Front Page Titles (by Subject) Errours of Government; And Rules of Policie. - Excellencie of a Free-State
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Errours of Government; And Rules of Policie. - Marchamont Nedham, Excellencie of a Free-State 
Excellencie of a Free-State: Or, The Right Constitution of a Commonwealth, edited and with an Introduction by Blair Worden (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Errours of Government; And Rules of Policie.
[MP 99, 22-29 Apr. 1652]
Having proved342 that the Originall of all just Power and Government is in the People; and that the Government of the People, in a due and orderly succession of their supream Assemblies, is much more excellent than any other Form, I suppose it falls in of course, in the next place, to note, and observe those common Errors in Policie, wherein most Countries of the World, (especially that part of it called Christendome) have been long intangled; that when the mystery of Tyrannie is undress’t, and stript of all its gaudy Robes, and gay Appearances, it may be hiss’t out of the Civill part of Mankind into the company of the more barbarous and brutish Nations.
One Errour in Government, is a corrupt division of a State into Ecclesiastical and civil.The first Errour that we shall observe in antient Christian Policie, and which hath indeed been a main foundation of Tyranny, is that corrupt Division of a State, into Ecclesiastical and Civil; A fault whereof our latest Refiners of Political Discourse, are as guilty in their Writings, as any others: But that there is the least footstep, in the Scripture, for Christians to follow such a Division of State, or to allow of a National way of Churching, which is the Root of that Division, could never yet be proved by any; and the contrary is very clear from the drift and scope of the Gospel. We read, indeed, of the Common-wealth of Israel343 being thus divided, and that it was done according to Rules and Constitutions of Gods own appointment; it being Gods way then, when he was pleased, to make choice of that people onely, out of all the World, to be his own peculiar, and so fixed his Church there in a Nationall Form: Then, it was confined and restrained to that particular Nation, excluding all others. But if any man will argue from hence, that it is lawfull for any Nation now under the Gospel to follow this pattern; then it behoves him, 1. to prove, that God intended the Jewish Government as a pattern for us to follow under the Gospel. And if any man will pretend to this, then in the second place, it will concern him to prove, that we are to follow it in every particular, or onely in some particulars. That we are to follow it in every one, no sober man did ever yet affirm: And if they will have us to follow it in some particulars, relinquishing the rest, then it concerns him to produce some Rule or Command out of Scripture, plainly pointing out what parts of it we are to imbrace, and what not; or else he will never be able to make it appear, that the Form of the Commonwealth of Israel was ever intended, either in the whole, or in part, as a Pattern for Christians to follow under the Gospel. But never was any such Rule alleadged yet out of Scripture by those that pretend to a Nationall Church.344
And therefore, if we seriously reflect upon the Design of God, in sending345 Christ into the World, we shall find it was to set an end to that Pompous Administration of the Jewish Form; that as his Church and People were formerly confined within the Narrow Pale of a particular Nation, so now the Pale should be broken down, and all Nations taken into the Church: Not all Nations in a lump; nor any whole Nations, or National Bodies to be formed into Churches; for his Church or People, now under the Gospel, are not to be a Body Political, but Spiritual and Mystical: Not a promiscuous confusion of persons, taken in at adventure; but an orderly collection, a picking and chusing of such as are called and sanctified; and not346 a company of men forced in, by Commands and Constitutions, of Worldly Powers and Prudence; but of such as are brought in by the Power and Efficacy of Christs Word and Spirit: for he himself hath said, My Kingdome is not of this World; itis not from hence,* & c.347 And therefore, that hand which hitherto hath presumed, in most Nations, to erect a Power, called Ecclesiastick, in equipage with the Civil, to bear sway, and bind mens Consciences to retain348 Notions, ordained for Orthodox, upon civill penalties, under colour of prudence, good order, discipline, preventing of Heresie, advancing of Christs Kingdome; and to this end, hath twisted the Spiritual Power (as they call it) with the Worldly and secular interest of State: This (I say) hath been the very right hand of Antichrist, opposing Christ in his way: Whose Kingdom, Government, Governours, Officers, and Rulers; Laws, Ordinances, and Statutes, being not of this World, (I mean, jure humano,) depend349 not upon the helps and devices of Worldly wisdom.
Upon this score and pretence, the Infant Mystery of Iniquity began to work in the very Cradle of Christianity.
Afterwards it grew up by the indulgence of Constantine, and other Christian Emperours, whom though God used in many good things for the suppression of gross Heathen Idolatry, yet (by Gods permission) they were carryed away, and their eyes so far dazled, through the glorious pretences of the Prelates and Bishops, that they could not see the old Serpent in a new Form wrapt up in a Mystery; for, Satan had a new Game now to play, which he managed thus: First, he led a great part of the World away with dangerous Errours, thereby to find an occasion for the Prelates, to carry on the mystery of their Profession; and so, under pretence of suppressing those dangerous errors they easily scrued themselves into the Civil Power: and for continuing of it the surer in their own hands, they made bold to baptize whole Nations with the name of Christian, that they might (under the same pretence) gain a share of Power and Authority with the Magistrate in every Nation; which they soon effected.
The Infant, being thus nurst, grew up in a short time to a perfect man, the man of sin (if the Pope be the man, which is yet controverted by some:) for, the Prelates having gotten the power in their hands, began then to quarrel, who should be the greatest among them. At length he of Rome bore away the Bell; and so the next step was, that, from National Churches they proceed to have a Mother-Church of all Nations. A fair progress and pitch, indeed, from a small beginning: and now being up, they defied all with Bell, Book, and Candle, excommunicating and deposing Kings and Emperours, and binding mens Consciences still, under the first specious pretence of suppressing Heresie, to believe onely in their Arbitrary Dictates, Traditions, and Errours, which are the greatest Blasphemies, Errours, and Heresies, that ever were in the World. Now they were up, see what a do there was to get any part of them down again. What a Quarter and Commotion there was in Germany, when Luther first brake the Ice? And the like here in England, when our first Reformers began their Work: These men, in part, did well, but having banished the Popes actual Tyranny, they left the Seed, and Principle of it, still behind, which was, a State Ecclesiastical united with the Civil; for, the Bishops twisted their own interest again with that of the Crown, upon a Protestant Accompt; and by vertue of that, persecuted those they called Puritans, for not being as Orthodox (they said) as themselves.
To conclude, if it be considered350 , that most of the Civil Wars, and Broiles, throughout Europe, have been occasioned, by permitting the settlement of Clergy-Interest, with the Secular, in National Formes, and Churches, it will doubtless be understood, that the Division of a State into Ecclesiastical and Civil, must351 needs be one of the main Errors in352 Christian Policy.
[MP 100, 29 Apr.-6 May 1652]
The not preventing the passage of Tyranny, out of one Form into another, is a main Error of Policie.A second Error which353 we shall note, and which is very frequent under all Formes of Government, is this; that care hath not been taken at all times, and upon all occasions of Alteration, to prevent the passage of Tyranny out of one Form into another, in all the Nations of the World: for, it is most clear, by observing the Affairs and Actions of past-Ages, and Nations, that the interest of absolute Monarchy, and its Inconveniencies, have been visible and fatal under the other Forms (where they have not been prevented) and given us an undeniable proof of this Maxime by Experience in all Times; That the Interest of Monarchy may reside in the hands of many, as well as of a single person.
The Interest of absolute Monarchy, we conceive to be an unlimited, uncontrolable, unaccountable station of Power and Authority in the hands of a particular person, who governs onely according to the Dictates of his own Will and Pleasure. And though it hath often bin disguised by Sophisters in Policy, so as it hath lost its own name, by shifting Formes; yet really, and effectually, the thing in it self hath bin discovered under the artificial covers of every Form, in the various Revolutions of Government: So that nothing more concerns a People established in a state of Freedom, than to be instructed in things of this Nature, that the means of its preservation being understood, and the subtil sleight of old Projectors brought into open view, they may become the more zealous to promote the one, and prevent the other, if any old game should happen to be plaid over anew, by any succeeding Generation.
It is very observable in Athens, that when they had laid aside their King, the Kingly power was retained still in all the after-turns of Government: for their Decimal Governours, and their Thirty (commonly called the Tyrants) were but a multiplied Monarchy, the Monarchal Interest being held up as high as ever, in keeping the exercise of the Supremacy out of the peoples hands, and seating themselves in an unaccountable state of Power and Authority, which was somewhat a worse condition, than the354 people were in before; for their Kings had Supervisors, and there were also Senatick Assemblies, that did restrain and correct them: but the new Governors having none, ran into all the heats and fits, and wild extravagancies, of an unbounded Prerogative: by which means, Necessity and Extremity opening the peoples Eyes, they, at length, saw all the Inconveniencies of Kingship wrapt up in new Forms, and rather increased, than diminished; so that (as the onely Remedy), they dislodged the Power out of those hands, putting it into their own, and placing it in a constant orderly Revolution of persons Elective by the Community. And now being at this fair pass, one would have thought there was no shelter for a Monarchal355 Interest, under a popular Form too. But alas, they found the contrary; for, the people not keeping a strict Watch over themselves, according to the Rules of a Free State; but being won by specious pretences, and deluded by created Necessities, to intrust the management of Affairs into some particular hands, such an occasion was given thereby to those men to frame parties of their own, that by this means, they in a short time became able to stand upon their own legs, and do what they list without the peoples consent: and in the end, not onely discontinued, but utterly extirpated their successive Assemblies.
In Rome also, the Case was the same under every Alteration; and all occasioned, by the crafty contrivances of Grandising Parties, and the peoples own facility and negligence, in suffering themselves to be deluded: for, with the Tarquin’s, (as it is observed by Livy, and others) onely the name King was expelled, but not the thing; the Power & Interest of Kingship was still retained in the Senate, and ingrossed by the Consuls: For, besides the Rape of Lucrece, among the other faults objected against Tarquin, this was most considerable, That he had acted all things, after his own head, and discontinued Consultations with the Senate, which was the very height of Arbitrary Power. But yet as soon as the Senate was in the saddle, they forgat what was charged by themselves upon Tarquin, and ran into the same Errour, by establishing an Arbitrary, Hereditary, unaccountable Power in themselves, and their Posterity, not admitting the people (whose interest and liberty they had pleaded,) into any share in Consultation, or Government, as they ought to have done, by a present erecting of their successive Assemblies: so that you see the same Kingly Interest, which was in one before, resided then in the hands of many. Nor is it my Observation onely, but pointed out by Livy, in his second Book, as in many other places; Cum à Patribus, non Consules, sed Carnifices, &c. When (saith he) the Senators strove to create, not Consuls, but Executioners, and Tormentors, to vex & tear the people, &c.* And in another place of the same Book, Consules, immoderatâ, infinitaq; potestate, omnes metus legum, &c. The Consuls, having an immoderate and unlimited Power, turned the terror of Laws and punishments onely upon the people, themselves (in the mean while) being accountable to none but to themselves, and their Confederates in the Senate.*
Then the Consular Government being cashiered, came on the Decemviri. Cum Consulari Imperio ac Regio, sine provocatione, (saith my Author) being invested with a Consular and Kingly Power, without appeal to any other.†
And in his third Book he saith, Decem Regum species erat, it was a Form of ten Kings,‡ the miseries of the people being increased ten times more then they were under Kings, and Consuls: For remedy therefore, the ten were cashiered also; and Consuls being restored, it was thought fit for the bridling of their Power, to revive also the Dictatorship (which was a Temporary Kingship, used onely now and then upon occasion of Necessity) and also those Deputies of the people called Tribunes, which one would have thought had bin sufficient Bars against Monarchick Interest, especially being assisted by the peoples successive Assemblies. But yet for all this, the people were cheated through their own neglect, and bestowing too much confidence and trust upon such as they thought their friends: For when they swerved from the Rules of a Free-State, by lengthning the Dictatorship in any hand, then Monarchick-Interest stept in there, as it did under Sylla, Caesar, and others, long before it returned to a declared Monarchal Form; and when they lengthned Commands in their Armies, then it crept in there, as it did under the afore-named persons, as well as Marius, Cinna, and others also; and even Pompey himself, not forgetting also the pranks of the two Triumvirales, who all made a shift under every Form, being sometimes called Consuls, sometimes Dictators, and sometimes Tribunes of the people, to out-act all the Flagitious Enormities of an absolute Monarchy.356 It is also evident357 in the Story of Florence, that that Commonwealth, even when it seemed most free, could never quite shake off the Interest of Monarchy: for, it was ever the business of one Upstart, or other; either in the Senate, or among the People, to make way to their own ambitious Ends, and hoist themselves into a Kingly posture through the Peoples favour, as we may see in the Actions of Savanarola the Monk, Soderino, and the Medices, whose Family did (as we see at this day) fix it self at length in the State of an absolute Monarchy, under the Title of a Dukedom. Nor can it be forgotten, how much of Monarchy (of late) crept into the United Provinces.
Now the Use that is to be made of this Discourse, is this,358 that since it is clear, the Interest of Monarchy may reside in a Consul, as well as in a King; in a Dictator, as well as in a Consul; in the hands359 of many, as well as of a single person; and that its Custom hath bin to lurk under every Form, in the various turnes of Government, therefore as it concerns every people in a State of Freedome, to keep close to the Rules of a Free-State, for the turning360 out of Monarchy (whether simple, or compound, both name and thing, in one or many) by which means onely they will be inabled to avoid this second Error in Policy; so they ought ever to have a Reverent and Noble respect of such Founders of Free-States, and Common-wealths, as shall block up the way against Monarchick Tyranny, by declaring for the Liberty of the People, as it consists in a due and orderly succession of Authority, in their supream Assemblies.
