HIS MAIESTIES INTRVCTIONS TO HIS
HENRY THE PRINCE.
GOD giues not Kings the stile of Gods in vaine,
For on his throne his sceptre doe they swey:
And as their subiects ought them to obey,
So Kings should feare and serue their God againe.
If then ye would enioy a happie raigne,
Obserue the statutes of your heauenly King,
And from his Law, make all your Lawes to spring:
Since his Lieutenant here ye should remaine,
Reward the iust, be steadfast, true, and plaine,
Represse the proud, maintaining aye the right,
Walk alwaies so, as euer in his sight,
Who guards the godly, plaguing the prophane:
And so ye shall in Princely vertue shine,
Resembling right your mightie King Diuine.
MY DEARET SONNE AND NATURALL SUCCESSOR.
WHOM-TO can so rightlie appertaine this booke of instructions to a Prince in all the points of his calling, as well generall, as a Christian towards God; as particular, as a king towards his people? Whom-to, I say, can it so iustly appertaine, as vnto you my dearest Sonne? Since I the Authour thereof as your naturall Father, must be carefull for your godly and vertuous education, as my eldest Sonne, and the first fruits of Gods blessing towards me in my posteritie: and as a King must timouslie prouide for your training vp in all the points of a Kings office; since yee are my naturall and lawfull successor therein: that being rightlie informed hereby, of the weight of your burthen, ye may in time begin to consider, that being borne to be a King, ye are rather borne to onus, then honos: not excelling all your people so farre in ranke and honour, as in daily care and hazardous paines-taking, for the dutifull administration of that great office, that God hath laid vpon your shoulders. Laying so a iust symmetrie and proportion, betwixt the height of your honourable place, and the heauie weight of your great charge: and consequentlie, in case of failing, which God forbid, of the sadnesse of your fall, according to the proportion of that height. I haue therefore for the greater ease to your memorie, and that ye may at the first, cast vp any part that ye haue to do with, deuided this treatise in three parts. The first teacheth you your dutie towards God as a Christian: the next, your dutie in your office as a King: and the third informeth you how to behaue your selfe in indifferent things, which of themselues are neither right nor wrong, but according as they are rightlie or wrong vsed, and yet will serue according to your behauiour therein, to augment or empaire your fame & authoritie at the hands of your people. Receiue and welcome this booke then, as a faithfull Preceptour and counsellor vnto you: which, because my affairs will not permit me euer to be present with you, I ordaine to be a resident faithfull admonisher of you. And because the hovvre of death is uncertaine to me, as vnto all flesh, I leaue it as a Testament and latter will vnto you. Charging you in the presence of GOD, and by the fatherlie authoritie I haue over you, that yee keepe it euer with you, as carefullie, as Alexander did the Ilaids of Homer. Ye will finde it a iust and impartiall counsellor; neither flattering you in anie vice, nor importuning you at vnmeete times. It will not come vncalled, neither speake vnspeered at: and yet conferring with it when yee are at quiet, yee shall say with Scipio, that yee are nunquam minus solus, quam cum solus. To conclude then, I charge you, as euer ye thinke to deserue my fatherlie blessing, to follovve and put in practice, as farre as lieth in you, the precepts hereafter following. And if yee followe the contrarie course, I take the great God to record, that this booke shall one day be a witnesse betwixt me and you; and shall procure to bee ratified in heauen, the curse that in that case here I giue vnto you. For I protest before that great God, I had rather not bee a father and childlesse, then be a father of wicked children. But hoping, yea euen promising vnto my selfe, that God, who in his blessing sent you vnto me; shall in the same blessing, as he hath giuen me a Sonne; so make him a good and a godlie Sonne; not repenting him of his mercie shewed vnto me: I end, with my earnest prayer to God, to worke effectualie into you, the fruites of that blessing, which here from my hart I bestow vpon you.
Your louing Father,
TO THE READER.
CHARITABLE Reader, it is one of the golden sentences which Christ our Saviour vttred to his Apostles, that there "is nothing so couered, that shal not be reuealed, neither so hid, that shall not be knowne: and whatsoeuer they haue spoken in darknesse, should bee heard in the light: and that which they had spoken in the eare in secret place, should be publiklie preached on the tops of the houses." And since he hath said it, most true must it bee, since the authour thereof is the fountaine and very being of truth. Which should moue all godlie and honest men, to bee very warie in all their secretest actions, and whatsoeuer middesses they vse for attaining to their most wished ends: least otherwaise how avowable soeuer the mark be, where-at they aime, the middesses being discouered to be shamefull, whereby they climbe; it may turne to the digrace both of the good work it selfe, and of the authour thereof: since the deepest of our secrets cannot be hid from that al-seeing eye, and penetrant light, pearcing through the bowels of verie darknesse it selfe.
But as this is generallie true in the actions of all men, so is it more speciallie true in the affaires of Kings. For Kings being publike persons, by reason of their office and authoritie, are as it were set (as it was sayd of old) vpon a publique stage, in the sight of all the people; where all the beholders eyes are attentiuelie bent, to looke and pry in the least circumstance of their secretest driftes. Which should make Kings the more carefull, not to harbour the secretest thought in their minde, but such as in the owne time they shall not be ashamed openlie to avouch: assuring themselues, that time the mother of verity, will in the dewe season bring her owne daughter to perfection.
The true practice hereof, I haue as a King, oft found in my owne person; though I thanke God, neuer to my shame: hauing laide my count, euer to walke as in the eyes of the Almightie, examining euer so the secretest of my driftes, before I gaue them course, as how they might some day byde the touchstone of a publike tryall.
And amongst the rest of my secret actions, which haue (vnlooked for of me) come to publik knowledge, it hath so fared with my Basilikon Doron, directed as to my eldet sonne; which I wrote for exercise of my owne ingene, and instruction of him, who is appointed by God (I hope) to sit on my Throne after me. For the purpose and matter thereof being only fit for a King, as teaching him his office; and the person whom-for it was ordayned, a King's heire, whose secret counsellor and faithfull admonisher it must bee; I thought it no waie conuenient, nor comelie, that either it should to all be proclaymed, which to one onely appertained (& specially being a messenger betwixt two so conjunct persons) or yet that moulde, whereupon he should frame his future behauiour, when he comes both vnto the perfection of his yeeres, and possession of his inheritance, should before the hand, bee made common to the people, the subject of his future happie gouernment. And therefore for the more secret and close keeping of them, I onely permitted seauen of them to be printed, the printer being first sworn for secrecie: and these seauen I dispersed amongst some of my trustiest seruants, to be keeped closlie by them: least in case by the iniquitie, or wearing of time, any of them might haue been lost, yet some of them might have remained after me as witnesses to my Sonne, both of the honest integritie of my heart, and of my fatherlie affection and naturall care towards him. But since contrarie to my intention and expectation, as I haue alreadie said, this booke is now vented, and set foorth to the publike view of the world, and consequently subiect to euery mans censure, as the current of his affection leades him; I am now forced, as well for resisting to the malice of the children of enuie, who like waspes, suckes venome out of euery wholesome hearbe; as for the satisfaction of the godly honest sort, in anything that they mistake therein; both to publish and spred the true copies thereof, for defacing of the false copies that are alreadie spred, as I am enformed: as likewaise, by this preface, to cleere such parts thereof, as in respect of the concised shortnes of my stile, may be misinterpreted therein.
To come then particularlie to the matter of my booke, there are two speciall great points, which (as I am informed) the malitious sort of men haue detracted therein; and some of the honest sort haue seemed a little to mistake: whereof the first and greatest is, that some sentences therein should seeme to furnish groundes to men, to doubt of my sinceritie in that Religion, which I haue euer contantly professed: the other is, that in some parte thereof I should seeme to nourish in my minde, a vindictiue resolution against England, or at least, some principalles there, for the Queene my mothers quarrell.
The first calumnie (most grieuous indeede) is grounded vpon the sharpe and bitter words, that therein are vsed in the description of the humours of Puritanes, and rashe-headie preachers, that thinke it their honour to contend with Kings, & perturbe whole kingdomes. The other point is onely grounded vpon the straite charge I giue my Sonne, not to heare, nor suffer any vnreuerent speeches or bookes againt any of his parents or progenitors: wherein I doe alleage my owne experience anent the Queene my mother: affirming that I neuer founde any, that were of perfite age the time of her raigne here, so stedfastly true to me in al my troubles, as these that constantly kept their alleageance to her in her time. But if the charitable reader will aduisedlie consider, both the methode and matter of my treatise, hee will iudge, what wrong I haue sustained by the carping at both. For my booke, suppose very small, being deuyded in three seuerall parts, the first part thereof onely treates of a Kings duetie towards God in Religion: wherein I haue so clearlie made profession of my Religion, calling it the Religion wherein I was brought vp, and euer made profession of, and wishing him euer to continue in the same, as the onely true forme of Gods worship; that I would haue thought my sincere plainnesse in that first part vpon that subiect, should haue ditted the mouth of the most enuious Momus, that euer hell did hatche, from barking at any other part of my booke, vpon that grounde; except they would alledge me to be contrarie to my selfe, which in so small a volume would smell of too great weaknesse, and sliprinesse of memorie. And the second part of my booke, teaches my sonne howe to vse his office, in the administration of iustice, and politike gouernement: the third onely contayning a Kings outward behauiour in indifferent things, what aggreeance and conformitie he ought to keepe betwixt his outward behauiour in these things, and the vertuous qualities of his mind: & how they should serue for trunshe-men, to interprete the inwarde disposition of the minde, to the eyes of them that cannot see farther within him, and therefore must onely iudge of him by the outward appearance. So as if there were no more to be looked into, but the very methode and order of the booke, it will sufficientlie cleare me of that first and grieuousest imputation, in the point of Religion; since in the first part, where Religion is onely treated of, I speake so plainly. And what in other parts I speake of Puritanes, it is onely of their morall faults, in that part where I speake of policie: declaring when they contemne the law and soueraigne authoritie, what examplare punishment they deserue for the same. And now as to the matter it selfe where-vpon this skandale is taken, that I may sufficiently satisfie all honest men, and by a iust apologie raise vp a brasen wall or bulwark against all the darts of the enuious, I will the more narrowly rippe vp the wordes, whereat they seeme to bee somewhat stomacked.
First then, as to the name of Puritane, I am not ignorant that the stile thereof doth properly belong onely to that vile sect amongst the Anabaptists, called the Familie of loue; because they thinke themelues onely pure, and in a manner, without sinne, the onely true Church, and only worthie to bee participant of the Sacraments; and all the rest of the world to be but abomination in the sight of God. Of this speciall sect I principally meane, when I speake of Puritanes; diuers of them, as Browne, Penrie, and others, hauing at sundrie times come in Scotland, to sowe their popple amongst vs (and from my heart I wish that they had left no schollers behinde them, who by their fruites will in the owne time be manifested), and partly, indeede, I giue this stile to such brainsick and headie preachers their disciples and followers, as refusing to be called of that sect, yet participates too much with their humours, in maintaining the aboue mentioned errours; not onely agreeing with the generall rule of all Anabaptits, in the contempt of the ciuill Magitrate, and in leaning to their owne dreames and reuelations; but particularly with this sect, in accounting all men prophane that sweares not to all their fantasies; in making for euerie particular question of the policie of the Church, as great commotion, as if the article of the Trinitie were called in controuersie; in making the Scriptures to be ruled by their conscience, and not their conscience by the Scripture; and he that denies the least iot of their grounds sit tibi tanquam ethnicus & publicanus: not worthy to enjoy the benefite of breathing, much lesse to participate with them of the Sacraments: and before that any of their grounds be impugned, let King, people, law and all be tred vnder foote. Such holie warres are to be preferred to an vngodlie peace: no, in such cases, Christian princes are not only to be resisted vnto, but not to be prayed for. For prayer must come of Faith, and it is reuealed to their consciences, that God will heare no prayer for such a Prince. Iudge then, Christian reader, if I wrong this sort of people, in giuing them the style of that sect, whose errours they imitate: and since they are contented to weare their liuerie, let them not bee ashamed to borrowe also their name. It is onely of this kind of men, that in this book I write so sharplie, and whome I wishe my Sonne to punishe, in case they refuse to obey the lawe, and will not cease to stur-vp a rebellion. Whome against I haue written the more bitterlie, in respect of diuers famous libels, & iniurious speaches spred by some of them, not onely dishonourably inuectiue against all Christian princes, but euen reprochefull to our profession and religion, in respect they are come out vnder coullour thereof: and yet were neuer answered but by Papists, who generally meddle aswell against them, as the religion it selfe; whereby the skandale was rather doubled, then taken away. But on the other part, I protest vpon mine honour, I meane it not generally of all Preachers, or others, that likes better of the single forme of policie in our Church, then of the many ceremonies in the Church of England, that are perswaded, that their Bishops smels of a Papall supremacie, that the surplise, the cornered cap, and such like, are the outward badges of Popish errors. No, I am so farre from being contentious in these things (which for my owne part I euer esteemed as indifferent), as I doe æqually loue and honour the learned and graue men of either of these opinions. It can no waies become me to pronounce so lightly a sentence, in so olde a controuersie. We all (God bee praised) doe agree in the grounds, and the bitternesse of men vpon such questions doth but trouble the peace of the Church; and giues aduantage and entry to the Papists by our diuision. But towards them, I onely vse this prouision, that where the Law is otherwayes, they may content themelues soberly and quietly with their owne opinions, not resisting to the authoritie, nor breaking the law of the countrie; neither aboue all, sturring any rebellion or schisme: but possessing their soules in peace, let them preasse by patience, and well grounded reasons, either to perswade all the rest of their iudgements; or where they see better grounds on the other part, not to be ashamed peaceablie to incline thereunto, laying aside all preoccupied opinions.
And that is the onely meaning of my booke, and not any coldnesse or crack in Religion, that place doth plainlie witnesse, where, after I haue spoken of the faults in our Ecclesiasticall estate, I exhort my sonne to bee beneficiall vnto the good men of the Ministrie; praising God there, that there is presently a sufficient number of good men of them in this kingdome: and yet are they all knowne to be against the forme of the English Church. Yea, so farre I am in that place from admitting corruption in Religion, as I wish him in promoouing them, to vse such caution as may preserue their estate from creeping to corruption; euer vsing that forme thorough the whole booke, where euer I speake of bad preachers, tearming them some of the ministers, and not Ministers or Ministrie in generall. And to conclude this point of Religion, what indifferencie of Religion can Momus call that in me, where, speaking of my sonnes mariage (in case it pleased God before that time to cut the thread of my life) I plainlie forewarne him of the inconueniences that were like to insue, in case he should marrie any that be of a different profession in Religion from him: notwithstanding that the number of Princes professing our Religion bee so small, as it is hard to forsee, how he can be that way meetly matched according to his ranke.
And as for the other point, that by some parts in this booke, it should appeare, that I doe nourish in my minde a vindictiue resolution against England, or some principals there; it is surelie more then wonderfull vnto me, vpon what grounds they can haue gathered such conclusions. For as vpon the one part, I neither by name nor discription point out England in that part of my discourse; so vpon the other, I plainly bewray my meaning to be of Scotish-men, where I conclude that purpose in these terms: "that the loue I beare to my Son, hath mooued me to be so plaine in this argumet: for so that I discharge my conscience to him in vttering the veritie, I care not what any traitour or treason-allower doe thinke of it." And English-men could not thereby be meant, since they could be no traitors, where they ought no alleageance. I am not ignorant of a wise and Princely apothegme, which the same Queene of England vttered about the time of her owne coronation. But the drift of that discourse doth fully cleare my intention, being onely grounded vpon that precept to my Sonne, that he should not permit any vnreuerent detracting of his predecessors; bringing in that purpose of my mother onely for an example of my experience anent Scottish-men, without vsing any perswading to him of reuenge. For a Kings giuing of any fault the dew stile, inferres no reduction of the faulters pardon. No, I am by a degree nearer of kinne vnto my mother then he is, neither thinke I my selfe, either that vnworthie, or that neere my ende, that I neede to make such a Dauidicall testament; since I haue euer thought it the dutie of a worthie Prince, rather with a pike, then a pen, to write his iust reuenge. But in this matter I haue no delight to be large, wishing all men to iudge of my future proiects, according to my by-past actions.
