Imágenes de páginas

generals by sea, and having no pretence, but to journey homewards ; and yet the Spaniards did but salute them about the Cape de las Corientes, with no small offer of fight, and came off with loss : Although it was such a new thing for the Spaniards to receive so little hurt, upon dealing with the English, as Avallandea made great brags of it, for no greater matter than the waiting upon the English afar off, from Cape de las Corientes to Cape Antonio, which, nevertheless, in the language of a soldier, and of a Spaniard, he called a Chace.

But, before I proceed further, it is good to meet with an objection, which, if it be not removed, the conclusion of experience, from the time past to the time present, will not be sound and perfect; for it will be said, that, in the former times, whereof we have spoken, Spain was not so mighty, as now it is; England, on the other side, was more aforehand in all matters of power; therefore, let us compare, with indifferency, these disparities of times, and we shall plainly perceive, that they make for the advantage of England at this present time. And, because we will less wander in generalities, we will fix the comparisons to precise times, comparing the states of Spain or England, in the year 1588, with this present year that now runneth. In handling this point, I will not meddle with any personal comparisons of the princes, counsellors, and commanders, by sea or land, that were then, or are now in both kingdoms, Spain and England, but only rest upon real points, for the true balancing of the state of the forces and affairs of both times; and yet these personal comparisons I omit not, but that I could evidently shew, that, even in these personal respects, the balance sways on our side, but because I would say nothing that may favour of the spirit of flattery, or censure of the present government.

First, Therefore, it is certain, that Spain hath not now a foot of ground, in quiet possession, more than it had in 1588. As for the Valtoline and the Palatinate, it is a maxim in state, That all countries of new acquest, till they be settled, are matters rather of burthen, than of strength. On the other side, England hath Scotland united, and Ireland reduced to obedience, and planted, which are mighty augmentations.

Secondly, In 1588, the kingdom of France, able to counterpoise Spain itself, much more in conjunction, was torn with the party of the league which gave law to their king, and depended upon Spain. Now France is united under a valiant young king, generally obeyed, if he will himself King of Navarre, as well as of France, and one that is no ways taken prisoner, though he be tied in a double chain of alliance

with Spain.

Thirdly, In 1588, there sat, in the see of Rome, a fiery thundering friar, that would set all at six and seven, or at six and five, if you allude to his name. And, though he would have after turned his teeth upon Spain, yet he was taken order with before it came to that. Now there is ascended to the papacy a personage, that came in by a chaste election, no ways obliged to the party of the Spaniard; a man bred in ambassages and affairs of state, that hath much of the prince, and nothing of the friar; and one, that though he loved the chair of the papacy well, yet he loveth the carpet above the chair that is in Italy, and the liberties thereof well likewise.

Fourthly, in 88, the King of Denmark was a stranger to England, and rather inclined to Spain; now the King is incorporated to the blood of England, and engaged in the quarrel of the Palatinate. Then also Venice, Savoy, and the princes and states of Germany, had but a dull fear of the greatness of Spain, upon a general apprehension only, of the spreading and ambitious designs of that nation; now, that fear is sharpened and pointed by the Spaniards late enterprises in the Valtoline and the Palatinate, which come nearer them.

Fifthly, and Lastly, the Dutch (which are the Spaniards perpetual duellists) have now, at this present, five ships to one, and the like proportion in treasure and wealth, to that they had in 88; neither is it possible (whatsoever is given out) that the coffers of Spain should now be fuller than they were in 88, for, at that time, Spain had no other wars save those of the Low Countries, which was grown into an ordinary; now they have had, coupled with it, the extraordinary of the Valtoline and the Palatinate; and so I conclude my answer to the objection raised, touching the difference of times, not entering into more secret passages of state, but keeping the character of stile whereof Seneca speaketh, Plus significat quam loquitur.

