The mirrour of friendship: both hovv to knovve a Perfect friend, and how to choose him.

With a briefe treatise, or caueat, not to trust in worldly prosperitie.

Translated out of Italian into English by Thomas Breme Gentleman.

Imprinted at London by Abel Iesses, dwelling in Sermon lane, neere Paules chayne. 1584.

[blazon or coat of arms of Thomas Kirton of Thorpe Mandeville]

To the worshipfull Mai­ster Thomas Kyrton esqui­er, chiefe common Sergeant of the cit­tye of London, A I. wisheth increase of world­ly prosperity, and after this life, that he may enioy the heauenly felicity.

GReat is the force of Ver­tue, (worshipfull) which causeth those that there­with are beautified, ofte times to be praised, lo­ued, and wondred at: e­uen of such as neuer sawe them. Among which golden number (for there be not ma­ny such now liuing in this our iron age) I cannot but deseruedly account your wor­ship: hauing heard you so notably com­mended and well spoken of, not so much for your very good naturall inclination, as for your other extraordinary dispositi­ons of vertue: and namely for your liberal­tie, curtesie, and affablenesse towards all sortes and degrees of people. These with o­ther your honest and rare qualities: as your vpright dealinge and iuste demeanure [Page]in ciuill affaires, are meanes that neuer faile to purchace fauour among the wel inclinans: and therefore being in you both so manifest and manifold, they cannot but giue grace among the wel disposed. In consideration whereof, I among the rest (as one of the most that may doe least) haue reuerenced your name, and often haue wished some iuste occasion to befall me whereby I might finde the meanes to testi­fie that good will in open action towards your worshippe, which along time in se­crete cogitation and thought I haue borne to so good a Gentleman. And now (in a happie time be it spoken) I haue taken opportunity, as conueniently it fell out, in signification of my foresaid goodwyl which is far inferiour vnto my slender and weake abillity, to vndertake the presen­ting of your worship with this small dis­course, being a mirrour, or looking glasse, wherein all are aduertised and taughte, not only what dueties of humanitie the most excellent name of friendshippe doth mutually require; and would continually [Page]to be practised among men: but also what course a man is to keepe and take in the election and choyse of a friend: Wherein such as be wise will (no doubt) be circum­spect: knowing that a faithfull and in­ward friend is to be reckoned one of the most precious ornaments and necessary in­struments belonging to this our variable life, and that without it (no more then the body of man without sinewes and ioynts the societie of men cannot consist. Thus much in breuitie, touching the argument of this booke, by way of induction to the treatise it selfe: which because it will sufficiently commend it selfe to those that be of iudgment able to discerne, I will con­ceale whatsoeuer I might most iustly re­cord in praise thereof. Beseeching your worship, whome (among all other) the rea­sons afore said haue moued me to choose for the countenancing of the same, being (I must needes confesse) in respect of the valure vnworthy, but in consideration of the vse most worthy to be dedicated vnto your worship: perswading my selfe, that [Page]you are none of those that esteeme the price of thinges by their outward barke, but by the inward pith: for the eie may faile in iudging, but the minde (if it be not distempered) doth sildome misse. Re­ceiue this litile treatise therfore (I beseech you) with fauour answerable to my good will, and as your leasure shall serue, be­stowe nowe and then an houre or twaine in the reading therof: which if it please you to doe, I doubt not but you will like well of the labour: and besides the honest recrea­tion which it affoordeth, applye what your iudgment maketh choise of, vnto your priuate vse, And thus wishing prosperi­tie to your worshippe, acceptation to this my gifte, and a good opinion of the giuer. I conclude: hoping that mine ho­nest wish shall not bee voyd of an happie issue and successe.

Your worships, most humble to command, Abel leffes.

A Preface to the gen­tle Reader.

GOod Reader, considering that in these dayes there is such vnsteady friendship amongst many, that it is hard to finde a perfect and true friend: for now friendly wordes are common, but when friendship commeth to the touch or proofe, the alteration is maruai­lous: yea and sometimes so daungerous that of friendes in wordes they will become enimies in deedes: for many that will be accounted as friendes, if a storme of aduerfitie or a tempest of troubles fall out to those they haue pro­fessed friendship vnto, they vtterly withdrawe their good wils, and become so cold, that no regard is had at all of their former professed good wils. I haue therfore in breife: discourse shewed thee the true duetie of one friend to a nother: and partly howe to knowe, and chose a good & perfect friend, and also not to trust in the prosperities of this world: which I desire may be vnfainedly practised, and followed by those that seeke to preferre vertuous, honest, and lawfull amitie. Thus I com­mit you to the discourse, intrea­ting thereof as follow­eth.