Thus hauing as much insisted in the clearing of these two points, as will (I hope) giue sufficient satisfaction to all honest men, and leauing the enuious to the foode of their owne venome; I will heartilie pray thee, louing reader, charitablie to conceiue of my honest intention in this booke. I knowe the greatest part of the people of this whole Ile, haue been very curious for a sight thereof: some for the loue they beare mee, either being particularlie acquainted with me, or by good report that perhappes they haue heard of mee: and therefore longed to see any thing that proceeded from that authour whome they so loued and honoured; since bookes are viue Idees of the authors minde. Some onely for meere curiositie, that thinkes it their honour to know all new things, were curious to glut their eyes therewith, only that they might vaunt them to haue seene it: and some fraughted with causelesse enuie at the authour, did greedilie search out the booke, thinking their stomacke fit enough for turning neuer so wholesome foode into noysome and infectiue humours. So as this their great concurrence in curiositie (though proceeding from farre different complexions) hath inforced the vn-timous divulgating of this booke, farre contrarie to my intention, as I haue alreadie said. To which hydra of diuerslie enclined spectators, I haue no targe to oppone but plainnesse, patience, and sinceritie: plainnesse, for resoluing and satisfying of the first sort; patience, for to beare with the shallownesse of the next; and sinceritie to defie the malice of the third withall. Though I cannot please all men therein, I am contented so that I onely please the vertuous sort: and though they also finde not euerie thing therein, so fullie to answere their expectation, as the argument would seeme to require; although I would wish them modestly to remember that God hath not bestowed all his gifts vpon one, but parted them by a Iustice distributiue; and that many eyes sees more then one; and that the varietie of mens minds in such, that tot capita tot sensus; yea and that euen the very faces that God hath by nature brought foorth in the world, do euery one in some of their particular lineaments differ from any other: yet in truth it was not my intention in handling of this purpose (as it is easie to perceiue fully to set downe here all such grounds, as might out of the best writers haue been alledged, and out of my owne invention and experience added, for the perfite institution of a King: but onely to giue some such precepts to my owne Sonne for the gouernment of this Kingdome, as was meetest for him to be instructed in, and best became me to be the informer of.
If I in this booke haue been too particularly plaine, impute it to the necessitie of the subiect, not so much being ordained for the institution of a Prince in generall, as I haue said, as containing particular precepts to my Sonne in speciall; whereof he could haue made but a generall vse, if they had not contained the particular diseases of this kingdome, with the bests remedies for the same; which it became me best as a King, hauing learned both the theoricke and practicke thereof, more plainely to expresse then any simple schoole-man, that onely knowes matters of Kingdomes by contemplation.
But if in some place it seeme too obscure, impute it to the shortnesse thereof, being both for the respect of my selfe, and of my Sonne, constrained thereunto: my owne respect, for fault of leasure, being so continually occupied in the affaires of my office, as my great burthen, and rest-lesse fashery is more then knowne, to all that knowes or heares of me: for my Sonnes respect, because I knowe by my selfe, that a Prince so long as he is young, will be so carried away with some sorte of delight or other, that he cannot patiently abide the reading of any large volume: and when he comes to a full maturitie of age, he must be so busied in the actiue part of his charge, as he will not be permitted to bestow many houres vpon the contemplatiue part thereof. So as it was neither fit for him, nor possible for mee, to haue made this treatise any more ample then it is. Indeede I am a little beholden to the curiositie of some, who thinking it too large already (as appeares) for lacke of leasure to copie it, drew some notes out of it, for speeds sake; putting in the one halfe of the purpose, and leauing out the other: not vnlike the man that alleadged that part of the Psalme, non est Deus; but left out the preceding words, Dixit insipiens in corde suo. And of these notes, making a little pamphlet (lacking both my methode and half of my matter) entituled it, forsooth, the Kings Testament: as if I had eiked a third Testament of my owne, to the two that are in the holy Scriptures. It is true that in a place thereof, for affirmation of the purpose I am speaking of to my Sonne, I bring my selfe in there, as speaking vpon my Testament: for in that sense, euery record in write of a mans opinion in anything (in respect that papers out-liues their authors) is as it were a Testament of that mans will in that case: and in that sense it is, that in that place I call this treatise a Testament. But from any particular sentence in a booke, to giue the booke itself a title, is as ridiculous as to stile the booke of the Psalmes the booke of Dixit insipiens, because with these words one of them doth begin.
Well, leauing these new baptisers and blockers of other mens books to their owne follies, I returne to my purpose, anent the shortnesse of this booke: suspecting that all my excuses for the shortnesse thereof, shall not satisfy some, especially in our neighbour countrie: who though, that as I haue so narrowly in this treatise touched all the principall sicknesses in our kingdome, with overtures for the remedies thereof, as I said before: so looked they to haue found something therein, that should haue touched the sicknesses of their state, in the like sort. But they will easily excuse me thereof, if they will consider the forme I haue vsed in this treatise: wherein I onely teach my Sonne, out of my owne experience, what forme of government is fittest for this Kingdome: and in one past thereof speaking of the bordours, I plainly there doe excuse my selfe, that I will speake no thing of the state of England, as a matter wherein I neuer had experience. I know, indeede, no Kingdome lackes her owne diseases, and likewayes what interest I haue in the prosperitie of that state: for although I would be silent, my blood and discent doth sufficiently proclaime it. But notwithstanding, since there is a lawfull Queene there presently raigning, who hath so long with so great wisedome and felicitie gouerned her Kingdomes, as (I must in true sinceritie confesse) the like hath not been read nor heard of, either in our time, or since the days of the Roman Emperour Augustus; it could no wayes become me, farre inferiour to her in knowledge and experience, to bee a busie-bodie in other Princes matters, and to fish in other folkes waters, as the prouerbe is. No, I hope by the contrarie (with Gods grace) euer to keepe that Christian rule, To doe as I would haue done to: and I doubt nothing, yea euen in her name I dare promise, by the bypast experience of her happie gouernment, as I haue alreadie saide, that no good subiect shall be more carefull to enforme her of any corruptions stolen in in her state: then she shall be zealous for the discharge of her conscience and honour, to see the same purged and restored to the auncient integritie: and further, during her time, becomes me least of any to meddle in.
And thus hauing resolued all the doubts, so farre as I can imagine may bee mooued against this treatise; it onely rests to praye thee (charitable reader) to interpret fauourably this birth of mine, according to the integritie of the author, and not looking for perfection in the worke it selfe. As for my part, I onely glorie thereof in this point, that I trust no sort of vertue is condemned, nor any degree of vice allowed in it: and that (though it be not perhaps so gorgeously decked and richly attired as it ought to be) it is at the least rightly proportioned in all the members, without any monstrous deformitie in any of them: and specially that since it was first written in secret, and is now published, not of ambition, but of a kinde of necessitie; it must be taken of all men, for the true image of my very mind, and forme of the rule, which I haue prescribed to my selfe and mine. Which as in all my actions I haue hitherto preassed to expresse, so farre as the nature of my charge and the condition of the time would permit me: so beareth it a discouerie of that, which may be looked for at my hand, and where-to, euen in my secret thoughts, I haue engaged my selfe for the time to come. And thus in a firme trust, that it shall please God, who with my being and Crowne, gaue me this minde, to maintaine and augment the same in me and my posteritie, to the discharge of our conscience, the maintenance of our honor, and weale of our people, I bid thee hartely fare-well.
The First Booke.
OF A KINGS CHRISTIAN DVTIE TOWARDS GOD.
As he cannot be thought worthy to rule and commaund others that cannot rule and dantone his owne proper affections and vnreasonable appetites, so can he not be thought worthie to gouerne a Christian people knowing and fearing God, that in his own person and heart, feareth not and loueth not the Diuine Maiestie. Neither can anie thing in his gouernment succeed wel with him (deuise and labour as he list) as comming from a filthie spring, if his person be vnsanctified: for (as that royall Prophet saith) "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vaine that build it: except the Lord keepe the Citie, the keepers watch it in vaine:" in respect the blessing of God hath only power to giue the successe thereunto: and as Paul saith, "he planteth, Apollos watereth; but it is God onely that giueth the increase." Therefore (my sonne) first of all things, learne to know and loue that GOD, whom-to yee haue a double obligation; first, for that hee made you a man, and next, for that he made you a little God to sitte on his Throne, and rule ouer other men. Remember, that as in dignitie he hath erected you aboue others, so ought yee in thankfulnesse towards him, goe as farre beyond all others. A moate in anothers eye, is a beame into yours: a blemish in another, is a leprouse byle into you: and a veniall sinne (as the Papists call it) in another, is a great crime into you. Thinke not therefore, that the highnes of your dignitie diminisheth your faults (much lesse giueth you a licence to sin), but by the contrarie, your fault shal be aggrauated, according to the height of your dignitie; any sinne that ye commit, not being a single sin, procuring but the fall of one; but being an exemplare sinne, and therefore drawing with it the whole multitude to bee guiltie of the same. Remember then, that this glistring worldlie glorie of Kings is giuen them by God, to teach them to preasse so to glister and shine before their people, in al works of sanctification & righteousnes, that their persons as bright lampes of godlines and vertue may, going in and out before their people, giue light to al their steps. Remember also, that by the right knowledge and feare of God (which is "the beginning of wisdome," as Salomon saith) ye shall knowe all the things necessarie for the discharge of your dutie, both as a Christian and as a King; seeing in him, as in a mirrour, the course of all earthlie things, whereof he is the spring and only moouer.
Now, the onely way to bring you to this knowledge, is diligentlie to reade his word, and earnestly to pray for the right vnderstanding thereof. "Search the Scriptures," saith Christ, "for they beare testimonie of me:" and "the whole Scripture," saith Paul, "is giuen by inspiration of God, and is profitable to teach, to conuince, to correct, & to instruct in righteousness; that the man of God may be absolute, being made perfit vnto al good workes." And most properlie of any other, belongeth the reading thereof vnto kings, since in that part of Scripture, where the godlie Kings are first made mention off, that were ordained to rule ouer the people of God, there is an expresse and most noble exhortation and commaundement giuen them, to reade and meditate in the law of God. I ioyne to this, the carefull hearing of the doctrine with attendance and reuerence: For "faith commeth by hearing," saith the same Apostle. But aboue all, beware yee wrest not the word to your owne appetite, as ouer many doe, making it like a bell to sound as ye please to interprete: but by the contrarie, frame all your affections, to follow precisely the rule there set downe.
The whole Scripture chieflie containeth two things: a command, and a prohibition; to do such things, and to abstaine from the contrarie. Obey in both; neither thinke it enough to abstaine from euill, and do no good: nor thinke not that if ye doe manie good things, it may serue you for a cloake to mixe euill turns therewith. And as in these two points, the whole Scripture principallie consisteth: so in two degrees standeth the whole seruice of God by man: interiour or vpward; exteriour, or downward: the first, by prayer in faith towards God; the next, by workes flowing therefra before the world: which is nothing else but the exercise of Religion towards God, and of equitie towards your neighbour.
As for the particular poynts of Religion, I neede not to dilate them; I am no hypocrite, follow my footesteppes, and your owne present education therein. I thanke God, I was neuer ashamed to giue account of my profession, howsoeuer the malitious lying tongues of some haue traduced me: and if my conscience had not resolued me, that all my Religion presently professed by me and my kingdome, was grounded vpon the plaine wordes of Scripture, without the which all points of Religion are superfluous, as anie thing contrarie to the same is abomination, I had neuer outwardlie avowed it, for pleasure or awe of any flesh.
And as for the points of equitie towards your neighbour (because that will fall in properlie, vpon the second part concerning a kings office) I leaue it to the owne roome.
For the first part then of mans seruice to his God, which is Religion, that is, the worshippe of God according to his reuealed will, it is wholie grounded vpon the Scripture, as I haue alreadie sayd, quickened by faith, and conserued by conscience. For the Scripture, I haue now spoken of it in generall: but that ye may the more readilie make choise of any part thereof, for your instruction or comfort, remember shortlie this methode.
The whole Scripture is dited by Gods spirit, thereby, as by his liuely word, to instruct and rule the whole Church militant to the ende of the world. It is composed of two parts, the Olde and new Testament. The grounde of the former is the Law, which sheweth our sinne, and containeth justice: the ground of the other is Christ, who pardoning sinne containeth grace. The summe of the Law is the tenne Commandements, more largelie dilated in the bookes of Moses, interpreted and applied by the Prophets, and by the histories, are the examples shewed of obedience or disobedience thereto, and what proemium or poena was accordinglie giuen by God. But because no man was able to keepe the Law, nor any part thereof, it pleased God of his infinite wisdome and goodnesse to incarnate his onely Sonne in our nature, for satisfaction of his iustice in his suffering for vs: that since we could not be saued by doing, wee might at least, be saued by beleeuing.
The ground therefore of the word of grace, is contained in the foure histories of the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. The larger interpretation and vse thereof, is contained in the Epistles of the Apostles: and the practise in the faithfull or vnfaithfull, with the historie of the infancie and first progresse of the Church is contained in their acts.
Would ye then know your sinnes by the Law? Reade the bookes of Moses containing it. Would yee haue a commentarie thereupon? Read the Prophets, and likewise the bookes of the Prouerbs and Ecclesiastes, written by that great paterne of wisdome Salomon; which will not only serue you for instruction, how to walke in the obedience of the Law of God, but is also so full of golden sentences, and morall precepts, in all things that can concerne your conuersation in the world, as among all the prophane Philosophers and Poets, ye shall not finde so rich a store-house of precepts of naturall wisdome, agreeing with the will and diuine wisdome of God. Would ye see how good men are rewarded, and wicked men punished? looke the historicall partes of these same bookes of Moses, together with the histories of Ioshua, the Iudges, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Iob: but especially the bookes of the Kinges, and Chronicles, wherewith ye ought to be familiarlie acquainted: for there shall ye see your selfe, as in a mirrour, in the catalogue either of the good or the euill Kings.
Would yee nowe the doctrine, life and death of our Sauiour Christ? reade the Euangelists. Would ye be more particularlie trained vp in his schoole? meditate vpon the Epistles of the Apostles. And would yee be acquainted with the practizes of that doctrine in the persons of the Primitiue Church? Cast vp the Apostles Acts. And as to the Apocryphe bookes, I omit them because I am no Papist, as I said before, and indeede some of them are no waies like the ditement of the Spirit of God.
But when yee read the Scripture, read it with a sanctified & chast hart: admire reuerentlie such obscure places as ye vnderstand not, blaming only your own capacitie; reade with delight the plaine places, and study carefully to vnderstand those that are somewhat difficile: preasse to be a good textuare; for the Scripture is euer the best interpreter of it selfe. But prease not curiously to seek out farther then is contained therein; for that were ouer vnmannerly a presumption, to striue to be further vpon Gods secrets, then he hath will ye be: for what he thought needfull for vs to know, that hath he reuealed there. And delight most in reading such partes of the Scripture, as may best serue for your instruction in our calling; rejecting foolish curiosities vpon genealogies and contentions, "which are but vaine and profit not," as Paul saith.
