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  28

The second Discourse.

That by Concord small things doe encrease, and by discord great things doe decay.

THis most excellent sentence, so common among many nations, and which expe∣rience hath so often taught to bee true, * was heretofore alledged by one Micip∣sa a King of Numidia, who lying vpon this death bed taught his children that the most soueraigne meane to preserue themselues and the Realme which he left them, consisted in the obseruation of this rule. Himselfe liued many yéeres in peace and prosperitie, or∣dering his doings with great discretion, and giuing the worlde to vnderstand that he knewe how to vse such things as tended to the encrease of an estate, and could withall iudge of those that might demiuish, the fame. As also that which ensued his death was a great helpe to confirme that which he had sayd in his life tyme▪ for his children either forgetting or contemning his instructions, con∣tinued not long without debate among themselues, which bre their vtter ruine. In this example it were good to note some words spoken by this King before he pronounced this sentence, as Salust reporteth. I leaue vnto you, saith he to his children, a Realme both strong and stedfast, if you be good, but very weake if you be bad: for by concord doe small things encrease, and by discord doe they runne into decay. Wherein his entent was to shewe that of goodnesse (that is of vertue) procéedeth Concord, and thence prosperitie: and contrariwise of vice groweth hatred, of hatred discord, and so de∣struction. This deserueth to be considered: to the end not to bee * ignorant in the causes that bréede goodly effects, neither in such as engender the contrary. Truely I cannot but woonder of the know∣ledge that the heathen had of many good rules, which carefully put in practise doe greatly helpe mans life, wherein also they haue re∣uealed their wisedome: notwithstanding, me thinkes that to the ende well to knowe wherein the perfection of vertue doth consist, Page  29 we ought not so much to depend vpon thē, as to seeke it in the wis∣dome of God from whēce all other barbarous & prophane nations haue from time to time collected some small parcels, which bréede light to their vnderstandings & beautie to their works. There shal we finde the soueraigne concord to be the same which we ought to hold with God; for the man that careth not for the contrarying of him, can hardly agrée with men in any thing yt reason (which ought to be his guide) cōmaundeth. But for yt the discourse of this poynt apperteyneth rather to the Deuines then to a politicke man, I wil hold my peace, notwithstanding I think yt the cōsideration of supe∣eriour matters doth greatly auaile to ye displaying of the inferiour.

Wee shall not, as I thinke, néede many words to declare what *Concord is, which resembleth not other liberall artes or sciences, whereof fewe men haue knowledge: for it is very cōmon, neither is there any but may make some tryall thereof. Wee may in fewe words say that it is a cōmendable affection which bindeth & strictly ioyneth vs with our like in all necessarie & honest dueties. With∣out such consent it were very hard for any societies, either great or small, long to continue, by reason of those contrarieties, which as naturally do méete in those persons wherof the same be composed, & would procéed to alteration, if by this holy vertue they were not ruled. If we cast our view vpon vnsensible creatures, we shall see that the agréement of the elements among themselues doth main∣teyne * thē in their being, whereas discord ouerthroweth thē. Of the tēperature of the humors of mans bodie procéedeth health; & of di∣stemperature diseases. Yea the foules of the ayre, the beastes of the earth & the fishes of the sea without an instinct of Concord natu∣turally imprinted in them, would destroye each other. Farre more thē is man boūd, man I say, who participateth in reason, to haue the vse thereof in great recommendation: as knowing the woon∣derfull commodities that it bringeth, euen to inferiour creatures.

Before we come to entreat of publique concord, we wil speake * a little of the domesticall: which is as it were an apprentiship & step toward the other, as also it is to be presumed yt he which shall haue duely practized it in perticuler matters, will take a delight to vse it in such as are generall. And this ought greatly to induce househol∣ders very carefully to haue an eye yt it beare sway in their houses, to the ende their children, who are the citizens that they leaue to their commonwelth, may in tyme be accustomed to reiect all such * vayne contentions as may dispose their mindes to perturbe it. Page  30 Howbeit, peraduenture the respect of their owne commoditie will further vrge them to the maintenance thereof. For vnlesse it bee some fewe ouerthwart persons (as we tearme them) all others can sufficiently feele the fruite that commeth of it. And admit that families bee composed of sundrie persons, some to commaund, o∣thers to obeye, yet must there bee no respect to exempt one more then another from the vse of this vertue. The maister and mistris * of the house must haue it written in their hearts, and shewe it forth by their gentle and moderate commaundements. The children and seruants each in his degrée by frée and voluntarie obedience, are to shewe themselues touched with the same affection. It is requisite for brethren and sisters, which be to liue a certeyne space together, to obserue an honest equalitie betwéene themselues, and yet defer∣ring so much as shall be requisite vnto him that hath the priuiledge of eldership: for through such mutuall concord families doe flo∣rish. And what person is well borne that reioyceth not in the view of such goodly examples? This mooued Dauid to say:

Oh how happie a thing it is, and ioyfull for to see
Brethren together fast to hold the band of amitie. *

This may bee applyed as well to great societies as vnto small domesticall assemblies. For that which is conuenient to the one, is also conuenient to the other, in respect of the similitude betwéene the whole and the parts. But order requireth that we begin first to instruct by the smaller things: whereby are wee to learne, that sith honest men doe so delight to see vnion mainteyned either in fami∣lie or citie, they will take much more pleasure in putting it in prac∣tise: because there is more pleasure in action then in contemplation only, especially when it is of it selfe approued and of others com∣mended.

After ye pleasure followeth yt profite: for it ordinarily falleth out * that those houses wherein concord doth beare sway, doe encrease, and that encrease is the second thing that householders should reach vnto, as to liue well, is the first. No man can denye but in∣dustrie and diligence are the two most necessarie instruments to atteyne to wealth. And yet may we say the same to be vnfruitfull in whatsoeuer companie where discord taketh hold: euen as in a * Galley the labour of the slaues were to no purpose, if halfe should rowe one way and halfe another: but when all with one minde and at one tyme hale toward one selfe porte, the nauigation is perfor∣med. I will not search any examples in antiquitie to prooue this *Page  31 my saying, because euen at this instant wee see enough before our eyes. Namely, many families, as well of Gentrie and Citizens, as of Husbandmen and Farmers ouerthrowne with discord, and many also enriched through the good concord of kinsemen. Not∣withstanding, to this purpose I cannot ouership one notable exam∣ple mentioned by Liuie, which although it bee not practiseable in * this our corrupted world, yet is it meete to be considered. It is of a certeyne Romaine that kept in his owne house sixteene of his children, all maried, and their families, who liued together a long tyme in perfect peace and amitie, and encreased their substance. Which are effects in truth woorthie Christians rather then Pay∣nims.

This when I doe consider, I am ashamed to see that a mans childe cannot in these daies bee a weeke maried, but he must haue * his stable a parte and forsake his fathers house, to goe build (as he imagineth) some newe Monarchie in another place. And the cause of such separations is, because men either cannot, or will not liue in concord. I once heard one say that he knewe thrée gentlemen that after their fathers decease kept house together, holding their goods in common, which they mightely encreased, and neuer parted household till their children were maried, and instructed in this ex∣cellent doctrine of vnion through their long practise. And this I thought good to set downe, not so much to induce others to do bet∣ter, as to stirre thē vp by the cōsideration of difficult things to em∣ploye themselues in such as are easie. I thinke there bee fewe but will commend this goodly kind of life; but peraduenture there may be many that wil contemne such encrease of goods as come so slow∣ly: because in these daies we see them come in so suddenly. But say they what they will, yet ought wee not to order things according to present couetousnesse and confusions. Rather should they bée guided by reason, and after the similitude of naturall order which kéepeth measure and tyme, for those are the iust waies, and for the most part such as bee so forward, are accompanied with some in∣iustice.

Moreouer, we must set no more by ritches then by a good name, * and that doth he get that beareth himselfe modestly and in all faci∣litie among his equals: for therby do men iudge that those mindes that are so well disposed in small matters cannot bee badly bent in great. As also it is to bee presumed that he which can well agrée with his father, will not greatly disagrée with his Kings comman∣dements, Page  32 also that he that can liue peaceably with his brethren wil not lightly fall out with his companions: or that can submit him selfe to domesticall customes, will obeye publique lawes. Hath it not bene seene that out of small families, such persons haue bene chosen as haue bene thought méete to appease the controuersies of a whole state, because of the good concord of their owne houses? There bee examples enowe of tyme past, and euen now may wée finde some small experiences. But in my opinion this is enough concerning the fruites that arise of domesticall concord. For there are but fewe but knowe that it bringeth great.

