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this I pass.
TO THE SPEAKER'S ORATION.
and, if one of the ancient wise men was not deceirMR. SPEAKER,
ed, iron commands gold.
Secondly, The plantation and reduction to civility The king hath heard and observed your eloquent of Ireland, the second island of the ocean Atlantic, discourse, containing much good matter, and much did by God's providence wait for his Majesty's good will: wherein you must expect from me such times; being a work resembling indeed the works an answer only as is pertinent to the occasion, and of the ancient heroes: no new piece of that kind in compassed by due respect of time.
modern times. I may divide that which you have said into four Thirdly, This kingdom now first in his Majesty's parts.
times hath gotten a lot or portion in the new world The first was a commendation, or laudative of by the plantation of Virginia and the Summer monarchy.
Islands. And certainly it is with the kingdoms on The second was indeed a large field, containing earth as it is in the kingdom of heaven : sometimes a thankful acknowledgment of his Majesty's bene a grain of mustard seed proves a great tree. Who fits, attributes, and acts of government.
can tell ? The third was some passages touching the insti. Fourthly, His Majesty hath made that truth tution and use of parliaments.
which was before titulary, in that he hath verified The fourth and last was certain petitions to his the style of Defender of the Faith : wherein his Majesty on the behalf of the house and yourself. Majesty's pen hath been so happy, as though the
For your commendation of monarchy, and pre- deaf adder will not hear, yet he is charmed that he ferring it before other estates, it needs no answer: does not hiss. I mean in the graver sort of those the schools may dispute it; but time hath tried it, that have answered his Majesty's writings. and we find it to be the best. Other states have Fifthly, 'It is most certain, that since the conquest curious frames soon put out of order: and they that ye cannot assign twenty years, which is the time are made fit to last, are not commonly fit to grow that his Majesty's reign now draws fast upon, of inor spread : and contrariwise those that are made fit ward and outward peace. Insomuch, as the time of to spread and enlarge, are not fit to continue and queen Elizabeth, of happy memory, and always endure. But monarchy is like a work of nature, magnified for a peaceable reign, was nevertheless well composed both to grow and continue. From interrupted the first twenty years with a rebellion
in England ; and both first and last twenty years For the second part of your speech, wherein you with rebellions in Ireland. And yet I know, that did with no less truth than affection acknowledge the his Majesty will make good both his words, as well great felicity which we enjoy by his Majesty's reign that of “ Nemo me lacessit impune," as that other and government, his Majesty hath commanded me of “ Beati pacifici." to say unto you, that praises and thanksgivings he Sixthly, That true and primitive office of kings, knoweth to be the true oblations of hearts and loving which is, to sit in the gate and to judge the people, affections : but that which you offer him he will was never performed in like perfection by any of join with you, in offering it up to God, who is the the king's progenitors : whereby his Majesty hath author of all good; who knoweth also the upright- showed himself to be lex loquens, and to sit upon the ness of his heart; who he hopeth will continue and throne, not as a dumb statue, but as a speaking oracle. increase his blessings both upon himself and poste Seventhly, For his Majesty's mercy, as you noted rity, and likewise upon his kingdoms and the it well, show me a time wherein a king of this generations of them.
realm hath reigned almost twenty years, as I said, But I for my part must say unto you, as the Gre- in his white robes without the blood of any peer of cian orator said long since in the like case : “Solus this kingdom : the axe turned once or twice towards dignus harum rerum laudator tempus;" Time is the a peer, but never struck. only commender and encomiastic worthy of his Lastly, The flourishing of arts and sciences reMajesty and his government.
created by his Majesty's countenance and bounty, Why time? For that in the revolution of so many was never in that height, especially that art of arts, years and ages, as have passed over this kingdom, divinity; for that we may truly to God's great glory notwithstanding, many noble and excellent effects confess, that since the primitive times, there were were never produced until his Majesty's days, but never so many stars, for so the Scripture calleth have been reserved as proper and peculiar unto them. them, in that firmament.
