WRITTEN In French by an English Gentleman, upon occasion of Prince Harcourt's coming into ENGLAND;

And translated into English by F. S. J. E.

[printer's or publisher's device]

LONDON, Printed for William Shears, at the Bible in S. Paul's Church-yard, Anno 1655.


ALthough we see that naturall causes produce sometimes contrary effects, that the Sun which draws up the Clouds can also scatter them, that the same Wind both lights and blow's out the taper, that Vipers serve for wholesome medica­ments, and Scorpions carry about them an An­tidote to their own poison: it is not so neverthe­lesse in morall and politick affairs, wherein that which is once ill, is alwayes accounted such; from whence is begot in us that quality which we call Experience, whereby wise men are ac­customed to judge of present and future actions by those that are past. Which is the founda­tion whereupon all Monarchies and Republicks have established the Maxims of their subsi­stence, and found out both what they ought to follow and what to avoid.

[Page 2] The Charity which France hath testified to pacify our differences is so great that it is be­come incredible, so unseasonable that it is su­spected, and so contrary to their former proceed­ings that it is quite otherwayes understood. Philosophers say, we cannot passe from one extremity to another without some mean; I cannot see by what steps they are come to this perfect goodness, nor what good Genius can have made them in an instant so good friends of such dangerous neighbours to us. I will passe my censure upon nothing, yet let me have the liberty to judge of all. I find so great a wonder in this change, that I find a conflict in my self to believe it. It is no com­mon marvell, that those who have for so long a time beheld all Europe in a flame, and could not be moved by the bloud and destruction of so many people to cast thereon one drop of wa­ter, should now have their bowells so tender as to compassionate the dissensions arising in a corner of the world which hath alwayes bin fat all to them; That those who have made it their chiefest interest to divide us, should now make it their glory to reunite us; That those who place their rest in our troubles, should now apply their cares for our repose; and that [Page 3] after they have cast us down headlong, they should reach us a plank for to come ashore. Let the wise Reader here (whilst I determine nothing) allow me at least a little distrust; it is the Mother of Safety. The Trojans, who could not be overcome by Armes, perish't by a pledge of peace. All the French civilityes are faire and good; but in the bottome ‘Quicquid id est, timeo Gallos, & dona fe­rentes.’

Let us see what reasons can oblige them to interest themselves so passionately in our agree­ment. Is it Religion? surely no; for that which they professe is contrary to that of this King­dome; and the little Charity they have for their own, ought not to perswade us that they have much for ours. Is it for the inclination they have to peace? surely no; for if they esteemed it a benefit, they would seek it first for themselves. It is perhaps for an acknow­ledgement of their obligations to us in the late warres, and for the assistance we gave to those of Rochel. I, this would be truely Christian indeed, to render us good for evill. They will say that they are the bands of blood and pa­rentage, which bind them to the Queen; and yet they have let the Mother beg her subsi­stence [Page 4] and retreat among strangers, which she could not find with them, and having beheld her without pitty and succour in her greatest extremities, they advise to offer her a remedy upon the declining of her ill. But if this be the reason of their admittance, I conceive them no lawfull nor indifferent Mediators, since they are so much concern'd in one of the parties. They will whisper us in the eare, that the de­signe is to pacify us, and to ingage us in a league with them against the Spaniard; al­though at the same time they designe Ambas­sadours for Munster to endeavour a peace with him. O, we should wrong them very much to believe it, though they might seem in an hu­mour to desire it of us; They are too gallant spirited to pretend it, they know that we are better advised then to serve them to pull their Chesnut out of the fire; that a body recovering health from a long sicknesse ought not to expose it self to a violent agitation; that the State will find it self loaden with debts, and the Subject exhausted by Contributions; that we ought to preferre the evident profit of traffick before the uncertain vanity of a conquest; that Iea­lousies being not yet removed, nor aemulations supprest, all kind of arming would be suspected [Page 5] by the State, fearing least some under pretense of a forrain warre might study private re­venge, or the oppression of the publick liberty; & that in the end it will be our gain to see them deal with Spain, and to make our advantage of their troubles, or not to meddle at all with them, unlesse by adding secretly (according to the revolution of affairs) a little weight to them that shall be found the lighter. If then it be none of these motives, it remains that it must be either Generosity, or deceit. O Ge­nerosity (that hast so long since withdrawn thy self to heaven, there to keep company with the faire Astraea, or rather, who wer't buried in France in the Sepulchre of Monsieur Gonin) is it possible that thou shouldst be risen again, or that France should have recall'd thee with her exiles since the death of her King; and that the first labour she should put thee to should be in favour of England, against whom but few dayes since she shewed such violent re­sentments, for an offence received by a pre­tended violation of the treaties which had past between us? Truely if it be she, we must reve­rence her with extraordinary respects; but before we give her the Honours due unto her, we must know her, for feare of Idolatry in [Page 6] adoring her masque for her self, or embracing a cloud in stead of a Goddesse. Let us give a thrust with our launce into the Trojan horse, to see if there be no ambush within.

