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NOTES OF A SPEECH CONCERNING A WAR WITH SPAIN.
That ye conceive there will be little difference in opinion, but that all will advise the king not to entertain farther a treaty, wherein he hath been so manifestly and so long deluded.
That the difficulty therefore will be in the consequences thereof j for to the breach of treaty, doth necessarily succeed a despair of recovering the Palatinate by treaty, and so the buisness falleth upon a war. And to that you will apply your speech, as being the point of importance, and besides, most agreeable to your profession and place.
To a war, such as may promise success, there are three things required: a just quarrel; sufficient forces and provisions; and a prudent and politic choice of the designs and actions whereby the war shall be managed.
For the quarrel, there cannot be a more just quarrel by the laws both of nature and nations, than for the recovery of fhe ancient patrimony of the king's children, gotten from them by an usurping sword, and an insidious treaty.
But farther, that the war well considered is not for the Palatinate only, but for England and Scotland; for if we stay till the Low Countrymen be ruined, and the party of the papists within the realm be grown too strong, England, Scotland, and Ireland are at the stake.
Neither doth it concern the state only, but our church: other kings, papists, content themselves to maintain their religion in their own dominions; but the kings of Spain run a course to make themselves protectors of the popish religion, even amongst the subjects of other kings; almost like the Ottomans, that profess to plant the law of Mahomet by the sword j and so the Spaniards do of the pope's law. And therefore if either the king's blood, or our own blood, or Christ's blood be dear unto us, the quarrel is just, and to be embraced.
For the point of sufficient forces, the balancing of the forces of these kingdoms and their allies, with Spain and their allies, you know to be a matter of great and weighty consideration; but yet to weigh them in a common understanding, for your part, you are of opinion that Spain is no such giant; or if he be a giant, it will be but like Goliah and David, for God will be on our side.
But to leave these spiritual considerations: you do not see in true discourse of peace and war, that we ought to doubt to be overmatched. To this opinion you are led by two things which lead all men; by experience, and by reason.
For experience ; you do not find that for this age, take it for 100 years, there was ever any encounter between Spanish and English of importance, either
by sea or land, but the English came off with the honour; witness the Lammas-day, the retreat of Gaunt, the battle of Newport, and some others: but there have been some actions, both by sea and land, so memorable as scarce suffer the less to be spoken of. By sea, that of eighty-eight, when the Spaniards, putting themselves most upon their stirrups, sent forth that invincible Armada which should have swallowed up England quick; the success whereof was, that although that fleet swam like mountains upon our seas, yet they did not so much as take a cock-boat of ours at sea, nor fire a cottage at land, but came through our channel, and were driven, as Sir Walter Raleigh says, by squibs, fireboats he means, from Calais, and were soundly beaten by our ships in fight, and many of them sunk, and finally durst not return the way they came, but made a scattered perambulation, full of shipwrecks, by the Irish and Scottish seas to get home again: just according to the curse of the Scripture, "that they came out against us one way, and fled before us seven ways." By land, who can forget the two voyages made upon the continent itself of Spain, that of Lisbon, and that of Cales, when in the former we knocked at the gates of the greatest city either of Spain or Portugal, and came off without seeing an enemy to look us in the face? And though we failed in our foundation, for that Antonio, whom we thought to replace in his kingdom, found no party at all, yet it was a true trial of the gentleness of Spain, which suffered us to go and come without any dispute. And for the latter, of Cales, it ended in victory ; we ravished a principal city of wealth and strength in the high countries, sacked it, fired the Indian fleet that was in the port, and came home in triumph; and yet to this day were never put in suit for it, nor demanded reasons for our doings. You ought not to forget the battle of Kinsale in Ireland, what time the Spanish forces were joined with the Irish, good soldiers as themselves, or better, and exceeded us far in number, and yet they were soon defeated, and their general D'Avila taken prisoner, and that war by that battle quenched and ended.
