A PROJECT OF A DESCENT UPON FRANCE.

By a Person of Quality.

LONDON. Printed; and are to be sold by Rich. Baldwin. MDCXCI.

PREFACE.

THIS Paper was written last Winter: and should then have been published, had it not been for some Impediments. And the Business of Valona happening since, the mention of it is now added in the transcribing. I crave leave to say further, that the whole Form of this Project was communicated divers Months agoe, to some Persons proper. and if they were not pleased to make use or take notice of it, the Author is not to be blamed. The time seems not yet past, for pursuing the Design here recommended. But if it should be past, so that it were now too late to shew what may be done; yet it will be a Satisfaction to the curi­ous, to know what might have been. Moreover there are some things here offer'd, that may [Page]perhaps rouze up the Spirits of our English Nation, and put them likewise in Mind to do some Good for themselves. Of which there is now such an Opportunity, as is hardly to be again expected. But if it be decreed that We must get nothing, we must be content.

A PROJECT OF A DESCENT INTO FRANCE.

I That erewhile have sounded a Trumpet for a Voyage Royal into France, must now aim at lower and lesser things, and content my self with a Descent: if even that may be obtain'd. Had we a Peace in Ireland, we might continue our Thoughts of a Voyage Royal. Our King might then be in the Head of a mighty Army, composed entirely of his own Subjects: who would delight to follow him and serve him in so glorious an Expe­dition. He might have them to any number under a hundred Thousand. We might then act separately, and with Honour; and we might make a great Figure in the World. And moreover we might hereby [Page 2]give to our Confederates a most effectual Assistance; making their Work easie by so strong a Diversion. Such an Invasion as this, would in all Probability turn the Fortune of the Warr at once: Such a Voyage as this, would make us emulate the great Actions of our Ancestors in France: and we might reasonably hope for as good Success. For tho the French are much stronger now, than they were in those days; yet by reason of their many other Enemies, assailing them on all sides, we should find them much weaker.

These would be the Effects of a Peace in Ireland. But this Peace hath not been had: there have been too little Inclinations to it. Though all Europe (I mean, all those that would pull down the French King) be as much concern'd to have it, as to have a Peace in Hungary. For there is the same Consequence and Advantage of both: and that is, That thereby we may be enabled to bring all our Forces against the French.

This being the Condition of Affairs, and the main of our Force being still detained in Ireland, so that only Part of it can act against France; it is to be consider'd, how this Part may be employed to most Advantage. Suppose then that of our seventy Thou­sand Men (which is the present Establishment want­ing a few Hundreds, and for which the Parliament hath provided full Pay) we should turn twenty Thou­sand against France. And I hope we may suppose likewise, that we shall have a Fleet out this Summer, [Page 3]that will make us Masters at Sea. Here I presume to affirm, that this twenty Thousand Men being put on board our Fleet, will do more Service, and be a greater Terror to the French, than any other way whatsoever.

But what must these Men do when they are on board the Fleet? What will be their Business? I an­swer; their Business will be, to run straight upon the French Coast, and there to Land: or in other Words, to make a vigorous Descent into France.

There are several things that recommend this De­sign to us.

First, The French cannot hinder us from Landing. tho they had no other Enemy, and though all their Forces were drawn down to the Sea-side, yet it could not be done. But when all their regular Troops are engaged elsewhere, it were a great Mistake, if Arrier Bans and Country Militias should so much as en­deavour it. Sir Walter Rawleigh knew these Matters as well as any Man in the World. And his bare Opinion might seem sufficient in the Case. But he not only affirms, but also gives plain and clear De­monstration, that it is impossible to keep an Enemy from Landing, if he be Master at Sea. And the thing is confirmed by universal Experience. For never a­ny Army that came against a Country by Sea, did fail to Land upon it.

Secondly, When we are Landed, nothing can hin­der us from fortifying. If twenty Thousand Men, having the Sea and a Fleet behind them, cannot in­trench, [Page 4](either in a Town or upon the open Shoar) so as to defend themselves against any Force that can be brought against them; they deserve to be cut in pieces. But they must labour hard: and they must have good store of Spades, and Mattocks, and Bas­kets, and Barrows: and they should carry Palisadoes ready with them.

In the third Place, Nothing can hinder, but that the Place we thus fortifie may be some weak Port. There are many such on that side of France which lyes upon our English Channel: and which is, from Calice to Brest, near five hundred Miles in Length. But in all this Coast between Brest and Calice, there are but three Ports of any Strength considerable; and those are Havre de Grace, Honfleur and S. Maloes. All the rest are in a manner open Towns, and may be easily seized by any strong hand that approaches them. As for Graveling and Dunkirk, they are in the French Flanders, and out of these Bounds.

