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while they stand, do enervate and destroy the forces of the natives which they have subdued, resting upon their own protecting forces; and then, when they fail also all goes to ruin, and they become a prey ; so was it in the decay of the Roman empire, and likewise in the empire of Almaigne, after Charles the Great,9 every bird taking a feather ; and were not unlike to befall to Spain, if it should break. The great accessions and unions of kingdoms do likewise stir up wars : for when a state grows to an over-power, it is like a great flood, that will be sure to overflow; as it hath been seen in the states of Rome, Turkey, Spain, and others. Look when the world hath fewest barbarous people, but such as commonly will not marry, or generate, except they know means to live (as it is almost everywhere at this day, except Tartary), there is no danger of inundations of people ; but when there be great shoals of people, which go on to populate, without foreseeing means of life and sustentation, it is of necessity that once in an age or two they discharge a portion of their people upon other nations, which the ancient northern people were wont to do by lot; casting lots what part should stay at home, and what should seek their fortunes. When a warlike state grows soft and effeminate, they may be sure of a war: for commonly such states are grown rich in the time of their degenerating : and so the prey inviteth, and their decay in valour encourageth a
As for the weapons, it hardly falleth under rule and observation : yet we see even they have recurns and vicissitudes ; for certain it is, that ordnance was known in the city of the Oxidraces, in India ; and was that which the Macedonians' called thunder and lightning, and magic ; ana it is well known that the use of ordnance hath been in China above two thousand years. The conditions of weapons, and their improvements are, first, the fetchings afar off; for that outruns the danger, as it is seen in ordnance and muskets ; secondly, the strength of the percussion, wherein likewise ordnance do exceed all arietations, and ancient inventions ; the third is, the commodious use of them, as that they inay Germany,
4 Charlemagne. * When led thither by Alexander the Great. • Striking. • Applicatijn of the "aries," or battering-ram.
serve in all weathers, that the carriage may be light and manageable, and the like.
For the conduct of the war: at the first, men rested extremely upon number ; they did put the wars likewise upon main force and valour, pointing days for pitched fields, and so trying it out upon an even match ; and they were more ignorant in ranging and arraying their battles. After they grew to rest upon number, rather competent than vast, they grew to advantages of place, cunning diversions, and the like, and they grew more skilful in the ordering of their battles.
In the youth of a state, arms do flourish ; in the middle age of a state, learning; and then both of them together for a time ; in the declining age of a state, mechanical arts and merchandise. Learning hath its infancy when it is but beginning, and almost childish; then its youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile ; then its strength of years, when it is solid and reduced ; and, lastly, its old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust; but it is not good to look too long upon these turning wheels of vicissitude, lest we become giddy : as for the philology of them, that is but a circle of tales, and therefore not fit for this writing.
A FRAGMENT OF AN ESSAY OF FAME."
THE poets make Fame a monster : they describe her in part finely and elegantly, and in part gravely and sententiously ; they say, Look how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath underneath, so many tongues, so many voices, she pricks up so many ears.
This is a flourish; there follow excellent parables ; as that she gathereth strength in going ; that she goeth upon the ground, and yet hideth her head in the clouds ; that in the day-time she sitteth in a watch-tower, and flieth most by night; that she mingleth things done with things not done; and that she is a terror to great cities ; but that which passeth all the rest is, they do recount that the Earth, mother
• This fragment was found among Lord Bacon's papers, and pub lished by Dr. Rawley.
of the giants that made war against Jupiter, and were by him destroyed, thereupon in anger brought forth Fame ; for certain it is, that rebels, figured by the giants, and seditious fames and libels are but brothers and sisters, masculine and feminine ; but now if a man can tame this monster, and bring her to feed at the hand and govern her, and with her fly other ravening fowl, and kill them, it is somewhat worth : but we are infected with the style of the poets. To speak now in a sad and serious manner, there is not in all the politics a place less handled, and more worthy to be handled, than this of fame. We will therefore speak of these points: what are false fames, and what are true fames, and how they may be best discerned ; how fames may be sown and raised; how they may be spread and multiplied ; and how they may be checked and laid dead ; and other things concerning the nature of fame. Fame is of that force, as there is scarcely any great action wherein it hath not a great part, especially in the war.
