« PreviousContinue »
towards them; Because they are in possession of Honour. Certainly Kings, that have Able men of their Nobility, shall finde ease in imploying them; And a better Slide into their Businesse : For People naturally bend to them, as borne in some sort to Command.
Of Seditions and Troubles
SHEPHEARDS of People, had need know w the Kalenders of Tempests in State; which are commonly greatest, when Things grow to Equality; As Naturall Tempests are greatest about the Æquinoétia. And as there are certaine hollow Blasts of Winde, and secret Swellings of Seas, before a Tempest, so are there in States:
- Ille etiam cæcos instare Tumultus Sæpe monet, Fraudesque, & operta tumescere · Bella.
Libels, and licentious Discourses against the State, when they are frequent and open; And in like sort, false Newes, often running up and downe, to the disadvantage of the State, and hastily embraced; are amongst the Signes of Troubles. Virgil giving the Pedegre of Fame, saith, She was sister to the Giants.
Illam Terra Parens irâ irritata Deorum, Extremam (ut perhibent) Cæo Enceladoque so
rorem Progenuit. As if Fames were the Reliques of Seditions past; But they are no lesse, indeed, the preludes of Seditions 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 shewes the Envy great, as Tacitus saith; Conflata magna Invidia, seu benè, seu malè, gesta premunt. Neither doth it follow, that because these Fames, are a signe 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 kinde of Obedience, which Tacitus speaketh of, is to be held suspected; Erant in officio, sed tamen qui mallent mandata Imperantium interpretari, quàm exequi; Disputing, Excusing, Cavilling upon Mandates and Directions, is a kinde of shaking off the yoake, and Assay of disobedience: Especially, if in those disputings, they, which are for the direction, speake fearefully, and tenderly; And those that are against it, audaciously.
Also, as Macciavel noteth well; when Princes, that ought to be Common Parents, make themselves as a Party, and leane to a side, it is as a Boat that is overthrowen, by uneven weight, on the one Side; As was well seen, in the time of Henry the third of France : For first, himselfe entred League for the Extirpation of the Protestants; and presently after, the same League was turned upon Himselfe. For when the Authority of Princes, is made but an Accessary to a Cause; And that there be other Bands, that tie faster, then the Band of Soveraignty, Kings begin to be put almost out of Possession.
Also, when Discords, and Quarrells, and Factions, are carried openly, and audaciously; it is a Signe, 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 owne Motion. And therfore, when great Ones, in their owne particular Motion, move violently, and, as Tacitus expresseth it well, Liberiùs, quàm ut Imperantium meminissent; It is a Signe, the Orbs are out of Frame. For Reverence is that, wherwith Princes are girt from God; Who threatneth the dissolving thereof; Solvam cingula Regum.
So when any of the foure Pillars of Government, are mainly shaken, or weakned (which are Religion, Iustice, Counsell, and Treasure,) Men had need to pray for Faire Weather. But let us passe from this Part of Predictions, (Concerning which, neverthelesse, more light may be taken, from that which followeth ;) And let us speake first of the Materials of Seditions ; Then of the Motives of them; And thirdly of the Remedies.
Concerning the Materialls of Seditions. It is a Thing well to be considered : For the surest way to prevent Seditions, (if the Times doe beare it,) is to take away the Matter of them. For if there be Fuell prepared, it is hard to tell, whence the Spark shall come, that shall set it on Fire. The Matter of Seditions is of two kindes; Much Poverty, and Much Discontentment. It is certaine, so many Overthrowne Estates, so many Votes for Troubles. Lucan noteth well the State of Rome, before the Civill Warre. Hinc Usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore
Fænus, Hinc concussa Fides, & multis utile Bellum.
This same Multis utile Bellum, is an assured and infallible Signe, of a State, disposed to Seditions, and Troubles. And if this Poverty, and Broken Estate, in the better Sort, be ioyned with a Want and Necessity, in the meane People, the danger is imminent, and great. For the Rebellions of the Belly are the worst. As for Discontentments, they are in the Politique Body, like to Humours in the Naturall, which are apt to gather a preternaturall Heat, and to Enflame. And let no Prince measure the Danger of them, by this; whether they be Iust, or Uniust? For that were to imagine People to be too reasonable; who doe often spurne at