And it is worthy to be noted how much our power in those days was inferior to our present state. Then, a lady old, and owner only of England, entangled with the revolt of Ireland, and her confederates of Holland much weaker, and in no conjuncture. Now, a famous king, and strengthened with a prince of singular expectation, and in the prime of his years, owner of the entire isle of Britain, enjoying Ireland populate and quiet, and infinitely more supported by confederates of the Low Countries, Denmark, divers of the princes of Germany, and others. As for the comparison of Spain as it was then, and as it is now, yon will for good respects forbear to speak j only you will say this, that Spain was then reputed to have the wisest council of Europe, and not a council that will come at the whistle of a favourite.
Another point of experience you would not speak of, if it were not that there is a wonderful erroneous observation, which walketh about, contrary to all the true account of time; and it is, that the Spaniard where he once gets in, will seldom or never be got out again; and they give it an ill-favoured simile which you will not name, but nothing is less true: they got footing at Brest, and some other parts in Britain, and quitted it: they had Calais, Ardes, Amiens, and were part beaten out, and part they rendered: they had Vercelles in Savoy, and fairly left it: they had, the other day the Valtoline, and now have put it in deposit. What they will do at Ormus we shall see. So that, to speak truly of latter times, they have rather poached and offered at a number of enterprises, than maintained any constantly. And for Germany, in more ancient time, their great emperor Charles, after he had Germany almost in his fist, was forced in the end to go from Isburgh, as it were in a mask by torchlight, and to quit every foot of his new acquests in Germany, which you hope likewise will be the hereditary issue of this late purchase of the Palatinate. And thus much for experience.
For reason: it hath many branches; you will but extract a few first. It is a nation thin sown of men, partly by reason of the sterility of their soil; and partly because their natives are exhaust by so many employments in such vast territories as they possess, so that it hath been counted a kind of miracle to see together ten or twelve thousand native Spaniards in an army. And although they have at this time great numbers of miscellany soldiers in their armies and garrisons, yet, if there should be the misfortune of a battle, they are ever long about it to draw on supplies.
They tell a tale of a Spanish ambassador that was brought to see their treasury of St. Mark at Venice, and still he looked down to the ground j and being asked the reason, said, " he was looking to see whether the treasure had any root, so that, if that were spent, it would grow again; as his master's had." But, howsoever it be of their treasure, certainly their forces have scarcely any root, or at least such a root as putteth forth very poorly and slowly; whereas there is not in the world again such a spring and seminary of military people as is England, Scotland, and Ireland; nor of seamen, as is this island and the Low Countries: so as if the wars should mow them down, yet they suddenly may be supplied and come up again.
A second reason is, and it is the principal, that if we truly consider the greatness of Spain, it consisteth chiefly in their treasure, and their treasure in their Indies, and their Indies, both of them, is but an accession to such as are masters by sea; so as this axletree, whereupon their greatness turns, is soon cut a-two by any that shall be stronger than they at sea. So then you report yourself to their opinions, and the opinions of all men, enemies or whosoever; whether that the maritime forces of Britain and the Low Countries are not able to beat them at sea. For if that be, you see the chain is broken from shipping to Indies, from Indies to treasure, and from treasure to greatness.
The third reason, which hath some affinity with this second, is a point comfortable to hear in the state that we now are; wars are generally causes of poverty and consumption. The nature of this war, you are persuaded, will be matter of restorative and enriching; so that, if we go roundly on with supplies and provision at the first, the war in continuance will find itself. That you do but point at this, and will not enlarge it.
Lastly, That it is not a little to be considered, that the greatness of Spain is not only distracted extremely, and therefore of less force; but built upon no very sound foundations, and therefore they can have the less strength by any assured and confident confederacy. With France they are in competition for Navarre, Milan, Naples, and the Franche County of Burgundy; with the see of Rome, for Naples also: for Portugal with the right heirs of that line; for that they have in their Low Countries, with the United Provinces; for Ormus, now, with Persia; for Valencia, with the Moors expulsed and their confederates; for the East and West Indies, with all the world. So that if every bird had its feather, Spain would be left wonderful naked. But yet there is a greater confederation against them than by means of any of these quarrels or titles; and that is contracted by the fear that almost all nations have of their ambition, whereof men see no end. And thus much for the balancing of their forces.
