Augustus Caesar died in a compliment; Livia, conjugii nostri memor, vive et vale.
Tiberius in dissimulation; as Tacitus saith of him, Jam Tiberium vires et corpus, non dissimulatio, deserebant.
And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them, as was in those of the ancients.
But it is not only the difficulty and labor, which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love, of the lie itself.
Saith he, If it be well weighed, to say that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men. Surely the wickedness of falsehood, and breach of faith, cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal, to call the judgments of God upon the generations of men; it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, he shall not find faith upon the earth.
Men fear death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children, is increased with tales, so is the other.
To pass from theological, and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear, and round dealing, is the honor of man’s nature; and that mixture of falsehoods, is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it.
For these winding, and crooked courses, are the goings of the serpent; which goeth basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet.
Vespasian in a jest, sitting upon the stool; Ut puto deus fio.
Galba with a sentence; Feri, si ex re sit populi Romani; holding forth his neck.