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the beginning, I mean not to blazon or amplify, but only to observe and express matter.
First, Your Majesty's dominion and empire comprehendeth all the islands of the north-west ocean, where it is open, until you come to the imbarred and frozen sea, towards Iceland; in all which tract it hath no intermixture or interposition of any foreign land, but only of the sea, whereof you are also absolutely master.
Secondly, The quantity and content of these countries is far greater than have been the principal or fundamental regions of the greatest monarchies, greater than Persia proper, greater than Macedon, greater than Italy. So as here is potentially body and stem enough for Nabuchodonosor's tree, if God should have so ordained.
Thirdly, The prowess and valour of your subjects is able to master and wield far more territory than falleth to their lot. But that followeth to be spoken of in the proper place.
And lastly, It must be confessed, that whatsoever part of your countries and regions shall be counted the meanest, yet is not inferior to those countries and regions, the people whereof some ages since overran the world. We see farther by the uniting of the continent of this island, and the shutting up of the postern, as it was not unfitly termed, all entrance of foreigners is excluded: and we see again, that by the fit situation and configuration of the north of Scotland towards the north of Ireland, and the reputation, commodity, and terror thereof, what good effects have ensued for the better quieting of the troubles of Ireland. And so we conclude this first branch touching largeness of territory.
The second article was,
That there is too much ascribed to treasure or riches in the balancing of greatness.
Wherein no man can be ignorant of the idolatry that is generally committed in these degenerate times to money, as if it could do all things public and private: but leaving popular errors, this is likewise to be examined by reason and examples, and such reason, as is no new conceit or invention, but hath formerly been discerned by the sounder sort of judgments. For we see that Solon, who was no contemplative wise man, but a statesman and a lawgiver, used a memorable censure to Crcesus, when he showed him great treasures, and store of gold and silver that he had gathered, telling him, that whensoever another should come that had better iron than he, he would be master of all his gold and silver. Neither is the authority of Machiavel to be despised, specially in a matter whereof he saw the evident experience before his eyes in his own limes and country, who derideth the received and current opinion and principle of estate taken first from a speech of Mutianus the lieutenant of Vespasian, That money was the sinews of war; affirming, that it is a mockery, and that there are no other true sinews of war, but the sinews and muscles of men's arms: and that there was never any war, wherein the more valiant people had to deal with the more wealthy, but that the war, if it were well
conducted, did nourish and pay itself. And had he not reason so to think, when he saw a needy and ill-provided army of the French, though needy rather by negligence than want of means, as the French manner oftentimes is, make their passage only by the reputation of their swords by their sides undrawn, thorough the whole length of Italy, at that time abounding in wealth after a long peace, and that without resistance, and to seize and leave what countries and places it pleased them? But it was not the experience of that time alone, but the records of all times that do concur to falsify that conceit, that wars are decided not by the sharpest sword, but by the greatest purse. And that very text or saying of Mutianus which was the original of this opinion, is misvouched, for his speech was, "Pecuniae sunt nervi belli civilis," which is true, for that civil wars cannot be between people of differing valour; and again, because in them men are as oft bought as vanquished. But in case of foreign wars, you shall scarcely find any of the great monarchies of the world, but have had their foundations in poverty and contemptible beginnings, being in that point also conform to the heavenly kingdom, of which it is pronounced, " Regnum Dei non venit cum observatione." Persia, a mountainous country, and a poor people in comparison of the Medes and other provinces which they subdued. The state of Sparta, a state wherein poverty was enacted by law and ordinance; all use of gold and silver and rich furniture being interdicted. The state of Macedonia, a slate mercenary and ignoble until the time of Philip. The state of Rome, a state that had poor and pastoral beginnings. The state of the Turks, which hath been since the terror of the world, founded upon a transmigration of some bands of Sarmatian Scythes, that descended in a vagabond manner upon the province that is now termed Turcomania; out of the remnants whereof, after great variety of fortune, sprang the Ottoman family. But never was any position of estate so visibly and substantially confirmed as this, touching the pre-eminence, yea and predominancy of valour above treasure, as by the two descents and inundations of necessitous and indigent people, the one from the east, and the other from the west, that of the Arabians or Saracens, and that of the Goths, Vandals, and the rest: who, as if they had been the true inheritors of the Roman empire, then dying, or at least grown impotent and aged, entered upon jEgypt, Asia, Gnecia, Africk, Spain, France, coming to these nations, not as to a prey, but as to a patrimony; not returning with spoil, but seating and planting themselves in a number of provinces, which continue their progeny, and bear their names till this day. And all these men had no other wealth but their adventures, nor no other title but their swords, nor no other press but their poverty. For it was not with most of these people