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let blood, so it be done by the advice of the physicians of the state.
He seldom goes far abroad, and his credit stretcheth further than his travel. He goes not to London, but se defendendo to save himself of a fine, being returned of a jury, where seeing the king once, he prays for him ever afterwards.
In his own country he is a main man in juries.
in matters of law, he needs not be led by the nose in matters of fact. He is very observant of the judges item, when it follows the truths imprimis ; otherwise, though not mutinous in a jury, hệ cares not whom he displeaseth so he pleaseth his own conscience.
He improveth his land to a double value by his good husbandry. Some grounds that wept with water, or frowned with thorns, by draining the one, and clearing the other, he makes both to laugh and sing with corn. By marl and lime-stones burnt he bettereth his ground, and his industry worketh miracles, by turning stones into bread. Conquest and good husbandry both enlarge the King's dominions : the one by the sword, making the acres more in number ; the other by the plough, making the same acres more in value. Solomon saith, “The King himself is maintained by husbandry." Pythis, a king, having discovered rich mines in his kingdom, employed all his people in digging of them, whence tilling was wholly neglected, insomuch as a great famine ensued. His queen, sensible of the calamities of the country, invited the King her husband to dinner, as he came home hungry from overseeing his workmen in the mines. She so contrived it, that the bread and meat were most artificially made of gold and the King was much delighted with the concei thereof, till at last he called for real meat to satisfy h hunger. “Nay," said the Queen, “if you employ a your subjects in your mines, you must expect to fe upon gold, for nothing else can your kingdom afford.'
In time of famine he is the Joseph of the country, a keeps the poor from starving. Then he tameth stacks of corn, which not his covetousness but pra
dence hath reserved for time of need, and to his poor neighbours abateth somewhat of the high price of the market. The neighbour gentry court him for his acquaintance, which either he modestly waveth, or thankfully accepteth, but no way greedily desireth. He insults not on the ruins of a decayed gentleman, but pities and relieves him: and as he is called gooilman, he desires to answer to the name, and to be so indeed.
In war, though he serveth on foot, he is ever mounted on a high spirit ; as being a slave to none, and a subject only to his own prince. Innocence and independence make a brave spirit: whereas, otherwise one must ask his leave to be valiant on whom he depends. Therefore, if a state run up all to noblemen and gentlemen, so that the husbandmen be only mere labourers or cottagers, which one calls but housed beggars, it may have good cavalry, but never good bands of foot; so that their armies will be like those birds called apodes, without feet, always only flying on their wings of horse. Wherefore to make good infantry, it requireth men bred, not in a servile or indigent fashion, but in some free and plentiful manner. Wisely, therefore, did that knowing Prince, King Henry the Seventh, provide laws for the increase of his yeomanry, that his kingdom should not be like to coppice-woods ; where the staddles being left too thick, all run to bushes and briers, and there is little clean underwood.
For, enacting that houses used to husban lry should be kept up with a competent proportion of land, he did secretly sow Hydra's teeth, whereupon, according to the poet's fiction, should rise up armed men for the service of this kingdom.
Book III. CHAP. XXV.The true Gentleman.
We will consider him in his birth, breeding, and behaviour.
He is extracted from ancient and worshipful parentage. When a pepin is planted on a pepin-stock, the fruit growing thence is called a renate, a most deli.
cious apple, as both by sire and dam well descended. Thus his blood must needs be well purified, who is genteelly born on both sides. If his birth be not, at least his qualities are gene
What if he cannot, with the Hevenninghams of Suffolk, count five and twenty knights of his family, or tell sixteen knights successively with the Tilneys of Norfolk, or with the Nauntons, shew where their ancestors had seven hundred pound a year before or at the conquest ; yet he hath endeavoured, by his own deserts, to ennoble himself. Thus, valour makes him son to Cæsar, learning entitles him kinsman to Tully, and piety reports him nephew to godly Constantine. It graceth a gentleman of low descent and high desert, when he will own the meanness of his parentage. How ridiculous is it, when many men brag that their families are more ancient than the moon, which all know are later than the star which some seventy years since shined in Cassiopea. But if he be generously born, see how his parents breed him.
