Those princes that abound in treasure have great advantages over the rest, if they once constrain them to a defensive war, where they are driven once a year or oftener to cast lots for their own garments; and from all such shall all trades and intercourse be taken away, to the general loss and impoverishment of the kingdom and commonweal so reduced. Besides, when our men are constrained to fight, it hath not the like hope as when they are pressed and encouraged by the desire of spoil and riches. Farther, it is to be doubted how those that in time of victory seem to affect their neighbour nations will remain after the first view of misfortunes or ill success; to trust, also, to the doubtfulness of a battle is but a fearful and uncertain adventure, seeing therein fortune is as likely to prevail as virtue. It shall not be necessary to allege all that might be said, and therefore I will thus conclude; that whatsoever kingdom shall be enforced to defend itself may be compared to a body dangerously diseased, which for a season may be preserved with vulgar medicines, but in a short time, and by little and little, the same must needs fall to the ground and be dissolved. I have therefore laboured all my life, both according to my small power and persuasion, to advance all those attempts that might either promise return of profit to ourselves, or at least be a let and impeachment to the quiet course and plentiful trades of the Spanish nation; who, in my weak judgement, by such a war were as easily endangered and brought from his powerfulness as any prince in Europe, if it be considered from how many kingdoms and nations his revenues are gathered, and those so weak in their own beings and so far severed from mutual succour. But because such a preparation and resolution is not to be hoped for in haste, and that the time which our enemies embrace cannot be had again to advantage, I will hope that these provinces, and that empire now by me discovered, shall suffice to enable her Majesty and the whole kingdom with no less quantities of treasure than the king of Spain hath in all the Indies, East and West, which he possesseth; which if the same be considered and followed, ere the Spaniards enforce the same, and if her Majesty will undertake it, I will be contented to lose her Highness’ favour and good opinion for ever, and my life withal, if the same be not found rather to exceed than to equal whatsoever is in this discourse promised and declared. I will now refer the reader to the following discourse, with the hope that the perilous and chargeable labours and endeavours of such as thereby seek the profit and honour of her Majesty, and the English nation, shall by men of quality and virtue receive such construction and good acceptance as themselves would like to be rewarded withal in the like.
THE DISCOVERY[*] OF GUIANA[+]
[+] The name is derived
from the Guayano Indians, on the