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.
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THE POLITICK AND MILITARIE DISCOVRSES of the Lord De la Nouë.

The first Discourse.

That the realme of France doth by little and little runne in∣to decay, and is neere to a great ouerthrow, vnlesse God of his goodnesse vphold it. Also, that as yet there be some remedies to raise it vp againe in case they may bee with speede accepted.

THE mindes of euery man ought to * be firmely and stedfastly resolued that God is the author of all politick go∣uernements, which he hath establi∣shed to the ende that through good or∣der all humaine societie may bee pre∣serued and mainteyned in pietie and iustice: also that it is he that vphol∣deth them in their beautie, force and dignitie, vntill that vpon mans contempt of his lawes and cor∣ruption of their maners, he powre foorth his wrath vpon them, whereof doe ensue the subuertions and alterations of Monar∣chies and Commonwelths. Those men therefore doe much de∣ceiue themselues, who vnder the shadowe of whatsoeuer mighti∣nesse or power, either els in consideration of their long continu∣ance, doe imagine that the same should make them perpetuall: For they bee matters which are neither sufficient, neither can plead prescription against the iustice of the almightie, who limi∣teh the bounds of all estates which they cannot passe, when the tyme of correction is come: as by histories (the light of tyme and register of things passed) doth sufficiently appeare. Yea, there be many worthie persons yet liuing which haue seene the late beau∣tie and eminencie of France in the tyme of Frances the first and Henry the second, who would be forie to be brought to conceiue any euill opinion thereof, notwithstanding the multitude of dis∣orders Page  2 happened, either to confesse that the foundations of the same are shaken: but it were their dueties rather to mourne then to dispute and replye against so visible and sensible apparances of subuertion. For the most part of the rootes of this so great trée doe lye bare and halfe withered: many of the braunches are dead: fewe leaues doe remaine, and the fruite is growne almost wilde. And to all this infirmitie haue tyme together with the late mis∣haps brought it. Their best therefore were to confesse the truth, & to their powers to labour to mainteyne so much of it as is yet good & in strength and force. I knowe that the foretelling of the falles, which cannot be done without laying open the shame ther∣of, will seeme but an vnpleasant discourse to him that loueth and honoreth his countrie and nation. But seeing such perils doe al∣readie astonish so many hearts; also that the causes which plunge vs therein doe appeare in all mens eyes, were it not a great co∣wardlinesse in this vrgent necessitie to sit still and say nothing? True it is that many men through default of good intelligences doe stand halfe amazed in the middest of all these miseries. And like as the insensible waters doe runne downe the riuers vntill they fall into the Ocean wherein they bee buryed, euen so those men by little and little rowling themselues into the present con∣fusions which carie them away, being destitute of right vnder∣standing, doe goe forwarde, one after another vntill they fall headlong into the gulfe of destruction. It is a profitable peece of worke, when a house is on fire to shewe it to those that see it not: likewise to vrge such as see it and feare it, to helpe to quench it: also to admonish other such as without any great consideration do peraduenture kindle it, that they do not well: to be briefe, to exhort euery one to helpe the maister of the house for the safegard thereof, together with the preseruation of his whole familie.

Sundrie Philosophers in their writings haue set downe the causes of translations and alterations of estates, as Aristotle in his Politiques, who likewise haue touched the meanes how to preserue the same: wherin they haue bene so diligent and curious as to procéede euen to the smallest causes, whereof whosoeuer would perticulerly discourse, had néede of tongue enough. But because wee are in greater necessitie of the truth then of wordes, my counsaile is that we goe and drawe it out of the true philoso∣phie where we shall finde it more liuely painted foorth then in any other doctrine whatsoeuer. The holy Scriptures doe among o∣ther Page  3 make mention of thrée notable vices which for the most part * do concurre and ioyne together: and for the which God doth with open punishments and destructions ouerthrow commonwelths: namely, Impietie, Vniustice, and Dissolution, which a very learned personage of our tyme hath very well noted, whose opi∣nion also being so well grounded I will both allowe and follow. Impietie sayth he, ouerthroweth the conscience: Vniustice either * publicke or particuler, subuerteth all pollicie and common socie∣tie of mankinde: Dissolution doth diuersly trouble and spoyle families, so that through the mixture of all these mischiefes, must horrible confusions doe ensue. Néedes must we confesse (though with mourning and sorowe) that they all doe so aboundantly raigne throughout this poore realme, that without the helpe of the deuine bountie wee are in daunger of great shipwracke euen at hand.

It were not here amisse to speake somewhat of Religion, but I intend not so to doe, but onely to warne our nation to consider that notwithstanding the diuersities thereof, yet they ought not to esteeme one of another as of Turkes. For seeing both partes doe confesse that they worship one selfesame God: that they ad∣owe one selfesame Iesus Christ to be their Sauiour: and that the Scriptures and foundations of their faith bee all one, there ought likewise to be such brotherhood & charitie betweene them, that ceasing all hatred, crueltie and warres, they should grow to some reconsiliation. Can we not be content with aboue 200000. men of warre perished through the furie of these diuisions? Was there euer more terrible Sacrifices then these? I thinke that all that haue any taste of religion should be hereby induced to pacifie themselues; as also that those whose felicitie consisteth in re∣uenge should now bee glutted with so much blood as haue bene shed.

But I will at this tyme speake onely of three horrible vices, * which are as it were the dependances of Impietie, and haue in∣fected all France. The first is Atheisme, the second Swearing and Blasphemie, and the last, a pernicious vse of Magicke and sundry other kindes of Diuinations and Sorceries. All and eue∣ry whereof doe dishonor and contemne Gods most holy name, and merueilously prouoke him. Concerning Atheisme it is no newe vice, but of auncient continuance, yea it raigned in the time of King Dauid as himselfe testifieth saying.

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There is no God as foolish men affirme in their mad mood, *
Their drifts are all corrupt & vayne, not one of them doth good.

It is a terror euen to thinke that there should bee any hu∣maine creatures, especially in these daies wherin the light of the holy Scriptures doth shine so bright, that durst disaduowe their Creator: but it is no great meruaile: for the same Scriptures doe teach vs that in the latter daies there shall be many such people, whom, notwithstanding they do sufficiently bewray themselues, it were good neuerthelesse to see paynted out in such sort as they are described in the wisedome of Salomon, who sayth thus. The wicked haue sayd within themselues. The daies of our life are short*and ful of heauinesse, neither haue there bene any knowne to returne from the dead: for we are borne of nothing, and hereafter we shall be as if we had neuer bene, for our bodies shall be turned into ashes, and our soules scattered as the soft ayre, and in tyme our names shall be forgotten. Come therefore, let vs take and enioye the goods that are here, and vse the creature lightly, as in our youth. Let vs fill our selues with precious wine and parfumes, and let not the flower of our tyme fade away. Let vs crowne our selues with Roses before they be withered. Let there be no medowe which our intemperancie goe not ouer, and euerywhere let vs leaue the tokens of mirth, for that is our portion and our lot. Undoubtedly among all our corruptions no∣thing seemeth more prodigious thē the liues of those that speake and liue after that sort. For he whose soule is polluted with any heresie or superstition, yea euen he that followeth the lawes of the heathen, doe yet seeke saluation and bowe his knees before some Godhead that he hath forged to himselfe: whereas contra∣riwise these men doe flee from and contemne all, so brutish are their sences become. They had neede to be pitied, for of all that doe cast away themselues, they are the most castawaies.

If any man should aske who begat this generation, it were not much amisse to aunswer, that it haue bene our warres for re∣ligion, * which haue made vs to forget all religion. Neither can either the one or the other say It is our aduerse partie that in∣gendreth Atheists, for they meete on all sides. The duetie of Kings is to suppresse them, & euery societie ought also to purge it selfe, because there fall but small blessings vpon those places where such venimous hearbes doe multiplie. *

As touching the second vice, Contempt of God ingendreth it, and custome shapeth it. Yea it so happeneth that the most part Page  5 of those that growe guiltie thereof, doe become so sencelesse that they thinke it to be but a slight fault. Our good Kings in tymes past, as S. Lewes and others did make decrées for the suppressing thereof, notwithstanding I suppose that in those daies none but a fewe vnthrifts vsed much swearing. Afterward this plague tooke hold of the Gentrie, especially of the Souldiers, who (as it is sayd) in their late iourneys brought the great othes out of Ita∣lie, but within these fortie yeres, the lood hath so ouerflowed and daylie encreased, that now the little children of seuen or eight yeeres of age haue skill enough to abuse the name of God; yea euen the peasants who liue farthest from the Court and Cities, where corruptions doe dwell, (following the common course) can curse the heauens as well as the Souldiers, who aboue all other doe beare away the bell for this iniquitie. To bee briefe. Turne vs which way we wil, we still heare nothing but blasphe∣mie and forswearing of God. Thus doe we see that euill exam∣ple with want of correction hath bred perseuerance in this dete∣stable vice. Neuer did any auncient Historiographer write that it was (any thing néere) so common in any age as it is at this day. If wee consider the Iewish nation, we shall finde them but smally taynted therewith, for whosoeuer among them did blas∣pheme, he was stoned to death. The Heathen did but sieldome sweare, and held their othes in great reuerence. The Sarazens which embraced Mahomets lawe, durst not transgresse herein for feare of Gods punishment; and euen to this day the Turkes that succéeded them doe absteyne from blasphemie. Surely all these nations shall in the last day rise against vs Christians, and especially against vs Frenchmen, who endued with more know∣ledge then those blind people, doe offend tenne tymes more then they. If a man bee atteynted of treazon against his worldly Prince, euery one will crye out, he is worthie punishment, but vnto him that blasphemeth and teareth in peeces the name of God (which is treazon against his heauenly King) no man vpon earth sayth one word, notwithstanding it bee written that such a one shall not be holden guiltlesse.

Some worldly wise man may come foorth and say, that al∣though * this error be chastizeable, yet it is none of those that pro∣cure the losse of estates; also that in case we could finde meanes to redresse ye other abuses of France, this might afterward be well enough prouided for. In my opinion those wise men doe resem∣ble Page  6 such as because they haue many bookes, and haue seene their closures and red their titles, doe weene themselues to be learned: for they looking superficially onely into the causes doe neuer con∣sider that the principall things that bring miserie and disorders into whole Countries, are such offences as are committed di∣rectly against God: notwithstanding, they see that where the Magistrates do looke that his holy name be had in reuerence, the Commonwelths doe florish and abound in all wealth: but if they shewe themselues negligent therein, the scourge shall neuer de∣part from their house: neither shall it stand them in any stead to say: I will for my part rule my tongue well enough: for they be ordeyned, not for themselues only, but also for the instruction and correction of others. Did they neuer reade that which is written in the 3. booke of Moses? Whosoeuer curseth his God, shall*beare the paine of his owne sinne, and the blasphemer of the Lords name shall dye the death: the whole congregation of the people shall stone him, whether he be a citizen or a straunger. These are his words that maketh the foundations of the earth to tremble, the Sea to runne backe, and that shooteth foorth his most fearefull thunderbolts against the proudest Cities. Let them therefore doo all that they can and employe their whole power to banish this euill, least by supporting it they make themselues guiltie therof.

The third vice that dependeth vpon Impietie is not so gene∣rall * or euident as the former, notwithstanding it bee as abhomi∣nable in the sight of God. For when the vnlawfull meanes of Diuinations and Magick arts haue alienated man from God, they plunge him in ineuitable destruction. Herein doth the deuill vse two kindes of snares. By Witchcrafts which is the grosser sort, he doth ordinarily drawe vnto him the rude and simply ma∣litious persons, who either for the satisfying of their desired re∣uenges, or for the atteyning vnto other purposes, doe so suffer themselues to be seduced by him that they grow to acknowledge and confederate themselues with him. He doth often shewe him∣selfe vnto many in sundrie shapes, as experience teacheth by the cōfessions, procéedings and iudgements giuen against them: and let such as doubt hereof reade the writings of Bodin against them, wherein they shall see what horible mischiefes and villa∣nies against both God and man those miserable creatures doe commit; which after they haue renounced their Creator doe sub∣mit themselues to him; who laughing them to scorne doe drawe Page  7 them into euerlasting destruction. The same Author reporteth that their Captaine being taken in ye tyme of Charles the 9. cō∣fessed yt in France there were aboue thirtie thousand Sorcerers. It is horrible to see so voluntarie a protestation to the irreconsi∣liable enemy of God and man: but when malice aboundeth, there is nothing whereto it will not ioyne. Such as are more spiri∣tually wise and haue in them some seedes of pietie, must haue o∣ther pollicies that may beare some fayrer shewe to bring them into these pathes of perdition: for if any man should at the first shewe them the dishonor that they commit against God, it may be they would refrayne themselues: but as the sleights of the de∣uill are merueilous, so doth he drawe them on by fayrer preten∣ces, vntil they find themselues so snared that they cannot escape. The cause of these mens mishap consisteth in their corrupted af∣fections, which driue them by vnlawfull and damnable waies to seeke their accomplishment. One would knowe what successe he should haue in some great enterprize: another how he might es∣chue some euident daunger: The couetous and ambitious man must know how to atteyne to his desires: he that hateth and see∣keth to doe harme, the like: One seekes to lengthen his life, ano∣ther to shunne death: This man desireth to know the issue of the warre: that man whether the estate may be preferued: with infi∣nite other such things as mans imagination can conceiue. To be briefe, mans vanitie hath of vanitie it self made Oracles wher∣with to satisfie his curious frowardnesse: hereof are sprung vp so many kindes of Magicke, Enchauntments, Witchcrafts and*Sorceries, that we say that there is nothing in heauen, in earth, neither vnder the earth which the man that is plunged in this error doth not vse, in hope to finde some instruction or ease: al∣though ordinarily he is frustrate of his expectation, because ther∣in he can meete with nothing but falshood and deceipt. And what els is to bee looked for out of the instructions of the deuill, consi∣dering * that himselfe is a lyer and deceiuer: But that we may the better knowe how these abuses are to bee reiected, let vs heare what Moses sayth. When thou shalt, sayth he, be entred into the*land which the Lord thy God shall giue thee, beware that thou fol∣lowe not the abhominations of those people, neither shall there bee foūd in thee any person that shall passe his sonne or daughter through fire, or that shall enquire at the Southsayer, or that shall obserue dreames, or the singing of birds, neither shall there be any Sorcerer Page  8 or Enchanter, or any that shall seeke counsaile at familier spirits, or that shall aske the truth at the dead: for all these things be abhomi∣nation to the Lord, and for such abhominations will the Lord driue them out before thee. This was no lawe deuised by any Lawyer, but an expresse inhibition of almightie God, wherein wee may note three things. First, that these impieties be the inuentions of such as haue forsaken God. Secondly, that he detesteth them especially aboue all other offences: and thirdly, that he doth grie∣uously chastize them with most terrible punishments. But in our daies if any man couet to see where these accursed vanities are practized, let him goe to the Courtes, where he shall finde some * of all sorts and callings that are not only affectionate thereto, but do euen runne mad after Soothsayers, as they did after one No∣strodamus and others, whose lyes were receiued for trueth. Thence let him walke all ouer France, and he shall finde that a∣mong the Nobilitie, Clergie, and men of lawe, there bee many secret disciples of this profession, of whom I suppose some doe not thinke to doe so much mischiefe as they doe, and yet in these cases the least transgressions are reputed most heynous sinnes, as witnesseth the holy Scripture, which to the end to aggrauate the heynousnesse of any offence doth say that it is as the sinne of the Soothsayers. And vndoubtedly the encrease and tolleration of such abhominations, is one of the most euident tokens of the subuertion of any Commonwelth: wherefore it is requisite that euery one that is polluted with this or the rest doe clense them∣selues: For it is a hard matter for him to bee a good Citizen of France, that for so wicked a cause doth voluntarily banish him selfe out of the holy Citie of God.

Now must wee speake of Vniustice, which is a publicke and * particuler oppression vsed by such as bee in auctoritie or mightie ouer the poore and weake, who also through their pride, coue∣tousnesse and wealth doe practize all violence, deceipt and extre∣mitie against the simple. These disorders haue bene so long con∣tinued against the poore, that now it is openly sayd that they are no longer shorne, but euen flayne with a thousand extraordinarie oppressions and newe impostes heretofore vnknowne, in such sort that ye coyne now wrested from them is watered with teares and accompanied with most sorowfull complaints. And not∣withstanding whatsoeuer knowledge that men haue of Gods finall succour to the oppressed, either that he doth chastize their Page  9 oppressors, yet will they not cease therefrom, but still continuing the same course, they doe day by day proceed to augment the mi∣series of others, vntill they bring them to such a passe as them∣selues doe tremble thereat. Thus haue we procéeded from yeare to yeare in so wofull an estate, that without speedie remedie France must growe halfe desert. Then if we marke the men of lawe which are ordeyned to minister iustice to euery man, wee shall see a many of them helpe themselues with this holy vertue, to entrap the wealth of those that either through follie or neede haue entangled themselues in the most subtile nets of pleading, neither can any man expresse the extortion that vnder such colour is committed. Moreouer, there runneth a great rumour of some gouernors of Townes and Castles, and paraduenture of whole Prouinces, who to the ende to mainteyne their pompe and fill their coffers, doe vse newe lawes to the detriment both of the King and Commons: as if the purpose of offices tended either to make an outward shewe, or to glut them with wealth, and not rather to make their vertues to shine in such functions both to the reliefe of many & to their maisters honor. But if there be a∣ny behauiour that may be termed rage, it is the behauiour of the men of warre, who are so farre out of square, that hauing ha∣bandoned all humanitie, they make no lesse hauock in their owne countrie, then in the enemies land where all is made a pray vnto them: in such wise that the forraine warres of France for these eightie yeres haue not wasted so much, as the souldiers robberie haue done since these ciuill warres began. Yea, and there be some gentlemen who as I thinke doe imagine that the true tokens of Nobilitie doe consist in making themselues to bee feared, and in beating & presumpteously taking from their subiects any thing yt may be cōmodious vnto themselues, as if they were their slaues. The great cities, what do they but encroch to themselues all the cōmodities that they may: thunder foorth their priuiledges, & lay all the burthen & charges vpō the poore country people, who be∣ing besides pinched by the subteltie of the receiuers, it is a mer∣ueile wherevpon they liue and finde themselues. To be briefe, if wee looke generally into the particuler dealings of each one to∣ward other, wée shall finde plentie of fraude and vyolence, as if a man were brought into the world only to hurt his like. Well, let that which is spoken suffize to teach vs that vniustice draweth néere to her full period: For there is as little care of oppressing Page  10 the Poore, the Widowe, and the Orphane, as there is feare of the threats written against such as commit it. And yet we must thinke that when oppression is growne vniuersall and continual, then God hasteneth his iudgements to destroye vs, because wee will not amend when we are instructed and taught, and that doth the Prophet well shewe when he saith. The Lord shall enter into iudgement with the auncients of his people, and with their Prin∣ces,*for ye haue wasted the vine, and the spoyle of the poore is in your houses. Why doe you oppresse my people, and bruse the face of the poore, saith the Lord of hoasts. This decree might be a sufficient warning to the oppressors, if they were as easie to be taught, as paraduenture they be incorrigible.

The third vice afore mentioned, is dissolution, vnder which tearme I doe comprehend Adulterie, Pompe, Pride, Glutto∣nie*and Drunkennesse. Which to those that delight in worldly prosperitie, are merueilous pleasant imperfectiōs. And although in our age, nature is much enclyned to ryot and vanitie, yet may wee say that the euill example giuen in most eminent places, to∣gether with impunitie, haue bene great helpes to encrease this mischiefe, which taketh the surer roote when it is practized and borne out by the mightie. Now, among the vices aboue mentio∣ned, Adulterie hath the preeminence. And besides that it corrup∣teth * the bodie and poluteth the soule, it is ordinarily accompa∣nied with sicknesse, prodigalitie, murder, and other inconuenien∣ces that drawe on each other. In all places they are so addicted thereto, that they care no more for concealing of it, as in tyme past when honestie held them in some shame. In these daies they seeke onely to couer the filthinesse thereof with beautifull titles or pleasant aunswers, yea they goe further in some, euen notable places. For they accompt this vice as a necessarie spurre, where∣with when one is pricked and can guyde himselfe cunningly, or atteyne to any worthie price that he hath desired, he is exalted: he is enuied: he is sayd to haue a good capacitie and quicke vnder∣standing. After this sorte doe they make blacke white, attribu∣ting purenesse to that which is filthie and foule. Youth which is easely catched with these baytes, holpen by custome, and not re∣strayned by lawes, doth more and more stirre vp their appetites hereto, and hauing once taken so bad a trayne, the state of man∣hood and age doe nourish rather then abolish it. This vice doth naturally resemble the Cancre which by little and little gnaweth Page  11 the flesh: for if once it begin to take hold of any, it so encreaseth the corruption of his affections, that it is afterward a hard mat∣ter to purge him againe. God for such like iniquities in old tyme rooted out whole nations from before his face, as well to shewe that he abhorreth them, as also to teach Magistrates not to leaue them vnpunished.

Concerning Pompe and Superfluitie, the roote thereof sprin∣geth * in the Court, where vanitie doth so abound, that those per∣sons which will bee any thing accompted of, must transforme themselues into sundrie fashions and colours. For the outward shewe of things are in such estimation, that many tymes men iudge of the person by his apparell; so as it seemeth wee would say, that the chiefest perfections are hidden vnder the costliest gar∣ments. Kings & Princes did not so soone chaunge their auncient ordinarie simplicitie into Italian glistering brauerie, but their subiects immediatly imitated them, yea and some endeuoured to exceede them: and this mischiefe hath stooped so lowe that pompe and pride appeareth euen in ye meane citizens of simple townes. Herewith hath the Nobilitie especially empourished her selfe so sore, that she can no longer so mainteyne her selfe to doe the King any such seruice as in tyme past. Neither doe women for their parts forbeare these superfluities: for weening with out∣ward ornaments to breede themselues more beautie, commenda∣tion and honour, they haue not since bene so carefull to adorne themselues with the beautifull giftes of vertue which doe farre exceede the others.

At the tayle of all these vanities commeth Pride, which al∣though * it be borne with man, doth neuerthelesse whet it selfe and encrease with their smoake: or rather according to the opinion of others, engendreth them. But howsoeuer it is, the one still a∣greeth with the other: so that of this vnreasonable presumption or ouerweening of themselues groweth the contempt of others, and thence come iniuries, quarels and manifold murders.

An other braunch of Dissolution is table excesse and great * furniture, wherein many doe suffer themselues to bée willingly led away, as taking this path which is so full of intemperance to be the only meanes to liue in pleasure and fame. All which bad customes do perticulerly corrupt and spoyle whole families, and being mixed with publick errors doe make the disease of the vni∣uersall bodie more incurable. Doe we then thinke that God will Page  12 long suffer these corruptions which are to him so odious? It is not like: but rather are we to feare least the iudgement comming so slowly will bée the more grieuous. How many kingdomes, where they haue atteyned the fulnesse of al vice, haue bene ouer∣runne and giuen in pray to straungers? The histories doe verefie it, and the multitude of examples might terrifie those who ha∣uing power to represse the mischiefe (at the least in part) doe suf∣fer it to encrease euery where.

Thus may wee see some of the most manifest mischiefes that haue and still do infect France, briefly set downe according to the * purposed order, which are sufficient to make all men thinke (ex∣cept the corrupt or sencelesse) her daunger to bee most euident, considering how sore the foundations of Piety and Iustice, which should vphold her, are decayed & shaken. The sinnes afore men∣tioned are ye true causes that prepare to put her to a great iumpe. Neither want wee other signes and foretellings, which threate∣ning vs, doe warne vs to endeuour to turne away the wrath of God from vs. Alreadie haue appeared horrible Comets and o∣ther strange sights in the ayre, Earthquakes, the bringing foorth of Monsters and feareful voyces, which haue bene felt, heard and seene, and being so prodigious, ought to terrefie vs. But if the curious doe for their satisfying craue more curious and vaine ob∣seruations, my selfe will alleadge them twaine that I haue ob∣serued in a certaine mans writings. The first, that wée are now vnder the Climactericall raigne of the Kings of France, namely the sixtie and three, which noteth vnto vs some alteration to bée made. The second, that all the roumes made in the Pallace of Paris to place the pictures of our Kings, which some do imagine to haue bene fatally so builded, are now full.

But to leaue thē to descant vpon these vanities, I will speake * of another forewarning more to bee considered, which the Pro∣phet Daniel maketh mention of: viz. of the commō period, which in some mens iudgement, he attributeth to all estates, and is vn∣to them as it were a limite that they cannot passe. At the least we see within that tyme woonderfull alterations. And it is compre∣hended within the compasse of 500. yéeres. Which experience hath sufficiently verified in diuers, especially in the auncient peo∣ple of the Iewes, as Iasper Peucer hath diligently noted. Bodin likewise in his Commonwelth, following the opinion of Plato, hath noted that the number of 494. which he tearmeth perfect, Page  13 and is ment of yeeres, is a terme which fewe Commonwelths doe escape without encurring most daungerous alterations. * Now, if wee will applye this to our selues, and count how long it was betweene the time that this Realme came to bee settled and assured in the familie of Hugh Capet the author of the se∣cond chaūge (which happened vnder Henry the first his graūd∣child, who dyed in the yeere 1060.) and the death of Henry the second, in whose raigne many great corruptions, as well in ma∣ners as pollicie, were conceiued, which afterward were brought foorth with incredible encrease, we shall finde fiue hundred yeeres fully compleat. But the chaunges of most excellent vertues into most infamous vices are most daungerous, because other do still followe on which breede destruction without remedie. Yet must we not say but this tearme is sometyme farre ouerpassed (which procéedeth of Gods great goodnesse) as wee may now see in our Realm, that haue perseuered in forme royall aboue 1100. yeres. As also that sometymes God in his wrath doth shorten it be∣cause of mens horrible sinnes. And although the knowledge of the tyme be to them a secrete article which God hath reserued to himselfe, yet the consideration of so many as well waightie, as trifling matters concurring to one selfe end, ought to driue vs to thinke vppon his iudgements. But much more should wee bee thereto induced, in that wee see the prophecie of Moses daylie drawe to performance against vs. And yet notwithstanding our so many experiences and sufferings wee cannot become wise. These be his words. If thou wilt not obey the voyce of the Lord*thy God to keepe and doe all his commaundements, all these curses shall light vppon thee. Thou shalt be cursed in the Citie and in the field: the Lord shall send thee hunger and scarcitie▪ and the plague shall take hold of thee vntill it hath consumed thee from the face of the earth. The heauen that is ouer thy head shall be of brasse, & the earth vnder thy foote of Iron: the vermin and the rust shall consume all the trees and fruites of thy earth. The straunger that is within thee shall get ouer thee and be the highest, and thou shalt stoope and be vnder him: he shall lend to thee vppon vurie, and thou shalt not bee able to lend to him. The Lord shall cast thee downe before thy enemies, and thou shalt get from them by a contrary way, and thou shalt flee through the hedge. A nation that is farre from thee shall rise against thee whose language thou shalt not vnderstand: an im∣pudent people which shall not honor the older, neither haue compas∣sion Page  14 of the infant. The same shall deuour the fruite of thy cattell, and the fruite of thy field, & shall leaue thee no remainder of thy Corne, Wine, or Oyle, neither of the flockes of thy sheepe vntill it hath de∣stroyed all. To be briefe, thou shalt serue thy enemie whom thy Lord shall send thee in hunger and thirst, in nakednesse and want, who shall put a coller of Iron about thy necke vntill he hath wholly roo∣ted thee out. These be part of the threatnings denounced against those that harden themselues in wickednesse, whereof we doe al∣readie so feele the effects, that there want no more but the last wounds to fulfill our vtter oppression. And sith Gods worde hath prooued so true in this bitter correction, let vs feare least it so doe likewise in our destruction.

I suppose there bée some Courtiers, who being but smally * satisfied by my speeches, will rather scorne mée, because I en∣deuour to decide matters of estate with Theologicall principles, and would better like that I should haue propounded some out of Polibius, Plutarke and Xenophon, to the ende by them to haue iudged of the casualties of Kingdomes: and willingly I would haue leaned to their opinions: but to the end not to be de∣ceiued * I haue thought this way that I haue taken to be the bet∣ter▪ For notwithstanding mans wisedome (which neuerthelesse is giuen from aboue) doth shine in prophane bookes, yet is it ve∣ry vayne in respect of the heauenly wisedome that appeareth in the holy Scriptures. Howbeit, to the ende the better to satisfie * euery one, I will somewhat touch the opinions of these great persons concerning the matter now discoursed vpon. The mat∣ters, say they, namely Aristotle, which breede innouation, alte∣ration or destruction, especially in Monarchies, are these, when there happen debate betwéene brethren or mightie men of the Realme: when the Princes are vnder age or in contempt: when the Magistrates doe robbe the common people: when wicked and vnwoorthie persons are put in office and the good reiected: when the superiours do oppresse their inferiours with grieuous iniuries: and the tributes layed on the peoples neckes are insup∣portable: when Princes through their dishonest actions doe be∣come contemptible to their subiects: when Iustice is so coward∣ly and corrupt that impunitie of vice beareth sway: when wee see an vnproportionable encrease in one member of the estate▪ when dignities and offices are set to sale: when pouertie is so v∣ersall that not onely the priuate are poore, but the common is Page  15 poorer: when martiall discipline is neglected: when concord quai∣leth among Citizens and maners are vtterly depraued: when lawes are out of force and that the Prince is ruled by wicked or ignorant Counsaylers: and when forrainers are in greater fa∣uour and authoritie then the naturall borne subiects. These are in parte the causes by them noted, which breede sundrie al∣terations in estates and bring them to naught. All which things * may easely be seene to concurre in ours, and thereby may wee iudge of the sicknesse thereof. But albeit wee are not altogether to contemne the Philosophers opinions, yet must wee rather cleaue to those of the Scriptures, which search out the origi∣nall causes in mans transgressions: For GOD detesting the same doth withdrawe his fauour and protection from whole Realmes, and then spring vp confusions. Whether therefore wee looke into the first causes, or into those that ensue, wee shall in all bée sure to finde matter and tokens of destruction. How is it then that wee feare not ours, when all iudge∣ments both deuine and humaine doe foretell it? Howbeit, in as much as there is no disease so great, but the sicke person may conceiue some hope of recouerie, wee are not altogether to dispayre, but diligently to search among both ordinarie and extraordinarie, deuine and humaine remedies, for such as may bee most profitable for our restauration. And of those will wee speake in the ende, after wee haue first layd open such dissipations as oftentymes happen vnto the mightiest Mo∣narchies.

Some there are that notwithstanding they knowe there bee * great dissipations, yet doe they make them but small, especially when they applye them to their owne countrie, as well in re∣spect of their charitie thereto, as also because they bee loath to bee the reporters of so many mischiefes. In such affayres as this, wee must not flatter neither our selues, nor other men, but freely declare what passed experience doth shewe. Among many desolations happening to an estate readie to fall, the two worst are these.

The first, when one mightie nation, or many, being of di∣uers dispositions and language doe come to vsurpe, and bring into bondage: then is it not to bee demaunded how many mise∣ries the subdued must endure. The other, when a Kingdome renteth it selfe in many péeoes, and that the quickest or strongest Page  16 doe seaze each vpon his owne portion, which they gouerne in di∣uers maner, and for the maintenaunce of themselues doe leane to straungers: then likewise ensueth a great ouerthrowe of all things, and the calamities doe long endure.

Of these two only will I now discourse, as being those which * threaten vs and are the worst, neither is it to any purpose to re∣plye that France cannot incurre these inconueniences: For sith so many and so detestable mischiefes, together with so many and so diuers partialities haue set in foote, we must imagine them (with∣out speedie remedie) to bee the open gaes vnto newe maisters. If wee doe throughly marke the accidents happened in sundrie estates, we shall finde that many haue decayed when ciuill dissen∣tion hath so beaten them downe that they haue not bene able to defend themselues against straungers. The kingdome of Iuda* being mightie and florishing vnder Dauid and Salomon, and deuided vnder Roboam, it followed that the Kings of Israell and Iuda held almost continuall warres against each other, and so weakened themselues, euen in good maners, that the Assy∣rians led them into captiuitie. Soone after that the Romaine Empire was deuided in it self, the seate transported to Constan∣tinople, & that vice augmenting, the vertue of Princes decayed, the Northerne nations rose vp and rent it in sundrie péeces, nei∣ther is it possible to rehearse the calamities of them that liued in those daies. In the kingdome of Hungarie which in tymes past hath bene so florishing and mightie, when those that should suc∣céede straue who could carie it away, the Turke stepped in be∣twéene them and became Lord of the greatest part thereof. And although the Turkes conquestes are extraordinarie destructions, yet must wee in these examples note Gods punishments, with the causes that bring them in, thereby to take warning that vn∣lesse we preuent them there will bee no want of such as shall put them in execution: Yea, which shall come and bereaue vs of our libertie, life, and land. And who doubteth not that many nations * our neighbors doe but lye in waite for such occasion▪ Is not the Spanyard, who seeketh to force all men to stoope vnder his scep∣ter and contemneth the French, mightie enough to bring vs vn∣der? Will the Germaynes that distayne vs, be slowe to such a bootie? How suddenly will the Italians that behold vs, be readie to catch whatsoeuer may fit them? The English calling to mynd their auncient losses, may then haue their remedie: yea the ScotsPage  17 and Suitzers which now bewayle vs, may peraduenture seeke to plucke away each of them some one small feather. Finally, the Flemmings that did loue vs, whose hate we haue perforce procu∣red, how ioyfully will they skippe in our neckes? I take him to be very sencelesse that doth not feare it.

But some man will say that it is an easie matter in words and * writing to raise vp many nations, which neuerthelesse wee siel∣dome see in effect come to passe. Hereto I aunswer that whensoe∣uer God is determined to thunder vpon the sinnes of men, he doth much sooner stirre vp those whom he pleaseth to vse as ministers of his vengeance. And in case the report of histories bee true, with what celeritie I pray you did the Goths, Huns, Alans, Francons, Burguignions and Wandales fall vpon Italie, Gaule, Spayne & Affricke? Such was their furie and speede, that in short space they subdued and wasted all those great Prouinces. The like also did the Sarazens two hundred yéeres after in the conquest of Spayne. Haue not we also had tryall in France during the English warres that that only nation (which in deede by enheritance at that tyme possessed almost the third parte thereof) brought it into so misera∣ble estate that they were like to haue bene maisters of all? Let vs then feare least that which hath alreadie happened to others, doe fall vppon vs, considering that our iniquities are so readie to the haruest.

Concerning the dismembring of an estate by the selfe nation, * among whom many tymes the straunger hath his share, it is no lesse a kinde of miserable destruction then the former. This did the Empire of Constantinople finde soone after that Baldwine Earle of Flanders was made Emperour: For then did Alexis Comne∣ne (as Carion reporteth) erect ye Empire of Trebizond. Thessaly shaking off the yoke of Michael Angel yeelded to ye Paleologues. Achaia, Attica, Peloponessus, Aetolia, Caramania and Epirus had their seuerall gouernors, whom they often chaunged according to the sundrie euents of warres and sedition. Especially Attica, A∣chaia and Peloponessus were gouerned sometymes by the Gre∣cians, sometymes by the Sicilians and Florentines, sometyme by the Genowayes & Venitians, euen as the hazard of warre fauou∣red: notwithstanding most of them made there no long aboad. The Bulgarians, Ruscians and Seruians had their Despottoes, who being sometymes friends and confederates with the Emperors of Constantinople and by and by againe enemies, did with conti∣nuall Page  18 roades wast Thracia and Macedonia. These confusions did deserue the name of théeueries rather then of warres, because both the ground of them was vniust, and the practises wherewith they holpe themselues most wicked. For they sought all meanes to rent and teare the Empire in péeces, whereby the Emperour of the Turkes had oportunitie to seaze vppon Constantinople and the other Prouinces. The same author in an other place saith thus. I will likewise rehearse the calamities that oppressed almost all Italie, as a punishment for the sinnes that therein rayned: which happened during the mortall deuisions betweene the Emperours and the Popes, when the names of Guelph and Gibeline were the markes of each fac∣tion. For so many mischiefes were there then committed, so much blood shed, so manytownes destroyed, and whole Countries layd wast, that whosoeuer shall reade the histories thereof cannot but meruaile. Then did there spring vp many pettie Tyrants in most townes, ac∣knowledging no superiour, but leaning some to the Popes and some to the Emperours, exercising all cruelties against both friends and foes, vntill that Italie, rather wearied then satisfied with so many miseries, did after a long tyme take an other course. I will also repeate one domesticall example, namely the deuision betwéene the houses of *Burgundie and Orleance, which was so sharpe as it induced the English warres, which brought France to so lowe an ebbe that it was almost vtterly destroyed, yea it had dismembred the state into sundrie morcels, if Gods great goodnesse had not holpen. In the meane tyme for the space of fortie or fiftie yéeres it was made a pray: euery one seeking either to kéepe himselfe, or to encrease his owne power, either els to destroye his enemie. All publique force, mightinesse or iustice whereto men might haue recourse, being vt∣terly extinguished. To be briefe, it was a Countrie habandoned to euery one that could catch any part thereof, all which miseries doe warne vs that wee may yet happen to trye them once more. For straungers may see so good sport that they may fall vppon vs againe.

But it is farre more likely that our estate should incurre the o∣ther * dismembring whereof I haue spoken. And the reason is, be∣cause the French, being by nature fierce, and hating forraine bon∣dage, will rather become subiect to it selfe, and so of this one great bodie make many péeces. For the assurance whereof, the vsurpers would put themselues into the protection of such of their neigh∣bours as could most commodiously mainteyne them, and withall Page  19 were most conformable to the opinions that they shall haue em∣braced. When I doe more néerely consider this, I finde no con∣dition so miserable, disordered, and confused as ours: which be∣ing such would burie all iustice, lawfull authoritie, respect, feare, good maners and concorde, and to the contrary encrease all ma∣lepertnesse, ambition, trecherie, violence, Impietie, guile and sedition: And who could delight to liue among such stormes, vn∣lesse it were some barbarous minded person? Among all these alterations I imagine some Prince to seaze vppon some one Pro∣uince: some Lord vppon some Townes: some head Cities to conuert their Parliaments into Aristocratyes of some of their no∣blest and principall Citizens: and others to growe into Com∣monwelths. Among the Nobilitie also other sorts of Gouerne∣ments Oligarchiall or Monarchiall. One would become a prince ouer his owne Castles, an other a Tyrant ouer other mens. One quarter of the Countrie would growe into Cantons, an other commit it selfe to some warlike Capteyne, as for those that should at such a tyme finde themselues seazed of the strong holdes of the greater Townes, thinke whether they would haue any parte herein: All which diuersities of gouernments, humours and qualities of men must néedes bring in mortall warre and dissen∣tion, which would not bee ended while wee and our children were consumed.

Of these my spéeches some man might imagine that I presup∣pose * that the royaltie should then bee as it were made voyde: be∣cause that so long as that remaineth in authoritie the aforesayd confusions can no way come néere vs. Truely my selfe would be as loath as any man that the same should bee so much as contem∣ned: For sith wee haue liued 1100. yéeres vnder that gouernment, it were our partes to reuerence it, as a lawfull power ordeyned by God, whereto whosoeuer doth not voluntarily yéeld obedience, the same is guiltie before him. Besides that wee are to thinke no other gouernment more meete to guyde the French then that. But because the matter whereof I entreate doe leade me from bad causes to those worse effects yt ensue, it hath also caused me to set downe such things as might happen, to the ende that imprin∣ting in vs some feare, wee should endeuour so to behaue our selues as they might not come to passe. But if wee still perseuer any tyme in our imperfections and disorders, let vs not doubt but God will take away his good Angell from France, whereby wee shall Page  20 see the royall dignitie disobeyed, and in small fauour with the sub∣iects, and the same likewise exempt of all loue and humanitie to∣ward them, which will bee the accomplishment of the desolations aforesayd. For the eschuing of which inconueniences, we ought most zealously to pray to God long to continue our King, and in him to encrease all true Pietie, Justice, wisedome, and affabilitie, graunting vs likewise to bee as affectionate toward him as were the Romaines to the good Emperours Traian and Titus: for if the Realm should fall vnto children, especially now that the lawes are out of force, Magistrates contemned, maners corrupt, hatred and ambition excessiue, it must needes be in great daunger.

Now let vs proceede to the remedies, and see whether there * be any so sufficient as to warrant vs from destruction. In my o∣pinion there be some, if we can finde the way to take hold of them in tyme. For in this tempest wherein wee are tossed wee must not shrinke vp our shoulders and say, All is lost, but wee are valiantly to helpe one another. But to what remedies shall wee haue re∣course? To Philosophers rules? Or to passed experience of such meanes as haue serued to vnderproppe this Realme when it hath bene shaken? Either els to the politique counsailes of the wise that now liuing doe knowe our griefes? For that were the way that wisedome would teach. Hereto I aunswer that wee may reape * profite out of all, but it is necessarie that wee beginne further of. In as much as wee see that for our transgressions God hath withdrawne his fauour from vs, it is requisite that wee appease him to the ende he may returne vs it againe, otherwise all humaine remedies are in vaine: for what power, wisedome, or counsaile is there that can alter any thing that he hath decréed against vs? In the holy Scriptures wee haue a notable example of his mercie toward the Niniuites that were heathen people: for when his * wrath was kindled against them, and he had by the Prophet Io∣nas, to the ende to terrefie them, pronounced the sentence of their * destruction, they were so touched to the quicke that their King and all the people hauing fasted, wept and prayed, and turned from their wicked way; he withdrewe his plagues, which alreadie hung ouer their heads, & tooke them to mercie. How often did the Iewes féele his woonderfull compassions, when for their wickednesse and * transgressions his scourges euen light vpon them? Whē they and their Kings through true repētance turned vnto him, he tooke pitie of them & conuerted their pitifull estate into prosperitie. Wherof it Page  21 followeth, that our soueraigne and onely meanes to auoyde these calamities that doe now assaile and threaten vs, is to imitate those whom I haue named. For as it is one great comfort, when a man knoweth that his griefe is not altogether incurable, and that there be meanes to heale him, much more doth it increase when he find∣deth the same to bee easie. The same is in vs, and consisteth in knowledge, will, and execution, whereof euery one through holy perswasions and example of the greatest, may bee made capable: For when men shall see first the King, and then the Princes and such as are in authoritie either Ciuill or Ecclesiasticall, in earnest and without hypocrisie to make shewe as well generally as perti∣culerly that to God onely wée ought to haue recourse, and withall effectually to declare a hatred of vice & loue of vertue, embracing the politique vnion and eschuing discord, vndoubtedly the inferiors will studie to doe the like. But what will the Catholickes say: * Doe not wee what wee can to appease the wrath of God with so∣lemne Processions, Pilgrimages, Fastings, Prayers and Offe∣rings? And the like may the Protestants say concerning their Prayers, Meditations, Abstinences, and singing of Psalmes and Himnes, wherewith they also endeuour to appease him. Undoub∣tedly we must bring more then the outward shewe vnto God, who * being the searcher of the hearts doth see the clennesse or vnclen∣nesse therein couteyned. But let vs heare the Prophet Esay and he will teach vs how wee ought to guyde our selues, in giuing to vs the same admonition that he gaue to the people of Israel. Marke the words of the Lord by his mouth. My soule, saith he, hateh your*solemne feastes and sacrifices. When you shall lift vp your hands I will turne my eyes from you: and when you shall multiplie your prayers, I will not heare you, for your hands are full of blood. Wash you and bee cleane, take away the corruption of your thoughts out of my sight. Cease from doing euill and learne to doe good, seeke iudgement, helpe him that is oppressed, doe right to the fatherlesse, and defend the cause of the widow. Then come vnto me saith the Lord. Though your sinnes be as red as scarlet yet will I make them as white as snowe. Hereby it appeareth that wee must come sincerely vnto God and amend our liues in deede, if we will obteyne his blessings; for to seeke to satis∣fie him with dissembling shewes, is the way to displease and pro∣uoke him.

It may be there are some that will say, that to propound rules * of deuinitie for the reestablishing of Commonwelths, is no more Page  22 but to set downe Paradoxes: but those men in my opinion are farre deceiued. For as Iustice, Wisedome, Fortitude, and Temperance are the strong pillers that vphold the state, so must wee thinke that Piety is the foote and foundation of them all: for if they be not fixed in this most woorthie vertue, they cannot but shake, because it is necessarie to begin the worke with such a foundation. Greater rea∣son, then they, haue I to say that it is no Paradoxe, but rather a woonder that now in France there be so many that contemne those things which stirre vp to integritie of life and reuerence to God. At the least I am assured that there are many good men as well of the one side as of the other, which euen long after ye reestablishmēt of good order and the preseruation of the estate, and will not reiect my opinion. Leauing therefore vnto those that haue farre more learning, cunning, and experience then my selfe, the propounding of more excellent matter that may serue to so good an ende, & con∣tributing to this worke onely so much as I may, according to my small capacitie; and through my conceiued feare least wee should fall into such daungers as threaten vs, I seeke in tyme to lay them open: because it is much easier to preuent such mischiefes as haue bene foreseene, then those that happen vnlooked for.

Hauing thus discoursed vpon the first and most healthsome re∣medie, * I will proceede to speake of the rest which also are necessa∣rie, and whereof the Philosophers haue made mention. Aristotle who had as good iudgement in pollicies as any other whosoeuer, doth generally say that if we can finde by what meanes estates are corrupted and decayed, wee shall also knowe the meanes whereby they may be clensed and preserued. Considering that of contrary causes doe proceede contrary effects, also that corruption is con∣trary to conseruation. Hereby may the simplest easilie knowe how to put this rule in practise. As for example: If the sale of Iudiciall * offices doth breede the sale and peruerting of Iustice, then ought we to forbeare selling of them, and so to giue them freely to good men. If pompe, superfluous expences, and vnreasonable giftes haue for their maintenaunce inforced Princes to lay intollerable and vnsupportable tributes vppon their subiects, then must they moderate their affections, to the ende oppressions may cease. If impunitie of vice doth multiplie and encrease it, then must cor∣rection deminish it. Euen so is it in many other causes. How∣beit Aristotle to the ende the better to lay open this matter, pro∣poundeth yet other meanes. As, that nothing be done contrary to Page  23 lawe and custome, especially that mischiefes, how small soeuer, bee preuented in the beginning. That those that bee put in publique authoritie doe behaue themselues modestly, as well toward them that beare no sway in the Commonwelth, as to them that doe: in doing no iniurie vnto any, but liuing peaceably among the rest. That those vpon whom the safetie of the Commonwelth doe de∣pend doe continually watch and stand vpon their guard, and many tymes giue cause of feare, to the end the Citizens may be the more readie and intentiue to doe whatsoeuer is meete for publique safe∣tie. To beware that there happen no contention or debate betwene the mightie, also that others which are no partakers be preuented before they meddle. That by the lawes there be order taken that no man waxe too mightie. And that priuate persons frame their liues to that forme of gouernment whereto they be subiect. Many other rules there bee that helpe to this effect, which are to be seene in the fifth booke of this Philosophers Politiques, in the workes of Plutarke, and in other good authors; for I haue here gathered together only those that first come to hand.

But if wee haue but our owne lawes and olde obseruations, yet * were the same so sufficient as we neede not to borowe any other, if we would put them in practize: Which if we doe not, then are all other remedies in vayne. The most singuler precept therefore that tendeth to the restoring of this estate, is to be willing to restore it. This doe I say because that within these fiue and twentie yeeres wee haue vsed so many practizes hereabout, that now wee thinke those to be but in iest that speake any thing in good earnest. Such procéedings must wee chaunge: for necessitie hauing taken place (who prescribeth a law to the greatest) we must now perforce do yt which before of our own accord we would not. No mā hath herein so great interest as his maiestie. For the state of his Realme being well reformed, himselfe shall bee better beloued and obeyed of his subiects: more mightie, ritch and quiet. As also it is he that may doe more then lawe, force, or any man whosoeuer. When he hath chosen what he will say or doe (which the grace of God, his owne singuler wisedome wherewith he is adorned, and the aduise of the wise, may instruct him in) it were a good precept that at the Court and in Paris (which are the two lightes that ought to ligh∣ten all France) order might be first throughly established, to the end all others might direct themselues according to these two most ritch presidents. So long as the citie of Rome kept her self sound, Page  24 her inferiours florished in vertue, but when she came to be corrupt, the infection was spred all ouer. Yet minde I not hereby to inferre that all disorders haue their originall from the rulers, for many doo spring from the subiects: but it is to bee perceiued that some of the principall fetch their beginning from the principall persons, and so doe remaine.

There is yet an other soueraigne precept, without the which all * the rest are to small purpose: and that is to seeke some meanes how to take order in the controuersies of Religion without force of armes. For vntil ciuill warre be banished, it is but a folly to speake of redresse, because the same worketh a greater breach in the coun∣trie, in maners, in lawes and in men in sixe moneths, then may pos∣bly bee repayred againe in sixe yéeres. Among other the fruites thereof this is one, That it hath engendred a million of Epicures and Libertines. Secondly, it hath made most part of the French nation so wilde, cruell and sauadge, that where they were before but shéepe, they haue now put on the shape of Tygers. These two reasons might fully suffise to perswade euery one that is possessed of any one sparke of conscience or charitie, to desire and wish that we might be brought into concord by fayre and peaceable meanes. For so long as discord holdeth our swords drawne, we doo nothing but establish a new Kingdome of Impietie, Iniustice, Crueltie and Theft, wherein many théeues and wicked persons do rise and grow ritch with the spoyle of the innocent, and glut themselues with blood. A man may truely say, that if all the French nation were deuided into sixe parts, wée should finde that fiue of them doe day∣lie mourne and pray to God to graunt peace vnto France, and a good politique redresse vntill an Ecclesiasticall may bee had: which disposition being in maner vniuersall, maketh the difficultie to at∣taine to that poynt a great deale the lesse. The ordinarie obiectiou hereto, is, that two Religions cannot possibly consist in one Com∣monwelth. And when we aske wherefore, it is annswered, because of their repugnancie, which bréedeth perpetuall contention. But I * would knowe of them whether vice and vertue, good and bad bée not also contraries, and yet we must not for the remedying thereof bring a whole Realme into dissention.

In the tyme of the good Emperours Constantine and Theo∣dosius, also when the two holy Bishops Augustine & Ambrose florished in the worlde, were there not in the Romaine Empire both Pagans, Iewes, and Arrians, whom the true Christians were Page  25 driuen to permit to liue after their owne rites and consciences, ra∣ther then for those contrarieties to kindle cruell warres and most •••lent persecutions? Are wee more wise or mightie then those Emperours, or more holy and zealous then those holy Bishops? I thinke wée had néede of a good Orator to perswade that. So that sith they haue so farre exceeded vs in perfection, wee are not to bée blamed though wée guyde our selues by their rule as well in matters of pollicie as of the Church. And notwithstanding vn∣der the Children of Constantine there chaunced some seditions and troubles for Religion, yet doth it appeare that the Arrians were euer the authors thereof: for the true Church hath sieldome bene seene to vse persecution. Which this excellent sentence of Augustine very well verefieth, that sayth. He that persecuteth is of the deuill, but he that is persecuted is of God. It is sayd that King Frances the first, when the Suitzers were at warre among them∣selues for Religion, counsailed them to appease such controuersies by modest conferences and gentle meanes; which since they haue happely put in practise and sped well by it: for thereby haue they mainteyned concorde among themselues, and mightilie enriched their Countrie, and yet are become neuer the worse. This sole example might stoppe their mouthes that vpholde that fire and sworde must determine our debates, also that gentle meanes are vnprofitable. But I cannot thinke that such counsailes can pro∣céede from any other then most cruell and hypocriticall mindes. To bée briefe, I thinke assuredly that if their Maiesties, their * Counsaile, the Princes and the Court of Parliament of Paris, would vnfainedly labour for a generall reconsiliation and redresse, notwithstanding whatsoeuer contrarietie, the same might easilie be brought to perfection. Are they to be restrayned by the autho∣ritie of the Popes precepts, who by his Nuncios seeketh vnces∣santly to trouble France? Must they feare the rage of some of the Clergie, that crye out, Kill, murder, haue no pitie vpon the Pro∣testants our aduersaries? Can the power of the Spanish Empire, (which they haue prouoked out of season) force thē to sheath their French swords in the bowels of France? Shall the feare and com∣playnts of the Protestants (which are not without some groūd) so terrefie them yt they shall desist? Or may the secret practizes, which tend to stirring vp of great matters, feare them? Truely all this should not let thē from establishing ye soueraigne law that bringeth health to al Frāce which is ye law of peace & concord. Only it is re∣quisite Page  26 the King be armed with his grandfathers magnanimitie to daunt all such as dare propound any pernitious Complois against the Commonwelth, as also to harten those that are desirous to say & do well. The Queene mother likewise is to remember that she rather thē any, is able to fixe the nayle in the turning wheele of de∣uision, which would be to her life a Crowne of most excellent com∣mendations. The Princes likewise must call to minde that dome∣sticall power acchieued by a vertuous peace, is as assured and hap∣pie as that which is purchased with doubtfull and infortunate warre. This great Senate which maketh such account of fame, is to thinke that it shall lose the same that it hath obteyned, vnlesse it bring forth such excellent Senators as with pure hart and franke speech will freely vphold, as did our Cato, (l'Hospitall) publique equitie. But if to the contrary they shewe themselues obstinate and slacke in readinesse and labour, they shall be the first that shall feele by the contempt and disobedience of the inferiours, (whom they haue suffered by warres and corruption to transforme themselues into barbarous conditions) how great an ouersight it is, not to cut off, when they may, the way to such confusions as tende to the sub∣uertion of the whole. A King by encreasing his dominion atchie∣ueth great honor, but much greater doth he obteyne by vniting and clensing it when it is deuided and infected: for the first is compassed by force, the other by discretion. Such braue exploytes (as worthie their greatnesse) are to them reserued, to the end in the same to em∣ploye themselues. So did Charles the 7. to whom the reestablish∣ing of good order and auncient customes in his Realme through wisedome, was no lesse glorie then was the recouerie thereof from the English nation, partly by force and partly by fortune.

Now, in case discord were banished from among vs, peace esta∣blished, * and a good reformation begun, yet must wee (as I thinke) beware how wee reenter into any forraine warre but vppon either great necessitie, or a iust and good occasion, but rather to kéepe peace with our neighbours: for otherwise it is not possible to re∣store good maners and order. For so doe I imagine that in sixe yeeres it may be halfe reestablished, and in tenne altogether. Great and strong bodies that are well founded, and haue some good parts yet sound, doe rise vp againe as woonderfully as they were ouerthrowne. The chiefe is to begin well, for a good beginning is * halfe the worke. Neither is there any doubt but God will prosper our endeuours whē he seeth vs wel disposed to take away the euill Page  27 & to restore that which is good. The feeling of our miseries ought sufficiencie to mooue vs, as also should the bad reputation whereto we are growen among all Christian nations, who now doe hate vs as much for the vices that they impute vnto vs, as in tyme past they commended vs for our vertues. Now they stand no longer vpon the reproouing of the French inconstancie and insolencie, as in tyme past: They passe on a great way further, yea so farre as all whatsoeuer disordinate or dissolute behauiour, whether in maners or in politique gouernment, is attributed thereto. This mightie kingdome which heretofore was the refuge of the oppressed, and a schoole of all learning and honestie, whether our bordering neigh∣bours sent their youth to bee instructed, is now by them tearmed a denne of dissolution which they feare to come néere. Such as tra∣uaile forraine Countries, can (if they list to confesse it) be good wit∣nesses of the reproches wherewith we are taxed. Yea, which woorse is, often tymes the common voyce attributeth like imperfections both to the good and bad. I am ashamed to write what I haue heard, euen of such as are very modest, who spake rather of com∣passion then reproach. Let vs cōsider how many kingdomes haue through farre lesse disorders then ours bene destroyed. And sith God through his patience doth yet giue vs space to rise againe, let vs not let slippe occasion, but spéedely take hold thereof, least our ingratitude and negligence procure the taking of those remedies from vs which we may haue despised. In the meane tyme let vs not faint, for I suppose there is no Estate in Christendome, that yet hath better matter then we, but it is now so mixed together, as if a man should make a mangle of Diamonds, Rubies, Iron, Lead, Gold, Siluer, Marble, Brasill, Pearle, Corrall, Tyle and Slate. But each thing being reduced into order and applyed to his owne vse, the inferiour matter would serue to make most beautifull and excellent workes, wherein the superiour being gathered toge∣ther and adioyned, would also shine as most ritch ornaments. God who hath preserued our auncestors from so many destructions, and giuen power and counsaile to our Kings in their greatest extremi∣ties, vouchsafe to defend vs from the mischiefes which threaten vs, and encrease the vertues of our King, and graunt him grace to be the restorer of his kingdome.

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.

The third Discourse.

Of the inconstancie whereby many do vse to hate, condemne, and detest their neighbours, because of their contrarieties in religion.

THE onelie disputations holden about * this matter in diuerse Countries with∣in these few yéeres, were sufficient to in∣gender great hatred, yea, euen among néerest kindred. But when to the con∣tention of wordes they ioyne déedes, (from whence haue proceeded infinite iniuries) then are the passions corobo∣rated, and many mens heartes so poiso∣ned, that in the time of peace they cānot satisfie their hatred against such as agrée not vnto their religious opinions, neither their cruell reuenge in the time of warre. In this matter when we come to de∣mand what cause hath and yet doth ingender and bring forth these extremities, many doe sufficiently declare that it is the zeale that e∣uerie one beareth to his own religion, that causeth them to be per∣suaded that all doctrine thereto repugnant is spotted with impietie, and therefore they abhorre both it and all that professe it. Now to the end not to stumble in this so rough a waie, I haue thought it nothing amisse to open the signification of the word Zeale, as also to shew the fruites that should procéede from so good a trée. Zeale* in my opinion, is an ardent affection of the soule which tendeth to the honour of God and the saluation of our neighbour, whereof it also followeth, that it is offended when he is dishonoured. Moses* and Saint Paule did greatly declare the zeale that they did beare, euen to Gods people, when the one of them said, Lord forgiue them this trespasse, otherwise blot me out of the booke which thou hast writ∣ten. And Saint Paule, who wished to be separated from God, that his*brethren according to the flesh, who glorified God might bee brought into the waie of saluation. By these speeches, which some take to bee excessiue, we are to vnderstand the vehemencie of their affection. Likewise may Helias and Phinees bee vnto vs examples of the Page  46 wrath that some conceiue when they sée impietie and wickednesse to abound. F•• it moued the one of them to put to death all the * Prophettes of Baal, and the other Zambry and the Madianite.* And suche zeale is commended in the holy Scriptures, because it was guided by the wisedome of God.

In this miserable worlde wherein we nowe liue are there fewe to be found that imitate Moses and Paul, either that followe the ex∣amples * of Helias and Phinehes, notwithstanding many would vse the same for a cloake to their violent passions, as peraduenture not considering that those wer perticular actions, procéeding of in∣ward motions, or expresse commandements, and so not to be made consequents. Moreouer, those dayes had especiall reasons for such kinde of iudgements, which cannot well agrée with ours. But the lawe of Charitie which is perpetual and the foundation of the two aforenamed wishes ought to reduce vs to the same practise, and so might we aduowe our zeale to be good, when leaning vppon the said Charitie it is guided by knowledge, which are the two princi∣pall markes to discerne the true zeale from the false. The Apostle Saint Paule teacheth vs to eschue that which is without know∣ledge, for being destitnte thereof, it aimeth rather at reuenge, than Charitie, as in himselfe it appeared when he assisted at the death of *Steuen.

Now will it be easie for vs to knowe the markes of false zeale, if we doe but consider of the vices that are opposite to the aforesaide * vertues, which are Ignorance, (wherewith mallice is oftentimes mixed) and hatred of our neighbour: for whosoeuer diligentlie obserueth not those differences, the same doe runne into errour. Of these affections, which euerie one attributeth to pietie, are ingende∣red the iudgements that we make of our neighbours, whereof the most part are wonderful rash: for many there are who séeing some one that consent not with them in pointes of religion, doe not one∣ly * charge him that he walketh in errour, but also imediatly account him a prophane and wicked man. This opinion hauing once got∣ten holde in the minde, is hard to be rooted out againe, and is the cause of breach, as well of brotherly loue as of publike concorde. We must therefore take heede that in our selues wee conclude not so hastilie vpon the condemnation of those whō we will not vouch∣safe to take leisure to know throughly. If we were to enquire whe∣ther a horse or a dogge were good or bad, we would haue a time of triall before we would iudge, how much rather should we put that Page  47 rule in practise concerning men? otherwise we must make lesse ac∣count of them than of the sayd beasts. But see how diuerse do now gouerne thēselues herein. If a man say to one, This man is a Pro∣testant, by and by he will answere, Then is he a wicked heretik. and saie to another, This man is a Papist, and he also wil say, Then is he naught. And why do you thus reproue him? Because saie they, his religion is contrarie to ours. Truely this readinesse is ouer readie.

Well, whether this iudgement may be false or true, yet are we * in the meane time to vse great moderation in both. When he that is blinded with ignorance shall condeinne the true doctrine and the maintayners thereof, his zeale shall not so iustifie him, that he may not iustly be accused to be a prophaner of the truth, neither wil it a∣ny whit auayle him to alledge his good intent, because the same can not alter the nature of things. But is there not matter sufficiēt, not to laugh at, but euen to bewayle him, who being spiritually blind, doth not so think, but rather noteth the cléerest sighted of blindnes? Wel may it be said vnto him, Thou Phisitiō that iudgest thy neigh∣bor to be sick, & in stead of seeking to cure him, wouldest that he were knocked on the head, enter into a little consideratiō of thy selfe, & thou shalt perceiue that it is thou that doest aboūd in diseases, & those most dangerous. Thinke therfore thrice before thou say once to another: Thou art an heretike. But in truth it is a word in these dayes * common in most mens mouths, and some there are from whom if we should take the vse of yt tearme, their beades from their girdles, and hatred from their hearts, they would be as much astonied as a couetous wretch that hath lost his purse. And yer are these men lesse to bee blamed than some that willingly doe erre, in that they know the thing that they reiect, not to be reprouable. Before these last mens eyes will I set a saying of the Prophet Esay, Cursed bee you that call euill good and good euill, or that make darknesse light, or light darknesse: to the end so hard a sentence terryfieng their con∣sciences * may withdrawe them from iniquitie to righteousnesse. O∣thers there bee also which beeing well instructed, doe neuerthelesse * growe into such arroganice, that to those that yet walke in the paths of straunge doctrine, they giue ignominious names, and do greatly disdayne them: Whereby they shewe theyr owne abuse of Charitie which in liew of pride and insolencie, should bee meeke as Saint Paule saith. Page  48 It were rather their partes to haue compassion of them, with all gentlenesse to take them by the armes, and by little and little, re∣mouing the vaile that blindeth their sight, to shewe them the gulfes wherein they doe inconsideratlie plonge and cast themselues awaie. For it is horrible crueltie, séeing the soules in euident dan∣ger, to curse the bodies. One thing there is that moueth these men, namelie, the falsenesse of the doctrine, which in truth is to bee con∣demned. But they ouerskipping this consideration, doe build their hatred vpon the persons that are deceiued therein, and doe neuer thinke that they may in time be lightned and conuerted, as some of those were that consented to the death of Iesus Christ, who after∣ward worshipped him as God, notwithstanding they had before crucified him as an heretike and seditious person. Reason woulde wee shoulde presume of our neighbour that he will rise rather than perish, vnlesse we sée anie euident tokens of hardnesse of heart in him. Yet doe I not here meane that he shoulde bee flattered in his imperfections, neither take awaie all place from perticular iudge∣mentes * procéeding of a good conscience, because as well the one as the other woulde be hurtfull, for so shall I couer the disease that ought to be opened, to the end to be the better cured. But let him that will iudge kéepe himselfe within the rules of charitie. For it so falleth out, that those which through presumption doe condeme o∣thers, God condemneth by iustice.

Other some of these inconsiderate zelators are of a verie bad o∣pinion. That is, that they are persuaded, that those whose religi∣on they haue reproued in themselues, are not to be accounted their * neighbours, no more than the Turkes or Tartarians, wherein they are grosely deceiued. And in case they were as diligent in reading the Scriptures, as they are to cleaue to the readinesse of their pas∣sions, they would be of another minde. For there should they find that the word neighbor stretcheth indifferentlie to all men, because mankinde is conioyned together with a sacred bonde of communi∣tie, to the end that by that bond men shuld be stirred vp to loue each other. It is enough therefore for any one to be our neighbour, be∣cause he is a man. For it lieth not in vs to blot out common na∣ture. And who is he how barbarous so euer, that beareth not the * image of God printed in his soule, although it may be that it is al∣most blotted out? And for this cause ought wee among so many blemishes, and in so noble a creature, still to consider the excel∣lent marke that God hath imprinted, to the end we hold not that to Page  49 be abhominable which himselfe can crowne with his grace.

In olde tyme the Pharisies violating the lawes of nature, ac∣co••pted * none for their neighbours but their kindred, friendes or benefactors, restrayning within that small number, the thing that should be common to all. But Iesus Christ corrected their false in∣terpretation by the example of the Samaritaine that relieued the poore Iew whom he found woūded by the way, whom also a Priest and a Leuite had denied of all mercie: thereby shewing that euery one is bound to doe good euen to the vnknowne, also that he is our neighbour that vseth most humanitie toward vs. Besides that we are to note that in those daies there was greater enmitie betwéene the Iewes and Samaritaines, then is in these daies betwéene the Christians and Turkes. How then will they excuse themselues that with the only names of Catholick and Protestant are so shar∣pened one against another, that they disaduowe each other to bee their neighbours? Yet are there some so bitter as to affirme that * they haue reason so to doe: and if you aske them why, they will aunswer, that he that is vowed to Satan is woorthie all rigour and vnwoorthie any fauour. Oh proude pecocke! what worse canst thou say of a Caine or of same detestable Sorcerer? Knowest thou not that it is written in the Epistle of Iude, that when Michael the Archangell contended with the deuill about the bodie of Moses he durst not curse him, but sayd; The Lord reproue thee? For although he applye this place to those that doe malitiously backbite their su∣periours, yet may it also bee appropriated vnto thee that doest de∣nounce eternall damnation against thy like. Why is not thy im∣placable wrath satisfied when thou doest imagine his soule to bee destinate to eternall torments? This should cause thee to pitie his bodie, as wee doe the transgressor that is condemned to bee broken vppon the whéele. Correct thy crueltie, that thy selfe bee not con∣demned.

Hereby doe we see that the errors of the minde doe enforce the * hatred of the hart. But Iesus Christ doth giue vs a farre other les∣son in that notable sermon that he made to the Iewes when he sayd vnto them. You haue heard that it hath bene sayd, Thou shalt loue*thy neighbour and hate thy enemie: But I say vnto you. Doe good to those that hate you, and pray for them that scaunder and persecute you, that you may be the children of your father that is in heauen. For if you loue those that loue you, what reward is it? Doe not the Publi∣canes euen so? And if you salute your brethren only, what singuler Page  50 thing doe you. Doe not the heathen the same? Be ye therefore perfect, euen as your father which is heauen is perfect. I thinke if those men that are so hard harted did often reade these words, their stomacks * would come downe when they see the soueraigne maister com∣maund so holie things, and that with such méekenesse. Sith also himselfe speaking of the most of them that crucified him sayd: Fa∣ther forgiue them, for they wot not what they doe: Let vs at the least, setting before vs this example, say for them that doe vs no harme and to whom wee wish no good, Father forgiue vs, for wee wot not*what we doe. All these hatreds whereto diuers do seeke to lay some ground are to say the truth, no other but Iewish dealings, that is to say, a subuertion of the lawe of common charitie through false destinctions agréeing with the lawe of our owne appetites.

I doubt not but some will bee sorie that we should endeuour to * reduce them to such méekenesse, therein peraduenture resembling a certeyne Abbot whose only felicitie consisted in molesting all the world with law matters, whom a French king vtterly forbad that exercise: but he aunswered that now he had not past fortie matters, all which he would cease sith his maiestie so straightly commanded him, neuerthelesse he besought him to leaue him one halfe dosen for his pastime and recreation. And so would they that we should leaue them some, vpō whom to discharge a little of the aboundance of their choller. Howbeit, herein they deceiue themselues: for God will not be cōtent with halfe obedience, but will haue it perfect and altogether from the hart. But they will replye that these be euan∣gelicall counsailes, but no obligatorie precepts. This is another starting hole digged out of the schoole of Sophistrie, & is of no va∣lew. Howbeit hereof it ensueth not, that we must quite burie vp all hatred: but wee ought so to guide it that it take no hold of things prohibited. Such as abound in this passiion may find scope enough to walke in, yea vntill they bee wearie. First they may discharge their stomackes against the deuils, who of all creatures are the worst, neither neede they feare to exceede therein. For we cannot too much deest any thing that is so repugnant to God. Next they may hate all and euery the sinnes which sprout forth in the world as grasse in the medowes: because they bee the stinges of death. The same may they doe to all impious doctrines, for that God by them is forgotten and dishonored: The wicked likewise, generally considered, may be somewhat abhorred, as those that alter and po∣lute publique societies, although peeticulerly the rule of charitie Page  51 afore mentioned be to be obserued toward them. But if any, hauing mallice to sell, would seeke any more familier or ordinarie subiect to employe himselfe vpon, I would say vnto him. Friend, open the closets of thy soule and of thy hart, peraduenture if thou seekest well, thou mayst finde matter enough whereon to exercise thy selfe, as am∣bition,*intemperance, pride, crueltie, vniustice, ingratitude, lying, de∣ceipt, with other vices: whereof thy selfe wilt be abashed. There stay thy selfe, for hatred is the meanes to tame those monsters whom thou makest as thou knewest not of, and which doe diffame thee. So knowe that thy hatred shall be fruitfull and sweete, wherein powring it foorth vpon thy neighbours, it breedeth thee hurt and trouble.

Like as those that be well taught, hating mens imperfections * can neuerthelesse loue them, euen so is it meete that wee should in like for behaue ourselues toward our like, and not vtterly with∣drawe our loue from their persons, although wee condemne their errors and wickednesse: for many tymes they doe through grace chaunge, and from their vnpure waies come to those that bee pure. This charitie whereof I speake is nothing repugnant to ciuill Iustice, neither doth it abolish the indignation that wee are to beare vnto the contemners of God: for if it were contrary to pie∣tie and publique order, then were it not humaine but inhumaine. Also the proportion betwéene the same and deuine charitie is good, for the one sayth: Thou shalt loue God with all thy hart, and the o∣ther: Thou shalt loue thy neighbour as thy selfe.

Concerning conuersation, whereof some make such scrupulosi∣tie, * alleadging for their excuse. This man is an hereticke, or that man is an Idolater: me thinkes they doe ouer rashly denye it to those that haue an immortall soule as themselues, and doe weare the especiall badge of Gods people: which is Baptisme. If they thinke others defiled and themselues cleane, is it not a part of hu∣manitie to visite them to make them also cleane? They will aun∣swer, that they feare least spiritual vncleannesse should infect them. But examining the matter a little néerer, wee shall finde that that is not the matter, but rather that it is a certeyne vyolent hatred that kéepeth them from casting any good looke vpon those whom they accompt prophane, which they seeke to shroude vnder the cloake of conscience. I thinke that diuers doe herein faile through ignorance, as being persuaded by some false teachers so to doe: but there bee others that make themselues very scrupulous vp∣pon a méere péeuishnesse, to the ende to seeme the more holie, Page  52 and yet in marking them well wee shall knowe them to be as they are, as Plutarke saith. Lyons at home and Foxes abroade: that is to say, In outward shewe Hipocrites and inwardly replenished with pride and vengeance.

We cannot hold any better rule in this case, then to imitate our Lord Iesus Christ, who made no difficultie to haunt with all per∣sons * according to the rule of his vocation, notwithstanding ye Pha∣risies found fault with him for it when they sayd to his desciples. Wherefore doth your maister eate with Publicanes and sinners? But Iesus hearing them, sayd: The whole neede not the Phisition, but those that be sicke. By which his example he teacheth vs to take compassion of those whom wee finde in the possession of sinne and error, whom we may in some measure helpe by instruction, if they receiue it. Some there are that say that he was neuer conuersant with Heretickes. But I would faine aske these newe Doctors what the Pharisies and Sadduces were? For he taught the one sort and did many tymes dispute of the scriptures with the other. Wee shall finde that the first did woorship straunge Gods, and the second denyed the immortalitie of the soule. Moreouer, what were the Apostles pilgrimages but continuall communications with the Gentiles, to the end to reclaime them from their errors? Then must not wee be so cruell, sith those whose followers we boast our selues to be, vsed so great méekenesse toward all. Some man may * here replye with S. Paule writing to Titus cap. 3. saying: that he must after the first and second admonition flee the companie of an hereticke: whereto I aunswer: first that his meaning is that he be so indeede, and not by imputation. Secondly, that he be well kno∣wen, and by lawfull and ecclesiasticall procéedings manifestly and sufficiently conuict so to be. Thirdly, that we see him so obstinate, that notwithstanding whatsoeuer exhortations either priuate or publique, he will not amend, but endeuoureth to infringe the vnitie of the Church in making others to goe astray. Then is it méete to put in practise his precept: for of the frequenting wt such a man can there come no fruite, but rather most euident daunger. But all that erre are not noted with that marke. Sith therfore we see the world so bent, that not only in townes and villages, but euen in families and small households, the dwellers doo differ in their opinions con∣cerning the maner of the true seruice of God, let vs not woonder, neither be offended thereat: for euer since the birth of the Christian*Church haue there appeared such diuisions, which haue continued Page  53 sometimes in secrete, sometimes openly, and so will continue to the worlds ende.

In such occurrences the best course that we can holde to auoyde * the shipwrack of our soules, is to seeke the way that leadeth to sal∣uation, which is not to be found but in the truth, & the truth in the holy Scriptures. This being found, those that feele themselues adorned and clothed with so holy a knowledge, are to employe so precious a gift of God to the benefite of their neighbours, and not thereof to gather an argument to despise and disdaine them: to the ende they may haue their part in this blessing of Christ, who saith: Blessed are the mercifull for they shall obteyne mercie. And as for those whose inconsiderate zeale doth many tymes moue them to * wrongfull iudgements and condemnations, let them remember the saying of S. Paule. That whatsoeuer is not of faith is sinne. That * is to say, that no worke, how goodly a shewe so euer it maketh, if it be not done of an vpright conscience, grounded vppon the word of God, is good. A Deuine might haue written a whole booke vppon this argument, but I am content only to haue spoken a word or two by the way, as well in some sorte to seeke to moderate our bit∣ternesse, which doth but too much deuide vs, as also to kindle a new our charitie, to the ende the same may serue at the least to reunite vs in a good politique concord.

The fourth Discourse.

What meanes and proceedings are most fit to vse in the re∣dresse of an estate.

IF peraduenture wee should méete with some * one that should say, that France is not in the way of destruction, what aunswer shall wee make him? Forsooth that he is both blinde and deaffe. For which way soeuer we looke, we can see nothing but confusion and miserie, neither can wee heare the sound of any thing but com∣plaints and lamentations. But if some other should then say that we ought to leaue it in the same estate wherein it now is, and ne∣uer seeke any meanes to relieue it: might wee not iustly tell him that he is an enemie to vertue, in that he abhorreth not so many vi∣ces & mischiefes as doe on all sides infect and torment vs? Let vs therefore leaue those that are so doltish or corrupt, & harken to the Page  54 voyce of the people yt soundeth of nothing but Restauration. Yea euen all other the liuing, though vnceasonable, creatures, if they could expresse their desire, would say the same, conforming them selues to the saying of S. Paule: That all creatures doe mourne and labour, wayting to be deliuered out of the bondage of corruption. But * there he meaneth to speake of the vniuersal miserie & finall renoua∣tion, where our France now groueth after her owne perticulerly.

All sorts both great & small do confesse that she is very sick, & do * wish she were healed; but as touching the meanes to do it, they are at debate among themselues. For some would haue her let blood extremely: Others doe thinke it better to minister more gentle and easie medicines. In this contrarietie we must therfore seeke which be the fittest for the state wherein we are. For the chiefest part of a good iudgement consisteth in knowledge how to choose yt that may most profite. To the finding wherof I thinke there is nothing that can better cōduct vs then ye experience passed among vs, conioyned with perfect discretion, which is the rule of all politick actions. And vnder the conduct of so safe guides wil I begin to enter the carrier.

Touching the first that are so violent in their opinions, and pro∣pound * nothing but sword and fire, I cannot me think like of them. For notwithstanding they seeme to desire the generall benefite; yet doe they indeede rather seeke their owne contentations and perti∣culer profit. Wherin seeing reason resisteth their vehemēt nature, they haue recourse to force, with the which, if it lay in them, they would not helpe themselues much better then a mad man with a sharpe sword. It is straunge to see that men in the gouernment of brute beastes, can vse moderation and patience, and yet in the regi∣ment of their like, endued with reasonable soule and which are per∣suasible, nothing may serue but cruelty! In the correction of things hurtfull we are sometymes forced to shewe rigour, which is not to be blamed, if the causes so require, and that withall wee put away all desire of reuenge. But to guide the instruments of rigour with enuious passions, is the way to marre and ouerthrowe all. And this haue we throughly experimented in our poore countrie, who is so oppressed with those calamities, which through the rage of her owne children she hath suffered, that now she doth clutter but with one wing. And what is the cause thereof, but these vyolent coun∣sailes: from whence are procéeded murders, manslaughters, begin∣nings of warres, depopulatiōs, wrongfull cōdemnatiōs, sackings, and other mischiefes, with which meanes some say that we should Page  55 helpe our selues for the sauing of the state from destruction and expelling the inconueniences alreadie happened. Howbeit, in the ende we haue found such remedies to bee farre worse then the sick∣nesse, and more meete to encrease thē to decrease the disease. They are not therefore to bee termed remedies, but rather most cruell re∣uenges, and destructions which haue rauished and caried away whatsoeuer the most excellent commodities of this realme, name∣ly the flower and aboundance of men. What can those men now say that take such felicitie in the warre & are so readie to perswade it, for now I protest that they sée that notwithstanding it hath bene sixe tymes renewed, it bringeth vs no commoditie, but rather plun∣geth our France in all desolation.

But what will some passionate Catholicke say: How can wee*roote out those of the new opinion, if wee may not helpe our selues with our weapons? Truely my maisters, may we aunswer, first it were re∣quisite you should proue it a iust matter and for the common commo∣ditie, to polute your hands in the bowelles of your fellowe countrimen, before you bee permitted to make such a butcherly slaughter. Were it not better for you by clemencie to bring them to concord, and by good examples in life to endeuour to cōuert them? It may be also that some Protestant, offended at things passed will say: Wee must haue no peace with these Papistes that haue done vs so much mischiefe, before our swords haue made cruell reuenge. To them would I priuatly say: Why are not you yet wearie, hauing tasted so many paines & mi∣series, but that you must reenter againe into newe? Let vs rather make warre against our imperfections then mainteyne them in our land, and endeuour to mollifie the hearts of those that hate vs, by instructions, seruices & mutuall dueties: and so will God send vs an assured peace.