as it is in countries reduced to a regular civility, that no man almost marrieth except he see he have means to live; but population went on, howsoever sustentation followed, and taught by necessity, as some writers report, when they found themselves surcharged with people, they divided their inhabitants into three parts, and one third, as the lot fell, was sent abroad and left to their adventures. Neither is the reason much unlike, though the effect hath not followed in regard of a special diversion, in the nation of the Swisses, inhabiting a country, which in regard of the mountainous situation, and the popular estate, doth generate faster than it can sustain. In which people, it well appeared what an authority iron hath over gold nt the battle of Granson, at what time one of the principal jewels of Burgundy was sold for twelve pence.by a poor Swiss, that knew no more a precious stone than did JEsop's cock. And although this people have made no plantations with their arms, yet we see the reputation of them such, as not only their forces have been employed and waged, but their alliance sought and purchased, by the greatest kings and states of Europe. So as though fortune, as it fares sometimes with princes to their servants, hath denied them a grant of lands, yet she hath granted them liberal pensions, which are made memorable and renowned to all posterity, by the event which ensued to Louis the twelfth; who, being pressed uncivilly by message from them for the enhancing their pensions, entered into choler and broke out into these words, "What! will these villains of the mountains put a tax upon me?" which words cost him his duchy of Milan, and utterly ruined his affairs in Italy. Neither were it indeed possible at this day, that that nation should subsist without descents and impressions upon their neighbours, were it not for the great utterance of people which they make into the services of foreign princes and estates, thereby discharging not only number, but in that number such spirits as are most stirring and turbulent.
And therefore we may conclude, that as largeness of territory, severed from military virtue, is but a burden; so, that treasure and riches severed from the same is but a prey. It resteth therefore to make a reduction of this error also unto a truth by distinction and limitation, which will be in this manner:
Treasure and moneys do then add true greatness and strength to a state, when they are accompanied with these three conditions:
First, the same condition which hath been annexed to largeness of territory, that is, that they be joined with martial prowess and valour.
Secondly, That treasure doth then advance greatness, when it is rather in mediocrity than in great abundance. And again better, when some part of the state is poor, than when all parts of it are rich. And lastly, That treasure in a state is more or less serviceable, as the hands arc in which the wealth chiefly resteth. For the first of these, it is a thing that cannot be denied, that in equality of valour the better purse is an advantage. For like as in wrestling between man and man, if there be a great overmatch in strength, it is to little purpose though one have the better breath; but, if the strength be near equal,
then he that is short-winded will, if the wager consist of many falls, in the end have the worst; so it is in the wars, if it be a match between a valiant people and a cowardly, the advantage of treasure will not serve; but if they be near in valour, then the better moneyed state will be the better able to continue the war, and so in the end to prevail. But if any man think that money can make those provisions at the first encounters, that no difference of valour can countervail, let him look back but into those examples which have been brought, and he must confess, that all those furnitures whatsoever are but shows and mummeries, and cannot shroud fear against resolution. For there shall he find companies armed with armour of proof taken out of the stately armouries of kings who spared no cost, overthrown by men armed by private bargain and chance as they could get it: there shall he find armies appointed with horses bred of purpose, and in choice races, chariots of war, elephants, and the like terrors, mastered by armies meanly appointed. So of towns strongly fortified, basely yielded, and the like; all being but sheep in a lion's skin, where valour faileth.
For the second point, that competency of treasure is better than surfeit, is a matter of common place or ordinary discourse; in regard that excess of riches, neither in public nor private, ever hath any good effects, but maketh men either slothful and effeminate, and so no enterprisers; or insolent and arrogant, and so over-great embracers; but most generally cowardly and fearful to lose, according to the adage, "Timidus Plutus;" so as this needeth no farther speech. But a part of that assertion requireth a more deep consideration, being; a matter not so familiar, but yet most assuredly true. For it is necessary in a state that shall grow and enlarge, that there be that composition which the poet speaks of, " Multis utile bellum:" an ill condition of a state, no question, if it be meant of a civil war, as it was spoken; but a condition proper to a state that shall increase, if it be taken of a foreign war. For except there be a spur in the state, that shall excite and prick them on to wars, they will but keep their own, and seek no farther. And in all experience and stories you shall find but three things that prepare and dispose an estate to war: the ambition of governors, a state of soldiers professed, and the hard means to live of many subjects. Whereof the Inst is the most forcible and the most constant. And this is the true reason of that event which we observed and rehearsed before, that most of the great kingdoms of the worM have sprung out of hardness and scarceness of means, as the strongest herbs out of the barrenest soils.
