The politicke and militarie discourses of the Lord de La Nouue VVhereunto are adioyned certaine obseruations of the same author, of things happened during the three late ciuill warres of France. With a true declaration of manie particulars touching the same. All faithfully translated out of the French by E.A.
La Noue, François de, 1531-1591., Aggas, Edward.
Page  454
The causes of the third peace. The comparison thereof with the former: also whether the same were necessarie.

NOne of the three ciuill warres lasted so long as this, which cōtinued two whole * yeres, where the first was ended in one yere & the second in sixe moneths, and many doyet thinke that had not ye Pro∣testants drawē toward Paris it would not haue bene done so soone: of which experience they haue gathered this rule, that to purchase peace war must be brought beere this mightie Citie: which I also take to haue ben one of the chiefe causes to help it forward, for ye stripes which threa∣ten the head do greatly terrefie: the Catholike strangers hauing al∣so wasted innumerable coin, had left such want that they knew not how to furnish paie. Ruine and robberie was rife euerie where. Moreouer, good hap seemed to begin to raise vp those that had ben wearied. For the Princes armie had made a braue head against the Kings at Rene le Duc. Gascogne, Lāguedock & Daulphine held sorer than war before: Bearne was recouered: & in Poictou & Xan∣toigne the Protestants had spead well in ouerthrowing the two old regiments and taking sundrie townes. Al these things gathered together, which other secret & perticular oceasions disposed ye King and Queene to grant to the peace which was published in August. The Protestants also desired & stood in great need of it: for hauing neuer a crowne wherewith to satiffie their Reisters, their necessitie would haue driuen them to abandon the Princes, as by the Coun∣tie of Mansfield they gaue them to vnderstande. Likewise seeing them neere their owne Countrie, it was to bee feared least they would haue resolued so to doe, which falling out would haue beene the ouerthrow of their affaires. Many other discommodities which I omit vrged heereunto: among the rest the misrule of our souldi∣ours was such as it could not be remedied: Insomuch that the Ad∣mirall Page  455 who loued good order and hated vie, did many times since saie that he had rather die than fall into the like confusions againe, and to see so many mischiefes committed before his face. To bee briefe, the peace was accepted vpon tollerable conditions, also for ye assurance thereof was added, that which in the former they neither durst demand, nor coulde obtaine: namelie foure townes.

The beginning of this communication was after the siege of S.*Iohn d'Angelie, wherin were emploied the Lords of Thelignie & Beaunois la Nocle, gentlemē endued wt diuerse vertues, who faith∣fully discharged their duties: and if before when the Protestants af∣faires were at a latter hand, the Catholiks had offered smaller con∣ditions, I thinke they would haue bene taken. But when they saw that they would not graunt them anie exercise of religion, but onely a simple libertie of conscience, it brought them into such despaire, that they made of necessitie vertue. And as time breedeth alterati∣ons, so those that ensued turned so far to their fauour that their cou∣rages were raised and their hope corroborated. The best time then to treate of peace is when we haue the aduantage in war. But that doth ordinarilie so puffe vp men that they will not heare thereof, howbeit either earlie or late the king did wiser to graunt it: for the continuation of warre depriued him of his pleasure, supplanted the loue and obedience due vnto him, foraied the Countries, sacked the treasurie, & consumed his power. But may some man say, the king of Spaine hath not done so in Flanders. Truely may another aun∣swere, he hath not wonne much, and per aduenture in the end, for the ceasing of these troublesome tragedies hee will followe the same counsaile that his neighbours haue done.

Now albeit peace was necessarie for the Protestants, yet haue * this shap almost euer ensued, that the same haue not continued, neither so much as beene established according to the couenant. I will speak first of that which was framed before Orleance, & lasted foure yeeres and a halfe, & was nothing neere so profitable for them as the edict of Ianuarie: howbeit it followeth not but that it was at that time acceptable: for theyr affayres were not in state to re∣fuse it, and time discouered the fruit that it yeelded. Concord, good manners, and obedience to the lawes were aleadie in so good for∣wardnesse throughout Fraunce, that it seemed to bee wholie re∣stored, but discorde with her secrete driftes troubled all. Concer∣ning the seconde it was a peace, but no peace: neyther had it a∣nie more than the name, for in effect it was secrete warre: It Page  456 may be tearmed The reward of the Protestants follie, because that not withstanding all aduertisements that it wold be very bad, they would neuerthelesse receiue it.