Here I could pass over from matter of experience, were it not that I hold it necessary to discover a wonderful erroneous observation that walketh about, and is commonly received contrary to all the true accounts of time and experience: It is, that the Spaniard, where he once getteth in, will seldom or never be got out again; but, nothing is less true than this: Not long since they got footing at Brest, and some other parts in French Britany, and after quitted them; they had Calais, Ardes, and Amiens, and rendered them, or were beaten out; they had since Versailles, and fairly left it; they had the other day the Valtoline, and now have put it in deposit; what they will do with Ormus, which the Persian hath taken from them, we shall see; so that, to speak truly of latter times, they have rather poached and offered at a number of enterprises, than maintained any constantly, quite contrary to that idle tradition.

In more ancient times, leaving their purchases in Africk, which they, after their great Emperor Charles had clasped Germany almost in his fist, he was forced in the end to go from Icksparg, and; as if it had been in a mask by torch-light, to quit every foot in Germany round, that he had gotten, which I doubt not will be the hereditary issue of this late purchase of the Palatinate; and so I conclude the ground that I have to think that Spain will be no over-match to Great-Britain, if his Majesty shall enter into a war out of experience, and the records of time.

For grounds of reason, they are many; I will extract the principal, and open them briefly, and, as it were, in the bud. For situation, i pass it over, though it be no small point; England, Scotland, Ireland, and our good confederates, the United Provinces, lie all in a plump twgether, not accessible but by sea, or, at least, by passing of great rivers, which are natural fortifications. As for the dominions of Spain, they are so scattered, as it yieldeth great choice of the ascents of the war, and promiseth slow succours unto such parts as shall be attempted.

There be three main parts of military puissance, viz. men, women, and confederates. For men, they are to be considered valour and number; of valour, I speak not; take it from the witnesses that have been produced before; yet the old observation is untrue, That the Spaniards valour lieth in the eye of the looker on, but the English valour lieth about the soldier's heart; a valour of glory, and a valour of natural courage, are two things; but let that pass, and let us speak of number. Spain is a nation thin sown of people, partly by reason of the sterility of the soil, and partly, because their natives are exhausted by so many employments, in such vast territories as they possess, so that it hath been counted a kind of miracle to see ten or twelve thousand native Spaniards in an army; and it is certain (as we have touched it a little before in passage) that the secret of the power of Spain consisteth in a veteran army, compounded of miscellany forces of all nations, which, for many years, they have had on foot upon one occasion or other; and, if there should happen the misfortune of a battle, it would be a long work to draw on supplies. They tell a tale of a Spanish ambassador, that was brought to see the treasure of St. Mark, at Venice, and still he looked down to the ground; and, being asked why he looked down, said, He was looking to see whether their treasure had any root, so that, if it were spent, it would grow again, as his master's had. But, howsoever it be of their treasure, certainly their forces have scarce any root, or at least such a root, as buddeth forth poorly and slowly. It is true they have the Walloons, who are tall soldiers, but that is but a spot of ground; but, on the other side, there is not in the world again such a spring and seminary of brave military people, as in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the United Provinces; so as, if wars should mow them down never so fast, yet they may be suddenly supplied and come up again.

For money, no doubt, it is the principal part of the greatness of Spain, for by that they maintain their veteran army, and Spain is the only state of Europe, that is a money-grower; but, in this part, of all others, is the most to be considered the ticklish and brittle state of the greatness of Spain. Their greatness consisteth in their treasure, their treasure in their Indies, and their Indies, if it be well weighed, are indeed but an accession to such as are masters by sea, so as this axle-tree, whereupon their greatness turneth, is soon cut in two, by any that shall be stronger than they by sea: Herein, therefore, I refer me to the opinion of all men, enemies, or whomsoever, whether that the maritime forces of Great Britain, and the United Provinces, be not able to beat the Spaniards at sea; for, if that be so, the links of that chain, whereby they hold their greatness, are dissolved. Now, if it be said, that, admit the case of Spain to be such as we have made it, yet we ought to descend into our own case, which we shall find, perhaps, not to be in a state, for treasure, to enter into a war with Spain; to which I answer, I know no such thing, the mint beateth well, and the pulses of the people's heart beat well: But there is another point that taketh away quite this objection; for, whereas wars are generally a cause of poverty or consumption, on the contrary part, the special nature of this war with Spain, if it be made by sea, is like to be a lucrative and a restorative war; so that if we go roundly on at the first, the war in continuance will find itself, and therefore you must make great difference between Hercules's labours and Jason's voyage by sea for the Golden Fleece.

