Imatges de pàgina
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but want the ground of science, and, there. and birds ; insomuch, as Busbechius report. fore, cannot hold out; nay, you shall see a eth, a christian boy in Constantinople had bold fellow many times do Mahomet's mi. like to have been stoned for gagging in a racle. Mahomet made the people believe waggishness a long-billed fowl. Errors, inthat he would call a hill to him, and from the deed, in this virtue, in goodness or charity, top of it offer up his prayers for the observers may be committed. The Italians have an of his law. The people assembled : Maho ungracious proverb, “ Tanto buon che val met called the hill to come to him again and niente ;” “ So good, that he is good for noagain; and when the hill stood still he was thing :” and one of the doctors of Italy, never a whit abashed, but said, “ If the hill Nicholas Machiaval, had the confidence to will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go put in writing, alınost in plain terms, “ That to the hill.” So these men, when they have the christian faith had given up good men in promised great matters and failed most shame prey to those that are tyrannical and unjust;" fully, yet (if they have the perfection of bold. which he spake, because, indeed, there was ness) they will but slight it over, and make never law, or sect, or opinion, did so much a turn, and no more ado. Certainly to men magnify goodness as the christian religion of great judgment, bold persons are sport to doth : therefore, to avoid the scandal, and behold ; nay, and to the vulgar also boldness the danger both, it is good to take knowledge hath somewhat of the ridiculous : for if ab of the errors of a habit so excellent. Seek surdity be the subject of laughter, doubt you the good of other men, but be not in bondage not but great boldness is seldom without some to their faces or fancies; for that is but faabsurdity ; especially it is a sport to see when cility or softness, which taketh an honest a bold fellow is out of countenance, for that mind prisoner. Neither give thou Æsop's puts his face into a most shrunken and wooden cock a gem, who would be better pleased and posture, as needs it must : for in bashfulness happier if he had a barley-corn. The exthe spirits do a little go and come; but with ample of God teacheth this lesson truly : bold men, upon like occasion, they stand at a “ He sendeth his rain, and maketh his sun stay ; like a stale at chess, where it is no to shine upon the just and the unjust;” but mate, but yet the game cannot stir : but this he doth not rain wealth, nor shine honour last were fitter for a satire than for a serious and virtues upon men equally: common beobservation. This is well to be weighed, nefits are to be communicated with all, but that boldness is ever blind; for it seeth not peculiar benefits with choice. And beware dangers and inconveniences : therefore it is 14) how in making the portraiture thou breakest in counsel, good in execution; so that the the pattern: for divinity maketh the love of right use of bold persons is, that they never ourselves the pattern; the love of our neighcommand in chief, but be seconds, and under bours but the portraiture. “ Sell all thou the direction of others : for in counsel it is hast, and give it to the poor, and follow me:" good to see dangers, and in execution not to but sell not all thou hast, except thou come see them, except they be very great.

and follow me; that is, except thou have a vocation wherein thou mayest do as much

good with little means as with great; for OF GOODNESS, AND GOODNESS

otherwise, in feeding the streams thou driest OF NATURE.

the fountain. Neither is there only a habit I TAKE goodness in this sense, the affecting of goodness directed by right reason; but of the weal of men, which is that the Gre there is in some men, even in nature, a discians call Philanthropia ; and the word hu. position towards it; as, on the other side, manity (as it is used) is a littl too light to there is a natural malignity : for there be that express it. Goodness I call the habit, and in their nature do not affect the good of others. goodness of nature the inclination. This of The lighter sort of malignity turneth but to all virtues and dignities of the mind, is the a crossness, or frowardness, or aptness to opgreatest, being the character of the Deity; pose, or difficileness, or the like; but the and without it man is a busy, mischievous, deeper sort to envy and mere mischief. Such wretched thing, no better than a kind of ver men, in other men's calamities, are, as it min. Goodness answers to the theological were, in season, and are ever on the loading virtue charity, and admits no excess but error. parts : not so good as the dogs that licked The desire of power in excess caused the an. Lazarus' sores, but like flies that are still gels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess buzzing upon any thing that is raw; misancaused man to fall : but in charity there is thropi, that make it their practice to bring no excees, neither can angel nor man come in men to the bough, and yet have never a tree danger by it. The inclination to goodness is for the purpose in their gardens, as Timon imprinted deeply in the nature of man; inso- had: such dispositions are the very errors of much, that if it issue not towards inen, it will human nature, and yet they are the fittest take unto other living creatures ; as it is seen timber to make great politics of; like to knee in the Turks, a cruel people, who, neverthe- timber, that is good for ships that are orless, are kind to beasts, and give alms to dogs dained to be tossed, but not for building



