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into a little room, and in short time to gather much, this you must do: first, as was said, he must have some entrance into the language before he goeth; then he must have such a servant, or tutor, as knoweth the country, as was likewise said: let him carry with him also some card, or book, describing the country where he travelleth, which will be a good key to his inquiry; let him keep also a diary; let him not stay long in one city or town, more or less as the place deserveth, but not long; nay, when he stayeth in one city or town, let him change his lodging from one end and part of the town to another, which is a great adamant of acquaintance; let him sequester himself from the company of his countrymen, and diet in such places where there is good company of the nation where he travelleth; let him, upon his removes from one place to another, procure recommendation to some person of quality residing in the place whither he removeth, that he may use his favour in those things he desireth to see or know: thus he may abridge his travel with much profit. As for the acquaintance which is to be sought in travel, that which is
most of all profitable, is acquaintance with the secretaries, and employed men of ambassadors: for so in travelling in one country he shall suck the experience, of many: let him also see and visit eminent persons in all kinds, which are of great name abroad, that he may be able to tell how the life agreeth with the fame; for quarrels, they are with care and discretion to be avoided; they are commonly for mistresses, healths, place, and words: and let a man beware how he keepeth company with choleric and quarrelsome persons, for they will engage him into their own quarrels. When a traveller returneth home, let him not leave the countries where he hath travelled altogether behind him; but maintain a correspondence by letters with those of his acquaintance which are of most worth; and let his travel appear rather in his discourse, than in his apparel, or gesture; and in his discourse let him be rather advised in his answers, than forward to tell stories: and let it appear that he doth not change his country manners for those of foreign parts; but only prick in some flowers of that he hath learned abroad into the customs of his own country.
It is a miserable state of mind to have few things to desire, and many things to fear; and yet that commonly is the case with kings, who being at the highest, want matter of desire, which makes their minds more languishing; and have many representations of perils and shadows, which make their minds the less clear: and this is one reason also of that effect which the scripture speaketh of "That the king's heart is inscrutable:" for multitude of jealousies, and lack of some predominant desire, that should marshal and put in order all the rest, maketh any man's heart hard to find or sound. Hence it comes likewise, that princes many times make themselves desires, and set their hearts upon toys; sometimes upon a building; sometimes upon erecting of an order; sometimes upon the advancing of a person; sometimes upon obtaining excellency in some art, or feat of the hand; as Nero for playing on the harp;
Domitian for certainty of the hand with the arrow; Commodus for playing at fence; Caracalla for driving chariots and the like. This seemeth incredible unto those that know not the principle, that the mind of man is more cheered and refreshed by profiting in small things, than by standing at a stay in great. We see also that kings that have been fortunate conquerors in their first years, it being not possible for them to go forward infinitely, but that they must have some check or arrest in their fortunes, turn in their latter years to be superstitious and melancholy; as did Alexander the Great, Dioclesian, and in our memory Charles the Fifth, and others; for he that is used to go forward, and findeth a stop, falleth out of his own favour, and is not the thing he was.
To speak now of the true temper of empire, it is a thing rare and hard to keep; for both temper and distemper consist of contraries: but it is one thing to mingle contraries, another to interchange them. The answer of Apollonius to Vespasian is full of excellent instruction. Vespasian asked him, what was
Nero's overthrow? he answered, Nero could touch and tune the harp well, but in government sometimes he used to wind the pins too high, sometimes to let them down too low; and certain it is, that nothing destroyeth authority so much as the unequal and untimely interchange of power pressed too far, and relaxed too much.
This is true, that the wisdom of all these latter times in princes' affairs, is rather fine deliveries, and shiftings of dangers and mischiefs, when they are near, than solid and grounded courses to keep them aloof: but this is but to try masteries with fortune; and let men beware how they neglect and suffer matter of trouble to be prepared; for no man can forbid the spark, nor tell whence it may The difficulties in princes' business are many and great; but the greatest difficulty is often in their own mind; for it is common with princes (saith Tacitus) to will contradictories; "Sunt plerumque regum voluntates vehementes, et inter se contrariæ;" for it is the solecism of power to think to command the end, and yet not to endure the means.