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away without bis errand. In the reign of Rufus, I was made of his colour, red with blood; both by the Welch and the Scot, who lost his King Malcolm, in the battle of Alnwick. All my Eight Henries were infested with some civil bruils, except my Fifth Henry, the greatest of them, who had work enough cut him out in France, and he plied his work so well, that he put that crown upon his son's head. All my

Ed. wards also had some intestine insurrection or other;, indeed, two of my Three Richards had always quietness at home, though the First did go the furthest off from me, and was longest absent of any: And the Third, though he came in by blood, yet the shurt time of his triennial reign, he was without any, and proved one of my best lawgivers, yet his life ended in blood. Touching my Second Richard, and Second Edward, there were never any of my Kings came to a more tragical end, and the greatest stains in my story were the violent deaths they suffered by the hands of their own (regicide) subjects. The two sister queens, that swayed my scepter, had also some domestick commotions ; and now my Charles bath them to the height, insomuch that, of those five and twenty monarchs, who have worn my diadems since the Norman entered, there were only four, viz. the forementioned Henry, and Richards, with King James, escaped free from all intestine broils. Oh, how it turments my soul to remember, how my barons did tear my bowels! What an ocean of blood the two roses cost me before they were conjoined; for during the time that I was a monster with two heads (made so by their division) I mean, during the time that I had two Kings at once, Edward the Fourth, and Henry the Sixth, within me; in five years space, I had twelve battles fought within my intrails, and I lost near upon fourscore princes of the royal stem, and parted with more of my spirits, than there were spent in winning of France. The world knows how free and prodigal I have been of my blood abroad, in divers places; I watered the Holy Land with much of it; against my co-islander the Scot, I had above twenty pitched battles, took many, and killed some of their kings in the field; the flower-de-luces cost me dear, before I brought them over upon my sword; and the reduction of Ireland, from time to time, to civility, and to an exact rule of allegiance wasted my children in great numbers. I never grudged to venture my blood this way, for I ever had glorious returns for it, and my sons died in the bed of honour; but for them to glut themselves with one another's blood, for them to lacerate and rip up (viper-like) the wonib that brought them forth, to tear the paps that gave them suck; can there be a greater piacle against nature? Can there be a more execrable and horrid thing? If a stranger had used me thus, it would not have grieved me half so much; it is better to be stung with a nettle, than pricked by a rose; I had rather sutier by an enemy, than by my own natural born offspring. Those former home-waged wars, whereof there happened above fourscore since the Norman came in, were but as fires of flax, in comparison of this horrid combustion, both in

my

church and state, One may find those wars epitomised in small volumes, but a whole library cannot contain this. They were but scratches, being compared to these deep wounds which prince, peer, and people have received by this; such wounds, that it seems no gentle cataplasms can cure them ;

ed so many

they must be lanced and cauterised, and the huge scars, they will leave behind them, will, I fear, make me appear deformed and ugly to all posterity, so that I am half in despair to recover my former beauty ever again. The deep stains, these wars will leave behind, I fear all the water of the Severn, Trent, or Thames, cannot wash away

The twentieth Moon hath not yet run her course, since the two edged sword of war hath raged and done many hoprid executions within me, since that hellish invention of powder hath thundered in every corner, since it hath darkened and torn my well-tempered air, since I have weltered in my own blood, and been made a kind of cockpit, a theatre of death; and, in so short a circumvolution of time, I may confidently affirm, take battles, rencounters, sieges, and skirmishes together, there never happen

in any country; nor do I see any appearance (the more is my misery) of any period to be put to these distractions. Every day is spectator of some new tragedy, and the relations, that are hourly blazed abroad, sound sometimes well on the one side, sometimes on the other, like a peel of bells in windy weather (though, oftentimes in a whole volley of news, you shall hardly find one true report) which makes me fear that the all disposing Deity of heaven continueth the successes of both parties, in a kind of equality, to prolong my punishment. Ita ferior, ut diu me sentiam mori; I am wounded with that dexterity, that the sense and agonies of my sufferings are like to be extended to the uiter. most length of time, and possibility of nature.

