Page images
PDF
[graphic]

will be no sin in you, it will be to you as it was to David in another case,* “ no grief of heart in time coating,” that you have a tenderness even possibly (if it be their weakness) to the weakness of those who have integrity and honesty and uprightness, and who are not carried away with the hurries I see some taken with—[“A Standard lifted up,” the other day! We have had to turn the key upon them, in Chepstow, in he Tower and elsewhere]—that think their virtue lies in despising Au. thority, in opposing it! , I think you will be the better able to root out of this Nation that ‘disobedient ’ spirit and principle,—and to do so is as desirable as anything in this world,—-by complying, indulging, and being patient to the weakness and infirmities of men who have been faithful, and have bled all along in this Cause ;——and who are faithful, and will oppose all oppositions (I am confident of it) to the things that are Fundamentals in your Government, in your Settlement for Civil and Gospel Liberties. [Not ill said, your Highness: and really could not well be better thought! The moral is : “ As my old Ironsides, men fearing God, proved the successful soldiers; so in all things it is men fearing God that we must get to enlist with us. Without these we are lost : with these, if they will be soldiers with us (not noisy mutineers like W'ildman, Harrison and Company, but true soldiers, rational persons that will learn discipline,)—we shall, as heretofore, hope to prevail against the whole world and the Devil to boot, and ‘never be beaten at all,’ no more than the Ironsides were. See therefore, that you do not disafect THEM. Mount no foolish cockade or Kingship which can convert THEM, rational obedient men, true in all essential points, into mutineers.”]

I confess, for it behoves me to deal plainly with you-[ Young Lady now flings a little weight into the other scale,—-and the Sentence trips itself once or twice before it can get started]—I must confess I would say—I hope I may not be misunderstood in this, for indeed I must be tender in what I say to such an audience :--I say I would have it understood, That in this argument I do not make a parallel between men of a different mind, ‘ mere dissentient individuals,’ and a Parliament, ‘as to,’ Which shall have their desires. Iknow there is no comparison. Nor can it be urged upon me that my words have the least color that way. For the Parliament seems toy,have given me liberty to say whatever is on my mind to you; as that ‘indeed ’ is a tender of my humble reasons and judgment and opinion to them: and now if I think these objectors to the Kingshipi- are such ‘ as I describe,’ and ‘ that they’ will be such; ‘ if I think’ that they are faithful servants and will be so to the Supreme Authority, and the Legislative wheresoever it is,-—if, I say, I should not tell you, knowing their minds to be so, then I should not be faithful. I am bound to tell it you, to the end you may report it to the Parliament. [Parliament very jealous lest the Army be thought of greater weight than it. We try to carry the scales even.]

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

I will now say something for myself. As for my own mind I do profess it, I am not a man scrupulous about words, or names, or such things. I have not ‘ hitherto clear direction’*—But as I have the Word of God, and I hope shall ever have, for the rule of my conscience, for my information and direction; so, truly, if men have been led into dark paths [As this matter of the Kingship is to me even now; very“ dark” and undecidable !] through the providence and dispensations of God—why surely it is not to be objected to a man! For who can love to walk in the dark? But Providence doth often so dispose. And though a man may impute his own folly and blindness to Providence sinfully,--yet this must be at a man’s own peril. This case may be that it,is the Providence of God that doth lead men in darkness! I must needs say I have had a great deal of experience of Providence; and though such experience is no rule without or against the Word, yet it is a very good expositor of the Word in many cases. [Yes, my brave one .']

Truly the Providence of God hath lain aside this Title of King providentially faclo : and that not by sudden humor or passion; but it hath been by issue of as great deliberation as ever was in a Nation. It hath been by issue of Ten or Twelve Years Civil War, wherein much blood hath been shed. I will not dispute the justice of it when it was done; nor need I tell you what my opinion is in the case were it de new to be done. [Somewhat grim expression of face, your Highness !] But if it! be at all disputable ; and a man comes and finds that God in His severity hath not only eradicated a whole Family, and thrust them out of the land, for reasons best known to Himself, but also hath made the issue and close of that to be the very eradication of a name or Title - ! Which defaclo is ‘the case.’ It was not done by me, nor by them that tendered me the Government I now act in: it was done by the Long Parliament,—-that was itsf And God hath seemed ProvidentiaL ‘ seemed to appear as a Providence,’ not only in striking at the Family but at the Name. And, as I said before, it is blotted out: it is a thing cast out by an Act of Parliament; it hath been kept out to this day. And as Jude saith, in another case, speaking of abominable sins that should be in the Latter Times,1-he doth farther say, when he comes to exhort the Saints

' Coagulated Jargon (Sbmers, p. 370) is almost worth looking at here :lever was such a Reporter since the Tower of Babel fell.

fOli-verian reduplication of the phrase.

$Very familiar with this passage of Jude ; see Speech IL, p. 91.

[graphic]

he tells them,—they should “ hate even the garments spotted with the flesh.”*

Ibeseech you think not that I bring this as an argument to prove anything. God hath seemed so to deal with the Persons and the Family that he blasted the very Title. And you know when a man comes, a parte post, to reflect, and see this done, this Title laid in the dust,--I confess I can come to no other conclusion. [“ But that God seems to hate blasted the very Title ;”—this, however, is felt to need some qualif ing] The like of this may make a strong impression upon such weak men as I am ;--and perhaps upon weaker men (if there be any such) it will make a stronger. I will not seek to set up that which Providence hath destroyed, and laid in the dust; I would not build Jericho again! And this is somewhat to me, and to my judgment and my conscience. This, in truth, it is this that hath an awe upon my spirit. (Hear!) And I must confess, as the times are,-they are very fickle, very uncertain, nay God knows you had need have a great deal of faith to strengthen you in your work, you had need look at Settlement !--I would rather I were in my grave than hinder you in anything that may be for Settlement of the Nation. For the Nation needs it, never needed it- more! And therefore, out of the love and honor I bear you,Iam'for ever bound, whatever becomes of me, to do ‘ what is best for that ;’—‘ and’ I am for ever bound to acknowledge you have dealt most honorably and worthin with me, and lovingly, and‘ have had respect for one who deserves nothing.

