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(that is, spiritual and eternal good) to them that love God ;' and
that they ought not to think it f strange concerning the fiery
trial which was to try them, as though some strange thing
happened unto them/ but to look to the example of the Lord
Jesus, and 'rejoice in Him always.'

Under the Christian dispensation, therefore, chastisement is
for a very different purpose from retribution ; the allotment of
good and evil, according to the character of each man (which is
properly retribution), is reserved for the next world. The Apostle
Paul points out as one of the characteristics of the Gospel, that
in it God has ' commanded all men everywhere to repent, inas-
much as He has APPOINTED A DAY in which He will judge
the world in righteousness.'

The novelty and peculiarity of this announcement consisted,

Essay v.] Annotations. 79

not in declaring the Deity to be the Judge of the world (for
this the Jews knew, and most of the Pagans believed), but in
declaring that He had appointed a day for that judgment, before
Christ's tribunal in the next world. They were henceforth to
look for a retribution, not, as before with the Jews, regular, and
with other nations occasionally, but prepared for all men accord-
ing to the character of each ; not, as before, immediate in the
present life, but in the life to come.

It is true that some men, who are nearly strangers to such
a habit, may be for a time more alarmed by the denunciation
of immediate temporal judgments for their sins, than by any
considerations relative to 'the things which are not seen and
which are eternal.' And when such denunciations rest not on
uncertain predictions, but on an undeniable and notorious con-
nexion of cause with effect, as, for instance, of intemperance
with disease, or of prodigality with penury a salutary alarm
may be created in some who are unmoved by higher considera-
tions. But such an alarm should be regarded merely as a first
step ; as a scaffolding which is to be succeeded by a building
of better foundation. For, the effect thus produced, if we trust
to that alone, is much less likely to be lasting, or while it lasts
to be salutary, because temporal alarm does not tend to make
men spiritually-minded, and any reformation of manners it may
have produced, will not have been founded on Christian prin-
ciples. A man is not more acceptable in the sight of God than
before, though more likely to attain the temporal objects he
aims at, if he is acting on no higher motive than the goods and
evils of the present world can supply. ' Verily I say unto you,
they have their reward/

But to look for temporal retribution, is surely inconsistent
with the profession of a religion whose Founder was persecuted
and crucified, and whose first preachers were exposed to 'hunger,
and thirst, and cold, and nakedness/ and every kind of hard-
ship, and were ' made the offscouring of all things ; ' so that
they declared that ' if in this life only they had hope in Christ,
they were of all men most miserable/ We should consider, too,
that those very sufferings were a stumblingblock to the unbe-
lieving Jews ; not merely from their being unwilling to expose
themselves to the like, according to the forewarnings of Jesus,
such as 'In this world ye shall have tribulation;' but still more

8o Of Adversity. [Essay v.

from their regarding these sufferings as a mark of divine dis-
pleasure, and consequently a proof that Jesus could not have
come from God. Because He was ' a man of sorrows and ac-
quainted with grief/ they 'did esteem him stricken, SMITTEN
OF GOD, and afflicted/ and they ' hid their face from Him/

And it should he remembered, that the Jews, who had been
brought up under a dispensation sanctioned by temporal rewards
and punishments, were less inexcusable in this their error, than
those Christians who presume to measure the divine favour and
disfavour by temporal events.


T\ISSIMULATION is but a faint kind of policy, or wisdom ;
-L' for it asketh a strong wit and a strong heart to know
when to tell truth, and to do it therefore it is the weaker sort
of politicians that are the greatest dissemblers.

Tacitus saith, ' Li via sorted 2 well with the arts of her hus-
band and dissimulation of her son/ 3 attributing arts of policy
to Augustus, and dissimulation to Tiberius ; and again, when
Mucianus encourageth Vespasian to take arms against Vitellius,
he saith, ' We rise not against the piercing judgment of Augustus,
nor the extreme caution or closeness of Tiberius/ 4 These pro-
perties of arts, or policy, and dissimulation, and closeness, are
indeed habits and faculties several/ and to be distinguished ;
for if a man have that penetration of judgment as 6 he can
discern what things are to be laid open, and what to be secreted,
and what to l3e showed at half-lights, and to whom and when
(which indeed are arts of state, and arts of life, as Tacitus well
calleth them), to him a habit of dissimulation is a hindrance
and a poorness. But if a man cannot obtain to 7 that judgment,
then it is left to him generally to be close, and a dissembler ;
for where a man cannot chuse or vary in particulars, there it
is good to take the safest and wariest way in general, like the
going softly by one that cannot well see. Certainly the ablest
men that ever were, have had all an openness and frankness of
dealing, and a name of certainty and veracity; but then they
were like horses well managed, for they could tell passing well
when to stop or turn, and at such times when they thought the