Fourthly, Any Port that we thus fortifie, may be made as good as Calice: provided it be relievable by Sea, and not commanded by Land. And by the La­bour of twenty Thousand Men, it may in two Months time be put in such a Condition; that a Garrison of eight or ten Thousand, being backed by the whole Power of England, will defend it against the whole Power of France. It is not necessary, that it should be a good Port: it cannot well be worse than Calice. and the French have no good Port upon these narrow [Page 5]Seas, save only Brest, and S. Malo's, and Dunkirk. It will be sufficient, if the Place can receive and secure small Vessels. Also this Place should be upon these Seas, that it may be reinforced and supplied from Eng­land with every Snatch of Wind: lying also in the way of our grand Fleet.

Fifthly, This rampant Garrison, having a thousand or fifteen hundred Horse lodged in it, will command the Country far and wide. The French in Mastricht, with the like number of Horse, exacted so great a Contribution, that they sent at one time (over and above the maintenance of the Garrison) eight hun­dred Thousand Crowns in Mony to their Flanders Army. Dunkirk had but five hundred Horse while the English held it: and they commanded Contribu­tion forty Miles round. as I have been told by Sir To­bias Bridges, who had the Command of those Horse.

Sixthly, I grant that the French will do their utmost to curbe and bridle this Garrison. But it will be to lit­tle purpose. While the Dutch held Ostend, all the Power of Spain (which was then very great) could not hinder that Garrison from making Incursions into Flanders. But if the French should beset us with extraordinary Vigour, we must take them off by giving them more Work elsewhere. that is, by seizing and fortifying some other Ports. For my meaning is, that our moving Force be still kept up to the full number of twenty Thousand; to make farther Progresses, and to harrass and torment the French. When these Fires are thus kindled in seve­ral [Page 6]Places, they will find it very hard to quench them. and tho possibly they might be able to oppose the In­sults of one Garrison, yet they can never bear up a­gainst three or four, or perhaps a greater number. These Garrisons being scattered upon their whole Coast of five hundred Miles; and every one of them having behind it the whole Power of England, to support and enforce it. Admitting therefore, that the Power of France were double or treble to that of England, and that their whole Power were turned against us; yet having them at this Lock, we should be too hard for them.

Seventhly, There needs no mighty number of Transport Ships for this Service. For our Grand Fleet, which will be always in these Seas, will with great ease carry over the fore-mention'd twenty thousand Men. I mean the Foot; of which this Force will almost wholly consist. For the Horse must be carried in Vessels proper, which may also be done at leisure; they be­ing not useful either in the Landing or the Fortifying, which are the Things first to be done. It is not here intended, that our great Ships of War should run close in to the French Shore: for generally the Seas are there shallow and dangerous. But they may go as near as they can safely; and there lying off, they may send the Men ashore in their Boats and Tenders, or in other small Vessels. which for a Miles Passage, or two or three Miles, may be stuffed as full as they can hold.

Eighthly, If we can fix Garrisons in this French Coast, we may well presume they will be strongly supported from England. The greatest part of our standing Forces may without much inconvenience lie in the Counties adjoyning to that Sea, and be ready to embark upon all Occasions. And I may venture to say, That even our Trained Bands (and particularly those of the said adjoyning Counties) would march with all chearfulness, to make good our Footing in France. the London Auxiliaries I dare engage will do it. Nor can Ships be wanting to transport them. for be­side the Ships that must be kept for that purpose, those Seas are always full both of our Men of War and Mer­chants. But since standing Armies must not always be in England; and since the Militia's of some Coun­ties must not be press'd with greater Duty than others, unless in cases extraordinary; we must think of some way beside, to support and enforce our French Garri­sons. It is therefore proposed, that fifteen or twenty thousand Foot, and three or four thousand Horse be listed and armed in the said adjoyning Counties; that is, in the Counties to the South of Thames, with the addition of London and Middlesex. These Troops to be ready to march and embark upon every sudden Command. Every Footman to have forty or fifty Shillings a Year, and a Horseman eight or ten Pound, and their Officers in proportion: with full Pay while they are in Service. Such an Establishment will not be of any great Charge. but what ever it be, France [Page 8]will be made to pay it. For our Garrisons in France, being back'd by such a Body of Horse and Foot, will command much farther into the Country: each of them will command as far, as if this Body of Men were constantly lodged in it. And surely England will then be glorious, when we have a Range of Garrisons the whole length of the Channel, upon French Ground, and maintain'd by French Contributions. It will be such a Frontier, such a Barrier, as never any Kingdom hath had the like.

