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discourse, touching matter of state, in the presence of many. And when he was weary of them, he brake off, and in a secret derision, finding their discourses but speculative, and not to be put in practice, said; Oh that I might govern wise men, and wise men govern me. • 235. Nero was wont to say of his master Seneca, that his style was like mortar without lime. 236. Augustus Caesar, out of great indignation against his two daughters, and Posthumes Agrippa, his grand-child; whereof the two first were infamous, and the last otherwise unworthy; would say, that they were not his seed, but some imposthumes that had broken from him. 237. A seaman coming before the judges of the admiralty for admittance into an office of a ship bound for the Indies, was by one of the judges much slighted, as an insufficient person for that office he sought to obtain; the judge telling him, that he believed he could not say the points of his compass. The seaman answered; that he could say them, under favour, better than he could say his Paternoster. The judge replied; that he would wager twenty shillings with him upon that. The seaman taking him up, it came to trial : and the seaman began, and said all the points of his compass very exactly ; the judge likewise said his Paternoster: and when he had finished it, he required the wager according to agreement; because the seaman was to say his compass better than he his Paternoster, which he had not performed. Nay, I pray sir, hold, (quoth the seaman) the wager is not finished; for I have but half done: and so he immediately said his compass backward very exactly; which the judge failing of in his Paternoster, the seaman carried away the prize. 238. Lycurgus would say of divers of the heroes of the heathen ; that he wondered that men should mourn upon their days, for them, as mortal men, and yet sacrifice to them as gods. 239. Fabricius, in conference with Pyrrhus, was tempted to revolt to him; Pyrrhus telling him, that he should be partner of his fortunes, and second person to him. But Fabricius answered, in a scorn, to such a motion; sir, that would not be good for yourself; for if the Epirotes once know me, they will rather desire to be governed by me than by you. 240. Thales said; That life and death were all one. One that was present ask'd him; Why do not you die then : Thales said again Because they are all one. 241. An Egyptian priest having conference with Solon, said to him; You Grecians are ever children; you have no knowledge of antiquity, nor antiquity of knowledge.
242. Sir Fulke Grevil had much and private access to queen Elizabeth, which he used honourably, and did many men good : yet he would say merrily of himself; That he was like Robin Goodfellow ; for when the maids spilt the milk-pans, or kept any racket, they would lay it upon Robin: so what tales, the ladies, about the queen, told her, or other bad offices that they did, they would put it upon him. 343. There was a politic sermon, that had no divinity in it, was preached before the king. The king, as he came forth, said to Bishop Andrews; Call you this a sermon the bishop answered; And it please your majesty, by a charitable construction, it may be a sermon. 244. Henry Noel would say; That courtiers were like fasting days; they were next the holy days, but in themselves, they were the most meagre days of the week. 245. Cato said; The best way to keep good acts in memory, was to refresh them with new. 246. Aristippus said; He took money of his friends, not so much to use it himself, as to teach them how to bestow their money. 247. A strumpet said to Aristippus; that she was with child by him; he answered : you know that no more, than if you went through a hedge of thorns, you could say, this thorn prick'd me.
248. Democritus said; That truth did kie in profound pits, and when it was got, it needed much refining. 249. Diogenes said of a young man that danced daintily, and was much commended; The better, the worse. 250. There was a nobleman that was lean of visage, but immediately after his marriage he grew pretty plump and fat. One said to him; Your lordship doth contrary to other married men; for they at the first wax lean, and you wax fat. Sir Walter Raleigh stood by, and said; Why, there is no beast, that if you take him from the common, and put him into the several, but he will wax fat. 251. Diogenes seeing one that was a bastard, casting stones among the people, bad him take heed he hit not his father. - 252. Plutarch said well, it is otherwise in a common-wealth of men than of bees: The hive of a city or kingdom is in best condition, when there is least of noise or buz in it. 253. The same Plutarch said, of men of weak abilities set in great place, that they were like little statues set on great bases, made to appear the less
by their advancement. 254. He said again; good fame is like fire.
When you have kindled it, you may easily preserve
it; but if once you extinguish it, you will not easily kindle it again; at least not make it burn as bright as it did. 255. Queen Elizabeth seeing Sir Edward in her garden, look'd out at her window, and asked him in Italian, what does a man think of when he thinks of nothing? Sir Edward (who had not had the effect of some of the queen's grants so soon as he had hoped and desired) paused a little; and then made answer, Madam, he thinks of a woman’s promise. The queen shrunk in her head, but was heard to say, Well, Sir Edward, I must not confute you. Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor. 256. When any great officer, ecclesiastical or civil, was to be made, the queen would inquire after the piety, integrity, learning of the man. And when she was satisfied in these qualifications, she would consider of his personage.
And upon such an occasion she pleas'd once to say to me,
Bacon, how can the magistrate maintain his authority when the man is despis'd? • 257. In eighty-eight, when the queen went from Temple-bar along Fleet-street, the lawyers were ranked on one side, and the companies of the city on the other; said master Bacon to a lawyer that stood next him : Do but observe the courtiers; if they bow first to the citizens, they are in debt: if first to us, they are in law.