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a better provision against them. Epimetheus, when griefs and evils flew abroad, at last shut the lid, and kept Hope in the bottom of the vessel. Certainly, the politic and artificial nourishing and entertaining of hopes, and carrying men from hopes to hopes, is one of the best antidotes against the poison of discontentments; and it is a certain sign of a wise government and procecding, when it can hold men's hearts by hopes, when it cannot by satisfaction ; 51 and when it can handle things in such manner as no evil shall appear so peremptory but that it hath some outlet of hope; which is the less hard to do, because both particular persons and factions are apt enough to flatter themselves, or at least to brave that which they believe not.

Also the foresight and prevention, that there be no likely or fit head whereunto discontented persons may resort, and under whom they may join, is a known, but an excellent point of caution. I understand a fit head to be one that hath greatness and reputation, that hath confidence with the discontented party, and


whom they turn their eyes, and that is thought discontented in his own particular;52 which kind of persons are either to be won and reconciled to the state, and that in a fast and true manner; or to be fronted with some other of the same party that may oppose them, and so divide the reputation. Generally, the dividing and breaking of all factions and combinations that are adverse to the state, and setting them at distance, or, at least, distrust amongst themselves, is not one of the worst remedies ; for it is a desperate case, if those that hold with the proceeding of the state be full of discord and faction, and those that are against it be entire and united.

I have noted, that some witty and sharp speeches,53 which have fallen from princes, have given fire to Seditions. Cæsar did himself infinite hurt in that speech : Sylla nescivit literas, non potuit dictare;' for it did utterly cut off that hope which men had entertained, that he would at one time or other give over his dictatorship. Galba undid himself by that speech, ' Lrgi a se militem, non emi ;' for it put the soldiers out of hope of the donative. Probus, likewise, by that speech, ‘Si vixero, non opus erit amplius Romano imperio militibus;' a speech of great despair for the soldiers ; and many the like. Surely princes had need in tender 54 matters and ticklish 55 times to beware what they say, especially in these short speeches, which fly abroad like darts, and are thought to be shot out of their secret intentions; for as for large discourses, they are flat things, 56 and not so much noted.

Lastly, let princes, against all events, 57 not be without some great person, one or rather more, of military valour, near unto them, for the repressing of Seditions in their beginnings; for without that, there useth to be more trepidation in court upon the first breaking out of troubles than were fit; and the state runneth the danger of that which Tacitus saith : 'Atque is habitus animorum fuit, ut pessimum facinus auderent pauci, plures vellent, omnes paterentur:'58 but let such military persons be assured, 59 and well reputed of, rather than factious and popular ; 60 holding also good correspondence with the other great men in the state; or else the remedy is worse than the disease.

NOTES ON ESSAY XV. I. Calendars.' The word seems here used to mean accurate pre

dictions of the weather; the word used for it in the Latin edition is prognostica.

A calendar is an almanac or ephemeris, giving the computed positions of heavenly bodies for every day in the year, and other data for the use of the astronomer or navigator. The heavenly bodies, especially the moon, were believed to influence human affairs, especially the weather; and hence almanacs commonly

contained weather prognostications such as are alluded to here. 2. equality'-level. The analogical argument which Bacon

uses is a poor and unsound one; he says that just as the weather is generally rough and stormy at times when the nights are equal to the days, so seditions are most frequent and troublesome when the poorer classes enjoy prosperity and lose some of their respect for wealth and rank. He seems to think it dangerous either that the higher classes should

decline or the lower make progress. 3. 'cquinoctia'--the equinoxes. The word equinox is now thor

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oughly Anglicised; but in Bacon's time the pure Latin word

equinoctium was used. 4. The quotation is from Virgil's Georgics, i, 465: 'He (the Sun)

also often warns us that tumults are at hand, that conspiracies

and secretly-plotted wars are ready to burst forth.' 5. Quoted from Virgil's Æneid, iv, 179-181: 'Mother earth, exas

perated at the anger of the gods, brought her forth, a last birth

(as they say), sister to the giants Cæus and Enceladus.' 6. 'fames'—seditious rumours, false and libellous news. 7. plausible?-praiseworthy, to be applauded. 8. 'traduced'—misrepresented, calumniated, defamed. 9. Quoted, but not with literal accuracy, from Tacitus, Hist., i, 7:

'When once public odium is inflamed, all his actions are

assailed whether good or bad.' 10. that.'

The repetition of this word is ungrammatical. Its insertion may be due to oversight, or to a desire to give clearness, or simply to the common custom, now obsolete, of using that as a mere expletive, e.g. because that, in that,

for that, before that, etc. 11. 'going about'-attempt, endeavour.

• They never go about to hide or palliate their vices'-Swift.

'Why go ye about to kill me?'—John vii, 19. 12. They (the soldiers) attended to their duties, but still as pre

ferring that the commands of their rulers should be discussed

than obeyedTacitus' Hist., ii, 39. 13. assay'-attempt, trial. 14. •for’-in favour of. 15. "common parents '-parents to the whole state or common

wealth, and not to a party in the state.

