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"the greatness of France, by the addition of such a country, "that stretcheth his boughs into our seas, as in depriving “this nation, and leaving it naked of so firm and assured “confederates as the Britons have always been. For then 5 "it will come to pass, that whereas not long since this realm "was mighty upon the continent, first in territory, and after "in alliance, in respect of Burgundy and Britain, which were "confederates indeed, but independent confederates; now "the one being already cast, partly into the greatness of 10 “France, and partly into that of Austria, the other is like “wholly to be cast into the greatness of France; and this “island shall remain confined in effect within the salt waters, "and girt about with the coast countries of two mighty "monarchs.
"For the example, it resteth likewise upon the same "question, upon the French King's intent. For if Britain "be carried and swallowed up by France, as the world "abroad, apt to impute and construe the actions of Princes "to ambition, conceive it will; then it is an example very 20 "dangerous and universal, that the lesser neighbour state "should be devoured of the greater. For this may be the "case of Scotland towards England; of Portugal towards Spain; of the smaller estates of Italy towards the greater; "and so of Germany; or as if some of you of the cominons 25" might not live and dwell safely besides some of these "great lords. And the bringing in of this example will be chiefly laid to the King's charge, as to him that was most “interested, and most able to forbid it. But then on the "other side, there is so fair a pretext on the French King's 30 "part, and yet pretext is never wanting to power, in regard "the danger imminent to his own estate is such, as may "make this enterprise seem rather a work of necessity than "of ambition, as doth in reason correct the danger of the
example. For that the example of that which is done in "a man's own defence, cannot be dangerous; because it is "in another's power to avoid it. But in all this business, "the King remits himself to your grave and mature advice, whereupon he purposeth to rely."
This was the effect of the lord Chancellor's Speech touching the cause of Britain; for the King had commanded him to carry it so, as to affect the parliament towards the business; but without engaging the King in any express declaration.
The Chancellor went on:
“For that which may concern the government at home, "the King hath commanded me to say unto you; that he "thinketh there was never any King, for the small time that "he hath reigned, had greater and juster cause of the two 15 contrary passions of joy and sorrow, than his grace hath. "Joy, in respect of the rare and visible favours of Almighty "God, in girding the imperial sword upon his side, and "assisting the same his sword against all his enemies; and "likewise in blessing him with so many good and loving 20 servants and subjects, which have never failed to give him "faithful counsel, ready obedience, and courageous defence. "Sorrow, for that it hath not pleased God to suffer him to "sheathe his sword, as he greatly desired, otherwise than for "administration of justice, but that he hath been forced to 25 "draw it so oft, to cut off traitorous and disloyal subjects, "whom, it seems, God hath left, a few amongst many good, "as the Canaanites amongst the people of Israel, to be "thorns in their sides, to tempt and try them; though the "end hath been always, God's name be blessed therefore, 30 "that the destruction hath fallen upon their own heads.
"Wherefore his grace saith; That he seeth that it is not "the blood spilt in the field that will save the blood in the
city; nor the marshal's sword that will set this kingdom in 'perfect peace: but that the true way is, to stop the seeds "of sedition and rebellion in their beginning; and for that "purpose to devise, confirm, and quicken good and whole5 "some laws against riots, and unlawful assemblies of people, "and all combinations and confederacies of them, by live"ries, tokens, and other badges of factious dependence; "that the peace of the land may by these ordinances, as by "bars of iron, be soundly bound in and strengthened, and 10 "all force, both in court, country, and private houses, be "supprest. The care hereof, which so much concerneth "yourselves, and which the nature of the times doth in"stantly call for, his grace commends to your wisdoms.
"And because it is the King's desire, that this peace, 15 "wherein he hopeth to govern and maintain you, do not "bear only unto you leaves, for you to sit under the shade "of them in safety; but also should bear you fruit of riches, "wealth, and plenty: therefore his grace prays you to take "into consideration matter of trade, as also the manufactures 20" of the kingdom, and to repress the bastard and barren
"employment of moneys to usury and unlawful exchanges; "that they may be, as their natural use is, turned upon commerce, and lawful and royal trading. And likewise "that our people be set on work in arts and handicrafts; 25"that the realm may subsist more of itself; that idleness be "avoided, and the draining out of our treasure for foreign "manufactures stopped. But you are not to rest here only, "but to provide farther, that whatsoever merchandise shall "be brought in from beyond the seas, may be employed 30 "upon the commodities of this land; whereby the king"dom's stock of treasure may be sure to be kept from being "diminished by any over-trading of the foreigner.
"And lastly, because the King is well assured, that you
"would not have him poor, that wishes you rich; he doubt"eth not but that you will have care, as well to maintain his "revenues of customs and all other natures, as also to sup"ply him with your loving aids, if the case shall so require. "The rather, for that you know the King is a good husband, 5 "and but a steward in effect for the public; and that what
comes from you, is but as moisture drawn from the earth, "which gathers into a cloud, and falls back upon the earth "again. And you know well how the kingdoms about you 'grow more and more in greatness, and the times are stir- 10 ring; and therefore not fit to find the King with an empty 66 purse. More I have not to say to you; and wish, that "what hath been said, had been better expressed: but that "your wisdoms and good affections will supply. God bless "your doings."
It was no hard matter to dispose and affect the parliament in this business; as well in respect of the emulation between the nations, and the envy at the late growth of the French monarchy; as in regard of the danger to suffer the French to make their approaches upon England, by obtain- 20 ing so goodly a maritime province, full of seatowns and havens, that might do mischief to the English, either by invasion or by interruption of traffic. The parliament was also moved with the point of oppression: for although the French seemed to speak reason, yet arguments are ever with multi- 25 tudes too weak for suspicions. Wherefore they did advise the King roundly to embrace the Britons' quarrel, and to send them speedy aids; and with much alacrity and forwardness granted to the King a great rate of subsidy, in contemplation of these aids. But the King, both to keep a 30 decency towards the French King, to whom he professed himself to be obliged, and indeed desirous rather to shew
war, than to make it; sent new solemn ambassadors to intimate unto him the decree of his estates, and to iterate his motion, that the French would desist from hostility; or if war must follow, to desire him to take it in good part, if at 5 the motion of his people, who were sensible of the cause of the Britons as their ancient friends and confederates, he did send them succours; with protestation nevertheless, that, to save all treaties and laws of friendship, he had limited his forces, to proceed in aid of the Britons, but in no wise to Io war upon the French, otherwise than as they maintained the possession of Britain. But before this formal ambassage arrived, the party of the duke had received a great blow, and grew to manifest declination. For near the town of St. Alban in Britain, a battle had been given, where the Britons were overthrown, and the duke of Orleans, and the prince of Orange taken prisoners, there being slain on the Britons' part six thousand men, and amongst them the lord Woodvile, and almost all his soldiers, valiantly fighting. And of the French part, one thousand two hundred, with 20 their leader James Galeot a great commander.
When the news of this battle came over into England, it was time for the King, who now had no subterfuge to continue farther treaty, and saw before his eyes that Britain went so speedily for lost, contrary to his hopes; knowing 25 also that with his people, and foreigners both, he sustained no small envy and disreputation for his former delays, to despatch with all possible speed his succours into Britain; which he did under the conduct of Robert lord Brook, to the number of eight thousand choice men and well armed; 30 who having a fair wind, in few hours landed in Britain, and joined themselves forthwith to those Briton forces that remained after the defeat, and marched straight on to find the enemy, and encamped fast by them. The French wisely