Ninthly, There are upon this French Coast, as be­fore hath been noted, divers Ports and Creeks (such as they are) that are capable of being well fortified. but some of them are more inviting than the rest: of which I shall name a few. In Picardy there is Bologne, or (as we call it) Bullen: a place of great Fame amongst us English Men, since Henry the Eighth took it. But all its Fortifications are now demolisht, save only the old Walls of the upper Town. I confess this Place is not for our turn: because even the lower Town lies some distance from the Sea. But we may remember, that while we held it, the French begun a Fort (and they called it Fort Chastillon, from the Famous Admi­ral of that Name) between the Sea and the lower Town. If we should now make a large Intrench­ment in this Place, (for little ones are good for no­thing,) and should fill it with a Garrison of ten thou­sand Men, it would dismember all the French Con­quests in Flanders: for it would command them quite [Page 9]thorough. It would do the French five times more hurt, than the taking of Mons hath done them good. In vain would Humieres guard his Line, to hinder the Incursions of the Brabanders, if such a Fire were kin­dled behind him. Then if we go on to Normandy, we shall there find Harflew and Quillebeuf at the Mouth of the Seine. which Places, though they lie open at present, have been strong formerly. The former en­dured a Siege from our Henry the fifth when he con­quer'd Normandy: being the First-fruits of that glorious Expedition. And the later, in the Civil Wars of France, was the only place for a time, that Henry the fourth had upon that River. during which time, it shrewd­ly annoyed Roan and the other Places which the Leaguers held. If it be objected that Havre de Grace and Honfleur lie lower upon the same River, and there­fore stop the Passage to the other two Places; I deny the Consequence: for the River is here so wide, that there is no stopping of the Passage. Moreover in the same Normandy there is the Town of Cherburg, just over-against our Spit-head. It was always a Garrison till this dangerous War broke out. At which time the French King resolved to keep no Garrisons, save very strong ones. And he found that this Place could not be made very strong, unless some high Grounds were taken in that command it. which new Line would re­quire so much Labour to make it, and so many Men to defend it, that he chose rather to slight the whole, an old Castle excepted; which Castle is of no Strength to­wards [Page 10]the Land, against an Enemy that hath made a Descent. If we go further on to Bretagne, the Haven of Conquest doth there lie fair for us. I confess it is no deep Harbour, it lying dry at every low Water: But a great and strong Fortification in this place, with a great and strong Garrison in it, would be very useful to us, were the Harbour never so mean. Also this Place is so much the better, because it is so near the Port of Brest, and would be a means to bring us better ac­quainted with it.

Lastly, The attacquing the Port of Brest it self, is a principal end and use of these Land Forces on Ship­board. Not to get it for our Selves, for that requires a much greater Force: but to spoil it to the French. which would destroy at once their Power at Sea, they having no other Harbour for great Ships upon all this Coast. Let us therefore consider how this Port lies. It opens to the Westward: being at the very Lands end of France (which is much broader than that of England,) just where the Bay of Biscay comes up to the Mouth of the English Channel. Without this Port there is a Commodious Bay, almost in form of a Semicircle, and about two Leagues over: the Seamen call it Brest-Wa­ter. The depth of it in most places is from ten to fifteen Fathom, and no where under seven. The en­trance of the Port is about a League in length, and about half a League broad. And close under the Southern Shore of it there is a deep and narrow Chan­nel; the rest being rocky, and shoat water. As for [Page 11]the Port it self, it is much greater within than the Bay is without; being deep for the most part, and run­ing into the main Land by divers Creeks or Spurs. and upon a Northerly Creek of it the Town of Brest is situate: being exceeding strong, and very well mann'd and furnisht. Here now it is plain, that there is no attempting the Town, with the Force that can now be brought against it. Nor indeed would it do us any Service to have it, as long as the French com­mand the Entrance of the Port, which we must pre­sume they have strongly fortified. We must therefore apply our Thoughts to this Entrance of the Port, and to the Bay without. As for the Bay, (to speak of that first,) there is no doubt, but that if we had a great Fort on each side, and in them two or three hundred good reaching Guns, the French would find it very uneasie riding or lying in this Bay, and not very safe passing. I have been present, where Men of great Skill have had a large Draught of this Bay before them, and have pointed to the very places where these Forts should be. And surely if we are Masters at Sea, no­thing can hinder us from making these Forts. Then for the Entrance of the Harbor, there are divers things that may be done there. One thing is, (and they that well know the place do think it very feasable,) to choke the narrow Channel or Passage by sinking of Ships. which being loaden with Stone-work and Tarras, will not easily be removed. Another thing is, to make a good Fort on the Northern side of this Entrance: [Page 12]where I think the French have no Fort, the deep Chan­nel being on the other side. But if they have a Fort there, and it cannot speedily be taken, we must make another not too near it. which, though half a League from the deep Channel, would shrewdly annoy both single Ships, and much more grand Fleets, in their passage. A third thing is, to make a good Fort on the Southern side, just upon the deep Channel. where, though the French may have more than one already, yet they cannot have so many, but that another Fort may live by them; this Shore (as hath been said) be­ing three Miles in length. 'Tis much if we cannot find a place without their outermost Fort, which though it be not so very near the deep Channel, may yet com­mand it sufficiently. But if there be no such place without, we must fix upon one within. and our Forces being landed from the Bay, may by Land come down to it. You will say that such a place cannot be relieved and supplied by Sea, the French having a Fort without it. But I answer, That this cannot hin­der small Vessels from coming to it by Night, and at high Water. for even the shallow parts of the En­trance will be then deep to such Vessels. There is yet another thing to be done at this Entrance into the Port of Brest: and that is, That since by the deepness of the Channel, our great Ships may come close to the Forts lying upon it, they may (with their mighty force of Cannon) beat these Forts about the French­mens Ears. which will be the easier done, if they are [Page 13]attacqued by Land at the same time. They that are ac­quainted with these Matters, know that a Fort in such cases is a meer idle Bugbeare: and that any Fort, ap­proachable by great Ships, may be thus beaten to pieces. unless it be large, and have a mighty number of Guns. for then it may be too hard for the Ships at their own Weapon. I confess this thing requires great skill and courage: nor is it to be done by every Fool. but I know the Men, that can and dare do it.

