« AnteriorContinuar »
whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or confession.
It is a strange thing to observe how high a rate great kings and monarchs do set upon this fruit of friendship whereof we speak: so great, as' they purchase it many times at the hazard of their own safety and greatness. For princes, in regard of the distance of their fortune from that of their subjects and servants, cannot gather this fruit, except (to make themselves capable thereof) they raise some persons to be as it were companions and almost equals to themselves, which many times sorteth to0 inconvenience. The modern languages give unto such persons the name of favorites, or privadoes; as if it were matter of grace, or conversation. But the Roman name attaineth the true use and cause thereof, naming them participes curarum;i° for it is that which tieth the knot. And we see plainly that this hath been done, not by weak and passionate princes only, but by the wisest and most politic that ever reigned; who have oftentimes joined to themselves some of their servants; whom both themselves have called friends, and allowed others likewise to call them in the same manner; using the word which is received between private men.
L. Sylla, when he commanded Rome, raised Pompey (after surnamed the Great) to that height, that Pompey vaunted himself for Sylla 's over-match. For when he had carried the consulship for a friend of his,u against the pursuit of Sylla, and that Sylla did a little resent thereat, and began to speak great, Pompey turned upon him again, and in effect bade him be quiet; for that more men adored the sun rising than the sun setting. With Julius Caesar, Decimus Brutus had obtained that interest, asi2 he set him down in his testament for heir in remainder after his nephew. And this was the man that had power with him to draw him forth to his death. For when Caesar would have discharged the senate, in regard of some ill presages, and specially a dream of Calpurnia; this man lifted him gently by the arm out of his chair, tolling him he hoped he would not dismiss the senate till his wife had dreamt a better dream. And it seemeth his favor was so great, as Antonius, in a letter which is recited verbatim in one of Cicero's Philippics, calleth him venefica, witch; as if he
s that 11 Lepidus
e results In i2 such Interest that
io "partners of cares"
had enchanted Caesar. Augustus raised Agrippa (though of mean birth) to that height, as when he consulted with Maecenas about the niarriago of his daughter Julia, Maecenas took the liberty to tell him, that he must either marry his daughter to Agrippa, or take away his life; there was no third way, he had made him so great. With Tiberius Caesar, Sejanus had ascended to that height, as they two were termed and reckoned as a pair of friends. Tiberius in a letter to him saith, Hue pro amicitii nostra non occultavi;1* and the whole senate dedicated an altar to Friendship, as to a goddess, in respect of the great dearness of friendship between them two. The like or more was between Septimius Severue and Plautianus. For he forced his eldest son to marry the daughter of Plautianus; and would often maintain Plautianus in doing affronts to his son; and did write also in a letter to the senate, by these words: I love the man so well, as I wish he may over-live me. Now if these princes ha<! been as a Trajan or a Marcus Aurelius, a man might have thought that this had proceeded of an abundant goodness of nature; but being men so wise, of such strength and severity of mind, and so extreme lovers of themselves, as all these were, it proveth most plainly that they found their own felicity (though as great as ever happened to mortal men) but as an half piece,14 except they mought have a friend to make it entire; and yet, which is more, they were princes that had wives, sons, nephews; and yet all these could not supply the comfort of friendship.
It is not to be forgotten what Comineus observeth of his first master, Duke Charles the Hardy; namely, that he would communicate his secrets with none; and least of all, those secrets which troubled him most. Whereupon he goeth on and saith that towards his latter time that closeness did impair and a little perish his understanding. Surely Comineus mought have made the same judgment also, if it had pleased him, of his second master, Louis the Eleventh, whose closeness was indeed his tormentor. The parable of Pythagoras is dark, but true; Cor ne edito: Eat not the heart. Certainly, if a man would give it a hard phrase, those that want friends to open themselves unto are cannibals of their own hearts. But one thing is most admirable"' (wherewith I will conclude this first fruit of friendship), which is, that this communicating of a man's self to his
i3"BPcause of our 14a half-coin (which friendship I have sometimes clrcula
not concealed this." ted)
friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joys, and cutteth griefB in halves. For there is no man that imparteth his joys to his friend, but he joyeth the more) and no man that imparteth his griefs to his friend, but he grieveth the lees. So that it is, in truth, of'« operation upon a man's mind, of like virtue as the alchemists use" to attribute to their stone's for man's body) that it workoth alU» contrary effects, but still to the good and benefit of nature. But yet without praying in mid of*o alchemists, there is a manifest image of this in the ordinary course of nature. For in bodies, union strengtheneth and eherishetli any natural action; and on the other side weakeneth and dulleth any violent impression: and even so is it of minds.