[MP 101, 6-13 May 1652]
A keeping the people in ignorance of the essential wayes and meanes that are necessary for the peoples Liberty, is an Error in a Free-State.A third Errour in Policy, which ought especially notice to be taken of361 , and prevented in a Free-State, hath bin a keeping of the people ignorant of those ways and means that are essentially necessary for the preservation of their Liberty; for, implicite Faith, and blind Obedience, hath hitherto passed currant, and been equally pressed and practised by Grandees, both Spirituall and Temporal, upon the People; so that they have in all Nations shared the Authority362 between them. And though many quarrels have risen in times past between Kings, and their Clergy, touching their several Jurisdictions, yet the mysteries of Domination have been still kept under lock and key: so that their Prerogative remained entire ever above the reach and knowledge of the People: by which means, Monarchs and other standing Powers, have seen their own Interest363 provided for, as well as in the Popes in this mysterious Maxime, Ignorance364is the Mother of Devotion.
But these things ought not to be so, among a people that have declared themselves a Free-State:365 For, they should not onely know what Freedome is, and have it represented in all its lively and lovely Features, that they may grow zealous and jealous over it; but, that it may be a Zeal according to knowledge and good purpose: it is without all question, most necessary, that they be made acquainted, and throughly instructed in the Meanes and Rules of its preservation, against the Adulterous Wiles and Rapes of any projecting Sophisters that may arise hereafter.
And doubtless, this endeavour of mine, in laying down the Rules of preserving a Free-State, will appear so much the more necessary, if we consider, that all the Inconveniencies that in Times have happened under this Form, to imbroyl, or ruine it, have proceeded (as we have formerly proved) either from the peoples neglect, or rather ignorance of those Meanes and Rules that should be committed unto them, both for Practice, and Observation: having therefore made brief Collections out of the Monuments of this kind of Learning, I shall here insert them, that the People of every Common-wealth366 , which mean to preserve their Freedom, may be informed how to steer their course, according to such Rules as have bin put in practice heretofore by, divers Nations.
It hath bin one Rule in all Free States, to abjure a toleration of Kings, and Kingly Government.First, it hath bin a Custom, not only to breed up all the young Fry in Principles of Dislike and Enmity against Kingly Government; but also to cause all that were capable of swearing, to enter into an Oath of Abjuration, to abjure a toleration of Kings, and Kingly Power, in time to come.
Thus the Hollanders preserved themselves also, entering into an Oath of Abjuration,* not onely against King Philip, and his Family, but all Kings for ever.
And Brutus, to make sure work, did not onely do this, but divided the Royal Revenues among the People; which was a good way to make them resolute to Extremity, knowing, That if ever any King came in play again, He would take all away again by vertue of his Prerogative and Crown: He brake also all the Images and Statues of the Tarquins, and he levell’d368 their houses with the ground, that they might not remain as Temptations to any ambitious Spirits. Suitable to this policy, was that of Henry the 8th, who when he disposed of the Revenues of Abbies, demolished also the Building; saying, Destroy the Nests, and the Rookes will ne’re return again. Which, questionless, was a most sure way, both in him, and Brutus, to be imitated, or neglected, as there may be occasion. But they thought, in a case of this Nature, that the convenience in keeping them, could not countervail the danger.
It hath bin a Rule in all Free-States, not to suffer particular persons to Grandise more then ordinary.Secondly, It hath bin usual not to suffer particular persons to Grandise, or greaten themselves more than ordinary; for that, by the Romans, was called, affectatio Regni, an aspiring to Kingship: Which being observed in Maelius and Manlius, two noble Ro-mans, that had deserved highly of the State, yet their369 past-merits & services, could not exempt them from the just anger of the People, who made them Examples to Posterity: Yea, the Name of the latter, (though Livy cals him an incomparable man, had he not lived in a Free-State,)† was ever after disowned by his whole Family, that famous Family of the Manlii; and both the Name and Memory of Him, and of his Consulship, was rased out of all publike Records, by Decree of the Senate.370
The not keeping close to this Rule, had of late like to have cost the Low-countries, the loss of their Liberty371 ; for the Wealth of the House of Orange, grown up to excess, and permitting the last man to match into a Kingly Family, put other thoughts and designs into his head, than beseemed a member of a Free-State; which, had he not been prevented, by the Providence of God, and a dark night, might372 in all probability, have reduced them under the Yoak of Kingly Power.*
A third Rule in policy, not to permit a continuation of Command and Power in the hands of particular person[s] and families.Thirdly, Especial care hath been taken, non Diurnare Imperia, not to permit a Continuation of Command and Authority373 , in the hands of particular persons, or families. This point we have been very large in: The374 Romans had a notable care herein, till they grew corrupt. Livy, in his fourth Book, saith, Libertatis magna custodia est, si magna Imperia esse non sinas, & temporis modus imponatur: It is a grand preservative of Liberty, if you do not permit great Powers and Commands to continue long; and if so be you limit, in point of time.† To this purpose, they had a Law, called the Emilian375Law, to restrain them; as we find in the Ninth Book, where he brings in a Noble Roman, saying thus: Hoc quidem Regno simile est; And this,376 indeed, is like a Kingship. That I alone should bear this great office of the Censorship, Triennium & sex menses, three years and six moneths, contrary to the Emilian377Law.‡ In his third Book also, he speaks of it, as of a monstrous business, That the Ides378 of May were come (which was the time of their years choice) and yet no new Election appointed: Idveró Regnum haud dubiè videre, deploratur in perspetuum libertas. It without doubt seems no other than a Kingdom, and Liberty is utterly lost for ever.§ It was Treason for any man to hold that high office of the Dictatorship in his own hand, beyond six moneths. He that would see notable stuff to this purpose, let him read Ciceroes Epistles379 to Atticus, concerning Caesar.|| The care of that people, in this particular, appeared also, that they would not permit any man to bear the same office twice together.
This was observed likewise (as Aristotle tells us) in all the Free-States of Greece.
And in Rome we find Cincinnatus, one of the brave Romane Generals, making a Speech unto the People, to perswade them, to let him lay down his Command. Now the time was come, though the Enemy was380 almost at their Gates, and never more need, than at that time, of his valour and prudence, as the people told him: but no perswasion would serve the turn; resign he would, telling them, There would be more danger to the State, in prolonging his Power, than from the Enemy, since it might prove a President most pernicious to the Romane Freedome.* Such another Speech was made by M. Ru-tilius Censorinus, to the People, when they forced him to undergo the office of Censor twice together, contrary to the intent and practice of their Ancestors; yet he accepted it: but (as Plutarch tells us) upon this condition; That a Law might pass against the Title in that, and other Officers, least it should be drawn into President in time to come.† Thus the People dealt also with their own Tribunes, the Law being, That none of them should be continued two years together. So tender were the Romans, in this particular, as one principal Rule and Means, for the preservation of their Liberty.381
[MP 102, 13-20 May 1652]
Not to let two of one Family bear Offices of Trust at one time.A fourth Rule,382 not to let two of one Family to bear Offices of High Trust at one time, nor to permit a Continuation of great Powers in any one383 Family. The former, usually brings on the latter: And if the latter be prevented, there is the less danger in the former: but however, both are to be avoided: The reason is evident,384 because a permission of them, gives a particular Family an opportunity, to bring their own private Interest into competition, with that of the Publique: from whence presently ensues this grand inconvenience in State, the Affairs of the Commonwealth385 will be made subservient to the ends of a few persons; no Corn shall be measured, but in their bushel; nor any Materials be allowed for the Publick Work, unless they square well with the building of a private Interest, or Family. This therefore, was a principal point of State among the386 Romans, Ne duo vel plures ex una familia magnos Magistratus gerant eodem tempore; Let not two or more of one Family, bear great Offices at the same time. And a little after it follows, Ne magna Imperia ab unâ familiâ praescribantur, Let not great Commands be prescribed, or continued, by one Family.
That little liberty which was left to the Romans, after that fatal stab given to Caesar in the Senate-house, might have been preserved, had they prevented his Kinsman Octavius from succeeding him in the possession of an extraordinary Power. The effecting whereof was Ciceroes work, and, indeed, his principal errour: as he often afterwards acknowledged;* which may serve to shew, That the wisest man may be sometimes mistaken387 : For he brought the other into play; whereas388 had he quitted his spleen, and consulted his brain, he must questionless have seen, that a siding with Anthony had been more convenient, then with the other; who being once admitted into Power, soon drew the Parties, and Interests of his Uncle Julius, to become his own; and with a wet finger, not onely cast off his friend Cicero, but contrived the ruine of the Republick, and Him, both together.
The Florentine Family of the Medices, who hold an absolute Command at this day, made themselves, by continuing Power in their hands, in a short time so considerable, that they durst openly bid defiance to Publick389 Liberty, which might have continued much longer, had not Casinus390 been so easily admitted to succeed his Cousin Alexander.
It is observable also, of the same Family, that one of them being Pope, they then hatched Designs upon several parts of Italy, not doubting but to391 carry them by favour of the Pope their Kinsman: but he dying before their Ends were effected, they then made a Party in the Conclave, for the creating of Julian de Medicis, who was Brother to the former Pope, and had like to have carried it, till Pompeius Columba392 stood up, and shewed them how dangerous and prejudicial it must of necessity prove, to the Liberties of Italy, that the Popedom should be continued in one house, in the hands of two brothers one after another.
What Effects the continuation of Power, in the Family of Orange, hath had in the United Provinces, is every mans observation; and that Nation sufficiently felt, long before the Project came to maturity, in this last mans dayes; and had he left a son of sufficient years behind him, to have stept immediatly into his place,* perhaps the Design might have gone on: but certainly that People have wisely improved their opportunity, (the Cockatrice being not flech’d) in reducing393 that Family into a temper more suitable to a State and Interest of Liberty.
What made the antient Roman Senate, in a short time, so intollerable to that People, but because they carryed all by Families; as the Senate of Venice doth now at this day: where, if the Constitution were otherwise, the people would then (perhaps) be much more sensible what it is to be in a State of Freedom.
The Majesty and Authority of the Suffrages, or votes of the Supream Assembly to be kept intire.Fifthly, It hath bin usual in Free-States, to hold up the Majesty and Authority of their Suffrages, or Votes intire, in their Senators, or supream Assemblies: for if this were not look’d to, and secured from controle, or influence of any other Power, then Actum erat de libertate, Liberty and Authority became lost for ever. So long as the Roman people kept up their credit and Authority, as sacred, in their Tribunes, and Supream Assemblies, so long they continued really free: but when by their own neglect, they gave Sylla, and his Party, in the Senate, an opportunity of power to curb them, then their Suffrages (once esteemed as sacred) were troden under foot; for immediately after, they came to debate and act but by courtesie, the Authority left being by Sylla, after the expiration of his Dictatorship, in the hands of the standing Senate, so that it could never after be regained by the People. Nor did the Senate themselves keep it long in their own hands: for when Caesar marched to Rome, he deprived them also of the Authority of their Suffrages; onely in a formal way made use of them, and so under a shadow of legality, he assumed that power unto394 himself, which they durst not deny him.395
Just in the same manner dealt Cosmus with the Flerentine Senate: he made use of their Suffrages, but he had so plaid his Cards beforehand, that they durst not but yield to his Ambition. So also Tiberius, when he endeavored to settle himself, first brought the Suffrages of the Senate at his own Devotion, that they durst not but consent to his Establishment; and then so ordered the matter, that he might seem to do nothing, not only without their consent; but to be forced to accept the Empire by their intreaty: so that you see, there was an Empire, in Effect, long before it was declared in Formality.
From hence, therefore, we may clearly deduce the necessity of this Rule in a Free-State, from the practice of times past, that no State can prefer396 its Freedom, but by maintaining the free Suffrage of the People in full vigour, untainted with the influence, or mixture, of any Commanding Power.397
[MP 103, 20-27 May 1652]
398 A sixth Rule in Practice hath been this; to see, that the people be continually trained up in the Exercise of Arms, and the Militia lodged onely in the Peoples hands; or that part of them, which are most firm to the Interest of Liberty, that so the Power may rest fully in the Disposition of their Supream Assemblies. The happy consequence whereof, was ever to this purpose:The people are to be continually trained up in the exercise of Armes, and the Militia lodged in the hands of those that are firm to the Interest of the Nation.
That nothing could at any time be imposed upon the people, but by their consent399 ; that is, by the consent of themselves; or of such as were by them intrusted: this was a Rule most strictly practised in all the Free-States of Greece: For, as Aristotle tells us, in his fourth Book of Politicks, they ever had special care400 to place the Use and Exercise of Arms in the people: because (say they) the Common-wealth is theirs who held401 the Arms.*
The Sword, and Soveraignty, ever walk hand in hand together. The Romans were very curious in this particular, after they had gained a plenary possession of Liberty in their Tribunes, and successive Assemblies, Rome it self, and the Territories about it, was trained up perpetually in Arms, and the whole Common-weal, by this means became one formal Militia, a generall Exercise of the best part of the people in the use of Arms, was the onely Bulwark of their Liberty: This was reckoned the surest way to preserve it both at home, and abroad: the Majesty of the People being secured thereby, as well against Domestick Affronts from any of their own Citizens, as against the forraign Invasions of bad Neighbors.
Their Arms were never lodged in the hands of any, but such as had an Interest in the Publick; such as were acted by that Interest, not drawn only by Pay; such as thought themselves well paid, in repelling Invaders, that they might with Freedome return to their Affairs: For, the truth is, so long as Rome acted by the pure Principles of a Free-State, it used no Arms to defend it self, but, such as we call, sufficient men; such, as for the most part were men of Estate, Masters of Families, that took Arms (only upon occasion) proAris & Focis, for their Wives, their Children, and their Countrey. In those days there was no difference, in order, between the Citizen, the Husbandman, and the Souldier: for, he that was a Citizen, or Villager yesterday, became a Souldier the next, if the Publick Liberty required it; and that being secured, by repelling of Invaders, both Forreign and Domestick, immediatly the Souldier became Citizen again: so that the first and best brave Roman Generals, and Souldiers, came from the Plough, and returned thither when the Work was over.
