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whatsoever the event shall be, which must depend upon the dispensation of God's will and providence, and his blessings upon your descendents. And because I have no purpose vainly or assentatorily to represent this greatness as in water, which shews things bigger than they are, but rather as by an instrument of art, helping the sense to take a true magnitude and dimension: therefore I will use no hidden order, which is fitter for insinuations than sound proofs, but a clear and open order: first by confuting the errors or rather correcting the excesses of certain immoderate opinions, which ascribe too much to some points of greatness which are not so essential, and by reducing those points to a true value and estimation: then by propounding and confirming those other points of greatness which are more solid and principal, though in popular discourse less observed: and incidently by making a brief application, in both these parts, of the general principles and positions of policy unto the state and condition of these your kingdoms.

Of these the former part will branch itself into these articles:

First, That in the measuring or balancing of greatness, there is commonly too much ascribed to largeness of territory. Secondly, That there is too much ascribed to treasure or riches. Thirdly, That there is too much ascribed to the fruitfulness of the soil, or affluence of commodities.

And fourthly, That there is too much ascribed to the strength and fortifications of towns or holds.

The latter will fall into this distribution:

First, That true greatness doth require a fit situation1 of the place or region.

Secondly, That true greatness consisteth essentially in population and breed of men.

Thirdly, That it consisteth also in the valour and military2 disposition of the people it breedeth: and in this, that they make profession of arms.

Fourthly, That it consisteth in this point, that every common

Originally "consisteth much in the natural and fit situation," &c., corrected in Bacon's hand.

2" Militarie" in MS.: a third instance in correction of my note, Vol. VI. p. 27. Compare pp. 587. 591. of that volume, and pp. 53. 58. of this. It would seem that Bacon used the form military in his earlier works, and militar in his later.

subject by the poll be fit to make a soldier, and not only certain conditions or degrees of men.

Fifthly, That it consisteth in the temper of the government fit

to keep subjects in heart and courage, and not to keep them in the condition of servile vassals.

And sixthly, That it consisteth in the commandment of the sea.

And let no man so much forget the subject propounded, as to find strange that here is no mention of religion, laws, policy. For we speak of that which is proper to the amplitude and growth of states, and not of that which is common to their preservation, happiness, and all other points of well-being.

First, therefore, touching largeness of territories, the true greatness of kingdoms upon earth is not without some analogy with the kingdom of heaven, as our Saviour describes it: which he doth resemble, not to any great kernel or nut, but to one of the least grains, but yet such a one as hath a property to grow and spread. For as for large countries and multitude of provinces, they are many times rather matters of burden than of strength, as may manifestly appear both by reason and example. By reason thus: There be two manners of securing of large territories: the one by the natural arms of every province; and the other by the protecting arms of the principal estate, in which case commonly the provincials are held disarmed. So are there two dangers incident unto every estate; foreign invasion, and inward rebellion. Now such is the nature of things, that those two remedies of estate do fall respectively into these two dangers, in case of remote provinces. For if such an estate rest upon the natural arms of the provinces, it is sure to be subject to rebellion or revolt; if upon protecting arms, it is sure to be weak against invasion: neither can this be avoided. Now for examples proving the weakness of states possessed of large territories, I will use only two, eminent and selected. The first shall be of the kingdom of Persia, which extended from Egypt inclusive unto Bactria and the borders of the East India, and yet nevertheless was over-run and conquered in the space of seven years, by a nation not much bigger than this isle of Britain, and newly grown into name, having been utterly obscure till the time of Philip the son of Amyntas. Neither was this effected by any rare or heroical prowess in the con

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queror, as is vulgarly conceived (for that Alexander the Great goeth now for one of the wonders of the world); for those that have made a judgment grounded upon reason of estate, do find that conceit to be merely popular. For so Livy pronounceth of him, Nihil aliud quam bene ausus vana contemnere. Wherein he judgeth of vastness of territory as a vanity that may astonish a weak mind, but no ways trouble a sound resolution. And those that are conversant attentively in the histories of those times, shall find that this purchase which Alexander made and compassed was offered by fortune twice before to others, though by accident they went not thorough with it; namely, to Agesilaus, and Jason of Thessaly. For Agesilaus, after he had made himself master of most of the low provinces of Asia, and had both design and commission to invade the higher countries, was diverted and called home upon a war excited against his country by the states of Athens and Thebes, being incensed by their orators and counsellors, which were bribed and corrupted from Persia, as Agesilaus himself avouched pleasantly, when he said That an hundred thousand archers of the kings of Persia had driven him home: understanding it, because an archer was the stamp upon the Persian coin of gold. And Jason of Thessaly, being a man born to no greatness, but one that made a fortune of himself, and had obtained by his own vivacity of spirit, joined with the opportunities of time, a great army compounded of voluntaries and adventurers, to the terror of all Græcia, that continually expected where that cloud would fall, disclosed himself in the end, that his design was for an expedition into Persia, (the same which Alexander not many years after achieved,) wherein he was interrupted by a private conspiracy against his life, which took effect. So that it appeareth as was said, that it was not any miracle of accident that raised the Macedonian monarchy, but only the weak composition of that vast state of Persia, which was prepared for a prey to the first resolute invader. The second example that I will produce, is of the Roman empire, which had received no diminution in territory, though great in virtue and forces, till the time of Jovianus. For so it was alleged by such as opposed themselves to the rendering of Nisibis upon the dishonourable retreat of the Roman army out of Persia. At which time it was avouched, that the Romans by the space of eight hundred years had never before that day made any cession or renun

