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prudence, and memory, we owe our remaining glories) threw oil, and not water, into the long troubles of France; with which coun: cil, the same Philip was so transported (judging it the best expedient to improve his grand design of the western monarchy) that to carry the war into France, he apparently (but not wisely) neglected his own affairs in the Low-Countries; thereby spoiling a most sovereign antidote, by an unseasonable application. Nor was the costly attempt of 1588 any thing, but carrying fire into * an enemy's kingdom, the better to extinguish the flame made by that foe, in his country; king, doms (like houses in a dreadful fire) being best secured by blowing up the next dangerous neighbour: hence, the French are supposed (by no fools) to have been both the midwife and nurse to our late Scotish and English warst; begot the several costly wars between us and Holland #; continued and fostered the revolts both in Cata, lonia and Portugal, and of late assisted that king, both with men and money.
Cromwell, indeed, was an unparalleled sinner against this antient king-craft, when, postponing the general tranquility, to his own wretched humour and interest, he assisted France, at such a time, that all the world judged her too powerful for her rival, Spain, who then lay drooping under her own wounds and follies, in relation, principally, to the ill conduct of her treasure, which, alone, will founder the strongest empire; and had this nation no other crime to charge on that ill man (who, like the greatest mortals, must, living or dead, be exposed to the severest censure of the people) it were alone sufficient to render him an impolitick and hateful person, to all generations. Whereas, on the contrary, we owe great reverence to the wisdom of his majesty, in espousing the triple alliance, and entering generously into other leagues, in order to secure the peace of Christendom. But, yet, I humbly conceive, it is not enough for a cheap, sure, and lasting peace, so long as the balance remains so unequal between the two great pretenders; and France, through her military grandure, continues so armed, able, and daring, to give perpetual frights and alarums to the whole neighbourhood; whereby, a peace, through a just and necessary jealousy, becomes as costly as war itself, consuming those that are suspicious of her; and the daily motions and buzzings of her armies oblige the neighbours, with sword in hand, to an eternal watchfulness, lest, unawares, the blow be given; which continual bendings inevitably must draw so many dreadful weaknesses on the parties concerned, as must, at Jength, without a miracle, improve both the designs and glories of that prince; which is so obvious to all considering men, that some of his own subjects have had the vanity, of late, to boast, even in this kingdom, what charge their king would put us unto, by marching his army (mighty, and in perpetual pay) yearly near our coasts, be. fore really he would attack us: and certainly, great must the advan. tage be, which France hath now over us (whereby an estimate may be + England. See this whole expedition, vol. 2. page 149, &c.
Beiween King Charles the Second and his parliament,
taken of our decay, even in the midst of peace) if, when the humour possesseth that daring monarch (whose armies, like birds of prey, are always on the wing) to move towards us, either in pretence, or reality (which, by the event, is only determinable) we must equip, at least, our fleet, at six or seven-hundred thousand pounds charge, to prevent the mere fear of an invasion; and when we are wearied, and consumed by so many fruitless, yet necessary armings, and laid to slumber after so many alarums, who can but easily foresee what dreadful effects may ensue? Wherefore, I conclude, with that great statesman, Cicero, Pace suspecta tutius bellum*.
But suppose, that, whilst the United Provinces and Spain maintain their posts, we were able both to resist his attempts, and bear the expence, yet, it is scarce deniable, but, if he devour those countries, by piece-meals, and pluck up that glorious commonwealth, by the roots (which, without effectual assistance, infallibly he will) we must also receive a law from him ; for what can then keep us, with the rest of Christendom, from subjection to that crown? since we already see the very clappings of his wings beget amazement. Join the power and riches of Holland to him, and all the known world must bow to his scepter.
Again, should France attempt, and reduce us to severe terms, whilst our neighbours stand with their arms a.cross, it would only expedite their confusion, and draw on them a more certain con. quest.