This was the usual course even before they had gained their Tribunes and Assemblies; that is, in the Infancy of the Senate, immediately after the Expulsion of their Kings: for, then even in the Senatick Assembly, there were some Sparks of Liberty in being, and they took this course to maintain it.
The Tarquins being driven out, but having a Party left still within, that attempted to make several402 Invasions, with confidence to carry all before them: and yet in the Intervalls, we find not any form of souldiery; only the Militia was lodged and exercised in the hands of that Party, which was firm to the Interest of Freedom, who upon all occasions, drew forth at a Nod of the Senate, with little charge to the Publick, and so rescued themselves out of the Clawes of Kingly Tyranny.
Nor do we find in after-times, that they permitted a Deposition of the Arms of the Common-wealth403 in any other way, till that their Empire increasing, necessity constrained them to erect a continued stipendary Souldiery (abroad in forreign parts) either for the holding, or winning of Provinces. Then Luxury increasing with Dominion, the strict Rule and Discipline of Freedome was soon quitted; Forces were kept up at home, (but what the consequences were, stories will tell you) as well as in the Provinces abroad.
The Ambition of Cinna, the horid Tyranny of Sylla, the insolence of Marius, and the self-ends of divers other Leaders, both before, and after them, filled all Italy with Tragedies, and the World with wonder: so that in the end, the People404 seeing what misery they had brought on themselves, by keeping their Armies within the bowels of Italy, passed a Law to prevent it, and to employ them abroad, or at a convenient distance: the Law was, That if any General marched over the River of Rubicon405 , he should be declared a publike Enemy.
And in the passage of that River, this following Inscription was erected, to put the men of Arms in mind of their duty: Imperator, sive miles, sive Tyrannus armatus quisquis, sistito vexillum armaq; deponito, nec citra hunc Amnem trajicitio:406 General, or Souldier, or Tyrant in Arms, whosoever thou be, stand, quit thy Standard, and lay aside thy Arms, or else cross not this River.*
For this cause it was, that when Caesar had presumed once to march over this River, he conceived himself so far ingaged, that there was no Retreat; no Game next, but have at all, advanceth407 to Rome it self, into a possession of the Empire.
By this means it was, the Common-wealth408 having lost its Arms, lost it self too, the Power being reduced both effectually and formally into the hands of a single Person, and his Dependants, who, ever after, kept the Armes out of the hands of the People.
Then followed the erecting of a Praetorian Band, instead of a Publick Militia409, he being followed herein by Augustus, and the rest of his Successors, imitated of latter-times by the Grand Seignor; by Cosmus the first great Duke of Tuscany; by the Muscovite, the Russian, the Tartar, and the French, who by that means are all Absolute; and it was strongly endeavored here too in England by the late King410 , who first attempted it by a Design of introducing Forreigners, viz. the German Horse, and afterwards by corrupting of the Natives; as when he laboured the Army in the North, in their return to rifle the Parliament, neglected Train-Bands; and at length, flew out himself into open Arms against the Nation.
So that you see, the way of Freedome hath bin to lodge the Arms of a Common-Weal, in the hands of that part of the People, which are firm to its Establishment.411
[MP 104, 27 May-3 June 1652]
Children educated and instructed in the Principles of Freedom.Seventhly, that Children412 should be educated and instructed in the Principles of Freedom. Aristotle speaks plainly to this purpose, saying; That the institution of Youth, should be accommodated to that Form of Government, under which they live; forasmuch, as it makes exceedingly for preservation of the present Government, whatsoever it be.* The Reason of it appears in this; because all the Tinctures and Impression that men receive in their Youth, they retain in the full Age, though never so bad, unless they happen (which is very rare) to quell the corrupt Principles of Education by an Excellency of Reason, and sound Judgment.
And for confirmation of this, we might cite the various Testimonies of Plutarch, Isocrates, with many more, both Philosophers, Orators, and others, that have treated of this particular, touching the Education of Children, as it relates either to Domestick, or Civil Government: But we shall take it for granted, without more ado, supposing none will deny, of what effect it is, in all the Concernments of Mankind, either in Conversation, or in Action.
The necessity of this Point, appears from hence, as well as the Reason; That if care be not taken to temper the Youth of a Common-Wealth, with Principles and Humours suitable to that Form, no sure settlement, or peace, can ever be expected: for Schools, Academies, with all other Seed-plots, and Seminaries of Youth, will otherwise be but so many Nurseries of Rebellion, publike Enemies, and unnatural Monsters that will tear the bowels of their Mother-Countrey: And this Neglect, if it follow an alteration of Government, after a Civil War, is so much the more dangerous; because, as long as Youngsters are nuzled413 up in the old Ways and Rudiments, by the old ill-affected Paedagogues, there will ever be a hankering after the Old Government, which must ever be in a fair probability of return, when new Generations shall be catechised into old Tenets and Affections, contrary to the Establishment of a Free-State: That being taken for the declared Interest of this Nation. Therefore, the consequence of such Neglect is clearly this, That the Enmity will be immortal, a Settlement impossible: there must be a perpetual Disposition to Civil-War, in stead of Civil Society.414
Upon this account415 it was, that in Plutarch and Isocrates, we find so many good Testimonies of the great care that was had amongst all the Free-States of Greece in this particular, which tyed up their Paedagogues and Teachers, to certain Rules; and selected certain Authors to be read onely, as Classical, for the Institution of their Youth: And, that it was so in the days of Julius Caesar, even in that barbarous Country of Gallia, appeares by Caesars own Commentaries, who tells, how that it was the main office of those famous men amongst them called Druides416 , to breed up their Youth not onely in Religion, but also to instruct them in the Nature of a Common-wealth417 , and mould them with Principles, answerable to the Government418 .*
If we reflect upon the two Grand Turns of State in Rome, the first, from a Monarchy to a Free-State; and then from a Free-State, to a Monarchy again; they minister matter of notable Observation in this particular.
In the first, we find how difficult it was for the Romans to preserve their Freedom when they had gotten it, because most of the Youth had bin educated in Monarchical Principles, and such419 Tutors were ever inclining that way upon the least opportunity: so that the sons even of Brutus himself, (who was the Founder of their Liberty) quitted that natural affection which they owed unto their Father, and Countrey; and being sway’d by the Monarchick Principles of corrupt Education, drew in a great part of the Roman Youth, (like themselves,) to joyn with them in a Design for the bringing back of the Tarquins to the Kingdom.
It is very observable also, what a do that Common-wealth420 had to settle, so long as any of the old stock of Education were living, because those corrupt points of Discipline and Government, wherewith they were seasoned when young, could not be worn out with Age; but hurried many of them along with the storm of every Insurrection and Invasion of the publike Enemy.
On the other side, in the Turn of a Free-State, to a Monarchy again, we see with what difficulty Caesar met, in setling his own Domination over a People that had been educated in a Free-State, and in Principles of Freedom; insomuch, that in the end it cost him his life, being stab’d for his Usurpation by a combination of some of the Senators, and the Fact applauded not onely by the People, but by Cicero,* and all the Roman Writers, and others that had been bred up under the Form of Freedom.
And afterwards, when Augustus took upon him the Inheritance and Title, of his Uncle Caesar, he did it, lento pede, very slowly and warily, for fear of conjuring up the same spirit in the people, that had flown into revenge against his Uncle, for his Rape upon their Liberty.
And it is Noted by Tacitus, that among the other advantages that Augustus had for his Establishment, there was this: That he never declared himself, till, after many delayes and shifts, for the continuation of Power in his own hands, he got insensibly into the Throne, when the old men were most of them dead, and the young Generation grown up, having been pretty well educated and inured to his Lordly Domination. The words of Tacitus are these: “All (saith he) was quiet in the City, the old names of the Magistrates remained unchanged; the young men were all born after Augustus his victory at Actium: and the greatest part of the old men, during the Civil Wars; when the Free-State was imbroiled and usurpt (in effect, though retained still in name by powerful and ambitious persons) so that when he assumed and owned the Empire, there was not one man Living, that had so much as seen the ancient Form of Government of a Free-State421 ; which indeed facilitated his Design very much, the Generation then Living, being by his Artifice and Power, bred up to his own Monarchy-Interest and Devotion.”*
We might be larger, but this is enough, to shew of what consequence the careful Education of Youth, is, in the Constitution422 of Government: and therefore, without doubt, it is one essential point to be observed in the Establishment of a Free-State, that all wayes and meanes be used for their seasoning and instruction in the principles of Freedom.
[MP 105, 3-10 June 1652]
423 The Eighth Rule, is, that which more especially relates unto the People themselves in point of behaviour, viz. That being once possessed of Liberty, they ought to use it with moderation, lest it turn to licentiousness;Cautions for the people to observe. which, as it is a Tyranny it self, so in the end it usually occasions the corruption and conversion of a Free State, into Monarchical424 Tyranny: And therefore (by way of prevention) it is necessary to set down a few Cautions.
First, That in a Free State, it is above all things necessary to avoid Civil Dissention; and to remember this, That the uttermost Remedy is not to be used upon every Distemper or Default of those that shall be intrusted with the Peoples Power and Authority: for, if one Inconvenience happen in Government, the correction, or curing of it by violence, introduceth a thousand: And for a man to think Civil War, or the Sword, is a way to be ordinarily used for the recovery of a sick-State, it were as great a madness, as to give strong Waters in a high Feaver: or as if he should let himself blood in the Heart, to cure the aking of his Head.
The People are not to use the utmost remedy in all cases of male administration.And therefore, seeing that Enormity of Tumult, Dissention, and Sedition, is the main that hath been objected by Tyrants, & their Creatures, against the Peoples Government, the onely Expedient to confute it is, That those People, that are, or shall be setled, in a State of Freedom, do425 (upon all occasions) give them the Lie, by a discreet and moderate behaviour in all their proceedings, and a due reverence of such as they have once elected, and made their Superiors.
And as this is most requisite on the one side; so on the other side, if there be just (but they must be sure it be just426 ) cause to use sharp and quick Remedies, for the Cure of a Common-wealth,427 then (seeing all Majesty and Authority is really and fundamentally in the people, and but Ministerially in their Trustees, or Representatives) it concerns the people by all means to see to the Cure.
And that is, in a word, in such cases onely, as appear to be manifest intrenchments (either in design, or in being) by men of Power, upon the Fundamentals, or Essentials, of their Liberty, without which, Liberty cannot consist.
What those Essentials are, may be collected out of the past-discourse; the sense428 of all shall be illustrated by one instance.
It is that famous Contention which lasted for three hundred years in Rome betwixt the Senate and the People, about the dividing of such Lands as were conquered and taken from the Enemy.
The Senators, they sharing the lands amongst themselves, allowed little, or none, unto the people; which gave such Discontents, that the people made a Law to curb them; enacting, That no Senator should possess above 500 Acres of Land.
The Senators cryed, it was against their Liberty, thus to be abridged by the people: And the people cryed, it was inconsistent with Liberty, that the Senators should thus greaten themselvs by an ingrosment of wealth and power into their own hands. Livy saith,* The people in this, said right, and the Senators did wrong: but that they both did ill, in making it a ground of Civil Dissention; for, in process of time, when the Gracchi, who were supposed great Patrons of Liberty, took upon them to side with the people, they did, instead of finding out some moderate wayes and Expedients to reduce the Senators to Reason, proceed with such heat and violence, that the Senate being jealous of their own safety, were forced to chuse Sylla for their General: which being observed by the people, they also raised an Army, and made Marius their General: so that here you see it came to a downright Civil-War.
The occasion, indeed, was given by the Senators; (for, there was no reason they should Grandise themselves in so gross a manner as they did) but yet the occasion ought not to have bin so taken, and prosecuted with such violence as it was by the People: for seeing more temperate wayes had been practised by their Ancestors, and might have been found out again, to curb the Ambition of their Nobility in the Senate: Therefore, the People ought, first, to have tryed those wayes again, and have used all other means to have brought things about, rather than by a misguided heat and violence to rush into Arms; which as it is the most desperate Remedy, so it ought never to be used, but when all other courses have been tried in vain, and when the Publick Liberty is really concerned by an imminent Danger, or invincible Necessity: For, this Quarrel, which questionless might have been composed, was, through indiscretion, made the ground of so bloudy a Civil-war, that what through Fines, Banishment, inhumane Cruelties, acted on both sides, Defeats in the open Field, and Massacres within the City, it cost the best Bloud and Estates of the Nobility and Commons; and in the end, it cost them also their Liberty.
For it is worthy observation, that out of the Root of this Civil war, sprang that Noble one429 , which was managed between Pompey and Caesar, and which will serve to illustrate the other part of our discourse, in shewing, When it is that the people may make use of the utmost, remedy;In What Case the Romans used the utmost remedy that is430 , in case of an intrenchment, manifestly designed, & acted upon the Publick Liberty. For Caesar having given manifest cause of Suspition to the Senat & people, by his acting amongst his Soldiers431 ; and then by a down-right march with them over Rubicon towards Rome, (which was treason by the Law) this was a plain usurpation, and drew an invincible necessity, upon the people, and Senate432 , to arm form their Liberty, and commence a Civil war under the conduct of Pompey; so that this last war was necessary as the other was needlesse, if they could have kept within the bounds of prudence, and moderation.
