only the
parts of sovereignty, but whatsoever introduceth
any great alteration, or dangerous precedent; or
concerneth manifestly any great portion of peo-
ple. And let no man weakly conceive, that just
laws and true policy have any antipathy; for they
are like the spirits and sinews, that one moves with
the other. Let judges also remember, that Solo-
mon's throne was supported by lions on both sides:
let them be lions, but yet lions under the throne;
being circumspect that they do not check or oppose
any points of sovereignty. Let not judges also be
ignorant of their own right, as to think there is not
left to them, as a principal part of their office, a
wise use and application of laws. For they may
remember, what the apostle saith of a greater law
than theirs; Nos scimus quia lex bona est, modo
quis ea utatur legitime.

Of Anger

TO SEEK to extinguish anger utterly, is but a
bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles:
Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down
upon your anger. Anger must be limited and con-
fined, both in race and in time. We will first speak
how the natural inclination and habit to be angry,
may be attempted and calmed. Secondly, how the
particular motions of anger may be repressed, or
at least refrained from doing mischief. Thirdly,
how to raise anger, or appease anger in another.

For the first; there is no other way but to medi-
tate, and ruminate well upon the effects of anger,
how it troubles man's life. And the best time to do
this, is to look back upon anger, when the fit is
thoroughly over. Seneca saith well, That anger is
like ruin, which breaks itself upon that it falls.
The Scripture exhorteth us to possess our souls in
patience. Whosoever is out of patience, is out of
possession of his soul. Men must not turn bees;

... animasque in vulnere ponunt.

Anger is certainly a kind of baseness; as it ap-
pears well in the weakness of those subjects in
whom it reigns; children, women, old folks, sick
folks. Only men must beware, that they carry
their anger rather with scorn, than with fear; so
that they may seem rather to be above the injury,
than below it; which is a thing easily done, if a
man will give law to himself in it.

For the second point; the causes and motives of
anger, are chiefly three. First, to be too sensible of
hurt; for no man is angry, that feels not himself
hurt; and therefore tender and delicate persons
must needs be oft angry; they have so many things
to trouble them, which more robust natures have
little sense of. The next is, the apprehension and
construction of the injury offered, to be, in the cir-
cumstances thereof, full of contempt: for contempt
is that, which putteth an edge upon anger, as much
or more than the hurt itself. And therefore, when
men are ingenious in picking out circumstances of
contempt, they do kindle their anger much. Lastly,
opinion of the touch of a man's reputation, doth
multiply and sharpen anger. Wherein the remedy
is, that a man should have, as Consalvo was wont
to say, telam honoris crassiorem. But in all refrain-
ings of anger, it is the best remedy to win time;
and to make a man's self believe, that the oppor-
tunity of his revenge is not yet come, but that he
foresees a time for it; and so to still himself in the
meantime, and reserve it.

To contain anger from mischief, though it take
hold of a man, there be two things, whereof you
must have special caution. The one, of extreme bit-
terness of words, especially if they be aculeate and
proper; for cummunia maledicta are nothing so
much; and again, that in anger a man reveal no
secrets; for that, makes him not fit for society. The
other, that you do not peremptorily break off, in
any business, in a fit of anger; but howsoever you
show bitterness, do not act anything, that is not

For raising and appeasing anger in another; it
is done chiefly by choosing of times, when men
are frowardest and worst disposed, to incense
them. Again, by gathering (as was touched before)
all that you can find out, to aggravate the con-
tempt. And the two remedies are by the contraries.
The former to take good times, when first to relate
to a man an angry business; for the first impres-
sion is much; and the other is, to sever, as much as
may be, the construction of the injury from the
point of contempt; imputing it to misunderstand-
ing, fear, passion, or what you will.