Now will I enter into a larger field and discourse vpō the pub∣lique *concord, which is so necessarie for the helping of our poore France, which through the banishment therof is almost rent in pée∣ces, that me think all good men should bend their whole vowes and endeuours to the calling of it back againe. And when we shall haue shewed how other estates are thereby encreased and redressed, men will be farre the more affectionate to put it in execution. Plato the Philosopher sayth, that the greatest mischiefe that can befall any citie is sedition, which is no other but discord. Whereof it follo∣weth * that concord, being the contrary must needes be a great be∣nefite to them that enioye it. Likewise it is vnpossible to thriue by their commodities, before this foundation be layed: yea we see that the greater plentie of power, wealth, and habilitie that is in a state, if this good temperature be away, is but matter of greater ruyne. Some wise men in old tyme knowing this, did vse to send to such of their friends as had the gouernment of commonwelths a sheafe * of Arrowes bound together, to the ende to admonish them that as these so small péeces of brittle ware being knit together made a strong bodie not easely shaken, so if the mindes of their people con∣sented well together & were vnited in themselues, yt which of it self were but weake, would become mightie & strong. The experience here of hath bene seene in the Grecians, who so long as they agréed among themselues, did withstand the power of the Kings of Per∣sia, which was incōparable, for sometymes they brought in nauies of 1000. sayle, an other tyme by land 600000. men, who all were ouercome by small armies of such men as loued like brethren, and which accōpted ye bondage of their fellow countrimē as their own, so good concurrence was there betweene thē: & so long as this con∣tinued they mainteyned themselues in credite & felicitie. Plutarke reporteth, that before the tyme of Aratus, all the townes of the A∣chaians*Page  33 were of small accōpt, each trafiking & doing their affaires apart, and taking no care but for themselues: but after he had ioy∣ned * them together, and vnited sundrie other small Townes vnto them by perfect concord, they grew into a great and mightie body in Peloponessus, and oftentimes did resist such tyrants as sought to vsurpe their libertie, wherby they became terrible to their neigh∣bours.

But if anie man imagine that examples taken of Monarchies * would better fit our estate, to the end to content him, I will also a∣leadge some such. The first of the kingdome of the Lacedemoni∣ans, wherein Licurgus established most excellent discipline, which among all other things commended prowesse & concord: where∣of also a long time they continued so good obseruers, that their Ci∣tie séemed to be but one sole family, so steadfast and good was their vnion. By that did they increase and purchase such fame, that all Greece did oftentimes submit it selfe to their conduct and iudge∣ment. Many other might likewise be herevnto added, as wel Ro∣manes as other Nations, whereof such as vse the reading of hi∣stories cannot be to séeke, and therefore it were but a superfluous repetition here to heape them vp againe. Onelie it shall suffice to remember that such Monarchiall estates haue from time to time increased as much by concord as by anie other vertue that euer they put in practise. And although the Romanes in the daies of their first kings did sometimes disagrée with their next neighbors, yet doe we sée that afterward they grew into most firme accord, as with the Sabins, for of the two Nations they became but one peo∣ple, but farre better ordered and a greate deale more mightie than they were before.

From this antiquitie let vs descend euen to our daies, and vnto * that which is euident in our owne eies, to the end thereby to be the better persuaded, & consider the state of the Suitzers, for that may be vnto vs a cléere spectacle wherein we shall perceiue the praise of concord and fruites thereof. The histories do testifie that the thrée little cantons, Schuitz, Vri & Vnderualde, whose habitations are onely in villages, were the first authors of that their vnion, where∣into the rest are since incorporated. Which euer since hath so well continued, that at this daie their bodie séemeth as it were inuinci∣ble. I must also commend the concord of Germanie, which, not∣withstanding their controuersies in religion and strife for digni∣ties, hath neuer altered, and in déede it now flourisheth as much as Page  34 euer it did.

What excuse then maye wee alleadge, wee Frenchmen, as a sufficient discharge for that we haue so long fought one with another, considering how other nations can vpholde themselues in conford and amitie? Trulie it is time we should take instructions for remedie of our calamities by the felicitie of others, to the end to make vs seeke meanes to returne into that which now hath forsa∣ken vs. The waie is alreadie found, if wee woulde put it in prac∣tise. That is to grow into concord among our selues, for so shall we rise againe and increase.

I knowe some will saie that it is but a discourse, to affirme that * France grew great by concord, for their increase procéeded of the Frenchmens valiancie. Whereto I aunswere, that I will not de∣nie but that force together with iustice and good order were cau∣ses of the increase, yet must they néedes confesse that if these migh∣tie pillers had not had for their base and foundation, mutuall con∣cord betwéene the king, the nobilitie, and the commons, it must néedes haue yéelded vnder the waight of so great a burthen. Our first auncestors did sufficientlie shew forth the profite that therein * they reaped, in that they knew howe to vse that vertue: For they were many diuerse nations, inhabiting the bankes of lesser Ger∣manie: who not hauing felt the Romanes bondage, neither wil∣ling in anie case to trie it, did assemble and gather themselues together, and named themselues Francons. Then they planted themselues along the Rhine, from whence they stepped into Gaul which they subdued. Thus hath a certaine learned man written in a treatise of the originall of the Frenchmen, which opinion I thinke to bee more likely than that which the other writers re∣port.

