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the instant the King disclaims him, he is ruined, and therefore, you who have estates abroad, look to it.
Gentlemen, I have troubled you very long, but, in good faith, the manner and the matter of the last day's work hath lain so heavy upon my heart, that I should have thought I had forfeited this gown, and this chain, if I had been silent, and, that I had betrayed the liberty of that famous city, which I am sworn to defend. One word I had forgotten to mention, the caution which was given us of such messengers as his Majesty should send, that we should observe them, that they might be dealt with, as messengers of sedition: God forbid we should live to see any messengers, sent to us from our gracious King, evilly intreated, I would be loth myself to outlive such a dishonour; if his Majesty shall vouchsafe us the honour of sending to us, let us use and defend his servants, as persons sent to us for our good; if it shall be otherwise, fire from heaven will consume this city. Let us not be wrought upon, by fair words, to contribute or lend more money for the maintenance of this civil, bloody dissension, or bring desolation and confusion upon this glorious city, for the support of four men, who, if innocent, will be safe; but let us remember the happiness and flourishing state we enjoyed, whilst we yielded obedience to our royal sovereign. Let us not, upon the general discourse of evil counsellers, rebel against a prince, upon whose person malice and treason cannot lay the least blemish, but must confess his religion, justice, and charity to be so transcendent, that, if he were a subject, would render him most amiable. Let us consider, that, if he be oppressed, there can be no end of these troubles, but we and our children shall be perpetually weltering in a sea of blood; whereas, if his enemies be overthrown, the whole kingdom will, within a moment, be restored to all the calm, pleasure, and plenty of peace. And therefore, if we intend to enjoy what we have, and that the younger men shall grow up to the same state we enjoy; if the memory of our forefathers, or the hope of our posterity, can move any thing with us, let us lay hold on the King's mercy, and submit to every proposition in his answer.
Whilst the alderman was speaking this speech, several great interruptions were made with hissing, and other such noises, soine crying, No more, No more; others as importunately, Hear him, hear him, hear him; so that it was about an hour after he began to speak, before he ended: Whenever the clamour began to stop him, he sat down, without shew of any disturbance, and, when that noise was conquered, he began again, saying what he said last, and so proceeded; only once, when Alderman Bunce said, he spoke against the honourable house of commons, and that it was not to be endured; the alderman replied, with a little sharpness, that he had as much liberty to speak in that place, as any member of the house of commons had in the house of commons; and, if other men were content to lose their privileges, it should be remembered, that it was against his will. At which there was a great shout and acclama. tion, We will not lose our privileges; and after that there was not the least interruption, but the alderman was heard with great patience and attention. As soon as the speech was done, and the great shout and
was afterwards drawn into greater, by the society and counsels of wicked men.
There was not wanting in him a strength of mind, if, avoiding evil counsel, he could have made a just use of it.
And in his twentieth book, thus of Richard the Second : Fuit in illo spiritus non vilis, quem consciorum improbitas, et insulsitas extinxit. He was of a spirit not low or base, but such as was quite destroyed by the wickedness and folly of unhappy consociates.
A reason of this accident may be, that their souls, though not vicious, have not been so large, nor their affections so publick, as their great calling hath required; but being too much mancipated to private fancies and unhappy favourites, and long flattered in those affections under the specious name of firmness in friendship (not being told that the adequate object of a prince's love should be the whole people, and that they who receive publick honour, should return a general love and care) they have too much neglected the kingdom, and grow at last afraid to look their faces in so true a glass as a parliament, and, flying the remedy, increase the disease, till it come to that unhappy height, that, rather than acknowledge any unjust action, they strive for an unjust power to give it countenance, and so by a long consequence become hardly reconcileable to a parliamentary way.
