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employeth, and change them often ; for new are more timorous and less subtle. He that can look into his estate but seldom, it behoveth him to turn all to certainties. A man had need, if he be plentiful in some kind of expense, to be as saving again in some other ; as if he be plentiful in diet, to be saving in apparel; if he be plentiful in the hall, to be saving in the stable, and the like: for he that is plentiful in expenses of all kinds will hardly be preserved from decay. In clearing of a man's estate he may as well hurt himself in being too sudden, as in letting it run on too long; for hasty selling is commonly as disadvantageable as interest. Besides, he that clears at once will relapse; for, finding himself out of straits he will revert to his customs; but he that cleareth by degrees induceth a habit of frugality, and gaineth as well upon his mind
his estate. Certainly, who hath a state to repair may not despise small things; and, commonly, it is less dishonourable to abridge petty charges than to stoop to petty gettings. A man ought warily to begin charges, which once begun will continue; but in matters that return not he may be more magnificent.
OF THE TRUE GREATNESS OF KING
DOMS AND ESTATES.
The speech of Themistocles the Athenian, which was haughty and arrogant in taking so much to himself, had been a grave and wise observation and censure, applied at large to others. Desired at a feast to touch a lute, he said, “ he could not fiddle, but yet he could “ make a small town a great city." These words, (holpen a little with a metaphor,) may express two differing abilities in those that deal in business of estate ; for, if a true survey be taken of counsellors and statesmen, there may be found, (though rarely,) those which can make a small state great, and yet cannot fiddle : as, on the other side, there will be found a great many that can fiddle very cunningly, but yet are so far from being able to make a small state great, as their gift lieth the other way; to bring a great and flourishing estate to ruin and decay; and, certainly, those degenerate arts and shifts, whereby many counsellors and governors gain both favour
with their masters and estimation with the vulgar, deserve no better name than fiddling; being things rather pleasing for the time, and graceful to themselves only, than tending to the weal and advancement of the state which they serve. There are also, (no doubt,) counsellors and governors which may be held sufficient, “ negotiis pares," able to manage affairs, and to keep them from precipices and manifest inconveniences; which, nevertheless, are far from the ability to raise and amplify an estate in power, means, and fortune ; but be the workmen what they may be, let us speak of the work ; that is, the true greatness of kingdoms and estates; and the means thereof. An argument fit for great and mighty princes to have in their hand; to the end, that neither by over-measuring their forces they lose themselves in vain enterprises ; nor, on the other side, by under valuing them they descend to fearful and pusillanimous counsels.
The greatness of an estate in bulk and territory doth fall under measure; and the. greatness of finances and revenue doth fall under computation. The population may appear by musters; and the number and great
ness of cities and towns by cards and maps ; but yet there is not any thing, amongst civil affairs, more subject to error than the right valuation and true judgment concerning the power and forces of an estate. The kingdom of heaven is compared, not to any great kernel or nut, but to a grain of mustard seed; which is one of the least grains, but hath in it a property and spirit hastily to get up and spread. So are there states great in territory, and yet not apt to enlarge or command; and some that have but a small dimension of stem, and yet are apt to the he foundation of great monarchies.
Walled towns, stored arsenals and armories, goodly races of horse, chariots of war, ele. phants, ordnance, artillery, and the like; all this is but a sheep in a lion's skin, except the breed and disposition of the people be stout and warlike. Nay, number itself) in armies importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for, as Virgil saith, “It never “ troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.” The army
of the Persians, in the plains of Arbela, was such a vast sea of people as it did somewhat astonish the commanders in Alex
ander's army, who came to him, therefore, and wished him to set upon them by night; but he answered, he would not pilfer the victory; and the defeat was easy. When Tigranes, the Armenian, being encamped upon a hill with four hundred thousand men, discovered the army of the Romans, being not above fourteen thousand, marching towards him, he made himself
merry with it, and said, “ Yonder men are too many
for an ambassage, and too few “ for a fight :” but before the sun set he found them enow to give him the chase with infinite slaughter. Many are the examples of the great odds between number and courage : so that ą man may truly make a judgment, that the principal point of greatness in any state is to have a race of military men. Neither is money the sinews of war, as it is trivially said,) where the sinews of men's arms in base and effeminate people are failing ; for Solon said well to Cræsus, (when in ostentation he shewed hiin his gold,) Sir, if any other come “ that hath better iron than you, he will be “ master of all this gold.” Therefore let any prince or state think soberly of his forces, except his militia of natives be of good and va