And because this is no part of a panegyric, but These things, Mr. Speaker, I have partly chosen merely story, and that they be so many articles of out of your heap, and are so far from being vulgar, honour fit to be recorded, I will only mention them, as they are in effect singularand proper to his extracting part of them out of that you, Mr. Speaker, Majesty and his times. So that I have made good, have said ; they be in number eight.
as I take it, my first assertion : that the only worthy First, His Majesty is the first, as you noted it commender of his Majesty is time : which hath so well, that hath laid lapis angularis, the corner-stone set off his Majesty's merits by the shadow of comof these two mighty kingdoms of England and Scot- parison, as it passeth the lustre or commendation of land, and taken away the wall of separation : words. whereby his Majesty is become the monarch of the How then shall I conclude ? Shall I say, “ 0 most puissant and military nations of the world ; | fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint ?" No, for I
see ye are happy in enjoying them, and happy For grievances, his Majesty hath with great again in knowing them. But I will conclude this grace and benignity opened himself. Nevertheless, part with that saying, turned to the right hand: the limitations, which may make up your grievance “ Si gratum dixeris, omnia dixeris." Your grati- not to beat the air only, but to sort to a desired tude contains in a word all that I can say to you effect, are principally two. The one, to use his touching this parliament.
Majesty's term, that ye do not hunt after grievances, Touching the third point of your speech, concern such as may seem rather to be stirred here when ing parliaments, I shall need to say little : for there ye are met, than to have sprung from th desires of was never that honour done to the institution of the country: ye are to represent the people; ye are parliament, that his Majesty did it in his last speech, not to personate them. making it in effect the perfection of monarchy; for The other, that ye do not heap up grievances, as that although monarchy was the more ancient, and if numbers should make a show where the weight be independent, yet by the advice and assistance of is small; or, as if all things amiss, like Plato's parliament it is the stronger and the surer built. commonwealth, should be remedied at once. It is
And therefore I shall say no more of this point: certain, that the best governments, yea, and the but as you, Mr. Speaker, did well note, that when best men, are like the best precious stones, wherein the king sits in parliament, and his prelates, peers, every flaw or icicle or grain are seen and noted more and commons attend him, he is in the exaltation of than in those that are generally foul and corrupted. his orb; so I wish things may be so carried, that he Therefore contain yourselves within that modermay be then in greatest serenity and benignity of ation as may appear to bend rather to the effectual aspect; shining upon his people both in glory and ease of the people, than to a discursive envy, or grace. Now you know well, that the shining of the scandal upon the state. sun fair upon the ground, whereby all things exhila As for the manner of carriage of parliament busirate and do fructify, is either hindered by clouds above ness, ye must know, that ye deal with a king that or mists below; perhaps by brambles and briers that hath been longer king than any of you have been grow upon the ground itself. All which I hope at parliament men; and a king that is no less sensible this time will be dispelled and removed.
of forms than of matter ; and is as far from enduring I come now to the last part of your speech, con diminution of majesty, as from regarding flattery or cerning the petitions : but before I deliver his Ma- vain-glory; and a king that understandeth as well jesty's answer respectively in particular, I am to the pulse of the hearts of people as his own orb. speak to you some few words in general ; wherein, And therefore, both let your grievances have a dein effect, I shall but glean, his Majesty having so cent and reverent form and style; and to use the excellently and fully expressed himself.
words of former parliaments, let them be tanquam For that, that can be spoken pertinently, must be gemitus columbæ, without pique or harshness: and either touching the subject or matter of parliament on the other side, in that ye do for the king, let it business: or of the manner and carriage of the same; have a mark of unity, alacrity, and affection; which or lastly of the time, and the husbanding and mar will be of this force, that whatsoever ye do in subshalling of time.
stance, will be doubled in reputation abroad, as in a For the inatters to be handled in parliament, they crystal glass. are either of church, state, laws, or grievances. For the time, if ever parliament was to be
For the first two, concerning church or state, ye measured by the hour-glass it is this; in regard of have heard the king himself speak ; and as the the instant occasion flying away irrecoverably. Scripture saith, “Who is he that in such things Therefore let your speeches in the house be the shall come after the king ?” For the other two, I speeches of counsellors, and not of orators ; let
your shall say somewhat, but very shortly.
committees tend to despatch, not to dispute; and so For laws, they are things proper for your own marshal the times as the public business, especially element; and therefore therein ye are rather to lead the proper business of the parliament, be put first, than to be led. Only it is not amiss to put you in and private bills be put last, as time shall give mind of two things; the one, that ye do not multiply leave, or within the spaces of the public. or accumulate laws more than ye need. There is a For the four petitions, his Majesty is pleased to wise and learned civilian that applies the curse of grant them all as liberally as the ancient and true the prophet, “ Pluet super eos laqueos,” to multi custom of parliament doth warrant, and with the plicity of laws: for they do but insnare and entangle cautions that have ever gone with them; that is to the people. I wish rather, that ye should either say, That the privilege be not used for defrauding revive good laws that are fallen and discontinued, of creditors and defeating of ordinary justice: that or provide against the slack execution of laws which liberty of speech turn not into licence, but be joined are already in force ; or meet with the subtile eva with that gravity and discretion, as may taste of sions from laws which time and craft hath under-duty and love to your sovereign, reverence to your mined, than to make novas creaturas legum, laws own assembly, and respect to the matters ye handle : upon a new mould.
that your accesses be at such fit times, as may stand The other point, touching laws, is, that ye busy best with his Majesty's pleasure and occasions : not yourselves too much in private bills, except it that mistakings and misunderstandings be rather be in cases wherein the help and arm of ordinary avoided and prevented, as much as may be, than justice is too short.
salved or cleared.