1 Simulation. The pretending that to be which is not. ' The feigning to be
what one is not by gesture, action, or behaviour, is called simulation.' South.

2 Sort. To fit; suit.

' It sorts well with your fierceness.' ShaTcespere.

3 Tacit. Annal. v. i. 4 Tacit. Hist. ii. 76.

5 Several. Different ; distinct.

1 Four several armies to the field are led,
Which, high in equal hopes, four princes lead.' Drgden.

6 As. That. See pnge 26. 7 Obtain to. Attain to*


8 a Of Simulation and Dissimulation. [Essay vi.

case indeed required dissimulation, if then they used it, it came
to pass that the former opinion, spread abroad, of their good
faith and clearness of dealing, made them almost invisible.

There be three degrees of this hiding and veiling of a man's
self: the first, closeness, reservation, and secrecy, when a man
leaveth himself without observation, or without hold to be taken,
what he is ; the second, dissimulation in the negative, when a
man lets fall signs and arguments that he is not that he is ;
and the third, simulation in the affirmative, when a man indus-
triously and expressly feigns and pretends to be that 1 he is not.

For the first of these, secrecy, it is indeed the virtue of a
confessor; and assuredly the secret man heareth many con-
fessions, for who will open himself to a blab or a babbler?
But if a man be thought secret, it inviteth discovery, as the
more close air sucketh in the more open ; and as in confessing,
the revealing is not for worldly use, but for the ease of a man's
heart; so secret men come to the knowledge of many things
in that kind, while men rather discharge their minds than impart
their minds. In few words, mysteries are due to secrecy.
Besides (to say truth) nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind
as in body ; and it addeth no small reverence to men's manners
and actions, if they be not altogether open. As for talkers,
and futile 2 persons, they are commonly vain and credulous
withal; for he that talketh what he knoweth, will also talk
what he knoweth not; therefore set it down, that a habit of
secrecy is both politic and moral ; and in this part it is good
that a man's face give his tongue leave to speak ; for the dis-
covery of a man's self, by the tracts 3 . of his countenance, is a
great weakness and betraying, by how much it is many times
more marked and believed than a man's words.

For the second, which is dissimulation, it followeth many
times upon secrecy, by a necessity; so that he that will be
secret, must be a dissembler in some degree, for men are too
cunning to suffer a man to keep an indifferent 4 carriage between

1 That. What ; that which. ' To do always that is righteous in thy sight.'
English Liturgy.

2 Futile. Talkative ; loquacious. ' The parable (Prov. xxix. 2), it seems, espe-
cially corrects not the futility of vaine persons which easily utter as well what may
be spoken as what should be secreted ; not garrulity whereby they fill others, even
to a surfeit ; but the government of speech.' On Learning. By G. Watts.

' Tracts. Traits (traicts) ; features.

* Indifferent. Impartial. 'That they may truly and indifferently minister
justice.' Prayer for the Church Militant.

Essay vi.] Of Simulation and Dissimulation. 83

both, and to be secret, without swaying the balance on either
side. They will so beset a man with questions, and draw him on,
and pick it out of him, that, without an absurd silence, he must
show an inclination one way; or if he do not, they will gather
as much by his silence as by his speech. As for equivocations,
or oraculous 1 speeches, they cannot hold out long; so that no
man can be secret, except he give himself a little scope of dissi-
mulation, which is, as it were, but the skirts or train of secrecy.

But for the third degree, which is simulation and false pro-
fession, that I hold more culpable, and less politic, except it be
in great and rare matters ; and, therefore, a general custom of
simulation (which is this last degree) is a vice rising either of 2
a natural falseness, or fearfulness, or of a mind that hath some
main faults, which, because a man must needs disguise, it
maketh him practise simulation in other things, lest his hand
should be out of use.

