The Boke named The Governour: Book II.
Book I. | Book II. | Book III. | Glossary
Sir Thomas Elyot
Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text is provided by Ben Ross Schneider, Jr., Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin (from the Dutton/Dent edition). It is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 1998 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and corrections to the Publisher, rbear[at]uoregon.edu..
The Boke named The Governour
Devised by Sir Thomas Elyot, Knight
LONDON: Published by J. M. Dent & Co
And in New York by E. P. Dutton & Co
THE TABLE OF THE SECONDE BOKE
I. What thing he that is elected to be a gouernour of a publyhe weale ought to premeditate
II. What Maiestie is
III. Of apparaile belongynge to a gouernour or great counsaylour
IV. What very nobilitie is
V. Of affabilitie and the utilitie therof
VI. How noble a vertue placabilite is
VII. That a gouernoure oughte to be Mercyfull and the diuersitie betwene mercy and vayne pitie
VIII. Thre princypall Partes of Humanytie
IX. Of what excellence beneuolence is
X. Of beneficence and liberalitie
XI. The true definition of amitie and between what Persons it hapneth
XII. The wonderffull historye of Titus and Gisyppus, wherin is the ymage of perfecte amitie
XIII. The dyuision of Ingratitude and the dispraise therof
XIV. The election of frendes and the diuersitie of flaterers.
The Second Booke
I. What thynges he that is elected or appointed to be a gouernour of a publike weale ought to premeditate.
N the boke precedinge I haue (as I truste) sufficiently declared as wel what is to be called a very and righte publike weale, as also that there shulde be therof one prince and soueraigne aboue all other gouernours. And I haue also expressed my conceipte and opinion touching nat only the studies, but also the exercises concernynge the necessary education of noble men and other, called to the gouernance of a publike weale, in suche fourme as, by the noble example of their liues and the frute therof coming, the publike weale, that shal happen to be under their gouernance, shall nat faile to be accounted happy, and the autoritie on them to be emploied well and fortunately. Nowe will I traicte of the preparation of such personages, whan they firste receyue any great dignitie, charge, or gouernance of the weale publike.
Firste, suche persones beinge nowe adulte, that is to saye, passed theyr childehode as well in maners as in yeres, if for their vertues and lernynge they happe to be called to receyue any dignitie, they shulde firste amoue all company from them; and in a secrete oratorie of priuie chambre, by them selfe assemble all the powers of their wittes to remembre these VII articles, whiche I haue nat of myn owne heed deuised, but excerped or gathered as well out of holy scripture as out of the warkes of other excellent writars of famouse memorie, as they shall sone perceiue whiche haue radde and perused good autours in greke and latine.
First, and aboue all thing, let them consider that from god only procedeth all honour, and that neither noble progenie, succession, nor election be of such force, that by them any astate or dignitie maye be so established that god beinge stered to vengeaunce shall not shortly resume it, and, perchance translate it where it shall like hym. And for as moche as examples greatly do profit in the stede of experience, here shall it be necessary, to remembre the historie of Saule, whom god hym selfe elected to be the firste kynge of Israhel; that where god commaunded hym by the mouth of Samuel the prophet, that for as moche as the people called Amalech had resisted the children of Israhel, whan they first departed from Egypt, he shuld therfore distroy al the countray, and slee men, women, and children, all beastis and catell, and that he shulde nothinge saue or kepe therof. But Saul after that he had vainquisshed Amalech, and taken Agag, kynge therof, prisoner, he hauing on hym compassion saued his life only. Also he preserued the best oxen, catel, and Vestures, and all other thing that was fairest and of most estimation, and wolde nat consume it accordyng as god had commaunded him, saying to Samuel that the people kept it to the intent that they wolde make there with to all mightie god a solemne sacrifice. But Samuel, reprouing him, said, Better is obedience than sacrifice, with other wordes that do folowe in the historie. Finally, for that offence onely, al mightie god abiected Saul, that he shulde no more reigne ouer Israhel, and caused Samuel furthewith to enoynte Dauid kynge, the yongest sonne of a poure man of Bethleem, named Isai, whiche was kepyng his father's shepe. Sens for ones neglecting the comman dement of god, and that neither natural pitie, nor the intent to do sacrifice with that whiche was saued, mought excuse transgression of goddes commandement nor mitigate his grieuous displesure. Howe vigilant ought a christen man beinge in autoritie howe vigilant (I say), industrious and diligentought he to be in the administration of a publike weale? Dreding alway the wordes that be spoken by eternall sapience to them that be gouernours of public weales; All powar and vertue is gyuen given of the Lord that of al other is highest, who shal examine your deeds, and enserch your thoughtes. For whan ye were the ministers of his realme ye iuged nat uprightly, nor observed the lawe of iustice, nor ye walked nat according to his pleasure. He shall shortly and terribly appiere unto you. For moste harde and greuous iugement shall be on them that haue rule ouer other. To the povre man mercy is graunted, but the great men shall suffre great tourmentes. He that is lorde of all excepteth no persone, ne he shall feare the gretnes of any man; for he made as wel the great as the smal, and careth for euery of them equally. The stronger or of more mighte is the persone, the stronger payne is to hym imminent. Therfore to you gouernours be these my words, that ye may lerne wisedom and fal nat.
This notable sentence is nat only to be imprinted in the hartes of gouernours, but also to be often tymes reuolued and called to remembraunce.
They shall nat thynke howe moche honour they receiue, but howe moche care and burdene. Ne they shall nat moche esteme their reuenues and treasure, considerynge that it is no buten or praie, but a laboriouse office and trauaile.
Let them thynke the greatter dominion they haue that therby they sustayne the more care and studie. And that therfore they muste haue the lasse solace and passetyme, and to sensuall pleasures lasse opportunitie.
Also whan they beholde their garmentes and other ornamentes, riche and preciose they shall thynke what reproche were to them surmounte that which be ther mennes warkes, and nat theirs, and to be vainquisshed of a poure subiecte in sondry vertues, wherof they them selfes be the artificers.
They that regarde them of whom they haue gouernaunce no more than shall appertaine to their owne priuate commodities, they no better esteme them than other men doth their horsis and mules, to whom they empploye no lasse labour and diligence, not to the benefite of the sely bestis, but to their owne necessities and singuler aduantage. The most sure foundation of noble renome is a man to be of such vertues and qualities as he desireth to be openly publisshed. For it is a fainte praise that is goten with feare or by flaterars gyuen. And the fame is but fume whiche is supported with silence prouoked by menacis.
They shal also consider that by their pre-eminence they sitte, as it were on a piller on the toppe of a mountaine, where all the people do beholde them, nat only in their open affaires, but also in their secrete passetimes, priuie daliaunce, or other improfitable or wanton conditions: whiche soone be discouered by the conuersation of their most familiare seruauntes, whiche do alway imbrace that studie wherin their maister delitethe: accordynge to the sayings of Jesus Sirach, As the Juge of the people is, so be his ministers; and such as be the gouernours of the citie, suche be the people. Whiche sentence is confirmed by sondry histories: for Nero, Caligula, Domiciane, Lucius Commodus, Varius Heliogabalus, monstruous emperours, norisshed about them ribauldes and other voluptuouse artificers. Maximianus, Dioclesian, Maxencius, and other persecutours of christen men, lacked not inuentours of cruel and terrible tourmentes. Cuntrary wise reigninge the noble Augustus, Nerua, Traiane, Hadriane, the two Antonines, and the wonderfull emperour Alexander, for his grauitie called Seuerus, the imperiall palaice was alway replenisshed with eloquent oratours delectable poetes wise philosophers, moste cunnynge and experte lawyars, prudent and valiaunt capitaines. Mo semblable, examples shall hereof be founden by them which purposely do rede histories, whom of all other I moste desire to be princes and gouernours.
These articles wel and substancially grauen in a noble mannes memorie, it shall also be necessary to cause them to be delectably writen and sette in a table within his bedde chamber, addyng to the versis of Claudian, the noble poet, whiche he wrate to Theodosius and Honorius, emperours of Rome. The versis I haue translated out of latine in to englisshe, nat without great studie and difficuitie, nat obseruynge the ordre as they stande, but the sentence belongynge to my purpose.
Though that thy powar stretcheth bothe ferre and large,These versis of Claudiane, full of excellent wisedomes, as I haue saide, wolde be in a table, in suche a pIace as a gouernour ones in a daye maye beholde them specially as they be expressed in latine by the said poete unto whose eloquence no translation in englisshe may be equiualent. But yet were it better to can them by harte; ye, and if they were made in the fourme of a ditie to be songen to an instrument, O what a sweete songe wolde it be in the eres of wise men? For a meane musician mought therof make a righte pleasant harmonie, where almoste euery note shulde expresse a counsayle vertuous or necessary.
Through Inde the riche, sette at the worlde's ende,
And Mede with Arabi be bothe under thy charge,
And also Seres that silke to us dothe sende,
If feare the trouble, and small thinges the offends,
Corrupte desire thine harte bath ones embraced,
Thou arte in bondage, thyne honour is defaced.
Thou shalte be demed than worthy for to raigne,
Whan of thy selfe thou wynnest the maistry.
Euil custome bringeth vertue in disdaine,
Licence superfluous persuadeth moche foly;
In to moche pleasure set nat fehcitie,
If luste or anger do th mynde assaile,
Subdue occasion, and thou shalte sone preuaile.
What thou mayst do delite nat for to knowe,
But rather what thinge wyll become the best
Embrace thou vertue and kepe thy courage lowe,
And thinke that alway measure is a feste.
Loue well thy people, care also for the leste,
And whan thou studiest for thy commoditie
Make them all partners of thy felicitie.
Be nat moche meued with singular appetite,
Except it profite unto thy subiectes all;
At thyne example the people wyll delite,
Be it vice or vertue, with the they rise or fall.
No lawes auaile, men tourne as doth a ball
For where the ruler in liuynge is nat stable,
Bothe lawe and counsaile is tourned in to a fable.
Ye haue nowe harde what premeditations be expedient before that a man take on him the gouernaunce of a publike weale. These notable premeditations and remembrances shulde be in his mynde, whiche is in autoritie, often tymes renewed. Than shall he procede further in furnisshyng his persone with honourable maners and qualities, wherof very nobilitie is compacte; wherby all other shall be induced to honour hym, loue hym, and feare hym, whiche thinges chiefely do cause perfecte obedience.
Now of these maners will I write in suche ordre as in my conceipt they be (as it were) naturally disposed and sette in a noble man, and soonest in hym noted or espied.
II. The exposition of maiestie.
IN a gouernour or man hauynge in the publyke weale some greatte authoritie, the fountaine of all excellent maners is Majestie; which is the holle proporcion and figure of noble astate, and is proprely a beautie or comelynesse in his countenance, langagem and gesture apt to his dignite, and accommodate to rime, place, and company; which, like as the sonne doth his beames, so doth it caste on the beholders and herers a pleasaunt and terrible reuerence. In so moche as the wordes or countenances of a noble man shulde be in the stede of a firme and stable lawe to his inferiours. Yet is nat Maiestie alwaye in haulte or fierce countenaunce, nor in speche outragious or arrogant, but in honourable and sobre demeanure, deliberate and graue pronunciation, wordes clene and facile, voide of rudenesse and dishonestie, without vayne or inordinat ianglynge, with suche an excellent temperance, that he, amonge and infinite nombre of other persones, by his maiestie may be espied for a gouernour. Wherof we haue a noble example in Homere of Ulisses, that whan his shippe and men were perisshed in the see, and he uneth escaped, and was caste on lande upon a coste where the inhabitantes were called Pheacas, he beinge all naked, sauynge a mantell sente to hym by the kynges doughter, without other apparaile or seruant, represented suche a wonderfull maiestie in his countenance and speche, that the kynge of the countray, named Alcinous, in that extreme calamitie, wisshed that Ulisses wold take his doughter Nausicaa to wyfe, with a greatte parte of his treasure. And declaryng the honour that he bare towarde him, he made for his sake diuers noble esbatements, and passetimes. The people also wondringe at his maiestie, honoured hym with sondrye presentes; and at their propre charges and expenses conuaied him in to his owne realme of Ithaca in a shippe of wonderfull beautie, well ordinanced and manned for his defence and saulfe conducte. The wordes of Alcinuous, wherby he declareth the maiestie that he noted to be in Ulisses, I haue put in englisshe, nat so well as I founde them in greke, but as well as my witte snd tonge can expresse it.
The estimation of majestie in countenance shall be declared by two examples now ensuing.
Alcinous to Ulisses.When I the consider, Ulisses, I perceiue
Thou doest nat dissemble to me in thy speche
As other have done, which craftely can deceiue,
Untrue reportynge where they list to preche
Of thinges never done; such falsehod they do teche.
But in they wordes thjere is a right good grace,
And that thy mynde is good, it sheweth in they face.
To Scipio, beinge in his manour place, caled Linterium, came divers great theuves and pirates, only to the intent to se his persone of whose wonderfull prowesse and sondry victories they harde the renome. But he nat knowynge but that they had come to endomage hym, armed hym selfe and suche seruauntes as he than had with hym, and disposed them aboute the imbatilmentds of his house to make defence; whiche the capitaynes of the theues perceiuyng, they despeched the multitude from them, and lainge a parte their harneise and waipons, they called to Scipio with a loude voice, sainge that they came nat as enemies, but wondringe at his vertue and prowesse desired only to se hym, whiche if he vouched saufe, they wolde accounte for an heuenly benefite. That beinge showed to Scipio by his seruauntes, he caused the gates to be sette wyde open, and the theues to be suffered to entre, who kyssynge the gates and postes with moche reuerence, as they had bene of a temple or other place dedicate, they humbly approched to Scipio, who visaged them in suche fourme that they, as subdued with a reuerent drede in beholding his majestie, at the last ioyfully kyssyng his hande often tymes, whiche he benignely offered to them, made humble reuerence, and so departed, layinge in the porche semblable offrynges as they gaue to their goddes, and furthe with retourned to their owne habitations reioysinge incredibly that they had sene and touched a prince so noble and valiaunt.
It is no litle thynge to meruaile at, the maiestie showed in extreme fortune and misery.
The noble Romane Marius, whan he had bene vii times Consul, beinge vainquisshed by Scilla, after that he had longe hidde him selfe in marises and desarte places, he was finally constrayned by famine to repaire to a towne called Minturne, where he trusted to haue bene soucoured. But the inhabitantes, dredyng the crueltie of Scilla, toke Marius and put him in to a dungeon. And after sente to slee hym their commune hangeman, which was borne in Cimbria, a countray some time destroyed by Marius. The hangeman beholding the honourable porte and maiestie that remayned in Marius, nat withstandynge that he was out of honorable apparaile, and was in garmentes torne and filthie, he thought that in his visage appiered the terrible bataile wherein Marius vainquisshed his countray men he therfore all tremblyng, as constrayned by feare, dyd lette falle out of his hande the swerde wherewith he shulde haue slayne Marius, and leuyng hym untouched, fledde out of the place. The cause of his feare reported to the people, they meued with reuerence, afterwarde studied and deuised howe they moughte delyuer Marius from the malice of Scilla.
In Augustus, emperour of Rome, was a natiue maiestie. For, as Suetonius writeth, from his eien proceded rayes or beames, whiche perced the eien of the beholders. The same emperour spake seldome openly, but out of a comentarie, that is to say, that he had before prouided and writen, to the intente that he wolde speke no more ne lasse than he had purposed.
More ouer towarde the acquiring of maiestie, thre thinges be required to be in the oration of a man hauyng autoritie; that it be compendious, sententious, and delectable, hauyng also respecte to the tyme whan, the place where, and the persones to whom it is spoken. For the wordes perchance apte for a bankette or tyme of solace, be nat commendable in tyme of consultation or seruice of god. That langage that in the chambre is tollerable, in place of iugement or great assembly, is nothing commendable.
III. Of apparaile belongynge to a noble man, beinge a gouernour or great counsailour.
APPARAILE may be wel a parte of maiestie. For as ther hath bene euer a discrepance in vesture of youthe and age, men and women, and our lorde god ordayned the apparaile of preestis distincte from seculars, as it appiereth in holy scripture, also the gentiles had of auncient time sondry apparaile to sondry astates, as to the senate, and dignities called magistrates. And what enormitie shulde it nowe be thought, and a thinge to laughe at, to se a iuge or sergeant at the lawe in a shorte cote, garded and pounced after the galyarde facion, or an apprentise of the lawe or pleder come to the barre with a millaine bonet or frenche hatte on his heed, sette full of plumes, poudred with spangles. So is there apparaile comely to euery astate and degree, and that whiche excedeth or lackethe, procureth reproche, in a noble man specially. For apparaile simple or scante reprouethe hym of auarice. If it be alway exceding precious, and often tymes chaunged, as well in to charge as straunge and newe facions, it causeth him to be noted dissolute of maners.
