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Roman empire, and likewise in the empire of Almaigne, after Charles the Great, every bird taking a feather; and were not unlike to befall 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 rale and observation : yet we see even they have returns and vicissitudes; for certain it is, that ordnance was known in the city of the Oxydraces, 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 improvements, 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 merchandize. 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.
AN ESSAY OF 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 many ears.
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 the clouds ; that in the day-time she sitteth in a watch-tower, and flyeth most by night; that she mingleth things done with things vot done; and that she is a terror to great cities : but that which passeth all the rest is, they do recount that the Earth, mother of the giants that made war against Jupiter, and were by him destroyed, thereupon in anger brought forth Fame ; for certain it is, that rebels, figured by the giants and seditious fames and libels, are but brothers and sisters, masculine and feminine : but now if a man can tame this monster, and bring her to feed at the hand and govern her, and with her fly other ravening fowl and kill them, it is somewhat worth: but we are
infected with the style of the poets. To speak now in a sad and serious manner, there is not in all the politics a place less handled, and more worthy to be handled, than this of fame; we will therefore speak of these points : what are false fames and what are true fames; and how they may be best discerned; how fames may be sown and raised; how they may be spread and multiplied ; and how they may be checked and laid dead ; and other things concerning the nature of fame. Fame is of that force, as there is scarcely any great action wherein it hath not a great part, especially in the
Mucianus undid Vitellius by a fame that he scattered, that Vitellius had in purpose to move the legions of Syria into Germany, and the legions of Germany into Syria ; whereupon the legions of Syria were infinitely inflamed. Julius Cæsar took Pompey unprovided, and laid asleep his industry and preparations by a fame that he cunningly gave out, how Cæsar's own soldiers loved him not; and being wearied with the wars, and laden with the spoils of Gaul, would forsake him as soon as he came into Italy. Livia settled all things for the succession of her son Tiberius, by continually giving out that her husband Augustus was upon recovery and amendment; and it is an usual thing with the bashaws, to conceal the death of the Great Turk from the janizaries and men of war, to save the sacking of Constantinople, and other towns, as their manner is. Themistocles made Xerxes, king of Persia, post apace out of Græcia, by giving out that the Grecians had a purpose to break his bridge of ships which he had made athwart the Helles, pont. There be a thousand such like examples,