Now, as to faith, which is the nourisher and quickener of Religion, as I haue alreadie said, it is a sure perswasion and apprehension of the promises of God, applying them to your soule: and therefore may it iustly bee called the golden chaine that linketh the faithfull soule to Christ. And because it groweth not in our garden, but "is the free gift of God," as the same Apostle saith, it must bee nourished by prayer, which is nothing else but a friendly talking with God.
As for teaching you the forme of your prayers, the Psalmes of Dauid are the meetest schoole-master that ye can be acquainted with (next the prayer of our Sauiour which is the onely rule of prayer) whereout of as of most rich and pure fountaines, ye may learne all forme of prayer, necessarie for your comfort at all occasions. And so much the fitter are they for you then for the common sort, in respect the composer thereof was a king: and therefore best behooued to know a kings wants, and what things were meetest to be required by a king at Gods hand for remedie thereof.
Vse often to pray when yee are quietest, especiallie forget it not in your bed, how oft soeuer yee doe it at other times: for publique prayer serueth as much for example as for any particular comfort to the supplicant.
In your prayer, bee neither ouer strange with God, like the ignorant common sort, that prayeth nothing but out of books; nor yet ouer homelie with him, like some of the vaine Pharisaicall Puritanes, that think they rule him vpon their fingers. The former way will breed an vncouth coldnes in you towards him, the other will breede in you a contempt for him. But in your prayer to God speak with all reuerence: for if a subject will not speake but reuerentlie to a King, much lesse should any flesh presume to talke with God as with his companion.
Craue in your prayer, not onelie things spirituall, but also things temporall, sometimes of greater, & sometimes of lesse consequence; that yee may lay vp in store his grant of these thinges, for confirmation of your faith, and to bee an arles-penny vnto you of his loue. Pray, as ye find your heart moueth you, pro re nata: but see that ye sute no vnlawfull things, as reuenge, lust, or such like: for that prayer cannot come from faith: "and whatsoeuer is done without faith is sinne," as the Apostle saith.
When yee obtaine your prayer, thanke him joyfully therefore: if otherwaies, beare patientlie, preassing to win him with importunitie, as the widow did the vnrighteous Iudge: and if notwithstanding thereof ye be not heard, assure your selfe God forseeth that which yee aske is not for your weale: and learne in time, so to interprete all the aduersities that God shall send vnto you; so shall ye in the middest of them, not onelie bee armed with patience, but joyfullie lift vp your eyes from the present trouble to the happie ende that God will turne it to. And when ye finde it once so fall out of proofe, arme your selfe with the experience thereof against the next trouble, assuring your selfe, though yee cannot in time of the showre see thorough the clowd, yet in the end, shall ye find, God sent it for your weale, as yee found in the former.
As for conscience, which I call the conseruer of Religion, it is nothing else but the light of knowledge that God hath planted in man, which euer watching ouer all his actions, as it beareth him a joyfull testimonie when he does right, so choppeth it him with a feeling that hee hath done wrong when euer he committeth any sinne. And surely, although this conscience bee a great torture to the wicked, yet is it as great a comfort to the godlie, if wee will consider it rightly. For haue we not a great aduantage, that haue within our selues while wee liue heere, a count booke and inuentarie of al the crimes that wee shall be accused of, either at the houre of our death, or at the great day of judgement; which when wee please (yea though we forget) will chop, and remember vs to look vpon it; that while we haue leasure and are here, wee may remember to amend; and so at the day of our triall, compeare with "new and white garments washed in the blood of the Lambe," as S. Iohn saith. Aboue all then, my Sonne, labour to keepe sound conscience, which many prattle of, but ouer few feele: especiallie be carefull to keepe it free from two diseases, wherewith it vseth oft to be infected: to wit, Leaprosie, and Superstition: the former is the mother of Atheisme, the other of Heresies. By a leaprouse conscience, I mean "a cauterized conscience," as Paul calleth it, being become senselesse of sinne, through sleeping in a carelesse securitie, as King Dauids was, after his murther and adulterie, euer till he was wakened by the Prophet Nathans similitude. And by superstition, I meane, when one restraines himselfe to any other rule in the seruice of God then is warranted by the word, the onelie true square of Gods seruice.
As for a preseruatiue against this leaprosie, remember euer once in the foure and twentie houres, either in the night, or when yee are at greatest quiet, to call your selfe to account of all your last daies actions, either wherein yee haue committed things ye should not, or omitted the things ye should doe, either in your Christian or kingly calling: and in that account, let not your selfe be smoothed ouer with that flattering philautia, which is ouer kindlie a sicknes to all mankinde: but censure your selfe as sharply, as if ye were your owne enemie: "For if ye iudge your selfe, ye shall not be iudged," as the Apostle saith: and then according to your censure, reforme your actions as far as yee may; eschewing euer wilfully and wittinglie to contrarie your conscience. For a small sinne wilfullie committed, with a deliberate resolution to breake the bridle of conscience therein, is farre more grieuous before God then a greater sinne committed in a suddaine passion, when conscience is a sleepe. Remember therefore in all your actions, of the great account that yee are one daie to make: in all the daies of your life euer learning to die, and liuing euery day as it were your last:
Omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum.
And therefore I would not haue you to pray with the Papists, to bee preserued from suddaine death, but that God would giue you grace so to liue, as ye may euerie houre of your life be readie for death: so shall ye attaine to the vertue of true Fortitude, neuer being affraid for the horror of death, come when he list. And especiallie beware to offend your conscience, with vse of swearing or lying, suppose but in jest; for oathes are but an vse, and a sinne cloathed with no delight nor gaine, and therefore the more inexcusable euen in the sight of men: and lying commeth also much of a vile vse, which bannisheth shame. Therefore beware euen to denie the truth, which is a sorte of lie, that may best bee eschewed by a person of your ranke. For if any thing bee asked at you that ye thinke not meete to reueale, if yee say that question is not pertinent for them to aske, who dare examine you further? and vsing sometimes this answere both in true and false things that shal be asked at you, such vnmannerly people will neuer be the wiser thereof.
And for keeping your conscience sound from that sicknes of superstition, ye must neither lay the safetie of your conscience vpon the credit of your owne conceite, nor yet of other mens humours, how great doctors of Diuinitie that euer they bee: but ye must onely ground it vpon the expresse Scripture: for conscience not grounded vpon sure knowledge, is either an ignorant fantasie or an arrogant vanitie. Beware therefore in this case with two extremities: the one, to beleeue with the Papists, the Churches authoritie, better then your owne knowledge: the other to leane, with the Anabaptistes, to your owne conceites and dreamed reuelations.
But learne wisely to discerne betwixt points of saluation and indifferent thing, betwixt substance and ceremonies; and betwixt the expres commaundement and will of God in his word, and the invention or ordinance of man: since all that is necessarie for saluation is contained in the Scripture. For in any thing that is expresly commanded or prohibited in the book of God, ye cannot be ouer precise, euen in the least thing; counting euery sinne, not according to the light estimation and common vse of it in the world, but as the booke of God counteth of it. But as for all other things not contained in the Scripture, spare not to vse or alter them, as the necessitie of the time shall require. And when any of the spirituall office-bearers in the Church speaketh vnto you any thing that is well warranted by the word, reuerence and obey them as Heraulds of the most high God: but, if passing that bounds, they vrge you to embrace any of their fantasies in the place of Gods word, or would colour their particulars with a pretended zeale, acknowledge them for no other then vaine men, exceeding the bounds of their calling; and according to your office, grauely and with authoritie redact them in order againe.
To conclude then, both this purpose of conscience and the first part of this booke; Keepe God more sparingly in your mouth, but aboundantly in your heart: be precise in effect, but social in shew: kythe [make known] more by your deedes then by your words the loue of vertue and hatred of vice: and delight more to bee godlie and vertuous in deede then to be thought and called so; expecting more for your praise and reward in heauen then heere: and apply to all your outward actions Christes commaunde, to pray and giue your almes secretly: so shall ye on the one part be inwardly garnished with true Christian humility, not outwardly (with the proud Pharisie) glorying in your godlines: but saying, as Christ commandeth vs all, when we haue done all that we can, Inutiles serui sumus. And on the other part, ye shall eschew outwardly before the world, the suspition of filthie proud hypocrisie and deceitfull dissimulation.
The Second Booke.
OF A KINGS DVTIE IN HIS OFFICE.
BVT as ye are clothed with two callings, so must ye be alike carefull for the discharge of them both: that yee are a good Christian, so ye may bee a good King, discharging your office (as I shewed before) in the points of justice and equitie: which in two sundrie waies ye must doe: the one, in establishing and executing (which is the life of the law) good lawes among your people: the other, by your behauiour in your owne person, and with your seruants, to teach your people by your example: for people are naturally inclined to counterfaite (like apes) their Princes maners, according to the notable saying of Plato, expressed by the Poet:
Regis ad exemplum, necsic inflectere sensus
Humanos edicta valent, quam vita regentis.
For the part of making and executing of lawes, consider first the true difference betwixt a lawfull good King and an vsurping Tyrant, and ye shall the more easily vnderstand your dutie herein: for contraria iuxta se posita magis elucescunt. The one acknowledgeth himselfe ordained for his people, hauing receiued from God a burthen of gouernment whereof he must bee countable: the other thinketh his people ordained for him, a pray to his passions and inordinate appetites, as the fruites of his magnanimitie. And therefore, as their ends are directlie contrarie, so are their whole actions, as means, whereby they preasse to attaine to their end: A good King, thinking his highest honor to consist in the due discharge of his calling, employeth all his studie and paines to procure and maintaine, by the making and execution of good lawes, the well-fare and peace of his people; and as their naturall father and kindly maister, thinketh his greatest contentment standeth in their prosperitie, and his greatest suretie in hauing their hearts, subiecting his owne priuate affections and appetites to the weale and standing of his subiects, euer thinking the common interesse his chiefest particular: where by the contrarie, an vsurping Tyrant, thinking his greatest honour and felicitie to conist in attaining per fas vel nefa, to his ambitious pretenses, thinketh neuer himselfe sure, but by the dissention and factions among his people; and counterfeiting the Sainte while hee once creepe in credit, will then (by inuerting all good lawes to serue onely for his vnrulie priuate affections) frame the Commonweale ever to aduance his particular: building his suretie vpon his peoples miserie: and in the end (as a step-father and an vncouth hireling) make vp his owne hand vpon the ruines of the Republicke. And according to their actions, so receiue they their reward. For a good King (after a happie and famous reigne) dieth in peace, lamented by his subjects, and admired by his neighbours; and leauing a reuerent renowne behinde him in earth, obtaineth the crowne of eternall felicitie in heauen. And although some of them (which falleth out verie rarely) may bee cut off by the reason of some vnnaturall subjects, yet liueth their fame after them, and some notable plague faileth neuer to ouer-take the committers in this life, besides their infamie to all posterities hereafter. Whereby the contrarie, a Tyrannes miserable and infamous life, armeth in end his owne subjects to become his burreaux: and although that rebellion be euer vnlawfull on their part, yet in the world so wearied of him, that his fall is little meaned by the rest of his subjects, and but smyled at by his neighbours. And besides the infamous memorie he leaueth behinde him here, and the endles paine hee sustaineth hereafter, it oft falleth out that the committers not onely escape vnpunished, but farther, the fact will remaine as allowed by the law in diuers ages thereafter. It is easie then for you (my Sonne) to make a choyse of one of these two sortes of rules, by following the way of vertue to establish your standing; yea, in case ye fell in the highway, yet should it be with the honourable report, and just regrate of all honest men.
And therefore to returne to my purpose anent the gouernment of your subjects, by making and putting good lawes to execution; I remitte the making of them to your owne discretion, as yee shall finde the necessitie of new-rising corruptions to require them: for, ex malis moribus bonoe leges natoe sunt: besides, that in this countrie, we haue alreadie moe good lawes then are well execute, and am onely to insist in your forme of gouverment anent their execution. Onlie remember, that as Parliaments haue been ordained for making lawes, so yee abuse not their institution, in holding them for any mens particulars. For as a Parliament is the honorablest and highest judgement in the land (as being the Kings head Courte) if it bee well vsed, which is by making of good lawes in it; so is it the in-justest judgement-seate that may bee, being abused to mens particulars: irreuocable decreits against particular parties being giuen therein vnder colour of generall lawes, and ofttimes the Estates not knowing themselues whom thereby they hurt. And therefore hold no Parliament but for necessitie of new lawes, which would be but seldome: for few lawes and well put in execution, are best in a well ruled Common-weale. As for the matter of fore-faltures, which also are done in Parliament, it is not good tigging with these things; but my aduice is, ye forefault none but for such odious crimes as may make them vnworthie euer to be restored againe. And for smaller offences, ye haue other penalties sharpe enough to be vsed against them.
And as for the execution of good lawes, whereat I left, remember that among the differences that I put betwixt the formes of the gouernment of a good King and an vsurping Tyrant; I shew how a Tyrant would enter like a Saint while hee found himselfe fast vnder-foote, and then would suffer his vnrulie affections to burst foorth. Therefore be ye contrarie at your first entrie to your Kingdome, to that Quinquennium Neronis, with his tender hearted wish, Vellem nescirem literas in giuing the lawfull execution against all breakers thereof but exception. For since yee come not to you Reigne precario nor by conquest, but by right and due discent; feare no vproares for doing of justice, since yee may assure your selfe the most part of your people will euer naturally fauour justice: prouiding alwaise, that ye doe it onely for loue to justice, and not for satisfying any particular passions of yours, vnder colour thereof: otherwise, how justlie that euer the offender deserue it, ye are guiltie of murther before God. For ye must consider that God euer looketh to your inward intention in all your actions.
And when ye haue by the seueritie of justice once setled your countries, and made them knowe that ye can strike, then may ye thereafter all the days of your life mixe justice with mercie, punishing or sparing, as ye shall finde the crime to haue been wilfullie or rashlie committed, and according to the by-past behauiour of the committer. For if otherwise ye kyth your clemencie at the first, the offences would soone come to such heapes, and the contempt of you growe so great, that when ye would fall to punish, the nomber of them to be punished would exceede the innocent; and ye would be troubled to resolue whome-at to begin: and against your nature would be compelled then to warcke manie, whom the chastisement of fewe in the beginning might haue preserued. But in this, my ouer-deare bought experience may serue you for a sufficient lesson. For I confesse, where I thought (by being gracious at the beginning) to win all mens heartes to a louing and willing obedience, I by the contrarie found the disorder of the countrie and the losse of my thankes to be all my rewarde.
But as this seuere justice of yours vpon all offence would be but for a time (as I haue alreadie sayd), so is there some horrible crimes that ye are bound in conscience neuer to forgiue: such as Witch-craft, wilfull murther, Incest (especially within the degrees of consanguinitie), Sodomy, Poysoning, and false coine. As for offences against your owne person and authority, since the fault concerneth your selfe, I remit to your owne choyse to punish or pardon therein as your heart serueth you, and according to the circumstances of the turne and the qualitie of the committer.
