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cause, and that there be other bands that tie faster than the band of sovereignty, kings begin to be put almost out of possession.
Also, when discords, and quarrels, and factions, are carried openly and audaciously, it is a sign the reverence of government is lost; for the motions of the greatest persons in a government ought to be as the motions of the planets under “ primum mobile,"& according to the old opinion, which is, that every of them is carried swiftly by the highest motion, and softly in their own motion ; and therefore, when great ones in their own particular motion move violently, and as Tacitus expresseth it well
, “ liberius quam ut imperantium meminissent," h it is a sign the orbs are out of frame: for reverence is that wherewith princes are girt from God, who threateneth the dissolving thereof; “Solvam cingula regum.”
So when any of the four pillars of government are mainly shaken or weakened (which are religion, justice, counsel, and treasure), men had need to pray for fair weather. But let us pass from this part of predictions concerning which, nevertheless, more light may be taken from that which followeth), and let us speak first of the materials of seditions; then of the motives of them; and thirdly of the remedies.
Concerning the materials of seditions, it is a thing well to be considered ; for the surest way to prevent seditions (if the times do bear it) is to take away the matter of them; for if there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on fire. The matter of seditions is of two kinds; much poverty and much discontentment. It is certain, so many overthrown estates, RO many votes for troubles. Lucan noteth well the state of Rome before the civil war :
8“The primary motive power.” He alludes to an imaginary centre of gravitation, or central body, which was supposed to set all the other heavenly bodies in motion. b “Too freely to remember their own rulers."
“I will unloose the girdles of kings." He probably alludes here to the first verse of the 45th chapter of Isaiah: “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have upholden, to subdue nations before him: and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates."
“ Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore fonus,
Hinc concussa fides, et multis utile bellum."} This same “multis utile bellum,”! is an assured and infallible sign of a state disposed to seditions and troubles ; and if this poverty and broken estate in the better sort be joined with a want and necessity in the mean people, the danger is imminent and great : for the rebellions of the belly are the worst. As for discontentments, they are in the politic body like to humours in the natural, which are apt to gather a preternatural heat and to inflame ; aud let no prince measure the danger of them by this, whether they be just or unjust : for that were to imagine people to be too reasonable, who do uften spurn at their own good ; nor yet by this, whether the griefs whereupon they rise be in fact great or small ; for they are the most dangerous discontentments where the fear is greater than the feeling : "Dolendi modus, timendi non item :”m besides, in great oppressions, the same things that provoke the patience, do withal mate the courage ; but in fears it is not so; neither let any prince or state be secure concerning discontentments, because they have been often, or have been long, and yet no peril hath ensued : for as it is true that every vapour or fume doth not turn into a storm, so it is nevertheless true that storms, though they blow over divers times, yet may fall at last ; and, as the Spanish proverb noteth well, “The cord breaketh at the last by the weakest pull.”
The causes and motives of seditions are, innovation in religion, taxes, alteration of laws and customs, breaking of privileges, general oppression, advancement of unworthy persons, strangers, dearths, disbanded soldiers, factions grown desperate ; and whatsoever in offending people joineth and knitteth them in a common cause.
For the remedies, there may be sone general preservatives, whereof we will speak : as for the just cure, it must answer to the particular disease; and so be left to counsel rather than rule. The first remedy, or prevention, is to remove, by all means possible, that material cause of sedition whereof we spake, which is, want and poverty in the estate:P to which purpose serveth the opening and well-balancing of trade; the cherishing of manufactures; the banishing of idleness ; the repressing of waste and excess, by sumptuary laws ;9 the improvement and husbanding of the soil ; the regulating of prices of things vendible; the moderating of taxes and tributes, and the like. Generally, it is to be foreseen that the population of a kingdom (especially if it be not mown down by wars) do not exceed the stock of the kingdom which should maintain them : neither is the population to be reckoned only by number ; for a smaller number, that spend more and earn less, do wear out an estate sooner than a greater number that live lower and gather more: therefore the multiplying of nobility, and other degrees of quality, in an over proportion to the common people, doth speedily bring a state to necessity; and so doth likewise an overgrown clergy, for they bring nothing to the stock ;' and, in like manner, when more are bred scholars than preferments can take off.
* “Hence devouring usury, and interest accumulating in lapse of time,--hence shaken credit, and warfare, profitable to the many. IÓ Warfare profitable to the many."
“ To grief there is a limit, not so to fear."
“ Check,” or “ daunt.” • This is similar to the proverb now in common use :
" "Tis the last feather that breaks the back of the camel."
It is likewise to be remembered, that, forasmuch as the increase of any estate must be upon the foreigners (for whatsoever is somewhere gotten is somewhere lost), there be but three things which one nation selleth unto another ; the commodity, as nature yieldeth it ; the manufacture ; and the vecture, or carriage ; so that, if these three wheels will flow as in a spring tide. And it cometh many times to pass, that, “ materiam superabit opus,”+ that the work and carriage is more worth than the material, and enricheth
P The state.
