THE DOCTRI­NAL OF PRIN­ces made by the noble oratour Isocrates, & trans­lated out of Greke in to En­glishe by syr Tho­mas Eliot knight. 1534

Sir Thomas Eliot knight to the reader.

This little booke (whiche in mine opinion) is to be com­pared in coūsaile and short sentence with any booke, holy scripture excepted, I haue transla­ted out of greeke, not presumyng to con­tende with theim, whiche haue doone the same in latine: but to thintent one­ly that I wolde assaie, if our Englisshe tunge mought receiue the quicke and propre sentences pronounced by the greekes. And in this experience I haue founde (if I be not muche deceiued) that the forme of speakyng, vsed of the Greekes, called in greeke, and also in latine, Phrasis, muche nere approcheth to that, whiche at this daie we vse: than the order of the latine tunge: I meane in the sentences, and not in the wordes: whiche I doubte not shall be affirmed [Page]by them, who sufficiently instructed in all the saide three tunges, shall with a good iudgement read this worke. And where I haue put at the beginnyng this wordꝭ, vessell, plate, or for that which is in greeke, brasse or golde wrought, it is perceiued of euery wise man, for what intent I did it. Finally the chiefe cause of this my litle exercise was: to the in­tent that thei, which do not vnderstande greeke nor latine, shoulde not lacke the commoditee and pleasure, whiche maie be taken in readyng therof. wherfore if I shall perceiue you to take this myne enterprise thankefully, I shall that litle porcion of life, whiche remaineth (God sendyng me quietnesse of minde) be­stowe in preparing for you such bookes, in the readyng wherof, ye shall finde bothe honest passe tyme and also profi­table counsaile and lernyng.

Fare ye well.

¶ The oracion of Isocrates to Nicocles the kynge.

THei that b [...] wonte Nico­cles, to bringe to you, that be kynges, garmen­tes, vessell, or plate, or o­ther lyke iewelles, wherof thei be nedie, and ye be riche, and haue plentie: thei plainely seme vnto me, not to present you, but to make o­pen market, sellyng those thinges much more craftily, than thei that confesse them selfe to retaile. For my parte I suppose that to bee the beste gefte and moste profitable, also most conuenient as well for me to geue, as for the to re­ceiue, if I mought prescribe vnto the, by what studies desiryng, and from what workes absteinyng; thou maist best order thy roialme and citee. For to priuate persons be sufficient Instructi­ons, specially that thei liue not delicate­ly, but daiely do labour for thinges con­cernyng [Page]their liuyng. And moreouer thei haue lawes, wherby thei are gouerned: Thei h [...]ue also libertee of speche, wherwith it is lefull for freendes to blame eche other, and enemies to re­proche eche other of their offences.

Therto diuers ancient poetes haue left sondrie workes, instructyng men howe to liue well, so that by all those meanes it seemeth, that diuers men haue amen­ded their liuyng.

¶ But to great princes no suche thyng hapneth, for thei, who of all other ought to be best taught or instructed, after thei be ones stablished in their authoritee: thei styll perseuere most ignorant and without lernyng. For as muche as ma­ny men dare not approche them, and thei that kepe theim companie speake alwaie to please them.

¶ Moreouer, beyng made lordes of muche substance and great authoritee, and not vsyng well suche occsions as [Page 4]happen, thei haue caused many to doubte, whiche life is best to be chosen, either of them that liue priuately and meanely, or of them that be in princely dignitee. for whan they beholde their honour, richesse, and authoritee, thei suppose, that all princes be equall to gods, but whan thei consider the feare and perils, and reuoluyng in their re­membrances dooe finde some slaine by them, that leste ought to haue doone it, other doyng some displeasure to their most familiar companions, to diuers hapneth bothe the one and the other: than contrarie wise thei thinke it better and more commodious, to liue in any o­ther maner, how so euer it be, than in so many dangers, to be kynge of all A­sie. The cause of this disorder and trou­ble, is for as muche as thei repute a kyngedome as mete for euery man to haue, as any other meane office, where of al thinges perteining to man, a king­dome [Page]is the greattest, and requireth most prouidence, touchyng euery acte, wherby a man maie beste gouerne ac­cordyng to the maners of people, and to obserue suche thinges as be good, and exchue those that be noifull: it is expe­dient to take counsaile, and examine suche actes as be in daily experience. Generally, all studies, whiche ought to be obserued most diligently, and wher­in a man ought to be exercised, I wyll assaie to declare. but whether this my gifte ones finished, shall accorde to the purpose that I goe about: it is harde to know at the beginnyng. for many thin­ges, whiche haue bene written as well in verse as in prose, as longe as thei were in the myndes of the writars, men had of them great expectacion: but af­ter thei were ones finished & openly pu­blished, men had of them opinion much lasse than thei hoped. Howe be it this myne enterprise is to be commended, [Page 5]wherin I seke for that, whiche other men haue committed, and do prescribe rules to them that be gouernours.

