The practice, proceedings, and lawes of armes described out of the doings of most valiant and expert captaines, and confirmed both by ancient, and moderne examples, and præcedents, by Matthevv Sutcliffe.
Sutcliffe, Matthew, 1550?-1629.

CHAP. XIX. Wherein speciall matters concerning treaties of peace, truce, and confe∣deracies, and likewise concerning the priuileges of ambassadors and messengers, which ordinarily are mediators of peace, truce & such like treaties are handled.

AL though the ioy and triumph that is made in victo∣rie be exceeding great, yet I accompt him not wise, that when al things hang in equal ballance refuseth a reasonable peace with equal conditions, vpon hope of a doubtfull victory. All that we takeain hand is subiect to infinit chances, andbsuccesse of battell is common to both parties. Both sides haue armes, and the strength of warre consisteth but in fraile humane bodies. Neither do euents lesse answere our expectation in any thing, then in warres. Where∣fore seeing that peace is the end of warres, and seeing that wee take armes in hand, not to do wrong, but that we may recouer or obtaine our owne right: let no man refuse reason that may haue it. But be∣cause many that seeme to offer peace, haue nothing, but warres in their hearts: let vs, now that we haue shewed the practise & traine of war whose ende is peace, declare also how we may assure our selues, that we be not abused either with coloured treaties, or vnequall con∣ditions, or bad assurance of peace, which is more dangerous, then any warre. Metellus incwordes and pretense made semblant, that he would make peace with Iugurtha, but his doings were the effectes of most sharp warres. Maximilian ye emperor being demanded what he meant to treate so much of peace with his enemy whom he deadly hated, answered, that thereby he hoped to giue him admortal woūd when least he looked for it.eSextus Pompeius by a fained shew of peace was abused by Augustus, and Lepidus was ensnared vnder colour of friendship. What the Spaniard meant by the treaty of Dunkirke, his nauy at the same time comming in hostile manner vpon our coast declareth. The very motion and mention of peace doth slake the preparatiues of warre, and while men do either hope or desire peace, theyfstand more negligently vpon their garde. Page  289Sometime vnder colour of seekingapeace the enemy seeketh de∣layes, vntill such time as he himselfe is ready. Philip of Macedonia being foyled by the Romanes seemed very desirous of peace, that in the meane time, he might againe repayre his forces. For this causebArchidamus counselled ye Lacedemonians rather to treat of peace, then to denounce warre vnto the Athenians, vntil such time as they were better prouided. The Ambassadors of thecTencterians and other Germans desired peace of Caesar that came against them, be∣cause a great part of their forces was from them. Sometimes tre∣chery is wrought vnder colour of treaty of peace. Metellusdduring the treaty of peace with Iugurtha corrupted most of his friendes. Scipioeto the intent his men might haue accesse into Syphax his campe, pretended the continuance of the treaty of peace, albeit he misliked the conditions, and meant nothing but to espy his campe, and to surprise him at vn wares. The messengers of thefLigurians vnder colour of treaty of peace espyed what Aemilius did in his campe. Cotysgking of Thrace vnder colour of confirming a league was drawen to a banquet, and there slaine by his enemy Rhecupo∣ris. Caesar Borgia hauing made a solemne league with the Duke ofhGrauina & other Princes of Italy, contrary to his othe slew them hauing them once in his hands.

Therefore in treating of peace wee must first see that wee slacke not our preparatiues of warre, nor defer to take any aduantage that is offered.iPerseus king of Macedonia, if a vaine hope of peace had not blinded his eyes, might then with aduantage haue begun the warres when him selfe was most ready, and the Romanes most vnready, and vnprouided.

kArchidamus albeit hee perswaded the Lacedaemonians to talke of peace, yet would he not haue them neglect to prouide for warre. For peace is not obteined with parley, or entreaty, vnlesse wee also make ready our forces.

Secondly heede must be taken, that wee trust not the enemy. None are more easily abused, then those that are light of credit. we may not therefore let the enemy see our weaknesse, or any thing that may preiudice vs; nor commit our selues into our enemies handes either during the treaty, or after the conclusion of peace. Philip of Comines noteth it as a great simplicitie in our nation, that hauing concluded peace with Lewis the French King, did so Page  290familiarly come into Amiens, and conuerse with the French, that meant them no good. Seeing peace is so easily violated vpon light occasions; hee is not wise, that will trust the enemy too farre. That which certaine Italians perswaded Lewis Sforza, that fayth is rather to be violated, then wee sufferaany part of our State to be taken from vs, that some doe nowe put in practice. And yet breach of promise is oft timesbiustified with glorious pretenses. Wherefore seeing as experience teacheth vs yt Princescare rather made friends in shew, then in effect, those that deale wisely doe so condition with the enemy, that if hee breake, they may haue the staffe in their owne handes to chastice him.

