Francis Bacon (15611626). Of the Wisdom of the Ancients. 1857.
IX. The Sister of the Giants
THE POETS tell us that the Giants, being brought forth by Earth, made war upon Jupiter and the gods, and were routed and vanquished with thunderbolts, whereupon Earth, in rage at the wrath of the gods, to revenge her sons brought forth Fame, youngest sister of the giants.
The meaning of the fable appears to be this: by Earth is meant the nature of the common people; always swelling with malice towards their rulers, and hatching revolutions. This upon occasion given brings forth rebels and seditious persons, who with wicked audacity endeavour the overthrow of princes. And when these are suppressed, the same nature of the common people, still leaning to the worse party and impatient of tranquillity, gives birth to rumours and malignant whispers, and querulous fames, and defamatory libels, and the like, tending to bring envy upon the authorities of the land: so that seditious fames differ from acts of rebellion, not in race and parentage, but only in sex: the one being feminine and the other masculine.