Thus me thinkes wee should aunswer those men that are so sharp set vpon blood. When vpon euill will we seeke warre, it must needes be vniust: but when to repulse crueltie and defend our inno∣cencie wee are forced to beare it, it is excusable, because necessitie constrayneth. But among all the Frenchmens furies, there haue none bene so terrible as the massacres. They were, say some, the last remedies to restore France to vnion. And yet did neuer any thing happen that so farre disunited it. Hereby wee might bee taught to refraine therefro, because such vyolent waies in liew of restoring, doe destroye. And when all is sayd, such counsailors de∣serue not the name of reformers, but of deformers.

If the correction of any abuse come in question, some are not con∣tent Page  56 with the rooting of it out, but they must also spoyle, driue away and kill those whome they pretend to bee the abusers; without de∣stinction * of person or trespasse. And if the Italians (who are migh∣tely multiplyed in France) bee spoken of, they wrappe them all in one offence and say that they must be thus and thus vsed. But they should first thinke, that as among the French there bee both good and bad, so are there among them of both sortes. And a man may affirme that such of them as applye their mindes to goodnesse, doe prooue most excellent, as also those that are giuen to mischiefe are aswicked. Moreouer, is it possible to imagine any greater confu∣sion and vniustice, then for the punishment of some tenne or twelue guiltie persons, to giue in pray a thousand innocents to vnbridled furie▪ If some Italians haue brought wicked customes and inuen∣tions into France, watch them, and finding them guiltie, punish them: but doe not imitate them, for so might ye afterward be asha∣med to condemne them. Some accuse them to bee the aucthors of impositions and extraordinary taxes, which haue almost oppressed the whole communaltie. It is a cursed crime, and those that are so vnthankfull to France where they are susteyned and growe into welth, as to be the occasions of causing it to be eaten vp and so op∣pressed, are vnworthie to dwell in it. But we must marke well who they bee, and not impute the fault of a fewe vnto all. What must we then doe? For sooth we must not repose any credite in them: but in the gouernment of the state, vse such Princes, Lords & notable persons as alwaies haue bene accustomed to counsell our Kings. Neuerthelesse, if peraduenture there chaunce to bee some among them who in respect of their singuler vertue and fidelitie might de∣serue to perticipate in the chiefest honors (whereto the histories do testifie that in tymes past diuers straungers haue atchieued) who would debarre them? And herevpon I would demaund of them what Frenchmen were more affectionate to the estate then one Ia∣mes also Theodore Triuolsse: one Prince of Melphy, one Duke Horatius Fernesius, & aboue all, the valiant race of the Strossyes, of whom the last (who deserued to march in the first ranke of ye best Frenchmen) did voluntarily sacrifice his life for the turning aside of those ciuill warres that began againe to threaten our France.

I would wish we had halfe a dosen such straungers euen in our priuie councell. They haue, will some man say, (I speake of those that traficke) al the greatest Farmes of the Realme. I do not mer∣uaile thereat, sith they are giuen them. If a Frenchman could find Page  57 any such commodities in Italie, he would post thether apace. The best remedie for that, is to preferre our owne nation before them. This is not yet all, for these men can in fiue or sixe yeres make thē selues ritch. Truely if they atteyne to their wealth with either our publique or priuat detriment, they are to be condemned: but if their labour, diligence and industrie doth aduance them thereto, you may not blame them, but rather thinke your selues very doults that can not do the like. And yet if we will looke well to some of our French men, we shall finde that they haue made as good a haruest as ye rest. To be briefe, sith the most part of them are incorporate among vs, as hauing both houses, wiues and children, were it not great cru∣eltie indiscretly to rent away such a member. France hath alwaies bene very courteous to straungers, and so in my opinion she ought still to bee, namely to those that we see doe cloth themselues with the naturall affections of the homeborne, and that bring forth good example & better fruite. But the rest, who as bloodsuckers doe sucke vs vp and then goe their waies, or that bring in pernitious nouel∣ties, they are to be accused, & being conuict, to be made taste of the seueritie of the lawes of France. For the punishing of a few would correct many. Howbeit, in the state wherein our Commonwelth now standeth an Italian Frenchionized, is as much to bee estée∣med as a Frenchman Hispaniolized.

But it is not the straunger only whom they would haue to be so hardly entreated, for when their passions prick them, they set them * selues against the naturall Frenchmen. Some say that ye seate of Iustice wherevpon a certeyne forme of Iusticers doe sit, are now but traps & snares, wherein with the bayt of lawes and customes, both ritch & poore are caught & spoyled, & therfore that we must ba∣nish one part of thē & rob the rest, so to saue and reuenge our selues of their rapine, & restore iudgements into their auncient simplici∣tie: Others raging against Friers & Muncks do charge them that they are the examples of all dissolute life, idlenesse & hipocrisie, who when they haue liued of other mens labours, doe also betray their consciences, and therfore say that wee ought to set fire in the fower corners of their couents. Some of the Commons complayning of the arrogancie of the Nobilitie would entreate thē after the maner of the Suitzers, (yet the Suitzers haue not done so much as these do thinke) so to establish a quiet Cōmonwelth. Part of the Nobi∣litie likewise disdayning the pride & insolencie of the inhabitants of some mightie cities, also their redinesse to Commotions, doe wish

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Page  60 In this case would I wish his Maiestie to establish such a lawe * as was vsed at Locres that had relatiō to another. That is, that e∣uery one that would propound any new matter in that Common∣welth, was forced to appeare before ye people with an halter about his necke: Then after the proposition heard, if it were allowed, the halter was taken away & he let go free, but if it were misliked, thē was he strangled, to ye end by this rigorous punishmēt to admonish euery one not to be ouer hastie to bring in pernitious nouelties that might bréede alteration or innouation of the state. The like were it meete his Maiestie should ordeyne, namely that whosoeuer would counsaile ciuill warre should come in like sort before him, his Prin∣ces & Counsaile, assisted with three hūdred persons accompted ho∣nest men & discréet & true Frenchmen, taken frō among the bodie of the Nobilitie, the bodie of Iustice and the bodie of the Cities, to the end as his proposition should be by them found to be profitable or hurtfull, he might be entreated: so peraduenture the issue might be such yt by this example many would be terrified & restrained frō the persuading of warre, through the continuation wherof France hath accelerated her destruction & doth frame her self to forrein bō∣dage. Much more might be yet spokē to ye weakning of this opiniō, but this may suffise for those yt will not dispute or argue thervpon.

Now let vs see what we are to iudge of the other two opinions which do seeme more receiueable. Many men are persuaded yt that * which cōmendeth the gentle & easie remedies is to be followed, as being most conuenient for vs. And this are they mooued to beléeue by the consideration of ye ruines yt the rigorous haue brought vpon vs: for thereof do they conclude yt contrary effects must be atteyned by cōtrary meanes. Secondly, they cōpare France to a body which by long sicknesse is growne into so weake & feeble an estate that it cannot scarce stand: & do say that the rules of arte do forbid the mi∣nistring of so strōg medicines to him yt is so weake least they throw him quite downe. And yt with like reason, politick rules do not per∣mit ye application of so vehemēt remedies vnto a languishing & half wasted estate. They say moreouer yt during euē our small peace we might perceiue yt many things begā alreadie to recouer, which tea∣cheth yt gentle procéedings are merueilous proper to help to reduce France into yt good order which we desire. And indéed this way sée∣meth as easie as ye first séemed hard. But for wāt of following ther∣of we are fallen into wonderfull calamities, ye remēbrance whereof hath made mē so timerous yt euen words only do make thē afeard. Page  61 So that if wee but speake of reforming of this or that, by and by they imagine that wee are about to begin to destroye them: so sore haue the passed iniuries encreased distrust. This is the reason why the most moderate rules, waies and decrees are most fit and neces∣sarie * to begin withall, to the end to giue to vnderstand to those that yet are but wilde, that wee purpose for the reestablishment of those things that are in confusion to proceed with temperance, for so by yéelding somewhat to their imaginations and feare, we shall make them afterward more readie to obey whatsoeuer shall be ordeyned, neither neede wee feare to finde any great repugnancie when men shall perceiue that the reformers doe meane well. For now many things are chaunged ouer as they were in tymes past whē some of the members only had bene displeased. Now doth the whole bodie complaine, and the patient who before would not knowe his sick∣nesse, cryeth out after the Phisition.

It is vnpossible, will some say, to see so great consent in seeking * reformation: for such as gaine by disorders would haue them still to continue. Hereto I aunswer, that wee knowe well enough there will be contrariers. But on the other side, when men shall see the greatest number well disposed, being gouerned by authoritie and lawe, the rest will soone be brought into order. The principall signe hereof is example and authoritie royall, couragiously commaun∣ding: without which nothing will be performed. And now will I * set downe some of the disorders of our estate, therby to sée whether the same bee as easie to remedie, as many doe imagine they bee: so from the lesser and most easie I will procéede to the greater and hardest.

The first place will I attribute to superfluity in aparrell that ex∣ceedeth * euery where, whereof proceedeth generall pouertie: which to redresse seemeth but small difficultie, and yet it cannot bee tou∣ched but two millions of men will crye out and exclaime. What meanes is there then to prouide for it? Euen to laugh at all those lamentations, complaints and rages. For from a foole if you take his bable, he will storme, and yet is it requisite to do it least he hurt others. But, which is yet worse: these excesses that we speake of doe hurt those especially that commit them, though at the first they be as pleasant, as in the ende they be pinched, when their liuing is morgadged out. He that would perticulerly touch all these kindes of folly, (as the inuenters of auriculer confession haue deuided mortall and veniall sinnes into an infinite number of rootes and Page  62 braunches) should neede a whole volume. It hath in all ages bene a hard matter to cut off the things that men haue esteemed to bee their principall delights, yea some histories doe reporte that euen the Romaines were much troubled therewith. Yet is there great difference betwéene vs and them. For they excéeded when they had aboundance of all things, but wee doe it now that we haue almost nothing: Neither doe I feare that we shall enter into sedition for this poynt. They that keepe the Custome house at Lions will say, that vnlesse euery man may haue libertie of apparell the King shall lose aboue three hundred thousand crownes of yeerely rent. But if we turne ouer the leafe, wee shall finde that there is yeerely transported out of the Realme aboue fower millions of Francks, which is caried into Italie for such warres, and doe cause the King and his subiects to spende aboue twelue millions in superfluous apparell that might well bee spared. In the tyme of Phillip the Conqueror vnder whom France florished and was aloft, Veluet was out of vse with them, neither had they any store of Silkes, at the least fewe men did weare them. Neuerthelesse, the great men were neuer better obeyed, each one in his degrée, then in those daies. So long as nothing but ritch garments doe procure reue∣rence and loue, there is but small sted fastnesse therein, and there∣fore there must be stronger bonds to bring vs to our dueties. Yet doe I not meane that we should order our garments after the sim∣plicitie of olde tyme: for now doe many things abound that were then very rare. The third parte of the Nobilitie at the least could wish there were some good order taken herein, so should they bee better furnished with money and lesse endebted. And I beleeue they could be content rather to spend that which they doe consume in such superfluities, in the Kings seruice in the field, where their expenses should be better employed, thē to empouerish themselues in these follies: and in liew of so many gay hosen and cloakes bro∣dered with gold and siluer, to buy good horses, armour & furniture, therewith to bee worthely furnished in these honorable necessities. So should wee finde aboue 1200, gentlemen able without pay to accōpanie him, which are yet good relickes of our decayed France, and might worke as great miracles as euer did S. Mathurin of l' Archant. And as these doe cure fooles (as yt report goeth) so would the others heale certeyne dolts yt think vs Frenchmen to be euen in the Hospitall. Who thē would make any stirre for these things: Peraduenture the women, who are wonderfully affected to these Page  63 goodly ornaments, and would bee very forie they should be cut off. Indeede they should bee allowed much more then men, as well to content their curiositie, as also because they loue to haue somewhat that may giue a glosse to their beautie. Howveit, Aristotle saith that women are the one moitie of the Commonwelth, and there∣fore ought to bee brideled by good lawes, but they will not beléeue him, but say that he is an hereticke.

There be many other superfluities which I will not speake of, * as hauing touched them els where. Only I haue chosen this kind which is as hurtfull as common, which also I haue layed open to the ende to shewe that sith it may bee amended, so may others like∣wise that make vs worse and more needie. Which if any man de∣sire me to name, I must report these; excessiue expences wasted in sumptuous Feastes vppon small occasion: Maskes, Playes, superfluous retenues, stately builoings, precious moueables: with many other pomps and pleasures which all do stand in great néede of reformation, because that many doe passe their dueties and ha∣bilities: neither should a man lye, that should say, that they are rea∣dier to spend 1000, crownes in such vanities, thē to giue half a one to a poore soule that dyeth for hunger; or tenne to a friend that stan∣deth in great neede. The cause whereof is ouermuch selfe loue and want of charitie toward others.

Now will I speake of matters which seeme necessarie to be tou∣ched, * if we minde to reforme the estate, notwithstanding it be daun∣gerous stirring of thē. There be that thinke that if in this our po∣uertie those mén be not visited that haue so vnreasonably enritched themselues by our confusions, the King shall bee defrauded of a woonderfull cōmoditie that would arise of the restitutions that di∣uers * should be forced to make, which also being applyed to good v∣ses, would stop great gaps. This proposition is plausible & groun∣ded vpon equitie, but ye execution therof is very difficult, cōsidering the great nūber of those whose consciences are larger then a Friers léeue, some in receiuing too much, others in seruing their owne 〈…〉es, and others in catching and snatching. And vndoubtedly, if wée should driue them to giue accompt of their administration past, it would bréede some iarre. Yet if there were but a fewe ex∣chetors in this number, (who now should deale faithfully in their offices, if they could remember what shipwracke they had once almost fallen into) was should bee sure enough from any warre there about. But to close with those that weare Swordes: that Page  64 can both commaund and strike: and that haue authoritie, friendes, and intelligences, vndoubtedly it would breede great alterations. Was it not one of the causes that moued Caesar to take armes, because they would haue visited him and his partakers, about the wealth that he had gathered in Gaule? When the Gracchies pro∣pounded and purposed to put in execution the law Agraria which cut off the possessions of the ritch, what bloodie sedition did ensue? For although a thing be lawfull yet is it not expedient to put it al∣waies in vse, because that neither the indisposition of the affayres can beare it, neither the tyme require it.

Some will say that it is a gentle way, to redemand that thing by lawe that hath bene vsurped against lawe. True. But if we doe well marke the consequences, wee shall finde them so daungerous, that it were a great ouersight for the gathering vp of a fewe small profites, to encurre great losses. For sith they that will not lose the goodes that they haue gotten, will not for the kéeping of them ab∣steyne from vyolence, the surest way were now to wincke at some incurable mischiefes and to looke vpon those that be curable. The lawe of obliuion which wee haue alwaies placed first in our out∣cryes, which also the Romaines and Athenians after their ciuill warres did put in practise, doth warne vs in these chaungeable tymes to forget many things.

The like consideration is there to bee had of the Clergie: for as many did affirme that it were good to take away halfe their goods * (which most of them doe abuse) to discharge the Kings debts, con∣sidering that the people in respect of their pouertie are not able to doe it: these great words, as tending to deminish their temporall possessions, did so terrefie them, that calling together their wittes, they haue with wonderfull sleights oftentymes ouerthrowne these motions, wherein men began to take some small taste, shewing that they could neuer be any whit enclined to relieue his maiestie, vnlesse he first set free the Church of Rome from the oppressions of the Protestants; & after the rooting out of thē they would worke merueiles. To be briefe, by such meanes and deuises they haue so runningly giuen vs the turne, (as we vse to say) that they are best in rest whiles the others are by warre pursued. And sometymes when they haue bene disposed to take the bit in the mouth, what haue they done? It was seene in the States holden at Blois in the yéere 1577. For they there so played their parts that they set one part of France against the other, while themselues indged of Page  65 the blowes: Yea some went so farre as to to say that the Clergie possessed aboue fifteene millions of Francks in yerely rent, so that if any sought to oppresse them, they would make those that had bitten them to let goe well enough. These examples doe shew that it is not for vs to vse force against those that are able by force to re∣sist. But I presume that in as much as they are Frenchmen, they will neuer see their King fall in necessitie, but will succour him, in case they finde that by courtesie they be required. Besides that see∣ing they employe not the Church goodes to that vse to the which they were bequethed, they ought not to refuse to helpe him whose auncestors haue permitted them the possession of the same.

The same moderate procéeding is in my opinion to bee taken * with the Protestants, because all the extremities that haue bene practised against them to reclaime them (as the speech goeth) haue brought them with force to defende themselues. For it is not possible that so bloodie a worke of conuersion can bee perfected ac∣cording to the first intent of those that began to frame it, and there∣fore the best way is to leaue it. If we presume that they erre, they must be reformed by the words of Christ and his Apostles, and not by the persecutions and fires that haue many yeeres flamed in France. Fire belongeth to Sodomites, and not to those who in the middest thereof call vpon the sonne of God only. Our Kings ha∣uing by their Churchmen bene perswaded that the rooting of them out of their territories should be an acceptable sacrifice vnto God, thinking to doe well, haue done their endeuours, and to that effect consumed more money, men, and tyme then Caesar did in his Con∣quest of Gaule, Spayne, and England. Sith therefore experience teacheth that all this haue nothing profited, should wee not seeke more milde & conuenient waies to preserue, rather then to destroye men? His maiestie might doe well to say to his Clergie: My mai∣sters, seeing the materiall sword hath not in so many yeeres bene able to bring your counsaile to passe, labour you another while with the spi∣rituall, which is teaching and preaching, adding thereunto good life, to redresse pietie and godlinesse. I would thinke that either part should take the same course to conuert one another, which so many excellent personages haue done heretofore: As Irineus, Policar∣pus, Athanasius, with other good Shepheards, that haue guided an innumerable quantitie of poore soules (which before were the bondslaues of ignorance and sinne) into the way of saluatiō. With the sword you may well bereaue some of them of their liues, but Page  66 the taking of perswasions out of the hart cannot be compassed by any materiall instrument: but rather by better perswasions of truth. Obseruing this rule, it were moreouer requisite, to the ende to see some apparant rest in the Church., that his Maiestie should call a nationall, franke and free counsaile (for the Pope will neuer agree to any generall, which he feareth as thunder) consisting of honorable Deuines, charitable and louers of concord, who being holily assembled may finde some indifferent meanes able to reduce vs to a Christian vniou, which we all ought to wish, where before we fled one from an other through deuision. Our maisters may peraduenture hereunto aunswer, that the Catholicke Romish re∣ligion must not bee brought into question or argument, but rather the newe opinions, as being full of error: But if any Heretick will dispute let him come to the facultie of Deuinitie, there shall he bée talked withal with the great teeth. Hereto I say that our maisters haue too great an aduauntage, when they are in their maine Bul∣warkes, as at Rome, in the Spanish Inquisition, and in Sorbon∣ne. For there is not so subtile a Gospeller, but should lose his la∣tine. Yea Aristotle himselfe with all his Greeke, if he were in the stay should finde himselfe hardly beset: for there haue they more important arguments then those of the first figure. For when they heare any that oppugneth their opinions, and pricketh them with the stinges of the Scripture, by and by they deliuer him a sillo∣gisme to dissolue, which is either of fire, water, or halter, whereto he must aunfwer in person, not in figure, so as a poore condemned man before he bee conuict is forced corporally to yéeld to the force of their arguments which doe necessarily conclude in death. The best way therfore were to giue ouer all these passed euill customes, and to followe those remedies that I haue propounded, or others more meete to attaine to liue in peace withall: for feare least our maisters endeuouring to compell others to admit their heauenly opinions happen to lose their earthly possessions, as alreadie they haue done in a great parte of Europe. As also wée doe alrea∣die in France see the ritchest members of their Demaines in the handes of the Catholicke warriours, who hauing receiued such benefites for the rewardes due vnto their seruices, it will shortly followe that (if the ciuill warres doe continue) necessitie and coue∣toufnesse will procure many of them to appropriate to themselues the things whereof before they were but farmers, as heretofore it happened in this Realme in the tyme of Charles the Simple.Page  67 This briefe aduertisement I thought good to giue them, as being assured that they would bee loth either by power or pollicie that a∣ny man should presume to thrust his hand inio their cauldron, espe∣cially the Protestants, who as they say, haue no right or authori∣tie in the imposition of hands.

Concerning the lawe, which is a very vnproportionate mem∣ber, * it would deserne seuere reformation, were it not that wee are partly the cause that many of the ministers thereof doe abuse it: because that to recouer and recompence themselues they doe (as some say) sell by retayle that which they haue bought by great. But the most especiall remedie for this, were by little and little and that without iniurie, to suppresse halfe this mightie armie with all their superfluous formalities, which bréede so many delayes. So would it followe that halfe their suites would fléete away with the streame. But what excesse is there in the order of receiuers, as well in the multiplicitie of offices as in their fees: which say they that knowe it, do amount yerely vnto 1200000. crownes: Is not this wast of treasure, considering that vnder 100000. would suffise to mainteyne a reasonable number that might haue that office. The whole reuenues of ye great Duke of Florence or Saxonie amount to no more: which make mée to wonder at our France, seeing the least péeces of our ruines doe counteruaile some small King∣domes.

To atteyne therefore to the correction of all these disorders and * many other that are to bee seene in other vocations, it were re∣quisite his Maiestie should duely and without partialitie call the generall Estates, by whose meanes he might take good aduice and necessarie resolutions, so shoule they reape but a fewe curses of those whome they shall haue a little plucked and he the profite. For whatsoeuer men say, or in whatsoeuer sorte wee take the Frenchmen, they still loue their King. Here might rise a doubt that might breede blame to the vse of moderate meanes, if the same were not opened and decided. That is, that many would thinke much that as well vnder the colour of clemencie, as also in∣duced through a false feare, least by touching them wée might bring out of taste sundrie persons to the preiudice of the Estate, we should leaue so many vices vnpunished. Truely they might reaso∣nably bée reiected, if they tended to restrayne politicke iudgements, without which Cōmonwelths cannot consist. But it is to be consi∣dered yt there is a difference betwéene the courts of ordinarie iustice Page  68 (which should alwaies, if it were possible, beare an equall course) and the meanes and proceedings which customably are holden in the correction of disorders happened as well in gouernment, as v∣niuersally in maners: for in these things sometyme we are forced to accommodate our selues to those persons, that are either ouer many or ouer mightie: to those meanes and power that are small: Also according to the tyme when an estate is deuided, for that cau∣seth release of all seueritie, attending more fit oportunitie to vse it. But when the lawe commaundeth that blasphemers, murderers, adulterers and theeues be punished, wee must not haue regarde to so many circumstances: for it is our dueties to obeye it, because it is God that speaketh: and in truth, that is the way whereby wee should begin to reforme deformed estates.

Now it remaineth that we discourse of the other opinion which * mixeth clemencie with rigour. The allowers thereof doe say that the meetest remedies for France must bee so compounded if wee purpose to reape any profite of them. For as the vyolent which do empayre the disease are to be reiected, so likewise y gentle through want of strength to deminish it doe proue vnfruitfull. They doe consider that the mischiefes and disorders are tyed to the whole bo∣die of France, euen as the rust is tyed to the Iron: Also that as for the getting of it of and making the Iron bright, it is requisite not onely to wash and drye it, but also to powre oyle vppon the rust to eate it, and then diligently to skoure and cleanse it: so likewise the vices that haue taken footing doe not auoyde, as wee say, simply, but must be forcibly thrust out as a straunger should bee thrust out of a house from whence he is vnwilling to departe. If, say they, our calamities were like to the calamities of an offender, who hauing receiued the sentence of his condemnation, doth suffer one only of∣ficer to leade him where he list, it might easely be banished: but re∣sembling rather an vntamed Horse, who when the rider toucheth him with the spurre, endeuoureth with his hinder heeles to strike him, or with his teeth to byte him, must by him that mindeth to breake him frō the same be led lustely, and somewhile stroken with the rod, and somewhile chidden and threatned with a sharp voyce: so must we thinke that most of our vices are haughtie and proude, and knowing that you feare them, they doe face you: but if you ap∣plye vnto them the seueritie of the lawe with some punishment, they are afearde and doe hide themselues. Moreouer, when they that mislike of offences doe see that wee doe with too much len••ie Page  69 and too softly proceede to correction, they imagine some secrete winking thereat, and so are offended at the Magistrate: by reason where of they conclude that a moderate seueritie must bee added to the remedies, or els neuer to hope for much profite.

This aduice vppon better examination doe I finde to bee very * well founded, and by applying it to some matters propounded may better appeare, as the Surgions doe applye their oyntments vnto wounds, to the end by their effects to gather the more know∣ledge of their vertues. But if any seeke to accuse mee of taking delight in taxing of diuers persons, I will aunswer that if we en∣deuour to wipe away the blemishes happened in any degree, wee must first shewe them. Neither will I bring for example hereof a∣ny other then those of the same bodie whereof I am a member, namely the Nobilitie and men of warre. Let vs now therefore looke vpon the misdemeanours of the latter sorte against the people in the tyme of peace when they goe to their musters or returne home againe, either when they chaunge garrison: There shall we see that notwithstanding themselues haue their pay, yet for the most parte they will pay nothing, yea and must be set at the twen∣tie souse messe, as we tearme it, and at their departure their hoast must shewe them courtesie. This oppression may peraduen∣ture seeme to bee but small, but I thinke it amounteth to aboue 1200000. Franckes by the yeere. Neither may it be remedied by verball perswasions, or publique prohibitions, but rather with armed iustice must some of them bee seuerely corrected to the ende to terrefie the rest. Or who doubteth but there be some Capteynes of the Infanterie, who hauing pay for one hundred men doe scarce retaine thirtie in their andes, and yet doe scorne the others that haue no skill in turning the Staffe, calling them doults▪ These excessiue theeueries, which redound to the great hinderance of the Kings seruice, can no way be reformed but by exemplary punish∣ments. At the least if they yet robbed Gentleman like, it were somewhat tollerable, considering the course of the tyme: but to proceede thus farre is but clownish theft. The Souldier may per∣aduenture say: They vse our seruice, but of money we heare no newes: In this case being depriued of the benefite of their pay, they are to bee exempt from the rigour of lawe, so that they liue with discretion: But when vnder colour of non payment they shall exceede to all violent and infamous actions, they are not to bee excused, as not hauing any further priuiledge but to liue mode∣ratly Page  70 vpō the people as is aforesaid. There are likewise of the No∣bilitie who either for their priuate quarels, either to the end co en∣croach the spoyle of some fat benefite, doe without reason beare Armes, whereof doth often tymes ensue many murders, neither is there any Prouince in the Realme free from this abuse: Then if you sende some inferiour Sergeant at the mace to forbid them, neuer was pilferer better swinged then he shall bée: To send like∣wise the gouernors letter, that is as could, because in these daies the gouernors in liewe of commaunding, doe pray, and this haue our dissentions brought to passe. What is then to bee done in the restraynt of these pettie warres, which followed in the countrie, do kindle againe hatred and breede partakings? For sooth euen trusse vp fiue or sixe of these warriers, so to make fiue or sixe hundred wise. To be briefe, sith by the continuation of eiuill warres, impu∣dencie, mallice, and disobedience are so sore encreased, we must not now thinke with proclamations and decrees to suppresse them, vnlesse those also to whom it doth appertaine doe take the rodde in hand therewith to minister waight to their wordes. And although in this reformation, considering things in generall, we are to pro∣ceede with much moderation for feare of Commotions or trouble, yet if wée perticulerly looke into many vitious qualities which hin∣der the reestablishment of order, I think it not amisse to mixe some sower with the sweete.

Thus may wee iudge which remedie may bee most profitable, whether this or the more moderate: For my parte I suppose that * in some matters the mixed were necessarie, although in other some the moderate: as being assured that there will be lesse difficultie in making this difference then in setting the matter in hande. But wee driue of soo long, for our mischiefes are growne to that passe, that wee are no lenger to consult how to cure them, but rather to wonder that we haue not alreadie done it.

Page  71

The fifth Discourse.

That instruction and good bringing vp are necessarie for all young gentlemen.

SUch as haue noted the singularities of *France, among the rest haue set downe that parte of the Nobilitie giuen to iu∣stice and valiauncie, wherewith it hath alwaies bene adorned, not to bee the least, wherein they haue had reason. For if wée consider the tymes past wee shal by the apparant effects which from age to age haue appeared, perceiue that out of this great stocke haue procéeded such excellent men as haue greatly profited and stoode their Coun∣trie in steade. But as all that hath bene is subiect to varietie and chaunge, so hath it fallen out that the most parte of those that haue succeeded in their auncestors goodes, haue not neuerthelesse inhe∣rited their vertue: but rather being halfe buryed in common cor∣ruption, are degenerate and gone astraye from the auncient ma∣ners, whereby is greatly deminished the commendation and good reputation in olde tyme attributed, as well in generall as perticu∣ler, to those that beare so fayre a title.

Now, if wee shall seeke the causes that haue engendred so ma∣ny imperfections in this vniuersall bodie, wee shall finde that the most notable hath bene their small care to see their young Chil∣dren well instructed in honest discipline, though withall I suppose that some haue likewise erred in weening to atteyne thereto, whereof it hath ensued that the beginning being bad, that which hath bene added hath bene of the same.

If the Parents for their excuse doe alleadge that therein they haue followed the custome: that will not iustifie them, considering that in so necessarie occasions they ought to bée directed by the in∣structions of the wise, who did so greatly accompt of this, that to the ende the posteritie should remember it, they haue treated ve∣ry Page  72 largely thereof in the most parte of their bookes that they haue left vs. I knowe well enough that naturally euery man hath a certaine inward motion to keepe and exalt that which he hath be∣gotten, but when this affection is 〈…〉lpen and guided by learning, it may better atteyne to the desired purpose. And therfore it is not amisse briefly to heare the opinions of the auncient Philosophers and Lawgiuers, to the end this iudgement being confirmed, wee may afterward be the better disposed to doe that which shall be re∣quisite.

All the most renowmed Philosophers as Licurgus, Socrates,*Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon and Putarke doe affirme that the negligence in the well instructing of youth doth corrupt Common welths, also that the vices which in youth are rooted in them can hardly be corrected. Whereas contrariwise when vertue doth in tyme take place, it afterward fructifieth wonderfully. They also not only blame the fathers that through couetousnesse, sloth or ig∣norance do deny their children that good bringing vp that they owe them, but likewise haue an euill opinion of those Commonwelths that want order and discipline for the instruction of youth. Yea and they further alleadge that the best natures wanting good bringing vp, doe growe very pernitious, likewise that they cannot in age be crowned with honor, if in youth they neuer learned to walke in the path of vertue. To bee briefe, they all are of opinion that as Plants and Trees for want of husbandrie and proyning do grow wilde, so youth if it bee not polished by good customes doe waxe rude and vitious. This in briefe is one small morsell of the instruc∣tions by them left in generall as well to the Parents as Magi∣strates: to exhort and stirre them vp diligently to see youth brought vp and instructed in all honest discipline. But what neede we seeke so great proofes and confirmation hereof sith no man calleth it in doubt? Rather ought wee to declare how wee should proceede in this bringing vp, to cause it to fructifie in the beautifull actions of vertue. Herein likewise it is requisite to helpe our selues with the doctrine of the same Philosophers, who haue so well discour∣sed vpon euery thing that belongeth to all partes of ciuill life that (the heauenly precepts onely excepted) it is vnpossible to deuise any better direction. I will therefore here set downe some say∣ings out of Plutarke to this purpose. There is nothing, saith he, *that bringeth so soone to vertue and maketh a man happie, as good instructions, in respect whereof all other goodes whatsoeuer are but Page  73 small. Nobilitie is a goodly matter: but it is but a benefite of our aun∣cestors. Ritehes are most precious, but they consist in the power of fortune: Glorie is reuerent, but vncertaine and chaungeable: Health is pretious: but subiect to chaunge. Contrariwise, knowledge is the onely deuine and immortall qualitie in vs. For there are in mans na∣ture two principall partes, vnderstanding and speech, whereof vnder∣standing is as it were the maister that commaundeth, and speech the seruant that obeyeth, but this vnderstanding is neuer habandoned to fortune. It cannot bee taken away by slaunder, corrupted by sick∣nesse, nor wasted by age, because it only waxeth young in age. Warre which as a vyolent streame taketh away and scattereth all things, can not carie away knowledge. Also the aunswer that Stilpon the Me∣garian made when Demetrius hauing taken the towne of Megara, demaunded whether he had lost any thing of his: saying, No, for warre cannot take away vertue, deserueth remembraunce. Here∣by may wee knowe the inestimable benefite that proceedeth of good bringing vp, which although it bee most necessarie, yet are there other thinges, that as saith the same Author, must concurre therewith to make a young man perfect in vertue. Now he na∣meth three, Nature, Reason and Vse. By Nature, he meaneth inclination: by Reason, doctrine of precepts: and by Vse, exercise. The beginning, sayth he, doth come to vs by nature: the encrease, by the precepts of reason: and the accomplishment, by vse and exercise: And the tyme of perfection, by all there conioyned. If there bee defect in any of these three partes, nature must bee of force therein defectiue and deminished. For Nature without doctrine and nurture is blinde, Doctrine without nature is de∣fectiue, and Use without the two former is vnperfect. This in∣struction ought well to bee noted, as conteyning the principall matters that Parentes are to consider in the fashioning and dis∣posing of their Children to vertue. And although they can not bee alwaies founde so well together as a man would wish, yet should not that discourage them from proceeding to approach to the best and eschue the worst.

Some Parents there are whose Children they finde to bee of * so lumpish and heauie a nature, that they thinke it but lost labour to goe about to teach them the things that they presume they can neuer learne. But herein doe they erre, for vpon those that want the power of nature is most arte and labour to be employed, there with to supplye the first defectes: so sometymes in tyme the one Page  74 amendeth by the other. Experience daylie teacheth vs that when a Horsekeeper is disposed to take paines, he doth in one yeere so forme and teach, euen a great carte Horse, that he maketh him shewe some actiuitie and become profitable in certaine péeces of seruice: Is there lesse hope then to bee conceiued of a young childe? Who although he haue some naturall imperfections (wee meane not such as may hinder the principall actions of either the minde or bodie) yet with continuall exercise may bee brought into frame to learne sufficient ciuilitie to keepe himselfe from disho∣noring his Parentes. Likewise in doctrine and nurture I will here note another error that often happeneth and Plutarke repro∣ueth: There are now, sayth he, some Parents, who through want of experience doe commit their children to such maisters as falsely pro∣fesse*themselues to bee that which they are not: sometymes also they knowe the insufficiencie of such maisters and yet will put them in trust, therein imitating the sicke man, who refusing the skilfull Phi∣sition reposeth himselfe vpon such a one as by ignorance killeth him. Others there are also who through couetousnesse for sparing a little wages, doe choose simple maisters, therein seeking a good penyworth of ignorance. Uppon which saying, Aristippus on a tyme iested with such a father: For when this father asked him what hee would take to teach and instruct his sonne: he aunswered, a hun∣dred Crownes: A hundred Crownes, quoth the father, O Her∣cules! that is much, Why! I can buy a good slaue for a hundred Crownes. True sayd Aristippus, and so thou maiest haue two slaues: Thy sonne and him whome thou hast bought. Truely that father is very vnwise, that trauaileth continually to gather much goodes, and yet will denye a small parte thereof for the instructing of those that must one day possesse them. But what commeth of this ni∣gardlinesse? After his death they prodigally wast that, which with so greate labour hee hath gathered together: or els become ex∣treame couetous for lacke of good teaching how to vse ritches. But those men are to bée moaned, who hauing many Children and being poore cannot satisfie their desire to haue them well in∣structed, but are forced to put them some here and some there into other mens handes, where they may bee in daunger of euill example: Albeit thereof they are to haue an especiall care, that they mistake not: but of that wée will speake more at large in an other place.

Youth likewise doe faile in that which concerneth the vse and *Page  75 exercise of the good things that they haue begunne to learne: for when they should put them in practise, to the ende to settle a good foundation in them, they growe carelesse, or suffer themselues to bée led away by the force of vitious affections, which striue to suppresse in them the rudiments of doctrine and vertue. Then therefore is the tyme that Parents should especially beware of discontinuance from that which cannot bée formed in them with∣out continuance. A man when he hath planted a tree, is very care∣full to proyne and looke to it vntill it hath brought foorth fruite, and then is he satisfied in that he seeth it is not barren, neither his labour lost.

The like care is to bee had of young Children; for to the ende to bée assured that they haue profited, wée must first see most eui∣dent testimonies, and then is the care the lesse. Oh how happie are the Children whose fathers, euen from the cradle, are so fauou∣rable as neuer to cease their instructions vntill the yéeres of discre∣tion: to the ende their mindes and handes haue no lesse perfection then their bodies growth, force and health? For sith the conduct of their life is afterward to bée grounded vppon themselues, it is very requisite to procure that the foundation bée good. Thus much in generall briefly what is, after the doctrine of Plutarke, to be ob∣serued in the instruction of youth.

Now must wee see the maner how the French gentrie doe be∣haue * themselues in the nurturing thereof, so to knowe wherein they doe ill and wherein well. Then to shewe what may be ad∣ded, for the establishing of a better order then any that yet is vsed in so necessarie a matter. But before wee speake of those that herein doe shewe their good affection to their Children, I must say somewhat of the others that doe but little or not at all discharge their dueties therein. Truely those bee such people as would bee sent to schoole among beastes, to the ende by their example to learne to haue more care of that which themselues haue engendered: for when they shall see with how vehement loue the brute beastes doe kéepe and nourish their young ones, they must bée very sencelesse if they bée nothing mooued therewith. Many fathers there are that thinke the greatest bondes wherein their Children bee espe∣cially bound vnto them, doe consist in that they haue begotten and fedde them. Neither is it to bée denyed but that the same bee very great, neuerthelesse one more there is which must not bée for∣gotten, and is no lesse to bée confessed, namely, instruction in pietie Page  76 and vertue. For of this benefite is man onely participate, where all other benefites are common also to beastes. Man is borne to a better ende then to liue, that is, to liue well: and that must he bee taught to doe, sith he hath reason to comprehende it. And therein also doth fatherly loue manifest it selfe, and childlike duetie en∣crease. But many fathers doe fayle herein through ignoraunce, contenting themselues with kéeping their Children at home, clo∣thing them and giuing them their fill of meate and drinke, as if they were to care for their bodies onely: And the cause of this retchlesnesse proceedeth of their owne ill bringing vp in their youth. Others there are whose heartes are possessed with such extreame auarice, that they are so farre from being wil∣ling to spende some one crowne vpon the teaching of their chil∣dren, that they euen thinke to haue done much for them, if they giue them foode: therein shewing themselues vnworthie of issue.

The Lacedemonians had a law, whereby those Children were discharged from relieuing such Parentes in their age, as were carelesse in seeing them instructed in their youth: which they or∣deyned to the ende to make them more readie to fulfill the pre∣cepts of nature, as being assured that he which denyeth his childe instruction and correction, leaueth him to bee a pray to vice which afterward draweth him to destruction.

Other fathers there are so fondly minded as to weene that there commeth but small profite of putting their Children to Schoole, thinking it enough for them to bee able to write and reade a little. One shall bee so great a Huntseman, that all his delight shall bee in Houndes and Forrestes. An other, a qua∣reller with his neighbours, and rough to his subiects: One that shall allowe of no other kinde of life, but to bee lustie in his house: An other altogether giuen to suites and lawe, as thinking no∣thing more conuenient for him then to encrease his state with subtelties and barreting guiles. To bee briefe, euery one louing his profession would that his children should take the same course, whereby to bee like to himselfe, as if he were ashamed that they should passe him in the knowledge of vertue. Thus doe the false shewes of pleasure, profite, and honor abuse men, and binde and re∣strayne them to the same obiect whereto euill custome hath made them most to encline.

Now let vs speake somewhat of those whose willes are good to Page  77 haue their children taught, and thereto doe employe themselues, and yet cannot alwaies atteyne to their desired purpose. Of those some deceiue themselues, others are abused by the degenerating of customes. Concerning the first, they are easely satisfied with a * fewe outward beautifull demonstrations that they happe to see in their children, and neuer seeke further but thereby to iudge that they haue well profited, which they haue not done, in that their in∣ward man, that should be especially looked vnto, is not well orde∣red.

The seconde imagining that good examples should alwaies shine in Princes Courtes, forreine Countries, or warres, do very inconsideratly cast their young seede into those fieldes which they thinke to bee fruitfull. But experience teacheth them that many tymes reporte is a lyer, and many graines are quite lost. Howbeit, the better to lay open this matter, we are to vnderstand that those French Gentlemen that loue vertue and honour, so soone as their children bee of age able to trauaile abroade, doe ordinarily sende them foorth to learne that which at home they cannot. And their maner is either to make them Pages to Princes and Lordes: ei∣ther to put them among the Princes footmen, either to sende them into Italie or Germanie, either els to commit them to the Uni∣uersities: all which are fit meanes to instruct them in ciuilitie, warfare, learning, or knowledge of ongues, whereby men climbe to honour, ritches and vertue. And sith there are no other ordina∣rie waies but those, men are constrayned to take them; yea and they are to be commended, who led by a good desire doe so trayne vp their Children: But as in all places the corruption of ma∣ners is greate, so without especiall good heede wee finde that thinking to gather Honey, they bring home nothing but Gall.

First for those that become Pages. It may be sayd that going * into diuers Courtes they see many gay things, as Tryumphes, Feastes, Combats, &c. They learne to apparell themselues hand▪ somely: to speake according to the diuers qualities of persons: and to order their gestures. They doe moreouer see many honest exercises: but it is to bée doubled that they doe not so well beare away those things, as they priu in their mindes other bad fashi∣ons which abound in the sayd Courtes, whereto also their age is enclined. For they go〈…〉e dissolute in spéeches, incontinent in deedes, blasphemers of GOD, and aboue all, scorners and iniu∣rious, Page  78 and finally most expert in lying and working a thousand de∣ceipts. But some will say that their Maisters and their Esquires haue an eye to them, yea but too faintly. And when the sayd Pages are growne a little craftie so as they can couer their mallice, and with all that they haue atteyned some small derteritie in any other matter, their hidden vices will not appeare vntill the snme haue ta∣ken sure roote. But if any Lords haue a more watchfull eye to cor∣rect, it is much if there be two of the sixe: so farre are we growne to neglect the true care that wee ought to haue of youth. The onely remedie therefore to bee vsed herein is, first that parents suffer not themselues to be so bliuded with a vaine opinion of greatnesse that they couer rather to place their children in the seruice of a Prince, where is but small good rule, then in the house of a Lord or Gentle∣men that will haue a rare to instruct them in all honestie. Second∣ly, that if they may, they sometymes looke to them, to the ende to iudge of their corruption or amendement, and according as they fiude to take them home, or leaue them still abroade. And thirdly, not to suffer them to bée Pages aboue fower or fiue yéeres, then to kéepe them at home a while, so to make them forget whatsoeuer had they shall haue learned, and to confirme them in vertuous be∣hauour, before they settle thē in any vocation wherein to continue.

Many there that are sent to the regiments of footemen, and they goe thether at fiftéene, sixtéene, or seuentéene yeres of age. In * tyme past being a little elder they were made archers in the bandes of Ordinaunce, and then did all those companies consist of Gentrie onely, and the Capteynes had a care to kéepe them in good order. As also many went into the bands of footment of Piedmont, who had most excellent orders. Contrariwise, now that discipline is re∣uersed euen among the footemenl it is perillous for the instruction of youth. For hauing for the most part none but vnthriftes to their maisters, euill examples doe in tyme drawe them into disorder, and in liew of fashioning them bring them quite out of fashion. And to what purpose is it to learne to discharge a Péece, to knows what warding, sentinll, or skirmish doe meane, and to shewe the braue countenaunce of a So〈…〉ier, if in counterchaunge herof they ha∣bandon themselues to Sundrie ies: among which, blaspheming of God, quarelling with friends, playing away all euen to the shert, filthie lust after Harlots, and for the fulfilling of all disorder, an vnbridled libertie to eate, robbe and deuoure the people with∣out compassion, doe beare the greatest sway. These abuses doe the Page  79 most part of our footmen commit, except it bee peraduenture some olde regiment and auncient garrison that liue in better discipline. The best remedies therefore for parents in this necessarie euill, is, not to sende their children alone, neither to suffer to enroule them selues in the first companie that they list to choose, but to hearken whether any of their neighbours will likewise send theirs, and so to ioyne thrée or fower of them together as it were sworne compa∣nions, with prohibition, the one not to leaue the other. For being so together, shame will restrayne them from euill, and withall they shall still succour one another in their necessities, if besides their fa∣thers be acquainted with any honorable Capteyne, they should di∣rect them to him, with earnest request to haue a care to rep〈…〉ue them when they doe amisse.

Some there are likwise that take vpon them to trauayle into * forreine countries, vpon a certeyne conceiued opinion that others drugges are better then those of their owne land: Others also doe allowe thereof in respect of the learning of common languages, seruing to communication with straungers. Such as trauaile into Germanie where the customes and behauiours doe farre differ from ours, at their returne are found to be dull and rude, so that for the refyning of them againe their parents must send them into o∣ther places, wherof ariseth double labour, double tyme and double charges. And it doth oftentymes come to passe, that some hauing bene brought vp in the grosse maners of Germanie, and then re∣turning to finde the vnbridled libertie of France; doe so vnconside∣ratly flye vpon it that they stray out of the right course. And as for the voyadges into Italie, there be more that vndertake them, espe∣cially to bee instructed in many honest exercises which doe there a∣bound. But among those Roses they méete with many Thornes, because that a thousand baytes of lust being as it were sowne in the goodliest townes, youth which is desirous of noueltie and fierie in affection cannot be kept from going to taste, yea euen to glut it selfe with these sweete poysons, and so by continuance doe become most indurate therein. Thus is the habitation of Italie to those that applye themselues to goodnesse more profitable, and to those that applye themselues to lewdnesse hurtfull and worse then that of Germanie. But what counsell is to be giuen or remedie to be prouided against these inconueniences? The fittest is to sende the younger sorte, whose maners are not yet formed, into Germanie where simplicitie doth take most place, and let the others that are Page  80 alreadie any whit grounded in godlinesse or loue of honestie, goe into Italie, notwithstanding the prouerbe: That neuer good horse nor bad man amended by going to Rome. This likewise must Pa∣rents yet note, that they keepe them not there aboue two yéeres, so to be the more assured that forreine wickednesse take not so déepe roote but that it may easely be plucked vp againe.

Now doth it rest that I speake of studie in famous Uniuersi∣ties, * whether many Gentlemen doe send their Children to bee in∣structed in learning▪ which also they the rather doe because the life that they there leade is somewhat better ordered then in the afore∣name〈…〉 places, where much vanitie is learned as well as ciuilitie. They perswade themselues, and not without reason, that the liberall Sciences are a great ornament to Nobilitie, and maketh it more worthie to administer all publique functions: which is the cause that they seeke to haue them at the first watered with so good liquour. Howbeit this notwithstanding, among many that there spend their youth, fewe doe reape any great profite: which procée∣deth of that that the fathers doe take them away so soone, euen at the tyme that they begin with iudgement and discourse to attaine to the depth and consideration of the excellencie of Sciences. And in my opinion, the chiefe cause that leadeth Parents so to doe, is for that they see that Ecclesiasticall promotions are not giuen to the learned, but to those that can best court the Cardinals and Bi∣shops, or the Kings fauourites: and the offices of Iustice in liewe of being conferred to the best deseruer, are sould to him that hath most money. This considered, and likewise perceiuing that the greatest honors are gotten with the sword, they will haue their children betymes to accustome themselues to Armes. And peraduenture they are not herein altogether inexcusable. One thing more there is that bringeth them out of taste with keeping them long to studie. That is, that when they come to consider the countenances and simple and vnpolished fashions of Schollers in respect of the ciuilities, courtesies and dexterities of those young Gentlemen that haue made but two iourneys to the Court, they thinke that their children shall neuer come tyme enough: who also for their partes neede no great force to fetch them from the Col∣ledge: because the inclination to libertie, together with so many fayre bragges, whereat they leuell a farre of, which also the world presenteth to their viewe, maketh thē but too desirous to get foorth.

I will not speake of the delayes made in Colledges in the tea∣ching

Page  71 of children, for it is wel inough knowen, that there is no good thing but hath some bad mixed withall. Herein cannot the parents better prouide, than with themselues wel to aduise of what profes∣sion they will haue their children to be, to the end to accomodate their studies to the same vocation: as beeing assured that hee that * is vowed to the warre néede not to procéede so farre in studie of the sciences, as those that thereby séeke to growe and inrich them∣selues. They must also haue a care that they put their children to learned tutors and well conditioned, least in lieu of knowledge they should reape ignorance, and corruption in stead of temperance.

Other Gentlemen there be, who séeing disorders euery where, had rather kéep their children at home, and there to spare for no sti∣pends vnto sufficient maisters, than to send them forth. This is a good way for those that be very rich, who also haue opportunitie to giue them companions of their owne age, with whom they profite better than being alone. But so cannot the poore that haue inough to do to cloth and feede theirs, whom also necessitie, as is aforesaid, forceth to make them pages where they may: as wel to haue them fashioned, as to ease their owne charges. It is sufficiently knowen that there be many valiant Gentlemen of 7. or 800. Frankes rent, that haue foure or fiue children apeece ready growen, sitting about their hearths, what can they do with them but intreat their friends that are better able than themselues to giue them their finding and instruction, which is the most commodious way for them that they can choose: whereof doth insue a great bond both of the Father and the child to him that sheweth thē this curtesie, as also a great loue of him toward them, in that he findeth himselfe to be thought wor∣thie the gouernment of others. The Lords that inhabite each pro∣uince of this Realme, doe owe that liberall honestie to their poore neighbours: for if they be vertuous, can they anie where better sow so good séede than in their neighbors lands? & it may so light as it shall yéeld fruit ten folde. Some such haue ben a mans page as af∣terward hath saued the life of him, yt brought him vp. And although some frée heart can neuer be wearie of imploying it selfe in such ac∣tions as purchase so sure bondes: yet must it proceede according as abilie may affoord, so to auoide such inconueniences as we haue sometime séene in the houses of sundry those Princes & Lords that haue entertained euery page yt haue ben offered them. Wherof the nūber was so excessiue, that it extinguished all care, not onely of in∣structing, but also of clothing them, so as somtime you might finde Page  72 some of thē all tattred, playing at scales with the stable boies. These are briefly the most ordinarie formes of proceeding in the instruction of yong gentlemen heretofore practised, wherin are declared the er∣rours therein committed, the commodities & discommodities thereof arising, and the remedies that may be vsed.

Now must we draw forth some publike discipline for the afore na∣med, whereby they may be instructed in good manners & honest ex∣ercises * with most commoditie, least perill & greatest fruit. The aun∣cient lawgiuers that haue prescribed lawes to all sorts of common wealths, do will that children be taught in publike places, touching withall euery thing that is necessarie for them to learne, whereby to become vertuous and good citizens. Aristotle in his Politiks trea∣teth therof at large, as also doth Plutarke in his small works. They say that man consisting both of bodie and soule, must also be instruc∣ted & exercised in that which belongeth to thē both. For that neglec∣ted, the soule stūbleth in ignorance which is the mother of many vi∣ces, and by idlenesse diseases increase, and the body waxeth delicate and tender. Among the auncient nations in old time none were so curious in the well nurturing of their youth as the Lacedemoni∣ans, & so long as they obserued their customes, they had infinite ver∣tuous persons, yea, their women & children became famous. The like affection ought to be among the kings that raigne in these daies, es∣pecially toward their nobilitie: frō whence do proceed their Princes, mightie Captains, gouernors, and chiefe officers, Embassadors and inferior Captains, whose seruice they vse in defence of their crowns. For in case they desire to reape worthie seruice of all these whē they be men, they must first haue some care of thē when they be children: because ye Prince being ye cōmon father of his subiects, ought to pro∣cure that they be good. Whereof I do conclude that to the end to see good fruit proceed of the well nurturing of the Gentrie, the parents diligence only doth not suffice, but that it is also requisite that publike orders do concur therewith, to the end that the one mixed with the o∣ther a more prosperous issue maye insue. In olde time our kings founded many goodly colleges, to the end al their subiects in∣differētly might be instructed as wel in diuine as humane learning. As also we may say that in olde time Princes houses were schooles, wherein yong gentlemen were trained vp in ciuilitie & good maners: when like wise the ordinances of the men of war did in parte serue to instruct them in martial feats. But now inasmuch as in those places they find not so exquisite nurture as might be wished for, it were ex∣pedient Page  73 to proceed to ye remedy propoūded: yt is, yt it might please his maiesty in sūdry parts of ye realm to establish certain places dedicated to such instructiōs, which besides the ordinary fruit, might also yeld this cōmodity, yt parēts should not be driuē wt so great expenses, and vncertain successe to send their children so far away, as hauing euē at their gates, as it were, most excellēt schooles of al good exercises: for there is neuer a yere but there go 3. or 400. yong Gentlemen out of France, ye most of good houses, into forein countries to sée & learne, which proceedeth of valiāt minds with extreme desire of knowledge. But euery thing wel waied, ye said viages do breed more incōueniēce than profit: For they cary ye coine out of ye realme, & return fraught with vices: besides that, of all yt go the one halfe do neuer returne, but are taken away either by sicknesse or other casualties.

It wer inough in my opiniō, to sēd their childrē at ye age of 15. yeres to places so ordained, because thē they begin to grow méet for ye exer∣cises of ye bodie yt require strēgth, & that in the meane time vntil they come to that age, their fathers cause them to be taught either in their own houses or at the vniuersities. These places whereof I meane to speak, might be named Academies, wherof I wold in euery head city of this realm appoint one, were it not yt we are not yet disposed to do too much good at once: & therfore to begin withal, I would wish that 4. might be erected in the 4. quarters of the realm: which would most conueniently be at Paris, Bourdeaux, Lyons, & Angiers, whether al ye other prouinces might haue recourse. Or it were not amisse to esta∣blish thē in 4. of the kings houses wherto the king doth but seldome repaire, namely, at Fontain beleau. The castle of Moulins. Plessis of Tours, & at the castle of Congnac: for ye lodgings are large & worthy roial works. In thē might be taught many kinds of exercises as wel for the bodie as the mind. For the body, to learne to backe a horse, to run at the Quintain somtime armed, & somtime vnarmed, to handle their wepōs, to vault, & leap, wherto might also be added swimming & wrastling, for al these make a man strong & 〈…〉mble: Some Catho∣likes there are that would haue yong Gentlemen also to dance gali∣ards amōg thēselues only, notwithstāding dancing be but vain, so to learn to form the actions & to haue ye bolder grace abroad. These also might be the exercises of the mind, which are no lesse necessary than the rest. To haue in our own language, lectures out of the auncient writers yt intreat of moral vertues, policy, & war. They might also be instructed in ye Mathematiks, Geography, fortificatiō, & some most vsual languages. And this is profitable for a gentleman, I meane to know so much as he can make vse of. Furthermore, because mās life Page  74 consisteth as well of trauaile as of rest, it is méete yt his idle time be emploied in some honest occupations, to settle & content his mind, least it wander into bad cogitations and resolutions. Which moued Aristotle to wish young men to learn musick: so as there should al∣so be masters appointed to that end: likewise to play vppon instru∣ments, or to practise the pensill. And for the teaching of all these * things, I thinke 8. or 10. masters to suffice, who had néed to haue good stipends according to the seuerall qualities of the persons. For euery one knoweth yt he that can teach to manage a horse deserueth more than a Painter. Likewise inasmuch as it is requisite to haue good orders in euery societie, especially in a house wher so many per∣sons must meet, to the end that obedience & ciuill honestie may the better be obserued, it were good also to choose for those foure places, as many vertuous Gentlemen to be superintendents of the said A∣cademies, to whom as well the masters as schollers should yeld al reuerence, who also should sée to the ordering of all things. Euerie of them to haue 2000. frankes maintenance, to the end to kéep resi∣dence vpon the place. Neither should their office continue aboue 3. or 4. yeres, which expired, to make choice of new. For if the youth yt might haue recourse thether should not be so brideled, they woulde hardly beare thēselues modestly, considering the libertie that alrea∣dy they begin to take. The authoritie also of ye abouenamed might extend, séeing any lewd, & as it were vncurable schqller, to bannish * him the Academie, & to driue him thence. The charges for the maintenance of euery Academie wold not amount to aboue 3000 crownes, & so the whole foure to 12000. by yere, which were but a small matter in respect of the great fruit yt would arise of the same.

But some good common wealths man will saie, that it were better to deuise how to discharge the king of his debts than to put him in * new charges. To whom I answere, that thus he should pay one of the greatest debts that he oweth, which is to adorne his nobilitie wt vertue. Besides that, who so list to looke well shall sée an infinit nū∣ber of yéerely expenses much worse bestowed. Howbeit, to the end not to burthē the realme, which is alredie but ouercharged, the re∣diest way to do this, were to take the first benefices that shall fal wt∣out charge of soule, & be in his Maiesties gift, & out of them to ap∣point paiment. For as wel they be giuē to such as spēd ye reuenues in prophane or rather so filthie vses, as it is a shame to say. The clergy do ordinarily cōplaine yt the noble men catch at spiritual pro∣motions, which then they would not do, because yt being instructed Page  49 and at their charges, they would not séeke to trouble publike order For those that embolden themselues to such things, do it for want of good nurture. Afterward when the affaires of of France might * be brought into better order, the king might discharge the clergie of this bond.

Now doth the difficultie rest in the finding of so many masters, For vnlesse it bee at Paris the other townes are in a manner vt∣terly vnprouided. At the first peraduenture we must fetch some out of Italy, especially such as can teach to manage a horse, to vse wea∣pons, or to vault, although I suppose that among the Prouinces there be many poore gentlemen sufficient for this purpose. But be∣fore these Academies shal haue stood thrée yeres in vse, themselues will haue framed more maisters than wee shall néede. For the Frenchman is readie to learne artes and sciences, especiallie if hee sée them in account, and that those that haue skill bee maintained. Furthermore, notwithstanding the masters that should teach, haue their stipends out of the common purse, yet should they not bée de∣barred from taking by permission some honest rewards of their dis∣ciples, to the ende to make them the more diligent to teach them well. As also the superintendent might to his best auaile boorde some young Gentlemen, which would redound to their benefite & their parents commoditie. To bee briefe, there might be such disci∣pline, that such as should commit anie dishonest act, should bee cor∣rected, either by exhortations, punishmentes, or shame, as hath bene sayd, to reforme them of their misdemeanours. Perticulerlie to discourse of the orders to be obserued in these exercises were but superfluous. Onely we shoulde thinke, that except the principall feasts & sondaies, no daie should be exempt from bodilie actions. It is also to be considered, that inasmuch as the escuiry cannot haue horses inow to teach all, euerie young Gentleman, especially the rich, at his cōming should bring one either broken or vnbroken. For either with the one or with the other they maye alwayes exercise themselues. Besides that, it wil be a commoditie to their parents to send their horses to be there brokrn, whether great horse or cur∣tals. Neither doe I doubt, but by such time as a young Gentle∣man shall haue continued foure or fiue yeres in such a schoole, he wil be able to shew himselfe in anie Princes court: For beeing skilfull in so many honest exercises, and withall instructed in other thinges that are not comprehended but by the vnderstanding, who will not wonder at eighteene or nineteene yeeres of age to sée such toward∣nesse? Page  50 Now if either in the court or other where we sée one indued with such qualities, we like of him & wish him good luck: What thē would we do if we should sée all the prouinces of the Realme plen∣tifull in such fruits. What a contentation might it bee to our king to sée himselfe inuironed with a nobility, not in name onely, but in vertue? As also what an honour for the parents that haue erected so goodly pillers for the vpholding & glorie of their families? Like∣wise our youth being thus instructed, we shall not néede to feare to send it into any place wheresoeuer, because it shall be of good proofe: and in liew of spoiling it selfe, it shal choose the best in other places wherby to profit. Neither shal there néed aboue sixe such in a whole band of souldiours to bring the same into liking with all commen∣dable exercises: whereas nowe for the moste part they all imploy their vacaunt leisure, either in trifling or hurtful pastimes: so shold the assēblies which oftē meet in the prouinces to decide controuer∣sies, or to leauy grayne, bee conuerted into sweete and pleasant contentions betweene yong gentlemen, sometime in townes and somtimes in lords houses, to runne at the ring, or to fight at barri∣ers, with such other exercises whereby to winne the prises allotted to the most actiue: then would they also maintaine chalenges, and of these communications in so honest recreations ingender ac∣quaintance and fruitfull amity. I will leaue to the iudgements of such as haue haunted the courts and warres, to note howe soone the yong men that I haue spoken of, will grow both good courti∣ers and better souldiers. For beeing already so well instructed in the actions both of the body and minde, such a preparation would make them capable of that in two yeeres which others (who be∣sides the helpes of nature haue but small learning) can not com∣prehend in six. Finally the report of this good order beeing spred through forrein countries, we should haue great resort of strangers to participate in the saide instructions, which woulde greatly re∣dound to the glory of our country.

This is one small meanes in some sort to keepe the vniuersall corruption (which as an ouerflowing streame seeketh to winne * ground) from further infecting of our nobilitie: Besides we might conceiue this hope, that by continuance of such an order we should by litle and little see good manners restored. As also that age see∣ing youth so modest and wel taught would be afeard to transgresse and haue a greater desire to vnderstande what is worthy them∣selues. Only it remaineth to perswade his maiestie to prouide ei∣ther Page  51 these or better establishmentes, which I assure my selfe, hee would not be against, in respect of that singuler affection which he beareth vnto his nobility, who hauing beene euer heretofore ready to sacrifice their liues for his seruice, woulde be much more bent thereto when by new benefites their bands shall be encreased.

The sixt Discourse.

That the reading of the bookes of Amadis de Gaule, & such like is no lesse hurtful to youth, than the works of Machiauel to age.

I Haue heretofore greatly delighted in reding Machauels*Discourses & his Prince, because in yt same he intreateth of high & goodly politike & martial affaires, which many Gentlemen are desirous to learne, as matters méete for their professiōs. And I must néeds confesse yt so long as I was cō∣tent sleightly to runne thē ouer, I was blinded with ye glosse of his reasons. But after I did with more ripe iudgement throughly ex∣amine them, I found vnder yt fayre shew many hidden errors, lea∣ding those that walke in them into the paths of dishonour and do∣mage. But if any man doubt of my sayings, I would wish him to reade a booke intituled Antimachiauellus, the author whereof I know not, and there shall he sée that I am not altogether deceiued. * Neither doe I thinke greatly to deceiue my selfe though I also af∣firme the bookes of Amadis to be verie fit instruments for the cor∣ruption of maners, which I am determined to proue in few words, to the end to dissuade innocent youth from intangling themselues in these inuisible snares which are so subtilly laide for them. Euer∣more haue there bene some men giuen to the writing & publishing of vanitie, wherto they haue bene the sooner led, because they knew their labours would be acceptable to those of their time, the grea∣test sort whereof haue swallowed vp vanitie as the fish doth water. The auncient fables whose relickes doe yet remaine, namely, Lan∣celot of the lake, Pierceforest, Tristran, Giron the courteous, & such otheas doe beare witnesse of this olde vanitie. Herewith were men fed for the space of 500. yeeres, vntill our language growing more polished, & our mindes more ticklish, they were driuen to in∣uent some nouelties, wherewith to delight vs. Thus came ye bookes of Amadis into light amōg vs in this last age. But to say ye troth, Spaine bred thē, & France new clothed thē in gay garments. In ye* daies of Henrie the second did they beare chiefest sway; & I think if any man would then haue reproued thē, he should haue bene spit Page  48 at, because they were of themselues playfellowes and maintainers to a great sort of persons: whereof some after they had learned to Amadize in spéech, their téeth watered, so desirous were they euen * to taste of some small morsels of the delicates therein most liuelie and naturally represented. And although many disdayned and re∣iected them, yet haue but ouer many, hauing once tasted of them, made them their continuall foode. This sustenaunce hath ingen∣dered euil humours that distempered those soules which peraduen∣ture at the first thought not to haue growen so weake.

My iudgement therefore of these bookes in generall, shall bee * this. I thinke (vnlesse I be deceiued) that hee that composed them was some courtly Magitian, cunning & slie, who to the end to bring his arte into estimation, and withall to procure vnto those that bee dealers therein, both honour & feare, hath cunningly fayned 1000. meruayles which he hath couered and wrapped vp in a number of pleasant, desired, and vsuall matters, so as the one running among the other, the whole might be the better receiued. I knowe there are some that will finde my opinion to bee verie strange, because they wéene that the author of the sayde bookes intent was no other but to leaue to the posteritie a portrayture of the exercises of the Courts in his time, and withall to forge a spurre wherewith to pricke forward young Gentlemen, and to incite them to entertain loue and practise armes, as the two onely most beautifull obiectes, that may delight, fashion, and cause them to climbe to honour. But their iudgement is too simple, as staying rather vppon the conside∣ration of the beautie of certaine outward matters, than vppon the truth of the inward. For notwithstanding I graunt that the in∣structions and examples of this fabulous historie, may also be pro∣pounded, to the end to teach both to loue and fight, yet will I saie that the most of those loues are dishonest, and almost all the com∣bats full of falsehood, and not to be practised, so that the following of those rules is to walke in errour. All therefore that I pretend to shew may far better appeare by deducting the particularities that I haue noted.

I will begin with the persons of Alquif, Vrgand, and their like, inchanters and witches, there tearmed Sages, as also the Magicall * or deuillish arts which they vsed ase called Perfect wisedome. Yea I thinke if the author durst he would haue named them Prophets, which name they deserued, but with this tayle, of Satan. When these Sorcerers or Witches came to any Princes court, they were Page  53 cherished and wonderfully honoured, yea, they were admired as if they had newly come out of heauen, neither did themselues fayle to * séeke méete occasions for to come, as when they must parte two knights fleshed to murther each other to minister pastime to ye La∣dies, either to bring inchanted armour to saue a young Prince that was to receiue the order of knighthood, either to set a whole Court in an vprore by some terrible sight, and then to appease and qualifie it agayne.

But I doe amisse in going about to specifie their myracles. For we must imagine that Iupiter and Minerua in olde time did neuer so much as these. Moreouer, when there was any question of en∣quiring after things to come, they were straight sought vnto, as the Painims vsed to go to the Oracle of Apollo. We are not ther∣fore to meruaile that they were much made of, sithence we see them thus indued with a supernaturall power. For these kindes of Ma∣gitians are accounted good and succourable. But the author for∣geth also others, as Archalaus the Enchanter, Melie, and ma∣ny * more that delighted onely in dooing mischiefe. Whereby we may easily perceiue that he maketh Magicke arts matters in∣different, thinking them lawfull or vnlawfull, according as they be vsed well or ill. Yet, it seemeth hee allowe the vse thereof among the Christians, and disalloweth it among Painims. These doth he saie to haue drawen their knowledge out of the bookes of Medea, who in olde time was a notable sorceresse. But his Vrgande the vnknowen he sayth, to be instructed by the wonderfull precepts of great Apollidon, whom he faineth to haue ben as another Zoroa∣stes, wherein he speaketh better than he is aware. For Apollidon may be the same Apollion mencioned by Saint Iohn in his Re∣uelation, namely, the Deuil, whom we may saie to haue beene the common schoolemaster to them all, because that so pernitious arts, replenished with fraude and lying, cannot procéede out of any other shop than his. We must therefore settle our selues, and beware we bee not snared in the writinges and persuasions of those that after they haue masqued and disguised impietie, would harborowe it a∣mong vs who are to driue it awaie as a most horrible monster. Most men when they heare speaking of inchauntments and sorce∣ries, doe at the first scorne or detest them: but if they suffer them∣selues so farre to be led as to delight to talke of them, or to sée some of their proofes, they doe by little and little take a custome not to abhorre them. Page  54 Like vnto such as hauing long eschued serpents, do neuerthelesse by seeing & hādling thē, come at ye lēgth to weare thē about their necks, notwithstāding nature doth somwhat therat rapine. Some may say * yt of a flie I make an elephāt, also yt if yt reading of these follies which euery one accoūteth but fables, wer so dangerous, our great learned men should likewise abstain frō reading ye bookes of Iāblichus, Por∣phirie, Psellus, Apolonius Tianeus, & such like, who haue at large intreted vpō Magick, & the cōmunicatiō yt may be had wt Demons, as also of yt sacrifices yt they require. Whereto I answere, yt there is great differēce betwéene those yt peraduenture neuer read any other bookes but Amadis, wherin the suger yt is dispearsed al ouer, maketh thē to swalow great morcels of Alloes at vnawares: & ye others who grounded in learning, age & experience, do seeke for some roses in ye large forrests of thorns. For the first not knowing the snares, are so∣dainly taken, wheras the others perceiuing thē a far of, doe séeke to break thē. Truly ye youth of our courts wtin these 10. yeres, had not ben so redie to féed their curiositie wt such meruailes, had not the laid books of vanitie prepared thē. And this is it that hath caused Astro∣nomers & inchanters to be so well welcome. Many account it no in∣conuenience to sée & learn those things yt procure mirth & meruailes: but they perceiue not yt the same is the beginning of yt game, & that the poison lieth in ye taile. There be other pastimes enow though we meddle not with those wherin the magitiās cūning varlets come to play the feats of passe & rapasse: & such as enter familiarity wt thē, do neuer escape their paimēt, not in Apes coine (as yt prouerb tearmeth it) but in much worse, which these petie transfigured maumets (that come to play wt the simple) do liberally deliuer them: For in the end they catch the soules, infecting thē with a foolish beliefe, which by lit∣tle & little carieth thē frō God. The prophet Balaam, though a false Prophet, did neuertheles saie very well, That the people of Israel was blessed, because they had among thē neither Southsayer, deuiner, nor in∣chanter, If we will inioy yt like blesse we must also imitate that peo∣ple, as wel in reiecting the persons at yt writings, which are as baits to inure vs in diuellish mysteries. Thus much of the first & principal poison hidden among the the fruits of Amadis delightes. *

Concerning the second, which I tearme the Poisō of pleasure, which also is much more open than ye other, & wtal so subtil & penetratiue, yt to eschue harme therby, we must first vse very good preseruatiues: it consisteth in many sorts of dishonest lusts, which therin are so liuely described, yt young men in the cōsideration of thē are deceiued, as the Page  55 birds were in ye sight of Zeuxes counterfait fruits. The French tran∣slators haue studied wel to polish their translatiōs, also haue added as I ween (for the true Spanish) āguage is too simple) all yt fairest orna∣mēts * yt they were able to borow of Rhetorike, to ye end ye new might be of the more efficacy to persuade yt things wherto many are but too willing to be persuaded: & hauing made it more copious & wantō, it is not to be demanded whether the sound therof be pleasant to the eare, through yt which being once passed, it tickleth ye most tēder affe∣ctiōs of the hart, which it moueth more or lesse according as the per∣sons are disposed therto. Oh what a goodly instructiō is it for ladies, to see yong princesses frying in amorous flames, for some knight whō they neuer saw vntil within two houres before, for albeit shame & mo∣destie ought to restrain thē wtin the bounds of shamefa••nes, yet doth the author make thē confesse, & euē at the first that the violent stings of the God Cupid (whō they do blame) haue wounded thē so deep, as not being able to get out at the doore they must créepe forth at the win∣dow, into some delicate garden to eat Apricocks. But this I haue noted, that fortune haue ben to them alwaies so favorable, that neuer anie of thē toke harme, so that wel we may apply vnto thē this song,

Your pace it is so swift Guillemette, your pace it so swift.

But for the knights they are more quick vpon ye spur. For so soone as the beame of beautie haue dazeled their conceits, they are not only in a continual heat, but also euen rosted & rosted (as the good old wiues of our townes do say of the soules in purgatorie) so yt they neuer stand still, vntil they haue foūd some remedy to refresh thē. Neither do these loues in all these difficulties want some subtill Dariolets, yt is to say, * cunning bauds. And I beleeue Homer, in ye personages that he hath brought in to describe sundry offices did neuer make any to play their parts better than can these: who know more inuentions thā a very for of subtilties, to catch the birds with the snares of pleasure. This come∣die thus plaied, the author imploieth al his aloquence to shew yt mans felicitie cōsisteth herein, & it is of no smal force to infect delicate youth with ye daily reading of these follies, do harbor them in their harts: I wéen yt in the monasterie of Franciscans at Paris (which is the fruit∣fullest clapper of Monkes betwéen this & Rome) there is none, but if he had as often read the discourse of Amadis, as ye old miracles of the golden legend, & the new fables of ye cōformities of S. Frances, wold féele himselfe pricked to the quick wt these daungerous temptations. Much rather thē ought such yonglings as trot vp & down ye delights of the world to forbeare them.

Page  52 It may be alleadged that most of the loue trickes there intreated of, doe tend to mariage. I graunt it. But before they procéede to publike mariages, almost all of them doe commit secrete follies as * it were for a learning, whereof oftentimes proceede such claps as blemish honestie. Howbeit, who so on the other side wil note the a liances of Florisel, Don Rogel, and many other knights that were more eager vpon this game, than is a promoter after his praie, shal finde goodly lessons to kindle incontinencie, which alreadie flameth but too much in young breasts. The author not content to teach how to abuse lawfull loue, and to practise vnlawfull, hath also fay∣ned fantasticall, which neuerthelesse, sayth the storie, haue brought forth their effects. As that of Amadis of Greece and Queene Za∣hara. For some Magitians perceiuing that they glaunced each at other, although Amadis was maried, yet taking pitie of their pas∣sions, as also to take awaie the spot of adulterie, did inchaunt them them both in goodly delightfull gardens, where forgetting them∣selues, they neuerthelesse forgat not to beget two pretye babes, na∣med Anaxartes and Alaxstraxeree, and then hauing vnwitched them agayne, let them goe where they list, without remembring a∣nie thing that had passed betweene them. What else is this but a secret representation of Mahumets paradise? Whereof this au∣thor thought good to giue the Christians of his age some small taste as peraduenture somewhat sauouring of Mahumetisme (for then was all Spaine full of Sarazens) to the ende they might accu∣stome themselues to feede both their bodies and mindes with car∣nall thoughts and deedes. I leaue it therefore to the iudgement of such as are indued with anie integritie, whether the reading of such bookes stuffed with such filthie follies, bee not daungerous both to young and olde: for hauing once redd them, they cannot afterward so cleanse themselues, but still there will remayne some spottes to staine their conuersations.

I once heard a good Gentleman saie, that they contayned a hid∣den propertie in the generation of Hornes, and I doubt himselfe had had experience thereof. For he wore two pettie horne buddes * hidden behinde his eare, which another of the same occupation had there fastned in ful paiment of the lyke some, which not long before he had receiued of him in pure and true loue, and therefore the bet∣ter to be beleeued, sith he spake as a craftesmaster. Truly my coun∣sayle were to banish and send all such bookes into Sicil, where the men keepe continuall watch for feare of surprises bye night. So Page  83 should we see whether their vigilancie could warrant thē that this Productiue cause should not fructifie among them. Some attur∣ney of Amadis may peraduenture make this obiection, that diuers though they neuer reade those bookes, can neuerthelesse do as bad as the rest. I think there be such, but I giue them double blame, in yt their inclinations are so ready without help to run into mischiefe,

Now let vs proceed to lay open some other bad drugs that are to be found in this shop. And in my opinion this may chalenge the 3. * place, which is a miserable custome brought in by this author, who auoweth that the highest point of knights honour consisteth in cut∣ting one anothers throate for friuolous matters. And of these tragedies he maketh a soueraigne pastime for Kings, Ladyes, Courts, & Cities. Oftentimes we see in the lists the father against the son, the brother against the brother, the vnkle against the neuew, where when they haue hewen one vpon another two long houres, they haue both through faintnes fallen downe all tainted in bloud. Somtime he faineth they knew not one another, another time that they assailed each other to trie themselues. But what grose & villa∣nous ignorance & trials are those which procure the perpetrating of so horrible paricides▪ It may be answered that they be the instru∣ctions of the great Apollion aforenamed, who beeing a murtherer from the beginning, delighteth wholy in committing of murther. In old time the Romanes toke pleasure in forcing men to fight to outrance before them, but these were trangressors that had deserued death. Where contrariwise ours are the sonnes of Kings, Princes & Lords that counterfait swordplaies: which can perswade vnto youth that read these examples, nothing but yt they stil must be figh∣ting with one or other, to the end to be esteemed of & feared. And peraduenture such impressions haue multiplied the quarels in our France within these 30. yeres, to such quātitie as we now sée. Also it may be sayd & that iustly, that such spectacles, through customa∣ble beholding the shedding of mans bloud, haue made our courts pi∣tilesse & cruell. Let therfore those that desire to feed their eies with bloud, imitate the manner of England, where they bring in wilde beasts, as Beares and Buls to fight with dogges, which pastime is without comparison farre more lawfull.

This likewise was another custome of the knights of those daies, That if any one had made promise to goe about any aduenture with*one of these pilgrimes, who alwaies trauailed alone with them: though their soueraigne Lord, or their father or mother should cōmand thē Page  84 euen with lordlike authoritie & fatherly power, to desist therefro to the end to serue in some other necessarie seruice, yet if they gaue it ouer, it was a perpetuall infamy to thē, for they were bound by the order of knightood to folow their gētlewomā, who somtimes was of a reasonable disposition. These be new lawes which vpon a bra∣uerie tend to blot out of mens mindes the same which nature hath so liuely engrauen and so highly commended vnto them. In this respect therefore are theyalso to be buried in obliuion.

I know I shall be accused of ouerseuere censuring, or else of slan∣dering of our chronicler of Amadis: for whose iustification it wil be sayd that in many places of his bookes he greatly extolleth Christi∣an* pietie. Whereto I answere, that he cannot well excuse himselfe touching this point. But by that which he sayth, it is to be iud∣ged that he discourseth not thereof but onely for a cloake to shroube himselfe, and that he hath read but little in the Bible. For he pro∣poundeth a wilde and sauage religion, that dwelleth onely in de∣serts and hermitages, which he should haue described more ciuill & domesticall. But how should he deale sincerely in diuine matters, that handleth humane so profanely.

Finally, I will yet set downe one point concerning the exercise of armes, which hee maketh so vnlyke to common vse, that it is ra∣ther a mockery and abusing of youth in giuing them such precepts: * for although the wiser sort do account such knightly prowesses and giantlyke strength, wherewith the reader is so importuned, to bee but fables, yet the more vndiscréete, vnder so sweete a charme of wordes cannot forbeare, but remember some such draughts as are most conformable to their affections, to the end afterward as occa∣sion may serue to try them, thinking thereby to be more actiue than others. True it is that sometime by the scoffes that they incurre, they are reclaimed from these errours. But wee are not to permit them to proceede to these experiences, but rather to propound vnto them true documents, and to hide from them the false, so to keepe them from failing. When a man hath bestowed all his time in rea∣ding the bookes of Amadis, yet wil it not all make him a good sol∣diour or warriour. For to attaine to be the one or the other, he shall neede nothing that therin is contayned. I wil not otherwise speak of these mightie blowes that cleaue a man to the waste, or cut asun∣der a Vantbrasse arme and all: neither of those shockes or fals that doe a man no harme, but that he may rise and leape againe vpon his horse back, as he were become a leopard, neither of their continual Page  85 combats of two houres long, together with their foolish enterpar∣liestneither of their imaginarie valiancies yt make one man to kill 200. because the matter it selfe sheweth it to tend onely to terrifie women and children: yea, whosoeuer will loose so much time as to read the whole storie, may plainly see whether I do iustly or wrōg∣fully reproue al these braue & magnificent follies. Howbeit among all that I haue here said, I doe not comprehende those exercises in armes, which are the pastimes of our nobilitie in time of peace, but contrariwise I do commend them, in that they are besides the ple∣sure both honest & necessary. And euerie one that list to cal to mind how during the raigne of good king Henrie the second, through the frequenting of the same, they grew more expert and valorous, will endeuour to renue the practise thereof. Here might I alleage many other vanities wherwith these bookes are stuffed, were it not that I feare to bring my selfe too farre in liking with them, whiles I seeke to bring others out of tast thereof. Those which I haue here traced may suffice to turne away their minds, yt are any whi affected to honest and vertuous matters, from spending their time in the same. For they polute themseluts, wening to reape delight, and through loitering in reading of lies, do disdaine those wherein the truth doth most euidently shine forth.