¶ For they that teache priuate persons, do profite them whom thei teache one­ly: But if any man instructeth in vertu them that haue rule ouer the multitude, he therby profiteth the one and the other as well them that be in auctoritee, as those that be vnder their gouernance, for as muche as to the firste he maketh their aucthoritee the more stable and sure, and to the other he causeth the rule or gouernance to be the more easier.

¶ First therfore it muste be considered, what is the office of them that dooe go­uerne, for if we order well the head, and that which is the principall of the whole matter, hauyng our respecte thervnto, the better shall we treate of the residue.

❧ I suppose all men wyll graunt, that it perteineth to princes, their countceie by any aduesitee, beyng troubled, to set [Page]it in quietnesse: And if it be welthie, so to preserue it. And to make also great of that, that is litle, sens therfore all o­ther thynges, whiche daiely happen, ought to bee doone and experienced, and verily it is apparant to all men, that it behoueth them, that are and shal be of power to do the premisses, and al­so those, whiche shall therof consult, not to be ignorant: but to consider how thei maie vse them more prudently than o­ther in their ministracion.

For it is very certaine that suche shall princes haue their roialmes and gouer­nance, as thei them selfes haue prepa­red their owne mindes and opinions.

And therfore no wrasteler or champion ought so muche to trauaile his bodie in exercise, as kynges ought their mindes in studie: for all the prices that euer were geuen in commune games or Iustes, are in no parte to be compared to that price, wherfore ye that be kin­ges, [Page 6]daiely do labour: whiche thynges considered, it is expedient to take good hede, that as muche as thou excellest o­ther men in honour, so much more thou maiest excede them in vertues. And thinke not care and diligēce in al other thinges profitable, and in makyng vs better to be of none importance: Ne condemne not mans infelicitee, that concernyng beastes we haue founde craftes to make them tame, and to be of more value, and litle do auaunce our selfes to the atteinyng of vertue. but rather as lernyng and industrie maie be in any thynge beneficiall vnto our soules, so order thy witte and opinion. Be also most familiar with them, whi­che beyng about the, be wisest: and get other suche as thou maiest come by moste like vnto them.

Thinke not that it shall become thee, to lacke the knowlage of any famous poetes and other great learned men: [Page]but be thou of the one the herer, of the other the disciple or scholer.

¶ Prepare thy selfe so, that in vertue thou maiest be iudge of them, whiche therin be thine inferiours, and a conten­dar with them that be thy superiours, by suche maner of exercise thou shalte soone atteine to be suche one, as we de­termined that he ought to be, that ru­leth a right, and gouerneth well his countreie or citee.

¶ Thou shalt be counsailed best by thy selfe, in thinkyng it inconuenient, that the better be ruled by the worse, or that fooles before wise men shulde be pre­ferred.

❧ The more vehemently thou abhor­rest other mens madnesse or folie, the better shalte thou practise thy wit: for therat must thei begyn, that purpose to do any of those thynges, whiche be con­uenient and necessarie. And therwith loue well their people and countraie, [Page 7]for no man shall rule well either, horse or houndes, nor men, or any thyng els, if he delite not and take pleasure in those thynges, whiche be vnder his go­uernance.

¶ Take care of the multitude, and e­steme aboue all thynges, to rule graci­ousely ouer them, whom thou gouer­nest, remembring that as well where fewe persons gouerneth, as also in o­ther commune weales, thei longest doe continue, that for the multitude do take most care and studie.

