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Concerning the former proposition, it is good to hear what time saith.
Thucydides, in his inducement to his story of the great war of Peloponnesus, sets down in plain terms, that the true cause of that war was the overgrowing greatness of the Athenians, and the fear that the Lacedemonians stood in thereby; and doth not doubt to call it ‘a necessity imposed upon the Lacedemonians of a war;' which are the very words of a mere defensive; adding, that the other causes were but specious and popular : Verissimam quidem, sed minime sermone celebratam arbitror extitisse belli causam, Athenienses magnos effectos, & Lacedæmoniis formidolosos, necessitatem illis imposuisse bellandi ; quæ autem propalam ferebantur utrinque, causæ istæ fuerunt, &c.i. e. The truest cause of this war, though least voiced, I conceive to have been this : that the Athenians, being grown great, to the terror of the Lacedemonians, did impose upon them the necessity of a war; but the causes, that went abroad in speeches, were these, &c.
Sulpitius Galba, consul, when he persuaded the Romans to a preventive war with the latter Philip, King of Macedonia, in regard of the great preparations which Philip had then on foot, and his designs to ruin some of the confederates of the Romans, confidently saith, That they, who took that for an offensive war, understood not the state of the question : Ignorare videmini mihi, quirites, non utrum bellum, an paçem habeatis vos consuli; neque enim liberum id vobis permittet Philippus, qui terra marique ingens bellum molitur; sed utrum in Macedoniam legiones transportetis, an hostem in Italiam accipiatis:" i. e. You seem to me, you Romans, not to understand, that the consultation before you is not, whether you shall have war or peace; for Philip will take order you shall be no chusers, who prepareth a mighty war both by land and by sea ; but, whether you shall transport the war into Macedonia, or receive it into Italy.
Antiochus, when he incited Prusias, King of Bithynia, at that time in league with the Romans, to join with him in war against them, setteth before him a just fear of the overspreading greatness of the Romans, comparing it to a fire, that continually took and spread from kingdom to kingdom : Venire Romanos ad omnia regna tollenda, ut nullum usquam orbis terrarum, nisi Romanum imperium esset; Philippum & Nabin expugnatos, se tertium peti, ut quisque proximus ab oppresso sit per omnes velut continens incendium pervasurum:' i.e. That the Romans came to pull down all kingdoms, and to make the state of Rome an universal monarchy; that Philip and Nabis were already ruinated, and now was his turn to be assailed: so that as every state lay next to the other, that was oppressed, so the fire perpetually grazed. Wherein it is well to be noted, that, towards ambitious states, which are noted to aspire to great monarchies, and to seek upon all occasions to enlarge their dominions,' crescunt argumenta justi metus; . e. All particular fears do grow and multiply out of the contemplation of the general courses and practices of such states; therefore, in • deliberations of war against the Turk, it hath been often with great judgment maintained, that Christian princes and states have always a sufficient ground of invasive war against the enemy, not for the cause
of religion, but upon a just fear; forasmuch as it is a fundamental law in the Turkish empire, that they may, without
provocation, make war upon Christendom, for the propagation of their law; so that there lieth upon the Christians a perpetual fear of a war hanging over their heads from them; and therefore they may at all times, as they think good, be upon the prevention.
Demosthenes exposeth to scorn wars which are not preventive, comparing those that make them to country-fellows in a fence-school, that never ward till the blow be past : “ Ut barbari pugiles dimicare solent, ita vos bellum geritis cum Philippo ? ex his enim is, qui ictus est, ictui semper inhæret; quod si eum alibi verberes illo manus transfort, ictum autem propellere aut prospicere neque fcit, neque vult:' i. e. As country fellows use to do, when they play at waisters, such a kind of war do you, Athenians, make with Philip; for, with them, he that gets a blow straight falleth to ward, when the blow is past; and, if you strike him in another place, thither goes his hand likewise; but to put by, or foresee a blow, they neither have the skill nor the will.
Clinias the Candian, in Plato, speaks desperately and wildly, as if there were no such thing as peace between nations, but that every nation expects but his advantage to war upon
another. But yet, in that excess of speech, there is thus much, that may have a civil construction; namely, that every state ought to stand . upon its guard, and rather prevent than be prevented. His words are: • Quam rem fere vocant pacem, nudum & inane nomen est; reverà autem omnibus adversus omnes civitates bellum sempiternum perdurat:' i. e. That, which men for the most part call Peace, is but a naked and empty name; but the truth is, that there is ever between all states a secret war. I know well, this speech is the objection, and not the decision, and that it is afterwards refused; but yet, as I said before, it bears thus much of truth, That, if that general malignity and predisposition to war, which he untruly figureth to be in all nations, be produced and extended to a just fear of being oppressed, then it is no more a true peace, but a name of peace,
As for the opinion of Iphicrates the Athenian, it demands not so much towards a war, as a just fear, but rather cometh near the opinion of Clinias, as if there were ever amongst nations a brooding of a war, and that there is no sure league, but impuissance to do hurt. For he, in the treaty of peace with the Lacedemonians, speaketh plain language, telling them, there could be no true and secure peace, except the Lacedemonians yielded to those things, which being granted, it would be no longer in their power to hurt the Athenians, though they would.