The advantages of simulation and dissimulation are three
first, to lay asleep opposition, and to surprise; for where a
man's intentions are published, it is an alarm to call up all that
are against them : the second is, to reserve to a man's self a
fair retreat ; for, if a man engage himself by a manifest declara-
tion, he must go through, or take a fall : the third is, the better
to discover the mind of another ; for to him that opens himself,
men will hardly show themselves averse, but will (fair 3 ) let him
go on, and turn their freedom of speech to freedom of thought ;
and therefore it is a good shrewd proverb of the Spaniard, ' Tell
a lie and find a troth/ as if there were no way of discovery but
by simulation. There be also three disadvantages to set it even :
the first, that simulation and dissimulation commonly carry
with them a show of fearfulness, which, in any business, doth
spoil the feathers of round 4 flying up to the mark; the second,

1 Oraculous. Oracular.

' He spoke oraculous and sly ;
He'd neither grant the question, nor deny.' King.

2 Of. From. ' Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness.'
Luke xvi. 9.

3 Fair (adverb). Complaisantly.

'Thus fair they parted till the morrow's dawn.' Dryden.
* Bound. Direct.

' Let her be round with him.' Shakespere.
G 2

84 Of Simulation and Dissimulation. [Essay vi.

that it puzzleth and perplexeth the conceits 1 of many, that
perhaps would otherwise co-operate with him, and makes a man
walk almost alone to his own ends ; the third, and greatest, is,
that it depriveth a man of one of the most principal instruments
for action, which is trust and belief. The best composition
and temperature 2 is, to have openness in fame and opinion ;
secrecy in habit ; dissimulation in seasonable use ; and a power
to feign, if there be no remedy.



' Dissimulatio, compendiaria sapien- ' Quibus artes civiles supra captum

tia. ingeuii sunt, iis dissiumlatio pro pru-

' The art of concealing is a short cut dentia erit.

to the most important part of practical ' Those whose minds cannot grasp

wisdom.' political sagacity, substitute dissimula-
tion for prudence'

' Sepes consiliorum, dissimulatio.

' Concealment is the hedge of our ' Qui dissimulat, prsecipuo ad agen-

designs' dum instrumento se privat i.e., fide.

'He who practises concealment de-

' Qui indissimulanter omnia agit, aeque ' prives himself of a most important in-

decipit; nam plurimi, aut non capiunt, strument of action namely, confidence'
aut non credunt.

' He who acts in all things openly ' Dissimulatio dissimulationera invitat.

does not deceive the less ; for most ' Dissimulation invites dissimulation.'

persons either do not understand, or do
not believe him.'


' Of Simulation.'

It is a pity that our language has lost the word ' simulation ;'
so that we are forced to make ' dissimulation' serve for both

' Id quod abest, simulat, dissimulat quod adest.' 3

' The ablest men have all had an openness and frankness/ &c.
There is much truth in Bacon's remark in the Antitheta,

1 Conceits. Conceptions as :

' You have a noble and a true conceit
Of godlike amity.' Shakespere.

2 Temperature. Constitution. ' Memory depends upon the temperature of the
brain.' Watts.

* ' Simulates that which is not j dissimulates that which is.'

Essay vi.] Annotations. 85

that those whose whole conduct is open and undisguised deceive
people not the less, because the generality either do not under-
stand them, or do not believe them. And this is particularly
the case when those you have to deal with are of a crafty cha-
racter. They expend great ingenuity in guessing what it is
you mean, or what you design to do, and the only thing that
never occurs to them, is, just what you have said.

It is to be observed, however, that some persons, who are not
really frank and open characters, appear such, from their want
of delicacy and of refined moral taste. They speak openly of
things pertaining to themselves (such as most people would
suppress), not from incapacity for disguise, or from meaning to
making a confidant of you, but from absence of shame. And
such a person may be capable of much artifice when it suits his
purpose. It is well, therefore, that the inexperienced should
be warned against mistaking shamelessness for sincerity of

Those who are habitually very reserved, and (as Miss Edge-
worth expresses it in one of her tales) ' think that in general it
is best not to mention things/ will usually meet with fewer
tangible failures than the more communicative, unless these
latter possess an unusual share of sagacity; but the latter will
(unless excessively imprudent) have a greater amount of success,
on the w r hole, by gaining many advantages which the others
will have missed.

t e They will so beset a man with questions.'