Here would I also eike another crime to be vnpardonable, if I should not bee thought partiall; but the fatherly loue I beare you will make me breake the bounds of shame in opening it vnto you. It is then, the false and vnreuerent writing or speaking of malicious men against your Parents and Predecessors: ye know the command in Gods law, "Honour your Father and Mother:" and consequently, sen yee are the lawfull magistrate, suffer not both your Princes and your Parents to be dishonoured by any; especially, sith the example also toucheth your selfe, in leauing thereby to your successors the measure of that which they shall mette out againe to you in your like behalfe. I graunt we haue all our faults, which, priuately betwixt you and God, should serue you for examples to meditate vpon, and mend in your person; but shoulde not bee a matter of discourse to others what-soeuer. And sith yee are come of as honourable Predecessoures as anie Prince liuing, represse the insolence of such, as vnder pretence to taxe a vice in the person, seekes craftily to staine the race, and to steale the affection of the people from their posteritie. For howe can they loue you, that hated them whome of yee are come. Wherefore destroy men innocent yong sucking Wolues and Foxes, but for the hatred they bare to their race; and why will a coult of a Courser of Naples giue a greater price in a market then an Asse-colt, but for loue of the race? It is therefore a thing monstrous, to see a man loue the childe and hate the Parentes: as on the other parte, the inflaming and making odious of the parent, is the readiest way to bring the sonne in contempt. And for conclusion of this point, I may also alledge my owne experience. For besides the judgements of God, that with my eyes I haue seen fall vpon all them that were chief traitours to my parents, I may justly affirme, I neuer found yet a constant byding by me in all my straits, by any that were of perfite age in my parentes dayes, but only by such as constantly bode by them. I meane specially by them that serued the Queene my mother: for so that I discharge my conscience to you, my Son, in reuealing to you the trueth, I care not what any traitour or treason-allower thinke of it.
And although the crime of oppression be not in this ranke of vnpardonable crimes, yet the ouer-common vse of it in this nation, as if it were a vertue, especially by the greatest ranke of subiects in the land, requireth the King to be a sharpe censurer thereof. Be diligent therefore to try, and awfull to beate downe the hornes of proude oppressours: embrace the quarrell of the poore and distressed, as your owne particular, thinking it your greatest honour to represse the oppressours: care for the pleasure of none, neither spare yee any paines in your owne person, to see their wrongs redressed; & remember of the honourable stile giuen to my grand-father of worthy memorie, in being called "the poore mans King." And as the most part of a Kings office standeth in deciding that question of Meum and Tuum among his subiects; so remember when yee sit in iudgement, that the Throne ye sit on is Gods, as Moses sayeth, and sway neither to the right hand nor to the left, either louing the rich, or pittying the poore. Iustice should bee blinde and friendlesse: it is not there ye should rewarde your friends, or seek to crosse your enemies.
Heere nowe speaking of oppressours and of justice, the people leadeth mee to speake of Hie-lande and Bordour oppressions. As for the Hie-lands, I shortly comprehend them all in two sortes of people: the one, that dwelleth in our maine land, that are barbarous for the most parte, and yet mixed with some shewe of ciuilitie: the other, that dwelleth in the Iles, & are all vtterly barbarous, without any sort or shewe of ciuilitie. For the first sorte, put straitely to execution the lawes made already by mee against the Ouer-lords, and the chiefs of their Clannes, and it will bee no difficultie to danton them. As for the other sort, follow forth the course that I haue intended, in planting Colonies among them of answerable In-lands subiects, that within short time may reforme and ciuilize the best inclined among them: rooting out or transporting the barbarous and stubborn sort, and planting ciuility in their rooms.
But as for the Bordours, because I knowe, if yee enjoy not this whole Ile, according to Gods right and your lineal discent, ye will neuer get leaue to brooke this north and barrenest parte thereof, no, not your owne head whereon the Crowne shoulde stand: I neede not in that case trouble you with them: for then they will bee the middest of the Ile, and so as easily ruled as any part thereof.
And that ye may the readier with wisdome and justice gouerne your subjects, by knowing what vices they are naturally most inclined to as a good physitian, who must first knowe what peccant humours his patient naturally is most subject vnto, before he can beginne his cure: I shall therefore shortly note vnto you, the principall faults that euery ranke of the people of this country is most affected vnto. And as for England, I will not speake by-gesse of them, neuer hauing beene among them; although I hope in that God, who euer fauoureth the right, before I die, to be as well acquainted with their fashions.
As the whole Subjectes of our Country (by the auncient and fundamentall policie of our Kingdome) are diuided into three estates; so is euery estate heereof generally subject to some speciall vices; which in a manner by long habitude are thought rather vertue then vice among them: not that euery particular man, in any of these rankes of man, is subject vnto them; for there is good and euill of all sortes: but that I meane, I haue found by experience these vices to haue taken greatest holde with these rankes of men.
And first, that I prejudge not the Church of her ancient priviledges, reason would shee should haue the first place, for orders sake, in this catalogue.
The naturall sicknesse that haue euer troubled, and beene the decay of all the Churches, since the beginning of the world, changing the candle-sticke from one to another, as Iohn saith, haue been Pride, Ambition, and Auarice: and now last, these same infirmities wrought the ouerthrowe of the Popish Church, in this country and diuerse others. But the reformation of Religion in Scotland, being extraordinarily wrought by God, wherein many things were inordinately done by a populare tumult and Rebellion, of such as blindely were doing the worke of God, but clogged with their owne passions and particular respects, as well appeared by the destruction of our policie; and not proceeding from the Princes order, as it did in our neighbourhood country of England, as likewise in Denmarke, and sundrie partes of Germanie; some fierie spirited men in the ministerie, gotte such a guyding of the people at that time of confusion, as finding the gust of gouernement sweete, they begouth to fantasie to themselues a Democraticke forme of gouernement: and hauing (by the iniquitie of the time) bin ouer-well baited vpon the wracke, first of my Grandmother, and next of my owne Mother, and after vsurping the liberty of the time in my long minoritie, settled themselues to fast vppon that imagined Democracie, as they fed themselues with the hope to become Tribuni plebis: and so in a populare gouernment by leading the people by the nose, to beare the sway of all the rule. And for this cause, there neuer rose faction in the time of my minoritie, nor trouble sen-syne, but they that were vppon that factious parte, were euer carefull to perswade and allure these vnruly spirites among the ministrie, to spouse that quarrell as their owne: where-through I was ofttimes calumniated in their populare sermons, nor for any euill or vice in me, but because I was a King, which they thought the highest euill. And because they were ashamed to professe their quarrell, they were busie to looke narrowly in al my actions, and I warrant you a moate in my eye, yea a false reporte was matter ynough for them to worke vppon: and yet all their cunning, whereby they pretended to distinguish the lawfulnesse of the office, from the vice of the person, some of them would some-times snapper out well grosely with the truth of their inuentions: informing the people, that all Kings and Princes were naturally enemies to the libertie of the Church, and could neuer patiently beare the yoke of Christ, with such sound doctrine fed they their flockes. And because the learned, graue, and honest men of the ministery were euer ashamed and offended with their temeritie and presumption, preassing by all good meanes by their authority and example, to reduce them to a greater moderation, there could be no way found out so meete in their conceit, that were turbulent spirites among them, for maintaining their plottes, as paritie in the Church: whereby the ignorants were emboldened (as bayards) to cry the learned, godly and modest out of it: paritie the mother of confusion, and ennemy to Vnitie which is the mother of order. For if by the example thereof, once established in the Ecclesiasticall gouernment, the Politicke and ciuill estate should be drawne to the like, the great confusion that there-vpon would arise, may easily be discerned. Take heede therefore (my Sonne) to such Pvritans, very pestes in the Church and common-weale: whom no deserts can oblige; neither oathes or promises binde; breathing nothing but sedition and calumnies, aspyring without measure, rayling without reason, and making their owne imaginations (without any warrant of the worde) the square of their conscience. I protest before the great God, and since I am heere as vpon my Testament, it is no place for me to lie in, that ye shall neuer finde with any Hie-land or Bordor theeues greater ingratitude, and moe lies and vile perjuries, then with these phanatick spirites. And suffer not the principalles of them to brooke your hand, if ye like to sit at rest: except ye would keepe them for trying your patience, as Socrates did an euill wife.
And for preseruatiue against their poison, entertaine and aduance the godlie, learned, and modest men of the ministry, whom-of (God be praised) there lacketh not a sufficient number: and by their prouision to Bishopricks and Benefices (annulling the vile act of Annexation, if ye find it not done to your hand) ye shal not onely bannish their conceited Paritie, whereof I haue spoken, and their other imaginarie groundes; which can neither stand with the order of the Church, nor the peace of the commmon-weale, and well ruled Monarchie: but also shall yee re-establish the olde institution of three Estates in Parliament, which can no otherwise be done. But in this I hope (if God spare me daies) to make you a faire entry ; alwaies where I leaue, followe yee my steps.
And to end my aduice anent the Church estate, cherishe no man more than a good Pastor, hate no man more than a proude Puritane: thinking it one of your fairest stiles to bee called a louing nourish-Father to the Church; seeing all the Churches within your dominions planted with good Pastors, the Schooles (the seminary of the church) maintained, the doctrine and discipline preserued in puritie, according to Gods word, a sufficient prouision for their sustenation, a comely order in their policie, pride punished, humilitie aduaunced, and they so to reuerence their superiors, and their flockes them, as the flourishing of your Church in pietie, peace, and learning, may be one of the chiefe points of your earthly glorie: being euer alike ware with both the extremities, as well as yee represse the vaine Puritane, so not to suffer prowde Papall Bishops: but as some of their qualities deserue to be preferred before others, so chaine them with such bonds as may preserue that estate from creeping to corruption.
The next estate now that by order commeth in purpose, according to their rankes in Parliament, is the Nobilitie, although second in ranke, yet ouer-farre first in greatnesse and power, either to doe good or euill, as they are inclined.
The naturall sicknesse that I haue perceiued this estate subject to in my time, hath beene a fectlesse arrogant conceit of their greatnesse & power: drinking in with their very noursmilke, that their honor stood in committing three points of iniquitie: to thrall, by oppression, the meaner sorte that dwelleth neere them, to their seruice and following, although they hold nothing of them: to maintaine their seruants and dependers in anie wrong, although they be not answerable to the lawes (for any body will maintaine his man in a right cause) and for any displeasure, that they apprehend to be doone vnto them by their neighbour, to take vp a plaine seide against him, and (without respect to God, King, or common-weale) to bang it out brauely, he and all his kinne, against him and all his: yea they will thinke the King farre in their common, in-case they agree to graunt an assurance to a short daie, for keeping of the peace: where, by their naturall duetie, they are obliged to obey the lawe, and keepe the peace all the dayes of their life, vpon the peril of their very cragges.
For remeid to these euills in their estate, teach your Nobilitie to keepe your lawes as precizely as the meanest: feare not their orping or beeing discontented, as long as yee rule well, for their pretended reformation of Princes taketh neuer effect, but where euill gouernement proceedeth. Acquaint your selfe so with all the honest men of your Barrones and Gentlemen, and be in your giuing accesse so open and affable to euery ranke of honest persons, as may make them pearte without scarring at you, to make their owne sutes to you themselues, and not to employ the great Lordes their intercessours, for intercession to Saints in Papistry: so shall yee bring to a measure their monstrous backes. And for their barbarous feids, put the lawe to due execution made by me there-anent, beginning euer rathest at him an example to the rest. For ye shall make all your reformations to begin at your elbowe, and so by degrees to flowe to the extremities of the land. And rest not, vntill yee roote out these barbarous feides, that their effectes may bee as well smoared downe, as their barbarous name is vnknowne to any other nation. For if this treatise were written eyther in Frenche or Latine, I could not get them named vnto you but by circumlocution. And for your easier abolishing of them, put sharpely to execution my Lawes made against Gunnes and traiterous Pistolots, thinking in your heart, terming in your speach, and vsing by your punishments all such as weare and vse them, as brigands and cut-throates.
On the other parte, eschewe the other extremitie, in lightlying & contemning your Nobilitie. Remember howe that errour brake the King my grand-fathers hart. But consider that vertue followeth oftest noble blood: the worthinesse of their antecessours craueth a reuerent regarde to be had vnto them: honour them therefore that are obedient to the lawe among them, as Peeres and Fathers of your land: the more frequently that your Court can be garnished with them, thinke it them more your honour, acquainting and employing them in all your greatest affaires, sen it is they must be your armes and executers of your lawes: and so vse your selfe louingly to the obedient, and rigourously to the stubborne, as may make the greatest of them to thinke, that the chiefest point of their honour standeth in striuing with all the meanest of the land in humilitie towards you, and obedience to your lawes: beating in their eares, that one of the principall points of seruice that ye craue of them, is, in their persons to practise, and by their power to procure due obedience to the law, without the which no seruice they can make can be agreeable vnto you.
But the greatest hinderance to the execution of our Lawes in this countrie, are these heritable Shirefdomes and Regalities, which being in the handes of the great men, do wracke the whole Countrie. For which I knowe no present remedy, but by taking the sharper account of them in their offices; vsing all punishment against the slouthfull, that the lawe wil permit: and euer as they vaike, for any offences committed by them, dispone them neuer heritablie againe: pressing, with time, to draw it to the laudable custome of England: which yee may the easilier doe, being King of both, as I hope in God ye shall.
And as to the third and last estate, which is our Burghes (for the small Barrones are but an interior parte of the Nobilitie and of their estate), they are composed of twoo sortes of men, Merchants and Craftes-men: either of these sortes beeing subiect to their owne infirmities.
The Merchants thinke the whole common-weale ordained for making them vp, and accounting it their lawfull gaine and trade to enrich themselues vppon the losse of all the rest of the people, they transporte from vs thinges necessarie; bringing back some-times vnnecessary things, and at other times nothing at all. They buy for vs the worst wares, and sell them at the dearest prices: and albeit the victualles fall or rise of their prices, according to the aboundance or skantnesse thereof; yet the prices of their wares euer rise, but neuer fall: being as constant in that their euill custome, as if it were a sealed lawe for them. They are also the speciall cause of the corruption of the coyne; transporting all our owne, and bringing in forraine, vpon what price they please to set on it. For order putting to them, put the good Lawes in execution already made anent these abuses: but especially do three things. Establish honest, diligent, but few searchers, for many handes make slight worke; and haue an honest and diligent Thesaurer to take count of them. Permit and allure forraine merchants to trade heere: so shall yee haue best and best cheape wares, not buying them at the third hand. And set euerie yeare downe a certaine price of all things, considering first, howe it is in other Countries: and the price being set reasonablie downe, if the Merchants will not bring them home on the price, cry forrainers free to bring them.
And because I haue made mention heere of the coyne, make your money of fine Golde and Siluer, causing the people bee payed with substance, and not abused with number: so shall yee enrich the common-weale, and haue a great treasure laide vp in store, if yee fall in warres or in any straits. For the making it baser will breede your commodity, but it is not to vsed, but at a great necessity.
And the Craftes-men thinke, we should be content with their worke, howe bad and deare so euer it be: and if they in any thing be controlled, vp goeth the blew-blanket. But for their part take example by England, howe it hath flourished both in wealth and policie, since the strangers Craftes-men came in among them. Therefore not only permit, but allure strangers to come heere also; taking as straite order for repressing the mutining of ours at them, as was done in England at their first in-bringing there.
