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the twenty-third article of which, the following provision is made in the most express terms; That if
any differences should happen to arise betwixt the two commonwealths, the subjects on both sides should be advertised, that they should have six months from the time of the advertisement to transport their effects, during which time there should be no arrest, interrupting, or damaging, of any man's person or goods.” In which affair, the king truly has shown but very little regard to those contracts, which he charges us with having broken, as appears from that late confiscation of our goods. But what he declares in that edict concerning the acts of hostility committed in the West Indies, their being to be considered as a violation of peace and free commerce in these parts, is a new and quite different explanation from what has ever been propounded hitherto by either of the two republics, though both parties have frequently had occasions to declare their judgment about this matter.
But seeing the king of Spain has declared both by word and deed, that the articles of peace ought to be thus understood, 'it follows, that by so many acts of hostility committed against the English in these parts, and which first began on his side, and have been continued from the very time of the last concluded treaty, as was formerly observed, to this very day; hence I say it follows, that he seems to be convinced, that the sacred bonds of friendship have been first broken on his side. Which thing is so clear and manifest, that our adversaries themselves in this controversy are ashamed to deny the fact, and choose rather to dispute with us concerning the right of possession; which must be in the following manner: as the king of Spain, among his other titles, has assumed that of king of the Indies, so they affirm, that the whole Indies and Indian sea, both south and north, belong to him, and that they are all enemies and pirates, who approach these places without his commission. Which if it were true, both we and all other nations ought to leave and restore to him all our possessions there, and having brought back whatever colonies we have sent thither, should beg his pardon for the injury we have done him; but if we consider a little more narrowly the truth and reasonableness of this title, we shall find that it is built upon a very slender and weak foundation, to have such a vast pile of war and contentions erected upon it, as the present is likely to be. They pretend to have a double title, one founded upon the pope's gift, and another upon their having first discovered those places. As to the first, we know the pope has been always very liberal in his gifts of kingdoms and countries, but in the mean time we cannot but think, that in so doing, he acts in a very different manner from him, whose vicar he professes himself, who would not so much as allow himself to be appointed a judge in the dividing of inheritances, far less give any one whole kingdoms at his pleasure, like the pope, who has thought fit to make a present of England, Ireland, and some other kingdoms.
But we deny his being invested with any such authority, nor do we think there is any nation so void of understanding, as to think that so great power is lodged in him, or that the Spaniards would believe this or acquiesce in it, if he should require them to yield up as much as he has bestowed. But if the French and others, who acknowledge the pope's authority in ecclesiastical matters, have no regard to this title of the Spaniards, it cannot be expected we should think of it any other wise. And so we leave this point, as not deserving a fuller answer.
Nor is the other title of any greater weight, as if the Spaniards in consequence of their having first discovered some few parts of America, and given names to some islands, rivers, and promontories, had for this reason lawfully acquired the government and dominion of that new world. But such an imaginary title founded on such a silly pretence, without being in possession, cannot possibly create any true and lawful right. The best right of possession in America is that which is founded on one's having planted colonies there, and settled in such places as had either no inhabitants, or by the consent of the inhabitants, if there were any; or at least, in some of the wild and uncultivated places of their country, which they were not numerous enough to replenish and improve; since God has created this earth for the use of men, and ordered them to replenish it throughout.
If this be true, as the Spaniards will be found to hold their possessions there very unjustly, having purchased all of them against the will of the inhabitants, and as it were plucked them out of their very bowels, having laid the foundations of their empire in that place, in the blood of the poor natives, and rendered several large islands and countries, that were in a tolerable case when they found them, so many barren desarts, and rooted out all the inhabitants there; so the English hold their possessions there by the best right imaginable, especially those islands where the Spaniards have fallen upon their colonies, and quite demolished them ; which islands had no other inhabitants at all, or if they had, they were all slain by the Spaniards who had likewise deserted these places, and left them without any to improve or cultivate them: so that by the law of nature and nations they belong to any who think fit to take possession of them, according to that common and well-known maxim in law, “Such things as belong to none, and such as are abandoned by their former possessors, become his property who first seizes them.” Although, granting that we had beat the Spaniards out of those places where we have planted our colonies, out of which they had at first expelled the inhabitants, we should have possessed them with better right, as the avengers of the murder of that people, and of the injuries sustained by them, than the Spaniards their oppressors and murderers. But since we have settled our colonies in such places as were neither possessed by the natives nor the Spaniards, they having left behind them neither houses nor cattle, nor any thing that could by any means keep up the right of possession, the justness of our title to these places was so much the more evident, and the injuries done us by the Spaniards so much the more manifest, especially our right to those places that were seized while the two nations were at war with each other, such as the isles of Providence and Tortuga, which if the Spaniards could have shown to be theirs by any former title which they have not yet produced, yet since they have not done it in the last treaty of peace, by the second article of this treaty, they have for the future cut themselves off from all such pretence, and if they had any right, have now lost it. It is unnecessary to talk any further upon this argument.
