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fingarsneth the passive envy from others towards them, because they are in possession of honour Certainly, kings that have able men of their nopility shall find ease in employing them, and a better slide into their business; for people naturally bend to them as born in some sort to command.
OF SEDITIONS AND TROUBLES.
SHEPHERDS of people had need know the calendars of tempests in states, which are com monly greatest when things grow to equality, as natural tempests are greatest about the equinoctia; and as there are certain hollow blasts of wind and secret swellings of seas before a tempest, so are there in states:
"Ille etiam cæc s instare tumultus
Sæpe monet, fraudesque et operta tumescere bella."
Libels and licentious discourses against the state, when they are frequent and open; and in like sort false news often running up and down, to the disadvantage of the state, and hastily embraced, are amongst the signs of troubles. Virgil, giving the pedigree of Fame, saith she was sister to the giants :
"Illam terra parens, ira irritata deorum,
As if fames were the relics of seditions past; but they are no less indeed the preludes of se
ditions to come. Howsoever he noteth it right, that seditious tumults and seditious fames differ no more but as brother and sister, masculine and feminine; especially if it come to that, that the best actions of a state, and the most plausible, and which ought to give greatest contentment, are taken in ill sense, and traduced for that shows the envy great, as Tacitus saith, "conflata, magna invidia, seu bene, seu male, gesta premunt." Neither doth it follow, that because these fames are a sign of troubles, that the suppressing of them with too much severity should be a remedy of troubles; for the despising of them many times checks them best, and the going about to stop them doth but make a wonder long lived. Also that kind of obedience, which Tacitus speaketh of, is to be held suspected: "Erant in officio, sed tamen qui mallent mandata imperantium interpretari, quam exequi ;” disputing, excusing, cavilling upon mandates. and directions, is a kind of shaking off the yoke, and assay of disobedience; especially if, in those disputings, they which are for the direction speak fearfully and tenderly, and those that are against it audaciously.
Also, as Machiavel noteth well, when princes, that ought to be common parents, make themselves as a party, and lean to a side; it is as a boat that is overthrown by uneven weight on the one side as was well seen in the time of Henry the Third of France; for first himself entered league for the extirpation of
the protestants, and presently after the same league was turned upon himself: for when the authority of princes is made but an accessary to a 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 imperartium meminissent," 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, so many votes for troubles. Lucan noteth well the state of Rome before the civil war :
"Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tenpore fœnus,
pressions, the same things that provoke the patience do withal meet 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, deaths, disbanded soldiers, factions grown desperate; and whatsoever in offending people joineth and knitteth them in a common
For the remedies, there may be some 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 speak, which is, want and poverty in the estate; 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, bv sumptuary laws; the im