Mucianus undid Vitellius by a fame that he scattered, that Vitellius had in purpose to remove the legions of Syria into Germany, and the legions of Germany into Syria; whereupon the legions of Syria were infinitely inflamed. Julius Cæsar took Pompey unprovided, and laid asleep his industry and preparations by a fame that he cunningly gave out, how Cæsar's own soldiers loved him not; and being wearied with the wars, and laden with the spoils of Gaul, would forsake him as soon as he came into Italy. Livia settled all things for the succession of her son Tiberius, by continually giving out that her husband Augustus was upon recovery and amendment; and it is a usual thing with the bashaws to conceal the death of the Grand Turk from the janizaries and men of war, to save the sacking of Constantinople, and other towns, as their manner is. Themistocles made Xerxes, king of Persia, post apace out of Græcia, by giving out that the Grecians had a purpose to break his bridge of ships which he had made athwart Hellespont. There be a thousand such like examples, and the more they ure, the less they need to be repeated, because a man meeteth with them everywhere : therefore let all wise governors havo as great a watch and care over fames, as they have of the ections and designs themselves.
1. I HAVE often thought upon death, and I find it the least of all evils. All that which is past is as a dream ; and he that hopes or depends upon time coming, dreams waking. So much of our life as we have discovered is already dead ; and all those hours which we share, even from the breasts of our mothers, until we return to our grandmother the earth, are part of our dying days, whereof even this is one, and those that succeed are of the same nature, for we die daily; and as others have given place to us, so we must in the end give way to others.
2. Physicians in the name of death include all sorrow, anguish, disease, calamity, or whatsoever can fall in the life of
man, either grievous or unwelcome. But these things are familia, unto us, and we suffer them every hour; therefore we die daily, and I am older since I affirmed it.
3. I know many wise men that fear to die ; for the change is bitter, and flesh would refuse to prove it : besides, the expectation brings terror, and that exceeds the evil. But I do not believe that any man fears to be dead, but only the stroke of death ; and such are my hopes, that if heaver be pleased, and nature renew but my lease for twenty-one years more, without asking longer days, I shall be strong enough to acknowledge without mourning, that I was begotten mortal. Virtue walks not in the highway, though she go per alta ; this is strength and the blood to virtue, to contemn things that be desired, and to neglect that which is feared.
4. Why should man be in love with his fetters, though of gold ? Art thou drowned in security? Then I say
thou art perfectly dead. For though thou movest, yet thy soul is buried within thee, and thy good angel either forsakes his guard or sleeps. There is nothing under heaven, saving a true friend (who cannot be counted within the number of movables), unto which my heart doth lean. And this dear freedom hath begotten me this peace, that I mourn not for that end which must be, nor spend one wish to have one minute added to the uncertain date of my years.
It was no mean apprehension of Lucian, who says of Menippus, that in histravels through hell, he knew not the kings of the earth from other men but only by their louder cryings and tears, which were fostered in them through the remorseful memory of the good days they had seen, and the fruitful havings which they so unwillingly left behind them : he that was well seated, looked back at his portion, and was loth to forsake his farm; and others, either minding marriages, pleasures, profit, or preferment, desired to be excused from death's banquet : they had made an appointment with earth, looking at the blessings, not the hand that enlarged them, forgetting how unclothedly they came hither, or with wbat naked ornaments they were arrayed.
5. But were we servants of the precept given, and observers of the heathens' rule, memento mori, and not become benighted with this seeming felicity, we should enjoy it as men prepared to lose, and not wind up our thoughts upon so perishing a fortune : he that is not slackly strong (as the servants of pleasure), how can he be found unready to quit the veil and false visage of his perfection ? The soul having shaken off her flesh, doth then set up for herself, and contemning things that are under, shows what finger bath enforced her; for the souls of idiots are of the same piece with those of statesmen, but now and then nature is at a fault, and this good guest of ours takes soil in an imperfect body, and so is slackened from showing her wonders, like an excellent musician, which cannot utter himself upon a defective instrument.
6. But see how I am swerverl, and lose my course, touching at the soul that doth least hold action with death, who hath the surest property in this frail act; his style is the end of all flesh, and the beginning of incorruption.
This ruler of monuments leads men for the most part out of this world with their heels forward, in token that he is contrary to life, which being obtained, sends men headlong into this wretched theatre, where being arrived, their first language is that of mourning. Nor in my own thoughts, can I compare men more fitly to anything than to the Indian fig-tree, which, being ripened to his full height, is said to decline his branches down to the earth, whereof she conceives again, and they become roots in their own stock.
So man, having derived his being from the earth, first lives