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OF A KING.
1. A KING is a mortal god on earth, untc whom the living God hath lent his own name as a great honour; but withal told him, he should die like a man, lest he should be proud, and flatter himself that God hath with his name imparted unto him his nature also.
2. Of all kind of men, God is the least be holding unto them; for he doeth most for them, and they do ordinarily least for him.
3. A king, that would not feel his crown too heavy for him, must wear it every day; but if he think it too light, he knoweth not of what metal it is made.
4. He must make religion the rule of government, and not to balance the scale; for he that casteth in religion only to make the scales even, his own weight is contained in those characters, "Mene, mene, tekel upharsin," "He is found too light, his kingdom shall be taken from him."
5. And that king that holds not religion the best reason of state, is void of all piety and justice, the supporters of a king.
6. He must be able to give counsel himself, but not rely thereupon; for though happy events justify their counsels, yet it is better that the evil event of good advice be rather imputed to a subject than a sovereign.
7. He is the fountain of honcur, which should not run with a waste pine. lest the
courtiers sell the water, and then (as papists say of their holy wells) it loses the virtue.
8. He is the life of the law, not only as he is "lex loquens" himself, but because he animateth the dead letter, making it active towards all his subjects, "præmio et pœnâ."
9. A wise king must do less in altering his laws than he may; for new government is ever dangerous; it being true in the body politic, as in the corporal, that "omnis subita immutatio est periculosa:" and though it be for the better, yet it is not without a fearful apprehension; for he that changeth the fundamental laws of a kingdom thinketh there is no good title to a crown but by conquest.
10. A king that setteth to sale seats of justice oppresseth the people; for he teacheth his judges to sell justice; and "precio parata precio venditur justitia."
11. Bounty and magnificence are virtues very regal, but a prodigal king is nearer a tyrant than a parsimonious; for store at home draweth not his contemplations abroad; but want supplieth itself of what is next, and many times the next way: a king herein must be wise, and know what he may justly do.
12. That king which is not feared is not loved; and he that is well seen in his craft must as well study to be feared as loved; yet not loved for fear, but feared for love.
13. Therefore, as he must always resemble him whose great name he beareth, and that as in manifesting the sweet influence of his mercy
on the severe stroke of his justice sometimes, so in this not to suffer a man of death to live; for, besides that the land doth mourn, the restraint of justice towards sin doth more retard the affection of love than the extent of mercy doth inflame it; and sure where love is [ill] bestowed, fear is quite lost.
14. His greatest enemies are his flatterers; for though they ever speak on his side, yet their words still make against him.
15. The love which a king oweth to a weal public should not be restrained to any one par ticular; yet that his more special favour do reflect upon some worthy ones is somewhat necessary, because there are few of that capacity.
16. He must have a special care of five things, if he would not have his crown to be put to him "infelix felicitas :"
First, that "simulata sanctitas" be not in the church; for that is "duplex iniquitas :" Secondly, that "inutilis æquitas" sit not in the chancery: for that is "inepta miseri
Thirdly, that "utilis iniquitas" keep not the exchequer for that is "crudele latrocinium :"
Fourthly, that "fidelis temeritas" be not his general for that will bring but “ seram pœnitentiam :"
Fifthly, that "infidelis prudentia" be not his secretary for that is "anguis sub viridi herbâ."
To conclude ; as he is of the greatest power, so he is subject to the greatest cares, made the servant of his people, or else he were without a calling at all.
He, then, that honoureth him not is next an atheist, wanting the fear of God in his heart.
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 sovereignty, and draws the eyes of the people somewhat aside from the line 10yal: 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 eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons; or if upon the persons, it is for the business' sake, as fittest, and not for flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion and of cantons; for utility is their bond, and not respects. The united provinces of the Low Countries 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 mon
arch, but diminisheth power; and putteth lite and spirit into the people, but presseth their fortune. It is well when nobles are not too great for sovereignty nor for justice; and yet maintained in that height, as the insolency of inferiors may be 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 the waves and weathers of time? for new nobility is 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 commixture of good and evil arts: but it is reason the memory of their virtues remain to their posterity, and their faults die with themselves. Nobility of birth 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 ex