In walking lately with some French Gentle­men (as this nation is free enough of their dis­course) a word escaped from one of the com­pany without making reflexion (as I think) of what Countrey I was, That amongst their Prophets there was one which said, That the Conquest of England was promised to their young King. This thought cast into the aire though inconsideratly, seemed to me very con­siderable; and having given me an occasion to reflect upon all things both past and present, it served me as a light to guide me in the obscu­rity of this Labyrinth, upon which before I had reasoned but superficially. From thence being returned to my lodging, I opened acciden­tally a book of Monsieur de Rohan, intitled The interest of the Princes of Christendome, and I fell presently upon a passage where he said, That one of the surest wayes to make ones self Ma­ster of a State, is to interpose and make himself arbiter of its differences. I had no need of any other Oedipus to expound to me the riddle of the Prophesy, these first motives of suspicion [Page 7] having cast me into more profound thoughts, I revolved in my mind how France had managed the whole business, both before & since the begin­ning of our troubles, and weighed all the cir­cumstances of this Ambassage. Why such a solemne Ambassage in a time when all things seem most exasperated and furthest from ac­commodation? Why then not sooner, while dif­ferences were not yet irreconcileable between the two parties? Why such a warlike Prince, who is not experienced in the affaires of this Kingdome, to manage a negotiation of a peace the most nice and intricate that the world at this time affords? Why at the same time levying of Souldiers in Normandy, when all the other troops are in their quarters? Why therefore should they supply one of the parties with mony, when they come to act the persons of media­tours; if not to cast wood and oyle into the flame? Why at the same time an Agent in Scotland, who propounds to them openly a League with France? Why begin they onely to turn their cares upon England, when they are upon the point of con­cluding a peace with Spain? May not we well judge that it is to prepare themselves for a new employment? since they themselves con­fesse that their boiling and unquiet temper hath [Page 8] need of continuall exercise, and that the onely means to prevent troubles at home, is conti­nually to furnish them with matter whereupon to evacuate their choler abroad. Why doth onely France afford us this so suddain and un­expected Charity, after all the fresh wounds which bleed yet among them because of the ex­pulsion of the Capuchins, after the continuall cares she hath taken for so many years to lay the foundation of our troubles by the secret ne­gotiations of the Marquis of Blainville, by the intriques of the Cardinal of Richelieu with Buckingham, by the long plots in Scotland, and by the open sollicitations of the Marquis de la Fert? by all which they sometimes incited the Kings ministers to make him independent and absolute, offering to that purpose their assi­stance, and anone they sollicited the States to shake off the yoak of servitude, finally they transformed themselves into a thousand diffe­rent shapes, till having plunged us deep enough in the gulf, they then call back their Ambas­sage, to give in appearance some satisfaction to the King, but in truth because his commission was expired. May not we well conclude from all this, that they will now reape the fruits they have so carefully sown and cultivated amongst us? [Page 9] From these considerations falling insensibly on those of England, what need (said I in my self) have we of the intermeddling of stran­gers? are they more versed in our interests then our selves? can they afford more expedients? are they more sensible of our miseries then those that suffer them? Is it to exhort us, or to constrain us? the first is superfluous; the se­cond dangerous. It must needs be that either in the one case they think to go beyond us in wit, or in the other to master us by force. If peace be profitable for us, have we any need either of a Master to make us know our advantage, or of an Oratour to perswade us to it? If it be hurt­full to us, we ought to give them thanks for their advice, but follow that which is better. If the peace be feasible, why should we leave the glory of it to others? if impossible, why loose time in making vain propositions? why should we acquaint strong and ambitious neighbours, and trust the Philistins with the secret of our force? Must England, that hath in times past compelled France to purchase peace, be now con­strained to beg it of her? that one of the most considerable and flourishing Monarchies of the world should serve for matter of sport to the vanity of the French, and be the first upon [Page 10] whom they exercise the Title they give them­selves of being Arbiters of Christendome? What Counsel then shall we follow in this en­counter? That of good and wise Nature, who having separated us from all other Nations by a vast and deep trench, silently teacheth us, that the principle of our subsistence is in our selves, and that we ought not to submit our govern­ment to the arbitrement of others.


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