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lowed. So, sir, his highness, of deplorable memory to this nasion, to countenance as well the want of quality, as honesty, in the rest, hath nominated some, against whom there lies no other reproach, but only that nomination; but not, Sir, out of any respect to their qualities, or regard to their virtues, but with regard to the no quality, to the no virtues of the rest; which truly, Mr. Speaker, if he had not done, wc could easily have given a more express name, to his other house, than he hath been pleased to do. For we know a house, designed only for beggars and malefactors, is a House of Correction, and termed so by your law. But, Mr. Speaker, setting those few persons aside, who, Í hope, think ihe nomination a disgrace, and the ever coming to sit there much a greater: Can we, without indignation, think on the rest? He, that is first in their roll, a condemned cowarc, one that, out of fear and baseness, did once what he could to betray your liberties, and does now the same for gain. The second, a person of as little sense as honesty, preferred for no other reason, but his no worth, his no conscience; except that his cheating his father of all he had was thought a virtue, by him, who, by sad experience, we find hath done as much for his mother, his country. The third, a Cavalier, a Presbyterian, an Independeat; for a republick, for a protector, for every thing, for nothing, but only that one thing, money. It were endless to run through them all, to tell you, Sir, of their lordships of sevente in pounds land a year, of inheritance; of their farmer lordships, dray-men lordships, cobler Jordships, without one foot of land, but what the blood of Englishmen hath been the price of; these Sir, are to be our rulers, these the judges of our lives and fortunes; to these we are to stand bare, whilst their pageant stage lordships daign to give us a conference upon their breeches. Mr. Speaker, we have already had too much experience, how unsupportable servants are, when they become our masters. All kind of slavery is miserable in the account of all generous minds; but that which comes accompanied with scorn and contempt, stirs up every man's indignation, and is endured by none, whom nature does not intend for slaves, as well as fortune.
I say not this, Mr. Speaker, to revile any man with his meanness; for I never thought either the malignity or indulgence of fortune to be, with wise or just men, the grounds either of their ill, or their good opinion. Mr. Speaker, I. blame not in these men the faults of their fortune, any otherwise, but as they make them their own. I object to you their poverty, because it is accompanied with ambition. i mind you of their quality, because they themselves forget it. So that it is not the men I am angry with, but with their lordships; not with Mr. Barkstead, or Mr. Jailer, titles I could well allow him, but with the righi honourable, our singular good lord and Jailer : It is this incongruity, Mr. Speaker, I am displeased with.
So, Sir, thouglı we easily grant poverty and necessity to be no faults, yet we must allow them to be great impediments in the way of honour, and such as nothing but extraordinary virrue and merit can well remove. The Scripture reckons it amongst Jeroboam's great faults, that 'he made priests of the meanest of the people'; and sure it was none of the virtues of our Jeroboam (who hath set up his calves too, and would have our tribes come up and worship them) that he observed the same method, in making of lords.
One of the few requests the Portuguese made to Philip the Second, of Spain, when he got that kingdom (as his late highness did this) by an army, was, “ That he would not make nobility contemptible, by advancing such to that degree, whose equality or virtue could be no way thought to deserve it.' Nor have we formerly been less apprehensive of such inconveniences ourselves. It was in Richard the First's time, one of the Bishop of Ely's accusations, that castles and forts of trust be did obscuris et ignotis hominibus tradere, put in the hands of obscure and unknown men. But we, (Mr. Speaker) to such a kind of men are delivering up
power of our laws, and in that the power of all. In 17 Èdw. IV. there passed an act of parliament for the degrading of John Nevil, Marquis Mountague and Duke of Bedford; the reason is expressed in the act, . Because he had not a revenue sufficient for the maintaining of that dignity; to which was added, " That, when men of mean birth are called to high estate, and have no livelihood to support it, it induceth briberies, extortions, and all kinds of injustices that are followed by gain. And in the parliament of 2 Carol, the peers, in a petition against Scottish and Irish titles, told the King, “That it is a novelty without precedent, that men should possess honours, where they possess nothing else; and that they should have a vote in parliament, where they have not a foot of land.' But, if it had been added, Sir, . or have no land but what is the purchase of their villainies,' against how many of our new peers had this been an important objeca tion? To conclude, Sir, it hath been a very just and reasonable care amongst all nations, not to render that despised and contemptible to the people, which is designed for their reverence, and their awe. Which, Sir, bare and empty title, without quality or virtue, never procured any man any more than the image in the fable made the ass adored, that carried it.