And, to say the truth, if one mark it well, this was in all memory the main piece of wisdom in strong and prudent councils, to be in perpetual watch, that the states about them should neither by approach, nor by increase of dominion, nor by ruining confederates, nor by blocking of trade, nor by any the like means, have it in their power to hurt or annoy the states, they serve; and, whensoever any suche
cause did but appear, straightway to buy it out with a war, and never to take up peace at credit, and upon interest. It is so memorable, that it is yet fresh, as if it were done yesterday, how that triumvirate of Kings, Henry the Eighth of England, Francis the firsť of France, and Charles the Fifth, emperor, and King of Spain, were, in their times, so provident, that scarce a palm of ground could be gotten by either of the three, but that the other two would be sure to do their best to set the balance of Europe upright again. And the like diligence was used, in the age before, by that league (wherewith Guicciardini beginneth his story, and maketh it, as it were, the calendar of the good days of Italy) which was contracted between Ferdinando King of Naples, Lorenzo of Medicis, potentate of Florence, and Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, designed chiefly against the growing power of the Venetians, būt yet so, that the confederates had a perpetual eye one upon another, that none of them should overtop. To conclude therefore: howsoever some schoolmen (otherwise reverend men, yet fitter to guide penknives than swords) seem precisely to stand upon it, that every
offensive war must be ultio, a revenge, that presupposeth a precedent assault, or injury; yet neither do they descend to this point, which we now handled, of a just fear, neither are they of authority to judge this question against all the precedents of time; for, certainly, as long as men are men (the sons of the poets allude of Prometheus, not of Epimetheus) and, as long as reason is reason, a just fear will be a just cause of a preventive war; but especially, if it be part of the cause, that there be a nation, that is manifestly detected to aspire to monarchy and new acquists, then other states assuredly cannot be justly accused for not staying for the first blow, or for not accepting Polyphemus's courtesy, to be the last that shall be eaten up.
Nay, I observe further, that, in that passage of Plato, which I cited before, and even in the tenet of that person, that beareth the resolving part, and not the objecting, a just fear is justified for a cause of an invasive war, though the same fear proceed not from the fault of the foreign state to be assailed; for it is there insinuated, that, if a state, out of the distemper of their own body, do fear sedition and intestine troubles to break out amongst themselves, they may discharge their own ill humours upon a foreign war for a cure; and this kind of cure was tendered by Jasper Coligni, admiral of France to Charles the Ninth, the French King, when, by a vive and forcible persuasion, he moved him to make war upon Flanders, for the better extinguishment of the civil wars of France; but neither was that counsel prosperous, neither will I maintain that proposition; for I will never set politicks against ethicks, especially, for that true ethicks are but as a handmaid to divinity and religion: surely St. Thomas, who had the largest heart of the school divines, bendeth chiefly his stile against depraved passions, which reign in making wars, out of St. Augustine, · Nocendi cupiditas, ulciscendi crudelitas, implacatus & implacabilis animus, feritas rebellandi, libido dominandi, & si quæ sunt similia, hæc sunt quæ in bellis jure culpantur.' And the same St. Thomas, in his own text, defining of the just causes of the war, doth leave it upon very general terms, ' Requiritur ad bellum causa justa, ut scilicet illi qui impugnantur propter aliquam culpam impugnationem mercantur'; for impugnatio culpæ is a far more general word, than ultio injuriæ.
And thus much for the first proposition of the second ground of a war with Spain, namely, that a just fear is a just cause of a war, and that a preventive war is a true defensive. The second or minor proposition, was this, that this kingdom hath cause of a just fear of overthrow from Spain, wherein it is true, that fears are ever seen in dimmer lights, than facts; and, on that other side, fears use many times to be represented in such an imaginary fashion, as they rather dazzle men's eyes, than open them; and, therefore, I will speak in that manner which the subject requires, that is probably, and moderately, and briefly; neither will I deduce these fears to the present occurrents, but point only at general grounds, leaving the rest to more secret councils.
