Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

where his highness was splendidly entertained by the Lord D

from thence he went to Wincanton, where he lodged at the house of one Mr. Churchill a merchant, and, it is credibly reported, designs for Oxford.

Sir, I have given you the best account I can of this great affair; you may communicate it to such friends as you think fit. Sir, I am, with all due respects,

Your most obedient servant, Wincanton, 1 Dec. 1688. N. N.

A further Account of the Prince's Army, in a Letter sent from Exon, dated Nov. 24.

Had I not insensibly overslipped my time the last post, you had received this then. When I came here, I endeavoured to inform myself, after the best manner I could, as to the number and quality of the prince's army; and all generally concluded them to be about thirty-thousand, all picked men, and many of them personally present at the siege of Buda. This I am certain of, that they appeared to be men resolute, well disciplined, and stout, and of an extraordinary stature, and their arms suitable, muskets, swords, and pikes, being far larger than ever I yet saw; and notwithstanding the streets were thronged, almost as thick as yours on a lord-mayor's day, yet was it even a rarity to see one of them shorter than six foot; and some of them were, I am confident, six foot and a quarter, if not six foot and an half in height: so that, were it lawful to trust in an arm of flesh, they might have some cause to presume. But the tenor of their words was otherwise; their civil deportment and their honesty of paying for what they have (and the strictness of their discipline hinders them from being otherwise) winning not a little the affections of the country-men, who daily resort thither, forty or fifty in a gang, to be enlisted. My Lord Mordaunt's regiment was soon compleated, which, with two others, was raised and maintained at the charge of the gentry in this county, of which Edward Seymour, Esq. is by the prince made governor. During his highness's stay here, which was till last Wednesday, there appeared a court most splendid, composed, not only of foreign, but of many of the English nobility and gentry, which came hither to wait on his highness since his arrival, of both ranks, upwards to the number of sixty, all mighty gallant in their equipage, each striving thereby to add to the glory of their design. The gentry of these parts first seemed slow in their advances to serve the prince; but, as soon as the ice was broke by Capt. Burrington, the majority soon followed his steps, and have entered into an association. It is to admiration to consider the vast magazine of all warlike utensils brought hither by the prince's army, their baggage having for a fortnight together been continually landing, and yet not fully ended. Were it not for the badness of the roads, as I was informed by a private sentinal, they could draw into the field an artillery of above two-hundred pieces: but the greatest curiosity I yet saw was a bridge of boats; such as I conceive the Imperialists use to pass over the Danube and Saave with, which was, for the speedy conveyance of their carriages, laid over the river in two or three hours, and afterwards as soon removed; not to mention a smith's shop or forge, curiously contrived in a waggon; or another contrivance the foot carry with them to keep off the horse, which, in their manner, may well yield the service of a pike.

There hath been lately driven into Dartmouth, and since taken, a French vessel loaden altogether with images, and knives of a very large proportion, in length, nineteen inches, and in breadth, two inches and an half: what they were designed for, God only knows.

For Essay On Magistiiacy, See Vol. l.p. 3,

The Speeoh

OF

THE PRINCE OF ORANGE TO SOME PRINCIPAL GENTLEMEN

or

SOMERSETSHIRE AND DORSETSHIRE, On their coming to join his Highness at Exeter, the 15th of November, 1688.

Eseter, printed by J. B. 1688. Folio, containing one page.

[ocr errors]

HOUGH we know not all your persons, yet we have a catalogue of your names, and remember the character of your worth and interest in your country. You see we are come according to your invitation and our promise. Our duty to God obliges us to protect the Protestant religion, and our love to mankind, your liberties and properties. We expected you, that dwelt so near the place of our landing, would have joined us sooner; not that it is now too late, nor that we want your military assistance so much as your countenance, and presence, to justify our declared pretensions, rather than accomplish our good and gracious designs. Though we have brought both a good fleet, and a good army, to render these kingdoms happy, by rescuing all Protestants from Popery, slavery, and arbitrary power; by restoring them to their rights and properties established by law, and by promoting of peace and trade, which is the soul of government, and the very life-blood of a nation; yet we rely more on the goodness of God and the justice of our cause, than on any human force and power whatever. Yet, since God is pleased we shall make use of human means, and not expect miracles, for our preservation and happiness; let us not neglect making use of this gracious opportunity, but with prudence and courage put in execution our so honourable purposes. Therefore, gentlemen, friends, and fellow-protestants, we bid you and all your followers most heartily welcome to our court and camp. Let the whole world now judge, if our pretensions are not just, generous, sincere, and above price; since we might have, even a bridge of gold to return back: but it is our principle and resolution rather to die in a good cause, than live in a bad one, well knowing that virtue and true honour is its own reward, and the happiness of mankind our great and only design.

THE

LORD CHURCHILL'S LETTER TO THE KING.

