Page images

s seizing upon young children, and hurrying " them on ship-board, where, having their heads $6 shaven, they were fo transformed that their 56 parents could not know them, and so were ço carried over for new schismatical plantations " to New England, and other seminaries of “ rebellion. My Lord,” says Howell, (this Treatise is addressed to Philip Earl of Pembroke,) “ there is no villainy that can enter into the “ imagination of man hath been left here unço committed ; no crime, from the highest trea$c son to the meanest trespasse, but these Re.56 formers are guilty of !”

Howell, in his Dialogue intitled “ Patricus so & Peregrinus," thus describes some of the preludes that ushered in the Civil Wars between Charles and his Parliament:

" It is,” says he, “a long time that both

Judges, Bishops, and Privy Councillors have “ been muttered at, whereof the first should be " the oracles of the law, the other of the Goss 6C pel, and the last of State Affairs. It was 66 common for every ignorant Client to arraign 66 his Judge, for every puny Curate to censure 6 his Bishop, for every shallow-brained home6 bred fellow to descant upon the results of the fc Council-Table: and this fpirit of contradic

- tion and of contumacy has been a long time s fermenting in the minds of the people.”


15 I have heard,” says Dr. Waller in his Funeral Sermon on the Death of the Countess of Warwick, “ that it was the observation of that

great Antiquary Charles the First, that the 66 three ancientest families of Europe for Nobility “ are in England the Veres Earls of Oxford, for the Fitzgeralds in Ireland Earls of Kildare, « and the Montmorencies in France.”

Charles used to say of himself, that he knew so much of arts and manufactures in general, that he believed he could get his living by any of them, except weaving in tapestry,

This unfortunate Monarch most probably met with his very severe fate in consequence of his duplicity. Cromwell declared that he could not trust him. His fate is a striking instance of the truth of the maxim of Menander, thus translated by Grotius :

In re omni conducibile eft quovis tempore
Verum proloquier. Idque in vitâ fpondeo
Securitatis elje partem maximam.
At every time, and upon all occasions,
'Tis right to speak the truth. And this I vouch
In every various state of human life
The greatest part of our security.


Of the letter which is said to have been the cause of the death of Charles, the Author of the “ Richardsoniana” has preserved the following very curious account:

“ Lord Bolingbroke told us * (June 12, 1742) " that Lord Oxford had often told him that “ he had seen, and had in his hands, an original 6 letter that King Charles the First wrote to the 6. Queen, in answer to one of her's that had “ been intercepted, and then forwarded to him; “ wherein she reproached him for having made “ those villains too great concessions (viz. that 6. Cromwell should be Lord Lieutenant of Ire“ land for life without account; that that kinga “ dom should be in the hands of the party, with « an army there kept which should know no “ head but the Lieutenant; that Cromwell “ should have a garter, &c.). That in this letter “ of the King's it was said, that she should leave “ him to manage, who was better informed of « all circumstances than she could be; but she “ might be entirely easy as to whatever concel“ fions he should make them, for that he should “ know in due time how to deal with the rogues, “ who instead of a silken garter should be fitted 6 with a hempen cord. So the letter ended : “ which answer, as they waited for, so they in

* “Mr. Pope, Lord Marchmont, and myself.”

“ tercepted

tercepted accordingly, and it determined his

fate. This letter Lord Oxford said he had € offered sool. for."

Charles, according to Sir Philip Warwick, never appeared to so much advantage as in the Conference in the Isle of Wight. “He shewed," fays Sir Philip, “ that he was conversant in di“ vinity, law, and good reason; insomuch as « one day, whilst I turned the King's chair " when he was about to rise, the Earl of Salis“ bury came suddenly upon me, and called me 66 by my name, and said, The King is wonder“ fully improved ; to which I as suddenly re66 plied, No, my Lord, he was always so, but “ your Lordship too late discerned it.”

When Charles was pressed by the Parliament Ministers to give way to a small Catechism for Children which they had composed; “ I will “ not,” said he, “ take upon me to determine " that all those texts which you quote are rightly “ applied, and have their true lenle given them; “ and I assure you, Gentlemen, I would license 6 a Catechism, at a venture, sooner for men “ than I would for children, because they can “ judge for themselves, and I make a great con66 science to permit that children should be cor66 rupted in their first principles.”


Speaking one day of some propositions made to him by the two Houses respecting the government of England, he prophetically faid, “ Well, “ they will ask so much, and use it so ill, that " the People of England will be glad to replace " the power they have taken from the Crown “ where it is due; and I have offended against

them more in the things which I have granted " them, than in any thing which I ever designed “ against them.”

The Parliament affected to be outrageous that Charles employed Catholics in his army; the following passage from Salmoneto will shew that the Parliament were not more scrupulous in this respect :

" That which did y most surprise every body, “ was, that they found amongst the dead, of “ those which were sain on the Parliament side, 66 several Popish priests. For, although in their “ Declarations they called the King's army a Popish army, thereby to render it odious to “ the People, yet they had in their army two os companies of Walloons and other Roman 66 Catholicks. Besides, they omitted no endea“ vours to engage to their party Sir A' Afton, K'. 6 an eminent Roman Catholic Commander. “ True it is, that the King had permitted to 6 serve him in his army some Roman Catholick

66 Officers,


« PreviousContinue »