A moſt excellent deſ …

A most excellent descri­ption vvhat one true and per­fect friend ought to doe for another. Also how to choose such a friend, with most perfect councells how to gouerne thy selfe in securitie: both pleasant to reade, and profitable to followe.

THe famous philosopher Plato, being asked by his scholers, why he went so often from A­thens into Sicilia, the way being long, and the sea very tem­pestuous, and perillous to trauerse and passe: he answered them: the oc­casion that moues me to goe and come so often from Athens into Sicilia is for no other cause, but onely to see my friende Phocion, a man very excel­lent in his works and learning: wise in his sayings, and iust and true in his wordes: and also for that he is my great friend, and enimie to vice, and a louer and follower of vertue, I goe [Page]willingly to ayde him to my power, and to consult with him of all things that I know. And further he sayd: you ought to knowe, my good schollers, that a good Philosopher, or wise man, to visite and succour his friends, to practise and conferre with him, ought to estéeme the voiage little, and the [...]: yea though he should saile ouer the sea, or should iourney o­uer all the land. Apollonius Ti­aneus a nota­ble philoso­pher. Appollonius Tianeus parted from [...], passed through all Asia, did saile ouer the great floud Nylus, Nilus a famous Riuer in Egipt. endured the coldes of the mount Caucasus, The moūtaine Caucasus, a fa­mous moun­taine extreame colde. & suffered the great hoards of the Ryphean mountaines, The Riphean mountaine ex­treame hoate. passed the landes of the Massagets, entred into the great India, making this long peregrination & trauel for no other respect, but to visite and conferre with Hyarchos the Philosophor, this great friend Agesilaus, sometime a famous Captaine among the Greekes, hauing knowledge that the king Hy­tarius did hold prisoner another Cap­taine [Page]his very friend, leauing and set­ting apart al his affaires and trauels thorough infinite countries, till he came to the king, and after most hum­ble and reuerent salutation sayd these wordes: I beseech thee most renow­ned king, that it may please thée to pardon Mynotus, my singular friend, and thy humble subiect: and all that it shall please thee in fauour to doe for him, I shall and will account it done to myselfe. And I assure thée, O king, thou canst not chastice, or punish his person, but that thou shalt giue vnto me feeling of the lyke torment, that thou giuest or causest to be done to him. The king Herode, after that Marcus Antonius was vanquished by the Emperor Augustus, Marcus Anto­nius a noble Romaine and of great aucto­ritie. he came to Rome, and set his crowne at the féete of Augustus;, and with a bolde hearte spake vnto him these words: thou shalt now know, O Augustus, if thou doest not already knowe it, that if Marcus Antonius had rather [Page]beléeued me then his friend Cleopa­tra, Cleopatra Queene of E­gipt after the death of Mar­cus Antonius, enclosed her self in a tombe full of liue ser­pents, & so en­ded her life, for the great loue shee bare vnto Marcus Anto­nius her louer. thou shouldest haue prooued how great an enimie he had béene to thée. And thou shouldest likewise haue knowen, how great a friend I had béene to him, as yet I am: but he as a man yt would rather gouerne himselfe by the will of a woman, then be ledde by reason and wisedome, he tooke of me mony, and of Cleopatra councell: and sée here my Realme, my person and my Crowne here at thy féete, which I offer willingly to thée to dispose at thy will and pleasure: but with this consideration, O inuincible Augustus, that no punishment or hurt be done, vpon my Lord and friend Marcus Antonius. For a true friend will not forsake his friend, not for the perill of death, nor after his death, be forgetfull or vnmindfull of him, although his person be absent. By these examples and many other, that I could bring, it maybe conside­red, what fayth and fidelytie one true [Page]friend oweth to an other, and what pe­rils one of them ought to aduenture for an other: for it is not sufficient, that one friend be sory for an other, for their mishaps or euill fortunes, but to put them selues euen to the daunger of death, rather then to faile his friend in his extreame néed.

