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Title: A Character of King Charles the Second
Author: Halifax, George Savile, Marquis of, 1633-1695
Language: English
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Printed for J. and R. TONSON and S. DRAPER
in the _Strand_. M DCC L.


THE _following_ CHARACTER _of_ King CHARLES _the_ Second, _with the_
Political, Moral _and_ Miscellaneous THOUGHTS _and_ REFLECTIONS _were
written by_ GEORGE SAVILE _Marquis of_ HALIFAX, _and were taken from his
original Manuscripts, in the Possession of his Grand-daughter_ DOROTHY
Countess _of_ BURLINGTON.



  _Character of_ King CHARLES II.                  1

  Political Thoughts and Reflections.
    _Of Fundamentals_,                            63
    _Of Princes_,                                 77
    _Princes_, (_their Rewards of Servants_)      79
    _Princes_, (_their Secrets_)                  80
    _Love of the Subjects to a Prince_,           81
    _Suffering for Princes_,                   ibid.
    _Of Ministers_,                               82
    _Wicked Ministers_,                           84
    _Instruments of State Ministers_,             85
    _Of the People_,                              86
    _Of Government_,                              89
    _Clergy_,                                     92
    _Religion_,                                   93
    _Of Prerogative, Power and Liberty_,          94
    _Of Laws_,                                   101
    _Of Parliaments_,                            103
    _Of Parties_,                                105
    _Of Courts_,                                 111
    _Of Punishment_,                             114

  Moral Thoughts and Reflections.
    _Of the World_,                              116
    _Of Ambition_,                               119
    _Of Cunning and Knavery_,                    121
    _Of Folly and Fools_,                        126
    _Of Hope_,                                   132
    _Of Anger_,                                  134
    _Of Apologies_,                              136
    _Of Malice and Envy_,                        139
    _Of Vanity_,                                 141
    _Of Money_,                                  145
    _False Learning_,                            147
    _Of Company_,                                148
    _Of Friendship_,                             150

  Miscellaneous Thoughts and Reflections.
    _Of Advice and Correction_,                  152
    _Of Alterations_,                            153
    _Bashfulness_,                               154
    _Boldness_,                                ibid.
    _Borrowers of Opinions_,                     155
    _Candour_,                                 ibid.
    _Of Caution and Suspicion_,                  156
    _Cheats_,                                    161
    _Complaint_,                               ibid.
    _Content_,                                   162
    _Converts_,                                ibid.
    _Desires_,                                   162
    _Difficulty_,                                163
    _Dissembling_,                               164
    _Dreams_,                                  ibid.
    _Drunkenness_,                             ibid.
    _Experience_,                                165
    _Extremes_,                                ibid.
    _Faculties of the Mind_,                     166
    _Families_,                                  168
    _Fear_,                                      169
    _Flattery_,                                  170
    _Forgetfulness_,                             171
    _Good-manners_,                            ibid.
    _Good-nature_,                               172
    _Good-will_,                               ibid.
    _Heat_,                                    ibid.
    _Honesty_,                                 ibid.
    _Hypocrisy_,                                 173
    _Injuries_,                                ibid.
    _Integrity_,                                 174
    _Justice_,                                 ibid.
    _To Love, and to be in Love different_,      175
    _Lucre_,                                   ibid.
    _Lying_,                                   ibid.
    _Names_,                                     176
    _Partiality_,                              ibid.
    _Patience_,                                  177
    _Positiveness_,                              177
    _Prosperity_,                              ibid.
    _Quiet_,                                   ibid.
    _Reason and Passion_,                        178
    _Reputation_,                                179
    _Self-Love_,                               ibid.
    _Shame_,                                   ibid.
    _Singularity_,                             ibid.
    _Slander_,                                   180
    _Speakers in Publick_,                     ibid.
    _Time, the Loss of it_,                      181
    _Truth_,                                   ibid.
    _Wisdom_,                                  ibid.
    _Youth_,                                     182


I. _Of his_ RELIGION.

A Character differeth from a Picture only in this, every Part of it must
be like, but it is not necessary that every Feature should be comprehended
in it as in a Picture, only some of the most remarkable.

_This Prince_ at his first entrance into the World had Adversity for his
Introducer, which is generally thought to be no ill one, but in his case
it proved so, and laid the foundation of most of those Misfortunes or
Errors, that were the causes of the great Objections made to him.

The first Effect it had was in relation to his _Religion_.

The ill-bred familiarity of the _Scotch_ Divines had given him a distaste
of that part of the Protestant Religion. He was left then to the little
Remnant of the _Church of England_ in the _Fauxbourg St. Germain_; which
made such a kind of figure, as might easily be turn'd in such a manner as
to make him lose his veneration for it. In a refined Country where
Religion appeared in Pomp and Splendor, the outward appearance of such
unfashionable Men was made an Argument against their Religion; and a young
Prince not averse to rallery, was the more susceptible of a contempt for

The Company he kept, the Men in his Pleasures, and the Arguments of State
that he should not appear too much a Protestant, whilst he expected
Assistance from a Popish Prince; all these, together with a habit
encouraged by an Application to his Pleasures, did so loosen and untie him
from his first Impressions, that I take it for granted, after the first
Year or two, he was no more a Protestant. If you ask me what he was, my
answer must be, that he was of the Religion of a young Prince in his warm
Blood, whose Enquiries were more applied to find Arguments against
believing, than to lay any settled Foundations for acknowledging
Providence, Mysteries, _&c._ A General Creed, and no very long one, may be
presumed to be the utmost Religion of one, whose Age and Inclination could
not well spare any Thoughts that did not tend to his Pleasures.

In this kind of Indifference or Unthinkingness, which is too natural in
the beginnings of Life to be heavily censured, I will suppose he might
pass some considerable part of his Youth. I must presume too that no
Occasions were lost, during that Time, to insinuate every thing to bend
him towards Popery. Great Art without intermission against Youth and
Easiness, which are seldom upon their guard, must have its Effect. A Man
is to be admired if he resisteth, and therefore cannot reasonably be
blamed if he yieldeth to them. _When_ the critical Minute was, I'll not
undertake to determine; but certainly the inward Conviction doth generally
precede the outward Declarations: At what distances, dependeth upon Mens
several Complexions and Circumstances; no stated Period can be fixed.

It will be said that he had not Religion enough to have _Conviction_; that
is a vulgar Error. Conviction indeed is not a proper word but where a Man
is convinced by Reason; but in the common acceptation, it is applied to
those who cannot tell why they are so: If Men can be at least as positive
in a Mistake as when they are in the right; they may be as clearly
convinced when they do not know why, as when they do.

I must presume that no Man of the King's Age, and his Methods of Life,
could possibly give a good reason for changing the Religion in which he
was born, let it be what it will. But our Passions are much oftener
convinced than our Reason. He had but little Reading, and that tending to
his Pleasures more than to his Instruction. In the Library of a young
Prince, the solemn Folios are not much rumpled, Books of a lighter
Digestion have the Dog's Ears.

Some pretend to be very precise in the time of his Reconciling; The
Cardinal _de Retz_, _&c._ I will not enter into it minutely, but whenever
it was, it is observable that the Government of _France_ did not think it
adviseable to discover it openly; upon which such obvious Reflections may
be made, that I will not mention them.

Such a Secret can never be put into a place which is so closely stopt,
that there shall be no Chinks. Whispers went about, particular Men had
Intimations: _Cromwell_ had his Advertisements in other things, and this
was as well worth his paying for. There was enough said of it to startle a
great many, though not universally diffused; So much, that if the
Government here, had not crumbled of itself, his Right alone, with that
and other clogs upon it, would hardly have thrown it down. I conclude that
when he came into _England_ he was as certainly a _Roman Catholick_, as
that he was a Man of Pleasure; both very consistent by visible Experience.

It is impertinent to give Reasons for Mens changing their Religion. None
can give them but themselves, as every Man has quite a different way of
arguing: A thing which may very well be accounted for. They are differing
kinds of Wit, to be quick to find a _Fault_, and to be capable to find out
a _Truth_: There must be industry in the last; the first requires only a
lively heat, that catcheth hold of the _weak_ side of any thing, but to
choose the _strong_ one is another Talent. The reason why Men of Wit are
often the laziest in their Enquiries is, that their heat carrieth their
Thoughts so fast, that they are apt to be tired, and they faint in the
drudgery of a continued Application. Have not Men of great Wit in all
times permitted their Understandings to give way to their first
Impressions? It taketh off from the Diminution when a Man doth not _mind_
a thing; and the King had then other Business: The inferior part of the
Man was then in Possession, and the Faculties of the Brain, as to serious
and painful Enquiries, were laid asleep at least, tho' not extinguished.
Careless Men are most subject to Superstition. Those who do not study
Reason enough to make it their Guide, have more Unevenness: As they have
Neglects, so they have Starts and Frights; Dreams will serve the turn;
Omens and Sicknesses have violent and sudden Effects upon them. Nor is
the strength of an Argument so effectual from its intrinsick Force, as by
its being well suited to the Temper of the Party.

The _genteel part_ of the _Catholick_ Religion might tempt a Prince that
had more of the fine Gentleman than his governing Capacity required: and
the exercise of _Indulgence_ to _Sinners_ being more frequent in it, than
of _inflicting Penance_, might be some recommendation. Mistresses of that
Faith are stronger Specificks in this case, than any that are in Physick.

The _Roman Catholicks_ complained of his Breach of Promise to them very
early.[1] There were broad peepings out, Glimpses so often repeated, that
to discerning Eyes it was flaring: In the very first Year there were such
Suspicions as produced melancholy shakings of the Head, which were very
significant. His unwillingness to _marry_ a _Protestant_ was remarkable,
though both the Catholick and the Christian Crown would have adopted her.
Very early in his Youth, when any _German_ Princess was proposed, he put
off the discourse with Rallery. A thousand little Circumstances were a
kind of accumulative Evidence, which in these Cases may be admitted.

Men that were earnest Protestants were under the sharpness of his
Displeasure, expressed by Rallery, as well as by other ways. Men near him
have made Discoveries from sudden breakings out in Discourse, _&c._ which
shewed there was a Root. It was not the least skilful part of his
concealing himself, to make the World think he leaned towards an
Indifference in Religion.

He had Sicknesses _before_ his Death, in which he did not trouble any
Protestant Divines; those who saw him _upon his Death-bed_, saw a great

As to his writing those Papers,[2] he might do it. Though neither his
Temper nor Education made him very fit to be an Author, yet in this case,
(a known Topick, so very often repeated) he might write it all himself,
and yet not one word of it his own. That Church's Argument doth so agree
with Men unwilling to take pains, the Temptation of putting an End to all
the trouble of enquiring is so great, that it must be very strong reason
that can resist: The King had only his meer natural Faculties, without any
Acquisitions to improve them; so that it is no wonder, if an Argument
which gave such _Ease_ and _Relief_ to his Mind, made such an Impression,
that with thinking often of it, (as Men are apt to do of every thing they
like) he might, by the Effect chiefly of his Memory, put together a few
Lines with his own Hand, without any help at the time; in which there was
nothing extraordinary, but that one so little inclined to write at all,
should prevail with himself to do it with the Solemnity of a Casuist.


One great Objection made to him was the concealing himself, and disguising
his Thoughts. In this there ought a Latitude to be given; it is a Defect
not to have it at all, and a Fault to have it too much. Human Nature will
not allow the Mean: like all other things, as soon as ever Men get to do
them well, they cannot easily hold from doing them too much. 'Tis the case
even in the least things, as singing, _&c._

In _France_, he was to dissemble Injuries and Neglects, from one reason;
in _England_ he was to dissemble too, though for other Causes; A King upon
the _Throne_ hath as great Temptations (though of another kind) to
dissemble, as a King in _Exile_. The King of _France_ might have his Times
of Dissembling as much with him, as he could have to do it with the King
of _France_: So he was in a _School_.

No King can be so little inclined to dissemble but he must needs learn it
from his _Subjects_, who every Day give him such Lessons of it.
Dissimulation is like most other Qualities, it hath two Sides; it is
necessary, and yet it is dangerous too. To have none at all layeth a Man
open to Contempt, to have too much exposeth him to Suspicion, which is
only the less dishonourable Inconvenience. If a Man doth not take very
great Precautions, he is never so much shewed as when he endeavoureth to
hide himself. One Man cannot take more pains to hide himself, than another
will do to see into him, especially in the Case of Kings.

It is none of the exalted Faculties of the Mind, since there are
Chamber-Maids will do it better than any Prince in Christendom. Men given
to dissembling are like Rooks at play, they will cheat for Shillings they
are so used to it. The vulgar Definition of Dissembling is downright
Lying; that kind of it which is less ill-bred cometh pretty near it. Only
Princes and Persons of Honour must have gentler Words given to their
Faults, than the nature of them may in themselves deserve.

Princes dissemble with too many, not to have it discovered; no wonder then
that He carried it so far that it was discovered. Men compared Notes, and
got Evidence; so that those whose Morality would give them leave, took it
for an Excuse for serving him ill. Those who knew his Face, fixed their
Eyes there; and thought it of more Importance to see, than to hear what he
said. His Face was as little a Blab as most Mens, yet though it could not
be called a prattling Face, it would sometimes tell Tales to a good
Observer. When he thought fit to be angry, he had a very peevish Memory;
there was hardly a Blot that escaped him. At the same time that this
shewed the Strength of his Dissimulation, it gave warning too; it fitted
his present Purpose, but it made a Discovery that put Men more upon their
Guard against him. Only Self-flattery furnisheth perpetual Arguments to
trust again: The comfortable Opinion Men have of themselves keepeth up
Human Society, which would be more than half destroyed without it.