But, o passenger, if thou art desirous to know the cause of these fatal discomposures of this inextricable war; truly I must deal plainly, I cannot résolve thee herein to any full satisfaction. Grievances there were, I must confess, and some incongruities in

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government (wherein, some say, the crosier, some say, the distaff was too busy) but I little thought, God knows, that those grievances required a redress this way. Dost thou ask me, Whether religion was the cause? God forbid : That innocent and holy matron had rather go clad in the snowy white robes of meekness and longanimity, than in a vest of sanguine dye; her practice hath been to overcome by a passive fortitude without reaction, and to triumph in the milk-white ivory chariot of irinocency and patience, not to be hurried away with the fiery wheels of war; les larmes not les armes (as my next neighbour hath it) groans not guns were used to be her weapons, unless in case of open and impending danger, of invincible necessity, and visible actual oppression; and then the arms she useth most is the target to shroud herself under, and fence

the blow; she leaves all other weapons to the Alcharon, to propagate and expand itself. This gentle grave lady, though the rubricks of her service be in red characters, yet she is no lover of blood; she is an improver of peace, and the sole object of her devotion is the God of Peace, in whose highest name, in the name Jehovah, as the Rabbies observe, all the letters are quiescent. That sacred comforter, which inspires her ambassadors, uses to ascend in form of a dove, not in the likeness of a devouring vulture, and he that brings him down so may be said to sin against the Holy Ghost; to beat religion into the brains, with a pole-ax, is to make a Moloch of the Messias, to offer him victims of human blood : Therefore, I should traduce and much wrong religion, if I should cast this war upon her; yet methinks 'I hear this holy distressed matron lament, that she is not also without her grieyances ; some of her chiefest governors, for want of moderation, could not be content to walk upon the battlements of the church, but they must put themselves upon stilts, and thence mount up to the turrets of civil policy; some of her preachers grew to be mere parasites, some to the court, some to the country; some would have nothing in their mouths, but prerogative, others, nothing but privilege; some would give the crown all, some nothing at all; some, to feed zeal, would famish the understanding; others to feast the understanding, and tickle the outward ear (with essays and flourishes of rhetorick) would quite starve the soul of her true food, &c.

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But the principal thing, that I hear that reverend lady, that queen of souls, and key of heaven, make her moan of, is, that, that seamless garment of unity and love, which our Saviour left her for a legacy, should be torn and rent into so many scissures and sects, by those that would make that coat, which she wore in her infancy, to serve her in her riper years. I hear her cry out at the monstrous exorbitant liberty, that almost every capricious mechanick takes to himself, to shape and form what religion he lists; for the world is come now to that pass, that the taylor and shoe-maker may cut out what religion they please; the vintner and tapster may broach what religion they please; the druggist and apothecary may mingle her as they please; the haberdasher may put her upon what block he pleases; the armourer and cutler may

furbish her, as they please; the dyer may put what colour, the painter may put what face upon her he pleases; the draper and mercer may measure her as they please; the weaver may cast her upon what loom he pleases; the boatswain and mariner may bring her to what dock they please; the barber may trim her as he pleases; the gardener may lop her as he pleases; the blacksmith may forge what religion he pleases, and 80 every artisan, according to his profession and fancy, may form her as he pleases. Methinks I hear that venerable matron complain further, how her pulpits in some places are become beacons; how, in lieu of lights, her churches up and down are full of firebrands; how every caprichio of the brain is termed tenderness of conscience, which well examined is nothing but some frantick fancy, or frenzy rather, of some shallow-brained sciolist; and, whereas others have been used to run mad for excess of knowledge, some of my

grow mad now-a-days, out of too much ignorance. It stands upon record in my story, that when the Norman had taken firm footing within me, he did demolish many churches and chapels in New Forest, to make it fitter for his pleasure and venery; but amongst other judgments, which fell upon this sacrilege, one was, That tame fow) grew wild: I fear God Almighty is more 'angry with me now than then, and that I am guilty of worse crimes; for not my fowl, but my folk and people, are grown half wild in many places, they wonld not worry one another so in that wolvish belluine manner else; they would not precipitate themselves else into such a mixed mungrel war, a war that passeth all understanding ; they would not cut their own throats, hang, drown, and do themselves away in such a desperate sort, which is now grown so common, that

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self-murder is scarce accounted any news; wbich makes strangers cry out, that I am all turned into a kind of Great Bedlam, that Barbary is come into the midst of me; that my children are grown so savage, so feshed in blood, and become so inhuman and obdurate, that, with the same tenderness of sense, they can see a man fall, as a horse, or some other brute animal, they have so lost all reverence to the image of their Creator, which was used to be more valued in me, than amongst any other nations.

But I hope my King and great council will take a course to bring them to their old English temper again, to cure me of this vertigo, and preserve me from ruin; for such is my desperate case, that, as there is more difficulty, so it would be a greater honour for them to prevent my destruction, and pull me out of this plunge, than to add unto me a whole new kingdom; for true wisdom hath always gloried as much in conservation, as in conquest.