I must now answer some Objections against this Project of a Descent.

It may be objected, that having proposed twenty thousand Men to be employed against France, I do af­terwards design further to have several great Garrisons: which may take up above forty thousand Men more. so that I have out-run my own Proposal. To this I answer, That 'tis true, here will be required an in­crease of Men; which we may safely presume we can­not want, if they are well paid, and have good Eng­lish Officers. but here will be no increase of Charge, which is the main thing to be feared. For these Garri­sons will maintain themselves. and by how much greater they are, by so much better they will do it.

It may also be objected, that the way here pro­posed, is a very laborious and chargeable way of Con­quering. it would probably cost us less to take Towns ready fortified and furnisht, than to raise these Fortifica­tions from the Ground. But I answer, That we must not [Page 14]think of taking strong Towns, unless we had an Army that would make us clearly Masters of the Field. Such an Army, I confess, might find every thing easy. but such an Army we cannot have in France, unless we had a Peace in Ireland. which Peace it concern'd us to have upon any Terms, that so we might apply all our Force to pull down this French King. for except we do it, we are in great danger to be destroyed by him. Since therefore, by reason of the Irish War con­tinuing, we cannot do as we would, we must do as we may. Moreover the Method here proposed, though it may seem flow and heavy, yet it is sure, and void of all hazard; there being hardly a possibility of miscarriage. and it would put the French, whom we must allow to be shrewd Gamesters, quite beside their Play. And what would the Charge of these Fortifi­cations be? It would chiefly consist in the Labour of Men; and here are twenty thousand ready to perform it. And a small matter given to those that labour, over and above their ordinary Pay, would make them la­bour chearfully. which was the way of the old Princes of Orange. Suppose then, that one time with another, there be twelve thousand Men at Work: at a Groat a day extraordinary. this comes in the whole to two hundred pound a day: which for every hundred days is twenty thousand pound, and seventy three thousand for the whole yeare. which is no such affrighting Sum.