Heereby it appeareth that concorde hath beene one of the chiefe causes that of many Nations we were made but one: and if wee will farther marke the increasing thereof, wee shall finde that same occasion hath likewise stoode them in greate steade. This doe I speake in generall, because the perticular effectes which haue from time to time ensued, woulde bée ouer paine∣full to rehearse, and maye likewise bee troublesome. Onelie I will by▪ the waie report the blessed concord that was among * the French nation in the time of king Lewes the twelfth, Fran∣ces the great, and Henrie the welbeloued, which continued a∣boue Page  35 sixty yeres, not so much to refresh the remembrance of diuerse yet liuing, who haue séene the most part of that time, as for the in∣struction of such as haue beene onely beholders of the last disorders, to the ende to labour them the more earnestly to long after a good vnion of heartes, as yet so strangelie alienated. It is most euident that all these thrée Princes did greatly loue their people, especial∣ly Lewes: and those charges that hee layed vppon them procéeded through the vrgent necessitie of warres, notwithstanding some haue bene but rashly enterprised.

The lyke or rather more was theyr loue shewed to theyr no∣bilitie, as well in respect of the accesse and familiaritie that they allowed them about their persons, as also of the worthie rewardes bestowed vppon them. Likewise we neuer sawe vertue in grea∣ter estimation, than at that time. But what obedience, honour, and affection, did as well the nobilitie as communaltie than beare to their kings? More coulde not haue bene wished: for they were neuer wearie of sounding forth their prayses, beholding of theyr personnes, and hazarding themselues to all daungers for them.

Then if we woulde but consider the accord that was among the sayde subiectes, what shoulde wee doe but wonder how they could since so farre disagrée? To be briefe, that all partes of this migh∣tie Realme dyd together yéelde so pleasant a harmonie, as euerie man was gladde to dwell therein, yea, euen straungers flocked to participate in that felicitie. And notwithstanding in the time of King H. the second many things beganne to alter, yet did vertue beare such swaie, that the outward forme at the least seemed fayre.

After this manner dyd the Frenchmen liue vntill the yeare 1560. when Concord beganne to flie from among them, after whose departure vertue and iustice haue not so much shewed them∣selues abroade, nay they are gone to soiourne heare and there a∣mong their priuate friends, where they assure themselues of better entertainment. This, in my opinion, may suffice to proue that through concord small things doo increase, and great are maintai∣ned and kept.

Now let vs compare that time with this which wee now so of∣ten * haue triall of, and we shall see the difference to be no lesse than betwéene a faire bright Sunne shine day in the spring time, wherin Page  36 nothing appeareth but flowers & greene grasse: and a foule Win∣ters daie in the which the clouds & tempests darkning the aire, no∣thing is to be séene but ye grasse depriued of her ornamēts, séeming to be white with frosts and snow. But like as by the order which God hath established in nature, after foule weather commeth faire, so are we to hope for a more fortunate world after this, when once we haue through a holie conuersion appeared his wrath.

If a man enter into speech hereof by and by a number come in * and saie. Oh, what is it that hath troubled and diuided vs, but di∣uersities of opinions in Religiō? Likewise there are others which on the other side doe replie that it is not the nature of Religion to bring forth such and so many calamities: but rather that the cause is to be impeuted to the mallice of man, who loueth darknes more than light, and to their ignorance that think that such contrarieties should be decided by fire and sword, when in deede they ought to be determined by gentlenesse and clemencie.