The second fruit of friendship is healthful and sovereign for the understanding, as the first is for the affections.2' For friendship maketli indeed a fair day in the affections, from storm and tempests; but it makcth daylight in the understanding, out of darkness and confusion of thoughts. Neither is this to be understood only of faithful counsel, which a man receivcth from his friend; but before you come to that, certain it is that whosoever hath his mind fraught with many thoughts, his wits and understanding do clarify and break up, in the communicating and discoursing with another; he tosseth his thoughts more easily; he marshalleth them more orderly; he secth how they look when they are turned into words: finally, he waxeth wiser than himself; and that more by an hour's discourse than by a day's meditation. It was well said of Themistocles to the king of Persia, That speech was like cloth of Arras opened and jmi abroad, whereby the imagery doth appear in figure; whereas in thoughts tliry lie but as in packs. Neither is this second fruit of friendship, in opening the understanding, restrained only to such friends as are able to give a man counsel; (they in deed are best;) but even without that, a man learneth of himself, and bringeth his own thoughts to light, and whetteth his wits as against a stone, which itself cuts not. In a word, a man were better relate2'- himself to a statue or picture, than to suffer his thoughts to pass in smother.
Add now, to make this second fruit of friendship complete, that other point which lieth more open and falleth within vulgar23 observation;
which is faithful counsel from a friend, Heraclitus saith well in one of his enigmas, Dry light is ever the best. And certain it is, that the light that a man recciveth by counsel from another is drier and purer than that which conieth from his own understanding and judgment; which is ever infused and drenched in his affections and customs. So as24 there is as much difference between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as is a man's self; and there is no such remedy against flattery of a man's self as the liberty of a friend. Counsel is of two sorts: the one concerning manners, the other concerning business. For the first, the best preservative to keep the mind in health is the faithful admonition of a friend. The calling of a man's self to a strict account is a medicine, sometime too piercing and corrosive. Reading good books of morality is a little flat and dead. Observing our faults in others is sometimes improper for our case. But the best recipe (best, I say, to work, and best to take) is the admonition of a friend. It is a strange thing to behold what gross errors and extreme absurdities many (especially of the greater sort) do commit, for want of a friend to tell them of them; to the great damage both of their fame and fortune: for, as St. James saith,2* they are as men that look sometimes into a glass, and presently forget their own shape and favor.-o As for business, a man may think, if he will, that two eyes see no more than one; or that a gamester seeth always more than a lookcr-on; or that a man in anger is as wise as he that hath said over the four and twenty letters;* or that a musket may be shot off as well upon the arm as upon a rest; and such other fond and high imaginations, to think himself all in all. But when all is done, the help of good counsel is that which settcth business straight. And if any man think that he will take counsel, but it shall be by pieces; asking counsel in one business of one man, and in another business of another man; it is well (that is to say, better perhaps than if he asked none at all); but he runneth two dangers: one, that he shall not be faithfully counselled; for it is a rare thing, except it be from a perfect and entire friend, to have counsel given, but such as shall be bowed and
crooked to some ends which he hath that giveth! it. The other, that he shall have counsel given, hurtful and unsafe (though with good meaning), and mixed partly of mischief and partly of remedy; even as if you would call a physician that is thought good for the cure of the disease you complain of, but is unacquainted with your body; and therefore may put you in way for a present cure, but overthroweth your health in some other kind; and Bo cure the disease and kill the patient. But a friend that is wholly acquainted with a man ?s estate will beware, by furthering any present business, how he dasheth upon other inconvenience. And therefore rest not upon scat tered counsels; they will rather distract and mislead, than settle and direct.
After these two noble fruits of friendship (peace in the affections, and support of the judgment), followeth the last fruit; which is like the pomegranate, full of many kernels; I mean aid and bearing a part in all actions and occasions. Here the best way to represent to life the manifold use of friendship is to cast" and see how many things there are which a man cannot do himself; and then it will appear that it was a sparing speech of the ancients, to say, that a friend is another himself; for that a friend is far more than himself. Men have their time,-* and die many times in desire of-» some things which they principally take to heart; the bestowing of a child,ao the finishing of a work, or the like. If a man have a true friend, he may rest almost secure that the care of those things will continue after him. So that a man hath, as it were, two lives in his desires. A man hath a body, and that body is confined to a place; but where friendship is, all offices of life are as it were granted to him and his deputy. For he may exercise them by his friend. How many things are there which a man cannot, with any face or comeliness, say or do himself? A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, much less extol them; a man caunot sometimes brook to supplicate or beg; and a number of the like. But all these things are graceful in a friend's mouth, which are blushing in a man's own. So again, a man's person hath many proper relations which he cannot put off. A man cannot speak to his son but as a father; to his wife but as a husband; to his enemy but upon terms: whereas a friend may speak as the case requires, and not as it sorteth with the person. But to enumerate these things were
consider i» often die while still
28 appointed time desiring
so in marriage I
endless; I have given the rule, where a man caunot fitly play his own part; if he have not a friend, he may quit the stage.