Indeed, out of the love and faithfulness I bear you, and out of the sense I have of the difliculty of your work, I would not have you lose

“any help [Help of the name King; help of the scrupulous Anti-King people : it is a-dark case I] that may serve you, that may stand in stead to you. I would willingly be a sacrifice [King, Protector, Constable, or what you like], that there might be, so long as God shall please to let this Parliament sit, a harmony, and better and good understanding between all of you. And,--whatever any man may think,—it equally concerns one of us as another to go on to Settlement: and where Imeet with any that is of another mind, indeed I could almost curse him in my heart. And therefore, to deal heartin and freely, I would have you lose nothing [Not even the Scrupulous.] that may stand you in stead in this way. 1 would advise, if there be ‘found ’ any of a froward, unmannerly or

' Grammar a little imperfect. Really one begins to find Oliver would, as it were, have needed a new Grammar. Had all‘ men been Olivers, what a difi'erent set. of rules would Lindley Murray and the GOVernesses now have gone upon .

[graphic]
[graphic]

womanish spirit,—I would not that you should lose them! I would not that you should lose any servant or friend who might help in this Work; that any such should be offended by a thing that signifies no more to me than I have told you it does. That is to say: I do not think the thing necessary; I do not. I would not that you should lose a friend for it. If I could help you to many ‘friends,’ and multiply myself into many that would be to serve you in regard to Settlement ! And therefore I would not that any, especially any of these who indeed perhaps are men that do think themselves engaged to continue with you, and to serve you, should be anywise disobliged from you. ‘I have now no more to say.’ The truth is,,I did indicate this as my conclusion to you at the first, when I told you what method I would speak to you in.* I may say that I cannot, with conveniency to myself, nor good to this service which I wish so well to, speak out all my arguments as to the safety of your Proposal, as to its tendency to the efl'ectual carrying on of this, Work. [There are many angry suspicious persons listening to me, and every word is liable to difl'erent misunderstandings in 1 every difl'erent narrow head .'] I say, I do not think it fit to use all the thoughts I have. in my mind as to that point of safety. But I shall pray to God Almighty that He would direct you to do what is according to His will. And this is that poor account I am able to give of myself in this thingi

And so enough for Monday, which is now far speht: ‘till tomorrow at three o’clocki let us adjourn ; and diligently consider in the interim.

His Highness is evidently very far yet from having made up his mind as to this thing ; the undeveloped Yes still balancing itself against the undeveloped No, in a huge dark intricate manner, with him. Unable to ‘declare’ himself; there being in fact nothing to declare hitherto, nothing. but what he does here declare,—namely darkness visible. An abstruse time his Highness has had of it, since the end of February, six or seven weeks now ; all England sounding round him, waiting for his Answer. And he is yet a good way off the Answer. For it is a considerable

' “This was my second head of method; all this about myself and my _ own feelings in regard to the Kingship,-—after I had proved to you in my first head that it was not necessary, that it was only expedient or not expedient. I am now therefore got to the end of' my second head, to my conclusion. i

f Somers Tracts. vi., 365-371 1 Burton. ii., 2.

question this of the Kingship: important to the Nation and the Cause he presides over; to himself not unimportant,—and yet to himself of very minor importance, my erudite friend! A Soul of a Man in right earliest about its own awful Life and ‘Vork in this world 5 much superior to ‘feathcrs in the hat,’ of one sort or the other, my erudite friend !—Of all which he gives here a candid and honest account; and indeed his attitude towards this matter is throughout, what towards other matters it has been, very manful and natural.

However, on the morrow, which is Tuesday, at three o’clock, the Committee cannot see his Highness; attending at Whitehall, as stipulated, they find his Highness indisposed in health ;—arc to come again to-morrow, IVednesday, at the same hour. Wednesday they come again ; ‘ wait for above anyhour in the Council-Chamber ;’-——Highness still indisposed, “has got a cold :” Come again to-morrow, Thursday ! ‘ Which,’ says the writer of the thing called Burton’s Diary, who was there, ‘did strongly build up the faith of the Contrariants,—-He will not dare to accept, think the Contrariants, The Honorable House in the meanwhile has little to do but denounce that Shoreditch Fifth-Monarchy Pamphlet, the Standard set up, which seems to. be a most incen_ diary piece ;—and painfully adjourn and re-adjourn, fill its Committee do get answer. A most slow business ;-—and the hopes of the Contrariants are rising.

Thursday, 16th April, 1657, Committee attending for the third time, the Interview does take effect: Six of the Grandees, Glyn, Lenthall, Colonel Jones, Sir Richard Onslow, Fiennes, Broghil, Whitlocke, take up in their order the various objections of his Highness’s former Speech, of Monday last, and learnedly rebut the same,-—-in a learned and to us insupportably wearisome man. ner; fit only to be entirely omitted. Whitlocke urges on his Highness That, in refusing this Kingship, he will do what never any that were actual Kings of England did, reject the advice of his Parliament.* Another says, It is his duty ; let him by no means shrink from his duty l—Their discoursings, if any oresture is curious on the subject, can be read at great length in the

’ Somers, p. 386.

« PreviousContinue »