But vnto one fault in all the common people of this Kingdome subject, as well burgh as land, which is, to judge and speake rashly of their Prince: setting the common-weale vpon four proppes, as wee call it, euer wearying of the present estate, and desirous of nouelties. For remedie whereof (besides the execution of lawes that are to be vsed against vnreuerent speakers) I knowe no better meane, then so to rule as may justly stoppe their mouthes, from all such idle and vnreuerent speeches: and so to proppe the weale of your people, with prouident care for their good gouernement, that justly Momus himselfe may haue no grounde to grudge at: and yet so to temper and mixe your seueritie with myldenesse, that as the vnjust railers may be restrayned with a reuerent awe; so the good and louing subjects may not onely liue in suretie and wealth, but be stirred vp and inuited by your benigne courtesies, to open their mouthes in the just praise of your so well moderated regiment. In respect whereof, and therewith also the more to allure them to a common amitie among themselues, certaine dayes in the year would be appointed, for delighting the people with publike spectacles of all honest games, and exercise of armes: as also for conveening of neighbours, for entertaining friendship and hartlinesse, by honest feasting and merrinesse. For I cannot see what greater superstition can be in making playes and lawfull games in Maie, and good cheere at Christmasse, then in eating fish in Lent, and vpon fridayes; the Papists as well vsing the one as the other: so that alwayes the Sabbothes be kept holie, and no vnlawfull pastime be vsed. And as this form of contenting the peoples mindes hath beene vsed in all well gouerned Republickes, so will it make you performe in your gouernement that olde good sentence,
Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit vtile dulci.
Ye see nowe (my Sonne) howe for the zeale I beare to acquaint you with the plaine and single verity of all things, I haue not spared to be something satyrick, in touching wel quickly the faultes in all the estate of my kindgome. But I protest before God I do it with the fatherly loue that I owe to them all: onely hating their vices, whereof there is a good number of honest men free in euery estate.
And because, for the better reformation of all these abuses among your estates, it will be a great helpe vnto you, to be well acquainted with the nature and humours of all your subjects, and to knowe particularlie the estate of euery part of your dominions; I would therefore counsel you, once in the yeare to visite the principall parts of the counrty ye shall be in for the time: and because, I hope ye shall bee King of moe countries than this, once in the three yeares to visite all your Kingdomes: not lipening to Vice-roies, but hearing your selfe their complaints, and hauing ordinary councels and justice-seates in euery kingdome, of their countrimen: and the principall matters euer to be decided by your selfe when ye come in those parts.
Ye haue also to consider, that yee must be carefull to keepe your subjects from receiuing anie wrong of others within; but also yee must be carefull to keepe them from the wrong of any forraigne Prince without: sen the sword is giuen you by God, not onely to reuenge vpon your owne subjectes the wronges committed amongst themselues; but further, to reuenge and free them of forrain injuries done vnto them. And therefore warres vppon just quarrels are lawfull: but aboue all, let not the wrong cause be on your side.
Vse all other Princes, as your brethren, honestly and kindely: Keepe precisely your promise vnto them, although to your hvrte: Striue with euery one of them in courtesie and thankfulnes, and as with all men, so especially with them, be plaine and trueth-full, keeping euer the Christian rule, "to doe as ye would be done to:" especially in counting rebellion against any other Prince, a cryme against your owne self, because of the preparatiues. Supplie not therefore, nor trust not other Princes rebelles, but pittie and succor all lawfull Princes in their troubles. But if any of them will not abstaine, notwithstanding whatsoeuer your good deserts, to wrong you or your subjects, craue redresse at leasure, heare and do all reason: and if no offer that is lawfull or honourable can make him to abstaine, nor repaire his wrong doing, then-for last refuge, commit the justnesse of your cause to God: giuing first honestly vp with him, and in as publicke and honourable forme.
But omitting nowe to teach you the forme of making warres, because that arte is largely treated of by many, and is better learned by practise then speculation, I will onely set downe to you heere a fewe precepts therein. Let first the justnesse of your cause be your greatest strength, and then omitte not to vse all lawfull meanes for backing of the same. Consult therefore with no Necromancer nor false Prophet vpon the succese of your warres, remembering on King Saules miserable end: but keepe your land cleane of all Sooth-sayers, according to the command in the Lawe of God, dilated by Ieremie. Neither commit your quarrell to be tried by a Duell: for beside that generally all Duell appeareth to be vnlawfull, committing the quarrell, as it were, to a lot, whereof there is no warrant in the Scripture, since the abrogating of the olde Lawe: it is specially most vnlawfull in the person of a King: who being a publike person hath no power therefore to dispose of himselfe, in respect, that to his preseruation or fall, the safety or wracke of the whole common-weale is necessarily coupled, as the body is to the head.
Before ye take on warre, play the wise Kings part described by Christ, for-seeing how yee may beare it out with all necessarie provision: especially remember, that money is Nervus belli. Choose olde experimented Captaines, and yoong able souldiers. Be extreamely straite and seuere in Martiall Discipline, as well for keeping of order, which is as requisit as hardinesse in the wars, and punishing of slouth, which at a time may put the whole army in hazard; as likewise for repressing of mutinies which in warres are wonderfull dangerous. And looke to the Spaniard, whose great successe in all warres, hath onely come through straitnesse of Discipline and order: for such errours may bee committed in the warres as cannot bee gotten mended againe.
Bee in your owne person walkrife, diligent, & paineful, vsing the aduice of such as are skilfullest in the craft, as ye must also doe in all other. Be homelie with your souldiers as your companions, for winning their harts, and extreamly liberall, for then is no time of sparing. Be colde & foreseeing the deuising, constant in your resolutions, and forward and quicke in your executions. Fortifie well your Campe, and assailie not rashly without an aduantage: neyther feare lightly your enemie. Bee curious in deuising Stratagems, but alwaies honestly: for of any thing they worke greatest effects in the warres, if secrecie be joyned to invention. And once or twice in your owne person hazard your selfe fairely, but, hauing acquired so the fame of courage and magnanimitie, make not a daylie Souldier of your selfe thereafter for the weale of your people; for whose sake ye must more care for your selfe then for your owne.
And as I haue counselled you to be slowe in taking on a warre, so aduise I you to be slowe in peace-making. Before yee agreee, looke that the grounde of your warres be satisfied in your peace, and that yee see a good suretie for you and your people: otherwaies, a honourable and just war is more tollerable then a dishonourable and disaduantageous peace.
But it is not enough to a good King, by the scepter of good lawes well execute to gouerne, and by force of armes to protect his people, if he joyne not therewith his vertuous life in his owne person, and in the person of his Court and companie: by good example alluring his Subjects to the loue of vertue, and hatred of vice. And therefore (my Sonne) sith all people are naturally inclined to followe their Princes example (as I shewed you before), let it not be said that ye command others to keepe the contrarie course to that, which in your owne person yee practise: making so your wordes and deedes to fight together; but by the contrarie, let your owne life be a law-booke and a mirrour to your people, that therein they may reade the practise of their owne lawes; and therein they may see, by your image, what life they should leade.
And this example in your owne life and person, I likewise diuide in two partes: The first, in the gouernement of your Court and followers, in all godliness and vertue: the next, in hauing your owne mind decked and enriched so with al vertuous qualities, that therewith yee may worthilie rule your people. For it is not enough that yee haue and retaine (as prisoners) within your selfe neuer so many good qualities and vertues, except yee employ them, and set them on worke, for the weale of them that are committed to your charge: Virtutis enim laus omnis in actione conistit.
First then, as the gouernment of your Court and followers, King Dauid sets downe the best precepts, that any wise and christian King can practise in that point. For as ye ought to haue a great care for the ruling well of all your subjects, so ought yee to haue a double care for the ruling well of your owne seruants, since vnto them ye are both a Politick and Oeconomick gouernour. And as euery one of the people will delight to followe the example of any of the Courtiers, as well in euill as in good: so what crime so horrible can there be committed & ouer-seene in a courteour, that will not bee an exemplare excuse for any other boldely to commit the like? And therefore in twoo poynts haue yee to take good heed anent your Court and householde. First, in choosing them wisely: next in carefully ruling them whom ye haue chosen.
It is an olde and true saying, that a kindelie Auer will neuer become a good horse: for albeit good education and companie bee great helpes to Nature, and education bee therefore most justly called Altera natura: yet is it euill to get out of the flesh that is bred in the bone, as the olde prouerb sayeth. Be very ware then in making choyse of your seruantes and companie:
Turpius elicitur, quam non admittitur hospes:
and many respects may lawfully let an admission, that will not be sufficient causes of depriuation.
All your seruantes and Courte must be composed partly of minors, such as young Lordes, to be broght vp in your company, or Pages and such like; and partly of men of perfite age, for seruing you in such roomes, as ought to be filled with men of wisdome and discretion. For the first sorte, yee can doe no more but choose them within age, that are come of a good and vertuous kinde, In fide parentum, as baptisme is vsed. For though anima non venit ex traduce, but is immediately created by God, and infused from aboue: yet it is most certaine that vertue or vice will oftentimes, with the heritage, be transferred from the parents to the posteritie, and runne on a blood (as the Prouerbe is), the sickenesse of the minde becomming as kindely to some races, as these sicknesses of the body, that infects in the seede. Especially choose such minors as are come of true and honest race, and haue not had the house whereof they are descended infected with falshoode.
As for the other sorte of your companie and seruaunts that ought to be of perfect age, first, see that they be of a good fame, and without blemish: otherwise, what can the people thinke, but that ye haue chosen a company vnto you, according to your owne humour, and so haue preferred these men, for the loue of their vices and crimes, that ye knew them to be guiltie of? For the people that see you not within, cannot iudge of you but according to the outwarde appearance of your actions and companie, which onely is subiect to their sight. And next, see that they be indued with such honest qualities as are meete for such offices, as yee ordaine them to serue in; that your judgement may bee knowne in imploying euery man according to his gifts. And shortly, follow good king Dauids counsell in the choise of your seruants, by setting your eies vpon the faithfull and vpright of the land to dwell with you.
But heere I must not forget to remember, and according to my fatherlie authoritie, to charge you to preferre speciallie to your seruice, so many as haue truelie serued me, and are able for it: the rest, honourably to reward them, preferring their posteritie before others, as kindliest: so shall yee not onely be best serued (for if the haters of your parents cannot loue you, as I shewed before, it followeth of necessitie their louers must loue you), but further, yee shall kyth your thankfull memorie of your father, and procure the blessing of these old seruants, in not missing their old master in you; which otherwaise would be turned in a praier for mee, and a curse for you. Vse them therefore when God shall call me, as the testimonie of your affection towards me: trusting and aduancing those fatherest, whom I found faithfullest: which yee must not discerne by their rewards at my hande (for rewards, as they are called Bona fortunæ, so are they subject vnto fortune), but according to the trust I gaue them; hauing oft-times had better hart then hap to the rewarding of sundry. And on the other part, as I wish you to kyth your constant loue towardes them that I loued, so desire I you to kyth in the same measure, your constant hatred to them that I hated: I meane, bring not home, nor restore not such, as yee finde standing bannished or forefaulted by me. The contrarie would kyth in you ouer great contempt of me, and lightnesse in your owne nature: for how can they bee true to the Sonne, that were false to the Father.
But to return to the purpose anent the choise of your seruants, yee shall by this wise forme of doing, eschew the inconuenients that in my minoritie I fell in, anent the choise of my seruants. For by them that had the command where I was brought vp, were my seruants put vnto me; not choosing them that were meetest to serue me, but whom they thought meetest to serue their turne about me, as kythed well in many of them at the first rebellion raised against me: which compelled mee to make a great alteration among my seruants. And yet the example of that corruption, made me to be long troubled there-after with solliciters, recommending seruants vnto me, more for seruing in effect, their friendes that put them in, then their maister that admitted them. Let my example then teach you to follow the rules heere set downe: choosing your seruantes for your owne vse, and not for the vse of others. And since yee must be communis parens to all your people, so choose your seruantes indifferentlie out of all quarters; not respecting other mens appetites, but their owne qualities. For as yee must command all, so reason would yee should be serued out of all, as yee please to make choise.
But speciallie take good heede to the choise of your seruants, that yee præferre to the offices of the crowne and estate: for in other offices ye haue onely to take heede to your owne weale; but these concerne likewise the weale of your people; for the which ye must be answerable to God. Choose then for all these offices, men of knowne wisdome, honestie, and good conscience; well practised in the points of the craft, that yee ordaine them for; and free of all factions and partialities: but speciallie free of that filthy vice of Flattery, the pest of all Princes, and wracke of Republickes. For since in the first part of this treatise, I for-warned you to be warre with your owne inward flatterer philautia; howe much more should yee be warre with outwarde flatterers, who are nothing so sib to you as your selfe is; by the selling of such counterfeit wares, onely preassing to ground their greatnesse vpon your ruines? And therefore be carefull to preferre none, as ye will be answerable to God, but onely for their woorthinesse. But speciallie choose honest, diligent, meane, but responsall men, to be your receauers in money matters: meane I say that yee may when ye please, take a sharpe account of their intromission, without perill of their breeding any trouble to your estate: for this ouer-sight hath beene the greatest cause of my mis-thriuing in money matters. Especially, but neuer a forrainer, in any principall office of estate: for that will neuer faille to stirre vp sedition and enuy in the countrie-mens harts, both against you and him. But (as I said before) if God prouide you with moe countries then this, choose the borne men of euery countrey, to be your chiefe counsellers therein.
And for conclusion of my aduice, anent the choise of your seruaunts, delight to be serued with men of the noblest blood that may be had: for besides that their seruice shall breede you great good-will and least enuie, contrary to that of start-ups; ye shall oft finde vertue follow noble race, as I haue said before speaking of the Nobilitie.
Now, as to the other point, anent your gouerning of your seruants when yee haue chosen them; make your Court and companie to be a paterne of godlinesse and all honest vertues, to all the rest of the people. Be a daily watch-man ouer your seruants, that they obey your lawes præciselie: for howe can your lawes be kept in the countrey, if they be broken at your eare? Punishing the breache thereof in a Courteour, more seuearly, then in the person of any other of your subjects: and aboue all, suffer none of them (by abusing their credite with you) to oppresse or wrong any of your subjects. Bee homelie or strange with them, as yee thinke their behauiour deserueth, and their nature may beare with. Thinke a quarrellous man a pest in your companie. Bee carefull euer to præferre the gentilest natured and trustiest, to the inwardest offices about you; especially in your chalmer. Suffer none about you to meddle in anie mens particulars; but like the Turkes Ianisares, let them knowe no Father but you, nor particular but yours. And if any meddle in their kin or friends quarrelles giue them their leaue: for since yee must be of no surname nor kinne, but æquall to all honest men; it becommeth you not to be followed with partiall or factious seruantes. Teach obedience to your seruantes, and not to thinke themselues ouer-wise: and as when any of them deserueth it, yee must not spare to put them away; so, without a seene cause change none of them. Paie them, as all others your subjects, with proemium or poena as they deserue; which is the very ground-stone of good gouernement. Employ euery man as yee thinke him qualified, but vse not one in all things, lest he wax proud, and be enuied by his fellowes. Loue them best that are plainnest with you, and disguise not the trueth for all their kinne: suffer none to be euill tongued, nor back-biters of them they hate: commaund a hartly and brotherly loue among all them that serue you. And shortly, maintaine peace in your Court, bannish enuie, cherish modestie, bannish deboshed insolence, foster humilitie, and represse pride: setting downe such a comelie and honourable order in all the points of your seruice; that when strangers shall visit your Court, they may with the Queene of Sheba, admire your wisdome in the glorie of your house, and comelie order among your seruants.
But the principall blessing that ye can get of good companie, will stand in your marying of a godly and vertuous wife: for she must be nearer vnto you then any other company, being "Flesh of your flesh, and bone of your bone," as Adam said of Heuah. And because I know not but God may call me, before ye be ready for Mariage; I will shortly set downe to you heere my aduice therein.
