Page images
PDF
EPUB

league was turned upon himself. For when the true, that storms, though they blow over divers authority of princes is made but an accessary to a times, yet may fall at last; and as the Spanish procause, and that there be other bands, that tie faster verb noteth well, the cord breaketh at last by the than the band of sovereignty, kings begin to be put weakest pull. almost out of possession.

The causes and motions of seditions are, innovaAlso, when discords, and quarrels, and factions, tion in religion, taxes, alteration of laws and cusare carried openly and audaciously, it is a sign the toms, breaking of privileges, general oppression, reverence of government is lost. For the motions advancement of unworthy persons, strangers, dearths, of the greatest persons in a government ought to be disbanded soldiers, factions grown desperate; and as the motions of the planets under primum mobile, whatsoever in offending people joineth and knitteth according to the old opinion; which is, that every them in a common cause. of them is carried swiftly by the highest motion, For the remedies, there may be some general preand softly in their own motion. And therefore when servatives, whereof we will speak; as for the just great ones in their own particular motion move cure, it must answer to the particular disease; and violently, and, as Tacitus expresseth it well, “libe- so be left to counsel, rather than rule. rius, quam ut imperantium meminissent;" it is a The first remedy or prevention, is to remove by sign the orbs are out of frame. For reverence is that all means possible that material cause of sedition, wherewith princes are girt from God, who threaten- whereof we spake; which is want and poverty in eth the dissolving thereof; “ solvam cingula regum.” the estate. To which purpose serveth the opening

So when any of the four pillars of government and well balancing of trade ; the cherishing of maare mainly shaken or weakened, which are religion, nufactures; the banishing of idleness; the repressjustice, counsel, and treasure, men had need to praying of waste and excess by sumptuary laws; the for fair weather. But let us pass from this part of improving and husbanding of the soil; the regulatpredictions, concerning which, nevertheless, more ing of prices of things vendible; the moderating of light may be taken from that which followeth, and taxes and tributes, and the like. Generally it is to let us speak first of the materials of seditions ; then be foreseen, that the population of a kingdom, espeof the motives of them; and thirdly, of the remedies. cially if it be not mown down by wars, do not exceed Concerning the materials of seditions.

It is a

the stock of the kingdom which should maintain thing well to be considered; for the surest way to them. Neither is the population to be reckoned prevent seditions, if the times do bear it, is to take only by number: for a smaller number, that spend away the matter of them. For if there be fuel pre- more, and earn less, do wear out an estate sooner pared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come than a greater number that live lower and gather that shall set it on fire. The matter of seditions is Therefore the multiplying of nobility, and of two kinds : much poverty, and much discontent- other degrees of quality, in an over-proportion to ment. It is certain, so many overthrown estates, the common people, doth speedily bring a state to so many votes for troubles. Lucan noteth well the necessity: and so doth likewise an overgrown clergy; state of Rome before the civil war:

for they bring nothing to the stock : and in like

manner, when more are bred scholars, than prefer“ Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore fænus, Hinc concussa fides, et multis utile bellum."

ments can take off.

It is likewise to be remembered, that forasmuch This same “multis utile bellum" is an assured and as the increase of any estate must be upon the foinfallible sign of a state disposed to seditions and reigner, for whatsoever is somewhere gotten is sometroubles. And if this poverty and broken estate in where lost, there be but three things which one the better sort be joined with a want and necessity nation selleth unto another; the commodity as nain the mean people, the danger is imminent and ture yieldeth it; the manufacture; and the vecture great. For the rebellions of the belly are the worst. or carriage. So that if these three wheels go, wealth As for discontentments, they are in the politic body will flow as in a spring tide. And it cometh many like to humours in the natural, which are apt to times to pass, that “materiam superabit opus,” that gather a preternatural heat, and to inflame. And the work and carriage is more worth than the matelet no prince measurc the danger of them by this ; rial, and enricheth a state more ; as is notably seen whether they be just, or unjust; for that were to in the Low-Countrymen, who have the best mines imagine people to be too reasonable; who do often above ground in the world. spurn at their own good : nor yet by this ; whether Above all things good policy is to be used, that the griefs whereupon they rise be in fact great or the treasures and monies in a state be not gathered small. For they are the most dangerous discontent- into few hands. For otherwise a state may have ments, where the fear is greater than the feeling. a great stock, and yet starve. And money is like “ Dolendi modus, timendi non item.” Besides, in muck, not good except it be spread. This is done great oppressions, the same things that provoke the chiefly by suppressing, or at the least keeping a patience, do withal mate the courage ; but in fears strait hand upon the devouring trades of usury, enit is not so. Neither let any prince or state be se- grossing, great pasturages, and the like. cure concerning discontentments, because they have For removing discontentments, or at least the been often, or have been long, and yet no peril hath danger of them, there is in every state, as we know, ensued; for as it is true that every vapour, or fume, two portions of subjects, the noblesse, and the comdoth not turn into a storm; so it is nevertheless monalty. When one of these is discontent, the