It may be objected likewise, that having fortified these Places as it hath been here projected, we shall lofe [Page 15]them when we have done. And the fresh Example of Valona, and of Calice of old, and afterwards of Ostend, Candia and Dunkirk, seem to strengthen this Apprehension. But all this notwithstanding, it will be very hard and very strange, if the whole Power of England should not be able to defend a great and strong Intrenchment, against any Power whatsoever. that is, If the place be near us, and lie open to Sea, of which Sea we are Masters. for such a place hath the whole Power of England to support it. What do you talk of Valona? If we cannot do better than the Vene­tians, we deserve to have our Legs cut off. These are they, that when their Enemy could make no resistance considerable, being so terribly over-laid elsewhere; have been trifling away their time, for divers years, in making a Conquest that is not worth one Farthing. for it will never bear the charge of maintaining it. But had the gallant Cornaro who took Valona been alive, (the only Man of the Venetians that deserves that Name;) he would not have lost it in that manner, while a Fleet with Land Forces on board it lay in the Harbour. He would have put himself into the Town, taking both his Landmen and Seamen with him; and have made good the Breach (for it seems a Breach was made) by repairing, and retrenching, and strength of Men. As for Calice, it was lost by the Sottishness of Queen Maries Council; and their shameful neglect to send it Supplies, notwithstanding the repeated In­stances of the Lord Wentworth then Governour. Ostend [Page 16]was too little, and was lost for want of ground. how­ever it held out a violent Siege of three years and up­wards. But Candia is an encouragement to this forti­fying Project. for if we can raise Fortifications in two or three months, that can stand a Siege of above twenty years, as Candia did; we need not repent the Bargain. I could wish that Dunkirk might be past over in silence: for the selling of it, especially to the French, is a shame to our Nation. I do well remember a Di­scourse, not long after the thing was done, between a Knight and an Squire upon this Subject. The Knight was the before-mention'd Sir Tobias Bridges, who com­manded the Horse there: the Squire shall be nameless: But he desired to know of the Knight, what were the true Reasons of our parting with Dunkirk. and the Knight ask'd him again, what He (the Squire) thought to be the true Reasons of it. I had rather (said the Squire) learn from You, who know better. But I (said the Knight) desire to hear Your Reasons. Then said the Squire, I have heard several Reasons alledged. One is, That the keeping it would be a con­tinual Charge to us. Not so, says the Knight, for the Parliament that establisht the Kings Revenue, had the Article of Dunkirk laid before them among the other Expences of the Crown; and they allowed it, and provided fully for it. so that it could not be accounted a Charge to the King. but however it would be a Charge to the Kingdom, said the Squire. If the King­dom, said the Knight, were willing to bear it, as they [Page 17]were most willing; where was the harm? And how could they bestow Money better, then towards the keep­ing of a brave Nursery of Soldiers, in a Post of mighty importance and advantage both to Sea and Land, and in exact and compleat Military Discipline? But more­over the Charge, when the Works were finisht, would have been inconsiderable. For we commanded such a Contribution in the Countries, forty Miles every way, as would maintain the Garrison: at least within a small matter. And therefore, the Knight added, what you have said about the Charge, is no Reason. Then the Squire proceeding; Another Reason, saith he, is this: That the Place is not relievable by Sea, it lying some di­stance from it. I confess, said the Knight, that it lies near half a Mile from the Sea. But the Ground between the Sea and the Town is so low and so wet, that no Ene­my can work through it to block up the Passage. And therefore this is no Reason neither: have you any more Reasons? Yes, says the Squire, I have one Reason more; They say the Place was not strong, nor could it ever be made strong. Here the Knight granted, that the Town was not compleatly strong while We English held it. But, said he, whoever had seen the New Works, be­gun and a good deal advanced by My Lord Tiviott, must have allowed that it might be made very strong. What could you do with the Sand-hills, said the Squire, which when a strong Wind came that way, did use to blow into the Town Ditches, and to fill them quite up? We took a course with those Hills, answer'd the Knight: for we carried them clear away, and threw them into [Page 18]wet Ditches and Marshes, whence they will never rise more. And to speak at once, the Place is now in fact one of the strongest of Europe. Then said the Squire, I have given you my Reasons, and I can think of no more at present: pray let me now hear Your Reasons. I shall give but one Reason, said the Knight: which I think the true one. The French had then an Army on foot, and not far from us. And if this Army had marched straight to Dunkirk, and had attacqued it in the Condi­tion it was in, and before the New Works were finisht, in all probability they had carried it. It seemed therefore advisable rather to sell it for Money, then to have it taken from us by Force. But what if the Garrison had been doubled, said the Squire, till these New Works could have been finish'd? Nay that, said the Knight, would have made it hot work. Why then I will undertake, said the Squire, that to relieve Dunkirk, the Auxiliaries of London would have marched at two days warning. and all other parts of England accordingly. And therefore the Reason you have given, proves also no Reason. You must take it as it is, said the Knight; for I can give no better. And so this Discourse ended. Which I have inserted here, to give some light into that ugly Business of Dunkirk. She that lost Calice did use to say; that when she was dead, they should find Calice at her Heart. But He that sold Dunkirk, deserv'd to have it written upon his Forehead. it is surely a Brand upon his Memory. Had the Interest or Honour of our Nation been minded, or any thing but Baseness and Vice, and the French Greatness; We might have kept Dunkirk to this day. And there is no­thing, [Page 19]either in that or in the other Instances, that should discourage us from embracing the Project here offer'd. But enough of this: let us now proceed in the Objections.

