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better deserver. In suits which a man doth not well understand, it is good to refer them to some friend of trust and judgment, that may report whether he may deal in them with honour; but let him choose well his referendaries, for else he may be led by the nose.
Suitors are so distasted with delays 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 honourable, but also gracious. In suits of favour, the first coming ought to take little place; so far forth consideration may be had of his trust, that if intelligence of the matter could not otherwise have been had but by him, advantage be not taken of the note, but the party left to his other means; and in some sort recompensed for his discovery. To be ignorant of the value of a suit, is simplicity; as well as to be ignorant of the right thereof, is want of conscience. Secrecy in suits is a great mean of obtaining; for voicing them to be in forwardness, may discourage some kind of suitors ; but doth quicken and awake others: but timing of the suit is the principal ; timing I say, not
only in respect of the person, that should grant it, but in respect of those, which are like to cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his mean, rather choose the fittest mean, than the greatest mean ; and rather them that deal in certain things, than those that are general. The reparation of a denial is sometimes equal to the first grant, if a man shew himself neither dejected nor discontented. " Iniquum petas, ut
æquum feras,” is a good rule where a man hath strength of favour ; but otherwise, a man were better rise in his suit; for he that would have ventured at first to have lost the suitor, will not, in the conclusion, lose both the suitor and his own former favour. Nothing is thought so easy a request to a great person, as his letter; and yet, if it be not in a good cause, it is so much out of his reputation. There are no worse instruments than these general contrivers of suits; for they are but a kind of poison and infection to public proceedings.
Studies serve for delight, for omament, and for ability. Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring; for ornament, is in discourse; and for ability, is in the judgment and disposition of business: for expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one: but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use them too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar : they perfect nature, and are perfected by experience : for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them won by observation. Read not to con
tradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man ; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man; and, therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit; and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not. Histories make men wise ; poets witty ; the mathematic subtile ; natural philosophy deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric able to con.
“ Abeunt studia in mores ;' nay, there is no stand or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies; like as diseases
of the body may have appropriate exercises ; bowling is good for the stone and reins; shooting for the lungs and breast; gentle walking for the stomach ; riding for the head, and the like; so if a man's wits be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for, in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again; if his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen ; for they are Cymini sectores;" if he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call upon one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers cases; so every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.
Many have an opinion not wise, that for a prince to govern his estate, or for a great person to govern his proceedings, according to the respect to factions, is a principal part of policy; whereas, contrariwise, the chiefest wisdom is, either in ordering those things which are general, and wherein men of several factions do