Such princes (though it may see mstrange) have been a greater affliction to this kingdom, than those who have been most wicked, and more incurable, for these reasons: 1. They have not been so conscious to themselves of great crimes; and therefore not so apt to be sensible of what they have been accidentally made to do against their people by evil counsel, whose poison themselves did not perfectly understand. And therefore they are more prone to suspect the people, as unkind to them, than themselves as faulty, and so the more hardly drawn to repent their actions, or meet heartily with parliament. 2. The second reason is from the people, who naturally look with honour upon the prince, and when they find none, or few personal vices in him (not considering that the true virtues of princes have a larger extent than those of private men) will more hardly be brought to think, though themselves feel, and suffer for it, that he is faulty; and therefore some times (which would hardly be believed, if experience had not shewed it) the people have been so rash as that, to maintain for the King an unjust prerogative, which themselves understand not, they have to their own ruin, and the King's too (as it hath after proved) deserted that great council whom themselves have chosen, and by whom only they could be preserved in their just rights; until too late, for the King's happiness and their own, they have seen and repented their great folly.
Such a desertion was too sadly seen, at the end of that parliament of Edward the Second, where the two Spencers were banished, and the tragical effects that followed, when the King found so great a party, both of clergy and laity, as inabled him to call home again his banished favourites; and proved fatal to so many parliamentary lords, as the like execution of nobility had never before been seen in England; over whose graves the people afterwards wept, when it was too late, and proceeded further in their revenge, than became the duty and allegiance of subjects.
It is, therefore, a great misfortune to England, and almost a certain calamity, when the distempers of government have been let grow so long, as that, for their cure, they must need a long parliament: For there are no ways, how just, how moderate soever, they be, which that great council can take, if they go far enough, to make the cure, but will provoke, either by the means, or the length of them, the prince's impatience, or the people's inconstancy.
For the first, the delinquents must needs be many and great, and those employed, and perchance highly favoured by him; besides, the reflexion which is made upon his judgment, by their sufferings; and that will be one reason of his impatience.
Another is, that many prerogatives which were not indeed inherent in the crown, but so thought by the prince, and by him, and his bad counsel, long abused, to the prejudice of the people, with some seeming advantage to him, though, well weighed, they brought none, are then, after a long sufferance, called in question.
For the people are used to intrust kind princes with many of their own rights and privileges, and never call for them again, till they have been extremely abused. But, at such a time to make all clear, after so long a reckoning (and those long reckonings of state being commonly fatal ; for parliaments have seldom been discontinued, but by such princes whose governments, in the interim, have been very illegal) they usually question so much, as that the prince thinks himself hardly dealt withal; such a prince, as we spoke of, who not bad in himself, but long misled by wicked counsel, was not enough sensible of the injuries he had done.
The second obstacle, that such parliaments may find, is the people's inconstancy; and what age is not full of such examples, which before we name, let us consider whether there be any reason for it! This perchance may be one, that the people naturally are lovers of novelty, affecting, with greediness, every change; and again loathing it, when it ceases to be a novelty. Long discontinued and reforming parliaments seem to carry the face of a change of government; and those things may then happen, which do in the shift of princes, that some people, may, for a while, Aatter themselves with new and strange hopes, that prove frustrate; or else with quicker redresses of inconvenience, than the great concurrence of so many weighty husinesses can possibly admit, how industrious soever that great council be, distracted with so great a variety; and the people, after some time spent, grow weary again of what before they so long had wished to see. Besides, the people are more and more poisoned daily by the discourses of the friends, kindred, and retainers to so many great delinquents, as must needs be at such a parliament: who, though they be no considerable party, in respect of the whole commonwealth, yet ply their particular interests with more eagerness, than most do the publick. They subtly persuade the people, that whatsoever the parliament does against those great delinquents is aimed against the King's honour, and that he is wounded through their sides. And this opinion is somewhat furthered, when the
people see how many prerogatives of the prince, as we said before, are after long enjoying called in question. So that, by this means, their inconstancy seems to be grounded upon loyalty to the King, and they, perchance, with honest, but deceived hearts, grow weary of the great council of the land.
Another reason may be, that the prince himself averse from such a parliament, for the reasons aforesaid, can find power enough to retard their proceedings, and keep off the cure of state so long, till the people, tired with expectation of it, have by degrees forgot the sharpness of those diseases, which before required it.
By this means at last, accidentally a miracle hath been wrought after a long parliament, which is, that the people have taken part with the great delinquents against the parliament, for no other reason, than because those delinquents had done them more wrong, than the parliament could suddenly redress. And so the multitude of those great delinquents crimes hath turned to their own advantage.