There is no intelligent person but will easily see how empty and weak those reasons are, that the Spaniard has for claiming to himself alone an empire of such a vast and prodigious extent. But we have said this much, in order to show the weakness of those pretences, whereby the Spaniards endeavour to justify themselves for having treated us with so much .cruelty and barbarity in the West Indies, for having enslaved, hanged, drowned, tortured, and put to death our countrymen, robbed them of their ships and goods, and demolished our colonies, even in the time of profound peace, and that without any injury received on their part: which cruel usage and havoc, made among our people, and such as were of the same orthodox faith with them, as oft as the English call to remembrance, they cannot miss to think that their former glory is quite gone, and their ships of war become entirely useless, if they suffer themselves to be any longer treated in such a disgraceful manner: and moreover, to be not only excluded from all free commerce in so great and opulent a part of the world, but likewise to be looked upon as pirates and robbers, and punished in the same manner as They, if they presume to sail those seas, or so much as look that way: or, in fine, have any intercourse or dealing even with their own colonies that are settled there.
Concerning the bloody Spanish inquisition we shall say nothing, this being a controversy common to all protestants, nor shall we speak of the many seminaries of English priests and Jesuits nestling under the protection of the Spaniards, which is a perpetual cause of stumbling, and very great danger to the commonwealth ; since what we principally propose is, to show the grounds and reasons of the controversies in the West Indies, and we are confident we have made it plain to all, who weigh things fairly and impartially, that necessity, honour, and justice, have prompted us to undertake this late expedition. First, we have been prompted to it by necessity; it being absolutely necessary to go to war with the Spaniards, since they will not allow us to be at peace with them: and then honour, and justice, seeing we cannot pretend to either of these, if we sit still and suffer such unsufferable injuries to be done our countrymen, as those we have shown to have been done them in the West Indies.
And truly they see but a very little way, who form their notion of the designs and intentions of the Spaniards, according to that friendly aspect, with which the present declension of their affairs has obliged them to look upon us in these parts of the world, (that face which they have put on being only a false one,) for it is certain they have the same mind, and the very same desires, which they had in the year 1588, when they endeavoured to subdue this whole island ; nay, it is certain their hatred is more inflamed, and their jealousies and suspicions more increased by this change of the state of our affairs, and of the form of our republic. But if we omit this opportunity, which by reason of some things that have lately happened, may perhaps give us an occasion to fall upon some way, whereby through the assistance of God we may provide for our safety, against this old and implacable enemy of our religion and country; it may happen, he will recover such a degree of strength, as will render him as formidable and hard to be endured as before. One thing is certain, he always will and cannot but have the greatest indignation against us. Meanwhile, if we suffer such grievous injuries to be done our countrymen in the West Indies, without any satisfaction or revenge; if we suffer ourselves to be wholly excluded from that so considerable a part of the world; if we suffer our malicious and inveterate enemy (especially now, after he has made peace with the Dutch) to carry off without molestation, from the West Indies, those prodigious treasures, whereby he may repair his present damages, and again bring his affairs to such a prosperous and happy condition, as to deliberate with himself a second time, what he was thinking upon in the year 1588; namely, whether it would be more adviseable to begin with subduing England, in order to recover the United Provinces, or with them, in order to reduce England under his subjection : without doubt he will not find fewer, but more, causes why he should begin with England. And if God should at any time permit those intentions of his to have their desired effect, we have good ground to expect, that the residue of that cruel havoc, he made among our brethren at the foot of the Alps, will be first exercised upon us, and after that upon all protestants; which, if we may give credit to the complaints that were made by those poor orthodox Christians, was first designed and contrived in the court of Spain, by those friars whom they call missionaries.
All these things being considered, we hope the time will come, when all, but especially true Englishmen, will rather lay aside their private animosities among themselves, and renounce their own proper advantages, than through an excessive desire of that sınall profit to be made by trading to Spain, (which cannot be obtained bút upon such conditions as are dishonourable and in some sort unlawful, and which may likewise be got some other way,) expose, as they now do, to the utmost danger, the souls of many young traders, by those terms upon which they now live and trade there, and suffer the lives and fortunes of many Christian brethren in America, and in fine, the honour of this whole nation, to be exposed, and, what of all is the most momentous and important, let slip out of their hands the most notable opportunities of promoting the glory of God, and enlarging the bounds of Christ's kingdom: which, we do not doubt, will appear to be the chief end of our late expedition into the West Indies against the Spaniards, to all who are free of those prejudices which hinder people from clearly discerning the truth.