The seuenth discourse.

That our ouer small consideration of the good things that we haue, and our ouer eager couetise of the good things which we haue not, do multiplie our miseries.

I Will not extend this proposition to all sorts of men * as I well might: for my pen beeing wearie cannot run into so many places. It shall therfore suffice me to frame it to those of mine owne profession whom I wish to reforme, because herein they faile more than any others. Neither do I thinke that I shall need to bring in anie greate proofes: for the disquietuesse of their mindes, which force their bodies hether and thether, vp & downe, in right and wrong, are testimonies sufficient.

Now I thinke our nobilitie haue small cause of discontent, conside∣ring how God hath lodged them in one of the goodliest gardens in Page  86 the world (more temperate than the fortunate Ilands so famous a∣mong the the ancients) wherein nature dooth most abundantly shed forth her pleasures and delights. So as although shee hath not so much wealth as Spaine, who sucketh the golden paps of both the Indies: though she haue not so many Priuiledges as Pologne, which choseth princes, & beareth lordly dominion ouer her vassals: and although she be not so ingenious as Italy which knoweth much dexteritie and curtesie, yet al this notwithstanding, she wanteth not wit inough to guide her, force inough to defēd her, or welth inough to maintaine her. If wee beholde the infinite number of goodlie houses, well contriued and prouided of all thinges requisite, which she possesseth: likewise her honorable exercises both of we∣pons and learning, the toles seruing to make the bodies more nim∣ble: her pleasures as of hunting and musick, with her secret conuer∣sation: finally, a thousand goodly rewards of vertue wherewith shee doth oft see her selfe crowned: we shal be forced to say that she ought many times to lift vp her eies to heauen and to yeld thanks to God for so good a share: but it falleth out that few do enter into these ge∣nerall considerations, & fewer into the particular. To the end also the better to perceiue how the most part do ordinarily beare them∣selues. * I will propound this example, namely of a Gentleman of 3 or 4000. frankes rent, already well entered into his youthful age, and formed according to our customes, which are but too easily lar∣ned. If he be in his own house, nothing will please him, neither can he euer be quiet vntill he hath set feather in the winde to go see the world, which desire, if it be moderated, I do not blame: but I mi∣slike his tast of yt which he should tast better of. If he light vppon any court, where after he hath a while trotted vp & downe, he hath attained a litle fame & knowledge, hee thinketh it a smal matter, in respect of other stings that pricke him & still make him to loke for∣ward, but neuer behind him. Then comming to learn the vse of his weepon, he still thinketh his estate ouer base, and so aimeth at ye vn∣certaine. If he chance to returne & play the good husband at home, & that he haue laied the foundation of a compleat family, he wil not make so much account of his wife, children & reuenues of his house as he ought, as taking the first goods to be ouer common, & the se∣cond ouer small. Hauing attained to olde age, wherin hee shoulde after the tediousnesse of so long a iourney, take his rest and reioyce that he hath gotten so neere to his ende, then is the time that most cares, anguishes, and feares doe greatly torment him: Page  97 so as few things delight him though many displease him, and thus doth he liue miserably vntill be come to hide his head in his graue. Thus do we briefly see a smal portraiture of many mens liues, who because they cannot well know the good they haue therein, doe in∣ioy such a benefit but coldly and without commoditie. Truly if eue∣rie one would often waigh the good wherof he may make account, he should find the same as waightie as he thinketh them to be light. But when he casteth it at his heels, like vnto forgotten sinnes (as the prouerbe goeth) it yeeldeth but small profite. The Philosopher *Plato sayd, that he thanked God for three things: That he made him to be borne a Grecian & not a Barbarian: an Athenian rather than the citizen of anie other towne: & in the time of Socrates: but for how many things more yt he speaketh not of, did he giue thanks? And in thus recording his felicities, his soule grew the more quiet & satisfied. The like ought we to do & that often, to the end to banish our insatiabilitie & ingratitude, which without misery doe make vs miserable. And whereas some do think that after some sort they do acquit themselues hereof, yet if they looke wel, they shall find great difference between yt which they do & that which they ought to do. For they imitate not so much as Plato, in noting that which is cō∣mon & generall, but do still addresse themselues to some perticular thing that pleaseth them. He that is skilfull in the arte of war; will thinke onely vpon that benefit whereby he atchieueth praise. The lawier will likewise dwell within the boundes of his knowledge, through the which he filleth his coffers. Neither wil the Marchant esteeme of any other thing in himself, then his dexteritie & diligēce which make his trafick to flourish. Al which considerations are not vtterly to be reproued. But euen as a banquet is not made with bread only without any other thing therto adioyned: so likewise to ye end the rather to satisfie euery man with his owne estate, we are to set before our eies all whatsoeuer we can gather together, either the great or small blessings that God hath bellowed vpon vs. And the more plentifull that we shall find them to be, the greater are we to account our felicitie. When we loke ouer our rentals, we find writ∣ten great rents due vnto vs, asalso a number of smal of a halfepeny and a farthing, which how small so euer, we neuerthelesse blot not out: because that gathered together, they help to make perfect ye bo∣die of our reuenues: no more are we likewise to race out of our re∣mēbrance the least benefite that we inioy, because the thinking ther vpō maketh our life the more sweet & pleasant. The meanes there∣fore Page  98 well to graue in minde both great & small, is to steale frō our selues, & to bestow one onely halfe houre of the daie in the meditatiō of the same. For still we shall find so much new matter, that ye same will inuite vs cheerefully to labour in such abundance.

But in the obseruation of this rule, it may bee there bee some who peraduenture would thinke to deale with God as they doe with men. For they are loth to sift the pleasures that they haue receiued, because so they become debters: likewise that they would imagine, their entrie into such accompts with him, (and these I rather terme small and vnperfect recordations of his benefites, which wee are as well able to number as the stones of a Citie) to be an ouercharging of themselues with obligatiōs & an oppression of their mistaken libertie. In these cases are their imaginations false, and themselues haue but small knowledge of the nature of God, who assuredly at such tyme as we most turne ouer the booke of receipts of his benefites, doth then giue vs most: because that our small preparations to acknowledgement doe mightely moue his liberalitie. It séemeth that I haue somewhat passed the bounds of my first speech: but this digression is not amisse, sith that from Earth wee haue climbed into Heauen, which is the true spring from whence a whole Iliade of goodnesse destilleth vpon vs, of the greatest parte whereof, through our sencelesnesse, wee are vtterly ignorant.

Now will I returne to our Gentrie afore spoken of, who * straye farthest out of the way, whom also I would gladly bring backe to the right path: And this is it that I will say to them. Why doe you thus vexe your soules with a thousand cares throughout the whole course of your life, vpon certaine conceiued phantasies that your state is vnperfect and full of blemishes? Open your eyes and throughly examine it, so shall it vanish and your selues bee better at rest. When you walke vp and downe the Pallace of Paris, and so goe by the Painters shoppes, you can bee content to stay two whole ho∣wers to gaze vpon some goodly peece of worke there set to view, which sometyme mooueth you to commend both the worke and the worke∣man. Much rather ought you so to deale with that goodly portraiture of your selfe, clothed in so many ornaments, for feare least ignorance or inconstancy should cause you to be accused before the soueraigne Pain∣ter, which giueth to euery of his workes the comelinesse that is proper and conuenient to the same. And as it is he that hath formed the Kings and Princes whom the Communaltie adoreth, so hath he with Page  99 the same hand moulded all those whom pouertie oppresseth. All which vnproportionable diuersitie is no let, but that the earthen vessell is as profitable for the base and mechanichall vse thereof, as is that of the finest and best wrought golde for the high and magnificent vse of the same. Let vs now looke whether he hath bene nigardly and not boun∣tifull toward you. Truely you shall finde no: also that you must vtterly abandon those your deceiueable thoughts: for they are the same which the auncient Serpent inuēted to deceiue our first mother. But it is your selues that are to be conuicted of ingratitude, in that you are contrary to the couetous man whose hart and eye are euermore in his coffers, where you neuer enter into the secret closets of your owne harts, to the ende to consider of so many kindes of benefites inclosed: which if you would doe, you should finde your selues not so poore as you weene for.

I will as it were by the way repeat some of those which I sup∣pose * you thinke least vpon. And beginning with ye spirituall which are the principall, I will ende with the lesser, that are more subiect to decay. If I should now aske you vpō your cōsciences how often in a wéeke you think vpon the inestimable benefite of ye knowledge of God wherewith you are endued (for in that you are Christians I cannot doubt thereof) you will peraduenture aunswer me that it * were much if once in a moneth you should earnestly thinke there∣vpon: & yet this knowledge, or rather faith, doth teach and certefie you yt ye are fellow burgeses of heauen, & that by Iesus Christ you haue bene plucked out of the pawes of yt great Pharao the deuill, & the bondage of Egipt which is the figure of Hell How thē can you haue so small mind of so excellent a benefite? whereof Dauid sayd:

Of thy precepts I will still muse and thereto frame my talke,
As at a marke so will I ayme thy waies how I may walke.
My only ioye shall be so fixt and on thy lawes so set,
That nothing can me so farre blind that I thy workes forget.

For notwithstanding he had among ye treasures yt he had heaped together aboue 100. millions of gould, yet did he accompt those of Gods seruice much more precious & tooke greater felicitie therein. Imitate him therefore, & oftner open the coffer of your vnderstan∣ding and harts, to the end to contemplate such ritches which onely suffice to make you happy. Next will I descend to morall vertues, * of some whereof I thinke you not vtterly vnprouided. And put the case you haue Fortitude, which signifieth Prowesse, which also is of great recommendation among our Nobilitie: also Tem∣perance which is familier with the good: Also I meane that the Page  100 portion which you haue be grauen in your harts, rather then prin∣ted in your faces. Euen with this onely may you bee assured that you shall not bee degraded from your title, notwithstanding you ought stil to labour to obteyne more. You will not accompt a Mar∣chant of silkes poore, because he hath in his coffers none but Crim∣son and white Ueluets, for you should doe him wrong: euen so thinke of your selues that you are not poore in conditions, so long as these two vertues doe fructifie in you, which also may serue to engender more: Yea and the more are you to esteeme of these bene∣fites, because no furie of contrary fortune can bereaue you of them. I will also speake one word of your Health, which me thinkes ye * cherish no more then ye doe adogge, whome ye hazard against all sortes of wilde beastes: for many tymes you giue it for a pray to most mortall diseases, wherein you shewe your small iudgements in seeking to heape together vaine things, and yet cannot preserue those that are necessarie. Remember the prouerbe: There is no treasure to health. And imagine a Prince groning in his bed, who offereth all his wealth for the recouerie of that which you cōtemne. So will you peraduenture confesse that you are more happie then wise. As for your reuenues, your continuall lamenting of your * want doth shew that you are not very well content therewith: And yet is your rent perhaps twelue hundred crownes by yeere, with a goodly house, well furnished, where as your father liued honestly & merely with the one halfe. You will either tell me, or thinke with your selues, that when you haue on your gay garments you are an other maner of man thē your father was. Truely I graunt it, & I thinke your fathers head was fraught with wit that could of so small wealth keepe his house furnished: Whereas contrariwise I suppose that your vnderstanding is troubled with sixe ounces of folly at the least, considering that hauing so many commodities, your house is neuer but emptie, and yet I would wish you not to wéepe, for there bee at the least fower millions of persons in this Realme that haue not the tenth parte so much as you, and yet shed neuer a teare for it. You haue but ouer much if you could vse it. What will you say of so many of your good Parents and Frends▪ And what accompt they make of you where you haue bene con∣uersant? Yea, what will you say of your Libertie? which is a thing comparable to Life, through the which you may take pleasure in the beautie of the seasons, & more in the conuersation of men. You must needes aduowe that the possessions of these onely benefites Page  101 (notwithstanding you possesse much more thē I will note, as wel to auoyde flatterie, as not to bee tedious to the reader) doe suffice to make you blesse the giuer, content your se ues with your estate, and reioyce with other men: to which effects you shall atteyne by often meditation in the same. But if you disdayne this profitable counsaile, and returne to your accustomed neglecting of that which is certaine to the ende to seeke the vncertaine, you will driue me to appropriate vnto you the deploration of the miser and to say of you. Oh miserable man! who in the middest of so much wealth ac∣coumpteth himselfe needie and poore! I haue sayd enough, it is your partes to thinke vpon it.

But I would wish euery man to knowe that this my admoni∣tion tendeth not to puffe vp the naturall pride of any that hath * considered of himselfe, whereto many are easely led: but rather to reclaime those that are too eager in the laboursome pursuite of su∣perfluous goods, as also from their delicate complaints, in which waies I will not denye but my selfe haue heretofore walked as farre as others. But age, learning and sinister experiences hauing stayed mee in the meditation of such things as I haue noted and many more. I haue thereby learned, first that Gods liberalitie a∣boundeth toward vs, which wee neuerthelesse by contempt of his goods do abuse: and secondly that it is not altogether vnprofitable, when in the ende a man by his owne errors doth amend.

This Discourse is not finished.

The eight Discourse.

That the pouertie of the French Nobilitie proceedeth not so much of the warres which haue continued these fiue and thirtie yeres, as of their owne ouersight in the mispending of their goods.

WE shall not neede any large discourse to shewe * how farre the French Nobilitie are fallen from the auncient wealth wherwith their hou∣ses were adorned in ye daies of the good Kings Lewes the 12. and Frances the first, as being a thing whereof fewe be ignorant. For if wée list to consider of them either generally or in perticuler, wee shall see them vnfurnished and wanting of sundrie necessarie things, except it be some houses which haue lately risen, Page  102 & a few others that by good husbandrie, benefites or couetousnesse haue mainteyned and enriched themselues. And I dare affirme that if all that beare this title were deuided into tenne partes, and neerely visited, it would bee found that eight of them haue bene de∣cayed by the alienations of a great part of their goods, morgages of their landes, or other debts, and that onely the other two partes haue wherewithall sufficiently to maintaine their estate wherein is no correspondent proportion kept. I thinke I should not doe a∣misse though I declared that which might seeme better to be con∣cealed. For as well our forreine neighbours doe imagine thrise more then there is and say, that wee are so affected to our King, that we will according to our callings imitate his liberalities and expences. This therfore that I now speake tendeth only to make vs wiser and more readie to repayre our domesticall decayes, as well to eschue other mens scoffes as to expell sundrie cares out of our mindes, and relieue those wants that oppresse vs.

Now, although it bee so that all doe agree in the confession of * this pouertie, yet when wee come to shewe how it commeth, there is a contrarie difference therein: For one saith one thing, and ano∣ther another: yea euery one seeketh to accuse the vyolence of the long warres which as Monsters doe deuoure all, rather then them selues. Thus doe wee see how readie each one is to seeke starting holes whereby to cléere himselfe of his fault, in liewe that he ought with vpright iudgement to examine from whence such disorders doe proceede. To excuse a mans selfe is a very common matter, and such as euery one is willing to doe: because the excuse seemeth somewhat to blot out the spottes that may blemish his good re∣nowme: But because to accuse bringeth shame, it is neuer put in practise vntill it needes must, whereof it falieth out that that mat∣ter lyeth long hid in ignoraunce which ought sooner to haue bene knowne. The prouerbe falleth out many tymes true, which sayth: That the euill which we knowe well is as it were halfe healed. Let vs * therefore seeke the cause of our owne, and that will be to vs a rea∣die way and preparation to finde remedie. Those that doe attri∣bute it to the ruine and charges of warre, doe say that there be yet liuing many honorable persons that haue seene in what wealth and prosperitie the French Nobilitie liued vntil the tyme of Hen∣rie the second: For so long as we had peace there was nothing to be seene among the Lords & Gentrie but liberalitie, magnificence, visitations, with other such honest expences, ye witnesses of wealth. Page  103 And yet all this notwithstanding they sould no landes, as well for feare of reproach, as also because of the moderation vsed in such things. Likewise, whensoeuer there was any warre proclaymed, it will hardly bee beléeued what goodly furniture euery one caried with him, as appeared in the voyadge into Germanie. But as no∣thing in this world is long permanent, so in the warres that were renewed in the yeere 1552. betweene the Emperour Charles the fifth and King Phillip, which lasted seuen yeeres, it was driuen to great expences, as well for the selfe honor, as in respect of the loue it bare to so good a Prince as was King Henry. Then ensued the vniuersall ciuill warres all ouer the Realme, comparable to vio∣lent streames, which so encreased the ruine thereof, that now all that the Nobilitie is able to doe, is to maintaine it selfe, liuing mi∣serably in it owne house. And hereof is growne the pouertie there∣of. These be their reasons, which also I will not vtterly reie. For * I will still confesse that these stormes haue bred part of our pouer∣tie, but that it is wholly procéeded thereof, I doe not aduowe: and I will hereafter shewe that it had other helpes of greater impor∣tance to set it forward. So as their argument concludeth but in parte. Now let vs examine what may haue bene the ruine in the first warres. It was not great, for the Nobilitie that then serued were neither euill paide, neither destitute of honest rewards pro∣céeding of the Kings liberalitie. True it is that some perticulers being too forward did in parte vnfeather themselues, as also that the frontier Nobilitie encurred some losses. But the greatest num∣ber continued in good state. In the ciuill warres there fell out more losses, which neuerthelesse lighted not vpon vs. Besides that in our pettie peaces since concluded it had still meanes to repayre the breaches. Withall that France is so fruitfull and well peopled, that whatsoeuer the warre wasteth in one yéere is repayred againe in two. Sith therefore such discommodities haue still bene accom∣panied with some remedies, as also that they haue assayled but the least parte of the Nobilitie, wee are not to accompt this mischiefe either so vniuersall or great. But, in my opinion, the cause why all the blame is layd vpon the warres, is first because the same is by nature hurtfull: secondly, that the vyolence that moueth it is hor∣rible and terrefieth: and thirdly, because men are glad to haue a shroude to hide their euill husbandrie, or els artificially to pleade pouertie as the couetous doe. A man that hath had a long conti∣nuall agew, being cured thereof, will remember it a long tyme, Page  104 and feare the like disease, and yet the corruption of the humours whereof it proceeded did growe by little and little through his intemperance of life, whereof he tooke no heede. The like doe wee in thinges breeding our pouertie. For some there are that wee finde out by and by and they make vs to lament: but o∣thers which are neither so common nor agreeable with vs, wee let easely slippe, as if wee were insensible, and will not knowe them. And I dare affirme that if the ruines of warres and mar∣tiall charges that so wee complaine of, haue brought vs fower ounces of pouertie, our foolish and superfluous continuall ex∣pences which wee doe not greatly repent vs of, haue procured vs twelue.

In this proposition we are to consider that the French Gentle∣man doth excéede in any thing whereto he is affected, and will spare * for nothing. Then that most of them spend not in one thing only, but in fower or fiue, so diuers are their minds, and that is the cause that drieth vp the liueliest springs of ritches. Now, one of the prin∣cipall thinges wherein they ouerflowe is apparell, wherein they haue neither rule nor measure: yea custome hath wonne so much, that a man dare not almost appeare in any good companie vnlesse he be guilt like a Challice: for thereby many perswade themselues to bée the more honored.

The Courtiers were they that brought in these inuentions, who in the meane tyme doe sharpe pennance for their labours, in that there is no yéere but such large expences doe sende at the least one dosen of them into the Litter, who for the pleasure of seeing themselues a fewe daies couered with silke and siluer, must many moneths after beare the griefe of finding themselues houselesse, or so haled by Usurers, as they could not be worse in ye gallies. Two other things there be besides the ritches of apparell, which greatly encrease charges. The one, that men will haue diuersitie: the other, that from two yéeres to two yéeres the fashions doe chaunge and must be renued, & who so doth not frame himselfe hereto is laughed to scorne. To be briefe, either the hand must stil be in ye purse, or the land at gage. Next to the Courtiers come the Gentlemen, who are not altogether so excessiue as they, although they take paynes to imitate them. And as for those that neuer stirre out of the coun∣trie, vnlesse it be a few very good husbands, they likewise do so fol∣lowe the custome, that euery one farre excéedeth his porte. And yet is all this but halfe charges. For the women also will haue Page  105 their share in so many gay ornaments, which yet became them bet∣ter then the men, who haue larger meanes to beautifie themselues with vertue. Some are content with honest sufficiencie, others de∣light onely in aboundance: and some doe so farre passe the boundes of reason, that their poore husbands may scratch their heads when they see pouertie come posting to them vpon Indian stones, and Italian clothes of golde.

This custome began vnder Frances the first, and did mightely encrease vnder Henry the second: but since, their excesse hath bene such, as to apparell their Lackies and Pages in cloath of siluer. Our auncestors were without comparison farre more moderate, yea our Kings sought to make their Maiesties venerable rather by grauitie, iustice, wisedome, fortitude, liberalitie, and a trayne of worthie and learned personages, then by any sumptuousnesse of apparell, which also inuited their subiects to the like imitation. Subiects and Prouinces ensue the maners of Princes. And vn∣till the great ones doe begin to cut off these superfluities, they will still continue to the great detriment of the Nobilitie.

Some man may say: Is it not decent that euery one should goe according to his dignitie? Yes truely, and I thinke it were great inciuilitie and an vnwoorthie matter to doe otherwise. I reprooue only the excesse therein vsed, which puffe vp our mindes to vanitie, and in the ende breede destruction. Neither must we imagine that our fathers went apparelled like Artificers: For when they came to any Feasts or great assemblies, their garments were according to their calling: and yet free from superfluitie, and such as lasted long. Now, if in the Court we see any man weare a garment of a yeere olde, we say of him: We know him well enough, he will not bite vs, he is a two yeeres birde: so that with such scoffes he is forced to giue it ouer. And it may be sayd that among Courtiers the age of an ordinarie garment is three moneths: and of an extraordinarie, sixe: and among the rest of the Nobilitie, somewhat longer tyme. For the newe fangles that doe after ensue doe make them ridicu∣lous. To the ende likewise the better to knowe the diuersitie there∣of, resort you to the Frippery at Paris, where you shall finde a most plentifull storehouse. So that if a man were disposed vpon this medlie to frame Antiques, there were no pleasanter deuise to bee seene. This inconstancie in apparell argueth a woonderfull light∣nesse of minde, whereof ensueth the purgation of the purse, and laughing sport to straungers. For when we come into their coun∣trie Page  106 and they see our great Ruffes, womens Verdugalles, mens long heare, and the sword at the backe, they runne after them as the little children at Paris do after maister Gonin. It is a hard case to empouerish our selues with these péeuish follies, and then to bee laughed to scorne too.

It may bee replyed that scoffes, the ordinarie pastime of the world, are mutually lent and payed againe: also that our Nobilitie * trauailing to Venice, and there seeing the Nobilitie couered with cappes like the coffin of a pye and girt in broad girdles, euen laugh outright. I denye it not: but withall, this I will say, that when some of them doe afterward come to consider that the simplicitie of their garments swelleth vp their coffers with treasure, also that wisedome and grauitie shine in their Senate, and that their Sta∣tutes are inuiolably obserued: and contrariwise that wee with our short hose and long dublets haue made our lawes leape out at the windowes, because they speake too loude: also that our coffers are for the most part as voyde of golde as the head of a passionate lo∣uer is of reason, they conclude that our selues doe better deserue to be mocked.

Let vs now come to the second article of our vayne expences, * consisting of the immoderate affections that sundrie beare vnto stately buildings. For although it hath bene so from the begin∣ning, yet was it but little in respect of our tyme, wherein we see the qualities of the buildings and the number of builders farre to sur∣mount the olde tyme. And especially our Nobilitie haue therein exceeded, rather vpon vayne glorie then any necessitie. I suppose it is not much aboue threescore yeeres since that Architecture was restored in France, where before men lodged but grossely. But since that the faire fruites of this arte hath bene reuealed, many haue endeuoured to put them in practise. If none but great or ritch men had employed onely the aboundance of their Crownes vpon such workes, it had not bene to be reproued, considering they were ornaments both to towne and countrie. But after their example the meane wealthie persons, yea euen the poore haue coueted to set hand to the worke, and as it were at vnwares haue bene forced to doe much more then they thought for: and that not without re∣pentaunce.

The Lawyers likewise and especially the Treasorers haue likewise encreased the desire of the Lordes to building. For say they: How is this? These men that are not so well grounded as wee Page  107 doe build like Princes, and shall we sit still? So as it were vpon spite one at an other, we haue a multitude of goodly houses made and that oftentymes with the losse of the reuenues, which are fal∣len to other men, through that vehement passion that vrged them to heape vp stone vpon stone. How many haue there bene that ha∣uing begunne stately buildings, haue left them vnperfect, as ha∣uing learned to bee wise in the middest of their follie▪ In euery Prouince wee see but too many examples. It may bee that some when they haue seene themselues so well clothed and spangled in golde, haue saide: This cage is too narrowe for so fayre a foule, it must haue a more stately one. To which discourse some flatterer may haue replyed. Sir, it is a shame your neighbour, who is no better then your selfe should be better lodged. But take hart, for he that beginneth bouldly hath finished halfe his worke, neither can a wise man want habilitie. Then he feeling himselfe clawed where it itched, by and by in his minde conceiued a purpose which he began with plea∣sure, continued with labour and charges and ended with sorrowe. So as it hath often fallen out, such a one hath builded a house fit for a Lord of 25000. Franckes rent, whose heire hath not found aboue seuen or eight hundred, and being ashamed to lodge his po∣uertie so stately, hath sould it to buy an other more fit for his liuing. And him that would not so sell, to bee driuen to feede vpon small loues, as wee say, and when his friends came to visite him, to enter∣taine them with discourses of Architecture. When Fryer Iohn of Antomeures (who was one of the pleasantest Monckes of his tyme) entred into any of these so stately houses or Castles, finding but a leane kitchin, he vsed to say. Oh! to what purpose are all these goodly Towers, Galleries, Chambers, Halles and Closets, sith the caul∣drons are so colde and the sellers so emptie? By the Popes worthie pan∣tofle, (for that was his accustomed oath) I had rather dwell vnder a small roofe, and out of my chamber heare the melodie of the spits, smell the sauour of the rost, and see my cubbord garnished with flagons, pots and goblets, then to dwell in these great Pallaces, to take large walkes and picke my teeth fasting after the neopolitaine maner. I like of their opinion that counsaile that if any will build, it be vpon condition that he sell little or none of his goods: And who so doth otherwise I referre him to the censure of Fryer Iohn of Anto∣meures. I knowe that one of the singularities in France is the stately buildings disposed ouer the fieldes, which is not els where to bee seene. But he that should withall reckon how many men Page  108 these magnificencies haue sent to the wallet, would say it were déere ware.

The third article that here I minde to set downe is a conse∣quence of the excesse afore going. For when a Gentleman hath * built a goodly house, it is not all: he must garnish it with mooue∣ables conuenient: otherwise it were but as a body without a soule. So that if he were earnest to haue it finished, he is no lesse eager to furnish it within, and ordinarily curiositie ouercommeth all con∣sideration of things necessary. He cannot rest till he hath gotten Flemish hangings and millan beds: and thereto will euen his friend prouoke him: respecting rather at vnawares the beautifying of his follie, then the bottome of his purse which many tymes is but flat.

In olde tyme if a Gentleman together with his wiues good huswiferie, at the ende of his daies left his house well furnished to his Children, it was a great matter. Now wee are so hastie, that in two yéeres wee must haue it decked vp, which impatiencie hur∣teth much: as therein obseruing neither tyme, quantitie nor qua∣litie of things: but onely noting what our neighbour doth, and sa∣tisfying our owne desire without measuring of our habilities. E∣uery man delighteth to see a proper house and handsomely fur∣nished: But it followeth not therefore that it is necessarie to haue such ritch mooueables. For handsomnesse consisteth in well dispo∣sing of those thinges that wee haue, conioyned with clenlinesse. Wee doe ordinarily see the houses of simple Burgeses and Mar∣chants, euen in the lowe Countries, so handsomely decked vp, and that with little, that Noblemen might be ashamed to keepe theirs so foule, and it is only care and diligence (things of small price) that doe breede this.

The Lord Marshall of S. Andrewes was most sumptuous in precious moueables, which caused diuers Princes, Lords, Gentle∣men and others, to endeuour to imitate him in such insupporta∣ble magnificence, to the ende they might bee wondered at as he was, but some of their Children haue bewayled their fathers fol∣lie: and this complaint hath encreased when byting vsurie with her long talents hath catched euen out of some Princes Castles such ritch booties.

The fourth article that I haue reserued to speake of, is the su∣perfluity * of the mouth expences, and the ouer great traines of most of the Nobilitie: wherein resteth no lesse disorder then in the rest. Page  109 They whose mindes doe somewhat aspire to 〈◊〉 or doe lone great traynes, weening peraduenture that he that rideth with sixe horses must haue more curtesies thē he that rideth but with three. Others also that delight in good companie, haue a great care to haue their tables alwaies well furnished. Now is there nothing wherein we vse lesse repugnance then in that contention which euery one ta∣keth in himselfe to vse either the one or the other: Neither were it much to bee misliked in the Nobilitie in case they excéeded not the bounds of their habilitie, but it is in them so easie a matter to faile of that, that of tenne you can hardly finde two that can bridle themselues therein. Among those that meane to followe the Court or Armes, there bee fewe but eate vp their whole reuenues of one yeere, some in sixe moneths, and some in eight, by reason of their great traynes and other expences. And although some maintaine or enritch themselues in such places, the number is but small: ex∣cept those that be benefited by the King or Princes: or those that in the warres doe helpe them selues with the large priuiledges thereof, yet all the rest doe feele the discommodities, in respect of the continuall charges that they are compelled to be at. Which notwithstanding, fewe doe amend, but contrariwise still they seeke some newe occasion of expences. What hath moued aboue three hundred Gentlemen yet liuing importunately to sue vnto our Kings to giue them the order of S. Michell, saue onely a desire to encurre newe charges, to the ende not to disgrace their newe dig∣nitie. Howbeit, there be aboue a hundred who finding that the con∣tinuation thereof led them the hye way to the Hospitall, haue layd vp their collers in their coffers, and moderating their vertues haue taken vpon them again their auncient course of life, and haue found ease therein. Who so likewise will count the Gentlemen of the Chamber, and of the bodie, the Escuryrie: the Coronels and Captaines, that likewise are more then we thinke for had, neede to studie, Arithmeticke. But thinking that some of them are to their costes growne wise, I wil now say no more. Neither wil I thinke but the seeking of offices proceedeth from some spring: Namely, from a desire that the Nobilitie hath to be well accoumpted of and to encrease. But their iudgement is amisse, to think that a dignitie may make a man worthie of honor, which is not truely atchieued but by vertue. As for those that for the most part doe n〈…〉r stirre out of the doores, they haue likewise so suffered themselues to bee led away by custome, that he whose father (who was farre ritcher Page  110 then he) kept but sixe seruants, hath aboue fifteene. But to what purpose doe so many gay garments, with so large and well furni∣shed a house serue, if a man haue not also a great trayne to make himselfe bee termed My Lord? They may for their discharge say that their fathers had not half so much rent as they, which is true. But withall that which then cost but fiue souze costeth now twen∣tie. As also it is but an abuse to relye vpon some small encrease of rent, and to haue no consideration of other discommodities. An auncient man speaking of the Romaines, hauing noted the maner of their life, sayd: That they built as if they should neuer dye, and in their almost ordinary banquets, fed as if they should liue but one day. I thinke that among vs there bee the like which put the same in practise: but if the Ciuill warre holde but a while, it will cure them well enough of this disease. I might yet note many other excessiue charges that most of the Nobilitie is at, in matters breeding plea∣sure, yea I might frame a fifth argument, but I will forbeare, lea∣uing to their iudgements that knowe what it is worth, how much money is so consumed. If now any be disposed to argue and gain∣say me as not being satisfied with that which I haue alleadged, my * desire is that he aske of the people as Tennisplayers doe: then if he enquire of Gentlemen that trauaile the worlde, their owne ex∣perience wil make their tongues to testifie well for me: For a great number of them doe walke, some an ordinary pace, others a trot, and others in post directly into the gulfes of pouertie: for custome and their affections concurring together, it is vnpossible to holde them backe. The aduertisement of an auncient Poet is excellent, who sayth.

Happie is he whom other mens harmes doe make to beware.

Yet haue we not much vsed it: but how should wee doe it, con∣sidering that notwithstanding wee feele the mischiefes euen vpon our shoulders, we can hardly bee brought to amendment? It were enough to breede shame, that a Gentleman for the least occasions of expence that happeneth should be driuen to sell or morgage his land, who then perswadeth himselfe that a small debt is but a small matter. Which also I will graunt him, but when he continueth in doing it againe, as it oft happeneth in tenne yéeres, he afterward findeth that all these small peeces gathered together doe make a great hole. But bad husbands will neuer enter into these ac∣compts, because it grieueth them to see such a heape of follies.

In olde tyme he was accompted a neede Gentleman, and one Page  111 that deserued not to bee thought ritch, that had not his house well furnished of necessarie things, and some good store of siluer in his closet, for any sudden necessitie, or to succour some friend that were fallen into aduersitie: or to make any such hastie iourney as his ho∣nour should commaund him: for such accidents can beare no delay. And because the Nobilitie in those daies was alwaies furnished of the meanes aforesayd, they were euer able to accomplish their de∣sires, where as we through our follie and wasting doe ordinarily faile in due debts. Thus wee see how euill husbandrie maketh rit∣ches as it were vnprofitable vnto some, when good husbandrie maketh them most profitable.

The meanes to attaine to the good vse thereof, is to conquer * the monster called Opinion that lodgeth within vs, and whence hauing expelled Prudence (who is the guide of our actions) he handleth those in whom he hath set foote, at his pleasure. There be two great proppes that holde him vp: namely, the example of the mightie and custome. But if we were well purged of vanitie he should haue no such power as he hath. It is too great ouersight at other mens appetites, in imitating them, to seeke to buy dis∣commoditie, and so consequently pouertie. Many accompt nothing to be more infamous to a Gentleman then couetousnesse, and my selfe doe confesse it: Howbeit, to the ende to eschue it, a man must not ensnare himselfe in the nettes of prodigaitie. And although that be a farre lesse imperfection then the other, yet is it still a rui∣nous mischiefe which must bee eschued, otherwise it were, accor∣ding to the prouerbe: for the auoiding of the feuer to fall into the who mischiefe. The couetous person loueth no man, because he hateth himselfe: and indureth many miseries in the middest of all his ha∣boundance. But the wastfull and superfluous man by ouerlouing himselfe runneth into pouertie.

The true way therfore is to guide himselfe in the meane, which * bringeth neither trouble of minde nor repentance, because it doth expell necessitie out of mens houses, and replenish them with ha∣boundance. It were a goodly matter if men could suffer reason so to rule them, that they would yeeld to the true exhortations to thē made, as well by the writings of the learned as by their friendes counsayles. And truely it were hard but they that reade the braue bookes of the auncients, namely of Plutarke (which entreate of the true vse of ritches, of thrift, of not taking vpon vsurie, & how to exercise liberalitie) & withall do consider ye examples of Page  112Epaminondas and Fabritius, should bee inuited to eschue all su∣perfluities. Secondly, the friends speeches should be of some force. For when we imagine: This man warneth me for my good: for he is my kinseman: he loueth me well: he is one that knowes the true rule*how to liue: he is a man of iudgement and experience: He must beof à very bad disposition that will take no profite of such instructions. But the most part are so disposed that what so goeth in at one eare, commeth presently out at the other, and so they turne to their olde liues. I will not denye but men must frame themselues to their countrie customes, euen in ordinary things, howbeit with this con∣dition, that they eschue all disorder and superfluitie. Finally, the best schoolemister that man can haue is Necessitie: for most are made wiser by her then by any doctrine or reason. Of Necessitie* there be two so••s. The one that haingeth inconueniences: The o∣ther that threatneth destruction. The first vrgeth, the second for∣ceth amend. So as we may say that vntill our owne experience hath perswaded vs as well as the wordes of the wise, all the mise∣ries of fooles stand vs in small stead. Happie therefore are those that can in so good tyme order themselues that they bee not after∣ward forced to keepe a straight dyet of iue or tenne yéeres long, for the repayring of those breaches which their excesse haue made▪ 〈…〉 vs speake somewhat of those that are thought well to ad∣minister * that which they possesse. If we looke well we shall see that many of them doe but appropriate their wealth to their owne glo∣rie and pleasures, as hauing small care of charitie: and they do thus discourse with themselues. I am neither couetous nor prodigall: but I sprud my goods honestly to my owne contentation and the encrease of my house. Who then can blame mee? Those that thus gouerne themselues deserue some commendation: but to bestowe all onely vpon themselues is a defect, and that no small one. This prouerbe is rife in many mens mouthes: Charitie begins with a mans selfe, neither must we vnclothe our selues to couer others. But these be such errors as extinguish al bountie. Nobilitie ought to eschue them be∣cause they corrupt the integritie of maners. And as the same is more bound then the common sorte to exercise it selfe in liberall ac∣tions, euen so is it to make it selfe to shine (measuring affection ac∣cording to habilitie) as wel for it owne contentation as for the pre∣seruing of good renowme. But if we list well to examine the rules, of Christianitie whereto espetially we ought to submit our actiōs, many shall finde themselues farre enough from the precents there∣of. Page  113 Yet are there but fewe that thinke vppon, and hauing thought of it once a weeke, it vanisheth as doth the image when a man tur∣neth his glasse: and so returning to their accustomed manner, they conceiue some imagination that to vse riches according to the commaundements of the diuine preceptes, is as much as to depriue themselues of the most parte of the honour, profit, and plea∣sure that they bring. But it is but a false imagination: for there is no perfect instruction that teacheth the true vse of riches, but the same is therein described. Hee that seeth himselfe rich, shoulde * often consider whence his abūdance commeth. And although that ordinarily it seemeth to proceed from the parents labors, yet must we cōfesse that it was brought forth by the blessing of God, who as Salomon sayth is the author of riches. The rich and the poore are mette, and the Lord made them both. Moses lykewise vppon this point giueth vs a verie holie admonition, as well generally as per∣ticularly, * saying: Let not thy heart be puffed vp, neither forget the*Lord thy God, that thou sayest not in thy heart: My power and the strength of my hand haue gotten me these goods, but remember the Lord thy God, that it is he that hath giuen thee this power. Nowe when we haue this liuely impression in vs, yt it is hee that giueth goods, we therevpon doe conclude, that it is his will they shoulde be iustly and truely administred. For our selues are but stewardes thereof, And so oft as we heare the poore crie in our eares, it is as if God should summon vs of our duetie, which is, to succour the needie. But if we stop our eares, they are as many condemnations agaynst vs: Which the rich glutton wel proued, who being plun∣ged in a sea of delights, reiected the grones of Lazarus. Heereby may we knowe that riches doe so besot those that suffer themselues to bee maistered by them that they forgette what they ought to doe.

Plutarke recordeth that the Scithians in the middest of theyr * banquets were accustomed to strike vpon & make their bowstrings to sounde, so to reclaime theyr spirits which they feared to molli∣fie & loose among the diuersitie of so many delicates: euen so like∣wise these worldlings that abounde with so many temporall bles∣sings ought sometimes to make sounde in their eares this saying of Iesus Christ (That it is more easie for a Camell to passe through a needles eie, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdome of heauen:) so to waken them out of theyr deepe slumber and want of charitie procured by the vapours of wealth. I knowe well inough that Page  114 some of those that set before their eyes nothing but worldly pompe will scoffe at this aduertisement, and saie that wee must preache magnificence and valiancie to yong Gentlemen, rather than these small duties of pietie, which are more fit for old men that haue not aboue some three or foure yeres to liue: which is as much as if they should saie, We in our youth will passe awaie our time in delights and vanitie, and when we grow into age we will take order for better go∣uernment. But to them I will make no other answere, but onelie aduertise them that to end well they must beginne well, and that death doth as soone catch him that is but twentie yeres old, as him that is sixtie.

The wise also wil reiect these scoffes, in consideration that it is no vncompatible thing to vse goods as a Christian and as a vertu∣ous person: for the one wel fitteth the other, but the worthiest must march first because that Euangelicall preceptes are to bee prefer∣red before those that proceede from Philosophers rules. The one pulleth downe our charitie euen to the poorest, and the other stret∣cheth out our liberalitie to our friends, and to those that deserue it: wherein there is not so great difference as similitude, in that eue∣rie of the sayde actions are well done, which likewise ought to proceede of heartie good will. These were good and profitable ex∣penses, wherein the nobilitie ought to imploie parte of their abun∣dance, * rather than in many vnprofitable vanities, for so should they not be without reward as Salomon sheweth saying: He that hath pittie vpon the poore lendeth vnto the Lord, and it shall bee paied him againe. In respect of other liberalities, I lyke of Alexander, whē * one asked him where he hid his treasure. I commit it (sayde hee) to the custodie of my friend: thereby signifieng that whatsoeuer was distributed vnto honest mē was not lost, because the reward of per∣fect amitie or loiall seruice, which thereby hee retained in their harts, was farre more precious than the golde or siluer that he di∣stributed among them. But withall, we must note that liberalitie must be vsed with discretion, in measuring the giuers abilitie, and not prophaning it vpon vnworthie persons. Who so therefore is desirous to learne the good vse thereof, let him reade Seneca his treatise of benefites.

Page  115

The ninth Discourse.

That the Frenchmens great affection to foreine warres, is at this time more hurtfull than profitable.

AMong ye French nation, armes haue ben euer∣more * in special recommendation: and the com∣mon opinion is, that by the same it hath obtay∣ned that great glory that it hath achieued, & ac∣cording to the varietie of times is increased or diminished. Euen the nobilitie which is abun∣dantly crept out of this innumerable a••heape of people maketh (as it seemeth) no such account of anie fame, as of that which hath proceeded from the sword, which neuerthelesse hath cost both them and their neighbours deere, by reason of the great warres that they haue maintained. The Romaines haue a∣boue all nations in the world exceeded in earnest desire to this exer∣cise, * which they haue greatly affected, to the ende therewith to bring vnder the yoake of their vnsupportable ambition, those that gladly would eschue the same. A most violent custome which since hath had continuall course. In the first ages force was put in vse to repell the iniuries whereinto humaine mallice was ouer flow∣en: But in these daies it serueth rather to doe iniurie than to defend therefro. So farre doe all things by little and little decline to corruption. Neuerthelesse no man looketh so neere thereto, for the most parte doe thinke that as weapons, if they bee not often made cleane, doe rust, so lykewise they must bee often occupyed, least mennes courages through the rust of cowardnesse should be daun∣ted, as haue bene throughly tried among vs within these 35. yeres. Which notwithstanding, so farre are some from beeing satisfied with warre, that yet after so manye ruines and losses, wanting it in theyr houses, they trauayle to seeke it else where, farre or neere.

Those that among the rest are readiest to depart are certayn soul∣diors & new captains, who in ye ciuil wars hauing liued licentious∣ly & vpon the spoile, & now are loth to return vnder the yoke of the laws which represse insolencie, & withal vnderstanding yt their good Page  116 mother Nurce is else where, are yet desirous to goe and sucke her breasts. Some of them likewise are allured by foreine paie: and others because they will not become artificers at home, will liue a∣broade lyke souldiours. These are the ordinarie causes that make them to take the fielde, although most of them pretende the win∣ning of honour. As also since the beginning of these diuisions, or∣ders haue not bene so straightlie obserued as afore time: for who so list, may departe and no man taketh anie care thereof, as if they were euill humours that purged away.

Now these men that make account that they cannot liue but in the warres, and doe so vowe themselues thereto, that they make of that profession (which shoulde bee as it were extraordinarie) such * a perpetuall vocation as they exalt it aboue all others, are greatlie deceiued: as not knowing, or at the least, not willing to knowe that man ought principallie to shoote at peace and tranquilitie, to the end to liue more vprightly. For so long as the same beare swaie, all thinges as well publike as priuate, are in farre better order than when the confusions of warre haue as it were reuersed all manners and lawes.

In this my saying, I meane not neuerthelesse to condemne the lawfull warres whereinto necessitie constrayneth men to enter for theyr defence: for so is it no blemish to vse them. Neyther will I anie whit contemne the ordinarie bandes of Princes and common wealthes: because they bee the gardes of the lande, who also for the most parte doe liue in rest. But they of whom I minde to speake will neuer bee in peace, neyther doe they care when they serue or wherefore, so as they may finde fatte pastures. There is a pretie Spanish saying which manye times they bee, and I haue translated it thus.

Warre is my Countrie, my harnesse, my house,
I am readie at all times to fight for a souse.

What more could a bad Phisition and a worse iudge, which wish the Citie to be full fraught with maladies, mortalitie, and strife, to the end to haue good doings, saie? For these men likewise seeke nothing but alteration of estates, that they may gorge themselues with the destruction of the same. In this our age wherein wee liue, it is impossible for anie to exempt themselues from warre, because ambition, couetousnesse, and reuenge, are as fruitfull as euer they were to ingender the same: and when it comes, good men doe swallowe it lyke a most bitter pill. But to delyght in Page  117 so troublesome a custome, is to do as he that seeketh to be tormen∣ted continuallie vpon the sea: Whome a man may iudge to be ve∣rie crooked and peruerse.

Moreouer, these perpetuall warriours doe (as much as in them lie) shake off all such dueties as are most requisite in a good Citi∣zen, as that to their Countrie, wherein they staie no longer than it is troubled, &c. to their parents whome some doe, after they are growen prowd by armes, disdaine because of their pouertie. Con∣cerning the perticular care, that euerie one ought to haue to the e∣recting of a familie, to the end to leaue children to his Countrie, they neuer thinke of it, as seeking rather to haue some bastard by their gentle gossips that followe them, for whom afterward they take but small care. These imperfections be the dependaunces of that choice of lyfe, wherein the most of those that haue embraced it, doe wrap themselues, and finallie after long labour, if they can attaine thereto, they perish against some rocke, or vpon some coast as a rouers ship.

There are, will some man saie, some that rise thereby, true: but not one of the fiftie. And hee that woulde gather a Catalogue of those that suffer shipwracke vppon that hope, must haue a long roule. Another obiection is this: many beeing brought vp ong in the warres, and scarce knowing of whence they are, cannot but followe that trade whereinto they are fashioned. This were not to bee blamed, if hauing reaped some fruite of their labours, they would, as some doe, staie themselues when they are meetelie well: But incessantlie to runne heere and there, as rauens after carren that they haue smelt, is, as a man shoulde saie, to transforme them∣selues into rauenous beasts or foules of praie. The French souldiour ought in warre to serue his king, and his Countrie, and when peace commeth he must seeke, if hee may, to get into the en∣tertayned bandes, whereto if hee cannot reatch, hee should not ne∣uerthelesse vppon a desperate minde, cast himselfe headlong into vnconsiderate enterprises, as if the Realme were not able to keepe him, or himselfe to finde meanes whereby to liue in the time of peace.

It is a wofull matter to thinke vppon the number of men that so cast awaie themselues. For the pettie piracies of Perow doe swallowe vp aboue fiue hundred euerie yeere, and other foreine warres more, although the groundes bee vnlyke: so as in fiue or sixe yeeres eight or nine thousande braue souldiours do shrinke a∣waie, Page  118 who might better haue serued some other time (if they could haue had the patience to staie) the necessitie of the common wealth.

I haue heard that at the battayle which Sebastian king of Por∣tugal lost, hee had certayne French harquebuts with him, as also that in the armie of the Moores that ouer came him, there were some lykewise. Is not this a mad lusting after warre, to runne so farre to seeke it, yea, and to serue vnder Infidelles▪ I thinke when those men fall into anie premeditated perill, they bee some∣what touched with repentance for theyr rashnesse: but it is then ve∣rie late.

Those who for profite onelie doe flitter about, like a birde at the * call, are more to bee excused than they that I haue spoken of. For when some Captaynes haue spedde, and the souldiours passed o∣uer their necessitie, they returne home agayne, although it many times fall out, that as well the one as the other are defrauded of theyr hope, in that the paie proueth so small and rare, that they are not able to holde out: yea, and in place where paie is rifest, the soul∣diours taste but little thereof: It is onelie for a fewe Colonelles and Captaines, who beeing licorous of such foode, doe deuoure it, and leaue the souldiours in lyke case as Colliers and Smiths, who are all blacke and full of sweate, while none but their masters that set them on worke, doe gather the profite. Which custome is farre different from that of our auncestours, who appointed to the Cap∣taines the honour, and to the souldiours the siluer. But of all that profite by payes, none doe so well helpe themselues as the Reysters: And to saie the truth, wee are but clownes in respecte of them, though some thinke themselues more actiue: For they are so perfecte in Arithmetike, that they neuer ouershoote themselues in accounts.

Lykewise they keepe possession of the Priuiledges that they haue obtained, namely, high parlies, and will alwayes bee payed their olde billes. And besides all this, they are wonderous poly∣tike to liue in the fielde. But I praie you, will some aunswere, doe the French aduenturer sleepe in his sentinell: dooth hee not plaie his parte well inough? Truelie wee must confesse, that he that is an vnthrift and corrupt, helpeth himselfe brauelie, and vnderstandeth it better than most of the Priests of Lymosin doo theyr Dominus vobiscum: But in deed they can neither write nor reade. Yet do they not come neere these others, in the vnderstanding of this martiall Page  119 practise.

Now a worde or two of those that had rather runne alwayes a∣broade, * than returne to theyr occupations, or serue: some there are that thinke such delyberations to proceede of generositie. Which I cannot graunt, vnlesse to a verie fewe: for it is not vnlyke but among a greate number of common people exercising handie ceaftes, there maye bee some that are indued with a noble minde, and well disposed to vertue. Setting aside therefore this small number, I will speake of the rest, of whome I will saie, that it is more lykely that the ainglorie wherewith, after they haue ser∣ued a while, they bee pused vp, together with idlenesse and souldi∣erlyke libertie, dooth breede their vnwillingnesse to returne to their former trade of life. For they imagine that such as see them trauayle and get theyr liuinges with their handie worke, especial∣ly after they haue ben Corporals or Serieaunts, will scorne them: but withall they consider not that in seeking to eschue this ima∣ginarie shame they doe manye times by a voluntarie con∣straynt plunge themselues in robberyes, deceites, and couso∣nings.

Necessitie, saie some, doe sometimes compell the poore souldior for his lyfe, to borrowe of them that haue ouermuch: yea, accor∣ding to the law of Necessitie. But lykewise according to the ciuill lawes, if they bee caught, they paie deerelie for it. It were more for theyr profite to imitate a great number of other Souldiours, who after they haue valyauntly handeled their weapons, doe not disdayne their olde accustomed vocations. And my selfe haue kno∣wen them in Gascogne (whose stomackes are haughtie enough) whome in the time of peace we shoulde see in Townes working in theyr shoppes, and yet in the time of warre had charge and com∣mande ouer companies. And the same is the practise in all the Townes of France, especiallie since the ciuill warres be∣ganne.

For in as much as during the troubles all the Townsmen haue bene in armes, also that for theyr safegards so many tooke weapon in hande, it must needes followe that all this multitude in time of peace shoulde returne to theyr first trades, sauing some fewe. But before it was not so, for it was some trouble to furnish againe those that had abandoned them.

And euen at this time among such of the Spaniards as liue in their Page  120 bandes, it is a reproch to trauayle in Mechanicall artes. Where∣in they haue reason: because that they endeauouring to fashion, maintaine and increase themselues in footemen, and withall so continuing some twentie or fiue and twentie yeeres without anie care of returning into their owne Countries, it becommeth them not amisse.

I will also aduowe that among vs he that hath some long time professed armes, delighteth in them, and is in the waie to attaine thereto, in seeking a place among the standing companies, or some other good fortune, dooth but his dutie. But when such commodi∣ties fayle him, hee ••ust not thinke himselfe dishonoured though he labour for the maintainance of himselfe and his familie, if he haue anie, as euen to this daie they doe in Germanie, Zuitzerland, and Flanders. All these so common exāples should rather induce those that be gone affraie to imitate them, than to doe as they doe. But if anie doe thinke that the setting vp againe of their occupations, doth abase them, let them goe serue the Gentlemen. Which in my opinion they cannot refuse to doe, considering how the poorer sorte of gentlemen can settle themselues to that calling: howbeit if they be out of tast herewith, they must be let runne, and tarie till time a∣mend them.

We lykewise finde some of the bodie of the Gentrie, who mo∣ued by diuerse reasons doe also set the feather in the winde, and go * to seeke the like aduentures. Among which the youth is most to bee excused, who driuen by a certaine desire to learne and to winne credite, doo goe wheresoeuer occasion may serue. They wanting iudgement to discerne which enterprises are lawfull and which not, so soone as the winde bloweth in the sayles of theyr desires, which are large, doe spred them, and so are easily carried awaie. It is pittie so many are lost in such places, where beeing neither kno∣wen nor guided, they passe vnder the miseries of the multitude. Those that haue authoritie ouer them ought to be careful to coun∣sayle them well.

Others there are whome pouertie driueth from home: for bee∣ing noble, the exercises of Mechanicall artes and traficke woulde turne to their reproch, and therefore they must seeke the liberall and honourable, among whome weapons doe walke. Neuerthe∣lesse though this profession bee conuenient for them, yet must they not abuse it as they that I haue spoken of. For so are they the more to be blamed, in that the noble Gentleman is straightlyer bound Page  121 to liue vertuously than the peasant. What shall hee then doe, if you will not let him seeke his fortune? I answere, that in our France poore Gentlemen haue no cause, as desperate persons, to take di∣uerse partes, considering what meanes they haue to attayne to ho∣nour and wealth.

First the men of armes were instituted for the maintainance of these, to the end theyr valour should not perishe, but bee reserued for the benefite of the state. Then haue they the Ecclesticall offices whereto they may ascend, as also the iusticeship which in olde time they exercised. The cōmendatories of Malta do also releeue some: likewise the seruice of Lordes with whome not onely they were brought vp as pages, but also being men they haue their maintai∣nance is a good refuge for them.

Finally, the bands of footmen doe retaine many. Wherefore the wise should rather settle themselues to the best of these, than by thinking to profite abroade to loose their liues. Some will saie that death catcheth not so many as wee speake of, but they de∣ceiue themselues: for I haue noted the number to be greater than we weene for, & of meere compassion that I take of them, I would that through good instrutions or other remedies, the mischiefe might bee preuented. Yet doe I not meane that orders shoulde be so strict, that none may go forth without leaue. For in such a great populous kingdome as this, that lawe cannot be established. And if there were but foure or fiue hundred voluntaries as well of the Gentrie as communaltie, that of theyr owne perticular motions would yeerely go into the warres, as foule to theyr haunt, it were but a small matter & not to be spoken of. But there go many more of that sorte as I haue sayd. And many Gentlemen also of account and greate credite who are readie inough to march: and whensoe∣uer they moue, they incite many other. Wherfore before they so do, it were theyr parts well to examine the causes, which being vnlaw∣full, as being moued by nothing but their owne profite or honour, they shew that they haue small care of their friends, in counsailing them those things that tend more to their own particular interest, than to common equitie. In this case men must be wise to choose rather than willing to depart.

Now are we to looke what fruite our Nation reape of these martiall voyages, which they take vppon them rather of iolitie * than any good foundation. I take it to bee verie small. First in▪ these dayes most of them through the libertie of ciuill warres, bee∣ing Page  122 growen into wonderfull discordes, going abroade, doe nothing but laie open theyr imperfections, which they should seeke eyther to amend or hide. Some are blasphemers of God: others adulte∣rers, quarellers, and dissolute persons, and many disobedient to their Captaynes: of whome lykewise some do eyther for their owne profite or through ignaraunce breake good lawes and order. So as when men see that the effects bee not answerable to the French name, they growe of liking with them.

On the other side, those people that are driuen to beare theyr in∣solencies, I meane of the lawlesse, not of the modest, (albeit euer∣more there bee good and valiant men mingled among the greate number) doe growe to hate the whole Nation for the mallice of some, thinking it incompatible: and in their harts doe powre forth continuall curses agaynst the same: so as although there be some Captaines, Gentlemen, and Souldiours, who through theyr good behauiours doe become agreeable vnto them, yet are they not able to suppresse the generall mislyke. And heere is yet another incon∣uenience, namelie, that if there happen anie mishappe in the warre, rather through the strength of the enimie, than anie presumption or insufficiencie of the Captaines, eyther through the disobedience or small valour of the souldiours, than doe the peoples tongues euen teare in peeces those whome hauing begunne to hate, they after∣warde vtterly contemne.

Now it is most certayne, that in this counterfaite discipline losses are as common as good successe or rather more. Which truelie shoulde make these that haue charge to beleeue, that it is harde to escape stumbling in so rugged a quarrie. Whosoeuer therefore purposeth to goe on warrefare in a foreine Countrie, let him make greate account of vertue, for according to the same hee shall be esteemed, and many times a little shall bee accounted off. Whereas contrariwise if men cary new vices, especiallie such as offende, no man will receiue them for seruauntes, much lesse for Maisters: and without affoording them anie thing, will laugh at them, & which is yet worse, they shall be feared as much as if they were open enimies.

This together with the miseries afore touched maketh mee to * beleeue that vntill that manners and martiall discipline bee in better state among the French nation, they shall atchieue small credite and lesse good will among our neighbours whome they shall goe to serue. Truelie it is in vaine to thinke that force one∣lie Page  123 can worke anie greate effects: for not beeing accompanyed with iustice, faith, and modestie, it is vnperfect. But by the de∣monstration of vertue the heart is wonne, which is a sure and glo∣rious conquest, examples whereof the Romaines haue lefte vnto vs.

I knowe well inough that as well the Gentleman as the Souldiour maye obiecte to those that set them on worke manie things worthie consideration: namelie, that they hazarde theyr liues, receiue bodilie woundes, spende their goods, and endure great paine for their seruice: all which will neuerthelesse loose their grace and bee of no account, if these deprauations continue. For the people whome the Souldiours dooth oppresse will not so much excuse them for defending of them, as they will curse them for deuouring them, as burying the remembrance of the benefite in the smart of the euils. But those that performe theyr duties to the best of theyr powers as well in fighting as in good life, they loue and excuse.

Some will saie, in these foreine warres that they they go to seeke, * they may learne much. I confesse it: But withall wee must note, that from the siege of Mastricht, which was the notablest in our time, there escaped but tenne French Souldiours, and not foure from that of Harlem, in which two Townes there were e∣nough, as I haue heard.

I am not so ignoraunt but I knowe that the propertie of warre is ordinarilie to deuour at the least the fourth parte of those that followe it: but when of the fiue partes it catcheth foure, as often times it doth, is it not too rauenous? This haue I sayde to the end that those that goe as vnfeathered boultes into places of great noise, may remember yt easely they depart, but verie hardly returne agayne. Those that weene that when France hath had peace for two or three yeeres, she shoulde neuer haue warre agayne, doe de∣ceiue themselues. For if they consider what hath passed since the yeere 1494. they shall see that shee hath not beene long in rest since.

To be briefe, they that bee wise (if they will follow my coun∣saile) shal enter into these voluntarie purposes with leaden heeles, yea, euen the Gentlemen, as calling to minde that to goe rashlie and put their liues in more dangerous than necessarie aduentures, (which they shoulde neuer doe but vppon good occasions) is an Page  124 argument of French rashnesse, an engendering of parents teares and a weakening of the sinowes of the state. But when theyr en∣terprises are vnderpropped with iustice, and that the lawe full commaundements of Kinges wealthes doe set in foote, who in respecte of alliaunces doe sende helpe to theyr confederates, and vppon any other necessarie occasion doe succour and releeue the op∣pressed: then must wee not consider of anie daungers or discom∣modityes. For in dooing our duetyes, whether wee suffer, or whether wee perishe, our labour or losse is alwayes well im∣ployed.

Nowe will I discourie vppon a certayne polytike rule, vsual∣lie alleadged in such lyke affayres as this. Which many verie ex∣cellent * persons both haue and still doe allowe, to see howe the same may agree with vs. This is it, A great estate replenished with warlike people, ought still to haue some foreine warre wherewith to keepe it occupied, least beeing at quiet they conuert their weapons each against other.

The maintayners heereof doe alleadge the example of Scipio Nasica, who counsayled it to the Romaines. Concluding that Carthage ought not to bee razed, to the end still to haue an enimie whome to feare and bee alwayes busied withall: For (sayde he) if this feare and cause bee taken awaie, they be in danger to moue one a∣gainst another in their owne land. Heereto they adde, that expe∣rience hath taught, that when we haue appeased our foreine warres, we haue entered into ciuill which haue almost beaten vs quite down.

Moreouer, that our Nation beeing insolent in peace, impatient of tarrying long in the house, full of generositie, and desirous of glorie, must of necessitie exercise it selfe in armes, to the ende to discharge so many conceites of the minde, without the Realme, and not with∣in.

Finallie, that the badde humours remayning of our ciuill dissen∣tion (by these humours meaning corrupted persons) had need to be purged, and therefore that we should suffer them to go out of them∣selues, if wee see them so displosed, or else to force them foorth by arte, least they shoulde breede anie new disease. And this hath beene put heeretofore in practise at the ende of our warres agaynst the English Nation. Trulie I dare not denie but we are to attribute much to the obseruations of antiquitie, of things that haue had good successe when they haue bene vsed in time conuenient. But withall, I dare aduowe that euerie time to applie the same to an estate, and not to Page  125 consider the seuerall disposition thereof, is to mistake. Likewise the better to know how to applie this vnto vs, let vs looke in what state it now standeth. In truth it is so euill at ease, that the ministe∣ring of so vigorous a lawe, in steade of a remedie, were the waie to weaken it more and more. Euerie man knoweth that our troubles began aboue 24. yeres agoe, which haue beene no warres, but but∣cherly slaughters, & who so list to beleue a booke printed vnder the name of Frumenteau, which layeth open the chiefe desolations of our land, how can be but wonder at so terrible destructions? Aboue halfe the Nobilitie is perished: As for souldiours we must count them by legions, the people vniuersally wasted, the treasuries suc∣ked * drie, debts increased, discipline neglected, godlinesse perished, manners depraued, iustice corrupted, men diuided, and all thinges in sale. Be not these braue preparatiues to build new purposes? It is as if a man in lieu of stones should take clots of earth, and myre in stead of lime, and then choose a marish ground to builde a Castle vpon: whom we might with good reason wish to renue his wits, to consider the defects of his stuffe, and to staie vntill hee were better prouided. Likewise in that state wherein we now stand, to enter of a iolitie into anie great warre before that foure or fiue yeres haue renued our youth, were it not as a man shoulde say, as much as to let him bloud againe that hath alreadie lost almost all his bloud? And to vndertake the same wtout discipline, is as much as to builde without rule. Neither is it any lesse inconuenience to be vnproui∣ded of money. For sooner might a man make a ship to swim with∣out oares or sayles, than prosecute a warre without wealth. Who then would be so farre ouerseene as to counsayle vs to beginne the thing that must haue a bad end, which necessarilie will ensue of the defects aforesayd?

I am sure that Scipio Nasica aforementioned, neuer meant to wish them voluntarily to begin an enterprise whereof they coulde reape nothing but losse and infamie, neither would aduowe such a one to bee profitable to a lande alreadie halfe buried in miseries: For hee feared not the Romaines aduersitie, but theyr prosperitie, which brought with it pride and insolencie. And this we are to note, that foure yeere after that Publius Cornelius Scipio had o∣uercome Hannibal, and made peace with the Carthegenians, the Romaines grewe so haughtie, seeing themselues crowned with so many victories and triumphes, that theyr skinnes coulde not holde them. Then was not discipline anie whit out of frame. The Page  126 common treasurlie was mightilie increased as well with the riche spoylos of Carthage as of Spaine, neyther had they anie want of men. This was the cause that moued the Senate to thinke it con∣uenient to be doing with Philip of Macedon which was a verie wise practise of ye rule aforesaid. But what conformitie is there be∣tween our present state and the state of the Romaines at that time? As much as betweene a rich, sound, and well ordered man, and a poore, sieke, and buruly person. Let vs then first cure our disea∣ses, before wee imitate their dooinges in theyr full force and strength.

Many doe thinke France to bee as well replenished with men as euer it was. Wherein they deceiue themselues. And in my o∣pinion * the matter that deceiueth them is, that they see the most of those that ga••e vp and downe make great bragges in words, ha∣bite and co••tenaunce: For if a cobler hath beene a souldiour but two yeeres, hee will thinke himselfe worthie to weare a guilte swoorde (which our Fathers woulde haue beene loath to permitte to anie vnder the degree of knighthoode) yea, and hee will weare it if hee can come by it eyther by hooke or crooke, as also his silke neatherstockes, which good King Henrie the second neuer ware: whereto lykewise his speech shall bee correspondent. For if this souldiour doe but looke awrie vppon a man, hee is by and by dead at the least. This is it that blindeth such as take in payment shews and lookes, who peraduenture applying to them the Prouerbe that, One man is worth an hundered, doe imagine that our France doe ouerflowe with men of armes and warriours. But my opinion heerein is, that yet wee haue a good number both Gen∣tlemen and commons: These beeing well kepte, and to them ad∣ioyning the youth which sixe yeeres may bring forward, wee maye trulie saie, that it shall ouerflowe with such men as shall neede no great pricking forward to make them to stirre. Lesse time can we not haue to redresse our warfare and replenish our coffers, but espe∣cially to restore our vertues.

But, will some saie, if anie good occasion should fall out, shal we let it slippe? That is the maisters parte to iudge of, and perad∣uenture the Ladie may be so beautifull, that shee may haue a good * looke. Yet will it be hard for vs to lyke of anie, vntill we haue put on agayne our auncient ornamentes. As for the purgation afore∣mentioned, meete to cast foorth the dregges which the ciuill wars haue lefte behinde them, I doubt it will proue lyke to Antimo∣nie,Page  127 which expelleth both good and badde humours together: As wee maye see by that which euen lately wee haue to our domage tried.

Our weaknesse longeth rather after restoritiues, than those things that purge violentlie. For, so to thinke that France cannot bee pacified without sending awaie fiue or sixe thousand disordered souldiours, is but to winke with one eie. But let vs stirre them a little, and wee shall see that wee must goe farther, and that these little bells doe not sound before the great ones haue rong out. We must thinke that most Frenchmen, yea, euen those that follow ad∣uentures are wearie of suffering so many mischiefes, as the Ro∣maines were of the slaughters of Marius and Silla: lykewise that they mislike not of rest, because they knowe it to bee necessa∣rie for them, which after they shall for a while haue inioyed, they wil afterwarde be but ouer-readie to imploie themselues where a man list. But now had they no other enterprises in hand, yet were it vnlikelie that anie coulde prosper vntill the imperfections as well publike as perticular, which burie our aun∣cient fame, were banished, good order ree∣stablished, and vertue ho∣noured.

Page  128

The tenth Discourse.

    Of the three false opinions that misleade sundrie of the Nobilitie.
  • First, that the chiefe marke whereat a Gentleman should aime is to become valorous.
  • Secondlie, that the Gentleman which keeping home, trauai∣leth not abroad to seeke aduentures, inioyeth small conten∣tation, and is but base minded.
  • Thirdly, that although the Prince command things vniust to his subiect, he must neuerthelesse put them in execution.

THe Phisitions doe saie, that olde diseases are of hardest cure. Which the politikes as well * as they, may iustly affirme concerning those errours that through long vse haue taken déep roote. For whatsoeuer is fixed in the minde, hath, as a man shoulde saie, more bandes than that which is tied to the bodie: so as it is need∣full to bestow whole yeeres in the rooting of them out. And as the first doe temper sundrie simples to applie to bodily iufirmities, euen so should the seconde out of the rules of wisedome drawe pro∣fitable instructions to reforme the manners of those thāt list to vse the same. Howbeit, some woulde saie the Phisition to bee verie presumptuous that should come to a Patients house vnsent for, but in the care of spirituall diseases and euill customes, hee that seeth his Countrie afflicted and taketh compassion thereof, maye in my opinion, freely discourse and write of the same, so long as he way∣eth hir disposition, and hath in himselfe anie tender regard toward the subiect whereto he would apply it.

I will begin with the first opinion which hath not sprong out of any bad fountaine, but from the vniuersall disposition of the no∣bilitie, * which time out of minde hath meruailously celebrated déeds of armes, as worthy instruments to aduance them to great honour, but the same haue by little and little so exceeded that in the end, vn∣der the pretence of valiancie, she hath subdued and confounded the rest, as if one kind did comprehend them all in generall. This false opinion hath attained euen to our dayes wherein the sayd pretence is worse vsed than euer it was. For now men seeke rather to win Page  131 a little fame through that only, then a great deale by diuers ioyned together. I thinke it no abuse to esteeme of the thing that so deser∣ueth, no more then to like of some pearle that a man hath bought: but if any mans affection thereto should be so addicted, as therefore to disdaine all other precious stones, were it not a token of a per∣uerse iudgement▪ The like is it with vertues, whereof the least is so necessarie, that we may say that the want thereof breedeth great discommodities. If a man might serue his turne with one of them as well as with one garment, his life would not peraduenture bée so troublesome. But it should likewise leese a great parte of the beautie and commoditie in being despoyled of all the fayrest orna∣ments. For as the more a garden or medowe are planted and en∣ritched with diuers kindes of fruite and flowers, the better they are esteemed, euen so should he be that hath most vertues: without the which his life is but obscure. Neuerthelesse, it is good that eue∣ry one should consider his owne vocation, to the end to apply ther∣vnto that which may be most conuenient for himself, the vse wher∣of should also bee to him most familier. As to the politique man, discretion: to the Deuine, humilitie: to the Lawyer, iustice: and to the Souldier, courage. But as for the Nobleman, whereto shall we tye him? Especially him whose auncestors haue bene an honor to his age.

I am not of opinion that Gentlemen should stay vpon one one∣ly * vertue, but also grow in loue with many. For such loue is law∣full and these virgins are neuer ielouse. Painters doe vse to sha∣dowe all the Muses in a troope, as neuer habandoning one ano∣ther: with like reason might they so doe by this worthie societie, wherein the associates doe greatly delight to dwell: whereof wee are to learne, sith so willingly they walk together, still to kéepe our doores open, that when the one entreth she may bring in all the rest with her. I knowe that Fortitude (by some named Prowesse or aliancie) is an excellent vertue, beseeming the best as well as the inferiours, without the which their liues are of small valure, but the same being destitute of Iustice is hurtfull to the good. If Tem∣perance doe not moderate her she will turne into rage, and not guided by discretion will labour out of season. Wherein wee see there is a league betwéene them, and each affordeth mutuall ayde to other, which cannot be altered without perticuler preiudice to e∣uery of them. The Martiners doe not thinke one Anchor suffi∣cient to stay and hold a Shippe tite. The like may we say of No∣bilitie, Page  132 who must haue more then one vertue to confirme their re∣putation: which is not vnknowne to those that are learned in mo∣rall discipline, of whome the number is very small, by reason that the error whereof wee now entreate hath made the greater multi∣tude too partiall: as appeareth in the titles that many take vpon them, as calling themselves The arme of the country, the main∣teyner of armes, and the terror to the enemies: which titles I blame not, notwithstanding in my opinion the name Professor of Vertue, would comprehend much more and yéeld them greater honor.

It is most certaine that for the well handling of the weapon it * were requisite to be endued with much boldnesse & generositie: as also to such as haue bene furnished therwith haue redounded much commendation, which hath caused many so to admire this profes∣sion: which neuerthelesse through ouer much praise haue bred this error, namely, to make small accompt of all other vertues. For it is not vnknowne that in our grandfathers daies, if a gentleman had giuen himselfe to studie the Greeke tongue or Latine, his com∣panions would say that he must be made a clarke, also that a sword beseemed him not. Wherof grew this prouerbe, that it was enough for a Souldier to be able to write his owne name, as if knowledge had bene a hinderance to his valour. I thinke they were of opinion that he that shewed himselfe audacious, expert in his weapon, and prone to quarrelling, was sufficiently armed for the attayning to ritches and honor: and ordinarily they that were noted to bee such, obteyned both. I will not vtterly reiect these things, which beare I wot not what fayre shewe: yet will I say thus much, that not be∣ing accompanied (as is aforesayd) with other good qualities, they be not so commendable as men think for. Howbeit, although some one chaunce not to abuse this vertue of Valiancie, yet ought he not to burie himselfe therein, considering that the vse of the rest is more necessarie for him. If he fighteth once in a moneth, it is all, neuer∣thelesse, if he list he may daily put in practise other good gifts to the benefite of others and his owne commendation. It is no small matter to be accompted a Souldier, but when honestie is thereto adioyned it is much more. And thus are we to make our perticuler profession to leane to the generall vocation, that is, to liue well, whereunto all men are bound. And whosoeuer forgetteth this vni∣uersall rule to stay himselfe onely vpon the obseruations there vpon depending, it should seeme that he is rather led by profit or〈…〉biti∣on Page  133 (wherevnto men of all sorts doo aspire) than by anie true affecti∣on to vertue.

Hanniball of Carthage was one of the most famous Cap∣taines * that euer were, yet being destitute of pietie and faith, and withall a cruell and deceiptfull person, it bred him the name to bée a most wicked man. How much greater commendation deser∣ued Scipio Africanus, who was both an honest man and as good a Captaine withall: This neuer boasted so much in his valiancie, as to despise the thing that made him not onely a true Citizen but also a good householder. For, to bee iust to his friends and terri∣ble to his enemies, are no such contraries, but that they may very well concurre together, because the originall of them both procee∣deth from one spring.

Well, I will confesse that in a man of warre prowesse is com∣mendable, but in the well borne Gentleman, his studie, exercise and pleasure should shoote at all the vertues, especially at those that are most to bee preferred, considering that Nobilitie is a par∣ticipation in all those good thinges. I thinke no man will gain∣say but Pietie, Truth, Temperance and Iustice must march be∣fore Fortitude, notwithstanding she also helpeth the rest. For the vngodly, lying, dissolute or vniust person, whatsoeuer goodly cloke of prowesse that may bee giuen him, is neuerthelesse eschued and hated, as being much more hurtfull to his friendes then dread∣full to his enemies, although he knowe neuer so well how to helpe himselfe with his weapon. For this cause ought Noblemen first to learne those thinges that are most necessarie, and so by degrees to discend to those that may better be forborne: so shall they escape this error which stayeth them vppon one simple prize, and hideth from them many other more precious, wherein they haue no lesse interest.

It might peraduenture beseeme a poore Souldier, who ha∣uing * nothing, hath by his weapon and desert hath atchieued meanes to liue, neuer to depart the bounds of prowesse, but high∣ly to extoll it, as euery artificer will doe his arte. But the Gentle∣man to whome as well this as many other waies are yet open, wherein to exercise himselfe and to atteyne to honor, yeeldeth him∣selfe as it were prisoner, yea euen guiltie, in seeking to march only vnder the one, sith he is bound to walke in all.

I remember an aunswere to this purpose once made at the Court to one whose continuall talke was of warre, yea euen in Page  134 the tyme of peace. When the warres begin againe, said one to him, you shall be set on worke, but now seeing you are destitute of ciuill and peaceable conditions, I would wish you to shut vp your selfe in a chest, so to keepe you from rust vntil tyme serue: either els to temporise at this time.

The former error is somewhat tollerable, because it may be a∣mended: * and it is to bee hoped that he which will endeuour to doe one parte of his duetie, being better taught will employe himselfe in the rest: but he that abuseth that one onely vertue that he hath chosen is wonderfully out of the way. And whereas Gentlemen do weare their swords girt to their sides, first they do it in the defence of their Countrie, and next to employ them vnder the authoritie of the lawes to defend the weake and innocent from the vyolence of the oppressors: also to preserue their owne persons from outrage: So farre is the practise now from following the sayd rules, that contrariwise many as well noble as vnnoble doe vse them to doe more harme to their friends then hurt to their enemies. This is a goodly valiancie that serueth onely to destroye it selfe: and villa∣nous are the Tryumphes which are erected of the spoyles of Pea∣sants, also of the weapons and blood of neighbours and compa∣nions.

Some man will say, that Fortitude is an other maner of thing * and shineth principally in the warres: I graunt it, but not in these which seeme it to be vnperfect in all places. Valiancie among o∣ther things consisteth in vanquishing rather then to flee, and in su∣staining of labour freely. Concerning the first poynt what doe we see: Losses ordinarie, and victorie rare. And as for the second, there néede but two daies rayne and fower and twentie howers want, to raise a w〈…〉egiment into a mutinie. Thus by litle and little many doe wander and stray from this vertue, notwithstan∣stāding they aduow that they haue ambraced it. And if the French Princes, Lords, famous Capteynes, and Gentlemen which doe well vse the same doe not endeuour to restore it into the former dignitie and to take away the abuses, they shall many tymes finde themselues as well at the Court as in the field farre abused. And our nation which heretofore hath through true Valiancie gotten such fame, shall behold it selfe slaue to those that heretofore haue o∣beyed it. This may suffice to shewe that Nobilitie ought to ayme at all vertues, and not at one alone: Likewise that they must not peruert that vertue which ought to be the piller of their armes.

Page  133 I would haue made some description of this vertue of Forti∣tude* (which cannot bee too well knowne to those that exercise the same) but that Aristotle in his Ethickes hath largely discoursed therof, wherevnto they that delight in reading may haue recourse, especially well to vnderstand the difference betwene such as is true in deede and that which doth but beare a shewe thereof, onely I will say this by the way, that he setteth downe fiue kindes of coun∣terfait Fortitude. The first, that which is grounded vpon hope of reward: the second, vpon feare of punishment▪ the third, vpon expe∣rience: the fourth, vpon wrath: and the fifth, vpon ignorance of daunger. But the true is when a man in the middest of the greatest daungers and most terrible things, yea euen of death, sheweth him selfe stedfast and without feare: whereinto he hazardeth himselfe in a iust and honest cause, and of these there be few, and yet to be true∣ly possessed with Fortitude he must be such a one.