After their quality, give me leave, Sir, to speak a word or two of their qualifications, which certainly ought, in reason, to carry some proportion with the employment they design themselves. The house of Jords, Sir, are our King's hereditary great councils; they are the highest court of judicature; they have their part in judging and determine ing of the reasons of making new laws, and of abrogating old. From amongst theni we take our great officers of state; they are commonly our generals at land, and our admirals at sea. In conclusion, Sir, they are both of the essence and constitution of our old government; and have, besides, the greatest and noblest share in the administration, Now, certainly, Sir, to judge according to the dictates of reason, one would imagine some small faculties and endowments to be necessary for the discharging of such a calling; and those such as are not usually acquired in shops and warehouses, nor found by following the plough. Now what other other academies have most of their lordships been bred in, but their shops? What other arts they have been versed in, but those which more require good arms and good shoulders, than good heads, I think, Mr. Speaker, we are yet to be informed. Sir, we çommit not the education of our children to ignorant and illiterate mass ters: nay, we trust not our very horses to unskilful grooms. I beseech you, Sir, let us think it belongs to us to have sume care into whose hands we commit the management of the commonwealth. And, if we cannot have persons of birth and fortune to be our rulers, to whose quality we would willingly submit; I beseech you, Sir, for our credits and safeties, let us scek men, at least, of parts and education, to whose abilities we may have some reason to give way. If, Sir, a patient dies under a physician's hand, the law esteems that not a felony, but a misfortune in the physician; but, if one that is no physician, undertakes the management of a cure, and the party miscarries, the law makes the empirick a felon, and sure, in all men's opinion, the patient a fool. To conclude, Sir, for great men to govern, it is ordinary ; for able men, it is natural : knaves many times come to it by force and necessity, and fools sometimes by chance. But universal choice, in any election of fools and knaves for government, was never yet made by any who were not themselves like those they chose.
But methinks, Mr. Speaker, I see, ready to rise after me, some gentlemen, that shall tell you the great services that their new Lordships have done the commonwealth ; that shall extol their valour, their godliness, their fidelity to the cause; the scripture too, no doubt, as it is to all purposes, shall be brought in to argue for them; and we shall hear of the wisdom of the poor man that saved the city, of the not many wise, not many mighty'; attributes I can no way deny to be due to their Lordships. Mr.Speaker,I shall be as forward as any man to declare their services,and acknowledge them; though I might tell you, that the same honour is not purchased by the blood of an enemy,and of a citizen; that, for victories in civil wars, till our army's march through the city, I have not read that the conquerors have been so void of shame as to triumph. Cæsar, not much more indulgent to his country, than our late protector, did not so much as write publick letters of his victory at Pharsalia, much less had days of thanksgiving to his Gods, and anniversary feasts, for having been a prosperous rebel, and given justice and his country the worst.
But, Sir, I leave this argument, and, to be as good as my word, come to put you in mind of some of their services, and the obligation you owe them for the same. To speak nothing, Sir, of one of my Lords commissioner's valour at Bristol, nor of another noble Lord's brave adventure at the Bear-garden*; I must tell you, that most of them have had the courage to do things, which, I may boldly say, few other Christians durst have so adventured their souls to have attempted. They have not only subdued their enemies, but their masters, that raised and maintained them, They have not only conqueredScotland and Ireland,but rebellious England too ; and there suppressed a malignant party of magistrates and laws. And, that nothing should be wanting to make them indeed compleat conquerors (without the help of philosophy) they have even conquered themselves. All shame they have subdued, as perfectly as all justice; the oaths they have taken, they have as easily digested, as their old general could himself; publick covenants and engagements they have trampled under foot. In conclusion, so intire a victory they have over themselves, that their çonsciences are as much their servants as (Mr. Speaker) we are. But,
See Page 380, Vol. VIII.
Sir, give me leave to conclude with that which is more admirable than all this, and shews the confidence they have of themselves and us. Af ter having many times trampled on the authority of the House of Com. mons, and no less than five times dissolved them, they hope, for those good services to the House of Commons, by the House of Commons to be made a House of Lords.