I would thinke that experience should make vs wise in this dif∣ficultie, * which shall nothing let me from prosecuting my purpose & declaring what discord doth ingender. Neither will I goe to séeke exāples hereof in foren lands, neither in times past, but in our own Countrie and age: for if anie man be desirous to behold the image of all mischiefe, hee néede not seeke farther than into France, where this tragedie haue bene plaied, the actors whereof beeing Frenchmen, who euer since they were sezed of this cursed passion, doe neuer sticke to hurt each other. And like as a continuall feauer weakneth and pulleth downe the strongest bodie: euen so the con∣tinuance of our warres hath almost abated & depriued the Realme of the principall of her greatnesse, mightinesse, and beautie. Wher∣in appeareth the truth of the other parte of the sentence alreadie al∣leadged, viz. that by descord great thinges doe perish and runne into decaie. Now notwithstanding hatred ordinarilie ingendereth dis∣cord, * where amitie for the most part bridgeth forth concord, yet hath not this bene the cause that hath driuen many of those that are entered hereinto: but rather some haue bene vrged by zeale, others by persecution, and othes by some duty that they ow to other men. As also we haue séene many diuerse effects, some more gentle than other some, whereby the authors of the same deserue commendati∣on in that they haue in these vnmercifull calamities borne them∣selues more moderatlie. I dare not rehearse the horrible cruelties committed in all places (notwithstanding some haue felte them Page  47 more than others) for the remembrance of them cannot but either bréede great horrour or exasperation. Yea, some such haue beene wrought as may be tearmed to bee against nature: as when some haue deliuered their néerest kinsmen to the slaughter, or dipped their handes in the bloud of their owne friends. I thinke if anie man had in the dayes of king Frances the first foretolde those thinges that haue since happened, he had ben slame as a spreader of lies, and yet haue our beastly mindes bene such, that we haue euen extolled and magnified the prodigious actions which blind rage hath commit∣ted. I beseech God we neuer fall againe into the like abhominable gulfe of inhumanitie.

Thucidides a wise hystoriographer dooth briefely describe the * manner howe the Grecians behaued themselues in their ciuill warres. Whose saying I haue thought good here to insert, to the end we may compare the forepassed mischiefes with those of our time, thereby to discerne in which of these times mallice preuayled most. After it was knowen (sayth he) that anie riot was committed in one place, others waxed bolde to doo worse, to the end to worke some noueltie, to shew themselues either more diligent than others, or else more insolent and hot in reuenge: and all the mischiefes that they cō∣mitted did they disguise with gaie titles, as tearming rashnesse, magna∣nimitie: modestie, cowardlinesse: headlong indignation, manhood and boldnesse: counsaile & wise deliberation, cloked dastardlynesse: Thus he that shewed himselfe most furious, was accounted a loyall friend, and he that reproued him ranne into suspition. If anie one of the con∣trarie faction propounded any thing that were good and honest, it was not liked of▪ but if they were able indeede to impugne it, they had ra∣ther be reuenged, than not to be wronged. If by solemne oth they made any attonement, the same lasted vntil the one see himselfe the stronger, whereby he might violate, infringe, and ouercome it through mal∣lice. Yea, he reporteth much more, which to auoide tediousnesse I omit.

Now therefore would I know whether we haue not bene equal with the Grecians in like actions? I thinke that none dare denie it: but that we haue surmounted them in crueltie it is most euident. Such Frenchmen as after so many ruines shall remayne, maye iustly make that exclamation that Agesilaus made for Greece. O poore France how vnhappie art thou, that hast with thy own hands slayne so many of thy good men, as might haue sufficed in a daie of Page  48 battayle, to roote out all thy proudest enimies, which seeke thy ouer∣throwe: Truely wee must confesse that discorde hath brought not one sicknesse but many, and those most greate and daunge∣rous.

And because there be some, who as it sémeth, would willingly cloke and conceale some, and haue vs to counterfait health, I * haue thought good to set before their eyes that which a writer of our time, intreating of our miseries, hath set downe: for any thing that tendeth to good instructions ought to be read and read againe in many places. Marke therfore his words: Publike discorde hath ingendered among vs irreuerence to God, disobediēce to Magistrates, corruption of manners, alteration of lawes, contempt of iustice, and the decaie of learning and knowledge. It hath bred horrible vengeance, ignorance of consanguinitie and kindred, obliuion of amitie, violence, spoyle, wasting of Countries, sacking of townes, burning of houses, con∣fiscations, theft, banishment, proscription, cruel destruction, chaunge of gouernment, with infinite other excesses and intollerable miseries, pit∣tifull to the eie, and wofull to the eare. I thinke that he sayth but the truth, & as all good friendes ought to doe, to the end we should not account our wounds, which are most daungerous, and as it were mortal, to be of so light cure & so leaue the soueraigne medicines, and vse such as be but slight and friuolous. Neither do I heare re∣port * all these iniuries, to the end to awaken the wrath of those that haue sustayned them, for I haue a farre other meaning, which ten∣deth rather to roote out the remembraunce of them all: but I doe it onely to the end that seeing our shame, we might bee ashamed. Which is as much as if a man should shew to the father his child sprauling on the ground al bloudy with the stripes that in his rage hee had giuen him, & so saie to him. Now that you are pacified looke vpon the goodly peece of work that you did in your choller: for now you may see that you haue endomaged your selfe. Were not this enough to make him ashamed, and withall, to with-hold his hands another time.