more.

danger is not great; for common people are of slow the soldiers out of hope of the donative. Probus motion, if they be not excited by the greater sort ; likewise by that speech,“ Si vixero, non opus erit and the greater sort are of small strength, except amplius Romano imperio militibus ;” a speech of the multitude be apt and ready to move of them- great despair for the soldiers : and many the like. selves. Then is the danger, when the greater sort Surely, princes had need, in tender matters and do but wait for the troubling of the waters amongst ticklish times, to beware what they say; especially the meaner, that then they may declare themselves. in these short speeches, which fly abroad like darts, The poets feign, that the rest of the gods would and are thought to be shot out of their secret intenhave bound Jupiter ; which he hearing of, by the tions. For, as for large discourses, they are flat counsel of Pallas, sent for Briareus with his hundred things, and not so much noted. hands to come in to his aid. An emblem, no doubt, Lastly, let princes, against all events, not be withto show, how safe it is for monarchs to make sure out some great person, one, or rather more, of miliof the good will of common people.

tary valour, near unto them, for the repressing of To give moderate liberty for griefs and discon- seditions in their beginnings. For without that, tentments to evaporate, so it be without too great there useth to be more trepidation in court upon the insolency or bravery, is a safe way. For he that first breaking out of troubles, than were fit. And the turneth the humours back, and maketh the wound state runneth the danger of that which Tacitus saith, bleed inwards, endangereth malign ulcers, and per " atque is habitus animorum fuit, ut pessimum facinicious imposthumations.

nus auderent pauci, plures vellent, omnes paterentur." The part of Epimetheus might well become Pro But let such military persons be assured and well metheus, in the case of discontentments, for there is reputed of, rather than factious and popular; holding not a better provision against them. Epimetheus, also good correspondence with the other great men when griefs and evils flew abroad, at last shut the in the state; or else the remedy is worse than the lid, and kept Hope in the bottom of the vessel. Cer- disease. tainly the politic and artificial nourishing and entertaining of hopes, and carrying men from hopes to

XVI. OF ATHEISM. hopes, is one of the best antidotes against the poison of discontentments. And it is a certain sign of a I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, wise government and proceeding, when it can hold and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, than that this men's hearts by hopes, when it cannot by satisfac-universal frame is without a mind. And therefore tion: and when it can handle things in such man God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, ner, as no evil shall appear so peremptory, but that because his ordinary works convince it. It is true, it hath some outlet of hope; which is the less hard that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to to do, because both particular persons and factions atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's are apt enough to flatter themselves, or at least to minds about to religion : for while the mind of man brave that which they believe not.

