« PreviousContinue »
reasonable their religion is, the more cruelty will be necessary to establish it. Can it be imagined we shall not pay severely for having shed so much blood of their martyrs, as they call them, and for having enjoyed their holy church land so long ? Or that they will not do all that they shall think necessary to secure an entire and quiet possession to themselves ? For my own part, I cannot imagine that the pride of those churchmen will be satisfied with any thing less than an utter ruin and extirpation of us and our posterities. And I think that nothing can save us but this exclusion bill; and therefore I humbly move you to appoint a speedy day for a second reading
LORD WILLIAM RUSSELL,
Who is generally looked upon as one of the great martyrs of English
Was born 1641, and beheaded 1683, on the same charge of treason on which Algernon Sidney was also condemned to suffer death.
Lord William Russell's Speech against a Popish
Mr. Speaker, Is ever there should happen in this nation any such change, as that I should not have liberty to live a protestant, I am resolved to die one; and therefore would not willingly have the hands of our enemies strengthened, as I suppose they would be, if we should give money while we are sure it must go to the hands of the duke's creatures. Doth not the duke's interest endanger the king's life? And are not our liyes and fortunes in danger
to be swallowed up by his power? And shall we yet make them stronger by putting money into their hands ? No, sir ! they are too strong already ; but whenever his majesty shall be pleased to free us of the danger of a popish successor, and remove from his council and places of trust, all those that are for his interest; (because there can be no distinction made between the duke's interest and popish) then, sir, I will conclude, that what money we shall give, will be disposed of according to his ma. jesty's own royal pleasure, and for the true protestant interest. And I shall be ready to give all I have in the world, if his majesty should have occasion for it; but in the mean time, I pray, sir, let us not endeavour to destroy ourselves, by our own hands. If we may not be so happy as to better the condition of the nation, I pray, sir, let us not make it worse. And, until the king shall be pleased to give us encouragement to express our duty and loyalty to him, by giving him money, let us do it by making an address.
EARL OF CAERNARVON.
The account of this speech is singular enough. “ Among the speakers
on this occasion was the earl of Caernarvon, who is said never to have spoken before ; but having been heated with wine, and rallied by the duke of Buckingham on his never speaking, he said he would speak that very afternoon ; and this having produced some wager between them, he went into the house with a resolution to speak on any subject that should offer itself. He accordingly stood up, and delivered himself to the following effect."
The Earl of Caernarvon's Speech on the Impeachment of
Lord Danby. My Lords, I UNDERSTAND but little of Latin, but a good deal of English, and not a little of the English history ; from
which I have learnt the mischiefs of such kind of
prosecutions as these, and the ill fate of the prosecutors. I could bring many instances, and those very ancient, but, my lords, I shall go no farther back than the latter end of queen Elizabeth's reign: at which time the earl of Essex was run down by sir Walter Rawleigh. My lord Bacon, he ran down sir Walter Rawleigh; and your lordships know what became of my lord Bacon. The duke of Buckingham, he ran down my lord Bacon; and your lordships know what happened to the duke of Buckingham. Sir Thomas Wentworth, afterwards earl of Strafford, ran down the duke of Buckingham; and you all know what became of him. Sir Henry Vane, he ran down the earl of Strafford; and your lordships know what became of sir Henry Vane. Chancellor Hyde, he ran down sir Henry Vane; and your lordships know what became of the chancellor. Sir Thomas Osborn, now earl of Danby, ran down chancellor Hyde ; but what will become of the earl of Danby, your lordships best can tell. But let me see that man that dare run the earl of Danby down, and we shall soon see what will become of him.
[This being pronounced with a remarkable humour and tone, the duke of Buckingham, both surprised and disappointed, after his way, cried out, The man is inspired I and claret has done the business.]
ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER.
Was born at Winborn, in Dorsetshire, în 1621, and died 1683. In
1640, he was chosen member for Tewksbury. In 1672, he was created earl of Shaftesbury, and appointed lord chancellor. This office he did not long retain, as he was a man of fiery passions, turbulent, violent, and self-willed ; and was constantly opposing the schemes and measures of whatever party he was connected with. He is the person described by Dryden under the character of Achitophel. There is an instance recorded of his great sagacity, which carries the prophetic spirit of common sense as far as it can go. It is
said that he had been to dine with lady Clarendon and her daughter, who was at that time privately married to the duke of York ; and as he returned home with another nobleman who had accompanied him, he suddenly turned to him, and said, “ Depend upon it, the duke has married Hyde's daughter." His companion could not comprehend what he meant ; but on explaining himself, he said, “ Her mother behaved to her with an attention and a marked respect, that is impossible to account for in any other way; and I am sure of it.” This shortly afterwards proved to be the case, The celebrated author of The Characteristics was his grandson.
Lord Shaftesbury's Speech on the State of the Nation.
My Lords, In this great debate concerning the king's speech, the sad state and condition we are in, and the remedies thercof, I have offered you my opinion ; and many lords have spoken admirably well to it, with great freedom and plainness, as the case requires. Give me leave to offer you some few words, in answer io two or three of my lords of the earl's bench, that have maintained the con. trary opinion. My lord, near me, hath told your lordships, that the precedent of Henry IV. that I offered to you, (who was a wise and magnanimous prince, yet, upon the addresses of his parliament, put away great part of his family and council at one time,) is no proper instance; because he was an usurper, and had an ill title, and was bound to please the people My lords, I meddle not with his title ; I am sure our king has a very undoubted one : but this, my lords, you must allow; that that wise prince, having need of the people, knew no better way to please them, and to create a good understanding between them and him, than to put away from court and council, those that were unacceptable to them. If our king hath the same necessity to please the people, (though not the want of a title,) yet the precedent holds good, That a wise prince, when he hath need of his people, will rather part with his family and
counsellors, than displease them. My lords, this noble lord, near me, hath found fault with that precedent, which he supposes I offered your lordships concerning the chargeable ladies at court; but I remember no such thing, I said. But if I must speak of them, I shall say as the prophet did to king Saul : What means the bleating of this kind of cattle? And I hope the king will make me the same answer: That he preserves them for sacrifice, and means to deliver them up to please his people. For there must be, in plain English, a change; we must neither have popish wife, nor popish favourite, nor popish mistress, nor popish counsellor at court, nor any new convert. What I spoke, was about another lady, that belongs not to the court; but, like Sempronia, in Catiline's conspiracy, does more mischief than Cethegus. In this time of distress, I could humbly advise our prince would take the same course that the duke of Savoy did, to suffer neither strangers nor ambassadors to stay above some few weeks in this country: for all the strangers and ambassadors here, have served the plot and design against us; I am sure they have no tie to be for us. But, my lords, what I rose to speak to was, more especially, to my lord of the earl's bench, that spoke last, and sits behind me; who, as he has the greatest influence in our present councils, so he hath let fall to you the very root of the matter, and the hinges upon which all turns. He tells you, that the house of commons have lately made offers to the king, and he wonders we do not accept the king's answer to them, before we enter into so hot and high debates. He tells you,
if the king be assured of supplies, we cannot doubt of his compliance in this, and all we can ask. For otherwise the king should fall into that, which is the worst condition of a prince, to have his people have no confidence in him. My lords, this is that I know they would put the king upon ; and this is that we must be ruined by, if we may not with freedom and plainness open our case. My lords, it is a very hard thing to say, that we cannot