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conclude, that no people overcharged with tribute is fit for empire.
Let States, that aim at greatness, take heed how their nobility and gentlemen do multiply too fast; for that maketk the common subject grow to be a peasant and base swain, driven out of heart, and, in effect, but a gentleman's labourer. Even as you may see in coppice woods, if you leave your staddles too thick, you shall never have clean underwood, but shrubs and bushes; so in countries, if the gentlemen be too many, the commons will be base—and you will bring it to that, that not the hundredth poll will be fit for an helmet, especially as to the infantry, which is the nerve of an army,—and so there will be great population, and little strength. This which I speak of hath been no where better seen than by comparing of England and France; whereof England, though far less in territory and population, hath been, nevertheless, an overmatch; in regard' the middle people of England make good soldiers, which the peasants of France do not: herein the device of King Henry VII. (whereof I have spoken largely in the history of his life) was profound and admirable, in making farms and houses of husbandry of a standard, that is, maintained with such a proportion, of land unto them, as may breed a subject to live in convenient plenty, and no servile condition; and to keep the plough in the hands of the owners, and not mere hirelings; and thus indeed you shall attain to Virgil's character, which he gives to ancient Italy:—
* Terra patens armis atque ubore gleba;.'2
Neither is the estate3 (which for anything I know, is almort peculiar to England, and hardly to be found anywhere else, except it be, perhaps, in Poland) to be passed over—I mean the state of free servants and attendants upon noblemen and gentlemen, which are no ways inferior unto the yeomanry for arms; and therefore, out of all question, the splendour and magnificence and great retinues, the hospitality of noblemen and gentlemen received into custom, do much conduce unto martial greatness—whereas, contrariwise, the close and reserved living of noblemen and gentlemen causeth a penury of military forces. By all means it is to be procured,1 that the trunk of Nebuchadnezzar's tree of monarchy2 be great enough to bear the branches and the boughs; that is, that the natural subjects of the crown, or State, hear a sufficient proportion to the strange subjects that they govern. Therefore all States that are liberal of naturalization towards strangers are fit for empire; for .to think that an handful of people can, with the greatest courage and policy in the world, embrace too large extent of dominion, it may hold for a time, but it will fail suddenly. The Spartans were a nice3 people in point of naturalization; whereby, while they kept their compass, they stood firm, but when they did spread, and their boughs were become too great for their stem, they became a windfall upon the sudden. Never any State was, in this point, so open to receive strangers into their Body as were the Romans; therefore it sorted4 with them accordingly, for they grew to the greatest monarchy. Their manner was to grant naturalization (which they called 'jus civitatis'5) —and to grant it in the highest degree, that is, not only 'jus commercii, jus connubii, jus haereditatis,' but also 'jus suffragii' and 'jus honorum ;'• and this not to singular7 persons alone, but likewise to whole families—yea, to cities, and sometimes to nations. Add to this, their custom of plantation of colonies, whereby the Roman plant was removed into the soil of other nations; and, putting both constitutions together, you will say, that it was not the Romans that spread upon the world, but it was the world that spread upon the Romans—and that was the sure way of greatness. I have marvelled sometimes at Spain, how they clasp and contain so large dominions with so few natural Spaniards: but sure the whole compass of Spain is a very great body of a tree, far above Rome and Sparta at the first; and. besides, though they have not had that usage to naturalize liberally, yet they have that which is next to it—that is, to employ, almost indifferently, all nations in their militia of ordinary soldiers, yea, and sometimes in their highest commands; nay, it seemeth at this instant, they are sensible of this want of natives, as by the Pragmatical Sanction, now published, appeareth.
1 In regard. For the reason that; on account of. 'Change was thought wwssary in regard of the injury the Church had received.'—Hooker. 1 Virg. JEneid, i. 335.
'For deeds of arms, and fertile soil renown'd.' 3 Estate. Order of men. See page 147.
1 Procured. Conirived; aired for.
'Proceed, Salinus, to procure my fall.'—Shalcespere.
2 Dan. iv. 10, sea. 3 Nice. Difficult. 'Sort. To succeed; to happen.
'And if it sort not well.'—Shakespere.
''The right of citizenship.'
• 'The right of traffic, the right of marriage, the right of inheritance, the right of voting, and the right of hearing offices.'
'Singular. Single. 'That which represents one determinate thing is called a 'ingular idea.'—Walls.
It is certain, that sedentary and within-door arts, and delicate manufactures (that require rather the finger than"the arm), have in their nature a contrariety to a military disposition; and generally all warlike people are a little idle, and love danger better than travail'—neither must they be too much broken off it, if they shall be preserved in vigour: therefore it was great advantage in the ancient States of Sparta, Athens, Rome,. and others, that they had the use of slaves, which commonly did rid3 those manufactures; but that is abolished, in greatest part, by the christian law. That which cometh nearest to it is, to leave those arts chiefly to strangers (which, for that purpose, are the more easily to be received), and to contain the principal bulk of the vulgar natives within those three lands—tillers of the ground, free servants, and handicraftsmen of strong and manly arts, as smiths, masons, carpenters, &c., not reckoning professed soldiers.
