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slavery and utter ruin, the whole body of the people had at first committed to their fidelity, prudence, and courage. And they acted their parts like men; they set themselves in opposition to the unruly wilfulness, the rage, the secret designs of an inveterate and exasperated king; they preferred the common liberty and safety before their own; they outdid all former Parliaments, they outdid all their ancestors, in conduct, magnanimity, and steadiness to their cause. Yet these very men did a great part of the people ungratefully desert in the midst of their undertaking, though they had promised them all fidelity, all the help and assistance they could afford them. These were for slavery and peace, with sloth and luxury, upon any terms: others demanded their liberty, nor would accept of a peace that was not sure and honorable. What should the Parliament do in this case? Ought they to have defended this part of the people, that was sound, and continued faithful to them and their country, or to have sided with those that deserted both? I know what you will say they ought to have done. You are not Eurylochus, but Elpenor, a miserable enchanted beast, a filthy swine, accustomed to a sordid slavery, even under a woman; so that you have not the least relish of true magnanimity, nor consequently of liberty, which is the effect of it: you would have all other men slaves, because you find in yourself no generous, ingenuous inclinations; you
say nothing, you breathe nothing, but what is mean and servile.
Here you lament his being condemned as a tyrant, a traitor, and a murderer.
That he had no wrong done him, shall now be made appear. But let us define a tyrant, not according to vulgar conceits, but the judgment of Aristotle, and of all learned men. He is a tyrant who regards his own welfare and profit only, and not that of the people. So Aristotle defines one in the tenth book of his Ethics, and elsewhere; and so do very many others. Whether Charles regarded his own or the people's good, these few things of many that I shall but touch upon will evince. When his rents and other public revenues of the crown would not defray the expenses of the court, he laid most heavy taxes upon the people; and when they were squandered away, he invented new ones; not for the benefit, honor, or defence of the state, but that he might hoard up, or lavish out in one house, the riches and wealth, not of one, but of three nations. When at this rate he broke loose, and acted without any color of law to warrant his proceedings, knowing that the Parliament was the only thing that could give him check, he endeavored either wholly to lay aside the very calling of Parliaments, or calling them just as often, and no oftener, than to serve his own turn, to make them entirely at his devotion. Which bridle when he had cast off himself, he put another bridle upon the people: he
put garrisons of German horse and Irish foot in many towns and cities, and that in time of peace. Do you think he does not begin to look like a tyrant? In which very thing, as in many other particulars, which you have formerly given me occasion to instance, though you scorn to have Charles compared with so cruel a tyrant as Nero, he resembled him extremely much. For Nero likewise often threatened to take away the senate. Besides, he bore extreme hard upon the consciences of good men, and compelled them to the use of ceremonies and superstitious worship, borrowed from Popery, and by him reintroduced into the Church. They that would not conform, were imprisoned or banished. He made war upon the Scots twice for no other cause than that. By all these actions he has surely deserved the name of a tyrant once over at least. Now I will tell you why the word traitor was put into his indictment: when he assured his Parliament by promises, by proclamations, by imprecations, that he had no design against the state, at that very time did he list Papists in Ireland, he sent a private embassy to the king of Denmark to beg assistance from him of arms, horses, and men, expressly against the Parliament; and was endeavoring to raise an army first in England, and then in Scotland. To the English he promised the plunder of the city of London; to the Scots, that the four northern counties should be added to Scotland, if they would but
help him to get rid of the Parliament, by what means soever. These projects not succeeding, he sent over one Dillon, a traitor, into Ireland, with private instructions to the natives, to fall suddenly upon all the English that inhabited there. These are the most remarkable instances of his treasons, not taken up upon hearsay and idle reports, but discovered by letters under his own hand and seal. And finally I suppose no man will deny that he was a murderer, by whose order the Irish took arms, and put to death with most exquisite torments above a hundred thousand English, who lived peaceably by them, and without any apprehension of danger; and who raised so great a civil war in the other two kingdoms. Add to all this, that at the treaty in the Isle of Wight the king openly took upon himself the guilt of the war, and cleared the Parliament in the confession he made there, which is publicly known. Thus you have in short why King Charles was adjudged a tyrant, a traitor, and a murderer.
It would never have entered into the thoughts of this rascally foreign grammarian, to write a discourse of the rights of the crown of England, unless both Charles Stuart, now in banishment, and tainted with his father's principles, and those profligate tutors that he has along with him, had industriously suggested to him what they would have writ. They dictated to him, "that the whole Parliament were liable to be proceeded
against as traitors, because they declared, without the king's assent, all them to be traitors who had taken up arms against the Parliament of England; and that Parliaments were but the king's vassals; that the oath which our kings take at their coronation is but a ceremony": and why not that a vassal too? So that no reverence of laws, no sacredness of an oath, will be sufficient to protect your lives and fortunes, either from the exorbitance of a furious, or the revenge of an exasperated prince, who has been so instructed from his cradle, as to think laws, religion, nay, and oaths themselves, ought to be subject to his will and pleasure. How much better is it, and more becoming yourselves, if you desire riches, liberty, peace, and empire, to obtain them assuredly by your own virtue, industry, prudence, and valor, than to long after and hope for them in vain under the rule of a king? They who are of opinion that these things cannot be compassed but under a king, and a lord, it cannot well be expressed how mean, how base, I do not say, how unworthy, thoughts they have of themselves; for in effect, what do they other than confess, that they themselves are lazy, weak, senseless, silly persons, and framed for slavery both in body and mind? And indeed all manner of slavery is scandalous and disgraceful to a freeborn ingenuous person; but for you, after you have recovered your lost liberty, by God's assistance and your own arms; after the performance of so many valiant