DEFENCE OF THE PEOPLE OF ENGLAND,
AGAINST AN ANONYMOUS LIBEL
THE ROYAL BLOOD CRYING TO HEAVEN FOR VENGEANCE ON THE
TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN,
BY ROBERT FELLOWES, A. M. OXON.
A GRATEFUL recollection of the divine goodness, is the first of human obligations; and extraordinary favours demand more solemn and devout acknowledgments; with such acknowledgments I feel it my duty to begin this work. First, because I was born at a time, when the virtue of my fellow-citizens, far exceeding that of their progenitors in greatness of soul and vigour of enterprise, having invoked heaven to witness the justice of their cause, and been clearly governed by its directions, has succeeded in delivering the commonwealth from the most grievous tyranny, and religion from the most ignominious degradation. And next, because when there suddenly arose many who, as is usual with the vulgar, basely calumniated the most illustrious achievements, and when one eminent above the rest, inflated with literary pride, and the zealous applauses of his partisans, had in a scandalous publication, which was particularly levelled against me, nefariously undertaken to plead the cause of despotism, I who was neither deemed unequal to so renowned an adversary, nor to so great a subject, was particularly selected by the deliverers of our country, and by the general suffrage of the public, openly to vindicate the rights of the English nation, and consequently of liberty itself. Lastly, because in a matter of so much moment, and which excited such ardent expectations, I did not disappoint the hopes nor the opinions of my fellow-citizens; while men of learning and eminence abroad honoured me with unmingled approbation; while I obtained such a victory over my opponent, that notwithstanding his unparalleled assurance, he was obliged to quit the field with his courage broken and his reputation lost; and for the three years which he lived afterwards, much as he menaced and furiously as he raved, he gave me no further trouble, except that he procured the paltry aid of some despicable hirelings, and suborned some of his silly and extravagant admirers, to support him under the weight of the unexpected and recent disgrace which he had experienced. This will immediately appear. Such are the signal favours which I ascribe to the divine beneficence, and which I thought it right devoutly to commemorate, not only that I might discharge a debt of gratitude, but particularly because they seem auspicious to the success of my present undertaking. For who is there, who does not identify the honour of his country with his own? And what can conduce more to the beauty or glory of one's country, than the recovery, not only of its civil but its religious liberty? And what nation or state ever obtained both, by more successful or more valorous exertion ? For fortitude is seen resplendent, not only in the field of battle and amid the clash of arms, but displays its energy under every difficulty and against every assailant. Those Greeks and Romans, who are the objects of our admiration, employed hardly any other virtue in the extirpation of tyrants, than that love of liberty which made them prompt in seizing the sword, and gave them strength to use it. With facility they accomplished the undertaking, amid the general shout of praise and joy ; nor did they engage in the attempt so much as an enterprise of perilous and doubtful issue, as in a contest the most glorious in which virtue could be signalized; which infallibly led to present recompence; which bound their brows with wreaths of laurel, and consigned their memories to immortal fame. For as yet, tyrants were not beheld with a superstitious reverence; as yet they were not regarded with tenderness and complacency, as the vicegerents or deputies of Christ, as they have suddenly professed to be; as yet the vulgar, stupified by the subtle casuistry of the priest, had not degenerated into a state of barbarisın, more gross than that which disgraces the most senseless natives of Hindostan. For these make mischievous demons, whose malice they cannot resist, the objects of their religious adoration; while those elevate impotent tyrants, in order to shield them from destruction, into the rank of gods; and to their own cost, consecrate the pests of the human race. But against this dark array of long received opinions, superstitions, obloquy, and fears, which some dread even more than the enemy himself, the English had to contend; and all this, under the light of better information, and favoured by an impulse from above, they overcame with such singular enthusiasm and bravery, that, great as were the numbers engaged in the contest, the grandeur of conception, and loftiness of spirit which were universally displayed, merited for each individual more than a mediocrity of fame; and Britain, which was formerly styled the hotbed of tyranny, will hereafter deserve to be celebrated for endless ages, as a soil most genial to the growth of liberty. During the mighty struggle, no anarchy, no licentiousness was seen; no illusions of glory, no extravagant emulation of the ancients inflamed them with a thirst for ideal liberty ; but