Page images
PDF
EPUB

rendered their memories dear to all true lovers of their country. The particulars are to be found in most of our common histories, and thither I must reíer the reader desirous of information on this subject. Whilst the war was carrying on in a manner glorious to the English commonwealth, the parliament omitted nothing which might make it terminate in such a manner as to prevent all fue ture disputes between the two nations. With great diligence and dexterity they got intelligence of the mott private designs and resolutions of the enemy, and took as much care as possible to conceal their own; nor would they abate the leaft in their proposals for peace, though applied to most submissively by ambassadors fent from the states for that purpose. The following extracts will abundantly confirm and explain what is here mentioned.

The Dutch ambassadors, in a letter to N. Ruysch, dated Westminster, July 4, 1653, N. S. say, “ We are 6 obliged to advise their high and mighty lord Ships that

• men here have full knowledge, with all the circum(a Thurloe, o stances of the resolutions taken upon the fifth of vol. i. p.

"June (a)' In a letter of intelligence from the Hague, dated the 28th of the same month, we read what follows: " What I have always feared is now come to • pass, that intimation should be given here of the good

intelligence you have there of the affairs here. Our • deputies there have written hither to these states, that • they have assurance from their friends in England, that • all the secret actings here, and were it possible, the • very thoughts of these states are most exactly and <weekly presented in writing to the councel of state

there. This was hotly debated in the assembly, every i one asking the other, who betrayed them; and some

quarrels were like to arise, but a sort of composure I was made, and orders given for strict secresy in all • their proceedings; so that much difficulty will be in • furnishing you; however I shall attempt always to « serve you as long as I can. But if you have not se

cresy, you are not worthy of the profit thereof. Our

6 deputies there begin to give very good intelligence from (6) Id. p. ( London, however they get it (6) The 18th of this 359. month, we find the following Thort letter written by

316.

[ocr errors]

Beverning, one of the ambassadors, to Mr. Gerard Cinque at Goude. "Sir, I dare not write much news. 6 All our actions are spied. We have spies set to watch ( us in our houses. We cannot be certain of any thing " that we do, that it shall not be either known or mil(carry. If you please to have any thing sent you from « hence, that this country affords, pray let me know (c) Thurloe, • it (c)' We are not however to suppose but some o

339. intelligence was gotten by these ambassadors.' Money does wonders, and Aattery is all powerful. They who can dextrously apply the one and the other, need not fear of some success. The following passage will shew that they were ordered to be on the look out, and that they had not been idle. It was written from the Hague, O&tober 31. N. S. and seems to come from the same hand which sent that of the 28th of July just mentioned.

Since my last to you, the post immediately before • this, great diligence is used and secret enquiry made, • how your council of state comes by the secret resolu• tions of this state, and the letters of their public mi

nisters abroad; and our deputies who are gone to

England have in charge to do their utmost there, ( whatever it costs to find it out. Of which I advertize • you very seriously, to the end hereafter these secrets be • not read in open council, and that prevention may be, • least the deputies might learn, from them, that cold • to them part, how to discover the whole. But I hope

and believe I am not betrayed, so as to be known by name or description to any of the council, since some

of them are so kind as to tell all they know to the (Dutch deputies, to their advantage. I can swear the

two deputies standing there did write at full, what I • gave you in my last; but this notwithstanding, all the

chief of their business shall be had one way or other, 6 if you do not spoil all there, as well was attempted (d).'

pred w i (d) Id. p. And how much the parliament were concerned for the honor and interest of the nation appeared from their demanding as preliminaries to a treaty, that the Dutch Thould call back their ships; make reparation for damages, and satisfaction for the expences England had been put to defend herself and maintain her rights (e):'(c) Id. p.

-Among 2011

Among the articles infifted on by the English was the following. " That the ships and vessels of the said s United - Provinces, as well men of war, as others, • be they fingle ships, or in fleets, meeting at lea with • any of the thips of war of this state of England, or « in their service and wearing the flag, fhall Atrike the < flag, and lower their topfail until they be passed by, • and shall likewise submit themselves to be visited if

thereto required, and perform all other respects due to • the faid commonwealth of England, to whom the do

minion and lovereignty of the British feas belong.' • To this article, the Dutch ambassadors, November 22, 1653, did not make any exception, either to the s striking of the Aag, or the sovereignty of the fea; • but they protested against the visiting their fhips, as • repugnant to the practice of their country, and subject • to a thousand disorders and disputes, and injuries to their * ftate; besides the visiting is not to be reciprocal. • Whereupon Cromwell in the name of the commiffio• ners replied, that the searching of their ships was no • new thing; but an undoubted right which natus rally followed from the sovereignty of the sea, the - which did appertain to England : it was likewise an « efflux of the same dominion, for the English to pre• fcribe to them, with what number of thips of war they

should pass the Britis seas: that they ought to be much more zealous now for the asserting of the said antient

dominion of the fea: in all its branches ; because it • had been so lately and so notoriously disputed and in

vaded. And whereas the ambassadors had somewhat s boastingly said in their memorial, that their people

were of lich generosity that they would never endure

• such terms: to this Cromwell said he would reply no (1) Stubbs's 6 more, than that we were Englishmen, and had not farther Juf co

loft our courage

ur tification, p.

