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[Nowe,a lyke as it is more facile to repayre than to newe edifie, and also to amende than to make all agayne; so more soner is a publike weale reformed, than of newe constitute, and by the same thynge that it is constitute and conserued, by the same thynge shall it be refourmed and preserued. Where I saye conserued I meane kepte and mayntayned; where I saye preserued, I intende corroborate and defended againe anoiaunces. The thinge that I spake of is faithe, which I by the autoritie of Tulli, do name the fundation of iustyce.b For thereat nat onely dependeth all contractes, conuencions, commutations, entercoursis, mutuall intelligence, amitie, and beneuolence, whiche be contayned in the worde whiche of Tulli is called the societie or felowship of mankinde;c but also by due obseruinge of faithe malefactours be espied, iniuries be tried out and discussed, the propretie of thinges is adiuged. Wherfore to a gouernour of a publike weale, nothynge more appertayneth, than he hym selfe to haue faythe in reuerence, and mooste scrupulousely to obserue it. And where he fyndeth it to be contemned or neglected, and specially with addynge to periurye, moste sharpely, ye moste rigorousely and aboue all other offences punisshe it, without acceptaunce or fauour of any persone ; remembringe this sentence, Of faythe commeth loyaltie, and where that lacketh there is no suertie."]
men, thinking lightly of Oaths, will think lightly also of Duties and Obligations ; and the State will be dissolved by the destruction of all the ties which bind it members to it.'—El. of Mor. p. 478, 4th ed.
* The passage within brackets is omitted in all the subsequent editions. D. Fundamentum est autem justitiæ fides.'-De Off. lib. i. cap. 7.
c Societas hominum inter ipsos, et vitæ quasi communitas.'--De Off. lib. cap. 7.
1 The Editor has in vain endeavoured to trace any authority for this sentence.' At first sight, indeed, it would seem to be a translation of a Latin or French distich, but the copious collection of M. Le Roux de Lincy does not contain any couplet which exactly corresponds. Several of the works mentioned in the Bibliographie Parémiologique of M. Duplessis have also been consulted, but a pretty careful search has not yielded anything precisely analogous. And on a due consideration of the whole passage, the conclusion seems almost inevitable that Sir
It is also no litle reproche unto a man whiche estemeth honestie, to be lyte in makynge promise ; or whan he hath promised, to breke or neglecte it. Wherfore no thynge aught to be promised whiche shulde be in any wise contrary to Plutarchus Justyce. On a tyme one remembred kyng Agesiin Apo
laus of his promise. By god, sayde he, that is trouthe phthegma.
if it stande with iustyce ; if nat, I than spake, but I promised nat.
But nowe at this present tyme we may make the exclamation that Seneca dothe, sayenge, O the foule and dishonest Seneca de
confession of the fraude and mischiefe of mankynde ; benefi. iii.
nowe a dayes seales be more set by than soules.b Alas! what reproche is it to christen men, and reioysinge to Turkes and Sarazens, that nothing is so exactely obserued amonge them as faithe, consistynge in laufull promise and
Thomas Elyot himself composed this epigrammatic sentence with a view to creating a more durable impression upon his readers. Occleve, however, who wrote in the reign of Henry V., has a stanza which is worth quoting in this place on account of its very close reseml»lance.
• Castels by feithe dreden none assailyng,
By feithe the citees stonden unwerreide
De Reg. Prin. p. 80, ed. 1860. Occleve's poem was merely a metrical translation of a Latin work entitled di Regimine Principum, written in the middle of the thirteenth century by Egidio Colonna, an Italian ecclesiastic, who was patronised by Philip III. of France, and appointed by him tutor to his son, who afterwards succeeded to the throne and was known as Philip le Bel. Colonna's book was also translated into French by Henri Goethals, otherwise called Henri de Gand, from the place of his birth. In this latter version, which was printed for the first time in 1517, the corresponding passage to that quoted from Occleve is as follows.