looketh upon second causes scattered, it may someAlso, the foresight and prevention that there be times rest in them, and go no farther; but when it no likely or fit head, whereunto discontented persons beholdeth the chain of them confederate and linked may resort, and under whom they may join, is a together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity. known but an excellent point of caution. I under- Nay even that school which is most accused of stand a fit head to be one that hath greatness and atheism, doth most demonstrate religion ; that is, the reputation; that hath confidence with the discontent- school of Leucippus, and Democritus, and Epicurus. ed party, and upon whom they turn their eyes; and For it is a thousand times more credible, that four that is thought discontented in his own particular: mutable elements, and one immutable fifth essence which kind of persons are either to be won and re- duly and eternally placed, need no God; than that conciled to the state, and that in a fast and true an army of infinite small portions, or seeds unplaced, manner; or to be fronted with some other of the should have produced this order and beauty without same party that may oppose them, and so divide the a divine marshal. The Scripture saith, “ The fool reputation. Generally, the dividing and breaking hath said in his heart, There is no God." it is not of all factions and combinations that are adverse to said, “the fool hath thought in his heart.” So as the state, and setting them at distance, or at least he rather saith it by rote to himself, as that he distrust amongst themselves, is one not of the worst would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, remedies. For it is a desperate case, if those that or be persuaded of it. For none deny there is a hold with the proceedings of the state, be full of God, but those for whom it maketh that there were discord and faction; and those that are against it be no God. ( It appeareth in nothing more, that atheism entire and united.

is rather in the lip than in the heart of man, than I have noted, that some witty and sharp speeches by this; that atheists will ever be talking of that which have fallen from princes, have given fire to their opinion, as if they fainted in it within themseditions. Cæsar did himself infinite hurt in that selves, and would be glad to be strengthened by the speech ; " Sylla nescivit literas, non potuit dictare:" consent of others : nay more, you shall have atheists for it did utterly cut off that hope which men had strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects : entertained, that he would at one time or other give and, which is most of all, you shall have of them over his dictatorship. Galba undid himself by that that will suffer for atheism, and not recant; whereas speech ; " Legi a se militem, non emi:" for it put | if they did truly think that there were no such thing

[blocks in formation]

as God, why should they trouble themselves ? | Italos ipsos et Latinos ; sed pietate, ac religione, Epicurus is charged, that he did but dissemble, for atque hâc unâ sapientiâ, quod deorum immortalium his credit's sake, when he affirmed there were bless- numine omnia regi gubernarique perspeximus, omed natures, but such as enjoyed themselves without nes gentes nationesque superavimus." having respect to the government of the world. Wherein they say he did temporize, though in secret he thought there was no God. But certainly he is

XVII. OF SUPERSTITION. traduced; for his words are noble and divine : "Non deos vulgi negare profanum; sed vulgi opiniones It were better to have no opinion of God at all, diis applicare profanum.” Plato could have said no than such an opinion as is unworthy of him : for the more. And although he had the confidence to deny one is unbelief, the other is contumely : and certhe administration, he had not the power to deny tainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity. the nature. The Indians of the west have names Plutarch saith well to that purpose : Surely," for their particular gods, though they have no name saith he, “ I had rather a great deal men should say, for God: as if the heathens should have had the there was no such man at all as Plutarch, than that names Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, &c. but not the word they should say, that there was one Plutarch, that Deus; which shows, that even those barbarous would eat his children as soon as they were born; people have the notion, though they have not the as the poets speak of Saturn." And as the conlatitude and extent of it. So that against atheists tumely is greater towards God, so the danger is the very sayages take part with the very subtilest greater towards men. (Atheism leaves a man to philosophers. The contemplative atheist is rare; a sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reDiagoras, a Bion, a Lucian perhaps, and some putation ; all which may be guides to an outward others; and yet they seem to be more than they moral virtue, though religion were not: but superare; for that all that impugn a received religion, or stition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute superstition, are by the adverse part branded with monarchy in the minds of men. Therefore atheism the name of atheists. But the great atheists indeed did never perturb states ; for it makes men wary of are hypocrites; which are ever handling holy things, themselves, as looking no farther : and we see the but without feeling; so as they must needs be cau times inclined to atheism, as the time of Augustus terised in the end. The causes of atheism are; Cæsar, were civil times. But superstition hath divisions in religion, if they be many; for any one

