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and natural of pleasures, but yet the softest and the lowest. And this also receiveth a difference, which hath neither been well judged of, nor well inquired. For the good of fruition or contentment, is placed either in the sincereness of the fruition, or in the quickness and vigour of it: the one superinduced by equality, the other by vicissitude; the one having less mixture of evil, the other more impression of good. Whether of these is the greater good, is a question controverted; but whether man's nature may not be capable of both, is a question not inquired.
The former question being debated between Socrates and a sophist, Socrates placing felicity in an equal and constant peace of mind, and the sophist in much desiring and much enjoying, they fell from argument to ill words: the sophist saying that Socrates's felicity was the felicity of a block or stone; and Socrates saying that the sophist's felicity was the felicity of one that had the itch, who did nothing but itch and scratch. And both these opinions do not want their supports: for the opinion of Socrates is much upheld by the general consent even of the Epicures themselves, that virtue beareth a great part in felicity and if so, certain it is, that virtue hath more use in clearing perturbations, than in compassing desires. The sophist's opinion is much favoured by the assertion we last spake of, that good of advancement is greater than good of simple preservation; because every obtaining a desire hath a shew of advancement, as motion though in a circle hath a shew of progression.
But the second question, decided the true way, maketh the former superfluous: for can it be doubted but that there are some who take more pleasure in enjoying pleasures, than some other, and yet nevertheless are less troubled with the loss or leaving of them so as this same, Non uti, ut non appetas; non appetere, ut non metuas; sunt animi pusilli et diffidentis. And it seemeth to me that most of the doctrines of the philosophers are more fearful and cautionary than the nature of things requireth: so have they increased
the fear of death in offering to cure it: for when they would have a man's whole life to be but a discipline or preparation to die, they must needs make men think that it is a terrible enemy against whom there is no end of preparing. Better saith the poet,
Qui finem vitæ extremum inter munera ponat
So have they sought to make mens minds too uniform and harmonical, by not breaking them sufficiently to contrary motions: the reason whereof I suppose to be, because they themselves were men dedicated to a private, free, and unapplied course of life. For as we see, upon the lute or like instrument, a ground, though it be sweet and have shew of many changes, yet breaketh not the hand to such strange and hard stops and passages, as a set song or voluntary: much after the same manner was the diversity between a philo sophical and a civil life. And therefore men are to imitate the wisdom of jewellers, who if there be a grain, or a cloud, or an ice which may be ground forth without taking too much of the stone, they help it; but if it should lessen and abate the stone too much, they will not meddle with it; so ought men so to procure serenity, as they destroy not magnanimity.
Having therefore deduced the good of man, which is private and particular, as far as seemeth fit, we will now return to that good of man which respecteth and beholdeth Society, which we may term duty; because the term of duty is more proper to a mind well framed and disposed towards others, as the term of virtue is applied to a mind well formed and composed in itself; though neither can a man understand virtue without some relation to society, nor duty without an inward disposition. This part may seem at first to pertain to science civil and politic, but not if it be well observed; for it concerneth the regiment and government of every man over himself, and not over others. And as in architecture the direction of the framing the posts, beams, and other parts of building, is not the same with the manner of joining them and erecting the building; and in mechanicals, the direction
how to frame an instrument or engine, is not the same with the manner of setting it on work and employing it; and yet nevertheless in expressing of the one you incidently express the aptness towards the other: so the doctrine of conjugation of men in society differeth from that of their conformity thereunto.
This part of duty is subdivided into two parts; the common duty of every man as a man or member of a state, the other the respective or special duty of every man in his profession, vocation, and place. The first of these is extant and well laboured, as hath been said. The second likewise I may report rather dispersed, than deficient; which manner of dispersed writing in this kind of argument I acknowledge to be best for who can take upon him to write of the proper duty, virtue, challenge, and right of every several vocation, profession, and place? For although sometimes a looker on may see more than a gamester, and there be a proverb more arrogant than sound, "That the vale best discovereth the hill;" yet there is small doubt but that men can write best, and most really and materially in their own professions; and that the writing of speculative men of active matter, for the most part, doth seem to men of experience, as Phormio's argument of the wars seemed to Hannibal, to be but dreams and dotage. Only there is one vice which accompanieth them that write in their own professions, that they magnify them in excess; but generally it were to be wished, as that which would make learning indeed solid and fruitful, that active men would or could become writers.
