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not do in a better manner, than by attempting the recovery of Dover haven ; wherein, if he succeeded, as it would give an occasion of ease to the people's jealousy, so it would obviate, in some measure, the danger that threatened us from so restless and projecting a neighbour. I replied to his Majesty, with great joy, * That I thought it would be a most acceptable instance, to the nation, of his care for their safety, and an useful proof, to the murmuring people, of his just dislike and suspicion of the French King's proceedings; and that I was in no doubt, whenever his Majesty should appear to go in earnest, about so laudable and needful a work, that the Parliament would frankly assist him towards the expence.'
His Majesty, hereupon, commanded me to make a journey to Dover, to survey the port, and enable myself, by the best means I could, to give him a true state thereof, in order to a project for the recovery of that harbour; which order I carefully executed, and, on my return, waited on his Majesty with my report, together with a plan and state of the present pier; an history of the services that place had yielded the crown; how it has fallen to decay; and how, with least charge, it might be repaired, and rendered useful again. I told his Majesty, that the bare customs and duties he had lost, by the decay of that port, which, for want of entrance into it, as had been customary (there being no other, in, many leagues together, on the coast) and which were, therefore, now smuggled, and totally lost, would be, by many degrees, more than enough, when recovered (and which would most certainly accrue, upon restoring the harbour) to repay the utmost charge he could be at, for its repair and improvement; which single encouragement, I thought, was iucitement enough to go about so noble, useful, and reputable a work.
I told his Majesty, that the port was, at that time, become intirely useless, the pier within being filled and choaked up with sand and mud, and the depth of water lost; that there was a bank of beach, at the mouth of the harbour, of many thousand tons, which barred up the entrance; that the town (wbich was wont to abound in shipping, seamen, commerce, people, and plenty of all things) was become poor, desolate, and dispeopled; which was visible every where, by their decayed buildings and habitations, where half the houses, at least, throughout the whole town, had bills on the doors : All which could be ascribed to no other reason, than the decay of their harbour; touching the true cause whereof, or the cure, the inhabitants, with whom I had frequent conference, could give me little or no light.
In this audience, I gave his Majesty an extensive account of all things relating to the subject about which he had sent me. I presented him with a draught of the then state of the port of Dover, wherein was expressed the manner of its decay, and the present ruinous condition in which it was. I endeavoured, also, to explain to him how this damage bad come to pass, and by what means it had grown to that head, as to have rendered the haven now almost
lost to the publick. From the causes of the disease, I proceeded to my proposals for the remedy, wherein I had the good fortune to explain every point of my project, with evidence enough to oblige his Majesty, at that time, to say that he was so well satisfied, that he was resolved he would not defer the work a day. That, as I had made every thing plain and intelligible to him, so, above all, he was pleased with two most useful and encouraging propositions therein contained; namely, that whereas, in most great works of that kind, princes were generally obliged to pso-ecute and go through the whole expence, which, for the most part, was very great, before they could reap the least profit of their design, or be assured of the success; while this work, on the contrary, was so ordered and contrived by me, that he was sure to receive a present profit from every sum, be it more or less, which he should, at any time, think fit to lay out; and that the benefit would be presently seen, and gathered, in proportion to the charge he should be at, which he might limit or respite, as be pleased, without danger of damage to the work that should be done, or of losing the advantage that should be once gained, in case of discontinuing the same.
The second point that pleased his Majesty, was, that whereas all artificial ports, that ever he had heard of, which is most true, were subject to choak, and fill up with sand or sullage, and to lose, by degrees, their depth of water, without great care, and a continual charge to prevent it; and which was the cause, for the most part, of the decay and loss of such ports to the publick: That he perceived, I had plainly obviated that evil, and, by a new and very demonstrable invention, bad evidently secured the depth of water for ever, which no neglect could hinder, or, towards which, any expence or annual charge was necessary.
I concluded with this general incitement to his Majesty, “That multiplicity of ports, in a maritime kingdom, such as his, was, above all things, to be wished; which, in times of peace, was great means of encouragement to our naval intercourse, and coasting trade, whereby our capital city became better supported, and at cheaper rates, with all things net dful; that seamen were proportionably propagated, shipping, and all the incident professions of shipwrightry and navigation, increased and improved, &c. That, in time of war, sbelter and defence against an enemy was, hy that means, more at hand; whereby our commerce was better preserved, our frontier so much the stronger, and cruisers had more dispatch, and were better spread and disposed at sea; because, wheresoever there are ports commodiously situated, and in the road of our commerce, there, of course, will be men of war appointed, and entertained in times of hostility, where they can clean, victual, and refit; whereby great expedition, which is the life of action, would be obtained, and half the time gained, that was spent in going to remote ports, as the Thames, Chatham, Portsmouth, &c. where, if the wind hangs out of the way, ships lie long on demorage, become foul by staying for a wind, and lose many occasions of service, which, in ports lying upon the edge of our channel, as Dover does, can never happen; where you need no pilotage, and are no sooner out of the haven, but you are at sea.'
In a word, I ended my discourse to his Majesty, with assuring him, that Dover promised every thing he could hope from such a port; was situated, the nearest of all others, to a great, dangerous, and aspiring neighbour, who had given so many instances of wisdom and foresight, in the charge he had been at on that line of his coast which confronts ours, and which, whenever his Majesty should chance to have a war with that people, would be found to turn every way, both offensively and defensively, to marvellous account.
That Dover stands on a promontory, which surveys, and might be made to command the greatest thorough-fair of navigation in the world, where no ship can pass unobserved, or escape the danger of being attacked, when there should be cause, and was of the same use by sea, as a pass is by land. And, that there was no design, his Majesty could entertain for its strength and improvement, that was not compassable by art, and that did not promise a plentiful return of profit and honour, of
the greatest sum he could spare to lay out upon it.