We have a very notable433 instance also in our own Nation, which may serve for a Just example to all the world in point of behaviour.434 If we run over the Catalogue of the late Kings435 defaults in government, we find extraordinary patience in the people, notwithstanding his extraordinary incroachments from time to time. It were needless to reckon up the several Monopolies, Impositions, and other oppressions of the People, both in soul and body, which are made publick and known to all the World; together with that highest of all Practices, not onely in dissolving Parliaments abruptly, but professedly designing the ruine of Parliaments, in depriving the People of their due Succession. Yet notwithstanding all this, that desperate Remedy of the Sword was for-born, untill invincible Necessity did put it into their hands, for the preservation of themselves, with their Rights and Liberties.436
And so by these Examples, any people in a State of Freedom, may be sufficiently instructed how to demean themselves, for the avoiding of Licentiousness, Tumult, and Civil Dissention, which are the principal Inconveniences charged by Royalists, upon Free-States and Common-wealths:437 from hence, also, may be observed all the necessary points of prudence, and forbearance, which ought to take place in respect of Superiors, till it shall evidently appear unto a people, that there is a Design on foot to surprize and seize their Liberties.438
[MP 106, 10-17 June 1652]
439 A second Caution, is, in relation to their Elective Power, that in all Elections of Magistrates, they have an especiall Eye upon the Publick, in making choice of such persons onely, as have appeared most eminent, and active, in the Establishment and440 Love of Freedom.
In such hands the Guardianship of Liberty may be safely441 placed, because such men have made the Publick Interest, and their own, all one; and therefore will neither betray, nor desert it, in prosperity or adversity; whereas men of another qualification and temper, if they get into Authority, care not to serve the Publick any further442 , than the publike serves them, and will draw off and on443 as they find their Opportunity: Yea, and take this for a certain Rule, that if any person be admitted into Power, that loves not the Common-wealth444 , above all other considerations, such a man is (as we say) every mans money; any State-Marchant may have him for a Factor: and for good consideration, he will often make Returns upon the Publike Interest, have a stock going in every Party, and with men of every Opinion, and (if occasion serve) truck with the Common-Enemy, and Commonwealth445 , both together.
But that you may see, I do not speak without book, it is Aristotles opinion, as well as mine; who saith, in the first446 of his Politicks, being thus translated, Per negligentiam mutatur status Reipublicae, cum ad Potestates assumuntur illi qui praesentem statum non amant: The Form of a Common-wealth447 is then altered by negligence, when those men are taken into Power, which do not love the present Establishment,* it is not onely a way to preserve a Common-wealth, to avoid those that hate it, but those also are as much to be avoided, that do not love it; that is, who are not earnestly wedded to it by an inward active principle of Affection: And the reason is very evident, because their Affections being of an indifferent Nature, remain ready to run out into any Form, Interest, or Party, that offers it self upon the least alteration or temptation whatsoever. For this, we might give you instance448 enough, and too much; but waving them, it may suffice, that most of the Broils, Tumults, and Civil Dissentions, that ever hapned in Free-States, have been occasioned by the Ambitious, Treacherous, and Indirect Practices of such persons admitted into Power, as have not been firm in their hearts to the Interest of Liberty.
The truth of this is (omitting many others) to be seen in the Romane State449 , after its Liberty was fully setled in a Succession of the Peoples supream Assemblies.
For the Nobility in the Senate, being men of another Interest (however they pretended) and, sometimes by cunning, sometimes by corrupting, getting Trust from the People, did by combination and complyance with their Fellow-Senators, so garble, perplex, and turmoil the Peoples Affairs, Concernments, and Understandings, that at length, what they could never have done by force, as Opposites, they effected by fraud, as Friends, to deprive the People of a quiet and comfortable enjoyment of their Freedome.
Faction, Alliance, & Affection is to be avoided in all Elections.A third Caution is, That in all their Elections of any into the Supream Court, or Councels, they be not led by any bent450 of Faction, Alliance, or Affection, and that none be taken in, but purely upon the account of merit.
The former course hath ever bin the occasion of discontents, sidings, and Parties.
The latter, stops the mouths of men, that perhaps are contrary minded, and draws the consent and approbation of all the World, when they see men put in Authority, that have a clear reputation of transcendent Honesty and Wisdom.
That people are to avoid all false charges against persons in Authority.A fourth Caution, is, That as it is the secret of Liberty, that all Magistrates, and publike Officers, be kept in an accountable state, liable to render an account of their Behaviour and Actions; and also, that the people have freedom to accuse whom they please: so on the other side, it concerns them, above all things, to avoid false Charges, Accusations, Calumniations451 against Persons in Authority, which are the greatest abuses and blemishes of Liberty, and have been the most frequent Causes of Tumult and Dissention.
The Banishment, called Ostracism, among the Athenians, was instituted (at first) upon a just and noble ground: so452 was that called Petatism, among the Lacedemonians,* to turn such out of the Commonwealth453 , who had rendered themselves suspected against the common Liberty: but yet the abuse of it afterwards proved most pernicious, to the imbroyling of those States with Civil Dissention, when it was perverted by some petulant spirits, to an opposition of some few (and but few) of their best deserving Citizens.
The Romans also, in their state of Liberty, retained this freedom also, of keeping all persons accountable and accusing whom they pleased, but then they were very cautious also, to retain that Decree of the Senate, called, Turpilianum454 , in full force and vertue, whereby a severe Fine was set on the Heads of all Calumniators, and false Accusers.†
The due Observation of this Rule preserved that State a long time from Usurpation by men in power on the one side, and from popular clamour and Tumults on the other side.
As the people are to avoid ingratitude, so likewise to have a care not to intrust any particular persons, with an unlimited Power.A fifth Caution is, That, as by all means they should beware of Ingratitude, and unhandsome Returns, to such as have done eminent services for the Common-wealth455 ; So it concerns them, for the publike peace and security, not to impose a Trust in the hands of any person or persons further, than as they may take it back again at pleasure.
The Reason is, because, (as the Proverb saith) Honores mutant mores, Honours change mens manners;‡ Accessions, and Continuations of Power and Greatness, expose the mind to temptations: They are Sailes too big for any Bulk of Mortality to steer an even course456 by.
The Kingdoms of the World, and the Glories of them, are Baites that seldome failes457 when the Tempter goes a fishing: and none but he, that was more than man, could have refused them. How many Free-States & Common-wealths have paid dear for their Experience in this particular? who by trusting their own servants too far, have been forced, in the end to receive them for their Masters. Nor is it to be wondred at by any, considering that immoderate Power soon lets in high and ambitious thoughts; and where they are once admitted, no Design so absur’d, or contrary to a mans principles, but he rusheth into it, without the least remorse or consideration: for the Spirit of Ambition, is a Spirit of Giddiness, it foxes men that receive it, and makes them more drunk than the spirit of Wine.
So that were they never so wise, just, and honest before, they afterwards become the contrary, meer sots, non compos mentis, being hurried on without fear or wit, in all their undertakings: And therefore, without question, it highly concerns a People that have redeemed and rescued their Liberties out of the hands of Tyranny, and are declared a Free-State, so to regulate458 their Affairs, that all Temptations, and Opportunities of Ambition, may be removed out of the way: or else there follows a necessity of Tumult and Civil Dissention, the common consequence whereof hath ever been a Ruine of the publike Freedome.
This459Caesar, who first took Arms upon the Publick Score, and became the Peoples Leader, letting in Ambitious Thoughts to his unbounded Power, soon shook hands with his first Friends and Principles, and became another man: so that upon the first fair Opportunity, he turn’d his Armes on the Publick Liberty.
Thus did Sylla serve the Senate, and Marius also the People, being the same Tyrant, in effect, though not in name, nor in an open manner.
Thus did Pisistratus at Athens, Agathocles in Sicily, Cosmos, Soderino, and Savaranola in Florence, Castrucio in Luca, and others, in many other places: Nor must it be forgotten what the Family of Orange would have done in Holland; for upon the very same account have Usurpations bin commenced in all Free-States throughout the World.460
[MP 107, 17-24 June 1652]
Treason against the Peoples Liberties, not to be pardoned.The Ninth, and last Rule, for preservation of the Publick Freedome, is this461 , That it be made an unpardonable Crime, to incur the guilt of Treason against the Interest and Majesty of the People.
And for the clearing of this, it will be requisite to muster up those various Particulars that come within the compass of Treason, according to the Practice, and Opinion of other Nations. The 1. remarkable Treason in old Rome, after its Establishment in a State of Freedome, was that of Brutus his sons, who entered into a formal Conspiracy for the bringing back of the Tarquins to the Kingdom by force of Arms.462
This Brutus was the Founder of the Roman Liberty; and therefore one would have thought the young men might have obtained an easie pardon: But such was the zeal of the Romans, for the preservation of their Freedom, that they were all put to death without mercy; and, that all others in time to come, might be deprived of the least hope of being spared upon the like occasion, their own Father was the man most forward to bring them to Execution.
This was Treason in gross: but in after-time, there started up more refined pieces of Treason; as may be collected out of the Actions of Maelius and Manlius, two persons that had deserved highly of the Common wealth463 ; but especially the latter, who saved it from ruine, when the Gauls had besieged the Capitol.
Nevertheless, presuming afterwards upon the People, because of his extraordinary Merits, He, by greating himself beyond the size of a good Citizen; and entertaining Thoughts and Counsels of surprising the Peoples Liberties, was condemned to death; but yet not without the Peoples pitty (as indeed it was an unhappy Necessity, that they should be forced to destroy him that had saved them from destruction). To the same end came Maelius also, upon the like occasion.
Another sort of Treason there was contrived likewise against that People;
And that was by those Magistrates, called the Decemviri, touching whose Actions, and the Ground of their Condemnation, I onely let you know,
That you may be sufficiently informed by other Pens then mine; such as the Historian Livy, Pomponius, Dionysius, and others, that have written of the Roman Affaires and Antiquities.
A fourth sort of Treason against that People, was manifest Usurpation, acted over and over, long before the time of Caesar.
Some other Particulars also, there were, of less consideration, that came within the compass of Treason; And in all, they were very strict to vindicate the Interest of the Common-Wealth, without respect of Persons.
To those passages out of the old Common-wealth464 of Rome, let us add the rest we have to say about this point, out of the practices of the present State of Venice, the most exact for Punctillo’s of that465 Nature that ever was in the World; and therefore, questionless, it is the most principal cause of her so long continuance: It is, there, Death without mercy, for any man to have the least attempt, or thought, of conspiring against the Common-weal, and in several other Cases, as followeth.466
Secondly, it is Treason467 in case any Senator betray Counsels: there it is an unpardonable Crime, and such a mortal sin, that draws on Death without mercy.
This severity also, was retained in the Roman State, where such as became guilty of this Crime, were either468 burnt alive, or hanged upon a Gibbet: Hereupon, (saith Valerius Max. lib. 2.) when any matter was delivered, or debated, it was, as if no man had heard a syllable of what had been said among so many:* From whence it came to pass, that the Decrees of their Senate were called Tacita, that is to say; things concealed; because never discovered, untill they came to Execution.469
Thirdly, it is Treason, without470 mercy, for any Senators, or other Officers of Venice, to receive Gifts, or Pensions, from any forreign Prince, or State, upon any pretence whatsoever. It was an old Proverb among the Heathens471 , That the gods themselves might be taken with gifts: and therefore the consequences must needs be dangerous, in the inferiour Courts of States and Princes; since nothing can be carryed in this Case, according to Native Interest, and Sound Reason; but onely by Pluralities of Forreign Dictates, and Compliances: But in472Venice they are so free from this treacherous Impiety, that all States which transact with them, must do it above-board, consult before-hand with their brains, and not their purses: so that (as Thuanus* saith) the King of France needs not use much labour to purchase an Interest with any Prince, or State in Italy, unless it be the Venetian Republick, where all Forreign Compliances, and Pensioners, are punished with utmost severity; but escape well enough, in other places.
Fourthly, it is Treason for any of her Senators to have any private Conference with Forreign Ambassadors and Agents.473 It is very observable also, among our Neighbours of the Low-Countries, that one Article of the Charge, whereby they took off Barnevelts head, was, for that he held familiarity and converse with the Spanish Ambassador, at the same time when Spain was an474 Enemy.
Thus you have475 a brief Description of Treason, in the most notable kinds of it, according to the Customes and Opinions of two of the most eminent Free-States, (which may serve instead of all the rest) that hath been in the World; who, as a principal Rule and Means for the preservation of Freedom, made it a Crime unpardonable, to incur the guilt of Treason, in any of these kinds, against the Interest and Majesty of the People in a Free-State.476
[MP 108, 24 June-1 July 1652]
A fourth error in Policy, & which is indeed Epidemical,Reason of State preferred before Rules of Honesty, is an Error in policy. hath been the Regulation of affaires by Reason of State, not by the479 strict Rule of Honest.480 But for fear be481 mistaken, you are to understand, that by Reason of State here, we do not condemn the equitable Results of prudence and right Reason: for upon determinations of this nature depends the safety of all states, and princes; but that reason of state that flowes from a corrupt principle to an indirect end; that reason of state, which is the states mans reason, or rather his will and lust, when he admits Ambition to be a reason, Perferment, Power, Profit, Revenge, and Opportunity, to be reason, sufficient to put him upon any designe of Action that may tend to the present advantage; though contrary to the Law of God, or the law of common honesty & of Nations.
A more lively description of this strange Pocus called Reason of State, take as followeth.482 It is the most soveraign Commander, & the most important Counsellor. Reason of State is the Care and compass of the ship, the life of a State. That which answers all objections, and quarrels, about Mall government. That’s it, which makes483 War, imposes Taxes, cuts off Offenders, pardons Offenders, sends and treats Ambassadors.
It can say and unsay, do and undo, baulk the Common Road, make High-wayes to become By-wayes, and the furthest about, to become the nearest Cut. If a difficult Knot come to be untied, which neither the Divine by Scripture, nor Lawyer by Case or precedent can untie, then Reason of State, or a hundred wayes more, which Idiots knows not, dissolves it. This is that great Empress which the Italians call Raggione distato. It can rant as a Souldier, complement as a Monsieur, trick it as a Juggler, strut it as a States man, and is as changable as the Moon, in the variety of her appearances.