Thirdly great care is to be taken that wee yeelde no aduantage to the enemy. The first iniury that we receiue at the enemies handes is but a step to the next, as hath bene shewed, and he that from the top of the staires descendeth one step, shall sooner be thrust downe to the bottome, then recouer the top againe. Hee that once beginneth to fall, is easily ouerthrowen. The Africans that yeelded one little peece of ground to them of Carthage, were in the end constreined to yeelde them their whole countrey. The Germans receiued into France by the Gaules, and Saxons into this Iland by the ancient in∣habitants, did after contend with them for the possession, and right of the whole countrey.

The time to treat of peace which is fourthly to be considered, is when both parties haue tasted of the cup of calamities that warres bring with them, and yet neither part is ouerthrowen, or throughly vanquished. When things doe hang in equall ballance, then is the fittest time to treat of peace by the iudgement of Annibal, and thendmost equall conditions are liked of both parties. For being van∣quished the conquerour giueth rather then receiueth conditions: as the Romanes did to the Carthaginians, to Philip of Macedonia, to Antiochus, and to other Princes, and nations which they van∣quished.

Further wee are to looke that the conditions of peace be reason∣able. If we contend about limits, townes, or countreys, it is no ho∣nor to loose our right: if we haue wrong done vnto vs, it is no reason we should rest without satisfaction. But because conditions are di∣uers according to the causes of warre, the times, and persons that contend, and diuers other circumstances: therefore that is to be re∣ferred Page  291to the iudgement of those, that are employed in such affayres. Whose chiefe ends should be the maiesty of God, the honor of the Prince, the safety, and profit of their countrey.

But most especiall care is to be had, that the conditions be per∣formed. without which all the treaty is nothing, but a vayne shewe of fayre wordes. This I commend as a specall matter to be consi∣dered of our nation, who although many times they were victo∣rious in the fielde against the French, yet seldome could match them in conclusions of peace: and also because it is a hard matter to as∣sure conditions of peace. The contempt of religion and true ho∣nour, and griedy desire of gayne, haue brought not onely promises, but also othes into such contempt. Yea some regard neither hosta∣ges, nor pledges, so they may take a good aduantage. TheaFrench Kings of late yeeres did so often breake with the Protestants, that they litle regarded either their worde, or their letters patents. The ordinary meanes to assure the conditions agreed vpon in treaty of peace, are diuers, first worde or promise, then writing and seale, thirdly pledges of townes, which the Protestants of France haue found to be the best assurance, and we haue chosen for the assurance of the contract betwixt vs, and the Low countrey. Charlesbthe fifth, would not trust Clement the seuenth for all his paternities holines without pledges. Fourthly hostages, of which King Edward the third accepted for confirmation of the peace agreed betwixt him, and King Iohn of France. The same is an olde practice, and was vsed both of the Romanes and Carthaginians and other nations. But forasmuch as those that list tocquarrell, neuer want pretense, I see no other assurance of peace then either so to vse the enemy, that hee can not if he would hurt thee, or els to haue armes in hand, that he can neuer breake without losse or disaduantage.

To auoyde quarrels, and to take away al iust cause of brable, it were good, that the conditions were conceiued in good termes, and set downe in writing confirmed with the seales of the Princes or States whome it concerneth.

Giulio the twelfth tookedexception against an Article agreed vpon betwixt him, and Lewis the twelfth, for that it was not writ∣ten. AndeFerdinand of Spaine by cunning interpretation of wordes, did directly contrary to his agreement with Charles the eight of France.

Page  292

Further if any doubt should arise, power would be giuen to some Prince, that hath honor in recommendation, and power to compell the froward to obey, both to interpret the wordes, and also to see the agreement performed.

Lastly, as by conditions we couenant what should be done; so like∣wise in case of contrauention there should penalties bee set downe. Howsoeuer penalties be set downe, wise Princes doe not only fore∣cast, howe to cause the enemy to performe conditions, but also how, in case he should breake promise, he may be forced.

The same considerations that are vsed in treaty of peace, haue al∣so place in treaties concerning truce, and confederacies. For truce is nothing but a surceasing of hostilitie for a time, the causes of warre hanging still vndecided, whereof peace is, or ought to bee a finall conclusion. But peace is made sometime where there is no confe∣deracy. For this is among associates and friends, that may be made betweene enemies.