The second false opinion is not so hurtfull as the first, howbeit * it molesteth many and to no purpose, in causing them to seeke feli∣cities rather apparant then true, and to iudge amisse of the condi∣tion of many. I mislike not that men should commend that kinde of life that any hath chosen: because it liketh the chooser: but rashly to condemne other mens, argueth a little pride and want of consi∣deration. Now, the cause why some doe so greatly commend tra∣uailing * abreade, procéedeth of a conceiued opinion that iuilitie is better learned abroade, as also that reputation and ritches are ob∣teyned by haunting of diuers places and keeping companie with diuers persons. I would not greatly argue against their opinions if they comprehended no more but this, yea my selfe would coun∣saile yong men to go (as I haue already sayd in an other discourse) into places where any thing that is honest is to bee learned. Like∣wise such as are poore and haue quicke wittes being capeable to serue either publiquely or priuatly, may seeke their aduentures through al places, and those likewise that haue met with them and are bound vnto them by any bond of seruice, of office, or of arte to goe neere or farre, ought not to faile in perfourming these dueties. But before I enter any farther into any other exceptions, I must confesse yt I meane here to excuse certaine Gentlemen, who being alreadie possession of house, famelie and meanes, and withal are not to seeke what vertue and knowledge meane, are neuerthelesse de∣spised (because they are resolued to speade their liues at home) by those that make as it were an ordinary occupation to be continual∣ly Page  134 vpon the publique theaters of Courts, Cities, Warres, & or∣reie * lands. Of these will I speake one word by the way. That is, that some there are that trot into all places onely vpon curiositie: others doe also goe to the ende aforesayd, namely to bee better in∣structed. Concerning the first: They hauing no other meaning but an outwarde and vayne pleasure, reape nothing but vanitie and such a conontation as is of no continuance, as hauing no other foundation but winde. Only they can pra••le a little among simple people of things that they take for wonders, in that they want knowledge, and that is all. Likewise will I there leaue them, be∣cause in their doynges they beare no other affection, but as it were to goe see a Maygaine. But with the second it is otherwise▪ for they learne goodthings and sometymes to encrease, so as we see the good 〈◊〉 of their 〈◊〉 appeare. Butias the wood worme en∣gendreth in wood, 〈◊〉 happen 〈…〉, the more they haue attyned, them or 〈…〉 doth the ••rrogance entease▪ where of en∣sueth contempt of their equalles that imitate them not. Youth that hath not yet experience of the seuerall kindes of life doth easely stumble into these rash iudgements vntill it be reformed: but there are some whom neither age nor reason can diuert from such imagi∣nations: wher〈…〉 they shewe that they haue profited but little in strayings o 〈◊〉 from 〈◊〉▪ Also as 〈◊〉 knowledge doth ne∣uer passe vp it selfe, but maketh the person the more humble and lowly, so should vertue make it the more discreet.

Now let vs see wherewith they blemish the countrie common * course of life. It giueth, say they, small content, and extenua∣teth the force of courage. They doe likewise perswade themselues that those which are nothing mooued in the presence of great ob∣iects, neither stirred vp by emulation of their equals, must of neces∣sitie stoope to such actions as may be termed seruise. Also the most of these hauing bene brought vp in these stately Courts, doe thinke that the excellencie and beautie of vertue doe neuer shine but where it is best florished out and with greatest traynes: so that perceiuing it o clothed of those outward ornaments and in simple aray, they doe but winke at it, as men of •••y doe at their friends when they be fallen into extreme pouertie. And therefore marking those that neuer stirre from home, but lye still as it were hidden and without any shewe, they would thereby inferre that they want good quali∣ties, as thinking that if they had any, the same would force them foorth as the sailes doe force, the Shippe into the maine Sea: Page  135 But in their wordes they make many false consequences. For to say that that vertue seemeth obscure which beareth but her owne simple shewe; likewise that he that hath enough; if he proclaymeth not abroade, I haue vertue to sell, seemeth to haue but little: Also that contentment dependeth vpon the knowledge, and fauour of the mightie and the multitude, is to be blinded with the apparance of outward things, which bleare the sight of those that are in∣ward. The Philosophers doe holde that true felicite consisteth in the participation of vertue, likewise that the same may be found in all sortes of men and in all places. Which is so true that none can denye it. Wee must therefore before we contemne any kinde of life, how base soeuer it seemeth, looke whether no portion of vertue shineth therein. For if there doe, wee ought not to condemne it at randon.

Well, the better to iudge thereof, let vs more neerely examine * this maner of countrie life, and wee shall peraduenture see that it bringeth foorth very good and fayre fruites both for it selfe and o∣thers. First, he that hath chosen it may in these some what solitarie places more deuoutly exercise-the dueties of Religion, and with lesse hinderances those of charitie then among the great societies, where Princes or vanities doe for the most part detaine the minds in thraldome, and withdrawe them from such meditatious as are necessarie for all: and when Godlinesse, which is the foundation of life, is well vnderstood and perfectly practised, there ensueth great contentation. Next, the minde findeth greater tranquilitie in such places then in Courts and Cities, where it is tormēted with most vyolent verturbations: as ambition▪ raging loue, reuenge, wrath, papine and enuie. For in the countrie life those obiects that stirre vp inward rage doth not commonly haunt. As for delight, it is as much, in that there is no cause but a man may finde as good relish in the smallest things, the taste whereof is so farre from those that are are intangled among the ciuill multitude, that they do not so much as perceiue them. Dauid although a great Kind did ne∣uerthelesse sometyme delight in these small countrie ornaments, which are in the 65. Psalme very well described, where he sayth.

In places playne the flockes shall feede.
And couer all the earth:
The vales with corne shall so exceede,
That men shall sing for mirth.

Now let vs proceede to the commodities: which truely are of Page  136 two sorts. For first superfluitie, the only sepulcher wherein many rich houses are buryed, is in maner vnknowne in the countrie life. Secondly, household orders are well obserued, and although the vse of thrift bee the ordinarie rule, yet doth liberalitie shine in the middest thereof, and honest sufficiencie who is still neighbour to a∣boundance neuer departeth: the contrary wherof appeareth where prodigalitie rai••eth. For her followers doe often tymes trye the same that Shippes doe in a storme, whome the waues doe some∣tyme lift vp to the Clowdes, and by and by bring downe to the bottome of the Sea. Euen so they hauing made stately cheare for the space of some eight daies, must remaine halfe a yeere pinched with al kinde of penury. As for the cōmoditie that the others reape by the presence and frequentation of that whereof of I speake, it is likewise to bee considered. For to begin with his famelie, there is no doubt but, according to the prouerbe, Such maister such man, if he be endued with many vertues, he shareth them with his, espe∣cially with his wife and children, describing in his priuate famelie the forme of a well ordered Commonwelth. His subiects likewise, what comfort doe they also conceiue in comming to trye his a••abiliie and good will▪ Entring farther into the course of his life, what an example is he to make them the better? Finally, such a mans neighbours and kindred may among their greatest commo∣dities note this, that they may be ordinarily conuersant with him, and so to taste of sundrie goodly fruites of learning and amitie. Who so list farther to learne the commendations of the countrie life, let him reade those bookes that are purposely written thereof. For my parte it is enough that I haue in a word touched it by the way, as well not to bring out of liking those that vse it well, as al∣so to shew to others that disdaine it, that it is not destitute of ver∣tue, honestie, and solace.

Now let vs see whether it deminisheth prowesse as some doe * suppose. For my parte I thinke not in any in whom the loue of vertue is not quite extinct. For in whatsoeuer place they bee, they still thinke it conuenient for a Gentleman to beare a mans sto∣macke. On the other side, the exercise of the Horse, the running at the Ring, hunting and the haquebut are portraitures and instru∣mēts of warre which waken the courages and maintaine them in force. But communication with our like doth also greatly helpe thereto: because the speeches both of the one and other doe tend on∣ly to contemne towardlike demeanours and to exalt the valiant: so Page  137 as hereof wee make a counterpoize against that delicacie which by little and little is engendred in those persons whose liues are free from daunger. I knowe well enough that the Nobilitie that houl∣deth residence a great parte of the yeere in frontier Garrisons, is (through continuall exercise in warlike discourses) more stirred vp to the loue of prowesse, then that that kéepe home. But all cannot be there maintained, neither doe those that are depriued of that ex∣ercise, considering the reputation of the rest, but make inwardly some small prouision of that which is the cause of obtaining the same. Moreouer, it followeth not that because they are not so skil∣full in militarie profession as others, yt they are therefore voyde of courage: For he that hath good seede in him, with a little custome maketh it well to fructifie. How many braue Capteynes haue in our fathers daies bene seene neuer to stirre from home after the warres were once ended? And yet when occasion serued that they must to it againe they were nothing inferiour to any of the rest. Thus much must I needes say that like as martiall exercise ma∣keth not all that practise it valiant, no more doth dwelling at home so daunt the courages of those that vse it, but that they can alwaies be well enough disposed to doe their parts when honor commaun∣deth. As for the rest who euen burye themselues by perpetuall kée∣ping home in their owne houses, to the ende onely to stoope to effe∣minate pleasures and sloth, either els to haue the better opportuni∣tie to practise violence or couetousnesse. I will say no more, but on∣ly wish that among the Nobilitie there were Censors established as in the Romaine Commonwelth: that through publique shame their faultes whether secrete or open might be corrected. For it is a shame for the goodly title of Nobilitie to be made a cloake to vn∣worthie actions. Now were it not amisse to examine whether the felicitie of those that goe vp & downe to seeke it thus euery where, and who weene to haue more then others, be so great as they say for: But I will not stay therevpon to the ende to discourse vpon the third false opinion.

Many there are that reproue it, others also that put it in practise, * either thinking it not to want a good foundation, or els because that by the vse thereof they reape profite and preferment. But how soeuer they list to take it, they are not to be excused. For our opi∣nions must agree with that that is iust, and our commodities bee purchased without iniustice: which euen those ought to knowe that make accompt to excéede the common people in dignitie and wise∣dome: Page  138 to the ende they by their example may conforme themselues to fulfill whatsoeuer the duetie of all. And as it is an easie matter from liberalitie, which teacheth vs the maner to giue in place and season conuenient, to fall into prodigalitie which sheweth how to doe the contrary: so without diligent heede from true obedience we slide into false, which in counterexchaunge of a matter due, ma∣keth vs to doe that that is not due.

This question haue sundrie learned personages at large treated vpon, of whose iudgements wee ought not to bee ignorant; to the ende alwaies in our selues to bee resolued of a matter of so great waight. I will therefore (following their steppes) speake only two or three words according to my capacitie, especially vsing the in∣structions taken out of Gods worde. The same teacheth vs that God hath set vp the mightie that haue dominion ouer the nations, to rule and gouerne them in pietie and iustice: whom likewise he commaundeth vs to haue in singuler honor and to obey, whervpon S. Paule saith: Let euery soule be subiect to the superiour powers, for there is no power but of God, and the powers that are, are the ordi∣nance*of God. This only place might suffice to enstruct as well the one as the other in their dueties. For herein are the superiours warned to remember the sacred dignitie wherewith they are ador∣ned, that they neither abuse nor prophane it by crueltie, couetous∣nesse, or voluptuous lust. Likewise the inferiours to bowe their neckes vnder those authorities as vnder the yoke of God, not on∣ly in patience, but in ioye also. For as S. Paule in the same chapter sayth. They that resist the powers, doe resist the ordinance of GOD. Whereto he afterward addeth, That the Prince beareth the sword for the benefite of his subiects whether for their defence or correction. Which reason ought to make vs thinke obedience sweete, because in yeelding the same wee both please God and reape profite. If Princes would well consider the goodly titles and large preroga∣tiues that God giueth them, they would amende and their com∣maundements should be more iust. For by the mouth of his Pro∣phet Dauid he saith: I haue sayd, ye are Gods, and children to the most highest▪ herein signifying that as in them shineth the image of Iesus Christ, whose Empyre is both in heauen and earth, so ought they to imitate him in well doing rather then in hurting and de∣stroying: but because the most part of them do neglect or contemne these most worthie instructions, they growe to degenerate, in such wise that euermore that estate hath bene most happie, wherein the Page  139 most of those that haue sit vpon the throne haue beue vertuaus. The places likewise by me alleadged ought to retaine the people from stirring not onely in vniust causes, but also in such as are vn∣nessary, when they contemne those whō God hath so exalted. Also when a good and mercifull Prince raigneth, if his Subiects doe through disobedience prouoke him, they make themselues guiltie before God and man, and thus much I thinke fewe can gainsay.

But the question is, of one that maketh small accompt of the lawes or iustice should commaund that thing that were wicked, whe∣ther*wee ought to obeye him. Hereto I aunswer that if this iniqui∣tie consisteth in raysing of taxes and tributes vpon the subiects goods, (which many haue often tryed) either in the encrease of the labours layd vpon their persons, (as Pharao delt with the He∣brewes) in such a case wee can doe no better then to humble our selues before God, and cratte of him pardon and deliuerance from so vyolent oppression. For notwithstanding it proccede of his cru∣eltie and mallice that is author therof, yet are we withall to marke Gods ordinance, who vseth such scourges to tame the imperfec∣tions of those whom he will amend. Why? will some man say, what honor can he deserue, who from a iust principalitie is fallen into tyran∣nie? who in liewe of shearing his sheepe doth flea and deuour them? Sith also he so villanously peruerteth publique order, is he not vnwor∣thie that any should yeeld him reuerence? God in his worde sayth, that notwithstanding he greatly dislike this oppression, which pro∣céedeth of mans frailtie and lustes, kindled by the deuils mallice, yet doth it not abolish the subiection due to superiorities and polli∣cies, wherein we must still marke the footpathes of his decree. O∣therwise were the saying of S. Paule in vayne, that the powers that are, are the ordinances of God. Neither should S. Peter haue any reason to commaund vs to honor the King. But if any say that this had relation to the good, I must answer yt neither of thē were igno∣rant what men Tyberius & Caligula were, either Nero, all which we might rather name horrible Tyrants then true Princes. If therfore among these horrible politique confusions they cōmanded vs to looke higher & to humble our selues, this precept should ad∣monish alpeople that suffer violence through the pride or couetous∣nesse of their superiours, to thinke once or twise before they kicke against the prick. For vndoubtedly God ordeyned the bad Princes as well as the good, according to the saying of the Prophet Oseas:*In my rage will I giue thoe a King, and in my wrath take him away.Page  140 Also Esdras, I will giue them children to be their Princes, and effe∣minate*persons shall beare rule ouer them. Likewise Iob: He maketh the hipocrite to raigne for the sinnes of the people. If all these goodly * rules were well considered, many there are that would not bee so hastie to striue against the rod: for whensoeuer the stripe commeth, our first worke ought to bee to haue recourse to God, as is afore∣sayd, and to appease him: and next to enter into our selues and a∣mend. Thirdly, to seeke lawfull remedies against the mischiefe, which if they faile vs, then to waite in patience. And hauing well discharged our selues in all ye aforesayd, then to haue good hope of wished successe. If wee are in any affayre to obserue moderation and wisedome, then in this especially. The precepts of Philoso∣phers and auncient customes of the Romaines and Grecians, (the most ciuill and wisest nations among all other) did graunt more li∣bertie to the oppressed then Christian Religion doth. For they did so hate and abhorre tyrannie that they could in no wise away with it. Which notwithstanding it be euen to this day most odious, yet must Christians haue more patience then others, because that he which so strictly commaundeth it, doth withall promise in tyme conuenient to prouide for their miseries: whereby wee may see of what force and power the doctrine of the Gospell is, to print in mens mindes the lawe of obedience and reuerence toward the su∣periours.

This if some Princes were perfect in, they would not perad∣uenture so readily followe the counsailes of diuers Churchmen,* which make them with all extremitie to pursue the professors ther∣of. They be, say these sollicitors, iustly punished, for they be here∣ticks. Truely my maisters your words are not receiuable. It is the olde song which is now out of vse, since the Scriptures bewrayed your pot of Roses, that is to say, your abuses, at the most whereof euen some of your owne men doe make a iest and giue them no cre∣dite. Force them not then to reuerence them least they aunswer you with the Apostles: It is better to obey God then men. They de∣serue, will you say, to be rooted out by armes, because they take armes.* Such as bee at their ease are soone angred and take small care or none for the afflicted. See whether you bee none of them. If any man had but pricked you, you would fall out with him, yea and peraduenture strike him too. And can you not consider that the Pro∣testants in France did patiently, for the space of foretéene yeeres, and the Flemings fiue and fortie, suffer all sortes of spirituall tor∣ments Page  141 and bodily paynes vpon false accusations: and yet will you not that they should seeke any remedies to exempt them from such intollerable and cruell miseries.

But now I thinke of it, I haue degressed from my purpose, to * speake of the furies vsed against the consciences. But I will say no more, but returne to my first path, againe to confirme my for∣mer saying, that bodily charges though heauie, should bee borne. For as Samuell sayth: Kings shall sometymes be very readie to op∣presse*their people, and although they crye out, sayth he, yet will not God heare them. And this ought to admonish them to suffer so long as it shall please God to withdrawe his fauorable hand from them. All that I haue hetherto alleadged to exalt the mightie and their dignitie, tendeth not so to puffe them vp that through disorde∣red licence they shall exceede the boundes of iustice. For if they would, yet can God chastize them as he did Roboam and Saule, and prouide lawfull remedies to deliuer those that are oppressed. Neither doe I beléeue that there is any state but hath lawes to re∣pulse oppressors when their vyolences are ouer grieuous or conti∣nuall.

Now, in these corrupt Kingdomes many men there are that * neede no great compulsion to worke wickednesse, as thinking that their obedience due to Princes couereth all that is amisse in their actions. Yea some that haue publique offices doe take themselues to be double bound not to refuse to do any thing that may be com∣maunded them, in that they are not only subiects but also officers. These presuppositions are the occasion that a mischiefe conceiued by a fewe and embraced by many hath a more long and larger course. They hold that if the great doe commaund, they must yéeld and obey: for notwithstanding the matter were vniust, yet is the executer thereof excusable and the commaunder aunswerable. But these obsequious mates are much deceiued in couering themselues with a sacke betymes, and leauing all the blame to their maisters. Others there are likewise in this miserable world, wherein wic∣kednesse playeth her last prize, that runne yet faster, proclayming that whatsoeuer the Princes will, is lawfull for him. These second are vnworthie to haunt among the good, either to bee their dome∣sticall seruants, for that with their extreeme flatterie they corrupt their soules. More meete were they to haue such maisters as Pope Alexander the sixt, and Caesar Borgia, his Basterd, who in all crueltie, dissolution, and infidelitie were equall with the auncient Page  142Sicilian tyrants, that they might entreate them as they did some of their catchpolles: of whome when one vnder colour of Iustice and at their commaundement had executed all kinde of crueltie in Romagnia, they cut off his head. And whosoeuer had stollen too much, or met with any fayre dame vnder the defence of their fa∣uour, was many tymes forced to giue them a share: wherein they had but their due: for hauing either instructed or confirmed their maisters in this false principle of superfiuous power, rather then absolute, it is but meete themselues should taste of the fruite there∣of, as Phalaris delt with Perillus who had inuented the brasen bull to please him withall. If men would well consider that it is the part of good Kings to doe and commaund things that be iust: they would thereby learne that the dueties likewise of good subiects or seruants is to frame their obedience by this true rule. For the will of God, who prescribeth lawes to all, tendeth to make vs doe; well and eschue euill. How then can some excuse themselues for com∣mitting vnlawfull deedes, vnder the pretence of commaundement, sith God forbiddeth it? The thrones are polluted and the minister of Iustice is couered with reproach.

I suppose that none, except the slaue of some Tyrant, dare ad∣uowe * that if a Prince should commaund some one of his subiects to slay his father, to habandon his wife to the Stewes, or to blaspheme God, but he ought therein to denye him obedience, and the reason is, that the lawes both of God and Nature, whereto all men are subiect, doe prohibite such things. It followeth therefore that the inferiour is not alwaies bound to fulfill whatsoeuer his superiour commaundeth.

But as these with other such like vniustices so apparantly wic∣ked are but sieldome commaunded, vnlesse by some barbarous hart and minde, as also that fewe there are but will abhorre to commit them, so doe the wilier sorte couer their mischiefes with a faire vaile, euen as men couer poyson with gold, to the ende men should not spare to proceede farther: and therein it is that those that will not contaminate their honesties, ought to open their eyes, least vn∣der colour of good faith they bee deceiued. Others there are who through some vehement passion doe commaund vyolent things, neither doe either the one or the other want fit men to put them in execution. And to this purpose I will alleadge two examples: the one of a wicked Emperour, & the other of a good, both Christians. The first was the Emperour Phocas, who ordeyned that the Bi∣shop Page  143 of Rome should be called the head of the vniuersall Church, where before he was but a Metropolitaine. This wicked mur∣derer through his ambition caused the Emperour Maurice whose officer he was, together with his wife and children to bee slaine, to the ende to obteyne his place, neither could that sacred dignitie stay his hands. Herein was agreement betweene the maister and the seruants, who were the one as good as the other, neither did any of them say that the deede was vnlawfull, but they did all yéeld voluntarie obedience. Dauid would not doe so: for although Saule* pursued him to haue slayne him, yet when himselfe fell into his handes, he sayd: I will not stretch foorth my hands against my Lord, for he is the Lords anoynted. Who then could commaund Dauid to slay his innocent friend, sith he would in no case offend his guil∣tie enemie?

The second example is of Theodosius, who in a franticke furie commaunded that the Thessalonians that had committed sundrie ryots should all be hewen in peeces, and to that ende sent a whole legion of Souldiers who slewe seuen thousand, that is to say, ma∣ny more innocents then guiltie persons. Whereof the good Em∣perour was afterward most sorowfull and solemnely confessed his offence. His indignation was too much disordered, but the crueltie of his ministers, was no lesse, who might haue mitigated the pu∣nishment: which correction of punishment would afterward haue rather liked then displeased their maister, and better satisfied their owne consciences.

Hereof I meane not to inferre that the subiect ought to con∣troule * his Lordes commaundement: But if it seeme to import great vniustice, were he not better cunningly to excuse himselfe then to fulfill it? or to endeuour to mitigate the punishment, ra∣ther then to defile his hands in blood, as the Sowe would doe in the myre? To this purpose is the dealing of the second Plinie to bee noted, who through his humanitie and discretion, notwith∣standing he was a Paynim, ceased the persecution which he was commaunded to raise within his Prouince. By the aforesayd ex∣amples such as are in subiection should learne not to prostitute their obedience to such commaundements as are manifestly vn∣iust. For so should they make the same adulterous in bringing foorth basterdly actions in liewe of lawfull.

Two notable examples of two Paynims am I yet constrayned to set downe, the one for a rule to the mightie, the other to the in∣feriours. Page  144 The first is of the good Emperour Traian who was ter∣med *the good Prince: He on a tyme deliuering the Sword to one whose office resembled a high Constableship, sayd vnto him. So long as I minister iustice, employe this Sword in the vpholding of my aucthoritie: but if I fall into tyrannie, vnsheath it against my selfe. How many Christians since adorned with royall Dyadems haue in liewe of so saying, done contrary▪ Among whom, some perad∣uenture would haue amended, if that goodly patterne had oft bene shewed vnto them. The second, which may be applyed to perticu∣ler persons is of the great Lawyer Papinian, whome the Empe∣rour Bassianus his maister commaunded to write somewhat in his defence for killing his brother eta. But he refused so to doe, saying, that it was an easier matter to commi parricide then to ex∣cuse it. Which although it cost him his life, yet hath he left to the posteritie a testimonie of his valiant hart, in that he chose rather to dye then to defend and allowe an execrable abhomination.

The flatterers that ordinarily attend vpon Princes, euen vpon those that bee endued with some goodnesse, doe endeuour to per∣swade * them that those men that would so binde them to vertue, do ordinarily controule and gainsay their pleasures and absolute au∣thoritie, and thus with their faire wordes they doe at the first blind them: but I thinke that at length some of them doe finde that those are their faithfullest seruants which accounting the royall dignitie to bee sacred and vnuiolable will not pollute their soules or taint their hands in so vnworthie seruice. And as for the rest that are so readie to be ministers of all vniustice, I wonder how sundrie Prin∣ces can repose in them such confidence. They might imagine that those men that so rashly and commonly contemne God, being full gorged will not make any great accompt of their maisters.

This Discourse is vnperfect.
Page  145

The eleuenth discourse.

Whether there be any meanes so to reforme the order of the sters of France as to reape anie seruice of the same.

SUch mightie kingdomes as sometimes are * accustomed to handle their neighbours rough∣ly, ought to haue especiall regarde that they suffer not their forces wherewith they haue attayned their fame so to degenerate, as no parte thereof remaineth in heart. For vppon their decaie or slothfulnesse, the others calling to minde what hath passed, doe the more boldly attempt agaynst those that did beate them, and oftentimes do terrifie and hurt them as much as themselues haue bene endomaged. Which hauing e∣uermore bene so, ought to waken Princes and gouernours of com∣mon wealths, to the end to prouide that one arme at the least may alwayes be stirring to serue when time shall require. Truelie I wo not to what estate I may better applie this counsayle, than to our France, which being at rest hath played the pampered kicking horse. But being afterward growen weake (as now we see it) hath it not sufficient cause to feare the readinesse and diligence of those from whom it hath meanes sufficient to defend it selfe, if it list to do whatsoeuer is conuenient for the safetie thereof?

Our neighbours sleepe not, neither haue they but too much in∣telligence of our disorders, which as it seemeth, we respect not, let∣ting * passe euen whole yeres without seeking anie remedies, either great or small. For we must not thinke that great and redoubted power of men of armes that we had in the time of king Frances the first (wherein consisted the chiefe strength of the Realme) to be still in force. It is since that time much altered: neither are the footmen so good as in the time of king Henrie. Now they resent∣ble, as a man should saie, olde garmentes, torne and halfe worne a∣waie with the tediousnesse and violence of ciuill warres, and there∣fore Page  146 stand in need of peecing vp again with new. Neither must we, besides al this, aue to help our selues wt al other forces yt we may, wherwith to hide our nakednesse: yt is to saie, to keep yt stranger frō cōming euē into our bowels to foray vs as he hath done & stil threat∣neth. The French power in old time consisted of ye proper subiects of the realme, who serued our ancient kings with all loyaltie. But within these 60. yeres we haue begun to mingle stranger's among vs, & so long as mony lasteth, we cannot want them: whereas to the contrarie, if yt faileth, we may be assured to haue our men to seek: wherfore ye surest way were to 〈…〉nd yt which we haue in our own land, to the end therof to make a sure post to trust to, & then to hope for what we can get from abroad. Also in as much as in diuerse re∣spects it is vnpossible to redresse both ye men of arms & the footmen (which are the best strength of the state) at once, but by litle & litle, we must in this necessicie as it were eed vp new forces: namely, ye same that haue bene vtterly contemned, whē the rest flourished. For the more arches & pillers yt state vp ye building, ye stronger it wil be. By these I meane the general musters of France, wherto may be * adioyned the Legionaries: but my intent is not to treat of them in this discourse, wherein I meane to shew that those olde reliques of nobilitie which we suffer to wallow in the dust, being a little redu∣ced into good order, would bring forth fruit, & peraduenture more than we think. When a Gentleman hath spent the most part of his goods in riot, & that pouerty approcheth him, in liew of his gay vel∣uet garments that he was wot to weare, he goeth to seeke to put on course cloth, whereto he so accustometh himselfe, that sauing for his fancie, he maketh as much vse of the last as of the first, & so may we doe with many things that are of no account, in making them through vse both to be esteemed of & profitable. It were verie good, would some man saie, if it might be done, to make that thing profi∣table that is vnprofitable: But what likelihood is there to compasse it in these musters which haue bene so little set by, since the time of Charles the seuenth, that they haue bene as it were bannished the warres for their cowardlinesse▪ Hereto I saie, that although they haue in respect of their imperfectiō ben much contemned, yet must nothing be vtterly reiected before all meanes haue ben proued to sée whether it wil serue or no. For I suppose this hath not ben earnest∣ly dealt in, because there was no great need thereof: but now yt we are put to take all kinds of wood in band, like him yt new buildeth his house which the fire hath halfe cōsumed, it were a point of negli∣gence Page  147 not to seeke among our old ruines, for some good stuffe yet remaining, to the end to apply the same to good vse.

Before yt k. Lewes the 11. hired strangers, the footmen that we * vsed in our wars were of smal effect: & as I take it, were tearmed Francharchers or Franctanpins. Since we haue séene how by ex∣ercise they haue fashioned thēselues, so as if any man should bring in one of the ancient Franctaupins in their kinde of furniture, among these old & braue regiments of our footemen in these daies, who of them, vnles he had euen death betweene his teeth, could for be are or abstaine frō laughter▪ And yet haue both the one & the other bene gathered in one selfe field, as being all bred in France: Euē so now if you consider the ordinarie muster it is a poore thing. But rule it & vse it, & you shal see it grow into reputatiō. We haue an old French prouerbe yt saith: In a hundred yeres a banner, & in a hundred yeres a carter: which was inuented to signifie that euery thing hath his ri∣sing & falling. Euen se it happened to our musters: for hauing ben a long time in great credite and force, afterwarde when the men of arms were instituted, maintained, & ordinarilie vsed, yt others were quite reiected, reseruing vnto them only their auncient name with a verie weake effect. Howbeit I will not blame the institution of the men of armes, which haue brought forth so good effects, & still may bring forth more, nay rather I wil alow it: but likewise I wish to see a good order among all that deale wt armes. The difference between thē consisteth not in ye men, for yt same nobilitie yt in time past serued after one manner, doth now serue after another. The di∣uersitie resteth in the warfare which is changed.

The better to vnderstand these changes, & to know the dueties of * seruice, we must take things farther of, & climbe euē to their origi∣nal. Those that haue written of the affaires of France, especiallie the L. of Haillan do aduow that our fees were instituted vnder the first line of our kings. By which fees he meaneth a certain quantity of land which they gaue (to some more to some lesse) to such gentle∣men & famous warriors as had serued thē in the wars, to holde the same vpon their faith & homage, & to come & serue them a certaine time of the yere at their own charge. To the end also that these no∣ble & innobled persons should be the better able to maintaine thē∣selues, they licensed thē to let and demise their lands to the pesants for rent and yerely pension. Moreouer they granted thē both high, meane, and lawe iustice ouer their men and vassalles, the appeales whereof were reserued to their soueraigne iurisdiction. Page  148 Thus had the high Iusticer his lawe and inferiour Iustices vnd er him, whom he tearmed his men of warre, for they were bounde to wait vpon him as vpon the Lord of their fee, and the others he tear∣med peasants. These landes thus giuen vpon condition aforesayd, such a fee was to set out one man of armes, such a one an archer, such a one a third, and such a one a fourth, who were bound to meet at a place appointed, so oft as by the dukes or earles (who were but simplie gouernors of the prouinces & townes) or their bailiefes or stewards yt succeeded thē, they should be commanded. These assē∣blies were called Ban or Heriban, which after some signifieth crie or outcrie. This order seemeth to haue bene confirmed in the time of Charlemayn, vnder whose posteritie the fees & Lordships, which * vnder our former kings were but benefits giuen for tearme of life, were through fauour continued from the Father to the sonne, and so grew to be patrimoniall and hereditarie. Heereby it appeareth, what goodly priuiledges haue bene graunted to the nobilitie, but withall we are to consider that the bonds are verie strict. For they must alwayes come armed in defence of the Realme, and be readie to repulse the assaultes and violences of straungers abroad. These were the auncient strength of France, where with our kings for the space of seuen hundred yeeres did many notable deedes vntill the yere 1454. wherein the men of armes were instituted.

But who so is desirous more perticularly to see theyr auncient * order, let them read Frossart, who describeth the difference between the Barons, Bannerets, and high Iusticers, as also of those that might beare banners (which were square Ensignes) and of those that might carrie but penons. Likewise the armes of knights and manner of fight as well ioyntly as seuered, with the rewards and martiall punishments: neither doe I doubt but hauing seene all this, he will iudge our auncestors to haue beene braue fellowes.

The Lord of Haillan like wise in his discourses of France, dooth shew how fees came to be alienated, which were not amisse to bee * knowen. The first cause proceeded of our parents deuotion. For they being by the Cleargie dayly perswaded, that they that gaue most to the beautifying and enriching of the Church, had the high∣est places in paradise: such of them as were able founded Abbies, Priories, and Chappels, al wel prouided for, of good rents, therby thinking sufficiently to discharge themselues. Then followed the imaginations of Purgatorie, where they were tolde that for a mortall sinne they must burne seuen yeres in a most violent fire: Page  149 howbeit yt they might be deliuered therefro through abundance of messes and praiers. Wherevpon he that had but one hundred shil∣lings of rent, gaue twentie for singing and praying as well for his owne soule as for his kinsfolkes and parents deceased. Thus came aboue the sixt part of the fees of France into the hands of the Cler∣gie. The second cause was, the vioages vndertakē for the conquest of the holy land, whereat whosoeuer bare anie valiant minde would not faile to be, the rather for yt our kings thēselues went in person. And because that some lasted three or foure yeres, the nobles solde part of their fees, so to get money to maintaine themselues withal. Besides all this, they also made their wills, wherein they bequea∣thed (in case they died) a good portion thereof to be praied for: so as many dying in those dangerous and long iourneies, a greate num∣ber of the fees were still alienated to the Church. The third cause hath growen of the continual warres with the Englishmen, where through many Gentlemen haue bene forced to sell their fees to the vnnoble, who had permission of the kings to buy the same, for with out such license they could not before haue anie proprietie therein. All which alienations set together, haue pulled the third part of fées out of the bodie of the nobilitie, whereby they are fallen as it were into dead hands, that is, into their hands who cannot in person dis∣charge the auncient duties belonging to the same. Likewise since that time the Lawiers, Receiuers, & some Merchants haue so wel husbanded for themselues, that they also haue laide holde vppon a good part of the sayd fees, so as we may truly saie that the nobilitie doe not now possesse aboue the one halfe. Which notwithstanding our kings in the meane time haue still had the vse of their Arrier∣bans: wherin were but few Gentlemen, who all almost ranne into place where paye, honours, and martiall rewards were shared out, so as there remaine none but men of smal experience: neither were they imploied but in the defence of those prouinces that lay farthest out of the danger of warre.

Moreouer, many of all sorts of people both great and smal haue purchased exemptions frō the charges wherto their fées are bound, which haue bred as great weakning both in men and money. Our kings Frances the first and Henrie the second, seeing all these in∣conueniences, which they sought to redresse, made notable decrees for the reducing of the said Arrierbans into some order: which for lacke of well obseruing haue not much profited. Thus much in briefe of the succession of these matters.

Page  150 Some man may now tell me yt I labour in vaine in giuing coun∣saile * to redresse that thing which the experience of many yeres haue taught to be so weake and feeble, that it is vnpossible to raise it vp againe. This argument hath in deede some apparance, howbeit I will yet better examine it: then if reason will me to yeeld I will be content. Shall we, hauing so long practised with our French Flo∣rentines, who through their subtil wits haue bene able to wreast a quintessence out of the most vnprofitable things, seeme such doults as to haue retained no one precept of theirs? It hath bene already shewed yt in old time bailiefs & stewards were charged with ye leuie & cōduct of the Arrierbans. It is their office euen to this day. And in place where there bee none of the short roabe, they choose Cap∣tains (as in Britain) to gather their men together after the proclai∣ming of the kings precepts: but because in such offices there con∣sisteth no great honor, none but such Gentlemen as neuer stir out of the Country witake them, yea, & those rather for the benefit thā for any other respect: they also, although they be honest and such as may be imploied, yet hauing for the most part but small experience in armes, take no great heed of those that come to them: and to the end to pleasure their neighbors & friends, doe accept of all that are offered. Now is there great difference betweene the troups, when they appeare at the musters in the chiefe towne, & when they march whether they be commanded. For at the musters we many times see Gentlemen well prouided, who appeare onely to saue their fées from seazure, & as it were to say that they are ready to do their ser∣uice: but whē the said troups are appointed to go forth, thē shal we see yt the one halfe of thē are but great lubberlike boies, with a foot of beard, who wil daily deuour halfe a mattō, & do march for their masters. Then say you whether the king be not wel serued: So in a companie that should contain at the least 60. horse of seruice, ye shal scarce finde ten that may passe. How is it then possible that they should worke any good effect, considering the diuersitie of men so meanly armed. For we shal find ye speares, pistols, & harquebuts on horsebacke very simple ones, & others, armed only with brestplates: likewise crosbowes on foot, harquebuts, & others, armed only with a shirt of maile & a rustie iaueline, wherof some wil say they be men of armes, others archers, but in deed few of them good souldiours. There is not so expert a Captaine but would find himselfe shreud∣ly troubled to set the whole generation of them in araie to fight: so as euen they that command ouer them may wel iudge that it is hard Page  151 to get any good seruice at the hands of such disordered troups. In ye time of k. Henrie the L. of Iaille was made Colonel, who in an ex∣pedition into the fontiers of Picardie, had so bad hap yt his men fled (as it is said) before they came to battel, which brought the Arrier∣bans into such contēpt, yt euery man laughed them to scorue. Since the L. of Sanzlay hath gottē that office, to whō it should appertaine to purchase redresse. In the meane time my selfe will grosely trace this purpose that tendeth to the same end, leauing to him and others more skilful than my selfe the adding of the draughts of perfection, as also the correction of any thing wherein I may erre.

In old time the Arrierbans were bound to serue the king but sixe * weeks, & only in defence of the realme, neither might he detain thē longer without pay: then also were wars short & commonly decided without battel. But in ye decrees since made it seemeth ye time to be proroged to 3. moneths: as wel in respect of trauailing to the place where the seruice is to be done, as also for their soourning there: wherin there is some reasō in respect of the extēt of ye realme. Now wil I proceed to speak of the abuses, especially of one yt is cōmitted in the taxing of fees: wherin it is often seene yt a manor worth 2000 franks rent, shal pay but 40. franks toward ye Arrierban, & others lesse. Neither know I whence those errors should proceed, but on∣ly frō those yt are charged with the said taxes, who vpon their perti∣cular consideration do defraud the common. In these daies most of those that owe the seruice, both noble & vnnoble, do acquit thēselues with money. For he yt should set out 2. or 3. men of armes, shal cō∣pound for some smalsūme, & those are rare fellowes yt set forth meet men for seruice. True it is that when a small fee oweth but the 3. or 4. part of man, they must take money, but so should they not for higher fees. Then all that money (as I vnderstand) is afterward cōmitted to the treasorer of the Arrierbans, who disposeth thereof according as either the supertor or inferior Captaines do appoint. Whether ther be any fraud vsed therin I wot not, but do refer it to ye iudgemēt of others. Notwithstanding al these defaults, yet when these troups are leuied (whatsoeuer mixtiō there be) we stil see some good portiō of that old shipwrack, wherby I deeme yt if they might be purged and furnished againe, we might reap some commodity at their handes. I did once enquire what number of such men euery prouince was able to furnish, one with another: wherevpon I was certified that Britain, which is one of the greatest, might easily fur∣nish 300 good horse, then considering with my selfe of the rest, each Page  152 according to the proportion either for largenesse or smalnesse, I ga∣thered that all France by cōuerting the kind of men into horsmen, was able to bring into ye field 2500. horse, which is no smal power. This ancient order is yet in practise in the Turkish Empire. For there the most part of the horsmen are entertained of the lands that are giuē to euerie horsman for his life time, which is called Timar, and it is a tenure somwhat resembling our fees, exceyting the pri∣uiledge of Iustice. And when the Beglierbei (who are gouernors of prouinces) do send for men, they al come to yeeld their seruice, as being therevnto bound in paine of depriuation from the benefite re∣ceiued. Without the diligent obseruing of this rule, the Turke could neuer be able to bring halfe so many horse into the field as he doth: neither to maintaine warres so long. Whereby it appeareth that the barbarous nations haue better obserued the consideration of their estate than we. Frossart writeth, that in a iourney that K. Charles the 6. made against the Flemings whom ye k. of England fauored, at his entry into their country had aboue 22000. speares, such a number as sufficiently testifieth the plentie of nobilitie theu in France: as also the good order to call them together, which con∣sisted in the Ban and Arrierban. But since the men of arms were instituted, I assure my selfe there were neuer seene together 2000. speares, except at the iourney to Valenciens. This exāple haue I alleaged to the end to driue those that know not of what strength & power the ancient things haue ben, from finding fault with them.

Now is it meete that I discourse of the meanes how to restore these old ruines, as men do such houses, as in processe of time are al∣most fallen downe: but when they fall into a good husbands hands, he trimmeth vp some small corner of them, making it habitable: e∣uen so must we also, if it be possible, deale herein, which were easie to do, if the maister of the house would bend his affection any whit thereto. For when our kings are willing and do but speak, the dis∣position * to obedience is great. The first thing wherby I thinke it were good to beginne, were to create some Prince or Marshall of France, generall of al the Arrierbans of France. And notwithstā∣ding at the first blush it seemeth ridiculous to commit vnto such great personages a charge accounted so vnworthie, yet is it all but cōceit: for if it may be restored I wil proue it to be honorable: & we must think that the credit of the Captaine is of great force in this case: for whereas now a number of Gentlemen do disdain to march vnder the banners of the Nobles, then would they willingly come Page  153 in, if they might see Princes or such other greate estates be their guides & conducters. And they likewise respecting their honours, would labor to iucite the better sort of men to enter the same dance: neither is it to be doubted but their motions & example would win many, considering the French honour which is readie to embrace those things wherin there is any likelihood of winning praise. Next it were requisite in euery gouernment that comprehendeth diuerse bailiwicks to establish one Captaine to cōmand ouer those persons that should be therin taken. And where we haue alredy shewed that out of Britaine might be brought 300. good horse, which counter∣uaile three companies of men of arms, & out of lesser gouerumēts 100. at the least: are these to be accounted a small charge? yea, I wold who euer it were, that he were such a one as might be thought to deserue it. It is most certain yt in euery Prouince there be such like that are vnprouided for, & would be glad to take vpon thē such functions, when they see themselues vnder the gouernment of the mightie, & withall would delight, each one in his quarter, to beau∣tifie their troupes. So would it follow that the simple Captaines of bailiwickes would also amend, knowing that their men shoulde march in the armies and not be alwaies tied to keepe the house. If therefore the Captaines were such, the nobilitie would of necessitie gather to thē, as is aforesayd. And for my part I will neuer dispute whether being well led they would not sufficiently do their duties. It wer likewise requisite to obserue one straight rule, which is, not to admit into the companies that are erected in Bailiwickes anie other than shall be fit for armes, & to reiect those that being sent are incapable. For it is most certaine that abroad in the countrie there dwell poore gentlemen enow & other braue souldiors that haue but smal liuing, & wold be glad to be inrouled, & when any of the afore∣sayd that ought to send one or two, should chaunce to set forth some great lubber to serue in his stead for his owne commodity, the same should be reiected, & one of the aforenamed put in his place. For so do the decrees of k. Henrie as I remember, import. Yea, they ex∣empt not the L. of the fee from this personall seruice, but in case of sicknesse or age. But if we should see some one vnfit & not greatlie affected to warres, the same should be excused from marching: nei∣ther were he seruiceable for ought. So did Scipio when he passed into Sicil, for with the armaurs of 300. Sicillians that shunned the wars, he armed 300. Romains yt did him great seruice in Affrick: Neither is it inough that the men admitted be & beare the face to be Page  154 good, but they must also haue fit furniture, as horse, armor & pistols, for in these cōpanies I wold not wish anie but pistols, as wel for yt those armes are more easie to handle than the spere, as also to auoid the diuersitie of weapons now a daies brought in, which breed con∣fusion. It may be sayd that it were a hard matter to bring them to this order, cōsidering there are many that are charged but with an archer which coūteruaileth an harquebut on horsback; others with a footman, others wt the 3. or with ye 4. part of a man of armes. The remedie herein were to conuert those duties into coin, wherwith to to hire & furnish such as I speake of: but they that were bound to a whole man of armes should set him forth at the full. But it is to be noted, that besides the paie, the furniture must also be prouided▪ for the duty is, a man furnished & paide, & not a simple paie onely. This difficultie may also be propounded, viz. that it will be hard to finde a sufficient number of poore gentlemen or notable soldiors to supply the roome of the others, because that so soone as warre is once pro∣claimed, euerie man straight taketh a part: but they that make this obiection haue not sufficiently considered the multitude of men in France: for stil we haue enow that keep home, which my selfe haue many times noted, & therfore this need is not to be feared. Also or∣der once set downe, & that the pistoller should haue giuen him 30. crownes to arme himselfe, & other 30. for his 3. moneths paie, wee should see men enough readie furnished of horse or armour, or both, come to offer their seruice. And better to haue in a troupe but 25. good men than 100. so armed as is aforesaid, which ordinarily are good for nothing but to skarre the peasants and deuoure victuals. Thus woulde I wish them to bee furnished: with blacke Corslets somewhat light (for the heauy doe but cloy them) Tases, Poul∣drons, and Burgunets, than a good & long Pistoll, and the Baul∣dricke full of charges, but no cassocke, for the true Reister should shew foorth nothing but yron and fire. Their march after the manner of Reisters, that is, three and three, and to fight in squa∣drons, for who so vseth otherwise, is deceiued. And thus should the bailie or steward order his men to bring them to the Captain of his prouince. Likewise this order should be obserued: that every 6. score horse, or 100. at the least might raise a banner & make a companie. * So that if in a baiywick there shall be but 20. or 30. than to ioyne 3. or 4. together, afterward to agree vpon a lieuetenant & Ensigne. Al things aforesayd put in effect the Arrierbans would no longer be vnprofitable people, but grow to a power of horse composed of Page  155 many Gentlemen & good Captaines that would not faile in their duties: wherof in ye armies but one halfe were to bee vsed for feare of vnfurnishing the prouinces, and the same would amount vnto a∣bout 1200. horse. And in my opinion that Prince were farre out of taste that would disdaine to command ouer such a companie which vpon necessity might seeme to sight in flanke of a king in two great squadrons. Neither is it yet al to haue propounded this braue pat∣terne and set downe orders: for small fruit would arise hereof, vn∣lesse we should prouide for two pointes of great consideration. The one to make a more iust valuation of that which the fees ought to coutribute: the other to cut off vnnecessarie exemptions. Concer∣ning the first, many abuses are therein committed. For sundry doe spare themselues, and burthen their neighbours, or fauour o∣thers.

I remēber that once I heard of a fee not worth aboue 400. franks by yere, belonging to an ancient Gentleman, that in his youth had done verie good seruice, rated at 80. franks for the Arrierban. And of another goodly manor hard by it, worth 1800. which a 〈◊〉 Ad∣uocate had scratched in with 4. hands, rated but at 35. This is the goodly equality many times obserued in such affaires. Wherfore to preuent all such deceits, it were requisite in euery bailiwick to chose six men of the three estates, honorable & honest men (because at this daie the fees are diuided amōg them) to assist at the taxing, to ye end to draw thē neerer to reason: so do I imagine that if we should take but the tenth part of the sayd fees the king should be well serued, & the priuate parties haue no great cause to complaine. It were also good to haue regard to the persons: For there were no reason as much to charge him, who after a sorte serueth the common wealth, or is vertuous, or that hath bene employed in good seruice, as a greate feed vsurer, at whose gate the poore die for hunger, or a pet∣tie fogger that continually troubleth his neighbours. Thus might men that would incroch fees be accustomed to abandon their euill manners that hurt others. *

I knowe verie well that vpon this reuiew, sundry will crie out, and that peraduenture with sound heart, saying: What doo ye seeke to alter? My fee for this hundred yeeres paide but so much (which is peraduenture but the thirtieth or fortieth part) and now you aske me more, this violence is not to be borne. If this plaintiefe be a Gen∣tleman, hee is one that eyther goeth to the warre, or that tarrieth at home. Page  156 If he be a warriour, he complaineth wrongfully, considering that going to serue he is exempt frō paiments. If he go not to the war he is either vertuous or vicious: if vertuous, he will consider that if it be a point of dishonestie to denie priuate bonds, much more dis∣honestie is it to denie publike. And then it is to be supposed, he wil yeeld to reason. But if hee bee one of them that doth but beare the name of gentilitie which he blemisheth wt vicious actions, I would set before him the custome practised by our ancient Gaules, in the time of Iulius Caesar, which was this. After the precepts directed forth for the assembling of the nobilitie, he that came after the time limited, not letted but by his owne negligence, was put to death in sight of the whole armie, thereby to warne the rest to be more dili∣gent. For so might he gather, that if in those daies they did so se∣uerely punish their sloth that were willing to serue: their ingrati∣tude that will neither helpe in person nor in purse deserueth much greater punishment. As for the vnnoble that haue fees, such as haue anie iudgement, or are endued with any indifferency or knowledge, either be put in office, should not murmure when they are called v∣pon to giue some small portion to be exempt from personall seruice whereto they are vnmeet. Neither wil they in anie wise refuse so to do. But as for those who as much vpō an earnest desire to be called Lords, as for couetize, do nothing but heape fee vpon fee, & do ney∣ther serue the common wealth, nor vse charitie, & yet would excuse thēselues frō discharging those most ancient duties, which I doubt whether euen the Kings can bee excused of, ought to bee charged double, like the Asse yt hath a strong back, to teach them to bee more willing. Should they not consider yt they are vnworthy the prero∣gatiues & honors of fees, sith they are vncapable of military actions which ought to accōpanie those yt do possesse them? They that séek nothing but starting holes, will yet saie that the king raiseth subsi∣dies of the people for the paie of his men of armes, which sheweth that noble mens lands should be quite discharged. Truely they doe wel fulfil ye rule of iustice, making it to yeld to their owne profit, & straining it to the ouerthrow of others. I thinke if anie man would euen flay the people, they could be content, so thēselues might haue some morcel of the skin. It is the cōmons pouertie that ought to be pittied, & not their abūdance yt cannot be satisfied. One word yet of exemptions, which in such a case as this that concerneth the pre∣seruation of the Realme, are but ouer common.

The harme is the kings who is stil ye worse serued. But as himself *Page  157 is the cause of this diminishing through the lyberalities, which without giuing to him to vnderstande the consequences, they force at his handes: so is it his part also to enquire what may iust∣lie be granted, and to cut off whatsoeuer is vnnecessarie. Wherfore it were requisite the Captaine generall should be carefull to obtain of him a declaration, for a rule in the Prouinces. For as these due∣ties are no new matters, but verie auncient and meete for the vp∣holding of the crowne and maintainance of the French Nation, so must they be diligentlie seene into before they bee dispensed with∣all.

The Romaines, who did but seldome oppresse their subiectes with great tributes (had neuerthelesse, when any great warre came vpon them, especially agaynst the Gaules) no respect of persons, neyther were their Priests, whom they esteemed sacred, exempt from common contributions: so carefull were they for the publike benefite. The lyke regard ought we to haue of ours, and not to let those helpes that serue to that end runne into decaie, which neuer∣thelesse we ought not to vse to the murthering of our selues, but rather to repulse the chiefe enemies of this estate, who doe but watch occasion to destroie vs. For this cause ought wee of our po∣uertie and necessitie to make a vertue, least we be circumuented. For if we suffer our selues to be beaten, our neighbours will saie, that we shall haue wrong: but if we well defend our selues, as wée may, (if wee redresse the forces of our Realme) they will be affeard to come and assaile vs.

The twelfth Discourse.

Of the multiplying of priuate quarels, with the abuses therein committed, which greatly want reformation.

THe true spring and originall whereof so many qua∣rels * doe arise, which are now more common among the French nation than euer heeretofore, are Pride and Wealth. Two most vehement passions that so farre transport them as to dissolue the bonds of amity Page  158 and friendship which held them vnited together. And not withstan∣ding many do labour to restraine them, yet are they in great force by reason that euill customes in liew of quenching do kindle the fire of the same, whereby no man can well exempt himselfe from iniurie: yea, euē the nobilitie which hetherto hath alwaies ben most readie to all braue enterprises, is at this day the formost in maintai∣ning these abuses. To them therefore do I direct my speech, to the end to assaie by some meanes to diuert them from pursuing the er∣rors that molest them, and tend to their confusion.

Many men of iudgement there are that thinke so many braules & * quarelles as ordinarily fall out, to be necessarie euils, which it were meete somewhat to tollerate, so to auoide others farre greater. For they imagine that this heate being very naturall to our nation must of necessity dissolue and euaporate in small matters, least otherwise it proue an occasion to cast vs into ciuill dissention: yea, they affirm that proces of law tend also to the same end, because they be occupa∣tions, during the which the abundaunce of choler weareth awaie. This opinion truly auoureth somewhat of a paradoxe, in being al∣leadged * in such a season as seemeth no whit to fauour it. Yet had it borne some likelyhood if it had ben propounded in the daies of our former kings. But since such terrible ciuill warres haue ouertaken vs, we haue greater reason to think that they haue ingendered these perticular disorders, rather than to imagine ye same to haue alwaies bene such as we now see them, either that they haue ben accounted as preseruatiues against greater mischiefs. I knowe well in ought that warlike mindes are hardly restrained, also that it is necessarie to entertaine them in some kinde of exercise, whereby to alaie the heat of their courages. But to suffer them to hurt, or by armes to assault each other, and not to restraine them, we haue verie few ex∣amples, vnlesse among the barbarous nations. For so should wee submit the lawes, which are rather made to suppresse violence, to the imperfections of men. In Italie where are the greatest politikes, the common Courtisans are suffered to dwell in euerie Towne, to the end through such libertie to eschue other more hainous leud∣nesse: Wherof notwithstanding, no good cōmeth, but rather it see∣meth that al intemperancie doth ouerflow. Such vces as in yeight of God are abhominable, as whooredome & murther ought neuer vnder colour of eschuing greater incouneniences, to be permitted.

But some man will saie, Are not combats forbidden in France? Yes, such as are made with lawes & publik ceremonies (which like∣wise *Page  159 the Pope hath forbidden so farre as his dominion stretchech) & it is a good lawe, howbeit that notwithstanding wee are not yet at rest. For now all respect being taken awaie, they appoint theyr cō∣bats without authoritie, and go to fight whensoeuer the toy taketh them in the heads, as wel against those whom they hate, as against their owne friends, as if all were good ware. And if we should dili∣gently account how many are yerely slain by such priuate braules, we should find that there haue bene battels fought wt lesse losse both of gentrie & souldiors. Those that consider but the present time, or * are but young as neuer to baue scene other, do peraduenture think that men haue alwaies so liued in this Realme, wherein they are greatly deceiued. For it is not yet fortie yeeres since quarels were rare among Gentlemen, & who so was noted to be a quareller, was shunned as a kicking ade: which proceeded in that their manners were more pure, and the true points of honour better knowen than at this day. Thus are the euills that in old time were small, toward the end of this age wonderfully increased, so as we may say them to be rather our sinnes than the sinnes of our fathers.

Some haue imagined that our troubles haue bred thē, by extin∣guishing * the ancient cōcord & exasperating the minds of ye French natiō: which I confesse to be in part true: but my opinion is, yt many other occasions haue holpen as much or more to procure the same. First a presumption yt many haue conceiued of their owne strength & dexteritie, which haue made them more readie to doe iniurie. For since ye exercise of fencing, which of it selfe is comēdable, came to be vsed, also yt yong mē especially haue found thēselues to be perfectly instructed therin, they haue imagined yt they might braue it out at their pleasures, & obtaine reputation of valiancie, considering that experience teacheth, that he that is perfect in the vse of his wepon, & withall wanteth no courage, hath almost alwaies the better hand of him that is ignorant, and in deed there is no doubt but the skilfull hath great aduantage of the vnskilfull. Thus are men entered into a foule abuse, in vsing such skill as they haue attained vnto, to the wronging of others: which ought not to be imploied, but to the pre∣seruation of life, & that in case of necessity. The 2. cause is, the exā∣ple of some Lords & notable courtiers, yt haue ben seene fight both in the court & in the middest of the chiefe townes, wherby other gen∣tlemen (who are very diligent imitators of exāples either good or bad) haue ben induced to cast off all regard of ciuilitie & to seeke to decide their cōtrouersies, as they see others do. The 3. is impunity. Page  160 For seeing such disorders to escape without punishment, it hath emboldned them not only to fight one with another, but also to put in execution most villanous reuenges.

The fourth hath growen, because men haue tied honour to the mangling of arms and legs, & mayming or killing one of another, which ye nobilitie hauing noted (as couetous of glorie) haue sought by such meanes to attaine thereto.

Of all these causes, together with the had affections which these * long ciuill warres haue ingendered, is this hideous beast Quarell formed, which intruding it selfe among the nobilitie, dooth vnper∣ceiued by little and little deuour the same. What a deede was that of the sixe Gentlemen of the Court, who appointing to meet at the Tournels were so fleshed each vpon other, that foure of them there remayned, and the other two were sore wounded. There were a∣mong them such as in time might haue attayned to great dignitie, & yet lead by extreame follie, chose rather to perish in the flower of their age, which was lamentable. Diuerse other cōbats there haue ben both in Paris and at the Court, which haue sent many valiant persons to the graue. In the meane time throughout all the other Prouinces euerie one haue not bene at rest, for some of them haue we seene disquieted and spotted with the bloud of gentrie. In this state are we at this daie in France, whereinto our owne follies, to∣gether with the tolleration therof, haue brought vs. And vnlesse the kings discretion and authoritie doe prouide some remedie all will still empaire.

Now although I may freely reproue the corruption of our time, * yet will I not thereof inferre that in time past men liued without quarels. For men are men and subiect to wrath and reuenge. But vndoubtedly they had verie few, neither wold they be moued with∣out great iniuries: where now a word of nothing or in est bringeth the lie, a sharpe looke shall be accounted an iniurie, and a slaunder or false opinion call for a combat: so ticklish and pricking is our dayly conuersation, which proceedeth of a false imagination con∣ceiued, that true honor consisteth in surmounting others with force and making them to tremble vnder vs. A man may seeke aduaun∣tage and victorie ouer his companions by playing at his weapon, leaping, vaulting, running at the ring, and such lyke exercises: but that he shal not be esteemed vnlesse he deuour them, assaulteth their liues, or sheddeth their bloud, it is a most pernitious opinion? This haue made men so incompatible, that haunting together, they are Page  161 forced to practise this prouerbe, To day a friend, to morowe an enemie: Among all shames, nay rather infamies, this is not the least, that a Gentleman, euen vpon a friuolous occasion, shall tain his sword in the blood of his friends, with whom before he made but one bed, one table and one purse. And yet if any would dili∣gently enquire, he might finde aboue a hundred such examples within these twentie yeeres: yea euen neere kindred cannot dwell long together without braules, which after bring them to blowes.

I thinke that these disorders are much encreased through the * libertie of youth, which being crept into credite haue reiected all feare of lawes and counsaile of their elders, and taking bit in the teeth haue bred great abuse herein, which custome hath but too much confirmed. But wee are not to finde it straunge that the first age which is accompanied rather with heate then discretion doth sometymes disorder it selfe. Rather should we wonder that wise men and magistrates can closely cōsent and suffer such things as they ought sharply to represse, to haue free course. I haue she∣wed with what inconstancie men vse to make quarels without any ground, also with what furie they afterward fight head to head. But yet is not this all the worst, for others, which are no lesse then these, doe ensue. One taketh amends with aduauntage: an other taketh cruell reuenge: one procureth the killing of his enemie in treazon with the shot of some Dagge or Harquebut: others doe make great assemblies resembling pettie warres: and many tymes one quarell breedeth fower, and twentie dye for one mans offence.

These are vnworthie actions for Gentlemen, but among the * rest, priuie murders are detestable. But most of all I wonder at an other abuse now in great course among the most gallantest, that being so pernitious, it hath so long continued. That is, that when any is disposed to fight, he that is his second, as we terme it, or his third, must also fight to extremitie with the second or third of the contrary part: yea they euen striue who shall bee one. These men (in truth) may be termed scourges to themselues rather then those who clothed in linnen, with whippes in their handes, goe vp and downe with heauie cheare daintely striking their delicate skinne. Can there be any more fond folly then to see a Gentleman against his companion of Court without any cause of hatred, yea perad∣uenture hauing some ground of amitie, and sometymes his kins∣man, yet through a certaine brauerie, goe cut his friends throate▪ In my opinion these doe but badly knowe the true office of seconds Page  162 in a controuersie of honor. For as I thinke, they should resemble the Iudges that are chosen in Combats: who are to assist their friends: first as pledges of their faith giuen, as also to see there bée no fraud in such an action, neither on the one part nor on the other, whereof they are to aunswer. And next to bee witnesses of the va∣lour of those whom they conduct: moreouer to agree them or part them in the field, as sometnmes it happeneth, after blood drawne. But now in liewe of doing these dueties and fearing to quench their heate, these men doe helpe to kindle them more and more, sometimes to their owne destruction: a most deserued penance for such an ouersight. Some say these fashions are brought out of I∣talie. I referre that to the truth thereof, but now the vse is ours, and if Iustice were restored and royall authoritie better regarded we should become more ciuill. But I will alleadge one example to prooue the lewd consequence of quarels, which is that vpon a cōtro∣uersie growne betweene two gentlemen of the court, almost all the Princes and Lords with their fautors tooke parts, so as the King was driuen to send his guard to kéep them asunder and cause them to depart. Now if these had met I leaue to your iudgement what a bloodie folly it had bred.

It seemeth wée haue entred déepe enough into this laberinth of * mischief which hath cost vs deere, & brought too much disaduantage to desire any more experience therof. And as the gentrie hath bene the greatest fauorers & nourishers therof, so must it be the first that should helpe to destroy & banish it, especially if it mind the recouery of ye good reputatiō which it had in the daies of ye great K. Frances. Then was it a goodly matter to see the good agreement among the gentry. Then was applyed vnto thē this Spanish prouerbe: To the friend as soft as waxe, but to the enemy as hard as steele. By which e∣nemies were ment none, but those that were so reputed in time of warre. Thē was there great modestie among thē: societies of sun∣drie companions did long continue, & friends obserued the rules of perfect fidelitie. If any cōtrouersie did arise, they al ranne to quēch it, where now they fuffer it to encrease, to ye end to haue the pastime of the combat. So yt when I think of it, we must no more speake of those daies, least ye vnlikelinesse of ours therto do make vs to blush for shame. Such as by nature are giuen to peace & withall are en∣dued with any discretion, do find it very rude. For notwithstanding they studie to shunne all contention, yet are they sometimes entan∣gled therein through other mēs arrogancy, which is so intollerable Page  163 that it ouercōmeth all patience. Thus are they forced to follow the wicked custome, least they should be altogether disdained. Albeit many times it falleth out yt they free themselues from such braules with as great honor, as their prouokers. Well was it sayd of him that termed prowesse and quarels two bad beastes: for worse are there none to be found. I haue heard of a gentleman yt reported that for * ten yeres space he was much troubled with 4. horrible mischiefes: frō which God had deliuered him. The 1. a processe in law, wher∣vpon the one halfe of his liuing did depend: the 2. a disease thought incurable: the 3. a bad wife: & the 4. a quarell grounded vpō great iniuries: among all which he affirmed yt the quarell had bred him most cares & disquiet, with continuall torment, where in the rest he had some respite & ease. And this may well be: for he that perswa∣deth himself that vntill he bee reuenged euery man skorneth & dis∣daineth him, dare scarce shewe his face in any cōpanie. He is still in care how to find meanes to haue amēds of the iniurie that he hath receiued. His hatred to his enemie stil stingeth his hart & the desire of reuenge leaueth him no rest. Likewise when he considereth the fortune of Combats, the feare of infamy molesteth him. Finally, if he haue any feeling of godlinesse or religion, & that he thinke vpon the euident danger of his soule, if his body should perish in the pur∣suite of so mortall reuenge, may not all these troubles be compared with the furies that the auncients haue so much spoken of? And to say the truth, it is the very punishment of quarellers, whom Gods iustice permitteth to be continually molested, because themselues will not suffer others in rest. Many mischiefes there are that light vpon vs, wherof we are in small fault: but this our selues doe forge and take vp vpon our shoulders, at the least they that will not liue without controuersies. There be gentlemen enow that hauing had 1000. or 2000. crownes rent, haue spent it all in this miserable ex∣ercise. If a man should aske of ye quarellers, What is it that so trou∣bleth you, and causeth you to encurre so many hazards and perils, and to wast your selues in so great expences? It is, will they say, the respect of our honor. Truely that is such an honor as bringeth many mise∣ries: where it should rather bréed content & pleasure. But I doubt if we should more néerely consider hereof, wee should finde that the cause of this mischiefe consisteth in our owne errors and follies. * And as the ambitious (as Plutarke sayth) to the ende to hunt after a phantasticall glorie, doe habandon the true: so haue we formed to our selues a false honor, that is obteyned by a certaine valiancie Page  164 (which yet were commendable in warre against our enemies) con∣sisting but in braueries, bragges, iniurious speeches, outrages, stripes and murders, and all against those that before were our companions and friends. This is a briefe description of that mag∣nificent honor which is now adaies so rife in our mouthes.

Herevpon will some man say: Why must I beare wrong & stripes*and not reuenge my selfe againe? Hereto I aunswer, that my entent tendeth not to will you to suffer all: but rather that you must in no wise commit such iniuries. What then is true honor? It is a goodly praise and commendation, by good men attributed to some in re∣spect of their vertue which by diuers good effects they make de∣monstration of. And this consisteth in the vse of wisedome, iustice, prowesse, temperance, truth, courtesie, and such other vertues: wherof it ensueth that the ground of honor consisteth in the posses∣sion of vertue, wherewith he must be clothed that mindeth to at∣teyne to the fruition thereof. Those therefore are deceiued that thinke themselues woorthie to tryumph of the one, and haue so smally profited in the knowledge of the other: for it is as much as to seeke to haue the shadowe without the bodie, or the barke with∣out the tree. I assure my selfe that the wise will choose to thriue by the waies afore recited, rather then by imitating the abuse of cu∣stome, wherewith they should helpe themselues onely in great ex∣tremities, as men doe with corrosiues, and not otherwise. For it may so fall out that a sober gentleman shall be so grieuously wron∣ged through the insolencie of an other, that he cannot brooke it: so is he after a sorte compelled somewhat to frame himselfe to the cu∣stome, vntill such good order bée restored as men neede not to en∣curre the reproach of cowardlinesse or base mindes. It was an old prouerbe, That men should flee a hundred miles from an assault, and runne a hundred miles to a battell: which with greater reason may be sayd of quarels, wherein there is lesse honor to bee gotten then in an assault. It is but small honor to set vpon and ouercome him that is weaker then my selfe: but if I maime him that is taken to be a braue fellowe, euery man will bewayle his mishap and accuse my valour, as hurtfull to my owne nation: likewise if it bee my friend and I kill him, who will not accuse me of inhumanitie? Wherefore, for my institution it were requisite that all men should know that the aforenamed, did force me to proceede so farre, which circumstances doe but sieldome happen. France hath at all tymes had many couragious gentlemen, of whom wee haue, euen in our Page  165 daies, seene some shewe wonderfull proofes of valiancie in priuate quarels: neuerthelesse they haue not bene any thing so much com∣mended therefore as for other their valour shewed in skirmishes, assaults and battels. In the warres are wee to display our for∣ces and liberallie to hazard our liues, which they that cast them selues headlong into quarels doe seeme to make small accompt of.

Here might I yet note other abuses in these cases committed, * but they are so common and so well knowne that it would but breed tediousnesse to heare thē repeated. And more meet it were to discourse of the fittest remedies, for the banishing or helping of the same: wherof if some had bin sooner applyed, they might haue done more good: for the longer wee delay, the deeper roote doth the mis∣chiefe take. Howbeit, it is yet curable, if we will begin our cure ra∣ther by the causes thē by the accidents. The maner hath bene that if any honorable person had chaunced in any quarell to bee killed in the Court, by and by there were decrees and orders set downe to preuent the like inconuenience againe: which was diligently ob∣serued for some moneths space, and then all was forgotten. This was as a man should say, after meate mustard: or when the man is dead, seeke the Phisition: as also the preseruatiue was too weake for the tyme to come. But we must remember that the mis∣chiefe is vniuersall, and that the remedies ought also so to be: like∣wise that all the parts grieued, both neere and farre should taste of the benefite of the medicine. Sundrie bookes haue bene published which being translated out of Italian doe entreate of iniuries, a∣mendes, combats, &c. which also doe teach Gentlemen how to shunne quarels, and prescribe meanes when a man is in, how to get out again without losse of honor: among yt which, Mutio doth best deserue to be read. Howbeit, al this put in one of the skales, the other conteyning corrupted custome, hath wayed it downe, euen as a Portegue should way downe a French crowne: wherein it ap∣peareth that custome is much stronger then the written lawe. It is the Kings duetie to vndertake the conquest of this mōster which glutteth her self with blood. For so soone as he beginneth in earnest to set hand to the worke, the Magistrates will doe the like, and then shall the inferiours bee forced to obey. But sith the question con∣cerneth the rules and decisions of honor, wee must not seeke or ad∣mit any other then from the Court: for whatsoeuer is there prac∣tised, is receiued and allowed in all the other Prouinces. The first foundation of this reformation must therefore be there layd, which Page  166 cannot at the beginning but seeme deformed, because this great mischiefe is very hard to bee pulled vp but by discending through smaller euilles, vntill men may be in state to embrace such good pre∣cepts as teach that all these combats are not onely wicked but also deuillish, inuented to the destruction both of bodie and soule, & ther∣fore by no Prince to be lawfully permitted.

But to proceed in my purpose: Concerning present remedies, * this I must say, that it were good his Maiestie, the Princes and Lords should in their ordinarie speeches which they vse publickly, reproue quarellers, in liewe of commending them after they haue tainted their weapōs with blood, and withall giue them to wéet that they detest them as men that haue no delight but to rise by others hurts. That they should admonish all men to gouerne themselues with modestie & discretion, & threaten the transgressors with most grieuous punishments. Then if at the Court any should so farre presume as to appoint place to iniurie other, the same should be se∣uerely punished and not to spare any whosoeuer. For 2. or 3. exam∣ples of iustice would correct aboue 500. And this is most straight∣ly obserued in the Court of Spayne. Some are emprisoned in Ca∣stles: others are banished for a certaine time: others are condemned to the warres of Barbary against the Moores: & others are forced to make publicke satisfaction: yea if the offence be great, the losse of goods or death do depēd theron. Sith also in our France this noy∣some humour is so rooted, it were méete the purgation were some∣what sharpe, yet would it not breed sedition. There are that hold o∣pinion that it were good the K. would referre the punishment & cor∣rection of these ordinary quarellers & murderers to the Iustices, & himself not to meddle therein: neither can I mislike it so farre as it tendeth only to most villanous wilfull slaughters, & such like as daily are cōmitted. But sith this matter concerneth honor & armes, likewise that either good or bad instructions are learned in the court or in the warres, my opiniō were that thence likewise should pro∣ceede order & correction. To this end also it were requisite his Ma∣iestie should assemble ye Marshalles of France, with the most aun∣cient Capteines to make some good decrée for this matter, to order diuers things misunderstood & worse practised: & to shew how they should behaue thēselues in poynts of honor, which done, to publish the same throughout the Prouinces, their euery man being aduer∣tised might conteine himself in his duetie: so would good examples, conioyned with seuere punishmēt, be no doubt of great force to sup∣presse Page  167 the present confusions and errors. As also it were meete the same were carefully obserued in the Court, at Paris, & whersoeuer there is any bodie of men of warre: for the youth from all partes of the realme do draw thether to learne, & if abuses do there raigne, at their returne home, they sow the same all ouer: as contrariwise sée∣ing good customes, they doo imitate & make thē manifest to others. The Gouernours likewise are to haue expresse charge so soone as any quarell ariseth within their gouernmēts to send for the parties to seeke to agree them, & if they be men of great calling & the mat∣ter very difficult, to enioyne thē without delay to haue recourse to his Maiestie to the ende he may prouide therefore, as hauing great interest when his subiects do liue in discord: also if any should pro∣céede to villanous outrages, to pursue them stoutly & without re∣spect of persons. And indeed I suppose that neither the one nor the other will be so blind as to beare with wicked actions. Some man will say: Hath not the King published such commaundements enow? Yes, I confesse he hath: but they haue no whit profited, for want of putting in execution: & how should those that dwell farre of obey them, when they see them euen in the Court vtterly contemned. For there all sorts of iniuries both in word & deede, all trecheries, reuenges and set combats are openly practised euen in euery mans view, without any great reprehension. If we wish good orders to take place, our Magistrates must bee the first that must obserue them, and then cause others to doe the like.

Something would I say of poynts requisite to bee conteyned * therein, were it not that I might séeme to enterprise vpō those that should be appoynted to doe it, whose sufficiencie I imagine to be such as not to need any instructions, sith it is their parts to giue thē to others. Howbeit, to satisfie the mindes of the curious (who I thinke would bee glad to see some) I will propound onely 7. or 8. which first come to mind: namely, That slight iniuries proceeding of sudden chollor or otherwise, must not bee refelled with the lye, in that the same is a word now too odious, but with some more modest deniall, whereto a man cannot reply with the lye. He that shall giue it, vnlesse vpō such an iniurie as being proued might breed to the gentlemā that shall haue receiued it either infamy, or desert of death, shall be driuen to amends. He that shall without cause wrong any man in worde or deede, shall be forced to satisfaction. He that shall haue receiued any iniurie, shall not assigne any place to his enemie, neither procure him to bee chalenged vnder payne of most seuere punishment, as well Page  168 to himself as to the chalenger: but shall come before the King, the Go∣uernour, or the Captaine of the Prouince, to craue leaue to redresse his wrong by armes: then if the partie that offereth the iniurie appea∣reth not within the third summons of his superiour, he shall by pub∣licke placards bee banished the Court, the Armies and the capitall Cities: and the other restored to his honor, as well in respect of his o∣bedience, as for amends, and discharge of the combate, although the author by secret meanes should labour to come thereto. And touching all such quarels as the Gouernours and Capteynes cannot agree, they shal not neuerthelesse haue authoritie for the decision therof, to graunt the singuler combate, but shall referre the parties, with straight prohi∣bition not to hurt each other, vnto his maiestie, to whom onely belon∣geth the graunt thereof. Whosoeuer shall by himselfe or by any other, strike a Gentleman with audgell, shall after satisfaction be also pu∣nished by limited banishment or some other grieuous payne, because it is a boyish iniurie. If the partie iniuried practise any trecherie for the recouerie of his honor, the superiour shall force him to amends for his cowardlinesse. Likewise for those who in the Prouinces through their quarels shall make any great assemblies, or with open force pursue their aduersarie: because such are but sparkes wherewith to kindle warres. Many other such like articles may be hereunto added, which dige∣sted into order, would beare some grace. But after some good re∣solution taken for their well obseruing, they may soone enough bée reuealed. For this tyme it may suffice to runne ouer these small peeces, which I haue layd together to awaken many good wittes that I knowe in France, to the ende they may say better then I haue done, correct that which I haue set downe, and shew the great ones that it is their dueties by all meanes to seeke to reduce the Nobilitie into the way from whence it hath strayed: for so long as it shall remaine wandring both in word and deede, it shall still pro∣phane Uertue and Armes and wast it selfe, whereas contrariwise if good discipline may force it to reenter into the carrier of our aun∣cesters, easely it may atteyne to the end therof, where the crownes of true honor are distributed.

Page  169

The thirtenth Discourse.

That his Maiestie ought in the tyme of peace to enterteyne at the least fower regiments of footmen, reduced into the number of 2500. men, as well for the preseruation of mar∣tiall discipline, as to bee alwaies assured of a great body of olde Souldiers.

WOrthely is King Charles the seuenth com∣mended, * for his so profitable establishment of the men of Armes, whereof he was the au∣thor. Neither doth the great King Frances deserue lesse praise, in that imitating the aun∣cient discipline, he could finde meanes among his owne subiects to forme a mightie bodie of footmen, wherewith the more to furnish out his warsare: For before there was but small accompt made of them, as is aforesayd. But since the setting downe of good rules, and that the exercise thereof hath ensued, they haue fashioned themselues, and are growne more obedient and valiant. Harquebuts came but little before into vse, which haue made them very terrible and so necessary as they may not be missed. Sith therefore the experience of many warres haue taught that it is not possible to prosecute them well without a good number of footmen, were it not a great ouersight not to lay any foundation of them: Considering that a meane hath bene found how to forme so strong a one of Horsemen? For the same reasons that moued our auncient Kings to ordeyne the one, may vrge them that now raigne to establish the other. In olde tyme the chiefe dif∣ferences of warre were decided in the plaine field: where now they consist in surprises, assaults, and defence of Houlds. Wherein the Harquebuts and Pikes are not only profitable but also necessarie. Now, if wee list to consider the number of Footmen that France mainteyneth in the tyme of peace, they will seeme to be fewe in re∣spect of the Horsemen, who in the tyme of King Henry the second were aboue sixe thousand speares. For excepting the Garrisons of Citadelles and Castles which are there to bee settled, the rest is a Page  170 small matter. But for the procuring of a well ordered warfare it is requisite there be some proportion betwéene the parties and sortes of men of warre whereof it consisteth, as there is betweene the mē∣bers of a mans bodie: For either superfluitie or want doe breed de∣formitie. And notwithstanding the men of armes doe in dignitie surmount the others, yet doth it not thereof ensue that they should in quantitie so farre excéede. The arme is more honorable then the legge, yet is the legge as massiue and great as it, yea and as profi∣ble in his function. In my opinion therefore it seemeth there were some reason in tyme of peace to entertaine fower regiments of footmen of sixe hundred in each, so to concurre with the force of the Ordinances, notwithstanding the same now consist but of 4000. Speares. I will not stand to shewe what neede France still stan∣deth * in of an armed arme: for all men of iudgement doe sufficient∣ly know that the Eagles of Austrich would come and eate vp her Chickens if martiall order were extinct. But many doe thinke the French nation to be so well enured to warres, that they neede but stampe on the ground (as Pompey sayd) to bring foorth whole le∣gions armed: Howbeit they are deceiued, neither is there any trust to be reposed in that: For if discipline and enterteynment faile, the more men there be, the more is the disorder and confusion. Such as suffer themselues to be abused with the noyse of many Drums, with the sight of many Flagges wauing in the wind, and with the view of a field couered with men, doe not wéene themselues to bée deceiued, because they thinke that euery one should be as readie to doe his duetie as he is to make a bragge: but at the proofe we many times finde that a small troope of resolute enemies doth ouerthrow all this. Haue not wee also within these twentie yeeres sufficiently felt the spoyles that a disordered multitude doth worke, euen to their friends? All these experiences might perswade vs that a few olde Souldiers doe profite more then a great sort of rawe and vn∣skilfull.

I knowe that no man will say but wee ought alwaies to main∣taine * a good number of men of armes: but for Footmen some thinke that in time of peace they may well enough be spared: because the Realme for want of habilitie had néede to spare many things. But I will say, that if the Realme bee poore it will bee contemned: if it be contemned the more will practise against it: which ought to moue the mightie well to vnderproppe it with counsaile and force. I will be aduised how I will thinke our pouertie to be such as not to Page  171 be able to maintaine fower thousand Speares and fiue and twentie hundred Footmen in ordinary, besides the garrisons and warders of Castles. Wee might doe more, but when a little will suffice, a great deale is superfluous. Now doe I wish that the bodies of re∣giments should still bee in force, to the ende the arte of warre bee not forgotten, not in speculation but in practise: as also to preserue many men of commaundement. I haue guided companies of 60. men, which in my opinion would bee sufficient in time of peace. For when occasion should fall out to augment them, putting in∣to euery companie the full number, they will in two moneths, as well through the diligence of good Capteynes, as by vertue of good orders, bée trayned to doe good seruice. But so will not the newe leuyed regiments: For if the Colonell bee a man of small experience, he maketh but bad choyse of Capteynes and they of Souldiers. Then as well the one as the other guyding them selues rather after their owne phancies, then after any good milita∣rie order, it is not to bee meruailed though such bad beginnings haue worse ends. The like may also happen to this warfare: for if the Colonell, louing the Court will not remaine with his compa∣nies: and the Capteynes do for the most part keepe home, likewise that as well the one as the other to the ende to furnish themselues doe make their prouision of halfe their Souldiers pay, all will bee corrupted. In a matter of such importance we ought to be very di∣ligent, and the more that abuses doe multiplie, the more seuerely are they to be looked vnto.