I will not, therefore, doubt, but as the safeties of us, and our allies, are floating in one common bottom, and fortified by mutual interests (the only true cement of leagues) so our joint designs, when once put into action, will be vigorously pushed on, till the balance of Christendom be reduced to its proper standard. And, whereas it must be granted, that no conquest can satiate, bonds tye, nor leagues charm this great pretender t, whereby the milky ways of peace may felicitate Europe, without the costly and terrible guards of armies, so long as the odds remain so unequal, and this mighty hero (armed and victorious) is able thus to affright the world, heca tor his neighbours, impose upon the weak, and, on every feeble pretence, ransack their countries, without revenge; nothing remains justifiable by the just rules of policy, but with the joint arms of all parties concerned (which, indeed, is all Europe) to attack this il. lustrious man, upon the very first just provocation, and by dint of sword, carry the war into his own bosom; and from the example of wise princes, make his country, at once, both the seat of war and desolation; whereof the Romans, in the war of Carthage, are a puissant instance; whereas, on the contrary, the states, and princes of Europe, Italy especially, neglecting of late to assault the Turk powerfully before Candia, are now justly expecting him, with horror and amazement, at their own doors. He that fights in his enemy's country, does in effect, fight at his enemy's cost; and when peace is clapped up, leaves his enemy, for that age, poor, and miserable, as
A war is safer than a suspected peace. † To universal monarchy.
we have, not long since, beheld in poor Germany. The French king, therefore, commonly makes himself the assailant, maintaining half his wars at his adversaries charge, by fighting in their countries; where, if he receive a blow, he has his own unharrassed kingdom, either to receive, or recruit him; and our heroick Elisabeth (who, knowing that virtue and justice were the only ligaments of her people's love, governed her affairs with miraculous wisdom and housewifery, made her payments sure to a proverb, and was accordingly adored) studied by all arts imaginable to fight her enemies on their own soil, whereby at once she imprinted thereon the terrible marks of desola. tion, and preserved her country as proper fuel, wherewith, on all occasions, to consume her adversaries. Nor was her sister Mary intentionally her inferior in this particular, when the loss of Calais (which, in her hand, was so ready an inlet to assail either of the great pretenders, as common interest directed) was supposed either to have occasioned, or hastened her death. For this reason, all our kings, from the glorious Edward the Third, to Queen Mary, being two hundred and ten years, with infinite care and cost, preserved Calais against all comers, as a sacred jewel of the crown; however, a sort of new policy seems of late to have been introduced. He that fights out of his country, seldom ventures any thing besides an army; but he that is assaulted, and beat upon his own dunghill, commonly loseth that with the victory, or at least suffereth ten-thousand ca. lamities, besides the usual terrors of invasion : whereof the Swedes descent into Germany, by virtue of their king's courage and allian. ces (such as I drive at) is a wonderful example; wherein, a puissant emperor (armed and victorious as France is now) was courageously set upon, and after a fierce war of sixteen years, and the death (as is supposed) of three hundred thousand Germans, torn to pieces by so many eager confederates (whereof France was none of the small ones) who by the deep counsels of those mighty oracles, Richelieu and Oxenstern (guided peradventure by a divine hint) pursued this 'method, as the likeliest way to chastise and humble that haughty family, who otherwise, possibly, would by piecemeals, or drowsy peace, have swaggered, if not subdued Europe. Let brave princes, for the common safety of Christendom, repeat this counsel, on ano. ther theatre, the scale may soon be turned, and France most justly be chastised with her own terrible scourge forty years after; other. wise it must be a long and unlucky war, managed by France, on the soil of other princes, to make her miserable, so long as she enjoys peace at home. Allow her that, and she may tug hard with Christen. dom; like Spain, who, by virtue of the domestick peace, contended, in effect, with all Europe, for eighty years, and put them shrewdly to their trumps. Nothing more than peace at home, enables a prince to manage wars abroad; he then that will humble his enemy, must throw wild fire into his bosom, carry the war into his country, and strike home, at the head and heart.
Nor are the ill humours, which, peradventure, may be found, in every country, the meanest argument to excite an invasive war; since poor Germany received the deepest wounds, from his own weapons,
and France by her arbitrary government, and intolerable impo. sitions (to omit the natural fickleness of her people, the oppressed Huguenots, and the lofty and never-dying pretences of the house of Conde) hath probably prepared combustible matter, wherewith at any time to consume herself, when once, especially her neighbours, with powerful arm, bring flames unto it, which otherwise (as we have there often seen within this thirty years) is, in effect, as soon ex. tinguished as begun.
