Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

the contrary, much honour and great assurance of advantage may be only visible; Sed quod interius malum tegunt principia, posteriora produnt: “ But evil then does us the “most mischief, when it comes to us under the mask and “ disguise of good; and the effects of a secret and un“ discovered danger are of all others the most fatal.”

First, in the question of leaving or succouring the Netherlands; whether it shall be openly or underhand, if at all; what profit every way, and what assurance may be gotten to your majesty by aiding them, and what danger by leaving them.

If your majesty make peace with Spain, what the conditions shall be; and how your majesty shall be assured of their faithful performance of them.

And these fold up in them many considerations of no small consequence ; and I hope your majesty's prudent determination for the advantage of England and Europe will make your wisdom so appear to the world, that it may be truly said, Quam mirabilis sit copula sapientiæ cum potentia! « How admirable is the conjunction of wisdom and “ power !" And because it is also true, that nulli unquam Deus omnia dedit, “ that God never endued any one man “ with all things ;” your majesty must ease yourself in some part by the help of council; for, sapientiæ argumentum in principe nullum majus, quam sapientum virorum consilio uti : “ For a prince to adhere to the advice and “ counsel of wise men, is the greatest argument of his own “ wisdom.”

For myself, because I have presumed thus far upon hope of your majesty's gracious pardon and favourable acceptance, being the meanest and unworthiest of all others, I can say but this; Si le sel un conseil donne, je n'en fais refus pour personne ; “ If a counsel appears good and season“ able, it will not be refused for his sake that gives it."

I dare not write all I desire, for I know not to whose hands these may come: this I beseech your majesty to know, that it proceedeth from an humble and faithful heart, which your majesty cannot beat from the love of your royal person and good estate.

In this great business God direct your majesty's mind : Agitur de imperio mundi : “ The dispute is no less than of " the government of the whole world, as to us." When the house is built, it is ill mending the foundation thereof.

God hath so blessed your majesty in the situation of your kingdoms, that the growth of any of your neighbouring states depends upon your majesty's election, whom you will aid and assist.

Your majesty may propound such necessary conditions, both to the States and the Spanish side, as you may break with either, upon the grounds both of honour and reason.

Now no man in this case can assure his council, or undertake to give judgment of the success ; for, according to Aristotle, Omnia quæ veniunt in consultationem talia sunt, qualia possint aliter accidere : “ Every thing that comes “ under deliberation is of such an uncertain condition and “ nature, that things may happen quite different from what " the wisest man could foresee.”

But if your majesty be not affectionate to either party, then, no doubt, but your majesty will follow the way which appeareth to be most safe, most profitable, and most honourable.

And whosoever loveth your majesty will not only wish it, but withal present the little talent of his knowledge therein; for, non tantum qui mutat locum, sed fugit qui se sub silentio abscondit; “ for he that will be silent when he “ might declare and publish what may prove useful to your “ majesty's government, does as much decline your service “ as he that flies your kingdoms.”

A DISCOURSE

OF

THE INVENTION OF SHIPS, ANCHORS,

COMPASS, &c.

THE FIRST NATURAL WAR, THE SEVERAL USES, DEFECTS, AND SUPPLIES OF SHIPPING; THE STRENGTH AND DEFECTS OF THE SEA-FORCES OF ENGLAND,

FRANCE, SPAIN, AND VENICE:

TOGETHER WITH

THE FIVE MANIFEST CAUSES OF THE SUDDEN APPEARING

OF THE HOLLANDERS.

THAT the ark of Noah was the first ship, because the invention of God himself, although some men have believed, yet it is certain that the world being planted before the flood the same could not be performed without some transporting vessels. It is true, and the success proves it, that there was not any so capacious, nor so strong to defend itself against so violent and so continued a pouring down of rain, as the ark of Noah, the invention of God himself; for of what fashion or fabric soever, the rest, with all mankind, perished, according to the ordinance of God. And probable it is, that the anchors, whereof Ovid made mention, found on high mountains, Et inventa est in montibus anchora summis, were remaining of ships wrecked at the general flood.