For the confederates, I will not take upon me the knowledge how the princes, states, and councils in Europe, at this day, stand affected towards Spain, for that trencheth into the secret occurrents of the present time, wherewith, in all this treatise, I have forborne to meddle, but to speak of that which lieth open and in view : I see much matter of quarrel and jealousy, but little of amity and trust towards Spain, almost from all other states: I see France is in competition with them for three noble portions of their monarchy, Navarre, Naples, and Milan, and now freshly in difference with them about the Valtoline. I see once in thirty or forty years cometh a Pope, that casteth his eye upon the kingdom of Naples, to recover it to the church, as it was in the minds of Julius the Second, Paul the Fourth, and Titus the Fifth. As for the great body of Germany, I see they have greater reason to confederate themselves with the Kings of France and Great-Britain, or Denmark, for the liberty of the German nation, and for the expulsion of the Spanish and foreign forces, than they had in the years 1552 and 1553; at which time they contracted a league with Henry the Second, the French King, upon the same articles, against Charles the Fifth, who had impatronised himself of a great part of Germany, through discord of the German princes, which himself had sown and fomented; which league at that time did the deed, and drove out all the Spaniards out of that part of Germany, and reintegrated that nation in their ancient liberty and honour. For the West-Indies, though Spain hath had yet not much actual disturbance there, except it have been from England, yet, nevertheless, I see all princes lay a kind of claim unto them, accounting the title of Spain but as a monopoly of those large countries, wherein they have, in great parts, but an imaginary possession; for Africk, upon the west, the Moors of Valencia expulsed, and their allies, do yet hang as a cloud or storm over Spain; Gabor, on the east, is like an anniversary wind that riseth every year once upon the part of Austria ; and Persia hath entered into hostility with Spain, and given them the first blow by taking of Ormus. It is within every man's observation also, that Venice doth think their state almost untixed, if the Spaniards hold the Valtoline; that Savoy hath learned by fresh experience, that alliance with Spain is no security against the ambition of Spain; and that Bavaria hath likewise been taught, that merits and service do oblige the Spaniards but from 'day to day; neither do I say for all this, but that Spain may rectify much of this ill blood, by their particular and cunning negociations; but yet there is in the body, and may break out no man knows when, into ill accidents; but, at least, it sheweth plainly that which serveth for our purpose, that Spain is much destitute of assured and confident confederates. And here I will conclude this part,

with a speech of a counsellor of state; he said to his master, the King of Spain that now is, upon occasion : Sir, I will tell your Majesty thus much for your comfort, your Majesty hath but two enemies, whereof the one is all the world, and the other is your own minister's. And thus I end the second main part I propounded to speak of, which was, the balancing of the forces between the King's Majesty, and the King of Spain, if wars must follow,

Tor Henry Visc. Falkland's Works, sec Vol. I. p. 90, &e.







That have been of the House of Bavaria unto this Day, together with their

Succession and Lives,

[blocks in formation]

London : Printed by William Jones, dwelling in Red-Cross-Street, 1631.

Duodecimo, containing thirty-eight pages,

Consecrated and dedicated to the most high and peerless Princess,

Elisabeth, Princess of Great-Britain, Queene of Bohemia, Duchess of Bavaria, Princess Palatine Electress, &c. By her Majesty's most affectionated and bound in all humble Duty,

W. II.


OTHO, sirnamed the Elder, Earl of Wittelsbach, and governor of

the palace of Bavaria, grandfather to Otho the Illustrious, first elector of his house, being descended of Charles the Great, and of the most antient dukes and princes of Bavaria; was a courageous and valiant prince, a cunning and great warrior; was endowed with rare and singular virtues both of body and mind; was employed into Italy and Greece, in divers great ambassages; was fully given to advance the

« AnteriorContinuar »