For the last point, which is the choice of the designs and enterprises, in which to conduct the war; you will not now speak, because you should be forced to descend to divers particulars, whereof some are of a more open, and some of a more secret nature. But that you would move the house to make a selected committee for that purpose; not to estrange the house in any sort, but to prepare things for them, giving them power and commission to call before them, and to confer with any martial men or others that are not of the house, that they shall think fit, for their advice and information: and so to give an account of the business to a general committee of the whole house.
A WAR WITH SPAIN.
INSCRIBED TO PRINCE CHARLES,
Your highness hath an imperial name. It was a Charles that brought the empire first into France; a Charles that brought it first into Spain; why should not Great Britain have its turn? But to lay aside all that may seem to have a 6how of fumes and fancies, and to speak solids: a war with Spain, if the king shall enter into it, is a mighty work; it requirelh strong materials, and active motions. He that saith not so, is zealous, but not according to knowledge. But nevertheless Spain is no such giant: and he that thinketh Spain to be some great overmatch for this estate, assisted as it is, and may be, is no good mint-man; but takes greatness of kingdoms according to their bulk and currency, and not after their intrinsic value. Although therefore I had wholly sequestered my thoughts from civil affairs, yet because it is a new case and concerneth my country infinitely, I obtained of myself to set down, out of long continued experience in business of estate, and much conversation in books of policy and history, what I thought pertinent to this business; and in all humbleness present it to your highness: hoping that at least you will discern the strength of my affection through the weakness of my abilities: for the Spaniard hath a good proverb, "De suario si empre con la calentura;" there is no heat of affection, but is joined with some idleness of brain.
To a war are required, a just quarrel; sufficient forces and provisions; and a prudent choice of the designs. So then, I will first justify the quarrel; secondly, balance the forces; and lastly, propound variety of designs for choice, but not advise the choice; for that were not fit for a writing of this nature; neither is it a subject within the level of my judgment; I being, in effect, a stranger to the present occurrences.
Wars, I speak not of ambitious predatory wars, are suits of appeal to the tribunal of God's justice, where there are no superiors on earth to determine the cause: and they are, as civil pleas are, plaints, or defences. There are therefore three just grounds of war with Spain: one plaint, two upon defence. Solomon saith, "A cord of three is not easily broken:" but especially when every of the lines would hold single by itself. They are these: the recovery of the Palatinate; a just fear of the subversion of our civil estate; a just fear of the subversion of our church and religion. For in the handling of the two last grounds of war, I shall make it plain, that wars preventive upon just fears
are true defensives, as well as upon actual invasions: and again, that wars defensive for religion, I speak not of rebellion, are most just; though offensive wars for religion are seldom to- be approved, or never, unless they have some mixture of civil titles. But all that 1 shall say in this whole argument, will be but like bottoms of thread close wound up, which with a good needle, perhaps, may be flourished into large works.
