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Full text of "The moral and historical works of Lord Bacon : including his essays, Apophthegms, Wisdom of the ancients, New atlantis, and Life of Henry the Seventh"

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THE 



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MORAL AND HISTORICAL 

W ORKS 

or 

LORD BACON, 





FR£. il&tD©!* 

VlSCOtTNT ST ALBA3ST. 
OB; 1626- 



THE 



MORAL AND HISTORICAL 

WORKS 

OF 

LORD BACON 



IM'Ll-UIN'G HIS 



ESSAYS, 

APOPHTHEGMS, WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS, 
NEW ATLANTIS, 

AND 

LIFE OF HENRY THE SEVENTH. 



WITH AN INTRODUCTORY DISSERTATION, AND NOThs. 
CRITICAL, EXPLANATORY, AND HI8TOBICAL. 

BY 

JOSEPH DEVEY, M.A. 

ot*^- /***.-& t^ ^^ . 1U >, v _ .; ^ ^ 

LONDON : 
H ENEY G. BOHN, YOEK STEEET, COVENT GARDEN. 

1852. 



privtep by 

cox ^brothers) and wymav, great qi'ke.v street, 

li.vcoln's-inn fields. 






CONTENTS. 



INTRODUCTORY ESSAY ON THE 
WRITINGS OF BACON 



LIFE AND 

Page ix 



ESSAYS; or, Counsels Civil and Moral. 



I.— Of Truth 




1 


II. — Of Death 




4 


III. — Of Unity in Religion 


6 


IV. — Of Revenge . . 




12 


V. — Of Adversity 




13 


VI. — Of Simulation and Dissimulation 


. 15 


VII. — Of Parents and Children 


18 


VIII. — Of Marriage and 


Single Life 


19 


IX.— Of Envy 




21 


X. — Of Love 




26 


XI. — Of Great Place 




. 28 


NIL— Of Boldness . . 




. 31 


XIII. — Of Goodness, and 


Goodness of Nature 


33 


XIV. — Of Nobility . . 




. 36 


XV. — Of Seditions and 


Troubles 


. 33 


XVI. — Of Atheism .. 




45 


XVII.— Of Sin kstition 




49 


XVIIL— Of Travel . . 




. 50 


X i X.— Of Empire . . 






\.\. • (>f Counsel . . 




58 


xxi. in Delays .. 




63 


xxii. of Cunning .. 




64 


XXIII. Of WlSDOM FOR A 


.Man's Self . . 


68 


XX IV. of Innovations 




69 


XXV. in DlBPATCH . . 




70 


xxvi. of Seeking Wise 




72 


XX VII.- I >f Friendship 




78 


XXYiii. of Expense .. 






XXIX.— of the Tbub Gbbatnsss of Kingdoms an 


D 


Estates 


._ . , 


. SI 



M 



CONTENTS. 



\ \ X.—Of 

XXXI.— Op 

XXXII.— Of 

XXXIII.— Of 

X X X I V.— Of 

XXXV.— Of 

XXXVI.- Of 

X X X V 1 1.— Of 

X v XVII r.— Of 

XXXIX.— Of 

XL.— Of 

XLI.— Of 

XLIT.— Of 

XLIIL— Of 

XLIV.— Of 

XL V.— Of 

XLVL— Of 

XLVIL— Of 

XLVIIL— Of 

XLIX.— Of 

L.— Of 

LI.— Of 

LIL— Of 

LIIL— Of 

LIV.— Of 

LV.— Of 

LVL— Of 

LVIL— Of 

LVIIL— Of 

A Fragment of 

On Death 



Regimen ok Health . . 
Suspicion 

I H 0O1 B8B 

Plantations 

Riches 

Pbophecies 

\ MB1TI0N 

Masques and Triumphs 
Nature in Men 
Custom and Education 

KoRTINE 

Usury 

Youth and Age 
Beauty 
Deformity 
Building 
Gardens 
Negotiating 
Followers and Friends 
Suitors 
Studies 
Faction 

Ceremonies and Bespects 
Braise 
Vain Glory- 
Honour and Beputation 
Judicature 
Anger 

Vicissitude of Things . . 
an Essay of Fame 



Pn,,r 00 

92 
93 
95 
98 
101 
104 
106 
108 
109 
111 
113 
117 
119 
120 
121 
125 
131 
132 
134 
136 
137 
139 
140 
142 
144 
146 
150 
152 
157 
159 



ABOBHTHEGMS 164 

ORNAMENTA EATIONALIA : or Elegant Sentences . . 191 
SHORT NOTES FOR CIVIL CONVERSATION . . . . 198 



THE WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS; a Series op 
Mythological Fables. 



Breface 

I. — Cassandra, or Divination. Explained of too 
free and unseasonable Advice 
II. — Typhon, or a Rebel. Explained of Rebellion . . 
III. — The Cyclops, or the Ministers of Terror. 

Explained of base Court Officers 
IV. — Narcissus, or Self-love 
V. — The River Styx, or Leagues. Explained of 



200 



203 

204 



206 
207 



CONTEXTS. vii 

Necessity, in the Oaths or Solemn Leagues ot 

Princes Page 208 

VI. — Pan, or Nature. Explained of Natural Philosophy 209 
VII. — Perseus, or War. Explained of the Preparation 

and Conduct necessary to War . . . . . . 216 

VIII. — Endymion, or a Favourite. Explained of Court 

Favourites . . .. . . . . . 219 

IX.— The Sister of the Giants, or Fame. Explained 

of Public Detraction ' 220 

X. — Acteon and PkkTHBDS, or a Curious Man. Ex- 
plained of Curiosity, or Prying into the Secrets 
of Princes and Divine Mysteries . . . . 221 

XI. — Orpheus, or Philosophy. Explained of Natural 

and Moral Philosophy 222 

XII. — COiLUM, or BEGINNINGS. Explained of the Crea- 
tion, or Origin of all Things . . . . . . 225 

XIII. — Proteus, or Matter. Explained of Matter and 

its Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 

XIV. — Memnon, or a Youth too forward. Explained 

of the fatal Precipitancy of Youth . . 228 

XV. — Tythonus, or Satiety. Explained of Predominant 

Passions 229 

XVI. — Juno's Suitor, or Baseness. Explained of Sub- 
mission and Abjection . . . . . . . . 230 

XVII. — Cupid, or an Atom. Explained of the Corpus- 
cular Philosophy . . . . . . . . . . ib. 

XVIII. — Diomed, or Zeal. Explained of Persecution, or 

Zeal for Religion . . 233 

XIX. — D.edalus, or Mechanical Skill. Explained of 

Arts and Artists in Kingdoms and States . . 236 

XX. — Ericthonius, or Imposture. Explained of the Im- 
proper Use of Force in Natural Philosophy . . 238 
XXI. — Deucalion, OB RESTITUTION. Explained of a 

Useful Hint in Natural Philosophy . . . . 239 

XXII. — Nemesis, or the Vicissitude of Things. Ex- 
plained of the Reverses of Fortune ib. 
XXIII. — Achklous, or Battle. Explained of War by 

Invasion . . . . . . . . . . 241 

XXIV. — Dionysus, m; I'.acchus. Explained of the Passions 242 
XXV. — Atalanta and Hippomenes, or Gain. Explained 

of the Contest betwixt Art and Nature . . . . 245 

XXVI. — Prometheus, or the State of Man. Explained 
of an Over-ruling Providence, and of Human 

Nature 247 

XXV'II. [CASUS and Scyli.a and Charyhdis, <>it Tin: 
MIDDLE Way. Explained of Mediocrity in 
Natural and Moral Philosophy . . . . 256 

XXVIII. Sihinx, or Science. Explained of the Sciences 268 
\.\l.\. Pbobebfuto, ob Spirit. Explained of the Spirit 

included in Natural I'odies . . . . . . 2G1 



VIII 



CONTENTS. 



XXX. — Metis, or Counsel. Explained of Princes and 

their Council . . Page 264 



XXXI. — Tur, Sikkns, ob Pleasures 
Passion for Pleasures 



NEW ATLANTIS •• 
HENRY THE SEVENTH . . 
HENEY THE EIGHTH 
QUEEN ELIZABETH 
HENRY, PRINCE OF WALES 
HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN 

JULIUS CESAR 

AUGUSTUS C^SAR 



Explained of Men's 



265 

269 
307 

479 
480 
493 
495 
499 
504 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



The present volume contains; all the historical work- of 
Lord Bacon, and the principal of his moral works; only a few 
antiquated pieces being omitted, which are no longer read. 
A companion volume is in immediate preparation (for the 
Scientific Library), comprising a complete translation of the 
nine books of De Augment™ SdenHanvm, not hitherto given 
in any edition of his works, and the Novum Orgcunum : 
both fully illustrated with notes. If these two volumes meet 
with that success to which their contents entitle them, it is 
proposed to collect the remaining portions of Lord Bacon's 
Philosophical and Miscellaneous works into a third volume, 
that the series may embrace all the writings of that philo- 
sopher which have outlived modern discovery, and are likely 
continuously to interest the attention of mankind. 

H. G. B. 

London, Nov. 1832. 



.; I - 



INTRODUCTION. 

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL 



AlfONO the gfreat spirit s whofl • claim t<> undisputed empire over 
men's thoughts lias been ratified bj th ! concurrent testimony of 
■ and nations, Lord Bacon .-iamls deservedly pre-eminent. 
If lie does not occupy the foremost plan-. In- pretensions an 
high and legitimate as any of his competitors'. T m i- 

not, however, on.' of degree, but of kind, and consequently will 
be decided according to th" estimation in which men are inclined 
to hold different objects. Ji' idea] philosophy be regarded, 
and the application of the ration;.! faculty to objects of moral 
speculation, the palm must be awarded to Socrates an,! Plato. If 

the art of mental analysis lie considered, and the power of 
tinctly Looking into the human mind, and tracing out the various 
laws which produci ntrol its pi i ia, we must 

readily admit the pretensions of Aristotle. But should we dh 
our views to physie; I the creation of materia] arts and the 

extension of man's power over nature, we shail be compelled 
grace Bacon's temples with the proudest w r< ath of glory. Despiti 
the splendid attempts of Plato and Aristotle to explain everyth 
the result proved thai th< Lr empire was bounded by th.' coni 
of the material universe. The arts and discoveries of the Athe- 
nian sa'_ r es, splendid as t] the Bpiritual world, and even 

potent to liberate tie- s iul from the tyranny of the passions, still 
stop here. They mighl be exercised in a cloister, a desert, or 

in a dung i, as the] were exercised under the despotism of tic. 

most degraded of the Soman emperors, without beaching man 
any other art than that of patience under calamities, and that of 
stringing together t 1 ttive truths proposed by scienci 

revelation. These advfl re, doubtless, important in 

their day, 1ml they failed to disclose one physical truth, 
protect tie' civilized world from the incursion of Bai 
rescue mankind from barbarism. Bacon, though not the first 
to detect this lacune in philosophy, was tic first to bring to its 
removal the adventurous genius of the Stagyrite, and to ex. 
plore the mines of physical phenomena with tic searching keen- 
ness thai his predecessor manifested in analyzing the law of the 
reasoning faculty, Thought and language adjusted th 

b 2 



\ii INTRODUCTION. 

to the pursuit, — new ideas were evolved, and a practical method 
[tuted of applying the inductive .syllogism to the interpreta- 
tion of nature. 

If Bacon discovered no great law himself, he not only 
propounded the system by which all might be reached, hut 
gave hints which enabled his successors to light at once on the 
lurking-place of the discovery, and roused mankind with heart- 
stirring appeals to pursue the only legitimate track of natural 
science, [fa .Newton was required to exemplify the utility of 
Bacon's Organon, by a series of splendid discoveries, a Plato 
was also needed to exhibit the highest triumphs of the reasoning 
faculty before its laws could be detected by the keen glance of the 
Stagyrite ; and notwithstanding that both the ancient and the 
modern philosopher have had their share of detractors, mankind 
have been wonderfully concurrent in paying fealty to each as the 
great arbiters of the destinies of their species. The influence of 
the Stagyrite extends over a waste of two thousand years, through 
which, with some knocks from those who ought to have been his 
greatest friends, and with damaging support from that school 
whose descendants have proved his mortal enemies, he has gene- 
rally contrived to mould the minds of those who sway the world. 
The intellect of Bacon has only impressed itself upon two centu- 
ries, and yet so unanimous has been the verdict of mankind, and 
so astounding the discoveries which have resulted from his 
method, that his fame may be pronounced to stand upon as 
firm a basis as that of Aristotle. Not an age passes wherein 
the inquiries which he continues to excite and direct do not lead 
to some practical result, either in the diminution of human evil, or 
in the increase of man's power and enjoyment ; and so rapid has 
been the stride of scientific improvement since his day. that men 
now justly regard that state of learning which the scholastics 
surveyed with raptures of admiration, as the mere infancy of 
knowledge. 

But Bacon was not only the high priest of nature, he was also 
the Lord Chancellor of England, and notwithstanding that some 
of his actions in relation to this office will occasionally awaken the 
censure of the reader, there are traits and performances which must 
challenge his applause, and transmit his name with lustre to pos- 
terity. The eloquence and searching analysis he displayed in phi- 
. * losophy followed him to the bar. His legal arguments, of which 
Pjttj/rvnlM ^ Kl £ on Perpetuities may be taken as a type, are among^he most 
HL- ^"J'-i masterly ever heard in Westminster Hall. His history of the -\ 
Jj i . Alienation Office may be pronounced worthy of Hale , while his 

, dissertation on the courts of equity certainly throws the more 

f popular treatise of Grotius into the shade. The question of law 

reform, so popular in our day, was first raised by him. and advo- 
cated in a speech of reasoning eloquence which at once secured 



INTRODUCTION - . xin 

him the favour of the Commons ; and though his exhortations 
were unheeded till the Barcbones Parliament thought I 
lawyers might be dispensed with altogether, and thought] 
have been neglected from the Restoration till our own times, it 
must be borne in mind thai the reforms already effected have been 
mainly directed by his councils, and that in carrying out thai wide 
measure of chancery reform, on which all parties are now bent, 
he is our safest guide. Though the son of a lord-keeper, and the 
nephew of a prime minister, be bad, like all aspiring legists, to 
fight his way up to the highest posts of Ins profession by merit 
alone; nor does it appear that his oflicial kinsmen ever opened 
their lips, or stretched out their hand, except to push him back, 
or asperse his fame. 

Whether, then, we consider moral admonitions, the highest 
philosophical achievements, practical civil wisdom, or the most 
splendid legal and forensic talents, the life and works of Lord 
Bacon stand if not alone in the world, at least without their 
rival in modern annals.* The characters of ordinary thinkers 
may be duly estimated when the generation with which their 
influence ends has passed away, but the merits of those who 
have given an immutable direction to the resistless tide of human 
reason, and fashioned the channel through which it is destined to 
flow, can only be fully appreciated after centuries have tested 
the result. High as Bacon's name now stands, every succeeding 
age must increase its elevation, and centuries roll away before 
it can be said to be graced with its final trophies. 

Francis Bacon was born at York Housc,t in the Strand, on 
the 22nd January, (old style) 1560. His father, Sir Nicholas 
Bacon, one of the greatest ornaments of Elizabeth's adminis- 
tration, and, lord-keeper of the great seal, contributed by his 
practical foresight to raise England to a height in European 
councils which has only been realized by the Btrongesl govern- 
ments of later times. His mother. Ann Cook, the daughter of 
Edward the Sixth's tutor, was skilled in the Latin and Greek 

* To. the univer Bgyrio, Burke, who borrowed from him 

his sagest political observations, bears testimony: "Who is there that, 
upon - ame oi Lord Bacon, does not instantly recognise every- 

thing of genius the most profound, everything of literature the most exten- 
sive, everj thing of discovery the most penetrating, everything of observation 
on human life the mo lung and refined? All these musl 

instantly recognised, for they are -ill inseparably associated with the d 
of lv<»'il Venuam. 11 Speech on the [mpeachmenl of Warren Bastings. 

+ York Bouse was so named from having been inhabited by the arch- 
bishop of York in tli. n ' 'In: hanks 
of the Thames, at tin: bottom "!' Buckingham-street, Strand. 

• <•(' it now remain ine water-gate, built by [nigo . \ 

view "f the old hoi , tory 

Wilkinson's Londina Ulustrata. 



[NTBODUCTIOir. 

rues, which ladies were then accustomed to learn, owing to 
the dearth of modern literature ; and also possessed such facility 
hi Krench and Italian as to pronounce and translate those lan- 

aages wit li ease and correctness. There can be little doubt that 
■II, like many other greaJ men, inherited a large portion of 
his abilities from his mother, and that she, as the lord-keeper's 
time was absorbed by more pressing duties, mostly contributed 
to fashion the infant stream of his thoughts, and give them a 
healthy direction."* Of his younger days, nothing more is re- 
corded than his breaking open the drums and trumpets his nurses 
bought him, to explore the locality of the soundf his leaving 
the ordinary field sports, to discover ti t' an echo in 

ighhouring vault, and his sprightly answers to (^ueen 
Elizabeth, who used to stroke his headwind call him her little 
lord-keeper. "It is certain," says Macaulay, "that at at twelve 
years old he busied himself with very ingenious speculations on 
the art of legerdemain ; a subject which, as Dugald Stewart has 
most justly observed, merits much more attention from philoso- 
phers than it has ever received." 

In the latter end of his thirteenth year he was entered at 
Trinity College, Cambridge, but it does not appear that he ever 
felt at home in what are, or ought to be, the halls of science. His 
tutor, Whitgift, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, never 
thought him worthy of a remark in his writingsT* Doubtless, 
Bacon placed too high a value on being well with his age, to 
make an open onslaught on the institutions and the men whom 
it regarded with veneration; but it requires no great sagacity 
to discern in his remarks on cloistered learning, his opinion of 
alma-mater, and its Bister university^ He deplored, as we de- 
plore now, and are making some attempts to remedy, the absence 
of scientific studies in the British universities; and covertly 
described the phdosophy expounded within their walls, as so 
much spider thread spun out of the brain of the scholastics, ad- 
mirable for its fineness, but without any use or purpose in nature. 
Prom his wrangling with Aristotle, whose logic he unaccountably 
deemed diametrically opposed to his own, there is no doubt 
that he experienced some hard knocks at the university ; and that, 
like Swift, Goldsmith, Gibbon, and Adam Smith, he was treated 
as too stubborn and erratic for a systematic course of study, 
and left pretty much to follow the bent of his own inclination.^ 
Having kept onlv eight terms. Bacon quitted the university 
without a degree^and being intended by his father for the poli- 
tical profession, was intrusted to the care of Sir Amyas Paulet, 

lie queen's ambassador at Paris, and occasiouallf ^mploved by 

him in offices of trust for the crown. After visiting the chief 

provinces of Prance he Bettled in PoictiersTand devoted three 

- >of that period of life which is most averse to reflection, to 



n v' ( ,U( tyj hrt "-hzs-^t 



^^ FT**** 



INTRODUCTION-. 






study, and retirement. To this sojo u rn we_ owc not only his 

pjSpin It! tNotes on I lie "5Tau.'*6T JiuropeT^vTiicli display the 

rifling sagacity of the veteran statesman, but ajl tie' graces of 

and manner which BO distinguish him from his contem- 



poraries 

"\\'i . was engaged in his studies he received news 

20, L579,) of his father's death. Like Philip of Arragon, 

Nicholas Bacon perished from the effects of civility. The 

politeness of a servant, who would not presume to close a window 
before which h had fallen asleep, killed him. Bacon 

hastened home, but found his eldest brother in possession of the 
patrimonial estate, with nothing left for himself but a slender 
fifth portion, totally inadequate to the maintenance of his station 
in society. After many futile applications to his uncle, the lord- 
surer Burleigh, for political employment, he entered Gray's 
lun in his twentieth year, resolved to scale the heights of power 
arduous but Burer path of law. For ten or eleven 
s ucceed in g ye ars, he rarely Buffered either amusement or literal 
tmv t<> disturb the teno r of his p rofejsjpnalduties, and seemi 
to nave fully mastered the common law, and lamifiaris^d his mind ,, 
with every branch of jurisprudence/About this period he publi shed 
a draft of his philosophical notions, under the title of . 
partitm maximum, (The Greatest Birth of Time:) which, however, 
* dropped Btill-born from the press, the world only knowing 
its existenceurTOugh a paragraph in one of his letters to Father 
Fulgentio: nor does it appear that thfc copies whi<0i h«> scattered ^,_ 
amo:i'^_h [s frien ds did him any further service* than to single him fr- 
ont as a rash speculatist. Bacon, emboldened by his high talents 

•laims of his family on the crown, continued to ply the 
Cecil* but without any other result than I 

.id lectures on his arrogance and presumption. The 
lord-treasurer, though a man of cool judgment and calculating 

. had no regard for intellectual merit, and thought 
even one hundred pounds toohande gratuity for : 

'• fairy Queen," which he termed a foolish old BOl . il id he 
been childless, the - • M would have led him to bring 

forward, which now impelled him to push back, his illustrious 
man ; but he had a son, and being res >lved to make the premier- 
ship hereditary in his family, thought no means beneath him j o -j£ 
blasl Bacon's legal reputation. Eh/.abetli \vas~n7T tliaFTrieson 



of the lateTorUieeper wi | rficial legist and a rash philo- 

sophical dreamer; and the unlucky I partutH 

doubtless adduced in proof of the allegation, thai Bacon 
was more calculated to perplex than to promote the despatch of 
civil business. The plulosopher, however, was persevering, and 

illy impervious to repulse. Burleigh, ai last wearied out, gave 
him strar of the Star Chamber in reversion; but the 



XVI 

e no1 falling due till afl 
complained that "il was Like another ma ground fatt< 

noon bis house, wdiii b might r ivive his prospects, but did no 
1 1 ' ■ barne 

In 1593 he sat for Middlesex, and delivered his maiden 
spej xh in fjaiour nf few refo rm. The praises which followed 
so intoxicated him, that in the ensuing debate on the sub- 
sidy" he broke out into a flaming c^tionagainst the _ court" 
denouncing the claim as extravagant, and dwelling wTthpathetic 
sympathy on the miseries which such exactions must cause 
among the country gentry, who would be constrained to sell 
their plate and brass pans to meet the demands of the crown. 

/jtf.u/' £ '-'Bacon carried his motion for an inquiry , and struck all the cour- 
TTP tiers with horror and amazement. The queen, highly incensed, 

<r ^ ' desired if to be intimated to the delinquent, that he must never 
more expect favour or promotion. The spirit of the rising 
patriot was cowed; with bated breath, he whispered expressions 
of repentance and amendment, and never afterwards played 
the patriot further than was consistent with his interest at 
court. 

Egerton, the Attorney-General, being soon after elevated to 
the Bolls, and Coke becoming the chief law officer of the crown, 
the solicitor's place fell vacant, and opened to Bacon a path to 
the highest professional honours. He evidently thought this the 
1 greatjgri sis of h is life, and spared no pains to secure the golden 
pnzewhich leads to the guardianship of the royal conscience. 
His unluck y speech, and th e_jealous j of the Ceci ls, lay in his 
path, andToremove these obstacles Tie had to show deference to 
men he hated, and pay dutiful obedience to all the wishes of the 
crown. After soliciting lord-keeper Puckering and the Cecils to 
use their influence, he resolved to take a bold step, and address 
the queen, who, however, recalled his unlucky subsidy speech, 
an his philosophical predilections as fatal to his claims. But 
Bacon did not give up the battle. The talents of Essex were 
imrnediatery put in requisition to obtain the solicitor's place, but 
the queen could ill brook the rising popularity of the favourite, 
and was too glad to avail herself of an occasion to cross his 
views. Essex, however, had an inkling that a man of such 
splendid abilities failed only through the weakness of his patron, 
and begsjed of him, in language dictated by spontaneous gene- 
rosity, to accept some recompense for the time he had mis- 
spent in courting the favour of a declining patron. " I shall 
die if I do not somewhat to your fortune ; you shall not deny to 
accept a piece of land which I will bestow upon you.'' After a 
decent resistance, Bacon yielded, and was enfeoffed of land at 

* Letter to Burleigh. 



INTRODUCTION- xvu 

Twickenham, which he afterwards sold for £1,800, a great sum 
in thoei 

Bacon now resolved to disprove the i ts which had * 

been uttered by Burleigh, with respect t • bis Legal attainments, (a*-/)!*M> 
and wrote a treatise upon the elements and use of common *fiL/n,h. 
law, applying the inductive mode of reasoning to jurispru- -i^u 
dence in ascending to the platform of rule.- and maxims throkgh 
the gradual collection of particulars. The publication of his 
Essays followed, and carried his name at once into the mouth 
of the public. His philosophical genius, and the force of his 
language, gave him a greater advantage even than his learning, 
while his keen perception of the true and beautiful and his 
analytic powers have made him the marvel, delight, and despair 
of succeeding essay ists.t 

These endeavours, successful as they were, do not appear to 
have gained him much practice, or to have placed him beyond 
the necessity of compounding with his creditors. Authorship 
brought in nothing but fame in those days. To rid himself of 
embarrassments, so irksome to a man of genius, he resolved to 
make a bold attempt to retrieve his affairs by marriage. Lady 
Hatton, the eldesl daughter of Sir Thomas Cecil, and early 
relict of the son of Chancellor Hatton, was the beauty at whose 
shrine Bacon ventured to offer up his first vows. But the rich — 
widow had unfortunately possessed herself of a copy of Bacon's 
Essays, and finding therein love described as an ignoble passion, 
fit only for bjisjj and petulan t natures, she ascribed his profes- 
sions of attachment rather to her money than to her person, and 
rejected his suit. The disappointment was the more severely fell 
as the young lady capitulated to a rival, his sworn antagonist, Sir 

* This land was Twickenham Park, whi . hanks of 

- from Richmond-bridgi I • Isleworth, and 

led probably to the p called [sleworth-lane, opposite 

Marble-bill. Lord Bacon's hous w >■ pulled d( years since, and 

if it is said to remain : we beb' I are 

still 11 - • . Known in the vicinity 

I Cavendish's hi ae tract ofland (several hundred acres), 

which, in Ba< . appears t" have had only his own house upon it, 

covered with villas, inoluding Lord Kilmorrey's new and n 

a, "St. Margaret's," built nearly on the site of the old mansion of 

•■ land alone would now be « 

t " In Bacon's Essays the superiority of his genius i the 

: the aovi Ityand depth of his reflections often receiving; 
a strong relief from the 1 The volume may b 

from beginning he twentieth perufl J 

one seldom fails to remark in r overlooked before. This, indeed, 

is a characteristic >J a vritings, and la on luntedfor 

by the inexhaustible aliment they tarnish to our own thoughts, and the. 
sympathetic activity the; put torpid faculties. "-Z) 3 part. 

fa .../~ ' l '"' j &£~fM< 



f,,,^i ■/■ 



/ f 

b 0W4 > /„„• W. ' 

wiii IMTRODUCTIQW. 

£^h/ 4& Ed ward Coke, a crabbed old lawyer, -with six children, and stricken 
w iih Infirmities. 

The energy with which Bacon now devoted himself to his 
profession enabled him to place his legal reputation beyond the 
reach of calumny by his celebrated argument on perpetuities, 
which he afterwards fashioned into a reading on the Statute of 
Dsw, and delivered as double reader in Gray's Inn. This tract 
imparted to the law of real property the undeviating exact- 
ice preserved, reconciling fife-interests with perpe- 

L ". /) 3/-1 tuities, and providing facilities for the transfer of land, while it 

, /„ ,,/. >\-f* the stability of families so necessary in a fixed monarchy. 

These Legal triumphs conspired, with the death of Lord Bur- 

. * to Leigh, to raise his credit with Queen Elizabeth, who was a visitor at 
1 .1 ^ Twickenham when the earl who conferred that domain on Bacon 
urned from his unfortunate expedition to Ireland. As he, in 
addition to the other misfortunes of the campaign, had quitted 
the army without her Majesty's permission, the queen appeared 
indignant, and named a commission, in which Bacon was retained 
as council extraordinary for the crown, to examine the unfortu- 
nate earl on the various misdemeanors which truth or jealousy 
imputed to him. In these proceedings Bacon seems at first 
to have played the part of a prudent friend, in striving to effect 
a reconciliation between Elizabeth and her favourite ; but his 
endeavours on both sides were misconstrued, and rewarded with 
suspicions of double-dealing and treachery. " The earl looked on 
him as a spy of the queen, the queen as a creature of the earl." 

" The reconciliation," says Macaulay, " which Bacon had 
laboured to effect appeared utterly hopeless. A thousand signs, 
legible to eyes far less keen than his, announced that the fall of 
his pair. in was at hand. He shaped his course accordingly. 
^ hen Essex was brought before the Council to answer for his 
conduct in Ireland, Bacon after a faint attempt to excuse him- 
self from taking part against his friend, submitted to the Queen's 
pleasure, and appeared at the bar in support of the charges. 
But a darker scene was behind. The unhappy young nobleman, 
made reckless by despair, ventured on a rash and criminal enter- 
prise, which brought on him the highest penalty of the law." 
When the nation loudly resented the fall of the unfortunate earl, 
Bacon, at the command of the queen, justified his execution in a 
pamphlet ; but posterity has never entirely forgiven his ingrati- 
tude, or his apologists succeeded in finding a sufficient excuse 
for it. 

The queen did not long survive her favourite, and the atten- 
tion of both her courtiers and statesmen began to bed:: 
towards the Scottish king. Bacon was determined not to be 
lost among the crowd, and we find him busily employed in 
soliciting James and his courtiers. After despatching letters to 



K l»u^ HU \>~fteU ^ f^~-«. ~^A~4 fSl.n-}- 

introduction* xix 

two of the more important, be resolved to address James him- 
self, and thus hit <.»li* his na ture to the life. " High and 
mighty sovereign Lord, it is observed by some upon a place in 
the Canticles, egp -sum fioa Com pum et lilium convallium, that 

pari, it is not said : Ego sum Jtos horti et lilium neat 
because the majesty of that person is not inclosed for a few, 
appropriated to the great." Excusing his freedom of approach, 
with this quibbl e, be then proceeds to veil his own claims under 
of bis kindred, and concludes with "sacrificing himself as 
a burnt-offering to the king." 

Bacon was kindly receii ton found that his prospects 

by no means diminished by the death of the queen. As 
soon bad domesticated himself a4 Whitehall, he beg 

■ ish titles and honours with so wide a profusion that there 
hardly remained any other mark of distinction than that of 

having escaped them. The public were amazed and COnfuE 

with the heap of new titles, and hooks were announced under- 
taking to help weaker memories to a knowledge of the nobility . 1 r , 
■ Bacon requested to be knighted in a batch of three hundred. f/*** < /'> ' 
who were about to receive that dignity. Jusl at this period' ***'/ ,rt *-^- 
he was offering his heart to the daughter of a rich alderman, 
and intimated to Cecil that the concession of his request would . 

lite the match, and release him from the anomalous posi- j htc-tuU^ 
tion of being: the only untitled lawyer on hi Gray's- ' 

Inn. His wish was gratified, and Miss Barnham immediately 
became Lady Bacon. 

His first app earance under the new reign was as one of ] 
the counsel for the' Crown on the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh, ' ' 
arising out of the conspiracy to place Lady Arabella Mew art on l 9 - • 
the throne. He was not, bowever, permitted by * ■ was ' ^ / 

extremely jealous of bis p er to examine the trit 

or address the jury. But being returned for Ipswich in James's 
first parliam . and made himse lf popular 

with the country party by advocating a moderal - of 

grievances, while he obtained the favour of the king 
porting his pel plan of a union with Scotland. In t ; i • autumn 

• year, he paid a visit to bis friend. Sir Henry Saville, 
provost of Eton, and on his return, addressed a letter to him 
on the subject of education, inclosing a tract entitled. "Helps 

e Intellectual Powers," which pointed out new metho • 
fortifying the memory, and assisting the rationalistic faculty. 

after he p " ] [istory of England," 

sought to move the king to assist him in the undertaking 
writing a tract, "On the Greatness of the Kingdom of Great 

Britain." Contemporan isly with these efforts, he pr 

his treatise " ( >n the ' tenl of Learning," \\ Inch i 

bllowing year and immediately placed his name among the 



JNTR0D1 

iir-t writers of the age. Jn this work ho reviewed the state of 
the sciences, pointed out the obstacles -which had obstructed 
their progress, and suggested sage and practical hints for their 

entire renovation. The eloquen! wisdom he displayed in this 
survey had a marvellous effect in reviving a zeal for science in 
every part of Europe, and in enlarging the domain of know- 
ledge ; so that if Cffisar's compliment to Cicero be worth any- 
thing, in extending the limits of human wit he obtained a glory 
greater than thai of enlarging the houndaries of the Roman 
world. The elevation of Coke, in 1607, to the justiceship of 
the Common Pleas, opened a passage for Bacon to the solicitor's 
place. 

In the mean time Bacon went steadily on with his philoso- 
phical labours. He published his " Cogitata et Visa," which he 
afterwards expanded into the " Novum (Jr^anum," the most 
wonderful effort of analogical wit ever exhibited. Had Bacon 
written nothing else, this work would have been sufficient to 
clothe him with imperishable renown. He likewise published 
his " Sapientia Veterum," and a new and greatly enlarged edition 
of his Essays. But with his foot on the ladder of promotion 
Bacon was not the man to stand still, and he wrote to James, 
with a view to extort a promise of the attorney's place when it 
should fall due. The chief-justiceship of the King's Bench soon 
after becoming vacant, Bacon influenced the king to thrust the 
office on Coke and remove Hobart to the Common Pleas ; that 
he might secure the attorneyship. The manoeuvre was success- 
ful ; the men moved as the wires were drawn, and Bacon became 
the head legal adviser of the Crown. The king created hini 
privy counsellor, which caused him to resign his private practice, 
and give a free rein to his speculative studies. The " Novum 
Organum" was prosecuted with renewed zeal, and a proposition 
appeared from his pen touching the amendment of the civil law. 
In his scheme he does not venture to codify the common law, 
but to reform the statute-book, and extract from the jumble of 
reports a series of sound and consistent decisions. He not only 
wrote valuable treatises to explain and improve the law of Eng- 
land, but induced the king to appoint reporters, who should 
authoritatively print such decisions of the courts as were useful, 
and guard against the publication of crude and contradictory 
cases. 

In 1617. Bacon, who had previously been appointed chan- 
cellor to the duchy of Cornwall, became lord keeper. The 
philosopher is rather degraded than elevated by the trappings 
of civic pomp, yet history condescends to relate, as something 
accessory to his honour, how he rode between the lord high 
chancellor and lord of the privy seal, preceded by his mace- 
bearer and purse-bearer, and followed by a long line of judges, 



OfTRODUCTION. xxi 

to the ceremony of his installation. He entered with alacrity 
on the duties of his new office, cleared out all the arrears 
of Chancery after a month's Bitting, and wrote to the king 
and Buckingham, who were in Edinburgh endeavouring to 
persuade the Scots into epis copa cy, to apprise them what a 
vigilant servant they bad at Westminster. Coke, who in the 
mean time had been dismissed, displayed now as much astute- 
as his rival in reconstructing his fortunes. He had the 
city to foresee that the daughter he had by his second wife 
Lady Hatton, the heir of her mother's broad estates, would not 
be unacceptable to the needy Sir John Villiers. one of the 
brothers of the duke of Buckingham, and accordingly pushed 
the match with all the energy of his character. Lady Hatton, 
who had separated from her husband, opposed his projects, and 
ran away with her daughter to a place of concealment near 
Hampton Court. Coke, with a band of dependants, tied to the 
rescue with the same alacrity as he had posted off t<> Theobald's 
to seize Somerset, and carried off the young lady in triumph. 
Bacon grew alarmed at the prospect of the marriage bringing 
his rival again into favour, and determined no engine sin mid 
remain unemployed to defeat.it. He even deigned to forget 
the rejection of his first love, and opened a correspondence with 
Lady Hatton. Yellverton, the attorney-general, was instructed 
to file an information against Coke in the Star Chamber, and the 
king was importuned with letters designed to show how disastrous 
the union would be to his interests, in which communications 
Bacon so far forgot himself as to deal out sarcasms against frf 1 
Buckingham. The king, and, we need not add/the favourite, 
were enraged. James wrote his chancellor stinging letters of 
rebuke, and Bacon's eyes were open to the fact that his posses- 
sion of the great seal depended on a look of Buckingham. He 
at once abandoned his opposition to the match, and bemoaned 
his error for proceeding in the matter without consulting the 
royal wishes. 

The breach, however, was nol repaired without making the 
lord keeper sensible of the bondage into which he had fallen. 
Buckingham had a host of needy relatives to provide for. The 
king's finances were aever in a flourishing state, and to Batisfy 
their clamours and Bupply his own extravagances, he fell upon 
the old device of patents and monopolies. These were certain 
charters granted under the great seal, enabling a few individuals 
to retain the manufacture of particular articles of trade in 
their own hands, and arming them with exorbitant powers to 

break open and ransack any house in which they suspected 

an illicit manufactory to be carried on. In Elizabeth's reign, 

such powers had been extensively exercise. I. but tl normit 

to which they led raised such an outcry in the cation as 



XX11 INTBODDCTION. 

alarmed (lie queen, and compelled her to revoke the charters. 
Since that time Bacon had manifested some respect for the feel- 
ings of the people, and even declaimed against this mode of 
plundering them in his "advice" to Buckingham ; he now fo 

it necessary to stultify his own Lessons, and that at the command 
of his pupil. As fast as the ingenuity of the favourite could 
devise patents, Bacon hurried them under the great se al of 
England, and a band of monopolists was armed with warrants 
to rob the public, in consideration of handing over to Bucking- 
ham a share of the pillage. The people's sense of justice was 
outraged by an attempt to pass off plated copper-wire for sil- 
ver lace at more than the ordinary price, and an outcry was 
immediately raised against Sir John Yilliers, Sir Giles Monpes- 
son — supposed to be the original of Massenger's Sir Giles 
Overreach, — and Sir Francis Alonpesson, — his Justice Greedy, 
— who were the principals in this nefarious transaction. James 
referred the case to the decision of his chancellor, who, after a 
decent delay, pronounced the patent to be decidedly beneficial, 
on the ground of affording employment to the poor. 

At this period Bacon was employing his leisure in elaborating 
a work which was destined to reform the sciences, and intirod 
anew era in philosophy. In 16*20, appeared the "Isovum Or- 
ganum," which had formed the subject of his contemplations for 
forty-five years, and showed the world that Aristotle might find 
a rival in the chancellor of Great Britain. Xever did voice break 
so portentously on mankind. The tongues of the Peripatetics 
were silenced, the babblers of the Academy hushed, and the rising 
sect of alchemists crouched in the presence of their master. As 
the supreme legislator of science, he had the universe for his 
book and the world for his auditory, and enraptured foreign 
countries with the wisdom of his decisions, while he instructed 
his own. 

" Without any disparagement to the admirable treatise ' De 
Augmentis,'" says Alacaulav, li we may say that, in our judg- 
ment, Bacon's greatest performance is the first book of the 
' Xovum Organum.' All the peculiarities of his extraordinary 
mind are found there in the highest perfection. Every part of 
the book blazes with wit, but with wit which is employed only 
to illustrate and decorate truth. Xo book ever made so great a 
revolution in the mode of thinking, overthrew so many preju- 
dices, introduced so many new opinions." 

Bacon was now at the height of his prosperity. York House 
was fitted up for his town residence, in a style of grandeur un- 
known in his father's days, and Ben Jonson has dune exquisite 
justice to the champagne fetes and the oratory of the owner. In 
addition to his villa at Kew, he erected a private retreat at Gor- 
hambury, at the cost of £10,000, where he used to entertain 



INTRODUCTION. XX1U 

ITobbes and a few choice spirits of the time. From thence he 
was called, not unwillingly, to attend th e tang's court at Theo- 
bald's, where he was raised to the peerage under the title of 
Viscount St. Alban's, Buckingham and Carew supporting his 
robe of state, and Lord Wentworth bearing his coronet, Th 
days afur, the parliament assembled which was to convict him. 

The attention of the new House of Commons was first directed 
to the copper lace business, in which the abuses were so enor- 
mous, as to excite a fearful crusade against monopolies and pro- 
jectors. Rumours also were set afloaJ about corruption in high 
places; disappointed suitors in Chana rv .■■use forth to assail 
integrity of the chancellor. The fathers of Pym and Hampden 
were not to be deterred, by the splendour of the philosopher. 
from prying into the character of the judge. One Aubrey said 
he had been advised to izive £100 to the chancellor, to expedite 
matters, and yet after many delays. Bacon had delivered a killing 
decree against him. Egerton, another petitioner, averred that 
to procure his favour, he had been induced to present him with 
£400, under colour of a gratuity ("V certain services Bacon had 
rendered him when attorney-general, notwithstanding which he 
got an adverse award. One charge brought many more, until the 
li.-t became so lengthy, as to make an impeachmenl a matter of 
course. Coke had gone through the i ■Mediation 

with Bacon, but finding a seal at the privy council hoard without 
office or emolument rather dull work, set the inquiry afoot, and 
though he declined, through motives of decency, to be the chair- 
man of the commiti e, b I its councils, and fashioned 
the instrument which was to lay his rival at his feet. 

Bacon does not seem to have been at first aware of die im- 
pending danger, thinking himself toi i highly ;» rched in the king's 
favour to be struck down by a hand so vulgar as Coke's, and 
that the worst that could happen would he a dissolution. The 
king, however, was led by other councils. Williams, the shrewd 
dean of Westminster, who had impressed Buckingham with a 
favourable opinion of his Bagacity, represented the danger in 
which the court stood of being swept away by the ^discrimi- 
nating tide of patriotism, unless some jacri- 
iiced, and justice dealt out to the herd of minor agents. "Swim, 
with the stream," said Williams, "and you cannot he drowned. 
Leave Bacon to his fai ■. -.;. I Sir John Villiers on an 
and throw overboard M and Michael as baits to deeoy 
the whales from following a Binking Bhip," The chancellor was 
left to read the adoption of this advice in the uncivil air of 
the dependants of the court, and when his suspicions were con- 
firmed by an interview with the king and his minion, h 
adjourned the House of Lords, and betook himself to his bed. 

The blow soon fell. He was impeached before the lords for 



xxiv [NTRODUCTION. 

bribery and corruption, in the High Court of Chancery, on 
twenty-three separate counts. By the advice of the king, he 
dictated a vague confession of his guilt to be laid before 
lords, by the heir apparent, in which he admitted that his con- 
science uphraided him with sufficient matter for impeachment, 
but begged their lordships to remember there were tritia tern- 
poris as well as cilia hominis, and entreated them to accept 
his resignation of the great sea] as a sufficient expiation of his 
errors. The peers, however, demanded a particular answer to 
each count of the impeachment, and communicated to him the 
formal articles of charge, with the proofs in support of each to 
that end. Bacon's confession was complete, lie subscribed to 
each of the charges, admitting the receipt of the illegal sums 
from his suitors, though qualifying them in some instances as 
new year's gifts, or gratuities for past services. The king dared 
not interpose, and final judgment was not long delayed. He 
was sentenced to pay a fine of £40,000, to be imprisoned in the 
Tower during the king's pleasure, declared incapable of holding 
any public office, place, or employment, and forbid to come 
within verge of the court.* 

After one night's confinement in the Tower he was released, 
and consigned to his gloomy mansion in the country. Here 
he resolved to dedicate his retirement to literature, and 
begged of James to direct his mind to any undertaking that 
might add lustre to his reign. The history of Henry VII. was 
pointedjmtj jy the m onarch as a work worthy of his pen. Bacon 
gives us a very graphic and complete view of the principal com- 
motions which disturbed his reign. If he circumstantially details 
the pompous embassies and empty speeches of the period, it is 
because history consisted hardly of anything else, the people 
in those times allowing themselves to be treated like cattle, and 
permitting princes to decide their highest destinies with infan- 
tine simplicity. The character of the age is, notwithstanding, 
drawn out by Bacon in vivid colours, and the grouping of the 
incidents shows that, had the times conspired, he lacked not the 
capacity to rival Hume or Robertson in the highest department 
of their art. The king, who evidently thought more about this 
book than the "Novum Organon," which he declared surpassed 
his comprehension, condescended to correct the MSS., and 
, - allowed Bacon to come to town, with a view to expedite its 

course through the press. This work was immediately followed 
up by his " History of Life and Death.'' with an enlarged editio n 
. /i v . t^a.i of his Essays , and many of his minor piece s^ The following year 
id i*^s £e~expaudecl the '"Treatise on the Advancement of Learning" 
into nine books, preserving the first book of the original as pre- 

* This venality lias been elaborately palliated and defended by Montagu, 
part and parcel of the conditii i 



<\ 



l*iiu<-!i 1^7 tAf* , 



INTRODUCTION". XXV 

liniinary to his design, and amplifying the matter of the second 
into eight. 

Bacon, however, from his little retreat at Gorhambury, made 
small account of impressing his mind upon his living country- 
. his eye rested upon Europe and posterity. The fate 
of Chaucer haunted him: he thought that modern languages 
would play the bankrupt with books, and that if he did not 
inshzine his thoughts in a dead language, his name would 
p travel abroad, and would positively die out among his own 
countrymen in the next generation. With the assistance of Her- 
bert, Play fair, and some add of Ben Jonson. he gave his new 
treatise, together with his Essays and many of his minor pieces, 
a Latin dress : but on contrasting those works with the "Novum 
Organon," originally written by himself in Latin, it does not 
appear that he was much indebted to the attainments of his 
translators. 

Bacon, though he followed the pursuits, had not learned to 
adopt the simple tastes of the philosopher. He gave up York 
House and its splendid luxuries with a pang, but retained the 
greater part of Ids retinue, and refused to allow one tree of the 
Gorhambury woods to be felled, even to satisfy the demands of 
his clamorous creditors. When urged to part with some of the , 
more_ostensi bIc fi ner ies of his hous ehold. " No," replied the philo- 
sopher, wit h mdTgu atioii. " I wiTTiiot be stripped of my feathers." 
He even entertained Copes of resuming his seat in the Lords, if 1 
not on the woolsack, and did not scruple, in his letters to James, 
to pervert history, with a view to establish similar eases of rein- f -. 
tegration. " Demosthenes," says Bacon, in one of these commu- J/ \- 
nications, "was banished for bribery of the highest nature, vet 
was recalled with honour; Marcus Lucius was condemned for 
exactions, yet afterwards made consul and censor; Seneca was 
banished for divers corruptions, yet was afterwards restored, | 
and an instrument in the memorable Quinquenium Neronis." 

Williams, however, who had succeeded him as Lord Keeper, 

dreading the gigantic power of the suppliant in opposition, was 

not idle in multiplying reasons for allowing Bacon to decay 

among his books, and Buckingham had found agents quite as 

I to his purpose as the philosopher of Gorhambury. 

After the lapse of thr c four years the public feeling 

against Bacon subsided, and his works had made so favourable 
an impression upon all classes of society, thai the king thought 
he might \\ ith safety cancel the remaining portion of his sentence, 
and again open to him the avenues of public life. He requited 
this favour by writing t\uu i>artv pampld ets for the royal favour- ^ ^~f 
ite, Buckingham, one entitled " kome Considerations touching a 
War with Spain," in which l'o lauon ?•> 

m ake an unjusti fiable attack upon an unoU'enc E EEe &&**> 



XXVI INTRODUCTION. 

called "An Advertisement touching an Holy War," was neither 
more nor less than a dialogue on the lawfulness of propagating 
religion by the sword. The king certainly had hi.s hands full in 
trying to extirpate heresies, reconcile schisms, and reform man- 
ners ; but our author was inclined to think a war might be 
undertaken at the same time. 

Had nature not interposed, but left the actors to perform their 
several parts with the same vigour, there is little doubt that 
Bacon would have climbed back to the woolsack. But a year 
sufficed to push James off the scene, and when parliament met 
to hail the advent of a new monarch, Bacon was too enfeebled 
by premature decay to attend the royal summons. About six- 
teen months before, when able to tread with firm step the avenues 
of the court, a writ requesting his attendance in the upper house, 
to consult circa ardua regtii, would have revived his declining 
spirits. Now, no longer capable of playing a part, he flung 
the document with an air of contempt on his table, exclaiming, 
"I have done with such vanities." He survived the king only 
one year ; but true to his beloved restoration of the sciences, he 
continued to the end to devote every moment rescued from 
positive sickness to the elaboration of the structure. "With re- 
markable economy of time, he reserved the easiest portion of his 
labour for the employment of his latter days, and died in its 
execution. As the collection of mere empirical facts, which form 
only the unfashioned materials of natural science, could bring 
him no honour, the toil of his closing years must be regarded 
as the offspring of pure benevolence. The dry collocation of a 
heap of phenomena could not but be distasteful to a scholar, but 
all who presented themselves to build up the sciences aspired to 
be architects ; and Bacon said the work could not advance 
unless some consented to become the stonemasons of the rest. 
"With the true humility of greatness he descended to the task, 
and sacrificed his own importance for the welfare of his species. 
It struck him, when examining the subject of antiseptics, that 
snow might preserve flesh from corruption, and he resolved to 
try the experiment. One frosty morning, in the spring of 1626, 
he alighted at Highgate, and proceeded to stuff a fowl which he 
had bought at a neighboiiring cottage, with snow that he gathered 
from the ground. At the end of the operation he felt in his 
hmbs a sudden chill, and was obliged to retire to the earl of 
Arundel's house hard by, where he met with nourishing cor- 
dials, dutiful attendants, and a damp bed. The last few lines 
he scrawled were directed to the owner of the mansion, whose 
incautious hospitality hastened his end, in which he compares 
himself to the elder Pliny, who lost his life in exploring the 
mouth of Vesuvius, and describes the experiment as succeeding 
'' excellently well," which caused his death. A fever inline- 



xx\ii 

diatcly ensued, attended with a defluxion in the breast. II 
lingered only a week, expiring on the morning of Easter-day 
in the sixty-sixth year of his a§ 

He was buried in St. Michael's church, St. Albans, by the 
side of his mother. A monument was soon alter erected to his 
memory by bis secretary, Sir Thomas fifeantys, which represents 
him in a Bitting posture, with an inscription, which strangely 
parodies the sublime opening of the installation, " Franci-.cn - 
Bacon, Baro de Verulam, St. Albani Viccomes. . . . Sicsedebat." 
A stranger standing oyer the grave of the great regenerator of 
physical science, might fairly expect to he entertained with 
something better than a pun upon one of the most striking 
Lges in his writings. 

His wife, who brought him no issue, died in 1646; a divorce 
had separated them since his fall. 

Though Bacon was constantly attended by a chaplain and a 
secretary, who appear to have been fully impressed with hie 
intellectual greatness, no chronicle has come down to us either 
of his private habits, his ingenious sayings, or his social virtues. 
liawley has indeed written a vague panegyric, which he called a 
life, but the colour is BO indiscriminately laid on, and some of 
the incidents bo perverted, thai doubt may he entertained as to 
the fidelity of even the leading features. Bacon was invested 
with mighty intellectual endowments, which struggled to find 
vent as much by impressing themselves on his own aL. r e as by 
overturning the philosophical systems of antiquity. His min< 
was pre-eminently of a strong objective character, could see 
nothing except through the senses, and was disposed with 

which had given to spiritual supremacy a second fall, to 
undervalue everything which didnol contribute to physical en- 
joyment or tangible glory. The same impulse which led him 
to build t;p th'' natural scienci - on their true foundations, led 
him also to mistake the false glitter of the world for soniethm. 
real, and to think that his elevation could not be complete 
- tie- baubles of state were a- much at his command 

the laws of nature. It is true that the condition of the tim • 

Borne excuse tor him; and bis Legal treatises, the settle- 
ment of the law of real property, his attempts at law reform, 
many of his judicial and political acts, show a nature naturally 

obeying the impulse of reason and conscience: while the ui 
peachaole bhunelessness of his private life, ami the calm earnee ■ 
nessofhis mori prove that be only needed a purer atmo- 

>re, ami more civilized times, to act with all the dignity of the 
.and speak with the unadulterated eloquence of anAugue 

-IC. 

It is one of the most striking proofs of the original go 
of Bacon's nature, that he never tyrac inferio] , 

c -1 



XXV1U INTRODUCTION. 

or treated them unkindly ; nor did he allow his severe habits of 
study, or even his reverses, to sour Ins disposition. His nature 
was abhorrent of avarice, the most degrading of human passions. 
He enriched himself only to lavish his bounties on others, and 
to invest his household with an air of splendid magnificence. 
Selfish distinctions of meum and tuum, so jealously observed by 
little minds, were hardly impressed upon his noble nature, and 
he showed as much readiness to dispense gifts as to accept them. 
With him splendour did not extend to luxurious gratification, or 
unfit him for acts of benevolence. At table he was exceedingly 
temperate, and satisfied himself with the simplest food. The 
needy never left his mansion unrelieved, and his purse was ever 
open to promote the charitable objects of the benevolent. It is 
impossible that such a character should not make us forget his 
vices, and pay tribute to his virtues, as well as his genius. 

Of his habits of study we know nothing, except that they were 
severe. All the long vacations, and such hours as he at other 
times could steal from his official labours, were passed with his 
books ; and there is little doubt that he made notes of everything 
important that he read, and distributed his papers under the 
several heads of human knowledge. No author, however, was 
less indebted to books for his general views than Bacon, and he 
seems rather to have turned them over as models of style, 
and as affording materials for illustration, than to instruct 
himself. If we were asked to adduce any didactic author, 
whose thoughts sprang directly out of his own intellect, we 
should instance Lord Bacon. Of the ancients, Tacitus appears 
to have been his favourite, and the frequent perusal of that 
author has left its marks in the laconic terseness of his style and 
his lucid glimpses into human nature : he was not a strong 
Grecian, and considerable doubt may be entertained whether he 
read any book in that language after quitting the university. All 
his citations from the Attic writers are from the Latin text, 
except one solitary line of Homer. 

Bacon was regarded as one of the foremost writers and 
speakers of his day, and both friends and enemies have left 
\inqualified testimony of his varied abilities. Kaleigh, who was 
no mean judge, characterized Lord Salisbury as a great speaker 
but a bad writer, Lord Northampton as a great writer but a 
bad speaker, but Lord Bacon as excelling equally in speaking 
and writing. Ben Jonson, after sketching the features of a per- 
fect orator, applies them to Bacon ; but his colours are no 
doubt heightened by the warmth of personal friendship. His 
fame had gained him friends in foreign parts, and many distin- 
guished strangers paid personal homage to him as a philosopher. 
When the Marquis d'Effiat brought into England the Princess 
Henrietta Maria, wife to Charles L, he went to visit Bacon, 



IXTKODUCTIOX. XXIX 

who, being in bed, received him with the curtains drawn : 
"You resemble the angels," said the minister to the philoso- 
pher; "we hear those beings continually talked of, vre believe 
them superior to mankind, and we never have the consolation 
to see them." Much of his contemporaneous fame, however, ie 
to be ascribed to bis public position, which first drew the atten- 
tion of a frivolous age to his works. Had he not inhabited a 
princel v mansion in the Strand, and kept a plentiful table at 
Gorhambury, Ben Jonson. instead of lauding him, might have 
censured with Hume, and Hobbes have been as niggardly of 
praise as Bayle. It was the possession of the great seal that 
made it fashionable to read what few could understand, pushed 
his works iuto circulation during an unlettered age, and gave 
him Europe for an auditory. 

All his thoughts were engrossed by pursuits, the glory and 
advantage of which were to be reaped when he was in his grave. 
To carry his plans to as high a state of perfection as was eom- 

fmtible with the shortness of human life, he denied himself the re- 
axation afforded by social pleasures, and came only at intervals 
into the arena of ordinary life. His constitution, originally delicate. 
was rendered still more so by study, and during sudden changes 
of the atmosphere, be became affected with extreme dizziness, 
which often caused him to swoon. This gave rise to his chap- 
lain's astrological fiction that he was seized with a sudden faint - 
in£ fit, at every eclipse of the moon. He imagined that he could 
add many years to his life by systematic closes of nitre, and took 
about three grains in weak broth every morning for thirty 
years. He also placed great faith in the efficacy of macerated 
rhubarb, to carry off the grosser humours of the body with- 
out the inconveniences of perspiration, and swallowed an occa- 
sional draught before his meals. In his youth, his appearance 
is said to have been singularly frank and engaging, but bis 
features were much furrowed and darkened by the contests of 
political life, and the misfortunes of his later years. His severe 
habits of study early impressed upon him the marks of age. bent 
bis shoulders, and <jave him the Btooping gait of a philosopher. 
His stature was of the middle size, with features rather oblong 
than round. His forehead was spacious and open, his eye lively 
and penetrating, and his whole aspect venerably pleasing; so 
that the beholder was insensibly drawn to love, before lie knew 
how much reason there was to admire him. In this respect we 
may apply to him what Tacitus <iys of Agricola, "Bonum viruni 
facile crederes, magnum libenter." 1 

The characteristics of the Baconian philosophy are the in- 
troduction of the empiric element into every department of 
science, the stripping it of that erudeness which had previously 
rendered it repulsive, and [investing it with those scientific views 



INTRODUCTION". 

and methods -which enable it to reveal the structure of the 
moral, social, and physical world, and the springs by which 
their several phenomena arc produced ; and the application of 
this knowledge to the increase of human enjoyment and per- 
fectibility. Bacon's mind was strongly objective, and the hrst 
exercise of its powers appears directed to seize with tenacity on 
external facts, and from the appearances which they presented, 
without any reference to the innate faculties, to reason out the 
laws which controlled or produced them. He saw nature and 
society in a perpetual flow about him, — states falling and rising, 
— new languages growing in refinement, — old dropping into de- 
suetude, — fashions and manners changing with governments, and 
new feelings and sensibilities clinging round the advent of a new 
creed. The world of nature presented to his mind phenomena 
as striking as the world of man. The change of the seasons, the 
tides of the ocean, the alternation of day and night, the motion 
of the planets, the perpetual renovation and decay of species, and 
the diversified combination of different substances and qualities, 
were all mysteries which he was as anxious to unveil as the 
phenomena of society, but to none of which the ancient philo- 
sophies presented him with any direct solution. No one had 
previously attempted from a comparison of the effects of different 
governments, or of different courses of training, to conclude 
■what system of law or education was the most adapted to per- 
fect society, and to lead man's nature to its highest develop- 
ment. No one before Bacon had asked himself by what process 
has civilization attained its present aspect, what are the elements 
that enter into its structure, how can the good be fostered, and 
the bad eliminated ; or had attempted to evolve from these specu- 
lations the general principles that conspire to work the decline 
or the renovation of nations. The empiric element had been 
almost as completely abandoned in the field of nature. Aristotle 
appears to have been the only Greek philosopher that troubled 
himself about collecting facts, and making them the basis of his 
physical inquiries. Yet his rationalistic bias prevented him from 
exercising the patient scrutiny necessary to embody their real 
properties in language, and pursuing, without the admission of 
any adventitious element, the trains of inference which their action 
involved. Some of the ancient physicists had condescended 
in astronomical researches to regard facts, and were rewarded 
for their pains with some glimpses of the Newtonian theory of 
the heavens ; but in the general departments of physical science 
men rushed up to abstract principles, seeking, by a priori deduc- 
is, without any reference to tangible phenomena, to construct 
all the furniture of the universe. Bacon was the first to point 
oxit effectively the futility of these attempts to limit man's efforts 
in physical inquiry to the confines of nature, the first to assert 



INTRODUCTION*. 



the glorious principle, that knowledge must be synonymous 
with power. The immortal aphorism. Homo natura nUmeti 
interpret, with which he opens the "Novum Organon," is the 
epitome of his views, and at one stroke disposes of all the cos- 
mogonies and contentions of the ancients. 

Bacon looked into nature with the same spirit he was disposed 
to investigate everything else, and which, to us who have been 
brought up under the light that his system has shed upon the 
world, it appears incredible that any man should have mistaken. 
What, he inquired, is the present organization of substan 
how far do they invade each other's confines? by what pro- 
do they reach the successive Btagesof growth and decay P 
seeking to evolve by the rigid pursuit of such inquiries, their 
constituent elements, and the general laws by which they are 
regulated and controlled. Hence the three great centres round 
which his inquiries revolved in every investigation were the 
latent structure (latent tekematitmut), or the Becret organization 
of the parts which mould and determine its appearance: and 
the latent process (latent processus ad J or the cha 

which occur in their parts, simultaneous with renovation and 
decay ; and the forms, or the simple constituents, involved in the 
production of the phenomena, and the laws which regulate their 
action. Bacon's idea of the powers which the result of such 
pursuits would confer upon man. were of the most sanguine de- 
scription, and in some respects have been fully accomplish ed. 
To the application of his method tophysiology we owe those sani- 
tary measures which have put society as far out of the reach of 
plague, as gunpowder has placed it beyond the assault of savi 
A thousand diseases, before deemed incurable, have been pre- 
vented, mitigated, or stayed ; the body fortified against physical 
waste and consumption of strength, and human life prolong 
By examining nature in the manner he pointed out, we have made 
the ocean reveal the secret of its motions, the planets expound 
the forces which retain them in their orbits, the rainbow declare 
the laws of its formation, and the comets announce the periods 
of their return. From the facts we have obtained through his 
instrumentality, we can weigh the sun and moon as in a balance, 
compute their respective distances to the greatest nicety, 
mate the speed with which they and all the planets revive, and 
■ectly ascertain the time which an atom of matter, or a ray 
nt' light, tailing from their surface, will reach our earth. If 
inhabitants of Jupiter are similarly circumstanced to 
s, but have had qo Bacon among thcni.it is very possible 
we know more about the fluctuations of their atmosphere, and 
the than they know th 

pirii of his method, vi e transmit thi 

d facility I 



\.\-.\ii [NTRODTTCTION. 

we communicate it by speech ; we sail against wind and tide, and 
rush through, the air with the Telocity of an arrow. We can soar 
with the bird to the skies, or explore with fish the bottom of 
the ocean ; we can conduct the lightning innocuous to the ground, 
and arrest the progress of the watery column on the wave ! 

But splendid as have been the results of his method, Bacon, if 
alive now, would only consider these as gleams of the dawn of 
that day whose bright effulgence he had anticipated. To obtain 
a knowledge of the laws of nature which should enable men to 
overcome natural obstacles, and annihilate time and space, may 
fairly be deemed insignificant to him who sought to fathom the 
entire process of her changes, and to make her render up all her 
secrets, that he might reverse the order and the times of her pro- 
ductions ; perform that frequently which she performs rarely ; 
accomplish with few things what she produces with many; crowd 
into one spot the productions of different climates and nations, 
and effect in a moment the transmutations of seasons and ages. 
He viewed nature much in the same light as Pythagoras, and 
the exposition of the doctrine of the Samian in the last book of 
the Metamorphoses does not transcend Bacon's belief in the flux 
of physical nature. 

" Nee species sua cuique manet : Rerumque novatrix 
Ex aliis alias reparat natura figuras. 
Nee perit in tanto quicquam (mini credite) mundo, 
Sed variat, faciemque no vat : nascique vocatur 
Incipere esse aliud, quam quod fuit ante : morique, 
Desinere illud idem : cum sint hue forsitan ilia, 
Hsc translata illue, summa tamen omnia constant." 

Ovid. Metam, lib. xv. -252 9. 

If he knew and could command the constituent elements by 
which such transformations were produced, as his forms imported, 
he might fairly rival the divinities of Ovid in power over exter- 
nal nature. He could not see why, by availing himself of such 
knowledge he should not eliminate the old nature of any body, 
and invest it with new ; why he should not transmute glass into 
stone, bones into earth, leaves into wood, invest tin with all 
the properties of gold, and charcoal with the qualities of the 
diamond.* To avert summer droughts or autumnal rains were 

* e.g. "Si quis argento cupiat superinducere flavum colorem ami. ant 
augmentom ponderis (servatis legibus materia;) aut lapidi alicui non diaphano 

diaphancitatem aut vitris tenacitatem, aut corpori alicui non vegitabili 
vegitationem ; videndum est, quale quis preceptum aut deductaonem potis- 
simum sibi dari exoptet." He then proceeds to give the rules of this trans- 
mutation : — " Primum intuetur corpus, ut turmam sivo conjugationem 
naturarum simplieium, ut in auro tuec convenirent ; quod sit flavum ; 
quod sit ponderosum, ad pondus tale ; quod sit malleabile aut ductile, ad 
extensionem talem : quod non fiat volatile, nee deperdat do quanto suo 
per ignem ; quod fluat tiuore tali ; quod separator et solvatur mods 



INTUODI/CTIOX. XXXUt 

trifles with Bacon. He Bought to hurl the thunderbolt with 
Jupiter, to command the storm with Juno, to create heal and 
manufacture metals with Vulcan, to pour golden fruits on the 
earth with Ceres, and arrest the plague with. Apollo. Alltfa 
powers, the exercise of any one of which the ancients thought sulti- 
cicnt to occupy the life of a deity, Bacon sought to unite in his 
single grasp, and bend to the iron mandate of his will.* We 
were to hare Bpring fruits and autumnal blossoms, December 
roses and June icicle-. The w ines of Picardy were to be manu- 
factured in the cellars of London, and the aromatic odours of the 
south resale the drawing-rooms of St. .lames. Nature was to be- 
startled with the production of new species of plants and beasts, 
Bich harvests to spring up without seed ; and the creation of 
beasts, birds, and fish, even out *A' the earth's slime, to crown the 
triumph of man. 

It is needless to say that were such results achieved, man 
would be a god upon earth, and nothing could be wanting to 
paradisal felicity but the gift of immortality. Could man claim 
every element as his own, — sport in the deep like a nereid, 
and explore the heavens like a bird ; could he direct the 
lightning and the shower, call up the winds, and awaken 
the storm at his pleasure; could he arrest blight and disease, 
and command harvests and fruits to spring out of the earth 
where, when, and how he pleased ; such a thing as social misery 
could not exist, and the only limit to human power and enjoy- 
ment would simply be the restrictive law designed to mark out 
the boundaries of individual action, and make the liberty of the 
one consistent with the happiness of the man}*. That we shall 
arrive at such a golden period is the opinion of many; that we 
are progressing in the direction of some of its landmarks, cannot 
be denied by any one who contrasts the state of physical science 
in the present century, with its low condition in Bacon's time. 
We see no reason why he who can control the thunderbolt, 
should not direct the cloud where to discharge its treasures; why 
the mind which has unlocked the arcana of the heavens should 
not wring from the earth some of its latent secrets ; why he who 
explores the air in a frail parachute, should not exchange his 

Eaper boat for wings, ami tread with the eagle the blue vault of 
eaven. At least such achievements seem less visionary to as 

talibua : * t qua in auro concurrunt. [I 

hujuamodi azioma rem deducit ez fornus aaturarum nimplicium. 

qui formas .: modos oovit superinduoandi flavi, ponderis, ductUis, tixi, 

nuoris, solutionem, el [uia el -urn graduatii idos; 

viilrl.it at ourabit, ui isl i oonfUngi poesint in align i oorp n i, on I 
tranaformatio in aurum." — Nov. Org. ii. I and o. 

* For a corroboration ol the for all. 

to Bacon's nun statement in the description of Solomon's house, at the 
end of the New Allantis. 



XX XIV INTRODUCTION. 

than the triumphs of the present a<r<' would have been regarded 
by a very recenl ancestry. Had a denizen even of the eighteenth 
century been asked whether it was more likely that steam-car- 
riages should be invented than that man should fly, he would 
undoubtedly have pronounced for the wings. It seems far more 
practicable to soar above seas and continents, than to sail 
against wind and tide, or to make mere vapour transport vast 
crowds through space with the speed of a bird. Sage men may 
regard the transmutation of metals as the dreams of idle alchem- 
ists ; but how would the philosophers of the last generation have 
scouted the man who promised to turn old rags into su<jar, starch 
into honey, and sawdust into a substitute for flour. We are sur- 
rounded with a world of phenomena, forming the distinct sciences 
unknown in Bacon's day, which only await a philosopher who 
will investigate them in his spirit, to render up a crowd of facts 
which will work as great a revolution in society as the modern 
achievements of chemistry and mechanics. Electricity, magne- 
tism, and galvanism are to us precisely what optics and astro- 
nomy were to Bacon ; and we doubt not that, as these pheno- 
mena relate more particidarly to terrestrial objects, they are big 
with results destined to enlarge man's power over nature, and to 
lay bare many secrets which veil the confines of the spiritual 
world. When we survey the discoveries of the last two centuries, 
we certainly have no reason to complain of the slowness of the 
progress, or, to despair with the Greeks and Bomans, of further 
advance, and retrace our steps to avoid the languor of monotony.* 
The new acquisitions in knowledge and power over nature, exceed 
each other in importance : classes of empirical facts are gradually 
raising the subjects they involve to the rank of exact sciences ; 
and as these are perfected by the restless tide of human reason, 
other phenomena of a more startling character succeed. The 
law of the Baconian physics is progress. The goal of one gene- 
ration becomes the starting-post of the next : what is wondered 
at as the witchcraft of to-day, becomes the craft and profession of 
to-morrow. 

Bacon no doubt intended, as his words import, to investigate 
the moral sciences in a similar spirit, but he seems to have been 
impressed with too gloomy an idea of the depravity of the will to 
indulge in glowing pictures of social felicity. Of course the only 
state of society that could bear any contrast to the results of 
physical inquiries pursued after his method, would be a charm- 
ing millennium, in which every community moved under the 
impulse of reason and justice, and each of their component mem- 

* Paterculus, speaking of the old civilization, s: 
petit ir.. . difficilisque in perfecto mora est: and 

then conchi .■ trance impossible, fell into 

dissolute 



INTKODL'CTIOX. XXXV 

bers possessed the sanctuary of the heart undefiled, and a breast 
glowing with in-born honour. 

Bacon held forth no such prospects. He had only to look 
within to be convinced of the delusion. Kven with regard to 
what Comte calls sociology, it is not probable that the completest 
knowledge of the difl'crenl processes involved in the production 
of individual Btages of civilization, or in the generation of the 
various phases of mental growth, could have invested man 
with any other power than that of removing obstacles to the 
regular development of his social endowments. There are some 
things which tune and a disciplined train of habits and customs 
only can accomplish. A nation is not rendered martial or 
commercial in an age, though it know all the steps, and have at 
its disposition all the means thai concur to the adoption of that 
character. Chaucer could trace the gradations through which 
the ancient languages passed from barbarism to elegance, with- 
out being able to improve his own. If we knew the pr 
involved in the generation of every link of mental capacity, from 
a child speculating on bubbles to a Newton weighing worlds, the 
result could invest us with no other power than that of assisting 
nature by an adequate system of education. In casting the horo- 
scope of the future, or tracing with certain hand the progress of 
civilization, who shall account for the appearance of such men 

as Dante and Shakespeare, who have created a language; of 

Cromwell and Luther, who have revolutionized empires ; of New- 
ton and Archimedes, who have introduced a new element into 
science. 

Bacon thought his method quite as applicable to the phenomena 
of the social world as to physical nature, and determined to 
apply it to every subjecl which fell cinder his consideration. The 
empiric element had been totally neglected by the Greek 
es, who found the world too young to give them facts in suffi- 
cient abundance to invesl them w ith a scientific character. Bacon's 
letrating mind saw at a glance the lacunes which had been 
left in Learning through the oeglect of tins essential constituent 
of all knowledge ; and deeming their existence rendered the en- 
tire fabric insecure, resolved on a grand restoration of all the 
cea. 
The planof his Inst aubatio Magna was on a scale of epic gran- 
deur. The creative fancy of Dante Or Milton never called up more 
gorgeous Images than those suggested by Bacon's design, and 
auch whether their worlds surpass his in affording 
scope for the imagination. Bis view extended over all I 

penetrated into the circumstances under which each science had 

■II, and the motives for which it was pursued; traced the 
illusions which had led the greatest intellects to misinterpret the 

facts which nature put into their hands ; and distinctly sa ■■■ 



XXXU iMKODUCTION. 

action of the causes which had rendered physical inquiries 
stationary and unproductive, and the moral sciences incomplete. 
With the wand dt' a superior intelligence, lie pointed out the 
boundaries of human knowledge; mapped out and circumam- 
bulated its different provinces ; crumbled into dust the fragile 
systems which reason had erected on false foundations ; showed 
what part of its labours might stand after the rubbish had been 
cleared away ; and put into the hands of the human race the only 
method by which they could build themselves an abiding habita- 
tion.* His mind brooded over all nature, and making her tri- 
partite kingdom tributary to the undertaking, opened the- 
only quarries whence the materials for the reconstruction of 
the physical sciences, decayed and corroded to the founda- 
tions, could be drawn. f He next designed to exhibit all 
the laws and methods of inference employed in the pro- 
duction of real knowledge ; and erect the intricate scaffold- 
ing by means of which every science might be raised from 
the foundations of empiricism. From the basis of particulars, 
the mind was to be cai'ried up to intermediary axioms, 
and thence to universal laws, which were to comprehend in 
their statement every subordinate degree of generality, and 
to unfold to the gaze of the spectator the order of the universe, 
as exhibited to angelic intelligences. From this, the highest plat- 
form of human vision, the mind might dart its glance through the 
corresponding series of inverted reasonings from generals to par- 
ticulars, by which these laws and axioms are traced back to 
their remote consequences, and all particular propositions deduced 
from them, — as well those by whose immediate consideration it 
rose to its elevation as those of which it had no previous know- 
ledge. J Then were to arise the stately temples of science, with 
their proud parapets and decorated pediments, in all their 
breadth of light and harmony of proportion, revealing the glories 
of the universe to man amidst long vistas of receding columns, 
and glimpses of internal splendour ! § 

* The two first parts of the Instauratio Magna, viz. the partition of the 
sciences, and the Novum Organon. 

t The third part, Sylva Sylvarum, or Natural History. 

J The fourth part of the lnstauration, Scala Intelleetus, or ladder of the 
understanding, which he did not live to execute. 

§ The fifth and sixth part, Prodronii, or Anticipations of the Second Phi- 
losophy : and Scientia Activa, or the Second Philosophy itself. The sciences 
are destined to undergo constant enlargement, as new phenomena perpe- 
tually present themselves for elaboration. Bacon calls these new additions, 
while in an unfinished state, prodronii, or anticipations of the second 
philosophy. The primary philosophy he designed to consist of a series of 
general principles, which are comprised in the action of the universal laws. 
Thus, the dicta de omni et nullo and "two things which are equal to a third 
thing, are equal to each other," being involved in the inferences of logic ;ind 
geometry, would form a part of the primary philosophy. 



INTRODUCTION-. XXXV11 

' Such was the glorious vision which Bacon saw in prospect, 
and in part laboured to realize. If on descending into a minute 
survey of his views, some false notions, ami crude generaliza- 
tions present themselves, we must remember the at, r e in which 
he lived, and find an excuse for him in the almost super- 
human obstacles which then obstructed the march of the 
physical sciences. Society in the sixteenth century was but 
slowly emerging from civil barbarism: human reason, for 
two thousand years, had been penl up within the region 
of ethics and Bchool-divinity ; and the first men who had 
ventured to lead it out into the broad field of nature, were 
either imprisoned for heresy or burnt for witchcraft. Ramus 
expiated his opposition to Aristotle with his blood. Yanini 
and Giordano Bruno were burnt as atheists. Tel 
and Campanella were hunted about from city to city like 
wild beasts-. Galileo was imprisoned by the inquisition at 
Borne, and Descartes persecuted by the Protestanl tribunals 
of Holland.* Every attempt to advance the Aristotelian 
physics which had remained stationary since the days of 
the Lyceum, had ended on every side in expatriation, im- 
prisonment, or death. It was an age of violent iluctuation 
and change. The struggle waged between the two philo- 
sophies was, to a great degree, embittered by the strife be- 
tween the two creeds: reason and faith alternately invaded 
each other's province, and the voice of truth was lost in the 
clamour of their followers. The modern languages, occupying 
a transitory position between barbarism and refinement, re- 
flected the turbulent features of the times, and defeated everj 
attempt at subtile reasoning or refined analysis in which they 
became the instrument. The stream of learning which the 
recent sacking of Constantinople had suddenly turned upon 
Europe, perplexed and bewildered men's minds, unfixing, like 
a gush of light suddenly let in upon a darkened vision, the true 
relations of things, and investing shadows with the appearance 
of realities. The human soul was stirred from its depths. .Men 
suddenly found themselves in the midst of treasures, which, 
however they might admire, they were unable to appreciate; 
and the anomalous position awakened new- trains of thought, 
for which their Language afforded no adequate expression. If 
the wisest of mortals Bhould lay the foundations of a new philo- 
sophy during such a disturbed epoch, it would be bui denying 

b that r 
rs to phili ophy. They did not content themselves with reforming 

I ioal institutions "i the 
epoch stoo I in need of liki nd bishops 

in a:: aother kin<l of weapon, 



xxxvm INTRODUCTION. 

him attributes above humanity, to ascribe to bis work the defects 
of bis situation. 

The Instawatio Magna, it must be admitted, is deficient 
in method. Bacon could not penetrate at once to the essen- 
tial attributes of things, and divide them according to their 
distinguishing difference. It does not appear to have oc- 
curred to him that in the production of every creation of 
intellect, memory, imagination, and reason harmoniously con- 
cur, and that it is impossible to achieve the slightest triumph 
of genius without calling into simultaneous action the agency 
of these faculties, and blending their variegated resources in 
the elaboration of thought. Memory and reason are the woof 
and the warp of the intellectual tissue ; and no such thing 
as consecutive judgment can be produced if they perform 
their functions apart, and refuse to interlace their resources. 
Of course each of the triune faculties will more or less prepon- 
derate according to the nature of the subject in which they are 
engaged. Imagination plays an inferior part to memory in the 
historian, as reason to imagination in the philosopher, but still in 
due subordination to the severe canons of judgment which sits 
as the controlling umpire in every grand operation of genius. 
Imagination may be more exercised by the poet who creates, 
than by the historian who narrates ; but the thought will not 
be entertained for a moment, that memory is the presiding 
faculty in the historian, and imagination in the fabulist. In pro- 
portion as men are endowed with these faculties, they require the 
augmentation of the power, which weighs and balances facts, 
refines images, and gives to the shadows which their memory 
or fancy calls up, a graphic and life- breathing motion. If all 
the ordinary men of our day were provided with prodigious 
memories, without any increase of the rationalistic faculty, the 
number of diners-out with a ready stock of composed matter on 
subjects political, religious, scientific, and legendary, miijht be 
increased, but history could not be benefited by the addition of 
a single page worth the reading. Men would become so many 
parrots; the world would certainly retrograde. and the rationalistic 
element, which now tolerably manages to keep up with every 
man's accumulation of facts, would be entirely overpowered by 
a deluge of useless particularities. Imagination stands in the 
same relation to the poet as memory to the historian ; and if all 
men were blessed with the command of ideality which Dante 
and Milton enjoyed, without a proportionate influx of judgment 
and memory, we might have an endless flood of legends, but 
not one epic. So strict is the union of these three powers, even 
in productions of opposite tendencies, that it may be doubted 
whether imagination is not as necessary to the geometrician who 
invents, as to the poet who creates ; and whether memory may 



INTRODUCTION. XXXIX 

not play a more distinguished part in the productions of the phi- 
losopher than of the historian. 

The human mind for nearly two thousand years, had heen 
lulled into an entire forgetfulness of objective facts, during all 
that period regarding the Aristotelian physics as tin ' highest 
fruits that reason could reap from scientific inquiry ; and it re- 
quired a man of Bacon's breadth of capacity and spirit-stirring 
eloquence, to throw all the energy of his nature into the oppo- 
site element, and by Bhowing how the Bplendid treasures it con- 
tained might be reaped, and the errors of the Greeks retrieved, 
to awaken the world from its slumbers, and set it OB the road of 
physical discover}'. If his nomenclature was logically incorrect, 
the empirical views out of which it arose gave men's minds. 
perverted by speculative reasoning, a strong objective bent. If 
his scientific method was defective, it Led men to abandon 
pure rationalistic inquiry, which had produced all the Bruit it was 
capable of yielding, and to explore the fields of nature where 
treasures undreamt of lay concealed. If he placed the end of 
philosophy in the discovery of visionary and chimerical objects, 
the pursuit led men to the detection of the laws of phenomena, 
which has already tripled man's power over nature, and en- 
riched the intellect with the possession of a new world. — 
Science can afford to overlook errors which balanced the one- 
sided tendencies of the human mind, turned the vessel aside 
from a barren coast, and shot it right into the harbour of dis- 
covery. The triumph to which his spirit led. rectified the 
mistakes with which it was accompanied, and left mankind 
nothing to gather from the mine of nature which he opened, 
but the pure ore of truth. His fervent appeals still thunder 
in the ear of every generation, irrespective of creed or nation ; 
while the trains of light which they Leave behind them stimu- 
late every succeeding race to renewed efforts in the path 
of discovery. The human mind had never been bo profoundly 
stirred since the times of Archimedes and Aristotle, as on 
the day when this mighty magician Bpake: the wheels of Bci- 
. which had Mood still for two thousand years, impelled by 
his breath, began to move, and the spirit of Europe was evoked 
on all sides t<> impart to them accelerated velocity. Pascal and 
Torricelli, guided by his rules, established the properties of air, 
and Newton, in the spirit of his method, and directed by his 
hints, threw back the curtain of the heavens, revealed the laws 
of light, explained the phenomena of the tides, and peopled Bpace 
with worlds! Nurtured in his BchooL Boyle transformed hydro, 
statics from a Loose assemblage of tacts into a deductive science : 
Watt constructed the steam-engine, which has annihilated Bpace 
and economized the Labour of millions : and Franklin rivalled the 
glories of the ancient Prometheus, in Bnatching the electric fin 



XL INTRODUCTION. 

from Leaven ! Human reason, unshackled and independent, 
took her bent from his Lands ; and learned societies in every 
part of Europe, — on the banks of tLe Wolga, the Po, and the 

Danube, — either rose up at Lis name, or reconstructed their plans 
after Lis direction. TLe collective wits of the brightest of 
European nations, — as little inclined as tLe Greeks to look out 
of themselves for excellencies, — Lave paid homage to Lim as tLe 
Solon of modern science, and founded upon Lis partition of tLe 
sciences an encyclopedia,* wLicL was once tLe marvel and tLe 
glory of literature. TLe tribes of every age and nation regard 
the father of modern pLilosopLy with tLe reverence and devo- 
tion of cLildren ; and so loud and universal Las been tLe acclaim, 
that the testimony of our own epoch falls on the ear like the 
voice of a child closing the shout of a multitude. He has esta- 
blished a school in metaphysics, which, whatever may be its 
defects, keeps alive a clue attention to facts in a science where 
they are too apt to be neglected : while nearly all the prac- 
tical improvements introduced into education, statesmanship, 
and social policy, may be traced in a great degree to the philo- 
sophic tone he gave to the introduction of the same element. 
The politicians and legists, as well as philosophers, moulded 
by his councils, have placed themselves at the head of their 
respective sciences in Europe ; and the pedantic tyrants and 
corrupt ministers, before whom he crouched, have been removed 
by the works which they patronized, and a monarchy ren- 
dered impossible, otherwise than as the personification of the 
organized will and reason of the nation. The splendid fanes of 
science, which he only saw in vision, are rising on every side, and 
from then- lofty cupolas man may already catch glimpses of the 
internal splendour of the universe ; and winding round their tur- 
rets, the scala intellectus extends its steps to the skies, and 
enables men to carry the rule and compass to the boundaries of 
Creation ! Perfected by such triumphs, and fitted to embrace the 
-complete expansion of natural, moral, and intellectual Bcience, 
the human mind may expect to trace their mutual Mendings 
and intricate ramifications, and behold the day when "Truth, 
-though now hewn, like the mangled body of Osiris, into a thou- 
sand pieces, and scattered to the four winds of heaven, shall be 
gathered limb to limb, and moulded with every joint and member 
into an immortal feature of loveliness and perfection." 

* The { by D'A] smbert, 

was artrsmged upon his scheme of the sciences. 






o 



ESSAYS. 



I._OF TRUTH. 

What is truth ? said jesting Pilate ; a and would not stay 
for an answer. Certainly there be that delight in giddiness j 
and count it a bondage to fix a belief ; affecting free-will in 
thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of 
philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain 
discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there 
be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients. 
But it is not only the difficulty and labour which men take in 
finding out of truth ; nor again, that when it is found, it 
imposeth upon men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in favour ; 
but a natural though corrupt love of the lie itself. One of 
the later schools'* of the Grecians examiueth the matter, and 
is at a stand to think what should be in it, that men 
should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as 
with poets ; nor for advantage, as with the merchant, but 
for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell : this same truth is a 
naked and open daylight, that doth not show the masks; and 
mummeries, and triumphs of the world, balf so Btately and 
daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps come to the 
price of a pearl, that showeth best by day, but it will not 
rise to the price of a diamond or carbuncle, that showeth 

n He refers to the following pa age in the <i"^it:l of St. John, 
xviii. 88 : " Pilate aaith unto ham, What is truth ' And when he 
had said this, he went out again onto the Jews, and aaith unto them, 

I find in him no fault .it all." 

'■ Be probably refers to the "New Academy," a sect of Greek phi- 
losophers, hi f whoBe d * qui tiom was, " What is truth '" Upon 

which they came to the unsatisfactory conclusion that mankind baa 
no ciiterh.T) by which to form ajudgm at, 

B 



2 ESSAYS. 

best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add 
pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there "were taken 
out of men's minds vain opinions, flattering hopes, false 
valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it 
would leave the minds of a number of men poor shrunken 
tilings, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing 
to themselves 1 One of the fathers, in great severity, called 
poesy " -vinum dasnionuni," c because it filleth the imagination, 
and yet it is but with the shadow of a lie. But it is not the 
lie that passeth through the mind, but the He that sinketh 
in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt, such as we spake of 
before. But howsoever these things are thus in men's 
depraved judgments and affections, yet truth, which only 
doth judge itself, teacheth, that the inquiry of truth, which 
is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, 
which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is 
the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature. 
The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the 
light of the sense : d the last was the bight of reason : e and 
his sabbath work ever since, is the illumination of Ins Spirit. 
First, he breathed light upon the face of the matter, or chaos ; 
then he breathed bight into the face of man ; and still he 
breatheth and inspireth light into the face of his chosen. The 
poet f that beautified the sect,s that was other-wise inferior to 

c "The wine of evil spirits." 

d Genesis i. 3 : "And God said, Let there be light, and there was 
light." 

e At the moment when " The Lord God formed man out of the 
dust of the ground, and bi-eathed into his nostrils the breath of life : 
and man became a living soul." — Genesis ii. 7. 

f Lucretius, the Roman poet and Epicurean philosopher, is alluded 
to. 

= He refers to the sect which followed the doctrines of Epicuru-. 
The life of Epicurus himself was pure and abstemious in the extreme. 
One of his leading tenets was that the aim of all speculation should be 
to enable men to judge with certainty what course is to be chosen in 
order to secure health of body and tranquillity of mind. The adoption, 
however, of the term " pleasure," as denoting this object, has at all 
periods subjected the Epicurean system to great reproach ; which, in 
fact, is due rather to the conduct of many who, for their own purposes, 
have taken shelter under the system in name only, than to the tenets 
themselves, which did not inculcate libertinism. Epicurus admitted the 
existence of the Gods, but he deprived them of the characteristics of 
Divinity either as creators or preservers of the world. 



TRUTH. 3 

the rest, saith yet excellently well : — '"It is a pleasure to 
stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea : 
a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a 
battle, and the adventures thereof below : but no pleasure La 
comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth" 
(a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is alwaj 
clear and serene), "and to see the errors, and wanderings, and 
mists, and tempests, in the vale below :" h so always that this 
prospect be with pity, and not with swelling or pride. Cer- 
tainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man's mind move 
in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of 
truth. 

To pass from theological and philosophical truth to the 
truth of civil business ; it will be acknowledged even by 
those that practise it not, that clear and round dealing 
honour of man's nature, and that mixture of falsehood is like 
alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal 
work the better, but it embaseth it. For these winding and 
crooked courses are the goings of the serpent ; which goeth 
basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. There is no 
vice that doth so cover a man with shame as to be found falsi 
and perfidious; and therefore Montaigne 1 saith prettily, when 

h Lord Bacon has either translated this passage of Lucretius from 
memory, or lias purposely paraphrased it. The following is the literal 
translation of the original: "Tis a pleasant thing, from the shore, to 
behold the dangers of another upon the mighty ocean, when the winds 
are Lashing EEe main: not because it is a grateful pleasure f 
one to be in misery, but because it is a pleasant thing to see tho-i mis 
fortunes from which you yourself are free : 'tis also a pleasant flung 
to behold the mighty contests of warfare, arrayed upon the plains, w i;h 
out a share in the danger : but nothing is there more delightful than to 
occupy the elevated temples of the wise, well fortified by tranquil learn- 
ing, whence you may be able to look down upon others, and see them 
straying in every direction, and wandering in search of the path of 
life." 

' Michael de Montaigne, the © lebrated French Essayist, II - E 
embrace a variety "f topics, which are treated in a aprightlj i ad enter- 
taining manner, and are replete with remarks indicative of strong 
n.iti\- good sense. He died in 1592. The following quol a1 ioi is from 
the second book of the Essays, o. 18: — "Lying is a disgraceful vice, 
and (me that Pluturcli, an ancient writer, paints in most de- 
colours, when be Bays that it is 'affording testimony thai oi 
despises God. and then fears men ; ' it is not possible more happily to 
describe its horrihl ng, and abandon 'I I e ■•■ 

b2 



i ESSAYS. 

he inquired the reason why the word of the He should be 
such a disgrace, and such an odious charge, saith he, " If it 
be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much as to say 
that he is brave towards God and a coward towards men. 
For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man ;" surely the 
wickedness of falsehood and breach of faith cannot possibly 
be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal to 
call the judgments of God upon the generations of men : it 
being foretold, that, when " Christ conieth," he shall not 
" find faith upon the earth." 



II.— OF DEATH." 

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark ; and as 
that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the 
other. Certainly, the contemplation of death, as the wages 
of sin, and passage to another world, is holy and religious ; 
but the fear of it, as a tribute due unto nature, is weak. 
Yet in religious meditations there is sometimes mixture of 
vanity and of superstition. You shall read in some of the 
friars' books of mortification, that a man should think with 
himself, what the pain is, if he have but his finger's end 
pressed or tortured ; and thei-eby imagine what the pains of 
death are, when the whole body is corrupted and dissolved ; 
when many times death passeth with less pain than the 
torture of a limb ; for the most vital parts are not the 
quickest of sense. And by him that spake only as a philoso- 
pher, and natural man, it was well said, " Pompa mortis 
magis terret, quam moi's ipsa." b Groans and convulsions, 
and a discoloured face, and friends weeping, and blacks c and 



imagine anything more vile than to be cowards with regard to men, 
and brave with regard to God ? " 

k St. Luke xviii. 8 : "Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, 
shall he find faith upon the earth ! " 

" A portion of this Essay is borrowed from the writings of Seneca. 
See his Letters to Lucilius, B. iv. Ep. 24 and S2. 

b "The array of the death-bed has more terrors than death itself." 
This quotation is from Seneca. 

c He probably alludes to the custom of hanging the room in Hack 



DEATH. 5 

obsequies, and the like, show death terrible. It i- worthy 
the observing, that there is no passion in the mind of man so 
weak, but it mat's and masters the fear of death ; and I 
fore death is no such terrible enemy when a man hath so 
many attendants about him that can win the combat of him. 
Revenge triumphs over death; love slights it; honour 
aspireth to it ; grief flieth to it ; fear pre-occupateth it ; nay, 
we read, after Otlio the emperor had slain himself, pity 
(which is the tenderest of affections) provoked many to die 
out of mere compassion to their sovereign, and as the truest 
sort of followers. Nay, Seneca adds, niceness and satiety : 
" Cogita quamdiu eadem feeeris ; mori velle, non tantuni 
fortis, aut miser, sed etiam fastidiosus potest." d A man 
would die, though he were neither valiant nor miserable, only 
upon a weariness to do the same thing so oft over and over. 
It is no less worthy to observe, how little alteration in good 
spirits the approaches of death make : for they appear to be 
the same men till the last instant. Augustus Csesar died in 
a compliment ; " Livia, conjugii nostri memor, vive et vale." e 
Tiberius in dissimulation, as Tacitus saith of him, "Jam 
Tiberium vires et corpus, non dissimulatio, deserebant : " f 
Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon the stool,S '•' Ut puto Deus 
fio :" h Galba with a sentence, "Feri, si ex re sit populi 
Komani," 1 holding forth his neck ; Septimus Severns in 
dispatch, "Adeste, si quid mihi restat agendum," k and the 
like. Certainly the Stoics 1 bestowed too much cost upon 

where the body of the deceased lay, a practice much more usual iu 
Bacon's time than at the present day. 

d " Reflect how often you do the same things; a man may «'i-!i to 
die, not only because either he is brave or wretched, but even because he 
is surfeited with life." 

c " Livia, mindful of our union, live on. ami fire thee well." 

' "His bodily strength and vitality were DOW forsaking Tiberius, 
but not his duplicity." 

I This was said as a reproof to his flatterers, and in spirit is Dot 
unlike the relinks administered by Canute to his retinue. 

h " I am become a Divinity, I suppose." 

1 " If it be for tin- advantage of the Etonian p ople, strike." 

k <; If aught remains to be done by me, dispatch." 

1 These were the followers of Zeno, a philosopher of Citium. in 
Cyprus, who founded the Stoic school, <>v " School of the Portic \" 
at Athens. The basis of hifl doctrines was the duty of making virtue the 



b ESSAYS. 

death, and by their great preparations made it appear more 
fearful. Better, saith he, " qui finem vitse extremum inter 
nmncra ponit naturae." m It is as natural to die as to be 
born ; and to a little infant, perhaps, the one is as painful as 
the other. He that dies in an earnest pursuit, is like one 
that is wounded in hot blood ; who, for the time, scarce feels 
the hurt ; and therefore a mind fixed and bent upon some- 
what that is good, doth avert the dolours of death ; but, 
above all, believe it, the sweetest canticle is "Nunc dimittis, ; ' n 
when a man hath obtained worthy ends and expectations. 
Death hath this also, that it openeth the gate to good fame, 
and extinguisheth envy : " Extinctus amabitur idem." 



III.— OF UNITY IN EELIGION. 

Religion being the chief band of human society, it is a 
happy thing when itself is well contained within the true 
band of unity. The quarrels and divisions about religion 
were evils unknown to the heathen. The reason was, be- 
cause the religion of the heathen consisted rather in rites and 

object of all our researches. According to him, the pleasures of the mind 
were preferable to those of the body, and his disciples were taught to 
view with indifference health or sickness, riches or poverty, pain or 
pleasure. 

m " 'Who reckons the close of his life among the boons of nature." 
Lord Bacon here quotes from memory ; the passage is in the tenth 
Satire of Juvenal, and runs thus : — 

''Fortem posce animum, mortis terrore carentem, 
Qui spatium vitse extremum inter munera ponat 
Naturae" 

'•' Pray for strong resolve, void of the fear of death, that reckons the 
closing period of life among the boons of nature." 

n He alludes to the song of Simeon, to whom the Holy Ghost had 
revealed " that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's 
Christ." When he beheld the infant Jesus in the Temple, he took 
the child in his arms and burst forth into a song of thanksgiving, com- 
mencing, " Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, accord- 
ing to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." — St. Luke 
ii. 29. 

"When dead, the same person shall be beloved." 



UNITY IN RELIGION. / 

ceremonies, than in any constant belief : for you may imagine 
what kind of faith theirs was, when the chief doctors and 
fathers of their church were the poets. But the time God 
hath this attribute, that he is a jealous God ; and therefore 
his worship and religion will endure no mixture nor partner. 
We shall therefore speak a few words concerning the unity 
of the church ; what are the fruits thereof ; what the bounds ; 
and what the means. 

The fruits of unity (next unto the well-pleasing of God, 
which is all in all) are two ; the one towards those that are 
without the church, the other towards those that are within. 
For the former, it is certain, that heresies and sclnsms are 
of all others the greatest scandals : yea, more than corrup- 
tion of manners : for as in the natural body a wound or 
solution of continuity is worse than a corrupt humour, so in 
the spiritual : so that nothing doth so much keep men out 
of the church, and drive men out of the church, as breach of 
unity : and therefore whensoever it cometh to that pass that 
one saith, " Ecce in Deserto," a another saith, " Ecce in 
penetralibus J** that is, when some men seek Christ in the 
conventicles of heretics, and others in an outward face of a 
church, that voice had need continually to sound in men's 
ears, " nolite exire," — " go not out." The doctor of the 
Gentiles (the propriety of whose vocation drew him to have 
a special care of those without) saith, " If a heathen come 
in. and hear you speak with several tongues, will he not say 
that you are mad?" and, certainly, it is little better : when 
atheists and profane persons do hear of so many discordant 
and contrary opinions in religion, it doth avert them from 
the church, and maketh them " to sit down in the chair of 
the scorners." d It is but a light tiling to be vouched in so 
serious a matter, but yet it expresseth well the deformity. 

'■ Behold, lie is in the Desert." — St. Matthew xxiv. 26. 

Behold, he is in the secret chambers." — St. Matthew xxiv. 26. 
c He alludes to 1 Corinthians xiv. 23: — "If, therefore, the whole 
church he come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, 
and there come in those that are unlearned or unbelievers, will they 
not say that ye are ma 1 

a Psalm i. 1. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel 
of the ungodly, nor standetb in the way of rinners, nor sitteth in the 
seat of the scornful." 



8 ESSAYS. 

There is a master <<f scoffing that in hi3 catalogue of books 
of a feigned library Bete down this title of a book, "The 
Morris-Dance of Heretics :" for, indeed, every sect of them 
hath a diverse posture, or cringe, by themselves, which can- 
not but move derision in worldlings and depraved politicians, 
who are apt to contemn holy things. 

As for the fruit towards those that are within, it is peace, 
which eontaineth infinite blessings ; it establisheth faith ; it 
kindleth charity ; the outward peace of the church distilleth 
into peace of conscience, and it turneth the labours of writing 
and reading of controversies into treatises of mortification 
and devotion. 

Concerning the bounds of unity, the time placing of them 
importeth exceedingly. There appear to be two extremes : 
for to certain zealots all speech of pacification is odious. " Is 
it peace, Jehu V — " What hast thou to do with peace? turn 
thee behind me." f Peace is not the matter, bnt following, 
and party. Contrariwise, certain Laodiceans'= and lukewarm 
persons think they may accommodate points of religion by 
middle ways, and taking part of both, and witty reconcile- 
ments, as if they would make an arbitrament between God 
and man. Both these extremes are to be avoided ; which 
will be done if the league of Christians, penned by our 
Saviour himself, were hi the two cross clauses thereof 



e This dance, which was originally called the Monaco dance, is sup- 
posed to have beeji derived from the Moors of Spain ; the dancers 
in earlier times blackening their faces to resemble Moors. It was 

r~ probably a corruption of the ancient Pyrrhic dance, which was per- 
formed by men in armour, and which is mentioned as still existing 

■ in Greece, in Byron's "Song of the Greek Captive:" — 

" You have the Pyrrhic dance as yet " 

Attitude and gesture formed one of the characteristics of the dance. It 
is still practised in some parts of England. 

f 2 Kings ix. IS. 

s He alludes to the words in Revelations, c. iii. v. 14, "And 
unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write : These things 
saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the 
creation of God ; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor 
hot: I will spue thee out of my moutli." Laodicea was a city of 
Asia Minor. St. Paul established the church there which is here 
referred to. 



UNITY l.\ RELIGION. 'J 

soundly and plainly expounded : " He that is not with us. it, 
against as ; " h and again, " He that is not against us. is with 
us;" that is, if the points fundamental, and of substance in 
religion, were truly discerned and distinguished from points 
not merely of faith, but of opinion, order, or good intention. 
This is a thing may seem to many a matter trivial, and done 
already ; but if it were done less partially, it would be 
embraced more generally. 

Of this I may give only this advice, according to my small 
model. Men ought to take heed of rending God's church by 
two kinds of controversies ; the one is, when the matter of 
the point controverted is too small and light, not worth the 
heat and strife about it, kindled only by contra diction ; for, 
as it is noted by one of the fathers, " Christ's coat indeed had 
no seam, but the church's vesture was of divers colours ;" 
whereupon he saith, " In veste varietas sit. scissura non sit," 1 
they be two things, unity and uniformity ; the other is, 
when the matter of the point controverted is great, but it is 
driven to an over great subtilty and obscurity, so that it 
becometh a thing rather ingenious than substantial A man 
that is of judgment and understanding shall sometimes hear 
ignorant men differ, and know well within himself, that those 
which so differ mean one thing, and yet they themselves 
would never agree : and if it come so to pass in that distance 
of judgment, which is between man and man, shall we not 
think that God above, that knows the heart, doth not dis- 
cern that frail men, in some of their contradictions, intend 
the same thing ; and accepteth of both 1 The nature of such- 
controversies is excellently expressed by St. Paul, in the 
warning and precept that he giveth concerning the same ; 
"Devita profanasvocum novitates,et oppositiones falsi nominis 
scientia?." k Men create oppositions which are not. and put 
them into new terms, so fixed as, whereas the meaning ought 
to govern the term, the term in effect governeth the mean- 
ing. There be also two false peaces, or unities : the one, 

h St, Matthew xii. 30. 

1 " In the garment then may be many colours, but let there be DO 
rending of it." 

k "Avoid profane and vain babblings, and op] ositions of science falsely: 
so called." — 1 Tim. vi. 20. 



1 ESSAYS. 

when the peace is grounded but upon an implicit ignorance ; 
for all colours will agree in the dark : the other, when it is 
pieced up upon a direct admission of contraries in fundamental 
points : for truth and falsehood, in such things, are like the 
iron and clay in the toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image ; ' they 
may cleave, but they will not incorporate. 

Concerning the means of procuring unity, men must 
beware that, in the procuring or muniting of religious unity, 
they do not dissolve and deface the laws of charity and of 
human society. There be two swords amongst Christians, 
the spiritual and temporal ; and both have their due office 
and place in the maintenance of religion : but we may not 
take up the third sword, which is Mahomet's sword, m or like 
unto it : that is, to propagate religion by wars, or by san- 
guinary persecutions to force consciences ; except it be in 
cases of overt scandal, blasphemy, or intermixture of practice 
against the state ; much less to nourish seditions ; to autho- 
rize conspiracies and rebellions ; to put the sword into the 
people's hands, and the like, tending to the subversion of all 
government, which is the ordinance of God ; for this is but 
to dash the first table against the second ; and so to consider 
men as Christians, as we forget that they are men. Lucre- 
tius the poet, when he beheld the act of Agamemnon, that 
could endure the sacrificing of Iris own daughter, exclaimed : 

"Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum." n 

What would he have said, if he had known of the massacre 
in France, or the powder treason of England ?p He would 

1 He alludes to the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, significant of the 
limited duration of his kingdom. See Daniel ii. 33, 41. 

m Mahomet proselytized by giving to the nations which he conquered 
the option of the Koran or the sword. 

n "To deeds so dreadful could religion prompt." The poet refers 
to the sacrifice by Agamemnon, the Grecian leader, of his daughter 
Iphigenia, with the view of appeasing the wrath of Diana. 

° He alludes to the massacre of the Huguenots, or Protestants, in 
France, which took place on St. Bartholomew's day, August 24, 1572, 
by the order of Charles IX. and his mother, Catherine de Medici. On 
this occasion about 60,000 persons perished, including the Admiral De 
Coligny, one of the most virtuous men that France possessed, and the 
main stay of the Protestant cause. 

p More generally known as " the GunpowderPlot." 



UNITY IN RELIGION. 11 

have been seven times more epicure and atheist than he was : 
for as the temporal sword is to be drawn with great circum- 
spection in cases of religion, so it is a thing monstrous to 
put it into the hands of the common people ; let that be left 
unto the Anabaptists, ami other furies. It was great blas- 
phemy, when the devil said, '• I will ascend and be like the 
Highest;" but it is greater blasphemy to personate God, 
and bring him in saying, •• I will deseend, and He like the 
prince of darkness :"' and what is it better, to make the 
cause of religion to descend to the cruel and execrable 
actions of murdering princes, butchery of people and sub- 
version of states and governments? Surely this is to bring 
down the Holy Ghost, instead of the likeness of a dove, in 
the shape of a vulture or raven ; and to set out of the 
bark of a Christian church a flag of a bark of pirates 
and assassins ; therefore it is most necessary that the 
church by doctrine and decree, princes by their swoi-d, 
and all learnings, both Christian and moral, as by their 
Mercury rod,i do damn, and send to hell for ever those facts 
and opinions tending to the support of the same; as hath 
been already in good part done. Surely in councils concern- 
ing religion, that council of the apostle would be prefixed, 
" Ira hominis non implet justitiam Dei :" r and it was a 
notable observation of a wise father, and no less ingenuously 
confessed, that those which held and persuaded pressure of 
consciences, were commonly interested therein themselves 
for their own ends. 

i Allusion is made to the '• caduceus," with which Mercury, the mes- 
senger of the Gods, summoned the souls of the departed to the infernal 
regions. 

' "The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." — 
James i. 20. 



12 E3SAYS. 



IV. _0F REVENGE. 

Revenge is a kin<l of wild justice, which the more man's 
nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out : for as for 
the first wrong, it doth but offend the law, but the revenge 
of that wrong putteth the law out of office. Certainly, in 
taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy ; but in 
passing it over, he is superior ; for it is a prince's part to 
pardon : and Solomon, I am sure, saith, " It is the glory of a 
man to pass by an offence." a That which is past is gone and 
irrevocable, and wise men have enough to do with things 
present and to come ; therefore they do but trifle with them- 
selves that labour in past matters. There is no man doth a 
wrong for the wrong's sake, but thereby to purchase himself 
profit, or pleasure, or honour, or the like ; therefore why 
should I be angry with a man for loving himself better than 
me 1 And if any man should do wrong, merely out of ill- 
nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or briar, which 
prick and scratch, because they can do no other. The most 
tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is 
no law to remedy ; but then, let a man take heed the re- 
venge be such as there is no law to punish, else a man's 
enemy is still beforehand, and it is two for one. Some, when 
they take revenge, are desirous the party should know 
whence it cometh : this is the more generous ; for the delight 
seemeth to be not so much in doing the hurt as in making 
the party repent : but base and crafty cowards are like the 
arrow that flieth in the dark. Cosmus, Duke of Florence, 1 ' 
had a desperate saying against perfidious or neglecting friends, 
as if those wrongs were unpardonable. " You shall read," 
saith he, " that we are commanded to forgive our enemies ; 
but you never read that we are commanded to forgive our 
friends." But yet the spirit of Job was in a better tune : 
' : Shall we," saith he, " take good at God's hands, and not be 

■ These words, as here quoted, are not to be found in the writings of 
Solomon, though doubtless the sentiment is. 

b He alludes to Cosmo de Medici, or Cosmo I., chief of the Republic 
of Florence, the encourager of literature and the fine arts. 



ADVERSITY/ 13 

content to take evil also ?" c and so of friends in a proportion. 
This is certain, that a man that stndieth revenge keeps his 
own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well. 
Public revenges" are for the most part fortunate; as tliat for 
the death of Csesar ; c for the death of Pertinax ; fur the 
death of Henry the Third of France ; f and many more. 
But in private revenges it is not so ; nay, rather vindictive 
persona live the life of witches : who, as they are mischievous, 
- i i m1 they unfortunate. 



V.— OF ADVERSITY. 

It was a high speech of Seneca (after the manner of the 
Stoics), that, " the good things which belong to prosperity are 
to be wished, but the good things that belong to adversity 
are to be admired." (-'Bona rerum secundarum optabilia, 
adversarum mirabilia.") Certainly, if miracles be the com- 
mand over nature, they appear most in adversity. It is yet 
a higher speech of his than the other (much too high for a 
heathen), " It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a 
man, and the security of a God." (" Vere magnum habere 
fragilitatem hominis, securitatem Dei. r ') Tliis would have 
done better in poesy, where transcendencies are more allowed ; 
and the poets, indeed, have been busy with it ; for it is in 
effect the tiling which is figured in that strange fiction of the 
ancient poets,' which seemeth not to be without mystery ; 

c Job ii. 10 — " Shall we receive good at the hand of God. and shall 
we Dot receive evil ?" 

a By " pul/lic revenges," he means punishment awarded by the state 
with the sanction of the laws. 

■ He alludes to the retribution dealt by Augustus and Antony to 
the murderers of Julius Csesar. It is related by ancient historians, as a 
singular fact, that not one of them died a natural death. 

' Henry UI, of France was assassinated in 1599, by Jacques Clement, 
a Jacobin monk, in the frenzy of fanaticism. Although Clement 
justly suffered punishment, the end of this bloodthirsty and I 
tyrant may be justly deemed a retribution dealt by the hand of an 
offended Providence ; so truly does the Poet say : — 

"nequeenim lex eequiornlla 

Qoam oecifl artifices art i» rift sufl." 

