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Cain's, who envied his brother, because his sacrifice was better accepted, when there was nobody but God

to look on.

15. The lovers of great place, are impatient of privateness, even in age, which requires the shadow : like old townsmen, that will be still sitting at their street door, though there they offer age to scorn.

16. In evil, the best condition is, not to will: the next, not to can.

17. In great place, ask counsel of both times: of the ancient time what is best; and of the latter time, what is fittest.

18. As in nature things move more violently to their place, and calmly in their place: so virtue in ambition is violent; in authority, settled and calm.

19. Boldness in civil business is like pronunciation in the orator of Demosthenes; the first, second, and third thing.

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20. Boldness is blind: wherefore it is ill in counsel, but good in execution. For in counsel it is good to see dangers; in execution, not to see them, except they be very great.

21. Without good-nature, man is but a better kind of vermin.

22. God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it.

23. The great atheists indeed are hypocrites, who are always handling holy things, but without feeling; so as they must needs be cauterized in the end.

24. The master of superstition is the people. And in all superstition, wise men follow fools.

25. In removing superstitions, care would be had, that, as it fareth in ill purgings, the good be not taken away with the bad: which commonly is done when the people is the physician.

26. He that goeth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.

27. It is a miserable state of mind, and yet it is commonly the case of kings, to have few things to desire, and many things to fear.

28. Depression of the nobility may make a king more absolute, but less safe.

29. All precepts concerning kings are, in effect, comprehended in these remembrances: remember thou art a man; remember thou art God's vicegerent: the one bridleth their power, and the other their will.

30. Things will have their first or second agitation: if they be not tossed upon the arguments of counsel, they will be tossed upon the waves of fortune.

31. The true composition of a counsellor is, rather to be skilled in his master's business than his nature; for then he is like to advise him, and not to feed his humour.

32. Private opinion is more free, but opinion be- ! fore others is more reverend.

33. Fortune is like a market, where many times, if you stay a little, the price will fall.

34. Fortune sometimes turneth the handle of the bottle, which is easy to be taken hold of; and after the belly, which is hard to grasp.

35. Generally it is good to commit the beginning of all great actions to Argus with a hundred eyes; and the ends of them to Briareus with a hundred hands; first to watch, and then to speed.

36. There is great difference betwixt a cunning man and a wise man. There be that can pack the cards, who yet cannot play well; they are good in canvasses and factions, and yet otherwise mean men.

37. Extreme self-lovers will set a man's house on fire, though it were but to roast their eggs.

38. New things, like strangers, are more admired, and less favoured.

39. It were good that men, in their innovations, would follow the example of time itself, which indeed innovateth greatly, but quietly, and by degrees scarce to be perceived.

40. They that reverence too much old time, are but a scorn to the new.

41. The Spaniards and Spartans have been noted to be of small dispatch. Mi venga la muerte de Spagna;

Let my death come from Spain, for then it will be sure to be long a coming.

42. You had better take for business a man somewhat absurd, than over-formal.

43. Those who want friends to whom to open their griefs, are cannibals of their own hearts.

44. Number itself importeth not much in armies, where the people are of weak courage; for, as Virgil says, it never troubles a wolf how many the sheep


45. Let states that aim at greatness, take heed how their nobility and gentry multiply too fast. In coppice woods, if you leave your staddles too thick, you shall never have clean underwood, but shrubs and bushes.

46. A civil war is like the heat of a fever; but a foreign war is like the heat of exercise, and serveth to keep the body in health.

47. Suspicions among thoughts, are like bats among birds, they ever fly by twilight.

48. Base natures, if they find themselves once suspected, will never be true.

49. Men ought to find the difference between saltness and bitterness. Certainly he that hath a satirical vein, as he maketh others afraid of his wit, so he had need be afraid of others' memory.

50. Discretion in speech is more than eloquence. 51. Men seem neither well to understand their riches, nor their strength: of the former they believe greater things than they should, and of the latter much less. And from hence certain fatal pillars have bounded the progress of learning.

52. Riches are the baggage of virtue; they cannot be spared, nor left behind, but they hinder the march.

53. Great riches have sold more men than ever they have bought out.

54. Riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves; and sometimes they must be set flying, to bring in more.

55. He that defers his charity until he is dead, is, if

a man weighs it rightly, rather liberal of another man's than of his own.

56. Ambition is like choler; if it can move, it makes men active; if it be stopped, it becomes adust, and makes men melancholy.

57. To take a soldier without ambition, is to pull off his spurs.

58. Some ambitious men seem as skreens to princes in matters of danger and envy. For no man will take such parts, except he be like the seel'd dove, that mounts and mounts, because he cannot see about him.

59. Princes and states should choose such ministers as are more sensible of duty than rising; and should discern a busy nature from a willing mind.

60. A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.

61. If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see fortune; for though she be blind, she is not invisible.

62. Usury bringeth the treasure of a realm or state into few hands: for the usurer being at certainties, and others at uncertainties; at the end of the game most of the money will be in the box.

63. Virtue is best in a body that hath rather dignity of presence, than beauty of aspect. The beautiful prove accomplished, but not of great spirit; and study, for the most part, rather behaviour than virtue.

64. The best part of beauty is that which a picture cannot express.

65. He who builds a fair house upon an ill seat, commits himself to prison.

66. If you will work on any man, you must either know his nature and fashions, and so lead him; or his ends, and so persuade him; or his weaknesses and disadvantages, and so awe him; or those that have interest in him, and so govern him.

67. Costly followers, among whom we may reckon those who are importunate in suits, are not to be liked; lest, while a man maketh his train longer, he make his wings shorter.

68. Fame is like a river that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid. 69. Seneca saith well, that anger is like ruin, which breaks itself upon that it falls.


70. Excusations, cessions, modesty itself well verned, are but arts of ostentation.

71. High treason is not written in ice; that when the body relenteth, the impression should go away.

72. The best governments are always subject to be like the fairest crystals, wherein every icicle or grain is seen, which, in a fouler stone, is never perceived.

73. Hollow church papists are like the roots of nettles, which themselves sting not; but yet they bear all the stinging leaves.




1. To deceive men's expectations generally, with cautel, argueth a staid mind, and unexpected constancy: viz. in matters of fear, anger, sudden joy, or grief, and all things which may affect or alter the mind in public or sudden accidents, or such like.

2. It is necessary to use a steadfast countenance, not wavering with action, as in moving the head or hand too much, which sheweth a fantastical, light, and fickle operation of the spirit, and consequently like mind as gesture: only it is sufficient, with leisure, to use a modest action in either.

3. In all kinds of speech, either pleasant, grave, severe, or ordinary, it is convenient to speak leisurely, and rather drawingly, than hastily; because hasty speech confounds the memory, and oftentimes, besides unseemliness, drives a man either to a nonplus or unseemly stammering, harping upon that which

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