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THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE - Robert Molesworth, An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor 
An Account of Denmark, With Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor, Edited and with an Introduction by Justin Champion (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE
To the most Illustrious and Potent Prince FREDERICK, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, etc. First Elector of the Roman Empire, His most Gracious Lord, Francis Hotoman, wishes all Health and Prosperity.
’Tis an old Saying, of which Teucer the Son of Telamon is the supposed Author, and which has been approved of these many Ages, “A Man’s Country is, where-ever he lives at Ease.”26 For to bear even Banishment it self with an unconcern’d Temper of Mind like other Misfortunes and Inconveniences, and to despise the Injuries of an ungrateful Country, which uses one more like a Stepmother than a true Mother, seems to be the Indication of a great Soul. But I am of a quite different Opinion: For if it be a great Crime, and almost an Impiety not to live under and suffer patiently the Humours and harsh Usage of our Natural Parents; ’tis sure a much greater, not to endure those of our COUNTRY, which wise Men have unanimously preferr’d to their Parents. ’Tis indeed the Property of a wary self-interested Man, to measure his Kindness for his Country by his own particular Advantages: But such a sort of Carelessness and Indifferency seems a Part of that Barbarity which was attributed to the Cynicks and Epicureans; whence that detestable Saying proceeded; “When I am dead, let the whole World be a Fire.” Which is not unlike the Old Tyrannical Axiom; “Let my Friends perish, so my Enemies fall along with them.”27 But in gentle Dispositions, there is a certain inbred Love of their Country, which they can no more divest themselves of, than of Humanity it self. Such a Love as Homer describes in Ulysses, who preferred Ithaca, though no better than a Bird’s Nest fix’d to a craggy Rock in the Sea, to all the Delights of the Kingdom which Calypso offer’d him.28Nescio quâ natale Solum dulcedine cunctos Ducit, & immemores non sinit esse sui:29 Was very truly said by the Ancient Poet; When we think of that Air we first suck’d in, that Earth we first trod on, those Relations, Neighbours and Acquaintance to whose Conversation we have been accustomed.
But a Man may sometimes say, My Country is grown mad or foolish, (as Plato said of his) sometimes that it rages and cruelly tears out its own Bowels. We are to take care in the first Place, that we do not ascribe other Folks Faults to our innocent Country. There have been many cruel Tyrants in Rome and in other Places; these not only tormented innocent good Men, but even the best deserving Citizens, with all manner of Severities: Does it therefore follow, that the Madness of these Tyrants must be imputed to their Country? The Cruelty of the Emperor Macrinus is particularly memorable; who as Julius Capitolinus writes, was nicknamed Macellinus, because his House was stained with the Blood of Men, as a Shambles is with that of Beasts.30 Many such others are mention’d by Historians, who for the like Cruelty (as the same Capitolinus tells us) were stil’d, one Cyclops, another Busiris, a 3rd Sciron, a 4th Tryphon, a 5th Gyges. These were firmly persuaded, that Kingdoms and Empires could not be secur’d without Cruelty: Would it be therefore reasonable, that good Patriots should lay aside all Care and Solicitude for their Country? Certainly they ought rather to succour her, when like a miserable oppressed Mother, she implores her Children’s Help, and to seek all proper Remedies for the Mischiefs that afflict her.
But how fortunate are those Countries that have good and mild Princes! how happy are those Subjects, who, through the Benignity of their Rulers may quietly grow old on their Paternal Seats, in the sweet Society of their Wives and Children! For very often it happens, that the Remedies which are made use of prove worse than the Evils themselves.
’Tis now, most Illustrious Prince, about Sixteen Years since God Almighty has committed to your Rule and Government a considerable Part of Germany situate on the Rhine. During which time, ’tis scarce conceivable what a general Tranquillity, what a Calm (as in a smooth Sea) has reigned in the whole Palatinate; how peaceable and quiet all things have continued: How piously and religiously they have been governed: Go on most Gracious Prince in the same Meekness of Spirit, which I to the utmost of my Power must always extol. Proceed in the same Course of gentle and peaceable Virtue; Macte Virtute;31 not in the Sense which Seneca tells us the Romans used this Exclamation in, to salute their Generals when they return’d all stain’d with Gore Blood from the Field of Battle, who were rather true Macellinus’s: But do you proceed in that Moderation of Mind, Clemency, Piety, Justice, Affability, which have occasion’d the Tranquillity of your Territories. And because the present Condition of your Germany is such as we see it, Men now-a-days run away from Countries infested with Plunderers and Oppressors, to take Sanctuary in those that are quiet and peaceable; as Mariners, who undertake a Voyage, forecast to avoid Streights, etc. and Rocky Seas, and chuse to sail a calm and open Course.