Now the better to laie open the mischiefes arising of dissenti∣on, I might alleadge the examples of that that hath fallen out in Italy, in the time of the factions of the Guelphs and Gibelines:* in England in the warres betwéene the two houses of Lancaster and Yorke, and in Germanie when the Popes maintayned theyr Page  49 factions against the Emperours: But all this is not able to teach vs so much as the least warre of sixe that wee haue had experience of alreadie: because that the thinges that a man séeth, feeleth, and is imployed in, doe make a farre deeper impression in the mind than the simple bare rehearsall of things pase. And this shal make me to contayne my selfe in the bounds of our owne Countrie: & that the rather because we must of necessitie ascende euen vnto the most an∣cient times to finde lyke monsters as are two of those that haue bene formed in our diuisions. Whose names if any man desireth to * knowe, the one is called Murther, the other Couetousnesse. The first can neuer be satisfied with bloud, neither the other with riches. So as notwithstanding the peace that hath bene often concluded, hath somewhat brideled them, yet haue they still entrapped some∣what secretly. I thinke that during the horrible proscriptions of Silla, and slaughters of Marius, the like were bredde at Rome and deuoured the Romaines, where ours were no sooner cōceiued, but they were borne in France, and since haue spoyled the French∣men. Thus is Rome the fatall shop wherein are forged the swordes of slaughter that haue alreadie shed so much bloud, where also are hammered the counsels of destruction which haue ben most miserable vnto those that haue followed them.

The remembrance of all this filthinesse and disorders ought to * bréede a great compunction in our hearts, and pricke vs forward to embrace vertue which heretofore hath beene so familiar with vs, neither is it to be doubted but that if wee woulde set our affections therevpon, we should shortly sée it in as great honour all about, as euer it was: for notwithstanding the Frenchman doth go astraie, yet at length he returneth to his waie, and the true meanes to re∣turn is by calling agayn our guide, whose name is Cōcord she wil set vs in our right path where we shall finde Piety and Iustice rea∣dy to receiue vs gladly: but withall let vs take héede of leauing her least we goe astraie againe: for if we follow her she will leade vs a∣right▪ and soone into the goodly and large fields of plentie and fe∣licitie, where honour and contentation, who doe there make theyr aboade, shall receiue and fest vs worthilie.

This wil some man say is soone said, but not so soone done. Wher∣to I answere yt the effect is difficult, but to them onely that do thē∣selues lay ye block in ye way, as it were by a volūtary contemning of ye counsailes yt reasō offreth thē, coueting rather to ylease thēselues Page  50 in such vnruly appetites as feede onely vpon discords, contentions and hatred: howbeit wee must remember that all these vehement rages and practises of reuenge (the true nurses of discorde) are * no other but (as the Philosophers tearme them) defectes of the mindewhich suffering it selfe to bee lead by the senses, is moued at euerie chaunce that happeneth: whereas it ought constantly to beare whatsoeuer in honestie it maye or shoulde, to the ende that by preseruation of order and tranquilitie, the naturall course of mans life may with more facilitie be performed.

I haue many times noted, that after we had put vp our swords into our sheaths and began to be conuersant againe one with ano∣ther, especially with our parents and friendes of the contrarie par∣tie, we did together bewayle the miserable time past, wherein the one might haue chaunced to haue slaine the other, whose lyfe he had holden as deere as his owne, and wished that in all our dayes wee might neuer haue the lyke calamities agayn. Then haunting with such as we had lesse acquaintance of, we light vpon mildnesse and a mislyke of passed furies. A third manner of men did we sometimes méete withall, which were the most violente of euerye faction, and yet did we finde in them farre more moderation than wee coulde i∣magine. Then sayd I to my selfe: Must it not needes be that there is some furie hidden in the bowells of France that thus intangleth vs? sith so many preparations to vnitie and concord cannot any whit pro∣fite vs, or bring vs to the inioying of this felicitie? Yet was I not quite out of hope, but that at length wee might attayne there∣to.

All this made and yet maketh me to imagine that want of visi∣ting * each other when occasion requireth, maketh vs to grow sa∣uage one to another: for in absence we set before our eyes onely the iniuryes passed, whereto commeth reporte, suspition and slaunder, so that though one were as white as snow, yet by such blemishes he may be made as red as scarlet. We ought likewise to consider that notwithstanding our warres haue continued aboue 24. yeeres, yet doe we still returne to our Fathers houses, and necessitie compel∣leth vs to be conuersant again, not with our friends onely, but also with those that haue bene our sharpest enemies. Wherefore it is requisite that wee resolue our selues to mildnesse, and sith wee are to liue and die, not among the Italians or Spaniards, but euen in the same lande wherein we are ingendered, let vs endeauour to do Page  51 it peaceably, rather than by languishing in tumults to bee repleni∣shed with terror.