There is, as Bacon observes, a great difficulty in dealing with
such persons; for a true answer to their impertinent questions
might do great mischief; and to refuse an answer would be
understood as the same thing. ' Pray, do you know the author
of that article ? Is it your friend Mr. So-and-so ?' or, ' Is it
true that your friend Such-a-one has had heavy losses, and is
likely to become insolvent ?' or, ( Is he concealed in such-and-
such a place ?' &c. If you reply, ' I do not chuse to answer/
this will be considered as equivalent to an answer in the affir-

It is told of Dean Swift, that when some one he had lampooned
came and asked him whether he was the writer of those verses,
he replied, that long ago he had consulted an experienced

86 Of Simulation and Dissimulation. [Essay vi.

lawyer what was best to be done when some scoundrel who had
been shown up in a satire asked him whether he were the
author ; and that the lawyer advised him always, whether he had
written it or not, to deny the authorship, and, ' accordingly/
said he, ' I now tell you that I am not the author/

Some similar kind of rebuke is, perhaps, the best answer to

A well-known author once received a letter from a peer with
whom he was slightly acquainted, asking him whether he was
the author of a certain article in the Edinburgh Review. He
replied that he never made communications of that kind, except
to intimate friends, selected by himself for the purpose, when
he saw fit. His refusal to answer, however, pointed him out
which, as it happened, he did not care for as the author. But
a case might occur, in which the revelation of the authorship
might involve a friend in some serious difficulties. In any such
case, he might have answered something in this style : ( I have
received a letter purporting to be from your lordship, but the
matter of it induces me to suspect that it is a forgery by some
mischievous trickster. The writer asks whether I am the
author of a certain article. It is a sort of question which no
one has a right to ask ; and I think, therefore, that every one
is bound to discourage such inquiries by answering them
whether one is or is not the author with a rebuke for asking
impertinent questions about private matters. I say ' private/
because, if an article be libellous or seditious, the law is open,
and any one may proceed against the publisher, and compel
him either to give up the author, or to bear the penalty. If,
again, it contains false statements, these, coming from an
anonymous pen, may be simply contradicted. And if the
arguments be unsound, the obvious course is to refute them.
But who wrote it, is a question of idle or of mischievous
curiosity, as it relates to the private concerns of an individual.

' If I were to ask your lordship, ' Do you spend your income ?
or lay by ? or outrun ? Do you and your lady ever have an
altercation ? Was she your first love ? or were you attached
to some one else before ?' If I were to ask such questions,
your lordship's answer would probably be, to desire the footman
to show me out. Now, the present inquiry I regard as no less
unjustifiable, and relating to private concerns : and, therefore, I

Essay vi.] Annotations. 87

think every one bound, when so questioned, always, whether he
is the author or not, to meet the inquiry with a rebuke.

' Hoping that my conjecture is right, of the letter's being a
forgery, I remain/ &c.

In any case, however, in which a refusal to answer does not
convey any information, the best way, perhaps, of meeting im-
pertinent inquiries, is by saying, ' Can you keep a secret ?' and
M'hen the other answers that he can, you may reply, ' Well, so
can I.'

' Openness in fame and opinion'

'Everybody (says one of Miss Edgeworth's characters) says
that my mother is the most artful woman in the world : and /
should think so, if everybody did not say it ; for if she was, you
know, nobody would ever find it out/ There is certainly no
point in which the maxim is more applicable, that ' it is a
matter of Art to conceal the Art/

' The power to feign when there is no remedy.'

This power is certainly a dangerous one to possess, because
one will be tempted to say, again and again, and on slighter and
slighter occasions, ' Now, there is no remedy; there is nothing
for it but to feign :' that is, perhaps, there is no other mode of
effecting the object you have in view.