¶ Thou shalte truly rule well thy peo­ple, Iuiuries to be auoided. if thou neither doest suffre any man to do wronge, nor despisest any that suf­ffreth wronge. And takest good hede, that good men be rewarded with ho­nour and auctoritee, and that other by any iniurie be not indamaged. These be the principles and chiefe introducti­on in to the right and commendable go­uernance of a publike weale.

¶ Repell or change suche lawes and or­dinances as be not well constitute, Hurtefull tradicions to be auoided. spe­cially be thou the auctour of those that be good, or at the least the folower of them that were well made by other.

¶ Seke for suche lawes, What the lawes shulde be. that on al par­tes be good, and doe profite to all vni­uersally, and in them selfes be of one accorde and consent: moreouer, those that amonge the people make fewest contencions. And suche controuersies as be, determine them shortely. Al these thynges ought to be in lawes, that be well and substancially ordeined.

¶ Prouide for thy people suche occupa­cion, as wherby may growe great ad­vantage and lucre, and that contencion and sute, maie bringe to them detri­mente, to the intent that they maie es­chue the tone, to the other thei maie be well disposed and redy.

¶ In controuersies geue alwaies such sentence as is not repugnant, and pro­nonce [Page 8]thy iudgementes without fauour to any man, and without discordance, so that thei be euer all one and like in semblable causes.

¶ It becometh and is also expedient to princes in matter of iustice, to haue the minde immoueable, like to the lawes that be well prouided.

¶ Order thy Citee or countreie, To go­uerne a citee. lyke thy house lefte by thy father, in stuffe gaie and roially decked, in occupacion busie and diligent, that thou maiest haue bothe honour and abundance of richesse.

¶ Al be it declare thy magnificence not in such sumptuous expences, that short­ly doo vanishe, but onely in the thynges before expressed: that is to saie, in the adournyng or garnishyng of thy posses­sions, and in beneficence and liberali­tee towarde thy friendes, for that, whi­che is so emploied, shal remaine with the styll, and thou shalt leaue to thy [Page]children more commoditee therby, than thei shoulde haue of superfluous ex­pences.

¶ In the honour due vnto god obserue diligently that whiche is lefte vnto thee by thy progenitours. and suppose veri­ly, that sacrifice to be moste acceptable and seruice most thankful to god, if thou endeuour thy selfe to excell all other men in vertue and iustice. For vn­doubtedly therby shalt thou opteine more reasonable peticions, than if thou dydst geue vnto hym great treasure or offrynges.

¶ Rewarde thy familiar counsailours with principall dignitees, and to them whom thou knowest beneuolent and trustie, geue perpetuall and stable pro­morions.

¶ Thinke that the beste and most sure garde of thy person be frendes vertu­ous and honest, A princes sure garde louyng and beneuolent subiectes, and thine owne wyll stable [Page 9]and circnmspecte: for by those thynges authoritee is opteined and lengest pre­serued.

¶ Haue good awaite on the househol­des, and expences of thy subiectes, A princes right ouer his sub­iectes. thin­kyng that thei dispendyng vnprofita­bly, dooe consume thyne owne propre treasure, and that whiche thei get by their good husbandrie augmenteth thy substance and honour: Lonsideryng that all the goodes of them that be sub­iectes, be at the commaundement of the prince that ruleth well and honou­rably.

¶ Let men perceiue the to haue alwaie truthe in suche reuerence, that to thy wordes, thei mai sooner geue credence than to other mens othes.

¶ Make thy countreie safe and sure a­bidyng to all them that be strangers, and in their contractes iuste and indif­ferent.

¶ Of suche as dooe repaire vnto thee, [Page]set more by them, that for some merite doe looke to haue some thynge of thee, than of those that do brynge presentes to thee, for honoryng men for their me­rites thou shalte muche more be of o­ther commended.

¶ Take awaie feare fro thy subiectes, and be not terrible to them that haue not offended, but like as thou wouldest haue them disposed towarde the, so be thou towarde them.

¶ Dooe thou nothyng in furie, sens o­ther men knowe what time and occasi­on is meetest for the.

¶ Be thou sene to haue suche wisedome and grauitee, that nothyng that is done can be hid from thee, not withstanding be thou easie and mercifull, in punis­shyng offences vnder their merites.

