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viers will be sure to give them that attribute, to disadvantage of their greater virtues. It is loss also in business, to be too full of Respects, or to be too 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 not make more opportunities than he finds. Men's behaviour 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 reflection. If it be from the common people, it is commonly 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 or perceiving 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), “ A good name is like fragrant
ointment;" it filleth all round about, and will not easily away: for tbe odours 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 common 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 flatterer, look wherein a man is conscious to himself, that he is most defective and is most out of countenance in himself, that will the flatterer entitle him to perforce,“ in spite of conscience.” Some Praises come of good wishes and respects, which is a form due in civility to kings and great persons : By praising men for qualities which they do not possess, to point out to them what qualities they ought to possess ;” 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: “ The worst kind of enemies is that of flatterers ;” insomuch as it was a proverb amongst the Grecians; “ that he that was praised to bis hurt should have a push rise
upon his nose.” As we say: " that a blister will rise upon one's tongue that tell a lie.” Certainly, moderate Praise, used with opportunity, and not vulgar, 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 a man or matter, doth irritate contradiction, 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 magnanimity. The cardinals of Rome, which are the theologues, and friars, and schoolmen, have a phrase of notable contempt and scorn towards civil business : for they call all temporal business of wars, embassages, judicature, and other employments, Shireri, which is under-sherriffries, as if they were but matters for under-sheriffs and catchpoles : though many times those under-sheriffries do more good than their high speculations. Saint Paul, when he boasts of himself, he doth oft interlace, “ I speak like a fool;" but speaking of his calling, he saith, “I magnify my apostleship, or I glory in my apostleship."
Of Vain Glory. IT
was prettily devised of Æsop : “ The fly sate upon the axle-tree of the chariot-wheel, and said, • What a dust do I raise?!” So there are 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 effectual; but according to the French proverb, “ Beaucoup de bruit;" “ Much cry, little wool." 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 Ætolians, “ 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 between 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 military commanders and soldiers, Vain Glory is an essential point: for as iron sharpens iron, so by Glory one courage sharpeneth another. In cases of great enterprize, 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 ostentation. “They who write books concerning the contempt of Glory, yet inscribe their name in them." Socrates, Aristotle, Galen, were men full of ostentation. Certainly Vain Glory helpeth to perpetuate a man's memory; and virtue was never so beholden to human nature, 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 attribute to Mucianus: “By a peculiar art of his own, he was a great displayer of every thing which he said or did ;” for that proceeds not of vanity, but of natural magnanimity and discretion; and in some persons, is not only comely, but gra