It may be objected further, that here is a Design for em­ploying twenty Thousand Men; and nothing hath been said, where or how we shall have them. To this I an­swer; that if nothing hath been said hitherto, it is now time to say something. But it hath been already intimated, that all the Forces we can spare from the Irish War, and turn against France, which were supposed about twenty Thousand, might be put into our Fleet. But you will say, they are already in Flanders: I answer, they are then so much out of their way. but they may be easily taken on board, (I mean chiefly the Foot) from Ostend and New­port. You will say further, that they cannot be spared from those Parts and I answer further, that they may well be spa­red, if they draw after them twice as many French: which they will certainly do. For the French must defend their maritime Provinces, and Country Militias cannot do it: so that of necessity they must draw back great Numbers of their regular Troops, tho even these also will be too lit­tle, if the Methods be followed that have been here pro­posed. But were it not for the Irish War, we might leave our Forces in Flanders, and fill our Fleet with those now in Ireland. And therefore some that wish well to England, and to their Majesties happy Government; wish the Irish Lands we fight for, were all in the bottom of the great Ocean. in regard they take us off from our Main Business, which is the hewing down of the French King. While we [Page 20]are rooting out the Irish, and in pursuit of their Lands, God only knows to what Distresses we may be brought. The Losses we have received already, and the Difficulties and Hazards that may befall us hereafter, must all be im­puted to these Irish Lands. Could we have turn'd our whole Force against the French, these things had not been: it had, in all likelihood, given a new face to the War up­on the Continent. But you will say; as the War of Ireland continues, so that Men cannot be had from thence for the Project here offer'd: So out of Flanders they cannot be had, because we are obliged to have them there, (that is, eight or ten Thousand of them to assist the Dutch, by vir­tue of a Treaty with King Charles. To this I answer, that it is much doubted, whether this Treaty do thus oblige us. It obliges both Parties to assist each other with that Number, in case either be attacqued. But if both be attac­qued, the Obligation stems to cease, and we must take new Measures: both being concern'd to do their utmost against eth Common Enemy. Moreover the Dutch might be more effectually assisted, by our having these Men in Normandy or Bretagne, then by our having them in Flanders. So like­wile if the Duke of Savoy have twenty Thousand Pounds a Month, it might do him more Service to have this Mony (which would maintain 10000 Men more) employed upon the Project here offer'd, than to have it remitted in specie: For the good Effects of a Descent upon Normandy or Bretagne, would be felt in Piemont. Thus we have found Money as well as Men, towards the carrying on our Project. There is a further means to get Men, which is this. I have said before, that if a good Part [Page 21]of our standing Forces were drawn down to the Sea-side towards-France, they might there ly ready to embark, for relieving and renforcing our French Garrisons. And they may in like manner be employed in our first De­scents or Invasions. Nor would they be taken off there­by from their Business, that is, their Guard of England. For that Sea being narrow, and our Fleet commanding it; they would in effect have one Foot in England, while the other is in France. But there is an Expedient yet re­maining, both for Men and Money, which will be sure to do the Work: and which we must make use of, if the rest should fail. and that is, that we now raise this twenty Thousand Men, and likewise raise Money to maintain them. And this is the thing I have now to say in this matter, if nothing had been said before.

I hope I have fully satisfied all the Objections. But this last Expedient may perhaps be a little startling. What? More Mony at this time of day? Yes, more Money, when all lies at Stake; and to preserve us from utter Destructi­on. there being (I fear) no means to prevent it, but by a Descent upon France; which must be carried on with this Money. We must therefore resolve, in this great Exigence, to strain our selves to the utmost. We must do any thing, rather than be Slaves to the French.

But whereas I have spoken of raising Men and Money, these Matters deserve to be further consider'd. As for the Men, we may rely upon it, that they will come in most readily and cheerfully for a Descent upon France. Provided there be two things observed, which I have [Page 22]slightly mentioned before. The first thing is, that they be all English. For England had always Men enow for a French Voyage: and it would be very displeasing to have Foreiners put upon us, as if our Nation were either despised or distrusted. England also will afford good Officers, if Care be taken to have the best: but if all the Care be to have the worst, I confess they will be very ordinary. and so it would be with the bravest Nation upon Earth. But all this while it is not intend­ed, that the poor French Protestants should be excluded from joyning with us. They have been driven from their Country, by the Jesuitical bigotted Rage of their inhumane Tyrant; who hath exceeded all the Barbarities of the Heathen Persecutors. And the restoring of these poor People, next to our own Preservation, is the great End we aim at. So that there is no Doubt, but that we should gladly receive them amongst us, under their own Officers. The second thing to be observed, to facilitate the raising of the Men, is this: that there be a good Fund for their Payment, and appropriated to it; and that their Money, to prevent all Feare of Disappointments, be managed by such hands as they like. A Committee of Lords and Com­mons, some think, would be the most acceptable. And if his Majesty would be graciously pleased (in this extra­ordinary Occasion) to give leave to the same Committee to recommend the Officers, it would be very much for his Service. These are the two things, which being duly ob­served, there will enow good Men (both Officers and Sol­diers) come in chearfully to this Expedition. And so I have done with one Branch of the Expedient, which is the rai­ing of Men.