But we may take notice of a more excellent way in oppsition to this sandy Foundation of Policy, called Reason of State,484viz. a simple reliance upon God in the vigorous and present actings of all Righteousness, exprest by honest men, in plain language, to this effect; Fiat justitia, & fractus illabatur Orbis; Deal uprightly, walke close and real to your promises, and principles, though the Fabrick of Heaven and earth should fall, yet God is able to support, he expects but so much faith as will counterpoise a grain of mustard-seed. Besides, in following singly, a just and righteous principle, a man gains this advantage, that we485 may go on boldly, with a mind free from that torturing sollicitude of success, (* he is subject to none of those heats and colds, those fits and frights, wherewith men are perpetually vexed, for fear of discovery or miscarriage, when they have once intangled themselves in any by-acting of Engagements486 ) he either prospers, to the great good of his Nation, or else dies with honour and triumph.
But those that follow the other principle of Humane Invention, and serve that Italian Goddess, Raggione di Stato, they may live awhile as gods, but shall die like men, and perish like one of the Princes.
But because words will not serve the turn, take a few Examples of those many, that might be fetcht from all Ages, and Nations. It was Reason of State, made Pharoah hold the Israe-lites in bondage, and afterwards, when they were freed, to endeavour to bring them back again to their old slavery: but you know what he came to; It was Reason of State, that made Saul to spare Agag, and plot the ruine of David.
It was Reason of State, that made Jeroboam to set up Calves in Dan and Bethel.
It was Reason of State, (and a shrew’d one too) when Achitophel caused Absalom, to defile his Fathers Concubines in the sight of all Israel. You know what end they both came to. It was the same, that caused Abner, first, to take part with the house of Saul; and that caused Joab to kil him after he came to be his Rival in Fame, and the Favour of David: their Ends were both bloudy.
Hence it was, that Solomon having pardoned Adonijah, thought fit afterwards to put him to death, upon a very slender occasion.
And Jehu, though he had Warrant from God to destroy all the house of Ahab his Master; yet, because in the Execution of it, he mingled Reason of State, in relation to his own Interest, and minded the Establishment of himself thereby, more than the Command and Honour of God, in the Execution of Justice: therefore God cursed him for his pains, threatning by the mouth of the Prophet Hosea, to avenge the bloud of Ahabs family upon the house of Jehu.
It was Reason of State, that moved Herod to endeavour the destruction of Christ, as soon as he was born.
It was Reason of State in the Jewes, (lest the Romans should come and take away their Place and Nation) and in Pilate, (lest he should be thought no friend to Caesar) that made them both joyn in crucifying the Lord of Glory, and incur that heavy Curse, which at length fell upon the Jewish Place and Nation.
It is Reason of State, that makes the Pope and the Cardinals stick so close one to another, and binds them and the Monarchs of Christendom in one common Interest, for the greatning of themselves, and the inslaving of the People; for which, a sad destruction doth attend them.
487 It was Reason of State, that destroyed so many millions of men (forsooth) in the Holy War; that so Princes might not have time to take notice of the Popes Usurpation, nor the People leisure and opportunity to call their Princes to an account for their unbounded Tyranny.
It was Reason of State, that was pleaded in behalf488 of Borgia, to justifie all his Villanies, in wading through so much bloud and mischief to a Principality in Italy; but he escaped not, to enjoy the fruit of all his labour.
It was the same Devil, that made Henry the 4. of France, to renounce his Religion, and turn Papist, to secure himself from Popish Reveng; but God punisht him, and sent a Popish Dagger through his heart.
It made Richard the Third in England, to butcher his own Nephew; for which, vengeance pursued him, being at last tied a thwart a horse back489 , naked and bloudy, like a Calf of the Shambles.
It made Henry the 7.490 to extinguish the Line of Plantagenet, and his Son after him, not onely to dabble his hands in the bloud of many, but to persecute491 the Protestants, notwithstanding that he fell heavy also upon the Papists.
It made his Daughter Mary to fill up the measure of her Fathers iniquities, as they could not be expiated by the vertues of her sister, and Successor, whose only fault was, in following Reason of State so far, as to serve the Interest of Monarchy, above that of Religion, by upholding an Order of Prelacy; so that in her the direct Line of that Family ended.
After this, it was wicked Reason of State, that continued Monarchy, and brought in a Scotch-man upon us. This was James, who was so great an Admirer of Reason of State, that he adopted it for its own Darling, by the name of King-craft: and his Motto, No Bishop, no King, shewed, that he prefer’d Reason of State, before the Interest of Religion; as in other things, before honesty: witness, among many other, his quitting the Cause of God, and the Palatinate, to keep fair with the house of Austria: for which, and for the same Reason of State, put in practice by his Son Charles, for the ruine of Religion and Liberty, by a bloudy war, the whole Family hath been brought to a sad destruction.
These492 Examples are sufficient to shew that Reason of State, prefer’d before the Rule of Honesty, is an Errour in Policy with a vengeance; as they that will not believe, shall be sure to feel it, since it brings unavoidable Ruine, not onely to particular persons, but upon whole Families, and Nations.
[MP 109, 1-8 July 1652]
A uniting of the Legislative and Executive Powers in one and the same hands, an Errour in Policy.A fifth Errour in Policy hath been this, viz. a permitting of the Legislative and Executive Powers of a State, to rest in one and the same hands and persons. By the Legislative Power, we understand the Power of making, altering, or repealing Laws, which in all well-ordered Governments, hath ever been lodged in a succession of the supream Councels of Assemblies of a Nation.
By the Executive Power, we mean that Power which is derived from the other, and by their Authority transfer’d into the hand or hands of one Person, (called a Prince) or into the hands of many (called States) for the administration of Government, in the Execution of those Laws. In the keeping of these two Powers distinct, flowing in distinct Channels, so that they may never meet in one, save upon some short extraordinary occasion consists the safety of a State.493
The Reason is evident; because if the Law-makers, (who ever have the Supream Power) should be also the constant Administrators and Dispencers of Law and Justice, then (by consequence) the People would be left without Remedy, in case of Injustice, since no Appeal can lie under Heaven against such as have the Supremacy; which, if once admitted, were inconsistent with the very intent and natural import of true Policy: which ever supposeth, that men in Power may be unrighteous; and therefore (presuming the worst) points alwayes, in all determinations, at the Enormities and Remedies of Government, on the behalf of the People.
For the clearing of this, it is worthy your observation; that in all Kingdomes and States whatsoever, where they have had any thing of Freedom among them, the Legislative and Executive Powers have been managed in distinct hands: That is to say, the Law-makers have set down Laws, as Rules of Government; and then put Power into the hands of others (not their own) to govern by those Rules; by which means the people were happy, having no Governours, but such as were liable to give an account of Government to the supream Councel of Law-makers. And on the other side, it is no less worthy of a very serious observation; That Kings and standing States never became absolute over the People, till they brought both the making and execution of Lawes into their own hands: and as this Usurpation of theirs took place by degrees, so unlimited Arbitrary Power crept up into the Throne, there to domineer o’re the World, and defie the Liberties of the People.
Cicero, in his second Book de Offic. and his third, de Legibus, speaking of the first institution of Kings, tells us, how they were at first left to govern at their own discretion without Laws.* Then their Wills494 , and their Words, were Law, the making and execution of Lawes was in one and the same hands.
But what was the consequence? Nothing but Injustice, and Injustice without Remedy, till the People were taught by Necessity to ordain Lawes, as Rules whereby they ought to govern. Then began the meeting of the People successively in their supream Assemblies, to make Laws; whereby Kings (in such places as continued under the Kingly Form) were limited and restrained, so that they could do nothing in Government, but what was agreeable to Law; for which they were accountable, as well as other Officers were in other Forms of Government, to those supream Councels and Assemblies: Witness all the old stories of Athens, Sparta, and other Countries of Greece, where you shall find, that the Law-making, and the Law-executing Powers, were placed in distinct hands under every Form of Government: For, so much of Freedom they retained still under every Form, till they were both swallowed up (as they were several times) by an absolute Domination.
In old Rome, we find Romulus their first King cut in495 pieces by the Senate, for taking upon him to make and execute Laws at his own pleasure. And Livy tells us, that the reason why they expel’d Tarquin their last King, was, because he took the Executive and Legislative Powers both into his own hands, making himself both Legislator and Officer, inconsulto Senatu, without advice, and in defiance of the Senate.*
Kings496 being cashiered, then their Standing-Senates497 came in play, who making and executing Laws, by Decrees of their own, soon grew intolerable, and put the people upon divers desperate Adventures, to get the Legislative Power out of their hands, and place it in their own; that is, in a succession of their Supream Assemblies: But the Executive Power they left, part in the hands of Officers of their own, and part in the Senate; in which State it continued some hundreds of years, to the great happiness and content of all, till the Senate by sleights and subtilties got both Powers into their own possession again, and turned all into confusion.
Afterwards, their Emperors (though Usurpers) durst not at first turn both these Powers into the Channel of their own unbounded Will; but did it by degrees, that they might the more insensibly deprive the people of their Liberty, till at length they openly made and executed Laws at their own pleasures, being both Legislators and Officers, without giving an account to any: and so there was an end of the Roman Liberty.
To come nearer home, let us look into the old Constitution of the Common-wealths498 , and Kingdomes of Europe: We find in the Italian States; Venice, which having the Legislative and Executive Power, confined within the narrow Pale of its Nobility in the Senate, is not so free as once Florence was with Siena, Millan, and the rest; before their Dukes, by arrogating both those Powers to themselves, worm’d them out of their Liberty.
Of all those States there, onely Genoa remains in a free posture, by keeping the Power of Legislation onely in their supream Assemblies, and leaving the Execution of Law in a titular Duke, and a Councel, the keeping of these Powers asunder within their proper Sphere, is one principal Reason why they have been able to exclude Tyranny out of their own State, while it hath run the Round in Italy.
What made the Grand Seignior absolute of old, but his ingrossing both these499 Powers? and of late the Kings of Spain and France? In ancient time the case stood far otherwise; for in Ambrosio Morales his Chronicle* you will finde, that in Spain the Legislative power was lodged onely in their supreme Councel500 , and their King was no more but an elective Officer, to execute such Laws as they made, and in case of failing501 , to give them an accompt, and submit to their judgements, which was the common practice; as you may see also in Mariana:† It was so also in Aragon, till it was united to Castile, by the Mariage of Ferdinand, and Isabel; and then both States soon lost their liberty, by the projects of Ferdinand and his successors, who drew the powers of Legislation and Execution of Law, within the verge and influence of the Prerogative Royall: whilest these two powers were kept distinct, then these States were free; but the ingrossing of them in one and the same hands, was the losse of their Freedom.502
France likewise was once as free as any Nation under Heaven: though the King of late hath done all, and been all in all, till the time of Lewis the eleventh: he was no more but an Officer of State, regulated by Law, to see the Laws put in execution; and the Legislative Power (that) rested in the Assembly of the 3. Estates; but Lewis, by snatching both these Powers into the single hands of himselfe, and his successors, rookt them of their Liberty; which they may now recover again, if they have but so much manhood, as to reduce the two Powers into their ancient, or into better Channels.
This pattern of Lewis was followed close by the late King of England503 , who by our ancient Laws, was the same here, that Lewis ought to have been in France, an Officer in trust, to see to the execution of the Lawes: but by aiming at the same ends which Lewis attained, and straining, by the ruine of Parliaments, to reduce the Legislative Power, as well as the Executive into his own hands, he instead of an absolute Tyranny, which might have followed his project, brought a swift destruction upon himself and504 Family.
Thus you see it appears, that the keeping of these two Powers distinct, hath505 been a ground preservative of the peoples Interest, whereas their uniting hath been its ruine all along in so many Ages and Nations.
[MP 110, 8-15 July 1652]
Affairs of State transacted by a few, is an Errour in Policy.A sixth errour in Policy, observable in the practices of other times and Nations, hath been a reducing transactions, and in Interest506 of the Publick, into the disposition and power of a few particuler persons. The ill consequences whereof have ever bin these; that matters were not wont to be carried by fair, friendly, and legal507 debates, but by Design and Surprisal; not by freedom, and consent of the people, in their open Assemblies; but according to the premeditated Resolutions, and forestalments of Crafty projectors in private Cabinets, and Junto’s; not according to the true Interest of State, but in order to the serving of mens ends; not for the benefit, and improvement of the people, but to keep them under as ignorant of true Liberty, as the Horse and Mule; that they might be Bridled and Sadled, & Ridden, under the wise pretences of being Governed and kept in Order. But the Grand and worse consequences of all, hath been this; that such Collegues, Partners, and Ingrossers of Power having once brought about their ends by lying practies upon the people; have ever faln into fits of Emulation against themselves, and the next design hath ever bin to rook their fellows, and rid themselves of competitors; so that at length they have been their own executioners, and ruined one another. And had it been only the destruction of themselves, the matter were not considerable; but the people having by this means been torn with Civill dissentions, and the miseries of War, by being drawn into Parties, according to their severall humors and affections; the usuall event ever was, that in the end they have been seized as the prey of some single Tyrant.