There was indeed a Time, when young Gentlemen, desirous of Improvement, flock’d from all Parts to the Schools and Academies of our Francogallia, as to the publick Marts of good Literature. Now they dread them as Men do Seas infested with Pyrates, and detest their Tyrannous Barbarity. The Remembrance of this wounds me to the very Soul; when I consider my unfortunate miserable Country has been for almost twelve Years, burning in the Flames of Civil War. But much more am I griev’d, when I reflect that so many have not only been idle Spectators of these dreadful Fires (as Nero was of flaming Rome) but have endeavour’d by their wicked Speeches and Libels to blow the Bellows, whilst few or none have contributed their Assistance towards the extinguishing them.
I am not ignorant how mean and inconsiderable a Man I am; nevertheless as in a general Conflagration every Man’s Help is acceptable, who is able to fling on but a Bucket of Water, so I hope the Endeavours of any Person that offers at a Remedy will be well taken by every Lover of his Country. Being very intent for several Months past on the Thoughts of these great Calamities, I have perused all the old French and German Historians that treat of our Francogallia, and collected out of their Works a true State of our Commonwealth; in the Condition (wherein they agree) it flourished for above a Thousand Years. And indeed the great Wisdom of our Ancestors in the first framing of our Constitution, is almost incredible; so that I no longer doubted, that the most certain Remedy for so great Evils must be deduced from their Maxims.
For as I more attentively enquired into the Source of these Calamities, it seemed to me, that even as human Bodies decay and perish, either by some outward Violence, or some inward Corruption of Humours, or lastly, through Old Age: so Commonwealths are brought to their Period, sometimes by Foreign Force, sometimes by Civil Dissentions, at other Times by being worn out and neglected. Now though the Misfortunes that have befallen our Commonwealth are commonly attributed to our Civil Dissentions, I found, upon Enquiry, these are not so properly to be called the Cause as the Beginning of our Mischiefs. And Polybius, that grave judicious Historian, teaches us, in the first place, to distinguish the Beginning from the Cause of any Accident.32 Now I affirm the Cause to have been that great Blow which our Constitution received about 100 Years ago from that Prince,33 who (’tis manifest) first of all broke in upon the noble and solid Institutions of our Ancestors. And as our natural Bodies when put out of joint by Violence, can never be recover’d but by replacing and restoring every Member to its true Position; so neither can we reasonably hope our Commonwealth should be restor’d to Health, till through Divine Assistance it shall be put into its true and natural State again.
And because your Highness has always approv’d your self a true Friend to our Country; I thought it my Duty to inscribe, or, as it were, to consecrate this Abstract of our History to your Patronage. That being guarded by so powerful a Protection, it might with greater Authority and Safety come abroad in the World. Farewell, most Illustrious Prince; May the great God Almighty for ever bless and prosper your most noble Family.
Your Highness’s most Obedient,
12 Kal. Sep. 1574.
[26. ]Note in margin: “Patria est ubicunq: est bene.” GS Franc. identify it as Cicero, Tusculan Disputations, bk. 5, 37 (Loeb 532–33).
[27. ]GS Franc. (p. 136) identify this as a quote within Suetonius, Nero (Loeb 2:154).
[28. ]Homer, Odyssey, bk. 5.
[29. ]“By what sweet charm I know not the native land draws all men nor allows them to forget.” Ovid, Ex Ponto. I.3. 35–36 (Loeb 283).
[30. ]The account is in Scriptores Historiae Augustae, s.v. “Macrinus” (Loeb 2:76).
[31. ]Translation: “Increase in excellence.”
[32. ]GS Franc. identify the passage from Polybius as Histories, bk. 6, chap. 5.
[33. ]Note in margin: “Lewis the XI.”