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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.” This 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 thing, which is figured in that strange fiction of the ancient poets, which seemeth not to be without mystery; nay, and to have some approach to the state of a Christian: that “ Hercules, when he went to unbind Prometheus, (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 needle-works 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.
Of Simulation and missimulation. DISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of policy or wisdom; for it 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 politics, 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 against 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 Dissimulation, or closeness, are indeed habits and faculties, several, 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 Dissimulation is a binderance, and a poorness. But if a 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 take the safest and wariest way in general ; like the going softly by one that cannot well see. Certainly the ablest men that 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 spread abroad of their good faith, and clearness of dealing, made them almost invisible.
There are three degrees of this hiding and veiling of man's self. The first--closeness, reservation, and secresy; when a man leaveth himself without observation, or without hold to be taken what he is. The second, Dissimulation in the negative; when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is not that he 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, secresy: it is indeed the virtue of a Confessor; and assuredly the secret man heareth many confessions : 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 confession, the revealing is not for worldly use, but for the ease 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 secresy. Besides (to say truth) nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as in 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 commonly vain, and credulous withal. For he that talketh what he knoweth, will also talk what he knoweth not. Therefore set it down, that an habit of secresy 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 man's self, by the tracks 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 secresy 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 between both, and to be secret without swaying the balance on either side. They will so beset a man with questions, 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 himself a little scope of Dissimulation, which is, as it were, but the skirts or train of secresy.
But for the third degree, which is Simulation, and false profession: 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 great 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 alarm to call up all that are