* Stedchorue, Apollodorns, and others. Lord Bacon makes a similar 



14 ESSAYS. 

nay, and to have some approach to the state of a Christian, 
"that Hercules, when lie went to unbind Prometheu.- (by 
whom human nature is represented), sailed the length of the 
great ocean in an earthen pot or pitcher," lively describing 
Christian resolution, that saileth in the frail bark of the 
flesh through the waves of the world. But to speak in a 
mean, the virtue of prosperity is temperance, the virtue of 
adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the more heroical 
virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament, 
adversity is the blessing of the New, which carrieth the 
greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God's 
favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to 
David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs^ as 
carols ; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured 
more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of 
Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes ; 
and adversity is not without comforts and hopes. We see in 
needleworks and embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a 
lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have a 
dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground : judge, 
therefore, of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the 
eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant 
when they are incensed, or crushed : for prosperity doth best 
discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue. 

reference to this myth in his treatise "On the Wisdom of the Ancients." 
" It is added with great elegance, to console and strengthen the minds of 
men, that this mighty hero (Hercules) sailed in a cup or ' urceus,' in order 
that they may not too much fear and allege the narrowness of their 
nature and its frailty ; as if it were not capable of such fortitude and 
constancy ; of which very thing Seneca argued well, when he said, * It 
is a great thing to have at the same time the frailty of a man, and 
the security of a God.' " 

b Funereal airs. Ti must be remembered that many of the Psalms of 
David were written by him when persecuted by Saul, as also in the tribu- 
lation caused by the wicked conduct of his son Absalom. Some of 
them, too, though called "The Psalms of David," were really composed 
by the Jews in their captivity at Babylon ; as, for instance, the 
137th Psalm, which so beautifully commences, " By the waters of 
Babylon there we sat down." One of them is supposed to be the com- 
position of Moses,Ji 

c This fine passage, beginning at " Prosperity is the blessing," — which 
was not published till 16*25, twenty-eight years after the first Essays, 
has been quoted by Macaulay, with considerable justice, as a proof that 



SIMULATION AND DISSIMULATION. 15 



*VI.— OF SIMULATION AND DISSIMULATION 

I ' EMULATION is but a faint kind of policy, or -wisdom ; 
for ii asketh a strong wit and a strong heart to know when 
to tell truth, and to do it : therefore it is the weaker sort of 
politicians that are the great dissemblers. 

Tacitus saith, " Livia sorted well with the arts of her 
husband, and dissimulation of her son ; attributing arts or 
policy to Augustus, and dissimulation to Tiberius :"' and 
again, when Mucianus encourageth Vespasian to take arms 
_ t Vitellius, he saith, " We rise not against the piercing 
judgment of Augustus, nor the extreme caution or closeness 
of Tiberius." These properties of arts or policy, and dis- 
simulation or closeness, are indeed habits and faculties Beveral 
and to be distinguished ; for if a man have that penetration 
of judgment as he can discern what things are to be laid 
open, and what to be secreted, and what to be showed at half- 
lights, and to whom and when (which indeed are arts of state, 
and arts of life, as Tacitus well calleth them), to him a habit 
of di -simulation i.s a hinderance and a poorness. But if ;i 
man cannot attain to that judgment, then it is left to him 
generally to be close, and a dissembler : for where a man 
cannot choose or vary in particulars, there it is good to takt- 
the safest and wariest way in general, like the going softly, 
by one that cannot well see. Certainly, the ablest men thai 
ever were, have had all an openness and frankness of dealing, 
and a name of certainty and veracity : but then they were 
like horses well managed, for they could tell passing well 
when to stop or turn ; and at such times when they thought 
the case indeed required dissimulation, if then they used it, 
it came to pass that the former opinion spi-ead abroad, of 
their good faith and clearness of dealing, made them almost 
in\ isible. 

There be three degrees of this hiding and veiling of a man's 
self: the first, closeness, reservation, and secrecy; when a 

Che writer's fancy <li<l ao1 decaj with the advance of old age, and 
that hi.< style in his later y.irs hecame richer and softer. The Ii 
Critic contrasts this passage with the terse style <>f the EiBeay of E 
(Essay 50), which was published in 1597. 



1 G ESSAYS. 

man lcaveth himself without observation, or without hold to 
be taken, what be is : the second, dissimulation in the nega- 
tive; when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is not 
that be is: and the third, simulation in the affirmative; when 
a man industriously and expressly feigns and pretends to be 
that he is not. 

For the first of these, secrecy, it is indeed the virtue of a 
confessor ; and assuredly the secret man heareth many con- 
fessions ; for who will open himself to a blab or a babbler ? 
But if a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery, as the 
more close air sucketh in the more open ; and, as in con- 
fession, the revealing is not for worldly use, but for the e.'ise 
of a man's heart, so secret men come to the knowledge of 
many things in that kind ; while men rather discharge their 
minds than impart their minds. In few words, mysteries 
are due to secrecy. Besides (to say truth), nakedness is un- 
comely, as well in mind as body ; and it addeth no small 
reverence to men's manners and actions, if they be not 
altogether open. As for talkers, and futile persons, they are 
oommonly vain and credulous withal : for he that talketh 
what he knoweth, will also talk what he knoweth not ; 
therefore set it down, that a habit of secrecy is both politic 
and moral : and in this part it is good that a man's face give 
his tongue leave to speak ; for the discovery of a man's sell", 
by the tracts a of his countenance, is a great weakness and 
betraying, by how much it is many times more marked and 
believed than a man's words. 

For the second, which is dissimulation, it followeth many 
times upon secrecy by a necessity ; so that he that will be 
secret must be a dissembler in some degree ; for men are too 
cunning to suffer a man to keep an indifferent carriage be- 
tween both, and to be secret, without swaying the balance on 
either side. They will so beset a man with cmestions, and 
draw him on, and pick it out of him, that without an absurd 
silence, he must show an inclination one way ; or if he do 
not, they will gather as much by his silence as by his speech. 
As for equivocations, or oraculous speeches, they cannot hold 
out long : so that no man can be secret, except he give hini- 

a A word row unused, signifying the " traits" or "'features." 



SIMULATION AND DISSIMULATION. 17 

self a little scope of dissimulation, which is, as it were, but 
the skirts or train of secrecy. 

But for the third degree, which is simulate >n and false pro- 
fession, that I hold more culpable, and less politic, except it 
be in great and rare matters : and, therefore, a general 
custom of simulation (which is this last degree) is a vice 
rising either of a natural falseness, or fearfulness, or of a mind 
that hath some main faults ; which, because a man must 
needs disguise, it maketh him practise simulation in other 
things, lest his hand should be out of use. 

The advantages of simulation and dissimulation are three : 
first, to lay asleep opposition, and to surprise ; for where a 
man's intentions are published, it is an alarum to call up all 
that are against them : the second is, to reserve to a man's 
self a fair retreat ; for if a man engage himself by a manifest 
declaration, he must go through, or take a fall : the third is, 
the better to discover the mind of another ; for to him that 
opens himself men will hardly show themselves adverse; but 
will (fair) let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech to 
freedom of thought : and therefore it is a good shrewd 
proverb of the Spaniard, "Tell a lie and find a troth ;"'' as 
if there were no way of discovery but by simulation. There 
be also three disadvantages to set it even; the first, that 
simulation and dissimulation commonly carry with them a 
show of fearfulness, which, in any business doth spoil the 
feathers of round Hying up to the mark ; the second, that it 
puzzleth and perplexeth the conceits of many, that, perhaps, 
would otherwise co-operate with him, and makes a man walk 
almost alone to his own ends ; the third, and greatest, is, 
that it depriveth a man of one of the most principal in- 
struments for action, which is trusl and belief The best 
composition and temperature is. to have openness in fame 
and opinion ; secrecy in habit ; dissimulation in seasonable 
use; and a power to fi-ign if there be no remedy. 

l> A truth. 



18 ESSAYS. 



VII.— OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN. 

The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and 
fears ; they cannot utter the one, nor they will not utter the 
other. Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes 
more bitter ; they increase the cares of life, but they miti- 
gate the remembrance of death. The perpetuity by genera- 
tion is common to beasts ; but memory, merit, and noble 
works, are pi*oper to men : and surely a man shall see the 
noblest works and foundations have proceeded from childless 
men, which have sought to express the images of their minds 
where those of their bodies have failed ; so the care of poste- 
rity is most in them that have no posterity. They that are 
the first raisers of their houses are most indulgent towards 
their children, beholding them as the continuance, not only 
of their kind, but of their woi'k ; and so both children and 
creatures. 

The difference in affection of parents towards their several 
children is many times unequal, and sometimes unworthy, 
especially in the mother ; as Solomon saith, " A wise son 
rejoiceth the father, but an ungracious son shames the 
mother." a A man shall see, where there is a house full of 
children, one or two of the eldest respected, and the youngest 
made wantons ; b but in the midst some that are as it were 
forgotten, who, many times, nevertheless, prove the best. 
The illiberality of parents, in allowance towards their chil- 
dren, is a harmful error, makes them base, acquaints them 
with shifts, makes them sort with mean company, and makes 
them surfeit more when they come to plenty : and, therefore, 
the proof is best when men keep their authority towards 
their children, but not their purse. Men have a foolish 
manner (both parents, and schoolmasters, and servants), in 
creating and breeding an emulation between brothers during 
childhood, which many times sorteth to discord when they 

a Proverbs x. 1 : "A wise son maketh a glad father, but a foolish 
son is the heaviness of his mother." 

b Petted — spoiled. 

c This word seems here to mean "a plan" or "method," as proved 
by its results. -,: j 



MARRIAGE AND SINGLE LIFE. 19 

are men, and disturbeth families. 11 The Italians make little 
difference between children and nephews, or near kinsfolk : 
but so they be of the lump, they care not, though they pass 
not through their own body ; and, to say truth, in nature it 
is much a- like matter ; insomuch that we see a nephew some- 
times resembleth an uncle or a kinsman, more than his own 
parent as the blood happens. Let parents choose betimes 
the vocations and courses they mean their children should 
take, for then they are most flexible, and let them not too 
much apply themselves to the disposition of their children, 
as thinking they will take best to that which they have most 
mind to. It is true, that if the affection, or aptness of the 
children be extraordinary, then it is good not to cross it ; 
but generally the precept is good, " Optimum elige, suave et 
facile illud faciet consuetudo." c — Younger brothers are com- 
monly fortunate, but seldom or never where the elder arc- 
disinherited. 



VIII.— OF MARRIAGE AND SINGLE LIEE. 

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to 
fortune ; for they are impediments to great enterprises, 
either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and 
of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the 
unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and 
means have married and endowed the public. Yet it were 
great reason that those that have children should have 
greatest care of future times, unto which they know they 
must transmit their dearest pledges. Some there are who, 
though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end with 
themselves, and account future times impertinences ; nay, 
there are some other that account wife and children but as 

" There is considerable justice in this remark. Children should be 
taught to do what is right for it- own .sake, and because it is their 
duty to do so, and not that they may have the selfish gratification of 
obtaining the reward which their companions have failed to secure, 
ami of bang led to think themselves superior to their companions. 
When launched upon the world, emulation will be quite sufficiently 
forced upon them by stern necessity. 

c " Select that course of life which is the most advant:>. 
habit will soon render it pleasan! and easily endured." 

c2 



20 ESSAYS. 

bills of charges ; nay more, there are some foolish rich cove- 
tous men, that take a pride in having no children, because 
they may be thought so much the richer; for, perhaps they 
have heard some talk, " Such an one is a great rich man," 
and another except to it, " Yea, but he hath a great charge 
of children ;" as if it were an abatement to his riches : but 
the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, especially 
in certain self-pleasing and humorous minds, which are so 
sensible of eveiy restraint, as they will go near to think their 
girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried 
men are best friends, best masters, best servants ; but not 
always best subjects, for they are light to run away, and 
almost all fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth 
well with churchmen, for charity will hardly water the 
ground where it must first fill a pool. a It is indifferent for 
judges and magistrates ; for if they be facile and corrupt, 
you shall have a servant five times worse than a wife. For 
soldiers, I find the generals commonly, in their hortatives, 
put men in mind of their wives and children ; and I think 
the despising of marriage amongst the Turks maketh the 
vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife and children are a 
kind of discipline of humanity ; and single men, though they 
be many times more charitable, because their means are 
less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are more cruel and 
hard-hearted (good to make severe inquisitors), because their 
tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natures, led by 
custom, and therefore constant, are commonly loving hus- 
bands, as was said of Ulysses, " Vetulam suam pnetulit im- 
mortalitati." b Chaste women are often proud and froward, 
as presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of 
the best bonds, both of chastity and obedience, in the wife, 
if she think her husband wise, which she will never do if she 
find him jealous. Wives are young men's mistresses, com- 
panions for middle age, and old men's nurses, so as a man 

■ His meaning is, that if clergymen have the expenses of a family to 
support, they will hardly find means for the exercise of benevolence 
toward their parishioners. 

b " He preferred his aged wife Penelope to immortality." This 
was when Ulysses was entreated by the goddess Calypso to give up all 
thoughts of returning to Ithaca, and to remain with her in the enjoy- 
ment of immortality. 



ENVY. 21 

may have a quarrel to marry when he will : but yet he was 
reputed one of the wise men that made answer to the ques- 
tion when a man should marry : " A young man not yet, an 
elder man not at all." It is often seen that bad husbands 
have very good wives ; whether it be that it raise th the mice 
of their husbands 1 kindness when it conies, or that the wives 
take a pride in their patience ; but this never fails, if the bad 
husbands were of their o>vn choosing, against their friends' 
consent, for then they will be sure to make good their own 
folly. 



IX.— OF EXVY. 

There be none of the affections which have been noted to 
fascinate or bewitch, but love and envy : they both have vehe- 
ment wishes ; they frame themselves readily into imaginations 
and suggestions, and they come easily into the eye, especially 
upon the presence of the objects which are the points that 
conduce to fascination, if any such thing there be. We 
see, likewise, the Scripture calleth envy an evil eye ; a and 
the astrologers call the evil influences of the stars evil 
aspects; so that still there seemeth to be acknowledged, in 
the act of envy, an ejaculation, or irradiation of the eye : 
nay, some have been so curious as to note, that the times, 
when the stroke or percussion of an envious eye doth most 
hurt, are, when the party envied is beheld in glory or 
triumph; for that sets an edge upon envy: and besides, at 
such times, the spirits of the person envied do come forth 
most into the outward parts, and so meet the blow. 

But leaving these curiosities (though not unworthy to be 

r "May have a pretext," or "excuse." 

a So prevalent i:i ancient times was the notion of the injurious effects 
of the eye of envy, that in common parlance the Romans generalls - 
used the word •• prsfiscini," — "without risk of enchantment," or 
"fascination," when I in high terms of themselves. They 

■opposed that they thereby averted the effects of enchantment produced 
by the evil eye iff any envious person who might at that moment 
possibly lie looking upon tin in. Lord Bacon probably here alludes to ," 
St. Mark vii. 21, 22: "Out of the heart of men proceedeth — deceit, - ^ 
lasciviousneas, an evil eye." Solomon aldo speaks of the evil eye, *"? 
Prow xxiii. (i, and xxviii. 22. 



I *U<, ffib . 



22 ESSAYS. 

thought on in fit place), we will handle what persons are apt 
to envy others, what persons are most subject to he envied 
themselves, and what is the difference between public and 
private envy. 

A man that hath no virtue in himself ever envieth virtue 
in others ; for men's minds will either feed upon their own 
good, or upon others' evil ; and who wanteth the one will 
prey upon the other ; and whoso is out of hope to attain to 
another's virtue, will seek to come at even hand, 1 ' by depress- 
ing another's fortune. 

A man that is busy and inquisitive is commonly envious ; 
for to know much of other men's matters cannot be, because 
all that ado may concern his own estate ; therefore it must 
needs be that he taketh a kind of play-pleasure in looking 
upon the fortunes of others : neither can he that mindeth 
but his own business find much matter for envy; for envy 
is a gadding passion, and walketh the streets, and doth not 
keep home : "Non est curiosus, quin idem sit malevolus." c 

Men of noble birth are noted to be envious towards new 
men when they rise ; for the distance is altered ; and it is 
like a deceit of the eye, that when others come on they think 
themselves go back. 

Deformed persons and eunuchs, and old men and bastards, 
ai'e envious : for he that cannot possibly mend his own case, 
will do what he can to impair another's ; except these de- 
fects light upon a very brave and heroical nature, which 
thinketh to make his natural wants part of his honour ; in 
that it should be said, " That a eunuch, or a lame man, did 
such great matters," affecting the honour of a miracle : as it 
was in Narses d the eunuch, and Agesilaus and Tamerlane, e 
that were lame men. 

b To be even with him. 

c " There is no person a busy-body but what he is ill-natured too." 
This passage is from the Stichus of Plautus. 

11 Narses superseded Belisarius in the command of the armies of Italy, 
by the orders of the Emperor Justinian. He defeated Totila, the king 
of the Goths (who had taken Rome), in a decisive engagement, in which 
the latter was slain. He governed Italy with consummate ability for 
thirteen years, when he was ungratefully recalled by Justin the Second, 
the successor of Justinian. 

e Tamerlane, or Timour, was a native of Samarcand, of which 
territory he was elected emperor. He overran Persia, Georgia, Hin- 
dustan, and captured Bajazet, the valiant Sultan of the Turks, at the 



ENVY. 23 

The same is the case of men that rise after calamities and 
misfortunes ; for they are as men fallen out with the times, 
and think other men's harms a redemption of their own suf- 
ferings. 

They that desire to excel in too many matters, out of 
levity and vain-glory, are ever envious, for they cannot want 
work : it being impossible, but many, in some one of those 
things, should surpass them; which was the character of 
Adrian the emperor, that mortally envied poets and painters, 
and artificers in works, wherein he had a vein to excel. 

Lastly, near kinsfolk and fellows in office, and those that 
have been bred together, are more apt to envy their equals 
when they are raised ; for it doth upbraid unto them their 
own fortunes, and pointeth at them, and cometh oftener into 
their remembrance, and incurreth likewise more into the 
note f of others ; and envy ever redoubleth from speech and 
fame. Cain's envy was the more vile and malignant towards 
his brother Abel, because when his sacrifice was 1 tetter ac- 
cepted, there was nobody to look on. Thus much for those 
that are apt to envy. 

Concerning those that are more or less subject to envy : 
First, persons of eminent virtue, when they are advanced, 
are less envied, for their fortune seemeth but due unto them ; 
and no man envieth the payment of a debt, but rewards and 
liberality rather. Again, envy is ever joined with the com- 
paring of a man's self; and where there is no comparison, 
no. envy; and therefore kings are not envied but by kings. 
Nevertheless, it is to be noted, that unworthy persons are 
most envied at their first coming in, and afterwards over- 
come it better; whereas, contrariwise, persons of worth and 
merit are most envied when their fortune continueth long ; 
for by that time, though their virtue be the same, yet it 
bath not the same lustre; for fresh men grow up that 
darken it. 

battle oi Angora, 1402, whom he - said to have inclosed in a cage 
ot iron. His conquests extended Gram the Irtish and Volga to the Per- 
sian Gulf, and from tli" Can-"- to the Grecian Archipelago. While 
preparing for the invasion of China, In- di«-d, in tin- 7"th year of' 
A.D. 1405. He was tall and corpulent in person, but was maimed in 
• 06 hand, and him" on the 

1 Comes und.r the oh erratum. 



24 ESSAYS. 

Persons of noble blood are less envied in their rising ; for 
it seemeth but right done to their birth : besides, there 
secmeth not so much added to their fortune; and envy is as 
the sunbeams, that beat hotter upon a bank or steep rising 
ground, than upon a flat; and, for the same reason, those 
that are advanced by degrees are less envied than those that 
are advanced suddenly, and " per saltum."s 

Those that have joined with their honour great travel.-, 
cares, or perils, are less subject to envy ; for men think that 
they earn their honours hardly, and pity them sometimes ; 
and pity ever healeth envy : wherefore you shall observe, 
that the more deep and sober sort of politic persons, in their 
greatness, are ever bemoaning themselves what a life they 
lead, chanting a "quanta patimur;" h not that they feel it so, 
but only to abate the edge of envy : but this is to be under- 
stood of business that is laid upon men, and not such as they 
call unto themselves ; for nothing increaseth envy more 
than an unnecessary and ambitious engrossing of business ; 
and nothing doth extinguish envy mox^e than for a great 
person to preserve all other inferior officers in their full 
rights and pre-eminences of their places ; for, by that means, 
there be so many screens between him and envy. 

Above all, those are most subject to envy, which carry 
the greatness of their fortunes in an insolent and proud 
manner : being never well but while they are showing how 
great they are, either by outward pomp, or by triumphing 
over all opposition or competition : whereas wise men will 
rather do sacrifice to envy, in suffering themselves, some- 
times of purpose, to be crossed and overborne in things that 
do not much concern them. Notwithstanding so much is 
true, that the carriage of greatness in a plain and open man- 
ner (so it be without arrogancy and vain-glory) doth draw 
less envy than if it be in a more crafty and cunning fashion ; 
for in that course a man doth but disavow fortune, and 
seemeth to be conscious of his own want in worth, and doth 
but teach others to envy him. 

Lastly, to conclude this part, as we said in the beginning 
that the act of envy had somewhat in it of witchcraft, so 
there is no other cure of envy but the cure of witchcraft ; 

s " By a leap," i. e. over the heada of others. 
h " Huff vast the evils we endure." 



ENVY 25 

and that is, to remove the lot (as they call it), and to lay it 
upon another ; for which purpose the wiser sort of great per- 
sons bring in ever upon the stage somebody upon whom to 
derive the envy that would come upon themselves ; some- 
times upon ministers and .servants, sometimes upon colleagues 
and associates, and the like ; and, for that turn, there are 
never wanting some persons of violent and undertaking 
natures, who, so they may have power and business, will take 
it at any cost. 

Now, to speak of public envy: there Le yet some good in 
public envy, whereas in private there is none; for public 
envy is as an ostracism, 1 that eclipseth men when they grow 
too great ; and therefore it is a bridle also to great ones, to 
keep them within bounds. 

This envy, being in the Latin word '• invidia," k goeth hi 
the modern languages by the name of discontentment ; of 
which we shall speak in handling sedition. It is a disease 
in a state like to infection ; for as infection spreadeth upon 
that which is Bound, and tainteth it, so, when envy is gotten 
once into a state, it traduceth even the best actions thereof, 
and turneth them into an ill odour ; and therefore there is 
little won by intermingling of plausible actions; for that 
doth argue but a weakness and fear of envy, which hurteth 
so rnuch the more, as it is likewise usual in infections, which. 
if you fear them, you call them upon you. 

Tins public envy seemeth to beat chiefly upon principal 
officers or ministers, rather than upon kings and estates 
themselves. But this is a sure rule, that if the envy upon 
the minister be great, when the cause of it in him is small ; 
or if the envy be general in a manner upon all the ministers 
of an estate, then the envy (though hidden) is truly upon the 
state itself. And so much of publie envy or discontentment, 
and the difference thereof from private envy, which was 
handled in the first place. 

We will add this in general, touching the affection of 
envy, that of all other affections it Ls the most importune 

' He probably alludes to the custom of the Athenians, who frequently 
ostracised <>r banished by vote their puhlic men, lest they should become 

too powerful. 

k From " in " ami " video," --"to look upou ; " with reference to the 
so-called "evil eye" of the envious. 



26 ESSAYS. 

and continual ; for of other affections there is occasion given 
but now and then ; and therefore it was well said, " Invidia 
festos dies non agit :"' for it is ever working upon some or 
other. And it is also noted, that love and envy do make a 
man pine, which other affections do not, because they are not 
so continual. It is also the vilest affection, and the most 
depraved ; for which cause it is the proper attribute of the 
devil, who is called " The envious man, that soweth tares 
amongst the wheat by night ;" m as it always cometh to pass 
that envy worketh subtilely, and in the dark, and to the 
prejudice of good things, such as is the wheat. 



X.— OF LOVE. 

The stage is more beholding to love than the life of man ; 
for as to the stage, love is ever matter of comedies, and now 
and then of tragedies ; but in life it doth much mischief, 
sometimes like a Siren, sometimes like a Fury. You may 
observe, that amongst all the great and worthy persons 
(whereof the memory remaineth, either ancient or recent), 
there is not one that hath been transported to the mad 
degree of love, which shows that great spirits and great 
business do keep out this weak passion. You must except, 
nevertheless, Marcus Antonius, the half partner of the 
empire of Rome, and Appius Claudius, a the Decemvir and 
lawgiver ; whereof the former was indeed a voluptuous man, 
and inordinate ; but the latter was an austere and wise man : 
and therefore it seems (though rarely) that love can find 
entrance, not only into an open heart, but also into a heart 
well fortified, if watch be not well kept. It is a poor saying 
of Epicurus, " Satis magniun alter alteri tkeatruni sumus ; r ' b 

1 " Envy keeps no holidays." 

111 See St. Matthew xiii. 25. 

a He iniquitously attempted to obtain possession of the person of 
Virginia, who was killed by her father Virginias, to prevent her from 
falling a victim to his lust. This circumstance caused the fall of the 
Decemviri at Rome, who had been employed in framing the code of 
laws afterwards knowni as ''The Laws of the Twelve Tables." They 
narrowly escaped being burnt alive by the infuriated populace. 

b "We are a sufficient theme for contemplation, the one for the 



LOVE. 27 

as if man, made for the contemplation of heaven and all 
noble objects, should do nothing but kneel before a little 
idol, and make himself subject, though not of the mouth 
(as beasts are), yet of the eye, which was given him for higher 
purposes. It is a strange tiling to note the excess of this 
passion, and how it braves the nature and value of things 1 > y 
this, that the speaking in a perpetual hyperbole is comely in 
nothing but in love ; neither is it merely in the phrase ; for 
whereas it hath been well said, " That the arch flatterer, 
with whom all the petty flatterers have intelligence, is a 
man's self;" certainly the lover is more ; for there was never 
proud man thought so absurdly well of himself as the lover 
doth of the person loved ; and therefore it was well said, 
" That it is impossible to love and to be wise." Neither doth 
this weakness appear to others only, and not to the party 
loved, but to the loved most of all, except the love be reci- 
procal ; for it is a true rale, that love is ever rewarded, 
either with the reciprocal, or with an inward and secret con- 
tempt ; by how much the more men ought to beware of this 
passion, which loseth not only other things, but itself. As 
for the other losses, the poet's relation doth well figure 
them : " That he that preferred Helena, quitted the gifts of 
Juno and Pallas;" for whosoever esteemeth too much of 
amorous affection, quitteth both riches and wisdom. This 
passion hath Ins floods in the very times of weakness, which 
are, great prosperity and great adversity, though this latter 
hath been less observed ; both which times kindle love, and 
make it more fervent, aud therefore show it to be the child 
of folly. They do best who, if they cannot but admit love, 
yet make it keep quarter, and sever it wholly from their 

other." Pope seems, notwithstanding this censure of Bacon to have 
been of the same opinion with Epicurus : — 

" Know then thyself, presume not God to scan. 
The proper study for mankind is man." 

Essay on Man, Ep. ii. 1, 2. 
Indeed Lord Bacon seems to have misunderstood the Baying of Epicurus, 
who did not mean to recommend man as the sole object of the bodily 
vision, Ion as the proper theme for mental contemplation. 

c He refers here to the judgment of Pari-!, mentioned by Ovid in his 
Epistles, of the Heroines. 



28 ESSAYS. 

serious affairs and actions of life ; for if it check once with 
business, it troubleth men's fortunes, and maketh men that 
they can nowise he true to their own ends. I know not how, 
but martial men are given to love : I think it is, but as they 
are given to wine, for perils commonly ask to be paid in 
pleasures. There is in man's nature a secret inclination and 
motion towards love of others, which, if it be not spent upon 
some one or a few, doth naturally spread itself towards many, 
and maketh men become humane and charitable, as it is 
seen sometimes in friars. Nuptial love maketh mankind, 
friendly love perfecteth it, but wanton love corrupteth and 
embaseth it. 



XI.— OF GREAT PLACE. 

Men in great place are thrice servants — servants of the 
sovereign or state, seiwants of fame, and servants of busi- 
ness ; so as they have no freedom, neither in their persons, 
nor in their actions, nor in their times. It is a strange 
desire to seek power and to lose liberty; or to seek power 
over others, and to lose power over a man's self. The rising 
unto place is laborious, and by pains men come to greater 
pains ; and it is sometimes base, and by indignities men 
come to dignities. The standing is slippery, and the regress 
is either a downfall, or at least an eclipse, which is a melan- 
choly thing : " Cum non sis qui fueris, non esse cur veils 
vivere." a Nay, retire men cannot wdien they would, neither 
will they when it were reason ; but are impatient of private- 
ness even in age and sickness, which require the shadow ; 
like old townsmen, that wall be still sitting at their street- 
door, though thereby they offer age to scorn. Certainly 
great persons had need to borrow other men's opinions to 
think themselves happy; for if they judge by then- own 
feeling, they cannot find it : but if they think with them- 
selves what other men think of them, and that other men 
■would fain be as they are, then they are happy as it were 

* " Since you are not what you were, there is no reason why you 
should wish to live." 



GREAT PLACE. 29 

by report, when, perhaps, they find the contrary within ; fur 
they are the first that find their own griefs, though they be 
the last that find their own faults. Certainly men in great 
fortunes are strangers to themselves, and while they are in 
the puzzle of business they have no time to tend their health 
either of body or mind. " I Hi mors gravis ineubat. qui notus 
nimis omnibus, ignotus moritur sibi.'"' 1 In place there is 
license to do good and evil ; whereof the latter is a curse : 
for in evd the best condition is not to will, the second not to 
can. But power to do good is the true and lawful end of 
aspiring; for good thoughts, though God accept them, yet 
towards men are little better than good dreams, except they 
be put in act ; and that cannot be "without power and place, 
as the vantage and commanding ground. Merit and good 
works is the end of man's motion : and conscience of the 
same is the accomplishment of man's rest : for if a man can 
be partaker of God's theatre, he shall likewise he partaker of 
God's rest. " Et conversus Deus, ut aspiceret opera, qua? 
fecerunt manus sua?, vidit quod omnia essent bona nimis ;" c 
and then the Sabbath. 

In the discharge of thy place set before thee the best 
examples ; for imitation is a globe of precepts ; and after 
a time set before thee thine own example ; and examine 
thyself strictly whether thou didst not best at first. Neglect 
nut also the examples of those that have carried them- 
selves ill in the same place ; not to set off thyself by 
taxing their memory, but to direct thyself what to avoid. 
Reform, therefore, without bravery or scandal of former 
times and persons ; but yet set it down to thyself, as 
v. .1! to create good precedents as to follow them. Reduce 
tilings to the first institution, and observe wherein and how 
they have degenerated ; bin yet ask counsel of both times — 
■ f tin- ancient time what is bestj and of the latter time what 
is fittest. Seek to make thy course regular, that men may 
know beforehand what they may expect j but be nut too 
positive and peremptory; and express thyself well when 

b "Death presses heavily upon him, who, well-known to .'ill 
dies unknown to himself." 

r " And God turned to b< hold the works which his hands had 
and he Baw that everything was very good." -See Gen. i. 31. 



30 ESSAYS. 

thou digressest from thy rule. Preserve the right of thy 
place, but stir not questions of jurisdiction ; and rather 
assume thy right in silence, and " de facto," d than voice it 
with claims and challenges. Preserve likewise the rights of 
inferior places ; and think it more honour to direct in chief 
than to be busy in all. Embrace and invite helps and 
advices touching the execution of thy place ; and do not 
drive away such as bring thee information as meddlers, but 
accept of them in good part. The vices of authority are 
chiefly four : delays, corruption, roughness, and facility. 
For delays give easy access ; keep times appointed ; go 
through with that which is in hand, and interlace not 
business but of necessity. For coiTuption, do not only bind 
thine own hands or thy servant's hands from taking, but 
bind the hands of suitors also from offering ; for integrity 
used doth the one ; but integrity professed, and with a 
manifest detestation of bribery, doth the other ; and avoid 
not only the fault, but the suspicion. Whosoever is found 
variable, and changeth manifestly without manifest cause, 
giveth suspicion of corruption : therefore, always when thou 
changest thine opinion or course, profess it plainly, and 
declare it, together with the reasons that move thee to 
change, and do not think to steal it. A servant or a 
favourite, if he be inward, and no other apparent cause of 
esteem, is commonly thought but a by-way to close cor- 
ruption. For roughness, it is a needless cause of discontent : 
severity breedeth fear, but roughness breedeth hate. Even 
reproofs from authority ought to be grave, and not taunting. 
As for facility, e it is worse than bribery ; for bribes come 
but now and then ; but if importunity or idle respects f lead 
a man, he shall never be without ; as Solomon saith, " To 
respect persons is not good ; for such a man will transgress 
for a piece of bread."? 

d "As a matter of course." 

e Too great easiness of access^ 

f Predilections that are undeserved. 

s Proverbs xxviii. 21. The whole passage stands thus in our 
version: — "He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. 
To have respect of persons is not good ; for, for a piece of bread that 
man will transgress." 



BOLDNF.— 31 

It is most true that was anciently spoken ; < " A place 
showeth the man; and it showeth some to the better and 
some to the worse :" " Omnium consensu capax imperii, 
\iW\ i 11 1 1 k russet,"' 1 saith Tacitus of Galba ; but of Vespasian 
he saith, " Solus imperantium, Vespasianus mutatus in 
melius ;" 1 though the one was meant of sufficiency, the 
other of manners and affection. It is an assured 
of a worthy and generous spirit, whom honour amends ; 
for honour is, or should be, the place of virtue ; and as in 
nature things move violently to their place, and calmly in 
their place, so virtue in ambition is violent, in authority 
settled and calm. All rising to great place is by a winding 
stair ; and if there be factions, it is good to side a man's self 
whilst he is in the rising, and to balance himself when he is 
placed. Use the memoiy of thy predecessor fairly and 
tenderly ; for if thou dost not, it is a debt will sure be paid 
when thou art gone. If thou have colleagues, respect then 
and rather call them when they look not for it, than exclude 
them when they have reason to look to be called. Be not 
too sensible or too remembering of thy place in conversation 
and private answers to suitors ; but let it rather be said, 
" When he sits in place, he is another man." 



XII.— OF BOLDNESS. 

It Ls a trivial grammar-school text, but yet worthy a wise 
man's consideration. Question was asked of Demosthenes, 
what was the chief part of an orator 1 he answered, Action : 
what next 1 — Action : what next again ] — Action. He said 
it that knew it best, ami had by nature himself no advantage 
in that he commended. A strange tiling, that that pari oi 
an orator wliich is but superficial, and rather the virtue of a 
player, should be placed so high above those other noble 

h "By tho consent of all lie was fit to govern, if he had not. 
governed." 

' " Of the emperors, Vespasian alone changed for the better after 
hit 'recession." 



32 ESSAYS. 

parts of invention, elocution, and the rest ; nay almost alone, 
as if' it were all in all. But the reason is plain. There is in 
lniman nature generally more of the fool than of the wise ; 
and therefore those faculties by which the foolish part of 
men's minds is taken are most potent. Wonderfuh-like is the 
■case of boldness in civil business ; what first i-i-boldness ; 
what second and third ? — boldness : and yet boldness is a 
child of ignorance and baseness, far infeiior to other parts : 
but, nevertheless, it doth fascinate, and bind hand and foot 
those that are either shallow in judgment or weak in courage, 
which are the greatest part ; yea, and prevaileth with wise 
men at weak times ; therefore we see it hath done wonders 
in popular states, but with senates and princes less ; and 
more, ever upon the first entrance of bold persons into 
action than soon after ; for boldness is an ill keeper of 
promise. Surely as there are mountebanks for the natural 
body, so are there mountebanks for the politic body ; men 
that undertake great cures, and perhaps have been lucky in 
two or three experiments, but want the grounds of science, 
.and therefore cannot hold out ; nay, you shall see a bold 
fellow many times do Mahomet's miracle. Mahomet made 
the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from 
the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. 
The people assembled : Mahomet called the hill to come to 
him again and again ; and when the hill stood still, he was 
never a whit abashed, but said, " If the hill will not come to 
Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill." So these men, 
when they have promised great matters and failed most 
shamefully, yet (if they have the perfection of boldness) they 
will but slight it over, and make a turn, and no more ado. 
Certainly to men of great judgment, bold persons are a sport 
to behold ; nay, and to the -vulgar also boldness hath some- 
what of the ridieuloiis ; for if absurdity be the subject of 
laughter, doubt you .not but great boldness is seldom without 
some absurdity ; especially it is a sport to see when a bold 
fellow is o\rfc of countenance, for that puts his face into a 
most shrunken and wooden posture, as needs it must ; for in 
bashfulness the spirits do a little go and come ; but with 
bold men, upon like occasion, they stand at a stay ; like a 
stale at chess, where it is no mate, but yet the game cannot 
stir : but this last were fitter for a satire than for a serious 



G00DXESS, AND GOODNESS OF NATURE. 33 

observation. This is well to be weighed, that boldness is 
ever blind ; for it seeth not dangers and inconveniences : 
therefore it is ill in counsel, good in execution ; so that the 
right use of bold persons is, that they never command in 
chief, but be seconds and under the direction of others ; for 
in counsel it is good to see dangers, and in execution not 
to Bee them except they be very great. 



XIII.— OF GOODNESS, AND GOODNESS OF NATURE. 

I take goodness in this sense, the affecting of the weal of 
men, which is that the Grecians call "philantliropia :" and the 
word humanity (as it is used) is a little too light to express 
it. Goodness I call the habit, and goodness of nature the 
inclination. This, of all virtues and dignities of the mind, is 
the greatest, being the character of the Deity : and without 
it man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing, no better than 
a kind of vermin. Goodness answers to the theological virtue 
charity, and admits no excess but error. The desire of power 
in excess caused the angels to fall ; !l tike desire of knowledge 
in excess caused man to fall ; but in charity there is no 
excess, neither can angel or man come in danger by it. The 
inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of 
man ; insomuch, that if it issue not towards men, it will 
take unto other living creatures ; as it is seen in the Turks, 
a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts, and give 
alms to dogs and birds; insomuch as Busbechius b reporteth, 

" It is not improbable that this passage suggested Pope's beautiful 
lines in the Essay ua Man, Bp. i. 125-8. 

" Pride still is aiming at the blest abodes, 
Men would he angels, angels would be gods. 
Aspiring to be godn, if angels fell, 
AH].iring to l>e unguis, ni'-n [■•■I.. !. ' 

' A.uger Gialen Busbec, "r Busbequius, a learned traveller, born 
at Comines, in Flanders, in 1522. Be was employed by the Emperor 
Ferdinand as ambassador t<> the Sultan Bolyman II. He was after- 
wards ambassador to France, where lie died in 1592. His •■ Lett* n ' 
relative to his travels in the Bast, which are written in Latin, contain 
much interesting information. They wen the pocket companion of 
Gibbon, and are highly praised by him. 

D 



34 ESSAYS. 

a Christian boy in Constantinople had like to have been 
stoned for gagging in a waggishnesa a long-billed fowL c 
Errors, indeed, in this virtue, of goodness or charity, may be 
committed. The Italians have an ungracious proverb, "Tanto 
buon che val niente :" — " So good, that he is good for nothing :" 
and one of the doctors of Italy, Nicholas Machiavel, d had the 
confidence to put in writing, almost in plain terms, "That 
the Christian faith had given up good men in prey to th 
that are tyrannical and unjust;" which he spake, because 
indeed, there was never law, or sect, or opinion did so much 
magnify goodness as the Christian religion doth : therefore, 
to avoid the scandal and the danger both, it is good to tak.' 
knowledge of the errors of a habit so excellent. Seek the 
good of other men, but be not in bondage to then faces or 
fancies ; for that is but facility or softness, which taketh au 

. c In this instance the stork or crane was probably protected not on 

// ,<vn »»</' t ue abstract grounds mentioned in the text, but for reasons of stut 

, iteffi policy and gratitude combined. In Eastern climates the cranes an i 

dogs are far more efficacious than human agency in removing filth and 

1*4 t*~ offal, and thereby diminishing the chances of pestilence. Superstition, 

. / also, may have formed another motive, as we learn from a letter written 

<J**-t~~J k uL'f rom Adrianople by Lady Montagu, in 1718, that storks were "held 

<yy ; Jvv^ there in a sort of religious reverence, because they are supposed to 

p .. make every winter the pilgrimage to Mecca. To say truth, they are 

Mu. ***->jfl~ the happiest subjects under the Turkish government, and are so 

A] "i /j sensible of their privileges, that they walk the streets without fear. 

/I. I v tvK. an( j generally build their nests in the lower parts of the houses. Happ;. 

'. ; / are those whose houses are so distinguished, as the vulgar Turks are 

yk>l y perfectly persuaded that they will not be that year attacked either by 

J ft or P es til ence -" Storks are still protected by municipal law in Hol- 

& A '' L ' land, and roam unmolested about the market-places. 

T d Nicolo Machiavelli, a Florentine statesman. He wrote " Dis- 
courses on the first Decade of Livy," which were conspicuous for their 
-jLiA liberality of sentiment, and just and profound reflections. This work 

K-. ,] was succeeded by his famous treatise, " II Principe," — -" The Prince, " 
tki-c-*- jjis patron, Caesar Borgia, being the model of the perfect prince there 
U.«j+/ * described by him. The whole scope of this work is directed to one 
object — the maintenance of power, however acquired. Though its pre- 
\vuti\. cepts are no doubt based upon the actual practice of the Italian poli- 
/ ( ticians of that day, it has been suggested by some writers that £he 

* work was a covert exposure of the deformity of the shocking maxims 

-ia<4 that it professes to inculcate. The question of his motives has been 
- \ much discussed, and is still considered open. The word " Machiavel- 
fa^Oirl liani " has, however, been adopted to denote all that is deformed, 
^JL^ . insincere, and perfidious in politics. He died in great poverty, in 
J the vear 1527. 

1/ " L. ' /" f— 



GOODNESS, A>'D G00DXESS OF NATURE. 30 

honest mind prisoner. Neither give thou JEsop's cock ■ 
gem, who would he better pleased and happier if' he bad bad 
a barley-corn. The example of God teacheth the lesson 
truly ; "He sendeth his rain, and maketh hia sun to shine upon 
the just and the unjust ;" e but he doth not rain wealth, nor 
shine honour and virtues upon men equally : common benefits 
are to be communicate with all, but peculiar benefits with 
choice. And beware how in making the portraiture thou 
breakest the pattern ; for divinity maketh the love of our- 
selves the pattern : the love of our neighbours but the 
portraiture : " Sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor, and 
follow me:" f but sell not all thou hast except thou come and 
follow me ; that is, except thou have a vocation wherein thou 
mayest do as much good with little means as with great ; 
for otherwise, in feeding the streams, thou driest the fountain. 
Neither is there only a habit of goodness directed by light 
reason ; but there is in some men, even in nature, a disposi- 
tion towards it ; as, on the other side, there is a natural 
malignity : for there be that in their nature do not affect the 
good of others. The lighter sort of malignity turneth but to 
a crossness, or forwardness, or aptness to oppose, or difncile- 
or the like ; but the deeper sort to envy, and mere 
mischief Such men in other men's calamities, are, as it 
were, in season, and are ever on the loading part : nut bo 
good as the dogs that licked Lazarus' sores,? but like flies 
that are still buzzing upon anything that is raw; misanthropi, 
that make it then- practice to bring men to the bough, and 
yet have never a tree for the purpose in their gardi 
Timou 1 ' had : such dispositions are the very errors of human 

■ St. Matthew v. 5: "For he inaketh his ann to rise on the evil 
and on the good, and aendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." 

1 This is a portion of our Saviour's reply to the rich man who asked him 
what he should do to inherit eternal life : " Then Jesus beholding him, 
loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou laokest : go thy wag 

rer thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shaft thou have 
treasure in heavei ike up the cross, and follow me." — 

Bt. Mark x. -Jl. 

3fc I. 'ike xvi. 21. 

h Timon ot Athena, as he is generally called (being so styled by 
Bhakspeare in the plaj which hi' has founded an hia ataxy), was aurnamed 
the "Misanthrope," tram the hatred which he bore to bis fellow-men. 
He waa attached to A.pemantua, another Athenian of similar ch 
to himself, and he professed to esteem Alcibiadea, because he foresaw that 

d2 



3C ESSAYS. 

nature, and yet they are the fittest timber to make great 
politics of ; like to knee timber, ' that is good for ships that 
are ordained to be tossed, but not for building houses that 
shall stand firm. The parts and signs of goodness are many. 
If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he 
is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut 
off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them : if 
he be compassionate towards the afflictions of others, it shows 
that his heart is like the noble tree that is wounded itself 
when it gives the balm : k if he easily pardons and remits 
offences, it shows that his mind is planted above injuries, so 
that he cannot be shot : if he be thankful for small benefits, 
it shows that he weighs men's minds, and not their trash : 
but, above all, if he have St. Paul's perfection, that he would 
wish to be an anathema 1 from Christ for the salvation of his 
brethren, it shows much of a divine nature, and a kind of 
conformity with Christ himself. 



XIV.— OF NOBILITY. 

We will speak of nobility first as a portion of an estate, 
then as a condition of particular persons. A monarchy, 
where there is no nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute 
tyranny, as that of the Turks ; for nobility attempers sove- 
reignty, and draAvs the eyes of the people somewhat aside 

he would one day bring ruin on his country. Going to the public 
assembly on one occasion, he mounted the Rostrum, and stated that he 
had a fig-tree on which many worthy citizens had ended their days by 
the halter ; that he was going to cut it down for the purpose of build- 
ing on the spot, and therefore recommended all such as were inclined 
to avail themselves of it before it was too late. 

1 A piece of timber that has grown crooked, and has been so cut that 
the trunk and branch form an angle. 

k He probably here refers to the myrrh-tree. Incision is the method 
usually adopted for extracting the resinous juices of trees : as in the 
india-rubber and gutta-percha trees. 

1 "A votive," and in the present instance "a vicarious offering." 
He alludes to the words of St. Paul in his Second Epistle to Ti- 
mothy ii. 10: "Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sokes, 
that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with 
eternal glory." 



NOBILITY. 37 

from the line royal : but for democracies they need it not ; 
and they are commonly more quiet and less subject to sedition 
than where there are stirps of nobles; for men's <■•.. 
upon the business, and not upon the persons ; or if upon the 
persona, it is for the business sake, as fittest, and not for 
flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last well, notwith- 
standing their diversity of religion and of cantons ; for utility 
is their bond, and not respects.* The united provinces of the 
Low Countries' 3 in their government excel; for where there 
is an equality the consultations are more indifferent, and the 
payments and tributes more cheerful. A great and potent 
nobility addeth majesty to a monarch, but diminisheth power, 
and putteth life and spirit into the people, but presseth their 
fortune. It is well when nobles are not too great for sove- 
reignty nor for justice ; and yet maintained in that height, 
as the insolency of inferiors maybe broken upon them before 
it come on too fast upon the majesty of kings. A numerous 
nobility causeth poverty and inconvenience in a state, for it 
is a surcharge of expense ; and besides, it being of necessity 
that many of the nobility fall in time to be weak in fortune, 
it maketh a kind of disproportion between honour and 
means. 

As for nobility in particular persons, it is a reverend thing 
to see an ancient castle or building not in decay, or to see 
a fair timber-tree sound and perfect ; how much more to 
behold an ancient noble family, which hath stood against tin- 
waves and weathers of time ! for new nobility Ls but the act 
of power, but ancient nobility is the act of time. Those that 
are first raised to nobility are commonly more virtuous, but 
less innocent, than their descendants ; for there is rarely any 
rising but by a coniruixture of good and evil arts ; but it Ls 
reaa m* the memory of their virtues remain to their posterity, 
and their faidts die with themselves. Nobility of birth 

• "Consideration of," or "predilection for, particular persons." 

b The Low Countries had then recently emancipated themselves from 
the galling yoke of Spain. They were called the Seven United Pro- 
vinces of the Netherlands. 

c This jnissage may at first sight appear somewhat contradictory , 
but he means to say that those who are first ennobled will commonly lie 
found to tie more conspicuous for the prominence of their qualities, both 
good and bad. 

d Consistent with reason and justice. 



38 ESSAYS. 

commonly abateth industry ; and he that is not industrious, 
envieth him that is ; besides, noble persons cannot go much 
higher ; and he that standeth at a stay when others rise, can 
hardly avoid motions of envy. On the other side, nobility 
extinguisheth the passive envy from others towards them, 
because they are in possession of honour. Certainly, kings 
that have able men of then nobility shall find ease in employ- 
ing them, and a better slide into their business ; for people 
naturally bend to them as born in some sort to command. 



XV.— OF SEDITIONS AND TROUBLES. 

Shepherds of people had need know the calendars of 
tempests in state, which are commonly greatest when things 
grow to equality ; as natural tempests are greatest about 
the equinoctia, a and as there are certain hollow blasts of 
wind and secret swellings of seas before a tempest, so are 
there in states : — 

" He etiam caecos instare tumultus 

Ssepe monet, fraudesque et operta tumescere bella." b 

Libels and licentious discourses against the state, when they 
are frequent and open ; and in like sort false news, often 
running up and down, to the disadvantage of the state, and 
hastily embraced, are amongst the signs of troubles. Virgil, 
giving the pedigree of Fame, saith she was sister to the 
giants : — 

" niam Terra parens, ira irritata Deorum, 

Extreniam (ut perhibent) Cceo Enceladoque sororem 
Progenuit." c 

A3 if fames were the relics of seditions past ; but they 
are no less indeed the preludes of seditions to come. How- 

a The periods of the Equinoxes. 

b " He often warns, too, that secret revolt is impending, that treachery 
and open warfare are ready to burst forth." 

- "Mother Earth, exasperated at the wrath of the Deities, produced 
her, as they tell, a last birth, a sister to the Giants Cceus and 
Enceladus." 



SEDITIONS ANT) TROUBLES. 39 

soever he noteth it right, thai seditious tumults and seditions 
fames differ no more but as brother and sister, masculine 
and feminine ; especially if it come to that, that the best 
actions of a state, and the must plausible, and which ought 
to give greatest contentment, are taken in ill sense, and 
traduced : for that shows the envy great, as Tacitus saith, 
'•Conflata magna invidia, sen bene, sen male, gesta premunt." 1 ' 
^'either doth it follow, that because these fames are a sign 
of troubles, that the suppressing of them with too much 
severity should be a remedy of troubles; for the despising 
of them many times checks them best, and the going about 
to stop them doth but make a wonder long-lived. Also 
that kind of obedience, which Tacitus speaketh of, is to be 
held suspected : " Erant in officio, sed tamen qui mallent 
imperantium mandate interpretari, quam exaequi :"' e dis- 
puting, excusing, cavilling upon mandates and directions, is 
a kind of shaking off the yoke, and assay of disobedience ; 
especially if in those disputing* they which are for the 
direction speak fearfully and tenderly, and those that are 
against it audaciously. 

Also, as Machiavel noteth well, when princes, that ought 
to be common parents, make themselves as a party, and lean 
to a side; it is, as a boat that is overthrown by uneven 
weight on the one side; as was well seen in the time of 
Henry the Third of France ; for first himself entered 
league f for the extirpation of the Protestants, and presently 
after the same league was turned upon himself: for when 
the authority of princes is made but an accessary to a 

A "Great public odium once excited, his deed.s, whether good or 
whether bad, cause his downfall." Bacon has here quoted incorrectly, 
probably from memory. The words of Tacitus are (Hist. B. i. C. 7) — 
"Inviso semel principe, seu bene, seu male, facta premunt," — "The 
ruler once detested, his actions, whether good or whether bad, cause 
his downfall." 

c " They attended to their duties, but still, as preferring rather to 
discuss the commands of their rulers, than to obey them." 

f He alludes to the bad policy of Henry the Third of France, who 
espoused the part of "the League" which was formed by the duke of 
Guise and other Catholic-; for the extirpation of the Protestant faith. 
When too I covered his error, and. finding Lis own autho- 

'ir.lv superseded, he caused the Duke of Guiss and the Cardinal 
De Lorraine, his brother, to be assassinated. 



40 ESSAYS. 

cause, and that there be other bands that tic faster than 
the band of sovereignty, kings begin to be put almost out 
of possession. 

Also, when discords, and quarrels, and factious, are car- 
ried openly and audaciously, it is a sign the reverence of 
government is lost ; for the motions of the greatest persons 
in a government ought to be as the motions of the planets 
under " primum mobile," 6 according to the old opinion, 
which is, that every of them is carried swiftly by the highest 
motion, and softly in their own motion ; and therefore, 
when great ones in their own particular motion move 
"violently, and as Tacitus expresseth it well, ' ; hberius quain 
at imperantium meminissent," h it is a sign the orbs are out 
of frame : for reverence is that wherewith princes are girt 
from God, who threateneth the dissolving thereof ; " Sol vain 
cingula regum." 1 

So when any of the four pillars of government are mainly 
shaken or weakened (which are religion, justice, counsel, and 
treasure), men had need to pray for fair weather. But let 
us pass from this part of predictions (concerning which, 
nevertheless, more light may be taken from that which 
followeth), and let us speak first of the materials of 
seditions; then of the motives of them; and thirdly of the 
remedies. 

Concerning the materials of seditions, it is a thing well to 
be considered ; for the surest way to prevent seditions (if 
the times do bear it) is to take away the matter of them ; 
for if there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the 
spark shall come that shall set it on fire. The matter of 
seditions is of two kinds; much poverty and much discon- 
tentment. It is certain, so many overthrown estates, so 
many votes for troubles. Lucan noteth well the state of 
Rome before the civil war : — 

k "The primary motive power." He allude3 to an imaginary centre 
of gravitation, or central body, which was supposed to set all the other 
heavenly hodies in motion. 

h "Too freely to remember their own rulers." 

' "I will unloose the girdles of kings." He probably alludes here to 
the first verse of the 45th chapter of Isaiah : "Thus saith the Lord to 
his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have upholden, to subdue 
nations before him : and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before 
him the two-leaved gates.'' 



SEDITIONS AND TROUBLES. 41 

" Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore foenus, 
Hinc concnasa tides, et multis utile helium. " k 

This same " multis utile helium,'" 1 is an assured and infallible 
sign of a state disposed to seditions and troubles ; and if tins 
poverty and broken estate in the better sort be joined with a 
want and necessity in the mean people, the danger is im- 
minent and great : for the rebellions of the belly are tin- 
worst. As for discontentments, they are hi the politic body 
like to humours in the natural, which are apt to gather a 
preternatural heat and to inflame ; and let no prince measure 
the danger of them by this, whether they be just or unjust : 
for that were to imagine people to be too reasonable, who do 
often spurn at their own good ; nor yet by this, whether the 
griefs whereupon they rise be in fact great or small ; for 
they are the most dangerous discontentments where the fear 
is greater than the feeling : " Dolendi modus, timendi non 
item :" m besides, in great oppressions, the same things that 
provoke the patience, do withal mate" the courage ; but in 
fears it is not so ; neither let any prince or state be secure 
concerning discontentments, because they have been often, or 
have been long, and yet no peril hath ensued : for as it is 
true that every vapour or fume doth not turn into a storm, 
so it is nevertheless true that storms, though they blow over 
divers times, yet may fall at last ; and, as the Spanish pro- 
verb noteth well, "The cord breaketh at the hist by the 
weakest pull." 

The causes and motives of seditions are, innovation in 
religion, taxes, alteration of laws and customs, breaking of 
privileges, general oppression, advancement of unworthy 
persons, strangers, dearths, disbanded -">ldiers, factions grown 
desperate ; and whatsoever in otl'rnding people joineth ami 
knitteth them in a common cause. 

For thf remedies, there may be some general preservatives, 
whereof we will speak : as for the just cure, it must answer to 
the J 'articular disease; and so be left to counsel rather than rule. 

k " Hence devouring usury, and interest accumulating in lapse of 
time, hence -"liaken credit, and warfare, profitable to tin- many." 

' " Warfare profitable to tin' manv." 

,n " To grief there is a limit, not bo to tear." 

■ '"Cheek," or "daunt." 

This is similar to the proverb now in common use : " Ti» the last 
feather that breaks the back of the camel." 



42 ESSAYS. 

The first remedy, or prevention, is to remove, by all means 
possible, that material cause of sedition whereof we spake, 
which is, want and poverty in the estate :P to which purpose 
serveth the opening and well-balancing of trade ; the cherish- 
ing of manufactures ; the banishing of idleness ; the repressing 
of waste and excess, by sumptuary laws ;i the improvement 
and husbanding of the soil ; the regulating of prices of things 
vendible ; the moderating of taxes and tributes, and the 
like. Generally, it is to be foreseen that the population of a 
kingdom (especially if it be not mown down by wars) do 
not exceed the stock of the kingdom which should maintain 
them : neither is the population to be reckoned only by 
number ; for a smaller number, that spend more and earn 
less, do wear out an estate sooner than a greater number that 
live lower and gather more : therefore the miUtiplying of 
nobility, and other degrees of quality, in an over proportion 
to the common people, doth speedily bring a state to neces- 
sity ; and so doth likewise an overgrown clergy, for they 
bring nothing to the stock ; r and, in like manner, when more 
are bred scholars than preferments can take off. 

It is likewise to be remembered, that, forasmuch as the 
increase of any estate must be upon the foreigner 3 (for what- 
soever is somewhere gotten is somewhere lost), there be but 
three things which one nation selleth unto another ; the 
commodity, as nature yieldeth it ; the manufacture ; and the 
vecture, or carriage ; so that, if these three wheels go, wealth 
will flow as in a spring tide. And it cometh many times to 
pass, that, " materiam superabit opus,"' l that the work and 
carriage is more worth than the material, and enricheth 

p The state. 

i Though sumptuary laws are probably just in theory, they have been 
found impracticable in any other than infant states. Their principle, 
however, is certainly recognised in such countries as by statutory 
enactment discountenance gaming. Those who are opposed to such 
laws upon principle, would do well to look into Bernard Mandeville's 
" Fable of the Bees,"— or " Private Vices Public Benefits." The Eo- 
nians had numerous sumptuary laws, and in the middle ages there were 
many enactments in this country against excess of expenditure upon 
wearing apparel and the pleasures of the table. 

r He means that they do not add to the capital of the country. 

s At the expense of foreign countries. 

4 "The workmanship will surpass the material." — Ovid, Metamorph. 
B. ii. 1. 5. 



SEDITIONS AND TROUBLES. 43 

a state more : as is notably seen in the Low Countrymen, 
who have the best mines u above ground in the world. 

Above all things, good policy is to be used, that the trea- 
sure and monies in a state be not gathered into few hands ; 
for, otherwise, a state may have a great stock, and yet starve : 
and money is like muck, 2 not good except it be spread. This 
is done chiefly by suppressing, or, at least, keeping a strait 
hand upon the devouring trades of usuiy, engrossing great 
pasturages, and the bike. 

For removing discontentments, or, at least, the clanger of 
them, there is in every state (as we know) two portions of 
subjects, the nobles and the commonalty, "When one of 
these is discontent, the danger is not great ; for common 
people are of slow motion, if they be not excited by the 
greater sort ; and the greater sort are of small strength, 
except the multitude be apt and ready to move of them- 
selves : then is the danger, when the greater sort do but wait 
for the troubling of the waters amongst the meaner, that 
then they may declare themselves. The poets feign that the 
rest of the gods would have bound Jupiter; which he hearing 
of, by the counsel of Pallas, sent for Briareus, with his hun- 
dred hands, to come in to his aid : an emblem, no doubt, to 
show how safe it is for monarchs to make sure of the good- 
will of common people. 

To give moderate liberty for griefs and discontentments to 
evaporate (so it be without too great insolency or bravery), 
is a safe way : for he that turneth the humours back, and 
maketh the wound bleed inwards, endangereth malign ulcers 
tnd pernicious imposthumations. 

The part of Epimetheus> might w T ell become Prometheus, 

a He alludes to the manufactures of the Low Countries. 

x Like manure. 

' The myth of Pandora's box, which is here referred to, is related 
in the "Works and Days " of Hesiod. Epimetheas was the persanifica- 
tionof "Afterthought," while his brother Prometheus represented "Fore- 
thought," or prudence. It was not Epimethens that oi>ened the box, l>ut 
Pandora — " All-gift*" whom, contrary to the advice of his brother, he 
had received .it the hands of Mercury, and had made his wife. In their 
house stood a closed jar, which they were forbidden to open. Till her 
arrival, this had been kept untouched : but her curiosity prompting her 
a the lid, all tli'- evils hitherto unknown to man flew out and 
over the earth, and she oidy shut it down in time to prevent the 
escape of Hope. 



44 ESSAYS. 

in the case of discontentments, for there is not a better pro- 
vision against them. Epimetheus, when griefs and evils flew 
abroad, at last shut the lid, and kept Hope in the bottom of 
the vessel. Certainly, the politic and artificial nourishing and 
entertaining of hopes, ;md carrying men from hopes to hopes, 
is one of the best antidotes against the poison of discontent- 
ments : and it is a certain sign of a wise government and 
proceeding, when it can hold men's hearts by hopes, when it 
cannot by satisfaction ; and when it can handle things in such 
manner as no evil shall appear so peremptory but that it hath 
some outlet of hope ; which is the less hard to do, because 
both particular persons and factions are apt enough to flatter 
themselves, or at least to brave that which they believe not. 

Also the foresight and pi'evention, that there be no likely 
or fit head whereunto discontented persons may resort, and 
under whom they may join, is a known, but an excellent 
point of caution. I understand a fit head to be one that 
hath greatness and reputation, that hath confidence with the 
discontented party, and upon whom they turn their eyes, and 
that is thought discontented in his own particular : which 
kind of persons are either to be won and reconciled to the 
state, and that in a fast and true manner ; or to be fronted 
with some other of the same party that may oppose them, 
and so divide the reputation. Generally, the dividing and 
breaking of all factions and combinations that are adverse to 
the state, and setting them at distance, or, at least, distrust 
amongst themselves, is not one of the worst remedies ; for it 
is a desperate case, if those that hold with the jiroceeding of 
the state be full of discord and faction, and those that are 
against it be entire and united. 

I have noted, that some witty and sharp speeches, which 
have fallen from princes, have given fire to seditions. Caesar 
did himself infinite hurt in that speech — " Sylla nescivit 
literas, non potuit dictare ;" z for it did utterly cut off that 

T "Sylla did not know his letters, and so he could not dictate." 
This saying is attributed by Suetonius to Julius Caesar. It is a play on 
the Latin verb "dictare," which means either "to dictate," or "to act 
the part of Dictator," according to the context. As this saying was 
presumed to be a reflection on Sylla's ignorance, and to imply that by 
reason thereof he was unable to maintain his power, it was concluded 
by the Roman people that Caesar, who was an elegant scholar, feeling 



ATHEISM. 45 

hope which men had entertained, that he would at one time 
or other give over his dictatorship. (Jalba undid himself by 
that speech, "Legi a so militem, non emi ;"■ fur it put the 
soldiers out of hope of the donative. Probus, likewise, by 
that speech, "Si vixero, non opus erit amplins Romano imperio 
militibus ;"'' a speech of great despair for the soldiers, and 
many the like. Surely princes had need in tender matters 
ami ticklish times to beware what they say, especially in 
these short speeches, which fly abroad like darts, and are 
thought to be shot out of their secret intentions ; for as for 
large discourses, they are Hat things, and not so much 
noted. 

Lastly, let princes, against all events, not be without some 
great person, one or rather more, of military valour, near 
unto them, for the repressing of seditions in their beginnings ; 
for without that, there useth to be more trepidation in court 
upon the first breaking out of troubles than were fit ; and 
the state runneth the danger of that which Tacitus saith ; 
" Atque is habitus animorum fuit, ut pessimum facinus 
auderent pauci, plures vellent, omnes paterentur :" c but let 
such military persons be assured, and well reputed of, rather 
than factious and popular ; holding also good correspondence 
with the other great men in the state, or else the remedy is 
worse than the disease. 



XVI.— OF ATHEISM. 

I HAD rather believe all the fables in the legend," and the 
Talmud, 11 and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is 

himself subject to no such inability, did not intend speedily to yield the 
reins of power. 

* "That soldiers were levied by him, not bought." 

'■ " It I live, there shall no longer be need of soldiers in the Roman 
' in I >' re." 

■' \nd Midi was the state of feeling, that a few dared to perpetrate 
the worst of crimes ; more wished to do so, — all submitted to it." 

* He probably alludes to the legends nr miraculous stories of tho 
saints, — such as walking with their heads off, preaching to the t i — I j . ■■■. 
Bailing over th<- sui on a cloak, &c. &c. 

This is the book that contains tti>' .lew'eh traditions, and the 



46 ESSAYS. 

without a mind ; and, therefore, God never wrought miracle 
to convince atheism, because his ordinary works convince it. 
It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to 
atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds 
about to religion ; for while the mind of man looketh upon 
second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and 
go no further ; but when it beholdeth the chain of them 
confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Pro- 
vidence and Deity : nay, even that school which is most 
accused of atheism doth most demonstrate religion : that is, 
the school of Leucippus, d and Democritus, c and Epicurus : 
for it is a thousand times more credible that four mutable 
elements, and one immutable fifth essence/ duly and eter- 
nally placed, need no God, than that an army of infinite 
small portions, or seeds unplaced, should have produced this 
order and beauty without a divine marshal. The Scripture 
saith, " The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God;"s it 
is not said, " The fool hath thought in his heart ;" so as he 
rather saith it by rote to himself, as that he woidd have, 
than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of 
it ; for none deny there is a God, but those for whom it 
maketh h that there were no God. It appeareth in nothing 
more, that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of 
man, than by this, that atheists will ever be talking of that 
then opinion, as if they fainted hi it within themselves, and 
would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others ; 

Rabbinical explanations of the law. It is replete with wonderful 
narratives. 

c This passage not improbably contains the germ of Pope's famous 
lines, — 

" A little learning is a dangerous thing ; 

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring." 

d A Philosopher of Abdera ; the first who taught the system of atoms, 
which was afterwards more fully developed by Democritus and Epicurus. 

e He was a disciple of the last-named Philosopher, and held the same- 
principles : he also denied the existence of the soul after death. He is 
considered to have been the parent of experimental Philosophy, and was 
the first to teach, what is now confirmed by science, that the Milky Waj 
is an accumulation of stars. 

1 Spirit. 

s Psalm xiv. 1, and liii. 1. 

h To whose (seeming) advantage it is : the wish being father to the 
thought. 



ATHEISM. 47 

nay more, you shall have atheists strive to get disciples, as 
it farcth with other suets ; ami, which is most of all, you 
shall have of them that will Buffer for atheism, and not 
recant ; whereas, if they <li<l truly think thai there were no 
such tiling as God, why should they trouble themselves? 
Epicurus is charged, thai he did btri dissemble for his credit's 
sake, when he affirmed there were blessed natures, but such 
as enjoyed themselves without having respect to the govern- 
ment of the world ; wherein they say he did temporize, 
though in secret he thought there was no God : but cer- 
tainly he is traduced, for his words are noble and divine : 
" Non Deos vulgi negare profanum ; sed vulgi opiniones Diis 
applicare profanum." 1 Plato could have said do more; ami 
although he had the confidence to deny the administration, 
he had not the power to deny the nature. The Indians 
of the west have names for their particular gods, though 
they have no name for God : as if the heathens should have 
had the names Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, etc., but not the word 
Deus, which shows that even those barbarous people have 
the notion, though they have not the latitude and extent 
of it; so that against atheists the very savages take pari 
with the very Bubtlest plulosophers. The contemplative 
atheist is rare ; a Diagoras, 1 a Bion, m a Lucian" perhaps, and 
some others ; and yet they seem to he more than they are : 
for that all that impugn a received religion, or superstition. 
are, by the adverse part, branded with the name of atheists : 
but the great atheists indeed are hypocrites, which are evej 

' " It is not profane to deny the existence of the Deities of the 
vulgar : but to apply to the Divinities the received notions of the vulgar 
is profane." 

' He alludes to the native tribes of the continent of America and the 
W ■ I odies. 

1 He was an Athenian Philosopher, who from the greatest superstition 
became .an avowed atheist. He was proscribed by the Areiopagus for 
speaking against the Gods with ridicule and contempt, and is supposed 
to have died al ( Ntrinth. 

'" A (iivek Philosoplu i. .-, disciple of Theodoras the atheist, to whose 
opinions be adhered. Hi- life was said to have been profligate, and 
his death superstitions. 

"Lucian ridiculed the follies and pretensions of some of the ancient 
Philosophers; hut though the freedom of his style was such 
cause him to be censurea for impiety, he hardlj igmaof 

atheism here cast upon him bj d author. 



48 ESSAYS. 

handling holy things but without feeling ; so as they must 
needs be cauterized in the end. The causes of atheism are, 
•divisions in religion, if they be many ; for any one main 
division addeth zeal to both sides, but many divisions intro- 
duce atheism : another is, scandal of priests, when it is 
come to that which St. Bernard saith, " Non est jam dicere, 
ut pojmlus, sic sacerdos ; quia nee sic populus, ut sacerdos :"° 
a third is, custom of profane scoffing in holy matters, which 
doth by little and little deface the reverence of religion ; 
and lastly, learned times, specially with peace and pros- 
perity ; for troubles and adversities do more bow men's 
minds to religion. They that deny a God destroy a man's 
nobility ; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his 
body ; and, if he be not of kin to God by liis spirit, he 
is a base and ignoble creature. It destroys likewise magna- 
nimity, and the raising of human nature ; for take an ex- 
ample of a dog, and mark what a generosity and courage he 
will put on when he finds himself maintained by a man, who 
to him is instead of a God, or " melior natura ;"P which 
courage is manifestly such as that creature, without that 
confidence of a better nature than his own, could never 
attain. So man, when he resteth and assureth himself upon 
-divine protection and favour, gathereth a force and faith, 
which human nature in itself could not obtain ; therefore, as 
atheism is in all respects hateful, so in this, that it depriveth 
human nature of the means to exalt itself above human 
frailty. As it is in particular persons, so it is in nations : 
never was there such a state for magnanimity as Rome. 
Of this state hear what Cicero saith ; " Quain volumus, licet, 
Patres conscripti, nos amemus, tamen nee numero Hispanos, 
nee robore Gallos, nee calliditate Pcenos, nee artibus Grsecos, 
nee denique hoc ipso hujus gentis et terra? domestico nati- 
voque sensu Italos ipsos et Latinos; sed pietate, ac religione, 
atque hac una sapientia, quod Deorum immortalium numine 

" It is not for us now to say, 'Like priest like people,' for the 
people are not even so bad as the priest." St. Bernard, abbot of 
Clairvaux, preached the second Crusade against the Saracens, and was 
unsparing in his censures of the sins then prevalent among the Chris- 
tian priesthood. His writings are voluminous, and by some lie has 
•been considered as the latest of the fathers of the Church. 

P. "A superior nature." 



SUPERSTITION. 49 

omnia regi, guberriarique perspeximus, omnes gentes, natio- 
nesque superavimus."*! 



XVII.— OF SUPERSTITION. 

It were better to have no opinion of God at all than such 
an opinion as is unworthy of him ; for the one is unbelief, 
the other is contumely: 8 and certainly superstition is the 
reproach of the Deity. Plutarch saith well to that purpose, 
•' Surely," saith he, " I had rather a great deal men should 
say there was no such man at all as Plutarch, than that they 
.should say that there was one Plutarch that would cat his chil- 
dren b as soon as they were born;" as the poets speak of 
Saturn : and, as the contumely is greater towards God, so 
the danger is greater towards men. Atheism leaves a man 
to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputa- 
tion : all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, 
though religion were not ; but superstition dismounts all 
these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of 
men : therefore atheism did never perturb states ; for it 
makes men wary of themselves, as looking no further, and 
Ave see the times inclined to atheism (as the time of Augustus 
Csesar) were civil times ; but superstition hath been the 
confusion of many states, and bringeth in a new '' priinuin 
mobile," that ravisheth all the spheres of government. The 
master of superstition is the people, and in all superstition 
wise men follow fools : and arguments are fitted to practice 

11 " We may admire ourselves, conscript Cithers, as much as we please ; 
still, neither by numbers did wt vanquish the Spaniards, nor by bodily 
strength the Gauls, nor by cunning the Carthaginians, nor through the 
arts the Greeks, nor, in fine, by the inborn ami native good sense < f 
this our nation, and this our race and soil, the Italians and Latins 
tin mservee ; but through our devotion and our religious feeling, and 
this, the sole true wisdom, the having perceived that all things are regu- 
late* I and governed by the providence <if the immortal Gods, have we 
! i.-d aD races and nations." 

* The justice of this position is perhaps somewhat doubtful. The 
superstitions man mutt have tome scruples, while he who believes not 
in a God (if there is such a person) need* have none, 

b Time was personified in Saturn, and by this story was meruit its 

tendency to destroy whatever it has brought into existence. 
' The primary motive power. 

E 



50 ESSAYS. 

iii a reversed order. It was gravely said by some of the 
prelates in the Council of Trent, 3 where the doctrine of the 
schoolmen bare great sway, that the schoolmen were like 
astronomers, which did feign eccentrics 6 and epicycles/ and 
such engines of ox-bs to saves the phenomena, though they 
knew there were no such things ; and, in like manner, that 
the schoolmen had framed a number of subtle and intricate 
axioms and theorems, to save the practice of the Church. 
The causes of superstition are, pleasing and sensual rites and 
ceremonies ; excess of outward and pharisaical holiness ; over- 
great reverence of traditions, which cannot but load the 
Church ; the stratagems of prelates for their own ambition 
and lucre ; the favouring too much of good intentions, which 
openeth the gate to conceits and novelties ; the taking an 
aim at divine matters by human, which cannot but breed 
mixture of imaginations : and, lastly, barbarous times, espe- 
cially joined with calamities and disasters. Superstition, 
without a veil, is a deformed thing ; for as it addeth defor- 
mity to an ape to be so like a man, so the similitude of 
superstition to religion makes it the more deformed : and as 
wholesome meat corrupteth to little worms, so good forms 
and orders corrupt into a number of petty observances. 
There is a superstition in avoiding superstition, when men 
think to do best if they go furthest from the superstition 
formerly received ; therefore care would be had that (as it 
fareth in ill purgings) the good be not taken away with 
the bad, which commonly is clone when the people is the 
reformer. 



XVIII.— OF TRAVEL. 

Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education ; in the 
elder, a part of experience. He that travelleth into a covin - 

d This Council commenced in 1545, and lasted eighteen year- 
It was convened for the purpose of opposing the rising spirit of Protes- 
tantism, and of discussing and settling the disputed points of the Catholic 
faith. 

e Irregular or anomalous movements. 

1 An epicycle is a smaller circle, whose centre is in the circumference 
of a greater one. 

s To account for. 



TRAVEL. 5 1 

try, before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth 
to school, and not to travel. That young men travel under 
some tutor or grave servant, I allow well ; so that he be such a 
one that hath the language, and hath been in the country 
before ; whereby he may be able to tell them what tilings 
are worthy to be seen in the country where they go, what 
acquaintances they are to seek, what exercises or discipline 
the place yieldeth ; fur else young men shall go hooded, and 
look abroad little. It is a strange thing, that in sea voyages, 
where there is nothing to be seen but sky and sea, men 
should make diaries ; but in land travel, wherein so much 
is to be observed, for the most part they omit it ; as if 
chance were fitter to be registered than observation : let 
diaries, therefore, be brought in use. The things to be seen 
and observed are, the courts of princes, especially when they 
give audience to ambassadors ; the courts of justice, while 
they sit and hear causes ; and so of consistories 11 ecclesiaM u 
the churches and monasteries, with the monuments which 
are therein extant ; the walls and fortifications of cities and 
towns ; and so the havens and harbours, antiquities and 
ruins, libraries, colleges, disputations, and lectures, where any 
are ; shipping and navies ; houses and gardens of state and 
pleasure, near great cities; armories, arsenals, magazines, 
exchanges, burses, warehouses, exercises of horsemanship, 
fencing, training of soldiers, and the like : comedies, such 
whereunto the better sort of persons do resort ; treasuries of 
jewels and robes ; cabinets and rarities ; and, to conclude, 
whatsoever is memorable in the places where they go ; aft. 
all winch the tutors or servants ought to make diligent 
inquiry. As for triumphs, masks, feasts, weddings, funerals, 
capital executions, and such shows, men need not to be put 
in niiml of them : yet are they not to be neglected. If you 
will have a young man to put his travel into a little room, 
anil in short time to gather much, this you must do : first, 
said, he must have some entrance into the language 
before he goeth ; then he must have such a servant, or tutor, 
as knoweth the country, as was likewise said : let 1dm carry 
with hi in also some card, or book, describing the country 
where he travelleth, which will be a good key to his inquiry ; 

Synods, or councils. 
e2 



52 ESSAYS. 

Jet liim keep also a diary; let him not stay long in one city 
or town, more or less as the place deserveth, but not long ; 
nay, when he stayeth in one city or town, let him change his 
lodging from one end and part of the town to another, which 
is a great adamant of acquaintance ; let him sequester him- 
self from the company of his countrymen, and diet in such 
places where there is good company of the nation where he 
travelleth : let him, upon his removes from one place to 
another, procure recommendation to some person of quality 
residing in the place whither he removeth, that he may use 
his favour in those things he desireth to see or know ; thus 
he may abridge his travel with much profit. As for the 
acquaintance which is to be sought in travel, that which is 
most of all profitable, is acquaintance with the secretaries 
and employed men b of ambassadors; for so in travelling in 
one country he shall suck the experience of many : let him 
also see and visit eminent persons in all kinds, which are of 
great name abroad, that he may be able to tell how the life 
agreeth with the fame ; for quarrels, they are with care and 
discretion to be avoided ; they are commonly for mistresses, 
healths, place, and words ; and let a man beware how he 
keepeth company with choleric and quarrelsome persons ; for 
they will engage him into their own quarrels. When a tra- 
veller returneth home, let him not leave the countries where 
he hath travelled altogether behind him, but maintain a cor- 
respondence by letters with those of his acquaintance which 
are of most worth ; and let his travel appear rather in his 
discourse than in his apparel or gesture ; and in his discourse 
let him be rather advised in his answers, than forward to 
tell stories : and let it appear that he doth not change his 
country manners for those of foreign parts ; but only prick 
in some flowers of that he hath learned abroad into the cus- 
toms cf his own country. 

b At the present day called " attaches." 

c He probably means the refusing to join on the occasion of drinking 
healths when taking wine. 



EMPIRE. 53 



XIX.— OF EMPIRE. 



It is a miserable state of mind to have few things to 
desire, and many things to fear ; and yet that commonly is 
the case of Kings, who being at the highest, want matter of 
desire, a which makes their minds more languishing ; and have 
many representations of perils and shadows, which makes 
their minds the less clear : and this is one reason also of that 
effect which the Scripture speaketh of, a That the king's heart 
is inscrutable :"'' for multitude of jealousies, and lack of some 
predominant desire, that should marshal and put in order all 
the rest, maketh any man's heart hard to find or sound. 
Hence it comes likewise, that princes many times make 
themselves desires, and set their hearts upon toys ; some- 
times upon a building ; sometimes upon erecting of an order ; 
sometimes upon the advancing of a person ; sometimes upon 
obtaining excellency in some art, or feat of the hand : as 
Nero for playing on the harp ; Domitian for certainty o 
the hand with the -arrow ; Commodus for playing at fence ; f 
Caracalla for driving chariots, and the like. This seemeth 
incredible unto those that know not the principle, that the 
mind of man is more cheered and refreshed by profiting in 
small things than by standing at a stay' 1 in great. We see 
also that Kings that have been fortunate conquerors in their 
first years, it being not possible for them to go forward infi- 
nitely, but that they must have some check or arrest in their 
fortunes, turn in their latter years to be superstitions ami 
melancholy ; as did Alexander the Great, Dioclesian, 8 and in 
our memory, Charles the Fifth/ and others ; for he that is 
used to go forward, and tindeth a stop, falleth out of his own 
favour, and is not the thing he was. 

■ , Something to create excitement. 

b "The heart of kings is unsearchable," — Prov. v. 3. 

c Commodus fought naked in public as a gladiator, and prided him 
self on his skill as .1 swordsman. 

d Making a stop at, or dwelling too long upon. 

1 After a prosperous reign of twenty-one years, Diocleaian abd 
the throne, and retired t,, a private station. 

' After having reigned thirty-five years, he abdicated the thrOE 
Spain and (lennany, and passed the two last years of his life in retire- 
ment at St. Just, a convent in Estremadura. 



54 ESSAYS. 

To speaK now of the true temper of empire, it is a tiling 
rare and hard to keep ; for both temper and distemper con- 
sist of contraries ; but it is one thing to mingle contraries, 
another to interchange them. The answer of Apollonius to 
Vespasian is full of excellent instruction. Vespasian asked 
him, "What was Nero's overthrow?" he answered, "Nero could 
touch and tune the harp well ; but in government sometimes 
he used to wind the pins too high, sometimes to let them 
down too low." And certain it is, that nothing destroy eth 
authority so much as the unequal and untimely interchange 
of power pressed too far, and relaxed too much. 

This is true, that the wisdom of all these latter times in 
princes' affairs is rather fine deliveries, and shift ings of dan- 
gers and mischiefs, when they are near, than solid and 
grounded courses to keep them aloof : but this is but to tiy 
masteries with fortune ; and let men beware how they 
neglect and suffer matter of trouble to be prepared. For no 
man can forbid the spark, nor tell whence it may come. The 
difficulties in princes' business are many and great ; but the 
greatest difficulty is often in their own mind. For it is com- 
mon with princes (saith Tacitus) to will contradictories ; 
" Sunt plerumque regum voluntates vehementes, et inter se 
contrarise ;"s for it is the solecism of power to think to 
command the end, and yet not to endure the mean. 

Kings have to deal with their neighbours, their wives, 
their children, their prelates or clergy, their nobles, their 
second nobles or gentlemen, their merchants, their commons, 
and their men of war ; and from all these arise dangers, if 
care and circumspection be not used. 

First, for their neighbours, there can no general rule be 
given (the occasions are so variable), save one which ever 
holdeth ; which is, that princes do keep due sentinel, that 
none of their neighbours do overgrow so (by increase of ter- 
ritory, by embracing of trade, by approaches, or the like), as 
they become more able to annoy them than they were ; and 
this is generally the work of standing counsels to foresee and 
to hinder it. During that triumvirate of kings, King Henry 
the Eighth of England, Francis the First, King of France, 1 * 

s " The desires of monarchs are generally impetuous and conflicting 
among themselves." 

h He was especially the rival of the Emperor Charles the Fifth, and 



EMl'IKE. 



55 



and Charles the Fifth, Emperor, there was such a watch kept 
that none of the three could win a palm of ground, but the 
other two would straightway* balance it, either by confedera- 
tion, or, if need were, by a war ; and woidd not in anywise 
take up peace at interest : and the like was done by that 
league (which Guicciardini ' saith was the security of Italy), 
made between Ferdinand©, King of Naples, Lorenzi us Medi- 
cos, and Ludovicus Sforza, potentates, the one of Florence, 
the other of Milan. Neither is the opinion of some of the 
schoolmen to be received, that a war cannot justly be made, 
but upon a precedent injury or provocation ; for there is no 
question, but a just fear of an imminent danger, though there 
be no blow given, is a lawful cause of a war. 

For their wives, there are cruel examjdes of them. Livia 
is infamed k for the poisoning of her husband ; Roxolana, 
Solyman's wife, 1 was the destruction of that renowned prince, 
Sultan Mustapha, and otherwise troubled his house and suc- 
cession ; Edward the Second of England's Queen m had the 
principal hand in the deposing and murder of her husband. 

This kind of danger is then to be feared chiefly when the 
wives have plots for the raising of their own children, or else 
that they be advoutresses. n 

For their children, the tragedies likewise of dangers from 
them have been many ; and generally the entering of fathers 
into suspicion of their children hath been ever unfortunate. 
The destruction of Mustapha (that we named before) was so 

was one of the most distinguished sovereigns that ever ruled over 
France. 

' An eminent historian of Florence. His great work, which is here 
alluded to, is, " The History of Italy during his own Time," which is 
considered one of the most valuable productions of that age. 

k Spoken badly of. Livia was said to have hastened the death of 
Augustus, to prepare the accession ofher son Tiberius to the throne. 

1 Solyman the Magnificent was one of the most celebrated of the 
Ottoman monarchs. He took the Isle of Rhodes from the Knights of 
Si. .1 . din. He also subdued Moldavia, Wallachia, and the greatest pari 
of Hungary, and took from the Persians, Georgia and Bagdad. 11 
A.D. 1566. His wife Roxolana (who w.-is originally a slave called 
Rosa or Hazathy:0, with the Pasha Rustan, conspired against the life 
of his son Blustapha, and by their instigation this distinguished prince 
ogled in his Eathei s pn -'-nee. 
infamous I \njuu. 

" Adultresses. 



50 ESSAYS. 

fatal to Solyman'a lino, as the succession of the Turks from 
Solyman until this day is suspected to be untrue, and of 
strange blood ; for that Selymus the Second was thought to 
be supposititious. The destruction of Crispus, a young 
prince of rare toward ness, by Constantinus the Great, his 
father, was in like manner fatal to his house ; for both Con- 
stantinus and Constance, his sons, died violent deaths ; and 
Constantius, his other son, did little better, who died indeed 
of sickness, but after that Julianus had taken anus against 
him. The destruction of Denietrius,P son to Philip the Second 
of Macedon, turned upon the father, who died of repentance. 
And many like examples there are ; but few or none where 
the fathers had good by such distrust, except it were where 
the sons were up in open arms against them ; as was Selymus 
the First against Bajazet, and the three sons of Henry the 
Second, King of England. 

For their prelates, when they are proud and great, there 
is also danger from them ; as it was in the times of Anselmusi 
and Thomas Becket, Archbishops of Canterbury, who with 
their crosiers did almost try it with the King's sword ; and 
yet they had to deal with stout and haughty Kings ; William 
Piiifus, Henry the First, and Henry the Second. The danger 
is not from that state, but where it hath a dependence of 
foreign authority ; or where the churchmen come in and are 
elected, not by the collation of the King, or particular patrons, 
but by the people. 

For their nobles, to keep them at a distance it is not amiss ; 
but to depress them may make a King more absolute, but less 
safe, and less able to perform anything that he desires. I 
have noted it hi my History of King Henry the Seventh of 
England, who depressed his nobility, whereupon it came to 
pass that his times were full of difficulties and troubles ; for 
the nobility, though they continued loyal unto him, yet did 

° He, however, distinguished himself by taking Cyprus from the 
Venetians in the year 1571. 

p He wa.s falsely accused by his brother Perseus of attempting to 
dethrone liis father, on which he was put to death by the order of 
Philip, B.C. 180. 

i Ansehn was archbishop of Canterbury in the time of William Rufus 
and Henry the First. Though his private life was pious and exemplary, 
through his rigid assertion of the rights of the clergy, he was continually 
embroiled with his sovereign. Thomas a. Becket pursued a similar 
course, but with still greater violence. 



EMPIRE. 57 

they not co-operate with him in his business ; so that in 
effect he was fain to do all things himself. 

For their second nobles, there is not much danger from 
them, being a body dispersed : they may sometimes discourse 
high, but that doth little hurt : besides, they are a counter- 
poise to the higher nobility, that they grow not too potent ; 
and, lastly, being the most immediate in authority with the 
common people, they do _ best temper popular commotions. 

For their merchants, they are -vena porta ;" r and if they 
flourish not, a kingdom may have good Limbs, but will have 
empty veins, and nourish little. Taxes and imposts upon 
them do seldom good to the Ring's revenue, for that which 
he wins' in the hundred,' he loseth in the shire ; the particular 
rates being increased, but the total bulk of trailing rather 
decreased. 

For their commons, there is little danger from them, ex- 
cept it be where they have great and potent heads ; or where 
you meddle with the point of religion, or their customs, 
or means of life-. 

For their men of war, u it is a dangerous state where they 
live and remain in a body, and are used to donatives; whereof 
we see examples in the Janizaries x and Praetorian bands of 
Rome ; but trainings of men, and arming them in several 
places, and under several commanders, and without donatives, 
are things of defence, and no danger. 

Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which cause good or 
evil times; and which have much veneration, but no rest. 
All precepts concerning Kings are in effect comprehended in 
those two remembrances, " Memento quod es homo ; W J and 
" Memento quod es Deus," z or " vice Dei ;"■ the one bridleth 
their power, and the other their will. 

' The great vessel that conveys the blood to the liver, after it has 
been enriched by the absorption of nutriment from the intestines. 

■ This is an expression similar to our proverb, " Penny-wise ami 
pound-foolish." 

1 A subdivision of the shire. u Soldiers. 

x The Janizaries were the body-guards of the Turkish sultans, and 
enacted the same disgraoeful part in making and unmaking monarchy 
as the mercenary Pnetorian guards of tin- Roman empire. 

' "Remember that thou art a man." 

7 " Remember that thou art a God." 

■ "The representative of God." 



-f 



58 ESSAYS. 



XX.— OF COUNSEL. 

The greatest trust between man and man is the trust of 
giving counsel ; for in other confidences men commit the 
parts of life, their lands, their goods, their children, their 
credit, some particular affair ; but to such as they make their 
counsellors they commit the whole : by how much the more 
they are obliged to all faith and integrity. The wisest princes 
need not think it any diminution to their greatness, or dero- 
gation to their sufficiency to rely upon counsel. God himself 
is not without, but hath made it one of the great names of 
his blessed Son, "The Counsellor." Solomon hath pro- 
nounced that, "in counsel is stability." b 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 ; and be full of inconstancy, doing and undoing, 
like the reeling of a drunken man. Solomon's son c found 
the force of counsel, as his father saw the necessity of it : 
for the beloved kingdom of God was first rent and broken 
by ill counsel ; upon which counsel there are set for our in- 
struction the two marks whereby bad counsel is for ever best 
discerned, that it was young counsel for the persons, and 
violent counsel for the matter. 

The ancient times do set forth in figure both the incor- 
poration and inseparable conjunction of counsel with Kings, 
and the wise and politic use of counsel by Kings : the one, 
in that they say Jupiter did many Metis, which signifieth 
counsel ; whereby they intend that sovereignty is married to 
counsel ; the other, in that which folio weth, which was thus : 
they say, after Jupiter was married to Metis, she conceived 
by him and was with child; but Jupiter suffered her not to 
stay till she brought forth, but eat her up : whereby he 
became himself with child, and was delivered of Pallas 
armed, out of his head. Which monstrous fable containeth 
a secret of empire, how Kings are to make use of their 

a Isaiah ix. 6 : " His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The 
mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." 

b Prov. xx. 18 : " Every purpose is established by counsel : and with 
good advice make war." 

c The wicked Rehoboam, from whom the ten tribes of Israel revolted 
and elected Jeroboam their king. See 1 Kintjs xii. 






COUNSEL. 59 

counsel of state : that first, they ought to refer matters unto 
them, which is the first begetting or impregnation ; hut when 
they are elaborate, moulded, and shaped in the womb of their 
council, and grow ripe and ready to be brought forth, that 
then they suffer not their council to go through with the 
resolution and direction, as if it depended on them ; but take 
the matter back into their own hands, and make it appear to 
the world, that the decrees and final directions (which, be- 
cause they come forth with prudence and power, are resembled 
to Pallas armed), proceeded from themselves ; and not only 
from their authority, but (the more to add reputation to 
themselves) from their head and device. 

Let us now speak of the inconveniences of counsel, and of 
the remedies. The inconveniences that have been noted in 
calling and using counsel, are three : first, the revealing of 
affairs, whereby they become less secret ; secondly, the weak- 
ening of the authority of princes, as if they were less of 
themselves ; thirdly, the danger of being unfaithfully coun- 
selled, and more for the good of them that counsel than of 
him that is counselled ; for which inconveniences, the doctrine 
of Italy, and practice of France, in some Kings' times, hath 
introduced cabinet councils ; a remedy worse than the 
disease." 1 

As to secrecy, piinces are not bound to communicate all 
matters with all counsellors, but may extract and select ; 
neither is it necessary, that he that consulteth what he 
should do, should declare what he will do ; but let princes 
beware that the unsecreting of their affairs comes not from 
themselves : and, as for cabinet councils, it may be their 
motto, " Plenus rimaruin sum:" 8 one futile person, that 
maketh it liis glory to tell, will do more hurt than many, 
that know it then- duty to conceal. It is true there be some 
affairs which require extreme Becrecyj which will hardly go 
beyond one or two persons besides the King: neither are 
those counsels unprospi roua ; for, besides the secrecy, they 
commonly go on constantly in one spirit of direction without 
distraction : but then it must lie a prudent King, such as is 

■' The political world has not been convinced of the truth of this doo- 
1 1 in- of Lord Bacon ; as cabinet councils are now held probably by every 
eign in Europe. 
1 "I am full of outlets." 



60 ESSAYS. 

able to grind with a hand-mill ; f and those inward coun- 
sellors had need also be wise men, and especially true and 
trusty to the King's ends ; as it was with King Henry the 
Seventh of England, who in his greatest business imparted 
himself to none, except it were to Morton? and Fox.' 1 

For weakening of authority, the fable 1 showeth the 
remedy : nay, the majesty of Kings is rather exalted than 
diminished when they are in the chair of council ; neither 
was there ever prince bereaved of Iris dependencies by his 
council, except where there hath been either an over-great- 
ness in one counsellor, or an over strict combination in 
divers, which are things soon found and holpen. k 

For the last inconvenience, that men will counsel with an 
eye to themselves ; certainly, u non inveniet fidem super 
terrain," 1 is meant of the nature of times, m and not of all 
particular persons. There be that are in nature faithful and 
sincere, and plain and direct, not crafty and involved : let 
princes, above all, draw to themselves such natures. Besides, 
counsellors are not commonly so united, but that one coun- 
sellor keepeth sentinel over another ; so that if any do 
counsel out of faction or private ends, it commonly comes to 
the King's ear : but the best remedy is, if princes know their 
counsellors, as well as their counsellors know them : 



f That is, without a complicated machinery of government. 

s Master of the Rolls and privy-councillor under Henry VI., to 
■whose cause he faithfully adhered. Edward IV. promoted him to the 
see of Ely, and made him lord-chancellor. He was elevated to the see 
of Canterbury by Henry VII., and in 1493 received the Cardinal's hat. 

h Privy-councillor and Keeper of the Privy Seal to Henry VII. ; and 
after enjoying several bishoprics in succession, translated to the see 
of Winchester. He was an able statesman, and highly valued by Henry 
VII. On the accession of Henry VIII., his political influence was 
counteracted by Wolsey ; on which he retired to his diocese, and devoted 
the rest of his life to acts of piety and munificence. 

' Before mentioned, relative to Jupiter and Metis. 

k Remedied. 

1 " He shall not find faith upon the earth." Lord Bacon probably 
alludes to the words of our Saviour, St. Luke xviii. 8 : " When the Son 
of man cometh, shall he find faith upon the earth ? " 

m He means to say that this remark was only applicable to a particular 
time, namely, the coming of Christ. The period of the destruction of 
Jerusalem was probably referred to. 






COUNSEL. 61 

"Principis est virtus maxima noaae raoa."" 
And on the other side, counsellors should not be too specu- 
lative into their sovereign's person. The true composition 
of a counsellor is, rather to be skilful in their master's busi- 
ness than in his nature ;° for then he is like to advise him, 
and not to feed his humour. It is of singular use to princes 
if they take the opinions of their council both separately 
and together ; for private opinion is more free, but opinion 
before others is more reverend. In private, men are more 
bold in their own humours ; and in consort, men are more 
obnoxious** to others' humours; therefore it is good to take 
l>oth ; and of the inferior sort rather in private, to preserve 
freedom ; of the greater, rather in consort, to preserve 
respect. It is in vain for princes to take counsel concerning 
matters, if they take no counsel likewise concerning persons ; 
lor all matters are as dead images : and the life of the exe- 
cution of affairs resteth in the good choice of persons : 
neither is it enough to consult concerning persons, " secun- 
dum genera," 1 as in an idea or mathematical description, 
what the kind and character of the person should be ; for 
the greatest errors are committed, and the most judgment 
is shown, in the choice of individuals. It was truly said, 
" Optimi consiliarii mortui :" r " books will speak plain when 
counsellors blanch ;"' therefore it is good to be conversant in 
them, specially the books of such as themselves have been 
actors upon the stage. 

The councils at this day in most places are but familiar 
meetings, where matters are rather talked on than debated ; 
and they run too swift to the order or act of council. It 
were better that in causes of weight the matter were pro- 
pounded one day and not spoken to till the next day; "In 

" " Tis the especial virtue of a prince to know his own men." 

° In his disposition, or inclination. 

11 Liable to opposition from . 

'i ''According to (.lasses,'' or, as we vulgarly say, "in the lump." 
Lord Bacon means that princes are not, as a matter of course, to take 
BOUDBellora merely on the presumption of talent, from their rank and 
station ; but that, on the contrary, they are to select such as are tried 
men, and with regard to whom there can be no mistake. 

' "The best counsellors are the dead." 

* " Are afraid '' to open their months. 



02 ESSAYS. 

uocte consilium :" 1 so was it done in the commission of 
union 11 between England and Scotland, which was a grave 
and orderly assembly. I commend set days for petitions ; 
for both it gives the suitors more certainty for their at- 
tendance, and it frees the meetings for matters of" estate, 
that they may " hoc agere." x In choice of committees for 
ripening business for the council, it is better to choose 
indifferent persons, than to make an indifferency by putting 
in those that are strong on both sides. I commend, also, 
standing commissions ; as for trade, for treasure, for war, for 
suits, for some provinces ; for where there be divers par- 
ticular councils, and but one council of estate (as it is in 
Spain), they are, in effect, no more than standing com- 
missions, save that they have greater authority. Let such 
as are to inform councils out of their particular professions 
(as lawyers, seamen, mintmen, and the like), be first heard 
before committees ; and then, as occasion serves, before the 
council ; and let them not come in multitudes, or in a tribu- 
nitiousy manner : for that is to clamour councils, not to 
inform them. A long table and a square table, or seats 
about the walls, seem things of form, but are things of 
substance ; for at a long table a few at the upper end, in 
effect, sway all the business ; but in the other form there is 
more use of the counsellors' opinions that sit lower. A King. 
when he presides in council, let him beware how he opens 
his own inclination too much in that which he propoundeth ; 
for else counsellors will but take the wind of him, and 
instead of giving free counsel, will sing him a song of " pla- 
cebo." z 

1 " Night-time for counsel." 

u On the accession of James the Sixth of Scotland to the throne of 
England in 1603. 

1 A phrase much in use with the Romans, signifying, " to attend to 
the business in hand." 

y A tribunitial or declamatory manner. 

* " I '11 follow the bent of your humour." 



63 



XXI.— OF DELAYS 

Fortune is like the market, where many times, if you 
can stay a little, the price will fall ; and again, it is some- 
times like Sibylla's ofler,* which at first olfereth the com- 
modity at full, then consumeth part and part, and still 
holdeth up the price ; for occasion (as it is in the common 
verse) "turneth a Laid noddle after she hath presented her 
locks in front, and no hold taken;" or, at least, turneth the 
handle of the Lottie first to be received, and after the belly, 
which is hard to clasp. There is surely no greater wisdom 
than well to time the beginnings and onsets of tilings. 
Dangers are no more fight, if they once seem light ; and 
more dangers have deceived men than forced them : nay, it 
were Letter to meet some dangers half-way, though they 
come nothing near, than to keep too long a watch upon 
their approaches ; for if a man watch too long, it is odds he 
will fall asleep. On the other side, to be deceived with too 
long shadows (as some have been when the moon was low, 
and shone on their enemies' Lack), and so to shoot off Lefore 
the time ; or to teach dangers to come on Ly over early 
buckling towards them, is another extreme. The ripeness 
or unripeness of the occasion (as we said) must ever be well 
weighed ; and generally it is good to commit the beginnings 
of all great actions to Argus with his hundred eyes, and the 
ends to Briareus with his hundred hands ; first to watch 
and then to speed ; for the helmet of Pluto, which maketh 
the politic man go invisihle, is secrecy in the council, and 
celerity in the execution ; for when things are once come to 
the execution, there is no secrecy coniparahle to celerity ; 
like the motion of a ballet in the air, which ffieth so swift 
as it outruns the eye. 

• See the history of Rome under the reign of Tarquinius Superhus. 
b Bald head. He alludes to the common saying " take time by the 
forelock." 



64 ESSAYS. 



XXII.— OF CUNNING. 

We take cunning for a sinister, or crooked wisdom ; and 
certainly there is great difference between a cunning man 
and a wise man, not only in point of honesty, but in point of 
ability. There be that can pack the cards, a and yet cannot 
play well j so there are some that are good in canvasses and 
factions, that are otherwise weak men. Again, it is one 
thing to understand persons, and another thing to understand 
matters ; for many are perfect in men's humours that are 
not greatly capable of the real part of business, which is 
the constitution of one that hath studied men more than 
books. Such men are fitter for practice than for counsel, 
and they are good but in their own alley : turn them to 
new men, and they have lost their aim ; so as the old rule, to 
know a fool from a wise man, " Mitte ambos nudos ad ignotos, 
et videbis," b doth scarce hold for them ; and, because these 
running men are like haberdashers of small wares, it is not 
amiss to set forth their shop. 

It is a point of cunning to wait upon* him with whom 
you speak with your eye, as the Jesuits give it in precept ; 
for there be many wise men that have secret hearts and 
transparent countenances : yet this would be done with a 
demure abasing of your eye sometimes, as the Jesuits also do 
use. 

Another is, that when you have anything to obtain of 
present dispatch, you entertain and amuse the party with 
whom you deal -with some other discourse, that he be not 
too much awake to make objections. I knew a counsellor 
and secretary that never came to Queen Elizabeth of England 
with bills to sign, but he would always first put her into 

a Packing the cards is an admirable illustration of the author's mean- 
ing. It is a cheating exploit, by which knaves, who perhaps are 
inferior players, insure to themselves the certainty of good hands. 

b " Send them both naked among strangers, and then you will see." 

'' This word is used here in its primitive sense of "retail dealers." It 
is said to have been derived from a custom of the Flemings, who first 
settled in this country in the fourteenth century, stopping the passengers 
as they passed their shops, and saying to them, "Haber das herr?" — 
" Will you take this, sir ?" The word is now generally used as synony- 
mous with linen-draper. 

d To watch. 



CONNING. G5 

some discourse of estate, c that she might the less mind the 
bills. 

The like surprise may he made by moving things' when 
the party is in haste, and cannot stay to consider advisedly 
of that is moved. 

If a man would cross a business that In' doubts sonic other 
would handsomely and effectually move, let him pretend 
to wish it well, and move it himself, in such sort as may 
foil it. 

The breaking off in the midst of that, one was aboui to 
say, as if he took himself up, breeds a greater appetite in 
him, with whom you confer, to know more. 

And because it works better when anything seemeth to be 
gotten from you by question than if you offer it of yourself, 
you may lay a bait for a question, by showing another visage 
and countenance than you are wont; to the end, to give 
occasion for the party to ask what the matter is of the 
change, as Nehemiahs did, " And I had not before that time 
been sad before the king." 

In things that are tender and unpleasing, it is good to 
break the ice by some whose words are of less weight, and 
to reserve the more weighty voice to come in as by chance, 
so that he may be asked the question upon the other's 
speech ; as Narcissus did, in isolating to Claudius the marriage 1 ' 
of Messalina and Silius. 

In things that a man would not be seen in himself, it is :i 
point of cunning to borrow the name of the world ; as lo 
say, " The world says," or " There is a speech abroad." 

I knew one, that when he wrote a letter, he would put 
that which was most material in the postscript, as if it had 
been a by-matter. 

1 State. ' Discussing matters. 

% He refers to the occasion when Nehemiah, on presenting the wine, as 
cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, appeared sorrowful, and on being asked 
the reason of it, entreated the king to allow Jerusalem to be rebuilt. 
Neheiniah ii. 1. 

h This can hardly be called a marriage, as at the time of the intrigue 
Messalina was the wife of Claudius: but she forced Cains Silius, of 
whom sin- was deeply enamoured, (•> divorce his own wife, that Bbe her- 
self might enjoy his society. The intrigue was <li do i d to Claudius hy 
Narcissus, who was his freedman, and the pander to le> infamous vices; 
on which Silius was put to death. 

F 



60 ESSAYS. 

I knew another, that when he came to have speech,' he 
would pass over that that he intended most : and go forth 
and come back again, and speak of it as of a thing that he 
had almost forgot. 

Some procure themselves to be surprised at such times as 
it is like the party that they work upon will suddenly come 
upon them, and to be found with a letter in their hand, or 
doing somewhat which they are not accustomed, to the end 
they may be opposed of k those things which of themselves 
they are desirous to utter. 

It is a point of cunning to let fall those words in a man's 
own name, which he would have another man learn and use, 
and thereupon take advantage. I knew two that were com- 
petitors for the secretary's place, in Queen Elizabeth's time, 
and yet kept good quarter 1 between themselves, and would 
confer one with another upon the business ; and the one of 
them said, that to be a secretary in the declination of a 
monarchy was a ticklish thing, and that he did not affect it : ra 
the other straight caught up those words, and discoursed with 
divers of his friends, that he had no reason to desire to be 
secretary in the declination of a monarchy. The first man 
took hold of it, and found means it was told the queen; who, 
hearing of a declination of a monai'chy, took it so ill, as she 
woidd never after hear of the other's suit. 

There is a cunning, which we in England call u the turn- 
ing of the cat in the pan ;" which is, when that which a man 
says to another, he lays it as if another had said it to him ; 
and, to say truth, it is not easy, when such a matter passed 
between two, to make it appear from which of them it first 
moved and began. 

It is a way that some men have, to glance and dart at 
others by justifying themselves by negatives ; as to say, 
" This I do not ; " as Tigellinus did towards Burrhus, " Se 
non diversas spes, sed rncolumitatem imperatoris simpliciter 
spectare." 11 

Some have in readiness so many tales and stories, as there 

1 To speak in his turn. k Be questioned upon. 

1 Kept on good terms. m Desire it. 

n "That he did not have various hopes in view, but solely the safety 
of the emperor." Tigellinus was the profligate minister of Nero, and 
Afriuanus Burrhus was the chief of the Praetorian guards. 



CUNNING. 67 

is nothing they would insinuate, but they can wrap it into a 
tale j° which serveth both to keep themselves more in guard, 
and to make others cany it with more pleasure. 

It is a good point of cunning for a man to shape the 
answer he would have in his own words and propositions ; 
for it makes the other party stick the less. 

It is strange how long some men will lie in wait to speak 
somewhat they desire to say ; and how far about they will 
fetch,P and how many other matters they will beat over to 
come near it : it is a thing of great patience, but yet of 
much use. 

A sudden, bold, and unexpected question doth many times 
surprise a man, and lay him open. Like to him, that, having 
changed his name, and walking in Paul's,? another suddenly 
came behind him and called him by his time name, whereat 
straight ways he looked back. 

But these small wares aud petty points of cunning are in- 
finite, and it were a good deed to make a list of them ; for 
that nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning 
men pass for wise. 

But certainly some there are that know the resorts 1, and 
falls 8 of business that cannot sink into the main of it j* like 
a house that hath convenient stairs and entries, but never a 
fair room : therefore you shall see them find out pretty looses" 
in the conclusion, but are noways able to examine or debate 
matters : and yet commonly they take advantage of their 
inability, and would be thought wits of direction. Some 
build rather upon the abusing of others, and (as we now say) 
putting tricks upon them, than upon .soundness of their own 
proceedings : but Solomon saith, " Prndens advertit ad 
gressus suos : stultus divertit ad doles." 1 

° Aa Nathan did when he reproved David for hi- criminality with 

Bathshoba. 2 Samuel xii. 

P Use indirect strata' I 

i iTo alludes to the old Cathedral of St. Pan] in London, which, in 
the sixteenth century, was a oommon lounge for idlers. 

r Movements, <>r springs. I qi , or vicissitudes. 

1 Ente7 ctBeplj into. " Faults, or weak points. 

x " The wise man gives heed to his own footsteps; the Fool turneth } 
aside t.> the mare." No doubt he here alludes to Ecclesiastes xiv. 2, Cci 
which passage m thus re nd ered in om vermon i "The v.i ■ man's evee . '. , r 
are in his head; but the fool walketh in larkness." 

f2 



68 ESSAYS. 



XXIII.— OF WISDOM FOR A MAN'S SELF. 