An example of this there was in the State of Athens, under the Government of those thirty men, who usurped the power into their own hands, and were afterwards called the thirty Tyrants, for their odious behaviour; for Xenophon tells us, that they drew the determinations of all things into their own Closets, but seemed to manage them, calculis & suffragiis Plebis, by the Votes of the people, which they had brought to their own devotion in the Assembly, to countenance their proceedings.* And their custom was, if any sort of men complained, and murmured at their doings, or appeared for the Publique, immediately to snap them off by the losse of life or fortune, under a pretence of being seditious, and turbulent fellows against the peace of their Tyranny. These Juncto-men had not been many moneths in possession, but they began to quarrel with one another; and the reason why the game went not on, against one another, was because the people took it out of their hands, and diverted the course of their spleen against each other, into a care of mutuall defence, they being assaulted on every side, by popular arms and clamors, for the recovery of liberty. So you see the event of these thirty mens combination, was no lesse then a civill War; and it ended in their banishment. But as great a mischief followed, for a new Junto of ten men got into their places, whose Government proving little lesse odious than the former, gave an occasion to new changes, which never left shifting, till at last they fell into a single Tyranny. And the wilder sort of people, having by a sad experience, felt the fruits of their own error, in following the lusts and parties of particular powerful persons, grew wise; and combining with the honester sort, they all as one man, set their shoulders to the work, and restored the primitive Majesty, and Authority of their supreme Assemblies.
Herodotus in his second Book, tells us, that Monarchy being abolished in Egypt, after the death of King Setho, and a Declaration published for the freedom of the people, immediately the Administration of all Affaires was ingross’t in the hands of twelve Grandees, who having made themselves secure against the people, in a few years fell to quarrelling with one another, (as the manner is) about their share508 in the Government. This drew the people into severall parties, and so a civill Warre ensued; wherein Psammeticus (one of the twelve) having slain all his Partners, left the people in the lurch, and instead of a free State, seated himself in the possession of a single Tyranny.*
But of all old instances, the most famous are the two Triumvirates that were in Rome. The first was that of Pompey, Caesar, and Crassus, who having drawn the affairs of the Empire, and the whole World into their own particular hands, acting and determining all in a private Junto of their own, without the advice or consent of the Senate and people, unless it were now and then to make stalking horses of them, for the more clearly509 conveyance of some unpleasing design: These men, having made an agreement among themselves, that nothing should be done in the Commonwealth510 , but what pleased their own humor, it was not long ere the spirit of Ambition set them flying at the faces of one another, and drew the whole World upon the Stage, to act that bloody Tragedy, whose Catastrophe was the death of Pompey, and the Dominion511 of Caesar. The second Triumvirate was erected after the fatall stab given to Caesar in the Senate, between Octavius (afterwards Emperor by the name of Augustus,) Lepidus, and Antony: these having drawn all Affairs into their own hands, and shared the World between them, presently fell abandying against one another. Augustus picking a quarrell with Lepidus, gave him a lift out of his Authority, and confined him to a close imprisonment in the City. This being done first, he had the more hope and opportunity next for the outing of Anthony: he picks a quarrel with him too, begins a new civill Warre, wherein Rome and a great part of the World was engaged to serve his ambition; and things being brought to the decision of a Battell, and the ruine of Anthony, he afterwards seated, and secured himself in the injoyment of a single Tyranny.
Omitting many other instances, here in England, it is worthy observation, that in the great contest between Henry the third, and the Barons, about the liberties of themselves and the people, the King being forced at length to yield, the Lords, instead of freeing the Nation indeed, ingrossed all power into their own hands, under the name of the Twenty-foure Conservators of the Kingdom, and behaved themselves like totidem.Tyranny, so many Tyrants, acting all in their own Names, and in Junto’s of their own, wholly neglecting, or else overruling Parliaments. But then not agreeing among themselves, there were three or four of them defeated the other twenty, and drew the intire management of Affairs into their own hands, viz. the Earles of Leicester, Gloucester, Hereford, and Spencer; yet it continued so not long; for, Leicester getting all into his own power, fell at enmity with Gloucester, and was defeated512 by him.
At length, Leicester putting his Fortune to a Battel, was slain; and the King thereupon, getting all power back again took advantage of that opportunity for the greatning of himself, and Prerogative.
And so you see, All that the people got by the effusion of their bloud, and loss of their peace, was, That instead of one Tyrant, they had Twenty Four, and then Four; and after them, a single Usurper, (which was Montfort, Earl of Leicester) and he being gone, they were forced to serve their old Tyrant Henry the Third again, who by this means, became the more secure and firm in his Tyranny: whereas if they had dealt like men of honour, and made the Nation as free as they pretended, not ingrossing all into513 their own private hands, but instating the liberty of England, Paramount above the regall prerogative, in a due and constant course of successive Parliaments, (without which, liberty is but a meere name and shadow) then all the succeeding inconveniences had been surely prevented: the bloody bickering afterwards might have been avoided, their own persons and honors preserved, Kings either cashiered or regulated, as they ought to have been, and the whole Nation freed from those after-gripes and pangs, inflicted by that Henry and his corrupt Line of successors.514
The World affords many instances of this kinde, but these are sufficient to manifest the fatall consequences that have happened, in permitting publick transactions and interests to be ingrossed, and rest in the power of a few particuler persons, and that it deserves to be markt (as one saith) with a black Cole, as a most pernitious error in Policy.515
[MP 111, 15-22 July 1652]
A seventh error in Policy, is the driving516 of Factions and Parties.Driving of Faction and Parties, a main Errour in Policy. Now that you may know what Faction is, and which is the factious Party in any State or Kingdom, afflicted with that infirmity: the onely way is first to finde out the true and declared Interest of State; and then if you observe any Designes, Counsels, Actings, or Persons, moving in opposition to that which is the true publick Interest, it may be infallibly concluded, that there lies the Faction, and the factious Party, which is so much the more dangerous, in regard it not only afflicts and tears Common-wealths517 with divisions and discords at home, but in the end exposes them to the mercy (or rather) the malice518 of some publick enemy, either at home, or from abroad, and brings a sad desolation, and ruine upon the Estates, lives, and liberties of the people.
There is a notable faction we read of in this Roman story, which was that of the Decemviri, who being intrusted with the Government, and the time of their trust expired, they instead of making a Resignation, combined together for the Perpetuation of the power in their own hands, contrary to the intent of their first Election, and in defiance of that which twelve moneths before had been declared the interest of the Commonwealth.519 The grand Engineer among them was Appius Claudius, who managed his designe by promising the Nobility, that if they would stick to the Decemviri, then the Decemviri would stick to them, and joyn with them, in keeping under the people and their Tribunes, and to defeat them of their successive Assemblies. By this means he sowed the seeds of an immortall enmity between the Senate and the people; though himself and his Collegues were notwithstanding deceived of their own establishment, and soon cashiered from their imperious Domination.520
If we consider also what befell Carthage521, and how it came to ruine: the story tells us, it was occasioned by their Factions, the whole Senate being divided betwixt two potent Families of Hannibal and Hanno; by which means they were disinabled, from carrying on their Warre with Unanimity522 and alacrity, as was requisite against such wary Gamesters, as the Romans, who made such use of their Civil Dissentions, that they soon laid the glory of that famous Republick in the dust.
It was Faction and Civil Dissention that destroyed Rome itself; that is to say, her Liberty, and made her stoop under the Yoak of Caesar.
And it must not be omitted, that when her Liberty was first established, and Tarquin expelled, he had like to have made his way back again, by reason of their Divisions. And though he mist his aym there, yet Pisistratus, another Tyrant, being driven out of Athens, made a shift to get in again, by reason of their mutual Divisions.523
It was the same Devil of Faction, and Civil Dissention, (as Philip de Comines tells us) that made way for the Turk into Hungaria,* as it let him in before into Constantinople, that admitted the Goths and Vandals into Spain and Italy; the Romans into Jerusalem, first under Pompey; and afterwards under Vespasian and Titus.
It was the cause why Genoa, for a time, was content to submit to the Family of Sforza, Dukes of Millan. It brought the Spaniard into Sicily and Naples; and the French once into Millain, where they outed the aforenamed Family of Sforza.524
From hence, therefore, let us conclude, that no Errour is more dangerous, no Treason more pernicious to a Common-wealth525 , than the driving of Faction.
[MP 112, 22-29 July 1652]
Breach of Vows and Promises, a main Error in Policy.An Eighth and last Errour, observable in practice526 of Times, and Nations, hath been a violation of Faith, Principles, Promises, and Engagements, upon every Turn of Time, and advantage. An Impiety that ought to be exploded out of all Nations, that bear the Name of Christians527 : And yet we find it often pass, among the less discerning sort of men, for admirable Policy: and those Impostors that used it, have had the luck to be esteemed the onely Politicians. But yet, lest so many wise men of the World, as have been given up to this monstrous vanity, should be thought to have no reason for it, I remember, I find it usually exprest in Machiavel, to be this,528 becaus the greatest part of the world being wicked, unjust, deceitful, full of treachery and circumvention, there is a Necessity that those which are down-right, and confine themselves to the strict Rule of Honesty, must ever look to be over-reached by the Knavery of others. And take this for certain, (saith he) Qui se virum bonum omnibus partibus profiteri studet, eum certè inter tot non bonos periclitari necesse est.* He which endeavours to approve himself an honest man to all parties, must of necessity miscarry among so many that are not honest: Because some men are wicked and perfidious, I must be so too. This is a sad inference, and fit onely for the practice of Italy, where he wrote it.
The ancient Heathen would have loathed this; and the Romans (who were the noblest of them all) did in all their actions detest it, reckoning plain honesty to have been the onely Policy, and the foundation of their Greatness, (Favendo pietati fideique, populus Romanus ad tantum fastigii pervenerit). The people of Rome attained to so great a height, by observing Faith and Piety: whereof you shall see529 an Instance or two.
In the War between them, and Porsena King of the Tuscans, it so happened, that their City was besieged by Porsena: but peace being made, upon some advantagious Conditions for the Tuscans, the Romanes, for the performance of their530 Conditions, were forced to yield up divers Noble Virgins.
These Virgins, after some time, made an escape from the Tuscans, and came back to Rome, but were demanded again.
Hereupon the Senate, though they were then recovered, and in a posture, able to have defied the Tuscans, and denied the performance of those harsh Conditions, chose rather to preserve their Faith inviolable, then to take the present advantage; and so delivered up the Virgins.
The behaviour also of Attilius Regulus, is very memorable, who being prisoner at Carthage, and condemned to a cruel Death, was, notwithstanding, permitted to go to Rome, upon his bare Paroll, to propound certain Terms to the Senate; which if they yielded, then he was to have his liberty: if not, he was to return again to Carthage, and to suffer.531
The Senate not yielding, He, rather then violate his Faith, did return and suffer, being put into a Barrel spiked with Nails, and tumbled down a Hill by the Carthagenians. Nor was it the temper onely of a few persons; but general throughout the whole Nation, as might be shown by innumerable Examples; especially in their Leagues and Treaties with other Nations.532
[MP 113, 29 July-5 Aug. 1652]
533 But that you may the better know, and avoid the impious Impostors, I shall534 represent them in Machiavels own language; who in that unworthy book of his, entituled, The Prince, hath made a most unhappy Description of the Wiles that have been used by those Jugglers; and thereby left a Lesson upon Record, which hath been practised ever since by all the State-Rooks in Christendom. And therefore, since they have made so ill use of it, I suppose the best way to prevent the further operation of the poyson, is, to set it down here before you, (as I shall do verbatim535 , without adding, or diminishing a syllable) and then make two or three Inferences thereupon, for the practice of the people.*
In what manner Princes ought to keep their Words. How commendable536 in a Prince it is to keep his Word, and live with Integrity, not making use of Cunning and Subtilty, every one knows well: Yet we see by Experience, in these our dayes, that those Princes have effected great matters, who have made small reckoning of keeping their words, and have known by their Craft, how to turn and wind men about, and in the end overcome those who have grounded upon the Truth.
You must then know, there are two kinds of Combating or Fighting: the one, by Right of the Laws: the other, meerly by Force. That first way is proper to Men: The other is also common to Beasts. But because the first many times suffices not, there is a necessity to make recourse to the second: wherefore, it behoves a Prince to know how to make good use of that part which belongs to a Beast, as well as that which is proper to a Man.
This part hath been covertly shew’d to Princes by antient Writers; who say, that Achilles, and many others of those antient Princes, were intrusted to Chiron the Centaure, to be brought up under his Discipline: The morall of this, having for their Teacher, one that was half a Beast, and half a Man, was nothing else, but that it was needful for a Prince to understand how to make his advantage of the one, and other Nature, because neither could subsist without the other.
A Prince then being necessitated to know how to make use of that part belonging to a Beast, ought to serve himself of the Conditions of the Fox, and the Lyon; for the Lyon cannot keep himself from Snares, nor the Fox defend himself against the Wolves. He had need then be a Fox, that he may beware of the Snares; and a Lyon, that he may scare the Wolves. Those that stand wholly upon the Lyon, understand not themselves.
And therefore a wise Prince cannot, nor ought not to keep his Faith given, when the observance thereof turnes to disadvantage, and the occasions that made him promise, are past: for if men were all good, this Rule would not be allowable; but being they are full of mischief, and will not make it good to thee, neither art thou tied to keep it with them: nor shall a Prince ever want lawfull occasions to give colour to this breach. Very many modern Examples hereof might be alleadged, wherein might be shewed, how many Peaces concluded, and how many Promises made, have been violated and broken by Infidelity of Princes; and ordinarily things have best succeeded with him that hath bin nearest the Fox in condition.
But it is necessary to understand, how to set a good colour upon this Disposition, and be able to feign and dissemble throughly; and men are so simple, and yield so much to the present Necessities, that he who hath a mind to deceive, shall alwayes find another that will be deceived. I will not conceal any of the Examples that have been of late; Alexander the sixth never did any thing else, than deceive men, and never meant otherwise, and always found whom to work upon; yet never was there man that would protest more effectually, nor aver any thing with more solemn Oaths, and observe them less then he: nevertheless, his Couzenage thrived well with him, for he knew how to play his part cunningly.
