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speaketh of is to be held suspected: "They kept within the bounds of their duty, but were men of that character, who had rather make their own interpretation and comment on the commands of their Rulers than execute them." Disputing, excusing, cavilling upon mandates and directions, is a kind of shaking off the yoke, and assay of disobedience; especially, if in those disputings, they which are for the direction, speak fearfully and tenderly; and those that are against it audaciously.
Also, as Machiavel noteth well, when Princes, that ought to be common parents, make themselves as a party, and lean to a side, it is a boat that is overthrown by uneven weight on the one side; as was well seen in the time of Henry the Third of France: for first himself entered league for the extirpation of 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 are other bands that tie faster than the band of Sovereignty, Kings begin to be almost put out of possession.
Also, when discords and quarrels, and factions, are 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 " the First great Cause of motion," (according to the old opiF2 /
nion): 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, "they were too fond of freedom to remember the will of their Rulers," 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: " I will strip off the diadems of Kings."
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, moie 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 Sedition; 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: "Hence at that time a voracious and rapid increase of Usury, and a war arose useful to the objects of the multitude."
This same " 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 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 reasonable, who do often spurn at their own good: nor yet 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: " There is moderation in their sorrow, but not so in their apprehension." Besides, in great oppressions, the same things that provoke the patience, do withall mate the courage; but in fears, it is not so. Neither let any prince or state be secure concerning Discontentments 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 last by the weakest pull."
The causes and motions of Seditions, are innovation in religion, taxes, alteration of laws and customs, breaking of privileges, general oppression, advancement of unworthy persons, strangers, dearths, disbanded soldiers, factions grown desperate; and whatsoever, in offending people, joineth and knitteth them in a common cause.
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 by sumptuary laws, the improvement 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 lower, and gather more. Therefore the multiplying of Nobility, and other degrees of quality, in an over proportion to the common people, dotli 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 nttion selleth unto another: the commodity as nature yieldeth it; the manufacture, and the victure or cairiage: so that if these three wheels go, wealth will flow as in a springtide. And it cometh many limes to pass, that " the manufacture will cost more than the materials;" that the work and carriage is more worth than the materials, and enricheth a state more: as is notably seen in the Low Countrymen, who have the best mines above ground « the world.
Above all things good policy is to be used, that the treasure and moneys in a State be not ga