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the protestants, and presently after the same league was turned upon himself: for when the authority of princes is made but an accessary to a cause, and that there be other bands that tie faster than the band of sovereignty, kings begin to be put almost out of possession.
Also, when discords, and quarrels, and factions, aíe carried openly and audaciously, it is a sign 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 own motion : and, therefore, when great ones in their own particular motion move violently, and, as Tacitus expresseth it well, “liberius quam ut imperantium meminissent,” it is a sign the orbs are out of frame : for reverence is that wherewith princes are girt from God, who threateneth the dissolving thereof; “ solvam cingula re
So when any of the four pillars of government are mainly shaken, or weakened, (which are religion, justice, counsel, and treasure,) men had need to pray for fair weather. But let us pass from this part of predictions, (concerning which, nevertheless, more light may be taken from that which followeth,) and let us speak first of the materials of seditions, then of the motives of them, and thirdly of the remedies.
Concerning the materials of seditions, it is a thing well to be considered; for the surest way to prevent seditions (if the times do bear it) is to take away the matter of them; for, if there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on fire. The matter of seditions is of two kinds, much poverty and much discontentment. It is certain, so many overthrown estates, so many votes for troubles. Lucan noteth well the state of Rome before the civil war :
" Hinc usura vorax, rapidumque in tempore cænus,
16 multis utile bellum” is an assured and infallible sign of a state disposed to seditions and troubles; and if this poverty and broken estate in the better sort be joined with a want and necessity in the mean people, the danger is imminent and great: for the rebellions of the belly are the worst. As for discontentments, they are in the politic body like to humours in the natural, which are apt to gather a preternatural heat and to inflame; and let no prince measure the danger of them by this, whether they be just or unjust : for that were to imagine people to be too reascyable, who do often spurn at their own good; nor vet by this, whether the griefs whereupon they rise be in fact great or small; for they are the most dangerous discontentments where the fear is greater than the feeling :
66 Dolendi modus, timendi non item :" tesides, in great op
pressions, the same things that provoke the patience do withal meet the courage; but in fears it is not so: neither let any prince, or state, be secure concerning discontentınents because they have been often, or have been long, and yet no peril hath ensued : for as it is true that every vapour, or fume, doth not turn into a storm, so it is nevertheless true, that storms, though they blow over divers times, yet may fall at last; and, as the Spanish proverb noteth well, “The cord breaketh at the last by the weakest pull.”
The causes and motives of seditions are, innovation in religion, taxes, alteration of laws and customs, breaking of privileges, general oppression, advancement of unworthy persons, strangers, deaths, disbanded soldiers, factions grown desperate; and whatsoever in offending people joineth and knitteth them in a common
For the remedies, there may be some general preservatives, whereof we will speak : as for the just cure, it must answer to the particular disease; and so be left to counsel rather than rule.
The first remedy, or prevention, is to remove, by all means possible, that material cause of sedition whereof we speak, which is, want and poverty in the estate; to which purpose serveth the opening and well balancing of trade; the cherishing of manufactures, the banishing of idleness; the repressing of waste and excess,
sumptuary laws; the ima
provement and husbanding of the soil; the regulating of prices of things vendible; the moderating of taxes and tributes, and the like. Generally, it is to be foreseen that the population of a kingdom (especially if it be not mown down by wars) do not exceed the stock of the kingdom which should maintain them : neither is the population to be reckoned only by number; for a smaller number that spend more and earn less, do wear out an estate sooner than a greater number that live low and gather more: therefore, the multiplying of nobility, and other degrees of quality, in an over-proportion to the common people, doth speedily bring a state to necessity; and so doth likewise an overgrown clergy, for they bring nothing to the stock; and in like manner, when more are bred scholars than preferments can take off.
It is likewise to be remembered that, forasmuch as the increase of any estate must be upon the foreigner, (for whatsoever is somewhere gotten is somewhere lost,) there be but three things which one nation selleth unto another ; the commodity as nature yieldeth it; the manufacture; and the vecture, or carriage; so that, if these three wheels go, wealth will flow as in a spring tide. And it cometh many times to pass, that “materiam superabit opus,” that the work and carriage is worth more than the material, and enricheth a state more; as is notably seen in the Low Country men, who have he best mines above ground in the world..
Above all things, good policy is to be used, that the treasure and moneys in a state be not gathered into few hands; for, otherwise, o state may have a great stock, and yet starve : and money is like muck, no good except it be spread. This is done chiefly by suppressing, or, at the least, keeping a strait hand upon the devouring trades of usury, engrossing, great pasturages, and the like.
For removing discontentments, or, at least, the danger of them, there is in every state (as we know) two portions of subjects, the nobles and the commonalty. When one of these is discontent, the danger is not great; for common people are of slow motion, if they de not excited by the greater sort; and he greater sort are of small strength, excep the multitude be apt, and ready to move of jhemselves : 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 in to his aid: 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 bravery) is a safe way: for he that turneth the humours back, and maketh the wound bleed inwards, endan