Of Vicissitude

SOLOMON saith, There is no new thing upon
the earth. So that as Plato had an imagination,
That all knowledge was but remembrance; so
Solomon giveth his sentence, That all novelty is
but oblivion. Whereby you may see, that the river
of Lethe runneth as well above ground as below.
There is an abstruse astrologer that saith, If it were
not for two things that are constant (the one is,
that the fixed stars ever stand a like distance one
from another, and never come nearer together, nor
go further asunder; the other, that the diurnal
motion perpetually keepeth time), no individual
would last one moment. Certain it is, that the mat-
ter is in a perpetual flux, and never at a stay. The
great winding-sheets, that bury all things in ob-
livion, are two; deluges and earthquakes. As for
conflagrations and great droughts, they do not
merely dispeople and destroy. Phaeton's car went
but a day. And the three years' drought in the time
of Elias, was but particular, and left people alive.
As for the great burnings by lightnings, which are
often in the West Indies, they are but narrow. But
in the other two destructions, by deluge and earth-
quake, it is further to be noted, that the remnant
of people which hap to be reserved, are commonly
ignorant and mountainous people, that can give
no account of the time past; so that the oblivion is
all one, as if none had been left. If you consider
well of the people of the West Indies, it is very
probable that they are a newer or a younger peo-
ple, than the people of the Old World. And it is
much more likely, that the destruction that hath
heretofore been there, was not by earthquakes (as
the Egyptian priest told Solon concerning the
island of Atlantis, that it was swallowed by an
earthquake), but rather that it was desolated by a
particular deluge. For earthquakes are seldom in
those parts. But on the other side, they have such
pouring rivers, as the rivers of Asia and Africk and
Europe, are but brooks to them. Their Andes, like-
wise, or mountains, are far higher than those with
us; whereby it seems, that the remnants of gen-
eration of men, were in such a particular deluge
saved. As for the observation that Machiavel hath,
that the jealousy of sects, doth much extinguish
the memory of things; traducing Gregory the
Great, that he did what in him lay, to extinguish
all heathen antiquities; I do not find that those
zeals do any great effects, nor last long; as it ap-
peared in the succession of Sabinian, who did
revive the former antiquities.

The vicissitude of mutations in the superior
globe, are no fit matter for this present argument.
It may be, Plato's great year, if the world should
last so long, would have some effect; not in renew-
ing the state of like individuals (for that is the fume
of those, that conceive the celestial bodies have
more accurate influences upon these things below,
than indeed they have), but in gross. Comets, out
of question, have likewise power and effect, over
the gross and mass of things; but they are rather
gazed upon, and waited upon in their journey,
than wisely observed in their effects; specially in,
their respective effects; that is, what kind of comet,
for magnitude, color, version of the beams, plac-
ing in the reign of heaven, or lasting, produceth
what kind of effects.

There is a toy which I have heard, and I would
not have it given over, but waited upon a little.
They say it is observed in the Low Countries (I
know not in what part) that every five and thirty
years, the same kind and suit of years and weath-
ers come about again; as great frosts, great wet,
great droughts, warm winters, summers with little
heat, and the like; and they call it the Prime. It is
a thing I do the rather mention, because, comput-
ing backwards, I have found some concurrence.

But to leave these points of nature, and to come
to men. The greatest vicissitude of things amongst
men, is the vicissitude of sects and religions. For
those orbs rule in men's minds most. The true re-
ligion is built upon the rock; the rest are tossed,
upon the waves of time. To speak, therefore, of the
causes of new sects; and to give some counsel con-
cerning them, as far as the weakness of human
judgment can give stay, to so great revolutions.
When the religion formerly received, is rent by
discords; and when the holiness of the professors
of religion, is decayed and full of scandal; and
withal the times be stupid, ignorant, and bar-
barous; you may doubt the springing up of a new
sect; if then also, there should arise any extrava-
gant and strange spirit, to make himself author
thereof. All which points held, when Mahomet
published his law. If a new sect have not two prop-
erties, fear it not; for it will not spread. The one is
the supplanting, or the opposing, of authority es-
tablished; for nothing is more popular than that.
The other is the giving license to pleasures, and a
voluptuous life. For as for speculative heresies
(such as were in ancient times the Arians, and now
the Armenians), though they work mightily upon
men's wits, yet they do not produce any great al-
terations in states; except it be by the help of civil
occasions. There be three manner of plantations of
new sects. By the power of signs and miracles; by
the eloquence, and wisdom, of speech and persua-
sion; and by the sword. For martyrdoms, I reckon
them amongst miracles; because they seem to ex-
ceed the strength of human nature: and I may do
the like, of superlative and admirable holiness of
life. Surely there is no better way, to stop the rising
of new sects and schisms, than to reform abuses; to
compound the smaller differences; to proceed
mildly, and not with sanguinary persecutions;
and rather to take off the principal authors by win-
ning and advancing them, than to enrage them
by violence and bitterness.

The changes and vicissitude in wars are many;
but chiefly in three things; in the seats or stages of
the war; in the weapons; and in the manner of the
conduct. Wars, in ancient time, seemed more to
move from east to west; for the Persians, Assyrians,
Arabians, Tartars (which were the invaders) were
all eastern people. It is true, the Gauls were west-
ern; but we read but of two incursions of theirs:
the one to Gallo-Grecia, the other to Rome. But east
and west have no certain points of heaven; and no
more have the wars, either from the east or west,
any certainty of observation. But north and south
are fixed; and it hath seldom or never been seen
that the far southern people have invaded the
northern, but contrariwise. Whereby it is manifest
that the northern tract of the world, is in nature
the more martial region: be it in respect of the stars
of that hemisphere; or of the great continents that
are upon the north, whereas the south part, for
aught that is known, is almost all sea; or (which is
most apparent) of the cold of the northern parts,
which is that which, without aid of discipline,
doth make the bodies hardest, and the courages

