Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

What thynges he that is elected or appointed to be a gouernour of a publike weale ought to premeditate.

[ocr errors]

N the boke precedinge I haue (as I truste) sufficiently declared as wel what is to be called a very and righte publike weale, as also that there shulde be therof one prince and soueraigne aboue all other gouernours. And I haue also expressed my conceipte and opinion touching nat only the studies, but also the exercises concernynge the necessary education of noble men and other, called to the gouernance of a publike weale, in suche fourme as, by the noble example of their liues and the frute therof coming, the publike weale, that shal happen to be under their gouernance, shall nat faile to be accounted happy, and the autoritie on them to be emploied well and fortunately. Nowe will I traicte of the preparation of suche personages, whan they firste receyue any great dignitie, charge, or gouernance of the weale publike.

[ocr errors]

Francesco Patrizi, on whose work, as we have seen, 'The Governour' was modelled, says: 'Hactenus superioribus argumentis et exemplis satis abundè probatum sit, naturale imperium unius esse hominis, et unum longè melius imperare quàm plures: deinceps autem in sequente volumine ostendemus justum imperium unius esse regnum, et Regem bonum justè imperare.'-De Regno et Reg. Instit, lib. i. tit. 13. ed. 1582.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Firste, suche persones beinge nowe adulte, that is to saye, passed theyr childehode as well in maners as in yeres, if for their vertues and lernynge they happe to be called to receyue any dignitie, they shulde firste amoue all company from them; and in a secrete oratorie or priuie chambre, by them selfe assemble all the powers of their wittes to remembre these VII articles, whiche I haue nat of myn owne heed deuised, but excerped or gathered as well out of holy scripture as out of the warkes of other excellent writars of famouse memorie, as they shall sone perceiue whiche haue radde and perused good autours in greke and latine.a

First, and aboue all thing, let them consider that from god only procedeth all honour, and that neither noble progenie, succession, nor election be of suche force, that by them any astate or dignitie maye be so stablished that god beinge stered to vengeaunce shall nat shortly resume it, and perchance translate it where it shall like hymn. And for as moche as examples greatly do profite in the stede of experience, here shall it be necessarye to remembre the historie of Saule, whom god hym selfe elected to be the firste kynge of Israhel; that where Saul and god commaunded hym by the mouth of Samuel the Amalech. prophet, that for as moche as the people called Amalech had resisted the children of Israhel, whan they first departed from Egypt, he shuld therfore distroy al the countray, and slee men, women, and children, all beastis and catell, and that he shulde nothinge saue or kepe therof. But Saul after that he had vainquisshed Amalech, and taken Agag, kynge therof, prisoner, he hauing on hym compas

Disobedience.

• The following 'articles' are all, with one exception, taken from the Institutio Principis Christiani, of which the author had already spoken in terms of the highest approval.-See Vol. i. p. 95 and notes.

This was the starting point so strongly insisted upon by Erasmus. 'Quoties venit in mentem te principem esse, pariter succurrat et illud, te Christianum esse principem... Theologia Christianorum tria præcipua quædam in Deo ponit, summam potentiam, summam sapientiam, summam bonitatem. Hunc ternarium pro viribus absolvas oportet.'—Instit. Principis Christiani, pp. 26, 32, ed. 1519. See I Sam. ix. 16, 17.

4 See 1 Sam. xv. 3.

sion saued his life only. Also he preserued the best oxen, catel, and vestures, and all other thing that was fairest and of most estimation, and wolde nat consume it accordyng as god had commaunded him, saying to Samuel that the people kept it to the intent that they wolde make there with to all mightie god a solemne sacrifice. But Samuel, reprouing him, said, Better is obedience than sacrifice, with other wordes that do folowe in the historie. Finally, for that offence onely, al mightie 13 god abiected Saul, that he shulde no more reigne ouer Israhel, and caused Samuel furthe with to enoynte Dauid kynge, the yongest sonne of a poure man of Bethleem, named Isai," whiche was kepyng his father's shepe. Sens for ones neglecting the commandement of god, and that neither natural pitie, nor the intent to do sacrifice with that whiche was saued, mought excuse the transgression of goddes commandement nor mitigate his greuous displesure. Howe vigilant ought a christen man beingé in autoritie-howe vigilant (I say), industrious, and diligent ought he to be in the administration of a publike weale? Dreding alway the wordes that be spoken by eternall sapience to them that be gouernours of publik weales; All powar and vertue is gyuen of the lorde that of al other is highest, who shal examine your dedes, and

[ocr errors]

• See I Sam. xv. 22.

I.e. Jesse. Josephus calls him 'leoraîos, whence Isai.

• See 1 Sam. xvi. II.

Sapientie.

For the power is gyuen you of the lorde, and the strength from the hyghest, which shall trye your workes and searche out your ymagynacyons.

'Howe that ye, beynge offycers of hys kyngdome, haue not executed trewe ingement, haue not kept the law of rightuousnes, nor walked after his wil.

'Horrybly and that ryght soone shal he apere unto you; for an harde Judgement shall they haue that beare rule.

'Mercy is graunted unto the symple, but they that be in auctorite shall be sore punyshed.