"Par foy gardee sont les chasteaux gardez
Le Mirouer Exemplaire, fol. cxxv. b. Φαμένου δέ τινός ποτε προς αυτόν, Ωμολόγηκας και πολλάκις το αυτό λέγοντος, Ναι δητα, εί γ έστι δίκαιον, έφη, ει δε μή, έλεξα μεν, ώμολόγησα δε ου.-Plut. Apophth. Lacon.
b. O turpem humano generi fraudis ac nequitiæ publicæ confessionem ! annul nostris plus quàm animis creditur.'--De Benef. lib. iii. cap. 15.
couenaunt. And amonge christen men it is so neglected, that hit is more often tymes broken than kept. And nat onely sealynge (whiche Seneca disdayned that it shulde be more sette by thanne soules) is uneth sufficient, but also it is nowe come into suche a generall contempt that all the lerned men in the lawes of this realme, whiche be also men of great wisedome, can nat with all their study deuise so sufficient an instrument, to bynde a man to his promyse or couenaunt, but that there shall be some thinge therein espied to brynge it in argument if it be denyed. And in case that bothe the
• This characteristic of the Turks in their dealings with one another (for it was certainly not displayed in their intercourse with Christians) is confirmed by another writer at the end of the 16th century, who says, “The third precept of the Turkes Lawe is deriued out of the Lawe of Nature, and consenteth also with the rules of Christianitie. Both which do will That no man do that unto another which they would not have done unto themselues. Uppon this commaundement they do imply thus much, that euerie man is bound to carrie himselfe towards his neighbour with all kinde of pietie, faithfulnes, and amitie .... that they use loyaltie, plainnes, and good dealing one to another without fraud or dissimulation. .... Besides, if anie man do chaunce to be tempted to hurt or defraud another, and that he do finde his thoughts and cogitations enclining and yeelding thereunto, he is commaunded by this Law presently to bethinke himse!fe, and to enter into this consideration, that if another should intend the like iniurie and purpose the like matter against him, whether he could or would be contented (without any impatiencie and with a quiet minde) to suffer and endure it..... Upon the equitie of this commaundement (as it seemeth) is the ciuill Justice of the Turkes for the most part and in most caseş grounded . . . . So precise and upright is the law and religion of the Turkes in this behalfe, teaching them to haue a speciall regard of iustice and equitie in all their actions and dealings between man and man.' The writer, however, is careful to add that towards Christians 'in most of their actions they do make shew that they haue little regard of that iustice, equitie, or humanitie, which is so commended unto them in this commaundement.'--Policy of the Turkish Empire, pp. 26, 27, ed. 1597.
→ This, no doubt, refers to the practices which a very few years afterwards led to the passing of the famous Statute of Uses, 27 Hen. VIII. cap. 10. It had, for instance, become a common practice for persons by means of conveyances to uses and declarations of last will to do that which the law did not permit, viz. to effect the disposition and devise of land by will. Mr. Reeves says, “Covenants to raise uses were still in practise, notwithstanding they had been reprobated by judicial opinions of the courts of law in the last reign. Uses were originally a matter of invention, and they had not been so long canvassed in our courts as to preclude every private person from persisting in such opinions as his fancy or judgment
parties be equall in estimation or credence, or els he that denyeth superiour to the other, and no witnesses deposeth on knowlege of the thinge in demaunde, the promise or couenaunt is utterly frustrate. Which is one of the princypall decayes of the publike weale, as I shall traite therof more largely here after. And here at this tyme I leaue to speke any more of the partes of that moste royall and necessary vertue called Justyce.
Of the noble vertue fortitude, and of the two extreme vices, Audacitie
It is to be noted that to hym that is a gouernoure of a publike weale belongeth a double gouernaunce, that is to saye, an
might have dictated even in opposition to one or two declarations from the judges. With these sentiments many still advised them as sure conveyances, and as such they were practised all through this reign till at length they obtained a degree of legal recognition ... Before the question of a covenant was settled, and while men were indulging themselves in every contrivance to maintain these secret methods of conveying their estates, the conveyance by lease and release was devised by Serjeant Moore. This is said to have been framed by that ingenious lawyer for the satisfaction of the Lord Norris, who wanted to conceal from his family the settlement of his estate.'-Hist. Eng. Law, vol. iii. pp. 385-7.
