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cious. 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 admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.
Of Honour and Reputation. THE winning of Honour is but the revealing of man's virtue and worth without disadvantage. For some in their actions do woo and affect Honour 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 Honour, than by affecting a matter of great 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 his Honour that entereth into any action, the failing wherein may disgrace him more than the carrying of it through can honour him. Honour that is gained and broken upon another, hath the quickest reflection, like diamonds cut with fascets. And therefore let a man contend to excel any competitors of his in Honour, in out-shooting them, if he can, in their own bow. Discreet followers and servants help much to reputation :
much to reputation : “ All reputation emanates or takes its rise from our domestics." Envy, which is the canker of Honour, 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 policy. The trụe marshalling of the degrees of sovereign honour are these: In the first place are, Conditores Imperiorum, Founders of States and Commonwealths; such as were Romulus, Cyrus, Cæsar, Ottoman, Ismael. In the second place are, Legislators, Lawgivers; which are also called Second Founders, or Perpetui Principes, because they govern by their ordinances after they are gone; such were Lycurgus, Solon, Justinian, Edgar, Alphonsus of Castile, the Wise, that made the Siete Patridas. 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 Cæsar, Vespasianus, 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 honourable wars enlarge their territories, or make noble defence against invaders. And in the last place are Patres Patriæ, 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 Honour in subjects are: first, Participes Curarum, those upon whom princes do discharge the greatest weight of their affairs, their right-hands as we call them. The next are Duces Belli, Great Leaders, such as are princes’ lieutenants, and do them notable services in the wars. The third are Gratiosi, favourites, such as need not this scantling, 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 Honour likewise which may be ranked amongst the greatest, which happeneth rarely, that is, of such as sacrifice themselves to death or danger for the good of their country; as was M. Regulus, and the two Decii.
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 antiquity 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 land-mark.” The mislayer of a meer-stone is 'to blame ; but it is the unjust Judge that is the capital remover of land-marks, 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 fountain. So saith Solomon: “ A muddied fountain, and a corrupted vein, is a just man failing in his cause against his adversary." The office of Judges may have reference unto the parties that sue; 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, violent prosecution, cunning advantages taken, combination, 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. “He who wipes hard, makes the blood start ;” 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 inferences; for there is no worse torture than the torture of laws ; specially, in case of laws penal: they ought to have care, that that which was meant for terror, be not turned into rigour; and that they bring not upon the people that shower whereof the Scripture speaketh, " He shall rain snares upon them:" for penal laws pressed are a shower of