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Other necessary notes to be observed.
THAT there may be order taken to have a store of powder, match, bullets ready cast, moulds of divers bores, charges, bow-strings, shooting gloves, warlrasses, and such other necessaries fit to be used at that time: Whereof (I doubt me) whether the whole shire be able to furnish the tenth part, that would be required. Whereof it were good to be provided aforehand, and brought in carts, to those places of assembly; whereby men may be readily furnished for their money, and the service nothing hindered in time of need.
That it be looked unto, by such as have charge to take the view of men, and their weapons, that every shot be provided of a mould, a priming pin, a ferries, a flint, and match powder, which things are as needful to be seen into, as the piece itself, although few provide and make reckoning thereof.
That, in the said musters and assemblies, there be good numbers of labourers appointed, who may also be assigned to have a spade, a mattock, a shovel, an ax, or a bill. And these pioneers, to resort to the places of assembly, at every alarm; over whom, should be a skilful engineer appointed, to have the chief charge and govern
And, whereas you have great numbers of hacknies or hobblers, I could wish, that upon them you mount as many of the highest and nimblest shot as you can, which may be sent down to the sea-side upon every alarm, or to such streights and places of advantage, as to a discreet leader shall seem convenient. The which arguliteers shall stand you in as great stead, as horse of better account,
For, by the means of them, men will take great courage to offer a proud attempt upon the enemy, being assured of their succour, if any occasion or appearance of danger force them to retire.
It were considerable, that all the youth of the land were well prepared with bows and arrows. For in woody places, or behind banks, or in other places these might annoy the horse and men : Witness the brave battles atchieved in France, by bowmen; and these arms would supply many thousands, which are not able to get better.
WARNING FOR ENGLAND,
ESPECIALLY FOR LONDON;
FAMOUS HISTORY OF THE FRANTICK ANABAPTISTS, Their wild preachings and practices in Germany.
Printed in the Year 1642. Quarto, containing twenty-eight pages.
BOUT the year of our Lord 1525, all Germany was put into an uproar and confusion, by the seditious preaching of some turbulent ministers. The ringleader among them was one Thomas Muncer, who pretending a wonderful and more than ordinary zeal, having with great passion preached against the popish errors, at length began to preach against Luther, terming him as too cold, and his sermons as not savouring enough of the spirit; with great earnestness he pressed the exercises of mortification, and exhorted to a more frequent and familiar conversation with God; he pretended to some divine revelations, that God by dreams and visions did reveal unto his saints his will. By these discourses, he won a great opinion and reputation with the people, who daily flocked after him and admired him as a man divinely inspired: At length he began more plainly to publish his design, and told his followers, that he had received a command from God to kill and root up all wicked princes and magistrates, and to chuse better in their places.
Frederick, Elector of Saxony, hearing of these his seditious sermons, banished him out of his country; from thence he went first to Norrenburg, then to Mulhuse; every where poisoning the people with his seditious doctrine; because the senators of Mulhuse, and the better sort, disliked him, he wrought so effectually with the base people, that, rising in a tumult, they turned out their chief magistrates, and created others. So that now Muncer was not only a preacher, but a senator; whatsoever he commanded, was done, his pleasure was a law, and his direction in all things, as he said, a divine revelation. He taught a community of all goods to be most agreeable to nature, and that all freemen ought to be equal in dignity and condition. By this means he gathered great companies of mean people, who, leaving their labours, thought fit and just to take part with others of better wealth
In Swevia and Franconia, near forty thousand peasants took arms
The state of government standing thus, if distempered times happen to be (as our chronicles have shewed some) where, by dissension between prince and people, the kingdom's ruin hath been endangered, it doth not so much prove that the English government is not the best, as that the best government may be abused. For in every monarchy, how limited soever, the prince's person is invested with so much Majesty, that it would seem a mockery in state, if there were no considerable power intrusted into his hands; yea, so much as that, if he be bad or weak, he may endanger the ruin of the kingdom; so necessary is it for all human ordinances, how wise soever, to leave somewhat to chance, and to have always need of recourse to God, for his assisting or curing providence.
And though the kingdom of England, by vertue of the government thereof, will be as hardly brought into a confusion, as any in Europe; yet there is no warrant against the possibility of it.
For it was ever heretofore seen, that our parliaments were rather a strength and advantage to an honourable wise prince, than a remedy against a bad or weak one; or, if we change the expression, they were rather an excellent diet to preserve a good reign in strength, than physick to cure a bad one; and therefore have been as much loved by sound and healthy princes, as loathed by them that were out of temper: the latter having thought them a depression of their dignity: As the former have esteemed them an advantage to their strength. So that in such times only the true convenience of that great council hath been perceived by England, and admired by foreign authors: In the other times it was, that those witty complaints have been in fashion (as Sir Robert Cotton speaks of a bad time) that princes in parliaments are less than they should be, and subjects greater. But on the contrary, that they have been an advantage to Kings, the constant series of our history will shew: 1. By those great atchievements which they have inabled our wise Kings to make, who were most constant in calling them, and consenting to them. 2. That no one prince was ever yet happy without the use of them.
It may therefore seem a paradox, that any prince should disaffect that which is so high an advantage to him, and a great wonder, that some Kings of England, not vicious in their dispositions, nor very shallow in their understandings, have so much kicked against parliaments. And that such have been, before we shew what reasons may be of it, see the characters of some princes, whose success and fortunes are known to all that read the histories, as they are delivered by Polydore Virgil, who in his sixteenth book speaks thus of Henry the Third: Fuit ingenio miti, animo magis nobili quàm magno, cultor Religionis, adversus inopes liberalis. He was of a gentle nature, a mind rather noble than great, a lover of religion, and liberal to the poor.