But, above all, for empire and greatness, it importeth3 most that a nation do profess arms as their principal honour, study, and occupation; for the things which we have formerly spoken of are but habilitations4 towards arms; and what is habilitation without intention aud act? Romulus, after his death (as they report or feign), sent a present5 to the Romans, that above nil they should intend" arms, and then they should prove the greatest empire of the world. The fabric of the State of Sparta was wholly (though not wisely) framed and composed to that scope and end: the Persians and Macedonians had it for a flash; the Gauls, Germans, Goths, Saxons, Normans, and others, had it for a time ; the Turks have it at this day, though in great declination. Of christian Europe, they that have it are, in effect, only the Spaniards; but it is so plain that every man profiteth in that he most intendeth, that it needeth not to be stood upon; it is enough to point at it—that no nation which doth not directly profess arms, may look to have greatness fall into their mouths: and, on the other side, it' is a most certain oracle of time, that those States that continue long in that profession (as the Romans and Turks principally havo done), do wonders; and those that have professed arms but for an age, have, notwithstanding, commonly attained that greatness in that age which maintained them long after, when their profession and exercise of arms hath grown to decay.
1 Travnil. Toil; labour. 'As every Ohing of price, so this doth require ftruesfl. —Hooker.
3 Rid. To dispatch.
'We'll thither straight; for willingness rids way.'—Shaliespere.
3 Import. To be of importance. See page 24.
4 Habilitation. Qualification. * Present. A mandate.
'Be it known to all men by these presents.'—Sha);espcre. 6 Intend. To pay attention to.
'Go, therefore, mighty powers! intend at home,
Incident to this point is for a State to have those laws or customs which may reach forth unto them just occasions (as may be pretendedx) of war; for there is that justice imprinted in the nature of men, that they enter not upon wars (whereof so many calamaties do ensue), but upon some, at the least specious, grounds and quarrels. The Turk hath at hand, for cause of war, the propagation of his law or sect; a quarrel2 that he may always command. The Romans, though they esteemed the extending the limits of their empire to be great honour to their generals when it was done, yet they never rested upon that alone to begin a war. First, therefore, let nations that pretend to greatness have this, that they be sensible of wrongs, either upon borderers, merchants, or politic ministers; and that they sit not too long upon a provocation; secondly, let them be prest3 and ready to give aids and succours to their confederates, as it ever was with the Romans; insomuch, as if the confederates had leagues defensive with divers other States, and, upon triumphs to themselves and their sons, for such wars as they did achieve in person, and left only for wars achieved by subjects some triumphal garments and ensigns to the general.
1 Pretend. To put forward.
'And his left foot pretends.'— Dryden.
2 Quarrel. Reason; ground for any action. See page 97. 8 I'rest. Eager; quick.
'Each mind is prest, and open every ear, To hear new tidings.'—Fairfax. 'They pour'd \irestlij into the hall.'— Old Ballad, 1727.
To conclude. No man can by care-taking (as the Scripture saith) 'add a cubit to his stature,'' in this little model of a man's body; but in the great frame of kingdoms and commonwealths, it is in the power of princes, or estates, to add amplitude and greatness to their kingdoms; for by introducing such ordinances, constitutions, and customs, as we have now touched,2 they may sow greatness to their posterity and succession. But these things are commonly not observed, but left to take their chance.
'All States that are liberal of naturalization towards stranger* are fit for empire.'
What Bacon says of naturalization is most true, and important, and not enough attended to. But he attributes more liberality in this point to the Romans than is their due. He seems to have forgotten their 'Social War,' brought on entirely by their refusal to admit their subjects to civil rights.
It is remarkable that, under the kings, and again under the emperors, there was the most of this liberality, and under the Republic, the least. This is quite natural: when it is the citizens that govern, they naturally feel jealous of others being admitted to an equality with them; but the sovereign has no reason to wish that one class or portion of his subjects should have an invidious advantage over another. There is an exception to this in cases where religious fanaticism comes in; as is to be seen in the Turkish empire, where christian subjects have always been kept as a kind of Helots.
On the ruinous results of keeping a portion of the people in such a state, I have already dwelt in the notes to the Essay ou 'Seditions and Troubles.'
1 ProlxiMy fascia means not stature, but age. See John ix. 21-13; Ihb. xi. 11; and Luke xii. 20.
3 Touch. To treat dightly. 'If the antiquaries have touched it, Uuy na« immediately quitted it.'—Addison.