First of all consider, that Mariage is the greatest earthly felicitie or miserie, that can come to a man, according as it pleaseth God to blesse or cursse the same. Since then without the blessing of GOD, ye can not looke for a happie successe in Mariage; ye must be carefull both in your præparation for it, and in the choise and vsage of your wife, to procure the same. By your præperation, I meane, that ye must keepe your bodie cleane and vnpolluted, till ye giue it to your wife; whome-to onelie it belongeth. For how can yee justlie craue to be joined with a pure Virgine, if your body be polluted? Why should the one halfe be cleane, and the other defiled? And althogh I knowe, Fornication is thought but a light and a veniall sinne, by the most part of the world: yet remember well what I saide to you in my first booke anent conscience: and count euerie sinne and breache of Gods law, not according as the vaine world esteemeth of it; but as God the judge and maker of the lawe accounteth of the same. Heare God commanding by the mouth of Paul, to "abstaine from Fornication," declaring that the "Fornicator shall not inherite the kingdome of heauen:" and by the mouth of Iohn, reckoning out Fornication amongst other greeuous sinnes, that debarres the committers amongst "Dogges and Swine, from entrie in that spirituall and heauenly Ierusalem." And consider, if a man shall once take vpon him, to count that light, which God calleth heauie: and veniall that, which God calleth greeuous; beginning first to measure any one sinne by the rule of his lust and appetites, and not of his conscience; what shall let him to doe so with the next, that his affections shall stirre him to, the like reason seruing for all: and so to go for-ward till he place his whole corrupted affections in Gods roome? And then what shall come of him; but, as a man giuen ouer to his owne filthie affections, shall perish into them? And because we are all of that nature, that sibbest examples touche vs neerest, consider the difference of successe that God granted in the Mariages of the King my grandfather, and me your owne father: the reward of his incontinencie (proceeding from his euill education) being the suddaine death, at one time, of two pleasant young Princes; and a daughter onely born to succeed to him, whome he had neuer the hap so much as once to see or blesse before his death: leauing a double cursse behinde him to the land, both a Woman of sex, and a newe borne babe of age to raigne ouer them. And as for the blessing God hath bestowed on me, in granting me both a greater continencie, and the frutes following there-upon; your selfe, and sib folkes to you, are (praise be to God) sufficient witnesse: which, I hope the same God of his infinite mercy, shall continue and increase, without repentance to me and my posteritie. Be not ashamed then, to keepe cleane your bodie, which is the Temple of the holy Spirit, notwithstanding all vaine allurements to the contrarie; discerning truely and wisely of euery vertue and vice, according to the true qualities thereof; and not according to the vaine conceits of men.
As for your choise of Mariage, respect chiefly the three causes, wherefore Mariage was first ordained by God: and then ioyne three accessories, so far as they may be obtained, not derogating to the principalles.
The three causes it was ordeined for, are, for staying of lust, for procreation of children, and that man should by his wife get a helper like himselfe. Deferre not then to Marie till your age; for it is ordeined for quenching the lust of your youth. Especiallie a King must tymouslie Marie for the weale of his people. Neither Marie ye, for any accessory cause or worldly respects, a woman vn-able, either through age, nature, or accident, for procreation of children: for in a king, that were a double fault, aswell against his owne weale, as against the weale of his people. Neither also Marie one of knowne euill conditions, or vicious education: for the woman is ordeined to be a helper, and not a hinderer to man.
The three accessories (which as I haue saide, ought also to be respected, without derogating to the principall causes) are beautie, riches, and friendship by alliance, which are all blessings of God. For beautie increaseth your loue to your Wife, contenting you the better with her, without caring for others: and riches and great alliance, doe both make her the abler to be a helper vnto you. But if, ouer great respect being had to these accessories; the principall causes be ouer-seene (which is ouer oft practised in the worlde) as of themselues they are a blessing being well vsed; so the abuse of them will turne them in a curse. For what can all these worldlie respects auaile, when a man shall finde himselfe coupled with a Diuell, to be one flesh with him, and the halfe marrow in his bed? Then (though too late) shall he finde that beautie without bountie, wealth without wisdome, and great friendship without grace and honestie; are but faire shewes, and the deceitfull masques of infinite miseries.
But haue yee respect, my Sonne, to these three speciall causes in your Mariage, which flowe from the first institution thereof, & coetera omnia adjicientur vobis. And therefore I would rathest haue you to Marie one that were fully of your owne Religion; her ranke and other qualities beeing agree-able to your estate. For although that to my great regrate, the number of any Princes of power and account, professing our Religion, be but very small; and that therefore this aduice seemes to be the more straite and difficile: yet yee haue deeplie to weigh & consider vpon these doubts: how yee and your wife can be of one flesh, and keepe vnitie betwix you, beeing members of two opposite Churches: disagreement in Religion bringeth euer with it, disagreement in manners; and the dissention betwixt your Preachers and hers, will breede and foster a dissention among your subjects, taking their example from your familie; besides the perrill of the euill education of your children. Neither pride you that yee will be able to frame and make her as yee please: that deceaued Salomon the wisest King that euer was: the grace of Perseuerance not being a flowre that groweth in our garden.
Remember also that Mariage is one of the greatest actions that a man doth in all his time, especially in taking of his first Wife: and if he Marie first basely beneath his ranke, he will euer be the lesse accounted of there-after. And lastlie, remember to choose your Wife as I aduised you to choose your seruants: that she be of a whole and cleane race, not subject to the hereditary sicknesses, either of the soule or the body. For if a man will be carefull to breed horses and dogs of good kindes: howe much more carefull should hee be, for the breed of his owne loines? So shall yee in Mariage haue respect to your conscience, honour, and naturall weale in your successours.
When yee are Maried, keep inviolablie your promise made to God in your Mariage; which standeth all in dooing of one thing, and abstaining from another: to treat her in all thinges as your Wife and the halfe of your selfe; and to make your bodie (which then is no more yours, but properly hers) common with none other. I trust I neede not to insist heere to disswade you from the filthy vice of adulterie: remember onely what solemne promise yee make to God at your Mariage: and since it is onely by the force of that promise that your children succeede to you, which otherwaies they could not doe; æquitie and reason would, yee should keepe your part thereof. God is euer a seueare avenger of all perjuries; and it is no oath made in jeste, that giueth power to children to succeed to great kingdomes. Haue the King my grand-fathers example before your eies, who by his adulteries, bred the wracke of his lawfull daughter and heire; in begetting that bastard, who vnnaturally rebelled, and procured the ruine of his owne Souerane and sister. And what good her posteritie hath gotten sen-syne, of some of that vn-lawfull generation, Bothuell his treacherous attemptes can beare witnesse. Keepe precisely then your promise made at Mariage, as ye would wish to bee partaker of the blessing therein.
And for your behauiour to your Wife, the Scripture can best giue you counsell therein. Treate her as your owne flesh, commaund her as her Lord, cherish her as your helper, rule her as your pupill, and please her in all things reasonable: but teach her not to bee curious in things that belonges her not. Yee are the head, she is your bodie: it is your office to commaund, and hers to obey: but yet with such a sweete harmonie, as shee should be as readie to obey as yee to commaund; as willing to follow as yee to goe before: your loue being wholly knit vnto her, and all her affections louingly bent to followe your will.
And to conclude, keepe specially three rules with you Wife: first, suffer her neuer to meddle with the politicke gouernment of the Common-weale, but holde her at the Oeconomicke rule of the house; and yet all to be subject to your direction: keepe carefully good and chaste companie about her; for women are the frailest sexe: and bee neuer both angrie at once: but when yee see her in passion, yee should with reason danton yours. For both when yee are setled, yee are the meetest to judge of her errours; and when she is come to her selfe, she may bee best made to apprehend her offence, and reuerence your rebuke.
If God send you succession, bee carefull for their vertuous education: loue them as yee ought, but let them know as much of it, as the gentlenesse of their nature will deserue; contayning them euer in a reuerent loue and feare of you. And in case it please God to prouide you to all these three kingdomes, make your eldest sonne Isaac, leauing him all your kingdomes; and prouide the rest with priuate possessions. Otherwaies by diuiding your kingdomes, ye shal leaue the seede of diuision and discord among your posteritie: as befell to this Ile: by the diuision and assignment thereof, to the three sonnes of Brutus, Locrine, Albanact, and Camber. But if God giue you not succession, defraud neuer the nearest right, whatsoeuer conceit yee haue of the person. For Kingdomes are euer at Gods disposition, and in that case wee are but liue-rentars, lying no more in the Kings nor peoples hands to dispossesse the righteous heire.
And as your company should bee a paterne to the rest of the people, so should your person bee a lampe and mirrour to your companie: giuing light to your seruants to walke in the path of vertue, and representing vnto them such woorthie qualities, as they should preasse to imitate.
I neede not to trouble you with the particular discourse of the foure Cardinall vertues, it is so troden a path: but I will shortly say vnto you, make one of them, which is Temperance, Queene of all the rest within you. I mean, not by the vulgar interpretation of Temperance, which onely consists in gustu & tactu, by the moderating of these two senses: but I meane of that wise moderation, that first commaunding your selfe, shall as a Queene commaund all the affections and passions of your mind; and, as a Physician, wisely mixe all your actions according thereto. Therefore, not onely in all your affections and passions, but euen in your most vertuous actions, make euer moderation to bee the chief ruler. For although holinesse be the first and most requisite qualitie of a Christian, as proceeding from a feeling feare and true knowledge of God: yet yee remember how in the conclusion of my first booke, I aduised you to moderate all your outwarde actions flowing there-fra. The like I say now of Iustice, which is the greatest vertue, that properly belongeth to a Kinges office.
Vse Iustice, but with such moderation, as it turn not into tyrannie: otherwaies summum ius is summa iniuria. As for example: if a man of knowne honest life, be inuaded by brigandes or theeues for his purse, and in his owne defence slaie one of them, they being both moe in number, and also knowne to be deboshed and insolent liuers; where by the contrarie, he was single alone, being a man of sounde reputation: yet because they were not at the horne, or there was no eie-witnesse present that could verifie their first inuading of him; shall hee therefore lose his head? And likewise, by the lawe-burrowes in our lawes, men are prohibited vnder great pecuniall paines, from any waies inuading or molesting their neighbours person or boundes: if then his horse breake the halter, and pasture in his neighbours medow, shall hee pay two or three thousand poundes for the wantonesse of his horse, or the weaknesse of his halter? Surlie no. For lawes are ordained as rules of vertuous and sociall liuing, and not to be snares to trap your good subjectes: and therefore the lawe must be interpreted according to the meaning, and not to the literall sense thereof: Nam ratio est anima legis.
And as I said of Iustice, so say I of Clemencie, Magnanimitie, Liberalitie, Constancie, Humilitie, and all other Princelie vertues: Nam in medio stat virtus. And it is but the craft of the Diuell that falselie coloureth the two vices that are on either side thereof, with the borrowed titles of it, albeit in very deede they haue no affinitie therewith: and the two extremities themselues, although they seeme contrarie, yet growing to the height, runnes euer both in one. For in infinitis omnia concurrunt; and what difference is betwixt extreame tyrannie, delighting to destroy all mankinde, and extreame slackness of punishment, permitting euery man to tyrannize ouer his companion? Or what differeth extreame prodigalitie, by wasting of all to possesse nothing; from extreame niggardnesse, by hoarding vp all to enjoy nothing; like that Asse that carrying victuall on her backe, is like to sterue for hunger, and will bee glad of thissels for her part? And what is betwixt the pride of a glorious Nebuchadnezzar, and the præposterous humilitie of one of the Proud Puritanes, claiming to their Paritie, and crying, Wee are all but vile wormes; and yet will judge and giue lawe to their King, but will bee judged nor controlled by none? Surelie, there is more pride vnder such a ones blacke bonnet then vnder Alexander the great his Diademe, as was said of Diogenes in the like case.
But aboue all vertues, studie to knowe well your owne craft, which is to rule your people. And when I say this, I bid you know all craftes. For except yee knowe euerie one, howe can yee controlle euerie one, which is your proper office? Therefore besides your education, it is necessarie yee delight in reading, and seeking the knowledge of all lawfull things; but with these two restrictions: first, that ye choose idle houres for it, not interrupting therewith the discharge of your office: and next, that ye studie not for knowledge nakedly; but that your principall end be, to make you able thereby to vse your office; practising according to your knowledge in all the points of your calling: not like these vaine Astrologians, that studie night and day on the course of the starres, only that they may, for satisfying their curiositie, knowe their course. But since all artes and sciences are linked euerie one with other, the greatest principle agreeing in one (whiche mooued the Poets to faine the nine Muses to be all sisters), studie them, that out of their harmonie, ye may sucke the knowledge of all faculties; and consequently, be on the counsell of all craftes, that yee may be able to containe them all in order, as I haue alreadie saide. For knowledge and learning is a light burthen, the waight whereof will neuer presse your shoulders.
First of all then, studie to be well seene in the Scripture, as I remembred you in the first booke; aswell for the knowledge of your owne saluation, as that ye may be able to containe your Churche in their calling, as Custos vtriusque Tabuloe. For the ruling them well, is no small point of your office; taking specially heede, that they vague not from their text in the Pulpit: and if euer yee would haue peace in your land, suffer them not to meddle in that place with the estate or policie: but punish seuearlie the first that præsumeth to it. Doe nothing toward them without a good ground and warrant; but reason not much with them: for I haue ouer-much surfaited them with that, and it is not their fashion to yeeld. And suffer no conuentions nor meetings among Church-men, but by your knowledge and permission.
Next the Scriptures, studie well your owne lawes: for how can yee discerne by the thing yee know not? But preasse to drawe all your lawes and processes, to be as short & plaine as ye can: assure your selfe the long-somnesse both of rights and processes, breedeth their vn-sure loose-nesse and obscuritie: the shortest being euer both the surest and plainnest forme: and the long-somnesse seruing onely for the enriching of the Aduocates and Clerks, with the spoile of the whole countrey. And therefore delight to haunt your Session, and spie carefullie their proceedings; taking good heed, if any briberie may bee tried among them, which can not ouer-seuerely be punished. Spare not to go there, for gracing that farre any that ye fauour, by your præsence to procure them expedition of justice: although that should be speciallie done, for the poore that can not wait on, or are debarred by mightier parties. But when ye are there, remember the throne is Gods, and not yours, that ye sit in, and let no fauour, nor whatsoeuer respects mooue you from the right. Ye sit not there, as I shew before, for rewarding of friends and seruants; nor for crossing of contemners, but only for doing justice. Learne also wiselie to discerne, betwixt justice and æquitie; and for pittie of the poore, rob not the riche, because he may better spare it; but giue the little-man the larger coat if it be his: eschewing the errour of young Cyprus therein. For justice, by the law, giueth euery man his owne: and æquitie in things arbitrall, giueth euerie one that which is meetest for him.
Be an ordinarie sitter in your secret Counsell: that judicature is onelie ordained for matter of estate, and repressing of insolent oppressions. Make that judgement as compendious and plaine as ye can; and suffer no Aduocates to bee heard there with their dilatours, but let euerie partie tell his owne tale himselfe: and wearie not to heare the complaints of the oppresssed, aut ne Rex sis. Remit euerie thing to the ordinarie judicature, for eschewing of confusion: but let it be your owne craft, to take a sharpe account of euerie man in his office.
