Paradox I – 1656

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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              Paradoxes.

 

               PAR. I.

 

That anabſolute Tyranny

is the beſt Government.

 

S           Ince  that power

               is  the very life

             and  eſſence   of

             everyGovern-

ment  ,  and thoſe  Go-

vernments are the moſt

perfect,   that  have the

moſt power  ,   and that

that   power   is  moſt in

tenſe,  which  reſides  in

one, and more weak and

faint which is  diſperſed

among  a many ,   ſince

that all  people hate  to

be Governed  by  their

equalls,   and  therefore

choſe to put themſelves

under anUmpire,it muſt

needs follow,that,Lord

ly or abſolute Monarchy

is the   beſt   and   moſt

naturalGovernment.For

if all Governments ,  if

they doe not at firſt be-

gin with Monarchy,yet

in proceſſe of time they

grow up fromrepublciks

into Monarchies as into

more   perfect   eſtates ,

and all Monarchies turn

intoTyrannies,after ave-

ry little time,  why may

we not  inferre that  all

other Governments are

imperfect   ſpecies   till

they beconſummated and

made Tyrannicall.

    If  we  conceive  that

moſt  correſpondent  to

the    law   of     nature ,

which moſt Nations do

agree in  ( though in o-

ther    things they   diſ-

ſcent)  and that  we ſee

upon all the Globe very

few and little Republicks,

but many and vaſt King-

domes,  we may deduce

from thence,  that moſt

people,   do deſire  to be

under  the  ſway of one,

who if he be not indued

with a ſupreame and un

limited Power,  is rather

their  ſervant  then their

Prince,   and it is but re

diculous to thinke that

ſo great a part  of  man-

kind,  would be content

to obey their ſlaves.

    Nor  doth  it  proceed

from cowardize :  for we

ſee the old and modern

Perſians ,   the  ſtouteſt

Septentrionall  Nations,

the Turks,Scithians,and

Muſcovites  at  this day,

pride     themselves    ſo

much   in  this  Govern-

ment,   that they  adore

their Emperors as gods;

Nor   doth   it   proceed

from Stupidity,  for the

wiſest  and politick Na-

      ☞most☜

tions have  imbraced it,

and though ſome politi-

tians have termed it but

the privation or  diſeaſe

of   Government ,   yet

many  more,   have ac-

counted it the only beſt

way of rule,   and  that

from the courſe and or-

der of nature,  which in

every kind formes a Su

premacy ,   as the Eagle

among Birds,  the Lyon

among Beaſts, the Vine

among Vegetables,  and

the Rubye among ſtones.

Nay ,   and   Divines  of

all   ſorts   except  ſome

J ſuites    and   Indepen-

dants)unanimouſly con=

clude, that  all Govern-

ment  must bee obeyed

without      reſiſtance  ;

Now they aſſume,  that

Royalty is the only go-

vernment    that    God

hath  ordained,  and  is

pleaſed with ( Kings be-

ing  ectypes of  him and

bearing his name )  and

therefore they ought to

be obeyed without reſiſt

ance ,  and   none ought

to lift their hands againſt

them.    Now    if   none

ought to  bee  the   leaſt

ofſobedient,   and   that

Rebellion is as  the  sin of

witchcraft,they inveſt an

abſolute  power  inthem

who they ſay are not to

be controled,for  if they

might be  controled,   it

ſhould be for the impo-

ſition of ſome unjuſt cō=

mands,which ifSubjects

might  actually diſobey

& cal to account,all the

world would  bee  filled

with confusion  and Re

bellion.    But ſay  they,

Kings are onely anſwera

ble to  God  whoſe  Vice

gerents   they  are ,  and

not  ſubordinate to any

humaine   power ,  and

above  all  law,   which

evinc’d ,     whatſoever

they doe is lawfull  and

not examinable.