It may be said that his Inclinations to Love were the Effects of Health,
and a good Constitution, with as little mixture of the _Seraphick_ part
as ever Man had: And though from that Foundation Men often raise their
Passions; I am apt to think his stayed as much as any Man's ever did in
the _lower Region_. This made him like easy Mistresses: They were
generally resigned to him while he was abroad, with an implied Bargain.
Heroick refined Lovers place a good deal of their Pleasure in the
Difficulty, both for the vanity of Conquest, and as a better earnest of
their Kindness.

After he was restored, Mistresses were recommended to him; which is no
small matter in a _Court_, and not unworthy the Thoughts even of a
_Party_. A Mistress either dexterous in herself, or well-instructed by
those that are so, may be very useful to her Friends, not only in the
immediate Hours of her Ministry, but by her Influences and Insinuations
at other times. It was resolved generally by others, whom he should have
in his Arms, as well as whom he should have in his Councils. Of a Man who
was so capable of choosing, he chose as seldom as any Man that ever lived.

He had more properly, at least in the beginning of his Time, a good
Stomach to his Mistresses, than any great Passion for them. His taking
them from others was never learnt in a Romance; and indeed fitter for a
Philosopher than a Knight-Errant. His Patience for their Frailties shewed
him no exact Lover. It is a Heresy according to a true Lover's Creed, ever
to forgive an Infidelity, or the Appearance of it. Love of Ease will not
do it, where the _Heart_ is much engaged; but where mere _Nature_ is the
Motive, it is possible for a Man to think righter than the common
opinion, and to argue, that a Rival taketh away nothing but the Heart, and
leaveth all the rest.

In his latter Times he had no _Love_, but insensible Engagements that made
it harder than most might apprehend to untie them. The _Politicks_ might
have their part; a Secret, a Commission, a Confidence in critical Things,
though it doth not give a Lease for a precise term of Years, yet there may
be Difficulties in dismissing them; there may be no Love all the while;
perhaps the contrary.

He was said to be as little constant as they were thought to be. Though he
had no Love, he must have some Appetite, or else he could not keep them
for meer ease, or for the Love of sauntring; Mistresses are frequently apt
to be uneasy; they are in all Respects craving Creatures; so that though
the taste of those Joys might be flattened, yet a Man who loved Pleasure
so as to be very unwilling to part with it, might (with the Assistance of
his _Fancy_, which doth not grow old so fast) reserve some supplemental
Entertainments, that might make their personal Service be still of use to
him. The Definition of Pleasure, is _what pleaseth_, and if that which
grave Men may call a corrupted Fancy, shall adminster any Remedies for
putting off mourning for the loss of Youth, who shall blame it?

The _young_ Men seldom apply their censure to these Matters; and the
_elder_ have an Interest to be gentle towards a Mistake, that seemeth to
make some kind of amends for their Decays.

He had Wit enough to _suspect_, and he had Wit enough too _not to care_:
The Ladies got a great deal more than would have been allowed to be an
equal bargain in _Chancery_, for what they did for it; but neither the
manner, nor the measure of Pleasure is to be judged by others.

Little Inducements at first grew into strong Reasons by degrees. Men who
do not consider Circumstances, but judge at a distance, by a general way
of arguing, conclude if a Mistress in some Cases is not immediately turned
off, it must needs be that the Gallant is incurably subjected. This will
by no means hold in private Men, much less in Princes, who are under more
Entanglements, from which they cannot so easily loosen themselves.

His Mistresses were as different in their Humours, as they were in their
Looks. They gave Matter of very different Reflections. The last[3]
especially was quite out of the Definition of an ordinary Mistress; the
Causes and the Manner of her being first introduced were very different. A
very peculiar Distinction was spoken of, same extraordinary Solemnities
that might dignify, though not sanctify her Function. Her Chamber was the
true Cabinet Council. The King did always by his Councils, as he did
sometimes by his Meals; he sat down out of form with the _Queen_, but he
supped _below Stairs_. To have the Secrets of a King, who happens to have
too many, is to have a King in Chains: He must not only, not part with
her, but he must in his own Defence dissemble his dislike: The less
kindness he hath, the more he must shew: There is great difference
between being _muffled_, and being _tied_: He was the first, not the last.
If he had quarelled at some times, besides other Advantages, this Mistress
had a powerful _Second_; (one may suppose a kind of a _Guarantee_) this to
a Man that loved his _Ease_, though his _Age_ had not helped, was

The thing called _Sauntering_, is a stronger Temptation to Princes than it
is to others. The being galled with Importunities, pursued from one Room
to another with asking Faces; the dismal Sound of unreasonable Complaints,
and ill-grounded Pretences; the Deformity of Fraud ill-disguised; all
these would make any Man run away from them; and I used to think it was
the Motive for making him walk so fast. So it was more properly taking
Sanctuary. To get into a Room, where all Business was to stay at the
Door, excepting such as he was disposed to admit, might be very acceptable
to a younger Man than he was, and less given to his Ease. He slumbered
after Dinner, had the noise of the Company to divert him, without their
Solicitations to importune him. In these Hours where he was more
unguarded, no doubt the cunning Men of the Court took their times to make
their Observations, and there is as little doubt but he made his upon them
too: Where Men had Chinks he would see through them as soon as any Man
about him. There was much more real Business done there in his Politick,
than there was in his personal Capacity, _Stans pede in uno_; and there
was the _French part_ of _the Government_, which was not the least.

In short, without endeavouring to find more Arguments, he was _used_ to
it. Men do not care to put off a Habit, nor do often succeed when they go
about it. His was not an _unthinkingness_; he did not perhaps think so
much of his Subjects as they might wish; but he was far from being wanting
to think of himself.


He lived with his Ministers as he did with his Mistresses; he used them,
but he was not in love with them. He shewed his Judgment in this, that he
cannot properly be said ever to have had a _Favourite_, though some might
look so at a distance. The present use he might have of them, made him
throw Favours upon them, which might lead the lookers on into that
mistake; but he tied himself no more to them, than they did to him, which
implied a sufficient Liberty on either side.

Perhaps he made _dear Purchases_: If he seldom gave profusely, but where
he expected some unreasonable thing, great Rewards were material Evidences
against those who received them.

He was _free of access_ to them, which was a very gaining Quality. He had
at least as good a Memory for the Faults of his Ministers as for their
Services; and whenever they fell, the whole Inventory came out; there was
not a slip omitted.

That some of his Ministers seemed to have a _Superiority_, did not spring
from his Resignation to them, but to his Ease. He chose rather to be
_eclipsed_ than to be _troubled_.

His Brother was a Minister, and he had his Jealousies of him. At the same
time that he raised him, he was not displeased to have him lessened. The
cunning Observers found this out, and at the same time that he reigned in
the Cabinet, he was very familiarly used at the private Supper.

A Minister turned off is like a Lady's Waiting-Woman, that knoweth all her
Washes, and hath a shrewd guess at her Strayings: So there is danger in
turning them off, as well as in keeping them.

He had back Stairs to convey _Informations_ to him, as well as for other
Uses; and though such Informations are sometimes dangerous, (especially to
a Prince that will not take the pains necessary to digest them) yet in the
main, that humour of _hearing every body against any body_, kept those
about him in more awe, than they would have been without it. I do not
believe that ever he trusted any Man, or any set of Men so entirely, as
not to have some Secrets, in which they had _no share_: As this might make
him less well served, so in same degree it might make him the less imposed

You may reckon under this Article his _Female Ministry_; for though he had
Ministers of the Council, Ministers of the Cabinet, and Ministers of the
Ruelle; the Ruelle was often the _last Appeal_. Those who were not well
there, were used because they were _necessary_ at the time, not because
they were _liked_; so that their Tenure was a little uncertain. His
Ministers were to administer Business to him as Doctors do Physick, wrap
it up in something to make it _less unpleasant_; some skilful Digressions
were so far from being Impertinent, that they could not many times fix him
to a fair Audience without them. His _aversion to Formality_ made him
dislike a _serious Discourse_, if very long, except it was mixed with
something to _entertain_ him. Some even of the graver sort too, used to
carry this very far, and rather than fail, use the coarsest kind of
youthful talk.

In general, he was upon pretty _even Terms_ with his Ministers, and could
as easily bear _their_ being _hanged_ as some of them could _his_ being

V. _Of his_ WIT _and_ CONVERSATION.

His wit consisted chiefly in the _quickness_ of his _Apprehension_. His
Apprehension made him _find Faults_, and that led him to short Sayings
upon them, not always equal, but often very good.

By his being abroad, he contracted a Habit of conversing familiarly, which
added to his natural Genius, made him very _apt to talk_; perhaps more
than a very nice judgment would approve.

He was apter to make _broad Allusions_ upon any thing that gave the least
occasion, than was altogether suitable with the very Good-breeding he
shewed in most other things. The Company he kept whilst abroad, had so
used him to that sort of Dialect, that he was so far from thinking it a
Fault or an Indecency, that he made it a matter of Rallery upon those who
could not prevail upon themselves to join in it. As a Man who hath a good
Stomach loveth generally to talk of Meat, so in the vigour of his Age, he
began that style, which by degrees grew so natural to him, that after he
ceased to do it out of Pleasure, he continued to do it out of Custom. The
Hypocrisy of the former Times inclined Men to think they could not shew
too great an Aversion to it, and that helped to encourage this unbounded
liberty of Talking, without the Restraints of Decency which were before
observed. In his more familiar Conversations with the Ladies, even they
must be passive, if they would not enter into it. How far Sounds as well
as Objects may have their Effects to raise Inclination, might be an
Argument to him to use that Style; or whether using Liberty at its full
stretch, was not the general Inducement without any particular Motives to

The manner of that time of _telling Stories_, had drawn him into it; being
commended at first for the Faculty of telling a Tale well, he might
insensibly be betrayed to exercise it too often. Stories are dangerous in
this, that the best expose a Man most, by being oftenest repeated. It
might pass for an Evidence for the Moderns against the Ancients, that it
is now wholly left off by all that have any pretence to be distinguished
by their good Sense.

He had the Improvements of _Wine_, &c. which made him _pleasant_ and _easy
in Company_; where he bore his part, and was acceptable even to those who
had no other Design than to be merry with him.

The Thing called _Wit_, a Prince may taste, but it is dangerous for him to
take too much of it; it hath Allurements which by refining his Thoughts,
take off from their _dignity_, in applying them less to the governing
part. There is a Charm in Wit, which a Prince must resist: and that to him
was no easy matter; it was contesting with Nature upon Terms of

His Wit was not so ill-natured as to put Men out of countenance. In the
case of a King especially, it is more allowable to speak sharply _of_
them, than _to_ them.

His Wit was not acquired by _Reading_; that which he had above his
original Stock by Nature, was from Company, in which he was very capable
to observe. He could not so properly be said to have a Wit very much
raised, as a plain, gaining, well-bred, recommending kind of Wit.

But of all Men that ever _liked_ those who _had Wit_, he could the best
_endure_ those who had _none_. This leaneth more towards a Satire than a
Compliment, in this respect, that he could not only suffer Impertinence,
but at sometimes seemed to be pleased with it.

He encouraged some to talk a good deal more with him, than one would have
expected from a Man of so good a Taste: He should rather have order'd his
Attorney-General to prosecute them for a Misdemeanour, in using
Common-sense so scurvily in his Presence. However, if this was a Fault, it
is arrogant for any of his Subjects to object to it, since it would look
like defying such a piece of Indulgence. He must in some degree loosen the
Strength of his Wit, by his Condescension to talk with Men so very unequal
to him. Wit must be used to some _Equality_, which may give it Exercise,
or else it is apt either to languish, or to grow a little vulgar, by
reigning amongst Men of a lower Size, where there is no Awe to keep a Man
upon his _guard_.

It fell out rather by Accident than Choice, that his Mistresses were such
as did not care that Wit of the best kind should have the Precedence in
their Apartments. Sharp and strong Wit will not always be so held in by
Good-manners, as not to be a little troublesome in a _Ruelle_. But
wherever Impertinence hath Wit enough left to be thankful for being well
used, it will not only be admitted, but kindly received; such Charms every
thing hath that setteth us off by Comparison.

His _Affability_ was a Part, and perhaps not the least, of his Wit.

It is a Quality that must not always spring from the Heart, Mens Pride, as
well as their Weakness, maketh them ready to be deceived by it: They are
more ready to believe it a Homage paid to their Merit, than a Bait thrown
out to deceive them. _Princes_ have a particular Advantage.

There was at first as much of Art as Nature in his Affability, but by
Habit it became Natural. It is an Error of the better hand, but the
_Universality_ taketh away a good deal of the Force of it. A Man that hath
had a kind Look seconded with engaging Words, whilst he is chewing the
Pleasure, if another in his Sight should be just received as kindly, that
Equality would presently after the Relish: The Pride of Mankind will have
Distinction; till at last it cometh to Smile for Smile, meaning nothing
of either Side; without any kind of Effect; mere Drawing-room Compliments;
the _Bow_ alone would be better without them. He was under some
Disadvantages of this kind, that grew still in proportion as it came by
Time to be more known, that there was less Signification in those Things
than at first was thought.

The Familiarity of his Wit must needs have the Effect of _lessening_ the
_Distance_ fit to be kept to him. The Freedom used to him whilst abroad,
was retained by those who used it longer than either they ought to have
kept it, or he have suffered it, and others by their Example learned to
use the same. A King of _Spain_ that will say nothing but _Tiendro
cuydado_, will, to the generality, preserve more Respect; an Engine that
will speak but sometimes, at the same time that it will draw the Raillery
of the Few who judge well, it will create Respect in the ill-judging
Generality. Formality is sufficiently revenged upon the World for being so
unreasonably laughed at; it is destroyed it is true, but it hath the
spiteful Satisfaction of seeing every thing destroyed with it.