SIR,

OlNCE men are seldom suspected of sincerity, when they act con, trary to their interests; and though my dutiful behaviour to your Majesty, in the worst of times (for which I acknowledge my poor services much over-paid) may not be sufficient to incline you to a charitable interpretation of my actions; yet I hope, the great advantage I enjoy under your Majesty, which I can never expect in any other change of government, may reasonably convince your Majesty and the world, that I am acted by a higher principle, when I offer that violence to my inclination, and interest, as to desert your Majesty at a time when your affairs seem to challenge the strictest obedience from all your subjects, much more from one who lies under the greatest personal obligations imaginable to your Majesty. This, Sir, could proceed from nothing but the inviolable dictates of my conscience, and necessary concern for my religion (which no good man can oppose) and with which, I am instructed, nothing ought to come in competition. Heaven knows with what partiality my dutiful opinion of your Majesty hath hitherto represented those unhappy designs, which inconsiderate and self-interested men have framed against your Majesty's true interest and the Protestant re, ligion. But, as I can no longer join with such to give a pretence by conquest to bring them to effect, so will I always, with the hazard of my life and fortune (so much your Majesty's) endeavour to preserve your royal person and lawful rights with all the tender concern and dutiful respect that becomes, Sir,

Your Majesty's most dutiful and

Most obliged subject and servant.

FATHER LA CHAISE'S PROJECT

FOR THE

EXTIRPATION OF HERETICKS.

In a Letter from him to Father P rs, 1688. Quarto, containing

four pages.

Worthy friend,

M. Received your's of the twentieth of June last, and am very glad to hear of your good success, and that our party gains ground so fast in England; but, concerning the question you have put to me, that is, What is the best course to be taken to root out all the hereticks? To this I answer: There are divers ways to do that, but we must consider which is the best to make use of in England. I am sure, you are not ignorant how many thousand hereticks we have, in France, by the power of our dragoons, converted in the space of one year, and, by the doctrine of those booted apostles, turned more in one month, than Christ and his apostles could in ten years. This is a most excellent method, and far excells those of the great preachers and teachers, that have lived since Christ's time. But I have spoken with divers fathers of our society, who do think, that your king is not strong enough to accomplish his design by such kind of force, so that we cannot expect to have our work done in that manner; for the hereticks are too strong in the three kingdoms, and therefore we must seek to convert them by fair means, before we fall upon them with fire, sword, halters, gaols, and other such-like punishments; and therefore I can give you no better advice, than to begin with soft easy means. Wheedle them in by promises of profit and offices of honour, till you have made them dip themselves in treasonable actions against the laws established, and then they are bound to serve for fear. When they have done thus, turn them out, and serve others so, by putting them in their places, and by this way gain as many as you can. And, for the hereticks that are in places of profit and honour, turn them out, or suspend them on pretence of misbehaviour, by which their places are forfeited, and they subject to what judgment you please to give upon them. Then you must form a camp, that must consist of none but catholicks; this will make the hereticks heartless, and conclude all means of relief and recovery is gone. And, lastly, take the short and the best way, which is, to surprise the hereticks on a sudden. And, to encourage the zealous catholicks, let them sacrifice them all, and wash their hands in their blood; which will be an acceptable offering to God. And this was the method I took in France, which hath well, you see, succeeded; but it cost me many threats and promises, before I could bring it thus far, our king being a long time very unwilling.

But at last I got him on the hip; for he had lain with his daughterin-law, for which I would by no means give him absolution, till he had given me an instrument, under his own hand and seal, to sacrifice all the hereticks in one day. Now, as soon as I had my desired commission, I appointed the day when this should be done, and, in the mean time, made ready some thousands of letters, to be sent into all parts of France in one post-night. I was never better pleased, than that time; but the king was affected with some compassion for the Hugonots, because they had been a means to bring him to his crown and throne; and, the longer he was under it, the more sorrowful he was, often complaining, and desiring me to give him his commission again; but that I would by no persuasion do, advising him to repent of that heinous sin, and also telling him, that the trouble and horror of his spirit did not proceed from any thing of evil in those things that were to be done, but from that great wickedness which he had done; and that he must resolve to undergo the severe burden of a troubled mind for one of them, or the other, and, if he would remain satisfied as it was, his sin being forgiven, there would, in a few days, be a perfect atonement made for it, and he perfectly reconciled to God again. But all this would not pacify him, for the longer the more restless; and therefore I ordered him to retire to his closet, and there spend his time constantly in prayer, without permitting any one to interrupt him; and this was in the morning early, when, the evening following, I was to send away all my letters. I did indeed make the more haste, for fear he should disclose it to any body; yet I had given him a strict charge to keep it to himself, and the very thing, that I most feared, to my great sorrow, came to pass; for, just in the nick of time, the devil, who hath always his instruments at work, sent the Prince of Conde to the court, who asked for the king: he was told, that he was in his closet, and would speak with no man: he impudently answered, That he must and would speak with him; and so went directly to his closet; he being a great peer, no man durst hinder him. And, being come to the king, he soon perceived, by his countenance, that he was under some great trouble of mind, for he looked as if he had been going into the other world immediately. Sir, said he, What is the matter with you? The king at the first refused to tell him, but, he pressing harder upon him, at last the king, with a sorrowful complaint, burst out, and said: ' I have given Father La Chaise a commission, under 'my hand, to murder all the Hugonots, in one day, and this evening 'will the letters be dispatched to all parts, by the post, for the per'forming it; so that there is but small time left for my Hugonot 'subjects to live, who have never done me any harm.' Whereupon this cursed rogue answered, ' Let him give you your commission again.' The king said, ' How shall I get it out of his hand? For, 4 if I send to him for it, he will refuse to send it.' This devil an* 6wered, ' If your majesty will give me order, I will quickly make 'him return it.' The king was soon persuaded, being willing to give ease to his troubled spirit, and said: ' Well, go then, and > break his neck, if he will not give it you,? Whereupon, this sou

« AnteriorContinuar »