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against the advice of his parliament and the example of all reformation; in this more inexcusable than Saul, that Saul was at length convinced, he to the hour of death fixed in his false persuasion; and soothes himself in the flattering peace of an erroneous and obdurate conscience; singing to his soul vain psalms of exultation, as if the parliament had assailed his reason with the force of arms, and not he on the contrary their reason with his arms; which hath been proved already, and shall be more hereafter.
He twits them with "his acts of grace;" proud, and unself knowing words in the mouth of any king, who affects not to be a god, and such as ought to be as odious in the ears of a free nation. For if they were unjust acts, why did he grant them as of grace? If just, it was not of his grace, but of his duty and his oath to grant them. "A glorious king he would be, though by his sufferings:" but that can never be to him whose sufferings are his own doings. He feigns "a hard choice" put upon him, " either to kill his subjects, or be killed." Yet never was king less in danger of any violence from his subjects, till he unsheathed his sword against them; nay, long after that time, when he had spilt the blood of thousands, they had still his person in a foolish
He complains "that civil war must be the fruits of his seventeen years reigning with such a measure of justice, peace, plenty, and religion, as all nations either admired or envied." For the justice we had, let the council-table, star-chamber, high-commission speak the praise of it; not forgetting the unprincely usage, and as far as might be, the abolishing of parliaments, the displacing of honest judges, the sale of offices, bribery, and exaction, not found out to be punished, but to be shared in with impunity for the time to come. Who can
number the extortions, the oppressions, the public robberies and rapines committed on the subject both by sea and land, under various pretences? their possessions also taken from them, one while as forest-land, another while as crown-land; nor were their goods exempted, no, not the bullion in the ment. Hooker had long ago proved, as Warburton observes, that episcopacy is of human institution; and with much liberality the bishop treats contemptuously, as a silly superstition, the reverence of Charles I. for the Church of England.-ED.
mint; piracy was become a project owned and authorized against the subject.
For the peace we had, what peace was that which drew out the English to a needless and dishonourable voyage against the Spaniard at Cales? Or that which lent our shipping to a treacherous and antichristian war against the poor protestants of Rochelle + our suppliants? What peace was that
* Mr. D'Israeli, in his article on the Duke of Buckingham, has a curious pasquinade on this inglorious event, which he introduces by the following remarks:-"The war with Spain was clamoured for; and an expedition to Cadiz, in which the duke was reproached by the people for not taking the command, as they supposed, from deficient spirit, only ended in our undisciplined soldiers, under bad commanders, getting drunk in the Spanish cellars, insomuch that not all had the power to run away. On this expedition, some verses were handed about, which probably are now first printed, from a manuscript letter of the times; a political pasquinade which shows the utter silliness of this, 'Ridiculus Mus.'
VERSES ON THE EXPEDITION TO CADIZ.
'There was a crow sat on a stone,
When he fell down-then down fell he!
(Curiosities of Literature, iii. 445.)
The Duke of Buckingham is said to have been making preparations for succouring Rochelle, when he was assassinated by Felton, (Clarendon, i, 49.) All thoughts, however, of affording aid to the protestants were abandoned after his death; (i. 80;) and in 1641, the parliament, in their " Remonstrance," reproached the king with "the loss of Rochelle, by first suppressing their fleet with his own royal ships, by which the protestant religion in France infinitely suffered." (ii. 50.) This is afterwards alluded to by the historian as one of the causes that led the Huguenots to side with the parliament against the court. (iii 363.) If we may give credit to Gerbier, a foreign tool of the duke's, there was at one time a real intention, at least on Buckingham's part, to relieve the Rochellois. See his relation in D'Israeli, (Curiosities of Literature, iii. 477, sqq.) who adds an epitaph on the duke, which contains as much truth as bitterness :
"If idle trav'llers ask, who lieth here,
Let the duke's tomb this for inscription bear:
Paint Cales and Rhé, make French and Spanish laugh,
which fell to rob the French by sea, to the embarring of all our merchants in that kingdom? which brought forth that unblest expedition to the Isle of Rhé,* doubtful whether more calamitous in the success, or in the design, betraying all the flower of our military youth and best commanders to a shameful surprisal and execution. This was the peace we had, and the peace we gave, whether to friends or to foes abroad. And if at home any peace were intended us, what meant those Irish billetted soldiers in all parts of the kingdom, and the design of German horse to subdue us in our peaceful houses?
For our religion, where was there a more ignorant, profane, and vicious clergy, learned in nothing but the antiquity of their pride, their covetousness, and superstition?+ whose unsincere and leavenous doctrine, corrupting the people, first taught them looseness, then bondage; loosening them from all sound knowledge and strictness of life, the more to fit them for the bondage of tyranny and superstition. So that what was left us for other nations not to pity, rather than admire or envy, all those seventeen years, no wise man could see. For wealth and plenty in a land where justice reigns not is no argument of a flourishing state, but of a nearness rather to ruin or commotion.