Hée then of good right ought to be called a friend, and esteemed as true and perfect, that dothe willingly offer, ¶ Note how to know a per­fect friend. departe, and giue to his friend those things that he lacketh, before he as­keth his ayde: and yt spéedely commeth to succor & helpe his friend, béeing in peril, without calling, or sending for. And therefore there is not, nor can not be in this world, better friendshippe, thē this that I haue spoken of, which is that commeth with a frée heart of himselfe to ayde his friend in necessi­tie, and to succor him when he is in griefe or sorrow: further we ought to know, that to continue and make per­fect friendship, thou oughtest not to [Page]enter into friendshippe with many: following the counsell that Seneca the Philosopher gaue to his friend Lu­cillus, willing him to be the onely friend to one, and enimie to none: for the number of friends causeth greate importunity, the which causeth per­fect amity to diminish for considering well the liberty of our hearte, it is impossible, that one man should, or can conforme or dispose his nature and condition to the will and liking of many: nor that many should con­forme themselues to the desire and li­king of one. Tully and Salust were two Orators in Roome, very reno­med amongst the Romaines: which two Orators were mortall enimies: and during their enimities, Tully had for his friendes all the Senators in Roome, and Salust had no other friend in Roome but Marcus Antonius: and one day these two Orators, being in contention in wordes togither, Tully with great disdaine did reproch [Page] Salust, saying vnto him: what canst thou doe, or enterprise in Roome a­gainst me? for wel thou knowest, that in all Roome thou hast to thy friend but onely Marcus Antonius, and that I haue in Roome no enimie but him. Salust, made him a ready answere: thou makest great bragges, O Tully, for that thou hast but one e­nimie, mocking me, that I haue but one friend: but I hope in the immor­tall gods, that all thy friends shall not be able to defend thée from destructiō, and that this one friend of mine if all be of power sufficient to kéepe mée from daunger against thée and all thy adherents: and so it came to passe within fewe daies after, that Marcus Antonius caused Tully to be slaine, and did aduance Salust to great auc­tority and honour. A friend may part to another body with all that he hath, as bread, wine, golde, siluer, and all o­ther his temporal goods, but not ye hart: for that can not be parted nor giuen [Page]to more then one: for this is true and certaine: many hold it for great glory to haue many friendes, but if they consider to what purpose: such a number of friendes serue for no other cause, but to eate, drinke, walke, and talke together: not to succor them in their necessities, with their goods, fa­uour and credits, nor brotherly to re­proue them of their vices and faults, where in truth, where is a perfect a­mite, neither my friend to me, nor I to my friend ought neuer to dissemble but one to tell another their vices and faults: A perfect friend a great measure. for in this world is not founds so great a treasure that may be com­pared to a true and perfect friend, considering that to a true and assured friend, a man may discouer the secrets of his hearte, and recounte to him all his griefes, trust him with things touching his honour, and deliuer him to keep his goods and treasures, which will sucour vs, in our paines and tra­uels, councell vs in all perrilles [Page]and daungers, reioyce with vs in our prosperityes, and will be sorrowfull with vs in our aduersities, and disgra­ces of fortune. Finally, I conclude, that a faithfull friend doth neuer fayle to ayde vs during his life, nor to com­plaine & mourne for vs after our death. I agrée that gold and siluer is good, and parents and kinred, but farre better is true friends, without comparison: for that all other things cannot helpe vs in our necessity, if by fortune it happen that we be plonged in trou­bles, but riches many times doth danger vs, yea & doth further increase our perill, and deceiueth vs, ma­king vs to enterprise vnprofitable at­tempts, leading vs to the toppes of craggy mountaynes, from which, we fall in great perrill, and perpetuall ruine: but a true friend séeing or hea­ring his friend in daunger or heaui­nes doth minister to him of his goods, trauell and daunger his person, takes long and paynfull voiages, enters into [Page]debates and speches, and doth hazard his person, onely to helpe and release his friend out of perill, with suche a pure affection & amitie, that he would yet doe more for him if it were in his power: hauing then presupposed that it is necessary to choose a friend, & only to vse him alone, great consideration is to be had in the choyce and election of such a one, least thou finde thy selfe deceiued in thy trust, in vttering thy secretes to him: How to chose a perfect friend. haue regarde that he be not couetous, vnpacient, or angry: a great talker, seditious, or a mouer of strife, neither presumptuous: for if he be infected with these vices, thou wert better to haue him thine enimie, then to choose him for thy friend: but thy perfect friend ought to be of good con­ditions, and honest customes: that is to be gentle of nature, wise in his purposes, and paynefull in trauels, patient in iniuries, sober in eating and drinking good in councell giuing: and aboue all faythfull and constant [Page]in amity, and kéeping thy secretes: and such a one thou maist surely choose for thy friend. And where want and defaylance shalbe of these conditions, to flye his friendship as a daungerous pestilence. Holde this for a certayne thing, that much worse is the amity of a fayned friend and fantasticall, then the malice of an open enimie. We se none will buie a horse, till first he hath séene him goe, and wel vewed him: silke nor cloath without séeing and féeling it: wine without tasting it: fleshe without cheapening it: nor house without vewing it within: nor instruments without hearing them soūded, and played vppon: by a more great reason thou oughtest in choosing thy friend, to know his behauiour and wisdome and vertues, long before thou admittest him as thy secrete friend. Note the Em­perour Augu­stus order in friendship. The Emperor Augustus was warie & difficil in admitting a special friend, but after he had receiued him into his friendship, he would neuer leaue [Page]him, nor reiecte him for any cause or displeasure. Friendshippe ought to bée exercised with good men, & in vertuous actions: for although a man make his friend Lord of his secretes, and liber­tie, yet alwayes reason ought to re­serue vertue frée. Plutarke saieth in his Politicks, that we were much better, to sell dearely to our friends our good turnes, Note Plutarks opinion. and friendshippes, either in prosperity or aduersitie, then to féeds them with faire & dissembling words, & vaine promises, not meaning to per­forme any of our friendships offered. I wish these my trauells might be a­greable to them, that shall peruse that I haue written of Amity, and choise of a friend, hauing writte fréely, with­out flattery. Saluite in his booke of the Iugurthine warres, shews that it is no lesse commendation for a wri­ter to write truly the valiant acts of the worthy, then to the conque­rour to haue executed his charge with valure and worthinesse of [Page]armes: for often it happeneth, the captaine to be slaine in gaining the battaile and victory, yet faileth he not to be reuiued by good reputation, Good fame re­maineth after death, that he gained before his death, be­ing set downe in true history by the writer. Good counsell is of great effi­cacie in a friend: Marcus Aure­lius a famous empeour of Rome. as said Marcus Aurelius to his secretary Panuci­us, saying that a man with money may satisfie and recompence many pleasures and good turnes done him, but to reward good counsell all the goods had néede to satisfie and re­compence. If we will beléeue aunci­ent historyes, we shall finde it true, that the vertuous Emperors, fortu­nate Kings, and hardy Captaines, going to the warres, to conquere their enimies, haue alwaies bene desirous to haue in their company some discréete and learned philoso­pher, as well to counsell with, as also to recorde in writing their ad­uentures and noble faets. Great A­lexander [Page]had Aristotle: King Gyrus, Chilon: King Ptholome, Pithimon: King Pirrhus Zatvru: The notable emperors and kinges haue e­steemed lear­ned men great­ly. the emperour August Simonides Scipio, Sophocles: the emperour Traian, Plutarke: the emperour Antonius p [...] Georgias. The company of al these philosophers and excellent men of the worlde ser­ued only for good counsell, wherein their services deserued praise: as did the valiant Captaines, by their hardi­nesse & manhood. The emperour Nero asked Seneca the philosopher, what he thought of Scipio the Affrican and [...]a to the Censor: he answered the em­perour that it was: As Armes is necessarie so is learning also. as necessary that Cato should be borne into the worlde, for the common wealth, as Scipio to, for the warres: for as much, as the good Cato, by his counsell did: chace the vi­ces out of the common wealthe: and Scipio by his actiuity and valiant­nesse in armes, did chastice the enimy of the common wealth. And surely who shall followe the counsell here [Page]written, shal finde them necessary and profitable: and shal help him to assure his estate. For all the troupe of philo­sophers do affirme, that the felicitie doth not consist in great puissance, nor in hauing worldly riches, To deserue wel is the proper­tie of good men. but in deseruing wel. For the honour, fauor, and greatnesse of this mortall life is of more practise in them that deserue it then to them that possesse it with­out deserte, by happe or fortune: for if the earthquakes doo most hurte where be the most costly buildinges, and the tempest and lightning is most extreeme vpon the high mountaines, more then in the vallies, and low pla­nes: and that in the greatest and most proud and most peopled cities, the pes­tilence doth most rage, more then in other places of smal inhabitation: and the birds be entrapped in the nets vnknowen to them: and the calmnesse of the Sea is token of some great tem­pest to come: and that after long health sicknesse is most daungerous: so doe [Page]I inferre hereby, that it is necessary for al men to beware of fained friends and beware of falling into ruine and daunger of euil fortune, & entrapping of dissembled friendes. The emperor Augustus asked Virgil how he might long maintaine himselfe in his empi­re, & be liked of the common weale: he answered, often to examine thy self, O Emperour, and to know that as thou excellest all in estate and degrée, and authority, so oughtest thou to sur­passe all other in vertus and noble­nesse: which was a most excellent and wise answere. The ancient and wise Historiographers did praise greatly the greatnesse of Alexander, the lear­ning of Ptholome, the instice of Numa Pompilius, the clemency of Iulius Caesar, the patience of Augustus, the veritis of Traian, the pittie of Antoni­us, the temperance of Constantius, the continency of Scipio, and the huma­nity of Theodosius: so that these great princes got their great reputation [Page]more by their vertues, then valiancy and great déedes of armes, victories, & tryumphes. One thing is most cer­taine, that how vicious, dissolute or dissembling a man be, when he considereth, and remembreth his wic­ked doings, and thinkes what he hath béene, what he he is, It is a wicked thing to dis­semble. and what may happen to him, for dissembling with his friends, and other his euill doings, that if any sparke of grace, or any goodnesse remaine in him, he will re­pent him of his former euil, & it brin­geth