Upon the breaking and shivering of a great state
and empire, you may be sure to have wars. For
great empires, while they stand, do enervate and
destroy the forces of the natives which they have
subdued, resting upon their own protecting forces;
and then when they fail also, all goes to ruin, and
they become a prey. So was it in the decay of the
Roman empire; and likewise in the empire of
Almaigne, after Charles the Great, every bird tak-
ing a feather; and were not unlike to befall to
Spain, if it should break. The great accessions and
unions of kingdoms, do likewise stir up wars; for
when a state grows to an over-power, it is like a
great flood, that will be sure to overflow. As it hath
been seen in the states of Rome, Turkey, Spain,
and others. Look when the world hath fewest bar-
barous peoples, but such as commonly will not
marry or generate, except they know means to live
(as it is almost everywhere at this day, except Tar-
tary), there is no danger of inundations of people;
but when there be great shoals of people, which go
on to populate, without foreseeing means of life
and sustentation, it is of necessity that once in an
age or two, they discharge a portion of their people
upon other nations; which the ancient northern
people were wont to do by lot; casting lots what
part should stay at home, and what should seek
their fortunes. When a warlike state grows soft and
effeminate, they may be sure of a war. For com-
monly such states are grownm rich in the time of
their degenerating; and so the prey inviteth, and
their decay in valor, encourageth a war.

As for the weapons, it hardly falleth under rule
and observation: yet we see even they, have re-
turns and vicissitudes. For certain it is, that ord-
nance was known in the city of the Oxidrakes in
India; and was that, which the Macedonians
called thunder and lightning, and magic. And it
is well known that the use of ordnance, hath been
in China above two thousand years. The conditions
of weapons, and their improvement, are; First, the
fetching afar off; for that outruns the danger; as
it is seen in ordnance and muskets. Secondly, the
strength of the percussion; wherein likewise ord-
nance do exceed all arietations and ancient inven-
tions. The third is, the commodious use of them; as
that they may serve in all weathers; that the car-
riage may be light and manageable; and the like.

For the conduct of the war: at the first, men
rested extremely upon number: they did put the
wars likewise upon main force and valor; pointing
days for pitched fields, and so trying it out upon
an even match and they were more ignorant in
ranging and arraying their battles. After, they
grew to rest upon number rather competent, than
vast; they grew to advantages of place, cunning
diversions, and the like: and they grew more skil-
ful in the ordering of their battles.

In the youth of a state, arms do flourish; in the
middle age of a state, learning; and then both of
them together for a time; in the declining age of a
state, mechanical arts and merchandize. Learning
hath his infancy, when it is but beginning and
almost childish; then his youth, when it is luxuri-
ant and juvenile; then his strength of years, when
it is solid and reduced; and lastly, his old age, when
it waxeth dry and exhaust. But it is not good to look
too long upon these turning wheels of vicissitude,
lest we become giddy. As for the philology of
them, that is but a circle of tales, and therefore not
fit for this writing.

Of Fame

THE poets make Fame a monster. They de-
scribe her in part finely and elegantly, and
in part gravely and sententiously. They say, look
how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she
hath underneath; so many tongues; so many
voices; she pricks up so many ears.

This is a flourish. There follow excellent par-
ables; as that, she gathereth strength in going;
that she goeth upon the ground, and yet hideth her
head in the clouds; that in the daytime she sitteth
in a watch tower, and flieth most by night; that
she mingleth things done, with things not done;
and that she is a terror to great cities. But that
which passeth all the rest is: They do recount that
the Earth, mother of the giants that made war
against Jupiter, and were by him destroyed, there-
upon in an anger brought forth Fame. For certain
it is, that rebels, figured by the giants, and seditious
fames and libels, are but brothers and sisters, mas-
culine and feminine. But now, if a man can tame
this monster, and bring her to feed at the hand,
and govern her, and with her fly other ravening
fowl and kill them, it is somewhat worth. But we
are infected with the style of the poets. To speak
now in a sad and serious manner: There is not, in
all the politics, a place less handled and more
worthy to be handled, than this of fame. We will
therefore speak of these points: What are false
fames; and what are true fames; and how they
may be best discerned; how fames may be sown,
and raised; how they may be spread, and multi-
plied; and how they may be checked, and laid
dead. And other things concerning the nature of
fame. Fame is of that force, as there is scarcely any
great action, wherein it hath not a great part; es-
pecially in the war. Mucianus undid Vitellius, by
a fame that he scattered, that Vitellius had in pur-
pose to remove the legions of Syria into Germany,
and the legions of Germany into Syria; where-
upon the legions of Syria were infinitely inflamed.
Julius Caesar took Pompey unprovided, and laid
asleep his industry and preparations, by a fame
that he cunningly gave out: Caesar's own soldiers
loved him not, and being wearied with the wars,
and laden with the spoils of Gaul, would forsake
him, as soon as he came into Italy. Livia settled
all things for the succession of her son Tiberius, by
continual giving out, that her husband Augustus
was upon recovery and amendment, and it is an
usual thing with the pashas, to conceal the death
of the Great Turk from the janizaries and men of
war, to save the sacking of Constantinople and
other towns, as their manner is. Themistocles made
Xerxes, king of Persia, post apace out of Grecia, by
giving out, that the Grecians had a purpose to
break his bridge of ships, which he had made ath-
wart Hellespont. There be a thousand such like
examples; and the more they are, the less they
need to be repeated; because a man meeteth with
them everywhere. Therefore let all wise governors
have as great a watch and care over fames, as they
have of the actions and designs themselves.