For the third point, concerning the placing and distributing of treasure in a state, the position is simple; that then treasure is greatest strength to a state, when it is so disposed, as it is readiest and easiest to come by for public service and use: which one position doth infer three conclusions.
First, That there be quantity sufficient of treasure as well in the treasury of the crown or state, as in the purse of the private subject.
Secondly, That the wealth of the subject be rather in many hands than in few.
And thirdly, That it be in those hands, where there is likest to be the greatest sparing, and increase, and not in those hands, wherein there useth to be greatest expense and consumption.
For it is not the abundance of treasure in the subjects' hands that can make sudden supply of the want of a state; because reason tells us, and experience both, that private persons have least will to contribute when they have most cause; for when there is noise or expectation of wars, then is always the deadest times for moneys, in regard every man restraineth and holdeth fast his means for his own comfort and succour, according as Solomon saith, "The riches of a man are as a strong hold in his own imagination:" and therefore we see by infinite examples, and none more memorable than that of Constantinus the last emperor of the Greeks, and the citizens of Constantinople, that subjects do often choose rather to be frugal dispensers for their enemies, than liberal lenders to their prince. Again, wheresoever the wealth of the subject is engrossed into few hands, it is not possible it should be so respondent and yielding to payments and contributions for the public, both because the true estimation or assessment of great wealth is more obscure and uncertain j and because the burden seemeth lighter when the charge lieth upon many hands; and farther, because the same greatness of wealth is for the most partnot collected and obtained without sucking it from many, according to the received similitude of the spleen, which never swelleth but when the rest of the body pineth and abateth. And lastly, it cannot be that any wealth should leave a second overplus for the public that doth not first leave an overplus to the private stock of him that gathers it j and therefore nothing is more certain, than that those states are least able to aid and defray great charge for wars, or other public disbursements, whose wealth resteth chiefly in the hands of the nobility and gentlemen. For what by reason of their magnificence and waste in expense, and what by reason of their desire to advance and make great their own families, and again upon the coincidence of the former reason, because they are always the fewest; small is the help, as to payments or charge, that can be levied or expected from them towards the occasions of a state. Contrary it is of such states whose wealth resteth in the hands of merchants, burghers, tradesmen, freeholders, farmers in the country, and the like, whereof we have a most evident and present example before our eyes, in our neighbours of the Low Countries, who could never have endured and continued so inestimable and insupportable charge, either 'by their natural frugality or by their mechanical industry, were it not also that there was a concurrence in them of this last reason, which is, that their wealth was dispersed in many hands, and not engrossed into few; and those hands were not much of the nobility, but most and generally of inferior conditions.
To make application of this part concerning treasure to your Majesty's kingdoms:
First, I suppose I cannot err, that as to the endowment of your crown, there is not any crown of Europe, that hath so great a proportion of demesne and land revenue. Again, he thatshall look into your prerogative shall find it to have as many streams to feed your treasury, as the prerogative of any of the said kings, and yet without oppression or taxing of your people. For they be things unknown in many other states, that all rich mines should be yours, though in the soil of your subjects; that all wardships should be yours, where a tenure in chief is, of lands held of your subjects; that all confiscations and escheats of treason should be yours, though the tenure be of the subject; that all actions popular, and the fines and casualties thereupon, may be informed in your name, and should be due unto you, and a moiety at the least where the subject himself informs. And farther, he that shall look into your revenues at the ports of the sea, your revenues in courts of justice, and for the stirring of your seals, the revenues upon your clergy, and the rest, will conclude, that the law of England studied how to make a rich crown, and yet without levies upon your subject. For merchandising, it is true, it was ever by the kings of this realm despised, as a thing ignoble and indign for a king, though it is manifest, the situation and commodities of this island considered, it is infinite, what your Majesty might raise, if you would do as a king of Portugal doth, or a duke of Florence, in matter of merchandise. As for the wealth of the subject :*
To proceed to the articles affirmative, the first was,
That the true greatness of an estate consisteth in the natural and fit situation of the region or place. ,
Wherein I mean nothing superstitiously touching the fortunes or fatal destiny of any places, nor philosophically touching their configuration with the superior globe. But I understand proprieties and respects merely civil and according to the nature of human actions, and the true considerations of estate. Out of which duly weighed, there doth arise a triple distribution of the fitness of a region for a great monarchy. First, that it be of hard access. Secondly, that it be seated in no extreme angle, but commodiously in the midst of many regions. And thirdly, that it be maritime, or at the least upon great navigable rivers; and be not inland or mediterrane. And that these are not conceits, bnt notes of event, it appeareth manifestly, that all great monarchies and states have been seated in such manner, as, if you would place them again, observing these three points which I have mentioned, you cannot place them better; which shows the pre-eminence of nature, unto which human industry or accident cannot be equal, specially in any continuance of time. Nay, if a man look into these things more attentively, he shall see divers of these seats of monarchies, how fortune hath hovered still about the places, coming and going only in regard of the fixed reason of the conveniency of the place, which is immutable. And therefore, first we see the excellent situation of
• Memorandum, Here was a blank side left, to continue the sense.
