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Kings. For, though a man by force do subdue cities and countries, yet he ought to rule according to reason, and, if he knew God, according to the law of God: But when he is admitted king by the people, and hath his power from them, he may not subject the people to any other power; yet he hath a great and large prerogative, which he may use at his pleasure.

And here I think it not amiss to set down some few laws and customs of other common-wealths, whereby their good government may appear, they not being christians. Ptolemæus, King of Egypt, feaşted one day seven ambassadors, which, at his request, shewed unto him three of their principal laws and customs. And first the ambassador of Rome said, We have the temples in great reverence, we are very obedient to our governors, and we do punish wicked men severely. The Carthaginian ambassador said, Our noblemen never left fighting, the artificers never left labouring, nor the philosophers never left teaching. The Sicilian said, In our common-wealth justice is exactly kept, merchandise is exercised with truth, and all men account themselves equal. The Rhodians said, That, at Rhodes, old men are honest, young men shamefaced, and women use very few words. The Athenians said, In our common-wealth rich men are not suffered to be divided into factions, nor, poor men to be idle, nor the governors to be ignorant. The Lacedemonians said, In Sparta envy reigneth not, for all men are equal ; nor covetousness, for all goods are common; nor sloth, for all men labour. In our common-wealth, said the ambassador of the Sicyonians, voyages are not permitted, because they should not bring bome new factions; physicians are not suffered, lest they should kill the sound ; nor lawyers to take upon them the defence of causes and suits. And to these may be added Anacharsis's letter to the Athenians, wherein he counselleth them to chuse a king that is just in his sentence, true to his word, constant in his act, secret and liberal, for these be the principal moral virtues most necessary in a prince.

A prince ought to be just in his sentence, according to the words of Sulomon Wis. 1. saying, “ Love justice, you that judge the earth ;' for a just king doth advance his country; and the king, that judgeth the poor rightly, his throne shall be established for ever.

Now, to shew what manner of man is fittest to govern, I read in Livy, that men born in arms, great in deeds, and rude in eloquence, ought to be chosen counsellors; and that men of quick spirits, sharp wits, and learned in the law, and eloquence, should be for the city; for the prince ought to be a martial man, stout and courageous, to defend his subjects, and offend his enemies; not to be curious to speak eloquently, but to deliver his mind plainly and wisely, it being more necessary for a prince to do well, than speak well. Paucinus saith, those are to be hated, who in their acts are fools, and in their words philosophers; for wise words are not commendable, if the deeds be not answerable : They therefore, saith Plato, that will have glory in this life, and attain to glory after death, and be beloved of many, and feared of all, let them be virtuous in good works, and deceive no man with vain words. All good and worthy princes have laboured to attain to this wisdom, and to exact justice most exactly, insomuch that some have

not spared their own children, so sacred a thing they ever held justice to be: As for example, Brutus, understanding that his two sons were of the conspiracy of Tarquinius Superbus. Alexander Magnus was so far from being transported from justice, as, when any man made complaint to him of another, he stopped always one ear, saying, he must keep that for the party accused. King Edgar of England had likewise that care to do justice, as in winter time he would ride


and down the country, and make enquiry of the misdemeanors of his officers and governors, and punished them severely that offended the law. And as the followers of justice shall not only be glorious on earth, but live in eternal glory; so the princes that minister injustice, and do not judge rightly, shall reap infamy on earth, and undergo the high displeasure of God; for the royal prophet saith, that 'God is terrible to the kings of the earth,' Psal. lxxv. which doth very well appear, by the strange punishments which he oftentimes inflicts upon them, as upon Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Uzziah, Joram, Antiochus, Herod; Memprisius, King of Britain, who was devoured by wolves; Seldred, a Saxon, King of England, who was killed by the devil, as he was banqueting with his nobility. And many more for their injustice have been very strangely punished, and oftentimes lost their kingdoms, as appeareth from Eccles. chap. xi. being transferred from nation to nation for injustice and injuries; therefore it behoveth a prince to take special care hereunto.