And next the lawes, I would haue you to be well versed in authenticke histories, and in the Chronicles of all nations; but especiallie in our owne histories (Ne sis peregrinus domi), the example whereof most neerely concernes you. I meane not of such infamous inuectiues, as Buchanans or Knoxes Chronicles: and if any of these infamous libels remaine vntill your daies, vse the law vpon the keepers thereof. For in that point I would haue you a Pythagorist, to thinke that the verie spirites of these archibellouses of rebellion, haue made transition in them that hoardes these bookes, or maintaines their opinions; punishing them, euen as it were their authours risen againe. But by reading of authenticke histories and chronicles, yee shall learne experience by Theorike, applying the by-past things to the present estate, quia nihil novum sub Sole: such is the continuall volubilitie of things earthlie, according to the roundnesse of the worlde, and the revolution of the heauenly circles: which is expressed by the wheeles in Ezechiels visions, and counterfaited by the Poets in rota Fortunoe. And likewise by the knowledge of histories, yee shall knowe howe to behaue your selfe to all Embassadours and strangers; being able to discourse with them vpon the estate of their owne countrie. And among all profane histories, I must not omitte most speciallie to recommend vnto you, the Commentaries of Cæsar; both for the sweete flowing of the stile, as also for the worthinesse of the matter it selfe. For I haue euer beene of that opinion, that of all the Ethnicke Emperours, or great Captaines that euer was, he hath farthest excelled, both in his practise and in his præcepts in maritall affaires.
As for the studie of the liberal artes and sciences, I would haue you reasonablie versed in them, but not preassing to bee a passe-maister in any of them: for that can not but distract you from the points of your calling, as I shewed you before: and when, by the enemie winning the towne, yee shall bee interrupted in your demonstration, as Archimedes was, your people (I thinke) will looke very bluntly upon it. I graunt it is meete yee haue some entrance, specially in the Mathematickes; for the knowledge of the arte militarie, in situation of Campes, ordering of battels, making fortifications, placing of batteries, or suchlike. And let not this your knowledge bee dead without fruites, as S. Iames speaketh of Faith: but let it appeare in your daily conuersation, and in all the actions of your life.
Embrace true Magnanimitie, not in being vindictiue, which the corrupted judgementes of the worlde thinkes to bee true Magnanimitie; but by the contrary, in thinking your offender not worthy of your wrath, empyring ouer your owne passion, and triumphing in the commanding your selfe to forgiue: husbanding the effects of your courage and wrath, to be rightly emploied vpon repelling of injuries within, by reuenge vpon the oppressours; and in reuenging injuries without, by just warres vpon forraine enemies. And so, where yee finde a notable injury, spare not to giue course to the torrents of your wrath. "The wrath of a King, is like to the roring of a Lyon."
Foster true Humility, in bannishing pride not onely towards God (considering yee differ not in stuffe, but in vse, and that onely by his ordinance, from the basest of your people), but also towards your Parents. And if it fall out that my Wife shall out-liue me, as euer yee thinke to purchase my blessing, honour your Mother: set Beersheba in a throne on your right hand: offend her for nothing, much lesse wrong her: remember her
Quæ longa decem tulerit fastidia menses;
and that your flesh and bloode is made of hers: and beginne not, like the young lordes and lairdes, your first warres vpon your Mother; but preasse earnestlie to deserue her blessing. Neither deceaue your selfe with many that say, they care not for their Parents curse, so they deserue it not. O inuert not the order of nature, by judging your superiours, chieflie in your owne particular! But assure your selfe, the blessing or curse of the Parents, hath almost euer a Propheticke power joined with it: and if there were no more, honour your Parents, for the lengthening of your owne daies, as God in his lawe promiseth. Honour also them that are in loco Parentum vnto you, such as your gouernours, vp-bringers, and Præceptours: be thankfull vnto them and reward them, which is your dewty and honour.
But on the other part, let not this true humilitie staie your high indignation to appeare, when any great oppressours shall præsume to come into your presence; then frowne as yee ought. And in-case they vse a colour of law in oppressing their poore ones, mend by the withdrawing of your countenance from them: and once in the yeare crosse them, when their errands come in your way, recompencing the oppressour, according to Christs parable of the two debtors.
Keepe true Constancie, not onely in your kindnesse towardes honest men; but being also invicti animi against all aduersities: not with that Stoicke insensible stupiditie, wherewith manie in our daies, preassing to winne honor, in imitating that auncient sect, by their inconstant behauiour in their owne liues, belyes their profession. But although ye are not a stocke, not to feele calamities; yet let not the feeling of them so ouerrule and doazen your reason, as may stay you from taking and vsing the best resolution for remedie that can be found out.
Vse true Libertie in rewarding the good, and bestowing frankly for your honour and weale: but with that proportionall discretion, that euerie man may be serued according to his measure: wherein respect must bee had to his ranke, desertes, and necessitie. And prouide how to haue, but cast not awaie without cause. In speciall empaire not by your Liberalitie the ordinarie rents of your crowne; whereby the estate royall of you, and your successours, must be maintained, ne exhaurias fontem liberalitatis: for that would euer be kept sacrosanctum & extra commercium: otherwaies, your Liberalitie woulde decline to Prodigalitie, in helping others with your and your successors hurt. And aboue all, enrich your selfe with exactions vpon your subjectes; but thinke the riches of your people your best treasure, by the sinne of offenders, where no præuention can auaile, making justlie your commoditie. And in case necessitie of warres or other extraordinaries compell you to lift Subsidies, doe it as rarely as yee can: employing it onely to the vse it was ordained for; and vsing your selfe in that case, as fidu depositarius to your people.
And principallie, exercise true Wisdome; in discerning wiselie betwixt true and false reportes: firste considering the nature of the person reporter; next, what entresse he can haue in the weale or euill of him, of whome hee maketh the report; thirdlie, the likeli-hoode of the purpose it selfe; and last, the nature and by-past life of the dilated person: and where yee finde a tratler, awaie with him. And although it be true that a Prince can neuer without secrecie doe great things, yet it is better ofttimes to trie reportes, then by credulitie to foster suspicion vpon a honest man. For since suspicion is the Tyrants sicknesse, as the fruite of an euill Conscience, potius in alteram partem peccato: I meane, in not mistrusting one, whom to no such vnhonestie was knowne before. But as for such as haue slipped before, former experience may justly breed prevention by foresight.
And to conclude my aduice anent your behauiour in your person; consider that God is the authour of all vertue, hauing imprinted in mens mindes by the very light of nature, the loue of all morall vertues; as was seene by the vertuous liues of olde Romaines: and preasse then to shine as farre before your people, in all vertues and honestie, as in greatnesse of ranke: that the vse thereof in all your actions, may turne, with time, to a naturall habitude in you; and as by their hearing of your lawes, so by their sight of your person, both their eies and their eares, may leade & allure them to the loue of vertue, and the hatred of vice.
The Third Booke.
OF A KINGS BEHAVIOR IN INDIFFERENT THINGS.
Is is a true olde saying, That a King is as one set on a stage, whose smallest actions and gestures all the people gazinglie doe beholde: and therefore although a King be neuer so præcise in the discharging of his office, the people, who seeth but the outward part, will euer judge of the substance by the circumstances; and according to the outward appearance, if his behauiour be light or dissolute, will conceiue præ-occupied conceits of the Kings inward intention: which although with time, the trier of all trueth, it will euanish, by the euidence of the contrarie effects, yet interim patitur iustus; and præ-judged conceits will, in the meane time, breed contempt, the mother of rebellion and disorder. And besides that, it is certaine that all the indifferent actions and behauiour of a man, haue a certaine holding and dependance, either vpon vertue or vice, according as they are vsed or ruled: for there is not a middes betwixt them, no more then betwixt their rewards, heauen and hell.
Be carefull then, my Sonne, so to frame all your indifferent actions and outward behauiour, as they may serue for the furtherance and forth-setting of your inward vertuous disposition.
The whole indifferent actions of a man, I diuide in two sorts: in his behauiour in things necessarie, as food, sleeping, raiment, speaking, writing, and gesture; and in things not necessarie, though conuenient and lawfull, as pastimes or exercises, and vsing of companie for recreation.
As to the indifferent things necessary, although that of themselues they can not be wanted, and so in that case are not indifferent; as like-waies in-case they be not vsed with moderation, declining so to the extremitie which is vice; yet the qualitie and forme of vsing them, may smell of vertue or vice, and be great furtherers of any of them.
To beginne then at the things necessary; one of the publickest indifferent actions of a King, and that manifest, especially strangers, will narrowlie take heed to, is his manner of reflection at his Table, and his behauiour thereat. Therefore, as Kings vse oft to eat publicklie, it is meet and honourable that ye also doe so, as well to eschew the opinion that yee loue not to haunt companie, which is one of the markes of a Tyrant; as likewise, that your delight to eate priuatlie, be not thought to be for priuate satisfying of your gluttonie, which yee would be ashamed should be publicklie seene. Let your Table be honourablie serued; but serue your appetite with few dishes, as young Cyprus did: which both in holesommest, and freest from the vice of delicacie, which is a degree of gluttonie. And vse most to eat of reasonablie-grose and common-meats; aswell for making your bodie strong and durable for trauell at all occasions, either in peace or in warre: as that ye may be the hartlier receaued by your meane subjects in their houses when their cheere may suffice you: which otherwaies would be imputed to you for pride and daintinesse, and breed coldnesse and disdaine in them. Let all your food bee simple, without composition or sauces; which are more like medicines then meat. The vsing of them was counted amongst the auncient Romanes a filthie vice of delicacie; because they serue onely for pleasing of the taste, and not for satisfying of the necessity of nature; abhorring Apicius their owne citizen, for his vice of delicacie and monstrous gluttony. Like as both the Græcians and Romanes had in detestation the very name of Philoxenus, for his filthie wish of a Crane-craig. And therefore was that sentence vsed amongst these artificiall false appetites, optimum condimentum fames. But be warre with vsing excesse of meat and drinke; and chiefly, be warre of drunkennesse, which is a beastlie vice, namelie in a King: but speciallie be warre with it, because it is one of those vices that increaseth with age. In the forme of your meat-eating, be neither vnciuill, like a grosse Cynicke; nor affectatlie mignarde, like a daintie dame; but eat in a manlie, round, and honest fashion. It is no waies comelie to dispatch affaires, or to be pensiue at meat: but keepe an open and cheerfull countenance: causing to reade pleasant histories vnto you, that profit may be mixed with pleasure: and when ye are not disposed, entertaine pleasant, quicke, but honest discourses.
And because meat prouoketh sleeping, be also moderate in your sleepe; for it goeth much by vse: and remember that if your whole life were diuided in foure part, three of them would be found to be consumed on meat, drinke, sleepe, and vnnecessarie occupations.
But albeit ordinarie times woulde commonlie be kept in meat and sleepe, yet vse your selfe some-times so, that any time in the foure and twentie houres may be alike to you for any of them, that thereby your diet may be accommodate to your affaires, and not your affaires to your diet: not therefore vsing your selfe to ouer great softnesse and delicacie in your sleepe, more then in your meat; and specially in-case ye haue ado with the warres.
Let not your Chalmer be throng and common in the time of your rest, aswell for comelinesse as for eschewing of carrying reports out of the same. Let them that haue the credite to serue in your Chalmer, be trustie and secret: for a King will haue need to vse secrecie in manie thinges: but yet behaue your selfe so in your greatest secrets, as yee neede not be ashamed, suppose they were all proclaimmed at the mercate crosse. But specially see that those of your Chalmer be of a sounde fame, and without blemish.
Take no heede to anie of your dreames: for all Prophecies, visions, and propheticke dreames are accomplished and ceased in Christ. And therefore take no heede to freets either in dreames, or anie other things: for that errour proceedeth of ignorance, and is vnworthie of a Christian; who shoulde bee assured, Omnia esse pura puris, as Paul saieth; all daies and meates being alike to Christian.
Next followeth to speak of rayment, the on-putting whereof is the ordinarie action that followeth next to sleepe. Bee also moderate in your raiment; neither ouer superfluous, like a deboshed waister; nor yet ouer base, like a miserable wretch; not artificiallie trimmed and decked, like a Courtizane; nor yet ouer-sluggishly clothed, like a country-clowne; not ouer lightly, like a Candie-souldier, or a vaine young Courtier; nor yet ouer grauelie, like a Minister. But in your garments be proper, cleanlie, comely and honest: wearing your cloathes in a carelesse, yet comelie forme: keeping in them a middle forme, inter Togatos & Paludatos; betwixt the grauitie of the one, and lightnesse of the other. Thereby to signifie, that by your calling yee are mixed of both the professions; Togatus, as a judge making and pronouncing the lawe; Paludatus, by the power of the sword: as your office is likewise mixed, betwixt the Ecclesiasticall and ciuill estate. For a King is not mere laicus, as both the Papistes and Anabaptistes would haue him; to the which error also the Puritanes incline ouer-farre. But to returne to the purpose of garments, they ought to be vsed according to their first institution by God; which was for three causes: first to hide our nakednesse and shame; next and consequentlie, to make vs more comelie; and thirdlie, to preserue vs from the injuries of heate and colde. If to hide our nakednesse and shamefull parts, then these naturall parts ordained to be hid, should not be represented by any vn-decent formes in the cloathes: and if they shoulde helpe our comlinesse, they should not then by their painted preened fashion, serue for baites to filthie lechery; as false haire and fairding does amongst vnchaste women: and if they shoulde preserue vs from the injuries of heate and colde, men should not, like senselesse stones contemne God, in light-lying the seasons; glorying to conquer honour on heat and colde. And although it bee praise-woorthy, and necessarie in a prince, to be patiens algoris & astus, when he shall haue adoe with warres vpon the fieldes; yet I thinke it meeter that yee go both clothed and armed, then naked to battell; except you woulde make you light for away-running: and yet for cowards, metus addit alas. And shortlie, in your cloathes keepe a proportion, as well with the seasons of the yeare as of your age: in the fashions of them being carelesse, vsing them according to the common forme of the time, some-times richelier, some-times meanlier clothed as occasion serueth, without keeping any præcise rule therein. For if your minde be founde occupied vpon them, it will be thought idle otherwaies, and yee shall bee accompted in the number of one of these compti iuvenes; which will make your spirit and judgement to bee lesse thought of. But speciallie eschewe to be effoeminate in your cloathes, in perfuming, preening, or such like: and faile neuer in time of warres to be galliardest and brauest, both in cloathes and countenance. And make not a foole of your selfe in disguysing or wearing long hair or nailes, which are but excrements of nature, and bewray such misusers of them, to be either of vindictiue, or a vaine light naturall. Especiallie, make no vowes in such vaine and outward things, as concerne either meate or clothes.
Let your selfe and all your Court weare no ordinarie armour with your cloathes, but such as is knightlie and honourable: I meane rapier-swordes & daggers. For toyle-some weapons in the Court betokens confusion in the countrie. And therefore bannishe not onelie from your Courte, as gunnes and such like (whereof I spake alreadie), but also all traiterous defensiue armes, as secretes, plate-sleeues, and such like unseene armour. For, besides that the wearers thereof may be præsupposed to haue secrete euill intention, they want both the vses that defensiue armour is ordained for: which is, to be able to holde out violence, and by their outwarde glaunsing in their enemies eyes, to strike a terrour in their harts. Where by the contrarie, they can serue for neither; being not onely vnable to resist, but dangerous for shots, and giuing no outwarde showe against the enemie: being onlie ordained for betraying vnder trust; whereof honest men should be ashamed to beare the outward badge, not resembling the thing they are not. And for answer against these arguements, I know none but the olde Scottes fashion: which if it be wrong, is no more to be allowed for auncientnesse, then the olde Masse is, which also our forefathers vsed.