In his eighteenth book thus of Edward the Second: Fuit illi natura bona, ingenium mite, quem primò juvenili errore actum in leviora vitia incidentem, tandem in graviora malorum consuetudines et consilia traxerunt. Non deerant illi animi vires, si repudiatis malis suasoribus illas justè exercuisset. He was of a good nature and mild disposition, who, first by the errors and rashness of youth falling into small faults,
was afterwards drawn into greater, by the society and counsels of wicked men. There was not wanting in him a strength of mind, if, avoiding evil counsel, he could have made a just use of it.
And in his twentieth book, thus of Richard the Second: Fuit in illo spiritus non vilis, quem consciorum improbitas, et insulsitas extinxit. He was of a spirit not low or base, but such as was quite destroyed by the wickedness and folly of unhappy consociates.
A reason of this accident may be, that their souls, though not vicious, have not been so large, nor their affections so publick, as their great calling hath required; but being too much mancipated to private fancies and unhappy favourites, and long flattered in those affections under the specious name of firmness in friendship (not being told that the adequate object of a prince's love should be the whole people, and that they who receive publick honour, should return a general love and care) they have too much neglected the kingdom, and grow at last afraid to look their faces in so true a glass as a parliament, and, flying the remedy, increase the disease, till it come to that unhappy height, that, rather than acknowledge any unjust action, they strive for an unjust power to give it countenance, and so by a long consequence become hardly reconcileable to a parliamentary way.
Such princes (though it may see mstrange) have been a greater affliction to this kingdom, than those who have been most wicked, and more incurable, for these reasons: 1. They have not been so conscious to themselves of great crimes; and therefore not so apt to be sensible of what they have been accidentally made to do against their people by evil counsel, whose poison themselves did not perfectly understand. And therefore they are more prone to suspect the people, as unkind to them, than themselves as faulty, and so the more hardly drawn to repent their actions, or meet heartily with a parliament. 2. The second reason is from the people, who naturally look with honour upon the prince, and when they find none, or few personal vices in him (not considering that the true virtues of princes have a larger extent than those of private men) will more hardly be brought to think, though themselves feel, and suffer for it, that he is faulty; and therefore sometimes (which would hardly be believed, if experience had not shewed it) the people have been so rash as that, to maintain for the King an unjust prerogative, which themselves understand not, they have to their own ruin, and the King's too (as it hath after proved) deserted that great council whom themselves have chosen, and by whom only they could be preserved in their just rights; until too late, for the King's happiness and their own, they have seen and repented their great folly.
Such a desertion was too sadly seen, at the end of that parliament of Edward the Second, where the two Spencers were banished, and the tragical effects that followed, when the King found so great a party, both of clergy and laity, as inabled him to call home again his banished favourites; and proved fatal to so many parliamentary lords, as the like execution of nobility had never before been seen in England; over whose graves the people afterwards wept, when it was too late, and
proceeded further in their revenge, than became the duty and allegiance of subjects.
It is, therefore, a great misfortune to England, and almost a certain calamity, when the distempers of government have been let grow so long, as that, for their cure, they must need a long parliament: For there are no ways, how just, how moderate soever, they be, which that great council can take, if they go far enough, to make the cure, but will provoke, either by the means, or the length of them, the prince's impatience, or the people's inconstancy.
For the first, the delinquents must needs be many and great, and those employed, and perchance highly favoured by him; besides, the reflexion which is made upon his judgment, by their sufferings; and that will be one reason of his impatience.
Another is, that many prerogatives which were not indeed inherent in the crown, but so thought by the prince, and by him, and his bad counsel, long abused, to the prejudice of the people, with some seeming advantage to him, though, well weighed, they brought none, are then, after a long sufferance, called in question.
For the people are used to intrust kind princes with many of their own rights and privileges, and never call for them again, till they have been extremely abused. But, at such a time to make all clear, after so long a reckoning (and those long reckonings of state being commonly fatal; for parliaments have seldom been discontinued, but by such princes whose governments, in the interim, have been very illegal) they usually question so much, as that the prince thinks himself hardly dealt withal; such a prince, as we spoke of, who not bad in himself, but long misled by wicked counsel, was not enough sensible of the injuries he had done.
The second obstacle, that such parliaments may find, is the people's inconstancy; and what age is not full of such examples, which before we name, let us consider whether there be any reason for it? perchance may be one, that the people naturally are lovers of novelty, affecting, with greediness, every change; and again loathing it, when it ceases to be a novelty. Long discontinued and reforming parliaments seem to carry the face of a change of government; and those things may then happen, which do in the shift of princes, that some people, may, for a while, flatter themselves with new and strange hopes, that prove frustrate; or else with quicker redresses of inconvenience, than the great concurrence of so many weighty businesses can possibly admit, how industrious soever that great council be, distracted with so great a variety; and the people, after some time spent, grow weary again of what before they so long had wished to see. Besides, the people are more and more poisoned daily by the discourses of the friends, kindred, and retainers to so many great delinquents, as must needs be at such a parliament: who, though they be no considerable party, in respect of the whole commonwealth, yet ply their particular interests with more eagerness, than most do the publick. They subtly persuade the people, that whatsoever the parliament does against those great delinquents is aimed against the King's honour, and that he is wounded through their sides. And this opinion is somewhat furthered, when the