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friendship, law, oath, obedience, country, God, nor his own life, but he will hazard to lose all, rather than to pursue this foul vice: for Polynices, for whom this verse was first made in Greek, did fill not only his own country full of dead carcasses, but also whole Greece full of weeping widows. And Cæsar, for whom the same verse was turned into Latin, did not only turn upside-down the goodliest commonwealth that ever God suffered to stand upon the earth ; but also tossed the whole world with battle and slaughter, even almost from the sun-setting unto the sun-rising and did not stop to bring soldiers to do mischief further than any man now dare journey by land either for pleasure or profit.
But see the fruit and end which this ungodly great-growing bringeth unto men: Both these Princes were slain, the one by his brother, the other by his own son, of whom in life, nature and benefits would they should have taken most comfort of. But men that love to climb too high have always least fear, and therefore by reason fall most suddenly, and also furthest down; yea, the very boughs that helped him up will now whip him in falling down: for whoso in climbing trusteth when he is going up any bough at all overmuch, though he seem to tread never so surely upon it, yet if he once begin to slip, the same-self bough is readiest to beat him that seemed before surest to bear him. Examples hereof be seen daily, and forgotten hereby.
Another mischief chanceth commonly to these high climbers; that they will hear no man so gladly as such which are erer heartening them to climb still. If wise and good men durst speak more freely than they do, great men should do both others and themselves less harm than they are wont to do. He hateth himself, and hasteth his own hurt, that is content to hear none so gladly as either a fool or a flatterer. A wonderful folly in a great man himself, and some piece of misery in a whole commonwealth, where fools chiefly and flatterers may speak freely what they will, and wise men and good men shall commonly be shent, if they speak what they should
And how cometh this to pass : it is the very plague of God for great men's sins, and the plain high way to their just punishment. And when God suffereth them so willingly to grant freedom to folly, and so gladly to give hearing to flattery; but see when the great man is gone and hath played his part, fools and flatterers be still upon the stage. Such live
in all worlds, such laugh in all miseries : such Davi and Getæ have always the longest parties; and go out who shall, they tarry in place still. I know also many a good Mitio, which have played long parts, whom I pray God keep long still upon the stage. And I trust no man will be miscontent with my general saying, except conscience do prick him of his own private ill-doing.
There be commonwealths where freedom in speaking truth hath kept great men from boldness in doing ill; for free and friendly advice is the trimmest glass that any great man can use to spy his own fault in; which taken away, they run commonly so far in foul doing, as some never stay till
they pass all remedy, save only too late repentance. And as I would have no Aattery, but wish for freedom; so in no wise do I commend overmuch boldness, or any kind of railing. But that liberty in speaking should be so mingled with good-will and discretion, as no great person should be unhonourably spoken upon, or any mean man touched out of order, either for sport or spite ; as some unquiet heads, never contented with any state, are ever procuring either secretly with railing bills, or openly with taunting songs, or else some scoffing common play.
Another kind of too bold talkers surpass all these ; silly rumourers, who are called, and so will be, common discoursers of all Princes' affairs. These make a great account of themselves, and will be commonly foremost in any praise, and lustily without blushing shoulder back, others : 'these will needs seem to see further in any secret affair than the best and wisest counsellor a Prince hath. These be the open flatterers and privy mislikers of all good counsellor's doings. And one common note, the most part of this brotherhood of discoursers commonly carry with them where they be bold to speak : to like better Tully's Offices than_Št. Paul's Epistles, and a tale in Bocace than a story of the Bible ; and therefore for any religion earnest setters forth of present time; with consciences confirmed with Machiavel's doctrine, to think, say, and do, whatsoever may serve best for profit or pleasure.
But as concerning flatterers and railers, to say mine opinion whether I like worse; surely as I have read few men to have been hurt with bitter poisons, so have I heard of as few great men to have been greatly harmed with sharp talk; but they are so ware therein; that commonly they will complain of their hurt before they feel harm. And Aattery again is so sweet, that it pleaseth best when it hurteth most; and therefore is always to be feared, because it always delighteth. But in looking aside to these high climbers, I have gone out of the way of mine own matter.
To return to Duke Maurice. He saw that Duke Frederick’s falling might be his rising, and perchance was moved with some old injuries; but being of young years, and of nature full of desire and courage, he was a trim prey for old practisers, to be easily carried away with fair new promises sounding altogether to honour and profit, and so he forsook his father and his friend, and became wholly the Emperor's, till he had brought both them into prison. Duke Frederick was taken in the field, and so became the Emperor's just prisoner. Yet as long as the Landgrave was abroad, the Émperor thought his purpose never achieved, and therefore practised anew with Duke Maurice to get him also into his hands.
