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and by the sword. For martyrdoms, I reckon them amongst miracles; because they seem to exceed the strength of human nature; and I may do the like of superlative and admirable holiness of life. Surely there is no better way to stop the rising of new sects and schisms, than to reform abuses; to compound the smaller differences; to proceed mildly, and not with sanguinary persecutions; and rather to take off the principal authors, by winning and advancing them, than to enrage them by violence and bitterness.
The changes and vicissitudes 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 ought 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.
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 overpower, 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 people, 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 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.
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 Oxidraces 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 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 its infancy, when it is but beginning and almost childish: then its youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile then its strength, of years, when it is solid and reduced and lastly, its 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.
OF A KING.
1. A KING is a mortal god on earth, unto whom the living God hath lent his own name as a great honour; but withal told him, he should die like a man, lest he should be proud and flatter himself, that God hath with his name imparted unto him his nature also.
2. Of all kind of men, God is the least beholden unto them; for he doth most for them, and they do ordinarily least for him.
3. A king that would not feel his crown too heavy for him, must wear it every day; but if he think it too light, he knoweth not of what metal it is made.
4. He must make religion the rule of government, and not to balance the scale; for he that casteth in religion only to make the scales even, his own weight is contained in those characters, Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin, He is found too light, his kingdom shall be taken from him.
5. And that king that holds not religion the best
reason of state, is void of all piety and justice, the supporters of a king.
6. He must be able to give counsel himself, but not rely thereupon; for though happy events justify their counsels, yet it is better that the evil event of good advice be rather imputed to a subject than a sovereign.
7. He is the fountain of honour, which should not run with a waste pipe, lest the courtiers sell the water, and then, as papists say of their holy wells, it loses the virtue.
8. He is the life of the law, not only as he is lex loquens himself, but because he animateth the dead letter, making it active towards all his subjects præmio et pæna.
9. A wise king must do less in altering his laws than he may; for new government is ever dangerous. It being true in the body politic, as in the corporal, that omnis subita immutatio est periculosa; and though it be for the better, yet it is not without a fearful apprehension; for he that changeth the fundamental laws of a kingdom, thinketh there is no good title to a crown, but by conquest.
10. A king that setteth to sale seats of justice, oppresseth the people; for he teacheth his judges to sell justice; and pretio parata pretio venditur justitia.
11. Bounty and magnificence are virtues very regal, but a prodigal king is nearer a tyrant than a parsimonious; for store at home draweth not his contemplations abroad: but want supplieth itself of what is next, and many times the next way: a king herein must be wise, and know what he may justly do.
12. That king which is not feared, is not loved; and he that is well seen in his craft, must as well study to be feared as loved; yet not loved for fear, but feared for love.
13. Therefore, as he must always resemble Him whose great name he beareth, and that as in manifesting the sweet influence of his mercy on the severe stroke of his justice sometimes, so in this not to suffer a man of death to live; for besides that the land doth
mourn, the restraint of justice towards sin doth more retard the affection of love, than the extent of mercy doth inflame it: and sure where love is [ill] bestowed, fear is quite lost.
14. His greatest enemies are his flatterers; for though they ever speak on his side, yet their words still make against him.
15. The love which a king oweth to a weal public, should not be restrained to any one particular; yet that his more special favour do reflect upon some worthy ones, is somewhat necessary, because there are few of that capacity.
16. He must have a special care of five things, if he would not have his crown to be but to him infelix felicitas.
First, that simulata sanctitas be not in the Church; for that is duplex iniquitas.
Secondly, that inutilis æquitas sit not in the chancery; for that is inepta misericordia.
Thirdly, that utilis iniquitas keep not the exchequer; for that is crudele latrocinium.
Fourthly, that fidelis temeritas be not his general; for that will bring but seram pænitentiam.
Fifthly, that infidelis prudentia be not his secretary; for that is anguis sub viridi herba.
To conclude; as he is of the greatest power, so he is subject to the greatest cares, made the servant of his people, or else he were without a calling at all.
He then that honoureth him not is next an atheist, wanting the fear of God in his heart.
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
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