It is nothing, that the crown of Spain hath enlarged the bounds thereof, within this last six-score years, much more than the Ottomans; I speak not of matches or unions, but of arms, occupations, invasions. Granado, Naples, Milan, Portugal, the East and West-Indies, all these are actual additions to that crown, and in possession; they have a great mind to French Britain, the lower part of Picardy and Piedmont, but they have let fall their bit; they have, at this day, such a hovering possession of the Valtoline, as an hobby hath over a lark, and the Palatinate is in their talons ; so nothing is more manifest, tħan that this nation of Spain runs a race still of empire, when all other states of Christendom stand, in effect, at a stay.
Look then a little further into the titles, whereby they have acquired, and do now hold these new portions of their crown, and you will find them of so many varieties, and such natures, to speak with due respect, as may appear to be easily minted, and such as can hardly, at any time, be wanting ; and, therefore, sơ many new conquests and purchases, so many strokes of the alarum-bell of fear and awaking to other nations, and the facility of the titles, which, hand over head, have served their turn, do ring the peal so much the sharper, and the louder.
Shall we descend from their general disposition, to enlarge their dominions, to their particular dispositions, and eye of appetite, which they have had towards us ? they have now sought twice to impatronise themselves, of this kingdom of England, once by marriage with Queen Mary, and, the second time, by conquest, in 1588, when their forces, by sea and land, were not inferior to those they have now; and, at that time, in 1588, the counsel and design of Spain was, by many advertisements, revealed, and laid open, to be, that they found the war, upon the Low-Countries, so churlish and longsome, as they grew then to a resolution, that as long as England stood in state to succour those countries, they should but consume themselves in an endless war ; and, therefore, there was no other way, but to assail and depress England, which was a back of steel to the Flemings; and who can warrant, I pray, that the same counsel and design will not return again? So that we are in a strange dilemma of danger; for, if we suffer the
Flemings to be ruined, they are our outwork, and we shall remain naked and dismantled ; if we succour them strongly, as is fit, and set them upon their feet, and do not withal weaken Spain, we hazard to change the scene of the war, and to turn it upon Ireland or England, like unto rheums and defluxions, which, if you apply a strong repercussive to the place affected, and do not take away the cause of the disease, will shift and fall straightways to another joint or place. They have also twice invaded Ireland, once under the Pope's banner, when they were defeated by Gray, and after, in their own name, when they were defeated by Mountjoy; so let this suffice for a taste of their disposition towards us. But it will be said, this is an almanack for the old year; since 1588, all hath been well, Spain hath not assailed this kingdom, howsoever, by two several invasions from us, mightily provoked- It is true, but then consider, that, immediately after they were embroiled, for a great time, in the protection of the league of France, whereby they had their hands full; after being brought extreme low, by their vast and continual embracements, they were inforced to be quiet, that they might take breath, and do reparations upon their former wastēs; but now, of late, things seem to come on apace to their former estate, nay, with far greater disadvantage to us; for now that they have almost continued, and, as it were, arched their dominions from Milan, hy the Valtoline and Palatinate, to the Lowcountries; we see how they thirst and pant after the utter ruin of those states, having, in contempt almost, the German nation, and doubting little opposition, except it come from England; whereby, we must either suffer the Dutch to be ruined, to our own manifest prejudice, or put it upon the hazard I spoke of before, that Spain will cast at the fairest. Neither is the point of internal danger, which groweth upon us, to be forgotten; this, that the party of the papists in England are become more knotted, both in dependance towards Spains, and amongst themselves, than they have been; wherein again comes to be remembered the cause of 1588; for then also it appeared, by divers secret letters, that the design of Spain was, for some years before the invasion attempted, to prepare a party in this kingdom, to adhere to the foreign at his coming; and they bragged, that they doubted not, but to abuse and lay asleep the Queen and council of England, as to having any fear of the party of papists here; for that they knew, they said, the state would but cast the eye, and look about to see, whether there were any eminent head of that party, under whom it might unite itself; and, finding none worth the thinking on, the state would rest secure, and take no apprehension; whereas they meant, they said, to take course to deal with the people, and particularly, by reconcilements and confessions, and secret promises, and cared not for any head of party; and this is the true reason why, after that, the seminaries began to blossom, and to make missions into England, which was about tlie i wenty-third of Queen Elisabeth ; at which time, also, was the first suspicion of the Spanish invasion; then, and not before, grew the sharp and severe laws to be made against the papists, and, therefore, the papists may do well to change their thanks ; and whereas they thank Spain for their favours, to thank them for their