heauinesse to him, when he hath done wickedly: for so say truly, we neuer receyue so much pleasure and contentment in doing euill, as we shall finde displeasure, griefe, venge­ance and punishment, after euil doing. Certaine counsells and good aduertis­ments I will giue all men, Note these councels. neuer dis­couer nor declare to any person all that thou thinkest, nether make any priuy how much treasure, or valure in goods thou haste: for if thou canst not [Page]haue all thou desirest, doe not say all thou knoweste, nether doe hurte, to any that thou maiest, and is in thy power to doe: for commonly greate hurte doeth a man procure to himselfe in following his owne will, without resting vpon the rocke of good consideration and reason. The second is to be wary, & carefull, neuer to put to the hazzard of variant fortune those things that concerne thy person, thy estate and goods: for the wise will neuer repose or put them­selues in perrill vppon hope, where daunger and perrill is likely to ensue: neither thinke, that all seruices and proffers that shalbe made them in words and friendly protestations shal be performed for commonly those: that most liberally offer their friendships, are slack in performing, ye a sometime redyest, if they sée a man hath néede of him, or that fortune frowne vpon him to whome he professeth great good wil, none shall be found a greater enimie [Page]then he: neuer be thou a medler in o­ther mens businesse, or matters that touth thée not, neither be slacke in fol­lowing thyne owne: for a time lost in doing thy businesse, the like oportuni­tye thou shalt neuer finde, or recouer againe: if thou stand in daunger, and that there be hope of helpe, the duties of a perfect friend. spéedily preuent thy mishappe, least by detrac­ting the time all hope of helpe may faile thée: choose them for thy friends assured and faithfull, that will haue care of thée, & hold thée vp frō falling, & not them, do not opresse or hurte the poore. that after thou art fallen will proffer thée their hand to helpe thée vp againe: hurt not those that thou hast power to hurt: for the cryes and cursses of the poore, and sometimes of other, being wronged commeth before the presence of God, demaunding ius­tice and vengeance: in that thou art of abilitie to do good, help thy friends: parentes and kindred, and also the poore. In counsell that that thou shalt giue, be not affectionate: be not pre­sumptuous, [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page]or seuere against them you may commaund: nether doe any thinge without good consideration: kéepe company with them that will speake the trueth, and flée from them that be lyars, flatterers, and dissemb­lers: for more account is to be made of them, that will forewarne thée of e­uill that may follow to thée, then to those that will giue counsell after thou hast receyued the hurte: For a wise man is to thinke that although euils commonly happen not to the prouident man, yet to thinke possible they may come, is wisdome: for it hap­peneth, the shippe soddainely by tem­pest to wracke, when the Sea is a li­tle before very calme & quiet, A wise consi­deration. and the more fauourable thou findest fortune, so much the more haue thou feare that she will be cruell, and despitefull a­gainst the: make no small accounte of this little worke, and briefe aduer­tisment, for experience teacheth vs, that a little diamond is of more esti­mation [Page]then a great ballays. Con­sider also, how the time flyeth away, and all things come to an ende: A notable coū ­cell. and that thou must depart from thy riches, be forsaken of friendes, and thy per­son to dye, and those that should suc­céede and follow thée shall vtterly forget thée: and thou shalt not knowe, to whome thy goods and succession, shall come, and lesse how thy children and heires shall gouerne themselues, nor whether they should proue good and vertuous, or not. Chilon the phi­losopher, being asked what thing he did finde in this worlde vpon which fortune had no power, he answered: there be two thinges onely in this worlde, which time cannot consume, Fame and ve­rity will neuer be couered. nor fortune destroy, that is fame and good reputation of a man, that is written in bookes, and veritie hidde, for that veritye and trueth may be hidde and clowded for a time, but in the ende it will manifeste it selfe: if thou wilt sometime, for the recrea­tion [Page]and contentment of thy spirites. To peruse these councels, here sette downe, thou shalt haue cause to think it a good trauaile, and woorke and time bestowed well. As Suetonius Tranquillus doth write of Iulius Cae­sar, Time spente vertuously. that among all the warres and continuall following them, he did not ceasse to reade and write some thing, yea being in the campe, and in his tente, commonly in one hande he held his speare, and in the other his penne, to write his commentaries. Man is to make great accounte of the time loste, more then to haue care to kéepe his treasures and riches: for the time being well emploied shall bring him to saluation, and treasures euill gotten shall be the cause of eter­nall damnation, ouer and besides a great trauaile and wearynesse to the body of man, and greater perrill to his soule, when he occupies all his dayes and all his life in the affaires, of this world, and cannot separate [Page]his mind from these worldly affaires, till he be called to the place, where he must make accounte of all his wret­ched doings, and leaue his body in the earth, a foode for woormes. And fi­nally, I assure you all that shall reade this shorte aduertisemente and councell; that of all the treasures, rit­ches, prosperities, seruices, authori­ties and powers that you haue, and possesse in this your mortal life, you shall carrie nothing with you, but on­ly the time that you haue well em­ployed and spente vertuously, during the course, and time of this your mortall life.