The Roman, though his ambition of conquering had no horizon, yet he used to triumph more (as multitudes of examples might be produced) at the composing of an intestine war, than for any new acquest, or foreign atchievement whatsoever; and though he was a great martial man, and loved fighting as well as any other, yet his maxim was, That no peace could be so bad, but it was preferable to the best war. It seems the Italian, his successor, retains the same genius to this day, by the late peace (notwithstanding the many knots that were in the thing) which he concluded: For, although six absolute princes were interested in the quarrel, and that they had all just pretences, and were beated and heightened in their designs, yet, rather than they would dilaniate the intrails of their own mother, fair Italy, and expose her, thereby, to be ravished by Tramontanes, they met half way, and complied with one another in a gallant kind of freedom, though every one bore his share in some inconvenience. Oh! that my children would be moved by this so seasonable example of the Italian, who, amongst others of his characters, is said to be wise a priori, before the blow is given. I desire my gracious sovereign to think, that it was never held inglorious or derogatory for a King to be guided, and to steer his course, by the compass of his great council, and to make his understanding descend, and condescend, to their advice; nor was it ever held dishonourable for subjects to yield and bow to their King; to be willows, not oaks; and, if any mistake should happen, to take it upon themselves, rather than any should reflect upon their sovereign. And if, in case of difference, he be willing to meet them half way, it were handsome they went three parts thereof to prevent him. Therefore I conjure them both in the name of the great Deity of Heaven, who transvolves kingdoms, and tumbleth down Kings in his indignation, that they would think of some speedy way to stop this issue of blood; for, to deal plainly with them, I see far greater reason to conclude this war, than ever ihere was to commence it: Let them consider well they are but outward church rites and ceremonies they tight for, as the rigidest sort of reformers confess: The Lutheran, the first reformist, hath many more conformable to the church of Rome, which he hath continued these hundred and twenty years; yet is he as far from Rome as the first day he left her, and as free from danger of relapse into popery, as Amsterdam herself : And must I, unhappy 1, be lacerated and torn in pieces thus for shadows and ceremonies ? I know there is a clashing betwixt prerogative and privilege, but I must put them in mind of the misfortune that befel the flock of sheep and the bell-wether, whereof the first fed in a common, the latter in an inclosure, and thinking to break into one another's pasa ture (as all creatures naturally desire change) and being to pass over a narrow bridge, which severed them, they med in the middle, and jostledone another so long, till both fell into the ditch. And now that I have begun, I will warn them by another fable of the Spanish mule, who having, by accident, gone out of the great road, and carried her rider thorough a hye path upon the top of a huge steep rock, stopped upon a sudden, and being not able to turn and go backward, by reason of the narrowness of the path, nor forward, in regard of a buge rocky precipice, she gently put one foot behind the other, and recoiled in that manner, until she had found the great road again.

I desire my high council to consider, that the royal prerogative is like the sea, which, as navigators observe, what it loseth at one time, or in one place, gets always in some other; I desire my dear king to consider, that the privilege of parliament, the laws and liberties of the subject, is the firmest support of his crown; that his great council is the truest glass wherein he may discern his people's love, and his own happiness; it were wisdom that both did strike sail in so dangerous a storm, to avoid shipwreck; I am loth to say, what consultations, what plots and machinations are fomenting and forging abroad against me, by that time I have enfeebled and wasted myself, and lost the flower of my best children in these woeful broils. Methinks I spie the Jesuit sitting in his cell, and laughing in his sleeve at me, and crying out, The devil part the fray, for they do but execute my designs.

Ob! I feel a cold qualm come over my heart, that I faint, I can speak no longer; yet I will strain myself to breathe out this one invocation, which shall be my conclusion :

Sweet peace, most benign and amiable Goddess, How comes it to pass that thou hast so abandoned earth, and, taking thy flight to heaven, as once Astræa did, dost reject the sighs and sacrifices of poor mortals? Was that flaming usher of God's vengeance, which appeared six and twenty years since in the heavens, the herald that fetched thee away

y? For ever since poor Europe hath been harrassed, and pitifully rent up and down with wars, and now I am become the last scene. Gentle peace, thou which goest always attended on by plenty and pleasure; thou which fillest the husbandman's barns, the grasier's folds, the tradesman's shop, the vintner's cellars, the lawyer's desk, the merchant's magazines, the prince's treasury, How comes it to pass that thou hast given up thy throne to Bellona, that all-destroying fury? Behold how my plundered yeoman wants hinds and horses to plow up my fertile soil; the the poor labourer, who useth to mingle the morning dew with his anheled sweat, shakes at his work for fear of pressing; the tradesman shuts up his shop, and keeps more holidays than wilțingly he would; the merchant walks to the Exchange only to learn news, not

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