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mobile;1(according to the old opinion,) which is, that every of them2 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, 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.4

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

1 Primum mobile. Literally, the movable first; in the Ptolemaic system of astronomy the primum mobile was the tenth or outermost of the revolving spheres of the universe. It was supposed to revolve from east to west in twenty-four hours, and to carry the nine inner spheres along with it in its motion; hence, any great or first source of motion.

2 Every of them. Each of them, every one of them.

3 More freely than is consistent with allegiance to their rulers. I will loosen the girdles of Kings. "He looseth the bond of Kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle." Job xii. 18.

discontentment. It is certain, so many overthrown estates, so many votes for troubles. Lucan1 noteth well the state of Rome before the civil war,

Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore fœnus,
Hinc concussa fides, et multis utile bellum.2

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 estate3 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. And 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 often 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.5 Besides, in great oppressions, the same things that

1 Marcus Annaeus Lucan, 39-65 A.D., a Roman poet; he wrote the Civilis Belli Libri X, called the Pharsalia, an epic poem in ten hooks on the war between Caesar and Pompey.


Hinc usura vorax, avidumque in tempore foenus,
Et concussa fides; et multis utile bellum.

Lucan. Civilis Belli Liber I. 181-182.

Hence voracious usury, and interest rapidly compounding; hence broken faith, and war profitable to many.

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"Be factious for redress of all these griefs." Shakspere. Julius Caesar. i. 3.

There is a limit to suffering, but to fear not so.

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 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 spake; 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 by sumptuary laws; 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 (es

pecially 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 quality1 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.

It is likewise to be remembered, that forasmuch as the increase of any estate must be upon the foreigner (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 go, wealth will flow as in a spring tide. And it cometh many times to pass, that materiam superabit opus; 2 that the work and carriage is more worth than the material, and enricheth a state more; as is notably seen in the Low-Countrymen, who have the best mines above ground in the world.

Above all things, good policy is to be used that

1 Quality. Nobility or gentry.

"The rest are princes, barons, lords, knights, squires,

And gentlemen of blood and quality."

Shakspere. King Henry V. iv. 8.

2 The work will surpass the material. Bacon is quoting Ovid, literally for once, materiem superabit opus. P. Ovidii Nasonis Metamorphoseon Liber II. 5.

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.1. This is done chiefly by suppressing, or at the least keeping a strait hand upon the devouring trades of usury, ingrossing,2 great pasturages, and the like.

For removing discontentments, or at least the danger of them; there is in every state (as we know) two portions of subjects; the nobless 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.3 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

1 "Mr. Bettenham used to say: That riches were like muck; when it lay upon an heap, it gave but a stench and ill odour; but when it was spread upon the ground, then it was cause of much fruit." Bacon. Apophthegmes New and Old. 252 (107).

2 Ingrossing. The action of buying (any article) in large quantities with a view of obtaining a monopoly.

3 Homer. Iliad. I. 396-406.

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