Some man may obiect that sith mistrust is one of the principall * sinowes of wisedome, it must not in so daungerous a time be layde vnder foote. Truly my counsayle is not altogether to burie it, but rather to leaue it to euerie mannes libertie to vse it conueniently as occasion may require: howbeit I woulde haue the occasions to bée such as may beare some apparaunt likelyhoode of truth, and not to rest vppon euerie trifling imagination, vntill that time haue purged the hearts from rancour, & blotted inueterate hatred out of remembrance. For we must thinke: sirst that in the end men wil be wéerie of euill willing and of euill doing, because those things are of themselues tedious and noysome.

Secondly, that some wil conuerwhen any smal spiritual motion touch them, & make them know that it is a most harde matter for thē to loue God whom they sée not, so long as they abhorre those that beare his image, and whome they sée. For this cause must we not despaire of anie, vnlesse in them appeareth some euident to∣kens of mallice, and rooted crueltie conioyned with obstinacie. Of whom wee may saie, The Phisition hath giuen them ouer, their fa∣miliaritie is vnfruitfull, yea, euen dangerous.

Before wee ende this discourse, wee must also speeke somewhat of counterfaite concorde, and peraduenture it will not hurt to set * downe some warnings vppon that point, to the ende men bee not abused, as they that for want of waying and well looking to, doe take counterfaite coine for good gold, for in this so corrupt a world wherein wee liue, we must looke verie neere vppon those thinges that beare a fayre shew: because that vnder such a cloake mischiefe for the most parte lurketh. When therefore wee chaunce to see a good agreement betwéene some, with whome wee are requested to enter societie, let vs diligently enquire whether the ende where∣vnto eyther of them doth tend bee good or badde. For if it be bad, then may wee conclude that agreement to bee false, and so conse∣quently of small continuance and to be eschued. This may better be made manifest by examples.

The first therefore that I will beginne withall shall bee of land * theeues and robbers, and of sea rouers. A man woulde some∣times thinke such a fraternitie and steadfast amitie to bee betweene them, as in his opinion there coulde none bee more excellent. Page  52 But if we come to considerwhat these people be, who for the satis∣fieng of their peruerse desires, do confederate themselues together, and trouble publike tranquilitie with their murther and spoyles, in respect whereof they are feared and hated as mortal plagues, what shall we iudge of their vnion, but that it is a perillous conspiracie? Lewde and licentions women, that dwell euen by pernission in sun∣drie Cities, especially in Italy & Spaine, are so familiarly acquain∣ted together, that it séemeth their league to bee of perpetuall conti∣nuance. But so farre is it from being accounted concord, that in déed it is rather discord, cimented together with poison: & I beléeue that almost all men condemne such confederacie, and would be loth the pleasant name of concord should be blemished in such societies. Notwithstanding still there be some that let themselues be caught in such snares. Thus much concerning those persons that haue embraced infamous kinds of life, who both by diuiue and humane * constitutiōs are to be reproued. There is another kind of concord which is furious, as appeared among the peasants in Germanie, who in the yere 1525. armed themselues to sacke the gentrie and spoile the rich. They liued one with another as brethren, yea, they died couragiously together, notwithstanding their procéedings and purposes were abhominable. In this rank I thought good to place also the confederacie of the mad Anabaptists of Munster, who as∣sembled to the number of nine or ten thousand persons. Heare wil I likewise adde the seditious assotiations of whole communalties or part of the same, for they to the end to cut their throates that dis∣please thē, doe together, as did yt Sicilians agrée against ye French∣mē, who for ye punishing peraduēture of 500. guiltie persons slew 5000. innocēts: with such people we are rather to haue discord, thā cōcord: because their vnion aimeth at nothing but the alteration of lawfull societies. I doubt not but if some good Father being affe∣ctionate to his conuent, should reade this, he would by and by saie: It had not bene amisse among these to haue placed the Lutherans and Huguenotes, whose whole agréement tendeth onely to the de∣struction of our holy orders. To this will I aunswere. Sir, I haue forborne that, because there is no reason to place those that are not cō∣uict among the condemned: but if you with some of your brotherhoode will dispute with them, and by good and forcible reasons of diuinitie confute them, when you haue so done I wil obey you, but as your friend I counsaile you not to doe it for feare least Marots wordes proue true, Page  53 viz. That neuer any Papist spake well of Luther: also if they shoulde come to dispute, one of them must needes proue an heretike. For if you should chance to be ouercome, you might well inough giue ouer the wallet, because no man would giue you ought. But the best both for you and them, is to liue at the least in politike concord, and to content your selues with the mischiefes that you haue done each to other, conside∣ring that mans life is of it selfe miserable inough, though thereto you adde no new miseries.