Therefore is there no necessitie for a Prince to be endued with all those above written qualities, but it behoves well that he seeme to be so: or rather I will boldly say this, that having those qualities, and alwaies regulating himself by them, they are hurtfull; but seeming to have them, they are advantageous, as to seeme pittyfull, faithfull, milde, religious, and indeed to be so (provided with all thou beest of such a composition, that if need require thee to use the contrary, thou canst, and know’st how to apply thy selfe thereto). And it suffices to conceive this, that a Prince, and especially a new Prince, cannot observe all these things, for which men are held good, he being often forced, for the maintenance of his State, to do contrary to his faith, charity, humanity, and religion. And therefore it behoves him to have a mind so disposed as to turn and take the advantage of all winds and fortunes; and as formerly I said, not forsake the good while he can; but to know to make use of the evil upon necessity. A Prince then ought to have a speciall care, that he never let fall any words, but what are all seasoned with the five above written qualities: and let him seem to him that sees and knows him, all pitty, all faith, all integrity, all humanity, all religion; nor is there any thing more necessarie for him to seem to have, than the last quality: for all men in generall judge thereof, rather by the sight than by the touch; for every man, may come to the sight of him, few come to the touch and feeling of him; every man may come to see what thou seemest; few come to understand and perceive what thou art: and those few dare not oppose the opinion of many, who have the Majesty of state to protect them. And in all mens actions, especially those of Princes, wherein there is no judgment to appeal unto, men forbear to give their censures till the events, and ends of thing. Let a Prince therefore take the surest courses he can to maintaine his life and state, the meanes shall alwaies be thought honorable, and commended by every one: for the vulgar is ever taken with the appearance and event of a thing, and for the most part of the people, they are but the vulgar, the others that are but few, take place where the vulgar have no subssistence. A Prince there is in these daies, whom I shall not do well to name, that preaches nothing but peace and faith, but had he kept the one and the other, severall times had they taken from him his State and reputation.*
This is the old Court Gospel, which hath gained many thousand of Proselytes, among the great ones, from time to time, and the inferences arising thence in behalfe of the people, in briefe are these: That since the great ones of the world, have been very few that have avoyded this doctrine, therefore it concerns the people to keep a strict hand and eie upon them all, and impose not overmuch or long confidence in any.
If the Right of laws be the way of men, and force of beasts and great ones, not onely advised, but inclined to the latter, then it concernes any Nation or people to secure themselves, and keep Great men from degenerating into beasts, by holding up of law, liberty, priviledge, birthright, elective power, against the ignoble beastly way of powerfull domination.
If of all beasts, a Prince should some times resemble the Lyon, and somtimes the Fox, then people ought to observe great ones in both the disguises, and be sure to cage the Lyon, and unkennel the Fox, and never leave till they have stript the one, and unrais’d the other.
If a Prince cannot, and ought not to keep his faith given, when the observance thereof turnes to disadvantage, and the occasions that made him promise, are past; then it is the Interest of the people, never to trust any Princes, nor ingagements and promises of men in power, but ever to preserve a power within themselves, either to reject them, or to hold them to the performance whether they will or no. And if Princes shall never want occasions to give colour to this breach, then also it concernes the people, ever to make sure of the Instance, and not suffer themselves to be deluded with colours, shadows, and meere pretences.
Lastly, if it be necessarie for great ones to fain and dissemble throughly; because men are so simple and yield so much to the present necessity (as Machiavel saith;)* and in regard he that hath a mind to deceive, shall alwayes finde another that will be deceived: then it concerns any people or Nation, to make a narrow search ever into the men, and their pretences and necessities, whether they be fained or not; and if they discover any deceipt hath been used, then they deserve to be slaves, that will be deceived any longer.537 Thus I have noted the prime Errors of Government, and Rules of Policy. I shall now conclude with a word of Advice, in order to the chusing of the Supreme Assemblies.
[MP 74, 30 Oct.-6 Nov. 1651]
Since538 it appears, that the right, liberty, welfare, and safety of a people, consists in a due succession of their supreme Assemblies: surely then, the right constitution and orderly motion of them, is of the greatest consequence that can be, there being so much imbarqued in this Vessel, that if it should miscarry, all is irreparably lost, unless it can be recovered again out of the Sea of confusion. Therefore, as at all times there ought to be an especiall care had to the Composure and Complexion of those great Assemblies, so much more after the confusion of a Civil Warre, where it is ever to be supposed, there will be many discontented humours a working, and labouring to insinuate themselves into the body of the people, to undermine the settlement and security of the Common-wealth, that by gaining an interest and share with the better sort, in the supreme Authority, they may attain those corrupt ends of Policy, which were lost by Power.
In this case without question, there are severall men that ought to be taken into a strict consideration: There is the old Malignant and the new; against whom, not only the doores are to be shut, but every hole and cranny ought to be stopt, for fear they creep into Authority. There is likewise a tame Beast, more dangerous than the other two, which is that Amphibious animal, the neutrall of Laodicea,* that can live in either Element, sail with any winde on every point of the compasse, and strike in with Malignants of every sort, upon any occasion.
This539 is he that will undoe all, if he be not avoided; for in the form of an Angel of Light, he most slightly carries on the works of darkness. Let not him then, as to our present case, be so much as named upon an Election. Thus much for the Constitution of the supreme Assembly, or the manner of setling Authority upon the close of a Civil Warre, for the recovery of Liberty. What remains then, but that upon due caution for excluding the wilde Geese and the tame, the Malignant and the Neutrall, such a people may reasonably be put into possession of their right and interest in the Legislative power, and of all injoyment of it, in a succession of their supreme Assemblies.540
The onely way541 to preserve liberty in the hands of a people, that have gained it by the Sword, is to put it in the peoples hands, that is, into the hands of such, as by a contribution of their purses, strength, and counsells, have all along asserted it, without the least stain of corruption, staggering, or apostasie; for in this case, these only are to be reckoned the people: the rest having either by a trayterous Engagement, Compliance, Neutrality, or Apostasie, as much as in them lies, destroyed the people, and by consequence made a forfeiture of all their Rights and immunities, as Members of a people. In this case therefore men ought to have a courage; and to have a care of the course of Election, and trust God with the success of a righteous Action; for nothing can be more righteous and necessary, than that a people should be put into possession of their native right and freedom: However, they may abuse it, it is their right to have it, and the want of it is a greater inconvenience, and drawes greater inconveniencies after it, than any can be pretended to arise from the injoyment, though they were presented in a multiplying glasse, to the eyes of discerning men. But now, as this holds true at all times, in all Nations, upon the like occasions of Liberty newly purchased, so much more in any Nation, where freedom, in a successive course of the peoples Assemblies, hath once been solemnly acknowledged and declared to be the interest of the Commonwealth; for, then a depriving the people of their due, is a foundation for broils and divisions; and as Cicero defines faction to be a deviation from the declared interest of State: so in this case, if it happen that any shall desert a Common-wealth in its declared Interest, they immediately lose the name and honour of Patriots, and become Parties in a Faction.
The Edition of 1656
[* ]John 18:36.
[* ]Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, II.56.8.
[* ]Ibid., III.9.4.
[† ]Ibid., III.33.9.
[‡ ]Ibid., III.36.5.
[* ]Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, II.1.9-10.
[* ]In the year 1581.
[† ]Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, VI.20.14.
[* ]William II of Orange, brother-in-law and ally of the exiled Charles II of England. Nedham refers to the attempted military seizure of Amsterdam by William’s supporters in July 1650. William died in October of the same year.
[† ]Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, IV.24.4. Nedham loosely paraphrases. The words ascribed by Livy to Mamercus Aemilius were: Se, quod intra muros agendum esset, libertati populi Romani consulturum; maximam autem eius custodiam esse si magna imperia diuturna non essent et temporis modus imponeretur quibus iuris imponi non posset.
[‡ ]Ibid., IX.34.16.
[§ ]Ibid., III.38.1-2.
[|| ]Cicero, Letters to Atticus, X.1.3, 4.2, 8.6.
[* ]This is perhaps a conflation of two passages of bk. 10 of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities: X.25.2-3; X.27.2-3.
[† ]Plutarch, Life of Caius Marcus Coriolanus, I.1-2.
[* ]Plutarch, Life of Cicero, XLVI.1.
[* ]William II’s son, William III, was born a few days after the father’s death. The accession of an infant gravely weakened the Orange interest in the Netherlands.
[* ]Aristotle, Politics, IV.13.1.
[* ]This inscription, now kept in the archaeological museum at Cesena, is generally regarded as a medieval or Renaissance forgery.
[* ]Aristotle, Politics, V.9. Nedham paraphrases loosely.
[* ]Caesar, Gallic Wars, VI.14. Caesar does not say that the Druids instructed their pupils in matters of government.
[* ]For example, De Officiis, II.7.
[* ]Nedham paraphrases a passage from Tacitus, Annals, I.3-4.
[* ]Nelson, Greek Tradition, pp. 92-93, observes that “Livy said no such thing about the Licinian law” (the subject of the “famous Contention”). Nelson suggests that Nedham may have been misremembering another passage of Livy (Ab Urbe Condita, IV.51) or recalling Sallust, Bellum Iugurthinum, xxii [xlii?]. Alternatively, or additionally, Nedham’s account may bear some debt to Florus, Epitome of Roman History, I. 47 and II. 1, a work that is itself based upon portions of Livy’s work that are not extant.
[* ]Aristotle, Politics, V.3.
[* ]Diodorus Siculus, XI.86-87.
[† ]The law, passed in ad 61, is described by Tacitus, Annals, 14.41.
[* ]Apparently a reference to Valerius Maximus, Factorum et Dictorum Memorabilium Libri Novem, II.1a.
[* ]Jacques-Auguste de Thou (1553-1617).
[* ]The text preceding the parenthesis (which is merely a printer’s mark) is taken from Charles Hotham, Corporations Vindicated (London, 1651), p. 25. Hotham’s previous paragraphs (pp. 23-24) themselves reproduce reflections on “reason of state,” which Nedham included in Mercurius Politicus in July 1651 and which in July 1652 reappeared in the editorial on the same subject that is reproduced here (LP, p. 210).
[* ]Cicero, De Officiis, II.12; De Legibus, III.4-5.
[* ]Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, I.49.7.
[* ]Professor of Rhetoric at Alcalá de Henares, Morales (1513-91) was appointed Cronista Real in 1556. His La Crónica General de España was published in 1574. Morales may have been a source of Nedham’s remarks on the constitution of Aragon in the same paragraph.
[† ]Juan de Mariana (1536-1624), Spanish Jesuit priest and historian. Nedham may have had particularly in mind his De Rege (Toledo, 1599); or his Historiae de rebus Hispaniae (Toledo, 1592-1605), perhaps especially bk. 25. On him see Harald E. Braun, Juan de Mariana and Early Modern Spanish Political Thought (Alder-shot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2007).
[* ]Xenophon, Hellenica, II.iii.
[* ]Herodotus, Histories, II.141-53.
[* ]Philippe de Commynes, Memoires, bk. 12, chap. 6.
[* ]Machiavelli, Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince, trans. Dacres (London, 1640), chap. 18.
[* ]Nedham makes very minor adjustments to the translation of chap. 18 by Edward Dacres in Nicholas Machiavel’s Prince.
[* ]The passage from Machiavelli ends here.
[* ]Machiavelli, Prince, chap. 18.
[* ]Revelation 3:14-17.
[342.]Having already proved
[344.]by the Church-Nationall Pretenders
[346.]sanctified, &c. Not
[347.]My Kingdom is not from hence; My Kingdom is not of this world, &c.
[349.]whose kingdom being not of this world, depends
[350.]MP reads: Orthodox (they said) as themselves. This tyranny of Bishops being reformed, then our late Clergy-Reformers cam in play, who did wel in banishing Prelacy, but yet retaind the old Principle of a distinct powerful body, and of being Quartermasters & Sharers with the Civil power, which having obtained for a little time, they began to persecute those they called Independent, because they embraced Principles of a purer nature than theirs, which they branded too with Errour and heresie.
[351.]Civil, or any thing like it, must
[352.]Errors received in
[356.]E omits: I should now shew you also, how that Venice it self is no more but (as a man may call it) a multiplyed Monarchy, a particular Senate of men (who call themselves Nobility) being seated there in an hereditary, arbitrary, uncontrolable, unaccountable state of domination over that poor people.
[357.]is evident also
[358.]crept into the United Provinces, the relicks whereof are not yet extinct, as appears by some humors of the people that you may observe there, even in this weeks Intelligence.
[359.]the Interest of Monarchy may reside in the hands
[361.]to be taken notice of
[362.]shared all Authority
[364.]maxim; that ignorance
[365.]among a people setled in a State of freedom
[369.]State, all their
[370.]E omits: So much also of a Free-State we finde practised in Venice, though the benefit extend only to the Nobility themselves, and not to the people; for (as we told you once before out of one of our Countrimens [ James Howell’s ] Collections) she puts limitations to the wealth of the Senators, that none of them grow over-rich, but to such a proportion; because accesse of wealth inclines men to high thoughts, and ambitious attempts, and drawes peoples affections after them: therefore one of her prime principles of State is, to keep any man, though never so meritori[o]us, from being too pow[e]rfull and popular.
[371.]cost the Low countreymen their Liberty
[372.]been strangely prevented by a miracle of Providence, might
[373.]of command, power, and authority
[374.]large in heretofore, but it must not be omitted in this brief abstract now intended, so far as concerns a few more Instances for its confirmation. The
[376.]est, &c. This
[377.]Emylian (E has: Emiliam)
[381.]E omits: For the other Rules, you are referr’d to the next, having been to large here already.
