« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
and courts too, what do we else here? And, though they have a great liberty of language within their own walls, I never heard that they might speak what they list in other places. In my time, when there was any occasion to use the city, as often there was, the lord mayor, or aldermen, or some trusted by them, were sent for to attend either house; but, for members of either, or both houses, to come hither, and be present at our councils, and govern here by privilege of parliament, was never heard of till of late: You will say, it is a great honour to us, that those wortbies take the pains to come to us, when they might send for us; it may be an honour too great for us to bear, and truly, I believe it hath been so chargeable to us, that we ought not to be ambitious of such honour. Mr. Pym (who hath been a very costly orator to us) told us (and his speech is since printed for our honour too, to shew how tamea people we are) that there were many things in that answer, of great aspersion upon the proceedings of parliament, and so forth. Truly I know no such thing; if we petitioned for peace, we were to expect his Majesty would tell us by what means that peace came to be disturbed, and then prescribe us a means for our reparation. If any man's guilt hath made him think himself concerned in it, though he be not named, he is his own accuser.
He told us, that there was no occasion given by any tumults, which might justly cause his Majesty's departure, and this, he said, was the opinion of both houses ; and bis proof was, because his Majesty came into the city without a guard, and dined at the sheriff's, next day after his coming to the house of commons, and returned back again to Whitehall, where he staid some days. I am willing to believe both houses as far as I am able, and, if they had declared that it had been lawful to beat the King out of town, I must have sat still with wonder; but, when they declare to us matter of fact, which is equally within our own knowledge, and wherein we cannot be deceived, they must pardon me if I differ from them. If they should declare, that they have paid us all the money they owe us, or, that there is no cross standing in Cheapside, could we believe them? Why, gentlemen, neither of these is better known to us, than that there were such tumults at Westminster, as might very well make the King think himself in danger.' We all well remember what excellent company flocked by Whitehall every day, for a week before the King went to the house of commons, and for his coming to the Guildhall the next day, when he did us so much honour, to vouchsafe us so particular satisfaction, and came without a guard, to shew how much he trusted in our duty and affection (I pray God the deceiving that trust may never rise in judgment against this city) we too well remember the rude carriage of many people to him as he went to the sheriff's to dinner, which was not so much as reprehended by any officer; and we all know what passed the night following, when an alarum was given, that there was an attempt from Whitehall upon the city, and so all men put into sudden arms; and if, by the great industry and dexterity of our good lord mayor, that hubbub had not been appeased, God knows what might have followed; if you will believe some men, they will tell you, the design of those, who gave that alarum, was no less than to pull down Whitehall. There is no question amples before my eyes, to the end, that I might imitate them in all my actions; for, in truth, they have often exposed their estates and lives for the exaltation of the holy chair; and the courage, with which they have assaulted the enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ, hath not been less, than the care and thought which I have, to the end, that the peace and intelligence, which hath hitherto been wanting in Christendom, might be bound with a true and strong concord; for, as the common enemy of the peace watcheth always to put hatred and dissension amongst christian princes; so I believe that the glory of God requires that we should endeavour to unite them: And I do not esteem it a greater honour to be descended from so great princes, than to imitate them, in the zeal of their piety, in which it helps me very much to have known the mind and will of our thrice honoured lord and father, and the holy intentions of his catholick Majesty, to give a happy concurrence to so laudable a design; for it grieves him extremely to see the great evils, that grow from the division of christian princes, which the wisdom of your holiness foresaw, when it judged the marriage which you pleased to design, between the Infanta of Spain and myself, to be necessary to procure so great a good; for it is very certain, that I shall never be so extremely affectionate to any thing in the world, as to en, deavour alliance with a prince, that hath the same apprehension of the true religion with myself: Therefore, I intreat your holiness to believe, that I have been always very far from encouraging novelties, or to be a part of any faction against the catholick, apostolick Roman religion: But, on the contrary, I have sought all occasions, to take away the suspicion, that might rest upon me, and that I will employ myself for the time to come, to have but one religion, and one faith, seeing that we all believe in one Jesus Christ. Having resolved in myself, to spare nothing that I have in the world, and to suffer all manner of discommodities, even to the hazarding of my estate and life, for a thing so pleasing unto God: It rests only, that I thank your holiness, that you have been pleased to afford me the leave; and I pray God to give you a blessed health, and his glory, after so much pains, which your holiness takes in his ehurch. Signed,
N. B. These are translations of the two Letters contained in the
French History of England, &c. which was twice printed in