An ant is a wise creature for itself, but it is a shrewd 3 
thing in an orchard or garden : and certainly men that are 
great lovers of themselves waste the public. Divide with 
reason between self-love and society ; and be so true to thy- 
self as thou be not false to others, specially to thy king and 
country. It is a poor centre of a man's actions, himself. It 
is right earth ; for that only stands fast upon his own centre ; b 
whereas all things that have affinity with the Leavens, move 
upon the centre of another, which they benefit. The referring 
of all to a man's self, is more tolerable in a sovereign prince, 
because themselves are not only themselves, but their good 
and evil is at the peril of the public fortune ; but it is a 
desperate evil in a servant to a prince, or a citizen in a 
republic ; for whatsoever affairs pass such a man's hands, he 
crooketh them to his own ends, which must needs be often 
eccentric to the ends of his master or state : therefore let 
princes or states choose such servants as have not this mark ; 
except they mean their service should be made but the 
accessary. That which maketh the effect more pernicious is, 
that all proportion is lost ; it were disproportion enough for 
the servant's good to be preferred before the master's ; but 
yet it is a greater extreme, when a little good of the servant 
shall cany things against a great good of the master's : and 
yet that is the case of bad officers, treasurers, ambassadors, 
generals, and other false and corrupt servants ; which set a 
bias upon then- bowl, of their own petty ends and envies, to 
the overthrow of their master's great and important affairs : 
and, for the most part, the good such servants receive is after 
the model of their own fortune ; but the hurt they sell for 
that good is after the model of their master's fortune : and 
certainly it is the nature of extreme self-lover's, as they will 
set a house on fire, an.it were but to roast their eggs ; and 
yet these men many times hold credit with their masters be- 

* Mischievous. 

b It must be remembered that Bacon was not a favourer of the 
Copernican system. 



INNOVATIONS. 69 

cause their study is but to please them, aud profit themselves ; 
and for either respect they will abandon the good of their 
affairs. 

Wisdom for a man's self is, in many branches thereof, a 
depraved thing : it is the wisdom of rats, that will be sure 
to leave a house somewhat before it fall : it is the wisdom of 
the fox, that thrusts out the badger who digged and made 
room for him : it is the wisdom of crocodiles, that shed tears 
when they would devour. But that which is specially to be 
noted, is, that those which (as Cicero says of Pompey) are, 
" sui amantes, sine rivali," c are many times unfortunate; and 
whereas they have all their times sacrificed to themselves, 
they become in the end themselves sacrifices to the inconstancy 
of fortune, whose wings they thought by their self-wisdom 
to have pinioned. 



XXIV.— OF INNOVATIONS. 

As the births of living creatures at first are ill-shapen, so 
are all innovations, which are the births of time ; yet not- 
withstanding, as those that first bring honour into their family 
are commonly more worthy than most that succeed, so the 
first precedent (if it be good) is seldom attained by imitation ; 
for ill to man's nature as it stands perverted, hath a natural 
motion strongest in continuance ; but good, as a forced 
motion, strongest at first. Surely every medicine 8 is an in- 
novation, and he that will not apply new remedies must 
expect new evils ; for time is the greatest innovator ; and if 
time of course alter things to the worse, and wisdom and 
counsel shall not alter them to the better, what shall be the 
end? It is true, that what is settled by custom, though it- 
be not good, yet at least it is fit ; and those things which 
have Long gone together, are, as it were, confederate within 
themselves ;'' whereas, new things piece not SO well ; but, 

though they help by their utility, yet they trouble by their 
inconfbrmity : besides, bhej are like strangers, more admired 
and less favoured .Ml this is true, if time stood still: 

c "Lovers of themselves without a rival." 

• Remedy. u Adapted to each other. 



70 ESSAYS. 

■which, contrariwise, moveth so round, that a froward re- 
tention of custom is as turbulent a thing as an innovation ; 
and they that reverence too much old times are but a scorn 
to the new. It were good, therefore, that men in their inno- 
vations would follow the example of time itself, which indeed 
innovateth greatly, but quietly, and by degrees scarce to be 
perceived ; for otherwise, whatsoever is new is unlooked for; 
and ever it mends some and pairs other ; and he that is 
holpen, takes it for a fortune, and thanks the time ; and he 
that is hurt, for a wrong, and imputeth it to the author. It 
is good also not to try experiments in states, except the 
necessity be urgent, or the utility evident ; and well to be- 
ware that it be the reformation that draweth on the change, 
and not the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation ; 
and lastly, that the novelty, though it be not rejected, yet be 
held for a suspect, 3 and, as the Scripture saith, " That we 
make a stand upon the ancient way, and then look about us, 
and discover what is the straight and right way, and so to 
walk in it." e 



XXV.— OF DISPATCH. 

Affected dispatch is one of the most dangerous things to 
business that can be : it is bike that which the physicians call 
predigestion, or hasty digestion, which is sure to fill the body 
fu41 of crudities, and secret seeds of diseases : therefore 
measure not dispatch by the times of sitting, but by the 
advancement of the business : and as in races, it is not the 
large stride, or high lift, that makes the speed ; so in business, 
the keeping close to the matter, and not taking of it too 
much at once, procureth dispatch: It is the care of some, 
only to come off speedily for the time, or to contrive some 
false periods of business, because they may seem men of 
dispatch : but it is one tiling to abbreviate by contracting,* 

c Injures, or impairs. d A thing suspected. 

e He probably alludes to Jeremiah vi. 16: "Thus saith the Lord, 
Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the 
good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." 

a That is, by means of good management. 



DISPATCH. 71 

another by cutting off; and business bo handled at several 
sittings, or meetings, goeth commonly backward and forward 
in an unsteady manner. I knew a wise man 1 ' that had it for 
a by-word, when lie saw men hasten to a conclusion, "Stay a 
little, that we may make an end the sooner." 

On the other side, true dispatch is a rich thing ; for time 
is the measure of business, as money is of wares : and business 
is bought at a dear hand where there is small dispatch. The 
Spartans and Spaniards have been noted to be of small dis- 
patch : " Mi venga la muerte de Spagna ;"' — " Let my death 
come from Spain;" for then it will be sure to be long in 
coming. 

Give good hearing to those that give the first information 
in business, and rather direct them in the beginning, than 
interrupt them in the continuance of their speeches ; for he 
that is put out of his own order will go forward and back- 
ward, and be more tedious while he waits upon his memory, 
than he could have been if he had gone on in his own 
course ; but sometimes it is seen that the moderator is more 
troublesome than the actor. 

Iterations are commonly loss of time ; but there is no such 
gain of time as to iterate often the state of the question ; 
for it chaseth away many a frivolous speech as it is coming 
forth. Long and curious speeches are as fit for dispatch as 
a robe, or mantle, with a long train, is for a race. Prefaces, 
and passages, and cxcusations, d and other speeches of re- 
i'tit-nce to the person, are great wastes of time ; and though 
tin y seem to proceed of modesty, they are bravery. e Yet 
beware of being too material when there is any impediment, 
or obstruction in men's wills ; for pre-occupation of mind f 
ever requireth preface of speech, like a fomentation to make 
the unguent enter. 

Above all things, order and distribution, and singling out 
of parts, is the life of dispatch ; so as the distribution be 
not too subtile : for he that doth not divide will never enter 
v. ell into business; and he that divideth too much will never 

b It is supposed that ho hero alludes to Sir Amyas Paulet, a very 
able statesman, and the ambassador of Queen Elizabeth to the court 
of France. 

Quotations. d Apologies. 

c Boa ' Prejudice. 



72 ESSAYS. 

conic out of it clearly. To choose time, is to save time ] and 
an unseasonable motion is but beating the air. There be 
three parts of business : the preparation ; the debate, or 
examination ] and the perfection. Whereof, if you look for 
dispatch, let the middle only be the work of many, and the 
first and last the work of few. The proceeding, upon some- 
what conceived in writing, doth for the most part facilitate 
dispatch ; for though it should be wholly rejected, yet that 
negative is more pregnant of direction than an indefinite, as 
ashes are more generative than dust. 



XXVI.— OF SEEMING WISE. 

It hath been an opinion, that the French are wiser than 
they seem, and the Spaniards seem wiser than they are ] but 
howsoever it be between nations, certainly it is so between 
man and man ; for as the apostle saith of godliness, " Having 
a show of godliness, but denying the power thereof]"* so 
certainly there are, in points of wisdom and sufficiency, that 
do nothing or little veiy solemnly] "magno conatu nugas." b 
It is a ridiculous thing, and fit for a satire to persons of 
judgment, to see what shifts these formalists have, and what 
prospectives to make superficies to seem body, that hath 
depth and bulk. Some are so close and reserved, as they 
will not show their waives but by a dark light, and seem 
always to keep back somewhat ] and when they know within 
themselves they speak of that they do not Avell know, woidd 
nevertheless seem to others to know of that which they may 
not well speak. Some help themselves with countenance and 
gesture, and are wise by signs ] as Cicero saith of Piso, that 
when he answered him he fetched one of his brows up to his 
forehead, and bent the other down to his chin ; " Eespondes, 
altero ad frontem sublato, altero ad mention depresso super- 
cilio; cruel elitatem tibi non placere." c Some tliink to bear it 
by speaking a great word, and being peremptory ; and go on, 

a 2 Tim. iii_ 5. b "Trifles -with great effort." 

c "With one brow raised to your forehead, the other bent downward 
to your chin, you answer that cruelty delights you not." 



FRIENDSHIP. 73 

and take by admittance that which they cannot make good. 
Some, whatsoever is beyond their reach, will seem to despise, 
or make; light of it as impertinent or curious: and so would 
have their ignorance aeem judgment. Some are neverwith- 
out a difference, and commonly by amusing men with a 
subtilty, blanch the matter ; of whom A. Gellius saith, "Ho- 
minem delirum, qui verborum minutiis rerum frangit pon- 
<li'i-:u"'' 1 Of which kind also Plato, in his Protagoras, bringeth 
in Prodicus in scorn, and maketb him make a speech that 
consisteth of distinctions from the beginning to the end. 
Generally such men, in all deliberations, find ease to be e of 
the negative side, and affect a credit to object and foretell 
difficulties; for when propositions are denied, there is an end 
of them; but if they be allowed, it requireth a new work : 
which false point of wisdom is the bane of business. To 
conclude, there is no decaying merchant, or inward beggar/ 
hath so many tricks to uphold the credit of their wealth as 
these empty persons have to maintain the credit of their 
sufficiency. Seeming wise men may make shift to get 
opinion ; but let no man choose them for employment ; for 
certainly, you were better take for business a man somewhat 
absurd than over-formal. 



XXVII.— OF FRIENDSHIP. 

It had been hard for him that spake it to have put more 
truth and untruth together in few words than in that speech, 
" Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or 
a god :" a for it is most true, that a natural and secret hatred 
and aversion towards society in any man hath somewhat of 
the savage beast ; but it is most untrue thai it should have 
any character at all of the divine nature, except it pn 

! foolish man, who fritters away the weight of matters by fine- 
spun trifling on words." 
■ Find it easier to make difficulties and objections than to originate. 
' One really in insolvent circumstances, though to the world he does 
not appear so. 

here quotes from a passage in the "Politico" of Aristotle, l"><>k i. 
'• lie who ia unable to mingle in Bociety, or who requires nothing, by 
reason of sufficing Ear himself, is no part nf the state, bo that he is either 
a wild beast or a Divinity." 



74 ESSAYS. 

not out of a pleasure in soli I ude, but out of a love and desire 
to sequester a man's self for a higher conversation : such as 
is found to have been falsely and feignedly in some of the 
heathen ; as Epimenides, b the Candian ; Nuraa, the Roman ; 
Empedocles, the Sicilian ; and Apollonius of Tyana ; and 
truly and really in divers of the ancient hermits and holy 
fathers of the Church. But little do men perceive what 
solitude is, and how far it extendeth; for a crowd is not 
company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk 
but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. The Latin 
adage meeteth with it a little, " Magna civitas, magna soli- 
tudo ; " c because in a great town friends are scattered, so 
that there is not that fellowship, for the most part, which is 
in less neighbourhoods : but we may go further, and affirm 
most truly, that it is a mere and miserable solitude to want 
true friends, without which the world is but a wilderness ; 
and even in this sense also of solitude, whosoever in the 
frame of his nature and affections is unfit for friendship, he 
taketh it of the beast, and not from humanity. 

A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and discharge of 
the fulness and swellings of the heart, which passions of all 
kinds do cause and induce. We know diseases of stopjungs 
and suffocations are the most dangerous in the body; and it 
is not much otherwise in the mind ; you may take sarza d to 
open the Liver, steel to open the spleen, flower of sulphur for 
the lungs, castoreum e for the brain; but no receipt openeth 

b Epiraenides, a poet of Crete (of which Candia is the modern name), 
is said by Pliny to have fallen into a sleep which lasted fifty-seven years. 
He was also said to have lived 299 years. Nurna pretended that he was 
instructed in the art of legislation by the divine nymph Egeria, who 
dwelt in the Arician grove. Empedocles, the Sicilian philosopher, 
declared himself to be immortal, and to be able to cure all evils : he is 
said by some to have retired from society that his death might not be 
known, and to have thrown himself into the crater of Mount -Etna. 
Apollonius of Tyana, the Pythagorean philosopher, pretended to mira- 
culous powers, and after his death a temple was erected to him at that 
place. His life is recorded by Philostratus ; and some persons, among 
whom are Hierocles, Dr. More, in his Mystery of Godliness, and 
recently Strauss, have not hesitated to compare his miracles with those 
of our Saviour. 

c "A great city, a great desert." d Sarsaparilla. 

c A liquid matter of a pungent smell, extracted from a portion of the 
body of the beaver. 



FRIENDSHIP. 75 

the heart but a true friend, to whom you may imparl griefs, 
joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth 
upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or con- 
fession. 

It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate great 
kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of friendship 
whereof we speak: so great, as they purchase it many times 
at the hazard of their own safety and greatness : for princes, 
in regard of the distance of their fortune from that of their 
subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except (to 
make themselves capable thereof) they raise some persons to 
be as it were companions, and almost equals to themselves, 
which many times sorteth to inconvenience. The modern 
languages give unto such persons the name of favourites, or 
privadoes, as if it were matter of grace, or conversation ; but 
the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause thereof, 
naming them " participes curarum ;"' for it is thai which 
tieth the knot : and we sec plainly that this hath been dene. 
not by weak and passionate princes only, but by the wisest 
and most politic that ever reigned, who have oftentimes 
joined to themselves some of their servants, whom both 
themselves have called friends, and allowed others likewise 
to call them in the same manner, using the word which is 
received between private men. 

L. Sylla, when he commanded Home, raised Pompey 
Bumamed the Great) to that height that Pompey vaunted 
himself for Sylla's overmatch; for when he had carried the 
consulship for a friend of his, against the pursuit of .Sylla, 
and that Sylla did a little resent thereat, and began to speak 
great, Pompey turned upon him again, and in el feet bade 
him be quiet j for that more men adored the sun rising than 
the sun setting. With Julius (,'a'sar, Decimns Brutus had 
obtained that interest, as he set him down in his testament. 
for heir in remainder after his nephew; and this was the 
man thai had power with him to draw him forth to his 
death: for when Cesar would have discharged the senate, 
in regard of some ill presages, and specially a dream of Cal- 
phnrnia. this man lifted him gently by the arm out of his 
el air, telling him he hoped lie would not dismiss tin' senate 

' " I':irt:iki pa of cares." 



76 ESSAYS. 

till his wife had dreamt a better dream ; and it seemeth his 
favour was so great, as Antonius, in a letter which is recited 
verbatim in one of Cicero's Philippics, calleth him " venefica," 
— "witch ;" as if he had enchanted Caesar. Augustus raised 
Agrippa (though of mean birth) to that height, as, when he 
consulted with Maecenas about the marriage of his daughter 
Julia, Maecenas took the liberty to tell him, that he must 
either marry his daughter to Agrippa, or take away his life : 
there was no third way, he had made him so great. With 
Tiberius Caesar, Sejanus had ascended to that height, as they 
two were termed and reckoned as a pair of friends. Tibe- 
rius, in a letter to him, saith, u Hsec pro amicitia. nostra non 
occultavi ;"=' and the whole senate dedicated an altar to 
Friendship, as to a goddess, in respect of the great dearness 
of friendship between them two. The like, or more, was 
between Septimius Severus and Plautianus ; for he forced 
his eldest son to marry the daughter of Plautianus. and 
would often maintain Plautianus in doing affronts to his son ; 
and did write also, in a letter to the senate, by these words : 
" I love the man so well, as I wish he may over-live me." 
Now, if these princes had been as a Trajan, or a Marcus 
Aurelius, a man might have thought that this had proceeded 
of an abundant goodness of nature ; but being men so wise,' 1 
of such strength and severity of mind, and so extreme lovers 
of themselves, as all these were, it proveth most plainly that 
they found their own felicity (though as great as ever hap- 
pened to mortal men) but as an half-piece, except they might 
have a friend to make it entire ; and yet, which is more, 
they were princes that had wives, sons, nephews ; and yet all 
these could not supply the comfort of friendship. 

It is not to be forgotten what Comineus observeth of his 
first master, Duke Charles the Hardy, k namely, that he 

k "These things, by reason of our friendship, I have not concealed 
from you." 

h Such infamous men as Tiberius and Sejanus hardly deserve this 
commendation. 

' Philip de Comiues. 

k Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, the valiant antagonist of 
Louis XI. of France. De Comines spent his early years at his court, 
but afterwards passed into the service of Louis XI. This monarch was 
notorious for his cruelty, treachery, and dissimulation, and had all the 
bad qualities of his contemporary, Edward IV. of England, without any 
of his redeeming virtues. 



FRIENDSHIP. 77 

would communicate his secrets with none ; and least of all, 
those Becreta which troubled him most. Whereupon he 
goeth on, and saith, that towards his latter time that close- 
ness did impair and a little perish his understanding. Surely 
Comineua ought have made the same judgment also, if it 
had pleased him, of his second master, Louis the Eleventh, 
whose closeness was indeed his tormentor. The parable of 
Pythagoras is dark, but true, " Cor ne edito," — " eat not 
the heart." 1 Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, 
those that want friends to open themselves unto are 
cannibals of their own hearts : but one thing is most ad- 
mirable (wherewith I will conclude this first fruit of friend- 
ship), which is, that this communicating of a man's self to 
his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, 
and cutteth griefs in halves : for there is n<> man that 
imjKit'teth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more; 
and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he 
grieveth the less. So that it is, in truth, of operation upon 
a man's mind of like virtue as the alchymists used to attri- 
bute to their stone for man's body, that it worketh all con- 
trary effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature : 
but yet, without praying in aid of alchymists, there is a 
manifest image of this in the ordinary course of nature ; for, 
in bodies, union strengtheneth and cherisheth any natural 
action ; and, on the other side, weakeneth and dulleth any 
violent impression ; and even so is it of minds. 

The second fruit of friendship is healthful and sovereign 
for the understanding, as the first is for the affections; for 
friendship maketh indeed a fair day in the affections from 
storm and tempests, but it maketh daylight in the under- 
standing, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts : neither 
is this to be understood only of faithful counsel, which a man 
receiveth from his friend ; but before you come to that, 
Certain it is, that whosoever hath bis mind fraught with 
man) thoughts, his wits and understanding do clarify and 

1 Pythagoras went still further than this, as he forbade his disciples 
to est flesh of any kind whatever. See the interesting speech which 
Ovid attributes to him in the Fifteenth book of the bfetamorphoeea 
Sir Thomas Browne, in Ids Pseudodoxia (Browne's Works, Bonn's An- 
tiquarian edn., vol. i. p. 27, et seq.), gives some curious explanations 
of the doctrines of this philosopher. 



78 ESSAYS. 

break up in the communicating and discoursing with ano- 
ther; he tossetb his thoughts more easily; he marshalleth 
them move orderly; he teeth how they look when they are 
turned into words : finally, he waxeth wiser than himself; 
and that more by an hours discourse than by a day's medi- 
tation. It was well said by Themistocles to the king of 
Persia, '■ That speech was like cloth of Arras, 1 " opened and 
put abroad ; whereby the imagery doth appear in figure ; 
whereas in thoughts they lie but as in packs." Neither is 
this second fruit of friendship, in opening the understanding, 
restrained only to such friends as are able to give a man 
counsel (they indeed are best), but even without that a man 
learneth of himself, and bringeth his own thoughts to light, 
and whetteth his wits as against a stone, which itself cuts 
not. In a word, a man were better relate himself to a 
statue or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to pass in 
smother. 

Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship com- 
plete, that other point which lieth more open, and falleth 
within vulgar observation : which is faithful counsel from a 
friend. Heraclitus saith well in one of his enigmas, " Dry 
light is ever the best :" and certain it is, that the light that 
a man receiveth by counsel from another, is drier and purer 
than that which cometh from his own understanding and 
judgment ; which is ever infused and drenched in his affec- 
tions and customs. So as there is as much difference be- 
tween the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man 
giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend 
and of a flatterer ; for there is no such flatterer as is a man's 
self, and there is no such remedy against flattery of a man's 
self as the liberty of a friend. Counsel is of two sorts ; the 
one concerning manners, the other concerning business : for 
the first, the best preservative to keep the mind in health, is 
the faithful admonition of a friend. The calling of a man's 
self to a strict account is a medicine sometimes too piercing 
and corrosive ; reading good books of morality is a little 
flat and dead ; observing our faults in others is sometimes 
improper for our case ; but the best receipt (best I say to 

m Tapestry. Speaking hypercritically, Lord Bacon commits an ana- 
chronism here, as Arras did not manufacture tapestry till the middle 
ages. _ 



rniEyDsinp. 79 

■work and best to take) is the admonition, of a friend. It is 
a strange tiling to behold what gross errors and extreme 
absurdities many (especially of the greater sort) do commit 
for want of a friend t<> tell tlicm of them, to the great 
damage both of their fame and fortune: for, as St. James 
saith, they are as men "that look sometimes into a _ 
and presently forget their own shape and favour.*' As for 
business, a man may think, if he will, that two eyes see no 
more than one; or, that a gamester Beeth always more than 
a looker-on ; or, that a man in anger is as wise as he that 
hath said over the four and twenty Letters; or, that a 
musket may be shot off as well upon the arm as upon a 
rest ;P and such other fond and high imaginations, to think 
himself all in all : but when all is done, the help of good 
counsel is that which setteth business straight : and if any 
man think that he will take counsel, but it shall be by pieces ; 
asking counsel in one business of one man. and in another 
business of another man; it is well (that is to say r , better, 
perhaps, than if he asked none at all); but he runneth two 
dangers ; one, that he shall not be faithfully counselled; for 
it is a rare thing, except it be from a perfect and entire 
friend, to have counsel given, but such as shall be bowed and 
crooked to some ends which he hath that giveth it : the 
other, that he shall have counsel given, hurtful and unsafe 
(though with good meaning), and mixed partly of mischief, 
and partly of remedy; even as if you would call a physician, 
that is thought good for the cure of the disease you com- 
plain of, but is unacquainted with your body; and. therefore, 
may put you in a way for a present cure, but overthrow! th 
your health in some other kind, and so cure the disease, and 
kill the patient : but a friend, that is wholly acquainted with 
a man's estate, will beware, by furthering any present busi- 
ness, how he dasheth upon other inconvenience ; and there- 
fore, rest not upon scattered COUU alsj they will rather dis- 
tract and mislead, than settle and direct. 

" Jamee i. 23. 

He alludes to the recommendation which moralists have often 
that a person in toga* should go through the. alphabet to himself before 
he allows himself to apeak. 

'■ Jn his day the musket was fixed upon a stand, called the "roet," 
much aa the gingals or matchlocks are used iu the East at the pre- 
sent day. 



80 ESSAYS. 

After these two noble fruits of friendship (peace in the 
affections, and support of the judgment), followeth the last 
fruit, which is like the pomegranate, full of many kernels ; I 
mean aid, and bearing a part in all actions and occasions. 
Here the best way to represent to life the manifold use of 
friendship, is to cast and see how many things there are 
Avhich a man cannot do himself ; and then it will appear that 
it was a sparing speech of the ancients to say, " that a friend 
is another himself :" for that a friend is far more than him- 
self. Men have their time, and die many times in desire of 
some things which they principally take to heart ; the 
bestowing of a child, the finishing of a work, or the like. If 
a man have a true friend, he may rest almost secure that the 
care of those things will continue after him ; so that a man 
hath, as it were, two lives in his desires. A man hath a body, 
and that body is confined to a place : but where friendship 
is, all offices of life are, as it were, granted to him and his 
deputy ; for he may exercise them by his friend. How 
many things are there, which a man cannot, with any face 
or comeliness, say or do himself? A man can scarce allege 
his own merits with modesty, much less extol them : a man 
cannot sometimes brook to supplicate, or beg, and a number 
of the like : but all these things are graceful in a fri end's 
mouth, which are blushing in a man's own. So again, a 
man's person hath many proper relations which he cannot 
put off. A man cannot speak to his son but as a father ; to 
his wife but as a husband ; to his enemy but upon terms : 
whereas a friend may speak as the case requires, and not as 
it sorteth with the person : but to enumerate these things 
were endless ; I have given the rule, where a man cannot 
fitly play his own part, if he have not a friend, he may quit 
the stage. 



XXVIII.— OF EXPENSE. 



Riches are for spending, and spending for honour and 
good actions ; therefore extraordinary expense must be 
limited by the worth of the occasion ; for voluntary undoing 
may be as well for a man's country as for the kingdom of 
heaven ; but ordinary expense ought to be limited by a 



TRUE GREATNESS OF KINGDOMS AND ESTATES. 81 

man's estate, and governed with sucli regard, as it be within 
his compass ; and not subject to deceit and abuse oi'st rvants ; 
and ordered fco the best show, that the bills may be less than 
the estimation abroad. Certainly, if a man will keep but of 
even hand, bis ordinary expenses ought to be but to the half 
of his receipts ; and if he think to wax rich, but to the third 
part. It is no baseness for the greatest to descend and Look 
into their own estate. Some forbear it, not upon negligence 
alone, but doubting to bring themsi Ives into melancholy, ill 
respect they shall find it broken : but wounds cannot be 
cured without searching. He that cannot look into his own 
estate at all, had need both choose well those whom be 
employed), and change them often ; for new are more 
timorous and less subtle. He that can look into his estate 
but seldom, it behoveth him to turn all to certainties. A 
man had need, if he be plentiful in some kind of expense, to 
be as saving again in some other : as if he be plentiful in 
diet, to be saving in apparel : if he be plentiful in the hall, 
to be saving in the stable : and the like. For he that is plen- 
tiful in expenses of all kinds will hardly be preserved from 
decay. In dealing* of a man's estate, he may as well hurt 
himself in being too sudden, as in letting it run on too long ; 
for hasty selling is commonly as disadvantageable as interest. 
Besides, he that clears at once will relapse ; for finding him- 
self out of straits, he will revert to his customs : but he that 
cleareth by degrees induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth 
as well upon his mind as upon his estate. Certainly, who 
hath a state to repair, may not despise small things j and, 
commonly, it is less dishonourable to abridge petty charges 
than to stoop to petty gettings. A man ought warily fco 
begin charges, which once begun will continue : but in mat- 
ters that return not, he may be more magnificent 



i.\'\IX. OF THE TRUE GREATNESS OF KINGDOMS AND 
ESTATES. 

The speech of Themistocles, the Athenian, which was 
haughty and arrogant, in taking so much to himself, had 

a From debts Bad incumbrances, 
o 



82 ESSAYS. 

been a grave and wise observation and censure, applied at 
large to others. Desired at a feast to touch a lute, he said, 
" He could not fiddle, but yet he could make a small town a 
great city." These words (holpen a little with a metaphor) 
may express two different abilities in those that deal in 
business of estate ; for if a true survey be taken of coun- 
sellors and statesmen, there may be found (though rarely) 
those which can make a small state great, and yet cannot 
fiddle : as, on the other side, there will be found a great 
many that can fiddle very cunningly, but yet are so far from 
being able to make a small state great, as their gift lieth the 
other way ; to bring a great and flourishing estate to ruin 
and decay. And certainly, those degenerate arts and shifts 
whereby many counselloi's and governors gain both favour 
with their masters and estimation with the vulgar, deserve 
no better name than fiddling ; being things rather pleasing 
for the time, and graceful to themselves only, than tending 
to the weal and advancement of the state which they serve. 
There are also (no doubt) counsellors and governors which 
may be held sufficient, " negotiis pares," a able to manage 
affairs, and to keep them from precipices and manifest incon- 
veniences ; which, nevertheless, are far from the ability to 
raise and amplify an estate in power, means, and fortune : 
but be the workmen what they may be, let us speak of the 
work ; that is, the true greatness of kingdoms and estates, 
and the means thereof. An argument fit for great and 
mighty princes to have in their hand ; to the end, that 
neither by over-measuring their forces, they lose themselves 
in vain enterprises : nor, on the other side, by undervaluing 
them, they descend to fearful and pusillanimous counsels. 

The greatness of an estate, in bulk and territory, doth fall 
under measure ; and the greatness of finances and revenue 
doth fall under computation. The population may appear 
by musters ; and the number and greatness of cities and 
towns by cards and maps ; but yet there is not anything 
amongst civil affairs more subject to error than the right 
valuation and true judgment concerning the power and forces 
of an estate. The kingdom of heaven is compared, not to 
any great kernel, or nut, but to a grain of mustard-seed ; b 

" "Equal to business." 

h He alludes to the following passage, St*. Matthew xiii. 31 : "An- 



TRUE GREATXESS OP KINGDOMS AXD ESTATIS. S3 

which is one of the least grains, but hath in it a property 
and spirit hastily to get up and spread. So are there 
great in territory, and yet not apt to enlarge or command; 
and some that have but a small dimension of stem, and yet 
apt to be the foundations of great monarchies. 

Walled towHs, stored arsenals and armories, goodly races 
of horse, chariots of war, elephants, ordnance, artillery, and 
the like ; all this is but a sheep in a lion's skin, except the 
breed and disposition of the people be stout and warlike. 
Nay, number itself in armies importeth not much, where 
the people is of weak courage; for, as Virgil saith, "It 
never troubles a wolf how many the sheep be." The army 
of the Persians in the plains of Arbela was such a VBf 
of people, as it did somewhat astonish the commanders in 
Alexanders army, who came to him, therefore, and wished 
him to set upon them by night ; but he answered, " He 
would not pilfer the victory :" and the defeat was easy. 
When Tigranes, c the Armenian, being encamped upon a hill 
with four hundred thousand men, discovered the army of 
the Romans, being not above fourteen thousand, marching 
towards him, he made himself merry with it, and ail. 
" Yonder men are too many for an ambassage, and too few 
for a fight ;" but before the sun set, he found them enow to 
give him the chase with infinite slaughter. Many are the 
examples of the great odds between number and courage : 
so that a man may truly make a judgment, that the prin- 
cipal point of greatness in any state is to have a race of 
military men. Neither is money the sinews of war (as it is 
trivially said), where the sinews of men's arms in base 
and effeminate people are failing : for Solon said well to 
Croesus (when in ostentation he showed him his gold), " Sir, 
if any other come that hath better iron than you, he will 
be Duster of all tliis gold." Therefore, let any prince, or 
state, think soberly of his forces, except his militia of natives 
be of good and valiant Boldiers ; and let princes, on the 

other parable put ho forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven i3 

like to a gTain of mostard-ti 1, which :i man took and sowed in his field: 

which indeed is ttie least of all seeds ; but when it is grown, it is the 
greatest among herbs, and beoometh a tree, so that the birds of the air 
come and lodge in the branches thereof." 

c He was vanquished by Lucullns, and finally submitted to Pompey. 

g2 



84 ESSAYS. 

other side, that have subjects of martial disposition, know 
their own strength, unless they be otherwise wanting unto 
themselves. As for mercenary forces (which is the help in 
this case), all examples show that, whatsoever estate, or 
prince, doth rest upon them, he may spread his feathers for 
a time, but he will mew them soon after. 

The blessing of Judah and Issachar' 1 will never meet ; 
that the same people, or nation, should be both the lion's 
whelp and the ass between burdens ; neither will it be, that 
a people overlaid with taxes should ever become valiant and 
martial. It is true that taxes, levied by consent of the 
estate, do abate men's courage less ; as it hath been seen 
notably in the excises of the Low Countries ; and, in some 
degree, in the subsidies 6 of England ; for, you must note, 
that we speak now of the heart, and not of the purse ; so 
that, although the same tribute and tax, laid by consent or 
by imposing, be all one to the purse, yet it works diversely 
upon the courage. So that you may conclude, that no 
people overcharged with tribute is fit for empire. 

Let states that aim at greatness take heed how their 
nobility and gentlemen do multiply too fast ; for that 
maketh the common subject grow to be a peasant and base 
swain, driven out of heart, and in effect but the gentleman's 
labourer. Even as you may see in coppice woods ; if you 
leave your staddles f too thick, you shall never have clean 
underwood, but shrubs and bushes. So in countries, if the 
gentlemen be too many, the commons will be base ; and you 
will bring it to that, that not the hundred poll will be fit 
for a helmet : especially as to the infantry, which is the 
nerve of an army ; and so there will be great population and 
little strength. This which I speak of hath been nowhere 
better seen than by comparing of England and France ; 
whereof England, though far less in territory and population, 
hath been (nevertheless) an overmatch ; in regard the mid- 

d He alludes to the prophetic words of Jacob on his death -bed, Gen. 

xlix. 9, 14, 15: "Judah is a lion's whelp he stooped down, he 

crouched as a lion, and as an old lion Issachar is a strong ass crouch- 
ing down between two burdens : And he saw that rest was good, and the 
land that it was pleasant ; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became 
a servant unto tribute." 

• Sums of money voluntarily contributed by the people for the use of 
the sovereign. l Young trees. 



TRUE GBEATNESS OF KINGDOMS AND ESTATES. 85 

die people of England make good soldiers, which the peasants 
of France do not : and herein the device of King Henry the 
Seventh (whereof I hare spoken largely in the history of his 
life) was profound and admirable j in making farms and 
houses of husbandry of a standard ; that is, maintained with 
such a proportion of land onto them as may breed a subject 
to live in convenient plenty, and no servile condition ; and 
to keep the plough in the hands of the owners, and not 
mere hireling- ; and thus indeed you shall attain to Virgil's 
character, which he gives to ancient Italy : 

"Terra potens armis atque ubere glebae."s 

Neither is that state (which, for anything I know, is 
almost peculiar to England, and hardly to be found anywhere 
else, except it be, perhaps, in Poland) to be passed over ; 1 
mean the state of free servants and attendants upon noble- 
men and gentlemen, which are no ways inferior unto the 
yeomanry for arms ; and, therefore, out of all question, the 
splendour and magnificence, and great retinues, and hospi- 
tality of noblemen and gentlemen received into custom, do 
much conduce unto martial greatness; whereas, contrariwise, 
the close and reserved living of noblemen and gentlemen 
h a penury of military forces. 

By all meaus it is to be procured that the trunk of 
Nebuchadnezzar's tree of monarchy' 1 be great enough to 
bear the branches and the boughs ; that is, that the natural 
subjects of the crown, or state, bear a sufficient proportion 
to the stranger subjects that they govern ; therefore all 
states that are liberal of naturalization towards strangers are 
fit for empire ; for to think that a handful of people can, 
with the greatest courage and policy in the world, embrace 
too large extent of dominion, it may hold for a time, but it 
will fail suddenly. The Spartans were a nice people in 

c " A land strong in arms and in i be richness of the -oil.'' 
'■ Ho alludes to the iliv.-im of Nebuchadnezzar, which is mentioned 
Daniel iv. 10: "I saw, and, behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and 
the height thereof was great, He tree grew, and was strong, and the 
I, thereof reached onto heaven, and the Bight thereof to the end oi 

all tli earth ; the have- thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, 
and in it was meat for all ; the beasts of the field hail shadow under it, 
and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, end ; 
I of it." 



86 ESSAYS. 

point of naturalization ; whereby, while they kept their 
compass, they stood firm ; but when they did .spread, and 
their boughs were becoming too great for their stem, they 
became a windfall upon the sudden. Never any state was, 
in this point, so open to receive strangers into their body as 
were the Romans ; therefore it sorted with them accordingly, 
for they grew to the greatest monarchy. Their manner was 
to grant naturalization (which they called " jus civitatis"), h 
and to grant it in the highest degree, that is, not only 
"jus comruercii, 1 jus connubii, k jus hsereditatis ;"* but also, 
" jus suffragii," 111 and " jus honorum ;" n and this not to 
singular persons alone, but likewise to whole families ; yea, 
to cities, and sometimes to nations. Add to this their 
custom of plantation of colonies, whereby the Roman plant 
was removed into the soil of other nations, and, putting both 
constitutions together, you will say, that it was not the 
Romans that spread upon the world, but it was the world 
that spread upon the Romans ; and that was the sure way 
of greatness. I have marvelled sometimes at Spain, how 
they clasp and contain so large dominions with so few 
natural Spaniards; but sure the whole compass of Spain is 
a very great body of a tree, far above Rome and Sparta at 
the first ; and, besides, though they have not had that usage 
to naturalize liberally, yet they have that which is next to 
it ; that is, to employ, almost indifferently, all nations in 
their militia of ordinary soldiers ; yea, and sometimes in 
their highest commands ; nay, it seemeth at this instant 
they are sensible of this want of natives ; as by the prag- 
matical sanction^' now published, appeareth. 

It is certain, that sedentary and within-door arts, and 
delicate manufactures (that require rather the finger than 
the arm), have in their nature a contrariety to a military 
disposition ; and generally all warlike people are a little 
idle, and love danger better than travail ; neither must they 

h "Right of citizenship." ' "Eight of trading." 

k "Right of intermarriage." ' " Right of inheritance." 

m " Right of suffrage." n "Right of honours." 

° Long since the time of Lord Bacon, as soon as these colonies had 

arrived at a certain state of maturity, they at different periods revolted 

from the mother country. 

i" The laws and ordinances promulgated by the sovereigns of Spain 

were so called. The term was derived from the Byzantine empire. 



TRUE GREATNESS OF KINGDOMS AND ESTATES. 87 

be too much broken of it, if they shall be preserved in 
vigour : therefore it was great advantage in the ancient 
states of Sparta, Athens, Rome, and others, that they 
had the use of slaves, which commonly did rid those 
manufactures; hut that is abolished, in greatest part, by 
the Christian law. That which cometh nearest to it is, 
to leave those arts chiefly to strangers (wliich, for that pur- 
pose, are the more easily to be received), and to contain the 
principal hulk of the vulgar natives within those three kinds, 
tillers of the ground, free servants, and handicraftsmen of 
strong and manly arts ; as smiths, masons, carpenters, <fec, 
not reckoning professed soldiers. 

But, above all, for empire and greatness, it iinportetk 
most, that a nation do profess arms as then - principal honour, 
study, and occupation ; for the things which we formerly 
have spoken of are but habilitationsi towards arms ; and 
what is habilitation without intention and act ? Romulus, 
after his death (as they report or feign), sent a present to 
the Romans, that above all they should intend r arms, and 
then they should prove the greatest empire of the world. 
The fabric of the state of Sparta was wholly (though not 
wisely) framed and composed to that scope and end ; the 
Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash; 3 the Gauls, 
Germans, Goths, Saxons, Normans, and others, had it for a 
time : the Turks have it at this day, though in great deeli- 
oation. Of Christian Europe, they that have it are in effect 
only the Spaniards : but it is so plain, that every man pro- 
fiteth in that he most intendeth, that it needeth not to be 
stood upon : it is enough to point at it ; that no nation 
which doth not directly profess arms, may look to have 
greatness fall into their mouths; and. on tin- other side, it is 
a most certain oracle of time, that those states that continue 
long in thai profession (as the Romans and Turks principally 
have done) do wonders; and those thai have professed arms 
but for an age have, notwithstanding, commonly attained 
thai greatne - in thai age which maintained them long alter, 
when their profession and exercise of anas had grown to 
decs 

Incident to this point is. for a state to have those laws or 

'< Qualifications. ' Attend to. 

For h short "i transit* y ; 



88 ESSAYS. 

customs which may reach forth unto them just occasions (a3 
may be pretended) of war ; for there is that justice im- 
printed in the nature of men, that they enter not upon wars 
(whereof so many calamities do ensue), but upon some, at the 
least specious grounds and quarrels. The Turk hath at hand, 
for cause of war, the propagation of his law or sect, a quarrel 
that he may always command. The Romans, though they 
esteemed the extending the limits of their empire to be great 
honour to their generals when it was done, yet they never 
rested upon that alone to begin a war : first, therefore, let 
nations that pretend to greatness have this, that they be 
sensible of wrongs, either upon borderers, merchants, or 
politic ministers ; and that they sit not too long upon a pro- 
vocation : secondly, let them be pressed * and ready to give 
aids and succours to their confederates ; as it ever was with 
the Romans ; insomuch, as if the confederate had leagues 
defensive with divers other states, and, upon invasion offered, 
did implore their aids severally, yet the Romans would ever 
be the foremost, and leave it to none other to have the 
honour. As for the wars, which were anciently made on the 
behalf of a kind of party or tacit conformity of estate, I do 
not see how they may be well justified : as when the Romans 
made a war for the liberty of Grsecia : or, when the Laceda 1 - 
monians and Athenians made wars to set up or pidl down 
democracies and oligarchies : or when wars were made by 
foreigners, under the pretence of justice or protection, to 
deliver the subjects of others from tyranny and oppression ; 
and the like. Let it suffice, that no estate expect to be 
great, that is not awake upon any just occasion of arming. 

No body can be healthful without exercise, neither natural 
body nor politic ; and, certainly, to a kingdom, or estate, a 
just and honourable war is the true exercise. A civil war, 
indeed, 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 ; for in a slothful peace, both courages will effeminate 
and manners corrupt : but howsoever it be for happim 38, 
without all question for greatness, it maketh to be still for 
the most part in arms ; and the strength of a veteran army 
(though it be a chargeable business), always on foot, is that 

' Be in a hurry. 



TRUE GREATNESS OF KINGDOMS AND ESTATES. S9 

which commonly giveth the law, or at least, the reputation 
amongst all neighbour states, as may well be seer in Spain," 
which hath hail, in one part or other, a veteran army almosi 
continually, now by the space of six-score years. 

To be master of the sea is an abridgment of a monarchy. 
Cicero, writing to Atticus, of Pompey's preparation against 
Caesar, saith, "Consilium Pompeii plane Theniistocleum est ; 
pntat enim, qui mari potitur, eum rerum potiri;" x and 
without doubt, Pompey had tired out Csesar, if upon vain 
confidence he had not left that way. We see the great 
effects of battles by sea : the battle of Actium decided the 
empire of the world; the battle of Lepanto arrested the 
greatness of the Turk. There be many examples where sea- 
fights have been final to the war : but this is when princes, 
or states, have set up their rest upon the battles. But thus 
much is certain; that he that commands the sea is at great 
liberty, and may take as much and as little of the war as he 
will ; whereas those that be strongest by land are' many times. 
nevertheless, in great straits. Surely, at this day, with us of 
Europe the vantage of strength at sea (which is one of the 
principal dowries of this kingdom of Great Britain) is great ; 
both because most of the kingdoms of Europe are not merely 
inland, but girt with the sea most part of their compass ; 
and because the wealth of both Indies seems, in great part, 
but an accessary to the command of the sea-. 

The wars of latter ages seem to be made in the dark, in 
respect of the glory and honour which reflected upon men 
from the wars in ancient time. There lie now, for martial 
encouragement, some degrees and orders of chivalry, which, 
nevertheless, are conferred promiscuously upon soldiers and 
no soldiers; and some remembrance perhaps upon the 
escutcheon, and some- hospitals for maimed soldiers, and such 
like things ; but in ancient times, the trophies erected upon 
the place of the victory; the funeral laudativesJ and monu- 
ments tor those that died in the wars ; the crowns and gar- 
lands personal ; the style of emperor which the great kings 

u Ft was its immense armaments that in a gp 
tbj \ itals "I Spain. 

v "Pompejn plan is clearlj that of Themistoclea j for he 1 lieves that 
whoever is master of the sea will upreme power. 

y Encomium . 



90 ESSAYS. 

of the world after borrowed ; the triumphs of the generals 
upon their return ; the great donatives and largesses upon 
lln disbanding of the armies, were things able to inflame all 
men's courages ; but above all, that of the triumph amongst 
the Romans was not pageants, or gaudery, but one of the 
wisest and noblest institutions that ever was ; for it con- 
tained three things; honour to the general, riches to the 
treasury out of the spoils, and donatives to the army : but 
that honour, perhaps, were not fit for monarchies, except it 
be in the person of the monarch himself, or his sons ; as it 
came to pass in the times of the Roman emperors, who did 
impropriate the actual triumphs to themselves and their sons, 
for such' wars as they did achieve in person, and left only for 
wars achieved by subjects, some triumphal garments and 
ensigns to the general. 

To conclude : no man can by care taking (as the Scripture 
saith), " add a cubit to his stature," z in this little model of a 
man's body ; but in the great frame of kingdoms and common- 
wealths, it is in the power of princes, or estates, to add 
amplitude and greatness to their kingdoms ; for by intro- 
ducing such ordinances, constitutions, and customs, as we 
have now touched, they may sow greatness to their posterity 
and succession : but these things are commonly not observed, 
but left to take their chance. 



XXX.— OF REGIMEN OF HEALTH. 

There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic : a 
man's own observation, what he finds good of, and what he 
finds hui*t of, is the best physic to preserve health ; but it is 
a safer conclusion to say, " This agreeth not well with me, 
therefore I will not continue it ;" than this, " I find no 
offence of this, therefore I may use it :" for strength of 
nature in youth passeth over many excesses which are owing 3 
a man till his age. Discern of the coming on of years, and 
think not to do the same things still ; for age will not be 
defied. Beware of sudden change in any great point of diet, 

1 St. Matthew vi. 27 ; St. Luke xii. 25. 

* The effects of which must be felt in old age. 



REGIMEN OF HEALTH. 91 

and, if necessity enforce it, fit the rest to it ; for it is a 
secret botli in nature and state, that it is safer to change 
many things than one. Examine thy customs of diet, Bleep, 
exercise, apparel, and the like ; and try, in anything thou 
shalt judge hurtful, to discontinue it by little and little ; but 
BO, as it' thou dost find any inconvenience by the change, 
thou come back to it again : for it is hard to distinguish that 
which is generally held good and wholesome, from that which 
is good particularly, 1 ' and fit for thine own body. To be free- 
minded and cheerfully disposed ;it hours of meat, and of sleep, 
and of exercise, is one of the best precepts of long lasting. 
As for the passions and studies of the mind, avoid envy, 
anxious fears, anger fretting inwards, subtle and knotty 
inquisitions, joys, and exhilarations in excess, sadness not 
communicated. Entertain hopes, mirth rather than joy, 
variety of delights, rather than surfeit of them ; wonder 
and admiration, and therefore novelties ; studies that fill the 
mind with splendid and illustrious objects ; as histories, fables, 
and contemplations of nature. If you fly physic in health 
altogether, it will be too strange for your body when you 
shall need it ; if you make it too familiar, it will work no 
extraordinary effect when sickness cometh. I commend 
rather some diet, for certain seasons, than frequent use of 
physic, except it be grown into a custom ; for these diets 
alter the body more, and trouble it less. Despise no new 
accident in your body, but ask opinion* 1 of it. In sickness, 
respect health principally ; and in health, action : for those 
that put their bodies to endure in health, may, in most sick 
nesses which are not very sharp, be cured only with diet and 
tendering. Celsus could never have spoken it as a physician, 
had lie not been a wise man withal, when he giveth it for one 
of the great precepts of health and lasting, that a man do 
• arj and interchange contraries, but with an inclination to 
the more benign extreme: u.se bating and full eating, but 
rather foil eating ; e watching and sleep, but rather deep; 
sitting and exercise, but rather exercise, and the like : so 
shall nature be cherished, and yet taught masteries. Physi- 

b Qf benefit in your individual case. 

c Any striking change in the constitution. 

11 Take medical advice, 

• Incline rather to fully satisfying your hunger. 



92 ESSAYS. 

cians ai - e some of them so pleasing and conformable to the 
humour of the patient, as they press not the true cure of the 
disease ; and some other are so regular in proceeding accord- 
ing to art for the disease, as they respect not sufficiently the 
condition of the patient. Take one of a middle temper ; or, 
if it may not be found in one man, combine two of either 
sort ; and forget not to call as well the best acquainted with 
your body, as the best reputed of for his faculty. 



XXXI.— OF SUSPICION. 

Suspicions amongst thoughts are like bats amongst birds, 
they ever fly by twilight : certainly they are to be repressed, 
or at the least well guarded ; for they cloud the mind, they 
lose friends, and they check with business, whereby business 
cannot go on currently and constantly : they dispose kings 
to tyranny, husbands to jealousy, wise men to irresolution 
and melancholy : they are defects, not in the heart, but in 
the brain ; for they take place in the stoutest natures, as in 
the example of Henry VII. of England ; there was not a 
more suspicious man nor a more stout : and in such a com- 
position they do small hurt ; for commonly they are not 
admitted, but with examination, whether they be likely or 
no ; but in fearful natures they gain ground too fast. There 
is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know 
little ; and therefore men should remedy suspicion by pro- 
curing to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in 
smother. What would men have 1 Do they think those they 
employ and deal with are saints ? Do they not think they 
will have their own ends, and be truer to themselves than to 
them 1 Therefore there is no better way to moderate suspicions, 
than to account upon such suspicions as true, and yet to 
bridle them as false : a for so far a man ought to make use of 
suspicions, as to provide, as if that should be true that he 
suspects, yet it may do him no hurt. Suspicions that the 
mind of itself gathers are but buzzes ; but suspicions that 
are artificially nourished, and put into men's heads by the 

• To hope the best, but be fully prepared for tbe worst. 



DISCOURSE. 



93 



tales and whisperings of others, have stings. Certainly, the 
best mean, to clear the way in this same wood of suspicions, 
is frankly to communicate them with tin- party that he sus- 
pects; for thereby he shall be sure to know more of the 
truth of them than he did before ; and withal shall make 
that party more circumspect, not t" give further cause of 
suspicion. But this would not be done to men of base 
natures; for they, it' they find themselves once suspected, 
will never be true. The Italian Bays, "Sospetto licentia 
fede ;"'' as if suspicion did give a passport to faith; but 
it ought rather to kindle it to discharge itself 



XXXII.— OF DISCOURSE. 

Some in their discourse desire rather commendation of 
Avit, in being able to hold all arguments, 11 than of judgment, 
in discerning what is true ; as if it were a praise to know 
what might be said, and not what should be thought. Some 
have certain common-} daces and themes, wherein they are 
good, and want variety ; which kind of poverty is for the 
most part tedious, and, when it is once perceived, ridiculous. 
The honour ablest part of talk is to give the occasion ; b and 
again to moderate and pass to somewhat else; for then a man 
leads the dance. It is good in discourse, and speech of 
conversation, to vary, and intermingle speech of the present 
occasion with arguments, talcs with reasons, asking of ques- 
tions with telling of opinions, and jest with earnest ; for it 
is a dull thing to tire, and as we say now. to jade anything 
too far. As for jest, there be certain things which ought to 
be privileged from it; namely religion, matters of state, 
great persons, any man's present business of importance, and 
any ease that deserveth pity ; yet there be some that think 
their wits have been asleep, excepl they dart out somewhat 
that is piquant, and to the quick j that is a vein which would 
be bridled ; c 

b "Suspicion is the passport t" faith." 

" A censure ofEfilS nature lias been applied l>y some to Dr. Johnson, 

aivl | ilily with some reason, 

'• To start the s-.iliject. ' Requires to be bridled. 



94 ESSAYS. 

" Parce, puer, stimulis, et fortius utcre loris." d 
And, generally, men ought to find the difference between 
saltness and bitterness. Certainly, lie that hath a satirical 
vein, as he niaketh others afraid of his wit, so he had need 
be afraid of others' memory. He that questioneth much, 
shall learn much, and content much ; but especially if he 
apply his questions to the skill of the persons whom he 
asketk ; for he shall give them occasion to please themselves 
iu speaking, and himself shall continually gather knowledge ; 
but let his questions not be troublesome, for that is fit for a 
poser ; e and let him be sure to leave other men their turns 
to speak : nay, if there be any that would reign and take up 
all the time, let him find means to take them off, and to 
bring others on, as musicians used to do with those that 
dance too long galliards. f If you dissemble sometimes your 
knowledge of that you are thought to know, you shall 
be thought, another time, to know that you know not. 
Speech of a man's self ought to be seldom, and well chosen. 
I knew one was wont to say in scorn, " He must needs be a 
wise man, he speaks so much of himself : " and there is but 
one case wherein a man may commend himself with good 
grace, and that is in commending virtue in another, especially 
if it be such a virtue whereunto himself pretendeth. Speech 
of touch s towards others should be sparingly used ; for dis- 
course ought to be as a field, without coming home to any 
man. I knew two noblemen, of the west part of England, 
whereof the one was given to scoff, but kept ever royal cheer 
in his house ; the other would ask of those that had been at 
the other's table, " Tell truly, was there never a flout h or dry 
blow 1 given ?" To which the guest woidd answer, " Such and 
such a thing passed." The lord would say, '•' I thought he 
would mar a good dinner." Discretion of speech is more 
than eloquence ; and to speak agreeably to him with whom 
we deal, is more than to speak in good words, or in good 
order. A good continued speech, without a good speech of 

d He quotes here from Ovid : " Boy, spare the whip, and tightly 
grasp the reins." e One who tests or examines. 

1 The Galliard was a light active dance much in fashion in the time 
of Queen Elizabeth. 

£ Hits at, or remarks intended to be applied to particular individuals. 

h A slight or insidt. ' A sarcastic remark. 



PLANTATIONS. 95 

interlocution, shows slowness ; and a good reply, or second 
speech, without a good settled speech, showeth shallowness 
and weakness. As we see in beasts, that those that are 
weakest in the course, are yet nimblest in the turn ; as it is 
betwixt the greyhound and the hare. To use too many 
circumstances, ere one come to the matter, is wearisome ; to 
use none at all, is blunt. 



XXXIII.- OF PLANTATIONS." 

PLANTATIONS are amongst ancient, primitive, and heroical 
works. When the world was young, it begat more children ; 
but now it is old, it begets fewer : for I may j ustly account 
new plantations to be the childi'en of former kingdoms. I 
like a plantation in a pure soil ; that is, where people are not 
disjointed, 1 ' to the end to plant in others ; for else it is 
rather an extirpation than a plantation. Planting of coun- 
tries is like planting of woods ; for you must make account 
to lose almost twenty years' profit, and expect your recom- 
pense in the end : for the principal tiling that hath been the 
destruction of most plantations, hath been the base and hasty 
drawing of profit in the first years. It is true, speedy profit 
is not to be neglected, as far as may stand with the good of 
the plantation, but no farther. It is a shameful and un- 
blessed thing c to take the scum of people and wicked con- 
demned men, to be the people with whom you plant ; and 
not ouly so, but it spoileth the plantation ; for they will over 
live like rogues, and not fall to work, but be lazy, and do 
mischief, and spend victuals, and be quickly weary, and then 
certify over to their country to the discredit of the plantation. 
The people wherewith you plant ought to be gardeners, plough- 
men, labourers, smiths, carpenters, joiners, fishermen, fowlers, 
with some few apothecaries, surgeons, cooks, and bakers, In 

1 Tli<> old term fur Colonies. 

b He perhaps alludes covertly to the conduct of the Spaniards in 
extirpating the aboriginal inhabitants oi the West India Islands, against 
which the venerable Las Casas so eloqui ntly but vainly protested. 

c Of course this oeoaore would DOt apply to what is primarily and 
essentially a convict oolony ; the object of which is to drain the mother 
country of its impure superfluities. 



90 ESSAYS. 

a country of plantation, first look about what kind of victual 
the country yields of itself to hand : as chestnuts, walnuts, 
pine-apples, olives, dates, plums, cherries, wild honey, and the 
like ; and make \ise of them. Then consider what victual, or 
esculent things there are, which grow speedily, and within 
the year ; as- parsnips, carrots, turnips, onions, radish, arti- 
chokes of Jerusalem, maize, and the like : for wheat, barley, 
and oats, they ask too much labour ; but with pease and 
beans you may begin, both because they ask less labour, and 
because they serve for meat as well as for bread ; and of rice 
likewise cometh a great increase, and it is a kind of meat. 
Above all, thei^e ought to be brought store of biscuit, oatmeal, 
Hour, meal, and the like, in the beginning, till bread may be 
had. For beasts, or birds, take chiefly such as are least sub- 
ject to diseases, and multiply fastest ; as swine, goats, cocks, 
hens, turkeys, geese, house-doves, and the like. The victual 
in plantations ought to be expended almost as in a besieged 
town ; that is, with certain allowance : and let the main 
part of the ground employed to gardens or corn, be to a 
common stock ; and to be laid in, and stored up, and then 
delivered out in proportion ; besides some spots of ground 
that any particular person will manure for his own private 
use. Consider, likewise, what commodities the soil where 
the plantation is doth naturally yield, that they may some 
way help to defray the charge of the plantation ; so it be 
not, as was said, to the untimely prejudice of the main busi- 
ness.;) as it hath fared with tobacco in Virginia.' 1 Wood 
commonly aboundeth but too much ; and therefore timber is 
fit to be one. If there be iron ore, and streams whereupon 
to set the mills, iron is a brave commodity where wood 
aboundeth. Making of bay-salt, if the climate be proper 
for it, would be put in experience : growing silk, likewise, if 
any be, is a likely commodity : pitch and tar, where store of 
firs and pines are, will not fail ; so drugs and sweet woods, 
where they are, cannot but yield great profit : soap-ashes, 
likewise, and other things that may be thought of; but moil e 
not too much under ground, for the hope of mines is very 
uncertain, and useth to make the planters lazy in other 

u Times have much changed since this was penned : tobacco is now 
the staple commodity, and the source of " the main business " of 
Virginia. e To labour hard. 



PLANTATIONS. 97 

things. For government, let it be in the hands of one, 
assisted with some counsel ; and let them have commission 
to exercise martial laws, with some limitation ; and above 
all, let men make that profit of being in the wilderness, as 
they have God always, and his service, before their eyes : let 
not the government of the plantation depend upon too many 
counsellors and undertakers in the country that plauteth, but 
anon a temperate number ; and let those be rather noblemen 
and gentlemen, than merchants ; for they look ever to the 
present gain. Let there be freedoms from custom, till the 
plantation be of strength ; and not oidy freedom from cus- 
tom, but freedom to carry their commodities where they may 
make their best of them, except there be Borne special cause 
of caution. Cram not in people, by sending too fast company 
after company ; but rather hearken how they waste, and 
send supplies proportionably ; but so as the number may 
live well in the plantation, and not by surcharge be in 
penury. It hath been a great endangering to the health of 
some plantations, that they have built along the sea and 
rivers, in marish f and unwholesome grounds : therefore, 
though you begin there, to avoid carriage and other like 
discommodities, yet build still rather upwards from the 
streams, than along. It concerneth likewise the health of the 
plantation, that they have good store of salt with them, that 
they may use it in their victuals when it shall be necessary. 
If you plant where savages are, do not only entertain them 
with trifies and ginglcs,s but use them justly and graciously, 
with sufficient guard nevertheless ; and do not win their 
favour by helping them to invade their enemies, but for their 
defence it is not amiss ; and send oft of them over to the 
country that plants, that they may see a better condition 
than their own, and commend it when they return. When 
the plantation grows to strength, then it is time to plant 
with women as well as with men ; that the plantation may 
spread into generations, and not be ever pieced from without, 
it is the sinfullest thing in the world to forsake or destitute 
a plantation once in forwardness ; for, he-sides the dishonour, 
it is the guiltiness of blood of many commiscrable persons. 

' .Marshy ; from tbc French marais, a marsh, 
tt Gewgaws, or spangles. 

H 



98 ESBAYa 



XXIV. -OF RICHES. 

I cannot call riches better than the baggage of virtue ; 
the Roman word is better, " impedimenta;" for as the 
baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue ; it cannot be 
spared nor left behind, but it hindereth the march ; yea, 
and the care of it sometimes loseth or disturbeth the victory : 
of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the dis- 
tribution ; the rest is but conceit ; so saith Solomon, " Where 
much is, there are many to consume it ; and what hath the 
owner but the sight of it with his eyes?" a The personal 
fruition in any man cannot reach to feel great riches : there 
is a custody of them ; or a power of dole and donative of 
them ; or a fame of them ; but no solid use to the owner. 
Do you not see what feigned prices are set upon little stones 
and rarities 1 and what works of ostentation are undertaken, 
because there might seem to be some use of great riches ? 
But then you will say, they may be of use to buy men out 
of dangers or troubles ; as Solomon saith, " Riches are as a 
strong hold in the imagination of the rich man ;" b but this 
is excellently expi-essed, that it is in imagination, and not 
always in fact : for, certainly, great riches have sold more 
men than they have bought out. Seek not proud riches, 
but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute 
cheerfully, and leave contentedly ; yet have no abstract nor 
friarly contempt of them ; but distinguish, as Cicero saith 
well of Rabirius Posthumus, " In studio rei amplificandte 
apparebat, non avaritise praedam, sed instrumentum bonitati 
quseri." c Hearken also to Solomon, and beware of hasty 
gathering of riches : " Qui festinat ad divitias, non erit 
insons." d The poets feign, that when Plutus (which is 

a He alludes to Ecclesiastes v. 11, the words of which are somewhat 
varied in our version : "When goods increase, they are increased that 
eat them ; and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the 
beholding of them with their eyes ? " 

b "The rich man's wealth is his strong city." — Prov. x. 15 ; xviii. 11. 

c " In his anxiety to increase his fortune, it was evident that not the 
gratification of avarice was sought, but the means of doing good." 

d "He who hastens to riches will not be without guilt." In our 
version the words are : "He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be 
innocent." — Proverbs xxviii. 22, 



KICHES. 99 

riches) is sent from Jupiter, he limps, and goes slowly ; but 
when he is sent from Pluto, he runs, and is swift of foot; 
iin ;i ii ii i lt- that riches gotten by good means and just labour 
pace slowly; but when they come by the death of others 
(as by the course of iaheritance, testamente, and the like), 
they come tumbling upon a man : but it might be applied 
likewise to Pluto, taking him for the devil : for when riches 
come from the devil (as by fraud and oppression, and unjust 
I s), they come upon speed. The ways to enrich are 
many, and most of them foul : parsimony is one of the best, 
and yet is not innocent ; for it withholdeth men from works 
of liberality, and charity. The improvement of the ground 
is the most natural obtaining of riches : for it is our great 
mother's blessing, the earth's ; but it is slow ; and yet, 
where men of great wealth do stoop to husbandly, it inulti- 
plieth riches exceedingly. I knew a nobleman in England 
that had the greatest audits' of any man in my time, 
a great grazier, a great sheep-master, a great timber-man, 
a great collier, a great corn-master, a great lead-man. and so 
of iron, and a number of the like points of husbandry ; so as 
the earth seemed a sea to him hi respect of the perpetual 
importation. It was tndy observed by one, " That himself 
came very hardly to a little riches, and very easily to great 
riches;" for when a man's stock is come to that, that he 
can expect the prime of markets,? and overcome those bar- 
gains, which for their greatness ai - e few men's money, and be 
partner in the industries of younger men, he cannot but 
increase mainly. The gains of ordinary trades and vocations 
are honest, and furthered by two things, chiefly: by dili- 
gence, and by a good name for good and fair dealing ; but 
the gains of bargains are of a more doubtful nature, when 
men shall wait upon others' necessity : broke by servants 
and instruments to draw them on : put off others cunningly 
that woidd be better chapmen, and the like practices, which 
are crafty and naught; as for the chopping of bargaxna, 
when a man buys nod to hold, but 1<> sell over again, that 
commonly grindcth double, both upon the seller and upon 

e Pluto being the king of 1 1 | regions, or place of departed 

spirits. 

1 I d troll, or account taken of income. 
£ Wait till prices have I 

n 2 



100 ESSAYS. 

the buyer. Sharings do greatly enrich, if the hands be well 
chosen that are trusted. Usury is the certainest means of 
gain, though one of the worst ; as that whereby a man doth 
eat his bread, " in sudore vultus alieni;" h and besides, doth 
plough upon Sundays : but yet certain though it be, it hath 
flaws ; for that the scriveners and brokers do value unsound 
men to serve their own turn. The fortune, in being the 
first in an invention, or in a privilege, doth cause sometimes 
a wonderful overgrowth in riches, as it was with the first 
sugarman 1 in the Canaries : therefore, if a man can play 
the true logician, to have as well judgment as invention, he 
may do great matters, especially if the times be fit : he that 
resteth upon gains certain, shall hardly grow to great riches ; 
and he that puts all upon adventures, doth oftentimes break 
and come to poverty : it is good, therefore, to guard ad- 
ventures with certainties that may uphold losses. Mono- 
polies, and coemption of wares for resale, where they are 
not restrained, are great means to enrich ; especially if the 
party have intelligence what things are like to come into 
request, and so store himself beforehand. Riches gotten by 
service, though it be of the best rise, yet when they are 
gotten by flattery, feeding humours, and other servile con- 
ditions, they may be placed amongst the worst. As for 
fishing for testaments and executorships (as Tacitus saith of 
Seneca, " Testamenta et orbos tanquam indagine capi"), k it 
is yet worse, by how much men submit themselves to meaner 
persons than in service. Believe not much them that seem to 
despise riches, for they despise them that despair of them ; 
and none worse when they come to them. Be not penny- 
wise ; riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of 
themselves, sometimes they must be set flying to bring in 
more. Men leave their riches either to their kindred, or to 
the public ; and moderate portions prosper best in both. 
A great state left to an heir, is as a lure to all the birds of 
prey round about to seize on him, if he be not the better 
stablished in years and judgment : likewise, glorious gifts 

h " In the sweat of another's brow." He alludes to the words of 
Genesis iii. 19 : " In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." 

' Planter of sugar-canes. 

k " Wills and childless persons were caught by him as though with a 
hunting-net." 



PROPHECIES. 101 

and foundations are like sacrifices without salt ; and but the 
painted sepulchres of alms, which soon will putrefy and cor- 
rupt inwardly : therefore measure not thine advancements 
by quantity, but frame them by measure : and defer not 
charities till death ; for, certainly, if a man weigh it rightly, 
he that doth so is rather liberal of another man's than of his 



XXXV.— OF PROPHECIES. 

I mean not to speak of divine prophecies, nor of heathen 
oracles, nor of natural predictions ; but only of prophecies 
that have been of certain memory, and from hidden causes. 
Saith the Pythonissa 8 to Saul, " To-morrow thou and thy 
sons shall be with me." Virgil hath these verses from 
Homer : — 

" Hie donius .-Eneae cunctis dominabitur oris, 
Et nati natorum, et qui nascentur ah illis." 1 ' 

A prophecy as it seems of the Roman empire. Seneca the 
tragedian hath these verses : 

" Venient annis 



Saecula seris, quibus Oceanus 
Vincula rerum laxet, et ingens 
Pateat Tellus, Tiphysque novos 
Detegat orbes ; nee sit terris 
Ultima Thule :" c 

a prophecy of the discovery of America. The daughter of 
Polycrates d dreamed that Jupiter bathed her father, and 

» "Pythoness," used in the sense of witch. He alludes to the witch 
of Endor, and the words in Samuel xxviii. 19. He is, however, mis- 
taken in attributing these words to the witch ; it was the spirit of 
Samuel that said, "To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me." 

b "But the house of iEneas shall reign over every shore, both his 
children's children, and those who shall spring from them." 

c "After the lapse of years, ages will come in which Ocean shall relax 
his chains around the world, and ;i vast continent shall appear, and 
Tiphys shall exploi _ r ions, and Thule shall be no longer the 

utmost verge of earth." 

d He was king of Samoa, and was treacherously put to death by 
Oroctes, the governor of Magnesia, in Asia Minor. His daughter, in 
consequence of her dream, attempted to dissuade him from visiting 
Orates, but in vain. 



102 KS.SAYS. 

Apollo anointed him ; and it came to pass that he was 
ci - 1 1 * i fit (I in m open place, where the sun made Ids body run 
with sweat, and the rain washed it. Philip of Macedon 
dreamed he sealed up Ids wife's belly ; whereby he did ex- 
pound it, that his wife should be barren ; but Aristander 
the soothsayer told him his wife was with child, because 
men do not use to seal vessels that are empty. A phantasm 
that appeared to M. Brutus in his tent, said to him, " Phi- 
lippis iterum me videbis." e Tiberius said to Galba, " Tu 
quoque, Galba, degustabis imperium." f In Vespasian's time 
there went a prophecy in the East, that those that should 
come forth of Judea, should reign over the world ; which 
though it may be was meant of our Saviour, yet Tacitus 
exjjounds it of "Vespasian. Domitian dreamed, the night 
before he was slain, that a golden head was growing out of 
the nape of his neck ; and indeed the succession that fol- 
lowed him, for many years, made golden times. Henry the 
Sixth of England said of Henry the Seventh, when he was 
a lad, and gave 1dm water, " This is the lad that shall enjoy 
the crown for which we strive." When I was in France, 
I heard from one Dr. Pena, that the queen mother,? who 
was given to curious arts, caused the king her husband's 
nativity to be calculated under a false name ; and the 
astrologer gave a judgment, that he should be killed in a 
duel ; at which the queen laughed, thinking her husband to 
be above challenges and duels ; but he was slain upon a 
course at tilt, the splinters of the staff of Montgomery going 
in at his beaver. The trivial prophecy which I heard when 
I was a child, and Queen Elizabeth was in the flower of her 
years, was, 

" When hempe is spunne 
England's done :" 

whereby it was generally conceived, that after the princes had 
reigned which had the principal letters of that word hempe 
(which were Henry, Edward, Mary, Philip, and Elizabeth), 
England should come to utter confusion ; winch thanks be 
to God, is verified only in the change of the name ; for that 

e "Thou shalt see me again at Philippi." 
1 "Thou also, Galba, shalt taste of empire." 

e Catherine de Medicis, the -wife of Henry II. of France, who died 
from a wound accidentally received in a tournament. 



PROPHECILs. 103 

the king's style is now no more of England, but of Britain.' 1 
There was also another prophecy before the year of eighty- 
eight, which I do not well understand. 

" There shall lie seen upon a day, 
Between the Baugh ami the May, 
The black fleet of Norway. 
When that that i- came and gone, 
England build houses of lime and stone, 
For after wars shall you have none." 

it was generally conceived to be meant of the Spanish fleet 
that came in eighty-eight : for that the king of Spain's 
surname, as they say, is Norway. The prediction of J. 
montanus, 

" Octogesimus octavua mirabilis annua,"' 

was thought likewise accomplished in the sending of that 
great fleet, being the greatest in strength, though not in 
number, of all that ever swam upon the sea. As for Cleon's 
dream, k I think it was a jest ; it was, that he was devoured 
of a long dragon : and it was expounded of a maker of 
sausages, that troubled him exceedingly. There are numbers 
of the bike kind ; especially if you include dreams, and pre- 
dictions of astrology : but I have set down these few only of 
certain credit, for example. My judgment is, that they 
ought all to be despised, and ought to serve but for winter 
talk by the fireside : though when I say despised, I mean it 
as for belief; for otherwise, the spreading or publishing of 
them is in no sort to be despised, for they have done much 
mischief; and I see many severe laws made to suppress 

h James I. being the first monarch of Great Britain. 

1 "The eighty-eighth will be a wondrous year." 

k Aristophanes, in his Comedy of The Knights, satirizes Cleon, the 
Athenian demagogue. He introduces a declaration ,,(' the oracle that 

the Eagle of hides (by whom CI i was meant, his father having been a 

tanner) should be conquered by a serpent, which Demosthenes, one of 
the oharaoten in the play, expaaadfl as meaning a maker oi m 
How Lord Baoon oould £oc a ■tontenl doubl that this was a mere jest, 
it is difficult to oonjeoture, The following is a litem] translation of 
a portion of the passage from The Knights (L 197): — "But when ■ 
leather eagl>? with cm,.k>-d talons thai] have seized with its jaws a ser- 
pent, a stupid creature, a drinker of U 1. then she tan-pickle of the 

I'aphlagonians is destroyed : bul upon the Bsllers of sausages the Dettj 
bestows great glory, unless they choose rather to sell sausages." 



104 ESSAYS. 

them. That that hath given them grace, and some credit, 
nmsisteth in three things. First, that men mark when they 
li it, and never mark when they miss ; l as they do, generally, 
also of dreams. The second is, that probable conjectures, or ob- 
scure traditions, many times turn themselves into prophecies ; 
while the nature ot Aian, which covetetli divination, thinks 
it no peril to foretell that which indeed they do but collect : 
as that of Seneca's verse ; for so much was then subject to 
demonstration, that the globe of the earth had great parts 
beyond the Atlantic, which might be probably conceived 
not to be all sea : and adding thereto the tradition in Plato's 
Timaeus, and his Atlanticus,™ it might encourage one to turn 
it to a prediction. The third and last (which is the great 
one) is, that almost all of them, being infinite in number, 
have been impostures, and by idle and crafty brains, merely 
contrived and feigned, after the event past. 



XXXVI.— OF AMBITION. 

Ambition* is like choler, which is a humour that maketh 
men active, earnest, full of alacrity, and stirring, if it be not 
stopped : but if it be stopped, and cannot have its way, it 
becometh adust, a and thereby malign and venomous : so ambi- 
tious men, if they find the way open for their rising, and 
still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous ; but 
if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly 
discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil eye, 
and are best pleased when things go backward ; which is the 
worst property in a servant of a prince or state : therefore 

1 This is a very just remark. So-called strange coincidences, and 
wonderful dreams that are verified, when the point is considered, are 
really not at all marvellous. We never hear of the 999 dreams that 
are not verified, but the thousandth that happens to precede its fulfil- 
ment is blazoned by unthinking people as a marvel. It would be a 
much more wonderful thing if dreams were not occasionally verified. 

m Under this name he alludes to the Critias of Plato, in which an 
imaginary "terra incognita" is discoursed of under the name of the "New 
Atlantis." It has been conjectured from this by some, that Plato really 
did believe in the existence of a continent on the other side of the 
globe. a Hot and fiery. 



AMBITION*. 1 05 

it is good for princes, if thpy use ambitious men, to handle it 
so, as they be still progressive, and not retrograde; which, 
because it cannot be without inconvenience, it is good not to 
use such natures at all ; for if they rise not with their 
service, they will take order to make their sendee fall with 
them. But since we have said, it were good not to use men 
of ambitious natures, except it be upon necessity, it is fit we 
speak in what cases they are of necessity. Good commanders 
in the wars must be taken, be they never so ambitious ; for 
the use of their service dispenseth with the rest : and to 
take a soldier without ambition, is to pull off his spurs. 
There is also great use of ambitious men in being screens to 
princes in matters of danger and envy ; for no man wdl take 
that part except he be like a seeled b dove, that mounts and 
mounts, because he cannot see about him. There is use also 
of ambitious men in pulling down the greatness of any 
subject that overtops • as Tiberius used Macro c in the pull- 
ing down of Sejanus. Since, therefore, they must be used 
in such cases, there resteth to speak how they are to be 
bridled, that they may be less dangerous. There is less danger 
of them if they be of mean birth, than if they be noble ; 
and if they be rather harsh of nature, than gracious and 
popular ; and if they be rather new raised, than grown 
cunning and fortified in their greatness. It is counted by 
some a weakness in princes to have favourites ; but it is, of 
all othei's, the best remedy against ambitious great ones ; for 
when the way of pleasuring and displeasuring lieth by the 
favourite, it is impossible any other should be over great. 
Another means to curb them, is to balance them by others 
as proud as they : but then there must be some middle coun- 
sellors, to keep things steady ; for -without that ballast the 
ship will roll too much. At the least, a prince may animate 
and inure some meaner persons to be. as it were, scourges to 
ambitious men. As for the having of them obnoxious to d 
ruin, if they be of fearful natures, it may do well ; but if 

b With the eyes closed, or blindfolded. 

c He was a favourite of Tiberius, to whose murder by Nero he was said 
t'i have bet ii an accessary. He afterwardi prostituted his own wife to 
Caligula, by whom he was eventually put to death. 

d Liable to. 



10G ESSAYS. 

they be stout and daring, it may precipitate their designs, 
and prove dangerous. As for the pulling of them down, if 
the affairs require it, and that it may not be done with safety 
suddenly, the only way is, the interchange continually of 
favours and disgraces, whereby they may not know what to 
expect, and be, as it were, in a wood. Of ambitions, it is 
less harmful the ambition to prevail in great things, than 
that other to appear in everything; for that breeds confusion, 
and mars business : but yet, it is less danger to have an 
ambitious man stirring in business, than great in dependencies. 
He that seeketh to be eminent amongst able men, hath a 
great task ; but that is ever good for the public : but he that 
plots to be the only figure amongst ciphers, is the decay of a 
whole age. Honour hath three things in it : the vantage 
ground to do good ; the approach to kings and principal 
persons ; and the raising of a man's own fortunes. He that 
hath the best of these intentions, when he aspireth, is an 
honest man ; and that prince that can discern of these 
intentions in another that aspireth, is a wise prince. Gene- 
rally, let princes and states choose such ministers as are more 
sensible of duty than of rising, and such as love business 
rather upon conscience than upon bravery ; and let them 
discern a busy nature, from a willing mind. 



XXXVII.— OF MASQUES AND TRIUMPHS. 

These things are but toys to come amongst such serious 
observations ; but yet, since princes will have such things, it 
is better they should be graced with elegancy, than daubed 
with cost. Dancing to song, is a thing of great state and 
pleasure. I understand it that the song be in quire, placed 
aloft, and accompanied with some broken music ; and the 
ditty fitted to the device. Acting in song, especially in 
dialogues, hath an extreme good grace ; I say acting, not 
dancing (for that is a mean and vulgar thing) ; and the 
voices of the dialogue would be strong and manly (a base and 
a tenor; no treble), and the ditty high and tragical, not nice 
or dainty. Several quires placed one over against another, 
and taking the voice by catches anthem-wise, give great 



MASQUES AND EBIUMPH& 107 

pleasure. Turning dances into figure is a childish curiosity ; 
and generally, let it be noted, that those things which I here 
set down are such as do naturally take the sense, and not 
respect petty wonderments. It is true, the alterations of 
-lines, so it be quietly and without noise, are things of great 
beauty and pleasure ; for they feed and relieve the eye before 
it be full of the same object. Let the scenes abound with 
light, specially coloured and varied j and let the masquers, 
or any other that are to come down from the scene, have 
some motions upon the scene itself before their coming down; 
for it draws the eye strangely, and makes it with great 
pleasure to desire to see that, it cannot perfectly discern. 
Let the songs be loud and cheerful, and not chirpings or 
pulings : a let the music likewise be sharp and loud, and well 
placed. The colours that show best by candlelight, are 
white, carnation, and a kind of sea- water green ; and ouches, b 
or spangs, c as they are of no great cost, so they are of most 
glory. As for rich embroidery, it is lost, and not discerned. 
Let the suits of the masquers be graceful, and such as become 
the person w r hen the vizors are off; not after examples of 
known attires ; Turks, soldiers, mariners, and the like. Let 
anti-masques' 1 not be long ; they have been commonly of 
fi n 'Is. satyrs, baboons, wild men, antics, beasts, sprites, witches, 
Ethiopes, pigmies, turquets, e nymphs, rustics, Cupids, statues 
moving, and the like. As for angels, it is not comical enough 
to put them in anti-masques : and anything that is hideous, 
as devils, giants, is, on the other side, as unfit ; but chiefly, 
let the music of them be recreative, and with some strange 
changes. Some sweet odours suddenly coming forth, without 
any drops falling, are, in such a company as th«r<- is steam 
and heat, things of great pleasure and refreshment. Double 
masques, one of men, another of ladies, addeth state and 

■' Chirpings like the noise of young bird-. 

Ji wela or ni-eklacea. 

Bpaoglea or O's of gold or silver. ]'•■ wen 

invented in the beginning of the - '• nturv. See Beckmann's 

Hist, of Inventions (Bonn's Stand. Lib.), vol. i. p. 421. 

d TTr iffltiirlr irninrrtii. were ridiculous interludes dividing the acts of 
thi more serious masque. These were p rformed by hired actors, while 
the masque was played by Ladies and gentlemen. The rule was, the 
characters were to I"- 1 1 < • i t h . ■ r serious nor hideous. ] I mUB "of 

Milton is an admirable speoimi n of a masque. c Turk-;. 



108 ESSAYS. 

variety ; but all is nothing, except the room be kept clear 
and neat. 

For justs, and tourneys, and barriers, the glories of them 
are chiefly in the chariots, wherein the challengers make 
their entry ; especially if they be drawn with strange beasts : 
as lions, bears, camels, and the like ; or in the devices of 
their entrance, or in the bravery of their liveries, or in the 
goodly furniture of their horses and armour. But enough of 
these tovs. 



XXXVIII.— OF NATURE IN MEN. 

Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom ex- 
tinguished. Force maketh nature more violent in the return ; 
doctrine and discourse maketh nature less importune ; but 
custom only doth alter and subdue nature. He that seeketh 
victory over his nature, let him not set himself too great nor 
too small tasks ; for the first will make him dejected by often 
failings, and the second will make him a small proceeder, 
though by often prevailings : and at the first, let him practise 
with helps, as swimmers do with bladders, or rushes ; but, 
after a time, let him practise with disadvantages, as dancers 
do with thick shoes ; for it breeds great perfection, if the 
practice be harder than the use. Where nature is mighty, 
and therefore the victory hard, the degrees had need be, first 
to stay and arrest nature in time ; like to him that would 
say over the four and twenty letters when he was angry ; 
then to go less in quantity : as if one should, in forbearing 
wine, come from drinking healths to a draught at a meal ; 
and lastly, to discontinue altogether : but if a man have the 
fortitude and resolution to enfranchise himself at once, that 
is the best : 

" Optimus ille animi vindex lsedentia pectus 
Vincula qui rupit, dedoluitque sernel." 1 

Neither is the ancient rule amiss, to bend nature as a wand 
to a contrary extreme, whereby to set it right ; understand- 
ing it where the contrary extreme is no vice. Let not a 

■ " He is the best asserter of the liberty of his mind who bursts the 
chains that gall his breast, and at the same moment ceases to grieve." 
This quotation is from Ovid's Remedy of Love. 



CUSTOM AND EDUCATION. 109 

man force a habit upon himself with a perpetual continuance, 
but with some intermission : for both the pause reinforceth 
the new onset ; and if a man that is not perfect be ever in 
practice, he shall as well practise his errors as his abilities, and 
induce one bftbit of both ; and there is no means to help this 
but by seasonable intermissions ; but let not a man trust his 
victory over his nature too far ; for nature will he buried a 
great time, and yet revive upon the occasion, or temptation ; 
bike as it was with ^Ssop'a damsel, turned from a cat to a 
woman, who sat very demurely at the board's end till a 
mouse ran before her : therefore, let a man either avoid the 
occasion altogether, or put himself often to it, that he may 
be little moved with it. A man's nature is best perceived in 
privateness, for there is no affectation ; in passion, for that 
putteth a man out of his precepts; and in a new case or ex- 
periment, for there custom leaveth him. They are happy 
men whose natures sort with their vocations ; otherwise they 
may say, " Multum incola fuit anima mea," b when they con- 
verse in those things they do not affect. In studies, whatso- 
ever a man commandeth upon himself, let him set hours for it ; 
but whatsoever is agreeable to his nature, let him take no 
care for any set times; for his thoughts will fly to it of 
themselves, so as the spaces of other business or studies w ill 
suffice. A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds ; 
therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the 
other. 



XXXIX.— OF CUSTOM AND EDUCATION. 

Men's thoughts are much according to their inclination : a 
their discourse and speeches according to their learning and 
infused opinions; but their deeds are after as they have 
been accustomed : and, therefore, as Mat hiavel well noteth 
(though in an evil-favoured instance), there is no trusting to 
the force of nature, nor to the bravery of words, exec] it \i 
be corroborate by custom. His instance is, that for the 
achieving of a desperate conspiracy, a man should not rest 

b " My soul has long been a sojourner." 

* " The wish is father to the thought," is a proverbial saying of similar 
meaning. 



110 ESSAY-. 

upon the fierceness of any man's nature, or his resolute 
undertakings ; but take such a one as hath had his hands 
formerly in blood ; but Machiavel knew not of a Friar 
Clement, nor a Ravillac, b nor a Jaureguy, c nor a Baltazar 
Gerard ; d yet his rule holdeth still, that nature, nor the 
engagement of words, are not so forcible as custom. Only 
superstition is now so well advanced, that men of the first 
blood are as firm as butchers by occupation; and votary 
resolution is made equipollent to custom even in matter of 
blood. In other things, the predominancy of custom is every- 
where visible, insomuch as a man would wonder to hear men 
profess, protest, engage, give great words, and then do just 
as they have done before, as if they were dead images and 
engines, moved only by the wheels of custom. We see also 
the reign or tyranny of custom, what it is. The Indians ' 
(I mean the sect of their wise men) lay themselves quietly 
upon a stack of wood, and so sacrifice themselves by fire : 
nay, the wives strive to be burned with the corpses of their 
husbands. The lads of Sparta, of ancient time, were wont 
to be scourged upon the altar of Diana, without so much as 
quecking.s I remember, in the beginning of Queen Eliza- 
beth's time of England, an Irish rebel condemned, put up 
a petition to the deputy that he might be hanged in a withe, 
and not in a halter, because it had been so used with former 
rebels. There be monks in Russia for penance, that will sit 
a whole night in a vessel of water, till they be engaged with 
hard ice. Many examples may be put of the force of cus- 
tom, both upon mind and body : therefore, since custom is 
the principal magistrate of man's life, let men by all means 
endeavour to obtain good customs. Certainly, custom is 
most perfect when it beginneth in young years : this we call 
education, which is, in effect, but an early custom. So we 

b He murdered Henry IV. of France, in 1610. 

c Philip II. of Spain having, in 1582, set a price upon the head of 
William of Nassau, prince of Orange, the leader of the Protestants, 
Jaureguy attempted to assassinate him, and severely wounded him. 

d He assassinated William of Nassau, in 1584. It is supposed that 
this fanatic meditated the crime for six years. 

e A resolution prompted by a vow of devotion to a particular prin- 
ciple or creed. 

f He alludes to the Hindoos, and the ceremony of Suttee, encouraged 
by the Brahmins. s Flinching, 



FORTUNE. Ill 

see, in languages the tongue is more pliant to all expressions 
and sounds, the joints are more supple to all feats of activity 
and motions in youth, than afterwards ; for it is true, that 
late learners cannot so well take the ply, except it be in 
some minds that have not suffered themselves to fix, but 
have kept tin -nisei ves open and prepared to receive continual 
amendment. \\ lii< -h is exceeding rare : but if the force of 
custom, sample and separate, be great, the force of custom, 
copulate and conjoined and collegiate. is far greater; for 
there example teacheth, company comforteth, emulation 
quiokenetn, glory raiseth ; so as in such places the force of 
custom is in his exaltation. Certainly, the great multipli- 
cation of virtues upon human nature resteth upon societies 
well ordained and disciplined ; for commonwealths and good 
governments do nourish virtue grown, bat do not much 
mend the seeds; but the misery is, that the most effectual 
means are now applied to the ends least to be desired. 



XL.— OF FORTUNE. 

It cannot be denied, but outward accidents conduce much 
to fortune ; favour, opportunity, death of others, occasion 
fitting virtue : but chiefly, the mould of a man's fortune is 
in his own hands : " Faber quisque fortunae suae," a saith tin- 
poet ; and the most frequent of external causes is, that the 
folly of one man is the fortune of another ; for no man pros- 
30 suddenly as by others' errors. " Serpens nisi ser- 
pentem comederit non fit draco." b Overt and apparezrl 
vii -tucs bring forth praise; but there be secret and hidden 
virtues that bring forth fortune; certain deliveries of a 

• "Ev. iv man is the architect of his own fortune." Ballast, in his 
letters " De Republics' Ordinandi," attributes these words toAppius 

Claudius Ciecus, a Soman | t whose works are now lost. Lord Baa Q, 

in the Latin translation of his Essays, which was made under his super- 
vision, rendered the word "poet" "oomicas;" by whom he probably 
meant Plautus, who has this line in his " Trinummus" (Act ii. 
'- Nam sapiens quidem pal ipsna tin-it (brtunam sihi," which has the 
same meaning, though in Bomewhat different terms. 
. b "A serpent, unless it has devoured a serpent, does not become ■ 
dragon." 



112 ESSAYS. 

man's self, which have no name. The Spanish name, " di- 
seinboltura," c partly expresseth them, when there be not 
stonils 1 ' nor restiveness in a man's nature, but that the 
wheels of his mind keep way with the wheels of his fortune; 
for so Livy (after he had described Cato Major in these 
words, " In illo viro, tantum robur corporis et animi fait, ut 
quocunque loco natus esset, fortunam sibi facturus videre- 
tur)," 1 ' falleth upon that that he had " versatile ingenium :" f 
therefore, if a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see 
Fortune ; for though she be blind, yet she is not invisible. 
The way of Fortune is like the milky way in the sky ; which 
is a meeting, or knot, of a number of small stars, not seen 
asunder, but giving light together : so are there a number 
of little and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and 
customs, that make men fortunate. The Italians note some 
of them, such as a man would little think. When they 
speak of one that cannot do amiss, they will throw in into 
his other conditions, that he hath " Poco di matto;"s and 
certainly, there be not two more fortunate properties, than 
to have a little of the fool, and not too much of the honest ; 
therefore extreme lovers of their country, or masters, were 
never fortunate ; neither can they be ; for when a man 
placeth Ins thoughts without himself, he goeth not his own 
way. A hasty fortune maketh an enterpriser and remover ; 
(the French hath it better, " entreprenant," or " remuant ") ; 
but the exercised fortune maketh the able man. Fortune is 
to be honoured and respected, and it be but for her 
daughters, Confidence and Reputation ; for those two Feli- 
city breedeth ; the first within a man's self, the latter in 
othei's towards him. All wise men, to decline the envy of 
their own virtues, use to ascribe them to Providence and 
Fortune ; for so they may the better assume them : and, 
besides, it is greatness in a man to be the care of the higher 
powers. So Caesar said to the pilot in the tempest, "Cassarem 

c Or " desenvoltura," implying readiness to adapt oneself to cir- 
cumstances. d Impediments, causes for hesitation. 

e "In that man there was such great strength of body and mind, that 
in whatever station he had been born, he seemed as though he should 
make his fortune." 

f "A versatile genius." e "A little of the fool." 



USURY. 113 

portas, et fortunani ejus." h So Sylla chose the name of 
" Felix," 1 and not of " Magnus :"' k and it hath been noted, 
that those who ascribe openly too much to their own wisdom 
and policy, end unfortunate. It is written, that Timotheus, 1 
the Athenian, after he had, in the accoimt he gave to the 
state of his government, often interlaced this speech, " and 
in this Fortune had no part," never prospered in anything 
he undertook afterwards. Certainly there be, whose for- 
tunes are like Homer's verses, that have a slide" 1 and easiness 
more than the verses of other poets ; as Plutarch saith of 
Timoleon's fortune in respect of that of Agesilaus or Epanii- 
nondas : and that this should be, no doubt it is much in a 
man's self. 



XLL— OF USURY.* 

Many have made witty invectives against usury. They 
say that it is pity the devil should have God's part, winch 
is the tithe ; that the usurer is the greatest Sabbath-breaker, 
because his plough goeth every Sunday ; that the usurer is 
the drone that Virgil speaketh of: 

" Ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibug arcent ;" b 

that the usurer breaketh the first law that was made for 
mankind after the fall, which was, " in sudore vultus tui 
comedes panem tuum;" c not, "in sudore vultus alieni;" d 
that usurers should have orange-tawny c bonnets, because 
they do Judaize; that it is against nature for money to beget 

h " Thou earnest Cnesar and his fortunes." 

1 " The Fortunate." He attributed his success to the intervention of 
Hercules, to whom he paid especial veneration. 

k " The Great." 

1 A successful Athenian general, the son of Conon, and the friend 
of Plato. ■" Fluency or smoothness. 

* Lord I'acon seems to use the 'word in the general sense of " lending 
money upon interest." 

b " Drive from their hives the drones, a lazy race." — Georgics, b. iv. 
168. 

* " In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread." — Gen. iii. 19. 
d "In the sweat of the bee of another." 

8 In the middle ages tin- .)> ws wnv compelled, by legal enactment, 
to wear peculiar dresses and colours ; one of these was orange. 

I 



114 ESSAYS. 

money, and the like. I say this only, that usury is a " con- 
GMKum propter duritiem cordis :" f for since there must be 
borrowing and lending, and men are so hard of heart as they 
•will not lend freely, usury must be permitted. Some others 
have made suspicious and cunning propositions of banks, 
discovery of men's estates, and other inventions ; but few 
have spoken of usury usefully. It is good to set before us 
the incommodities and commodities of usury, that the good 
may be either -weighed out, or culled out ; and -warily to 
provide, that, while we make forth to that which is better, 
we meet not with that which is worse. 

The discommodities of usury are, first, that it makes fewer 
merchants ; for were it not for this lazy trade of usuiy, 
money would not lie still, but would in great part be em- 
ployed upon merchandising, which is the "vena porta"s of 
wealth in a state : the second, that it makes poor merchants; 
for as a farmer cannot husband his ground so well if he sit 
at a great rent, so the merchant cannot drive his trade so 
well, if he sit h at great usury : the third is incident to the 
other two ; and that is, the decay of customs of kings, or 
states, which ebb or flow with merchandising : the fourth, 
that it bringeth the treasure of a realm or state into a 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 ; and ever a state flourisheth when wealth is 
more equally spread : the fifth, that it beats down the price 
of land ; for the employment of money is chiefly either mer- 
chandising, or purchasing, and usury waylays both : the 
sixth, that it doth dull and damp all industries, improve- 
ments, and new inventions, wherein money would be stir- 
ring, if it were not for this slug : the last, that it is the 
canker and ruin of many men's estates, which in process of 
time breeds a public poverty. 

On the other side, the commodities of usury are, first, that 
howsoever usury in some respect hindereth merchandising, 
yet in some other it advanceth it ; for it is certain that the 
greatest part of trade is driven by young merchants upon 
borrowing at interest ; so as if the usurer either call in, or 

f " A concession by reason of hardness of heart." He alludes to the 
words in St. Matthew xix. S. 

b See Note to Essay xix. h Hold. 



usury. 115 

keep back his money, there will ensue presently a great 
stand of trade : the second is, that were it not for this easy 
borrowing upon interest, men's necessities would draw upon 
them a most sudden undoing, in that they would be forced 
to sell their means (be it lands or goods), far under lout, and 
so. whereas usury doth but gnaw upon them, bad markets 
would swallow them quite op. As for mortgaging or pawn- 
ing, it will little mend the matter : for either men will not 
take pawns without use, or if they do, they will look pre- 
cisely for the forfeiture. I remember a cruel moneyed man in 
the country, that would say, •■ 'flu' devil take this usury, it 
keeps us from forfeitures of mortgages and bonds.'' The 
third and last is, that it is a vanity to conceive that there 
would be ordinary box-rowing without profit ; and it i- im- 
possible to conceive the number of inconvenieiiees that will 
ensue, if borrowing be cramped : therefore to speak of the 
abolishing of usury is idle ; all states have ever had it in one 
kind or rate, or other; so as that opinion must be sent to 
Utopia. 1 

To speak now of the reformation and reglement k of usury, 
how the discommodities of it may be best avoided, and the 
commodities retained. It appears, by the balance of com- 
modities and discommodities of usury, two things are to be 
reconciled ; the one that the tooth of usury be grinded, that 
it bite not too much ; the other, that there be left open a 
means to invite moneyed men to lend to the merchants, for 
the continuing and quickening of trade. This cannot be 
done, except you introduce two several sorts of usury, a less 
and a greater ; for if you reduce usury to one low rate, it 
will ease the common borrower, but the merchant will be to 
seek for money: and it is to be noted, that the trade of mer- 
chandise being the most lucrative, may bear usury at a good 
rate : other contracts not so. 

To serve both intention-, the way would be briefly thus : 
that there be two rates of usury ; the one free and general 
for all ; the other under license only to certain persons, and 
in certain places of merchandising. First, therefore, let 
usury in general be reduced to five in the hundred, and let 
thai rate be proclaimed to be free and current ; and let the 

1 The imaginary country described in Sir Thomas More'a political 
romance of that name. k Regulation. 

i2 



1 1 G ESSAYS. 

state shut itself out to take any penalty for the same ; this 
will preserve borrowing from any general stop or dryness; 
this will ease infinite borrowers in the country; this will, in 
good part, raise the price of laud, because land purchased at 
sixteen years' purchase will yield six in the hundred, and 
somewhat more, whereas this rate of interest yields but five : 
this by like reason will encourage and edge industrious and 
profitable improvements, because many will rather venture 
in that kind, than take five in the hundred, especially having 
been used to greater profit. Secondly, let there be certain 
persons licensed to lend to known merchants upon usury, at 
a higher rate, and let it be with the cautions following : let 
the rate be, even with the merchant himself, somewhat more 
easy than that he used formerly to pay ; for by that means 
all borrowers shall have some ease by this reformation, be he 
merchant, or whosoever ; let it be no bank or common stock, 
but every man be master of his own money ; not that I alto- 
gether mishke banks, but they will hardly be brooked, in 
regard of certain suspicions. Let the state be answered, 1 
some small matter for the license, and the rest left to the 
lender ; for if the abatement be but small, it will no whit 
discourage the lender ; for he, for example, that took before 
ten or nine in the hundred, will sooner descend to eight in 
the hundred, than give over his trade of usuiy, and go from 
certain gains to gains of hazard. Let these licensed lenders 
be in number indefinite, but restrained to certain principal 
cities and towns of merchandising ; for then they will be 
hardly able to colour other men's moneys in the countiy : so 
as the license of nine will not suck away the current rate of 
five ; for no man will send his moneys far off, nor put them, 
into unknown hands. 

If it be objected that this doth in a sort authorize usury, 
which before was in some places but permissive ; the answer 
is, that it is better to mitigate usury by declaration, than to 
6iiffer it to rage by connivance. 

1 Be paid. 



YOUTH ANT) AGE. 117 



XLII.— OF YOUTH AND AGE. 

A man that is young in years may be old in hours, if he 
have lost no time ; but that happeneth rarely. Generally, 
youth is like the first cogitations, not so wise as the second : 
for there is a youth in thoughts, as well as in ages ; and yet 
the invention of young men is more lively than that of old, 
and imaginations stream into their minds better, and, as it 
were, more divinely. Natures that have much heat, and 
great and violent desires and perturbations, are not ripe for 
action till they have passed the meridian of their years : as it 
was with Julius Caesar and Septimius Severus ; of the latter 
of whom it is said, '■ Juventutem egit erroribus, imo furori- 
bus plenam;" a and yet he was the ablest emperor, almost, of 
all the list ; but reposed natures may do well in youth, as it 
is seen in Augustus Caesar, Cosmus duke of Florence, Gaston 
de Foix, b and others. On the other side, heat and vivacity 
in age is an excellent composition for business. Young men 
are titter to invent than to judge, fitter for execution than 
for counsel, and fitter for new projects than for settled busi- 
ness ; for the experience of age, in things that fall within 
the compass of it, directeth them ; but in new things abuseth 
them. The errors of young men are the ruin of business; 
but the errors of aged men amount but to this, that more 
might have been done, or sooner. 

Young men, in the conduct and manage of actions, em- 
brace more than they can hold, stir more than they can 
quiet ; fly to the end, without consideration of the means 
and degrees; pursue some few principles which they have 
chanced upon absurdly; care not to innovate, which draws 
unknown inconveniences ; use extreme remedies at first ; and 
that, which doubleth all errors, will not acknowledge or re- 
tract them, like an unready horse, that will not neither stop 
nor turn. Men of age object too much, consult too long, 
adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive busi- 
ness home to the full period, but content themselves with a 

* •• He passed his youth full of errors, of madness even." 

b He wu nephew of Louis XII. of France, and commanded the 

French armies in Italy against the Spaniards. After a brilliant career, 

he was killed at the battle of Ka\ • una, in 1512. 



118 ESSAYS. 

mediocrity of success. Certainly it is good to compound 
employments of both ; for that will be good for the present, 
because the virtues of either age may correct the defects of 
both ; and good for succession, that young men may be 
learners, while men in age are actors ; and, lastly, good for 
externe accidents, because authority followeth old men, and 
favour and popularity youth : but, for the moral part, per- 
haps, youth will have the pre-eminence, as age hath for the 
politic. A certain rabbin, upon the text, " Your young men 
shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams," 
inferreth that young men are admitted nearer to God than 
old, because vision is a clearer revelation than a dream ; and 
certainly, the more a man diinketh of the world, the more it 
intoxicateth : and age doth profit rather in the powers of 
understanding, than in the virtues of the will and affections. 
There be some have an over-early ripeness in then' years, 
which fadeth betimes : these are, first, such as have brittle 
wits, the edge whereof is soon turned : such as was Hermo- 
genes d the rhetorician, whose books are exceeding subtle, 
who afterwards waxed stupid : a second sort is of those that 
have some natural dispositions, wliich have better grace in 
youth than in age ; such as is a fluent and luxuriant speech, 
which becomes youth well, but not age : so Tully saith of 
Hortensius, " Idem manebat, neque idem decebat : " e the 
third is of such as take too high a strain at the first, and are 
magnanimous more than tract of years can uphold : as was 
Scipio Africanus, of whom Livy saith, in effect, " Ultima 
primis cedebant." f 

c Joel ii. 28, quoted Acts ii. 17. 

d He lived in the second century after Christ, and is said to have 
lost his memory at the age of twenty-five. 

e "He remained the same, but with the advance of years was not so 
becoming." 

1 "The close was unequal to the beginning." This quotation is 
not correct; the words are — " Memorabilior prima pars vitae quam 
postrema fait," — "The first part of his life was more distinguished than 
the latter." — Livy, xxxviii. ch. 53. 



BEAUTY. 119 



XLIIL— OF BEAUTY. 



Virtue is like a rick stone, best plain set ; and surely 
virtue is best in a body that is comely, though not of delicate 
features; and that hath rather dignity of presence, than 
beauty of aspect ; neither is it almost seen that very beauti- 
ful persons are otherwise of great virtue ; as if nature were 
rather busy not to err, than in labour to produce excellency ; 
and therefore they prove accomplished, but not of great 
spirit ; and study rather behaviour, than virtue. But this 
holds not always : for Augustus Caesar, Titus Vespasianus, 
Philip le Bel of France, Edward the Fourth of England, 3 
Alcibiades of Athens, Ismael the Sophy of Persia, were all 
high and great spirits, and yet the most beautiful men of 
their times. In beauty, that of favour, is more than that of 
colour ; and that of decent and gracious motion, more than 
that of favour. b That is the best part of beauty, which a 
picture cannot express ; no, nor the first sight of the life. 
There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness 
in the proportion. A man cannot tell whether Apelles or 
Albert Durer were the more trifler ; whereof the one would 
make a personage by geometrical proportions : the other, by 
taking the best parts out of divers faces to make one 
excellent. Such personages, I think, would please nobody 
but the painter that made them : not but I think a painter 
may make a better face than ever was ; but he must do it 
by a kind of felicity (as a musician that maketh an excellent 
air in music), and not by rule. A man shall see faces, that, 
if you examine them part by part, you shall find never 
a good ; and yet altogether do well. If it be true that the 
principal part of beauty is in decent motion, certainly it is 
no marvel, though persons in years seem many times more 
amiable ; '' Pulchrorum autumnus pulcher ;" c for no youth 
can be comely but by pardon, d and considering the youth as 

• By the context, be would seem to consider "great spirit" and 
"virtue" as convertible terms. Edward IV., however, has no claim to 
be considered as a virtuous or magnanimous man, though he possessed 
great physical courage. •> Features. 

c "The autumn of the beautiful is beautiful." 

d By making allowances. 



120 ESSAYS. 

to make up the comeliness. Beauty Is as summer fruits, 
which are easy to corrupt, and cannot last ; and, for the most 
part, it makes a dissolute youth, and an age a little out of 
countenance ; but yet certainly again, if it light well, it 
maketh virtues shine, and vices blush. 



XLIV.— OF DEFORMITY. 

Deformed persons are commonly even with nature ; for 
as nature hath done ill by them, so do they by nature, being 
for the most pai*t (as the Scripture saith), u void of natural 
affection ;" a and so they have their revenge of nature. 
Certainly there is a consent between the body and the mind, 
and where nature erreth in the one, she ventureth in the 
other : " TJbi peccat in uno, periclitatur in altero : " b but 
because there is in man an election, touching the frame of his 
mind, and a necessity in the frame of his body, the stars of 
natural inclination are sometimes obscured by the sun of 
discipbne and virtue ; therefore it is good to consider of 
deformity, not as a sign winch is more deceivable, but as a 
cause which seldom faileth of the effect. "Whosoever hath 
anything fixed in his person that doth induce contempt, hath 
also a perpetual spur in himself to rescue and deliver himself 
from scorn ; therefore, all deformed persons are extreme 
bold ; first, as in their own defence, as being exposed to 
scorn, but in process of time by a general habit. Also it 
stirreth in them industry, and especially of this kind, to 
watch and observe the weakness of others, that they may 
have somewhat to repay. Again, in their superiors, it 
quencheth jealousy towards them, as pei'sons that they think 
they may at pleasure despise : and it layeth their competitors 
and emulators asleep, as never believing they should be in 
possibility of advancement till they see them in possession : 
so that upon the matter, in a great wit, deformity is an 
advantage to rising. Kings in ancient times (and at this 
pi-esent in some countries) were wont to put great trust in 
eunuchs, because they that are envious towards all are more 

■ Rom. i. 31 ; 2 Tim. iii. 3. 

b " Where she errs in the one, she ventures in the other." 



BUILDING. 121 

obnoxious and officious towards one ; but yet their trust 
towards them hath rather been as to good spials.' and good 
whisperers, than good magistrates and officers : and much 
like is the reason of deformed persons. Still the ground is, 
they will, if they be of spirit, seek to free themselves from 
scorn : which must be either by virtue or malice ; and, there- 
fore, let it not be marvelled, if sometimes they prove excellent 
persons ; as was Agesilaus, Zanger the son of Solynian,' 1 
JEiSOip, Gasca president of Peru ; and Socrates may go like- 
wise amongst them, with others. 



XLV.— OF BUILDING. 

Houses are built to live in, and not to look on ; therefore 
let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may 
be had. Leave the goodly fabrics of houses, fur beauty only, 
to the enchanted palaces of the poets, who build them with 
small cost. He that builds a fair house upon an ill seat, 1 
committeth himself to prison : neither do I reckon it an ill 
seat only where the air is unwholesome, but likewise where 
the air is unequal ; as you shall see many fine seats set upon 
a knap b of ground, environed with higher hills round about 
it, whereby the heat of the sun is pent in, and the wind 
gathereth as in troughs ; so as you shall have, and that 
suddenly, as great diversity of heat and cold as if you dwelt 
in several places. Neither is it ill air only that maketh an 
ill seat ; but ill ways, ill markets, and, it you will consult 
with Momus, c ill neighbours. 1 speak not of many more ; 
want of water, want of wood, shade, and shelter, want of 
fruitfulness, and mixture of grounds of several natures ; 
want of prospect, want of level grounds, want of places at 
some near distance for sports of hunting, hawking, and 
races; too near the sea, too remote \ having the commodity 
of navigable rivers, or the discommodity of their overflowing ; 
too far off from great cities, which may hinder business ; or 

c Spies. d Solyman the Magnificent, Sultan of the Turks. 

• Site. b Knoll. 

c Have a liking for cheerful society. Momus being the God of 
mirth. 



1 22 ESSAYS. 

too near them, which lurcheth d all provisions, and maketh 
everything dear ; where a man hath a great living laid 
together ; and where he is scanted ; all which, as it is 
impossible perhaps to find together, so it is good to know 
them, and think of them, that a man may take as many as 
he can ; and if he have several dwellings, that he sort them 
so, that what he wanteth in the one he may find in the other. 
Lucullus answered Pompey well, who, when he saw his 
stately galleries and rooms so large and lightsome, in one of 
his houses, said, " Surely an excellent place for summer, but 
how do you in winter V Lucullus answered, " Why, do you 
not think me as wise as some fowls are, that ever change 
their abode towards the winter V 

To pass from the seat to the house itself, we will do as 
Cicero doth in the orator's art, who writes books De Oratore, 
and a book he entitles Orator ; whereof the former delivers 
the precepts of the art, and the latter the perfection. "We 
will therefore describe a princely palace, making a brief 
model thereof ; for it is strange to see, now in Europe, such 
huge buildings as the Vatican and Escurial, e and some others 
be, and yet scarce a very fair room in them. 

First, therefore, I say, you cannot have a perfect palace, 
except you have two several sides ; a side for the banquet, as 
is spoken of in the book of Esther/ and a side for the house- 
hold ; the one for feasts and triumphs, and the other for 
dwelling. I understand both these sides to be not only 
returns, but parts of the front ; and to be uniform without, 
though severally partitioned within ; and to be on both sides 
of a great and stately tower in the midst of the front, that 
as it were joineth them together on either hand. I would 
have, on the side of the banquet in front, one only goodly 
room above stairs, of some forty foot high ; and under it a 
room for a dressing or preparing place, at times of triumphs. 
On the other side, which is the household side, I wish it 
divided at the first into a hall and a chapel (with a partition 

d Eats up. 

e A vast edifice, about twenty miles from Madrid, founded by 
Philip II. 

1 Esth. i. 5 : " The king made a feast unto all the people that were 
present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, 
in the court of the garden of the king's palace." 



