ePub 版
[ocr errors]

quest of Jamaica ; as if a defeated army should have the impudence to brag afterwards of the victory, because, though they had fled out of the field of battle, yet they quartered that night in a village of the enemies. The war with Spain was a necessary consequence of this folly; and how much we have gotten by it, let the custom-house and exchange inform you; and, if he please to boalt of the taking a part of the filver fleet (which indeed nobody else but he, who was the sole gainer, has cause to do), at lealt, let him give leave to the rest of the nation (which is the only loser) to complain of the loss of twelve hundred of her ships.

But because it may here perhaps be answered, that his successes nearer home have extinguished the disgrace of fo remote miscarriages, and that Dunkirk ought more to be remembered for his glory, than St. Domingo for his disadvantage; I must confess, as to the honour of the English courage, that they were not wanting upon that occafion (excepting only the fault of serving at least indirectly against their master), to the upholding of the renown of their warlikte ancestors. But for his particular share of it, who fate still at home, and exposed them fo frankly abroad, I can only say, that, for less money than he in the short time of his reign exacted from his fellow-subjects, some of our former princes (with the daily hazard of their own persons) have added to the dominion of England, not only one town, but even a greater kingdom than itself. And this being all considerable as concerning his enterprizes abroad, let us examine, in the next place, how much we owe him for his justice and good government at home.

And, first, he found the commonwealth (as they then called it) in a ready stock of about 800,000 pounds; he left the commonwealth (as he had the impudent raillery still to call it) some two millions and an half in debt. He found our trade


much decayed indeed, in comparison of the golden times of our late princes; he left it as much again more decayed than he found it: and yet not only no prince in England; but no tyrant in the world, ever fought out more base or infamous means to raise monies. I shall only instance in one that he put in practice, and another that he attempted, but was frightened from the execution (even he) by the infamy of it. That which he put in practice was decimation *; which was the most impudent breach of all public faith that the whole nation had given, and all private capitulations which himself had made, as the nation's general and fervant, that can be found out (I believe) in all history, from any of the most barbarous generals of the most barbarous people. Which, because it. has been most excellently and most largely laid open by a whole book written upon that fubje&, I shall only delire you here to remember the thing in general, and to be pleased to look upon that author, when you would recollect all the particulars and circumitances of the iniquity. The other design, of railing a present sum of money, which he violently pursued, but durst not put in execution, was by the calling in and establishment of the Jews at London; from which he was rebuted by the universal outcry of the divines, and even of the citizens too, who took it ill, that a coniiderable number at leatt amongit themselves were not thought Jews enough by their own Herod. And for this design, they fay, he invented (oh Antichrift! Ilomer and ó llonges!) to fell St. Paul's to them for a synagogue, if their purses and devotions could have reached to the purchase. And this, indeed, if he had done only to reward that nation, which had given the firit noble example of crucifying their king, it might have had some appearance of gratitude: but he did it only for love of their mammon; and would have fold afterwards for as much more St. Peter's (even at his own Westminster) to the Turks for a mosquito. Such was his extraordinary piety to God, that he delired he miglit be worshipped in all manners, excepting only that heathenish way of the Common-prayer book. But what do I speak of his wicked inventions for getting money; when every penay, that for alınost five years he took every day from every man living in England, Scotland and Ireland, was as much robbery, as if it had been taken by a thief upon

By decimation, is here meant, nnt the putting to death of every tenth man (which is the usual reale of this term), but the levying of the tentl jenny on the estates of the Royalists. The word is so used by Sir John Denhanı. Hurd.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the highways? Was it not fo? or can any man think that Cromwell, with the affiftance of his forces and mois-troopers, had more right to the command of all men's purses, than he might have had to any one's, whom he had met and been too ftrong for upon a road? And yet, when this came, in the case of Mr. Coney *, to be disputed by legal trial, he (which was the highest act of tyranny that ever was seen in England) not only discouraged and threatened, but violently imprisoned the counsel of the plainti:f; that is, he shut up the law itself close prisoner, that no man might have relief from, or access to it. And it ought to be remembered, that this was done by those men, who a few years

before had so bitterly decried, and openly opposed, the king's regular and formal way of proceeding in the trial of a little inip-money.