An excellent aduertise­ment and councell to be by the readers well remembred: not to trust prosperous fortune, neither the felicities of this worldly life. With diuers histories, and antiqui­ties approouing the same by examples.

Collected out of sundry tongues by. I. B.

AT LONDON Printed for Abell Ieffes, dwel­ling in Sermon lane neere Paules chaine.

A godly aduertisement to the Reader.

Among al the Romains, the great Cato the Cen­sor was had in singular reputation, which in all the progresse of his life was so honest, and in gouernement of the common wealth was so right­wise a Iusticiar, that by good righte there was written vpon the Gate of of his house these Epitaphes: O most fortunate Cato, the reputation of whome is such toward the common wealth, that there cannot be found a man that is able to Iustifie that euer he sawe thée doe euill, or that any e­uer durste pray thée of any fauour or grace in any cause that was not iust and honest. Cato would haue no statue or Image of him self set vp as the notable Romans vsed. And by good reason such honour was done hym: for amonge all the noble and famous Romaynes, it was he alone that would not suffer that any Image of himselfe should be erected or set vp in the capytoll of [Page]Rome, as the other famous Ro­maynes did vse for their honour and remembrance to continue. Many ha­uing great maruell why this worthy Cato refused the honour, where vpon were great discourses and spéeches in Rome: Cato vpon a day being in the Senate house, sayd openlie vnto them: the cause yt I wil not cōsnent to erect my Image in the capitoll, is for that I desire that after death my good workes should rather be followed, A mans good works rather to be followed then his image to be looked vpon. then to goe after, & beholde my I­mage, and enquire what house or pa­rents I came of, and what euill I haue done in my life time: and so my euill deserts might cause my statue or Image to be throwen downe, to my infamy and dishonour after my death: for it happeneth often that those which by variant fortune, from bace estate be mounted to great honour, come afterwards by the same occasi­on to be plonged and ouer throwē into vtter ruine and defamy: for many be [Page]reuerenced and honoured for their great riches, while they possesse them, which after are mocked when fortune hath abaced them, and depriued them of their riches. Lucian doth recite that Pompey the great was wonte to say: Note Pom­peius wordes of the varietie of Fortune. my friends we haue little cause to trust the flatterings of fortune: as for my parte, I haue prooued by ex­perience, that obtayned the rule of the Roman empire before I did once pre­tend it, or had any hope to doe it, & you know how sodainly againe it was ta­ken from me, whē I nothing suspected any such hap to come. Lucius Seneca being banished from Rome, wrot a letter to his mother Albine, in which, in com­forting her he said these words: know this for certaine, good mother Albine, yt in my life I neuer gaue credit to, or trusted fortune, The wise will not presume vpō good hap. although there were betwéene me and her many showes of friendlinesse: but what so euer she as a traitres consēted to, whereby I found my selfe in rest and tranqui­lity: [Page]it was not done by fortune, by will to cease to hurt me, but onely to giue me the more great fall, and dis­simuled assurance of her furious re­uenge towards me: yea euen with ye furies, that one campe of them come after another armd against me to giue battayle: for all that she giues me, ei­ther in ryches or honour by her libe­rality, I accept it but lent, & not to continue, but small time: the promises yt fortune offers me, the honours she doth mée, and the riches she giues me, I lay it by accompte in my house by it selfe, that alwayes I looke to lose it euery howre of the day and night: euen when it pleaseth her to take all againe, without any thing troubling my minde or spirites, or making do­lorous or heauy my heart any thing at all, and further knowe, that al­though I haue bene beholding to for­tune, yet I haue alwayes deter­mined neuer to put trust in any thing she giues me, nor hope in my hearte [Page]safely to kéepe it, otherwise then for ye time to take pleasure in it, but no as­surance. I loue to haue fortune my friend, rather then mine enimie, but notwithstanding, if I lose all that she giues mée, it shall grieue mée no­thing: therefore I conclude finally that when fortune causeth or suffereth my house to be robbed and assayled by the greatest extremity shée can: yet shall it not cause me to giue one sigh from my heart. We reade that King Phillip the father of great King Alex­ander, A wise kinge that doubted prosperous for­tune. when he had receiued newes of thrée victories that his Captaines and men of warre had gotten in di­uers places, he immediatly knéeled down, ioyning his hands togither, lif­ting vp his eies to the heauens, & spake these wordes: O cruell fortune: Oh most pittifull