Billeder på siden

next dispute will be, Whether the one family, or the other, has most right? And who has most interest, Charles, or Richard, I think, asketh no long time to ajiswer. l'arther, I would add, Whether it be not more likely to attain to the practice of that golden rule, 'Do as you would be done to,' under the government of a commonwealth, in which law-makers are liable to be judged by the law made, rather than under a monarchical government, where or in which one, if settled, is above law, and accountable to none? Who, though never so wicked and unjust, cannot be removed, but by an extraordinary providence, as was the case of the late King and protector.

Now, whereas it is endeavoured, by some court-parasites, to insinuate into the people, That that, which the commonwealth party aims at, is an involving of the nations in blood and confusion, I would meekly tender, Whether their deportment and behaviour, under the almost insupportable burden of the tyranny of late times, in which their rights and liberties have lain bleeding, hath given any just cause of such suspi. cion? Or rather, Whether their patience has not manifested, their hope hath been and still is in God, from whom, by the means of a lawful free parliament, they only expect deliverance? be not a vindication sufficient, not only from what is now suggested against them, but also from that old brand, that the late protector, in a letter to the late King, while at Hampton-court, gave them, viz. Levellers; and that their work be to kill the King, and levy all men's estates; by which means he effected his end, viz. an incensing of the people and the other part of the army against them. Which, when he had done, he easily carried on his wicked designs, which since have come to publick view; for a deliverance from which are the hearty prayers of all true Englishmen.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

His Dispute with Pope Alerander the Sixth, for precedency in Hell,

Folio, containing two pages.

Oliver. WHAT pretence hast thou to take place of me? What vast gi

gantick crimes hast thou committed, that thou shouldst dare to think, thou deservest to be greater than 1? Have not I transgressed al the laws of God and man? Did not I subvert a state? Change its reli. gion and government, murder its prince, and set whole rivers of bis


[ocr errors]

best subjects' blood a flowing? Did not I do all this, and hast thou the impudence to pretend to merit more, and have a greater share in the infernal empire, than 1?

Pope. All this thou didst, I do confess it; but, if thou wouldst have but the patience to hear me, I do not question but to make appear, that I and my predecessors have done much more meritorious things, for our great lord and master the Devil, than ever thou didst, or couldst do.

Oliver. Hell and furies! What didst thou ever do more, than whore thy own daughter, and help thy son, Cæsar Borgia, to poison, and make away,

all the opposers and obstacles to his greatness ? · Pope. Well, that is something; it shewed how willing, and ready, I was to tread in the footsteps of my predecessors, and give a good example to all my flock; but be patient, and I will tell thee the right, I and my brother popes have to be viceroys here below. Thou, alas! valuest thyself, for having been the ruin of one prince and state: But, how many emperors have we forced to come, and lay their necks under our feet? How many Kings have we caused to be assassinated? How many princes to be murthered ? How many kingdoms and states to be ruined by civil wars and dissensions? Have not we caused princes to rebel against, and murther the Kings their fathers ? Subjects to depose their lawful sovereigns, and set up tyrants in their rooms? And, in fine, Did we not bring anarchy and confusion into all nations, when our interest required it, or when those at the helm did not regulate themselves as we would have had them? All this thou knowest, we did, and must confess it, there being millions of instruments here whom we employed to those ends, to confirm and testify it.

Oliver. I grant all you popes together have been fruitfully and bravely wicked: But hath any one of you, attempted, performed, and compleated, such great, noble, and numerous crimes as I have done? Did not I, and my companions, under the pretext of religion, subvert both it and the government, and crying out against the ill management of the state, the treachery, and want of conduct in ministers, and, by pretending to reform the helm, bring the nation into such a combustion, that we gained our point: which was, that we might have the liberty to act those wickedncsits, that the others, who were there before us, were accused of, but which indeed never came into their thoughts, not having the sense or courage to perform, or, at least were restrained by their consciences; the liberty of which we cried out mightily for, because we knew ours would allow us all that we could desire.

Pope. All this I know, and how successful you were in it, but you were only the executioners of the Roman contrivances; we drew the model, and set you to work; your King's death, that you brag so much of, was first resolved on at Rome, befure it came into your noddles, and, so far, you were only the blind ministers of our resolutions.

Oliver. I am sure that is false; for none of us all, but aimed chiefly at him, though we seemed to look, and squinted another way. You might, perhaps, have the same design, but you ought not therefore to arrogate to yourself all the honour, secing we thought on it, and designed it, as soon as there was any probability of doing it; and even performed it as soon as it lay in our power. Indeed we found it a diff.

mited power.

cult task, and, without your help, perhaps, we should not have been able to have compassed it. We were forced to raise fears and jealousies of an arbitrary government; and in that, I must confess, we found your party extremely useful to us, and very skilful to infuse the poison into people's minds; and, by these means; we arrived at what we so much had railed against, and seemed to abhor; that is to say, an unli

We trampled all laws down under our feet, and made such new ones, as were fit for our purpose and interests. The truth is, to bring this to pass, we made it cost the nations whole seas of blood. Trade was destroyed, maidens were ravished, mothers had their infants rip'd out of their wombs, the father stabbed his son, and the son his father; and nothing was more common, than to see brother drink his brother's blood to the health of our cause, when he called him an enemy, and traitor to his country.

Pope. I laugh at all these flourishes, they are but the common and usual effects of our conspiracies. Had but our late plot succeeded in England, you would have seen them bravely acted, and repeated even to a degree above admiration; they would have surpassed your envy, and even have caused, in you yourself, a dread and terror.