But, though we lost the benefit of our old courts of justice, it cannot be denied that he set up new ones; and such they were, that as no virtuous prince before would, so no ill one durit, erect. , What, have we lived so many hundred years under such a forin of justice as has been able regularly to punish all men that offended against it ; and is it so deficient just now, that we must seek out new ways how to proceed against offenders ? The reason, which can only be given in nature for a necessity of this, is, because those things are now made crimes which were never esteemed so in former ages; and there mult needs be a new court set up to punish that, which all the old ones were bound to protect and reward. But I am so far from declaiming (as you call it) against these wickedneses (which if I should undertake to do, I should never get to the peroration, that you see I only give a hint of fome few, and pass over the reft, as things that are too many to be numbered, and muit only be weighed in grofs. Let any man shew me (for, though I pretend not to much reading, I will defy in all history), let any man fiew me (I lay) an example of any nation in the world (though much greater than ours), where there have, in the space of four years, been made fo many prisoners, only out of the endless jealoufies of one tyrant's guilty imagination. I grant you, that Marius and Sylla, and the accursed triumvirate after them, put more people to death ; but the reafon, I think, partly was, because in those times that had a mixture of fome honour with their madness, they thought it a more civil revenge against a Roman, to take away his life, than to take away his liberty. But truly in the point of murder too, we have little reason to think that our late tyranny has been deficient to the examples that have ever been set it in other countries. Our judges and our courts of justice have not been idle: and, to omit the whole reign of our late king (till the beginning of the war), in which no drop of blood was ever drawn but from two or three ears, I think the longest time of our worit princes scarce law many more executions, than the short one of our bleit reformer. And we saw, and smelt in our open streets (as I marked to you at firit) the broiling of human bowels as a burnt-offering of a sweet savour to our idol; but all murdering, and all torturing (though after the fubtileft invention of his predecessors of Sicily) is more humane and more supportable, than his felling of Chriftians, Englishmen, gentlemen; his selling of them (oh monstrous! oh incredible !) to be slaves in America. If his whole life could be reproached with no other action, yet this alone would weigh down all the inultiplicity of crimes in any of our tyrants; and I dare only touch, without stopping or insitting upon, fo insolent and fo execrable a cruelty, for fear of falling into so violent (though a juit) passion, as would make me exceed that temper and moderation, which I resolve to observe in this discourse with you.

These are great calamities; but even these are not the most insupportable that we have endured; for so it is, that the scorn, and mockery, and insultings of an enemy, are more painful than the deepest wounds of his serious fury. This man was wanton and merry (unwittingly and ungracefully merry) with our sufferings : he loved to say and do fenfelels and fantaitical things, only to thew his power of doing or saying any thing,

It would ill belit mine, or any civil mouth, to repeat those words which he fpoke concerning the most facred of our Englith laws, the Petition of Right, and Magra Chartat To-day, you fhould see him ranting so wildly, that nobody durit conç

• Which the reader may see in Lord Clarendon, H. R, vol. iii. fol. p. 596. HURD.
+ in the Case of Coney, before mentioned.

thear him; the morrow, flinging of cushions, and playing at snow-balls, with his fervants. This month, he aficmbles a parliament, and profeífes himself with humble tears to be o.ly their servant and their minister; the next month he swears by the living God that I will turn them out of doors, and he does so, in his princely way of threatening, bid. sing them, “ Tura the buckles of their girdles behind them.” The representative of whole, nay of three whole nations, was in his eíteem so cortempuible a meeting, that is thought the afronting and expelling of them to be a thing of to little consequence, að not to deserve that he Thould advise with any mortal man about it. What shall we tail this? buldress or brutishness; rashness or phrenf;? There is no name can come up to it; and thercule we must leave it without one. Now a parliament must be chosen in the nerv manner, next time in the old form, but all cathiered ftill afier the newelt mode. Now he will govern by major-generals, now by one house, now by another house, naw by no hous; now the freak takes him, and he makes seventy peers of the kad at one clap (extempore, and fans pede in uno); and, to manifest the abfolute power of the pliter, he chootes not only the worst clay he could find, but picks up even the it and dire, to form Olii of it his vessels of honour. It was said anciently of Fortune, thai, when she had z mind to be merry and to divert herself, the was wont to raise up such kind of people to the highest dignities. This son of Fortune, Cromwell (who was himself one of the primeit of her jeits), found out the true baut goust of this pleaine, and rejoiced in the extravagance of his ways, as the fullest demonitration of his controlable fovereignty. Good God! What have we seen? and what have we Fred? what do all these actions lignify? what do they say aloud to the whole nation, ut this even as plainly as if it were proclaimed by heralds through the streets of Lacun), “ You are flaves and fools, and fo I will use you!"