He is not, in his youth, possessed with the great hopes of his possession. No flatterer reads constantly in his ears a survey of the lands he is to inherit. This hath made many boys' thoughts swell so great they could never be kept in compass afterwards. Only his parents acquaint him that he is the next undoubted heir to correction, if mis-behaving himself; and he finds no more favour from his schoolmaster, than his schoolmaster finds diligence in him, whose rod respects persons no more than bullets are partial in a battle.
At the University, he is so studious as if he intended learning for his profession. He knows well that cunning is no burden to carry, as paying neither portage by land, nor poundage by sea. Yea, though to have land be a good first, yet to have learning is the surest second, which may stand to it when the other may chance to be taken away.
At the Inns of Court he applies himself to learn the laws of the kingdom. Object not, Why should a gentleman learn law, who if he needeth it may have it for his money, and if he hath never so much of his own,
he must but give it away.
For what a shame is it for a man of quality to be ignorant of Solon in our Athens, of Lycurgus in our Sparta? Besides, law will help him to keep his own, and bestead his neighbours. Say not that there be enough which make this their set practice: for so there are also many masters of defence by their profession; and shall private men, therefore, learn no skill at their weapons ?
As for the hospitality, the apparel, the travelling, the company, the recreations, the marriage of gentlemen, they are described in several chapters in the following book. A word or two of his behaviour in the country
He is courteous and affable to his neighbours. As the sword of the best-tempered metal is most flexible; so the truly generous are most pliant and courteous in their behaviour to their inferiors.
He delights to see himself and his servants well mounted : therefore he loveth good horsemanship. Let never any foreign Rabshakeh send that brave to our Jerusalem, offering “to lend her two thousand horses, if she be able on her part to set riders upon them." We know how Darius got the Persian empire from the rest of his fellow peers, by the first neighing of his generous steed. It were no harm, if in some needless suits of intricate precedency betwixt equal gentlemen, the priority were adjudged to him who keeps a stable of most serviceable horses.
He furnisheth and prepareth himself in peace against time of war ; lest it be too late to learn when his skill is to be used. He
courageous when brought to the trial, as well remembering the custom which is used at the creation of Knights of the Bath, wherein the King's master-cook cometh forth, and presenteth his great knife to the new-made knights, admonishing them to be faithful and valiant, otherwise he threatens them that that very knife is prepared to cut off their
spurs. If the commission of the peace finds him out, he faithfully discharges it. I say finds him out ; for a public
office is a guest which receives the best usage from those who never invited it. And though he declined the place, the country knew to prize his worth, who would be ignorant of his own. He compounds many petty differences betwixt his neighbours, which are easier ended in his own porch than in Westminsterhall; for many people think, if once they have fetched a warrant from a justice, they have given earnest to follow the suit, though otherwise the matter be so mean that the next night's sleep would have bound both parties to the peace, and made them as good friends as ever before. Yet,
He connives not at the smothering of punishable faults. He hates that practice, as common as dangerous amongst country people, who having received again the goods which were stolen from them, partly out of foolish pity, and partly out of covetousness to save charges in prosecuting the law, let the thief escape unpunished. Thus, whilst private losses are repaired, the wounds to the commonwealth, in the breach of the laws, are left uncured : and thus petty larceners are encouraged into felons, and afterwards are hanged for pounds, because never whipped for pence, who, if they had felt the cord, had never been brought to the halter.
If chosen a member of Parliament, he is willing to do his country service. If he be no rhetorician to raise affections, yea Mercury was a greater speaker than Jupiter himself, he counts it great wisdom to be the good manager of yea and nay. The slow pace of his judgment is recompensed by the swift following of his affections, when his judgment is once soundly informed. And here we leave him in consultation, wishing him with the rest of his honourable society, all happy