Duke Maurice with Joachim Marquis of Brandenburg became means betwixt the Landgrave and the Emperor. Conditions both of mercy from the one, and of amends from the other, were drawn out. Maurice and the Marquis bound themselves sureties to the Landgrave's children, for their father's safe return; for amongst the rest of conditions this was one of the chiefest, that he should come in no prison. And so at Hall in Saxony, he came boldly to the Emperor's presence, who received him not very cheerfully, nor gave him not his hand, which in Germany is the very token of an assured reconciliation.
The Duke of Alva made the Landgrave a supper, and called also thither Duke Maurice, and the Marquis of Brandenburg, where they had great cheer ; but after supper, it was told Duke Maurice and the Marquis that they might depart, for the Landgrave must lodge there that night.
On the morrow, they reasoned of the matter wholly to this purpose, that the Emperor promised the Landgrave's person ought not to be kept. Answer was made, that the Emperor went no further than conditions led him; which were, that he should not be kept in everlasting prison. When I was at Villach in Carinthia, I asked Duke Frederick's preacher what were the very words in German, whereby the Landgrave against his looking was kept in prison. He said the fallacion was very pretty and notable, and
pen and wrote in my book the very words wherein the very controversy stood ; Duke Maurice said it was,
Nicht in einig gefengknes, i.e. Not in any prison. The Imperials said no, but thus ;
Nicht in ewig gefengknes, i.e. Not in everlasting prison. And how soon einig may be turned into ewig, not with scrape of knife, but with the least dash of a pen, so that it shall never be perceived, a man that will prove may easily
Moreover, Louis d'Avila in his book doth rejoice that the Landgrave did so deceive himself with his own conditions, in making of which, as D'Avila saith, he was wont to esteem his own wit above all other men's. Well, howsoever it came to pass, the Landgrave was kept in prison. And from that hour Duke Maurice fell from the Emperor, thinking himself most unkindly handled, that he, by whose means chiefly the Emperor had won such honour in Saxony, must now be rewarded with shame in all Germany, and be called a traitor to God, and his country, his father, and his friend. And though he was grieved at heart, yet he bare all things quietly in countenance, purposing though he had lost will, yet would he not lose his profit; and so hiding his hurt presently, whilst some fitter time should discover some better remedy, he went with the Emperor to Augsburg, where, according to his promise, he was made Elector. Yet, the same night after his solemn creation, two verses set upon his gate might more grieve him, than all that honour could delight him, which were these :
Seu Dux, seu Princeps, seu tu dicaris Elector,
Maurice, es Patriæ proditor ipse tuæ. After that he had gotten that he looked for, he gat him home into his country, froin whence afterward the Emperor with no policy could ever bring him; he always alleging, the fear he had of some stir by Duke Frederick's children.
Hitherto the Germans much misliked the doings of Duke Maurice. But after that he had felt himself so unkindly abused, as for his good service to be made the betrayer of his father, he took such matters in hand, and brought them so to pass, as he recovered the love of his country, and purchased such hate of his enemies, as the Spaniards took their displeasure from all other, and bestowed it wholly upon Duke Maurice; and yet he bare himself with such wit and courage against them, as they had always cause to fear him, and never occasion to contemn him: yea, if he had lived, he would sooner, men think, have driven all Spaniards out of Germany, than they should have hurt him in Saxony; for he had joined unto him such strength, and there was in him such policy, as they durst never have come upon him with power, nor never should have gone beyond him with wit. "He had so displeased the Emperor, as he knew well neither his lands nor his life could make amends, when ten pounds of benefits which he was able to do could not weigh with one ounce of displeasure that he had already done; and therefore never after sought to seek his love which he knew could never be gotten; but gave himself wholly to set up Maximilian, who being himself of great power, and of all other most beloved for his worthiness in all Germany, and now using the head and hand of Duke Maurice and his friends, and having the help
of as many as hated the Spaniards, that is to say, almost all 'Protestants and Papists too in Germany, he should easily have obtained whatsoever he had gone about. But that bond is now broken; for even this day, when I was writing this place, came word to this Court, that Marquis Albert and Duke Maurice had fought, where the Marquis had lost the field, and Duke Maurice had lost his life: which whole battle, because it is notable, I would here at length describe, but that I should wander too far from my purposed matter ; and therefore I in another place, or else some other with better opportunity, shall at large report the matter.
Ye see the cause why, and the time when, Duke Maurice fell from the Emperor. And because he was so notable a Prince, I will describe also the manner how he proceeded in all these doings, as learned amongst them that did not greatly love him. And because it were small gain to flatter him that is gone, and great shame to lie upon him that is dead, for pleasing any that be alive, I so will report on him • as his doings since my coming to this Court have deserved.
He was now of the age of thirty-two years, well-faced ; in countenance, complexion, favour, and beard, not much unlike to Sir Ralph Sadler, but some deal higher, and well and strong made to bear any labour and pain. He was once (men say) given to drinking, but now he had clean left it, contented with small diet and little sleep in these last years, and therefore had a waking and working head; and became so witty and secret, so hardy and ware, so skilful of ways, both to do