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to interchange thom. The answer of Apollonius to Vespasian is full of excellent instruction. Vespasian asked him, 'What was Nero's overthrow?' He answered, * Nero could touch and tune the harp well, but in government sometimes he used to wind the pins too high, sometimes to let them down too low;'' and certain it is, that nothing dcstroyeth authority so much as the unequal and untimely interchange of power pressed too far, and relaxed too much.
This is true, that the wisdom of all these latter times in princes' affairs, is rather fine deliveries, and shiftings of dangers and mischiefs, when they are near, than solid and grounded courses to keep them aloof. But this is but to try masteries with fortune; and let men beware how they neglect and suffer matter of tronble to be prepared; for no man can forbid the spark, nor tell whence it may come. The difficulties in princes' business are many and great, but the greatest difficulty is often in thenown mind; for it is common with princes (saith Tacitus) to will contradictories: 'Sunt plerumque regum voluntates vehementes, et inter se contraries.' * For it is the solecism of power to think to command the end, and yet not to endure the mean.3
Kings have to deal with their neighbours, their wives, their children, their prelates or clergy, their nobles, their second nobles or gentlemen, their merchants, their commons, and their men of war ;4 and from all these arise dangers, if care and circumspection be not used.
First, for their neighbours, there can no general rule be given (the occasions are so variable), save one which ever holdeth—which is, that princes do keep due sentinel, that none of their neighbours do overgrow so (by increase of territory, byembracing of trade, by approaches, or the like), ass they become more able to annoy them than they were; and this is generally the work of standing councils to foresee and to hinder it . During that triumvirate of kings, King Henry VIII. of England, Francis I., king of France, and Charles V., emperor, there was such a watch kept that none of the three could win a palm' of ground, but the other two would straightwaysa balance it, either by confederation, or, if need were, by a war, and would not in any wise take up peace at interest; and the like was done by that league (which Guicciardine saith was the security of Italy), made between Ferdinando, king of Naples, Lorenzius Medices, and Ludovicus Sforsa, potentates, the one of Florence, the other of Milan. Neither is the opinion of some of the schoolmen to be received, that a war cannot justly be made, but upon a precedent 3 injury or provocation; for there is no question but a just fear of an imminent danger, though there be no blow given, is a lawful cause of war.
1 Philoet . Vit. ApoU. Tyan. v. 28.
3 'The will of kings is, for the most part, vehement and inconsistent.'—Sallust, B J. 113. (Not Tacitus.)
s Mean. Means. 'The virtuous conversation of Christians was a mean to work the conversion of the heathen to Christ.'—Hooker.
* Men of war (now only applied to ships). Warriors; soldiers. 'And Saul set him over the men of iear.'—1 Sam. xviii. 5.
4 As. That. Sec page 2 7.
For their wives, there are cruel examples of them. Livia is infamed 4 for the poisoning of her husband; Roxolana, Solyman's wife, was the destruction of that renowned prince, Sultan Mustapha, and otherwise troubled his house and succession; Edward II. of England's queen had the principal hand in the deposing and murder of her husband. This kind of danger is then to be feared chiefly when the wives have plots for the raising of their own children, or else that they be advoutresses.5
For their children, the tragedies likewise of dangers from them have been many; and generally the entering of the fathers into suspicion of their children hath been ever unfortunate. The destruction of Mustapha (that we named before) was so fatal to Solyman's line, as the succession of the Turks from Solyman until this day is suspected to be untrue, and of strange blood, for that Selymus II. was thought to be supposititious. The destruction of Crispus, a young prince of rare towardness,1 by Constantinus the Great, his father, was in like manner fatal to his house, for both Constantinus and Constance, his sons, died violent deaths; and Constantius, his other son, did little better; who died, indeed of sickness, but after that Julianus had taken arms against him. The destruction of Demetrius, son to Philip II. of Macedon, turned upon the father, who died of repentance: and many like examples there are, but few or none where the fathers had good by such distrust, except it were where the sons were in open arms against them, as was Selymus I. against Bajazet, and the three sons of Henry II., king of England.
1 Palm. Hand's breadth. 'The palm, or hand's breadth, is a twenty-fourth part of the stature.'—Holder. 1 Staightways. Immediately.
'Like to a ship that having 'scap'd a tempest,
1 Precedent. Preceding.
'Do it at once, Or thy precedent services are all But accidenta unpurposed.'—Shakespere. * Infamed. Infamous. 'Whosoever for any offence be infamed, by their ears hang rings of gold.'—Sir T. More. 4 Advoutress. Adulteress. (So called from breach of the marriage-vow.)