BUILDING. 123 

between), both of good state and bigness ; and those not to 
go all the length, but to have at the further end a winter 
and a summer parlour, both fair ; and under these rooms a 
fair and large cellar stink under ground ; and kkewise some 
privy kitchens, with butteries and pantries, and the like. As 
for the tower, I would have it two stories, of eighteen foot 
high apiece above the two wings ; and a goodly leads upon 
the top, railed with statues interposed ; and the same tower 
to be divided into rooms, as shall be thought fit. The stairs 
likewise to the upper rooms, let them be upon a fair open 
newel,B and finely railed in with images of wood cast into a 
brass colour ; and a very fair landing-place at the top. But 
this to be, if you do not point any of the lower rooms for a 
dining-place of servants ; for, otherwise, you shall have the 
servants' dinner after your own : for the steam of it will 
come up as in a tunnel. h And so much for the front : only I 
understand the height of the first stairs to be sixteen foot, 
which is the height of the lower room. 

Beyond this front is there to be a fair court, but three 
sides of it of a far lower building than the front ; and in all 
the four corners of that court fair staircases, cast into turrets 
on the outside, and not within the row of buildings them- 
selves : but those towers are not to be of the height of the 
front, but rather proportionable to the lower building. Let 
the court not be paved, for that striketh up a great heat in 
summer, and much cold in winter : but only some side alleys 
with a cross, and the quarters to graze, being kept shorn, but 
not too near shorn. The row of return on the banquet side, 
let it be all stately galleries : in which galleries let there be 
three or five fine cupolas in the length of it. placed at equal 
distance, and fine coloured windows of several works : on the 
household aide, chambers of presence and ordinary enter- 
tainments, with some bed-chambers : and let all three sides 
be i double house, without thorough lights on the sides, that 
you may have rooms from the sun, both for forenoon and 
afternoon. Cast it also, that you may have rooms both for 
summer and winter ; shady for summer, and warm for 
winter. You shall have sometimes fair houses so full of 



* The cylinder formed l>y the small end of the steps of winding stairs. 
h The funnel of a chimney. 



124 ESSAYS. 

glass, that one carnnot tell where to become 1 to be out of the 
sun or cold. For inbowed k windows, I hold them of good 
use (in cities, indeed, upright 1 do better, in respect of the 
uniformity towards the street) ; for they be pretty retiring 
places for conference ; and besides, they keep both the wind 
and sun off; for that which would strike almost through the 
room doth scarce pass the window : but let them be but few, 
four in the court, on the sides only. 

Beyond this court, let there be an inward court, of the 
same square and height, which is to be environed with the 
garden on all sides ; and in the inside, cloistered on all sides 
upon decent and beautiful arches, as high as the first story : 
on the under stoiy towards the garden, let it be turned to 
grotto, or place of shade, or estivation ; and only have 
opening and windows towards the garden, and be level upon 
the floor, no whit sunk under ground to avoid all dampish- 
ness : and let there be a fountain, or some fair work of 
statues in the midst of this court, and to be paved as the 
other court was. These buildings to be for privy lodgings on 
both sides, and the end for privy galleries ; whereof you 
must foresee that one of them be for an infirmary, if the 
prince or any special person should be sick, with chambers, 
bed-chamber, " anticamera," m and "recamera," n joining to it; 
this upon the second stoiy. Upon the ground story, a fair 
gallery, open, upon pillars ; and upon the third story, like- 
wise an open gallery upon pillars, to take the prospect and 
freshness of the garden. At both corners of the further side, 
by way of return, let there be two deficate or rich cabinets, 
daintily paved, richly hanged, glazed with crystalline glass, 
and a rich cupola in the midst ; and all other elegancy that 
can be thought upon. In the upper gallery, too, I wish that 
there may be, if the place will yield it, some fountains run- 
ning in divers places from the wall, with some fine avoidances. 
And thus much for the model of the palace ; save that you 
must have, before you come to the front, three courts ; a 
green court plain, with a wall about it ; a second court of the 
same, but more garnished with little turrets, or rather 
embellishments, upon the wall ; and a third court, to make a 

1 Where to go. k Bow, or bay, windows. 

1 Flush with the wall. m Antichamber. 

n Withdrawing-rooni. ° Watercourses. 



GABDSNR 125 

square with the front, but not to be built, nor yet enclosed 
with a naked wall, but enclosed with terraces leaded aloft, 
and fairly garnished oil the three sides ; and cloistered on the 
inside with pillars, and not with arches below. As for offices, 
let them stand at distance, with some low galleries to pass 
from them to the palace itself. 



XLVI.— OF GARDENS. 

God Almighty first planted a garden ; and, indeed, it is 
the purest of human pleasures ; it is the greatest refreshment 
to the spirits of man ; without which buildings and palaces 
are but gross handy-works : and a man shall ever see, that, 
when ages grow to civility and elegancy, men come to build 
stately, sooner than to garden finely ; as if gardening were 
the greater perfection. I do hold it in the royal ordering of 
gardens, there ought to be gardens for all the months in the 
year, in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in 
season. For December, and January, and the latter part of 
November, you must take such things as are green all winter: 
holly, ivy, bays, juniper, cypress-trees, yew, pineapple-trees ; a 
fir-trees, rosemary, lavender ; periwinkle, the white, the 
purple, and the blue; germander, flags, orange-trees, lemon- 
trees, and myrtles, if they be stoved ; b and sweet marjoram, 
warm set. There fulloweth, for the latter part of January 
and February, the mezereon-tree, which then blossoms : 
crocus vernus, both the yellow and the grey ; primroses, 
anemones, the early tulip, the hyacinthus orientalis, chamalris 
fritellaria. For March, there come violets, especially the 
single blue, which are the earliest ; the yellow daffodil, the 
daisy, tin: almond-tree in blossom, the peach-tree in blossom, 
the cornelian-tree in blossom, sweet-briar. In April follow 
the double white violet, the wall-flower, the stock-gillLllower, 
the cowslip, llower-de-luces, and lilies of all natures ; rose- 
mary-flowers, the tulip, the double peony, the pale, daffodil, 
the French honeysuckle, the cherry-tree in blossom, the 
damascene' and plum-trees in blossom, the white thorn in 

■ Pine-trees. b Kept warm in a greenhouse. 

1 The damson, or jilum of Damascus. 



12G E.S.SAY.S. 

leaf, the lilac-tree. In May and June come pinks of all 
sorts, specially the blush-pink ; roses of all kinds, except the 
musk, which comes later ; honeysuckles, strawberries, bu- 
gloss, columbine, the French marygold, flos Africanus, cherry- 
tree in fruit, ribes, d figs in fruit, rasps, vine-flowers, lavender 
in flowers, the sweet satyrian, with the white flower ; herba 
muscaria, 1 ilium convalbum, the apple-tree in blossom. In 
July come gilliflowers of all varieties, musk-roses, the lime- 
tree in blossom, early pears, and plums in fruit, genitings, c 
codlins. In August come plums of all sorts in fruit, pears, 
apricots, barberries, filberts, musk-melons, monks-hoods, of 
all colours. In September come grapes, apples, poppies of all 
colours, peaches, melocotones/ nectarines, cornelians,? war- 
dens, 11 quinces. In October, and the beginning of November 
come services, medlars, bullaces, roses cut or removed to 
come late, hollyoaks, and such like. These particulars are for 
the climate of London ; but my meaning is perceived, that 
you may have " ver perpetuum," 1 as the place affords. 

And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the 
air (whei'e it comes and goes, like the warbling of music), 
than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that 
delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do 
best perfume the air. Roses, damask and red, are fast 
flowersJ of their smells ; so that you may walk by a whole 
row of them, and find nothing of their sweetness ; yea, 
though it be in a morning's dew. Bays, likewise, yield no 
smell as they grow, rosemary little, nor sweet marjoram ; 
that which, above all others, yields the sweetest smell in the 
air, is the violet, especially the white double violet, which 
comes twice a year, about the middle of April, and about 
Bartholomew-tide. Next to that is the musk-rose ; then the 
strawberry-leaves dying, with a most excellent cordial smell ; 
then the flower of the vines, it is a little dust like the dust 
of a bent, k which grows upon the cluster in the first coming 

A Currants. e An apple that is gathered very early. 

1 A kind of quince, so called from "cotoneum," or "cydonium," the 
Latin name of the quince. s The fruit of the cornel-tree. 

h The warden was a large pear, so called from its keeping well. 
Warden-pie was formerly much esteemed in this country. 

1 Perpetual spring. 

J Flowers that do not send forth their smell at any distance. 

k A species of grass of the genus argostis. 



GARLiK.n- 127 

forth ; then sweet-briar, then wallflowers, which are ven 
delightful to be set under a parlour or lower chamber 
window; then pinks and gilliflowers, specially the matted 
pink and clove gillitiower ; then the flowers of the lime- 
tree ; then the honeysuckles, so they be somewhat afar off. 
Of bean-flcwers- 1 I speak not, because they are field-flowers ; 
but those which perfume the air most delightfully, not passed 
l>v as the rest, but being trodden upon and crushed, are 
three; that is, bumet, wild thyme, and water-mints; there- 
fore you are to set whole alleys of them, to have the pleasure 
when you walk or tread. 

For gardens (speaking of those wliich are indeed prince- 
Like, as we have done of buildings), the contents ought not 
well to be under thirty acres of ground, and to be divided 
into three parts ; a green in the entrance, a heath, or desert, 
in the going forth, and the main garden in the midst, besides 
alleys on both sides ; and I like well, that four acres of 
ground be assigned to the green, six to the heath, four and 
four to either side, and twelve to the main garden. The 
green hath two pleasures : the one, because nothing is more 
pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn ; the 
other, because it will give you a fair alley in the midst, by 
which you may go in front upon a stately hedge, which is to 
enclose the garden : but because the alley will be long, and 
in great heat of the year, or day, you ought not to buy the 
shade in the gai'den by going in the sun through the green ; 
therefore you are, of either side the green, to plant a i 
alley, upon carpenter's work, about twelve foot in height, by 
winch you may go in shade into the garden. As for the 
making of knots, or figures, with divers coloured earth.-, tli.u 
they may he under the window s of the house on that side 
which the garden stands, they be but toys ; you may see as 
good sights many times in tarts. The garden is best to be 
square, encompassed on all t he four aides with a stately arched 
hedge ; the arches to be upon pillars of carpenter's work, of 
some 'en foot high, and six foot broad, and the spaces between 
of the same dimeiisii m with the breadth of the arch. Over 
the arches let there lie an entire hedge of some four foot 
high, framed adso open carpenter's work ; and upon the uppei 

1 The blossoms of tbe bean. 



128 ESSAYS. 

hedge, over every arch, a little turret, with a belly enough to 
receive a cage of birds : and over every space between the 
arches some other little figure, with broad plates of round 
coloured glass gilt, for the sun to play upon : but this hedge 
I intend to be raised upon a bank, not steep, but gently 
slope, of some six foot, set all with flowers. Also I under- 
stand, that this square of the garden should not be the whole 
breadth of the ground, but to leave on either side ground 
enough for diversity of side alleys, unto which the two covert 
alleys of the green may deliver you ; m but there must be no 
alleys with hedges at either end of this great enclosure ; not 
at the hither end, for letting" your prospect upon this 
fair hedge from the green ; nor at the further end, for 
letting your prospect from the hedge through the arches 
upon the heath. 

For the ordering of the ground within the great hedge, I 
leave it to variety of device ; advising, nevertheless, that 
whatsoever form you cast it into first, it be not too bushy, or 
full of work ; wherein I, for my part, do not like images cut 
out in juniper or other garden stuff; they be for children. 
Little low hedges, round like welts, with some pretty pyra- 
mids, I like well ; and in. some places fair columns, upon 
frames of carpenter's work. I would also have the alleys 
spacious and fair. You may have closer alleys upon the side 
grounds, but none in the main garden. I wish also, in the 
very middle, a fair mount, with three ascents and alleys, 
enough for four to walk abi*east ; which I would have to be 
perfect circles, without any bulwarks or embossments ; and 
the whole mount to be thirty foot high, and some fine ban- 
queting-house with some chimneys neatly cast, and without 
too much glass. 

For fountains, they are a great beauty and refreshment ; 
but pools mar all, and make the garden unwholesome, and 
full of flies and frogs. Fountains I intend to be of two 
natures ; the one that sprinkleth or spouteth water : the 
other a fair receipt of water, of some tlrirty or forty foot 
square, but without fish, or slime, or mud. For the first, 
the ornaments of images, gilt or of marble, which are in use, 
do well : but the main matter is so to convey the water, as it 

m Bring or lead you. n Impeding. 



GARDENS. 129 

never stay, either in the bowls or in the cistern : that the 
water be never by rest discoloured, green, or red, or the like, 
or gather any mossiness or putrefaction ; besides that, it is to 
be cleansed every day by the hand : also some steps up t<> it, 
and some fine pavement about it doth well As for the 
other kind of fountain, which we may call a bathing-pool, it 
may admit much curiosity and beauty, wherewith we will 
not trouble ourselves : as, that the bottom be finely paved, 
and with images ; the sides likewise : and withal embellished 
with coloured glass, and such things of lustre ; encom; 
also with fine rails of low statues : but the main point is the 
same which we mentioned in the former kind of fountain ; 
which is, that the water be in perpetual motion, fed by a 
water higher than the pool, and delivered into it by fair 
spouts, and then discharged away under ground, by some 
equality of bores, that it stay little ; and for fine devio . of 
arching water" without spilling, and making it rise in several 
forms (of feathers, drinking-glassea, canopies, and the like), 
they be pretty things to look on, but nothing to health and 
sweetness. 

For the heath, which was the third part of our plot, 
I wish it to be framed as much as may be to a natural 
Vi i l'lness. Trees I would have none in it, but some thickets 
made only of sweet-briar and honeysuckle, and some wild 
vine amongst ; and the ground set with violets, strawberries, 
and primroses ; for these are sweet, and prosper in the shade ; 
and these to be in the heath here and there, not in any 
order. I like also little heaps, in the nature of mole-hills 
(such a.s are in wild heaths), to be set, some with wild thyme, 
some with pinks, some with germander, that gives a good 
flower to the eye ; some with periwinkle, some with violets, 
some with strawberries, some with cowslips, some with 
daisies, some with red roses, Borne with lilium convalliun^F 

some with sweet-williams red, some with bear's-foot* and Tin- 
like low flowers, being withal sweet and sightly ; pari of 
which heaps to be with standards of little bushes pricked 
upon their top, and part without : the standards to be roses, 
juniper, holly, barberries (but here and there, because of the 

° Causing the water to fall in a perfect arch, without any spray escap- 
ing from the jet. v Li! ralley. 

K 



130 w.s. 

smell of their blossom), red currants, gooseberries, rosemary, 
bays, sweet-briar, and such like : but these standards to be 
kept with cutting, that they grow not out of course. 

For the side grounds, you are to fill them with variety of 
alleys, private, to give a full shade ; some of them, where- 
soever the sim be. You are to frame some of them likewise 
for shelter, that when the wind blows sharp, you may walk 
as in a gallery : and those alleys must be likewise hedged at 
both ends, to keep out the wind ; and these closer alleys 
must be ever finely gravelled, and no grass, because of going 
wet. In many of these alleys, likewise, you are to set fruit- 
trees of all sorts, as well upon the walls as in ranges ;i and 
this should be generally observed, that the borders wherein 
you plant your fruit-trees be fair, and large, and low, and not 
steep ; and set with fine flowers, but thin and sparingly, lest 
they deceive 1 * the trees. At the end of both the side grounds 
•I would have a mount of some pretty height, leaving the 
wall of the enclosure breast-high, to look abroad into the 
fields. 

For the main garden I do not deny but there should be 
some fair alleys ranged on both sides, with fruit-trees, and 
some pretty tufts of fruit-trees and arbours with seats, set 
in some decent order ; but these to be by no means set too 
thick, but to leave the main garden so as it be not close, but 
the air open and free. For as for shade, I would have you 
rest upon the alleys of the side grounds, there to walk, if you 
be disposed, in the heat of the year or day ; but to make 
account s that the main garden is for the more temperate 
parts of the year, and, in the heat of summer for the morn- 
ing and the evening or overcast day-. 

For aviaries, I like them not, except they be of that 
largeness as they may be turfed, and have living plants and 
bushes set in them ; that the birds may have more scope and 
natural nestling, and that no foulness appear in the floor of 
the aviary. So I have made a platform of a princely garden, 
partly by precept, partly by drawing ; not a model, but some 
general lines of it ; and in this I have spared for no cost : 
but it is nothing for great princes, that for the most part, 

i In rows. ' Insidiously subtract nourishment from. 

s To consider or expect. 



NEGOTIATING. 131 

taking advice with workmen, with no less cost set their 
things together, and sometimes add statues and such things, 
for state and magnificence, but nothing to the true pleasure 
of a garden. 



XLVIT.— OF NEGOTIATING. 

It is generally hetter to deal by speech than by letter ; 
and by the mediation of a third than by a man's self. 
Letters are good, when a man would draw an answer by 
letter back again; or when it may .serve for a man's justifi- 
cation afterwards to produce bis own letter ; orwhere it may 
be danger to be interrupted, or beard by pieces. To deal in 
person is good, when a man's face breedeth regard, as com- 
monly with inferiors ; or in tender cases where a man's eye 
upon the countenance of him with whom he speaketh, may 
give him a direction how far to go : and generally where a 
man will reserve to himself liberty, either to disavow or to 
expound. In choice of instruments, it is better to choose 
men of a plainer sort, that are like to do that, that is com- 
mitted to them, and to report back again faithfully the 
success, than those that are cunning to contrive out of other 
men's business somewhat to grace themselves, and will help 
the matter in report, for satisfaction sake. Use also 
persons as affect a the business ■wherein they are employed, 
far that quickened) much ; and such as are fit for the matter. 
as bold men for expostulation, fair-spoken men for persuasion, 
crafty men for inquiry and observation, froward and absurd 
men for business that doth not well bear out itself. Use also 
such as have been lucky and prevailed before in things 
wherein you have employed them ; for that breeds confidence, 
and they will strive to maintain their prescription. It is 
better to sound a person with whom one deals afar ofij than 
to fall upon the point at first, except you mean to surprise 
him by some short question. It is better dealing "with men 
in appetite. 1 ' than with those thn are where they would be. 

■ Love, are pleased with. 

'' It is more advantageous l" deal with men whose desires are not yet 
satisfied than with those \\h<> have gained all they Is::. I r, and 

are likely to be proof against inducements. 

K 2 



132 ESSAYS. 

If a man deal with another upon conditions, the start of first 
performance is all : which a man cannot reasonably demand, 
except either the nature of the thing be such, which must 
go before : or else a man can persuade the other party, that 
he shall still need him in some other thing ; or else that he 
be counted the honester man. All practice is to discover, or 
to work. Men discover themselves in trust, in passion, at 
unawares ; and of necessity, when they would have some- 
what done, and cannot find an apt pretext. If you would 
work any man, you must either know his nature and fashions, 
and so lead him ; or his ends, and so persuade him ; or his 
weakness and disadvantages, and so awe him ; or those that 
have interest in him, and so govern him. In dealing with 
cunning persons, we must ever consider their ends, to in- 
terpret their speeches ; and it is good to say little to them, 
and that which they least look for. In all negotiations of 
difficulty, a man may not look to sow and reap at once ; but 
must prepare business, and so ripen it by degrees. 



XLVIIL— OF FOLLOWERS AND FRIENDS. 

Costly followers are not to be liked ; lest while a man 
maketh his train longer, he make his wings shorter. I 
reckon to be costly, not them alone which charge the purse, 
but which are wearisome and importune in suits. Ordinary 
followers ought to challenge no higher conditions than coun- 
tenance, recommendation, and protection from wrongs. Fac- 
tious followers are worse to be liked, which follow not upon 
affection to him with whom they range themselves, but upon 
discontentment conceived against some other ; whereupon 
commonly ensueth that ill intelligence, that we many times 
see between great personages. Likewise glorious a followers, 
who make themselves as trumpets of the commendation of 
those they follow, are full of inconvenience, for they taint 
business through want of secrecy ; and they export honour 
from a man, and make him a return in envy. There is a 
kind of followers, likewise, which are dangerous, being indeed 

•"• In the sense of the Latin "gloriosus," "boastful," "bragging." 



FOLLOWERS AND FRIENDS. 133 

espials ; which inquire the secrets of the house, and bear 
tales of them to others ; yet such men, many times, are in 
great favour ; for they are officious, and commonly exchange 
tales. The following by certain estates 11 of men, answerable 
to that which a great person himself professeth (as of soldiers 
to him that hath been employed in the wars, and the like), 
hath ever been a thing civil and well taken even in 
monarchies, so it be without too much pomp or popularity : 
but the most honourable kind of following, is to be followed 
as one that apprehendeth to advance virtue and desert in all 
sorts of persons j and yet, when' there is no eminent odds in 
sufficiency, it is better to take with the more passable, than 
with the more able ; and besides, to speak truth in base 
times, active men are of more use than virtuous. It is true, 
that in government, it is good to use men of one rank equally : 
for to countenance some extraordinarily, is to make them 
insolent, and the rest discontent ; because they may claim a 
due : but contrariwise in favour, to use men with mnch 
difference and election is good ; for it maketh the persons 
preferred more thankful, and the rest more officious : because 
all is of favour. It is good discretion not to make too much 
of any man at the first ; because one cannot hold out that 
proportion. To be governed (as we call it) by one, is not 
safe ; for it shows softness, and gives a freedom to scan- 
dal and disreputation ; for those that would not censure, 
or speak ill of a man immediately, will talk more boldly of 
those that are so great with them, and thereby wound their 
honour ; yet to be distracted with many, is worse ; for it 
makes men to be of the last impression, and full of change. 
To take advice of some few friends La ever honourable ; for 
lookers-on many times see more than gamesters ; and the 
vale besl discovereth the hill. There is little friendship in 
the world, and least of all between equals, which was wont d 

b Professions or classes. 

r Weakneafl "r indecision of character. 

■' I!- |.i-'il>aMy alludes to the ancient stories of the friendship of 
Orestes and Pyhvles, Theseus and Pirithoiis, Damon and Pythias, aud 
others, and the maxims of the ancient Philosophers, Aristotle consi- 
der - that equality in circumstances and station is one requisite of 
friendship. Seneca and Qointns Cnrtius express the same opinion, it- 
seems hardly prolia! ill- that Lord Baoon r< f 1 • oted deeply when he penned 
this passage, for between equals, jealousy, the most insidious of all the 



134 ESSAYS. 

to be magnified. That that is, is between superior and 
inferior, whose fortunes may comprehend the one the other. 



XLIX.— OF SUITORS. 

Many ill matters and projects are undertaken; and private 
suits do putrefy the public good. Many good matters are 
undertaken with bad minds ; I mean not only corrupt minds, 
but crafty minds ; that intend not performance. Some 
embrace suits, which never mean to deal effectually in them ; 
but if they see there may be life in the matter, by some other 
mean they will be content to win a thank, or take a second 
reward, or at least, to make use in the mean time of the 
suitors hopes. Some take hold of suits only for an occasion 
to cross some other, or to make an information, whereof they 
could not otherwise have apt pretext, without care what be- 
come of the suit when that turn is served; or, generally, to 
make other men's business a kind of entertainment to bring 
in their own : nay, some undertake suits with a full purpose 
to let them fall ; to the end to gratify the adverse party, or 
competitor. Surely there is in some sort a right in every 
suit ; either a right of equity, if it be a suit of controversy, 
or a right of desert, if it be a suit of petition. If affection 
lead a man to favour the wrong side in justice, let him rather 
use his countenance to compound the matter than to carry it. 
If affection lead a man to favour the less worthy in desert, 
let him do it without depraving 3 or disabling the better 
deserver. In suits which a man doth not well understand, it 
is good to refer them to some friend of trust and judgment, 

enemies of friendship, Las the least chance of originating. Dr. John- 
son says : — "Friendship is seldom lasting but between equals, or where 
the superiority on one side is reduced by some equivalent advantage on 
the other. Benefits which cannot be repaid, and obligations which 
cannot be discharged, are not commonly found to increase affection ; 
they excite gratitude indeed, and heighten veneration, but commonly 
take away that easy freedom and familiarity of intercourse without 
which, though there may be fidelity, and zeal, and admiration, there 
cannot be friendship." — TJie Rambler, No. 64. 

c In such a case, gratitude and admiration exist on the one hand, 
esteem and confidence on the other. 

a Lowering, or humiliating. 



Sl'ITORS. 1 35 

that may report whether he may deaJ in them with honour : 
but let him choose well his referendaries,* for else he may be 
led l>v the aose. Suitors arc bo distasted c with delays and 
abuses, that plain dealing in denying ko deal in suits at first, 
and reporting the success barely," ami in challenging no more 
thanks than one hath deserved, is grown not only honourable 
hut also gracious. In suits of favour, the first coming ought 
to take little place ;' w far forth' consideration may be had 
of his trust, that if intelligence of the matter could aol 
otherwise have been had bu1 by him, advantage be not taken 
of the note,? but the party left to his other means; and in 
some sort recompensed for his discovery. To be ignorant of 
the value of a suit, is simplicity ; as well as to be ignorant 
of the light thereof, is want of conscience. Secrecy in suits 
is a great mean of obtaining; for voicing them to be in for- 
wardness may discourage some kind of suitors ; but doth 
quicken and awake others : but timing of the suit is the 
principal ; timing I say not only in respect of the person 
that should grant it, but in respect of those which are like 
to cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his mean, rather 
choose the fittest mean, than the greatest mean ; and rather 
them that deal in certain things, than those that are general. 
The reparation of a denial is sometimes ecmal to the first 
-rant, it 'a man show himself neither dejected nor discontented. 
■ [niquum petas, ut ajquum feras,"' 1 is a good rule, where a 
man hath strength of favour : but otherwise a man were 
Letter rise in his suit ; for he that would have ventured at 
first to have lost the suitor, will not, in the conclusion, lose 
both the suitor and his own Conner favour. Nothing is 
thought SO easy a request to a great person, as his letter; 
and yet, it' if be not in a good cause, i\ is bo much out of his 
reputation. There are no worse instruments than these 
general contrivers of suits ; for thej are but a kind of poison 
ami infection to public proceedin . 

I.'' i c Disgusted. 

■' Giving ii" (also colour to the degree of success which has attended 
the prosecution of tin- suit. ■ To have little e£B ot. 

I To this extent. s Of the information. 

II "Ask what is exorbitant, that you ni.iv obtain what is moderate." 



130 ESSAYS. 



L.— OF STUDIES.* 

Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability. 
Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring ; 
for ornament, is in discourse ; and for ability, is in the judg- 
ment and disposition of business ; for expert men can exe- 
cute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one : but the 
general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs 
come best from those that are learned. To spend too much 
time in studies, is sloth ; to use them too much for ornament, 
is affectation ; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the 
humour of a scholar : they perfect nature, and are perfected 
by experience : for natural abilities are like natural plants, 
that need pruning by study ; and studies themselves do give 
forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded 
in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men 
admire them, and wise men use them ; for they teach not 
their own use ; but that is a wisdom without them and 
above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict 
and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find 
talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books 
are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be 
chewed and digested ; that is, some books are to be read 
only in parts; others to be read but not curiously ; h and 
some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and atten- 
tion. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts 
made of them by others ; but that would be only in the 
less important arguments and the meaner sort of books ; 
else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy ' 
things. Reading maketh a full man ; conference a ready 
man ; and writing an exact man ; and, therefore, if a man 
write little, he had need have a great memory ; if he confer 
little, he had need have a present wit ; and if he read little, 
he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he 
doth not. Histories make men wise ; poets, witty ; the 
mathematics, subtile ; natural philosophy, deep ; moral, grave ; 
logic and rhetoric, able to contend : " Abeunt studia in 

a This formed the first Essay in the earliest edition of the work. 
b Attentively. c Vapid ; without taste or spirit. 



FACTION'. 



137 



mores ;" d nay, there is no stand or impediment in the wit, 
but maybe wrought out by lit studies : like as diseases of 
the body may have appropriate exercises ; bowling is good 

for the stone and reins, b! ting forthe 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 his wit be called 
away never so little, he must begin again ; if his wit be not 
apt to distinguish or find difference, let him study the 
schoolmen; fur they arc " Cymini sectores." c If he be not 
apt to beat over matters, and to call up one thing to prove 
and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers' cases : so 
every defect of the mind may have a special receipt. 



LI.— OF FACTION. 

Many have an opinion not wise, that for a prince to 
govern his estate, or for a great person to govern his pro- 
ei Tilings, 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 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 subdi- 
videth ; as the faction between Lucullus and the rest of the 
nobles of the senate (which they called " optimates") held 

•' " Studies become habits." 

• "Splitters of cummin-seeds;" or, as we now say, "splitters of 
straws," or "hairs." Butler says of Hudibras — 
" Mr cmilil distinguish and divide 
A hair 'twixt south and south-west side." 



138 ESSAYS. 

out a while against the faction of Pompey and Caesar; hut 
when the senate's authority was pulled down, Caesar and 
Pompey soon after brake. The faction or party of Antunius 
and Octavianus Caesar, 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 sub- 
divideth, prove principals ; but many times also they prove 
ciphers and cashiered ; for many a man's strength is in 
opposition ; and when that faileth, he groweth out of use. 
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 the 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, a 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 comune :" b 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 monar- 
chies ; for they raise an obligation paramount to obligation 
of sovereignty, and make the king " tanquam unus ex no- 
bis;" 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 business. The motions of factions under kings, 
ought to be like the motions (as the astronomers speak) of 
the inferior orbs, which may have their proper motions, but 
yet still are quietly carried by the ' higher motion of u pri- 
muni mobile." d 

a Causes one side to pi-eponderate. b "The common father." 

c "As one of us." Henry III. of France, favouring the League 
formed by the Duke of Guise and Cardinal De Lorraine against the 
Protestants, soon found that through the adoption of that policy he had 
forfeited the respect of his subjects. d See a Note to Essay 15. 



CEREMONIES AND RESPECTS. 139 



LIL— OF CEREMONIES AND RESPECTS. 

He that is only real, had Deed have exceeding gi'eat 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 gettingfl and gains: for the 
proverb i^ true, ''That Eghl gains make heavy ptoses;" for 
light gains come thick, whereas great come but now and 
then : so it is true, that small matter- win great commenda- 
tion, because they are continually 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' 1 said) like perpetual letters com- 
mendatory, 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 
grace; which is to be natural and unaffected. Some men's 
behaviour is like a verse, wherein every syllable is measured ; 
how can a man comprehend great matters, that breaketh 
his mind too much to small observations ? Not to use cere- 
monies at all, is to teach others not to use them again ; and 
so diminisheth respect to himself; especially they be 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 effec- 
tual and imprinting passages amongst compliments, which is 
of singular use, if a man can hit upon it. Among-t a man's 
pens, a man shall be sure of familiarity ; and therefore it is 
good a little to keep state; amongst a man's interim's, one 
shall be sure of reverence ; and therefore it is good a little 
to lie familial-, lie that is too much in anything, BO that he 
giveth another occasion of satiety, maketh himself cheap. 
To apply one's self to others, is good ; so it be with demo** 
stration, that a man doth it upon regard, and riot upon 
facility. It is a good precept, generally in seconding another, 

* Of Castile. She WU the wife of Ferdinand of ArragOB, and was 
the patroness of Columbus. 



140 ESSAYS. 

yet to add somewhat of one's own : as if you will grant his 
opinion, let it be with some distinction ; if you will 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 enviers will be sure to give 
them that attribute, to the disadvantage of their greater vir- 
tues. 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." b A 
wise man will 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. 



LIIL— OF PEAISE. 

Pbaise is the reflection of virtue; but it is 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 under- 
stand not many excellent virtues : the lowest virtues draw 
praise from them, the middle virtues work in them asto- 
nishment or admiration ; but of the highest virtues they 
have no sense or perceiving at all ; but shows and " species 
virtutibus similes," a serve best with them. Certainly, fame 
is like a river, that beareth up tilings light and swollen, and 
drowns things weighty and solid ; but if persons of quality 
and judgment concur, then it is (as the Scripture saith), 
1 Nomen bonum instar unguenti fragrantis ;" b it filleth all 
round about, and will not easily away ; for the odours of 
ointments are more durable than those of flowers. There be 

b The words in our version are, " He that observeth the wind shall 
not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." — Eccle- 
siastes xi. 4. 

c Exact in the extreme. Point-de-vice was originally the name of a 
kind of lace of very fine pattern. 

B "Appearances resembling virtues." 

b " A good name is like sweet-smelling ointment." The words in our 
version are, "A good name is better than precious ointment." — Eccle- 
siastes vii. 1. 



PRAISE. l4l 

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, lie 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, " spreta 
conscientia." c Some praises come of good wishes and re- 
spects, which is a form due in civility to kings and great 
persons, " laudando prsecipere ;" d 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 ini- 
micorum laudantium;" 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, mode- 
rate 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. "8 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 11 or profession, he may do it with 
good grace, and with a kind of magnanimity. The cardinals 
of Rome, which are thcologues, 1 and friars, and schoolmen, 
have a phrase of notable Contempt and BCOm towards civil 
business ; for they call all temporal business of wars, embas- 
sages, judicature, ami other employments, Bbirrerie, which is 

c " Disregarding his own conscience." 

d "To instruct under the liinn of praise." 

c "The worst kind of enemies are those who flatter." 

f A pimple filled with " pus." <>r " purulent matter." The word is 

still used iii the east of England. 

k The words in our version are, " He that blesseth his friend with a 

loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to 

him." — Proverbs xxvii. 1^. 

h In other words, to show what we call au esprit (h corps. 
' Theologians. 



142 ESSAYS. 

under-sheriffries, as if they were but matters for under-sheriffs 
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;" k but speaking of his calling, he saith, " Magnificabo 
apostolatum meum." 1 



LIV.— OF VAIN GLOEY. 

It was prettily devised of iEsop, 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 a 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, b 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 iEtolians, 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 essen- 
tial point ; for as iron sharpens iron, so by glory, one courage 
sharpeneth another. In cases of great enterprise upon 

k 2 Cor. xi. 23. 

1 " I will magnify my apostleship." He alludes to the words in 
Romans xi. 13 — " Inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I mag- 
nify mine office." a Vaunting, or boasting. 

b Noise. We have a corresponding proverb — " great cry and little 
wool." c A high or good opinion. 



VAIN GLORY. 143 

charge' 1 ami adventure, a composition of glorious natures 
doth put life into business ; and those that are of solid and 
Bober natures, have more of the ballast than of the sail In 
fame of learning, the night will be slow without some fe 
thers of ostentation: "Qui de contemnendi gloria lihros 
scribuut, 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, Pli- 
nius 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 pro- 
pi-rty that Tacitus doth attribute to Miicianus, "Omnium, 
qu» dixerat feceratque, arte quadam ostentator :"B for thai 
proceeds not of vanity, but of natural magnanimity and dis- 
cretion; and, in some persons, is not only comely, but gra- 
cious: for exeusations, 1 cessions, 1 ' modesty itself, well governed, 
arc 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, saitb 
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 be be 
ii"t to be commended, you much less." Glorinu.- 1 men an 
the scorn of wise men, the admiral inn of fools, the idols of 
parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts. 

I'>y express command. 

,: "Those who write book-; or ,dory set their name-; in the 

title-page." He quotes from Cicero's "TasculaiUBDisputatianee," b. i. 
c. 1 .'>, whose words are, " Quid nostri philosophi 1 Nonne in his lib] 
i|>sH. quos Boribnnt do coatemnemti gloriA, sua aomina inscribunt." 
— "What do our philosophers do ? Do they not, in those very books 
b they write on despising glory, Bet their names in the title-page?" 

' Plinj the Jonnger, the nephew of the elder Pliny, the naturalist 

k "One who set off everything he said and did with a certain skill." 
MuciamH was an intriguing genera] in the times of Otho and Vitelline. 

h Namely, the property of which he was sneaking, and not that men- 
tioned by Ta 

' Apologies. k Concessions. ' Boastful. 



144 ESSAYS. 



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 
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 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 dia- 
monds cut with facets; and therefore let a man contend to 
excel any competitors of his in honour, in outshooting them, 
if he can, in their own bow. Discreet followers and servants 
help much to reputation : " Omnis fama a domesticis ema- 
nat." a Envy, which is the canker of honour, is best extin- 
guished 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 impe- 
riorum," b founders of states and commonwealths; such as 
were Romulus, Cyrus, Caesar, Ottoman, Ismael: in the second 
place are " legislatores," lawgivers ; which are also called 
second founders, or "perpetui principes," d because they govern 
by then* ordinances after they are gone ; such were Lycurgus, 

a "All fame emanates from servants." 

b " Founders of empires." 

c He alludes to Ottoman, or Othman I., the founder of the dynasty 
now reigning at Constantinople. From him the Turkish empire received 
the appellation of "Othoman," or ''Ottoman" Porte. 

d " Perpetual rulers." 



HONOUR AND REPUTATION. 145 

Solon, Justinian, Edgar, 6 Alphonsus of Castile the Wise, that 
made the " Siete Pallidas:"* in the third place are " libera- 
tores," or " salvatores," s such as compound the long miseries 
of civil wars, or deliver their countries from servitude of 
strangers or tyrants ; as Augustus Caesar, Vespasianus, Aure- 
lianus, Theodoricus, King Henry the Seventh of England, 
King Henry the Fourth of France: in the fourth place are 
'• propagatores," or " propugnatores imperii," h such as in 
honourable wars enlarge their territories, or make noble de- 
fence against invaders; and, in the la.st place, are " patres 
patriae,"' 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 curaruin," k those upon whom princes 
do discharge the greatest weight of their affairs ; their right 
hands, as we call them ; the next are " duces belli," 3 great 
leaders; such as are princes 1 lieutenants, and do them nota- 
ble services in the wars : the third are " gratiosi,'' favourites; 
such as exceed not tins scantling," 1 to be solace to the sove- 
reign, and harmless to the people : and the fourth, " negotiis 
pares ;"" such as have great places under princes, and exe- 
cute their places with sufficiency. There is an honour, like- 
wise, 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 ; a.s was 
M. Regulus, and the two Decii. 

e Surnamed the Peaceful, who ascended the throne of England 
A.D. 959. He was eminent as a legislator and a rigid assertor of 
justice. Hume considers his reign "one of the most fortunate that we 
meet with in the ancient English history." 

' These were a general collection of the Spanish laws, made by 
A.lphonBO X. of Castile, arranged under their proper titles. The work 
was commenced by l)on I'Vrdinaiid, his father, to put an end to the 
COntradiotory decisions in the Castilian courts of justice. It was 

•divided into seven parts, whence its name " Siete Partidas." It did not, 
however, Income the law ot* Castile till nearly eighty years after. 

k " Deliverers," or " preset . 

11 '• Extenders," or " defenders of the empire." 

1 " Fathers of their country.'' 

k " Participators in i i ' " Leaders in war." 

m Proportion, dimensions. " " Equal to their duties." 



14G ESSAYS. 



LVL— OF JUDICATURE. 

Judges ought to remember that their office is " jus di- 
cere," a and not "jus dare;" b 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 c ) is he 
that removeth the landmark." The mislayer of a mere stone 
is to blame ; but it is the unjust judge that is the capital 
remover of landmarks, when he defineth amiss of lands and 
property. One foid sentence doth more hurt than many 
foul examples ; for these do but corrupt the stream, the 
other corrupteth the fountain : so saith Solomon, " Fons 
turbatus et vena corrupta est Justus cadens in causa sua 
coram adversario." d 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 ;" e 
and surely there be, also, that turn it into vinegar ; for in- 
justice 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 ovight 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 

a " To expound the law." b "To make the law." 

c The Mosaic law. He alludes to Deuteronomy xxvii. 17 — " Cursed 
be he that removeth his neighbour's landmark." 

d " A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled 
fountain and a corrupt spring." — Proverbs xxv. 26. 

e Amos v. 7— "Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off 
righteousness in the earth." 



JUDICATURE. 117 

hills : so when there appeareth on either aide B high hand, 
violent prosecution, cunning advantages taken, combination, 
power, great counsel, then is the virtue of a judge sct.:n t>> 
make inequality equal; that he may plant his judgment as 
upon an even ground. " Qui fortiter emungit, elicit sangiri- 
nem ;" f and where the wine-press is haul wrought, it yiekfe 
a harsh wine, that tastes of the grape-stone. Judges must 
beware of hard constructions, and steamed inferences ; far 
there is no worse torture than the torture of laws : espe- 
cially 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, " Pluet super eos laqueos;"e for 
penal laws pressed, 11 are a shower of snares upon the people : 
therefore let penal laws, if they have been sleepers of long, 
or if they be grown unfit for the present time, be by wise 
judges confined in the execution: " Judicis officium est, ut 
res, ita tempora rerum," (fee. 1 In causes of life and death, 
judges ought (as far as the law pcrmitteth) in justice to 
remember mercy, and to cast a severe eye upon the example, 
but a lnrivit'iil eye upon the person. 

Secondly, fur the advocates and counsel that plead. Pa- 
tience J and gravity of hearing is an essential part of justice : 
and an overspeaking judge is no well-tuned cymbal. It is 
no grace to a judge first to find that which he might haw 
befird in due time from the bar; or to show quickness of 
conceit in cutting off evidence or counsel too short, or to 
prevent information by questions, though pertinent. The 
parts of a judge in hearing are four: to direct the evidence : 
to moderate length, repetition, or impertinency of speech ; 

' "He who wrings the nose Btrongry l>rin<_;-> blood." Proverbs xxx. 
33 — "Surely tbe churning of milk bringetb forth butter, and the 
wringing of tin- nose bringetb forth blood ; so the forcing of wrath 
bringetb forth strife." 

" II.' will ruin snares ii|»>n them." I'-alm \i. II "' ( T ]ion tli 
u irk, ,| In- shall rain anaxe . tin , and brimstone, and an horrible ben 

11 Strained. 

1 "It is the duty of a judge b> OOnsider not only the facts but the 
circumstances of the OHM." 

I Pliny the younger, Bp. I!. 6, I''.-, has the alawrvaflmn— " l'.-ni- in 
tiam . . . qua pan magna jnatitia eat ;" --" Patience, which is 
part of justice." 

l2 



148 ESSAYS. 

to recapitulate, select, and collate the material points of that 
which hath been said ; and to give the ride, or sentence. 
Whatsoever is above these is too much, and proceedeth 
either of glory, and willingness to speak, or of impatience to 
hear, or of shortness of memory, or of want of a staid and 
equal attention. It is a strange thing to see that the bold- 
ness of advocates should prevail with judges ; whereas they 
should imitate God, in whose seat they sit, who represseth 
the presumptuous, and giveth grace to the modest : but it is 
more strange, that judges should have noted favourites, 
which cannot but cause multiplication of fees, and suspicion 
of by-ways. There is due from the judge to the advocate 
some commendation and gracing, where causes are well 
handled and fair pleaded, esjiecially towards the side which 
obtaineth not ; k for that upholds in the client the reputa- 
tion of his counsel, and beats down in him the conceit 1 of 
his cause. There is likewise due to the public a civil repre- 
hension of advocates, where there appeareth cunning counsel, 
gross neglect, slight information, indiscreet pressing, or an 
over-bold defence ; and let not the counsel at the bar chop m 
with the judge, nor wind himself into the handling of the 
cause anew after the judge hath declared his sentence; but, 
on the other side, let not the judge meet the cause half-way, 
nor give occasion to the party to say, his counsel or proofs 
were not heard. 

Thirdly, for that that concerns clerks and ministers. The 
place of justice is a hallowed place ; and therefore not only 
the bench but the foot-pace and precincts, and purprise 
thereof ought to be preserved without scandal and corrup- 
tion ; for, certainly, " Grapes (as the Scripture saith) will 
not be gathered of thorns or thistles ;" n neither can justice 
yield her fruit with sweetness amongst the briars and bram- 
bles of catching and polling clerks and ministers. The 
attendance of courts is subject to four bad instruments : 
first, certain persons that are sowers of suits, which make 
the court swell, and the country pine : the second sort is of 

k Is not successful. 

1 Makes him to feel less confident of the goodness of his cause. 
m Altercate, or bandy words with the judge. 

n St. Matthew vii. 16 — " Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of 
thistles ?' ° Plundering. 



JUDICATURE. 14£ 

those that engage courts in quarrels of jurisdiction, and are 

not truly "amici curiae," 1 ' but " parasiti curia?," i in puffing a 
court u}) beyond her bounds for their own scraps and advan- 
tage : the third sort is of those that may be accounted the left 
hands of courts : persons that are full of nimble and sinister 
tricks and shifts, whereby they pervert the plain and direct 
courses of courts, and bring just ire into oblique lines and 
labyrinths : and the fourth is the poller and exacter of fees : 
which justifies the common resemblance of the courts of 
justice to the bush, whereunto while the sheep flies for 
defence in weather, he is sure to lose part of his fleece. On 
the other side, an ancient clerk, skilful in precedents, wary 
in proceeding, and understanding in the business of the court, 
is an excellent finger of a court, and doth many times point 
the way to the judge himself. 

Fourthly, for that which may concern the sovereign and 
estate. Judges ought, above all, to remember the conclusion 
of the Roman Twelve Tables/ "Salus populi siiprema lex ;"■ 
and to know that laws, except they be in order to that end, 
are but things captious, and oracles not well inspired : there- 
fore it is a happy thing in a state, when kings and states do 
often consult with judges; and again, when judges do often 
consult with the king and state : the one, when there is 
matter of law intervenient in business of state ; the other, 
when there is some consideration of state intervenient in 
matter of law ; for many times the things deduced to judg- 
ment may be "meum" 1 and "tuum," 11 when the reason and 
consequence thereof may trench to point of estate : I call 
matter of estate, not only the parts of sovereignty, but 
whatsoever introduceth any great alteration, or dangerous 
precedent; or concerneth manifestly any great portion of 
people : and let no man weakly conceive that just laws and 
true policy have any antipathy ; for they are like the spirits 

and sinews, that one moves with the other. Let judges also 

remember, that Solomon's throne was supported by lions 1 on 

f " Friends <if the court. 
i " Parasites," or " Batterers of the court." 
' Which were compiled by the Decemvirs. 
* "The safety of the people is tin- supreme law." 
' "Mine." ■ '• Yours." 

x He alludes to 1 Kings x. 10, 30— "The ihrone had six steps, and 
the t"p of the throne was round behind : and there were stays on either 



150 ESSAYS. 

both skies : let them be lions, but yet lions under the 
throne : being circumspect that they do not check or oppose 
any points of sovereignty. Let not judges also be so ignorant 
of their own right, as to think there is not left to them, as a 
principal part of their office, a wise use and application of 
laws ; for they may remember what the apostle saith of a 
greater law than theirs : " Nos scimus quia lex bona est, 
inodo quis ea. utatur legitime." ? 



LVII.— OF ANGER. 

To seek to extinguish anger utterly is but a bravery a of 
the Stoics. We have better oracles : " Be angry, but sin 
not : let not the sun go down upon your anger." b Anger 
must be limited and confined both in race and in time. We 
will first speak how the natural inclination and habit, " to be 
angry," may be attempered and calmed ; secondly, how the 
particular motions of anger may be repressed, or, at least, 
refrained from doing mischief ; thirdly, how to raise anger, 
or appease anger in another. 

For the first, there is no other way but to meditate and 
ruminate well upon the effects of anger, how it troubles man's 
life : and the best time to do this, is to look back upon anger 
when the fit is thoroughly over. Seneca saith well, '■ that 
anger is like ruin, which breaks itself upon that it falls." 
The Scripture exhorteth us " to possess our souls in 
patience ; " c whosoever is out of patience, is out of posses- 
sion of his soul. Men must not turn bees ; 

"animasque in vulnere ponunt." d 

Anger is certainly a kind of baseness ; as it appears well in 

side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. And 
twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the 
;ix steps." The same verses are repeated in 1 Chronicles ix. 18, 19. 

' 1 Tim. i. 8 — " We know that the law is good, if a man use it law- 
fully." » A boast. 

b Ephes. iv. 26. In our version it is thus rendered : "Be ye angry 
in not : let not the sun go down upon your wrath." 

1 '-In your patience possess ye your souls." — Luke xvi. 19. 

d "And leave their lives in the wound."' The quotation is from 
Virgil's Georgics, iv. 238. 



AXGER. 151 

the weakness of those subjects in whom it reigns : children, 
women, old folks, sick folks. Only men must beware that 
they carry their anger rather with scorn than with liar ; so 
that they may seem rather to be above the injury than below 
it : which is a thing easily done, if a man will give law to 
himself in it. 

For the second point, the causes and motives of anger are 
chiefly three : first, to be too sensible of hurt ; for no man 
is angry that feels not himself hurt ; and therefore tender 
and delicate persons must needs be oft angry, they have so 
many things to trouble them, which more robust natures 
have little sense of: the next is, the apprehension and con- 
struction of the injury offered, to be, in the circumstances 
thereof, full of contempt : for contempt is that which putteth 
an edge upon anger, as much, or more, than the hurt itself ; 
and, therefore, when men are ingenious in picking out cir- 
cumstances of contempt, they do kindle their anger much : 
lastly, opinion of the touch e of a man's reputation doth 
multiply and sharpen anger; wherein the remedy is, that a 
man should have, as Gonsalvo was wont to say, " Telam 
honoris crassiorem." f But in all retrainings of anger, it is 
the best remedy to win time, and to make a man's self 
believe that the opportunity of his revenge is not yet come ; 
but that he foresees a time for it, and so to still himself in 
the mean time, and reserve it. 

To contain anger from mischief, though it take hold of a 
man, there be two things whereof you must have special 
caution : the one, of extreme bitterness of words, especially 
if they be aculeate and proper;? for "communis maledicta" 11 
are nothing so much ; and again, that in anger a man reveal 
no secrets ; for that makes him not fit for society : the other, 
that you do not peremptorilv break off in any business in a 
fit of anger ; but howsoever you show bitterness, do not 
act anything thai is aai revocable. 

For raising and appeasing anger in annihcr.it is done chiefly 

by choosing of times, when nun are crowardest and worst 

id to incense them ; again, by gathering (as we touched 

ibility upon. 
\ thic ker covering for his honour. " 
Pointed and peculiarly appropriate to the party attacked. 
h " Ordinary abu 



152 ESSAYS. 

before) all that you can find out to aggravate the contempt : 
and the two remedies are by the contraries ; the former to 
take good times, when first to relate to a man an angry 
business ; for the first impression is much ; and the other is, 
to sever, as much as may be, the construction of the injury 
from the point of contempt ; imputing it to misunderstand- 
ing, fear, passion, or what you will. 



LVIIL— OF VICISSITUDE OF THINGS. 

Solomon saith, " There is no new thing upon the earth ;" a 
so that as Plato 1 ' had an imagination that all knowledge was 
but remembrance ; so Solomon giveth his sentence, " That 
all novelty is but oblivion ;" c whereby you may see, that the 
river of Lethe runneth as well above ground as below. 
There is an abstruse astrologer that saith, if it were not for 
two things that are constant (the one is, that the fixed stars 
ever stand at like distance one from another, and never come 
nearer together, nor go further asunder ; the other, that the 
diurnal motion perpetually keepeth time), no individual 
would last one moment : certain it is, that the matter is in a 
perpetual flux, and never at a stay. The great winding- 
sheets that bury all things in oblivion are two ; deluges and 
earthquakes. As for conflagrations and great droughts, they 
do not merely dispeople, but destroy. Phaeton's car went 
but a day ; and the three years' drought in the time of 
Elias/ 1 was but particular, and left people alive. As for the 

a Ecclesiastes i. 9, 10 — "The thing that hath been, it is that which 
shall be : and that which is done is that which shall be done : and there 
is no new thing under the sun. " Is there anything whereof it may be 
said, See, this is new ? It hath been already of old time, which was 
before us." b In his Phredo. 

c Ecclesiastes i. 11 — "There is no remembrance of former things: 
neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with 
those that shall come hereafter." 

d 1 Kings xvii. 1 — " And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the 
inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel 
liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years 
but according to my word." 1 Kings xviii. 1 — "And it came to pass 
after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third 
year, saying, Go, show thyself unto Ahab : and I will send rain upon 
the earth." e Confined to a limited space. 



VICISSITUDE OF THINGS. 153 

great burnings by lightnings, which are often in the We.-d. 
Indies/ they are but narrow ;S but in the other two de- 
structions, by deluge and earthquake, it is further to be 
noted, that the remnant of people which happen to be 
reserved, are commonly ignoranl and mountainous people, 
that can give no account of the time past ; so that the 
oblivion is all one as if none had been left. It' you consider 
well of the people of the West Indies, it is very probable 
that they are a newer, or a younger people than the peopl • 
of the old world ; and it is much more likely that the 
destruction that hath heretofore been there, was not by 
earthquakes (as the Egyptian priest told Solon, concerning 
the island of Atlantis, that it was swallowed by an earth- 
quake), but rather that it was desolated by a particular 
deluge ; for earthquakes are seldom in those parts : but on 
the other side, they have such pouring rivers, as the rivers 
of Asia, and Africa, and Europe, are but brooks to them. 
Their Andes, likewise, or mountains, are far higher than 
those with us ; whereby it seems, that the remnants of 
generation of men were in such a particular deluge saved. 
As for the observation that Machiavel hath, that the jealousy 
of sects doth much extinguish the memory of things; tra- 
ducing Gregory the Great, that he did what in him lay to 
extinguish all heathen antiquities; I do not find that those 
zeals do any great effects, nor last long ; as it appeared in 
the succession of Sabinian,' 1 who did revive the former 
antiquities. 

The vicissitude, or mutations, in the superior globe, are no 
fit matter for this present argument. It may be, Plato's 
great year, 1 if the world should last so long, would have some 
effect, not in renewing the state of like individuals (for that 
is the fume k of those that conceive the celestial bodies have 

' The whole of the continent of America then discovered is included 
under this name. I Limited. 

h Snliinianus of Volaterra wa-i elected bishop of B Oil the death of 

Gregory the Great, A.D. 604. He was of an avaricious disposition, and 
thereby incurred the popular hatred. He died in eighteen months after 
In i led ton 

1 Tins Cicero speaks of as "the great year of the mathematicians," 
" On the Nature of the Gods," B. 1, ch. 20. By some it was supposed to 
occur after a period of 12,954 years, while according i was of 

25, 920 years' duration, k Com 



154 >Y3. 

more accurate influences upon these things below, than 
indeed they have), but in gross. Comets, out of question, 
have likewise power and effect over the gross and mass of 
things ; but they are rather gazed, and waited upon 1 in their 
journey, than wisely observed in their effects ; especially in 
their respective effects ; that is, what kind of comet for 
magnitude, colour, version of the beams, placing in the 
region of heaven, or lasting, produceth what kind of effects. 

There is a toy, m which I have heard, and I would not have 
it given over, but waited upon a httle. They say it is 
observed in the Low Countries (I know not in what part), 
that every five and thirty years the same kind and suit of 
years and weather comes about again ; as great frosts, great 
wet, great droughts, warm winters, summers with little heat, 
and the like ; and they call it the prime ; it is a thing I do 
the rather mention, because, computing backwards, I have 
found some concurrence. 

But to leave these points of nature, and to come to men. 
The greatest vicissitude of things amongst men, is the vicis- 
situde of sects and religions : for those orbs rule in men's 
minds most. The true religion is built upon the rock ; the 
rest are tossed upon the waves of time. To speak, there- 
fore, of the causes of new sects, and to give some counsel 
concerning them, as far as the weakness of human judgment 
can give stay to so great revolutions. 

When the religion formerly received is rent by discords, 
and when the holiness of the professors of religion is decayed 
and full of scandal, and withal the times be stupid, ignorant, 
and barbarous, you may doubt the springing tip of a new 
sect ; if then also there should arise any extravagant and 
strange spirit to make himself author thereof; all which 
points held when Mahomet published his law. If a new sect 
have not two properties, fear it not, for it will not spread : 
the one is the supplanting or the opposing of authority estab- 
lished ; for nothing is more popular than that ; the other is, 
the giving license to pleasures and a voluptuous life : for as 
for speculative heresies (such as were in ancient times the 
Arians, and now the Arminians), n though they work mightily 

1 Observed. m A curious fancy or odd conceit. 

" The followers of Arminius, or James Harmensen, a celebrated 
divine of the 16th and 17th centuries. Though called a heresy by 



VICISSITUDE OF THINGS. 155 

upon men's wits, yet they do not produce any great altera 
tions in states : except it be by the help of civil occasions. 
There be three manner of plantations of new sects : by the 
power of signs and miracles ; by the eloquence and wisdom 
of speech and persuasion ; and by the sword. For martyr- 
doms, 1 reckon them amongst miracles, because they seem to 
exceed the strength of human nature : and I may do the 
like of superlative and admirable holiness of life. Surely 
there is no better way to stop the rising of new sects and 
schisms, than to reform abuses ; to compound the smaller 
differences ; to proceed mildly, and not with sanguinary 
persecutions ; and rather to take off the principal authors, 
by winning and advancing thorn, than to enrage them by 
violence and bitterness. 

The changes and vicissitude in wars are many; but chiefly 
in three things : in the seats or stages of the war. in the 
weapons, and in the manner of the conduct. "Wars, in 
ancient time, seemed more to move from east to west ; for 
the Persians, Assyrians. Arabians, Tartars (which were 
the invaders), were all eastern people. It is true, the Gauls 
were western ; but we read but of two incursions of theirs : 
the one to Gallo-Grsecia, the other to Rome : but east and 
west have no certain points of heaven; and no more have 
the wars, either from the east or west, any certainty of 
observation: but north and south are fixed; and it h.-uh 
seldom or never been seen that the far southern people have 
invaded the northern, but contrariwise ; whereby it is mani- 
fest that the northern tract of the world is in nature the 
more martial region : be it in respect of the stars of that 
hemisphere, or of the great continents that are upon the 
north ; whereas the south part, for aught that is known, is 
almost all sea ; or (which is most apparent) of the cold of 
the northern parts, which is that which, without aid of dis- 
cipline, doth make the bodies hardest, and the courage 
.tannest. 

Upon the breaking and shivering of B great state and 
empire, you may be Km to have wars; for great empires. 

Bacon, bis opinions have been for two oenturies, and still are, hi Id by a 
i artioB of fche < inarch of England, 
A belied in i trology, or at least the influences of the stars, was 
in the time of Baoon. 



15G ESSAYS. 

while they stand, do enervate and destroy the forces of the 
natives which they have subdued, resting upon their own 
protecting forces ; and then, when they fail also, all goes to 
ruin, and they become a prey ; so was it in the decay of the 
Roman empire, and likewise in the empire of Almaigne,P 
after Charles the Great,l every bird taking a feather ; and 
were not unlike to befall to Spain, if it should break. The 
great accessions and unions of kingdoms do likewise stir up 
wars : for when a state grows to an over-power, it is like a 
great flood, that will be sure to overflow; as it hath been 
seen in the states of Rome, Turkey, Spain, and others. Look 
when the world hath fewest barbarous people, but such as 
commonly will not marry, or generate, except they know 
means to live (as it is almost everywhere at this day, except 
Tartary), there is no danger of inundations of people ; but 
when there be great shoals of people, which go on to popu- 
late, without foreseeing means of life and sustentation, it is 
of necessity that once in an age or two they discharge a por- 
tion of their peojile upon other nations, which the ancient 
northern people were wont to do by lot ; casting lots what 
part should stay at home, and what should seek their for- 
tunes. When a warlike state grows soft and effeminate,, 
they may be sure of a war : for commonly such states 
are grown rich in the time of their degenerating : and so 
the prey inviteth, and their decay in valour encourageth a 
war. 

As for the weapons, it hardly falleth tinder rule and 
observation : yet we see even they have returns and vicissi- 
tudes ; for certain it is, that ordnance was known in the 
city of the Oxidraces, in India ; and was that which the 
Macedonians 1 called thunder and lightning, and magic ; and 
it is well known that the use of ordnance hath been in China 
above two thousand years. The conditions of weapons, and 
their improvements are, first, the fetching s afar off; for that 
outruns the danger, as it is seen in ordnance and muskets ; 
secondly, the strength of the percussion, wherein likewise 
ordnance do exceed all aiietations, 1 and ancient inventions ; 
the third is, the commodious use of them, as that they may 

p Germany. i Charlemagne. 

• When led thither by Alexander the Great. s Striking. 

• Application of the "aries," or battering-ram. 



FAME. 157 

serve in all weathers, that the carriage may he light and 
manageable, and the like. 

For the conduct of the war: at the first, men rested 
extremely upon number ; they did put the wars likewise 
upon main force and valour, pointing days for pitched fields, 
and so trying it out upon an even match ; and they were 
more ignorant in ranging and arraying their battles. After 
they grew to rest upon number, rather competent than 
vast, they grew to advantages of place, cunning diversions, 
and the like, and they grew more skilful in the ordering of 
their battles. 

In the youth of a state, arms do flourish ; in the middle 
age of a state, learning ; and then both of them together for 
a time ; in the declining age of a state, mechanical arts and 
merchandise. Learning hath its infancy when it is but 
beginning, and almost childish ; then its youth, when it is 
luxuriant and juvenile ; then its strength of years, when it 
is solid and reduced ; and, lastly, its old age, when it waxeth 
dry and exhaust; but it is not good to look too long upon 
these turning wheels of vicissitude, lest we become giddy : 
as for the philology of them, that is but a circle of tales, and 
therefore not fit for this writing. 



A FRAGMENT OF AN ESSAY OF FAME.* 

The poets make Fame a monster : they describe her in 
part, finely and elegantly, and in part gravely and senten- 
tiously ; they say, Look how many feathers she hath, so many 
eyes she hath underneath, so many tongues, so many voices, 
she pricks up so many ears. 

This is a flourish ; there follow excellent parables ; as that 
she gathereth strength in going ; that she goeth upon the 
ground, and yet hideth hex head in the clouds; that in the 
day-time she sitteth in a watch-tower, and flieth most by 
night ; that she mingleth things dune with things not done; 
and that she is a terror to gn at cities ; but that whieh 
passeth all the rest is, they do recount that the Earth, mother 

■ This fragment was found among L<>nl Bacon's papers, and pub- 
lished by Dr. Kawley. 



158 ESSAYS. 

of the giants that made war against Jupiter, and were by him 
destroyed, thereupon in anger brought forth Fame ; for 
certain it is, that rebels, figured by the giants, and seditious 
fames and libels ai'e but brothers and sisters, masculine and 
feminine ; but now if a man can tame' this monster, and 
bring her to feed at the hand and govern her, and with her 
fly other ravening fowl, and kill them, it is somewhat worth : 
but we are infected with the style of the poets. To speak 
now in a sad and serious manner, there is not in all the 
politics a place less handled, and more worthy to be handled, 
than this of fame. We will therefore speak of these points : 
what are false fames, and what are true fames, and how they 
may be best discerned ; how fames may be sown and raised ; 
how they may be spread and multiplied ; and how they may 
be checked and laid dead ; and other things concerning the 
nature of fame. Fame is of that force, as there is scarcely 
any great action wherein it hath not a great part, especially 
in the war. Mucianus undid Vitellius by a fame that he 
scattered, that Vitellius had in purpose to remove the legions 
of Syria into Germany, and the legions of Germany into 
Syria ; whereupon the legions of Syria were infinitely in- 
flamed. Julius Caesar took Pompey unprovided, and laid 
asleep his industry and preparations by a fame that he cun- 
ningly gave out, how Caesar's own soldiers loved him not ; 
and being wearied with the wars, and laden with the spoils 
of Gaul, would forsake him as soon as he came into Italy. 
Livia settled all things for the succession of her son Tiberius, 
by continually giving out that her husband Augustus was 
upon recovery and amendment ; and it is a usual thing with 
the bashaws to conceal the death of the Grand Turk from the 
janizaries and men of war, to save the sacking of Constanti- 
nople, and other towns, as their manner is. Themistocles 
made Xerxes, king of Persia, post apace out of Graecia, by 
giving out that the Grecians had a purpose to break Iris 
bridge of ships which he had made athwart Hellespont. 
There be a thousand such like examples, and the more they 
are, the less they need to be repeated, because a man meeteth 
with them everywhere : therefore let all wise governors have 
as great a watch and care over fames, as they have of the 
actions and designs themselves. 



r 



DEATH. 159 



(JON DEATH.J ■_; -■ ., n„ 



1. I have often thought upon death, and I find it the 
least of all evils. ' All that which is past is a.s a dream : and 
he that hopes or depends upon time coming, dreams waking. 
Bo much of our life as we have discovered is already dead ; 
and all those hours which we share, even from the breasts "1 
our mothers, until we return to our grandmother the earth, 
are part of our dying days, whereof even this is one, and 
those that succeed are of the same nature, for we die daily ; 
and as others have given place to us, so we must in the end 
give way to others. 

2. Physicians in the name of death include all sorrow. 
anguish, disease, calamity, or whatsoever can fall in the life 
of man, either grievous or unwelcome. But the.se things are 
familiar unto us, and we suffer them every hour; then ton 
we die daily, and I am older since I affirmed it. 

3. I know many wise men that fear to die ; for the change 
is hitter, and flesh would refuse to prove it : besides, the 
e qjectation brings terror, and that exceeds the evil. But I 
do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the 
stroke of death ; and such are my hopes, that if heaven be 
pleased, and nature renew but my lease for twenty-one years 
more, without asking longer days, I shall be strong enough 
to acknowledge without mourning, that I was begotten 
mortal. Virtue walks not in the highway, though she go 
per alta ; this is strength and the blood to virtue, to 
contemn things that be desired, and to QOglect that which is 
feared. 

4. Why should man be in love with his fetters, though of 
gold 1 Ait thou drowned in security ? Then I say thou 
art perfectly dead. For though thou movest, yet thy soul is 

buried within thee, and thy- 1 angel either forsakes his 

guard or sleeps. There is nothing under heaven, saving a 
true friend (who cannot 1"' counted within the numb ,,i 
movables), unto which my heart doth lean. And this dear 
freedom hath begotten me this peace, that 1 mourn not for 

that end which nni-t be, nor spend one wish to have one 
minute added to the uncertain date of my years. [t was QO 
mean apprehension of Lucian, who aaye ofMenippuSj that in 



1 GO ESSAYS. 

his travels th rough hell, he knew not the kings of the earth from 
other men but only by their louder cryings and tears, which 
were fostered in them through the remorseful memory of the 
good days they had seen, and the fruitful havings which they 
so unwillingly left behind them : he that was well seated, 
looked back at his portion, and was loth to forsake his farm; 
and others, either minding marriages, pleasures, profit, or 
preferment, desired to be excused from death's banquet : 
they had made an aj^pointment with earth, looking at the 
blessings, not the hand that enlarged them, forgetting how 
unclothedly they came hither, or with what naked ornaments 
they were arrayed. 

&. But were we servants of the precept given, and ob- 
server's of the heathens' rule, memento niori, and not become 
benighted with this seeming felicity, we should enjoy it as 
men prepared to lose, and not wind up our thoughts upon so 
perishing a fortune : he that is not slackly strong (as the 
servants of pleasure), how can he be found unready to quit 
the veil and false visage of his perfection ? The soul having 
shaken off her flesh, doth then set up for herself, and con- 
temning things that are under, shows what finger hath 
enforced her ; for the souls of idiots are of the same piece 
with those of statesmen, but now and then nature is at a 
fault, and this good guest of ours takes soil in an imperfect 
body, and so is slackened from showing her wonders, like an 
excellent musician, which cannot utter himself upon a 
defective instrument. 

G. But see how I am swerved, and lose my course, touch- 
ing at the soul that doth least hold action with death, who 
hath the surest property in this frail act ; his style is the end 
of all flesh, and the beginning of incorruption. 

This rider of monuments leads men for the most part out 
of this world with their heels forward, in token that he is 
contrary to life, which being obtained, sends men headlong 
into this wretched theatre, where being arrived, their first 
language is that of mourning. Nor in my own thoughts, 
can I compare men more fitly to anything than to the Indian 
fig-tree, which, being ripened to his full height, is said to 
decline his branches down to the earth, whereof she conceives 
again, and they become roots in their own stock. 

So man, having derived his being from the earth, first lives 



DEATH. 1GI 

the life of a tree, drawing his nourishment as a plant, and 
made ripe for death, he tends downwards, and is rowed again 
jn his mother the earth, where he perisheth not, but expects 
a quickening. 

7. So we see death exempts not a man from being, but 
only presents an alteration; yet there arc some men (I 
think) that stand otherwise persuaded. Death finds not a 
worse friend than an alderman, to whose door I never knew 
him welcome ; but he is an importunate guest, and will not 
be said nay. 

And though they themselves shall affirm that they an- not 
within, yet the answer will not be taken: and that which 
heightens their fear is, that they know they are in danger to 
forfeit their flesh, but are not wise of the payment-day, 
which sickly uncertainty is the occasion that (for the most 
part) they step out of this world unfurnished for their 
gent ral account, and being all unprovided, desire yet to hold 
their gravity, preparing their souls to answer in scarlet. 

Thus I gather, that death is unagreeable to most citizens, 
because they commonly die intestate ; this being a rule, that 
when their will is made, they think themselves nearer a 
grave than before : now they, out of the wisdom of thou- 
sands, think to scare destiny, from which there is no appeal. 
by not making a will, or to live longer by protestation of 
their unwillingness to die. They are for the most part well 
made in this world (accounting their treasure by legions, as 
men do devils) : their fortune looks toward them, and they 

are willing to anchor at it, and desire (if it be possible) to 
I >iit the evil day far off from them, and to adjourn their 
ungrateful and killing period. 

No, these are not the men which have bespoken death, or 
whose looks are assured to entertain a thought of him. 

8. Death arrives gracious only to such as sit in darkness, 
or lie heavy burthened with grief and irons ; to the poor 
Christian, that sits hound in the galley ; to despairful 
widows, pensive prisoners, and deposed kings ; to them whose 
fori on< runs back, and whose spirits mutiny : unto such death 
is a redeemer, and the grave a place for retiredness and rest. 

These wail upon the shore of death, and waft unto him to 

draw near, wishing above all others to see his star, that 

they might be led to his place j wooing the remorseless 

M 



1G2 ESSAYS. 

sisters to wind down the watch of then- life, and to break 

them off before the hour. 

• 9. But death is a doleful messenger to a usurer, and fate 

untimely cuts their thread ; for it is never mentioned by him, 

but when rumours of war, and civil tumults put him in mind 

thereof. 

And when many hands are armed, and the peace of a city 
in disorder, and the foot of the common soldiers sounds an 
alarm on his stairs, then perhaps such a one (broken in 
thoughts of his moneys abroad, and cursing the monuments 
of coin which are in his house) can be content to think of 
death, and (being hasty of perdition) will perhaps hang 
himself, lest his throat should be cut ; provided that he may 
do it in his study, surrounded with wealth, to which his eye 
sends a faint and languishing salute, even upon the turning 
off ; remembering always, that he have time and liberty, by 
writing, to depute himself as his own heir. 

For that is a great peace to his end, and reconciles him 
wonderfully upon the point. 

10. Herein we all dally with ourselves, and are without 
proof of necessity. I am not of those, that dare promise 
to pine away myself in vain glory, and I hold such to be but 
feat boldness, and them that dare commit it, to be vain. 
Yet for my part, I think nature should do me great wrong, 
if I should be so long in dying, as I was in being born. 

To speak truth, no man knows the lists of his own pa- 
tience ; nor can divine how able he shall be in his sufferings, 
till the storm come (the perfectest virtue being tried in 
action) : but I woxdd (out of a care to do the best business 
well) ever keep a guard, and stand upon keeping faith and a 
good conscience. 

11. And if wishes might find place, I would die together, 
and not my mind often, and my body once : that is, I would 
prepare for the messengers of death, sickness and affliction, 
and not wait long, or be attempted by the violence of pain. 

Herein I do not profess myself a Stoic, to hold grief no 
evil, but opinion, and a thing indifferent. 

But I consent with Caesar, that the suddenest passage 
is easiest, and there is nothing more awakens our resolve and 
readiness to die than the quieted conscience, strengthened 
with opinion, that we shall be well spoken of upon earth by 



DEATH. 1G3 

those that axe just, and of the family of virtue ; the oppo- 
site whereof is a fury to man, and makes even life unsweet. 

Therefore, what is more heavy than <'\il fame deserved 1 
Or likewise, who can see worse days, than he that yet living 
doth follow at the funerals of his own reputation I 

I have laid up many hopes, that I am privileged from 
that kind of mourning, and could wish the like peace to all 
those with whom I wage love. 

12. I might say much of the commodities that death can 
sell a man ; hut briefly, death is a friend of ours; and he 
thai is nut ready to entertain him, is uot at home. Whilst 
I am, my ambition is not to fore-flow the tide ; I have but 
so to make my interest of it as I may account for it ; I 
would wish nothing but what might better my da\ 
desire any greater place than the front of good opinion. I 
make not love to the continuance of days, but to the good- 
ness of them ; nor wish to die, but l-efer myself to my hour, 
Which the great dispenser of all things hath appointed me ; 
yet as I am frail, and suffered for the first fault, were it 
given me to choose, I should not be earnest to see the evening 
of my age ; that extremity of itself being a disease, and a 
mere return into infancy : so that if perpetuity of life might 
be given me, I should think what the Greek poet said, "Such 
an age is a mortal evil." And since I must needs be dead, 1 
require it may not be done before mine enemies, that I be 
not stript before I be cold ; but before my friends. The 
night was even now : but that name is lost ; it is not now 
late, but early. Mine eyes begin to discharge their watch. 
and compound with this fleshly weakness for a time of perpe- 
tual rest ; and I shall presently be as happy lor a few hours. 
as I had died the first hour I was born. 



m2 



'»ft' APOTH THERMS. 

FojIITTIXC THOSE K XOW.V TO BE SPPKIOUS. j ] 



> 



-•/ 



Queen Elizabeth, the morrow of her coronation (it being 
the custom to release prisoners at the inauguration of a 
prince), went to the chapel ; and in the great chamber, one 
of her courtiers, who was well known to her, either out of 
his motion, or by the instigation of a wiser man, presented 
her with a petition ; and before a great number of courtiers, 
besought her with a loud voice, that now this good time, 
there might be four or five principal prisoners more released : 
those were the four evangelists and the apostle St. Paul, who 
had been long shut up in an unknown tongue, as it were in 
prison ; so as they could not converse with the common 
people. The queen answered very gravely, that it was best 
first to inquire of them, whether they would be released 
or no. 

Queen Ann Bullen, at the time when she was led to be 
beheaded in the Tower, called one of the king's privy cham- 
ber to her, and said unto him, " Commend me to the king, and 
tell him, that he hath ever been constant in his course of 
advancing me ; from a private gentlewoman he made me a 
marchioness j and from a marchioness a queen; and now, 
that he hath left no higher degree of earthly honour, he 
intends to crown my innocency with the glory of mar- 
tyrdom." 

A great officer in France was in danger to have lost his 
place ; but his wife by her suit and means-making, made his 







<-v 






- - in\ 

APOPHTHEGMS. 165 



peace ; -whereupon a pleasant fellow said, that he had been 
crush'd, but that he saved himself upon his horns. 

When the archduke did raise his siege from the Grave, 
the then secretary came to Queen Elizabeth. The queen 
(having first intelligence thereof) said to the secretary, 
" Wote you that the archduke is risen from the Grave?" 
He answered: "What, without the trumpet of the arch- 
angel ? " The queen replied, " Yes ; without sound of 
trumpet." 

The council did make remonstrance unto Queen Elizabeth, 
of the continual conspiracies against her life ; and namely, that 
a man was lately taken, who stood ready in a very dangerous 
and suspicious manner to do the deed : and they showed her 
the weapon wherewith he thought to have acted it. And 
therefore they advised her, that she should go less abroad 
to take the air, weakly attended, as she used. But the 
queen answered, that she had rather be dead, than put in 
custody. 

Henry the Fourth of France his queen was young with 
child; Count Soissons. that had his expectation upon the crown, 
when it was twice or thrice thought that the queen was with 
child before, said to some of his friends, that it was but with 
a pillow. This had some ways come to the king's ear ; who 
kept it till such time as the queen waxed great : then he 
called the count of Soissons to him, and said, laving his hand 
upon the queen's belly, "Come, cousin, is this a pillow!" 
The count of Soissons answered, " Yes, sir, it is a pillow for 
all France to sleep upon." 

Queen Elizabeth was wont to say, upon the commission of 
sales, that the commissioners used her like strawberry-wives, 
that layed two or three great strawberries at the mouth of 
their pot, and all the rest were little ones : so they made her 
two or three good prizes of the first particulars, but fell 
straight ways. 

Queen Elizabeth used to Bay of her instructions to great 
officers, that they were like to garments, strait at the first 
]. lifting <>n, but did l>y-and-by wear easy enough. 

A great officer at court, when my lord of Essex was first 
in trouble ; and that he, and those that dealt for him, would 



1G6 APor;rrm:<;.M<. 

talk much of my lords friends, and of his enemies, answered 
to one of them : " I will tell you, I know hut one friend and 
one enemy my lord hath ; and that one friend is the queen, 
and that one enemy is himself." 

The book of deposing King Richard the Second, and the 
coming in of Henry the Fourth, supposed to be written by 
Doctor Hayward, who was committed to the Tower for it, 
had much incensed Queen Elizabeth ; and she asked Mr. Bacon, 
being then of her counsel learned, whether there were any 
treason contained in it 1 Who intending to do him a pleasure, 
and to take off the queen's bitterness with a merry conceit, 
answered, " No, madam, for treason I cannot deliver opinion 
that there is any, but very much felony :" the queen appre- 
hending it gladly, asked, how ; and wherein 1 Mr. Bacon 
answered, " Because he had stolen many of his sentences and 
conceits out of Cornelius Tacitus." 

Queen Elizabeth was dilatory enough in suits, of her own 
nature ; and the lord treasurer Burleigh being a wise man, 
and willing therein to feed her humour, would say to her, 
" Madam, you do well to let suiters stay ; for I shall tell you, 
bis dat, qui cito dat ; if you grant them speedily, they will 
come again the sooner." 

Sir Nicholas Bacon, who was keeper of the great seal of 
England, when Queen Elizabeth, in her progress, came to his 
house at Gorhambury, and said to him, " My lord, what a 
little house have you gotten !" answered her, "Madam, my 
house is well; but it is you that have made me too great for 
my house." 

The lord-keeper Sir Nicholas Bacon was asked his opinion 
by Queen Elizabeth, of one of these monopoly licenses ? 
And he answered, "Madam, will you have me speak the truth? 
Licentia omnes deteriores sumus :" — we are all the worse for 
licenses. 

My lord of Essex, at the succour of Rouen, made twenty- 
four knights, which at that time was a great number. Divers 
of those gentlemen were of weak and small means ; wliich, 
when Queen Elizabeth heard, she said, "My lord might have 
done well to have built his almshouse, before he made his 
kniarhts." 



APOPHTHEGMS. 1G7 

The deputies of tin reformed religion, after the massacre 
which was at Paris upon Saint Bartholomew's day, treated 
with the king and queen-mother, and some other of the 
council, for a peace. Both sides were agreed upon the articles. 
The question was, upon th<- security for the performance. 
After some particulars propounded and rejected, the queen- 
mother said, "Why, is not the word of a king sufficient secu- 
rity'?" One of the deputies answered, "No, by St. Bartho- 
lomew, madam." 

When peace was renewed with the French in England. 
divers of the great counsellors were presented from the 
French with jewels : the Lord Henry Howard, being then 
earl of Northampton, and a counsellor, was omitted. Where- 
upon the king said to him, ; ' My lord, how happens it that you 
have not a jewel as well as the rest .'" My lord answered, 
according to the fable in iEsop, "Nonsuni gallus, itaque non 
reperi gemmam." 

There was a minister deprived for nonconformity, who 
said to some of his friends, that if they deprived him. it 
should cost an hundred men's lives. The party understood 
ii. as if being a turbulent fellow, he would have moved sedi- 
tion, and complained of him ; whereupon being COnvented 
and opposed upon that speech, he said his meaning was, that 
If be Lost his benefice, he would practise physic, and then he 
thought he should kill an hundred men in time. 

Secretary Bourn's son kept a gentleman's wile in Shrop- 
shire, who lived from her husband with him ; when he was 
weary of her, he caused her husband to be dealt with to take 
her home, and offered him five hundred pounds for reparation j 
i in- gentleman went to Sir EL Sidney, to take bis advice upon 
this offer, telling him. that bis wife promised now a new 
liie : and to tell him truth, five hundred pounds would come 

well with him. ' l'.y my truth.'" said Sir Henry Sidney, 

"take herb and take the money: then whereas other 

cuckolds wear their horns plain, you may wear yours gilt." 

When Rabelais, the great jester of France, lay on his 
death-bed, and they gave him the extreme unction, a familiar 

friend of his came to him afterward-, and asked him how he 



108 APOPHTHEGMS. 

did ? Rabelais answered, " Even going my journey, they have 
greased my boots already." 

Titles, as be looked upon the stars, fell into the -water ; 
whereupon it was after said, that if he had looked into the 
water, he might have seen the stars; but looking up to the 
stars, he could not see the water. 

Master Mason, of Trinity College, sent his pupil to another 
of the fellows, to borrow a book of him, who told him, "I am 
loth to lend my books out of my chamber; but if it please 
thy tutor to come and read it here, he shall as long 
as he will." It was winter, and some days after the same 
fellow sent to Mr. Mason to borrow his bellows ; but Mr. 
Mason said, " I am loth to lend my bellows out of my cham- 
ber ; but if thy tutor would come and use it here, he shall as 
long as he will." 

In Flanders, by accident, a Flemish tiler fell from the top 
of a house upon a Spaniard, and killed him, though he 
escaped himself : the next of the blood prosecuted his death 
with geat violence, and when he was offered pecuniary re- 
compense, nothing would serve him but lex talionis ; where- 
upon the judge said to him, that if he did urge that sentence, 
it must be, that he should go up to the top of the house, and 
then fall down upon the tiler. 

There was a young man in Home, that was very like 
Augustus Csesar ; Augustus took knowledge of him, and 
sent for the man, and asked him, "Was your mother never at 
Rome V He answered, " No, sir, but my father was." 

Agesilaus, when one told him there was one did excel- 
lently counterfeit a nightingale, and would have had him 
heard him, said, " Why, I have heard the nightingale 
herself." 

There was a captain sent to an exploit by his general with 
forces that were not likely to achieve the enterprise ; the 
captain said to him, " Sir, appoint but half so many." "Why 1 " 
saith the general. The captain answered, "Because it is 
better few die than more." 

There was a harbinger who had lodged a gentleman in a 
very ill room, who expostulated with him somewhat rudely ; 



APOPHTHEGMS 169 

but the harbinger carelessly said, u You will reap pleasure 
from it when you are out of it." 

There is a Spanish adage, " Love without end hath no end ; ' 
meaning, that if it wen- begun not upon particular ends it 
would last. 

A company of scholars going together to catch conies, 
carried one scholar with them, which had not much more 
wit than he was horn with : and to him they gave in charge, 
that if he saw any, he should be silent, for fear of scaring 
them. But he no soomr espied a company of rabbits before 
the rest, but he cried aloud, " Ecce multi cuniculi," which in 
English signifies, behold many conies ; which he had no 
sooner said, but the conies ran to their burrows : and he 
being checked by them for it, answered, " Who the devil 
would have thought that the rabbits understood Latin ?" 

Solon compared the people unto the sea, and orators and 
counsellors to the winds; for that the sea would he calm and 
quiet, if the winds did not trouble it. 

A man being very jealous of his wife, insomuch that 
which way soever she went, he would be prying at her 
heels : ami she being so grieved thereat, in plain terms told 
him, that if he did not for the future leave off his proceed- 
ings in that nature, she would graft such a pair of horns 
upon his head, that should hinder him from coming out of 
any door in the house. 

A tinker passing ( 'heapside with his usual tone, "Have you 
any work for a tinker '?" An apprentice standing at a door 
opposite to a pillory there set up, called the tinker, with an 
intent to put a jest upon him, and told him, that ho should 
do very well if he would stop those two hull's in the pillory; 
to which the tinker answered, that if he would put in his 
head and ears a while in that pillory, he would bestow both 
brass and nails upon him to hold him in, and give him his 

labour into the bargain. 

Whitehead, a grave divine, was much esteemed by Queen 
Elizabeth, hut not preferred, because he was against the 
government of bishops: he was of a blunt stoical nature; he 
came one day to the queen, and t he queen happened to say to 
him, -I like thee the better, Whitehead, because thou livesl 



170 APOPHTHEGMS. 

unmarried !" He answered, "In troth, madam, I like you 
the worse for the same cause." 

Doctor Laud said, that some hypocrites, and seeming 
mortified men, that held down their heads like bulrushes, were 
like the little images that they place in the very bowing of the 
vaults of churches, that look as if they held up the church, 
but are but puppets. 

There was a lady of the west country, that gave great enter- 
tainment at her house to most of the gallant gentlemen there- 
abouts, and amongst others, Sir "Walter Rawleigh was one. 
This lady, though otherwise a stately dame, was a notable 
good housewife ; and in the morning betimes, she called to 
one of her maids that looked to the swine, and asked, "Are the 
pigs served ?" Sir Walter Rawleigh's chamber was fast by 
the lady's, so as he heard her ; a little before dinner, the 
lady came down in great state into the great chamber, which 
was full of gentlemen ; and as soon as Sir Walter Rawleigh 
set eye upon her, "Madam," saith he, "are the pigs served V 
The lady answered, " You know best whether you have had 
your breakfast." 

There were fishermen drawing the river at Chelsea : Mr. 
Bacon came thither by chance in the afternoon, and offered 
to buy their draught ; they were willing. He asked them 
what they would take ? They asked thirty shillings. Mr. 
Bacon offered them ten. They refused it. "Why, then," saith 
Mr. Bacon, " I will be only a looker on." They drew, and 
catched nothing. Saith Mr. Bacon, " Are not you mad 
fellows now, that might have had an angel in your purse, to 
have made merry withal, and to have wai'med you thoroughly, 
and now you must go home with nothing?" " Ay, but," saith 
the fishermen, "we had hope then to make a better gain of it." 
Saith Mr. Bacon, " Well, my master, then I'll tell you, hope 
is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." 

Mr. Bacon, after he had been vehement in parliament 
against depopulation and inclosures ; and that soon after the 
queen told him, that she had referred the hearing of Mr. 
Mill's cause to certain counsellors and judges ; and asked 
him how he liked of it 1 answered, " Oh, madam ! my mind 
is known ; I am against all inclosures, and especially against 
inclosed justice." 



APOPHTHEGMS. 171 

When Sir Nicholas Bacon, the lord keeper, lived, every 
room in Gorhainbuiy was served with a pipe of water from 
the ponds, distanl about a mile off. In the lifetime of Mr. 
Anthony Bacon, the water ceased. After whose death, his 
lordship coming to the inheritance, could not recover the 
irater without infinite charge ; when he was lord chancellor, 
he built Verulam House, close by the pond-yard, for a place 
ivacy, when he was called upon to despatch any urgent 
business. And being asked, why he built that house there ; 
his lordship answered, that since he could no1 < any the water 
to hie house, he would carry his house to the water. 

Zeliin was the first of the Ottomans that did shave his 
beard, whereas his predecessors wore it long. One of his 
bashaws asked him, why he altered the custom of his prede- 
cessors? He answered. •• Because you bashaws may not lead 
me by the beard, as you did them." 

Charles, king of Sweden, a great enemy of the Jesuits, 
..In u he took any of their colleges, he would hang the old 
Jesuits, and put the young to his mine-. Baying, that since 
they wrought so hard above ground, he would try how they 
could work under ground. 

In chancery, at one time when the counsel of the parties 
- t forth tlie boundaries of the land in question, by the plotj 
and the counsel of one part said, " We lie on this aide, my 
lord :" and the counsel of the other part said. " And we lie 
on this side :" the lord chancellor Hatton stood up and said, 
•• It you he on both sides, whom will you have me to 
believe?" 

Sir Thomas More had only daughters a! the Brat, and his 

wife did ever pray for a hoy. At last she had a hoy, which 

being come to man's estate, proved bul simple. Sir Thomas 

aid to his wife, "Thou prayedsi bo long for a boy, that he 

will be a boy as long as be lives. ' 

Sir Thomas Moie. on the day that he was beheaded, had 
a barber sent to him, because his hair was long ; which was 
thought, would make him more commiserated with the 
people. The barber came to him. and asked him, whether 
lie would be pleased to be trimmed? "In good faith, honest 
fellow," aaitb Sir Thomas, " the king and 1 have a suit for my 
head ; and till the tuie he cleared, I will do no cost upon it." 



172 APOPHTHEGMS. 

Mr. Bettcnham said, that virtuous men were like some 
herbs and spices, that give not out their sweet smell till they 
be broken or crushed. 

There was a painter became a physician, whereupon one 
said to him, "You have done well ; for before, the faults of 
your work were seen, but now they are unseen." 

There was a gentleman that came to the tilt all in orange- 
tawny, and ran very ill. The next day he came again all in 
green, and ran worse. There was one of the lookers-on 
asked another, "What is the reason that this gentleman 
changeth his colours 1" The other answered, "Sure, because it 
may be reported, that the gentleman in the green ran worse 
than the gentleman in the orange-tawny." 

Sir Thomas More had sent him by a suitor in chancery, t wo 
silver flagons. When they were presented by the gentleman's 
servant, he said to one of his men, " Have him to the 
cellar, and let him have of my best wine :" and turning to 
the seiwant, said, " Tell thy master, if he like it, let him 
not spare it." 

Michael Angelo, the famous painter, painting in the pope's 
chapel the portraiture of hell and damned souls, made one of 
the damned souls so like a cardinal that was his enemy, as 
everybody at first sight knew it. Whereupon the cardinal 
complained to Pope Clement, humbly praying it might be 
defaced. The pope said to him, "Why, you know very well, 
I have power to deliver a soul out of purgatory, but not out 
of hell." a 

Sir Nicholas Bacon, when a certain nimble-witted coun- 
sellor at the bar, who was forward to speak, did interrupt 
him often, said unto him, " There's a great difference betwixt 
you and me : a pain to me to speak, and a pain to you to 
hold your peace." 

The same Sir Nicholas Bacon, upon bills exhibited to dis- 
cover where lands lay, upon proof, that they had a certain 
quantity of land, but could not set it forth, was wont to say, 
"And if you cannot find yoiu- land in the country, how will 
you have me find it in chancery 1 " 

* This was not the portrait of a cardinal, but of the pope's master of 
ceremonies. 



APOPHTHEGMS. 173 

There was a king of Hungary took a bishop in battle, and 
kept him prisoner : whereupon the pope writ a monitory to 
him, for that he bad broken the privilege of holy church, and 
taken his sun. The king sent an embassage to him, and sent 
withal the armour wherein the bishop was taken, and this 
only in writing, " Vide aum hsec ail testis hlii tui :" — Know 
now whether this be thy son's coat. 1 " 

Sir Amyas Pawlet, when he saw too much haste made in 
any matter, was wont to say, "Stay a while, that we may 
make an end the sooner." 

A master of the request to Queen Elizabeth had divers 
times moved for an audience, and been put off At last he 
came to the queen in a progress, and had on a new pair of 
boots. The queen, who loved not the smell of new leather, 
said to him, "Fie, sloven, thy new hoots stink." ••Madam,"' 
said he, "it is not my aew boots that stink, but it is the 
stale bills that 1 have kepi bo long." 

Queen Isabella of Spain used to say, whosoever hath a 
good presence, and a good fashion, carries continual letters 
of recommendation. 

It was said of Augustus, and afterward the like was said 
of Septimius Severus, both which did infinite mischief in 
their beginnings, and infinite good towards their vi^U. that 
they should either have never been born or never died. 

Constantine the Great, in a kind of envy, himself being a 
great builder, as Trajan likewise was, would call Trajan 
parietaria, — wall-flower, because his name was upon bo many 
walls. 

Ethel wold, bishop of Winchester, in a famine, sold all the 
rich vessels and ornaments of the church, to relieve the | >"<>!■ 
with bread ; and Bald, "There was no reason that the dead 

temples of God should he sumptuously furnished, and the 
living temples sutler penury." 

Altera great fight there came to the camp of Gonsalvo, 
the great captain, a gentleman proudly horsed and armed; 

h This reply was not made by a king of Hungary, but Bent by Richard 
Cotiur de Lion to the pope, with the breastplate of the bishop of 

Beauvais. 



1 74 APOPHTHEGMS. 

Diego de Mendoza, asked the great captain, "Who's this?" 
Who answered, " It is Saint Erinin, who never appears hut 
after a storm." 

There was one that died greatly in debt : when it was re- 
port rd in some company, where divers of his creditors 
casually were, that he was dead : one began to say, "Well, if 
he be gone, then he hath earned five hundred ducats of mine 
with him into the other world :" and another said, "And 
two hundred of mine ;" and the third spake of great sums 
of his. Whereupon, one that was amongst them, said, "I 
perceive now, that though a man cannot carry any of his own 
with him into the next world, yet he may carry away that 
which, is another man's." 

Bresquet, jester to Francis the First of France, did keep 
a calendar of fools, wherewith he did use to make the king 
sport ; telling him ever the reason why he put any one into 
his calendar. When Charles the Fifth, emperor, upon con- 
fidence of the noble nature of Francis, passed through 
France, for the appeasing of the rebellion of Gaunt, Bresquet 
put him into his calendar. The king asked him the cause. 
He answered, " Because you have suffered at the hands of 
Charles the greatest bitterness that ever prince did from 
another, nevertheless, he would trust his person into your 
hands." " Why, Bresquet," said the king, " what wilt thou 
say, if thou seest him pass back in as great safety, as if he 
marched through the midst of Spain V Saith Bresquet. 
" Why then I will put him out, and put in you." 

When my lord president of the council came first to be 
lord treasurer, he complained to my lord chancellor of the 
troublesomeness of the place, for that the exchequer was so 
empty. The lord chancellor answered, " My lord, be of 
good cheer ; for now you shall see the bottom of your business 
at the first." 

Rabelais tells a tale of one that was very fortunate in 
compounding differences. His son undertook the .said course, 
but could never compound any. Whereupon he came to his 
father, and asked him, what art he had to reconcile dif- 
ferences l He answered, he had no other but this ; to 
watch when the two parties were much wearied, and their 
hearts were too great to seek reconcilement at one another's 



APOPHTHKi.M- 175 

hand : then to be a means betwixt them, and upon no other 
terms. After which the son went home and prospered in 
the same undertakings. 

Alonso Cartilio was informed by his steward of the great- 
ness of his expense, being such as he could not hold out 
therewith. The bishop asked trim, wherein it chiefly arose ? 
His steward told him, in the multitude of his servants. 
The bishop bade him to make him a note of those that were 
necessary, and those that might be spared Which he did. 
And the bishop taking occasion to read it before most of his 
servants, said to Ins steward, ■■ Well, let these remain, be- 
cause I have need of them ; and these other also, because they 
have need of me." 

Mr. Bettenham. reader of Gray'a-Inn, used to say, that 
riches were like muck ; when it lay upon a heap, if _ 
a stench and ill odour : but when it was spread over the 
ground, then it was cause of much fruit. 

Galba succeeded Nero, and his age being despised, then 
was much license and confusion in Rome during his empire ; 
wlnivnpon a senator said in full senate, it were better to live 
where nothing is lawful, than where all things are lawful 

C'hilon said, that kings' friends and favourites were like 
casting counters j that sometimes stood for one, sometime 
for ten, sometimes for an hundred. 

Diogenes begging, as divers philosophers then used, dial 
beg more of a prodigal man than of the rest which we* 
present. Whereupon one said to him, " See your baseness, 
that when you find a liberal mind, you will take most of 
him." "No," said Diogenes, "but I mean to beg of the reef 
again." 

This is not the saying of Chilon, but of Oro n t ee, the Bon-in 
Artaxerxea, who having monxred the displeasure of that monarch, is 
reported to have exclaimed, in the language of Solon : KaOa-r-i^ ■ 
apii)fii)Tit;io>' i oucrvXoi VW fUV /iupiaonc, vvv Ol fiovaCa Ti6(i , ai 
rur ro (icro xcu r,.>r fiaoiKttitv AiXovc, vw ftcv ro rrav SwaoOat, I i .' 
ct rov Xa%torov. — il'lut. Apophthegms.) It is difficult to know whether 
to assign to tliis exclamation of Orontee, or to the famous allusion in 
the Winter Tale, the origin of the modeel expreeaion of Lord Brougham, 
that the Whiga were all ciphi re, and he was the only unit in the cabinet 
which gave the ciphers their value. 



176 APOPHTHEGMS. 

Themistocles, when an ambassador from a mean estate did 
speak great matters, said to him, " Friend, thy words would 
require a city." 

Cresar Borgia, after long division between him and the 
lords of Romagna, fell to accord with them. In this accord 
there was an article, that he should not call them at any time 
all together in person. The meaning was, that knowing his 
dangerous nature, if he meant them treason, he might have 
opportunity to oppress them altogether at once. Never- 
theless, he used such fine art, and fair carriage, that he 
won their confidence to meet altogether in council at Cini- 
gaglia, where he murdered them all. This act, when it was 
related unto Pope Alexander, his father, by a cardinal, as a 
thing happy, but very perfidious ; the pope said, " It was 
they that broke then- covenant first, in coming all together/' 

Clodius was acquitted b} r a corrupt jury, that had palpably 
taken shares of money before they gave their verdict ; they 
prayed of the senate a guard, that they might do their con- 
sciences, for that Clodius was a very seditious young noble- 
man. "Whereupon all the world gave him for condemned. 
But acquitted he was. Catulus, the next day seeing some 
of them that had acquitted him together, said to them, 
" What made you ask of us a guard 1 Were you afraid your 
money should have been taken from you 1 " 

At the same judgment, Cicero gave in evidence upon oath : 
and when the jury, which consisted of fifty-seven, had passed 
against his evidence, one day in the senate Cicero and Clodius 
being in altercation, Clodius upbraided him, and said, " The 
jury gave you no credit. ' Cicero answered, " Five and twenty 
gave me credit ; but there were two and thirty that gave you 
no credit, for they had their money beforehand.'" 

Diogenes having seen that the kingdom of Macedon, which 
before was contemptible and low, began to come aloft, when 
he died, was asked how he would be buried I He answered, 
"With my face downward ; for within a while the world will 
be turned upside down, and then I shall lie right." 

Cato the elder was wont to say, that the Romans were 
like sheep ; a man could better drive a flock of them, than 
one of them. 



APOPHTHEGMS. 177 

When Lycurgus was to reform and alter the state of 
Sparta ; u> consultation, one advised, that it should be re- 
duced to an absolute popular equality : but Lycurgus said to 
him, " Sir, begin it in your own house." 

Dion, that was an atheist, waa showed in a port city, in a 
temple of Neptune, many tallies, of pictures of such as had 
in tempests made their vows to Neptune, and were saved 
from shipwreck : and was asked, "How say you now 1 Do 
you not acknowledge the power of the Gods \" hint saith lie, 
"Ay; but where are they painted that have been drowned 
alter their vowa I" 

Cicero was at dinner, where there was an ancient lady that. 
spake of her own years, and said, she was but forty years old. 
One that sate by Cicero sounded him in the ear, and said, 
'• She talks of forty years old ; but she is far more, out of 
question." Cicero answered him again, " I must believe 
her; for I have heard her say so many times these ten years." 

There was a soldier that vaunted before Julius Cesar of 
the hurts lie had received in his face. Julius Casar. know- 
ing him to be but a coward, told him, '"You were best take 
heed next time you run away, how you look back." 

Vespasian asked of Apolloniua, what was the cause of 
Nero's ruin? Who answered, " Nero could tune the harp 
well, but in government he did always wind up the strings 
too high, or let them down too low." 

Antisthenes being asked of one, what learning was most 
necessary for man's life? Answered, "To unlearn that which is 
nought." 

Diogenes, when mice came about him, as he was eating, 
.siid, •■ 1 see, that even Diogenes nourishetb parasites." 

1 [eraclitus the obscure said, "The drylight is the best soul :" 

meaning, when the faculties intellectual are in vigour, not 

drenched, or as it. were blooded by the affections 

< me of the philosophers w;is asked, what a wise man dif- 
fered from a fool I 1 le answered, "Send them both naked to 

those that know them not. and you shall perceive." 

There was a law made by the Romans against the bribery 
and extortion of the governors of provinces. Cicero saith, 

N 



178 APOPHTHEGMS. 

in a speech of his to the people, that he thought the pro- 
vinces would petition to the state of Rome to have that law 
repealed. " For," saith he, " before, the governors did bribe 
and extort, as much as was sufficient for themselves ; but 
now, they bxibe and extort as much, as may be enough, not 
only for themselves, but for the judges, and jurors, and 
magistrates." 

Aristippus sailing in a tempest, showed signs of fear. One 
of the seamen said to him, in an insulting manner, "We that 
are plebeians are not troubled ; you that are a philosopher 
are afraid." Aristippus answered, that " There is not the 
like wager upon it, for you to perish and for me." 

It fell out so, that as Livia went abroad in Rome, there 
met her naked young men that were sporting in the streets, 
which Augustus went about severely to punish in them : but 
Livia spake for them, and said, " It was no more to chaste 
women, than so many statues." 

Philip of Macedon was wished to banish one for speaking- 
ill of him. But Philip answered, " Better he speak where 
we are both known, than where we are both unknown." 

Lucullus entertained Pompey in one of his magnificent 
houses ; Pompey said, " This is a marvellous fair and stately 
house for the summer ; but metliinks it should be very cold 
for winter." Lucullus answered, " Do you not think me as 
wise as divers fowls are, to change my habitation in the 
winter season ?" 

Plato entertained some of his friends at a dinner, and had 
in the chamber a bed, or couch, neatly and costly furnished. 
Diogenes came in, and got up upon the bed, and trampled it, 
saying, " I trample upon the pride of Plato." Plato mildly 
answered, " But with greater pride, Diogenes." 

Pompey being commissioner for sending grain to Rome in 
time of dearth, when he came to the sea, found it very 
tempestuous and dangerous, insomuch as those about him 
advised him by no means to embark : but Pompey said, " It 
is of necessity that I go, not that I five." 

Demosthenes was upbraided by ^Eschines that his speeches 
did smell of the lamp. But Demosthenes said, " Indeed 



APOPHTHEGMS. 179 

there is a great deal of difference between that which you 
and I do by lamp-light." 

Demades the orator, in his age, was talkative, and would 
eat hard : Antipater would say of him, that he was like 
a sacrifice, that nothing was left of it but the tongue an- 1 tin 
paunch. 

Philo Judseus saith, that the sense is like the sun ; for 
the sun seals up the globe of heaven, and opens the globe of 
earth : so the sense doth obscure heavenly things, and reveals 
earthly things. 

Alexander, after the battle of Granicum, had veiy great 
offers made him by Darius : consulting with his captains 
concerning them, Parmenio said, " Sun- 1 would accept of 
these offers, if I were as Alexander." Alexander answered, 
" So would I, if I were as Parmenio. a 

Augustus Caesar would say, that he wondered that 
Alexander feared he should want work, having no more 
w orlds to conquer, as if it were not as hard a matter to keep 
as to conquer. 

Antigonus, when it was told him that the enemy had such 
volleys of arrows that they did hide the sun, said, " That falls 
out well, for it is hot weather, and so we shall right in the 
shade." e 

Cato the elder, being aged, buried his wife, and married a 
young woman. His son came to him, and said, "Sir, what 
have I offended, that you have brought a stepmother into 
your house?" The old man answered, "Nay, quite con- 
trary, son ; thou pleaseth me so well, as I should be glad to 
have much more such." 

Crassus tin- orator had a fish which the Romans call 
Mursena, that he made very tame and fond of him ; the fish 
died, and Crassus wept for it. On.' day. falling in conten- 
tion with Domitius in the senate, Domitius said, " Foolish 
Crassus, you wept for your Mura-ua." < Yassus replied, "That's 
more than you did for your two wives." 

d It was after the battle of Essos, and daring the riege <>f Tyre, and 
not immediately alter the passage <>t the Graniooa, that this is said to 
have occurred.— A'/. 

c This was not said by Antigonus, but by a Spartan, previously to 
the battle of ThermopyhB. — Ed. 

X 2 



180 APOPHTHEGMS. 

Philip, Alexander's father, gave sentence against a pri- 
soner what time he was drowsy, and seemed to give small 
attention. The prisoner, after sentence was pronounced, 
said, " I appeal." The king, somewhat stirred, said, " To 
whom do you appeal 1 " The prisoner answered, " From 
Philip when he gave no ear to Philip when he shall give 
ear." 

There was a philosopher that disputed with Adrian the 
emperor, and did it but weakly. One of his friends that 
stood by, afterwards said to him, " Methinks you were not 
like yourself last day, in argument with the emperor ; I 
could have answered better myself." " Why," said the phi- 
losopher, " woidd you have me contend with him that com- 
mands thirty legions 1 " f 

When Alexander passed into Asia, he gave large donatives 
to his captains and other principal men of virtue ; insomuch 
as Parmenio asked him, " Sir, what do you keep for yourself ?" 
He answered, " Hope." 

There was one that found a great mass of money digged 
under-ground in his grandfather's house, and being some- 
what doubtful of the case, signified it to the emperor, that 
he had found such treasure. The emperor made a rescript 
thus : " Use it." He writ back again, that the sum was 
greater than his state or condition could use. The emperor 
writ a new rescript, thus : " Abuse it." s 

Julius Caesar, as he passed by, was, by acclamation of some 
that stood in the way, termed king, to try how the people 
would take it. The people showed great murmur and dis- 
taste at it. Caesar finding where the wind stood, slighted it, 
and said, " I am not king, but Caesar f as if they had mis- 
taken his name : for rex was a surname amongst the 
Romans, as king is with us. 

When Croesus, for his glory, showed Solon his great 
treasures of gold, Solon said to him, " If another king come 
that hath better iron than you, he will be master of all this 
gold." 

1 This happened under Augustus Csesar, and not during the reigu of 
Hadrian. — Ed. 

k This happened to the father of Herodes Atticus, and the answer was 
made by the Emperor Nerva. — Ed. 



APOPHTHEGMS. 181 

Aristippus being reprehended of luxury, by one that was 
not rich, for that lie gave six crowns for a small fish, an- 
swered, "Why, what would you have given '" The other said, 
"Some twelve pence." Aristippua said again, "And six. 
crowns is no more with me." 

Plato reprehended severely a young man for entering into 
a dissolute house. The young man said to him, " Why do 
you reprehend so sharply for 80 small a matter?" Plato 
replied, "But custom is no small matter." 

Archidamus, king of LacecUemon, having received from 
Philip, king of Macedon (after Philip had won the victory 
of Chseronea, upon the Athenians), proud letters, writ back 
to him, that if he measured his own shadow, he would find it 
no longer than it was before his victory. 

Pyrrhus, when his friends congratulated to him his victory 

over the Romans, under the conduct of Fablicius, but with 
great slaughter of his own side, said to them again, " STea, 
but if we have such another victory, we are undone." 

Plato was wont to say of bis master Socrates, that he 
was like the apothecaries' gallipots, that had on the out- 
sides apes, owls, and satyrs, but within, precious drugs. 

Alexander sent to Phocion a great present of money. 
Phocion said to the messenger, "Why doth the king send to 
me, and to none else ?" The messenger answered, " Because 
he takes you to be the only good man in Athens." Phocion 
replied, " If he thinks so, pray let him Buffer me to be so 
still." 

At a banquet, where those thai were called the seven 
vise men of Greece wen' invited by the ambassador of a 
barbarous king, the ambassador related, that there was a 
neighbour mightier than his master, picked quarrels with him, 
by making impossible demands ; otherwise threatening war ; 
and now at that present had demanded of him bo drink up 
the Bea. Whereunto one of the wise men said, " 1 would 
have him undertake it." " \\ by," said the ambassador, " how- 
shall be come off?" "Thus," saitb the wise man ;"le1 the 
king first slop the rivers which run into the sea, which are 
no part of the bargain, and then your master will perform it.' 

Hanno the Carthaginian was sent commissioner by the 



182 APOPHTHEGMS. 

state, after the second Carthaginian war, to supplicate for 
peace, and in the end obtained it ; yet one of the sharper 
senators said, "You have often broken with us the peace, 
whereunto you have sworn ; I pray, by what god will you 
swear 1 n Hanno answered, " By the same gods that punished 
the former perjury so severely." 

One of the seven was wont to say, that laws were like 
cobwebs, where the small flies were caught, and the great 
brake through. h 

Lewis the Eleventh of France, having much abated the 
greatness and power of the peers, nobility, and court of parlia- 
ment, would say, that he had brought the crown out of ward. 

There was a cowardly Spanish soldier, that in a defeat that 
the Moors gave, ran away with the foremost. Afterwards, 
when the army generally fled, this soldier was missing. 
Whereupon it was said by some, that he was slain. " No, 
sure," saith one, " he is alive ; for the Moors eat no hare's 
flesh." 

