Item of the Day: Franco-Gallia (1711)

Full Title: Franco-Gallia: or, an account of the ancient free state of France, and most other parts of Europe, before the loss of their liberties. Written originally in Latin by the famous civilian Francis Hotoman i.e. Hotman], in the year 1574. And translated into English by the author of The Account of Denmark. London: Printed for Tim. Goodwin, at the Queen’s Head against St. Dunstan’s Church, Fleetstreet, 1711.

THE
PREFACE
TO THE
READER.

The following Treatise was composed by that most Learned and Judicious Civilian FRANCIS HOTOMAN, a grave, sincere, and unexceptionable Author, even in the Opinion of his Adversaries. This Book give an Account of the Ancient Free State of above three Parts in four of all Europe; and has a long time appeared to me so convincing and instructive in those Important Points he handles, that I could not be satisfied whilst it remained unknown, in a manner, to Englishmen; who, of all People living, have the greatest Reason to be thoroughly instructed in what it contains; as having, on the One hand, the most to lose; and, on the Other, the least Sense of their Right to it. Therefore a sincere Desire of Instructing the only Possessors of True Liberty in the World, what Right they have to that Liberty, of how great a Value it is, what Misery follows the Loss of it, and how easily, if Care be taken in time, it may be preserved, has induced me to Translate and send Abroad this small Treatise. And if it either opens the Eyes, or confirms the Honourable Resolutions of any of my Worthy Countrymen, I have gained Glorious End; and done that in my Study, which I would have promoted any other way, if I had been called to it. I hope to dye with the Comfort of Believing, that Old England will continue to be a free Country, and know its self to be such; that my Friends, Relations, and Children, with their Posterity, will inherit their share of this inestimable Blessing, and that I have contributed my part to it.

I have often wish’d, in regard to my Author, that he had omitted his Nineteenth Chapter, wherein he discovers a great Aversion to Female-Governments; having nothing to say in Excuse of him, but that being a Lawyer and a Frenchmen, he was Vindicating the Constitution of his Country: Certain it is (how little favourable soever such Governments have proved to France) other Nations have never flourish’d more, in good Laws, Wealth and Conquests, than under the Administration of Women: There are not brighter Characters in Antiquity, than of Semiramis, Thalestris, Thomiris, Zenobia, and many Others. I am sure our Island in particular has never been able to boast of so much Felicity as under the Dominion of Queens; never been more enriched by Commerce, improved by just Laws, adorned with more excellent Examples of Virtue, or more free from all those Struggles between Prerogative and Liberty, which have stained the Characters of our Otherwise most Glorious Kings. But Providence by yet more extraordinary Dispensations, has endeared them to us, by chusing them to be its Instruments of pulling down or bridling the proudest Empires, which threatned Universal Ruin. Our Ancestors under Boadicia made that noble Effort for Liberty, which shook the Old Roman Dominion amongst us. Queen Elizabeth freed us from the double Tyranny of New Rome and Spain: And the Destruction of the present Grand Oppressor of Europe, seems reserved by Heaven to Reward the Piety and Virtue of our Excellent Queen.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under 1710's, Government, Posted by Caroline Fuchs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s