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Madrid; where to execute in the basest manner, thougn but the smallest part of that savage and barbarous revenge, which they do nothing else but study and contemplate, they cared not to let the world know them for professed traitors and assassinators of all law, both divine and human, even of that last and most extensive law kept inviolable to public persons among all fair enemies in the midst of uttermost defiance and hostility. How implacable therefore they would be, after any terms of closure or admittance for the future, or any like opportunity given them hereafter, it will be wisdom and our safety to believe rather, and prevent, than to make triai. And it will concern the multitude, though courted here, to take heed how they seek to hide or colour their own fickleness and instability with a bad repentance of their well-doing, and their fidelity to the better cause; to which at first so cheerfully and conscientiously they joined themselves.
He returns again to extol the church of England, and again requires his son, by the joint authority of "a father and a king, not to let his heart receive the least check or disaffection against it." And not without cause; for by that means, "having sole influence upon the clergy, and they upon the people, after long search and many disputes," he could not possibly find a more compendious and politic way to uphold account :-"Whilst he was at supper, the same evening that he came to the town, in company of many others who used to eat there, half-a-dozen gentlemen entered the room with their swords drawn, and required those at the table 'not to stir; for that there was no harm intended to any but the agent who came from the rebels in England, who had newly murdered their king.' And one of them, who knew Dorislaus, pulled him from the table, and killed him at his feet and thereupon they all put up their swords, and walked leisurely out of the house, leaving those who were in the room in much amazement and consternation. Though all who were engaged in the enterprise went quietly away, and so out of the town, insomuch as no one of them was ever apprehended, or called in question: yet they kept not their own counsel so well, (believing they had done a very heroic act,) but that it was generally known they were all Scottish men, and most of them servants or dependents upon the Marquis of Montrose." (History, &c. vi. 297, 298.) In the same volume of his work the historian has to relate the trial and execution of this same Marquis of Montrose, who was condemned by the parliament of Scotland "to be hanged upon a gallows thirty feet high for the space of three hours." (p. 419.) Numbers of his adherents underwent the same fate; among them probably the murderers of Dorislaus, of whom one, seems, was saved, under I know not what pretence. (p. 421.) The murder of Ascham by the royalists, at Madrid, took place under circumstances similar to those which attended that of Dorislaus.-ED.
and settle tyranny, than by subduing first the consciences of vulgar men, with the insensible poison of their slavish doctrine for then the body and besotted mind without much reluctancy was likeliest to admit the yoke.
He commends also "parliaments held with freedom and with honour." But I would ask how that can be, while he only must be the sole free person in that number; and would have the power with his unaccountable denial, to dishonour them by rejecting all their counsels, to confine their lawgiving power, which is the foundation of our freedom, and to change at his pleasure the very name of a parliament into the name of a faction.
The conclusion therefore must needs be quite contrary to what he concludes; that nothing can be more unhappy, more dishonourable, more unsafe for all, than when a wise, grave, and honourable parliament shall have laboured, debated, argued, consulted, and, as he himself speaks, "contributed" for the public good all their counsels in common, to be then frustrated, disappointed, denied, and repulsed by the single whiff of a negative, from the mouth of one wilful man; nay, to be blasted, to be struck as mute and motionless as a parliament of tapestry in the hangings; or else, after all their pains and travel, to be dissolved, and cast away like so many noughts in arithmetic, unless it be to turn the O of their insignificance into a lamentation with the people, who had so vainly sent them. For this is not to "enact all things by public consent," as he would have us be persuaded; this is to enact nothing but by the private consent and leave of one not negative tyrant; this is mischief without remedy, a stifling and obstructing evil that hath no vent, no outlet, no passage through. Grant him this, and the parliament hath no more freedom than if it sate in his noose, which when he pleases to draw together with one twitch of his negative, shall throttle a whole nation, to the wish of Caligula, in one neck.
This with the power of the militia in his own hands over our bodies and estates, and the prelates to enthral our consciences either by fraud of force, is the sum of that happiness and liberty we were to look for, whether in his own restitution, or in these precepts given to his son. Which unavoidably would have set us in the same state of misery wherein we were before; and have either compelled us to submit like bondslaves,
or put us back to a second wandering over that horrid wilderness of distraction and civil slaughter, which, not without the strong and miraculous hand of God assisting us, we have measured out, and survived. And who knows, if we make so slight of this incomparable deliverance, which God hath bestowed upon us, but that we shall, like those foolish Israelites, who deposed God and Samuel to set up a king, "cry out" one day, "because of our king," which we have been mad upon; and then God, as he foretold them, will no more deliver us.