For the asserting of the justice of the quarrel, for the recovery of the Palatinate, I shall not go so high as to discuss the right of the war of Bohemia; which if it be freed from doubt on our part, then there is no colour nor shadow why the Palatinate should be retained; the ravishing whereof was a mere excursion of the first wrong, and a super-injustice. But I do not take myself to be so perfect in the customs, transactions, and privileges of that kingdom of Bohemia, as to be fit to handle that part; and I will not offer at that I cannot master. Yet this I will say, in passage, positively and resolutely; that it is impossible an elective monarchy should be so free and absolute as an hereditary; no more than it is possible for a father to have so full power and interest in an adoptive son as in a natural; *' quia naturalis obligatio fortior eivili." And again, that received maxim is almost unshaken and infallible; "Nil magis natura; consentaneum est, quam ut iisdem modis res dissolvantur, quibus constituuntur." So that if the part of the people or estate be somewhat in the election, you cannot make them nulls or ciphers in the privation or translation. And if it be said, that this is a dangerous opinion for the pope, emperor, and elective kings; it is true, it is a dangerous opinion, and ought to be a dangerous opinion, to such personal popes, emperors, or elective kings, as shall transcend their limits, and become tyrannical. But it is a safe and sound opinion for their sees, empires, and kingdoms; and for themselves also, if they be wise; "plenitudo potestatis est plenitudo tempestatis." But the chief cause why I do not search into this point is, because I need it not. And in handling the right of a war, I am not willing to intermix matter doubtful with that which is out of doubt. For as in capital causes, wherein but one man's life is in question, in favorem vitee the evidence ought to be clear; so much more in a judgment upon a war, which is capital to thousands. I suppose therefore the worst, that the offensive war upon Bohemia had been unjust; and then make the case, which is no sooner made than resolved, if it be made not enwrapped, but plainly and perspicuously. It is this in thesi. An offensive w ar is made, which is unjust in the aggressor; the prosecution and race of the war earrieth the defendant to assail and invade the ancient and indubitate patrimony of the first aggressor, who is now turned defendant; shall he sit down, and not put himself in defence? Or if he be dispossessed, shall he not make a war for the recovery. No man is so poor of judgment as will affirm it. The castle of Cadmus was taken, and the city of Thebes itself invested by Phoebidas the Laceda?monian, insidiously, and in violation of league: the process of this action drew on a re-surprise of the castle by the Thebans, a recovery of the town, and a current of the war even unto the walls of Sparta. I demand, was the defence of (he city of Sparta, and the expulsion of the Thebans out of the Laconian territories, unjust? The sharing of that part of the duchy of Milan, which lieth upon the river of Adda, by the Venetians, upon contract with the French, was an ambitious and unjust purchase. This wheel set on going, did pour a war upon the Venetians with such a tempest, as Padua and Trevigi were taken from them, and all their dominions upon the continent of Italy abandoned, and they confined within the salt waters. Will any man say, that the memorable recovery and defence of Padua, when the gentlemen of Venice, unused to the wars, out of the love of their country, became brave and martial the first day, and so likewise the re-adeption of Trevigi, and the rest of their dominions, was matter of scruple, whether just or no, because it had source from a quarrel ill begun? The war of the duke of Urbin, nephew to pope Julius the second, when he made himself head of the Spanish mutineers, was as unjust as unjust might be; a support of desperate rebels; an invasion of St. Peter's patrimony; and what you will. The race of this war fell upon the loss of Urbin itself, which was the duke's undoubted right; yet, in this case, no penitentiary, though he had enjoined him never so strait penance to expiate his first offence, would have counselled him to have given over the pursuit of his right for Urbin; which, after, he prosperously re-obtained, and hath transmitted to his family yet until this day. Nothing more unjust than the invasion of the Spanish Armada in 88, upon our seas; for our land was holy land to them, they might not touch it; shall I say therefore, that the defence of Lisbon or Cales, afterwards, was unjust? There be thousands of examples; "utor in re non dubia exemplis non necessariis;" the reason is plain; wars are vindicta?, revenges, reparations. But revenges are not infinite, but according to the measure of the first wrong or damage. And therefore when a voluntary offensive war, by the design or fortune of the war, is turned to a necessary defensive war, the scene of the tragedy is • changed, and it is a new act to begin. For the particular actions of war, though they are complicate in fact, yet they are separate and distinct in right; like to cross suits in civil pleas, which are sometimes both just. But this is so clear as needeth no far
ther to be insisted upon. And yet if in things so clear, it were fit to speak of more or less clear in our present cause, it is the more clear on our part, because the possession of Bohemia is settled with the emperor. For though it be true, that " non dattir compensatio injuriarum j" yet were there somewhat more colour to detain the Palatinate, as in the nature of a recovery, in value or compensation, if Bohemia had been lost, or were still the stage of war. Of this therefore I speak no more. As for (he title of proscription or forfeiture, wherein the emperor, upon the matter, hath been judge and party, and hath justiced himself, God forbid but that it should well endure an appeal to a war. For certainly the court of heaven is as well a chancery to save and debar forfeitures, as a court of common law to decide rights; and there would be work enough in Germany, Italy, and other parts, if imperial forfeitures should go for good titles.
