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ferred more thankful, and the rest more officious, because all is of favour. 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 immediately, will talk more boldly of those that are so great with them, and thereby wound their honour; 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 honourable; 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 magnified. That that is, is between superior and inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend one the other.
Of Suitors. Many ill matters and projects are undertaken, and private suits do putrify the public 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 effectually in them; but if they see there may be life in the matter by some other mean, they will be content to win a thank, or take a second reward ; or at least to make use in the mean time of the suitor's hopes. Some take hold of suits only for an occasion to cross some other, or to make an information, 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 fpetition. If affection lead a man to favour 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 favour 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 honour; 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 challenging no more thanks than one hath deserved, is grown not only honourable, but also gracious. In Suits of favour, the first coning 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, advantage 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 awaken 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 too 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 : “ You may ask a thing which ought not to be granted, that you, may receive one that ought;" is a good rule, where a man hath strength of favour: but otherwise 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 favour. 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
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 discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business. For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars one by one; but the general counsels, and the plots, and marshalling 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 humour of a scholar. They perfect Nature, and are perfected by experience; for natural abilities are like natural
plants, that need pruning by Study; and Studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. 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 without 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 discourse, 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 important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; else, distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man; conference 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 con