¶ Shewe thy selfe princely, not in stur­dinesse, or punisshyng cruelly, but in surmountyng all other in wisedome, that thei maie suppose that thou canst [Page 10]counsaile them better for their weale than thei can them selfes.

¶ Be also warlike and valiant in fea­tes of armes and prouision for warres, but yet notwithstandyng imbrace thou peace, and do nothyng iniustly.

¶ Deale thou with inferior countreies in all entercourses and mutuall con­tractes, accordyng as thou woldest that thei that be to thy countreie superiours, shulde do vnto the.

¶ Striue not for euery thyng, but for that onely whiche, if thou opteinest maie be to thy profite.

¶ Blame not them that be vanquished to their commoditee, but accompte thē to be fooles that do vanquishe other to their owne detriment.

¶ Suppose not them to be men of great wisedome, that doe take greatter thin­ges in hande than thei can ordre: but those, whiche in meane thynges dooe bringe well to passe that that thei pur­posed.

¶ Folowe not them that dooe opteine greattest auctoritee, but them that best vse thinges that be present.

¶ Finally do not thinke thy selfe hap­pie, if thou rulest ouer all men terribly and in great danger, but if beyng suche as thou oughtest to be, and doyng as the time present requireth, thou desirest moderate thynges, and therof thou lac­kest nothyng, than arte thou happy.

¶ Get thee frendes, not all them that dooe seke frendship of the: but suche as be most agreable vnto thy nature, nei­ther those, with whom thou shalte liue plesantly, but with whom thou maiest gouerne thy countrey most surely.

¶ Make diligent espiall and prouse of thy most familiar seruantes, remem­bryng that suche as be not with the so conuersant, doe suppose that thou arte like in condicions to them, whom thou vsest familiarly.

¶ Matters, wherwith thou thy selfe wilte not medel, committe to suche per­sons, as what so euer thei do, the blame shall be imputed thiefely vnto the.

¶ Thinke not them to be loial or faith­full, that doe preise all thyng that thou doest, but them that do blame the thing, wherin thou errest.

¶ Geue to wise men libertee to speake to thee freely: that in thynges, wherof thou doubtest, thou maiest haue them, with whom thou maiest trie out the certaintee.

¶ Discerne crafty flatterers, Crafti [...] flattere [...] from thē that dooe serue the with true herte and beneuolence, lest the euill men receiue more profite by thee, than thei that be honest and vertuous.

¶ Here diligently what men speke mu­tually one of an other, and assaie to know as well what maner of persens those be that haue spoken, as also thei, of whom thei reported.

¶ Accordyngly as thou correctest offen­ders, False de­ [...]actours. semblably, and with the same pu­nishment correcte false detractours and accusers of innocentes.

¶ Haue no lasse dominion or rule ouer thy selfe, than ouer other.

¶ Thinke it moste incident vnto a kynge and most roiall, neuer to be sub­iecte to pleasant affections, but to rule more ouer thyne appetites than ouer thy people and subiectes.

¶ Admitte no recreation without good aduisement, but delite in suche exercise, wherby thou maist receiue some com­moditee, and that other maie perceiue, that thou arte therby the better.

¶ Glory not in suche thinges, which are possible to be done by them that be vn­thriftes, but reioice in vertue, wherin euill men can not participate with thee.

¶ Suppose not honour to be that, [...]ery ho­ [...]ur. which is published abrode with feare, but ve­rie honour to be, where men by them [Page 12]selfes wonder more at thy wisedome than at thy fortune.

¶ If it chance the to take any pleasure in any thynge that is not honest or ver­tuouse, do it verie secretly, but goyng a­bout thinges of gret weight and impor­tāce, shew thy selfe abrode vnto al men.

¶ Require not that all other men shuld liue in good order, and princes to be in their liuyng remisse and negligent, but ordre thy temperance in liuyng, to be an example to other, consideryng that the maners of all the whole citee or con­traie, do insue and resemble their prin­ces condicions.

¶ It shall be to the a token, that thou haste well gouerned, if thou perceiue them that be vnder thy gouernance to be by thy diligence welthie and more temperate in liuyng.