The most noble emperours of Rome, Augustus, Traiane, Hadriane, Antonine, Seuerus, and Alexander, whiche were of all other incomparable in honorable lyuynge, used a discrete moderation in their apparaile, all thoughe they were greatte emperours and gentiles. Howe moche more ought than christen men, whose denomination is founded on humilitie, and they that be nat of the astate of princes, to shewe a moderation and constance in vesture, that they diminisshe no parte, of their maiestie, either with newe fanglenesse or with ouer sumptuous essences? And yet may this last be suiffered wher ther is a great assembly of straungers, for than some tyme it is expedient that a nobleman in his apparaile do aduaunte hym selfe to be both riche and honourable. But in this as well as in other partes of maiestie tyme is to be highly considered.
Semblable deckynge oughte to be in the house of a noble man or man of honour. I meane concernynge ornamentes of halle and chambres, in Arise, painted tables, and images containyng histories, wherin is represented some monument of vertue, moste cunnyngly wroughte, with the circumstance of the mater briefely declared; wherby other men in beholdynge may be instructed, or at the lest wayes, to vertue persuaded. In like wise his plate and vessaile wolde be ingraued with histories, fables, or quicke and wise sentences, comprehending. good doctrine or counsailes; wherby one of these commodities may happen, either that they which do eate or drinke, hauyng those wisedomes euer in sighte, shall happen with the meate to receiue some of them, or by purposinge them at the table, may sussitate some disputation or reasonynge; wherby some parte of tyme shall be saued, whiche els by superfluouse eatyng and drinkyng wolde be idely consumed.
IV. What very nobilitie is, and wherof it toke firste that denomination.NOWE it is to be feared that where maiestie approcheth to excesse, and the mynde is obsessed with inordinate glorie, lest pride, of al vices most horrible, shuld sodainely entre and take prisoner the harte of a gentilman called to autoritie. Wherfore in as moche as that pestilence corruptethe all sences, and makethe them incurable by any persuation or doctrine, therfore suche persones from their adolescencie (which is the age nexte to the state of man) oughte to be persuaded and taughte the true knowlege of very nobilitie in fourme folowing or like.
Fyrst, that in the begynnyng, whan priuate possessions and dignitie were gyuen by the consent of the people, who than had all thinge in commune, and equalitie in degree and condition, undoubtedly they gaue the one and the other to him at whose vertue they meruailed, and by whose labour and industrie they received a commune benefite, as of a commune father that with equall affection loued them. And that promptitude or redinesse in employinge that benefite was than named in englisshe gentilnesse, as it was in latine benignitas, and in other tonges after a semblable signification, and the persones were called gentilmen, more for the remembraunce of their vertue and benefite, than for discrepance of astates. Also it fortuned by the prouidence of god that of those good men were ingendred good children, who beinge brought up in vertue, and perceiuinge the cause of the aduauncement of their progenitours, endeuoured them selfes by imitation of vertue, to be equall to them in honour and autoritie; by good emulation they retained stille the fauour and reuerence of people. And for the goodnesse that proceded of suche generation the state of them was called in greke Eugenia, whiche signifiethe good kinde or lignage, but in a more briefe maner it was after called nobilitie, and the persones noble, whiche signifieth excellent, and in the analogie or signification it is more ample than gentill, for it containeth as well all that whiche is in gentilnesse, as also the honour or dignitie therefore received, whiche, be so annexed the one to the other that they can nat be seperate
It wold be more ouer declared that where vertue ioyned with great possessions or dignitie hath longe continued in the bloode or house of a gentilman, as it were an inheritaunce, there nobilitie is mooste shewed, and these noble men be most to be honored for as moche as continuaunce in all thinge that is good hath euer preeminence in praise and comparison. But yet shall it be necessary to aduertise those persones, that do thinke that nobilitie may in no wyse be but onely where men can auaunte them of auncient lignage, an auncient robe, or great possessions, at this daye very noble men do suppose to be moche errour and folye. Wherof there is a familiare example, whiche we beare euer with us, for the bloode in our bodies beinge in youthe warme, pure, and lustie, it is the occasion of beautie, whiche is euery where commended and loued; but if in age it be putrified, it leseth his praise. And the goutes, carbuncles, kankers, lepries, and other lyke sores and sickenesses, whiche do procede of bloode corrupted, be to all men detestable.
And this persuasion to any gentilman, in whom is apte disposition to very nobilitie, wyll be sufficient to withdrawe hym from suche vice, wherby he maye empayre his owne estimation, and the good renoume of his auncestours.
If he haue an auncient robe lefte by his auncetor, let him consider that if the first owner were of more vertue than he is that succedeth, the robe beinge worne, it minissheth his praise to them whiche knewe or haue herde of the vertue of him that firste owed it. If he that weareth it be viciouse, it more detecteth howe moche he is unworthy to weare it, the remembraunce of his noble auncetour makynge men to abhorre the reproche gyuen by an iuell successour. If the firsts owner were nat vertuouse, hit condemneth him that weareth it of moche folishenesse, to glorie in a thinge of so base estimation, whiche, lacking beautie or glosse, can be none ornament to hym that weareth it, nor honorable remembrance to hym that first owed it.
But nowe to confirme by true histories, that accordynge as I late affirmed, nobilitie, is nat onely in dignitie, auncient lign age, nor great reuenues, landes, or possessions. Lete yonge gentilmen haue en times tolde to them, and (as it is vulgarely spoken) layde in their lappes, how Numa Pompilius was taken from husbandry, whiche he exercised, and was made kynge of Romanes by election of the people. What caused it suppose you but his wisedome and vertue ? whiche in hym was very nobilitie, and that nobilitie broughte hym to dignitie. And if that were nat nobilitie, the Romanes were meruailousely abused, that after the dethe of Romulus their kynge, they hauynge amonge them a hundred senatours, whom Romulus did sette in autoritie, and also the blode roiall, and olde gentilmen of the Sabynes, who, by the procurement of the wiues of the Romanes, beinge their doughters, inhabited the citie of Rome, they wolde nat of some of them electe a kynge, rather than aduaunce a ploughman and stranger to that autoritie.
Quintius hauyng but xxx acres of lande, and beinge ploughman therof, the Senate and people of Rome sent a messager to shewe him that they had chosen him to be dictator, whiche was at that time the highest dignitie amonge the Romanes, and for thre monethes had autoritie roiall. Quintius herynge the message, lette his. ploughe stande, and wente in to the citie and prepared his hoste againe the Samnites, and vainquisshed them valiauntly. And that done, he surrendred his office, and beinge discharged of the dignitie, he repaired agayne to his ploughe, and applied it diligently.
I wolde demaunde nowe, if nobilitie were only in the dignitie, or in his prowesse, whiche he shewed agayne his enemies? If it were only in his dignitie, it therwith cessed, and he was (as I mought say) eftsones unnoble; and than was his prowesse unrewarded, whiche was the chiefe and originall cause of that dignitie: whiche were incongruent and without reason. If it were in his prowesse, prowesse consistynge of valiant courage and martiall policie, if they styll remaine in the persone, he may neuer be without nobilitie, whiche is the commendation, and as it were, the surname of vertue.
The two Romanes called bothe Decii, were of the base astate of the people, and nat of the great blode of the Romanes, yet for the preseruation of their countray they auowed to die, as it were in a satisfaction for all their countray. And so with valiant hartes they perced the hoste of their enemies, and valiauntly fightynge, they died there honorably, and by their example gaue suche audacitie and courage to the residue of the Romanes, that they employed so their strengthe agayne their enemies, that with litle more losse they optained victorie. Ought nat these two Romanes, whiche by their deth gaue occasion of victorie, be called noble? I suppose no man that knoweth what reason is will denie it.
More ouer, we haue in this realme coynes which be called nobles; as longe as they be seene to be golde, they be so called. But if they be counterfaicted, and ujade in brasse, coper, or other vile metal, who for the print only calleth them nobles? Wherby it appereth that the estimation is in the metall, and nat in the printe or figure. And in a horse or good grehounde we prayse that we se in them, and nat the beautie or goodnesse of their progenie. Whiche proueth that in estemyng of money and catell we be ladde by wysedome, and in approuynge of man, to whom beastis and money do serue, we be only induced by custome.
Thus I conclude that nobilitie is nat after the vulgare opinion of men, but is only the prayse and surname of vertue whiche the lenger it continueth in a name or lignage, the more is nobilitie extolled and meruailed at.
V. Of affabilitie and the utilitie therof in euery astate.
To that whiche I before named gentilnesse, be incident thre speciall qualities, affabilitie, placabilitie, and mercy of whom I will nowe seperately declare the propre significations.
Affability is of a wonderfull efficacie or power in procurynge loue. And it is in sondry wise, but mooste proprely, where a man is facile or easie to be spoken unto. It is also where a man speakethe courtaisely, with a swete speche or countenance, wherwith the herers (as it were with a delicate odour) be refresshed, and alured to loue hym in whom is this most delectable qualitie. As contrary wise, men vehemently hate them that haue a proude and haulte countenance, be they neuer so highe in astate or degree. Howe often haue I herde people say, whan men in great autoritie haue passed by without makynge gentill countenance to those whiche haue done to them reuerence: This man weneth witha loke to subdue all the worlde; nay, nay, mennes hartes be free, and wyll loue whom they lyste. And therto all the other do consente in a murmure, as it were bees. Lorde god how they be sore blinded which do wene that haulte countenance is a comelynesse of nobilitie; where undoubted nothing is therto a more greatter blemisshe. As they haue well proued whiche by fortunes mutabilitie haue chaunged their astate, whan they perceiue that the remembrance of their pride withdraweth all pitie, all men reioysing at the chaunge of their fortune.
Dionise, the proude kynge of Sicile, after that for his intollerable pride he was driuen by his people out of his realme, the remembrance of his haulte and stately countenance was to al men so odiouse, that he coulde be in no countray well enterta ined. In so moche as if he had nat ben releued by lernyllg, teachyng a gramer schole in Italy, he for lacke of frendes, had bene constrayned to begge for his lyuynge.
Semblably, Perses, kyng of Macedonia, and one of the rychest kynges that euer was in Grece, for his execrable pride, was at the last abandoned of all his alies and confederates, by reason wherof he was vainquysshed and taken prysoner by Paulus Emilius, one of the consules of Rome; and nat onely he hym selfe bounden and ledde as a captife, in the triumphe of the sayde Paulus, but also the remembrance of his pride was so odiouse to people, that his owne sonne, destitute of frendes, was by nede constrayned to worke in a smythes forge, nat fynding any man that of his harde fortune had any compassion.
The pride of Tarquine, the last kyng of Romanes, was more occasion of his exile than the rauysshynge of Lucrecia by his sonne Aruncius, for the malice that the people by his pride had longe gathered, finding valiaunt capitaynes, Brutus, Colatinus Lucretius, and other nobles of the citie, at the last braste out and takynge occasion of the rauisshement, all though the kynge were therto not partie, they utterly expulsed hym for euer out of the citie. These be the frutes of pride, and that men do cal stately countenance.
Whan a noble man passeth by, shewing to men a gentil and familiare visage, it is a worlde to beholde howe people takethe comforte, howe the blode in their visage quickeneth, howe their flesshe stireth, and harts lepeth for gladnesse. Than they all speke as it were in an harmonie, the one saithe, Who beholding this mans moste gentill countenaunce, wyll nat with all his harte loue hym? Another saith, He is no man, but an aungell; se howe he reioyseth all men that beholde him. Finallye, all do graunt that he is worthye all honour that may be givien or wisshed him.
But now to resorte to that whiche moste proprely (as I haue said) is affabilitie, which is facile or easy to be spoken unto.
Marcus Antoninus, emperour of Rome (as Lampridius wryteth) enserched, who were moost homely and playne men within the cite, and secretely sent for them in to his chaumbre, where he diligently enquered of them what the people coniected of his lyuing, commaundyng them upon payne of his hygh indignation to tell hym trouth, and hyde nothynge from hym. And upon their reporte, if he herde any thing worthy neuer so litle dispreise, he forthwith amended hit. And also by suche meanes he corrected them that were about his persone, fyndyng them negligent, dissemblars, and flateras. The noble Traiane, whan his nobles and counsailours noted him to familiar, and curtaise, and therfore dyd blame hym, he answered, that he wolde be a like emperour to other men, as if he were a subiect he wolde wysshe to haue ourselfe.
O what domage ensued to princes and their realmes where liberte of speche hath ben restrayned? What auayled fortune incomparable to the great kynge Alexander, his wonderfull puissance and hardynes, or his singular doctrine in philosophy, taught hym by Aristotle, in deliuerynge hym from the deth in his yonge and flourisshing age? Where, if he had retained the same affabilitie that was in hym in the begynnynge of his conquest, and had nat put to silence his counsailors whiche before used to speake to hym frankely, he mought haue escaped all violent dethe, and by similitude, have enioyed the hol monarchie of al the worlde. For after that he waxed to be terrible in maners, and prohibited his frendes and discrete seruantes to use their accustomed libertie in speche, he felle in to a hatefull grudge amonge his owne people.
But I had almost forgoten Julius Cesar, who, beinge nat able to sustaine the burden of fortune, and enuienge his owne felicitie, abandoned his naturall disposition, and as it were, beinge dronke with ouer moche welth, sought newe wayes howe to be aduaunced aboue the astate of mortall princes. Wherfore litle and litle he withdrewe from men his accustomed gentilnesse, becomyng more sturdy in langage, and straunge in countenance, than euer before had ben his usage. And to declare more plainely his entent, he made an edict or decre, that no man shulde prease to come to hym uncalled, and that they shuld haue good awaite, that they spake not in suche familiar facion to hym as they before had ben accustomed; wherby he so dyd alienate from hym the hartis of his most wise and assured adherentis, that, from that tyme forwarde, his life was to them tedious, and abhorring him as a monstre or commune enemie, they beinge knitte in a confederacy slewe hym sitting in the Senate; of whiche conspiraci was chiefe capitaine, Marcus Brutus, whome of all other he beste loued, for his great wisedome and prowesse. And it is of some writers suspected that he was begoten of Cesar, for as moche as Cesar in his youth loued Seruilia, the mother of Brutus, and, as men supposed, used her more familiarly than honestie required. Thus Cesar, by omittinge his olde affabilitie, dyd incende his next frendes and companions to sle hym.
But nowe take hede what domage insued to hym by his decre, wherin he commanded that no man shuld be so hardy to approche or speke to hym. One whiche knewe of the conspiracie agayne hym, and by al lykelyhode did participate therin, beinge meued either with loue or pitie, or other wise his conscience remording agayne the destruction of so noble a prince, consideringe that by Cesars decre he was prohibited to haue to hym any familiar accesse, so that he might nat plainly detect the conspiraci; he, therto vehemently meued, wrate in a byll all the forme therof, with the meanes howe it myght be espied, and sens he mought fynde none other oportunitie, he delyuered the byll to Cesar the same day that his dethe was prepared, as he wente towarde the place where the Senate was holden. But he beinge radicate in pride, and neglecting to loke on that hil, not esteminge the persone that deliuered it, whiche perchance was but of a mean hauiour, continued his way to the Senate, where he incontinently was slaine by the said Brutus, and many mo of the Senate for that purpose appoynted.
Who beholdinge the cause of the dethe of this moste noble Cesar, unto whom in eloquence, doctrine, martiall prowesse, and gentilnesse, no prince may be comparid, and the acceleration or haste to his confusion, causid by his owne edict or decre, will nat commende affabilite and extolle libertie of speche? Wherby onely loue is in the hartis of people perfectly kendled, all feare excluded, and consequently realmes, dominions and all other autorites consolidate and perpetuelly stablisshed. The sufferaunce of noble men to be spoken unto is not onely to them an incomparable suretie, but also a confounder of repentance, enemie to prudence, wherof is ingendred this worde, Had I wist, whiche hath ben euer of all wise men reproued.
On a tyme king Philip, fader to the great Alexander, sittinge in iugement, and hauing before him a matter agayne one of his souldiours, being ouercommen with watche fel on a slombre, and sodaynly being awaked, immediatly wolde haue giuen a sentence agayne the poure soldiour. But he, with a great voice and outcrie, said, King Philip I appele. To whom wylt thou appele? said the kynge. To the (said the souldiour) whan thou arte throughly awaked. With whiche answere the kynge suspended his sentence, and more diligently examinyng the mater, founde the souldiour had wronge; whiche beinge sufficiently discussed, he gaue iugement for him, whom before he wolde haue Condemned.
Semblably hapned by a poure woman, agayne whom the same kynge had gyuen iugement; but she as desperate, with a loude voice, cried, I appele, I appele. To whom appelist thou? said the kyng. I appele, saide she, from the, nowe beinge dronke, to kynge Philip the sobre. At which words, though they were undiscrete and foolisshe, yet he, nat beinge moued to displesure, but gatherynge to hym his wittes, examyned the mater more seriously; wherby, he findynge the poure woman to sustaine wronges, he reuersed his iugement, and accordynge to truthe and iustice gaue, to her that she demaunded. Wherin he is of noble autours commended, and put for an honorable example of affabilitie.
The noble emperour Antonine, called the philosopher, was of suche affabilitie, as Herodiane writeth, that to euery man that came to him he gentilly deliuered his hande; and wold nat permitte that his garde shuld prohibite any man to approche hym.
The excellent emperour Augustus on a time, in the presence of many men, plaied on cymbales, or a nother like instrument. A poure man, standyng with other and beholdynge the emperour, saide with a loude voice to his felowe, Seest thou nat howe this voluptuouse lechour tempereth al the worlde with his finger? Whiche wordes the emperour so wisely noted, without wrathe or displeasure, that euer after, durynge his lyfe, he refrayned his handes from semblable lightnesse.
