Printed in the year, 1659.

LEWIS THE FOURTH, To his Revolted Subjects.

BEfore I shall receive your Oath of Fidelity, which I may justly demand, and you ought dutifully to take, I shall let you know you have recalled (this day) a Prince (who du­ring his Exile) had nothing else to do, but to study how to Rule and Reign; and hereby I shall en­force you to believe that you shall not be able to make a Royal Throne a passage into my Fathers prison: And after you have presented me with a Crown, to dare to wish me so much ill, as once to think of Chains & Irons. I know well, that this discourse will surprise you, and that you did not believe when you presented me with a Scep­ter, that I should not rather have received it with Thanks, then Reprehensions; but this act is extraordinary in its commencement, in its progress, and in its conclusion; and it is just that all circumstances should be proportionable. Let it then suffice you onely to know, that if I be igno­rant to what point Subjects are to pay their obeisance, yet I am not ignorant to what degree Soveraigns may ex­tend their clemency: Notwithstanding there is this diffe­rence betwixt them, that the Subjects have no limits for the first, but Soveraigns have for the latter. The People are obliged to the Princes wills, both by their Births and their Lawes. They owe them their goods, their lives and their liberties; and their Princes owe them nothing but Iu­stice, [Page 2]which can hardly pardon Traytors. If these Truths and Maximes had been equally understood, and followed by the late King my Soveraign, and you his People, affairs had not been in that sad condition as they now are. The State had not been reduc'd to such confusion; the Pro­vinces had not been Cantonized; Germany had not been so full of Factions; Italy had not been so divided; all the Cities of the kingdom had not had so many kings as they now have Governours; you had not been guilty of the crime of Treason, in elevating an Usurper to the Throne, the King my Father might still have Reigned, or (at least) I might have received the Crown from his hands, and not from yours; his Tomb might have been bedewed with my tears, his Scepter had not been prophaned, his Hearse might have been covered with Trophies, and not with Chains. And (to speak all in a few words) you might have been happy and innocent. But as his Clemency, and your Rebellion were the sole causers of all these evils, so your Obedience, and my Iustice, are the onely means to make reparation. Consider a little (I pray you) (that you fall not back in the same estate wherein you were) in what Relation you now stand; and in what condition I am. First, you have violated all sorts of Rights in the person of your King, you have raised a War against him; you have assaulted him, and afterwards poysoned him; you have abused the confidence he had in you, you have detained him prisoner with as great Treason as Injustice, with as great insolency as cruelty: an injury which was ne­ver offered (hardly) to the person of an ordinary Herald. Thus you have violated, and impudently abused your King; you have detained him prisoner during a Treatie of Peace, for five years together led him from prison to [Page 3]prison; you have forced him not only to set by his Mili­tia, and to depose his Crown; but you have constrain'd him with violence to transferre it into other hands then mine. To conclude, you put him to death, and you have reduced my self to a strict necessitie, to search my safetie in my flight, and to go and shew my miserie beyond the Seas. Yet this is not all, you have done one thing which never any did before, it hath been seen sometimes that the Grandees of a Kingdom have interposed themselves against a Tyranny, and have destroied it; but 'twas never seen that they themselves elevated a Tyrant to the Throne as you have done: In these kind of crimes the Abettors may be said to be more criminal then he who hath recei­ved all the fruit: For if each one of you in particular had aspired to set the Crown upon his own head, you might have been more excusable, then to have snatcht it from your lawfull Prince to place it on the head of an Vsurper. But you'l say to me, the Prince that bore it was not able to support it. To that I shall answer, As I have the honour to be his Son, and was his Subject, it belongeth not to me to determine what he could, or what he could not: seeing he was my Father, I ought not to presume to be his judge, and seeing he was my King, I ought not to be so impudent to censure, much lesse to condemne his actions, he being not obliged to render an account to any, But God alone. Believe then, the same respect I have for his memorie, you ought to have had for his person, he was your King as well as mine: seeing then that Kings are called the Fathers of the people, Their Subjects are ob­liged to have for them a true resentment of a respect, which their very birth may infuse into them: Besides, as Soveraigns are the true Images of God, and that the splen­dor [Page 4]of their puissance is a beam and ray of his power; Subjects ought to have an equall submission to their Soveraigns will. When you see a Comet appear, the Sun eclipsed, the Thunder bolt fall on innocent heads, when you see Floods drown whole Towns, by their inundation, and the Sea (passing his bounds, and swallowing whole Pro­vinces in the bottome of the deep) devour them up: When you see an Earthquake make Kingdoms tremble, and cause horrid devastations of whole Countries, then (I say) it is permitted to the People to murmure? Do you not discern the contrarie, how in these occurrences they redouble their vowes and prayers, and that they are ne­ver more obedient to God, then at such a time, as if God had forsaken his providence of the Vniverse? and when it shall so happen, that Heaven (for the punishment of your sins) gives you a Prince under whose Reign policy and prudence are not well observed, during whose Go­vernment Forraign and Civill Wars devour all with cru­ell ravages: it belongeth not then to you to reprehend and condemn your Soveraign; for, is he feeble? then you ought to sustain him: is he unfortunate? you ought to bemoan him: is he wicked? you ought to look upon him as a scourge and chastisement sent from Heaven, and to wait with Patience for a remedie from that hand, which hath caused your evil. For when a Prince commands an Armie, and gives Battail; if it so happen that the Souldiers perform not their devoires and dutie, that his squadrons yield, the main body be broken, and (in the end after he hath done even miracles in his per­son, he be yet constrained to quit the field, and to retreat from his Enemies? is it not the Prince that loseth the Battail? Is it not the Prince that suffers the disgrace? Is it [Page 5]not the Prince that is reputed vanquisht? And that bears the loss and infamie of the day? Notwithstanding, that by his own particular actions he hath merited to be con­queror? seeing it is thus, why will not you (in such con­junctions) bear with the infirmities, and misfortunes of your Princes, as well as they do with yours? Or (to speak something yet nearer to the quick) why do you not re­pair these disorders by your own more exact obedience? The Prince alone is obvious in a Battail to the infamie, Cowardise and misfortune of his whole Army, and you are thousands, who are obliged to strengthen the Au­thoritie and Honour of your King, which he cannot sup­port with his single valour. Believe me, if all Subjects would be loyal, no Kingdome could be miserable: and if all Princes thought more of severity then of Clemencie, there would not be so many Subjects, Rebells. Moreover, if it were permitted to the Capritious people to take and give Crowns, when they fancied a change: I conceive there is not a Shepheard but might hope to be a King, and not a King but might be reduced to be a Shepherd; so unruly and uncertain are their floating judgements. But (to speak the truth to you) these things ought not thus to pass: we are your Masters, and you ought not to become ours. It is not that I am ignorant that God disposeth of Scepters and Crowns, as he pleases, & gives them as he lists, and bestowes them on, or takes them from whom he will, and what he alwaies doth is without all injustice; sometimes per­mitting that the people shalelevate to the Throne, those who never pretended to such a high degree. But when such an accident happeneth, it is usually in favour to those extraor­dinary persons in whom Virtue hath imprest a Royal Chara­cter so visible, that it were almost injustice not to admit [Page 6]them Kings. To conclude, that which precedes, and that which followes, ought to be sufficient to justifie the effect, and it became Charles Martel, Pepin, and Char­lemain puissantly to erect a Throne, which was not foun­ded upon a line of right succession, yet even in this re­encounter you will see the event to this present hath not authorized your design; The Engine of this enterprize hath been slain in battail: The Arch bishop of Rhemes preserved not his life, but three daies after he had anoin­ted the usurper. But it is not seasonable (to day) to ex­aggerate the injustice of your proceedings; I am not willing to particularize other things, and I shall satisfie my self with telling you, in generall, that Kings ought not to lose their Crowns, but with their lives, and that nothing can dispense Subjects from the respect, and loyaltie, which they owe to their Soveraignes, nor any pretence (whatso­ever) Authorize Treason and Rebellion. If sacred persons may not enjoy their particular priviledge, (which is de­rived from none but God) they shall be exposed, more then others, to all sorts of miseries; Their guards will appear to them instead of enemies, their Thrones will rather seem a direfull precipice then a place of honour, and safetie; a King (of this kind) is no