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ACCESSION OF CHARLES I.
gious contentions.-§ 21. Trial of Hampden.-§ 22. Decisions of the king's judges in favour of absolute monarchy. Resistance of the Scotch. The Covenant. Declaration against Episcopacy.§ 23. War with Scotland.-§ 24. Destruction of the Spanish squadron at Dover by the Dutch.-§ 25. Charles summons a new Parlia ment for the purpose of raising supplies. Resistance of the Commons. Its dissolution, and imprisonment of some of its members.-26. The Scotch invade England under General Leslie. The English troops routed.-§ 27. The "Long Parliament."-§ 28. Impeachment of Lord Strafford. His attainder and execution.-§ 29. Bold proceedings of the Commons. Abolition of the Star Chamber; high commission, monopolies, ship-money, and all relics of feudal servitude.-§ 30. The king's journey to Scotland.-§ 31. The Irish rebellion.-§ 32. Violent proceedings of the Commons. The Remonstrance. Impeachment of the bishops.-§ 33. The king's accusation of the five members. § 34. Revolutionary crisis. Commencement of the civil war. The Commons assume authority over the army.-§ 35. Sanguinary contests between the Royal and Parliamentary forces. Death of Hampden. Oliver Cromwell. His indomitable character. Battle of Newbury. Lord Falkland. § 36. Battle of Marston Moor, in which the royal forces are utterly defeated. Execution of Laud.$37. Cromwell appointed commander of the parliamentary forces. The battle of Naseby, and flight of the king. His treacherous correspondence discovered.§ 38. The victories of Montrose in the Highlands of Scotland. His cruelties. The king flies to the Scottish camp, closely pursued by the parliamentary troops. He is sold by the Scotch, and delivered up to the English Parliament. § 39. Attempt to arrest Cromwell. Mutiny in the army. The king flies to the Isle of Wight. His attempts to escape from Carisbrooke. Fearful state of parties.-§ 40. The House of Commons cleared by the military "Pride's Purge."-$ 41. Cromwell the undisputed master of the army. His great qualities.-§ 42. Proceedings of Parliament against the king. His trial, conviction, and execution.
§ 1. "THE evil that men do liveth after them," and the reign of favouritism, commenced by James, was continued under Charles. No excuse can be made for the affection of either father or son towards its unworthy object. Neither his actions nor his letters give any sign of intellect. His manners had grown coarse and overbearing; he was insultingly familiar in his address to the king and prince, even in the presence of punctilious Spaniards. Arrogance, indeed, had at one time carried him so far, that he gave Charles a box on the ear, and yet while he lived he was ruler of both kings and kingdom, and seemed to grow in power and influence to the last.
§ 2. Buckingham was sent over as special ambassador to bring Henrietta Maria home. Loaded with jewels on every part of his dress, and displaying the graces of person which had first captivated King James, the favourite was treated by the French ministry as if he were as omnipotent in Paris as in London. He acted up to the character he had displayed in Spain, and having made love in that country to the Duchess D'Olivarez, wife of the prime minister, he now professed a devoted admiration for the Queen of France. The famous Cardinal Richelieu was chief adviser of the Court, and very soon turned the insulting envoy out of the realm. Buckingham, cherishing a malice against the cardinal, which afterwards bore fatal fruits, brought his fair charge by solemn journeys to Dover. But the daughter of Henry of Navarre had courage and wit. She saw through the shallow charlatan before they were many days acquainted, and already resolved to free her husband from his degrading servitude to so base a minion. She was remarkably small in stature, with a light and flexible figure. Her eyes were piercing black; her face very sweet in its expression, unless when she frowned, and then her look was frightful. "I suppose nobody but a queen could put on such a scowl," said one of the attendants at court, when something had happened to displease her. But with her gaiety, her playfulness, and beauty, it was never doubted that she would have an easy victory over Buckingham. Charles, however, was of a sombre, saturnine disposition, unmoved by the airy graces of his French bride, and continued steadfast to his friend.