houses that shall stand firm. The parts and the fundamental laws of a kingdom thinketh signs of goodness are many. If a man be there is no good title to a crown but by con. gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows quest. he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart 10. A king that setteth to sale seats of is no island cut off from other lands, but a justice oppresseth the people ; for he teacheth continent that joins to them: if he be com his judges to sell justice; and “ precio parata passionate towards the afflictions of others, it precio venditur justitia.” shows that his heart is like the noble tree that 11. Bounty and magnificence are virtues is wounded itself when it gives the balm: if very regal, but a prodigal king is nearer a he easily pardons and remits offences, it shows tyrant than a parsimonious; for store at home that his mind is planted above injuries, so draweth not his contemplations abroad; but that it cannot be shot : if he be thankful for want supplieth itself of what is next, and small benefits, it shows that he weighs men's many times the next way: a king herein minds, and not their trash: but, above all, if must be wise, and know what he may justly do. he have St. Paul's perfection, that he would 12. That king which is not feared is not wish to be an anathema from Christ, for the loved ; and he that is well seen in his craft salvation of his brethren, it shows much of a must as well study to be feared as loved ; yet divine nature, and a kind of conformity with not loved for fear, but feared for love. Christ himself.

13. Therefore, as he must always resemble him whose great name he beareth, and that as

in manifesting the sweet influence of his mercy OF A KING.

on the severe siroke of his justice sometimes, 1. A KING is a mortal god on earth, unto so in this not to suffer a inan of death to live; whom the living God hath lent his own name for, besides that the land doth mourn, the re. as a great honour; but withal told him, he straint of justice towards sin doth more retard should die like a man, lest he should be the affection of love than the extent of mercy proud, and flatter himself that God hath with doth inflame it; and sure where love is fill] his name imparted unto him his nature also. bestowed fear is quite lost.

2. Of all kind of men, God is the least 14. His greatest enemies are his flatterers ; beholding unto them; for he doeth most for for though they ever speak on his side, yet them, and they do ordinarily least for him. their words still make against him.

3. A king that would not feel his crown 15. The love which a king oweth to a weal too heavy for him must wear it every day; public should not be restrained to any one but if he think it too light, he knoweth not of particular; yet, that his more special favour what metal it is made.

do reflect upon some worthy ones is some4. He must make religion the rule of what necessary, because there are few of that government, and not to balance the scale; for capacity. he that casteth in religion only to make the 16. He must have a special care of five scales even, his own weight is contained in things, if he would not have his crown to be those characters, “ Mene, mene, tekel uphar, put to him “ infelix felicitas :" sin.” " He is found too light, his kingdom First, that ó simulata sanctitas” be not in shall be taken from him."

the church; for that “ duplex iniquitas :" 5. And that king that holds not religion Secondly, that " inutilis æquitas" sit not the best reason of state, is void of all piety in the chancery : for that is “ inepta miseri. and justice, the supporters of a king.

cordia." 6. He must be able to give counsel himself, Thirdly, that “ utilis iniquitas” keep not but not rely thereupon; for though happy the exchequer: for that is a crudele latroci. events justify their counsels, yet it is better nium :" that the evil event of good advice be rather Fourthly, that “ fidelis temeritas" be not imputed to a subject than a sovereign. his general; for that will bring but “ 7. He is the fountain of honour, which

pænitentiam :" should not run with waste pipe, lest the Fifthly, that “ infidelis prudentia” be not courtiers sell the water, and then as papists his secretary, for that is “anguis sub viridi say of their holy wells) it loses the virtue. herbâ.”

8. He is the life of the law, not only as the To conclude; as he is of the greatest power, “ lex loquens” himself, but because he ani. so he is subject to the greatest cares, made mateth the dead letter, making it active the servant of his people, or else he were towards all his subjects, “ præmio et ponâ.” without a calling at all. 9. A wise king must do less in altering his

He then that honoureth him not is next an laws than he may; for new government is atheist, wanting the fear of God in his heart. ever dangerous; it being true in the body politic, as in the corporal, that “ omnis subita immutatio est periculosa:" and though