The third was much desired in respect of the ruines past, the ne∣cessitie present, and that euery man was wearie of labour and trou∣ble: for as the Frenchman is vnpatient, so doth he fit the warre to his owne humors. And in as much as the conditions were equall, or rather better than the former, it ought in my minde to be tollera∣ble to the Protestants, considering withall yt there was no meanes to haue anie better. Like wise for the two yeeres that it lasted fewe can complayne, except at the very breach thereof, which was in such horrible sort as it deserueth to be quite buried vp. Nowe who so e∣uer shall consider all these peaces in their iust obseruation, hee will as I suppose, iudge them to haue beene a profitable and necessarie remedie vnto all: but if hee haue respect but onelie to their endes, he cannot choose but name them dissembling peaces. And this hath made some so time rous that they beleeue that stil there is some poi∣son hidden vnder the faire glosse of this golde. In Fraunce wee haue alreadie had sixe generall, like as wee had in the ciuill warres of Burgundie and Orleance, and as well the one as the other were infringed: but the seauenth which was concluded at Arras was durable and holpe to restore Fraunce: by which example it may bee inferred that our seauenth shoulde bee good: albeit it were to be wished wee neuer came to those tearmes: for to wish to bee sicke that wee might recouer health may seeme impertinent. I be∣seech God to prouide therefore according to his good pleasure: Trulie euerie man seeing the Realme flaming in warres ought to set before his eies Gods wrath and displeasure, and the same against himselfe rather than agaynst his enemies: where nowe some doe saie These bee the Protestants who through their heresies doo strrre vp Gods wrath against them: Others doe replie: They bee the Catholikes who with their Idolatries do prouoke the same. And thus in these discourses no man accuseth himselfe. In the meane time the first thing that wee ought to doe is in these v∣niuersal calamities to examine and accuse our owne imperfections to the end to amend them, & then to loke vpon others mens faults. Likewise when we see a short & counterfait peace, we should saie yt we deserue no better, because yt, according to the prouerb, when we are ouer the bridge wee mocke the saint, & most of vs returne to our vanities and accustomed ingratitude.

Page  457 Howbeit it is a commendable affection which desireth peace, I meane a good peace (for ye bad are verie cut throats) because therby * pietie and vertue doth seeme to reuiue: whereas contrariwise ciuill warres are the shops of all wickednesse, which good men doe ab∣horre. The time hath bene that of both parts their haue ben diuerse that toke no great delight in hearing peace spokē of; of whom some sayd, That it was an vnworthie and vniust deede to make peace with rebols and heretikes who deserued grieuous punishment: yea, they per∣sisted in their speeches vntill their disease were cured on this sorte. If they were warriors they were inioyned to march formost at an assault or in a skirmish, so to kill vp these wretched Protestants: of which punishment by that time they had twice tasted, they soone changed opinion. As for the rest which were either cleargie men or of the long robe, by telling them that they must part with halfe their rents to paie the soldiour they consented to the peace. To be briefe, whatsoeuer their pretence were, whether pietie or iustice, sure their passions were cruell. Other there were euen among the Prote∣stants which did no lesse reiect the peace as tearming it to bee no∣thing but treason, but had it bene neuer so good they woulde haue said as much, because the warre was their nursemother and rising. One good waie to reduce them to reason were to propound (in re∣spect of necessitie thereof) the cutting off of their paies, or the leaui∣ing of some lones of them, so would they long after some good end: For take from many of these people their profites and honour, then will they iudge more sincerely of matters. Also for counsayle in waightie matters we ought to choose those that serue God and are endued with greatest discretion, for they still preferre the common wealth before their owne commodities and affections.

I will likewise speake of another sort of people who indifferent∣lie * do like of all kinds of peace, and mislike of euerie kind of warre: who if they might be assured in quiet to eate their wortes and laie vp their crops, could well enough let euerie time slide, yea albeit at euerie of the foure quarters of the yere, they should haue halfe a do∣zen good bastonadoes. These haue in my opinion, locked vp & hid∣den their honours and consciences in the bottome of some coffer. The good Citizen ought alwayes to beare a zeale to the common wealth, also to looke farther than to liue in shamefull bondage. To conclude, in these affayres reason ought to be our guide, which doth admonish vs neuer to enter wars vnlesse a iust cause and great ne∣cessitie constraineth vs, for warre is a most violent and extraordina∣rie Page  458 remedie, which in healing one wound maketh more, and there∣fore is not to bee vsed but extraordinarily: whereas contrariwise we are alwaies to wish for peace: I meane not such peace as may be presumed to be stedfast & not vniust: for the false ons do not deserue ye title but rather to be tearmed traps & snares, as was the same of the second troubles. The rest, may some men say, were not much better, because they lasted not long, but I am not of that minde, for A doe thinke that vntill they were broken they were moste prosta∣ble; & so doth experience giue vs to vnderstand, neither is that any better argument then to say: This man was naught, because he li∣nen but fifteene yeéres: but I will argue and pleade to the contra∣ry: saying, they were good, because men woulde not suffer them to last any longer: for had they bene noisome to the Protestants, they would haue et them haue had their course. God graunt so good a one to France, nowe torue with ruines, and destitute of good manners. that she may renue in beauty, and be no lon∣ger the fable of all nations, but an exam∣plary of vertue.