The good Antonine, emperour of Rome, cominyng to supper to a meane gentilman, behelde in the house certaine pillers of a delicate stone, called porbheri, asked of the good man, where he had boughte those pillers. Who made to the emperour this answere, Sir, whan ye come in to any other mannes house than your owne, ever be you dome and defe. Whiche liberall taunte that moste gentill emperour toke in so good parte that he often tymes reherced that sentence to other for a wyse and discrete counsaile.
By these examples appereth nowe euidently what good comethe of affabilitie, or sufferaunce of speche, what mooste pernicious daunger alway ensueth to them, that either do refuse counsaile, or prohibite libertie of speche; sens that in libertie (as it hath bene proned) is moste perfecte suertie, according as it is remembred by Plutarche of Theopompus, kyng of Lacedemone, who beinge demaunded, howe a realme moughte be best and mooste surely kepte; If (saide he) the prince giue to his frendes libertie to speake to hym thinges that be iuste, and neglecteth nat the wronges that his subiecte sustaineth.
VI. Howe noble a vertue placabilitie is.
PLACABILITIE is no litle part of Benignitie, and it is proprely where a man is by any occasion meued to be angry, and, nat withstandynge, either by his owne reason ingenerate, or by counsaile persuaded, he omitteth to be reuenged, and often times receiueth the transgressour ones reconsiled in to more fauour; whiche undoubtedly is a vertue wonderfull excellent. For, as Tulli saithe, no thinge is more to be meruailed at, or that more becometh a man noble and honorable, than mercy and placability. The value therof is beste knowen by the contrarye, whiche is ire, called vulgarely wrathe, a vice moste ugly and farrest from humanitie. For who, beholdynge a man in estimation of nobilitie and wisedome by furie chaunged in to an horrible figure, his face infraced with rancour, his mouthe foule and imbosed, his eien wyde starynge and sparklynge like fire, nat speakyng, but as a wylde bulle, rorying and brayienge out wordes despitefull and venomous; forgetynge his astate or condition, forgeting lernyng, ye forgetynge all reason, wyll nat haue suche a passion in extreme detestation? Shal he nat wisshe to be in suche a man placabilitie? Wherby only he shulde be eftsones restored to the fourme of a man, wherof he is by wrathe despoyled, as it is wondersly well described by Ouide in his crafte of loue.
Man, to thy visage it is conuenientThis Gorgon, that Ouide speaketh of, is supposed of poetes to be a fury or infernall monstre, whose heris were all in the figure of adders, signifieng the abundance of mischiefe that is contained in wrathe.
Beastly fury shortely to asuage.
For peace is beautifull to man only sent,
Wrathe to the beastis cruell and sauage.
For in man the face swelleth whan wrathe is in rage,
The blode becometh wanne, the eien firye bright,
Like Gorgon the monstre appierynge in the nyght.
Wherwith the great kynge Alexander beinge (as I mought say) obsessed, dyd put to vengeable deth his dere frende Clitus, his moste prudent counsailour Calisthenes, his moste valiant capitayne Philotas, with his father Parmenio, and diuers other. Wherof he so sore after repented, that oppressed with heuiness he had slayne hym selfe, had he nat bene lette by his seruauntes. Wberfore his furye and inordinate wrathe is a foule and greuouse blemysshe to his glorie, whiche, without that vice, had incomparably excelled all other princis.
Who abhorreth or hateth nat the violence or rage that was in Scilla and Marius, noble Romanes, and in their tyme in highest authoritie within the citie, hauyng the gouernance of the more parte of the worlde?
Scilla, for the malignitie that he hadde towarde Marius, caused the heedes of a thousande and seuen hundred of the chiefe citezins of Rome to be striken of, and brought to hym fresshe bledyng and quicke, and theron fedde his mooste cruell eien, which to eate his mouth naturally abhorred. Marius with no lasse rancour inflamed, beside a terrible slaughter that he made of noble men leanyng to Scilla, he also caused Caius Cesar (who had bene bothe Consul and Censor, two of the moste honorable dignities in the citie of Rome) to be violently drawen to the sepulture of one Varius, a simple and seditious; persone, and there to be dishonestly slayne. With like beastial fury he caused the hed of Marcus Antonius, one of the moste eloquent oratours of all the Romanes, to be broughte unto hym as he sate at dyner, and there toke the heed all blody betwene his handes, and with a malicious countenance reproched hym of his eloquence, wherwith he had nat only defended many an innocent, but also the hole publike weale had ben by his wyse consultations singulerly profited.
O what calamitie hapned to the mooste noble citie of Rome by the implacabititie or wrath insaciable of these two capitaines, or (as I moughte rather saye) deuils? The nobles betwene them exhaust, the chiualry almost consumed, the lawes oppressed, and lacking but litle that the publike weale had nat ben extincte, and the citie utterly desolate.
The undiscrete hastinesse of the emperour Claudius caused hym to be noted for foolisshe. For meued with wrathe he caused diuers to be slayne, for whom after he demaunded, and wolde sende for to souper. Nat withstandyng that he was right well lerned, and in diuers great affaires appered to be wyse. This discommodities do happen by implacable wrathe, wherof there be examples innumerable.
Contrary wise the valiant kynge Pirrhus, herynge that two men at a feste, and in a great assembly and audience had openly spoken wordes to his reproche, he, meued with displeasure, sente for the persones, and whan they were come, he demaunded where they spake of him any suche wordes. Wherunto one of them answered. If (saide he) the wyne had nat the sooner failed us, all that which was tolde to your highnesse, in comparison of that whiche shulde haue bene spoken, had ben but trifles. The wise prince, with that playne confession was mitigate, and his wrathe conuerted to laughynge.
Julius Cesar, after his victorie agayne the great Pompei, who had maried his doughter, sittynge in open iugement, one Sergius Galba, one of the nobles of Rome a frende unto Pompei, saide unto hym, I was bounden for thy sonne in lawe, Pompei, in a great some, whan he was consul the thirde time, wherfore I am now sued, what shall I do? shall I my selfe pay it? By which wordes he moughte seme to reproche Cesar of the sellyng of Pompeis goodes, in defraudynge his creditours. But Cesar, than hauyng a gentill harte and a pacient, was meued with no displeasure towarde Galba, but caused Pompeis detts to be discharged.
We lacke nat of this vertue domisticall examples, I meane of our owne kynges of Englande; but moste specially one, whiche, in myne opinion, is to be compared with any that euer was written of in any region or countray.
The moste renomed prince, kynge Henry the fifte, late kynge of Englande, durynge the life of his father was noted to be fierce and of wanton courage. It hapned that one of his seruantes whom he well fauored, for felony by hym committed, was arrayned at the, kynges benche; wherof he being aduertised, and incensed by light persones aboute hym, in furious rage came hastily to the barre, where his seruant stode as a prisoner, and commaunded hym to be ungyued and sette at libertie, where at all men were abasshed, reserued the chiefe iustice, who, humbly exhorted the prince to be contented that his seruaunt mought be ordred accordyng to the auncient lawes of this realme, or if he wolde haue hym saued from the rigour of the lawes, that he shuld optaine, if he moughte, of the kynge, his father, his gracious pardone; wherby no lawe or iustice shulde be derogate. With whiche answere the prince nothynge appeased, but rather more inflamed, endeuored hym selfe to take away his seruaunt. The iuge consideringe the perilous example and inconuenience that moughte therby ensue, with a valiant spirite and courage commaunded the prince upon his alegeance to leue the prisoner and departe his waye. With whiche commandment the prince, being set all in a fury, all chafed, and in a terrible maner, came up to the place of iugement - men thinkyng that he wolde haue slayne the iuge, or haue done to hym some damage; but the iuge sittyng styll, without mouynge, declarynge the maiestie of the kynges place of iugement, and with an assured and bolde countenance, hadde to the prince these words folowyng: Sir, remenibre your selfe; I kepe here the place of the king, your soueraigne lorde and father, to whom ye owe double obedience, wherfore, eftsones in his name, I charge you desiste of your wilfulnes and unlaufull entreprise, and from hensforth gyue good example to those whiche hereafter shall be your propre subiectes. And nowe for your contempt and disobedience, go you to the prisone of the kynges benche, where unto I committe you; and remayne ye there prisoner untill the pleasure of the kyng, your father, be further knowen. With whiche wordes beinge abasshed, and also wondrynge at the meraiaiious grauitie of that worshipful justice, the noble prince, layinge his waipon aparte, doinge reuerence, departed and wente to the kynges benche as he was commaunded. Whereat his seruants disdainyng, came and shewed to the kynge all the hole affairs. Wherat he a whiles studienge, after as a man all rauisshed with gladness, holdyng his eien and handes towarde heuen, abrayded, sayinge with a loude voice, mercifull god, howe moche am I, aboue all other men, bounde to your infinite goodnes; specially for that ye have gyuen me a iuge, who feareth nat to ministre iustice, and also a sonne who can suffre semblably and obey iustice?
Nowe here a man may beholde thre persones worthye excellent memorie. Firste, a iuge, who beinge a subiecte, feared nat to execute iustice on the eldest sonne his of his soueraigne lorde, and by the ordre of nature his successour. Also a prince and sonne and heire of the kynge, in the middes of his furye, more considered his iuell example, and the iuges constance in iustice, than his owne astate or wylfull appetite. Thirdly, a noble kynge and wyse father, who contrary to the custome of parentes, rejoyced to se his sonne and the heire of his crowne, to be for his disobedience by his subiecte corrected.
Wherfore I conclude that nothing is more honorable, or to be desired in a prince or noble man, than placabilitie. As contrary wyse, nothing is so detestable, or to be feared in suche one, as wrathe and cruell malignitie.
VII. That a gouernour ought to be mercifull and the diuersitie of mercye and vayne pitie.
MERCYE is and hath ben euer of suche estimation with mankynde, that nat onely reason persuadeth, but also experience proueth, that in whome mercye lacketh and is nat founden, in hym all other vertues be drowned and lose their iuste commendation.
The vice called crueltie, whiche is contrary to mercye, is by good reason most odyous of all other vices, in as moche as, lyke a poyson or continual pestilence, it destroyeth the generation of man. Also the vertues beynge in a cruell persone be nat only obfuscate or hyd, but also lyke wyse as norysshynge meates and drynkes in a sycke body do lose their bountie and augmente the malady, semblably diuers vertues in a persone malicious do minystre occasion and assistence to crueltie.
But nowe to speke of the inestimable price and value of mercy. Let gouernours, whiche knowe that they haue resceyued theyr powar from aboue, reuolue in their myndes in what peryll they them selfes be in dayly if in god were nat habundaunce of mercy, but that as sone as they offende him greuously, he shulde immediatly strike them with his moste terrible darte of vengeaunce. All be it uneth any houre passeth that men deserue nat some punysshement.
The mooste noble emperours, whiche for their merites resceyued of the gentyles diuyne honours, vainquisshed the greate hartes of their mortall enemyes, in shewynge mercye aboue mennes expectacion. Julius Cesar, whiche in policie, eloquence, celeritie, and prowesse, excelled all other capitaynes, in mercye onely he surmounted hym selfe: that is to say, contrary to his owne affectes and determinate purposes, he nat onely spared, but also resceyued into tendre familyaritie his sworne enemyes. Wherfore, if the disdayne of his owne blode and alyaunce had nat traytourously slayne him, he had reigned longe and prosperously.
But ammonge many other examples of mercy, wherof the histories of Rome do abounde, there is one remembred by Seneca, whiche may be in the stede of a great nombre.
It was reported to the noble emperour Octauius Augustus, that Lucius Cinna, which was susters sonne to the great Pompei, had imagined his dethe. Also that Cinna was appointed to execute his feate whyles the emperour was doinge his sacrifice. This reporte was made by one of the conspiratours, and therwith diuers other thinges agreed: the old hostilite betwene the houses of Pompei and Cesar, the wilde and sedicious witte of Cinna, with the place and tyme, where and whan the emperour should be disfurnisshed of seruauntes. No wonder though the emperours mynde were inquiete, beinge in so perilous a conflicte, consideryng oni the one parte, that if he shulde put to dethe Cinna, whiche came of one of the moste noble and auncient houses of Rome, he shulde euer lyue in daunger, onlas he shulde destroye all that noble familie, and cause the memorie of them to he utterly exterminate; whiche mought nat be brought to passe without effusion of the bloode of persones innumerable, and also perile of the subuercion of the empire late pacified. On the other parte, he considered the imminent daunger that his persone was in, wherfore nature stered hym to prouide for his suretie, wherto he thought than to be none other remedy but the deth of his aduersarie. To hym beinge thus perplexed came his wife Liuia, the empresse, who said unto him, Pleaseth it you, sir, to here a womans aduise. Do you as phisitians be wonte to do, where their accustomed remedies preue nat, they do assaye the contrarye. By seueritie ye haue hitherto nothing profited, proue therfore nowe what mercy may aduaile you. Forgiue Cinna; he is taken, with the maynure and may nat nowe indomage you, profite he may moche to the increase of your renome and perpetuell glorie. The emperour reioysed to hym selfe that Cinna had founde suche an aduocatrice and gyuynge her thankes he caused his counsailours, whiche he had sente for, to be countermaunded, and callyng to hym Cinna only, he commaunded the chambre to be auoyded, and an other chaire to be sette for Cinna; and that done he saide in this maner to hym: I desire of the this one thynge, that whiles I speke, thou wylt nat let or disturbe me, or in the middes of my wordes make any exclamation. What tyme, Cinna, I founde the in the hoste of myne enemyes, all thoughe thou were nat by any occasion made myne enemie, but by succession from thine auncetours borne myne enemie, I nat only saued the, but also gaue unto the all thyne inheritaunce; and at this day thou arte so prosperous and riche, that they whiche had with me victorie, do enuie the that were vainquisshed. Thou askiddist of me a spirituall promocion, and forthwith I gaue it the bifore many other, whose parentes had serued me in warres. And for that I haue done so moche for the, thou nowe hast purposed to slee me. At that worde whan Cinna cryed out, sayenge that suche madnes was farre from his mynde, Cinna, (said the 'emprour) thou kepist nat promise; it was couenaunted that thou shuldest nat interrupt me. I saye thou preparest to kyll me. And thereto the Emperour named his companions, the place, tyme, and ordre of all the conspiracie, and also to whom the sworde was committed. And whan he perceyued hym astonied, holdyng than his peace, nat for by cause that he so promised, but that his conscience him meued; For what intent dyddest thou thus? (said Augustus) Because thou woldest be emperour? In good faithe the publike weale is in an euyll astate, if nothing letteth the to raygne, but I onely; thou canste nat maintayne or defende thine owne house. It is nat longe sence that thou in a priuate iugement were ouer commen of a poore man but late infraunchised; therfore thou mayste nothinge do lightlyer than plede agayne the emperour. Say nowe, do I alone let the of thy purpose? Supposest thou that Paule, Fabius Maximum, the Cosses, and Seruiliis, auncient houses of Rome, and suche a sorte of noble men (nat they which haue vayne and glorious names, but suche as for their merites be adorned with their propre images) will suffre the? Finally, said the emperour, (after that he had talked with hyin by the space of two houres), I gyue to the thy lyfe, Cinna, the seconde time fyrst beinge myne enemie, nowe a traytour and murdrer of thy soueraygne lorde, whom thou oughtest to loue as thy father. Nowe from this day let amytie betwene us two begynne; and let us bothe contende whether I with a better harte haue gyuen to the thy lyfe, or that thou canste more gentilly recompence my kyndnes. Sone after Augustus gaue to Cinna the dignitie of Consull undesired, blamyng him that he darste nat aske it; wherby he had him moste assured and loyall. And Cinna afterwarde dienge, gaue to the emperour all his goodes and possessions. And neuer after was Augustus in daunger of any treason. O what sufficient prayse may be gyuen to this moste noble and prudent emperour, that in a chambre alone, without men, ordenaunce, or waipon, and perchaunce without harnes, within the space of ii houres, with wordes well couched, tempered with maiestie, nat onely vainquisshed and subdued one mortall enemie, whiche by a malignitle, engendred of a domesticall hatred, had determined to slee him, but by the same feate excluded out of the hole citye of Rome all displeasure and rancour towarde hym, so that there was nat lefte any occasion wherof mought procede any lytell suspicion of treason, whiche other wyse coulde nat haue hapned without slaughter of people innumerable.
Also the empresse Liuia may nat of righte be forgoten, whiche ministred to her lorde that noble counsayle in suche a perplexitie; wherby he saued bothe him selfe and his people. Suppose ye that all the Senatours of Rome and counsaylours of the emperour, which were lytell fewer than a thousande, coulde haue better aduised hym? This historie therfore is no lasse to be remembred of women than of princes, takynge therby comforte to persuade swetely their husbandes to mercy and pacience; to whiche counsayle onely they shulde be admitted and haue free libertie. But I shal forbere to speke more of Liuia nowe, for as moche as I purpose to make a boke onely for ladyes; where in her laude shall be more amplie expressed. But to resorte nowe to mercy.
