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reap. A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. Men's behaviour should be like their apparel; not too straight or point device, but free for exercise or motion.
LIII. 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 nought; 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 shews, 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 filleth all round about, and will not easily away for the 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 archflatterer, 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, spreta conscientia. Some praises come of good wishes and respects, which is a form due in civility to kings and great persons; laudando præcipere; 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 laudan
tium; insomu cians, that he have a push blister will Certainly mo not vulgar, saith, He the it shall be to magnifying c tion, and pro self cannot b to praise a r with good g The cardina friars, and s tempt and s all temporal and other er sheriffries, a. sheriffs and c der-sheriffries tions. St. P oft interlace, calling, he sa
Ir was pret the axle-tree a dust do I r that whatsoev means, if the think it is the must needs b comparisons. good their ow and therefore French prover Much bruit, lit this quality in and fame to be these men are
tium; 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 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 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 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, sbirrerie, which is undersheriffries, as if they were but matters for undersheriffs and catchpoles; though many times those under-sheriffries do more good than their high speculations. St. Paul, when he boasts of himself, he doth oft interlace, I speak like a fool; but speaking of his calling, he saith, magnificabo apostolatum meum.
LIV. OF VAIN-GLORY.
It was prettily devised of Æsop: 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 effectual; 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 Etolians, 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, vainglory is an essential point; for as iron sharpens iron, so by glory one courage sharpeneth 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 ostentation: Qui de contemnenda gloria libros scribunt 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 beholden to human nature, as it received its 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; omnium, quæ dixerat, feceratque, 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 com
"mending 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 su"perior, 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 wants.
LV. OF HONOUR AND REPUTATION.
THE winning of honour is but the revealing of a 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 shew 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 atchieved, but not with so good circumstance; he shall purchase more honour 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 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 or 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: omnis fama a domesticis emanat. 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 true 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 legislatores, 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 partidas. 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 patria, 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 are princes' lieuteuants, and do them notable services in the wars. The third are gratiosi, favourites; such as exceed 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.
LVI. 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