better then an illu­strious slave, when he shall have as many Masters as Sub­jects. This first disorder will quickly cause a second, for when the Nobles of a Kingdom fail in their dutie to their Prince, their own Vassals, and Tenants will forfeit their fealtie to them, and then Rebellion communicated from the Grandees to the Commons, and so descending from one Soul to another, an universall confusion swells and devours all. Every one will command, and no person obey, (and in this resentment of Levelling equality) each person [Page 7]proves a slave to his own ambition, and no one, either rati­onally Commands himself or others. In effect, this is the most sad condition that a Kingdom can fall into, when there is no subjection, and where (for their punishment) the Prince hath not force to reduce the people to their obedience. For mine own part, when I consider my self to be the Son of a King, the successour of so many Kings, and yet, notwithstanding that I immediately suc­ceed not my Father: This Idea imprints in me, a strange confusion as towards you, and an extream grief as to­wards my self: for when I reflect how the same Subjects who inchained Charles in Fetters, and gave the Crown to Robert, placed Lewis on the Throne, the malice which they bore to the Father, may it not easily fall upon the Son? and may not they fear that the Son will revenge the outrages committed against the Father? but yet (may some one say,) those who have searcht after you, & pass'd the Seas to present you with a Scepter, they need not fear that the memorie of their ancient injustice will ob­liege you to punish them: They have reason rather to believe, that this submission should blot out the memory of the first disservice: It is certain, in the exact Rule of justice, no noble Action ought to passe without his recom­pence: and it is really as true, That no crime ought to escape without his punishment. After all these reasons, what ought you not to fear? and what not to hope? you have recalled me to the Throne, 'tis true, but if you had not, had you not been as Criminall against Lewis, as you had been against Charles? he who gives to another, that which he hath taken from him, restores without doubt that which he hath taken, but his restoration is not a free present, and he ought not to expect thanks for an [Page 8]Action of that nature. No, it sufficeth if one punish not the first, without intending any recompence for the se­cond. I may say also, that you understand not rightly all my present concernments; for why? because you have not left me still in exile, because you have rendred what justly appertained to me, Because you understood that I came to re-demand mine own, not with a powerfull Army: and (being tired with your crimes and miseries) you believe you may probably disarm the furie of Hea­ven, by this Act of justice: No, no, confide not in any of these pretenses, for if I had not stronger considerati­ons then these, I should commence my Reign with the punishment of your treasons, I should send them to pri­son, who restrained the person of my Father, and expose them to the most cruell tortures, who contrived and caused his death, with the greatnesse of his misfortunes. Those black crimes are such which nothing can exter­minate; Repentance and tears for common errours, where humane frailty may plead excuse, and not for Traitors and Rebels, nor for those, who have destroied Thrones and Scep­ters, inchaind Kings, created and protected Tyrants. Think not then, that by taking an Oath of fidelitie (which is your dutie) that I am thereby ingaged not to doe what becomes a King. No, I scorn a Throne where I should be a slave, and I had rather be obscured in prison, as my Father was, then not to Reign as Soveraign. Those peo­ple with whom Loyalty is elective, forbear not to make their Kings absolute, because they could have no pretence of Iu­stice to do otherwise: judge then, if those who hold their Crowns from Heaven ought to acknowledge their sub­jects for their Masters, and whether they ought not rather to punish, or pardon, as best agreeth with their pleasure. [Page 9]In a word, I find it far more glorious to be a loyall Subject, then to be a King disobeyed. Prepare then your selves to render me all that obedience which you owe me, and (without farther informing you whether you are to hope more for Clemencie or Iustice) resolve your selves to an absolute submission, I know well some peevish Po­litians will censure, that I act not as I ought in this con­juncture, and that I should reflect on former passages with some sweetness, and gratifie you with Presents, to encourage you with future hopes, but I presume my Policy is more generous, and more secure then theirs; for if I had so perswaded you, perhaps you would have believed me to have been more fit to wear my Fa­thers Irons then his Crown; and would have more suspe­cted me of weakness and dissimulation, this excessive in­dulgence