Suerly nothinge more entierly and fastly ioyneth the hartes of subiectes to their prince or soueraygne than mercy and gentilnes. For Seneca saith, a temperate drede represseth hygh and sturdy myndes; feare frequent and sharpe, set forth with extremitie stereth men to presumption and hardines, and constrayneth them to experiment all thinges. He that hastily punissheth ofte tymes son repenteth. And who that ouer moche correcteth, obserueth none equitie. And if ye aske me what mercye is, it is a temperaunce of the mynde of hym that hath of hym that hath powar to be auenged and it is called in latine Clementia, and is alway joyned with reason. For he that for euery litle occasion is meued with compasion, and beholdynge a man punisshed condignely for his offence lamenteth or wailethe, is called piteous, whiche is a sickenesse of the mynde, where with at this daye the more parte of men be disseased. And yet is the sikenesse moche wars by addying to one worde, callying it vaine pitie.
Some man perchaunce wyll demaunde of me what is vaine pitie? To that I wyll answere in a description of dailye experience. Beholde what an infinite nombre of englisshe men and women at this present time wander in all places throughout this realme, as bestis brute and sauage, abandonyng all occupation, seruice, and honestie. Howe many semely personagis, by outrage in riotte, gamynge, and excesse of apparaile, be induced to thefte and robry, and some tyme to murdre, to the inquietation of good men, and finally to their owne destruction?
Nowe consider semblably what noble statutes, ordinances, and actis of counsaile from time to time haue bene excogitate, and by graue studie and mature consultation enacted and decreed, as wel for the due punisshement of the saide idle persones and vacabundes, as also for the suppression of unlaufull games and reducinge apparaile to conuenient moderation and temperance. Howe many proclamations therof haue ben diuulgate and nat obayed? Howe many commissions directed and nat executed? (Marke well here, that disobedient subiectes and negligent gouernours do frustrate good lawes) A man herynge that his neighbour is slayne or robbed, furthe with hateth the offendour and abhorrethe his enormitie, thinkynge hym worthy to be punisshed accordyng to the lawes; yet whan he beholdeth the transgressour, a semely personage, also to be his seruant, acquaintance, or a gentilman borne, (I omitte nowe to speke of any other corruption), he furthe with chaungeth his opinion, and preferreth the offendours condition or personage before the example of iustice, condempnyng a good and necessary lawe, for to excuse an offence pernicious and damnable; ye and this is nat only done by the vulgare or commune people, but moche rather by them whiche haue autoritie to them committed concernyng the effectuell execution of lawes. They beholde at their eie the continuell encrease of vacabundes in to infinite nombres, the obstinate resistence of them that dailye do transgresse the lawes made againe games and apparaile, which be the streight pathes to robry and semblable mischiefe; yet if any one commissioner, meued with zele to his countray, accordyng to his duetie do execute duely and frequently the lawe or good ordinaunce, wherein is any sharpe punisshement, some of his companyons therat reboyleth, infamynge hym to be a man without charitie, callyng hym secretely a pike thanke, or ambicious of glorie, and by suche maner of obloquie they seeke meanes to bringe hym in to the haterede of people. And this may well be called vayne pitie; wherin is contayned neither iustice nor yet commendable charitie, but rather therby ensueth negligence, contempte, dissobedience, and finally all mischiefe and incurable misery.
If this sickenesse had reigned amonge the old Romanes, suppose ye that the astate of their publike weale had sixe hundred yeres encreased, and two hundred yeres continued in one excellent astate and wonderfull maiestie? Or thinke ye that the same Romanes mought so haue ordred many great countrayes, with fewer ministers of iustice than be nowe in one shire of Englande? But of that mater, and also of rigour and equalite of punishement, I wyll traicte more amply in a place more propise for that purpose.
And here I conclude to write any more at this tyme of mercy.
VIII. The thre principall partes of humanitie
The nature and condition of man, wherin he is lasse than god almightie, and excellinge nat withstanding all other creatures in erthe, is called humanitie whiche is a generall name to those vertues in whome semeth to be a mutuall concorde and loue in the nature of man. And all thoughe there be many of the said vertues, yet be there thre principall by whome humanitie is chiefly compact; beneuolence, benificence, and liberalitie, which maketh up the said principall vertue called benignitie or gentilnes.
Beneuolence, if it do extende to a hole contraye or, citie, it is proprely called charitie, and some tyme zele; and if it concerne one persone, than is it called beneuolence. And if it be very feruent and to one singuler persone, than may it be named loue or amitie. Of that vertuous disposition procedeth an acte, wherby some thinge is employed whiche is profitable and good to him that receyueth it. And that vertue, if it be in operation, or (as I mought saye) endeuour, it is called than beneficence, and the dede (vulgarly named a good tourne) may be called a benefite. If it be in money or other thing that hath substaunce it is than called liberalitie, whiche is nat alway a vertue as beneficence is for in well doing (whiche is the right interpretation of beneficence) can be no vice included. But liberalitie, thoughe it procede of a free and gentill harte, wyllinge to do some thinge thankefull, yet may it transgresse the bondes of vertue, eyther in excessiue rewardes, or expences, or els emploienge treasour, promotion, or other substaunce on persones unworthy, or on thynges inconuenient, and of small importaunce. All be it some thinke suche maner of erogation nat to be worthy the name of liberalitie. For Aristotle defineth a liberal man to be he whiche doth erogate accordinge to the rate of his substance and as oportunitie hapneth. He saieth also in the same place, that liberalitie is nat in the multitude or quantite of that whiche is gyuen, but in the habite or facion of the gyuer, for he gyueth accordinge to his habilitie. Neyther Tulli approueth it to be liberalitie, wherin is any mixture of auarice or rapyne; for it is nat properly liberalitie to exacte iniustly, or by violence or craft to take goodes from particuler persones, and distribute them in a multitude; or to take from many iniustly, and enriche therwith one persone or fewe. For as the same autour saieth, the last precept concerning benefites or rewardes is, to take good hede that he contende nat agayne equitie, ne that he upholde none imurie.
Nowe will I procede seriously and in a due forme to speke more particularly of these thre vertues. Nat withstandinge there is suche affinite bitwene beneficence and liberalitie, beinge always a vertue, that they tende to one conclusion or purpose, that is to saye, with a free and glad wyll to gyue to a nother that thinge which he before lacked.
IX. Of what excellence beneuolence is.
WHAN I remembre what incomparable goodnes hath euer proceded of this vertue beneuolence, mercifull god, what swete flauour fele I persing my spirites, wherof bothe my soule and body to my thinkinge do conceyue suche recreacion, that it semeth me to be in a paradise, or other semblable place of incomparable delites and pleasures. Firste I beholde the dignitie of that vertue, consideringe that god is therby chiefly knowen and honoured both of aungell and man. As contrarie wise the deuill is hated and reproued bothe of god and man for his malice, whiche vice is contrarious and repugnaunt to beneuolence. Wherefore without beneuolence may be no god. For god is all goodnes, all charite, all loue, whiche holy be comprehended in the saide worde beneuolence.
Nowe let us see where any other vertue may be equall in dignitie with this vertue beneuolence, or if any vertue remayneth, where this is excluded. For what commeth of prudence where lacketh beneuolence, but disceite, rauine, auarice and tyranny? What of fortitude, but bestely crueltie, oppression, and effusion of bloode? What iustice may there be without beneuolence? Sens the first or chiefe porcion of iustice (as Tulli saieth) is to indomage no man, onelas thou be wrongfully vexed. And what is the cause hereof but equall and entier loue; whiche beinge remoued, or cessing, who endeuoreth nat him selfe to take from a nother al thyng that he coueteth, or for euery thinge that discontenteth him wolde nat forthwith be auenged? Wherby he confoundeth the vertue called temperance, whiche is the moderatrice as well of all motions of the minde, called affectes, as of all actis procedyng of man. Here it sufficiently appereth (as I suppose) of what estimation beneuolence is.
Nowe wyll I, accordynge to myne accustomed maner, endeuore me to recreate the spirites of the diligent reder with some delectable histories, wherin is any noble remembrance of this vertue beneuolence, that the worthinesse therof maye appiere in a more playne declaration; for in euery discipline example is the beste instructour.
But firste I will aduertise the reder, that I will nowe write of that beneuolence onely whiche is moste universal wherin is equalitie without singuler affection or acceptaunce of personagis. And here it is to be noted, that if a gouernour of a publike weale, iuge, or any other ministre of iustice, do gyue sentence agayne one that hath transgresse
d the lawes, or punissheth hym according to the qualities of his trespas, Beneuolence therby is nat any thing perisshed; for the condemnation or punisshement is either to reduce hym that erreth in to the trayne of vertue, or to preserue a multitude from domage, by puttynge men in feare that be prone to offende, dreding the sharpe correction that they beholde a nother to suffre. And that maner of seueritie is touched by the prophet Dauid, in the fourthe psalme, sayinge in this wise; Be you angry and loke that you sinne nat. And Tulli saith in his first boke of Officis, It is to be wisshed, that they, whiche in the publike weale haue any autoritie, may be like to the lawes, whiche in correctynge be ladde only by equitie and nat by wrathe or displesure. And in that maner, whan Chore, Dathan, and Abiron moued a sedition agayne Moyses, he praied god that the erth mought open and swalowe them, consideryng that the furye of the people mouohte nat be by any other meanes asswaged, ne they kepte in due rule or obedience.
Helias the holy prophete of god dyd his owne handes put to deth the prestes of the Idol Baal, yet cessed he nat with fastynge, praying, longe and tedious pilgrimages to pacifie the displeasure that god toke againe the people of Israhel. But to retourne to beneuolence.
Moyses beinge highly entretayned with Pharao kynge of Aegipte, and so moche in his fauour by the meanes of the kynges suster, that, (as Josephus saithe), he beinge made capitaine of a huge armye, was sente by Pharao agayne the Ethiopians or Moores, where he made suche exploiture, that he nat only atchieued his entreprise, but also had giuen unto him, for his prowesse, the kyngs daughter of Ethiopia to be his wife, with great abundaunce of riches. And also for his endeuour, prowesse, and wisedome, was moche estemed by Pharao and the nobles of Egipte; so that he moughte haue liued there continually in moche honour and welth, if he wolde haue preferred his singuler aduaile before the uniuersall weale of his owne kynred or familie. But he inflamed with feruent beneuolence or zele towarde them, to redeme them out of their miserable bondage, chase rather to be in the daungerous indignation of Pharao, to committe his persone to the chaungeable myndes of a multitude, and they most unstable, to passe great and long iournaies throughe desertes replenisshed with wylde beastis and venimous serpentes, to suffre exstreme hunger and thirste, lackyinge often tymes nat onely vitaile but also fresshe water to drinke, than to be in the palice of Pharao where he shulde haue bene satisfied with honour, richesse and ease, and all other thinges pleasaunt. Who that redeth the boke of Exodi shall finde the charitie of this man wonderfull. For whan almightie god, being greuously meued with the children of Israhel for their ingratitude, for as moche as they often tymes murmured agayne hym, and uneth moughte be kepte by Moyses from idolatrie, he said to Moyses that he wold destroye them utterly, and make hym ruler of a moche greatter and better people. But Moyses brenning in a meruailous charite towards them said unto god, This people, good lorde, haue mooste greuouslye sinned, yet either forgyue them this trespas, or, if ye do nat, strike me clene out of the booke that ye wrate. And diuers other tymes he importunately cried to god for the saulfe garde of them, nat withstanding that many tymes they concluded to haue slayne hym, if he had nat ben by his wisedome, and specially by the powar of god, preserued.
But perauenture some, which seke for starting holes to mainteine their vices, will obiecte, sayinge that Moyses was a holy prophete and a persone electe by predestination to deliuer the children of Israhell out of captiuitie, which he coulde nat haue done, if he had nat bene of suche pacience and charitie. Therfore let us se what examples of semblable beneuolence we can finde amonge the gentiles, in whom was no vertue inspired, but that only which natural reason induced.
Whan a furious and wylfull yonge man in a sedicion had striken out one of the eies of kyng Licurgus, wherfore the people wolde haue slaine the transgressour, he wolde nat suffre them, but hauyng him home to his house, he by suche wise meanes corrected the yonge man, that he at the laste brougbte hym to good maners and wisedome. Also the same Licurge, to the entent that theffecte of his beneuolence towarde the commune weale of his countray mought persist and continue, and that his excellent lawes beinge stablisshed shulde neuer be alterate, he dyd let swere al his people, that they shulde chaunge no part of his lawes, untill he were retourned, faynynge to them that he wolde go to Delphos, where Apollo was chiefly honoured, to consulte with that god what semed to hym to be added to or minisshed of those lawes, whiche also he fayned. to haue receiued of the said Apollo.
But finally he went in to the Isle of Crete, where he continued and died, commaundyng at his deth that his bones shulde be cast in to the see, lest if they were brought to Lacedemonia, his countray, the people shuld thinke them selfe of their othe and promise discharged.
Semblable loue Codrus, the last kynge of Athenes, had to his countray. For where the people called Dores (whom some thinke to be nowe Sicilians) wolde aduenge their olde grudges agayne the Atheniensis, they demaunded of some of their goddes, what successe shulde happen if they made any warres. Unto whom answere was made, that if they slewe nat the kynge of Atheniensis they shulde than haue the victorie. Whan they came to the felde, straite commaundement was gyuen amonge them that, aboue all thinge, they shulde haue good awaite of the kynge of Athenes, whiche at that time was Codrus. But he before knowyng the answere made to the Dores, and what commandement was giuen to the army, dyd put of his princely habite or robes, and in apparaile all ragged and rent, carienge on his necke a bundell of twigges, entred in to the hoste of his enemies, and was slayne in the prese by a souldiour, whom he wounded with a hooke purposely. But whan it was perceiued and knowen to be the corps of kyng Codrus, the Dores all dismayed departed from the felde without proferynge bataile. And in this wise the Atheniensis, by the vertue of their most beneuolent kynge, who for the saulfgarde of his countray willingly died, were clerely deliuered from bataile. O noble Codrus, howe worthy had you ben (if god had bene pleased) to haue aboden the reparation of mankynde, that, in the habite and religion of a christen prince, ye mought haue showed your wonderfull beneuolence and courage, for the saulfegarde of christen men, and to the noble example of other princes.
Curtius, a noble knighte of the Romanes, had no lasse loue to his countray than Codrus. For sone after the begynnyng of the citie there hapned to be a great erth queue, and after there remayned a great dell or pitte without botome, whiche to beholde was horrible and lothsome, and out of it proceded suche a dampe or ayre, that corrupted all the citie with pestilence. Wherfore whan they had counsailed with suche idols as they than worshipped, answere was made that the erth shuld nat close untill there were throwen in to it the moste precious thinge in the citie; whiche answere receiued, there was throwen in riche ieuels of golde and precious stone; but all auailed nat.
At the laste, Curtius, beinge a yonge and goodly gentilman, consideryng that no riches throwen in profited, he finallye coniected that the life of man was aboue all thinges moste precious; to thentent the residue of the people mought be saued by his only dethe, he armed hym selfe at all pointes, and sittyng on a courser, with his swerde in his hande redy drawen, with a valiaunt and fierce courage enforsed his horse to lepe in to the dell or pitte, and forthwith it ioyned to gether and closed, leuynae onely a signe where the pitte was; which longe after was called Curtius lake.
I passe ouer the two Decius, Marcus Regulus, and many other princes and noble men that for the weale, of their contraye died willingly. And nowe wyll I speke of suche as in any other fourme haue declared their beneuolence.
Xenophon, condisciple of Plato, wrate the life of Cyrus kyng of Persia most elegantly, wherin he expresseth the figure of an excellent gouernour or capitayne. He sheweth there that Craesus, the riche king of Lidia, whom Cyrus had taken prisoner, subdued his countray, and possessed his treasure, saide on a tyme to Cyrus, whan he behelde his liberalitie, that suche largenesse as he used shulde bringe hym in pouertie, where, if he lysted, he mought accumulate up treasure incomparable. Than Cyrus demaunded of Croesus, What treasure suppose ye shulde I nowe haue, if durynge the tyme of my raigne I wolde haue gadred and kept money as ye exhorte me to do? Than Cresus named a great some. Well, said Cyrus, sende ye some man, whom ye best truste, with Histaspa my seruaunt; and thou, Histaspa, go about to my frendes and shewe them that I lacke golde towarde a certayne businesse, wherfore I will they shal sende me as moche as they can, and that they put it in writinge and sende it sealed by the seruant of Cresus. In the same wise Cirus wrate in a letter, and also that they shulde receiue Histaspa as his counsailour and frende, and sent it by hym. Histaspa, after that he had done the message of Cyrus and was retourned with the seruant of Cresus, who brought letters from Cyrus frendes, he saide to Cyrus, O sir, from hensforthe loke that ye take me for a man of great substaunce. For I am highly rewarded with many great gyftes for bringing your letters. Than Cyrus, at the houre appointed, ladde with hym kynge Cresus in to his campe, sayinge to hym, Now beholde here is our treasure, accounte, if ye can, how moche money is redy for me, if I haue nede of any to occupy. Whan Cresus behelde and rekened the innumerable treasure, whiche in sondry partes were laide aboute the pauilion of Cirus, he founde moche more than he said to Cirus that he shuld haue in his tresure, if he him selfe had gadred and kept it. And whan all appiered sufficiently, Cirus than said, Howe thinke you, Cresus, haue I nat tresure? And ye counsailed me that I shulde gadre and kepe money, by occasion wherof I shuld be enuied and hated of my people, and more ouer put my trust to seruantes hyred to haue rule therof. But I do all other wise; for, in making my frendes riche, I take them al for my tresure, and haue them more sure and trusty kepers bothe of me and my substance, than I shuld do those whom I must trust only for their wagis.