The conditions of peace and confederacies are diuers according to the condition, and state of the parties that are made friends. Those that are vanquished whose case isamost miserable, are not to re∣fuse any conditions, as a certaine Spaniard perswaded the Sagun∣tins. Scipio offered peace to the Carthaginians with these conditi∣ons: first that they should redeliuer vp all prisoners of warre which they had taken, likewise allbreuolters, and fugitiues: secondly that they should withdraw their forces out of Italy and Liguria, nor af∣terward meddle with Spaine, nor the Ilands betwixt Afrike, and I∣taly: thirdly that they should deliuer vp all their shippes of warre twenty excepted, and should pay 500. measures of wheate and 3000. of barly: fourthly that they should not make warres either in Afrike, or out of Afrike, without license obteined of the people of Rome: fiftly that they should restore to Massinissa such things as they had taken from him, and should pay the souldiers, and finde them victuals vntill a certaine time: sixtly that they should deliuer vp their Elephants, and in time to come tame no more: seuenthly that in 50. yeres by equall portiōs they should pay 10. thousand ta∣lents, & lastly for performance of these couenants they should giue a hundred hostages neither yonger then 14. yeres, nor aboue thirty yeeres of age: if these things were performed, then the Romanes promised that the Carthaginians should liue free according to their Page  293lawes, and possesse such cities and countreys in Afrike as they held before the beginning of the warres.

When the Romanes had vanquished theaSamnites, they imposed vpon them a tribute, tooke from them some of their country, & en∣ioyned them to furnish them with so many souldiers, as was agreed vpon betwixt them. Which conditions with others were also im∣posed vpon Philipb of Macedonia, and Antiochusc king of Syria.

ThedThasians hauing long contended with the Athenians, af∣ter three yeeres siege yeelded, & had peace vpon these conditions, that they should pull downe the walles of their city, and deliuer vp their ships of warre, & pay such summes of money as were due be∣fore that time, forthwith, & afterward their ordinary tribute, as it should be due: and finally that they should forgoe their mines of metall, & possessions they had in the mayn land. Those yt were van∣quished by the Romans as they were bound to helpe them, so might they not either oppugne their associats, or ayd their enemies, wt men, mony, or victuals, albeit the same were not expressed in the articles of agreement. If they did, they prosecuted warres against them. For that was the cause of the warres botheagainst the Carthaginians, and Nabis, and Philip of Macedonia, and diuers other.

When Princes or people of equall power ioyne in league, & confe∣deracy the conditions are more equall. Such were the agreements that passed betwixt Lewisfthe 11. & Charles duke of Burgundy: be∣tweene Edward the 4. & the same Lewis, and the associats of them two. Peace or rather truce was made for 9. yeres: the conditions on the French kings part were, that he should pay certaine crownes, & that the Dolphin of France should marry king Edward the 4. his daughter, and haue part of Guienne for ye maintenance of the two yong married folks. But other assurance then othe there passed none. Thus the French could feede vs stil with faire wordes, & buy out our aduantage with a few crownes, & therefore litle regarded our forces. The Carthaginians ioyning in league with Hierome king of Sicile agreed together, that after they should haue expulsed the Romans out of Sicile, they should diuide ye country according to certaine limits a∣greed vpon betwixt them. Like agreement passed betwixt Annibal & Philip king of Macedonia, concerning their future conquest. In the meane time they both couenanted to oppugne ye Romans both by sea, and land with all their force. ThegCarthaginians entred with Sy∣phax Page  194into a stricter bond of friendship, and both promised eche to other to haue the same for friends and enemies.

Sometime it falleth out that a mighty Prince or nation doeth for some opportunity or help expected, ioyne in league with those, that in power are inferior to them. Wherein albeit ye conditions be not equal vpon both sides, yet the weaker neither paieth tribute, nor looseth any commodity, or liberty. So the Romanes ioyned in amity with Atta∣lus, & Eumenes, and the Rodians, and in Italy with them of Caere and other townes: the Kings of England with the Dukes of Brittein, the Kings of Spaine with some weake Princes in Italy. In which agree∣ments the weake side had neede to vse great caution, that vnder co∣lour of ayd it be not oppressed, as ye Dukes of Brittein by the French, Sforza Duke of Milan by Charles the 5. the States of ye Low coun∣trey by king Philip, and his Predecessors Dukes of Burgundy. The Capuans made peace with Annibal on these conditions, that no foreiner either in warre abroad, or in peace at home should haue a∣ny iurisdiction ouer a citizen ofaCapua, & that no citizen of Ca∣pua should be forced to serue in warres, or to beare office against his will, nor should be subiect to any other lawes, then those of his owne countrey.

