صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

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 80 sufficient otherwise, their enviers will be sure to give them that attribute, to the disadvantage of their greater virtues. 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. 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.


LIII.-OF PRAISE. PRAISE 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 understand not inany excellent virtues : the lowest virtues draw praise from them, the middle virtues work in them astonishment 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 things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid ; but if persons of quality and judgment concur, then it is (as the Scripture saith), '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."-Ecclegjastes xi. 4.

c Exact in the extreme. Point-de-vice was originally ihe name of a kind of lace of very fine pattern.

“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."--Ecclesiastes vii. 1.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

80 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, he 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 mau'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, spretâ conscientiâ.”c Some praises come of good wishes and respects, which is a form due in civility to kings and great persons, “ laudando præcipere ;”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 inimicorum laudantium;"e insomuch as it was a proverb amongst the Grecians, that, “ he that was praised to his hurt, should have a pushf rise upon his nose;" as we say,

that a blister will rise upon one's tongue that tells a lie ; certainly, moderate 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.”g 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 officeh or profession, he may do it with good grace, and with a kind of magnanimity. The cardinals of Rome, which are theologues, and friars, and schoolmen, have a phrase of notable contempt and scorn towards civil business, for they call all temporal business of wars, embassages, judicature, and other employments, sbirrerie, which is

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

“Disregarding his own conscience."
d « To instruct under the form of praise."
e “ The worst kind of enemies are those who flatter."
A pimple filled with “.

'pus,” or purulent matter." The word is still used in the east of England.

& 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. 14.

In other words, to show what we call an esprit de corps.


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 be boasts of himself, he doth oft interlace, “ I speak like a fool;"" but speaking of his calling, he saith, “ Magnificabo apostolatum meum.”!

[ocr errors]






[ocr errors]


It was prettily devised of Æsop, the fly sat upon the axletree of the chariot-wheel, and said, “What a dust do I raise !" So are there sonie 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, 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 Ætolians, 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 essential point ; for as iron sharpens iron, so by glory, one courage sharpeneth another. In cases of great enterprise upou k 2 Cor. xi. 23.

"I will magnify my apostleship.” He alludes to the words in Romans xi. 13—“Inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office.”

• Vaunting, or boasting. Noise. We have a corresponding proverb—"great cry and little wool.”

• A high or good opinion.

[ocr errors]



charged and adventure, a composition of glorious natures

doth put life into business; and those that are of solid and E sober natures, have more of the ballast than of the sail. In

fame of learning, the flight will be slow without some feathers of ostentation : "Qui de contemnendâ gloriâ libros scribunt, nomen suum inscribunt."e 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, Plinius Secundus,f 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 property that Tacitus doth attribute to Mucianus, “Omnium, quæ dixerat feceratque, arte quâdam ostentator :"g for thath proceeds not of vanity, but of natural magnanimity and discretion; and, in sonie persons, is not only comely, but gracious: for excusations,i cessions,k modesty itself, well governed, are 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, saith 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 he be not to be commended, you much less." Gloriousl men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.

By express command. e “Those who write books on despising giory set their names in the title-page. He quotes from Cicero's “Tusculanæ Disputationes,” b. i c. 15, whose words are, “Quid nostri philosophi ? Nonne in his libris ipsis, quos scribunt de contemnendâ gloriâ, sua nomina inscribunt." -"What do our philosophers du? Do they not, in those very books which they write on despising glory, set their names in the title-page?"

Pliny the Younger, the nephew of the elder Pliny, the naturalist. &“One who set off everything he said and did with a certain skill." Mucianus was an intriguing general in the times of Otho and Vitellius.

Namely, the property of which he was sp saking, and not that men. tioned by Tacitus. Apologies. Is Concessions.

[ocr errors]


1 Boastful.



[ocr errors]

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 diamonds 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 emanat.”a Envy, which is the canker of honour, is best extinguished 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 imperiorum,”\ founders of states and commonwealths; such as were Romulus, Cyrus, Cæsar, Ottoman, Ismael : in the second place are “legislatores," lawgivers; which are also called second founders, or “ perpetui principes,”d because they govern by their ordinances after they are gone; such were Lycurgus,

a " All fame emanates from servants.” o “Founders of empires.”

• 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.”

[ocr errors]



« السابقةمتابعة »