Next, it is requisite that a prince be true to his word, both towards God and man; for Solomon saith, that a‘lying lip doth not become a prince, Prov. xvii. Many examples might be given touching several princes, who have been severely punished for breach of faith : As, for example, Charles the 70th King of France, when he was Dauphin, made John, Duke of Burgundy believe that he would make peace

with him, whereupon they met at a place appointed, where Charles caused the Duke to be presently killed; but Charles after this was forced to ask Philip forgiveness openly by his ambassadors. Charles the last Duke of Burgundy having given safe conduct to the Earl of St. Paul, constable of France, took him prisoner, and delivered him to the French King, who put him to death for his treachery, and set the said Earl free. Thus you may see how honourable it is to keep their word, and what they deserve that falsify their faith; for, a faithless prince is beloved of none, but hated of all; suspected of his friends, not trusted of his enemies, and forsaken of all men in his greatest necessity.

Also a prince ought to be religious, for Solomon saith, "God preserveth the state of the righteous, and is a father to them that walk uprightly,' Prov. chap. ii. and in Deut. xvii. a king is commanded, after he be placed in his kingdom, to read the book of Deuteronomy, that he may learn to fear God, and keep his words, for so doing a prince shall prosper.

It is also expedient that a prince bave special care that he put not his hand in innocent blood, neither by tyranny, malice, ambition, policy, or false reports or informations ; for to be a tyrant is odious to God and man, and to bring himself to an evil end. As for example, King John of England murdered his nephew, and in the end was murdered

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himself. Richard Duke of Gloucester murdered his two nephews, sons to Edward the Fourth, to make himself king, and after was slain in Bosworth by Henry the Seventh ; for blood requires blood, and let a bloody prince never look for a better end.

But many princes have been mightily abused by false reports, and wrong informations ; David therefore prayed God to deliver bim from wicked lips, and a lying tongue,' Psal. cxix. and in Eccles. vi. it is said, Separate thyself from thy enemies, and beware even of thy friends ;* for where a man doth trust the most there a man may be soonest de ceived, as was Francis Duke of Britain, who put his brother Giles to death

upon the false report of those who went messengers between them, and after put them to death also ; therefore a prince should duly examine every report whether it be true, or not, before he give credit thereunto, and especially if it concern life, for innocent blood doth cry to God for revenge, as appeareth in the Apoc. vi. saying, “How long, Lord, holy and just, judgest thou not, and revengest not our blood upon them that dwell upon the earth ?'

I have read that Appelles drew the picture of a king (which he sent to Ptolemæus) set in a chair of state, with great hands, great ears, and besides him Ignorance, Suspicion, a Tale-teller, and Flattery: These will labour to be about a prince, therefore a prince must labour to avoid them. It is therefore a happy thing for princes to have those about them that will not flatter, tut tell the truth. Therefore the Emperor Gordian said, that prince was very unfortunate, who hath not about him those that may plainly tell him the truth ; for a king knoweth not what passeth, but by relation of those who converse with him. Theopompus being asked, How a prince might preserve his kingdom? said, By giving his friends liberty to speak the truth, and keeping his subjects from oppression.

A prince should be very careful in making choice of his counsellors, for Plato saith, that many princes are undone, for want of faithful friends and servants to counsel them; therefore Alfred, King of England, sought out the wisest and most learned men to be of his council. The Emperor Constantius, to make proof of bis friends, made shew to abandon Christian Religion, and to turn to Idolatry; he was instantly applauded by a great number, whom presently he banished the country, for a prince shall never want followers. I wish that our gracious sovereign would make this his precedent: But, to my former discourse. Counsellors, saith Julius Cæsar, in one of his orations to the senate, should not be led by malice, friendship, anger, nor mercy; and, if they concur in one lawful opinion, though the prince be opposite, yet it is fitting he should yield to them, for so did the Emperor Marcus Antonivus, saying: It must be as you will, for it is greater reason that 1, being one, should follow your opinion, than you, being many, wise, and learned, should yield to mine.

