Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

tend. « Our Studies pass into our manners, i. e. our manners show what our Studies have been.Nay, there is no stand 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 wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if bis 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 school-men ; for they are “ Cutters of cammin, i. e. splitters of hairs, or over-nice distinguishers.” If he be not apt to beat overmatters, and to call up one thing to approve and illustrate auother, let him study the lawyer's 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

S

men of several Factions do nevertheless agree; or in dealing with correspondence to particular persons one by one. But I say not, that the consideration 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 moderately, 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 great number that are more moderate. When one of the Factions is extinguished, the remaining subdivideth: as the Faction between Lucullus and the rest of the nobles of the senate (which they call Optimates) held out a while against the Factions of Pompey and Cæsar; but when the senate's authority was pulled down, Cæsar and Pompey soon after brake. The Faction or party of Antonius, and Octavianus Cæsar, against Brutus and Cassius, held out likewise for a time; but when Brutus and Cassius were overthrown, then , soon after Antonius and Octavianus 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 princi

use.

pals; but many times also they prove cyphers and are cashiered. For many a man's strength is in opposition, and when that faileth, he groweth out of

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 their 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 carriage 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 the obligation of sovereignty, and make the king if he were one of us ;" 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 busi

The motions of Factions under kings ought

66

as

ness.

to be like the motions (as the astronomers speak) of the inferior orbs, which may have their proper motion, but yet still are quietly carried by the higher motion of primum mobile, the main spring or impulse."

Of Ceremonies and Respects. He that is only real, had need have exceeding 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 commendation 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 contipually in use, and in note; whereas the occasion of any great virtue cometh but on festivals. Therefore it doth much add to a man's reputation, and is (as Queen Isabella said) “ like perpetual letters commendatory, to have good forms." To attain 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 labour too much to express them, he shall lose their

to be natural and unaffected. Some men's behaviour is like a verse, wherein eyery syllable is measured. How can a man com

grace, which

prehend great matters, 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 to diminish respect to himself; especially, they are 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 certainly there is a kind of conveying of effectual, and imprinting passions 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 any thing, so that he giveth another occasion of society, maketh himself 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 somewhat of one's own: as if you would grant his opinion, let it be with some distinction; if you would 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 otherwise, their en

[ocr errors]
« iepriekšējāTurpināt »