After the flood, it is said that Minos, who lived two descents before the war of Troy, sent out ships to free the Grecian seas of pirates ; which shews that there had been either trade or war upon the waters before his time also.

The expedition of the Argonauts was after Minos a; and so was the plantation of Tyrene in Africa, by Battus, who

* Pindar.

Griph in the

with a

was one of Jason's companions; and that the Tyrians had trade by sea before the war of Troy, Homer tells us.

Others give the first dominion upon the waters to Nep tuneb, who, for the great exploits he did in the service of Saturn, was, by after ages, called the god of the seas. But the Corinthians ascribe the invention of rowing vessels to a citizen of their own called Amenocles; and that the first naval war was made between the Samians and Corcyrians.

Ithicus's History, changed into Latin by St. Hierome, affirms, that Griphon the Scythian was the inventor of long boats, or galleys, in the northern seas; and Strabo gives the invention of the anchor with two hooks to the Scythian Anacharsis, but the Greeks to Eupolemus.

It is also said, that Icarus invented the sail, and others other pieces and parts of the ships and boats, whereof the certain knowledge is of no great moment. This is certain, that the sons and nephews of Noah, who peopled the isles of the Gentiles, and gave their own names to many of them, had vessels to transport themselves long before the days of Minos; and for my own opinion, I do not think that any one nation (the Syrians excepted, to whom the knowledge of the ark came, as the story of the creation did soon after Moses) did find out, at once, the device either of ship or boat, in which they durst venture themselves upon the seas: but being forced by necessity to pass over rivers or lakes, they first bound together certain reeds or canes, by which they transported themselves. Calamorum falces, saith D. Siculus, admodum ingentes inter se conjungunt.

Others made rafts of wood, and other devised the boat of one tree called the canoe, which the Gauls upon the river of Roan used in assisting the transportation of Hannibal's army, in his enterprise of Italy. Primum Galli inchoantes cavabant arboresd, saith Livy; but Polydor Virgil e gives the invention of those canoes to the Germans inhabiting about the river of Danubius, which kind of hollow trees Isidor calls carabes.

1 D. Sic. lib. 6.
e Lib, Ger. 1. cap. I.

Livy, 1. lib. dec. • Polidor, lib. 3.

The Britains had boats made of willow twigs, and co vered on the outside with bullock-hides, and so had the Venetians; of which Lucan, Primum cana salix, &c. malefacto, &c.; and Julius Solinus, Navigant autem Vimineis alveis quos circundant ambitione tergorum bubalorum. The same kind of boats had the Germans 6, saith Isidor, who in his time committed many robberies in them. But whosoever devised the canoe among the Danubians, or among the Gauls, sure I am that the Indians of America never had any trade with either of these nations; and yet from Frobisher's straits to the straits of Magellan those boats are found, and in some parts of that length, as I have seen them rowed with twenty oars of a side.

The truth is, that all nations, how remote soever, being all reasonable creatures, and enjoying one and the same imagination and fantasy, have devised, according to their means and materials, the same things.

The eastern people, who have had from all antiquity the use of iron, have found out the saw, and with the saw they have sundered trees in boards and planks, and have joined them together with nails, and so made boats and galleys safe and portable; so have they built cities and towns of timber, and the like in all else.

On the contrary, the West Indies, and many nations of the Africans, wanting means and materials, have been taught by their own necessities to pass rivers in a boat of one tree, and to tie unsquared poles together on the top for their houses, which they cover with large leaves; yea, the same boats and the same buildings are found in countries two thousand miles distant, debarred from all commerce by unpassable mountains, lakes, and deserts. Nature hath taught them all to choose kings and captains for their leaders and judges. They all have lighted on the invention of bows and arrows; all have targets and wooden swords; all have instruments to encourage them to fight; all that have

"Such boats are now used for sporting in the fens. $ Isidor. Orig. 9. de Narig. cap. 1.

« AnteriorContinuar »