I departed, at that time, from his Majesty full of hopes, that what I had done and said, on this subject, would have produced the good effect of some speedy resolution; but, taking the liberty, some days after, to remind him thereof, I found him, to my great disappointment, much calmer than I had left him, and received this short answer: • That it was a noble project indeed, but that it was too big for his present purse, and would keep cold.' Shortly after, I was dispatched to my business in a remote country, and, from that time to this, have neither said, nor heard any thing of Dover.
Now the remark I would make, on this sudden and surprising coldness of the King's, is namely this, That the long audience, I then had of bis Majesty, chanced to be in a certain great lady's apartment in Whitehall, where I had no sooner began my discourse, and produced my papers, when Monsieur Barillon, the French Ambassador, came in; who I observed to listen, with great attention, to what was debated; asking the said lady, very earnestly, many questions about the subject-matter of our conference, who I perceived to interpret to him every thing that was said on that occasion, as did the king, afterwards, in my hearing ; explaining the whole project, and the contents of the several designs; expressing his great approbation of the report I had made him; whereupon, making reflexion on this occurrence, I was no longer in doubt, touching the cause of my disappointment, but that it was not the French King's interest, and, therefore, not his pleasure, that we should proceed on this work: And, that so noble a project should thus die in the birth, who would have been contented, I. make no question, to have given ten times the amount of the cost, to defeat so national an undertaking, which looked with so threat
ening an aspect on those great schemes of naval power, which he has since put in execution, and is prosecuting to this day; and, I think, it therefore becomes every hearty Englishman to conclude, that such an incident, as I have here produced, ought to superadd one new and solid argument of incitement, to those that have been urged towards some solemn deliberation, on so promising and important a subject : And if our forefathers, in those darker times of queen Elisabeth, saw a reason for their speculations on this article, then, when their views were narrow, their motives less, and the means to attain that purpose hardly to be compassed, through the limited funds of treasure in those days, and the insufficiency of undertakers to conceive, design, and prosecute works of that sort; so magnificent, so new, and out of the way of the world's practice: It may therefore be hoped for now, when our motives of danger, &c. are so visible, and so much stronger; the means of obtaining so noble an end every way more within our reach, while we behold by what arts and means, and with what profusion of treasure, a neighbouring prince pursues his maritime projects; and since we have seen and felt with what effect he has succeeded in his aims, to rival us by sea, and, in a word, while we know he must naturally ever be more than our match by land; and that nothing, at this day, can insure our safety, but a demonstrable superiority of naval strength. What greater wisdom and precaution can we manifest, or how can we more laudably publish our attention to the publick welfare, than by seasonably obviating the evils that seem to threaten us, by the growing naval power of France, towards which, no one step, we can make, promises better fruit, than this proposal of recovering and improving the haven of Dover, which is, by nature, situated to our wish, and, in my humble opinion, is capable of being made, by art, so useful to ourselves and friends, and so effectual to bridle,
prevent, and annoy our enemies; that, were the argument duly weighed, I am persuaded, we should think no sum too great to be so employed.
REASONS* HUMBLY OFFERED
LAW TO ENACT THE CASTRATION OF POPISH
AS THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT THE GROWTH OF POPERY IN ENGLAND.
London; printed in 1700. Quarto, containing twenty-six Pages.
into their consideration the unaccountable growth of popery This is the 136th number in the catalogue of pamphlets in the Harleian library.
among us of late, and to appoint a committee to consider of ways and means for preventing the same: it is thought fit, among the croud of proposals for that end, to publish what follows:
We may, without intrenching upon the province of divines, make bold to assert, that when the church of Rome is called in the sacred Scriptures, The Mother of Harlots, and of the abominations of the earth; there is something else meant by it than a mere religious impurity, or going a whoring after false gods, as their saints and angels, and multitudes of mediators between God and men, undoubtedly are.
We need but cast our eye upon Platina's Lives of the Popes, and turn over a few leaves of the histories of most nations of Europe, to be convinced that the Romish clergy have, ever since the Pope's usurpation, been branded with uncleanness. The wanton observation made by Henry the Fourth of France, as he passed one day betwixt a friary and a nunnery, that the latter was the barn, and the former were the threshers, was found to have too much of truth in it, in all those countries, where monasteries were overturned or searched upon the Reformation. The vast heaps of children's bones that were found in draw-wells, and other places about them, were speaking, though not living monuments of the horrid impurity, as well as barbarous cruelty of those pretended religious communities. To insist any more upon this, were to accuse the age of inexcusable ignorance in history, and therefore we shall conclude this introduction with an observation from Fox's Acts and Monuments, that before the Reformation the priests alone were computed to have one hundred thousand whores in this kingdom; which must be understood of what the dialect of those times called Lemmans, from the French L'amante, that is, in the modern phrase, kept misses; besides their promiscuous whoredoms with the women they confessed, &c.
This horrid uncleanness of the Romish clergy cannot appear incredible to those who consider, that besides their being judicially given up of God to work all manner of uncleanness with greediness, their vow of chastity, and being forbidden to marry, lays them under a temptation peculiar to their order.
It will yet appear less strange if we consider their way of living and opportunity: they eat and drink of the best, are caressed in all families of their way; have an advantage of knowing the inclinations, and of private converse with women by their auricular confession, and by their pretended power to give pardon; have a door open to persuade the committing of one sin for. expiating another, and accordingly improve it.
This is so far from being a calumny, that the Popish laity themselves in all ages and countries have been sensible of it; and therefore most of the Popish kingdoms sollicited the council of Trent to allow priests marriage. But the Pope, for reasons we shall touch anon, did not think fit to grant it; though Æneas Sylvius himself, afterwards Pope, was so fully convinced of the necessity of it, that