Lorde god, what a notable historie is this, and worthy to be grauen in tables of golde; considerynge the vertue and power of beneuolence therin expressed. For the beneuolente mynde of a gouernour nat onely byndeth the hartes of the people unto hym with the chayne of loue, more stronger than any materiall bondes, but also gardeth more saulfely his persone than any toure or garison.
The eloquent Tulli, saithe in his officis, A liberall harte is cause of beneuolence, al though perchance that powar some tyme lackethe. Contrary wise he saith, They that desire to be feared, nedes must they drede them, of whom they be feared.
Also Plini the yonger saith, He that is nat enuironed with charite, in vaine is he garded with terrour; sens armure with armure is stered. Whiche is ratified by the mooste graue philosopher Seneke, in his boke of mercye that he wrate to Nero, where he saith, He is moche deceiued that thinketh a man to be suer, where nothynge from hym can be saulfe. For with mutuall assuraunce suertie is optained.
Antoninus Pius, emperour of Rome, so moche tendred the beneuolence of his people, that whan a greatte nombre had conspired treason againe him, the Senate being therwith greuousely meued, endeuoured them to punisshe the said conspiratours; but the emperour caused the examination to cesse, sayinge, that it shulde nat nede to seeke to busily for them that intended suche mischiefe, leste, if they founde many, he shulde knowe that many him hated. Also whan the people (for as moch as on a time they lacked corne in their graynardes) wolde haue slaine him with stones, rather than he wolde haue the sedicious persones to be punisshed, he in his owne persone declared to them the occasion of the scarsitie, wherwith they beinge pacified euery man helde him contented.
I had almost forgoten a notable and worthy remembraunce of kynge Philip, father to great kynge Alexander. It was on a tyme to him reported that one of his capitaines had menacing wordes towards him, wherby it semed he intended some domage towarde his persone. Wherfore his counsaile aduised hym to haue good awayte of the saide capitaine, and that he were put under warde; to whom the kynge answered, If any parte of my body were sicke or els sore, whether shuld I therfore cutte it from the residue, and cast it from me, or els endeuour my selfe that it moughte be healed? And than he called for the saide capitaine, and so entretayned hym with familiaritie and bounteous rewardes, that euer after he had hym more assured and loyall than euer he was.
Agesilaus kynge of Lacedemonia, to hym that demaunded howe a kyng mought most suerly goueme his realme without souldiours or a garde to his persone, answered, If he reigned ouer his people, as a father doth ouer his children.
The citie of Athenes (from whens issued al excellent doctrine and wisedom) during the time that it was gouerned by those persons unto whom the people mought haue a familiare accesse, and boldly expound their greies and damages, prospered merualously, and during a longe season raigned in honour and weale.
Afterwarde the Lacedemons, by the mutabilite of fortune, vanquisshed them in bataile and committed the citie of Athenes to the kepyng of xxx of their owne capitaines, which were for their pride and auarice called tyrantes. But nowe se how litle suerte is in great nombre or strength, wher lacketh beneuolence. These xxx tyrantes were continuelly enuironed with sondry garisons of armed men, which was a terrible visage to people that before liued under the obedience of their lawes only. Finally the Atheniensis, by fere being put from their accustomed accesse to their gouernours to require iustice, and there with being fatigate as men oppressed with continual iniurie, toke to them a desperate corage, and in conclusion expelled out of the citie all the said tyrantes, and reduced it unto his pristinate gouernance.
What misery was in the life of Dionyse the tyrant of Cicile? Who knowing that his people desired his distruction, for his rauine and crueltie, wold nat be of any man shauen, but first caused his owne doughters to clippe his berde, and afterwarde he also mistrusted them, and than he him selfe with a brenning cole seared the heres of his berde, and yet finally was he destroyed.
In like wretchednesse was one Alexander, prince of a citie called Pherea, for he, hauing an excellent faire wyfe, nat only excluded all men from her company, but also, as often as he wold lie with her, certaine persones shulde go before him with torchis, and he folowing with his swerde redy drawen wolde therwith enserche the bedde, couers, and all other places of his chambre, leste any man shulde be there hidde, to thentent to sle him. And that nat withstanding by the procurement of his said wife (who at the last, fatigate with his most folisshe ialousy, conuerted her loue in to haterede) he was slaine by his owne subiects. Nowe dothe it appere that this reuerende virtue beneuolence is of all men, most specially of gouernors and men of honour, incomparably before other to be embraced.
Kyng Philip, whan he herd that his sonne Alexander used a meruailous liberalite amonge the people, he sent to him a lettre, wherin he wrate in this wise: Alexander, what peruerse opinion hath put the in suche hope, that thou thinkest to make them loyall unto the, whom thou with money corruptest, consideryng that the receiuour therof is therby appaired, beinge trained by thy prodigalitie to loke and gape alway for a semblable custome? And therfore the treasure of a gentle countenance, swete answeres, ayde in aduersitie, nat with money onely but also with studie and diligent endeuour, can neuer be wasted, ne the loue of good people, therby acquired, can be from their hartes in any wise seperate. And here I make an ende to speke any more at this tyme of beneuolence.
X. Of beneficence and liberalitie.
ALL thoughe philosophers in the description of vertues haue deuised to set them as it were in degrees, hauing respecte to the qualitie and condition of the persone whiche is with them adourned; as applyinge Magnificence to the substaunce and astate of princes, and to priuate persones Beneficence and Liberalitie yet be nat these in any parte defalcate of their condigne praises. For if vertue be an election annexed unto our nature, and consisteth in a meane, which is determined by reason, and that meane is the verye myddes of two thynges viciouse, the one in surplusage, the other in lacke, than nedes must beneficence and liberalitie be capitall vertues. And magnificence procedeth from them, approchinge to the extreme partes; and may be tourned in to vice if he lacke the bridle of reason. But beneficence can by no menes be vicious and retaine still his name. Semblably liberalitie (as Aristotle saith) is a measure, as well in giuing as in takyng of money and goodes. And he is only liberall, whiche distributeth accordyng to his substance, and where it is expedient. Therfore he ought to consider to whom he shulde gyue, howe moche, and whan. For liberalitie takethe his name of the substance of the persone from whom it procedeth; for it resteth nat in the quantite or qualitie of thinges that be gyuen, but in the naturall disposition of the gyuer.
The great Alexander on a tyme, after that he had vainquisshed Darius in bataile, one of his souldiours broughte unto hym the hede of an enemie that he had slayne, whiche the kynge thankefully and with sweete countenance receiued, and takyng a cuppe of golde filled with good wine, saide unto the souldiour, In olde tyme a cuppe of golde was the rewarde of suche vertue as thou hast nowe shewed, whiche semblably thou shalte receiue. But whan the souldiour for shamefastnes refused the cup, Alexander added unto it these wordes; The custome was to gyue the cuppe emptie, but Alexander giueth it to the full of wyne with good handsell. Where with he expressed his liberall harte, and as moche comforted the souldiour as if he had gyuen to hym a great citie.
More ouer he that is liberall neglecteth nat his substance or goodes, ne gyueth it to all men, but useth it so as he may continuelly helpe therwith other, and gyueth whan, and where, and on whom it ought to be employed. Therfore it maye be saide that he usethe euery thynge best that exerciseth the vertue whiche is to the thinge most appropred. For riches is of the nombre of thinges that may be either good or iuell, whiche is in the arbitrement of the gyuer. And for that cause liberalitie and beneficence be of suche affinitie, that the one may neuer from the other be separate. For the employment of money is nat liberalitie if it be nat for a good end or purpose.
The noble emperours Antonine and Alexander Seuerus gaue of the reuenues of the empire innumerable substaunce, to the reedifieng of cities and commune houses decayed for age, or by erthe queues subuerted, wherin they practised liberalitie and also beneficence.
But Tiberius, Nero, Caligula, Heliogabalus and other semblable monsters, wh;che exhausted and consumed infinite treasures in bordell houses, and places where abominacions were used, also in enriching slaues, concubines and baudes, were nat therfore named liberall, but suffreth therfore parpetuall reproche of writars, beinge called deuourers and wasters of treasure. Wherfore in as moche as liberalite holy resteth in the geuynge of money, it somtyme coloureth a vice. But beneficence is neuer taken but in the better parte, and (as Tulli saieth) is taken out of vertue, where liberalite commeth out of the cofer. Also where a man distributeth his substaunce to many parsones, the lasse liberalitie shall he use to other; so with bounteousnes bountie is minisshed. Onely they that be called beneficiall, and do use the vertue of beneficence, whiche consisteth in counsaylinge and helpinge other with any assistence in tyme of nede, shall alway finde coadiutours and supportours of their gentyll courage. And doughtlas that maner of gentilnesse that consisteth in labour, studie, and diligence, is more commendable, and extendeth further, and also may more profite parsones, than that whiche resteth in rewardes and expences. But to retourne to liberalitie.
What greater foly may be, than that thinge that a man most gladly dothe, to endeuour him with all studie that it may no lenger be done? Wherfore Tulli calleth them prodigall, that in inordinate feastes and bankettes, vayne playes, and huntinges, do spende al their substaunce, and in those thinges wherof they shall leaue but a shorte or no remembraunce. Wherfore to resorte to the counsaile of Aristotle before expressed. Natwithstandinge that liberalitie, in a noble man specially, is commended, all though it somwhat do excede the termes of measure; yet if it be well and duely emploied, it acquireth parpetuall honour to the giuer, and moche frute and singuler commoditie therby encreaseth. For where honeste and virtuous parsonages be aduaunced, and well rewarded, it sterith the courages of men, whiche haue any sparke of vertue, to encrease therein, with all their force and endeuour. Wherfore nexte to the helpinge and reneuinge of a communaltie, the great part of liberalitie is to be emploied on men of vertue and good qualities. Wherein is required to be a good election and iugement, that, for hope of rewarde or fauour, under the cloke of vertue be nat hidde the moste mortall poisone of flaterie.
XI. The true discretion of amitie or frendship
I HAUE all redy treated of beneuolence and beneficence generally. But for als moche as frendship, called in latine Amicitia, comprehendeth bothe those vertues more specially and in an higher degree, and is nowe so infrequent or straunge amonge mortall men, by the tyrannie of couetise and ambition, whiche haue longe reigned, and yet do, that amitie may nowe unethe be knowen or founden throughout the worlde, by them that seeke for her as diligently, as a mayden wolde seeke for a small siluer pinne in a great chamber strawed with white russhes, I will therfore borowe so moche of the gentle redar thoughe he be nigh wery of this longe mater, barrayne of eloquence and pleasaunt sentence, and declare some what by the way of very and true frendship. Whiche perchaunce may be an allectife to good men to seeke for their semblable, on whom they may practise amitie. For as Tulli saieth, Nothinge is more to be loued or to be ioyned to gether, than similitude of good maners or vertues; where in be the same or semblable studies, the same willes or desires, in them it hapneth that one in an other as moche deliteth as in him selfe.
But nowe let us enserche what frendship or amitie is. Aristotle saieth that frendship is a vertue, or ioyneth with vertue; whiche is affirmed by Tulli, sayenge, that frendship can nat be without vertue, ne but in good men onely. Who be good men, he after declareth to be those parsones, whiche so do beare them selfes and in such wyse do lyue, that their faithe, suertie, equalitie and liberalitie be sufficiently proued. Ne that there is in them any couetise, wilfulnes, or foole hardinesse, and that in them is great stabilitie or constaunce; them suppose I (as they be taken) to be called good men, whiche do folowe (as moche as men may) nature, the chiefe capitayne or guide of mannes lyfe. Moreouer the same Tulli defineth frendship in this maner, sayenge, That it is n one other thinge, but a perfecte consent of all thinges appertayninge as well to god as to man, with beneuolence and charitie; and that he knoweth nothinge giuen of god (except sapience) to man more commodius. Which definition is excellent and very true. For in god, and all thinge that commeth of god, nothing is of more greatter estimation than loue, called in latin anor, whereof Amicitia commeth, named in englisshe frendshippe or amitie; the whiche taken a way from the lyfe of man, no house shall abide standinge, no felde shall be in culture. And that is lightly parceiued, if a man do remember what commeth, of dissention and discorde. Finally he semeth to take the sonne from the worlde, that taketh frendshippe from mannes life.
Sens frendshippe can nat be but in good men, ne may nat be without vertue, we may be assured that therof none iuell may procede, or therewith any iuell thinge may participate. Wherfore in as moche as it may be but in a fewe parsones (good men being in a small nomber), and also it is rare and seldome (as all vertues be communely), I will declare after the opinion of Philosophers, and partly by commune experience, who, amonge good men be of nature moste apte to frendshippe.
Betwene all men that be good can nat all way be amitie, but it also requireth that they be of semblable or moche like maners. For gravitie and affabilitie be euery of them laudable qualities, so be seueritie and placabilitie, also magnificence and liberalitie be noble vertues, and yet frugalitie, whiche is a sobrenesse or moderation in liuinge is, and that for good cause, of al wise men extolled. Yet where these vertues and qualities be seperately in sondry parsones assembled, may well be parfecte concorde, but frendshippe is there seldome or neuer; for that, whiche the one for a vertue embraceth, the other contemneth, or at the leste neglecteth. Wherfore it semeth that wherein the one deliteth, it is to the other repugnaunt unto his nature; and where is any repugnaunce, may be none amitie, sens frendshipe is an entier consent of willes and desires. Therfore it is seldome sene that frendship is betwene these parsones, a man sturdie, of oppinion inflexible, and of soure countenaunce and speche, with him that is tractable, and with reason persuaded, and of swete countenaunce and entretaynement. Also betwene him whiche is eleuate in autoritie and a mother of a very base astate or degree. Ye and if they be bothe in an equall dignitier if they be desirous to klynbe, as they do ascende, so frendship for the more parte decayeth. For as Tulli saieth in his firste boke of offices, what thing so euer it be, in the whiche many can nat excell or haue therein superioritie, therein often tymes is suche a contencion, that it is a thinge of all other moste difficile to kepe amonge them good or vertuous company; that is as moche to say as to retayne amonge them frendship and amitie. And it is often tymes sene that diuers, which before they came in autoritie, were of good and vertuous condicions, beinge in their prosperitie were utterly chaunged, and dispisinge their olde frendes set all their studie and pleasure on their newe acquaintaunce. Wherein men shall parceiue to be a wonderfull blindnes, or (as I mought say) a madnesse, if they note diligently all that I shall here after write of frendshippe. But nowe to resorte to speke of them in whom frendship is most frequent, and they also therto be moste aptly disposed. Undoughtedly it be specially they whiche be wyse and of nature inclined to beneficence, liberalitie, and constance. For by wysedome is marked and substancially decerned the wordes, actes, and demeanure of all men betwene whom hapneth to be any entrecourse or familiaritie, whereby is ingendrede fauour or disposition of loue. Beneficence, that is to say, mutually puttinge to their studie and helpe in necessary affaires, induceth loue. They that be liberall do with holde or hyde nothinge from them whom they loue, wherby loue encreaseth. And in them that be constante is neuer mistrust or suspition, nor any surmise or iuell reporte can withdrawe them from their affection, and hereby frendship is made perpetuall and stable. But if similitude of studie or lerninge be ioyned unto the said vertues, frendship moche rather hapneth, and the mutuall enteruewe and conuersation is moche more pleasaunt, specially if the studies haue in them any delectable affection or motion. For where they be to serious or full of contention, frendship is oftentimes assaulted, whereby it is often in parile. Where the studie is elegant and the mater illecebrous, that is to say, swete to the redar, the course wherof is rather gentill persuasion and quicke reasoninges than ouer subtill argumentes or litigious controuersies, there also it hapneth that the studentes do delite one in a nother and be without enuie or malicious contention.
Nowe let us trie out what is that frendshippe that we suppose to be in good men. Verely it is a blessed and ostable connexion of sondrie willes, makinge of two parsones one in hauinge and suffringe And therfore a frende is proprely named of Philosophers the other I. For that in them is but one mynde and one possession and that, which more is, a man more reioiceth at his frendes good fortune than at his owne.
Horestes and Pilades, beinge wonderfull like in all features, were taken to gider and presented unto a tyrant who deedly hated Horestes, but whan he behelde them bothe, and wolde haue slayne Horestes onely, he coulde nat decerne the one from the other. And also Pilades, to deliuer his frende, affirmed that he was Orestes; on the other parte Orestes, to saue Pilades, denied and said that he was Orestes (as the trouthe was). Thus a longe tyme they to gither contendinge, the one to die for the other, at the laste so relented the terse and cruell harte of the tyrant, that wo ndringe at their meruailous frendship he suffred them frely to departe, without doinge to them any damage.
