« PreviousContinue »
And so, with many bows, exeunt. — Thus they, doing their epic feat, not in the hexameter measure, on that old Saturday forenoon, 11th April 1657; old London, old England, sounding manifoldly round them;- the Fifth-Monarchy just locked in the Tower.
Our learned friend Bulstrade says: "The Protector often “advised about this" of the Kingship “and other great busiconesses with the Lord Broghil, Pierpoint” (Earl of Kingston's Brother, an old Long-Parliament man, of whom we have heard before), with “Whitlocke, Sir Charles Wolseley, and 6. Thurloe; and would be shut up three or four hours together “in private discourse, and none were admitted to come in to “him. He would sometimes by very cheerful with them; and “laying aside his greatness, he would be exceedingly familiar; "and by way of diversion would make verses with them,” play crambo with them, “and every one must try his fancy. He “commonly called for tobacco, pipes and a candle, and would "now and then take tobacco himself;" which was a very high attempt. “Then he would fall again to his serious and great "business” of the Kingship; "and advise with them in those
affairs. "And this he did often with them; and their counsel "was accepted, and" in part "followed by him in most of his "greatest affairs,” — as well as it deserved to be. *
SPEECH XI. On Monday, April 13th, at Whitehall, at nine in the morning, **; according to agreement on Saturday last, the Committee of Ninety-nine attend his Highness, and his Highness there speaks: — addressing Whitlocke as reporter of the said Committee:
I think I have a very hard task on my hand. Though it be but to give an account of myself, yet I see I am beset on all hands here. I say, but to give
* Whitlocke, p. 647. ** at "eight," say the Journals, vii. 522. an account of "myself:” yet that is a business very comprehensive of others; — comprehending' us all in some sense, and, as the Parliament have been pleased to shape it, comprehending all the interests of these Three Nations!
I confess I have two things in view. The first is, To return some answer to what was so well and ably said the other day lon behalf of the Parliament's putting that Title in the Instrument of Settlement. This is the First thing; what the Second is, does not yet for a long while appear.] I hope it will not be expected F should answer everything that was then said: because I suppose the main things that were spoken were arguments from ancient Constitutions and Settlements by the Laws; in which I am sure I could never be well skilled, — and therefore must the more ask pardon for what I have already transgressed ‘in speaking of such matters,' or shall now transgress, through my ignorance of them, in my 'present answer to you.
ments pose them everything ope it walis, doo
Your arguments, which I say were chiefly upon the Law, seem to carry with them a great deal of necessary conclusiveness, to inforce' that one thing of Kingship. And if your arguments come upon me to inforce upon me the ground of Necessity, — why, then, I have no room to answer: for what must be must be! And therefore I did reckon it much of my business to consider whether there were such a necessity, or would arise such a necessity, from those arguments. — It was said: “Kingship is not a Title, but an Office, so “interwoven with the fundamental Laws of this Nation, “that they cannot, or cannot well, be executed and ex"ercised without ‘it,' - partly, if I may say so, upon
“a supposed ignorance which the Law hath of any “other Title. It knows no other; neither doth any "know another. And, by reciprocation, this said "Title, or Name, or Office, you were farther pleased to “say, is understood; in the dimensions of it, in the “power and prerogatives of it; which are by the Law "made certain; and the Law can tell when it [King"ship] keeps within compass, and when it exceeds its “limits. And the Law knowing this, the People can “know it also. And the People do love what they “know. And it will neither be pro salute populi, nor “for our safety, to obtrude upon the People what they “do not nor cannot understand.”
It was said also, “That the People have always, “by their representatives in Parliament, beere unwill"ing to vary Names, – seeing they love settlement “and known names, as was said before.” And there were two good instances given of that: the one, in King James's time, about his desire to alter somewhat of the Title: and the other in the Long Parliament, where they being otherwise rationally moved to adopt the word “Representative" instead of “Parliament,” refused it for the same reason. [Lenthall tries to blush.] - It was said also, “That the holding to this word “doth strengthen the 'new' Settlement; for hereby there “is not anything de novo done, but merely things are "revolved into their old current.” It was said, “That “it is the security of the Chief Magistrate, and that it "secures all who act under him.” — Truly these are the principal of those grounds that were offered the other day, so far as I do recollect.
I cannot take upon me to refel those grounds; they are so strong and rational. But if I am to be able to make any answer to them, I must not grant that they are necessarily conclusive; I must take them only as arguments which perhaps have in them much conveniency, much probability towards conclusiveness. For if a remedy or expedient may be found, they are not of necessity, they are not inevitable grounds: and if not necessary or concluding grounds, why then they will hang upon the reason of expediency or conveniency. And if so, I shall have a little liberty 'to speak;' otherwise I am concluded before I speak. - Therefore it will behove me to say what I can, Why these are not necessary reasons; why they are not - why it* is not (I should say) so interwoven in the Laws but that the Laws may still be executed as justly, and as much to the satisfaction of the people, and answering all objections equally well, without such a Title as with it. And then, when I have done that, I shall only take the liberty to say a word or two for my own grounds.** And when I have said what I can say as to that 'latter point,' — I hope you will think a great deal more than I say. (Not convenient to SPEAK everything in so ticklish a predicament; with Deputations of a Hundred Officers, and so many “scrupulous fellows, considerable in their own conceit,” glaring into the business, with eyes much sharper than they are deep!]
Truly though Kingship be not a 'mere' Title, but the Name of an Office which runs through the whole of the Law; yet is it not so ratione nominis, by reason of the name, but by reason of what the name signifies. It is a Name of Office plainly implying a Supreme Authority: is it more; or can it be stretched to more? I say, it is a Name of Office, plainly implying the Supreme Authority: and if so, why then I should suppose, – I am not peremptory in anything that is matter of deduction or inference of my own, - but I should suppose that whatsoever name hath been or shall be the Name under which the Supreme Authority acts — (Sentence abruptly stops; the conclusion being visible without speech!] Why, I say, if it had been those Four or Five Letters, or whatever else it had been —! That signification goes to the thing, certainly it does; and not to the name. [Certainly!] Why, then, there can no more be said but this: As such a Title hath been fixed, so it may be unfixed. And certainly in the right of the Authority, I mean the Legislative Power, — in the right of the Legislative Power, I think the Authority that could christen it with such a name could have called it by another name. Therefore the name is only derived from that 'Authority. And certainly they, 'the primary Legislative Authority,' had the disposal of it, and might have detracted from it:' — and I hope it will be no offence to say to you, as the case now stands, “So may you.” And if it be so that you may, why then I say, there is nothing of necessity in your argument; and all turns on consideration of the expedience of it. [Is the Kingship expedient?]
* The Kingship: his Highness finds that the grammar will require to
** “Grounds" originating with myself independently of yours. Is this "the second" thing, which his Highness had in view, but did not specify after the "first", when he started? The issue proves it to be so.
be attended to
Truly I had rather, if I were to choose, if it were the original question, — which I hope is altogether out of the question [His Highness means, afar off, in a polite manner, “You don't pretend that I still need to be made Protector by you or by any creature!"), - I had rather have any Name from this Parliament than