KINGDOM OF BRITAIN.
TO KING JAMES.
- Fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint.
The greatness of kingdoms and dominions in bulk estimation: then by propounding and confirming and territory doth fall under measure and demon- those other points of greatness which are more solid stration that cannot err : but the just measure and and principal, though in popular discourse less ob estimate of the forces and power of an estate is a served: and incidently by making a brief applicamatter, than the which there is nothing among civil tion, in both these parts, of the general principles affairs more subject to error, nor that error more and positions of policy unto the state and condition subject to perilous consequence. For hence may of these your kingdoms. Of these the former part proceed many inconsiderate attempts and insolent will branch itself into these articles. provocations in states that have too high an imagi First, That in the measuring or balancing of nation of their own forces: and hence may proceed, greatness, there is commonly too much ascribed on the other side, a toleration of many fair griev to largeness of territory. ances and indignities, and a loss of many opportu Secondly, That there is too much ascribed to nities, in states that are not sensible enough of their treasure or riches. own strength. Therefore, that it may the better Thirdly, That there is too much ascribed to the appear what greatness your Majesty hath obtained fruitfulness of the soil, or affluence of comof God, and what greatness this island hath ob modities. tained by you, and what greatness it is, that by the And fourthly, That there is too much ascribed to gracious pleasure of Almighty God you shall leave the strength and fortification of towns or holds. and transmit to your children and generations as the The latter will fall into this distribution: first founder; I have thought good, as far as I can First, That true greatness doth require a fit situcomprehend, to make a true survey and represent ation of the place or region. ation of the greatness of this your kingdom of Secondly, That true greatness consisteth essenBritain ; being for mine own part persuaded, that tially in population and breed of men. the supposed prediction, “ Video solem orientem in Thirdly, That it consisteth also in the value and occidente," may be no less a true vision applied to military disposition of the people it breedeth; Britain, than to any other kingdom of Europe ; and and in this that they make profession of arms. being out of doubt that none of the great mona
onarchies, Fourthly, That it consisteth in this point, that which in the memory of times have risen in the every common subject by the poll be fit to habitable world, had so fair seeds and beginnings make a soldier, and not only certain conditions as hath this your estate and kingdom, whatsoever or degrees of men. the event shall be, which must depend upon the dis Fifthly, That it consisteth in the temper of the pensation of God's will and providence, and his government fit to keep the subjects in good blessing upon your descendants. And because I have
heart and courage, and not to keep them in the no purpose vainly or assentatorily to represent this condition of servile vassals. greatness, as in water, which shows things bigger And sixthly, That it consisteth in the commandthan they are, but rather, as by an instrument of ment of the sea. art, helping the sense to take a true magnitude and dimension : therefore I will use no hidden order, And let no man so much forget the subject prowhich is fitter for insinuations than sound proofs, pounded, as to find strange, that here is no mention but a clear and open order. First by confuting the of religion, laws, or policy. For we speak of that errors, or rather correcting the excesses of certain which is proper to the amplitude and growth of immoderate opinions, which ascribe too much to states, and not of that which is common to their some points of greatness, which are not so essential, preservation, happiness, and all other points of welland by reducing those points to a true value and l being. First, therefore, touching largeness of terri
tories, the true greatness of kingdoms upon earth is , adventurers, to the terror of all Græcia, that connot without some analogy with the kingdom of tinually expected where that cloud would fall; disheaven, as our Saviour describes it: which he doth closed himself in the end, that his design was for an resemble, not to any great kernel or nut, but to one expedition into Persia, the same which Alexander of the least grains ; but yet such a one, as hath a not many years after achieved, wherein he was inproperty to grow and spread. For as for large terrupted by a private conspiracy against his life, countries and multitude of provinces, they are many which took effect. So that it appeareth, as was times rather matters of burden than of strength, as said, that it was not any miracle of accident that may manifestly appear both by reason and example. raised the Macedonian monarchy, but only the weak By reason thus. There be two manners of securing composition of that vast state of Persia, which was of large territories, the one by the natural arms prepared for a prey to the first resolute invader. of every province, and the other by the protecting The second example that I will produce, is of the arms of the principal estate, in which case com Roman empire, which had received no diminution in monly the provincials are held disarmed. So are territory, though great in virtue and forces, till the there two dangers incident unto every estate, foreign time of Jovianus. For so it was alleged by such as invasion, and inward rebellion. Now such is the opposed themselves to the rendering Nisibis upon nature of things, that these two remedies of estate the dishonourable retreat of the Roman army out of do fall respectively into these two dangers, in case Persia. At which time it was avouched, that the of remote provinces. For if such an estate rest upon Romans, by the space of 800 years, had never, the natural arms of the provinces, it is sure to be before that day, made any cession or renunciation to subject to rebellion or revolt; if upon protecting any part of their territory, whereof they had once arms, it is sure to be weak against invasion: neither had a constant and quiet possession. And yet, can this be avoided.