Certainly it is a nobler thing to have the power and not to
use it, than to abstain from feigning, through incapacity. But
there are few cases, and to most people, none, in which it is
justifiable. It is indeed quite allowable for a General to deceive
the enemy by stratagems (so called from that very circumstance),
because where no confidence is reposed, none can be violated.
And again it is a kind of war that is carried on between police-
men and thieves. In dealing with madmen, again, there is no
more fraud in deceiving them than in angling for trout with an
artificial fly; because you are not really dealing with fellow-
men. For, though an insane patient considered as to his own
proper self, apart from his malady, is, of course, entitled to
justice and kindness, he is, in his present state, what is usually
(and not incorrectly) called ' one beside himself ' not himself
' out of his mind ;' and is regarded as not responsible for his
acts, on the very ground that they are not properly his own
acts, but those of an irrational being.

88 Of Simulation and Dissimulation. [Essay vi.

But with the exception of such cases, feigning cannot be

A pleader is greatly exposed to temptations to this practice.
He has indeed a right to urge all that can be fairly said in his
client's favour, and to expose any flaws in the opposite evidence.
But it will often serve his cause, to protest solemnly his own
sincere conviction, when he feels none ; to tax with falsehood
the opposed witnesses, when there is no ground for it ; and to
bring forward fallacious arguments, and mis-statements of facts.
[See the Essay on ' Judicature/] And perhaps he salves his
conscience by the consideration that no one is bound to believe
him ; though it is evident he says what he does say, in the hope
of being believed.

How little there is in the world of a really scrupulous re-
verence for truth, one may see but too many proofs every day.
The sentiment expressed by an author of some repute (noticed
iu the Annotations on Essay I.), implies not only an utter dis-
regard for truth, in what pertains to religion, but also a convic-
tion (founded probably on some knowledge of the world) that
the open avowal of this was not likely to do him any discredit.
We see journalists, again, admitted so they do but write ably
to be guides of public opinion, even when it is manifest and
notorious that they have no principle but that of writing what
will sell best, and are ready to pander to any popular prejudice,
and to contradict to-day what they said yesterday, without the
least regard for truth and justice, or for the public welfare, or
even for decent consistency, when gain is in prospect.

And we may see men admired not only as eminently pious,
but as sincere, who have openly professed and vindicated the
system of ' reserve/ (or ' economy/) that is, the concealment of
their own real sentiments, and the deliberate suppression of
portions of God's revealed truth ; which are to be kept back, it
seems, from the mass of mankind. But then, what these men
do teach, is, we are told, the truth, though not the whole
truth : as if the omission of one portion did not materially
affect, in practice, the character of the rest. 1 It has been

1 The reader is referred to Archdeacon West's Discourse on Reserve ; to the
Charge on Instruction in the Scriptures (1857), sec. 7, and to that usefiil and
important work, the Index to the Tracts for the Times.

Essay vi.] Annotations. 89

remarked that in a marble statue, every particle remains in
exactly the same position in which it existed in the block; the
sculptor has merely removed the other portions, and thus dis-
covered the statue. Yet he is generally considered to have
made a graven image.

Then again, these same Divines have found a mode of inter-
preting ' in a non-natural sense/ the Articles and other Formu-
laries of the Church to which they profess adherence; holding
it allowable to take words in any sense they can be brought to
bear, in open disregard of the sense in which the writers
designed and knew them to be understood. 1

And the same principle is sometimes acted on by persons of
quite a different school. These have been known, for instance,
to maintain that our Lord's declaration, ' My kingdom is not
of this world/ may be interpreted as relating to the then-present
time only, and does not imply that his kingdom though ' not
of this world/ then, was not to become such, hereafter ! He
however must have known that his words could not have been
so understood ; else He would have been pleading guilty to the
charge brought against Him. For, the very design imputed to
Him and his followers, and which they always disavowed, was
that of designing hereafter to subvert existing governments,
and monopolize temporal power. If therefore they had
cherished such a design, while they expressed themselves ambi-
guously, so as to be understood to disclaim it, then, most fairly
might the most fraudulent of the Jesuits call themselves ' com-
panions of Jesus ! '

It is really painful to be compelled to impute disingenuous-
ness to persons who manifest much religious zeal. But when
men are found using such arguments, and maintaining such
principles, on some points, as, on others, they reprobate;
setting up, for instance, to serve a purpose, a tradition more
recent by several centuries 2 than any of the Romish ones which
they deride, it is impossible to give them credit for sincerity

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