Pitheas and Damon, two Pythagoriens, that is to say, studentes of Pythagoras lerninge, beinge ioyned to gither in a parfeite frendship, for that one of them was accused to haue conspired agayne Dionyse, king of Sicile, they were bothe taken and brought to the kinge, who immediately gaue sentence, that he that was accused shulde be put to dethe. But he desired the kince that, er he died, he mought retourne home to set his householde in ordre and to distribute his goodes; whereat the kinge laughinge demaunded of him skornefully what pledge he wolde leaue hym to come agayne. At the whiche wordes his companyon stepte furthe and saide, that he wolde remayne there as a pledge for his frende, that in case he came nat againe at the daye to hym appointed, that he wyllingly wolde lose his hede; whiche condicion the tyraunt receyued. The yonge man that shuld haue died, was suered to departe home to his house, where he set all thinge in ordre and disposed his goodes wisely. The day appointed for his retourne was commen, the tyme moche passed; wherfore the kynge called for him that was pledge, who came furthe merely without semblaunte of drede, offringe to abide the sentence of the tyraunt, and without orudginge to die for the sauinge the life of his frende. But as the officer of iustyce had closed his eien with a kerchiefe, and had drawen his swerde to haue striken of his hedde, his felowe came runninge and cryenge that the daye of his appointment was nat yet past; wherfore he desired the minister of iustice to lose his felowe, and to prepare to do execution on hym that had giuen the occasion. Whereat the tyraunt being ill abasshed, commaunded bothe to be brought in his presence, and whan he had enough wondred at their noble hartes and their constance in very frendship, he offring to them great rewardes desired them to receyue hym into their company; and so, doinge them moche honour, dyd set them at liberte. Undoughtedly that frendship whiche dothe depende either on profite or els in pleasure, if the habilitie of the parsoner whiche mought be profitable, do fayle or diminisshe, or the disposition of the parsone, whiche shulde be pleasaunt, do chaunge or appayre, the feruentnesse of loue cesseth, and than is there no frendship.
XII. The wonderfull history of Titus and Gisipusf, and whereby is fully declared the figure of perfect amitie.
BUT nowe in the middes of my labour as it were to pause and take brethe, and also to recreate the reders, which, fatigate with longe preceptes, desire varietie of mater, or some newe pleasaunt fable or historie, I will reherce a right goodly example of frendship. Whiche example, studiousely radde, shall ministre to the redars singuler pleasure and also incredible comforte to practise amitie.
There was in the citie of Rome a noble senatour named Fuluius, who sent his sone called Titus, beinge a childe, to the citie of Athenes in Greece (whiche was the fountaine of al maner of doctrine), there to lerne good letters, and caused him to be hosted with a worshipfull man of that citie called Chremes. This Chremes hapned to haue also a sone named Gisippus, who nat onely was equall to the said yonge Titus in yeres, but also in stature, proporcion of body, fauour, and colour of visage, countenaunce and speche. The two children were so like, that without moche difficultie it coulde nat be discerned of their propre parentes, whiche was Clitus from Gysippus, or Gysippus from Titus. These two yonge gentilmen, as they sented to be one in fourme and personage, so, shortely after acquaintaunce, the same nature wrought in their hartes suche a mutuall affection, that their willes and appetites daily more and more so confederated them selfes, that it semed none other, whan their names were declared, but that they hadde onely chaunged their places, issuinge (as I mought saye) out of the one body, and entringe in to the other. They to gether and at one tyme went to their lerninge and studie, at one tyme to their meales and refaction; they delited bothe in one doctrine, and profited equally therein; finally they to gether so increased in doctrine, that within a fewe yeres, fewe within Athenes mought be compared unto them. At the laste died Chremes, whiche was nat only to his sone, but also to Titus, cause of moche sorowe and heuinesse. Gysippus, by the goodes of his father, was knowen to be a man of great substaunce, wherfore there were ofred to hym great and riche mariages. And he than beinge of ripe yeres and of an habile and goodly parsonage, his frendes, kynne, and alies exhorted hym busely to take a wyfe, to the intent he mought increase his lygnage and progenie. But the yonge man, hauinge his hart all redy wedded to his frende Titus, and his mynde fixed to the studie of Philosophie, fearinge that mariage shulde be the occasion to seuer hym bothe from thone and thother, refused of longe tyme to be parswaded; untill at the last, partly by the importunate callynge on of his kynnesmen, partly by the consent and aduise of his dere frende Titus, therto by other desired, he assented to mary suche one as shulde lyke hym. What shall nede many wordes? His frendes founde a yonge gentilwoman, whiche in equalitie of yeres, vertuous condicions, nobilitie of blode, beautie, and sufficient richesse, they thought was for suche a yonge man apte and conuenient. And whan they and her frendes upon the couenauntes of mariage were throughly accorded, they counsailed Gysippus to repayre unto the mayden, and to beholde howe her parsone contented hym. And he so doinge founde her in euery fourme and condicion accordinge to his expectation and appetite; wherat he moche reioysed and became of her amorouse, in so moche as many and often tymes he leauinge Titus at his studie secretely repayred unto her. Nat withstandyng the feruent loue that he had to his frende Titus, at the last surmounted shamefastnes. Wherfore he disclosed to him his secrete iournayes, and what delectacion he toke in beholding the excellent beautie of her whom he purposed to marry, and howe, with her good maners and swete entretaynement, she had constrained hym to be her louer. And on a tyme he, hauynge with hym his frende Titus, went to his lady, of whom he was resceyued moste ioyously. But Titus forthwith, as he behelde so heuenly a personage adourned with beautie inexplicable, in whose visage was moste amiable countenaunce, mixte with maydenly shamefastnesse, and the rare and sobre wordes, and well couched, whiche issued out of her pratie mouthe, Titus was therat abasshed, and had the harte through perced with the fiery darte of blinde Cupide. Of the whiche wounde the anguisshe was so excedinge and vehement, that neither the study of Philosophie, neyther the remembraunce of his dere frende Gysippus, who so moche loued and trusted hym, coulde any thinge withdrawe hym from that unkynde appetite, but that of force he must loue inordinately that lady, whom his said frende had determined to mary. All be it with incredible paynes he kepte his thoughtes secrete, untyll that he and Gysippus were retourned unto their lodgynges. Than the miserable Titus, withdrawynge hym as it were to his studie, all tormented and oppressed with loue, threwe hym selfe on a bedde, and there rebukyng his owne moste despitefull unkyndnesse, whiche, by the sodayne sight of a mayden, he had conspired agayne his moste dere frende Gysippus, agayne all humanitie and reason, he cursed his fate or constellation, and wisshed that he had neuer comen to Athenes. And there with he sent out from the botome of his harte depe and colde sighes, in suche plentie that it lacked but litle that his harte ne was riuen in peces. In dolour and anguisshe tossed he hym selfe by a certayne space, but to no man wolde he discouer it. But at the last the payne became so intollerable, that, wolde he or no, he was inforced to kepe his bedde, beinge, for lacke of slepe and other naturall sustenaunce, brought in suche feblenesse, that his legges mought nat sustayne his body. Gysippus missyng his dere frende Titus was moche abasshed, and heringe that he laye sicke in his bedde had forthwith his harte perced with heuinesse, and with all spede came to hym where he laye. And beholding the rosiall colour, which was wont to be in his visage, tourned in to salowe, the residue pale, his ruddy lippes wanne, and his eyen ledy and holowe, Gysippus mought uneth kepe hym selfe from wepynoe; but, to thentent he wolde nat discomfort his frende Titus, he dissimuled his heuynesse, and with a comfortable countenaunce demaunded of Titus what was the cause of his disease, blamynge him of unkyndenesse that he so longe had sustayned it without geuing him knowlege, that he mought for him haue prouided some remedie, if any mought haue ben goten, though it were with the dispendinge of all his substaunce. With whiche wordes the mortall sighes renewed in Titus, and the salte teares brast out of his eien in suche habundaunce, as it had ben a lande flode runnynge downe of a mountayne after a storme. That beholdinge Gysippus, and beinge also resolued in to teares, moste hartely desired hym and (as I mought saye) conjured him that for the feruent and entier loue that had ben, and yet was, betwene them, he wolde no lenger hyde from him his griefe, and that there was nothing to him so dere or precious (all though it were his owne life) that mought restore Titus to helthe, but that he shulde gladly and without grutchinge employe it. With whiche wordes, obtestations, and teares of Gysippus, Titus constrayned, all blusshinge and ashamed, holdinge downe his hedde, brought furthe with great difficultie his wordes in this wyse. My dere and moste louynge frende, withdrawe your frendely offers, cease of your courtaisie, refrayne your teares and regrettinges, take rather your knyfe and slee me here where I lye, or otherwise take vengeaunce on me, moste miserable and false traytour unto you, and of all other moste worthy to suffre moste shamefull dethe. For where as god of nature, lyke as he hath given to us similitude in all the partes of our body, so had he conioyned our willes, studies, and appetites to gether in one, so that betwene two men was neuer lyke concorde and loue, as I suppose. And nowe nat withstandinge, onely with the loke of a woman, those bondes of loue be dissolued, reason oppressed, frendship is excluded; there auaileth no wisedome, no doctrine, no fidelitie or truste; ye, your truste is the cause that I haue conspired agayne you this treason. Alas, Gysippus, what enuious spirite meued you to bringe me with you to her whom ye haue chosen to be your wyfe, where I receyued this poison? I saye, Gysippus, where was than your wisedom, that ye remembred nat the fragilitie of our commune nature? What neded you to call me for a witnesse of your priuate delites? Why wolde ye haue me see that, whiche you youre selfe coulde nat beholde without rauisshinge of mynde and carnall appetite? Alas, why forgate ye that our myndes and appetites were euer one? And that also what so ye lyked was euer to me in lyke degree pleasaunt? What will ye more? Gysippus, I saye your trust is the cause that I am intrapped; the rayes or beames issuinge from the eyen of her whom ye haue chosen, with the remembraunce of her incomparable vertues, hath thrilled throughout the middes of my hart, and in suche wise brenneth it, that aboue all thinges I desire to be out of this wretched and moste unkinde lyfe, whiche is nat worthy the company of so noble and louynge a frende as ye be. And therewith Titus concluded his confession with so profounde and bitter a sigh, receyued with teares, that it semed that al his body shulde be dissolued and relented in to salt dropes.
But Gysippus, as he were there with nothynge astonyed or discontented, with an assured countenaunce and mery regarde, imbrasinge Titus and kissynge him, answered in this wyse. Why, Titus, is this your onely sickenesse and griefs that ye so uncurtesely haue so longe counceiled, and with moche more unkyndnesse kept it from me than ye haue conceyued it? I knowlege my foly, wherwith ye haue with good right imbrayded me, that, in showing to you her whom I loued, I remembred nat the commune astate of our nature, ne the agreablenesse, or (as I mought saye) the unitie of our two appetites, suerly that defaulte can be by no reason excused. Wherfore it is onely I that haue offended. For who may by right proue that ye haue trespased, that by the ineuitable stroke of Cupides darte are thus bitterly wounded? Thinke ye me suche a fole or ignorant persone that I knowe nat the powar of Venus, where she listeth to shewe her importable violence? Haue nat ye well resisted agayne suche a goddesse, that for my sake ye haue striuen with her all moste to the dethe? What more loyaltie or trouthe can I require of you? Am I of that vertue that I may resiste agayne celestiall influence preordinate by prouidence diuine? If I so thought, what were my wittes? Where were my studie so longe tyme spent in noble Philosophie? I confesse to you, Titus, I loue that mayden as moche as any wise man mought possible, and toke in her companye more delite and pleasure than of all the treasure and landes that my father lefte to me, whiche ye knowe was right abundaunt. But nowe I perceyue that the affection of loue towarde her surmounteth in you aboue measure, what, shal I thinke it of a wanton lust or sodayne appetite in you, whome I haue euer knowen of graue and sadde disposition, inclyned alway to honest doctrine, fleinge all vayne daliaunce and dishonest passetyme? Shall I imagine to be in you any malice or fraude, sens from the tendre tyme of our childhode I haue alway founden in you, my swete frende Titus, suche a conformitie with all my maners, appetites, and desires, that neuer was sene betwene us any maner of contention? Nay god forbede that in the frendshippe of Gysippus and Titus shulde happen any suspition, or that any fantasie shulde perce my hedde, whereby that honorable loue betwene us shulde be the mountenaunce of a cromme perisshed. Nay, nay, Titus, it is (as I haue said) the onely prouidence of god. She was by hym from the beginnynge prepared to be your lady and wife. For suche feruent loue entreth nat in to the harte of a wise man and vertuous, but by a diuine disposition; whereat if I shulde be discontented or grudge, I shulde nat onely be iniuste to you, withholdinge that from you whiche is undoughtedly youres, but also obstinate and repugnaunt agayne the determination of god; whiche shall neuer be founden in Gysippus. Therfore, gentill frende Titus, dismay you nat at the chaunce of loue, but receyue it ioyously with me, that am with you nothinge discontented, but meruailous gladde, sens it is my happe to finde for you suche a lady, with whome ye shall lyue in felicitie, and receyue frute to the honour and comfort of all your linage. Here I renounce to you clerely all my title and interest that I nowe haue or mought haue in that faire mayden. Call to you your pristinate courage, wasshe clene your visage and eyen thus biwept, and abandone all heuinesse. The day appointed for our mariage approcheth; let us consult howe without difficultie ye may holy attayne your desires. Take hede, this is myne aduise; ye knowe well that we two be so like, that, beinge a parte and in one apparayle, fewe men do knowe us. Also ye do remembre that the custome is, that, natwithstandinge any ceremony done at the, tyme of the spousayles, the mariage natwithstandinge is nat confirmed, untyll at night that the husbande putteth a rynge on the finger of his wyfe, and unloseth her girdell. Therfore I my selfe will be present with my frendes and perfourme all the partes of a bride. And ye shall abyde in a place secrete, where I shall appoint you, untill it be nyght. And than shall ye quickely conuaye your selfe in to the maidens chambre, and for the similitude of our parsonages and of our apparaile, ye shall nat be espied of the women, whiche haue with none of us any acquaintaunce, and shortely gette you to bedde, and put your owne rynge on the maydens fynger, and undo her gyrdell of virginite, and do all other things that shall be to your pleasure. Be nowe of good chere, Titus, and comfort your selfe with good refactions and solace, that this wan and pale colour, and your chekes meigre and leane, be nat the cause of your discoueringe. I knowe well that, ye hauinge your purpose, I shall be in obloqui and derision of all men, and so hated of all my kynrede, that they shall seke occasion to expulse me out of this citie, thinkyng me to be a notable reproche to al my familie. But let god therin warke. I force nat what payne that I abyde, so that ye, my frende Titus, may be saulfe, and pleasauntly enioy your desires, to the increasinge of your felicitie.
With these wordes Titus began to meue, as it were, out of a dreme, and dougbtinge whither he harde Gysippus speke, or els sawe but a vision, laye styll as a man abassbed. But whan he behelde the teares trickelinge downe by the face of Gysippus, he than recomforted hym, and thankinge him for his incomparable kyndnesse, refused the benefite that he offred, sayenge that it were better that a hundred suche unkynde wretches, as he was, shulde perisshe, than so noble a man as was Gysippus shulde sustayne reproche or damage. But Gysippus eftsones comforted Titus, and therewith sware and protested, that with free and glad will he wolde that this thinge shulde be in fourme aforesaide accomplisshed, and therwith inbraced and swetely kyssed Titus. Who perceyuinge the mater suer and nat fayned, as a man nat sicke but onely a waked out of his slepe, he set hym selfe up in his bedde, the quicke bloode somwhat resorted unto his visage, and, after a little good meates and drinkes taken, he was shortly and in a fewe daies restored in to his olde facion and figure. To make the tale shorte. The day of maryage was commen. Gysippus accompanied with his alyes and frendes came to the house of the damosel, where they were honorably and ioyously fested. And betwene him and the mayden was a swete entretaynement, which to beholde all that were present toke moche pleasure and comfort, praysinge the beautie, goodlynesse, vertue, and curtesie whiche in those couples were excellent aboue all other that they hadde euer sene. What shall I saye more? The couenauntes were radde and sealed, the dowar appointed, and al other bargaynes, concluded, and the frendes of either parte toke their leaue and departed, the bride with a fewe women (as was the custome) brought in to her chambre. Than (as it was before agreed) Titus conueyed him selfe after Gysippus retourned to his house, or parchaunce to the chambre appoynted for Titus, nothynge sorowfull, all though that he hartely loued the mayden, but with a glad harte and countenaunce, that he had so recouered his frende from dethe, and so well brought hym to the effecte of his desire. Nowe is Titus in bedde with the mayden, nat knowen of her, nor of any other, but for Gysippus. And first he swetely demaunded her, if that she loued hym, and dayned to take hym for her husbande, forsaking all other, which she all blusshing with an eye halfe laughinge halfe mourninge (as in poynte to departe from her maydenhede, but supposinge it to be Gysippus that asked her) affirmed. And than he eftsones asketh her, if she in ratifienge that promise wolde receyue his rynge, whiche he hadde there all redy, wherto she consentynge putteth the rynge on her fynger and unloseth her gyrdell. What thinge els he dyd, they two onely knewe it. Of one thing I am suer, that night was to Titus more comfortable than euer was the lengest daye of the yere, ye, and I suppose a hole yere of dayes. The morowe is comen. And Gysippus, thinking it to be expedient that the trouthe shulde be discouered, assembled all the nobilitie of the citie at his owne house, where also by appointment was Titus, who amonge them had the wardes that do folowe.
