Home / News
15. Of Seditions (continued)
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 upon whom they turn their eyes; and that is thought discontented, in his own particular: 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, which have fallen from princes, have given fire to seditions. Caesar 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, legi 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 matters and ticklish 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, and not so much noted.
Lastly, let princes, against all events, not be without some great person, one or rather more, of military valor, 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. But let such military persons be assured, and well reputed of, rather than factious and popular; holding also good correspondence with the other great men in the state; or else the remedy, is worse than the disease.
This is page 32 of 123. [Mark this Page]
Mark any page to add this title to Your Bookshelf. (0 / 10 books on shelf)
Buy a copy of Essays of Francis Bacon at Amazon.com
Customize text appearance:
(c) 2003-2012 LiteraturePage.com and Michael Moncur.
For information about public domain texts appearing here, read the copyright information and disclaimer.