Oliver. But must you not confess, that your instruments were but pitiful, base creatures, and ashamed of their task, since they denied it at their executions? Whereas, you see, my brood in Scotland, not only begun bravely by their rebellion, and murthering the archbishop of Saint Andrews, but acknowledged the fact at their trials and deaths; and not only maintained the lawfulness of it, but also died martyrs for the doctrine of King-killing; whereas, your chicken-hearted heroes were both ashamed of what they would have done, and disowned what the brave doctors of your church have taught.

Pope. Come, do not reproach us, they had been fools if they had owned it; nay, and we had taken care to persuade them they should have been damned too; besides, people's opinion of an action is generally regulated by its success, which we being disappointed of, all our interests and reputation in the world would have been lost and ruined, had they not stiffly denied it. Therefore, I say, do not reproach us; for can you or your brood, as you call them, ever pretend to match our treacheries, treasons, plots, conspiracies, massacres, &c. Do you think you ever can:

Oliver. Perhaps we may; but; of that, I will tell you more after.

For Letter to Parliament, Sce Vol. I, p. 28.


Made by

worthy Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, con

cerning the other House, March 1659.


Mfr. Speaker, THIS

right Islanders, variable and mutable like the air we live in. For (Sir) if that were not our temper, we should not be now disputing, whether, after all those hazards we have run, that blood we have spilt, that treasure we have exhausted, we should not now sit down, just where we did begin; and of our own accords, submit ourselves to that slavery, which we have not only ventured our estates and lives, but I wish I could not say, our souls and consciences, to throw off. What others, Sir, think of this levity, I cannot tell, I mean those that steer their consciences by occasions, and cannot lose the honour they never had, But truly, Sir, for my own part, I dare as little not declare it to be my opinion, as others more prudential dare avow it to be theirs; that we are this day making good all the reproaches of our enemies, owning of ourselves oppressors, murderers, regicides, subverters of that, which now we do not only acknowledge to have been a lawful government, but, by recalling it, confess it now to be the best. Which, Sir, if it be true, and that we now begin to sec aright, I heartily wish, our eyes had been sooner open; and for three nations sake, that we had purchased our conviction at a cheaper rate. We might, Sir, in Fortytwo, have been what we thus contend to be in Fisty-nine; and our consciences have had much less to answer for to God, and our reputations to the world.

But Mr. Speaker, I wish with all my soul, I did state our case to you amiss, and that it were the question only, whether we would voluntarily relapse into the disease we were formerly possessed with, and of our own accords take up our old yoke, that we, with wearing and custom, had made habitual and easy, and which, it may be, it was more onr wantonness than our pressure, that made us throw it off. But this Sir, is not now the question; that which we deliberate, is not, whether we will say we do not care to be free, we like our old masters, and will now be content to have our ears bored at the door-posts of their house, and so serve them for ever. But, Sir, as if we were contending for shame, as well as servitude, we are carrying our cars to be bored at the doors of another house. A house, Sir, without name, and therefore, it is but congruous it should consist of members without a family: A house that inverts the order of slavery, and subjects it to our servants;


• Containing eight pages, quarto, without date, or printer's name.



and yet, in contradiction to Scripture, we do not only not think that subjection intolerable, but are now pleading for it. In a word, Sir, it is a house of so incongruous and odious a composition and mixture, that certainly the grand architect would never have so framed it, had it not been his design as well to shew to the world the contempt he had of us, as to demonstrate the power he had over us.

Sir, that it may appear, that I intend, to be so prudent, as far as my part is concerned, as to make a voluntary resignation of my liberty and honour to this excellent part of his late highness's last will and testament, I shall crave, Sir, the leave to declare, in a few particulars, my opinion of this other house; wherein I cannot but promise myself to be favourably heard by some, but patiently heard by all. For these Englishmen, that are against this house, will certainly with content hear the reasons why others are so 100; these courtiers, that are for it, give me evidence enough to think that, in nature, there is nothing which they cannot willingly endure. First, Sir, as to the author and framer of this house of


Let me put you in mind, it was he, that with reiterated oaths, had often sworn, to be true and faithful to the government without it; and not only sworn so himself, but had been the chief instrument, both to draw, and counsel others, to swear so too. So, Sir, that the foundation of this noble fabrick was laid in perjury, and was begun with the violation and contempt, as well of the laws of God, as of the nation. He, Sir, that called monarchy anti-christian in another, and indeed made it so in himself. He that voted a house of lords dangerous and unnecessary, and too truly made it so in his partisans. He that with fraud and force, deprived you of your liberty, when he was living, and entailed slavery upon you, at his death; it is he, Sir, that hath left you these worthy overseers of that his last will and testament; who, however they have behaved themselves in other trusts, we may be confident they will endeavour faithfully to discharge themselves in this: In a word, Sir, had this other house no other fault but its institution and author, I should think that original sin enough for its condemnation. For I am of their opinion that think, that for the good of example, all acts and monuments of tyrants are to be expunged, and erased, that, if possible, their memory might be no longer-lived than their carcasses. And the truth is, their good laws are of the number of their snares, and but basc brokage for our liberty.

But, Sir, to impute to this other house no other faults, but its own, you may please in the first place to consider of the power, which his highness hath left it, according to that humble petition and advice, which he was pleased to give order to the parliament to present unto him. For, Sir, as the Romans had Kinys, so had his highness parliaments, amongst his instruments of slavery; and I hope, Sir, it will be no offence for me to pray, that his son may not have them so too. But, Sir, they have a negative voice, and all other circumstances of that arbitrary power, which made the former house intolerable; only the dignity, and quality, of the persons themselves, is wanting, that our slavery may be accompanied with ignominy and affront. And now, Mr. Speaker, have we not gloriously vindicated the nation's liberty?

« ForrigeFortsæt »