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to present it; but zeal and dutiful affection, in an
"And Elijah said unto Ahab, get thee up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of abundance of rain.
"So Ahab went up to eat and to drink; and Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and cast himself down upon the earth, and put his head between his knees;
"And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea; and he went up and looked, and said, There is nothing; and he said, Go again, seven times.
"And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold there comes a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand: And he said, Go, say unto Ahab, prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
"And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind; and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel."-1 Kings, xviii 41-45.
Joash, king of Israel, having visited the prophet Elisha while on his death bed, was desired, by the dying seer, to take a how, and shoot an arrow towards the east, and he shot. "And he said, The arrow of the Lord's deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek till thou have consumed them.
"And he said, Take the arrows, and he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground; and he smote thrice, and stayed.
"And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldst have smitten five and six times, then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it, whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice-2 Kings, xiii. 17—19.
Henry the Fourth, your royal grandfather,* whose victories, and the subversion of the League, are the main argument of this history, was a prince most clement in his nature: he forgave his rebels, and received them all into merand some of them into favour, but it was not cy, till he had fully vanquished them: they were sensible of their impiety; they submitted, and his clemency was not extorted from him; it was his free gift, and it was seasonably given. I wish the case were here the same: I confess it was not much unlike it at your majesty's happy restoration; yet so much of the parallel was then wanting, that the amnesty you gave produced not all the desired effects. For our sects are of a more obstinate nature than were those leaguing Catholics, who were always for a king, and, yet more, the major part of them would have him of the royal stem; but our associates and sectaries are men of commonwealth principles; and though their first stroke was only aimed at the immediate succession, it was most manifest that it would not there have ended, for at the same time they were hewing at your royal prerogatives. So that the next successor, if there had been any, must have been a precarious prince, and depended on them for the necessaries of life. But of these and more outrageous proceedings, your majesty has already shown yourself justly sensible in your declaration, after the dissolution of the last parliament, which put an end to the arbitrary encroachments of a popular faction. Since which time it has pleased Almighty God so to prosper your affairs, that, without searching into the secrets of Divine Providence, it is evident your magnanimity and resolution, next under Him, have been the immediate cause of your safety and our present happiness. By weathering of which storm, may I presume to say it without flattery, you have performed a greater and more glorious work than all the conquests of your neighbours. For it is not difficult for a great monarchy, well united, and making use of advantages, to extend its limits; but to be pressed with wants, surrounded with dangers, your authority undermined in popular assemblies, your sacred life attempted by a conspiracy, your royal brother forced from your arms; in one word, to govern a kingdom, which was either possessed or turned into a bedlam, and yet in the midst of
* Our readers need hardly be reminded, that the League was a confederacy formed under pretence of maintaining the Catholic religion, and excluding Henry of Navarre, afterwards Henry IV., from the throne, on account of his being a Huguenot. It was only dispersed and subdued after the long and bloody war which was terminated by his ascending the throne in 1594,
ruin to stand firm, undaunted, and resolved, and at last to break through all these difficulties and dispel them, this is indeed an action which is worthy the grandson of Henry the Great. During all this violence of your enemies, your majesty has contended with your natural clemency to make some examples of your justice; and they themselves will acknowledge, that you have not urged the law against them, but have been pressed and constrained by it to inflict punishments in your own defence, and in the mean time to watch every opportunity of showing mercy, when there was the least probability of repentance: so that they who have suffered, may be truly said to have forced the sword of justice out of your hand, and to have done execution on themselves. But by how much the more you have been willing to spare them, by so much has their impudence increased; and if by this mildness they recover from the great frost which has almost blasted them to the roots, if these venomous plants shoot out again, it will be a sad comfort to say they have been ungrateful, when it is evident to mankind that ingratitude is their nature. That sort of pity which is proper for them, and may be of use to their conversion, is to make them sensible of their errors; and this your majesty, out of your fatherly indulgence, amongst other experiments which you have made, is pleased to allow them in this book, which you have commanded to be translated for the public benefit; that at least all such as are not wilfully blind may view in it, as in a glass, their own deformities: for never was there a plainer parallel than of the troubles of France and of Great Britain; of their leagues, covenants, associations, and ours; of their Calvinists and our Presbyterians; they are all of