[This essay was not finished]

A Glossary

Abridgment: miniature
Absurd: stupid, unpolished
Abuse: cheat, deceive
Aculeate: stinging
Adamant: loadstone
Adust: scorched
Advoutress: adulteress
Affect: like, desire
Antic: clown
Appose: question
Arietation: battering-ram
Audit: revenue
Avoidance: secret outlet
Battle: battalion
Bestow: settle in life
Blanch: flatter, evade
Brave: boastful
Bravery: boast, ostentation
Broke: deal in brokerage
Broken: shine by comparison
Broken music: part music
Cabinet: secret
Calendar: weather forecast
Card: chart, map
Care not to: are reckless
Cast: plan
Cat: cate, cake
Charge and adventure: cost and
Check with: interfere
Chop: bandy words
Civil: peaceful
Close: secret, secretive
Collect: infer
Compound: compromise
Consent: agreement
Curious: elaborate
Custom: import duties
Deceive: rob
Derive: divert
Difficileness: moroseness
Discover: reveal
Donative: money gift
Doubt: fear
Equipollent: equally powerful
Espial: spy
Estate: state
Facility: of easy persuasion
Fair: rather
Fame: rumor
Favor: feature
Flashy: insipid
Foot-pace: lobby
Foreseen: guarded against
Froward: stubborn
Futile: babbling
Globe: complete body
Glorious: showy, boastful
Humorous: capricious
Hundred poll: hundredth head
Impertinent: irrelevant
Implicit: entangled

In a mean: in moderation
In smother: suppressed
Indifferent: impartial
Intend: attend to
Leese: lose
Let: hinder
Loose: shot
Lot: spell
Lurch: intercept
Make: profit, get
Manage: train
Mate: conquer
Material: business-like
Mere-stone: boundary stone
Muniting: fortifying
Nerve: sinew
Obnoxious: subservient, liable
Oes: round spangles
Pair: impair
Pardon: allowance
Passable: mediocre
Pine-apple-tree: pine
Plantation: colony
Platform: plan
Plausible: praiseworthy
Point device: excessively precise
Politic: politician
Poll: extort
Poser: examiner
Practice: plotting
Preoccupate: anticipate
Prest: prepared
Prick: plant
Proper: personal
Prospective: stereoscope
Proyne: prune
Purprise: enclosure
Push: pimple
Quarrel: pretext
Quech: flinch
Reason: principle
Recamera: retiring-room
Return: reaction
Return: wing running back
Rise: dignity
Round: straight
Save: account for
Scantling: measure
Seel: blind
Shrewd: mischievous
Sort: associate
Spial: spy
Staddle: sapling
Steal: do secretly
Stirp: family
Stond: stop, stand
Stoved: hot-housed
Style: title
Success: outcome
Sumptuary law: law against
Superior globe: the heavens
Temper: proportion
Tendering: nursing
Tract: line, trait
Travel: travail, labor
Treaties: treatises
Trench to: touch
Trivial: common
Turquet: Turkish dwarf
Under foot: below value
Unready: untrained
Usury: interest
Value: certify
Virtuous: able
Votary: vowed
Wanton: spoiled
Wood: maze
Work: manage, utilize

End of The Project Gutenberg Etext of Essays of Francis Bacon

Udvalgte artikler
Filosofi: Dekonstruktion
Her introduceres dekonstruktionen som er en filosofi Jaques Derrida grundlagde.

Psykologi: Sigmund Freud og psykoanalysen
Her fremlægges psykoanalysen som er en af de væsentligeste psykologiske retninger.

Filosofi: Ludwig Wittgenstein: Fra logik til sprogspilsteori
Her skildres de to meget forskellige filosofiske sprogteorier som Wittgenstein beskæftigede sig med.

Sociologi og psykologi: Introduktion til Pierre Bourdieu
Om begreber og videnskabsteori hos Bourdieu, som i høj grad benyttes indenfor sociologien og psykologien.

Filosofi: Aristoteles logik og metafysik
En gennemgang af Aristoteles filosofi om logik og metafysik.