OF NOBILITY. it be for the better, yet it is not without a We will speak of nobility first as a portion of fearful apprehension ; for he that changeth an estate, then as a condition of particular




persons. A monarchy, where there is no monly greatest when things grow to equality; nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute as natural tempests are greatest about the tyranny, as that of the Turks; for nobility equinoctia; and as there are certain hollow attempers sovereignty, and draws the eyes of blasts of wind, and secret swellings of seas the people somewhat aside from the line before a tempest, so are there in states : royal: but for democracies they need it not;

“ Ille etiam cæcos instare tumultus and they are commonly more quiet, and less Sæpe monet, fraudesque et operta tumescere bella.” subject to sedition, than where there are stirps Libels and licentious discourses against the of nobles; for men's eyes are upon the busi state, when they are frequent and open ; and ness, and not upon the persons; or if upon in like sort, false news often running up and the persons, it is for the business' sake, as

down, to the disadvantage of the state, and fittest, and not for flags and pedigree. We hastily embraced, are amongst the signs of see the Switzers last well, notwithstanding

troubles. Virgil, giving the pedigree of fame, their diversity of religion and of cantons; for saith she was sister to the giants : utility is their bond, and not respects. The

« Illam terra parens, ira irritata deorum, united provinces of the Low Countries in their

Extremam (ut perhibent) Coeo Enceladoque sororem government excel; for where there is an equa Progenuit." lity the consultations are more indifferent, and

ÆNEID. IV. 177. the payments and tributes more cheerful. A

As if fame were the relics of seditions past; great and potent nobility addeth majesty to a but they are no less, indeed, the preludes uf monarch, but diminisheth power; and putteth seditions to come. Howsoever he noteth it life and spirit into the people, but presseth right, that seditious tumults and seditious their fortune. It is well when nobles are not fames differ no more but as brother and sister, too great for sovereignty nor for justice ; and masculine and feminine; especially if it come yet maintained in that height, as the inso to that, that the best actions of a state, and lency of inferiors may be broken upon them the most plausible, and which ought to give before it come on too fast upon the majesty greatest contentment, are taken in ill sense, of kings. A numerous nobility causeth po- and traduced: for that shows the envy great, verty and inconvenience in a state, for it is a as Tacitus saith, “conflata, magna in vacan surcharge of expense; and besides, it being sen bene, seu male, gesta premunt.” Neither of necessity that many of the nobility fall in doch it follow, that because these fames are a time to be weak in fortune, it maketh a kind a sign of troubles, that the suppressing of of disproportion between honour and means. them with too much severity should be a re

As for nobility in particular persons, it is medy of troubles ; for the despising of them a reverend thing to see an ancient castle or many times checks them best, and the going building not in decay, or to see a fair timber. about to stop them doth but make a wonder tree sound and perfect; how much more to long lived. Also, that kind of obedience, behold an ancient, noble family, which hath which Tacitus speaketh of, is to be held susstood against the waves and weathers of time? pected : “ Erant in officio, sed tamen qui for new nobility is but the act of power, but mallent mandata imperantium interpretari, ancient nobility, is the act of time. Those quam exequi ;” disputing, excusing, cavalthat are first raised to nobility are commonly ling upon mandates and directions, is a kind more virtuous, but less innocent than their of shaking off the yoke, and assay of disobedescendants ; for there is rarely any rising dience; especially if in those disputings they but by a commixture of good and evil arts : which are for the direction speak fearfully and but it is reason the memory of their virtues tenderly, and those that are against it audaremain to posterity, and their faults die with ciously. themselves. Nobility of birth commonly Also, as Machiavel noteth well, when abateth industry; and he that is not indus- princes, that ought to be common parents, trious envieth him that is : besides, noble make themselves as a party, and lean to a persons cannot go much higher : and he that side; it is a boat that is overthrown by standeth at a stay when others rise, can hardly unequal weight on the one side: as was well avoid motions of envy. On the other side, seen in the time of Henry the Third of France; nobility extinguisheth the passive envy from for first himselt entered league for the extirothers towards them, because they are in pos- pation of the protestants, and presently after session of honour. Certainly, kings that have the same league was turned upon himself: able men of their nobility shall find ease in for when the authority of princes is made but employing them, and a better slide into their

an accessary to a cause, and that there be business, for people naturally bend to them other bands that tie faster than the band of as born in some sort to command.

of sovereignty, kings begin to be put almost

out of possession. OF SEDITIONS AND TROUBLES.