They will by no means endure, that his Majesty be obeyed in the apprehension of the lord mayor, and the other three gentlemen; for it is the sense of both houses, that this demand is against the privilege of parliament, and most dishonourable to the city. For the first, I dare not speak my mind, though I must confess myself not able to answer the King's reasons in many of his declarations upon that point; but for, the second (under the favour of both houses) whether it be dishonourable for the city, whether it be fit to be done or no, we are the best, indeed, we are the only judges. I will take the liberty to speak freely my conscience in this case, as a friend to justice, as a lover of these men, and as a servant to the city ; and, as all these, I protest to God, if I were now lord mayor, and the other three were my father and my brothers, I would satisfy the King in this point. Did his Majesty ask to have them in to death, merely upon his accusation; or have them sent bound hand and foot to Oxford, where it might be in his power to proceed against them in an extraordinary way, it might seem unreasonable; but to apprehend them to kvep them in safe custody, that his Majesty may proceed against them according to the known laws, under which they were born and bred, where, if guilty, they must be left to the justice of the law, and his Majesty's mercy, if innocent, will receive an honourable acquittal, seems to me so just in the King to ask, and so necessary for us to yield to, that the denying it implies a doubt in us of the innocence of those whom we will not submit to justice. Here is a way to find out the King's evil counsellors! If these men do their part, like men of good consciences, submit to the tryal of the law, which is the only judge of guilt and innocence, and are found clear from that heavy charge his Majesty accuses them of, how gloriously will these men live hereafter? And the King cannut refuse to deliver those up who have wickedly conspired the destruction of honest men: But, if we should only cry out, that the King is misinformed, and dare not trust ourselves upon a tryal, we may preserve our safety, but we shall lose our reputation. Thus much for justice, for the gentlemen's sakes now: This way, you see, a way to honour and safety too, if there be innocence; but, do you think, after a month's longer enduring the miseries which are now upon us, men will not more importunately and impatiently enquire after the causes of their sufferings, if they shall find, that the denial to give up four men (who, it may be, are not of any known merit too) to be tried by the law, being accused of high-treason, and conspiring to take away the King's life, incensed our gracious King against us, and kept him from being amongst us, whereby our trade decays, and such violencies and outrages are every day committed: I say, can any sour men bear the burden of this envy and malice? Will not some stout, bold persons, incensed and made desperate by their, and the common sufferings, tear these men in pieces? We have been all
young men and apprentices, let us remember the spirit was then amongst us ; would we have suffered all our hopes to have been blasted and destroyed by any four, or fourteen men? Let us not flatter ourselves, there is the same courage still in the city, which, at some time, will break out to the ruin of more than these men; but I thank that worthy that told To be seducers is an easy matter, you'll say, if sophistry, with her : fallacies, may intitle us.
But we have sucked better milk from the tears of our mother ; our : mother, who never yet was more dejected, yet, from the dust, may ride upon the clouds, and in her due time shine, nay outshine the female conquest in the Revelation. The pillars of the mother is the church, you know it all, who Christians are, are those Incarcerati, those who, like Joseph in the pit, or St. Peter with the jailor; those who, with St. Paul, may pray to be let down by a basket (pardon our interruption) may the whole and holy assembly be pleased too, our meaning was good, although the fault of that omission was pardoned before the reiteration.
Again, your supplicants, who, if without guns or feathers, or those, whose reasons are far lighter than their feathers.
(Give us leave, yet without musquet-shot, we beseech you, to jog you by the elbow, a term-phrase or adagy, meanly given, if you are given to cavil.)
Meanly, that is indifferently; but what need we fear a verbal answer, where too many real are so near at hand?
Pro aris et focis was the Romans empress, pro focis for a King, pro aris for a temple, so on their very hearths they did adore a Majesty; so knew a King which way to go to St. Paul's Cathedral, which way to the Exchange.
Again, we are ready with our lives and bloods to present all collegiate chapels, if that they lay in our power, as well in interioribus quam exterioribus, not acknowledging more or less divine service, than with what, as in former times our more primitive Christians did, with erected bodies, and drawn weapons, stand to the doxology creed, and responsals to the church.
All this we protest, and have hitherto really professed in these too much to be lamented times, although our warrant, so far as we can read, was allowed of by Edward the Sixth, Separata Maria continuatum usque ad annum et tempus vicesimum septimum Caroli Regis. 'To whose Majesty, whose person, whose religion we appeal to. To his Majesty as God's vicegerent, to his person as God's representative image, to his religion as God himself alone. By this only consequence,
A DISCOURSE *
THE SUCCESS OF FORMER PARLIAMENTS.
Imprinted at London, 1642. Quarto, containing fourteen pages.
SIR, I HAVE, according to my small ability, and the shortness of time,
fulfilled your command, in sending to you this brief and plain discourse concerning the ancient opinions and esteem of English parlia. ments (for that was all which your desired) without any reflection upon the proceedings of this present parliament: Accept it only as a plain piece of common talk, which I would have delivered, had I been present with you: Şuch discourses need no dress of rhetorick.
The constitution of our English monarchy is by wise men esteemed one of the best in Europe, as well for the strength and honour of the prince, as the security and freedom of the people; and the basis, on which both are founded, is the convenience of that great council the high court of parliament.
Without which neither can the prince enjoy that honour and felicity, which Philip de Commines, a foreigner, so much admires, where he delivers what advantages the Kings of England have by that representative body of their people, by whose assistance in any action they can neither want means, or lose reputation. Nor, on the other side, can the people have any possibility of pleading their own rights and liberties. For, in the interim between parliaments, the people are too scattered and confused a body, to appear in vindication of their proper interests ; and by too long absence of such assemblies they would lose all: For (as Junius observes) Populus Authoritatem suam tacitè non utendo admittit ; sic plerumque accidit ut quod omnes curare tenentur curet nemo, quod omnibus commissum est, nemo sibi commendatum putet.
The people insensibly lose their power for want of using it : for so it happens, that what all should look after, no man does ; what is committed to all, no man thinks his own charge.
And in that interim it happens, that those Optimates Regni (as he speaks) who under the prince are intrusted with government, meaning counsellors, judges, and other great magistrates, either through fear, fattery, or private corruption, do often betray the people's rights to the prince.
• Vide the 238th article iu the Catalogue of Pamphlets in the Harleian Library,