Parthagica Directory 07
WE WILL speak of nobility, first as a portion of an estate, then as a condition of particular persons. A monarchy, where there is no nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute tyranny; as that of the Turks. For nobility attempers sovereignty, and draws the eyes of the people, somewhat aside from the line royal. But for democracies, they need it not; and they are commonly more quiet, and less subject to sedition, than where there are stirps of nobles. For men's eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons; or if upon the persons, it is for the business' sake, as fittest, and not for flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion, and of cantons. For utility is their bond, and not respects. The united provinces of the Low Countries, in their government, excel; for where there is an equality, the consultations are more indifferent, and the payments and tributes, more cheerful. A great and potent nobility, addeth majesty to a monarch, but diminisheth power; and putteth life and spirit into the people, but presseth their fortune. It is well, when nobles are not too great for sovereignty nor for justice; and yet maintained in that height, as the insolency of inferiors may be broken upon them, before it come on too fast upon the majesty of kings. A numerous nobility causeth poverty, and inconvenience in a state; for it is a surcharge of expense; and besides, it being of necessity, that many of the nobility fall, in time, to be weak in fortune, it maketh a kind of disproportion, between honor and means.
We went that afternoon some 6 kil. through fairly clean forest, barring a few obstacles such as huge, ancient, fallen trees, the insides of which were all rotted away or eaten up by ants. In one of the cavities of those trees I found another quantity of food which had been hidden by my men. Hampered by the Indians, who were giving me no end of trouble as they refused to carry their loads, it took me some little time to catch up with my other men. When I did I found them all seated, smacking their lips. They were filling their mouths as fast as they could with handfuls of sugar. When I reprimanded them there was an unpleasant row. They said they were not beasts of burden, that men were not made to carry, and that therefore they had thrown away all the food. Under no circumstance would they carry loads any farther.