One was saying, that his great-grand fathei", and grand- 
father, and father, died at sea. Said another, that heard him, 
"And I were as you, I would never come at sea." " Why," 
saith he, " where did your great-grandfather, and grand- 
father, and father die ?" He answered, " Where, but in their 
beds?" He answered, "And I were as you, I would never 
come in bed." 

There was a dispute, whether great heads or little heads 
had the better wit ? And one said, " It must needs be the 
little ; for that it is a maxim, Omne majus continet in se 
minus. " 

Sir Thomas More, when the counsel of the party pressed 
him for a longer day to perform the decree, said. " Take 
Saint Barnaby's-day, which is the longest day in the year." 
Now, Saint Barnaby's-day was within a few days following. 

There was an Epicurean vaunted, that divers of other 
sects of philosophers did after turn Epicureans ; but there 
was never any Epicureans that turned to any other sect. 
Whereupon a philosopher, that was of another sect, said, 

h This was said by Anacharsis the Scythian, and not by a Greek. — 
Ed. 



APOPHTHEGMS. 1S3 

the reason was plain, for that cocks may be made capons ; 
but capons could never be made cocks. 

Chilon would say, that gold was tried with the touchstone, 
and men with gold. 

Mr. Popham (afterwards Lord Chief Justice Popham), 
when he was speaker, and the House of Commons had sate 
long, and done in effect nothing, coming one day to Queen 
Elizabeth, she said to him, "Now. .Mr. Speaker, what hath 
passed in the Commons House?'' He answered, " If it 
please your Majesty, seven weeks. " 

Themistocles, in his lower fortune, was in love with a 
young gentleman who scorned him ; but when he grew to 
his greatness, which was soon after, he sought hiru : Themis- 
tocles said, "We are both grown wise, but too late." 

Aristippus was earnest suitor to Dionysius for some grant, 
who would give no ear to his suit. Aristippus fell at his 
feet, and then Dionysius granted it. One that stood by said 
afterwards to Aristippus, "You, a philosopher, and be so 
base as to throw yourself at the tyrant's feet to get a suit 1" 
Aristippus answered, "The fault is not mine; but the fault 
is in Dionysius, that carries his ears in his feet. " 

Solon being asked, whether he had given the Athenians 
the best laws 1 answered, " The best of those that they 
would have received." 

One said to Aristippus, " 'Tis a strange thing, why men 
should rather give to the poor, than to philosophers." He 
answered, •• Because they think themselves may sooner come 
to be poor, than to be philosophers." 

Trajan would say of the vain jealousy of princes, that seek 
to make away those that aspire to t heir succession, that there 
was never king that did put to death his BttCCesBOr. 

Alexander used to say of his two friends, Craterus and 
Ile|ihastion. that liepluestion loved Alexander, and Craterus 
Loved i hf king. 

One of the fathers aaith, that then is Inn kins difference 
between tin death of <>ld men and young mm; that old 
men g<> to death, and death comes to young men. 

Jason the Thessalian was wont to say, that some tilings 
must be done unjustly, that many things may be done justly. 



184 APOPHTHEGMS. 

Demetrius, king of Macedon, would at times retire himself 
from business, and give himself wholly to pleasures. On one 
of those his retirings, giving out that he was sick, his father, 
Antigonus, came on the sudden to visit liim, and met a fair 
dainty youth coming out of his chamber. When Antigonus 
came in, Demetrius said, " Sir, the fever left me right now." 
Antigonus replied, " I think it was he that I met at the 
door. " 

Cato major would say, that wise men learned more by fools, 
than fools by wise men. 

When it was said to Anaxagoras, " The Athenians have 
condemned you to die," he replied, " And nature them." 

Alexander, when his father wished him to run for the 
prize of the race of the Olympian games (for he was very 
swift), answered, he would, if he might run with kings. 

Antigonus used often to go disguised, and to listen at the 
tents of his soldiers ; and at a time heard some that spoke 
very ill of him. Whereupon he opened the tent a little, and 
said to them, " If you would speak ill of me, you should go 
a little farther off." 

Aristippus said, that those that studied particular sciences, 
and neglected philosophy, were like Penelope's wooers, that 
made love to the waiting-woman. 

The ambassadors of Asia Minor came to Antonius, after he 
had imposed upon them a double tax, and said plainly to 
Mm, that if he would have two tributes in one year, he must 
give them two seedtimes, and two harvests. 

An orator of Athens said to Demosthenes, " The Athe- 
nians will kill you if they wax mad :" Demosthenes replied, 
'•And they will kill you, if they be in good sense." 1 

Epictetus used to say, that one of the vulgar, in any ill 
that happens to him, blames others ; a novice in philosophy 
blames himself ; and a philosopher blames neither the one nor 
the other. 

Cato the elder, what time many of the Romans had statues 
erected in their honour, was asked by one, in a kind of 
wonder, why he had none 1 He answered, he had much 

' This was not said by Demosthenes, but to Demosthenes by Phocion. 
Ed. 



APOPHTHEGMS I v "' 

rather men should ask and wonder why he bad no Btatuc, 

than why he had a statue. 

A certain friend of Sir Thomas More, taking great pains 
about a book, which he intended to publish (being well con- 
ceited of his own wit, which do man else thought worthy of 
commendation), broughl it to Sir Thomas More to peruse it, 
and pass his judgment upon it, which he did j and finding 
nothing therein worthy the press, he said to him, with a 
grave countenance, that if it were in verse, it would be 
more worthy. Upon which words, he went immediately 
and turned it into verse, and then brought it to Sir Thomas 
again ; who, looking thereon, said soberly, " Yes, marry, now 
it is somewhat ; for now it is rhyme ; whereas before, it was 
neither rhyme nor reason." 

Sir Henry Wbtton used to say, that critics were likebrushers 
of noblemen's clothes. 

Phocion the Athenian (a man of great severity, and no 
ways flexible to the will of the people), one day, when he 
spake to the people, in one part of his speech, was applauded ; 
whereupon, he turned to one of his friends, and asked. •• What 
have I said amiss |" 

Diogenes was one day in the market-place, with a candle 
in his hand, and being asked what he sought .' he said, he 
sought a man. 

Queen Elizabeth was entertained by my Lord Burleigh at 
Theobalds; and at her going away, my lord obtained of the 
queen, to make seven knights. They were gentlemen of the 
country, of my lord's friends and neighbours. They were 
placed in a rank, as the queen should pass by the hall ; and 
to win antiquity of knighthood, in order as my lord favoured, 
though, indeed, the more principal gentlemen were placed 
lowest. The queen wis told of it. and said nothing; but 
when she went along, .-he passed them all by, as far as the 

skreen, as if she had forgot it ; and when she came to the 

skreen, she seemed to take herself with the manner, and said, 
'•J had almost forgot what I promised." With that she 
turned back, and knighted the lowest first, and bo upward. 
Whereupon Mr. Stanhope, of the pi ivy-chamber, a while after 
told her, " Y"ur Majesty was too fine for my Lord Burleigh." 



1 86 APOPHTHEGMS. 

She answered, " I have but fulfilled the Scripture : the first 
shall be last, and the last first." 

Bion was sailing, and there fell out a great tempest, and 
the mariners that were wicked and dissolute fellows called 
upon the gods ; but Bion said to them, " Peace, let them not 
know you are here." 

The Turks made an expedition into Persia ; and because 
of the strait jaws of the mountains of Armenia, the 
bashaw consulted which way they should get in. One that 
heard the debate said, "Here's much ado how you shall get 
in ; but I hear nobody take care how you should get out. " 

Philip, king of Macedon, maintained arguments with a 
musician, in points of his art, somewhat peremptorily ; but 
the musician said to him, " God forbid, Sir, your fortune were 
so hard, that you should know these things better than 
myself." 

Pace the fool was not suffered to come at Queen Elizabeth, 
because of his bitter humour. Yet at one time, some per- 
suaded the queen that he should come to her ; undertaking 
for him, that he should keep within compass ; so he was 
brought to her, and the cpieen said, " Come on, Pace, now we 
shall hear of our faults. " Saith Pace, " I do not use to talk 
of that that all the town talks of." 

After the defeat of Cyrus the younger, Falinus was sent 
by the king to the Grecians (who had for their part rather 
victory than otherwise), to command them to yield their 
arms ; which, when it was denied, Falinus said to Clearchus, 
" Well, then, the king lets you know, that if you remove 
from the place where you are now encamped, it is war; if 
you stay, it is truce. What shall I say you will do?" 
Clearchus answered, " It pleaseth us, as it pleaseth the king." 
- How is that ?" saith Falinus. Saith Clearchus, " If we 
remove, war ; if we stay, truce :" and so would not disclose 
his purpose. 

Nero was wont to say of his master Seneca, that his style 
was like mortar without lime. 

A seaman coming before the judges of the Admiralty for 
admittance into an office of a ship bound for the Indies, was 
by one of the judges much slighted, as an insufficient person 



APOPHTHEGMS. 187 

for that office he sought to obtain ; the judge telling him, 
thai he believed he could not say the points of his compass. 
The Beaman answered, that he could say them, under favour, 
better than he could say his Paternoster. The judge replied, 
that he would wager twenty shillings with him upon that. 
The Beaman taking him up, it came to trial ; and the seaman 
began, and said all the points of his compass very exactly ; 
the jndge likewise said hie Paternoster j and when he had 
finished it, he required the wager according to agreement, 
I iccause the seaman was to say his compass better than he 
his Paternoster, Avhich he had not performed. " Nay. I 
pray sir, hold," quoth the seaman, "the wager is not finished, 
for I have but half done :" and so he immediately said his 
compass backward very exactly ; which the judge failing of 
in his Paternoster, the seaman carried away the prize. 

Sir Fulke Crevil had much and private access to Queen 
Elizabeth, which he used honourably, and did many men 
good : yet he would say merrily of himself, that he was like 
Robin Goodfellow ; for when the maids spilt the milk-pans, 
or kept any racket, they would lay it upon Robin : so what 
tales the ladies about the queen told her, or other bad offices 
that they did, they would put it upon him. 

Cato said, the best way to keep good acts in memory, 
was to refresh them with new. 

A i istippus said, he took money of his friends, not so 
much to use it himself, as to teach them how to bestow 
heir money. 

A strumpet said to Aristippus, that she was with child by 
him ; he answered, "You know that no more, than if you 
.■Hi through a hedge of thorns, you could say, this thorn 
pricked me." 

DemocrituB said, thai truth did lie in the profound pits, 

and when it was got, it needed much refining. 

Diogenes said of a young man thai danced daintily, and 
was much commended, "The hctter, the worse." 

Diogenes Beeing one that was a bastard casting stones 
among the people, hade him tak ■■ heed he hit not his lather. 

Plutarch said well, "It is otherwise in a commonwealth of 



188 APOPHTHEGMS. 

men than of bees ; the hive of a city or kingdom is in best 
condition, when there is least of noise or buzz in it." 

The same Plutarch said of men of weak abilities set in 
great place, that they were like little statues set on great 
bases, made to appear the less by their advancement. 

He said again, " Good fame is like fire : when you have 
kindled it, you may easily preserve it ; but if you once 
extinguish it, you will not easily kindle it again." 

Queen Elizabeth seeing Sir Edward in her garden, 

looked out at her window, and asked him in Italian, " What 
does a man think of when he thinks of nothing?" Sir 
Edward (who had not had the effect of some of the queen's 
grants so soon as he had hoped and desired) paused a little, 
and then made answer, " Madam, he thinks of a woman's 
promise." The queen shrunk in her head, but was heard to 
say, "Well, Sir Edward, I must not confute you. Anger 
makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor." 

When any great officer, ecclesiastical or civil, was to be 
made, the queen would inquire after the piety, integrity, and 
learning of the man. And when she was satisfied in these 
qualifications, she would consider of his personage. And 
upon such an occasion she pleased once to say to me, '•' Bacon, 
how can the magistrate maintain his authority when the 
man is despised '?" 

In eighty-eight, when the queen went from Temple-bar 
along Fleet-street, the lawyers were ranked on one side, and 
the companies of the city on the other ; said Master Bacon 
to a lawyer that stood next to him, " Do but observe the 
courtiers ; if they bow first to the citizens, they are in debt ; 
if first to us, they are in law." 

A Grecian captain advising the confederates that wore 
united against the Lacedaemonians, touching their enterprise, 
gave opinion, that they should go directly upon Sparta, say- 
ing, that the state of Sparta was like rivers ; strong when 
they had run a great way, and weak toward their head. 

One was examined upon certain scandalous words spoken 
against the king. He confessed them, and said, i: It is true, 
I spake them, and if the wine had not failed, I had said 
much more." 



APOPHTHEGMS. 189 

Charles the Bald allowed one, whose name was Scottus, to 
sit at the table with him for his pleasure. Scottus sate on 
the other side of the table. One time the king being mercy 
with him, said to him, " What is there between Scut and 
Sot?" Scottus answered, "Tin; table only." 

There was a marriage made between a widow of greal 
wealth, and a gentleman of great house, that had no estate 
or means. -Jack Roberts -aid, thai marriage was like a 
black pudding; the one brought blood, and the other brought 
suet and oatmeal. 

Diogenes was asked in a kind of scorn, What was the 
matter, that philosophers haunted rich men, and not rich 
men philosophers 1 He answered, "Because the one knew 
what they wanted, the other did not." 

Demetrius, king of Macedon, had a petition offered him 
divers times by an old woman, and answered, he had no 
leisure. Whereupon, the woman said aloud, " Why, then, 
give over to be king." k 

When King Edward the Second was amongst his torturers, 
who hurried him to and fro, that no man should know where 
he was, they set him down upon a bank ; and one time, the 
more to disguise his face, shaved him, and washed him with 
cold water of a ditch by. The king said, " Well, yet I will 
have warm water for my beard ;" and so shed abundance 
of tears. 

King James was wont to be very earnest with the country 
gentlemen to go from Loudon to their country bousea And 
sometimes he would say thus to them: "Gentlemen, at 
London, you are like ships at sea, which show like nothing ; 
but in your country villages, you are like slops in a river. 
which look like great things." 

Count Gondomar sent a compliment to my Lord St. Alban, 
wishing him a good Easter. My lord thanked the messenger, 
and said, he could not at present requite the count better 
than in returning him the like : that ho wished his Lordship 

a good Passover. 

k This did not happen to Demetrius, but t.i Philip, king i if .Macedoru 
Bacon repeats the anecdote in the first book of the Novum Orgunuin, 
but without itating any iiaiiic.--/:Vf. 



190 APOPHTHEGMS. 

My Lord Chancellor Elsmere, when he had read a petition 
which he disliked, would say, " What, you would have my 
hand to this now V And the party answering, " Yes ;" he 
would say farther, " Well, so you shall ; nay, you shall have 
both my hands to it." And so would, with both his hands, 
tear it in pieces. 

Sir Francis Bacon was wont to say of an angry man who 
suppressed his passion, that he thought worse than he spoke ; 
and of an angry man that would chide, that he spoke worse 
than he thought. 

When Mi*. Attorney Coke, in the Exchequer, gave high 
words to Sir Francis Bacon, and stood much upon the higher 
place, Sir Francis said to him, " Mr. Attorney, the less you 
speak of your own greatness, the more I shall think of it ; 
and the more, the less." 

Sir Francis Bacon (who was always for moderate counsels), 
when one was speaking of such a reformation of the Church 
of England as would in effect make it no church, said thus 
to him : " Sir, the subject we talk of is the eye of England, 
and if there be a speck or two in the eye, we endeavour to 
take them off ; but he were a strange oculist who would pull 
out the eye." 

The same Sir Francis Bacon was wont to say, that those 
who left useful studies for useless scholastic speculations, 
were like the Olympic gamesters, who abstained from neces- 
sary labours, that they might be fit for such as were not so. 

The Lord St. Albans, who was not over-hasty to raise 
theories, but proceeded slowly by experiments, was wont to 
say to some philosophers, who woidd not go his pace, ".Gen- 
tlemen, nature is a labyrinth, in which the very haste you 
move with, will make you lose your way." 

The same lord, when a gentleman seemed not much to 
approve of his liberality to his retinue, said to him, " Sir, I 
am all of a piece ; if the head be lifted up, the inferior parts 
of the body must too." 

The Lord Bacon was wont to commend the advice of the 
plain old man at Buxton, that sold besoms ; a proud, lazy 
young fellow came to him for a besom upon trust ; to whom 
the old man said, " Friend, hast thou no money ? Borrow of 



ELEGANT SENTENCES. 191 

thy back, and borrow of thy belly, they'll ne'er ask thee 
I shall be dunning thee every day.'' 

Jack Weeks said of a great ruau (just then dead), who 
pretended to some religion, but was none of the bed livers, 

•• WY11, I hope he is in heaven. Every man thinks as he 
wishes; but it' he be in heaven, 'twere pity it were known." 
His lordship, -when he had finished this collection of 
apophthegms, concluded thus : u Come, now all is well ; they 
say, he is not a wise man that will lose his friend for his wit ; 
but he is less a wise man that will lose his friend for another 
man's wit." 

ORNAMENTA RATIONALIA: 

OR 

ELEGANT SENTENCES. 

Aleator, quanto in arte est melior, tanto est nequior — A 
gamester, the greater master he is in his art, the worse man 
he is. 

Arcum, intensio frangit; animum,reinissio — Much bending 
breaks the bow ; much unbending, the mind. 

Bis vincit, qui se vincit in victoria — He conquers twice, 
who restrains himself in victory. 

Cum vitia prosint, peccai qui recto tacit — If vices were 
profitable, the virtuous man would be the sinner. 

Dine dormit, qui non sentit quod male donniat — He 
Bleeps well, who is noi conscious that he sleeps ill. 

Deliberare utilia. mom esi tutisaiina — To dehberato about 
nsefu] thii ■ safest delay. 

Dolor decrescit, ubi quo crescat non habet — The flood d 
grief decreaseth, when it can swell no higher. 

Etiam innocentes cogil mentiri dolox — Pain makes even 
the innocent man a liar. 



192 ELEGANT SENTENCES. 

Etiam celeritas in desiderio, mora est — In desire, swiftness 
itself is delay. 

Etiam capillus ubus habct umbram suam — Even a single 
hair casts a shadow. 

Fidem qui perdit, quo se Bervat in reliquum ? — He that 
has lost his faith, what staff has he left ? 

Formosa facies muta commendatio est — A beautiful face 
is a silent commendation. 

Fortuna murium quern fovet, stultum facit — Fortune makes 
him fool, whom she makes her darling. 

Fortuna obesse nulli contenta est semel — Fortune is not 
content to do a man one ill turn. 

Facit gratum fortuna, quern nemo videt — The fortune 
which nobody sees makes a man happy and uneuvied. 

Heu ! quam miserum est ab illo kedi, de quo non possis 
queri — O ! what a miserable thing it is to be injured by 
those of whom Ave cannot complain. 

Homo toties moritur quoties anrittit suos — A man dies as 
often as he loses his fiiends. 

Hseredis fietus sub persona risus est — The tears of an heir 
are laughter under a mask. 

Jucundum nihil est, nisi quod reficit varietas — Nothing is 
pleasant which is not spiced with variety. 

Invidiam ferre, aut fortis, aux felix potest — He may be 
envied, who is either courageous or happy. 

In malis sperare bonum, nisi innocens, nemo potest — In 
adversity, only the virtuous can entertain hope. 

In vindicando, criminosa est celeritas — In revenge, haste 
is criminal. 

In calamitoso risus etiam injuria est — In misfortune, even 
to smile is to offend. 

Improbe Neptunum accusat, qui iterum naufragium facit 
— He accuseth Neptune unjustly, who incurs ship wreck a 
second time. 

Multis minatur, qui imi facit injuriam — He that injures 
one, threatens many. 



ELEGANT SENTENCES. 193 

Mora omnis ingrata est, Bed tUc-it sapientiam — All delay is 
mi pleasant, but we arc the wiser for it. 

Mori est felicis antequam mortem invocet — Happj be 
who dies ere be calls on death. 

Mains ubi bonuin Be simulat, tunc est pessimus — A bad 
man is worst wlien he pretends to be a saint. 

Magno cum periculo custoditur, <jn« ><l multis placet — Lock 
and key will scarce keep that secure which pleases eveiy- 
body. 

Male vivunt qui se semper victuros putant — They live i!!. 
who think to live -for ever. 

Male secum agit a>ger, modicum qui hseredem tacit — That 
sick man does ill for himself, who makes bis physician his 
heir. 

Multos timere debet, quern multi timeut — He of whom 
many are afraid, ought himself to fear many. 

Nulla lam bona est fortuna, de qua nil possis (jueri — 
There's no fortune so good, but it has its alley. 

Pars beneficii est quod petitur, si bene neges — That is 
half granted which is denied graciously. 

Timidus vocat se cautum, parcum sordidus — The coward 
calls himself a cautious man ; and the miser says, he is 
frugal. 

<> vita ! misero longa, felici brevis — O life ! an age to the 
miserable, a moment to the happy. 

The following are sentences extracted from the Width 
Lord Bacon : — 

It is a strange desire which men have, to seek power and 
lo.-e liberty. 

Children increase the cares of lite : but they mitigate the 
mbrance of death. 

Round dealing i the honour of man's nature ; and a mix- 
ture of falsehood is like alloy in gold and silver, which may 
make the metal work the better, but it debaseth it. 

Death openeth the gate bo ( I fame, and extinguish eth 

envy. 

o 



194 ELEGANT SENTENCES. 

Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more a man's 
nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. 

He that studieth revenge, keepeth Ins own wounds green. 

It was a high speech of Seneca (after the manner of the 
Stoics), that the good things which belong to prosperity are 
to be wished ; but the good things which belong to adversity- 
are to be admired. 

He that cannot see well, let him go softly. 

If a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery ; as the 
more close air sucketh in the more open. 

Keep your authority wholly from your, children, not so 
your purse. 

Men of noble birth are noted to be envious towards new 
men when they rise. For the distance is altered ; and it is 
like a deceit of the eye, that when others come on, they 
think themselves go back. 

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

Boldness in civil business, is like pronunciation in the 
orator of Demosthenes ; the first, secondhand Third thing. 

Boldness is blind : whereof 'tis ill in counsel, but good in 
execution. For in counsel it is good to see dangers, in exe- 
cution not to see them, except they be very great. 

Without goodnature, man is but a better kind of vermin. 

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

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. 

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

In removing superstitions, care should be had, that (as it 
i'aieth in ill purgings) the good be not taken away with the 
bad ; which commonly is done, when the people is the 
physician. 

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



ELEGANT SENTENCES. 195 

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

I >epression of the nobility may make a king more absolute, 
but less safe. 

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

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

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

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

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

It were good that men, in their innovations, would follow 
the example of time itself, which indeed i n novateth greatly, 
but quietly, and by degrees scarce to be perceivedt 

Tiny that reverence too much old time, are hut a scorn to 

(he new. 

The Spaniards and Spartans have been noted to be of 
small despatch. Mi venga la niuertc de Spsgna — Let my 

o a 



10G ELEGANT SENTENCES. 

death come from Spain ; for then it will be sure to be long 
a-coming. 

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

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

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 be. 

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. 

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

Suspicions among thoughts ai - e like bats amoug birds, they 
ever fly by twilight. 

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

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. 

Discretion in speech is more than eloquence. 

Men seem neither well to understand their riches, nor 
their strength ; of the former they believe greater things 
than they shoidd, and of the latter much less. And from 
hence fatal pillars have bounded the progress of learning. 

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

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

He that defers his charity till he is dead, is (if a mail 
weighs it rightly) rather liberal of another man's, than of 
his own. 

Ambition is like choler; if he can move, it makes men 



ELEGANT SENTENCES. 197 

active ; if it be stopped, it becomes adust, and makes men 
melancholy. 

T<> take a soldier without ambition, is to pidl off his 
spui's. 

Some ambitious men Beem as sere* 08 to princes in matters 
of danger and envy. For ao man will take such parts, 
except he be like the seel'd dove, that mounts and mounts, 
because he cannot see about him. 

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. 

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

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

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

Beauty 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. 

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

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

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

Costly followers (among whom we may reckon those who 
are importunate in BUits) are not to be liked ; lest while ;i 
man maketh his train longer, he inaketh his wings shorter. 

Fame is like a river, that bearetb up things light aud 
swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid. 



198 SHORT NOTES. 

Seneca saith well, that anger is like rain, that breaks 
itself upon that it falls. 

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

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

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

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

The virtue of prosperity is temperance, of adversity forti- 
tude, which in morals is the more heroical virtue. Prospe- 
rity is the blessing of the Old Testament, adversity the 
blessing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction 
and the clearer revelation of God's favour. 



SHOET NOTES FOE CIVIL CONVEESATION. 

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. 

It is necessary to use a steadfast countenance, not waving 
with action, as in moving the head or hand too much, which 
showeth 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. 

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 should follow ; whereas a slow speech confirmeth 
the memory, addeth a conceit of wisdom to the hearers, 
besides a seemliness of speech and countenance. 



SHORT NOTES. 199 

To desire in discourse to hold all arguments, is ridiculous, 
wanting true judgment ; for in all things no man can be 
exquisite. 

To have common-places to discourse, and to want variety, 
is both tedious to the hearers, and shows a shallowness of 
conceit ; therefore it is good to vary, and suit speeches with 
the present occasions ; and to have a moderation in all our 
speeches, especially in jesting, of religion, state, great 
persons, weighty and important business, poverty, or any- 
thing deserving pity. 

To use many circumstances, ere you come to matter, is 
wearisome : and to use none at all, is but blunt. 

Bashfulness is a great hinderance to a man, both of 
uttering his conceit, and understanding what is propounded 
unto him ; wherefore, it is good to press himself forwards 
with discretion, both in speech, and oootpttny of the better 
sort. 

Usus promptos facit. 



fltf, U*~ 



4^- a t huf/U &c ^ ^ t^r h*~ J **+ /X ^■'L ^^ > 
U^M?^ THE WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

_<J A SERIES OF MYTHOLOGICAL FABLES." 

MLZTjC* i/^> -^ '~«* ■-&*■%■ i*JU> ) * ****** ' 

PREFACE. 

The earliest antiquity lies buried in silence and oblivion, excepting 
the remains we have of it in sacred writ. This silence was succeeded 
by poetical fables, and these, at length, by the writings we now enjoy ; 
so that the concealed and secret learning of the ancients seems separated 
from the history and knowledge of the following ages by a veil, or par- 
tition-wall of fables, interposing between the things that are lost and 
those that remain. 6 

Many may imagine that I am here entering upon a work of fancy, or 
amusement, and design to use a poetical liberty, in explaining poetical 
fables. It is true, fables in general are composed of ductile matter, that 
may be drawn into great variety by a witty talent or an inventive 
genius, and be delivered of plausible meanings which they never con- 
tained. But this procedure has already been carried to excess ; and 
great numbers, to procure the sanction of antiquity to their own notions 
and inventions, have miserably wrested and abused the fables of the 
ancients. 

Nor is this only a late or unfrequent practice, but of ancient date, and 
common even to this day. Thus Chrysippus, like an interpreter of 
dreams, attributed the opinions of the Stoics to the poets of old ; and the 
chemists, at present, more childishly apply the poetical transformations 
to their experiments of the furnace. And though I have well weighed 
and considered all this, and thoroughly seen into the levity which the 
mind indulges for allegories and allusions, yet I cannot but retain a high 
value for the ancient mythology. And, certainly, it were very injudi- 



<C a Most of these fables are contained in Ovid's Metamorphoses and 
iA ■ \ Fasti, and are fully explained in Bonn's Classical Library translation. 

b Varro distributes the ages of the world into three periods ; viz. the 
unknown, the fabulous, and the historical. Of the former we have no 
accounts but in Scripture ; for the second we must consult the ancient 
poets, such as Hesiod, Homer, or those who wrote still earlier, and then 
again come back to Ovid, who, in his Metamorphoses, seems, in imita- 
tion perhaps of some ancient Greek poet, to have intended a complete 
collection, or a kind of continued and connected history of the fabulous 
age, especially with regard to changes, revolutions, or transformations. 5 

+ k& ( (h \ ?Lf fiL L* **4sf*~.UL~< »;m /i /h>f»M K *J~ 



PREFACE. 201 

cious to .suffer the fondness and licentiousness of a few to detract from 
the honour of alienor; and parable in general. This would be rash, and 
almost profane ; for, since religion delights in such shadows and dis- 
guises, to abolish them were, in a manner, to prohibit all intercourse 
betwixt things divine and human. 

Upon deliberate consideration, my judgment is, that a concealed 
instruction and allegory was originally intended in many of the ancient 
fables. This opinion may, in some respect, he owing to the veneration 
I have for antiquity, but more to observing that some fables discover a 
great and evident similitude, relation, and connection with the thing 
they signify, as well in the structure of the table as in the propriety of 
the names whereby the persons or actors are characterized ; insomuch, 
that no one could positively deny a sense and meaning to be from the 
first intended, and purposely shadowed out in them. For who can hear 
that Fame, after the giants were destroyed, sprung up as their posthu- 
mous sister, and not apply it to the clamour of parties and the seditious 
rumours which commonly Hy about for a time upon the quelling of 
insurrections ? Orwho can read how the giant Typhon eut oul and car- 
ried away Jupiter's sinews — which Mercury afterwards stole and again 
restored to Jupiter — and not presently observe that this allegory denotes 
strong and powerful rebellions, which cut away from kings their .sinew.-, 
both of money and authority ; and that the way to have them restored 
is by lenity, affability, and prudent edicts, which soon reconcile, and as 
it were steal upon the affections of the subject ? Or who, upon hearing 
that memorable expedition of the gods .against the giants, when the 
braying of Silenus's ass greatly contributed in putting the giants to 
flight, does not clearly conceive that this directly points at the mon- 
strous enterprises of rebellious subjects, which are frequently frustrated 
and disappointed by \ain fears and empty rumours? 

Again, the conformity and purport of the names is frequently manifest 
and self-evident. Tims Metis, the wife of Jupiter, plainly signifies 
counsel ; Typhon, swelling ; Pan, universality ; Nemesis, revenge, &c. 
Nor is it a wonder, if sometimes a piece of history or other things are 
introduced, by way of ornament ; or if the times of the action are con- 
founded ; or if part of one fable be tacked to another ; or if the allegory 
be new turned ; for all this must necessarily happen, as the fables were 
the inventions of men who lived in different ages and had different 
news ; some of them being ancient, others more modern ; some having 
an eye to natural philosophy, and others to morality or civil policy. 

It may pass for a farther indication of a concealed and secret mean- 
ing, that -01111 of these fables are bo absurd and idle in their narration 

as to show and proclaim an alb gory, even afar off. A fable that carries 
probability with il maj be -upp..-. d invented for pleasure, or in imitation 
of history; but those that could never lie conceived or related in ;his 

way must surely have a different use, For example, what a monstrous 

fiction is this, that Jupiter should take Bfetis to wife, and as - as he 

found her pregnant eat her up, wherebj he also o eived, and out of 

in head brought forth Pallas arm d, Certainly no mortal could, but 

for the sake of the moral it OOUcheS, invent such BO absurd dream as 
this, so much out of the road of thought ' 

Uut the argument of most weight with me is this, that many of these 



202 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

fables by no means appear to have been invented by the persons who 
relate and divulge them, whether Homer, Hesiod, or others ; for if I 
were assured they first flowed from those later times and authors that 
transmit them to us, I should never expect anything singularly great or 
noble from such an origin. But whoever attentively considers the 
thing, will find that these fables are delivered down and related by those 
writers, not as matters then first invented and proposed, but as things 
received and embraced in earlier ages. Besides, as they are differently 
related by writers nearly of the same ages, it is easily perceived that the 
relators drew from the common stock of ancient tradition, and varied 
but in point of embellishment, which is their own. And this princi- 
pally raises my esteem of these fables, which I receive, not as the pro- 
duct of the age, or invention of the poets, but as sacred relics, gentle 
whispers, and the breath of better times, that from the traditions of more 
ancient nations came, at length, into the flutes and trumpets of the 
Greeks. But if any one shall, notwithstanding this, contend that alle- 
gories are always adventitious, or imposed upon the ancient fables, and 
no way native or genuinely contained in them, we might here leave him 
iindisturbed in that gravity of judgment he affects (though we cannot 
help accounting it somewhat dull and phlegmatic), and if it were worth 
the trouble, proceed to another kind of argument. 

Men have proposed to answer two different and contrary ends by the 
use of parable ; for parables serve as well to instruct or illustrate as to 
wrap up and envelop, so that though, for the present, we drop the con- 
cealed use, and suppose the ancient fables to be vague, undeterminate 
things, formed for amusement, still the other use must remain, and can 
never be given up. And every man, of any learning, must readily allow 
that this method of instructing is grave, sober, or exceedingly useful, 
and sometimes necessary in the sciences, as it opens an easy and familiar 
passage to the human understanding, in all new discoveries that are 
abstruse and out of the road of vulgar opinions. Hence, in the first 
ages, when such inventions and conclusions of the human reason as are 
now trite and common were new and little known, all things abounded 
with fables, parables, similes, comparisons, and allusions, which were 
not intended to conceal, but to inform and teach, whilst the minds of 
men continued rude and unpractised in matters of subtilty and specula- 
tion, or even impatient, and in a manner uncapable of receiving such 
things as did not directly fall under and strike the senses. For as 
hieroglyphics were in use before writing, so were parables in use before 
arguments. And even to this day, if any man would let new light in 
upon the human understanding, and conquer prejudice, without raising 
contests, animosities, opposition, or disturbance, he must still go in 
the same path, and have recourse to the like method of allegory, meta- 
phor, and allusion. 

To conclude, the knowledge of the early ages was either "great or 
happy ; great, if they by design made this use of trope and figure ; 
happy, if, whilst they had other views, they afforded matter and occa- 
sion to such noble contemplations. Let either be the case, our pains, 
perhaps, will not be misemployed, whether we illustrate antiquity or 
things themselves. 

The like indeed has been attempted by others ; but to speak ingenu- 



CASSANDRA, OR DIVINATION. 203 

ously, theiT great and voluminous labours liave almost destroyed the 
energy, the efficacy, and grace of the- thing, whilst, being unskilled in 
nature, and their learning no more than that of common place, they 
have applied the sense of the parables to certain general and vulgar 
matters, without reaching to their real purport, genuim- interpretation, 
and full depth. For myself, therefore, I expect to appear new in these 
common things, because, leaving untouched such as are sufficiently plain 
and open, I shall drive only at those that are either deep or rich. 



I.— CASSANDRA, OR DIVINATION. Jta*) HI . J J 

EXPLAINED OF TOO FREE AND UNSEASONABLE ADVICE. 

The Poets relate, that Apollo, falling in love with Cas- 
sandra, was still deluded and put off by her, \> t fed with 
hopes, till she had got from him the gift of prophecy j and 
having now obtained her end, she flatly rejected his suit. 
Apollo, unable to recall his rash gift, yet enraged to be out- 
witted by a girl, annexed this penalty to it, that though 
she should always prophesy true, she should never be 
believed; whence her divinations were always slighted, even 
when she again and again predicted the ruin of her countiy. 

Explanation. — This fable seems invented to express the 
insignificance of unseasonable advice. For they who are 
conceited, stubborn, or intractable, and listen not to the 
instructions of Apollo, the god of harmony, so as to Irani 
and observe the modulations and measures of affairs, the 
sharps and flats of discourse, the difference between judicious 
and vulgar ears, and the proper times of speech and silence, 
let them be ever so intelligent, and ever so frank of their 
advice, or their counsels ever so good and just, yet all their 
endeavours, either of persuasion or force, are of little sig- 
nificance, .and rather hasten the ruin of those they advise. 
But, at ,last, when the oalamitous event has made the 
sufferers feel the effect of their neglect, they too late reve- 
rence their advisers, as deep, fan seeing, and faithful pro- 
phets. 

Of this wo have a remarkable instance in Cato of Utica, 
who discovered afar off, and long foretold, the approaching 
ruin of his country, both in the first conspiracy, and as it 
was prosecuted in the civil war between Cesar and Pompsy, 



204 WISDOM OF THE ANCIEXTS. 

yet did no good the while, but rather hurt the common- 
Avealth, and hurried on its destruction, which Cicero wisely 
observed in these words : " Cato, indeed, judges excellently, 
but prejudices the state ; for he speaks as in the common- 
wealth of Plato, and not as in the dregs of Romulus." 



i A, II.— TYPHON, OR A REBEL. 

' EXPLAINED OF REBELLION. 

The fable runs, that Juno, enraged at Jupiter's bringing 
forth Pallas without her assistance, incessantly solicited all 
the gods and goddesses, that she might produce without 
Jupiter : and having by violence and importunity obtained 
the grant, she struck the earth, and thence immediately 
sprung up Typhon, a huge and dreadful monster, whom she 
committed to the nursing of a serpent. As soon as he was 
grown up, this monster waged war on Jupiter, and taking 
him prisoner in the battle, carried him away on his shoulders, 
into a remote and obscure quarter : and there cutting out 
the sinews of Ins hands and feet, he bore them off, leaving 
Jupiter behind miserably maimed and mangled. 

But Mercury afterwards stole these sinews from Typhon, 
and restored them to Jupiter. Hence, recovering his 
strength, Jupiter again pursues the monster ; first wounds 
him with a stroke of his thunder, when serpents arose from 
the blood of the wound : and now the monster being dis- 
mayed, and taking to flight, Jupiter next darted Mount 
j^Etna upon him, and crushed him with the weight. 

Explanation. — This fable seems designed to express the 
various fates of kings, and the turns that rebellions some- 
times take, in kingdoms. For princes may be justly esteemed 
married to their states, as Jupiter to Juno : but. it some- 
times happens, that, being depraved by long wielding of the 
sceptre, and growing tyrannical, they would engross all to 
themselves ; and slighting the counsel of their senators and 
nobles, conceive by themselves ; that is, govern according to 
their own arbitrary will and pleasure. This inflames the 
people, and makes them endeavour to create and set up 
some head of their own. Such designs are generally set on 



TYPIION, OR A REBEL. 205 

foot by the secret motion and instigation of the peers and 
nobles, under whose connivance the common sort are pre- 
pared for rising : whence proceeds a swell in the state, which is 
appositely denoted by the nursing of Typhon This growing 
posture of affairs is fed by the natural depravity, and malig- 
nant dispositions of the vulgar, which to kings is an en- 
venomed serpent. And now the disaffected, uniting their force, 
at length break out into open rebellion, which, producing 
infinite mischiefs, both to prince and people, is represented 
by the horrid and multiplied deformity of Typhon, with his 
hundred heads, denoting the divided powers ; his flaming 
mouths, denoting fire and devastation ; Ids girdles of snakes, 
denoting sieges and destruction ; his iron hands, slaughter 
and cruelty ; his eagle's talons, rapine and plunder; his 
plumed body, perpetual rumours, contradictory accounts. Arc 
And sometimes these rebellions grow so high, thai kings are 
obliged, as if carried on the hacks of the rebels, to quit the 
throne, and retire to some remote and obscure part of their 
dominions, with the loss of their sinews, both of money and 
majesty. 

But if now they prudently hear this reverse of fortune, 
they may, in a short time, by the assistance of Mercury, 
recover their sinews again ; that is. by becoming moderate 
and allid.de ; reconciling the minds and affections of the 
people to them, by gracious speeches, and prudent procla- 
mations, which will win over the subject cheerfully to afford 
new aids and supplies, and add fresh vigour to authority. 
But prudent and wary princes here seldom incline to try 
fortune by a war, yet do their utmost, by some grand exploit, 
to crush the reputation of the rebels : and it the attempt 
succeeds, the rebels, conscious of the wound received, and 
distrustful of their cause, first betake themselves to broken 
and empty threats, like the hissings of serpents ; and next, 
when matters are grown desperate, to Bight. And now, 
when they thus begin bo shrink, it is safe and seasonable for 
kings to pursue them with their forces, and the whole 
strength of the kingdom j thus effectually quashing and 
suppressing them, as it were by the weight of a mountain. 



lo\ 



206 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

III.— THE CYCLOPS, OR THE MINISTERS OF TERROR. 

EXPLAINED OF BASE CO0BT OFFICERS. 

It is related that the Cyclops, for their savageness and 
cruelty, were by Jupiter first thrown into Tartarus, and 
there condemned to perpetual imprisonment : but that after- 
wards, Tellus persuaded Jupiter it would be for his service 
to release them, and employ them in forging thunderbolts. 
This he accordingly did ; and they, with unwearied pains 
and diligence, hammered out his bolts, and other instruments 
of terror, with a frightful and continual din of the anvil. 

It happened long after, that Jupiter was displeased with 
.ZEsculapius, the son of Apollo, for having, by the art of 
medicine, restored a dead man to life : but concealing his 
indignation, because the action in itself was pious and illus- 
trious, he secretly incensed the Cyclops against him, who, 
without remorse, presently slew him with their thunder- 
bolts : in revenge whereof, Apollo, with Jupiter's conni- 
vance, shot them all dead with his arrows. 

Explanation. — This fable seems to point at the behaviour 
of princes, who, having cruel, bloody, and oppressive minis- 
ters, first punish and displace them ; but afterwards, by the 
advice of Tellus, that is, some earthly-minded and ignoble 
person, employ them again, to serve a turn, when there is 
occasion for cruelty in execution, or severity in exaction : 
but these ministers being base in their nature, whet by their 
former disgrace, and well aware of what is expected from 
them, use double diligence in their office ; till, proceeding 
unwarily, and over-eager to gain favour, they sometimes, 
from the private nods, and ambiguous orders of their prince, 
perform some odious or execrable action : When princes, to 
decline the envy themselves, and knowing they shall never 
want such tools at their back, drop them, and give them up 
to the friends and followers of the injured person j thus 
exposing them, as sacrifices to revenge and popular odiuni : 
whence with great applause, acclamations, and good wishes 
to the prince, these miscreants at last meet with their desert. 



NARCISSUS, OR SELF-LOVE. 207 



IV.— NARCISSUS, OR SELF-LOVE. f&Jltt. 

Narcissus is said to have been extremely beautiful and 
comely, but intolerably proud and disdainful ; so that, 
pleased with himself, and seaming tbe world, he led a 
solitary life in the woods; hunting only with a few fol- 
lowers, who were Ins professed admirers, amongst whom the 
nymph Echo was his constant attendant. In this method 
of life it was once his fate tu approach a dear fountain, 
where lie laid himself down to rest, in the noonday heat ; 
when, beholding Ins image in the water, he fell into such a 
rapture and admiration of himself, that he could by no 
means be got away, but remained continually fixed and 
gazing, till at length he was turned into a flower, of his own 
name, which appears early in the spring, and is consecrated 
to the infernal deities, Pluto, Proserpine, and the Furies. 

Explanation. — This fable seems to paint the behaviour 
and fortune of those, who, for their beauty, or other endow- 
ments, wherewith nature (without any industry of their own ) 
has graced and adorned them, arc extravagantly fond <>\ 
themselves : for men of such a disposition generally afS 
retirement, and absence from public atlairs ; as a life of 
business must neeesBtuly subject them to many neglects and 
contempts, which might disturb and raffle their minds : 
whence such persons commonly lead a solitary, private, and 
shadowy life ; see little company, and those only such as 
highly admire and revennee them : or. like an echo, assent 
to all they say. 

And t luy who are depraved, and rendered Mill fonder of 
themselves by this custom, grow strangely indolent, anactive) 
and perfectly stupid The Narcissus^ a spring flower, is an 
elegant emblem of this temper; which at tiist Bburishea, and 
is talked of, bul when ripe. i he expectation con* 

eei\ed of it. 

And that this flower should be O a crc d to the internal 
powers, eanies out the allusion still farther; heeause men of 
this humour ai • perfectly useless in all i tor what- 



208 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

ever yields no fruit, but passes, and is no more, like the way 
of a ship in the sea, was by the aneients consecrated to the 
internal shades and powers. 



°j [ V.— THE KIVER STYX, OR LEAGUES. 

EXPLAINED OF NECESSITY, IN THE OATHS OR SOLEMN LEAGUES OP 
PRINCES. 

The only solemn oath, by which the gods irrevocably 
obliged themselves, is a well-known thing, and makes a part 
of many ancient fables. To this oath they did not invoke 
any celestial divinity, or divine attribute, but only called to 
witness the river Styx ; which, with many meanders, sur- 
rounds the infernal court of Dis. For this form alone, and 
none but this, was held inviolable and obligatory : and the 
punishment of falsifying it, was that dreaded one of being 
excluded, for a certain number of years, the table of the 
gods. 

Explanation. — This fable seems invented to show the 
nature of the compacts and confederacies of princes ; which, 
though ever so solemnly and religiously sworn to, prove but 
little the more binding for it : so that oaths in this case 
seem used, rather for decorum, reputation, and ceremony, 
than for fidelity, security, and effectuating. And though 
these oaths were strengthened with the bonds of affinity, 
which are the links and ties of nature, and again, by mutual 
services and good oflices, yet we see all this will generally 
give way to ambition, convenience, and the thirst of power : 
the rather, because it is easy for princes, under various 
specious pretences, to defend, disguise, and conceal their 
ambitious desires, and insincerity ; having no judge to call 
them to account. There is, however, one true and proper 
confirmation of their faith, though no celestial divinity ; 
but that great divinity of princes, Necessity ; or, the danger 
of the state ; and the securing of advantage. 

This necessity is elegantly repi'esented by Styx, the fatal 
rivei', that can never be crossed back. And this deity it was, 
which Iphicrates the Athenian invoked in making a league : 
and because he roundly and openly avows what most others 



PAN, OR NATURE. 209 

studiously conceal, it may be proper to give his own words. 
Observing that the Lacedemonians wen- inventing and pro- 
posing a variety of securities, sanctions, and bonds of alliance, 
he interrupted them thus: "There may indeed, my friends, 

be one bond and means of security between us ; and that is, 
for you to demonstrate you have delivered into our hand.-, 
such things as that it* you had the greatest desire to hurt us 
you coidd not be able." Therefore, if the power of offending 
be taken away, or if by a breach of compact there be danger 
"t destruction or diminution to the state or tribute, then it 
is that covenants will be ratified, and confirmed, as it were 
by the Stygian oath, whilst there remains an impending 
danger of being prohibited and excluded the banquet of the 
gods; by which expression the ancients denoted the rights 
and prerogatives, the affluence and the felicities, of empire 
and dominion. 



VL-PAN, OR NATURE.. M~*«. ft 

EXPLAINED OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. / , 

The ancients have, with great exactness, delineated ,^,-i '& 
universal nature under the person of Tan. They leave Ids . JqJl 
origin doubtful; some asserting him the son of Mercury, and » J\ £" 
others the common offspring of all Penelope's suitors/ The Ul rjr^^ 
latter supposition doubtless occasioned some later rivals to 
entitle this ancient fable Penelope ; a thing frequently 
practised when the earlier relations are applied to more 
modem characters and persons, though sometimes with great 
absurdity and ignorance, as in the present ca e ; for Pan was 
one of the ancientest gods, and Long before the time of 
Ulysses \ besides, Penelope was venerated by antiquity for 

ber matronal chastity. A third sort will have him the issue 
of Jupiter and ilvhris, that is. Reproach. But whatever his 
origin was, the Destinies are allowed his sist< 

He is described by antiquity, with pyramidal horns 
reaching up to heaven, a rough and shaggy body, a very Long 
beard, of a bifonn figure, human above, half brute below, 
ending in goat's feet. His arms, or ensigns of power, are, 

* Homer's Hymn to Pan. / 
P 



210 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

a pipe iii his left hand, composed of seven reeds ; in his right 
a crook ; and he wore for his mantle a leopard's skin. 

His attributes and titles were the god of hunters, shep- 
herds, and all the rural inhabitants ; president of the 
mountains ; and, after Mercury, the next messenger of the 
gods. He was also held the leader and ruler of the Nymphs, 
who continually danced and frisked about him, attended with 
the Satyrs and their elders, the Sileni. He had also the 
power of striking terrors, especially such as wei'e vain and 
superstitious; whence they came to be called panic terrors. b 

Few actions are recorded of him, only a principal one is, 
that he challenged Cupid at wrestling, and was worsted. He 
also catched the giant Typhon in a net, and held him 
fast. They relate farther of him, that when Ceres, growing 
disconsolate for the rape of Proserpine, hid herself, and all the 
gods took the utmost pains to find her, by going out different 
ways for that purpose, Pan only had the good fortune to 
meet her, as he was hunting, and discovered her to the rest. 
He likewise had the assurance to rival Apollo in music ; and 
in the judgment of Midas was preferred ; but the judge had, 
though with great privacy and secrecy, a pair of ass's ears 
fastened on him for his sentence. 

There is very little said of his amours ; which may seem 
strange among such a multitude of gods, so profusely 
amorous. He is only reported to have been very fond of 
Echo, who was also esteemed his wife ; and one nymph more, 
called Syrinx, with the love of whom Cupid inflamed him 
for his insolent challenge ; so he is reported once to have 
solicited the moon to accompany him apart into the deep 
woods. 

Lastly, Pan had no descendant, which also is a wonder, 
when the male gods were so extremely prolific ; only he was 
the reputed father of a servant-girl called Iambe, who used 
to divert strangers with her ridiculous prattling stories. 

This fable is perhaps the noblest of all antiquity, and 
pregnant with the mysteries and secrets of nature. Pan, as 
the name imports, represents the universe, about whose 
origin there are two opinions, viz., that it either sprung from 
Mercury, that is, the divine word, according to the Scriptures 

b Cicero, Epistle to Atticu3, 5. £, c Ovid, Metamorphoses, b. ii. £ . 



PAN, OR NATURE. 211 

and philosophical divines, or from the confused seeds of 
things. For they who allow oidy one beginning of all 
things, either ascribe it to God ; or, if they suppose a 
material beginning, acknowledge it to be various in its 
powers : bo that the whole dispute comes to these poin; 
viz., either that nattire proceeds from Mercury, or from 
Penelope and all her suitors. d 
~The third origin of Tan seems borrowed by the Greeks 
from the Hebrew mysteries, either by means of the Egyptians, 
or otherwise ; for it relates to the state of the world, not in 
its first creation, but as made subject to death and corruption 
after the fall ; and in this state it was and remains, the off- 
spring of God and Sin, or Jupiter and Reproach. And 
therefore these three several accounts of Tan's birth may 
seem true, if duly distinguished in respect of things and 
times. For this Pan, or the universal nature of things, 
which we view and contemplate, had its origin from the 
divine Word and confused matter, first created by God him- 
self, with the subsequent introduction of sin, and con- 
sequently corruption. 

The Destinies, or the natures and fates of things, are justly 
made Pan's sisters, as the chain of natural causes links 
together the rise, duration, and corruption ; the exaltation, 
degeneration, and workings ; the processes, the effects, and 
changes, of all that can any way happen to things. 

Horns are given him, broad at the roots, but narrow and 
sharp at the top, because the nature of all things seems pyra- 
midal; for individuals are inlinite, but being collected into 
a variety of species, they rise up into kind-, and these again 
ascend, and are contracted into generals, till at length 
nature may seem collected to a point. And no wonder if 
Pan's horns reach to the heaven-, since the sublimities of 
nature, ox abstract ideas, reach in a manner to things divine ; 
for there is a short and ready passage from metaphysics to 
natural theology. 

Pan's body, or the body of nature, is, with great propriety 

d This refers t<> the OOPfnood mixture of things, as suug by Virgil :— 1 £ 
'• Nsmque canebat ati magmun per inane ooacta 
na terraiiunqoe tnmnBqae marisqn 

Et 1 i 1 1 1 1 i tJ i .-iinul iglria ; lit his exonii.i priinis 

Omnia, et ipse tener mundi eonc r e vari t orbis." — Eel. vi. 31. 
p2 






212 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

and elegance, painted shaggy and hairy, as representing the 
rays of things ; for rays are as the hair, or fleece of nature, 
and more or less worn by all bodies. This evidently appears 
in vision, and in all effects or operations at a distance ; for 
whatever operates thus may be properly said to emit rays. e 
But particularly the beard of Pan is exceeding long, because 
the rays of the celestial bodies penetrate, and act to a pro- 
digious distance, and have descended into the interior of the 
earth so far as to change its surface ; and the sun himself, 
when clouded on its upper part, appears to the eye bearded. 

Again, the body of nature is justly described biform, be- 
cause of the difference between its superior and inferior 
parts, as the former, for their beauty, regularity of motion, 
and influence over the earth, may be properly represented 
by the human figure, and the latter, because of their dis- 
order, irregularity, and subjection to the celestial bodies, are 
by the brutal. This biform figure also represents the parti- 
cipation of one species with another ; for there appear to be 
no simple natures ; but all participate or consist of two : thus 
man has somewhat of the brute, the brute somewhat of the 
plant, the plant somewhat of the mineral ; so that all natural 
bodies have really two faces, or consist of a superior and an 
inferior species. 

There lies a curious allegory in the making of Pan goat- 
footed, on account of the motion of ascent which the terres- 
trial bodies have towards the air and heavens ; for the goat 
is a clambering creature, that delights in climbing up rocks 
and precipices ; and in the same manner the matters destined 
to this lower globe strongly affect to rise upwards, as appears 
from the clouds and meteors. 

Pan's arms, or the ensigns he bears in his hands, are of 
two kinds — the one an emblem of harmony, the other of 
empire. His pipe, composed of seven reeds, plainly denotes 
the consent and harmony, or the concords and discords of 
things, produced by the motion of the seven planets. His 
crook also contains a fine representation of the ways of 
nature, which are partly straight and partly crooked ; thus 
the staff, having an extraordinary bend towards the top, 

e This is always supposed to be the case in vision, the mathematical 
demonstrations in optics proceeding invariably upon the assumption 
of this phenomenon. S. -UuiA «/?«) J 



PAX, OH NATURE. 213 

denotes that the work- of Divine Providence are generally 

brought about by remote m< ans. or in a circuit, as If some- 
what else were into tided rather than the effect produced, as 
in the sending of Joseph into Egypt, ifec Bo likewise in 
human government, they who ail at the helm manage and 
wind the people more successfully by pretext and oblique 
courses, than they could by such as are direct and straight; 
so that, in effect, all sceptres arc crooked at the top. 

Pan's mantle, <>r clothing, is with gnat ingenuity made of 
a leopard's skin, because of the spots it lias ; for in like 
manner the heavens arc sprinkled with stars, the sea with 
islands, the earth with flowers, and almost each particular 
thing is variegated, or wears a mottled coat 

The office of Pan could not be more livelily expressed than 
by making him the god of hunters; for every natural action, 
every motion and process, is no other than a chase : thus 
arts and sciences hunt out their works, and human Bchemes 
and counsels their several ends; and all living creatures 
either hunt out their aliment, pursue their prey, or seek 
their pleasures, and this in a skilful and sagacious manner. 1 
M also styled the god of the rural inhabitants, because 
men in this situation live more according to nature than 
they do in cities and courts, where nature is so corrupted 
with effeminate arts, thai the saying of the poet may lie 
verified — 

pars minima est ipsa puella Bui.* 

He is likewise particularly styled President of the Moun- 
tains, because in mountains and lofty places the nature of 
things lies more open and exposed to the eye and the under- 
standing. 

in his being called the messenger of the gods, next after 
Mercury, lies a divine allegory, as next alter the Word of 
God, the image of the world is the herald of the Divine 
power and wisdom, according to the expression of the 
Psalmist, " The heavens declare the glory of God, ai 
firmament showeth his handiwork." 1 ' 

' " Torva Loans Lupum saquitar, laptu ipse capellam. 
Florentem oytisum tequitar laserra cap 

Virgil, Eel. ii. t33. 
c Ovid. Bern. Anuria, v. 348. Mart. Bpisl 

h Psalm xix. 1. 



214 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

Pan is delighted with the company of the Nymphs ; that 
is, the souls of all living creatures are the delight of the 
world ; and he is properly called their governor, because each 
of them follows its own nature as a leader, and all dance 
about their own respective rings, with infinite variety and 
never-ceasing motion. And with these continually join the 
Satyrs and Sileni ; that is, youth and age : for all things have 
a kind of young, cheerful, and dancing time ; and again their 
time of slowness, tottering, and creeping. And whoever, in 
a true light, considers the motions and endeavours of both 
these ages, like another Democritus, will perhaps find them 
as odd and strange as the gesticulations and antic motions 
of the Satyrs and Sileni. 

The power he had of striking terrors contains a very 
sensible doctrine; for nature has implanted fear in all 
living creatures; as well to keep them from risking their 
lives, as to guard against injuries and violence ; and yet this 
nature or passion keeps not its bounds, but with just and 
profitable fears always, mixes such as are vain and senseless; 
so that all things, if we could see their insides, would appear 
full of panic terrors. Thus mankind, particularly the vulgar, 
labour under a high degree of superstition, which is nothing 
more than a panic-dread that principally reigns in unsettled 
and troublesome times. 

The presumption of Pan in challenging Cupid to the con- 
flict, denotes that matter has an appetite and tendency to 
a dissolution of the world, and fauing back to its first chaos 
again, unless this depravity and inclination were restrained 
and subdued by a more powerful concord and agreement of 
things, properly expressed by Love or Cupid ; it is therefore 
well for mankind, and the state of all things, that Pan was 
thrown and conquered in the struggle. 

His catching and detaining Typhon in the net receives a 
similar explanation ; for whatever vast and unusual swells, 
which the word typhon signifies, may sometimes be raised in 
nature, as in the sea, the clouds, the earth, or the like, yet 
nature catches, entangles, and holds all such outrages and 
insurrections in her inextricable net, wove as it were of 
adamant. 

That part of the fable which attributes the discovery of 
lost Ceres to Pan whilst he was hunting — a happiness denied 



PAN, OR NATURE. 215 

the other gods, though they diligently and expressly sought 
her — contains an exceeding just and prudent admonition; 
viz., that we are not to expect the discovery of things useful 
in common life, as that of corn, denoted by Cere3, from 
abstract philosophies, as if these were the gods of the first 
order, — no, not though we used our utmost endeavours this 
way, — but only from Pan, that i>. a sagacious experience and 
general knowledge of nature, which is often found, even by 
accident, to stumble upon such discoveries whilst the pursuit 
was directed another way. 

The event of his contending with Apollo in music affords 
us a useful instruction, that may help to humble the human 
reason and judgment, which is too apt to boast and glory in 
itself. There seem to be two kinds of harmony- — the one of 
Divine Providence, the other of human reason ; but the 
government of the world, the administration of its affairs, 
and the more secret Divine judgments, sound harsh and dis- 
sonant to human ears or human judgment; and though 
this ignorance be justly rewarded with asses' ears, yet they 
are put on and worn, not openly, but with great secrecy ; 
nor is the deformity of the thing seen or observed by the 
vulgar. 

We must not find it strange if no amours are related of 
Pan besides his marriage with Echo; for nature enjoys itself. 
and in itself all other things. He that loves desires enjoy- 
ment, but in profusion there is no room for desire ; and 
therefore Pan, remaining content with hiins.lt'. has no pas- 
sion unless it be for discourse, which is well shadowed out 
by Echo or talk, or when it is more accurate, by Syrinx or 
writing.' But Echo makes a most excelleni wife for Pan, as 
being no other than genuine philosophy, which faithfully 
repeats his words, or only transcribes exactly ;us nature dic- 
tates; thus representing the true image and reflection of the 
world without adding a tittle. 

It tends also to the Buppori and perfection of Pan or 
nature to be without offspring; for the world generates in its 
parts, and not in the way of a whole, as wanting a body 
external to itself wherewith to generate. 

Lastly for the supposed ox Bpurioue prattling daughter of 

x Syrinx signifying a reetl, or the ancient pen. .5* 



216 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

Pan, it is an excellent addition to the fable, and aptly repre- 
sents the talkative philosophies that have at all times been 
stirring, and filled the world with idle tales, being ever 
barren, empty, and servile, though sometimes indeed divert- 
ing and entertaining, and sometimes again troublesome and 
importunate. 



~ 4 VI ■ & VH.— PERSEUS," OR WAR. 



EXPLAINED OF THE PREPARATION AND CONDUCT NECESSARY TO WAR. 

" The fable relates, that Perseus was despatched from the 
east by Pallas, to cut off Medusa's head, who had committed 
great ravage upon the people of the west ; for this Medusa 
was so dire a monster as to turn into stone all those who 
but looked upon her. She was a Gorgon, and the only 
mortal one of the three, the other two being invulnerable. 
Perseus, therefore, preparing himself for this grand enter- 
prise, had presents made him from three of the gods : Mer- 
cury gave him wings for his heels ; Pluto, a helmet ; and 
Pallas, a shield and a mirror. But though he was now so 
well equipped, he posted not directly to Medusa, but first 
turned aside to the Grea?, who were half-sisters to the Gor- 
gons. These Grese were gray-headed, and like old women 
from their birth, having among them all three but one eye, 
and one tooth, which, as they had occasion to go out, they 
each wore by turns, and laid them down again upon coming 
back. This eye and this tooth they lent to Perseus, who 
now judging himself sufficiently furnished, he, without far- 
ther stop, flies swiftly away to Medusa, and finds her asleep. 
But not venturing his eyes, for fear she should wake, he 
turned his head aside, and viewed her in Pallas's mirror ; 
and thus directing his stroke, cut off her head ; when im- 
mediately, from the gushing blood, there darted Pegasus, 
winged. Perseus now inserted Medusa's head into Pallas's 
shield, which thence retained the faculty of astonishing and 
benumbing all who looked on it." 

This fable seems invented to show the prudent method of 
choosing, undertaking, and conducting a war ; and. accord- 

8 Ovid, Metam. b. iv. fj. 



PERSEUS, OK WAR. 217 

ingly, lays down three asefdl precepts about it, as it' they 
were the precepts of Pallas. 

(1.) The first is. tint no prince should be over-solicitous 
to subdue a neighbouring nation ; tor tin- method of enlarging 
an empire is very different from that of increasing an estate. 
Regard is justly had to contiguity, or adjacency, in private 
lands and possessions : hut in the extending of empire, the 
occasion, the facility, and advantage of a war, are to be 
regarded instead of vicinity. I; i- certain thai the Etonians, 
at the time they stretched hut little beyond Ldguria to the 
west, had by their arms subdued the provinces as far as 
Mount Taurus to the east. Ami thus Perseus readily under- 
took a very long expedition, even from the east to the ex- 
tremities of the west. 

The second precept is, that the cause of the war he just 
and honourable; for this adds alacrity both to the soldiers, 
and the people who find the supplies ; procures aids, alli- 
ances, and numerous other conveniences. Now there is no 
cause of war more just and laudable, than the suppressing of 
tyranny, by which a people are dispirited, benumbed, or 
left without life and vigour, as at the sight of Medusa. 

Lastly, it is prudently added, that as there were three of 
the Gorgons, who represent war, Perseus singled her out for 
his expedition that was mortal ; which affords this precept, 
that such kind of wars should be chose as may be broughl 
to a conclusion, without pursuing vast ami infinite hope-. 

Again, Perseus's Betting-out is extremely well adapted to 
his undertaking, and in a manner commands BUCOesSj he 
received despatch from Mercury, Becrecj from Pluto, and 
foresight from l'allas. It also contains an excellent alleg »ry, 
that the wings given him by Mercury were for his I 
lot for his shoulders ; because expedition is not so much 
required in the first preparation- for war, as in the subse- 
quent matter-, thai administer to the first ; for there is no 
ermr more frequent in war, than, atter brisk preparations, 
bo halt for subsidiary forces and effective supplies. 

The allegory of Pluto's helmet, rendering men invisible 
and secret, t- sufficiently evident of it-elf: but the n, 

of the shield and the mirror lies deeper, and denotes, that. 

not only a prudent caution mm* he had to defend, like the 
.shield, but also sucb an add:--- and penetration as may 



218 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

discover the strength, the motions, the counsels, and designs 
of the enemy ; like the mirror of Pallas. 

But though Perseus may now seem extremely well pre- 
pared, there still remains the most important thing of all ; 
before he enters upon the war, he must of necessity consult 
the Grese. These Grese are treasons ; half, but degenerate 
sisters of the Gorgons ; who are representatives of wars : for 
wars are generous and noble ; but treasons base and vile. 
The Grese are elegantly described as hoary-headed, and bike 
old women from their birth ; on account of the perpetual 
cares, fears, and trepidations attending traitors. Their force, 
also, before it breaks out into open revolt, consists either in 
an eye or a tooth ; for all faction, alienated from a state, is 
both watchful and biting ; and this eye and tooth are, as it 
were, common to all the disaffected ; because whatever they 
learn and know is transmitted from one to another, as by 
the hands of faction. And for the tooth, they all bite with 
the same ; and clamour with one throat ; so that each of 
them singly expresses the multitude. 

These Greae, therefore, must be prevailed upon by Per- 
seus to lend him their eye and their tooth ; the eye to give 
him indications, and make discoveries ; the tooth for sowing 
rumours, raising envy, and stirring up the minds of the 
people. And when all these tilings are thus disposed and 
prepared, then follows the action of the war. 

He finds Medusa asleep ; for whoever undertakes a war 
with prudence, generally falls upon the enemy unprepared, 
and nearly in a state of security ; and here is the occasion 
forPallas's mirror : for it is common enough, before the danger 
presents itself, to see exactly into the state and posture of 
the enemy ; but the principal use of the glass is, in the very 
instant of danger, to discover the manner thereof, and pre- 
vent consternation ; which is the thing intended by Per- 
seus's turning his head aside, and viewing the enemy in the 
glass. b 

Two effects here follow the conquest : 1. The darting forth 
of Pegasus ; which evidently denotes fame, that flies abroad, 

b Thus it is the excellence of a general early to discover what turn 
the battle is likely to take, and looking prudently behind, as well as 
before, to pursue a victory so as not to be unprovided for a retreat. ^ 



ENDYMION, OR A FAVOURITE. 219 

proclaiming the victory far and near. 2. The bearing of 
Medusa's head in the sliield, which is the greatest possible 
defence and safeguard ; for one grand and memorable enter- 
prise, happily accomplished, bridles all the motions and 
attempts of the enemy, stupihes disaffection, and quells com- 
motions. 



VIII.— ENDYMION, OR A FAVOURITE. 

EXPLAINED OF COURT FAVOURITES. 

The goddess Luna is said to have fallen in love with the 
shepherd Endymion, and to have carried on her amours 
with him in a new and singular manner ; it being her 
custom, whilst he lay reposing in his native cave, under Mount 
Latmus, to descend frequently from her sphere, enjoy his 
company whilst he slept, and then go up to heaven again. 
And all this while, Endymion's fortune was no way pre- 
judiced by his unactive and sleepy life, the goddess causing 
Iris flocks to thrive, and grow so exceeding numerous, that 
none of the other shepherds could compare with him. 

Explanation. — This fable seems to describe the tempers 
and dispositions of princes, who, being thoughtful and sus- 
picious, do not easily admit to their privacies such men as 
are prying, curious, and vigilant, or, as it were, sleepless ; 
but rather such as are of an easy, obliging nature, and 
indulge them in their pleasures, without seeking any thing 
farther; but seeming ignorant, insensililc, or, as it were, 
lulled asleep before them. a Princes usually treat such per- 
sona familiarly; and, quitting their throne like Luira, think 

■ It may be remembered tli.it the Athenian peasant voted for the 
banishment of Aiiatides, became hewi called tin-. lust. Shakespeare 
forcibly expresses the same thought : — 

Let me have men about thai arc f;it ; 

SL • k beaded men, and snob a> sleep <>' nights: 

hi and hungry look ; 
He think-; too much : such men are dangerous." 

If Bacon had completed bis intended work upon "Sympathy and Anti- 
pathy,." the constant hatred evinced by ignorance of intellectual 



220 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

tin y may with safety unbosom to them. This temper was 
very remarkable in Tiberius, a prince exceeding difficult to 
please, and who had no favourites but those that perfectly 
understood his way, and, at the same time, obstinately 
dissembled their knowledge, almost to a degree of stu- 
pidity. 

The cave is not improperly mentioned in the fable ; it 
being a common thing for the favourites of a prince to have 
their pleasant retreats, whither to invite him, by way of 
relaxation, though without prejudice to their own fortunes; 
these favourites usually making a good provision for them- 
selves. 

For though their prince should not, perhaps, promote 
them to dignities, yet, out of real affection, and not only for 
convenience, they generally feel the enriching influence of 
his bounty. 



U^i^\ • 1^ IX.— THE SISTER OF THE GIANTS, OR FAME. 

EXPLAINED OF PUBLIC DETRACTION. 

The poets relate, that the giants, produced from the 
earth, made war upon Jupiter, and the other gods, but 
were repulsed and conquered by thunder ; whereat the 
earth, provoked, brought forth Fame, the youngest sister of 
the giants, in revenge for the death of her sons. 

Explanation. — The meaning of the fable seems to be 
this : the earth denotes the nature of the vulgar, who are 
always swelling, and rising against their rulers, and endea- 
vouring at changes. This disposition, getting a fit oppor- 
tunity, breeds rebels and traitors, who, with impetuous rage, 
threaten and contrive the overthrow and destruction of 
princes. 

And when brought under and subdued, the same vile and 
restless nature of the people, impatient of peace, produces 
rumours, detractions, slanders, libels, <fcc., to blacken those in 
authority ; so that rebellious actions and seditious rumours, 

superiority, originating sometimes in the painful feeling of inferiority, 
sometimes in the fear of worldly injury, would not have escaped his 
notice. — Ed. 



ACTEON AND PENTHEUS, OR A CURIOUS MAN. 221 

differ not in origin and stock, but only as it were in sex ; 
treasons and rebellions being the brothers, and scandal or 
detraction the Bister. 



X.— ACTEOX AXD PENTHEUS, OR A CURIOUS MAX. 

EXPLAINED OF CTRI0S1TT, OR PRTING INTO THE SECRETS OF PRINCES 
AND DIVINE MYSTERIES. 

The ancients afford us two examples for suppressing the 
impertinent curiosity of mankind, in diving into secrets, 
and imprudently longing and endeavouring to discover them. 
The one of these is in the person of Acteon, and the other 
in that of Pentheua Acteon, undesignedly chancing to see 
Diana naked, was turned into a stag, and torn to pieces by 
his own hounds. And Pentheus, desiring to pry into the 
hidden mysteries of Bacchus's sacrifice, and climbing a tret- 
fur that purpose, was struck with a phrensy. This phrensy 
of Pentiums caused him to see things double, particularly the 
sun, and his own city Thebes, so that running homewards, 
and immediately espying another Thebes, he runs towards 
that ; and thus continues incessantly tending first to the 
one, and then to the other, without coming at either. 

Explanation'. — The first of these fables may relate to the 
secrets of princes, and the second to divine mysteries. For 
they who are not intimate with a princi . yet against Ins 
will have a knowledge of his secrets, inevitably incur his 
displeasure ; and therefore, being aware that they are 
singled out, and all opportunities watched against them, they 
lead the life of a stag, full of fears and suspicions. It like- 
wise frequently happens that their servants and domestics 
accuse them, and plot their overthrow, in order to procure 
favour with the prince ; for whenever the king manifests Ids 
displeasure, the person it falls upon must expect his servants 
to betray him, and worry him down, as Acteon was worried 
by his own dogs. 

The punishment of Pentheus is of another kind ; for they 
who. unmindful of their mortal state, rashly aspire to divine 
mysteries, by climbing the heights of nature and philosophy, 
here represented by cUmbing a ire. '.— their fate is perpetual 



222 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

inconstancy, perplexity, and instability of judgment. For 
as there is one light of nature, and another light that is 
divine, they see, as it were, two suns. And as the actions 
of life, and the determinations of the will, depend upon the 
understanding, they are distracted as much in opinion as in 
will ; and therefore judge very inconsistently, or contra- 
dictorily ; and see, as it were, Thebes double : for Thebes 
being the refuge and habitation of Pentheus, here denotes 
the ends of actions : whence they know not what course to 
take, but remaining undetermined and unresolved in their 
views and designs, they are merely driven about by every 
sudden gust and impulse of the mind. 



f, „„ XI.— ORPHEUS, OR PHILOSOPHY. 

EXPLAINED OF NATURAL AND MORAL PHILOSOPHY. 

Introduction. — The fable of Orpheus, though trite and 
common, has never been well interpreted, and seems to 
hold out a picture of universal philosophy ; for to this sense 
may be easily transferred what is said of his being a won- 
derful and perfectly divine person, skilled in all kinds of 
harmony, subduing and drawing all things after him by 
sweet and gentle methods and modulations. For the labours 
of Orpheus exceed the labours of Hercules, both in power 
and dignity, as the works of knowledge exceed the works 
of strength. 

Fable. — Orpheus having his beloved wife snatched from 
him by sudden death, resolved upon descending to the in- 
fernal regions, to try if, by the power of his harp, he could 
reobtain her. And, in effect, he so appeased and soothed 
the infernal powers by the melody and sweetness of his harp 
and voice, that they indulged him the liberty of taking her 
back, on condition that she should follow him behind, and 
he not turn to look upon her till they came into open day ; 
but he, through the impatience of his care and affection, and 
thinking himself almost past danger, at length looked behind 
him, whereby the condition was violated, and she again 
precipitated to Pluto's regions. From this time Orpheus 



ORPHEUS, OR PHILOSOPHY. 2'2'-'> 

grew pensive and sad, a hater of the box, and went into 
solitude, where, by the same sweetness of his harp and 
voice, he first drew the wild beasts of all sorts about him ; 
so that, forgetting their natures, they were neither actuated 
by revenge, cruelty, lust, hunger, or the desire of prey, but 
stood gazing about him, in a tame and gentle manner, 

listening attentively to his iiiu.mc. Nay, so great WBS the 
power and efficacy of his harmony, that it even caused the 
trees and stones to remove, and place themselves iu a 
regular manner ahout him. When he had for a time, and 
with great admiration, continued to do this, at length the 
Thracian women, raised by the instigation oi Bacchus, first 
blew a deep and hoaxse-sounding horn, in such an outrageous 
manner, that it quite drowned the musk of Orpheus. And 
thus the power which, as the link of their society, held 
all things in order, being dissolved, disturbance reigned 
anew; each creature returned to its own nature, and pur- 
sued and preyed upon its fellow, aa lief,, re. The rocks and 
woods also started back to their former places; and even 
Orpheus himself was at last, torn to pieces by these female 
furies, and his limbs scattered all over the desert. But, in 
sorrow and revenge for his death, the river Helicon, sacred 
to the Muses, hid its waters under ground, and rose again in 
other places. 

Explanation. — The fable receives this explanation. The 
music of Orpheus is of two finds; one that appeases the 
infernal powers, and the other that draws together the wild 
beasts and trees. The former properly relates to natural, 
and the latter to moral philosophy, or ci\il society. The 
reinstatement and restoration of corruptible things is the 
noblest work of natural philosophy ; and, in a less degree, 

the preservation of bodies is their own state, or a prevention 
of their dissolution and corruption And if this be possible, 

it can certainly be effected ther way than by proper and 

exquisite attemperatione of nature ; aa it were by the har- 
niony and tine touching of the harp. Bui a- this is 8 thing 
of exceeding great difficulty, the and is Beldom obtained; 
and that, probably, for no reason more than a curious and 
unseasonable impatience and Bolidtuda 
And, therefore, philosophy, being almost unequal to the 



224- WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

task, lias cause to grow sad, and hence betakes itself to 
liuman affairs, insinuating into men's minds the love of 
virtue, equity, and peace, by means of eloquence and persua- 
sion ; thus forming men into societies ; bringing them under 
laws and regulations ; and making them forget their un- 
bridled passions and affections, so long as they hearken to 
precepts and submit to discipline. And thus they soon 
after build themselves habitations, form cities, cultivate 
lands, plant orchards, gardens, &c. So that they may not 
improperly be said to remove and call the trees and stones 
together. 

And this regard to civil affairs is justly and regulai-ly 
placed after diligent trial made for restoring the mortal 
body ; the attempt being frustrated in the end — because the 
unavoidable necessity of death, thus evidently laid before 
mankind, animates them to seek a kind of eternity by works 
of perpetuity, character, and fame. 

It is also prudently added, that Orpheus was afterwards 
averse to women and wedlock, because the indulgence of a 
married state, and the natural affections which men have 
for their children, often prevent them from entering upon 
any grand, noble, or meritorious enterprise for the public 
good ; as thinking it sufficient to obtain immortality by 
their descendants, without endeavouring at great actions. 

And even the works of knowledge, though the most 
excellent among human things, have then' periods ; for after 
kingdoms and commonwealths have flourished for a time, 
disturbances, seditions, and wars, often arise, in the din 
whereof, first the laws are silent, and not heard ; and then 
men return to their own depraved natures — whence cul- 
tivated lands and cities soon become desolate and waste. 
And if this disorder continues, learning and philosophy is 
infallibly torn to pieces ; so that only some scattered frag- 
ments thereof can afterwards be found up and down, in a 
few places, like planks after a shipwreck. And barbarous 
times succeeding, the river Helicon dips under-ground ; that 
is, letters are buried, till things having undergone their due 
course of changes, learning rises again, and show its head, 
though seldom in the same place, but in some other nation. 11 

a Thus we see that Orpheus denotes learning ; Euryilice, things, or 
the subject of learning ; Bacchus, and the Thracian women, men's ungo- 



OGEXUM, OR BEGINNINGS. 225 

XII.— CCELUM, OR BEGINNINGS. 

EXPLAINED OF THE CREATION, OK ORIGIN OF ALL TH.'N 

The poets relate, that Ccelum wae the most ancienl of all 
the gods; that Lis parts of generation wire cut off by his 
son Saturn ; that Saturn had a numerous offspring, but 

devoured all his sons, as booii as they were born ; that 
Jupiter at length escaped the common late; and when 
grown up, drove his father Saturn into Tartarus ; usurped 
the kingdom ; em oil' his father's genitals, with the 
knife wherewith Saturn had dismembered Ccelum, and 
throwing them into the sea, thence sprung Venus 

Before Jupiter was well established in his empire, two 
memorable wars were made upon him : the first by the 
Titans, in subduing of whom, Sol, the only one of the Titans 
who favoured Jupiter, performed him singular service ; the 
second by the giants, who being destroyed and subdued by 
the thunder and arms of Jupiter, he now reigned seen 

Explanation. — This liable appears to be an enigmi 
account of the origin of all things, not greatly differing 
from the philosophy afterwards embraced by Democritus, 
who expressly asserts the eternity of matter, but denies the 
- iternity of the world ; thereby approaching to the truth of 
sacred writ, which makes chaos, or uninformed matter, to 
exist before the six days' works. 

The meaning of the fable seems to be this : Coelum de- 
notes the concave space, or vaulted roof that incloses all 
matter, and Saturn the matter itself, which cuts off all 
power of generation from his father ; as one and the same 
quantity of matter remains invariable in nature, without 
addition or diminution. But the agitations and struggling 
motions of matter, first produced certain imperfeci and ill- 
joined compositions of things, as it were so many first rudi- 
ments, or • ssays of worlds; till, in process of time, there 
arose a fabric capable of preserving it- form and structure. 
Whence ti • first age was shadowed out by the r. ' . 

rented pa dons and appetites, &c. And in the same manner all the 
ancient tables might \<n familiarly illustrated, and bn 
ies of children. jC 

Q 



226 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

Saturn; who, on account of the frequent dissolutions, and 
short durations of things, was said to devour his children. 
And the second age was denoted by the reign of Jupiter; 
who thrust, or drove those frequent and transitory changes 
into Tartarus — a place expressive of disorder. This place 
seems to be the middle space, between the lower heavens 
and the internal parts of the earth, wherein disorder, im- 
perfection, mutation, mortality, destruction, and corruption, 
are principally found. 

Venus was not born during the former generation of 
things, under the reign of Saturn ; for whilst discord and 
jar had the upper hand of concord and uniformity in the 
matter of the universe, a change of the entire structure was 
necessary. And in this manner things were generated and 
destroyed, before Saturn was dismembered. But when this 
manner of generation ceased, there immediately followed 
another, brought about by Venus, or a perfect and esta- 
blished harmony of things ; whereby changes were wrought 
in the pai'ts, whilst the universal fabric remained entire and 
tmdisturbed. Saturn, however, is said to be thrust out and 
dethroned, not killed, and become extinct ; because, agree- 
ably to the opinion of Dernocritus, the world might relapse 
into its old confusion and disorder, which Lucretius hoped 
would not happen in his time." 

But now, when the world was compact, and held together 
by its own bulk and energy, yet there was no rest from the 
beginning ; for first, there followed considerable motions and 
disturbances in the celestial regions, though so regulated 
and moderated by the power of the Sun, prevailing over the 
heavenly bodies, as to continue the world in its state. 
Afterwards there followed the like in the lower parts, by 
inundations, storms, winds, general earthquakes, <tc., which, 
however, being subdued and kept under, there ensued a 
more peaceable and lasting harmony, and consent of things. 

It may be said of this fable, that it includes philosophy ; 
and again, that philosophy includes the fable ; for we know, 
by faith, that all these things are but the oracle of sense, 
long since ceased and decayed ; but the matter and fabric of 
the world being justly attributed to a creator. 

n " Quod procul a nobis flectat Fortuna gubernans ; 
Et ratio potius quam res persuadeat ipsa." 



PROTEUS, Oil MATTER. 227 



XIII.— PROTEUS, OR MATTE!: 

EXPLAINED OF MATTER AND ITS CHANCES. 

Proteus, according to the poets, was Nepl one's herdsman ; 
an old man, and a most extraordinary prophet, wlio under- 
stood tilings past and present, as well as future ; bo thai 
besides the business of divination, he was the revealer and 
interpreter of all antiquity, and Becrets of every kind. He 
lived in a vast cave, where las- custom was to tell over his 
herd of sea-calves at noun, and then to sleep. "Whoever 
consulted him, had no other way of obtaining an answer, 
but by binding liim with manacles and letters ; when he, 
endeavouring to free himself, would change into all kinds of 
shapes and miraculous forms ; as of fire, water, wild 1 1 
&e. ; till at length he resumed his own shape again. 

Explanation. — This fable Beams t<> point at the Becrets "t 
nature, and the states of matter. For the person of Pn 
denotes matter, the oldest of all things, after God himself ; 
that resides, as in a cave, under the vast concavity of the 
heavens. He is represented as the servant of Neptune, be- 
cause the various operations and modifications of matter are 
principally wrought in a fluid state. The herd, or flock of 
Proteus, seems to be no other than the several kinds of 
animals, plants, and minerals, in which matter appears to 
diffuse and spend itself; so that after having formed these 
several species, and as it were finished its task, it seems to 
sleep and repose, without otherwise attempting to produce 
any new ones. .And this is the moral of E*roteus's counting 
his herd, then going to Bleep. 

This is Bald t<> be done al coon, uot in the morni 
evening ; by v. Inch is mi e best fitted and dis 

posed hir the production of from a matter duly 

prepared, and i ly beforehand, and now lying in a 

middle ..taie. be! -. e, ii its first rudiments and decline ; which, 
we Learn from sacred hi bo y. wa I 'he time of the 

creation; when, by tip the divine command, 

matter directly came together, withoul any transformation or 

" Proteus properly m »r first. *^ 

<J 2 



228 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

intermediate changes, which it affects ; instantly obeyed the 
order, and appeared in the form of creatures. 

And thus fear the fable reaches of Proteus, and his flock, 
at liberty and unrestrained. For the universe, with the 
common structures and fabrics of the creatures, is the face 
of matter, not under constraint, or as the flock wrought 
upon and tortured by human means. But if any skilful 
minister of nature shall apply force to matter, and by design 
torture and vex it, in order to its anniliilation, it, on the 
contrary, being brought under this necessity, changes and 
transforms itself into a strange variety of shapes and 
appearances ; for nothing but the power of the Creator can 
anhilnlate, or truly destroy it ; so that at length, running 
through the whole circle of transformations, and completing 
its period, it in some degree restores itself, if the force be 
continued. And that method of binding, torturing, or de- 
taining, will prove the most effectual and expeditious, which 
makes use of manacles and fetters ; that is, lays hold and 
works upon matter in the exti'emest degrees. 

The addition in the fable that makes Proteus a prophet, 
who had the knowledge of things past, present, and future, 
excellently agrees with the nature of matter ; as he who 
knows the properties, the changes, and the processes of 
matter, must of necessity understand the effects and sum of 
what it does, has done, or can do, though his knowledge 
extends not to all the parts and particulars thereof. 



?/ XIV.— MEMNON, OR A YOUTH TOO FORWARD. 

EXPLAINED OP THE FATAL PRECIPITANCY OF YOUTH. 

The poets made Memnon the son of Aurora, and bring 
him to the Trojan war in beautiful armour, and flushed with 
popular praise ; where, thirsting after farther glory, and 
rashly hurrying on to the greatest enterprises, he engages the 
bravest Avarrior of all the Greeks, Achilles, and falls by Ins 
hand in single combat. Jupiter, in commiseration of his 
death, sent birds to grace his funeral, that perpetually 
chanted certain mournful and bewailing dirges. It is also 
reported, that the rays of the rising sun, striking his statue, 
used to give a lamenting sound. 



TYTH0NUS, OB SATIETY. 229 

Explanation. — Thi.s fal>le regards the unfortunate end of 

those promising youths, who, like sons of the morning, elate 
with empty hopes and glittering outsides, attempt things 
beyond their strength : challenge the bravest heroes ; pro- 
voke them to the combat ; and proving unequal, die in their 

high attempts. 

The death of such youths seldom fails to meet with in- 
finite pity ; as no mortal calamity is more moving and 
afflicting, than to see the flower of virtue cropped before its 
time. Nay, the prime of life enjoyed to the full, or even t<> 
a degree of envy, does not assuage or moderate the grief 
occasioned by the untimely death of such hopeful youths ; 
but lamentations and bewailings fly, like mournful birds, 
about their tombs, for a long while after; especially upon all 
fresh occasions, new commotions, and the beginning <>f great 
actions, the passionate desire of them is renewed, as by the 
sun's inornimr ravs. 



XV.— TYTHONUS, OB SATIETY. 

EXPLAINED OF PREDOMINANT PASSIOHS. 

It is elegantly fabled by Tvthonus, that being exceedingly /J . ,," /y£«*d 
beloved by Aurora, she petitioned Jupiter that he might j >n >ve . . V/ . 
immortal, thereby to secure herself the everlasting enjoy- 
ment of his company ; but through female inadvertence she 
forgot to add, that he might never grow old; so that, though 
he proved immortal, he became miserably worn and con- 
sumed with age, insomuch that Jupiter, out of pity, at 
length transformed liim to a grasshopper. 

Explanation". — This fable seems to contain an ingenious 
description of pleasure ; which at Gist, as it were in the 
morning of the day, is bo welcome, that men pray to have it 
everlasting, but forgel thai Batiety and weariness of it will, 
like old age, overtake them, though they think uol of it ; 90 
that at length, when their appetite for pleasurable actions i> 
gone, their desires and affections often continue; whence we 
commonly find that aged persons delight themselves with the 
discourse and remembrance of the things agreeable to them 
in their better days. This is very remarkable in men of a 



230 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

and men of a military life; the former "whereof are 
always talking over their amours, and the latter the exploits 
of their youth ; like grasshoppers, that show their vigour 
only by their chirping. 



T „ „/ XVI.- JUNO'S SUITOR, OR BASENESS. 

EXPLAINED OP SUBMISSION AND ABJECTION. 

The poets tell us, that Jupiter, to carry on his love- 
intrigues, assumed many different shapes; as of a bull, an 
eagle, a swan, a golden shower, &c. ; but when he attempted 
Juno, he turned himself into the most ignoble and ridiculous 
creature, — even that of a wretched, wet, weather-beaten, 
affrighted, trembling, and half-starved cuckoo. 

Explanation. — This is a wise fable, and drawn from the 
very entrails of morality. The moral is, that men should 
not be conceited of themselves, and imagine that a discovery 
of their excellences will always render them acceptable ; for 
this can only succeed according to the nature and manners 
of the person they court, or solicit ; who, if he be a man not of 
the same gifts and endowments, but altogether of a haughty 
and contemptuous behaviour, here represented by the person 
of Juno, they must entirely drop the character that carries 
the least show of worth, or gracefulness ; if they proceed 
upon any other footing, it is downright folly ; nor is it 
sufficient to act the deformity of obsequiousness, unless they 
really change themselves, and become abject and contemp- 
tible in their persons. 



XVII.— CUPID, OR AN ATOM. 

EXPLAINED OF THE CORPUSCULAR PHILOSOPHY. 

The particulars related by the poets of Cupid, or Love, do 
not properly agree to the same person; yet they differ only 
so far, that if the confusion of persons be rejected, the cor- 
respondence may hold. They say, that Love was the most 
ancient of all the gods, and existed before everything else, 
except Chaos, which is held coeval therewith. But for 



CUPID, OR AN ATOM. 231 

Chaos, the ancients never paid divine honour*, nor gave the 
title of a god thereto. Love is I ly with- 

out progenitor, exceping only that ho is raid pro- 

I id from the egg of Nbx ; but thai himself begot the 
gods, and all i , on Cha BE ittributee are four; 

viz., 1. perpetual j ess; 3. nakedness ; and 

4. archery. 

There was also another Cupid, or Love, the youngest son 
of the gods, born of Venus; and upon him the attributes 
of the elder are transferred, with some degree of corre- 
spondence. 

Explanation. — This fable points at, and enters, the cradle 
of nature. Love seems to be the appetite, or incentive, of 
the primitive matter ; or, to speak more distinctly, the 
natural motion, or moving principle, of the original corpus- 
cles, or atoms; this being the nio.,t ancient and only power 
that made and wrought all things out of matter. It is 
absolutely without parent, that is, without cause ; for causes 
are as parents to effects; but this power or efficacy could 
have no natural cause; for. excepting God, nothing was 
before it; and therefore it could have no efficient in nature. 
And as nothing is more inward with nature, it can mii 
beagenus nor a form; and therefore, whatever it is. it must 
be somewhat positive, though inexpressible. And if it v 
possible to conceive its modus and proce 3, yet it could not be 
known from its cause, as being, next to God, the cause of 
causes, and itself without a cause. And perhaps we are not 
to hope that the modus of it should fall, or be comprehended, 
under human inquiry* Whence it is properly feigned to be 
the egg of Nox, or laid in the dark. 

divine philosopher declares, thai -Cod has made every- 
thing beautiful in its season; and lias given Over tin' world 
to our disputes and inquiries : but thai man cannol find out 
work which God has wrought, from it beginning up to 
its end." Tim the summary or i law of nature, or 

the principle of love, impressed by God upon the original 
particle ■ of all thii to make- them atts her 

and come together, by the repetition and multiplication 
whereof all the variety in the universe is produced, can 
scarce possibly hud full ad into the thoughts of 



232 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

men, though some faint notion may be had thereof. The 
Greek philosophy is subtile, and busied in discovering the 
material principles of things, but negligent and languid in 
discovering the principles of motion, in which the energy and 
efficacy of every operation consists. And here the Greek 
philosophers seem perfectly blind and childish ; for the 
opinion of the Peripatetics, as to the stimulus of matter, by 
privation, is little more than words, or rather sound than 
signification. And they who refer it to God, though they do 
well therein, yet they do it by a start, and not by proper 
degrees of assent ; for doubtless there is one summary, <jl 
capital law, in which nature meets, subordinate to God, viz., 
the law mentioned in the passage above quoted from Solomon ; 
or the work which God has wrought from its beginning up 
to its end. 

Democritus, who farther considered this subject, having 
first supposed an atom, or corpuscle, of some dimension or 
figure, attributed thereto an appetite, desire, or first motion 
simply, and another comparatively, imagining that all tilings 
properly tended to the centre of the world ; those containing 
more matter falling faster to the centre, and thereby remov- 
ing, and in the shock driving away, such as held less. But 
this is a slender conceit, and regards too few particulars ; for 
neither the involutions of the celestial bodies, nor the con- 
tractions and expansions of tilings, can be reduced to this 
principle. And for the opinion of Epicurus, as to the de- 
clination and fortuitous agitation of atoms, this only brings 
the matter back again to a trifle, and -wraps it up in ignorance 
and night. 

Cupid is elegantly drawn a perpetual child ; for compounds 
are larger things, and have their periods of age ; but the 
first seeds or atoms of bodies are small, and remain in a per- 
petual infant state. 

He is again justly represented naked ; as all compounds 
may properly be said to be dressed and clothed, or to assume 
a personage ; whence nothing remains truly naked, but the 
original particles of things. 

The blindness of Cupid, contains a deep allegory ; for this 
same Cupid, Love, or appetite of the world, seems to have 
very little foresight, but directs his steps and motions con- 
formably to what he finds next him, as blind men do when 



DIOMED, OR ZEAL. 233 

they feel out their way ; which renders the divine and over- 
ruling Providence and foresight the mure surprising; as by a 
certain steady law, it brings such a beautiful order and 
regularity of things out of what Beema extremely casual, void 
of design, and, as it were, really blind, 

The last attribute of Cupid is archery, viz., a virtue or 
power operating at a distance ; for everything that operates 
at a distance, may seem, as it were, to dart, or shoot with 
arrows. And whoever allows of atoms and vacuity, neces- 
sarily supposes that tin- virtue of atoms operates at a dis- 
tance ; for without tins operation, no motion could be 
excited, on account of the vacuum interposing, hut all 
things would remain Bluggish and unmoved. 

As to the other Cupid, he is properly said to be the 
youngest sons of the gods, as his power could no1 take place 
before the formation of species, or particular bodies. The 
description given us of him transfers the allegory to morality, 
though he still retains some resemblance with the ancient 
Cupid ; for as Venus universally excites tin' affection of 
a^oeiation, and the desire of procreation, her son Cupid 
applies the affection to individuals ; so that the general dis- 
position proceeds from Venus, but the more close sympathy 
from Cupid. The former depends upon a near approximation 
of causes, but the latter upon deeper, more necessitating and 
uncontrollable principles, as if they proceeded from the 
ancient Cupid, on whom all exquisite sympathies depend, 



XVIII. -DIOMED, OR ZEAL /£** <(/ ^ 

EXl'LAJNED OF PERSECUTION, 01'. ZEAL FOB RELIGION. 

Diomsd acquired great glory and honour at the Trojan 
war, and was highly favoured by Pallas, who encouraged 

and excited him by no means t<> -pan Venus, it' he should 
casually meet her in tight, lie followed the advice with too 
much eagerness and intrepidity, and accordingly wounded 
that goddess in her hand, This presumptuous action re- 
mained Unpunished tor a time, ami when the war WBS ended * 
he returned witli great glory and renown t,» his own country, 

where, finding himself embroiled with domestic affairs, he 



234 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

retired into Italy. Here also at first lie was well received 
and nobly entertained by King Daunus, who, besides other 
gifts and honours, erected statues for hiin over all his 
dominions. But upon the first calamity that afflicted the 
people after the strangers arrival, Daunus immediately 
reflected that he entertained a devoted person in his palace, 
an enemy to the gods, and one who had sacrilegiously 
wounded a goddess with his sword, whom it was impious 
but to touch. To expiate, therefore, his country's guilt, he, 
without regard to the laws of hospitality, which were less 
regarded by him than the laws of religion, directly slew his 
guest, and commanded his statues and all his honours to be 
razed and abolished. Nor was it safe for others to com- 
miserate or bewail so cruel a destiny; but even his com- 
panions in arms, whilst they lamented the death of their 
leader, and filled all places with their complaints, were 
turned into a kind of swans, which are said, at the approach 
of their own death, to chant sweet melancholy dirges. 

Explanation. — This fable intimates an extraordinary and 
almost singular thing, for no hero besides Diomed is recorded 
to have wounded any of the gods. Doubtless we have here 
described the nature and fate of a man who professedly 
makes any divine worship or sect of religion, though in itself 
vain and light, the only scope of his actions, and resolves to 
propagate it by fire and sword. For although the bloody 
dissensions and differences about rehgion were unknown to 
the ancients, yet so copious and diffusive was their know- 
ledge, that what they knew not by experience they compre- 
hended in thought and representation. Those, therefore, 
who endeavour to reform or establish any sect of religion, 
though vain, corrupt, and infamous (which is here denoted 
under the person of Venus), not by the force of reason, 
learning, sanctity of manners, the weight of arguments, and 
examples, but would spread or extirpate it by persecution, 
pains, penalties, tortures, fire and sword, may perhaps be 
instigated hereto by Pallas, that is, by a certain rigid, pru- 
dential consideration, and a severity of judgment, by the 
vigour and efficacy whereof they see thoroughly into the 
fallacies and fictions of the delusions of this kind ; and 
through aversion to depravity and a well-meant zeal, these 



DIOMED, OK ZEAL. 235 

men usually for a time acquire great fame and glory, ami 
are by the vulgar, to whom no moderate m< an be 

acceptable, extolled and almost adored, as the only patrons 
and protectors of truth and religion, men of any other cha- 
in seeming, in comparison with these, to be lukewarm, 
mean-spirited, and cowardly. This fame and felicity, how- 
.-eldom endures to the end ; but all violence, unless 
it escapes the reverses and changes of things by untimely 
death, is commonly unprosperous in the issue; and if a 
change of affairs happens, and t hat sect of religion which 
persecuted and oppressed gains strength and rises again, 
then the zeal and warm endeavours of this sort of men are 
condemned, their very name becomes odious, and all their 
honours terminate in disgrace. 

As to the point that Diomed should be slain by his hos- 
pitable entertainer, this denotes that rebgious dissensions 
may cause treacheiy, bloody animosities, and deceit, even 
between the nearest friends. 

That complaining or bewailing should not, in so enormous 
a case, be permitted to friends affected by the catastrophe 
without punishment, includes this prudent admonition, that 
almost in all kinds of wickedness and depravity men have 
still room left for commiseration, so that they who hate the 
crime may yet pity the person and bewail Ids calamity, from 
a principle of humanity and good nature ; and to forbid the 
overflowings and intercourses of pity upon such occasions 
were the extremest of evils; yet in the cause of religion and 
impiety the very commiserations of men are noted and sus- 
pected. On the other hand, the lamentations and complain- 
ings of the followers and attendants of Diomed, thai is, of 
men of the same sect or persuasion, are usually very sweet, 
agreeable, and moving, like the dying notes of swans, or the 
birds of Diomed. This also is a noble and remarkable part 
of the allegory, denoting thaf the last words of those who 
ke of religion strongly affect and sway men's 
minds, and leave a lasting impression upon the sense and 
memory. 



236 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 



% j6 * XIX.— D.EDALUS, OR MECHANICAL SKILL. 

EXPLAINED OF ARTS AND ARTISTS IN KINGDOMS AND STATES. 

The ancients have left us a description of mechanical 
skill, industry, and curious arts converted to ill uses, in the 
person of Daedalus, a most ingenious but execrable artist. 
This Dtedalus was banished for the murder of his brother 
artist and rival, yet found a kind reception in bis banish- 
ment from the kings and states where he came. He raised 
many incomparable edifices to the honour of the gods, and 
invented many new contrivances for the beautifying and 
ennobling of cities and public places, but still he was most 
famous for wicked inventions. Among the rest, by his 
abominable industry and destructive genius, he assisted in 
the fatal and infamous production of the monster Mino- 
taur, that devourer of promising youths. And then, to 
cover one mischief with anothei", and provide for the se- 
curity of this monster, he invented and built a labyrinth ; 
a work infamous for its end and design, but admirable 
and prodigious for art and workmanship. After this, that 
he might not only be celebrated for wicked inventions, 
but be sought after, as well for prevention, as for instru- 
ments of mischief, he formed that ingenious device of 
his clue, which led directly through all the windings of the 
labyrinth. This Dsedalus was persecuted by Minos with the 
utmost severity, diligence, and inquiry ; but he always found 
refuge and means of escaping. Lastly, endeavouring to teach 
his son Icarus the art of flying, the novice, trusting too 
much to his wings, fell from his towering flight, and was 
drowned in the sea. 

Explanation. — The sense of the fable runs thus. It first 
denotes envy, which is continually upon the watch, and 
strangely prevails among excellent artificers ; for no kind of 
people are observed to be more implacably and destructively 
envious to one another than these. 

In the next place, it observes an impolitic and improvident 
kind of of punishment inflicted upon Dsedalus, — that of 
banishment ; for good workmen are gladly received every- 



D/EDALUS, OR MECHANICAL SKILL. 237 

where, so that banishment to an excellent artificer is scarce 
any punishment at all ; whereas other conditions of life can- 
not easily flourish from home. For the admiration of artists 
is propagated and increased among foreigners and strangers 5 
it being a principle in the minds of men to alight and despise 
the mechanical operators of their own nation. 

The succeeding part of the fable is plain, concerning the 
use of mechanic arts, whereto human life stands greatly in- 
debted, as receiving from this treasury numerous particulars 
for the service of religion, the ornament of civil society, and 
the whole provision and apparatus of life ; but then the 
same magazine supplies instruments of lust, cruelty, and 
death. For, not to mention the arts of luxury and de- 
bauchery, we plainly see how far the business of exquisite 
poisons, guns, engines of war. and such kind of destructive 
inventions, exceeds the cruelty and barbarity of the Minotaur 
himself. 

The addition of the labyrinth contains a beautiful allegory, 
representing the nature of mechanic arts in general ; for all 
ingenious and accurate mechanical inventions may be con- 
ceived as a labyrinth, which, by reason of their subtilty, 
intricacy, crossing, and interfering with one another, and the 
apparent resemblances they have among themselves, scarce 

any power of the judgment can unravel and distinguish ; BO 
that they are only to be understood and traced by the clue 
of experience. 

It is no less prudently added, that he who invented the 
windings of the labyrinth, should also show the use and 
management of the clue ; for mechanical arts have an 
ambiguous or double use, and serve as well to produce 
prevent mischief and destruction; so that their virtue almost 

destroys or unwinds itself. 

Unlawful arts, and indeed frequently arts themselves, are 
persecuted by .Minos, that is, by laws, which prohibit and 

forbid their use among the people ; but notwithstanding this, 

they arc hid, concealed, retained, and everywhere find recep- 
tion and sculking-places \ a thing well observed by Tacitus 
of the astrologers and fortune-tellers of his time. "These," 
says he, "are a kind of men that will always be prohibited, 
and yet will always be retained in our city." 

But lastly, all unlawful and vain arts, of what kind SOI \' P, 



238 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

lose their reputation in tract of time ; grow contemptible 
and periah, through their over-confidence, like Icarus; being 
commonly unable to perform what they boasted. And to 
,say the truth, such arts are better suppressed by their own 
vain pretensions, than checked or restrained by the bridle of 
laws/ 1 



/^ j z XX.— ERICTHONITJS, OR IMPOSTURE. 

EXPLAINED OF THE IMPROPER XJSE OF FORCE IN NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 

The poets feign that Vulcan attempted the chastity of 
Minerva, and impatient of refusal, had recourse to force ;Jh.e 
consequence of which was the birth of Ericthonius, whose 
body from the middle upwards was comely and well-pro- 
portioned, but his thighs and legs small, shrunk, and de- 
formed, like an eel. Conscious of this defect, he became the 
inventor of chariots, so as to show the graceful, but conceal 
the deformed part of his body. 

Explanation. — This strange fable seems to cany this 
meaning. Art is here represented under the person of 
Vulcan, by reason of the various uses it makes of fire ; 
and nature under the person of Minerva, by reason of the 
industry employed in her works. Art, therefore, whenever 
it offers violence to nature, in order to conquer, subdue, 
and bend her to its purpose, by tortures and force of all 
kinds, seldom obtains the end proposed ; yet upon great 
struggle and application, there proceed certain imperfect 
births, or lame abortive works, specious in appearance, but 
weak and unstable in use ; which are, nevertheless, with 
great pomp and deceitful appearances, triumphantly carried 
about, and shown by impostors. A procedure very familiar. 
and remarkable in chemical productions, and new mechanical 
inventions ; especially when the inventors rather hug their 
errors than improve upon them, and go on struggling with 
nature, not courting her. 

a Bacon nowhere speaka with such freedom and perspicuity as under 
the pretext of explaining these ancient fables ; for which reason they 
deserve to be the more read by such as desire to understand the rest of 
his works. ^ 



NEMESIS, OR TIIF. VICISSITUDE OF THINGS. 239 

XXL— DEUCALION, OB RESTITUTION. 

I NED OF A USEFCL HINT IN NATURAL PHILOSOPHY. 



fault; . ft 



The poets tell us, that the inhabitants of the old world 
being totally destroyed by the universal deluge, 
Deucalion and Pyrrha, these two, desiring with zealous and 
fervent devotion to restore mankind, received this oracle for 
answer, that " they should succeed by throwing their mother's 
bones behind them." Tins at first cast them into great sorrow 
and despair, because, as all things were levelled hy the deluge, 
it was in vain to seek their mother's tomb; but at length 
they understood the expression of the oracle to signify the 
stones of the earth, which is esteemed the mother of all 
things. 

Explanation. — This fable seems to reveal a secret of 
nature, and correct an error familiar to the mind ; for men's 
ignorance leads them to expect the renovation or restoration 
of things from their corruption and remains, as the pho nix 
is said to be restored out of its a dies ; which is a very Im- 
proper procedure, because such kind of materials have 
finished their course, and are become absolutely unfit to 
supply the first rudiments of the same things again; whence, 
in cases of renovation, recourse should be had to more 
common princij 



XXII. -NEMESIS, OR THE VICISSITUDE OF THINGS. 

EXPLAINED OF THE I'.KVF.RSES OF FOIUTNK. ftl 

Nemesis is represented as a goddes venerated hy all, hut 

■ I by the powerful and the fortunate. She is said to l> I 

the daughter of Nox ami Oceanus. She is drawn with 

wings, and a crown; a javelin of ash in her right hand : .1 

containing Ethiopian* in her lefl ; and riding upon a 

stag. 

Exp] The feble receives this explanation, 

word Nemesis manifestly signifi . or retribution ; 

for the office of this godde con isted in mterposing, like the 
Roman tribunes, with an ' I forbid it,"' in all courses of con- 



240 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

stant and perpetual felicity, so as not only to chastise; 
haughtiness, but also to repay even innocent and moderate 
happiness with adversity ; as if it were decreed, that none of 
human race should be admitted to the banquet of the gods, 
but for sport. And, indeed, to read over that chapter of 
Pliny wherein he has collected the miseries and misfortunes 
of Augustus Caesar, whom of all mankind one woidd judge 
most fortunate, — as he had a certain art of using and 
enjoying prosperity, with a mind no way tumid, light, effemi- 
nate, confused, or melancholic, — one cannot but think this a 
very great and powerful goddess, who could bring such a 
victim to her altar. a 

The parents of this goddess were Oceanus and Nox ; that 
is, the fluctuating change of things, and the obscure and 
secret divine decrees. The changes of things are aptly re- 
presented by the Ocean, on account of its perpetual ebbing 
and flowing ; and secret providence is justly expressed by 
Night. Even the heathens have observed this secret Nemesis 
of the night, or the difference betwixt divine and human 
judgment. 13 

Wings are given to Nemesis, because of the sudden and 
unforeseen changes of things ; for, from the earliest account 
of time, it has been common for great and prudent men to 
fall by the dangers they most despised. Thus Cicero, when 
admonished by Brutus of the infidelity and rancour of 
Octavius, coolly wrote back, " I cannot, however, but be 
obliged to you, Brutus, as I ought, for informing me, though 
of such a trifle." c 

Nemesis also has her crown, by reason of the invidious 
and malignant nature of the vulgar, who generally rejoice, 
triumph, and crown her, at the fall of the fortunate and the 
powerful. And for the javelin in her right hand, it has re- 
gard to those whom she has actually struck and transfixed. 
But whoever escapes her stroke, or feels not actual calamity 
or misfortune, she affrights with a black and dismal sight in 

a As she also brought the author himself. ~ 

b " cadit Ripheus, justissimus unus, 

Qui fuit ex Teucris, et servantissinius jequi : 
Diis alitor visum." — ^Eneid, lib. ii. 
c Te autem mi Brute sicut debeo, amo, quod istud quicqxud est 
nuearum me scire voluisti. 



ACHELOUS, OR BATTLE. 241 

her left hand ; for doubtless, mortals on the highest pinnacle 
of felicity have a prospect of death, diseases, calamities, 
perfidious friends, undermining enemies, reverses of fortune, 
&c, represented by the Ethiopians in her glasa Thus Virgil, 

with great elegance, describing the battle of Acthun, says of 
Cleopatra, that, "she did not ye< perceive the two asps be- 
hind her ;" tl but soon after, which WSJ BOevershe tinned, she 
saw whole troops of Ethiopians still before her. 

Lastly, it is significantly added, that Nemesis»rides upon a 
stag, which is a very long-lived creature; for though perhaps 
some, by an untimely death in youth, may prevent or escape 
this goddess, yet they who enjoy a long flow of happiness 
and power, doubtless become subject to her at length, and 
are brought to yield. 



XXIII.— ACHELOUS, OR BATTLE. 

EXPLAINKl) OF WAS 1>Y INVASION. 



i 



THE ancients relate, that Hercules and Achelous being 
rivals in the courtship of Deianira, the matter was contested 

by single combat ; when Achelous having transformed him- 
self, as he had power to do, into various shapes, by way of 
trial ; at length, in the form of a fierce wild bull, prepares 
himself for the fight ; but Hercules still retains his human 
shape, engages sharply with him, and in the issue broke off 
one of the bull's horns; and now Achelous, in great pain and 
fright, to redeem his horn, presents Hercules with the 
cornucopia. 

