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and their decay in valour encourageth a War. As for the weapons, it hardly falleth under rule and observation; yet we see even they have returns and vicissitudes; for certain it is, that ordnance was known in the city of the Oxydraces in India; and was that which the Macedonians called thunder and lightning and magic; and it is well known that the use of ordnance hath been in China above two thousand years. The conditions of weapons and their improvements are, first, the fetching afar off; for that outruns the danger, as it is seen in ordnance and muskets; secondly, the strength of the percussion; wherein likewise ordnance do exceed all arietations, and ancient inventions; the third is, the commodious use of them; as that they may serve in all weathers; that the carriage may be light and manageable, and the like. For the conduct of the war: at the first, men rested extremely upon number; they did put the wars likewise upon main force and valour, pointing days for pitched fields, and so trying it out upon an even match; and they were more ignorant in ranging and arraying their battles. After they grew to rest upon number, rather competent than vast; they grew to advantages of place, cunning diversions, and the like ; and they grew more skilful in the ordering of their battles. In the youth of a state, arms do flourish; in the middle age of a state, learning; and then both of them together for a time; in the declining age of a state, mechanical arts and merchandize. Learning hath its infancy, when it is but beginning, and almost childish; then its youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile ; then its strength of years, when it is solid and reduced ; and, lastly, its old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust; but it is not good to look too long upon these turning wheels of vicissitude, lest we become giddy; as for the philology of them, that is but a circle of tales, and therefore not fit for this writing,
A FRAGMENT OF AN ESSAY OF FAME.
The poets make Fame a monster; they describe her in part finely and elegantly, and in part gravely and sententiously; they say, Look how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath underneath, so many tongues, so many voices, she pricks up so many ears. This is a flourish; there follow excellent parables; as that she gathereth strength in going; that she goeth upon the ground, and yet hideth her head in the clouds; that in the day-time she sitteth in a watch-tower, and flyeth most by night; that she mingleth things done with things not done, and that she is a terror to great cities; but that which passeth all the rest is, they do recount that the earth, mother of the giants that made war against Jupiter and were by him destroyed, thereupon in anger brought forth Fame; for certain it is, that rebels, figured by the giants and seditious fames and libels, are but brothers and sisters, masculine and feminine; but now if a man can tame this monster, and bring her to feed at the hand, and govern her, and with her fly other ravening fowl and kill them, it is somewhat worth ; but we are infected with the style of the poets. To speak now in a sad and serious manner; there is not in all the politics a place. less handled, and more worthy to be handled, than this of fame; we will therefore speak of these points: what are false fames; and what are true fames; and how they may be best discerned ; how fames may be sown and raised; how they may be spread and multiplied ; and how they may be checked and laid dead; and other things concerning the nature of fame. Fame is of that force, as there is scarcely any great action wherein it hath not a great part, especially in the war. Mucianus undid Vitellius by a fame that he scattered; that Vitellius had in purpose to move the legions of Syria into Germany, and the legions of Germany into Syria; whereupon the legions of Syria were infinitely inflamed. Julius Caesar took Pompey unprovided, and laid asleep his industry and preparations by a fame that he cunningly gave out, how Caesar’s own soldiers loved him not; and being wearied with the wars, and laden with the spoils of Gaul, would forsake him as soon as he came into Italy. Livia settled all things for the succession of her son Tiberius by continually giving out that her husband Augustus was upon recovery and amendment; and it is an usual thing with the bashaws, to conceal the death of the Great Turk from the Janisaries and men of war, to save the sacking of Constantinople, and other towns, as their manner is. Themistocles made Xerxes, king of Persia, post apace out of Graecia, by giving out that the Graecians had a purpose to break his bridge of ships which he had made athwart the Hellespont. There be a thousand such like examples, and the more they are the less they need to be repeated, because a man meeteth with them every where: wherefore let all wise governors have as great a watch and care over fames, as they have of the actions and designs themselves.