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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 inimico
rum laudantium ;" 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. Solomon 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. 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, sirrbirie, which is under-sheriffries, as if they were but matters for under-sheriffs and catch-poles; though many times those under-sheriffries 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.”
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. 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 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 military 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 con“ temnendâ gloriâ libros scribunt, nomen suum in“ scribunt.” Socrates, Aristotle, Galen, were men full of ostentation : certainly, vain glory helpeth to perpetuate a man's memory; and virtue was never so beholden to human nature, as it received its 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:" 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, or inferior; if he be inferior, if he be to be commended,
you much more ; if he be superior, if he be not to be commended, you much less. Glorious men are the scorn of wise men, the admiration of fools, the idols of parasites, and the slaves of their own vaunts.
LV. OF HONOUR AND REPUTATION.
The winning of honour is but the revealing of a man's virtue and worth without disadvantage ; for some in their actions do woo and affect honour and reputation ; which sort of men are commonly much talked of, but inwardly little admired : and some, contrariwise, darken their virtue in the shew of it; so as they be undervalued in opinion. If a man perform that which hath not been attempted before, or attempted and given over, or hath been achieved, but not with so good circumstance, he shall purchase more honour than by affecting a matter of greater difficulty, or virtue, wherein he is but a follower. If a man so temper his actions, as in some one of them, he doth content every faction or combination of people, the music will be the fuller. A man is an ill husband of his honour that entereth into any action, the failing wherein may disgrace him more than the carrying of it through, can honour him. Honour that is gained and broken upon another hath the quickest reflection, like diamonds cut with facets; and, therefore, let a man contend to excel any competitors of his in honour, in outshooting them, if he can, in their own bow. Discreet followers and servants help much to reputation : “ Omnis fama a “ domesticis emanat." Envy, which is the canker of “ ”
honour, is best extinguished by declaring a man's self in his ends, rather to seek merit than fame: and by attributing a man's successes rather to divine Providence and felicity, than to his own virtue or policy. The true marshalling of the degrees of sovereign honour are these : in the first place are “conditores imperiorum,” founders of states and commonwealths ; such as were Romulus, Cyrus, Cæsar, Ottoman, Ismael : in the second place are
legislatores,” lawgivers; which are also called second founders, or “ perpetui principes,” because they govern by their ordinances after they are gone; such were Lycurgus, Solon, Justinian, Edgar, Alphonsus of Castile, the wise, that made the “ Siete partidas:" in the third place are “ liberatores,” or “salvatores,” such as compound the long miseries of civil wars, or deliver their countries from servitude of strangers or tyrants; as Augustus Cæsar, Vespasianus, Aurelianus, Theodoricus, King Henry the Seventh of England, King Henry the Fourth of France : in the fourth place are “propagatores,” or propugna“ tores imperii,” such as in honourable wars enlarge their territories, or make noble defence against invaders : and, in the last place, are “ patres patriæ,”
, which reign justly, and make the times good wherein they live; both which last kinds need no examples, they are in such number. Degrees of honour in subjects are, first, "participes curarum,” those upon whom princes do discharge the greatest weight of their affairs ; their right hands, as we call them : the next are « duces belli," great leaders ;