Page images
PDF
EPUB

28.

nocent man, that is not a subject, if it be for the, Part II. benefit of the commonwealth, and without violation of any former covenant, is no breach of the Eur the harm law of nature.

For all men that are not subjects, cents in war are either enemies, or else they have ceased from not so. being so by some precedent covenants. But against enemies, whom the commonwealth judgeth capable to do them hurt, it is lawful by the original right of nature to make war ; wherein the sword judgeth not, nor doth the victor make distinction of nocent, and innocent, as to the time past nor has other respect of mercy, than as it conduceth to the good of his own people. And upon this ground Nor that which it is, that also in subjects, who deliberately deny clared rebels. the authority of the commonwealth established, the vengeance is lawfully extended, not only to the fathers, but also to the third and fourth generation not yet in being, and consequently innocent of the fact, for which they are afflicted : because the nature of this offence, consisteth in the renouncing of subjection ; which is a relapse into the condition of war, commonly called rebellion; and they that so offend, suffer not as subjects, but as enemies. For rebellion, is but war. renewed. REWARD, is either of gift, or by contract. When Reward is

either salary by contract, it is called salary, and wages ; which or grace. is benefit due for service performed, or promised. When of gift, it is benefit proceeding from the grace

of them that bestow it, to encourage, or enable men to do them service. And therefore when thesovereign of a commonwealth appointeth a salary to any public office, he that receiveth it, is bound in justice to perform his office; otherwise, he is bound only in honour, to acknowledgment, and

VOL. III.

X

PART II.

28.

Benefits bestowed for fear

an endeavour of requital. For though men have no lawful remedy, when they be commanded to quit their private business, to serve the public, without reward or salary; yet they are not bound thereto, by the law of nature, nor by the institution of the commonwealth, unless the service cannot otherwise be done ; because it is supposed the sovereign may make use of all their means, insomuch as the most common soldier, may demand the wages of his warfare, as a debt.

The benefit which a sovereign bestoweth on a are not rewards. subject, for fear of some power and ability he hath

to do hurt to the commonwealth, are not properly rewards ; for they are not salaries; because there is in this case no contract supposed, every man being obliged already not to do the commonwealth disservice: nor are they graces; because they be extorted by fear, which ought not to be incident to the sovereign power: but are rather sacrifices, which the sovereign, considered in his natural person, and not in the person of the commonwealth, makes, for the appeasing the discontent of him he thinks more potent than himself; and encourage not to obedience, but on the contrary, to the continuance, and increasing of further extortion.

And whereas some salaries are certain, and proceed from the public treasure; and others uncertain, and casual, proceeding from the execution of the office for which the salary is ordained; the latter is in some cases hurtful to the commonwealth; as in the case of judicature. For where the benefit of the judges, and ministers of a court of justice ariseth from the multitude of causes that are brought to their cognizance, there must needs follow two

Salaries certain and casual,

.

28.

tain and casual.

inconveniences : one, is the nourishing of suits ; for PART II. the more suits, the greater benefit: and another that depends on that, which is contention Salaries cerabout jurisdiction ; each court drawing to itself, as many causes as it can. But in offices of execution there are not those inconveniences; because their employment cannot be increased by any endeavour of their own.

And thus much shall suffice for the nature of punishment and reward; which are, as it were, the nerves and tendons, that move the limbs and joints of a commonwealth.

Hitherto I have set forth the nature of man, whose pride and other passions have compelled him to submit himself to government: together with the great power of his governor, whom I compared to Leviathan, taking that comparison out of the two last verses of the one-and-fortieth of Job; where God having set forth the great power of Leviathan, calleth him king of the proud. There is nothing, saith he, on earth, to be compared with him. He is made so as not to be afraid. He seeth every high thing below him; and is king of all the children of pride. But because he is mortal, and subject to decay, as all other earthly creatures are; and because there is that in heaven, though not on earth, that he should stand in fear of, and whose laws he ought to obey; I shall in the next following chapters speak of his diseases, and the causes of his mortality; and of what laws of nature he is bound to obey.

CHAPTER XXIX.

OF THOSE THINGS THAT WEAKEN, OR TEND TO

THE DISSOLUTION OF A COMMONWEALTH.

29.

common

wealths pro

institution.

PART 11. Though nothing can be immortal, which mortals

make ; yet, if men had the use of reason they preDissolution of tend to, their commonwealths might be secured, at

least from perishing by internal diseases. For by ceedeth from the nature of their institution, they are designed their imperfect

to live, as long as mankind, or as the laws of nature, or as justice itself, which gives them life. Therefore when they come to be dissolved, not by external violence, but intestine disorder, the fault is not in men, as they are the matter; but as they are the makers, and orderers of them. For men, as they become at last weary of irregular jostling, and hewing one another, and desire with all their hearts, to conform themselves into one firm and lasting edifice: so for want, both of the art of making fit laws, to square their actions by, and also of humility, and patience, to suffer the rude and cumbersome points of their present greatness to be taken off, they cannot without the help of a very able architect, be compiled into any other than a crazy building, such as hardly lasting out their own time, must assuredly fall upon the heads of their posterity.

Amongst the infirmities therefore of a commonwealth, I will reckon in the first place, those that arise from an imperfect institution, and resemble

29

the diseases of a natural body, which proceed from PART II. a defectuous procreation. Of which, this is one, that a man to obtain a Want of

absolute power. kingdom, is sometimes content with less power, than to the peace, and defence of the commonwealth is necessarily required. From whence it cometh to pass, that when the exercise of the power laid by, is for the public safety to be resumed, it hath the resemblance of an unjust act ; which disposeth great numbers of men, when occasion is presented, to rebel ; in the same manner as the bodies of children, gotten by diseased parents, are subject either to untimely death, or to purge the ill quality, derived from their vicious conception, by breaking out into biles and scabs. And when kings deny themselves some such necessary power, it is not always, though sometimes, out of ignorance of what is necessary to the office they undertake; but many times out of a hope to recover the same again at their pleasure. Wherein they reason not well; because such as will hold them to their promises, shall be maintained against them by foreign commonwealths ; who in order to the good of their own subjects let slip few occasions to weaken the estate of their neighbours. So was Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, supported against Henry the Second, by the Pope; the subjection of ecclesiastics to the commonwealth, having been dispensed with by William the Conqueror at his reception, when he took an oath, not to infringe the liberty of the church. And so were the barons, whose power was by William Rufus, to have their help in transferring the succession from his elder brother to himself, increased to a

« PreviousContinue »