Also, when discords, and quarrels, and face

tions, are carried openly and audaciously, it SHEPHERDS of people had need know the is a sign the reverence of government is losti, calendars of tempests in state, which are com for the motions of the greatest persons in a


OF SEDITIONS AND TROUBLES. government ought to be as the motions of the less true, that storms, though they blow over planets under « primum mobile,” (according divers times, yet may fall at last ; and, as the to the old opinion), which is, that every one of Spanish proverb noteth well, “ The cord them is carried swiftly by the highest motion, breaketh at the last by the weakest pull.” and softly in their own motion; and, there The causes and motives of seditions are, fore, when great ones in their own particular innovation in religion, taxes, alteration of motion move violently, and, as Tacitus ex laws and customs, breaking of privileges, presseth it well, “ liberius quam ut imperan- general oppression, advancement of unworthy tium meminissent," it is a sign the orbs are persons, strangers, deaths, disbanded soldiers, out of frame: for reverence is that wherewith factions grown desperate ; and whatsoever in princes are girt from God, who threateneth offending people joineth and knitteth them in the dissolving thereof;

cs solvam cingula a common cause. regum.”

For the remedies, there may be some geSo when any of the four pillars of govern neral preservatives, whereof we will speak : ment are mainly shaken, or weakened (which as for the just cure, it must answer to the are religion, justice, counsel, and treasure), particular disease ; and so be left to counsel men had need to pray for fair weather. But rather than rule. let us pass from this part of predictions (con The first remedy, or prevention, is to recerning which, nevertheless, more light may move, by all means possible, that material be taken from that which followeth), and let cause of sedition whereof we speak, which is, us 'speak first of the materials of seditions, want and poverty in the estate; to which then of the motives of them, and thirdly of purpose serveth the opening and well balanthe remedies.

cing of trade; the cherishing of manufactures; Concerning the materials of seditions, it is the banishing of idleness; the repressing of a thing well to be considered ; for the surest waste and excess, by sumptuary laws; the way to prevent seditions (if the times do bear improvement and husbanding of the soil; the it) is to take away the matter of them; for if regulating of prices of things vendible; the there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell moderating of taxes and tributes, and the whence the spark shall come that shall set it like. Generally, it is to be foreseen that the on fire. The matter of seditions is of two population of a kingdom (especially if it be kinds, much poverty and much discontent not mown down by wars) do not exceed the ment. It is certain, so many overthrown stock of the kingdom which should maintain estates, so many votes for troubles. Lucan them : neither is the population to be recknoteth well the state of Rome before the civil oned only by number; for a smaller number war,

that spend more and earn less, do wear out an

estate sooner than a greater number that live * Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore foenus,

low and gather more; therefore, the multiHinc concussa fides, et multis utile bellum."

plying of nobility, and other degrees of quaThis' same 6 multis utile bellum,” is an lity, in an over-proportion to the common assured and infallible sign of a state disposed people, doth speedily bring a state to necesto seditions and troubles ; and if this poverty sity; and so doth, likewise, an overgrows and broken estate in the better sort be joined clergy, for they bring nothing to the stock; with a want and necessity in the mean people, and in like manner, when more are bred the danger is imminent and great: for the scholars than preferments can take off. rebellions of the belly are the worst. As for It is likewise to be remembered that, foras. discontentments, they are in the politic body much as the increase of any estate must be like to humours in the natural, which are apt upon the foreigner (for whatsoever is someto gather a preternatural heat, and to inflame; where gotten is somewhere lost), there he but and let no prince measure the danger of them three things which one nation selleth unto by this: whether they be just or unjust: for another; the commodity as nature yieldeth that were to imagine people to be too reason it ; the manufacture; and the vecture, or able, who do often spurn at their own good ; carriage; so that, if these three wheels go, nor yet by this, whether the griefs whereupon wealth will flow as in a spring-tide. And it they rise be in fact great or small; for they cometh many times to pass, that “ materiam are the most dangerous discontentments superabit opus, ,” that the work and carriage where the fear is greater than the feeling : are worth more than the material, and enricheth “ Dolendi modus, timendi non item:" be a state more ; as is notably seen in the Low sides, in great oppressions, the same things Country men, who have the best mines above that provoke the patience do withal meet the ground in the world. courage; but in fears it is not so: neither let

Above all things, good policy is to be used, any prince or state, be secure concerning dis. that the treasures and monies in a state be contentments because they have been often. or not gathered into few hands; for, otherwise, have been long, and yet no peril hath ensued. a state may have a great stock, and yet starve; for as it is true that every vapour, or fume, and money is like muck, no good except it be doth not turn into a storm, so it is neverthe spread. This is done chiefly by suppressing,

