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The changes and vicissitude in wars are many; but chiefly in three things; in the seats or stages of the war; in the weapons; and in the manner of the conduct. Wars, in ancient time, seemed more to move from east to west; for the Persians, Assyrians, Arabians, Tartars, (which were the invaders,) were all eastern people. It is true, the Gauls were western; but we read but of two incursions of theirs: the one to Gallo-Græcia, the other to Rome. But East and West have no certain points of heaven'; and no more have the wars, either from the east or west, any certainty of observation. But North and South are fixed ?; and it hath seldom or never been seen that the far southern people have invaded the northern, but contrariwise. Whereby it is manifest that the northern tract of the world is in nature the more martial region: be it in respect of the stars of that hemisphere; or of the great continents that are upon the north, whereas the south part, for aught that is known, is almost all sea ; or (which is most apparent) of the cold of the northern parts, which is that which, without aid of discipline, doth make the bodies hardest, and the courages warmest.3
Upon the breaking and shivering of a great state and empire, you may be sure to have wars. For great empires, while they stand, do enervate and destroy the forces of the natives which they have subdued, resting upon their own protecting forces ; and then when they fail also, all goes to ruin, and they become a prey. So was it in the decay of the Roman empire; and likewise in the empire of Almaigne, after Charles the Great, every bird taking a feather; and were not unlike to befal to Spain, if it should break. The great accessions and unions of kingdoms do likewise stir up wars : for when a state grows to an over-power, it is like a great flood, that will be sure to overflow. As it hath been seen in the states of Rome, Turkey, Spain, and others. Look when the world hath fewest barbarous peoples ', but such as commonly will not marry or generate, except they know means to live , (as it is almost every where at this day, except Tartary,) there is no danger of
I cæli climata non determinant.
% naturâ firi. & The translation adds : ut liquet in populo Araucensi ; qui ad ulterioru Austri positi omnibus Peruviensibus fortitudine longe præcellunt.
aliis gentibus in prædam cadunt.
cum mundus nationibus barbaris minus abundat, sed civiliores fere sunt. 6 nisi modum familiam alendi, aut saltem victum parandi, præviderint.
inundations of people: but when there be great shoals of people, which go on to populate, without foreseeing means of life and sustentation, it is of necessity that once in an age or two they discharge a portion of their people upon other nations ; which the ancient northern people were wont to do by lot; casting lots what part should stay at home, and what should seek their fortunes. When a warlike state grows soft and effeminate, they may be sure of a war. For commonly such states are grown rich in the time of their degenerating; and so the prey inviteth, and their decay in valour encourageth a war.3
As for the weapons, it hardly falleth under rule and observation:
: yet we see even they have returns and vicissitudes. For certain it is, that ordnance * was known in the city of the Oxidrakes in India; and was that which the Macedonians called thunder and lightning, and magic. And it is well known that the use of ordnance hath been in China above two thousand years. The conditions of weapons, and their improvement, are, First, the fetching afar off; for that outruns the danger ; as it is seen in ordnance and muskets. Secondly, the strength of the percussion; wherein likewise ordnance do exceed all arietations and ancient inventions. The third is, the commodious use of them; as that they may serve in all weathers?; that the carriage may be light and manageable; and the like.
For the conduct of the war: at the first, men rested extremely upon number: they did put the wars likewise upon main force and valour; pointing days for pitched fields, and so trying it out upon an even match: and they were more ignorant in ranging and arraying their battles. After they grew to rest upon number rather competent than vast ; they grew to advantages of place, cunning diversions, and the like: and they grew more skilful in the ordering of their battles.
In the youth of a state, arms do flourish; in the middle age
1 ab inundationibus aut migrationibus.
* portionem aliquam multitudinis suæ exonerent, et novas sedes quærant, et sic alias nationes invadant.
3 animat gentes alias ad eosdem invadendos. 4 tormentu anea,
pulveris pyrii et tormentorum igneorum. & periculum ab hostili parte anticipat.
? id quod tormentis igneis majoribus etiam competit, quæ omnibus tempestatibus donea.
8 So in original. A word appears to have dropped out, such as seek, or something equivalent. The translation has captabant,
of a state, learning; and then both of them together for a time; in the declining age of a state, mechanical arts and merchandise. Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning and almost childish': then his youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile : then his strength of years, when it is solid and reduced? : and lastly, his old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust. But it is not good to look too long upon these turning wheels of vicissitude, lest we become giddy. As for the philology of them, that is but a circle of tales“, and therefore not fit for this writing
quando leviusculæ sunt, et pueriles.
? solidiores et exactiores. 3 The translation adds, manente tamen garrulitate.
Quatenus vero ad Philologium, quæ in hoc argumento ut plurimum versatur, nihil aliud est quam narratiuncularum et observationum futilium congeries quædam.
In speaking of the original edition, I have referred to a copy in my own possession ; from which the title is copied. I have since found that there is a copy in the British Museum bearing the same date, but not in all respects the same. In the titlepage, instead of newly enlarged, it has newly written. It professes to be “printed by John Haviland, for Hanna Barret," omitting the name of Richard Whittaker, and the words which follow. In the text, it is difficult even on a careful examination to detect any differences whatever. But upon referring to the passages in which I had noticed an error, or a doubt, or a variety of reading, I find that in three of them it differs from my copy. In p. 423. it has children not child: in p. 437. flower not flowers : in p. 474. game not gaine. One or two other variations which occur in the later essays I have noticed in their places. Of these copies, one must certainly have been a proof in which corrections were afterwards made. And the fact that all the later editions have “newly enlarged” in the titlepage, instead of “newly written,” favours the supposition that mine is the corrected copy. That in some cases (as for instance in pages 437. and 474.) the reading of the other copy is unquestionably the right one,
may possibly be explained by accidents of the press. The last letter in flowers may have failed to take the ink; the m in game may have been injured, and being mistaken for an imperfect in mav have been replaced by a perfect in.
APPENDIX TO THE ESSAYS.
A FRAGMENT OF AN ESSAY ON FAME.
The poets make Fame a monster. They describe her in part finely and elegantly; and in part gravely and sententiously. They say, look how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath underneath; so many tongues ; so many voices; she pricks up so many ears.
This is a flourish. There follow excellent parables ; as that she gathereth strength in going: that she goeth upon the ground, and yet hideth her head in the clouds : that in the day-time she sitteth in a watch tower, and flieth most by night: that she mingleth things done with things not done: and that she is a terror to great cities. But that which passeth all the rest is; they do recount that the Earth, mother of the Giants that made war against Jupiter and were by him destroyed, thereupon in an anger brought forth Fame; for certain it is that rebels, figured by the giants, and seditious fames and libels, are but brothers and sisters; masculine and feminine. But now,
if a man can tame this monster, and bring her to feed at the hand, and govern her, and with her fly other ravening fowl and kill them, it is somewhat worth. But we are infected with the stile of the poets. To speak now in a sad and a serious manner. There is not in all the politics a place less handled, and more worthy to be handled, than this of fame. We will therefore speak
This fragment was first published by Dr. Rawley, in the Resuscitatio (1657), p. 281. Though unfinished, therefore, it may be regarded as a genuine and undoubted work of Bacon's, as far as it goes. Two other Essays, which have been ascribed to Bacon upon very doubtful authority (and at least one of them in my opinion very improbably), will be printed by themselves at the end of this Appendix,