[Back] [Blueprint] [Next]

From Extracts, Describing the Ancient Manner of Placing the Kingdom in Military Array; The Various Modes of Defence Adopted for its Safety in Periods of Danger; and The Evidence of Foreigners as to the National Character and Personal Bravery of the English. Taken from Original State Papers of the Sixteenth Century Collected on the Continent, and hitherto Inedited. Anonymous [Rev. William Gunn], London: W. Bulmer and Co., 1803: pp. 12-13; 35-36.



=== IV ===

Ex Codice manuscripto,41 &c.

HEADS, from which are deduced the Means of re-establishing the former Religion of England.

Incipit “Quemadmodum solent medici experti in morbis gravioribus.”

SUCH is the disposition of the English, that they easily yield to the influence of gentleness and prudence, but are disposed to resist with vigour and indignation every measure of violence and compulsion: hence, a foreign army attempting their subjection, by the medium of force, would meet with a decided and unanimous opposition, both from catholics and heretics: for no period among them ever exhibited a higher degree of perfection in the art of war, a greater diversity of military weapons, or a more abundant supply of ammunition; indeed that island must be allowed extensive in its population, which, among the inhabitants capable of bearing arms, can raise a force of42 . . . . . . . men.

As this country is on three sides surrounded by the sea, its invasion would necessarily be attended with arduous difficulty, and extreme danger: for should any unforeseen accident or disappointment occur, the enemy could find no security in flight, unless propitious winds and a calm sea, favoured his retreat. Julius Cæsar excepted, the records of history supply no instance of successful invasion, or illustrious achievement against Britain, unless the enemy having previously communicated his designs, acted in confederacy with the inhabitants of the country; for Cæsar himself, although at that time, he had to contend only with men in a state of barbarism, and totally 13 ignorant of military operations, was, notwithstanding, reduced to the most formidable and alarming difficulties. But to impress a satisfactory conviction of the high distinction to which England has since attained in military skill and valour, it will be sufficient to call to recollection the gallant exploits of Edward the Third, who at the same time held in captivity John king of France, and David king of Scotland.



41  Both the title and the date of this paper are wanting; from a passage, however, which does not appear in this extract, it must [36] have been written either in the first or second year of Elizabeth’s reign.

42  The number is imperfect in the original.


Extract V.

[Back] [Blueprint] [Next]