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or, at the least, keeping a strait hand upon and setting them at a distance, or, at least, the devouring trades of usury, engrossing, distrust among themselves, is not one of the great pasturages, and the like.

worst remedies ; for it is a desperate case, if For removing discontentments, or, at least, those that hold with the proceeding of the the danger of them, there is in every state (as state be full of discord and faction, and those we know) two portions of subjects, the nobles that are against it be entire and united. and the commonalty. When one of these is I have noted, that some witty and sharp discontent, the danger is not great; for com speeches, which have fallen from princes, mon people are of slow motion, if they be not have given fire to seditions. Cæsar did himexcited by the greater sort; and the greater self infinite hurt in that speech, Sylla sort are of small strength, except the multi- nescivit literas, non potuit dictare ;" for it tude be apt and ready to move of theinselves: did utterly cut off that hope which men had then is the danger, when the greater sort do entertained, that he would at one time or but wait for the troubling of the waters other give over his dictatorship. Galba undid amongst the meaner, that then they may de himself by that speech, “ legi a se militem, clare themselves. The poets feign that the non emi;” for it put the soldiers out of hope rest of the gods would have bound Jupiter, of the donative. Probus, likewise, by that which he hearing of, by the counsel of Pallas, speech, “ si vixero, non opus erit amplius Rosent for Briareus, with his hundred hands, to mano imperio militibus ;" a speech of great come in to his aid: an emblem, no doubt, to despair for the soldiers, and many the like. show how safe it is for monarchs to make sure Surely princes had need, in tender matter and of the good will of common people.

ticklish times, to beware what they say, esper To give moderate liberty for griefs and cially in these short speeches, which fly abroad discontentinents to evaporate (so it be without like darts, and are thought to be shot out of too great insolency or bravery) is a safe way: their secret intentions; for as for long disfor he that turneth the humours back, and courses, they are flat things, and not so much maketh the wound bleed inwards, endangereth noted. malign ulcers and pernicious imposthuma Lastly, let princes, against all events, not tions.

be without some great person, one or rather The part of Epimetheus might well become more, of military valour, near unto them, for Proinetheus, in the case of discontentments, the repressing of seditions in their beginnings; for there is not a better provision against for without that, there useth to be more trethem. Epimetheus, when griefs and evils pidation in court upon the first breaking out flew abroad, at last shut the lid, and kept of trouble than were fit; and the state runneth hope in the bottom of the vessel. Certainly, the danger of that which Tacitus saith, “atthe politic and artificial nourishing and enter que is habitus animorum fuit, ut pessimum taining of hopes, and carrying men from facinus, auderent, pauci, plures vellent, hopes to hopes, is one of the best antidotes omnes paterentur:” but let such military against the poison of discontentments: and it persons be assured, and well reputed of, is a certain sign of a wise government and rather than factious and popular; holding proceeding, when it can hold men's hearts by also good correspondence with the other great hopes, when it cannot by satisfaction; and men in the state, or else the remedy is worse when it can handle things in such manner as than the disease. no evil shall appear so peremptory but that it liath some outlet of hope: which is the less hard to do; because both particular persons

OF ATHEISM. and factions are apt enough to flatter them I HAD rather believe all the fables in the selves, or at least to brave that which they legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran, believe not.

than that this universal frame is without a Also the foresight and prevention, that mind; and, therefore, God never wrought there be no likely or fit head whereunto dis miracles to convince atheism, because his contented persons may resort, and under whom ordinary works convince it. It is true, that a they may join, is a known, but an excellent little philosophy inclineth man's mind to point of caution. I understand a fit head to be atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth one that hath greatness and reputation, that men's minds about to religion ; for while the hath confidence with the discontented party, mind of man looketh upon the second causes and upon whom they turn their eyes, and that scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and is thought discontented in his own particular; go no farther; but when it beholdeth the which kind of persons are either to be won chain of them confederate, and linked togeand reconciled to the state, and that in a fast ther, it must needs fly to providence and and true manner; or to be fronted with some Deity: nay, even that school, which is most other of the samne party that may oppose accused of atheism, doth most demonstrate them, and so divide the reputation. Gene- religion ; that is, the school of Leucippus, rally, the dividing and breaking of all factions and Democritus, and Epicurus: for it is a and combinations that are adverse to the state, thousand times more credible, that four mu

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