Thele are briefly a part of those merits which you lament to have wanted the reward Cianure kingdoms, and suppose that, if he had lived longer, he might have had them : w nici I ani to far from concurring to, that I believe his seasonable dying to have been a Teater goou-fortune to him, than all the victories and prosperities of his life. Por he k ned evilently (methinks) to be near the end of his deceitful glories; his own army grew at lait as weary of him as the relt of the people ; and I never past of late before s palace (lis, do I call it? I ask God and the king pardon), but I never pulled of as before whitehall

, without reading upon the gate of it, “ Mene Mene, Tekel “ Uphartin"." But it pleased God to take him from the ordinary courts of men, and juries of his peers, to his own high court of justice ; which being more merciful than ULTS below, there is a little room yet left for the hope of his friends, if he have any; though the outward unrepentance of his death afford but small materials for the work of cha ity, especially if he designed even then to entail luis own injustice upon his children, aud, by it, inextricable confulions and civil wars upon the nation. But here's ar lait on end of him. And where's now the fruit of all that blood and calamity, which his 20zbition has cost the world? Where is it? Why, his fun (you will fay) has the whole crop; I doubt, he will find it quickly blaited; I have nothing to say againit the gentle. Rat, or any living of his family ;' on the contrary, I with him better fortune than to

long and unquiet poffeffion of his master's inheritance. Whatsoever I lave froken againit his father, is that which I should have thought (though decency, pahaps, might have hindered me froin saying it) even against mine own, if I had been so unhappy, as thug mine, by the same ways, should have left me three kingdoms

Here I stopt ; and my pretended protector, who, I expected, would have been very angry, fell a laughing, it seems at the fimplicity of my discourse, for thus he replied: " You seein to pretend extremely to the old obsolete rules of virtue and conscience, which makes me doubt very much whether, from this vast prospect of three kingdoms you can fhew me any acres of your own.

But these are so far from making you a prince, that I am afraid your friends will never have the contentment to see you so

have a

• Dan. v.25.

A remarkalis teftimony to the blameless character of Richard Cromwell.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

much as a justice of peace in your own country. For this, I perceive, which you ca virtue, is nothing else but either the frowardness of a Cynic, or the laziness of an Epicurean. I am glad you allow me at least artful dissimulation and unwearied diligence in my hero; and I assure you, that he, whose life is constantly drawn by those two, shall nerer be misled out of the way of greatness. But I see you are a pedant and Platonical statesman, a theoretical commonwealth’s-man, an Utopian dreamer. Was ever riches gotten by your golden mediocrities? or the supreme place attained to by virtues that must not stir out of the middlę? Do you study Aristotle's politics, and, write, if you please, comments upon them; and let another but practise Machiavel : and let us fee then which of you two will come to the greatest preferment. If the defre of rule and superiority be a virtue (as sure I am it is more imprinted in human nature than any of your lethargical morals; and what is the virtue of any creature, but the exercise of those powers and inclinations which God has infused into it?) if that (I say) be virtue, we ought not to esteem any thing vice, which is the most proper, if not the only, means of attaining of it;