Those that are either equall or inferior in force eche to other, doe sometime ioyne in league defensiue, sometime in offensiue also a∣gainst such as are enemies to either, and that either with all their for∣ces, or with some numbers of souldiers specified, & them also either payde of those that send them, or those that vse them.

Some nations for feare of their enemies do yeeld them selues in∣to the protection of others with certaine couenants, as theybof Pisa did first to the French king, & afterward to the Venetians, & as the Duke of Ghelderland, did to the French king. In this case as the receiuer doeth binde him selfe to defend those that yeeld them selues into his armes: so they either binde them selues to pay money, or to do him seruice, or to deliuer him vp certaine townes. No mā is bound to refuse the protection of others, vnlesse it be specially couenanted: nay it is a dishonor not to protect those that are wrongfully oppressed, & much more to abandon those whom they haue takē vpon thē to de∣fend.cLewis the 12. is taxed for his base minde, for that he couenā∣ted to receiue none into protectiō, that were the subiects or did de∣pend vpon Iulio the 2. And for yt he much more forsook the lord ofPage  295aPiombino. Likewise are the Florentins blamed for that they aban∣doned the house of Riarij at the request of the Pope. Contrariwise the Romans in nothing deserue commendation more, then that they defended all those that fled to them for protection. And in nothing did they dishonor themselues more, then in that they were so flow in suc∣couring the Saguntins.

Neither doe Princes only & free States couenant ech with other, but also subiects with their Princes, & Princes with their subiects, as the Arragonians with ye Spanish king; the Protestants of France, with ye French king. Wherein if they proceede no further, then to re∣quire ech of other that, which ye lawes of nations require, it is more tolerable. But that the subiects should prescribe lawes to their soue∣raigne Princes, & binde them to inconueniences, it sauoureth rather of force, then loyaltie; and that Princes hestes should be obeyed a∣gainst reason, proceedeth of tyranny, neither can any assurance be made of such agreements.

That couenants of peace, & association may be wel conceiued and made, Princes & others are dililgently to consider vnto whom they commit ye managing of such affaires, & to furnish them with good in∣structions: and those likewise are to haue regard, yt they passe not their commission, & instructions. Without commission no man, vnder ye de∣gree of those that rule in souerainty, is to make peace or league. The people ofbRome held not them selues bound with ye treaty made at Caudium, or Numantia, being made without their autority. Princes in the choyce of Ambassadors do respect Nobility & are led sometime by fauour, but ye euent sheweth that wisdome, experience, & vertue are rather to be regarded.cLewis the 11. sent Oliuer somtime his barber to them of Gant, and to the yong Duchesse of Burgundy, but the man was heard with scorne, and returned without effect.

Ambassadors and messengers betwixt Princes, & States, are pri∣uiledged by the lawes of all nations: insomuch that among ye points of weapons such men are suffered to passe safe.

The Romanes not onely reuenged sharply the death of their Ambassadours slayne by thedFidenians, andeIllyrians, but also the scorne done vnto them by them of Corinth.fKing Da∣uid warred vpon the children of Ammon for no other cause, but for an abuse offerd to his messengers.gCharles Duke of Bur∣gundy, put all the garrison of the Castle of Nele to the sword, Page  296for that they killed his messenger sent to them to treat with them of peace. And albeit some do patiently digest al abuses offred to their messengers by ye Spaniard, who deigned not to giue thē audience, yet the Romansatooke the matter very heinously at the hands of Per∣seus king of Macedonia. The death ofbCaesars messengers sent to a city vpon the sea coast of Frauce, cost all the chiefe of the citizens their liues. The rest of that towne Ceasar sold for slaues. If any of the Romans did wrong to the Ambassadors of other nations, the Senate caused such men to be taken, & to be deliuered vnto them, yt they might iudge them, as it pleased them selues, as is apparant not only by iu∣stice done vpon those that did iniury to the Ambassadors ofcCar∣thage, but also vpon those that had wronged certaine messengers comming fromdApollonia. Tatius neglecting to do iustice vpon those that had wronged the messengers of the Laurentins, was him selfeeslaine of them, when he came among them.