His fine Gentlemanship did him no Good, encouraged in it by being too much

His Wit was better suited to his Condition _before_ he was restored than
_afterwards_. The Wit of a Gentleman, and that of a crowned Head, ought to
be different things. As there is a _Crown Law_, there is a _Crown Wit_
too. To use it with Reserve is very good, and very rare. There is a
Dignity in doing things _seldom_ even without any other Circumstance.
Where Wit will run continually, the Spring is apt to fail; so that it
groweth vulgar, and the more it is practiced, the more it is debased.

He was so good at finding out other Mens weak Sides, that it made him less
intent to cure his own: That generally happeneth. It may be called a
treacherous Talent, for it betrayeth a Man to forget to judge himself, by
being so eager to censure others: This doth so misguide Men the first Part
of their Lives, that the Habit of it is not easily recovered, when the
greater Ripeness of their judgment inclineth them to look more into
themselves than into other Men.

Men love to see themselves in the false Looking-glass of other Mens
Failings. It maketh a Man think well of himself at the time, and by
sending his Thoughts abroad to get Food for Laughing, they are less at
leisure to see Faults at home. Men choose rather to make the War in
another Country, than to keep all well at home.


He had a _Mechanical Head_, which appeared in his Inclination to Shipping
and Fortification, _&c._ This would make one conclude, that his Thoughts
would naturally have been more fixed to Business, if his Pleasures had not
drawn them away from it.

He had a very good _Memory_, though he would not always make equal good
Use of it. So that if he had accustomed himself to direct his Faculties
to his Business, I see no Reason why he might not have been a good deal
Master of it. His Chain of _Memory_ was longer than his Chain of
_Thought_; the first could bear any Burden, the other was tired by being
carried on too long; it was fit to ride a Heat, but it had not Wind enough
for a long Course.

A very great Memory often forgetteth how much Time is lost by repeating
things of no Use. It was one Reason of his talking so much; since a great
Memory will always have something to say, and will be discharging itself,
whether in or out of Season, if a good Judgment doth not go along with it,
to make it stop and turn. One might say of his Memory, that it was a
_Beauté Journaliere_: Sometimes he would make shrewd Applications, _&c._
at others he would bring things out of it, that never deferred to be laid
in it.

He grew by Age into a pretty exact _Distribution_ of his _Hours_, both for
his Business, Pleasures, and the Exercise for his Health, of which he took
as much care as could possibly consist with some Liberties he was resolved
to indulge in himself. He walked by his Watch, and when he pulled it out
to look upon it, skilful Men would make haste with what they had to say to

He was often retained in his _personal_ against his _politick_ Capacity.
He would speak upon those Occasions most dexterously against himself;
_Charles Stuart_ would be bribed against the _King_; and in the
Distinction, he leaned more to his natural Self; than his Character would
allow. He would not suffer himself to be so much fettered by his Character
as was convenient; he was still starting out of it, the Power of Nature
was too strong for the Dignity of his Calling, which generally yielded as
often as there was a contest.

It was not the best use he made of his _Back-stairs_ to admit Men to bribe
him against himself, to procure a Defalcation, help a lame Accountant to
get off, or side with the Farmers against the Improvement of the Revenue.
The King was made the Instrument to defraud the Crown, which is somewhat

That which might tempt him to it probably was, his finding that those
about him so often took Money upon those Occasions; so that he thought he
might do well at least to be a Partner. He did not take the Money to
_hoard_ it; there were those at Court who watched those Times, as the
_Spaniards_ do for the coming in of the _Plate Fleet_. The Beggars of both
Sexes helped to empty his Cabinet, and to leave room in them for a new
lading upon the next Occasion. These Negotiators played double with him
too, when it was for their purpose so to do. He _knew it_, and _went on_
still; so he gained his present end, at the time, he was less solicitous
to enquire into the Consequences.

He could not properly be said to be either _covetous_ or _liberal_; his
desire to get was not with an Intention to be rich; and his spending was
rather an Easiness in letting Money go, than any premeditated Thought for
the Distribution of it. He would do as much to throw off the burden of a
present Importunity, as he would to relieve a want.

When once the Aversion to bear Uneasiness taketh place in a Man's Mind, it
doth so check all the Passions, that they are dampt into a kind of
Indifference; they grow faint and languishing, and come to be subordinate
to that fundamental Maxim, of not purchasing any thing at the price of a
Difficulty. This made that he had as little Eagerness to oblige, as he had
to hurt Men; the Motive of his giving Bounties was rather to make Men less
uneasy to him, than more easy to themselves; and yet no ill-nature all
this while. He would slide from an asking Face, and could guess very well.
It was throwing a Man off from his Shoulders, that leaned upon them with
his whole weight; so that the Party was not glader to receive, than he to
give. It was a kind of implied bargain; though Men seldom kept it, being
so apt to forget the advantage they had received, that they would presume
the King would as little remember the good he had done them, so as to make
it an Argument against their next Request.

This Principle of making the _love_ of _Ease_ exercise an entire
Sovereignty in his thoughts, would have been less censured in a private
Man, than might be in a Prince. The Consequence of it to the Publick
changeth the Nature of that Quality, or else a Philosopher in his private
Capacity might say a great deal to justify it. The truth is, a King is to
be such a distinct Creature from a Man, that their Thoughts are to be put
in quite a differing Shape, and it is such a disquieting task to reconcile
them, that Princes might rather expect to be lamented than to be envied,
for being in a Station that exposeth them, if they do not do more to
answer Mens Expectations than human Nature will allow.

That Men have the less Ease for their loving it so much, is so far from a
wonder, that it is a natural Consequence, especially in the case of a
Prince. Ease is seldom got without some pains, but it is yet seldomer kept
without them. He thought giving would make Men more easy to him, whereas
he might have known it would certainly make them more troublesome.

When Men receive Benefits from Princes, they attribute less to his
Generosity than to their own Deserts; so that in their own Opinion, their
Merit cannot be bounded; by that mistaken Rule, it can as little be
satisfied. They would take it for a diminution to have it circumscribed.
Merit hath a Thirst upon it that can never be quenched by golden Showers.
It is not only still ready, but greedy to receive more. This King
_Charles_ found in as many Instances as any Prince that ever reigned,
because the Easiness of Access introducing the good Success of their first
Request, they were the more encouraged to repeat those Importunities,
which had been more effectually stopt in the Beginning by a short and
resolute Denial. But his Nature did not dispose him to that Method, it
directed him rather to put off the troublesome Minute for the time, and
that being his Inclination, he did not care to struggle with it.

I am of an Opinion, in which I am every Day more confirmed by
Observation, that Gratitude is one of those things that cannot be bought.
It must be born with Men, or else all the Obligations in the World will
not create it. An outward Shew may be made to satisfy Decency, and to
prevent Reproach; but a real Sense of a kind thing is a Gift of Nature,
and never was, nor can be acquired.

The Love of Ease is an Opiate, it is pleasing for the time, quieteth the
Spirits, but it hath its Effects that seldom fail to be most fatal. The
immoderate Love of Ease maketh a Man's Mind pay a passive Obedience to any
thing that happeneth: It reduceth the Thoughts from having _Desire_ to be

It must be allowed he had a little Over-balance on the well-natured Side,
not Vigour enough to be earnest to do a kind Thing, much less to do a
harsh one; but if a hard thing was done to another Man, he did not eat his
Supper the worse for it. It was rather a Deadness than Severity of Nature,
whether it proceeded from a Dissipation of Spirits, or by the Habit of
Living in which he was engaged.

If a King should be born with more Tenderness than might suit with his
Office, he would in time be hardned. The Faults of his Subjects make
Severity so necessary, that by the frequent Occasions given to use it, it
comes to be habitual, and by degrees the Resistance that Nature made at
first groweth fainter, till at last it is in a manner quite extinguished.

In short, this Prince might more properly be said to have _Gifts_ than
_Virtues_, as Affability, Easiness of Living, Inclinations to give, and
to forgive: Qualities that flowed from his Nature rather than from his

He had not more Application to any thing than the Preservation of his
_Health_; it had an intire Preference to any thing else in his Thoughts,
and he might be said without Aggravation to study that, with as little
Intermission as any Man in the World. He understood it very well, only in
this he failed, that he thought it was more reconcilable with his
_Pleasures_, than it really was. It is natural to have such a Mind to
reconcile these, that 'tis the easier for any Man that goeth about it, to
be guilty of that Mistake.

This made him overdo in point of Nourishment, the better to furnish to
those Entertainments; and then he thought by great _Exercise_ to make
Amends, and to prevent the ill Effects of his Blood being too much raised.
The Success he had in this Method, whilst he had Youth and Vigour to
support him in it, encouraged him to continue it longer than Nature
allowed. Age stealeth so insensibly upon us, that we do not think of
suiting our way of Reasoning to the several Stages of Life; so insensibly
that not being able to pitch upon any _precise Time_, when we cease to be
young, we either flatter ourselves that we always continue to be so, or at
least forget how much we are mistaken in it.


After all this, when some rough Strokes of the Pencil have made several
Parts of the Picture look a little hard, it is a Justice that would be due
to every Man, much more to a Prince, to make same Amends, and to reconcile
Men as much as may be to it by the last finishing.

He had as good a Claim to a kind Interpretation as most Men. First as a
_Prince_: living and dead, generous and well-bred Men will be gentle to
them; next as an _unfortunate Prince_ in the beginning of his Time, and a
_gentle_ one in the rest.

A Prince neither sharpened by his Misfortunes whilst Abroad, nor by his
Power when restored, is such a shining Character, that it is a Reproach
not to be so dazzled with it, as not to be able to see a Fault in its full
Light. It would be a Scandal in this Case to have an exact Memory. And if
all who are akin to his Vices, should mourn for him, never Prince would be
better attended to his Grave. He is under the Protection of common
Frailty, that must engage Men for their own sakes not to be too severe,
where they themselves have so much to answer.

What therefore an angry Philosopher would call _Lewdness_, let frailer Men
call a Warmth and Sweetness of the Blood, that would not be confined in
the communicating itself; an over-flowing of Good-nature, of which he had
such a Stream, that it would not be restrained within the Banks of a
crabbed and unsociable Virtue.

If he had sometimes less _Firmness_ than might have been wished; let the
kindest Reason be given, and if that should be wanting, the best Excuse. I
would assign the Cause of it to be his loving at any rate to be _easy_,
and his deserving the more to be indulged in it, by his desiring that
every body else should be so.

If he sometimes let a _Servant fall_, let it be examined whether he did
not _weigh_ so much upon his Master, as to give him a fair Excuse. That
_Yieldingness_, whatever Foundations it might lay to the Disadvantage of
Posterity, was a Specifick to preserve us in Peace for his own Time. If he
loved too much to lie upon his own Down-bed of Ease, his Subjects had the
Pleasure, during his Reign, of lolling and stretching upon theirs. As a
Sword is sooner broken upon a Feather-bed than upon a Table, so his
Pliantness broke the blow of a present Mischief much better than a more
immediate Resistance would perhaps have done.

Ruin saw this, and therefore removed him first to make way for further

If _he dissembled_; let us remember, first, that he was a King, and that
Dissimulation is a Jewel of the Crown; next, that it is very hard for a
Man not to do sometimes too much of that, which he concludeth necessary
for him to practice. Men should consider, that as there would be no false
Dice, is there were no true ones, so if Dissembling is grown universal, it
ceaseth to be soul play, having an implied Allowance by the general
Practice. He that was so often forced to dissemble in his own Defence,
might the better have the privilege sometimes to be the Aggressor, and to
deal with Men at their own Weapon.

Subjects are apt to be as arbitrary in their _Censure_, as the most
assuming Kings can be in their Power. If there might be matter for
Objections, there is not less reason for Excuses; The Defects laid to his
Charge, are such as may claim Indulgence from Mankind.

Should no body throw a Stone at his Faults but those who are free from
them, there would be but a slender Shower.

What private Man will throw Stones at him because he _loved_? Or what
Prince, because he _dissembled_?

If he either _trusted_, or _forgave_ his _Enemies_, or in some Cases
_neglected_ his _Friends_, more than could in Strictness be allowed; let
not those Errors be so arraigned as take away the Privilege that seemeth
to be due to Princely Frailties. If Princes are under the Misfortune of
being accused to govern ill, their Subjects have the less right to fall
hard upon them, since they generally so little deserve to be governed

The truth is, the Calling of a King, with all its glittering, hath such an
unreasonable weight upon it, that they may rather expect to be lamented,
than to be envied; for being set upon a Pinacle, where they are exposed to
Censure, if they do not do more to answer Mens Expectations, than
corrupted Nature will allow.

It is but Justice therefore to this Prince, to give all due Softenings to
the less shining Parts of his Life; to offer Flowers and Leaves to hide,
instead of using Aggravations to expose them.

Let his Royal Allies than lie soft upon him, and cover him from harsh and
unkind Censures; which though they should not be unjust, can never clear
themselves from being indecent.

Political, Moral and Miscellaneous

Thoughts _and_ Reflections,

_By the Marquis of_ HALIFAX.


_Of Fundamentals._

Every Party, when they find a Maxim for their turn, they presently call it
a Fundamental, they think they nail it with a Peg of Iron, whereas in
truth they only tie it with a wisp of Straw.

The word soundeth so well that the Impropriety of it hath been the less
observed. But as weighty as the word appeareth, no Feather hath been more
blown about in the World than this word, _Fundamental_.

It is one of those Mistakes that at sometimes may be of use, but it is a
Mistake still.

Fundamental is used as Men use their Friends; commend them when they have
need of them, and when they fall out, find a hundred Objections to them.

Fundamental is a Pedestal that Men set every thing upon that they would
not have broken. It is a Nail every body would use to fix that which is
good for them: for all Men would have that Principle to be immoveable,
that serves their use at the time.

