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ESSAY XLIX. OF SUITORS.

MAN

ANY ill matters and projects are undertaken, and private

suits do putrefy the public good. Many good matters are undertaken with bad minds—I mean not only corrupt minds, but crafty minds, that intend not performance. Some embrace suits, which never mean to deal effectually in them; but if they see there may be life in the matter, by some other mean,' they will be content to win a thank, or take a second reward, or, at least, to make use in the meantime of the suitor's hopes. Some take hold of suits only for an occasion to cross some other, or to make an information, whereof they could not otherwise have apt pretext, without care what become of the suit when the turn is served; or, generally, to make other men's business a kind of entertainment to bring in their own; nay, some undertake suits with a full purpose to let them fall, to the end to gratify the adverse party, or competitor. Surely there is in some sort a right in every suit: either a right of equity, if it be à suit of controversy, or a right of desert, if it be a suit of petition. If affection lead a man to favour the wrong side in justice, let him rather use his countenance to compound the matter than to carry it. If affection lead a man to favour the less worthy in desert, let him do it without depraving or disabling the better deserver. In suits which a man doth not well understand, it is good to refer them to some friend of trust

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* Mean. Means. See page 201.

A thank. Seldom used in the singular. “The fool saith I have no thank for all my good deed; and they that eat my bread speak evil of me.'—Ecclus. xx. 16. 3 Second. Secondary; inferior.

* Each glance, each grace, Keep their first lustre and maintain their place,

Not second yet to any other face.'— Dryden. * Make.

Give. “They all with one consent began to make excuse.'—Luke xiv, 18.

• Entertainment. Preliminary communication, 'The queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment to Laertes, before you fall to play.'--Shakespere.

* Deprave. To vilify. And that knoweth conscience, ich cam nogt to chide, ne to deprave the personne.'— Piers Ploughman. “Envy is blind, and can do nothing but deprave and speak ill of virtuous doing.'—Bennett.

and judgment, that may report whether he may deal in them with honour; but let him chuse well his referendaries,' for else he may be led by the nose. Suitors are so distasted with delays and abuses,' that plain dealing in denying to deal in suits at first, and reporting the success barely, and in chal. lenging no more thanks than one hath deserved, is grown not only honourable, but also gracious. In suits of favour, the first coming ought to take little place;' so far forth consideration may be had of his trust, that if intelligence of the matter could not otherwise have been had but by him, advantage be not taken of the note, but the party left to his other means, and in some sort recompensed for his discovery. To be ignorant of the value of a suit is simplicity, as well as to be ignorant of the right thereof is want of conscience. Secrecy in suits is a great mean of obtaining; for voicing them to be in forwardness may discourage some kind of suitors, but doth quicken and awake others; but timing of the suit is the principal-timing, I say, not only in respect of the person who should grant it, but in respect of those which are like to cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his mean,' rather chuse the fittest mean than the greatest mean; and rather them that deal in certain things,

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* Referendaries. Referees. “Who was legate at the dooings, who was referendarie, who was presidente, who was presente.'-Bishop Jewell

. a Distaste. To disgust. “These new edicts, that so distaste the people.'—Heywood. Abuses. Deception.

'Lend me your kind pains to find out this abuse.'—Shakespere. * Place. Effect.

• Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones

Look bleak in the cold wind.'—Shakespere. • So far forth. To the degree. “The substance of the service of God, so far forth as it hath in it anything more than the love of reason doth teach, must not be in. vented of man, but received from God himself.'— Hooker.

• Arraied for this feste, in every wise

So far forth as his connynge may suffice.'—Chaucer. * Note. Notification ; information,

"She that from Naples
Can have no note, unless the sun were past,

(The man i’ the moon's too slow).'—Shakespere. * Voice. To report. “It was voiced that the king purposed to put to death Ed. ward Plantagenet.'—Shakespere. 8 Quicken. To bring to life. See page 418. Mean.

Instrument. * Pamela's noble heart would needs gratefully make known the valiant mean of her safety.'—Sidney.

than those that are general. The reparation of a denial is sometimes equal to the first grant, if a man show himself neither dejected nor discontented. 'Iniquum petas, ut æquum feras” is a good rule where a man hath strength of favour; but otherwise, a man were better rise in his suit, for he that would have ventured at first to have lost the suitor, will not, in the conclusion, lose both the suitor and his own former favour. Nothing is thought so easy a request to a great person, as his letter; and yet, if it be not in a good cause, it is so much out of his reputation. There are no worse instruments than these general contrivers of suits, for they are but a kind of poison and infection to public proceedings.

ANNOTATIONS.

