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versity. It is yet a higher speech of his than the other (much too high for a heathen), It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man, and the security of a God.
Vere magnum habere fragilitatem hominis, securitatem Dei. This would have done better in poesy, where transcendences are more allowed. And the poets indeed have been busy with it; for it is in effect the thing which is figured in that strange fiction of the ancient poets, which seemeth not to be without mystery; nay, and to have some approach to the state of a Christian ; that Hercules, when he went to unbind Prometheus, (by whom human nature is represented), sailed the length of the great ocean in an earthen pot or pitcher ; lively describing Christian resolution, that saileth in the frail bark of the flesh thorough the waves of the world. But to speak in a mean. The virtue of Prosperity is temperance; the virtue of Adversity is fortitude; which in morals is the more heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; Adversity is the blessing of the New; which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Salomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and Adversity is not without comforts and hopes. We see in needle-works and embroideries, it is more pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad and solemn ground, than to have a dark and melancholy work upon a lightsome ground : judge therefore of the pleasure of the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like precious odours, most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed : for Prosperity doth best discover vice, but Adversity doth best discover virtue.
1 Ut a granditate verborum ad mediocritatem descendamus.
VI. OF SIMULATION AND DISSIMULATION.
DISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of policy or wisdom;for it asketh a strong wit and a strong heart to know when to tell truth, and to do it. Therefore it is the weaker sort of politics that are the great dissemblers.
Tacitus saith, Livia sorted well with the arts of her husband and dissimulation of her son ; attributing arts or policy to Augustus, and dissimulation to Tiberius. And again, when Mucianus encourageth Vespasian to take arms against Vitellius, he saith, We rise not against the piercing judgment of Augustus, nor the extreme caution or closeness of Tiberius. These properties, of arts or policy and dissimulation or closeness, are indeed habits and faculties several, and to be distinguished. For if a man have that penetration of judgment as he can discern what things are to be laid open, and what to be secreted, and what to be shewed at half lights, and to whom and when, (which indeed are arts of state and arts of life, as Tacitus well calleth them,) to him a habit of dissimulation is a hinderance and a poorness. But if a man cannot obtain to that judgment, then it is left to him generally to be close, and a dissembler. For where a man cannot choose or vary in particulars, there it is good to take the safest and wariest way in general ; like the going softly, by one that cannot well see. Certainly the ablest men that ever were have had all an openness and frankness of dealing; and a name of certainty and veracity ; but then they were like horses well managed ; for they could tell passing well when to stop or turn; and at such times when they thought the case indeed required dissimulation, if then they used it, it came to pass that the former opinion spread abroad of their good faith and clearness of dealing made them almost invisible.
1 Artium civilium compendium quoddam et pars infirmior.
2 Quod discrimen bene apud Tacitum Cæsarem Augustum inter et Tiberium adnotatum est. Etenim de Livia sic ait.
8 Idem alibi hisce verbis Mucianum inducit Vespasianum ad arma contra Vitellium sumenda hortantem.
There be three degrees of this hiding and veiling of a man's self. The first, Closeness, Reservation, and Secrecy; when a man leaveth himself without observation, or without hold to be taken, what he is. The second, Dissimulation, in the negative; when a man lets fall signs and arguments, that he is not that he is. And the third, Simulation, in the affirmative; when a man industriously and expressly feigns and pretends to be that he is not.
For the first of these, Secrecy ; it is indeed the virtue of a confessor. And assuredly the secret man heareth many confessions. For who will open himself to a blab or babbler ? But if a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery ;8 as the more close air sucketh in the more open ; and as in confession the revealing is not for worldly use, but for the ease of a man's heart, so secret men come to the knowledge of many things in that kind; while men rather discharge their minds than impart their minds. In few words, mysteries are due to secrecy. Besides (to say truth) nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body; and it addeth no small reverence to men's manners and actions, if they be not altogether open. As for talkers and futile persons, they are commonly vain and credulous withal. For he that talketh what he knoweth, will also talk what he knoweth not. Therefore set it down, that an habit of secrecy is both politic and moral. And in this part it is good that a man's face give his tongue leave to speak. For the discovery of a man's self by the tracts of his countenance is a great weakness and betraying; by how much it is many times more marked and believed than a man's words.
1 Quod si necessitas quædam ingruat dissimulationem profundam postulans, tunc quidem opinio et fama de bona fide et veracitate eorum præconcepta eos reddit prorsus invisibiles.
2 Primus est Taciturnitas, cum quis sensus animi sui premit, adeoque relinquit in æquilibrio, ut in quam partem propendeat nemo facile conjecerit.
8 facile aliorum animos reserabit.
For the second, which is Dissimulation; it followeth many times upon secrecy by a necessity; so that he that will be secret must be a dissembler in some degree. For men are too cunning to suffer a man to keep an indifferent carriage between both, and to be secret, without swaying the balance on either side. They will so beset a man with questions, and draw him on, and pick it out of him, that, without an absurd silence, he must shew an inclination one way; or if he do not, they will gather as much by his silence as by his speech. As for equivocations, or oraculous speeches, they cannot hold out long. So that no man can be secret, except he give himself a little scope of dissimu1 ad conscientiam sublevandam. 2 silentibus.
8 in æquilibrio se continere, absque aliqua in alteram partem inclinationis suce declaratione. VOL. XII.
lation; which is, as it were, but the skirts or train of secrecy.
But for the third degree, which is Simulation and false profession; that I hold more culpable, and less politic; except it be in great and rare matters. And therefore a general custom of simulation (which is this last degree) is a vice, rising either of a natural falseness or fearfulness, or of a mind that hath some main faults, which because a man must needs disguise, it maketh him practise simulation in other things, lest his hand should be out of use.
The great advantages of simulation and dissimulation are three. First, to lay asleep opposition, and to surprise. For where a man's intentions are published, it is an alarum to call up all that are against them. The second is, to reserve to a man's self a fair retreat. For if a man engage himself by a manifest declaration, he must go through or take a fall. The third is, the better to discover the mind of another. For to him that opens himself men will hardly shew themselves adverse; but will (fair) 8 let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech to freedom of thought. 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.*
1 So in original, and in ed. 1639. Great omitted in the translation, and in some modern editions, including Mr. Singer's.
2 Quod in hominis potestate relinquit ut pedem referat, et se absque æstimationis suæ jactura de negotio subducat. Si quis enim se manifesta declaratione obstringit, is cuneis quasi impactis includitur; aut pergendum est ei, aut turpiter desistendum.
8 So in the original, and also in edition 1639. The translation has: Etenim ei qui consilia sua profert, non facile quis se adversarium profiteatur, verum assentabitur potius. I do not remember to have met with this use of fair any where else; but it is intelligible enough, and may, I should think, be right.
4 perinde ac si simulatio clavis esset ad secreta reseranda.