Not to mention, Cornelius Pulcher, your gentle as well as skilful administration of public affairs, for which goodness and humanity you have gotten an interest in mankind, we clearly perceive that in your private conversation you have made a quiet and peaceable way of living your choice and continual practice. By this means you are justly esteemed a useful member of the commonwealth in general, and also a friendly affable companion to those who familiarly converse with you, as being a person free from all sour, rough, and peevish humors. For, as it is said of Crete, we may by great chance discover one single region of the world that never afforded any dens or coverts for wild beasts. But through the long succession of ages, even to this time, there scarce ever was a state or kingdom that hath not suffered under envy, hatred, emulation, the love of strife, fierce and unruly passions, of all others the most productive of enmity and ill-will among men. Nay, if nothing else will bring it to pass, familiarity will at last breed contempt, and the very friendship of men doth frequently draw them into quarrels, that prove sharp and sometimes implacable. Which that wise man Chilo did well understand, who, when he heard another assert that he had no enemy, asked him very pertinently whether he had no friend. In my judgment therefore it is absolutely necessary that a man, especially if he sit at the [p. 281] helm and be engaged to steer the government, should watchfully observe every posture and motion of his enemy, and subscribe to Xenophon's opinion in this case; who hath set it down as a maxim of the greatest wisdom, that a man should make the best advantage he can of him that is his adversary.

Wherefore, having lately determined to write somewhat on this argument, I have now gathered together all my scattered thoughts and meditations upon it, which I have sent to you, digested into as plain a method as I could; forbearing all along to mention those observations I have heretofore made and written in my Political Precepts, because I know you have that treatise at your hand, and often under your eye.

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