ciation to any part of their territory, whereof they had once had a constant and quiet possession. And yet nevertheless, immediately after the short reign of Jovianus, and towards the end of the joint-reign of Valentinianus and Valens, which were his immediate successors, and much more in the times succeeding, the Roman empire, notwithstanding the magnitude thereof, became no better than a carcase, whereupon all the vultures and birds of prey of the world did seize and ravine for many ages, for a perpetual monument of the essential difference between the scale of miles and the scale of forces. And therefore upon these reasons and examples we may safely conclude, that largeness of territory is so far from being a thing inseparable from greatness of power, as it is many times contrariant and incompatible with the same. But to make a reduction of that error to a truth, it will stand thus, That then greatness of territory addeth strength, when it hath these four conditions: First, That the territories be compacted, and not dispersed. Secondly, That the region which is the heart and seat of the state, be sufficient to support those parts which are but provinces and additions.

Thirdly, That the arms or martial virtue of the state be in some degree answerable to the greatness of dominion. And lastly, That no part or province of the state be utterly unprofitable, but do confer some use or service to the state.

The first of these is manifestly true, and scarcely needeth any explication. For if there be a state that consisteth of scattered points instead of lines, and slender lines instead of latitudes, it can never be solid, and in the solid figure is strength. But what speak we of mathematical principles? The reason of state is evident, that if the parts of an estate be disjoined and remote, and so be interrupted with the provinces of another sovereignty, they cannot possibly have ready succours in case of invasion, nor ready suppression in case of rebellion, nor ready recovery in case of loss or alienation by either of both means. And therefore we see what an endless work the King of Spain hath had to recover the Low Countries, although it were to him patrimony and not purchase; and that chiefly in regard of the great distance. So we see that our nation kept Calais a hundred years' space after it lost the rest of France, in regard of the near situation; and yet in the end

they that were nearer carried it, and surprise over-ran succours. Therefore Titus Quintius made a good comparison of the state of the Achaians to a tortoise, which is safe when it is retired within the shell, but if any part be put forth, then the part exposed endangereth all the rest. For so it is with states that have provinces dispersed, the defence whereof doth commonly consume and decay and sometimes ruin the rest of the estate. And so likewise we may observe, that all the great monarchies, the Persians, the Romans, (and the like of the Turks,) they had not any provinces to the which they needed to demand access through the country of another: neither had they any long races or narrow angles of territory, which were environed or clasped in with foreign states; but their dominions were continued and entire, and had thickness and squareness in their orb or contents. But these things are without contradiction.

For the second, concerning the proportion between the principal region and those which are but secondary, there must evermore distinction be made between the body or stem of the tree, and the boughs and branches. For if the top be overgreat and the stalk too slender, there can be no strength. Now the body is to be accounted so much of an estate as is not separated or distinguished with any mark of foreigners, but is united specially with the bond of naturalization. And therefore we see that when the state of Rome grew great, they were enforced to naturalize the Latins or Italians, because the Roman stem could not bear the provinces and Italy both as branches: and the like they were content after to do to most of the Gauls. So on the contrary part, we see in the state of Lacedæmon, which was nice in that point, and would not admit their confederates to be incorporate with them, but rested upon the natural-born subjects of Sparta, how that a small time after they had embraced a larger empire, they were presently surcharged, in respect to the slenderness of the stem: for so in the defection of the Thebans and the rest against them, one of the principal revolters spake most aptly and with great efficacy in the assembly of the associates, telling them that the State of Sparta was like a river, which after that it had run a great way, and taken other rivers and streams into it, ran strong and mighty, but about the head and fountain of it was shallow and weak; and therefore advised them to assail and invade the

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