The fower regiments afore mentioned would I wish to bee * put in garrison in the frontiers of Picardy, Champagne, and o∣thers of protection, there to serue as well for the custodie of some places of importance as Metz and Calais, as also to bee Schooles where young Gentlemen growne from Pages, and other youth might goe to learne the arte of warre: but the chiefe ende indeede, is to haue alwaies a storehonse of old souldiers readie prouided for euery neede. For so soone as warre were proclaymed and the King shall haue cōmaunded to encrease the companies to their full num∣ber, amounting to two hundred a peece: we should within some sixe or seuen weekes be able to bring forth into the fielde two thousand Corcelets & sixe thousand Harquebuts, which ioyned with a parte of the men of armes would beare a good brunt, vntill the comming of the rest of our power. Now, if euer, it is necessary to reforme our footmen, sith the ciuill warres haue so corrupted them yt either they Page  172 cannot or will not almost obey: onely breeding terror where they march and scath where they continue. In these daies when a yong man commeth newly into a regiment of Footmen, I presume that he learneth some feates of warre, also to be the more couragious: but it is to bee feared least in the same Schoole he get as great im∣perfections, which darken all the good that he had learned, as I haue shewed els where. Where cōtrariwise these fower regiments would be as it were great springs from whence would flowe none but fayre and cleere water, which shedding it selfe all ouer the Realme would clarifie those that are troubled. For discipline be∣ing established and obserued, such as followe the same, shewing themselues euery where gentle to their equalles, obedient to their superiours, courteous to the commōs, and stout against the proud, especially against their enemies, should cause all men much more to admire them therefore, then for their bigge lookes: besides the fame of so braue an institution being spred abroad, all noble harts will detest the accustomed corruptions, and withall desire to sub∣mit themselues to the same. Had I not heretofore seene the like effects proceede of the like cause, I would not speake so boldly as I doe. I remember that in the beginning of King Henry the se∣conds raigne, when certeyne Capteynes and Souldiers that had lyen two yéeres in garrison in the townes of Piedmont returned into France, they were greatly esteemed, because they shewed them selues so ciuill, and courteous, nothing iniurious, and speaking so orderly of the exercise of armes, which caused many young men to runne thether in hope of the like instructions. Yea, my selfe haue seene the Earle of Charny (one of the most vertuous and honestest Lords of this land) weare the Corcelet and goe to warde as duely as one of the meanest Souldiers, euen in the tyme of peace.

Now may some good husband obiect that this multiplicitie of * Capteynes and Companies, will much augment expences, which though they be ordinarie doe neuerthelesse growe grieuous in the ende: also that it were better to mainteyne but tenne compleat. To whom I will aunswer, that my entent is not to forme one full re∣giment: for alwaies as affayres growe on, it shall bee but one regi∣ment: but I looke to lay the foundation of many, which being good, all that shall be built thereon will take the like goodnesse, that is to say, Valour. As also it would followe thereof that we should haue thrise so many men, which is one of the drifts that I tend vnto. For, as hath bene aforesayd, these fower bodies should maintaine Page  173 eight thousand Souldiers, all which being incorporated therein, might be tearmed olde. They should moreouer be shops, out of the which we might fetch Capteynes for our footmen: for in three or fower yeeres exercise, euen in the tyme of peace, a man of any capa∣citie might grow worthie to commaund through often conference of the 〈◊〉 of warre, and practising the offices of those that deale therein, 〈◊〉 also by continuall viewe of some image thereof before his eyes. As for the charge I confesse it would amount vnto about fower thousand crownes at the most by moneth. But withall we should mainteyne a hundred or sixe score men of commaundement: whereof many might in tyme doe such seruice as could not bée re∣compenced. What braue Colonels haue the Infantery bred with∣in these fiue and twentie yeeres▪ of whom I will name but a fewe, as Charry, Gohas, Causseins, Sarlabous, Pilles, Mounans, and the valiant Montbrun. It is to bee thought that this good order will raise vs vp more such. Wee shall doe our maister no hurt in giuing him counsaile to spend a handful of money, to reape againe so good interest for it. The Colonels of these regiments being well and without fauour chosen, must also wee subiect to dwell fower or fiue moneths of the yeere among them: neither may the Cap∣teynes haue leaue to bee absent aboue three or fower moneths at the most. For when the officers be away, discipline is neglected and obedience lost. Likewise were it requisite the assignations of payment were certaine, to the ende the Souldier bee not corrupted in being driuen to seeke his liuing abroade. Thus would 15000. crownes by moneth suffice, which is such a somme as our Kings sometyme doe giue to some one man in one day. Likewise where our Souldiers will now a daies weare no Corcelets, the same * might by this meanes be brought againe into vse and estimation: which is more easie to bee done then men weene for: but then the Capteynes must begin, who haue reiected the vse of the Pike: for they must bee enioyned to take it againe together with the Millan Corcelet. If they will they may also haue the Sword and Target of proofe against assaults and skirmishes. In the Companies one quarter should bee Corcelets, (and that should neuer faile) and the rest Harquebuts. And notwithstanding this were not a fit propor∣tion which requireth to consist of as many of the one as of the o∣ther, yet must we come as neere it as wee may. Also the better to bring our Souldiers into tast with the sayd Corcelets, they should haue those that should bee well made and grauen to the ende the Page  174 beautie might allure their affections. Thus whē they should sée the examples of their Capteynes together with the great payes ther∣to alotted, also that the Gentrie were brought to weare them, they would not looke for much entreatie. The Harquebut is good to trayne young men, and when they haue gotten some reputation and experience therein, they must bee afterward allured into the o∣ther degree which must be made as honorable as the first. It is in my opinion a poore exscuse to say, The Souldier will not do this or that: for although in ciuill warre it must many tymes passe for payment: yet in a tyme of rule and reformation it is meete to com∣maund with authoritie, so to make the Souldiers more readie to frame themselues to whatsoeuer is conuenient. The Spanish In∣fanterie although it hath stooped to the ciuill warres of Flanders did neuerthelesse neuer habandon the Corcelet: and the third parte of their best men doe still weare it. Besides it hath alwaies conti∣nued the obseruation of orders: so as it deserueth this commenda∣tion, that in Christendome there is no better Souldier. But will some man say: What accompt make ye of the French man? Forsooth I say yt being well instructed he yeeldeth to no nation, as likewise for want thereof he seeldome doth any thing worthy remēbrance.

I would wish they would practise some of the Spanish customes, * which in my opinion are very good. One is that when any newe Souldier commeth into their bands, the olde doe instruct him in his duetie: if he transgresseth they reproue him: and if he be mean∣ly apparelled they helpe him, least he should bee a dishonor to their nation: and he likewise taketh these admonitions as courteouslie, where we doe the contrary. For if a yong man newly come into a companie committeth any folly, they all doe laugh him to scorne: and if he haue any money, he is presently plumed either by play or some other practise: whereby many through this bad beginning doe start backe againe. Neither will I here conceale an other fault of our youth: which is, when any man seeketh amiably to reproue them, they spurne at it, and take all in euill parte, as if their age were not subiect to doe amisse. Secondly, among the Spanyards ye shall not haue a braule in sixe moneths: for they disdaine qua∣rellers and delight in modestie: so as if any doe happen, they ende∣uour diligently to take them vp: and yet when they cannot bee en∣ded without blowes, they discharge themselues honorably. The French Souldier is much more diuers, and can hardly liue with∣out braules, shewing himselfe but ouer couragious against his Page  175 companions. Thirdly, if a Souldier among them be hurt, he that hath but one crowne will giue him halfe. Fourthly, if any one doe any notable act, all his companions will praise and honor him, and seeldome doe they through enuy conceale any vertue. This like∣wise is good in them, that in their militarie commaundements euen the brauest Souldiers and of greatest calling will obey a sim∣ple Serieant: so pliable are they to their officers. As also when they are called to haue any charge, they doe as well keepe their au∣thoritie. Finally, in the bodie of their guard they will not suffer any insolencie, but the same are as Schooles where their ordinary talke is of the dueties of Souldiers, Capteynes, Honor, and such like matter concerning Armes. More might be here sayd: but this is sufficient in that such as goe newly into the bands may knowe that these bee no custumes of Munckes, as the prouerbe goeth, but of excellent Souldiers. If the Capteynes of the regiments aforesaid would likewise take a little paynes, they might instruct theirs in like sorte: and labour no lesse to fashion them then a horse course doth to breake his horse: And it were a great shame that we should not haue more care of men then of beastes.

The humour of French youth, will some say, can hardly away*with patience and modestie. Truely I had as liefe they should say that sith it is somewhat enclined to rashnesse and heddinesse, it must be let runne. I thinke no nation to be more capeable of vertue then ours, if it bee taught, and vrged to put it in practise. And vndoub∣tedly if Colonels and Capteynes would growe to commend and aduaunce these Souldiers whom they see well disposed to followe their exercises, and to make no accompt of such as are giuen to their belly and idlenesse, the most parte would imitate the good. Ordinarily they propound vnto them ritches, which I mislike not so that they first preferre honor, for that is a bridle to holde them from stumblig, and a spurre to stirre them vp to valour. I dare af∣firme that of ower regiments ordered as aforesayd, we may haue more seruice then of tenne such as they now be. For first we should be sure of two reasonable battels of Pikes whereof our Infantery standeth in neede: which is a great want.

I remember in the third troubles the Lorde of Acier brought * 18000. good and braue Harquebuts Protestants: but if they had met in the fielde with seuen or eight hundred Speares, I would weete whether they would not haue bene all ouerthrowne? More do think yea thē nay. Howbeit if they had had but fiue or sixe thou∣sand Page  176 Corcelets among them, a whole armie should hardly haue broken them. To be briefe, the Harquebuts without Pikes are as armes and legges without bodies, which were monstrous. Se∣condly, if this small number were thus trained: the souldiers would bée more obedient; would not scatter so much; would beare more, and would fight more cheerefully: which we may without farther proofe, easely iudge. This order likewise practised three or fower yeeres would stand the newe regiments, that vpon occasion might be leuyed, in great stead. For most of the officers being taken out of such a Schoole, would endeuour to cause those that had before but heard speaking of it, to obserue the same discipline: so as by little and little the vse of pilferie with such other bad customes would be suppressed. Oh what a goodly matter it were to see the peasant out of feare of the Souldier, who is in these daies a horror to the Villages! Likewise to see humanitie in such credite among them that they would at their hostes houses behaue themselues as in their owne! These be none of Platoes Idees, that is to say, ima∣ginations, for the French men for certaine yeeres practised them in Piedmont. Hereof should the Capteynes reape honor and the Souldiers both profite and content: for they should no longer bée shunned, as is aforesayd, but louingly receiued, still finding plentie where now sometymes they meete with pouertie onely and want: and withall his Maiestie should be much better serued.

The foretenth Discourse.

Of the French Legionaries.

THE name Legion was in olde tyme in * great honor and credit. And a man may truely say that by those proude and va∣liant bands all the world was subdued and the Romaine Empyre exalted to that greatnesse whereto it grewe. It vsed these orders and auncient names vntill the barbarous nations ouerthrew it: for then were many things confoun∣ded and buried vp, euen in the arte of warre. Afterward the bands of Souldiers were termed by sundrie other names, as yet they be. But our great King Frances desiring to strengthen and establish Page  177 his realme by al practisable meanes, deuised to establish legions, to the end, as occasion might serue, to haue men alwayes readie, & not to be forced to begge for aide. The Lord of Langey sayth, that in e∣uerie Prouince he tooke order for one, consisting of 6000. men, who all should once in the yeere meete seuerally to be mustered. Now as this mightie Prince after the imitation of his elders instituted this braue order, according as the disposition of his people and af∣faires could beare: so I suppose that after his example we shoulde seeke to redresse some small bodie of these olde and great relickes, fit to offende and defend as well in the field as otherwise, whose maintainance would in the time of peace be of small charge: for it were but a follie to secke in euerie point thereof to restore the aun∣cient institution, considering that France being so much weakned, cannot be able to sustaine so heauie a burthen, and therefore. must haue no greater charge than it is able to beare.

If his Maiestie would entertaine foure legions, and that after * the auncient manner, I thinke it would be too much, as well in re∣spect of the charge, as for the oppression of the people: for one mo∣neths wages for 24000. men, would amount to 250000. frankes: besides that, their march to & fro at the assemblies would (now that souldiours are so farre out of order) endomage the people a hundred and fiftie thousand. To be briefe, this warfare would yerely amount to 400000. franks, which al would not make the men much better than those yt are ordinarily leuied when wars come on. Ho beit the sound of this great number of people dooth at the first dazell mens eies: but we must not trust to them, better it were to practise the Spanish prouerbe, that saith: Poco y bueno, which is, A few and good. But I woulde wish wee might haue three established, one in Picardie, one in Champagne, and one in Burgundie, each consist∣ing of 2000. men: and this establishment would be erected princi∣pally to these ends. First to induce the Gentrie to inroule them∣selues among the Infanterie: secondly, to reestablish Corcelettes therein, and thirdly to helpe to fill vp the bodies of our armies.

Concerning the first point, experience teacheth, that nothing hath * more corrupted our Infanterie, than that our Gentrie haue with drawen themselues therefro, disdaining not onely to beare the har∣quebut and pike, but also many times to take anie charge. Wher by are entered pettie Countrie Captaines deuoid of all respect of honour, and such as seeke to inrich themselues with the generall spoiles of our warres. Yea, if any olde regimentes haue obserued Page  178 some sorte the auncient discipline, yet are there many disorders crept in among them. The cause that maketh the Spanish In∣fanterie at this daie to be in such estimation, is for that their Gen∣try are so willing to serue therin, yea, rather than among the horse. For there will they serue out theyr apprentishippe of warre, to the ende to attaine to be Captaines, which degree they make as great account of, as we doe of the Colonelship of a whole regiment. It were therefore good to commit the charge of the companies to no∣table Gentlemen, who lykewise might choose to bee their Liuete∣nants and Ensignes, such other Gentlemen their neighbours of whome there be enow in the Prouinces, as might be capable ther∣of.

Thus through theyr credites they might bring in for souldiours other that beare the same title of Gentrie as themselues. The Lord of Langey witnesseth that the Captaines of the legions of Nor∣mandie and Picardie were all men of good houses, and nameth the Lordes Bacque-ville, Cantelow, Mally, and Lanny, with others bearing office. Wherefore to restore into honour such as we would establish, it were requisite the Colonels thereof were of person va∣lorous, in warre experienced, knowen in Court, and worth 12. or 15000 frankes rent, co the ende through their owne estimation to bring the office into credit. And although I heare yoke wealth with vertue, yet doe I make it but as her handmaide, for the exercise of liberalitie, which is necessarie among souldiors. We see that in the lowe Countries the chiefe Lordes doe not disdayne to take the re∣giments, as the Earles of Egmont, Arembergue, & Barlaimont, the valiant Marques of Renty, with the gallant Earle Charles of Mansfield.

As touching the second point for the reestablishing of Corcelets* & Pikes, I haue alreadie shewed that the Infanterie that is thereof vnprouided, is vnperfect: howbeit that there are meanes to remedie it. Whereof the most soueraigne, in my opinion, is to bring men to it voluntarilie rather than by compulsion, which may easily be done if the Gentrie through obedience will begin to leade the waie to the rest, who will not bee behinde when they shall see their Captaines which command them, take vpon them the vse of the same weapon that they appoint to them. It were good also that the orders of the said legions were such, as the third part of the men of whome they should consist, to be pikes, and the fourth harquebuts, so should the three legions containe 4500. corcelets, and 1500. harquebuts.

Page  179 Now to come to the third point, I saie that this number is suffici∣ent * to make three battailes, wherof euē one would withstand a regi∣ment of Germains: for although it should contain but 1200. corce∣lets, yet doe I suppose it urst fight with two thousand, considering the qualitie of the men therein contained. Neither doe I doubt but we should finde 1050. Gentlemen in euerie one, who being placed in the three first rankes, what man can saie but they would giue a aliant onset. Such an opinion haue I of the French Gentry, that being lead by a good and skilfull Captaine, I assure my selfe they would passe through fire and water. Thus would these three legi∣ons deserue to haue place in the right and left winges of the army, because their bodies would bee both bigge and stronge enough to stand, Such as will medle with warre, especially in the field, must not deceaue them selues, but thinck that armies without battailes of Pikes are as armes and legges without bodies, which are most necessary to beare vp the said members. Now let vs see whether this smale principle and order that I would lay in time of peace, may in time of warre make them as good as I haue described them. For my parte I thinck they will not want much. Which neuer∣thelesse I referre to the iudgement of those that haue more skil than my selfe, after they haue seene the end of this discourse. They are to remember that I fit the shooe to the foote, that is to saie, the charge according to our pouertie: for if wee were able to doe more, I would not be against it. But whatsoeuer our estate be, we ought stil to prouide instruments wherwith to defend the Flower de luce, least some pleasant fellow delighting in her smell, should plucke a∣way the branches thereof.

His Maiestic hauing chosen for Colonels to the three legions,* such men as I haue described, (For vertue and authoritie are neces∣sarie in such reformations) they likewise shall each of them in the Countries limitted, chose nine good Captaines and themselues to make the tenth to gouerne the companies, wherin they shal imploy all their credit, to the end to install such honourable gentlemē their friends or neighbors as shall be worthie. And no doubt many seeing themselues requested by such qualified Colonels (whome they doe both knowe and loue) will be readie enough to accept of the offices which otherwise they would disdayne. Yea, it may peraduenture so fall out that some Gentlemen of two or three thousand Frankes rent, (but valyant and couragious, which is the principall) finding themselues conducted by a Captaine that is both their companion Page  180 and friend. will not refuse to march with him. If anie man desire to know why I craue such fellows, it is to the end that by theyr exam∣ple and credite, other more meane & poore Gentlemen should ioyne themselues to the same bodie, as is aforesayde, as beeing assured when a good foundation is layde, wee maye the more safelie builde therevpon, and our worke will be the surer. Then should the sayde Captaines choose for their Lieuetenants and Ensignes other Gen∣tlemen skilfull in the seruice of Infanterie, and withall fiue others to be alwayes in souldiours roomes, who were easie to bee founde. These▪ are all that shoulde make the bodie of a legion in the time of peace, who lykewise should be retained with some meane fee wher∣with to binde them to this vocation, and to dispose them to beare the rules of such a warfare. For it were follie to thinke without expenses to make men subiect, either that without study in whatso∣euer, as wel by speculation as practise, an many may grow perfect. The Captaines wages shall be fiue hundred Frankes by yeere, the Lieuetenants three hundred, the Ensigns two hundred, and the fiue souldiours each of thē one hundred, which to euery companie would amount to 1500, Frankes. Hereto might I ade for the Colonels wages, and many other his necessarie expenses 500. Franks. Like∣wise for ten braue Serieants, whome I thinke also necessarie to be prouided for, 1000. Frankes, and for a Serieant maior 300. so as the whole summed together, this entrie and grounde of a Legion would amount but to 5600. Crownes by the yere, & so all the three to 16800. All which is but the paie of three score men of armes, and yet in the sayde three legions wee should haue aboue 240. Gentle∣men bound and sworne. Now as this maintainaunce shoulde not bee giuen them to fat them vp in their houses (so it were lost labor) so lykewise shoulde they not bee put to keepe garisons, or to trot vp and downe whensoeuer others list to send for them: but heerein they shoulde vse such a meane, that in receiuing yeerely all instruc∣tions requisite, they might by little and little prepare themselues rather for the seruice to come, that is, when warres shoulde come vpon vs, than for the present. Euerie yeere vpon a daie limitted, the Colonell, Captaines, and Souldiours, should al meete in some great Borough neere to the chiefe Towne of the Prouince, or in a∣nie other conuenient place, to muster in armour, and receiue the paie aboue mencioned. Halfe the Captaines paie to bee employ∣ed to the buying of fayre Corcelets and Pikes, which should bee alwayes kept in the Townes aforesayde, notwithstanding the Page  181 propertie should rest in themselues; whereby in foure yeres euerie legion should haue 80000, frankes worth of armour, which would be a great helpe to the furnishing of them. The souldiours lyke∣wise should leaue their furniture in the same places, as well to ease them of the carriage of it to their owne houses, as also to keepe it from embeseling, for both going and comming they must lodge in hostries. Thus shold not the people be any whit molested: which were a matter both iust in it selfe and honourable to the King, which also would purchase a good name to the Souldiours. So do I thinke that euerie man at his returne home may haue halfe his paie cleere, except the Captaines that shall haue bought the ar∣mour.

But, may some man say, yt remainder of this smal pay will scarce * buy a paire of hosen, or make a man good cheere one daie. In deede I confesse that gluttons shall finde this shooe too little for theyr foote: But Gentlemen noblie minded will account such maintai∣nance, proceeding from the king, for an acceptable benefite excee∣ding their paines and ordinarie seruice. Wee must direct our acti∣ons after the auncient orders that agree with reason, and not after the manner of the depraued customes of ciuill warres. My selfe knew a simple souldiour, namely an Argolet that had not aboue fiftie sous rent, who had so well husbanded his small businesse, that he kept eight horses in his traine, a cart with three horses, twelue seruants and sixe dogs, in all thirtie mouthes, and yet when time serued he was not too good to carrie the Harquebut, and had but one page.

But to returne to my purpose. I thinke that it were inough for * them to soiourne in the place appointed for the musters (where e∣uerie one shall be lodged by tiquets, and paie according as shall bee rated) eight or ten daies, for I suppose yt in that time they may suf∣ficiently know their men: instruct thē by the discourses & writings of skilfull Captaines in warlike affaires: prepare them for time to come: exercise them, and by liuely exhortations print in their harts the goodly portraiture of honour, to the ende afterward they might doe things worthie their fame, and obtayne the commendation to haue brought into estimation those orders that had ben contemned: likewise to breede loue and confidence betweene them, which both are necessarie in a troupe. To be briefe, the Colonell ought to im∣ploie his whole minde and purpose with himselfe to bestowe those few daies in good instructions, and not in vaine riots, which I ima∣gine Page  182 would be of great vertue. This done, euerie man to be licen∣sed to depart vntill the next yeere, and so shoulde the rest bee vsed. Now is the question whether through this small discipline the a∣forenamed might growe more capable of their offices: Truely I doe no whit doubt, but as well the commaunder as the commaun∣ded should be the better learned therein. For euerie man comming to this martiall schoole would bring in the best that hee had collec∣ted out of the deeds of our auncestours, which by continual confe∣rence, adioined to practise, wold be both seene & grauē in memory. But the greatest difficultie consisteth in knowledge whether when * the legions should be perfected vp to their ful bodies, such persons as should be added coulde in short time bee trained. Heereto I saie, that it is greatlie to bee presumed that such wildinges as shoulde bee grafted into this free and well pruned tree, by taking theyr re∣leefe therefro, woulde come in short space to beare the lyke fruit. And lyke as good Pilots and shippe maisters do soone make their Mariners fit for nauigation: so, well taught Captaines doe soone giue their souldiours good instructions. Some will saie that our legions cannot be good for want of maintainance. I confesse they might be the better, but we must withall consider that it would cost aboue 900000. Frankes by yeere, which is the reuenue of a good Prouince, whereas after my rule set downe they shall not spend in time of peace aboue 16800. crownes, which to a king is but foure sets at Tenis, or the bad luck of two houres play at Primero. Wel, warre being proclaimed, and the Colonels charged to fill vp their number of men, they should wish their Captains to put in as much Gentrie as they might: and wee must thinke that by their credite many would be willing, yea, as many as I haue sayd, that is 150. to euerie legion. Afterward they should also choose other good sol∣diours enow fit for the pike & Corcelet, & although many were but so so, yet hauing so proud a head, they should shew themselues wret∣ches if they would not followe so good guides. As for harquebu∣ziers, they should neuer be aboue fiftie in a companie: and we shall finde of them thousands. It were also requisite his Maiestie should deliuer to euerie legion flue hundred Corcelets, for the which he to paie part of the mony aforehand to the merchants, and appoint pai∣ment of the rest at the musters. And so doth the K. of Spaine some∣times when he Ieauieth anie Germaine regiments. For he proui∣deth the most part of armour, otherwise the Captaines shoulde not be able to doe it on such a sodaine. During the warres they should Page  183 be maintained as the ordinarie hands and at their feete, as also they should obey the generall of the Infanterie. Likewise their Cap∣taines being men of honour and able to liue, as also sufficiently in∣structed by their Colonelles of the infamie growing of disordered militarie proulings & pilferies, should studie how to keep their cō∣panies as compleat as might be, and not excessiuely to rob them as some do: yea, to helpe their poore souldiours in their greatest neces∣sitie: but withall, when the warre were ended, they should be paide their charges. If this order might come to perfection the king could hardly be surprised by anie euimie whatsoeuer, for in 6. weeks the foure regiments afore spoken of, together with these three legi∣gions may be brought into the field, and their bodies furnished with 14000 braue souldiours, whereof to make foure goodly battailes of pikes which are so necessarie. Also if part of the men of armes and light horse were ioyned vnto it, it would be a meetly sufficient army of our own natiō to defend our borders vntil strangers might be leuied. I know some wil peraduenture saie that few meane sol∣diours will serue in such bands wherein we looke to haue all chiefe officers taken out of the bodie of the Gentrie: but for preuenting this inconuenience, I thinke it were not amisse to leaue some ho∣nours for the vnnobls, if by vertue they may growe worthy the same: as the Serieant maiors office, the Lieuetenantships of com∣panies, & meane serieants roomes. Thus may they be contented: But the Lieuetenant, Colonell, the Captaines & Ensignes should alwayes be Gentlemen. Concerning the difficultie, ordinarily pro∣pounded, which in deed is not small, how to induce the common sol∣diours to take the pike: I suppose it would soone be decided, when they should see (as I haue said) the Captaines & gentry practise the same weapon: & vpon occasion to fight, ioyne with the body of the battell, sauing such as shall be appointed to lead the shot: as also to imitate the Spaniard who alloweth the Corcelet greater pay than the simple harquebuze.

I haue heretofore heard some Princes counsailours, who sought * to make their maisters too thriftie, mislike the maintaining of ma∣ny militarie officers in the time of peace, and peraduenture there be yet some of them that may saie that it were more meete to hyer one hundred good souldiers that might keep a frontier towne, than to enter into charges for that which I haue propounded. To these will I make no answere, but euen referre them to the Marshalls, Montmirencie and Biron, two olde Captaines of Fraunce,Page  184 who vnderstand more of the arte of warre than my selfe, and if they condemne me I yeeld: but I imagine that I shal not loose my plea: for euen of themselues I haue heard that the good Captains make the good souldiours, because they be the preseruers of good order & discipline, which others do soone neglect, yea, euen contemne, vn∣lesse they be bound thereto. But, will some man replie; can your selfe well performe the thing which yee tell others may be done so easily: Truly I think that it properly appertaineth to those which now beare the title of Colonels of the Legionaries, and are better seene in the arte of warre than my selfe, to labour in it, and to reape the honour therof. As also I beleeue that in France there be 1000 Gentlemen more sufficient than my selfe, and can better discharge it. Nowbeit, that they shall not thinke that I would set downe things that cannot be practised, and like vnto paradoxes, where∣of I will discourse (and yet are so strange) I saie that if my King should command me to try such a matter (notwithstanding I coue not anie offices, whether great or smal) I would thinke within two yeres to forme such a bodie, as therewith I durst wrastle with anie other regimēt whatsoeuer, so it were of such a nation as beare vs no great good will. And I assure my selfe the Zuitzers, who helpe themselues with the pike as well as anie souldiours in the world, would be gladde to haue the assistaunce of such a legion. This is my opinion. Wherein if I ouershoote my selfe, let men consider that I am a French man, whose eares doe so gloe with hearing my nation set at naught, that I would wish it to do that which I know it is able, if it were holpen: to the end men might perceiue that in∣dustrie and valour are not quite perished in France.

The fiftenth Discourse.

That the auncient manner of aranging the horse in haie or file, is now of smal vse. Also that it were necessarie they should take the vse of squadrons.

THe Frenchmen, who are verie readie to em∣brace * nouelties, and to abandon olde things, haue not alwaies so obserued that rule, but that they haue continued steadfast in some auncient customes which they haue accounted ineete to be retained. But growing to a more diligent examination, it appeareth that as in some they Page  185 haue left the worse to embrace the better, so in others, it semeth they haue contemned that which was rather to bee receiued, than the same whereto they haue tied themselues. As also it hath fallen out that in one selfe thing they haue be wrayed their good & bad iudge∣ment. For when they might make some thing both profitable, faire, and easie, they haue bene contented with the first, and in liew of the other two haue intruded vncomelinesse and difficultie. Whereof * I will alleadge an example, in matters of armes. For where they had some reason in respect of the violence of harquebuzes & dagges to make their armor thicker and of better proofe than before, they haue now so farre exceeded, that most of thē haue laden themselues with stithies in liew of clothing their bodies with armour. Lyke∣wise all the beautie of the horseman, is conuerted into deformi∣tie. His head peece resembleth an ron pot. On the left arme hee weareth a great gantlet vp to his elbowe, and on the right a poul∣dron, that shal scarce couer his shoulder: and ordinarily they weare no Tases: also in liew of Cassockes, a Mandilion, and no Speare. Our men of armes in ye time of K. Henry made a farre fayrer shew, wearing their Sallet, Pouldrons, Tases, Cassocke, Speare, and Banderol, neither was their armour so heauie, but they might wel∣beare it 24. houres, where those that are now worne are so waigh∣tie, that the peize of them will benumme a Gentlemans shoulders of 35. yeres of age. My selfe haue seene the late Lord of Eguillie, and the knight of Puigreffier, honourable old men, remain a whole daie armed at all assaies, marching in the face of their companies, where now a yong Captaine will hardlie continue two houres in that state.

But hauing determined to treate of the order of horse, I haue * dwelt too long vpon this point. I saie therefore that the order he∣therto obserued in the aranging of them woulde be left, to the ende to take another which reason willeth vs to followe, as beeing the better. But I doubt some will controule this proposition, saying that olde customes are not rasly to be altered: also that when the men of armes most flourished, this was their manner of fight. Like∣wise that sith the late Duke of Guise or the late Lord Constable, who were so excellent Captains, made no innouation therin, it see∣meth that it should be still so vsed. For if alterations in matters of state (as Plutarke sayth) be dangerous: like wise the thanging of martiall orders, bringeth inconueniences. But when a man hath by proofe found the profit arising by the new order, and the defects Page  186 of the olde, is it not high time to forsake the one and laie holde of the other? The Romaines, who may be sayde to haue ben soueraigne masters in the art of war did many times y like. Moreouer, because the men of armes haue had good successe when they were ra••ged in a haie, doth it followe that now they should so range themselues? No, for many things haue since happened, that may compell vs to change our fashions: as we haue done in fortifications since the in∣uention of Artillerie.

Froissart who in his Historic treateth at large of the French warres, dooth greatlye commende the horsemen of his time, which was fortie yeres before the erection of the Ordonances. And by his discourse it seemeth that they fought in file: hee there descri∣beth thē to be well armed, mounted vpon mightie iades, & hauing strong speares, whereby they might giue a great push. I doe also suppose that they chose this order, because the same horsmen con∣sisted onely of Gentrie, so as euerie man woulde fight in front, and neuer continue in the last ranke, euerie one esteeming himselfe to be in valour no lesse than his companion: as also it is to bee presu∣med that in those dayes other Nations obserued the lyke order. Af∣terward when ye men of armes were erected they follow the same, & so continued vntil the middest of the raigne of king Henrie the se∣cond, with much happie successe. But toward the end of his raigne our losses taught vs, that in parte they proceeded of the weaknesse of our saide order, and the firmenesse of that of our enimies. Then did the squadrons of speares growe into credite, who (as I haue heard) were so aranged by the Emperour Charles, who meeting our files of men of arms did easilie ouerthrow them, which also the squadrons of Rheitres haue sometimes done: neither is it much to be meruailed that it came so to passe for natural reason sheweth it, which willeth that the strong carrie awaie the weake: Also that sixe or seauen ranks of horsemen ioyned together ouerthrow one alone.

Some make this obiection. That when a companie is so stret∣ched forth, they doe all fight, whereas being in squadron scarce the * sixt parte doe ioyne, viz. so much as in the fore front. Hereto I an∣swere, that in the aranging of a troupe, we must not care so much, that euerie one at the meeting strike one blow with his speare: but rather that it may bee able to ouerthrowe all that come agaynst it, which is much brauelyer done when it is in the squadron? It may lykewise bee replyed that the squadron cannot ouerthrowe aboue fifteene or sixteene horse at the most of the troupe that standeth in a Page  187 haie, which is true, but those shall be about the Ensigne, where the Captaines and best men are placed: which being carried awaie, al the rest shaketh, and although that parte that hath not bene touch doe close vp the flankes of the squadron, yet doth it small harme, in that it cannot enter vpon the men that are thus in a heap vnited to∣gether: who likewise in their shockes doe strike those as well as the first, and breake them.

Yea, although three or foure troupes of horse be araunged in a haie one at anothers heales, yet shall a squadron ouerthrow them all almost as easilie as the boule doth many rankes of scailes: So that there must be one force to withstand another. If a Captaine hauing one thousand Corcelets to set in battayle araie shoulde not make past two or three rankes of them, euen the souldiours would laugh him to scorne, because by reason euerie battaile must haue his conuenient thicknesse.

The like consideration almost is to bee had of the horse, and I wonder it hath no sooner beene spied: For if the two nota∣ble Captaines aforenamed, had liued, they woulde peraduen∣ture haue taken order for it. It is not vnknowen to those that were in ye kings armie at Vallenciens that there were nere 10000 French speares: also that comming before the forte where the im∣periall were intrenched, I noted that a bodie of three hundred men of armes aranged in file, tooke almost 1000. paces in length, & the rest of the horses kept an infinite ground. But if the sayd 300. men of armes had bene set in 3. squadrons, they would not haue occu∣pied aboue sixe score paces in length, and the order had bene far bet∣ter: for to the end to archieue some notable feare, the men must bee close, and the better to helpe each other, they must not be so sca∣red a sunder. Our men of armes haue in our ciuill warres well perused the forces of the Reisters squadrons: for notwithstan∣ding they alwayes gaue the onset couragiously, yet could they neuer breake them, for they are so thicke that there is no meanes to get through them. At S. Quintaines and Graueling they were throughly: taught what great squadrons of speares are able to doe, by whom they were easilie ouerthrowen. All which proues may be sufficient to induce our great ones to correct the imperfec∣tions of our orders.

Yet one example more I wil allege the better to dis••se thē ther∣to: namely the battel of Montcontour, where ye kings horse being brought into squadrōs of speares, at their ioynis wt the protestāts, Page  188 who were ordered in a haic and without speares, might see how ea∣sily they were ouerthrowen.

Yet will I better examine these matters, beginning with a squa∣dron * formed of a companie of fiftie men of armes compleat. Hee that list to make seuen ranks, his foremost shal containe at the least fifteene speares. Now is it like that those whom wee set foremost are choice men, and the second doe wel second them in valour: and it is a miserable companie that hath not at the least 25. good men in it. As for the rest whō I presuppose not to be so valiant, they be pla∣ced as it were in couert vnder the shadow of the former, which ma∣keth them to followe the more cheerefullie to the charge, as know∣ing that the head must beare all the daunger and hurt, which if it breake the enimie, they shall be partakers of the same honour. So that it is a notable signe of cowardlynesse, when a troupe sobrdered dare not ioyne. Considering that the valour of the first should vrgè them to the onset, and the assurance of the last to follow and thrust in. But when a troupe is set in a wing, although the good, which ordinarily are the smallest number, do march cheerely to the onset, yet the rest that are not so willing to bite, (which faine to bleede at the nose, to haue a broken stiroppe, or to haue their horse vnshooed) doe staie behinde, so as within two hundred paces of waie, we shall see glasse windowes in that long file, & great breaches wil appeare therein, which greatly incourageth the enimie: and many times a∣mong an hundred horse, scarce 25. doe enter in: who afterwarde knowing themselues to haue no supporte, when they haue broken their staues and stroke one blowe with the sword, (if they be not o∣uerthrowen at their first comming,) do retire. And this sheweth what difference there is betweene one kinde of fight and another. When I consider of what maner of people the companies of other nations do consist, and of what people ours are full, I wonder that wee passe them not in goodnesse. For if we marke the Burguini∣on men of armes, which are in great reputation, we shall not finde much gentrie in their companies. In the Italian and Spanish troupes, which at this daie are the best, there be fewer: True it is there be verie good souldiours. But in one of our bandes of Ordi∣nance of fiftie speares which should containe about an hundred and fiftie horse, we shal finde notwithstanding the corruption creapt in, aboue 60. Gentlemen, who respecting their honours ought to doe better than others of meaner calling: not that I will affirme this rule to be alwaies true, though for the most part. Now the meanes Page  189 thereby to furnish out our men of armes with Gentrie, consisteth in maintaining it as in time past: also to make it inuincible, is to vse it to fight in suadrons. And for my part I suppose that 100. varlets armed, manned, and guided, keeping this order, will ouerthrowe 100. Gentlemen fighting in haie.

Some doe thinke it to be a hard matter to bring our Nation to * vse this order, which is true in respect of great Lordes and wilfull Gentlemen, for that euery man coueteth to be formost in the march and fight: But in one of the companies of Ordinance the Captain doth purchase obedience, either by loue or force. And when this ma∣ner hath bene a little practised, euerie one wil frame himselfe ther∣to. One thing we must note, that men when they come to fight wil neuer keepe their rankes well, vnlesse they be first vsed to it in their ordinarie march, for from the lesser men grow to the greater, and he that is perfecte in one is the readier to acquite himselfe in the o∣ther. We see the Reisters and their varlets, who haue no more de∣uotion than our French Gentlemen, religionsly obserue this order. And to saie the truth, this manner of march is verie commodious, and our selues doe commend it in them. But endeuouring to prac∣tise it, as a nouelty it doth by & by grieue vs, as being too solemne. Which riseth of our impatience, that neuer leaueth vs one quarter of an houre in one state. But this may the Captaines authoritie in time remedie. Some will saie that three hundred speares in file, maketh a greater shew than three squadrons of the like number, which cannot be denied. But for the fight (whereat we must chiefe∣ly aime) they are of no such effect. And this is it that should be well beaten into warriours heads. For the Captaines ought by instruc∣tions to make them halfe souldiours, and by experience to perfect them.

Let vs now see whether the auncient order bee in these dayes no whit to be practised. I think it may be vsed in two occasions. First when we send forth twentie or thirtie speares, for that troupe being so small may better fight in haie, where it maketh most shew. Se∣condly, when wee come to charge the footmen, it is good to diuide a squadron into many small troupes in file, which may assayle in sundrie places. But except these two occasions, I would wish the horse alwayes to keepe this order of squadrons. Besides, if we con∣sider how meanely many are in these dayes mounted, and how vn∣coward at the speare, we wil be ashamed to put them into a simple bodie, which were as much as to set them to bee beaten for the Page  190 nonce. Now let all such as haue had experience of the warres iudge whether the fore that I haue propounded, which the Spaniards, Italians, Burguinions, and Germaines doe vse, be not better than the olde. Many other questions might be demaunded, as how ma∣ny rankes should make a squadron, what number it should contain, & whether 2. squadrons of 250. speares a peece would counteruaile 300. as good as one of you? Concerning the ranks, I would order thē after the valour of the men: which the greater it were, the fewer would I make, and the lesse the more. As for the number conueni∣ent for a squadron, we must in part haue regarde to our enimies or∣der. For if theirs be great, ours must not be small, and in my opini∣on, except against the Turkes three hundred speares will suffice. And the third question is easily decided. For two meane troupes hauing good corespondence, & charging in season, are, in my mind, of more importance than one great.

The 16. Discourse.

Of the vse of Camarades, which among the Spanish foot∣men are of great account.

THe Lord of Langey in his hooke of martiall * discipline maketh mention of Camarades, which in our French speech he tearmeth Chā∣berers, making them to confist of ten soldiors a peece, giuing to one the preheminence ouer the rest, and him hee nameth Captaine of the Chābre. Wherin he imitateth the Romaines, who in their bands tearmed Cohortes, wherof ten made a legion, had their Decurions, yt is to say, their Tens with their Captaines ouer ten, which as I thinke they vsed for three causes. First for or∣der, which should be obserued euen in the least matters. Secondly, by their small rudiments to instruct the soldiours in their comman∣dements. And thirdly, that by this continuall conuersation & par∣ticipation in the same fire, table, and bed, they might ingender faith and loue. Now the Spaniards do not erect these small societies for Page  191 anie of the two first reasons, but for the third onely, so as that which the L. of Langey willeth to be done especially for order, they prac∣tise for the commoditie onely which therein they reap. And I think that this kind of footmen, which is vsually 150. or 200. leagues out of their owne Countrie, was brought to that custome through such great necessities, as they are sometimes forced to fight against, for some remedie whereof they inuented this fit meane, which in truth is verie good, for certainly there is no better, or more assured suc∣cour, care, or comfort, than of a perfect friende or loyall compa∣nion.

It had bene peraduenture more meee in speech to haue deliue∣red * such ordinarie, and (as a may may saie) childish things, than to set them downe in writing. But the cause that moued me heereto, is my owne knowledge of the greate want that our footmen haue of the vse heereof among them: for the bringing of them in liking whereof, I thought good to make this small description, which I wish should not vanish awaie with the sound. For if some at the least by the contemplation thereof could well perceiue the goodly fruite springing out of these militarie societies, I should not thinke these my vnperfect labours (which haue bene the hidden pastimes of my long miseries) to haue bene altogether vnprofitable.

Among the Spanish footmen there be (so far as I can learne) two * sorts of Camarades. The first are they whom the chiefe officers of the companies do associate with themselues, whom they doe defray with their seruants and horse, if they haue any, so as costing them nothing, they haue their whole pay come freely in, and commonlie a Captaine wil haue 5. or 6. whom he termeth his Camarades, (for such are the customes of Spain) which do in the armies seke meanes to maintaine themselues worthily, & to grow to preferment. These through their daily conuersatiō with the Captains, who are graue, modest, & discrete, doe learne so wel that in short space a man would deeme them worthie not onely to beare the corcelet or harquebuze, but also to commaund, as my selfe haue thought of some of those whome I haue seene. Their loue and regard to him that maintai∣neth them, is verie great: as also for his part hee esteemes of them almost as well if they were his owne kinsmen. To bee briefe, they alwaies keepe the Captaine honourable companie in his lodging, and serue and stand to him in his affayres, beeing accounted as Shelmes, if they shoulde abandon him. Their Serieauntes, who among them are in farre greater estimation than ours haue Page  192 also for their Camarades, some couple of braue souldiours whome they chose, who like wise doe giue them the third part of their paie to helpe toward their owne maintainance: and although they seeme thereby to be but as pencioners, yet do they beare them loue & ho∣nour as they ought.

The second sort of Camarades is the same which is practised * among the souldiours, a matter so vsuall among them, that he that kepeth himself long out of such assotiations is accounted as a stub∣burne iade that cannot abide among his fellowes. The least con∣sist of two, and the greatest of sixe, in euerie whereof wee may see the goodly images of brotherhood to shine. And this is so much the more to be esteemed as it happeneth among souldiours, who might seeme to seeke discord rather than concord. Thus in the middest of the generall amitie which the souldiours beare to their Captaines and companions, is formed this particular heere spoken of, which is more liuely than the other: the originall whereof proceedeth of their mutuall knowledge, and increase of ordinarie conuersation, & the stedfastnesse and confirmation thereof, of mutuall benefits. And for my parte I thinke it no small strength to a companie to haue therein some duzen of societies of friends, or more, that haue care each of other. Plutarke discoursing vpon the sacred bond of ye yong Thebans, which was otherwise called The band of friends, did iudge it therefore to be the more valiant. And in deede they all died one after another in the battell.

Moreouer, there groweth great commodity in ordinarie expense by liuing together: for foure souldiours may honestly maintaine themselues with a small matter, according to their callings, where one yonker hauing his seuerall table shall spend more than all they and not fare so well.

The Spaniards doe vse in their Camarades to allowe to each his * weeke to prouide and keepe account of charges, and hee that best husbandeth it, is thought the wisest, which is the thing that they most studie for. For they gape after praise euen in the smallest mat∣ters as well as in the great. Seldome doe they incurre any want, for still one of them either by hooke or crooke catcheth somewhat, which he liberally imparteth to the rest, neither can they abide that anie of them should be badly clothed, rather will they faste to appa∣rell him. But one of the chiefest fruites of these societies appeareth when one of them is sicke, for such is theyr charitie, that they will one helpe another as brethren to their power. Thus much I will Page  193 say more, that this small priuat life is almost alwaies pleasant, be∣cause of their domesticall conuersation which findeth them pastime enough. Neither is it cause of lesse honestie, for one alwaies seeing another, euery man brideleth his affections as wel as he may, from doing any infamous deede, for feare least he should growe into contempt and so be banished the companie of those that esteeme of honor. And to say the truth, I finde solitarinesse to bee hurtfull to many Souldiers, who resemble Apes, which when no man seeth them, are alwaies about some mischiefe: and so doe they imagine to doe. Whereto is to be added, that if any of the sayd Spanyards be ignorant in this or that, the rest will instruct him with as good will as hee will receiue not onely their instructions but also repre∣hensions. This is in briefe the benefite that they reape of their Ca∣marades.

Now let vs see how wee may so practise the like custome, that * we may gaine any profite therein, wherof others do finde so much. Concerning the first sorte, I iudge our Captaines cannot so well fit themselues therein as the Spanyards, in respect that they must then breake an other custome, which hath taken so deepe roote that it would hardly be extinguished. And that is, that they haue vsed to haue their tables furnished according to their abilities, sometimes for one and sometime for an other of their Souldiers, who would thinke themselues contemned, if with that and such other like fa∣miliarities they should not be enterteyned. For the French Soul∣diers are perswaded that their Captaine must not debarre thē ei∣ther his table or good countenance, sith they spend their bloods for his sake, and he who for sparing sheweth himself slack herein is ac∣compted a Chicheface or niggard: for wel for to discharge himself herein, he must not spare expences. So as if our Captaines should finde three or foure Camarades aboue their other charges, they were not able to performe it without stealing from the Souldier vnreasonably, which would redound to their shame. The Spanish Souldier do not goe so freely to his Captaines table, except vpon great necessitie, or that he be inuited: as hauing discretion enough to consider that they haue other charge sufficient, as in deede they haue. For such there are among them as haue in their families a∣boue twentie mouthes, and thirteene or foureteene horses. But their best comfort is, that their King as they say, will neuer leaue them poore. Thus we may see things fit for one, which in diuers respects that make the difference will not serue an other. But con∣cerning Page  194 the second, I am not of the same minde: for I thinke it re∣quisite that our Souldiers should put it in practise, yea that they should bee earnestly perswaded thereto, as well for the respects a∣fore mentioned, as also to accustome them to grow more tollerable each to other. Besides, that in some one of our companies we shall finde that ordinarily the third part of our souldiers shall in the first weeke haue eaten vp their whole moneths pay, where if they were thus assotiate together they would learne one of an other to line, and withall each enstruct his companion to shuune braules, where∣with our Regiments are so sore infected that in some one day you shall haue three or foure, whereas contrariwise the Spanyards doe detest it among themselues. I haue heard some of the Captaines of that braue Tertio, wherein Peter de Passe doth commaund, af∣firme, that in eighteene moneths they haue not had one, whereof neuerthelesse they were not exempt through any want of stomack, for they haue as much as any men, but they are endued with mo∣destie, and doe knowe that their swords ought to bee employed in fighting against their enemies, and not in murdering one another.

This Discourse is vnperfect.

The 17. Discourse.

Of the rewards ordinarily bestowed vppon the Spanish soul∣diers when they haue done any notable peece of seruice: which they tearme their Aduantages.

I Am not of the opinion of those men, who per∣aduenture * flattering their Princes, do vphold that ye rewards which they vse to giue to their souldiers doe proceede of their meere liberali∣tie, and that thereto they are no way bound. And their reason is: for that he hath his pay for his good seruice, so as whatsoeuer he get∣teth more proceedeth of fauour. Truely they peize the ballance o much to the one side, which I would faine bring to stand equall: and that may easely bee done by putting as much waite to the me∣rite Page  195 of the inferiour as to the goodwill of the superiour. But if we consider the martiall lawes and customes, we shall find that in such actions there is more of duetie then of grace. And I hould that rule good which willeth that as the pay goeth before the seruice, so the reward must followe the merite. Truely if any men in the world doe labour and encurre great hazards in seruice, the souldiers do it. They must not therefore be defrauded of the rewards which euen the meanest doe hope for and the greatest cannot be denied of. For their valour shewed hath a certaine attractiue power which wre∣steth praise and garlands out of the mouthes and hands euen of the ignorant, of the couetouse, and of the vnthankfull.

Now, these Aduantages whereof I purpose to speake do con∣sist * in coyne, and are small recōpences, which the Catholicke King or his Lieutenants generall doe distribute to those that haue done any valiant exployt: The least are two crownes, and the greatest eight. Also this is moreouer to bee noted, that if a souldier once re∣warded doth againe any extraordinarie seruice, he is againe re∣compenced. And my selfe doe remember that I haue seene sundrie that at sundrie times had so gotten some twentie, some fiue and twentie crownes Aduantage, besides their ordinarie pay, which in my opinion is both a good helpe to the maintenance of a Soul∣dier and a honest token of his valour. Yet some doe set downe these rewardes vnder the title of profite and not of honor. But if they marked the cause which purchased them as well as the quali∣tie of the thing purchased, they should perceiue them to bee as ho∣norable as profitable. Commonly the General doth assigne them, because that being in place he better knoweth those yt are worthie then the King who is farre of. Likewise when any hath giuen his ordinance, he may goe where he will so he serue among ye bands of footmen which are deuided into diuers parts of his Empire, still he shall haue his pay: for such debts are woonderfully priuiledged.

I could neuer learne when this custome began, but I gesse the * Emperour Charles was the author therof: for he being personally in many armies & exployts, thought them necessarie for the main∣tenance and encrease of his souldiers valour: & by the fruites which both haue and doe yet appeare, wee may iudge them to haue bene grounded vpon good reason. Wherin is verified the saying of one that sayd, that where much honor was sowne, great vertue springeth vp. For the souldier that seeth his assured reward as it were before his eyes, neuer feareth, if occasion serue, to hazard himselfe to all Page  196 perilles, thereby to shewe his courage and desire of fame: whereof it also followeth that he is the better affected to forme his life well. I haue heard that honorable olde man Peter de Pas report, that to his Tertio or regiment, which cōsisteth of 23. Spanish En∣signes, there were giuen monthly aboue 1200. crownes in Ad∣uantages, which well testifieth that the same was replenished with valiant men.

It may be some seuere Censor will herevpon exclaime and say. Is it not an excessiue prodigalitie to giue away 14000. crownes by yere*extraordinarily vnto one regiment? Might not 250 good souldiers be maintained therewith? My friend, what standest thou so much vpon the number? I graunt thou maist haue souldiers, but good ones I deny. For to the ende to make them such, they must be well vsed. I meruaile thou canst cast thy niggardly eyes so farre into the lawfull rewardes of other mens so long labours, and yet turne them from thy selfe. For what els doest thou but liue delicately, taking no payne but to stuffe thy cof∣fers with the riches of the Commonwealth, which doe farre surmount that which thou thinkest superfluous, and which thy selfe wouldest faine catch? Hould thy peace I pray thee, or els my counsaile shall be to send thee to view the first breach that shall be made. But if any man shall thinke that I would seeke out among forreine nations onely all that is well ordered, to the ende thereto to giue due commenda∣tion and proceede no farther, he is much deceiued. For hauing set downe that which so deserueth, I will stirre vp our great men to imitate the order that yéeldeth such fruite to others, thereby to encourage our footmen, who being wel ordered and vsed, doth giue place to none in the world.

When I call to mind the small order obserued in the rewarding * of our French souldiers, I am ashamed that so much wisedome as we haue among vs could neuer perceiue that it was requisite to do more then we haue done. I know that he which sheweth forth his valiancie may climbe to the degrees of the companies. Likewise haue I sometime seene that when some had done any notable act, he was rewarded with tenne or twentie crownes at a time, though but sieldome. Wherefore it were good either to establish some more firme and continuall order, or els to accuse our recompencers of in∣gratitude. But dare I speake of the ingratitude often seene when there is any question of the poore maimed, or such as haue growne ould in our warres, which craue that we should take some compas∣sion of them? If tenne of the hundred be gratified, it is all, and yet Page  197 how is that? With the roume of a lay Monck in an Abbay, where after the poore souldier is come in, before he hath bene a fortnight among them, the most of the Monckes (as scorners of labour, dan∣ger, and stripes, and louers of idlenesse, and bellie cheere) doe so crosse and molest him, that he is driuen to compound for some fiftie or sixtie Frankes pention, and so get him some other where. These examples doe discourage our souldiers and bring them to take bad waies, which would not so often fal out, if the order here propoun∣ded might be established among our bands.

But because our France hath not at this day any such yeerely * fléetes out of both the Indies, as this great Empire which threaten it, it were meet, though we cannot do so much, yet to do some parte of that which were requisite, so to make those that beare the pike and the harquebuze to defend it more brauely and willingly. If to a regiment of ten Ensignes we should assigne only 4000. crownes by yere for Aduantages, which should not bee giuen but vpon no∣table seruice, and in tenne regiments would amount vnto 40000. crownes, were it so euil husbandrie for the time of warre? I think, to some small Duke it were too much, but to a King of France, such a charge were to bee accompted small, in respect of the good that would redound thereof, which would appeare in that the soul∣dier should growe both the better warriour and the better liuer, when he should see his labour and diligence recompenced. It is hard to thinke what a bad opinion strangers haue conceiued of our French Souldiers, seeing them in their iorney into Flanders and warres in France; so disordered in the fielde, & sometimes to fight so faintly, which although it hath in part procéeded of giuing them the bridle too much and their bad pay, yet may wee withall say that the small recompence which they hoped for and hath bene giuen them, haue discontented them and caused them by all meanes to seeke their profite, sith they were denied the rewards of honor. Let vs therfore growe more readie to amend our faults, and knowing our passed negligence followe good order, shewing to those that being commanded doe so liberally hazard their liues that we hould them in some estimation: so shal we both conquer others and keepe our owne. I might here say somewhat of the great rewards and o∣ther honorable apparant tokens that appertaine to those braue Captaines and gallant Knights which atchieue braue enterprises: But I will forbeare, because my selfe am forced here to disgest the bitter pilles of an apparant likelihood of perpetuall emprisonment.

Page  198

Foure Militarie Paradoxes.

The 18. Discourse.

The first Paradoxe.

That a Squadron of Reistres should beate a Squadron of Speares.

THE learned do knowe that Paradores are sentēces or propositions repugnant to common opinion, and in ould time there were Philosophers which pro∣pounded some that they had gathered in the doctrine of the Stoickes, were it to shewe that men might gather fruite of that which seemed vnfruitfull, or for exercise of their wittes. Howsoeuer it is, I haue thought good, imitating their examples (to set downe to sundrie braue Captaines matter whereon to discourse) to pro∣pound these, thinking that when they haue bene well examined, some may peraduenture giue as much credite to them as to com∣mon opinion. Among those that professe armes, it is so assured a principle that a troope of Speares should beate and ouerthrowe a troope of Pistols, that who so seemeth to doubt thereof is taken to be but a meanly practised souldier. The Spanyards & Italians doe also make lesse doubt thereof then the French. And although they be such men as with iudgement can alowe or disalowe whatsoeuer is set before them, yet doe I thinke that herein they leane rather to some small experience, then to any other ground of reason. But in this as in many others matters, it oftentimes manifesteth such ef∣fects, that when we haue throughly considered their causes we find that they should fall out otherwise. The Reistres should rather thē any other, be the defenders hereof, for yt their reputation consisteth herein: & peraduenture if they had at all times shewed themselues firme and diligent to doe it with their hands, they might now with lesse difficultie haue defended it with their tongues.

Page  199 We must yet grant them the honor of being the first yt brought * the Pistols into vse, which when a man can well handle I take to be very daungerous. They are a discent come from the harquebu∣ziers, and to say as it is, all these instruments are deuilish, inuented in some mischieuous shop to turne whole realmes and kingdomes into desolatiō, & replenish the graues with dead carcases. Howbeit mans malice hath made them so necessarie that they cannot be spa∣red. To the end therfore to profite by them it is requisite to haue a merueisous care, which no nation doth approach any thing so nere vnto, I meane for Pistols, as the Germaines, & that is the cause that I wil speake of thē, as of those who amōg all sorts of horsmen that vse this weapon, do carie away the prize. I will not stand per∣ticulerly to describe al the sorts which the Reistres vse, for they are but too well knowne. It is enough to say that the offensiue are as good as the speare mens, but the offensiue do farre passe them. For the man of armes vseth his speare but for one blow, where ye Rei∣stre carieth 2. pistols wherwith he may shoot 6. or 7. times, which if he doe it in season, doth great hurt. Euery man likewise carieth his sword, whose effects may be equal. Sith then ye pistol can pierce the defensiue armes, which the speare cannot, we may cōclude that the Reistre hath ye aduantage in the offensiue & is equal in ye defensiue.

In fauour of the speare man, it may be said that he is better hor∣sed, * and hath his seate surer then the other: also yt the speare, when it is seene a farre of with the banderoll wauing & shaking, doth ter∣rifie: whereto I aunswer, that the massiue & close order of the Rei∣stres doth supplie the weaknesse of their horse & stayes. As for the terror of the speare, it is not of so great efficacie as is the astonish∣ment that the pistoll bringeth at the cracke. Let vs, will some man say, bring these two champions to fight one against an other, and he that getteth the better shall teach which of the two Squadrons shall so be. This obiection beareth some faire shewe, but it may be false. For herein perticuler reasons doe differ from the generall. It is as if a man should say, that because in the field one harquebuzier may kill a pike man armed with his corcelet, it followeth that in pitcht fieldes the harquebuziers should ouerthrow the battailes of pikes: which neuerthelesse falleth out cōtrarie, for it is certaine that for the most part those battailes do giue the victorie. But admit the speare man and the pistoll doe ioyne, the issue will be doubtfull, al∣though I thinke if the pistoler can keepe himselfe frō ioyning head to head with the speare man he may haue the aduantage of him, by Page  200 reason of the great offence growing of his weapon. If any man re∣ply, that among the gentrie it is houlden for a principle, that a good man of armes may easely beate a Reistre, I will aunswer, that the Germaines thinke the contrarie: namely, that a braue Reistre should say the man of armes that commeth to assaile him, and ca∣rie away his horse: for they must still catch at somewhat. Thus we see that on both sides euery one will keepe his honor, yea euen to priuate combats.

Howbeit, the principall poynt consisteth in shewing what the e∣uents * of them in grosse should be. For the better iudgement wher∣of, we are first to consider of the valour of the men. Herevpon the speares will say, that their companies being better furnished of Gentrie then the others, must likewise be more valiant: but withall wee must note, that in the cornets of Reistres there bee some fewe gentlemen and a number of trayned souldiers: and for the Cap∣taines, because they haue bene often employed by diuers Princes, they must needes bée skilfull in the arte of warre. Wherefore to make the quicker dispatch, I presume that in courage, experience and number both the squadrons are equall. Let vs then see which of them best keepeth order: for that obserued as it ought at the go∣ing to charge giueth a great gird to the victorie. Herein wee must say, that the Germaines exceede all other nations, because they seeme to bee not onely close, but euen glewed each to other: which proceedeth of an ordinarie custome that they haue to keepe alwaies in bodie, as hauing learned as well by naturall knowledge, as by profe, that the strong alwaies carie away the weake. Also the more to testifie that they sieldome fayle in this, whensoeuer they be bro∣ken, in their retire and flight they still remaine vnseperate and ioy∣ned together: which the speares do not, but rather for the most part euen in the shocke doe bring themselues out of aray, which procéed of that that they must haue some small carrier to strike with their speares: but they take it too long, especially the Frenchmen, whose heate is such, that when he commeth within 200. paces he begin∣neth to gallop, and within 100. to runne amaine, which is an ouer∣sight, for they neede not so much ground. Sith therefore that it is one principle that squadrons doe breake with the vyolent shocke which they susteyne, may we not therevpon inferre, that those that keepe themselues closest and doe strike with the whole bodie con∣ioyned, doe worke the greatest effect: It is hard to denie it: and who doe better practise those rules then the Reistres?

Page  201 Many there are that will not graunt this, but doe obiect that if * there had bene so great vertue in the Reistres order, they would not haue suffered themselues to haue bene so often beaten. Hereto I say, that the fault proceeded not of their order, but rather of some euill demeanour which some of them, comming to the combate, haue vsed. The first is, that comming within twentie paces of the enemie they haue turned their flanckes to them, and so discharged their volee of Pistols vppon them: for thus (say they) more may shoote then if they runne on front: And then if the enemie turneth his backe, vndoubtedly they vse him badly: but if he abide it, they fetch about a great circuite either to charge a newe, or to take newe Pistols. Whereof it hath often come to passe, that they haue not had leisure so much as to turne their heads: for their turnes and returnes haue bene taken for a flight: wherevpon they haue bene so hotly pursued that they haue taken their carrier out right. This * euill inuented maner is more fit to play at base then to fight. And I merueile that their leaders could neuer remember that the Pi∣stoll worketh almost no effect, vnlesse it bée discharged within three paces: as also that the troopes doe neuer breake vnlesse they bee sharply assailed. An other custome by them obserued is, that when the first ranckes of the squadron begin to shoote, all the rest doth likewise discharge, and most of them in the ayre. Peraduenture they imagine their great noyse should terrifie the enemie, which perhaps it would doe if they were sheepe or crowes. But French men and Spanyards are not so easely daunted. The inconuenience that riseth hereof is this, that the last ranckes which should thrust forward the first, seeing that they haue discharged in vayne, doe in liew of going forward, stand still, and are sooner amazed then they that be at the head and in all the daunger: wherefore it is nothing straunge that these euill kindes of fight haue engendred euill suc∣cesse. But who so list to marke the other Reistres that haue ioyned as they ought, shall finde that they haue made slaughters and ouer∣throwne the speares, whereby their Captaines haue learned wit, and doe now make them to keepe better orders.

Now let vs speake of the meeting of two squadrons: whervpon * I will say, that although the squadron of Speares doe giue a va∣liant charge: yet can it worke no great effect: for at the onset it kil∣leth none, yea it is a miracle if any be slayne with the speare: onely it may wound some horse, and as for the shocke it is many times of small force, where the perfect Reistres doe neuer discharge their Page  202 Pistols but in ioyning, and striking at hand they wound, ayming alwaies either at the face or thigh. The second ranck likewise shoo∣teth of so as the forefront of the men of armes squadron is at the first meeting halfe ouerthrowne and maymed. Also although the first rancke may with their speares doe some hurt especially to the horse, yet the other ranckes following cannot doe so, at the least the second and third, but are driuen to cast away their speares & helpe themselues with their swordes. Herein wee are to consider two things which experience hath confirmed: The one, that the Rei∣stres are neuer so daungerous as when they bee mingled with the enemie, for then be they all fire. The other, the two squadrons mee∣ting, they haue scarce discharged the second pistoll but either the one or the other turneth away. For they contest no lenger, as the Romaines did against other nations, who oftentimes kept the field two houres fighting face to face, before either partie turned backe. By all the aforesaid reasons I am driuen to aduowe that a squadron of pistols, doing their dueties, shall breake a squadron of speares.

It may hereto bee replied, that the man of armes carieth also one pistoll which he vseth when his speare is broken. It is soone sayd, but coldly practised: for the most of them scarce caring to charge, doe referre that to their men, who haue no greater vse of it then themselues, and when they come to fight the one halfe doe faile, as hath bene oft enough tryed, or at the least through euill charging doe no hurt. He that will haue any vse of those weapons, must bee as carefull of them as of a horse: whereto it is hard to bring other nations, which accompt this a base and seruile occu∣pation. Some man may in the fauour of the men of armes say, that they may in such sorte ioyne the squadron of Reistres that they may ouerthrowe them. That is, that comming within 80. paces they may sende foorth their three last ranckes of speares gallantly to assaile their flancke, so shall they open it, breake the force therof, and bring such a feare vpō them that-the squadron of speares may the better deale with them. Hereto I aunswer, the obseruation is good, though not greatly in vse. Neuerthelesse, it is a matter com∣mon as well to the one as to the other. For teach it to the Reistre, and he will pay you in the same coyne, by sending foorth parte of his troope to strike into your sides: so shall your inuentions be a re∣medie to him, and peraduenture he shall preuaile more therewith then your selues. Now, notwithstanding whatsoeuer I haue here∣in Page  203 discoursed, my entent is not to bring the French nation in dis∣like with the speare, which I take to be wonderfull proper wea∣pons for them so long as their mindes are no otherwise disposed then yet they bee. And vntill they haue learned more stedfastly to keepe order, and to be more carefull of their weapons, they will ne∣uer worke the like effects with the pistoll, as the Reistres. Such as imagine the pistoll to bee such a terrible and offensiue weapon, are not greatly deceiued: neither will I gainsay them, in case it come in valiant hands.

The ende of the first Paradoxe.

The second Paradoxe.

That 2500. Corcelets and 1500. Harquebuziers may more easely retire three French leagues in a plaine fielde then 2000. Speares.

AMong all militarie actions accompted notable, this * hath the first place as one of the most difficult, as also it is a great testimonie of the sufficiencie of the. Cap∣taine that can compasse it. And as there are fewe willing to vndertake it, for feare of fayling: so perad∣uenture shall we finde fewer that will beleeue that it may be done, because it is a thing that happeneth so sieldome. Neither would I reproue their opinion if they ment that in the weakenesse wherein our infantery now cōsisteth it were vnpossible to attaine to yt effect. For hauing no vse of the pike & voyd of discipline, I do not thinke that 10000. harquebuziers taken frō thence durst shew themselues in the plaine before 600. speares. But with the 4000. men of whō I meane to speake, all of our owne nation and of no other, reduced into good order and obedience, and in their auncient armes, I will vphould that the retraict propounded may be performed.

Such as will gainsay (of whome there are many) will pro∣pound * an argument gathered of experience, saying, that no Histo∣riographer setteth downe any such example, at the least none of those that haue written of the warres happened since the yeere 1494. hetherto, which haue bene very notable: also that these proofes appeared only in the time of the Romaines. Whereto for my aunswer, sith they beate me with experience, I will defend my selfe by the same and say, that it maketh no more against me, then with me. For regarding what is past, we may note such happes as Page  204 verifie my proposition not to bee vnpossible. First I will alleadge * the braue retraict of Don Aluares of Sande in Afflicke. He had, as I haue heard, 4000. Spanyards, souldiers of great valour, and to come where he purposed, he was to passe a plaine of foure or fiue miles, which (trusting to his men) he aduentured to doe. But he was not so soone set forward, but eightéene or twentie thousand horse of the Moores were at his heeles, who coueted to catch him in this bad aduantage. He then hauing ordered his battaile and ex∣horted his men, went forward on his way where all these horse did fiue or sixe times set vpon him, but he bare their brunt and so braue∣ly repulsed them, that with the losse of 80. men at the most he brought the rest into safetie, and slew seuen or eight hundred of the enemies. Some will say, that they wanting armour did not pearce so sharply as do the Christian horsemen, who doe farre passe them in courage. I graunt ours are more valiant, but theirs did not as∣saile very slackly, or els they had not lost so many. And by this ex∣ployt it appeareth, that footmen resolute and well led may passe a∣ny where. Guicciardine also in his historie reporteth a gallant re∣traict * of 2000. Spanyards after the Frenchmen had broken their armie at Rauenna: for being ioyned againe into their bodie, al∣though the horsemen did follow and charge them, yet did they saue themselues, yea and slewe Gaston de Foix the conquerour that pursued them.

In these retraicts here do appeare great determinatiō but small * arte, which neuerthelesse is very necessarie in such affayres: wherto I will also adde the instruction of the souldiers. For when all these three things shall concurre in one troope, I doubt not but it may worke greater meruailes then the former. Some will say, that the Frenchmen can at this day hardly helpe themselues with the pike, which is true, neither do I merueile thereat: for in deliuering both it and the corcelet to any man, men looke to no more, but whe∣ther he hath good shoulders, as if it were to carie some coffer like a moyle: and as for the gentrie they haue quite giuen it ouer. This is the reason why I wish the restoring of martiall discipline, as al∣so that they would againe practise the pike, wherewith to fight at hand and open, and to leaue to the youth and poore Souldiers the handling of the harquebuze, because that therewith they ordinarily fight a farre of and in couert: for the one is farre more honorable then the other. Captaines in ould time, venturing vpon some dif∣ficult enterprise, wished to haue their Souldiers not only well or∣dered, Page  205 but also old beaten warriours, because their assurance is the greater. For it were but an ouersight to attempt any perillous ad∣uenture with newe men. Now will I come to Instruction, which is (as I haue sayd) merueilously requisite in extraordinary mat∣ters. And yet we now see that the Souldier contemneth it: and the Captaine careth not for it. But admit a Souldier bee valiant, and that wheresoeuer he be placed he will doe his duetie: thinke you he will not doe it much better, or that he will not fight more resolutly, when before he hath by good reasons bene perswaded that the horse cannot force a battaile in the face: likewise that for the flancke they must vse such fortification as I will hereafter set downe, then if he were vtterly ignorant and wist not what might happen? I thinke no man will denie it: for certainly ignorance is in parte cause of the feare that many men of warre doe oftentimes conceiue: For that seeing the enemie in their faces, they thinke they should, ac∣cording to the prouerbe, euen eate yron charets. I know that prac∣tise teacheth to knowe the true from the false, but there is much time spent therein, vnlesse it bee holpen by familier and ordinarie documents, which those captaines that seeke to haue the best com∣panies doe diligently giue to their souldiers.

Hauing thē the num∣ber of Footmen afore * mentioned, readie tray∣ned and instructed, they should be arāged in this maner. I would make two battailes of them each of 1250. corcelets, & 750. Harquebuziers: If any man aske why two rather then one, I say, to the ende the one to fauour the other, as may bee seene in the fi∣gure hereto adioined for the better cōprehending thereof.

[illustration]

The ordering of the footmen asorenamed to withstand the hotse in the fielde.

Page  206 For marching but 80. paces asunder and coasting each other, it followeth that the head of the battaile marked A can hardly bee charged, because the side of the battaile marked 3 doth flancke it, as likewise the sayd head doth as much for the sayd flancke: by the same reason also one of the heads of the battaile marked 2. and the flancke of the other marked D doe also succour each other by their harquebuziers, so as it is very daungerous for the horse to assayle in such places which enterflancke each other. But may some man say, although the two battailes cannot be assaulted but each vpon two sides, why is it not as good to make but one onely, which cannot be assailed in any more places? For it seemeth the resistance would bee more gallant, because that force vnited is much greater then deuided. I am of opinion that in these actions, it is not so re∣quisite to looke to the greatnesse or smalnesse of the battailes, as to the difficultie and hinderance when they finde themselues assay∣led on euery side. For it is a great aduenture but there will growe some disorder when one bodie must make defence in foure places: but when they neede not to looke but to two sides, the men doe frame themselues thereto with greater ease and much better order. This reason shall content me for the verifying of my speech, not∣withstanding I could alleadge others.

Concerning the ordering of the battailes, I would wish euery * rancke to conteyne fiftie Corcelets, whereof there should be seauen at the head, which would make three hundred and fiftie, then tenne ranckes of harquebuziers, and in the middest of them the rancke of Ensignes, afterward for the tayle sixe ranckes of Corcelets, which in all make sixe hundred and fiftie Corcelets and fiue hundred har∣quebuziers placed in foure and twentie rankes. For the flanckes, wherein al the difficultie doth consist, they should be ordered in ma∣ner following. I would neuer place there any harquebuziers as hath hetherto bene vsed, but make sixe rankes of three hundred Corcelets, in each fiftie men which should serue to make head on those sides. The enemies being néere, they should march otherwise then the rest, namely close and carying their Pikes vpright leaning against their shoulders, which is now sufficiently in vse. Whereas at the heads of the battaile, when any thing is to be done, in their march they trayle them, which maketh much distance betweene their rankes,

Now, these sixe ranckes when the charge is offered, after they stand shall doe nothing but make halfe a turne, and so continue in Page  207 their array with their face to the enemie, and by my aduice, they should take but threescore common paces in length, which properly should bee the same which the battaile being closed to fight, may haue open by the flanckes. Thus should they bee armed to with∣stand the horsemen, which cannot bee well done but with Pikes: for the harquebuze shot without couert wil easely be ouerthrowne. There remaine yet two hundred and fiftie harquebuziers to bee placed in the battaile, counting the Muskets whom I would wish to bee distributed into foure partes, in each threescore and some∣what more to stande as it were loose before the Pikes, and at the charge to arange themselues vnder those of the first ranckes on the foure sides of the battaile.

Some will mislike I should make the heades so weake and * only of sixe ranckes of Corcelets, thinking them too fewe to beare the brunt of a whole hande of horse. To whom I may say, that if there were tenne it were the better, but I haue cut my coate after my cloath: howbeit, I thinke such frontes sufficient to resist the horse, which may easely bée done, if the men haue courage and will be sure to stand strongly, and fewe battailes haue wee seene ouer∣throwne by any assault of the horse at the head. As for the flankes which I haue described in such sorte as before, they be as strong as the heades, so long as they can keepe their order. And this order I would wish them to keepe in their fight. First, while the horse were farre of, it were good the battailes did goe forwarde, but seeing them readie to charge, to stay to the ende the better to settle themselues in order and with good footing to beare their first brunt.

The first rancke of Corcelets to plant the endes of their Pikes * sure in the ground, and not to stirre though a horse should goare himselfe thereon: also to hould them about the middest, and vnder the foreends should the threescore Muskets and Harquebuzes ap∣poynted, arange themselues, with one knee on the ground to shoote the surer, as also to be somewhat defended. The other ranckes of Corcelets to stande vpright almost close with the first rancke and to make the bodie of the battaile. Then the horsemen comming to charge, I doubt not but they shall finde themselues shrewdly a∣noyed by the Harquebuziers, which shooting within twentie pa∣es, iust in the face of the horse, in my opinion will mayme the whole first rancke of the squadron: but if any thinke them in small suretie there; I will aunswer, that they can no where bee better Page  208 placed at the head then here: for they must bee where they may anoye at the first brunt, and although the Speares or breastes of the horse doe ouerthrowe some foure or fiue on a side, it were but a small losse. For it is most certaine that when a Squadron of horse shall see nine or tenne horse fall downe at the first comming, such as followe will haue an eye to their consciences. Thus after the Squadron shall haue borne this sharpe welcome, it must like∣wise strike vppon the Pikes of the first rancke, or els moderate the first heate, as also because the first gored horses shall bee forced to stande, and so stay the rest that followeth. And although this defence might somewhat yeeld, yet should they still finde the bo∣die of the battaile readie to beare their brunt, wherein consi∣steth the principall force. And in trueth I should thinke it vnpos∣sible (if the Souldiers would not bee afeard) to ouerthrowe such a barre: for we must thinke that though the horses runne with great force, yet a small thing letteth them, the smoake and noyse of the Harquebuziers scarreth them, hurtes stoppe them, mens conceiued feares doe make them to pull backe, and the crye of the battaile hath some effect, notwithstanding the greatest of all pro∣ceedeth of the resistance of the Pikes. Besides all this, some rancke of Harquebuziers placed in the middest of the battaile might likewise shoote ouer the heads of the Pikes, who bending themselues to the fight doe somewhat stoope, whereby parte of the horsemans bodie may be seene.

Some peraduenture will scorne hereat and say, that all these * small obseruations were more fit to bee practised in Dances and Maskes rather then in the warre, likewise the ould custome haue alwaies bene best, though wee trouble not our selues with so ma∣ny impractiseable nouelties. But I am not of their mindes, for they put me in remembrance of many of our fathers that laughed at so many inuentions for the fortifying of the Houlds, tearming them Italian deuises, affirming that one good great Rampier would suffice to warrant men from the force of the Canon, vp∣pon the which they might defende themselues Pike to Pike. And yet experience hath taught vs that then townes were taken within eight daies, where now we cōsume almost a whole season, so often must wee fight before wee can winne a Raueline, then the ditch, then the Rampier, then the inwarde trench. For if in the should there bee one ingenious person and a Souldier withall, such a one as was Captaine Bastian in Maistrict, he maketh them Page  209 that are without to sweate water and blood. I would thinke that that which I require in our battell, should not be so hard to practise, sith our newe Souldiers when wee traine them, doe make many more turnes and returnes for pleasure. Why then should not the olde Souldiers labour to learne any thing that may breede their honor and safegard.

Two other obiections may yet be here made. The first: that the * flankes of the battell shall still be much weaker then the heads: be∣cause the couer that I haue giuen them, consisting in so difficult an order, it is easie to bee disordered. I confesse that the saide flanks should be too weake to assaile, because the battelles doe still march forwarde and not sideling: but strongly to beare a brunt I thinke that obseruing the same which I haue set downe, they shall be able to doe it, as well as the heades. To the ende likewise the conduct may be the better, I would wish to each flanke two Capteynes, with the pike; and of the notablest souldiers. The second obiection is that the fower corners of the battell, though closed, doe yet re∣maine somewhat open and weake, as it were for the space of seuen or eight steppes, where the horse may get entrie. Truely this con∣sideration is not amisse, and for the remedie hereof it were requisite in these corners to place seuen or eight of the brauest Harquebu∣ziers, who should not discharge but vpon great necessitie, as also to appoynt the Corcelets of the 4. 5. and 6. rankes that should be née∣rest thereto to turne their Pikes that way to beare the brunt when they see the enemie approach. The greatest daunger to all the sayd footmen consisteth in the two first charges of the horse, which it is to be presumed, will bee braue: but being borne out, they may con∣ceiue great hope, in that they haue quenched the first heate of the e∣nemie, and so march forward ouer the field, casting forth some lose mosquets to keepe the horsemen a loofe, but when they see it come vpon them then wholy to close. And bearing themselues thus, I am verely perswaded they may make a gallant retraict.

The better to comprehende this matter, the Colonels who in * their regiments haue many Pikes, should sometimes proue in fay∣ned things how this order standeth with reason, and peraduenture they shall finde them selues the better satisfied, when they see a pic∣ture and liuely representation thereof concurre with that which they may haue imagined, according to this reporte. Some man will replye that the horsemen may so vndiscreetly assaile the foot∣men, that they may indeede saue themselues before them, but if Page  210 they would charge them in small troopes (namely of one squadron of 300. to make 3. each of 100. which might followe one after an other) it would much shake the battaile. For the Harquebuzery ha∣uing discharged vpon the first (as it cannot bee denyed, but it will greatly endomage them) the two other squadrons following shall haue great aduantage, in being exempt from that daunger, and so there is some likelihoode that they may shake them. Truely this kinde of charge is very good, but it may be prouided for: for some of those Harquebuziers that should lye vnder the first rancke of the Pikes, may haue charged againe before the second troope commeth vpon them, also from the two sides that are not charged, or from the one, the harquebuzers may be brought to succour that which may bee in daunger, as also some of those in the middest may like∣wise shoote which being handsomely performed, the Corcelets shall still haue succour from their Harquebuzerie▪ for without this their defence would be but colde. To conclude, I rather feare that wee shall want occasion to attempt so braue a retraict, either that wee shall scarcely finde any Captaine that will be the first to proue it, then that I doubt but it may be put in execution.

The third Paradoxe.