Thus much for the first ground of war with Spain, being in the nature of a plaint for the recovery of the Palatinate; omitting here that which might be the seed of a larger discourse, and is verified by a number of examples ; that whatsoever is gained by an abusive treaty, ought to be restored in integrum: as we see the daily experience of this in civil pleas; for the images of great things are best seen contracted into small glasses; we see, I say, that all pretorian courts, if any of the parties be entertained or laid asleep, under pretence of arbitrement or accord, and that the other party, during that time, doth cautelously get the start and advantage at common law, though it be to judgment and execution ; yet the pretorian court will set back all things in statu quo prius, no respect had to such eviction or dispossession. Lastly, let there be no mistaking: as if when I speak of a war for the recovery of the Palatinate, I meant, that it must be in linea recta, upon that place: for look into jus fajciale, and all examples, and it will be found to be without scruple, that after a legation ad res repetendas, and a refusal, and a denunciation or indiction of a war, the war is no more confined to the place of the quarrel, but is left at large and to choice, as to the particular conducing designs, as opportunities and advantages shall invite.
To proceed therefore to the second ground of a war with Spain, we have set it down to be, a just fear of the subversion of our civil estate. So then, the war is not for the Palatinate only, but for England, Scotland, Ireland, our king, our prince, our nation, all that we have. Wherein two things are to be proved: The one, that a just fear, without an actual invasion or offence, is a sufficient ground of a war, and in the nature of a true defensive : the other, that we have towards Spain cause of just fear; I say, just fear: for as the civilians do well define, that the legal fear is "jnstus metus qui cadit in constantem virum," in private causes: so there is " justus metus qui cadit in constantem senatum, in causa publica;" not out of umbrages, light jealousies, apprehensions, afar off, but out of clear foresight of imminent danger.
Concerning the former proposition, it is good to hear what time saith. Thucydides, in his inducement to his story of the great war of Peloponnesus, sets down in plain terms, that the true cause of that war was the overgrowing greatness of the Athenians, ind the fear that the Lacedaemoniajis stood in thereby: and doth not doubt to call it, a necessity imposed upon the Lacedaemonians of a war; which are the words of a mere defensive: adding, that the other causes were but specious and popular. "Verissimam quidem, sed minime sermone celebratam, arbitror extitisse belli causam, Athenienses, magnos effectos et Lacedtemoniis formidolosos, necessitatem illis imposuisse bellandi: qua; autem propalam ferebantur utrinque causa?, istse fuerant," etc. "The truest cause of this war, though least voiced, I conceive to have been this: that the Athenians, being grown great, to the terror of the Lacedaemonians, did impose upon them a necessity of a war: but the causes that went abroad in speech were these," &c. Sulpitius Galba, consul, when he persuaded the Romans to a preventive war, with the later Philip king of Macedon, in regard of the great preparations which Philip had then on foot, and his designs to ruin some of the confederates of the Romans, confidently saith, that they who took that for an offensive war, understood not the state of the question. "Ignorare videmini mihi, Quirites, non, ntrum bellum an pacem habeatis, vos consuli, neque enim liberum idvobis permittet Philippus, qui terra marique ingens bellum molitur, sed utrum in Macedonian! legiones transportetis, an hostem in Italiam recipiatis." "Ye seem to me, ye Romans, not to understand, that the consultation before you is not, whether you shall have war or peace, for Philip will take order you shall be no choosers, who prepareth a mighty war both by land and sea, but whether you shall transport the war into Macedon, or receive it into Italy." Antiochus, when he incited Prusias king of Bithynia, at that time in league with the Romans, to join with him in war against them, setteth before him a just fear of the overspreading greatness of