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hold it a little suspect in popes, when they have often in their mouth Padre commune!: and take it to be a sign of one that meaneth to refer all to the greatness of his own house. Kings had need beware how they side themselves, and make themselves as of a faction or party ; for leagues within the state are ever pernicious to monarchies : for they raise an obligation paramount to obligation of sovereignty, and make the king tanquam unus ex nobis (like one of themselves]; as was to be seen in the League of France. When factions are carried too high and too violently?, it is a sign of weakness in princes; and much to the prejudice both of their authority and business. The inotions of factions under kings ought to be like the motions (as the astronomers speak) of the inferior orbs, which may have their proper motions, but yet still are quietly carried by the higher motion of primum mobile.
LII. OF CEREMONIES AND RESPECTS.3
He that is only real, had need have exceeding great parts of virtue; as the stone had need to be rich that is set without foil. But if a man mark it well, it is in praise and commendation of men as it is in gettings and gains: for the proverb is true, That light gains make heavy purses ; for light gains come thick, whereas great come but now and then. So it is true that small matters 5 win great commendation, because they are continually in use and in note : whereas the occasion of any great virtue cometh but on festivals. Therefore it doth much add to a man's reputation, and is (as queen Isabella ? said) like perpetual letters commendatory, to have good forms. To attain them it almost sufficeth not to despise them ; for so shall a man observe them in others; and let him trust himself with the rest. For if he labour too much to express them, he shall lose their grace; which is to be natural and unaffected. Some men's behaviour 8 is like a verse, wherein every syllable is measured ; how can a man comprehend great matters, that breaketh his
i in suspicionem incurrit Papa, de quo vor illa in vulgus volitat, Padre Commune,
cum factiones manu forti et palam concertant. s De Ceremoniis Civilibus, et Decoro.
4 sine ornamento omni. $ exiguæ virtutes.
o raro admodum obtingit. ? Isabella, regina Castiliana,
8 vultus et gestus et externa alia.
mind too much to small observations ? Not to use ceremonies at all, is to teach others not to use them again; and so diminisheth respect to himself; especially they be not to be omitted to strangers and formal natures; but the dwelling upon them, and exalting them above the moon', is not only tedious, but doth diminish the faith and credit of him that speaks.' And certainly there is a kind of conveying of effectual and imprinting passages amongst compliments 3, which is of singular use, if a man can hit upon it. Amongst a man's peers a man shall be sure of familiarity; and therefore it is good a little to keep state. Amongst a man's inferiors one shall be sure of reverence; and therefore it is good a little to be familiar. He that is too much in anything, so that he giveth another occasion of satiety, maketh himself cheap. To apply one's self to others is good; so it be with demonstration that a man doth it upon regard“, and not upon facility. It is a good precept generally in seconding another, 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 compliments5; for be they never so sufficient otherwise, their enviers will be sure to give them that attributes, to the disadvantage of their greater virtues. It is loss also in business to be too full of respects, or to be curious in observing times and opportunities. Salomon 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 reflexion of virtue. But it is as the glass or body which giveth the reflexion. If it be from the common
i locutio hyperbolica (quali nonnulli utuntur). ? et pondus eorum quæ dicuntur.
3 modus artificiosæ cujusdam insinuationis, in verbis ipsis, inter formulas communes, qui homines revera inescat et mirifice afficit. 4 er comitate et urbanitate,
5 cæremoniis et formulis. 6 audies tamen ab invidis, in nominis tui detrimentum, urbanus tantum et affectator. ? atque ut fit in speculis, trahit aliquid e natura corporis quod reflexionem præbet.
people, it is commonly false and naught; and rather followeth vain persons than virtuous. For the common people understand not many 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 of perceiving at all. But shews, and species virtutibus similes, serve best with them. Certainly fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swoln, 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; [a good name like unto a sweet ointment.] It filleth all round about, and will not easily away. For the odours of ointments are more durable than those of flowers. There be so 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 man'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. Some praises come of good wishes and respects}, which is a form due in civility to kings and great persons, laudando præcipere ; 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 ; [the worst kind of enemies are they that praise;] insomuch as it was a proverb amongst the Grecians, that he that was praised to his hurt, should have a push 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.6 Salomon saith, He that praiseth his friend aloud, rising early, it shall be to him no better than a curse. Too much magnifying of man or matter doth irritate contradiction, and procure envy and scorn.
i cum vulgo concurrunt.
? conditiones fallaces. a voluntate bonâ cum rererentiâ conjunctâ proficiscuntur. 4 humiliter moneas.
5 tempestive irrogatos, honori vel maxime esse.
To praise a man's self cannot be decent, except it be in rare cases; but to praise a man's office 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 under-sheriffries; as if they were but matters for under-sheriffs and catch-poles : though many times those under-eheriffries do more good than their high speculations.' St. Paul, when he boasts of himself, he doth oft interlace, I speak like a fool; but speaking of his calling, he saith, magnificabo apostolatum meum: [I will magnify my mission.]
LIV. OF VAIN-GLORY.
It was prettily devised of Æsop; the fly sat upon the axle-tree of the chariot wheel, and said, What a dust do I raise! So are there some 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 stands upon comparisons.3 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 negociates 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
ac si artes illa memoratæ magis ejusmodi homines, quam in fastigio Cardinalatus positos, decerent : et tamen (si res rite penderetur) speculativa cum civilibus non male miscentur.
cum aliquid vel sponte procedit, vel manu potentiore cietur. 3 nulla ostentatio sine comparatione sui est. * ideoque opere ut plurimum destituuntur. hujusmodi ingeniis.
6 mendacia reciproca, et ex utrâque parte.
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 militar 1 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 upon charge and adventure', a composition of glorious natures doth put life into business; and those that are of solid and 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. [They that write books on the worthlessness of glory, take care to put their names on the title page.] Socrates, Aristotle, Galen, were men full of ostentation. Certainly vain-glory helpeth to perpetuate a man's memory; and virtue was never so beholding to human nature, as it received his due at the second hand. Neither had the fame of Cicero, Seneca, Plinius Secundus, 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 : [A man that had a kind of art of setting forth to advantage all that he had said or done:] for that proceeds not of vanity, but of natural magnanimity and discretion®; and in some persons' is not only comely, but gracious. For excusations, cessions, 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,
So in the original. It is the form of the word which Bacon always (I believe) uses. 2
non inutile est. 3
quæ sumptibus et periculo privatorum suscipiuntur.
(magna nomina) ingenio jactabundo erant. 5 Neque virtus ipsa tantum humanæ naturæ debet propter nominis sui celebrationem. quam sibi ipsi.
6 ad hunc usque diem vix durasset, aut saltem non tam vegela.
er arte et prudentiâ, cum magnanimitate quâdam conjunctå.