I now come to the other Branch, which is the raising of Money. And I am still of opinion (for my opinion hath been made known already) that an Excise upon a great many Commodities of general Use, is without compari­son the best way of raising it. Two pence a pair upon Shoos, would raise a hundred thousand pounds yearly. and it might be four pence or six pence. If this seem hard to the Poor, they may wear Cloggs, or Shoos with woodden Soles, which are supposed Duty-free. And this may save a great deal of Sole-leather: which is as good as Plate, and might be exported to the great Advantage of the Kingdom. But if they think scorn to wear this sort of Shoos, they must pay the Duty of the other. The Duty, I confess, will lie a little hard upon the Shoomakers: as all Taxes lie harder upon some than upon others. But to make them some amends, and likewise to raise more Money, a high Duty might be laid upon all unwrought Leather exported. It is a great doubt, whether the Expor­tation of Leather be convenient or not. Some think that it ought to be wholly prohibited, as it was by the old Laws; upon the same Reasons with that of Wooll. and some think it should be freely permitted, as by our new Laws it is. But the middle way is certainly the best; that is, to permit it under a high Duty. And surely if all our Pro­hibitions were turn'd into Duties, it would be a happy thing. I name no other Commodities, fit for an Excise. though there be many such, that are obious to any Mans Thoughts. and a few of them would raise a greater Sum, than is required for this Service.

But if nothing else will do the Business, a Land Tax [Page 24]will. And we need not question, but that, to carry on a De­scent into France, the Parliament will chearfully grant it, and the People will chearfully pay it. Such a Tax as we pay this year, being granted forthwith for the year following, will give a present Credit for more than is needful for this Affair. And to bring the Tax to some Equality, and to ease a great many People; No Man to pay above two Shillings in the pound. The Abatements to be allowed by Commissioners in the Counties, upon good Proofs made before them; and to be confirm'd by a Committee of Lord and Commons, the Proofs be­ing to them transmitted in writing. By which means the whole Amount of the Tax will be about a Million. The Pay of the twenty thousand Men for a whole year, reckoning also two thousand of them to be Horse, will take up little more then half this Money: and the re­sidue will defray all other Charges and spare.

Thus I have laid open my whole Project. Which if it be pursued, I make no doubt but it will bring great Advantages to England, or at least great Terror and Confusion to the French. For tho we should fail in our main Design, though we should not be able to seize any Ports, or having done it should not be able to defend them; yet the very attempting these things in several places, (in one place to day, and a hundred Miles off the day following,) would harass our Enemies to that degree, that they would never be able to stand under it. We may remember, that in the beginning of the late Confederate War, the Dutch sent out a great Fleet, with some thousands of Landmen on board it, under De Ruyter [Page 25]and Van Trompe. These past through the English Chan­nel together: but with such haste, as if they had been running the Gantlope. They never so much as once stood over to the French Coast, or hardly look'd upon it, thereby to amuse and alarm the Enemy. When they were come to the Channels Mouth, the Fleet divided. De Ruiter with the greatest part sailed away to the West Indies, where he did nothing: Trompe with the rest falling down to the River of Nantes. near which he seized a small Island, separated by a narrow Channel from the Main. And here he lay quiet and still for about two Months: not offering to do any thing at Land; nor moving with his Fleet, as he might and should have done, sometimes towards Bourdeaux and Bayonne, and some­times towards the South Coast of Bretagne. As if he made it his business to give the French as little disturbance as he could. But however, disturbed they were at a strange rate. All that part of France was in Arms, under four or five Country Dukes, with as much distraction as can be imagined. And by the continual Marching to and fro of so many thousands (for they were in mighty Numbers,) Provisions for Horse and Man upon all that Sea Coast were almost wholly consumed and devoured. In which condition they were like to continue all Summer; when on the sudden, (and for some cunning Reasons I am yet to learn,) Trompe takes his Men on board, and sets sail for Cales. and from thence round to Catalonia. where he land­ed his Men again, who were now reduced to twelve hundred, to joyn the Spanish Army. And the Spaniards wonder'd, when they beheld such a contemptible Party, [Page 26]that those should be the Men that had made so great a Noise in the World, and had so alarm'd and turmoyl'd the Kingdom of France. But by this we may see, what might reasonably be expected, from a vigorous and powerful Descent. Moreover we may know by our selves, how these things would work with France. What a condition had England been in last year, if Tourville (be­ing Master at Sea) had had Land Forces on board him, and had used them to his most advantage; while so many Ports, and so many Countries on that Coast lay open to him? And if he had master'd and fortified any of our Ports, what Thorns had they been in our sides? Also we may remember, how easily he landed at Torbay.