Kxi'lanation. — This fable relates to military expeditions 
and preparations ; for the preparation of war on the defen- 
sive Bide, here denoted by Achelous, appears in various 
shapes, whilst the invading side has but one simple form, 
consisting cither in an army, or perhaps a fleet. But the 
country thai expects the invasion is employed infinite ways, 
,n fortifying towns, blockading passes, rivers, and ports, rais- 
ing soldiers, disposing garrisons, building and breaking down 

bridges, procuring aids, securing provisions, arms, ammuni- 

" '• llegina iii inediis ji.itiio vocat agmina siKtro; 

Necdum etiam gt □ licit ungues." — Msl, viii. 696. 

K 



242 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

tion, &c. So that there appeal's a new face of things 
day J and at length, when the country is sufficiently fortified 
and prepared, it represents to the life the form and threats 
of a fierce fighting bull. 

On the other side, the invader presses on to the fight, 
fearing to be distressed in an enemy's country. And if after 
the battle he remains master of the field, and has now broke, 
as it were, the horn of his enemy, the besieged, of course, 
retire inglorious, affrighted, and dismayed, to their strong- 
hold, there endeavouring to secure themselves, and repair 
their strength ; leaving, at the same time, their country a 
prey to the conqueror, which is well expressed by the 
Amalthean horn, or cornucopia. 



p.. f XXIV.— DIONYSUS, OR BACCHUS. 1 

I sum V i • I 

™*^ EXPLAINED OF THE PASSIONS. 

The fable runs, that Semele, Jupiter's mistress, having 
bound him by an inviolable oath to grant her an unknown 
request, desired he would embrace her in the same form and 
manner he used to embrace Juno ; and the promise being 
irrevocable, she was burnt to death with lightning in 
the performance. The embryo, however, was sewed up, 
and carried in Jupiter's thigh till the complete time of its 
birth ; but the burthen thus rendering the father lame, and 
causing him pain, the child was thence called Dionysus. 
"When born, he was committed, for some years, to be nursed 
by Proserpina ; and when grown up, appeared with so effe- 
minate a face, that his sex seemed somewhat doubtfuL He 
also died, and was buried for a time, but afterwards revived. 
When a youth, he first introduced the cultivation and dress- 
ing of vines, the method of preparing wine, and taught the 
use thereof ; whence becoming famous, he subdued the world, 
even to the utmost bounds of the Indies. He rode in a 
chariot drawn by tigers. There danced about him certain 
deformed demons called Cobali, &c. The Muses also joined 
in his train. He married Ariadne, who was deserted by 
Theseus. The ivy was sacred to him. He was also held the 

B Ovid's Metamorphoses, b. iii. iv. and vi. ; and Fasti, iii. 767. ih- 



BACCHUS. 

inventor and institutor of religion I rites and ceremonies, but 
such us were wild, frantic, and full of corruption and cruelty. 
He had also the power of striking men with frenzies. Pen- 
U)i us and Orpheus were torn to pieces by the frantic women 
at his orgies j the first (or climbing a tree to behold their 
geous ceremonies, and the other lor the music of his 
But the acts of this god arc much entangled and 
confounded with those of Jupiter. 

Explanation. — This fable seems to contain a little .system 
of morality, so that there is scarce any better invention in all 
ethics. Under the history of B drawn the nature of 

unlawful desire or affection, and disorder ; for the appetite and 
thirst of apparent good is the mother of all unlawful desire, 
though ever so destructive, and all unlawful desires are con- 
ceived in unlawful wishes or requests, rashly indulged or 
granted before they are well understood or considered, and 
when the affection begins to grow warm, the mother of it 
(the nature of good) is destroyed and burnt up by the heat, 
And whilst an unlawful desire lies in the embryo, or un- 
rip, ned in the mind, which is its father, and here represented 
by Jupiter, it is cherished and concealed, especially in the 
inferior part of the mind, corresponding to the thigh of the 
body, where pain twitches and depresses the mind so far as 
to render its resolutions and actions imperfect and lame. 
And even after this child of the mind is confirmed, and gains 
strength by consent and habit, and comes forth into action, 
it must still be nursed by Proserpina for a time ; ihat is. it 
skulks ami hides its head in a clandestine manner, as it w< re 
underground, till at length, when the clucks of shame and 

ire removed, and the requisite boldness acquired, it 
either assumes the pretext of some virtue, or openly despises 
infamy. And ii i- justly observed, thai every vehement 
. appeals of a doubtful sex, as having the strength of 
a man al first, h the impotence of a woman. It is 

also excellently added, that Bacchus died and rose again.; for 
the affections sometimes seem to die and be no more : but 
there is no trusting them, even though they were buried, 
being alwaj ad ready to rise again whenever the 

on or object offers. 
That Bacchus should be the inventor of wine can 

B 2 



244 WISDOM OF THE AN'CIENTS. 

fine allegory with it; for every affection is cunning and 
subtile in discovering a proper matter to nourish and feed it; 
and of all things known to mortals, wine is the most power- 
ful and effectual for exciting and inflaming passions of all 
kinds, being indeed like a common fuel to all. 

It is again with great elegance observed of Bacchus, that 
he subdued provinces, and undertook endless expeditions, for 
the affections never rest satisfied with what they enjoy, but 
with an endless and insatiable appetite thirst after something 
further. And tigers are prettily feigned to draw the chariot ; 
for as soon as any affection shall, from going on foot, be 
advanced to ride, it triumphs over reason, and exerts its 
cruelty, fierceness, and strength against all that oppose it. 

It is also humorously imagined, that ridiculous demons 
dance and frisk about this chariot ; for every passion pro- 
duces indecent, disorderly, interchangeable, and deformed 
motions in the eyes, countenance, and gesture, so that the 
person under the impulse, whether of anger, insult, love, &c, 
though to himself he may seem grand, lofty, or obliging, 
yet in the eyes of others appears mean, contemptible, or 
ridiculous. 

The Muses also are found in the train of Bacchus, for 
there is scarce any passion without its art, science, or doctrine 
to court and flatter it ; but in this respect the indulgence of 
men of genius has greatly detracted from the majesty of the 
Muses, who oixght to be the leaders and conductors of human 
life, and not the handmaids of the passions. 

The allegory of Bacchus falling in love with a cast mistress, 
is extremely noble ; for it is certain that the affections always 
court and covet what has been rejected upon experience. 
And all those who by serving and indulging their passions 
immensely raise the value of enjoyment, should know, that 
whatever they covet and pursue, whether riches, pleasure, 
glory, learning, or anything else, they only pursue those 
things that have been forsaken and cast off with contempt 
by great numbers in all ages, after possession and experience. 

Nor is it without a mystery that the ivy was sacred to 
Bacchus, and this for two reasons : first, because ivy is 
an evergreen, or flourishes in the winter ; and secondly, be- 
cause it winds and creeps about so many things, as trees, 
walls, and buildings, and raises itself above them. As to the 



ATALANTA AND HIPPOMENES, OR CAIN. 2 1 5 

first, every passion grows fresh, strong, ami rigorous by 

opposition and prohibition, as it were by a kind of contrast 
or antiperistasis, like the ivy in the winter. And for the 
second, the predominant passion of the mind throws itself 
like the ivy, round all human actions, entwines all our resolu- 
tions, and perpetually adhere, to, and mixes itself among, or 
even overtops them. 

And no wonder that superstitious riles and ceremonies 
are attributed to Bacchus, when almosi every ungovernable 
pa don grows "wanton and luxuriant in corrupt religions J 
nor again, that fury and frenzy should he sent and dealt out 
h\ him. because every passion is a short frenzy, and if it In; 
vehement, lasting, and take deep toot, it terminates in mad- 
ness. And hence the allegory of Pentheus and Orpheus 
being torn to pieces is evident ; for every headstrong passion 
is extremely bitter, severe, inveterate, and revengeful upon 
all curious inquiry, wholesome admonition, free counsel and 
persuasion. 

Lastly, the confusion between the persons of Jupiter and 
Bacchus will justly admit of an allegory, heeau>e noble ami 
meritorious actions may sometimes proceed from virtue, 
sound reason, and magnanimity, and sometimes again from a 
concealed passion and secret desire of ill, however they may 
be extolled and praised, insomuch that it is not easy to dis- 
tinguish betwixt the acts of Bacchus and the act- of .Jupiter. 



XXV. ATALANTA AND HIPPOMENES, OE GAIN. '• ( ,a. 5< 

EXPLAINED OK THK CONTEST BETWIXT ART AND NAT! BE. 

A'lWlANTA, who was exceeding Heet. contended with Ilip- 
pomenes in the course, on condition that if Hippomenes 

won, he should espouse her, or forfeit his life if he lost. The 

match was very unequal, for Atalanta had conquered uumbers, 
to their destruction. Eippomenes, therefore, had recourse to 
stratagem. He procured three golden apples, ami purposely 
carried them with him: thej Btarted ; Atalanta outstripped 
him soon ; then Hippomenes how led one of his apples before 

her, across the course, in Order imt only to make her stoop, 
but to draw her out of the path. .She, prompted by female 



246 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

curiosity, and the beauty of the golden fruit, starts from the 
course to take up the apple. Hippomenes, in the mean time, 
holds on his way, and steps before her ; but she, by her 
natural swiftness, soon fetches up her lost ground, and leaves 
him again behind. Hippomenes, however, by rightly timing 
his second and third throw, at length won the race, not by 
his swiftness, but his cunning. 

Explanation. — This fable seems to contain a noble allegory 
of the contest betwixt art and nature. For art, here denoted 
by Atalanta, is much swifter, or more expeditious in its 
operations than nature, when all obstacles and impediments 
ai*e removed, and sooner arrives at its end. This appears 
almost in eveiy instance. Thus fruit comes slowly from the 
kernel, but soon by inoculation or incision ; clay, left to itself, 
is a long time in acquiring a stony hardness, but is presently 
burnt by fire into brick. So again in human life, nature is a 
long while in alleviating and abolishing the remembrance of 
pain, and assuaging the troubles of the mind ; but moral 
philosophy, which is the art of living, performs it presently. 
Yet this prerogative and singular efficacy of art is stopped and 
retarded to the infinite detriment of human life, by certain 
golden apples ; for there is no one science or art that con- 
stantly holds on its true and proper course to the end, but they 
are all continually stopping short, forsaking the track, and 
turning aside to profit and convenience, exactly like Atalanta. 1 
Whence it is no wonder that art gets not the victory over 
nature, nor, according to the condition of the contest, brings 
her under subjection ; but, on the contrary, remains subject 
to her, as a wife to a husband. b 

a " Declinat cursus, aurumque volubile tollit." 

b The author, in all his physical works, proceeds upon this founda- 
tion, that it is possible, and practicable, for art to obtain the victory 
over nature ; that is, for human industry and power to procure, by the 
means of proper knowledge, such things as are necessary to render life 
as happy and commodious as its mortal state will allow. For instance, 
that it is possible to lengthen the present period of human life ; bring 
the winds under command ; and every way extend and enlarge the 
dominion or empire of man over the works of nature. S . 



PROMETHEUS, OR THE STATE OF MAX. 247 



XXVI.— PROMETHEUS, OK THE STATE OF MAX. 

EXPLAINED OF AN OVER-RILING FROVIDEXCE, AND OF HUMAN NATURE. 

The ancients relate that man was the work of Prometheus, 

: only the artificer mixed in with the 

mass, particles taken from different animals. And being 

desirous to improve bis workmanship, and endow, as well as 

. the human race, he stole up to heaven with a bundle 

of birch-rods, and kindling them at the chariot of the Sun, 

:e brought down fire to the earth for the service of 

They add, that for this meritorious act Prometheu- 
repayed with ingratitude by mankind, so that, forming a 
conspiracy, they arraigned both him and his invention before 
Jupiter. Put the matter was oth seived than they 

imagined; for the accusation proved extremely grateful to 
Jupiter and the gods, insomuch that, delighted with the 
action, they not only indulged mankind the use of fire, but 
moreover conferred upon them a most acceptable and de- 
I >le jiresent, viz. perpetual youth. 

But men, foolishly overjoyed hereat, laid this present of 
the gods upon an ass, who, in returning back with it. being 
extremely thirsty, strayed to a fountain. The serpent, who 
was guardian thereof, would not sutler him to drink, but 
upon condition of receiving the burden he carried, what- 
ever it should be. The silly ass complied, and thus the 
perpetual renewal of youth was, for a drop of water, trans- 
ferred from men to the race of serpents. 

Prometheus, not desisting from his unwarrantable prac- 
tices, though now reconciled to mankind, after they were 
thus tricked of their present, but -till continuing inveterate 
bad the boldness to attempt deceit, even is 
a sacrifice, and is said to have once offered up two bulls to 
Jupiter, but so as in <h<' hide of one of them to wrap all 

the flesh and fit of both, and stuffing Out the other hide 

only with the bones ; then in a religious and devout manner, 

Jupiter his choice of the two. Jupiter, detesting this 

sly fraud and hypocrisy, but having thus an opportunity of 

punishing tin- offender, purposely chose the mock bull. 



2'18 WISDOM Of THE ANCIENTS. 

And now giving w;iy to revenge, but finding lie could not 
cliastise the insolence of Prometheus without afflicting the 
human i - ace (in the production whei'eof Prometheus had 
strangely and insufferably prided himself), he commanded 
Vulcan to form a beautiful and graceful woman, to whom every 
god presented a certain gift, whence she was called Pandora. a 
They put into her hands an elegant box, containing all sorts of 
miseries and misfortunes ; but Hope was placed at the bottom 
of it. With this box she first goes to Prometheus, to tiy if 
she could prevail upon him to receive and open it ; but he, 
being upon his guard, warily refused the offer. Upon this 
refusal, she comes to his brother Epimetheus, a man of a 
very different temper, who rashly and inconsiderately opens 
the box. When finding all kinds of miseries and misfortunes 
issued out of it, he grew wise too late, and with great hurry 
and struggle endeavoured to clap the cover on again ; but 
with all his endeavour could scarce keep in Hop*?, which lay 
at the bottom. 

Lastly, Jupiter arraigned Prometheus of many heinous 
crimes : as that he formerly stole fire from heaven ; that he 
contemptuously and deceitfully mocked liim by a sacrifice 
of bones ; that he despised his present, b adding withal a new 
crime, that he attempted to ravish Pallas : for all which, he 
was sentenced to be bound in chains, and doomed to per- 
petual torments. Accordingly, by Jupiter's command, he 
was brought to Mount Caucasus, and there fastened to a 
pillar, so firmly that he coidd no way stir. A vulture or 
eagle stood by him, which in the daytime gnawed and con- 
sumed his liver ; but in the night the wasted parts were 
supplied again; whence matter for Ms pain was never 
wanting. 

They relate, however, that his punishment had an end ; 
for Hercules sailing the ocean, in a cup, or pitcher, presented 
him by the Sun, came at length to Caucasus, shot the eagle 
with his arrows, and set Prometheus free. In certain nations, 
also, there were instituted particular games of the torch, to 
the honom' of Prometheus, in which they who ran for 
the prize carried lighted torches ; and as any one of these 
torches happened to go out, the bearer withdrew himself, and 

» "All-gift." 3 b Yiz., that by PancL . 



PB0HETHEU8, OR THE STATE OF MAN. 249 

gave way to the next ; and that person was allowed to win 
the prize who tirst brought in his lighted torch to the goal. 

Explanation". — This fable contains and enforces many just 
and serious considerations; some whereof have been long since 
well observed, but some again remain perfectly untouched. 
Prometheus clearly and expressly signifies Providence ; for 
of all the things in nature, the formation and endowment of 
man was singled out by the ancients, and esteemed the 
peculiar work of Providence. The reason hereof seems, 
1. That the nature of man includes a mind and under- 
standing, which is the seat of Providence. 2. Tliat it is 
harsh and incredible to suppose reason and mind should bo 
raised, and drawn out of senseless and irrational principles ; 
whence it becomes almost inevitable, that providence is im- 
planted in the human mind in conformity with, and by the 
direction and tin? design of the greater over-ruling Provi- 
dence. But, 3. The principal cause is this : that man Beems 
to be the thing in which the whole world centres, with 
resp •<■{ to final cause.-. ; BO that it' he were away, all other 
things would stray and fluctuate, without end or intention, 
or become perfectly disjointed, and out of frame; for all 
things are made subservient to man, and he receives use and 
benefit from them all. Thus the revolutions, places, and 
periods, of the celestial bodies, serve him tor distinguishing 
times and seasons, and for dividing the world into different 
regions; the meteors afford him prognostications of the 
weather; the winds sail our ships, drive our nulls, and move 
our machines ; and the vegetables and animals of all kinds 
either aftbrd us matter for houses and habitations, clothing, 
food, physic, or tend to ease, or delight, to support, or refresh 
us: so that everything in nature seems not made for itself, 
but for man. 

And it is not without reason added, that the mass of 
matter whereof man was formed, should be mixed up with 
particles taken from differenf animals, and wrought in with 
the clay, because it is certain, t li.it of all things in the 

universe, man is the most compounded ami reoompounded 

body; so that the ancients not improperly styled him a 
Microcosm, or little world within himself. For although tin- 
chemists have absurdly, and too literally, wrested and per- 



250 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENT.S. 

verted the elegance of the term microcosm, whilst they pre- 
tend to find all kind of mineral and vegetable matters, or 
something corresponding to them, in man, yet it remains firm 
and unshaken, that the human body is of all substances the 
most mixed and organical ; whence it has surprising powers 
and faculties : for the powers of simple bodies are but few, 
though certain and quick ; as being little broken, or weak- 
ened, and not counterbalanced by mixture : but excellence 
and quantity of energy reside in mixture and composition. 

Man, however, in his first origin, seems to be a defenceless 
naked creature, slow in assisting himself, and standing in 
need of numerous tilings. Prometheus, therefore, hastened 
to the invention of fire, which supplies and administers to 
nearly all human uses and necessities, insomuch that, if the 
soul may be called the form of forms, if the band may be 
called the instrument of instruments, fire may, as properly, be 
called the assistant of assistants, or the helper of helps ; for 
hence proceed numberless operations, hence all the mechanic 
arts, and hence infinite assistances are afforded to the sciences 
themselves. 

The manner wherein Prometheus stole this fire is properly 
described from the nature of the thing ; he being said to 
have done it by applying a rod of birch to the chariot of the 
Sun : for birch is used in striking and beating, which clearly 
denotes the generation of fire to be from the violent per- 
cussions and collisions of bodies ; whei*eby the matters 
struck are subtilized, rarefied, put into motion, and so prepared 
to receive the heat of the celestial bodies ; whence they, in 
a clandestine and secret manner, collect and snatch fire, as 
it were by stealth, from the chariot of the Sun. 

The next is a remarkable part of the fable, which repre- 
sents that men, instead of gratitude and thanks, fell into 
indignation and expostulation, accusing both Prometheus 
and his fire to Jupiter, — and yet the accusation proved 
highly pleasing to Jupiter ; so that he, for this reason, 
crowned these benefits of mankind with a new bounty. 
Here it may seem strange tbat the sin of ingratitude to a 
creator and benefactor, a sin so heinous as to include almost 
all others, should meet with approbation and reward. But 
the allegory has another view, and denotes, that the accu- 
sation and arraignment, both of human nature and human 



PROMETHEUS, OR THE STATE OF MAX. 251 

art among mankind, proceeds from a most noble and laud- 
able temper of the mind, and tends to a very good purpose ; 
whereas the contrary temper is odious to the gods, and 
unbeneficial in itself. For they who break into extra' 
praises of human nature, and the arts in vogue, and who lay 
themselves out in admiring the things they already p< 
and will needs have the sciences cultivated among them, to be 
thought absolutely perfect and complete, in the first place, 
show little regard to the divine nature, whilst they extol 
their own inventions almost as high as his perfection. In 
tin! next place, men of this temper are unserviceable and 
prejudicial in life, whilst tin themselves already 

got to the top of things, and there rest, without farther 
inquiry. On the contrary, they who arraign and a 
both nature and art. and are always full of complaints 
against them, not only preserve a more just and m 
sense of mind, but are also perpetually stirred up t<> 
industry and new discoveries. Is not, then, the ignorance 
and fatality of mankind to he extremely pitied, whilst they 
remain slaves to the arrogance of a tew of their own fellows, 
and are dotingly fond of that scrap of Grecian knowledge, 
'he Peripatetic philosophy ; and this to such a degree, as 
not only to think all accusation or arraignment thereof 
useless, but even hold it suspect and dangerous? Certainly 
the procedure of Empedocles, though furious — but especially 
that of Democritus (who with great modesty complained 
that all things were abstruse ; that we know nothing : that 
truth lies hid in deep pits; that falsehood is strangely joined 
and twisted along with truth, <fcc.) — is to be preferred before 
the confident, assuming, and dogmatical Bchool of Aristotle. 
Mankind are, therefore, to be admonished, thai the ;irraiL, r v- 
ment of nature and of arl is pleasing to the gods } and thai 
a sharp and vehement accusation of Prometheus, though 
itor, a founder, ami a master, obtained new blessings 
and presents from the divine bounty, and proved more 
sound and serviceable than .i diffusive harangue of praise and 
gratulation. And let men lie assured, thai the fond opinion 
that they have already acquired enough, is a principal reason 
why they have acquired so little. 

That the perpetual flower of youth should he the pr< 
which mankind received as a reward for their accusation, 



252 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

carries this moral : that the ancients seem not to have 
despaired of discovering methods, and remedies, for re- 
tarding old age, and prolonging the period of human 
life, but rather reckoned it among those things which, 
through sloth and want of diligent inquiry, perish and come 
to nothing, after having been once undertaken, than among 
such as are absolutely impossible, or placed beyond the 
reach of the human power. For they signify and intimate 
from the true use of fire, and the just and strenuous accu- 
sation and conviction of the errors of art, that the divine 
bounty is not wanting to men in such kind of presents, but 
that men indeed are wanting to themselves, and lay such an 
inestimable gift upon the back of a slow-paced ass ; that is, 
upon the back of the heavy, dull, lingering thing, experience; 
from whose sluggish and tortoise-pace proceeds that ancient 
complaint of the shortness of life, and the slow advancement 
of arts. And certainly it may well seem, that the two 
faculties of reasoning and experience are not hitherto pro- 
perly joined and coupled together, but to be still new gifts 
of the gods, separately laid, the one upon the back of a light 
bird, or abstract philosophy, and the other upon an ass, or 
slow-paced practice and trial. And yet good hopes might 
be conceived of this ass, if it were not for his thirst and 
the accidents of the way. For we judge, that if any one 
would constantly proceed, by a certain law and method, in 
the road of experience, and not by the way thirst after 
such experiments as make for profit or ostentation, nor 
exchange his bui'den, or quit the original design for the sake 
of these, he might be an useful bearer of a new and accu- 
mulated divine bounty to mankind. 

That this gift of perpetual youth should pass from men to 
serpents, seems added by way of ornament, and illustration 
to the fable ; perhaps intimating, at the same time, the 
shame it is for men, that they, with their fire, and numerous 
arts, cannot procure to themselves those things which nature 
has bestowed upon many other creatures. 

The sudden reconciliation of Prometheus to mankind, after 
being disappointed of their hopes, contains a prudent and 
useful admonition. It points out the levity and temerity of 
men in new experiments, when, not presently succeeding, 
or answering to expectation, they precipitantly quit their 



PK'.METHEUS, OR THE STATE OF MAN. 253 

new undertakings, hurry Lack to their old ones, and grow 
reconciled thereto. 

After tlic table has described the state of man, with 
regard to arts and intellectual matters, it passes <>n to reli- 
gion ; for after the inventing and settling of arts, follows the 
establishment of divine worship, which hypocrisy presently 
enters into and corrupt-. So that by the two sacrifices we 
have elegantly painted the person of a man truly religious, 
and. of an hypocrite. One of these sacrifices contained the 
fat, or the portion of God, used for burning and incensing ; 
thereby denoting affection and zeal, offered up to his glory. 
It likewise contained the bowels, which are expressive of 
charity, along with the good and useful flesh. But the other 
contained nothing more than dry bones, which nevertheless 
stuffed out the hide, so as to make it resemble a fair, beau- 
tiful, and magniticent sacrifice ; hereby finely denoting the 
external and empty rites and barren ceremonies, wherewith 
men burden and stuff* out the divine worship, — things rather 
intended for show and ostentation than conducing to piety : — 
Nor are mankind simply content with this mock-worship of 
God, but also impose and father it upon him, as if lie bad 
chosen and ordained it. Certainly the prophet, in the person 
of God, has a fine expostulation, as to this matter of choice : 
— '• Is this the fasting which I have chosen, that a man should 
afflict his soul for a day, and bow down his head like a 
bulrush .'" 

Alter thus touching the state of religion, the fable next 
turns to manners, and the conditions of human life. And 
though it be a very common, yet is it a just interpretation, 
that Pandora denotes the pleasures and licentiousness which 
the cultivation and luxury of the arts of civil life introduce, 
as it were, by the instrumental efficacy of tire ; whence the 
works of the voluptuary aits are properly attributed to 
Vulcan, the God of Fire. And hence infinite miseries and 
calamities have proceeded to the minds, the bodies, and 
the fortunes of men. together with a late repentance ; and 

this not only in each man's particular, but also in kingdoms 
and states; for wars, and tumults and tyrannic-;, have all 
arisen from this -anie fountain, or DOS of Pandora. 

It is worth observing, how beautifully and elegantly the 

fable has drawn two reigning characters in human life, and 



254 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

given two examples, or tablatures of them, under the persons 
of Prometheus and Epimetheus. The followers of Epime- 
theus are improvident, see not far before them, and prefer 
such things as are agreeable for the present ; whence they 
are oppressed with numerous straits, difficulties, and cala- 
mities, with which they almost continually struggle ; but in 
the mean time gratify their own temper, and, for want of a 
better knowledge of things, feed their minds with many vain 
hopes ; and as with so many pleasing dreams, delight them- 
selves, and sweeten the miseries of life. 

But the followers of Prometheus are the prudent, wary 
men, that look into futurity, and cautiously guard against, 
prevent, and undermine many calamities and misfortunes. 
But this watchful, provident temper, is attended with a 
deprivation of numerous pleasures, and the loss of various 
delights, whilst such men debar themselves the use even of 
innocent things, and what is still worse, rack and torture 
themselves with cares, fears, and disquiets ; being bound fast 
to the pillar of necessity, and tormented with numberless 
thoughts (which for then- swiftness are well compared to an 
eagle), that continually wound, tear, and gnaw their liver or 
mind, unless, perhaps, they find some small remission by 
intervals, or as it were at nights ; but then new anxieties, 
dreads, and fears, soon return again, as it were in the 
morning. And, therefore, very few men, of either temper, 
have secured to themselves the advantages of providence, 
and kept clear of disquiets, troubles, and misfortunes. 

Nor indeed can any man obtain this end Avithout the 
assistance of Hercules ; that is, of such fortitude and con- 
stancy of mind as stands prepared against every event, and 
remains indifferent to every change ; looking forward with- 
out being daunted, enjoying the good without disdain, and 
enduring the bad without impatience. And it must be 
observed, that even Prometheus had not the power to free 
himself, but owed his deliverance to another ; for no natural 
inbred force and fortitude could prove equal to such a task. 
The power of releasing him came from the utmost confines 
of the ocean, and from the sun ; that is, from Apollo, or 
knowledge ; and again, from a due consideration of the 
uncertainty, instability, and fluctuating state of human fife, 
which is aptly represented by sailing the ocean. Accord- 



PROMETHEUS, OR THE STATE OF MAX. 255 

ingly, Virgil has prudently joined these two together, ac- 
counting him happy wlui knows the causes of things, ami 
has conquered all his feats, apprehensions, and superstitions. 

It is added, with great elegance, for supporting and con- 
firming the human mind, that the great hero who thus deli- 
vered him saUed the ocean in a cup, or pitcher, to prevei 
fear, or complaint ; as if, through the narrowness of our 
nature, or a too great fragility thereof, we were absolutely 
incapable of that fortitude and constancy to which Seneca 
finely alludes, when he Bays, • li is 8 noble thing, at once to 
participate in the frailty of man and the security of a god." 

We have hitherto, that we might not break the connec- 
tion of things, designedly omitted the last crime of Prome- 
theus — that of attempting the chastity of Minerva — which 
heinous offence it doubtless was, that caused the punishment 
of having his liver gnawed by the vulture. The meaning 
seems to be this, — that when men are puffed up with arte 
and knowledge, they often try to subdue even the divine 
wisdom and bring it under the dominion of sense and reason, 
whence inevitably follows a perpetual and restless rending 
and tearing of the mind. A sober and humble distinction 
must, therefore, be made betwixt divine and human things, 
and betwixt the oracles of sense and faith, unless mankind 
had rather choose an heretical religion, and a fictitious and 
romantic philosophy." 1 

The last particular in the fable is the Games of the Torch, 
instituted to Prometheus, which again relates to arts and 
sciences, as well as the invention of fire, for the commemora- 
tion and celebration whereof these games were held And 
here we have an extremely prudent admonition, directing' us 
to expect the perfection of the sciences from succession, and 
not from the swiftness and abilities of any single person; for 
he who is fleetest and b! is the course may perhaps be 

less fit to beep his torch a-light, since there is danger of its 
going out from too rapid as well as from too slow a motion.' 

Felix qui jiotuit ivrum cognoscere causaa, 

Quique metus omne et Ln< I um 

Bubjecit pi pitumque A.oh irontu avari." — Georg. ii. 490. 

y d D' xxviii. aiicl BDpplam. xv. ■? 

c Aii allusion which, in Plato's writings, in applied to the rapid suc- 
cession of generations, through which the continuity of human Lif 

< •',, . '.'] -u. . .. ..,-/ ' - ■ C 



250 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

But this kind of contest, with the torch, seems to have been 
long dropped and neglected ; the sciences appearing to have 
flourished principally in their first authors, as Aristotle, 
Galen, Euclid, Ptolemy, &c. ; whilst their successors have done 
very little, or scarce made any attempts. But it were highly 
to be wished that these games might be renewed, to the 
honour of Prometheus, or human nature, and that they might 
excite contest, emulation, and laudable endeavours, and the 
design meet with such success as not to hang tottering, 
tremulous, and hazarded, upon the torch of any single 
person. Mankind, therefore, should be admonished to rouse 
themselves, and try and exert their own strength and chance, 
and not place all their dependence upon a few men, 
whose abilities and capacities, perhaps, are not greater than 
their own. 

These are the particulars which appear to us shadowed out 
by this trite and vulgar fable, though without denying that 
there may be contained in it several intimations that have a 
surprising cori"espondence with the Christian mysteries. In 
particular, the voyage of Hercules, made in a pitcher, to 
release Prometheus, bears an allusion to the word of God, 
coming in the frail vessel of the flesh to redeem mankind. 
But we indulge ourselves no such liberties as these, for fear 
jof using strange fire at the altar of the Lord. 



ft- 



XXVII.— ICARUS AND SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS, OR 
THE MIDDLE WAY. 

EXPLAINED OF MEDIOCRITY IN NATURAL AND MORAL PHILOSOPHY. 

Mediocrity, or the holding a middle course, has been 
highly extolled in morality, but little in matters of science, 
though no less useful and proper here ; whilst in politics it is 
held suspected, and ought to be employed with judgment. The 
ancients described mediocrity in manners by the course pre- 

maintained from age to age ; and which are perpetually transferring 
from hand to hand the concerns and duties of t-his fleeting scene. 
TtvviovTfq ti Kai lKTpi<poi>TS£ 7rai0ac, KciOaTrip 7\.an~dca t'uv (3iov Trapa- 
StSovriQ dWoiQ it, iiWwp. — Plato, Leg. b. vi. Lucretius also ha.; tLe 
same metaphor : — i. 

" Et quasi cursores vitai lampada tradunt." 0*. ■ 



ICARUS, OR TUT. MIDDLE WAY. 2-57 

scribed to Icarus ; ,ui<l in matters of the understanding by 
the steering betwixt Scylla and Charybdis, on account of the 
great difficult) and danger in passing those straits. 

[cams, being to fly across the Bea, was ordered by his 
father neither to soar too high nor fly too low, for, as his 
■wings wore fastened together with wax. there was danger of 
its melting by the sun'- beat in too high a flight, and (.t' its 
becoming less tenacious by the moisture it' he kept too near 
the vapour of the sea. Bui he, with a juvenile confidence, 
oared aloft, and fell down headlong. 

Explanation. — The table is vulgar, and easily interpreted; 
for the path of virtue lies straighl between excess on the one 
side, and defect on the other. And no wonder that i 
should prove the bane of [cams, exulting in juvenile strength 
and vigour; for excess is the natural vice of youth, as defect 
is that of old age ; and if a man must perish by either, 
Icarus chose the better of the two; for all defects are justly 
esteemed more depraved than excesses. There is some mag- 
nanimity in bird, claims kindred with the 
heavens ; but defect is a reptile, that basely crawls upon the 
earth. It was excellently said by Heraclitus. "A dry light 
makes flic best soul . for if the soul contracts moisture, from 
the earth, it, perfectly degenerates and sinks. On the other 
hand, moderation must be observed, to prevent this fine 
light from burning, by its too greaf ^ul >t ilt y and dr; 
But these observations are common. 

In matters of the understanding, it requires great skill 
and a, particular felicity to steer clear of Scylla and < 'harybdis. 
If the ship strikes upon Scylla. it is dashed iii pieces against 
the rucks ; if upon Charybdis, it is swallowed outright. This 
allegory is pregnant with matter ; bul we shall only observe 
the force of it lies here, that a mem he observed in everj 
doctrine and science, ami in the rule- and axioms thereof, 
between the rocks of distinctions and the whirlpools of uni- 
versalitic ; for these two are the bane and shipwreck of line 
geniuses and arts. 



258 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

XXVIII.— SPHINX, OK SCIENCE. 

EXPLAINED OF THE SCIENCES. 

They relate that Spliinx was a monster, variously formed, 
having the face and voice of a virgin, the wings of a bird, 
and the talons of a griffin. She resided on the top of a 
mountain, near the city Thebes, and also beset the highways. 
Her manner was to lie in ambush and seize the travellers, 
and having them in her power, to propose to them certain dark 
and perplexed riddles, which it was thought she received 
from the Muses, and if her wretched captives could not solve 
and interpret these riddles, she with great cruelty fell upon 
them, in their hesitation and confusion, and tore them to 
pieces. This plague having reigned a long time, the Thebans 
at length offered their kingdom to the man who could inter- 
pret her riddles, there being no other way to subdue her. 
OEdipus, a penetrating and prudent man, though lame in his 
feet, excited by so great a reward, accepted the condition, 
and with a good assurance of mind, cheerfully presented him- 
self before the monster, who directly asked him, "What 
creature that was, Avbich being born four-footed, afterwards 
became two-footed, then three-footed, and lastly four-footed 
again?" (Edipus, with presence of mind, replied it was 
man, who, upon his first birth and infant state, crawled 
upon all fours in endeavouring to walk ; but not long after 
went upright upon his two natural feet ; again, in old 
age walked three-footed, with a stick ; and at last, growing 
decrepit, lay four-footed confined to his bed ; and having by 
this exact solution obtained the victory, he slew the monster, 
and, laying the carcass upon an ass, led her away in 
triumph ; and upon this he was, according to the agreement, 
made king of Thebes. 

Explanation. — This is an elegant, instructive fable, and 
seems invented to represent science, especially as joined with 
practice. For science may, without absurdity, be called a 
monster, being strangely gazed at and admired by the igno- 
rant and unskilful. Her figure and form is various, by 
reason of the vast variety of subjects that science considers ; 
her. voice and countenance are represented female, by reason 



SPHINX, OR SCIENCE. 259 

of her gay appearance and volubility of speech ; wings are 
added, because the sciences and their inventions run and fly 
about in a moment, for knowledge, like light communicated 
from one torch to another, is presently caught and copiously 
diffused ; sharp and hooked talons are elegantly attributed 
to her, because the axioms and arguments of science enter 
the mind, lay hold of it, iix it down, and keep it from moving 
or slipping away. This the sacred philosopher observed, 
v. In mi he said, "The words of the wise are like goads or nads 
driven far in." a Again, all science seems placed on high, ae 
it were on the tops of mountains that are hard to climb; for 
science is justly imagined a sublime and lofty thing, looking 
down upon ignorance from an eminence, and at the same 
time taking an extensive view on all sides, as is usual on the 
tops of mountains. Science is said to beset the highways, 
because through all the journey and peregrination of human 
life there is matter and occasion offered of contemplation. 

Sphinx is said to propose various difficult questions and 
riddles to men, which she received from the Muses ; and 
these questions, so long as they remain with the Muses, may 
very well be unaccompanied with severity; for while there is 
no other end of contemplation and inquiry but that of know- 
ledge alone, the understanding is not oppressed, or driven to 
straits and difficulties, but expatiates and ranges at large, and 
even receives a degree of pleasure from doubt and variety; 
but after the Muses have given over their riddles to Sphinx, 
that is, to practice, wliich urges and impels to action, choice, 
and determination, then it is that they become torturing, 
ii'. and trying, and. unless solved and interpreted, 
strangely perplex and harass the human mdnd, rend it every 
way, and perfectly tear it to pieces. All the riddles of 
Sphinx, therefore, bare two conditions annexed, viz., dilaoe- 

ratioii to those who do not solvo tin in, and empire to those 
that do. For he who understands the thing proposed 
obtains his end. and every artificer rules over his work.' 1 
Sphinx has no mure than two kinds of riddles, one relal ins 

■ Ecclex. xii. 11. 

b This is what the author tly inculcates in the A 

Orgamum, viz., that knowledge and power are reciprocal ; bo that to 
improve in knowledge is to improve in the power of commanding 
nature, by introducing now arts, and producing works :ind effects, Ju. S~ 



■' 



2G0 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

to the nature of things, the other to the nature of man ; and 
correspondent to these, the prizes of the solution are two 
kind-: of empire, — the empire over nature, and the empire 
over man. For the true and ultimate end of natural philo- 
sophy is dominion over natural things, natural bodies, 
remedies, machines, and numberless other particulars, though 
the schools, contented with what spontaneously offex-s, and 
swollen with their own discourses, neglect, and in a manner 
despise, both things and works. 

But the riddle proposed to CEdipus, the solution whereof 
acquired him the Theban kingdom, regarded the nature of 
man ; for he who has thoroughly looked into and examined 
human nature, may in a manner command his own fortune, 
and seems born to acquire dominion and rule. Accordingly, 
Virgil properly makes the arts of government to be the arts 
of the Romans. It was, therefore, extremely apposite in 
Augustus Caesar to use the image of Sphinx in his signet, 
whether this happened by accident or by design ; for he of 
all men was deeply versed in politics, and through the course 
of his life very happily solved abundance of new riddles with 
regard to the nature of man ; and unless he had done tliis 
with great dexterity and ready address, he would frequently 
have been involved in imminent danger, if not destruction. 

It is with the utmost elegance added in the fable, that 
when Sphinx was conquered, her carcass was laid upon an 
ass ; for there is nothing so subtile and abstruse, but after 
being once made plain, intelligible, and common, it may be 
received by the slowest capacity. 

We must not omit that Sphinx was conquered by a lame 
man, and impotent in his feet; for men usually make too 
much haste to the solution of Sphinx's riddles ; whence it 
happens, that she prevailing, their minds are rather racked 
and torn by disputes, than invested with command by works 
and effects. 

c " Tu regere imperio populos, Eomane, memento : 
Rse tibi erunt artes." — ^En. vi. 851. 



PROSERPINE, OR SPIRIT. 2G1 



XXIX.— PROSERPINE, <>!: SPIRIT. /'4- ■., (^ 

EXPLAINED OF THE SPtBIT INCLUDED IN KATUBA1 BOO 

They tell us, Pluto having, upon that memorable division 
of empire among the gods, lie infernal region I'm 

his share, despaired of winning any cue of the goddt sses in 
marriage by an obsequious i on ship, and therefore through 
necessity resolved upon a rape. Having watched his oppor- 
tunity, he suddenly seized upon Proserpine, a most beautiful 
virgin, the daughter of Ceres, as she was gathering* narcissi] 
flower's in the meads of Sicily, and hurrying hei to hi 
chariot, carried her with him to the subterranea] regions, 
where she was treated with the highest reverence, and styled 
the Lady of Dis. But Ceres missing her only daughter, 
whom she extremely loved, grew pensive and anxious beyond 
measure, and taking a lighted torch in her hand, wandered 
the world over in quest of her daughter, — hut all to no pur 
pose, till, suspecting she might be earned to the infernal 
regions, she, with great lamentation and abundance of tears, 
importuned Jupiter to restore her ; and with much ado pre- 
vailed SO far as to recover and bring her away, if she had 
tasted nothing there. This proved a hard condition upon 
the mother, for Proserpine was found to have eaten three 
kernels of a pomegranate. Ceres, however, desisted not, but 
fell to her entreaties and lamentations afresh, insomuch that 
at last it was indulged her that Proserpine Bhould divide tin- 
year betwixt her husband and her mother, and live sue 
months with the one and as many with the other. After 
this, Theseus and Perithous, with uncommon audacity, at- 
tempted to force Proserpine away from Pluto's bed, but 
happening to grow tired in their journey, and resting them 
selves upon a stone in the realms below, they could never 
rise from it again, but remain sitting there for ever. Pro- 
serpine, therefore, still continued queen of the lower regions, 
in honour of whom then- v. i ded this grand privi 

lege, that though it had never been permitted any one to 
return after having once descended thither, a particulai e.. 
caption was made, that he who brought a golden bough a i 
present to Proserpine, might on that condit i I ad and 



262 WISDOM OF THE AlsX'IENTS. 

return. This was an only bough that grew in a large dark 
grove, not from a tree of its own, but Like the mistletoe, 
from another, and when plucked away a fresh one always 
shot out in its stead. 

Explanation. — This fable seems to regard natural philo- 
sophy, and searches deep into that rich and fruitful virtue 
and supply in subterraneous bodies, from whence all the 
things upon the earth's surface spring, and into which they 
again relapse and return. By Proserpine the ancients de- 
noted that ethereal spirit shut up and detained within the 
earth, here represented by Pluto, — the spirit being separated 
from the superior globe, according to the expression of the 
poet. a This spirit is conceived as ravished, or snatched up 
by the earth, because it can no way be detained, when it has 
time and opportunity to fly off, but is only wrought together 
and fixed by sudden intermixture and comminution, in the 
same manner as if one should endeavour to mix air with 
water, which cannot otherwise be done than by a quick and 
rapid agitation, that joins them together in froth whilst the 
air is thus caught up by the water. And it is elegantly 
added, that Proserpine was ravished whilst she gathered 
narcissus flowers, which have their name from numbedness 
or stupefaction ; for the spirit we speak of is in the fittest 
disposition to be embraced by terrestrial matter when it 
begins to coagulate, or grow torpid as it were. 

It is an honour justly attributed to Proserpine, and not 
to any other wife of the gods, that of being the lady or mis- 
tress of her husband, because this spirit performs all its 
operations in the subterraneal regions, whilst Pluto, or the 
earth, remains stupid, or as it were ignorant of them. 

The aether, or the efficacy of the heavenly bodies, denoted 
by Ceres, endeavours with infinite diligence to force out this 
spirit, and restore it to its pristine state. And by the torch 
in the hand of Ceres, or the a?ther, is doubtless meant the 
sun, which disperses bight over the whole globe of the earth, 
and if the thing were possible, must have the greatest share 
in recovering Proserpine, or reinstating the subterraneal 
spirit. Yet Proserpine still continues and dwells below, 

J L\ut * " ^ ve recens t euws > seductaque nuper ab alta 

' s jEthere, cognati retinebat semina cosli." — Metam. i. 80. 



PROSERPINE, OR SPIRIT. 263 

after the manner excellently described in the condition be- 
twixt Jupiter and Ceres. For first, it is certain that there 
are two ways of detaining the spirit, in solid and terrestrial 
matter, — the one by condensation or obstruction, which is 
mere violence and imprisonment ; the other by administer- 
ing a proper aliment, which is spontaneous and free. For 
after the included spirit begins to feed and nourish itself, it 
is not in a hurry to fly oft', but remains as it were fixed in 
its own earth. And this is the moral of Proserpine's tasting 
the pomegranate ; and were it not for tliis, she must long 
ago have been carried up by Ceres, who with her torch 
wandered the world over, and so the earth have been left 
without its spirit. For though the spirit in metals and 
minerals may perhaps be, after a particular manner, wrought 
in by the solidity of the mass, yet the spirit of vegetables 
and animals has open passages to escape at, unless it be wil- 
lingly detained, in the way of sipping and tasting them. 

The second article of agreement, that of Proserpine's 
remaining six months with her mother and six with her 
husband, is an elegant description of the division of the year . 
for the spirit diffused through the earth lives above-ground 
in the vegetable world during the summer months, but in 
the winter returns under-ground again. 

The attempt of Theseus and Perithous to bring Proserpine 
away, denotes that the more subtile spirits, wliicli d es c end 
in many bodies to the earth, may frequently be unable to 
drink in, unite with themselves, and caiTy oft' the subterra- 
neous spirit, but on the contrary be coagulated by it. and 
rise no more, so as to increase the Inhabitants and add to 
the dominion of Proserpine.' 1 

The alchemists will be apt to fall in with our interpreta- 
tion of the golden bough, whether we will or no, because 
ihe\ promise golden mountains, and the restoration of 
natural bodies from their stone, as from the gates of Pluto ; 
but we are well assured that their theory has unjust founds 

tion, and suspect they have no very encouraging or practical 

b Many philosophers have certain peculations to this purpose. Sir 
Isaac Newton, in particular, • the earth receives its vivifying 

spirit from the comets, A ml the philosophical chemists and astrologers 
bive spun tin- thought into many fantastical distinctions and varieties. 
See Newton, Princip. lib. iii. p. 473, fto. X C 



2(34: WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

proofs of its soundness. Leaving, therefore, their conceits to 
themselves, we shall freely declare our own sentiments upon 
tli is last part of the fable. We are certain, from numerous 
figures and expressions of the ancients, that they judged the 
conservation, and in some degree the renovation, of natural 
bodies to be no desperate or impossible tiling, but rather 
abstruse and out of the common road thau wholly imprac- 
ticable. And this seems to be their opinion in the present 
case, as they have placed this bough among an infinite num- 
ber of shrubs, in a spacious and thick wood. They supposed 
it of gold, because gold is the emblem of duration. They 
feigned it adventitious, not native, because such an effect is 
to be expected from ai-t, and not from any medicine or any 
simple or mere natural way of working. 



1 



i XXX.— METIS, OR COUNSEL. 

EXPLAINED OF PRINCES AND THEIH COUNCIL. 

The ancient poets relate that Jupiter took Metis to 
wife, whose name plainly denotes counsel, and that he, 
perceiving she was pregnant by him, would by uo means 
wait the time of her delivery, but directly devoured her ; 
whence himself also became pregnant, and was delivered in 
a wonderful manner ; for he from his head or brain brought 
forth Pallas armed. 

Explanation. — This fable, which in its literal sense appears 
monstrously absurd, seems to contain a state secret, and shows 
with what art kings usually carry themselves towards their 
council, in order to preserve their own authority and majesty 
not only inviolate, but so as to have it magnified and 
heightened among the people. For kings commonly link 
themselves as it were in a nuptial bond to their council, and 
deliberate and communicate with them after a prudent and 
laudable custom upon matters of the greatest importance, at 
the same time justly conceiving this no diminution of their 
majesty ; but when the matter once ripens to a decree or 
order, which is a kind of birth, the king then -.suffers the 



Tin; BI&BNS, or PLKASUHS& 265 

council to go on no farther, Lest the act should seem to 
depend npon their pleasure Now, therefore, the Long 
usually assumes to himself whatever wax wrought, elabo- 
rated, or formed, as it were, in the womb of tin- co 
(unless ir be a matter of an invidious nature, which lie i 

sure to pul from him), so that the decree and t! secution 

shall seem to flow from himself" And as this 
execution proceeds with prudence and power, w as to imply 
necessity, it is elegantly wrapt up under the figure of Palla i 
armed. 

Nor are kings content to have this seem the effecl of their 
own authority, free will, and uncontrollable choice, unless 
they also take the whole honour to themselves, and make 
the people imagine that all good and wholesome d'-nee-. 
proceed entirely from their own head, thai is, their own sole 
prudence and judgment. 



XXXI.-THE SIRENS. OR PLEASURES. 

explained or MBS s passion' for PLEASUBBS, . J 

IHTBODTJCTION. — The fable of the Sirens is, in a vulgar 
sense, justly enough explained of the pernicious incentives to 
pleasure ; but the ancient mythology Beems to us like a 
vintage ill-pressed and trod; for though something has been 
drawn from it. yet all the more excellent parts remain behind 
in the grapes that are untouched. 

Fabi.k. — The Sirens are said to he the daughters of 
Achelous and Terpsichore, one of the Muse-,. h L their early 

days they had wings.lv.it lost them upon being conquered by 

the Muses, with whom they rashly contended , and with the 
feathers of these wings the Muses made themselves crowns, 
so that from this time the Muses wore wings on their heads, 

oting only the mother to the Sirens. 

• Thia policy Btrikingly characterized tli L - oonduet <->f Louis XIV., who 

da under a particular injunction, t<> advertise l.im <>f 

i i. ■■:■. to be crowned with an immediate triomph, 

that he mi'/ht attend in person and app iai to I dee the town by a coup 

<l. : am. z*l" 



2GG WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

These Sirens resided in certain pleasant islands, and when, 
from their watch-tower, they saw any ship approaching, they 
first detained the sailors by their music, then, enticing them 
to shore, destroyed them. 

Their singing was not of one and the same kind, but they 
adapted their tunes exactly to the nature of each person, in 
order to captivate and secure him. And so destructive had 
they been, that these islands of the Sirens appeared, to a 
very great distance, white with the bones of their unburied 
captives. 

Two different remedies Avere invented to protect persons 
against them, the one by Ulysses, the other by Orpheus. 
Ulysses commanded his associates to stop their ears close 
with wax ; and he, determining to make the trial, and yet 
avoid the danger, ordered himself to be tied fast to a mast 
of the ship, giving strict charge not to be unbound, even 
though himself should entreat it ; but Orpheus, without any 
binding at all, escaped the danger, by loudly chanting to his 
harp the praises of the gods, whereby he drowned the voices 
of the Sirens. 

Explanation. — This fable is of the moi-al kind, and appears 
no less elegant than easy to interpret. For pleasures proceed 
from plenty and affluence, attended with activity or exulta- 
tion of the mind. a Anciently their first incentives were 
quick, and seized upon men as if they had been winged, but 
learning and philosophy afterwards prevailing, had at least 
the power to lay the mind under some restraint, and make it 
consider the issue of things, and thus deprived pleasures of 
their wings. 

This conquest redounded greatly to the honour and 
ornament of the Muses ; for after it appeared, by the example 
of a few, that philosophy could introduce a contempt of 
pleasures, it immediately seemed to be a sublime thing that 
could raise and elevate the sold, fixed in a manner down to 
the earth, and thus render men's thoughts, which reside in 
the head, winged as it were, or sublime. 

Only the mother of the Sirens was not thus plumed on 
the head, which doubtless denotes superficial learning, in- 

a The one denoted by the river Achelous, and the other by Terpsi- 
chore, the muse that invented the cithara and delighted in dancing. <? 



THE SIRENS, OR PLEASURES. 267 

vented and used for delight and levity ; an eminent example 
whereof we have in I'etronius. who. utter receiving sentence 
of death, still continued his gay frothy humour, and, as 
Tacitus observes, used his learning to solace or divert himself 
and instead of such discourses as give firmness and con- 
stancy of mind, read nothing but loose poems and verses.'" 
Such learning as this seems to pluck the crowns again from 
the Muses' heads, and restore them to the Sirens. 

The Sirens are said to inhabit certain islands, because 
pleasures generally seek retirement, and often shun society. 
And for their songs, with the manifold artifice and destruc- 
tiveness thereof, this is too obvious and common to need 
explanation. But that particular of the bones stretching like 
white cliffs along the shores, and appearing afar oil', contains 
a more subtile allegory, and denotes t li.it the examples of 
othex-s' calamity and misfortunes, though ever so manifest and 
apprent, a have yet but little force to deter the corrupt 
nature of man from pleasures. 

The allegory of the remedies against the Sirens is not 
difficult, but very wise and noble : it proposes, in effect, 
three remedies, as well against subtile as violent mischiefs, 
two drawn from philosophy and one from religion. 

The first means of escaping is to resist the earliest tempta- 
tion in the beginning, and diligently avoid and cu1 off all 
occasions that may solicit or sway the mind ; and this is well 
represented by shutting up the ears, a kind of remedy to be 
necessarily used with mean and vulgar minds, such as the 
retinue of Ulysses. 

But nobler spirits may converse, even in the midsi of 
pleasures, if the mind be well guarded with constancy and 
resolution. And thus some delight to make a severe trial of 
their own virtue, and thoroughly acquaint themselves with 
the folly and madness of pleasures, without complying or 
being wholly given up to them ; which is what Solomon 
professes of himself when he closes the account of all the 

b " Vrraro.ua, mea Leebia, atque amemua; 

li'imioresque seniim sevirioruin 
Omnea uniu9 estimemus assis." — Catull. Eleg. v. 
And again — 

•• Jura aenea normt, <-t quod sit faaqae m-fasque 

Inquirant tristes ; leguinque examina Bervent." — Metam. ix. 550. 



268 WISDOM OF THE ANCIENTS. 

numerous pleasures be gave a loose to, with this expression, 
i; But wisdom still continued with me." Such heroes in 
virtue may, therefore, remain unmoved by the greatest in- 
centives to pleasure, and stop themselves on the very 
precipice of danger ; if, according to the example of Ulysses, 
they turn a deaf ear to pernicious counsel, and the flatteries 
of their friends and companions, which have the greatest 
power to shake and unsettle the mind. 

But the most excellent remedy, in every temptation, is that 
of Orpheus, who, by loudly chanting and resounding the 
praises of the gods, confounded the voices, and kept himself 
from hearing the music of the Sirens ; for divine con- 
templations exceed the pleasures of sense, not only in power 
but also in sweetness. 



£ Um yrf^, IrSi * t* V& Sjhts-ifk&u 



NEW ATLANTIS. 



■ 



TO THE ItEADEE. 

This table .^y lord devised, to the end I 
.1 model or description of a college, instituted f i r the interpreting <>f 
nature, and the producing of great and marvell for the benefit 

of man, under the name of Solom< n'a House, or the College of the Six 
Daya' Works. And even so far his lordship hath proceeded as to finish 
that part. Certainly the mod' . ad high than can possibly 

be imitated in all things, notwithstanding i □ are within 

men'f power to effect. His lordship thought also in this present fable to 
have composed a frame of laws, or of the best state or mould of a 
commonwealth ; but foreseeing it would be a long work, his d< 
collecting the natural history diverted him, which he preferred many 
degrees before it. IIawley. 



NEW ATLANTIS. 

We sailed from Peru, where we had continued for the 
pace of one whole year, for China and Japan, by the South 
Sea, taking with us victuals for twelve months, and bad 
good winds from the east, though sofl ak, for rive 

months' space and more; but then the wind came about, and 
settled in the west for many days, jo as we could make little 
or no way, and were sometimes in purpose to turn back. 
But then again there arose strong and great winds from the 
south, with a point east, which carried as up, for all thai we 
could d<>, towards the north; by which time our victuals 
Bailed as, though we had made good ipareofthem. So that. 
folding ourselves in the midsl of the greatest wilderness of 
waters in the world, without victuals, we gave ourselves for 
lost men, and prepared for death. Yet we did lift up our 
hearts and voices to God above, "whe showeth his wonders 
in the deep," beseeching him of his mercy, that as in the 
beginning lie discovered the face of the deep, and brought 



270 NEW ATLANTIS. 

forth dry land, so he would now discover land to us, that wc 
might not perish. And it came to pass that the next day 
about evening we saw, within a kenning before us, towards 
the north, as it were, thicker clouds, which did put us in 
some hope of land ; knowing how that part of the South Sea 
was utterly unknown, and might have islands or continents 
that hitherto were not come to light. Wherefore we bent 
our course thither, where we saw the appearance of land all 
that night ; and in the dawning of the next day we might 
plainly discern that it was a land flat to our sight, and full of 
boscage, which made it show the more dark : and after an 
hour and a half's sailing we entered into a good haven, being 
the port of a fair city, not great indeed, but well built, and 
that gave a pleasant view from the sea. And we, thinking 
every minute long till we were on land, came close to the 
shore, and offered to land ; but straightways we saw divers 
of the people with batons in. their hands, as it were forbid- 
ding us to land, yet without any cries or fierceness, but only 
as warning us off by signs that they made. Whereupon, 
being not a little discomforted, we were advising with our- 
selves what we should do. During which time there made 
forth to us a small boat with about eight persons in it, 
whereof one of them had in his hand a tipstaff of a yellow 
cane, tipped at both ends with blue, who made aboard our 
ship without any show of distrust at all. And when he saw 
one of our number present himself somewhat afore the rest, 
he drew forth a little scroll of parchment, somewhat yellower 
than our parchment, and shining like the leaves of writing- 
tables, but otherwise soft and flexible, and delivered it to 
our foremost man. In Avliich scroll were written, in ancient 
Hebrew, and in ancient Greek, and in good Latin of the 
school, and in Spanish, these words, " Land ye not, none of 
you, and provide to be gone from this coast within sixteen 
days, except you have further time given you : meanwhile, 
if you want fresh watei', or victual, or help for your sick, or 
that your ship needeth repair, write down your wants, and 
you shall have that which belongeth to mercy." This scroll 
was signed with a stamp of cherubim's wings, not spread, but 
hanging downwards, and by them a cross. This being deli- 
vered, the officer returned, and left only a servant with us to 
receive our answer. Consulting hei'eupon amongst ourselves. 



NEW ATLANTIS. 271 

we were much perplexed. The denial of landing, and hasty 
warning us away, troubled us much. On the other side, to 
find that the people had languages, and were so full of 
humanity, did comfort us not ;i little; and, above all, the 
sign of the cross to that instrument was to us a great rejoic- 
ing, and, as it were, a certain presage of good. Our answer 
was in the Spanish tongue, " That for our ship it was well, 
for we had rather met with calms and contrary winds than 
any tempests. For our sick, they were many, and in very 
ill case, so that if they were not permitted to land, they ran 
in danger of their lives." Our other wants we set down in 
particular, adding, " That we had some little store of mer- 
chandise, which, if it pleased them to deal for, it might sup- 
ply our wants without being chargeable unto them." We 
offered some reward in pistolets unto the servant, and a piece 
of crimson velvet to be presented to the officer ; but the ser- 
vant took them not, nor would scarce look upon them ; and 
so left us, and went back in another little boat which was 
sent for him. 

About three hours after we had despatched our answer, 
there came towards us a person, as it seemed, of place. He 
had on him a gown, with wide sleeves of a kind of water- 
camlet, of an excellent azure colour, far more glossy than 
ours ; his under-apparel was green, and so was his hat, being 
in the form of a turban, daintily made, and not so huge as 
the Turkish turbans ; and the locks of his hair came down 
below the brims of it. A reverend man was he to behold. 
He came in a boat, gilt in some part of it, with four persons 
more only in that boat, and was followed by unit her boat, 
wherein were some twenty. When lie was come within a 
flight-shot of our ship, signs were made to us that we should 
send forth some to meet him upon the water : which we 
presently did in our ship's boat, sending the principal man 
amongst us, save one. and four of <>ur number with him. 
When we were come within six yards of their boat, they 
culled to ns 1 1). stay, and not to approach tint her. which we did. 

And thereupon the man whom I before described stood np. 
and with a loud voice, in Spanish, asked, "Are ye Chris- 
tiana?" We answered, " We were;"' fearing the less because 

of the cross we had seen in the subscript ion. At which 

answer the said person lifted up his right hand towards 



272 NEW AT!,\.\'TJS. 

beavi i], and drew it softly to his mouth, which is the gesture 
they use when they thank God, and then said, " If you will 
wear, all of you, by the merits of the Saviour, that ye are 
no pirates, nor have shed blood, lawfully or unlawfully, 
within forty days past, yo\i may have license to come on 
land." We said, " We were all ready to take that oath." 
Whereupon one of those that were with him, being, as it 
seemed, a notary, made an entry of this act. Which done, 
another of the attendants of the great person, who was with 
him in the same boat, after his lord had spoken a little to 
him, said aloud, " My lord would have you know that it is 
not of pride or greatness that he Cometh not aboard your 
ship ; but for that in your answer you declare that you have 
many sick amongst you, he was warned by the conservator 
of health of the city that he should keep at a distance." We 
bowed ourselves towards him, and answered, " We were Iris 
humble servants ; and accounted for great honour and 
singular humanity towards us that which was already done ; 
but hoped well that the nature of the sickness of our men 
was not infectious." So he returned ; and a while after 
came the notary to us aboard our ship, holding in his hand 
a fruit of that country, like an orange, but of colour between 
orange-tawny and scarlet, which casts a most excellent 
odour : he used it, as it seemeth, for a preservative against 
infection. He gave us our oath, " By the name of Jesus 
and his merits ;" and after told us, that the next day by six 
o'clock in the morning we should be sent to, and brought to 
the Strangers'-House, a so he called it, where we should he 
accommodated of things both for our whole and for our sick. 
So he left us ; and when we offered him some pistolets, he, 
smiling, said, "He must not be twice paid for one labour:" 
meaning, as I take it, that he had salary sufficient of the 
state for his service ; for, as I after learned, they call an 
officer that taketh rewards " twice paid." 

The next morning early there came to us the same officer 
that came to us at first with his cane, and told us, " He 
came to conduct us to the Strangers'-House, and that he had 
prevented, the hour, because we might have the whole day 
before us for our business : for," said he, " if you will follow 

■ A lazaretto. 



NEW ATLANTIS. 273 

iay advice, there shall first go with me Borne few of yon and 
see the place, and how it may be made convenient for yon; 
;ni(l then von may send for your sick, and the rest of your 
number, which ye will bring on land." We thanked him, 
and said. l- Tl;at this care which he took of desolate strangers 
({oil would reward." And so six of us went on land with him ; 
and when we were on land he went before as, and turned to 

us, and said, " He was hut our servant and our guide." He led 

ua through three fair streets, and all the way we went there 
were gathered some people on both sides, standing in a row, 
but in hi civil a fashion, as if it had been uoi to wonder at 

us:, but to welcome us ; and divers of them, as we passed by 
them, put their arms a little abroad, which is their gesture 
when they bid any welcome The Strangers'-House is a fair 
•and spacious house, built of brick, of Bomewhat a bluer colour 
than our brick, and with handsome windows, some of glass, 
some of a kind of cambric oiled. He brought us first into a 
fair parlour above-stairs, and then asked us, " What number 
of persons we were, and how many siek J" We answered, 
•' We were in all, siek and whole, one-and-fifty persons, 
whereof our siek were seventeen."' He desired us to have 
patience a little, and to stay till he came back to us, which 
was about an hour after ; and then he led us to see the 
i handier- which were provided for us, being in number nine- 
teen. They having east it. as it seemeth. that four of those 

chambers, which were better than the rest, might receive 
four of the principal men of our company, and lodge them 
.done by themselves : and the other fifteen chambers were to 
lodge us. two and two together. The chambers were hand- 
some and cheerful chambers, and furnished civilly. Then he 
led us to a long gallery, like a dortoir, where he showed us 
all along the one vide (tor the other side wa> hut wall ami 
window) seventeen cells, very neat one-, having partitions of 
cedar-wood Which gallery and cells, being in all forty, 
many more than we needed, were instituted as an infirmary 
for siek persons. And he told us withal, that as any of OUT 
sick waxed well, he might he removed from his cell to a. 
chamber ; for which purpose there were set forth ten spare 
chambers, besides the number we -pake of before. This 
done, be brought us lack to the parlour, and lifting up his 
cane a little, as they do when thej give any charge or com- 

T 



274 NEW ATLANTrS. 

maml, said to us, " Ye are to know, that the custom of the 
land requireth that after this day and to-morrow, which we 
give you for removing your people from your ship, you are 
to keep within doors for three days. But let it not trouble 
you, nor do not think yourselves restrained, but rather left 
to your rest and ease. You shall want nothing ; and there 
are six of our people appointed to attend you for any busi- 
ness you may have abroad." We gave him thanks with all 
affection and respect, and said, " God surely is manifested 
in this land." We offered him also twenty pistolets ; but 
he smiled, and only said, "What, twice paid?" and so he 
left us. 

Soon after our dinner was served in, which was right good 
viands, both for bread and meat, better than any collegiate 
diet that I have known in Europe. We had also drink of 
three sorts, all wholesome and good ; wine of the grape, a 
drink of grain, such as is with us our ale, but more clear ; 
and a kind of cider made of a fruit of that country, a won- 
derful pleasing and refreshing drink. Besides, there were 
brought in to us great store of those scarlet oranges for our 
sick, which, they said, were an assured remedy for sickness 
taken at sea. There was given us also a box of small grey 
or whitish pills, which they wished our sick should take, one 
of the pills every night before sleep, which, they said, would 
hasten their recovery. 

The next day, after that our trouble of carnage and re- 
moving of our men and goods out of our ship was somewhat 
settled and quiet, I thought good to call our company to- 
gether, and when they were assembled said unto them, " My 
dear friends, let us know ourselves, and how it standeth 
with us. We are men cast on land, as Jonas was out of the 
whale's belly, when we were as buried in the deep. And 
now we are on land, we are but between death and life ; for 
we are beyond both the Old World and New • and whether 
ever we shall see Europe God only knoweth : it is a kind of 
miracle hath brought us hither, and it must be little less 
that shall bring us hence. Therefore, in regard of our de- 
liverance past, and our danger present and to come, let us 
look up to God, and every man reform his own ways. Be- 
sides, we are come here amongst a Christian people, full of 
piety and humanity ; let us not bring that confusion of face 



>EW ATLANTIS. 275 

upon ourselves as to show our vices or un worthiness before 
theni. Yet there is more ; for they have hy commandment?, 
though in form of com-tesy, cloistered us within these 
walls for three days: who knowcth whether it be not to 
take some taste of our manners and conditions; and if they 
find them bad, to banish us straight ways; if good, to give us 
further time I For these men that they have given ua for 
attendance may withal have an eye upon us. Therefore for 
God's love, and as we love the weal of our souls and bodies, 
let us so behave ourselves as we may be at peaoe with God, 
and may find grace in the eyes of this people." Our com- 
pany with one voice thanked me for my good admonition, 
and promised me to live soberly and civilly, and without 
giving any the least occasion of offence. So we spent our 
three days joyfully, and without care, in expectation what 
would be done with as when they were expired; during 
which time we had every hour joy of the amendment of our 
sick, who thought thernseh. 9 cast into some divine pool of 
healing, they mended so kindly and BO fast. 

The morrow after our three days were past, there came to 
us a new man that we had not seen before, clothed in bine 
as the former was, save that his turban was white, with a 
small red cross on the top; he had also a tippet of fine linen. 
At his coming in he did bend to us a little, and put his arms 
abroad. We of our parts saluted him in a very lowly and 
submissive manner, as looking that from him we should 
receive sentence of life or death, lie desired to speak with 
some few of us; whereupon six of us only stayed, and the rest 
avoided the room. He said, "I am hy oilier governor of this 
House of Strangers, and hy vocation I am a ( 'lirist ian priest ; 
and therefore am come to you to offer you my service both 
as strangers, and chiefly as Christians. Some things I may 
tell you, which I think you will not he unwilling to hear. 
The state hath given you license feo stay on land for the 
space of six weeks. And let it not trouble yon if your occa- 
sions ask further time, for the law in this point [fi not pre- 
cise; and I do not doubt bui myself shall be ahle to ohtain 
for you such further time as shall be convenient. Ye dull 
also understand that, the 9trangers'-HoDse is at this time 
rich and much aforehand, for it hath laid op revenue these 
thirty-seven years ; for so long it is since ■>■ gar WP- 

t 2 



270 .i:w \ti,a.\tis. 

rived in this part. And, therefore, take ye no care, the 
state will defray you all the time you stay, neither shall you 
itay one day less for that. As for any merchandise you 
have brought, ye shall he well used, and have your return 
either in merchandise, or in gold and silver ; for to us it is 
all one. And if you have any other request to make, hide 
it not, for ye shall find we will not make your countenance 
to fall by the answer ye shall receive. Only this I must tell 
you, that none of you must go above a karan [that is with 
them a mile and a half] from the walls of the city without 
special leave." We answered, after we had looked awhile 
upon one another, admiring this gracious and parent-like 
usage, " That we could not tell Avhat to say, for we wanted 
words to express our thanks, and his noble free offers left us 
nothing to ask. It seemed to us that we had before us a 
picture of our salvation in heaven ; for we that were awhile 
since in the jaws of death, were now brought into a place 
where we found nothing but consolations. For the com- 
mandment laid upon us, we would not fail to obey it, though it 
was impossible but our hearts should be inflamed to tread 
further upon this happy and holy ground."' We added, 
" That our tongues should first cleave to the roofs of our 
mouths ere we should forget either this reverend person, or 
this whole nation in our prayers."' We also most humbly 
besought him to accept of lis as his true servants, by as ju>t 
a right as ever men on earth were bounden, laying and pre- 
senting both our persons and all Ave had at his feet. He said, 
" He was a priest, and looked for a priest's reward, which 
was our brotherly love, and the good of our souls and bodies."' 
80 he went from us, not without tears of tenderness in his 
eyes; and left us also confused with joy and kindness, saying 
amongst ourselves, " That Ave were come into a land of angels 
Avhich did appear to us daily, and present us with comforts 
Avhich Ave thought not of, much less expected."' 

The next day, about ten o'clock, the governor came to us 
again, and after salutations said familiarly, " That he was 
come to visit us," and called for a chair, and sat him down : 
and being some ten of lis (the rest Avere of the meaner sort, 
or else gone abroad), sat doAvn A\~ith him. And Avhen avc 
were seated, he began thus, " We of this island of Benrsalem 
[for so they call it in their lauguage] have this, that by 



NEW A.TLAJKTI& 277 

means of on jolitarj •■ lation, and the lav o ecj which 
■ ■■ • for our travellers, and our rare admission of 3ti ingers, 
we know wcil «n ■- par of the habitable world, and ar< 

unknown. T - ■ he that knoweth least 

is fittesl tk questions, it is more reason, for the enter- 

I of the time, that ye ask me questions than thai I 

ask you." We answered, " That we humbly thanked liiui 
that he would give us Leave so to do, and thai lived, 

by tin- taste we had already, that there was QO worldly tiling 
on earth more worthy to be known than the state of that 
land But above all," we -ail, "since that we were 
in ■' from the several ends of the world, and hoped assuredly 
that we should meet one day in the kingdom of heai n, for 
that we were both parts Christians, we desired to know, in 
ct that land was jo remote, an I so divided by \a^t and 
unknown seas from the land Saviour walked on 

earth, who was the apostle of that nation, and how it was 
converl the faith?" It appeared in his face that be 

took great contentment in this our question. He said, " So 
! my heart to you by asking this question in the first 
i for it showetb that you 'first seek the kingdom of 

heaven ;' ai 3 I satisfy your .de- 

mand : — 

"About twenty j sars aftei "t our Saviour, 

it came to pass that there was seen by the people of Renfusa, 
a city upon the eastern coast of our island, within uighl 
(the night was cloudy and calm), as ;r- might be some miles 
in the sea, a great pillar <■;' light, ip >r sharp, hut in form <>f'a 
column or cylinder, rising from I greal way up 

. and on the top oi it was Be in ;i Large < i 
i >re bright and resplendent than the body of the 
I : upon wi ti inge ;i Bpecta i.- til., people of the 

city gathered apace together upon ■ r, and 

so after put themselves into a aumber of small b 

. to this marvellous Bight. Hut when the boa! 
come within about sixrv > pillai lej found them 

ii| bound, and could go no further, ] they might 

i . g i about, !■■ . iproach ne i a - the 

i i ail as in a theatre, beholding this light a. a hea- 

venly sign. It >o fell out th it there was m oneol ti,,. ■ 
the wis,- men of the 9 3 House (which h.01 i 



/ 



278 NEW ATLANTIS. 

or college, my good brethren, is the very eye of this kingdom), 
who having a while attentively and devoutly viewed and 
contemplated this pillar and cross, fell down upon his face, 
and then raised himself upon his knees, and lifting up his 
hands to heaven, made his prayers in tins manner : — 

" ' Lord God of heaven and earth, thou hast vouchsafed 
of thy grace to those of our order to know thy works of 
creation, and true secrets of them, and to discern (as far as 
appertain eth to the generations of men) between divine 
miracles, works of nature, works of art, and impostures and 
illusions of all sorts ! I do here acknowledge and testify 
before this people, that the thing we now see before our eyes 
is thy finger and a true miracle. And forasmuch as we learn 
in our books that thou never workest miracles but to a 
divine and excellent end (for the laws of nature are thine 
, own laws, and thou exceedest them not but upon good 
cause), we most humbly beseech thee to prosper this great 
sign, and to give us the interpretation and use of it in mercy, 
which thou dost in some part secretly promise by sending it 
unto us.' 

" "When he had made his prayer, he presently found the 
boat he was in moveable and unbound, whereas all the rest 
remained still fast ; and taking that for an assurance of leave 
to approach, he caused the boat to be softly and with silence 
rowed towards the pillar : but ere he came near it, the pillar 
and cross of light brake up, and cast itself abroad, as it were, 
into a firmament of many stars; which also vanished soon 
after, and there was nothing left to be seen but a small ark 
or chest of cedar, dry, and not wet at all with water, though 
it swam; and in the fore-end of it, which was towards him, 
grew a small green branch of palm. And when the wise 
man had taken it with all reverence into his boat, it opened 
of itself, and there was found in it a book and a letter, both 
written in fine parchment, and wrapped in sindons of linen. 
The book contained all the canonical books of the Old and 
New Testament, according as you have them (for we know 
well what the churches with you receive), and the Apoca- 
lypse itself; and some other books of the New Testament 
which wei - e not at that time written, were nevertheless in 
the book. And for the letter, it was in these words : — 

" ' I, Bartholomew, a servant of the Highest, and apostle 



HEW ATLANTIS. 279 

of Jesus Christ, was warned by an angel that appeared to 
me in a vision of glory, that I should commit this ai k to the 
floods of the sea. Therefore 1 do testify and declare unto 
that people where God shall ordain this ark to come to land, 
that in the same day is come onto then salvation, and peace, 
and goodwill from the Father, and from the Lord .Jesus.' 

'• There were also in both these writings, as well the book 
as the letter, wrought a greal miracle, conformable to that 
of the apostles in the original gift of tongues. For there 
being at that time in this land Hebrews, Persians, and In- 
dians, besides the natives, every one read upon the book and 
letter as if they had been written in his own language. And 
thus was this land saved from intidelity. as t he remain of 
the old world was from water, by an ark, through the apos- 
tolical and miraculous evangelism of St. Bartholomew." And 
here he paused, and a messenger came and called him forth 
from xis. So this was all that passed in that conference. 

The next day the same governor c; • again to us imme- 
diately after dinner, and excused himself, saying. "Thai tin- 
day before he was called from us somewhat abruptly, but 
now he would make us amends, and spend some time with 

us, if we held his company and iference agreeable." We 

answered, "That we held it so agreeable and pleasing to us, 
as we forgot both dangers past and fears to come, for t la- 
time we heard him speak, and that we thought an hour 
spent with him was worth years of our former life." He 
bowed himself a little to us, and after we were set again he 
said, " Well, the questions are on your part." ( >ne of our 
number said, after a little pause, * There was a matter we 
were no less desirous to know than fearful to ask, lest we 
might presume too far; but encouraged by his rare humanity 
towards m. thai we could scarce think ourselves strangers, 

being his vowed and professed servants, we would take the 

hardiness to propound it ; humbly beseeching him, if he 
thought it not fit to be answered, thai he would pardon it, 

though he rejected it." We said. " We well observed those 

his words which he formerly -pake, that this happy island 

where we OOW stood was known to lew. and vet knew mod 

of the nations of the world ; which we found to be tree, con 

sidering they had the languages of Europe, and knew much 
of our state and business j and yet we in Europe, notwilb- 



2S0 NEW ATLANTA. 

standing all the remote discoveries and navigation., of this la.sk 
age, never heard any of the least inkling or glimpse of this 
island. This we found wonderful strange, for that all nation, 
have interknowledge one of another, either by voyage into 
foreign parts, or by strangers that come to them : and though 
the traveller into a foreign country doth commonly know 
more by the eye than he that stayeth at home can by rela- 
tion of the traveller, yet both ways suffice to make a mutual 
knowledge in some degree on both parts. But for this island, 
we never heard tell of any ship of theirs that hail been seen 
to arrive upon any shore of Europe, no, nor of either the 
East or "West Indies, nor yet of any ship of any other part 
of the world that had made return from them. And yet the 
marvel rested not in this, for the situation of it. as his lord- 
ship said, in the secret conclave of such a vast sea, might 
cause it : but then, that they should have knowledge of the 
languages, books, affairs of those, that lie such a distance from 
them, it was a thing we could not tell what to make of ; for 
that it seemed to us a condition and property of divine powers 
and beings, to be hidden and unseen to others, and yet to 
have others open and as in a light to them." At this speech 
the governor gave a gracious smile, and said, " That we did 
well to ask pardon for this question we now asked, for that 
it imported as if we thought this land a land of magicians, 
that sent forth spirits of the air into all part* to bring them 
news and intelligence of other countries." It was answered 
by us all in all possible humbleness, but yet with a counte- 
nance taking knowledge that we knew that he spake it but 
merrily, " That we were apt enough to think there was some- 
what supernatural hi this island, but yet rather as augelical 
than magical. But to let his lordship know truly what it 
was that made us tender and doubtful to ask this question, 
it was not any such conceit, but because we remembered he 
had given a touch in his former speech, that this land had 
laws of secrecy touching strangers." To this he said, " You 
remember it light: and therefore in that I shall say to you, 
I must reserve some particulars, which it is not lawful for 
me to reveal; but there will be enough left to give you satis- 
faction. 

" You shall understand, that which perhaps you will scarce 
think, credible, that about three thousand years ago, or some- 



m:v aii.w i'i . 281 

what more, the' navigation of bhe world, especially for remoti 

voyages, was greater than at this day." Do not think with 
yourselves that I know a, it how much it is increased with yoi 
within these sixscore years; I know it well : and yet 1 say, 
greater then than now. Whether it was that the example 
of the ark that saved the remnant of men from theunivei -:d 

. gave men confidence to adventure upon the * 
or what it was, but such i> tin- truth. The Phoei 
especially the Tynans, bad great fleets ; bo had the Cartha- 
ginians their colony, which is yet further west. Toward 
the east the shipping of Egypt and of Palestina was likewise 
great: China also, and the great Atlantis. -In- yo 
America, which have now hut junks and canoes, abounded 
then in tall ship.. This island, as appeareth by faithful re- 
gisters of those time.-, had then fifteen hundred strong ships 
of great content. Of all this there is v.: paring 

memory, or none; but we have fir','" knowledge thereof. 

"At that time, this land was known and frequent sd bj the 
ships and vessels of all the nations before named, and, as it 
cometh to pass, they had many time- no ■'■> of other countries 
that were no sailors that came with them; as Persians, 
Chaldeans, Arabians ; so as almost all nations of might and 
fame resorted hither, of whom we have some stirps and little 
tribes with us at this day. And for our own ships, ;!; ■•.- went 
sundry voyages, as well to your straits, which you call the 
Pillars of Hercules, as to other parts in the Atlantii and 
Mediterranean seas : as to Pegu, which is the same with. 
Cambalu, and Quinsay upon the - far as to 

the borders of East Tartary. 

•• At the same time, and an age after or more, the in- 
habitants of the great Atlantis did flourish. For though the 
narration and descript ion which is made by a great man, 1 v ith 

b It i \ tlantic oracl 

grano : though certainly the expeditions of II inuo, of Pharaoh Necho, 
of Nearchus, and others (rathei less, ind ed, than three thousand years 
ago) m His lordship had probably 

formed grander notions of the fleets and navigations of 
Carthaginians, and othei commercial aatiom tan the 

B i ■ a (Bonn). 

1 Plato, in whose < hril n. It 

is not a little extraordinary thai pei tare iu 

search of pleasure, should kj tter upon the domains ol this 



282 NEW ATLANTIS. 

you, of the descendants of Neptune planted there, and of the 
magnificent temple, palace, city, and hill, and the manifold 
streams of goodly navigable rivers, which, as so many chains, 
environed the same site and temple, and the several degrees 
of ascent, whereby men did climb up to the same, as if it had 
been a scala cosli, be all poetical and fabulous ; yet so much 
is true, that the said country of Atlantis, as well as that of 
Peru, then called Coya, as that of Mexico, then named 
Tyrambel, were mighty and proud kingdoms in arms, ship- 
ping, and riches ; so mighty, as at one time, or at least 
within the space of ten years, they both made two great 
expeditions ; they of Tyrambel through the Atlantic to the 
Mediterranean Sea, and they of Coya, through the South 
Sea, upon this our island. And for the former of these, 
which was into Europe, the same author amongst you, as it 
seemeth, had some relation from the Egyptian priest whom 
he citeth, for assuredly such a thing there was. But whether 
it were the ancient Athenians that had the glory of the 
repulse and resistance of those forces, I can say nothing ; but 
certain it is, there never came back either ship or man from 
that voyage. Neither had the other voyage of those of Coya 
upon us had better fortune, if they had not met with enemies 
of gi"eater clemency. For the king of this island, by name 
Altabin, a wise man and a great warrior, knowing well both 
his own strength and that of his enemies, handled the matter 
so, as he cut off their land-forces from their ships, and entoiled 
both their navy and their camp with a greater power than 
theirs, both by sea and land, and compelled them to render 
themselves without striking stroke ; and after they were at 
his mercy, contenting himself only with their oath that they 
should no more bear arms against him, dismissed them all in 
safety. But the Divine revenge overtook not long after those 
proud enterprises ; for within less than the space of one hun- 
dred years, the great Atlantis was utterly lost and destroyed, 
not by a great earthquake, as your man saith, d for that 

Archimago, where so many magical sights and shows abound. Spenser 
is not more fanciful, Shakspeare not more imaginative, Milton not more 
sublime. — /. A. St. John. 

6 The western coast of America is liable still more than the western 
coast of Europe to the shock of earthquakes. Indeed, it might almost 
be said that the earthquake has its home among the Andes, where it 



NEW ATLANTIS. 283 

whole tract is little subject to earthquakes, but by a parti- 
cular deluge or inundation, those countries having at this day 
far greater rivers, ami far higher mountains to poor down 

waters, than any part of the old world. But it is true, that 
the same inundation was not deep; not pad forty foot in most 
places from the ground : so that although it destroyed man 
and beast generally, yet some few wild inhabitants of the 
wood escaped. Birds also wore saved by Hying to the high 
trees and woods. For as for men. although they had build- 
ings in many places higher than the depth of the water, yet 
that inundation, though it wore shallow, had a long con- 
tinuance, whereby they of the vale that were not drowned, 
perished for want of food, and other things necessary. So as 
marvel you not at the thin population of America, nor at 
the rudeness and ignorance of the people; for you must 
account your inhabitants of America as a young people, 
younger a thousand years at the least than the rest of the 
world, for that there was so much time between the universal 
Hood and their particular inundation. For the poor remnant 
of human seed which remained in their mountains, peopled 
the country again slowly by little and little ; and being 
simple and a savage people, not like Noah and his sons, which 
was the chief family of the earth, they were not able to 
leave letters, arts, and civility to their posterity. And having 
likewise, in their mountainous habitations, been used, in 
respect of the extreme cold of those regions, to clothe them- 
selves with the skins of tigers, e bears, and great hairy goats 
that they have in those parts ; when, after they came down 
into the valley, and found the intolerable heats which arc 
there, and knew no means of lighter apparel, they were 
forced to begin the custom of going naked, which continueth 
at this day : only they take great pride and delight in the 
feathers of birds ; and this also they took from those their 
ancestors of the mountains, who were invited unto it by the 

has, within the memory of men DOM living. WTOUght fearful havoc, and 
effected wonderful changes in the atpecl of the globe, For bo account 
of some of these, the reader may be referred t.. 1 1 umliol.lt'- description 
of tin' country round Chimboraeo, whose anaoaleable peak a hold party 
of travellers some years ago attempted t.. unwind, Bee his /' 
ZVicst ativt t Bohn'i Ed. >. 

f The tiger is not a native of the American continent ; but this had 
not been ascertained in Bacon's time. 



284 NEW ATLANTIS. 

infinite flight of birds that came up to the high grounds 
while the waters stood below. So you see by this main 
accident of time we lost our traffic with the Americans, 
with whom, of all others, in regard they lay nearest to us, 
we had most commerce. As for the other parts of the world, 
it is most manifest that in the ages following, whether it 
were in respect of wars, or by a natural revolution of time, 
navigation did everywhere greatly decay, and especially far 
voyages, the rather by the use of galleys and such vessels as 
could hardly brook the ocean, were altogether left and 
omitted. So then, that part of the intercourse which could 
be from other nations to sail to us, you see how it hath long 
since ceased, except it were by some rare accident, as this of 
yours. But now of the cessation of that other part of in- 
tercourse, which might be by our sailing to other nations, I 
must yield you some other cause ; for I cannot say, if I 
shall say truly, but our shipping for number, strength, 
mariners, pilots, and all things that appertain to navigation, 
is as great as ever ; and therefore why we should sit at home 
I shall now give you an account by itself, and it will draw 
nearer to give you satisfaction to your principal question. 

" There reigned in this island, about one thousand nine 
hundred years ago, a king, whose memory of all others we 
most adore, not superstitiously, but as a divine instrument, 
though a mortal man : his name was Solomona, and we 
esteem him as the lawgiver of our nation. This king had a 
large heart, inscrutable for good, and was wholly bent to make 
his kingdom and people happy. He therefore, taking into 
consideration how sufficient and substantive this land was to 
maintain itself without any aid at all of the foreigner, being 
five thousand six hundred miles in circuit, and of rare 
fertility of soil in the greatest part thereof; and finding also 
the shipping of this country might be plentifully set on work, 
both by fishing and by transportations from port to [tort, and 
likewise by sailing unto some small islands that are not far 
from us, and are under the crown and laws of this state, and 
recalling into his memory the happy and flourishing estate 
wherein this land then was, so as it might be a thousand 
ways altered to the worse, but scarce any one way to the 
better; thought nothing wanted to his noble and heroical 
intentions, but only, as far as human foresight might reach, 



vn.A.vns. :>5 

to give perpetuity to thai which was in 1 is time bo happily 
e tablished ; therefore amongst his other fundamental laws 
of this kingdom lie did ordain the interdicts and prohibitions 
which we have touching tin- entrance of strangers, which at 
that time, though it was after the calamity of America, was 
frequent ; doubting novelties and commixture of manners, It 
i:-t true, the like law against the admission of strangers with- 
out license is an ancient law in the kingdom of China, and 
.> ■ ontinued in use ; but there it is a poor thing, and hath 
made tliem a curious, ignorant, fearful, foolish nation. But 
our lawgiver made his law of another temper. For, first, he 
hath preserved all points of humanity, in taking order and 
making provision for the relief of strangers dial ressed, whereof 
yon have tasted." At which speech, as reason was, we all 
rose up and bowed ourselves. He wont on. "That king 
also — still desiring to join humanity and policy together, and 
thinking it against humanity to detain strangers hen- against 
their wills, and against policy, that they should return and 
discover their knowledge of this state, he took this course. 
He did ordain, that of the strangers that should he permitted 
to land, as many, at all times, might depart as would, hut as 
many .,- would stay should have very good conditions and 

means to live from the state. Wherein he saw so tar, that 
now in so many ayes since the prohibition, we have memory 
not of one ship that ever returned, and but of thine, q 
persons only at several times that chose to return in our 
bottoms. What those few that returned may have reported 
abroad, I know not : hut you must think, whatsoever they 
aid could he taken where they came but for a dream. 
New tor our travelling from In nee into parts abroad, our 
lawgiver thought fit altogether to restrain it. So is it not in 
China, for the Chinese sail where they will, or can ; which 
showeth that their law of keeping out strangers is a law 
of pusillanimity and fear. But this restraint of ours hath 
one only t icception, \> hieh Ls admirable, preserving the good 
which cometh by communicating with strangers, and avoid- 
ing the hurt ; and I will now open it t<> you. And heir | 
shall seem a little to digress, but yon will, by-and-by, find it 
pertinent. You shall understand, my dear friends, that 

amongst the excellent acts Of that king, one ahovo all hath 

the pre-emii en. e ; it wai the < re< tion ami institution of an 



28G NEW ATLANTIS. 

order or society, which we call Solomon's House, the noblest 
foundation, as we think, that ever was upon the earth, and 
the lantern of this kingdom. It is dedicated to the study of 
the works and creatures of God. Some think it beareth the 
founder's name a little corrupted, as if it should be Solomona's 
House ; but the records write it as it is spoken. So as I take 
it to be denominate of the king of the Hebrews, which is 
famous with you, and no stranger to us, for we have some 
parts of his works which with you are lost; namely, that 
natural history which he wrote of all plants, 'from the cedar 
of Lebanon to the moss that groweth out of the wall,' and 
of all things that have life and motion. This maketh me 
think that our king, finding himself to symbolize in many 
things with that king of the Hebrews which hived many 
years before him, honoured him with the title of this 
foundation. And I am the rather induced to be of this 
opinion, for that I find in ancient records this order or 
society is sometimes called Solomon's House, and sometimes 
the College of the Six Days' Works ; whereby I am satisfied 
that our excellent king had learned from the Hebrews that 
God had created the world, and all that therein is, within six 
days, and therefore he instituting that house for the finding 
out of the time nature of all things, whereby God might 
have the more glory in the workmanship of them, and men 
the more fruit in their use of them, did give it also that 
second name. But now, to come to our present purpose. 
When the king had forbidden to all his people navigation in 
any part that was not under his crown, he made nevertheless 
this ordinance, that every twelve years there should be set 
forth out of this kingdom two ships appointed to several 
voyages ; that in either of these ships there should be a 
mission of three of the fellows or brethren of Solomon's 
House, whose errand was only to give us knowledge of the 
affairs and state of those countries to which they were 
designed, and especially of the sciences, arts, manufactures, 
and inventions of all the world ; and withal to bring unto 
us books, instruments, and patterns in every kind : that the 
ships, after they had landed the brethren, should return, and 
that the brethren should stay abroad till the new mission. 
The ships are not otherwise fraught than with store of 
victuals, and good quantity of treasure, to remain with the 



NEW ATLANTIS. 287 

brethren for the buying of such things and rewarding of such 
persons as they should think fit. Now for me to tell you, 
how the vulgar sort of mariners are contained from being 
discovei'ed at land, and how they that must be put on shore 
for any time, colour themselves under the names of other 
nations, and to what places these voyages have been designed, 
and what places of rendezvous are appointed for the new 
missions, and the like circumstances of the practice, I may 
not do it, neither is it much to your desire. But thus you 
see we maintain a trade, not for gold, silver, or jewels, nor 
for silks, nor for spices, nor any other commodity of matter, 
but only for God's first creature, which was light ; to have 
light, I say, of the growth of all parts of the world." 

And when he had said this he was silent,and so were we all ; 
for indeed we were all astonished to hear so strange thi 
probably told. And he, perceiving that we were willing to 
say somewhat, but had it not ready, in great courtesy took 
us off, and descended to ask us questions of our voyage and 
fortunes; and in the end concluded, that we might do wefl 
to think ■with ourselves what time of stay we would demand 
of the state ; and bade us not to scant ourselves, for he would 
procure such time as we desired. Whereupon we all rose 
up, and presented ourselves to kiss the skirt of his tippet ; 
but he would not suffer us, and so took his leave. But when 
it came once amongst our people, that the state used to offer 
conditions to strangers that would stay, we had work enough 
to get any of our men to look to our ship, and to keep them 
from going presently to the governor to crave conditions; 
but with much ado we refrained them, till we might agree 
\\ hat course to take. 

We took ourselves now for free men, seeing there was no 
danger of our utter perdition, and lived most joyfully, going 
abroad, and seeing what was to be seen in the city and 
places adjacent within our tedder, and obtaining acquaint- 
ance with many of the city, not of the meanest quality, 
at whose hands we found smh humanity, and such a freedom 
and desire to take strangers as it were into their bosom, as 
was enough to make us forge I all that was dear to us in our 
own countries; and continually wo met with many things 
right worthy of observation and relation ; as indeed, if there 
be a mirror in the world worthy to hold men'- eyes, it is that 



L'JS.S NEW ATLANTIS. 

country. One day there were two of our company bidden 
toa feast of the family, as they eall it ; .1 most natural, pious, 

and reverend < ;:st < >m it is, showing that nation to be com* 
pounded of all goodness. Tins is the manner of it : it is 
granted to any man that shall live to see thirty persons 
descended of his body alive together, and all above three 
years old, to make this feast, which is done at the cost of the 
state. The father of the family, whom they call the tirsan, 
two days before the feast, taketh to him three of such friends 
as he liktth to choose, and is assisted also by the governor of 
the city or place where the feast is celebrated ; and all the 
persons of the family of both sexes are summoned to attend 
him. These two days the tirsan sitteth in consultation 
concerning the good estate of the family. There, if there be 
any discord or suits between any of the family, they arc 
compounded and appeased • there, if any of the family be 
distressed or decayed, order is taken for then* relief, and 
competent means to live ; there, if any be subject to vice or 
take ill courses, they are reproved and censured. So like- 
wise, direction is given touching marriages, and the courses 
of life which any of them should take, with divers other the 
like orders and advices. The governor assisteth to the end, 
to put in execution by his public authority the decrees and 
orders of the tirsan, if they should be disobeyed, though that 
seldom needeth, such reverence and obedience they give to 
the order of nature. The tirsan doth also then ever choose 
one man from amongst his sons to live in house with him, 
who is called ever after the son of the vine : the reason will 
hereafter appear. On the feast-day, the father or tirsan 
cometh forth, after divine service, into a large room where 
the feast is celebrated, which room hath an half-pace at the 
upper end. Against the wall, in the middle of the half-pace, 
is a chair placed for him, with a table and carpet before it : 
over the chair is a state made round or oval, and it is of ivy : 
an ivy somewhat whiter than ours, like the leaf of a silver 
asp, but more shining, for it is green all whiter. And the 
state is curiously wrought with silver and silk of divers 
colours, broiding or binding in the ivy, and is ever of the 
work of some of the daughters of the family, and veiled over 
at the top with a fine net of silk and silver : but the sub- 
stance of it is true ivy, whereof, after it is taken down, the 



NEW ATLANTIS. 289 

friends of the family are desirous to have some leaf or sprig 
to keep. The tirsan cometh forth with all his generation or 
lineage, the males before him, and the females following him. 
And if there be a mother from whose body the whole line- 
age is descended, there is a traverse placed in a loft above 
on the right hand of the chair, with a private door, and a 
carved window of glass, leaded with gold and blue, where 
she sitteth, but is not seen/ When the tirsan is come forth, 
he sitteth down in the chair, and all the lineage place them- 
selves against the wall, both at his back, and upon the 
return of the half-pace, in order of their years, without 
difference of sex, and stand upon their feet. Winn he is 
set, the room being always full of company, but well kept, 
and without disorder, after some pause there cometh in Gram 
the lower end of the room a taratan, which is as much as an 
herald, and on either side of him two young lads, whereof 
one carrieth a scroll of their shining yellow parchment, and 
the other a cluster of grapes of gold, with a long foot or 
stalk; the herald and children are clothed with mantles of 
sea-water green satin, but the herald's mantle is streamed 
with gold, and hath a train. Then the herald, with three 
courtesies, or rather inclinations, cometh up as far as the 
half-pace, and there first taketh into his hand the scroll. 
This scroll is the king's charter, containing gift of revenue, 
and many privileges, exemptions, and points of honour 
granted to the father of the family ; and it is ever styled 
and directed, to such an one, our well-beloved friend and 
creditor, which is a title proper only to this rase ; for they 
say, the king is debtor to no man, but for propagation of 
his subjects. The seal set to the king's charter is the king's 
image, embossed or moulded in gold. And though such 
charters be expedited of course; and as of right, vet they are 
varied by discretion, according to the dumber and dignity 
of t lie family. This charter the herald readeth aloud; and 
while it is read, the father 01 tarsal] standeth op, supported 
by two of his sons, such as he chooseth. Then the herald 

1 What tin' object of this seclusion of the mother of the family could 
be, I am unable to conjecture, -inn- 1 1 »» - 3 >>uiil^ women tiv. [y circu- 
lated among their brethren. Perhaps it may have been designed to 
conceal the ravages of years, to give rise, in the minds of the spectators, 
to an idea of beauty, which age may have destroyed, 

U 



290 NEW ATLANTIS. 

mounteth the half-pace, and delivereth the charter into his 
hand, and with that there is an acclamation by all that are 
present, in their language, which is thus much, " Happy are 
the people of Bensalem." Then the herald taketh into his 
hand from the other child the cluster of graj>es, which is of 
gold, both the stalk and the grapes, but the grapes are dain- 
tily enamelled ; and if the males of the family be the greater 
number, the grapes are enamelled purple, with a little sun 
set on the top ; if the females, then they are enamelled into 
a greenish yellow, with a crescent on the top. The grapes 
are in number as many as there are descendants of the 
family. This golden cluster the herald delivereth also to 
the tirsan, who presently delivereth it over to that son that 
he had formerly chosen to be in house with hini, who beareth 
it before his father, as an ensign of honour when he goeth in 
public ever after, and is thereupon called the son of the vine. 
After this ceremony ended, the father or tirsan retireth, and 
after some time cometh forth again to dinner, where he 
sitteth alone under the state as before ; and none of his 
descendants sit with him, of what degree or dignity soever, 
except he hap to be of Solomon's House. He is served only 
by his own children, such as are male, who perform unto 
him all service of the table upon the knee, and the women 
only stand about him, leaning against the wall. The room 
below his half-pace hath tables on the sides for the guests 
that are bidden, who are served with great and comely order; 
and toward the end of dinner, which in the greatest feasts 
■with them lasteth never above an hour and a half, there is a 
hymn sung, varied according to the invention of him that 
composed it, for they have excellent poetry, but the subject 
of it is always the praises of Adam, and Noah, and Abraham ; 
whereof the former two peopled the world, and the last was 
the lather of the faithful : concluding ever with a thanks- 
giving for the nativity of our Saviour, in whose birth the 
births of all are only blessed. Dinner being done, the tirsan 
retireth again, and having withdrawn himself alone into a 
place where he niaketh some private prayers, he cometh 
forth the third time to give the blessing, with all his de- 
scendants, who stand about him as at the first. Then 
he calleth them forth one by one, by name, as he pleaseth, 
though seldom the order of age be inverted. The person 



ATLANTIS. 291 

that is called, the table being before removed, kneeleth 
down before the chair, and thr father layeth his hand 
upon bis bead, or her head, and giveth the blessing in these 
words : " Son of Bensalem, or daughter of Bensalem, thy 
father sakh it, the man by whom thou hast breath and life 
speaketh tin' word; the blessing of the everlasting Father, 
the Prince of Peace, and the Holy Dove be upon thee, and 
make the days of thy pilgrimage good and many." This be 
saith to every of them : and that done, if there be any of his 
sons of eminent merit and virtue, so they be not above two, 
he calleth for them again, and sayeth, laying his arm over 
their shoulders, they standing, u Sons, it is well you are 
born ; give God the praise, and persevere to the end :" and 
withal delivereth to either of them a jewel, made in the 
figure of an ear of wheat, which they ever after wear in the 
front of their turban or hat. Tliis done, they fall to music 
and (lain is, and other recreations after their manner, for the 
rest of the day. This is the full order of that feast. 

By that time six or seven days were spent, I was fallen 
into strait acquaintance with a merchant of that city, whose 
name was Joabin : he was a Jew, and circumcised, for they 
have some few stirps of Jews yet remaining among them, 
whom they leave to their own religion, which they may the 
better do, because they are of a far different disposition from 
the Jews in other parts. For whereas they hate the name 
of Christ, and have a secret inbred rancour against the 
people among whom they live ; these contrariu tse give unto 
our Saviour many high attributes, and love the nation of 
Bensalem extremely. Surely this man of whom I speak, 
would ever acknowledge that Christ, was born of a virgin, 
and that he was more than a man : and he would tell how 
Gk»d made him ruler of the seraphims which guard his throne: 

and they call him also the .Milken Way. and the Kliah of tin- 
Messiah, and many other high names : which, though they 

be Inferior bo his l>i\iu<' Majesty, jeA bhej are far from the 
language of other .lews. A nd for tin- country of Bensalem, 

this man would make in> end of Commending it. being desirous, 
by tradition «n«nj i|,,. Jews there, to have it believed, that 

the people thereof were of the generations of Abraham by 
another son. whom they call Naehoran ; and that M<> es by 

a secret cabala ordained the laws of Bensalem. which they 

D 2 



292 NEW ATLANTIS. 

now use ; and that when the Messiah should come and sit 
in liis throne at Jerusalem, the king of Bensalem shoiild sit 
at his feet, whereas other kings should keep at a great 
distance. But yet, setting aside these Jewish dreams, the 
man was a wise man and learned, and of great policy, and 
excellently seen in the laws and customs of that nation. 
Amongst other discourses, one day I told him, I was much 
affected with the relation I had from some of the company, 
of their custom in holding the feast of the family, for that 
methought I had never heard of a solemnity wherein nature 
did so much preside. And because propagation of families 
proceedeth from the nuptial copulation, I desired to know of 
him what laws and customs they had concerning marriage, 
and whether they kept marriage well, and whether they were 
tied to one wife. For that where population is so much 
affected, and such as with them it seemed to be, there is 
commonly permission of plurality of wives. To this he said, 
" You have reason to commend that excellent institution of 
the feast of the family ; and indeed we have experience that 
those families that are partakers of the blessings of that 
feast do flourish and prosper ever after in an extraordinary 
manner. But hear me now, and I will tell you what I know. 
You shall understand that there is not under the heavens so 
chaste a nation as this of Bensalem, nor so free from all 
pollution or foulness ; it is the virgin of the world. I re- 
member I have read in one of your European books, of an 
holy hermit amongst you that desired to see the spirit of 
fornication, and there appeared to him a little foul ugly 
Ethiop. But if he had desired to see the spirit of chastity 
of Bensalem, it would have appeared to him in the hkeness 
of a fair beautiful cherubim ; for there is nothing amongst 
mortal men more fair and admirable than the chaste minds 
of this people. Know, therefore, that with them there are 
no stews, no dissolute houses, no courtezans, nor anything 
of that kind ; nay, they wonder with detestation at you in 
Europe which permit such things. They say you have put 
man'iage out of office ; for marriage is ordained a remedy for 
xmlawful concupiscence, and natural concupiscence seemeth 
as a spur to marriage :S but when men have at hand a 

B On this subject consult Milton's " Doctrine and Discipline of 
Divorce," particularly chapters iv. v. and xxi. 



NEW ATLANTIS. 293 

remedy more agreeable to their corrupt will, marriage is 
almost expulsed. And therefore there are with you seen 
infinite men that marry not, but choose rather a libertine and 
impure single life than to be yoked in marriage ; ami many 
that do marry, marry late, when the prime and strength of 
their years is past ; and when they do marry, what is marriage 
to them but a very bargain, wherein is sought alliance, or 
portion, or reputation, with some desire almost indifferent of 
issue, and not the faithful nuptial union of man and wife 
that was first instituted. Neither is it possible that those 
that have cast away so basely so much of their strength, 
should greatly esteem children, being of the same matter, as 
chaste men do. So neither during marriage is the case much 
amended, as it ought to be if those things were tolerated 
only for necessity. No, but they remain still as a very 
affront to marriage ; the haunting of those dissolute places, 
or resort to courtezans, is oo more punished in married men 
than in bachelors : and the depraved custom of change, and 
the delight in meretricious embracements, where sin is 
turned into art, maketh marriage a dull thing, and a kind of 
imposition or tax. They hear you defend these things as 
done to avoid greater evils, as advouffi-ies, deflowering of 
virgins, unnatural lust, and the like : but they say this is a 
preposterous wisdom, and they call it Lot's oiler, who, to save 
his guests from abusing, offered his daughters. Nay, they 
say further, that there is little gained in this, for that the 
same vices and appetites do still remain and abound, un- 
lawful lust being like a furnace, that if you stop the flames 
altogether, it will quench, but if you give it any vent, it will 
rage. As for masculine love, they have no touch of it : and 
yet there are not so faithful and inviolate friendships in the 
world again as are there : and to speak generally, as I said 
before, I have not read of any such chastity in any people M 
theirs. And their usual Baying is, thai whosoever is unchaste 
cannot reverence himself And they aay, that the reverence 

of a man's self is ne\t religion, the chi fesi bridle of all 

vices." And when he had said this, the good dew paused a 
little. Whereupon I, Ear more willing to hear him speak on 

than to speak myself, yet thinking it decent that upon his 
pause of speech I should not be altogether silent, said only 

this, ''That 1 would say to him as the widow ofSarepta said 



294 NEW ATLANTIS. 

to Elias, that be was come to bring to memory our skis ; and 
that I confess the righteousness of Bensalem was greater 
than the righteousness of Europe." At which speeds he 
bowed his head, and went on in this manner : " They have also 
many wise and excellent laws touching marriage. They allow 
no polygamy. They have ordained that none do intermarry 
or contract until a month be past from their first interview. 
Marriage without consent of parents they do not make void, 
but they mulct it in the inheritors ; for the cliildren of such 
marriages are not admitted to inherit above a third part of 
their parents' inheritance. 11 I have read in a book of one of 
your men of a feigned commonwealth, 1 where the married 
couple are permitted, before they contract, to see one another 
naked. This they dislike, for they think it a scorn to give a 
refusal after so familiar knowledge : but because of many 
hidden defects in men and women's bodies, they have a more 
civil way ; for they have near every town a couple of pools, 
which they call Adam and Eve's pools, where it it permitted 
to one of the friends of the man, and another of the friends 
of the woman, to see them severally bathe naked." 

And as we were thus in conference, there came one that 
seemed to be a messenger, in a rich huke, that spake with the 
Jew ; whereupon, he turned to me, and said, " You will 
pardon me, for I am commanded away in haste." 

The next morning he came to me again, joyful, as it 
seemed, and said, " There is word come to the governor of 
the city, that one of the fathers of Solomon's House will be 
here this day seven-night ; we have seen none of them this 
dozen years. His coming is in state, but the cause of his 
coming is secret. I will provide you and your fellows of a 

h An act of injustice, which, while aimed at the parents, strikes only 
the children. It is not a little surprising that, in proposing a reforma- 
tion of laws, Bacon should advocate a palpable wrong. 

1 This " feigned commonwealth" is an allusion to More's "Utopia," 
in which the regulation here condemned is found. His lordship has by 
no means improved upon Sir Thomas ; but, on the contrary, for a bad 
practice he has substituted a worse. Very little of the unhappiness of 
marriage ever springs from defects of the person. It is character 
that men should be anxious to behold naked. It is in that the deformity 
is likely to lie that shall render their days cheerless and life a burden. 
Familiarity, which dissipates the illusion of a beautiful face, when the 
face alone is beautiful, actually confers beauty on a plain one, if the 
mind within be lovely. 



NEW ATLANTIS. 295 

good standing to see bis entry." I thanked him. and told 
him, " I was most glad of the new 

The day being come, be made bis entry. He was a man 
of middle stature and age, eozaeiy of person, and had an 

aspect as if he pitied men. He was clothed in a robe of fine 
black cloth, with widi md a cape : Ids under-garment 
was of excellent white linen down to the foot, girl with a 
girdle of the same, and a sindoti or tippet of the same about 
his neck : lie had gloves that were curious, and set with stone, 
and shoes of peach-coloured velvet ; bia neck- was bare to tin- 
shoulders : his hat was like a hebnet or Spanish montera, and 
his locks curled below it decently, — they were of colour 
brown : his heard was cut round, and of the same colour with 
his hair, somewhat lighter. 11 1 le was carried in a rich chariot, 
without wheels, litter-wise, with two horses at either end, 
richly trapped in blue velvet, embroidered, and two footmen 
00 cither side in the like attire The chariot was all of 
cedar, gilt, and adorned with crystal, save that the fore-end 
had panels of sapphires set in borders of gold, and the hinder 
end the like of emeralds of the Peru colour. There was 
also a sun of gold, radiant upon the top, in the midst ; and 
on the top before b small cherub of gold, with wings displayed. 
The chariot was covered with cloth of gold, tissued upon 
blue. He had before him fifty attendants, young men all. 
in white satin loose coats up to the mid-leg. and stockings of 
white silk, and shoes of blue velvet, and hats of blue velvet, 
with fine plumes of divers colours set round like hat hands. 
N>\t before the chariot went two men bareheaded, in bnen 
garments down to the foot, girt, and slims of blue velvet, 
who carried the one a crosier, the other a pastoral stall", like 
a sheep-hook : neither of them of metal, hut the crosier of 
halm -wo. id. the pastoral staff of cedar. I 1 1 .imiu.ii he had 
none, neither before nor behind Ins chariot, as it seemeth, to 
avoid all tumult and trouble. Behind his chariot went all 
the officers and principals of the companies of the city. lb- 
sat alone u| iuahionflofs kind of excellent plush, blue, and 

under bis foot curious carpets of silk of divers colours, like 

the Persian, but for liner. He held np his hare hand as he 

went, as b ■ people, but in silence. The street was 

k An. 1 icon must have been swi ird is usually 

darker than the hair. 



