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Ille etiam cæcos inftare Tumultus Sepe monet, Fraudesque, et operta tumescere Bella.
Libels and licentious Discourses against the State, when they are frequent and open; and in like fort, false News, often running up and down, to the Disadvantage of the State, and hastily embraced; are amongst the Signs of Troubles. Virgil, giving the Pedigree of Fame, faith, She was sister to the Giants :
Illam Terra Parens, irâ irritata Deorum, Extremam (ut perhibent) Gæo Enceladoque fororem Progenuit.
As if Fames were the Relics of Seditions past; but they are no less, indeed, the preludes of Seditions to come. Howsoever, he noteth it right, that Seditious Tumults, and Seditious Fames, differ no more, but as Brother and Sister, Masculine and Feminine; especially, if it come to that, that the best Actions of a State, and the most plausible, and which ought to give greatest Contentment, are taken in ill Sense, and traduced: for that shews the Envy great, as Tacitus faith ; Conflatâ magnâ Invidia, seu benè, seu malè, gefta premunt. Neither doth it follow, that because these Fames are a Sign of Troubles, that the suppressing of them, with too much Severity, should be a Remedy of Troubles. For the despising of them, many times checks them beft; and the going about to stop them, doth but make a Wonder long-lived. Also that kind of Obedience, which Tacitus speaketh of, is to be held
suspected ; Erant in officio, sed tamen qui mallent Imperantium mandata interpretari, quàm exequi : disputing, excusing, caviling upon Mandates and Directions, is a kind of shaking off the Yoke, and affay of Disobedience : Especially, if in those Difputings, 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 as a Boat that is overthrown, by uneven weight on the one Side; as was well feen, 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 be other Bands, that tie faster than the Band of Sovereignty, Kings begin to be put almost out of Poffeffion.
Also when Discords, and Quarrels, and Factions are Carried openly and audaciously; it is a Sign, the Reverence of Government is loft. 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, Liberiùs, quàm 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 diffolving thereof; Solvam cingula Regum. 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 Ufura vorax, rapidumque in tempore Fænus, Hinc concussa Fides, & multis utile Bellum.
This fame 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 Neceflity 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 enflame. 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 fpurn 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. Dolendi Modus, Timendi non item. Besides, in great Oppressions, the same Things that provoke the Patience, do withal 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 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; 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 juft 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 fpake; which is Want and Poverty in the Eftate. 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 Hulbanding 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, 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 for as much as the increase of any Estate, must be upon