gods: after my prospe­rous successe, I most humbly pray you that after such great glory as you haue giuen mée at this present, you will moderate the chastisement, I [Page]feare will follow: How fearefull the king Phil­lip was. and that it may be with such pitty, that it be not the cause of my extreame ruine and destructiō: for I am certaine that after great fe­licity and prosperity of this life there followeth great misfortunes and dis­graces. All these examples afore reci­ted be worthy to be noted and often called to our remembraunce, that by thinking on them we may know how little we haue to trust in fortune, and how much we haue to feare the flatte­ring fawning and felicityes of this life. True it is that we be very frayle by nature, & therefore fall into many fragilities dayly. This world as a traytor doth vse alwayes to giue vs troubles and sorrowes, as a recharge after our good happes. So that we may by good right call our felicities cawteries or burning diseases in the flesh almost incurable to heale: for that the world is suttle to finde euery fraud and mischéefe, without giuing vs warning to foresée the sequell that [Page]followes. As is manifestly séene: for we fall into a number of mishappes before we can beware. After pleasure payne follow­eth. Yea if it fortune that sometimes we happen vpon pleasures, or contentmēts of mind, by good fortune, as we terme it, there followes a daunge­rous gulfe of troubles, and a sea of dolo­rous thoughts: so yt we hoping, as right worldlings, to holde in certenty our good happes, riches & treasures of this world, are suddaynly entrapped and toyled in ye nets of misfortune, hidden vnder a vaine hope of our good fortunes cōtinuing with vs. As though we had good fortune taken in our netts, and so forced to abide with vs: as had one notable Captaine Timo­theus (as poets fayne) for that hée was happy in all his enterprises, wherefore, Timotheus a fortunate Cap­tayne. how high, great, riche, or how wise so e­uer we accompt our selues: of this wée may be sure and certaine, that all men that be in the world, shall find thē selues deceiued in following the world, and the practises vsed in the same. And such is our folly that after a little good fortune our wittes be captiuated and drowned in our [Page]owne conceite, that we offer our selues as a prayr to euill haps and froward for­tune most commonly irrecuperable. O trayterous world, which for a short time doest flatter vs, and sodainely with the twinckling of an eye doest hunt vs from thée: sodaynly thou giuest vs occasion to be merry, trayterous [...]orlde. and by and by makest vs hea­uy and sad: now thou doest aduaunce vs, and shortly after abace vs, & inchant vs: vnder the guise of troubles doth so tra­uell and weary vs, and makest vs so fast in thy toyles & troublous laborinthes, that we can not escape thy engines, for ye world, the more knowing a man hawty and glorius, the more doth prouide for him honors and riches, deinty fare, bew­tifull women & other worldly pleasures and restes, which is to no other end, but after all these wished pleasures and dein­tines ministered vnto vs, euen as a baite is to ye fishes we are sodainly & more easily taken in the nettes & snares of our owne wickednes: but as for our first tēptations that by the world be presented vnto vs, wée thinke it vnpossible that we should [Page]be so often assayled with aduerse fortune, and our power yt is smal to resist, is cause to vs of great hardynesse: but I would haue one that is most affectionate to the world, or loueth it most, should tell me, what hope or recompence he or they can recouer after they be deceiued of ye world and their trust they haue of the continu­ance of their brittle pleasures: by trusting whereof they after endure so many in­cūbrances of fortune. If we should euer hope they would continue with vs, that were a great folly and mockery, Death mo neare whē lif is most desire conside­ring that the time when our life is moste swéete and agréeable to vs, then is death most neare vs, euen moste sodainly to intrap vs: for when we thinke to haue peace and truce with fortune, at the same instant she rayses a camp, and stirs vp a new war against vs. And I certainly be­léeue that which I haue written and sayd shalbe red of many, and remembred and beléeued of few: that is, that I haue kno­wen great dolors and lamentations to haue bene in the houses of many, where before hath bene great ioye, laughing and [Page]reioycing in this world, which is a giuer of euill, [...]he world des­ [...]ibed. a ruine of good things, a heape of wickednes, a tirant of vertue, an enimy of peace, a friend of wars, a mayntayner of errors, a riuer of vices, a persecutor of vertues, an inuēter of nouelties, a graue of ignorance, a forrest of mischefe, a bur­ning desire of the fleshly delightes & insa­tiable delicacy, in féeding & gourmandise, and finally, a Charibdis or most dange­rous gulfe, in which doth perish many noble harts, and a very