That it is expedient for a Captaine to haue susteyned an ouer∣throwe.

PLutarke among his small workes in a * treatise intituled, Of profite to be taken of enemies, doth somewhat verifie this pro∣position, where with great arte and elo∣quence he generally sheweth the same which I pretend to describe perticulerly, though rudely: but this opinion of myne I thinke many Captaines (blinded per∣aduenture with the apparance of things which by nature are hurtfull) will gainesay: howbeit when I haue discouered the fruites there vnder hidden, they shall, as I suppose, though not wholy, yet in parte be satisfied. And therefore without farther circumstance of words I wil come to the principall matter. * Such as attaine to militarie offices doe ordinarily climbe thereto by two waies: The one called merite or desert: and the other fa∣uour.Page  211 Some of those that haue trodden the first path, seeing them∣selues in authoritie do grow proude: and others that haue come by the second I doe imagine to be ignorant, which are very great im∣perfectiōs, as easie to bee knowne in others, as hard to be espied by those that are possessed with them. And as to diseases engendred in mens bodies, the remedies must bee applyed according to the rules of Phisicke: the like doe these that are of the minde stande in neede of. But many times neither arte nor counsaile can preuaile, but the accident, which more properly seemeth to bee hurt and de∣struction, then remedie. Howbeit, if any doe meruaile how any pro∣fite can be found in things hurtfull, let them consider the Scorpion who carieth in her both the sting & poyson that infecteth the deadly wound, and the medicine that cureth the same. So also may wee say, that militarie mishaps doe sometimes worke the like effects. For by bringing vpon vs an apparant calamitie, they doe thereby serue for an instruction to heale the hidden euill that bred the other. This inward euill whereof I purpose to speake, is Pride, which ordinarily breedeth in those that are endued with sufficiencie and valour, and bringeth their soules as farre out of fashion as the Dropsie doth the bodie: wherof ensueth an vnreasonable selfe-esti∣mation and contempt of others, which are two such errors as oftentimes doe cast those that followe them into most manifest de∣structions. And as all men ought to beware of stumbling vpon such great inconueniences, so must they take in good part the vnloo∣ked for corrections, which make thē wise, to take héed another time.

The first example that I will alleadge of such as I thinke to * haue gayned thereby, shall be of Gonsales Fernando a Spanyard and most notable Captaine, who hauing bene vnder Ferdinand of Arragon the chiefest instrument to tame and driue the Moores out of Granado, was sent into the Realme of Naples, which that King chalenged against the French men. Comming thether with an armie against them, he thought peraduenture that the French, men of armes, would as easely haue bene broken as the Moores Genetairies, also that his fame alreadie obteyned, would terrifie them. But he was deceiued, for they ouerthrewe his troopes: And himselfe losing that field, which the Lord of Aubigny wonne, he afterward shewed that he had gathered instruction by such an ouer∣throw: for he guided himselfe with such arte and discretion that he ouerthrewe the Frenchmen in sundrie encounters, and finally ex∣pelled them the Realme.

Page  212 That great Iulius Caesar, who in the arte of warre surpassed all * Capteynes that euer were, after he had driuen Pompey out of I∣taly, & enclosed him in Dirachium, waxed proud & cōtemned him, so as vndertaking to entrench a great countrie wherby to close him vp the straighter, Pompey knowing his aduantage, came forth and flew the chiefe part of his armie, and had like to haue wonne a full victorie. This shrewd blowe made Caesar so warie and diligent, that he neuer after gaue Pompey any oportunitie against him, but with his 〈…〉ted pollicies brought him to the same poynt that he required, and so ouercame him.

These two examples, the one olde and the other newe, may suf∣fice * to giue to vnderstande that the greatest, giuing themselues euen to the least pride, doe sometimes encurre an ouerthrowe by this imperfection: but withall they haue this good thing in them, that hauing receiued of their enemies some chastisement for their negligence or rashnesse, they will soone amend. Many Cap∣teynes therefore now liuing must not bee ashamed to confesse that in prosperitie they may bee ouer seene, sith those that haue bene en∣dued with such modestie haue so farre ouershot themselues.

The first cause of this mischiefe consisteth in our selues, and is * our had inclination, which corroborated by custume tēdeth to exalt vs aboue measure, so as if an occasion falleth out of a quarter long, it stretcheth it to an ell. Which appeareth in all professions of arte and knowledge, but chiefly in the arte of warre, the professors whereof doe make great account of themselues, because they exer∣cise the actions of Fortitude and Magnanimitie. Many times a∣mong the Spanish bands you shall heare a newe Souldier of three crownes pay, say, I am as good as the King: let vs then thinke what a Capteyne that hath bene in sundrie assaults and battailes will doe: He will straight way say, I am better then the Pope. Thus doe wee see militarie presumption swell euen aboue the thing it selfe. The commendations of friends are an other cause that helpe to * encrease it: for they not able to forbeare praysing those whom they loue, who also doe deserue the same, by powring plentie of this li∣quour vpon them, doe sometimes make them drink so much ther∣of that they be halfe giddie therewith. Herein they that are too free in attributing doe ouershoote themselues at vnawares, and they that are so curious in the receipt thereof are willingly ouertaken.

Flatterers also which followe such as are in authoritie as the * shadowe doth the bodie, doe greatly helpe to giue to Pride her true Page  213 shape. For with their deciptfull and windie words they puffe vp the soule like a bladder. If a yong Lord doth any valiant act, they straight compare him to Gaston de Fax. If he be an expert Cap∣taine, they tell him he passeth Bertrande du Glesquin. And if they haue any better hap, they make him equall with Scipio and Mar∣cellus. To him whom in hope of profite they would allure, they say, he must proceede in his good fortune, sith the mightie doe e∣stéeme of him, the Souldiers doe loue him and the people haue him in admiration. Hereto they adde also that his fame is so dispersed among his enemies, that when they knowe him to be in the fielde, they feare him as the Shepheards in Barbary doe the mightie Lyon when he commeth out of the woods. And that for their parts they are glad to see him in so good a way to atchiue most worthie tryumphes and meanes whereby to recompence those that are his seruants.

By this sweete harmonie of speech, this man who peraduenture * before presumed enough of himselfe, now coueteth to presume too much, and so to seeke nothing but warre and battaile. Yea the most modest who mislike flatteries, euen in the reiecting of them, do still swallowe downe some small portion, wherewith to feede that little vanitie that dwelleth in them. It is not to bee enquired what dis∣courses they make in themselues, what they shall doe, or how high they shall climbe, but to take these for extrauagants. In this dispo∣sition nothing seemeth vnpossible, and the more boldnesse and ex∣perience they haue the more doe their presumption encrease, wher∣by they disdaine their friends, contemne their enemies, and refuse all others counsaile in whatsoeuer they vndertake. These bee the bad humours which this windie collick of Presumption and Flat∣terie doe engender in a Captaine.

I thinke no man dare denye but it were necessarie to see them * purged. Howbeit, diuers doe finde my remedies to be very bitter and troublesome: but say what they will, they are most conuenient. For these humours being too deeply rooted, the remedies where∣with to plucke them vp must be very strong. These medicines are of an other sorte, then those that are vsed against diseases of the bo∣die, whose propertie is to worke to the good of the partie vpon whō they be ministred: For being considered in their owne nature, they are as hath bene sayd méere ruines of the bodie: but considered ac∣cidentally, they may bee termed drugges that heale the astonish∣ment of the minde. The Phisitions also that minister these medi∣cines, Page  214 may be compared to him whom Plutarke maketh mention * of, who thinking to haue slaine his enemie, by thrusting his sword into him, pearced an Impostume which he had within him, and so saued his life, that he should soone after haue lost through his se∣crete sicknesse, if the other mishappe had not happened, which was to him a healthsome remedie.

The wise Captaine therfore that seeketh to profite in the know∣ledge * of armes, when he incurre any mishaps, hauing disgesed the first bitternesse thereof, must seeke to vse the rest as the expulsiue vertue of some Easterly roote, to expell out of his minde the proud vapours thereinto ascended: and the greater operation that this worketh in any, ye lesse neede hath he of any other medicine. As for the Captaines that are furnished with ignorance, they likewise do growe into presumption, whereto the good clawbacks, that follow thē (as wel as the former) are a great helpe. But for the others, be∣ing better guided by vertue, their losses doe happen after a more valiant sorte; where these ignorant men doe fall into mishappes ac∣companied with shame: Now to speake of the estate as well of the one as of the other, they that amend, be happie in mishap: but most vnhappie are those that will neuer acknowledge their error, but impute it either to others or to fortune, and so continue their pride in the middest of their miserie. For in ye ende they remaine engaged vnder the burthen of some great blowe whether their want of dis∣cretion hath led them: which the first doe shunne by finding their imperfection in time, after they haue receiued some smal one. Here∣by may wee easely iudge that the aduersities which bring vs into the path of wisedome, are better then the prosperities that trans∣port vs therefro. I could alleadge the domesticall examples of sun∣drie of our Capteynes, who to their friends haue not denyed but that they haue reaped commoditie out of these extraordinarie cor∣rections. But sith I imagine that such as followe the warres may haue tryed somewhat, or heard others speake thereof, I will for∣beare: only I will admonish them both sooner and neerer to looke to their owne faultes then to other mens: for so shall they learne to ouershoote themselues but seeldome.

Page  215

The fourth Paradoxe.

That daylie experience haue taught such meanes to fortifie Holds, as are most profitable in respect of the small charge thereof, and no lesse defensible then such stately ones as the Ingeniors haue aforetime inuented.

THE Italians deserue the commenda∣tion * of being the first inuenters of di∣uers sortes of gallant fortifications, which since they haue reduced into such an arte as hath bene esteemed honora∣ble, neither hath it bene of lesse profite to those that haue delt therein. And per∣aduenture this last poynt hath partly bene the occasion that they haue per∣swaded Princes that such and so many things were requisite to bring a peece of worke to perfection and worthie them. Wherein they haue not bene altogether vntoward: for through great & long expences the water is come to their mil. I know it beseemeth great Princes to doe great workes, because they haue great meanes and therefore the small will not content them; but withall they should prize them in the ballance of commoditie, least the dearenesse of the one hinder the setting hand to the other. I seeke not herein that * which is seemely for a fewe, but that which may bee commodious and profitable to all: Especially for their sakes who being weake, had neede for their owne fafetie to fortifie themselues, and yet through pouertie are driuen to spend but little. I take that to be a fruitfull peece of worke which is performed quickly, easely, and with small cost, and yet in goodnesse doth counteruaile an other whereto they cannot attaine without contrary meanes. I meane not in this my treatise to comprehend such places as are strong by nature, but only those which may be so made by arte.

The first place that here I will bring to view, shall be the Cita∣dell of Antwerpe, wherein wee may say that nothing hath bene *Page  216 forgotten, either in wealth, diligence, inuention or plentie of stuffe: so as in all Christendome a goodlier peece of worke for fortifica∣tion hath no man seene. But on the other side if wee consider that the building thereof cost 1400000. Florins, and yet, had it bene assaulted, would not peraduenture haue held out much better then Oudenarde or Maestricht which were fortified but with earth, it will make men somewhat curious to examine these matters more exactly. Especially small Potentates and little townes are to looke very néerely hereto: for if they should measure their defence by the ell of these great Princes, they should bee peraduenture empouri∣shed, yea vtterly ouerthrowne before they could bee halfe fotified. The Citadell of Mets cost aboue a million of Franks, and I sup∣pose that that of Turin drewe néere to 300000. Crownes. Which I speake not as misliking that these great Princes should employ so much vpon these small Castles: for they wast much more vnpro∣fitably: but only to the ende to let men see that for the fortifying of such a towne as Malines or Orleance, which in greatnesse are a∣like, after that order the charge would amount vnto aboue fiue millions of Florens: also that for the furnishing of money they should bee driuen either to sell one of their Estates or make peace for a hundred yeeres with their neighbours, that they might worke at leisure.

Some man may say, it is but a small matter for the Kings, who * in the ciuill warres of Flanders and France, haue each of them spent aboue 70. millions of golde. But I will to the contrary con∣clude by the same reason: for hauing wasted such innumerable summes, a little will be found to be a great deale. If we shall looke all France ouer, I thinke wee shall scarcely finde (except a fewe Castles) any towne halfe finished after the engeniors rules. Some doe beare themselues herein like vnto certaine Brides, who being perswaded that a gowne of cloath of golde will make them more beautifull then one of taffatie; doe thereby force their husbands to consent that half their dowrie be consumed in beautifull ornaments for their mariages: but afterward they haue sower sauce to their sweete meate, as being driuen to a long pennance for their sumpte∣ous vanitie. It were much more profitable for both to know what were méete, and to goe no farther. When I compare the townes that were besieged in the time of King Frances & his sonne Hen∣rie, with those that haue bene assaulted in our ciuill warres, I am forced to confesse that these last haue bene better defended, not∣withstanding Page  217 they haue bene assayled with greater arte, and yet most of them were neuer furnished with any of these stately fortifi∣cations: which sheweth that so many great expences are super∣fluous, sith they bring foorth no better fruite then those that are lesse.

The ingeniours will say that notwithstanding men fortifie but * with earth without any of their supporters of Stone or Bricke, (which are no lesse beautifull then necessarie) yet still they followe their precepts. Wherto I aunswer that in many things men may helpe themselues therewith: howbeit they are rather to sticke to newe experiences which haue taught very good kindes of fitting and defending themselues. The first is the same that I haue alrea∣die mentioned, namely fortification with earth: which cost tenne times lesse then great Masondrie, and is neuer a whit worse. For proofe hereof I will alleadge the towne of Gaunt, which in two yeeres was finished and furnished with Rauelins, ditches & coun∣terscarpes, (although it be of as great circuite as Paris within the walles) and cost not aboue 300000. Florins: But if the King of Spayne should haue made this fortification according to the writ∣ten rules, he must haue spent aboue sixe millions and twentie yeres at the least. In diuers places the townes haue bene taken, before they haue bene a quarter fortified after these great platformes. The second thing which experience hath made many to allowe of, is to losen the Bastions from the Courtines, yea and to carie them without the ditch. For although they be not defended with the Ar∣tillerie from any lowe Casemates, yet doe the Harquebuzery suf∣ficiently shield them from the Curtines which is a continuall a∣noyance that cannot bee taken away, where the flankes of the Ba∣stions may bee pearced or broken when the shoulders are weake. Also if one of those rarelines that I speake of should chaunce to bée taken, yet is not the place therefore so lost, but that the enemie may very well be put backe, where contrariwise it is a necessarie conse∣quence to those that haue ioyned them to the Rampiers. The third is the vse of intrenching, which is a marueilous profitable remedie, though smally practised in times past, but in our ciuill warres, men haue learned to vse it very well. Though they bee weake and but ill made, yet doe they preserue from being forced on a sudden, and procure some reasonable composition. But if they be large and well made, either they wholy preserue or at the least doe giue a mo∣neths respite (which is a soueraigne purchase to the besieged, when Page  218 the enemie must winne it by little and little) during which time they may light vppon some fauourable accident for themselues. Hereto will I adde one sleight which practise hath taught, namely, to striue for a drie ditch after the Counterscarpe is wonne, and so to defend a Rampier a fewe daies, though the enemie be lodged in the Parapet. For with sundrie pollicies haue men learned to fight each with other, some more, some lesse: as hath bene seene in diuers Sieges both in the Lowe countries and in France. All which in∣uentions doe consist as much in remouing the earth, as in any o∣ther manuall defence.

Now will I shewe how I would the place which I propound * should be prouided for, presupposing ye situation to be in ye plaine as are the situatiōs of most of the townes in Flanders. First I would not haue the Rampier raised too high: For such as are so vnreaso∣nable high, as they are in most places about Bruxelles, Tournay, Orleance, and Rochell, are rather Mountaines then Rampiers, and bee within as I thinke thirtie foote high. For herein they be hurtfull, that being wonne, there is no more meanes to defende, because the defendants cannot entrench behinde to any purpose, when their trench shall bée so ouer awed. As for the ditch, I would wish it to bée full of water if it might bée, so to eschue surprizes, as also that it is more troublesome to the assailant then the drye. Counterscarpes doe after a sorte serue, and the couert way to them should bée large.

Likewise I would thinke an other pathe to be profitable, which should be behinde or vnder the first, being sixe foote broade and as many high: Which should serue to the ende that when the Coun∣terscarpe chaunced to bee wonne by vyolence (as was that of Vul∣pian in Piedmont, where all the Souldiers were drowned and slaine) the defendants might saue themselues. As for the Rauelins they would be fitly placed without the ditch, and made so large that they may beare a good entrenching. For so shall the enemie, al∣though he haue wonne the poynt, haue a fortnights worke. But the inner ditch, if it were possible, should be drye, to the ende the Souldiers might in the beginning of the Siege bee kept there for issues: which I thinke to bée necessarie for the besieged, as well to the encrease of their courages, as in respect of ye great hurts which the enemie shall thereby receiue. For these are meetly safe enter∣prises for a cunning Captaine, and will amaze the assailants when they shall finde themselues assailed.

Page  219 Whosoeuer vndertaketh to assault such a place, must of neces∣sitie * begin with the Rauelin, which is a most assured warning that he will beate the Courtine on that side. Wherefore omitting all other matter they must fall to entrenching, whereby in time they may make as it were a newe towne, in case they haue people enow and a skilfull Ingeniour.

I suppose that in a place where there are Souldiers a Rauelin should hold out one month at the least, yea euen against the Prince of Parma, who is the skilfullest assaulter of townes that I know. The rampier and passage of a ditch full of water will be as long: and the inner trench, being almost equall with the heigth of the rampier that is beaten downe may be kept as long or longer, pro∣uided alwaies, that it be made 60. or 80. foote from the Courtine. Now I take this at the worst: for there bee such weake assailants of Houlds, as shall labour two moneths about the winning of a Raueline. There are that thinke it an easie matter to keepe them from passing the ditch, but for my parte I thinke it harde, for they will enter either by night or day. Thus when a frontier towne shal haue stopped a mightie armie so long as I haue sayd, it shall haue quit it selfe well (for there bee fewe townes inpregnable) and the Prince that may haue lost it shall haue this comfort: That as the fencing of it had cost him little, so his enemie shall haue spent much time, many men, and money enough in the winning of it.

Some Ingeniour may say that water vndermindeth the foun∣dations * of a Rampier, and that from tenne yeeres to tenne yeeres they runne out: which they do not if they be walled within. It is so indeede where the water is a running water: but the repairing cost little, as also doe the props that beare vp nothing but earth. How∣beit, I say that a man may fortifie a whole small towne with earth with the charges of one enclosure to a Bastion made of bricke or stone with the countermynes thereof. This maner do I here alow for an other respect: which is, that Potentates & Commonwelths are better able to prouide for the inward fortifications, which must accompanie the outward, & do consist in al kinds of necessarie pro∣uision that want in many townes, though not in whole, yet in parte. And as many are lost through this default as for lack of Ba∣stions. They may likewise spare great sommes, which are spent in these great workes, and with the same maintaine a sufficient ar∣mie, through want whereof the strongest places are taken, as hath bene seene in Flanders. Many thinges more may bee obiected Page  220 to beate downe this our Bulwarke, which is much more profitable to the weake then beautifull to the mightie Monarkes. In the meane time such as shall followe this construction, shall not finde themselues the worse thereby: as the future experience peraduen∣ture will teach better then the passed.

The ninetenth Discourse.

That the continuation of the wicked proceedings of the warres of these daies doe make a iust cause to seeme vn∣iust.

PHilippe Comines in his remembrances reporteth that the Duke of Guyenne,* the brother of King Lewes the 11. ioy∣ning with Duke Charles of Burgundy in the warre for the Commonwealth: when he considered the number of the wounded and slayne at the battaile of Montleherie, with the spoyles that the Souldiers made all ouer the Countrie, was merueilously daunted thereat, and tolde Duke Charles that it had bene better neuer to haue begunne that warre that bred such mischiefe and ruine: who aunswered him, that those things were not to bee meruailed at sith such were the naturall fruites thereof: But being afterward alone among his familiers, he scorned that yong Prince which brought pitie and compassion vnto the Thea∣ters of Mars, where rigour and vengeaunce doe holde their soue∣raigne Empyre. In these daies wee heare some make almost the like aunswers to many that curse our ciuill stormes: for they tell them, It is the warre, and so doe weene that that word being heard should make them to shrinke vp the shoulder after the Italian ma∣ner, and prouide to suffer worse matter. But in my opinion such reasons are to bee suspected, as procéeding from those that hauing no other delight or sustenance but in other mens spoyles, would make men to accompt warre to be a necessary euill, to the end they Page  221 should not be slacke in giuing to them that foode which they do de∣sire. Truely these men are not altogether to be beleeued, least wee confound crueltie and iniustice with equitie and humanitie, and so of an extraordinarie accident make an ordinary custume. Nei∣ther must we print in our phantasies the imaginations of many o∣thers, who wish to sée a warre exempt from the things that of long time haue bene proper thereto, and are as it were essentials, name∣ly, rapine, disorder and crueltie: for in these daies wherein wee liue, vertue being tyed vp and vice let loose, wee cannot atteyne to this perfection.

What shall we then say hereof? For sooth, that to the ende well * to measure the matters whereof we now speake, wee must take the olde rules, not of Iron, which cannot bend, but of leade, which are somewhat plyable, and frame them to the crooked and difformed stones whereof our ciuill warres are composed, that is to say, to our confusions: and then finding what is somewhat ollerable, as also what is to bee reiected, to patch vp againe so well as wee may this house of bondage, wherein so many persons within these fiue and twentie yeeres haue bene tormented: or els quite to rase it to the foundation by an assured peace, which were the better way. I meane not here curiously to examine or way the right or wrong of those that are in armes, because I will not offend any. Only I am content generally to say that such on either side as loue godlinesse or vertue, doe for the satisfying of themselues either inwardly or outwardly, vnderproppe their actions with iustice. Neither should any warres bee vndertaken without that good faundation, least o∣therwise wee bee found guiltie before God, who will not that men vse such vyolent remedies but vpon great necessitie, neither guide them after their owne disordinate affections.

Now in these controuersies and publique quarelles as well ci∣uill * as others, furiously raised through mans mallice, it often fal∣leth out that all the right lighteth on one side and all the wrong on the other. Sometimes that both parties are led by like mallice: and sometime that he which in deede hath the right, doth seeme to haue the wrong, and so to the contrary. As also that sometimes in some one of the poynts thereof a man may be in the right and in all the rest in the wrong, of all which differences I meane not here to entreate. Only I would aduertise the readers to note them in rea∣ding the histories, wherein the diuersities of so many martiall pur∣poses are liuely set out. But for my self I wil procéed in discoursing Page  222 vpon my first proposition of the euill behauiours which are to bée seene in our sayd ciuill warres, together with their consequences. I thinke they cannot bee better compared then to an ouer flowing brooke, which with the vyolent force thereof not only destroyeth the whole roppe of a plaine, but also carieth downe the trees, buil∣dings and bridges where it goeth, so as neither arte nor diligence are able to preuent it. Whosoeuer would walke through France and Flanders might see (euen vpon insensible things) the footsteps of our daily furies, which are not neuerthelesse the greatest doma∣ges, for those that wast our good and valiant men, and corrupt perticuler maners & politique orders are much worse. Truely we haue great cause to wonder at our negligence: which on euery side is such, that no man laboureth so much as to qualifie these so terri∣ble furies, which greatly offend all those that are beholders of our miserable tragedies. Yea many of those that be vpon the theaters hereof, and are endued with some integritie, are no lesse offended thereat. Thucidides saith, that in seditions men may see the image all mischiefes, but in our warres men may say that euen the mis∣chiefes themselues doe come in poste, to the ende to fester them with eternall reproach: Yea euen the extraordinarie ones which were hidden and durst not haue appeared fiftie yeeres ago, do now come to bragge among vs. No yeere escapeth free without some note of treason, treacherie, murder, poysoning or barbarous vyo∣lence: yea sometime the terrible monster Massacre striketh through and with the mightie blow of her talents smiteth those that thinke not vpon her. Oh what straunge things are these!

A Spanish Gentleman reported vnto me, that when the Forte * of Frezin Ferry was wonne from the French, there was a Wal∣lon Souldier, being found there, taken prisoner: and when the chiefe Captaine commaunded to put al to the sword, the said soul∣diers owne brother, seruing in the Spanish Campe, stepped foorth and shewing a cruell countenance sayd: This wretched traytor to his King must dye of no other hand but mine owne. Neither was his wrath appeased vntil he had diuers times thrust him through, not∣withstanding he pitifully kneeled to him. Had the dead mans of∣fence bene fower times as great, yet should he haue abhorred to foyle his hands in his brothers blood. We reade in the ciuil warres of Silla that a Romaine souldier hauing in ight slaine his enemie, stripping him found him to be his owne brother, who was on the contrary partie, which when he perceiued, he was attached with Page  223 such sorowe, and so spited his vnfortunate ignorance, that himselfe ranne vpon his owne sword and so fell vpon the others bodie. And although that was a very corrupt world, yet many commended that furious pietie of the poore Paynim. But the deede that here I haue rehearsed of this Christian of our daies (which is so farre vnlike to the other and ought to be buried in obliuion) had not per∣aduenture any fewer allowers thereof. If this déede were true, it deserueth to bée yoked with an other as bad or rather worse of a notable murderer of Paris, who, as some haue written, began his rage with two of his owne niepes of twelue yeeres of age, whom he slewe while they embraced his knees and cryed him mercie. I am ashamed to speake of these parricides, which neuerthelesse these men were not ashamed to commit.

But being entred this carrier I will performe my race, and re∣ueale * yet one mischiefe which is but too well knowne, for I haue touched others in other my discourses. It is the villanous sacking of poore countrie people, yea euen friends and partakers: for not∣withstanding their continuall labour, as well for their owne suste∣nance, as to satisfie those whome iustly wee may tearme warlike Harpies, yet do they not spare to eate thē vp, sometime all at once, sometime by little and little with vnspeakeable boldnesse and con∣tempt, neither can they be restrayned therefro by any consideration that they serueth ye same partie, or that their deuotion is tyed ther∣to. Uyolence wrought against the enemie breedeth no wonder, neither néedeth any excuse, although there should bee a little mea∣sure obserued: but these are inexcusable, as meanes to destroy them selues, and to bring common hatred vpon their superiours, which out of the fieldes is sowen in townes and cities. The sayd supe∣riours should remember that into this great troope the poore, the widowe, and the Orphan (whom God houldeth so deare) are in corporate, who in their sorowes haue no other recourse but to sobs and sighes which ascend into his presence, where they are most fa∣uourably receiued. And it is a bad signe, when such as should blesse doe curse, and euen plucke downe Gods wrath, and cast it vpon those that in outward apparance doe seeme to defend them, but in deede doe deuoure and eate them vp. These are in part the exerci∣ces of our ciuill warres which daily do empayre: which also are the occasiō that many times the wisest, who do imagine that they haue the best cause, in seeing so many miserable maners of proceedings, which teach to commit all mischiefe without remorce, doe growe Page  224 into such doubts, as doe in maner shake the foundations of the firmenesse that they had leyed. If then they doe sometimes totter or reele, thinke what the simple shall doe that vse to allowe or disa∣lowe of the causes of warres according as they be well or euill or∣dered.

If wee speake of words, wee heare nothing but Gods honor,*the Kings seruice, Catholick religion, the Gospell, our Coun∣trie. All which goodly titles doe binde the ministers of armes to endeuour that their workes may concurre with their words. But when afterward wee see the most part take a contrary course, and as the prouerbe of the Tennis court importeth, play at bandy and scraping, yea & that rather vpon the friend thē vpon the enemie, that is to say, glut their vengeance, ambition, couetousnesse and aua∣rice vpon whatsoeuer the warre doth make to stoope to them, wee must not thinke that they will bee mumme that suffer all these things.

If such a peasant as he that dwelt vpon the bancks of Danow,* who was said to haue come in the time of M. Aurelius to the Ro∣mane Senate to complaine, should now rise among vs, I imagine his speech should tend to this purpose. Oh ye Christians that doe so cruelly deuoure each other like fierce and angrie beasts, among whom pitie seemeth to be dead, how long shall your rage continue? Why do ye graunt no truce or release to the rest of your miserable liues, to the end at the least to creepe into your graues in some quiet? What violent cau∣ses are those that stirre you vp? If Gods glorie, then consider that he taketh no pleasure in sacrifices of mans blood: but detesteth them and loueth mercie and truth. If your Princes seruice, you must thinke ye doe them small seruice in slaying one an other, for so doe you deminish and plucke away the chiefe senowes of his Realme. If religion mo∣ueth you, it seemeth ye knowe not the nature thereof: for sith it is all charitie, the same should induce you to meekenesse. If your Countrie, behold your fieldes are almost all desert, your villages burnt, your cities sacked, your ritches in straungers hands, and your glorie vtterly lost. Seeke then no more excuses to lengthen your calamities: rather cut them off, then alleadge such necessities as doe impose other necessities. This were easie to bee done if ye would practise this soueraigne rule of estate which excelleth the most excellent. Giue to Caesar that belon∣geth*to Caesar, and to God the things that appertaine to God. But when I remember my selfe, how can you, you Souldiers fulfill this, who haue forgotten the arte of rendering and can doe nothing but take? Page  225 Who sometimes doo saie well and alwayes liue euill? What are your troupes and armies in these dayes, but shoppes of all vice, which where they passe doe leaue more horrible footsteps than doe the Grashoppers where they liue continuallie? Your enimies do hate your crueltie, your friends doe feare your sackings, and all people doe flie from before you as from the flouds? Who wil beleeue that your cause is iust, when your behauiours are so vniust? And although it were iust, doe not you yet hazard it to all rebuke and slaunder? To be briefe, learne to liue bet∣ter, or thinke not much that no man beleeueth your wordes, but cry out against your deeds.

This truly were a very free speech, which neuertheles I think to approch so neere ye truth, yt I wil not giue it the lie, least they yt haue * indured it should come in for witnesses against mee, and so returne my lie vpon my selfe. Out of this ranke I will exempt the honora∣ble and good mem that professe armes, as well noble as others, of whome there be yet many abroad. Neither must the whole blame of these disorders be layde vpon the small, whose wantes doe often∣times stirre vp their mallice. For there be great ones, who because they care not for moderating or suppressing them, must haue their parts: & those especiallie are most guiltie, that had rather see whole riuers of mischiefe than loose anie part of their reuenges or domi∣nion. If anie man aske the souldiours why they make such hauock, they will answere, that want of paie compelleth them, which is a reason to be considered of. If they tel the Princes yt these behauiors sauour verie euill, and must be taken awaie with golde, they wil say that all the Indias will not suffice for so many high payes, and o∣ther subtill proulings. Which cause must be well waied. In the meane time vnder these excuses the mischiefes doe on both sides continue and feede vpon the infortunate Prouinces that beare thē, which cannot possiblie be eschued, so long as the mightie ones are so obstinately bent to make the wars perpetuall by keeping great armies all Winter and Summer in the fielde, whereof it follow∣eth that in the ende, most of the men become rauening beastes, the country is disinhabited, the treasure is wasted, the great curse them∣selues, and God is displeased.

If we should call to minde how in the wars betweene the French * and Spanish, especially in Piedmont, we should often see a Cornet of speares passe through a village where they might see banqueting & dauncing, & the people without anie force come & bring them all kinds of refreshing. Againe within halfe an houre after another Page  226 troope enimie to the former, to passe in like sort, and to receiue all kinds of curtesies. Also these 2. troops within a while after to meet and beate each other well fauouredly. Then the conquerer to carie into the sayd village the sore wounded, as well of the one partie as of the other, to be dressed and to lie all in one hostrie, the vanquished vpon their faiths, and the vanquishers in the custody of the aforena∣med, vnto their ful nre, when each ought to returne to theyr Cap∣tains. Thus should we see that these and such maner of proceeding purchased to both nations great fame among strangers, and more amitie than is now to be found among pareuts. This I say being reported vnto them, they would account for fables, because our pre∣sent customes are cleane repugnant thereto. And yet if in any wars ciuill behauiour be to be practised, than in these wherein fellow Ci∣tizens after they haue ben together by the eares in their natiue soile doe fall agayne into familiaritie and loue one with another: which neuer happeneth with strangers: for the controuersies ended, they neuer lightly haue occasiō to see one another again: yea, they ought to behaue themselus herein as kinsmen, who among their hatred & force doe intermingle equitie and honestie. Finally, such as do bet∣ter note pollicie and good order, and withall doe shew themselues most curteous, doe giue the lookers on to thinke that they haue the better cause, who therefore do fauour them with their prayers, and themselues likewise by their good actions are the more satisfied and confirmed in their opinions, which make them the bolder. Contra∣riwise, those who through their dissolutions doe make their warre, (which of it selfe is terrible) vtterly detestable, notwithstanding the cause be neuer so iust, God will not fayle to punish for prosecuting it by such sinister meanes.

The 20. Discourse.

That a king of France is of himselfe mightie enough, though he neither couet nor seeke other greatnesse than his owne Realme doth afford him.

ALL such as professe the reading and diligent exami∣nation * of histories, doe with one voice confesse, that most of the calamities & miseries fallen vpon diuerse lands and nations haue proceeded of the ambition of Page  227 Princes and common wealthes, who haue raysed such warres as red the same.

To auoide all the doubtes whereof, reade but the liues of Phi∣lippe of Macedon, Alexander, Pirhus, and Demetrius, with the warres of the Romaines against the Catthaginians: wherein ye shall finde that nothing is more true. And although time by little and little suppresseth the force of the strongest things, yet coulde it neuer much extinguish the flames of so ve∣hement a passion, which passing from the Father to the sonne, hea∣ping the former ages with mischiefe, hath reached euen to ours. I will forbeare to speake of things happened within these fifty yeres in respect of so many people yet liuing, which may haue considered thereof: but of foure score yeres ago Phillip Commines & Fran. Guicciardine doe yeeld such testimonie, that wee may say that the desire of dominion haue caused infinite disorders, which haue disfi∣gured the beautie of politike gouernment. It cannot be denied but ours haue danced at the feast among others, and peraduenture oft∣ner: but it hath likewise soone after mourned for it as wel as ye rest, as hauing reaped no other commoditie of the greate warres of Charles the eight and Lewes the twelfth (which neuerthelesse were not quite deuoide of all grounds of iustice) but wast of mo∣ney and consumption of men. Which might admonish all Princes to undertake none but such as be necessarie, & vtterly to reiect those that containe no necessitie.

I knowe they haue a wonderfull quick desire to increase, which * neuertheles they maye moderate by a representation of the mis∣chiefes and difficulties of warres, were it not that they find them∣selues strengthned and vnderpropped with the counsayle of the young, together with custome: which not onely maintaineth it in force, but also dooth greatly increase it. For assuredlie the migh∣tier that a Prince is, the more is hee pricked forwarde with such stings, as leaue him but small rest vntill that hee hath chaunged other mennes mindes: whereby he entangleth himselfe in many cares and wantes, which he might well inough forbeare. Howbe∣it those men are happie who in the middest of such disordered broiles, false perswasions, and wicked customes, doe guide them∣selues by wisdome and discretion: for ordinarilie they passe on the waie without stumbling and attaine to such endes as breede their contentation. Our good King Henrie the seconde hauing practised and tried the vanitié of couetousnesse and warres, Page  228 was determined to passe ouer the rest of his daies in tranquilitie, and content himselfe with that mightinesse that to him remained; which was not small, but it pleased God to call him. And although all things haue since greatly decayed throughout this Realme, yet I thinke our king hath cause enough (preseruing and accommoda∣ting that which yet remaineth) to account himselfe mightie & hap∣pie, though he neuer seeke with yron, fire, and bloud, the forced do∣minion ouer his neighbours.

By this proposition I bring the ambitious into the listes, who * saie, That the inclosing of our kings heartes within the accustomed bounds, is the waie to quaile their courages, and to depriue them of all trophees and conquests, the goodlie inheritances wherein theyr aun∣cestours meant they should participate: likewise That it is vnpossi∣ble when they consider the dominions of Charlemagne, which as all good histories doo testifie, stretched into Italie, Germanie, France, che lowe Countries, & Spaine, euen to the riuer Ebro, but they must needs blush for shame, thinking how themselues lurke at home & do nothing. Trulie these be high wordes, which in my opinion, doe resemble the furious Northerne windes that stirre vp the greate tempests: for by theyr often blowing in kings eares, they prouoke their mindes, whereof doe ensue the torments of warres which drowne so many people. If they could weigh the dissimilitude between old and new vertue, they would bee more stayed: For as sayth Plu∣tarke in his small workes, it is as much follie to applie the he∣roycall deedes of those that are past, vnto men present, as to put vpon the head & feete of children of sixe yeres of age their grandfa∣thers hats and shooes. But men ought to propound things conue∣nient to that age wherein a man liueth, so long as they bee iust and honest. We Frenchmen should thinke that France is past her grea∣test grouth, and that wee are come to the time of her declination, wherein wee shall doe much if wee can but keepe her well, which we shoulde endeauour to performe, and not to feede vppon her passed glorie and mightinesse, because we are destitute of ye power, occasion, and good happe that lead our auncestours thereto.

Some there are that thinke that a Prince cannot bee tearmed * mightie or great, vnlesse hee ioyne newe Prouinces to his estate, and make his neighbours to feare and stand in awe of him, through his weapons, which doe incourage him to enterprise and threaten greate thinges, wherein they followe the common iudgement, which as sayth Plutarke also, doe admire the Thunder and Page  229 lightning, and make small account of the sweete Zephirus: for they making no reckning but of whatsoeuer procedeth of force do leaue behinde them any thing proceeding of iustice, notwithstanding the one be to be preferred before the other. Many Emperours & Kings there haue bene, who haue indeauoured to purchase fame through their conquests, and yet those that had bene content to take paines to bee good, and so to make their people, and well to rule and go∣uerne them, haue purchased another greatnes, if we iudge vpright∣ly, no lesse thā the former, seeing it alwais profiteth, where the other doth ordinerilie hurt. Yet doe I not meane that a Prince shoulde tread armour vnder his feete, or contemne it, for so shoulde hee but giue himselfe to be a praie: but that he should vse it onely to keepe himselfe from taking of harme, and not to doe hurt to others.

I will therefore begin to shew forth the greatnesse of our king * by the extent of his Realme, which in length containeth aboue two hundred French leagues: For from Bayone to Mets, it is more: and from Cales to Narbonne almost as much. But from Morles in Britaine to Antibe in Prouence it is at the least 250. which is the longest waie. True it is that from Roche to Lyons which is * a straightning made in the middest of Fraunce, is but sixe score leagues. But be what it will, it is a goodly peece of ground & well * inhabited. As for the fruitfulnesse thereof, it is such as all thinges necessarie to mans life, doe so abound, that onely for Corne, Wine, Salt, and Woad, transported into foreine lands, there is yeerelie brought in in counterchaunge therof aboue 12. millions of franks. This is our Peru, These are our mines which neuer drie vp: and peraduent ure from the West Indies which are so rich, the Spani∣ards doe not yeerely receiue much greater treasure. But the prin∣cipall that we are to consider, is the multitude of people wherwith it is replenished: for turne which way ye wil, the people do swarme as they did in the Countie of Flanders before the last tempest wa∣sted the inhabitants, their wealth & stately borowes. The peasants * are verie simple and obedient, the Townesmen painfull, industri∣ous, and affable: also the men that giue themselues to learning both diuine and humaine, are most learned. The Nobilitie is very va∣liant * and curteous, neither is anie estate in Christendome so plen∣tifully stored therewith. More might I saie, had I not spoken ther∣of at large in other places: but this we may affirme, that vniuer∣sallie they are giuen to rebellion: which is the testimonie that Cae∣sar gaue of the auncient Gaules. If anie man should doubt there∣of, Page  230 I would present him the deuotion of our Fathers which haue engenderd aboue an hunderd Archbishops and Bishops sea, about 650. Abbies of the order of Saint Barnard and S. Benet, beauti∣fied with good kitchins, and aboue 2500. Priories. For then did the chiefe holynesse consist giuing to the Oleargie. Neither were it any lie to saie, that at this day they possesse aboue 20. millions of frankes in rent. Who then can tearme that land wast, where in one of the members is so great; fat, and plentifull.

Hold your peace wil some forren sensor say, and labour no more to*exalt & set out that state which hath neither godlines, iustace, weath, concord, martial discipline, nor order. But haue patience a while, will I answere, vntil I make a reuiew of this great and olde vessell which the stormes and tempest haue cast vpon the sands, then hauing shew∣ed vnto your hat the chiefe members there of which haue bene so tossed and seabeaten, haue yet some force and power, also that it is no harde matter to redresse the whole, you wil peraduenture be of another mind, and confesse the verie relickes to be great. I wil begin with deuoti∣on,* which, as I haue said, our fathers (as they thought) did stedfastly embrace, for the manifesting whereof they spared not their goods. The same by the lyke reason should now be more liuely; sith for the defence therof we spare not our liues. These marks although they be good, be not the principall. For the best and most assured in this point, wherin our doe honor & seruice to God doth consist, is to yeld to his holy will reuealed vnto vs in the Scriptures. As for ye other part of deuotion, which hath relatiō to our neighbors, our cōtenti∣ons hath wonderfully indomaged it: yet must wee returne to this passe, that the Frenchman take the Frenchman not only for his fe∣low countriman, but euē for his brother: & grieuing at his hurt, wish his good. I think that yet among our dissipations there be many yt practise this rule: so as if peace might gouerne any time, we should not find in all Christendome any better Catholikes & Gospellers than in France. Some there be yt cannot graunt therto: for hearing any speech of Frenchmēs pietie; they smile & say that ye protestants know but little, & the Papists if they know it, doe yet cloath it with hypocrisie. But I wil make thē no other answere, but yt albeit our nation be no longer the Popes minion, yet this old trée which in the time of Charlemaine spred out such goodly branches alouer Chri∣stendome, may stil ••d forth the like to ye benefit of many. For Iu∣stice, in no coūtry in the world is better established & knowen than * in ours so as the corruptions yt haue infected her being purged a∣waie, Page  231 she will shine forth agayne. And where are there at this daie goodlier portraitures of these ancient Senates & iudiciall courtes than in our parliaments. The 3. point concerneth our treasury,* (which is much subiect to pinching) whereof we are thought to be halfe spoyled, yea, euē of ye cōmon. But it is an error to suppose that it may bee dried vp in this realme. For besides our 4. sortes of Aa∣mmant stones afore mencioned, there be many other smaller kinds yt continually draw them in & make them to fleet vpon the seas. So as, were it not that one part therof do afterward through a certaine hiddē attractiue power flow to Rome, & another through violēt puls into Germanie, we should many times see euen great tides. In the time of Henry the 2. the cōmon treasury was such, as by ordinarie meanes he yerely raised vpō his cōmons 15. milions of franks, part wherof was since paied forth for debts, which not withstanding, our k. doth at this day gather as much. Now would I demand whether a king in ioying such a reuenue may be saide to bee beggered? The holy father yt liueth in such glory & pompe, & princelike cōmandeth ouer diuers states & prouinces, hath not 150000. crowns reu of al yt his late predecessors good husbandry hath purchased for him: for of the patrimonie of S. Peter he inioyeth but a net to fish withall, & of S. Pauls, but a cloke. Those men therfore are misinformed that report the k. of France to be at beggers dore. For albeit he owe 50 millions of frāks, they may be all paied in 10. yeres, by winning his subiects harts, for hauing ye harts he hath yt goods also. What shal * we say of cōcord, which is so great a help to ye increase of all estates? Forsooth yt she was like to haue gotten from vs, & to haue gone else where: but now she beginneth to inhabit again, & to soūd forth some anciēt agreemēts: which maketh to vs hope yt shortly we shal heare her perfect harmonie; in case we wold abandō forein counsel, which vnder faire pretēces go about to kil her, as knowing well inough yt Frāce cānot stoop to thē, before it be diuided in it self, & therfore they secretly thrust it into such diuisions, to yt end to ouerthrow it, wher∣by themselues may afterward fall vpon the spoile. I am assured it would be loth to bend the neck to their authoritie, wherfore it were good to tell them in time, My masters neuer let your mouths run on water after so daintie a morsell, for you may not tast of it: It is so hot it will burne your lips, and therefore retire to your owne quarters.

As for martiall discipline wee must confesse that of late it hath * bene so sicke, as to be driuen to keepe the chamber and not to come abroad: but peace may by little and little restore it to health, & if her Page  232 medicines would worke earnestlie, it would soone be on foot again. Our Censors we speake but too much of the absence thereof from among vs, saying that our footmen fight fayre & far of, & our horse-men are verie furious at the first, but afterwarde can fauour them∣selues well inough: yea, they oast that with three thousand speares they will fire the Milles at Paris. I cannot denie but there is much bad matter among vs: but withall I will aduowe that there is some verie good. But those men are deceiued that will assesse iudgement vpon the ordinarie and well ordered forces of a mightie state, by the extraordinarie & voluntarie forces which the abundance * thereof hath vpon occasion cast forth.

And sith this speech forceth mee to laie open our wares, I saie that of so many our battailes and combats, we haue yet remaining sixe braue Princes, as well of the bloud royall as others, who haue many times commanded whole armies, of whome some haue giuen great ouerthrowes, and both defended & taken townes of account. Next vnto them shal come our Marshals of France, who haue ma∣ny times ben imployed, among whom the Lords of Montmorency & Biron may be commended for the two best experienced Captains that we haue. Twentie other good Captaines of the men of armes may we finde, who hauing seene the warres of Henrie the second doe deserue to leade an auantgard. How many other Lordes and Captains be there, who hauing seene but the ciuil wars, or part of them, haue diuersly testified their valiancy and good conduct. Like∣wise from among our great numbers of Captaines of footmen, I suppose we may well choose halfe a dozen good and worthie Co∣lonels. Hereby it appeareth that we are not cleane destitute of men of command, which is the principall part of our warfare. I wil not speake of the rest of our nobilitie and soldiours: for leade them well and they will shew valour sufficient, neither can anie warre weare * away either the one or the other.

If our king should perceiue anie neighbour readie to plaie with his frontiers, I thinke he might easily make an armie of 60. com∣panies of men of armes, twentie Cornets of light horse, and fiue companies of harquebuziers on horsebacke, to whom he might ode three or foure hundred Reisters, aboue 100. Ensignes of French footmen, and fortie of his good friends the Zuitzers, and all this notwithstanding, the rest of the frontires to be sufficiently furnish∣ed of men, as well to defend in the forts as to offende in the fielde. This armie being in the field, it would bee some what harde to goe Page  233 burne the windmils at Paris, and it may be, those that are of that o∣pinion, will then be so curteous as to be content with the firing of that at Catelet. So mightie an armie, will some oran saie, would deserue the kings presence: neither should it want if any other king should come to assaile him: for he is no apprētise in matters of war, neither shall we at this daie finde anie that with the swoord in his hands hath bene so victorious in two battailes as he, or that in the ditch of a besieged towne hath receiued the harquebuze shot, which maketh me to thinke that he will neuer suffer anie vpon presump∣tion to curtall his coate. Sith therefore he is yet able to bring such a power into the field, there is no wise man that will thinke him re∣die to play banquerout (as some men doe make account) but rather * to be a most mightie Prince.

It resteth that we speake of order which in many other matters is verie disordered among vs. But the kings owne hand must bee the true meane to restore it, which can as well do that as handle the sword: But he must haue the assistance of time and peace, without the which it is vnpossible hee shoulde attaine thereto: for adding to them both his owne diligence and good example, the worke will be performed: in such wise that where now it is called France decai∣ed, it shall be tearmed France restored. I would extend my speech farther, were it not that I remember I may be accused of cogging with strangers, and flattering my owne nation. Rather woulde I wish the first to knowe that as stronge bodies doe through theyr owne riot ouerthrowe themselues: so likewise by a certaine hidden power in them they rise againe, examples whereof we haue enow. For such considerations may make them wiser to iudge of matters of estate and of other mens, and not vnder the pretence of a few di∣seases to condemne a man to death.

As for the second, I should be glad to see them affected to main∣taine themselues vnited vnder the authoritie of this crowne, wherof would insue the greatnesse and felicity of the same, which we ought as much to desire, as heretofore we haue tasted of the swetnes ther∣of: But if God wold vouchsafe vs ye grace to see ye beginning of this goodlie world, it would redo••d to our great cōtentatiō, & after we haue wrestled against so many calamities, to finde our selues in the middest of our domesticall goods, which were almost vanished a∣waie, we should haue no cause to waken our couetous desires, nei∣ther to whe our swoords to goe with great labour to seeke goods other where, for we should find sufficient in our own houses. To con∣clude, Page  234 we must not thinke that true greatnesse consisteth in getting much land, but rather in possessing much vertue, which is such a prize as when a king hath coueted and obtained it, both he and his realme may be tearmed mightie.

The 21. Discourse.

That aliances of Christian Princes with Mahumetists, the Ca∣pitall enimies of the name of Christ, haue euermore beene vnfortunate. Also that we ought not to enter anie firme confederacie with them.

THe great Orator Demosthenes in one of his * Orations, sayth: that Like as the maister ship∣wrights going about to build a ship, do lay stronge and steadfast foundations thereof: so the princi∣ples of publike actions ought to be iust and honest. This peraduenture is not vnfitly alleadged in the beginning of this small discourse, for the better representing to those that gouerne great estates, those neces∣sarie rules whereby they ought to compasse their affayres. And like as for the most part those men doe amisse, who cleauing too much to their owne opinions, doe go from the lawfull wayes: So do they seldome straie, who borrowing good examples of ye instruction and wisedome of the elders, doe followe the same. In the meane time whatsoeuer care man maye take to containe himselfe within the bounds thereof, yet can he not alwayes bee exempt from transgres∣sing the rules of equity through the imperfection of his iudgement, and force of his passions. Howbeit he must at the least take heede of encurring those great faultes that breede bad consequences, as di∣uerse Princes both afore time and still haue done and doe, whereby there haue growen irrecouerable losse to theyr estates.

A Prince seeing himselfe oppressed and his Countrie in necessi∣tie, * deuiseth with himselfe, and hath those that do also counsaile him to seeke all meanes to preserue it: which peraduenture hath made men too free to make leagues with barbarous Nations, the fruite whereof hath neuerthelesse bene so small, that few there haue bene but haue soone repented their rashnesse.

But before we propound anie examples of these wretched confe∣deracies, * I thinke it requisite in a word to teach the originall of the Turkish nation, their increase and terrible behauiours. Iohn Cari∣onPage  235 in his briefe Chronicle of the world faithfully corrected out of al histories, sayth the Turkes to be descended out of the straightes of the mount Caucasus. And that (as some reporte) they dispearsed themselues out of the North into some small corners of Asia about two hundred yeres before the comming of Christ, where they re∣mayned almost vnknowen vnto the time of the the Emperour He∣raclius, who raigned in the yere 612. Then Orismada king of the Persians finding himselfe assayled by the Sarazens, called to them for succour whome they assisted. But after his death seeing the Sa∣razens had seased vpon the Realme, the beautie and fruitfulnes of the land so allured them, that they stayed about the Caspian sea, in that place which in olde time was called Hircanie, and finallie so compounded with the Caliph of Babylon; that he suffered them to possesse and till the land where they had stayed. There also they im∣braced Mahumets religion, and obeied the Caliph a long time. Af∣terward the Sarazens growing into dissention and warres among themselues, the Souldan finding himselfe too weake to defend his partie called the Turkes to his helpe, and expulsed the Caliphes. After this victorie the Turkes demanding their paie, he denied it, which so prouaked them, that they set vpon him, ouerthrew him, and braue him out of his Realme. Thus did they establish theyr domini∣on in both the Armenies, whereto they adioyned Capadocia, Ga∣lacia, and Bithinia, which by little and little they conquered, and this was about the yere of Christ 1050. Shortly after the Tartari∣ans tooke awaie the Turkes dominion, and brought them into sub∣iection to them, vntill that in the yere 1300. they rebelled, and for∣tified themselues, destroying the Tartarian Empire. Then (the o∣ther ancient families hauing through enmitie & domesticall wars destroied each other) begāthe race of the Ottomans to beare sway. Under this race grew the Turkes to that mightinesse wherein we now see them. Thus the name and Empire of the Sarazens decay∣ing, this nation got the dominion of all the rest. Carion saith, that this famely at the first was but small, but through I wot not what destinie, it grew to this vnreasonable greatnes wt wonderful speed & prosperitie, as a cruel people whō God would haue to beare sway all ouer, to punish the sins of all other Nations. Furthermore, the occasion that moued the Turkes to inuade Europe, as also of the victories that they haue obtayned, hath growen of the dissentions, wickednes treasons; disloyalties, idlenes, couetousnes, rashnes, and mistrust of all states Christian; from the least to the greatest▪ Page  236 And the reuoltes of Christians haue wonderfully increased the Turkes. For many vnthrifts from time to time through the liber∣tie of warres, seeing the flourishing estate of ye Mahumetists, haue forsaken the Christian Church, to cleaue to their sect, as well in re∣spect that libertie is of it selfe agreeable to mens fansies, as also be∣cause their wils do incline anie waie where they see things prosper well.

It will be needlesse here to number the Empires, Realmes, and Prouinces by them conquered within these two hundred yeres: for such as haue bene conuersant in the world, or that haue perused the histories will confesse that they possesse much more land than all Christendome doe containe. Their sect is replenished with all impietie and blasphemie against God and against Christ Iesus and his doctrine, and their gouernment with the most horrible and cru∣ell tyrannie that euer was: as being (as it seemeth) erected rather to ouerthrow all lawes, discipline, and honestie, than to maintaine them. Thus much briefly concerning the estate of the Turkes, the knowledge wherof may tend greatly to the opening of that which shall hereafter be spoken of.

The first Christian Prince punished for all such confederaties, * was Guy of Lusignian, the last king of Hierusalem. For hee ha∣uing a quarell with Reymond Earle of Tripolie, and finding him∣selfe too weake to follow it, made a couenant and called to his aide Saladin the gouernour of the Sarazens, who hauing ouerthrowen Reimond, did afterward expulse Guy, and so ouerthrow the state of the Christians in Siria, and finally suppressed the realme of Hieru∣salem. And albeit the Sarazens and Turkes are not all one, yet did they concurre in Mahumets lawe and all trecherie. About sixe score yeres after Iohn Paleologue Emperour of Constantino∣ple, being molested by sundrie Lordes of Greece, whome the Bul∣garians* fauoured, determined to enter league with Amurathes the first, then ruler of the Turkes, and craued his helpe, which was graunted.

Herevpon they passed into Europe, whereof insued the destruc∣tion of Greece. For these Lords presumption being suppressed, the Turkes remayned in garison in the townes of Greece, and short∣ly after Amurathes allured by the beautie of the Countrie came into Europe with 60000. men. and seased vpon Philippopolly & Adrionople, with other places, whiles Peleologue bewayled, and too late confessed his fault that he had committed in entering Page  237 a league with so traiterous an enimie, whereby he sawe his Coun∣trie become a praie vnto thē. These vnfortunate beginnings might haue bene a warning to other Princes their successors, not to be o∣uer hasty of the acquaintance of such a nation, according to the pro∣uerbe which sayth: Happie is he whom other mens harmes can make to beware. But his next successors forsooke not the same path, ney∣ther had they other payment than he. For after that Emanuel Pa∣leologue had made a steadfast league with Baiazet, the tyrant bea∣ring him no long good wil, besieged Constantinople, which when he coulde not winne by force, hee determined to famish, and had so done, had not the comming of Tamberlane preuented his purpose. Two or three other Emperors following were through the errors and bad examples of their predecessors constrayned, as it were, to cleaue to these barbarous people, vntill they inuaded the Empires of Constantinople and Trapizond, before in the possession of the Greeke Princes. Whereby wee see that the thing which in the be∣ginning was done of an vndiscreete free will, grew in the end to be followed of forced necessitie. But howsoeuer it was, wee may saie that the vniustice of such actions hath beene the cause to bring in great mishaps.

It may be obiected, that within these three hundred yeres sundry * weake Christian Princes haue made confederacies with such as haue bene strong, thinking by the same the better to preserue them∣selues, & yet haue found that they haue turned to their destruction, because the others haue vsed those occasions to oppresse them: and therevpon would conclude, that onely indiseretion hath bene cause of their mishaps, when they haue called to their helpe, coueted to ioyne neighborhood, or confederated themselues out of season with such a one as hath bene mightie, or desirous to climbe, for small faith raigneth in ambitious persons.

Heereto we may answere, that in truth in such deedes there is want of iudgement and consideration, and that the histories, though we set not down the examples, do beare witnes of many that haue tried the hurt proceeding of such follies. Neuerthelesse wee must make a difference and haue other regard when we come to ioyne a∣mitie with the Princes afornamed, either with tyrants, whether to assayle the Christian Princes, or to defende our selues from them. For when a Prince through ambition or disloyaltie vseth con∣federacies to the end to deceiue, the infamie still ••eaueth to him, and as for him that hath bene too simple and so circumuented Page  238 or indomaged, wee doe rather pittie than accuse him. But in all such leagues as wee make with these destroiers and scourges of the worlde, in whom treason, impietie, vniustice and crueltie, haue their continuall habitation, there is alwayes errour, especial∣ly if we exceede certaine bounds prescribed by reason, because it is in no case lawfull to confederate with them, except for matter of small importance, and such as bindeth not the hearts with any strict amitie, neither the persons in anie great bond. For what stedfast so∣cietie * can there be with those whose continuall imaginations tend onely to subdue you to vngodly bondage, & so to destroy you. Wee cannot neuerthelesse here inferre that no man may enter anie trea∣tie with them, because somtime necessitie induceth vs to grow ther∣to with the most diuellish enimies that we can imagine: as to craue truce or peace, to agree controuersies for Lordships or territo∣ries, to demand amends for iniuries, and to deale for trafick & assurance for merchants. In these cases it is lawfull to deale and & treate with these tyrants. Who so therefore would compare these agreements with those true and lawfull leagues which are vsually made betweene Princes, to the ende each to helpe other against all that seeke their trouble, shall see a wonderful difference betwéen them. For these are grounded vpon equitie, and tend to the preser∣uation and maintenance of ciuill amitie betweene them, whereas Princes do vse the other agreements vppon necessitie somewhat to bridle their rage, whereof doe grow some assurance to their subiects and their affaires.

The Wallachians, Moldacians, Transiluanians and Sclauons, haue bene forced to proceede farther, as to submit themselues to the Turkes, to the ende to eschue their furious cruelty, for want of meanes of defence, and of them wee ought to take compassion. Some would peraduenture think that this proud nation would be loth to enter amitie with the Christians: But the contrarie is most true: For albeit they be barbarous, yet doe they herein imitate the auncient pollicie of the Romaines, who vnder coulour of confede∣racies set foote in Greece and Gaule, which afterwarde they sub∣dued.

The lyke would these doe if they might: but at the least in their haunting among Christians, they discouer our affaires, diligently considering our forces and meanes, which afterward doe the more kindle their desire to enterprise against vs, neither doe our men through their conuersation among them, reape any other fruit than Page  239 apprentiship of most wicked customes which doe infect particular persons with corruption and entangle the mindes of those whome they gouerne with tyrannous precepts.

I will yet alleadge other of the most notable examples of such as * haue abused thēselues & found inconuenience in reposing too much confidence in Turkish infidelitie. One shall bee of the last king of Hungarie named Iohn, whome the Hungarians chose after that Lewes was slaine in battaile against the Turkes. This king soone after his election did Ferdinand expulse vnder some pretended title to the Realme: which forced him to haue recourse & to put himselfe into the protection of Sultan Soliman, who thereby had a good oc∣casion: For he waited only how through the meanes of the Christi∣ans, to get accesse into those places where he sought to establish his greatnesse. Thus hauing for the time restored him into his dignity, and beaten Ferdinandes men, he kept not his promise long: for af∣ter the decease of Iohn he dispossessed the Queene his widow & his orphane, who had craued his helpe against Ferdinand, that had be∣sieged them: and euer since haue the most part of Hungarie conti∣nued in the hands of the Turkes. In this their deede the grieuous iniuries offred by yt aforenamed, may to some seeme to excuse their submissiō to Soliman: howbeit they were not free frō blame, in that for their owne particular interest they were the cause on that side to aduance the destruction of the Christians, peraduenture 30. yeres sooner thā it would haue happened, besides that, they ought rather to haue summoned the Christian princes to take order for their con∣trouersies, or else to haue growen to composition with Ferdi∣nand.

But how should these confederaties be other than mishaps to those * that put them in practise, sith such Princes as haue made them on∣ly to the end to reuenge themselues of, or resist their enimies haue come to euil ends? Of whom Alphons king of Naples is one, who fearing the power of Charles the 8. king of France, did after the imitation of Pope Alexander the 6. who before had done the like, sent his Embassadors to Baiazet to craue helpe. As also Lewes Sforza, who to the end to molest the Venetians, sought to ye Turks of whom he brought a certaine number into Italy: but neither of thē attained to their pretences, as being preuented by the subiection of themselues and their estates.

It is no meruayle that shame and destruction doe followe such deliberations, and who so liste well to consider the causes Page  240 thereof, shall see that a vehement desire of reuenge stirred vp these * Princes to call them in. Is it not as much as if a man should go in∣to the woods to hier theeues to murther his kinseman or friend in his owne house, for some debate risen betweene them? Either to o∣pen the windowe to the wolfe, and so to bring him into the flock to deuour the sheepe? Those that were at the first war in Hungarie, when Soliman came in person, doe affirme that in that one onelie voyage there were aboue 200000. persons of that onely Realme, either slaine or caried awaie captiue, which violences together with innumerable other more haue bene such pastimes as these horrible monsters haue within these two hundred yeeres taken, to our costs. Who is he that reading or hearing of the cruelties, villanies, & tor∣ments, which the poore Christians indured at the taking of Con∣stantinople, but will euen faint for sorrow and pittie: In this ship∣wracke neither the greatnesse, nobilitie, and affabilitie, neither the teares nor lamentations of the olde, yong, women, or children could any whit mitigate their crueltie, vntill that hauing glutted theyr desires and reuenges with the bloud, riches, & beautie of the youth of each kinde, they graunted some small release to those miserable persons that remayned of that furie, who had ben farre more happy to haue bene swallowed vp among the rest.

I could heere adde sundrie other deeds wherewith to describe the fiercenesse of this nation, but it shall not greatly neede, because wee * are to beleeue theyr proceedings to haue bene almost alwaies alike, as if theyr onely drift tended to tread all mankinde vnder their feet. Our neighbours alwayes haue and still doe thinke it wonderfull strange how such learned wise men as haue continually florished in France, could counsayle our kings to enter league with these, yea, and so long to perseuere therein, considering how infortunate such confederacies haue bene. Some auncient persons haue in this sort reported the cause. That king Frances the first seeing himselfe stil beset with the Emperour Charles a mightie Prince, Henrie king of England, and diuerse other enimies, who oft brought his state in to daunger, was for his owne saferie counsailed to confederate him∣selfe with Sultan Seliman, to the end when they should molest him, to oppose agaynst them so mightie an enimie. And this treatie was concluded about the yeere 1535. by vertue whereof wee haue often times had succour from the Turkes, which haue greatly hindered those that troubled France, and without the which it must needes haue indured much more through the ambition of them that ought Page  241 not to haue brought our Kings into necessitie to employe so terri∣ble armies. All these accusations and iustifications haue moued me to peruse some histories, to the ende to see what profite or hurt wee haue reaped by their succour.

I haue noted three or fower armies by Sea brought into Chri∣stendome* at the pursuite, as they say, of the French men vnder the conduct of Barberossa and other Admiralles, who haue bred great terror. The most notable of al their exployts, in my opinion, was the taking of Boniface in Corse. But I haue laboured to learne of diuers auncient Captaines and other skilfull persons both Italians and Spanyards, what their nations either thought or sayd of these Turkish tempestes: who all reported vnto me that these barbarous people wrought lamētable desolations, as hauing burned, sacked, yea and led into perpetuall bondage a merueilous number of poore Christians: for the most part, which was worse, were forced to renounce Christianitie and to embrace the false doctrine of Mahumet, a most lamentable destruction truely of so many soules fallen into such horrible gulfes of perdition! Neither is it almost to bee imagined how grieuously these mischiefes haue moued all countrie people both to speake and write in the reproach of the French nation. What then might, sayd they, the kindred and friends of those that were led into this miserable bondage doe? One lost his father and mother: an other his wife and children: this man his brother, that man his cosen. It is very likely that their iust so∣rowe haue wrested from them infinite complaints, teares and la∣mentations, which haue peraduenture knocked at heauen gates. This confederacie seemeth to haue bene the cause of the deminish∣ing of the glorie of so florishing a Realme as France: for euen at the death of King Henry the second it was fallen from a great parte of that greatnesse which fortie yeeres before it did enioye. And although other causes might set forward this declination, yet doe many thinke this to haue bene none of the least. Yea, say they, if*we should compare the commoditie reaped by all this Turkish succour with the onely tainting of the French good name among all nations in Europe, we must of force confesse that the reproach doth farre exceede the profite. For what is the winning of two or three townes to the re∣proofe of so many people for actions so vniuersally condemned? Yea our selues can yet testifie that at the concluding of the peace betweene the two Kings of France and Spayne Anno 1559. the common speech of Germany, Italie and Spayne was that one of the chiefest causes of our Page  242 misfortunes proceeded of confederating with the Turkes, & bringing in and fauouring them to the hurt of the Christians. To whome I aunswered: That they did too sharply taunt those things which in some respects might be borne with, neither were so vnlawfull but that vpon necessitie they might bee vsed: likewise that the offence was in him that forced others for their safegard to haue recourse to such meanes. But they replyed: That it is one thing to confederate with a Christian Prince though vniust and ambitious, and an other with these barbarous people which are the instrumēts of Gods wrath. Also that those which seeke to excuse these errors, ought to shew what wisedome there is in backing our selues with the succour of such as ble∣mish the Princes fame and bring him into reproach. Moreouer, whe∣ther it be not mere blindnes to passe the same way wherin we see euery man encurre shipwracke? Finally, that their opinion was, that no wise man endued with any conscience could much gainsay so euidēt a truth, but would rather yeeld and grannt not onely to condemne that which was so vnlawfull, but also to abstaine from perseuering therein. These in brief were the reasons that they propounded, which also I could not finde to be much impertinent. Neuerthelesse, for my better sa∣tisfying, I thought good to trye the opinions of some Deuines which came to visite me, whether Christian integritie were empai∣red by such confederaties. To this question they aunswered: that Daniel in his prophetie, speaking of the 4. Monarchies which should*be in the world, and describing them vnder the shape of 4. beastes, she∣weth that toward the declining of the fourth which was the Ro∣maine, there should spring vp a little horne, that is to say a kingdome, which should be more mightie then the rest, also that this horne should haue eyes & a mouth. That the eyes signified a law craftely inuented, & the mouth blasphemy against God, also that this power should fight against the Saincts and haue great victories. This did they affirme to signifie the doctrine of Mahumet houlden first by the Sarazens, and then by the Turkes. That if we list well to consider the Turkish king∣dome, wee should finde it to be a terrible tyrannie, whose subiects were wonderfully enthralled: their warres destitute of all good foundation: their politique gouernmēt being wel examined to be but a bare name: their Ecclesiastical regiment to be none: but in liew thereof wee should see a wicked prophaning of the name and seruice of the true God: their household affayres subuerted with Poligamy & other disorders which dissolued all humaine societie. And as for their trecherie and crueltie the histories together with experience & the matters afore alleadged Page  243 doe yeeld sufficient testimonie to make vs to beleeue that prophetie to belong to them, as being therein so figured as they are.

Now presupposing the premises to be true, say they, we would weete*how a Christian Prince can confederate or make any stedfast league with such barbarous nations as are as it were marked and appoynted to be the scourges to Christians? For as we thinke, they can hardly be vsed without offence to pietie. In olde tyme God expressely forbad the Iewes to enter amitie with the Canaanites or Amorites, people whom for their abominable vice he did abhorre. Neither were the compa∣rison amisse in setting the Turkes downe for the one, and our selues for the other: whereof it must of necessitie followe, that the same defence ought to stand vs in stead of a lawe to restraine vs, least we pollute our selues in their abominations. Then did I tell them, that I much meruailed how so many Cardinalles, Bishoppes and Doctors endued with great learning, of whome France had no want, could brooke this league, or made no meanes to breake it. Hereto their aunswer was: that many tymes Princes made the gownes to yeeld to the sword, and the counsaile of the Clergie to the necessitie of the state. And so wee brake off our conference: which hauing since well considered, hath forced me to say: That these barbarous peo∣ple are the same against whome the Pope ought to turne his ex∣communications, and all Christian Potentates their wrath and weapons, rather then against them selues or their Subiects, to whome very rashly they impute Heresie, when they should haue in much greater abomination all Turkish infidelitie. Against those should they drawe their Swordes, not to conuert them (for the Gospell taketh no roote in mens mindes, but by preaching and holinesse of life) but to represse their crueltie and tyrannie: and these warres would bee as necessarie as our domesticall bee vnnecessarie.

But there are some, who seeing the Turkes prosperitie to con∣tinue so long, and to encrease rather then deminish, are as it were * confounded in themselues, and cannot thinke their dominion to bée so detestable, considering that God powreth not his wrath vpon them, but rather his fauour. I doubt not but such as want instruc∣tion in Gods prouidence, are sometimes, when they enter into dis∣course hereof, euen shaken: but they ought to bee assured that this power can haue no perpetual continuance, which hath her bounds, as had the Sarazēs that is ended, together with their name, so that these many yeeres we haue heard no newes thereof.

Page  244 These rods doth the Lord entertaine to the ende only to punish and chastise those who bearing the glorious title of Christians, doe neuerthelesse through their iniquities dishonor him, neither neede we elsewhere seeke the cause of the Turkish prosperitie then in our owne sinnes, the continuance whereof doe thereto minister suste∣nance and strength: where contrariwise our amendment would bée an occasion that the Lord should pull it downe. I would wish all such as are familier with Princes, often to put them in minde that lawfull Monarchies, which ought to be supported with Pietie and Iustice, cannot bee preserued by any meanes repugnant to these vertues, so to resolue them the more, not to seeke any profite in ac∣tions vtterly seperate from honestie.

I knowe there may be some that will say that France is now so * weake and brought so low, that it were not meete it should for sake those leagues which seeme to retaine her enemies in any feare, who would peraduenture be easely enduced to set vpon her so soone as the proppe, which is to them a terror, shall be taken away. First the Germaines would redemaund the imperiall townes: Then the Spanyard, who hath sundrie both olde and new quarels, would alleadge some one or other: and it is to bee doubted but such migh∣tie enémies would deale hardly with her. Indeede this requireth consideration. But the Germaines will aunswer: That their na∣tion is not so hot to entangle the Empire in so great a warre which they would not wish to bee mightier then it is, least it should gripe them as did the Emperour Charles the Duke of Saxony and the Lantgraue. Neither would they aduance the ruine of France, which they knowe to bee a good counterpaize for the inner side of Christendome, and a strong shield for the outer side. The Spa∣niards do say that the long peace betweene their King & France, together with his affayres in the Low countries, doe sufficiently declare that he intendeth not to molest her with warres: For it is enough for him that she daily decayeth through her owne ciuill dis∣sentions: whereby now he no whit feareth her power, which afore∣time hath bene a terror vnto him. So as it were rather to be belée∣ued, that if the Princes her neighbours might see France for an v∣niuersall benefite, to giue ouer their league with the Turkes, they would like very well of so commendable a worke which they haue long desired.

Howbeit, I referre my selfe to the matter as it is, and to con∣clude, * doe say, that our Kings in olde time shewed forth their affec∣tion Page  245 to the rooting out of the enemies of Christendome: for them selues trauailed personally together with the flower of their Sub∣iects euen into Asia and Affricke to fight with them: namely, Lewes the yong, Phillip August and S. Lewes: as also Godfrey of Bolein, with most of the Princes that accompanied him in his voyadge to Ierusalem, were for the most part French men. Like∣wise long before them what scourges were Charles Martell and Charlemaigne to the Sarazens, who being the Lords of ye French nation obteyned mightie victories against that terrible people? Wherevpon I conclude, that vpon good occasion, with condition and assurance sufficient vnto our King that none would attempt a∣gainst his state, I thinke we should not finde him to haue any whit degenerated from his auncesters zeale to wisedome and valour.

The 22. Discourse.

That the Christian Princes well vnited, are able in fower yeres to expulse the Turkes out of Europe.

IT might better beséeme sundry excellent Cap∣taines * whome I take to bee yet liuing, as the L. Iohn Dorie the Italian, Lazarus Schuen∣dy the Germaine, or the Knight of Rome∣gas the French man, who haue bin employed in diuers warres against the Turkes, to dis∣course of such meanes as may best serue to suppresse their power, then mee who neuer sawe their streamers waue in the wind either by sea or by land, neither looked vpon their frontiers. Neuerthelesse, sith yet they haue layd open no parte of their goodly conceipts in this argument (howbeit I cannot thinke but they haue imparted some to their friends) I haue thought good as well for mine owne content, as also to instruct others, who per∣aduenture haue not employed their cogitations vpon such an hau∣tie exployt, to speake somewhat thereof: and that the rather because I suppose it to be most iust and necessarie to the vniuersall benefite of all Christendome. Yet not that I would men should thinke I Page  246 would at randon put forth any speeches depending onely vpon my owne imaginations: for so might they conteyne small assurance. But hauing read and ouer read the histories that entreate of their warres, & therwith noted what hath happened in our time, I haue accompted such a ground to bee sufficient to beare vp whatsoeuer we list to build therevpon. Here might I haue occasion to rehearse the originall and encrease of this tyrannous and vnpitifull Turkish Empire: but sith I haue alreadie declared it in an other small trea∣tise, I will vse no repetition. Such as are neighbours thereto doe * bat too much feele the waight thereof, neither ought they that bée farther of to bee ignorant that it is a horrible scourge of Gods vengeance, which hauing many yeeres agoe ouerthrowne the flo∣rishing Easterne Empire, and set deepe foote into the Westerne, doth yet threaten the rest to bring it vnder the intollerable yoake therof. The consideration of the greatnesse of this perrill which is so neere might bee sufficient to terrifie, and waken especially those that are in chiefest dignitie, to straine themselues to prouide for cō∣mon preseruation. For the fire by little & little taketh hold, & hath alreadie consumed the suburbes of Christendome, namely Hunga∣rie, with all the great coastes of the Adriatick sea, cōmonly called Sclauonia: So as by sea wee haue these barbarous people at the mouthes of our hauens, & vpon the land in our gates. Certaine it is that had it not bene for the famous victorie of Don Iohn of Au∣strich, a most valiant and noble Prince, together with the warre of Wallachie, wherein died 50000. Turkes, & now their last with the Persian, which hath cost them very deere, we should haue felt their forces. Al which losses notwithstanding, yet do they hold the Ile of Ciprus as a glorious monument of their tryumph, hauing withall quite rased to the very foundations the proud forteresse of Goletta in Affrick. Herein do we see yt as they haue lost men, they are able for euery one get 4. & where we haue lost land, by our vsuall procée∣dings it is almost vnpossible to recouer it out of their hāds. Thus do their losses breed their cōmoditie, whereas ours doe leade vs to destruction. Now to those that knowe them not, they seeme to be * on sleepe or letted for a great while: whereas contrariwise they do but take breath & prouide, neither tendeth their delay to any other ende but to gather force wherby their first assaults may be the more furious. One of the first solemne othes that all these tyrants of the house of Ottoman at their entrie into the Realme, do make, when they take their vsurped scepter, importeth, that they shall bee irre∣consiliable Page  247 enemies to the name of Christ: also that by continuall warre and all sortes of crueltie they shall endeuour to roote it out, wherwith as yet their effects haue euermore very well concurred: which course we are to beleeue they will stil continue. I haue heard of some that haue haunted among them, that if their Emperours should but a while surcease their inuasions against the Christians, they should encurre much reproach among their Priestes and men of warre, who perswade themselues that the sword of Mahumet must bring al the world into subiection to their Lord. These follies doe so puffe them vp and encourage them, that they ambitiously couet and embrace as much as euer did Alexander.

It may bee alleadged that they suffer the Christians to liue vn∣der * their dominions, which is true: But no otherwise then we suf∣fer the Oxen and Sheepe to liue in our fieldes, for the profite that we reape by them. Neither make they any other accompt of them then as of bruit beastes, and so doe vse them euen in their most vile seruice, whereto they dare not gainsay: for had they bene willing to disenhabite the land, long since had it bene desert. But they are not so vnaduised as to doe that: albeit a valiant minde would preferre death before the calamities and reproaches which they make them to endure. This might be vnto vs a goodly portraiture, still to be∣hold, to the end the horror of so many cruelties might encrease our care, and watching for feare least we fall into the same estate: For our own daunger conioyned with the compassion which we ought to take of their miseries, will haue the greater power to induce vs to seeke all conuenient remedies.

All this throughly considered, there is no fitter way then to v¦nite * all the Christian power together, and to goe and assaile those that are our destruction: for of all warres, this is the most necessa∣rie. It should not be made vpō ambition, or desire of glorie, neither in reuenge of any small iniuries, but for the preseruation of many thousand soules from the mortall infection of Mahumets doctrine, and to set the bodies free from the most horrible bondage that euer was. Likewise for the defence of lawes, honestie, vertue, know∣ledge and discipline, which the rage of these barbarous people doe pretend to burie in obliuion, and in liew therof to bring in impitie, vice, ignoraunce and thieuerie. This likewise reuealeth an other poynt worthie the noting in all humaine actions, namely Iustice, which ought to bée the foundation of them all. But it appeareth so cleerely as none can gainsay it. Page  248 Hereto also I will adde this word, that no act can be more iust then in that subdued parte of Europe to purchase the redresse of politick order, which in it comprehendeth all kindes of Iustice, publick and perticular. I suppose, if wee could either in eye or Image beholde only two sorts of the vyolence (besides innumerable others) which these barbarous wretches do practise against the poore Christians, our sloth would be turned into zeale. The first, that yeerely in the Prouinces that they haue subdued, they pull away, euen out of the mothers bosomes, fiue or sixe hundred small children, whome they transport to Constantinople, there to be instructed in their sect and armes. The second, that yeerely in their courses and roades here and there, they take at the least twise so many poore Christians whom they sell againe: whereby the father is caried one way, the sonne an other, the husband into the East, the wife into the West, there to bee slaues all the daies of their life, without hope of euer seeing one an other againe: such a seperation as is made with in∣comparable teares. Neither doe I here comprehend the spoyles of warres, which in some one voyage swalloweth vp 40. or 50000 soules. This is only the ordinarie that I set downe, the continu∣ance whereof in tenne or twelue yeeres will breede, if we well note it, a great extraordinarie.