nevertheless, immediately after the short reign of Now for examples, proving the weakness of states Jovianus, and towards the end of the joint reign of possessed of large territories, I will use only two, Valentinianus and Valens, which were his immedieminent and selected. The first shall be of the ate successors, and much more in the times suc. kingdom of Persia, which extended from Egypt, in ceeding, the Roman empire, notwithstanding the clusive, unto Bactria, and the borders of the East magnitude thereof, became no better than a carcase India; and yet nevertheless was overrun and con- whereupon all the vultures and birds of prey of the quered, in the space of seven years, by a nation not world did seize and ravin for many ages, for a permuch bigger than this isle of Britain, and newly petual monument of the essential difference between grown into name, having been utterly obscure till the scale of miles, and the scale of forces. And the time of Philip the son of Amyntas. Neither therefore, upon these reasons and examples, we may was this effected by any rare or heroical prowess in safely conclude, that largeness of territory is so far the conqueror, as is vulgarly conceived, for that from being a thing inseparable from greatness of Alexander the Great goeth now for one of the power, as it is many times contrariant and incomwonders of the world; for those that have made a patible with the same. But to make a reduction of judgment grounded upon reason of estate, do find that error to a truth, it will stand thus, that then that conceit to be merely popular, for so Livy pro- greatness of territory addeth strength, when it hath nounceth of him, “ Nihil aliud quam bene ausus these four conditions: vana contemnere.” Wherein he judgeth of vastness First, That the territories be compacted, and not of territory as a vanity that may astonish a weak dispersed. mind, but no ways trouble a sound resolution. And Secondly, That the region which is the heart and those that are conversant attentively in the histories seat of the state be sufficient to support those of those times, shall find that this purchase which parts, which are but provinces and additions. Alexander made and compassed, was offered by for Thirdly, That the arms or martial virtue of the tune twice before to others, though by accident they state be in some degree answerable to the went not through with it; namely, to Agesilaus, greatness of dominion. and Jason of Thessaly : for Agesilaus, after he had And lastly, That no part or province of the state made himself master of most of the low provinces of be utterly unprofitable, but do confer some use Asia, and had both design and commission to invade or service to the state. the higher countries, was diverted and called home The first of these is manifestly true, and scarcely upon a war excited against his country by the states needeth any explication. For if there be a state of Athens and Thebes, being incensed by their ora that consisteth of scattered points instead of lines, tors and counsellors, which were bribed and cor and slender lines instead of latitudes, it can never be rupted from Persia, as Agesilaus himself avouched solid, and in the solid figure is strength. But what pleasantly, when he said, That a hundred thousand speak we of mathematical principles ? The reason archers of the king of Persia had driven him home: of state is evident, that if the parts of an estate be understanding it, because an archer was the stamp disjoined and remote, and so be interrupted with upon the Persian coin of gold. And Jason of Thes- the provinces of another sovereignty; they cannot saly, being a man born to no greatness, but one that possibly have ready succours in case of invasion, nor made a fortune of himself, and had obtained by his ready suppression in case of rebellion, nor ready reown vivacity of spirit, joined with the opportunities covery in case of loss or alienation by either of both of time, a great army compounded of voluntaries and means. And therefore we see what an endless work
the king of Spain hath had to recover the Low military forces of a state to the amplitude of empire, Countries, although it were to him patrimony and it cannot be better demonstrated than by the two not purchase; and that chiefly in regard of the first examples, which we produced, of the weakness great distance.