     Beſides ,   what more

contrary to the eaſe and

order of the people,then

the multiplicity of Laws,

litigious  interpretations

of them,and obſtreperous

Lawyers?   but  all   this

is  cut  off ,  and  ſaved,

when the  fountaine  of

Law is in one breaſt, and

the people may preſent-

ly know  the  reſolution

and  interpretation from

one    that    cannot  doe

wrong.  For  all  Law be-

ing in the King, and hee

by  maxime not capable

of   doing  any   wrong,

whatever he doth  muſt

be juſt  and  right  ;  and

what greater happineſſe

to a people,then  grant-

ing them speedy  juſtice.

   The proportion of eve-

ry  mans ſpirit may  bee

meaſured   by   his   wi

shes  :  Now the greateſt

ſoules aime  at  nothing

ſo much as at rule ,  and

at  no rule  in  compari-

ſon  of  that  over  men.

Now ifVertue and excel

lent endowments, cannot

be truly rewarded with

any thing  that  is  evill;

and  Nature  never  tea-

ches any man uſelesse in

clinations ;    it muſt fol-

low    that     ſuperiority

ſeems   to bee  ſet   as  a

whetſton  and reward of

Vertue.   And what ſoul

would  not  diſdaine  to

governe ,  where  hee is

pounded up with ſervile

reſtrictions, and limited

by   thoſe   who    were

borne   to   obey    him.

Caeſar choſe rather to be

the firſt of a Village,then

the ſecond in Rome;  and

would not hee  ,   thinke

we  ,   chooſe  rather  to

have been Duke of  one

ſtreet of Florence, then a

ridiculous    Pageant   to

all the    Dominion   of

Venice?

    Now  for  the  happi

neſſe of a State ,   what

better  way  to  it  then

peace ,  and what better

way  of  preſervation of

peace, then by having

continually  ready   ar-

med force , which may

quel every inſurrection,

and ſtifle it in the birth,

and  yet  ſerve  for  out-

ward  magnificence  and

attendance    upon    the

Prince ?    what   better

plantation    of   wealth,

then to  have  a  Court

entertained  with all de-

lights ,  and glittering in

all the  ſpoyles  both of

the Sea and Mines ,  and

as it were triumphing in

all  the  productions and

curioſities  of  Art ?  and

yet  this  without  Prin-

ces    Courts   is  vainely

expected.

  Rome had never known

Nero’s goldenhouſe,   had

it not  beene   for  Nero;

nor   the   great    Arch,

had  Trajan never lived;

nor     had  Spaine   ever

dreamt of an Eſicuriall,if

it  had  wanted a Philip.

And   yet  things  are  a-

     ☞these☜

mong their chiefeſt and

laſting glories.   Beſides

what   better   way   to

keepe a Kingdome quiet

then by employing  the

poorer  ſort of   people,

upon  ſuch  workes   as

the Prince  ſhall  either

fancy  or  delight  in ?

Thus we ſee  the  Pyra

mids at this  day  remai-

ning ,  the fame  of  the

place    whereon    they

ſtand.   And we read of

the Horti penſiles of Ba

bilon,&c. none of which

had ever beene done or

knowne ,  had  not  the

care and noble wiſdome

of the  King   employed

the   people   that   way,

who   else   might  have

ſunke  into  Luxury ,  or

ſnorted  themſelves  into

implacable enmities.

    Beſides ,  all   the wiſ

dome of  the Politicians

could  never  ſhape  out

but three kindes of Go-

vernment , Democracie,

which   is   nothing  but

dregs and confuſion , and

anaudaciouslicence to do

every thing;& indeed an

interſtice of government,

rather then government.

Ariſtocracy, when onely

the nobles have thereign

in their hands,and are ſo

apt to burſt into factions,

that it could  not thrive

nor  prosper  any where.