./Egypt; which seemeth to have been the most ancient monarchy, how conveniently it stands upon a neck of land commanding both seas on either side, and embracing, as it were with two arms, Asia and Africk, besides the benefit of the famous river of Nilus. And therefore we see what hath been the fortune of that country, there having been two mighty returns of fortune, though at great distance of time; the one in the times of Sesostris, and the other in the empire of the Mamalukes, besides the middle greatness of the kingdom of the Ptolemies, and of the greatness of the caliphs and sultans in the latter times. And this region, we see likewise, is of strait and defensible access, being commonly called of the Romans, Claustra Mgypti* Consider in like manner the situation of Babylon, being planted most strongly in regard of lakes and overflowing grounds between the two great navigable rivers of Euphrates and Tigris, and in the very heart of the world: having regard to the four cardines of east and west and northern and southern regions. And therefore we see, that although the sovereignty alter, yet the seat still of the monarchy remains in that place. For after the monarchies of the kings of Assyria, which wrere natural kings of that place, yet when the foreign kings of Persia came in, the seat remained. For although the mansion of the persons of the kings of Persia were sometimes at Susa, and sometimes at Ecbatana, which were termed their winter and their summer parlours, because of the mildness of the air in the one, and the freshness in the other; yet the city of estate continued to be Babylon. Therefore we see, that Alexander the Great, according to the advice of Calanns the
Indian, that showed him a bladder, which, if it were borne down at one end, would rise at the other, and therefore wished him to keep himself in the middle of his empire, chose accordingly Babylon for his seat, and died there. And afterwards likewise in the family of Seleucus and his descendants, kings of the east, although divers of them, for their own glory, were founders of cities of their own names, as Antiochia, Seleucia, and divers others, which they sought by all means to raise and adorn, yet the greatness still remained according unto nature with the ancient seat. Nay, further on, the same remained during the greatness of the kings of Parthia, as appeareth by the verse of Lucan, who wrote in Nero's time.
Cumque superba staret Babylon spolianda trophttis.
And after that, again it obtained the seat of the highest caliph or successors of Mahomet. And at this day, that which they call Bagdat, which joins to the ruin of the other, containeth one of the greatest satrapies of the Levant. So again Persia, being a country imbarred with mountains, open to the seas, and the middle of the world, we see hath had three memorable revolutions of great monarchies. The first in the time of Cyrus; the second in the time of the new Artaxerxes, who raised himself in the reign of Alexander Severus, emperor of Rome; and now of late memory, in Ismael the sophy, whose descendants continue in empire and competition with the Turks to this day.
So again Constantinople, being one of the most excellentest seats of the world, in the confines of Europe and Asia.
ADVICE TO SIR GEORGE VILLIERS,
AFTERWARDS DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM,
WHEN HE BECAME FAVOURITE TO KING JAMES;
RECOMMENDING MANY IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO GOVERN HIMSELF
WRITTEN BY SIR FRANCIS BACON, ON THE IMPORTUNITY OF HIS PATRON AND FRIEND.
What you requested of me by word, when I last waited on you, you have since renewed by your letters. Your requests are commands unto me; and yet the matter is of that nature, that I find myself very unable to serve you therein as you desire. It hath pleased the king to cast an extraordinary eye of favour upon you, and you express yourself very desirous to win upon the judgment of your master, • Mem. To add the reasons of the three properties.
and not upon his affections only. I do very much commend your noble ambition herein; for favour so bottomed is like to be lasting; whereas, if it be built but upon the sandy foundation of personal respects only, it cannot be long-lived.
[My lord, when the blessing of God, to whom in the first place I know you W1"otchets^
ascribe your preferment, and the king's borrowed from , ... .. " the onmnnl favour, purchased by your noble parts, edition pubpromising as much as can be expected l,'^11ed in 4,°' from a gentleman, had brought you to
this high pitch of honour, to be in the eye, and ear, and even in the bosom of your gracious master; and you had found by experience the trouble of all men's confluence, and for all matters, to yourself, as a mediator between them and their sovereign, you were pleased to lay this command upon me : first in general, to give you my poor advice for your carriage in so eminent a place, and of so much danger if not wisely discharged: next in particular by what means to'give despatches to suitors of all sorts, for the king's best service, the suitors' satisfaction, and your own ease. I humbly return you mine opinion in both these, such as a hermit rather than a courtier can render.]
