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have bewailed the death of Patroclus in outward show, but indeed their own condition.
Πάτροκλον πρόφασιν, σφῶν δ ̓ αὐτῶν κήδε' ἑκάτη.
And it needs must be ridiculous to any judgment unenthralled, that they, who in other matters express so little fear either of God or man, should in this one particular outstrip all precisianism with their scruples and cases, and fill men's ears continually with the noise of their conscientious loyalty and allegiance to the king, rebels in the meanwhile to God in all their actions besides: much less that they, whose professed loyalty and allegiance led them to direct arms against the king's person, and thought him nothing violated by the sword of hostility drawn by them against him, should now in earnest think him violated by the unsparing sword of justice, which undoubtedly so much the less in vain she bears among men, by how much greater and in highest place the offender. Else justice, whether moral or political, were not justice, but a false counterfeit of that impartial and godlike virtue. The only grief is, that the head was not struck off to the best advantage and commodity of them that held it by the hair: an ingrateful and perverse generation, who having first cried to God to be delivered from their king, now murmur against God that heard their prayers, and cry as loud for their king against those that delivered them.
But as to the author of these soliloquies, whether it were undoubtedly the late king, as is vulgarly believed, or any secret coadjutor, and some stick not to name him; * it can add nothing, nor shall take from the weight, if any be, of reason which he brings. But allegations, not reasons, are the main contents of this book, and need no more than other contrary allegations to lay the question before all men in an even balance; though it were supposed, that the testimony of one man, in his own cause affirming, could be of any moment to bring in doubt the authority of a parliament denying. But if these his fair-spoken words shall be here fairly confronted, and laid parallel to his own far differing deeds, manifest and visible to
• Who was then suspected of being the author of the "Eikon Basilikè" does not appear; but the researches of succeeding ages have determined almost beyond a doubt, that Dr. Gauden, Bishop of Exeter, was the man. -ED.
the whole nation, then surely we may look on them who, notwithstanding, shall persist to give to bare words more credit than to open deeds, as men whose judgment was not rationally evinced and persuaded, but fatally stupified and bewitched into such a blind and obstinate belief: for whose cure it may be doubted, not whether any charm, though never so wisely murmured, but whether any prayer can be available.
This however would be remembered and well noted, that while the king, instead of that repentance which was in reason and in conscience to be expected from him, without which we could not lawfully readmit him, persists here to maintain and justify the most apparent of his evil doings, and washes over with a court-fucus the worst and foulest of his actions, disables and uncreates the parliament itself, with all our laws and native liberties that ask not his leave, dishonours and attaints all protestant churches not prelatical* and what they piously reformed, with the slander of rebellion, sacrilege, and hypocrisy; they, who seemed of late to stand up hottest for the covenant, can now sit mute and much pleased to hear all these opprobrious things uttered against their faith, their freedom, and themselves in their own doings made traitors to boot. The divines, also, their wizards, can be so brazen as to cry Hosanna to this his book, which cries louder against them for no disciples of Christ, but of Iscariot; and to seem now convinced with these withered arguments and reasons here, the same which in some other writings of that party, and in his own former declarations and expresses, they have so often heretofore endeavoured to confute and to explode; none appearing all this while to vindicate church or state from these calumnies and reproaches but a small handful of men, whom they defame and spit at with all the odious names of schism and sectarism. I never knew that time in England, when men of truest religion were not counted sectaries :+ but wisdom now, valour, justice, constancy, prudence united and embodied
* Warburton, himself a bishop, speaks with contempt of Charles I.'s superstitious reverence for episcopacy, which Hooker, as he observes, had forty years before proved to be of human origin, and which Charles I. ought to have abandoned, in compliance with the wishes of the people.—ED.
Wickliffe was a sectarian; the Reformers, when they appeared, were all sectarians; Milton, Newton, Locke, were the same; so were Owen, Baxter, Leighton, &c., and some of the noblest ornaments of Christianity, in all ages, have been insulted with this name.-ED.
to defend religion and our liberties, both by word and deed, against tyranny, is counted schism and faction.
Thus in a graceless age things of highest praise and imitation under a right name, to make them infamous and hateful to the people, are miscalled. Certainly, if ignorance and perverseness will needs be national and universal, then they who adhere to wisdom and to truth, are not therefore to be blamed, for being so few as to seem a sect or faction. But in my opinion it goes not ill with that people where these virtues grow so numerous and well joined together, as to resist and make head against the rage and torrent of that boisterous folly and superstition, that possesses and hurries on the vulgar sort. This therefore we may conclude to be a high honour done us from God, and a special mark of his favour, whom he hath selected as the sole remainder, after all these changes and commotions, to stand upright and steadfast in his cause; dignified with the defence of truth and public liberty; while others, who aspired to be the top of zealots, and had almost brought religion to a kind of trading monopoly, have not only by their late silence and neutrality belied their profession, but foundered themselves and their consciences, to comply with enemies in that wicked cause and interest, which they have too often cursed in others, to prosper now in the same themselves.
Upon the King's calling this last Parliament.