'If it be not in a good cause, it is so much out of his

reputation.'

To this very just and important remark Bacon might have added, that even in “a good cause,' a recommendation of any one is likely to be regarded as a favour asked, for which a return will be expected. Nor is this, perhaps, altogether unreasonable. For, a Minister of State, for instance, may say, 'If we had wanted your advice for our own sake, we should have consulted you; but if you offer a suggestion unasked, our complying with it must be reckoned a kindness done to you, for which we may expect a return.' And one who has laid himself under an obligation to a Minister, if he is afterwards asked to vote, or to dispense patronage, contrary to his own judgment, must feel it very awkward either to comply or to refuse.

The best course, in general is, to write a letter to the person himself whose views you would promote, expressing your opinion of him, with liberty to show the letter, and to make reference to you for character.

1

* Ask for what is unjust, in order that thou mayest obtain what is just.' 2 Lost. Ruined,

• Therefore mark my counsel

or both yourself and me Cry, lost.'—Shakespere.

and judgment, that may report whether he may deal in them with honour; but let him chuse well his referendaries,' for else he may be led by the nose.

Suitors are so distasted’ with delays and abuses, that plain dealing in denying to deal in suits at first, and reporting the success barely, and in chal. lenging no more thanks than one hath deserved, is grown not only honourable, but also gracious. In suits of favour, the first coming ought to take little place;' so far forth consideration may be had of his trust, that if intelligence of the matter could not otherwise have been had but by him, advantage be not taken of the note,' but the party left to his other means, and in some sort recompensed for his discovery. To be ignorant of the value of a suit is simplicity, as well as to be ignorant of the right thereof is want of conscience. Secrecy in suits is a great mean of obtaining; for voicing them to be in forwardness may discourage some kind of suitors, but doth quicken and awake others; but timing of the suit is the principal—timing, I say, not only in respect of the person who should grant it, but in respect of those which are like to cross it. Let a man, in the choice of his mean, rather chuse the fittest mean than the greatest mean ; and rather them that deal in certain things,

* Referendaries. Referees. “Who was legate at the dooings, who was referendarie, who was presidente, who was presente.'—Bishop Jewell.

Distaste. To disgust. “These new edicts, that so distaste the people.'— Heywood. * Abuses. Deception.

‘Lend me your kind pains to find out this abuse.'—Shakespere. • Place. Effect.

• Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones

Look bleak in the cold wind.'—Shakespere. 6 So far forth. To the degree. “The substance of the service of God, so far forth as it hath in it anything more than the love of reason doth teach, must not be in. vented of man, but received from God himself.'— Ilooker.

• Arraied for this feste, in every wise

So far forth as his connynge may sufice.'-Chaucer. • Note. Notification ; information,

"She that from Naples
Can have no note, unless the sun were past,

(The man i’ the moon's too slow).'—Shakespere. - Voice. To report. 'It was voiced that the king purposed to put to death Ed. ward Plantagenet.'—Shakespere.

Quicken. To bring to life. See page 418.
Mean.

Instrument. * Pamela's noble heart would needs gratefully make known the valiant mean of her safety.'—Sidney.

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than those that are general. The reparation of a denial is sometimes equal to the first grant, if a man show himself neither dejected nor discontented. 'Iniquum petas, ut æquum feras" is a good rule where a man hath strength of favour; but otherwise, a man were better rise in his suit, for he that would have ventured at first to have lost the suitor, will not, in the conclusion, lose both the suitor and his own former favour. Nothing is thought so easy a request to a great person, as his letter; and yet, if it be not in a good cause, it is so much out of his reputation. There are no worse instruments than these general contrivers of suits, for they are but a kind of poison and infection to public proceedings.

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'If it be not in a good cause, it is so much out of his

reputation.' To this very just and important remark Bacon might have added, that even in a good cause,' a recommendation of any one is likely to be regarded as a favour asked, for which a return will be expected. Nor is this, perhaps, altogether unreasonable. For, a Minister of State, for instance, may say, 'If we had wanted your advice for our own sake, we should have consulted you; but if you offer a suggestion unasked, our complying with it must be reckoned a kindness done to you, for which we may expect a return. And one who has laid himself under an obligation to a Minister, if he is afterwards asked to vote, or to dispense patronage, contrary to his own judgment, must feel it very awkward either to comply or to refuse.

The best course, in general is, to write a letter to the person himself whose views you would promote, expressing your opinion of him, with liberty to show the letter, and to make reference to you for character.

1' Ask for what is unjust, in order that thou mayest obtain what is just.' 2 Lost. Ruined.

. Therefore mark my counsel

or both yourself and me Cry, lost.'--Shakespere.

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