Page:The Palace of Pleasure, Volume 1 (1890).djvu/175

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73
TO KING ALEXANDER.

she is tickle and can not be holden against her will. Folow thou the counfaile that is good, specially whyles the time doth serue. Bridle thy felicitie, and thou shalt rule it the better. Our countriemen say, that Fortune is without feete, and that she hath onely handes and wynges, but when she stretcheth forth her hand, shee will not suffer her winges to be touched. Finally, if thou be a God thou oughtest to geue benefites to mortall men, and not to take away the commodities they haue already: but if thou bee a man, consider that thou art alway the fame that thou arte. It is a foolishe part to remember those things, and to forget thy selfe. Those people that fele not thy warres, thou maiest use as thy frendes. For frendship is most firme and stable emonges equall, and those seeme to be equall that haue not vsed force and violence emonges them selues. Beware thou take them not for thy frendes whome thou doest subdue, and bring in obedience. There is no frendship betwene the maister and the seruaunt, and in peace the lawe of Armes is obserued. Beleue not that the Scythians doe bynde frendship with any othe: for they make their othe by obseruation of faith. The maner of the Greekes is to iustifie their factes, by inuocation of their Goddes to witnesse: but wee know, that Religion consisteth in faith her self. They which do not reuerence to men, do begile the Goddes. Thou hast no nede of him to be thy frende of whose frendship thou standest in doubt. Thou hast vs as kepers of Asia and Europa: for we should touche the countrie of Bactria, were it not for Tanais, whiche deuideth vs. And beyonde Tanais all is ours so farre as Thracia, and the fame is that Thracia bordreth vppon Macedonia: wee being neighbours, to bothe thy dominions, chose nowe whether thou wylte haue vs frendes or foes." These were the woordes of the Scythians. Howe be it these homelie and plaine aduertisementes, could not diuerte kyng Alexander from his intended enterpryse, and according to his desired successe, he ouercame them.