¶ Set more by leauyng to thy chil­dren honest fame or renoume, Honest fame. than gret possessions or richesse. for these be tran­sitorie, [Page]the other immortall. Also goo­des maie be gotten by fame, but good fame can be bought with no money.

Also goodes happen to men that be of euill disposition, but so doth not good estimacion, but cometh onely to them that endeuour them selfe with vertue to gette it.

¶ Be delicate in thine apparaile and garmentes that serue for thy bodie, in all other partes of thy liuyng be conti­nent as it besemeth all princes of ho­nour, to the intent that thei that be­holde the, for thine honorable presence mai deme the worthy to be a gouernour and thy familiars and seruauntes for thy noble courage may haue of the a lyke good opinion.

¶ Consider diligently both thyne owne woordes and thy dedes, to the intent thou maist fall in very fewe errours.

¶ Of all thynges it is beste to happen on the right pointe of all thynges that [Page 13]are to be doone, but for as muche as that is very harde to be knowen, better is to leue somewhat, than to excede.

For that, wherin somewhat doth lacke is nerer to temperance, than that wher­in is to muche abundance.

¶ Endeuour the to be bothe courtaise and of a reuerende grauitee: Courtesy & grauite [...] for the one besemeth a prince, the other is expedient and more agreable to euery company: all be it to vse both, it is of all other thinges the moste difficile. for thou shalte fynde for the more parte them that vse a reuerent grauitee to be vnpleasaunt, them that be courtoyse, to be of base courage and simple. Therfore the one and the other is to be vsed, but than ex­chue that thyng, whiche in any of them is yll or semeth inconuenient.

¶ If thou woldest perfectly know that, Expery­ence and philoso­phy. which belongeth to kynges to perceiue, geue the to experience and studie of phi­losophy, for philosophy shall declare vn­to [Page]thee the meanes or waies howe to bringe to passe thine affaires: experi­ence in semblable businesse shall make the able to doo or susteine them.

¶ Beholde diligently, that whiche as well princes as priuate persons do dai­ly, and what of their actes doth succede in conclusion.

¶ Surely if thou remembre well thin­ges that are passed, thou shalt the better consulte of thynges comyng.

¶ Thinke where priuate persons haue died with good will, to the intent that after their death thei mought be com­mended, that it were great shame to princes, not to trauaile in suche studie or businesse, wherby in their liues thei mate be worthily praised.

¶ Desyre to leaue whan thou diest, ra­ther monumentes or images of thy ver tues than of thy personage.

¶ Endeuor the specially to kepe alwai thy selfe and thy countrey in suretie.

¶ If necessitee constreigne thee to ieo­parde thy person, chose rather to die with honour, than to liue in reproche.

¶ In all thyne actes remembre that thou arte a prince: and therfore do no­thynge vnworthie to so high a dignitee.

¶ Set not so litle by thy nature, that thou suffre thy selfe all wholly to perish, but in as muthe as thy bodie is mortal, and thy soule immortall, assaie to leue to thy soule an immortall remēbrance.

¶ Vse thee to speake of honest affaires and studies, that by suche custome thou maiest thinke on like thynges as thou spekest of.

¶ Thynges that in counsailyng seme to be beste, those execute thou in thy pro­per actes.

¶ At whose good renowme thou hast most enuie, his dedes do thou folow.

¶ Looke what thou counsailest thy chil­dren or seruantes to doe, thinke it con­uenient that thy selfe do the same.

¶ Either vse that whiche I haue adui­sed the to do, or enquyre for better than that is.

¶ Suppose not them to be wise men, that sharpely can talke of small thinges and trifles, but those that can substan­cially reason in matters of weighty importance.

¶ Nor thinke not them wise, that pro­misse to other men welthe and good for­tune, thei them selfe beyng in great ne­cessitee, but rather those that speakyng of them selfes moderately, can with o­ther men and in their affaires vse them selfe well and discretely and beyng not troubled with any change of their li­uing, knowe howe to beare honestly and temperately as well aduersitee as also prosperitee.