the same family; and Titian's famous table of the Altar-piece, with the pictures of Venetian senators from great-grandfather to great-grandson, shows not more the resemblance of a race than this: for as there, so here, the features are alike in all; there is nothing but the age that makes the difference; otherwise the old man of a hundred, and the babe in swaddling clouts, that is to say, 1584 and 1684, have but a century and a sea betwixt them, to be the same. But I have presumed too much upon your majesty's time already, and this is not the place to show that resemblance, which is but too manifest in the whole history. It is enough to say, your majesty has allowed our rebels a greater favour than the law; you have given them the benefit of their clergy: if they can but read, and will be honest enough to apply it, they may be saved. God Almighty give an answerable success to this your royal act of grace; may they all repent, and be united as the body to their head! May that treasury of mercy which is within your royal breast have leave to be poured forth upon them, when they put themselves in a condition of receiving it! and, in the mean time, permit me to implore it humbly for myself, and let my presumption in this bold address be forgiven to the zeal which I have to your service and to the public good. To conclude: may you never have a worse-meaning offender at your feet, than him, who, besides his duty and his natural inclination, has all manner of obligations to be perpetually,
SIR, Your majesty's most humble, Most obedient, and most faithful Subject and Servant, JOHN DRYDEN.
DEDICATION TO THE FRENCH KING.*
FRANCE, which being well united, as we now behold it, under the glorious reign of your majesty, might give law to all the world, was upon the point of self-destruction, by the division which was raised in it by two fatal leagues of rebels; the one in the middle, and the other towards the latter end, of the last age.
Heresy produced the first against the true religion; ambition, under the mask of zeal, gave birth to the second, with pretence of maintaining what the other would have ruined: and both of them, though implacable enemies to each other, yet agreed in this, that each of them, at divers times, set up the standard of rebellion against our kings.
The crimes of the former I have set forth in the history of Calvinism, which made that impious League in France, against the Lord and his anointed; and I discover the wickedness of the latter in this work, which I present to your majesty, as the fruit of my exact obedience to those commands with which you have been pleased to honour me. I have endeavoured to perform them with so much the greater satisfaction to myself, because I believed that, in reading this history, the falsehood of some advantages which the Leaguers and Huguenots have ascribed to themselves may be easily discerned. These, by boasting, as they frequently do, even at this day, that they set the crown on the head of King Henry IV.; those, that their League was the cause of his conversion. I hope the world will soon be disabused of those mistakes; and that it will be clearly seen, that they were the Catholics of the royal party, who, next under God, produced those two effects, so advantageous to France. We are owing for neither of them to those two unhappy Leagues, which were the most dangerous enemies to the prosperity of the kingdom; and it is manifest at this present time, that the glory
• Louis XIV.
The association of the Huguenots under the Prince of Conde, Coligni, and others.
of triumphing over both of them was reserved, by the Divine Providence, to our kings of the imperial stem of Bourbon.
Henry IV. subdued and reduced the League of the false zealots, by the invincible force of his arms, and by the wonderful attractions of his clemency: Louis the Just disarmed that of the Calvinists, by the taking of Rochelle, and other places, which those heretics had moulded into a kind of commonwealth against their sovereign; and Louis the Great, without employing other arms than those of his ardent charity and incomparable zeal for the conversion of Protestants, accompanied by the justice of his laws, has reduced it to that low condition, that we have reason to believe we shall behold its ruin, by the repentance of those, who, being deluded and held back by their ministers, continue still in their crroneous belief, rather through ignorance than malice. And this it is, which, when accomplished, will surpass even all those other wonders which daily are beheld, under your most auspicious government.
Undoubtedly, sir, your majesty has performed, by your victorious arms, your generous goodness, and your more than royal magnificence, all those great and heroic actions, which will ever be the admiration of the world, and infinitely above the commendations which future ages, in imitation of the present, will consecrate to your immortal memory. I presume not to undertake that subject, because it has already drained the praises of the noblest pens, which yet have not been able to raise us to that idea of you, which we ought justly to conceive:
shall only say, that what you have done with so much prudence, justice, and glory, by extending the French monarchy to its ancient bounds, and rendering it, as it is at present, as flourishing, and as much respected by all the world, as it ever has been under the greatest and most renowned of all our monarchs, is not
I It would not have been decent to remind the Grand Monarque of such arguments as dragoons, banishment, and the galleys.
