Imagens da página

sett on foote first by the devill);-if, I saie, such an one were amongst us, and not borne in our owne lande, Dii boni! what generall exclamačns, what wishes, what teares, and praiers should be sent up to heaven, yea, and curses downe to hell, for the rooting out, and removinge of such Hell-houndel But yet, wee can see our owne countrymen do many of these things, and they are winked at, excused, and (by some) commended for these preposterous (I will not saie, impious) practises. There is one man, whose dwellinge place is wooin twenty miles of the cittye of Durhame, which hath brought to the grounde (to omitt all underwoode) above 30,000 oakes in his life tyme; and (if hee live longe) it is to be doubted, that hee will not leave us so much tymber or other woode in this whole County as will repaire one of our churches, if it should fall, his iron and leade workes do so fast consume the same. I will pray, that God would alter his mynde from such unnaturall procedings against his countrie; for it is a practise wo" doth rather agree wth the nature of an open enemy then a true countryman, that any man (to encrease his owne particular estate) should procure the generall ruine of the Comönwealth, whereof all good men in former ages have bene so carefull, that hee was accounted a monster, which should refuse to undergoe any paines (or death itselfe) for the good thereof; such was the great love wo" they bare unto it. Parents are deare, children deare, freinds & kinred deare (saith Cicero), but the Comönwealth omnes omnium amores complectitur, is more deare then all, pro qua quis bonus oppetere mortem dubitet, si ei sit profecturus? for wo"(saith hee) who will not willingly die, if hee may bringe profitt thereunto? Cicero said rightlie; I am " also of opinion, that no man (which feares God sincerely) will avoide any lawfull meanes to benefitt or preserve his countrie: and let this suffice for the first Abuse.

* am of MS.



