231. PHLLIPP MEADOWS AAN SAMUEL PEPYS, 12 Jan. 1686 >).
The manuscript discours of our sea-affaires may be serriceable to His Majestie these two waies.
1. To pnt a stop to some popular errours which prevail to the great incovenience of His Majestie, by prompting Him upon pretended points of honour to contend with all his neighbours, for things not safe to be insisted on, never enjoied, nor likely ever to be obtained.
2. To allay the jealousies of forain Princes which dispose them upon every occasion to enter into confederacies prejudicial to His Majesties interests. For as it has been the policy and France in this last age to load Spain with an imputation and affecting an universal monarchy: so it is the practice of Holland to charge England with an affectation of a sea-monarchy; to the belief of which we unwarily contribute. And under this covert the Dutch advance their own designs, as the French have done theirs under the former.
[Uit het bijgevoegde stuk:]
Well then if this ceremony does not relate to an acknow-
ledgment of a soveraignty in the sea, what is it that it relates to? I answer to these two things. lBt. It is an expression of révérence and respect. 2. It is a salutation of peace and friendship. The first consideration is peculiar to the Dutch and other inferiour States, they perform it as a révérence to the crowned head of England. The second is common with the Dutch to all other crowned heads, who if in amity with England perform it as a salutation of peace and friendship. The Dutch and others do not by the flag and topsaile reeognise the Eing of England as sovereign of the 4 seas, nor acknowledge themselves thereby his local subjects and their persons, ships and goods to be under his immediate jurisdiction and protection whilst in and upon those seas; but they acknowledge him as preeminent in order and quality, not as soveraign over them, but as superior to them in dignity and degree. Were I to express it in Latin, I would do it by that old phrase of comiter colere, or observare majestatem. They pay honour or respect to the Majesty of a crowned Island, but crowned beads being of equal degree cannot be supposed to pay respect as to a superiour; and yet there is a peculiarity on the part of England in regard to them. A forrein King when ships of war of another nation approach his havens and come within reach of his castles, will exact, and justly may, that the corner should salute him first; the guest al way s gives the first salute to the master of the house, who thereupon resalntes him, and bids him welcome.
1) Magdalen College, Cambridge.— Pepys Collection, Miscellanea IX, fol. 51—53.— „To Samuel Pepys, at his hous in York Buildings." — Uit Londen, Gerard Street.