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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 into his aid1—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 bravery2), 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 Epimetheus might well become Prometheus, in the case of discontentments; for there is not a better provision against them. Epimetheus, when griefs and evils flew 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 ef a wise government and proceeding, when it can hold 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 brave3 that which they believe not.
Also the foresight and prevention, that there be no likely or fit head whereupon 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 cither 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
Hom. 11. i. 398. J Bravery. Exultation. 'Brave. To buast of.
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,1 or, at least, distrust among 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. Caesar did himself infinite hurt in that speech, 'Sylla nescivit literas, non potuit dictare ;'* for it did utterly cut off that hope which men had entertained, that he would at one time or other give over his dictatorship. Galba undid himself by that speech, 'Legi a se militem, non emi;'3 for it put the soldiers out of hope of the donative. Probus, likewise, by that speech, 'Si vixero, non opus erit amplius Romano imperio militibus ;'* a speech of great despair for the soldiers; and many the like. Surely princes had need, in tender matter and ticklish times, to beware what they say, especially in these short speeches, which fly abroad like darts, and are thought to be shot out of their secret intentions; for, as for large discourses, they are flat things, and not so much noted.
Lastly, let princes, against all events, not be without some great person, one or rather more, of military valour, near unto them, for the repressing of seditions in their beginnings; for, without that, there useth to be more trepidation in court upon the first breaking out of trouble than were fit; and the State runneth the danger of that which Tacitus saith—'Atque is habitus animorum fuit, ut pessimum facinus auderent pauci, plures vellent, omnes paterentur;'5 but let such military persons be assured1 and well reputed of, rather than factious and popular—holding also good correspondence with the other great men in the State; or else the remedy is worse than the disease.
1 Distance. Enmity.
'Banquo was your enemy, So is he mine; and in such bloody distance. That every minute of his being thrusts Against my near'st of life.'—Shakespere. * 'Sylla was ignorant of letters and could not dictate.' (.This pun is attributed to Ciesnr by Suetonius. Vit. C. Jul. Cms. 77, 1.) 3 'Ho levied soldiers, and did not buy them.'—Tac. Hist. i. 5. ''If I live, the Roman Empire will need no more soldiers.'—Flav. Ves. Tit. Frob. 20.
s 'And such was the state of their minds, that tho worst villany a few dared, more approved of it, and all tolerated it.'—llist. i. 28.
'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. . . .'
Men underrate the danger of any evil that has been escaped. An evil is not necessarily unreal, because it has been often feared without just cause. The wolf does sometimes enter in, and make havoc of the flock, though there have been many false alarms. The consequence of feeling too secure, and not being prepared, may be most disastrous when the emergency does arise. And the existence of a power to meet the emergency is not the less important because the occasions for the exercise of it may be very few. If any one should be so wearied with the monotonous 'All's well' of the nightly guardians of a camp, hour after hour, and night after night, as to conclude that their service was superfluous, and, accordingly, to dismiss them, much real danger, and much unnecessary apprehension, would be the result .
'Let no prince measure the danger of discontentments by this
whether the griefs whereupon they rise be great or
The importance of this caution with regard to 'small griefs' will not be denied by any one who has observed the odd limitations of power in those who seem despotic, and yet cannot do what seem little things. JE.g., when the Bomans took possession of Egypt, the people submitted, without the least resistance, to have their lives and property at the mercy of a foreign nation; but one of the Roman soldiers happening to kill a cat in the streets of Alexandria, they rose on him and tore him limb from limb; and the excitement was so violent, that the generals overlooked the outrage for fear of insurrection!— Claudius Caesar tried to introduce a letter which was wanting in the Roman Alphabet—the consonant V as distinct from U,— they having but one character for both. He ordered that ^ (an F reversed) should be that character. It appears on some inscriptions in his time; but he could not establish it, though he could Kill or plunder his subjects at pleasure. So can the Emperor of Russia; but he cannot change the style. It would displace the days of saints whom his people worship; and it would produce a formidable insurrection! Other instances of this strange kind of anomaly might doubtless be produced.
1 Assured. Not to be doubted; trustworthy. 'It is an maiured experience, that flint kid at the root of a tree will make it prosper.'—Bacon's Natural Hidory.
'The causes and motives of sedition are.
Amongst the causes of sedition Bacon has not noticed what is, perhaps, the source of the most dangerous kinds of sedition, the keeping of a certain portion of the population in a state of helotism,—as subjects without being citizens, or only imperfectly and partially citizens. For, men will better submit to an undistinguishing despotism that bears down all classes alike, than to an invidious distinction drawn between privileged and subject classes.
On this point I will take the liberty of citing a passage from a former work:—
'The exclusion from the rights of citizenship of all except a certain favoured class—which was the system of the Grecian and other ancient republics—has been vindicated by their example, and recommended for general adoption, by some writers, who have proposed to make sameness of religion correspond, in modern States, to the sameness of race among the ancients,—to substitute for their hereditary citizenship the profession of Christianity in one and the same National Church.
'But attentive and candid reflection will show that this would be the worst possible imitation of one of the worst of the Pagan institutions; that it would be not only still more unwise than the unwise example proposed, but also even more opposite to the spirit of the christian religion thau to the maxims of sound policy.
'Of the system itself, under various modifications, and of its effects, under a variety of circumstances, we find abundant records throughout a large portion of history, ancient and modern; from that of the Israelites when sojourners in Egypt, down to that of the Turkish Empire and its Greek and other christian subjects. And in those celebrated ancient republics of which we have such copious accounts in the classic writers, it is well known that a man's being born of free parents within the territory of a certain State, had nothing to do with conferring civil rights; while his contributing towards the expenses of its government, was rather considered as the badge of an alien,1 the imposing of a tax on the citizens being mentioned by Cicero* as something calamitous and disgraceful, and not to be thought of but in some extraordinary emergency.
'Nor were the proportionate numbers at all taken into account. In Attica, the metoeci or sojourners appear to have constituted about a third of the free population; but the Helots in Lacedaemon, and the subjects of the Carthaginian and Roman Republics, outnumbered the citizens, in the proportion probably of five, and sometimes of ten or twenty to one. Nor again were alien families considered as such in reference to a more recent settlement in the territory; on the contrary, they were often the ancient occupiers of the soil, who had been subdued by another race; as the Siculi (from whom Sicily derived its name), by the Siceliots or Greek colonists.
'The system in question has been explained and justified, on the ground that distinctions of Race implied important religions and moral differences; such that the admixture of men thus differing in the main points of human life, would have tended, unless one Race had a complete ascendancy, to confuse all notions of right and wrong. And the principle, accordingly, of the ancient republics,—which has been thence commended as wise and good—has been represented as that of making agreement in religion and morals the test of citizenship.
'That this however was not, at least in many instances, even the professed principle, is undeniable. The Lacedaemonians reduced to helotism the Messenians, who were of Doric race, like themselves; while it appears from the best authorities, that