¶ And meruaile thou not, that I haue now rehersed many thynges that thou knewest before, nor that forgatte I not, but knewe well enough, that beyng [Page 15]suche a multitude as well of princes as of priuate persons, some of them haue spoken the same that I did, and many haue hearde it, and diuers haue seen o­ther men done it, and some there be that by them selfes haue experienced it. Not withstanding in mater concernyng In­struction, noueltie is not to be sought for, for therin ought not to be founden either singuler opinion, or thynge im­possible, or contrarie to mens coniec­ture: but suppose that to be in heryng moste gracious or pleasant, whiche be­yng sowen in the mindes of other, maie assemble moste matter to the purpose, and the same declare beste and moste aptely. For this knowe I well, that the counsailes and wise sentences of po­etes and other good authours, are thought of all men to be very profita­ble: yet will not thei very gladly geue eare vnto them, but be therwith in the same case, as thei be with those that doe [Page]geue them good counsaile, for thei praise them all, but thei care not howe sel­dome thei come in their compani, desi­ryng to be rather with offendours, than with them that of sinne be the rebu­kars. Example we maie take of the po­emes or workes of Hesiodus, Theog­nes, and phorillides. For euery man affirmeth thē to be excellent counsailes concernyng mans lyfe, but all though thei saie so, yet had thei leuer vse that, wherto their owne madnesse indureth them, than folow that wherto the others preceptes doeth aduise them. Moreo­uer if one shulde gader out of the saide authours that whiche men call centen­ces, wherin thei perchance haue ben stu­diouse: in semblable wise toward them shuld thei be disposed, for thei shuld with more pleasure here a liyng fable or a fā ­tafie, than the saide preceptes made by much connyng and diligence. But what nedeth it to tarie longe vpon euery ma­ter? [Page 16]Generally if we will consider the natures of men, we shall perceiue, that many of them delite neither in meates that bene most holsome, nor in studies that ben most honest, nor in dedes that be moste conuenient: nor yet in doc­trine that is most commodious, but im­bracing plesant appetites, which be re­pugnant to prolite, wolde seme to be painfull and laboriouse, although thei doo nothyng expedient, or necessarie.

Howe maie any man content any suche persons, either by prechyng or teaching or tellyng of any thynge that is profita­ble: that for the wordes that be spoken, do enuie and haue indignacion at them that speake truly, and doe take them for plaine men or simple, in whom lacketh wisedome? so muche they abhorre trouthe in all thynges, that thei knowe not what is theirs or do belonge to their office, but consultyng or reasonyng of that whiche dothe perteine vnto them, [Page]thei be sadde and vnpleasant, whan thei talke of other mens affaires thei be merie and ioyouse. Moreouer thei had leauer suffer some grefe in their bodies, than in reuoluyng what shuld be moste necessarie, trauaile any thynge in their mindes. And if a man take good hede he shall fynde in theyr mutuall assem­bles and companies, that either thei re­proue other men, or els that thei of o­ther be in some thynge reproued. And whan thei be by themselfes, thei be euer wisshing and neuer consultyng. I haue not spoken this againe all men but on­ly againe them that be giltie in that, whiche I haue rehersed. Finally this is apparant and certaine, who so euer wyll make or write any thynge plea­sant and thankfull to the multitude, he maie not seke for woordes or matters most profitable, but for them that con­teine most fables and leasynges. For in bearyng suche thynges thei reioyce: [Page 17]but whan thei perceiue to be labours and contencions in their affaires, than be they pensife. Wherfore Homere and they that founde firste tragedies, mai bee well meruailed at, who in their workes vsed bothe the saide fourmes in writynge, for Homere expressed in his workes the contencions and batailes of them, whiche for their vertues, were named halfe goddes, the other brought those fables into actuall apparaunce.

In so muche as we not onely maie here them, but also maie presently beholde them, by suche example is it declared to them that bee studiouse to please their herers, that thei must abstaine from ex­hortyng and counsailyng them, and that thei apply them to write and speake that onely, wherin thei perceiue the mnl titnde to haue moste delectacion.

This before written haue I declared, thinkyng that it besemeth not the that art not one of the people, to be of lyke [Page]opinion with the multtitude, or to iudge thynges to be honest, or men to be ple­sant, according to thy sensuall appetite, but to trie and esteme them by their good and profitable actes.