Now let vs speake of those that haue attained such a degrée of a∣buse in their lawful vocations, that we may say of them, that vnder * the authoritie of lawes and gouernment, they peruert all equitie & iustice. Of such assemblies we finde many kindes, wherof to auoid superfluous rehearsall, I will note onely some of the chiefest. The first is a framed tyrannie, wherein the publike actions doe tende to strengthning of it with all mens harmes. In this we must imagine two sorts of men, namely, the tyrannizers & the tyrannized. Con∣cerning the last, inasmuch as force euer maistreth them, they must hūmbly stoop, waiting vntil it please God to raise vp lawfull meanes of remedie. But for the first who liue in so ioyful and pompeous v∣nion together, I doe not thinke it either méete or honest to ioyne with them, or to participate with them in sacking, murthering, and robbing the innocent: much better it were to eschue such con∣cord. But who be those that haue so liued▪ The hystories do tell vs and furnish vs of examples enow both old and new. I will content my selfe with the alleadging of one onely, which is of Caesar Bor∣gia,*Pope Alexander the 6. his bastard sonne, who in horrible wickednesse was equall with the tyrants of olde time, who also is the goodly patterne that Machiauel propoundeth to teach Princes how to rule. This man replenished all Italy with bloud and vice, & found but ouer many defenders and adherents to assist him. Truly that man had but a slender discretion and lesse vertue, that coulde haue sought to liue in such a tyrannous concord. Heere might wee place a Democratie, vtterly depraued, as was the Athenians whē Solō was condemned to death. Likewise a corrupt Oligarchie as also was ye Athenians, when the Lacedemonians established ye 30 gouernors, who afterward grew to be tyrants & murthered all the best citizens. Next will I heare set downe the Senates & tribunal seats of iustice, most part of the Senators whereof haue consented to cōmic al iniquity. Such a one did ye Romane Senate resemble in yePage  54 time of Nero: for all such detestable cruelties as he practised (yea, euen when he slew his mother) did they vniuersally a〈…〉e, accoun∣ting them as workes of pietie, and healthsome to the common wealth. But had it not rather bene impietie for a man to haue la∣boured to be of their order, and so to haue prophaned himselfe in such a false concord▪

Now will I speake somewhat of men of warre in a common * wealth, who are as it were the gard therof, whē passing the bounds of discipline, they doe confederate and vnite themselues together, and so taking vppon them the spoile and robbing of the people, vpon mallice rather than necessitie, doe destroie all. Of this vnion a man may say, that the greater it is, the more noisome & hurtfull.

For the last example of false concord, which also is no lesse per∣uitious than the first, I will set downe the same that was among * the Bishops assembled at two or three Councels, holden vnder the children of Constantine the great. For the saide Bishops being in manner al Arrians, or men infected with some other heresie, did by a common consent condemne the Councell of Nice (which was the most notable that euer was holden) & those that continued the soundest in points of religion. That which was concluded in their assemblies was a plaine conspiracie against the truth, & no holie v∣nion of wils, notwithstanding they shrouded themselues vnder that beautifull title.

Of all which matters here deducted, euery man, especially they that rashly do ship themselues simply into all ports, may learne not * to suffer themselues to be circūuented with outward shews, which for the most part intangle the wisest, that hereafter they be not for∣ced to vse this phrase, I thought it not. Wee are also to note that notwithstanding those that vnite themselues in maner afore men∣tioned, are sometimes of opinion to perseuere a long time, they ne∣uertheles do deceiue themselues, because euill thinges bee of such a nature, that many times when they are growen to a certain degree & not gouerned with any thing that good is, they 〈◊〉 turne to o∣uerthrow * one another. But the concord that continueth, is the same that is between honest men, which also proceedeth frō the motions of an vpright reason, illuminated from aboue, which maketh s affectio∣nate one to another: for being fed with so perfect a radicall humour, it remayneth euer quicke and fresh; as the trees that are planted along the riuers sides. God grant therfore yt we, euen we Frenchmē may Page  45 haue the same continually lodged in our hearts, to the end to helpe to restore our Countrie to her auncient beautie.