If a prince take aid of a stranger stronger than himself, he may thereby endanger bis state; as, for example, the Heruls, Goths, and Lombards, who came into Italy for succour, became lords thereof; so did they of Franconia, with their King Pl. by Pharamond; the Galls, now France, and the Saxons did the like to England.

How to get and keep the love of his subjects.

A PRINCE, to the end he may be strong at home, and need no foreign forces, should always expect his own subjects, (especially men of worth and service) as well in peace as war, that he may win the love and hearts of his subjects, the meanest whereof may, do him service, in some kind, at one time or other: For Seneca saith, The only inexpugnable force of a prince is the love of his subjects. Antoninus Pius would say, that he had rather preserve one of his subjects, than kill a thousand of his enemies. And Pythagoras affirmeth, that subjects are to the prince, as the wind to the fire; for the stronger the wind, the greater the fire; so the richer the subjects be, the stronger the prince ; but, where Machiavel's principles take effect, there the subjects must be made poor, by continual subsidies, exactions, and impositions, that the people may always be kept under as slaves, and fear their prince; which course extinguisheth the love of the people towards the prince, and ingendereth hatred (the actions of the clergy, evil counsellors of the state, monopolies, and other Machiavilian practices of some great ones in authority, have almost pmcured the same effect in England). Philip Commines greatly blameth such princes, as seek not to compound and end discords and quarrels amongst their greatest subjects, but rather nourish the one part; wherein they do but set their own house on fire, as did the wife of Henry the Sixth, taking part with the Duke of Somerset, against the Earl of Warwick, which caused the war betwixt York and Lancaster. Augustus the emperor made a law concerning exactions, which he called Augusta, that no payment should be exacted of the people, but for the profit of the common-wealth. And, when Marcus Antoninus laid a double tax upon the people, they answered, That, if he would have two taxes in one year, he must give them two summers, two harvests, and two vintages, for the people cannot endure to be overcharged; if they be, great inconveniency may grow thereby, (our later times give apparent testimonies of the truth of this particular), A prince therefore shonld love and cherish his subjects, but not oppress them; for Tiberius Nero, when some persuaded him to take great tributes of the provinces, said, That a good shepherd should shear his sheep, but not devour them; and That state (saith Thales) is best ordered, which hath in it neither too wealthy, nor too poor citizens.

It is not for a prince to make war upon every small occasion, but to be sure the cause be good and just; which then will bring honour to his person, safety to his soul, and encouragement to all his soldiers: Yet, according to the saying of Octavius Cæsar, neither battle, nor war, is to be undertaken, unless there be evidently seen more hope of gain, than fear of damage ; but, above all, a religious peace is to be embraced by a prince, and so to be offered to his enemy; for • blessed is the peace-maker, for he shall inherit the kingdom of God:' Which, that

all do, let us endeayour to purchase a peace by our timely tepentance, and hearty prayers. When the Israelites had sinned, and God had resolved to destroy them, Moses rose up, and by his prayers NOL, V,


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became a mediator betwixt God and them, so that God's justice was converted to mercy. Is there not in all this spacious kingdom one religious Moses to stand betwixt God's justice and our sins, by his prayers to purchase a pardon, and remove this threatening mischief which hangs over our heads ? O that God would put it into the hearts both of prince and people, to join with one heart and one voice, and cry unto the Lord, for who knows what an effect such an union may produce ? Who knows whether the Lord will repent him of his wrath, and turn this destruction from us?






Written by the Right Honourable Robert, late Earl of Salisbury.

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London, printed in 1642. Quarto, containing seventeen pages.


LL officers and counsellors of princes have a prescribed authority by

patent, by custom, or by oath, the secretary only excepted; but, to the secretary, out of a confidence and singular affection, there is a liberty to negotiate at discretion at home and abroad, with friends and enemies, in all matters of speech and intelligence.

All servants of princes deal upon strong and wary authority and warrant in disbursements as Treasurers, in conference with enemies as Generals, in commissions in executing offices by patent and instructions, and so in whatever else; only a secretary hath no warrant or com

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