Many there are that confesse this to bee true, and there settle * themselues, without proceeding any farther, as imagining the mis∣chiefe to bee so farre of that it can neuer come neere to them, and therefore doe leaue to those that are neerer thereunto, the feeling that they ought to haue thereof. This is no small ouersight, which sheweth that they regard only their owne interest, a matter at this day too common among most men: for there are so fewe that take care either to pitie others, or respect Iustice, as humanitie and e∣quitie doe seeme to be vtterly extinguished. In like error remayned our forefathers, I meane those that were neere neighbours to the Countries now left in pray: for through their retchlesnesse & small care to fauour them, they are lost, and haue left their neighbours in perpetuall feare of falling into the like inconuenience. Also as eue∣ry man is readie to seeke goodly cloakes to couer his faults, so are there some, who to the ende to excuse their sloth, would persade vs that the Turkish power is so limited with Seas, Mountaines and fortified Frontiers. that it can encrease no farther. We are to pray that it be so, but for the more certaintie, to beleeue the contra∣rie, for feare of surprising: and I suppose that such as shall peruse Page  249 the histories will scarce cleaue to these mens aduice. For they shall finde that in two hundred and eightie yeeres it hath stretched one way from the Caspian portes vnto Strigon, a towne on the hether borders of Hungary, which are almost fower hundred leagues of ground. Truely we must haue very strong borders to stay those whom neither the mountaines of Armeny, the straights of Helle∣spont, neither the great riuer of Danow, could stoppe from their passage. Neither is this any great matter in respect of the Em∣pires, Nations, Realmes and Armies that they haue destroyed in approaching vnto vs. It is then but meere flatterie to imagine that they will thus stay pitched in so fayre a way, and a signe of small iudgement to thinke that vnder colour that they are yet a great way from vs, wee should be free from feare, and refuse to as∣sist those that doe continually beare their impetuositie.

I knowe that sometimes a great power stayeth a time without * doing any great exployt, as wee see that for these fortie yeeres they haue not much encroched toward Germany, but likewise that not many yeeres before they conquered almost all Hungary and made Transiluany tributarie. And thinking well therof I finde that they shall neede so small successe to terrifie all Christendome, that I do alreadie apprehende that inconuenience. It is well knowne that Sultan Soliman twise besieged the towne of Vienna in Austrich, which Charles the 5. succoured. But if at this day Solimans suc∣cessors making the like enterprise should carie it away (for we must thinke it to be neither vnpossible, neither vneasie, to those that can bring into the fielde 200000. Horse, to force a towne) what would followe but the forrage and destruction of all Germany, and the Turkish warres to be transported to the shores of Rhine? As also for Italy, shall they not haue a fayre passage through the Alpes to goe to ransacke it? Or what Armie durst make head against such a multitude after they haue ouerthrowne our Frontiers? Wee must confesse that it is well with vs that GOD is our watchman and rampier: for had he not so bene, wee had alreadie felt that which we shall not faile to feele hereafter, vnlesse we helpe our selues with those remedies which GOD of his goodnesse putteth into our hands.

Now let vs see to whom it appertaineth to care for the vniuer∣sall * good. Wee may easely iudge that it is to the Emperours, Kings, Princes and Commonwelths, vnder whome God hath subdued the Nations to yeeld them obedience: In respect whereof Page  250 they ought to gouerne them in Iustie, and defend them from op∣pression. And like as the Shepheard still watcheth that the woolfe surprise none of his flocke, so ought they by continuall diligence to stop the horrible 〈◊〉 that this cruell nation cōtinueth against their subiects. If we looke well about vs, we shall see that there are fewe countries crempt therfro: For the bordes of Poleland, Germany, Spayne and France on the side of Prouence and Languedocke, doe often enough trye how grieuous the bondage of these barba∣rous people is. That is the whole bodie of Christendome▪ The rest are but Isles, as England, Scotland, Denmarke and Sue∣den,* which are in maner almost Ilands, This doth the more asto∣nish me, that hauing such warnings wee still are so drousie. Now the matter that maketh Princes so smally affected hereto, is that they grow altogether attentiue to their own perticuler greatnesse, whereof ensueth the forgetting to doe things beneficiall to Chri∣stendome. Another cause, in part depending vpon this first is feare & suspition that each hath of other, which do engender such priuat mischiefes, as make them to negle•• the publique calamities. Thus do we see how couetousnesse and domesticall mallice do hinder ho∣norable and profitable resolutions. And so eng as their harts shal be thus disposed, it will be hard to enterprise enterprise any matter of impor∣tance. It is therefore necessarie for the remedying hereof to seeke meanes not vtterly to plucke from them all these hurtfull passions, (for so must they bee aewe cast againe) but to deminish them in them, to the ende they afterward the more at their ease put on those affections which they ought to heare to the common cause.

The best way to draw to this effect were, if they that beare grea∣test * sway in Christendome could with liuely perswasions and dili∣gent sollicitations, shewing to all men how neere and sharpe the Lyons teeth & talents are, open their eyes and vnstop their eares: for that were a good beginning to compasse the principall poynt of remiting their willes. The first person that should effectually per∣swad ought * to bee the Pope, whose dignitie is in great reuerence among Catholique Princes, whom he should solemnely send vnto. For they seeing him leaue his ordinary crye after them which he yet vseth, saying: Cut the throates of such of your subiects as will not acknowledge me, and that his phrase were eeed, would bee much perswaded by the vertue of these inductions, as Princes were by o∣ther Popes in the first voyages for the recouerie of the Holy land. The second person necessarie is the Emperour, for albeit his po∣wer *Page  251 doth not now concurre with his title, yet ought that sacred dignitie wherewith he is clothed to bee in great reuerence among all Christian Potentates: whose exhortations would likewise be of great eff〈…〉 throughout all Germany. The third person meete & * necessarie 〈◊〉 the rest should be the K. of Spayne, in respect of his mightnesse & power, whervpō his word being builded, the ve∣ry feare of his euill will would make euery one to be the readier to doe well. These in my opinion being well vnited, might easely lay the foundations of so stately a practise. In olde time mens-zeale was framed to diuers iust matters, or such as so seemed: for then one perticuler person endued with eloquence and experience was able to stirre them vp, as did Peten the Hermite, who hauing dis∣couered all ye East countries led thether the first troopes. But now that euery man looketh but to himselfe, it is requisite to wordes to ioyne authoritie and feare: therein imitating Themistocles, who comming to certaine confederates of the Athenians to craue mo∣ney at their hands, the sooner to perswade them, tolde them that he brought them two Gods Loue & Force. Euen so who so desireth to doe any good in this matter, must in laying open the necessitie speake Magistratlike, as we tearme it. Who so doubteth that these thrée persons cannot be linked together in this desire & pursuite, is deceiued: for the state as well of the persons as of the affayres doth inuite them, rather thē force them backward, as we may easely see.

But in this which I am now about to say consisteth more diffi∣cultie, * namely in framing the other Princes to ioyne with them, a∣mong which the most Christian King is most necessarie: for he be∣ing vnited with the rest, who would afterward bee behinde, sith al∣most all other Potentates are confederate vnto them? Or who durst doe any thing contrary to their power, but should immediatly be oppressed? Whervpō I gather that if this perticuler league be∣tweene these 4. were once well knit, the general would vndoubted∣ly soone ensue. Now the most Christian King cannot be hereunto bound before he be wonne to consent to breake his league with the Turke: which I feare will hardly be compassed without great rea∣sons and good assurance: for peraduenture he wil be loath to plucke downe the outward proppes which his father and grandfather of happie memorie reared vp for the assurance of their estate, which hetherto haue not bene shaken: besides that his Counsailors will feare in so waightie a matter to make any rash alteration.

This therefore they may alleadge in this case, whereof I haue Page  252 briefly spoken other where. Namely, that King Frances the first finding England, Spayne, Germany, the Low countries, & some * partes of Italy to bee confederate against him for the oppressing of his estate, whereof ensued the losse of the Dutchy of Millan, with the denyall of his soueraigne rights to Flanders and Arthoise, and therewith hauing the warres oftentimes within the bowels of his Realme, fearing more hurtfull losses, was forced for his safetie to haue recourse vnto extraordinarie remedies: namely to enter league with Soliman Emperour of the Turks, so to anoy his ene∣mies: likewise that the feare hereof hath many times seemed to re∣straine them frō the execution of greater purposes against France. That his sonne Henry being to withstand the like endeuours, did also vse the same forraine fauour, wherein he had good successe. That if the Realme when it florished and abounded in all things stoode in néede of such helpe, much more necessary is it now while it is deuided, weakened and poore; because the auncient hatred of those that seeke the abasing thereof may yet gather strength and force. This mooueth them to feare perpetuall reproach with mani∣fest daunger to the state, if they should counsaile their maister to depriue himselfe of such succour, the losse whereof may embolden the neighbors to more willingly the assaile him. That they are not ignorant but that the confederacie with the Turke beareth appa∣rance of vniustice: howbeit for counterpaize thereof, that the profite which it yéeldeth is so great, that in these daies wherein wee liue, which are replenished with suspition & surprises, it may without infamie be tollerated: considering that the Catholique King, what∣soeuer regard he hath to conscience and honor, maketh no doubt of confederating himselfe with the Persian, who is a Mahumetist as well as the other: And who can tell, wil they say, whether the most Christian King, when vnder colour of vniuersall benefite he may haue made of his friend his foe, if he should bee afterward assailed, be assured of the loue of those Princes with whome he hath bene at so great controuersie▪ Without manifest testimonie therefore of a good reunion and assurance to his Realme, they would be loath to perswade him to abandon his auncient confederaties. Moreouer, yt although al Christian Princes should vnite themselues to assaile the Turkes and atchieue great victories against them, yet is it like∣ly that all the fruites of their labours both by sea and land shall re∣dound to the profite of the house of Austrich, which alreadie is clambred so high, that all the neighbours begin to stand in feare Page  253 thereof, and so should their maister reape nothing but labour and cost, which poynt is to be considered of. These, in my opinion, are the chiefe reasons that our Kings officers can alieadge, which it * were requisite to ouerthrowe by better before wee bring them to the league aforesayd. I thinke if the Princes afore named would proceede sincerely, & vnto words adioyning good demonstrations, this might be compassed. For besides the equitie of the matter, the desire of many good men which seeke no more but the exaltation of the name of Christ shall accompanie them. But if they labour with subtetie (as men doe many times) there will no fruite come of it, but they shall be requited with subteltie. Howbeit, I will be∣léeue that they meane very well: which if they doe, there resteth no more but to aunswer to that which hath bene propounded, and so to decide the difficulties aforesayd: whereof I will not speake, in that I can say little in respect of that which so many heads as well in Spayne as Italy are able to set downe: neither doe I doubt but these Princes would graunt to the most Christian King good as∣surance, to induce him to enter into this confederatie. For if there arise any controuersie vpon this saying: The assurance is not strong enough, or vpon the aunswer, we can giue no other: the same were an euident token of a bad minde to the common benefite, in him whō we should see vnwilling to yeeld vnto reason. For if it should happen such a King as he of France to bee assotiated, it would af∣terward be an easie matter to make all the other Potentates to en∣ter into the generall vnion, yea euen the King of Poleland now raiguing. And withall if any one would be slacke when he should see the whole bodie set forward, the same should deserue to bee for∣red thereto.

Yet were all this in vaine and to no purpose, vnlesse withall or∣der * be taken to appeae all present warres, also to prouide for such as may arise as well betwene Prince and Prince, as betwene them and their subiects. It seemeth that at this day there is small cause of controuersie betweene them, sith the Duke of Anieow is decea∣sed, who was at debate with the Catholique King, hauing wonne for all his paines the onely towne of Cambray, which some may thinke to bee rather an occasion to breede discord betweene the two Kings, of Spayne and France: which neuerthelesse I cannot be∣leeue; for they will neuer so farre ouershoote themselues, as for so small a matter to hazard both their Realmes into charges, cala∣mitie and destruction. Neither (to speake as a Christian) should Page  254 any man wish two so mightie Monarchies to goe together by the eares. For so should they bring their confederates to partaking, and of a priuate controuersie make a generall warre. And no doubt the Turke would thereof take occasion to worke wonderfull prac∣tises against vs, which for want of withstanding through our do∣mesticall dissentions, would breede our great hinderances. Some man will adde that the small Potentates will bee glad the great ones should feede each vpon other: truely if the great ones should seeke to deuoure them, they might haue great reason to wish it: but seeing them willing to vndertake to do that which may profite all, all ought likewise to wish their good and to helpe them therein. The true meanes therefore to take away the feare from some and couetousnesse from other some, were ioyntly to employ themselues in these high enterprises.

As for the warres of Princes against their subiects, it were good * (if it were possible) to quench them: because they are sufficient to diuert them from all other intents. To which purpose I say that subiects are to remember that their soueraigne Princes are as the visible Images of God, whom he hath established vpon the earth as his Lieutenants, to driue men to liue in Pietie, Iustice and ho∣nestie, and to defend them from oppression. In respect whereof they are to yeeld vnto them all honor, fidelitie, seruice & obedience, as also the Princes are to beare them like goodwill as a father doth to his childe, and neuer to driue them into necessitie, least they en∣ter into dispayre. Through the maintenaunce of this goodly con∣cord, states doe florish; whereas contrariwise the breach thereof ha∣steneth their destruction, as hath bene lately tryed to the great hurt of all France, and is yet in practise in Flanders to the desolation therof. It is a lamentable matter to see those that worship one self Christ thus to pursue each other with fire & blood like wild beastes, and the whiles to suffer these Mahumetistes to tryumph ouer the liues, lands, and spoyles of the poore Christians of the East coun∣tries. For if this alteration of the Low countries were ceased, all Christendome should seeme to be at peace. But this reconsiliation * will not be 〈…〉y purchased: howbeit, al lets must be ouercome, to the ende to creepe out of these long miseries that make both the as∣sailants and defendants miserable. The Catholique Maiestie, who, as it is sayd, is very courteous, and thereof daily sheweth great proofes in most but my selfe, should diligently looke hereto: for all this bloodie tragedie is played at his costs. Now is there no Page  255 question of state, but only for religion: whereof, albeit no man as∣keth my counsaile, neither wil beléeue me, yet I will speake a word or two. The way were, in my opinion, to proceede by gentlenesse, not to iudge by foreiudgement: and to frame the lawes according to the natures, and not to leane so much to the reportes of some, as to the iust complaints of many subiects: as being assured that consciences cannot bee forced without merueilous force. Finally, the successe of things past may haue taught that those princes who by warres haue endeuoured to accompany the vehemencie of their Priests, haue disfigured their dominiōs & deminished their great∣nesse. And what Iesuite is there, how skilfull soeuer, that is able to perswade those that bee no Iesuites, that God delighteth in so much blood as on both sides is shed? The people of the Low coun∣tries are of a free nature, the affections of whose hearts are remoo∣ued by clemencie and vnfayned humanitie: but by stripes and iniu∣ries they be prouoked and alienated. The surest counsaile therfore were to graunt to those that are in armes the permission which they craue to serue God, to the ende they may yeeld also the obe∣dience that man doth require: for it is to be supposed that if this bee not willingly done, time will wrest it by force: which may as well breede fauourable accidents to the losers, as it hath done to the winners. The liueliest sting and sharpest pricke to mooue the Spa∣nyards to peace, is the remembrance of the folly of France, wher∣by they may say: We haue scaped fayre. This difficultie shall not let * me from proceeding in my discourse, and by diuers examples to shewe that this enterprise against the Turkes, ought to be vnto vs in great recommendation. Our grandfathers had courage enough to assaile their grandfathers euen in their owne cities and fieldes, which they watered with the blood of these misereants: which proo∣ueth that the children are not inuincible. Wherfore the better to see those notable victories, we may reade the historie of Paulus Aemi∣lius, who treateth of the conquest of the Holy land. It is meruei∣lous to see how zealous euery man then was to employe himselfe in these forrein expeditiōs, wherfro neither the dangers could ter∣rifie the yong, nor the tediousnesse of the way the old: but both sorts either sold or morgaged part of their goods to furnish & set forth thē selues therin. Euen that excellent Prince Godfrey of Bollein to ye same effect sould his Dutchy to the Bishop of Liedge: He was the first Westerne Prince that gloriously tryumphed as well of the Sarazens as of the Turkes, in taking from them the realme of Ie∣rusalem,Page  256 and driuing them away. Many other vayages haue since bene made by diuers Emperours & Kings which haue had good & bad successe: wherof I will speake in time conuenient. At this time it shall suffise to beholde in these by oyles the zeale of so many noble personages: the consent of nations: the magnanimitie of gentrie: the liberalitie of all men: & finally the high prowesse & conquestes of so many warriors, to the end by the motions therof our affectiōs now as it were asleepe, may awake & bustle themselues to ye same ende which our auncesters shot at. For it were a great signe of de∣generating from the auncient vertue, if we should not stirre against these our terrible enemies that approach euen to our doores, sith they trauailed aboue 600. leagues out of France to seeke them. And yet are wee to feare them much more then they, because their power is fower times as much againe as it was then. This may bee a warning to Princes (being resolued to enter into this enter∣prise) to be the more carefull to lay the foundations so sure as they may not be shaken. For if through negligence or haste there should happen any default, it would be somewhat troublesome to redresse, and it would fall out as to those that build a beautifull Bridge vpō weake pillers, who are afterward for the repayring thereof driuen to breake it downe againe.

I haue here afore made mention of two foundations, consisting * the one vpon the iustice of the warre, the other vpon ye necessity: which both are throughly to bee considered, because by seeing the grounds to be good, we conceiue the better hope of the ende which we pretend. Now it remaineth that we proéeed in the rest, the prin∣cipall whereof dependeth vpon the will of the Princes, whence the generall vnion must grow. For yt is it which beareth vp the whole frame and maketh it to moue. And in as much as the matter that may hinder it is to bee ouercome (as wee haue seene) we are to be∣leeue that after diuers negotiations and iourneys too and fro, the Princes may in the ende growe to resolution. This compassed, it were good to summon some notable assembly wherein to deliberate vpon the whole, & to sweare to whatsoeuer may be concluded. And sith ye Emperor should be one of the chief dealers & withal of grea∣test dignitie, he to appoynt the place (so as the Pope would not be ielous) where the Embassadours of the greatest Princes might méete, whether also the meaner will come in person, for that the Emperour himselfe should be there. To which purpose the towne of Ausbourg (in my opinion) might well serue for them all, where Page  257 also with the aduice of many other skilfull Captaines they might better determine all matters.

Hauing formed such a confederacie, it were requifite to go on & to prouide fit means to continue the warre at the least foure yeres, * to yt end none might giue it soouer ouer without incurring reproch and displeasure of al the other Princes, either else not to enter ther∣into at all. For to begin this warre, and then to leaue it vnfinished, would breede too great inconuenience, as hauing forced a mighty enimie to play double or quit, wherinto being entred, he might per∣aduenture attempt such deuises as before he neuer thought vppon. True it is that it is hard so sure to bind those Princes which depend but of themselues, howbeit, all that might be must be done: for or∣dinarie experience teacheth, that onely three or foure leagued toge∣ther, can hardly long agree. And sometime before the first peece be performed, some one shrinketh, who then wanteth no reasons nor ex∣cuses therefore.

Then must they prouide for treasure, for forein wars are neuer wel * conducted without abundance, & want doth oft make them to de∣caie. In the first warr against yt Mahumetists, the zeale & affecti∣on was so great yt most men waged thēselues of their owne goods. Afterward they were holpen with ye treasure which through yt Croi∣sats that the Popes published, was leauied in sundrie realmes and prouinces. This help, whether it now proceeded of the Popes or of the authority of princes, & were tearmed either Croisade or contri∣bution, would be necessarie to helpe the Potentates to defray their charges. For hauing gathered among their subiects an extraordi∣narie summe (yet not immoderate) & thereto laying part of their or∣dinarie reuenues, it would suffice to maintain great armies. How∣beit sith in our smal wars we stil find want of money, it were meet to lay a good foundation for treasure a yere before the enterprisiug of any thing: for beeing of sufficient abilitie before they begin, they should afterward hardly incurre any want. It may bee said that to threaten the enimie so far before hand, were as much as to giue him time to prouide: but hauing well waied all, it were a greater incon∣uenience, according to the prouerbe, To take shipping without bis∣quet. Besides, it is to be imagined that their pride & glory is such, & they so much contemne the Christians, that they will take it to bee rather some brag to terrifie thē, than any preparation to assaile thē. As for power, I thinke no man can denie but that Christendome is at this daie verie mightie. For all Countries are full of men these *Page  258 domestical warres haue greatly exercised in armes. The art of war is also better knowen than it hath bene these 150. yeeres, whereto the knowledge of histories both Greeke & Latine, conioyned with experience, haue bene a great helpe. We see likewise that their cou∣rages are no whi quailed, as wee doe but too often proue to our great griefe and losse. Of souldiours therefore hauing both now & good, we must looke for Captaines, for they bee the men who tho∣rough their wisedome & magnanimitie are great helps to the win∣ning of the victories. In this point we of force confesse that Chri∣stendome hath not now any of so great experience, as euen in our daies we haue seene: as the Duke of Alua, the Duke of Guize, the Constable of France, the Admirall of Chastillion, and for the sea Andrew Dorie. Howbeit we cannot likewise saie that it is vtterly vnprouided▪ for although those that remain be but yong, yet do they follow the steps of the others, neither want they any thing but the subiect of a braue war, the more to display their vertue: besides that many times good hap accompanieth young heads, as appeared in Don Iohn of Austria at Lepanto, the Duke of Anguien at Seri∣solles, the Duke of Sanoy at S, Quintins, the Earle of Aigmōt at Graueling, & especially the Prince of Parma in Flāders. We are to thinke that we liue in a time wherin the large schooles are o∣pen for Captaines to learne to frame themselues & grow good. Let vs therefore content our selues with those that yet liue, & hope well of their conduct. I will name none particularly, for they be suffici∣ently knowen, who in Spaine, France, Italy & Germany haue pur∣chased fame.

Now are we to looke to discipline, wherof I wil say thus much, * that without great care that it be diligently obserued & kept, we are not to look for any good issue of the war. We see how ye ciuil wars haue quite corrupted it, and the infection is shed ouer all nations, though ouer some more than othersome. It were meet therefore at the first to establish rules which may be put in practise, & thereto to ad both a punishment & reward: for if we carry our accustomed disor¦ders into these wars, we shal soone become a praie to the Turkes. Titus Liuius discoursing how ye Romaines attained to their great conquests, among other things attributeth it to their good obserua∣tion of order & discipline. Yet do I not herein require as great per∣fection as in those daies, but rather to fit the coat to the bodie, & the laws to the vertue. I doubt not but ther is yet enough spred abroad among our Christian nations: Whereof if a great part were gathe∣red Page  259 into one armie, it would suffice to bring forth good fruit. These * be the principall preparatiues which the Princes should consider of betimes. For the rest, which neuerthelesse are necessary, as wepons, vessels, artillerie, & munition, they are much easier to bée gotten. Philip of Macedon Alexander the greats father prepared for such things as he needed for his wars a yere or two before hand: but he died before he could begin, & his sonne finished them: & yet it serued his turne wel, that he found all things redie, but especially he made great account of fiue or six old Captains whom his father left him. Another Philip the father of Perseus, purposing wars against the Romaines, made no lesse preparation, though his sonne imploied it but badly. And we are as greatly to feare the Turkish nation as they did the others, for it holdeth at this day the greatest Empire in ye world. Many there are yt being badly informed of their customes, * do take thē to be barbarous people, giuen to cruelty, & wanting all other good qualities, wherin they are deceiued: for among all soldi∣ers in the world, they shew themselues most sober, obedient of their Captains, & diligent. For a while they had small vse of the harque∣buze, but now they can help thēselues therewt against vs, & do begin to arme their horsmen with certain light breastplates & morions to couer the foreparts of their bodies & heads, although they retain the vse of the bow & target: & it is a great meruaile considering how many Christian soldiers do daily go to them & denie their faiths, yt they haue no sooner taken our fashions which are better thā theirs. Footmen with the pike & corcelet they haue none, which in my opi∣nion is our aduantage, as being a verie profitable kind of soldiers. All this ought to hasten vs to preuent thē before they conforme thē∣selues to vs in things wherin we exceed thē: neither is to be doub∣ted but in time they will imitate Pyrrhus & Hanibal, who brought their souldiers to take vp many of the Romaine fashions both in wepons & discipline, as hauing by experience in their wars against thē, found the same to be better than their own. I leaue it therfore to any good Captains iudgement, if they should thus doe (considering their great numbers of people) whether it were possible to stande before them: if they should arme but 50000. horsmen after our ma∣ner, surely the same would suffice to fight with al the horse in Chri∣stendome: but they put in their general armies well neere 200000 which is an incredible matter.

I heard a French Gentleman yt was at Sighet when Sultan Soli∣man* besieged it, say yt there he saw 150000. which raue him into Page  260 admiration, seeing all the earth couered with horse & men as thicke as trees in a large forrest. When we in our smal warres see 10. or 12000. horse, we thinke them able to fight with the whole worlde, what then would we saie if we should see these wonderfull troops? They haue euermore vsed to march thus: yea, the Sarazens whome they succeeded in ye law of Mahumet vsed mightie armies, though not so strong in horse. I will not stand vppon the description of the large extent of their dominions, as being a thing sufficiently know∣en, onely I will saie that in Europe they holde more land than all France, Spaine & Italy doe containe, from whence they take theyr best men of warre, where also they keepe them, partly in garrisons and partly vppon their conquered landes which they diuide among them, with charge to bee alwayes readie to serue vppon anie the great Lords commandements, so as out of the sayd Prouinces of Europe, they are able to bring into the field neere 100000. horse, which is a token yt the barbarousnesse that we take to be in them, is not altogether deuoide of wisedome and pollicie. They vse not to fortefie many holdes, for no man dare enterprise to assault anie of their chiefest, but he shall straight waies be assured of a mightie po∣wer at hand readie to make him giue ouer quicklie. As their lande power is great, so is not their strength by sea anie whit smaller, which now they are more iealous to keepe well than euer heereto∣fore, through the remembrance of their great losse receiued by the good hap and prowesse of Don Iohn of Austria. They neuer em∣pouerish themselues in warres as Christian Princes doe, for their warfare and order of paie doth somewhat differ from ours, and the coine that theyr Emperour taketh out of his treasurie at Constan∣tinople in the time of warre, hee supplieth againe in time of peace. To bee briefe, they be most mightie enimies: against whom whosoeuer shall deale, he had not neede to forget anie thing at home (as wee vse to say) but doe as they that enter the liftes, who before they do come, loke to increase their strength & courage: to see to see their defensiue armes sit, and their offensiue sharp, to the end either to ouercome, or die valiantly.

Now are we to enter into the chiefe point of this matter, which is, of the meanes how to assaile these terrible enimies, in what pla∣ces, * & with what power, to the end within the time afore noted to at∣chiue a happie conclusion. And although in ye assembly before men∣cioned, wherat should appere sūdrie princes & Captains, they may argue of this point to ye end to grow to some resolution: yet will I Page  261 not let as briefly as I may, to saie my minde, according as I pur∣posed at the first, alwaies submitting the same to the censures of such as are more skilfull than my selfe, to correct the imperfections therof. My discourse tēdeth rather to kindle ye affections of valiant persons to enterprise, than to giue anie counsayle in the proceeding in so haughtie a purpose, whose euents may not easily bee forseene, wherin the chiefest Captaines (whose poore scholler I shal account it an honour for me to be) shall not bee too sufficient to giue aduice. The better neuerthelesse to behaue our selues in such a warre, I thought good to set down some examples of but ancestors, who sun∣drie times fought against the same nation, to the end that what they wisely executed may be to vse a rule, by fitting it to our time, as al∣so we may eschue and auoid their ouersights.

I will not enter into search of matters beyonde Godfrey of Bolleine (albeit there were greate warres before betweene the Emperours of Constantinople and the Saracens) in whose daies the Christian Princes beganne to confederate themselues agaynst them. The first armie that was sent went vnder the leading of Pe∣ter the Hermite, who passed euen into the lesser Asia, and at the first acchieued a few valiant exploites: but he and all his men were af∣terward ouerthrowen by the Souldan of Nicee. Likewise two o∣ther armies as they marched, were broken by the Hungarians, a nation which at that time had scarcely attayned the rudimentes of Christianitie, and as yet did holde of the auncient fiercenesse of the Hunnes: so as these first expeditions yeelded small fruit and great hurt. The cause of which disorders & inconueniences proceeded (as I thinke) of the want of authoritie and experience of their leaders, who vpon a zeale, assembled al these troups gathered out of diuers nations, in whom peraduenture they founde not conuenient obedi∣ence, and wanting foundation both in purpose and prouision, could not long holde out, neither among their friendes, neither agaynst their enimies.

The histories reporte that in the first expedition there were unlesse than 100000. able men. And the Hungarians ouer∣threw the others (which were not so many) because by the way they ell to spoyle, which argueth that they vsed small discipline. Wee can therefore make no account of the greacnesse of a multitude, if there be no order among them, which especially fayleth when their Captaines be either insufficient or want authoritie. Shortly after did Godfrey of Bolein tooke vppon him his notable voiage about Page  262 the yeere 1086. toward the end of the raigne of the Emperor Hen∣rie the fourth. This voyage was better looked to and ordered than the former, and had many more excellent Captaines: for besides himselfe, who was alreadie a famous Captaine, he had his two bre∣thren Baulduine and Eustace Earle of Flanders Hugh, Philippe the French kings brother, Robert of Normandie, the sonne of William King of England, and many other Lords & Gentlemen: yea, if we list to beleeue such as haue written the particularity, ther∣of, we shall find there were in that armie aboue 40000. horse and 150000, 〈◊〉 al fighting men, a great part wherof (which was me〈…〉 about their owne expenses.

So soone as they were assembled they marched forward, and so * followed their businesse, that they finished their conquest in 3 yeres ouer a great part of the lesser Asia, Siria, & Mesopotamia. In this warre they had many reencounters, but the most notable were two great battailes which they woune, and two principall sieges Nice & Hierusalem, where they were the conquerours. Many Christi∣ans were also once besieged at Antioch, but they sharply repulsed yt Sarazens and Turkes, with great slaughter. Finallie, hauing ex∣pulsed them out of the farthest Prouinces, they established the Realme of Hierusalem, where Godfrey of Bolleine raigned and his successours after him: who so list nowe to consider the time that was spent in so great a conquest, shall find it but short for the win∣ning of more land than all Germanie and Scotland doe containe. Great was the defence & assalt, but 2. great battels & 2. sieges yel∣ded the whole victory, wherby we may beleeue yt the hardest enter∣prises are ouercome with valor & good order. Neither wil I let slip the inconueniences of those long iourneyes: for the tediousnesse of the way, the distemperance of the aire, & the continual trauaile bred sundrie diseases among those great troopes, which were holpen for∣ward by the excesse of the mouth too much vsed in these north parts. These brought the losse of many, euē of the better sort yt wanted no abilitie. Now haue the Turkes taken order yt we shall not need to go so far to seeke them, for they are come abroad euē to some of our gates, others haue them within fiftie leagues of them, and the far∣thest within an hundred. We shall not neede to feare the hearts of Asia, for our batable grounds shall be in as good a temperature as France: yea, euen Constantinople standeth in the same climate as Strigon, so as we shal need to feare no more but our enimies yron.

But to proceede, we are to vnderstand that after the posteritie of Page  263Godfrey of Bolleine had inioyed the lande aboue 80. yeeres, ciuill * dissention crept in among them, and some of them calling the Sara∣zens to their aide, grew so strong that they droue out the rest. This afterward moued diuerse Christian Princes to ioyne againe in the recouerie of that which was lost so as in fiue or six score yeres they made sixe or seauen notable voiages. wherein went personally the Emperours Fredericke Barbarossa, Frederick the second, Con∣rade king of Germanie, some kings of France and of England, wherof neuerthelesse grew smal profit. At the beginning the Chri∣stians had goodly victories, but in the end they had the foile, & were neuer able to expell the Turkes and Saracens out of the lands that they had recoueres. All these later losses proceeded of sundrie cau∣ses, as of particular warres leauied by some of the princes that stai∣ed behinde in their lands that were gone yt voiages: of want of wine & other prouision: of the small perseuerance of them that were lea∣gued, of the pestilence that fell in the armie: & finally, of such hinde∣rances as the Emperors of Greece did vnderhand work to the we∣steru forces: enuying, as it shuld seme, their generosity, & being loth they shuld conquere the land which yt Sarazens had won frō the said Empire. These are the deformities of the former enterprises, which ought to be warily shunned for feare of disgracing the present: for it is a double fault, to know the former ouer sightes, & yet to fall into thē again. Other princes yt followed the aforenamed haue but defē∣ded * & yelded to ye Turkish rage, which ouerflowing in ye family of the Ottomans, hath for these 300. yeres stil increased to our great losse & destruction: howbeit euen in the middest of our disorders we haue not wanted some excellēt persons, who with very smal means haue withstood the meruailous force of these barbarous nations, & whiles life hath lasted, ben a rampier to all Christendome. One was Iohn Huniades the Father of Mathy Coruine, chosen to be king of Hungary. Another Scanderbeg Prince of Albania, who both were surnamed The scourges of the Turkes, because of the great slaughters that they made in those battailes that they won. Wher∣in we are to note Gods power & wisedome, who with weak & smal things can pluck down the pride of the mighty. They like wise haue held long wars vpon the seas, yea, the Sarazens haue ben so strong therin, ye oftentimes they haue made great discents in the costes of Christendome, and haue taken land in sundrie places, as in Spaine, the most part whereof they possessed aot 780. yeeres also in Si∣cil where they remained aboue two hundred eres. Page  264 But the Turkes great power vpon the seaneuer appeared so much as after the losse of: Constantinople: For hauing so commodious a harborow, they thereof tooke occasion to thinke vppon sea matters, shewing themselues terrible in the conquest of Ilandes and firme land, where they haue descended. The Christians alwaies, so much as they might; withstoode them, but in the end by litle & litle were through their great force oppressed, so as for theyr more assurance they haue bene driuen 〈◊〉 them with the Mediterranean and Adriaticke sea: abandoning vnto them almost all that is beyonde the same.

Diuerse are the reasons that leade me to thinke the time to set vp∣pon * them as conuenient now as euer. First the want of experience in their greate Lord, who is sayde to be rather a Philosopher than a souldiour, as neuer wearing armour as his grandfathers Selim and Soliman, the conquerrs of sundrie countries did. For the Turkish nation hauing such leaders doe notable things. Then their losses in the Persian warres haue much weakened them, whereof we are to gather that their great prosperitie which so long hath accompa∣nied them, doth now begin to droope. Thirdly, Don Iohns victory hath eased vs of one errour wherein wee were, which is, that wee thought thē to be by sea inuincible, & withal taught vs what aduā∣tage in ioyning we haue ouer them: wherein wee should scarcelie haue bene confirmed but by this experience. All this together con∣sidered should the more incline vs to take the occasion when it is of∣fered: for we must imagine that time altereth things, & men grow into experience, good hap returneth, & inuentions increase. I know our sinnes are the chiefe causes that God vseth them as scourges to smite vs, but we neede not doubt but they haue like wise fourefolde procured his wrath. And who knoweth whether their time bee not come to receiue the same that they haue inflicted vpon others? We ought to be assured that in his iust iudgementes toward his, hee al∣wayes mixeth his abundaunt mercie with his wrath, and they that be vesselles of his wrath, shall soone or late feele his vengeance without mercie.

To this purpose I will alleade a foolish Prophetie contained in their Alcaron where I haue read it, not that I thinke anie truth * to be harboured in theyr false Oracles vnderpropped with lies: but because sometime the wicked haue at vnawares foretolde thinges that haue afterward come to passe: This it is. In the later dayes it shal come to passe, that the Musulmans, that is to say, the Turkish na∣tion, Page  265 shall straie from the lawes of the great Prophet Mahumet, gi∣uing themselues to all iniquitie: Then shall the Christian swoord arise and thrust them out of their Empire. Such as haue ben conuersant among them do report that their wise men doe sometimes set these speeches before them, and they feare them: as indeede they ought, sith they were neuer so corrupt as at these dayes, or so worthie grie∣uous punishment.

I haue bene long before I could speake of the meanes to assayle * these so mightie aduersaries: and the rather because I haue imagi∣ned the former matters verie requisite for the better vnderstanding of that which I wil saie. To begin therefore I wil set to your view some counsayles of our forefathers, out of the which we may ga∣ther good instructions, who for the like causes haue often beene stir∣red vp to frame braue purposes. Guic ciardine the historiographer, who well noted such things as happened in his time, reporteth that when Selim had conquered all Aegypt, and obtayned sundrie victo∣ries else where, all Christendome grew into great feare. His owne wordes because they deserue consideration I will set downe. The Pope (sayth he) with all the Court of Rome astonished at such successe,*and to the end to prouide against so great a mischiefe, shewing that he would first craue Gods helpe, commanded sundrie deuout processions at Rome, wherin himselfe went barefoote: Then calling vpon the help of men, hee sent his Mandats to all Christian Princes, admonishing them of this great danger, and perswading them to laie aside all disor∣ders and contentions, speedely to attend to the defence of religion and their common safetie, which was continuallie opposed to great danger, if with courage and vnited force they transported not the warre into Turkie, and so inuaded not the enimie in his owne Countrie. Here vp∣pon the opinions of sundrie skilfull men of warre and others that knew the Countries & dispositiō as wel of the Princes as of the power of the Turks, being taken, it was thought necessary to make great prouision of money by the voluntarie contributions of Princes & an vniuersal im∣postio be leuied ouer all Christendome. That the Emperour with the Hungarian and Polonian horsemen, warlyke nations & such as were practised in continuall wars agaynst the Turkes, as also with such the strength of Germanie as might beseeme so great an enterprise, shoulde sayle along Danowe into Bosina in olde time tearmed Misia, and so into Thrace, and to approch vnto Constantinople, the imperiall sea of the Ottomans. That the French King with the forces of his Realme, the Ʋenecians and other Potentates of Italy, accompanied Page  266 with the footmen of Zuitzerland, should passe from the port of Brun∣duse in Albanie, a very easie and short cut, to inuade Greece, a landful of Christian inhabitants, as well in respect hereof, as for the intollera∣ble yoake of the Turkes, most readie to rebell: That the kings of Eng∣land, Spaine, and Portugall, as well in their nauies at Carthagene, and the hauens thereabout should take their course with 200. shippes full of Spanish footmen & other souldiors to the straights of Gallipolis, thence to make roads to Constantinople, hauing first seazed vpon the Dard∣anes, that is, their Castles standing vppon the mouth of the straight. That the Pope should take the same course with an hundred great gal∣lies. With these preparatiues sufficient to couer both sea and land, the Turkes estates being inuaded in so many places, who make their chit∣fest account of defence in the plaine field, it seemeth (especially adding therto the innocation of Gods name, that of so holy a warre there could not be hoped but a happie end.

This deliberation of the most excellent Captaines then liuing. I * finde to be so well grounded, that I thinke we might borowe much of theirs but had the execution thereof insued, we should the better haue séene what it had ben, howbeit the death of Selim comming on, asswaged the feare of these Princes, & so consequently their desire to proceed, whereby they passed but to wordes. Now as since there haue followed great alterations, so are we to frame our selues ac∣cording to the disposition of matters, & somwhat to vary from this platforme, but rather in the particularities, than principall pointes thereof.

First we may be certaine that it is to small purpose to inuade the Turkes by lande onely, or by sea onely: for leauing them ei∣ther of those gaps open, they will thereby so molest vs, as that they will turne vs from the other, in kindling the flames farther within our houses, than we can do in theirs. In respect wherof it is requi∣site to set their whole estate in Europein combustion, by following the wars in euery part thereof, which is vnpossible to be performed wtout a mighty power as wel by sea as by lād, which our ancestors thought expedient, as also it is (as Guicciardine saith) the perfect meanes to abridge any warre: for being strong, ye shal soone bring your enimies to reason either by victory or composition: Wheras contrariwise when it is weakly followed, it groweth ruinous. Whē Caesar inuaded Pompey, who had seazed vpon all Greece and the Easterne Prouinces he made himselfe strong both by sea and land, wherein neuerthelesse his competitor exceeded him. The like did Page  267Augustus against Marke Anthonie, who possessed the same coun∣tries which now ye Turks inioy, & both of thē had neere 1000. ves∣sels, & aboue 35. legions by land. But because it is an easie matter to know, that for the well inuading of those countries, both ye pow∣ers must be matched together, I wil speak no more therof. As for ye partition of these princes forces, which Guicciardine mentioneth, it is not amisse, nor the inuasiō of 3. sides: albeit I think it were bet∣ter for vs to stick to two. For I consider that ye whole defence of the Turks lands consisteth in 2. great armies, the one vpon the land, yt other vpon ye sea, neither hathhe anie fortified places as we haue, so as ye losse of one of these props is ye opening of a gate vnto vs, which is ye reason why I would wish we should make but 2. strong bodies wherwith to attempt our enterprises. Moreouer, if we should strike into Slauonia or Greece wt a body of 18. or 20000. men, they wold ere we were aware, fal vpō vs with some 100. or 120000. wherby we wanting assured places of retreat, this bodie would be quite o∣uer whelmed. This other reason wil I also adde: that if both our ar∣mies as wel by sea as by land do shoot at Constantinople, and by winning litle & litle do attaine therto, must it not needs follow, yt in performing this purpose, they shal seaze not only vpō Slauonia, but also vpon all the land of Romagnia, which shal be a pray to toe con∣queror.

The Christian forces would I wish to be thus diuided. The K. of *Spain, as the mightiest prince Christian, to arme as many gallies & galeasses as he were able. The Pope, ye Venetians, wt other the po∣tentates of Italy to ioyne with him, & I think, if they list to straine thēselues, they be able to set forth 300. galleis & 12. galeasses, be∣sides other smal vessels for ye transport of victuals & horse, which be but the dependances of ye campe. If any demand whether ye number may stay the Turks power by sea, I thinke yea: for Don Iohn had but 200 galleis whē he wan ye battell against thē. As also when the armies, whether by land or by sea do excéed a competēd quantity, ye rest do but bréed confusiō. The soldiers for the furnishing of the said vessels might be leuied in Spain & Italy, notwithstanding it would amoūt to 30000. For ye land, the Emperor likewise shold prepare a mighty army, to inuade through Hungary, consisting of the power of all Germany, the low countries, Sueden, Denmark, Boheme & Hungary, thereto also adioining his that now raigneth in Pole. lande, which vnited together woulde vndoubtedly amount vnto 35000 horse, and 30000 footemen and 10000 pioners. Page  268 The other part of the land forces to come from the most Christian king of France, the Queene of England, the king of Scots with the Suitzers and Grisons, who vnder some notable Captaine should ioyne with the Emperor, and in my opinion, would amount vnto some 20000. footemen & 5000. horse. This power would I take to be sufficient to obtayne some braue victorie, containing at ye least 125000. fighting men, which seemeth to be a great num∣ber, but if we also consider all Christendome, it is to be thought ve∣rie small: neither doe I thinke they will be grieued with maintai∣ning it foure yeeres, sith so they may reape this benefit, to inioy for∣tie in peace and safetie. Charles the fift onely of his owne and part of the Empire brought before Metz 80000. men, and the armie that Maximilian lastly raised against the Turks in the yere 1556. amounted vnto 60000. so as we shall performe no newe thing, but onely in the continuance thereof.

Concerning Captaines ouer the Hungarians, the Emperour himselfe might command, who cannot imploie his hignesse in anie * act more worthie his greatnesse, and he to be accompanied with his vnkles and brethren. The Dukes of Saxonie, Casimire and other Germaine Princes, Earles, and Colonels, among whom he should finde both prowesse and good conduct. As for the French and what should thereto be adioyned, we may easily finde Princes enowe to command: but I will name but two, whome I take to bee most meete, namely, the king of Nauarre, who in desire of wel doing and courage, giueth place to none: and the Duke of Lorraine, whose auncestours hauing bene scourges to the Turkish nation, it is to be presumed that their auncient good hap may accompanie his valor. So as it should rest in the King to appoint which of them shoulde haue charge, or if he should commit it to them both alternatiuely, I am sure neither of them should want a goodly traine, as wel of the one as of the other religion. The nauie likewise woulde haue some mightie Captaine. And in as much as many doe certainly beleeue that the Duke of Sauoy (a Prince of great expectation & an imita∣tour of his Fathers magnanimitie) will enter alliance in Spaine, it may be the Catholike king may honour him with that office: for that authoritie is requisite to rule so much nobilitie and Gentrie as should there be found of both nations, who are not easie to be go∣uerned. Howbeit considering what experience ought to be in such a head, I knowe none more capable than the Prince of Parma, who iustly deserueth to be commended for the best Captain in Christen∣dome. Page  269 But I feare that euerie mans desire to be employed in this expedition, would moderate the iealousies of the first and seconde places, also that such debates would easily be decided.

When I consider what Princes, Lords, Gentlemen, Captaines * and notable Souldiours shall be in these expeditions, I knowe not how such power can possiblie be beaten: For if in al Christendome there were anie vertue, discretion, magnanimitie, arte or industrie, the most exquisite thereof would vndoubtedly be brought thether by those, who enflamed with a desire of well doing, would liberallie in so noble an assemblie shew forth whatsoeuer the fairest of their per∣fections, one would seke by coūsel, another by boldnes, another by diligence, each to outgoe his companion. The like shall wee see a∣mong our nobilitie: not coutentious enuies, but honest emulations, who might be most notable in well obeying and better commaun∣ding. When ye haue in an armie a number of such people as can leade the waie to others, and take sure holde without letting goe, they make all the rest to fight well. Neither can I thinke that there be many such among the Turks, who being for the most part slaues doe fight for feare of punishment, rather than for loue of true glorie.

These armies should be readie as well by land as by sea, to march * wheresoeuer they shall be appointed at the beginning of May. But al the difficultie resteth in knowing how to inuade, for we may pro∣ceede therein after sundrie manees. I would thinke that the Chri∣stians should wholy purpose at the beginning of their war to grow to battayle with these barbarous people: for sith their Empire con∣sisteth onely vpon the good will of nations, we shall see wonderfull alterations, if at the first ariual they may inure anie notable ouer∣throw: But it is a question whether they maye bee easily drawen thereto: for commonly we see that if the enimie perceiue his aduer∣saries deuises, he will still seeke to leade him to contrarie purposes. This doe I confesse to be often put in practise: but we are to hope with so mightie and proude enimies as the Turkes, that it wil fall out as with a greate Boare whome the dogges haue het: for what soeuer he first seeth, man or dogge, by and by he maketh towarde it with wonderfull furie.

We neuer found in writing that they haue bene slowe to bat∣tayle, for that they still seeke to vphold the reputation of their name and armies. When they heare of the Christians preparation to wars, they proceede in lyke sort, and before we can come within 50. Page  270 leagues of their frontiers, they are so diligent that they haue sacked halte ours. Whereby we know that they would soone couer the vi∣sard, as we saie: and hauing throughly considered heereof, I finde that it would be a great aduantage vnto vs: for the heare and furie of Northerne nations is at the first verie forcible, but by delayes quaileth.

Now let vs see wherein the land armie should consist, namelie, in 18000. Reistres, 10000. speares armed after the French & I∣talian * manner, 2000. harquebuzes on horseback, and 10000. Hun∣garian and Polonian speares to serue for light horsemen. For the power must be receiued, each after the manner of his owne nation. The footmen to be composed of 20000. harquebuziers and 30000 speares, in all amounting to 40000. horse and 50000. footmen, all fighting men.

Likewise for artillerie for the fielde, twentie Canons, and twentie greate Culuerines, accompanied with the pioners a∣foresayd, and virtuall sufficient for such an armie. The thinking of all this maketh vs to reioyce, but when we dreame vpon the expen∣ses, it danteth vs: for it will require monthly 800000. Crownes, which riseth to a great deale in a whole yeere. Furthermore, least such an armie if it should go farre from the great riuers, or enter in∣to the land, should be much hindred for want of victuals and forage, it shall be forced to keep along the riuer of Danow, and there to be∣gin their first purposes, so might they abound in all necessarie pro∣uision, which should be brought by the same. It is also meete to haue a bridge of boates accompanied with armed gallies to follow it, so to keepe both shores of the said riuer as well for forages as for the siege of such places as stand thervpon.

I thinke that Strigonia is one of the first places that the Turks * holde: but neither it, nor anie other that they possesse are (as I vn∣derstand) of any strength: for when they doubt that any shall be as∣salted they put in 8. or 10000. souldiours, and looke for no other for∣tification: and it is harde with ordinarie meanes onelie to wreast from them anie that is in theyr handes. Wherefore whether they should fortune to bee the first or the last in the fielde, I am of opi∣nion, to the ende to binde them to fight, it were good to make shew and that in earnest, to set vppon some places of importaunce, there∣by to make them to approche with theyr armie, so as they shoulde hardlie escape battayle, when they are come so neere with theyr carriage, footemen, and artillerie. For when they come but with Page  271 thirtie or fortie thousande horse to succour what so is besieged, they cannot by anie meanes be ouercome by reason of the swiftenesse of theyr horse, which neuerthelesse dooth greatly molest a campe. I woulde also lyke verie well, that in tenne or twelue dayes be∣fore * the armie shoulde marche, the Captaines euerie other daie shoulde cast them into seuerall orders of battayle, whereby to choose the best to help themselues withall when neede shoulde re∣quire. For it doe much better conceiue the trueth of thinges by liuely representations, than by forecast figured vppon paper: And by them is the generall the better resolued in his conception, and the inferiour Captaines to bee the better prouided to the prac∣tise.

Heerein doo wee in our pettie warres ordinarilie faile, in that wee neuer looke to the ordering of battayles vntill within two dayes before wee must fight: and then dooth the Generall sette downe a fayre order in writing howe bee will haue it, which hee sendeth vnto the leaders of the regimentes as well of the horsemen as of the footemen. For such ordering many times, as beeing made ouer rashly and without ripe deliberation, proueth verie vnfit. *

It is verie requisite that a Generall bee in minde verie per∣fecte in the order which hee purposeth to obserue as well in the large fieldes as in the straightes, least hee bee amazed, or dri∣uen into much consultation when his businesse commeth vppon him. For the chiefe groundes beeing well layde, if through a∣nie accident the order bee to be altered, it is easilie performed. There bee some that will saie, that in so dooing wee shall warne the enimie of our order, whereby hee maye prouide to preuent vs.

I graunt if wee still vse but one forme, it may be so. But when wee practise sundrie, wee shall put all men in doubt which we will cleaue vnto, sauing the Generall, who is to reserue the best in me∣morie. For the well ordering of this armie, it were good to haue the aduice of such Captaines as hauing serued in Hungarie, doe by experience best knowe the most conuenient formes. And sith I am entered so farre into this point, I am content for the sa∣tisfying of those yt be curious, to deliuer my opinion concerning whatsoeuer may serue agaynst these barbarous people. In this case we are to cōsider of two kinds of coūtries, ye one large, ye other Page  272 straight. Concerning ye large or plaine, as we terme it, which is the most parte of Hungarie, the battayle may be so aranged, that the e∣nimies innumerable strength of horse (which wil amoūt to 200000 at the least) shall not without great losse endomage them, and verie hardly breake them.

The order were to dispearse the horsemen among the footmen, as * vpō the like consideration the late Duke of Guize did at the battel of Dreux. I woulde therefore make a strong bodie of my armie consisting of eight battayles of footmen, each comprehending 2500 pikes, so as the sayd rankes should euerie of them containe ninetie men, & be 28. men thick, besides the Ensignes, & to the flanks wold I ioyne 1000 harquebuziers. They should be all ordered in an e∣qual front with sufficient spaces to set in araie 2000. horse in foure squadrons, each of them of fiue hundred men, & fortie horse in front, two somewhat for warder than the other two. These seauen spa∣ces might serue them for places of aduantage, and assured retraits to fall into order againe: for it would be too hot to come vpon them into place where they should be so succoured by the harquebuzerie and pikes: yea, in my minde it were meere rashnesse. Likewise in as much as the flankes of the battayles are not commonly armed but with harquebuziers, which is but a weake defence against a great armie of horse, I would thinke it were good both the flankes of the two battayles standing vppon the wings of the armie to bee fortefied with some other instrumentes like vnto those which the Duke of Alua inuented and vsed when the Prince of Orenge pas∣sed ouer Meuse or better, which might be easily brought thether by two hundred pioners, and those should suffice for one of each flanks: as for the rest they shall neede none, as well for that the force of this order shall supplie that want, as also because it would be ouer∣cumbersome. On the right and lefte point without the battayles should stand at each sixe thousand horse, euery squadron of one thou∣sand, and in two bodies the one to support the other. And if anie man aske wherefore I make them so great, I saie, it is because the Turkes, as I haue heard, doe make theirs (especiallie in any great combats) of fiue or sixe thousand speares, which swallowe vp three hundred horse, as a lion would doe a mouse. And therefore we must sette strength agaynst strength. Then woulde I diuide my 5000. harquebuziers into ten troopes, placing sixe, as it were, for the ad∣uenturers, at the heads of the battayles toward the wings, and the other foure at the taile. I would also place two thousand harquebu∣ziers Page  273 on horseback at ye head of the horsemen vpon the wings to serue in the first skirmishes. Thus doe ye see in this great bodie 28000. horse, 20000. Corcelets, & 13000. harquebuzes aranged which as I thinke, will not take aboue 4000. cōmon paces in length, wherin there is no great disproportion: and I haue thus stretched it out to the ende to debarre the enemie from all hope of enclosing it. There would be likewise in ye first ranke of this great front almost 1900. men, which is sufficient. The rest of the men I would thus ap∣poynt. I would make two small bodies, which should be set in aray 800. paces behinde the two winges of the armie: because the first shockes doe begin there. In either of them would I place 4500. Corcelets in two battailes and 2500. Harquebuzes: then in the spaces and poynts 4000. horse in eight squadrons, which for the two bodies would amount vnto 22000. men: euery wherof should stirre when they perceiued any of the first troopes to yeeld: for vn∣doubtedly they should so make them to holde fast. I would also place betweene these two troopes and 500. paces behinde them 3000. horse in three squadrons, whom the Emperour, or in his ab∣sence his Lieutenant should accompanie when it were requisite to fight: And this should be the Holy ancker, as we tearme it, which should vpon great necessitie moue forward. Yet doe there remaine 1000. Corcelets, 2000. Harquebuzes, and 1000. Reistres or Hungarian horsemen, that should be appoynted to the keeping of the Campe, which the Pioners should fortifie with small trenches for the safegard of the cariages: for if through negligence the ene∣mie, who might appoynt twentie or thirtie thousand horse to doe the feate, should peraduenture be suffered to sacke it, wee should af∣terward bee driuen through the inconueniences both generall and perticuler to breake vp our Campe. This armie thus ordered were able in my opinion to stand in a plaine fielde against ye whole power of the Turkes, who being destitute of Corcelets, Pikes and armed squadrons, can hardly ouerthrowe our battailes. Wee see likewise how our horse are surely prouided for in the spaces: wher∣by I suppose that either the enemie must be endued with an extra∣ordinarie valour, or our men shewe great cowardlinesse if they lose the battaile. This order haue I not here set downe as the best of all: for other men may peraduenture deuise some more conuenient: but it is done to the ende to inuite sundrie Captaines to seeke what may be more profitable.

The Christian armie thus in presence of the Turkes, they after Page  274 a few Canon shot I presume they will begin, both because they be * very proude, and also that they bee ordinarily fower against one, which greatly embouldeneth them, and will peraduenture come with some three or fourescore thousande horse to charge gallantly vpon the flanckes of our formost horse, yea euen in the middest of the head: but I would thinke they should at this onset be well bea∣ten and repulsed with ye losse of some fower or fiue thousand horse: howbeit their horse being very swift, they wil returne behind their maine battell to fall in aray againe. Then I imagine that hauing discharged some two volees of their Artillerie, whereof they haue plentie, they will giue a strong charge with their whole bodie: whereof so much as should strike into the battailes or spaces would bée handled God knoweth how. But peraduenture the horsemen on the flanckes may bee ouerthrowne: which so happening, the o∣ther 2. small bodies appointed for their support should mooue: who finding the victorers in disorderly pursuite (which alwaies for the most part happeneth) should so brauely inuade them, as also should some of the Squadrons, who stepping out of the spaces aforesaid, should come vpon their slanckes, that they should bée quite broken. So should also their Harquebuzerie, being ioyned with ours, beare the punishment of their rashnesse. Neuerthelesse, the Chri∣stians should not vndiscréetly pursue them, for they are very skil∣full in rallying themselues, and would peraduenture so doe within two Canon shot, and so enclose fower or fiue thousand of the most eager vppon the chase, as their forefathers did D. Iohn of Bur∣gundie, and all the French Nobilitie in their battaile against A∣murathes. Wherefore, it were requisite for the whole Christian armie to march and sende after them some twentie thousand horse by squadrons, each supporting other, except the Hungarian and Polonian horse, who might goe more dispersedly in chase. And it may seeme enough to chase them thus one league. To be briefe, I suppose that in so notable a iourney they might bée defeated of halfe their footmen, all their Artillerie and cariages, and aboue twentie thousand horse: but in case but one quarter of such an ex∣ployt were at the first performed, yet would it breede great repu∣tation, and in the Souldiers harts confirme a confidence to ouer∣come. For he who in warre winneth the first aduantages, concei∣ueth a great hope of the issue.

Now must wee speake one worde of the straight countries. It * seemeth the armie to bée there in more safetie then in the large, by Page  275 reason of the great numbers of their footmen: and there if the e∣nemie should offer vpon them, they might alter their order accor∣ding to the places, being still diligent to keepe their aduantages of the Woodes, Uallies and Artillerie. But especially they ought to beware of aranging their bodie in any such sorte, that the first ouerthrowne should strike into the second: for that was the losse of the battaile of Poictiers, where King Iohn had fiftie thousande men, and the English were but tenne thousand. This so fauoura∣ble successe once obteyned, no doubt afterwarde (the rest of the great Artillerie prouided at Vienna being caused to march) wee might in three moneths take from them fower or fiue of the best townes standing vppon Danowe, as Strigon, Bude, Pest and o∣thers, which the enhabitants there about do better knowe. True it is there would be great lettes, and the Turkish armie, being refre∣shed, would not faile to fauour their places, where wee might see braue skirmishes. In the meane tyme, wee to keepe that earnest for our first yeeres worke: I leaue to your imagination whether all Christendome would reioyce, when they should heare of such a victorie obteyned ouer those who for these two hundred yeeres haue but tryumphed of our destruction. Yea euen the small babes would sing foorth the praises of such valiant persona∣ges, by whome such notable exploytes should haue bene per∣formed.

Now let vs come to the Nauie, which being so mightie must * not the whiles lye idely in the Hauens, but make saile to execute matters worthie thereof. My best counsaile were that it should conforme it selfe to the lande power, in trying to bring the ene∣mie to a daie of battaile: which peraduenture might bee easely done, as being of no lesse pride by Sea then by lande: so as see∣ing vs drawe towarde Greece, they will by and by bee vpon our armie, neither shall wee neede to counterfaite the besiedging of any place to bring them thereto. And sith the battaile of Lepanto hath made them wise, the Christians must also bee well resolued in their inuentions and other necessarie meanes to attaine to the victorie. There are other reasons, besides the equitie of a cause and vrgent necessitie, that stirre vp men to fight couragiously: As the presence of noble persons which detest cowardlinesse and ex∣alt prowesse: secondly the Captaines orations, wherein they exhort their souldiers to behaue themselues manfully in solemne iorneys: Thirdly, confidence which encreaseth when we see men well dis∣posed Page  267 and the armie well ordered: Finally hope of reward, which is a good spurre to such purposes. And aboue all other the Spanish and Italian Captaines are meetest to take order herein, in whom, being accompanied with choise of valiant persons, we are to thinke that neither order, courage, nor prouocation shall want. I will for∣beare to discourse of the putting of Nauies in aray, as one not so skilfull in Sea matters, notwithstanding the order by Don Iohn obserued at Lepanto, I haue alwaies thought to bee most conue∣nient and well inuented.

Some too fearefull or ouer circumspect person may say, that the * hazarding of all our strength at once is the way to bring all Chri∣stendome into great daunger. Whereto I aunswer, that he which voluntarily entereth the carrier, doth purpose to runne: and so he that shippeth himselfe in a warre, as the assailant, must aduenture, otherwise all his former preparations and threates are in vayne. For it is a greater daunger to suffer a mans selfe to be by little and little deuoured and to do nothing. An other as farre too eager, con∣sidering of all this power, would to the contrary that wee should march directly to Constantinople, and not to stay els where: but as this speech is a token of courage, so is it a signe of small expe∣rience (at the least as I thinke) because armies march not in poste. Moreouer, they doe ordinarily meete with barres and stops which they must first breake. For vndoubtedly the Turkes being certified of these great preparations of the Christians both by sea and by land, will set against them three hundred thousand fighting men, a∣gainst whom they must march with leaden héeles and Iron hands, and take as great heede of ouersight by rashnesse as by retchles∣nesse, especially in actions of great importance.

Now presuppose the Turkes Nauie doe offer to fight with vs: I must not thinke our Souldiers to bee by sea any whit of lesse discretion, courage and felicitie then vpon the land: for I make cer∣taine accompt of their victorie. But admit these barbarous people purposing onely to trye our men should fight neere to their aduan∣tages, and then hauing lost twentie or thirtie gallies should retire to the couert of their Townes and Castles: yet should we so winne great fame and bee thought bolde that durst aduenture to inuade them euen in the face of some of their Houlds. Then if any mans courage so encreased as needes he would to Constantinople, wee might tell him that besides the reasons afore named, we should bée too farre of, and that the Turkish armie will still be as strong as the Page  277 Christian. Againe, that although we had more fauourable successe, yet were it too much presumption to thinke at once to winne that proude Citie, without any armie by lande, within two hundred leagues thereof: as also that if they should perceiue that wee would take that course, they would presently thrust in twentie thousand Souldiers, and bring as many horsemen into the fielde to fauour it, all which they might raise in Natolie. And herevpon wee are to note that Mahumet the second at the taking thereof besieged it with two mightie armies, one by sea, an other by land: the Chri∣stians hauing at that tyme but fifteene or sixteene thousand men to defend it. But our best counsaile were to bestowe the time vntill the ende of September in conquering of Moroca, inuading the same at the head, namely by Coron & Modon, either by those Castles that kéepe the mouth of the gulfe of Leganto, to the end afterward to fortifie it after our best maner at the falling of that peece of an Ile where the famous citie of Corinth was in olde time builded. The like enterprise made Andrew Dorie in the yeere 1532. who by force tooke Coron, Patras, & Lepanto, places which were af∣terward lost againe for lacke of succour. Hauing therefore left a strong garrison of footmen in the conquered places, seuen or eight hundred horses, and prouision of victualles sufficient with thirtie gallies, whose slaues might serue for Pyoners, the rest of the Na∣nie might bee dismissed vntill the spring. These through Gods great fauour might be the effects of the first yeere.

Now are we to discourse of the effects of the second yere, when * I thinke wee should not finde the Turke so proude as before: but much more warie and aduised: for experience teacheth those things which otherwise we neither would nor could knowe. The armies should be readie to march in the beginning of May, with like pur∣pose againe to come to battaile if the Turkes would offer it. But if they list to take a surer course and not to attempt any thing out of season, then must the Captaines shewe forth their braue polli∣cies, whereby to force them to the combate without their Houlds, as Hanniball did, who by subteltie drewe the Romaines to three battailes, which he wonne soone after his ariuall in Italy. The most ordinary meanes to be practised to that entent, is to besiege places of importance: for if this mooue not the enemie to hazard himselfe, it is a signe of small courage and lesse force. I doubt not but into those which they minde to vse to delay vs withall, they will put 8. or 10000. Souldiers, well victualled and furnished with all sortes Page  278 of munition,, whiles themselues will lodge their armie some sixe leagues of to relieue them as aportunitie may shall seris. And to say the truth such exployts will bee difficult, chiefly for any towne standing vpon this great Riuer: But that must bee no let but that we proceede and with plentie of Pyoners, and instruments enowe to set teme thousand men on worke, we raise trenches both offen∣siue and desensiur, and builde as many Fortes as may bee requisite for the more conuenient assaulting of the besieged, and safe defence against the enemies armie, vsing withall whatsoeuer our bridges. And I think certainely that vp planting fiftie Canons before such places as may be but weakely fortified, we shall in fower daies see breach sufficient for a horse to goe in at. Then comming to haudie blowes with them, wee being strong and they weake, and withall hauing the aduantage of the qualitie and goodnesse of our armour, may easely he we them in peeces, vnlesse Christian courtesie list to spare any. During these actions it will stande our horsemen on hande to bee very watchfull, in going to safeconduct the bictuall and forrage: wherein may bee braue enterprises, and either parte may lay great ambushes, to trye the sufficiencie of the Captaines, together with the baliancie of the younger sorte. And if the first yeere wee may reach to Bude; I thinke that, in the second wee may reach vnto place where Draue falleth into Danowe. This don the imperiall power should bee placed in fome conuenient ground to vnderprop this newe couquest, vntill the townes conuenient to bee kept for the assurance of passage bee fortified and made defen∣sible: then to retire to their garrisons to passe ouer the wiuter. Concerning the Nauie, tyme of yeere comming on it should set forwarde to the Ile of Negroponte, to put the Turke therefro: which if their armie should peraduenture offer to let, then the same to be fought withall: For in this expedition, the watch word should bee Fight: but if they lye aloofe, then to goe forwarde with their enterprise. But still this is to be noted, that assailing the land, they must alwaies bée prouided as if themselues should be assailed by sea. Then hauing diligently fortifled the best Hauens with men, virtuall and vessels, the armie might sco••e some parte of the en∣tries into the great Ocean, and so to recie to wintering.

Hetherto haue I saide nothing of the enhabitants of Greece,* who haue long groned after their deliuexie, because I wot not what seruice may bee reaed at their handes▪ 〈◊〉, as the boyce goeth, their courages are so quayled through the great tyraunie Page  279 that moesseth them, and they so vnprouided of weapons and mar∣tiall knowledge, that I dure not adowe that they would make a∣ny great stirre so soone. In all those Prouinces; lying on this side of Constantinople, which together are at this day called Roma∣nia, there bee many more Christians then Turkes: and in many places for fower Turkish families wee shall finde aboue ten Chri∣stian: but they bee so quayled and terrified, that when they be layd on with slaues they dare not complaine.

Some man will laugh at me sore for iudgeing the euents of warre, as if they should fall out as I prescribe them: But I am not so presumpeous as to imagine that men can forsee the things that are to them vnknowne. For I doe onely discourse here vpon by likely reasons, leaning vnto certaine rules and experiences as men are accustomed in humaine affaires: as also I speake of Coū∣tries, Townes, Riuers, and Passages; not that I haue bene there, but by noting their ••ituation in the Cardes: and withall to cause the common forte to conceiue-good hope in this enterprise, know∣ing well enough that in matter concerning battailes, men doe or∣dinarily take counsaile in the field, and it is the proper duetie of the Captaines there present to deliberate vpon such matters.

The third yeere comining on, I thinke the like cheerefulnesse * as had moued so many braue warriers to employe themselues in the two former, would still bee of like force in them. And albeit the enemies Iron, their owne passed labours and sicknesse shall haue taken some away, yet many other, who hetherto shall not haue stirred from home, being desirous to perticipate in the com∣mon commendation, would goe to supplye the emptie roumes, so as there would bee no want of men. The tyme to take the fielde thus drawing on, the armie by land hauing passed Draue, should march to the riuer of Saue, whether it is not past twentie Hunga∣rian leagues: here doe I not thinke that the barbarous people will meete with them in grosse by the way, but rather employe their whole studies and endeuours to stoppe their passages ouer the ri∣uer, which is such an aduantage as (being good Captaines) they will preuaile of. Uppon those tearmes may a man see on both sides the practise of all sortes of braue pollicies and inuentions. But because experience hath alwaies taught that a mightie ri∣uer can hardly bridle a mightie armie (for if they can not passe vnder the fauour of some commodious place together with their Artillerie; they will doe it by subteltie, dallying in one parte Page  280 while they cast their bridges and doing their endeuours in an o∣ther) I will speake no more thereof, sauing that I am perswaded that they may compasse it in eight daies. This done, the most pro∣fitable exployt will consist in the assault of Belgrade, a famous towne standing vpon the fall of Saue into Danowe, neither haue any action be〈…〉, in my opinion, of greater difficultie then this. For besides that wee shall finde the-towne well prouided for de∣fence, wee must also haue an especiall eye to the Turkish armie, which will not bee farre of: keepe some great bridge vpon Saue: haue an other passage on the side of Danowe: make Fortes and Trenches: and goe safely on forraging with conducts, so as the ta∣king of it were a notable peece of worke. And to iudge thereof, may wee not boldly say that those that are accustomed to conquer, will surmount all these difficulties: This place once wonne, must speedily bee repayred and a strong garrison left therein: as being the most conuenient place to establish a great storehouse wherein to gather all necessarie prouision. There about doe there fall three great riuers not farre asunder into Danowe: namely Draue, Saue, and Tibise, which springeth about the borders of Transiluania, which are as great at the Rhine or Mense, By these fower cha∣nels might wee bring all commodities, in case wee first take order that the Turkes remayning in some places in the harte of the coun∣trie molest not the boates. Also because wee shall not haue spent past halfe the yere, the rest may be employed in driuing them forth, which peraduenture may be easely done.

Hauing thus spoken of the exployts of the land power, we must * likewise say somewhat of the Nauie, which in the beginning of May should make saile toward the conquered Ile of Negroponte: where if the Turkish were desirous of battaile, it should not be re∣fused: but if it would not aduenture, but lye in waite for good opor∣tunitie, the best deuise were to surprise and force the towne of Salo∣nike, in olde tyme called Thessalonica, which is in the borders of Macedon vpon the sea coast, and being but weake might soone bée wonne. Then by all meanes possible to deuise how to make it de∣fensible, because it were good there to leaue a strong garrison both of footmen and horsemen to scoure the countrie. Here it is to bée noted, that whatsoeuer were to bee left in the conquered Houlds should bee an ouerplus of men aboue the number: for the armies both by sea and land should still retayne their number furnished ac∣cording as is prescribed, to the ende to bee alwaies prepared to the Page  281 battaile. Wee might as well haue enterprised vpon the coastes of Sclauonia, where the Turkes doe keepe many townes, but by sea∣sing vpon these, which are more easie to be taken, we shall come be∣hinde them, and so make them thinke as well vpon flight as fight. Hauing thus soiourned there one moneth or two, it might scoure the Iles of the maine sea, as well to the ende to sacke all the Turks there to bee found, as also to assure the Christian enhabitants. It may bee the Turkes fearing the first heate of the Christians, may suffer our armie to trye it selfe two or three moneths in the siedges of Forts, and then while they be al occupied about some one place, to come vpon them fresh and lustely as they did at Gerbes where the Spanish forces were defeated: for the which the Spanyards likewise toward the ende of the siedge of Malta in parte requited them and ouerthrewe fiue or sixe thousand Turkes. For this in∣conuenience I hope the Captaines will well enough prouide for being surprised: and before our armie withdrawe to their winte∣ring, it were good to leaue fortie gallies in the Ile of Candy, there to bée readie vpon neede. In the winter time likewise it were not amisse on the edge of Hungary to deale with the Walachians and Moldanians, the Turkes subiects, though his great enemies, in re∣spect of their remembrance of the iniuries and mischiefes lately in∣flicted vpon them, to procure them to rise against them, and to send some choyse of men waged to ioyne with the Christian forces, or to worke any other profitable commotions. As for the Transilua∣nians, the Turkes tributaries, they will also be easely stirred vp: so as this supplye would stande vs in great steade to withstande the Tartarians, if peraduenture the Turkes should procure them to in∣uade Christendome, to the ende to turne away our power from them. For 50000. Duckats by moneth they can cause 50000. horsemen to march, who as Grashoppers doe make innumerable waste. It were good also at the same tyme to practise with the en∣habitants of Greece to declare themselues at the next spring, whē they should see the armies both by land and sea set forward, and so fall vpon the Turkes scattered and dwelling in those Prouinces.

The effects of the fourth yeere which wee haue appoynted for * the ende of this glorious conquest, should be more notable then the former: wherefore it were most expedient that the good vnion of the Princes should continue, least necessary prouision should fayle. Neither is it likely but it should perseuer, considering that prospe∣ritie hauing alwaies accompanied these enterprises, euery man re∣plenished Page  282 with hope would straine himself to attaine to the wished ende. With greater courage therefore and the same men of other yeeres should the whole armie by land take the fielde more tymely then aforetyme. At Belgrade should there bee alreadie prouided plentie of munition for the Artillerie, with a surplusage of two thousand horse to performe the furniture therof, and three hundred Chariots for victuals at the least: for going from thence they must giue ouer the riuers. Thus should they march to performe their worke toward the towne of Sophy, which is the beginning of Bul∣garie: for that doe the Cardes shewe to bee the direct way to Con∣stantinople, not past two hundred french leagues therfro. It stan∣deth in a plaine and is vnfortified. It is likely the Turkes will not there make their head, but hauing gotten out the enhabitants, and either consumed or transported the victuals, that they will leaue quite emptie and goe to Philippopoli, there to make vp their whole campe. The same is a towne of Thrace, & famous through the battaile that Brutus and Cassius there lost. It standeth in a fruitfull soyle vppon a small hill, at the foote whereof runneth a small riuer scarce wadeable. This were a fit place and well chosen to make great resistance, yea and to hazard a fielde: for it is not so neere their Empire that by the losse of a fielde they may being in feares bee preuented, neither so farre of but that they may, if For∣tune so farre frowne vpon them, there gather vp good relliques of their armie: wherefore I suppose they will fight there, yea and their Emperour came thether in person: And how can he suffer vs to inuade him euen to his denne and not defend himselfe after the examples of the noblest beastes? Albeit also that this nation bee replenished with al vniustice and crueltie, yet are they withall fierce and hardie, and such as make great accompt of their reputation. The Christians likewise should haue matter whereon to encrease their hope, considering there are no more great Riuers or strong Houldes before they come to Constantinople: their onely hinde∣rance will bee a mightie armie to resist them, whereat valiant per∣sons doe reioyce: neither is there any other thing that troubleth them but when they are forced to fight against Hunger, Thirst, Sicknesse, great heate or extreme colde, because there is no ver∣tue but may be suppressed by such inconueniences.

The Christian armie may, as I suppose, ariue at Philippopoli about the middest of June, where if the Turkes should be entren∣ched, and lodged in any ground of aduantage, it will be hard pul∣ling Page  283 of them foorth: But because they haue neuer vsed so to doe, especially their Emperour being present, I will rather presume that they wil after their wonted maner come bouldly into the field, as did the first Baiazet against Tamerlane, notwithstanding his armie were innumerable. I thinke the Turkish power would a∣mount vnto 220000. men, and the Christians to fourescore thou∣sand: for some must haue bene left in the last warres in garrisons, and some to safeconduct victualles, &c. And I dare assure that as well the one parte as the other will bee well bent to ouercome, be∣cause this battaile should bee as it were a definitiue sentnce of the whole warre. Of the order I will not speake, for if the same which I haue before prescribed bee not good, they may deuise of a bet∣ter, and there referre the euent to God, who (as wee are to hope) will fauour those that worshippe him, against such as doe disho∣nor him.

When I consider with my selfe of this great warre and stately * armies, and conferre them with our small ones in these partes, I remember the aunswer of Alexander to Antipater, whom he left in Macedonia at his going to the conquest of Asia. Antipater wrote vnto him that certaine of his enemies were risen against him and had alreadie brought into the fielde tenne or twelue thousand men, and therefore did desire him to sende him succour: he retur∣ned him this aunswer: All your small warres in Macedonia, now that I fight against the mightie armies of Daryus, and am conque∣ring of the great Empire of Asia, doe seeme vnto me to bee battailes betweene Cattes and Rattes, and therefore resist them as well as you may.

Some man may say, that sometime in our ciuill warres we may note some braue martiall exploytes, albeit with small power, as at the battailes of Dreux, S. Denis, Montcontour fought in France, with the siedges of Roan and Rochell: also seuen or eight great ouerthrowes in Flanders, with the siedges of Harlem, Maistrict, Tournay and Oudenard: I graunt it: howbeit they are no whit to be compared to the battaile of Lepanto which D. Iohn wonne. As also I beléeue the siedge of Malta which withstoode foure score thousand Canon shot, and that of Nicosia in Cyprus, which as some write bare out fifteene, are to be preferred before the afore al∣leadged. The wars against Infidels are the same which our braue Captaines & souldiers ought to seeke 100. leagues of, where they ought likewise to flee 50. from the ciuill, which by their continuall Page  284 course doe deuoure and consume, and that with small husbandrie the flower of kingdomes and Commonwelths.

I neede not to deseribe the maner of this great battaile, for wee must imagine that in the former conflicts were neuer seene such * stomackes or so furious charges. To be briefe, after three howers fight I suppose they will leaue vs but a bloodie victorie: But such as may there perish, shall build to themselues more honorable se∣pulchers than those that are purchased by perticuler quarels, wher∣in the soules doe for the most parte encurre shipwracke. In this case shall their desire be iust, and their cause good, both which con∣ioyned with that excellent courage that many shall haue here she∣wed, will breede perpetuall renowme, which shall yet crowne the posteritie of noble persons that still may remayne. The Turkes thus ouerthrowne and their campe spoyled, wee shall bée driuen to soiourne eight or tenne daies at Philippopoli, which after this great losse would make no resistance, to rest our selues and prouide for the wounded: and there were it requisite to hazard sundrie Greekes seuerally to goe to carie newes of this good successe to Salonike, as also to sende the Nauie worde, to the ende the same might drawe toward Constantinople: for it were hard to besiedge it without both the powers togethers. The Turkes losse in this battaile cannot bee such but he shall saue 130000. men, of whome some may scatter ouer the countrie to see to the preseruation of their families which they may haue left so abroade, but the great bodie will drawe toward Constantinople with their Emperour, there to make their last resistance, for in the plaine fielde dare they shewe themselues no more. Because also the towne is nothing strong, we must imagine they would with all diligence raise forti∣fications of earth, make their planes, & erect their spurres to plant their Artillerie vpon: All the victuall also there about would they take into the towne, leauing for the defence thereof at the least fortie thousand men: but for their great Lord, it is to be presumed that he would passe forward into Natolia, which is the lesser Asia, with all his treasure and Concubines, there to prouide for newe succour.

Our power by land according as they could make their prepa∣rations, * should by little and little set forward, leauing a sufficient garrison in Philippopoli to keepe the waies. Thence should it passe to Adrianople, a great Citie, which being very weak, would neuer make resistance: where also it were good to leaue some gar∣rison, Page  283 and there to lay vp whatsoeuer victualles might bee gotten, wherof, through diligence we should neuer want. This order were likewise to be obserued, That the Souldier should neuer spoyle a∣ny but of the Turkish nation: also that all Christians should bee exempt from pillage and seruitude: so would they bring you in vir∣tuals from fiftie leagues about. Also good order and seuere iustice ought to bee established in great armies, otherwise through the multitude of wicked and vnthriftie persons all would runne into confusion, were not their mallice by such meanes brideled and pu∣nished. During three or fower daies rest at Adrianople, wee must cause our Nauie to set forward, whereto, hearing of this good suc∣cesse it will not be very slack. It should draw toward the straights of Hellespont, where it is likely the Turkes remembring their losses and not willing rashly to hazard, vsing the aduantage of the place, will settle themselues to fight, where they may bee flancked with the artillerie of the Castles: besides that they shall haue that commoditie that they cannot bee assailed without fower score or an hundred gallies in front.

