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the avaricious hope of other rewards besides supreme honour, and the constant revenue of his place?

“This honour,” he saith, “ they did him, to put him on the giving part.” And spake truer than he intended, it being merely for honour's sake that they did so; not that it belonged to him of right: for what can he give to a parliament, who receives all he hath from the people, and for the people's good ? Yet now he brings his own conditional rights to contest and be preferred before the people's good; and yet, unless it be in order to their good, he hath no rights at all ; reigning by the laws of the land, not by his own; which laws are in the hands of parliament to change or abrogate as they see best for the commonwealth, even to the taking away of kingship itself, when it grows too masterful and burdensome.

For every commonwealth is in general defined, a society sufficient of itself, in all things conducible to well-being and commodious life. Any of which requisite things, if it can

. not have without the gift and favour of a single person, or without leave of his private reason or his conscience, it cannot be thought sufficient of itself, and by consequence no commonwealth, nor free; but a multitude of vassals in the

: possession and domain of one absolute lord, and wholly obnoxious to his will. If the king have power to give or deny anything to his parliament, he must do it either as a person several from them, or as one greater : neither of which will be allowed him: not to be considered severally from them; for as the king of England can do no wrong, so neither can he do right but in his courts and by his courts ; and what is legally done in them, shall be deemed the king's assent, though he as a several person shall judge or endeavour the contrary; so that indeed without his courts, or against them, he is no king. If therefore he obtrude upon us any public mischief, or withhold from us any general good, which is wrong in the highest degree, he must do it as a tyrant, not as a king of England, by the known maxims of our law. Neither can he, as one greater, give aught to the parliament which is not in their own power, but he must be greater also than the kingdom which they represent : so that to honour him with the giving part was a mere civility, and may be well termed the courtesy of England, not the king's due.

But the “incommunicable jewel of his conscience” he will not give, “ but reserve to himself.” It seems that his conscience was none of the crown jewels; for those we know were in Holland, not incommunicable, to buy arms against his subjects. Being therefore but a private jewel, he could not have done a greater pleasure to the kingdom, than by reserving it to himself

. But he, contrary to what is here professed, would have his conscience not an incommunicable, but a universal conscience, the whole kingdom's conscience. Thus what he seems to fear lest we should ravish from him, is our chief complaint that he obtruded upon us; we never forced him to part with his conscience, but it was he that would have forced us to part with ours.

Some things he taxes them to have offered him," which, while he had the mastery of his reason, he would never consent to." Very likely ; but had his reason mastered him as it ought, and not been mastered long ago by his sense and humour, (as the breeding of most kings hath been ever sensual and most humoured, perhaps he would have made no difficulty. Meanwhile at what a fine pass is the kingdom, that must depend in greatest exigencies upon the phantasy of a king's reason, be he wise or fool, who arrogantly shall answer all the wisdom of the land, that what they offer seems to him unreasonable !

He prefers his “ love of truth” before his love of the people. His love of truth would have led him to the search of truth, and have taught him not to lean so much upon his own understanding. He met at first with doctrines of unaccountable prerogative; in them he rested, because they pleased him; they therefore pleased him because they gave him all; and this he calls his love of truth, and prefers it before the love of his people's peace.

Some things they proposed," which would have wounded the inward peace of his conscience. The more our evil hap, that three kingdoms should be thus pestered with one conscience; who chiefly scrupled to grant us that, which the parliament advised him to, as the chief means of our public wel. fare and reformation. These scruples to many perhaps will seem pretended ; to others, upon as good grounds, may seem real; and that it was the just judgment of God, that he who was so cruel and so remorseless to other men's consciences,

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should have a conscience within him as cruel to himself; constraining him, as he constrained others, and ensnaring him in such ways and counsels as were certain to be his destruction.

“Other things though he could approve, yet in honour and policy he thought fit to deny, lest he should seem to dare deny nothing." By this means he will be sure, what with reason, honour, policy, or punctilios, to be found never unfurnished of a denial; whether it were his envy not to be overbounteous, or that the submissness of our asking stirred up in him a certain pleasure of denying. Good princes have thought it their chief happiness to be always granting; if good things, for the things' sake; if things indifferent, for the people's sake; while this man sits calculating variety of excuses how he may grant least; as if his whole strength and royalty were placed in a mere negative.