Every thing that is created is Mortal, _ergo_ all Fundamentals of human
Creation will die.

A true Fundamental must be like the Foundation of a House; if it is
undermined the whole House falleth.

The Fundamentals in Divinity have been changed in several Ages of the

They have made no difficulty in the several Councils, to destroy and
excommunicate Men for asserting Things that at other Times were called

Philosophy, Astronomy, _&c._ have changed their Fundamentals as the Men of
Art no doubt called them at the time. Motion of the Earth, _&c._

Even in Morality one may more properly say, There _should be_ Fundamentals
allowed, than that there _are_ any which in Strictness can be maintained.

However this is the least uncertain Foundation: Fundamental is less
improperly applied here than any where else.

Wise and good Men will in all Ages stick to some Fundamentals, look upon
them as sacred, and preserve an inviolable Respect for them; but Mankind
in general make Morality a more malleable thing than it ought to be.

There is then no certain Fundamental but in _Nature_, and yet _there_ are
Objections too. It is a Fundamental in Nature that the Son should not kill
the Father, and yet the Senate of _Venice_ gave a Reward to a Son who
brought in his Father's Head, according to a Proclamation.

_Salus Populi_ is an unwritten Law, yet that doth not hinder but that it
is sometimes very visible; and as often as it is so, it supersedeth all
other Laws which are subordinate Things compared.

The great Punishments upon Self-murder, are Arguments that it was rather a
tempting Sin to be discouraged than an unnatural Act.

It is a Fundamental that where a Man intendeth no hurt he should receive
none, yet Manslaughter, _&c._ are Cases of Mercy.

That a Boy under Ten shall not suffer Death, yet where _Malitia supplet
ætatem_, otherwise.

That there were Witches--much shaken of late.

That the King is not to be deceived in his Grant--The practical
Fundamental the contrary.

That what is given to God cannot be alienated. Yet in practice it is,
Treaties, _&c._ and even by the Church itself, when they get a better
bargain by it.

I can make no other Definition of a true Fundamental than this: _viz._
That whatever a Man hath a desire to do or to hinder, if he hath
uncontested and irresistable Power to effect it, that he will certainly
do it.

If he thinketh he hath that Power, though he hath it not, he will
certainly go about it.

Some would define a Fundamental to be the settling the Laws of Nature and
common Equity in such a sort as that they may be well administered: even
in this case there can be nothing _fixed_, but it must _vary_ for the Good
of the whole.

A Constitution cannot make itself; some body made it, not at once but at
several times. It is alterable; and by that draweth nearer Perfection; and
without suiting itself to differing Times and Circumstances, it could not
live. Its Life is prolonged by changing seasonably the several Parts of it
at several times.

The Reverence that is given to a Fundamental, in a general unintelligible
Notion, would be much better applyed to that _Supremacy or Power_ which is
set up in every Nation in differing Shapes, that altereth the Constitution
as often as the Good of the People requireth it.

Neither _King_ nor _People_ would now like just the _original
Constitution_, without any varyings.

If Kings are only answerable to God, that doth not secure them even in
this World; since if God upon the Appeal thinketh fit not to stay, he
maketh the People his Instruments.

I am persuaded that where ever any single Man had Power to do himself
right upon a _deceitful Trustee_, he would do it. That Thought well
digested would go a great way towards the discouraging Invasions upon
Rights, _&c._

I lay down then as a Fundamental, 1st, that in every Constitution there is
_some Power_ which neither will nor ought to be bounded.

2. That the King's Prerogative should be as _plain_ a thing as the
People's Obedience.

3. That a Power which may by parity of Reason destroy the whole Laws, can
never be reserved by the Laws.

4. That in all limited Governments it must give the Governor Power to
_hurt_, but it can never be so interpreted as to give him Power to
_destroy_, for then in effect it would cease to be a limited Government.

5. That Severity be rare and great; for as _Tacitus_ sayeth of _Nero_,
"Frequent Punishments made the People call even his Justice Cruelty."

6. That it is necessary to make the Instruments of Power easy; for Power
is hard enough to be digested by those under it at the best.

7. That the People are never so perfectly backed, but that they will kick
and sting if not stroked at seasonable times.

8. That a Prince must think if he loseth his People he can never regain

It is both wise and safe to think so.

9. That Kings assuming Prerogative teach the People to do so too.

10. That Perogative is a Trust.

11. That they are not the _King_'s Laws, nor the _Parliament_'s Laws, but
the _Laws of England_, in which after they have passed by the Legislative
Power, the People have the _Property_, and the King the _Executive_ part.

12. That no Abilities should qualify a noted Knave to be employed in
Business. A Knave can by none of his Dexterities make amends for the
Scandal he bringeth upon the Crown.

13. That those who will not be bound by the _Laws_, rely upon _Crimes_: a
third way was never found in the World to secure any Government.

14. That a Seaman be a Seaman; a Cabinet-Counsellor a Man of Business; an
Officer, an Officer.

15. In corrupted Governments the Place is given for the sake of the Man;
in good ones the Man is chosen for the sake of the Place.

16. That Crowds at Court are made up of such as would deceive: The _real
Worshippers_ are few.

17. That _Salus Populi_ is the greatest of all Fundamentals, yet not
altogether an immoveable one. It is a Fundamental for a Ship to ride at
Anchor when it is in Port, but if a Storm cometh the Cable must be cut.

18. _Property_ is not a fundamental Right in one Sense, because in the
beginning of the World there was none, so that Property itself was an
Innovation introduced by Laws.

Property is only secured by trusting it in the best Hands, and those are
generally chosen who are least likely to deceive; but if they should, they
have a legal Authority to abuse as well as use the Power with which they
are trusted, and there is no Fundamental can stand in their way, or be
allowed as an Exception to the Authority that was vested in them.

19. _Magna Charta_ would fain be made to pass for a Fundamental; and Sir
_Edward Coke_ would have it, that the Grand Charter was for the most part
declaratory of the principal Grounds of the fundamental Laws of _England_.

If that referreth to the Common Law, it must be made out that every thing
in _Magna Charta_ is always and at all times necessary in itself to be
kept, or else the denying a subsequent Parliament the Right of repealing
any Law doth by consequence deny the preceding Parliament the Right of
making it. But they are fain to say it was only a declarative Law, which
is very hard to be proved. Yet suppose it, you must either make the Common
Law so stated a thing that all Men know it before-hand, or else
universally acquiesce in it whenever it is alledged, from the Affinity it
hath to the Law of Nature. Now I would fain know whether the Common Law is
capable of being defined, and whether it doth not hover in the Clouds
like the Prerogative, and bolteth out like Lightening to be made use of
for some particular Occasion? If so, the Government of the World is left
to a thing that cannot be defined; and if it cannot be defined, you know
not what it is; so that the supream Appeal is, we know not what. We submit
to God Almighty though he is incomprehensible, and yet He hath set down
His Methods; but for this World, there can be no Government without a
stated Rule, and a Supream Power not to be controled neither by the Dead
nor the Living.

The Laws under the Protection of the King govern in the ordinary
Administration; the extraordinary Power is in Acts of Parliament, from
whence there can be no Appeal but to the same Power at another time.

To say a Power is Supream, and not Arbitrary, is not Sense. It is
acknowledg'd Supream, and therefore, _&c._

If the Common Law is Supream, then those are so who judge what is the
Common Law; and if none but the Parliament can judge so, there is an end
of the Controversy; there is no _Fundamental_; for the Parliament may
judge as they please, that is, they have the Authority, but they may judge
against Right, their Power is good, though their Act is ill; no good Man
will outwardly resist the one, or inwardly approve the other.

There is then no other Fundamental, but that _every Supream Power must be

Fundamental is a Word used by the Laity, as the Word Sacred is by the
Clergy, to fix every thing to themselves they have a mind to keep; that
nobody else may touch it.


A Prince who will not undergo the Difficulty of Understanding, must
undergo the Danger of Trusting.

A wise Prince may gain such an Influence, that his Countenance would be
the last Appeal. Where it is not so in some degree, his Authority is

A Prince must keep up the Power of his Countenance, which is not the least
of his Prerogatives.

The Conscience, as well as the Prerogative of a King, must be restrained
or loosened as is best for his People.

It may without Scandal be made of stretching Leather, but it must be drawn
by a steady Hand.

A King that lets Intercession prevail, will not be long worshipped.

A Prince used to War getteth a military Logick that is not very well
suited to the Civil Administration.

If he maketh War successfully, he groweth into a Demi-God; if without
Success, the World throweth him as much below Humanity as they had before
set him above it.

A Hero must be sometimes allowed to make bold Strokes, without being
fettered by strict Reason.

He is to have some generous Irregularities in his Reasoning, or else he
will not be a good Thing of his Kind.

PRINCES (_their Rewards of Servants_).

When a Prince giveth any Man a very extravagant Reward, it looketh as if
it was rather for an ill thing than a good one.

Both the Giver and Receiver are out of countenance where they are ill
suited, and ill applyed.

Serving Princes will make Men proud at first, and humble at last.

Resolving to serve well, and at the same time resolving to please, is
generally resolving to do what is not to be done.

A Man that will serve well must often rule the Master so hard that it will
hurt him.

It is thought an unsociable Quality in a Court to do ones Duty better than
other Men.

Nothing is less forgiven than setting Patterns Men have no mind to follow.

Men are so unwilling to displease a Prince, that it is as dangerous to
inform him right, as to serve him wrong.

Where Men get by pleasing, and lose by serving, the choice is so easy that
no body can miss it.

PRINCES, _their Secrets_.

Men are so proud of Princes Secrets, that they will not see the danger of

When a Prince trusteth a Man with a dangerous Secret, he would not be
sorry to hear the Bell toll for him.

_Love of the Subjects to a_ PRINCE.

The Heart of the Subjects yieldeth but a lean Crop where it is not
cultivated by a wise Prince.

The Good-will of the Governed will be starved, if it is not fed by the
good Conduct of the Governors.

_Suffering for_ PRINCES.

Those who merit because they suffered, are so very angry with those that
made them suffer, that though their Services may deserve Employment, their
Temper rendereth them unfit for it.


The World dealeth with Ministers of State as they do with ill Fidlers,
ready to kick them down Stairs for playing ill, though few of the
Fault-finders understand their Musick enough to be good Judges.

A Minister who undertaketh to make his Master very great, if he faileth,
is ruin'd for his folly; if he succeedeth, he is feared for his Skill.

A good Statesman may sometimes mistake as much by being too humble as by
being too proud: He must take upon him in order to do his Duty, and not in
order to the setting himself out.

A Minister is not to plead the King's Command for such things as he may in
justice be supposed to have directed.

It is dangerous to serve where the Master hath the Privilege not to be

It is hard for a Prince to esteem the Parts of a Minister without either
envying or fearing them; and less dangerous for a Minister to shew all the
Weakness than all the Strength of his Understanding.

There are so many things necessary to make up a good Minister, that no
wonder there are so few of them in the World.

There is hardly a rasher thing, than for a Man to venture to be a good

A Minister of State must have a Spirit of liberal Oeconomy, not a
restrained Frugality.

He must enlarge his Family-Soul, and suit it to the bigger Compass of a

A Prince should be asked, why he _will_ do a thing, but not why he _hath_
done it.

If the Boys were to choose a School-master, it should be one that would
not whip them; the same thing if the Courtiers were to choose a Minister.

They would have a great many Play-days, no Rods, and leave to rob
Orchards.----The Parallel will hold.


A Cunning Minister will engage his Master to begin with a small wrong
Step, which will insensibly engage him in a great one.

A Man that hath the Patience to go by Steps, may deceive one much wiser
than himself.

State-business is a cruel Trade; Good-nature is a Bungler in it.

_Instruments of_ STATE-MINISTERS.

Men in Business are in as much danger from those that work under them, as
from those that work against them.

When the Instruments bend under the Weight of their Business, it is like a
weak-legg'd Horse that brings his Rider down with him.

As when they are too weak they let a Man fall, so when they are too strong
they throw him off.

If Men of Business did not forget how apt their Tools are to break or
fail, they would shut up Shop.

They must use things called _Men_ under them, who will spoil the best
Scheme that can be drawn by Human Understanding.

Tools that are blunt cannot cut at all, and those that are sharp are apt
to cut in the wrong place.

Great difference between a good Tool and a good Workman.

When the Tools will be Workmen they cut their own Fingers, and every
body's else.

_Of the_ PEOPLE.

There is more Strength in _Union_ than in _Number_; witness the People
that in all Ages have been scurvily used, because they could so seldom
agree to do themselves Right.

The more the weaker, may be as good a Proverb as, The more the merrier.

A People can no more stand without Government, than a Child can go without
Leading-Strings: as old and as big as a Nation is, it can't go by itself,
and must be led. The _Numbers_ that make its Strength, are at the same
time the Cause of its Weakness and Incapacity of Acting.

Men have so _discovered themselves_ to _one another_, that Union is become
a mere Word, in reality impracticable.

They trust, or suspect, not upon Reason but ill-grounded Fame; they would
be at ease, saved, protected, _&c._ and give nothing for it.

The lower Sort of Men must be indulged the Consolation of finding fault
with those above them; without that, they would be so melancholy, that it
would be dangerous, considering their Numbers.

They are too many to be told of their Mistakes, and for that Reason they
are never to be cured of them.

The Body of the People are generally either so dead that they cannot move,
or so mad that they cannot be reclaimed: to be neither all in a Flame, nor
quite cold, requireth more Reason than great Numbers can ever attain.

The People can seldom agree to move together against a Government, but
they can to sit still and let it be undone.

Those that will be Martyrs for the People, must expect to be repayed only
by their _Vanity_, or their _Virtue_.