My frendes Atheniensis, there is at this tyme shewed amonge you an example all moste incredible of the diuine powar of honorable loue, to the perpetuall renoume and commendation of this noble citie of Athenes, wherof ye ought to take excellent comfort, and therfore gyue due thankes to god, if there remayne amonge you any token of the auncient wisedome of your moste noble progenitours. For what more prayse may be gyuen to people, than beneuolence, faithfulnesse, and constaunce? Without whome all contrayes and cities be brought unto desolation and ruyne, lyke as by them they become prosperous and in moste hyghe felicitie. What shall I longe tary you in coniectynge myne intent and meaninge? Ye all knowe from whens I came unto this citie, that of aduenture I founde in the house of Chremes his sone Gysippus, of myne owne age, and in euery thinge so lyke to me, that neyther his father nor any other man coulde discarne of us the one from the other, but by our owne insignement or showings, in so moche as there were put about our neckes lacis of sondry colours to declare our personages. What mutuall agrement and loue haue ben alwaye betwene us, durynge the eight yeres that we haue ben to gether, ye all be witnesses, that haue ben beholders and wonderars of our moste swete conuersation and consent of appetites, wherein was neuer any discorde or variaunce. And as for my parte, after the decease of my father, nat withstandinge that there was discended and hapned unto me great possessions, fayre houses, with abundaunce of riches; also I beinge called home by the desirous and importunate letters of myne alyes and frendes, whyche be of the moste noble of all the senatours, offred the aduauncement to the highest dignities in the publike weale; I will nat remembre the lamentations of my moste naturall mother, expressed in her tender letters, all be sprent and blotted with abundaunce of teares, wherein she accuseth me of unkyndenesse for my longe taryenge, and specially nowe in her mooste discomforts; but all this coulde nat remoue me the breade of my nayle from my dere frende Gysippus. And but by force coulde nat I, nor yet may be drawen from his swete company, but if he therto will consent. I chosynge rather to lyue with hym as his companyon and felowe, ye, and as his seruaunt, rather than to be Consull of Rome. Thus my kyndenesse hathe he well acquyted, or (as I mought saye) redoubled, deliuerynge me from the dethe, ye, from the moste cruell and paynefull dethe of all other. I perceyue ye wonder here at, noble Atheniensis, and no meruayle; for what persone shulde be so hardie to attempte any suche thynge agayne me, beinge a Romayne, and of the noble bIoode of the Romanes? Or who shulde be thought so malicious to slee me, who, (as all ye be my Juges) neuer trespased agayne any persone within this citie? Nay, nay, my frendes, I haue none of you all therein suspected. I perceyue ye desyre and harken to knowe what he was that presumed to do so cruell and areat an enterprise. It was loue, noble Atheniensis, the same loue whyche (as youre poetes do remembre) dydde wounde the more parte of all the goddes that ye do honoure, that constrayned Juppiter to transfourme hym selfe in a swanne, a bulle, and diuers other lykenesses; the same loue that caused Hercules, the vainquissher and distroyer of Monstres and Geauntes, to spynne on a rocke, sittynge amonge maydens in a womans apparayle; the same loue that caused to assemble all the noble princes of Asia and Greece in the feldes of Troy; the same loue, I saye, agayne whose assaultes may be founde no defence or resistance, hath sodainely and unware striken me unto the harte with suche vehemence and myght, that I had in shorte space died with moste feruent tourmentes, hadde nat the incomparable frendship of Gysippus holpen me. I se you wolde fayne knowe who she is that I loued. I will no lenger delaye you, noble Atheniensis. It is Sophronia, the lady whom Gysippus had chosen to haue to his wife, and whome he moste intierly loued. But whan his moste gentill harte percyued that my loue was in a moche higher degree than his towarde that lady, and that it proceded neither of wantonesse, neither of longe conuersation, nor of any other corrupte desire or fantasie, but in an instant, by one onely loke, and with suche feruence that immediately I was I so cruciate, that I desired, and, in all that I mought, prouoked deth to take me, he by his wisedome soo ne perceyued (as I dought nat but that ye do) that it was the very prouision of god, that she shuld be my wife, and nat his. Wherto he geuynge place, and more estemynge true frendship than the loue of a woman, where unto he was induced by his frendes, and nat by violence of Cupide constrained, as I am, hath willyngly graunted to me the interest that he had in the damosell; and it is I, Titus, that have verely wedded her, I haue put the rynge on her fynger, I haue undone the girdell of shamefastnes. What wil ye more? I haue lyen with her, and confirmed the matrimonye, and made her a wife.
At these wordes all they that were present began to murmure, and to cast a disdaynous and greuous loke upon Gysippus. Than spake agayne Titus. Leaue your grudgynges and menasinge countenaunce towarde Gysippus; he hathe done to you all honour and no dede of reproche. I tell you, he hathe accomplisshed all the partes of a frende; that loue which was moste certayne that he continued; he knewe that he mought fynde in Greece a nother mayden as fayre and as ryche as this that he had chosen, and one perchaunce that he mought loue better. But suche a frende as I was (hauynge respecte to our similitude, the longe approued concorde, also myne astate and condition) he was suer to fynde neuer none. Also the damosell suffreth no dispergement in her bloode, or hynderaunce in her mariage, but is moche rather aduaunced (no dispreyse to my dere frende Gysippus). Also consider, noble Atheniensis, that I toke her nat my father liuynge, whan ye mought haue suspected that as well her ryches as her beautie shulde haue thereto alloured me, but soone after my fathers decease, whanne I ferre exceded her in possessions and substaunce, whan the moste noble men of Rome and of Italy desired myne alyaunce. Ye haue therfore all cause to reioyse and thanke Gysippus, and nat to be angrye, and also to extolle his wonderfull kyndenesse towarde me, whereby he hathe wonne me and all my bloode suche frendes to you and your citie, that ye may be assured to be by us defended agayne all the worlde. Whiche beinge considered, Gysippus hathe well deserued a statue or ymage of golde to be set on a piller in the myddes of youre citie, for an, honorable monument in the remembraunce of our incomparable frendship, and of the good that thereby may come to your citie. But if this persuasion can nat satifie you, but that ye wyll imagyne any thinge to the damage of my dere frende Gysippus after my departinge, I make myne auowe unto god, creatoure of all thynge, that as I shall haue knowelege therof, I shall forthwith resort hither with the inuincible power of the Romanes, and reuenge hym in suche kise agayne his enemyes, that all Greece shall speke of it to their perpetuall dishonour, shame, and reproche. And therwith Titus and Gysippus rose; but the other, for feare of Titus, dissembled their malice, makynge semblaunt as they had ben with all thinge contented.
Soone after Titus beinge sent for by the autorite of the senate and people of Rome, prepared to departe out of Athenes, and wolde fayne haue had Gysippus to haue gone with him, offringe to deuide with him all his substaunce and fortune. But Gysippus, considerynge howe necessary his counsayle shulde be to the citie of Athenes, wolde nat departe out of his countraye, nat withs"tandinge that aboue all erthly thinges he moste desired the company of Titus. Whiche abode also for the sayd consideration Titus approued. Titus with his lady is departed towardes the citie of Rome, where at their commynge they were of the mother of Titus, his kynsemen, and of all the senate and people ioyously receyued. And there lyued Titus with his lady in ioye inexplicable, and had by her many fayre children, and for his wisedome and lernynge was so highly estemed that there was no dignitie or honorable office within the citie that he had nat with moche fauour and praise achieued and occupied.
But nowe let us resorte to Gysippus, who immediately upon the departinge of Titus was so maligned at, as well by his owne kynsemen as by the frendes of the lady, that he to their semyng shamefully abandoned, leauinge her to Titus, that they spared nat daily to vexe hym with all kindes of reproche that they coulde deuise or imagine. And firste they excluded him out of their counsayle, and prohibited from him all honest company. And yet nat beinge therewith satisfyed, finally they adiuged him unworthy to enioye any possessions or goodes lefte to him by his parentes, whome he (as they supposed), by his undiscrete frendship had so distayned. Wherfore they dispoyled hym of all thinges, and almoste naked expelled him out of the citie. Thus is Gysippus, late welthy and one of the moste noble men of Athenes, for his kynde harte banisshed his owne countraye for euer, and as a man dismayed wandringe hither and thither, fyndeth no man that wolde socour him. At the laste, remembring in what pleasure his frende Titus lyued with his lady, for whome he suffred these damages, concluded that he wolde go to Rome and declare his infortune to his said frende Titus. What shall nede a longe tale? In conclusion, with moche payne, colde, hunger, and thurste, he is commen to the citie of Rome, and diligently enquirynge for the house of Titus, at the laste he came to hit, but beholdinge it so beauteous, large, and princely, he was a shamed to approche nigh to it, beinge in so simple astate and unkladde; but standeth by, that in case that Titus came forthe out of his house he mought than present hym selfe to hym. He beinge in this thought, Titus holdynge his lady by the hande issued out from his doore, and takynge their horses to solace them selfe, behelde Gysippus; but beholdyng his vile apparayle regarded hym nat, but passed furthe on their waye. Wherwith Gysippus was so wounded to the harte, thinkyng that Titus had condemned his fortune, that oppressed with mortail heuynes he fell in a sowne, but beinge recooered by some that stode by, thinkyng him to be sicke, he forthwith departed, entendinge nat to abide any lenger, but as a wilde beste to wandre abrode in the worlde. But for werynesse he was constrayned to entre into an olde berne, without the citie, where he castinge him self on the bare grounde, with wepinge and dolorous cryenge bewayled his fortune. But moste of all accusinge the ingratitude,of Titus, for whome he suffred all that misery, the remembraunce wherof was so intolierable that he determined no lenger to lyue in that anguisshe and dolour. And therwith drewe his knyfe, purposinge to haue slayne him selfe. But euer wisedome (whiche he by the studie of Philosophie had attained) withdrewe hym from that desperate acte. And in this contention betwene wise dome and wille, fatigate with longe iournayes and watche, or as god wolde haue it, he fell in to a deade sleepe. His knyfe (wherewith he wolde haue slayne hym selfe) fallynge downe by hym. In the meane tyme a commune and notable rufian or thefe, whiche had robbed and slayne a man, was entred in to the barne where Gisippus laye, to the intent to soiourne there all that nygbt. And seinge Gysippus bewept, and his visage replenisshed with sorowe, and also the naked knyfe by hym, perceyued well that he was a man desperate, and supprised with heuinesse of harte was wery of his lyfe. Whiche the said rufian takinge for a good occasion to escape, toke the knife of Gysippus, and puttinge it in the wounde of him that was slayne, put it all blody in the hande of Gysippus, beinge fast a slepe, and so departed. Sonne after the dedde man beinge founde, the offycers made diligent serche for the murderar. At the laste they entring in to the barne, and fynding Gysippus on slepe, with a blody knife in his hande, they a waked him; wherwith he entred agayne in to his olde sorowes, complayninge his euill fortune. But whan the officers layde unto hym the dethe of the man, and the hauynge of the blody knife, he thereat reioysed, thankinge god that suche occasion was hapned, wherby he shulde suffre deth by the lawes and escape the violence of his owne handes. Wherfore he denied nothing that was laide to his charge, desiringe the officers to make haste that he mought be shortly out of his lyfe. Whereat they meruayled. Anone reporte came to the senate that a man was slayne, and that a straunger and a Greeke borne was founden in suche fourme as is before mencioned. They forthwith commaunded hym to be brought unto their presence, sittynge there at that tyme Titus, beinge than Consull or in other lyke dignitie. The miserable Gysippus was brought to the barre with billes and staues lyke a felon, of whome it was demaunded, if he slewe the man that was founden dedde. He nothynge denyed, but in moste sorowful maner cursed his fortune, namynge him selfe of all other most miserable. At the last one demaundynge him of what countray he was, he confessed to be an Atheniense, and therwith he cast his sorowfull eyen upon Titus with moche indignation and braste out in to sighes and teares abundauntly. That beholdynge Titus, and espienge by a litle signe in his visage, whiche he knewe, that it was his dere frende Gysippus, and anone considerynge that he was brought into dispayre by some misaduenture, he anone rose out of his place where he sate, and fallinge on his knees before the iuges, sayde that he had slayne the man for olde malice that he bare towarde him, and that Gysippus beinge a straunger was giltles, and that all men mought perceyue that the other was a desperate person; wherfore to abbreuiate his sorowes he confessed the acte, whereof he was innocent, to the intent that he wolde finysshe his sorowes with dethe. Wherfore Titus desired the iuges to gyue sentence on hym accordinge to his merites. But Gysippus perceyuinge his frende Titus (contrary to his expectation) to offre him selfe to the dethe, for his saulfe garde, more importunately cried to the senate to procede in their iugement on him that was the very offender. Titus denyed it, and affirmed with reasons and argumentes that he was the murderer and nat Gysippus. Thus they of longe tyme with abundaunce of teares contended whiche of them shulde die for the other. Wherat all the senate and people were wonderly abasshed, nat knowinge what it ment. There hapned to be in the prease at that tyme he whiche in dede was the murdrer, who perceyuinge the meruaylous contention of these two persones, whiche were bothe innocent, and that it proceded of an incomparable frendshippe, was vehemently prouoked to discouer the trouthe. Wherfore he brake through the prease, and comminge before the senate he spake in this wyse. Noble fathers, I am suche a persone whom ye knowe haue ben a commune baratour and thefe by a longe space of yeres. Ye knowe also that Titus is of a noble blode, and is a proned to be alway a man of excellent vertue and wisedome, and neuer was malicious. This other straunger semeth to be a man full of simplicitie, and, that more is, desperate for some greuous sorowe that he hathe taken, as it is to you euident. I say to you, fathers, they bothe be innocent. I am that persone that slewe hym that is founden dedde by the barne, and robbed him of his money. And whan I founde in the barne this straunger lyenge on slepe, hauinge by hym a naked knife, I, the better to hyde myne offence, dyd put the knife in to the wounde of the dedde man, and so all blody laide it agayne by this straunger. This was my mischeuous deuise to escape your iugement. Where unto nowe I remitte me holy, rather than this noble man Titus and this innocent straunger shulde unworthely die.
Here at all the Senate and people toke comfort, and the noyse of reioysing, hartes filled all the court. And whan it was further examined, Gysippus was discouered. The frendship betwene him and Titus was through out the citie publisshed, extolled, and magnified. Wherfore the Senate consulted of this mater, and finally, at the instaunce of Titus and the people, discharged the felon. Titus recognised his negligence in forgettinge Gysippus, and Titus beinge aduertised of the exilee of Gysippus, and the dispitefull crueltie of his kynrede he was therewith wonderfull wrathe, and hauinge Gysippus home to his house (where he was with incredible ioye receiued of the lady, whome sometyme he shulde haue wedded) he was honorably apparailed, and there Titus offred to hym to use all his goodes and possessions at his owne pleasure and appetite. But Gysippus desirynge to be agayne in his propre countray, Titus by the consent of the Senate and people assembled a great armye and went with Gysippus unto Athenes. Where, he hauinge deliuered to him all those whiche were causers of banisshinge and dispoilinge of his frende Gysippus, he dyd on them sharpe execution, and restorynge to Gysippus his landes and substaunce stablysshed hym in perpetuall quietenes, and so retourned to Rome.
This example in the affectes of frendshippe expresseth (if I be nat deceyued) the description of frendship engendred by the similitude of age and personage, augmented by the conformitie of maners and studies, and confirmed by the longe continuaunce,of company.
[Seneca saieth that very frendeship is induced neither with hope ne with rewarde. But it is to be desired for the estimation of it selfe, which estimation is honestie, and what thinge is more honest than to be kynde, lyke as nothinge is so dishoneste as to be unkynde? Perchaunce some wyll saye that frendshyppe is nat knowen but by receyuinge of benefites. Here what Seneca sayeth. Like as of all other vertues, semblably of frendship, the estimation is referred to the mynde of a man. For if a frende persist in his office and duetie, what so euer lacketh in benefite, the blame is in fortune. Like as a man may be a good synginge man, thoughe the noyse of the standers aboute letteth him to be harde. Also he may be eloquent, though he be let to speke, and a stronge man, though his handes be bounden. Also there may happen to falle no parte of connynge, though there be a lette, so that it is nat expressed. So kyndenesse may be in wille, all though there lacketh powar to declare it.
Perchaunce some will demaunde this question, If frendship may be in wille without exterior signes, wherby shall it be perceyued or knowen? That I shall nowe declare.
