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intends to overturn by that contemptible vulgar; the sad cries and oppressions of whom his loyalty regarded not. As for that supplicating people, they did no hurt either to law or authority, but stood for it rather in the parliament against whom they feared would violate it.
62. “ That they invaded the honour and freedom of the two houses,” is his own officious accusation, not seconded by the parliament, who, had they seen cause, were themselves best able to complain. And if they “shook and menaced” any, they were such as had more relation to the court than to the commonwealth; enemies, not patrons of the people. But if their petitioning unarmed were an invasion of both houses, what was his entrance into the House of Commons, besetting it with armed men ? In what condition then was the honour and freedom of that house?“ They forebore not rude deportments, contemptuous words and actions, to himself and his court.” It was more wonder, having heard what treacherous hostility he had designed against the city and his whole kingdom, that they forbore to handle him as people in their rage have handled tyrants heretofore for less offences.
63. “They were not a short ague, but a fierce quotidian fever.” He indeed may best say it, who most felt it; for the shaking was within him, and it shook him by his own description “ worse than a storm, worse than an earthquake;" Belshazzar's palsy. Had not worse fears, terrors, and envies made within him that commotion, how could a
multitude of his subjects, armed with no other weapon than petitions, have shaken all his joints with such a terrible ague ? Yet that the parliament should entertain the least fear of bad intentions from him or his party he endures not; but would persuade us, that “men scare themselves and others without cause :” for he thought fear would be to them a kind of armour, and his design was, if it were possible, to disarm all, especially of a wise fear and suspicion; for that he knew would find weapons.
64. He goes on therefore with vehemence, to repeat the mischiefs done by these tumults. “They first petitioned, then protested; dictate next, and lastly overawe the parliament. They removed obstructions, they purged the houses, cast out rotten members.” If there were a man of iron, such as Talus, by our poet Spenser (37) is feigned to be, the page of Justice, who with his iron flail could do all this, and expeditiously, without those deceitful forms and circumstances of law, worse than ceremonies in religion ; I say, God send it done, whether by one Talus, or by a thousand.
65. “But they subdued the men of conscience in
(37) Milton's “ poetical predilections,” and his poetical reading, notwithstanding what Mr. Warton imagined, constantly, in spite of his religious and civil enthusiasm, find opportunities, even amid the hoarse strife of politics, to discover themselves. Traces of his fondness for Spenser are visible throughout his works; but nowhere are they with more pleasure recognized than in passages like the above, where they shed over angry disputation a charm of peculiar sweetness. Talus, the reader will perhaps remember, is the “groom” of Astræa, or
parliament, backed and abetted all seditious and schismatical proposals against government ecclesiastical and civil.” Now we may perceive the root of his hatred, whence it springs. It was not the king's grace or princely goodness, but this iron flail, the people, that drove the bishops out of their baronies, out of their cathedrals, out of the lords' house, out of their copes and surplices, and all those papistical innovations, threw down the high-commission and star-chamber, gave us a triennial parliament, and what we most desired; in revenge whereof he now so bitterly inveighs against them; these are those seditious and schismatical proposals then by him condescended to as acts of grace, now of another name; wbich declares him, touching matters of church and state, to have been no other man in the deepest of his solitude, than he was before at the highest of his sovereignty.
66. But this was not the worst of these tumults, they played the hasty “midwives, and would not stay the ripening, but went staight to ripping up, and forcibly cut out abortive votes.” They would not stay perhaps the Spanish demurring, and put
justice, whom, on returning to her native heaven, she leaves among mankind.
“ But when she parted hence she left her groom,
An iron man, which did on her attend
And willed him with Artegal to wend,
His name was Talus, made of iron mould,
Who in his hand an iron fail did hold,
Faery Queen, b. v. c. i. st. 12.
ting off such wholesome acts and counsels, as the politic cabinet at Whitehall had no mind to. But all this is complained here as done to the parliament, and yet we heard not the parliament at that time complain of any violence from the people, but from him. Wherefore intrudes he to plead the cause of parliament against the people, while the parliament was pleading their own cause against him; and against him were forced to seek refuge of the people? It is plain then, that those confluxes and resorts interrupted not the parliament, nor by them were thought tumultuous, but by him only and his court faction.
67. “But what good man had not rather want any thing he most desired for the public good, than attain it by such unlawful and irreligious means ?” As much as to say, had not rather sit still, and let his country be tyrannized, than that the people, finding no other remedy, should stand up like men, and demand their rights and liberties. This is the artificialest piece of finesse to persuade men into slavery that the wit of court could have invented. But hear how much better the moral of this lesson would befit the teacher. What good man had not rather want a boundless and arbitrary power, and those fine flowers of the crown, called prerogatives, than for them to use force and perpetual vexation to his faithful subjects, nay, to wade for them through blood and civil war ? So that this and the whole bundle of those following sentences may be applied better to the convincement of his own violent courses, than of those pretended tumults.
68. “ Who were the chief demagogues to send for those tumults, some alive are not ignorant." Setting aside the affrightment of this goblin word ; for the king, by his leave, cannot coin English, as he could money, to be current, (and it is believed this wording was above his known style and orthography, and accuses the whole composure to be conscious of some other author,(38) yet if the people were sent for, emboldened and directed by those demagogues, who, saving his Greek, were good patriots, and by his own confession “men of some repute for parts and piety,” it helps well to assure us there was both urgent cause, and the less danger of their coming.
69. “ Complaints were made, yet no redress could be obtained.” The parliament also complained of what danger they sat in from another party, and demanded of him a guard, but it was not granted. What marvel then if it cheered them to see some store of their friends, and in the Roman, not the pettifogging sense, their clients (39) so near about them; a defence due by nature both from whom it was offered, and to whom, as due as to their parents; though the court stormed and fretted to see such honour given to them,
(38) Another glance at the authorship of Dr. Gauden. Others have remarked that Charles the First's style was more simple and plain.
(39) See, for the history of the Roman clientship, Niebuhr's admirable Researches on Roman History, (vol. i. p. 276. sqq.) which, both by the author and others, have very improperly been considered a history of Rome.