been the confusion of many states, and bringeth in main division addeth zeal to both sides; but many a new primum mobile, that ravisheth all the spheres divisions introduce atheism. Another is, scandal of of government. The master of superstition is the priests; when it is come to that which St. Bernard people; and in all superstition wise men follow saith, non est jam dicere, ut populus, sic sacerdos: fools; and arguments are fitted to practice in a requia nec sic populus, ut sacerdos." ( A third is cus- versed order. It was gravely said by some of the tom of profane scoffing in holy matters; which prelates in the council of Trent, where the doctrine doth by little and little deface the reverence of reli- of the schoolmen bare great sway; that the schoolgion. And lastly, learned times, especially with men were like astronomers, which did feign eccenpeace and prosperity : for troubles and adversities trics and epicycles, and such engines of orbs, to do more bow men's minds to religion. They that save the phenomena, though they knew there were deny a God destroy man's nobility: for certainly no such things; and in like manner, that the schoolman is of kin to the beasts by his body; and if he men had framed a number of subtile and intricate be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and axioms and theorems, to save the practice of the ignoble creature. It destroys likewise magnanimity, church. The causes of superstition are: pleasing and the raising of human nature : for take an exam and sensual rites and ceremonies: excess of outward ple of a dog, and mark what a generosity and cour and pharisaical holiness: over-great reverence of age he will put on, when he finds himself main- traditions, which cannot but load the church : the tained by a man, who to him is instead of a God, stratagems of prelates for their own ambition and or melior natura which courage is manifestly such, lucre : the favouring too much of good intentions, as that creature, without confidence of a better na which openeth the gate to conceits and povelties: ture than his own, could never attain.

the taking an aim at divine matters by human, when he resteth and assureth himself upon divine which cannot but breed mixture of imaginations : protection and favour, gathereth a force and faith, and lastly, barbarous times, especially joined with which human nature in itself could not obtain : calamities and disasters. Superstition without a veil therefore as atheism is in all respects hateful, so in is a deformed thing: for as it addeth deformity to this, that it depriveth human nature of the means an ape to be so like a man; so the similitude of suto exalt itself above human frailty. As it is in par- perstition to religion makes it the more deformed. ticular persons, so it is in nations ; never was there And as wholesome meat corrupteth to little worms, such a state for magnanimity as Rome; of this so good forms and orders corrupt into a number of state hear what Cicero saith : “Quam volumus, li- petty observances. There is a superstition in avoidcet, patres conscripti, nos amemus, tamen nec nu- ing superstition; when men think to do best, if they mero Hispanos, nec robore Gallos, nec calliditate go farthest from the superstition formerly received: Pænos, nec artibus Græcos, nec denique hoc ipso therefore care would be had, that, as it fareth in ill hujus gentis et terræ domestico nativoque sensu purgings, the good be not taken away with the bad,

So man,

which commonly is done when the people is the removeth ; that he may use his favour in those things reformer.

he desireth to see or know. Thus he may abridge

his travel with much profit. As for the acquaintance XVIII. OF TRAVEL.

which is to be sought in travel, that which is most

of all profitable, acquaintance with the secreTravel in the younger sort is part of education; taries and employed men of ambassadors ; for so in in the elder a part of experience. He that travel travelling in one country, he shall suck the experileth into a country before he hath some entrance ence of many.

Let him also see and visit eminent into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel. persons in all kinds, which are of great name abroad; That young men travel under some tutor or grave that he may be able to tell how the life agreeth servant, I allow well; so that he be such a one that with the fame. For quarrels, they are with care and hath the language, and hath been in the country discretion to be avoided : they are commonly for before ; whereby he may be able to tell them mistresses, healths, place, and words. And let a what things are worthy to be seen in the country man beware how he keepeth company with choleric where they go, what acquaintances they are to seek, and quarrelsome persons; for they will engage him what exercises or discipline the place yieldeth. For into their own quarrels. When a traveller returneth else young men shall go hooded, and look abroad home, let him not leave the countries where he hath little. It is a strange thing, that in sea-voyages, travelled altogether behind him ; but maintain a where there is nothing to be seen but sky and sea, correspondence by letters with those of his acquaintmen should make diaries ; but in land-travel, where ance which are of most worth. And let his travel in so much is to be observed, for the most part they appear rather in his discourse than in his apparel omit it; as if chance were fitter to be registered or gesture; and in his discourse, let him be rather than observation. Let diaries therefore be brought advised in his answers than forward to tell stories: in use. The things to be seen and observed are : and let it appear that he doth not change his country the courts of princes, especially when they give au manners for those of foreign parts; but only prick dience to ambassadors ; the courts of justice while in some flowers of that he hath learned abroad, into they sit and hear causes : and so of consistories ec the customs of his own country. clesiastic: the churches and monasteries, with the monuments which are therein extant: the walls