Why then does Europe slumber, and meekly suffer such dangerous clouds to increase, and impend, till of themselves they break about their ears? Our common safeties invocate our common arms to assail this lion in his den, pare his claws at least, and abate his fierceness, and instead of expecting him in ours, attack him vigorously in his own country on the next just provocation, since nothing is more certain than that delays and softness fortify the danger, and improve that, which, in prudence, is now resistible, into a folly to withstand. Slight distempers, at first despised, prove oftentimes deadly; whereas to meet with a disease, before it come to the crisis, is a probable means to ascertain the cure, and venienti occurrite morbo, may be as choice a maxim in government, as aphorism in physick. Par queritur bello, was a shrewd motto of a bad man, and ought, more justly, on this occasion, to be wrote in capital letters, on all the confederate standards of Europe. In fine, he that sees not an ab. solute necessity of enabracing speedily a confederate war, to abate the edge of this illustrious pretender, hath either not daly weighed the danger, has some vile, and by-ends, Bethlem mad to introduce some heresy, or is resolved to truckle. Tanti religio potuit suadere malorum.
I should tremble to sound a trumpet to war (which is always ac. companied with fearful circumstances) did I not from my soul be. lieve that a supreme peace, like an incurable gangrene, would create greater calamities, and introduce both a certain war, and the hazard of a total subversion. For, if whilst we become meer spectators of our neighbour's losses, and calamities, this prince, either by force or subtlety, improve his dominions, we can expect no other favour, but the miserable satisfaction, either to be last devoured, or shame. fully imposed upon; which sounds so dolefully in l
free-born ear, that, to prevent it, nothing can be esteemed too dear; whereas a speedy arming of all the confederates may not only repel, but force the infection into his own bowels, and make him experimentally feel those miseries, which, meerly to aggrandise his name, and kingdom, he has incompassionately brought on others; whereof I may not doubt, when I consider how one of his majesty's three kingdoms by the proper virtue of her kings (which were truly heroick) and the slender help of some one confederate, hath more than once made terrible impressions in France, and turned up even the foundations of her government; for which those brave princes will be eternally celebrated, whilst the memory of the slothful and voluptuous perish, who, by forgetting their own, and their nation's honour, have taught their own and future ages, to forget and dishonour them. So true ig
it, that that prince, who reigns without honour, lives in contempt, and danger, and has his tomb, at last, besmeared with reproaches
Men cannot be wanting for so honourable and necessary a war, whilst these three kingdoms enjoy peace at home; nor money (the soul of war) if prudently managed, since the issue of such a war must, with the divine blessing, secure the subjects in their beds, and establish such a peace as may be a lasting happiness to the Christian world. They will therefore certainly tear open their breasts, and give the king their hearts, and with them their hands and purses, whilst, with Cato, they esteem nothing too dear for the peace of the coma monwealth, according to the Dutch motto, Defend us, and spend us.'
And, although we must not expect a cheap war, yet certainly it cannot be dearer than a watchful, suspected, and languishing peace, in which we must consume the treasure of our nation, by upholding great armaments by sea and land, to watch a seeming friend, that he become not a real enemy, and yet not be able to prevent it at last, Nor needs any treasure be exported in specie (which, by all imagi. nable ways, ought to be avoided as part of our life-blood) but the value thereof transported in the growths and manufactures of England (besides clothes for the soldiery) which either his majesty's ministers may
expose to sale, or our confederates be obliged to answer quarterly at a certain rate; being assured the Swedes maintained that long war in Germany, without drawing any silver out of their dominions; but, contrariwise, inriched their country with the choicest spoils of their enemies, as by woful experience we have found the Scots wisely to practise upon us*.
I know it will be objected, that we are in an untoward pickle to begin a war, after so many hideous calamities, grievous impositions, and universal fall of our rents, occasioned by a thousand follies ; and why shall we throw off peace a moment sooner than we must needs lose her; seeing, with the loss of her, our trade must be miserably interrupted ?
To which, I answer, that were the continuance of peace and trade to be always at our option, and that probably, the power
of no neighbour could ever part us, he were beyond the cure of helle. boret, that would propose war in their stead; but seeing the case is quite contrary, peace and trade were better suspended for some years, with probable hopes to enjoy them plentifully afterwards, than, after a short enjoyment, to humour an unreasonable fondness, lose them and freedom eternally. Not, but that I am powerfully persuaded, that the very commencement of such a war may be so far from interrupting our trade a moment, that it may be, at once, the only means to enlarge ours, and beat the French out of hers: whereas, we now plainly see, how, during this present uncertain peace, she dilates her commerce, and thrives on the ocean ; which, with the very first approaches of a confederate war, must, in all probability, vanish; whilst the Dutch and we have thereby so many advantages, both to beat her out of sea, and increase our own