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power of God himself shelter him from the blasphemies of the impi
Let him permit others to seek to divine his secrets, but never let him seek to divine the secrets of others. Let him really be what he would appear; then will he have no interest to hide, and will no more fear the observations of his
enemy than the regards of his friend. Scipio brought into his camp, with the same confidence, the spies of the Romans and Carthagenians. Julius Cæsar sent back Domitius, after taking him prisoner; despised Labienus, the deserter, though acquainted with all his secrets ; and often burnt the despatches of the enemies without reading them.
The title of Serenissime is given to kings, to teach them that their rank places them above the seat of the passions, and that they ought to be inaccessible to all the tempests they raise. Nothing is more dangerous than a king who deceives ; nothing more ridiculous for himself, or more fatal to his subjects. On his word is established their hope and tranquillity. Why should he be false whose interest is that all under him should be true ? Nor let him be ungrateful; for ingratitude destroys the very sinews of a state.
He ought to refuse himself to no one. Teach him that he is not born for himself, but for the republic; and that he is in his proper employment when
occupied with the affairs of his subjects. He must work for their happiness, and watch for their
preservation. There is nothing more glorious; but nothing is more toilsome. It is a delightful and honourable servitude. Prompt to recompense ; slow to punish. A good king ought to treat criminals as a good surgeon treats his patients, with all the care and tenderness possible, shedding tears for the pain he is obliged to give. A king must not punish a guilty subject as he would a proud enemy; but ever have this maxim engraved on his heart,“ Clemency and Virtue assimilate to God."
In fine, a king ought to serve as the model of his subjects. By his character they ought to regulate their own. He is responsible for all the crimes that they commit after his example. Let your prince be irreproachable in his manners. Teach him to despise luxury, and to trample voluptuousness under his feet. Let him suffer no debauchery in his kingdom, and, above all, in his armies. Horses, books, and arms, these ought to be his amusements; war, peace, and justice, his occupations. Let him read the lives of illustrious men, that he may form himself after them. He should consider them as his models and guides in the path to glory. Their great actions will warm his soul, and spur him on to the like. O how glorious is the ambition that springs from virtue! You may present to your prince a pattern of every virtue without going far. If love does not blind me, I know no one nearer to perfection than that of his uncle, the divine King Robert; whose death has proved, by the calamities that have followed it, how necessary his life was to his people. He was great, wise, kind, and magnanimous ! In a word, he was amongst earthly kings the king ! His nephew can do nothing better than tread in his steps.