A Man that will head the Mob is like a Bull let loose, tyed about with
Squibs and Crackers.

He must be half mad that goeth about it, yet at sometimes shall be too
hard for all the wise Men in a Kingdom: For though good Sense speaketh
against Madness, yet it is out of Countenance whenever it meets it.

It would be a greater Reproach to the People that their _Favour_ is
short-liv'd, if their _Malice_ was not so too.

The Thoughts of the People have no regular Motion, they come out by

There is an accumulative Cruelty in a number of Men, though none in
particular are ill-natured.

The angry Buzz of a Multitude is one of the bloodiest Noises in the World.


An exact Administration, and good choice of proper Instruments doth
insensibly make the Government in a manner absolute without assuming it.

The best Definition of the best Government is, that it hath no
Inconveniences but such as are supportable; but Inconveniences there must

The Interest of the Governors and the Governed is in reality the same, but
by Mistakes on both Sides it is generally very differing. He who is a
Courtier by Trade, and the Country Gentleman who will be popular, right or
wrong, help to keep up this unreasonable Distinction.

There are as many apt to be angry at being well, as at being ill governed.
For most Men to be well governed must be scurvily used.

As Mankind is made, the keeping it in order is an ill-natured Office.

It is like a great Galley where the Officers must be whipping with little
Intermission, if they will do their Duty.

It is in a disorderly Government as in a River, the lightest Things swim
at the top.

A Nation is best to be judged by the Government it is under at the time.
Mankind is moulded to good or ill, according as the Power over it is well
or ill directed. A Nation is a Mass of Dough, it is the Government that
kneadeth it into Form.

Where Learning and Trade flourish in a Nation, they produce so much
Knowledge, and That so much Equality among Men, that the Greatness of
Dependencies is lost, but the Nation in general will be the better for it:
For if the Government be wise, it is the more easily governed; if not, the
bad Government is the more easily overturned, by Mens being more united
against it than when they depended upon great Men; who might sooner be
gained over and weakend by being divided.

There is more reason for allowing _Luxury_ in a Military Government than
in another; the perpetual Exercise of War not only excuseth but
recommendeth the Entertainments in the Winter. In another it groweth into
a Habit of uninterrupted Expences and idle Follies, and the Consequences
of them to a Nation become irrecoverable.


If the Clergy did not live like temporal Men, all the Power of Princes
could not bring them under the temporal Jurisdiction.

They who may be said to be of God Almighty's Houshold, should shew by
their Lives that he hath a well disciplined Family.

The Clergy in this Sense, of Divine Institution; that God hath made
Mankind so weak that it must be deceived.


It is a strange thing that the way to save Mens Souls should be such a
cunning Trade, as to require a skilful Master.

The time spent in praying to God, might be better employed in deserving
well from him.

Men think praying the easier Task of the two, and therefore choose it.

The People would not believe in God at all, if they were not permitted to
believe wrong in him.

The several Sorts of Religion in the World are little more than so many
spiritual Monopolies.

If their Interests could be reconciled, their Opinions would be so too.

Men pretend to serve God Almighty who doth not need it, but make use of
him because they need him.

Factions are like Pirates that set out false Colours, when they come near
a Booty Religion is put under Deck.

Most Mens Anger about Religion is as if two Men should quarrel for a Lady,
they neither of them care for.


A Prerogative that tendeth to the Dissolution of all Laws must be void in
itself, _felo de se_; for a Prerogative is a Law. The reason of any Law
is, that no Man's Will should be a Law.

The King is the Life of the Law, and cannot have a Prerogative that is
mortal to it.

The Law is to have a Soul in it, or it is a dead thing. The King is by his
Sovereign Power to add Warmth and Vigour to the meaning of the Law. We are
by no means to imagine there is such an Antipathy between them, that the
Prerogative, like a Basilisk, is to kill the Law, whenever it looks upon

The Prince hath very rarely use of his Prerogative, but hath constantly a
great Advantage by the Laws.

They attribute to the Pope indeed, that all the Laws of the Church are in
his Breast; but then he hath the Holy Ghost for his learned Counsel, _&c._

The People's Obedience must be _plain_, and without _Evasions_. The
Prince's Prerogative should be so too.

King _Charles the First_ made this Answer to the Petition of Right, (to
the Observation whereof he held himself obliged in Conscience, as well as
of his Prerogative.) "That the People's Liberties strengthen the King's
Prerogative, and the King's Prerogative is to defend the People's

That Prince's Declarations allow the Original of Government to come from
the People. Prerogative never yet pretended to repealing.

The first ground of Prerogative was to enable the Prince to do _good_, not
to do _every thing_.

If the ground of a King's desire of Power be his assurance of himself that
he will do no hurt by it; is it not an Argument for Subjects to desire to
_keep_ that which they will never _abuse_?

It must not be such a Prerogative as giveth the Government the Rickets;
all the Nourishment to go to the upper part, and the lower starved.

As a Prince is in danger who calleth a stronger than himself to his
Assistance; so when Prerogative useth _Necessity_ for an Argument, it
calleth in a stronger thing than itself. The same Reason may overturn it.
Necessity too is so plain a thing, that every body sees it, so that the
Magistrate hath no great privilege in being the Judge of it. Necessity
therefore is a dangerous Argument for Princes, since (wherever it is real)
it constitutes every Man a Magistrate, and gives as great a Power of
dispensing to every private Man, as a Prince can claim.

It is not so proper to say that _Prerogative_ justifieth _Force_, as that
_Force_ supporteth _Prerogative_. They have not been such constant
Friends, but that they have had terrible _Fallings_ out.

All Powers are of God; and between _Permission_ and _Appointment_, well
considered, there is no real difference.

In a limited Monarchy, Prerogative and Liberty are as jealous of one
another as any two neighbouring States can be of their respective

They ought not to part for small Bickerings, and must bear little
Jealousies without breaking for them.

Power is so apt to be insolent, and Liberty to be saucy, that they are
very seldom upon good Terms.

They are both so quarrelsome that they will not easily enter into a fair
Treaty. For indeed it is hard to bring them together; they ever quarrel at
a distance.

Power and Liberty are respectively managed in the World in a manner not
suitable to their Value and Dignity.

They are both so abused that it justifieth the Satires that are generally
made upon them. And

They are so in Possession of being misapplied, that instead of censuring
their being abused, it is more reasonable to wonder whenever they are
_not_ so.

They are perpetually wrestling, and have had their Turns when they have
been thrown, to have their Bones broken by it.

If they were not both apt to be out of Breath, there would be no living.

If Prerogative will urge Reason to support it, it must bear Reason when it
resisteth it.

It is a Diminution instead of a Glory, to be above treating upon equal
Terms with Reason.

If the People were designed to be the sole Property of the supream
Magistrate, sure God would have made them of a differing and subordinate
Species; as he hath the Beasts, that by the Inferiority of their Nature
they might the better submit to the Dominion of Mankind.

If none were to have Liberty but those who understand what it is, there
would not be many freed Men in the World.

When the People contend for their Liberty, they seldom get any thing by
their Victory but new Masters.

Liberty can neither be got, nor kept, but by so much Care, that Mankind
generally are unwilling to give the Price for it. And therefore, in the
Contest between Ease and Liberty, the first hath generally prevailed.

_Of_ LAWS.

Laws are generally not understood by three Sorts of Persons, _viz._ by
those that make them, by those that execute them, and by those that
suffer, if they break them.

Men seldom understand any Laws but those they _feel_.

Precepts, like Fomentations, must be rubbed into us; and with a rough Hand

If the Laws could speak for themselves, they would complain of the Lawyers
in the first Place.

There is more Learning now required to explain a Law made, than went to
the making it.

The Law hath so many Contradictions, and Varyings from itself, that the
Law may not improperly be called a Law-breaker.

It is become too changeable a thing to be defined: it is made little less
a _Mystery_ than the _Gospel_.

The Clergy and the Lawyers, like the Free-Masons, may be supposed to take
an Oath not to tell the Secret.

The Men of Law have a Biass to their calling in the Interpretations they
make of the Law.


The Parliaments are so altered from their original Constitution, that
between the Court and the Country, the House, instead of being united, is
like Troops of a contrary Party facing one another, and watching their

Even the well-meaning Men who have good Sense too, have their Difficulties
in an Assembly; what they offer honestly for a good End, will be skilfully
improved for an ill one.

It is strange that a gross Mistake should live a Minute in an Assembly;
one would expect that it should be immediately stifled by their discerning
Faculties. But Practice convinceth that a Mistake is no where better

In Parliaments, Men wrangle in behalf of Liberty, that do as little care
for it, as they deserve it.

Where the People in Parliament give a good deal of Money in exchange for
any thing from the Crown, a wise Prince can hardly have an ill bargain.
The present Gift begetteth more; it is a Politick kind of Generation; and
whenever a Parliament does not bring forth, it is the Unskilfulness of the
Government, that is the cause of the Miscarriage.

Parliaments would bind and limit one another, and enact that such and such
things shall not be made _Precedents_. There is not a word of Sense in
this Language, which yet is to be understood the Sense of the Nation, and
is printed as solemnly as if it was Sense.


The best Party is but a kind of a Conspiracy against the rest of the
Nation. They put every body else out of their Protection. Like the _Jews_
to the _Gentiles_, all others are the Offscowrings of the World.

Men value themselves upon their Principles, so as to neglect Practice,
Abilities, Industry, _&c._

Party cutteth off one half of the World from the other, so that the mutual
Improvement of Mens Understanding by conversing, _&c._ is lost, and Men
are half undone, when they lose the advantage of knowing what their
Enemies think of them.

It is like Faith without Works; They take it for a Dispensation from all
other Duties, which is the worst kind of _dispensing Power_.

It groweth to be the Master Thought; the Eagerness against one another at
home, being a nearer Object, extinguisheth that which we ought to have
against our foreign Enemies; and few Mens Understandings can get above
overvaluing the Danger that is nearest, in comparison of that more remote.

It turneth all Thought into talking instead of doing. Men get a habit of
being unuseful to the Publick by turning in a Circle of Wrangling and
Railing, which they cannot get out of: And it may be remarked, that a
_speculative_ Coxcomb is not only unuseful, but mischievous: A _practical_
Coxcomb under discipline may be made use of.

It maketh a Man thrust his Understanding into a Corner, and confine it
till by degrees he destroys it.

Party is generally an Effect of Wantonness, Peace, and Plenty, which beget
Humour, Pride, _&c._ and that is called Zeal and publick Spirit.

They forget insensibly that there is any body in the World but themselves,
by keeping no other Company; so they miscalculate cruelly. And thus
Parties mistake their Strength by the same reason that private Men
overvalue themselves; for we by finding fault with others, build up a
partial Esteem of ourselves upon the Foundation of their Mistakes: So Men
in Parties find faults with those in the Administration, not without
reason, but forget that they would be exposed to the same Objections, and
perhaps greater, if it was their Adversary's turn to have the
fault-finding part.

There are Men who shine in a Faction, and make a Figure by Opposition, who
would stand in a worse light, if they had the Preferments they struggle

It looketh so like _Courage_ (but nothing that is like is the same) to go
to the _Extream_, that Men are carried away with it, and blown up out of
their Senses by the wind of popular Applause.

That which looketh _bold_ is a great Object that the People can discern;
But that which is _wise_ is not so easily seen: It is one part of it that
it is not seen, but at the _End_ of a Design. Those who are disposed to be
wise too late, are apt to be valiant too early.

Most Men enter into a Party rashly, and retreat from it as shamefully. As
they encourage one another at first, so they betray one another at last:
And because every Qualification is capable of being corrupted by the
Excess, they fall upon the extream, to fix mutual Reproaches upon one

Party is little less than an Inquisition, where Men are under such a
Discipline in carrying on the common Cause, as leaves no Liberty of
private Opinion.

It is hard to produce an Instance where a Party did ever succeed against a
Government, except they had a good handle given them.

No original Party ever prevailed in a turn; it brought up _something
else_, but the first Projectors were thrown off.

If there are two Parties, a Man ought to adhere to that which he disliketh
least, though in the whole he doth not approve it: For whilst he doth not
list himself in one or the other Party, he is looked upon as such a
Straggler, that he is fallen upon by both. Therefore a Man under such a
Misfortune of Singularity, is neither to provoke the World, nor disquiet
himself, by taking any particular Station.

It becometh him to live in the Shade, and keep his Mistakes from giving
Offence; but if they are his Opinions, he cannot put them off as he doth
his Cloaths. Happy those who are convinced so as to be of the general

Ignorance maketh most Men go into a Party, and Shame keepeth them from
getting out of it.

More Men hurt others, they do not know why, than for any reason.

If there was any Party entirely composed of honest Men, it would certainly
prevail; but both the honest Men and the Knaves resolve to turn one
another off when the Business is done.

They by turns defame all _England_, so nobody can be employed that hath
not been branded: There are few Things so criminal as a Place.


The Court may be said to be a Company of well-bred fashionable Beggars.

At Court, if a Man hath too much Pride to be a Creature, he had better
stay at home: A Man who will rise at Court must begin, by creeping upon
All-four: A Place at Court, like a Place in Heaven, is to be got by being
much upon _one's Knees_.

There are hardly two Creatures of a more differing Species than the same
Man, when he is pretending to a Place, and when he is in Possession of it.

Mens Industry is spent in receiving the Rents of a Place, there is little
left for discharging the Duty of it.

Some Places have such a corrupting Influence upon the Man, that it is a
supernatural thing to resist it.

Some Places lye so fair to entertain Corruption, that it looketh like
renouncing a due Perquisite, not to go into it.

If a getting Fool would keep out of Business, he would grow richer in a
Court than a Man of Sense.

One would wonder that in a Court where there is so little Kindness, there
should be so much _whispering_.