XIX. OF EMPIRE. and fortifications of cities and towns, and so the havens and harbours: antiquities and ruins; libraries, It is a miserable state of mind to have few things colleges, disputations, and lectures, where any are; to desire, and many things to fear : and yet that shipping and navies; houses, and gardens of state commonly is the case of kings, who being at the and pleasure near great cities; armories, arsenals, highest, want matter of desire, which makes their magazines, exchanges, burses, warehouses, exercises minds more languishing: and have many representof horsemanship, fencing, training of soldiers, and ations of perils and shadows, which make their the like ; comedies, such whereunto the better sort minds the less clear. And this is one reason also of persons do resort; treasuries of jewels and robes, of that effect which the Scripture speaketh of, “that cabinets and rarities: and to conclude, whatsoever the king's heart is inscrutable.” For multitude of is memorable in the places where they go. After all jealousies, and lack of some predominant desire, that which, the tutors or servants ought to make diligent should marshal and put in order all the rest, maketh inquiry. As for triumphs, masks, feasts, weddings, any man's heart hard to find or sound. Hence it funerals, capital executions, and such shows, men comes likewise, that princes many times make themneed not to be put in mind of them; yet are they selves desires, and set their hearts upon toys; somenot to be neglected. If you will have a young man times upon a building; sometimes upon erecting of to put his travel into a little room, and in short time an order; sometimes upon the advancing of a person; to gather much, this you must do ; first, as was said, sometimes upon obtaining excellency in some art, he must have some entrance into the language before or feat of the hand; as Nero for playing on the harp; he goeth. Then he must have such a servant, or Domitian for certainty of the hand with the arrow; tutor, as knoweth the country, as was likewise said. Commodus for playing at fence; Caracalla for drivLet him carry with him also some card or book de ing chariots; and the like. This seemeth incredible scribing the country where he travelleth, which will unto those that know not the principle, That the be a good key to his inquiry. Let him keep also a mind of man is more cheered and refreshed by prodiary. Let him not stay long in one city or town; fiting in small things, than by standing at a stay in more or less as the place deserveth, but not long : great. We see also, that kings that have been fornay, when he stayeth in one city or town, let him tunate conquerors in their first years, it being not change his lodging from one end and part of the possible for them to go forward infinitely, but that town to another, which is a great adamant of ac- they must have some check or arrest in their fortunes, quaintance. Let him sequester himself from the turn in their latter years to be superstitious and company of his countrymen, and diet in such places melancholy: as did Alexander the Great, Dioclesian, where there is good company of the nation where and in our memory Charles the Fifth, and others; he travelleth. Let him, upon his removes from one for he that is used to go forward, and findeth a stop, place to another, procure recommendation to some falleth out of his own favour, and is not the thing person of quality residing in the place whither he he was.

[ocr errors]

To speak now of the true temper of empire: it is wise troubled his house and succession : Edward the a thing rare and hard to keep; for both temper and second of England his queen had the principal hand distemper consist of contraries. But it is one in the deposing and murder of her husband. This thing to mingle contraries, another to interchange kind of danger is then to be feared, chiefly, when them. The answer of Apollonius to Vespasian is the wives have plots for the raising their own chilfull of excellent instruction : Vespasian asked him, dren, or else that they be advowtresses. what was Nero's overthrow ? He answered, Nero For their children: the tragedies likewise of the could touch and tune the harp well, but in govern- dangers from them have been many: and generally, ment sometimes he used to wind the pins too high, the entering of the fathers into suspicion of their sometimes to let them down too low. And certain children hath been ever unfortunate. The destrucit is, that nothing destroyeth authority so much as tion of Mustapha, that we named before, was so the unequal and untimely interchange of power fatal to Solyman's line, as the succession of the pressed too far, and relaxed too much.

