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Of Deformity

Deformed persons are commonly even with nature; for as nature hathdone ill by them, so do they by nature; being for the most part (asthe Scripture saith) void of natural affection; and so they have theirrevenge of nature. Certainly there is a consent, between the bodyand the mind; and where nature erreth in the one, she ventureth in theother. Ubi peccat in uno, periclitatur in altero. But because thereis, in man, an election touching the frame of his mind, and anecessity in the frame of his body, the stars of natural inclinationare sometimes obscured, by the sun of discipline and virtue. Thereforeit is good to consider of deformity, not as a sign, which is moredeceivable; but as a cause, which seldom faileth of the effect.Whosoever hath anything fixed in his person, that doth inducecontempt, hath also a perpetual spur in himself, to rescue and deliverhimself from scorn. Therefore all deformed persons, are extremebold. First, as in their own defence, as being exposed to scorn; butin process of time, by a general habit. Also it stirreth in themindustry, and especially of this kind, to watch and observe theweakness of others, that they may have somewhat to repay. Again, intheir superiors, it quencheth jealousy towards them, as persons thatthey think they may, at pleasure, despise: and it layeth theircompetitors and emulators asleep; as never believing they should be inpossibility of advancement, till they see them in possession. Sothat upon the matter, in a great wit, deformity is an advantage torising. Kings in ancient times (and at this present in some countries)were wont to put great trust in eunuchs; because they that are envioustowards all are more obnoxious and officious, towards one. But yettheir trust towards them, hath rather been as to good spials, and goodwhisperers, than good magistrates and officers. And much like is thereason of deformed persons. Still the ground is, they will, if they beof spirit, seek to free themselves from scorn; which must be either byvirtue or malice; and therefore let it not be marvelled, ifsometimes they prove excellent persons; as was Agesilaus, Zanger theson of Solyman, AEsop, Gasca, President of Peru; and Socrates may golikewise amongst them; with others.


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