There now remains but little more of his discourse, whereof to take a short view will not be amiss. His words make semblance as if he were magnanimously exercising himself, and so teaching his son, to want as well as to wear a crown;" and would seem to account it "not worth taking up or enjoying, upon sordid, dishonourable, and irreligious terms;" and yet to his very last did nothing more industriously, than strive to take up and enjoy again his sequestered crown, upon the most sordid, disloyal, dishonourable, and irreligious terms, not of making peace only, but of joining and incorporating with the murderous Irish, formerly by himself declared against, for "wicked and detestable rebels, odious to God and all good men." And who but those rebels now are the chief strength and confidence of his son? While the presbyter Scot that woos and solicits him is neglected and put off, as if no terms were to him sordid, irreligious, and dishonourable, but the Scottish and presbyterian, never to be complied with, till the fear of instant perishing starve him out at length to some unsound and hypocritical agreement. He bids his son 66 keep to the true principles of piety, virtue, and honour, and he shall never want a kingdom.' And I say, people of England! keep ye to those principles, and ye shall never want a king. Nay, after such a fair deliverance as this, with so much fortitude and valour shewn against a tyrant, that people that should seek a king claiming what this man claims, would show themselves to be by nature slaves and arrant beasts; not fit for that liberty which they cried out and bellowed for, but fitter to be led back again into their old servitude, like a sort of clamouring and fighting brutes, broke loose from their copyholds, that know not how to use or possess the liberty which they fought for but with the fair words
and promises of an old exasperated foe, are ready to be stroked and tamed again, into the wonted and well-pleasing state of their true Norman villanage, to them best agreeable.
The last sentence, whereon he seems to venture the whole weight, of all his former reasons and argumentations, "that religion to their God, and loyalty to their king, cannot be parted, without the sin and infelicity of a people," is contrary to the plain teaching of Christ, that "No man can serve two masters; but, if he hold to the one, he must reject and forsake the other." If God, then, and earthly kings be for the most part not several only, but opposite masters, it will as oft happen, that they who will serve their king must forsake their God; and they who will serve God must forsake their king: which then will neither be their sin, nor their infelicity; but their wisdom, their piety, and their true happiness; as to be deluded by these unsound and subtle ostentations here, would be their misery; and in all likelihood much greater than what they hitherto have undergone: if now again intoxicated and moped with these royal, and therefore so delicious because royal, rudiments of bondage, the cup of deception, spiced, and tempered to their bane, they should deliver up themselves to these glozing words and illusion of him, whose rage and utmost violence they have sustained, and overcome so nobly.
Entitled, Meditations upon Death.
It might be well thought by him who reads no further than the title of this last essay, that it required no answer. For all other human things are disputed, and will be variously thought of to the world's end. But this business of death is a plain case, and admits no controversy: in that centre all opinions meet. Nevertheless, since out of those few mortifying hours that should have been entirest to themselves, and most at peace from all passion and disquiet, he can afford spare time to inveigh bitterly against that justice which was done upon him; it will be needful to say something in defence of those proceedings, though briefly, in regard so much on this subject hath been written lately.
It happened once, as we find in Esdras and Josephus, authors not less believed than any under sacred, to be a great and solemn debate in the court of Darius, what thing was to be counted strongest of all other. He that could resolve this, in reward of his excellent wisdom, should be clad in purple, drink in gold, sleep on a bed of gold, and sit next Darius. None but they, doubtless, who were reputed wise, had the question propounded to them; who after some respite given them by the king to consider, in full assembly of all his lords and gravest counsellors, returned severally what they thought. The first held that wine was strongest; another, that the king was strongest; but Zorobabel, prince of the captive Jews, and heir to the crown of Judah, being one of them, proved women to be stronger than the king, for that he himself had seen a concubine take his crown from off his head to set it upon her own; and others beside him have likewise seen the like feat done, and not in jest. Yet he proved on, and it was so yielded by the king himself, and all his sages, that neither wine, nor women, nor the king, but truth of all other things was the strongest.
For me, though neither asked, nor in a nation that gives such rewards to wisdom, I shall pronounce my sentence somewhat different from Zorobabel; and shall defend that either truth and justice are all one, (for truth is but justice in our knowledge, and justice is but truth in our practice ;) and he indeed so explains himself, in saying that with truth is no accepting of persons, which is the property of justice, or else if there be any odds, that justice, though not stronger than truth, yet by her office, is to put forth and exhibit more strength in the affairs of mankind. For truth is properly no more than contemplation; and her utmost efficiency is but teaching but justice in her very essence is all strength and activity; and hath a sword put into her hand, to use against all violence and oppression on the earth. She it is most truly, who accepts no person, and exempts none from the severity of her stroke. She never suffers injury to prevail, but when falsehood first prevails over truth; and that also is a kind of justice done on them who are so deluded. Though wicked kings and tyrants counterfeit her sword, as some did that buckler fabled to fall from heaven into the capitol, yet she communicates her power to none but such as, like herself,