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habilitations 1 towards arms; and what is habilitation without intention and act ? Romulus, after his death, (as they report or feign,) sent a present to the Romans, that, above all, 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 have 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 had grown to decay.
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 pretended) of war; for there is that justice imprinted in the nature of men, that they enter not upon wars, (whereof so many calamities do ensue,) but upon some, at the least specious grounds and quarrels. The Turk hath at
2 Attend to.
hand, for cause of war, the propagation of his law or sect, a quarrel that he may always command. The Romans, though they esteemed the extending the limits of their empire to be great honor 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 pressed, and ready to give aids and succors to their confederates, as it ever was with the Romans; insomuch, as if the confederate had leagues defensive with divers other states, and, upon invasion offered, did implore their aids severally, yet the Romans would ever be the foremost, and leave it to none other to have the honor. As for the wars, which were anciently made on the behalf of a kind of party, or tacit conformity of estate, I do not see how they may be well justified : as when the Romans made a war for the liberty of Græcia; or, when the Lacedæmonians and Athenians made wars to set up or pull down democracies and oligarchies; or when wars were made by foreigners, under the pretence of justice or protection, to deliver the subjects of others from tyranny and oppression, and the like. Let it suffice, that no estate expect to be great, that is not awake upon any just occasion of arming.
Nobody can be healthful without exercise, neither natural body nor politic; and, certainly, to a kingdom, or estate, a just and honorable war is the true exercise. A civil war, indeed, is like the heat of a fever; but a foreign war is like the heat of exer.
cise, and serveth to keep the body in health ; for, in a slothful peace, both courages will effeminate and manners corrupt. But, howsoever it be for happiness, without all question for greatness, it maketh to be still, for the most part, in arms; and the strength of a veteran army, (though it be a chargeable business,) always on foot, is that which commonly giveth the law, or, at least, the reputation amongst all neighbor states, as may well be seen in Spain,' which hath had, in one part or other, a veteran army, almost continually, now by the space of sixscore years.
To be master of the sea is an abridgment of a monarchy. Cicero, writing to Atticus, of Pompey's preparation against Cæsar, saith, “ Consilium Pompeii plane Themistocleum est; putat enim, qui mari potitur, eum rerum potiri ;” 2 and, without doubt, Pompey had tired out Cæsar, if upon vain confidence he had not left that way. We see the great effects of battles by sea. The battle of Actium decided the empire of the world : the battle of Lepanto arrested the greatness of the Turk. There be many examples where sea-fights have been final io the war; but this is when princes, or states, have set up their rest upon the battles. But thus much is certain, that he that commands the sea is at great liberty, and may take as much and as little of the war as he will ; whereas, those that be strongest by land are many times, nevertheless, in great straits. Surely, at this day, with us of Europe, the vantage of strength at sea (which is one of the principal dowries of this kingdom of Great Britain) is great ; both because most of the kingdoms of Europe are not merely inland, but girt with the sea most part of their compass; and because the wealth of both Indies seems, in great part, but an accessary to the command of the seas.
1 It was its immense armaments that in a great measure consumed the vitals of Spain.
2.“ Pompey's plan is clearly that of Themistocles; for he believes that whoever is master of the sea will obtain the supreme power.”- Ad Att. x. 8.
The wars of latter ages seem to be made in the dark, in respect of the glory and honor which reflected upon men from the wars in ancient time. There be now, for martial encouragement, some degrees and orders of chivalry, which, nevertheless, are conferred promiscuously upon soldiers and no soldiers; and some remembrance, perhaps, upon the escutcheon, and some hospitals for maimed soldiers, and such like things; but in ancient times, the trophies erected upon the place of the victory; the funeral laudatives, and monuments for those that died in the wars; the crowns and garlands personal; the style of emperor which the great kings of the world after borrowed ; the triumphs of the generals upon their return; the great donatives and largesses upon the disbanding of the armies ; were things able to inflame all men's courages. But, above all, that of the triumph amongst the Romans was not pageants or gaudery, but one of the wisest and noblest institutions that ever was ; for it contained three things : honor to the general, riches to the treasury out of the spoils, and donatives to the army. But that honor, perhaps, were not fit for monarchies, except it be in the person of the monarch himself, or his sons; as it came to pass in the times of the Roman emperors, who did impropriate the actual 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.
To conclude. No man can by care-taking, (as the Scripture saith,) “add a cubit to his stature," 1 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, they may sow greatness to their posterity and succession ; but these things are commonly not observed, but left to take their chance.
XXX.–OF REGIMEN OF HEALTH. THERE is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic. A man's own observation, what he finds good of, and what he finds hurt of, is the best physic to preserve health ; but it is a safer conclusion to say, “ This agreeth not well with me, therefore I will not continue it;" than this, “I find no offence of this, therefore I may use it ;” for strength of nature in youth passeth over many excesses which are owing 2 a man till his age. Discern of the coming on of years, and think not to do the same things still; for age will not be defied. Beware of sudden change in any great point of diet, and, if necessity enforce it, fit the rest to it; for it is a secret both in nature and state, that it is safer to change many things than one. Examine thy customs of diet, sleep, exercise, apparel, and the like ;
1 St. Matthew vi. 27; St. Luke xii. 25. 2 The effects of which must be felt in old age.