296 XK'.V ATLANTIS. 

wonderfully well kept ; so that there was never any army 
had their men stand in better battle-array than the people 
stood. The windows likewise were not crowded, but every 
one stood in them as if" they had been placed. When the 
show was past, the Jew said to me, " I shall not be able to 
attend you as I would, in i-egard of some charge the city 
hath laid upon me, for the entertaining of this great 
person." 

Three days after, the Jew came to me again, and said, 
" Ye are happy men ! for the father of Solomon's House 
taketh knowledge of your being here, and commanded me to 
tell you, that he will admit all your company to his presence, 
and have private conference with one of you that ye shall 
choose ; and for this hath appointed the next day after 
to-morrow. And, because he meaneth to give you his bless- 
ing, he hath appointed it in the forenoon." 

We came at our day and hour, and I was chosen by my 
fellows for the private access. We found him in a fair 
chamber, richly hung, and carpeted under-foot, without any 
degrees to the state. 1 He was seated upon a low throne, 
richly adorned, and a rich cloth of state over his head, of blue 
satin, embroiderd. He was alone, save that he had two 
pages of honour, on either hand, one finely attired in white. 
His undei'-garnients were the like that we saw him wear in 
the chariot ; but instead of his gown, he had on him a 
mantle, with a cape of the same fine black, fastened about 
him. When we came in, as we were taught, we bowed low 
at our first entrance ; and when we were come near his 
chair, he stood up, holding forth his hand ungloved, and in 
posture of blessing ; and Ave every one of us stooped down 
and kissed the hem of his tippet. That done, the rest 
departed, and I remained. Then he warned the pages forth 
of the room, and caused me to sit down beside him, and spake 
to me thus in the Spanish tongue : — 

" God bless thee, my son, I will give thee the greatest 
jewel I have ; for I will impart unto thee, for the love of God 
and men, a relation of the true state of Solomon's House- 
Son, to make you know the true state of Solomon's House, I 

1 That is, without any steps. 



HEW ATLANTIS. 297 

will keep this order : — first, I will set forth unto you the end 
of our foundation ; secondly, the preparations and instruments 
we have for our works ; thirdly, the several employments and 
functions whereto our fellows an- assigned ; and fourthly, the 
ordinances and rites which we observe. 

" The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes 
and secret motions of things," 1 and the enlarging of the 
bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things 
possible. 

"The preparations and instruments are these. We have 
large and deep caves of several depths: the deepest are sunk 
six hundred fathoms, and some of them are digged and made 
under great hills and mountains ; so that if you reckon to- 
gether the depth of the hill and the depth of the cave, they 
are (some of them) above three miles deep: for we find that 
the depth of a hill and the depth of a ease from the Hat is 
the same thing, both remote alike from the sun and heaven', - 
beams and from the open air. These caves we call 'ths 
lower region,' and we use them for all coagulations, indura- 
tions, refrigerations, and conservations of bodies. We use 
them likewise for the imitation of natural mines, and the 
producing also of new artificial metals, by compositions and 
materials which we use and lay there for many years. We 
use them also .sometimes (which may seem strange) for curing 
of some diseases," and for prolongation of life in some her- 
mits that choose to live there, well accommodated of all 
things necessary, and, indeed, live very long; by whom also 
we learn many things. 

"We have burials in several earths, where we put divers 
cements, as the Chinese do their porcelain; but we have 

m Solomon's House, therefore, was simply a college, instituted for 
the study of natural philosophy. Lord Bacon evidently experienced 
the influence of his own favourite pursuit, in erecting the platform of 
his imaginary state. 

u It was with a view to expose the extravagance of buch underground 
sweating apartments, that the description of Mr. Bailey's Sicilian cavern 
was introduced into "Margaret Jtavenscroft." Lord Baooo himself 
suspected that the notion would "seem strange;" hut nevertheless 
overcame hin repugnance to the strangeness, for the purpose of exhibit- 
ing a company of underground hermits buiying themselves alive iu 
search of longevity. 



298 NEW ATLANTIS. 

them in greater variety, and some of them finer. We also 
have great variety of composts and soils for making of the 
earth fruitful. 

" We have high towers, the highest about half a mile in 
height, and some of them likewise set upon high mountains ; 
so that the advantage of the hill with the tower is, in the 
highest of them, three miles at least. And these places we 
call the upper region, accounting the air between the high 
places and the low as a middle region. We use these 
towers, according to their several heights and situations, for 
insolation, refrigeration, conservation, and for the view of 
divers meteors ; as winds, rain, snow, hail, and some of the 
fiery meteors also. And upon them, in some places, are 
dwellings of hermits, whom we visit sometimes, and instruct 
what to observe. 

" We have great lakes, both salt and fresh, whereof we 
have use for the fish and fowl. We use them also for burials 
of some natural bodies ; for we find a difference in things 
buried in earth, or in air below the earth, and things buried 
in water. We have also pools of which some do strain fresh 
water out of salt, and others by art do turn fresh water into 
salt. We have also some rocks in the midst of the sea, and 
some bays upon the shore for some works wherein are re- 
quired the air and vapour of the sea. We have likewise 
violent streams and cataracts, which serve us for many mo- 
tions ; and likewise engines for multiplying and enforcing of 
winds, to set also agoing divers motions. 

" We have also a number of artificial wells and fountains, 
made in imitation of the natural sources and baths ; as tincted 
upon vitriol, sulphui', steel, brass, lead, nitre, and other 
minerals. And again, we have little wells for infusions of 
many things, where the waters take the virtue quicker and 
better than in vessels or basins. And amongst them we 
have a water which we call ' water of paradise,' being by 
that we do to it made very sovereign for health and pro- 
longation of life. 

" We have also great and spacious houses, where we 
imitate and demonstrate meteors, as snow, hail, rain, some 

° Philosophy acknowledges but one elixir of life, which being within 
everyone's reach is seldom used — temperance, in the sense in which the 
Latins used the term. 



NEW ATLANTIS. 299 

artificial rains of bodies, and not of water, thunders, light- 
nings; also generations of bodies in air, as frogs, flies, and 
divers others. 

•• We have also certain chambers, which we call 'chambers 
of health,' where we <|i;alit'y the ah', as we think good and 
proper for the cure of divero diseases, and preservation of 
health. 

"We have als.. fair and large baths, of several mixtures, 
for the cure of diseases, and the restoring of man's body from 
aivt'ac'tion; and others for the confirming of it in strength of 
sinews, vital parts, and the \ery juiee ;l nd substance of the 
body. 

"We have also large and various orchards and gardens, 
wherein Ave do not so much respect beauty as variety of 
ground and soil, proper for divers trees and herbs j and some 
very spacious, where trees and berries are set, whereof we 
make divers kinds of drinks, besides the vineyards. In these 
we practise likewise all conclusions of grafting and inocu- 
lating, as well of wild trees as fruit-trees, which pioduceth 
many effects. And we make, by art, in the same orchards 
and gardens, trees and flowers to eonie earlier or later than 
their seasons, and to come up and bear inore speedily than 
by their natural course they do ; we make them also, by art, 
much greater than their mature, and their frail greater and 
sweeter, and of differing taste, smell, colour, and figure from 
their nature; and many of them we so older that they be- 
come of medicinal use. 

'• We hare also means to make divers plants rise by mix- 
tures of earths without, seeds; and likewise to make divers 
new plants differing from the vulgar, and to make "lie tree 
or plant turn into another.i' 

i T have nowhere seen so remarkable a ]>r""f of what may be effected 
in this way at is the gardens of Boghos Bey, at Alexandria* " II re l 
iowh b very extraordinary fruit tree, produced by a process highly 
ingenious. They take three seeds the citron, th<' lemon, and the 
orange andcarefullj removing thi stick from both sides of 

one of them, and from one side of the two others, plane the former 
between the latter, and, binding the three together with fine grass, 
(plant them in the earth. Prom this mixed seed springs a tree, the fruit 
of which exhibits three distinct species included within one rind, tin- 
division being perfectly •risible externally, and the flavour of each com- 
partment as different as if it bad grown on a separate tree. Thi- d 
of producing a tripartite fruit has been introduced by Boghos Bey from 



300 NEW ATLANTIS. 

' : We have also parks and in closures of all sorts of beasts 
and birds; which we use not only for view or rareness, but 
likewise for dissections and trials, that thereby we may take 
light what may be wrought upon the body of man ; wherein 
we find many strange effects : as, continuing life in them, 
though divers parts, which you account vital, be perished 
and taken forth; resuscitating of some that seem dead in 
appearance, and the like. We try also poisons and other 
medicines upon them, as well of surgeiy as physic. By art 
likewise we make them greater or taller than their kind is, 
and contrariwise dwarf them and stay their growth ; we 
make them more fruitful and bearing than their kind is, 
and contrariwise barren and not generative. Also we make 
them differ in colour, shape, activity, many ways. We find 
means to make commixtures and copulations of divers kinds, 
which have produced many new kinds, and them not barren, 
as the general opinion is. We make a number of kinds ot 
serpents, worms, flies, fishes, of putrefaction; whereof some 
are advanced (in effect) to be perfect creatures, like beasts or 
birds, and have sexes, and do propagate. Neither do we 
this by chance, but we know beforehand of what matter and 
commixture, what kind of those creatures will arise. 

" We have also particular pools where we make trials 
upon fishes, as we have said before of beasts and birds. 

" We have also places for breed and generation of those 
kinds of worms and flies which are of special use, such as are 
with you, your silkworms and bees. 

" I will not hold you long with recounting of our brew- 
houses, bakehouses, and kitchens, where are made divers 
drinks, breads, and meats, rare and of special effects. Wines 
we have of grapes, and drinks of other juice, of fruits, of 
grains, and of roots; and of mixtures with honey, sugar, 
manna, and fruits dried and decocted; also of the tears, or 
woundings of trees, and of the pulp of canes. And these 
drinks are of several ages, some to the age or last of foi*ty 
years. We have drinks also brewed with several herbs and 
roots and spices, yea, with several fleshes and white-meats; 
whereof some of the drinks are such, as they are in effect 
meat and drink both, so that divers, especially in age, do de- 
Smyrna, his native city, where it is said to have l>een practised from, 
time immemorial." — Egypt and Mohammed All, ii. 363, f. 



NEW ATLANTIS. 301 

sire to live with them ; with little or no meat or bread. And 
above all we strive to have drinks of extreme thin parts, to 
insinuate into the body, and yet without all biting, sharp- 
ness, or fretting; insomuch as some of them put upon the 
back of your hand will, with a little stay, pass through to 
the palm, and yet taste mild to the mouth. We have also 
waters which we ripen in that fashion as they become nou- 
rishing, so that they are indeed excellent drink; and many 
will use no other. Breads we have of several grains, roots, 
and kernels; yea, and some of flesh and fish dried, with 
divers kinds of leavenings and seasonings; so that some do 
extremely move appetites; some do nourish so, as divers do 
live on them, without any other meat, who live very long. 
So for meats, we have some of them so beaten and made 
tender and mortified, yet without all corrupting, as a weak 
heat of the stomach will turn them into good chylus, as well 
as a strong heat would meat otherwise prepared. We have 
some meats also, and breads and drinks, which taken by nien 
enable them to fast long after; and some other that used make 
the very flesh of men's bodies sensibly more hard and tough, 
and their strength far greater than otherwise it would be. 

"We have dispensatories, or shops of medicines, wherein 
you may easily think, if we have such variety of plants and 
living creatures more than you have in Europe (tor we know 
what you have), the simples, drugs, and ingredients of 
medicines must likewise be in so much the greater variety. 
We have them likewise of divers ages, and long fermentations. 
And for their preparations, we have not only all manner of 
exquisite distillations and separations, and especially by 
gentle heats, and percolations through divers strainers, yea 
and substances; but also exact forms of composition, whereby 
they incorporate almost as they were natural simples. 

"We have also divers mechanical arts which you have not, 
and stalls made by them ; as papers, linen, silks, tissues, dainty 
works of feathers of wonderful lustre, excellent dyes, and 
many others j and shops likewise as well for such a^ are not 
brought, into vulgar use amongst us. as for those that are. 
For you must know, that of the things liefore recited manv 
are grown into use throughout the kingdom; but yet. if they 
did flow from our invention, we have of them also for 
patterns and principles 



302 NEW ATLANTIS. 

" We have also furnaces of great diversities, and that keep 
great diversity of beats, fierce and quick, strong and constant, 
soft and mild, blown, quiet, dry, moist, and tbe like. But, 
above all, we bave beats in imitation of tbe sun's and 
heavenly bodies' beats, that pass divers inequalities, and, as it 
were, orbs, progresses, and returns, whereby we may produce 
admirable effects. Besides, we have heats of dungs, and of 
bellies and maws of living creatures, and of their bloods and 
bodies ; and of bays and herbs laid up moist ; of lime un- 
quencbed, and such like. Instruments, also, winch generate 
beat only by motion ; and further, places for strong inso- 
lations ; and, again, places under the earth which by nature 
or art yield heat. These divers heats we use as the nature of 
tbe operation which we intend requireth. 

" We bave also perspective-houses, where we make demon- 
stration of all lights and radiations, and of all colours ; and 
of things uncoloured and transparent, we can represent unto 
you all several colours, not in rainbows, as it is in gems and 
prisms, but of themselves smgle. We represent, also, all 
multiplications of bght, which we cany to great distance, and 
make so sharp as to discern small points and lines ; also all 
colorations of bght, all delusions and deceits of tbe sight, 
in figures, magnitudes, motions, colours ; all demonstrations 
of shadows. We find, also, divers means yet unknown to 
you of procuring of light oiiginally from divers bodies. We 
procure means of seeing objects afar off, as in the heavens, 
and remote places ; and represent things near as afar off. and 
things afar off as near, making feigned distances. We have 
also helps for tbe sight far above spectacles and glasses in 
use. We have also glasses and means to see small and 
minute bodies perfectly and distinctly, as tbe shapes and 
colours of small flies and worms, grains and flaws in gems, 
which cannot otherwise be seen ; observations in urine and 
blood, not otherwise to be seen. We make artificial rain- 
bows, halos, and drcles about bght. We represent also all 
manner of reflections, refractions, and multiplication of visual 
beams of objects. 

" We bave also precious stones of all kinds, many of them 
of great beauty, and to you unknown ; crystals likewise, and 
glasses of divers kinds, and amongst them some of metals 
vitrificated, and other materials, besides those of which you 



NEW ATLANTIS. 303 

make glass. Also a number of fossils and imperfect minerals 
which you have nut ; likewise loadstones of prodigious virtue, 
and other rare stones both natural and artificial. 

• We have also sound-houses, where we practise and 
demonstrate all sounds and their generation. We have 
harmonics, which you have not. <>f quarter-sounds, and lesser 
slides of sounds ; coven inst niinents likewise to you unknown. 
some sweeter than any you have ; with bells and rings that 
are dainty and sweet. We represent small sounds as great 
and deep, likewise great sounds extenuate and sharp. We 
make divers tremblings and warbling of Bounds, which in 
their original are entire; we represent and imitate all arti- 
culate sounds and letters, .and the voices and notes of beasts 
and birds. We have certain helps, which set to the car do 
further the hearing greatly'. We have also divers strange 
and artificial echos reflecting the voice many times, and as it 
were tossing it ; and some that give back the voice louder 
than it came. Borne shriller, and some deeper; yea, some 
rendering the voice ditlcring in the letters or articulate sound 
from that they receive. We have also means to convey sounds 
in trunks and pipes in strange lines and distances. 

•■ We have also perfume-houses, wherewith we join also 
practises of taste: we multiply smells, which may seem 
strange ; we imitate smells, making all smells to breathe out 
of other mixtures than those that give them. We make 
divers imitations of taste likewise, so that they will deceive 
any man's taste. And in this house we i tain also a con- 
fiture-house, where we make all sweetmeats dry and moi>t, 
and divan pleasant wilier, milks, broths, and salads in far 
greater variety than you have. 

• We also have engine-houses, where are prepared engines 

and instruments tin- all sorts of motions. There we imitate 
and practise fco make swifter motions than any you have, 

either oat of yonz muskets, or any engine that yon have ; 

and to make them and multiply them more easily, and with 
small force, by wheels and other means : ami to make them 

stronger and oaore riolent than yours are, exceeding your 
greatest cannons ami basilisks. We represent also ordnance 

and instruments of war, and engines of all kinds ; and like- 

wise new mixtures and compositions of gitnpowder, wildfires 
burning in water, ami unquenchable j also fireworks of all 



304 NEW ATLANTIS. 

variety, both for pleasure and use. We imitate also nights 
of birds : we have some degrees of flying in the air : we 
have ships and boats for going under water, and brooking of 
seas ; also swimming-girdles and supporters. We have divers 
curious clocks, and other like motions of return, and some 
perpetual motions. We imitate also motions of living 
creatures by images of men, beasts, birds, fishes, and serpents : 
we have also a great number of other various motions, 
strange for quality, fineness, and subtilty. 

" We have also a mathematical house, where are repre- 
sented all instruments, as well of geometry as asti-onomy, 
exquisitely made. 

" We have also houses of deceits of the senses, where we 
represent all manner of feats of juggling, false apparitions, 
impostures, and illusions and their fallacies. And surely you 
will easily believe that we that have so many things truly 
natural, which induce admiration, could in a world of par- 
ticulars deceive the senses, if we would disguise those things, 
and labour to make them more miraculous. But we do hate 
all impostures and lies, insomuch as we have severely for- 
bidden it to all our fellows, under pain of ignominy and fines, 
that they do not show any natural work or tiling adorned or 
swelling, but only pure as it is, and without all affectation of 
strangeness. 

" These are, my son, the riches of Solomon's House. 

" For the several employments and offices of our fellows, 
we have twelve that sail into foreign countries under the 
names of other nations (for our own we conceal), who bring 
us the books and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of 
all other parts. These we call ' merchants of light.' 

" We have three that collect the experiments which are 
in all books. These we call ' depredators.' 

" We have three that collect the experiments of all 
mechanical arts, and also of liberal sciences, and also of 
practices which are not brought into arts. These we call 
' mystery men.' 

" We have three that try new experiments, such as them- 
selves think good. These we call ' pioneers ' or ' miners.' 

" We have three that draw the experiments of the former 
four into titles and tables, to give the better fight for the 



NEW ATLANTIS. 305 

drawing of observations and axioms out of them. These we 
call ' compilers.' 

"We have three that bend themselves, looking into the 
experiments of their fellows, and cast about bow to draw out 
of them things of use and practice for man's life and know- 
ledge, as well for works as for plain demonstration of causes, 
means of natural divinations, and the easy and clear discovery 
of the virtues and parts of bodiea These we call 'dowry 

men,' or ' benefactors. 1 

"Then, after divers meetings and consults of our whole 
number, to consider of the former labours and collections, we 
have three that take care out of them to direct new ex- 
periments of a higher light, more penetrating into nature 
than the former. These we call ' lamps.' 

" We have three others that do execute the experiments 
so directed, and report them. These we call ' inoculators.' 

" Lastly, we have three that raise the former discoveries 
by experiments into greater observations, axioms, and 
aphorisms. These we call ' interpreters of nature.' 

"We have also, as you must think, novices and apprentices, 
that the succession of the former employed men do not fail ; 
besides a great number of servants and attendants, men and 
women. And this we do also; we have consultations which 
of the inventions and experiences wdiich we have discovered 
shall be published, and which not ; and take all an oath of 
secrecy for the concealing of those which we think meel \<> 
keep secret, though some of those we do reveal sometimes to 
the state, and some not. 

"For our ordinances and rites, we have two very long and 
fair galleries. In one of these we place patterns and 
samples of all manner of the more rare and excellent 
inventions ; in the other we place the statues of all principal 
inventors. There we have the statue of your Columbus, 
that discovered the West Indies; also the inventor of ships ; 
your monk that was the inventor of ordnance and of gun- 
powder ; the inventor of music, the inventor of letters; 
the inventor of printing ; the inventor of observations of 
astronomy ; the inventor of works in metal ; the inventor 
of glass ; the inventor of silk of the worm ; the inventor of 
wine; the inventor of corn and bread ; the inventor of 

X 






306 NTBW ATLANTIS. 

suo-ai's : and all these by more certain tradition than you 
have. Then we have divers inventors of our own, of ex- 
cellent works, which, since you have not seen, it were too 
long to make descriptions of them ; and besides, in the right 
understanding of those descriptions you might easily err. For 
upon every invention of value, we erect a statue to the 
inventor, and give him a liberal and honourable reward. 
These statues are some of brass ; some of marble and touch- 
stone; some of cedar, and other special woods gilt and 
adorned; some of iron; some of silver; some of gold. 

" We have certain hymns and services, which we say daily 
of laud and thanks to God for his marvellous works ; and 
forms of prayers imploring his aid and blessing for the 
illumination of our labours, and the turning them into good 
and holy uses. 

" Lastly, we have cimiits or visits of divers principal cities 
of the kingdom, where, as it cometh to pass, we do publish 
such new profitable inventions as we think good. And we 
do also declare natural divinations of diseases, plagues, swarms 
of hurtful creatures, scarcity, tempests, earthquakes, great 
inundations, comets, temperature of the year, and divers 
other things ; and we give counsel thereupon what the 
people shall do for the prevention and remedy of them." 

And when he had said this, he stood up ; and I, as I had 
been taught, kneeled down, and he laid his right hand upon 
my head, and said, " God bless thee, my son, and God bless 
this relation which I have made ; I give thee leave to publish 
it for the good of other nations, for we here are in God's 
bosom, a land unknown." And so he left me, having 
assigned a value of about two thousand ducats for a bounty 
to me and my fellows ; for they give great largesses where 
they come upon all occasions. 

{The rest was not perfected.) 



tl ^f,r ■ >- t - ,v tJL4 



'i! Xi-Kf ■ 



THE HISTORY 

OF THE BJEIGN OF 

KING HENRY THE SEVENTH, 



To the Most Illustrious and Most Excellent Prince diaries, 

Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chetter, Ifc. 

It may please your Highness, — In part of my acknowledgment to 
your Highness, I have endeavoured to do honour to the memory <>f the 
last king of England, that was ancestor to the king your father and 
yourself ; and was that king to whom both unions may in a sort refer : 
that of the roses being in him consummate, and that of the kingdoms 
by him begun : besides, his times deserve it. For he was a wise man, 
and an excellent king ; and yet the times were rough and full of muta- 
tions and rare accidents. And it is with times as it is « ith trays : some 
are more uphill and downhill, and some are more flat and plain ; and 
the one is better for the liver, and the other for the writer. I have not 
flattered him, but took him to life as well as I could, sitting so far off, 
and having no better light. It is true your Highness hath a living pat- 
tern, incomparable, of the king your father ; but it is not amiss for mm 
also to see one of these ancient pieces. God preserve your Highness. — 
Your Highness's most humble and devoted servant. 

Francis St. Alban. 



After that Richard, the third <>t' that name, king in fact 
only, but tyrant both in title and regiment, ami so commonly 
termed and reputed in all times since, was, by the Divine 
revenge favouring the design of aa exiled man, overthrown 
ami slain at Boeworth-field, there sneeeeded in the kingdom 
t In- ear] ol Richmond, thencefort fa styled Henry tin- S.\,.nth. 
The king immediately after the victory, as one thai had beta 
bred under a devout mother, and was in his nature a great 

observer of religious forma, caused "Te Demi taudanras" to 
be solemnly song in the presence c4 the whole army upon the 
place and was himself with general applause and great cries 
of joy, in a kind of military election OS recognition, saluted 
* x 2 



308 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

king. Meanwhile the body of Richard, after many in- 
dignities and reproaches, the diriges and obsequies of the 
common people towards tyrants, was obscurely buried. For 
though the king of his nobleness gave charge unto the friars 
of Leicester to see an honourable interment to be given to 
it, yet the religious people themselves, being not free from 
the humours of the vulgar, neglected it ; wherein never- 
theless they did not then incur any man's blame or censure : 
no man thinking any ignominy or contumely unworthy of 
him that had been the executioner of King Henry the Sixth, 
that innocent prince, with his own hands ; the contriver of 
the death of the duke of Clarence, his brother ; the murderer 
of his two nephews, one of them his lawful king in the 
present, and the other in the future, failing of him ; and 
vehemently suspected to have been the impoisoner of his 
wife, thereby to make vacant his bed, for a marriage within 
the degrees forbidden. And although he were a prince in 
military virtue approved, jealous of the honour of the English 
nation, and likewise a good law-maker, for the ease and 
solace of the common people ; yet his cruelties and parricides, 
in the opinion of all men, weighed down Ins virtues and 
merits ; and, in the opinion of wise men, even those virtues 
themselves were conceived to be rather feigned and affected 
things to serve his ambition, than true qualities ingenerate 
in his judgment or nature. And therefore it was noted by 
men of great understanding, who, seeing his after-acts, looked 
back upon his former proceedings, that even in the time of 
King Edward his brother he was not without secret trains 
and mines to turn envy and hatred upon his brothers 
government ; as having an expectation and a kind of divina- 
tion, that the king, by reason of his many disorders, could 
not be of long life, but was like to leave his sons of tender 
years ; and then he knew well, how easy a step it was, from 
the place of a protector, and first prince of the blood, to the 
crown. And that out of this deep root of ambition it 
sprung, that as well at the treaty of peace that passed between 
Edward the Fourth and Lewis the Eleventh of France con- 
cluded by interview of both kings at Piqueny, as upon all 
other occasions, Richard, then duke of Gloucester, stood ever 
upon the side of honour, raising his own reputation to the 
disadvantage of the king his brother, and drawing the eyes 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 309 

of all, especially of the nobles and soldiers, upon himself; as 
if the king, by his voluptuous life and mean marriage, were 
become effeminate and less sensible of honour and reason of 
state than was lit for a king. And as for the politic and 
wholesome laws which were enacted in his time, they were 
interpreted to be but the brokage of an usurper, thereby to 
woo and win the hearts of the people, as being conscious to 
himself, that the true obligations of sovereignty in him failed, 
and were wanting. But King Henry, in the very entrance of 
his reign, and the instant of time when the kingdom was cast 
into his arms, met with a point of great difficulty, and knotty 
to solve, able to trouble and confound the wises! king in the 
newness of his estate; and so much the more, because it. 
could not endure a deliberation, but must be at once deli- 
berated and determined. There were fallen to bis lot, and 
concurrent in his person, three several titles to the imperial 
crown. The first, the title of the Lady Elizabeth, with whom 
by precedent paet with the party that brought him in. la- 
was to many. The second, the ancient and long-disputed 
title both by plea and arms, of the house of Lancaster, to 
which he was inheritor in his own person. The third, the 
title of the sword or conquest, for that he came in by victory 
of battle, and that the king in possession was slain in the 
field. The first of these was fairest, and most like to give 
contentment to the people, who by two-ami -t went v years 1 
reign of King Edward the Fourth, had been fully made 
capable of the clearness of the title of the white rose, or 
house of York; and by the mild and plausible reign <>t tin- 
same king towards his latter time, were become affectionate 
to that line. But then it lay plain before bis eyes, that if he 
relied upon that title, he could be but a king at courtesy, and 
have rather a matrimonial than a regal power ; the right re- 
maining in his queen, upon whose decease, either with issue 
or without issue, he was to give place and be removed. And 

though lie should obtain by parliament to be continue.], V ct 

he knew there was a very great difference between a king 
that holdeth his crown by a civil act of estates, and one that 

holdeth it originally by the law of nature and desceni oi 

blood. Neither wanted there even at that time secret 

rumours and whisperings, which afterwards gathered strength 

and turned to great troubles, that the two young sons of King 



.310 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

Edward the Fourth, or one of them, which were said to be 
destroyed in the Tower, were not indeed murdered, but con- 
veyed secretly away, and were yet living : which, if it had 
been true, had prevented the title of the Lady Elizabeth. On 
the other side, if he stood upon his own title of the house of 
Lancaster, inherent in his person, he knew it was a title 
condemned by parliament, and generally prejudged in the 
common opinion of the realm, and that it tended directly to 
the disinherison of the line of York, held then the indubitate 
heirs of the crown. So that if he should have no issue by the 
Lady Elizabeth, which should be descendants of the double 
line, then the ancient flames of discord and intestine wars, 
upon the competition of both houses, would again return and 
revive. 

As for conquest, notwithstanding Sir William Stanley, 
after some acclamations of the soldiers in the field, had put a 
crown of ornament, which Richard wore in the battle, and 
was found amongst the spoils, upon King Henry's head, as if 
there were his chief title ; yet he remembered well upon 
what conditions and agreements he was brought in ; and 
that to claim as conqueror, was to put as well his own party, 
as the rest, into terror and fear ; as that which gave him 
power of disannulling of laws, and disposing of men's for- 
tunes and estates, and the bike points of absolute power, 
being in themselves so harsh and odious, as that William 
himself, commonly called the Conqueror, howsoever he used 
and exercised the power of a conqueror to reward his 
Normans, yet he forbore to use that claim in the beginning, 
but mixed it with a titulary pretence, grounded upon the 
will and designation of Edward the Confessor. But the 
king, out of the greatness of his own mind, presently cast 
the die ; and the inconveniences appearing unto him on all 
parts, and knowing there could not be any interreign, or 
suspension of title, and preferring his affection to his own 
line and blood, and liking that title best which made him in- 
dependent • and being in his nature and constitution of mind 
not veiy apprehensive or forecasting of future events afar off, 
but an entertainer of fortune by the day ; resolved to rest 
upon the title of Lancaster as the main, and to use the other 
two, that of marriage and that of battle, but as supporters, 
he one to appease secret discontents, and the other to beat 



HENKY THE BBVBHTH. 311 

down open murmur and dispute : nut forgetting that the 
same title of Lancaster had formerly maintained a possession 
of three descents in the crown, and might have proved a 
perpetuity, had it not ended in the weakness and inability 
of the last prince. Whereupon the king presently that verj 
day, being the two-and-twentieth of August, assumed the 
style of king in his own name, without mention of the Lady 
Elizabeth at all. or any relation thereunto. Jn which course 
he ever after persisted : which did spin him a thread of many 
seditions nud troubles. The long, lid! of these thoughts, 
before his departure from Leicester despatched Sir Robert 
Willoughby to the castle of Sheriff-Hutton, in Yorkshire, 
where were kept in safe custody, by King Richard's command- 
ment^ both the Lady Elizabeth, daughter of King Edward, 
and Edward Plantagenet, son and heir to George, duke of 

Clarence. This Edward was by the kings warrant delivered 
from the constable of the eastie to the hand of Sir Robert 

Willoughby, and by hiin with all safety and diligence con- 
veyed to the Tower Of London, win-re he was abut up 

prisoner. Which act of the icing's, being an act merely of 
policy and power, proceeded not so much from any appre 
tension be had of Doctor Shaw's tale at Paul's Cross for the 
baatarding of Edward the Fourth's issues, in which case t his 
young gentleman was to succeed, for that fable wa 
exploded, but upon a settled disposition to depress all 
eminent persons of the line of York. Wherein still the 
king out of strength of will, or weakness of judgment, did 

use to show a little more of the party than of the king. 

For the Lady Elizabeth, she received also a direction to 
repair with all convenient speed to London, and there to 
remain with the queen dowager her mother j which accord 
ingly she soon after did, accompanied with man} noblemen 
and Ladies of honour. In the mean season the king set 
forward by easy journeys to the city of London, receiving the 
acclamations and applauses of the people as lie went, which 
indeed were true and unfeigned, as might well appear in the 
very demonstrations and Eolneaa of the cry. For they 
thought generally, that be was a prince, as ordained and sent 
down from heaven, to unite and pot to an end the lone dis- 
sensions of the two bouses . which although they had had. 
in the times of Henry the Fourth, Henry the Fifth 



\ 



312 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

part of Henry the Sixth, on the one side, and the times of 
Edward the Fourth on the other, lucid intervals and happy 
pauses ; yet they did ever hang over the kingdom, ready to 
break forth into new perturbations and calamities. And as 
his victory gave him the knee, so his purpose of marriage 
with the Lady Elizabeth gave him the heart ; so that both 
knee and heart did truly bow before him. 

He on the other side with great wisdom, not ignorant of 
the affections and fears of the people, to disperse the conceit 
and terror of a conquest, had given order, that there should 
be nothing in his journey like unto a warlike march or 
manner ; but rather like unto the progress of a king in full 
peace and assurance. 

He entei'ed the city upon a Saturday, as he had also 
obtained the victory upon a Saturday ; which day of the 
week, first upon an observation, and after upon memory and 
fancy, he accounted and chose as a day prosperous unto him. 

The mayor and companies of the city received him at 
Shoreditch ; whence with great and honourable attendance, 
and troops of noblemen, and persons of quality, he entei'ed 
the city ; himself not being on horseback, or in any open 
.chair or throne, but in a close chariot, as one that having 
been sometimes an enemy to the whole state, and a proscribed 
person, chose rather to keep state, and strike a reverence into 
the people, than to fawn upon them. 

He went first into St. Pard's Church, where, not meaning 
that the people should forget too soon that he came in by 
battle, he made offertory of his standards, and had orisons 
and " Te Deura " again sung ; and went to his lodging 
prepared in the bishop of London's palace, where he stayed 
for a time. 

During his abode there, he assembled his council and other 
principal persons, in presence of whom he did renew again 
his promise to many with the Lady Elizabeth. This he did 
the rather, because having at his coming out of Britain 
given artificially, for serving his own turn, some hopes, in 
case he obtained the kingdom, to marry Anne, inheritress to 
the duchy of Britain, whom Charles the Eighth of France 
soon after married, it bred some doubt and suspicion amongst 
divers that he was not sincere, or at least not fixed in going 
on with the match of England so much desired : which con- 



HENRY Tnn SEVENTH. 313 

ccit also, though it were but talk and discourse, did much 
afflict the poor Lady Elizabeth herself But howsoever he 
both truly intended it, and desired it, and desired also it, 
should be so believed, the better to extinguish envy and 
contradiction to his other purposes, yet was he resolved in 
himself not to proceed to the consummation thereof, till his 
coronation and a parliament were past. The one, lest a 
joint coronation of himself and his queen might give any 
countenance of participation of title ; the other, lest in the 
entailing of the crown to himself, which he hoped to obtain 
by parliament, the votes of the parliament might any ways 
reflect upon her. 

About this time in autumn, towards the end of September, 
there began and reigned in the city, and other parts of the 
kingdom, a disease then new : which by the accidents and 
manner thereof they called the sweating sickness. This 
disease had a swift course, both in the sick body, and in the 
time and period of the lasting thereof; for they that were 
taken with it, upon four and twenty hours escaping, were 
thought almost assured, And as to the time of the malice 
and reign of the disease ere it ceased, it began about the 
one-and-twentieth of September, and cleared up before the 
end of October, insomuch as it was no hinderance to the 
kind's coronation, which was the last of October j nor, 
which was more, to the holding of the parliament, which 
began but seven days after. It was a pestilent fever, but, as 
it seemeth, not seated in the veins or humours, for that there 
followed no carbuncle, no purple or livid spots, or the like, 
the mass of the body being not tainted ; only a maligu 
-vapour flew to the heart, and seized the vital spirits ; which 
stirred nature to strive to send it forth by an extreme sweat. 
And it appeared by experience, that this disease was rather 
a surprise of nature than obstinate to remedies, if it were in 

time looked unto. For if the patient were kept in an equal 
temper, both for clothe-, tire, and drink, moderately warm, 
with temperate cordials, whereby nature's work were neither 

irritated by heat. OOr turned back by cold, he commonly re- 
covered. But infinite persons died suddenly of it. before the 
manner of the cure and attendance was known. It was 
conceived not to be an epidemic disease, but to proceed from 
a malignity in the constitution of the air, gathered by the 



314 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

predispositions of seasons ; and the speedy cessation declared 
as much. 

On Simon and Jude's eve, the king dined with Thomas 
Bourchier, archbishop of Canterbury and cardinal ; and from 
Lambeth went by land over the bridge to the Tower, where 
the morrow after he made twelve knights bannerets. But 
for creations he dispensed them with a sparing hand. For 
notwithstanding a field so lately fought, and a coronation so 
near at hand, he only created three : Jasper, earl of Pem- 
broke, the king's uncle, was created duke of Bedford ; 
Thomas, the Lord Stanley, the king's father-in-law, earl of 
Derby ; and Edward Courtney, earl of Devon ; though the 
king had then nevertheless a purpose in himself to make 
more in time of parliament ; beai*ing a wise and decent 
respect to distribute his creations, some to honour his corona- 
tion, and some his parliament. 

The coronation followed two days after, upon the thirtieth 
day of October, in the year of our Lord, 1485 ; at which 
time Innocent the Eighth was pope of Rome ; Frederick the 
Third, emperor of Almain ; and Maximilian his son, newly 
chosen king of the Romans ; Charles the Eighth, king of 
France ; Ferdinando and Isabella, kings of Spain ; and 
James the Third, king of Scotland : with all which kings and 
states the king was at that time in good peace and amity. 
At which day also, as if the crown upon Ms head had put 
perils into his thoughts, he did institute, for the better 
security of his person, a band of fifty archers, under a cap- 
tain to attend him, by the name of yeomen of his guard : 
and yet, that it might be thought to be ratlier a matter of 
dignity, after the imitation of what he had known abroad, 
than any matter of diffidence appropriate to his own case, 
he made it to be understood for an ordinance not temporary, 
but to hold in succession for ever after. The seventh of 
November the king held his parliament at Westminster, 
which he had summoned immediately after his coming to 
London. His ends in calling a parliament, and that so 
speedily, were chiefly three : first, to procure the crown to 
be entailed upon himself. Next, to have the attainders of 
all his party, which were in no small number, reversed, and 
all acts of hostility by them done in his quarrel remitted and 
discharged ; and on the other side, to attaint by parliament 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 315 

the heads and principals of his enemies. The tliird, to calm 
and quiet the fears of the rest of that party liy a general 
pardon : not being ignorant in how great danger a king 
stands from his subjects, when moat of fads subjects are con- 
scious in themselves that they stand in liis danger. Unto 
these three special motives "t' i parliament was added, that 
he, as a prudent and moderate prince, made this judgment, 
that it was fit for him to hasten t" let his people see, that he 
meant to govern by law, hoWBOever he came in by the sword ; 
and fit also to reclaim them to know hiin for their king, whom 
they had so lately talked of as an enemy or banished man. 
For that which concerned the entailing of the crown, more 
than that he was true to his own -will, that he would not 
endure any mention of the Lady Elizabeth, no not in the 
nature of special entail, he carried it otherwise with great 
wisdom and measure : for he did sot press to have the act 
penned by way of declaration or recognition of right : as, on 
the other side, he avoii led to have it by new law or ordinance, 
but chose rather a kind of middle way. by way of establish- 
ment, and that under coi indifferent words : "that 
the inheritance of the crown should rest, remain, and abide 
in the king,'' Sue, which words might easily be applied, that 
the crown shotdd continue to him ; but whether a- having 
former right to it, which was doubtful, or having it then in 
fact and possession, which no man denied, was left fail- to in- 
terpretation either way. And again, for the limitation of the 
entail, he did not press it t<> <_ r o farther than to himself and 
to the heirs of his body, not speaking of his right heirs : but 
leaving that to the law to decide : bo as the email might 
seem rather a personal favour to him and his children, than 
a total disinherison to the house of Xork And in this form 
was the law drawn and passed Which statute he procured 
to be confirmed by the pope's bull the year following, with 
mention aerertfaelesB, by way of recital, of his other titles. 
both of descent and conquest. So as now the wreath of 
three, was made a wreath of live : for to the first three titles 
of the two houses, or bines, and conquest, were added two 
more, the authorities parliamentary and papal 

The king likewise, in the of the attainders of his 

partakers, and discharging them of all offences incid 
his service and BUCCOUT, had fads will ; and acts did 



316 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

accordingly. In the passage whereof, exception was taken 
to clivers persons in the House of Commons, for that they 
were attainted, and thereby not legal, nor habilitate to serve 
in parliament, being disabled in the highest degree ; and 
that it should be a great incongruity to have them to make 
laws, who themselves were not inlawed. The truth was, 
that divers of those which had in the time of King Richard 
been strongest, and most declared for the king's party, were 
returned knights and burgesses for the parliament ; whether 
by care or recommendation from the state, or the voluntary 
inclination of the people ; many of which had been by Richard 
the Tliird attainted by outlawries, or otherwise. The king 
was somewhat troubled with this ; for though it had a grave 
and specious show, yet it reflected upon his party. But 
wisely not showing himself at all moved therewith, he would 
not understand it but as a case in law, and wished the judges 
to be advised thereupon ; who for that purpose were forth- 
with assembled in the exchequer-chamber, which is the 
council-chamber of the judges, and upon deliberation they 
gave a grave and safe opinion and advice, mixed with law 
and convenience ; which was, that the knights and burgesses 
attainted by the course of law should forbear to come into 
the house, till a law were passed for the reversal of their 
attainders. 

It was at that time incidently moved amongst the judges 
in their consultation, what should be done for the king him- 
self, who likewise was attainted '? But it was with unanimous 
consent resolved, " That the crown takes away all defects 
and stops in blood ; and that from the time the king did 
assume the crown, the fountain was cleared, and all attainders 
and corruption of blood discharged." But nevertheless, for 
honour's sake, it was ordained by parliament, that all records, 
wherein there was any memory or mention of the king's 
attainder, should be defaced, cancelled, and taken off the file. 

But on the part of the king's enemies there were by par- 
liament attainted, the late duke of Gloucester, calling himself 
Richard the Third ; the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Surrey, 
Viscount Lovel, the Lord Ferrers, the Lord Zouch, Richard 
Ratclifle, William Catesby, and many others of degree and 
quality. In which bills of attainder, nevertheless, there 
were contained many just and temperate clauses, savings. 



HENKY THE SEVENTH. 317 

and provisoes, well showing and fore-tokening the wisdom, 
stay, and moderation of the king's spirit of government. 
And for the pardon of the rest, that had stood against the 
king, the king, upon a second advice, thought it not fit it 
should pass by parliament, the better, being matter of gracje, 
to impropriate the thanks to himself ; using only the oppor- 
tunity of a parliament time, the better to disperse it into 
the veins of the kingdom. Therefore during the parliament 
he published hi> royal proclamation, offering pardon and 
grace of restitution to all such as bad taken arms, or been 
participant of any attempts against him ; so as they sub- 
mitted themselves to his mercy by a day. and took the oath 
of allegiance and fidelity to him. Whereupon many came 
out of sanctuary, and many more came out of fear, 00 less 
guilty than those that had taken sanctuary. 

As for money or treasure, the king thought it not season- 
able or fit to demand any of his subjects at this parliament; 
both because he had received satisfaction from them in 
matters of so great importance, and because he could not 
remunerate them with any general pardon, being prevented 
therein by the coronation pardon passed immediately before; 
but chiefly, for that it was in every man's eye. what great 
forfeitures and confiscations he had at that present to help 
himself; whereby those casualties of the crown might in 
reason spare the purses of the subject ; especially in a time 
when he was in peace with all his neighbours. Some few 
laws passed at that parliament, almost for form sake : amongst 
which there was one, to reduce aliens, being made denizens, 
to pay strangers' customs ; and another, to draw to himanlf 
the seizures and compositions of Italians' goods, for not 
employment ; being points of profit to his coffers, whereof 
from the very beginning he was not forgetful, and had been 
more happy at the latter end. if his early providence, which 
kept him from all necessity of exacting upon bis people, 
could likewise have attempered his nature therein. He 
added, during parliament, to his former creations, the enno- 
blement or advancement in nobility of a few others : the 
Lord Chandos of I'ritain was made earl of Hath ; Sir Giles 
Daubeney was made Lord Daubeney; and Sir Robert 
Willoughby, Lord Brook 

The king did also, with great nobleness and bounty, which 



318 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

virtues at that time had their turns in his nature, restore 
Edward Stafford, eldest son to Henry, duke of Buckingham, 
attainted in the time of King Richard, not only to his dig- 
nities, but to his fortunes and possessions, which were great : 
to which he was moved also by a kind of gratitude, for that 
tlie duke was the man that moved the first stone against the 
tyranny of King Richard, and indeed made the king a bridge 
to the crown upon his own nuns. Thus the parliament 
broke up. 

The parliament being dissolved, the king sent forth with 
money to redeem the Marquis Dorset, and Sir John Bour- 
chier; whom he had left as his pledges at Paris, for money 
which he had borrowed, when he made his expedition for 
England. And thereupon he took a fit occasion to send the 
lord treasurer and master Bray, whom he used as counsellor, 
to the lord mayor of London, requiring of the city a prest of 
six thousand marks ; but after many parleys, he could obtain 
but two thousand pounds ; which nevertheless the king took 
in good part, as men use to do, that practise to borrow 
money when they have no need. About this time the king 
called unto his privy-council John Morton and Richard Fox, 
the one bishop of Ely, the other bishop of Exeter ; vigilant 
men, and secret, and such as kept watch with him almost 
upon all men else. They had been both versed in his affairs, 
before he came to the crown, and were partakers of his 
adverse fortune. This Morton soon after, upon the death of 
Bourchier, he made archbishop of Canterbury. And for 
Fox, he made him lord keeper of his privy-seal, and after- 
wards advanced him by degrees, from Exeter to Bath and 
Wells, thence to Durham, and last to Winchester. For 
although the king loved to employ and advance bishops, 
because having rich bishoprics, they carried their reward 
upon themselves ; yet he did use to raise them by steps, that 
he might not lose the profit of the first fruits, which by that 
course of gradation was multiplied. 

At last, upon the eighteenth of January, was solemnized 
the so long expected and so much desired marriage, between 
the king and the Lady Elizabeth ; which day of marriage was 
celebrated with greater triumph and demonstrations, espe- 
cially on the people's part, of joy and gladness, than the days 
either of his entry or coronation; which the king rather 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 319 

noted than liked. And it is true, that all hi.-^ lifetime, while 
the Lady Elizabeth lived with him, for she died before him. 
he showed himself no very indulgent husband toward- her, 
though she wafl 1 >. ;mt iful. gentle, and fruitful. But his 
aversion towards the house of York was so predominant in 
him, aa it band place not only in his wars and councils, hut 
in his chamber and bed. 

Towards the middle of the spring, the king, full of confi- 
dence and as.surance, as a prince thai had been victorious in 
battle, and had prevailed with his parliament in all thai he 
desired, and had the ring of acclamations fresh in his ears, 
thought the rest of his reign should be but play, and the 
enjoying of a kingdom : yet, as a wise and watchful king, he 
would not neglect anything for his safety : thinking never- 
theless to perform all things now, rather as an exercise than 
as a labour. So he being truly informed that the northern 
parts were not only affectionate to the house of York, but 
particularly had been devoted to King Richard the Third, 
thought it would be a summer well spent to visit those parts, 
and by bis presence and application of himself to reclaim and 
rectify those humours. But the king, in his account of peace 
and calms, did much overcast Ins fortunes, which proved for 
many years together full of broken seas, tides, and tempests. 
For he was no sooner come to Lincoln, where he kept his 
Easter, but he received news, that the Lord hovel. Humphrey 
Stafford, and Thomas Stafford, who had formerly taken 
sanctuary at Colchester, were departed out of sanctuary, but 
to what place no man coidd tell : which advertisement the 
king despised, and continued his journey to York. At Sorb 
there came fresh and more certain advertisement, that the 
Lord Lovel was at hand with a great power of men, and that 
the Stafford* were in arms in Worcestershire, and had made 
their approaches to the city of \\'..i. . -t. t. to a-sail it. The 

kiii i^. as a prince of great and profound judgment) was not 

much moved with it; for thit be thought it was but a rag 

or remnant of Bosworth-field, and had nothing in it <>f the 
main p.-nty of the house of York. But he was more doubtful 
of the raising of Euro I • i ist the rebel-,, than of the re- 
sistance itselfj for that he was in a core of people, whoBB 

affections be suspected Bui the action enduring qo delay, 
he did speedily levy and send against the Lord Lovel, to the 



320 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

number of three thousand men, ill armed, but well assured, 
being taken some few out of his own train, and the rest out of 
the tenants and followers of such as were safe to be trusted, 
under the conduct of the duke of Bedford. And as his man- 
ner was to send his pardons rather before the sword than 
after, he gave commission to the duke to proclaim pardon to 
all that would come in : which the duke, upon his approach 
to the Lord Lovel's cam}), did perform. And it fell out as 
the king expected ; the heralds were the great ordnance. 
For the Lord Lovel, upon proclamation of pardon, mistrusting 
his men, fled into Lancashire, and lurking for a time with 
Sir Thomas Broughton, after sailed over into Flanders to the 
Lady Margaret. And his men, forsaken of their captain, did 
presently submit themselves to the duke. The StafFords like- 
wise, and their forces, hearing what had happened to the Lord 
Lovel, in whose success their chief trust was, despaired and 
dispersed. The two brothers taking sanctuary at Oolnham, 
a village near Abingdon ; which place, upon view of their 
privilege in the King's Bench, being judged no sufficient 
sanctuary for traitors, Humphrey was executed at Tyburn ; 
and Thomas, as being led by his elder brother, was par- 
doned. So this rebellion proved but a blast, and the king 
having by this journey purged a little the dregs and leaven 
of the northern people, that were before in no good affection 
towards him, returned to London. 

In September following, the queen was delivered of her 
first son, whom the king, in honour of the British race, of 
which himself was, named Arthur, according to the name of 
that ancient worthy king of the Britons, in whose acts there 
is truth enough to make him famous, besides that winch is 
fabulous. The child was strong and able, though he was 
bora in the eighth month, which the physicians do prejudge. 

There followed this year, being the second of the king's 
reign, a strange accident of state, whereof the relations which 
we have are so naked, as they leave it scarce credible ; not 
for the nature of it, for it hath fallen out often, but for the 
manner and circumstance of it, especially in the beginnings. 
Therefore we shall make our judgment upon the things 
themselves, as they give light one to another, and, as we 
can, dig truth out of the mine. The king was green in his 
estate ; and, contrary to his own opinion and desert both,. 



HENRY Till: BEVgSTH . 321 

was not without much hatred throughout the realm. The 
root of all w;is the discountenancing <>t' the house of York, 
which the general body of the realm still affected This did 
alienate the hearts of the subjects from him daily mure and 
more, especially when they Baw, that, after bis marriagi 
after a sou born, the king did nevertheless not bo much as 
proceed t<» the coronation of tin- queen, no! vouchsafing her 
the honour of a matrimonial crown ; for the corouation of 
her was not till almost two j . when danger had 

taught him what to do. But much more when it was spread 
abroad, whether by error, or the cunning of malecontents, 
that the king had a purpose to put to death Edward Plan- 
tagenet closely in the Tower : whose ease was so nearly 
paralleled with that of Edward the Fourth's children, in 
respect of the blood, like age, and the very place of the 
Tower, as it did refresh and reflect upon the king a mi st 
odious resemblance, as if he would be another Cing Richard. 
And all this time it was still whispered everywhere, tliat at 
least one of the children of Edward the Fourth was living : 
which bruit was cunningly fomented by such as d< 
innovation. Neither was the king's nature and customs 
greatly fit to disperse these mists, but contrariwise, he had 
a fashion rather to create doubts than assurance. Thus was 
fuel prepared for the spark : the spark, that afterwards 
kindled such a fire and combustion, was at the iir- 

temptible. 

There was a subtile priest called Richard Simon, 1 that 
lived in Oxford, and had to his pupil a baker's son. named 
Lambert Simnell, of the age of some fifteen year-, a comely 
youth, and well favoured, not without some extraordinary 
dignity and grace of aspect. It came into this priest's fancy, 
b.i iring what men talked, and in bop himself to 

3ome great bishopric, to cause this lad to counterfeit and 
■oud son of Edward the Fourth, supposed to 
be murdered ; and afterward, for he changed his intention 
in the manage, the Lord Edward Plantagenet, then prisoner 
in the Tower j and accordingly to frame him and in 

- 1 The priest's name was William Simonds, and the youth was 

of an organ maker in Oxford, ■ 

whole convocation i vat Lambeth, em. 17 ioReg. 

Morton, £34. ME - 

V 



322 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

him in the part he was to play. This is that which, as 
touched before, seeineth scarcely credible; not that a false 
person should be assumed to gain a kingdom, for it hath 
been seen in ancient and late times ; nor that it should come 
into the mind of such an abject fellow, to enterprise so great 
a matter ; for high conceits do sometimes come streaming 
into the imaginations of base persons, especially when they 
are drunk with news and talk of the people. But here is 
that which hath no appearance : That this priest, being 
utterly unacquainted with the true person, according to 
whose pattern he should shape his counterfeit, should think 
it possible for him to instruct his player, either in gesture 
and fashions; or in recounting past matters of his life and 
education ; or in fit answers to questions, or the like; any 
ways to come near the resemblance of him whom he was to 
represent. For this lad was not to personate one, that had 
been long before taken out of his cradle, or conveyed away 
in his infancy, known to few ; but a youth, that till the age 
almost of ten years had been brought up in a court where 
infinite eyes had been upon him. For Bang Edward, touched 
with remorse of his brother the duke of Clarence's death, 
would not indeed restore his son, of whom we speak, to be 
duke of Clarence, but yet created him earl of "Warwick, re- 
viving his honour on the mother's side ; and used him 
honourably during his time, though Richard the Third after- 
wards confined him. So that it cannot be, but that some 
great person that knew particularly and familiarly Bernard 
Plantagenet, had a hand in the business, from whom, the 
priest might take his aim. That which is most probable, 
out of the precedent and subsequent acts, is, that it was the 
queen dowager, from whom this action had the principal 
source and motion. For certain it is, she was a busy nego- 
tiating woman, and in her withdrawing-chamber had the 
fortunate conspiracy for the king against King Richard the 
Third been hatched : which the king knew, and remembered 
perhaps but too well ; and was at this time extremely dis- 
content with the king, thinking her daughter, as the king 
handled the matter, not advanced but depressed : and none 
could hold the book so well to prompt and instruct this 
stage -play as she could. Nevertheless, it was not her mean- 
ing, nor no more was it the meaning of any of the better 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 323 

and sager sort that favoured this enterprise, and knew the 
secret, that bins disguised idol should | o ten the crown : l)iit 
at his peril to make way bo the overthrow of the long I 
that done, they had their several hopes and ways. Thai 
which doth chiefly fortify this conjecture is, that as soon as 
the matter brake forth in any strength, it was one of the 
king's first acts to cloister the queen dowager in the nunnery 
of Bermondsey, and to take away all her lands and i 
and this hy a close council, without any Legal proceeding, 
upon far-fetched pretences that she had delivered bee two 
daughters out of sanctuary to Sing Richard, contrary to 
promise. Which proceeding being even at that I J 

for rigorous and undue, both in matter and manner, makes 
it very probable there was same greater matter against hex; 
which the king, upon reason of policy, and to avoid envy, 
would not publish. It is likewise no small argument that 
there was some secret in it, and some suppressing of exami- 
nations, for that the priest Simon himself, alter he was 
taken, was never brought to execution ; no, uot so much as 
to public trial, as many clergymen were upon less treasons. 
but was only shut up close in a dungeon. Add to this, that 
after the earl of Lincoln, a principal person of tho house of 
York, was slain in Stoke-field. the king opened himself to 
some of his council that he was sorry for the earl's death, 
because by him, he said, he might have known the bottom 
of Ins danger. 

But to return to the narration itself: Simon did firs! 
instruct his scholar for the part of Richard, duke of York 
second son to King Edward the Fourth ; and this was at 
such a time as it was voiced that the king purposed to put 
to death Edward Plantagenet, prisoner in theTower, where- 
at there was great murmur. But bearing soon after a ■_■ 
bruit that Plantagenei had escaped oat of the Tower, and 

thereby finding him so much beloved amongst the people, 
and such rejoicing at his escape, the cunning priest changed 

his copy, and chose now Plantagenet to be the subject bis 
pupil should pel- onaie, because he was more in the uioouul 

speech ami TOtCS of ihe people j ami it pieced Letter, and 

followed more close and handsomely upon the broil of Plane 
tagenet's escape. But yet doubting that- there would he too 
near looking, and too much perspective into his di-mi-e, if 

v 2 



324 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

he should show it here in England; he thought good, after 
the manner of scenes in stage-plays and masks, to show it 
afar off; and therefore sailed with Ins scholar into Ireland, 
where the affection to the house of York was most in height. 
The king had been a little improvident in the matters of 
Ireland, and had not removed officers and counsellors, and 
put in their places, or at least intermingled, persons of whom 
he stood assured, as he should have done, since he knew the 
strong bent of that coiintry towards the house of York ; 
and that it was a ticklish and unsettled state, more easy to 
receive distempers and mutations than England was. But 
trusting to the reputation of his victories and successes in 
England, he thought he should have time enough to extend 
his cares afterwards to that second kingdom. 

Wherefore through this neglect, upon the coming of Simon 
with his pretended Plantagenet into Ireland, all things were 
prepared for revolt and sedition, almost as if they had been 
set and plotted beforehand. Simon's first address was to the 
Lord Thomas Fitzgerard, earl of Kildare, and deputy of Ire- 
land, before whose eyes he did cast such a mist, by his own 
insinuation, and by the carriage of his youth, that expressed 
a natural princely behaviour, as joined perhaps with some 
inward vapours of ambition and affection in the earl's own 
mind, left him fully possessed that it was the time Planta- 
genet. The earl presently communicated the matter with 
some of the nobles and others there, at the first secretly ; but 
finding them of like affection to himself, he suffered it of 
purpose to vent and pass abroad, because they thought it not 
safe to resolve till they had a taste of the people's inclination. 
But if the great ones were in forwardness, the people were 
in fury, entertaining this airy body or phantasm with incre- 
dible affection, partly out of their great devotion to the 
house of York, partly out of a proud humour in the nation, 
to give a king to the realm of England. Neither did the 
party, in this heat of affection, much trouble themselves with 
the attainder of George, duke of Clarence, having newly 
learned, by the king's example, that attainders do not inter- 
rupt the conveying of title to the crown. And as for the 
daughters of King Edward the Fourth, they thought Bang 
Richard had said enough for them, and took them to be but 
as of the king's party, because they were in his power and at 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 325 

his disposing. So that with marvellous consent and applause 
this counterfeit Plantagenet was 1 trough t with great solem- 
nity to the castle of DuVtlin, and there saluted, served, and 
honoured as king ; the buy becoming it well, and doing 
nothing that did betray the baseness of bis condition. And 
within a few days after he was proclaimed king in Dublin, 
by the name of King Edward the Sixth, there being not a 
sword drawn in King Henry's quarrel. 

The king was much moved with this unexpected accident 
when it came to his ears, both because it struck upon that 
string which ever he most feared, as also because it was 
stirred in such a place where he could not with safety 
transfer his own person to suppress it. For partly through 
natural valour, and partly through an universal suspicion, 
not knowing whom to trust, he was ever ready to wait upon 
all Itis achievements in person. The king, therefore, first 
called his council together at the charter-house at Shine ; 
which council was held with great secrecy, but the open 
decrees thereof, which presently came abroad, were three. 

The first was, that the queen dowager, for that she, con- 
trary to her pact and agreement with those that had con- 
cluded with her concerning the marriage of her daughter 
Elizabeth with King Henry, had nevertheless delivered her 
daughters out of sanctuary into King Richard's hands, should 
be cloistered in the nunnery of Bennondsey, and forfeit all 
her lands and goods. 

The next was, that Edward Plantagenet. then c4,,s<' pri- 
soner in the Tower, should be, in the most public and noto- 
rious manner that could be devised, showed unto the people; 
in part to discharge the king of the envj of thai opinion and 
bruit, how he had been put to death privily in the Tower, 
but chiefly to make the people see the Levity and imposture 
of the proceedings of Ireland, and thai their Plantagenel 
was indeed but a puppel or a counterfeit. 

The third was. that there should be again proclaimed a 
general pardon to all that would reveal their offences, and 
submit themselves by a day. And thai this pardon should 
be conceived in so ample and liberal a manner, as m> high- 
treason, no not against the king's own person, should be 
excepted. Which though it might seem strange, yet was it 
not so to a wise king, that knew his greatest dangers wire 



326 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

not from the least treasons, but from the greatest. These 
i ions of the king and his council were immediately put 
in execution. And first, the queen dowager was put into 
the monastery of Bermondsey, and all her estates seized into 
the king's hands; whereat there was much wondering, that 
a weak woman, for the yielding to the menaces and promises 
of a tyrant, after such a distance of time, wherein the king 
had showed no displeasure nor alteration, but much more 
after so happy a marriage between the king and her daughter, 
blessed with issue male, should, upon a sudden mutability or 
disclosure of the king's mind, be so severely handled. 

This lady was amongst the examples of great variety of 
fortune. She had first, from a distressed suitor and desolate 
widow, been taken to the marriage bed of a bachelor king, 
the goodliest personage of his time ; and even in his reign 
she had endured a strange eclipse by the king's flight, and 
temporary depriving from the crown. She was also veiy 
happy in that she had by him fair issue, and continued his 
nuptial love, helping herself by some obsequious bearing and 
dissembling of his pleasures to the very end. She was much 
affectionate to her own kindred, even unto faction, which 
did stir great envy in the lords of the king's side, who 
counted her blood a disparagement to be mingled with the 
king's. With which lords of the king's blood joined also the 
king's favourite, the Lord Hastings, who, notwithstanding 
the king's great affection to him, was thought at times, 
through her niabce and spleen, not to be out of danger of 
falling. After her husband's death she was matter of tra- 
gedy, having lived to see her brother beheaded, and her two 
sons deposed froni the crown, bastarded in their blood, and 
cruelly murdered. All this while, nevertheless, she enjoyed 
her liberty, state, and fortunes ; but afterwards again, upon 
the rise of the wheel, when she had a king to her son-in-law, 
and was made grandmother to a grandchild of the best sex ; 
yet was she, upon dark and unknown reasons, and no less 
strange pretences, precipitated and banished the world into 
a nunneiy, where it was almost thought dangerous to visit 
her or see her, and where not long after she ended her life, 
but was by the king's commandment buried with the king, 
her husband at Windsor. She was foundress of Queen's Col- 
lege in Cambridge. For this act the kins sustained great 



HEHEY THE SEVENTH. 327 

obloquy, which nevertheless, besides the reason of state, was 
somewhat sweetened to him by a great confiscation. 

About this time also, Kdward L'lantagenet was upon a 
Sunday brought throughout all the principal streets '^'Lon- 
don, to be seen of the people, Ami having passed the view 
of the streets, was conducted to Paul's ahurah in Botemn pro- 
cession, where great store of people were iiMHtimhkd And 
it was provided also in ^n<u[ fashion, thai 'livers of the nobi- 
lity, ami othets of quality, especially <>f those thai the king 
suspected, and knew the person <>t' Plantagenet best, 
had communication with the young gentleman by the way, 
and entertained him with speech and discourse, which did in 
effect mar the pageant hi Ireland with the subjects here, at 
least with to many as out of error, and not out ofn 
might be misled. Nevertheless, in Ireland, whin- ii v. 
late to go hack, it wrought little or no effect. But contrari- 
wise, they turned the imposture upon the king, and gave 
out that the king, to defeat the true inheritor, and to mock 
the world, and blind tin- eyes ad ample men, had tricked up 
a boy in the likeness of Edward Pkvntagenet, and showed 
him to the people, and not sparing in profane the ceremony 
of a procession the more to countenance the fable. 

The general pardon likewise Dear the same time came 
forth, and the king therewithal omitted no diligence in 
gft ing strait order for the keeping of the ports, that fugitives, 
malecontents, or suspected persons, might not pass over into 
[reland and Flanders. 

Meanwhile the rebels in [reland had sent privy lin- 
gers both into England and into Flanders, who in both 
places had wrought effects of no small importance For in 
England they won bo their party John, earl of Lincoln, sun 
of John de Is Pole, duke of Suffolk, and of Bhaabeth, King 
Kdward the Fourth's elded Bister. This earl was ;i men of 
greal wit and courage, and had his thoughts highly rak d by 
bopes and expectations Cor a time; for Richard the Third 
had a resolution, out of his hatred to both his brethren, 
Edward and the <luk<- of Clarence, and their lines. 

bad hi bond in both their bl b, to disable their 

upon false and incompetent pa 
attainder, the other of iUegitimationj and to design this 

I without ohildn 



328 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

inheritor of the crown. Neither was this unknown to the 
king, who had secretly an eye upon him. But the king, 
having tasted the envy of the people for his imprisonment 
of Edward Plantagenet, was doubtful to heap up any more 
distastes of that kind, by the imprisonment of De la Pole 
also ; the rather thinking it policy to conserve him as a co- 
rival unto the other. The earl of Lincoln was induced to 
participate with the action of Ireland, not lightly upon the 
strength of the proceedings there, which was but a bubble, 
but upon letters from the Lady Margaret of Burgundy, in 
whose succours and declaration for the enterprise there 
seemed to be a moi'e solid foundation, both for reputation 
and forces. Neither did the earl refrain the business, for 
that he knew the pretended Plantagenet to be but an idol. 
But contrariwise, he was more glad it should be the false 
Plantagenet than the true, because the false being sure to 
fall away of himself, and the time to be made sure by the 
king, it might open and pave a fair and prepared way to his 
own title. With this l-esolution he sailed secretly into Flan- 
ders, where was a little before arrived the Lord Lovel, 
leaving a correspondence here in England with Sir Thomas 
Broughton, a man of great power and dependencies in Lan- 
cashire. For before this time, when the pretended Planta- 
genet was first received in Ireland, secret messengers had 
been also sent to the Lady Margaret, advertising her what 
was passed in Ireland, imploring succours in an enterprise, 
as they said, so pious and just, that God had so miraculously 
prospered the beginning thereof, and making offer that all 
things should be guided by her will and direction, as the 
sovereign patroness and protectoress of the enterprise. Mar- 
garet was second sister to King Edward the Fourth, and had 
been second wife to Charles, surnamed the Hardy, duke of 
Burgundy, by whom having no children of her own, she did 
with singular care and tenderness intend the education of 
Philip and Margaret, grandchildren to her former husband, 
which won her great love and authority among the Dutch. 
This princess, having the spirit of a man and malice of a 
woman, abounding in treasure by the greatness of her dower 
and her provident government, and being childless and with- 
out any nearer care, made it her design and enterprise to see 
the majesty royal of England once again replaced in her 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 329 

house, and had set up King Hi my Bfi a mark, at whose over- 
throw all her actions .-In mid aim and shoot ; insomuch as all 
the counsels of bis succeeding troubles came chiefly out of 
that quiver. And she bare such a mortal hatred to the 
house of Lancaster, and personally to the bring, as she was 
no ways mollified by the conjunction of the houses in her 
niece's marriage, but rather hated ber niece, as the moans of 
the king's ascent to the crown and assurance I herein. Where- 
fore with great violence of affection she embraced this over- 
ture. And upon counsel taken with the earl of Lincoln, 
and the Lord Lovel, and some other of the party, it was 
resolved with all speed, that the two lords, assisted with a 
regiment of two thousand Almains, being choice and veteran 
bands, under the command of Martin Swart, a valiant and 
experimented captain, should pass over into Ireland to th>' 
new king, hoping that when the action should have the lace 
of a received and settled regality, with such a second person 
as the earl of Lincoln, and the conjunction and reputation of 
foreign succours, the fame of it would embolden and prepare 
all the party of the confederates and malecontents within 
the realm of England to give them assistance w hen they 
should come over there. And for the person of the counter- 
feit, it was agreed that if all things succeeded well he should 
he put down, and the true Plantagenet received, wherein. 
nevertheless, the earl of Lincoln had his particular hopes. 
After they were come into Ireland, and that the party took 
courage, by seeing themselves together in a body, they grew 
veiy confident of success, conceiving and discoursing amongsl 
themselves, that they went in upon far better cards to over- 
throw King Henry, than King Henry had to overthrow 
King Richard, and that if there were noi a sword drawn 

against them in Inland, it was a sigD the sWords in England 
would be soon sheathed or beaten down. And first, for a 
bravery upon this accession of power, they crowned their 
new king in the cathedral church of Dublin, who formerly 

had been but proclaimed only: and then sat in council what 
should farther be done. At which council, though it were 

propounded by some, t hat it were the besi way to establish 
themselves first in Ireland, and to make ih.it the Beat of the 

war. and to draw King Henry thither in person, by whose 
absence they thought there would be great alterations and 



330 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

< •uiinnotions in England; yet because the kingdom there was 
poor, and they should not be able to keep their army to- 
gether, nor pay their German soldiers, and for that also the 
sway of the Irishmen, and generally of the men of war, 
which, as in such cases of popular tumults is usual, did in 
effect govern their leaders, was eager, and in affection to 
make their fortunes upon England, it was concluded with all 
possible speed to transport their forces into England. The 
king, in the mean time, who at the first when he heard what 
was done in Ireland, though it troubled him, yet thought he 
should be well enough able to scatter the Irish as a flight of 
birds, and rattle away this swarm of bees with their king; 
when he heard afterwards that the earl of Lincoln was em- 
barked in the action, and that the Lady Margaret was 
declared for it, he apprehended the danger in a true degree 
as it was, and saw plainly that his kingdom must again be 
put to the stake, and that he must fight for it. And first 
he did conceive, before he understood of the earl of Lincoln's 
sailing into Ireland out of Flanders, that he should be as- 
sailed both upon the east parts of the kingdom of England, 
by some impression from Flanders, and upon the north-west 
out of Ireland. And, therefore, having ordered musters to 
be made in both parts, and having provisionally designed 
two generals, Jasper, earl of Bedford, and John, earl of Ox- 
ford, meaning himself also to go in person where the affairs 
should most require it, and nevertheless not expecting any 
actual invasion at that time, the winter being far on, he took 
his journey himself towards Suffolk and Norfolk, for the 
confirming of those parts. And being come to St. Edmond's- 
Bury, he understood that Thomas, Marquis Dorset, who had 
been one of the pledges in France, was hasting towards him, 
to purge himself of some accusations which had been made 
against him. But the king, though he kept an ear for him, 
yet was the time so doubtful, that he sent the earl of Oxford 
to meet him, and forthwith to cany him to the Tower, with 
a fail' message, nevertheless, that he should bear that disgrace 
with patience, for that the king meant not his hurt, but only 
to preserve him from doing hurt either to the king's service 
or to himself, and that the king should always be able, when 
he had cleared himself, to make him reparation. 

From St. Edniond's-Bury he went to Norwich, where he 



EBBTBX THE SEVENTH. 331 

kept his Christinas. And from thence he went, in a manner 
of pilgrimage, bo Walsingham, where he visited Oui Lady's 
church famous for miracle-., and made hie prayers and rows 
for help and deliveranoe. And from thence he returned by 
Cambridge to London. Not long after, the rebels, with 
their king, under the leading of the ear] of Lincoln, the earl 
of Kildare, the Lord Lovel, and Colonel Swart, landed at 
Fouldrey in Lancashire ; whither there repaired to them Sir 
Thomas Broughton, with some small company of English. 
The king, by that time, knowing now the storm would not 
divide, but fall in one place, had levied forces in good num- 
ber; and in person, taking with him bis two designed 
generals, the duke of Bedford and the carl of Oxford, was 
come on his way towards them as far as Coventry, whence 
he sent forth a troop of light horsemen for discovery, and to 
intercept some stragglers of the enemies, by whom be might 
the better understand the particulars of their progress and 
purposes, which was accordingly done ; though the king 
otherwise was not without intelligence from espials in the 
camp. 

The rebels took their way toward York, without spoiling 
the country, or any act of hostility, the better to put them- 
selves into favour of the people, and to personate their king ; 
who, no doubt, out of a princely feeling, was sparing and 
compassionate towards his subjects: bu1 their snow-ball did 
not gather as it went. For the people came not in to them : 
neither did any rise or declare themselves in other p 
the kingdom for them; which was caused partly by the 
good taste that the king had given bis people of bis govern- 
ment, joined with the reputation of bis felicity ; and partly 
for that it was an odious thing to the people of England, bo 
have a king broughl in to them upon the shoulders of [rial 
ind I 'lit eh, of which their army was in substance compounded. 
Neither was it a thing done with any great judgmenl on 

the party of the rebels, for them to take their way towards 

STork : considering that howsoever those parts had formerly 
been a nursery of their friend- ; yel it was there, where the 
Lord Love! had so lately disbanded, and when- the king's 
presence bad a little before qualified discontents. The earl 
of Lincoln, deceived of hi of the countrj 

unto him, iu which case i" would have temporised ; and 



332 HENRY THE BEVEN1 

seeing the business past retract, resolved to make on where 
the king was, and to give him battle ; and thereupon 
marched towards Newark, thinking to have surprised the 
town. But the king was somewhat before this time come 
to Nottingham, where he called a council of war, at which 
was consulted whether it were best to protract time, or 
speedily to set upon the rebels. In which council the king 
himself, whose continual vigilancy did suck in sometimes 
causeless suspicions, which few else knew, inclined to the 
accelerating a battle ; but this was presently put out of 
doubt, by the great aids that came in to him in the instant 
of this consultation, partly upon missives, and partly volun- 
taries, from many parts of the kingdom. 

The principal persons that came then to the kings aid, 
were the earl of Shrewsbury, and the Lord Strange, of the 
nobility ; and of knights and gentlemen, to the number of 
at least threescore and ten persons, with their companies, 
making in the Avhole, at the least, six thousand fighting men, 
besides the forces that were with the king before. Where- 
upon the king, finding his army so bravely reinforced, and a 
great alacrity in all his men to fight, was confirmed in his 
former resolution, and marched speedily, so as he put him- 
self between the enemies' camp and Newark ; being loth 
their army should get the commodity of that town. The 
earl, nothing dismayed, came forwards that day unto a little 
village called Stoke, and there encamped that night, upon 
the brow or hanging of a hill. The king the next day pre- 
sented him battle upon the plain, the fields thei'e being open 
and champain. The earl courageously came down and joined 
battle with him. Concerning which battle the relations that 
are left unto us are so naked and negligent, though it be an 
action of so recent memory, as they rather declare the suc- 
cess of the day, than the manner of the fight. They say, 
that the king divided his army into three battails ; whereof 
the vant-guard only, well strengthened with wings, came to 
fight : that the fight was fierce and obstinate, and lasted 
three hours, before the victory inclined either way ; save 
that judgment might be made by that, the king's vant-guard 
of itself maintained fight against the whole power of the 
enemies, the other two battails remained out of action, what 
the success was bike to be in the end : that Martin Swart 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 333 

with bis Germans performed bravely, and bo did those few 
English that were on that side; neither <lii| the Irish fail 
in courage or fierceness ; but being almost naked men, only 
armed with darts and skeins, it was rather an execution than 
a fight upon them; insomuch as the furious slaughter of 
them was a great discouragement and appalment to the rest : 
that there died upon the place all the chieftains ; that is, 
bhe earl of Lincoln, the earl of EQldare, Francis Lord Lovel, 
Martin Swart, and Sir Thomas Broughton ; all making good 
the fight, without any ground given. < >nly of the Lord Lovel 
a report, that he tied, and swam over Trent on 
horseback, but could not recover the farther side, by reason 
of the steepness of the bank, and so was drowned in the 
river. But another report leaves him not there, but that 
he lived long after in a cave or vault. The number that 
was slain in the field was of the enemies' part, four thousand 
at the least ; and of the king's part, one half of his vant- 
guard, besides many hurt, but none of name. There were 
taken prisoners, amongst others, the counterfeit Plantagenet, 
now Lambert Simncll again, and the crafty priest his tutor. 
For Lambert, the king would not take his life, both out of 
magnanimity, taking him but as an image of wax, that 
others had tempered and molded ; and likewise out of wis- 
dom, thinking that if he suffered death, he would be for- 
gotten too soon ; but being kept alive, he would be a con- 
tinual spectacle, and a kind of remedy against the like 
enchantments of people in time to come. For which cause 
he was taken into service in his court to a base office in his 
kitchen; so that, in a kind of mattacma of human fortune, 
he burned a broach, that had worn a crown ; whereas fortune 
commonly doth not bring in a comedy or farce after a 

tragedy. And afterwards lie was preferred to be one of the 

king's fab-oners. As to the priest, he was committed close 
prisoner, and heard of no more; the king loving to seal up 
his own dangers. 

After the battle the king wen! to Lincoln, where he 
cau ed supplications and thanksgivings to be made for his 
deliverance and victory. And thai hi- devotions might go 
round in circle, he sent his banner to be offered to our Ladj 
of Walsingham, where before he made his vows. And thus 
delivered of I hi o brange an engine, and new invention of 



334 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

fortune, he returned to his former confidence of mind ; 
thinking now, that all his misfortunes had come at once. 
(lut it, fell out unto him according to the speech of the com- 
mon people in the beginning of his reign, that said, It was 
a token he should reign in labour, because his reign began 
with a sickness of sweat. But howsoever the king thought 
himself now in a haven, yet such was his wisdom, as his con- 
fidence did seldom darken his foresight, especially in things 
near hand. And therefore, awakened by so fresh and unex- 
pected dangers, he entered into due consideration, as well 
how to weed out the partakers of the former rebellion, as 
to kill the seeds of the like in time to come : and withal to 
take away all shelters and harbours for discontented persons, 
where they might hatch and foster rebellions, which after- 
wards might gather strength and motion. And first, he did 
yet again make a progress from Lincoln to the northern 
parts, though it were indeed rather an itinerary circuit of 
justice than a progress. For all along as he went, with, 
much severity and strict inquisition, partly by martial law, 
and partly by commission, were punished the adherents and 
aiders of the late rebels. Not all by death, for the field had 
drawn much blood, but by fines and ransoms, which spared 
life, and raised treasure. Amongst other crimes of this 
nature, there was diligent inquiry made of such as had raised 
and dispersed a bruit and rumour, a little before the field 
fought, " that the rebels had the day ; and that the king's 
army was overthrown, and the king fled." Whereby it 
was supposed that many succours, which otherwise would 
have come unto the king, were cunningly put off and 
kept back. Which charge and accusation, though it had 
some ground, yet it was industriously embraced and put on 
by divers, who having been in themselves not affected to 
the king's part, nor forward to come to his aid, were glad 
to apprehend this colour to cover their neglect and cold- 
ness, under the pretence of such discouragements. Which 
cunning nevertheless the king would not understand, though 
he lodged it, and noted it in some particulars, as his manner 
was. 

But for the extirpating of the roots and causes of the like 
commotions in time to come, the king began to find where 
his shoe did wring him, and that i, was his depressing 



HENRY THi: SEVENTH. 335 

the house of York that « I i« I rankle- and fester the affections 
of his people. Ami therefore being now too wise to dis- 
dain perils any Longer, and willing to give some oontent- 
ment in that kind, at least in ceremony, he resolved at last 
in proceed to the coronation of his queen. And, therefore, 
at his coming to London, where he entered and in 

a hind of triumph, ami celebrated his victory with two days 
of devotion (for the first day he repaired to Paul's and had 
the hymn of " Te Deum" sung, and the Borrow after he 
went in procession, and heard the sermon at t li. • cross), the 
queen was with great solemnity crowned at Westminster, 
the five-and-twentieth of November, in the third year of 
his reign, which was about two years after the marriage : 
like an old christening, that had stayed Long for god-fathers. 
Which strange and unusual distance of time made it subject 
to every man's note, that it was an act against his stomach, 
and put upon him by necessity and reason of state 
after, to show that it was now fair weather again, and that 
the imprisonment of Thomas, Marquis Dorset, was rather 
upon suspicion of the time, than of the man. he. the said 
marquis, was .set at liberty, without examination or other 
circumstance. At that t hue also the king sent an ambassador 
unto Pope Innocent, signifying unto him this his marriage ; 
and that now, like another ^Eneas, he had passed through 
the floods of his former troubles and travels; and was arrived 
unto a safe haven: and thanking his Holiness that he 
had honoured the celebration of his marriage with the pre- 
sence of his ambassador : and offering both his | 
and the forces of his kingdom, upon all oeoasiona, to do him 
service; 

The ambassador making his oration to the pope, in the 
presence of the cardinals, did so inability the king and queen, 
as was enough t<> ghrl the hearers. Bui then he did again 

SO extol and deify the pope, U made all that he had -aid in 

praise of his master and mistress wen bemperate-and 
able. But he was very honourably entertained, and <x- 
tremely much made on by the pope: who knowing himself 
to be Lazy and unprofitable to the Christian world, was 
wonderfully glad to hear that there were such echoes of him 
s ou nd i ng in remote parts. He obtained also of the P°pa 
a very just and honourable bull, qualifying the privi'h ; 



33G HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

sanctuary wherewith the king had been extremely galled, in 
three points. 

The first, that if any sanctuary man did by night, or other- 
wise, get out of sanctuary privily, and commit mischief and 
trespass, and then come in again, he should lose the benefit 
of sanctuary for ever after. The second, that howsoever the 
person of the sanctuary man was protected from his creditors, 
yet his goods out of sanctuary should not. The third, that 
if any took sanctuary for case of treason, the king might 
appoint him keepers to look to him in sanctuary. 

The king also, for the better securing of his estate against 
mutinous and malecontented subjects, whereof he saw the 
realm was full, who might have their refuge into Scotland, 
which was not under key, as the ports were ; for that cause, 
rather than for any doubt of hostility from those parts, 
before his coming to London, when he was at Newcastle, had 
sent a solemn ambassage unto James the Third, king of 
Scotland, to treat and conclude a peace with him. The 
ambassadors were, Richard Fox, bishop of Exeter, and Sir 
Richard Edgcombe, comptroller of the king's house, who 
were honourably received and entertained there. But the 
king of Scotland labouring of the same disease that king 
Henry did, though more mortal, as afterwards appeared, that 
is, discontented subjects, apt to rise and raise tumult, 
although in his own affection he did much desire to make a 
peace with the king ; yet finding his nobles averse, and not 
daring to displease them, concluded only a truce for seven 
years ; giving nevertheless promise in private, that it should 
be renewed from time to time during the two kings' lives. 

Hitherto the kinsr had been exercised in settling; his affairs 
at home. But about this time brake forth an occasion that 
drew him to look abroad, and to hearken to foreign business. 
Charles the Eighth, the French king, by the virtue and good 
fortune of his two immediate predecessors, Charles the 
Seventh, his grandfather, and Lewis the Eleventh, his father, 
received the kingdom of France in more flourishing and 
spread estate than it had been of many years before : being 
redintegrate in those principal members, which anciently had 
been portions of the crown of France, and were afterward 
dissevered, so as they remained only in homage, and not in 
sovereignty, being governed by absolute princes of their own : 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 337 

Anjou, Normandy, Provence, and Burgundy. There re- 
mained only Britain to be reunited, and so the monarchy of 
France to be reduced to the ancient terms and bounds. 

King Charles was not a little inflamed with an ambition 
to re-purchase and re-annex that duchy ; which his ambition 
was a wise and well-weighed ambition ; not like unto the 
ambitions of his succeeding enterprises of Italy. For at that 
time, being newly come to the crown, he was somewhat 
guided by his father's counsels, counsels not counsellors, for 
bis father was his own council, and had few able men about 
him. And that king, he knew well, bad ever distasted the 
designs of Italy, and in particular bad an eve upon Llritain. 
There were many circumstances thai did feed tbe ambition 
of Charles with pregnant and apparent hopes of success : the 
duke of Britain old, and entered into a letbargy, and served 
with mercenary counsellors, father of two only daughters, 
the one sickly and not like to continue ; King Charles him- 
self in the flower of his age, and the subjects of France at 
that time well trained for war, both for leaders and Boldiers : 
men of service being not yet worn out since the wars of 
Lewis against Burgundy. He found himself also in peace 
with all his neighbour princes. As for those that might 
oppose to his enterprise, Maximilian, king of the Romans, 
his rival in the same desires (as well for the duchy, as the 
daughter), feeble in means ; and King Henry of England, as 
well somewhat obnoxious to him for his favours and benefits, 
as busied in bis particular troubles at home. There was also 
a fair and speeious occasion offered him to hide his ambition, 
and to justify bis waning upon Britain ; for that the duke 
had received and succoured Lewis duke of Orleans, and other 
of the French nobility, which bad taken arms against their 
king. Wherefore King Charles, being resolved upon that 
war, knew well he could not receive any opposition so potent, 
as if King Henry should, either upon policy of state, in pre- 
venting the growing greatness of France, or upon gratitude 
unto the duke of Britain for his former favours in the time 
of bis distress, espouse i li.it quarrel, and declare himself in 
aid of the duke. Therefore he n'> sooner heard thai King 

Ibnry was settled by bis victory, but forthwith he sent 

ambs adors unto him to pray his assistance, or at least that 
he would stand neutral. Wnich ambassadors found the king 

z 



338 HEN 

at Leicester, and delivered their ambassage to this effect : 
They first imparted unto the king the success that their 
master had had a little before against Maximilian, in recovery 
of certain towns from him : which was done in a kind of 
privacy, and inwardness towards the king ; as if the French 
king did not esteem him for an outward or formal con- 
federate, but as one that had part in his affections and 
fortunes, and with Avhom he took pleasure to communicate 
his business. After this compliment, and some gratidation 
for the king's victory, they fell to their errand ; declaring to 
the king, That their master was enforced to enter into a just 
and necessary war with the duke of Britain, for that he had 
received and succoured those that were traitors and declared 
enemies unto his person and state. That they were no mean, 
distressed, and calamitous persons that fled to him for refuge, 
but of so great quality, as it was apparent that they came 
not thither to protect their own fortune, but to infest and 
invade his ; the head of them being the duke of Orleans, 
the first prince of the blood, and the second person of France. 
That therefore, rightly to understand it, it was rather on 
their master's part a defensive war than an offensive ; as that 
that coidd not be omitted or forborne, if he tendered the 
conservation of his own estate ; and that it was not the first 
blow that made the war invasive, for that no wise prince 
would stay for, but the first provocation, or at least the first 
preparation ; nay, that this war was rather a suppression of 
rebels, than a war with a just enemy; where the case is, that 
his subjects, traitors, are received by the duke of Britain his 
homager. That King Henry knew well what went upon it 
in example, if neighbour princes should patronize and comfort 
rebels against the law of nations and of leagues. Never- 
theless, that their master was not ignorant, that the king had 
been beholden to the duke of Britain in his adversity; as on 
the other side, they knew he would not forget also the 
readiness of then king, in aiding him when the duke of 
Britain, or his mercenary counsellors, failed him, and would 
have betrayed him ; and that there was a great difference 
between the courtesies received from their master, and the 
duke of Britain : for that the duke might have ends of 
utility and bargain ; whereas their master could not have 
proceeded but out of entire affection ; for that, if it had been 



HENRY THE BEVEHTH. 

measured by a politic line, it had been better for his affairs, 
that a tyrant should have reigned in England, troubled and 
hated, than such a prince, whose virtues could not fail to 
make him great aud potent, whensoever he was come to be 

r of his affairs. But howsoever it stood fox tin- point 
of obligation which the king might owe to the duke of 
Britain, yet their master was well assured, it would not 
divert King Henry of England from doing that that was 

DOT ever embark him in BO ill-grounded a quarrel 
Therefore, since this war. which their master was now to 
make, was but to deliver himself from imminent dangers, 
their king hoped the king would show the like affection to 
the conservation of their mast . as their master had. 

when time was, showed to the king's acquisition of his 
kingdom. At the least, that according to the inclination 
which the king had ever professed of peace, lie would look 
on, and stand neutral ; for that their master could not with 
reason press him to undertake part in the war. b 
newly settled and recovered from intestine seditions. But 
touching the mystery of re-annexing of the duchy of Britain 
to the crown of France, either by war, or by marriage with 
the daughter of Britain, the ambassadors bare aloof from it 
as from a rock, knowing that it made most against them. 
And therefore by all moans declined any mention thereof, 
but contrariwise interlaced, in their conference with the king, 
the assured purpose of their master to match with the 
daughter of Maximilian ; and entertained the bang also with 
some wandering discourses of their kings purpose, to recover 
by arms his right to the kingdom of Naples, by an expedition 
in person; all to remove the king from all jealousy of any 
design in these hither parts upon Britain, otherwise than for 
quenching of the lire which lie feared might be kindled in 
his own estate. 

The king, alter advice taken with bis council, made answer, 
to the ambassadors : and first returned their compliment, 
showing he was right glad of the French king's reception of 

towns from .Maximilian. Then he familiarly related 
some particular | of his own adventures and victory 

I the business of Britain, the king answered in 

few words ; that the French king, and the duke of Britain, 
were the two persons to whom he WM most, obliged of all 

7. 'I 



340 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

men ; and that he should think himself very unhappy if 
things should go so between them, as he should not be able 
to acquit himself in gratitude towards them both ; and that 
there was no means for him as a Christian king, and a 
common friend to them, to satisfy all obligations both to God 
and man, but to offer himself for a mediator of an accord 
and peace between them ; by which course he doubted not 
but their king's estate, and honour both, would be preserved 
with more safety and less envy than by a war ; and that he 
would spare no costs or pains, no, if it were to go on 
pilgrimage, for so good an effect ; and concluded, that in this 
great affair, which he took so much to heart, he would ex- 
press himself more fully by an ambassage, which he would 
speedily despatch unto the French king for that purpose. 
And in this sort the French ambassadors were dismissed : 
the king avoiding to understand anything touching the re- 
annexing of Britain, as the ambassadors had avoided to 
mention it ; save that he gave a little touch of it in the word 
envy. And so it was, that the king was neither so shallow, 
nor so ill advertised, as not to perceive the intention of the 
French for the investing himself of Britain. But first, he 
was utterly unwilling, howsoever he gave out, to enter into 
war with France. A fame of a war he bked well, but not 
an achievement ; for the one he thought woidd make him 
richer, and the other poorer ; and he was possessed with 
many secret fears touching Ins own people, which he was 
therefore loth to arm, and put weapons into their hands. 
Yet notwithstanding, as a prudent and courageous prince, he 
was not so averse from a war, but that he was resolved to 
choose it, rather than to have Britain earned by France, 
being so great and opulent a duchy, and situate so opportunely 
to annoy England, either for coast or trade. But the king's 
hopes were, that partly by negligence, commonly imputed to 
the French, especially in the court of a young king, and 
partly by the native power of Britain itself, which was not 
small ; but chiefly in respect of the great party that the duke 
of Orleans had in the kingdom of France, and thereby means 
to stir up civil troubles, to divert the French king from the 
enterprise of Britain. And lastly, in regard of the power 
of Maximilian, who was corival to the French king in that 
pursuit, the enterprise would either bow to a peace, or break 



HEXRY THE SEVENTH. 3 I 1 

in itself. In all which the king measured and valued things 
amiss, as afterwards appeared. He sent therefore forthwith 

to the French king Christopher Orswick, his chaplain, a 
person by him much trusted ami employed ; choosing him 
the rather, because be was a churchman, as best sorting with 
an ambassy of pacification : and giving him also a commis- 
sion, that it' the French king consented to treat, he should 
thence repair to the duke of Britain, and ripen the treaty on 
both parts. Orswick made declaration to the French king, 
much tn the purpose of the king's answer to the French 
ambassador's here, instilling also tenderly some overture of 
receiving to grace the duke of Orleans, and some taste of 
conditions of accord. But the French kiiiL,' on the other side 
proceeded not sincerely, but with a great deal of art and 
dissimulation in this treaty ; having for his end. t<> gain time, 
and so put off the English succours under hope of peace, till 
he had got good footing in Britain by force of arms. Where- 
fore he answered the ambassador, that he would put himself 
into the king's hands, and make him arbiter of the p 
and willingly consented, that the. ambassador should straight- 
ways pass into Britain, to signify this his consent, and to 
know the 'hike's mind likewise ; well foreseeing that the 
duke of Orleans, by whom the duke of Britain was wholly 
led, taking himself to be upon terms irreconcileable with him, 
would admit of no treaty of peace. Whereby he should in 
one, both generally abroad veil over his ambition, and win 
the reputation of just and moderate proceedings : and should 
withal endear himself in the affections of the hang of England, 
as one that had committed all to his will ; nay. and which was 
yet more fine, make faith in him, that although he went on 
with the war, yet it should be but with the sword in his hand, 
to bend the stiffness of the other party to aco pt of peace ; 
and so the kim: should take qo umbrage of bis arming and 
prosecution ; but the treaty to be kept on fool till the \ r\ 
last instant, till he were- master of the field. 

Which grounds being by the French bong wisely laid, all 
things fell ou1 as he expected. For when the Kurdish ambas- 
sador came to the court of Britain, the duke was then 
scarcelv perfect in bis memory, and all things were directed 
by the duke of Orleans, who gave audience to the chaplain 
Urswick, and upon his ambassage delivered made answer in 



342 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

somewhat high terms : That the duke of Britain having 
heen an host, and a kind of parent or foster-father to the 
king, in his tenderness of age and weakness of fortune, did 
look for at this time from King Henry, the renowned Icing 
of England, rather brave troops for his succours, than a vain 
treaty of peace. And if the king could forget the good 
offices of the duke done unto him aforetime ; yet, he knew 
well, he would in his wisdom consider of the future, how 
much it imported his own safety and reputation, both in 
foreign parts, and with his own people, not to suffer Britain, 
the old confederates of England, to be swallowed up by 
France, and so many good ports and strong towns upon the 
coast be in the command of so potent a neighbour king, and 
so ancient an enemy. And therefore humbly desired the 
king to think of this business as his own : and therewith 
brake off, and denied any farther conference for treaty. 

Urswick returned first to the French king, and related to 
him what had passed. Who, finding things to sort to his 
desire, took hold of them, and said : That the ambassador 
might perceive now that which he for his part partly imagined 
before. That considering in what hands the duke of Britain 
was, there would be no peace but by a mixed treaty of force 
and persuasion : and therefore he would go on with the one, 
and desired the king not to desist from the other. But for 
his own part, he did faithfully promise to be still in the 
king's power, to rule him in the matter of peace. This was 
accordingly represented unto the king by Urswick at his 
return, and in such a fashion, as if the treaty were in no sort 
desperate, but rather stayed for a better hour, till the hammer 
had wrought and beat the party of Britain more pliant. 
Whereupon there passed continually packets and despatches 
between the two kings, from the one out of desire, and the 
other out of dissimulation, about the negotiation of peace. 
The French king meanwhile invaded Britain with great 
forces, and distressed the city of Nantz with a strait siege, 
and, as one, who though he had no great judgment, yet had 
that, that he coidd dissemble at home, the more he did urge 
the prosecution of the war, the more he did, at the same 
time, xu'ge the solicitation of the peace. Insomuch as during 
the siege of Nantz, after many letters and particular messages, 
the better to maintain liis cusshmulation. and to refresh the 



HENRY TriE SEVENTH. 343 

treaty, he sent Bernard d'Anhigpey, aperson of good quality, 
to the king, earnestly to d< aire him t<> make an end of the 
business howsoever. 

The king was no less ready to revive and quicken the 
treaty; and thereupon sent three commissioners, the abbot 
of Abingdon, Sir Richard Tunstal and ofaapiain Orswicfc 
formerly employed. to do their utmost endeavours to me 
the treaty roundly and strongly. 

About this time the Lord VVoodvile, uncle to the queen, 
a valiant gentleman and desirous of honour, sued to the king 
that he might raise some power of voluntaries underhand, 
and without license or passport (wherein the king migbl 
ways appear), go to the aid of the duke of Britain. The 
king denied his request, or at least seemed so to do, and laid 
strait commandment upon him, llial he should not stir, for 
that the king thought his honour would sutler therein, during 
a treaty, to better a party. Nevertheless this lord, either 
being unruly, or out of conceit that the king would not in- 
wardly dislike thai, which he would not openly avow, sailed 
directly over into the Isle of Wight, whereof he was governor, 
and levied a fair troop of four hundred men, and with them 
passed over into Britain, and joined himself with the duke's 
forces. The news whereof, when it came to the French 
court, put divers young bloods into such a fury, as the 
English ambassadors were not without peril to be outraged. 
But the French king, both to preserve the privilege of 
ambassadors, and being conscious to himself, thai in the 
business of peace he himself was the greater dissembler of 
the two, forbad all injuries of fact or word against their 
persons or followers. And presently came an agenl from lin- 
king, to purge himself touching the Lord W'oodvile's going 
over ; using for a principal argument, to demonstrate that H 
was without his privity, for that the troops were bo small, as 

neither had the face of a BUeOOUT by authority, DOT Could 

much advance the Britain affairs. To which message although 

the French king gave no full credit. \et he made fair weather 

with the king, ami seemed satisfied. B i after the English 

amba turned, having two of them been Likewise with 

i he duke of Britain, and found things to bo other terms than 

they were before. Upon their return they informed the 
king of the state of allairs, and. DOW far the French kb 



344 HENRY Till-: SEVENTH. 

from any true meaning of peace ; and therefore he was now 
to advise of some other course ; neither was the king himself 
led all this while with credulity merely, as was generally 
supposed ; hut his error was not so much facility of belief, as 
an ill measuring of the forces of the other party. 

For, as was jjartly touched before, the king had cast the 
business thus with himself. He took it for granted in his 
own judgment, that the war of Britain, in respect of the 
strength of the towns and of the party, could not speedily 
come to a period. For he conceived, that the counsels of a 
war, that was undertaken by the French king, then childless, 
against an heir apparent of France, would be very faint and 
slow ; and, besides, that it was not possible, but that the 
state of France should be embroiled with some troubles and 
alterations in favour of the duke of Orleans. He conceived 
likewise, that Maximilian, king of the Romans, was a prince 
warlike and potent ; who, he made account, woidd give 
succours to the Britons roundly. So then judging it would 
be a work of time, he laid his plot, how he might best make 
use of that time for his own affairs. Wherein first he thought 
to make his vantage upon Ins parliament ; knowing that they 
being affectionate unto the quarrel of Britain, would give 
treasure largely : which treasure, as a noise of war would 
draw forth, so a peace succeeding might coffer up. And be- 
cause he knew his people were hot upon the business, he 
chose rather to seem to be deceived, and lulled asleep by the 
French, than to be backward in himself; considering his 
subjects were not so fully capable of the reasons of state, 
which made him hold back. Wherefore to all these purposes 
he saw no other expedient, than to set and keep on foot a 
continual treaty of peace, laying it down, and taking it up 
again, as the occurrence required. Besides, he had in con- 
sideration the jioint of honour, in bearing the blessed person 
of a pacificator. He thought likewise to make use of the 
envy the French king met with, by occasion of this war of 
Britain, in strengthening himself with new alliances ; as 
namely, that of Ferdinando of Spain, with whom he had 
ever a consent even in nature and customs ; and likewise 
with Maximilian, who was particularly interested. So that 
in substance he promised himself money, honour, friends, 
and peace in the end. But those things were too fine to be 



HENRY THE BBVBNTH. 345 

fortunate and succeed iu all parts ; for that great affairs are 
commonly too rough and stubborn to be wrought upon by 
the finer edges or points of wit. The king was likewise 
deceived in his two main grounds. For although he had 
reason to conceive that the council of France would be wary 
to put the king into a war against the heir apparent of 
France ; yet he did not consider thai Charles was not guided 
by any of the principal of the blood or nobility, but by mean 
men, who would make it their master-piece of credit and 
favour, to give venturous counsels, which no great or wise 
man durst or would. And for Maximilian, he was thought 
then a greater matter than he was ; hi> unstable and neces- 
sitous courses being not then known. 

After consultation with the ambassadors, who brought him 
no other news than he expected before, though he would not 
seem, to know it till then, he presently summoned his 
parliament, and in open parliament propounded the cause of 
Britain to both houses, by bis chancellor Morton, archbishop 
of Canterbury, who spake to this effect. 

•■ My lords and masters, the king's grace, -our sovereign 
lord, hath commanded me to declare onto you the causes 
that have moved him at this time to summon this his 
parliament; which 1 shall do in few words, craving pardon 
of his grace, and you all, if I perform it not as I would. 

" His grace doth tirst of all let you know, that he re- 
taineth in thankful memory the love and loyalty showed to 
him by you, at your last meeting, in establishment of his 
royalty; freeing and discharging of his partakers, and con- 
fiscation of his traitors and rebels : more than which could 
not come from subjects to their sovereign, in one action. 
This he taketh so well at your hands, as he hath made it a 

resolution to himself, to communicate with bo loving and 
well approved subjects, in all afiairs that are of public nature, 

at home or abroad. 

" Two therefore are the causes of your present assembling: 
the one, a foreign business ; the other, matter of government 
at home. 

"The French king, as no doubl ye have heard, maketh 
at this present hoi war upon the duke of Britain. His 
army is now before Nantz, and holdeth it straitly b. 
being the principal city, if not in ceremony and pre- 



346 jienuy the seventh. 

eminence, yet in strength and wealth, of that duchy. Ye 
may guess at his hopes, hy his attempting of the hardest 
part of the war first. The cause of this war lie knoweth 
best. He allegeth the entertaining and succouring of the 
duke of Orleans, and some other French lords, whom the 
king taketh for his enemies. Others divine of other matters. 
Both parts have, by their ambassadors, divers times prayed 
the king's aids ; the French king, aids or neutrality ; the 
Britons, aids simply : for so their case requireth. The king, 
as a Christian prince, and blessed son of the holy church, 
hath offered himself, as a mediator, to treat of peace between 
them. The French king yielded to treat, but will not stay 
the prosecution of the war. The Biitons, that desire peace 
most, hearken to it least ; not upon confidence or stiffness, 
but upon distrust of true meaning, seeing the war goes on. 
So as the king, after as much pains and care to effect a 
peace, as ever he took in any business, not being able to 
remove the prosecution on the one side, nor the distrust on 
the other, caused by that prosecution, hath let fall the treaty ; 
not repenting of it, but despairing of it now, as not likely 
to succeed. Therefore by this narrative you now understand 
the state of the question, whereupon the king prayeth yom 
advice ; which is no other, but whether he shall enter into 
an auxiliary and defensive war for the Biitons against 
France ? 

" And the better to open your understandings in thi> 
affair, the king hath commanded me to say somewhat to you 
from him, of the persons that do intervene in this business ; 
and somewhat of the consequence thereof, as it hath relation 
to this kingdom, and somewhat of the example of it in 
general : making nevertheless no conclusion or judgment of 
any point, until his Grace hath received your faithful and 
politic advices. 

" First, for the king our sovereign himself, who is the 
principal jjerson you are to eye in this business ; his grace 
doth profess, that he truly and constantly desireth to reign 
in peace. But his grace saith, he will neither buy peace 
with dishonour, nor take it up at interest of danger to ensue ; 
but shall think it a good change, if it please God to change 
the inward troubles and seditions, wherewith he hath been 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 



347 



hitherto exercised, into an honourable foreign war. And 
for the other two persona in this action, the French king 
and the duke of Britain. bis gram doth declare unto you, 
that they be the men tuxto whom he is oi 'all other iiiends 
and allies most bounden : the one halving held over him his 
hand of protection from t la- tyrant ; the other having reached 
forth unto him his hand of help for the recovery of his king- 
dom. So that his affection toward them in his natural person 
is upon equal terms. And whereas you may have heard, 
that hi.s grace was enforced to fly ou1 of Britain into France, 
for doubts of being betrayed : his grace would not in any 
sort have that reflect upon the duke of Britain, in deface- 
ment of Ins former benefits; for that he is throughly in- 
formed, that it was but the practice of Borne corrupt ; i 
about him, during the time of hie sickness, altogei her without 
his consent or privity. 

" But howsoever these things do interest his grace in 
this particular, yet he knowetfa well, thai the higher bond 
that ticth him to procure by all means the safety and welfare 
of his loving subjects, doth disinterest him of these obliga- 
tions of gratitude, otherwise than thus ; that it' his grace be 
fnivi d to make a war, he do it without passion OT ambition. 

'• For the consequence of this action towards this kingdom, 
it is much as the French king's intention is. For if it be no 
more, but to range his subjects to reason, who bear them- 
selves stout upon the strength of the duke of Britain, it b 
nothing to us. But if it be in the French kings purpose, or 
if it should not be in his purpose, yet if it shall follow all 
one as if it were sought, that the French bang shall make a 
province of Britain, and join it to the crown of France ; then 
it is worthy the consideration, how this may import Knglaml. 
as well in the increasement of the greatness of France, by 

the addition of such a country, that stn leheth hi- boughs 
unto OUT seas, as in depriving this nation, and leaving it 
naked of so firm and assured confederates as the Britains 
have alwffj For then ii will come to pass, that 

whereas not long since his realm was mighty upon the eon 
tiuent, first in territory, and after in allianee. in ran 
Burgundy ami Britain, which were confederates indeed, hut 
dependent ,oiii being already cast, 



348 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

partly into the greatness of France, and partly into that of 
Austria, the other is like wholly to be cast into the great- 
ness of France ; and this island shall remained confined in 
effect within the salt waters, and girt about with the coast 
countries of two mighty monarchs. 

" For the example, it resteth likewise upon the same 
question, upon the French king's intent. For if Britain be 
carried and swallowed up by France, as the world abroad, 
apt to impute and construe the actions of princes to ambi- 
bition, conceive it will ; then it is an example very dangerous 
and universal, that the lesser neighbour state should be 
devoured of the greater. For this may be the case of 
Scotland towards England ; of Portugal towards Spain ; of 
the smaller estates of Italy towards the greater ; and so of 
Germany ; or as if some of you of the commons might not 
live and dwell safely besides some of these great lords. And 
the bringing in of this example will be chiefly laid to the 
king's charge, as to him that was most interested, and most 
able to forbid it. But then on the other side, there is so fair 
a pretext on the French king's part (and yet pretext is 
never wanting to power), in regard the danger imminent to 
his own estate is such, as may make this enterprise seem 
rather a work of necessity than of ambition, as doth in 
reason correct the danger of the example. For that the 
example of that which is done in a man's own defence can- 
not be dangerous ; because it is in another's power to avoid 
it. But in all this business, the king remits himself to your 
grave and mature advice, whereupon he purposeth to rely." 

This was the effect of the lord chancellor's speech touching 
the cause of Britain ; for the king had commanded liim to 
carry it so, as to affect the parliament towards the business ; 
but without engaging the king in any express declaration. 

The chancellor went on : — 

" For that which may concern the government at home, 
the king had commanded me to say unto you ; that he 
thinketh there was never any king, for the small time that 
he hath reigned, had greater and juster cause of the two 
contrary passions of joy and sorrow, than his grace hath. 
Joy, in respect of the rare and visible favours of Almighty 
God, in girding the imperial sword upon his side, and assist- 
ing the same his sword against all his enemies ; and likewise 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 349 

in blessing him Avith so many good and loving servants and 
subjects which have never failed to give him laitliful counsel, 
ready obedience, and courageous defence. Sorrow, for that 
it hath not pleased God to Buffet him to sheath liis sword, as 
he greatly desired, otherwise than for administration of 
justice, but that he hath been forced to draw it so oft, t<> 
cut off traitorous and disloyal subjects, wlioin, it seems, God 
hath left, a few amongst many good, as the Canaanites 
amongst the people of Israel, to be thorns in their sides, to 
tempt and try them; though the end hath been always, 
God's name be blessed therefore, that the destruction hath 
fallen upon their own heads. 

" Wherefore his grace saith, That he Beeth that it is not 
the blood spilt in the field that will save the blood in the 
city : nor the marshal's sword that will set this kingdom in 
perfect peace : but that the true way is, to stop the seeds of 
sedition and rebellion in their beginnings ; and for that pur- 
pose to devise, confirm, and quicken good and wholesome 
laws against riots, and unlawful assemblies of people, and all 
combinations and confederacies of them, by liveries, tokens, 
and other badges of factious dependence ; that the peace of 
the land may by these ordinances, as by bars of iron, be 
soundly bound in and strengthened, and all force, both in 
court, country, and private houses, be supprest. The care 
hereof, which so much concerneth yourselves, and which the 
nature of the times doth instantly call for, his grace com- 
mends to your wisdoms. 

"And because it is the king's desire, that this peace, 
wherein he hopeth to govern and maintain y.ui. do not bear 
oidy unto you leaves, for you to sit under the shad'- of them 
in safety; but also should bear you fruit of riches, wealth, 
and plenty : therefore his grace prays y.ui to take into con- 
sideration matter of trade, as also the manufactures of the 
kingdom, and to repress the bastard ami barren employment 

of money-; to usury and unlawful exchanges | that they may 

be, as their natural use is, turned upon commerce, and lawful 

and royal trailing. And likewise that our people be Bel 00 
work in arts and handicrafts ; that the realm may subsist 

more of itself; that idleness be avoided, and the draining 
out of our treasure for foreign manufactures stopped. But 

you are not to rest here only, hut to provide farther, that 



. n ,.'>0 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

■ever merchandise shall be brought in from beyond the 
seas, may be employed upon the commodities of this land ; 
whereby the kingdom's stock of treasure may be sure to be 
kept from being diminished by any over-trading of the 
foreigner. 