So we see that our nation kept of large territory, if they be compared within themCalais a hundred years' space after it lost the rest of selves according to difference of time. For Persia France, in regard of the near situation ; and yet in at a time was strengthened with large territory, the end they that were nearer carried it by surprise, and at another time weakened; and so was Rome. and overran succour.
For while they flourished in arms, the largeness of Therefore Titus Quintius made a good comparison territory was a strength to them, and added forces, of the state of the Achaians to a tortoise, which is added treasures, added reputation : but when they safe when it is retired within the shell, but if any decayed in arms, then greatness became a burden. part be put forth, then the part exposed endangereth For their protecting forces did corrupt, supplant, all the rest. For so it is with states that have pro- and enervate the natural and proper forces of all vinces dispersed, the defence whereof doth commonly their provinces, which relied and depended upon the consume and decay, and sometimes ruin the rest of succours and directions of the state above. And the estate. And so likewise we may observe, that when that waxed impotent and slothful, then the all the great monarchies, the Persians, the Romans, whole state laboured with her own magnitude, and and the like of the Turks, they had not any pro- in the end fell with her own weight. And that, no vinces to the which they needed to demand access question, was the reason of the strange inundations through the country of another: neither had they any of people which both from the east and north-west long races or narrow angles of territory, which were overwhelmed the Roman empire in one age of the environed or clasped in with foreign states; but their world, which a man upon the sudden would attridominions were continued and entire, and had thick-bute to some constellation or fatal revolution of ness and squareness in their orb or contents. But time, being indeed nothing else but the declination these things are without contradiction.
of the Roman empire, which having effeminated For the second, concerning the proportion be- and made vile the natural strength of the provinces, tween the principal region, and those which are but and not being able to supply it by the strength imsecondary, there must evermore distinction be made perial and sovereign, did, as a lure cast abroad, between the body or stem of the tree, and the invite and entice all the nations adjacent, to make boughs and branches. For if the top be over-great, their fortunes upon her decays. And by the same and the stalk too slender, there can be no strength. reason, there cannot but ensue a dissolution to the Now, the body is to be accounted so much of an state of the Turk, in regard of the largeness of emestate, as is not separated or distinguished with any pire, whensoever their martial virtue and discipline mark of foreigners, but is united specially with the shall be farther relaxed, whereof the time seemeth bond of naturalization; and therefore we see that to approach. For certainly like as great stature in when the state of Rome grew great, they were en a natural body is some advantage in youth, but is forced to naturalize the Latins or Italians, because but burden in age; so it is with great territory, the Roman stem could not bear the provinces and which when a state beginneth to decline, doth make Italy both as branches: and the like they were con it stoop and buckle so much the faster. tented after to do to most of the Gauls. So on the For the fourth and last, it is true, that there is contrary part, we see in the state of Lacedæmon, to be required and expected as in the parts of a which was nice in that point, and would not admit body, so in the members of a state, rather propriety their confederates to be incorporate with them, but of service, than equality of benefit. Some provinces rested upon their natural-born subjects of Sparta, are more wealthy, some more populous, and some how that a small time after they had embraced a more warlike; some situate aptly for the excluding larger empire, they were presently surcharged, in or expulsing of foreigners, and some for the annoyrespect to the slenderness of the stem. For so in ing and bridling of suspected and tumultuous subthe defection of the Thebans and the rest against jects; some are profitable in present, and some may them, one of the principal revolters spake most aptly, be converted and improved to profit by plantations and with great efficacy, in the assembly of the asso and good policy. And therefore true consideration ciates, telling them, That the state of Sparta was of estate can hardly find what to reject, in matter like a river, which after that it had run a great way, of territory, in any empire, except it be some gloand taken other rivers and streams into it, ran strong rious acquests obtained sometime in the bravery of and mighty, but about the head and fountain of it wars, which cannot be kept without excessive was shallow and weak; and therefore advised them charge and trouble ; of which kind were the purto assail and invade the main of Sparta, knowing chases of king Henry VIII. that of Tournay; and they should there find weak resistance either of that of Bologne; and of the same kind are infinite towns or in the field : of towns, because upon confi. other the like examples almost in every war, which dence of their greatness they fortified not upon the for the most part upon treaties of peace are restored. main ; in the field, because their people was exhaust Thus have we now defined where the largeness by garrisons and services far off. Which counsel of territory addeth true greatness, and where not. proved sound, to the astonishment of all Græcia at The application of these positions unto the particuthat time.
lar or supposition of this your Majesty's kingdom of For the third, concerning the proportion of the Britain, requireth few words. For, as I professed in