Yet in this you have erred, in applying yourself tome, the most unworthy of your servants, to give assistance upon so weighty a subject.
You know, I am no courtier, nor versed in state afTairs; my life, hitherto, hath rather been contemplative than active; I have rather studied books than men; I can but guess, at the most, at these things, in which you desire to be advised: nevertheless, to show my obedience, though with the hazard of my discretion, I shall yield unto you.
Sir, in the first place, I shall be bold to put you in mind of the present condition you are in; you are not only a courtier, but a bed-chamber man, and so are in the eye and ear of your master: but you are also a favourite; the favourite of the time, and so are in his bosom also; the world hath so voted you, and doth so esteem of you: for kings and great princes, even the wisest of them, have had their friends, their favourites, their privadoes, in all ages; for they have their affections as well as other men. Of these they make several uses: sometimes to communicate and debate their thoughts with them, and to ripen their judgments thereby ; sometimes to ease their cares by imparting them; and sometimes to interpose them between themselves and the envy or malice of their people; for kings cannot err, that must be discharged upon the shoulders of their ministers; and they who are nearest unto them must be content to bear the greatest load. [Remember then what your true condition is: the king himself is above the reach of his people, but cannot be above their censures; and you are his shadow, if either he commit an error, and is loth to avow it, but excuses it upon his ministers, of which you are first in the eye; or you commit the fault or have willingly permitted it, and must suffer for it: and so perhaps you may be offered a sacrifice to appease the multitude.] But truly, Sir, I do not believe or suspect that you are chosen to this cminency, out of the last of these considerations; for you serve such a master, who by his wisdom and goodness is as free from the malice or envy of his subjects, as I think, I may truly say, ever any king was, who hath sat upon his throne before him: but I am confident, his Majesty hath cast his eyes upon you, as finding you to be such as you should be, or hoping to make you to be such as he would have you to be; for this I may say, without flattery, your outside promiseth as much as can be expected from a gentleman: but be it in the one respect or other,
it belongeth to you to take care of yourself, and to know well what the name of a favourite signifies. If you be chosen upon the former respects, you have reason to take care of your actions and deportment, out of your gratitude, for the king's sake; but if out of the latter, you ought to take the greater care for your own sake.
You are as a new-risen star, and the eyes of all men are upon you; let not your own negligence make you fall like a meteor.
[Remember well the great trust you have undertaken; you are as a continual centinel, always to stand upon your watch to give him true intelligence. If you flatter him, you betray him; if you conceal the truth of those things from him which concern his justice or his honour, although not the safety of his person, you are as dangerous a traitor to his state, as he that riseth in arms against him. A false friend is more dangerous than an open enemy: kings are styled gods upon earth, not absolute, but "Dixi, dii estis;" and the next words are, "sed moriemini sicut homines;" they shall die like men, and then all their thoughts perish. They cannot possibly see all things with their own eyes, nor hear all things with their own ears; they must commit many great trusts to their ministers. Kings must be answerable to God Almighty, to whom they are but vassals, for their actions, and for their negligent omissions: but the ministers to kings, whose eyes, ears, and hands they are, must be answerable to God and man for the breach of their duties, in violation of their trusts, whereby they betray them. Opinion is a muster wheel in these cases: that courtier who obtained a boon of the emperor, that he might every morning at his coming into his presence humbly whisper him in the ear and say nothing, asked no unprofitable suit for himself: but such a fancy raised only by opinion cannot be long-lived, unless the man have solid worth to uphold it; otherwise when once discovered it vanisheth suddenly. But when a favourite in court shall be raised upon the foundation of merits, and together with the care of doing good service to the king, shall give good despatches to the suitors, then can he not choose but prosper.]
The contemplation then of your present condition must necessarily prepare you for action: what time can be well spared from your attendance on your master, will be taken up by suitors, whom you cannot avoid nor decline without reproach. For if you do not already, you will soon find the throng of suitors attend you; for no man, almost, who hath to do with the king, will think himself safe, unless you be his good angel, and guide him; or at least that you be not a malus genius against him: so that, in respect of the king your master, you must be very wary that you give him true information; and if the matter concern him in his government, that you do not flatter him: if you do, you are as great a traitor to him in the court of heaven, as he that draws his sword against him: and in respect of the suitors which shall attend you, there is nothing will bring you more honour and more ease, than to do them what right in justice you may, and with as much