In which I cannot but mention, honoris causa, your majesty's excellent book touching the duty of a king, a work richly compounded of divinity, morality, and policy, with great aspersion of all other arts; and being in mine opinion one of the most sound and healthful writings that I have read, not distempered in the heat of invention, nor in the coldness of negligence; not sick of business, as those are who lose themselves in their order, nor of convulsions, as those which cramp in matters impertinent; not savouring
of perfumes and paintings, as those do who seek to please the reader more than nature beareth; and chiefly well disposed in the spirits thereof, being agreeable to truth and apt for action, and far removed from that natural infirmity whereunto I noted those that write in their own professions to be subject, which is, that they exalt it above measure: for your majesty hath truly described, not a king of Assyria, or Persia, in their external glory, but a Moses, or a David, pastors of their people. Neither can I ever lose out of my remembrance, what I heard your majesty in the same sacred spirit of government deliver in a great cause of judicature, which was, "That kings ruled by their laws as God did by the "laws of nature, and ought as rarely to put in use "their supreme prerogative, as God doth his power "of working miracles." And yet notwithstanding, in your book of a free monarchy, you do well give men to understand, that you know the plenitude of the power and right of a king, as well as the circle of his office and duty. Thus have I presumed to alledge this excellent writing of your majesty, as a prime or eminent example of Tractates concerning special and respective duties, wherein I should have said as much if it had been written a thousand years since neither am I moved with certain courtly decencies, which esteem it flattery to praise in presence; no, it is flattery to praise in absence, that is, when either the virtue is absent, or the occasion is absent, and so the praise is not natural but forced, either in truth or in time. But let Cicero be read in his oration pro Marcello, which is nothing but an excellent table of Cæsar's virtue, and made to his face; besides the example of many other excellent persons wiser a great deal than such observers, and we will never doubt, upon a full occasion, to give just praises to present or absent.
But to return, there belongeth farther to the hand- De caute ling of this part, touching the duties of professions lis et mal and vocations, a relative or opposite touching the frauds, cautels, impostures, and vices of every pro
fession, which hath been likewise handled. But how? Rather in a satire and cynically, than seriously and wisely; for men have rather sought by wit to deride and traduce much of that which is good in professions, than with judgment to discover and sever that which is corrupt. For, as Solomon saith, he that cometh to seek after knowledge with a mind to scorn and censure, shall be sure to find matter for his humour, but no matter for his instruction: Quærenti derisori scientiam, ipsa se abscondit: sed studioso fit obviam. But the managing of this argument with integrity and truth, which I note as deficient, seemeth to me to be one of the best fortifications for honesty and virtue that can be planted. For, as the fable
goeth of the basilisk, that if he see you first, you die for it; but if you see him first, he dieth: so is it with deceits and evil arts, which, if they be first espied, lose their life; but if they prevent, they indanger. So that we are much beholden to Machiavel and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do: for it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil: for without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced. Nay, an honest man can do no good upon those that are wicked, to reclaim them, without the help of the knowledge of evil: for men of corrupted minds presuppose that honesty groweth out of simplicity of manners, and believing of preachers, schoolmasters, and mens exterior language. So as, except you can make them perceive that you know the utmost reaches of their own corrupt opinions, they despise all morality; Non recipit stultus verba prudentiæ, nisi ea dixeris, quæ versantur in corde ejus.
Unto this part touching respective duty doth also appertain the duties between husband and wife, parent and child, master and servant: so likewise the laws of friendship and gratitude, the civil bond of