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The above circumstance is contradided by Lord Clarer.don, and, upon his authority, hy Mr.Stockdale, who has lately obliged the world with the life of our Poet. Accordiog to this last biographer, Morley, who was one of the politeft scholars of the age, was related to our Auchor, and their love of letrers produced an intimacy and friendship between them. He further obferves, " that Morley used often to vifit Wailer at “ Beaconsfield, and allift him in his literary progress. “He directed him in his choice of books; be read “ with bim the capital authors artiquity;

larged his understanding, and refined his taste. " That his cousin Waller, therefore, might gain all "pollible improvement, and rise to that consequence " which he night derive from his uncommon abi'licies, he introduced him into Lord Falkland's

'-"He brought him," saysLordClarendon, “into chat company which was most celebrated for

good conversation,”

During the long intermiffion of parliaments, from 1629 to 104c, Waller dedicated most of his time to the profecution of his studies. At length a parliament was called in the 164, which is called the Short Parliament, as it met on the 13th of April, and was difsolved before the end of May. This long recess of parliament having disgusted the nation, and raised jealousies against the designs of the court, which would be sureto discover themselveswhenever the King came


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to ask a fupply, Mr. Waller, elected for Aymesham, resolved to attack the late measures of the court, and plead the cause of freedom and the people. On the 22d April 1640, in a moft animated speech, fortu, nately preserved, he gives us some notions of his general principles in government. He proposed to the House, that the neceffary subsidies should be granted to the King; but that before they were taken into .confideration the faults of adminiftration should be examined and redressed, liberty confirmed, and property secured. This speech does Waller honour, as it evinces he was equally an enemy to defpotism and anarchy, and that he meant not to abridge the lawful authority of the King, though he ftrenuously vindicated the rights of the people.

The Long Parliament met on the 3d of Nov.1640, in which Waller again represented Aymesham for the third time. Being now warmly actuated with that general spirit of opposition to the court, which the abrupt diffolution of the preceding parliament, and other unpopular measures of the King and his ministers had excited, (although it does not appear that at this crisis he harboured any rebellious designs againft his sovereign) Waller was appointed to fupport the impeachment against Judge Crawley. Accordingly, on the 16th July 1641, at a conference of the Two Houses, he delivered the impeachment, and enforced it with a speech replete with painted wit and nervous

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eloquence; a speech fo highly applauded, that 20,000
copies of it were sold in one day. Yet did it not
effe& its purpose, as nd punishment was inflicted on
Crawley, a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas,
and one of the twelve Judges, and whose crime was
that of subscribing to an opinion that the King had
a right to levy ship-money.

Matters having now come to an extremity betwixt the King and his parliament, Charles, on the 22d of August 1642, erected the royal standard at Notting* ham, and on this occasion our Author sent his Majesty a thousand broad pieces; a pretty convincing proof that he wished not ill to the royal cause; at the same time corresponding with those more immediately employed about the King's person; by their means he obtained the royal leave for returning to his duty in parliament, where it was expected he would be of fingular service to his prince by the force of his eloquence.

Soon after the battle of Edge-hill, which was fought on the 23d O. 1642, Charles retired to Oxford, where Waller was one of the Commissionersappointed by the parliament to prefent their propositions of peace. The Commissioners were received by his Majelty in the garden of Chriil-Church, and Waller, as the lowest in rank, was presented last. After having kiffed the royal hand, Charles looking on him with complacency, said, " Though you are the last,

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yet you are not the worst, nor the least in my fa


As Whitelocke, who was also one of the Commiffioners deputed by the parliament gives testimony to the above anecdote, we can hardly question its authenticity; and though that author's veracity ought not to be disputed in narrating a fact, of which himself was witness, yet ought we not wholly to rely on the conclusions which he deduces from it. He more than once asserts, that the favourable reception conferred upon Waller by the King at Oxford, was in consequence of the plot then forming by him for his Majesty's interest, and which was detected in a short time after the return of the Commissioners to London. But it is hardly probable that Charles should commit a folecisın in politicks so extremely flagrant, if he really knew that Waller had associated against his foes, as thus to take publick and particular notice of him on that account, and consequently mark him a victim of the parliament's wrath, should his concert miscarry.

This plot was formed and discovered in the 1643, and was of fo mild a nature, that Mr. Hur;e says, " it might with more justice be fiyled a project than

a plot.” Mr. Whitelocke has given the following account of this aifair *.

“June 1643,” says he,“ began the arraignment of # Memorials of Engliíh affairs, p. 70. edit. 1732.

“ Waller, Tomkins, Challoner, and others, conspi“ring to surprise the City militia, and some members “of parliament, and to let in the King's forces to

surprise the City, and dissolve the parliament. Waller, a very ingenious man, was the principal actor “ and contriver of this plot, which was in design “ when he and the other Commissioners were at Ox“ford with the parliament's propositions; and that

being then known to the King, occafioned him to "{peak these words to Waller, Though you are thelast, " yet you are not the worst, nor the least in favour. When “ he was examined touching this plot, he was asked " whether Selden, Pierpoint, Whitelocke, and others

by name, were acquainted with it? He answered, That they were not; but that he did. come one “evening to Selden's study, where Pierpoint and " Whitelocke then were with Selden, on purpose to “ impart it to them all; and speaking of such a "thing in general terms, these gentlemen did fo in

veigh against any such thing astreachery and basea “ness, and that which might be the occasion of shedding much blood, that he said he durft not, for the

awe and respect which he had for Selden and the

reft, communicate any of the particulars to them, “ bat was almost disheartened himfelf to proceed in “it. They were all upon their trials condemned. “ Tomkins and Challoner only were hanged. Wal“ ler had a reprieve from General Essex; and, after Volume 1.


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