It is a truth so certain, and so clear,
That to the first-born man it did appear;
Did not the mighty heir, the noble Cain,
By the fresh laws of nature taught, disdain
That (though a brother) any one should be
A greater favourite to God than he ?
He strook him down; and so (faid he) fo fell
The sheep, which thou didst sacrifice so well.
Since all the fullest sheaves, which I could bring,
Since all were blafted in the offering,
Left God should my next victim too despise,
The acceptable priest I'll facrifice.
Hence, coward fears; for the first blood so spilt,
As a reward he the first city built.
'Twas a beginning generous and high,
Fit for a grand child of the Deity.
So well advanc’d, 'twas pity there he staid;
One step of glory more he should have made,
And to the utmost bounds of greatness gone ;
Had Adam too been kill’d, he might have reign’d alone.
One brother's death, what do I mean to name,
A small oblation to reveage and fame?
The mighty-foul'd Abimelec, to shew
What for high place a higher spirit can do,
A hecatomb almost of brethren slew,
And seventy times in nearest blood he dy'd
(To make it hold) his royal purple pride.
Why do I name the lordly creature man?
The weak, the mild, the coward woman, can,
When to a crown the cuts her sacred way,
All that oppose with manlike courage flay.
So Athaliah, when fhe saw her son,
And with his life her dearer greatness, gone,
With a majestic fury slaughter'd all
Whom high-birth might to high pretences call:
Since he was dead who all her power sustain’d,
Resolv'd to reign alone; resolv'a, and reigo'd.
In vain her sex, in vain the laws, withstood,
lu vain the sacred plea of David's blood;





A noble and a bold contentiou, she
(One woman) undertook with destiny.
She to pluck down, destiny to uphold
(Oblig'd by holy oracles of old)
The great Jeffæan race on Judah's throne;
Till'twas at last an equal wager grown,
Scarce Fate, with much ado, the better got by one.
Tell me not, me herself at last was slain ;
Did The not first seven years (a life-time) reign?
Seven royal years t' a public fpirit will feein
More than the private life of a Methusalem.
'Tis godlike to be great; and, as they fay,
A thousand years to God are but a day,
So to a man, when once a crown he wears,

The coronation-day's more than a thousand years." He would have gone on, I perceived, in his blasphemies, but that by God's grate I became so bold, as thus to interrupt him: “ I understand now perfectly (which I guessed at long before) what kind of angel and protector you are; and, though your tyle in verse be very much mended * since you were wont to deliver oracles, yet your doctrine is much worse than ever you had formerly (that I heard of) the face to pubíith ; whether your long practice with mankind has increased and improved your malice, or whether you think us in this age to be grown so impudently wicked, that there needs no more art or disguises to draw us to your party.”

"My dominion (faid he hastily, and with a dreadful furious look) is so great in this sorld , and I am so powerful a monarch of it, that I need not be ashamed that

you should know me; and, that you may fee I know you too, I know you to be an obllinate and inveterate malignant; and for that reason I thall take you along with me to the next garrison of ours; from whence you shall go to the Tower, and from thence to the court of justice, and from thence you know whither.” I was almost in the

very pources of the great bird of prey :

When, lo, ere the last words were fully spoke,
From a fair cloud, which rather op'd than broke,
A fan of light, rather than lightning, came,
So swift, and yet so geatle, was the flame.
Upon it rode (and, in his full career,
Seem’d to my eyes no sooner there than here)
The comeliest youth of all th’angelic race ;
Lovely his shape, ineffable his face.
The frowns, with which he strook the trembling fiend,
All smiles of human beauty did transcend ;
His beams of locks fell part dishevel'd down,
Part upwards curl'd, and form’d a natural crown,
Such as the British monarchs us'd to wear;
If gold might be compar'd with angels' hair.
His coat and flowing mantle were so bright,
They seem'd both made of woven silver light:
Across his breast an azure ruban went,
At which a medal hung, that did present,
In wondrous living figures, to the light,
The mystic champion's, and old dragon's, fight;

This compliment was intended, not so much to the foregoing, as to the following verses; of which the author had reason to be proud, but, as being delivered in his own person, could not so properly make the panegyric. Hued. Vol. II.


« 上一頁繼續 »