Men must brag of kind Letters from Court, at the same time that they do
not believe one Word of them.

Men at Court think so much of their own Cunning, that they forget other

After a Revolution, You see the _same Men_ in the Drawing-room, and within
a Week the same _Flatterers_.


Wherever a Government knows _when_ to _show_ the Rod, it will not often be
put to _use_ it. But between the want of Skill, and the want of Honesty,
Faults generally either escape Punishment, or are mended to no Purpose.

Men are not hang'd for stealing Horses, but that Horses may not be stolen.

Wherever a Knave is not punished, an honest Man is laugh'd at.

A Cheat to the Publick is thought infamous, and yet to accuse him is not
thought an honourable part. What a Parodox! 'Tis an ill Method, to make
the Aggravation of the Crime a Security against the Punishment; so that
the Danger is not to _rob_, but not to _rob enough_.

Treason must not be _inlayed Work_ of _several Pieces_, it must be an
entire Piece of itself. _Accumulative_ in that case is a murdering Word,
that carrieth Injustice, and no Sense in it.

An _Inference_, though never so rational, should go no farther than to
justify a _Suspicion_, not so far as to inflict a _Punishment_. Nothing is
so apt to break with Stretching, as an _Inference_; and nothing so
ridiculous, as to see how Fools will abuse one.


_Of the_ WORLD.

It is from the Shortness of Thought, that Men imagine there is any great
Variety in the World.

Time hath thrown a Vail upon the Faults of former Ages, or else we should
see the same Deformities we condemn in the present Times.

When a Man looketh upon the Rules that are made, he will think there can
be no Faults in the World; and when he looketh upon the Faults, there are
so many he will be tempted to think there are no Rules.

They are not to be reconciled, otherwise than by concluding that which is
called _Frailty_ is the incurable _Nature_ of Mankind.

A Man that understandeth the World must be weary of it; and a Man who doth
not, for that Reason ought not to be pleased with it.

The Uncertainty of what is to come, is suck a dark Cloud, that neither
Reason nor Religion can quite break through it; and the Condition of
Mankind is to be weary of what we do know, and afraid of what we do not.

The World is beholden to _generous Mistakes_ for the greatest Part of the
Good that is done in it.

Our _Vices_ and _Virtues_ couple with one another, and get Children that
resemble both their Parents.

If a Man can hardly inquire into a Thing he undervalueth, how can a Man
of good Sense take pains to understand the World?

To understand the World, and to like it, are two things not easily to be

That which is called an _Able Man_ is a great Over-valuer of the World,
and all that belongeth to it.

All that can be said of him is, that he maketh the best of the General

It is the Fools and the Knaves that make the Wheels of the World turn.
_They_ are _the World_; those few who have Sense or Honesty sneak up and
down single, but never go in Herds.

To be too much _troubled_ is a worse way of over-valuing the World than
the being too much _pleased_.

A Man that steps aside from the World, and hath leisure to observe it
without Interest or Design, thinks all Mankind as mad as they think him,
for not agreeing with them in their Mistakes.


The serious Folly of wise Men in _over-valuing the World_, is as
contemptible as any thing they think fit to censure.

The first Mistake belonging to Business is the going into it.

Men make it such a Point of Honour to be fit for Business, that they
forget to examine whether Business is fit for a Man of Sense.

There is Reason to think the most celebrated Philosophers would have been
Bunglers at Business; but the Reason is because they despised it.

It is not a Reproach but a Compliment to Learning, to say, that _Great
Scholars_ are less fit for Business; since the truth is, Business is so
much a lower thing than Learning, that a Man used to the last cannot
easily bring his Stomach down to the first.

The Government of the World is a great thing; but it is a very coarse one
too, compared with the Fineness of Speculative Knowledge.

The Dependance of a great Man upon a greater, is a Subjection that lower
Men cannot easily comprehend.

Ambition hath no Mean, it is either upon _all four_ or upon _Tiptoes_.

Nothing can be humbler than Ambition, when it is so disposed.

Popularity is a Crime from the Moment it is sought; it is only a Virtue
where Men have it whether they will or no.

It is generally an Appeal to the People from the Sentence given by Men of
Sense against them.

It is stepping very low to get very high.

Men by Habit make irregular Stretches of Power, without discerning the
Consequence and Extent of them.

Eagerness is apt to overlook Consequences, it is loth to be stopt in its
Career; for when Men are in great haste, they see only in a straight Line.


Cunning is so apt to grow into Knavery, that an honest Man will avoid the
Temptation of it. But Men in this Age are half bribed by the Ambition of
circumventing, without any other encouragements. So proud of the
Character of being _able_ Men, that they do not care to have their
Dexterity confined.

In this Age, when it is said of a Man, He knows _how to live_, it may be
imply'd he is not very honest.

An honest Man must lose so many Occasions of Getting, that the World will
hardly allow him the Character of an Able one.

There is however more _Wit_ requisite to be an honest Man, than there is
to be a Knave.

The most necessary thing in the World, and yet the least usual, is to
reflect that those we deal with, may know how to be as arrant Knaves as

The Eagerness of a Knave maketh him often as catchable, as Ignorance
maketh a Fool.

No Man is so much a Fool as not to have Wit enough sometimes to be a
Knave; nor any so cunning a Knave, as not to have the Weakness sometimes
to play the Fool.

The Mixture of Fool and Knave, maketh up the parti-coloured Creatures that
make all the Bustle in the World.

There is not so pleasant a Quarry, as a Knave taken in a Net of his own

A Knave leaneth sometimes _so hard_ upon his Impudence, that it breaketh
and lets him fall.

Knavery is in such _perpetual Motion_, that it hath not always Leisure to
look to its own Steps; 'tis like sliding upon Scates, no Motion so smooth
or swift, but none gives so terrible a _Fall_.

A Knave loveth _Self_ so heartily, that he is apt to overstrain it: by
never thinking he can get enough, he gets so much less. His thought is
like Wine that fretteth with too much fermenting.

The Knaves in every Government are a kind of Corporation; and though they
fall out with one another, like all Beasts of Prey, yet upon occasion they
unite to support the common Cause.

It cannot be said to be such a Corporation as the Bank of _England_, but
they are a numerous and formidable Body, scarce to be resisted; but the
Point is, they can never rely upon one another.

Knaves go chain'd to one another like Slaves in the Gallies, and cannot
easily untie themselves from their Company. Their Promises and Honour
indeed do not hinder them, but other intangling Circumstances keep 'em
from breaking loose.

If Knaves had not foolish Memories, they would never trust one another so
often as they do.

Present Interest, like present Love, maketh all other Friendship look cold
to it, but it faileth in the holding.

When one Knave betrayeth another, the one is not to be blamed, nor the
other to be pitied.

When they complain of one another as if they were honest Men, they ought
to be laugh'd at as if they were Fools.

There are some Cunning-men who yet can scarce be called Rational
Creatures; yet they are often more successful than Men of Sense, because
those they have to deal with are upon a looser Guard; and their Simplicity
maketh their Knavery unsuspected.

There is no such thing as a venial Sin against Morality, no such thing as
a small Knavery: He that carries a small Crime easily, will carry it on
when it grows to be an Ox. But the little Knaves are the greater of the
two, because they have less the Excuse of Temptation.

Knavery is so humble, and Merit so proud, that the latter is thrown down
because it cannot stoop.

_Of_ FOLLY _and_ FOOLS.

There are five Orders of Fools, as of Building: 1. The Blockhead, 2.
Coxcomb, 3. Vain Blockhead, 4. Grave Coxcomb, and 5. The Half-witted
Fellow; this last is of the Composite Order.

The Follies of grave Men have the Precedence of all others, a ridiculous
Dignity, that gives them a Right to be laughed at in the first place.

As the masculine Wit is the strongest, so the masculine Impertinence is
the greatest.

The Consequence of a Half-Wit is a Half-Will, there is not Strength enough
in the Thought to carry it to the End.

A Fool is naturally recommended to our Kindness by setting us off by the
Comparison. Men are grateful to Fools for giving them the Pleasure of
contemning them.

But Folly hath a long Tail that is not seen at first: for every single
Folly hath a Root, out of which more are ready to sprout; and a Fool hath
so unlimited a Power of mistaking, that a Man of Sense can never
comprehend to what degree it may extend.

There are some Fools so low, that they are preferred when they are laught
at. Their being named putteth them in the List of Men, which is more than
belongeth to them.

One should no more laugh at a contemptible Fool, than at a dead Fly.

The Dissimulation of a Fool should come within the Statute of Stabbing. It
giveth no Warning.

A Fool will be rude from the Moment he is allowed to be familiar; he can
make no other use of Freedom than to be unmannerly.

Weak Men are apt to be _cruel_, because they stick at nothing that may
repair the ill Effect of their Mistakes.

Folly is often more cruel in the Consequence, than Malice can be in the

Many a Man is murthered by the well-meant Mistakes of his unthinking

A weak Friend, if he will be kind, ought to go no farther than Wishes; if
he proffereth either to say, or to do, it is dangerous.

A Man had as good go to Bed to a Razor, as to be intimate with a foolish

Mistaken Kindness is little less dangerous than premeditated Malice.

A Man hath not the Relief of being angry at the Blows of a mistaken

A busy Fool is fitter to be shut up than a downright Madman.

A Man that hath only Wit enough not to do Hurt, committeth a Sin if he
aimeth at doing Good.

His passive Understanding must not pretend to be active.

It is a Sin against Nature for such a Man to be meddling.

It is hard to find a Blockhead so wise as to be upon the Defensive; he
will be sallying, and then he is sure to be ill used.

If a dull Fool can make a Vow and keep it, never to speak his own Sense,
or do his own Business, he may pass a great while for a rational Creature.

A Blockhead is as ridiculous when he talketh, as a Goose is when it

The grating a Gridiron is not a worse Noise, than the jingling of Words is
to a Man of Sense.

It is Ill-manners to silence a Fool, and Cruelty to let him go on.

Most Men make little other use of their Speech than to give evidence
against their own Understanding.

A great Talker may be a Man of Sense, but he cannot be one, who will
venture to rely upon him.

There is so much Danger in Talking, that a Man strictly wise can hardly be
called a sociable Creature.

The great Expence of Words is laid out in _setting ourselves out_, or
_deceiving_ others; to _convince_ them requireth but a few.

Many Words are always either suspicious or ridiculous.

A Fool hath no Dialogue within himself, the first Thought carrieth him
without the Reply of a second.

A Fool will admire or like nothing that he understands, a Man of Sense
nothing but what he understands.

Wise Men gain, and poor Men live, by the Superfluities of Fools.

Till Follies become ruinous, the World is better with than it would be
without them.

A Fool is angry that he is the Food of a Knave, forgetting that it is the
End of his Creation.

_Of_ HOPE.

Hope is a kind Cheat; in the Minute of our Disappointment we are angry,
but upon the whole matter there is no Pleasure without it.

It is so much a pleasanter thing than Truth to the greatest Part of the
World, that it hath all their Kindness, the other only hath their Respect.

Hope is generally a wrong Guide, though it is very good Company by the
way. It brusheth through Hedge and Ditch till it cometh to a great Leap,
and there it is apt to fall and break its Bones.

It would be well if Hopes carried Men only to the top of the Hill, without
throwing them afterwards down the Precipice.

The Hopes of a Fool are blind Guides, those of a Man of Sense doubt often
of their Way.

Men should do with their Hopes as they do with tame Fowl, cut their Wings
that they may not fly over the Wall.

A _hoping_ Fool hath such terrible Falls, that his Brains are turned,
though not cured by them.

The _Hopes_ of a Fool are Bullets he throws into the Air, that fall down
again and break his Skull.

There can be no entire Disappointment to a wise Man, because he maketh it
a Cause of succeeding another time. A Fool is so unreasonably raised by
his _Hopes_, that he is half dead by a Disappointment: his mistaken Fancy
draweth him so high, that when he falleth, he is sure to break his Bones.


Anger is a better Sign of the Heart than of the Head; it is a breaking out
of the Disease of Honesty. Just Anger may be as dangerous as it could be
if there was no Provocation to it; for a Knave is not so nice a Casuist
but that he will ruin, if he can, any Man that blameth him.

Where Ill-nature is not predominant, Anger will be short-breathed, it
cannot hold out a long Course. Hatred can be tired and cloyed as well as
Love: for our Spirits, like our Limbs, are tired with being long in one

There is a Dignity in Good-sense that is offended and defaced by Anger.

Anger is never without an Argument, but seldom with a good one.

Anger raiseth Invention but it overheateth the Oven.

Anger, like Drink, raiseth a great deal of unmannerly Wit.

True Wit must come by Drops; Anger throweth it out in a Stream, and then
it is not likely to be of the best kind.

Ill Language punisheth Anger by drawing a Contempt upon it.


It is a dangerous Task to answer Objections, because they are helped by
the Malice of Mankind.

A bold Accusation doth at first draw such a general Attention, that it
gets the World on its side.

To a Man who hath a mind to find a Fault, an Excuse generally giveth
farther hold.

Explaining is generally half confessing.

Innocence hath a very short Style.

When a Jealousy of any kind is once raised, it is as often provoked as
cured by any Arguments, let them be never so reasonable.

When Laziness letteth things alone, it is a Disease; but when Skill doth
it, it is a Vertue.

Malice may help a Fool to aggravate, but there must be _Skill_ to know how
to extenuate.

To lessen an Object that at the first Sight giveth Offence, requireth a
dexterous Hand: There must be Strength as well as Skill to take off the
Weight of the first Impression.

When a Man is very unfortunate, it looketh like a saucy thing in him to
justify himself.