I cannot call riches better than the baggage of virtue. The Roman word is better, impedimenta, i'or as the baggage is to an army, so is riches to virtue. It cannot be spared nor left behind, but it hindereth the march; yea, and the care of it sometimes loscth or disturbeth the victory. Of great riches there is no real use, except it be in the distribution; the rest is but conceit.1 So saith Solomon, Where much is, there are many to consume it; and what hath the owner hut the sight of it with his eyes? The personal fruition- in any man cannot reach to feel great riches: there is a custody of them; or a power of dole and donative3 of them; or a fame of them; but no solid use to the owner. Do you not see what feigned prices are set upon little stones* and rarities? and what works of ostentation are undertaken, because there might seem to be some use of great riches?/But then you will say, they may be of use to buy men out of dangers or troubles. As Solomon saith, Riches are as a strong hold, in the imagination of the rich man. But this is excellently expressed, that it is in imagination, and not always in fact. For certainly great riches have sold more men than they have bought out. Seek not proud riches, but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and leave contentedly. Yet have no abstract nor friarly contempt of them. But distinguish, as Cicero saith well of Kabirius Posthumus, In. studio rei amplificandcc apparebat, non avaritiir prirdam, scd instrtimcntum bonitati quecri* Harken also to Solomon, and beware of hastygathering of riches: Qui festinat ad divitias, non erit insons.11 The poets feign that when Plutus (which is Riches) is sent from Jupiter, he limps and goes slowly; but when he is sent from Pluto, he runs and is swift of foot. Meaning that riches gotten by good means and just labor pace slowly; but when they come by the death of others (as by the course of inheritance, testaments, and the like), they come tumbling upon a man. But it mought
1 fancy 3 distribution and gift
2 enjoyment * ("p. Utopia, p. 118.
5 "In his endeavor to increase his wealth, it was evident that he sought not what should be a mere prey for avarice, but an instrument of
o "Who hastens to become rich shall not be innocent."
be applied likewise to Pluto, taking him for the devil. For when riches come from the devil (as by fraud and oppression and unjust means), they come upon' speed. The ways to enrich are many, and most of them foul. Parsimony is one of the best, and yet is not innocent; for it withholdeth men from works of liberality and charity. The improvement of the ground is the most natural obtaining of riches; for it is our great mother's blessing, the earth's; but it is slow. And yet where men of great wealth do stoop to husbandry, it multiplieth riches exceedingly. I knew a nobleman in England, that had the greatest audits of any man in my time; a great grazier, a great sheep master, a great timber man, a great collier, a great corn-master, a great lead-man, and so of iron, and a number of the like points of husbandry. So as' the earth seemed a seal to him, in respect of the perpetual importation. It was truly observed by one, that himself came very hardly to a little riches, and very easily to great riches. For when a man's stock is come to that, that he can expect0 the prime of markets, and overcome'" those bargains which for their greatness are few men's money, and be partner in the industries of younger men, he cannot but increase mainly." The gains of ordinary trades and vocations are honest; and furthered by two things chiefly: by diligence, and by a good name for good and fair dealing. But the gains of bargains are of a more doubtful nature, when men shall wait upon'- others' necessity, broke>3 by servants and instruments to draw them on, put off others cunningly that would be better chapmen,'* and the like practices, which are crafty and naught.'^ As for the chopping'8 of bargains, when a man buys not to hold but to sell over again, that commonly grindeth double, both upon the seller and upon the buyer. Sharings do greatly enrich, if the hands be well chosen that are trusted. Usury is the certainest means of gain, though one of the worst: as that whereby a man doth eat his bread in svdore rxtltus adViu';'" and besides, doth plough upon Sundays. But yet certain though it be, it hath flaws; for that" the scriveners and brokers do value" unsound men to serve their own turn. The fortune in being the first in an invention or in a privilege doth cause some
times a wonderful overgrowth in riches; as it was with the first sugar man in the Canaries. Therefore if a man can play the true logician, to have as well judgment as invention, he may do great matters; especially if the times be fit. He that resteth upon gains certain shall hardly2" grow to great riches; and he that puts all upon adventures doth oftentimes break and come to poverty: it is good therefore to guard adventures with certainties, that may uphold losses. Monopolies, and coemption" of wares for re-sale, where they are not restrained,^ are great means to enrich; especially if the party have intelligence what things are like to come into request, and so stttre himself beforehand. Kiches gotten by Service, though it be of the best risers yet [, when they are gotten by flattery, feeding humours,24 and other servile conditions, they may be placed amongst the worst. As for fishing for testaments and executorships (as Tacitus saith of Seneca, teslamcnta et orbos tamqiuim indagine capi-7-), it is yet worse, by how much men submit themselves to meaner persons than in service. Believe not much them that seem to despise riches; for they despise them that2" despair of them; and none worse when they come to them. Be not penny-wise; riches have wings, and sometimes they fly away of themselves, sometimes they must be set flying to bring in more. Men leave their riches either to their kindred, or to the public; and moderate portions prosper best in both. A great state left to an heir, is as a lure to all the birds of prey round about to seize on him, if he be not the better stablished in years and judgment. Likewise glorious-7 gifts and foundations are like sacrifices without salt; and but the painted sepulchres of alms, which soon will putrefy and corrupt inwardly.2" Therefore measure not thine advancements by quantity, but frame them by measure: and defer not charities till death; for, certainly, if a man weigh it rightly, he that doth so is rather liberal of another man's than of his own.