Aristotle   indeed  in  his

Politicks  mentions ſome

few obſcure  ones,and  we

know but one extant  at

this day. And Monarchy

which is the onlyperfect

ſyſtem   of   government,

whichindeed includesop

timacy within it ſelf; for a

Prince muſt have  Coun-

ſellours ,    who  if  they

were Guardians to him,

and  might impoſe  their

advice ,   what  a  repug

nant , inconsistent , con

trary  thing were  a Mo-

narch to himselfe.   But

if   the  last   judgement

of  every  thing be to be

left to him,  and no man

can  ſo   abſolutely   rule

his underſtanding ,   but

that       it       must   bee

ſomewhat    ſway’d  and

byaſs’d   by   his    will  ,

it will follow,  that  it  is

neceſſary  to   the   very

eſſence  of a  Prince,   to

have his own wil free &

uncontrolable ,  and then

what    a    poore    thing

is a Prince, if  he  be  not

obeyed.

    Besides,   ſince all par-

ticulars   do  aſcend  and

diſſolve   into univerſals,

there   muſt   among   ſo

many private fathers,be

one publicke Father,  to

be the great  Archetype

of all the reſt.      And if

private    fathers    have

ſuch intire authority  o-

ver their ſonnes ;   (Nay

which the Romans and

ſome wiſe Nations  had

power of life and death

over their children )   it

is but  equitable ,    that

publicke Fathers should

have Analogicall autho-

rity   over  those    who

ſtand bound to them in

that relation.

   You  will   ſay ,   they

may be vicious  perſons.

But their vices are only

as private men, and can-

not render them in their

publick  capacity  either

leſſe just or leſſe skilfull.

Beſides they ſtand  open

to the  eyes and envy of

all  men ,   and  ſo every

little ſlip  of  theirs may

be  obſerv’d and  blaz’d,

which if they had beene

private   persons  ,   had

been as obſcure as Mid

night.  Or  put  the caſe

their vices be high  and

big,  they ſeldome want

ſuperiour    vertues    to

cloud and shadow them.

For every thing being in

great and high ſoules,ex

ceſsive  ,  it is impoſſible

for them to keep a me

diocrity   in their   vices,

which   are    commonly

illuſtriouſly  great ,  and

rather matter of   obſer

vation ,   then   hate  or

ſcorne : for theGrandeza

andGayety of them , ex-

empts them from thoſe

poore ridiculous conſe-

quences  which  fall  on

the ſlips of more meane

and ſordid natures.

    And   you   will    ſay,

they may  be  ravenous :

great  fires   must   have

great  ſtore    of   fewell;

great magnificences that

cannot   ſtoop   to  thrift,

must ſtray to gaine,  and

who       ſhould      better

ſupply    the   head  with

ſpirits ,   then  the  lower

parts of  the  ſame body?

Beſides    the    publicke

loſſe  is nothing all  this

while,   for it   is  in  the

ſame   Country ,   onely

gathered into one hand,

and    gloriouſly   ſpent ,

whereas   otherwiſe    it

might  have been  inſen-

ſiblymiſledaway in ama

ny,& Princes what they

draw up from their Sub-

jects   in Vapours ,  they

returne down to them in

ſhowersandinrichandfat

ten   the places where  e-

ver they reſide.

    And   in   caſe    they

ſometimes fall heavy on

private perſons,  ’tis but

exerciſing  that  ſeverity

which the law  provides

againſt  vice,   and  then

tis  worke  of  excellent

juſtice,Or if  happily the

parties be innocent and

blameleſſe, weſhouldac-

count him but a badCi-

tizen that would not re-

deem a publick Burden,

with his own privat ſuf-

ferings,&cheerfully re-

ſign up his  eſtate when

the    Commonwealth ,

ſhould  either  gaine  or

ſave   ſo much by it:

    But then you may ob-

ject, they  are  Usurpers ,

no  man  envies  reward

to   danger ,   and   what

greater     danger ,   then

for a man   with  all  his

relations and intereſts, to

encounter     a     preſent

power  ,  which   if they

overthrow,  ’tis fit  they

ſhould injoy the  fruits

of  it.   And   then  com-

ming by this meanes, in-

gages  them  to  a  great

warineſſe  ,   and to  ma-

ny flatteries and obligati

ons of  the people,which

otherwiſe  they   would

have   neglected.    And

they   must   alſo  walke

providently,   leaſt  they

leave holes for others to

creep in  at  upon  them,

as  they did   upon their

Predeceſſors,   Withall

it  hath  beene   knowne

that    a    many   Princes

haveſweetnedand diſgui

ſed the memory of their

acceſſe  to  Government,

by making many excel-

lent lawes and proviſions

in their  ſeverall  Domi-

nions,   which  heredita

ry and succeßive Princes

( confident of their titles

and ſtrengthened by the

ſtock  of their  Ancestors

reputation ) either omit,

to doe the contrary.

   You  will  ſay  further,

that  the  rayes of  theſe

ſunnes  will but quicken

bad humours,   and  be-

get   abundance  of   In

ſecta’s and Monſters, and

among      all     Monſters

none  ſo eminently   evill

as Flatterers   and   favo

rites.    But   I   pray  you

will  you not  give  peo-

ple that do  great things

leave to injoy  the poor

eſt reward,   the relation

and report of them?   Or

in caſe  they did nothing

memorable,  would  you

not    allow   them  that

groane under the burden

of  publicke  affaires,   ſo

ſmall a diverſion  and en-

tertainment as flattery?

which   indeed   ſoberly

conſidered,   is ſo  neceſ

ſary  to  allay   the  miſe-

ries of life,that the moſt

unfortunate men,  whey

they want others to  do

it   to  them,   do   it for

themſelves,andpleaſantly

chaſe    away    all    ugly

thoughts  and Idea’s  by

their    happie     feeding

themſelves with  a   few

lovely dreames.

   For   Favorites  ,    will

you deny them  the pri-

viledge of   private  per-

ſons ,  to  make   choice

of their own Privadoes ?

or if you ſuffer  them to

make choice,  will  you

ſtrangle    their   friend-

ſhips,  denying  a mutu

all interchange,and cor-

reſpondence of  Courte-

ſies  ?   Or will  you bee

ſo   injurious    to   good

parts,   as where you ſee

them any where bright

ly  breake forth deny to

entertaine them ?   And

what  more    powerfull

provocation   of   vertue

then the  aim and deſign

of  the   particular   affe

ctionsandendearments of

a   Prince  ,   which    ſel-

dome pit☞ch in any body

wherein  they   doe   not

finde     ſomewhat     like

themſelves,   that is,   of

vine.

     In a word,   ſince  the

very Heathens could ſee

that    royalty   ſtreamed

forth  immediately  from

Jove himſelfe,  and  that

royalty is but a dull  lan

guid thing if   it be  clog-

ged    with  the  least re

striction :  That  Monar

chy  which  enjoies   the

moſt perfect  Liberty  is,

the moſt majeſticke  and

excellent, and is cloathed

with the greateſt  abun-

dance of Names and At

tributes. And  ſince  Du

ality is  the  very Damne

of   Diviſion ,    and   the

utter    destroyer  of  all

Prerogative,    it   is  but

juſt that al   Soveraignty

reſide in one.   And even

thoſe       Philosophers  ,

which ſtand moſt ſtoutly

for the infinity of worlds

doe alſo  conſent  and ac

knowledge  that there  is

but one God.

3||A2<r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

faint

4||A2<v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ry

5||A3<r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

who

6||<A3v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nor

7||A4<r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

all

8||<A4v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re

9||A5<r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

evinc’d

10||<A5v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

of

11||<A6r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cli

12||<A6v

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now

13||<A7r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as

14||<A7v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

poorer

15||<A8r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be-

16||<A8v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

know

17||<A9r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ſome-

18||<A9v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ver           

19||<A10r

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

all

20||<A10v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ſcorne :

21||<A11r>  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

while,

22||<A11v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

’tis

23||<A12r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

en-

24||<A12v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

have

25||B<1r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

none

26||<B1v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

they

27||B2<r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ſo

28||<B2v>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jove

29||B3<r>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for

30||<B3v>