For their prelates, when they are proud and great, there is also danger from them; as it was in the times of Anselmus and Thomas Beckett, archbishops of Canterbury, who, with their crosiers, did almost try it with .the king's sword; and yet they had to deal with stout and haughty kings—William Eufus, Henry I., and Henry II. The danger is not from that estate,' but where it hath a dependence of foreign authority, or where the churchmen come in and are elected, not by the collation of the king, or particular patrons, but by the people.
For the nobles, to keep them at a distance, it is not amiss; but to depress them may make a king more absolute, but less safe, and less able to perform anything that he desires. I have noted it in my history of King Henry VII. of England, who depressed his nobility, whereupon it came to pass, that his times were full of difficulties and troubles; for the nobility, though they continued loyal unto him, yet did they not co-operate with him in his business—so that in effect he was fain3 to do all things himself.
For their second nobles, there is not much danger from them, being a body dispersed: they may sometimes discourse high, but that doth little hurt; besides, they are a counterpoise to the higher nobility, that they grow not too potent; and, lastly, being the most immediate in authority with the common people, they do best temper popular commotions.
1 Towardness. Docility. 'He proved in his youth a personage of great loirardnest, and audi as no small hope of hira was conceived.'—Holinshed.
* Estate. Order of men. 'All the estate of the elders.'—Actt xxii. 5.
3 Fain. Compelled; constrained. 'Whosoever will hear, he shall find God; whosoever will study to know, shall be also fain to believe.'—Hooker. 'I was fain to forswear it.'—Bhakespere.
For their merchants, they are vena porta,1 and if they flourish not, a kingdom may have good limbs, but will have empty veins, and nourish little. Taxes and imposts upon them do seldom good to the king's revenue, for that which he wins in the hundred 2 he loseth in the shire: the particular rates being increased, but the total bulk of trading rather decreased.
For their commons, there is little danger from them, except it be where they have great and potent heads, or where you meddle with the point of religion, or their customs, or means of life.
For their men of war, it is a dangerous state where they live and remain in a Body, and are used to donatives, whereof we see examples in the janizaries, and pretorian bands of Rome; but trainings of men, and arming them, in several places, and under several commanders, and without donatives, are things of defence, and no danger.
Princes are like to heavenly bodies, which cause good or evil times, and which have much veneration, but no rest. All precepts concerning kings are in effect comprehended in those two remembrances :s 'Memento quod es homo,' and ' Memento quod es Deus,' or 'vice Dei'—the one bridleth their, power, and the other their will.
ANTITHETA ON EMPIRE.
'Felicitate frui, magnum bonum est; 'Quam miserum, habere nil fere,
Bed eam et aliis impcrtiri posse, adhuc quod appetas; infinita, qnae metuas.
majus. 'How wretched is he who has hardly
'To enjoy happiness is a great good; anything to hope, and many things to
but to be able to confer it also on others fear.' is a greater still.'
1 'The great vein of the body.'
2 Hundred. A division of a county. 'Lands taken from the enemy were divided into centuries or hundreds, and distributed amongst the soldiers.'— Arbuthnot.
3 'Remember that thou art man,' and ' Remember that thou art God '—or * God's vice-gsrent.'
'Kings have to deal with their neighbours] &c.
Some persons, pretending to superior acuteness, are accustomed to represent the Sovereign, under the British Constitution, as a mere cypher,—a kind of puppet, moving as the strings are pulled, and possessing the semblance of power without any real power. The Sovereign, they say, though called ' Supreme,' can do nothing without his Ministers, who are virtually elected by the people, since no Minister can hold office for more than a very short time, without a majority in the House of Commons; the members of which are dependent on the will of their constituents. The only difference, therefore, they say, between our Government and that of the United States, is that they elect their Premier (under the title of President) once in four years, and we, as often as we think fit.
This, by the way, would of itself constitute a difference of no small importance. For, every one would see that there would be a great difference between two steam-engines, one, provided (as is the actual practice) with a safety-valve which is forced open whenever the pressure exceeds a certain degree, and not otherwise, and the other having only a vent-hole opened at certain fixed times, always opened at those times, and always closed during the intervals.
But this difference, though very important, is far from being the Bole, or the principal one. When, indeed, it happens that the public will is nearly unanimous—that the whole, or nearly the whole, nation are bent on some point of policy, or on the appointment or the exclusion of a certain Ministry, a compliance with their will is unavoidable. But in all cases (and these are the more numerous) in which there is a division in the popular will, and the opponents and supporters of certain measures or men are nearly#equal, the Sovereign has, as it were, the casting voice, and can decide freely on the one side or on the other. Not only when there is a perfect equality of strength between two aspirants to office, can the Sovereign choose whichever he will; but he can even bring into office and retain in office a Ministry which, if the question had been put to the vote in a popular