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out of it as above, singularly few alterations, except in the punctuation, have been required; no change that we could detect has been made in the style of dialect, which is pbysiognomic and ought to be preserved; in the meaning, as before, all change was rigorously forbidden. In only one or two places, duly indicated, did his Highness's sense, on earnest repeated reading, continue dubious. And now the horrid buck - basket is reduced in some measure to clean linen or huckabuck: thanks be to Heaven! · For the next ten days there is nothing heard from his Highness; much as must have been thought by him in that space. The Parliament is occupied incessantly considering how it may as far as possible fulfil the suggestions offered in this Speech of his Highness; assiduously perfecting and newpolishing the Petition and Advice according to the same. Getting Bills ready for "Reformation of Manners," — with an eye on the “idle fellows about Piccadilly," who go bowling and gambling, with much tippling too, about “Piccadilly House" and its green spaces. * Scheming out how the Revenue can be raised:- “Land-tax," alas, in spite of former protest on that subject; "tax on new buildings” (Lincoln's Inn Fields for one place), which gives the public some trouble afterwards. Doing somewhat also in regard to “Triers for the Ministry;" to “Penalties" for taking Office when disqualified by Law; and very much debating and scrupling as to what Acts and Ordinances (of his Highness and Council) are to be confirmed.
Finally, however, on Friday, 1st of May, the Petition and Advice is again all ready; and the Committee of Ninety-nine wait upon his Highness with it, ** - who answers briefly, “speaking very low," That the things are weighty, and will require meditation; that he cannot just at present say On what day he will meet them to give his final answer, but will 80 soon as possible appoint a day.
* Dryasdust knows a little piece of Archæology: How "piccadillies" (quasi Spanish peccadillos, or little sins, a kind of notched linen-tippet) used to be sold in a certain shop there; whence &c. &c.
** Burton, ii. 101.
So that the Kingship remains yet a great mystery! “By the generality" it is understood that he will accept it. But to the generality, and to us, the interior consultations and slowformed resolutions of his Highness remain and must remain entirely obscure. We can well believe with Ludlow, sulkily breathing the air in Essex, who is incorrect as to various details, That in general a portion of the Army were found averse to the Title; a more considerable portion than the Title was worth. Whereupon, "for the present," as Bulstrode indicates, “his Highness did decide to” – in fact speak as follows:
SPEECH XIV. BANQUETING-HOUSE, Whitehall, Friday forenoon, 8th May 1657, the Parliament in a body once more attends his Highness; receives at length a final Answer as to this immense matter of the Kingsbip. Which the reader shall now hear, and so have done with it.
The Whitlocke Committee of Ninety-nine had, by appointment, waited on his Highness yesterday, Thursday May 7th; gave him "a Paper," – some farther last-touches added to their ultimate painfully revised edition of the Petition and Advice, wherein all his Highness's suggestions are now, as much as possible, fulfilled; - and were in hopes to get some intimation of his Highness's final Answer then. Highness, sbsorry to have kept them so long," requested they would come back next morning. Next morning, Friday morning: “We have been there; his Highness will see you all in the Banqueting-House even now."* Let us shoulder our Mace, then, and go. — “Petition of certain Officers," that Petition which Ludlow ** in a vague erroneous manner represents to have been the turning-point of the business, is just “at the door:”
• Report by Whitlocke and Committee: in Commons Journals (8th May 1657), vii. 531.
** ii. 588, &c., the vague passage always cited on this occasion. Carlyle, Cromwell. Iv.
we receive it, leave it on the table, and go. And now hear his Highness.
... MR. SPEAKER, .. - I come hither to answer That that was in your last Paper to your Committee you sent to me 'yesterday;' which was in relation to the Desires that were offer ed me by the House in That they called their Petition.
I confess, that Business hath put the House, the Parliament, to a great deal of trouble, and spent much time.* I am very sorry for that. It hath cost me some 'too,' and some thoughts: and because I have been the unhappy occasion of the expense of so much time, I shall spend little of it now.
I have, the best I can, revolved the whole Business in my thoughts: and I have said so much already in testimony to the whole, I think I shall not need to repeat what I have said. I think it is an 'Act of Government which, in the aims of it, seeks the Settling of the Nation on a good foot, in relation to Civil Rights and Liberties, which are the Rights of the Nation. And I hope I shall never be found one of them that go about to rob the Nation of those Rights; but 'always' to serve it what I can to the attaining of them. It has also been exceedingly well provided there for the safety and security of honest men in that great natural and religious liberty, which is Liberty of Conscience. - These are the great Fundamentals; and I must bear my testimony to them; as I have done, and shall do 'still, so long as God lets me live in this world: That the intentions and the things are very honourable and honest, and the product worthy of a Parliament.
* 23 Febr. — 8th May: ten weeks and more.
I have only had the unhappiness, both in my Con ferences with your Committees, and in the best thoughts I could take to myself, not to be convinced of the necessity of that thing which hath been so often insisted on by you, - to wit, the Title of King, - as in itself so necessary as it seems to be apprehended by you. And yet I do, with all honour and respect, testify that, cæteris paribus, no private judgment is to be in the balance with the judgment of Parliament. But in things that respect particular persons, — every man who is to give an account to God of his actions, he must in some measure be able to prove his own work, and to have an approbation in his own conscience of that which he is to do or to forbear. And whilst you are granting others Liberties, surely you will not deny me this; it being not only a Liberty but a Duty, and such a Duty as I cannot without sinning forbear, - to examine my own heart and thoughts and judgment, in every work which I am to set my hand to, or to appear in or for. · I must confess therefore, though I do acknowledge all the other 'points,' I must be a little confident in this, That what with the circumstances which accompany human actions, - whether they be circumstances of time or persons (Straightlaced Republican Soldiers that have just been presenting you their Petition], whether circumstances that relate to the whole, or private and particular circumstances such as compass any person who is to render an account of his own actions, - I have truly thought, and I do still think, that, at the best, if I should do anything on this account to answer your expectation, at the best I should do it doubtingly. And certainly whatsoever is so is not of faith. And
whatsoever is not so, whatsoever is not of faith, is sin to him that doth it, — whether it be with relation to the substance of the action about which that considera. tion is conversant, or whether to circumstances about it [Thinskinned Republicans or the like “circumstances"); which make all indifferent actions good or evil. I say “Circumstances" [Yes!]; and truly I mean “good or evil” to him that doth it. [Not to you Honourable Gentlemen, who hwe merely advised it in general.] ;
I, lying under this consideration, think it my duty -Only I could have wished I had done it sooner, for the sake of the House, who have laid such infinite obligations on me (With a kind glance over those honourable faces; all silent as if dead, many of them with their mouths open]; I wish I had done it sooner for your sake, and for saving time and trouble; and for the Committee's sake, to whom I must acknowledge I have been unreasonably troublesome! But truly this is my Answer, That (although I think the Act of Government doth consist of very excellent parts, in all but that one thing, of the Title as to me) I should not be an honest man, if I did not tell you that I cannot accept of the Government, nor undertake the trouble and charge of it - as to which I have a little more experimented than everybody what troubles and difficulties do befall men under such trusts and in such undertakings - [Sentence irrecoverable] - I say I am persuaded to return this Answer to you, That I cannot undertake this Government with the Title of King. And that is mine Answer to this great and weighty Business.
& Commons Journals, vii. 533; as reported by Speaker Widdrington, on Tuesday the 12th. Reported too in Somers (pp. 400-1), but in the form of coagulated nonsense there. The Commons Journals give it as here, with no variation worth noticing, in the shape of sense.