As the waste of woodes is a forerunner of the ruine of the buildings and habita&ns of a countrie, so it maie be imagined, that the throwing downe of castles and fortresses may produce the like effecte to the inhabitante; for castles and fortresses (howsoever now they be estemed) were builded (as partly for ornam', so) principally for the preservačón of the weale publiq. If then the preservers thereof be throwen downe, how shall the same be preserved? Mee thinkes I heare a Braggadocian or Sicophant of these tymes tell mee, Viris fortibus non opus est maenibus; men of valiant disposión scorne the walles of a castle, and preferre an earthen trench before them. It is true, that valient men sometymes will contemne strong walles (as uselesse), and yet neverthelesse sometymes they will use them, and be glad of them. But ere wee reject them, let us examine (accordinge to our simple opinion & judgem") wherein valoure truely consisteth: it rests not (as I conceive) in potting and piping, using phantastique, apish, and effeminate gesture, apparaile, and diett; not in roaring, swaggering, looking bigge, swearing damnable oathes, or stabbing one another in an ale-house or taverne. How then? true valoure rather appeares in these things: to feare Almightie God sincerely (w" doth deliver us from all base terrestriall & infernall feare); to love our Country so faithfully, that wee shall willinglie endure heate, colde, hunger, thirst, storme, tempest, perills of sea, and pills of lande, yea, and deathe itselfe for it; to scorne all conceites of basenes, dastardlynes, effeminatenes, apishnes, gaudynes, covetousnes, and (the Devills sisters sonne, which all men for the most pt beare in their breasts,) hipocriticalnes; to beare mens sana in corpore sano, a valient heart in such a bodie (whose discretion is absolute & perfect, and) wo" hath never bene debilitated or corrupted with the lasciviousnes (or luxuries) of these tymes; to sacrifice that blood to the honor of God, and the good of the comón weale, wo" is (for the most pte) prostituted to the service of the female sex, &c. Now, if wee shall seeke out a valient man by these, and such other markes, as are required in him, there will not be so many founde, as may be expected. But admit that (wee) men were of such excellent mettall and composión, that wee neded no walles at all, yet it were some charitie to provide for women & little children. Wee have many delicate and sweete ladies and gentlewomen, which (in the tyme of distresse, and not having any hope of safetye in their owne mansions,) were utterly unable to lye in an earthen trench one night, whout great danger of death, or (at the best) impayring of their healthes; and wee have many tender and deare children, whose safeties wee prize as dearelie as our owne lives. Judge then (in case of extreame necessitie) what inexplicable comfort a castle or walled towne might afforde us, for their safeties (to omitt the good, wo" wee our selves might reape thereby); yea, verily (I am of opinion, that) wee should much more cherefully undergoe all the perills of warre, when wee (leaving them well guarded) should hope, that (notwithstanding our owne pills) they should be reskued from the jawes of the enemie. But these consideračáns, (alas! and woe is mee!) are utterly troden under foote, and neglected. Wee suffer the tender hearte and bowells of our deare country to be torne out, and throwen in our faces, whilest wee dwell in vaine delightes, foole our selves in unprofitable imaginačāns, and slepe in security! If wee would but vouchsafe to behold, how the insulting enemies of our State rejoyce at these ruinings and destroyings of (these) our worthie buildings, and what encouragement they take thereby to assaile our kingdome, I doubt not but that wee should soone behoulde the end of these inconsiderate, foolish, and wicked proceedings; comón sence, mee thinkes, should teach us that, disarming our selves, wee adde strength to our enemies. I remember an Apologie to the same effect: A lyon came a wooing to a country-mans daughter, and demanded her in marriage, but her father answered, that hee would not marry her to him, except hee would first pull out his teeth, and cutt awaie his nailes, which terrified his daughter. The lyon (bearing an entire goodwill to the maide, and being willing to doe any thing to obtaine such a peerelesse paragon,) did so; and when hee had so dome, hee came and demaunded her of her father, accordinge to his promise. But the country-man (seing and pceiving, that hee had no meanes lefte to doe him harme,) in steade of his faire daughter, gives him his backe loade of stroakes (to recompence his folly), and sends him awaie. The Apologie hath this morall, that hee is altogether madde, which (putting off his owne armor) submitteth himselfe to the favour of his enemie: (for mee) I will applie nothing, but rather referre these things to the consideračón of the wise; yet, my simple wisedome suggests it into my minde, that if wee had studied all our lives to gratifie the enemyes of our State, wee could do them no service more acceptable, then to pull downe our castles & fortresses. I have sometymes thought, when I viewed Rabie Castle (since pt of it was pulled downe), that it had bene a happie thing for us all, if the worthie founder thereof had covered it won slate or thatch. Oh, madnesse! Can forty poundes worth of leade be more worth, then a tower, whose buildinge cost above two thousande? shall such a princely building (w" might have bene the seate of the greatest Emperour of the worlde) be made a dawes neast? and shall the leade and iron thereof be transported (padventure to our enemyes), and not be accompanyed won one teare? Oh! that the hearty good wishes of a poore soule might have founde favour before God and the Kinge! surely then they should never have torne out the heartstrings of that worthie Castle, whilest I had lived. It cannot be written or imagined what wronge (not onely this Countie, but) our whole Kingdome maie receive by the losse thereof, yet, if the pulling of it downe could have brought any great commoditie to the owner, it had bene some what more tollerable; but to deface (as the report goes) three towers, wo" can not be builded at this daie under ten thousande poundé, for seaven score poundes worth of leade and iron, is (in my judgement) grosse simplicitie. But admitt hee might have filled his coffers won golde, by the ruinating of such an incomparable buildinge, surely such treasure could never have prospered; nay (it is to be feared, that) it would have drawne malice, misery, destruction, and the wrath of God upon the possessors thereof. If the Jewes held an opinion, that it was not lawfull to put the price of blood amongst their treasurie, what would they have done then with that money, which may be the price of a whole counties (or kingdomes) blood? would they have coffer'd it up? No, surely, they would have consumed it by one meanes or another.

There was once a Bishop of Lincolne, which for the preservation of this kingdome, builded six castles (as Camden and others write); his name (as I remember) was Alexander, and hee was sirnamed, for his bountie, munificus; and hee built also for the service of God six religious houses. If this worthie man had first seene his religious houses dissolved, and the revenues thereof conferrd upon the unworthie, and afterwarde his castles ruined, hee would (wthout doubt) have died for sorrowe. And therefore (mee thinkes) those, w” shall for a litle (unprofitable") commoditie (as I may saie) or a Unprofitable, handfull of coyne (in comparison of the great cost, wch the building o o of such places doth require), are not onely unnaturall, but uncharita- o . ble towarde the worthie founders; and it is (too too) likely, that no Wii. they (or their successore shalbe punished for the same.

I will now (ere I proceede further) laie downe a catalogue of Castles in these north partes, which (within thirty yeares last past) have bene all (or the most) of them in good repaire, but now the greater pt of them is utterly ruined, & uselesse. Lancaster Castle stande still, but (notwithstanding y' it is somewhat repaired) very ruinous; Hornebie Castle (the Lord Mounteagles seate) is in the decaying; Kendall Castle is equall won the grounde; Applebie and Carlile Castles follow after; Kirkoswold Castle, the renouned seate of the noble Dacres, is cast downe (or the most pt of it); Rabie

« AnteriorContinuar »