"For God, which is Lorde ouer al, shal excepte no mans person, neyther shal he stande in awe of any mans greatnesse; for he hathe made the smal and great, and careth for all alyke.

But the myghtie shall haue the sorer punyshment.

'Unto you, therfore (O ye Kynges) do I speake, that ye maye learne wysdome and not go amysse.'-The Boke of Wysedome, cap. vi. ed. 1542.

16

, inserch your thoughtes. For whan ye were the ministres of his realme ye iuged nat uprightly, ne obserued the lawe of iustice, nor ye walked nat according to his pleasure. He shall shortly and terribly appiere unto you. For moste harde and greuous iugement shall be on them that haue rule ouer other. To the poure man mercy is graunted, but the great men shall suffre great tourmentes. He that is lorde of all excepteth no persone, ne he shall feare the gretnes of any man; for he made as wel the great as the smal, and careth for euery of them equally. The stronger or of more mighte is the persone, the stronger payne is to hym imminent. Therfore to you gouernours be these my words, that ye may lerne wisedom and fal nat.

This notable sentence is nat only to be imprinted in the hartes of gouernours, but also to be often tymes reuolued and called to remembraunce.

They shall nat thynke howe moche honour they receiue, but howe moche care and burdene. Ne they shall Erasmus. nat moche esteme their reuenues and treasure, considerynge that it is no buten or praie, but a laboriouse office and trauaile.a

Let them thynke the greatter dominion they haue, that therby they sustayne the more care and studie. And that therfore they muste haue the lasse solace and passetyme, and to sensuall pleasures lasse opportunitie.b

Also whan they beholde their garmentes and other ornamentes, riche and preciouse, they shall thynke what reproche

• 'Cum Principatum suscipis, ne cogita quantum accipias honoris, sed quantum oneris ac sollicitudinis, neque censum ac vectigalium modum expende, sed curam, nec arbitreris tibi prædam obtigisse, sed administrationem.'--Inst. Prin. Christ. p. 35, ed. 1519. It is evident that the word in the text is no other than the French butin, and we have already seen how fond the author was of introducing French words, ex. gr. esbatement, semblable, &c. ; though it is indisputable that a knowledge of French was at this time by no means uncommon, it was quite otherwise with German.

b 'Quo ditionem suscipis ampliorem, cave ne hoc tibi videare fortunatior: sed memineris te hoc plus curarum ac sollicitudinum in humeros recipere, ut minus jam indulgendum sit otio, minus dandum voluptatibus.'—Ibid. p. 35.

19

were to them to surmounte in that which be other mennes warkes, and nat theirs, and to be vainquisshed of a poure>. subiecte in sondry vertues, wherof they them selfes be the artificers.a

They that regarde them of whom they haue gouernaunce no more than shall appertaine to their owne priuate commo-2/ dities, they no better esteme them than other men doth their horsis and mules, to whom they empploye no lasse labour and diligence, not to the benefite of the sely bestis, but to their 2 owne necessities and singuler aduantage. ››

The most sure fundation of noble renome is a man to be of suche vertues and qualities as he desireth to be openly publisshed. For it is a fainte praise that is goten with feare or by flaterars gyuen. And the fame is but fume whiche is supported with silence prouoked by menacis.

a

'Cogita quæso quàm sit absurdum gemmis, auro, purpurâ, satellitio, reliquisque corporis ornamentis, ceris et imaginibus, planèque bonis non tuis, omnes tanto intervallo superare, veris animi bonis multis è mediâ fece plebis inferiorem conspici.' -Inst. Prin. Christ. p. 23.

b 'Qui suos eatenus curant, quatenus expedit propriis commoditatibus, ii non alio loco cives suos habent, quàm vulgus hominum equos et asinos. Nam hos quoque curant illi, sed omnem curationem suis, non illorum usibus metiuntur.'Ibid. p. 37.

[ocr errors]

• Richardson says that sely or seely silly, and that it means simple, guileless, innocent. He does not, however, remark that it is an epithet most frequently applied to animals. Thus Harrison says, 'Last of all the hare, not the least in estimation, because the hunting of that seelie beast is mother to all the terms, blasts, and artificiall deuises that hunters do use.'—Descript. of England, p. 226. And again, It is said that the sparhawke preieth not upon the foule in the morning that she taketh ouer euen, but as loth to haue double benefit by one seelie foule, doth let it go to make some shift for it selfe.'--Ibid. p. 227.

[ocr errors]

Ut bene audias, id certissimâ consequeris viâ, si qualem te cupis prædicari, talem temet ipsum exhibeas. Non est vera laus quæ extorquetur metu, aut tribuitur ab adulatoribus. Et male agitur cum famâ Principis, si hujus præsidium in silentio minis indicto situm est.'-Erasmus, ubi supra, p. 72.

e

[ocr errors]

Meaning idle conceit, vain imagination-Sir Francis Bacon uses the word in the same sense. It may be, Plato's great year, if the world should last so long, would have some effect, not in renewing the state of like individuals, (for that is the fume of those that conceive the celestial bodies have more accurate influences upon these things below, than indeed they have) but in gross.'-Works, vol. i. p. 188, ed. 1825.

« PreviousContinue »