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tempt upon those high steeples and magnificent palaces which we adore and wonder at; from which height I can make her to descend by a word from my mouth, which she both knows and obeys, to accept of meat from my hand, to own ine for her master, to go home with me, and be willing the next day to afford me the like recreation,
Nay more, the very birds of the air, those that be not hawks, are both so many, and so useful and pleasant to mankind, that I must not let them pass without some observations,
As first the lark, when she means to rejoice; to cheer herself and those that hear her, she then quits the earth, and sings as she ascends higher into the air ; and having ended her hcavenly employment, grows then mute and sad to think she must descend to the dull earth, which she would not touch but from deces sity.
How do the blackbird and thrassel with their melodious voices bid welcome to the cheerful spring, and in their fixed months warble forth such ditties as no art or instrument can reach to!
Nay, the smaller birds also do the like in their particular seasons, as, namely, the leverock, the tit-lark, the little linnet, and the honest robin, that loves mankind both alive and dead,
But the nightingale, another of my airy creatures, breathes such sweet loud music, out of her little ina
strumental, that it may make mankind to think miracles are not ceased. He that at midnight, when the very labourer sleeps securely, should hear as I have, very often, the clear airs, the sweet descants, the natural rising and falling, the doubling and redoubling of her voice, might well be lifted above earth, and say, Lord, what music hast thou provided for the saints in heaven, when thou affordest bad men such music on earth !
There is also a little contemptible winged creature, an inhabitant of my aerial element, namely, the laborious bee, of whose prudence, policy, and regular government of their own commonwealth, I might say much, as also of their several kinds, and how useful their honey and wax is, both for meat and medicines to mankind; but I will leave them to their sweet labour, without the least disturbance, believing them to be all very busy at this very time amongst the herbs and flowers that we see nature puts forth this May-morning.
Chap. or Dialogue 4th.—The Angler speaks.
Look, under that broad beech-tree, I sat down, when I was last this way a-fishing, and the birds in the adjoining groves seemed to have a friendly contention with an echo, whose dead voice seemed to live in a hollow tree, near to the brow of that is danger, when the commonalty trouble the water, and the nobility step in.
It is a perilous weakness in a state to be slow of resolution in the time of war. To be irresolute in determinations is both the sign and the ruin of a weak state. Such affairs attend not time. Let a wise statesman therefore abhor delay, and resolve. rather what to do, than advise what to say. Slow deliberations are symptoms either of a faint courage, or weak forces, or false hearts.
Ít is dangerous for a prince to use ambitious natures, but upon necessity, either for his wars, or to be skreens for his dangers, or to be instruments for the demolishing insolent greatness. And that they may be the less dangerous, let him choose them rather out of mean births than noble; and out of harsh natures, rather than plausible. And always be sure to balance them with those that are as proud as they.
In a mixed monarchy, if the hierarchy grow too absolute, it is wisdom in a prince rather to redress it, than suppress it. All alterations in a fundamental government bring apparent dangers ; but too sudden alteration threatens inevitable ruin. When Aaron made a molten calf, Moses altered not the govern. ment, but reproved the governor.
Before thou build a fortress, consider to what end. If for resistance against the enemy, it is useless. A valiant army is a living fortress. If for suppressing the subject, it is hurtful. It breeds jealousies, and jealousies beget hatred. If thou hast a strong army to maintain it, it adds nothing to thy strength. If thy army be weak, it conduces much to thy danger. The surest fortress is the hands of thy soldiers: and the safest citadel is the hearts of thy subjects.
It is a princely alchemy, out of a necessary war, to extract an honorable peace; and more beseeming
the majesty of a prince, to thirst after peace, than conquest. Blessedness is promised to the peacemaker; not to the conqueror. It is a happy state, whose prince hath a peaceful hand, and a martial heart, able both to use peace, and to manage war,
It is a great oversight in a prince, for any respects, either actively or passively, to make a foreign kingdom strong. He that gives means to another to become powerful, weakens himself, and enables him to take the advantage of his own weak ness,
When the humours of the people are stirred by discontents, or popular grief, it is wisdom in a prince to give them moderate liberty to evaporate. He that turns the humour back too hastily, makes the wound bleed inwardly, and fills the body with malignity.
If thou be ambitious of honour, and yet fearful