" And lastly, because the king is well assured, that you 
would not have him poor, that wishes you rich ; he doubteth 
not but that you will have care, as well to maintain his 
revenues of customs and all other natures, as also to supply 
him with your loving aids, if the case shall so require. The 
rather, for that you know the king is a good husband, and 
but a steward in effect for the public ; and that what comes 
from you, is but as moisture drawn from the earth, which 
gathers into a cloud, and falls back upon the earth again. 
And you know well, how the kingdoms about you grow 
more and more in greatness, and the times are stirring ; and 
therefore not fit to find the king with an empty purse. 
More I have not to say to you ; and wish, that what hath 
been said, had been better expressed : but that your wisdoms 
and good affections will supply. God bless your doings." 

It was no hard matter to dispose and affect the parliament 
in this business ; as well in respect of the emulation between 
the nations, and the envy at the late growth of the French 
monarchy ; as in regard of the danger to suffer the French 
to make their approaches upon England, by obtaining so 
goodly a maritime province, full of sea-towns and havens, 
that might do mischief to the English, either by invasion, or 
by interruption of traffic. The parliament was also moved 
with the point of oppression ; for although the French 
seemed to speak reason, yet arguments are ever with multi- 
tudes too weak for suspicions. Wherefore they did advise 
the king roundly to embrace the Britons' cmarrel, and to 
send them speedy aids ; and with much alacrity and for- 
wardness granted to the king a great rate of subsidy, in con- 
templation of these aids. But the king, both to keep a 
decency towards the French king, to whom he profest him- 
self to be obliged, and indeed desirous rather to show war 
than to make it, sent new solemn ambassadors to intimate 
unto him the decree of his estates, and to iterate his motion, 
that the French would desist from hostility ; or if war must 
follow, to desire him to take it in good part, if at the motion 



M£Y THE SEVENTH. 

people, who were sensible of the cause of the Britons 
as their ancient friends and confederates, be did send them 
succours; with protestation nevertheless, that, to bb 
treaties and laws of friendship, he had limited hi 

ed in aid of the Britons, bn1 in no wise to war upon 
the French, otherwise than as they maintained the posses- 
sion of Britain. But before this formal ambassage arrived, 
the party of the duke had received a threat blow, and grew 
to manifest declaration. For near the town of St. Alban in 
Britain, a battle had been given, where the Britons were 
overthrown, and the duke of Orleans and the prince of 
Orange taken prisoners, there beiu.^ .-lain on the Briton*' 
part .six thousand men, and amongst them the Lord Woodi ile, 
and almost all his soldiers, valiantly fighting. And of tin- 
French part, one thousand two hundred, with their Leader, 
James Galeot, a great commander. 

When the news of this battle oame over into England, it 
was time for the king, who now had no subterfuge to ooa* 
tinue farther treaty, and saw before his eyes that Britain 
went so speedily for lost, contrary to hi- hopes: knowing 
also that with his people, and foreigners both, he sustained 
no small envy and disreputation for his former delays, to 

despatch with all possible sj d his succours into Britain ; 

Avhich he did under the conduct of Robert, Lord Brooke, to 
the number of eighty thousand choice men well armed ; who 
having a fair wind, in few hours landed in Britain, and 
joined themselves forthwith to those Briton forces thai 
remained alter the defeat, and marched Btraighi on to find 
the enemy, and encamped fast by them. The Prench wisely 
hu -handing the possession of a victory, well acquainted with 
the courage of the English, especially when they are fresh, 
kept themselves within their trenches, b< lie.: strongly lodged, 
and resolved not to give battle. I'm meanwhile, to harass 
and weary the Bnglj h. they did upon all advantagi 
upon them with their light horsej wherein nevertheless 
they received commonly loss, especially by means of the 

English archers. 

But upon these uehieveVieiit s IVaneis. duke of Brit 

deceased ; an acddenl thai the king mighl easily have tore- 
seen, and ought to have re cko n e d upon and provided tor, hut 

that the point of reputation, when news first came of the 



352 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

battle lost, that somewhat must be done, did overbear the 
reason of war. 

After the duke's decease, the principal persons of Britain, 
partly bought, partly through faction, put all things into 
confusion ; so as the English not finding head or body with 
whom to join their forces, and being in jealousy of friends, 
as well as in danger of enemies, and the winter begun, re- 
turned home five months after their landing. So the battle 
of St. Alban, the death of the duke, and the retire of the 
English succours, were, after some time, the causes of the 
loss of that duchy ; which action some accounted as a blemish 
of the king's judgment, but most but as the misfortune of 
his times. 

But howsoever the temporary fruit of the parliament, in 
their aid and advice given for Britain, took not nor prospered 
not ; yet the lasting fruit of parliament, which is good and 
wholesome laws, did prospei*, and doth yet continue to this 
day. For according to the lord chancellor's admonition, there 
were that parliament divers excellent laws ordained concern- 
ing the points which the king recommended. 

First, the authority of the Star-chamber, which before sub- 
sisted by the ancient common laws of the realm, was con- 
firmed in certain cases by act of parliament. This court is 
one of the sagest and noblest institutions of this kingdom. 
For in the distribution of courts of ordinary justice, besides 
the high court of Parliament, in which distribution the King's 
Bench holdeth the pleas of the crown, the Common Pleas 
pleas civil, the Exchequer pleas concerning the king's revenue, 
and the Chancery the pretorian power for mitigating the 
rigour of law, in case of extremity, by the conscience of a 
good man ; there was, nevertheless, always reserved a high 
and pre-eminent power to the king's council in causes that 
might in example or consequence concern the state of the 
commonwealth, which if they were criminal the council used 
to sit in the chamber called the Star-chamber, if civil in the 
white-chaniber or white-hall. And as the Chancery had the 
pretorian power for equity, so the Star-chamber had the cen- 
sorian power for offences under the degree of capital. This 
court of Star-chamber is compounded of good elements, for it 
consisteth of four kinds of persons — counsellors, peers, pre- 
lates, and chief judges. It discerneth also principally of four 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 353 

kinds of causes — forces, frauds, crimes various of stellionate, 
and the inchoations or middle acts towards crimes capital or 
heinous, not actually committed or perpetrated. But that 
which was principally aimed at by this act was force, and 
the two chief supports of force, combination of multitudes, 
and maintenance or headship of great persons. 

From the general peace of the country the king's care 
went <>n to the peace of the king's house, and the security of 
Iris great officers and counsellors. But this law was Bome- 
what of a strange composition and temper. That if any of 
the king's servants under the degree of a lord do conspire 
the death of any of the king's council or lord of the realm, it 
is made capital. This law was thought to be procured by 
the lord chancellor, who being a stern and haughty man. and 
finding he had some mortal enemies in court, provided for 
his own safety, drowning the envy of it in a general law, by 
communicating the privilege with all other counsellors and 
peers, and yet not daring to extend it farther than to the 
king's servants in check-roll, lest it should have been too 
harsh to the gentlemen and other commons of the kingdom, 
who might have thought their ancient liberty and the 
clemency of the laws of England invaded, if the will in an} 
case of felony should be made the deed. And yet the reason 
which the act yieldeth, that is to say, that he that oonspireth 
the death of counsellors may be thought indirectly, and by a 
mean, to conspire the death of the king himself, is indifferent 
to all subjects, as well as to servants in court. But it seem- 
eth this sufficed to serve the lord chancellor's turn at this 
time. But yet he lived to need a general law, for that he 
grew afterwards as odious to the country as he was then to 
the court. 

From the peace of the king's house the king's care ex- 
tended to the pence of private houses and families. For there 
was an excellent moral law moulded thus: the taking and 
carrying away of women forcibly and Bgainsl their will, ex- 

cepl female-wards and bond-women, was made capital. The 

parliament wisely and justly conceiving that the obtaining 

of women by force into possession, howsoever afterwards 
assent might follow by allurements, was but B rape drawn 

forth in length, because the first 1'mve drew on all the rest. 

There was made also another law for peace in general, and 
2 A 



354 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

repressing of murders and manslaughters, and was in amend- 
ment of the common laws of the realm, being this : That 
whereas by the common law the king's suit, in case of homi- 
cide, did expect the year and the day, allowed to the party's 
suit by way of appeal ; and that it was found by experience 
that the party was many times compounded with, and many 
times wearied with the suit, so that in the end such suit was 
let fall, and by that time the matter was in a manner for- 
gotten, and thereby prosecution at the king's suit by indict- 
ment, which is ever best, flagrante crimine, neglected ; it was 
ordained that the suit by indictment might be taken as well 
at any time within the year and the day, as after, not pre- 
judicing nevertheless the party's suit. 

The king began also then, as well in wisdom as in justice, 
to pare a little the privilege of clergy, ordaining that clerks 
convict should be burned hi the hand, both because they 
might taste of some corporal punishment and that they 
might cany a brand of infamy. Bub for this good act's sake, 
the king himself was after branded, by Perkin's proclamation, 
for an execrable breaker of the rites of holy church. 

Another law was made for the better peace of the country ; 
by which law the king's officers and farmers were to forfeit 
their places and holds, in case of unlawful retainer, or par- 
taking in routs and unlawful assemblies. 

These were the laws that were made for repressing of 
force, which those times did chiefly require ; and were so 
prudently framed, as they are found fit for all succeeding 
times, and so continue to this day. 

There were also made good and politic laws that parliament, 
against usury, which is the bastard use of money ; and 
against unlawful chievances and exchanges, which is bastard 
usury ; and also for the security of the king's customs ; and 
for the employment of the procedures of foreign commodities, 
brought in by merchant-strangers, upon the native com- 
modities of the realm ; together with some other laws of less 
importance. 

But howsoever the laws made in that parliament did bear 
good and wholesome fruit ; yet the subsidy granted at the 
same time bare a fruit that proved harsh and bitter. All 
was inned at last into the king's barn, but it was after a 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 355 

storm. For when the commissioners entered into the taxa- 
tion of the subsidy in Yorkshire, and t li<^ bishopris <>f 
Duresm ; the people upon a sudden grew into great mutiny, 
and said openly. That they had endured ef late years a 
thousand miseries, and neither could nor would pay the 
subsidy. This, no doubt, proceeded not simply of any 
present necessity, but much by reason of the old humour of 
those countries, where tin- memory of King Richard was so 
strong, that it lay like lees in the bottom of men's hearts : 
and if the vessel was but stirred, it would conic op. And, 
no doubt, it was partly also by the instigation of some factious 
maleeoutents, that bare principal stroke amongst then. 
Hereupon the commissioners being somewhat astonished, 
deferred the matter unto the earl of Northumberland, who 
was the principal man of authority in those parts. The earl 
forthwith wrote unto the court, signifying to the king plainly 
enough in what flame he found the people of those countries, 
and praying the king's direction. The king wrote back 
peremptorily, That he would not have one penny abated, of 
that which had been granted to him by parliament ; both 
because it might encourage other countries to pray the like 
release or mitigation ; and chiefly because he would never 
endure that the base multitude should frustrate the authority 
of the parliament, wherein their votes and consents were 
concluded. Upon this despatch from court, the earl assembled 
the principal justices and freeholders of the country; and 
speaking to them in that imperious language, wherein the 
king had written to him. which needed not, save thai a harsh 
business was unfortunately fallen into the hands of a harsh 
man. did not only irritate the people, but make them con- 
ceive, by the stoutness and haughtiness of delivery of the 
king's errand, that himself was the author or principal 
persuader of that counsel; whereupon the meaner sort 
touted together, and suddenly assailing the earl in his house, 

slew him, and divers of his servant . : and rested imt there, 

but creating for their leader Sir John Egremoud, a factious 

person, and one that had of a long time Dome an ill talent 

towards the king ; and being animated also by a base fellow, 
called John a ('handier, a \erv boutefeu, who bare much 
sway amongst the vulgar and popular, entered into open 
2a2 



356 HENRY TIIE SEVENTH. 

rebellion ; and gave out in flat terms, that they would go 
against King Henry, and fight with him for the maintenance 
of their liberties. 

When the king was advertised of this new insurrection, 
being almost a fever that took him every year, after his 
manner little troubled therewith, he sent Thomas, earl of 
Surrey, whom he had a little before not only released out of 
the Tower, and pardoned, but also received to special favour, 
with a competent power against the rebels, who fought with 
the principal band of them, and defeated them, and took 
alive John a Chamber, their firebrand. As for Sir John 
Egremond, he fled into Flanders to the Lady Margaret of 
Burgundy, whose palace was the sanctuaiy and receptacle of 
all traitors against the king. John a Chamber was executed 
at York in great state ; for he was hanged upon a gibbet 
raised a stage higher in the midst of a square gallows, as a 
traitor paramount ; and a number of his men that were his 
chief accomplices were hanged upon the lower story round 
about him ; and the rest were generally pardoned. Neither 
did the king himself omit his custom, to be first or second in 
all his warlike exploits, making good his word, which was 
usual with him when he heard of rebels, that he desired but 
to see them. For immediately after he had sent down the 
eaii of Surrey, he marched towards them himself in person. 
And although in his journey he heard news of the victory, 
yet he went on as far as York, to pacify and settle those 
countries ; and that done, returned to London, leaving the 
earl of Surrey for his lieutenant in the northern parts, and 
Sir Richard Tunstal for his principal commissioner, to levy 
the subsidy, whereof he did not remit a denier. 

About the same time that the king lost so good a servant 
as the earl of Northumberland, he lost likewise a faithful 
friend and ally of James the Third, king of Scotland, by a 
miserable disaster. For this unfortunate prince, after a long 
smother of discontent, and hatred of many of his nobility 
and people breaking forth at times into seditions and alter- 
ations of court, was at last distressed by them, having taken 
arms, and surprised the person of Prince James, his son, 
partly by force, partly by threats, that they would otherwise 
deliver up the kingdom to the king of England, to shadow 
their rebellion, and to be the titular and painted head of 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 357 

those arms. Whereupon the king, finding himself too weak, 
sought unto King Henry, as also unto the pope, and the king 
of France, to compose those troubles between him and his 
subjects. The kings accordingly interposed their mediation 
in a round and princely manner : not only by way of request 
and persuasion, but also by way of protestation and menace ; 
declaring, That they thought it to be the common cause of 
all kings, if subjects should be suffered to give laws unto 
their sovereign, and that they would accordingly resent it, 
and revenge it. But the rebels, that had shaken off the 
greater yoke of obedience, had likewise cast away the lesser 
tie of respect. And fury prevailing above fear, made answer, 
That there was no talking of peace, except the king would 
resign his crown. Whereupon treaty of accord taking no 
place, it came to a battle at Bannocksbourn by Strivelin : 
in which battle the king, transported with wrath and just 
indignation, inconsiderately fighting and precipitating the 
charge, before his whole numbers came up to him, was, not- 
withstanding the contrary express and strait commandment 
of the prince his son, slain in the pursuit, being fled to a 
mill, situate in a field, where the battle was fought. 

As for the pope's ambassy, which was sent by Adrian de 
Castello, an Italian legate, and perhaps, as those times were, 
might have prevailed more, it came too late for the ambassy, 
but not for the ambassador. For passing through England 
and being honourably entertained, and received of King 
Henry, who ever applied himself with much respect to the 
see of Rome, he fell into great grace with the king, and great 
familiarity and friendship with Morton the chancellor : 
insomuch as the king taking a liking to him, and finding 
him to his mind, preferred him to the bishopric of Hereford, 
and afterwards to that of Bath ami Wills, and employed 
him in many of his affairs of state, thai had relation to 
Rome. He was a man of great learning, wisdom, and dex- 
terity in business of state ; and having not long after 
ascended to the degree of cardinal, paid the king large 
tribute of his gratitude, in diligent and judicious advertise- 
ment of the occurrenta <>t" Italy. Nevertheless, in the end 
of his time, he was partaker of the conspiracy, which Car- 
dinal Alphonso Petrucci ami BOme other cardinals had 
plotted against the lite of Pope Leo. And this offence, in 



358 IIENRY THE SEVENTH. 

itself so heinous, was yet in him aggravated by the motive 
thereof, which was not malice or discontent, but an aspiring 
mind to the papacy. And in this height of impiety there 
wanted not an intermixture of levity and folly ; for that, as 
Avas generally believed, he was animated to expect the papacy 
by a fatal mockery, the prediction of a soothsayer, which 
was, "That one should succeed pope Leo, whose name should 
be Adrian, an aged man of mean birth, and of great learning 
and wisdom." By which character and figure he took him- 
self to be described, though it were fulfilled of Adrian the 
Fleming, son of a Dutch brewer, cardinal of Tortosa, and 
preceptor unto Charles the Fifth ; the same that, not chang- 
ing his christian name, was afterwards called Adrian the 
sixth. 

But these things happened in the year following, which 
was the fifth of this king. But in the end of the fourth year 
the king had called again his parliament, not, as it seemeth, 
for any particular occasion of state : but the former par- 
liament being ended somewhat suddenly, in regard of the 
preparation for Britain, the king thought he had not remu- 
nerated his people sufficiently with good laws, which ever- 
more was his retribution for treasure. And finding by the 
insurrection in the north, there was discontentment abroad, 
in respect of the subsidy, he thought it good to give his sub- 
jects yet farther contentment and comfort in that kind. 
Certainly his times for good commonwealth's laws did excel. 
So as he may justly be celebrated for the best lawgiver to 
this nation, after King Edward the First : for his laws, whoso 
marks them well, are deep, and not vulgar ; not made upon 
the spur of a particular occasion for the present, but out of 
providence of the future, to make the estate of his people 
still more and more happy ; after the manner of the legis- 
lators in ancient and heroical times. 

First, therefore, he made a law, suitable to his own act3 
and times : for as himself had in his person and niairiage 
made a final concord, in the great suit and title for the 
crown ; so by this law he settled the like peace and quiet in 
the private possessions of the subjects : ordaining, " That 
fines thenceforth should be final, to conclude all strangers', 
rights ;" and that upon fines levied and solemnly proclaim ed 
the subject should have his time of watch for five year's after 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 359 

his title accrued ; which if he forepassed, his right should 
be bound for ever after; with some exception neu-rtheless 
of minors, married women, and such mcoiBPfltenl persona 

This statute did in effect hut restore an ancient statute of 
(Jit- r. aim, which w;us itself also made hut in affirmance of 
the common law. The alteration had been by a statute. 
commonly called the statute of non-claim, made in the time 
of Edward the Third. And sorely this law was a kind of 
prognostic of the good peace, which since his time hath, for 
the most part, continued in this kingdom until this clay : for 
statutes of non-claim are fit for times of war, when men's 
heads are troubled, that they cannot intend their estate ; 
but statutes that quiet possessions are fittest fox tin 
peace, to extinguish suits and contentions, which is one of 
the banes of peace. 

Another statute was made, of singular policy, for the 
population apparently, and, if it be thoroughly considered, 
for the soldiery and military forces of the realm. 

Enclosures at that time began to be more frequent, 
whereby arable land, whieh could not be manured without 
people and families, was turned into pasture, whieh was 
easily rid by a few herdsmen ; and tenances for years, lives, 
and at will, whereupon much of the yeomanry lived, were 
turned into demesnes. This bred a decay of people, and, by 
consequence, a decay of towns, churches, tithes, and the like. 
The king likewise knew full well, and in no wise forgot, that 
there ensued withal upon this a decay and diminution of 
subsidies and taxes ; for the more gentlemen, ever the lower 
books of subsidies. In remedyhig of this inconvenience the 
king's wisdom was admirable, and the parliament's at that 
time. Kncl. , Mires they would not forbid, for that had been 
to forbid the improvement of the patrimony of the kingdom ; 
nor tillage the\ would not compel, for that was to strive 
with nature ami utility ; hut they took a course to take 

av.a\ depopulating enclosures and depopulating pasturage, 

and Mi not hy that name, or hy any imperious express pro- 
hibition, but by consequence. Th dinanoe was " That 

all houses of husbandly, that wen BB*d with twenty acres 

of ground and upwanU. should lie maintained and kept up 

forever; together with a competent proportion of land to 

be used and occupied with them;' ami in BO wise to be 



3 GO HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

severed from them, as by another statute, made afterwards 
in his successor's time, was more fully declared : this upon 
forfeiture to be taken, not by way of popular action, but by 
seizure of the land itself by the king and lords of the fee, as 
to half the profits, till the houses and lands were restored. 
By this means the houses being kept up, did of necessity 
enforce a dweller ; and the proportion of land for occu- 
pation being kept up, did of necessity enforce that dweller 
not to be a beggar or cottager, but a man of some sub- 
stance, that might keep hinds and servants, and set the 
plough on going. This did wonderfully concern the might 
and mannerhood of the kingdom, to have farms as it 
were of a standard, sufficient to maintain an able body out 
of penury, and did in effect amortise a great part of the 
lands of the kingdom unto the hold and occupation of the 
yeomanry or middle people, of a condition between gentle- 
men and cottagers or peasants. Now, how much this did 
advance the military power of the kingdom, is apparent by 
the true principles of war and the examples of other king- 
doms. For it hath been held by the general opinion of men 
of best judgment in the wars, howsoever some few have 
varied, and that it may receive some distinction of case, that 
the principal strength of an army consisteth in the infantry or 
foot. And to make good infantry, it requireth men bred, 
not in a servile or indigent fashion, but in some free and 
plentiful manner. Therefore if a state run most to noblemen 
and gentlemen, and that the husbandmen and ploughmen be 
but as their workfolks and labourers, or else mere cottagers, 
which are but housed beggars, you may have a good cavalry, 
but never good stable bands of foot ; like to coppice woods, 
that if you leave in them staddles too thick, they will run 
to bushes and briers, and have little clean underwood. And 
this is to be seen in France and Italy, and some other parts 
abroad, where in effect all is noblesse or peasantry, I speak 
of people out of towns, and no middle people ; and therefore 
no good forces of foot : insomuch as they are enforced to 
employ mercenaiy bands of Switzei*s, and the like, for their 
battalions of foot. Whereby also it comes to pass, that those 
nations have much people, and few soldiers. Whereas the 
king saw, that contrariwise it would follow, that England, 
though much less in territory, yet should have infinitely 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 3G1 

more soldiers cf their native forces than those other nations 
have. Thus did the king secretly sow Hydra's teeth ; 
whereupon, according to the poet's fiction, should rise up 
armed men for the service of the kingdom. 

The king also, having care to make his realm potent, as 
well by sea as by land, for the better maintenance of the 
navy, ordained, " That wines and woads from the parts of 
Gascoign and Languedoc should not be brought but in 
English bottoms ;" bowing the ancient policy of this estate, 
from consideration of plenty to consideration of power. For 
that almost all the ancient statutes incite by all means mer- 
chant-strangers to bring in all sorts of commodities ; having 
for end cheapness, and not looking to the point of state con- 
cerning the naval power. 

The king also made a statute in that parliament, monitory 
and niinatoiy towai'ds justices of peace, that they should 
duly execute their office, inviting complaints against them, 
first to their fellow-justices, then to the justices of assize, 
then to the king or chancellor : and that a proclamation 
which he had published of that tenor should be read in 
open sessions four times a year, to keep them awake. Mean- 
ing also to have his laws executed, and thereby to reap either 
obedience or forfeitures, wherein towards his latter times he 
did decline too much to the left hand, he did ordain remedy 
against the practice that was grown in use, to stop and damp 
informations upon penal laws, by procuring informations by 
collusion to be put in by the confederates of the delinquents, 
to be faintly prosecuted, and let fall at pleasure ; and plead- 
ing them in bar of the informations, which were prosecuted 
with effect. 

He made also laws for the correction of the mint, and 
counterfeiting of foreign coin current. And that no payment 
in gold should be made to any merchant-stranger, the better 
to keep treasure within the realm, for that gold was the 
metal that lay in the least room. 

He made also statutes for the maintenance oi drapery, and 
the keeping of wools within the realm ; and not only so, but 
for stinting and limiting the prices of cloth, one for the finer, 
and another for the coarser sort. Which I note, both 
because it was a rare thing to Bel prices by statute, especially 
upon our home commodities; and because of the wise model 



3G2 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

of this act, not prescribing prices, but stinting them not to 
exceed a rate ; that the clothier might drape accordingly as 
he might afford. 

Divers other good statutes were made that parliament, 
but these were the principal. And here I do desire those 
into whose hands this work shall fall, that they do take in 
good part my long insisting upon the laws that were made 
in this king's reign. Whereof I have these reasons ; both 
because it was the pre-eminent virtue and merit of this king 
to whose memory I do honour ; and because it hath some 
correspondence to my person ; but chiefly because, in my 
judgment, it is some defect even in the best writers of his- 
tory, that they do not often enough summarily deliver and 
set down the most memorable laws that passed in the times 
whereof they writ, being indeed the principal acts of peace. 
For though they may be had in original books of law them- 
selves ; yet that informeth not the judgment of kings and 
counsellors, and persons of estate, so well as to see them 
described, and entered in the table and portrait of the times. 

About the same time the king had a loan from the city 
of four thousand pounds ; which was double to that they 
lent before, and was duly and orderly paid back at the day, 
as the former likewise had been : the king ever choosing 
rather to borrow too soon, than to pay too late, and so 
keeping up his credit. 

Neither had the king yet cast off his cares and hopes touching 
Britain, but thought to master the occasion by policy, though 
his arms had been unfortunate ; and to bereave the French 
king of the fruit of his victory. The sum of his design was, 
to encourage Maximilian to go on with his suit, for the mar- 
riage of Anne, the heir of Britain, and to aid him to the 
consummation thereof. But the affairs of Maximilian were 
at that time in great trouble and combustion, by a rebellion 
of his subjects in Flanders ; especially those of Bruges and 
Gaunt, whereof the town of Bruges, at such time as Maxi- 
milian was there in person, had suddenly armed in tumult, 
and slain some of his principal officers, and taken himself 
prisoner, and held him in durance, till they had enforced 
him and some of his counsellors, to take a solemn oath to 
pardon all their offences, and never to question and revenge 
the same in time to come. Nevertheless Frederick the 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 363 

emperor would not suti't r tibia reproach and indignity offered 
to his son to pass, but made sharp van upon Fland- 
reclaim and chastise the rebela But the Lonl Kaven-tein, a 
principal person about .M;i\iinili;ai, and one that had taken 
the oath of abolition with his master, pretending the religion 
thereof, but indeed upon private ambition, and, as it was 
thought, instigated and eorrapted from France, forsook the 
emperor and .Maximilian his lord, and made himself a head 
of the popular party, and seized upon the towns of Ipres and 
Sluice with both the oastles: and forthwith sent to the 
Lord Cordes, governor of Picardy under the French bang, to 
desire aid ; and to move him, that lie, on the behalf of the 
French king, would be protector of the united towns, and 
by fosw of arms reduce the rest. The Lord Cordes 
was ready to embrace the occasion, which was partly of his 
own setting, and sent forthwith greater forces than it had 
been possible for him to raise on the sudden, if he had not 
looked for such a summons before, in aid of the Lord Rav en* 
stein and the Flemings, with instructions to invest the 
towns between France and Bragea The French forces 
besieged a little town called Ihxmude, where part of the 
Flemish forces joined with hem. While they lay at this 
siege, the king of England, upon pretence of the safety of 
the English pale about Calais, but in truth being loth that 
Maximilian should become contemptible, and thereby be 
shaken off by the states of Britain about this marriage; sent 
over the Lord Morley with a thousand men, under the Lord 
D'Aubigny, then deputy of Calais, with secret instructions 
to aid .Maximilian, and to raise the siege of Ihxmude. The 
Lord D'Aubigny, giving it out that all was for the strength- 
ening of the English marches, drew out of the garrisons of 
1 1 amines, and Guines, to the number of a thousand 
men more. So that with the fresh BUCOOUrs that came under 
the conduct of the Lord hforley, they mads up to the Dum- 
ber of two thousand or better. Which forces joining with 

Some companies si Alinains. put theiu.-ehes into I'ixinude. 

not perceived by the enemies; and passing through the 
town, with some reinforcement from the forces thai were 

in the town, as-ailed the enemies" camp negligently guarded, 
as being orri of fear; where there was a bloody light, in 

which the English and their partakers obtained the victory, 



3G-1 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

and slew to the number of eight thousand men, with the 
loss on the English part of a hundred or thereabouts ; 
amongst whom was the Lord Morley. They took also their 
great ordnance, with much rich spoils, which they carried to 
Newport ; whence the Lord D'Aubigny returned to Calais, 
leaving the hurt men and some other voluntaries in New- 
port. But the Lord Cordes being at Ipres with a great 
power of men, thinking to recover the loss and disgrace of 
the fight at Dixmude, came presently on, and sat down 
before Newport, and besieged it ; and after some days' siege, 
he resolved to try the fortune of an assault. Which he did 
one day, and succeeded therein so far, that he had taken the 
principal tower and fort in that city, and planted upon it 
the French banner. Whence nevertheless they were pre- 
sently beaten forth by the English, by the help of some 
fresh succours of archers arriving by good fortune, at the 
instant, in the haven of Newport. Whereupon the Lord 
Cordes, discouraged, and measuring the new succours, which 
were small, by the success, which was great, levied his siege. 
By this means matters grew more exasperate between the 
tAvo kings of England and France, for that, in the war of 
Flandei's, the auxiliary forces of French and English were 
much blooded one against another. Which blood rankled 
the more, by the vain words of the Lord Cordes, that de- 
clared himself an open enemy of the English, beyond that 
that appertained to the present service ; making it a common 
by-word of his, " That he could be content to hie in hell 
seven years, so he might win Calais from the English." 

The king having thus upheld the reputation of Maximilian, 
advised him now to press on his marriage with Britain to 
a conclusion. Which Maximilian accordingly did, and so 
far forth prevailed, both with the young lady and with the 
principal persons about her, as the marriage was consummated 
by proxy, with a cei'emony at that time in these parts new. 
For she was not only publicly contracted, but stated, as a 
bride, and solemnly bedded ; and after she was laid, there 
came in Maximilian's ambassador with letters of procuration, 
and in the presence of sundry noble personages, men and 
women, put his leg, stripped naked to the knee, between the 
espousal sheets ; to the end, that that ceremony might be 
thought to amount to a consummation aud actual knowledge. 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 365 

This done, Maximilian, whose property was to leave things 
then when they were almost come to perfection, and to end 
them by imagination ; like ill archers, that draw not their 
arrows up to the head : and who might as easily have bedded 
the lady himself, as to have made ;i play and disguise of it, 
thinking now all assured, neglected for a time his farther 
proceeding, and intended his wars. Meanwhile the French 
king, consulting his divines, and finding that this pretended 
consummation was rather an invention of court, than any 
ways valid by the laws of the church, went more really to 
work, and by secret instruments and cunning agents, as well 
matrons about the young lady as counsellors, first sought to 
remove the point of religion and honour out of the mind of the 
Jady herself, wherein there was a double labour. For Maxi- 
milian was not only contracted unto the lady, but Maxi- 
milian's daughter was likewise contracted to King Charles. 
So as the marriage halted upon both feet, and was not clear 
on either side. But for the contract with King Charles, the 
exception lay plain and fair ; for that Maximilian's daughter 
was under years of consent, and so not bound by law, but a 
power of disagreement left to either part. But for the 
contract made by Maximilian with the lady herself, they 
were harder driven : having nothing to allege, but that it 
was done without the consent of her sovereign lord King 
Charles, whose ward and client she was, and he to her in 
place of a father : and therefore it was void and of no force 
for want of such consent. Which defect, they said, though 
it would not evacuate a marriage after cohabitation and 
actual consummation, yet it was enough to make void a 
contract. For as for the pretended consummation, they 
made sport with it, and said, " That it was an argument 
that Maximilian was a widower, and a cold wooer, that 
could content himself to be a bridegroom by deputy, and 
would not make a little journey to put all out of question." 
So that the young lady, wrought upon by these reasons, 
finely instilled by such as. the Breach king, who spared for 
no r ewar ds or promises, had made on his side ; and allured 
likewise by the present glory and greatness of King ( iharles, 
being also a young king, and a bachelor, and loth to make 
her country the seat of a long and miserable war. aecretly 
yielded to accept of King Charles. But during thij 



36G HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

treaty with the lady, the better to save it from blasts of 
opposition and interruption, King Charles resorting to fade 
wonted arts, and thinking to cany the marriage as he had 
carried the wars, by entertaining the king of England in 
vain belief, sent a solemn ambassage by Francis Lord of 
Luxemburg, Charles Marignian, and Robert Gagvien, general 
of the order of the Bons Hommes of the Trinity, to treat a 
peace and league with the king ; accoupling it with an 
article in the nature of a request, that the French king 
might with the king's good will, according unto his right of 
seigniory and tutelage, dispose of the marriage of the young 
duchess of Britain, as he should think good ; offering by a 
judicial proceeding to make void the marriage of Maximilian 
by proxy. Also all this while, the better to amuse the 
world, he did continue in his court and custody the daughter 
of Maximilian, who formerly had been sent unto him, to be 
bred and educated in France ; not dismissing or renvoying 
her, but contrariwise professing and giving out strongly 
that he meant to proceed with that match. And that for 
the duchess of Britain, he desired only to preserve his right 
of seigniory, and to give her in marriage to some such ally as 
might depend upon him. 

"When the three commissioners came to the court of Eng- 
land, they delivered their ambassage unto the king, who 
remitted them to his council, where some days after they 
had audience, and made their proposition by the prior of the 
Trinity, who though he were third in. place, yet was held 
the best speaker of them, to this effect : — 

" My lords, the king our master, the greatest and mightiest 
king that reigned in France since Charles the Great, whose 
name he beareth, hath nevertheless thought it no disparage- 
ment to his greatness at this time to propound a peace, yea, 
and to pray a peace with the king of England. For which 
purpose he hath sent us his commissioners, instructed and 
enabled with full and ample power to treat and conclude, 
giving us farther in charge, to open in some other business 
the secrets of his own intentions. These be indeed the pre- 
cious love-tokens between great kings, to communicate one 
with another the true state of their affairs, and to pass by 
nice points of honour, which ought not to give law unto 
affection. This I do assure your lordship — it is not possible 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 367 

for you to imagine the true and cordial love that the king 
our master beazeth to your sovereign, except you were near 
him as we are. I f « - us. th his name with so great respect, 
he remembereth their firsi acquaintance at Paris with so 
great contentment, oar, he never ■peaks of him, but that 
presently he tails into discourse of the miseries of great 
kings, in that they cannot converse with their equals, but 
with servants. This affection to your king's person ami 
virtues Cod hath put into the heart of our master, no doubt 
for the good of Christendom, and for purposes yet unknown 
to us all. For other root it cannot have, since it was the 
same to the earl of Richmond that it Ls now to the king of 
Eingland. This is, therefore, the first motive that makes 
our king to desire peace and league -with your sovereign — 
good affection, and somewhat that he finds in his own heart. 
This affection is also armed with reason of estate. For our 
king doth in all candour and frankness of dealing open him- 
self unto you, that hawing an honourable, yea, and an holy 
purpose, to make a voyage and war in remote parts, he 
considereth that it will be of no small effect, in point of 
reputation to his e nt erprise) if it be known abroad that he is 
in good peace with all his neighbour princes, and especially 
with the king of England, whom for good causes he esteem- 
eth most. 

" But now, my lords, give me leave to use a few words to 
remove all scruples and misunderstanding between your 
sovereign and ours concerning some late actions, which if 
they be not cleared may perhaps hinder bias peace. To the 
end that for matters past neither bang may conceive unkind- 
ness of other, nor think the other conceiveth unkindness of 
him. The late actions are two: that of Britain and that of 
Flanders. In both which it is true that the subjects' swords 
of both kings have encountered ami stricken, and the ways 
and inclinations also of the two kings, in respect of their 
confederates and allies, have Bevered. 

"For that of Britain, the king your BCT vere igs knoweth 
best what haili pasted It was a war of necessity on our 
master's part . And though the motives of it were sharp ami 
piquant as could he, ye( did he make that war rather with 
an olive branch than a laurel branch in his hand, more de- 
siring peace than victory. Besides, bom time to time he 



368 HENRY TnE SEVENTH. 

sent, as it were, blank papers to your king to write the con- 
ditions of peace. For though both his honour and safety- 
went upon it, yet he thought neither of them too precious 
to put into the king of England's hands. Neither doth our 
king on the other side make any unfriendly interpretation of 
your king's sending of succours to the duke of Britain ; for 
the king knoweth well that many things must be done of 
kings for satisfaction of their people; and it is not hard to 
discern what is a king's own. But this matter of Britain is 
now, by the act of God, ended and passed ; and, as the king 
hopeth, like the way of a ship in the sea, without leaving 
any impression in either of the kings' minds, as he is sure 
for his part it hath not done in his. 

" For the action of Flanders, as the former of Britain was 
a war of necessity, so this was a war of justice, which with a 
good king is of equal necessity with danger of estate, for else 
he should leave to be a king. The subjects of Burgundy are 
subjects in chief to the crown of France, and their duke the 
homager and vassal of France. They had wont to be good 
subjects, howsoever Maximilian hath of late distempered 
them. They fled to the king for justice and deliverance from 
oppression. Justice he could not deny; purchase he did not 
seek. This was good for Maximilian, if he could have seen 
it in people mutinied, to arrest fury and prevent despair. 
My lords, it may be this I have said is needless, save that 
the king our master is tender in any thing that may but 
glance upon the friendship of England. The amity between 
the two kings, no doubt, stands entire and inviolate, and 
that their subjects' swords have clashed it is nothing unto 
the public peace of the crowns, it being a thing very usual 
in auxiliary forces of the best and straitest confederates to 
meet and draw blood in the field. Nay, many times there 
be aids of the same nation on both sides, and yet it is not, 
for all that, a kingdom divided in itself. 

" It resteth, my lords, that I impart unto you a matter 
that I know your lordships all will much rejoice to hear, as 
that which importeth the Christian common-weal more than 
any action that hath happened of long time. The king our 
master hath a purjiose and determination to make war upon 
the kingdom of Naples, being now in the possession of a 
bustard slip of Arragon, but appertaining unto his majesty 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 3G9 

by clear and undoubted light, which if he shoidd not by just 
arms seek to recover, he could neither acquit his honour nor 
answer it to his people. Bat bis noble and Christian thoughts 
rest not here ; for his resolution and hope is, to make the 
reconquest of Naples but as a bridge to transport his forces 
into Grecia, and not to spare blood or treasure, if it were to 
the impawning of bis crown and dispeopling of France, till 
either he hath overthrown the empire of the Ottomans or 
taken it in his way to paradise. Tbe king knoweth well 
that tins is a design that could not arise in the mind of any 
king that did not steadfastly look up unto God, whose quarrel 
this is, and from whom cometh both the will and the deed; 
but yet is agreeable to the person that he beareth, though 
unworthy, of the thrice Christian king and the eldest son of 
the Church. Whereunto he is also invited by the example, 
in more ancient time, of King Henry the Fourth of England, 
the first renowned king of the house of Lancaster, ancestor, 
though not progenitor to your king, who had a purpose, 
towards the end of his time, as you know better, to make an 
expedition into the Holy Land; and by the example also, 
present before his eyes, of that honourable and religious 
war which the king of Spain now maketh, and hath almost 
brought to perfection, for the recovery of the realm of Gra- 
nada from the Moors. And although this enterprise may 
seem vast and unmeasured, for the king to attempt that by 
his own forces, wherein heretofore a conjunction of most of 
the Christian princes hath found work enough, yet his ma- 
jesty wisely considereth, that sometimes smaller forces 1 icing 
united under one command are more effectual in proof, 
though not so promising in opinion and fame, than much 
greater forces, variously compounded by associations and 
leagues, which commonly in a short time after their begin- 
nings turn to dissociations and divisions. Dot, my lords, that 
which is as a voice from heaven, that calleth the king to this 
enterprise, is a rent at this time in the house of the Otto- 
mans. I do not say but then- hath been brother against 
brother in that house before, bat never any that had refuge 
to the arms of the Christians, aa now hath Qemes, brother 
unto Bajazet that reigneth, the far braver man of the two, 
the other being between a monk and a philosopher, and 
better read in the Alcoran and Averroce, than able to wield 

2 B 



370 URXKY THE SEVENTH. 

eptre of so warlike an empire. This, therefore, is the 
king our master's memorable and heroical resolution for an 
holy war. And because he carrieth in this the person of a 
Christian soldier, as well as of a great temporal monarch, he 
beginneth with humility, and is content for this cause to 
beg peace at the hands of other Christian kings. There 
remaineth only l'ather a civil request than any essential part 
of our negotiation which the king maketh to the king your 
sovereign. The king, as all the world knoweth, is lord in 
chief of the duchy of Britain. The marriage of the heir be- 
longeth to him as guardian. This is a private patrimonial 
right, and no business of estate; yet, nevertheless, to run a 
fair course with your king, whom he desires to make another 
himself, and to be one and the same thing with him, his 
request is, that with the king's favour and consent he may 
dispose of her in marriage as he thinketh good, and make 
void the intruded and pretended marriage of Maximilian, 
according to justice. This, my lords, is all that I have to 
say, desiring your pardon for my weakness in the delivery.'' 

Thus did the French ambassadors with great show of their 
king's affection, and many sugared words, seek to addulce all 
matters between the two kings, having two things for their 
ends — the one to keep the king qiuet till the marriage of 
Britain was past; and this was but a summer fruit, which 
they thought was almost ripe, and would be soon gathered. 
The other was more lasting, and that was to put him into 
such a temper as he might be no disturbance or impediment 
to the voyage for Italy. The lords of the council were silent, 
and said only, " That they knew the ambassadors woidd look 
for no answer till they had reported to the king," and so 
they rose from council. The king could not well tell what 
to think of the marriage of Britain. He saw plainly the 
ambition of the French king was to impatronize himself of 
the duchy; but he wondered he would bring into his house 
a litigious marriage, especially considering who was his suc- 
cessor. But weighing one thing with another, he gave Bri- 
tain for lost, but resolved to make his profit of this business 
of Britain as a quarrel for war, and that of Naples as a 
wrench and mean for peace, being well advertised how 
strongly the king was bent upon that action. Having, 
therefore, conferred divers times with his council, and keep- 



HENRY TIIE SEVENTH. 371 

lag himself somewhat close, be gave a direction to the chan- 
cellor for a formal answer tothe ambassadors, and that Ik; 
did in the presence of bis council. And after calling the 
chancellor to him apart, bade him speak in such language m 
was lii for a treaty thai was to end in a breach; and gave 
him also a special caveat ( ii.it be should not use any words 
to discourage the voyage of Etaly. Boon alter the am] 
dors were sent for to the council, and the lord, chancellor 
spake to them in this sort : — 

" My lords ambassadors, I shall make answer, by the 
king's commandment, onto the eloquent declaration of yon, 
my lord prior, in a brief and plain manner. The king for- 
getteth not his former love and acquaintance with the king 
your master: but of this there aeedeth no repetition. For if 
it be between them as it was, it is well ; it' there he any 
alteration, it is not words that will make it up. 

" For the business of Britain, the king lindeth it a little 
strange that the French king maketh mention of it as a 
matter of well deserving at his hand : for that deserving was 
no more but to make him his instrument to surprise oi.e of 
his best confederates. And for the marriage, the king would 
not meddle with it, if your master would many by the hook 
and not by the sword. 

•• For that of Flanders, if the subjects of Burgundy had 
appealed to your king as their chief lord, at first by way of 
supplication, it might have had a show of justice : but it was 
a new form of process, for subjects to imprison their prinoe 
first, and to slay his officers, and then to be complainants. 
The king saith. that sure he is, when the French king and 
himself sent to the subjects of Scotland, that had taken arms 
against their kiiii(, they both spake in another style, and did 
in princely manner edgnifj then- detestation of popular 
attentates upon the person or authority of princea But, 
jus" lords ambassadors, the hinL, r Leaveth these two actions 

thus: that on the one -ide he hath not received any manner 

of sat i faction from you concerning them ; and on the other, 
that he doth nol apprehend them so deeply, as iii resp 
them to refuse to tres> of peace, if other things maj go hand 
in hand. As for the war of Naples, and the design ag 
the Turk : the king hath commanded me expre dy tt 
that he doth wish with all his heart to his good brother 1 1 1< 
2 b 2 



372 " HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

French king, that his fortunes may succeed according to his 
hopes and honourable intentions. And whensoever he shall 
hear that he is prepared for Grecia, as your master is pleased 
now to say that he beggeth a peace of the king, so the king 
will then beg of him a part in that war. 

" But now, my lords ambassadors, I am to propound unto 
you somewhat on the king's part : the king your master 
hath taught our king what to say and demand. You say, 
my lord prior, that your king is resolved to recover his right 
to Naples, wrongfully detained from him. And that if he 
should not thus do, he could not acquit his honour, nor 
answer it to his people. Think, my lords, that the king our 
master saith the same thing over again to you touching 
Normandy, Guienne, Anjou, yea, and the kingdom of France 
itself. I cannot express it better than in your own words. 
If, therefore, the French king shall consent that the king 
our master's title to France, at least tribute for the same, be 
handled in the treaty, the king is content to go on with the 
rest, otherwise he refuse th to treat." 

The ambassadors, being somewhat abashed with this 
demand, answered in some heat : That they doubted not, 
but the king their sovereign's sword would be able to main- 
tain his sceptre : and they assured themselves, he neither 
could nor would yield to any diminution of the crown of 
France either in territory or regality : but, howsoever, they 
were too great matters for them to speak of, having no com- 
mission. It was replied, that the king looked for no other 
answer from them, but would forthwith send his own ambas- 
sadors to the French king. There was a question also asked 
at the table — whether the French king would agree to have 
the disposing of the marriage of Britain with an exception 
and exclusion, that he should not marry her himself 1 To 
which the ambassadors answered ; That it was so far out of 
their king's thoughts, as they had received no instructions 
touching the same. Thus were the ambassadors dismissed, 
all save the prior ; and were followed immediately by Thomas, 
earl of Ormond, and Thomas Goldenston, prior of Christ- 
Church in Canterbury, who were presently sent over into 
France. In the mean space, Lionel, bishop of Concordia, 
was sent as nuncio from Pope Alexander the Sixth to both 
kings, to move a peace between them. For Pope Alexander, 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 373 

finding himself pent and locked up by a league and associa- 
tion of the principal states of Italy, that he could not make 
his way for the advancement of his own house, which he 
immoderately thirsted after, was desirous to trouble the 
waters in Italy, that he might fish the better ; casting the 
net, not out of St. Peter's, but out of Borgia's bark. And 
doubting lest the fears from England might stay the French 
king's voyage into Italy, despatched this bishop to compose 
all matters between the two kings, if he could : who first 
repaired to the French king, and finding him well inclined, as 
he conceived, took on his journey towards England, and 
found the English ambassadors at Calais, on their way to- 
wards the French king. After some conference with them, 
he was in honourable manner transported over into England, 
where he had audience of the king. But notwithstanding he 
had a good ominous name to have made a peace, nothing 
followed : for in the mean time the purpose of the French 
king to marry the duchess could be no longer dissembled. 
Wherefore the English ambassadors, finding how things 
went, took their leave, and returned. And the prior also 
was warned from hence to depart out of England. Who, 
when he turned his back, more like a pedant than an am- 
bassador, dispersed a bitter libel, in Latin verse, against the 
king ; unto which the king, though he had nothing of a 
pedant, yet was content to cause an answer to be made in 
like verse ; and that as speaking in his own person, hut in a 
style of scorn and sport. About this time also was horn the 
king's second son Henry, who afterwards reigned. And soon 
after followed the solemnization of the marriage between 
Charles and Anne, duchess of Britain, with whom he received 
the duchy of Britain as her dowry, the daughter of Maximi- 
lian being a little before sent home. Which, when it came 
to the ears of Maximilian, who would never believe it till it 
was done, being ever the principal in deceiving himself, 
though in this the French king did very hamlsom.lv second 
it, in tumbling it over and over in his thoughts, that he 
should at one blow, with such a double scorn, be defeated, 

both of the marriage of his daughter and his own, upon both 
winch lie had fixed high imaginations, he lost all patience, 

and casting off the respects tit t.> be continued between great 

kings, even when their blood is hottest, and most risen, fell 



374 EQBNST THE BBVEMTBL 

to bitter invectives against the person and actions of the 
French king. And, by how much he was the less able to do, 
talking so much the more, spake all the injuries he could 
devise of Charles, saying : That he was the most perfidious 
man upon the earth, and that he had made a marriage com- 
pounded between an advowtry and a rape ; which was done, 
he said, by the just judgment of God ; to the end that, the 
nullity thereof being so apparent to all the world, the race 
of so unworthy a person might not reign in France. And 
forthwith he sent ambassadors as well to the king of England, 
as to the king of Spain, to incite them to war, and to treat 
a league offensive against France, promising to concur with 
great forces of his own. Hereupon the king of England, 
going nevertheless his own way, called a parliament, it being 
the seventh year of his reign ; and the first day of the open- 
ing thereof, sitting under his cloth of estate, spake himself 
unto his lords and commons in this manner : — 

" My lords, and you the commons, when I purposed to 
make a war in Britain, by my lieutenant, I made declaration 
thereof to you by my chancellor. But now that I mean to 
make a war upon France in person, I will declare it to you 
myself. That war was to defend another man's right, but 
this is to recover our own ; and that ended by accident, but 
we hope this shall end in victory. 

" The French king troubles the Christian world : that 
which he hath is not his own, and yet he seeketh more. He 
hath invested hiinself of Britain : he maintaineth the rebels 
in Flanders : and he threaten eth Italy. For ourselves, he 
hath proceeded from dissimulation to neglect ; and from 
neglect to contumely. He hath assailed our confederates : 
he denieth our tribute : in a word, he seeks war : so did not 
his father, but sought peace at our hands ; and so perhaps 
will he, when good counsel or time shall make him see as 
much as his father did. 

" Meanwhile, let us make his ambition our advantage ; and 
let us not stand upon a few crowns of tribute or acknowledge- 
ment, but, by the favour of Almighty God, try o\ir right for 
the crown of France itself; remembering that there hath 
been a French king prisoner in England, and a king of 
England crowned in France. Our confederates are not 
diminished. Burgundy is in a mightier hand than ever, and 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 375 

never more provoked. Britain cannot help us, but it may 
hurt them. New acquests ;ire more burden than strength. 
The malecontents of bis own kingdom have not been ba 
popular, nor titulary impostors, but of a higher nature. The 
king of Spain, doubt ye not, will join with us, not knowing 
where the French king's ambition will stay. Our holy father 
the pope likes no Tramontanes in Italy. J Jut howsoever r 
this matter of confederates is Bather to be thought on than 
reckoned on. For God forbid but England should be able to 
get reason of France without a second. 

'•At the battles of Creasy, Poictiers, Agincourt, we were 
of ourselves. France hath much people, and few soldi 
They have no stable bands of foot. Some good bone they 
have; but those are forces which are Leasl tit for a defen 
war, where the actions are in the assailant's choice. It 
our discords only that lost France ; and, by the power of 
God, it is the good peace which we now enjoy that will 
recover it. God hath hitherto blessed my sword. 1 have, hi 
this time that I have reigned, weeded out my bad nxbji 
and tried my good My people and I know one another, 
which breeds confidence : and if there should be any bad 
blood left in the kingdom, an honourable foreign war will vent 
it or purify it. In this great business let me have your advice 
and aid. If any of you were to make his son knight, you 
might have aid of your tenants by law. This concerns the 
knighthood and spurs of the kingdom, whereof I am lather j 
and bound not only to seek to maintain it. but to advance it: 
but for matter of treasure let it not be taken from thepooi 
sort, but from those to whom the benefit of the war uia\ 
redound. France is no wilderness ; and I. thai profess good 
husbandry, hope to make the war, after the beginning 
pay itself. Go together in God's name, and Lose uo time. 
for 1 have called this parliament wholly for this cau 

Thus spake the king; but for all this, though be ah twed 
great forwardness tor a war, not only to his parliament and 
court, but to his privy council likewise, exoepi the two 
bishops and a tew more, yet nevertheless in his secret in- 
tentions be had no purpose to go through with any ware 

France. But the truth was, that he did but traffic with that 
war, to make his return in money. He knew well that 
France was now entire and at unity with it ielf, and D »ver BO 



376 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

mighty many years before. He saw by the taste that he had 
of his forces sent into Britain, that the French knew well 
enough how to make war with the English, by not putting 
things to the hazard of a battle, but wearing them by long 
sieges of towns, and strong fortified encampings. James the 
Third of Scotland, his true friend and confeder-ate, gone ; 
and James the Fourth, that had succeeded, wholly at the 
devotion of France, and ill affected towards him. As for 
the conjunctions of Ferdinando of Spain and Maximilian, he 
could make no foundation upon them. For the one had 
power, and not will ; and the other had will, and not power. 
Besides that, Ferdinando had but newly taken breath from 
the war with the Moors ; and merchanted at this time with 
France for the restoring of the counties of Russignon and 
Perpignian, oppignorated to the French. Neither was he 
out of fear of the discontents and ill blood within the realm ; 
which having used always to repress and appease in person, 
he was loth they should find him at a distance beyond sea, 
and engaged in war. Finding therefore the inconveniences 
and difficulties in the prosecution of a war, he cast with 
himself how to compass two things. The one, how by the 
declaration and inchoation of a war to make his profit. The 
other, how to come off from the war with the saving of his 
honour. For profit, it was to be made two ways ; upon his 
subjects for the war, and upon Ins enemies for the peace ; 
like a good merchant, that maketh his gain both upon the 
commodities exported, and imported back again. For the 
point of honour, wherein he might suffer for giving over the 
Aval*, he considered well, that as he could not trust upon the 
aids of Ferdinando and Maximilian for supports of war, so 
the impuissance of the one, and the double proceeding of the 
other, lay fair for him for occasions to accept of peace. 
These things he did wisely foresee, and did as artificially 
conduct, whereby all things fell into his lap as he desired. 

For as for the parliament, it presently took fire, being 
affectionate, of old, to the war of France ; and desirous afresh 
to repair the dishonour they thought the king sustained by 
the loss of Britain. Therefore they advised the king, with 
great alacrity, to undertake the war of France. And 
although the parliament consisted of the first and second 
nobility, together with principal citizens and townsmen, yet 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 377 

worthily and justly respecting more the people, whu.sc 
deputies they wen 1 , than their own private persons, and 
finding by the lord chancellor's speech the king's inclination 
that way, they consented that commissioners should go 
forth for the gathering and levying of a benevolence from 
the more able sort. This tax, called a benevolence, was 
devised by Edward the Fourth, for which he sustained much 
envy. It was abolished by Richard the Third by act of 
parliament, to ingratiate himself with the people ; and it was 
now revived by the king, but with consent of parliament, 
for so it was not in the time of King Edward the Fourth. 
But by this way he raised exceeding great sums. Insomuch 
as the City of London, in those days, contributed nine 
thousand pounds and better ; and that chiefly levied upon 
the wealthier sort. There is a tradition of a dilemma, that 
bishop Morton the chancellor used, to raise up the benevolence 
to higher rates ; and some called it his fork, and some his 
crotch. For he had couched an article in the instructions to 
the commissioners who were to levy the benevolence ; " That 
if they met with any that were sparing, they should tell 
them, that they must needs have, because they laid up : and 
if they were spenders, they must needs have, because it was 
seen in their port and manner of living." So neither kind 
came amiss. 

This parliament was merely a parliament of war ; for it 
was in substance but a declaration of war against France 
and Scotland, with some statutes conducing thereunto : as 
the severe punishment of mart-pays, and keeping back of 
soldiers' wages iu captains ; the like severity for the departure 
of soldiers without licence ; strengthening of the common 
law in favour of protections for those that were in the king's 
service; and the setting the gate open or wide for men to 
sell or mortgage their lands, without tines far alienation, to 
furnish themselves vrith money for the war; and lastly, the 
voiding of all Scottish men out of England* There was also 
a statute for the dispersing <>f the standard of the exchequer 
throughout England ; thereby to size weights and measures; 
and two or three more of less importance. 

After the parliament was broken up, which lasted not 
long, the king went on with his preparations for the war of 
France J yet neglected not iu the mean time the affairs of 



378 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

Maximilian for the quieting of Flanders, and restoring him 
to his authority amongst his subjects. For at that time the 
lord of Ravenstein, being not only a subject rebelled, but a 
s e r van t revolted, and so much the more malicious and violent, 
by the aid of Bruges and Gaunt, had taken the town and 
both the castles of Sluice, as we said before : and having, 
by the commodity of the haven, gotten together certain 
ships and barks, fell to a kind of piratical trade ; robbing 
and spoiling, and taking prisoners the ships and vessels of all 
nations, and passed along the coast towards the mart of 
Antwerp, or into any part of Brabant, Zealand, or Frieze- 
land ; being ever well victualled from Picardy, besides the 
commodity of victuals from Sluice, and the country adjacent, 
and the avails of his own prizes. The French assisted him 
still underhand ; and he likewise, as all men do that have 
been of both sides, thought himself not safe, except he 
depended upon a third person. 

There was a small town some two miles from Bruges 
towards the sea, called Dam ; which was a fort and approach 
to Bruges, and had a relation also to Sluice. 

This town the king of the Romans had attempted often, 
not for any worth of the town in itself, but because it might 
choke Bruges, and cut it off from the sea, and ever faded. 
But therewith the duke of Saxony came down into Flanders, 
taking upon him the person of an umpire, to compose things 
between Maximilian and his subjects ; but being, indeed, fast 
and assured to Maximilian. Upon this pretext of neutrality 
and treaty, he repaired to Bruges ; desiring of the states of 
Bruges, to enter peaceably into their town, with a retinue of 
some number of men of arms fit for his estate ; being some- 
what the more, as he said, the better to guard him in a 
country that was up in arms : and bearing them in hand, 
that he was to communicate with them of divers matters of 
great importance for their good. Which having obtained of 
them, he sent his carriages and harbingers before him, to 
provide his lodging. So that his men of war entered the 
city in good array, but in peaceable manner, aud he followed. 
They that went before inquired still for inns and lodgings, as 
if they would have rested there all night ; and so went on 
till they came to the gate that leadeth directly towards Dam : 
and they of Bruges only gazed upon them, and gave them 



HENRY Till-; SEVENTH. 379 

passage. The captains and inhabitants of Dam also suspecteo. 
no harm from any that passed throngb Bruges; ami discover- 
ing forces afar oil', supposed they had been some succour.- t hat 
were come from their friends, knowing Bomfl dangers towards 
them. And so perceiving u<>\ bing bnt well till it was too late, 
suffered them to enter their town, By which kind of slight, 
rather than stratagem, the town of Dam waa taken, and the 
town of Bruges shrewdly blocked up, whereby they took 
great discouragement. 

The duke of Saxony, having won the town of Dam. sent 
immediately to the king to let him know, that it was Sluice 
chiefly, and the Lord Kavenstein that kept the rebellion of 
Flanders in life : and that if it pleased the hang to besiege H 
by sea, he also would besiege it by land, and so cut out tin- 
core of those wars. 

The king, willing to uphold the authority of .Maximilian, 
the better to hold France in awe, and being likewise sued 
unto by his merchants, for that the seas were much infested 
by the barks of the Lord Kavenstein, sent straightway* 
Sir Edward Poynings, a valiant man, and of good service, 
with twelve ships, well furnished with soldiers and art illery. 
to clear the seas, and to besiege Sluice on that part. The 
Englishmen did not only coop up the Lord Kavenstein, that 
he stirred not, and likewise hold in strait siege the maritime 
part of the town, but also assailed one of the castles, and re- 
newed the assault so for twenty days' space, issuing still out 
of their ships at the ebb, as they made great slaughter of 
them of the castle; who continually fought with them to 
repulse them, though of the English part also woe slain a 
brother of the Earl of Oxford's, and some fifty more. 

But the siege still continuing more and more strait, and 
both the castles, which were the principal strength of the 
town, being distressed, the one by the duke of Saxony and 
the other by the English, and a bridge <>f boats, which the 
lord of Ravenstein had made between both castles, wherebj 
succours and relief might pass from the one to the other. 
being on :> night set on fire by the English ; he despairing to 

hold the town, yielded al the last the castles to the Ektgh&h, 

and the town to the duke of Saxony by composition Which 

done, the duke ot' Saxony and Sir Kdward Poynings treated 
with them of Bruges, to submit themselves to Maximilian 



380 HENiiY THE SEVENTH. 

their lord, which after some time they did, paying in some 
good part the charge of the war, whereby the Almains and 
foreign succours were dismissed. The example of Bruges 
other of the revolted towns followed, so that Maximilian 
grew to be out of danger, but, as his manner was to handle 
matters, never out of necessity. And Sir Edward Poynings, 
after he had continued at Sluice some good while till all 
things were settled, returned unto the king, being then 
before Boloign. 

Somewhat about this time came letters from Ferdinando 
and Isabella, king and queen of Spain, signifying the final 
conquest of Granada from the Moors, which action, in itself 
so worthy, king Ferdinando, whose manner was never to 
lose any virtue for the showing, had expressed and displayed 
in his letters at large, with all the particularities and reli- 
gious punctos and ceremonies that were observed in the 
reception of that city and kingdom, showing amongst other 
things that the king would not by any means in person 
enter the city, until he had at first aloof seen the cross set 
up upon the greater tower of Granada, whereby it became 
Christian ground. That bike wise, before he would enter, he 
did homage to God above, pronouncing by a herald from the 
height of that tower that he did acknowledge to have reco- 
vered that kingdom by the help of God Almighty, and the 
glorious Virgin, and the virtuous apostle Saint James, and 
the holy father Innocent the Eighth, together with the aids 
and services of his prelates, nobles, and commons. That yet 
he stirred not from his camp till he had seen a little army of 
martyrs, to the number of seven hundred and more Chris- 
tians, that had lived in bonds and servitude as slaves to the 
Moors, pass before his eyes, singing a psalm for their redemp- 
tion, and that he had given tribute unto God by alms and 
relief extended to them all for his admission into the city. 
These things were in the letters, with many more ceremonies 
of a kind of holy ostentation. 

The king, ever willing to put himself into the consort or 
choir of all religious actions, and naturally affecting much 
the king of Spain, as far as one king can affect another, 
partly for his virtues, and partly for a counterpoise to 
France, upon the receipt of these letters sent all his nobles 
and prelates that were about the court, together with the 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 381 

mayor and aldermen of London, in great solemnity to the 
church of Paul, there to bear a declaration from the lord 
chancellor, now cardinal. When they were assembled, the 
cardinal, standing upon the uppermost step, or half-pace, 
before the choir, and all the nobles, prelates, and governors 
of the city at the foot of the stairs, made a speech to them, 
letting them know that they were assembled in that conse- 
crated place to sing unto God a new song. For that, said 
he, these many years the Christians have not gained new 
ground or territory upon the infidels, nor enlarged and set 
farther the bounds of the Christian world. But this is now 
done by the prowess and devotion of Ferdinando and Isa- 
bella, sovereigns of Spain, who have, to their immortal honour, 
recovered the great and rich kingdom of Granada and the 
populous and mighty city of the same name from the Moors, 
having been in possession thereof by the space of seven 
hundred years and more; for which this assembly and all 
Christians are to render laud and thanks unto God, and to 
celebrate this noble act of the king of Spain, who in thi> is 
not only victorious but apostolical, in the gaining of new 
provinces to the Christian faith. And the rather for that 
this victory and conquest is obtained without much effusion 
of blood; whereby it is to be hoped that there shall be 
gained not only new territory, but infinite souls to the 
Church of Christ, whom the Almighty, as it seerns, would 
have live to be converted. Herewithal he did relate some 
of the most memorable particulars of the war and victory. 
And after his speech ended, the whole assembly went 
solemnly in procession, and Te Deutn was sung. 

Immediately after the solemnity, the king kept his May- 
day at his palace of Shene, now Richmond; where, to warm 
the blood of his nobility and gallants against the war, he 
kept great triumphs of jousting and tourney during all that 
month. In which space it so fell out that Sir James Parker 
and Hugh Vaughan, one of the Bang's gentlemen ushers, 
having had a controversy touching certain arms that the 
king-at-arms had given Yau^haii, were appointed to run 
some courses one against another. And by accident of a 
faulty helmet that Parker had on, he was stricken into the 
mouth at the first course, so that his tongue was borne unto 
the hinder part of his head, in such sort that he died pre- 



382 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

sently upon the place. Which, because of the controversy- 
precedent and the death that followed, was accounted 
amongst the vulgar as a combat or trial of right. The king, 
towards the end of this summer, having put his forces where- 
with he meant to invade France in readiness, but so as they 
were not yet met or mustered together, sent Urswick, now 
made his almoner, and Sir John Risley, to Maximilian, to 
let him know that he was in arms, ready to pass the seas 
into France, and did but expect to hear from him, when and 
where he did appoint to join with him, according to his pro- 
mise made unto him by Countebalt, his ambassador. 

The English ambassadors having repaired to Maximilian, 
did find his power and promise at a very great distance, he 
being utterly unprovided of men, money, and arms for any 
such enterprise. For Maximilian, having neither wing to 
fly on, for that his patrimony of Austria was not in his 
hands, his father being then hiving, and on the other side his 
matrimonial territories of Flanders being partly in dowry to 
his mother-in-law, and partly not serviceable in respect of 
the late rebellions, was thereby destitute of means to enter 
into war. The ambassadors saw this well, but wisely thought 
fit to advertise the king thereof, rather than to return them- 
selves, till the king's farther pleasure were known ; the rather 
for that Maximilian himself spake as great as ever he did 
before, and entertained them with dilatory answers, so as 
the formal part of their ambassage might well warrant and 
require their farther stay. The king hereupon, who doubted 
as much before, and saw through his business from the begin- 
ning, wrote back to the ambassadors, commending their dis- 
cretion in not returning, and willing them to keep the state 
wherein they found Maximilian as a secret, till they heard 
farther from him; and meanwhile went on with his voyage 
royal for France, suppressing for a time this advertisement 
toucliing Maximilian's poverty and disability. 

But this time was drawn together a great and puissant 
army into the city of London, in which were Thomas mar- 
quis Dorset, Thomas earl of Arundel, Thomas earl of Derby, 
George earl of Shrewsbury, Edmond earl of Suffolk, Edward 
earl of Devonshire, George earl of Kent, the earl of Essex, 
Thomas earl of Ormond, with a great number of barons, 
knights, and principal gentlemen, and amongst them Richard 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 383 

Thomas, much noted for the brave troops that he brought 
out of Wales. The army rising in the whole to the number 
of five-and-twenty thousand foot, and sixteen hundred horse, 
over which the king, oonstant in bia accustomed trust and 
employment, made Jasper duke of Bedford and John earl of 
Oxford generals ander his own person. The smth. of Sep- 
tember, in the eighth year of bis reign, be departed from 
Greenwich towards the sea, all men wondering that he took 
that season, being so near winter, to begin (he war, and some 
thereupon gathering it was a sign that the war would not be 
long. Nevertheless the king gave out the contrary, thus: — 
" That he intending not to make a summer business of it, 
but a resolute war, without term prefixed, until he had reco- 
vered France, it skilled not much when he began it, espe- 
cially having Calais at his back, where he might winter if 
the season of the war so required." The sixth of < >ctoU-r he 
embarked at Sandwich, and the same day took land at Ca- 
lais, which was the rendezvous where all his forces wen- 
assigned to meet. But in this his journey towards the sea- 
side, wherein, for the cause that we shall now speak of, he 
hovered so much the longer, he had received letters from the 
Lord Cordes, who the hotter he was against the English 
in time of war, had the more credit in a negotiation of 
peace, and besides, was held a man open and of good faith. 
In which letters there was made an overture of peace from 
the French king, with such conditions as were somewhat to 
the kind's taste; but this was carried at the first with won- 
derful secrecy. The king was no sooner conn to Calais l>ut 
the calm winds of peace began to blow. For first, the Eng- 
lish ambassadors returned out of Flanders from Maximilian, 
and certified the king that In- was not to hope for any aid 
from Maximilian, for thai he was altogether unprovided. 

His will was good, but he lacked m y. And this was 

made known and spread through the army. And although 
the English were therewithal nothing dismayed, and that it 

be the manner of soldiers upon had news to speak the more 
bravely; yel nevertheless tl was a kind of preparative to a 
peace. Instantly in the neck of this, aa the kin"; had laid it, 
came news thai Ferdinando and I -a I pel la. sovereigns of Spain, 
had concluded a peace with King Charles, and that Charles 
bad restored unto them the counties of Russignon and Perpig- 



384 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

nian, which formerly were mortgaged by John, king of Ar- 
ragon, Ferdinando's father, unto France for three hundred 
thousand crowns, which debt was also upon this peace by 
Charles clearly released. This came also handsomely to put 
on the peace, both because so potent a confederate was fallen 
off, and because it was a fair example of a peace bought, so 
as the king should not be the sole merchant in this peace. 
Upon these airs of peace the king was content that the 
bishop of Exeter and the Lord d'Aubigny, governor of Ca- 
lais, should give a meeting unto the Lord Cordes, for the 
treaty of a peace. But himself, nevertheless, and his army, 
the fifteenth of October, removed from Calais, and in four 
days' march sat him down before Boloign. 

During this siege of Boloign, which continued near a 
month, there passed no memorable action nor accident of 
war; only Sir John Savage, a valiant captain, was slain, 
riding about the walls of the town to take a view. The 
town was both well fortified and well manned, yet it was 
distressed and ready for an assault ; which, if it had been, 
given, as was thought, would have cost much blood, but yet 
the town would have been carried in the end. Meanwhile a 
peace was concluded by the commissioners, to continue for 
both the kings' lives. Where there was no article of import- 
ance, being in effect rather a bargain than a treaty. For all 
things remained as they were, save that there should be paid 
to the king seven hundred and forty-five thousand ducats in 
present, for his charges in that journey; and five-and-twenty 
thousand crowns yearly, for his charges sustained in the aid 
of the Britons. For which annual, though he had Maxi- 
milian bound before for those charges, yet he counted the 
alteration of the hand as much as the principal debt. And 
besides, it was left somewhat indefinitely when it should 
determine or expire, which made the English esteem it as a 
tribute carried under fair terms. And the truth is, it was 
paid both to the king and to his son ELing Henry the Eighth, 
longer than it could continue upon any computation of 
charges. There was also assigned by the French king, unto 
all the king's principal counsellors, great pensions, besides 
rich gifts for the present ; which, whether the king did per- 
mit, to save his own purse from rewards, or to communicate 
the envy of a business, that was displeasing to his people, 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 385 

was diversely interpreted. For certainly (he king had no 
great fancy to own this peace. And, therefore, ;i little before 
it was concluded, he had underhand procured Borne of Ins 
best captains and men of war to ad\ ise him to a peace, under 
their hands, in an earnest manner, in the nature <>t'a suppli- 
cation. But the truth is, this peace was welcome to both 
kings: — To Charles, for that it assured unto him the posses- 
sion of Britain, and freed the enterprise of Naples j to Henry, 
for that it filled his coffers, and that he foresaw at that time 
a storm of inward troubles coming upon him, which presently 
after brake forth. But it gave no less discontent to the 
nobility and principal persons of the army, who had many of 
them sold or engaged their estates upon the hopes of the 
war. They stuck not to say, " That the king cared nut to 
{>lume his nobility and people t<> feather himself." Ami 
some made themselves merry with that the king had said 
in Parliament, -That after the war "was once begun, he 
doubted not but to make it pay itself." Baying, he had 
kept promise. 

Slaving risen from Boloign he went to Calais, where he 
stayed some time. From whence also he wrote letters, 
which was a courtesy that he sometimes used, to the mayor 
of London, and the aldermen his brethren, half bragging 
what great sums he had obtained for the peace, knowing 
well that full coffers of the king is ever good news to Lon- 
don. And better news it would have been, if their benevo- 
lence had been but a loan. And upon the seventeenth of 
December following he returned to Westminster, where he 
kept his ( 'hristmas. 

Boon after the kind's return, he sent the Order of the 
Garter to Alphonso, duke of Calabria, eldest son to Ferdi- 
uando, king of Naples, an honour sought by that prince to 
hold him up in the eyes of the Italians, who. expecting the 

.inns of (.'harles, made great account of the amity of' Eng- 
land tin- a bridle to France, It was received by Alphonso 
with all the ceremony and pomp thai could be devised, aa 

things used to lie carried that an- intended for opinion. It 

was sent by Drswick, upon whom the king bestowed 'his 

embassage to help him after many dry employments. 

At this time the king began again to be haunt-.} with 
spirits, by the magic and curious art- of the Ladv Margaret, 

1' c 



386 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

who raised up the ghost of Richard, duke of York, second 
to King Edward the Fourth, to walk and vex the king. This 
was a liner counterfeit stone than Lambert Simnel, better 
done and worn upon greater hands, being graced after with 
the wearing of a king of France and a king of Scotland, not 
of a duchess of Burgundy only. And for Simnel there was 
not much in him, more than that he was a haudsome boy, 
and did not shame his robes. But this youth, of whom we 
are now to speak, was such a mercurial, as the like hath 
seldom been known, and could make his own part if at any 
time he chanced to be out. Wherefore this being one of the 
strangest examples of a personation that ever was in elder or 
later times, it deserveth to be discovered and related at the 
full ; although the king's manner of showing things by pieces, 
and by dark lights, hath so muffled it, that it hath left it 
almost as a mystery to this day. 

The Lady Mai'garet, whom the king's friends called Juno, 
because she was to him as Juno was to ./Eneas, stirring both 
heaven and hell to do him mischief, for a foundation of her 
particular practices against hini, did continually, by all means 
possible, nourish, maintain, and divulge the flying opinion, 
that Richard, duke of York, second son to Edward the 
Fourth, was not murdered in the Tower, as was given out, 
but saved alive. For that those who were employed in that 
barbarous fact, having destroyed the elder brother, were 
stricken with remorse and compassion towards the younger, 
and set him privily at liberty to seek his fortune. This lure 
she cast abroad, thinking that this fame and belief, together 
with the fresh example of Lambert Simnel, would draw at 
one time or other some birds to strike upon it. She used 
likewise a farther diligence, not committing all to chance ; 
for she had some secret espials, like to the Turks' commis- 
sioners for children of tribute, to look abroad for handsome 
and graceful yonths, to make Plantagenets and dukes of 
York. At the last she did light on one in whom all things 
met, as one woidd wish, to serve her turn for a counterfeit 
of Richard, duke of York. 

This was Perkin Warbeck, whose adventures we shall 
now describe. For first, the years agreed well. Secondly, 
he was a youth of fine favour and shape. But more than 
that, he had such a crafty and bewitching fashion, both to 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 387 

move pity, and to induce belief, aa was like a kind of ta.-ei 
nation ami enchantment to those th.it miw him or ha 
him. Thirdly, he had been from his childhood such a wan- 
derer, or, as tin- king called trim, mob a landloper, aa it vac 
extreme hard to limit out bis neat and parents. Neither 
again could any man. by company or conversing with bin 
be able to say or detect weH what he was. he did bo Hit 
from place to place. Lastly, there was ■ circxanstaiiice, which 
is mentioned by one that wrote in the same time, thai i 
very likely to have made somewhat to the matter — which 
is, that King Edward the Fourth was Iris godfather. "Which 
as it is somewhat suspicions for a wanton prince to beeorai 
gossip in so mean a bouse, and might make a man think 
that he might indeed have in him some base blood of tin 
house of York; so at the least, though that were not, i' 
might give the occasion to the boy, in being called King 
Edward's godson, or perhaps in sport Kim; Edward's Bon, b 
entertain such thoughts into his head For tutor he bad 
none, for ought that appears, as Lambert Bimnel had. until 
he came unto the Lady Margaret, who instructed him. 

Thus therefore it came to pass: — There was a townsman o» 
Touraay, that had borne office in thai town, whose Dam 
was John Osbeck, a convert Jew, married to Catherine QJ 
Faro, whose business drew him to live for a time with hi- 

wife at London in King Edward the Fourth's days; during 

which time he had a son by her, and being known in court. 
the king, either out of religious nobleness, because he wj 
convert, or upon some private acquaintance, did him tin 
honour to be godfather to his child, and named him PetSC 
But afterwards, proving a dainty and ellniiiiiate youth, he 

was commonly ealled by the diminutive of bia name. Peterkht, 

or Perkin. For as for the name <»t Warbeck, it was given 
him wluii they did but guess at it. before examinations bad 

been taken. But yet be had been BO much talked on 1)\ 
that name, as it stuck by him after his true name of OJ»eck 

was known. While be was a young child, bis parents 

returned with bin to Toiiruay. Then was be placed in a 
house of a kiiisinan of hi-, called John Stenheck, at Ant- 
werp, and JO rored op and down between Antwerp ami 
Tournay, and other towns of I'landers. for a jjood time 
living much in English company, and having thfi Knglish 



388 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

tongue perfect. In which time, being grown a comely youth, 
he was brought by some of the espials of the Lady Margaret 
into her presence. "Who viewing him well, and seeing that 
he had a face and personage that would bear a noble fortune ; 
and finding him otherwise of a fine spirit and winning beha- 
viour; thought she had now found a curious piece of marble to 
carve out an image of the duke of York. She kept him by 
her a great while, but with extreme secrecy. The while 
she instructed him by many cabinet conferences. First, in 
princely behaviour and gesture ; teaching him how he should 
keep state, and yet with a modest sense of his misfortunes. 
Then she informed him of all the circumstances and par- 
ticulars that concerned the person of Richard, duke of York, 
which he was to act ; describing unto him the personages, 
liueaments, and features of the king and queen his pretended 
parents ; and of his brother and sisters, and divers others, 
that were nearest liim in his childhood ; together with all 
passages, some secret, some common, that were fit for a 
child's memory, until the death of King Edward. Then i-he 
added the particulars of the time from the king's death, 
until he and his brother were committed to the Tower, as 
well during the time he was abroad, as while he was in 
sanctuary. As for the times while he was in the Tower, and 
the manner of his brother's death, and his own escape, she 
knew they were things that a very few could control ; and 
therefore she taught him only to tell a smooth and likely 
tale of those matters, warning him not to vary from it. 
It was agreed likewise between them, what account he 
should give of his peregrination abroad, intermixing many 
things which were true, and such as they knew others coidd 
testify, for the credit of the rest ; but still making them to 
hang together with the part he was to play. She taught 
him likewise how to avoid sundry captious and tempting 
questions, which were like to be asked of him. But in this 
she found him of himself so nimble and shifting, as she 
trusted much to his own wit and readiness ; and therefore 
laboured the less in it. Lastly, she raised his thoughts with 
some present rewards, and farther promises ; setting before 
him chiefly the glory and fortune of a crown if things went 
well, and a sure refuge to her court, if the worst should fall. 
After such time as she thought he was perfect in his lesson, 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 380 

she began to cast with herself from what coast this blazing 
Btar should first appear, and at what time it must be upon 
the horizon of Ireland ; for there hail the like meteor strong 
influence before. The time of the apparition to be, when 
the king should he engaged into a war with France. But- 
well she knew, that whatsoever should come from her, would 
he held suspected. And therefore, if he should go out of 
Flanders immediately into Ireland, she might be thought to 
have some hand in it. And besides, the time was not vf 
ripe, for that the two kings were then upon terms of peace. 
Therefore she wheeled about ; and to put all suspicion afar 
off, and loth to keep him any longer by her, for that she 
knew secrets are not long-lived, she sent him unknown into 
Portugal with the Lady Brampton, an English lady, that 
embarked for Portugal at that time, with some privado of 
her own, to have an eye upon him : and there he was to 
remain, and to expect her farther directions. In tin- mean 
time she omitted not to prepare things for his better wel- 
come and accepting, not only in the kingdom of Ireland, but 
in the court of France. He continued in Portugal aboui 
a year ; and by that time the king of England called his 
parliament, as hath been said, and declared open war againsi 
Prance. Now did the sign reign, and the constellation was 
come, under which Perkin should appear. And therefore 
he was straight sent unto by the duchess to go for Ireland, 
according to the first deshjmnent. In Ireland he did arrive 
at the town of Cork. When he was thither come, his own 
tale was. when he made his confession afterwards, that the 
Irishmen, finding him in some good clothes, came flocking 

about him. and bare him down that he was the duke ol 

Clarence that had bees there before. And after that he was 
Richard the Third's base son And lastly, that he was 
Richard, duke of York, second son of Edward the Fourth. 
But that he, for his part, renounced all the-' things, and 
offered to swear upon the holy evangelists, that he w;us no 
such man ; till at la-? they forced il upon him, and bad 
him fear nothing, and BO forth. I Jut the truth i>. that 
immediately upon hi- ooming into Ireland, he took upon 
him the said person of tip' duke of York, and drew unto 
him complices and partakers by all the means he could 
devis ■. Insomuch as he wrote Ids letters unto the earls of 



''0 HENBY THE SEVENTH. 

Desmond and Kildare, to come in to his aid, and be of his 
party ; the originals of which letters are yet extant. 

Somewhat before this time, the duchess had also gained 
xinto her a near servant of King Henry's own, one Stephen 
Frion, his secretary for the French tongue ; an active man, 
but turbulent and discontented. This Frion had fled over 
to Charles, the French king, and put himself into his service, 
at such time as he began to be in open enmity with the king. 
Now King Charles, when he understood of the person and 
attempts of Perkin, ready of himself to embrace all advan- 
tages against the king of England, instigated by Frion, and 
formerly prepared by the Lady Margaret, forthwith despatched 
one Lucas and this Frion, in the nature of ambassadors to 
Perkin, to advertise him of the king's good inclination to 
him, and that he was resolved to aid him to recover his right 
against King Henry, an usurper of England, and an enemy 
of France ; and wished him to come over unto him at Paris. 
Perkin thought himself in heaven now that he was invited 
by so great a king in so honourable a manner ; and im- 
parting unto his friends in Ireland for their encouragement, 
how fortune called him, and what great hopes he had, sailed 
presently into France. When he was come to the court of 
France, the king received him with great honour ; saluted, 
and styled him by the name of the duke of York ; lodged 
him, and accommodated him in great state. And the better 
to give him the representation and the countenance of a 
prince, assigned him a guard for his person, whereof the 
Lord Congresall was captain. The courtiers Hkewise, though 
it be ill mocking with the French, applied themselves to 
their king's bent, seeing there was reason of state for it. 
At the same time there repaired unto Perkin divers English- 
men of quality : Sir George Neville, Sir John Taylor, and 
about one hundred more ; and amongst the rest, this Stephen 
Frion, of whom we spake, who followed his fortune both 
then and for a long time after, and was indeed his principal 
counsellor and instrument in all his proceedings. But all 
this on the French king's part was but a trick, the better to 
bow King Henry to peace. And therefore upon the first 
grain of incense that was sacrificed upon the altar of peace 
at Boloign, Perkin was smoked away. Yet would not the 
French king dehver him up to King Henry, as he was 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. o91 

laboured to do, for bis honour's sake, but warned him away 
and dismissed him. Ami lVrkin, on his part) was as ready 
to be gone, doubting In- might be caught op under-hand. 
He therefore took his way into Flanders, unto the ducheaE 
of Burgundy ; pretending that having been variously tossed 
by fortune, he directed his course thither ae to a safe hap- 
bour : no ways taking knowledge that lie had ever been 
there before, but as if that had been his first address. The 
duchess, <>n the other part, made it as new and strange to 
see him ; pretending, at the first, that she was taught and 
made wise by the example of Lambert Simnel, how she did 
admit of any Counterfeit stuff; though even in that, she 
said, she was not fully satisfied She pretended at the first, 
and that was ever in the presence of others, to pose him and 
Mt't him. thereby to try whether he were indeed the veiy 
duke of York or no. But seeming to receive full satisfaction 
by his answers, she then feigned herself to he transported 
with a kind of astonishment, mixt of joy and wonder, at his 
miraculous deliverance- ; receiving him as if he were risen 
from death to life ; and interring, tliat God, who had in such 
wonderful manner preserved him from death, did likewise 
reserve him for some great and prosperous fortune. As for 
his dismission out of France, they interpreted it. not as it' 
he were detected or neglected for a counterfeit deceiver, but 
contrariwise, that it did show manifestly unto the world, 
that he was some great matter; tor that it was his aban- 
doning that, in effect, made the peace ; being no more but 
the sacrificing of a poor distressed prince unto the utility 
and ambition of two mighty monarcha .Neither was Parkin* 

for his part, wanting to himself, either in gracious ©r princely 
behaviour, or in ready ami apposite answers OX in OOtttentiag 
and caressing those that did apply themselves unto him, or 
in pretty scorn and disdain to those that seemed to doubt 

of him ; but in all things did notably ae.piit himself ; inso- 
niueli as it w*£ generally believed, as well amongst great 

persons as amongst the vulgar, that he was indeed Duke 
Richard Nay, liiins.lt'. with long and continued counter- 
feiting, and with oil ballings lie. was turned bj habit almost 

into the thing he seemed to be j and from a liar to a believer; 

The duchess, therefore, as in a case out of doubt, did him all 
princely honour, calling him always by the name of her 



392 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

nephew, and giving him the delicate title of the White 1!', e 
of England : and appointed him a guard of thirty persons, 
halberdiers, clad in a party-coloured livery of murrey and 
blue, to attend his person. Her court likewise, and generallj 
the Dutch and strangers, in their usage towards him, ex- 
pressed no less respect. 

The news hereof came blazing and thundering over into 
England, that the duke of York was sure alive. As for the 
name of Perkin Warbeck, it was not at that time come to 
light, but all the news ran upon the duke of York ; that he 
had been entertained in Ireland, bought and sold in France, 
and was now plainly avowed, and in great honour in Flan- 
ders. These fames took hold of divers ; in some upon dis- 
content ; in some upon ambition ; in some upon levity and 
desire of change; in some few upon conscience and belief; 
but in most upon simplicity ; and in divers out of dependence 
upon some of the better sort, who did in secret favour and 
nourish these bruits. And it was not long ere these rumours 
of novelty had begotten others of scandal and murmur 
against the king and his government, taxing him for a great 
taxer of his people, and discountenancer of his nobility. The 
loss of Britain, and the peace with France, were not for- 
gotten. But chiefly they fell upon the wrong that he did 
his queen, in that he did not reign in her right. Wherefoiv 
they said that God had now brought to light a masculine 
branch of the house of York, that woidd not be at bis 
courtesy, howsoever he did depress his poor lady. And yet, 
as it fareth in the tilings winch are current with the mul- 
titude, and which they affect, these fames grew so general, 
as the authors were lost in the generality of speakers. They 
being like running weeds that have no certain root ; or like 
footings up and down, impossible to be traced ; but after a 
while these ill humours drew to a head, and settled secretly 
in some eminent persons — which were, Sir William Stanley, 
lord chamberlain of the king's household, the Lord Fitz- 
walter, Sir Simon Mountfort, and Sir Thomas Thwaites. 
These entered into a secret conspiracy to favour Duke 
Richard's title. Nevertheless none engaged their fortunes 
in this business openly, but two, Sir Robert Clifford and 
Master William Barley, who sailed over into Flanders, sent 
indeed from the party of the conspirators here, to understand 



HEXKV THE SEVENTH. 393 

the truth of th> >-<■ things that passed there, ami not without 
some help of moneys from hence ; provisionally to be de- 
livered, if they found and were satisfied that there was truth 
in these pretences. Tin* person of Sir Robert Clifford, being 
a gentleman of fame and family, was extremely welcome to 
the Lady Margaret; who, after she had conference with 
him, brought him to the sight of Perkin, with whom he had 
often speech and discourse. So that, in the end, won either 
by the duchess to affect, or by Perkin to believe, he wrote 
back into England, that he knew the person of Richard, duke 

of York, as well as he knew his own, and that this yOUDg 
man was undoubtedly he. By this means all things grew 
prepared to revolt and sedition here, and the conspiracy 
came to have a correspondence between Flanders and E _ 
land. 

The king on his part was not asleep ; but to arm or levy 
forces yet, he thought would but show tear, and do this idol 

too much worship. Nevertheless the ports he did .dun up, 
or at least kept a watch on them, that none should pass to 
or fro that was suspected ; but for the rest, he chose to wort 
by countermine, His purposes were two : the one, to lay 
open the abuse; the other, to break the knot of the con 
spirators. To detect the abuse, there were but two ways : 
the tirst, to make it manifest to the world that the duke of 
York was indeed murdered; the other, to prove thai were 
he dead or alive, yet Perkin was a counterfeit. For the first, 
thus it stood. There wen» but four persons that could speak 
upon knowledge to the murder of the duke of York: Sir 
James Tin-el. the employed man from King Richard, John 
Dighton and Miles Forrest, his servants, the two butcher: or 
tormentors, and the priest <»f the Tower, that buried them j 
of which lour Miles Forrest and the priest were dead, and 
there remained alive only Sir James Tirrel ami John 1 tighton, 

These two the king caused to be committed to the Tower, 

and examined touching the manner of the death of the two 

innocent princea They agreed both in a tale, as the king 
gave out, to this effect : thai Bang Richard having directed 
his warrant for the putting of them to death t" Brackenbury, 
the lieutenant of the Tower, was by him refused | where 
upon the king directed his warranl to Sir James Tirrel, to 
receive the key- of the Tower from the lieutenant, for the 



394 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

space of a night, for the king's special service. That Sir 
James Tirrel accordingly repaired to the Tower by night, 
attended by his two servants aforenamed, whom he had 
chosen for that purpose. That himself stood at the stair-foot, 
and sent these two villains to execute the murder. That 
they smothered them in their bed ; and, that done, called 
up their master to see their naked dead bodies, which they 
had laid forth. That they were buried under the stairs, and 
some stones cast upon them. That when the report was 
made to King Richard, that his will was done, he gave Sir 
James Tirrel great thanks, but took exception to the place 
of their burial, being too base for them that were king's 
children'; whereupon, another night, by the king's warrant 
renewed, their bodies were removed by the priest of the 
Tower, and buried by him in some place, which, by means 
of the priest's death soon after, could not be known. Thus 
much was then delivered abroad, to be the effect of those 
examinations ; but the king, nevertheless, made no use of 
them in any of his declarations ; whereby, as it seems, those 
examinations left the business somewhat perplexed. And 
as for Sir James Tirrel, he was soon after beheaded in the 
Tower-yard for other matters of treason. But John Dighton, 
who, it seemeth, spake best for the king, was forthwith set 
at liberty, and was the principal means of divulging this 
tradition. Therefore this kind of proof being left so naked, 
the king used the more diligence in the latter, for the tracing 
of Perkin. To this purpose he sent abroad into several 
parts, and especially into Flanders, divers secret and nimble 
scouts and spies, some feigning themselves to fly over unto 
Perkin, and to adhere unto him ; and some under other 
pretences, to learn, search, and discover all the circumstances 
and particulars of Perkin's parents, birth, person, travels up 
and down ; and in brief, to have a journal, as it were, of his 
life and doings. He furnished these his employed men 
liberally with money to draw on and reward intelligences ; 
giving them also in charge, to advertise continually what 
they found, and nevertheless still to go on. And ever as 
one advertisement and discoveiy called up another, he 
employed other new men, where the business did require it. 
Others he employed in a more special nature and tnist. to 
be his pioneers in the main countermine. These were di- 



HENKY THE SEVENTH. 395 

rectetl to insinuate themselves into the familiarity and con- 
fidence of the principal persona of the party in Flanders, and 
so to learn what associates they had, and correspondents, 
either ken in England, or abroad ; and how Gar every one 
engaged, and what new ones they meant afterwards to try or 
board. And as this for the persons, bo Gar the actions them- 
selves, to discover to the bottom, as they could, the utmost 
of Perkins and the conspirators 1 , their intentions, hopes, and 
practices. These latter beet-be-trust spies had some of them 
farther instructions, to practise and draw off the beet friends 
and servants of Perkin, by making remonstrance to them, 
how weakly his enterprise and hopes were built, and with 
how prudent and potent a king they had to deal : and to 
reconcile them to the king, with promise of pardon and 
good conditions of reward. And, above the n-i. t<> a—ail, 
sap, and work into the constancy of Sir Robert Clifford ; 
and to win him, if they could, being tin- man that knew 
most of their Becrets, and who, being won away, would most 
appal and discourage the rest, and in a manner break the 
knot. 

There is a strange tradition, that the king, being lost in a 
wood of suspicions, and not knowing whom to trust, had 
both intelligence with the confessors and ehaplains of divers 
great men; and for the better credit of his espials abroad 
with the contrary side, did use to have them cursed at Pauls, 
by name, amongst the bead-roll of the king's enemies, ac- 
cording to the custom of those times. These espials plied 
their charge so roundly, as the king had an anatomy of 
Perkin alive; and was likewise well informed of the par- 
ticular correspondent conspirators in Bn gland, ami many 
other mysteries were revealed : and Sir Robert Clifford, in 
especial, won to l.e assured to the king, and industrious and 

officious lor his service. The king, there fo re, receiving a 
rich return of his diligence, and great satisfaction touching 
a. number of particulars, tirst divulged and spread abroad the 
imp ostur e and juggling of Perkins person ami travels, with 
the circumstances thereof, throughoui the realm; not by 

proclamation, because things were ye! in e\ainiuat ion, and 
so miidn receive the more or the less, but by court tames, 
which commonly print better than printed proclamations. 
Then thought he it also time to send an nffibaOBngO unto 



.°,96 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

Arch-fluke Philip, into Flanders, for the abandoning ami dis- 
missing of Perkin. Herein he employed Sir Edward Poyn- 
ings, and Sir William Warham, doctor of the canon law. 
The archduke was then young, and governed by his council, 
before whom the ambassadors had audience ; and Dr. War- 
ham spake in this manner : — 

" My lords, the king our master is very sorry, that Eng- 
land and your country here of Flanders, having been counted 
as man and wife for so long time, now this country of all 
all others should be the stage where a base counterfeit 
should play the part of a king of England ; not only 
to his grace's disquiet and dishonour, but to the scorn and 
reproach of all sovereign princes. To counterfeit the dead 
image of a king in his coin is a high offence by all laws, but 
to counterfeit the living image of a king in his person, ex- 
ceedeth all falsifications, except it shovdd be that of a Ma- 
homet, or an antichrist, that counterfeit divine honour. The 
king hath too great an opinion of this sage council, to tliink 
that any of you is caught with this fable, though way may 
be given by you to the passion of some, the thing in itself 
is so improbable. To set testimonies aside of the death of 
Duke Richard, which the king hath upon record, plain and 
infallible, because they may be thought to be in the king's 
own power, let the tiling testify for itself. Sense and reason 
no power can command. Is it possible, trow you, that King 
Richard should damn his soul, and foul his name with so 
abominable a murder, and yet not mend his case ? Or do 
you think that men of blood, that were his instruments, did 
turn to pity in the midst of their execution 1 Whereas in 
cruel and savage beasts, and men also, the first draught of 
blood doth yet make them more fierce and eni'aged. Do 
you not know, that the bloody executioners of tyrants do go 
to such errands with a halter about their neck ; so that if 
they perforin not, they are sure to die for it ? And do you 
think that these men would hazard their own lives, for 
sparing another's 1 Admit they should have saved him ; 
what should they have done with him 1 Turn him into 
London streets, that the watchmen, or any passenger that 
should light upon him, might cany him before a justice, and 
so all come to light ? Or should they have kept him by 
them secretly? That surely would have required a great 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. 397 

deal of care, charge, and continual feara But, my lords, I 
labour too much in a clear business. The king is so wise, 
and bath so good friends alumni, aa now he knoweth Duke 
Perkin from Ids cradle. And because he is a great prince, 
if you have any good poet here, he can help him with notes 
to write his lit*- ; and t<> parallel liim with Lambert Simnel, 
now the king's falconer. And therefore, t'> speak plainly to 
your lordships, it is the strangest tiling in the world, that 
the Lady Margaret, excuse us it' we name her, whose malice 

to the king is both causeless and endless, should now, when 

she is old, at the time when other women give over child- 
bearing, bring forth two such monsters ; being not the births 
of nine or ten months, but of many years. And whereas 
other natural mothers bring forth children weak, and not 
aide to help themselves, she bringeth forth tall striplings, 
able soon after their coming into the world to bid battle to 
mighty kings. My lords, we stay unwillingly upon this part. 

We would to God that, lady would once taste the joy-- which 
God Almighty doth serve up unto her in beholding her idece 
to reign in such honour and with BO much royal issue, which 
she might be pleased to account as her own. The king's 
request unto the archduke and your lordships might be, that 

according to the example of King Charles, who hath already 
discarded him, you would banish this unworthy fellow out of 
your dominions. But because the king may justly expect 
more from an ancient confederate than from a new recon- 
ciled enemy, he maketh his request unto you to deliver him 
up into his hands; pirates and impostors of this sort being 
tit to be accounted the common enemies of mankind, and no 
ways to be protected by the law of nations." 

After some time of deliberation, the ambassadors received 
this short answer: — 

"That the archduke, for the love of King Henry, would 
in no sort aid or assist the pretended duke, but in all things 

Conserve the amity he had with the king ; but for the duchess 

dowager, she was absolute in the lands of her dowry, and that 
he could not let her to dispose of her own." 

The king, upon the return of the ambassadors, was nothing 
satisfied with this answer; for well he knew that a patri- 
monial dowry carried no part of sovereignty or command of 
forces. Besides, the ambassadors told him plainly, that they 



398 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

saw the duchess had a great party in the archduke's council ; 
and that howsoever it was carried in a course of connivance, 
yet the archduke underhand gave aid and fartherance to 
Perkin. Wherefore, partly out of courage, and partly out of 
policy, the king forthwith banished all Flemings, as well 
their persons as their wares, out of his kingdom ; command- 
ing his subjects likewise, and by name his merchants adven- 
turers, which had a resiance at Antwerp, to return, trans- 
lating the mart, which commonly followed the English cloth, 
mito Calais, and embarred also all farther trade for the 
future. This the king did, being sensible in point of honour 
not to suffer a pretender to the crown of England to affront 
him so near at hand, and he to keep terms of friendship with 
the country where he did set up. But he had also a farther 
reach; for that he knew well that the subjects of Flanders 
drew so great commodity from the trade of England, as by 
this embargo they would soon wax weary of Perkin, and that 
the tumult of Flanders had been so late and fresh, as it was 
no time for the prince to displease the people. Nevertheless, 
for form's sake, by way of requital, the archduke did likewise 
banish the English out of Flanders, which in effect was done 
to his hard. 

The king, being well advertised that Perkin did more 
trust upon friends and partakers within the realm than upon 
foreign arms, thought it behoved him to apply the remedy 
where the disease lay, and to proceed with severity against 
some of the principal conspirators here within the realm, 
thereby to purge the ill humours in England and to cool the 
hopes in Flanders; wherefore he caused to be apprehended, 
almost at an instant, John Eatcliffe Lord Fitzwalter, Sir 
Simon Mountfort, Sir Thomas Thwaites, William D'Aubig- 
ney, Robert Ratcliffe, Thomas Cressenor, and Thomas Ast- 
wood. All these were arraigned, convicted, and condemned 
for high treason, in adhering and promising aid to Perkin. 
Of these the Lord Fitzwalter was conveyed to Calais, and 
there kept in hold and in hope of life, until soon after, either 
impatient or betrayed, he dealt with his keeper to have 
escaped, and thereupon was beheaded. But Sir Simon 
Mountfort, Robert Ratcliffe, and William D'Aubigney, were 
beheaded immediately after their condemnation. The rest 
were pardoned, together with many others, clerks and laics, 



HENRY THE SEVENTH 399 

amongst which were two Dominican friars, ami William 

"Worselcy. < I. an of hull's, which latter -"rt passed examina- 
tion, but came not t< > public trial. 

The lord chamberlaiii at that fcima was not touched, 
whether it were thai the king would not stir too many 
humours at mice, l>m. after the manner of good physicians, 
purge the bead last, or that Cliilbrd, from whom most <»t 
these discoveries came, reserved that piece for his own 
coming over, signifying only to the king) in the meantime^ 
that he doubted there were some greater ones in the busi- 
ness, whereof he would give the king farther account when 

he came to his presence. 

Upon Allhallows-day even, being now the tenth year <>i 
the king's reign, the king's second son Henry was created 
duke of York; and as well the duke as divers ether-, noble- 
men, knights-bachelors, and gentlemen of quality, were made 
knights of the Bath, according to the ceremony. Upon the 
morrow after Twelfth-day. the king removed from \\ 
minster, where lie had kept his Christmas, to the Tower 

of London. This he did as soon as lie had advertise- 
ment that Sir Robert Clill'ord, in whose bosom or budget 
most of Parkin's secrets were laid up, was come into I 
land. And the place of the Tower was chosen to that end. 

that if Clifford should accuse any of the great ones, they 
might, without suspicion or noise, or Bending ab r oad of war- 
rants, be presently attached, the court and prison being 
within the cincture of one wall. After a day or two the 
king drew unto him a selected council, and admitted Clifford 
to his presence, who first fell down aj bis feet, and in all 
humble manner craved the king's pardon; which the king 
then granted, though be were indeed secretly assneed of his 
life before. Then commanded to tell his knowledge, he did, 
amongst many other-, of bimself) not interrogated, impeach 
Sir William Stanley, the lord chamberlain of the Li* 
household. 

The king seemed to be much amazed a1 thenaming of this 

lord, as if be had heard the news of some strange and fearful 
prodigy. To hear B man that had done him .-ci\ ice of SO 
high a nature as to aave hi> life and set the crown upon hi- 
head. a man that enjoyed by his favour and advancement BO 
neat B fortune both in honour and riches. — ;l man that WW 



400 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

tied unto him in so near a band of alliance, his brother 
having manied the king's mother, — and, lastly, a man to 
whom he had committed the trust of his person, in making 
him his chamberlain; that this man, no ways disgraced, no 
ways discontent, no ways put in fear, should be false unto 
him. Clifford was required to say over again and again the 
particulars of his accusation, being warned, that in a matter 
so unlikely, and that concerned so great a servant of the 
king's, he should not in any wise go too far. But the king, 
finding that he did sadly and constantly, without hesitation 
or varying, and with those civil protestations that were tit, 
stand to that that he had said, offering to justify it upon his 
soul and life, he caused him to be removed. And after he 
had not a little bemoaned himself unto his council there 
present, gave order that Sir William Stanley should be 
restrained in his own chamber where he lay before, in the 
square tower; and the next day he was examined by the 
lords. Upon his examination he denied little of that where- 
with he was charged, nor endeavoured much to excuse or 
extenuate his fault; so that, not very wisely, thinking to 
make his offence less by confession, he made it enough for 
condemnation. It was conceived that he trusted much to 
his former merits, and the interest that his brother had in 
the king. But those helps were overweighed by divers 
things that made against him, and were predominant in the 
king's nature and mind. First, an over-merit; for conve- 
nient merit, unto which reward may easily reach, doth best 
with kings. Next, the sense of his power; for the king 
thought that he that could set him up was the more danger- 
ous to pull hina down. Thirdly, the glimmering of a confis- 
cation ; for he was the richest subject for value in the king- 
dom, there being found in his castle of Holt forty thousand 
marks in ready money and plate, besides jewels, household- 
stuff, stocks upon his grounds, and other personal estate, 
exceeding great. And for his revenue in land and fee it was 
three thousand pounds a-year of old rent, a great matter in 
those times. Lastly, the nature of the time ; for if the king 
had been out of fear of his own estate, it was not unlike he 
would have spared his life. But the cloud of so great a 
rebellion hanging over his head made him work sure. "Where- 
fore, after some six weeks' distance of time, which the king 



henry tup: seventh. 401 

did honourably interpose, both to give space to his brother's 
intercession, and to show to the world that he had a conflict 
with himself what he should do, he was arraigned of high 
treason ami condemned, and presently after beheaded. 

Yet is it to this day left but in dark memory, both what 
the case of this noble person was for which Ik- suffered, and 

what likewise was the ground and cause of his defection, and 
the alienation of bis heart from the king. His case was said 
to be this: that in discourse between Sir Robert Clifford 
and liiin he had said, i- That if he wen- gore that that young 

man were King Edward's son he would never bear arms 
against him." This ease seems somewhat a hard case, both 
in respect of the conditional and in respect of the other 
words. But fur the conditional, it seemeth the judges of 
that time, who were learned men, and the three chief of 
them of the privy-council, thought it was a dangerous thing 
to admit ifs and amis, to qualify words of treason, whereby 
every man might express his malice and blanch bis danger. 
And it was like to the case, in the following times, of Eliza- 
beth Barton, the holy maid of Kent, who had said. u That if 
King Henry the Eighth did nut take Catherine hi-- wife 
again, he should l» j deprived of his crown, and die the death 
of a dog." And infinite cases may be put of like nature, 
which it seemeth the grave judges taking into consideration, 
would not admit of treasons on condition. And as for the 
positive words, ,; That he would nut bear arms against King 
Edward's son," though the words seem calm, yet it was a 
plain and direct overruling of the king's title, either by the 

line of Lancaster or by act of parliament ; which no doubt 
pi reed the king more than if Stanley had charged bis lance 
upon him in the field. For if Stanley would hold that 
opinion that a sun of King Edward had still the better ri^ht, 
he being so principd a person of authority and favour about 
the king, it was to teach all RwgliMid to say as much; and 

therefore, as those times were, thai speech touched the quick. 
But some writers do put this out of doubt, tor they Bay that 
Stanley did expreeslj promi I Perkin, and sent him 

si. in.- help of treasure. 

Now for the motive of his falling off from the bang. It is 
•rue tli.!' ' B worth Field the king was beset, and in a 
manner enclosed round about by the troops of King Richard, 



402 HENRY THE SEVENTH. 

and in manifest danger of his life, when this Stanley vr&fl 
sent by his brother with three thousand men to his rescue, 
which he performed so that King Richard was slain upon 
the place. So as the condition of mortal men is not capable 
of a greater benefit than the king received by the hands of 
Stanley, being like the benefit of Christ, at once to save and 
crown; for which service the king gave him great gifts, 
made him his counsellor and chamberlain, and, somewhat 
contrary to his nature, had winked at the great spoils of 
Bosworth Field, which came almost wholly to this man's 
hands, to his infinite enriching. Yet, nevertheless, blown up 
with the conceit of his merit, he did not think he had 
received good measure from the king, at least not pressing 
down and running over, as he expected. And his ambition 
was so exorbitant and unbounded, as he became suitor to the 
king for the earldom of Chester, which ever being a kind of 
appendage to the principality of Wales, and using to go to 
the king's son, his suit did not only end in a denial, but in a 
distaste; the king perceiving thereby that his desires were 
intemperate, and his cogitations vast and irregular, and that 
his former benefits were but cheap and lightly regarded by 
him; wherefore the king began not to brook him well. And 
as a little leaven of new distaste doth commonly sour the 
whole lump of former merits, the king's wit began now to 
suggest unto his passion that Stanley at Bosworth Field, 
though he came time enough to save his life, yet he stayed 
long enough to endanger it. But yet having no matter 
against him, he continued him in his places until this his 
fall. 

After him was made lord chamberlain, Giles, Lord D'Au- 
bigney, a man of great sufficiency and valour, the more be- 
cause he was gentle and moderate. 

There was a common opinion, that Sir Robert Clifford, who 
now was become the state informer, was from the beginning 
an emissary and spy of the king's ; and that he fled over into 
Flanders with his consent and privity. But this is not pro- 
bable ; both because he never recovered that degree of grace 
which he had with the king before his going over ; and 
chiefly, for that the discovery which he had made touching 
the lord chamberlain, which was his great service, grew not 



HENRY THE SEVENTH. I I 

from any thing he teamed abroad, for that he knew it well 

before he went. 

These executions, and especially that of the lord chamba 
lain, Avhich was the chief strength <>t tin- patty, and by 
means of Sir Robert Clifford, who was the most inward man 
of trust amongst them, did extremely quail the design of 
Perkin and his complices, as well through discouragement as 
distrust ; so that they were now, like sand without lime, ilt 
bound together; especially as many as were Kurdish, who 
were at a ga7.e, looking strange one upon another, act know- 
ing who was faithful t<> their side; but thinking, that tin- 
king, what with his baits, and what with his nets, would 
draw them all unto him that were anything worth. A 
indeed it came to pass, that divers came away by the thread 
sometimes one, and sometimes another. Parley, thai 
joint commissioner with Clifford, did hold out one of the 
longest, till Perkin was far worn ; yet made his peace at the 
length. But the fall of this urcat man. being in so high 
authority and favour, as was thought, with the king ; and 
the manner of carriage of the business, as if there had been 
secret inquisition upon him for a great time before ; and the 
cause lor which he snfiered, which was little more than foi 
saying in effect that the title of York was better than tin- 
title of Lancaster — which was the case of almost every man 
at the least in opinion — was matter of great terror amongst 
all the king's servants and subjects ; insomuch as no man 
almost thought himself secure, and men dursl scarce commune 
or talk one witli another, but there was a genera] ditlidence 
everywhere: which nevertheless made the king rather more 
absolute than in ore safe. For 'bleeding inwards, and shut 
vapours, strangle soonest, and oppress most/ 

Hereupon presently tame forth swarms and volleys of 
libels, which are the gusts of liberty of speech restrained, 

and the females i >f sedition, containing bitter invectives and 

slanders againsi tlie king and some of the council : for t In 

contriving and dispersing whereof, after great diHgenee of 
inquiry, five mean persons were caught up and executed. 

Meanwhile t