When factions are carried too high and too violently, it is a sign of weakness in princes, and much to the prejudice both of their authority and business. The motions of factions under kings ought to be like the motions (as the astronomers speak) of the inferior orbs, which may have their proper motions, but yet still are quietly carried by the higher motion of primum mobile.
Kings had need beware how they side themselves, and make themselves as of a faction or party; for leagues within the state are ever pernicious to monarchies; for they raise an obligation paramount to obligation of sovereignty, and make the king tanquam unus ex nobis, as was to be seen in the league of France.
Faction is the excess and the abuse of party: it begins when the first idea of private interest, preferred to public good, gets footing in the heart. It is always dangerous, yet always contemptible; and in vain would the men who engage in it hide their designstheir secret prayer is, Havoc, do thy worst.
It is no wonder that faction is so productive of vices of all kinds: for, besides that it inflames all the passions, it tends much to remove those great restraints, honour and shame,when men find that no iniquity can lose them the applause of their own party, and no innocence secure them against the calumnies of the opposite.