Of one proposition especially he laments him much, that they would bind“ to a general and implicit consent for whatever they desired.” Which though I find not among the nineteen, yet undoubtedly the oath of his coronation binds him to no less ; neither is he at all by his office to interpose against a parliament in the making or not making of any law; but to take that for just and good legally, which is there decreed, and to see it executed accordingly. Nor was he set over us to vie wisdom with his parliament, but to be guided by them; any of whom possibly may as far excel him in the gift of wisdom, as he them in place and dignity. But much nearer is it to impossibility, that any king alone should be wiser than all his council ; sure enough it was not he, though no king ever before him so much contended to have it thought so. And if the parliament so thought not, but desired him to follow their advice and deliberation in things of public concernment, he accounts it the same proposition as if Samson had been moved to the putting out his eyes, that the Philistines might abuse him.” And thus out of an unwise or pretended fear, lest others should make a scorn of him for yielding to his parliament, he regards not to give cause of worse suspicion, that he made a scorn of his regal oath.

But “to exclude him froni all power of denial seems an arrogance ;” in the parliament he means : what in him then to deny against the parliament? None at all, by what he argues :

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for “by petitioning, they confess their inferiority, and that obliges them to rest, if not satisfied, yet quieted with such an answer as the will and reason of their superior thinks fit to give.” First, petitioning, in better English, is no more than requesting or requiring; and men require not favours only, but their due; and that not only from superiors, but from equals, and inferiors also. The noblest Romans, when they stood for that which was a kind of regal honour, the consulship, were wont in a submissive manner to go about, and beg that highest dignity of the meanest plebeians, naming them man by man; which in their tongue was called petitio consulatus. And the parliament of England petitioned the king, not because all of them were inferior to him, but because he was inferior to any one of them, which they did of civil custom, and for fashion's sake, more than of duty; for by plain law cited before, the parliament is his superior.

But what law in any trial or dispute enjoins a freeman to rest quieted, though not satisfied with the will and reason of his superior? It were a mad law that would subject reason to superiority of place. And if our highest consultations and purposed laws must be terminated by the king's will, then is the will of one man our law, and no subtlety of dispute can redeem the parliament and nation from being slaves : neither can any tyrant require more than that his will or reason, though not satisfying, should yet be rested in, and determine all things. We may conclude, therefore, that when the parliament petitioned the king, it was but merely form, let it be

« foolish and absurd” as he pleases. It cannot certainly be so absurd as what he requires, that the parliament should confine their own and all the kingdom's reason to the will of one man, because it was his hap to succeed his father. For neither God nor the laws have subjected us to his will, nor set his reason to be our sovereign above law, (which must needs be, if he can strangle it in the birth,) but set his person over us in the sovereign execution of such laws as the parliament establish. The parliament, therefore, without any usurpation, hath had it always in their power to limit and confine the exorbitancy of kings, whether they call it their will, their reason, or their conscience.

But this above all was never expected, nor is to be endured, that a king, who is bound by law and oath to follow the ad

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VOL. I.

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vice of his parliament, should be permitted to except against them as

young statesmen,” and proudly to suspend his following their advice, “until his seven years' experience had shewn him how well they could govern themselves.” Doubtless the law never supposed so great an arrogance could be in one man; that he whose seventeen years' unexperience had almost ruined all, should sit another seven years schoolmaster to tutor those who were sent by the whole realm to be his counsellors and teachers. But with what modesty can he pretend to be a statesman himself, who with his father's king-craft* and his own, did never that of his own accord, which was not directly opposite to his professed interest both at home and abroad; discontenting and alienating his subjects at home, weakening and deserting his confederates abroad, and with them the common cause of religion ; so that the whole course of his reign, by an example of his own furnishing, hath resembled Phaeton more than Phæbus, and forced the parliament to drive like Jehu; which omen taken from his own mouth, God hath not diverted ?

And he on the other side might have remembered, that the parliament sit in that body, not as his subjects, but as his superiors, called, not by him, but by the law; not only twice every year, but as oft as great affairs require, to be his counsellors and dictators, though he stomach it; nor to be dissolved at his pleasure, but when all grievances be first removed, all petitions

* With all his craft, however, James I. was always the dupe of some wiser head : of the Duc de Guise first ; and afterwards of Elizabeth and her ministers. He would not venture, while his first patron lived, to marry a protestant; and was too fearful of consequences to risk an union with a Roman Catholic. But Guise having fallen at Blois, and, soon after, Henri III., he no longer hesitated to take a protestant wife, and accordingly married a princess of Denmark. Like all half-witted princes, he was extravagantly addicted to hunting; and to a man recommended to him by similarity of taste, though actually the spy of Elizabeth, he communicated the most important secrets, which this honest individual transmitted to Walsinghame, who, according to Bishop Burnett, suspected James of an intention to turn papist, or to be of no religion. (Burnett's History of his own Times, folio, i. 7.) Much light has been thrown on the secret history of the reign of this contemptible prince, by the publication of the “ Loseley Manuscripts," where we find four letters written with the king's own hand to Sir George More, lieutenant of the Tower, “concerning my lord of Somerset, who being in the Tower, and hearing that he should come to his arraignment, began to speak big words touching on the king's reputation and honour.” ED.

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