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“ The safety of the people is the prime object of all laws;" and to know, that laws, except they be in order to that end, are but things captious, and oracles not well inspired. Therefore it is an 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 a 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 Judgment may be meum and tuum, 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 spirits and sinews, that one moves with the other. Let Judges also remember, that Solomon's throne was supported by lions on both sides : 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, “ We know that the law is good, only let every one execute it legally,” i. e. with discretion and mercy.
Of Anger. To seek to extinguish Anger utterly, is but a bravery of the Stoics. We have better oracles : “ Be angry, but sin not. Let not the sun go down
upon your Anger.” Anger must be limited and confined, both in race and time. We will first speak, how the natural inclination and habit to be angry may be attempted 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.” Whosoever is out of patience, is out of possession of his soul. Men must not turn bees,
“ And leave their souls in the wound.”
Anger is certainly a kind of baseness; as it appears well in 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 fear: 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 often angry; they have so many things to trouble them, which more robust natures have little sense of. The next is, the apprehension and construction 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 circumstances of contempt, they do kindle their Anger much. Lastly, opinion of the touch 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,
66 His web of honour thicker than to þe pierced by any imaginary contempt." But in all refrainings 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 “ reproaches of a common sort” 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 peremptorily break off in any business in a fit of Anger; but howsoever you show bitterness, do not act any thing that is not revocable.
For raising, and appeasing, Anger in another : it is done chiefly by choosing of times, when men are frowardest and worst disposed, to incense them; again, by gathering (as was touched 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 misunderstanding, fear, passion, or what you will,
Of Vicissitude of Things, SOLOMON saith, “ There is no new thing upon the earth.” So that as Plato had an imagination, “ that all knowledge was but a remembrance" so Solomon giveth his sentence, " that all novelty is but oblivion :" 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. Phaëton's car went but a day: and the three years' drought, in the time of Elias, was but particular, and left people alive. As for the great burnings by lightnings, which are often in the West Indies, they are but narrow.
But in the other two destructions, by deluge and earthquake, it is further to be noted, that the remnant of people which hap to be re