But this priuiledge as it belongeth to Ambassadors betwixt Prin∣ces, & nations; sofsome haue supposed that it belonged not to such messengers, as come from rebels. And thereupon defend the fact of Charles the 5. that imprisoned ye messengers of the Duke of Milan, that had reuolted from him. And according to this supposall we vn∣derstand, that hard measure hath bene offerd to diuers messengers sent from the Protestants of France to the aduerse party. As if Prin∣ces should make warres with his subiects with all extremity, and not admit the lawes of nations, in matters which passe betwixt him and thē. I graunt there is a great difference betwixt publike enemies, & rebels; yet necessitie requireth oft times parley; and if ye Prince looke to haue his Ambassadors to haue good interteinment with them, hee must likewise vse their messengers wel. The Romans practiced that in the warre which they had against theirg associates, and did not of∣fer violence to those which were sent by Antony: yet there may be I graunt such warres, that admit no entercourse of messengers, which in the warres among thehGreekes was sometime practiced: but that was inhumane cruelty, and rather hurtfull to them selues, then to the enemy.

Yet if any purpose to enioy the priuiledge of Ambassadors, hee may not passe the bounds of an Ambassadour, whose ordi∣nary office is to denounce warre, or treate of peace, or truce, or prisoners, and such matters as by Ambassadors are ordina∣rily Page  297handled. If Ambassadours come vnder that colour to espie our proceedings, the name of their office doeth not warrant their lewd dealing. Caesaradeteined the messengers of the Tenctherians perceiuing that they came for no other purpose, but to winne time, and to espie his forces. The blackebPrince caused a messenger, that came from the French king, to cite him to appeare in the Parlia∣ment of Paris to be arested: but it was for that he came not as an Am∣bassador in matters of state, but as a somner or bailif to doe him a dis∣grace. Francis the French king the first of that name caused a gibet to be erected before hee woulde heare a certaine messenger that came from Charles the fift, fearing that otherwise hee woulde haue abused him in termes. That the Romanes did dismisse thecAmbassadors of Tarquin broching a conspiracie in Rome, and the Ambassadors of thedVolscians, that came as espials, and that her Maiestie did like∣wise dismisse Bernardin Mendoza, that was an abettor, if not a con∣triuer of great treasons wrought against her, it was of speciall cle∣mencie and fauour, rather then for that the lawes of armes require it. for they warrant none to practise treason, nor rebellion, nor to abuse a Prince, nor to do other matters, then belong to the office of Ambas∣sadors. TheeLawes of the Romans in matters of publike crimes a∣gainst the lawes of nations make ambassadors to answere notwith∣standing their priuiledge. Neither doe any writers excuse the fact of Fabius Ambustus, that being sent in ambassage to the Gaules besie∣ging Clusium, put on armes and fought against them.

Thus we see that Ambassadors comming from other Princes vnto vs in such matters, as belong to that office, are priuiledged; but whe∣ther our enemies ambassadors going to other princes and nations, or contrariwise comming from other princes, to our enemies, are like∣wise to be priuiledged, it is of some doubted. The French complaine, that their ambassadors sent to the Turke were slaine by the Spaniard: and some do thinke hardly of the fact of Charles the fift, that allowed it; but without cause. For ye word Ambassador, or Messenger being a word, that hath relation to those, to whō a man is sent, there can be no bond betwixt Ambassadors & others to whom they are not sent. The Romanes deteined not onely the ambassadors of Annibal sent to Phi∣lip king of Macedonia; but also Philips ambassadors sent to Annibal. And the Athenians put the ambassadors of the Lacedaemonians to death, being taken as they were sent by them to require ayde of the Page  298king of Persia against the Athenians.

Ambassadours therefore woulde be well chosen, and discreetely ought they to handle their businesse, without curious intermedling with affayres that concerne them not. Tully iesteth at a certaine Am∣bassade consisting of three persons, one of which was an idiot, the second had a great scarre in his head, the third had the gout. This Ambassade sayd he, had neither head, brayne, nor feete. nothing ought they to speake that may preiudice the affaires of the Prince: wherein Philip of Comines noteth a certaine English Heralds ignorance, whose foolish babbling was no small hinderance to the affaires of Edward the fourth, that sent him. Charles Duke of Burgundy con∣ceiued great displeasure against Lewes the xi. for certaine foolishawordes vttered against him by an Ambassador sent from the king to his father.

The Romanes to the Ambassadors of their enemies gaue audi∣ence without the Citie, and when they had giuen them their answere, sent certaine to conduct them to their shipping, to see that they practi∣sed with no man. The like course did the Athenians followe in hea∣ring, and interteining the Ambassadors of the Lacedaemonians. Which course they may also folow, that feare least vnder such colours cunning fellowes should espye our countrey, and our doings. And if those, that haue the gouernment of garison townes haue care, that no messenger shall come into the place, but blindfold; sure reason would, that men should haue an eye also, that such messengers as come into other countreys, should neither see so much as they doe, nor haue that libertie to talke with whom they list, as now they haue. For by such meanes often time they vnderstand their estate better, then they doe themselues.