). The parliament infifted likewise that the Dutch fhould pay for licence to fith upon the British coafts, and suspended the treaty, on account of their unwillingness to agree thereunto, though 'tis

aflerted they offered 300000 h. to procure amity and ) Id. 2. 65. friendship with England (£). These demands of the parliament may seem high, but they endeavoured to

justify

59, 60.

justify themselves to the world, by causing Selden's < Mare Clausum seu de Dominio Maris' to be translated into English, by Marchamont Nedham. This, by fpecial command, was published in November 1652. In a fine and spirited dedication to the supream authority < of the nation, the parliament of the commonwealth 6 of England, the translator observes, .' it is a gallant « fight to see the sword and pen in victorious equipage

together; for this subdues the souls of men by reason,

that only their bodies by force. The pen it is which ( manifefts the right of things ; and, when that is once « cleared, it gives spurs to resolution, because men are

never raised to fo high a pitch of action, as when they < are perfuaded, that they engage in a righteous cause; • according to that old verficle,

* Frangit & attollit vires in Milite causa.

! Wherefore, seeing you (right honourable) have had ( so frequent experience of the truth of this in our late wars, wherein the pen militant hath had as many

fharp rencounters as the sword, and borne away as • many trophies from home-bred enemies, in proses

cution of your moft righteous cause by land, certainį ly you will yield it no less necessary, for the instruc

tion of this generous and ingenious people, in vindi? cating your juft rights by sea against the vain preç tences and projects of encroaching neighbours. For, ¢ what true English heart will not swell, when it thali « be made clear and evident (as in this book) that the 6 sovereignty of the seas, Aowing about this island, hath, « in all times, whereof there remains any written testiç mony, both before the old Roman invasion and fince, « under every revolution, down to be present age, been

held and acknowledged by all the world, as an inse

parable appendant of the British empire; and that, by • virtue thereof, the kings of England successively have « had the sovereign guard of the leas; that they have • imposed taxes and tributes upon all fhips paffing and $ fishing therein ; that they have obstructed and opened the passage thereof to strangers, at their own pleasure,

" and

designs (nn), and such as would carry them

to

Printed b

• and done all other things that may testify an absolute • sea-dominion ; what English heart' (I fay) can confi• der these things, together with the late actings of the Netherlanders, set forth in your publick declaration, and ( not be inflamed with an indignation answerable to « their infolence; that these people, raised out of the o dust at first into a state of liberty, and at length to a o high degree of power and felicity, by the arms and

« benevolence of England; or that they, who, in times (i) Of the past, durst never enter our feas to touch a herring, Dominions

fo's without licence first obtained by petition from the or Ownerthip of the governor of Scarborcugh-casile, should now presume to Sea. Folio. o invade them with armed fleets, and, by a moft unjust London :

by o war, bid defiance to the united powers of these three William "nations (i)? But, whilst the parliament were thus Du-Gard, labouring for the public welfare, they were dispoflefled by the ap

inimene of of their power by Cromwell, and deprived of a glory the Council they well deserved, that of finishing a successful, wellof State, conducted war, by a safe and advantageous peace.

(NN) Vaft designs were imputed to the commonwealth.] Nothing can give us a better idea of the light in which England was viewed abroad, than the following passages from Sorbiire. They are taken from a letter written by him to the celebrated M. de Courcelles, at Amster. dam, dated Orange, July 1, 1652.--- The English

republicans took things exactly right; and that, in order to the accomplishing of a design, that would take up all their life-time (for such sort of men oughc never to conceive mean oncs, after the execution

whereof they must be put to the trouble of projecting sa new, or live lazily, and be exposed to conspiracies • against them) they thought it would be their beft way

to begin with the ruin of the United Provinces, which ·lay next their coasts, and flourished in trade above

any other country in the world; and, when once they s had effected this, they were in hopes they hould ea• fily remove any obstacle in their way to attain the

. do

« PreviousContinue »