foole is taken with his owne pride and others
flatteryes: and this foole keeps company
so much with all great wise men, that hardly with
a candle and lantern can they be discernd betwixt.
The greatest men are more subject to grosse and
palpable flatteries; and especially the greatest
of men, who are Kings and Princes: for many
seek the Rulers favour. Prov.
28. 26. For
there are divers meanes whereby private men are
instructed; Princes have not that good hap:
but they whose instruction is of most importance,
so soone as they have taken the government upon them,
no longer suffer any reproovers: for but few have
accesse unto them, and they who familiary converse
with them, doe and say all for favour. Isocrat,
to Nicocles, All are afraid to give him occasion
of displeasure, though by telling him truth. To
this purpose therefore sayes one; a Prince excells
in learning to ride the great horse, rather than
in any other exercise, because his horse being
no flatterer, will shew him he makes no difference
between him and another man, and unlesse he keepe his
seate well, will lay him on the ground. This
is plaine dealing. Men are more subtile,
more double-hearted, they have a heart and a heart
neither is their tongue their hearts true interpreter.
Counsell in the heart of man is like deepe waters;
but a man of understanding will draw it out. Prov.
20. 5. This understanding is most requisite
in a Prince, inasmuch as the whole Globe is in
his hand, and the inferiour Orbes are swayed by
the motion of the highest. And therefore surely
it is the honour of a King to search out such
a secret: Prov.
25. 2. His counsellours
are his eyes and eares; as they ought to be dear to
him, so they ought to be true to him, and make
him the true report of things without disguise.
If they prove false eyes, let him pluck them out;
he may as they use glasse eyes, take them forth
without paine, and see never a whit the worse for it.
The wisdome of a Princes Counsellours is a great
argument of the Princes wisdome. And being
the choyce of them imports the Princes credit
and safety, our Authour will make him amends for his
other errours by his good advice in his 22 Chap. whether
I referre him.
Wherefore the Princes of Italy have lost their States.
When these things above said are well observ’d,
they make a new Prince seeme as if he had been of
old, and presently render him more secure and firme
in the State, than if he had already grown ancient
therein: for a new Prince is much more observd
in his action, than a Prince by inheritance; and when
they are known to bee vertuous, men are much more
gaind and oblig’d to them thereby, than by the
antiquity of their blood: for men are much more
taken by things present, than by things past, and
when in the present they find good, they content themselves
therein, and seeke no further; or rather they undertake