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affairs of his majesty, which, for the reasons formerly 'made known unto you, can endure no longer delay, And if you shall not by that time resolve on a more ample supply, his majesty cannot expect a supply this way, nor promise you to sit longer together : otherwise, if you do it, his majesty is well content that you shall sit so long as the season of the year will permit, and doth assure you that the present addition to your supply to set forward the work, shall be no hindrance to your speedy access again.
His majesty hath commanded me to add this, that therein he doth expect your cheerful obedience, which will put a happy issue to this meeting, and will enable his majesty not only to a defensive war, but to employ his subjects in foreign actions, whereby will be added to them both experience, safety and honour.
Last of all, his majesty hath commanded me, in ex. planation of the gracious goodness of his royal intention, to say unto you, that he doth well know, that there are among you many wise and well-tempered men, well affected to the public, and to his majesty's service; and that those that are willingly faulty are not many : and for the rest, his majesty doubteth not, but, after his gracious admonition, they will in due time observe and follow the beiter sort, which if they shall do, his majesty is most ready to forget whatsoever is past.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM'S
Speech on being accused before the House of Lords.*
* See page 12.
I have done since to lose their good opinion, I protest, I know not.
I cannot so distrust my own innocency and heart, which abhors guilt, as to offer to decline any course or court of justice; and, had they not brought my causo to your lordships, I so much trust in the justice and equity of this house, that it should have been my work to have done it: so as in this, only, they have done me a favour, to deliver me out of their hands into your lordships'.
And now, my lords, whilst I protest mine innocency, I do not justify myself from all errors, as if I was an angel amongst men.. I know very well, that offices and places of high trust and eminence, may be discharged by men whose abilities are better than the best of mine, and still the management of them may lie open to exceptions.
The king and the state shall have few to serve them, if for their favour, if for their reward of service, if for every particular that may happen in the success of things, for doing things better than some could wish; for refusing to do all they wish; they shall be given up in the time of their masters' wants, for a grievance or a sacrifice. For, this I shall confidently speak, from such crimes as truly deserve punishment from the state I hope I shall ever prove myself free, either in intention or act. My lords, I speak not this arrogantly ; nor will I
speak any thing else to cast dirt at those who have taken the pains to make me so foul ; but to protest my innocency, in that measure which I shall ever hope to prove, nay, am confident of, being before such just judges.
I humbly beseech your lordships to be sensible* of me in this point, what dishonour I have sustained, not only at home but abroad; wherefore I humbly desire your lordships to hasten my trial, as soon as may be, that I may no longer suffer than I must needs; and yet I further desire of your lordships that no such precipitation may be used, as may disadvantage or may prejudice my cause.
And here, my lords, I have a purpose to offer unte your lordships my voluntary absence from this place, even now in the beginning of the handling of my cause, as your lordships may perceive in part, by my former carriage towards the earl of Bristol. For, doubting least my presence might any way disturb him and put him into passion, or any other way disadvantage him in his cause, I did voluntarily, as your lordships saw, absent myself : but now that my accusers have, not only been content to make my process, but to prescribe to your lordships the manner of my judgment, and to judge me before I am heard ; I shall not give way, in my own particular, to any of their unjust demands; but yet,
I do submit myself in this, and in all things else, to your lordships' consideration.
SIR DUDLEY DIGGES,
Born in 1583, was made master of the rolls in 1636, and died in
1639. I have already given one or two specimens of the pompous stile ; but as the following extract soars to a still sublimer pitch, I could not resolve to omit it. After a slight introduction to the charge brought forward against the duke of
Buckingham, his titles were formally enumerated, and then Sir Dudley Digges proceeded :
My Lords, The lofty titles of this mighty prince do raise me higher : and now to speak with a paulo majora canamus, let it not displease your lordships, if for a foundation I compare the beautiful composition, and fair structure of this monarchy and commonwealth wherein we live, to the great work of God, the world itself, wherein there is the solid body of incorporated earth and seas, which I conceive in regard of our husbandry, our manufacture, and commerce, by sea and land, may yet resemble us the commons.
It is encompassed with air and fire, and spheres celestial, of planets, and a firmament of fixed stars; all which receive their heat, their light, their life, and lustre, from one great glorious sun, even like the king our sove. reign lord.
That firmament of fixed stars I take to be your lordships; the planets, the great officers of the kingdom ; that pure element of fire, to be the most religious and pious clergy; the reverend judges, magistrates, and ministers of law and justice, to be the very air wherein we breathe ; all these encompassing round, with cherishing comfort, this body of the commons, who do in truth labour for them all, and though they be the footstool and the lowest, yet may they truly be said to be the settled cen. tre of the state.
Now, my good lords, if this glorious sun, by his powerful beams of grace and favour, shall draw from the bowels of this earth an exhalation that shall take fire, and burn, and shine out like a star, it cannot be marvelled at if the poor commons gaze and wonder at the comet, and when they feel the effects, impute all to the corruptible matter of it.
But if such an apparition like that in the last age, in the chair of Cassiopeia, happen amongst the fixed stars themselves, where Aristotle, of the old philosophers, conceived there was no place for such corruption, then, as the learned mathematicians were troubled to observe the irregular motions, the prodigious magnitude andominous prognostics of that meteor, so the commons, when they see such a blazing star in a court, so exorbitant in the affairs of the commonwealth, cannot but look upon it, and, for want of perspectives, commend the nearer examination to your lordships, that may behold it a better distance. Such the commons apprehend the great duke of Buckingham to be, against whom, and his ways, there are, by learned gentlemen, legal articles of charge to be delivered, which I am commanded first to open generally.
MR. JOHN PYM,
One of the great leaders of the republican party, was member for
Tavistock. He died in 1643. The subject of the speech is the charge against the duke of Buckingham, of which he was one of the managers.
It certainly contains a great deal of good sense strongly expressed.
Mr. Pym's Speech.
I matter of fact needs no proof, being so notorious ; and therefore I shall insist only upon the consequence
I which made this fact of the duke's a grievance in the commonwealth ; and conclude with strengthening the whole with some precedents.
Every offence presupposes a duty : the first work is to shew, the duke was bound to do otherwise: I need to alledge nothing else, but that he was a sworn counsellor and servant to the king, and so ought to have preferred his master's honour and service before his own pride, in seeking to ennoble his own relations.
There are some laws peculiar, according to the 'temper of several states; there are other laws that are so essential and co-natural with government, that being broken, all things run into confusion.
Such is that law of suppressing vice and encouraging virtue, by apt punishments and rewards.
Whosoever moves the king to give honour, which is a double reward, binds himself to make good a double proportion of merit in that party that is to receive it; the first of value and excellency, the second of continuance.
As this honour lifts them above others, so should they have virtue beyond others; and as it is also perpetual, not ending with their persons, but depending