I have been over long, Sir, for which I crave your pardon; therefore in a word I conclude. I beseech you let us think it our duty to have a care of two things. First, That villainies be not encouraged with the rewards of virtue. Secondly, That the authority and majesty of the government of this nation be not defiled, by committing so considerable a part of it to persons of as mean quality as parts.
The Thebans did not admit merchants into government, till they had left their traffick ten years. Sure it would have been long before coblers and dray-men would have been allowed. If, Sir, the wisdom of this house shall find it necessary to begin where we left, and shall think we have been hitherto like the prodigal, and, that now, when our necessi. ties persuade us, i. e. that we are almost brought to herd it with swine, now it is high time to think of a return. Let us, without more ado, without this motly mixture, even take our rulers as at the first, so that we can be but reasonably secured, to avoid our counsellors as at the be ginning.
Give me leave, Sir, to release your patience with a short story. Livy tells us, there was a state in Italy, an aristocracy, where the nobility stretched their prerogative tvo high, and presumed a little too much upon the people's liberty and patience; whereupon the discontents were so general and so great, that they apparently tended to a dissolution of government, and the turning of all things into anarchy and confusion. At the same time, besides these distempers at home, there was a potent enemy ready to fall upon them from abroad, that had been an over-match for them, at their best union; but now, in these disorders, was like to find them a very ready and very easy prey. A wise man, Sir, in the city, that did not all approve of the insolency of the nobility, and as little liked popular tumults, bethought himself of this stratagem, to cozen bis country into safety. Upon a pretence of counsel, he procured the nobi. lity to meet all together; which when they had done, he found a way to lock all the doors upon them; goes away himself, and takes the keys with him. Then immediately he summons the people; tells them, that, by a contrivance of his he had taken all the nobility in a trap; that now was the time for them to be revenged upon them for all their insolencies; that therefore they should immediately go along with him, and dispatch them. Sir, the officers of our army, after a fast, could not be more ready for the villainy, than this people: and, accordingly, they made as much haste to the slaughter, as their Lord Protector could desire them. But, Sir, this wise man I told you of, was their Lord Protector indeed. As soon as he had brought the people where the parliament was sitting, and, when they but expected the word, to fall to the butchery, and take their heads: Gentlemen,' says he, though I would not care how soon this work of reformation were over; yet, in this ship of the commonwealth, we must not throw the steersmen over
board, till we have provided others for the helm; let us consider, before we take these men away, in what other hands we may more securely trust our liberty, and the management of the commonwealth. And so he advised them, before the putting down of the former, to bethink themselves of constituting another house. He begins and nominates one, a man highly cried up in the popular faction, a confiding man, one of much zeal, little sense, and no quality; you may suppose him, Sir, a zealous cobler. The people, in conclusion, murmured at this, and were loth their fellow mutineer, for no other virtue but mutinying, should come to be advanced to be their master, and, by their looks and murmur, sufficiently expressed the distaste they took at such a motion. Then he nominates another, as mean a mechanick as the former; you may imagine him, Sir, a bustling drayman, or the like. He was no sooner named, but some burst out a laughing, others grew angry, and railed at him, and all detested and scorned him. Upon this a third was named for a ļordship, one of the same batch, and every way fit to sit with the other two. The people then fell into a confused laugh and noise, and enquired if such were Lords, who, by all the Gods, would be content to be the Commons ?
Sir, let me behold, by the good leave of the other house and yours, to ask the same question. But, Sir, to conclude this story, and, with it, I hope, the other house: When this wise man, I told you of, perceived they were now sensible of the inconvenience and mischief they were running into, and saw that the pulling down their rulers would prove, in the end, but the setting up of their servants; he thought them then prepared to hear reason, and told them, “You see,' said he, “that, as bad as this government is, we cannot, for any thing I see, agree upon a better; what then, if, after this fright we have put our nobility in, and the demonstration we have given them of our powers, we try them once more, whether they will mend, and, for the future, behave themselves with more moderation. That people, Mr. Speaker, were so wise as to comply with that wise proposition, and to think it easier to mend their old rulers, than to make new. And, I wish, Mr. Speaker, we may be so wise as to think so too.