§ 3. A cloud fell on this reign at its very commencement. The queen was a Catholic, and brought over many priests who celebrated mass in the palace, in spite of Acts of Parliament forbidding such idolatrous services. Charles compromised by ordering the ceremonies of the Church to be strictly private; but shaved heads were hooted in the street; the memory of the Gunpowder Plot grew green again; and it was
A.D. 1625.] CRUSADE AGAINST THE SPANIARDS.
soon discovered that Richelieu, instead of helping the Protestant cause in Germany, was preparing to crush the Protestants at home. A Huguenot leader, of the name of Soubise, had established himself in Rochelle, the head-quarters of the Reformed, and expected aid from his co-religionists in England. Richelieu also expected aid, in terms of the treaty concluded at the marriage. Ships were fitted out, and soldiers embarked. The word was given for Genoa, which then was held by the Spaniards and Austrians, and Parliament, which had voted money for the Protestant expedition, and the nation at large, which had heard with rapture of the departure of the fleet, learned with irrepressible indignation that the king and Buckingham had ordered the admiral to surrender the vessels for the use of Louis, and the men to be employed against the garrison of Rochelle. Treachery to his people, and sacrilege against his religion, was the immediate imputation thrown upon the king. The captains of the ships of war declined the degrading office; the sailors in great numbers deserted to the Huguenot defenders, and the reputation of Charles for truthfulness and honour received a check from which it never recovered.
§ 4. An effort was made to bury the memory of this expedition by the glories of a successful cruise against the Spaniards. Twice a-year the great treasure galleons came over to the mother country from the colonies in America. They brought cargoes of incalculable value-gold and precious stones and silver-and Buckingham was determined to fit out a strong force and intercept them on their way. Parliament, however, would have nothing more to do with maritime adventures, and would vote no money. But Charles, too surely remembering his father's lessons, believed that the royal prerogative placed him above the law, and ordered large sums to be raised by writs under the Privy Seal, with a promise of repayment. Ships at last were manned, and ten thousand soldiers embarked. Nobody knew their destination.
Landsmen who bribed and flattered Buckingham were appointed to the command. Transports were crowded, and fever broke out, killing hundreds every day. Ships ill steered, and crews undisciplined, foundered when the wind began to blow. At last the coast of Spain was made, and a watch kept on Cadiz harbour. The troops were not landed, but pined and sickened on board, and still no appearance of the expected prize. Tired of useless watching, and utterly prostrated by weakness and disaffection, the whole squadron steered for the north, and in two days more the treasure vessels, which had kept close in upon the African coast, sailed triumphantly along the shores of Spain, and deposited their cargoes safe on Cadiz quay.
§ 5. No inquiry was made into the causes of failure. The favourite would permit no trial, but all men knew whose fault it was, and marvelled more and more at the infatuation of the king. At this time, indeed, Charles appears to have had no will of his own. He neglected his wife, and allowed Buckingham to insult her unavenged. To gain credit with the people for Protestant feelings, but principally to show his spite to Henrietta Maria, the favourite induced the king to send away many of the priests and other Catholic attendants who had accompanied her from Paris. He went over to the Dutch and pawned the crown jewels, entering into alliances with the Provinces; and Richelieu saw that the wrath of the vain courtier was unappeasable, and that war was probably at hand. Popish lords and gentlemen were debarred from having arms in their houses, and fined for non-attendance at church; great zeal was manifested for the Protestant cause, and, finally, a Parliament was called. It was considered that the favourite's name would not be in such bad odour after such vigorous persecution of the Catholics, and, to make the assurance greater, the king hit upon the ingenious device of keeping seven of his most declared enemies from their seats, by nominating them sheriffs for the year.
KING AND PARLIAMENT.
§ 6. But nothing availed to melt the stubborn hearts of the holders of the purse. Charles told them they were the creatures of his will; he could summon or dismiss them as he chose, and therefore would have no interference with his choice of servants or management of affairs. This was his second Parliament within twelve months; the first he had dismissed with disgrace within a few days of its assemblage. To prevent a similar catastrophe, the Commons hurried on their complaints. They protested against the late expeditions, their failure, and expense both of life and money; and at last impeached the master evil of all at the bar of the House of Lords. Impeachments were terrible things in those days, and generally ended in the scaffold on Tower Hill. Charles was in despair; for the very existence of Buckingham was in danger. He tried to soothe or frighten the Lords, but they stood firm, and received the accusation.
The articles of impeachment were stated by several of the members, the leaders being Sir Dudley Digges and Sir John Eliot. Charles was offended equally with some of their accusations and their mode of urging them. Buckingham was accused of administering a posset, by the hands of his mother, to the late king, and was called a modern Sejanus. Now, Sejanus was the unprincipled minister of Tiberius, the worst of the Roman emperors, and the classical allusion was a stab to Charles. "By calling Buckingham Sejanus," he said, "they make me out to be Tiberius; by allusion to a posset given to my father, they imply that I am a parricide." And, in an access of pride and fury, he sent to the House of Commons, summoned the obnoxious members, as if on private business, and, on their appearance, had them seized and carried to the Tower, announcing that their crime was high treason. An outcry arose in the House. This was assaulting their dearest privilege, and overthrowing the first principles of freedom. Charles, weakly angry, was weakly submissive. The incarcerated members were restored, and the king henceforth