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The Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, &c. To
the most serene Prince, FREDERICK King of Denmark.
Most ferene King, and most dear Friend;
Seeing it now is come to pass, that by the will and pleasure of the most merciful and powerful God, the supreme moderator of all things, we are restored to our pristine place and dignity, in the administration of the public affairs, we thought it convenient in the first place, that a revolution of this government should not be concealed from your majesty's notice, a prince both our neighbour and confederate ; and withal to signify how much we lay to heart your ill success: which you will easily perceive by our zeal and diligence, that never shall be wanting in us to promote and accomplish a reconciliation between your majesty and the king of Sweden. And therefore we have commanded
our extraordinary envoy with the most serene king of Sweden, Philip Meadows, to attend your majesty, in our name, in order to these matters, and to impart, propound, act, and negotiate such things as we have given him in charge to communicate to your majesty: and what credit you shall give to him in this his employment, we request your majesty to believe it given to ourselves. God Almighty grant your majesty a happy and joyful deliverance out of all your difficulties and afflicting troubles, under which you stand so undauntedly supported by your fortitude and magnanimity. Westminster,
WILLIAM LENTHAL, May 15, 1659. Speaker of the Parliament of the
Commonwealth of England,
WHEREIN IS SHEWN The Reasonableness of the Cause of this Republic against the Depredations
of the Spaniards. · Written in Latin by John Milton, and first printed in 1655;
Translated into English in 1738. .
That the Spaniards themselves are the occasion of this war, will evidently appear to every one who considers how, as oft as they find opportunity, without any just cause, and without being provoked to it by any injury received, they are continually murdering, and sometimes even in cold blood butchering, any of our countrymen in America they think fit; while in the mean time they seize upon their goods and fortunes, demolish their houses and plantations, take any of their ships they happen to meet with in those feas, and treat the sailors as enemies, nay, even as pirates. For they give that opprobrious name to all, except those of their own nation, who venture to fail in those seas. Nor do they pretend any other or better right for so doing, than a certain ridiculous gift of the pope on which they rely, and because they were the first discoverers of some parts of that western region: by virtue of which name and title, which they arrogate to themselves, they maintain that the whole power and government of that western world is lodged only in their hands. Of which very absurd title we shall have occasion to speak more fully, when we come to consider the causes assigned by the Spaniards for their thinking themselves at liberty to exercise all sorts of hostilities againit our countrymen in America, to such a degree, that whoever are driven upon those coasts by stress of weather or fhipwreck, or any other accident, are not only clapt in chains by them as prisoners, but are even made slaves; while they, notwithstanding all this, are so unreasonable as to think, that the peace is broken, and very much violated by the English ; and that even in Europe, if they attempt any thing against them in those parts, with a view to make reprisals, and to demand restitution of their goods.
But though the king of Spain's ambassadors in our country, depending on a Spanish faction which had always a very considerable influence in the last king's council, as well as his father's, did not scruple to make a great many unreasonable complaints and ridiculous demands upon the most trivial accounts, whenever the English did any thing of this kind ; yet those princes, though too much attached to the Spaniards, would by no means have the hands of their subjects bound up, when the Spaniards thought they should have the free use of theirs. On the contrary, they allowed