But in such reforming parliaments, upon whom so much business lies, not only the inconstancy of the people hath been seen in history, but the unstedfastness of the representative body itself, and the distractions of that assembly, 'whilst they forsake each other under so great a burthen, have let that burthen fall dishonourably to the ground. The most unhappy instance, in this case, was that parliament of Richard the Second begun at Westminster, and adjourned to Shrewsbury, in the nineteenth year of his reign; a parliament that discharged their trust, the worstofany that I read of, where there was as much need of constancy and magnanimity, as ever was, to redress those great distempers, which were then
grown upon the state; and as much mischief ensued by their default, both upon prince which people, and might have been well prevented, and his happiness wrought together with their own in the judgment of best writers) if they had timely and constantly joined together, in maintaining the true rights of parliament, and resisting the illegal desires of their seduced King. But, being fatally distracted, the major part of lords and bishops wrought upon by the King, and the house of commons too far prevailed with, by Bushy the speaker, and his instruments, they utterly deserted the commonwealth, and, looking only upon the King's present desire, assented to such things, as made the prerogative a thing boundless; that he himself, as the story reports, was heard. glorying to say, that there was no free and absolute Monarch in Europe, but himself. Upon which, the same bad counsel, which had before brought him out of love with parliaments, brought him to as great an abuse of that power, which he had now gutten over a parliament. And then followed the blank charters, and other horrid extortions, besides, the suffering of some lords, whom the people most loved; and shortly after, by a sad consequence, his own ruin. Nor do we read, that any of those lords, who under colour of loyalty and love (as they called it) to his person, had trodden down the power and privilege of a parliament, under his feet, had afterwards so much loyalty to him, as to defend his crown and person, against the force of an usurper, who, without any resistance or contradiction, unjustly ascended the royal throne; thé sad occasion of that miserable and cruel civil war, which,
narrow and hard passage (at Colleshell), most fraudulently throw away the king's standard.
2. That he did with a loud voice pronounce the king to be dead.
3. That he turned back those that came to relieve the king's army against the Welchmen.
These articles he denied, and after great debate thereof, before the king and council, the matter was adjudged to be tried by combate, and Henry of Essex, supposed to be slain, was carried away, but he revived, and spent the rest of his days in reading.
In the twelfth year of his reign the king appointed a collection to be, made through all the countries, in this manner, viz. 1. For
every Pound in moveable goods being so valued for the first
2. Fur four years after for every pound so valued, 1d.
3. For arable lands, and for vines, the charge and cost of them not reckoned for every pound thereof after the same manner also.
4. He, that hath an house: valued to be worth one pound, to pay one penny.
5. He, that hath some office agent, one penny.
After the payment whereof, the king caused his son Henry to be crowned, by the persuasions of Robert, Archbishop of York, thinking it would prove to the great quietness of himself and his realm, but proved otherwise; for the young king received the fealties of the earls and barons.
Henry, the younger, rebelled against his father, and many earls and barons fled over to him, and many great and bloody battles were fought between them; but, at the last, the old King subdued this rebellion, and, finding that the Scots had joined against him, gave to many of the young nobility, whom he had found to be loyal unto him, the most part of the land in Scotland, and imprisoned and fined many of the English, for this rebellion.
In the twenty-first year of his reign, a brother of the Earl of Ferrers was slain in the city of London; whereat the King was much displeased, and vowed revenge against the city; and there were great troubles between the court and the city, insomuch that the city was distracted and disquieted within itself; for, in the end, there were many unruly citizens, who did give themselves to the pillaging and robbing of rich men's houses, of whom one Andrew Buckequint and John Ould were chief; but the grave wisdom of the King soon suppressed them; and there was peace between the young King and the old, and the father and the son did eat and drink at one table, and all was ended in peace; and, shortly after, the disobedient son was cut off, and the old King reigned quietly alone.
Then the King called a convocation of the clergy at London, and the pope's legate sat in the chair, and, next to him, the Archbishop of Canterbury, on his right hand, as primate of England; but, when the Archbishop of York saw, that he must sit on the left hand of the pope's legate, he disdained the place, and did strive to croud his arse between