* But, as Lord Coke says, “Many times juries, together with other matter, are much induced by presumptions; whereof there be three sorts, viz. violent, probable, and light or temerary. Violenta præsumptio is manie times piena probatio. So it is in the case of a charter of feoffment, if all the witnesses to the deed be dead (as no man can keep his witnesses alive, and time weareth out all men) then violent presumption, which stands for a proofe, is continuall and quiet possession; for ex diuturnitate temporis omnia præsumuntur solenniter esse acta. Also the deed may receive credit per collationem sigillorum scripturæ, &c., et super fidem cartarum, mortuis testibus, erit ad patriam de necessitate recurrendum.'- Co. Lit. 6 b.
b In this and the following chapter the author has evidently availed himself largely of the essay de Fortitudine of Pontanus, an Italian scholar, to whose works, as will be seen hereafter ( post, p. 287), Sir Thomas Elyot makes a more
interior or inwarde gouernaunce, and an exterior or outwarde gouernaunce. The firste is of his affectes and passions, which do inhabite within his soule, and be subiectes to reason. The seconde is of his children, his seruauntes, and other subiectes to his autoritie. To the one and the other is required the vertue morall called fortitude, whiche as moche as it is a vertue is a Mediocritie or meane betwene two extremities, the one in surplusage, the other in lacke. The surplusage is called Audacitie, the lacke Timorositie or feare. I name
Audacitie. that Audacitie whiche is an excessife and inordinate truste to escape all daungers, and causeth a man to do suche actes as are nat to be ieoparded. Timorositie is as well
direct allusion. According to Hallam, the essay in question with some others was published in 1490. Erasmus, in his Ciceronianus, declares that Pontanus so handled his subjects that it is difficult to say whether he was a Christian or not. • Tractat materias profanas, quasique locos communes, de Fortitudine, de Obedientiâ, de Splendore, quæ tractata facillimè nitescunt, atque ex se facile suppeditant sententiarum copiam, easque sic tractat, ut ægrè possis agnoscere Christianus fuerit nec
Similiter temperat stylum in libello de Principe.'-Opera, tom. i. col. 1019. ed. 1703. For the purpose of comparison, the Editor has printed in the notes those passages of the de Fortitudine from which it is obvious that Sir Thomas Elyot had borrowed his ideas. The edition of the works of Pontanus which ha been consulted for this purpose is that in three octavo volumes published by Aldus at Venice in 1518.
• This is evidently borrowed from Aristotle's definition : Nepl uży obv pólovs και θάρρη ανδρεία μεσότης των δ' υπερβαλλόντων και μεν τη αφοβία ανώνυμος (πολλά δ' έστιν ανώνυμα), ο δ' εν τω θαρρείν υπερβάλλων θρασύς, ο δε τω μεν φοβείσθαι υπερβάλλων τη δε θαρρείν ελλείπων δειλός.-Eth. Nicom. lib. ii. cap. 7, which was also adopted by: Pontanus who says, 'Est igitur virtutis hujus proprium affectus hos moderari, ac sub ratione continere, quo medium retinere possit, à quo medio. critas dicta est. Etenim fortitudo cum sit virtus, mediocritas sit quædam oportet. Medii autem ea vis ac natura est, ut in neutram extremorum partem propendat. Ab utroque enim recedit, quando utrumque inæquabile est. Quippe cum alteri exsuperantia, alteri defectus insit.'--Opera, tom. i. fo. 51 b, ed. 1518.
5 Ο δε το θαρρείν υπερβάλλων περί τα φοβερά θρασύς. Δοκεί δε και αλαζών είναι και θρασύς και προσποιητικός άνδρείας.-Eth. Nu. lib. iii. cap. 7 (1ο). Pontanus says, “Timiditati contraria est audacia, quando illa nimium metuit, contra hæc nimium confidit, atque etiam audet. Est autem audacis proprium, et antequàm periculum adeat, et postquàm adiit, supra quàm satis est confidere.”—Pontanus, ubi supra, fo. 62.