These were not 66 some miscarriages" only of government, "which might escape," but a universal distemper, and reducement of law to arbitrary power; not through the evil counsels of "some men," but through the constant course and practice of all that were in highest favour: whose worst actions frequently avowing he took upon himself; and what faults did not yet seem in public to be originally his, such care he took by professing and proclaming openly, as made them all at
* This expedition against the island of Rhé is described by Clarendon as more unsuccessful and unfortunate than that of Cadiz. (History, &c. i. 6.) -ED.
+ Clarendon, though he makes a general eulogium on the order, admits that the clergy about Whitehall were occasionally guilty of much "indiscretion and folly ;" but is angry that one bad sermon should be more taken notice of than a hundred others, remarkable for their wisdom and sobriety. (i. 136.) Upon this Warburton justly remarks, that there was good reason for the distinction, "because that one sermon was supported, cried up, and adopted by the court, while the hundred were neglected and discountenanced." (vii. 518.)
length his own adopted sins. The persons also, when he could no longer protect, he esteemed and favoured to the end; but never otherwise than by constraint yielded any of them to due punishment; thereby manifesting that what they did was by his own authority and approbation.
Yet here he asks, "whose innocent blood he hath shed, what widows' or orphans' tears can witness against him?" After the suspected poisoning of his father, not inquired into but smothered up, and him protected and advanced to the very half of his kingdom, who was accused in parliament to be the author of the fact; (with much more evidence than duke Dudley, that false protector, is accused upon record to have poisoned Edward the Sixth ;) after all his rage and persecution, after so many years of cruel war on his people in three kingdoms! Whence the author of "Truths Manifest," a Scotsman, not unacquainted with affairs, positively affirms, "that there hath been more Christian blood shed by the commission, approbation, and connivance of king Charles, and his father, James, in the latter end of their reign, than in the ten Roman persecutions." Not to speak of those many whippings, pillories, and other corporal inflictions, wherewith his reign also, before this war, was not unbloody; some have died in prison under cruel restraint, others in banishment, whose lives were shortened through the rigour of that persecution wherewith so many years he infested the true church.
And those six members all men judged to have escaped no less than capital danger, whom he ŝo greedily pursuing into the house of commons, had not there the forbearance to conceal how much it troubled him, "that the birds were flown." If some vulture in the mountains could have opened his beak intelligibly and spoke, what fitter words could he have uttered at the loss of his prey? The tyrant Nero, though not yet deserving that name, set his hand so unwillingly to the execution of a condemned person, as to wish "he had not known letters." Certainly for a king himself to charge his subjects with high-treason, and so vehemently to prosecute them in his own cause, as to do the office of a searcher, argued in him no great aversation from shedding blood, were it but to " tisfy his anger," and that revenge was no unpleasing morsel to him, whereof he himself thought not much to be so dili
gently his own caterer. But we insist rather upon what was actual, than what was probable.
He now falls to examine the causes of this war, as a difficulty which he had long "studied" to find out. "It was not," saith he, "my withdrawing from Whitehall; for no account in reason could be given of those tumults, where an orderly guard was granted." But if it be a most certain truth, that the parliament could never yet obtain of him any guard fit to be confided in, then by his own confession some account of those pretended tumults "may in reason be given;" and both concerning them and the guards enough hath been said already.
"Whom did he protect against the justice of parliament?" Whom did he not to his utmost power? Endeavouring to have rescued Strafford from their justice, though with the destruction of them and the city; to that end expressly commanding the admittance of new soldiers into the Tower, raised by Suckling and other conspirators under pretence for the Portugal: though that ambassador being sent to, utterly denied to know of any such commission from his master. And yet, that listing continued: not to repeat his other plot of bringing up the two armies. But what can be disputed with such a king, in whose mouth and opinion the parliament itself was never but a faction, and their justice no justice, but "the dictates and overswaying insolence of tumults and rabbles?" and under that excuse avouches himself openly the general patron of most notorious delinquents, and approves their flight out of the land, whose crimes were such, as that the justest and the fairest trial would have soonest condemned them to death.
But did not Catiline plead in like manner against the Roman senate, and the injustice of their trial, and the justice of his flight from Rome? Cæsar also, then hatching tyranny, injected the same scrupulous demurs, to stop the sentence of death in full and free senate decreed on Lentulus and Cethegus, two of Catiline's accomplices, which were renewed and urged for Strafford. He vouchsafes to the reformation, by both kingdoms intended, no better name than "innovation and ruin both in church and state." And what we would have learned so gladly of him in other passages before, to know wherein, he tells us now of his own accord. The expelling bishops out of the house of peers, that was "ruin to the state;