4 Though sumptuary laws are probably just in theory, they have been found impracticable in any other than infant states. Their principle, however, is certainly recognised in such countries as by statutory enactment discountenance gaming. Those who are opposed to such laws upon principle, would do well to look into Bernard Mandeville's “ Fable of the Bees,"-or“ Private Vices Public Benefits.” The Romans had numerous sumptuary laws, and in the middle ages there were many enactments in this country against excess of expenditure upon wearing apparel and the pleasures of the table.
He means that they do not add to the capital of the country. At the expense of foreign countries. * “The workmanship will surpass the material.”—Ovid. Metamorph. B. ii. 1. 5.
a state more: as is notably seen in the Low Countryment, who have the best mines u above ground in the world.
Above all things, good policy is to be used, that the treasure and monies in a state be not gathered into few hands ; for, otherwise, a state may have a great stock, and yet starve: and money is like muck, not good except it be spread. This is done chiefly by suppressing, or, at least, keeping a strait hand upon the devouring trades of usury, engrossing great pasturages, and the like.
For removing discontentments, or, at least, the danger et them, there is in every state (as we know) two portions of subjects, the nobles and the commonalty. When one of these is discontent, the danger is not great ; for common people are of slow motion, if they be not excited by the greater sort; and the greater sort are of small strength, except the multitude be apt and ready to move of themselves : then is the danger, when the greater sort do but wait for the troubling of the waters amongst the meaner, that then they may declare themselves. The poets feign that the rest of the gods would have bound Jupiter; which he hearing of, by the counsel of Pallas, sent for Briareus, with his hundred hands, to come in to his aid : an emblem, no doubt, to show how safe it is for monarchs to make sure of the good will of common people.
To give moderate liberty for griefs and discontentments to evaporate (so it be without too great insolency or bravery), is a safe way: for he that turneth the humours back, and maketh the wound bleed inwards, endangereth malign ulcers and pernicious imposthumations.
The part of Epimetheusy might well become Prometheus, • He alludes to the manufactures of the Low Countries. * Like manure.
» The myth of Pandora's box, which is here referred to, is related in the “Works and Days " of Hesiod. Epimetheus was the personifica tion of "Afterthought,” while his brother Prometheus represented "Fore. thought,” or prudence. It was not Epimetheus that opened the box, but Pandora—"All-gift,” whom, contrary to the advice of his brother, he had received at the hands of Mercury, and had made his wife. In their house stood a closed jar, which they were forbidden to open. Till her arrival, this had been kept untouched ; but her curiosity prompting her to open the lid, all the evils hitherto unknown to man flew out and spread over the earth, and she only shut it down in time to prevent the escape of Hope.
in the case of discontentments, for there is not a better provision against them. Epimetheus, when griefs and evils New abroad, at last shut the lid, and kept Hope in the bottom of the vessel. Certainly, the politic and artificial nourishing and entertaining of hopes, and carrying men from hopes to hopes. is one of the best antidotes against the poison of discontentments : and it is a certain sign of a wise government and proceeding, when it can bold men's hearts by hopes, when it cannot by satisfaction; and when it can handle things in such manner as no evil shall appear so peremptory but that it hath some outlet of hope ; which is the less hard to do, because both particular persons and factions are apt enough to flatter themselves, or at least to brave that which they believe not.
Also the foresight and prevention, that there be no likely or fit head whereunto discontented persons may resort, and under whom they may join, is a known, but an excellent point of caution. I understand a fit head to be one that hath greatness and reputation, that hath confidence with the discontented party, and upon whom they turn their eyes, and that is thought discontented in his own particular : which kind of persons are eitber to be won and reconciled to the state, and that in a fast and true manner; or to be fronted with some other of the same party that may oppose them, and so divide the reputation. Generally, the dividing and breaking of all factions and combinations that are adverse to the state, and setting them at distance, or, at least, distrust amongst themselves, is not one of the worst remedies ; for it is a desperate case, if those that hold with the proceeding of the state be full of discord and faction, and those that are against it be entire and united.
I have noted, that some witty and sharp speeches, which have fallen from princes, have given fire to seditions. Cæsar did himself infinite hurt in that speech,“ Sylla nescivit literas, non potuit dictare ;"2 for it did utterly cut off that
:"Sylla did not know his letters, and so he could not dictate." This saying is attributed by Suetonius to Julius Cæsar. It is a play on the Latin verb “dictare,” which means either “to dictate,” or “ to act the part of Dictator,” according to the context. As this saying was presumed to be a reflection on Sylla's ignorance, and to imply that by reason thereof he was unable to maintain his power, it was concluded by the Roman people that Cassar, who was an elegant scholar, feeling