Op Revenge Revenge is a kind of wild justice; which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it cut. For as for the first wrong, it doth but offend the law; but the revenge of that wrong putteth the law out of office.2" Cer
tainly, in taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior; for it is a prince's part to pardon. And Solomon, I am sure, saith, It is the glory of a man to pass by an offense. That which is past iB gone, and irrevocable; and wise men have enough to do with things present and to come; therefore they do but trifle with themselves, that labor in past matters. There is no man doth a wrong for the wrong's sake; but thereby to purchase himself profit, or pleasure, or honor, or the like. Therefore why should 1 be angry with a man for loving himself better than me? And if any man should do wrong merely out of ill-nature, why, yet it is but like the thorn or briar, which prick and scratch, because they can do no other,' The most tolerable sort of revenge is for those wrongs which there is no law to remedy; but then let a man take heed the revengo be such as there is no law to punish; else a man's enemy is still before hand, and it is two for one. Some, when they take revenge, are desirous the party should know whence it cometh. This is the more generous. For the delight seemeth to be not so much in doing the hurt as in making the party repent. But base and crafty cowards are like the arrow that flieth in the dark. Cosmus, duke of Florence, had a desperate saying against perfidious or neglecting friends, as if those wrongs were unpardonable; You shall read (saith he) that we are commanded to forgive our enemies; but you never read that we are commanded to forgive our friends. But yet the spirit of Job was in a better tune: Shall we (saith he) take good at God's hands, and not be content to take evil also? And so of friends in a proportion. This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge, keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well. Public revenges are for the most part fortunate;so as that for the death of Cajsar; for the death of Pertinax; for the death of Henry the Third of France; and many more. But in private revenges it is not so. Nay rather, vindictive persons live the life of witches; who, as they are michievoas, so end they infortunate.
God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks: and a man shall ever see that when ages grow to civility and elegancy, so of pood result
men come to build stately sooner than to garden finely; as if gardening were the greater perfection. I do hold it,1 in the royal ordering of gardens, there ought to be gardens for all the months in the year; in which severally things of beauty may be then in season.2 For December, and January, and the latter part of November, you must take such things as are green all winter: holly; ivy; bays; juniper; cypress-trees; yew; pine-apple-trees;3 fir-trees; rosemary; lavender; periwinkle, the white, the purple, and the blue; germander; flags; orange-trees; lemon-trees; and myrtles, if they be Btoved ;* and sweet marjoram, warm set.5 There followeth, for the latter part of January and February, the mezereon-tree,8 which then blossoms; crocus vermis,'' both the yellow and the grey; primroses; anemones; the early tulippa; hyacintluis orientalis; chamalris;8 fritellaria. For March, there come violets, specially the single blue, which are the earliest; the yellow daffodil; the daisy; the almondtree in blossom; the peach-tree in blossom; the cornelian-tree in blossom; sweet-briar. In April follow the double white violet; the wall flower; the stock-gilliflower; the cowslip; flower-delices," and lilies of all natures; rosemary-flowers; the tulippa; the double peony; the pale daffodil; the French honeysuckle; the cherrytree in blossom; the damson and plum-trees in blossom; the white thorn in leaf; the lilac-tree. In May and June come pinks of all sorts, specially the blush-pink; roses of all kinds, except the musk, which comes later; honeysuckles; strawberries; bugloss; columbine; the French marigold; flos Africanusjio cherry-tree in fruit; ribes;n figs in fruit; rasps;i2 vine-flowers; lavender in flowers; the sweet satyrian,'3 with the white flower; herba muscaria;1* lilium convallium; the apple-tree in blossom. In July come gilliflowers of all varieties; musk-roses; the lime-tree in blossom; early pears and plums in fruit; jennetings;i5 codlins. In August come plums of all sorts in fruit; pears; apricocks; berberries; filberds; musk-melons; monks-hoods, of all colors. In September come grapes; apples; poppies of all colors; peaches; melocotones;" nectarines; cornelians; wardens ;>' quinces. In October and the beginning of No