the Romans, comparing it to a fire that continually took, and spread from kingdom to kingdom: "Venire Romanos ad omnia regna tollenda, ut nullum usquam orbis terrarum nisi Romanum imperium esset; Philippum et Nabin expugnatos, se tertium peti; ut quisque proximus ab oppresso sit, per omnes velut continens incendium pervasurum:" "That the Romans came to pull down all kingdoms, and to make the state of Rome an universal monarchy; that Philip and Nabis were already ruinated, and now was his turn to be assailed: so that as every state lay next to the other that was oppressed, so the fire perpetually grazed." Wherein it is well to be noted, that towards ambitious states, which are noted to aspire to great monarchies, and to seek upon all occasions to enlarge their dominions, " crescunt argumenta justi metus;" all particular fears do grow and multiply out of the contemplation of the general courses and practice of such states. Therefore in deliberations of war against the Turk, it hath been often, with great judgment, maintained, that christian princes and states have always a sufficient ground of invasive war against the enemy: not for cause of religion, but upon a
just fear; forasmuch as it is a fundamental law in the Turkish empire, that they may, without any other provocation, make war upon Christendom for the propagation of their law; so that there lieth upon the christians a perpetual fear of a war, hanging over their heads, from them; and therefore they may at all times, as they think good, be upon the prevention. Demosthenes exposeth to scorn wars which are not preventive, comparing those that make them to country fellows in a fencingschool, that never ward till the blow be past: " Ut barbari pugiles dimicare solent, ita vos bellum geritis cum Philippo: ex his enimis, qui ictus est, ictni semper inhaeret: quod si eum alibi verberes, illo manus transfert; ictum autem depellere, aut prospicere, neque scit neque vult." "As country fellows use to do when they play at wasters, such a kind of war do you Athenians make with Philip; for with them he that gets a blow straight falleth to ward when the blow is passed; and if you strike him in another place, thither goes his hand likewise: but to put by, or foresee a blow, they neither have the skill nor the will."
Clinias the Candian, in Plato, speaks desperately and wildly, as if there were no such thing as peace between nations; but that every nation expects but his advantage to war upon another. But yet in that excess of speech there is thus much that may have a civil construction; namely, that every state ought to stand upon its guard, and rather prevent than be prevented. His words are " Quam rem fere vocant pacem, nudum et inane nomen est; revera autem omnibus, adversus omnes civitates, bellum scmfiitemum perdurat." "That which men for the most part call peace, is but a naked and empty name; but the truth is, that there is ever between all estates a secret war." I know well this speech is the objection and not the decision, and that it is after refuted; but yet, as I said before, it bears thus much of truth, that if that general malignity, and predisposition to war, which he untruly figureth to be in all nations, be produced and extended to a just fear of being oppressed, then it is no more a true peace, but a name of a peace.
As for the opinion of Iphicrates the Athenian, it demands not so much towards a war as a just fear, but rather cometh near the opinion of Clinias; as if there were ever amongst nations a brooding of a war, and that there is no sure league but impuissance to do hurt. For he, in the treaty of peace with the Lacedaemonians, speaketh plain language: telling them, there could be no true and secure peace, except the Lacedaemonians yielded to those things, which being granted, it would be no longer in their power to hurt the Athenians, though they would: and to say truth, if one mark it well, this was in all memory the main piece of wisdom, in strong and prudent counsels, to be in perpetual watch, that the states about them should neither by approach, nor by increase of dominion, nor by ruining confederates, nor by blocking of trade, nor by any the like means, have it in their power to hurt or annoy the states they serve; and whensoever any such cause did but appear, straightways to buy