The word common is properly used (like general, for which see note 11, Essay VI) in an unrestricted sense for pertaining to all. It is the opposite to proper, which means confined to

Thus, commons are lands of unrestricted ownership; a common room is one which is open for the use of all; the • Book of Common Prayer' is so called because designed for

the use of the whole realm. 16. “League.' Henry III, a weak and self-indulgent King of

France, joined the Holy League, which had been founded by the Guises in support of the Catholic party against the Huguenots. In 1588, however, the power of the League

was turned against him, and he was driven out of Paris. 17. accessary'-subordinate, inferior help. 18. other bands,' etc. When a party is formed upon some principle

or pretext which overrides that loyalty to the sovereign wiich

ought to be absolutely supreme in all matters. 19. primum mobile.' in the old or Ptolemaic system of astro

nomy, which was the one commonly believed for thirteen



hundred years, the earth was supposed to be placed in the centre of the universe, with the heavens revolving round it diurnally. The outermost or tenth heaven was beyond the farthest stars, and was called primum mobile (the first movable), because it was supposed to be the real moving power of the whole universe, carrying all the stars and planets round with its swift motion every twenty-four hours.

But the planets were thought to have another motion of their own, gentler and slower than that mighty and swift motion communicated to them by primum mobile.

Bacon, who is fond of this illustration, compares the power of constituted and recognised authority to that of primum mobile, but the efforts a man should make for his own selfaggrandisement to the gentler planetary motion, and says that when men increase this latter motion and make it violent, it shows the whole system of government to be out of order.

Bacon speaks of the Ptolemaic system as an 'old belief,' but he himself certainly did not altogether disbelieve it. The reader will find an interesting allusion to the two sy;tems in Milton's Paradise Lost, iv, 592, 599. every'--for every one.

If every of your wishes had a womb'-Antony and Cleopatra.

Every of the happy number'--As You Like It. 21. 'Too freely to respect their own rulers.' Quoted, but inac

curately, from Tacitus' Annals, iii, 4. dissolving thereof.' Who threatens as one of His most fearsul

punishments, that He will destroy this reverence, in the words,

* I will loosen the bands of kings '- Isa. xlv, 1. 23. 'light'-knowledge, clearness of understanding. 24. bear it'-suffer the cause (' matter ') of them to be removed. 25. 'so many,' etc. As many men as there are in reduced and

impoverished condition, so many abettors are there of con

spiracy and revolution. 26. 'Hence came devouring usury and interest rapidly accumulating

in time, hence shaken credit, and war profitable to many.

The quotation is from Lucan's Pharsalia, i, 181. 27. the belly'-hunger, starvation. Those rebellions that are

inflamed by purely political feeling are not so dangerous as

those caused by the sufferings of a starving people. 28. rise'--rebel, rise in rebellion. 29. ` 70 grief there is a limit, not so to fear'—Pliny's Letters, viii, 30. mate'—to match. Not, however (as in Essay II, note 10),

with the object of opposing but of helping. Cf. helpmate,

mate; and the verb to mate in the sense of to marry. 31. secure'

'-careless, free from anxiety. See note 5, Éssay V.

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17, 6.

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32. (strangers.' The presence of prosperous foreigners (as Jews)

in a country has often been a cause of discontentment and envy, leading to riotous outbreaks, and at various times such men have been the subjects of restrictive enactments with re

gard to their trade, profits, apprentices. 33. `just'-exact, precise, specially adapted for each case. Bacon

says this must be left rather to counsel than rule,'i.e, must be matter of special consideration in each instance, and cannot be determined by any invariable rule which shall apply

to all. 34. estate'—state, commonwealth. 35. well balancing of trade'—state interference by enforced and

artificial means, to prevent too great a development in one branch of industry, which might cause a decay in some other branch.

Formerly state interference of this kind was considered not only advisable but necessary, and hence the frequency of sumptuary laws for the artificial regulation of matters that would now be left to the control of natural laws. Thus, to cherish' one trade, every farmer was compelled to plant a certain proportion of his land every year with hemp. In the Tudor period a great number of weavers were thrown out of employ by the action of wealthy clothiers in buying and working their own looms, or letting them out to private householders; a law was passed in 1557 absolutely prohibiting the letting out of a loom, and enacting that no private house should have in it more than one loom. As the woollen manufacture prospered and developed, there was a tendency to extinguish small farming by aggregating into large pasture farms, tended by few labourers, the multitude of tillage farms that had been cultivated by many labourers; for many years the legislature of the same period strove to prevent this. (See the 'engrossing great pasturages ' a few lines further on in this essay.) So also prices were regulated by law, and the materials and style of dress assigned compulsorily to the various ranks, with a view to maintain established industries and to provide occupation for all able-bodied men in the realm.

Sumptuary laws are now regarded as an exploded fallacy, and no doubt they failed in their object in most cases to which they were applied. But they probably had a moral if not a statutory value, being rather authoritative declarations of what was considered right, than as legal enactments to

which obedience could be compelled. 36. stock '-produce. Cf. live stock, stock of a farm. The word

is used in the same sense eight lines below, where he means that the labours of the clergy not ma

any increase in the produce of the country.

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