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liant soldiers; and let princes, on the other side, that have subjects of martial disposition, know their own strength, unless they be otherwise wanting unto themselves.
As for mercenary forces, (which is the help in this case,) all examples 'shew that, whatsoever estate or prince doth rest upon them, he may spread his feathers for a time, but he will mew them soon after.
The blessing of Judas and Issachar will never meet; that the same people or nation should be both the lion's whelp, and the ass between burdens ; neither vill it be, that a people overlaid with taxes should ever become valiant and martial. It is true that taxes, levied by consent of the estate, do abate men's courage less; as it hath been seen notably in the exercises of the Low Countries; and, in some degree, in the subsidies of England; for you must note that we speak now of the heart, and not of the purse; so that, although the same tribute and tax, laid by consent or by imposing, be all one to the purse, yet it works diversely upon the courage. So that you may conclude, that no people overcharged with tribute is fit for empire.
Let states that aim at greatness take heed how their nobility and gentlemen do multiply too fast; for that maketh the common subject grow to be a peasant and base swain, driven out of heart, and, in effect, but a gentleman's labourer. Even as you may see in coppice woods; if you leave your 'straddles too thick, you shall never have clean underwood, but shrubs and bushes. So in countries, if the gentlemen be too many, the commons will be base; and you will bring it to that, that not the hundredth poll will be fit for an helmet; especially as to the infantry, which is the nerve of an army; and so there will be great population and little strength. This which I speak of hath been no where better seen than by comparing of England and France; whereof England, though far less in territory and population, hath been, (nevertheless,) an overmatch ; in regard the middle people of England make good soldiers, which the peasants of France do not; and herein the device of king Henry the Seventh, (whereof I have spoken largely in the history of his life,) was profound and abmirable ; in making farms and houses of husbandry of a standard ; that is,
maintained with such a proportion of land unto them as may breed a subject to live in convenient plenty, and no servile condition, and to keep the plough in the hands of the owners, and not mere hirelings; and thus indeed you shall attain to Virgil's character which he gives to ancient Italy;
“ Terra potens armis atque ubere glebæ.” Neither is that state, (which, for any thing I know, is almost peculiar to England, and hardly to be found any where else, except it be perhaps in Poland,) to be passed over; I mean the state of free servants and attendants upon noblemen and gentlemen, which are no ways inferior unto the yeomanry
and therefore, out of all question, the splendour and magnificence, and great retinues, the hospitality of noblemen and gentlemen received into custom, do much conduce unto martial greatness; whereas, contrariwise, the close and reserved living of noblemen and gentlemen causeth a penury of military forces.
By all means it is to be procured, that the trunk of Nebuchadnezzar's tree of monarchy be great enough to bear the branches and the
boughs; that is, that the natural subjects of the crown or state bear a sufficient proportion to the strange subjects that they govern; therefore all states that are liberal of naturalization towards strangers are fit for empire: for to think that an handful of people can, with the greatest courage and policy in the world, embrace too large extent of dominion, it may hold for a time, but it will fail suddenly. The Spartans were a nice people in point of naturalization; whereby, while they kept their compass, they stood firm ; but when they did spread, and their boughs were become too great for their stem, they became a windfall upon the sudden. Never any state was, in this point, so open to receive strangers into their body as were the Romans; therefore it sorted with them accordingly, for they grew to the greatest monarchy. Their manner was to grant naturalization, (which they called “ jus civitatis,") and to grant it in the highest degree, that is, not only " jus commercii, jus “ connubii, jus hæreditatis ;” but also,“ jus “ suffragii, and jus honorum ;" and this not to singular persons alone, but likewise to whole families; yea, to cities, and sometimes to na
tions. Add to this, their custom of plantation of colonies, whereby the Roman plant was removed into the soil of other nations; and, putting both constitutions together, you will say, that it was not the Romans that spread upon the world, but it was the world that spread upon the Romans; and that was the sure way of greatness. I have marvelled sometimes at Spain, how they clasp and contain so large dominions with so few natural Spaniards: but sure the whole compass of Spain is a very great body of a tree, far above Rome and Sparta at the first; and, besides, though they have not had that usage to naturalize liberally, yet they have that which is next to it; that is, to employ, almost indifferently, all nations in their militia of ordinary soldiers; yea, and sometimes in their highest commands :
it seemeth at this instant, they are sensible of this want of natives; as by the pragmatical sanction, now published, appeareth.
It is certain, that sedentary and within-door arts, and delicate manufactures, (that require rather the finger than the arm,) have in their nature a contrariety to a military disposition;