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$. 9. + Things were now going faft on towards leftening the confidence betwixt the king and parliament: and yet there were not wanting endeavours, on both sides, to accommodate matters by foft and healing methods, when the king's coming to the house of commons in person, to demand I five of their members, whom he had ordered the day before to be impeached of high treafon, put all into a combustion, and gave occasion to the house to affert their privileges with a greater warmth than ever. This was the moft unlucky Itep king Charles could have made at this juncture : and the indiscretion of some that attended the king to the lobby of the house, was infifted upon as an argument that the king was resolved to use violence upon the parliament. These five members had hardly time to make their escape, just when the king was entering; and upon his going away, the house adjourn'd in a flame for fome days, ordering a committee to fit at Guildhall in the mean time, as if they were not safe at Weftminster.
Whoever they were that advised the king to this rash attempt, are justly chargeable with all the blood that was afterwards spilt; for this sudden action was the first and vifible ground of all our following miseries. It was believed, that if the king had found the five members in the house, and had called in his guards to seize them, the house would have endeavoured their defence, and opposed force to force; which might have endangered the king's perfon. But the contequences were bad enough without this; for immediarely upon it there was nothing but confusion and tumults, fears and jealoufies every where, which spread themselves to Whitehall in the rudeft manner : fo that his majesty thinking himself not safe there, retired with his family to Hampton-court.
I These five members were, Mr. Pym, Mr. Hampden, Mr. Hollis, afterwards lord Hollis, Sir Arthur Heilerig, and Mr. Strode: lord Kimbolton was also accused by his majesty of the fame crimes.
The king leaving his parliament in this manner, there were scarce any hopes of a thorough reconciliation. But when, after a great many removes from place to place, his majefty came to set up his standard at Nottingham, there ensued a fatal and bloody war, which, it is reasonable to believe, was never designed at first by either side.
f. 10. I fall not give a particular account of this war, but take notice only of such facts in which Cromwell was personally concerned, as help to fet his character in a clear light. But having said thus much concerning the motives and beginning of it, I shall add a few reflections of the great * Mr. Locke, in defence of subjects taking arms against their prince; and leave it to the reader's determination, how far they regard the present case, and may be urged in vindication of Cromwell, and the other members of this famous parliament.
* Wheresoever law ends, says this excellent reasoner, tyranny begins, if the law be tranfgreffed to another's harm. And whoever in authority exceeds the power given him by law, and makes use of the force he has under his command, to compass that upon the subject which the law allows not, ceases in that to be a magistrate ; and acting without authority, may be opposed, as any other man, who invades the right of another. This is acknowledged in subordinate magistrates. He that hath authority to seize my person in the street, may be opposed as a thief or a robber, if he endeavours to break into my house to execute a writ, notwithstanding that I know he has such a a warrant, and such a legal authority, as will impower him to arrett me abroad. And why this should not hold in the highest, as well as in the most inferior magiftrate, I would gladly be informed. Is it reafonablethat the eldest brother, because he has the greatest part of his father's estate, should thereby have a right
* In his second effay on government, ch. xviii,
to take away any of his younger brother's portions ? or, that a rich man, who possessed a whole country, should from thence have a right to seize, when he pleased, the garden and cottage of his poor neighbour 'The being rightfully poffeffed of great power and riches, exceedingly beyond the greatest part of the sons of Adam, is so far from being an excuse, much less a reason for rapine and oppreslion, which the endamaging another without authority is, that it is a great aggravation of it : for the exceeding the bounds of authority is no more a right in a great, than in a petty officer, 'no more juftifiable in a king than a contable; but is so much the worse in him, in that he has more trust put in him, has already a much greater share than the rest of his brethren, and is supposed, from the advantage of his education, employment, and counsellors, to be more knowing in the measure of right or wrong."
And in another * place, speaking of the chimerical notion of resistance with reverence, and without retri. bution or punishment, he says, “How to resist force without Atriking again, or how to strike with reverence, will need some skill to make intelligible. He that shall oppofe an assault only with a stick to receive the blows, or in any more respectful posture, without a sword in his hand, to abate the confidence and force of the assailant, will quickly be at an end of his resist ance, and will find such a defence only to draw on himself the worse ufage.--He therefore who may refift, must be allowed 10 strike: and then let any one join a knock on the head, or a cut on the face, with as much reverence and respect as he thinks fit. He that can reconcile bows and reverence, may, for aught I know, deferve for his pains a civil respectful cuugeling, where-ever he can meet with it. It is true an interior, generally speaking, cannot resist a superior. But to refift force with force being the state of war, that levels the parties, cancels all former relations of reverence, respect, and fuperiority : and then the odds that is
* Chap. xix.
mains is, that he who opposes the unjust aggressor, has this superiority over him, and he has a right, when he prevails, to punish the offender, both for the breach of the peace, and all the events that followed upon it."
A little farther he proceeds thus: “Here, 'tis like, the common question will be made, Who shall be judge, whether the prince or legislature act contrary to their trust? This, perhaps, ill-affected and factious men may spread among the people, when the prince only makes use of his just prerogative. To this I reply, The people shall be judge: for who shall be judge whether his trustee or deputy acts well, and according to the treft reposed in him, but he who deputes him, and muft, by having deputed him, have still a power to discard him, when he fails in his trust? If this be reafonable in particular cases of private men, why should it be otherwise in that of the greatest moment, where the welfare of millions is concerned; and also, where the evil, if not prevented, is greater, and the redress very difficult, dear, and dangerous ?"
$. 11. But we have a ftill greater authority than that of any private man, to vindicate the proceedings of the long parliament. That very convention which brought in king Charles II. tho' ready to run mad with loyalty, would not suffer any reflection on the conduct of their brethren, except only in the article of destroying the king.
* Mr. William Lenthal, who had been speaker of the long parliament, and was a member of the reftor. ing one, happened to drop this expresion, in the debate about the general pardon: “ He who first drew his sword against the late king, committed as great an offence, as he who cut off his head.” Upon which he was seized by the serjeant, and Sir Harbottle Grim- , stone, by order of the house of commons, reprimanded him in the following words. “ Sir, the house hath taken great offence at some words you have let fall in
* Critical history of England, Vol. II.
this debate; which in their judgments, contain as high a reflection on the justice and proceedings of the lords and commons of the last parliament in their actings, before 1648, as could be expressed. They apprehend there is much poison in the said words, and that they were spoken out of a design to infiame, and to render them who drew the sword, to bring delinquents to punishment, and to assert their juft liberties, into a balance with them who cut off the king's head."
Thus, says the author who gives us this passage, are all the lord Clarendon's and Mr. Echard's reflections on those actings declared to be highly injurious; and the history of England, and that of the grand rebellion, which treat that glorious parliament as rebels, are condemned in the most folemn manner, by the declaration of the house of commons, pronounced by their speaker. After which, I think all future criticks upon them would be superfluous and needless.
СНА Р. ІІ.
CROMWELL'S military exploits, and wonderful fuccess,
in the civil wars, during the life of king Charles the firft. $.1. HEN the differences between the king W
and parliament were come to an open rupture, the active genius of Cromwell would not suffer him to be an idle spectator. He got a captain's com. mission from the commons, and immediately raised a troop of horse in his own country. They confifted of select men, whose bravery he proved by the following ftratagem. He placed about twelve of them in an am. buscade, near one of the king's garrisons, who ad. vancing furiously towards the body, as if they had been of the enemy's party, put some of their raw companions to the flight. These he immediately cashiered, and filled their places with others of more courage.