Turks, from Solyman until this day, is suspected to This is true, that the wisdom of all these latter be untrue, and of strange blood; for that Solymus times, in princes' affairs, is rather fine deliveries, and the second was thought to be supposititious. The shiftings of dangers and mischiefs, when they are destruction of Crispus, a young prince of rare near; than solid and grounded courses to keep them towardness, by Constantius the Great, his father, aloof. But this is but to try masteries with fortune : was in like manner fatal to his house ; for both Conand let men beware how they neglect and suffer stantinus and Constans, his sons, died violent deaths; matter of trouble to be prepared ; for no man can and Constantinus his other son did little better forbid the spark, nor tell whence it may come. The who died indeed of sickness, but after that Julianus difficulties in princes' business are many and great; had taken arms against him. The destruction of but the greatest difficulty is often in their own mind. Demetrius, son to Philip the second of Macedon, For it is common with princes, saith Tacitus, to will turned upon the father, who died of repentance. contradictories. “Sunt plerumque regum voluntates And many like examples there are ; but few or none vehementes, et inter se contrariæ.” For it is the where the fathers had good by such distrust, except solecism of power, to think to command the end, and it were where the sons were up in open arms against yet not to endure the mean.

them ; as was Solymus the first against Bajazet: Kings have to deal with their neighbours; their and the three sons of Henry the Second, king of wives; their children; their prelates or clergy; England. their nobles; their second nobles or gentlemen; For their prelates, when they are proud and their merchants; their commons; and their men of great, there is also danger from them: as it was in war ; and from all these arise dangers, if care and the times of Anselmus and Thomas Becket, archcircumspection be not used.

bishops of Canterbury, who with their crosiers did First, for their neighbours, there can no general almost try it with the king's sword; and yet they rule be given, the occasions are so variable, save had to deal with stout and haughty kings, William one, which ever holdeth ; which is, that princes do Rufus, Henry the first, and Henry the second. The keep due sentinel, that none of their neighbours do danger is not from that state, but where it hath a overgrow so, by increase of territory, by embracing dependence of foreign authority; or where the of trade, by approaches, or the like, as they become churchmen come in, and are elected, not by the more able to annoy them, than they were. And collation of the king or particular patrons, but by this is generally the work of standing counsels, to the people. foresee and to hinder it. During that triumvirate of For their nobles; to keep them at a distance it is kings, King Henry the Eighth, of England; Francis not amiss; but to depress them, may make a king the First, king of France; and Charles the Fifth, more absolute, but less safe; and less able to peremperor, there was such a watch kept, that none of form any thing that he desires. I have noted it in the three could win a palm of ground, but the other my History of king Henry the seventh of Engtwo would straightways balance it, either by confe- land," who depressed his nobility; whereupon it deration, or if need were by a war: and would not came to pass that his times were full of difficulties in any wise take up peace at interest. And the like and troubles : for the nobility, though they continued was done by that league, which, Guicciardine saith, loyal unto him, yet did they not co-operate with him was the security of Italy, made between Ferdinando, in his business. So that in effect he was fain to do king of Naples ; Lorenzius Medices, and Ludovicus all things himself. Sforza, potentates, the one of Florence, the other of For their second nobles; there is not much danger Milan. Neither is the opinion of some of the school from them, being a body dispersed. They may men to be received, that a war cannot justly be made sometimes discourse high, but that doth little hurt: but upon a precedent injury, or provocation. For besides, they are a counterpoise to the higher there is no question but a just fear of an imminent nobility, that they grow not too potent: and lastly, danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful being the most immediate in authority with the cause of a war.

common people, they do best temper popular comFor their wives, there are cruel examples of them. motions. Livia is infamed for the poisoning of her husband; For their merchants, they are vena porta ; and if Roxolana, Solyman's wife, was the destruction of they flourish not, a kingdom may have good limbs, that renowned prince, Sultan Mustapha; and other but will have empty veins, and nourish little. Taxes

« PreviousContinue »