The next thing yee haue to take heede to, is your speaking language; wherevnto I joyne your gesture, since action is one of the cheefest qualities, that is required in an oratour: for as the tongue speaketh to the eares, so doth the gesture speak to the eyes of the auditour. In both your speaking and your gesture, vse a naturall and plaine forme, not fairded with artifice: for (as the Frenchmen say) Rien contre-faict fin: but eschewe all affectate formes in both.
In you language be plaine, honest, naturall, comelie, cleane, short, and sentencious: eschewing both the extremities, aswell in not vsing rusticall corrupt leide, as booke-language, and Pen and Inkehorne tearmes: and least of all mignard & effoeminate termes. But let the greatest parte of your eloquence consist in a naturall, cleane, and sensible forme of the deliuerie of your minde, builded euer vpon certaine and good groundes; tempering it with grauitie, quicknesse, and merinesse, according to the subject and occasion of the time; not taunting in Theology, nor alleadging and prophaning the Scripture in drinking purposes, as ouer many doe.
Vse also the like forme in your gesture; neither looking sillely, like a stupide pedant, nor vnsetledlie, with an vncouth morgue, like a new-com-ouer Cavalier: but let your behauior be naturall, graue, and according to the fashion of the countrie. Be not ouer-sparing in your courtesies; for that will be imputed to in-civility & arrogancie: nor yet ouer-prodigal in jowking or nodding at euery step; for that forme of being populare, becommeth better aspiring Absolons then lawfull Kings; framing euer your gesture according to your present actions: looking grauelie & with a majestie when ye sit in judgement, or giues audience to Embassadours; homely, when ye are in priuate with your owne seruants; merelie, when yee are at any pastime or merrie discourse; and let your countenance smell of courage and magnanimitie when yee are at the warres. And remember (I say ouer againe) to be plaine & sensible in your language: for besides that it is the tongues office to be the messenger of the mind, it may bee thought a point of imbecillitie of spirit in a King to speake obscurely; muche more vntruly: as if he stoode in awe of any in vttering his thoughts.
Remember also, to put a difference betwixt your forme of language in reasoning, and your pronouncing of sentences, or declaratour of your will in judgement, or any other waies in the pointes in your office. For in the former case, ye must reason pleasantly and paciently, not like a king, but like a priuate man and a scholler: other waies, your impatience of contradiction will be interpreted to be for lacke of reason on your parte. Where in the points of your office, ye should ripely aduise indeede, before ye giue forth your sentence, but fra it be giuen forth, the suffering of any contradiction diminisheth the Majesty of your authority, and maketh the processes endlesse. The like forme would also be obserued by all your inferiour judges and Magistrates.
Now as to your writing, which is nothing else but a forme of en-registrate speeche; vse a plaine, shorte but stately stile, both in your Proclamations and missiues, especially to forraine Princes. And if your engine spurre you to write any workes, eyther in verse or in prose, I cannot but alowe you to practise it: but take no longsome workes in hande, for distracting you from your calling.
Flatter not your selfe in your laboures, but before they be set forth, let them first be priuilie censured by some of the best skilled men in that craft, that in these workes yee meddle with. And because your writes will remaine as true pictures of your minde, to all posterities; let them be free of all vncomlinesse and vn-honestie: and according to Horace his counsell:
Nonumque premantur in annum.
I meane both your verse and your prose; letting first that fury & heate, wherewith they were written, cool at leasure; and then as an vncouth judge and censor, reuising them ouer againe, before they be published, quia nescit vox missareuerti.
If yee would write worthely, choose subjectes worthie of you, that be not full of vanity, but of vertue; eschewing obscurity, and delighting euer to be plaine and sensible. And if you write in verse, remember that it is not the principall parte of a poëme to rime right, and flowe well with many pretty wordes: but the chiefe commendation of a poëme is, that when the verse shall be shaken sundry in prose, it shall bee found so ritch in quick inuentions, & poëticke floures, and in faire and pertinent comparisons; as it shall retaine the lustre of a poëme, although in prose. And I would also aduise you to write in your owne language; for there is nothing left to be said in Greeke and Latine already; and ynewe of poore schollers would match you in these languages; and besides that, it best becommeth a King to purifie and make famous his owne tongue; wherein he may goe before all his subjectes; as it setteth him well to doe in all honest & lawfull things.
And amongst all vnnecessarie things that are lawfull and expedient, I thinke exercises of the bodie most commendable to be vsed by a young Prince, in such honest games or pastimes, as may further abilitie & maintaine health. For albeit I grant it to be most requisite for a King to exercise his engine, which surely with idlenesse will rouste and become blunt; yet certainly bodily exercises and games are very commendable; aswell for banishing of idlenesse (the mother of all vice) as for making his body able to and durable for trauell, which is very necessarie for a King. But from this count I debarre all rough & violent exercise, as the foot-ball; meeter for laming, then making able the vsers thereof: as likewise such tumbling trickes as onely serue for Comedians & Balladines, to win their bread with. But the exercise that I would haue you to vse (although but moderately, not making a craft of them) are running, leaping, wrastling, fencing, dauncing, & playing at the caitche or tennise, archery, palle maille, & such like other faire & pleasant field games. And the honourablest and most commendable games that yee can vse, are on horse-backe: for it becommeth a Prince best of any man to be a faire and good horse-man. Vse therefore to ride and danton great and courageous horses; that I may say of you, as Phillip saide of Alexander his sonne, Machedonia ouse chorei.. And specially vse such games on horse-backe, as may teach you to handle your armes thereon; such as the tilt, the ring, and lowe-ryding for handling of your sworde.
I cannot omit heere the hunting, namelye with running houndes; which is the most honourable and noblest sorte thereof: for it is a theeuish forme of hunting to shoote with gunnes and bowes: and greyhound hunting is not so martiall a game. But because I would not bee thoght a partiall praiser of this sport, I remit you to Xenophon, an olde and famous writer, who had no minde of flattering you or me in this purpose: & who also setteth downe a faire patern for the education of a young king, vnder the supposed name of Cyrus.
As for hawking I condemne it not, but I must praise it more sparingly; because it neither resembleth the warres so neere as hunting doth, in making a man hardy, and skilfully ridden in all groundes; and is more vncertaine and subject to mischances: and (which is worst of all) is there-through an extreame stirrer vp of passions. But in vsing either of these games obserue that moderation, that yee slip not there-with the houres appointed from your affaires, which yee ought euer præciselie to keepe: remembering that these games are but ordayned for you, in enabling you for your office, for the which ye are ordayned.
And as for fitting house pastimes, where-with men by driuing time, spurre a free and fast ynough running horse (as the prouerb is), although they are not profitable for the exercise eyther of minde or body, yet can I not vtterly condemn them; since they may at times supply the roome, which being empty, would be parent to pernitious idlenes, quia nihil potest esse vacuum. I will not therefore agree with the curiosity of some learned men in our age, in forbidding cardes, dice, and other such like games of hazard; although other waies surely I reuerence them, as notable & godly men. For they are deceiued therein, in founding their argument vpon a mistaken grounde; which is, that the playing at such games is a kinde of casting of lot, and therefore vnlawfull, wherein they deceiue themselues. For the casting of lot was vsed for triall of the trueth in any obscure thing, that other wayes could not be gotten cleared; and therefore was a sorte of prophesie: where by the contrary, no man goeth to anie of these plaies, to cleare any obscure trueth, but onely to gage so much of his owne money, as hee pleaseth, vpon the hazarde of the running of the cardes or dice; aswell as he would doe vpon the speede of a Horse or a Dog, or any such like gaigeour. And so, if they be vnlawfull, all gaigeours vpon vncertainties must likewayes be condemned. Not that thereby I take the defence of vaine carders and dicers, that waste their money and their time (whereof fewe consider the preciousnesse) vpon prodigall and continuall playing: no, I would rather alowe it to bee discharged, where such corruption cannot bee eschewed. But onlye I cannot condemn you at sometimes, when yee haue no other thing to doe (as a good King will be seldome) & are wearie of reading, or euill disposed in your person, and when it is foule and stormy weather; then, I say, may ye lawfully play at the cards or tables. For as to dycing, I thinke it becommeth best deboshed souldiers to play at, on the head of their drums, being onely ruled by hazarde, and subject to knauish cogging. And as for the chesse, I thinke it ouer fonde, because it is ouer wise and Philosophicke a follie. For where all such light plaies are ordained to free mens heades for a time, from the fashious thoughts on their affairs; it by the contrarie filleth and troubleth mens heades, with as many fashious toyes of the playe, as before it was filled with thoughts on his affaires.
But in your playing I would haue you to keepe three rules: first or yee play, consider yee doe it onely for your recreation, and resolue to hazard the losse of all that ye play; and next, for that cause play no more then yee care to cast among Pages; & last, play alwaies faire play precisely, that yee come not in vse of tricking and lying in jeste: otherwise, if ye cannot keepe these rules, my counsell is that ye all-uterly abstain from these plaies. For neither a mad passion for losse, nor falshood vsed for desire of gaine, can be called play.
Nowe it is not onely lawfull, but necessarie, that yee haue companie meete for euery thing yee take on hand, aswell in your games and exercises, as in your graue and earnest affaires. But learne to distinguishe time according to th'occasion; chosing your companye accordinglie. Conferre not with hunters at your counsell, nor in your counsell affairs; nor dispatche not affaires at hunting or other games. And haue the like respect to the seasons of your age; using your sortes of recreation and companie therefore, aggreeing there-unto. For it becometh best, as kindliest, euery age to smell of their owne qualitie, insolence and vnlawfull things beeing alwaies eschewed: & not that a colte should drawe the plough, and an old horse run away with the harrowes. But take heede specially, that your company for recreation be chosen of honest persons; not defamed or vicious, mixing filthy talk with merrines; Corrumpunt bonos mores colloquia praua. And chieflie abstaine from haunting before your mariage the idle company of dames, which, are nothing else but irritamenta libidinis. Beware likewise to abuse your selfe, in making your sporters your counsellers: and delight not to keepe ordinarilie in your companie, Comoedians or Balladines: for the Tyrants delighted most in them, glorying to be both authors & actors of Comoedies & Tragoedies themselues. Where-vpon the answer that the poet Philoxenus disdainfully gaue to the Tyrant of Syracuse, there-anent, is nowe come in a prouerbe, reduc me in latomias. And al the ruse that Nero made of himselfe when he dyed, was Qualis artifex pereo? meaning of his skill in menstrallie, and playing of Tragoedies: as indeede his whole life and death was all but one Tragoedie.
Delight not also to bee in your owne person a player vpon instruments, especiallye on suche as commonly men winne their liuing with: nor yet to be fine of any mechanick craft: Leur esprit s'en fuit au bout des doigts, saith Du Bartas: whose works, as they are all most worthie to be red by any Prince, or other good Christian, so would I especially wish you to be well versed in them. But spare not some-times by merie companie, to bee free from importunitie: for yee should be euer mooued with reason, which is the onely qualitie whereby men differ from beasts; and not with importunitie. For the which cause (as also for augmenting your Majestie) ye shall not be so facile of accesse-giuing at all times, as I haue bene: and yet not altogether retired or locked vp, like the Kings of Persia: appointing also certaine houres for publick audience.
And since my trust is, that GOD hath ordayned you for moe Kingdomes then this (as I haue alreadie saide), preasse by the outward behauiour aswell of youre owne person, as of your courte, in all indifferent things, to allure peece & peece, the rest of your kingdomes, to followe the fashions of that Kingdome of yours, that ye finde moste ciuill, easiest to be ruled, and most obedient to the lawes. For these outward and indifferent thinges will serue greatly for allurements to the people, to embrace and follow vertue. But beware of thrawing or constraining them thereto; letting it be brought on with time, and at leasure: specially by so mixing through alliance and daily conuersation, the inhabitants of euery Kingdome with other, as may with time make them growe and weld all in one. Which may easily be done betwixt these two nations, being both but one Ile of Britaine, and alreadie joyned in vnitie of Religion, and language. So that euen as in the times of our Ancestors, the long warres and many bloody battles betwixt these two countries, bred a naturall and hereditarie hatred in euery of them against the other: the vniting and welding of them thereafter in one, by all sort of friendship, commerce, and alliance; will by the contrarie, produce and maintaine a naturall and inseparable vnitie of loue amongst them. As we haue alreadie (praise be to God) a great experience of the good beginning hereof, and of the quenching of the olde hate in the hearts of both the people; procured by the meanes of this long and happie amitie, betweene the Queene my dearest sister and me; which during the whole time of both our raignes hath euer been inuiolablie obserued.
And for conclusion of this my whole treatise, remember, my Sonne, by your true and constant depending vpon God, to looke for a blessing to all your actions in your office: by the outward vsing thereof, to testifie the inward vprightnes of your heart; and by your behauiour in all indifferent things, to set forth the viue image of your vertuous disposition: and in respect of the greatnes and waight of your burthen, to be patient in hearing, keeping your heart free from preoccupation; ripe in concluding, and constant in your resolution. For better it is to bide at your resolution, although there were som defect in it, then by daily changing to effectuate nothing. Taking the paterne thereof from the microcosme of your owne body: wherein ye haue two eyes, signifying great foresight and prouidence with a narrow looking in all things; and also two eares, signifying patient hearing, and that of both the parties: but ye haue but one tongue, for pronouncing a plaine, sensible, and vniforme sentence; and but one head, and one heart, for keeping a constant and vniforme resolution, according to your apprehension: hauing two hands and two feete, with many fingers and toes for quicke execution, in employing all instruments meete for effectuating your deliberations.
But forget not to digest euer your passion, before ye determine vpon any thing, since Ira furor breuis est: vttering onely your anger according to the Apostles rule, Irascimini, sed ne peccetis: taking pleasure, not onely to reward, but to advance the good; which is a chiefe poynt of a Kings glorie (but make none ouergreat, but according as the power of the countrie may beare), and punishing the euill; but euery man according to his owne offence; not punishing nor blaming the Father for the Sonne, nor the brother for the brother; much lesse generally to hate a whole race for the fault of one: for noxa caput sequitur.
And aboue all, let the measure of your loue to euery one, be according to the measure of his vertue; letting your fauour be no longer tyed to any, then the continuance of his vertuous disposition shall deserue: not admitting the excuse vpon a just revenge, to procure ouer-sight to an injurie. For first injurie is committed against the partie: but the parties reuenging thereof at his owne hand, is a wrong committed against you, in vsurping your office, whom-to onely the sword belongeth, for revenging of all the injuries committed against any of your people.
Thus hoping in the goodnesse of God, that your naturall inclination shall haue a happie Sympathie with these precepts, making the wise-mans schoolemaister, which is the example of others, to be your teacher, according to that old verse,
Felix quem faiunt aliena pericula cautum
eschewing so the ouerlate repentance by your owne experience, which is the school-maister of fooles; I will for end of all, require you, my Sonne, as euer yee thinke to deserue my fatherly blessing, to keepe continually before the eyes of your minde, the greatnes of your charge, the principall butte ye shoote at in all your other actions: counting it euer the principall, and all your other actions but as accessories, to be employed as middesses for the furthering of that principall. And being content to let others excell in other things, let it be your chiefest earthly glorie to excell in your owne craft: according to the worthie counsell and charge of Anchises to his posteritie, in that sublime and heroicall Poet, wherein also my diction is included:
Excudent alij spirantia mollius æra,
Credo equidem, & vious ducent de marmore vultus,
Orabunt causas melius, coelique meatus
Describent radio, & surgentia syder a dicent.
Tu, regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
(Hæ tibi erunt artes) pacique imponere morem,"Parcere subjectis, & debellare superbos."