It is what is continually implored of God, in his most ardent prayers, who, enjoying the abundant favours of your majesty, lives at this day the most happy of mankind, under your most powerful protection; and is most obliged to continue all his life, with all imaginable respect and zeal.
so great in the sight of God, as what your majesty performs daily, with so much piety, zeal, and good success, in augmenting the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and procuring the conversion of our Protestants, by those gentle and efficacious means which you have used.
This, sir, is, without exception, the most glorious of all your conquests; and while you continue to enjoy on earth that undisputed glory which your other actions have acquired you, is preparing an eternal triumph for you in the heavens.
Your majesty's most obedient
And most faithful subject and servant, LOUIS MAIMBOURG.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.
SINCE perhaps there are some, who may think themselves concerned in this history, because they are the grand-children or descendants of those who are here mentioned, I desire them to consider, that writing like a faithful historian, I am obliged sincerely to relate either the good or ill which they have done. If they find themselves offended, they must take their satisfaction on those who have prescribed the laws of history: let them give an account of their own rules; for historians are indispensably bound to follow them; and the sum of our reputation consists in a punctual execution of their orders.
lations, and memoirs, whether printed or manuscripts, from whence I take the substance of my relations.
One of those writers of whom I have made most use, is Monsieur Peter Victor Cayet, in his nine years' chronology, containing the bistory of the wars of Henry the Fourth.* Because he having always followed that prince, since he was placed in his service, together with Monsieur de la Gaucherie, who was his preceptor, it is exceeding probable that he was better informed of the passages of those times, of which he was an eye-witness, than others who had not that advantage.
For what else concerns him, he was one of the most learned and able ministers which our Protestants have ever had; and in that quality served Madam Catherine, the king's sister, till, about two years after the conversion of that great prince, he acknowledged the true Catholic religion, and made his solemn abjuration of heresy at Paris. He also published the motives of his conversion in a learned treatise, which was received with great applause both in France and in foreign countries; and his example, fortified with the strong reasons of a man so able as he was, to which no solid answer was ever given, was immediately followed by the conversion of a great number of Protestants, who by his means
Thus, as I pretend not to have deserved their thanks in speaking well of their relations, so I may reasonably conclude, that they ought not to wish me ill, when I say what is not much to their advantage. I faithfully relate what I find written in good authors, or in particular memoirs, which I take for good, after I have thoroughly examined them.
Peter Victor Palma Cayet studied at Geneva, and was a domestic in the house of Calvin. He
I do yet more; for, considering that no man is bound to believe, when I say in general that I have had the use of good manuscripts, on whose credit I give you what is not otherwise to be had; I sincerely and particularly point out the originals from whence I drew these truths; and am fully convinced, that every historian, who hopes to gain the belief of his reader, ought to transact in the same manner. For, if there were no more to be done, than barely to say, I have found such or such an extraordinary passage in an authentic manuscript, fence of public stews, he was deposed by a synod without giving a more particular account of it, under pretence of being bound to secrecy, there is no kind of fable which by this means might not be slurred upon the reader for a truth. An author might tell many a lusty lie, but a reader, who were not a very credulous fool, or a very complaisant gentleman, would have a care of believing him. It is for this reason that I have always marked in my margins, the books, re
afterwards became a reformed minister and chaplain to Catherine, sister to Henry IV. Being addicted to alchymy, and having written a work in de
from his ministerial functions, as a wizard and a libertine. Upon his disgrace he abjured the reolics as a convert of such importance, that the Pope formed doctrine, and was considered by the Cathhimself honoured his proselyte with a letter of con
gratulation. His historical works are, an Account
of the War between the Turks and Hungarians, published in 1598; his "Septennary Chronology," comprising from 1598 to 1604; and his "Novennary Chronology," giving an account of the nine years' war, which broke out in 1589, and was terminated by the peace of Vervins. Cayet died in 1610.