A Man must stoop sometimes to his ill Star, but he must never lie down to

The Vindications Men make of themselves to _Posterity_ would hardly be
supported by Good-Sense, if they were not of some Advantage to their own

The defending an ill Thing is more criminal than the doing it, because it
wanteth the Excuse of its not being premeditated.

An Advocate for Injustice is like a Bawd that is worse than her Client who
committeth the Sin.

There is hardly any Man so strict as not to vary a little from Truth when
he is to make an Excuse.

Not telling all the Truth is hiding it, and that is comforting or abetting
a Lye.

A long Vindication is seldom a skilful one.

_Long_ doth at least imply _Doubtful_ in such a Case.

A Fool should avoid the making an Excuse, as much as the committing a
Fault; for a Fool's Excuse is always a second Fault: and whenever he will
undertake either to hide or mend a thing, he proclaimeth and spoileth it.

_Of_ MALICE _and_ ENVY.

Malice is a greater Magnifying-Glass than Kindness.

Malice is of a low Stature, but it hath very long Arms. It often reacheth
into the next World, Death itself is not a Bar to it.

Malice, like Lust, when it is at the Height, doth not know Shame.

If it did not sometimes cut itself with its own Edge, it would destroy the

Malice can mistake by being _keen_ as well as by being _dull_.

When Malice groweth _critical_, it loseth its Credit.

It must go under the Disguise of Plainness, or else it is exposed.

Anger may have some Excuse for being blind, but Malice none: for Malice
hath time to look before it.

When Malice is overgrown, it cometh to be the highest degree of
Impertinence. For that reason, it must not be fed and pampered, which is
apt to make it play the fool. But where it is wise and steady, there is no
Precaution, that can be quite Proof against it.

Ill-will is seldom cured on a sudden, it must go off by degrees, by
insensible Transpiration.

Malice may be sometimes out of Breath, Envy never. A Man may make Peace
with Hatred, but never with Envy.

No Passion is better heard by our will, than that of Envy: No Passion is
admitted to have Audience with less Exception.

Envy taketh the Shape of _Flattery_, and that maketh Men hug it so close,
that they cannot part with it.

The sure way to be commended is to get into a Condition of being pitied.
For Envy will not give its leave to commend a Man, till he is miserable.

A Man is undone, when Envy will not vouchsafe to look upon him.

Yet after all, Envy doth Virtue as much good as hurt, by provoking it to
appear. Nay, it forcibly draweth out, and inviteth Virtue, by giving it a
Mind to be revenged of it.


The World is nothing but Vanity cut out into several Shapes.

Men often _mistake_ themselves, but they never _forget_ themselves.

A Man must not so entirely fall out with Vanity, as not to take its
Assistance in the doing great Things.

Vanity is like some Men who are very useful, if they are kept under; and
else not to be endured.

A little Vanity may be allowed in a Man's Train, but it must not sit down
at Table with him.

Without some Share of it, Mens Talents would be buried like Ore in a Mine

Men would be less eager to gain Knowledge, if they did not hope to set
themselves out by it.

It sheweth the Narrowness of our Nature, that a Man that intendeth any one
thing extreamly, hath not Thought enough lest for any thing else.

Our Pride maketh us over-value our Stock of Thought, so as to trade much
beyond what it is able to make good.

Many aspire to learn what they can never comprehend, as others pretend to
teach what they themselves do not know.

The Vanity of teaching often tempteth a Man to forget he is a Blockhead.

Self-conceit driveth away the suspecting how scurvily others think of us.

Vanity cannot be a Friend to Truth, because it is restrained by it; and
Vanity is so impatiently desirous of shewing itself, that it cannot bear
the being crossed.

There is a Degree of Vanity that recommendeth; if it goeth further, it

So much as to stir the Blood to do commendable Things, but not so much as
to possess the Brain, and turn it round.

There are as many that are blown up by the Wind of Vanity, as are carried
away by the Stream of Interest.

Every body hath not Wit enough to Act out of Interest, but every body hath
little enough to do it out of Vanity.

Some Mens Heads are as easily blown away as their Hats.

If the commending others well, did not recommend ourselves, there would be
few Panegyricks.

Mens Vanity will often dispose them to be commended into very troublesome

The desiring to be remember'd when we are dead, is to so little purpose,
that it is fit Men should, as they generally are, be disappointed in it.
Nevertheless, the desire of leaving a good Name behind us is so
honourable to ourselves, and so useful to the World, that good Sense must
not be heard against it.

Heraldry is one of those foolish Things that may yet be too much despised.

The Contempt of Scutcheons is as much a Disease in this Age, as the
over-valuing them was in former Times.

There is a good Use to be made of the most contemptible Things, and an ill
one of those that are the most valuable.


If Men considered how many Things there are that Riches cannot buy, they
would not be so fond of them.

The Things to be bought with Money, are such as least deserve the giving a
Price for them.

Wit and Money are so apt to be abused, that Men generally make a shift to
be the worse for them.

Money in a Fool's Hand exposeth him worse than a pyed Coat.

Money hath too great a Preference given to it by States, as well as by
particular Men.

Men are more the Sinews of War than Money.

The third part of an Army must be destroyed, before a good one can be made
out of it.

They who are of opinion that Money will do every thing, may very well be
suspected to do every thing for Money.


A little Learning _misleadeth_, and a great deal often _stupifieth_ the

Great Reading without applying it, is like Corn _heaped_ that is not
_stirred_, it groweth musty.

A learned Coxcomb dyeth his Mistakes in so much a deeper Colour: A wrong
kind of Learning serveth only to embroider his Errors.

A Man that hath read without judgment, is like a Gun charged with
Goose-shot, let loose upon the Company.

He is only well furnished with Materials to expose himself, and to mortify
those he liveth with.

The reading of the greatest Scholars, if put into a Limbeck, might be
distilled into a small quantity of _Essence_.

The Reading of most Men, is like a Wardrobe of old Cloaths that are seldom

Weak Men are the worse for the good Sense they read in Books, because it
furnisheth them only with more Matter to mistake.


Men that cannot entertain themselves want somebody, though they care for

An impertinent Fellow is never in the right, but in his being weary of

By that time Men are fit for Company, they see the Objections to it.

The Company of a Fool is dangerous as well as tedious.

It is flattering some Men to endure them.

Present Punishment attendeth the Fault.

A _following_ Wit will be welcome in most Companies; A _leading_ one lieth
too heavy for Envy to bear.

Out-doing is so near reproaching, that it will generally be thought very
ill Company.

Any thing that shineth doth in some measure tarnish every thing that
standeth next to it.

Keeping much Company generally endeth in playing the Fool or the Knave
with them.


Friendship cometh oftener by Chance than by Choice, which maketh it
generally so uncertain.

It is a Mistake to say a Friend can be bought.

A Man may buy a good Turn, but he cannot buy the Heart that doth it.

Friendship cannot live with Ceremony, nor without Civility.

There must be a nice Diet observed to keep Friendship from falling sick;
nay, there is more Skill necessary to keep a Friend, than there is to
reclaim an Enemy.

Those Friends who are above Interest are seldom above jealousy.

It is a Misfortune for a Man not to have a Friend in the World, but for
that reason he shall have no Enemy.

In the Commerce of the World, Men struggle little less with their Friends,
than they do with their Enemies.

_Esteem_ ought to be the ground of _Kindness_, and yet there are no
Friends that seldomer meet.

Kindness is apt to be as _afraid_ of Esteem, as that is to be _ashamed_ of

Our Kindness is greatest to those that will do what we would have them, in
which our Esteem cannot always go along.

Miscellaneous Thoughts AND REFLECTIONS.

[Sidenote: _Of Advice and Correction._]

The Rule _of doing as we would be done by_, is never less observed than it
is in telling others their Faults. But Men intend more to shew others that
they are free from the Fault, than to dissuade them from committing it.

They are so pleased with the prudent Shape of an Adviser, that it raiseth
the value they have of themselves, whilst they are about it.

Certainly, to give Advice to a Friend, either asked or unasked, is so far
from a Fault, that it is a Duty; but if a Man love to give Advice, it is
a sure sign that he himself wanteth it.

A Man whilst he is advising putteth his Understanding upon Tiptoes, and is
unwilling to bring it down again.

A weak Man had rather _be thought_ to know, than _know_, and that maketh
him so impatient to be told of a Mistake.

He who will not be the better for other Mens Faults, hath no cure left for
his own.

But he that can probe himself to cure his own Faults, will seldom need
either the Surgery of his Friends or of his Enemies.

[Sidenote: _Of Alterations._]

In a corrupted Age the putting the World in order would breed Confusion.

A rooted Disease must be _stroaked away_, rather than _kicked away_.

As soon as Men have Understanding enough to find a Fault, they have enough
to see the danger of mending it.

Desiring to have any thing mended, is venturing to have it spoiled: To
know when to let Things alone, is a high pitch of good Sense. But a Fool
hath an Eagerness, like a Monkey in a Glass Shop, to break every thing in
the handling.

_Curing_ and _Mending_ are generally meer Words of Art not to be relied
upon. They are set out in Bills, but the _Mountebanks_ only get by them.

[Sidenote: _Bashfulness._]

Great Bashfulness is oftener an Effect of Pride than of Modesty.

Modesty is oftner mistaken than any other Virtue.

[Sidenote: _Boldness._]

Wise Venturing is the most commendable Part of human Prudence.

It is the upper Story of Prudence, whereas perpetual Caution is a kind of
under-ground Wisdom that doth not care to see the Light.

It is best for great Men to shoot over, and for lesser Men to shoot short.

[Sidenote: _Borrowers of Opinions._]

Men who borrow their Opinions can never repay their Debts.

They are Beggars by Nature, and can therefore never get a Stock to grow
rich upon.

A Man who hath not a distinguishing Head, is safest by not minding what
any body sayeth.

He had better trust to his own Opinion, than spoil another Man's for want
of apprehending it.

[Sidenote: _Candour._]

It is some kind of Scandal not to bear with the Faults of an honest Man.

It is not loving Honesty enough to allow it distinguishing Privileges.

There are some decent Faults which may pretend to be in the lower Rank of
Virtues; and surely where Honour or Gratitude are the Motives, Censure
must be a good deal silenced.

[Sidenote: _Of Caution and Suspicion._]

Men must be saved in this World by their Want of Faith.

A Man that getteth Care into his Thoughts, cannot properly be said to
trade without a Stock.

Care and right Thought will produce Crops all the Year without staying for
the Seasons.

A Man is to go about his own Business as if he had not a Friend in the
World to help him in it.

He that relieth upon himself will be oppressed by others with Offers of
their Service.

All are apt to shrink from those that lean upon them.

If Men would think how often their own Words are thrown at their Heads,
they would less often let them go out of their Mouths.

Mens Words are Bullets that their Enemies take up and make use of against

A Man watches himself best when others watch him too.

It is as necessary for us to suppress our Reason when it offendeth, as our
Mistakes when they expose us.

In an unreasonable Age, a Man's Reason let loose would undo him.

A wise Man will do with his Reason as a Miser doth with his Money, hoard
it, but be very sparing in the Expence of it.

A Man that should call every thing by its right Name, would hardly pass
the Streets without being knock'd down as a common Enemy.

A Man cannot be more in the Wrong than to own without Distinction the
being in the Right.

When a Man is very kind or very angry, there is no sure Guard but Silence
upon that Subject.

A Man's Understanding is easily shoved out of its Place by warm Thoughts
of any kind.

We are not so much Masters of our Heat as to have enough to warm our
Thoughts, and not so much as to set them on fire.

A great Enemy is a great Object that inviteth Precaution, which maketh him
less dangerous than a mean one.

An old Man concludeth from his knowing Mankind, that they know him too,
and that maketh him very wary.

On the other hand, it must be allowed, that a Man's being deceived by
Knaves hath often this ill Effect, that it maketh him too jealous of
honest Men.

The Mind, like the Body, is subject to be hurt by every thing it taketh
for a Remedy.

There are some such very great Foreseers, that they grow into the Vanity
of pretending to see where nothing is to be seen.

He that will see at too great a distance, will sometimes mistake a Bush
for a Horse: The Prospect of a wise Man will be bounded.

A Man may so overdo it in looking too far before him, that he may stumble
the more for it.

And, to conclude, He that leaveth nothing to Chance will do few things
ill, but he will do very few things.

Suspicion is rather a Virtue than a Fault, as long as it doth like a Dog
that _watcheth_, and doth _not bite_.

A wise Man, in trusting another, must not rely upon his _Promise_ against
his _Nature_.

Early Suspicion is often an Injury, and late Suspicion is always a Folly.

A wise Man will keep his Suspicions muzzled, but he will keep them awake.

There can no Rules be given to Suspicion, no more than to Love.

Suspicion taketh Root, and beareth Fruit, from the moment it is planted.

Suspicion seldom wanteth Food to keep it up in Health and Vigour. It
feedeth upon every thing it seeth, and is not curious in its Diet.

Suspicion doth not grow up to an Injury till it breaketh out.

When our Suspicion of another Man is once discovered by him, there ought
to be an end of all further Commerce.

He that is never suspected, is either very much esteemed, or very much

A Man's _Interest_ is not a sufficient Ground to suspect him, if his
_Nature_ doth not concur in it.

A weak Man hath less Suspicion than a wise one, but when he hath it, he is
less easily cured.

The Remedies as often increase the Disease, as they do allay it; and a
Fool valueth himself upon suspecting at a venture.

[Sidenote: _Cheats._]

Many Men _swallow_ the being cheated, but no Man could ever endure to
_chew_ it.

Few Men would be deceived, if their Conceit of themselves did not help the
Skill of those that go about it.

[Sidenote: _Complaint._]

Complaining is a Contempt upon ones self:

It is an ill Sign both of a Man's Head and of his Heart.

A Man throweth himself down whilst he complaineth; and when a Man throweth
himself down, no body careth to take him up again.