That which the king lays down here as his first foundation, and as it were the head-stone of his whole structure, that "he called this parliament, not more by others' advice, and the necessity of his affairs, than by his own choice and inclination," is to all knowing men so apparently not true,* that a more unlucky and inauspicious sentence, and more betokening the downfall of his whole fabric, hardly could have come into his mind. For who knows not, that the inclination of a prince is best known either by those next about him, and most in favour with him, or by the current of his own actions? Those
*The falsehood and hypocrisy of this assertion is made abundantly apparent by Clarendon.-See note p. 811.-ED.
nearest to this king, and most his favourites, were courtiers and prelates; men whose chief study was to find out which way the king inclined, and to imitate him exactly: how these men stood affected to parliaments cannot be forgotten. No man but may remember, it was their continual exercise to dispute and preach against them; and in their common discourse nothing was more frequent, than that "they hoped the king should now have no need of parliaments any more." And this was but the copy which his parasites had industriously taken from his own words and actions, who never called a parliament but to supply his necessities; and having supplied those, as suddenly and ignominiously dissolved it, without redressing any one grievance of the people: * sometimes choosing rather to miss of his subsidies, or to raise them by illegal courses, than that the people should not still iniss of their hopes to be relieved by parliaments.
The first he broke off at his coming to the crown, for no other cause than to protect the Duke of Buckingham † against them who had accused him, besides other heinous crimes, of no less than poisoning the deceased king, his father; concerning which declaration of "No more addresses" hath
* The house of commons, even so early as 1625, resolved, after voting some slight supplies, that they would grant no more, until certain grievances should have been redressed; upon which Charles, August 12th, haughtily dissolved it. Money being still wanting, it was determined to raise it by forced loans; and orders were immediately issued for the purpose, with further directions that the names of all who were backward, or who refused to lend, should be transmitted to the court. In six months another parliament was assembled, (Feb. 6th, 1626,) which commenced operations with the impeachment of the Duke of Buckingham, whom Warburton describes as "the most debauched, the most unable, and the most tyrannical (minister) that ever was." (Clarendon's History, t. vii. p. 513.) This parliament was again dissolved; (June 15th, 1626;) and another (17th of March, 1628) assembled, to which, at its opening, the king addressed a most haughty and menacing speech. It was prorogued; (June 26th, 1628;) and it again assembled, (January 20th, 1629,) when Oliver Cromwell made his maiden speech, which is very ludicrously described by Guizot, (Histoire, &c. i. 55.) After a violent struggle between the house of commons and the court, this parliament also was dissolved. (March 10th, 1629.) Such was the fickleness of Charles I., who knew not how to govern the country with or without parliaments.—ED.
+ Clarendon was too much a courtier to speak boldly or honestly of Buckingham. His laboured character, (vol. i. p. 55–79,) however, contains admissions sufficient to enable a judicious reader to see further than the historian, perhaps, intended into his temper and principles.-ED.
sufficiently informed us. And still the latter breaking was with more affront and indignity put upon the house and her worthiest members, than the former. Insomuch that in the fifth year of his reign, in a proclamation, he seems offended at the very rumour of a parliament divulged among the people; as if he had taken it for a kind of slander, that men should think him that way exorable, much less inclined: and forbids it as a presumption, to prescribe him any time for parliaments; that is to say, either by persuasion or petition, or so much as the reporting of such a rumour: for other manner of prescribing was at that time not suspected. By which fierce edict, the people, forbidden to complain, as well as forced to suffer, began from thenceforth to despair of parliaments. Whereupon such illegal actions, and especially to get vast sums of money, were put in practice by the king and his new officers, as monopolies, compulsive knighthoods, coat, conduct, and ship-money, the seizing not of one Naboth's vineyard, but of whole inheritances, under the pretence of forest or crown-lands; corruption and bribery compounded for, with impunities granted for the future, as gave evident proof, that the king never meant, nor could it stand with the reason of his affairs, ever to recal parliaments: having brought by these irregular courses the people's interest and his own to so direct an opposition, that he might foresee plainly, if nothing but a parliament could save the people, it must necessarily be his undoing.
Till eight or nine years after, proceeding with a high hand * Even Clarendon, whose work is rather an apology for Charles I. than a history, relates with disapprobation these flagrant invasions of the people's rights. Supplemental acts of state," as he curiously phrases it, were made to supply defect of laws; and so tonnage, and poundage, and other duties upon merchandises, were collected by order of the board, which had been positively refused to be settled by act of parliament, and new and greater impositions laid upon trade; obsolete laws were revived, and rigorously executed, wherein the subject might be taught how unthrifty a thing it was, by a to strict detaining of what was his, to put the king as strictly to inquire what was his own. By this ill husbandry, the king received a vast sum of money from all persons of quality, or indeed of any reasonable condition, throughout the kingdom, upon the law of knighthood; which, though it had a foundation in right, yet, in the circumstances of proceeding, was very grievous. And no less unjust projects of all kinds, many ridiculous, many scandalous, all very grievous, were set on foot; the envy and reproach of which came to the king, the profit to other men." (History, &c. i. 119, 120.)-ED.