Imágenes de página

as those who had lost fathers, brothers, wives, and children by their cruelty; whom in justice to retaliate is not, as he supposes, “ unevangelical ;" so long as magistracy and war are not laid down under the gospel. If this his sermon of affected mercy were not too pharisaical, how could he permit himself to cause the slaughter of so many thousands here in England for mere prerogatives, the toys and gewgaws of his crown, for copes and surplices, the trinkets of his priests; and not perceive his own zeal, while he taxes others, to be most preposterous and unevangelical ?

213. Neither is there the same cause to destroy a whole city for the ravishing of a sister, not done out of villany, and recompence offered by marriage: nor the same cause for those disciples to summon fire from heaven upon the whole city where they were denied lodging; and for a nation by just war and execution to slay whole families of them, who so barbarously had slain whole families before. Did not all Israel do as much against the Benjamites for one rape committed by a few, and defended by the whole tribe ? And did they not the same to Jabesh-Gilead for not assisting them in that revenge ? I speak not this that such measure shquld be meted rigorously to all the Irish, or as remembering that the parliament ever so decreed; but to show that this his homily hath more craft and affectation in it, than of sound doctrine.

214. But it was happy that his going into Ireland was not consented to; for either he had certainly turned his raised forces against the parlia

ment itself, or not gone at all; or had he gone, what work he would have made there, bis own following words declare. “He would have punished some;" no question; for some, perhaps, who were of least use, must of necessity have been sacrificed to his reputation, and the convenience of his affairs. Others he “would have disarmed;" that is to say, in his own time: but “all of them he would have protected from the fury of those that would have drowned them, if they had refused to swim down the popular steam.” These expressions are too often met, and too well understood, for any man to doubt his meaning. By the “fury of those,” he means no other than the justice of parliament, to whom yet he had committed the whole business. Those who would have refused to swim down the popular stream, our constant key tells us to be papists, prelates, and their faction; these, by his own confession here, he would have protected against his puritan parliament: and by this who sees not that he and the Irish rebels had but one aim, one and the same drift, and would have forthwith joined in one body against us ?

215. He goes on still in his tenderness of the Irish rebels, fearing lest “our zeal should be more greedy to kill the bear for his skin, than for any harm he hath done.” This either justifies the rebels to have done no harm at all, or infers his opinion that the parliament is more bloody and rapacious in the prosecution of their justice, than those rebels were in the execution of their barbarous cruelty. Let men doubt now, and dispute to whom the king was a

friend most—to his English parliament, or to his Irish rebels.

216. With whom, that we may yet see further how much he was their friend, after that the parliament had brought them everywhere either to famine or a low condition, he, to give them all the respite and advantages they could desire, without advice of parliament, to whom he himself had committed the managing of that war, makes a cessation ; in pretence to relieve the Protestants, “overborne there with numbers ;” but, as the event proved, to support the papists, by diverting and drawing over the English army there, to his own service here against the parliament. For that the Protestants were then on the winning hand, it must needs be plain; who, notwithstanding the miss of those forces, which at their landing bere mastered without difficulty great part of Wales and Cheshire, yet made a shift to keep their own in Ireland. But the plot of this Irish truce is in good part discovered in that declaration of September 30, 1643. And if the Protestants were but handfuls there, as he calls them, why did he stop and waylay, both by land and sea, to his utmost power, those provisions and supplies which were sent by the parliament? How were so many handfuls called over, as for a while stood him in no small stead, and against our main forces here in England ?

217. Since therefore all the reasons that can be given of this cessation appear so false and frivolous, it may be justly feared, that the design itself was most wicked and pernicious. What remains then ? He “appeals to God,” and is cast; likening his punishment to Job's trials, before he saw them to have Job's ending. But how could charity herself believe there was at all in him any religion, so much as but to fear there is a God; whenas, by what is noted in the declaration of “no more addresses,” he vowed solemnly to the parliament, with imprecations upon himself and his posterity, if ever he consented to the abolishing of those laws which were in force against papists; and, at the same time, as appeared plainly by the very date of his own letters to the queen and Ormond, consented to the abolishing of all penal laws against them both in Ireland and England ? If these were acts of a religious prince, what memory of man, written or unwritten, can tell us news of any prince that ever was irreligious ? He cannot stand “to make prolix apologies.” Then surely those long pamphlets set out for declarations and protestations in his name were none of his; and how they should be his, indeed, being so repugnant to the whole course of his actions, augments the difficulty.

218. But he usurps a common saying, “ That it is kingly to do well, (74) and hear ill.” That may be sometimes true; but far more frequently to do ill and hear well; so great is the multitude of flat

(74) Gibbon was of a different opinion. « Jovian, who, in a few weeks, had assumed the habits of a prince, was displeased with freedom, and offended with truth.And he subjoins in a note: “At Nisibis he performed a royal act. A brave officer,

terers, and them that deify the name of king! Yet not content with these neighbours, we have him still a perpetual preacher of his own virtues, and of that especially, which who knows not to be patience perforce ? He “ believes it will at last appear, that they who first began to embroi] his other kingdoms, are also guilty of the blood of Ireland.” And we believe so too; for now the cessation is become a peace by published articles, and commission to bring them over against England, first only ten thousand by the Earl of Glamorgan, next all of them, if possible, under Ormond, which was the last of all his transactions done as a public person. And no wonder; for he looked upon the blood spilt, whether of subjects or of rebels, with an indifferent eye, “as exhausted out of his own veins;" without distinguishing, as he ought, which was good blood and which corrupt; the not letting out whereof endangers the whole body.

219. And what the doctrine is, ye may perceive also by the prayer, which, after a short ejaculation for the “ poor Protestants," prays at large for the Irish rebels, that God would not give them over, or “ their children, to the covetousness, cruelty, fierce and cursed anger” of the parliament. He finishes with a deliberate and solemn curse “ upon himself and his father's house." Which how far God hath already brought to pass, is to the end, that men, by

his namesake, who had been thought worthy of the people, was dragged from supper, thrown into a well, and stoned to death, without any form of trial, or evidence of guilt.” (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, iv. 219, and note 124.)

« AnteriorContinuar »