The first day that our armie should shewe it selfe to the enemie * in good order to behould their countenance they will discharge sundrie Canons, which must be aunswered with the like: and so to retire considering the strength of the place. In the euening they should take counsaile, and the expert Marriners to giue their o∣pinions how to attempt nothing out of season. Finally, the Cap∣taines should resolue to land some of their men and artillerie on the side of Europe to beate and take some one of the Castles, to the ende to displace the Turkes from this aduantage: considering they shall there finde but fower or fiue hundred horse on that side, where on the side of Asia they shall meete with aboue two thousand. By breake of day they must put forth fower thousand Corcelets, sixe thousand Harquebuziers, and thirtie Canons out of the gallies, landed by the forsats or gallie slaues. While they shal thus march, the enemies horse will come to prouoke them, but the number of Musket shot shall scatter them well enough: So soone as night is come they shall make their approaches to the forteresse and the ar∣tillerie bring planted, they shall by breake of day fall to beating of it. This will make the Turkes to prouide to bring vppon them twentie thousand men to cut them in péeces: or els with some 150. gallies to inuade our Nauie there to doe the like, sith they shall finde it vnfurnished. But the Turkes liking best of this second Page  284 counsaile, will seeke to put in execution. Which our armie percei∣uing, they must goe on halfe the way with their furnished gallies, which may bee about two hundred, and so each armie deuided into three parts to ioyne bouldly: but after a long houres fight our men hauing the victorie, scarce the third parte of the enemies gallies shall saue themselues. The same tyme also may the Castle that our men shal haue besiedged, after the brunt of a furious assault be taken. Thus should wée become maisters of this proude passage where Xerxes built a wonderfull bridge of vesselles, and such as shall bée escaped, amounting to some one hundred gallies, may ca∣rie the newes of their mishappe to Constantinople. Our men ha∣uing then soiourned there fiue or sixe daies, as well to prouide for their wounded, as to take the other Castle, hauing put good gar∣risons into both shall take the way to Constantinople, where they may ariue within two daies after the armie by lande. Then on both sides knowing of the arriuall of their long looked for and victorious forces, it is not to bee demaunded what ioyes there will be.

But wee may in trueth affirme this last deede to bée more diffi∣cult then the rest. For a battaile, though well fought is but one * daies worke, whereas the forcing of so many men, couered with rampiers and prouided of all prouision to be atchieued in two mo∣neths, is a testimonie of the experience of the Captaines and va∣liancie of the Souldiers. The land armie being come within two leagues of the towne, the best Captaines with 20000. horse and 7. or 8000. Harquebuziers should goe within halfe a league therof to discouer the lodgings, and well to consider what may anoye or empeach their safetie. Neither is it to bee doubted but they may thereby growe to a hot skirmish: for the Turkes being so strong in the towne will shewe their couragies and small astonishment. The next day they shall come to take their lodgings betime, and to fur∣nish themselues with some sleight trenches at the head and middest of the flanckes. To the ende also the Nauie may conferre with the land power, and safely sende their prouisions, it will bee good at euery thousand steppes to make small fortes with trenches for the safetie of the passages from the sea, about which workes both the Pyoners and the most parte of the Souldiers may labour 7. or 8. daies. This done, they should goe neerer to discouer the towne, whereon they must stay at the least fower or fiue daies: for my self haue ordinarily seene that of hasty and rash discoueries haue ensued Page  285 great ouersights. Now must wee looke what way will bee best to giue the assault, which I would wish to doe but in one place: for se∣parating the armie the garde of the trenches may proue too weake, and so not bee able to beare their sailies. I would not thinke it a∣misse to place 6000. Corcelets, and as many Harquebuziers at the least, with 3000. horse vpon the flanckes in some place vnder co∣uert, hauing also the whole bodie of the armie to support them, which should not be aboue a Canonshot of. The first trench should bee made a thousand paces from the Campe in forme defensiue, with conuenient flanckers, and two long wings of fiue or sixe hun∣dred paces stretching toward the campe: also to the ende not to be easely enuironed behinde by any sudden sailie, it should bee made large enough to take 10000. men. The second should come within 500. paces of the towne, in forme offensiue, & at euery 100. paces some small circuite of Gabions for ye Ensignes to retire into, with a strong guard where they may fight a whole quarter of an houre. Within 20. paces farther they should place 25. Canons on three Gabions to shoote at the defences, the same to be defended by day with the harquebuzery of the trenches, and by night by some small defensiue trench on each side. Now thinke ye how many of their peeces may be dismounted in 5. or 6. daies from of their new forti∣fications made in hast. In this siedge it will be requisite to procéed with all diligence and force: for when they giue a mightie people time, the same doth in one moneth build a newe towne, hauing to worke but the length of 500. paces. Being once sure of the artille∣rie within, they should begin to make the great batterie, bringing their peeces within 200. paces of the wall, and there planting them with all possible assurance, they should make but two brea∣ches, howbeit those to bee both large and reasonable, wherevpon fiftie Canons assisted with the fauour of ten long Culuerings ha∣uing plaide some sixe daies, it is likely that the horses may passe. I will not speake of their saillies, skirmishes and other kindes of combats ordinarily to bee performed, as being generally better to bee imagined then perticulerly foreseene. Then ought the olde to giue counsaile: the young to aduenture: and those of middle age to preserue: In somme, euery man should looke for a share in the well doing. By Sea likewise other enterprises as well great as small wherewith to surprise were to bee delt in, in such sorte as this mor∣tall and bloodie tragedie might bee beautified with the diuersitie of so many newe actions.

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Page  288 fortie yeeres in this barbarous nations possession, shall bee restored to the auncient owners. Their Emperor Mahumet was 54. daies about the winning of it, & we shall not be much more than two mo∣neths, not withstanding it were defended with a farre greater pow∣er. But he in his victorie vsed all kind of crueltie, insolencie and v∣lanie, which are vtterly to be shunned: and to the contrary we ought to vse all gentlenesse and moderation to warde the people: as wish∣ing rather their conuersion, and Iesus Christ honored in their tem∣ples, than to see their bloudie bodies scattered all ouer the streetes, although it be to be presumed, that many will be slayne in the heats thereof: neither will the souldiours be slacke in gathering vp so plentifull a praie, as in deede they shall haue deserued some recom∣pence: but the valyant mindes will neuer stand therevpon, but bee content with the honour and some faushion, or such like thing to bring home and hang in theyr closets, that their children seeing so honorable spoyles of their parents conquest in so honorable a place, may remember to initate their vertue.

The hystories do report that three dayes after the winning there∣of, *Mahumet went to the temple of Saint Sophie to giue solemne thanks to his false God: much rather ought yt Christians therefore to sing holy Hymnes to the true God whome they worship: and to sound forth the same, not in the temples onely, but also in the highe wayes and open fields for his fauour in atchieuing so triumphant and long wished a victorie. Then order being taken to preuent all mutinie among the nations for the pillage, and hauing limited thē a time to ordaine thereof, the souldiors should be sent to lodge each in his quarter, except such as should bee chosen to keepe the Towne, & then shoulde they also take order for the enhabiting thereof with gouernement conuenient. In as much also as great numbers of the Turkes may bee retired into sundrie townes in the inwarde parte of the lande, it were good to send two armies, each consisting of fifteene thousand men, with artillerie conuenient to scoure the same. Like wise to send forth an hundred or sixe score Galleies to bring all the coasts vnder the Christian obediene. The pioners al, so to be retayned for the for tefying of Constantinople, wherein it were good to lodge siue regiments of footemen for the gard there∣of with two thousand speares, and to leaue fifty Galleyes in the ha∣uen.

Farther, if Autumne should be anie thing begun, in which season it is no good trauayling either by sea or by land, the armies should Page  289 bee diuided into garrisous in the most meete places in Greece, Thrace, and other Prouinces: neither were it amisse for the Em∣perours maiestie there to keepe his Winter with the assistance of the counsayle of the Princes confederate, to the end their counte∣nance might cut off such disorders and insolencies as vsually wait vppon prosperitie.

These things thus executed, it were good (as is sayde in the be∣ginning) * to looke to the partition of the lande that shall haue beene conquered: and according to the expenses of each Prince and com∣mon wealth in these conquests, to adiudge to them theyr iust desert. Like wise to reserue sundrie places for such braue Captaynes as may haue behaued themselues valiantly and done anie notable ser∣uice. But I thinke it were better to stay the diuision vntill we haue the thing, rather than now to discourse thereof in vaine, ouely wee are to imagine, that if wee agree in the conquest, wee will not fall out in the partition.

But some man may heere scoffingly saie, that I haue dis∣coursed brauely in paper, and my selfe will confesse as much: howbeit hee cannot denie but such a troope as I haue heere descri∣bed, beeing in the field, woulde become it better, and I am sorie we are not alreadie come to it, that wee might with the swoorde per∣fourme that which I haue nowe shadowed with the penne. My in∣tent is onely to waken the Christians, and to beate it into them, neuerthelesse if in my speeches I haue strayed in some points tho∣rough want of knowledge of the places, fashions of the people, qua∣lities of Potentates, or any other thing meete for this or for that, I will neuer denie my fault, whereinto my good affection hath made me to fall.

To bee briefe, this will bee in my minde, the issue of so iust and * necessarie an enterprise. And in case all Christian Princes had not so many controuersies among themselues, and withal would haue taken more compassion of the miseries of those that reclayme the name of Jesus Christ, long since had wee brooken off halfe the scorges which doe nowe strike vs. This warre would breede no remorse of conscience, neyther shoulde wee see the mischiefes and confusions wherewith ours are replenished: but euerie thing woulde bee guided by martiall orders: and punishmentes, and re∣wardes ministred according to reason. Neyther is it to be doubted but such a voyage woulde bee as notable as euer was Godfreyes of Boullein.Page  290 The onely faulte why it is not put in practise, resteth in the Kings, Princes and Potentates that beare soueraigne dominion ouer the people, and much more profitable and honourable would it bee vnto them, than to stand quarrelling with their neighbours, or to suffer so much of their subiects bloud to be shedde vnder coulour of pietie, and so make their warres domesticall and perpetuall. I knowe wee haue some controuersies in religion among vs, which notwithstanding, the Protestants and Catholiks are still brethren, and grafted vpon one selfe stocke Iesus Christ. But with these pro∣phane Mahumetists, who worshippe an imaginarie God, which is (as the Scripture sayth) rather a deuill, and do pollute al honestlie and sack the world, what coniunction or fellowshippe can we haue? Agaynst these enimies, the rauishers of our goods, tormentours of our bodies and poisoners of our soules are wee to striue with our swoords. But among those that beare one selfe title, all controuer∣sies ought to be ended in modestie and truth.

The 23. Discourse.

Of the Philosophers Stone.

AFter that through the knowledge of good Let∣ters * (which by Gods especiall goodnesse are di∣spearsed in sundrie places in this latter worlde) the artes and sciences had recouered their aun∣cient beautie, diuerse men hauing seene the glimpes of this light, which for many yeeres had, as it were layen buryed, haue therewith holpen themselues in the safe conduct to the search of difficulte and hidden secretes: and according to the greater light that eache hath receiued, so hath he penetrated farthest into the deapth of such wonderfull secrets as are dispearsed throughout the whole worlde. Page  291 Yea, euen at this daie, who so list to beholde anie Countrie whatso∣euer, shall in diuerse persons perceiue the lyke affection and dili∣gence as haue beene in their predecessours to finde out the per∣fection of those things that other men had in their dayes sought for. But as when many archers do shoote, few doe hit the marke, so are there not many that can atteyn to that that in their imaginations they had conceiued: which default is rather to be attributed to the weaknesse of mans braine, than to any imperfection of the arts and sciences, the which he that can wel vse and reduce to their true end, doth attaine a great part of his desire.

Among those that are (but ouer curiouslie) giuen to the pursuit * of diuerse obiects, there are none that stande in greater need of ad∣monition, than such as professe with continuall blowing to make their furnaces yeeld forth great treasure, which they imagine their long proofes should reueale: for wee ought to take compassion of those whome we see in errour to spend their yeeres and loose theyr labour, without reaping any fruit whatsoeuer, which haue mooued me to giue thē this smal aduertisement, which they may vouchsafe to take in good part: wherein I pretende by common reason easie to comprehend, and according to my abilitie, to shew them that they are deceiued in those meanes that they take to attaine to their wi∣shed end. Afterward I will speake one word to some learned Phi∣losophicall *Alcumists, that prosecute the same obiect, as also shew what is to be iudged of their so rare and vnknowen purpose. Final∣lie, hauing confessed that there is a true Philosophicall stone (but rather spirituall than materiall) I will declare what it is, also that being diligently sought, it may be found, and found will bring in∣comparable treasure and contentation.

There be, as I take it, in these dayes three kindes of men which deale in seeking for golde by Alcumistrie. The first, beeing poore, * are through necessity that oppresseth, driuen to haue recourse to this art, hoping thereby to find remedie for their want. The second bee∣ing learned, are by the curiositie of their minds moued to search in∣to natures principall workes, but thereto especially driuen by ly∣corousnesse of profite. The third are mightie Lordes, whose desires (still tending to greatnesse and wealth) are through other mennes perswasions so stirred vp, that for the compassing as wel of the one as of the other, they are disposed to vse this art. Now by the exami∣nation of the causes that moue each part, we may iudge who hath the best intent. But in the meane time it is greatly to be presumed Page  292 that they all shoote and draw at the deuill of siluer.

I haue hard some of them discourse in this manner. There haue bene (say some of them) in time past sundrie learned persons as Mer∣curius Trimegistus, Geber, and diuerse Arabians, that haue im∣ployed their time in the consideration of both naturall and supernatu∣ral things, who in their bookes haue left written diuerse goodly instru∣ctions concerning the Philosophers stone or pouder of proiection, which is of so wonderful a vertue, that albeit their speeches be verie darke, yet are they of such sort, that sundrie excellent wits haue since vnderstood them, & plainly expoūded their highest conceits, in putting in practise that which others haue bene content to see into by speculation: for both these conioyned they haue by sūdry proofes deliuered to the view of the sense that which in old time was cōprehēded only in imaginatiō whence haue proceeded the discouerie of wonderfull secrets. Truly these spee∣ches bere a goodly shew and are built vpon the authorities of very braue personages, which these puffing bellowes do diligently note, to the end to set the better glosse vpon their merchandise. Neither can I tell whether I dare alledge that which one of their learned Alcumists did on a time tell me, namely, That they were the here∣tikes of their sect: but I referre my selfe to the truth thereof. Now if the considerations of antiquitie haue ben able as sparkles to kin∣dle in their hearts the desire which wee see doth consume them, the receites and books written in our dayes of the like argument can∣not but haue greatly increased the same, and experience most of all: in such manner as some do seeme to be euen rauished in discoursing vpon the excellencie of this art.

Now will I proceed in the course of their reasons which are as doe follow. That God hath not in vaine indued man with the vnder∣stāding, which he hath giu him to the end to consider of the greatnes and beautie of his diuine workes, and thereof reape so much fruite as shoulde bee vnto him permitted, that afterward he might yeeld to him all praise. That in time past he reuealed infinite, wonderful, and singu∣lar things: alwaies reseruing to himselfe neuertheles sūdry new secrets to disclose, by the varietie whereof the more to stirre vp euerie man to confesse that the abundance of his workes are incomprehensible. That the West Indies which seeme to inclose the whole tresures of the earth, vntill, before vnknowen, were not discouered within these hundred yeeres. Likewise that in these later yeeres the art of transformation of vnperfect mettals into perfect, & the multiplying of the quantity ther∣of, which barbarousnesse and ignoraunce had long buried, is as it were Page  293 reuiued agayne. Also that men haue learned with fire to drawe forth the essence of sundry things, whereof they haue conpounded most soue∣raigne medicines as well to preserue health, as to cure diseases. By which speeches it seemeth the Philosophers stone to consist in such transmutation and multiplication: and this doe all the schollers of this arte together with their bookes affirme: A matter of sufficient admiration, which also ministreth argument sufficient to dispute v∣pon. But first I must declare some of their principles: They saie * that according to the opinions of sundrie auncient Philosophers, the earth hath in her bowels enclosed a certaine substance common to all mettalls, and apt to receiue whatsoeuer the conuenient formes of the same. Also that the sayd substance warmed with a certaine heat, shut vp in the same earth; doth in long processe of time purge and waxe ly∣quide, afterward that it congealeth and groweth hard. Thus hauing by little and little in this slow generation lost the vnperfect qualities, in the end it attaineth to this perfection, whereto nature laboureth to bring euerie thing. This is their opinion of the ingendering of met∣tals; which frō vnperfect do afterward grow to perfection: among the which Golde hath the first place, and Siluer the second. These foundations thus laide, some speculatiue minds haue imagined that it is possible by art to imitate nature, & first that the matter requi∣site and necessary may be found: next; that euen in short time, with artificial fire that thing may be made, which the earth is long about with her naturall heat. With these goodly perswasions haue many as well in times past as now, made infinit experiments whereby to finde, as the Prouerbe goeth, where the beane is hidden.

Truly such men are to bee commended as doe dedicate their la∣bours * to the search of whatsoeuer may tende to the reliefe of mans life, and wherein we doe see the euident tokens of Gods wisedome to shine: but withall it is verie requisite that they which finde that agilitie in their minds, do not vndertake to enter so far into the wil∣dernesse of so many vnknowen secrets, vnlesse for their guides they haue vpright iudgement & discretion, least wandring amisse they lose thēselues as many haue done, who through a desire of knowing too much, being caried vpon the wings of their rashnesse & soaring too high, haue fallen down headlong with Icarus. Experience hath taught yt many things haue ben inuented as soone as sought for, as Printing & Artillery, neither is there any mētion yt they were long in deuising. Others there be yt for these 2000. yeeres cannot be yet throughly vnderstod: as the proportiō the diameter to the circūferēce Page  294 thereof, the cause of the saltnes with the ebbing and flwing of the sea, and the reason of that high motion called Trepidation: which may be a sufficient rule to staie vs vpon those things that are possible, and to cause vs to shun the vnpossible. Of which number our blowers will auswere, y that which they seeke is none, albeit it be a supreme secrete. Truly I confesse it is a great secret, cōsidering that no man could euer yet finde it out: but that it is one of the goodlyest ends of philosophie, as they persuade thēselues, I denie. And the better to know it, I will first diuide it: into morall and politike, and then into supernaturall: afterward into that naturall, which hath relation to all elementarie matters?

The first and second part thereof which concerne manners and * pollicie, and celestial motions with the substances separate from al matters, doe import a farre more worthie argument than this is. For no mettall is any whit comparable to the beautie of the hea∣uens, or excellencie of the vertues. This beeing most euident, that part of Philosophie which hath respect to naturall causes, must of force haue but the third place, which notwithstanding, if anie man should aske thm whether the good that they labour for be not to be accounted among the soueraigne felicities, many wil answere yes. Which what else doth it signifie, but to place mās felicity in earth∣ly things? Which is a matter vtterly repugnant to ye dignity ther∣of. For Gold is created to serue man, not to hold his affections in seritude, as it doth most of those that take it for their most beauti∣full and profitable shoot anker whereto they can attayne. In olde time the lyke couetousnesse as we now see moued diuerse to search the darke caues of the earth, also to digge and pearce the same, to the end to fet forth this mettall, as yet they do in some regions: but these new inuentions to ingender it in fornaces, doe shew the desire thereof to be now more vnreasonable than euer it was: so deepelie rooted in mannes heart is this perswasion, that he which possesseth plentie of golde is happie. Which opinion experience hath verie well confirmed to be most false: for if we lyst to looke into auncient Empires and common wealthes, wee shall set that together with Golde vie came in: also that vertue flourished so long as onelie brasen money was in vse.

Gold did by ciuill warres almost subuert the Romaine Empire, * and since through the superfluities and dissolutions that it bre o∣uerthrew it. The Empires of the Assyrians and Medians were changed and extinguished, when Sardanapalus and Darius swim∣ming Page  295 in Golde, conteinned the thinges which they ought to haue had in greatest estimation. When did the Lacedemonian com∣mon wealth flourish more then whiles their monie was of 〈◊〉? For it began to decaie when Golde began to growe into vse and e∣estimation. I knowe none that will extoll Caligula (who in two yeeres spent aboue 67. millions) aboue Fabritius, who hauing nei∣ther Golde nor Siluer in his small house, was neuerthelesse for his iustice and valiancy the guardian of the Romaine common wealth. Who liued a more contented life whether Plato the Philosopher, discoursing in his Academy, or Dyonisius the tyrant in the middest of al his treasures? He it was who through his doctrine made men good, and not the other who with his wealth corrupted them. Tru∣lie it hath bene alwayes seene that Gold hath made more men mise∣rable than happie: for few doe knowe howe both to get and vse it well. These examples one I not alleadge to bring. Golde into con∣tempt: but rather to giue men to vnderstand that to such as want discretion it is hurtfull, and that many other things are to bee pre∣ferred before it. For when men shall see that in all worldes it hath bene a fatall instrument, which hath so terriblie moued mens affec∣tions, likewise that it hath hatched so many mischiefes, they wil be better aduised how they subiect themselues thereto, considering it is made to serue or not to raigne.

Howeit in commendation thereof I will also saie that it is an * excellent mettal, endued with goodly qualities, and verie necessary to helpe with greater facility in the traficke of euerie thing, seruing both for a common price for whatsoeuer we list to exchange, and for an ornament to those that are in greatest dignitie. We ought ther∣fore to esteeme of it according to the commoditie that it yeeldeth, and to attribute no more thereto: but when couetousnesse dooth so rage in vs, that in liew of well vsing it in such sort, wee grow to ex∣cessiue extolling therof, it is conuerted into poyson. For it breedeth murther, enmitie, riot, and wantonnesse: It is also the occasion of warres and illage, and for the most part infecteth men with vile a∣uarice. Heerevpon did Lycurgus banish it out of Lacedemon, and therewith also all vaine pleasures, the deadly plagues of common wealths. It may be replied in fauour thereof that when the aunci∣ents ment to commend the first age of the worlde, they tearmed it, The Golden world: but wee are to vnderstande that thereby they ment onely the integritie of such as then liued, which they compa∣red to the purenes of Gold, as they did the daies insuing vnto siluer Page  296 and brasse. For us it surpasseth all other mettalls in perfection, so also were the first men more excellent in all goodnesse, than their successours, who haue & stil doe degenetrate. But if any man were disposed to intitle our age with the crowne of the golden world, he might haue some reason thereto. For Gold is now so cherished and worshipped that by it all things are obtained, & without it nothing is doue. He that hath Gold shal be honored, but he that hath none is counted but an outcast. Yea, the mightie men are not content to be clothed therewith, but their houses must also glister thereof: but if we consider the manners of men we shall find them so far altered yt they may be trulier termed maners of yron thā of gold. An ancient good Bishop complaining, sayth, When the Church vessels were of wood, the Bishops were of golde, but when the vessels grew to gold, the Bishops were turned into wood. This doth sufficiently testifie what change it bredeth in the possessers therof, for in the end it ouercom∣meth the owner, and plungeth him that hath it in all pride and iu∣temperanie, vnlesse he be restrained by the bridle of good doctrine.

Some man may saie that many other things may bee likewise * abused, as Lawe, Women, and Wine, which are more necessarie for mans life than it, whose vse (notwithstanding their abuse) is not forbidden. Neither wil I wt Lycurgus conclude that it must be vt∣terly forbidden, only I wil shew yt it is a verie slippery path where∣in we may slide as soone as they that walke vppon Ice. And in deed Golde is the verie Ise where vppon our hearts do slide when wee so farre let slip the reines of our desires that we cannot pluck them back againe. Many men hold opinion, that wealth, if it be not e∣tified with plentie of gold, is but like a cloud & too simple. In deed it cannot be denied but it setteth on a fairer glosse, but the same is likewise so course that it peruerteth our iudgements, in yt so highly it alloweth of superfluous things, that it contemneth those that be necessarie. A man may haue his house plentifully furnished with al * things meete and conuenient for the vse of his owne family, the en∣tertaining of his science, and the reliefe of strangers: howbe it if he haue no precious vessels & moueables with other like superfluities hee shall be accounted poore: for custome hath so farre incroched vpon men; that wealth is accounted to consist in needles things ra∣thar than in those whose vse we cannot forbeare. How be it what euer men thinke, this great discōmoditie doth gold breed, yt it causeth a man soone to ouerthrow himself: for if his mind longeth after ye fol∣lies of these daies, he will wast 1000. franks re•• vpon one maske, Page  297 two or 3 garments for himselfe, one banket, some game, or in pre∣sents to his mistres; before he be aware. Before yt gold was so plen∣tiful, ye vse of cloth of gold, siluer, & silk were vnknowen, & precious stones most rare, enē a prodigall person could hardly in many yeres spende his goods. Nowe wee haue a thousande vanities which leade vaine persous to impouerish themselues in one daie. Rabelais reporteth that Panurge in his voiages into Italy learned aboue 78. inuentions to colne by money: but after he had a while haunted the Spanish & French nations, he was perfect in aboue 100. gallant waies to spend it, which made him continually to eate his corne in the blade, which good custome is yet in practise among vs. After yt the barbarous nations had inuaded as well the East as West Em∣pire, & sacked all the treasurs of the same, gold & siluer were for cer∣taine ages almost vnknowen: but after that the Spaniards & Por∣tugals had discouered so many new landes, this minerall wealth & stones, grew as a vehemēt storme to be shed throughout all the pro∣uinces of Christendome, so as euen to this day they do abound. And what is there growen but a general flame of couetousnes, with ex∣treme auarice of some, & excessiue prodigalities of others, wt so ma∣ny superfluities which custome hath brought in, yt 1000. Hercules should haue inough to do to say all these monsters. To be briefe, all this gold & siluer for ten men yt it hath inriched, haue impouerished 10000. To what purpose then is it to attribute therto the power to make men happy? Plato & Aristotle intreating of goods, & wherto they ought to tend, do not go to seeke thē in the bowels of the earth, as shall be hereafter declared. These blowers therfore are to be re∣proued, in that they indeuour to persuade the end of their are to be of such excellēcie, wherby they leade many into error, who of thēselues are already too much inclined to seeke their contētation in material things. The poore sauages of Perow before that our couetousnesse * robbed them of their Golde, had so much, that they made all imple∣ments of household thereof, esteeming it no better then of yron: for they neuer tooke care or laboured to gather, kepe, or otherwise vse it. But since that they were taught, & that they perceiued the imper∣fectious which wecō••it for Golde, they grew as miserable as our selues, & haue made, as a man may say, their Gods of ye same stuffe which before they troad vpon their feet. When we first began to tra∣ficke with them▪ they gaue for a knife or anie other cutting toole, double or treble ye waight in Gold, making more account of the cō∣modit 〈◊〉 of that mettall, which we esteeme salise, thā of ye other yt we Page  298 thinke so precious. And who so list to speake with reason, must of force confesse that yron, considering it is an instrument without the which few artes consist, is much more necessarie to the vse of mans life than Golde. Howbeit pride, superfluitie, pleasure, and mannes curiositie haue bredde the extreame admiration of Golde. which neuerthelesse, as I haue sayde) is not altogether to bee con∣temned.

Now are 〈…〉e to answere to their arguments, whereby they inde∣uour to proue the meanes to performe their worke to bee both easie * and possible. They saie there is a certaine mettallicall substanceit and conuenient to be transformed into perfect mettalls, which is the true seede that yeeldeth the Gold, and the same (as the principal ground whereon they must build) it is requisite to know verie wel. That in time past few men knew it, but that nowe some excellent schollers in this art are nothing ignorant therein: also that it is like∣ly not to be so strange and vnknowen a thing, considering that euen meane men are perfect in the knowledge of the substance, seed and vertues of plants, hearbes, and foules. Like wise that albeit most of these goodly operations of nature bee hidden in the deapth of the earth, yet is mans spirit able to penetrate into such secretes, sith it can also mount aboue the heuens. To deny the substance that they search for I dare not, because wee see the effects: but to affirme that it is knowen, there resteth the difficultie: for although wee knowe many, as the aforenamed, yet followeth it not thereof that wee are able to comprehend the other, which hath so long beene hidden, ex∣cepte by the discourse of our imagination, vntill experience hath taught vs the truth of this matter. Some common Alcumistes haue in their pamphlets gone about to describe the saide sub∣stance. One assureth it to be quicke siluer or brimstone: the other egges or bloud: and others haue named sundrie other kinds, which haue procured a thousand and a thousand experiments, all which haue proued false. Some of them doe affirme that the true matter must of necessitie haue in it a great vegetatiue power, and some si∣militude with that substance whereinto it shoulde be transformed. Concerning ye, vegetatiue power theyr speech doth stand with some reason for sith nature must be an agent and worke in this action, the matter must likewise haue the same propertie, and not resemble a stone or a peece of wood. As for the similitude, it is likely also that the substance that should yeeld Gold must haue some correspon∣dence therewith: for it were a plaine mockerie to imagine that an Page  299 egge should bring forth a tree, or an acorne a bird. These two pro∣perties then are verie necessarie for the matter which we speake of: neuertheles by ye onely discoursing vpon things conuenient therto, it is not founde, no more than is the Philosopers wisedome, albeit they haue in their discourses qualified and formed it.

But admit I graunt, they knowe the true substance (which ne∣uerthelesse * is a deepe point) yet are they to proue by what artificial meanes, that is to saie, by what regiment or helpe they can en∣force their wished forme, which is not easy to be done: for albeit that arte doe imitate nature, yea, that in some thinges it can euen helpe her, yet dare not our common Alcumists affirme, that it can growe equall with her. Heereto they replie that experience teacheth that the vertue of the arte, duelie fitted with the force of nature, doth so helpe it, that thereof insueth the bringing forth of the kinds in like∣wise as Nature alone may haue brought them forth. As in Egges which are the substance whereof foules are bredd, a man may mini∣ster to them an arteficiall heat so temperate: either in an ouen or by other meanes, that wee shall see them yeeld forth the like foules as nature woulde haue ingendered: as also in the Salte pits wee see that arte together with the sea water and helpe of the natural heate of the Sunne formeth the Salt. If therefore in liuing things, yea euen in dead things, it hath so much power, why may it not lyke∣wise worke in the substance of mettalls? Heereto I aunswere, that this is but a bad kinde of arguing, of a few particular examples in things knowen to make a generall rule for thinges as it were yet vnknowen: for that which may agree with one cannot agree with many. Wee may easilie see that there is great difference betweene the manner by nature obserued in the ingendering of mettals, and the other kindes afore noted. For hauing made the seede of plants, hearbes, and foules so common vnto vs, she also sheweth vs the faci∣litie of their generation: But in mettalles it is another case, for if their substance hath bene hetherto as it were hidden, it is no mer∣uayle that their procreation is vnknowen. Who so list to consider how a Wheate kirnell bringeth forth a fayre and greate eare, shall neuerthelesse therein see but small helpe of arte, sauing some tra∣uayle and tillage of the ground with the sowing therof, which can∣not properly be sayde to be the principall cause of the generation: for it is onely nature, who hauing receiued the seed into the ground as into a matrix, doth heate & putrifie it, also it maketh it to sprout, growe, and take that forme whereto it is most proper. The lyke ef∣fect Page  300 is to be noted in the generation of mettals, which is performed by the onely vertue and power of nature, neither can art worke any great matter therein. And whosoeuer should take the substaunce of them out of their matrixe, wherein nature by hidden meanes wor∣keth, weening through art to make perfect the saide mettalls, shall greatly deceiue himself: for so would it loose the whole force and be∣come lame.

This might the Empirical Alcumists haue therby learned by so * many their false experiments made so long time: which neuerthe∣les haue not yet vtterly diuerted their mindes frō promising to thē∣selues somwhat more: for they affirme that this pouder of proiection once performed, they may by casting a little of it among a greate masse of imperfect mettals reduce ye whole into gold. Now thy pro∣ceed thereto by degrees, saying that one once of this pouder is able to cōuert a thousand ounces of other mettal into gold: & that which is better purified will conuert ten thousand: but that which is once brought to perfection, will multiply, as they tearme it, from one waight to 100000. These be the braue fruites which they make the trees of their garden to beare, whereof the least wil be worth 9000 crownes, & the greatest about 900000. Truly if these effects were as true as the discourses of them are braue, wee shall see many gar∣dens giuen themselues to the tilling of so fruitfull a soyle.

The common opinion of man doth account this same to be a pro∣digious * matter, yea, sundry learned men do meruaile how so many can suffer thēselues to be lead away with such persuasions, of whom if a man aske how this great augmentation can come to passe, they will answere that that should not seeme so strange, considering that daily we see as great matter as that after the same manner: for (say they) ae candle once light is able to impart her light to 100000 more, & yet neuer diminish it selfe one whit: so likewise the vertue of this power is so great, that it communicateth the selfe substance thereof to other mettals apt to receiue it. This similitude, in my opinion, is no great proofe hereof: for the transmutation of a masse of Lead into a masse of Gold, which is a conuersion of substance, doth far differ from mi∣nistring vnto fire any matter that may nourish or maintaine it. Yea, it doth better appeare in this, that the fire hauing consumed ye mat∣ter ministred, they both doe perish: whereas by the alleadged trans∣mutation so perfect a mettall must come of it as may haue a conti∣nual being. They must therefore bring in better reasons & exāples to verrefie this multiplicatiō. Besides, if this were so, it must needs Page  301 follow yt art should surmount nature, because in short space it should worke ye thing which nature is many yeres about. Thus much haue I thought good to answere to the common arguments which they ordinarily vse in their discourses & deuises, wherby a mā may iudge what a small foundation they haue to build so high a worke vppon. Such as being sufficiētly learned, list to peruse their pāphlets may be able with greater grauitie & more at large to dispute with thē, to ye end ye truth being disclosed, many may by abādoning their errors find profit therin. For my part I shal still think thē to be deceiued in * ye waies yt they take, vntil experiēce hath reuealed yt wherof we are in doubt, which is one reson yt we do many times lay against them, saying: yt sith it doth not appeare that any of the ancient Writers could euer with all their furnaces finde out this secret, why do they so obsti∣natly proceed in the search therof? But (say they) in old time many did know it, as Salomon, in whose daies gold was so plentiful, that all his pallace was therewith adorned, & siluer as common as yron: which a∣bundance could neuer haue ben such, had he not practised this hidden Philosophie, wherein through his great wisedome he was most expert. Hereto do they ad yt K. Midas, who, as it is said, turned all yt he tou∣ched into gold, was also skilful herein. Likewise yt the ancient Poets, speaking of the goldē fleece, ment therby the Philosophers stone, which also was not altogether vnknowen when the Romaine Empire was in greatest pride. Howbeit that euer since it hath as it were lien dead together with many other things vntil these later daies, that some men searching among the pouders of antiquitie found out some small frag∣ments of this wonderfull treasure, affirming that some haue made de∣monstration therof, as Cosme of Medicis, and K. Edward of England, who receiued this benefit at the hand of Reimond Lully a Catelaeunia: Others haue concealed it as Arnold de villa noua, & Theophrast Pa∣racelse. To be briefe, leuing a multitude of like exāples, they accoūt thēselues to be followers not of imaginary matters, but of things * alredy practised. Truly I should neuer maruel to see the nouices in this art, yt haue smal practise in histories, somtimes to feed vpō these vanities: but when the maisters thēselues shal go about to persuade the others yt these imaginatiōs are true, it cannot but breed pastime to ye hearers. Wherfore to answere thē, first I say yt the aleaing of ye exāple of Salomō turneth to their disgrace: for Dauid was he yt he∣ped vp most of his treasures, neither is it written yt euer man had so much. The Scripture testifieth, yt he left him toward ye building of ye tēple 100000. talēts of gold, & a miliō of siluer: which amoūtech to Page  302 120. millions of crownes as Bude summeth it. But almost all that treasure did rise of the spoyles and ouerthrowes of the Canaanites and Amorrheans, whom Dauid according to Gods appointment made an ende of rooting out. And as for Salomon, hee was a King endued with perfect wisedome, but he neuer vsed the same to theyr pretended effects, yea, in the holie Bible we find whence he had his Golde and siluer. It is sayde that his shippes sayled with the ships of Hyram king of Tyre into Ophir, which some interprete to bee the Indies, to fetch and the number of Golde that they brought did mount to six hundred sixtie and sixe talents of gold. Nowe the Hebrewes talent of golde, as some doe affirme, was worth sea∣uen thousande Crownes, so as all this summe shoulde rise al∣most to fiue millions of Golde, which in those dayes was a marue∣lous treasure. But some of these men doe imagine that the gold of Ophir was the same that was fetched out of their fornaces, which impudent affirmation deserueth no answer. But I will vse the ex∣ample of Salomon to prooue their arte to be false: for if he whose wisedome was incomparable, who also was perfect in all whatsoe∣uer coulde fall into mans capacity, neuer writ that he gate this se∣crete by blowing: but contrariwise setteth downe some of the meanes whereby he attained to his wealth, shall not we presume that it is an euident abuse to leaue to their experiences? Neither is the example of Midas of any greater credit then the other. For in his person the ancient writers purposed to set before vs a couetous prince, whose treasure through his owne vice grew hurtfull to him selfe. And by the golden fleece the poets ment the veynes of golde or siluer which the Greeke Princes fetcht out of Chalochos in the ship of Argos. Now let vs come to the Romaines. For it can not be denied but the Empire of Rome ouerflowed with wealth: how∣beit it proceeded of the sacking of all the world, and not else where, as testifie the histories. The alleaging of great Cosme of Medi∣cis is but a little tickling to cause vs to smile. For he was a man issued from a very wealthy family, and with all discreete, a great dealer and of muche traficke, whereby he mightily increased his goods, and afterward vsed very stately liberality and expenses as did Lucullus at Rome and Cimon at Athens. Concerning Ed∣ward king of England, who coined so many Rose nobles, no hi∣storie reporteth it to haue bene done with Raymond Lullyes phi∣losophical gold, which maketh me ye rather to thinke that he dealt with minerals. As for Theophrast Paracelse and Arnold de Vil∣laPage  303 noua, no man can denye but they were learned both in Philoso∣phie and Alcumie, and found out great secretes: but I am assured that in any their bookes it cannot be found that the substance of ar∣tificiall gould doth resemble the same whereupon our common Al∣cumistes doe worke, either that the forme thereof is to bee perfor∣med in Fornances: besides, if we consider of their liues, wee shall in the same see the tokens of pouertie, and not of aboundance: where∣by it is likely they rather laboured to finde what were necessarie for the health of mens bodies, then to reueale any such matter as might encrease their couetousnesse. Besides, if either themselues or any other had bene skilfull in this transmutation, I thinke they concealed it as well for their owne safeties and quietnesse, as also to the ende to eschue so many inconueniences as such plentie of gould might haue engendred by falling into cruell and ambitious hands.

I would therefore entreate those that are so hot in the pursuite * of these crooked waies, to consider how many ritch men haue with∣in these hundred yeeres beggered themselues in these miserable ex∣periments. May not so many shipwarackes reclaime them: but they must néedes runne headlong after their owne phantasies: yea, they are so fleshed in this businesse, ye it wil be fower tymes more worke to withdraw them therfro, then to fetch a Massing hedge priest out of a Tauerne: so as wee may say that in this arte there lyeth a cer∣taine hidden power which charmeth those that doe exercise it. And it is likely that such as so vehemently doe hunt after these extraor∣dinarie meanes, are thereto prouoked rather by their owne disor∣dered affections, then by any well guided motions of the minde. As also we see that for punishment to their errors all their labours vanish in smoake. Neither is that all: for some finding themselues in this extremitie doe coyne counterfaite money: others trot vp and downe to deceiue those that are readie to beléeue their goodly mo∣tious, which they make in seeking to catch them in the same sare wherein themselues haue bene taken. It seemeth to be a punish∣ment of God layd vpon those who contemning so many honest ex∣ercises and lawfull vocations, doe thrust themselues into such labe∣rinths as they can neuer escape without their owne losse. Some man may say that euery one that giueth himselfe to this science doth not cast away himselfe, no nor take any harme thereby: for we see Lords and Princes that haue not sould one Crownes worth of land for it, but are desirous only to learne, as it were in sport, whe∣ther Page  304 the thing that they imagine may be compassed. I graunt they be wise in respect of the rest, but the number of them is small: wher∣as of those that wast themselues in these desires there bee many. Truely he that could learne the goodly discourses that they make to themselues what they would doe when they had atchieued their purpose, should see mounts and meruailes. One would be a King, and an other a Duke: One would make warres whereby to exalt himselfe, an other would build Townes and Castles, and the most part would liue in pleasures and superfluitie. To be briefe, such as are the affections, such would the effects be. But I can neuer think that any secret can be reuealed to those that beare so bad mindes.

Howbeit, if men would vse this arte only to attaine to ye know∣ledge * of diuers vertues and properties of nature, it were commen∣dable in those that would so employ themselues: but there are but fewe that keepe themselues within those boundes, and yet doe they only reape the true fruite thereof that vse it to finde out remedies for sundrie inconueniences & diseases, whereof (as is aforesayd) by fire men haue found most singuler. Ladies & Gentlewomen may, when they are at home, occupie themselues in distillations of wa∣ters and essences drawne out of all sortes of hearbs, rootes and flo∣wers, as well for their owne domesticall vses, as to impart to their poore neighbours & subiects that may stand in neede therof. Were it not also an honest exercise for Lords and gentlemen, who lose so much time, sometimes to recreate themselues in such extractions, not of hearbes only, but also of minerals and other substances, out of the which they may draw such oyle and vertue, that two or three drops thereof may profite more then a whole heape of Apoticarie drugges? How many other braue secrets may be found out by the vse of fire, whereof euen the greatest Princes should not disdaine to be skilfull? Diuers printed bookes doe shewe of things yéelding both admiration, delight and profite. He then that list thus to vse this arte shall bee free from repentance thereof, whereto all those are subiect which seeke to make it by strange deuises to bring forth gould, which is as much as if a man for his owne appetite should seeke to fetch Manna from heauen.

But admit a man should haue conuerted al the stones about his * house into gould, what hath he then done? Truely he may perad∣uenture haue built himselfe a sumptuous sepulchre wherein to bu∣rie his vertues, or a proude theatre wherevpon to display his vices, as it often happeneth those to doe that are stored with great welth. Page  305 Be those the documents which the Philosophers ment to leaue to the posterity? It is not likely: considering that they thinking mans soule to haue had her originall in heauen, would neuer minister vn∣to her any obiect wherein to contemplate and depende vpon that were vnworthie her selfe: neither doth it appeare in their writings that among the resolute and perfect good they euer harboured this earthly felicitie after the which many doe so hunt, euen vnto death. If wee list to credite the saying of Aristotle in his treatise of felici∣tie, we shall finde that he first placeth it in the treasures of the mind than in those of the bodie: and lastly in those of fortune, vnder the which he comprehendeth ritches. Socrates and Plato do also stirre vp men to vertue and spirituall things, & withdraw them from the earth: which should moue these poore deceiued persons to folow the steps of those whō they accompt their great fathers, who through the obseruing of ye precepts of good doctrine, haue not gone astray.

Some there are so obstinate in their opinions, that all that may * be said is not able to dissuade thē from the possibilitie of conuerfion of mettals. Truely to pleasure them I will beléeue thē, but in such sorte as once a scholler in that arte at Paris tould me: that the great Alcumists labored by fornaces vnder ground. This poore appren∣tice herein was of my acquaintance, & had in three yeres space blo∣wen away a goodly house of his owne with some 1000. or 1200. frankes rent, & kept no more but the skinne and bones, yea the fire had drawne away not only ye quintessence, but in a maner ye whole essence of all the apparell that he ware. Which when I had consi∣dered: Well my yong maister, said I you are now in good case to learne to flye, for you haue nothing to loade you or hinder your lightnesse. Oh sir, said he, you should rather take pitie of those that vnawares haue made shipwracke. Truely so I doe, said I, sith I see you so peni∣tent, neither shall the helpe of my purse bee denyed you to furnish you a newe in some lawfull vocation, but now shewe me vnfaynedly what light or certaintie is there in your precepts? Our pamphlets, saide he, are full of ridles and obscuritie, and our long labours and continuall expences, doe in the ende bring foorth but vntimely birthes and phan∣tasies. Haue you not, replyed I, any example either olde or newe of a∣ny that hath found out the secrete. I know, said he, but one that euer attained therto. I pray you, said I, tell me who that was? It is, said he, he: Who? said I, for I cānot know him vnlesse you otherwise name him vnto me. It is he, said he. Why, said I, do you then mock me? Well, said be, Then I must needes tell you. It is the holy father, who hath taught Page  306 all our blowers that they are but doules, which in many yeeres doe multiplye all their somewhat into nothing. Where himselfe yeerely in France only transformeth and multiplieth fortie pound of lead, which may be worth two crownes, into 40000 pounds of golde which may be worth 600000. crownes, and then maketh attraction thereof euen to Roome. Truely, sayd I, I will giue you tenne crownes the more for breaking your minde so plainly vnto mee: but I would wish you not to vse much such speech in this towne, least our maisters of Sorbonne im∣mediatly deuounce you an hereticke of seuentene Carects and a halfe: Wherevpon wee parted, and glad he was that he had found some meanes to fatten himself againe, for he was as leane as a red Her∣ring. And for my parte I began to consider of the hidden propertie of this authenticall Caballe, and hauing throughly pondered ther∣of, I fonnd that my iolly blower had better successe in that which he had told me, then in all yt he had done. But because the time was thē too hot to rehearse this tale, I hid it in a corner of my memorie.

Hauing thus discoursed vpon the falsehood that resteth in this *Vulcanist arte, whensoeuer it list to stretch to the forging of gold, I will speake one word of certaine Alcumistes or rather Philoso∣phers, who being consumed in Philosophie, doe in their opera∣tions adioyne the power of nature with the necessarie ayde of the arte. I will tell you what one of them once sayd vnto me concer∣ning the matter wherevpon he had laboured, which now I haue called to minde. He tould me that the whole studie and labour of man in the search hereof was vayne, vnlesse God would reueale vnto him things vnknowne. Also that for the attayning to perfection in this arte, it was requisite first to be an honest man: secondly, to pray often to God to graunt him light in this darknesse: thirdly, to gather know∣ledge of the arte out of good bookes: and finally hauing found out the secrete, to keepe it secrete, and not to abuse this treasure, but to employ it in the reliefe of the needie, or in very good workes. Whereto I re∣plyed, that I found it somewhat strange that he would seeme to worke vyolence to nature, and submit Gods order to mans will, which was vnlikely to obeye, because euery man would giue ouer the artes and sciences, to the ende idely to enritch himselfe in things superfluous and of best necessitie to mans life. He aunswered, that in this operatiue science, wee could not perceiue nature to bee any whit forced, but wor∣king with all facilitie, order and power: which so much the more de∣clared the wonderfull power and wisedome of God: likewise that he knew very well that in as much as this knowledge could not dwell but Page  307 in a contemplatiue soule not polluted with earthly affections, fewe men were perticipants therein. Of whom the most contenting themselues that they had hit the marke, were very scrupulous in the publishing of that which rather by heauenly meditatiō then practise they had com∣prehended, either to vse the fruites thereby atchieued, but in most ne∣cessarie occasions. He, sayd he, that is desirous to learne the arte must marke what the Scripture saith. First seeke the kingdome af God, and all things shall bee giuen you. Also this saying of the Psalmist. The*Lord declareth his secretes to those that feare him. To this I aun∣swered, that these places were ment of spirituall matters, and not of mettalles. True, sayd he, such is their proper interpretation: howbeit we may sometimes see the effects in things materiall, when the former blessing goeth before: as appeared in Salomon, who vpon his prayer had the graunt both of wisedome and aboundance of wealth. You beleeue then, sayd I, that it is possible to transforme mettalles, also that some men haue attained thereto. They be both true, aunswered he, for my selfe haue seene most euident proofes thereof, and as I thinke, there bee some yet liuing which be skilfull in the arte, and to the ende to gather some taste thereof, I pray you reade good bookes, for in them you shall see not only beames, but euen very lights which will shewe you not only the errors of this blowing, but also the true likelihoodes of the metalli∣call Philosophie. Herevpon I was blanke: for hauing finall expe∣rience in this doctrine, I was loth to aunswer impertinently, and being halfe dazeled with so many goodly words, I thought it best to stay vntill by effect I might see the truth of this affirmation, be∣fore I would alowe or disalowe thereof, which I yet waite for. Neither am I so franticke as to thinke that God cannot as soone extend his liberalitie to a good mā (albeit by extraordinary meanes) to vse it lawfully, as he could giue to effeminate Sardanapalus 40. millions of gould, also to the monster Caligula 67. by ordina∣rie meanes, which they wasted in all abominations.

Thus much haue I thought good to speake of the materiall *Philosophers stone: now will I proceede to that which I take to be the true: for the knowledge whereof we can haue recourse to no better writer then Salomon, whom, in my opinion, wee ought to beléeue, as him that was endued with perfect wisedome, whose conceipts and speeches were in many things guided by the spirite of truth, and therfore the rather cleaue to his deuine sentences. As also I thinke that all Alcumistes doe giue the most credite to his testimonies, as of one who is often in their view, in respect that he Page  308 sawe and had a taste of those miseries which they so much reue∣rence. In some of his bookes he hath taught, that although man through his disobedience hath here belowe enthralled himselfe to many miseries, yet God who is goodnesse it selfe, would not leaue him so wrapped in mischiefe, but that withall he hath prepared and offered to him innumerable benefites, to the end that crauing them at his hands he might seeke them, and by seeking euioy them, and so to reape such contentation as may bee had in this life, and to yeeld him praise for the same. He deuideth them into two kindes. In his booke of the Preacher he speaketh of such as are earthly and * corruptible, affirming that notwithstanding their beautie, yet they that trust in them do finde more vanitie then pleasure. I haue, saith he, built me houses, and planted vineyards: I haue made me gardens: I haue had men seruants and maid seruants, a great familie and ma∣ny flockes: I haue gathered gould and siluer, with the treasures of Kings and Prouinces: I haue appoynted singers, and taken pleasure in the sonnes of men: and in wealth I haue excelled all that haue bene before me in Ierusalem. Neither haue 〈◊〉 forbiddē my hart to reioyce in the things that I had prouided: but when I turned to behould all the works of my hands, & the labors wherein I had swet, I found nothing but vanitie and anguish of mind, also that nothing vnder the sunne is permanent. This may be a good instructiō to al those that sixe their felicitie in things fraile & transitorie, to admonish thē moderatly to vse thē, & to cast ye anckors of their cōtentation vpō solide substāces, which the chaunge of fortune, as wée tearme it, cannot carie away.

Such are the second sorte, mentioned in the booke of Prouerbs, * and deserue to be called, goods, for they are spirituall, vncorrupti∣ble, stedfast, and doe yeelde perfect ioye. They therefore that list to followe the precepts of this great King shall not goe astray, as the followers of the rules of our common Alcumistes, so as the schollers that are willing to learne, be endued with humilitie & do∣cilitie, which are ye first preparatiues to yt entry into this studie. For * he that with worldly presumptiō, puffed vp with vaine knowledge seeketh to submit this so worthie & pure a matter to his sences, so farre is he from reaping any fruite thereby, that he cannot so much as perceiue the beautie thereof. These be his words: Happie is the man that findeth wisedome: It is more precious then riches: & nothing*that we can desire may be compared therto. This is the declaration of this secret, which many neuer seeke for, and others doe seeke in∣directly & by crooked paths. He yt can know it & apply it to himself, Page  309 may be assured he hath found the true Philosophers stone, that is to say, plentie of all goods, which do as greatly enrich & delight the soule as the bodie. I doubt if some of these blowers (mad to see his * experiēces vanished in smoak) should chance to read this, he would exclaime & say: Oh, how are we fallen from a feuer into a hot burning ague? sith they here propound vnto vs as great a paradoxe as they ac∣count our owne to be! What reason is there, sith we be of earth, enha∣bite the earth, & liue of earthly things, that they should feede vs with spirituall & inuisible substance? Let vs first banish this terrible mon∣ster pouertie, which continually tormenteth vs, and then we will see to the rest. To this man will I make no other aunswer, but wish him to repaire his broken fornaces, banish his wrath, & again sease vpō his right wittes, which peraduenture he had forgotten in some of his Limbeckes, then will I teach him that the deuine testimonies which I vse in this proofe are as true as his transubstantiall ima∣ginations are false. Let vs therefore heare Salomon, the image of perfect wisedome speake, who discourseth thus. The Lord hath pos∣sessed*me from the beginning: before he made any thing I was ordey∣ned from euerlasting: before the earth, the seas, the hils and the riuers were I was conceiued and brought foorth. When he prepared the hea∣uens I was present: when he inuironed the sea with her bankes and laide the foundations of the earth I was with him, making all things: and I delight to bee with the children of men. Who seeth not here that wisedome tooke her originall in heauen, yea euen in the highest heauen, which is aboue all yt we do see? Notwithstanding, to speak properly, she is without beginning: for sith that by her we are to vnderstand the same of God, who is the eternal wisedome of the fa∣ther, we cannot imagine in him either beginning or ending. It is the word, whereby all things were made, & which illuminateth all men. The most learnest contemplatiue Philosophers, as the Aca∣demickes, which haue bene illuminated with some small beames therof, did knowe (and yet knew not truely) & in their writings te∣stifie, that this wisedome whereby the whole world was created and formed and in so good order gouerned, haue of al eternitie bene residēt in the deuine essence. To be brief, yt it is God, who through his deuine wisedome hath declared himselfe vnto men after sundry sortes: but wonderfully in the worke of restauration, when he con∣uerted the mortal imperfectiōs which man had purchased into those perfections that he hath liberally imparted & giuen vnto them. And albeit they had lost ye iust possession of the land, yet hath he granted Page  310 them the inheritance of heauen, wherevpon Salomon sayth. That wisedome is a tree of life to all that will take hould thereof, and happie*shall he be that can keepe it. Truely the excellencie therof doth shine in that it aboundantly excelleth in all things.

But because most men are so little moued toward that which is * spiritual, in that that being wrapped in earthly things, their sences hould them downe to those that be corporall, let vs now as it were visibly shewe it them by the fruites and effects thereof, to the ende they may the better comprehend it. Salomon who hath written a booke in commendation thereof shall performe this duetie. I loued (sayth he) wisedome, and sought her from my youth: she taught mee*the discipline of God and choseth his workes: I preferred her before Kingdomes and Thrones: and in comparison of her accompted riches to bee nothing, neither haue I compared the precious stone vnto her: for all gould is in respect of her but grauell, and siluer shall be esteemed as durt. I haue loued her aboue health and beautie, and haue purposed to take her for my light: for her brightnesse cannot be extinguished: and all my goodes are come together with her, and wonderfull honestie through her hands. She teacheth sobrietie, discretion, iustice and forti∣tude, which are things most profitable to the life of man. If any man couet after plentie of knowledge, she knoweth things past, and iudgeth of such as are to come: she is skilfull in the depth of speeches and solu∣tions of arguments, in the chaunge of maners, deuision of times, the course of the yeere and order of the starres, in the natures of beastes, the strength of the windes and the imaginations of men: in the diffe∣rence of plants and vertues of rootes: and of her I haue learned all se∣crete things, and those that were neuer seene before: for wisedome the workmistris of all things hath taught me: for her sake I shall be won∣derfull in the presence of the mightie, and the countenances of Princes shall meruaile at me. When I come home I shall rest with her, for in her conuersation is no bitternesse, neither is she accompanied with en∣uie, but with ioye and mirth. Moreouer, by her I shall obtaine im∣mortalitie, and leaue an euerlasting remembrance to those that shall come after me. If I could into seuen or eight verses haue abridged all that is here described, I would haue done it, but, in my minde, wee should neuer bée wearie of reading so high and true misteries, which neuerthelesse are but a small parcell of all that Salomon setteth downe. The Alcumistes doe say that one ounce of their po∣wer of proiection is able to conuert a thousand ounces of other mettall into gould: what then shall wee thinke that one graine of Page  311 this heauenly pouder shall doe? Betweene gould and mettall there is some affinitie and correspondence: but betweene vice and vertue, ignorance and knowledge resteth a manifest contrarietie: and yet is that the place wherein wisedome doth worke, for it transformeth the wicked powers thereof into good, and as is aforesayd, teacheth those principall vertues which Cicero in his offices so highly ex∣tolleth: But what man is so grosse and sencelesse, as to compare euen the greatest masse of gould with the least portion of tempe∣rance or iustice? Plato the Philosopher saith, that if with our bodily eyes we could perceiue the beautie of vertue, we would be rauished with perfect loue thereunto: But the vaile of pleasure and igno∣rance so blindeth vs that we cannot see it. And I like well ye iudge∣ment of Solon, who preferred the felicitie of a poore citizen named Telus, that was endued with wisedome and vertue, before the good hap of K. Craesus, who flowed in power and wealth. Here must we stay, as hauing no neede to dilate vpon the sayings of Salomon, considering how amplie he expresseth the benefites proceeding of wisedome: & sith she bringeth the knowledge of heauenly matters, humaine actions, & naturall effects, & withall giueth honor, riches, vertue, praise, health, mirth and fame, what can a man say more?

Now, God imparteth not these benefies onely to the mightie: * for euen the meanest doe participate therein, some more and some lesse, according as it pleaseth him to endue them with this soue∣raigne cause: as being assured that the knowledge of Mechanicall artes, industrie of Merchants, and experience of labourers, are no other but the small effects thereof, which doe also appeare in the or∣der of the gouernment of smaller families, and temperance of the maners of the poorest. But who can make a better shewe of the brightnesse of this light then the very discourses of the Alcumists? For sometimes they wade into the depth of the earth, then doe they consider the operations of nature, & sometimes for the extol∣ling of their arte they climbe euen to the spirituall substances: And what hath opened their eyes to knowe such difficult matters but that wisedome which after an excellent maner doth shine in their vnderstandings? In the meane time, in liewe of suffering them selues to bee guided thereby they vse it as a slaue, in seeking conti∣nually to enthrall it to earthly businesse, as in ould time condem∣ned persons were thrust into the Mynes. Thus doe they re∣compence it badly, and seeme to haue small knowledge of the vertue thereof, which tendeth rather to ascende then descende. Page  312 Those men also are in an error that accompt him vnhappie that hath any want of the goodes which wee tearme of Fortune. And yet the poore man yt with patience beareth his pouertie, is without comparison farre more happie then the ritch man that burneth in couetousnesse. To bee briefe, there is no estate that can make him miserable that hath any portion of this wisedome, which may bee tearmed a very feare of God, or true passion of vertue. To him therefore must we haue recourse, who distributeth so much thereof as is expedient to those that by prayer, humilitie and perseuerance doe crae some such beame, as may suffice to augment their con∣tentation. Surely I take this to bee a farre more pretious felicitie, then the knowledge how to multiply whatsoeuer quantitie of gold or siluer: which the couetous and encroaching persons, can by wic∣ked artes doe as well. It is therefore better to stay vpon the search and pursuite of the true Philosophicall stone of wisedome, which enstructeth, comforteth, enricheth, contenteth and saueth those that haue found it, then to hunt after the vayne hope of our blowers in the search of things whereof they growe sad, poore, and into decay, and yet can neuer méete withall.

The 24. Discourse.

Against those that thinke that Godlinesse depriueth man of all pleasures.

GReat is the number of those men that * at these daies are enfected with this false opinion, which they sylie publish in all places where they haunt: And they are, in my mynde, such a kinde of people as wée may well tearme Epicures and Li∣bertines, who establishing their soue∣raigne felicitie in pleasures, doe ende∣uour onely to contemne Christian life, burdening it that it breedeth nothing but continuall sorowe, so to make all such as list to hearken vnto them vnwilling to walke in the paths thereof. Their arguments are wonderfull plausible to Page  313 those in whome sensualitie beareth sway, which is the cause that many simple persons, yea and some of the wiser sorte doe suffer themselues so to bee led away therewith, as somewhat to fauour the sayd opinion: and thus doe they with their malicious speeches turne many from walking according as the duetie of the name that they beare doth require. There is an old prouerbe that saith, Euill wordes corrupt good maners: which is often verified. Howbeit, if any man doth doubt hereof, and wisheth some more euident proofe, let him repayre to the schoole of these doctors, from whence he shall be sure to returne farre worse then he went: for as droppes of ynke cast into fayre water by continuance doe not onely defile, but euen blacke the same, so yong soules harkening to such instructions doe gather a bad disposition, which afterwarde enhabiteth within them.

Now in this age wherein we liue, which is so plentifull in wic∣kednesse, * it is hard to bee conuerfant among men without hearing such speeches: In respect whereof wee ought to bee furnished with good preseruatiues, as in the time of the plague, to keepe away the euill ayre. The same may easely be had and without any great cost: For as well Christian as humaine Philosophie do offer them for nothing to those that list to take so much paines as to cull them foorth, as they would in a fayre medowe cull such flowers as they best like. Howbeit, sith all men will not finde so much leisure, this my small labour shall supply the default of those slothfull persons: wherein they shall finde the flowers readie gathered, which are so sweete as no filthie stench shall be able to offend them.

I suppose we shall neede no perticuler marke to knowe these of * whome wee speake, for their owne speech will bewray them as the fruite doth the tree: neither to note the places where to finde them: onely this shal suffice, that although they be scattered euery where, yet are there three principall fieldes wherin they do most prosper: the Court, the Armies, and the Townes: and so long as vertue was in estimation their number was but small, but through con∣tempt thereof, they haue abounded. Neither is it any meruaile: for as thornes spring vp among Roses, and darnell with wheate: so doth vice intrude it selfe where vertue doth, or ought most to shine, to the ende to blemish the same. Among the three sortes of enhabitants in the places aforesayd, wee may peraduenture finde some difference in their discon••es and maner of proceedings, al∣beit they all shoote at one thing, as an Archer, a Crosbowe man, Page  314 a Crosbow man, & a Harquebuzier shooting all at one but, though with sundrie Instruments, yet in intent doe agree.

The Courtiers are very delicate in their speeches and pleasant * quippes, powring foorth their reasons so sweetly and with such a facilitie that a man shall be catcht ere he be aware. Neither do their countenances or courtesies, which are great helpes to perswasion, any whit varie therefro. Thus with these goodly speeches they co∣uer whatsoeuer is vnperfect in their opinions, not that they thinke them vnperfect: for they doe followe them, wishing others also to embrace the same. The ordinarie life that is led in those Courts that are alienated from vertue, is in parte the cause of encrease of corruption in these men: for séeing pleasure so highly estéemed, they are the more enflamed to enioy the same: also through lōg custome in wishing and plunging themselues therein, they doe esteeme no∣thing els, and to the same ende doe referre all their actions. Thus by little and little of schollers they growe to be maisters in an arte that draweth those that put it in practise into destruction. Among these doe I not meane to place the vertuous Courtiers, whome I take to bee as vnlike vnto them as gould is to leade. But I wish only they were admonished not to permit their puritie to be conta∣minated with others corruptions. Albeit we are not to thinke plea∣sure to bee such an outward imperfection, as fasteneth hould vpon vs so soone as we come neere to ye same. For the seeds therof are in our selues, where they redily doe sproot and fructifie according as they be hett by such obiects as presents themselues to our sences, vnlesse by the power of reason they be restrayned. Whosoeuer sen∣deth or councelleth a yong man to goe to the places afore mentio∣ned to learne any thing, ought first to admonish him that there he shall finde fewe good men, but many bad: also that the first sorte will coldly induce him to al honestie, but the latter will continually sollicite him to whatsoeuer is vnhonest, so may he preuent the dan∣ger and prouide to resist the same. For these subtile doctors haue no better sporte then to meete with such game, whome they assure themselues of, if they but once giue them the hearing. Howbeit, although they hate true vertue, yet doe they sometimes in wordes commende it, to the ende to daunt none, but by their deedes they shewe that they doe not much regarde it, as hauing no care but to take their pleasures.

Their ordinarie speeches to those whom they seeke to drawe to * their opinion are these. Mans life is shorte and replenished with di∣uers Page  315 troublesome euents: we are not aware that it is at an ende before we knowe how to guide our selues to finde any comentation. For some led by common custume and others by ignorance, doe entangle them selues in diuers miseries which they might wel auoyde, and so doe leaue behinde them many pleasures which they scarce perceiue: and with∣out the which mans life is a waightie burden to him: yea and repug∣nant to nature who by her secrete motions procureth all liuing things to delight in their being, and to seeke after that which may delight them. That as among all other creatures, man is the most excellent, so hath he most priuiledges: whereof one of the principall consisteth in re∣creating himselfe in the beautie and varietie of whatsoeuer is scattered ouer the face of the earth. That his minde is capable to learne and comprehend: but it many times happeneth that all haue not like good happe to meete with good schooles: which are to be found in the courts of Princes and good townes, the principall seates of conuersation, where the best polished mindes do choose to enhabite: howbeit that the Court only beareth the name, as the place where not good instructiōs only are to be had, but also all sortes of obiects that may delight doe make their residence. That the country man who keepeth home, spendeth his daies in hunting some beast, or in eating the wortes of his garden, where as those that flow in aboundance doe continually be hould goodly things, heare al melodies, & smell all good sauors: yea if there be any sweet de∣lights in the world the same are with them to be found. Likewise that whatsoeuer may tende to the exercise or contentation of the minde, is there more plentifull, as delightfull companie, amitie, courtesie, honor, fauor, wealth, rewardes, offices, dignities, commendations, tryumphes and all magnificence. To be briefe, which way soeuer a man turne him selfe, all doe laugh and reioyce: These are the things which wee ought to seeke in this life, to the ende to burie such heauinesse as happen ther∣to by so many vnlooked for accidents: And whosoeuer taketh any o∣ther course resembleth the couetous person, which hauing (as a man may say) all felicitie in his coffers, cannot enioy it: but daylie encrea∣seth his cares and miseries: so farre are his sences out of frame. That it is great folly to prescribe to mans life (as many doe) such straight boundes to coope it in, as a man would doe a prisoner: for so doe they make it like vnto death, which is repugnant vnto nature: and deuo∣tion doe bring it into that state. For we see some of these Protestants that make a conscience to laugh: on the other side, the Charterhouse Munke dare not speake, and the Nunnes doe nothing but weepe. But if no man may without those passions haue place in the chambers and Page  316 stately halles of Paradize, they are well content to leaue the preemi∣nence vnto them, and for their partes to take some roume in the small corners of the outer courts. That those men are too speculatiue with in regard of things to come, do set themselues in the stockes in this world, and reiect so many present benefites which are not created but to bee vsed. These are the short sermons which these good Courtiers doo preach in good and polished speeches vnto the nouices whom they purpose to entrappe: neither is it to be doubted but they be drawne by this Epicurian doctrine, which is in these latter daies very plausible to many. All these wordes, with many more deliuered with a grace and dexteritie in the middest of these theatres of plea∣sure, vnto those simple soules that yet doe walke in the pathes of youthfull innocencie, are of wonderful force to restraine them from all good motions, and certainely the most part are shaken and infec∣ted with the same. Wherefore it is necessarie in this our age to re∣plenish the vessels of our soules with all good liquours, to the end those that bee poysoned and still flowe in many places may finde no entrie. Here would I answer the proposition of the false Cour∣tier, were it not that wee must also suffer his companions to vtter their speeches, which are not much different from him and tende both to one ende: and then aunswer them both together.

Now let vs bring vnto the stage the enhabitants of the townes. * One sorte termed the carelesse children, which are a kinde of peo∣ple that passe not their legge of mutton, their flagon of wine, and a game at scailes I will not speake of: but I purpose to make men∣tion of the other sorte which want neither learning, eloquence, nor ciuilitie: men worthie continual conuersation, were not their soules polluted with this vayne Philosophie, which tyeth true felicitie to sensible and corporall things. They doe some what differ from the Courtier that spake before, for he doth not vtterly reiect labour, but delighteth in diuersitie of actions, & doth somewhat aspire to high matters: wheras these men loue idlenesse, which they terme Tran∣quilitie, seeking to eschue all causes of griefe, which is one of the priucipal fruites of the Epicurian doctrine: who also doe diligent∣ly obserue the precept proceeded out of the same schoole: Hide thy life. Now some of them being learned doe easely, by the subtletie of their arguments, drawe to them many schollers. But their stron∣gest meanes is the practise of the delicious life that they leade. For so soone as any haue once tasted of the liquorous morcels that it yeeldeth, it is a great aduenture, but he euen glutteth himselfe: And Page  317 the better to induce him thereto, they drawe him in with these spée∣ches following. That men for the most parte haue bene wrapped in ignorance, which is one of the chiefest diseases of the soule: whereof it*hath followed that many times they haue taken the false for the true: yea euen in the choyse of the life that is best for them they haue bene greatly deceiued: but that those whose mindes haue bene illuminated with the documents of Philosophie, haue better perceiued what were good for them to choose. That in them they haue learned that among all temporall things subiect to the sundrie blastes of fortune, the mea∣nest are the safest. For proofe whereof, that wee see the highest towers and trees most beaten with thunder, likewise the lowest medowes for the most parte drowned with great floodes: but that the meanest buil∣dings are freest from all such inconueniences. Euen so is it in mans life. For such as trot after the greatnesse therof are tossed with a thou∣sand passions, and oftentimes with sudden destruction: On the other side, the meanest sorte are subiect to many oppressions and iniuries: But those that keepe the meane, doe without the enuie of the one sorte and contempt of the other, best preserue themselues, and withall enioy a sweete peace both in bodie and minde, which consisteth in the vse of all delectable things, and in the want of such as may bee noysome. That albeit they enhabite the great townes, where they may see a vehement flowing and ebbing of wordly folly yet doth not the same tosse this out corner of the world, where their nauigation doth lye, and where it is almost alwaies calme, whence they behould the mo∣tions of all, and smile at the vaine hope and disordered desires of the one sorte, and bewaile the simplicitie that circumuenteth the other, while in the meane time they let the world slide, which passing in her wonted course, moweth downe all that hath had being: wherefore the best counsaile that a man can take is to possesse himselfe, and not to become a bondslaue to diuers things, which to no purpose doe be∣reaue him of that small libertie that he hath, which also he should make so deere accompt of. That it is not in vaine that this braue speech, Too much of nothing hath bene had in so great reputation, as being a sentence that cutteth off all excesse in humaine actions, and not onely the bad, but also those which vnder colour of goodnesse, doe tende to transformations against nature, such as many ende∣uour to perswade to themselues, who but simplie considering of the weakenesse and frailtie of man, doe imagine that they can liue heere belowe as Angelles, and to the ende to attaine thereto, doe endeuour to binde themselues to vnpossible rules and obseruations, Page  318 albeit their bodies be composed of the elements and subiect to the alte∣rations that followe that substance: but they weening to aduance them selues doe recoyle backward, as the hammer wherewith a man stri∣keth too hard vpon aslithie. For, say they, what els are so many super∣stitious custumes, such austerities, deuotions, and propounded feares, but rauishments of ioye and recreation whereto mans affections doe tende? adding, that in seeking to make it perfect, they make it vnsen∣sible, after the maner of the Stoikes, which is, to destroy their owne fi∣gure: That the best way therefore is to followe the rules which agree with nature, who is to bee guided without violence and left free: also that who so vseth it otherwise, burieth himselfe before he bee dead, which is a punishment that those men haue well deserued that haue so badly vsed the goodly priuiledges of life. These bee the first speeches that they propound: and then when a man is growne into domesti∣call familiaritie with them, they doe more at large disclose the se∣cretes that before they durst not reueale: For (as saith Plutarke, speaking of such Epicures) they feare the people, and for a shewe doe embrace the religion allowed, to the ende to bee tollerated, al∣though in corners they scoffe thereat.

Let vs now heare also those that are brought vp in the warres, * for now is it their turne to speake. But first I will say thus much: that I meane not to condenme the lawfull professions wherto men apply themselues, but only such corruptions as fall out. The great labours of these warriours, together with the daungers whereinto they hasard themselues, do procure them earnestly to long for plea∣sure, as a most sweete medicine for their paynes: also to eschue all sorowfull obiects, as being but too much affrighted at the images of death which they see so often. And when they haue catched some good bootie, it is not to be demaunded whether they studie to make good cheere: for both daies & nights are too short for them. And this prouerbe which by the scripture is applyed to prophane persons, is vsually in their mouthes, Let vs eate drinke & be merrie, for perad∣uenture to morow we shal dye. This is a close approbation of the pe∣rishing of the soule together with the bodie, which they will reple∣nish with all earthly goods, for that they be ignorant of the heauen∣ly. When a yong gentleman cōmeth to learne the feates of warre, they fashion his soule after a terrible maner, if he cleaue too much to them. Their speech is not so much painted as the former, but as it * were enterlaced and full of iesting. The Souldiers (say they) must aime at both pray and pleasure, and eschue all melancholy, which they Page  319 returne to the couetous misers and Hermites, for couetousnesse and de∣uotion can haue no abiding with the souldiours, the one making them to hate, the other to feare: likewise that they must not feede delicatlie, for that quaileth their courages. To be briefe, that those which minde to bring into the Theatres where Mars playeth her bloudie tragedies, fastings, portuaises, & contemplation, doe but put forth themselues for mocking stockes, considering that there is nothing to be looked for but triumphs, rewards, and commendations, which are atchieued by con∣trarie waies. These be the pettie rudiments of their schooles wher∣by we may perceiue how all three sortes doe agree in the reiecting of pietie, which is the worthiest and most precious ornament of our soules.

I know such wicked speeches do deserue to be buried in silence, * also that neither the mouth of man should vtter them, neither the paper beare them: but now other farre worse are so common, that we need not to make any doubt of reuealing thē, so as we do it one∣ly to the end to warne others to beware, & to shew the meanes how. For as men set manifest markes in certaine places in the greate streames where the rocks do lie hidden vnder water, that the sailers may escape them, so hauing marked the places where these dange∣rous shelues are harbored, I thought good to set downe some smal description of their forme. Many there are who beeing ignorant of these dangers do thrust through the middest them: and these are to be moaned as much as the others are to be blamed, who perceiuing them, doe seeme to haue a pleasure to make shipwracke thereon, as taking their beginning to be verie sweet, though the end be sower. The best way to scape without scath, is to carry with them the qua∣dred, that is, wisedome, and the card, which are the goodly precepts to discerne the true from the false. For when the vaile that couered this false life is taken awaie, and that the filthinesse thereof appea∣reth, that man is verie beastly that immediatly flieth not from it for feare of polluting himselfe in so filthie a puddle. We haue alreadie scene the beautifull shew of this vayle which shineth in the painted and sweet speeches of these teachers: and especially in those which they make to runne downe so sweetely in the beginning: for men woulde thinke they should bring them to heauen: but when they gather to theyr conclusions, they make a sodayne stoppe, taking the waie not to anie pleasant places of the earth, but euen to the darkest dens therin. And in the meane time their intermingling of the fayre with the foule, and of the good with the badde, doe dazell Page  320 the eyes of the simple, and dim their iudgements, wherby they can∣not at the first perceiue their iutentes, which in deede they seeke to couer, because they cannot catch the birdes without counterfaicing such pleasant calls.

But least we might be deceiued, it is not amisse to shew the fal∣lacies of their intangling argumentes, reducing them into a more briefe and manifest forme.

The Courtiers is this. The instructions of the Court, with the ex∣amples of the quiokest wits doe teach man to follow such things as mi∣nister*pleasure & contentation, as a benefit greatly to be desired in this life: and contrariwise toteschue all such as are sorrowfull and noisome, which also make it miserable.

But deuotion and the straight rules of religion doe plunge it in 1000 anguishes, make it melancholy, and hinder it from attaining to this ende.

We must therefore reiect them, and ensue those that bring more de∣light.

The second argument gathered out of the Epicures speeche is this.

The best rules to mans lyfe are the naturall motions of the soule, som∣what holpen with the precepts of Philosophie.

But the superstitions which transport man to imagined perfections, strange to mans reason doe turne it out of this waie.

We are therefore rather to follow that which is according to nature, and conformeth it selfe thereto.

The souldiers is this. Those things that effeminate the mindes and daunt the courages of the souldiers, taking from them their won∣ted cheerefulnesse which they ought to haue, doe in no wise agree with their profession.

But the rules of religion which commend humilitie, forgetfulnesse of iniuries, & a feareful meditation of death, do work all these effects.

They are therefore vnconuenient thereto.

By this abrigement of speech we may (as I thinke) better com∣prehend * the speakers meaning, as seeing it naked and cleere from that which before kept it disguised: neyther doe I suppose that a∣nie man, pare deaie that these argument are grounded vpon im∣pietis and intemperancie: for as well those mennes purposes tend onelie to let goe the bridle to bodilie affections, to the ende to wal∣lowe and glut themselues in all pleasure, and to reiect the lawes and admonitions that labour to restraine them within the boundes Page  321 of vertue. But if we doe more neerely marke their arguments, we shall see that all their conclusions are false, as also are the most part of their propositions, which must not seeme straunge, because that in the approbation of wickednesse wee cannot proceede but by falsehoode and lying.

The principall thing that ye propound to dazell mens eies withal, is that all creatures doe long after whatsoeuer may reioyce them, and eschue whatsoeuer may make them sorrowfull. This doe I with them graunt to be true, and that nature teacheth euerie reaso∣nable soule the same lesson: howbeit with this condition, that eue∣uerie one vse it as to him shall be most conuenient. In beasts this appetite is ruled by certaine instinctions which nature hath giuen them, whereby they order themselues: and vsually wee see them sel∣dome change this order: But man is indued with reason to guide his actions, whereto he yeeldeth verie small obedience: which also albeit it were much greater than it is, yet could it not escape sum∣bling and falling into things vicious: considering how reason her selfe hauing bene in a manner blinded by originall sinne standeth in neede of a guide, so farre is shee from beeing altogether capable of the conduct of affections: but is it possible to finde anie man whose affections are so wel ordered as to reioice at nothing but that which is good? Such a one must wee seeke in the other worlde: for in this, wickednesse, vanitie, and delightes, doe please farre better, e∣uen without comparison, than that which is good: so as this vni∣uersall desire (which in beasts is ruled after their being) is verie vn∣perfect in those that haue the vse of reason, vntill it bee after a sorte restored through heauenly humiliation.

This is their goodly foundation which taketh more of the bad than of the good, howbeit they neuerthelesse proceed to lay a great * building therevpon. For (saie they) the delightfull ought to be a most soueraigne felicitie to man, sith his owne forcible desires are so liuely bent to such an end.

Heetevpon if a man should deuiand of them, what is the delight of the intemperate person, they dare scarce be acknowen, for shame forbiddeth them to saie impudicitie or gluttonie: wherein wee may brholde the beautie of their braue Philosophie, which ma∣keth mannes soueraigne felicitie lyke vnto that of a hog or goate. Neither is it to any purpose for them to replie, that they can well inough shun such villanous excesse: for experiēce doth but to plainly teach, that when man fixeth his felicity in bodily pleasures, he doth Page  322 extreamly exceede in the vse of the same: and heerein doth all the vice consist, when wee exceede the meane, whether in wishing or enioying: besides that, whatsoeuer is of it self wicked, we ought nei∣ther to wish nor labour for. The doctrine of Philosophers teach∣eth that there bee three sortes of good, The pleasant, the profita∣table, and the honest. Also that as the profitable are to bee pre∣ferred before the pleasant, so the honest are to bee esteemed aboue them both, as farre exceeding them in all excellencie: and these doe properly pertaine to man, who onelie among all creatures is capa∣ble of vertue. Who so therefore preferreth pleasure before and set∣teth vertue which is the true honest good: last committeth a great errour, and placeth himselfe among bruite beasts, who do respect no more but to satisfie theyr lusts. Neither will I forgette to saie that the good of pleasure commeth behinde the good of profite, but that which accompanieth the honest is without comparison the most perfect, neyther is there anie falsehoode hidden therein as in the o∣thers, which for the most parte doe breede sorrowe and sacietie: whereas those which consist in the enioying of ve