Moreouer for as muche as they that la­bour in the studie of Ppilosophy, con­cernyng the exercise of the myndes, be of sondrie opinions, some saiyng that men become wiser by muche disputyng and reasonyng, other affirme that it hapneth by exercise in polityke gouer­nance, or ciuill causes, diuers suppose it to come of other doctrines: but final­ly thei all doe confesse, that he whiche is well brought vp, may by euery of the saide studies gather mater sufficient to geue good counsaile.

Therfore he that wyll leaue the doubt­full opinions, and wyll applie to that whiche is certaine, he muste examine the reasons therof, and sperially they that be counsailours ought to haue con­sideration [Page 18]of the occasion, time and o­portunitee, if thei can not bringe that to passe, than to reiecte and put awaie as well them whiche speke in all matters generally, as also those that perceiue nothyng that is expedient or necessarie, for it is aparant, and certaine, that he whiche can not be to him selfe profita­ble, he shall in other mens businesse do nothynge wisely.

Make muche of them that be wise, and do perceiue more than other men, and haue good regarde towarde them: re­membryng that a good counsailour, A good counsai­lour. is of all other treasure the most roiall and profitable, and thinke verily that they whiche can most aide and profite to thy witte or reason, shall make thy kynge­dome moste ample and honorable.

Wherfore for my parte as muche as I ran, I haue exhorted the, and honored the with suche presentes as be in my po­wer to geue the. And desyre thou not, [Page]that other men shulde bringe vnto the (as I saide at the beginnyng, their ac­customed presentes, which ye shuld bie muche derer of the giuers, than of the sellers: but couaite thou suche presen­tes, whiche if thou do vse well and dili­genly omittyng no tyme, thou not one­ly shalt not consume them, but thou shalte also encrease them, and make them of more estimacion and value.


Addicion, to fill vp vacant pages.

FUl truely writeth Salomon, The herte of the kynge is in the hande of god, and whiche wai so euer he willeth he shal incline it: but the very laude of a good kynge is, if he againe incline his herte to god, the kynge of all kynges, alwaie bendyng to his will, without whose fa­uourable [Page 19]aide, mans indeuour can no­thynge dooe: and so frameth all his actes, as knowlageyng and myndyng, that what so euer he dooeth, he dooeth it before his eies, who is no lesse iudge ouer kynges then ouer common peo­ple. Nothyng is truely prosperous, nothynge can be called welthy, that the authour of all felicitee wyll not vouche­safe to make fortunate. Most luckely, moste happily it is doone, what so euer is doone accordynge to his wyll, who saieth: By me kynges do reigne, and the lawe makers decerne iuste thinges: by me princes rule, and mighty men iudge iust thynges. This saide the e­ternall wisedome, whiche is the sonne of God. What prescribeth Sapience to kynges? Mercy (saieth she) and Trouthe doe kepe the kynge: and his Throne is made stronge with clemen­cie. He sheweth Mercie in succouryng the oppressed: Trouthe in iudgeyng [Page]truely. Clemencie in temperyng the seueritee of the lawes with lenitee.

The speciall duetie, and whervnto kynges were wonte to bee sworne, whan thei beganne their reigne, was this, to helpe widowes, to succour the fa­therlesse, and to deliuer and defende all that are oppressed frō iniurie. Trouthe hath two companions, Sapience and Constance. Sapience geueth light vn­to the eies: wherby is perceiued, what is right, and what not, what is pro­fitable for the weale publyke, and what is contrarie to it. Constancie causeth, that the mynde, ouercomyng all coue­touse desires, neither with ire, nor with loue, nor with hatred, is moued from honestie. Clemencie tempereth with lenitee necessarie Seueritee. Clemen­rie is not foorthwith to goe in hande with warre, whan cause of warre is geuen, but to leaue no reasonable meane vnassaied, to see whether the [Page 20]matter maie bee determined without warre. And otherwhile it is better to dissemble the iniurie, than to reuenge it by force of armes. It is Clemencie, if by no meanes it maie be eschewed, so to make warre, that as littell hu­maine bloudde be spilte as can be, and that the warres be ended as shortely as maie be. For this wisedome, that brin­geth all good thynges with it, Salo­mon praied for, that she shulde alwaie bee assistent to his Throne, as a moste faithfull and trusty counsailour.


JMPRINTED AT London in Flete strete, in the house of Thomas Berthelet.

Cumpriuilegio ad impri­mendum solum.

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