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Furthermore, the constitution of affairs in all our neighbour countries, and round about us (as well friends as enemies,) is very considerable, and calls upon us to be upon our guard, both at land and sea; and to be in a posture able to maintain and conserve our own state and interest.
Great and powerful fleets are preparing to be set forth into these seas, and considerable armies of several nations and kings are now disputing for the mastery of the Sound, with the adjacent islands and countries ; among which is the emperor of Germany, with other popish states. I need not tell you of what consequence these things are to this state.
We have already interposed in these affairs, in such manner as we found it necessary for the interest of England; and matters are yet in such a condition in these parts, that the state may, with the assistance of God, provide that their differences may not prejudice us.
The other things that are to be said, I shall refer to my lord keeper, Fiennes; and close up what I have to şay, with only adding two or three particulars to what I have already said.
And first, I recommend to your care, the people of God in these nations, with their concernments. The more they are divided among themselves, the greater prudence should be used to cement them.
Secondly, the good and necessary work of reformation, both in manners and in the administration of justice; that profaneness may be discountenanced and suppressed ; and that righteousness and justice may be executed in the land.
Thirdly, I recommend unto you the protestant cause abroad, which seems at this time to be in some danger, having great and powerful enemies, and very few friends; and I hope and believe that the old English zeal in that cause, is still amongst us.
Lastly, my lords, and you, gentlemen of the house of commons, that you will, in all your debates, maintain
and conserve love and unity among yourselves, that therein you may be the pattern of the nation, who have sent you up in peace, and with their prayers, that the spi. rit of wisdom and peace may be among you ; and this shall also be my prayer for you ; and to this let us all add our utmost endeavours for the making this an happy parliament.
Was born 1630, and died 1685. This prince is justiy ccicbrated for
his understanding and wit. There is, however, nothing remarkable in his speeches to parliament, of which the following is a very fair specimen.
The King's Speech on the second meeting of Parliament. My Lords, and Gentlemen of the House of Commons ; I will not spend the time in telling you why I called you hither; I am sure I am glad to see you here. I do value myself much upon keeping my word, upon making good whatsoever I promise to my subjects. And I well remember when I was last in this place, I promised that I would call a parliament as soon as could be reasonably expected or desired ; and truly, considering the season of the year, and all that has been done since we parted, you could not reasonably expect to meet sooner than now we do. If it might have been a week sooner, you will confess there was some reason to defer it to this day. For this day, (we may without superstition love one day, pre
( fer one day before another, for the memory of some bles. sings that befel us that day,) and then you will not wonder that the memory of the great affection the whole kingdom shewed to me this day twelve month, made me desirous to meet you again this day, when I dare swear you are full of the same spirit, and that it will be lasting in you, I think there are not many of you who are not particularly known to me; there are very few of whom I have not heard so much good, that I am sure as I can be of any thing that is to come, that you will all concur with me, and that I shall concur with you in all things which may advance the peace, plenty and prosperity of the nation; I shall be exceedingly deceived else.
My lords and gentlemen : You will find what method I think best for your proceedings, by two bills I have caused to be prepared for you, which are for confirmation of all that was enacted at our last meeting. And above all, I must repeat what I said when I was last here,—that next to the miraculous blessing of God Almighty, and indeed, as an immediate effect of that blessing, I do impute the good disposition and security we are all in, to the happy act of indemnity and oblivion. That is the principal corner stone which supports this excellent building, that creates kindness in us to each other, and confidence in our joint and common security. I am sure I am still of the same opinion, and more, if it be possible, of that opinion, than I was, by the experience I have of the benefit of it, and from the unreasonableness of what some men say against it, though I assure you not in my hearing. In God's name, provide full remedies for any future mischiefs; be as severe as you will against new offenders, especially if they be so upon old principles, and pull up those principles by, the roots. But I shall never think him a wise man, who would endeavour to undermine or shake that foundation of our public peace, by infringing that act in the least degree; or that he can be my friend, or wish me well, who would persuade me ever to consent to the breach of a promise I so solemnly made when I was abroad ; and performed with that solemnity, because, and after I pro
missed it, I cannot suspect any attempts of that kind by any men of merit and virtue.
I will not conclude without telling you some news; news that I think will be very acceptable to you, and therefore I should think myself unkind and ill natured if I should not impart it to you: I have been often put in mind by my friends, that it was now high time to marry, and I have thought so myself ever since I came into England. But there appeared difficulties enough in the choice, though many overtures have been made to me; and if I should never marry till I could make such a choice, against which there could be no foresight of any inconvenience that may ensue, you would live to see me an old bachelor, which, I think, you do not desire to do. I can now tell you not only that I am resolved to mary, but to whom I resolve to marry, if God please. And towards my resolution, I have used that deliberation. and taken that advice, as I ought to do in an affair of that importance; and trust me, with as full consideration of the good of my subjects in general, as of myself. It is with the daughter of Portugal ; when I had, as well as I could, weighed all that occurred to me, the first resolution I took, was to state the whole overtures which had been made to me, and in truth all that had been said against it, to my privy council; without hearing whose advice, I never did, nor ever will, resolve any thing of public importance; and I tell you, with great satisfaction and comfort to myself, that after many hours' debate in a full council, for I think there was not above one absent; and truly I believe upon all that can be said upon that subject, for or against it, my lords, without one dissenting vote ; yet there were very few sat silent, but advised me with all imaginable chearfulness to this mar. riage; which I looked upon as very wonderful, and even as some instance of the approbation of God himself; and so took up my own resolution, and concluded all with the ambassador of Portugal, who is departing with the whole treaty, signed, which you will find to contain VOL. I.
many great advantages to the kingdom ; and I shall make all the haste I can to fetch you a queen hither, who, I doubt not, will bring great blessings with her to the
EDWARD HYDE, (Earl of Clarendon, and Lord Chancellor of England,
Was born in 1608, and died abroad in 1673. He was a steady ad
herent to the royal party, but in 1667 he was accused of treason, and obliged to withdraw secretly into France. He was a man of greet abilities, and wrote the well known history of the Rebellion, His daughter was married to James II.
The Lord Chancellor's Speech at the Restoration.
My Lords and Gentlemen, You are now returning to your counties to receive the thanks and acknowledgments of friends and neighbours for the great things you have done, and to make the burdens you have laid upon them easy, by convincing them of the inevitable necessity of their submitting to them. You will make them see that you have proceeded very far towards the separation, and even divorce of that necessity from them, to which they have been so long married; that they are now restored to that blessed temper of government, under which their ancestors enjoyed so many hundred years, that full measure of felicity, and the misery of being cleprived of which they have so sensibly felt; that they are now free from those midnight alarms with which they have been so terrified, and rise off their beds at their own healthy houses, without being saluted with the death of a husband, a son, and friend, miserably killed the night or day before, and with such circumstances killed as improved the misery beyond the loss itself. This cnfranchisement is worth