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terpretation of that, which I shall now write: for words, that come from wasted spirits and oppressed minds, are more safe in being deposited to a noble construction, than being circled with any reserved caution.

This being moved (and, as I hope, obtained of your Lordships) as a protection to all that I shall say, I shall go on; but with a very strange entrance, as may seem to your Lordships, at first: for, in the midst of a state of as great affliction as, I think, a mortal man can endure (honour being above life) I shall begin with the professing of gladness in some things.

The first is, That hereafter the greatness of a judge or magistrate shall be no sanctuary or protection to him against guiltiness, which is the beginning of a golden work.

The next, That, after this example, it is like that judges will fly from any thing in the likeness of corruption (though it were at a great distance) as from a serpent; which tends to the purging of the Courts of Justice, and reducing them to their true honour and splendor. And in these two points (God is my witness) though it be my fortune to be the anvil, upon which these two effects are broken and wrought, I take no small comfort. But to pass from the motions of my heart (whereof God is my judge) to the merits of my cause, whereof your Lordships are judges under God and his Lieutenant? I do understand, there hath been heretofore expected from me some justification; and therefore I have chosen one only justification, instead of all others, out of the justification of Job, For after the clear submission and confession, which I shall now make

unto your Lordships, I hope I may say, and justify with Job, in these words: "I have not hid my sin, as did Adam, nor concealed my faults in my bosom." This is the only justification, which I will use.


It resteth therefore, that without fig-leaves I do ingenuously confess and acknowledge, that having understood the particulars of the charge, not formally from the House, but enough to inform my conscience and memory; I find matter sufficient and full both to move me to desert my defence, and to move your Lordships to condemn and censure me. Neither will I trouble your Lordships by singling these particulars, which I think might fall off. Quid te exempta juvat spinis de pluribus una? Neither will I prompt your Lordships to observe upon the proofs, where they come not home, or the scruple touching the credits of the witnesses. Neither will I represent to your Lordships, how far a defence might in divers things extenuate the offence, in respect of the time and manner of the guilt, or the like circumstances; but only leave these things to spring out of your more noble thoughts and observations of the evidence and examinations themselves, and charitably to wind about the particulars of the charge here and there, as God shall put into your mind, and so submit myself wholly to your piety and grace.

And now I have spoken to your Lordships as Judges, I shall say a few words unto you as Peers and Prelates, humbly commending my cause to your noble minds and magnanimous affections.

Your Lordships are not simply Judges, but Parliamentary Judges: you have a farther extent of arbitrary power than other courts; and if you be not tied by ordinary course of courts, or precedents, in

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points of strictness and severity, much less in points of mercy and mitigation. And yet if any thing, which I shall move, might be contrary to your honourable and worthy end (the introducing of a reformation) I should not seek it. But herein I beseech your Lordships to give me leave to tell you a story.

Titus Manlius took his son's life, for giving battle against the prohibition of his General. Not many years afterward, the like severity was pursued by Papyrius Cursor, the Dictator, against Quintus Maximus; who, being upon the point to be sentenced, was by the intercession of some particular persons of the senate spared: whereupon Livy maketh this grave and gracious observation, Neque minus firmata est disciplina militaris periculo Quinti Maximi, quàm miserabili supplicio Titi Manlii; the discipline of war was no less established by the questioning of Quintus Maximus, than by the punishment of Titus Manlius.' And the same reason is in the reformation of justice; for the questioning of men in eminent places hath the same terror, though not the same rigour, with the punishment. But my cause stays not there for my humble desire is, that his Majesty would take the seal into his hands; which is a great downfall, and may serve, I hope, in itself for an expiation of my faults.

Therefore, if mercy and mitigation be in your Lordships' power, and no way cross your ends, why should I not hope of your favour and commiseration? Your Lordships will be pleased to behold your chief pattern, the King our Sovereign, a King of incomparable clemency, and whose heart is inscrutable for wisdom and goodness: and your Lordships will remember, there sate not these hundred years before a


Prince in your House, and never such a Prince, whose presence deserveth to be made memorable by records and acts mixed of mercy and justice. Yourselves are either Nobles (and compassion ever beateth in the veins of noble blood) or Reverend Prelates, who are the servants of Him, that would not break the bruised reed, or quench the smoking flax. You all sit upon a high stage, and therefore cannot but be sensible of the change of human conditions, and of the fall of any from high place.

'Neither will your Lordships forget, that there are vitia temporis, as well as vitia hominis; and the beginning of reformation hath the contrary power to the pool of Bethesda : for that had strength to cure him only that was first cast in, and this hath strength to hurt him only that is first cast in; and for my part, I wish it may stay there, and go no farther.

Lastly, I assure myself, your Lordships have a noble feeling of me, as a member of your own body, and one that in this very session had some taste of your very loving affections; which I hope was not a lightning before the death of them, but rather a spark of that grace, which now in the conclusion will more appear. And therefore my humble suit to your Lordships is, that my penitent submission may be my sentence, the loss of my seal my punishment, and that your Lordships would recommend me to his Majesty's grace and pardon for all that is past. God's Holy Spirit be among you.'


A committee of Peers now waited upon him to demand, whether it were his own hand, that was subscribed to the same:' to whom he replied, "My

Lords, it is my act, my hand, my heart, I beseech your Lordships to be merciful to a broken reed.”

Notwithstanding these abject and humiliating admissions, however, he was sentenced to pay a mulct of forty thousand pounds; to be imprisoned in the Tower during the King's pleasure; to be for ever incapable of any office, place, or employment in the commonwealth; and never to sit again in parliament, or to come within the verge of the court.*

That so heavy a punishment should have been incurred by a man, whose talents have commanded the admiration of the world, must ever be regretted; but there is no evidence to prove, that the rigour of his sentence exceeded the strict limits of justice. He might not, perhaps, have been guilty of any flagrant infringement of equity in many of his judicial decrees; it is even possible, that his decisions might have been made against the very persons, who had bribed him: but this, as Aikin justly observes, is not the natural operation of a bribe upon minds mean enough to accept one: and at any rate those, who bestowed it without effect, seem to have had some grounds of complaint. Neither is it any extenuation of his crime, that it was stimulated by

* Upon his fall he wrote a letter to Prince Charles, soliciting his Royal Highness' intercession with his Majesty, in which he introduced the following profane expression; "I hope, as your father was my Creator, that you his son will become my Redeemer." But this is not a solitary instance of his abuse of scriptural allusion. In his History of Henry VII.,' speaking of Sir William Stanley's placing the crown on the head of that prince, then Earl of Richmond, after the memorable action of Bosworth Field, he says; "The condition of mortal man is not capable of greater benefit, than the King received by the hands of Stanley, being like the benefit of Christ, at once to save and crown."


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