[382.]MP begins: Wee have noted the third error or default in Policy, to be a keeping the people ignorant of those ways and means that are essentially necessary for the preservation of their Liberty; and the remedy thereof we judged to be a publication of those Rules, which have been practised in time past by divers Nations, for the keeping of their Freedom when they once had gotten it. Three of those rules you had in our last.
[383.]one (E has: own)
[384.]is very evident
[386.]State in the Republick of the
[388.]whereas (E has: whertas)
[389.]to the publick
[393.]certainly that people could never have had so far an opportunity as they now enjoy, (the Cockatrice being but in the Egg) to reduce
[395.]E omits: Thus they were served too by his Nephew Octavius (better known by the name of Augustus) who was a ripe youth, and began betimes; for being scarce 20. years of age, he drew his Army also to Rome, and sent messengers to the Senate to demand the Consulship; but when the messengers saw a kinde of slackness and unwillingness to make him consul, then Cornelius a Centurion (one of the messengers) told them plainly to their faces, setting his hand upon the hilt of his sword; Hic faciet, si vos non feceritis, If you wil not do it, this shall. When they saw that then (the messengers being withdrawn) they soon agreed to give them a satisfactory answer.
[397.]E omits: More of these Rules are yet behind.
[398.]E omits: In order to the discovery of those waies and means, that are essentially necessary to the preservation of a Commonweal in a state of Freedom, we proceed in the setting down of such Rules as have been observed in past Ages, and Nations, upon the like Occasion. Five have been published already.
[399.]their own Consent
[400.]speciall care περὶ ὅπλησιν καὶ γυμνασίαν,
[401.]because (saith he) the Commonweal is theirs who hold
[404.]the Senate and people
[406.]trajicito (E also has: trajicito)
[407.]all, and march
[408.]Commonweal [In E, the corresponding word may or may not be hyphenated.]
[409.]Praetorian, in stead of a publick popular Militia
[411.]E omits: Were Venice a State, so free as it is called, we might then have seen them in another posture of Militia then now they are: For, the Nobility, as the grand secret of State to uphold their own power, do not intrust thee Arms in the hands of the people but hold an Army ever in pay, mixt partly with Natives, partly Foreiners, who depend onely upon themselves, being enabled thereby to do what they please with the people.
[412.]MP begins: A Seventh Rule, essentially necessary for the preservation of a Commonweal in a State of Freedom, is this; that Children
[414.]E omits: I remember a discourse of a very subtile Politician [Machiavelli. In The Case of the Commonwealth, where this passage of MP also appears, Nedham gives his source as “the Florentine’s subtile Discourses upon Livy” and refers to bk. I, chaps. 16-18, of that work: Knachel, pp. 111-12], very pertinent to our purpose, who shewing of what force education is in respect of Government, compares such as have been educated under a Monarchy, to these beasts which have been caged, or coop’t up all their lives in a Den, where they seem to live in as much pleasure as other beasts that are abroad: And if they happen to be let loose, yet they will return again, because they know not how to use their Liberty: So strong an impression is made likewise by education and custome from the Cradle, even upon men that are indued with reasonable souls, that they chuse to live in places and forms of Government under which they have been bred, rather then to submit to better which might make more for their happinesse and advantage. Hence it is (as we have once observed before, but cannot now omit it) that those poor slaves under the Turk, Persian, Tartar, Muscovit, Russian, French and Spaniard with other Eastern, Northern, and Western Lords, are so inamor’d of their chains, that they admire their own condition, being bred up in it, above all others, and like the Indians, adore the Devil that torments them, because their education hath made them ignorant of a better Deity to protect them.
[416.]called the Druides
[418.]E omits: How comes it to passe, that the Jesuits have so readily furnished themselves with Instruments and Agents for the carrying on of their designs to the embroylment of Christendom, but that they have been permitted to erect Colledges and Seminaries in every Corner, where their Novices are suckled onely with such doctrine as may inable and dispose them for the ruining of States and Kingdoms? so that whether it be to a good purpose or a bad, you see all the efficacie lies in the education.
[419.]and under such
[421.]a free Commonweal
[422.]in every Institution
[423.]E omits: Of those Rules that are essentially necessary for the preservation of a Commonweal in a state of Freedom, you have had seven already.
[424.]into a Monarchall
[425.]confute it is; that they doe
[426.]be a just
[428.]out of our past discourses, which are not to be repeated here: But the sense
[429.]that notable one
[430.]and that is
[431.]Actings among his souldiery
[432.]upon the senate and People
[434.]MP reads: point of behaviour. For, if we reflect upon these 30. years past, we shall find how cautious the Parliaments and People of England have been before they proceeded to Arms, the utmost and most desperate Remedy.
[436.]E substitutes that sentence for: Though all these Tyrannies of his were sufficiently felt and known, yet such was the wisdom and caution of our nation, from time to time & Particularly of this Parliament, that they used all the waies under heaven by Petitioning, Declaring, Remonstrating to God and man, in hope to reduce him: and though all would not doe, yet notwithstanding, that desperate Remedy of the Sword was forborn till after he had first taken it up, and that invincible necessity did put it into their hands, for the preservation of Themselves, with the Rights and Liberties of the People.
[439.]E omits: As concerning those Rules that have been put in practice heretofore by divers Nations, and which have by them been reputed essentially necessary for a preservation of their Freedom, we have published eight already. The Eighth Rule mentioned in our last, was; That a People being once possessed of Liberty, ought to use it with moderation, least it turn to licentiousness; which as it is a Tyranny in it self, so in the end it usually occasions the corruption and conversion of a Free-State into a Monarchy. For prevention whereof we gave one Caution in our last. More Cautions there are, which (that I may drive on the main discourse to a period) shall be summ’d up this week in brief; whereby a People in a Free-State may understand how to demean themselves for the avoiding those pernitious enormities of Tumult, Dissention, Sedition, &c. charged upon them by Kings, Grandees, and their Creatures:
[449.]in the whole Series of affairs in the Roman State
[451.]accusations, and calumniations
[454.]called S C. Turpilianum
[456.]course (E has: course course)
[458.]concerns a people established in a state of Freedom so to regulate
[460.]E omits: so that in this case, that maxime of our English Law is very pertinent, Abundans Cautela non nocet . There can be no hurt in extraordinary caution.
[461.]MP begins: Touching those Rules that have been reputed essentially necessary, and accordingly put in practice by divers Nations, for a preservation of the Publick Freedom, you have had Eight already.
[462.]E omits: This was Treason of the grossest kind.
[466.]Cases, as they are collected and set forth by a Countriman [James Howell] of our own in English
[467.]2. The second point of Treason is
[468.]this Crime, aut vivi exurebantur, &c, were either
[469.]E omits: And for the avoiding of those Inconveniences that follow a discovery, they have a speciall care in Venice to keep all those especially from the Priests, as they did in Rome from Women. The former are Persons alwaies, and in all Places, of a distinct Interest from the Civill; The latter, by the nature of their Sex, not fit for such kinde of Communications[.]
[470.]3. It is Treason, and death without
[472.]Compliances. Hence it is, that the Pope’s Conclave have ever been more hot and tedious in their debates and determinations, than any other Assembly of men in the world; For, most Princes have ever held them in Pension, some one way, and some another. But in
[473.]E omits: And that it may appear how extreme strict they are in this Particular, it cannot be amiss to let down here a very sad story concerning Antonio Foscarini one of the senators, as it was written by Sir Henry Wotton [whose words, in Reliquiae Woottonianae (1651; repr. 1672, p. 309), MP loosely reproduces] ; who being Ambassador at Venice, chanced to be there at that very time when the Tragedy was acted. There in (saith he) in the Partitions of this Government a very awfull Magistracy entituled Inquisitory distato, who recieve all secret accusations in matter of practise against the Republick, and then referr the same, as they see caus, to the Councel of Ten, who are the suprem Tribunall in Criminal Cases. To these Inquisitors came two men, and capitulated for a reward to discover some Gentlemen, who at unseasonable times, and in disguised Forms did haunt the Houses of forein Ministers; in particular they named the spanish Agent, being likeliest to gain a favourable hearing upon that subject. In the head of their secret list they named one of the senators called Antonio Foscarini, who being of the senate was thereby restrained upon pain of death from all conference with publick ministers, unless by special permission. And to give some Colour to their discovery, they did, besides their own Testimonies, alledg one Giovan Battista, who served the aforesaid Spanish Agent, and had, as they said, acquainted them with the accesses of such and such Gentlemen unto him. But first they advised, or so the Inquisitors thought fit to proceed against Foscarini, without examining the aforesaid Giovan Battista, lest it might caus a noise, and then perhaps those other that they meant to accuse might escape.
[475.]have before you
[476.]a Free Republick
[477.]MP begins: For Order’s sake, let us run back a little, and see how our Discourse hangs together. The first thing we dispatched was to prove the Excellency of a Free-state above all other Forms; for which you had di vers Reasons. After this, Answers were given to divers Objections comonly made against the Government of a free-State[.] Next, wee noted divers Errors that have been received in the course of Christian Policy; whereof wee have as yet set down onely Three; and the third Error is noted to have been a keeping the People ignorant of those wayes and means that are essentially necessary for the preservation of their Liberty; the remedy wee judged to be a publication of those Rules which have been practised in times past by divers Nations, for the keeping of their Freedom. The Eighth Rule was that which more especially related to the People themselves in point of Behaviour; for the due Regulation whereof, wee did in the next place set down a few Cautions; and after them the Ninth and last Rule which you had last week; so that having run through all these Particulars in order, wee naturally revert now to the former
[479.]not the strict
[481.]fear I be
[482.]called Reason of state, you had about this time Twelvemonth, Numb. 60 [MP 24-31 July 1651, p. 959; LP, p. 210], which wee transplant hither, as into it’s more proper Place:
[483.]That which wages
[484.]E substitutes the opening of this paragraph for: This passage being taken notice of, and quoted by an ingenious Gentleman in a Book of his in Print, he was pleased in opposition to this sandy Foundation of policy, called Reason of State, to point out a more sure and Noble way:
[486.]By-Actings or Engagements
[487.]E adds this paragraph.
[488.]in the behalf
[490.]Harry the seventh
[492.]MP reads: sad destruction. Yet reason of State is still the grand Idol of the present Youngster. It made him first resolve to joyn with the Irish; but things not falling out to his minde there, it made him wheel about into Scotland, and turn Covenanter. Afterwards, it made him cast off the Covenant and Covenanters both together; and therefore, no doubt but the next wheeling wil be towards Rome, or any way, if reason of State require it, that he may finish the transgressions of the Family.
[493.]occasion, there lies a grand Secret of Liberty and good Government
[494.]wills were law
[496.]MP reads: the Senate. This was the main Caus, for, the Rape of Lucrece did but quicken them to lay hold of an opportunity. Kings
[503.]late Tyrant in England
[505.]MP reads: himself and his family.
[514.]E omits: It is remarkable also in the State of France, how peaceably, happily, and orderly their nation was governed, so long as their affairs were managed in a publick way by the three Estates, in their successive suprem Assemblies, as their stories will inform you. And no sooner were those Assemblies laid aside by the craft and power of Lewis 11 and the succeeding Kings, and the publick affairs and interests of the Nation in-grossed by them, and the Princes of the Bloud, and some few of their Creatures and Dependants, but their peace, liberty, and welfare became lost for ever. For, that Countrey hath ever since been the stage of bloud, and a perpetuall Civill war, the poor people being tost and banded to and fro to serve their ends and designes; who, as all Junto men and Grandees in the world, however they may seem to comply, collogue, and cog with one another for a time, in the carrying on their common design of usurpation, yet no sooner is the prey before them, but they ever fall to cutting one anothers throats (as we see in France at this day) for their shares in the tyranny.
[515.]MP ends: pernicious Error in the practices of other times and Nations.
[516.]A Seaventh Error in Policy, observable from the practises of other times and Nations, hath been the Driving
[518.](or rather) malice
[521.]befell Carthage in After-time
[522.]with such unanimity
[524.]E omits: It hath often invited the Spaniard into France; but he had never so sure a Footing as in the Guisian League. At this day we see, he is gotten in again, upon occasion of the two Factions, banded betwixt the Court and the Princes; which hath inabled him to give a fair Check already to the growing greatnes of the French Monarchy.
[526.]An Eighth Error observable in the practise
[528.]I find it fully express’d in Machiavel; who as he hath left many noble Principles and observations upon record, in defence of the liberty of the people, so we find in some of his Books many pernitious sprinklings, unworthy of the light, and of him who in other things was master of a very solid judgement, and most active phant’sie. But the vile reason, which he gives why Statesmen may be excused for this prodigious crime, is this;
[531.]Carthage & suffer.
[532.]E omits: For the rest, touching this particular, I refer you to another time; this being but an introduction to what I intend you in my next, when I shall descend to the practices of later times and Nations.
[533.]E omits: The Eight Error in Policy observable from the practice of other times and Nations, we noted in our last to be, A violation of Faith, Principles, Promises and Ingagements, upon every Turn of Time and Advantage. An Impiety (we told you) that ought to be exploded out of all Societies which bear the name of Christian: and yet we find it often pass among the less discerning sort of men for admirable Policy, and those Imposters that use it, have had the luck to be esteem’d the only Politicians.
[534.]and avoid them, give me leave a little to
[535.]verbatim out of the English Translation
[539.]Upon any occasion: This indifferent Divell usually bears the character of the honest peaceable man, among the ordinary sort of people: But this
[540.]E omits: Many Pretences may be against it, many suppositions of danger; the sonnes of Anak may be said to be in the way, and therefore no entring into the promised Land: But had such Bugbears been regarded; had Phlegmatick reasonings taken place in time past, there is a Nation under the Sun (which shall be nameless) that had been undone before now in being kept from new moduling of an Army, which proved afterwards the most victorious Army that ever was in Christendom.