Scilla, where also doth perish al our desires & good thoughts for the people doe not accompt them hap­py that deserue well, [...]he Peoples [...]ccompt. but those that posses the riches and treasures, which vpon the suddaine some times they sée fortune vt­terly despoyle them of that thē possesse: but of that minde were not the Philoso­phers & Sages, neither at this day those that be wise and vertuous, we sée some lose their riches and some their liues and treasures togither that haue bene long in gathering & getting: for where is greate riches enuy followeth, as the shadow the body. Ewsenides was in great fauour wt [Page]King Ptholome of Egipt, & thereby very rich: Note this. reioycing in this prosperity of for­tune, said to another his great familiar: the king can giue me no more then the rule of all that he hath: his friend answe­red him: yet aduerse fortune may take it all from thée, & then it will be a gréeuous day to thée, to descend the degrées of good hap, The cruelty of a king in res­pect of this li­uer. shortly after it followed that king Ptholome found Ewsenides talking se­cretly with a womā that king Ptholome loued greatly, wherefore the king taking high displeasure againste them both, commaunded the woman to drink poy­son, and caused the man to be hanged be­fore his gate. Plaucian was so greatly estéemed of the Emperor Seuerus, that al that Plaucian preferred, the Emperour thought well of, Plaucian slayn by the Empe­rours sonne. & willingly accomplish­ed his requests: yet was he sodainly slain in the kings chamber by the hands of Basian the Emperours eldest sonne. the Emperour Commodus, sonne of the good Emperour Marcus Aurelius, loued one seruāt that he had, called Cleander, The ende of extreame co­uetousnesse. a mā very wise & olde, but yet couetous: which [Page]man being asked pay by the souldiers of Rome, shewing the emperours warrant vnder his hand, Princes com­maundements are dangerous to be broken. yet would not Cleander make pay wherefore the Emperour sée­ing his disobedience, & the small respect he had to doe the emperours commaund­ment, commaunded imediatly that Cle­ander should be put to a shameful death, and all his goodes confiscate, Alcimeni­des, a famous king in Gréece, had one yt serued him, named Pannonian, one that the king held in singular fauour and ac­count, in so much that the king plaied at tennis with this his seruant: in playing, a contentiō grew betwéene them, where the chace was marked, It is daunger to contend with princes. the king said in one place, Pannonion in another, the king being in a great fury, comman­ded his garde to take him, & in the same place that Pannonian affirmed the chace to be ye king caused Panonians head to be cut of, the Emperour Constance fauou­red greatly one Hortensius, in so much that all matters in the common wealth, the wars, and houshould affaires were done by Hortensius his direction: the em­perour [Page]hauing cause to signe letters very hastely, & Hortenslus brought the Em­perour a pen that was euill made, or else some faulte in the ynke, that the Empe­rour could not readily write with it, the Emperour being very angry caused Hor­tensius head to be cut of wt out any stay. A cruel punishmēt for a light fault. Many other examples might here be brought in. How great Alexander slew in his anger Craterus. King Pirrhus cau­sed his scretary Alphabot to be slain. The emperour Bittalio, Cincinatus his deare friend. Domician, his chamberlen Rufus, by which examples may be seene ye sodain­nesse of the alteration of prospetity and riches, & for light occasions also death. King Demetrius asked the Philosopher Euripides, what he thought of the weak­nesse of man & of the vncertainty of this life, he answered: O king, there is no­thing certaine in this life, but that sud­daine eclipses and incumberances chan­ceth. King Demetrius answered: you might well say they change daily, and al­most from houre to houre. So that there may be inferred by the words of this [Page]good king, that changes of perrill & daun­ger come in the twinkling of an eye, but to say the truth, the man that would liue content, Many mishaps might be pre­uented by wis­dome. and foresée these euill happes, might well auoid most mischances: but aboundance & prosperity of fortime doth so blind vs, that coueting still to inrich our selues, and to commaund, brings vs in the end to infelicity and torments of the minde. Finally I conclude, that all men ought to liue sagely and wisely, to foresée the directions of their liues and dayly affayres. For most true it is that none liue in any prosperous estate that hath no enimies, noting their doings: wherefore let all men direct a vertuous course in their liuing in this worlde, by meanes whereof their owne quietnesse may followe in their life time, and be a good example for their posterity to fol­low, after their deathes.


Imprinted at London by Abel Ieffes and William Dickenson.

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