[Sidenote: _Content._]

Content layeth Pleasure, nay Virtue, in a Slumber, with few and faint

It is to the Mind, like Moss to a Tree, it bindeth it up so as to stop its

[Sidenote: _Converts._]

The Impudence of a Bawd is Modestly, compared with that of a Convert.

A Convert hath so much to do to gain Credit, that a Man is to think well
before he changeth.

[Sidenote: _Desires._]

Men generally state their Wants by their Fancy, and not by their Reason.

The poor young Children are whipt and beaten by the old ones, who are much
more inexcusably impertinent.

Not having things, is a more proper Expression for a Man of Sense than his
wanting them.

Where Sense is wanting, every thing is wanting.

A Man of Sense can hardly want, but for his Friends and Children that have

Most Men let their Wishes run away with them.

They have no mind to stop them in their Career, the Motion is so pleasing.

To desire what belongeth to another Man is Misprision of Robbery.

Men are commanded not to covet, because when they do they are very apt to

[Sidenote: _Difficulty._]

A Difficulty raiseth the Spirits of a great Man, he hath a mind to wrestle
with it, and give it a Fall.

A Man's Mind must be very low, if the Difficulty doth not make a part of
his Pleasure.

The Pride of Compassing may more than compare with the Pleasure of

[Sidenote: _Dissembling._]

Nothing so ridiculous as a false Philosopher, and nothing so rare as a
true one.

Men take more pains to hide than to mend themselves.

[Sidenote: _Dreams._]

Mens Pride, as well as their Weakness, disposeth them to rely upon Dreams,
from their thinking themselves of such Importance as to have Warning of
what is to befal them.

The Enquiry into a Dream is another Dream.

[Sidenote: _Drunkenness._]

It is a piece of Arrogance to dare to be drunk, because a Man sheweth
himself without a Vail.

[Sidenote: _Experience._]

The best way to suppose what may come, is to remember what is past.

The best Qualification of a Prophet is to have a good Memory.

Experience maketh more Prophets than Revelation.

The Knowledge that is got without Pains, is kept without Pleasure.

The Struggling for Knowledge hath a Pleasure in it like that of Wrestling
with a fine Woman.

[Sidenote: _Extremes._]

Extremity is always ill, that which is good cannot live a Moment with it.

Any body that is Fool enough will be safe in the World, and any body that
can be Knave enough will be rich in it.

The generality of the World falleth into an insufficient _Mean_ that
exposeth them more than an _Extreme_ on either Side.

[Sidenote: _Faculties of the Mind._]

Though Memory and Invention are not upon good Terms, yet when the first is
loaded, the other is stifled.

The Memory hath Claws by which it holdeth fast; but it hath no Wings, like
the Invention, to enable it to fly.

Some Mens Memory is like a Box, where a Man should mingle his Jewels with
his old Shoes.

There ought to be a great Difference between the Memory and the Stomach;
the last is to admit every thing, the former should have the Faculty of

It is a nice Mean between letting the Thought languish for want of
Exercise, and tiring it by giving it too much.

A Man may dwell so long upon a Thought, that it may take him Prisoner.

The hardest thing in the World is to give the Thoughts due Liberty, and
yet retain them in due Discipline.

They are Libertines that are apt to abuse Freedom, and do not well know
how to bear Restraint.

A Man that excels in any one thing has a kind of arbitrary Power over all
that hear him upon that Subject, and no Man's Life is too short to know
any one thing perfectly.

The modern Wit is rather to set Men out, than to make them of any Use.

Some Men have acted Courage who had it not; but no Man can act Wit, if
Nature doth not teach him his Part. True Wit is always revenged upon any
false Pretender that meddleth with it.

Wit is the only thing that Men are willing to think they can ever have
enough of.

There is a happy Pitch of Ignorance that a Man of Sense might pray for.

A Man that hath true Wit will have Honour too, not only to adorn, but to
support it.

[Sidenote: _Families._]

The building up a Family is a Manufacture very little above the building a
House of Cards.

Time and Accidents are sure to furnish a Blast to blow it down.

No House wanteth new Tiling so often as a Family wants Repairing.

The Desire of having Children is as much the Effect of Vanity as of

We think our Children a Part of ourselves, though as they grow up they
might very well undeceive us.

Men love their Children, not because they are promising Plants, but
because they are theirs.

They cannot discredit the Plant, without disparaging the Soil out of which
it came.

Pride in this, as in many other things, is often mistaken for Love.

As Children make a Man poor in one Sense, so in another they inforce Care,
and that begetteth Riches.

Love is presently out of Breath when it is to go up Hill, from the
Children to the Parents.

[Sidenote: _Fear._]

'Tis good to have Men in Awe, but dangerous to have them afraid of us.

The Mean is so nice, that the hitting upon it is oftner the Effect of
Chance than of Skill.

A Degree of Fear sharpeneth, the Excess of it stupifieth.

It is as scandalous not to fear at some times, as it can be to be afraid
at others.

[Sidenote: _Flattery._]

Folly begets Want, and Want Flattery; so that Flattery, with all its Wit,
is the Grandchild of Folly.

Were it not for Bunglers in the manner of doing it, hardly any Man would
ever find out he was laughed at.

And yet, generally speaking, a Trowel is a more effectual Instrument than
a Pencil for Flattery.

Men generally do so love the Taste of Flattery, their Stomach can never be
overcharged with it.

There is a Right Reverend Flattery that hath the Precedence of all other
Kinds of it.

This Mitred Flattery is of all others the most exalted. It ever groweth in
proportion, and keepeth pace with Power. There is a noble Stroke of it in
the Articles sent to Princess _Mary_ from _Henry_ VIII. "Such is his
Majesty's _Gracious and Divine Nature_--shewing _Mercy_ to such as
_repentantly cry and call_ for the same."

[Sidenote: _Forgetfulness._]

Forgetting is oftner an Aggravation than an Excuse.

The Memory will seldom be unmannerly but where it is unkind.

[Sidenote: _Good-manners._]

There needeth little Care to _polish_ the Understanding; if true Means
were used to _strengthen_ it, it will polish itself.

Good-manners is such a Part of Good-sense, that they cannot be divided;
but that which a Fool calleth Good-breeding is the most unmannerly thing
in the World.

Right Good-manners require so much Sense, that there is hardly any such
thing in the World.

[Sidenote: _Good-nature._]

Good-nature is rather acted than practised in the World.

Good-nature to others is an inseparable Part of Justice.

[Sidenote: _Good-will._]

Good-will, like Grace, floweth where it listeth.

Men mean so very well to themselves, that they forget to mean well to any
body else.

[Sidenote: _Heat._]

Good-sense will allow of some intermitting Fevers, but then the Fit must
be short.

[Sidenote: _Honesty._]

He that can be quite indifferent when he seeth another Man injured, hath a
lukewarm Honesty that a wise Man will not depend upon.

He that is not concerned when he seeth an ill thing done to another, will
not be very eager to do a good one himself.

[Sidenote: _Hypocrisy._]

There is so much Wit necessary to make a skilful Hypocrite, that the
Faculty is fallen amongst Bunglers, who make it ridiculous.

[Sidenote: _Injury._]

An Injury may more properly be said to be postponed, than to be forgiven.

The Memory of it is never so subdued, but that it hath always Life in it.

The Memory of an Enemy admitteth no decay but Age.

Could we know what Men are most apt to remember, we might know what they
are most apt to do.

It is a general Fault that we dislike Men only for the Injuries they do to
us, and not for those they do to Mankind. Yet it will be hard to give a
good Reason why a Man who hath done a deliberate Injury to one, will not
do it to another.

The Memory and the Conscience never did, nor never will agree about
forgiving Injuries.

Nature is Second to the Memory, and Religion to the Conscience.

When the Seconds fight, the latter is generally disarmed.

[Sidenote: _Integrity._]

A Man in a corrupted Age must make a Secret of his Integrity, or else he
will be looked upon as a common Enemy.

He must engage his Friends not to speak of it; for he setteth himself for
a Mark to be ill used.

[Sidenote: _Justice._]

As far as keeping distance is a sign of Respect, Mankind hath a great deal
for Justice.

They make up in Ceremony what they want in Good-will to it.

Where the Generality are Offenders, Justice cometh to be Cruelty.

[Sidenote: _To Love, and be in Love different._]

To Love, and to be in Love with any thing, are Things as differing, as
good Sense and Impertinence.

When we once go beyond bare liking, we are in danger of parting with
Good-Sense; and it is not easy for Good-Sense to get so far as liking.

[Sidenote: _Lucre._]

When by habit a Man cometh to have a bargaining Soul, its Wings are cut,
so that it can never soar.

It bindeth Reason an Apprentice to Gain, and instead of a Director, maketh
it a Drudge.

[Sidenote: _Lying._]

The being kind to a Lyar, is abetting a Treason against Mankind.

A Man is to inform the first Magistrate, that he may be clap'd up.

Lies are embroidered with Promises and Excuses.

A known Lyar should be outlawed in a well ordered Government.

A Man that renounceth Truth, runneth away from his trial in the World.

The use of Talking is almost lost in the World by the habit of Lying.

A Man that doth not tell all the Truth, ought to be hanged for a Clipper.

Half the Truth is often as arrant a Lye, as can be made.

It is the more dexterous, but not the less criminal kind of Lying.

[Sidenote: _Names._]

Names to Men of Sense are no more than Fig-leaves; to the generality they
are thick Coverings that hide the Nature of Things from them.

Fools turn Good-Sense upon its Head, they take Names for Things, and
Things only for Names.

[Sidenote: _Partiality._]

It is a general Mistake to think the Men we like are good for every
thing, and those we do not, good for nothing.

[Sidenote: _Patience._]

A Man who is Master of Patience, is Master of every thing else.

He that can tell how to bear in the right Place, is Master of every body
he dealeth with.

[Sidenote: _Positiveness._]

Positive is the Perfection of Coxcomb, he is then come to his full Growth.

[Sidenote: _Prosperity._]

It sheweth Mens Nature, that when they are pampered in any kind, they are
very apt to play jadish Tricks.

One of the Tricks of any Creature that is wanton, is to kick what is next

[Sidenote: _Quiet._]

Every thing that doth us good is so apt to do us hurt too, that it is a
strong Argument for Men to be quiet.

If Men would think more, they would act less.

The greatest Part of the Business of the World, is the Effect of not

[Sidenote: _Reason and Passion._]

Most Men put their Reason out to Service to their Will.

The Master and the Man are perpetually falling out.

A third Man will hazard a beating, if he goes about to part them.

Nothing hath an uglier Look to us than Reason, when it is not of our side.

We quarrel so often with it, that it maketh us afraid to come near it.

A Man that doth not use his Reason, is a tame Beast; a Man that abuses it,
is a wild one.

[Sidenote: _Reputation._]

It is a self-flattering Contradiction, that wise Men despise the Opinion
of Fools, and yet are proud of having their Esteem.

[Sidenote: _Self-love._]

Self-love rightly defined, is far from being a Fault.

A Man that loveth himself right, will do every thing else right.

[Sidenote: _Shame._]

A Man who doth not think he is punished when he is blamed, is too much
hardened to be ever reformed.

The Court of Shame hath of late lost much of its Jurisdiction. It ought by
right both to judge in the first Instance, and to exclude all Appeals from

Shame is a Disease of the last Age, this seemeth to be cured of it.

[Sidenote: _Singularity._]

Singularity may be good Sense at home, but it must not go much abroad.

It is a Commendation to be that which a crowd of mistaken Fools call

There can hardly be a severer thing said to a Man in this Age, than that
he is like the rest of the World.

[Sidenote: _Slander._]

Slander would not stick, if it had not always something to lay hold of.

A Man who can allow himself the Liberty to slander, hath the World too
much at his Mercy.

But the Man that despiseth Slander deserveth it.

[Sidenote: _Speakers in Publick._]

Speakers in Publick should take more Pains to hold in their Invention than
to raise it.

Invention is apt to make such Sallies, that it cannot secure its Retreat.

He that will not make a Blot, will be pretty sure in his time to give a

A patient Hearer is a sure Speaker.

Men are angry when others do not hear them, yet they have more Reason to
be afraid when they do.

[Sidenote: _Time the loss of it._]

Mispending a Man's time is a kind of _self-homicide_, it is making Life to
be of no use.

[Sidenote: _Truth._]

Truth is not only stifled by Ignorance, but concealed out of Caution or
Interest; so if it had not a Root of Immortality, it must have been long
since extinguished.

[Sidenote: _Wisdom._]

The most useful Part of Wisdom is for a Man to give a good guess, what
others think of him.

It is a dangerous thing to guess partially, and a melancholy thing to
guess right.

Nothing would more contribute to make a Man wise, than to have always an
Enemy in his view.

A wise Man may have more Enemies than a weak one, but he will not so much
feel the weight of them. Indeed the being wise doth either make Men our
Friends, or discourage them from being our Enemies.

Wisdom is only a comparative Quality, it will not bear a single

[Sidenote: _Youth._]

A Man hath too little Heat, or Wit, or Courage, if he hath not sometimes
more than he should.

Just enough of a good thing is always too little.

Long Life giveth more Marks to shoot at, and therefore old Men are less
well thought of, than those who have not been so long upon the Stage.

Other Mens Memories retain the ill, whilst the good Things done by an old
Man, easily slip out of them.

Old Men have in some degree their Reprisals upon younger, by making nicer
Observations upon them, by virtue of their Experience.



[1] Upon the Words of his Declaration.

[2] Two Papers in Defence of the _Roman Catholick_ Religion, found in this
King's strong Box, in his own hand, and published by King _James_ II.

[3] The Dutchess of _Portsmouth_.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Character of King Charles the Second" ***

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