Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
By John Hayward (1564?1627)
From The Right of Succession Asserted
IT is a rule in nature that one contrary is manifested by the other. Let us compare then your boisterous doctrine with that of the apostles and ancient fathers of the Church, and we shall find that one is like the rough spirit which hurled the herd of swine headlong into the sea; the other like the still and soft spirit which talked with Elias.
Neither was the devil ever able, until in late declining times, to possess the hearts of Christians with these cursed opinions, which do evermore beget a world of murders, rapes, ruins, and desolations. For tell me, what if the prince, whom you persuade the people they have power to depose, be able to make and maintain his party, as King John and King Henry the Third did against their barons! What if other princes, whom it doth concern, as well in honour, to see the law of nations observed, as also in policy, to break those proceedings which may form precedents against themselves, do adjoin to the side! What if whilst the prince and the people are (as was the frog and the mouse) in the heat of their encounter, some other potentate play the kite with them both, as the Turk did with the Hungarians? Is it not then a fine piece of policy which you do plot? or is it not a gross error to raise those dangers, and to leave the defence to possibilities doubtful?
Go to, sirs, go to, there is no Christian country which hath not by your devices been wrapped in wars. You have set the empire on float with blood; your fires in France are not yet extinguished; in Polonia and all those large countries, extending from the north to the east, you have caused of late more battles to be fought, than had been in five hundred years before. Your practices have heretofore prevailed against us: of late years you have busied yourselves in no one thing more, than how to set other Christian Princes on our necks; stirring up such a store of enemies against us, as, like the grasshoppers of Egypt, might fill our houses, and cover our whole land, and make more doubt of room than of resistance. Our own people also you have provoked to unnatural attempts: you have exposed our country as a prey to them that will either invade or betray it; supposing belike that you play Christs part well when you may say as Christ did:Think not that I came to send peace: I came not to send peace, but a sword. But when, by the power and providence of God, all these attempts have rather shown what good hearts you bear towards us, than done us any great harm; when in all these practices you have missed the mark, now you do take another aim: now having no hope by extremity of arms, you endeavour to execute your malice, by giving dangerous advice; now you go about to entangle us with titles, which is the greatest misery that can fall upon a State.
You pretend fair shows of liberty and of power, Sed timeo Danaos et dona ferentes: we cannot but suspect the courtesies of our enemies: the power which you gave us will pull us down; the liberty whereof you speak will fetter us in bondage. When Themistocles came to the Persian court, Artabanus, captain of the guard, knowing that he would use no ceremony to their king, kept him out of presence, and said unto him:You Grecians esteem us barbarous for honouring our kings, but we Persians esteem it the greatest honour to us that can be. The like answer will we frame unto you:You Jesuits account it a bondage to be obedient unto kings, but we Christians account it the greatest means for our continuance both free and safe.