and abuses, that plain dealing, in denying to deal in suits at first, and reporting the success barely, and in challenging no more thanks than one hath deserved, is grown not only honorable, but also gracious. But yet certain though it be, it hath flaws; for that the scriveners and brokers do value unsound men, to serve their own turn. 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. 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 if the force of custom simple and separate, be great, the force of custom copulate and conjoined and collegiate, is far greater. But that which passeth all the rest is: They do recount that the Earth, mother of the giants that made war against Jupiter, and were by him destroyed, thereupon in an anger brought forth Fame. Certainly, who hath a state to repair, may not despise small things; and commonly it is less dishonorable, to abridge petty charges, than to stoop to petty gettings. The second is, that probable conjectures, or obscure traditions, many times turn themselves into prophecies; while the nature of man, which coveteth divination, thinks it no peril to foretell that which indeed they do but collect. 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 favors and disgraces; whereby they may not know what to expect, and be,. The true religion is built upon the rock; the rest are tossed, upon the waves of time.
And yet where men of great wealth do stoop to husbandry, it multiplieth riches exceedingly. OF love The stage is more beholding to love, than the life of man. So are there a number of little, and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate. 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 virtues.
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. That is a vein which would be bridled: Parce, puer, stimulis, et fortius utere loris. 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. Therefore let all wise governors have as great a watch and care over fames, as they have of the actions and designs themselves. Honor 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.
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