Howe do we knowe the vertues of Socrates, Plato, Tulli, Agesilaus, Titus, Traiane, the two Antoninese and other like emperours and noble capitaynes and counsaylours? But onely by the fame of their nobilitie; and for those vertues we loue them, all though they were straungers, ne we hope to receyue any benefite by them. Moche more if we be naturally inclined to fauour one of our owne contraye, of whome the assured fame is, and also we our selfe haue conuenient experience that in him is suche vertue wherin we delite, who also, for some semblable oppinion that he hathe in us, useth us with some speciall familiaritie, on suche one shall we employe all maner of beneficence.
It wolde be remembred that frendshippe is betwene good men onely, and is ingendred of an oppinion of vertue. Than may we reason in this fourme: A good man is so named, because that al that he willeth or dothe is onely good; in good can be none euill, therfore no thynge that a good man willeth or dothe can be euill. Lykewise vertue is the affection of a good man whiche neither willeth nor dothe any thinge that is euill And vice is contrary unto vertue, for in the oppinion of vertue is neither euill nor vice. And very amitie is vertue. Wherfore nothinge euill or vicious may happen in frendship. Therfore in the firste election of frendes resteth all the importaunce; wherfore it wolde nat be without a longe deliberation and profe, and, as Aristotle sayeth, in as longe tyme as by them bothe beinge to gether conuersaunt a hole busshell of salte mought be eten. For often tymes with fortune (as I late sayd) is chaunged, or at the lest minisshed, the feruentnesse of that affection; according as the swete Poete Ouide affirmeth, sayenge in this sentence:
Whiles fortune the fauoureth frendes thou hast plentie,But if any hapneth in euery fortune to be constant in frendship he is to be made of aboue all thinge that may come unto man and aboue any other that be of bloode or kynrede (as Tulli sayeth) for from kynrede may be taken beneuolence, from frendship it can neuer be seuered. Wherfore beneuolence taken from kynrede yet the name of kinseman remayneth. Take it from frendship and the name of frendship is utterly perisshed.
The tyme beinge troublous thou arte all alone;
Thou seest coluers haunte houses made white and deintie,
To the ruynous towre all moste cometh none.
Of emotes innumerable, uneth thou fyndest one
In empty barnes, and where fayleth substaunce
Hapneth no frende in whome is assuraunce.
But sens this liberte of speche is nowe usurped by flaterars, where they perceyue that assentation and praises be abhorred, I am therfore nat well assured hove nowe a dayes a man shal knowe or discerne suche admonicion from flatery, but by one only meanes, that is to say, to remembre that frendship may nat be but betwene good men. Than consider, if he that dothe admonisshe the be hym selfe voluptuous, ambicious, couetous, arrogant, or dissolute, refuse nat his admonicion, but, by the example of the emperour Antonine, thankefully take it, and amende suche default as thou perceyuest doth gyue occasion of obloqui, in suche maner as the reporter also by thyne example may be corrected. But for that admonicion onely, accompt him nat immediatly to be thy frende, untill thou haue of hym a longe and suer experience, for undoughtedly it is wonderfull difficile to fynde a man very ambitious or coueytous to be assured in frendship. For where fyndest thou hym (saieth Tulli, that will nat preferre honoures, great offices, rule, autorite, and richesse before frendship? Therfore (sayeth he) it is very harde to fynde frendship in them that be occupied in acquirynge honour or about the affaires of the publike weale. Whiche sayenge is proued true by dayly experience. For disdayne and contempt be companions with ambition, lyke as enuye and haterede be also her folowers.
XIII. The diuision of Ingratitude and the dispraise therof
THE moste damnable vice and moste agayne iustice, in myne oppinion, is ingratitude, commenly called unkyndnesse. All be it, it is in diuers fourmes and of sondry importaunce, as it is discribed by Seneca. in this fourme. He is vnkynde whiche denieth to haue receyued any benefite that in dede he hathe receyued. He is unkynde that dissimuleth, he is; unkynde that recompenseth nat. But. he is moste unkynde that forgeteth. For the other, if they rendre nat agayne kyndnesse, yet they owe it, and there remayneth some steppes or tokens of desertes inclosed in an euill conscience, and at the last by some occasion may happe to retourne to yelde agayne thankes whan either shame therto prouoketh them, or sodayne desire of thinge that is honest, which is wont to be for a time in stomakes though they be corrupted, if a lyght occasion do moue them. But he that forgetteth. kyndenesse may neuer be kinde, sens all the benefite is quite fallen from hym. And where lacketh remembraunce there is no hope of any recompence. In this vice men be moche wars than beestes. For diuers of them will remembre a benefite longe after that they haue receyued it. The courser, fierce and couragious, will gladly suffre his keper, that dresseth and fedeth him, to vaunt hym easely, and stereth nat, but whan he listeth to prouoke him; where if any other shulde ryde him, though he were a kinge, he will stere and plonge and endeuour hym selfe to threwe hym.
Suche kyndenesse haue ben founden in dogges that they haue nat onely dyed in defendinge their maisters, but also some, after that their maisters haue died or ben slayne, have abstayned from meate, and for famine haue died by their maisters.
Plini remembreth of a dogge, whiche in Epiro (a contray in Greece) so assaulted the murdrer of his maister in a great assembly of people, that, with barkynge and bitynge hym, he compelled him at the laste to confesse his offence. The dogge also of one Jayson, his maister beinge slayne, wolde neuer eate meate but died for hunger. Many semblable tokens of kindnesse Plini reherceth, but principally one of his owne tyme worthie to be here remembred.
Whan execution shulde be done on one Titus Habinius and his seruauntes, one of them had a dogge whiche mought neuer be driuen from the prison, nor neuer wolde departe from his maisters body, and, whan it was taken from the place of execution, the dogge houled moste lamentably, beinge compased with a great nombre of people; of whome whan one of them had caste meate to the dogge, he brought and laide it to the mouthe of his maister. And whan the corps was throwen in to the ryuer of Tiber the dogge swamme after it, and, as longe as he mought, he inforced hym selfe to bere and sustayne it, the people scatering abrode to beholde the faithfulnesse of the beste.
Also the Lyon, which of all other bestis is accounted moste fierce and cruell, hath ben founden to haue in remembraunce benefite shewed unto him. As Gellius remembreth out of the historie of Appion howe a lyon, out of whose fete a yonge man had ones taken a stubbe and clensed the wounde, wherby he waxed hole, after knewe the same man beinge cast to him to be deuoured, and wolde nat hurte him, but lickynge the legges and handes of the man, whiche laye dismayde lokynge for dethe, toke acquaintaunce of him, and euer after folowed him, beinge ladde in a small lyam wherat wondred all they that behelde it. Whiche historie is wonderfull pleasaunt, but for the lengthe therof I am constrayned nowe to abrege it.
Howe moche be they repugnaunt, and, (as I mought saye) enemies bothe to nature and reason that suche one whome they haue longe knowen to be to them beneuolent, and ioyned to them in a syncere and assured frendship, approued by infallible tokens, ratified also with sondry kyndes of beneficence, they will contemne or neglecte, beinge aduaunced by any good fortune. I require nat suche excellent frendship as was betwene Pitheas and Damon, betwene Horestes and Pilades, or betwene Gysippus and Titus, of whome I haue before written (for I firmely beleue they shall neuer happen in payres or couples). Nor I seke nat for suche as will alway prefore the honour or profite of their frende before their owne, ne (whiche is the leste parte of frendshippe) for suche one as desirously will participate with his frende all his good fortune or substaunce. But where at this day may be founden suche frendship betwene two, but that where fortune is more beneuolent to the one than to the other, the frendship waxeth tedious, and he that is aduaunced desireth to be matched with one hauinge semblable fortune. And if any damage hapneth to his olde frende, he pitieth him, but he so roweth nat, and though he seme to be sorowfull, yet he helpeth nat, and though he wolde be sene to helpe him, yet trauaileth he nat and though he wolde be sene to trauaile, yet he suffreth nat. For (let us laye a parte assistence with money, whiche is a very small portion of frendshippe,) who will so moche esteme frendship, that therfore wyll entre into the displeasure, nat of his prince, but of them whome he supposeth may minysshe his estimation towardes his prince, ye and that moche lasse is, will displease his newe acquaintaunce, equall with him in autorite or fortune, for the defence, helpe, or aduauncement of his auncient and well approued frende? O the moste miserable astate at this present tyme of mankynde, that, for the thinge whiche is moste propre unto them, the example therof muste be founden amongs the sauage and fierce bestes.
[But alas suche peruerse constellation nowe reigneth ouer men, that where some be aptely and naturally disposed to amitie and fyndeth one, in similitude of studie and maners, equall to his expectation, and therfore kendeleth a feruent loue towarde that persone, puttinge all his ioye and delite in the praise and auauncement of him that he loueth, it hapneth that he whiche is loued, beinge promoted in honour, either of purpose neglecteth his frende, therby suppressynge libertie of speche or familiar resorte; or els esteming his mynde with his fortune onely, and nat with the suertie of frendship, hideth from him the secretes of his harte, and either trusteth no man, or els him whome prosperous fortune hath late brought in acquaintaunce. Wherby do ensue two great inconueniences; one is, that he which so entierly loued, perceyuinge his loue to be vaynely employed, withdraweth by litle and litle the fire whiche serueth to no use, and so amitie, the greattest treasoure that may be, finally perissheth. The other inconuenience is, that he whiche neglecteth suche a frende, either consumeth him selfe with solicitude, if he be secrete, or in sondry affaires for lacke of counsayle is after with repentaunce attached, or disclosinge his mynde to his newe acquaintaunce is soner betrayed than well counseled. Wise men knowe this to be true, and yet will they unethe be content to be thus warned.
XIV. The election of frendes and the diuersite of flaterers.
A NOBLE man aboue al thinges aught to be very circumspecte in the election of suche men as shulde continually attends upon his persone at tymes vacant from busye affayres, whome he may use as his familiars, and saufely commute to them his secretes. For as Plutarche saieth, what so euer he be that loueth, he doteth and is blynde in that thinge whiche he dothe loue, except by lerninge he can accustome him selfe to ensue and sette more price by those thinges that be honest and vertuous, than by them that he seeth in experience and be familiarly used. And suerly as the wormes do brede moste gladly in softe wode and swete, so the moste gentill and noble wittes, inclined to honoure, replenisshed with moste honest and curtaise maners, do sonest admitte flaterars, and be by them abused. And it is no meruayle. For lyke as the wylde corne, beinge in shap and greatnesse lyke to the good, if they be mangled, with great difficultie will be tried out, but either in a narowe holed seeue they will stille abide with the good corne, or els, where the holes be large, they will issue out with the other; so flatery from frendship is hardely seuered, for as moche as in euery motion and affecte of the minde they be mutually mengled to gether.
Of this peruerse and cursed people be sondry kyndes, some whiche apparauntly do flatter, praysinge and extollinge euery thinge that is done by their superior, and berynge hym on hande that in hym it is of euery man commended, whiche of trouthe is of all men abhorred and hated. To the affirmaunce therof they adde to othes, adiurations, and horrible curses, offringe them selfes to eternall paynes except their reporte be true. And if they perceyue any parte of their tale misstrusted, than they sette furthe sodaynly an heuie and sorowfull countenaunce, as if they were abiecte and brought in to extreme desperation. Other there be, whiche in a more honest terme may be called Assentatours or folowers, which do awayte diligently what is the fourme of the speche and gesture of their maister, and also other his maners, and facion of garmentes, and to the imitation and resemblaunce therof they applie their studie, that for the similitude of maners they may the rather be accepted in to the more familiar acquaintaunce. Lyke to the seruauntes of Dionyse, kynge of Sicile, whiche all though they were inclined to all unhappynes and mischiefe, after the commynge of Plato they perceyuinge that for his doctrine and wisedome the kynge had him in high estimation, they than counterfeited the countenaunce and habite of the Philosopher, thereby encreasinge the kynges fauour towardes them, who than was hooly giuen to studie of Philosophie. But after that Dionyse by their incitation had expelled Plato out of Sicile, they abandoned their habite and seueritie, and eftsones retourned to their mischeuous and voluptuous liuynge.
The great Alexander bare his hedde some parte on the one side more than the other, whiche diuers of his seruauntes dyd counterfaite. Semblably dyd the scholers of Plato, the moste noble Philosopher, whiche for as moche as their maister had a brode breste and highe shulders, and for that cause was named Plato, whiche signifieth brode or large, they stuffed their garmentes and made on their shulders great bolsters, to seme to be of like fourme as he was; wherby he shulde conceyue some fauour towardes them for the demonstration of loue that they pretented in the ostentation of his persone. Whiche kynde of flaterye I suppose Plato coulde right well laughe at. But these maner of flateres may be well founde out and perceyued by a good witte, whiche somtyme by him selfe diligently considereth his owne qualities and naturall appetite. For the company or communication of a persone familiar, whiche is alway pleasaunt and without sharpnes, inclinyng to inordinate fauour and affection, is alway to be suspected. Also there is in that frende small commoditie whiche foloweth a man lyke his shadowe, meuinge onely whan he meueth, and abidinge where he list to tary. These be the mortall enenyes of noble wittes and specially in youthe, whan communely they be more inclined to glorie than grauitie. Wherfore that liberalitie, whiche is on suche flaterers imployed, is nat onely perisshed but also spilled and deuoured. Wherfore in myne oppinion it were a right necessarye lawe that shulde be made to put suche persones openly to tortures, to the fearefull example of other: sens in all princes lawes (as Plutarche sayeth) nat onely he that hathe slayne the kynges son and heire, but also he that counterfaiteth his seale, or adulterateth his coyne with more base metall, shall be iuged to die as a traytour. In reason hove moche more payne (if there were any greatter payne than deth) were he worthy to suffre, that with false adulation dothe corrupt and adulterate the gentill and vertuous nature of a noble man, whiche is nat onely his image, but the very man hym selfe. For without vertue man is but in the numbre of bestis. And also by peruerse instruction and flatery suche one sleeth bothe the soule and good renoume of his maister. By whose example and negligence perissheth also an infinite numbre of persones, whiche domage to a realme neither with treasure ne with powar can be redoubed.
But harde it is all way to exchewe these flaterers, whiche, lyke to crowes, do pyke out mennes eyes or they be dedde. And it is to noble men moste difficile, whome all men couayte to please and to displease them it is accounted no wysedome, perchaunce leste t here shulde ensue thereby more parayle than profite.
Also Carneades the Philosopher was wont to saye that the sonnes of noble men lerned nothing well but onely to ryde. For whiles they lerned lettres their maisters flatered them, praysinge euery werde that they spake; in wrastlynge their teachers and companions also flatered them, submittyng them selfes and fallinge downe to their fete; but the horse or courser nat understandynge who rydeth him, ne whether he be a gentyll man or yoman, a ryche man or a poore, if he sitte nat suerly and can skill of ridynge, the horse casteth him quickely. This is the sayenge of Carneades.
There be other of this sorte, whiche more couertly lay their snares to take the, hartes of princes and noble men. And as he which entendeth to take the fierse and mighty lyon pytcheth his haye or nette in the woode, amonge great trees and thornes, where as is the moste haunte of the lyon, that beinge blynded with the thickenes of the couerte, or he be ware, he may sodainly tumble into the nette; where the hunter, seelynge bothe his eyen and bindynge his legges strongly to gether, finally daunteth his fiercenesse and maketh him obedient to his ensignes and tokens. Semblably there be some that by dissimulation can ostent or shewe a highe grauitie, mixte with a sturdy entretaynement and facion, exilinge them selfes from all pleasure and recreation, frowninge and grutchinge at euery thinge wherin is any myrthe or solace, all though it be honeste; tauntinge and rebuking immoderately them with whome they be nat contented; naminge them selfes therfore playne men, all though they do the semblable and often tymes wars in their owne houses. And by a simplicitie and rudenes of spekynge, with longe deliberation used in the same, they pretende the high knowlege of counsayle to be in them onely. And in this wise pytchinge their nette of adulation they intrappe the noble and vertuous harte, which onely beholdeth their fayned seueritie and counterfayte wisedome, and the rather by cause this maner of flatery is mooste unlyke to that whiche is communely used. Aristotell in his politykes exorteth gouernours to haue their frendes for a great numbre of eyen, earis, handes, and legges; considering that no one man may see or here all thinge that many men may see and here, ne can be in all places, or do as many thinges well, at one tyme, as many persons may do. And often tymes a beholder or loker on espieth a defaulte that the doer forgetteth or skippeth ouer. Whiche caused the emperour Antonine to enquire of many what other men spake of him; correctinge thereby his defautes, whiche he perceyued to be iustly reproued.
[O what an incomparable wisedome was in this noble prince that prouided suche punysshement, which was equal to the importaunce of the trespas, and terrible to all other semblably enclyned to flaterye and vayne promises; where els he was to all men of good, and specially men of great lernynge, excellent bounteous.]
This I truste shall suffyce for the expressinge of that incomparable treasure called amitie, in the declaration wherof I haue aboden the longer, to the intent to persuade the reders to enserche therfore vigilauntly, and beinge so happy to finde it, accordynge to the said description, to embrace and honour it, abhorrynge aboue all thynges ingratitude whiche pestylence hathe longe tyme raygned amonge us, augmented by detraction, a corrupt and lothely sickenesse, wherof I wyll trayte in the laste parte of this warke, that men of good nature espienge it nede nat (if they liste) be therwith deceyued.
Continue to Book III.