would give you more of fear, and me less of honour and estimation: I (being then so far from follow­ing such Maximes) tell you once more, that I declare my self to be your King. And (without farther capitu­lation with you) I ascend the Throne by the steps of mine own Authoritie as Soveraignly, as if not recalled by you at all. Hitherto I have let you know I am not ignorant how far the dutie of Subjects ought to bend: But moreover, I judge it fit to acquaint you to what de­gree Soveraign Clemencie may extend it self; to this end, that by that resentment, you may reasonably know what to fear, and what to hope. Know then, that although a Prince may justly punish Traitors, he may likewise pardon penitent offenders, principally then, when he discerns his pardon shall reclaim insolency to obedience, and fidelity: For, seeing Kings are the Fathers of the people, they ought not alwaies to be too severe in justice; and seeing [Page 10]that a Prince may afford grace and pardon to his enemies, he may without doubt shew pity and mercy to his own Subjects: He cannot well punish them all, but must (in part) enfee­ble himself; nor sluce out their blood without emptying his own veins; wherefore he ought to spare them as far as Reason and Iustice can make the way passable. When then a particular accident grows up against a Prince, or State, it may suffice that the heads of some chief offen­dors be sacrificed to a reparation, and that by some se­vere examples others may be instructed with exemplarie terrour. But seeing that the number of the offendors may prove infinite, and if all should be punish't, a deso­lation of entire Provinces might succeed, and conse­quently more men be lost then 15 main Battails could devour, so that the piles of dead corps should make mountains, and severe execution of revenge cause Ri­vers of bloud: in such considerations (I say) it may be better to use a greater example of Clemencie, then of Iustice, and hazard something, rather then to loose the lives of so many miserable souls: and there cannot be a greater Victory then to vanquish ones own passion in such dangerous conjunctures. Fear not then that I shall abuse my Authoritie, since if I should punish all who have offended, I should reduce my Kingdom to a forlorn De­sart: For who is there among you that hath not failed of his dutie? Some have done mischief, others have desired it, or at least permitted it to be acted: some have assisted Robert, others have directly fought against their King: some have most perfidiously laid their hands upon their Anointed Lord, & committed a sacred person into prison, and others have (at least forsaken him. The publick good is pretext of all things, but Rebellion alone is the mother of [Page 11]that horrid Monster. The Nobles agitated (as they did) for their own interest, and the people by their madness, and unadvisedness, seconded their furie, and put in execution the intention of the Parricides: Your wives and your chil­dren are not exempt from these crimes, seeing (without doubt) they made vowes for their Parents offending, and praiers against their Prince. Whereas then I cannot pu­nish you all, but that I must utterly exterminate you; it resteth at my choice, whether I would become a King without Subjects, or to pardon you out of pure grace and bountie, and not by Obligations. It may be that during your lives you may repent you of your ancient crimes, and become as faithful as you have been disobedient. But (perhaps you will tell me) as to our selves, we have repen­ted formerly before we sent to you to come, and receive the Scepter which belongs to you. 'Tis true, it may be as you have said, and that I have considered your Addresses to me were to make reparation of what formerly passed, and that with those hands you would advance to the Throne his Son whose Father you had barbarously re­moved. But (after all) whosoever can abandon the path of Virtue to make choice of that Vice, can again embrace that occasion if presented. Wherefore you owe greater obliga­tion to me then I can considence to you; for had I not re­solved to shew Grace and Pardon, the great number of Nobles which the King of England, my Uncle, hath pre­sented to me to attend my person, had not come without Souldiers; each one of these who incircle me have troops at their command: and I would not have received my Fa­thers Crown but in the head of a victorious Armie, in the midst of a Field covered with dead, and dying men; bedewed with the blood of ten thousand Rebels: I would [Page 12]have been the Conqueror of my Kingdom, and not have mounted unto the Throne supported by the same hands who snatcht it from my Fathers head. But I call to mind I am your King, as you are also my Subjects, and in this re­lation I can love you yet, as guiltie as you are: I can have pittie for your errors, and kindness for your obstinacie; and I will not put my self into a condition of sadness after the Victorie: I am then come to you without an Armie, to receive what is mine. This Action (without doubt) is hardie, bold, and well deserveth glorie; and is sufficiently obliging to demerit your acknowledgement in all de­grees of fidelitie. Before that you were criminous, the Di­vine and humane right conjured you not to forsake your Prince; but this day a new obligation chaineth you to more strict obedience. It is not enough alone to be faith­full, so to satisfie your dutie; but it is your part to blot out the memorie of what is past, and to justifie what is present; you ought not to look on me meerly as your King, but as a King of your own choice, as a King who hath pardo­ned you, as a King who confideth in you, who now is commending his person into your hands, and commits the verie care of his life to your protection, next to Hea­ven: Studie then to gratifie such pressing endearments, and provoke not the wrath of Heaven upon your heads by new rebellions. Those who have examined your by­past actions, approve not (doubtless) that resolution that I have taken to return into France as I have done; for (they will tell me) what confidence can you have in those who had no regard to their lawful Sovereign? They pretend much to desire your presence, but their fears exceed their desires: And it is rather to secure your person, then to ad­vance your Scepter; that though you are this day recalled, [Page 13]yet as long as your youth cōtinu'd, they sufferd you to live in exile, and obeyed Robert; but he being dead (at present) and they seeing that you were in a condition to obtain by force that which they now offer, they seem to repent, not so much regarding your losse, as themselves. Behold the reasons which have here contested with my resolu­tion, which (seeing they are not without some rationall ground) I have not desisted to perswade my self, and that in double choice, whether to make a War with you, or confide in you, I have chose the latter as more glorious, and I love rather to hazard my person then the destruction of all my Kingdoms. Those who taught me the art to Reign have well fore-seen the Exigencies to which I am now reduced, and therefore without doubt they took so much care to advise me what to do in justice, and what I might be allowed to do in Clemencie: These two Virtues ap­pear as contraries, but are not; they accord easily in the heart of a Prince. They mutually give place each one to the other in the Empire of his Soul, according to the di­vers occasions which are presented, for he ought alwaies to abound in Clemencie, and he ought not likewise to be ever too severe with the strict measure of justice. Mercie and justice are two excellent Virtues, but Prudence ought to imploy them both: And the Princes sole Will, ought to be the only rule to guide them. Having then conjured you to an equall confidence in me, as I have in you, let an Act of Oblivion pass, and let us remember no more former crimes, unlesse it be to prevent relapses. Let us not look on the Tombe of Charles, but merely to bedew it with the tears of tender Repentance: Not to make it an Altar where­upon to sacrifice his Enemies; let us Raze to the ground those horrid Cells which served for his Imprisonments [Page 14]thereby (if possible) to destroy the memorie, and not to leave a mark or point to posterity of those black crimes; let us ascend the Throne with as much splendor as if it had never been prophaned, and let us Reign (if possible) with more honor and tranquillity then the late King my Soveraign did. But do not think I shall be able to effect it without the aid and succours of my Subjects; deceive not your selves, the valour and prudence of the Prince are not sufficient of themselves to make a Kingdom happy: The Subjects ought to contribute their proportions. The No­bles are to offer their loyall Obedience, and the people to follow their good example, and both degrees ought to be united in virtue: for otherwise he who giveth Victory and Masters Fortune, will approve the virtue of the Prince in punishing the vice of the Subjects. Those who are valiant, do not alwaies gain the Battail; and those who are wise, are not alwaies fortunate: However let us place our selves in such a capacity, that we may be successfull, though we cannot merit it. See here what your Prince hath said un­to you, who in Lieu of punishing you, hath pardoned you; instead of fighting with you, prepares to defend you; instead of being your Enemy, becomes your Conserva­tor, and who by his own birth and your choice, is now your Lord, your Master, and your King. These two qua­lities permit me not to Capitulate farther with you: It sufficeth that I onely adde this; That I admit you to hope for clemencie, whilest I Reigne, as I wish you to fear alwayes my justice, and beware that you put not your selves in a condition to make trial of the second, or of loosing the former.


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