Having seen what Good may come, by pursuing this Project of a Descent upon France; let us now consider what Evils may come, in case it be not pursued. And truly unless something of this nature be done, there is reason to fear we shall be hard put to it. The posture of of our Affairs will not be very good at Sea, and will be very bad at Land. At Sea we shall in likelyhood be Ma­sters for the present: but if we have no Land Forces on board, we shall make no Use considerable of that great Advantage. For the French will not come out; and We shall ly still and do nothing, at least not to any great purpose. 'Tis true, we may land our Seamen upon the Coast; and make some little havock, by burning or o­therwise. but what will this signify? And when our Ships are foul, and our Men sickly; the French may have Op­portunities to revenge our foul War, in greater measure. Our Shores being bolder, and our Countries lying more [Page 27]open, and the things exposed being more valuable. But at Land there seems to be less ground of Hope: at least there appear extreme difficulties and dangers. In the late War of the Confederates against these French, we know with what vigour they prest upon them, year after year, and could never do any good. And the Frontier of Flanders is so fortified, and that of Germany so wasted; the French also have now so great a Force in the Field, and they manage their Affairs with so much Skill and Con­duct; that it will be very hard to make any great Im­pression upon them, admitting our Forces to be some­thing superiour. And as for Piemont, it will be happy if we can keep what is left. But why may not the Confe­derates, notwithstanding all these things, march straight into France: which they have been so highly blamed, for not doing two years ago? I answer, Because our Cir­cumstances are much alter'd since that time. Our March­ing Forces were then treble to the French: whereas now they are little more (if any more) than equal. So that what had then been safe and easy, and almost impossible to miscarry; may now prove a desperate Undertaking.

Since therefore the Confederates then would not, and now cannot, find the way into France by Land, We must do it by Sea. For into France we must get: or else this War will never have a good End; which is, the pulling down the French King. If France still continue entire and untoucht; at the best we can hope for, he will hold us play, till he hath wearied us quite out. as it happen'd in the former War of the Confederates.

It is not probable that we should ever enter France by the way of Flanders, except our Kings Presence alter the Method of that War. For the usual Method is this. The French, if they are like to be hard match'd, make a shift however to encamp (little or much) [Page 28]within the Spanish Quarters: and then the Confederates encamp by them, to observe them. as if they were chained to the French, or were drawn to them by some Magnetick Force. Whereas it is the Part of a skilful General, Trahere Hostem, non trahi: not to dance after the Enemy, but to make the Enemy dance after Him. Which was said by that great Soldier, King Heury IV. (our Kings great Grandfather), in an Advice he sent to the States of Holland; as we find it set down by Grotius, in his most excellent History of the Bel­gick Wars.

[The doing the contrary last year, seems a Mistake in the high-born Duke of Bazaria: who spent too much time in following the Dauphin, thereby putting his own Army to miserable Hardships. Since he could not conveniently go round by Mentz, he might have passed the Rhine at Manheim; which would have drawn back the Dauphin most effectually. And though the Duke could have gone no further, yet Manheim had been worth his Pains and Care. For had it been well fortified on both sides the River, it would have been as good as Mentz. It would have com­manded far and wide into the French Quarters, and given maintenance to several Thousands of Men: which should be a principal Aim of the Germans, since they abound with Men, but not with Means to maintain them. But the fortifying of Places is not to be done without Labour: which the Germans will not undergo. though that be the true way to work the French out of their Conquests.]

But to leave this Digression; some think that our King, with his Flan­ders Army, might march into France by the way of Calice, and so a­long the Sea-Goast of Picardie and Normandie, having the Sea open to supply him. And so he might do, if his Army were clearly Master of the Field, so that the Enemy durst not abide within distance But for him to engage so deep in France, and be closely waited on by a French Army neer as good as his own; would be a thing extremely dangerous. and the having the Sea open would not cure the matter, nor prevent many Discommodities and Distresses that might befall him even to his ruine. Such an Invasion therefore is by no means advisa­ble, in the high Condition the French are now in. But when by our Descents (in which there will be no such Hazards) they are distracted, and confounded, and every where weakened; the Confederate Armies may then from all Parts safely bear in upon France, and in all Probabi­lity come to a good Market. And then may the poor French Prote­stants, together with that whole Nation, expect deliverance from the horrid Oppressions they ly under: and the rest of Europe be freed from their Apprehensions of Slavery and Destruction.

FINIS.

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