Page images
PDF
EPUB

inward, which nature otherwise might have expelled outwards.

And when I call to mind, my lords, the drink twice given to his majesty by the duke of Buckingham's own hands, and a third time refused; and the following complaint of that blessed prince, the physicians telling him, to please him for a time, that his second impairment was from cold taken, or some other ordinary cause.—No, no, quoth his majesty, it was that I had from Buckingham !-A great discomfort, no doubt, that he should receive any thing that might hurt him, from one that he so much loved and affected. This makes me call to mind the condition of Cæsar in the senateet tu Brute, et tu fili ?

Here, perhaps your lordships, may expect to hear what hath been done in like cases heretofore. It is true, indeed, the former charges were not without example; but as Solon said of his laws not providing against parricide, his reason was, because he thought no man was so wicked as to commit it; so do we not find recorded to posterity any precedent of former ages, of an act offered to the person of a king, so insolent, so transcendant as this; though it be true that divers persons, as great as this duke, have been questioned and condemned for less offences against the person of their sovereign.

And not to trouble your lordships with much repe: tition; it was an article, amongst others, laid against the duke of Somerset, for carrying Edward VI. away in the night time, of his own head, but from Hampton Court to Windsor ; and yet he was trusted with the protection of his person : and whether this exceed not that offence, my lords, I hunbly submit to your judgments.

Yet, as we used to say, where the philosophers end, physicians begin ; so, precedents failing us in this point, common law will in part supply us.

The law judgeth a deed done in the execution of an unlawful act, manslaughter, which otherwise would have been but chance medley ; and that this act was unlawful, the house of commons do believe, as belonging to the duty and vocation of a sworn and experienced physician, and not the unskilfulness of a young lord.

And so precious are the lives of men in the eye of the law, that though Mr. Stanford saith, a physician taking one in cure, if he dies under his hands, it is no felony, because he did it not feloniously ; yet it is Mr. Bracton's opinion, that if one that is no physician or surgeon, undertake a cure, and the party die in his hands, this is a felony ; and the law goeth further, making the physicians and surgeons themselves accountable for the death of their patients, if it appear they have transgressed the rules of their own art ; that is, the undertaking a thing wherein they had no experience, or having done that, fail in their care and diligence.

How much more then, my lords, is this lord subject to your lordships' censure upon all these circumstances, for this so transcendant a presumption ?

And the house of commons, my lords, stiling it but a presumption, speak modestly ; but now that they have presented it to your lordships, and brought it to the light of your examination and judgment, it will appear in its own colours.

And I am further commanded from the house of commons, to desire your lordships, seeing this duke hath made himself a precedent, in committing that which former ages knew not, your lordships will, out of your wisdoms and justice, make him an example for the time to come.

Finally, I am most humbly to beseech your lordships, that

you will not look upon this lord's luxuriant boldness, through the infirmities and weakness of me the speaker, but be pleased, in your honour and justice, thoroughly to examine the truth, and then to judge, according to the great weight and consequence of the matter, as it is represented to your lordships against the duke of Buckingham,

SIR DUDLEY CARLETON.

One may collect from the following speech of Sir Dudley Carleton's,

that he was a great traveller, and a very well-meaning man. He was born 573, and died 1631. Before his death he was created Viscount Dorchester,

Sir Dudley Carleton's Speech.

I FIND, by a great sílence in this house, that it is a fit time to be heard, if you please to give me the patience. I may very fitly compare the heaviness of this house unto some of my misfortunes by sea, in my travels ; for as we were bound unto Marseilles, by oversight of the marines we mistook our course, and by ill for. tune met with a sand; that was no sooner overpast, but we fell on another; and having escaped this like. wise, we met with a third, and in that we stuck fast; all of the passengers being much dismayed by this disaster, as now we are here in this house for the loss of those two members. At last an old experienced mariner, upon consultation, affirmed, that the speediest way to come out from the sands, was to know how we came there ; so well looking and beholding the compass, he found, by going in upon such a point, we were brought into that strait ; wherefore we must take a new point to rectify and bring us out of danger.

This house of parliament may be compared to the ship; the sands to our messages, and the commitment

to the sands that the ship did stick fast in; and lastly, the compass, to the table where the book of orders doth lie. Then, I beseech you, let us look into the book where the orders are, whether the gentlemen did go no further than the order did warrant them : if they did not, it is fit that we should defend them whom we employed in our behests; but if they have exceeded their commission, and delivered that which they had not warrant for, it is just that we let them suffer for this presumption; and this our course will bring us from these rocks.

I beseech you, gentlemen, move not his majesty with trenching upon his prerogatives, lest you bring him out of love with parliaments. You have heard his majesty's often messages to you, to put you forward in a course that will be most convenient

In those niessages he told you, that if there were not correspondency between him and you, he should be enforced to use new counsels. Now, I pray you consider, what these new counsels are, and may be. I fear to declare those that I conceive. In all christian kingdoms, you know that parliaments were in use anciently, by which their kingdoms were governed in a most flourishing manner, until the monarchs began to know their own strength; and seeing the turbulent spirit of their parliaments, at length they, by little and little, began to stand upon their prerogatives, and at last overthrew the parliaments throughout christendom, except here only with us.

And indeed you would count it a great misery, if you knew the subjects in foreign countries as well as myself, to see them look not like our nation, with store of Aesh on their backs, but like so many ghosts, and not men; being nothing but skin and bones, with some thin cover to their nakedness, and wearing only wooden shoes on their feet; so that they cannot cat meat or wear good clothes, but they must pay and be taxed unto the king for it. This is a misery beyond expression, and that which yet we are free frem. Let Vol. I.

6

us be careful, then, to preserve the king's good opinion of parliaments, which bringeth this happiness to this nation, and makes us envied of all others, while there is this sweetness between his majesty and the commons, lest we lose the repute of a free-born nation, by turbulency in parliament; for, in my opinion, the greatest and wisest part of a parliament, are those that use the greatest silence, so as it be not opiniative, or sullen, as now we are, * by the loss of these our members that are committed.

This good correspondency being kept between the king and his people, will so join their love and favour to his majesty with liking of parliaments, that his prerogative shall be preserved entire to himself, without our trenching upon it; and also the privilege of the subject (which is our happiness) inviolate, and both be 'maintained to the support of each other. And I told you, if you would hear me patiently, I would tell you what exception his majesty doth take at those gentlemen that are committed. You know that eight members were chosen to deliver the charge against the duke; but there were only six employed for that purpose, and to these

, there was no exception.

As for Sir Dudley Digges's part, that was the prologue: and in that his majesty doth conceive that he went too far beyond his commission, in pressing the death of his ever blessed father in these words : That he was commanded by the house, to say concerning the plaister applied to the king, that he did forbear to speak farther in regard of the king's honour, or words to that effect. This his majesty conceiveth to be to his dishonour, as if there had been any underhand dealing by his majesty, in applying of the plaister ; and this may make his subjects jealous of his doings. In this point his majesty is assured, that the house did not warrant him. Now for that which is excepted against Sir John Elliot, his over bitterness in the aggravation upon the whole charge, and specially

* That is, obstinately silent.

« PreviousContinue »